Ask The Pilot

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
Coming into Dubai, how soon out would you be generally made aware of a need to hold/delay arrival. The track below indicates perhaps an hour.

I can answer that one pretty exactly, as I was flying it.

There was no holding on that arrival. We were given the STAR at about FL300, but then pulled off it with some headings from ATC (the kink to the right). We were then cleared to rejoin the STAR with a couple of the waypoints left out. We then flew it through the left hand turns onto downwind, but again, were pulled off it with a early right turn back onto finals.

There's no exact knowledge of what you're going to fly. The chances are that it will be similar to the STAR, but almost certainly it will be cut short. So, you just have to keep on your toes with regard to what you consider to be a likely distance to run, and ensure you manage your energy to handle that. This particular arrival was quite straightforward.

If we are going to be given holding, there's often only 20 miles or so of warning. It takes only a few seconds to load it into the FMC. On the nav page of the FMC, you select the waypoint, and 'hold' will be one of the options. Select that, and you will be given a number of options as to the type of hold, but 99.9% of the time it will be 'database'. Select that, and a time for the inbound leg (either 1 or 1.5 minutes). Insert. Done.

Quick reprograms of the FMC happen regularly during an approach, especially if there's been any ATC headings involved. It's just tidying up, and it keeps the map uncluttered, and the distance to run estimate accurate.
 
Last edited:

Dale Eastham

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Posts
32
Actually that leads us to something I've never understood. When pilots are learning to fly in the GA world (in say, a Cherokee), speed control on finals will be done by small pitch changes, and aim point by power changes. Jump to the military (CT4), and it's the other way around. You aim the aircraft where you want it to go, and use the power to control speed. To me that has always been the logical link and I've never understood why it would be looked at the other way around.

The two are, of course, inextricably linked. No matter which one you change first, it the other will have to change.

Airliners are flown the military way.

Thats really got me thinking..
I've had it beaten into me enough that it is second nature - ROD by power changes (or air brakes in the case of gliders) & speed by pitch. I must say I'd assumed that airliners & other aircraft were generally flown the same way, how strange..
 

QF WP

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Posts
18,154
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Platinum
OJH, K, and for that matter, Nancy, were all as good as new when they came back. H was interesting, as it was actually 'straighter' than most of the others. Before the engine event, Nancy was prone to software glitches, and they seemed to be banished in her time out.
She still had issues, as 3 AFF'ers (including me) found out on our flight QF2 DXB/SYD on 3 April 2013. The pilots lost hydraulics sometime after take-off so were using the back up system and we landed in SYD with full emergency services in attendance. They shut her down at the end of the roll and we were tugged back to Gate. They had to manually open the cargo and luggage doors so we waited a while before being able to clear Customs....wasn't the best way to finish the inaugural QF/EK media trip but bloody glad the pilots got us back in one piece.
 

QF WP

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Posts
18,154
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Platinum
Also for those members who might like to see some current YoTube videos, I have found this cool channel (Corporate Pilot Life), where the two pilots (John and Sean) operate a Gulfstream G-IV - one good example here:

Reminds me of the old days with @jb747 and his GoPro
 

harvyk

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Posts
6,902
Qantas
Gold
Whilst I suspect none of our pilots here even had the chance to fly Concorde (as a crew member, not as a pax). However I'm curious for whatever insight (or rumours) there might be.

When a Concorde crew did a trans-Atlantic, say LHR-JFK, would the crew then spend the night in the other city, so for instance would a London crew then spend the night in NYC? Or was the flight time so short, and the turn around time small enough that the crew could then operate the same aircraft back home that day?
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,820
Angle of attack indicator...

The investigation into recent crash of a Sydney based Seaplane is ongoing. Initial indications are that the aircraft flew into a narrow side gorge of the Hawkesbury river then did a 80deg bank turn. Low altitude plus aggressive manouveeing suggests a stall with no altitude to recover.

Generally are there such devices as angle of attach indicators as high bank angles would cause angle of attack to be closer to critical angle? Do they assist piloting an aircraft?
 

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
She still had issues, as 3 AFF'ers (including me) found out on our flight QF2 DXB/SYD on 3 April 2013. The pilots lost hydraulics sometime after take-off so were using the back up system and we landed in SYD with full emergency services in attendance. They shut her down at the end of the roll and we were tugged back to Gate. They had to manually open the cargo and luggage doors so we waited a while before being able to clear Customs....wasn't the best way to finish the inaugural QF/EK media trip but bloody glad the pilots got us back in one piece.

That's not really a 'Nancy' issue. They all do things like that every now and then. The hydraulics are actually better behaved than I expected them to be, given that it is a 5,000 psi system. If you couldn't open the cargo doors, it means the green system has lost its fluid, as is also shown by the fact that you were towed, as the nose gear steering quickly overheats.

There are two hydraulic systems, unlike the 747 which has four. But, you can lose all hydraulics in the A380, and it has virtually no effect upon the flight. Backup is provided by multiple local electro-hydraulic systems, so all of the flight controls will be powered. The undercarriage will have to be lowered by the backup system (aka gravity). Flaps/slats may be slow, but will still function.

I doubt that the pilots would have wanted much in the way of emergency services, but sometimes it's hard to get ATC to understand that the landing will be normal even if we can't taxi at the end of the roll.
 
Last edited:

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
Angle of attack indicator...

The investigation into recent crash of a Sydney based Seaplane is ongoing. Initial indications are that the aircraft flew into a narrow side gorge of the Hawkesbury river then did a 80deg bank turn. Low altitude plus aggressive manouvering suggests a stall with no altitude to recover.

Generally are there such devices as angle of attach indicators as high bank angles would cause angle of attack to be closer to critical angle? Do they assist piloting an aircraft?

Angle of attack indicators tend to have specific uses. Most commonly they're used in naval aircraft for approach speed control, instead of IAS.

Manoeuvering is generally done by feel. You can feel the pre-stall buffet start, and can use that as a tactile limit to the amount of g available. The issue here is that it would have been a very high drag aircraft and would have run out of power very quickly. Once you turn into a blind valley, your options will be limited, and perhaps non existent.

A level 80º banked turn would require 5.7g....well beyond the ability of the aircraft.
 

docjames

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Posts
9,182
Qantas
Platinum
3E11B8F1-0A38-4A81-AB86-E38EE4C1AD42.png

Spotted a Qantas 738 doing Low circuits as I passed AVV this morning. I thought QF had largely stopped this as a training approach?

Any ideas why it would be doing this? Sat AM typically a relatively low aircraft utilisation timepoint so an obvious time to free up an aircraft.

Saw one touch and go and it rocketed off - serious performance when lightly loaded!
 
Last edited:

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
Whilst circuit training has disappeared for most of the courses, each person going through training will be on a dedicated path. I expect that it still exists for SOs doing their first FO course.

The simulators are good, but they are not the real world, and you're aware of that. The dynamics of flying the aircraft are that little bit different. It adds (and sometimes subtracts) confidence too.

When I went through (a long time ago now), each student got 5 hours in a 747-200 at Avalon. On command training, we got one hour in the 767 at Amberley. Obviously very expensive, but I suspect it was worth every penny. On the other hand, the first time I landed an A380, 500 people got to experience it!
 

mjt57

Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Posts
875
JB, the other night I watched Sully (again). During the inquiry scenes they had Airbus pilots simulating the event.

When they hit the birds and had the flameouts the pilots would switch off auto pilot and flight director.

Auto pilot I understand. But not the flight director. What does it do and why did they do it?

Thanks.
 

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
JB, the other night I watched Sully (again). During the inquiry scenes they had Airbus pilots simulating the event.

When they hit the birds and had the flameouts the pilots would switch off auto pilot and flight director.

Auto pilot I understand. But not the flight director. What does it do and why did they do it?

In simple terms, the flight director just gives guidance (pitch and roll) for manual flight. So, if the autopilot is engaged, the flight director should always be 'commanding' whatever the autopilot is doing. All of the autopilot modes are available to the flight director, so if you want to manually fly an ILS, it will give the appropriate guidance.

The case of the movie, getting rid of the autopilot is logical, though it would have disengaged by itself if left in. The flight director would be trying to provide navigation and pitch guidance for the departure, so it would have simply been showing rubbish. It's a general rule...if you aren't going to follow it, then turn it off.

I wouldn't take the sims in Sully too seriously though. At least one of the pilots selected reverse thrust (?)...after crashing into a building.
 

mjt57

Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Posts
875
I wouldn't take the sims in Sully too seriously though. At least one of the pilots selected reverse thrust (?)...after crashing into a building.
Yeah, I noticed that. Or rather, they were still trying to fly the aircraft as it was ploughing either through the structures at the start of the runway or through the buildings.

I'd have thought they'd simply let go and let the sim finish...
 
Sponsored Post

This is an example of a Sponsored Post, one of the many ways you can advertise on the Australian Frequent Flyer.

Other options include banner advertisements on our content and forum pages or our newsletter. You can also purchase an audio message on our podcast - or if you just want to try it out, you can sponsor a thread.

If you'd prefer not to see any advertisements (including these sponsored posts), you can become an AFF Supporter from just $6 and instantly remove all advertisements from our website!

Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,820
Have heard that the EK207 (JFK below minimum) 3 flight crew - FO and both Augmenting crew have been reinstated with final warning letters except for the Capt. Any corroboration?

Re Augmenting crew generally:
If Capt and FO are in left and right seats on approach into JFK, are the augmenting crew considered to be on duty - with their duty clock ticking over?.

With the multitude of EK A380 destinations, is it possible that the flight crew have not had much experience into JFK?.
 
Last edited:

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
Have heard that the EK207 (JFK below minimum) 3 flight crew - FO and both Augmenting crew have been reinstated with final warning letters except for the Capt. Any corroboration?

I've just been assigned a flight with a bloke who has recently returned from EK, so perhaps I'll pick up some info. TBA. At this stage, all I'd heard was via pprune, which is a mixed source at best. The story there was that the Captain and augmenting Captain had been fired, and only the FO given a reprieve.

Re Augmenting crew generally:
If Capt and FO are in left and right seats on approach into JFK, are the augmenting crew considered to be on duty - with their duty clock ticking over?.

The use of additional Captains and FOs isn't in accordance with the way we do things. I've heard various stories about the way these crews work...most of which I don't like.

Basically...we fly with one Captain. Our FOs are not junior. In most airlines they would have their own commands. They are licenced to run the aircraft 'in the cruise'. All crew are on duty for departure and arrival. A roster is built that shares the time off. We adjust that depending upon need. If someone got a particularly good sleep prior to departure they will get the first period 'on', to allow others to catch up.

Others use a system in which one crew will do the departure, and the other will do the arrival. That means that the guy who orders the minimum fuel, isn't the same one who has to deal with the repercussions. It doesn't make the most use of available time off.

Whilst I would expect all crew to be on duty, the reality is that some airlines will extend the duty time by not counting it. But, they'll then hang you in an incident.

I did hear of one airline, which was paxing a crew in to Oz, then immediately turning them around to operate out (long haul). Rested? Not a chance. It was legal under the rules they were operating under.

Look at it this way. Any time any form of airline management says 'Safety is our first priority', you know they are lying. It's only true when the flight crew say it.

With the multitude of EK A380 destinations, is it possible that the flight crew have not had much experience into JFK?.

It's certainly possible, though I'd be more suspicious of coughulative fatigue. They have an especially bad reputation. When I flew the 767, we went to lots of place, and some not all that often. It was never hard to keep on top of them.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,820
I had a peek at pprune too...

1) Some say JFK ATC are extremely rude. And some say AUS ATC will report the slightest infraction. What’s your impression?

2) some suggest that EK has very strict SOP with regard to flying approaches which detracts from natural logical flying causing magenta line and computer screen fixation, and juxtaposed with coughulative fatigue as you say is a recipe for disaster. Wonder if you can ask your ex EK colleague about this?
 

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,349
I had a peek at pprune too...

1) Some say JFK ATC are extremely rude. And some say AUS ATC will report the slightest infraction. What’s your impression?

Extremely rude.

Actually I don't think they are trying to be, but it seems to be a bit of an NY thing to be very direct. Combine that with fast speech, a fairly strong accent, and lots of foreign airlines for whom US speech is not our native language, and you end up with a good mix.

2) some suggest that EK has very strict SOP with regard to flying approaches which detracts from natural logical flying causing magenta line and computer screen fixation, and juxtaposed with coughulative fatigue as you say is a recipe for disaster. Wonder if you can ask your ex EK colleague about this?

I think someone on prune described it as "death by standard operating procedures". Sadly, it's becoming more and more common for management to attempt to micro manage operations via SOPs. That way, no matter what happens, you must have broken SOPs somewhere, so therefore any outcome is your fault.

Look at the EK 777 accident. SOPs said that they had to go around if they got a "long landing" warning. So, they crashed in the go around. But, it was a long landing on a 12,000' runway. Really, who cares. So, follow SOPs...crash. Break SOPs and let the landing continue. No crash, but get carpeted for breaking SOPs.

Manufacturers are guilty of it too. Airbus attempt to prescribe every word, whilst Boeing is much more general. I guess the thinking is that if your pilots don't actually know how to fly, then you'd better script every breath. For instance there are pages and pages of procedures for wind shear and ground proximity. But, in reality all you need is "point it up, and full power".
 
Last edited:

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..
Top