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Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:46 am
by shokaku1
Hi all. I like to ask a question which is scenario-based. Look forward to hearing all opinions on this one.

You are the co-pilot of a flight. Your captain is the Pilot Flying (PF) and you are the Pilot monitoring (PM). You realize your captain is making an unstable approach for landing. What do you do?

Since this scenario question did not explicitly state a Boeing or Airbus aircraft, could I also hear the opinions on what would you do for both scenarios?

If it is a Boeing aircraft, I believe the PM can say "Captain! We must go around!". If the Captain does not budge, then would it be then best to wrestle the control from the captain and take over as the PF?

If it is an Airbus aircraft, then the first step I would do is the same. But for an Airbus, if the Captain is pressing on the priority button on his sidestick, it would be impossible for the PM then to take over as PF, wouldn't it? What would one do in this case?

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:54 am
by VSMUT
Call "go-around", no more, no less. If no reaction, take controls from him and do it myself. I'm not going to kill myself.

But that's assuming we are actually unstable. I did work for one Irish employer, who had a ridiculous policy of regarding anything outside of a narrow envelope as "unstable". For example, speed tolerances were 0 knots below to 5 knots above Vapp. If you were stable at Vapp+6 knots below 1000 ft AGL, it meant you had to go around... :roll:

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:56 am
by shamrock137
shokaku1 wrote:
If it is a Boeing aircraft, I believe the PM can say "Captain! We must go around!". If the Captain does not budge, then would it be then best to wrestle the control from the captain and take over as the PF?

If it is an Airbus aircraft, then the first step I would do is the same. But for an Airbus, if the Captain is pressing on the priority button on his sidestick, it would be impossible for the PM then to take over as PF, wouldn't it? What would one do in this case?


For any major airline with professional standards, Crew Resource Management is taught and enforced. This is the idea that flying an aircraft takes teamwork, and while the Capt is in command, any crew member can point out a safety concern. On most airlines, this may even include a non rev jumpseater. Normally, the pilot monitoring would simply call "Unstable approach. Go around." and the pilot flying would acknowledge "going around"

VSMUT wrote:
I did work for one Irish employer, who had a ridiculous policy of regarding anything outside of a narrow envelope as "unstable". For example, speed tolerances were 0 knots below to 5 knots above Vapp. If you were stable at Vapp+6 knots below 1000 ft AGL, it meant you had to go around... :roll:


Yikes... what was the reasoning behind it?

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:00 am
by spacecadet
If it gets to the point you're suggesting where the PM feels the need to immediately take control for safety reasons, what you do is a positive exchange of controls. The PM calls some variation of "I have flight controls" (whatever his company trains him/her to actually say), the PF says "you have flight controls", the PM takes control at that point and again says "I have flight controls". At that point the PF takes his hands and feet off the controls. It sounds more involved than it is; it really takes about 2 seconds.

It sounds like what you're asking is what a pilot would do if his captain physically refused to give up controls even in an unsafe situation. There's not really any technical recourse that I know of in that situation because at a certain point you have to trust pilots to do what they've been trained to do (and this is not a complicated thing; it's not like some pilots wouldn't remember how to do a positive change of controls). If a captain is locking out his first officer from the controls with the sidestick priority button in a situation where the FO asks for a positive change of controls due to what he considers an unstable approach, that can *only* mean that one of those two pilots is doing something very wrong. And there will be a meeting with a chief pilot about it at the very least.

When you get down to it, there's really no difference between Airbus and Boeing on this either. If a captain in a Boeing refuses to give up control, a first officer is not going to be able to "wrestle" it away from him without some pretty severe consequences, especially on final approach.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:28 am
by Armadillo1
example when PM succesfully taken control:
https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147094

example when PM tried to take control but not said he overtake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Air_Flight_3591

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:50 am
by shamrock137
Armadillo1 wrote:
example when PM tried to take control but not said he overtake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Air_Flight_3591


Is that confirmed? This accident has intrigued me but info and updates are hard to come by.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:54 am
by Armadillo1
its a topic here about this. and at another forums.
viewtopic.php?t=1416323

with leaked info like this;
https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ub ... -23-feb-19

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:15 pm
by VSMUT
shamrock137 wrote:
Yikes... what was the reasoning behind it?


Too many incompetent pilots flying a desk, all wanting to leave a mark on the company. There was a good dose of Irish-Ryanairish management mentality thrown in. There was really no reason at all. Most of them were pilots who lacked the skills to get a job anywhere but the bottom feeders, so had gotten stuck there and advanced into management positions over time. A really bad cocktail.


spacecadet wrote:
There's not really any technical recourse that I know of in that situation because at a certain point you have to trust pilots to do what they've been trained to do (and this is not a complicated thing; it's not like some pilots wouldn't remember how to do a positive change of controls).


Well there is the crash axe :duck:

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:25 pm
by shamrock137
Armadillo1 wrote:
its a topic here about this. and at another forums.
viewtopic.php?t=1416323

with leaked info like this;
https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ub ... -23-feb-19


Incredible...

VSMUT wrote:
shamrock137 wrote:
Yikes... what was the reasoning behind it?


Too many incompetent pilots flying a desk, all wanting to leave a mark on the company. There was a good dose of Irish-Ryanairish management mentality thrown in. There was really no reason at all. Most of them were pilots who lacked the skills to get a job anywhere but the bottom feeders, so had gotten stuck there and advanced into management positions over time. A really bad cocktail.


That's crazy, makes you wonder about some of these operations behind the scenes.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:38 am
by Yikes!
Airbus, Boeing, who-cares - at a pre-described height, either pilot calls "UNSTABLE - GO-AROUND" to which the PF responds by executing the GA procedure for that type.

No brainer.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:25 am
by Avgeek21
Any airline and by rule of the regulator(s) has to adhere to strict SOP's and CRM. There are usually quite a few 'gates' build into an approach profile. You don't just arrive at 1000ft (or for some at 500ft) without ticking quite a few boxes where the approach has to be abandoned if not in the right configuration for that gate. IF you still arrive at 1000ft (or 500ft) and you are unstable the books clearly state for PM to call; "Unstable - Go-Around". IF PF does not go-around then there is the 1 challenge rule below 1000ft. Again IF the PF does not respond correctly by going around the PM states "I have control - Go-Around". Normally that does not require any official paperwork but it gets discussed after parking at the gate. If the PF/PM disagree on their views and want to 'escalate' the situation you can bring it to the attention of a 'Pilots Standards Committee' who will intervene and try to resolve the situation appropriately. It has the availability to do this away from the Flight Ops department but has access to the Flight Data Monitoring info from the Safety department to review the approach. This is a non-punishment committee. However if they feel the need to escalate the case they can bring it to the attention of the Flight Ops Department and it get the Chief Pilots office involved. Usually though for something serious (landing from an unstable approach or landing in the wrong config) it gets picked up by the safety department and forwarded to the Chief Pilot anyway.

Landing from an unstable approach is stupid BUT we are all human and make mistakes and we work in a very dynamic and challenging environment. The safeguards are in the SOP's and CRM frame together with company ethos and training. It's ok to be wrong but it's hard to admit that sometimes. It's difficult to challenge the other guy/girl but if you know the books and follow the rules and procedures you will always have the backing of your employer.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:29 am
by zeke
shokaku1 wrote:
Hi all. I like to ask a question which is scenario-based. Look forward to hearing all opinions on this one.

You are the co-pilot of a flight. Your captain is the Pilot Flying (PF) and you are the Pilot monitoring (PM). You realize your captain is making an unstable approach for landing. What do you do?

Since this scenario question did not explicitly state a Boeing or Airbus aircraft, could I also hear the opinions on what would you do for both scenarios?

If it is a Boeing aircraft, I believe the PM can say "Captain! We must go around!". If the Captain does not budge, then would it be then best to wrestle the control from the captain and take over as the PF?

If it is an Airbus aircraft, then the first step I would do is the same. But for an Airbus, if the Captain is pressing on the priority button on his sidestick, it would be impossible for the PM then to take over as PF, wouldn't it? What would one do in this case?


It really depends on the fine details of the policies you are working with and the aircraft you are operating.

Some airlines more than others from time to time encounter very challenging conditions or ATC requirements, and policies are written in way that they are both safe and flexible, but the flexibility may not be that obvious.

The flexibility is normally with speed, maintaining 160 kts to 4 nm in a heavily loaded wide body with a tailwind can take a little time to slow down to final approach speed, however policies can be written in such a way to make sure the aircraft is on profile, fully configured, checklist complete and let the speed wash off.

It’s interesting training people on this aspect, some people see it as being black and white, when often there is a black and white and a grey area.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:51 pm
by rjsampson
shokaku1 wrote:
If it is an Airbus aircraft, then the first step I would do is the same. But for an Airbus, if the Captain is pressing on the priority button on his sidestick, it would be impossible for the PM then to take over as PF, wouldn't it? What would one do in this case?


In this unlikely scenario, as a last-ditch effort: I would announce to Tower "Flight xxxx is going around."

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:28 am
by SAAFNAV
rjsampson wrote:
shokaku1 wrote:
If it is an Airbus aircraft, then the first step I would do is the same. But for an Airbus, if the Captain is pressing on the priority button on his sidestick, it would be impossible for the PM then to take over as PF, wouldn't it? What would one do in this case?


In this unlikely scenario, as a last-ditch effort: I would announce to Tower "Flight xxxx is going around."


Or if you really feel your life is in danger and you have to go around, change the config by retracting the gear as well as transmitting your G/A. Might be a very interesting debrief, but with one of our local airlines it is actually an interview question. 'You are a new F/O. Captain says he knows the area and is continuing the 2-NDB approach and you feel unsafe. What do you do?'

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:50 pm
by PGNCS
shokaku1 wrote:
If it is an Airbus aircraft, then the first step I would do is the same. But for an Airbus, if the Captain is pressing on the priority button on his sidestick, it would be impossible for the PM then to take over as PF, wouldn't it? What would one do in this case?


At my airline (and many other if not most carriers) if anyone in the cockpit calls for a go around, it MUST be honored unless the Captain is exercising his emergency authority for some reason; certainly for an unstable approach it would be. Also the Boeing v. Airbus discussion is a nonstarter procedurally. From a technical standpoint, the last person to push and hold the priority takeover pushbutton on their sidestick will have control of the aircraft; this is not necessarily the Captain.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:21 am
by Max Q
Armadillo1 wrote:
its a topic here about this. and at another forums.
viewtopic.php?t=1416323

with leaked info like this;
https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ub ... -23-feb-19



Why wait for the NTSB report when
we have the ‘Texas fishing forum’


Yhtbsm

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:46 pm
by rjsampson
Max Q wrote:
Why wait for the NTSB report when
we have the ‘Texas fishing forum’
Yhtbsm


Hahaha, yes: I had a great laugh at "Texas Fishing Forum" source as well...

Max, for someone who's been around long enough to fly the 727: You sure are up on your Millennial-style internet vocabulary! I had to google "Yhtbsm" and I totally agree.

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:28 am
by Max Q
rjsampson wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Why wait for the NTSB report when
we have the ‘Texas fishing forum’
Yhtbsm


Hahaha, yes: I had a great laugh at "Texas Fishing Forum" source as well...

Max, for someone who's been around long enough to fly the 727: You sure are up on your Millennial-style internet vocabulary! I had to google "Yhtbsm" and I totally agree.



Thanks for the kind words RJS


Yes, I’m up on all the lingo !

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:21 am
by GalaxyFlyer
rjsampson wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Why wait for the NTSB report when
we have the ‘Texas fishing forum’
Yhtbsm


Hahaha, yes: I had a great laugh at "Texas Fishing Forum" source as well...

Max, for someone who's been around long enough to fly the 727: You sure are up on your Millennial-style internet vocabulary! I had to google "Yhtbsm" and I totally agree.


Considering I first read of “yhtbsm” in a RCAF fighter pamphlet in ‘78 at Cold Lake aka Cool Pool when flying an airplane that made the 727 seem like the Starship Enterprise, it’s not up-to-date Internet lingo. The article was about Wild Weasel missions and how the RCAF might employ there upcoming Hornets in that role.

GF

Re: Scenario Question: Unstable Approach

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:21 am
by Max Q
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Why wait for the NTSB report when
we have the ‘Texas fishing forum’
Yhtbsm


Hahaha, yes: I had a great laugh at "Texas Fishing Forum" source as well...

Max, for someone who's been around long enough to fly the 727: You sure are up on your Millennial-style internet vocabulary! I had to google "Yhtbsm" and I totally agree.


Considering I first read of “yhtbsm” in a RCAF fighter pamphlet in ‘78 at Cold Lake aka Cool Pool when flying an airplane that made the 727 seem like the Starship Enterprise, it’s not up-to-date Internet lingo. The article was about Wild Weasel missions and how the RCAF might employ there upcoming Hornets in that role.

GF



Oh Man GXF


You had to burst my bubble..