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Garuda Crash Pilot 'Saving Fuel'  
User currently offlinePeh From Australia, joined Nov 2006, 340 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7333 times:

The Captain of the Garuda 737 that crashed in Yogyakarta last year, killing 21 people, says that he ignored automated warnings to "go around" because he wanted to save fuel. Garuda had just introduced large bonuses for pilots who were able to save fuel.

This seems like a very dangerous incentive program that encourages pilots to take risks in order to save money. Do any other airlines have similar incentive schemes?

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/gar...ride/2008/07/23/1216492548186.html


Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4805 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 7129 times:

A lot of airlines don't offer a carrot as such... more like the stick... ie pilots in some airlines find that they get pushed down the promotions lists, and are often the ones that are let go when airlines cut back on pilots. It does happen, how widespread? that is another question..


56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6836 times:



Quoting Peh (Thread starter):
Garuda had just introduced large bonuses for pilots who were able to save fuel.

Yet another reason for me to never enter a Garuda aircraft.

Quoting Peh (Thread starter):
This seems like a very dangerous incentive program that encourages pilots to take risks in order to save money.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6483 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 1):
ie pilots in some airlines find that they get pushed down the promotions lists, and are often the ones that are let go when airlines cut back on pilots.

Only if that airline doesn't have a seniority system.


User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4865 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6436 times:

To tell you the truth I don't the think the spirit of this incentive program is bad. This pilot though is an idiot, you have to be alive to enjoy that extra money champ!

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6296 times:

Doesn't beat the Yak-40 that crashed in Russia in the early 90's due to fuel starvation while en route to their alternate. There was a suitable airport close by that they could have made, but the crew would have had to pay cash for the landing fee and to refuel there...


LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24893 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6190 times:

There is nothing wrong with incentives for crews to carefully manage fuel.

I know an airline that on a monthy basis provides $100 restaurant gift cards to the top group of pilots.

In reality crews with careful attention can often make up fuel and beat their flight plans by adhering to host of fuel wise operating procedures such as reduced engine taxi, flying optimal speed and altitude profiles, carefully planned descents and such.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineWard86IND From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 295 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6106 times:

Back when Skybus was flying I noticed how well their pilots managed fuel (of course that wasn't nearly enough to save them but oh well). From TOD just about all the way to 500 feet, the engines were idle, using a little bit of the spoilers periodically. They didn't extend the flaps until the airfield (GSO) was visible about 6-7 miles away on a left base. Then the flaps extended basically all at once (as speed allowed), and the engines didn't spool up until what seemed like right around the 500 feet minimum on the visual approach. The aviation equivilant of the hyper-milers. I brought this up to their chief pilot who was deadheading on a flight I was on, and he confirmed that their pilots are highly encouraged to save fuel whenever possible....without comprimising safety of course.


Live your dream.
User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1958 posts, RR: 33
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6059 times:

It's a horrible, horrible idea to offer incentives for saving fuel or punish pilots for using extra fuel.

99% of pilots will save as much fuel as they can automatically, because the want their company to stay in business. Why encourage pilots to take unecessary risks by making some sort of competition out of it? You can't just pull off to the side of the road like you do in your car when it runs out of gas....if you run out of fuel in he air you are probably going to kill yourself and all your passengers. Granted most pilots should be smart enough not to sacrifice safety in the name of money, but why tempt the few who might not be?


User currently offlineWard86IND From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 295 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6003 times:

I think what it comes down to is:

OK: One engine-taxis, sitting at the gate instead of idling at a holding pad, carefully planned approaches

NOT OK: Carrying less contingency fuel than what is safe, or pulling a Garuda and continuing a landing that would otherwise be aborted



Live your dream.
User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6770 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5778 times:

I for one have serious questions on certain points in that article. The author of the article lost some friends on the flight so in my opinion the SMH article is subjective.

I seem to recall the captain said to the accident investigators that fuel savings wasn't his reason... and Garuda had stated that fuel savings incentives should not be me chased whilst compromising safety. Friends who fly in Garuda actually don't care much about that incentive... since they got a nice payrise. The key is how to get the minimum legally required fuel... that's for the dispatchers to think... the SOPs for GA won't get much fuel savings either. They're level at 210kts whilst everyone is still slowing down after the descent... that had caused a few 360 orbits by the competitor following a GA 737 in the past.

Some nice mid-level winds on that approach around those days... those who were unprepared got caught out on that straight in approach from descent... ending up about 1000 - 2000ft too high or was just too fast... and this guy was one of them... and he ended up with both and didn't snap out of it. The F/O was too zonked out to take over for a go-around too... despite knowing of the impending disaster himself.

If fuel savings was the reason for the accident, then throw the NTSC report out and make a new one...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4569 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
In reality crews with careful attention can often make up fuel and beat their flight plans by adhering to host of fuel wise operating procedures such as reduced engine taxi, flying optimal speed and altitude profiles, carefully planned descents and such.

Yes and what happens is that becomes your main focus AND you can justify it! I would say most of us do it exactly what we are trained to do but guess what, sometimes the winds aren't as forecast or there are delays in the terminal area or you have a CDA Constant Descent App that's buggered up by ATC and then what do you do? "OK I'll say 200lbs on the next leg, yeah, that will do it"! Actually by being observant and making decisions "real time" you CAN save fuel but that should never be your main objective. I would never ride on ANY carrier that had that policy!

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 8):
It's a horrible, horrible idea to offer incentives for saving fuel or punish pilots for using extra fuel.

correctomundo, you are correct!


User currently offlineGothamSpotter From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4093 times:

Only a matter of time before US carriers begin doing this.

User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3907 times:



Quoting GothamSpotter (Reply 13):
Only a matter of time before US carriers begin doing this.

no way. As I said before, when you put rewards as an incentive you are asking for trouble and you know it.There's so many scenerios that I won't type them all but knowing the diverse pilot force only in my airline you do something like that and you wouldn't believe the "justifiable" ideas, techniques and practices that would surface. AND you wouldn't really know about them until someone blows a can against a ramper and injures him or gets a violation from ATC for not adhering to local procedures, etc, etc. Just from the BS I've seen in the last 20+ yrs I can't even imagine what I'd see with that mentallity.


User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5001 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3731 times:



Quoting Peh (Thread starter):
The Captain of the Garuda 737 that crashed in Yogyakarta last year, killing 21 people, says that he ignored automated warnings to "go around" because he wanted to save fuel. Garuda had just introduced large bonuses for pilots who were able to save fuel.

This seems like a very dangerous incentive program that encourages pilots to take risks in order to save money. Do any other airlines have similar incentive schemes?

But the argument would remain with the pilots being the ones in charge. Saving fuel is a bonus, but taking chances opens a whole new can of worms. There are plenty of ways to save fuel, and avoiding a go around should be the last of those ways to save. I am sure there were other circumstances involved, but this is a very tragic.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineDTWAGENT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3675 times:

Is this what is going to happen with US with their pilots and the airline management wanting them to load less fuel then what the FAA states they should have on board the aircraft for a flgith?

I hope not.....

chuck


User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5130 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3521 times:



Quoting DTWAGENT (Reply 16):
Is this what is going to happen with US with their pilots and the airline management wanting them to load less fuel then what the FAA states they should have on board the aircraft for a flgith?

When did that happen?

Answer: It didn't.

US asked exactly 8 pilots who had unusually-frequent extra-fuel-loadings to discuss the situation with training. That's it. Those were loadings above what the FAA required AND loadings above what dispatch thought they needed above the FAA requirement. The dispatcher's union says that there has been absolutely ZERO pressure from management to load less fuel. There are plenty of circumstances where a captain might want more than what dispatch thinks he needs, and he has absolute carte blanche to load it. That only 8 pilots seemed to think on a much-more-regular-basis-than-their-cohorts that they needed it raises a legitimate question of why they think so. It's an anomoly that bears investigation. Maybe it's just circumstance, maybe they legitimately feel a need for some kind of extra margin of safety, or --horrors-- maybe there are issues in their thinking that are incorrect. Among other things, extra fuel transatlantic can affect passenger comfort as you're bumping across the North Atlantic unable to fly higher, and that's a tradeoff that the captain has to evaluate when deciding what kind of extra fuel he needs, and one that captains make every day. Finally, the consequences of being a little wrong are far from dire: we're not talking about having insufficient fuel to make shore or arriving at the destination on vapors; we're talking about maybe having to take a diversion to a closer European point to tank up.


User currently offlineGFFgold From Indonesia, joined Feb 2007, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 3471 times:

I am very sceptical about this report and the suggestion that fuel saving was a factor in the crash. Such press speculation coming at the start of what we all hope will be a properly conducted trial is at best mischevious.

User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7479 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Clearly, offering bonuses to those who save the company $ CAN cause problems.

However, surely the pilot can see the risks and can judge what is sensible cost reduction and what is dangerous.

At the end of the day his neck is on the line in more ways that one.

Is this a case of someone trying to pass the buck for him screwing up, (just a question).


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2956 times:



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 18):
However, surely the pilot can see the risks and can judge what is sensible cost reduction and what is dangerous.

Why, if an airline has 5 or 10,000 pilots do you think they are all going to think exactly the same in every situation? no, some will look at it as just another way to make a few extra bucks no matter how silly or stupid it may be.


User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6449 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2826 times:



Quoting DTWAGENT (Reply 15):
Is this what is going to happen with US with their pilots and the airline management wanting them to load less fuel then what the FAA states they should have on board the aircraft for a flgith?

I hope not.....

chuck

Suggest you read the report again. US Airways was concerned about the pilots wanting to load MORE fuel than the FAA requires and also more fuel than the dispatchers wanted. Where did you get the story that it was LESS fuel than the FAA requires?


User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1964 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2659 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 13):
As I said before, when you put rewards as an incentive you are asking for trouble and you know it.There's so many scenerios that I won't type them all but knowing the diverse pilot force only in my airline you do something like that and you wouldn't believe the "justifiable" ideas, techniques and practices that would surface. AND you wouldn't really know about them until someone blows a can against a ramper and injures him or gets a violation from ATC for not adhering to local procedures, etc, etc. Just from the BS I've seen in the last 20+ yrs I can't even imagine what I'd see with that mentallity.

Just add this to the reasons I am no fan of Skinner or the Behaviorist school. Systems of "rewards" that have little relation to the main issue, whether it is helping children learn or getting passengers to their destination safely, often bring out irresponsible actions and, in this case, tragic consequences.



The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2483 times:



Quoting Fanofjets (Reply 21):
often bring out irresponsible actions and, in this case, tragic consequences.

Well said, bravo!


User currently offlineMTYFREAK From Mexico, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2469 times:



Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 8):
99% of pilots will save as much fuel as they can automatically

 checkmark 


I don't know a single pilot that is looking to burn as much fuel as they can,

that would be an unusual kind of pilot.



Only here for the beer...
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