Should any responsible or moral person or institution allow somebody to try something difficult for the first time when over 300 lives are in the balance?
7/08/2013 10:09:00 AM
So far, we have only small pieces of information about the Asiana crash. Still, this much is true: At some point, a pilot must make a first landing at SFO. I do not know whether any airlines schedule--or are able to, given the busy schedule of SFO--practice landings of commercial jets there. One would suppose that if it was the pilot's first landing there, then the co-pilot would have had greater experience. If that were not the case, then I think that negligence would be a reasonable conclusion.
More concrete information is needed to make an informed decision.
I am talking principles here.
If you were to interview airline pilots about common training procedures, you'd be very upset. They, however, are not, and they know more about flying than the layman (and they have a union).
Here's the thing. The dude IS an experienced pilot. Sure, there were differences in the aircraft he piloted and the 777, but those are (should be) ironed out in simulator time- which he had. The flying qualities of a 777 are similar to those of other similarly sized commercial aircraft. The dynamics dont't change. For all practical aspects, this should have been a breeze. Also, SFO had deactivated their glide path assistance... that lets pilots know how they should be flying for a good landing. If the pilot was expecting to have this information, it would only complicate the matters.It would be cost prohibitive for any airline to give up each type of aircraft in their fleet to each 'beginner' pilot (for each particular aircraft) to get hours on that aircraft.
Sorry if my previous comment sounded harsh. I'm an aerospace engineer, and have seen many, many videos and reports of crashes and why they happened. We have to learn from past mistakes to make sure they don't happen in the future. The last statistic I saw regarding airplane crashes: there's a 95.7% survival rate. Among the worst accidents, that number falls to 76.6%. There's an inherent danger in flying, but the industry does its darndest to keep it as safe as possible. (They want to turn a profit, and to be honest, a crash really hurts the airliners' and manufacturers' image, and profit.I don't think that the assigning of the pilot to the triple 7 was irresponsible or immoral for Asiana, and they most certainly wouldn't have put him in the pilot's seat if they thought it would end poorly.Also, these passengers were extremely lucky that the people near the emergency exits did their jobs. If you sit in the emergency aisle, or behind it, YOU HAD BETTER PAY ATTENTION. It's not as easy as you think to remove an aircraft door. If you're not in an emergency aisle, KNOW how many rows it is forward or aft, left or right to you. Count them. Seriously. People panic when things get dicey, and that costs more people their lives than the initial impact does. /Stepping off my soap box.
Jeremy, well stated. I am a commercial airline pilot and first flight/landing in the commercial aircraft I was trained in was with passngrs in the back. The Capt is a check airman who works for the company and represents them when it comes to setting the standard. Now, we pilots go through an approx 2 month ground school where we start from the basics, learning the aircraft systems and performance, taxi, take off, landing ( visually which was what this pilot did) and we work up to flying single engine approaches to minimums (weather very low and runway not insight) and all sorts of other emergency procedures. Once you finish your "final exam" in the sim, you do a period Initial Operating Experience, where you fly with a check pilot until you meet the standard the company looks for and thus allows you to fly with any other captain or first officer in the fleet for that specific aircraft. I, like the pilot in this case, have thousands of hours of flight time prior to flying this specific aircraft. Mine came from the Navy. Now, like I stated, what was done here is considered to be very basic, as visual approach with now aircraft malfunctions on a clear day. That is not to say that there were other factors that effected the flight that day at that instant. Fatigue, captain/first officer relationship, situational awereness, communication (or lack thereof) etc. ATC also tends to "slam dunk" us into certain airports, this is where they keep you high and then drop you down on final very quickly. It is very busy when that happens and you have to be on the ball to accept a slam dunk. Like Jeremy stated before, it is cost ineffective to fly the aircraft with a minimum crew and no pax when each engine burns over a thousand pounds of fuel per hour. Since this is a triple 7, prob 2,000lbs/hr
So, legitimate experts have weighed in, and the answer to the question of the day is "Yes".
I liken this to a medical student or resident doing his first surgery or making health decisions for a patient. In all these professions, pilot, doctor, police officer, soldier, firefighter, etc. there will be a transitional moment when you go for learning and practicing to actually being in control and having people put their lives in your hands. Every great surgeon needs to make a first cut, every new driver needs to have a first drive alone, and every seasoned pilot needs to have a first landing. Statistically, it's a certainty that at some time something will go wrong as someone is at one of those crossover points as the SFO crash demonstrates. But at the same time, we can't hold people in a perpetual state of learning and never give them the experience of doing their job "for real."
To vague of a question, once the context that most readers seem to already have, is removed. So my answer would be, no, I guess. Not much to discuss...