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ManuCH
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Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:53 pm

According to a previously unreleased report by French news magazine Le Point, the Captain of flight AF 447 that plunged into the Atlantic while enroute between GIG and CDG, had only had 1 hour of sleep on the night before the flight.

Quote:

A new report reveals that Marc Debois, captain of the doomed AF447, wasn’t functioning at his finest during his June 2009 flight from Rio de Janiero in Brazil to Paris, France. According to a previously undisclosed report obtained by the French news magazine Le Point, the 58-year-old Dubois can be heard on a black box recording saying, “I didn’t sleep enough last night. One hour--it’s not enough.”

(...)

Dubois began complaining about being tired shortly after take off. His co-pilots, 32-year-old Pierre-Cedric Bonin and 37-year-old David Robert, weren’t doing much better. According to the report, they were also feeling groggy after spending the night in Rio with their wives and girlfriends.

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...our-sleep-report-article-1.1289998
Original article in French: http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/crash-...e-cachee-15-03-2013-1640312_23.php

This is an alarming twist of facts. While it's known that pilots sometimes have a hard time sleeping because of jet lag, spending the night in a city (essentially, partying) is certainly not an acceptable reason to be tired.

Some also ask for the full CVR recordings to be released:

Quote:

More puzzlement as to how an Air France A330-200 could have been belly flopped into the mid-Atlantic in 2009 should add pressure on the French air safety investigator, the BEA, to release the full recording of the conversations in the cockpit of the doomed jet.

What was said in cockpit, and what it reveals about the relationship between the three pilots present during the fatal plunge that killed all 228 people on board the flight between Rio and Paris is an increasingly obvious missing element in resolving the mystery.

Source: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalk...-af447-tapes-must-be-released-now/

Of course pilots are trained to be fit to fly. But if it's true that sleeping is taken so lightly by some crew, I wonder what could be done to increase safety. Pilots are only humans after all, but still highly trained professionals, so one would expect them to behave accordingly.
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airbuster
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:15 pm

Have you done long haul flying for a couple of years week in week out? It messes you up. The article doesn't state that they had been partying. Moreso the flight departed at 7 pm. To me that means that the captains comment about 1 hour of sleep may refer to a pre departure afternoon nap instead of the previous night. In that case it's very normal to have 1 hour of sleep before an evening departure.

If they had been partying and were dead tired then yes that may have aggravated the whole situation. And bad on them.

I do however think that they were just tired like every long haul crew is and this is sensualistic information.

You say that pilots are trained to be fit to fly, really? It's more like pilots are TOLD to be fit to fly. The only thing that would give you fit pilots on every flight is to change airline schedules and give them more layover- and leave time, that is no reality in today's economy.

May they rest in peace.
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:32 pm

Quoting airbuster (Reply 1):
I do however think that they were just tired like every long haul crew is and this is sensualistic information.

I surely hopes it turns out to be just that.

Quoting airbuster (Reply 1):
You say that pilots are trained to be fit to fly, really? It's more like pilots are TOLD to be fit to fly.

I stand corrected, I used the wrong word. But now I'm curious: what happens if a pilot calls the company and says he doesn't feel fit to fly, because of lack of sleep? Are there any consequences? This would surely mess up scheduling if an AF pilot does so while in GIG. Do pilots avoid admitting their lack of sleep to prevent a scheduling chaos and a huge delay? Where does one draw the line?
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Independence76
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:49 pm

Would this have dramatically changed the ability to provide instruction towards the First Officer(s) in control? He was in the crew bunk for 9 minutes before he was called down urgently. One would think after only 1 hour of sleep that going back to bed in the night would put him to sleep rather quickly.

Being called down only a few minutes later means it was likely he was even more tired than before. Not what you want to have in a non-normal critical situation.
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:25 pm

The above post is a surprising third level opinion on an already very subjective report by "experts" to the judicial system.
1/ - One has to know - and it deserves repeating - that for every accident, a judge is in charge of the investigation, of which the BEA report is just one piece.
2/- Judicial experts are then appointed by the judge to comment / complete / criticize the oficial BEA report. Among these experts are AF current or ex pilots.
3/- The possibility of fatigue is always considered in these reports, especially when the official BEA report remained silent on the subject.
4/- The departure was at 22.00 Z, which is 18.00 local.
5/- For AF crews, Rio is not exactly the safest place to go "partying" ; They've seen too many aggressions and muggings to really go out on the town at night.
So.
We have a subjective reporting of the experts on things like "lack of dynamism in the ETOPS preparation", and the taking as fact the captain's complaint that he didn't sleep more than an hour. That reporting is then further subjectively exploited be a weekly magazine, putting it together with the main pilot union pointing at crew fatigue on long haul duties, occulting the fact that these were in no respect related.
Then a NYC newspaper goes on by saying :"they were also feeling groggy after spending the night in Rio with their wives and girlfriends."
The report only mentions that a wife and a companion were in Rio with these pilots. The other part of the report mentions only as a possible factor :"4.3 Maximum fatigue in the low phase of the circadian cycle"
The 19.00 L departure means that the crew had to take some rest during daylight hours. The problem is that the rest quality during these hours is low.
And then you add your own comments on these "facts". Are you really so sure that these aircrews could be just a bunch of jolly party goers totally lacking professionalism ?
And do you have the witnesses who could testify on these nocturnal activities by this crew ? At least even the report,and the newspapers haven't.

[Edited 2013-03-16 12:32:29]
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Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:40 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 2):
what happens if a pilot calls the company and says he doesn't feel fit to fly, because of lack of sleep? Are there any consequences? This would surely mess up scheduling if an AF pilot does so while in GIG. Do pilots avoid admitting their lack of sleep to prevent a scheduling chaos and a huge delay? Where does one draw the line?

I can answer that very quickly : It happened to me in Guadeloupe. Too tired to fly. OPS was advised, the flight was delayed 7 hours, to allow another pilot present to have his minimum rest... I took over his scheduled flight some 24 hours later. Our regulations are that a pîlot is sole responsible for estimating his physical / mental capacity to operate as a crew member.
I was given 10 days of rest by the airline medical department, and had to do a check-up before I resumed my duties.
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ltbewr
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:08 pm

It is possible that the pilots may not have gotten a good quality of sleep or nap within the previous 24 hours, the pilot commenting may have meant they only got 1 true hour of deep sleep. Still, I am quite sure other airline's flights in what is a higher risk region may have had similar sleep cycle issues but they didn't go down.
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 6):
I am quite sure other airline's flights in what is a higher risk region may have had similar sleep cycle issues but they didn't go down.

And your point is ?... Especially when the official report doesn't even acknowledge a possible fatigue as a factor of the accident ?
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BenSandilands
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:52 pm

The fact that the final report by the BEA only selectively quotes from the CVR and has omitted a reference to fatigue implies that it is protecting the airline.

It also removes from the scope of the report a critical safety issue that Annex 13 ICAO requires crash reports to address, which is the safety lessons to be learned, which would include fatigue risk and management.

As the author of the blog quoted early in this thread can I make the point that unless we know everything there is to know from the CVR as to what happened between the men in the cockpit we cannot truly known what it is that happened to the machine.

This should not in my opinion be an issue as to sensationalist reporting or otherwise.

This is about the omission of vital information from a final report into a major crash, and omission will always, quite rightly, lead to suspicion.

The full tapes must be released. In the interests of safety.
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:15 pm

Problem is I do not for one second trust alleged objectivity from third parties.
The whole damn loty is just about someone saying that he didn't sleep for more than one hour ( how many times have you heard such exaggeration ? ) and some very dubious interpretations from some people who listened to the tape as to the "dynamism " of the crew - or lack thereof - during a briefing on ETOPS available airports.
There is nothing else and your conspiracy theories are just that : Theories.
Ah ! Sensationalism !
I stand with the BEA and all the other organisms which participated in this investigation. And our CVR recordings are not for the ghouls who would seek some sick pleasure in listening to the last words of dead people.
Go look somewhere else, I'd say to them.
There will be a court phase and experts from all sides will be discussing this aspect. They will make references to the tapes, but the transcript is not for public use.
We pilots will not allow it.
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blueflyer
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:45 pm

Quoting airbuster (Reply 1):
To me that means that the captains comment about 1 hour of sleep may refer to a pre departure afternoon nap instead of the previous night. In that case it's very normal to have 1 hour of sleep before an evening departure.

You are editorializing. As quoted by the OP and confirmed in the French article he links to, the captain states "last night I didn't sleep enough." Even at 7 pm, "last night" is the only correct translation, not earlier this afternoon or another variation, there is simply no wiggle room for interpretation there.

This assumes the report is correct, however. Hard to know for a fact since only selected sections of the CVR were ever released, and yet in this particular case, the claim from the magazine should be easy to refute because the French article states, down to the second, at what time the captain is allegedly heard making this comment (010419).

Finally, the French magazine that this report comes from may not be Le Monde, but it isn't in the habit of finding Elvis alive in a Caribbean island or another every other month either. I would take this report very seriously, barring any evidence contradicting it, evidence that, as explained above, would be very easy to provide.

As the trial nears, I would think we would eventually get a full version of the CVR released. In light of this article, if it doesn't happen, allegations, and suspicions, of a cover-up will only increase.

[Edited 2013-03-16 15:23:46]
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dfambro
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:55 pm

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 8):
The full tapes must be released.

There should be no presumption of privacy during operation of a public transport.
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:13 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 10):
In light of this article, if it doesn't happen, allegations, and suspicions, of a cover-up will only increase

You forget the court case. That point will be discussed at length. The tape will not be made public.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 11):
There should be no presumption of privacy during operation of a public transport.

Fortunately I live in France and privacy is very much protected. By law.
Again, the pilot unions will not allow it, and the law is, on this subject, on our side.

For the poster who claims that it is required for safety reasons, we, pilot unions of all countries through IFALPA have acted and are still acting a lot more on fatigue and rest than anybody else, be they bloggers or just thrill seekers. The studies made on these subjects are quite wide ranging and involve a lot more specialised knowledge than you'd think : aeronautical physicians, sleep specialists, psychologists and airline pilots, some of them being also physicians.
So your argument is, I'm afraid, moot.

[Edited 2013-03-16 15:14:38]
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airproxx
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:21 pm

Quoting airbuster (Reply 1):
You say that pilots are trained to be fit to fly, really? It's more like pilots are TOLD to be fit to fly. The only thing that would give you fit pilots on every flight is to change airline schedules and give them more layover- and leave time, that is no reality in today's economy.

Thanks for this sentence, actually the only one that does make any sense here.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):

I'm quiet surprised that, considering the fact that such a PR (whatever the source is) is objectively a regular bashing against a dead crew, with all the sensationalism needed to have it published even on A.net, you, as a "moderator" would spread it without any other form of concern towards all the victims.

Now just a small light on the investigations made by French BEA:

You all aviation fans from A.net and others, should know that every AF447 investigations made by the BEA and DGAC, have been biased by an industrial pressure, leading to an incredible and amazing denigration campaign against an air crew, we haven't seen since the A320 accident in Habsheim. The climax of it all occurred when a CVR strip, showing pilots conversation seconds before crash, bleeded illegally into the medias.
While everyone is arguing about what a good pilot should do, must do, should have done this night, etc... The true question should be; why is it so? Why such an important piece of investigation is now publicly revealed?
How come an institution of this importance like BEA made such a mistake?
The result? There's been a terrible buzz around the fact that, if the AF447 pilots were completely panicked on the last moments of the flight, maybe the crash was their own and very fault...!

So reading to this (stupid) story, I'm fearing the same thing is happening as when the CVR extract was (illegally) revealed.

No I'll stop here, knowing that as soon as I can change my A320 type rating for anything-else-but-an-Airbus type rating, I'll go for it.
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airproxx
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:25 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 12):
Fortunately I live in France and privacy is very much protected. By law.
Again, the pilot unions will not allow it, and the law is, on this subject, on our side.

Won't they? They already did, actually.
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WingedMigrator
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:26 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
an increasingly obvious missing element in resolving the mystery.

Excuse me, what mystery?
 
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:30 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 12):
Again, the pilot unions will not allow it, and the law is, on this subject, on our side.

Why won't the union allow it? Certainly every Part 121 pilot in the United States at least accepts it.

It seems to me that the answer to the question is "E.U. privacy law provides a shield that, here, shields incompetence."

Pilots should be publicly accountable when they do something wrong, no different from professionals in any other industry (though perhaps the public has a heightened right to know with pilots since they are employees of a common carrier).

Quoting Pihero (Reply 12):
For the poster who claims that it is required for safety reasons, we, pilot unions of all countries through IFALPA have acted and are still acting a lot more on fatigue and rest than anybody else, be they bloggers or just thrill seekers.

The issue is one of government accountability, not of fatigue.

Sometimes, all government investigative agencies (BEA, NTSB, AAIB, etc.) make mistakes. The more information is public, the better that interested parties can evaluate their work.
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blueflyer
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:02 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 12):
Fortunately I live in France and privacy is very much protected. By law.

I would be the first one to argue that most countries should do better to protect the privacy of their citizens, but I would also say that the right to privacy is not and should never be absolute. If someone enters in a profession where their behavior outside normal working hours can and does have consequences, sometimes fatal, on their performance during working hours and members of the public, they need to accept that, at some point in their career, their right to privacy may have to come second to the right to know, whether that professional is a doctor, a pilot or a plant operator.

That doesn't mean I have the right to know what a pilot does on every layover, but on a layover preceding a fatal accident that he didn't survive to explain himself, it does.
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:02 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 4):
And then you add your own comments on these "facts". Are you really so sure that these aircrews could be just a bunch of jolly party goers totally lacking professionalism ?
And do you have the witnesses who could testify on these nocturnal activities by this crew ?

Of course not. I have quoted what I've found. This has been some major news here and a lot of media have talked about it, so I thought it was worth a discussion on A.net. That's what forums are about after all.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 5):
I can answer that very quickly : It happened to me in Guadeloupe. Too tired to fly.

Thank you.

Quoting airproxx (Reply 13):
I'm quiet surprised that, considering the fact that such a PR (whatever the source is) is objectively a regular bashing against a dead crew, with all the sensationalism needed to have it published even on A.net, you, as a "moderator" would spread it without any other form of concern towards all the victims.

I don't consider that source to be particularly unreliable in general. It's an online news site like many others that may be quoted as sources. As I said, it is something that is making the news, and is causing quite some noise. Why not discuss it on A.net? Again, that's what forums are about. There are some very skilled professionals in here and I was sure that some would have shed some light on the matter, and debunk/discuss/whatever there is to say on that article.

Everyone, there's no need to get so upset here. It's a discussion, and you are all free to bring your arguments. I don't think it's a taboo to speculate, even if there's a final report already.

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 15):

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
an increasingly obvious missing element in resolving the mystery.

Excuse me, what mystery?

Not my quote - ask the person who wrote the article/blog.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 12):
Fortunately I live in France and privacy is very much protected. By law.
Again, the pilot unions will not allow it, and the law is, on this subject, on our side.

What is the objective reason why the pilot unions are against making the CVR transcripts publicly available? Couldn't it provide interesting information to improve safety?
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BenSandilands
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:11 pm

This is not a witch hunt concerning the pilots, as I have repeatedly emphasized elsewhere not as a matter of opinion, but as a matter of law and convention, and in close consultation with sources competent to speak about such matters as well as experienced Airbus pilots among my contacts in the US, in France and in Australia.

The airline is responsible for the performance of its pilots. It is responsible for providing the pilots with a safe work place, and with the appropriate SOPS and fatigue risk management.

What happened to AF447 is the responsibility of Air France. Why it happened is of critical importance to air safety, and the whole purpose of crash investigations is not to blame but to learn and apply, and we cannot learn and apply the lessons of AF447 unless we know everything that happened in the cockpit.

The pilots seem needlessly defensive considering the questions that arise as to how they were managed by the company.

One of the first things A330 pilots did to me in relation to this report was show me what the captain would have seen standing at the back of the cockpit. He would have seen the position of the side stick controllers, including the one the PF kept for almost the entire duration of the crash sequence in the fully back position.

This makes his engagement in resolving the control crisis very important. The disclosure of fatigue is a critical element of this, and one needs to ask, why would the BEA exclude this?

I would urge everyone reading the final report whether in English or French to do what my panel of contacts required me to do, which is print it out, then go through it with a marker pen separating what is a narrative as to what the BEA thinks happened and what the BEA found happened.

The structure of this report is intriguing, in that it includes very early a narrative that sets up the situation in which the less experienced of the two first officers is designated by the captain as the PF, something not discovered by the other first officer until he returned to the flight deck.

The report makes an important point about the way in which the hand over was, or in this case, wasn't fully conducted.

In its guidance post the accident and at about the time an AF panel of review that made confidential recommendations to the company AF did make it clear that new instructions had been issued as to how hand overs were to conducted.

What is intriguing, among many things, in this BEA report, is that it opens certain issues in the narrative but them doesn't close them. How the pilots interacted with each other is of crucial importance.

We cannot get to the truth without knowing what they actually said and did during every second of the crash sequence.

The responsibility for what they did is borne by Air France, not by the pilots. By international convention.

This accident is yet another illustration of the limitations of blogs like mine and the media in general.

Serious study of original material, diligent pursuit of experienced opinion, and refresher reading of the ICAO guidlines for accident reports, all consume an immense amount of time.

Yet we live in a world where it all has to be reduced to a few hundred words or dot points.

My plea to readers of stories about such topics, is NOT to rely on journalists for anything more than signals as to where interesting and hopefully important things may be found. The idea is to start a discussion, and at times, a demand for action. But not to provide shortcuts to answers.
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:37 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 5):
Our regulations are that a pîlot is sole responsible for estimating his physical / mental capacity to operate as a crew member.
I was given 10 days of rest by the airline medical department, and had to do a check-up before I resumed my duties.

In many airlines an event like this more than once in your career will cause the airline to ground you and recommend that you see therapists for sleep etc... Pure intimidation and the fact is that I would say most airline pilots would continue to work even if they felt exhausted just prior to the flight.

The fact is, longhaul flying is tiring. Many people cannot sleep on demand and if a flight leaves late evening, it would mean waking up for that flight 3-4 hours prior which means that in order to have a good nap prior to the flight, you ned to get into bed and fall asleep by say 4pm....something which is not easy to do. Pilots are humans too and chances are that when you are in the cabin, tired and uncomfortable and unable to sleep in the middle of the night, the pilots could be feeling the same way at the controls. Its just a fact. This is somewhat mitigated by some airlines that have pilots from mixed crew bases, so that on longhaul flights, two crew are tired and sleeping, and two crew are wide awake. Works well but isn't too common in this industry.
 
hivue
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:46 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 18):
What is the objective reason why the pilot unions are against making the CVR transcripts publicly available? Couldn't it provide interesting information to improve safety?

Aviation authorities, using results of official investigations, are responsible for recommending/authorizing/mandating safety improvements, not the public. The investigators will use the original recordings as their primary source, not transcripts, and there is no justifiable reason for the original recordings to be made available to the public.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
hivue
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:50 pm

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 19):
we cannot learn and apply the lessons of AF447 unless we know everything that happened in the cockpit.

Really? Everything? You seek perfection in an imperfect world.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:01 am

Quoting hivue (Reply 21):
The investigators will use the original recordings as their primary source, not transcripts, and there is no justifiable reason for the original recordings to be made available to the public.

Of course, his question was about transcripts. I can't speak for the European authorities, but I have never known of a transcription issue with the NTSB.

Quoting hivue (Reply 21):
Aviation authorities, using results of official investigations, are responsible for recommending/authorizing/mandating safety improvements, not the public.

By virtue of being governmental bodies, aviation authorities are--or should be--accountable to the public.
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BenSandilands
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:16 am

Hivue,

The BEA report is supposed to be about safety lessons learned and applied.

The public prosecutor will pursue matters of blame, and punishment, if it goes that far.

Let's step back and consider this as a matter of strategy. If the pilots want to ensure that blame is placed on the systemic issues in the work place that contributed to this tragedy and if they want to have decisive action taken to reform their work place to make it a safer, better equipped workplace, they have I would suggest, very good reason to accept full disclosure in their best interests.

Or, they can join with the company perhaps in wishing to keep it all confidential.

It is also worth keeping in mind the obvious signs in the media in Europe that the full transcript is ready to burst out into the open whether some parties like it or not.

It might therefore be smart to reconsider blanket opposition to full disclosure, and think about the benefits pilots should pursue when it does come out.
 
dfambro
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:27 am

Quoting hivue (Reply 21):
Aviation authorities, using results of official investigations, are responsible for recommending/authorizing/mandating safety improvements, not the public. The investigators will use the original recordings as their primary source, not transcripts, and there is no justifiable reason for the original recordings to be made available to the public.

There are plenty of people who have a professional interest in aviation safety issues who should have access, including researchers in academia and professionals at other airlines. There should be a mechanism for access. And for everyone and anyone the transcripts should be available because

Quoting dfambro (Reply 11):
There should be no presumption of privacy during operation of a public transport.

That's an inherent principle in an open society. When it's not adhered to, the result it predictable: distrust.
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:42 am

First of all, I am for knowing, ands revealing the truth in accident investigatioin.
I for one believe in the institutions of my country, be they official investigations bureaux or the judicial system.
Otherwise, I might as well join the ranks of the anarchists.
That claim of mine above also means that as much as I can I shall work in the improvement of the said institutions, as all responsible citizens should do... and so far, that has been my aim and some not unimportant part of my activities.

The truth shall come out of the court phase ; it will be probably still partial as they will concentrate on responsibilities and financial reparations... But we shall know at the very least what were the influences of every factor that led to the accident, and fatigue may well be one. And we do not need to make public the transcript, or some would love to, full disclosure of the recording. The court, the attorneys and the experts will have that knowledge and that is enough.
I'vea lready seen enough imbeciles crowing on the revealed tapes in which someone cried his love for his mother. To me, that's sick and we will not allow it, whatever the self-righteous claims for reasons of improved safety... blah blah blah are. Just hypocrisy.
The problem is that this thread, and the sensationalism it leads to are based on some very dodgy circumstancial evidence : one sentence from a captain and some really far-fetched interpretations on how the crew was working prior to the accident. How in hell do you know they were tired just because you "felt", "had the impression", "surmised"...etc... that they were acting outside the routine of a so far uneventful flight ?

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 19):
The disclosure of fatigue is a critical element of this, and one needs to ask, why would the BEA exclude this?

Because, contrarily to what you think, the BEA was very thorough in interrogating the crews who stayed in the same hotel and discovered nothing untoward about their behaviour, nothing out of the ordinary for people who took their wives and companions on a trip to do some touring of Rio.

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 19):
The structure of this report is intriguing, in that it includes very early a narrative that sets up the situation in which the less experienced of the two first officers is designated by the captain as the PF, something not discovered by the other first officer until he returned to the flight deck.

How do you know that ? The procedure is that the PF, if one of the FOs would remain in charge by virtue of having the knowledge of the flight, one coming this late would not have. There was no command or hierarchy structure in a flight deck composed of two FOs. The captain is just three meters away. ( this was partly corrected by the airline later)

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 19):
We cannot get to the truth without knowing what they actually said and did during every second of the crash sequence.

That part, from the beginning of the ECAM messages to the end of recording is complete.

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 19):
What is intriguing, among many things, in this BEA report, is that it opens certain issues in the narrative but them doesn't close them. How the pilots interacted with each other is of crucial importance.

So, in fact, having the whole transcript from the handover to the final moments wasn't enough, right ? Makes quite a dent on your argument, doesn't it ?
By the way, I would really love to hear what would have been , in your opinion a proper hand-over briefing.

Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 20):
In many airlines an event like this more than once in your career will cause the airline to ground you and recommend that you see therapists for sleep

People usually do not make a habit of it. The contract I signed stipulates : nobody else but me can decide on my physical ability to start a flight duty and I took my responsibility. It has happened to other pilots, with the same conclusion.

Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 20):
get into bed and fall asleep by say 4pm....something which is not easy to do. Pilots are humans too

Yes, you're right and I know it. That's the discipline the job requires. Minimum rest in Japan is hell... The worst... and a three day layover there is even worse : One can't get one's circadian rythm is such a short time, but one's body is already engaged in the correction of the jet lag.

Quoting hivue (Reply 21):
Aviation authorities, using results of official investigations, are responsible for recommending/authorizing/mandating safety improvements, not the public. The investigators will use the original recordings as their primary source, not transcripts, and there is no justifiable reason for the original recordings to be made available to the public.

Thank you. I can't agree more.
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hivue
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:44 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
Of course, his question was about transcripts

Yes, I understood that. But the point he was making was that transcripts in the hands of the public lead to imporved safety. I can think of no instance where that has been the case.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
I have never known of a transcription issue with the NTSB.

Nor have I. And NTSB transcripts routinely are redacted of (what the NTSB thinks is) irrelevant information (e.g., profanities, mention of names unrelated to the accident, etc.). I'm not sure I've ever seen a non-redacted one. The NTSB includes transcripts in their reports for the sake of complete documentation, not because some new information will be unearthed by readers.
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Mir
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:44 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
though perhaps the public has a heightened right to know with pilots since they are employees of a common carrier

The public does not have a right to know. The public has a right to safe travel and competent oversight, but that does not mean they get to make the calls on safety and judge when an error that affects the flight gets made and when it doesn't, or convict someone in the court of public opinion.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 18):
What is the objective reason why the pilot unions are against making the CVR transcripts publicly available? Couldn't it provide interesting information to improve safety?

It could, to those who know how to interpret those transcripts. To others, it could lead to baseless accusations, lawsuits, and embarrassment for the families of the crews.

Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 20):
In many airlines an event like this more than once in your career will cause the airline to ground you and recommend that you see therapists for sleep etc... Pure intimidation and the fact is that I would say most airline pilots would continue to work even if they felt exhausted just prior to the flight.

And it only takes working at one airline like that to make an impact your whole career. If this guy worked at an airline where the fatigue policy doesn't match what the company manual says it is, I'd expect him to be very reluctant to call in fatigued at every airline he works for after that, even if they do have a very good fatigue policy (as AF does, if Pihero's story is correct - I have no doubt it is).

-Mir
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hivue
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:07 am

I think we are losing track of the fact that a trained, professional crew flew the airplane out of its envelope and into a high altitude stall and never understood it. Even a fatigued crew should not have done that (someone mentioned a "mystery" earlier; I think at this point this is the only mystery). If the pilots on the flight deck actually were "groggy," I imagine that would have (and should have) disappeared rather quickly when the AP and A/THR packed it in.

There seems to be the traditional "the public has a right to know" attitude here. But when the subject is as technical as this the public (or the vast majority of it) actually knows very little. They are not trained for it and have very little interest in the details.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:09 am

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 24):
The BEA report is supposed to be about safety lessons learned and applied.

The public prosecutor will pursue matters of blame, and punishment, if it goes that far.

Let's step back and consider this as a matter of strategy. If the pilots want to ensure that blame is placed on the systemic issues in the work place that contributed to this tragedy and if they want to have decisive action taken to reform their work place to make it a safer, better equipped workplace, they have I would suggest, very good reason to accept full disclosure in their best interests.

I shall quote the conclusions of the BEA report ( English version )
..............
Thus, the accident resulted from the following succession of events:
ˆ Temporary inconsistency between the airspeed measurements, likely following
the obstruction of the Pitot probes by ice crystals that, in particular, caused the
autopilot disconnection and the reconfiguration to alternate law;
ˆ Inappropriate control inputs that destabilized the flight path;
ˆ The lack of any link by the crew between the loss of indicated speeds called out
and the appropriate procedure;
ˆ The late identification by the PNF of the deviation from the flight path and the
insufficient correction applied by the PF;
ˆ The crew not identifying the approach to stall, their lack of immediate response
and the exit from the flight envelope;
ˆ The crew’s failure to diagnose the stall situation and consequently a lack of inputs
that would have made it possible to recover from it.
These events can be explained by a combination of the following factors:
ˆ The feedback mechanisms on the part of all those involved that made it impossible:
y To identify the repeated non-application of the loss of airspeed information
procedure and to remedy this,
y To ensure that the risk model for crews in cruise included icing of the Pitot
probes and its consequences;F-GZCP - 1st June 2009
201
ˆ The absence of any training, at high altitude, in manual aeroplane handling and
in the procedure for ”Vol avec IAS douteuse”;
ˆ Task-sharing that was weakened by:
y Incomprehension of the situation when the autopilot disconnection occurred,
y Poor management of the startle effect that generated a highly charged
emotional factor for the two copilots;
ˆ The lack of a clear display in the cockpit of the airspeed inconsistencies identified
by the computers;
ˆ The crew not taking into account the stall warning, which could have been due to:
y A failure to identify the aural warning, due to low exposure time in training to
stall phenomena, stall warnings and buffet,
y The appearance at the beginning of the event of transient warnings that could
be considered as spurious,
y The absence of any visual information to confirm the approach-to-stall after
the loss of the limit speeds,
y The possible confusion with an overspeed situation in which buffet is also
considered as a symptom,
y Flight Director indications that may led the crew to believe that their actions
were appropriate, even though they were not,
y The difficulty in recognizing and understanding the implications of a
reconfiguration in alternate law with no angle of attack protection...

...............

Where iis the conspiracy ? the report puts the blame ( it doesn't but it is very clear ) squarely on the flight deck crew, on theitr training and some ergonomics aspects of the alarm messages , aural warnings... etc...

So your following sentence :

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 24):
Or, they can join with the company perhaps in wishing to keep it all confidential.

Shall I remind you that without the airline insistence and expenses in pursuing the search, we wouldn't have a clue on why this accident happened and more to the point we wouldn't even talk about recording that would have been left at the bottom of the ocean.
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Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:27 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
The public does not have a right to know. The public has a right to safe travel and competent oversight, but that does not mean they get to make the calls on safety and judge when an error that affects the flight gets made and when it doesn't, or convict someone in the court of public opinion.

Thank you, Mir. I couldn't have written it better.

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
Quoting ManuCH (Reply 18):
What is the objective reason why the pilot unions are against making the CVR transcripts publicly available? Couldn't it provide interesting information to improve safety?

It could, to those who know how to interpret those transcripts. To others, it could lead to baseless accusations, lawsuits, and embarrassment for the families of the crews.

That has happened, and still does, which makes me hopping mad.

Respect is due.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 25):
There should be no presumption of privacy during operation of a public transport.

That's an inherent principle in an open society. When it's not adhered to, the result it predictable: distrust.

You're either wrong or you have a selected memory : Whatever the facts, the proofs (even scientific ), the arguments are, there will always be a good part of the population who will believe in a conspiracy theory. See the web for thousands of examples... and unfortunately, this is one.
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Cubsrule
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:36 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 26):
I for one believe in the institutions of my country, be they official investigations bureaux or the judicial system.
Otherwise, I might as well join the ranks of the anarchists.

Not so, and it's not correct that there has to be a conspiracy, as you later posited, either. We have to recognize two things:

1) Governments are made up of people, and people make mistakes. That's why all civilized societies have institutions like appellate courts. Judges, though a creation of the government, make mistakes.

2) Sometimes, there's not a mistake but a group of educated people outside the government can come to different (and maybe even better) conclusions that a similar group of people within the government. No government is omniscient.

Quoting hivue (Reply 27):
And NTSB transcripts routinely are redacted of (what the NTSB thinks is) irrelevant information (e.g., profanities, mention of names unrelated to the accident, etc.). I'm not sure I've ever seen a non-redacted one.

Can you point to a single redaction that you contend is inappropriate?

Quoting hivue (Reply 27):
But the point he was making was that transcripts in the hands of the public lead to imporved safety. I can think of no instance where that has been the case.

How would you prove it one way or the other? Sunshine laws don't tend to be something that has a lot of empirical support, partially because we take it for granted. And it's worth nothing that AF--which apparently operates in a country with a lot of secrecy surrounding aviation safety--has a pretty chequered safety record. Correlation obviously doesn't prove causation, but it's an interesting question. I believe AF is the only western carrier with multiple widebody hull losses in the past decade.

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
The public does not have a right to know. The public has a right to safe travel and competent oversight, but that does not mean they get to make the calls on safety and judge when an error that affects the flight gets made and when it doesn't, or convict someone in the court of public opinion.

You and I both hold positions that require a license issued by the government. Those licenses are privileges. As a result, at least in the States, it's pretty well settled that the public has a near-absolute right to know about conduct that falls below a certain threshold.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
BenSandilands
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:48 am

I think that had common sense and decency been applied to the question of the disclosure of the full CVR transcript we would not be having this discussion.

The inclusion of the fatigue element would have radically changed the aftermath of such a report to one in which very fatigued pilots were unable to cope with a situation which as the report points out, had been dealt with but without disaster by various other crews on A330 flights that experienced blocked pitots or episodes of unreliable speed data.

It is reasonable to think that the interests of pilots and those who fly would also have been improved by an open discussion and consideration of fatigue in pilots, as well as the important discussion it has already caused, which is over reliance on automation, which is a discussion that goes to airline attitudes to automation, upset recovery training and the training of pilots in an age of significant systems changes in modern airliners of any marque.

There are sensitive personal moments that are recorded on CVRs in tragic circumstances. They ought never be disclosed. They are distressing. They can be identified as (exclamation) or (personal). But we do need to know what happened between the men in relation to the machine to know what happened to the machine.

And neither in France, nor Australia, do we live in societies where we should ever fully trust secret deliberations or 'assertions' made in public after private deliberations, to produce fair, truthful and above all safe outcomes.

The use of public hearings by the NTSB is I believe, a net positive for air safety.

Those in Australia may know that I'm involved in a campaign to overturn the final ATSB report into the Pel-Air crash near Norfolk Island in 2009. That was, I contend, a report that was grossly unfair to the pilot concerned, and to the public, and an abuse of due legal process, and the evidence in support of this has been produced and tabled before a special Senate committee inquiry, which means that the media can now reveal matters previously kept invisible to the public in internal audits and emails, and are now reportable without risk of legal sanctions under the protection of parliamentary privilege.

Pel-Air is nothing like AF447, other than questions of transparency in public administration. There will be more developments in that cause shortly.

[Edited 2013-03-16 18:53:16]
 
BC77008
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:02 am

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
But if it's true that sleeping is taken so lightly by some crew

It's usually taken very lightly by an airline's crew scheduling department.
"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
 
Pihero
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:18 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 32):
And it's worth nothing that AF--which apparently operates in a country with a lot of secrecy surrounding aviation safety--has a pretty chequered safety record. Correlation obviously doesn't prove causation, but it's an interesting question. I believe AF is the only western carrier with multiple widebody hull losses in the past decade.

Interesting. So you're just illustrating what I said above : without proof, a conspiracy theory on "secrecy".
Prove it.
It may well be the case that we've seen multiple hull losses in the past decade.
But why don't you mention that some US airlines have seen a series of such, in the not very distant past.
Taking your decade as a measure, didn't AA lose in the span of six years ( 1995-2001) one A300, two 757s and one 767, claiming the lives of 585 passengers and some 1800 people on the ground ? And didn't UAL see the loss of 1DC10, one 767 and one 757 in the span of 11 years ?
And as a conspiracy theorist, have you forgotten that to this day some of your countrymen still believe in a cover-up by the NTSB on what happened on the above-mentioned AA A300, or the TWA 800 747 ? Where are the "more educated people outside the governmen"t to correct these facts ?
Please, no more lessons.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 32):
1) Governments are made up of people, and people make mistakes. That's why all civilized societies have institutions like appellate courts. Judges, though a creation of the government, make mistakes.

And that exactly what I ask people to start trusting in.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 32):
2) Sometimes, there's not a mistake but a group of educated people outside the government can come to different (and maybe even better) conclusions that a similar group of people within the government. No government is omniscient.

And on what basis ?

[Edited 2013-03-16 19:19:39]
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Cubsrule
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:26 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 35):
So you're just illustrating what I said above : without proof, a conspiracy theory on "secrecy".
Prove it.

No conspiracy theory at all. You're here talking about how it's a good thing that some of the transcript has not been released because it protects pilot privacy. You are suggesting, I think, that in France pilot privacy trumps safety and truthfinding, no? Please let me know if I'm mistaken.

It's a pretty common sentiment in the E.U., by the way. Privacy also trumps the truth-finding function of courts in a way that a lot of us in common law countries find really disturbing. But for a whole host of interesting historic reasons, France tends to be more protective of its own people than other European countries and certainly than other similarly-developed countries in the rest of the world.

Of course, that's a value choice. It's impossible for me to say that it's "better" or "worse" than another country's set of values. We must, however, not pretend that those choices lack consequences.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 35):
And on what basis ?

Read some literature on group decision making. This isn't something that's particularly controversial or unsettled.

Two groups of similarly-educated people attacking the same incomplete hypothetical will often come to different conclusions because they make different assumptions. If one of those groups is the government, the government's conclusion isn't right just because it comes from the government.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
dfambro
Posts: 325
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:37 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 31):

Quoting dfambro (Reply 25):There should be no presumption of privacy during operation of a public transport.

That's an inherent principle in an open society. When it's not adhered to, the result it predictable: distrust.
You're either wrong or you have a selected memory : Whatever the facts, the proofs (even scientific ), the arguments are, there will always be a good part of the population who will believe in a conspiracy theory. See the web for thousands of examples... and unfortunately, this is one.

Yes, there will always be conspiracy nuts, but that's not relevant to the point I was making. Even the non-nuts distrust when reasonable disclosure is lacking.

An example for you - US President Richard Nixon repeatedly refused to release portions of his Whitehouse tapes to the Congressional House Judiciary Committee investigating the Watergate break-in, citing executive privilege and national security. Ulitmately he was legally compelled to release them. The evidence in the tapes was damning, and Nixon resigned 3 days after the key tape was made public. So, you see, sometimes the authorities are in fact hiding things behind a cloak of privilege/privacy.
 
hivue
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:07 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 32):
Can you point to a single redaction that you contend is inappropriate?

No. Every one has been appropriate as far as I can recall. My point is that the whole transcript could be redacted from the published NTSB report with no affect one way or the other on determination of probable cause or on safety improvements. I read CVR transcripts because the subject interests me, but I can't think of any instance where this has been of any practical use to me or anyone else. I rely completely on NTSB interpretations of FDR data (the original material is boring and I don't have the expertise to undestand it), and I' m sure I could get by just fine with the same regarding CVR data.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
NAV20
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:11 am

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 33):
The inclusion of the fatigue element would have radically changed the aftermath of such a report to one in which very fatigued pilots were unable to cope with a situation which as the report points out, had been dealt with but without disaster by various other crews on A330 flights that experienced blocked pitots or episodes of unreliable speed data.

Agree to an extent, BenSandilands, but only that the captain's fatigue caused him to 'take a break' in 'difficult weather' - and he may also have 'contributed' to the accident by designating the least experienced of the other two pilots as 'Pilot Flying.' But is there evidence that the other two pilots were suffering from severe fatigue as well?

I ask because, as far as I know from the reports, the basic cause of the accident was that the pilots lost all speed indications through icing of the pitot-heads? The PF seems to have lost his bearings and pulled back on the sidestick, raising the nose, losing flying speed, and putting the aeroplane into a stall. Then he seems to have interpreted the remaining indications (particularly, I expect, the rapidly-unwinding altimeter) as an indication that the aeroplane was in a steep dive - and gone ON pulling back on the sidestick, prolonging the stall?

Given that there is no 'feedback' on the sidesticks - and apparently no old-fashioned "Angle of Attack' display - the more experienced 'Pilot-Not-Flying' probably never realised what was happening (especially the nose-up attitude and the continued pulling-back) and what the true cause of the steep descent was? And therefore, rather than taking control, he went back to call the captain - which took up most of the remaining time down to the water?

Please correct me if I've got any of that wrong? But if it's mostly right, it's pretty clear that 'fatigue' didn't cause the accident - the main causes appear much more likely to have been inexperience and/or insufficient training, and possibly inadequate instrumentation?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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mayor
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:04 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 2):
I stand corrected, I used the wrong word. But now I'm curious: what happens if a pilot calls the company and says he doesn't feel fit to fly, because of lack of sleep? Are there any consequences? This would surely mess up scheduling if an AF pilot does so while in GIG. Do pilots avoid admitting their lack of sleep to prevent a scheduling chaos and a huge delay? Where does one draw the line?

Well, in this case, there would have been a relief crew, right? Perhaps AF could have just switched the crews and their responsibilities, IF the relief crew was fit to fly (which they should have been).




Back in the early 80s, in SLC, before the merger with Western, we had a 727 to DFW, where the Captain got sick before departure time. Not being a pilot base, we were kind of stuck for crew members, but fortunately, we had a Captain that lived in Utah and commuted to DFW, which was his base. We got the okay from flight control (and others) in ATL and he took the flight out, dressed in green slacks, green tie and a green and white, plaid coat. Kind of funny, actually.
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aa87
Posts: 213
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:11 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
and apparently no old-fashioned "Angle of Attack' display

NAV20, you summarized the basics well. But what I've never understood (as a low-time private pilot) is why at least the higher time NPF FO didn't notice the HSI showing the nose up ?? I'm not playing Monday morning quarterback, and I agree that a dead crew is entitled to the fullest respect and reservation of judgment from non-experts (me included) ... but if before this tragedy someone had said to me "quickly now -- you're in IMC, loss of airspeed indicators, you're pulling back on the stick, HSI shows nose up and alitmeter is unwinding ... why ?" I'm pretty sure I would have said "uh, a stall ... nose down asap".

I think that is the mystery others on this board have referred to.
 
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:14 am

Interesting... I wanted to rebut a bunch of the 'conspiracy theory' arguments, but what I cannot find is the distribution of the CVR or FDR data as normal... In a normal FAA investigation, which I've participated in, the avionics, airframer, engine maker, FAA, NTSB, and often *their competitors* receive a copy of the CVR and FDR data. This is so that those with an interest to find no-fault and those with an interest to find a fault (competitors/government) look through.

Quoting BenSandilands (Reply 33):
The use of public hearings by the NTSB is I believe, a net positive for air safety.

Even the 'private stuff' gets distributed. For example, I went through the Egypt Air flight 990 FDR data as did a few other Pratt engineers. When done, I was certain one pilot was trying to kill everyone (one side's commands were always the opposite of what you should do to the engines at that point of flight).

But what I note is that none of the people I know at GE saw the FDR data for 447... I'm not saying no one did... but I cannot verify through my rumor mill.

I really want to dismiss conspiracy theory and normally I could with most crashes. But the information is lacking on AF 447. It definitely wasn't a NTSB investigation... When those happen, like with the current 787, my 'rumor mill' lights up a bit.  

Lightsaber
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BenSandilands
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:16 am

NAV20,

This is why we need the full, but not personal transcript according to those who were good enough to lead me through the known sequence of events, and some of those similar pitot related events experienced by other A330 pilots.

The iced up pitots caused the unreliable speed indications which caused the disconnection of the auto-pilot, at which point an inappropriate response was made by the PF. The exact altitude at which the pitots cleared, or as the report describes, the speeds came back, was within the necessary time for a full recovery to have been made provided the correct procedure was followed. The report quotes an altitude, but I'm not in a position this afternoon (or evening for that matter) to retrieve and read it again.

This is where the question arises, what did the captain see or say or do when he reaches the back of the cockpit and asks 'what is going on here'. He was in a position to see that the PF side stick controller was pulled hard back.

What engagement was there between the more experienced PNF and the PF. Any? None? We get a summary by the two pilots (or was it one) of their bafflement to the captain. But what did they say before that, since their discussions weren't done using telepathy? At one point the captain is recorded as telling the PF to bring the nose down. The BEA report says that after that there was a shift in the PF side stick, but that after a short interval it was pulled back hard.

What is unfortunate is that we now have some pilots on a different page to those calling for more detailed disclosure about what was going on at the human level between the pilots and between them and the aircraft.

In my opinion, it wouldn't have taken too much additional disclosure to have everyone on one page, and Air France on the other since it has the ultimate responsibility for everything done by pilots on its flights.

Non-disclosure of the comments about fatigue takes pressure off Air France. What else has been left out of the transcript? Are we even discussing, or seeking clarity, about the right issues if we don't actually know what happened in the cockpit?

I'm a bit sensitive to accident reports that leave out information that reveals unsafe or unsatisfactory performances by operators given the evidence taken by the Senate Committee inquiry into the Pel-Air report.

It was personally a sharp lesson for this reporter to discover that I had trusted two bodies in Australian air safety to tell the truth, the ATSB and CASA, and that I had been deliberately deceived and misled, and as a result published false and injurious reports based on trusting official sources.

[Edited 2013-03-16 21:21:23]
 
mcdu
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:33 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
Pilots should be publicly accountable when they do something wrong, no different from professionals in any other industry (though perhaps the public has a heightened right to know with pilots since they are employees of a common carrier).

Are doctors audio and or video r.tapes available after a death on the operating table? The investigators have a need to know. You and other non-pilots have a desire to know. Unless you are an official assigned to an investigation you don't have a need to know. Curiosity is not a need.
 
Mir
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:44 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 32):
You and I both hold positions that require a license issued by the government. Those licenses are privileges. As a result, at least in the States, it's pretty well settled that the public has a near-absolute right to know about conduct that falls below a certain threshold.

True. However, they don't have a right to determine, for themselves, whether particular conduct falls below a certain threshold. Not all conversation that goes on in the cockpit of an accident flight is related to the accident, nor does it reflect conduct that isn't up to standards. If there's superfluous conversation at some point in a flight, there's no particular need for it to show up in a transcript.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 36):
Two groups of similarly-educated people attacking the same incomplete hypothetical will often come to different conclusions because they make different assumptions. If one of those groups is the government, the government's conclusion isn't right just because it comes from the government.

Also true. But that doesn't mean that the job of checking the government's conclusions should fall to people who have no knowledge of the field in question. There are groups of experts in the field who are better suited to make that call.

-Mir
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AirPacific747
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:41 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 5):
I can answer that very quickly : It happened to me in Guadeloupe. Too tired to fly. OPS was advised, the flight was delayed 7 hours, to allow another pilot present to have his minimum rest... I took over his scheduled flight some 24 hours later. Our regulations are that a pîlot is sole responsible for estimating his physical / mental capacity to operate as a crew member.
I was given 10 days of rest by the airline medical department, and had to do a check-up before I resumed my duties.

Is it a small airline? In many carriers, if you call in sick, you have to provide the airline with a doctor's note, no matter what you felt was the problem. They tell the pilots to always call in sick in case they feel they are unfit to fly, but when they require a doctor's note every single time, then the pilots won't be bothred and go to work even if they didn't sleep at all the night before the flights.

Quoting BC77008 (Reply 34):
It's usually taken very lightly by an airline's crew scheduling department.

 checkmark  as long as they fulfill the official regulations, they make their pilots work as much as possible, even though the regulations might be wrong.

[Edited 2013-03-16 23:43:42]
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:08 am

Quoting mcdu (Reply 44):
You and other non-pilots have a desire to know. Unless you are an official assigned to an investigation you don't have a need to know. Curiosity is not a need.

And this is how mistakes happen. As Cubsrule pointed out earlier:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 36):
Read some literature on group decision making. This isn't something that's particularly controversial or unsettled.

Two groups of similarly-educated people attacking the same incomplete hypothetical will often come to different conclusions because they make different assumptions. If one of those groups is the government, the government's conclusion isn't right just because it comes from the government.

Not because a government entity comes to a conclusion, it must necessarily be correct. There surely are plenty of people out there who have the necessary competences to make their own judgement on an accident report, but who aren't on the investigative board and therefore wouldn't have access to the data. This is wrong in my opinion.

BenSandilands, who seems to be well informed, has challenged the ATSB report of the Pel-Air crash. This would all have been much easier, I believe, had the ATSB disclosed all the information up front.

Also, the public which is not informed still has a right to know. It's "public transportation". Yes, they may not understand most of it, but the information must be there, open for consultation. A government entity shouldn't have to work in secrecy, unless national security is at stake. I agree that some of the most dramatic parts should be either replaced with (redacted) or (personal), but that's it.

Another reason for which I'm in favor of public data accessibility is to reduce the amount of conspiracies that may arise. If the data are there for open consultation, the facts are clear and there's no speculation. Yes, I do believe that conspiracies arising among the public are a bad thing, and certainly don't help an airline's reputation.

Again, unless it's a matter of national security, government work should be open and accessible (put hurdles in it to make it accessible if you want, so that not everyone can just download a PDF from an open site - like the need to send a letter to get access, or whatever - but it still should be available to everyone).

[Edited 2013-03-17 03:10:04]
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mcdu
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:39 am

You want to dissect the pilots actions, comments etc, just to prevent a possible government coverup? That is the argument of cubs and CH. Should doctors and nurses be subjected to the same? If they take an action that results in a death shouldn't everyone that doesn't have a medical backgrounds be allowed to Monday morning quarterback their actions? I personally believe the investigation should be handled by experts versus the self claimed experts that often post in forums on the internet.
 
NAV20
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RE: Captain Of AF447 Only Had 1 Hour Of Sleep

Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:47 am

Quoting AA87 (Reply 41):
NAV20, you summarized the basics well. But what I've never understood (as a low-time private pilot) is why at least the higher time NPF FO didn't notice the HSI showing the nose up ??

Appreciate your comment, AA87. But I'd be grateful if one of the professionals on here would tell us whether a 'Horizontal Situation Indicator' is always shown on the instrument panel display - or whether the pilots of modern aeroplanes have to press 'Button B' or 'Button D' or something to get one?

Like you, I didn't accumulate many hours - and most of them were on sailplanes at that. I got married instead, and that was the end of flying.   But 'attitude/sinkrate' were always fundamental concerns (probably THE fundamental concerns) to me - especially in gliders, for obvious reasons.

I hope that one of the more experienced pilots on here can tell us both whether, and how, it is even possible for an aeroplane of any kind (leave alone an airliner flown by professionals) to remain in a nose-up attitude, below flying speed, for several minutes, all the way down to ground level, evidently without any of the three professional pilots involved noticing?

[Edited 2013-03-17 05:00:34]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci

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