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Discussion in 'Other Airlines | India' started by rwoman, Feb 15, 2012.
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BBC: Jet Airways suspends pilot for 'trainee landing'
One would hope that commercial passenger airplane pilots would exhibit better judgment.
IME there are many lapses in judgement but they usually cause no harm. A quick glance at my records shows that I trained more than 100 people to become Airline Transport Pilots, mostly airline employees seeking upgrades. My confidence flying is based on how well the system supports stupidity without killing people rather than confidence in piloting skills or judgement. Airliners are very easy to fly and a decent computer-game-maven can fly one without training, but that they should, but they often can do so. Stupid of them probably, but probably not really dangerous either.
Despite my comments the Captain and copilot of that crew ought to be stripped of their ratings.Just because somebody can do it is no reason at all to be so complacent as to let it happen.
Are those the same pilots that paper over their cockpit windows with newspapers during flight because the sun was shining in?
I've never flown to Mumbai, but I've seen a couple shows about that airport and the new terminal. It seems like a pretty typical urban airport where if something went wrong, it'd go HORRIBLY wrong and fast. It's a real shame the pilots risked so much just to let a trainee make a landing. It's hardly the same thing as my granddad letting me take the yoke in his Cessna with just the two and letting me fly level on a clear, sunny day with no wind. Better judgment should absolutely be required of a commercial pilot.
When I say bad judgment, I mean not so much that there's risk of a crash but judgment about PR stuff and how bad this sounds as a news item to the general public. I suspect the carrier has rules about who can be in the cockpit when, although the captain as boss might have the authority to let anyone he wants be in the cockpit at any time.
Actually I think the judgement of anyone who would let this happen precludes them from being a safe pilot. The risks are low, but the abnormal event may be catastrophic if it happens. Thus, all the training pilots get about things that rarely happen, and in many cases, have never happened, but could. My earlier post was too blase for the situation, sorry about that.
All it takes to understand how quickly a few "minor" issues can multiply is a good read through the AF447 cockpit recorder transcripts.... And that was at cruising altitude, not on approach to an airport smack in the middle of one of the the most populated cities in the world.
What would the FAA do in a case like this?
Or take the story of a Russian pilot letting his 16 year old son sit at the controls of a passenger jet.
And another case of poor judgement (fortunately with no crash) - pilot fired for letting a 15-year-old sit in pilot seat during flight.
Zero question. Flight crew members, pilot and copilot lose licenses as first step, but other actions like prosecution might happen too. It all depends what "trainee" means. if the individual is a licensed rated pilot, but not with type rating for the aircraft in question, nor with appropriate checkrides and documentation, probably loss of license might end it, of course they lose their jobs because they no longer will be pilots. If the "trainee" was not a pilot there might be charges of one sort or another. In either case the Captain would be probably barred for life from holding a pilots license, while the co-pilot might have slightly lower penalties.
The Russian case that killed people is one good reason for these rules, is it not?.
Would the trainee be punished in such a case?
Yes. They'd ordinarily be denied the privilege of getting a license because they'd violated the powers of their licences. Student pilots are still pilots, just with few powers. I have no idea what would happen in India.
That sounds better, although with more (time and money) already invested in training, the licensed pilots have more to lose than the trainee. It's good IMO that both sides lose due to this lapse in judgment.
I agree. There are some lapses that are potentially catastrophic. These are certainly among them.
It seems like such an idiotic thing to have done when the plane has passengers. Trainees have to learn and get experience, but isn't a certified instructor supposed to be with them when they practice?
Must be!! On solo flights even, the CFI is the Pilot in Command, not the student, legally speaking. No person may operate a flight as a PIC with passengers on board while a student pilot. Under no circumstances can a person not fully qualified and properly certified/authorised act as a required crewmember of a revenue flight.
This one takes idiocy to a new level even if it may not have been particularly dangerous in the situation.
From the article:
"Reports say that the pilot was suspended for two-and-a-half months following the incident, and had resumed flying."
Seems that the punishment in India is less severe than it would have been in the US. Question: does the US (FAA?) have the option of denying this pilot the ability to fly Jet Airways flights in their airspace? (I assume yes, but don't know). And does this happen in cases like this?
Does this mean that it someone is learning on a private plane, there cannot be passengers, such as relatives, when they go up with an instructor? I guess technically it would imply that, even in a private plane with just family, the pilot cannot let a kid take the controls even briefly, right? This must be violated a lot. It's so different from learners' permits for driving, but of course the stakes are higher.
The Times of India has more details:
In a major breach of flight safety rules that put the lives of passengers at risk, a commander of a Jet Airways flight ordered the co-pilot to vacate his seat and asked a trainee pilot with no experience of flying a jet plane to take over the controls and land the aircraft. The incident occurred on October 14 last year.The said trainee pilot, who was not yet trained to land a Boeing 737, landed the plane safely in Mumbai....Sometime during the flight, the commander-for reasons known only to him-ordered the co-pilot to vacate his seat and asked the trainee pilot who was flying as a supernumerary to occupy the co-pilot's right-hand seat," said a source.That, said experts, by itself was a major flight-safety violation as the supernumerary pilot was not qualified to fly the Boeing 737. Supernumerary pilots are generally fresh commercial pilot licence holders with more than 200 hours of flying experience gained largely on light-piston engine aircraft. "Supernumerary pilots are only supposed to sit in the jump seat, which is located behind the pilot's seat. Their job consists of observing the commander and co-pilot and how they perform on a multi-crew, high-performance aircraft and get acclimatized to the cockpit environment," said a source.This means the supernumerary pilot was only trained to aircraft like Cessna 152. One of the differences is the approach speed for landing. While a Boeing 737 will have a speed of about 145 knots, a Cessna 152's approach speed for landing is 60 knots. "When the B737 began its descent, the co-pilot asked if he could return to his seat and the commander replied in the negative," the source said. "It was a decision fraught with risk."