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OZDUCK

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I said there was one....
I know and was certainly not disputing your recall. This was just to add a bit of detail as to where and when it happened. As I recall it caused a bit of a stir over here when it occurred but the weather was very bad that day.
 

Major

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Some questions from this particular incident

I assume their attitude was incorrect, how easy is it to have this issue ?

Are there different settings for the speed brakes or are they simply on or off ?

What could/should they have done ?
 

jb747

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Some questions from this particular incident

I assume their attitude was incorrect, how easy is it to have this issue ?
The most likely cause of an overspeed in descent is running into a strongly increasing headwind (or losing a strong tailwind), whilst already fairly fast. This actually needs to be considered climbing and descending. For example, on the 767 climbing out of Perth for the east coast, you wanted to get into the very strong jet stream. The aircraft would tend to lose airspeed as you climbed into it, and suddenly gain it on descent into Melbourne. So, you could afford to climb at higher than normal IAS, whilst at the other end, descending at a lower speed worked well.

Are there different settings for the speed brakes or are they simply on or off ?
The speed brake position is not constrained to any settings. It’s quite common to select quite tiny amounts, which if you look at the wing from the cabin, only give an inch or so of rise. In the 767/747/380, if you saw the IAS starting to increase above the planned target on descent, an early selection of a small amount would generally stop it. Some 767 pilots almost habitually selected a tiny amount for all VNAV descents, and left it there as long as the aircraft was on or above the profile.

What could/should they have done ?
Firstly, it isn’t a big deal, and should not result in any hurried response. Exceeding the limit by less than about 10 knots, for only a few seconds, won’t even result in any maintenance action, just a little bit of paperwork to explain how it happened.

The 787 is an FBW aircraft, so I’d expect most secondary effects to be removed, or at least damped. But, in most aircraft, selection of speed brakes gives an initial pitch up. If the aircraft in not FBW, and is being manually flown, you need to correct for that as the panels rise. The opposite happens when they are retracted, so it’s always wise to move them over a few seconds.

In a clean descent, the aircraft pitch attitude is around 0 to -1º. Normal cruise is about 2-3º nose up. There’s a tiny pitch change between cruise and descent. Even a high speed descent (clean) is unlikely to be more than -3º of pitch. So, you simply don’t need much of a pull at all to go from the descent attitude to level flight. All that was needed was selection of the speed brakes (smoothly and not all at once), and a tiny pitch change of couple of degrees.
 

AviatorInsight

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Some questions from this particular incident

I assume their attitude was incorrect, how easy is it to have this issue ?

Are there different settings for the speed brakes or are they simply on or off ?

What could/should they have done ?
It’s a normal occurrence for us. The 737 (NG) has a very fast wing. Our descent speed is planned at 280kts. There’s an agreement with ATC that our speed may fluctuate +/- 20kts on the descent only without any intervention (speedbrakes).

As JB has mentioned it usually occurs with wind changes. There’s a range in which you can use the speedbrakes, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing like the reverse thrust.

A couple of years ago the same thing happened to VA in the same circumstance. As a result there’s been a big focus both out on the line and in the sim as to tactics on how to combat it.

If you do happen to overspeed it really is not a big deal. As has been mentioned, just the fact that it happened will require a quick inspection and an entry in the tech log.

Our procedures are to engage vertical speed and reduce the rate of descent, then reduce the speed and deploy the speedbrakes. Leave the autopilot engaged.

I have attached a photo of us maintaining the path on descent into BNE this morning. This was a result of a 30kt tailwind into a 15kt headwind then a 15kt crosswind

. 211C5ADC-CC74-4B9C-B28A-FA9212790C68.jpeg
 

jb747

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Just wondering about the fires around the country - I know they can show up as 'rain' on the BOM radars - does something similar show up on the aircraft radar?
Radar needs something to reflect from, and smoke normally does not provide enough particles at around the right size to do so. Most cloud doesn’t show up either, only those areas holding substantial moisture. So, I wouldn’t expect the major smoke clouds to show at all. Where CBs start to develop over the fires, you will see them.

But, having said that, I have seen fire smoke appear on one occasion that I recall. A very intense, but fairly small area, fire near the approach to 21 in Perth. We were quite low, and really looking at it horizontally, and from a close distance.
 

AviatorInsight

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Speaking of radars, this was taken 2 nights ago on approach into BNE. The storms were that intense that the radar was being masking any other cells behind it. You can see this by the solid amber line on the edge of the screen.

It was obviously only showing returns with heavy moisture even though the entire sky was obscured with cloud.

52FB1856-8087-47CA-84DB-2B4961D44CDE.jpeg 8FF87F16-52CC-4B55-A28C-BB30A64B30B8.jpeg
 

I love to travel

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Speaking of radars, this was taken 2 nights ago on approach into BNE. The storms were that intense that the radar was being masking any other cells behind it. You can see this by the solid amber line on the edge of the screen.

It was obviously only showing returns with heavy moisture even though the entire sky was obscured with cloud.

View attachment 199310 View attachment 199311
I was surprised that any planes took off or landed around that storm, how bumpy was it?
 

AviatorInsight

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I was surprised that any planes took off or landed around that storm, how bumpy was it?
We avoid storm cells by about 20nm as a minimum. This was quite intense and ATC did a good job of managing the traffic at peak hour. We only experienced a few bumps mid way through the descent as we entered cloud. Once we were in clear air again it wasn't too bad. We managed to get out again before they really hit and it was bumpy on the climb out for maybe 1-2 mins as we came out of the cloud tops.
 
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It's taken quite a while for this report to be published, but this deals with the Air Asia engine failure near Alice Springs a couple of years ago.
Jaw dropping.

You've mentioned in the past that the reason for these investigations is to find out what happened and take any learnings from such incidents rather than point the finger of blame at the pilots. Surely this is a situation when the flight crew must take some blame for going so far outside of procedure.

What do you suspect Qantas would say/do if this was one of their crews?
 

jb747

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You've mentioned in the past that the reason for these investigations is to find out what happened and take any learnings from such incidents rather than point the finger of blame at the pilots. Surely this is a situation when the flight crew must take some blame for going so far outside of procedure.
Note that the internal Air Asia investigation said that they'd followed procedures, and had no criticism. They won't have learnt anything.

What do you suspect Qantas would say/do if this was one of their crews?
Firstly I'd expect the FO and SO to be objecting loudly.

Whilst these investigations aren't trying to find blame per se, if they show that a crew or crews need training then you'd expect it to be provided. In this case, I'd expect a very serious look at whether the Captain should actually be one. You would also be expected to be in your bosses office explaining what happened, well before the ATSB come hunting for you. So, no. Not looking for blame, but that does not mean no repercussions.

There's a part of this event that is missing from the report, which may have made it even more interesting. The A330 does not have anywhere near enough power available to sit up at FL380 for four or five minutes with an engine at idle. I recall looking at this just after the event happened, and prior to starting their descent, they lost a substantial amount of speed. Sadly it's too long ago for FR24 to still have the data, and it isn't contained in the report. Whilst the aircraft would have been in normal law, and thus would not have stalled, I suspect they must have been very close to it intervening by going to alpha protection. If it hadn't been FBW, they may well have stalled it. And an asymmetric stall may well have been the final straw.

It was mishandled in just about every way possible. The didn't handle the failure properly. They didn't manage the speed. They diverted away from an airfield that was quite capable of handling them (presumably because they weren't capable of a single engined diversion to an unusual airport). They flew past a second, and even more capable airport. Their decision making was largely based on commercial considerations. They attempted to restart an engine that was damaged. They didn't know how to recognise that (0% N3 is a bit of a giveaway) it was damaged.

Also in the ATSB mill at the moment is the report on their aircraft that had an engine failure out of Perth. In that instance they diverted away from Learmonth, and flew to Perth, with the aircraft vibrating severely the whole way. That one might even be more interesting.
 

flyer89

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Note that the internal Air Asia investigation said that they'd followed procedures, and had no criticism. They won't have learnt anything.



Firstly I'd expect the FO and SO to be objecting loudly.

Whilst these investigations aren't trying to find blame per se, if they show that a crew or crews need training then you'd expect it to be provided. In this case, I'd expect a very serious look at whether the Captain should actually be one. You would also be expected to be in your bosses office explaining what happened, well before the ATSB come hunting for you. So, no. Not looking for blame, but that does not mean no repercussions.

There's a part of this event that is missing from the report, which may have made it even more interesting. The A330 does not have anywhere near enough power available to sit up at FL380 for four or five minutes with an engine at idle. I recall looking at this just after the event happened, and prior to starting their descent, they lost a substantial amount of speed. Sadly it's too long ago for FR24 to still have the data, and it isn't contained in the report. Whilst the aircraft would have been in normal law, and thus would not have stalled, I suspect they must have been very close to it intervening by going to alpha protection. If it hadn't been FBW, they may well have stalled it. And an asymmetric stall may well have been the final straw.

It was mishandled in just about every way possible. The didn't handle the failure properly. They didn't manage the speed. They diverted away from an airfield that was quite capable of handling them (presumably because they weren't capable of a single engined diversion to an unusual airport). They flew past a second, and even more capable airport. Their decision making was largely based on commercial considerations. They attempted to restart an engine that was damaged. They didn't know how to recognise that (0% N3 is a bit of a giveaway) it was damaged.

Also in the ATSB mill at the moment is the report on their aircraft that had an engine failure out of Perth. In that instance they diverted away from Learmonth, and flew to Perth, with the aircraft vibrating severely the whole way. That one might even be more interesting.
Just like Sully wasn’t the only guy in US airways that could’ve pulled off the ‘miracle’ it seems these two weren’t they only ones in Air Asia that were capable of cocking things up so badly. But communicating to the average punter that it’s the ‘system’ is not always easy.
 

RSD

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Also in the ATSB mill at the moment is the report on their aircraft that had an engine failure out of Perth. In that instance they diverted away from Learmonth, and flew to Perth, with the aircraft vibrating severely the whole way. That one might even be more interesting.
Kind of lost for words...
 

ayebee

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Questions about de-icing ...

Last Wednesday 18 December, we were on QF12 JFK-LAX.
The day had been clear, calm and around 0 degrees C, so not really cold but then a short sharp snowstorm went through JFK around 1630, pretty much as QF11 arrived from LAX.

Our QF12 pushed back a little after the revised 1830 departure time, and captain advised we would go via the de-icing station at the western end of the airport. I assumed this would mean a more significant delay, but there was no waiting to get into the de-icing area, and after 10-15 minutes or so of spraying the wings/tail, we taxied east and straight onto 31L without any queuing.
I noticed only a few aircraft were doing the de-icing. I had a look at FR24 later and noted most were heading straight out to take off, thankfully for us mainly on 22R.

So my questions
Why would some aircraft proceed directly to takeoff, while others would need de-icing?
Is it dependent on the temperature of the wing having just arrived from colder / higher altitudes and the snow, which was probably "wet" since the temperature was only around zero, freezing onto the colder wing surface ?
What criteria would the captain apply to decide de-icing was needed?
Would ATC give priority to the flights that needed de-icing to use 31L when other flights were using 22R ?
 

jb747

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Questions about de-icing ...

Last Wednesday 18 December, we were on QF12 JFK-LAX.
The day had been clear, calm and around 0 degrees C, so not really cold but then a short sharp snowstorm went through JFK around 1630, pretty much as QF11 arrived from LAX.

Our QF12 pushed back a little after the revised 1830 departure time, and captain advised we would go via the de-icing station at the western end of the airport. I assumed this would mean a more significant delay, but there was no waiting to get into the de-icing area, and after 10-15 minutes or so of spraying the wings/tail, we taxied east and straight onto 31L without any queuing.
I noticed only a few aircraft were doing the de-icing. I had a look at FR24 later and noted most were heading straight out to take off, thankfully for us mainly on 22R.
For the most part, I was successful in avoiding having to de-ice during my time. I often departed the day before, or arrived the day after. Perfect. When I did have to do it, it was never a quick event. Generally because it was affecting a large number of aircraft, and all airports have limited facilities. Except, perhaps, the Canadians.

So my questions
Why would some aircraft proceed directly to takeoff, while others would need de-icing?
Is it dependent on the temperature of the wing having just arrived from colder / higher altitudes and the snow, which was probably "wet" since the temperature was only around zero, freezing onto the colder wing surface ?
What criteria would the captain apply to decide de-icing was needed?
The need for de-icing is predicated by the amount of ice on your wings. That can vary depending upon where you were parked as well as what your aircraft has been doing. I saw a case once, where only one wing required it (shade). QF is also not an airline that sees ice and snow on a daily basis. We see it enough to be familiar with the procedures, but not enough to become complacent about it. No level of icing is acceptable.

Would ATC give priority to the flights that needed de-icing to use 31L when other flights were using 22R ?
ATC, especially, in New York, give priority to no man (or woman).
 

ChrisGibbs

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Did the seasonal QF17 A380 SYD-LAX service 27/12. The earlier QF11 A380 flight tracked a route south of the Hawaiian islands. Unusually our QF17 flight took us a long way to the north of Hawaiian Islands. We crossed the US mainland a long way to the north west of LAX and tracked in to SE direction to join the circuit for a landing onto 24R. Not understanding the complexities of flight planning would this routing be dictated by the later (busier) arrival time into LAX? Over the last 6 weeks I've done 3 * SYD-LAX flights with the two earlier QF11 flights having a straight in approach onto 06R. From a passenger perspective the 06R arrival makes things much simpler and quicker. One other question - for LAX are the A380's limited to using 24R / 06R for arrivals and 24L for departures. The 747's and now the 787's seem to use both sides of the airfield 07L for landing and 07R for departures.

BTW anyone contemplating the QF17 into LAX around 1400 local time allow for plenty of time getting through immigration. Usually I travel solo and the APEC cards helps out. This time with family it was a 3hr+ walk through TBIT immigration.

Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 2.31.33 AM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 2.42.48 AM.png
 
Last edited:

jb747

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Did the seasonal QF17 A380 SYD-LAX service 27/12. The earlier QF11 A380 flight tracked a route south of the Hawaiian islands. Unusually our QF17 flight took us a long way to the north of Hawaiian Islands. We crossed the US mainland a long way to the north west of LAX and tracked in to SE direction to join the circuit for a landing onto 24R. Not understanding the complexities of flight planning would this routing be dictated by the later (busier) arrival time into LAX? Over the last 6 weeks I've done 3 * SYD-LAX flights with the two earlier QF11 flights having a straight in approach onto 06R. From a passenger perspective the 06R arrival makes things much simpler and quicker. One other question - for LAX are the A380's limited to using 24R / 06R for arrivals and 24L for departures. The 747's and now the 787's seem to use both sides of the airfield 07L for landing and 07R for departures.
If you look at the 11 and 17 over multiple days you'll see that all of the flights are quite northerly. A few hundred miles difference at the mid point of a Pacific crossing makes very little difference to the overall distance. The flight planning computer looks for the route with the lowest cost, which will normally equate to fuel burn. So, it's looking at the winds at various levels, and at thousands of spots over the ocean. These update continually through the day, so it's quite normal for flights to end up on different routes through the day. Actually, one thing that it didn't look at, but which was an issue, was the likelihood of company aircraft blocking each other. These systems are very smart, and quite dumb, at the same time. There was a new system brought in a year or so ago, to much fanfare. It was silly enough to plan descents in the middle of flights. This might have made sense if you were the only aircraft in the sky, but in general, if you give up the high ground, you won't get back, so your burn will go up, and flight time increase. Needless to say, most of us ignored that part of the plan.

Your arrival track is quite normal for 24R though. You'll be cleared from the end point of the trans Pacific route (ELKEY was the most common) to join the RYDRR arrival. That takes you up towards Ventura, and you cross the coast near the old Point Mugu, NAS. From there down the coast to Santa Monica, and then head inland to join a right hand base turn. Because you've flown a more northerly track, your end point was probably near CERNL, and you've joined the RYDRR from there.

Arrivals before 0600 local are generally taken to 06, and after to 24. So prior to about 5:55 am, they go from the route end point, and are mostly cleared to EXERT, which is on the approach to 06.

The 380 is restricted from using 25R/07L. The others can be used. Probably about 80% of my landings were on 24R, and take offs from 24L. The 747/77 needed more runway, and could not depart from 24L to Oz.

This is the RYDRR STAR:




BTW anyone contemplating the QF17 into LAX around 1400 local time allow for plenty of time getting through immigration. Usually I travel solo and the APEC cards helps out. This time with family it was a 3hr+ walk through TBIT immigration.
Yuk. It used to make a difference being behind the other arrivals across the Pacific early in the morning. Seeing the 11 and the United aircraft already parked as you taxied the 94 in meant that you'd already have hundreds in front of you in the queue. I'm sure that I wasn't the only one who would occasionally make decisions based on jumping a spot in that queue.
 

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