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Borisdog

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I don’t know what defines rare. I was on the 767 at the time, and operated to Hong Kong, Bangkok, and various other ports in Asia in similar conditions fairly regularly. But the 767 did many more cycles than the 747, so I guess there was more opportunity to keep in practice. Really poor conditions aren’t that common, simply because we do our best to avoid them. Holding isn’t always initiated by ATC.

The weather was much less of an issue than was the mindless application of an ill conceived company procedure. It was the cause of much angst at the time, with more than one of the “old and bold” predicting it would end in tears. They were simply fobbed off by the management and training heavies of the day, as being “resistant to change”. That’s another MBA term that’s as worthless as “world’s best practice”.
I regularly got "Worlds' Best Practice" rammed down my neck in the mining game.

Doesn't mean it's not mind-bendingly stupid though does it!!
 
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jb747

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I regularly got "Worlds' Best Practice" rammed down my neck in the mining game.
I’ve never heard an MBA try to justify the phrase. My take on it was that it was engineered to deny the possibility of any arguments against whatever was being pushed. If it’s WBP, then how can you possibly be against it (no matter how stupid). Downstream it must also make any procedural changes more difficult too. If you’re already at WBP, then how can you possibly come up with anything better.

You very quickly learn that any use of such phrases is invariably tied to flawed changes, which are simply part of the race to the bottom. MCAS was probably WBP engineering. The only flaw was that the executives weren’t retired by the time the issues came to light.
 

Borisdog

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I’ve never heard an MBA try to justify the phrase. My take on it was that it was engineered to deny the possibility of any arguments against whatever was being pushed. If it’s WBP, then how can you possibly be against it (no matter how stupid). Downstream it must also make any procedural changes more difficult too. If you’re already at WBP, then how can you possibly come up with anything better.

You very quickly learn that any use of such phrases is invariably tied to flawed changes, which are simply part of the race to the bottom. MCAS was probably WBP engineering. The only flaw was that the executives weren’t retired by the time the issues came to light.
Yep - every time I heard it I automatically went into academic engineer mode. Who reviewed it? Against what benchmarks? What standards? Blah blah...……...

Your comment about how can you come up with anything better is the crux of it for me.

I was never a big fan of the " Continuous Improvement" buzzphrase either. I just thought that's what everyone tried to do as a matter of course. Surely we're all trying to "build a better mousetrap"

There are , of course, some things that simply can't be improved on. The tend to be very, very simple concepts that are the building blocks of the things that need to be constantly improved upon. As technology or knowledge improves on any subject, so must our approach vary. Failure is often as good a teacher as success.

Assuming you survive the failure.
 
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JohnM

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Today’s Byron Bailey piece in the Oz Aviation section - and including some apparent reversal from last week’s MCAS comments.

Any comments, pilots?

F60C8444-D433-42AE-9551-F5DBFC66A38E.png
D871F776-E673-4CB9-9987-BFE1187C3FF2.png
 

jb747

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Well, if he's going to write a weekly piece, at least it will give us something to pull apart each week. I'm not sure what the point of this one is, as it rambles.

He should have done some basic research before claiming American pilots were able to handle MCAS issues. The information was readily available, and as an expert, one would have expected him to do so.

Automation, and its effects on pilot skills is something that has been an issue for quite some time. It is a tool, and appropriate use of automation makes flights smooth, and safe, and less tiring. The issue is that management around the world has seized upon it as a way of using less qualified (i.e. cheaper) pilots, so that when there is an automation issue, or perhaps the aircraft simply needs to be flown manually, these pilots are not up to the task.

I'm glad that he thinks that autopilot failure is virtually impossible. It must be a very nice alternate reality to live in. I'd suggest a read of Kevin Sullivan's book ("No Man's Land") for a another point of view. My career contained a number of autopilot failures, encompassing a range of aircraft technologies. Many more than I had engine issues.
 

AviatorInsight

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The best way to sum up that piece is, the autopilot is only as good as the information put into it, i.e rubbish in = rubbish out.

There's another problem starting to emerge around Australia and that is the use of RNP SIDs and STARs. Basically, by now having a required RNP (Navigation tolerance) of 1.0nm for places starting to creep in, MEL, HBA to name a a couple, this means that hand flying is not allowed even in good weather and takes out all of the fun now.

But the hardest thing is trying to find a captain that’ll let me hand fly a raw data departure. BNE is great for that and not bound by RNP requirement...yet. Only one so far has even allowed me to do it with the auto throttle off.
 

jb747

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But the hardest thing is trying to find a captain that’ll let me hand fly a raw data departure. BNE is great for that and not bound by RNP requirement...yet. Only one so far has even allowed me to do it with the auto throttle off.
You'd have loved the 767.
 

JohnM

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Well, if he's going to write a weekly piece, at least it will give us something to pull apart each week. I'm not sure what the point of this one is, as it rambles.
Over some time, I've come to the conclusion that he's expected by the editor - or has promised the editor - to produce a weekly piece. Consequently, he's taken to just inventing something and rambling on about it. The input from you guys confirms my growing reservations about anything he scribbles.
 

AviatorInsight

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You'd have loved the 767.
It’s actually one of my favourites next to the 747 and one I’ve always wanted to fly. I’ve seen videos from mates of mine pinning the VSI at 6000fpm on climb.

If there was a way of getting into mainline from the freighter operation I’d go through that way just to fly the 767.
 

RooFlyer

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There's another problem starting to emerge around Australia and that is the use of RNP SIDs and STARs. Basically, by now having a required RNP (Navigation tolerance) of 1.0nm for places starting to creep in, MEL, HBA to name a a couple,
For those of us down the back, what does that mean 😗?

For HBA, does it have anything to do with the recently introduced ‘fixed’ and wide approaches, rather than the sporty right turns over the water from the south that we used to enjoy?
 

I love to travel

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The best way to sum up that piece is, the autopilot is only as good as the information put into it, i.e rubbish in = rubbish out.

There's another problem starting to emerge around Australia and that is the use of RNP SIDs and STARs. Basically, by now having a required RNP (Navigation tolerance) of 1.0nm for places starting to creep in, MEL, HBA to name a a couple, this means that hand flying is not allowed even in good weather and takes out all of the fun now.

But the hardest thing is trying to find a captain that’ll let me hand fly a raw data departure. BNE is great for that and not bound by RNP requirement...yet. Only one so far has even allowed me to do it with the auto throttle off.
I don't understand why Captains would not take every reasonable opportunity to increase your skills and experience.
 

straitman

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I don't understand why Captains would not take every reasonable opportunity to increase your skills and experience.
The normal line pilot is not a Check & Trainer or a Flying Instructor. If they let the FO do more than they should and there is an issue then it would hang over them. Then there would be people on this thread asking why he let it happen!
 

jb747

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I don't understand why Captains would not take every reasonable opportunity to increase your skills and experience.
There are many reasons for that. As straitman said, most are not, and never have been, flying instructors. For many, there is no incentive. Allowing an FO to find his limits always has the risk of him finding yours, with the attendant issues that brings. Remember that the captain is always the one responsible, no matter who did what.

Different aircraft and rosters play a big part. The 767 crews were very current (i.e. flew a lot), and whilst there was a substantial amount of night flying, they were generally not as weary as the longer haul crews. When you're tired at the end of a trans Pacific flight, allowing the FO to experiment is very low on your list of desirable ways to spend your time.

Scheduling plays a part too. When I first joined QF, crews were rostered together on the 747 for 8 week periods. During that time, the Captains got to know both their FOs, and SOs, and it was very much the culture for both Captain and FO to spend time training the SOs (there wasn't any such thing as a junior FO on the QF wide bodies). Then the rostering system changed, and from flying together for 8 weeks, now you'd often only be together for one sector. I recorded the sectors I was given as an SO during that period, and before the change, it was about 60% of my flights, and after only 20%. These days SOs would be hard pressed to get 10%.
 
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JohnM

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I wonder how I can forward it to Bailey...
I just logged into The Australian and posted the link in the comments section of his original MAX article. Whether it will be read after a couple of weeks is moot.

Incidentally, just reading the other comments on his article indicate that he's sucked a lot of people in :(.
 

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