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Tom Allensworth

Asiana B-777 Reported Down At KSFO

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As a passenger I want the pilot on-board the aircraft with me. Reason why is in a life or death situation the pilot's survival instincts will kick in to save his life, and the lives of the passengers and other crew.

 

Absolutely. If the pilot gets to his destination safe and sound, the rest kinda looks after itself. 


Cheers,

Bruce Campion-Smith

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SpiritFlyer, on 12 Jul 2013 - 5:44 PM, said:

Excellent!

Thank-you Stephen, my only issue at this point is listening to a bunch of people debating about automating and remote controlling airlines when Boeing has produced a magnificent airplane like the 777. the flaw for the most part in this debate on this thread isn't about how the airline industry should start to automate....

 

The Failure is a lack of training on one of the best products out there that the USA has ever produced....the 777

 

Anyone on here who imagines moving forward has failed because history will repeat itself when you forget where you come from.

 

So stop debating about this one incident having anything to do with automation and lets talk about how not to repeat an accident like this again in a more then perfect and proven aircraft....

 

the automation argument on this thread is proven wrong at this point.

 

 


Matthew Kane

 

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The failure is a lack of training because of automation dependency.  Once you become dependent on automation, you fall asleep at the controls and fly past your destination by 150nm or neglect to look at your airspeed while landing.  A real problem in the industry which has to be fixed.  

How not to repeat this accident?  Either more automation or remove it all forcing the pilot to be more alert.

As for people not embracing change (automation) I fully understand that.  As people age they hate change and prefer to keep things the same. So if you hate change, avoid the aviation industry because automation will continue.

RJ

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Here's an interesting view by a former United captain who, after he retired, was a sim instructor for both Asiana and KAL. This was sent to me by my airlines friends and fellow pilots.

 

enjoy your flight on Asiana..

 

After I retired from UAL as a Standards Captain on the –400, I got a job as a simulator instructor working for Alteon (a Boeing subsidiary) at Asiana. When I first got there, I was shocked and surprised by the lack of basic piloting skills shown by most of the pilots. It is not a normal situation with normal progression from new hire, right seat, left seat taking a decade or two. One big difference is that ex-Military pilots are given super-seniority and progress to the left seat much faster. Compared to the US, they also upgrade fairly rapidly because of the phenomenal growth by all Asian air carriers. By the way, after about six months at Asiana, I was moved over to KAL and found them to be identical. The only difference was the color of the uniforms and airplanes. I worked in Korea for 5 long years and although I found most of the people to be very pleasant, it’s a minefield of a work environment ... for them and for us expats.

 

One of the first things I learned was that the pilots kept a web-site and reported on every training session. I don’t think this was officially sanctioned by the company, but after one or two simulator periods, a database was building on me (and everyone else) that told them exactly how I ran the sessions, what to expect on checks, and what to look out for. For example; I used to open an aft cargo door at 100 knots to get them to initiate an RTO and I would brief them on it during the briefing. This was on the B-737 NG and many of the captains were coming off the 777 or B744 and they were used to the Master Caution System being inhibited at 80 kts. Well, for the first few days after I started that, EVERYONE rejected the takeoff. Then, all of a sudden they all “got it” and continued the takeoff (in accordance with their manuals). The word had gotten out. I figured it was an overall PLUS for the training program.

 

We expat instructors were forced upon them after the amount of fatal accidents (most of the them totally avoidable) over a decade began to be noticed by the outside world. They were basically given an ultimatum by the FAA, Transport Canada, and the EU to totally rebuild and rethink their training program or face being banned from the skies all over the world. They hired Boeing and Airbus to staff the training centers. KAL has one center and Asiana has another. When I was there (2003-2008) we had about 60 expats conducting training KAL and about 40 at Asiana. Most instructors were from the USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand with a few stuffed in from Europe and Asia. Boeing also operated training centers in Singapore and China so they did hire some instructors from there.

 

This solution has only been partially successful but still faces ingrained resistance from the Koreans. I lost track of the number of highly qualified instructors I worked with who were fired because they tried to enforce “normal” standards of performance. By normal standards, I would include being able to master basic tasks like successfully shoot a visual approach with 10 kt crosswind and the weather CAVOK. I am not kidding when I tell you that requiring them to shoot a visual approach struck fear in their hearts ... with good reason. Like this Asiana crew, it didnt’ compute that you needed to be a 1000’ AGL at 3 miles and your sink rate should be 600-800 Ft/Min. But, after 5 years, they finally nailed me. I still had to sign my name to their training and sometimes if I just couldn’t pass someone on a check, I had no choice but to fail them. I usually busted about 3-5 crews a year and the resistance against me built. I finally failed an extremely incompetent crew and it turned out he was the a high-ranking captain who was the Chief Line Check pilot on the fleet I was teaching on. I found out on my next monthly trip home that KAL was not going to renew my Visa. The crew I failed was given another check and continued a fly while talking about how unfair Captain Brown was.

 

Any of you Boeing glass-cockpit guys will know what I mean when I describe these events. I gave them a VOR approach with an 15 mile arc from the IAF. By the way, KAL dictated the profiles for all sessions and we just administered them. He requested two turns in holding at the IAF to get set up for the approach. When he finally got his nerve up, he requested “Radar Vectors” to final. He could have just said he was ready for the approach and I would have cleared him to the IAF and then “Cleared for the approach” and he could have selected “Exit Hold” and been on his way. He was already in LNAV/VNAV PATH. So, I gave him vectors to final with a 30 degree intercept. Of course, he failed to “Extend the FAF” and he couldn’t understand why it would not intercept the LNAV magenta line when he punched LNAV and VNAV. He made three approaches and missed approaches before he figured out that his active waypoint was “Hold at XYZ.” Every time he punched LNAV, it would try to go back to the IAF ... just like it was supposed to do. Since it was a check, I was not allowed (by their own rules) to offer him any help. That was just one of about half dozen major errors I documented in his UNSAT paperwork. He also failed to put in ANY aileron on takeoff with a 30-knot direct crosswind (again, the weather was dictated by KAL).

 

This Asiana SFO accident makes me sick and while I am surprised there are not more, I expect that there will be many more of the same type accidents in the future unless some drastic steps are taken. They are already required to hire a certain percentage of expats to try to ingrain more flying expertise in them, but more likely, they will eventually be fired too. One of the best trainees I ever had was a Korean/American (he grew up and went to school in the USA) who flew C-141’s in the USAF. When he got out, he moved back to Korea and got hired by KAL. I met him when I gave him some training and a check on the B-737 and of course, he breezed through the training. I give him annual PCs for a few years and he was always a good pilot. Then, he got involved with trying to start a pilots union and when they tired to enforce some sort of duty rigs on international flights, he was fired after being arrested and JAILED!

 

The Koreans are very very bright and smart so I was puzzled by their inability to fly an airplane well. They would show up on Day 1 of training (an hour before the scheduled briefing time, in a 3-piece suit, and shined shoes) with the entire contents of the FCOM and Flight Manual totally memorized. But, putting that information to actual use was many times impossible. Crosswind landings are also an unsolvable puzzle for most of them. I never did figure it out completely, but I think I did uncover a few clues. Here is my best guess. First off, their educational system emphasizes ROTE memorization from the first day of school as little kids. As you know, that is the lowest form of learning and they act like robots. They are also taught to NEVER challenge authority and in spite of the flight training heavily emphasizing CRM/CLR, it still exists either on the surface or very subtly. You just can’t change 3000 years of culture.

 

The other thing that I think plays an important role is the fact that there is virtually NO civil aircraft flying in Korea. It’s actually illegal to own a Cessna-152 and just go learn to fly. Ultra-lights and Powered Hang Gliders are Ok. I guess they don’t trust the people to not start WW III by flying 35 miles north of Inchon into North Korea. But, they don’t get the kids who grew up flying (and thinking for themselves) and hanging around airports. They do recruit some kids from college and send then to the US or Australia and get them their tickets. Generally, I had better experience with them than with the ex-Military pilots. This was a surprise to me as I spent years as a Naval Aviator flying fighters after getting my private in light airplanes. I would get experienced F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16 pilots who were actually terrible pilots if they had to hand fly the airplane. What a shock!

 

Finally, I’ll get off my box and talk about the total flight hours they claim. I do accept that there are a few talented and free-thinking pilots that I met and trained in Korea. Some are still in contact and I consider them friends. They were a joy! But, they were few and far between and certainly not the norm.

 

Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one of these new first officers that got his ratings in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in accordance with their SOP, he calls for the autopilot to be engaged at 250’ after takeoff. How much actual flight time is that? Hardly one minute. Then he might fly for hours on the autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below 800’ after the gear was down, flaps extended and on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it in to land. Again, how much real “flight time” or real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on the 777 or 747, it’s the same only they get more inflated logbooks.

 

So, when I hear that a 10,000 hour Korean captain was vectored in for a 17-mile final and cleared for a visual approach in CAVOK weather, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.

 

I must say I couldn't agree with this more. Even if it can't be verified I believe history has shown us the problems with Korea (I do have Korean friends as well and they have explained to me the exact same situation) including this accident at KSFO on a fine sunny day!!!!

 

In the rail industry I remember a very smart intelligent man some locomotive drivers told me about. He had all the knowledge but when it came to applying it or just learning practical skills of driving it was a hopeless situation.

 

I learnt something too. I didn't know GA was illegal in Korea. But it raises the question that maybe those with aviation interests should spend 5 years overseas and should be sports oriented. That is a good eye hand coordination. You need people who can think on the fly like the writer of that article says. Think for themselves and challenge authority.

 

Like all companies especially those that were or are Government owned, the Bureaucrats at the top are usually the ones that need cleaning out for the company to change. Unfortunately this doesn't happen. Nothing will change in a company until the management change. That is change of heart, thinking, or personnel. That is one reason why I advocate airlines such as Cathay Pacific. They can hire and fire who they like and the management do understand that pilot training and check rides should not be just a paper exercise. Any company that allows short cuts in any area should then be asked are they allowing short cuts in their safety vital areas? The integrity of companies here are at stake and no company should be hidden. Even a certain company (I won't mention names) which has a good reputation was pushing expat pilots into Captain positions because they were growing so fast. But maybe their check pilots had confidence in this certain FO. But it shows that expedience can become more important than safety in some companies who have no accountability to outside bodies.

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Daniel

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e Failure is a lack of training on one of the best products out there that the USA has ever produced....the 777

 

Anyone on here who imagines moving forward has failed because history will repeat itself when you forget where you come from.

 

So stop debating about this one incident having anything to do with automation and lets talk about how not to repeat an accident like this again in a more then perfect and proven aircraft....

 

the automation argument on this thread is proven wrong at this point.

 

Matthew,

 

Absolutely right on!

 

About the only real consensus among many seems to be that Koreans and other culturally similar (read deprived) oriental races are less adapted to understanding (read social-biologically-mechanically integrated), but are masters at rote memorization of minutiae without relevant understanding of higher orders of comprehensive expression or application.

<-----------Try saying that with a mouth full of fresh grapes.

 

It all comes down to common sense. The only way to become proficient at anything is by doing and redoing, practicing and gaining understanding upon application of learned, deeply rooted behavior. The lack of "memory muscle retention" from little usage of anything is staggering high, especially if it is mechanically and not biologically orientated. Experience, knowledge, and wisdom act like adjectives, to be applied to verbs... -------> Use it or lose it, and that at probably the most pressured moments!

 

Kind regards,

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No doubt the flight crew screwed up, but the CNN video is ridiculous in my opinion. How about that guy try it in a real 777 with real inertia after 10 hours long haul through the night instead of sitting comfortably in a Cessna sim flying FSX with a couple of go flight panels.


Rob Prest

 

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Let's just step back and look at what happened here!

 

A fully functioning, ultra modern airliner, with a cockpit filled with pilots and check pilots, stalls and falls out of the sky, during a manual landing, in perfect weather, because the pilots let its speed fall some 30-40+ knots below minimum possible sustainable flight...

 

This is ridiculous, absolutely totally outrageous! As Daniel said, "Now how could a landing in sunny weather be stuffed up?"

 

Can't help but think that most of us pretenders, with a few thousand hours serious simulating might just be able to pull off something better than that in a real pinch. There is just no acceptable reason or reasonable hint of an excuse that has come forward yet for this kind of error.

 

Kind regards,

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The auto throttles where in the "Armed" position.  I suspect the pilots assumed the auto throttles were on, and the aircraft would maintain the dialed in speed and failed to watch their speed.  Also like Rob suggested, maybe fatigue played a part..

RJ

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Matthew,

 

Absolutely right on!

 

About the only real consensus among many seems to be that Koreans and other culturally similar (read deprived) oriental races are less adapted to understanding (read social-biologically-mechanically integrated), but are masters at rote memorization of minutiae without relevant understanding of higher orders of comprehensive expression or application.

<-----------Try saying that with a mouth full of fresh grapes.

 

It all comes down to common sense. The only way to become proficient at anything is by doing and redoing, practicing and gaining understanding upon application of learned, deeply rooted behavior. The lack of "memory muscle retention" from little usage of anything is staggering high, especially if it is mechanically and not biologically orientated. Experience, knowledge, and wisdom act like adjectives, to be applied to verbs... -------> Use it or lose it, and that at probably the most pressured moments!

 

Kind regards,

Great post Stephen!

Yes the automation argument is a little left of centre or should I say on the taxiway not the runway.

Japan has the Shinkansen, Bullet train, and even though it has full automation, drivers still drive the thing up front. I think having a pilot up front is a good thing when things happen. And I believe an airplane is far safer when the pilot's own life is on the line too instead of being operated from the ground. The thing is you can't stop an aeroplane when it runs into trouble unlike a train for example, Japan makes sure it stops the Shainkansen when earthquake warnings are set off. They have an advanced warning system so the trains can stop before an earthquake if the earthquake is not right on top of the location of the tracks.

 

Daniel

<p>Let's just step back and look at what happened here!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>A fully functioning, ultra modern airliner, with a cockpit filled with pilots and check pilots, stalls and falls out of the sky, during a manual landing, in perfect weather, because the pilots let its speed fall some 30-40+ knots below minimum possible sustainable flight..</p>

<p> </p>

<p>This is ridiculous, absolutely totally outrageous! As Daniel said, "Now how could a landing in sunny weather be stuffed up?</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Can't help but think that most of us pretenders with a few thousand hours simulating might pull of something better than that in a real pinch. There is just no acceptable reason or hint of an excuse that has come forward yet.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Kind regards,</p>

Totally agree. I will NEVER fly Korean Airlines. If I go to Korea it will be Cathay as option 1, Singapore or JAL/ANA as any option 2,3,4 and then QANTAS, EK or any other airline. Just not Korean. And me being very close friends with Koreans and Japanese it is not from any prejudice I say this. I say this because the research I have done indicates that the culture and companies operating safety values are basically corrupt when it comes to BASIC AIRMANSHIP!!!!

 

Daniel

As a passenger I want the pilot on-board the aircraft with me. Reason why is in a life or death situation the pilot's survival instincts will kick in to save his life, and the lives of the passengers and other crew.

 

If the pilot is not on-board and flying remotely, then their is no need for survival instincts, because the pilot will live regardless of the outcome.

 

Not sure I could live with myself if I crashed an aircraft with 300 people on-board that I was flying remotely, The concept is flawed. A good captain goes down with his ship.

 

Flying a military UAV is different because no one is on-board so you are not responsible for the lives of passengers.

 

So if the Pilot is going to continue to be on-board monitoring systems then it is in the best interest of flight safety to keep him well trained in flying, and keep his job as engaging as possible, so they are on the ready when needed. 

 

So true Matt. A pilot onboard will have his own life to save as well.

 

Daniel

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Stephen,

 

This is not the first time this has happened, initially the FLCH trap seemed like the most logical conclusion for this screw up. The NTSB has still not fully confirmed if FLCH had been selected prior.

 

Without naming the airline I can tell you a very experianced 777 captain recently got fired for doing the exact thing, luckily all that was registered was a very heavy landing.

 

Anyway, I think we can agree this was a major screw up whatever way look at it, however lets wait for the full FDR & CVR data to see exactly what 'really' happened. The PF wasn't new to heavy jets and had plenty of shorthall experience on the bus & Asiana has a clear stable approach criteria like every other operator.


Rob Prest

 

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Sounds like the crash was caused by automation dependency (pilots relying upon automation to fly the plane and failed to monitor it's speed).

 

"While the pilots were manually flying the jet for the landing, as expected on a clear, sunny day, they told investigators they thought the airliner's speed was being controlled by an autothrottle set for 157 mph (252 kph)."

 

http://www.wingsmagazine.com/content/view/8713/155/

 

Either way, pilot error.

 

RJ

 

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Just want to add one more thing for those who don't fly for airlines or work in the industry. Airlines normally publish an internal monthly report of all the incidents for flight crew to analyse.

 

None of these incidents reach the general public or news media, whilst these incidents are not big enough for a full report some of them would make your hair stand on end, thinking what if the screw up wasn't caught or a bit of luck wasn't in play that day? Humans screw up, even western sky gods.


Rob Prest

 

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