UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

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jarheadpilot82
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UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

Postby jarheadpilot82 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:51 pm

I was listening to the podcast this morning on the drive to work, and I listened with great interest to all of it (great podcast, gentlemen - as usual), but I was most interested in the discussion of the Air Canada event at SFO. Jeb mentioned that the FAA had been working on a ground-based safety system that would help to prevent similar events from happening. My first thought was, "We already have the ground-based safety system. It is called an ILS."

In my day job working for a major carrier, we fly visual approaches all of the time - day and night. Our procedure is to ALWAYS back up a visual approach (But especially at night), with an instrument approach to the runway if one is available. An ILS is preferable, simply for its vertical as well as lateral guidance. A LOC would be the next preferred, with a VOR approach being an option, although the least preferred option between the three mentioned. I have not read the NTSB report, so I may be talking out of my nether regions, as the ILS may have been NOTAMed out. Could someone possibly elaborate on that?

I do not fly, nor have I ever flown an Airbus product. If it's not Boeing, I ain't going. I can only assume, though that the Airbus FMS (Flight Management System) is at least as capable as my older Honeywell FMS. With my FMS we are able to create a magenta line that extends from the approach end of the runway, thus created in effect, an extended centerline to the runway. We can create a fix on that line, say for example, 6 miles out and put a crossing altitude - in this example we would put a crossing altitude of 1800 feet AGL. We would then put a crossing altitude at the end of the runway that would be the touchdown zone elevation plus 50 feet. With these two altitudes computed, the FMS can create a glidepath. We call it "the poor man's glideslope." I have no idea of what the Airbus FMS is capable of doing, but I imagine it has a similar capability. One wonders what the two pilots did, or did not do in their cockpit set up to acquire what they thought was the runway.

I hope that the information above may help in the discussion.
Semper Fi,

Terry Hand
Athens, GA

caummisar
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Re: UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

Postby caummisar » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:36 pm

There's a list.........I'm on it.
Spooky. I regularly listen to the UCAP while in the shop building my RV-7A. I listened to this episode last night. This episode talked about the recent Lycoming Service Bulletin 632-b and its impact. I had heard of the SB and because I recently bought an experimental grade engine through Van's Aircraft, I'd checked my engine. YIO-360-M1B. From a quick review of the dates involved, I didn't think my engine was affected. I've had it for less than 6 months. I listened and felt pity for those affected.

When I checked my email last night I had received an email from Vans. It said they thought my engine was covered by the mandatory SB (now an AD). There were attachments. Here's the main one:

https://www.lycoming.com/sites/default/files/SB632B%20Connecting%20Rod%20Identification.pdf

The Mandatory SB says those engine's listed on Table 1 are affected. I checked the list more closely and there on page 15-- my engine. MY EXACT Model and Serial Number. It there is any good news, its that Lycoming will pay shipment both ways to the factory and the work is covered by warranty. Turn around time estimated 2 weeks. Now, I get to dismount a zero time engine and ship it. :(

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Scofreyjet
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Re: UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

Postby Scofreyjet » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:55 pm

Major bummer! Sorry to hear this. Better than yanking it out of a flying airplane, but just barely. I'll add your link to the shownotes for the episode.
Jeff Ward
I love things with wings!
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cozy171bh
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Re: UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

Postby cozy171bh » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:42 pm

Again, another great episode.

Regarding the Air Canada event, I agree with Jarheadpilot82. Also a Boeing driver in my day job, we always back up a visual approach with electronic lateral and glidepath guidance, whether an ILS or FMS-generated reference. That is company policy, good airmanship, and also applies to the Airbus fleet we operate.

My experience working in my airline's flight safety department and investigating events has taught a few lessons on how people think and are affected during an event from a human factors standpoint. People (whether airline pilot or fry man at McDonald's) typically go to work each day with the intention of doing a goood job. If a "good job" is not what occurred and resulted in an event, we then need to understand how training, policies, norms, perceptions, and environmental factors contributed to the event. For the Air Canada crew in the moment, it made sense for them to do what they did, however inconceivable to us in the aftermath. Good questions to ask at this point in the NTSB investigation, and to keep asking until they complete their final report, are: Why did it make sense to them to do what they did? What human factors aspects influenced their thinking? If it made sense to them, could it make sense to another crew? What can we learn? What needs to change?

Recent conversations at industry safety conferences have centered on the hazard of the visual approach. Counterintuitive, is the increasing realization driven by data that the common visual approach is potentially more perilous that an ILS to minimums. Particularly at night, crews have experienced GPWS warning events, altitude deviations, unstable approaches, and route deviations that do not occur as often within the tight structure of an instrument approach (the automation mismanagement of Asiana 214 notwithstanding). For the Air Canada crew, it will be interesting to learn how visual perceptions, their mental model of the situation, and various human factors played into the event, as they proceeded with a visual without the supporting lateral guidance of the instrument procedure.

The NTSB has terrific human factors experts, of which Sumwalt, the new chairman, is one. It will be interesting to see their report.

Brian
Las Vegas
Last edited by cozy171bh on Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cozy171bh
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Re: UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

Postby cozy171bh » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:03 pm

Jack,

The Hacienda Hotel Cessna 172, which set the endurance record mentioned in the podcast, has been restored and is hanging from the ceiling in baggage claim at LAS McCarran. I walk past it each time I go to work at McCarran. There is a small museum display adjacent to the Cessna on the upper level overlooking baggage claim. I know you get out here to Vegas on occasion with your job, so give yourself an extra hour the next time you are here and check it out.

Brian
Las Vegas

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Scofreyjet
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Re: UCAP #438 - "Abby-Normal"

Postby Scofreyjet » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:07 pm

Thanks Brian - I added a link to the aviation museum at McCarran in the shownotes for this episode.
Jeff Ward
I love things with wings!
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