Okay, maybe I'm a rookie... merely halfway through instrument work, learning holds and working on perfecting a centered needle..... but, isn't an MDA an MDA, regardless? And if called overcast is 300... I'd make that 1320 a hard floor, period. Especially if my crewmate cannot see what I think I see.
According to their company procedures, that MDA is the limit until positive visual contact with the ground. If the captain said he thought he could see ground then he has to ask the first office what he thinks... why wait for an answer? Power up and go around!
Some time ago, my instrument instructor asked me, "What's the purpose of a landing?" I thought and thought.... I wanted to give obvious answers but knew there had to be something more to his question but hadn't a clue what it was. I must have driven myself nuts before I gave up and asked him.
Granted the transcript shows some rather unprofessional dialogue but it's not like it was being broadcast (except maybe once unfortunately). How many times have we been flying while having a conversation with the person next to us? By and large these guys were just talking. As they got closer to their destination perhaps they might have become less casual and more focused.
The part that really bothers me about this incident is that they knew the weather was bad and as they got closer acknowledged that it had gotten worse. What's more is they were not able to do an ILS approach when they most needed one. In my still limited experience I would say that this was an ideal situation for a diversion.
Notice the time they realized it was going bad to the time it was all over was merely 7 seconds or so. What we can learn from that is that we can't wait until it really looks bad before we consider options. We must look at all the contributing factors and equate them to a potentially bad situation long before.
Originally posted by analli Granted the transcript shows some rather unprofessional dialogue but it's not like it was being broadcast (except maybe once unfortunately).
True, but it shows that they were NOT following rules and regulations with the sterile cockpit rule. If they were willing to ignore that rule, maybe they were willing to ignore other rules.
Originally posted by analli As they got closer to their destination perhaps they might have become less casual and more focused.
Oh look, they broke another rule. They were still yapping at five minutes before the crash and ignoring the rule to divert, there was no way they were going to make that approach legally.
If this was normal behavior for them then I'd say they were poor pilots at best.
If I have passengers talking to me during the take off or landing phase I kindly tell them to shut up. I've even gone so far as to install an intercom in my plane that has a pilot isolate switch, and I turn it one when I have chatty passengers.
2.) Two young professional males doing anything out of earshot of anyone else in the world are stupid. Are you telling me that two under 40 IS/IT (computer guys) don't have crazy conversations. Throw out the flag. Then you've never been in a computer room before.
Two Doctors or interns talking out of earshot. Guarantee you the anatomy they are talking about has nothing to do with the patients.
Two lawyers locked behind a door trying to wade through a bunch of legal papers - it's not sounding professional in there.
Two accountants. Please. Accountants have to blow off steam someplace. They are definitely not the milk-toast folks the film industry stereotypes them as.
3.) I was raised by the greatest generation - my parents lived through WWII and I am basically a baby boomer. My folks were church going, god-fearing people. A curse word uttered from my mouth at any time would have been instantly treated by the minimum of a bar of soap. Sorry to say, that the next generation of parents were not so good at maintaining discipline. Young people today do not even understand that words that end in u-c-k are vulgar and offensive. Beavis and Butthead to be sure - but our media and our parents allow this to be the norm not the exception.
When I curse, people listen because when you hear that word come from my mouth I am angry about something. Today's adults have no idea. The Howard Stern generation do it because it's their last frontier. Nobody cares how they dress anymore, so they use words and ideas to "shock" us. They have no idea that my generation can't be shocked - the only thing your actions and words accomplish are to make you look like an idiot. Mission accomplished.
3.) 14 hours and 30 minutes. Try being on duty at your job 14 hours and 30 minutes and see how good you are at doing your job. I've spent 15 hours before in front of a computer trying to write code under deadlines. I can tell you the code written in the last 3 to 4 hours was worthless, error-laced, nonsense and I was sitting at a desk. Now do that 3 days in a row.
When it got to 12 hours of duty flying a jet aircraft, the last thing you want looking at glass screen is complete silence from 10,000ft to the ground. That could be 10 to 20 minutes in an airliner. Can you, at the end of a 12 hour day, stare at a computer terminal looking for the anomoly? Not looking for what's right - looking for something wrong? If you sat me down in front of a TV screen after a 13 hour day in a dark room, I can be asleep in seconds. I WANT THAT OTHER PILOT TO TALK TO ME. Now, my church going way of life doesn't want my conversation laced with expletives, but I do want a running commentary, an undertone about something other than those five glowing screeens in front of my face.
A 14 hour duty day is a travesty and some day the FAA, the airlines and the public will understand. But remember, the FAA says it's perfectly fine for an airline pilot to be awake for 15 hours on duty, in uniform and then take a one hour trip someplace ending in a 16 hour duty day. 8 hours sleep, 16 hours of work. Do you really like that idea? Do you like the idea that your pilot flying at 2130 at night on a hand flown LOC approach to minimums got up at 0600 in the morning to take a shower and be downstairs for the 0630 crew bus to the terminal?
You do that to me and I'm basically as stupid as a rock - anything outside the normal is an effort. Non-standard cockpit conversations - be happy I can stay awake. You just did this to me for three straight days and I get to look forward to day four tomorrow. After that I can commute home and get maybe three, maybe two days rest.
Walk a mile in a regional pilot's shoes and you won't be second guessing professionalism from a CVR transcript.
4.) Not exempt from get-there-itis. What I gleaned were two things - they really, really didn't want to go missed. Bed and food were calling to these two guys and I know how that feels. They had just shot the exact same approach to this runway earlier - they knew these flight profiles by heart.
Yet, there was that one little thing that tiredness made the CA forget. "This things a pig isn't it" was said once during the flight. You fly a Jetstream or a CRJ or ERJ "Fleet" - not an airplane but a fleet of airplanes. They all work about the same. But every airline has their "Christine" (reference to a "b" movie about a possessed car). Ship number 8 in one fleet out of 33 - I hated ship #8. In another fleet it was #680 a reference to an N-number. There are some planes that just don't fly straight or respond the same.
When you get a pig airplane, your hand moves forward to give power. After a year or two of muscle memory, getting xxx lbs of torque or setting the engines to 85% is a matter of moving your right hand a certain number of millimeters forward. My hand could do that without even looking at the torque meters or N1/N2 guages.
But not on "pig" airplanes, your muscle memory pushes the lever and then you look at your flight instruments asking "why am I bleeding speed?" Oh c---, you think to yourself (hey, look at that, a curse word) I didn't get 85% out of this pig, I only got 77% and that ain't enough.
Yes, the NTSB has these guys cold on division of duties. You tell a Captain of a plane to NOT look for the lights - we've been doing it all our lives. You can tell an FO to believe implicitly what a CA is saying, but a CA ain't going to believe every FO's assessment and after a while you don't believe any FO.
The "oh no" at the end was the stark realization that the pig airplane had let him down. The picture of the lights was from too low of an angle. He hadn't seen that the deck angle was too steep. He was tired and wanted a good meal and a good bed.
All we can do is learn from others mistakes and hope we don't repeat it.
But if you want to avoid these kind of accidents, it won't be a no cursing in the cockpit rule. It won't be sterile below 10,000. It won't be to raise the minimums 100ft. No, it will take the FAA and the industry to understand that 14 hours in uniform is too long. You know people have joked about pilots being intoxicated but the better question is "Hello Captain, how did you sleep last night and when did you wake up?" If I heard miserable and he/she got up at 4:00 o'clock this morning - I think it's time to turn around and go talk to the ticket counter about when the NEXT flight is leaving.
Originally posted by cfb 2.) Two young professional males doing anything out of earshot of anyone else in the world are stupid. Are you telling me that two under 40 IS/IT (computer guys) don't have crazy conversations. Throw out the flag. Then you've never been in a computer room before.
If someone's life is on the line, then yeah, I'm all business all the time. If computers are down and the company is halted until they come back up, then yeah, I'm all business all the time.
These two pilots were under 10,000 where the cockpit is supposed to be sterile and they were carrying on like a couple of punk kids in hard IMC no less!
Had the weather been VFR I might feel different but the actions of the two butt heads cost people their lives.
Originally posted by cfb 3.) 14 hours and 30 minutes. Try being on duty at your job 14 hours and 30 minutes and see how good you are at doing your job. I've spent 15 hours before in front of a computer trying to write code under deadlines. I can tell you the code written in the last 3 to 4 hours was worthless, error-laced, nonsense and I was sitting at a desk. Now do that 3 days in a row.
I've spent three DAYS straight in my office with no sleep trying to get servers back online after a catastrophic failure. Do NOT preach to me about long hard hours. I've done it a number of times over the years, if that's what the job calls for that's what I do.
Originally posted by cfb A 14 hour duty day is a travesty and some day the FAA, the airlines and the public will understand. But remember, the FAA says it's perfectly fine for an airline pilot to be awake for 15 hours on duty, in uniform and then take a one hour trip someplace ending in a 16 hour duty day. 8 hours sleep, 16 hours of work. Do you really like that idea? Do you like the idea that your pilot flying at 2130 at night on a hand flown LOC approach to minimums got up at 0600 in the morning to take a shower and be downstairs for the 0630 crew bus to the terminal?
I think this is wrong of the airlines, I will agree with your for once on that. Guess maybe that's why I fly commercially at most one a year and the rest of the time I fly myself.
Originally posted by cfb But if you want to avoid these kind of accidents, it won't be a no cursing in the cockpit rule. It won't be sterile below 10,000. It won't be to raise the minimums 100ft.
See, this is my problem with that you say. You say you were raised by the best generation implying that you were taught values and work ethics.
Your statement above seems to think that there are rules but they are dumb so lets ignore them. I'm 38 and definitely do NOT have that attitude with anything I do. If I am doing a job that has rules behind it, I follow them (period). I especially follow them when I am flying and other peoples lives are in my hands.
Your posts are always interesting to read and I value them but it seems this time we are on different sides of the field.