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Thread: Unstable approach and Pilot overload

  1. #41
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    (3WE likes to paint me as someone who dismisses fundamentals because I stress procedure, as if I have to choose between the two)
    You have made some progress in recognizing the linkage.

    Still, as Gabriel's analogy illustrates: Drunk, 120 MPH in a car with no brakes, and you fixate on training for high-speed cornering.

    Many posts ago, I said that you had spoken some truth and gave you 20%...but the mind of great absolute black and whiteness argued on...

    At some point, every MU-2 pilot has 150 hours in type. How many training hours does he need doing stall recovery so that he instinctively is gentle on the power levers.

    It is a fact that it's better to focus on never ever ever ever ever getting close to stall speed (and that does not say never ever ever ever ever discuss nor practice and actual stall).

    I would bet that the guy WAS trained on stall recovery...I would bet the training said, "Go gentle with the power levers"

    However, that is of limited value at 4 knots above stall at 500 feet...ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING A DAMN BIT OF ATTENTION AND ARE WAAAAAAAAY BEHIND THE AIRPLANE.


    Edit: There is part of me that would want every MU-2 pilot at the point of his type rating to have it totally ingrained in his muscle memory to gently advance the power and be ready for a serious wing dip...but conversely and repeating: How many hours must we practice stalls when it might be better to practice how to conduct a decent descent to be on course, and at a good altitude and speed in stable flight and maybe even brief for a missed approach...

    By the way- I also wish to say "Concur" to Gabriels comments of "they don't know the details"- including one important detail- what was going through the guys mind...I suspect, it was holy shit we are BAD LOW AND SLOW...HIT THE POWER...I DOUBT he thought, "Gee manitly, we are 4 knots above stall, let me gently and calmly add power like I was taught 125 hours ago"...however, that is all just speculation on my part.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    You have made some progress in recognizing the linkage.

    Still, as Gabriel's analogy illustrates: Drunk, 120 MPH in a car with no brakes, and you fixate on training for high-speed cornering.

    Many posts ago, I said that you had spoken some truth and gave you 20%...but the mind of great absolute black and whiteness argued on...

    At some point, every MU-2 pilot has 150 hours in type. How many training hours does he need doing stall recovery so that he instinctively is gentle on the power levers.

    It is a fact that it's better to focus on never ever ever ever ever getting close to stall speed (and that does not say never ever ever ever ever discuss nor practice and actual stall).

    I would bet that the guy WAS trained on stall recovery...I would bet the training said, "Go gentle with the power levers"

    However, that is of limited value at 4 knots above stall at 500 feet...ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING A DAMN BIT OF ATTENTION AND ARE WAAAAAAAAY BEHIND THE AIRPLANE.

    Repeating- how many hours must we practice stalls when it might be better to practice how to conduct a decent descent to be on course, and at a good altitude and speed in stable flight and maybe even brief for a missed approach...

    By the way- I also wish to say "Concur" to Gabriels comments of "they don't know the details"- including one important detail- what was going through the guys mind...I suspect, it was holy shit we are BAD LOW AND SLOW...HIT THE POWER...I DOUBT he thought, "Gee manitly, we are 4 knots above stall, let me gently and calmly add power like I was taught 125 hours ago"...however, that is all just speculation on my part.
    YES, the situation he found himself in was far different than his EXPECTATIONS despite all the readily available signs of problem that he was not paying attention to. Would the airplane automatically calling out airspeed every 5 knots of change made a difference? The other pilot could have done the same, but I suspect both of them were very focused on finding the ground in the bad weather. What is interesting is that a second pilot -- with proper division of labour -- could have focused on airspeed and figured out they were headed for trouble. A computer? Not so sure it's that easy because computer's don't understand the context and it isn't a straight numbers thing from what I can tell.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post

    Still, as Gabriel's analogy illustrates: Drunk, 120 MPH in a car with no brakes, and you fixate on training for high-speed cornering.
    ugh. Where is that head-banging-against-wall emoticon we once had here? We REALLY need that back.

    AGAIN: not either this or that, but BOTH of these things. If you end up driving drunk with no brakes while carrying PASSENGERS, wouldn't it be good to make that corner and live despite all the violations and bad judgment that led you there?

    Your moralistic rants about always doing this and never doing that get timesome because YES, we all know that already. It called pilot error. Ok already, acknowledged.

    The conversation is only interesting to me in terms of what can be changed to mitigate the damage from pilot error or poor airmanship. What can be done to allow pilots to recover from their lapses and errors without killing everybody in the process? Recovery training for one, which in some cases is type-specific.

    That is why I don't really focus on pointing out the initial error or violation. It isn't because I don't recognize it. It's because that IS going to happen, always, until the end of time.

    Example: we have stall warnings and stick shakers. We didn't always have these things, but fortunately the conversation was about what we can do to mitigate stall, not just condemnation for poor airmanship. Same with TAWS, same with TCAS. Second lines of defense were created ASSUMING pilots would make mistakes.

    Still, if a pilot reacts improperly to these second lines of defense, they don't work. So that must be worked on.

    If this was merely a pilot condemnation forum I would have gotten bored with it long ago.


    At some point, every MU-2 pilot has 150 hours in type.
    As PIC?

    It is a fact that it's better to focus on never ever ever ever ever getting close to stall speed (and that does not say never ever ever ever ever discuss nor practice and actual stall).
    Not one or the other 3WE. Both.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    I want to highlight an important point here that was overlooked and that 3we reminded me:

    At some point, every MU-2 pilot has 150 hours in type. How many training hours does he need doing stall recovery so that he instinctively is gentle on the power levers.
    Yes, this pilot had 150 hours on type, AND 100 OF THEM WITH AN INSTRUCTOR. That is A LOT of instruction. I don't think you need anywhere close to 100 hours in a Level-D flight sim to get a 737 type rating and then making your first revenue flight with 100+ paying pax in the back (if you can open the door of a plane type you are touching for the first time, that is).

    (Yes, I know you will be an FO in Initial Line training with not only a captain on the left seat but another pilot in the jumpseat, but even when that 3rd pilot is gone I don't think you'll have 100 hours on type).

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  5. #45
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ***AGAIN: not either this or that, but BOTH of these things.***

    ***Not one or the other 3WE. Both.***
    Wow...you do see the world in black and white.

    Gabriel- help, please...how many absolute statements have I made EDIT: versus statements which acknowledge "both" /Edit ...(just above your second "both" quote, don't I say "this doesn't say you never discuss or practice a stall"...in other words, "Both") Didn't I say Evan was 20 or 30% correct that poor understanding of the stall behavior was a contributing factor?

    I moralistically rant that one should always do this and never do that???...yeah, I do like to always monitor airspeed (would have definitely helped Hui Theiu, Colgan and these guys). Regarding relentless pull ups and how to recover, I am much more liberal with wiggle words.

    This is the ole elephant in the room deal...and you are focused on a house fly. Both can drop excrement in the room, that excrement is undesirable, but one is a bigger problem than the other and might deserve more focus...get the elephant out...and yeah, sure, then get your flyswatter and work on the fly...
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  6. #46
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Wow...you do see the world in black and white.

    Gabriel- help, please...how many absolute statements have I made...
    Ok, let's start counting...

    Wow...you do see the world in black and white.
    That's one. Do I go on?

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  7. #47
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Ok, let's start counting...



    That's one. Do I go on?
    Two- almost no exception regarding monitoring airspeed...
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  8. #48
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    That's one. Do I go on?
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE
    This is the ole elephant in the room deal...and you are focused on a house fly. Both can drop excrement in the room, that excrement is undesirable, but one is a bigger problem than the other and might deserve more focus...get the elephant out...and yeah, sure, then get your flyswatter and work on the fly...
    No. I am focused on distinguishing what is universal from what is type-specific. There is a problem out there with some pilots who feel, because basic airmanship is universal, recovery procedures are as well. They don't feel they need to be re-educated on things they have already learned. This is sometimes a fatal mindset. It is a mindset you seem to embrace however.

    Now you incorrectly interpret that as me placing an inferior importance on the universal stuff. I said this years ago but it never sunk in with you. Airmanship goes without saying, but the idea that all things about flying are universal is not good airmanship. Where type-specific procedures exist, learn them, practice them and reliably execute them and everybody will most likely return to earth in a non-spectacular fashion. They are designed for time-compressed action under stress and confusion. Improvise with your universal assumptions and your compromised situational awareness and cognitive skills and you might learn the reasons for not improvising as your final lesson in airmanship. Execute the right procedure for the wrong type and that might be your last lesson.

    The argument between us started with AF447. I was angered to learn that in none of the reported cases of UAS were the proper procedures used. Those procedures virtually ensure that nobody gets killed. JUST DO THEM. No, you said, a good airman can just use known pitch and power settings. Ok, what about the bad airmen? What about the good airmen under stress and panic? The procedures exist to allow the crew to first stabilize the immediate situation, then improvise with a clear head. You can't, for instance, pull up relentlessly if you are tasked with maintaining 5° pitch, can you? Nor can you follow the erroneous flight directors if they are switched off, or lose airspeed due to thrust lock if you have moved the levers into CL, etc.

    You call that black and white thinking. I call it disciplined airmanship in the modern age. Because following procedures where they are called for is good CRM and good CRM is a universal piloting skill.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Evan, while you are responding to 3WE, I feel identified too since, with contrasts, 3WE and myself tend to have a similar direction of opinion in these subjects.

    (CAPS are to highlight key concepts, not shout)

    The FUNDAMENTALS of recovery procedures are largely universal.

    When the industry developed "stall / CFIT / RTO decison / windshear / upset recover / you name it" guidance, they didn't do it type specific.
    Yes, those are guidelines and not prescriptive procedures, and you ALWAYS NEED TO REVERT TO THE AFM AND YOUR COMPANY'S SOPS AS PRIMARY SOURCE, because THERE ARE SPECIFICS THAT YOU BETTER KNOW.

    However, when pilots fail at a FUNDAMENTALS level, 3WE and myself have very little confidence that they will conquer the SPECIFICS. It's like, yes, you need both, but one comes BEFORE the other. We (or at least I) are not dimishing the importance of the specifics, but there is a hierarchy of not importance but prerequisites.

    Yes, the AF guys should have (note the AND connection):
    1- Disconnected the AP/AT/DF
    2- AND Set CLB (which involved taking the thrust levers OUT OF THE CLB detent, which is a very un-intuitive step, so specifics here)
    3- AND Establish a pitch of 5 deg ANU

    However, while the following would have been incorrect (and believe me, I was absolutely indignated when it was uncovered than, from the previous UAS events, in NONE of them had the proper procedure been followd), these fundamentals would have kept them alive (note the OR connection):
    1- Keep a healthy and about cruise-typical thrust and pitch.
    2- OR AT LEAST don't relentlesly pull up when the stall warning is shouting STAL STAL STAL.
    3- OR AT LEAST don't touch a damn thing, instead go to the toilet, then aim for the galley and serve yourself a diet Pepsi dude!

    Again, any of these last 3 optios would have been TOTALLY INCORRECT, ILLEGAL, AND WITH A NOT-AS-BIG A SAFE MARGIN AS FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE, but they would have kept them alive. AND YOU CAN'T BE INDIGNATED BY THEM NOT FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE IF YOU ARE NOT INDIGNATEDx10^GOOGOLPLEX FIRST FOR THEIR OUTMOST LACK OF ANY REASONABLE AIRMANSHIP.

    So a cook serves you raw poultry with a ton of salt, a salad with rotten lettuce and 2 cockroaches, and mashed potatoes that you have to drink it instead of eating it, and you are concerned that he didn't follow the recipe?????

    I AM NOT, AND NOT BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THAT FOLLOWING THE RECIPE IS NOT IMPORTANT, BUT BECAUSE I HAVE ANOTHER THING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT FIRST.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
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  10. #50
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Thank you.
    A well deserved razz from Gabriel to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel, immediately above
    Blah, Blah, Blah.
    And a genuine thank you for that too!

    I am pretty sure that my message (like I have one) over the years regarding airmanship is that I thought pilots should be procedure geniuses AND fundamental geniuses. (Does Gabe sort of say this above?)

    Yeah, I'm kind of black and white towards Evan...although, and again- I actually agree with you that one ought to know how to unstall (or un-almost-stall) their aircraft, and know it well.

    It's just when you look at this crash, there really isn't an indication that there is a problem with stall training...it's another problem with a STRONG trend of guys buying high-performance aircraft and crashing them- and when they do crash them, they seemingly blow ALL the rules. After all the crazy stuff he did on the approach, is it a surprise that maybe he wasn't good at stall recovery?

    And, again...distraction and startle factor: How many times do we see planes fall out of the sky from 500 feet...it's not rare...lots of light plane pilots on base-to-final turns and MU-2 pilots with more dollars than sense and, yes, even Hui Theiu Lo AND his PM ATP PARTNER. We address this not by better stall recovery training, but by somehow preventing these slow incidents. There was no genius airmanship option for Hui Theiu Lo...he was too low and slow with no time to power up...but his failure was exactly the same as MU-2 guy...and the same failure of Captain and MS Colgan...level-flaps-props-to-high = airspeed decay... Some of these guys were probably well versed in stall recovery, but when you are low and slow and surprised, it's easier to recover from your computer keyboard than in the plane itself.

    Call it CRM (oooo a cool acronym) or call it "watch the airspeed and attitude especially during critical phases of flight" (less sexy)...but yes...it's important...procedurally and fundamentally, along with knowing how to un-almost-stall your plane, along with doing everything you possibly can to never ever ever get the stall warning to sound except for the moments before touchdown...

    Footnote: Yes, Evan's disdain regarding Air-France and momentarily keeping a known power and attitude when you get UAS (or maybe even initiating a slow descent) is one of those defining moments. AND it's actually essentially PART of the procedure when you think about it.
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  11. #51
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Evan, while you are responding to 3WE, I feel identified too since, with contrasts, 3WE and myself tend to have a similar direction of opinion in these subjects.
    Yes and no. FIrst the no:
    you ALWAYS NEED TO REVERT TO THE AFM AND YOUR COMPANY'S SOPS AS PRIMARY SOURCE, because THERE ARE SPECIFICS THAT YOU BETTER KNOW.
    3WE has consistently rejected that opinion.

    Now the yes:

    However, when pilots fail at a FUNDAMENTALS level, 3WE and myself have very little confidence that they will conquer the SPECIFICS. It's like, yes, you need both, but one comes BEFORE the other. We (or at least I) are not dimishing the importance of the specifics, but there is a hierarchy of not importance but prerequisites.
    You both seem to hold the opinion that all these crews failed at fundamental airmanship because they didn't have it to begin with. Yet there are two strong arguments against this.

    1) it's required knowledge before you get into a cockpit, and any pilot who is not a stupendous idiot is aware of the crucial nature of monitoring airspeed, for instance.

    2) Over and over again, accident reports have revealed the humbling and debilitating power that stress, shock, fatigue and g-forces have on the human mind and proficiency. Volumes have been written about this. And yet you both still address the failure of fundamentals as an indication of a poorly-trained inferior pilot. That may be so in some instances or it might not be true at all.

    No matter what the cause is, that failure of fundamentals is going to happen from time to time. It probably happens much more than we ever hear about PRECISELY because there is a second line of defense that allows pilots who have lapsed in a critical phase of flight to recover either before or after an upset. Again, in the example of this thread, if the pilot had applied the correct low-energy procedure* nothing bad would have come of this. That's the idea. Multiple lines of defense. Multiple levels of redundancy. The cornerstone of aviation safety.

    However, the mindset 3WE has been stubbornly adhering to is that these recovery procedures are universal enough that any pilot can recover any aircraft using fundamental knowledge. All those accident reports prove that this isn't true. There are idiosyncracies that are sometimes contradictory or counterintuitive (you mentioned the A330 thrust lock). There are traps. There are stealth factors.

    Now I hear you say:
    The FUNDAMENTALS of recovery procedures are largely universal.
    What does that mean? "Largely"?!! That might be true but "largely" doesn't cut it when the specific things are the things that kill you. They could say at your funeral, "well, he largely recovered..."

    Lastly, I am not prioritizing these things. That is the narrative that 3WE has built up against me out of nothing. You are correct, OBVIOUSLY fundamentals come first. That's why they're called FUNDAMENTALS. But fundamentals also fail first. I entirely disagree with the rule that a pilot who lapses on fundamentals with also fail at recovery. It might happen that way if the pilot remains in a confused SA or panicked state and can't think clearly, or that pilot might recover his senses and his SA in time and successfully recover that aircraft. And I'm willing to bet the latter happens much more often than the former. This might have something to do with the miniscule fatality rate we are seeing today.

    But again, if the pilot lacks specific knowledge of the aircraft, and is confident that his procedural skills from a Cessna 172 are going to apply perfectly to a MU-2, then we haven't gotten anywhere.

    * When I use the term 'procedure' I mean any learned procedure, not just written ones.

  12. #52
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    To put it simply, here we have an accident in which:

    - the pilot allowed the aircraft to get into an unstable, low-energy situation at low altitude. FAIL

    - the pilot then induced an upset that caused the aircraft to roll steeply, enter a stall and strike a hill short of the runway before recovery was possible. FAIL

    The first is a failure of fundamental airmanship.
    The second is a failure of type-specific low-speed power handling to recover airspeed (and go-around).

    Make either one of those a SUCCESS and no bent airplane.

  13. #53
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    To put it simply, here we have an accident in which:

    - the pilot OPERATED IN GROSS VIOLATION OF MULTIPLE FUNDAMENTAL AND PROCEDURAL RULES and allowed the aircraft to get into an unstable, low-energy situation at low altitude. FAIL

    - the pilot then induced an upset that caused the aircraft to roll steeply, enter a stall and strike a hill short of the runway before recovery was THEORETICALLY possible but GIVEN THE STARTLE FACTOR, LOWNESS AND SLOWNESS HAS BEEN PROVEN STATISTICALLY TO NOT WORK AT A SUPER HIGH LEVEL OF RELIABILITY. FAIL


    The first is a failure of fundamental airmanship.

    The second is a failure of type-specific low-speed power handling to recover airspeed (and go-around).

    Make either one of those a SUCCESS and no bent airplane.
    1. Green Font: Fixed.
    2. Red font: No disagreement.
    3. Evan's black and white world- all bits of procedural airmanship are equal. Gabe and 3BS's views- Yeah, stall training is important, BUT IT'S MORE IMPORTANT to have guys fly fundamentally- and procedurally-proper so that they never ever wind up 4 knots above stall at 500 feet...
    4. And bigger yet is the problem of pilots who are willing to make gross violations of procedures and fundamentals, but have $ to purchase MU-2s, Bonanzas and Cirruses- better stall training does not really address that.
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