Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums

Sign in to follow this  
Antonov

Asiana 777 Crashes At SFO

Recommended Posts

I'm confident that the source of this is authentic. Assuming so (and it squares with other things I've heard from people I know who have had dealings with Korean Air in the past), it's very telling...

************

After I retired from UAL as a Standards Captain on the (747)–400, I got a job as a simulator instructor working for Alteon (a Boeing subsidiary) at Asiana. When I first got there, I was shocked and surprised by the lack of basic piloting skills shown by most of the pilots. It is not a normal situation with normal progression from new hire, right seat, left seat taking a decade or two. One big difference is that ex-Military pilots are given super-seniority and progress to the left seat much faster. Compared to the US, they also upgrade fairly rapidly because of the phenomenal growth by all Asian air carriers. By the way, after about six months at Asiana, I was moved over to KAL and found them to be identical. The only difference was the color of the uniforms and airplanes. I worked in Korea for 5 long years and although I found most of the people to be very pleasant, it’s a minefield of a work environment ... for them and for us expats.

One of the first things I learned was that the pilots kept a web-site and reported on every training session. I don’t think this was officially sanctioned by the company, but after one or two simulator periods, a database was building on me (and everyone else) that told them exactly how I ran the sessions, what to expect on checks, and what to look out for. For example; I used to open an aft cargo door at 100 knots to get them to initiate an RTO and I would brief them on it during the briefing. This was on the B-737 NG and many of the captains were coming off the 777 or B744 and they were used to the Master Caution System being inhibited at 80 kts. Well, for the first few days after I started that, EVERYONE rejected the takeoff. Then, all of a sudden they all “got it†and continued the takeoff (in accordance with their manuals). The word had gotten out. I figured it was an overall PLUS for the training program.

We expat instructors were forced upon them after the amount of fatal accidents (most of the them totally avoidable) over a decade began to be noticed by the outside world. They were basically given an ultimatum by the FAA, Transport Canada, and the EU to totally rebuild and rethink their training program or face being banned from the skies all over the world. They hired Boeing and Airbus to staff the training centers. KAL has one center and Asiana has another. When I was there (2003-2008) we had about 60 expats conducting training KAL and about 40 at Asiana. Most instructors were from the USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand with a few stuffed in from Europe and Asia. Boeing also operated training centers in Singapore and China so they did hire some instructors from there.

This solution has only been partially successful but still faces ingrained resistance from the Koreans. I lost track of the number of highly qualified instructors I worked with who were fired because they tried to enforce “normal†standards of performance. By normal standards, I would include being able to master basic tasks like successfully shoot a visual approach with 10 kt crosswind and the weather CAVOK. I am not kidding when I tell you that requiring them to shoot a visual approach struck fear in their hearts ... with good reason. Like this Asiana crew, it didnt’ compute that you needed to be a 1000’ AGL at 3 miles and your sink rate should be 600-800 Ft/Min. But, after 5 years, they finally nailed me. I still had to sign my name to their training and sometimes if I just couldn’t pass someone on a check, I had no choice but to fail them. I usually busted about 3-5 crews a year and the resistance against me built. I finally failed an extremely incompetent crew and it turned out he was the a high-ranking captain who was the Chief Line Check pilot on the fleet I was teaching on. I found out on my next monthly trip home that KAL was not going to renew my Visa. The crew I failed was given another check and continued a fly while talking about how unfair Captain Brown was.

Any of you Boeing glass-cockpit guys will know what I mean when I describe these events. I gave them a VOR approach with an 15 mile ARC from the IAF. By the way, KAL dictated the profiles for all sessions and we just administered them. He requested two turns in holding at the IAF to get set up for the approach. When he finally got his nerve up, he requested “Radar Vectors†to final. He could have just said he was ready for the approach and I would have cleared him to the IAF and then “Cleared for the approach†and he could have selected “Exit Hold†and been on his way. He was already in LNAV/VNAV PATH. So, I gave him vectors to final with a 30 degree intercept. Of course, he failed to “Extend the FAF†and he couldn’t understand why it would not intercept the LNAV magenta line when he punched LNAV and VNAV. He made three approaches and missed approaches before he figured out that his active waypoint was “Hold at XYZ.†Every time he punched LNAV, it would try to go back to the IAF ... just like it was supposed to do. Since it was a check, I was not allowed (by their own rules) to offer him any help. That was just one of about half dozen major errors I documented in his UNSAT paperwork. He also failed to put in ANY aileron on takeoff with a 30-knot direct crosswind (again, the weather was dictated by KAL).

This Asiana SFO accident makes me sick and while I am surprised there are not more, I expect that there will be many more of the same type accidents in the future unless some drastic steps are taken. They are already required to hire a certain percentage of expats to try to ingrain more flying expertise in them, but more likely, they will eventually be fired too. One of the best trainees I ever had was a Korean/American (he grew up and went to school in the USA) who flew C-141’s in the USAF. When he got out, he moved back to Korea and got hired by KAL. I met him when I gave him some training and a check on the B-737 and of course, he breezed through the training. I give him annual PCs for a few years and he was always a good pilot. Then, he got involved with trying to start a pilots union and when they tired to enforce some sort of duty rigs on international flights, he was fired after being arrested and JAILED!

The Koreans are very very bright and smart so I was puzzled by their inability to fly an airplane well. They would show up on Day 1 of training (an hour before the scheduled briefing time, in a 3-piece suit, and shined shoes) with the entire contents of the FCOM and Flight Manual totally memorized. But, putting that information to actual use was many times impossible. Crosswind landings are also an unsolvable puzzle for most of them. I never did figure it out completely, but I think I did uncover a few clues. Here is my best guess. First off, their educational system emphasizes ROTE memorization from the first day of school as little kids. As you know, that is the lowest form of learning and they act like robots. They are also taught to NEVER challenge authority and in spite of the flight training heavily emphasizing CRM/CLR, it still exists either on the surface or very subtly. You just can’t change 3000 years of culture.

The other thing that I think plays an important role is the fact that there is virtually NO civil aircraft flying in Korea. It’s actually illegal to own a Cessna-152 and just go learn to fly. Ultra-lights and Powered Hang Gliders are Ok. I guess they don’t trust the people to not start WW III by flying 35 miles north of Inchon into North Korea. But, they don’t get the kids who grew up flying (and thinking for themselves) and hanging around airports. They do recruit some kids from college and send then to the US or Australia and get them their tickets. Generally, I had better experience with them than with the ex-Military pilots. This was a surprise to me as I spent years as a Naval Aviator flying fighters after getting my private in light airplanes. I would get experienced F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16 pilots who were actually terrible pilots if they had to hand fly the airplane. What a shock!

Finally, I’ll get off my box and talk about the total flight hours they claim. I do accept that there are a few talented and free-thinking pilots that I met and trained in Korea. Some are still in contact and I consider them friends. They were a joy! But, they were few and far between and certainly not the norm.

Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one of these new first officers that got his ratings in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in accordance with their SOP, he calls for the autopilot to be engaged at 250’ after takeoff. How much actual flight time is that? Hardly one minute. Then he might fly for hours on the autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below 800’ after the gear was down, flaps extended and on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it in to land. Again, how much real “flight time†or real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on the 777 or 747, it’s the same only they get more inflated logbooks.

So, when I hear that a 10,000 hour Korean captain was vectored in for a 17-mile final and cleared for a visual approach in CAVOK weather, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, after reading that I wonder if these pilots will even lose their jobs. I doubt it now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another issue that needs to be investigated is the conduct of the airport EMS team. Right after the crash, they were holding press conferences patting themselves on the back for a great response. Now it turns out that one of the fatalities was due to being hit by a fire engine and the press has been airing phone calls to 911 from passengers begging for ambulances.

It seems that it may have taken 30-45 minutes to get ambulances out to the accident site. One report on the news indicated that the fire dept kept all the responding ambulances at a staging area for an extended time because they though the aircraft "might explode".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coincidentally, Boeing ran ...

>>> THIS <<<

... in this month's Frontiers magazine ...

-Gregg

Edited by GreyGhost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another issue that needs to be investigated is the conduct of the airport EMS team. Right after the crash, they were holding press conferences patting themselves on the back for a great response. Now it turns out that one of the fatalities was due to being hit by a fire engine and the press has been airing phone calls to 911 from passengers begging for ambulances.

It seems that it may have taken 30-45 minutes to get ambulances out to the accident site. One report on the news indicated that the fire dept kept all the responding ambulances at a staging area for an extended time because they though the aircraft "might explode".

I wouldn't be second guessing the fire response since we lack the expertise to do so. Dense smoke (with some toxic properties), aviation fuel vapors, oxygen bottles and plenty of ignition sources can all be recipies for an even worse disaster if the fire crews don't have the ability to concentrate on getting those fires out first. While safeguarding survivors is a priority, the fire department's primary job is to put out the fire since that is what they know best. It is no different than a police response holding back a fire unit or rescue squad due to danger in a given area until gunman has to be subdued first.

Undoubtedly some elements of the response could be improved. But disasters tend to show no matter HOW much one prepares for them, not ever circumstance can be planned for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't be second guessing the fire response since we lack the expertise to do so.

We lack the expertise to speculate on the cause of this crash as well but that has not stopped this thread (and dozens like it) from continuing. Given what has come out in the press, it appears that there may have been some serious issues with the response, including the possible death of one of the survivors. I simply said that this area should be investigated.

Seems especially important since less than 24 hours after the incident, they had press conference where they were praising the FD for an outstanding job. That may have been a bit premature. Mistakes get made, everyone is human. The important thing is to investigate them in detail and take whatever action is necessary so they are not repeated.

Edited by 11bee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least the news got the pilots names correct!

Edited by Ben Brown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super fast quick-braking news.......

.....link NSFW Edited by Johnopfor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy crap that is funny. My wife is no sh!t rolling around on the floor.

Cheers,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how does the number 4 tv market in the country (and one of the most pc area's in the country) get that one out?

that's 1 step above the traditional stereotypical one liners...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We lack the expertise to speculate on the cause of this crash as well but that has not stopped this thread (and dozens like it) from continuing.

Yeah, and I seem to see the same individuals commenting most of the time and it sometimes turning into a gripe fest debate between the usual suspects.

Given what has come out in the press, it appears that there may have been some serious issues with the response, including the possible death of one of the survivors. I simply said that this area should be investigated.

Seems especially important since less than 24 hours after the incident, they had press conference where they were praising the FD for an outstanding job. That may have been a bit premature. Mistakes get made, everyone is human. The important thing is to investigate them in detail and take whatever action is necessary so they are not repeated.

Understood. But if you really feel that passionate about it, why not exercise those typing skills and perhaps write a letter (on paper, not email since it tends to more likely get read) to the powers that be in SF to do so? Posting about it here isn't really all that constructive IMHO. I did it once myself and I felt a lot better for doing it as at least my voice was heard concerning something I felt was important.

Now I am not saying I am not guilty of jumping on a thread bandwagon now and then as I have done it before and I will probably do it again. But I have been trying to limit myself to prevent from "dogpiling". Ultimately, there are times why I wonder why I am spending time writing responses like this and not building a model. I suppose it is because in a few ways... typing is easier than tackling an item on a model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another issue that needs to be investigated is the conduct of the airport EMS team. Right after the crash, they were holding press conferences patting themselves on the back for a great response. Now it turns out that one of the fatalities was due to being hit by a fire engine and the press has been airing phone calls to 911 from passengers begging for ambulances.

It seems that it may have taken 30-45 minutes to get ambulances out to the accident site. One report on the news indicated that the fire dept kept all the responding ambulances at a staging area for an extended time because they though the aircraft "might explode".

The EMS response was incredible, they saved 300 plus people by not allowing that aircraft to burn. To fault them is just stupid. They know what they are doing as well as the potential hazards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The EMS response was incredible, they saved 300 plus people by not allowing that aircraft to burn.

May want to clarify that statement just a bit. Plenty of pictures out there that show many/most of the passengers already out of the aircraft, with no fire engines in sight. If you believe that the flight crew waited a few minutes after the accident to begin the evacuation, then it seems like there may have been delays in getting the equipment out to the crash scene, in addition to the other problems already noted.

The EMS team undoubtedly saved lives but to give them credit for saving everyone on board and to describe their response as "incredible" seems a bit such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May want to clarify that statement just a bit. Plenty of pictures out there that show many/most of the passengers already out of the aircraft, with no fire engines in sight. If you believe that the flight crew waited a few minutes after the accident to begin the evacuation, then it seems like there may have been delays in getting the equipment out to the crash scene, in addition to the other problems already noted.

The EMS team undoubtedly saved lives but to give them credit for saving everyone on board and to describe their response as "incredible" seems a bit such.

So you were there? You've only seen a small snap-shot in time yet you think you know everything? You obviously haven't the slightest idea what occurred or what could have occurred. I have responded on crash crews in the airforce so I understand and have firsthand knowledge of the response and the potential hazards.

Just so you know, the firefighters did enter the airframe and were tending to the injured who could not evacuate. They couldn't let anyone else in until the site was deemed safe.

I find your initial post offensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For response time once the fire station gets the alarm, the firefighters have to get their gear on, get in the trucks and get to the scene of the accident. They can't just go cross country straight to the scene, they have to take the best route available and have to watch out for numerous other a/c since it is a busy airport and all this takes time. I don't have a map of SFO Airport so i can't see where the fire station is in relation to the crash site and the distance involved.

Jari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you were there? You've only seen a small snap-shot in time yet you think you know everything? You obviously haven't the slightest idea what occurred or what could have occurred. I have responded on crash crews in the airforce so I understand and have firsthand knowledge of the response and the potential hazards.

Just so you know, the firefighters did enter the airframe and were tending to the injured who could not evacuate. They couldn't let anyone else in until the site was deemed safe.

I find your initial post offensive.

You weren't there either so you are getting all of your info from the same source as me. Your statement that the EMS team saved the lives of nearly everyone on board is completely false. Many / most of the passengers appear to be standing safely out of the aircraft before the first responding unit even made it out to the crash scene. So explain how those lives were saved by the "outstanding" EMS response. They saved themselves with zero outside assistance. That doesn't negate the good things the EMS folks did but let's not get carried away.

I simply said that there appeared to have been certain issues with the EMS response. These issues are well documented in the media. I then said that hopefully lessons can be learned from these issues. I then gave props to the EMS team since they undoubtedly did save some lives. Are you saying that these issues never happened or is this just a big media conspiracy against our brave EMS guys and gals?

Stop being a cheerleader and try look at things objectively. If you find any of my posts offensive, simply stop reading them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a map of SFO Airport so i can't see where the fire station is in relation to the crash site and the distance involved.

Jari

Airnav.com

Click on airports, put KSFO in and then scroll on down to the charts. Click on airport diagram and there ya go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.....SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT FIRE DEPT Locations.

http://38.106.4.187/index.aspx?page=176#airport

The next shows where the International terminals are including Asiana Airlibes...

http://www.united.com/web/en-us/content/travel/airport/maps/sfo.aspx

And different views...

http://www.flightstats.com/AirportTerminalMaps/airportTerminalMaps.do?airportCode=SFO

HOLMES :wave:

Edited by HOLMES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SFO INTERACTIVE TERMINAL MAP so the locations of the airport fire dept. for the airport will be seen ..see previous link for addresses

Use Your mouse to move about... :thumbsup:/>

http://www.flightstats.com/go/AirportTerminalMaps/interactiveMap.do?airportCode=SFO

Airport fire station 1 on west field road is a LONG LONG way away from the actual airport..

Hope that helps you Jari... :thumbsup:

Edited by HOLMES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More help for you guys...

Scroll to the top.... :rolleyes:

http://38.106.4.187/index.aspx?page=176#airport

Now look here. .. <_<. Cross reference above information... :coolio:

http://38.106.4.187/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1975

So which ever fire depot sent the fire appliance{ fire engines, fire truck} to the crash , well their addresses are on here so one can judge, speculate, assume, decide, think etc etc how it traveled and from where and whence it came to determine time it took..

But personally I think the SFO FIRE STATIONS based close by got there as its their job... :whistle:

:bandhead2::bandhead2:

Edited by HOLMES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...