sovietjet
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If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 5:18 pm

In the unfortunate event that there is a crash or similar accident resulting in damage to the aircraft or a write-off, does the pilot usually lose his job? Also does it mean he can;t get hired anywhere else and his career is over?
 
ZakHH
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 6:41 pm

Without being an expert, I'd say: depends on whether the pilot was to blame or not. If a crash was caused by a pilot error, I'd assume that this would mean at least a significant dent in his career curve. Even if there were no fatalities, and only the plane was a writeoff.

However, there is a lot of incidents where the pilot can hardly be blamed. Air Transat's A330 glide comes into mind, where pilots made an almost fatal mistake when transferring fuel from one (intact) tank to the other (leaking) one.

However, they were not aware of the leak, plus they were following a procedure provided by Airbus instruction manual, so how could you blame them?
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VC-10
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 9:55 pm

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 1):
However, they were not aware of the leak, plus they were following a procedure provided by Airbus instruction manual, so how could you blame them?

Basic Airmanship?

A cross check fuel on board at departure minus the fuel used by the engines should equal what left in the tanks. If you have got less than calculated you have a leak somewhere. This check is what F.E.'s did every half an hour in the old days.

The foregoing supposes the leak is up stream of the fuel flowmeter. If it is downstream there will be a large disparity between the engine fuel flows.

IMO that is the problem with glass cockpits, in some cases some pilots will not think outside the box & rely totally on what they are being told by the aeroplane.
 
2H4
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 10:24 pm




Quoting ZakHH (Reply 1):
However, there is a lot of incidents where the pilot can hardly be blamed.

The vast majority of these cases involve collisions with wildlife. Otherwise, it's fairly difficult to find examples of accidents and/or incidents where little to no blame can be placed upon the pilot(s).


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
lowrider
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 10:25 pm

Quoting Sovietjet (Thread starter):
does the pilot usually lose his job?



Quoting ZakHH (Reply 1):
depends on whether the pilot was to blame or not.

That is it in a nutshell. If you caused the accident, you will probably lose your job and maybe your certificate. If you were a contributing factor, you may lose your job or get some unpaid time off. If it was completely out of your control, then you will probably stay employed.
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PhilSquares
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 10:34 pm

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 2):
IMO that is the problem with glass cockpits, in some cases some pilots will not think outside the box & rely totally on what they are being told by the aeroplane.

I beg to differ! I would argue it's training system the crews are subjected to. For example, when I qualified in the LHS of the 727, my type ride oral was akin to being given a bucket of bolts and told build the aircraft! My oral on the 744 was a more philosophical discussion about systems and how you would handle some "gray" areas.

The amount of information available via "glass" is overwhelming and if you don't know how to use it it's virtually worthless. That's where the problem is.

Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread...
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CaptOveur
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 10:44 pm

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 2):
Basic Airmanship?

A cross check fuel on board at departure minus the fuel used by the engines should equal what left in the tanks. If you have got less than calculated you have a leak somewhere. This check is what F.E.'s did every half an hour in the old days.

I have worked more than a few places where acting on common sense before written procedures can get you in some trouble.. it probably depends on the corporate culture at the company in question.

Given the fact they had a printed procedure for a situation they thought fit what was going on why would they not follow it? What would we all be saying about them if the printed procedure had been right and they had gone off the books and done something wrong? Hindsight is 20/20.
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David L
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 10:46 pm

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 2):
A cross check fuel on board at departure minus the fuel used by the engines should equal what left in the tanks. If you have got less than calculated you have a leak somewhere. This check is what F.E.'s did every half an hour in the old days.



Quoting VC-10 (Reply 2):
IMO that is the problem with glass cockpits, in some cases some pilots will not think outside the box & rely totally on what they are being told by the aeroplane.

Discalimer first: I got this from a TV documentary (sorry!).

In the Air Transat case, didn't the FO run some numbers and suspect a leak as a result but the Captain decided the instruments must be "wrong". Wasn't this more a case of a pilot not relying on what he was being told by the aeroplane that almost had fatal consequences?
 
VC-10
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
Given the fact they had a printed procedure for a situation they thought fit what was going on why would they not follow it? What would we all be saying about them if the printed procedure had been right and they had gone off the books and done something wrong? Hindsight is 20/20.

I'm not suggesting they shouldn't use the QRH, but once the QRH has been actioned further troubleshooting could have been carried out. As I say, FE's used to do that simple chk and when I jump-seated on 2 crew a/c before the incident happened I witnessed the crew carrying out that check.

No hindsight is involved, I would have though self preservation would have made the crew check they had enough fuel to divert to the nearest suitable airfield at all times. Especially where a long over-water sector is involved.

David, if that is true, I stand corrected.
 
David L
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 11:11 pm

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 8):
David, if that is true, I stand corrected.

Nevertheless, doing a cross-check then ignoring it probably isn't a whole lot better than not doing the cross-check in the first place, I guess.  Smile
 
PhilSquares
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Mon May 21, 2007 11:54 pm

There is a synopsis of the accident report http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publ...nd_accidents/Ladkin-AirTransat.pdf

As they point out, there is a warning in the "Fuel Imbalance" abnormal about not using the procedure if a fuel leak is suspected. Despite the crew's superior airmanship, the accident reports states had they followed procedure and been monitoring the fuel, there would have been no need for the ensuing loss of all engines situation.

To me, glass or steam, there was a lack of basic airmanship and situational awareness. Even in this day of glass, CPDLC, ADSB basic airmanship (checking the fuel remaining with the flight plan) is still required.
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ZakHH
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 12:39 am

It's been some time that I read about this incident, and I already start to regret having talked about something I was not sure about...  Wink

Checked Flightglobal.com now, to read:

Quote:
There is no system in the A330 for revealing fuel leaks, which have to be deduced from fuel readings. It is normal for the crew to check whether the FOB is reducing at a faster rate than engine fuel usage. Also, the report notes, the flight management control unit would show a continually reducing figure for fuel remaining at destination.

The first ECAM advisory that could have suggested a fuel leak showed there was significantly less fuel in the right wing tanks than the left. Within 2min of discovering this, the crew had opened the fuel cross feed valve and begun transferring fuel from the left wing to the right. They did not use the quick reference handbook (QRH) checklist, the report notes, explaining that, had they used it, they would have seen fuel leakage listed as a possible cause. However, the report comments: "All of the fuel-related information and messages were provided in the form of text-type status messages and digital counter displays, none of which conveyed a sense of urgency...The fact that this could occur highlights the limitations of the warning and alert system in this kind of situation."

For some time before the fuel imbalance notification, the crew had been preoccupied with an "unusual", but non-critical No 2 engine oil reading that was a secondary effect of the fuel leak.

IIRC, a fuel leak alert system was added to the A330 later on, and the level of information feedback was upgraded as well.

Imho, this is a good example to what Sovietjet may have aimed for with his question. It was an incident (though luckily without fatalities), and pilot error was one of several causes that led to the incident.

Still, I guess both pilots remained in service, or?
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Pihero
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 1:10 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 5):
when I qualified in the LHS of the 727, my type ride oral was akin to being given a bucket of bolts and told build the aircraft! My oral on the 744 was a more philosophical discussion about systems and how you would handle some "gray" areas.

Phil,
Part of the problem is that nobody does a type-rating like that anymore and we have a training dumbing-down situation : just give the crew an idea of how it works instead of the complete understanding we used to need.
Furthermore, the use of nice flow-charts and boxes that are inherently different from the reality of the systems doesn't help.
Of course the systems are a lot more complicated than in the 727 time...OK, but why is it that the requirements for airline pilots' training have been lowered this much ?
The practical result of this situation is a servile adherence to the written law : the book is the bible and the QRH the missal. Pushed to its limits, we'll have a lot of accidentzs in which the crew will be blameless as they stayed within the procedures....(We already know of a few of them ).

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 2):
A cross check fuel on board at departure minus the fuel used by the engines should equal what left in the tanks. If you have got less than calculated you have a leak somewhere.

You can even go further than that basic check, especially on modern aircraft and modern howgozit computered flight logs : you can even mark the times and positions where your transfers will happen : tail to center / empty center / tip valves opening....etc...etc...
As Philsquares say, that's basic airmanship.
Do you know that the check you refer to is now on the fuel page of the long range 'Buses ?

Quoting David L (Reply 7):
Wasn't this more a case of a pilot not relying on what he was being told by the aeroplane that almost had fatal consequences?

David,
Yes, you are right.
One of the aspects of that incident that had me bothered was the nationality of the airline. Canada, you would expect its pilots to be au fait of low temperatures , cold weather ops...etc...?
In this case, the crew didn't even blink that the initial "oil low temp" warning was confirmed by the subsequent " oil high press" warning...I'm not saying they would have discovered the leak, but they should have been more alert to a tech situation....If I remember correctly,the unbalance happened when there was a difference of 7 tons in both sides...Let's leave the unbalance for a moment and let's focus on the [/i]indicated[/i] remaininf fuel-on-board : they were 7 tons short of fuel for the rest of the trip (had the leak been magically repaired at that time)....they remained on their " I don't trust that computer to tell me the truth "... but they acted on an ECAM check-list. That doesn't show a switched-on crew, does it ?

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 10):
To me, glass or steam, there was a lack of basic airmanship and situational awareness. Even in this day of glass, CPDLC, ADSB basic airmanship

Can't agree more.

[Edited 2007-05-21 18:12:31]
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PhilSquares
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 2:04 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 12):
Phil,
Part of the problem is that nobody does a type-rating like that anymore and we have a training dumbing-down situation : just give the crew an idea of how it works instead of the complete understanding we used to need.
Furthermore, the use of nice flow-charts and boxes that are inherently different from the reality of the systems doesn't help.
Of course the systems are a lot more complicated than in the 727 time...OK, but why is it that the requirements for airline pilots' training have been lowered this much ?
The practical result of this situation is a servile adherence to the written law : the book is the bible and the QRH the missal. Pushed to its limits, we'll have a lot of accidentzs in which the crew will be blameless as they stayed within the procedures....(We already know of a few of them ).

Pihero,

As a TRI/TRE I couldn't agree more. It has gotten to the point where ther FRM (Fault Reporting Manual) is not on the aricraft any more. That document was a gold mine for systems information, much more so than any Vol 2 could ever give you. Ask anything question that isn't available from the EICAS and you will get a blank stare. Try talking about the MX function of the FMS CDU and you will find 999 out of 1000 pilots haven't a clue as to what information is there. It's not quite like having a flight engineer but very close.

The problem is you can't teach judgement, airmanship or situational awareness in the sim.....
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VC-10
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 3:16 am

Phil,

As you may be aware, I'm in Maint Control are we are fairly regularly contacted by SATCOM & ACARS by crew asking for advice about defects. Fortunately with the 747-400 we can d/load real-time system data and see what the flight crew are seeing on EICAS. With the Airbus we can download present leg fault report, we can't see any parameters but we see what the CMC is seeing.

Other other thing we are regularly contacted for is football & rugby scores!
 
CoolGuy
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 3:50 am

A lot of times piots are considered heroes after incidents and I've heard of at least one that continues to fly (and none that no longer do so, if still alive).
 
Viscount724
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 5:51 am

I seem to recall reading that all 3 cockpit crew of the Pan Am 747 (who all survived) struck by the KL 747 at Tenerife in 1977 (583 fatalities) continued flying for PA.
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 9:03 am

there's a thread in civil aviation about C-GAUN possibly being retired. This is the famous gimli glider(gimli happens to be only a couple hours away from me right now). In the thread, they speak about what happened to the pilots afterwards.
 
sovietjet
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 10:56 am

Pretty interesting information. I think it is kind of unfair to fire a pilot, be it his fault just for one mistake. Everybody makes mistakes right? If anything all pilots IMO should get a couple of chances before having their type certificate taken away.
 
ZakHH
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 5:56 pm

But "a couple of chances" could mean a couple of fatalities. No pilot will be fired for minor mistakes that did not lead to dangerous situations. But pilot is a job that does not allow major mistakes. I guess every one should be aware of that when chosing that profession.
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BAE146QT
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RE: If A Plane Is Involved In An Accident...

Tue May 22, 2007 9:48 pm

Quoting Viscount724:
I seem to recall reading that all 3 cockpit crew of the Pan Am 747 (who all survived) struck by the KL 747 at Tenerife in 1977 (583 fatalities) continued flying for PA.

I'm not sure that's true. They did all survive, but I'm pretty sure that at least one of the flight deck crew recieved injuries bad enough to prevent them ever flying again. I may be remembering this incorrectly, but I believe that Robert Bragg's eyesight was permanently (and severely) damaged.
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