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Would You Blame The Copilot?  
User currently offlineStealthpilot From India, joined May 2004, 510 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

check out this page.......... towards the end it remarked that criminal charges were considered against both pilots. my question is (and this thread is only opinions) would you blame the copilot??


15 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 3371 times:

Yikes, that must have been a wild ride! 30 feet? I think that is a little late to have second thoughts about putting the plane down. Glad nobody was seriously hurt!

User currently offlineRamerinianair From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

You've gotta either shit or get off the pot. You can't hesitate! IT's like the dead squirel in the middle of the road. The car didn't kill him, Indecision did!
The Captian is there for a reason, he has experience. You need, NEED to listen to him, even if you think he is worng. Things will get even worse otherwise. This goes for probably anything. There are certain time to second-guess, 30 feet is not the place!

W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
User currently offlineCX Flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6694 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 3249 times:

Unfortunately this incident showed a complete break-down of CRM, by both crew members, however the Captain should have elected to go-around even if he was happy with the approach. Being a cockpit crew means that you both have to be happy. If either one person is unhappy, you sort it out, and if one person actually calls for go-around, especially on a stormy day, you do it, no questions asked, and then discuss it afterwards. The cockpit is not a place for arguing at critical moments. If a go-around is called by either pilot, it should be done. Simple as that.

User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

shouldn't you look at the landing distance available before you begin a let down and accept a runway? It seems the f/o just realizes the runway isnt long enough? or maybe i got it wrong. Regardless, scary and unneccessary.

The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3839 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 3080 times:

Both pilots screwed up in this case and both pilots were rightly blamed (btw, the comments at the end are taken verbatim from a copyrighted book - shame on airdisaster.com!). It was a lack of crew coordination - the co-pilot did not properly voice his concerns to the captain and did not do so in a timely manner, and the captain did not recognize an unsafe approach and did not listen to the advice of his f/o (who was right about the unsafe approach in the end, though the plane may have still been able to stop if not for the pilots fighting each other).

This is an example I sometimes bring up whenever I'm discussing AA flight 587 and someone asks me why the captain didn't step in and try to counteract the f/o's rudder inputs. This is what happens when two pilots are fighting for the controls.

In this particular case, the captain was the flying pilot and the f/o does not have authority to simply grab the controls away from the captain. His responsibility is to monitor the approach and then relay information to the captain, who then makes the decision on whether to continue the approach. If the f/o felt the approach was unsafe, he should have relayed his concern to the captain, and the captain then should have made the decision to go around. But the captain is the flying pilot, and he's also the one with final authority. There can only be one pilot flying at any given time. So both pilots made poor decisions and neither pilot communicated properly with the other.

I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5478 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 3014 times:

In the words of the late Barry Woods, he said, had he been able to reach the fire axe, he would have put it right between the eyes of the cause of the accident ... the First Officer!

Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineStealthpilot From India, joined May 2004, 510 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 5 hours ago) and read 2886 times:

Ramerinianair, I agree with you that regardless of what the FO thought, if the captain decided to go ahead with the landing he should have completely backed the decision.
I think it's good that the FO voiced his concerns but the breakdown in communications lays the blame on both their shoulders. Things could have gotten a lot worse; thank god they climbed out the cockpit window and weren’t pulled out!!

Let’s assume a scenario; if the FO had fully complied with the captain without hesitation and landed (after giving his viewpoint on the runway length) and the aircraft ran off the runway, wouldn’t the authorities still blame both pilots?

User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 3 hours ago) and read 2813 times:

Even if the decision was made clear by the PNF co-pilot that he wants to go-around, does he have the right to the throttles?

Reminds me of the QF incident at BKK as well, where the captain overrode the flying F/O on the throttles.

Seems pretty unorganised and it can be conflicting if any one crew could just take control?

Thanks.  Smile

Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 3 hours ago) and read 2794 times:

You don't tell the captain you want to go around 30 feet above ground, and then fight for control when the captain has committed to a landing. Sounds like the CoPilot needed to keep his hands off and keep relaying information. I think it's unfair to blame the captain. I'm sure if the CoPilot wasn't happy with the approach when they reached minimums, it would have been a different story. But based on the transcript, this guy was being an idiot. Definitely not a future captain. But then again, what do I know..

User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 3 hours ago) and read 2782 times:

The co-pilot called for the go-around earlier during the approach... shouldn't the captain have executed the go-around in the very first place?

Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4937 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2669 times:
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A Captain does not have to go around simply because the F/O calls for it. The decision is ultimately up to the captain, especially when he is the one flying the plane.

I see nothing wrong with the captain's actions here. He was thrown completely off by what the F/O did, just as I was when reading it. What the hell was the F/O thinking??

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5478 posts, RR: 43
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

The Captain was a very well experienced pilot with over 20,000 hours flying heavy transport aircraft. The First Officer had less than 500 hours and was there because Airbus says you have to have two pilots in the cockpit ... now who's judgement would you trust?

The fact that the First Officer was calling "go around", grabbed the "Go levers" (not just the throttles) after reverse was selected and the aircraft was safely on the ground gives you an idea of his mindset.

Further, (and not on the CVR), the First Officer was calling "go around" after the aircraft was in the ditch, engines were shut down and evacuation had been started!!!

Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2516 times:

"Why did you pull us off? We had full reverse on. Pull the fire handles. Pull ‘em."

That speaks for itself. I really can't see how to blame the Captain here.

User currently offlineBENNETT123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 8414 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

I think that 30 foot is a bit late for second thoughts.

Secondly, the Captain was the PF.

Thirdly, grabbing the controls seems somewhat stupid.

If the F/O had been safely tied up, would the landing have been completed safely.

User currently offlineMm320cap From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 235 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2221 times:


Who the flying pilot was does not matter. The Captain is in command of the flight, by law. As far as going around at 30 feet - no problem. I feel comfortable going around right up until the spoilers extend on landing and I go into reverse, even if it means I actually touch down during the maneuver. As far as a first officer touching the controls... when I was an F/O, the only time I would have ever taken control of the airplane is if I thought we were going to crash. On the Captain's side, if an F/O tells me to go-around, I'm going to go-around, unless for some reason I think we are going to crash if I do, i.e. low fuel, weather, etc. Not because I am giving away my authority but because I want to know why the F/O is so uncomfortable. Get it back in the air and lets sort out our differences safely away from the ground. Plenty of blame to go around here.


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