Showing posts with label procedures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label procedures. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Increasing SOP Compliance

Srinivas Rao | 12:27 AM | | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

In the era where increased incidents and accidents are attributed to flight crew non-adherence to procedures, what can be done to ensure increased SOP compliance?

Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) are a critical component in flight operations and in improving the flight safety. They are intended as a guard against operational errors and help elevate crew performance leading to safe operation of a flight.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Srinivas Rao | 3:11 AM | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
One question that is frequently asked in aviation circles about piloting issue is as to why a go-around was not carried out when the approach was unstable.
 Looking at the data that is out there, the stats point out that only 2-3% of the unstabilised approaches end in a go-around.Well then, the questions that are being asked about go-arounds seem justified and needs an in-depth look at various facets as to why it is so.

What is it that makes a well trained and proficient crew shy away from conducting a go-around on the approach when it is required so??

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:06 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Turbulence is the reason for inflight injuries of crew and passengers. Turbulence is defined as follows :

Light turbulence---  Light turbulence - briefly causes slight, erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude, slight strain against seat belts, little or no diffuculty in walking, service may be conducted.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:05 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
A tail strike is deemed to have occurred when the tail of an aircraft touches the runway during takeoff or landing. Long aircraft are more prone to this and this would result in significant structural damage to the aircraft and jeopardise the safety of the flight.Statistically, there are more tail strikes during landing than at takeoff.(Airbus)

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:05 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

In this modern age, life is full of hectic activity and managing time efficiently is become a necessity. As pilots, whether in general aviation or in airline environment, we are subject to pressures of various sort. One of them I would like to deal with in this post, is about the pre-flight rush, which all of us are subjected to while carrying our flight activity.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:05 AM | | Best Blogger Tips

The Federal Aviation Administration estimates the bird strike problem costs US aviation 400 million dollars annually and has resulted in over 219 worldwide deaths since 1988. In the United Kingdom, the Central Science Laboratory estimates that, worldwide, the cost of birdstrikes to airlines is around US$1.2 billion annually. This cost includes direct repair cost and lost revenue opportunities while the damaged aircraft is out of service.(Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:40 AM | | | Best Blogger Tips
Every aircraft manufacturer ensures that checklists and procedures are promulgated for each aircraft type to be followed based on the operating philosophy envisaged, keeping the primary aim of ensuring safety in operation.

The challenge faced by the airlines in following the manufacturer checklists and procedures is the various fleets in the airline, standardization amongst fleets, for instance, which if not addressed could lead to degrading the safety of operation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 3:08 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Airline training is always a focal point in the aviation industry and the thrust should be to deliver training that surpasses well over the bare minimum regulatory requirement. More often than not, lack of training or inadequate training is a common contributor in incidents and accidents.

Friday, April 20, 2012


G R Mohan | 5:11 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

The Sterile Cockpit Rule is a regulation requiring pilots to refrain from non-essential activities during critical phases of flight, normally below 10,000 feet. The FAA imposed the rule in 1981( and adopted by most regulatory bodies) after reviewing a series of accidents that were caused by flight crews who were distracted from their flying duties by engaging in non-essential conversations and activities during critical parts of the flight. One such notable accident was Eastern Air Lines Flight 212, which crashed just short of the runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in 1974 while conducting an instrument approach in dense fog. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that a probable cause of the accident was distraction due to idle chatter among the flight crew during the approach phase of the flight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


G R Mohan | 1:47 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

As we move towards an era of diverging job functions assigned to cabin crew and flight crew, a single barrier that catalyses this divide is the cockpit door.  Increasingly, this door has served to alienate and undermine the bonding that existed between the two sets of operating crew on board. During pre-flight briefing we go through the motions of communication and cockpit access protocol during normal and conditions where security of the cabin is breached.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:23 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Bombardier Cseries

With the rapid advancement of technology, automation in cockpits have made rapid strides and have successfully made tasks of pilots easier.Crew of the modern generation aircraft have had to put considerable effort and time in trying to understand the automation modes and remain engaged appropriately. As much as comfort the flight crews would derive in normal flight operation with the automation,the questions that all of us pilots tend to ask ourselves is what would be one's reaction if it were to degrade or fail totally. That brings out various scenarios and challenges in dealing with the failures. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:50 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Briefing for a go-around is essential as it is not carried out frequently and helps in the crew forming a clear mental image of sequence of actions/flow, refresh on applicable callouts,task sharing during the maneuver and on the deviation awareness.


This is ideally carried out prior to top of descent along with approach briefing preparation. In addition to briefing the specifics for the go-around procedure, it's an opportunity to touch upon the level of automation being used for the approach and the task sharing thereof.This will  help increase the crew awareness level with respect to the various automation modes being used.

It is also recommended by airbus as deemed practical to briefly recall the main key points of go-around and missed approach when on the final approach or after completing landing checks. Crew also shall be go-around minded all along the final approach phase and landing and avoid falling into the trap of being indecisive and not asserting to go-around.

Operators could further specify a set of conditions/situations wherein it could be recommended to crew to initiate a go-around as a policy to help crew take a step forward to be more assertive and decisive.

Do you know of your operator or others  who have gone down this path??? Kindly comment below and let us know what you think of this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:06 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Key to conducting a flight efficiently and safely is to effectively manage the workload one is faced with during different phases of the flight.
Flight crew workload is typically shared between a Captain and a First Officer.Whilst one takes up the mantle of pilot flying, the other crew carry out the pilot not flying/ pilot monitoring duties.
Workload management is regulated within the frame work of operations by promulgating standard operating procedures, task sharing principles,time management and so on.

Workload is the highest for flight crew during preflight, taxi out, take off and climb to cruise level, before top of descent, during descent, approach, landing and taxi in to bay.
Procedures detailed ensure that they clearly define various tasks carried out during these times and by whom it is executed to regulate the workload and lessen the burden.

Not withstanding the above, during emergency and multiple emergency situations, despite the crew being trained in handling situations in various scenarios, one is faced at times with situations wherein the crew need to dig deep and face occasionaly tremendous increase in their workload, also termed as task saturation. Only way to manage highly increased loads is to prioritise the tasks, work  with fellow crew,share the work  load and seek similar assistance from cabin crew, ground control and others , to manage the emergency to ensure a safe landing.
Workload management forms part of Crew resource management(CRM) training and equips one with dealing in situations which he hasn't dealt before.

Monday, March 12, 2012


G R Mohan | 2:28 AM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

TCAS in aviation was mandated to facilitate greater situational awareness to the flight crew and serve as a last safety net to avoid mid-air collisions. Over the years, design Improvements in accuracy and response capability of TCAS systems are able to generate Traffic alerts and Resolution Advisories with manoeuvre guidance in case of RAs.

 Of late there have been several reported incidents of crew resorting to pre-emptive manoeuvres solely based on TCAS displays showing traffic proximity. Manoeuvres initiated to achieve self-separation or sequencing, solely on the information displayed on TCAS systems can often result in degraded safety margins and should never be attempted by the flight crew.

 "An A340 reduced its speed on its own, miles too early on approach, to increase the distance from the preceding aircraft [based on the TCAS traffic display]. It messed up the sequence and an A320 was then only 4 NM behind it was obliged to perform an "S" for delay".

A B737 is cleared to climb to 3000 ft. A VFR on an opposite track is level at 3500 ft, but offset horizontally. The controller provides traffic information to the B737. The pilot reports two targets on the TCAS traffic display and shortly after reports a left turn to avoid this traffic. Fortunately, the controller instructs the B737 to stop climb at 2500 ft, because the inappropriate turn reduced the separation.

Examples are many and continue to occur. Regulations on the use of TCAS traffic display at ICAO PANS-OPS Doc 8168, chapter 3, section 3.2, states that “Pilots shall not manoeuvre their aircraft in response to traffic advisories (TAs) only”. This point is also emphasised in ICAO ACAS II Training Guides for pilots. Confusing and nonstandard responses from pilots are also commonly encountered. Responses such as “TCAS Contact” or “We have the Traffic on TCAS”, on receiving traffic information from ATC, provide no added value. 

Flight crew need to appreciate that the TCAS traffic display is not designed to support self-separation manoeuvres, but to aid visual acquisition of an intruder. It gives only a snapshot of the relative horizontal and vertical position of other aircraft in the vicinity. The lack of speed vector and the possibility of rapidly changing relative bearings, it is extremely difficult to anticipate the evolution of the situation based solely on the TCAS traffic display.

Air traffic controllers, on the other hand, base their actions on the comprehensive information shown on the radar display, which enables them to provide a safe and expeditious air traffic flow. The radar display also provides velocity vectors and the controller is able to predictive information of crossing traffic. The TCAS traffic display does not provide the information necessary for the provision of self-separation and sequencing.
When operating IFR in a controlled airspace, ATC is responsible to provide safe separation between traffic. TCAS II is designed to trigger an RA command, should there be a potential or imminent risk of collision between two transponder equipped aircraft. Correct response to annunciated RAs will safely resolve such situations.
If an aircraft is close to its operational ceiling or where the indicated rate climb is excessive, it may simply be unable to follow the RA commands. In these cases, the pilot should continue to manoeuvre at the maximum rate possible consistent with safety and performance. If unable to climb, it may even maintain level flight( engine out conditions).The TCAS equipment in the target aircraft will be able to detect the reduced response and adjust the manoeuvre commands to achieve the desired separation.
Airline operators need to include an unambiguous policy in their Operations Manual procedures, prohibiting self-separation manoeuvres by the crew based solely on TCAS displays.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:47 AM | | | Best Blogger Tips

A330 Fuel Leak Procedure is best dealt by crew with a background 

understanding of the checklist logic and the system understanding.
Fuel leak on A330 reminds one of Air Transat 236 emergency landing at 
Azores in 2001.

In order to simplify the understanding of this checklist procedure, the same has 

been indicated in flow pattern below in the slides. 
Hope the same is of use to all crew in better understanding of the checklist 
and feel free to write to me with comments and suggestions. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 8:11 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips
All aircraft are certified to land at a particular maximum landing weight. Any landing carried out in excess of that weight is termed as an overweight landing.

Landing at or below overweight landing ensures that normal performance margins as per certification are ensured.
Regulatory certification criteria require that landing gear design be based on 

  • A sink rate of 10ft/sec at the maximum landing weight, and 
  • A sink rate of 6ft/sec   at the maximum takeoff weight.
Commercial airliners normally make a sink rate of 2-3 ft/sec. A so called hard landing barely exceeds 6ft/sec.

When would it be required to carry out overweight landing?
  • In case of any uncontrollable fire, damage, malfunction, etc
  • In case of crew incapacitation, medical cases on board requiring immediate attention, etc.
  • Any other situation where crew perceive an immediate landing is required.
Is it safe to carry out overweight landing?
Enough debates have been done on this subject. Airline crew are trained to handle overweight landing and the performance criteria and design aspects have been catered to allow for such an event should an emergency arise. Overweight landing provision is limited only to non-normal operation and crew shall not land overweight  on a normal flight  due to direct routings and strong tailwinds.
Aircraft are designed with adequate strength margins for overweight landings.Performance margins are generally well above maximum landing weight. Brakes are designed to withstand reject takeoff at the maximum takeoff weight. So oversight landing should not be a problem.

Is there a special procedure for maintenance after landing overweight?
An overweight landing entails a maintenance procedure even if the landing was smooth!!!!!
Inspections aim at checking for structural distress.

Is there a procedure for crew to follow?
Crew have a procedure to follow which aims at sensitizing crew on the sink rate for touchdown and the technique thereof.

Overweight landing provision is allowed for by the manufacturer in case of exigencies and the procedure is outlined.Design and performance margins allow for overweight landing.Overweight landing is prohibited in a normal operation. Procedures are outlined for the crew and the maintenance teams  to follow in the event of an overweight landing.