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Thread: Australian flight safety

  1. #16
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Tailstrike and runway overrun
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    http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/3531728...l%20report.pdf
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  2. #17
    International Vice-Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    Given the amount of risk involved many companies don't want to touch engine maintenance with a 60 ft pole.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    In terms of engine work, the wide-body (A380, B747) fleet maintenance is done in Singapore and Malaysia, some of the domestic B737 work is done there. It's a bit more complex than that too because Lufthansa have a partnership with QANTAS but they do the work in Melbs so, technically, whilst it counts as 3rd party maintenance, it's locally done. Airframe work is almost all done locally at Avalon and Brisbane.

    The issue is made even more complex because QANTAS get the manufacturer, Rolls Royce, to do maintenance too. That's considered by some to be iffy because if there's question marks over the engine itself, as with the Trent 900 (used on the Scarebus), aside from other vested interests, QANTAS are on the hook to keep using them as is and will be more so as B747's are phased out and the widebody fleet becomes exclusively A380 over the next 5 years.

    Personally, the biggest issue facing airlines is crew training. The nature of experience is changing and whilst some would say automated cockpit systems make that a non-issue, I don't think anyone can be sure how it'll play out yet. Almost all airlines are going heavily towards the cadet route which results in pilots with a fairly homogenous flying experience (18 months full-time in lighties + sim time = ~300hrs ATPL). While the cadet programs result in new hires who fly with massively experienced captains with huge breadth of experience flying different types in different places and contexts, the centre will hold. Eventually, though, you'll have an airline full of pilots who've only known cadet-style training, captains with 2000hrs in command who've known no other flying than airline flying (fairly strictly controlled). They'll have never experienced getting themselves out of jail flying in a clapped-out C210 out of Kunnanurra trying to avoid inters which closed in on them or being forced to learn how to put down a dr killer in severe crosswind. They'll only know good flying conditions and sims. Again, with cockpit automation, some will say airline pilots won't need any of that but, of course, the one time in a million that you do (AF447?)......

    Unrelated but the ATSB is releasing a final report into the Emirates scare in '09 this morning.

    Emirates Melbourne 2009 near crash final report due today | Plane Talking
    Yeah AF447 had a big thing afterwards wrt pilot training. Hours hours hours, and apparently they aren't getting enough nowadays (what with autopilot becoming more and more literally an automated pilot)
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  5. #20
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Yeah AF447 had a big thing afterwards wrt pilot training. Hours hours hours, and apparently they aren't getting enough nowadays (what with autopilot becoming more and more literally an automated pilot)
    Yeah, not only are airlines accepting direct entry applicants with fewer hours (1500 will get you into an airline vs the 80's when no-one even looked at you if you had double that) but, like I said, the quality of the hours is becoming a bigger issue. One of the big debates in aviation is whether the next generation of pilots are being bred as actual pilots or system managers. Being a pilot is no easier either way, mate of mine just got an SO spot with Cathay and said in some ways having to monitor and respond to an complex automated system is far tougher than just flying the damn plane. The problem is that when the system fails, you're left with a pilot with inadequate stick-and-rudder skills to get him/her out of jail.

    Even then, a darker problem is emerging with respect to automation. In Boeing-like systems, the AP does absolutely nothing without the say-so of the pilots. Airbus systems, different kettle of fish. If the pilot does something that the system detects could put the plane in a dangerous state, it'll over-ride the pilots. Several examples where this has provably crashed planes exist (possibly could include AF296 depending on who you believe) but it's possible that it caused the incident with the QANTAS plane en-route to Perth which lost 1000ft. Probably played a role in AF447 too.

    I mean, if the system's getting the right info, all's well but if not, it might go haywire. Can't imagine how tough that would be to deal with let alone if the plane then stops you from doing anything about it.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Yeah I've talked to a few (granted, American) pilots/mechanics and a lot of them say "Airbus = scarebus" for that exact reason, you have no idea what the ****ing plane is going to do sometimes.
    Last edited by Spark; 15-12-2011 at 08:45 PM.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    It's fair that you point out they're American, fair bit of xenophobia involved "If it's not Boeing, I ain't going", etc., made worse that the Airbus is French (mon dieu!). AA587's crash didn't help matters either, several AA pilots utterly refused to get type-rated for Airbus's in response and went public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Again, with cockpit automation, some will say airline pilots won't need any of that but, of course, the one time in a million that you do (AF447?)......
    You've probably read this but it's chilling stuff.

    Air France 447 Flight-Data Recorder Transcript - What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447 - Popular Mechanics
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    Flying at night by itself is pretty scary sometimes. Can only imagine the terror they went through being over water at night, plane pitching and rolling at will with cockpit alarms going nuts.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 16-12-2011 at 03:48 PM.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    It's fair that you point out they're American, fair bit of xenophobia involved "If it's not Boeing, I ain't going", etc., made worse that the Airbus is French (mon dieu!). AA587's crash didn't help matters either, several AA pilots utterly refused to get type-rated for Airbus's in response and went public.
    To be fair the story of an Airbus executing a totally uncommanded go-around at random made me raise an eyebrow. Don't know if true, obviously, anecdotal and all.

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    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_Vimes View Post
    That is chilling. What is scary is that it was one copilot who caused the crash by consistently doing one thing wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    To be fair the story of an Airbus executing a totally uncommanded go-around at random made me raise an eyebrow. Don't know if true, obviously, anecdotal and all.
    Raised eyebrow here too, find it difficult to believe. Doing a go-around isn't just one button.

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    A380 and 777 in near ground collision at Sydney Airport | Plane Talking

    Bloody Emirates again..... This from two days ago.

    Will be interesting to see whether the ATSB investigates, especially in light of the recently released report from the tailstrike a couple of years back.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 08-01-2012 at 01:48 AM.

  15. #30
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Raised eyebrow here too, find it difficult to believe. Doing a go-around isn't just one button.
    Apparently the first words out of the pilot's mouth were "what the ****?"

    It was a long, long time ago that I read it though, would be impossible to dig up now.

    As for the above - different issue, isn't it? Runway incursions and the like the curse of almost all big airports, I think.
    Last edited by Spark; 08-01-2012 at 02:01 AM.

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