Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Expat Pilot Familiar with Asian Airline Operations Comments on the Asiana 214 Crash

Expat Pilot Familiar with Asian
Airline Operations Comments on the Asiana 214 Crash

What happened to the Asiana B-777 flight is quite simple. There are three reasons for this accident, all related to pilot performance:

1. They are Asian.

2. They are Asian.

3. They are Asian.

They cannot perform, nor will they ever be capable of performing, a visual approach. Not in their skill set. They are totally directed in how to do every thing. Free thought is not allowed. Add the culture - not losing face - and the flight was doomed as soon as they were cleared for the visual approach.

The landing approach speed of 137 knots, better known as Vref (V-reference), is 30% above stall speed (1.3 x stall speed) for the existing gross weight of the aircraft).

All jet airplanes fly the Vref speed on final approach. It is a calculated target airspeed which varies with the gross weight of the aircraft.

So dividing 137 by 1.3 = 105 or Vs (stall). Stick shaker is 1.07 Vs or in this case 112 Kts. So they slowed 25 knots or 25x1.151=28.7 Mph.

No jet aircraft should ever be more than 5 knots below Vref on approach, and then only long enough for an immediate correction to take effect. An airspeed 25 knots below Vref is absolutely unimaginable and unacceptable. A pilot who could allow this to occur is in the wrong occupation.

(The stick shaker is a mechanical device connected to the pilot’s control column which activates a strong vibration together with a loud machine-gun like noise in the cockpit when the aircraft is approaching an aerodynamic stall resulting from low airspeed.  It is impossible to ignore. Pilots are trained to react by habit to the stick shaker by immediately applying maximum engine power and lowering the nose to reduce “angle of attack”. However, this action results in a temporary loss of altitude in order to recover airspeed. If there is no altitude to lose, as in the case of Asiana 214, the pilot has a big problem.)

When they finally play the cockpit voice recorder, you will find that nobody said a word as the aircraft slowed.


That is because to do so would have caused a loss of face.

Many problems.

It does not matter at all the guy only had 43 hours in type (in the Boeing 777). Not at all.

He had plenty of time in 747's. An airplane is an airplane. They ALL fly the same way. (Except the piece of junk Airbus)

I have watched time after time Asian carriers cleared for visual approaches miss the runway, either too high, or get too low and miss the approach.

I have gotten on the radio and have told the controller “send them out for the ILS (Instrument Landing System approach) or they are not landing today.”

Needless to say I have been in trouble many times because of it.

The fact that they waited until one or two knots above stick shaker to say something says volumes about the cockpit culture.

When I was a check airman, doing the exact thing he was doing, I allowed about 5 knots either side of Vref before correcting. You have to see if the trainee will correct. Part of the learning curve. I was more tolerant if the airspeed was too fast (more than 5 knots above Vref) than too slow. If they did not correct the situation in a timely manner then I did. It's your job!!

The fact that all four pilots in that cockpit allowed that aircraft to slow to stick shaker and say nothing is beyond belief by western culture standards!!!

They, the FAA  and NTSB will dance around this fact, not want to offend anyone. This will also be tragic.

So if the airline sounds Asian DO NOT get on it!!!

We have been discussing over the last couple of years, that pilots being trained today with all the automation, lack basic flying  skills. Both western and foreign.

We see it in the simulators every day. It is a guarantee, if they are Asian, and you take away the automation, it will not end well. Never does.

But, by the same token, we have just as much failure with the new breed of American pilots.

Have had many a discussion with our FAA reps and they know it too.

This problem will only get worse over time. I would take a train but an airplane would probably crash into it.

Have a great day

A retired airline check airman


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I don't think I understood you, your HODD got in the way. Wow, you sound like a bigot from the 1940's about Japanese fighter pilots. "Free thought is not allowed." spoken like someone who doesn't know what he is talking about but"acting" like an authority of a race doesn't make you one, idiot. When you're a pilot "Free Thought" is all you got up there to make split second decisions and reactions. In your scenario none of the Asian piloted planes should be landing and we should have crashes everyday.

I can't believe this site posted this garbage.

So take your bigotry back in time and please stay there!

atexascash said...