Saturday, 17 August 2013

NTSB video about the ASIANA crash............Plus a few of my 'EXPERIENCES' when flying in Korea for ASIANA and KAL.......

An interesting video from the NTSB (I believe) regarding the ASIANA crash.

Now I see that there was a comment on PPRUNE regarding a study on Asian people and depth perception. Now I remember reading about this when I was in Korea. The nuts and bolts of it are that, yes there is a difference between Asian and Western people's depth perception.
The reason for this was put down to the fact that western parents play more games with their children when they are at an early age such as catch and other ball games...whereas in Asian cultures this was less common.
So yes.......there was a reported cultural difference....western children grew up with better depth perception faculties than their Asian counterparts.

As for my own experiences having flown for both Korean Airlines and ASIANA, as a Boeing 747-400 Captain, I will explain.

Firstly in ASIANA:

It soon became apparent during line training that us ex-pat Captains were not wanted and often just barely tolerated. See my ASIANA diary for some insights. During line training I was often shouted at....

....I remember when deviating around a thunderstorm west of Ulaan Bator my training captain asked why I was deviating north of the storm...I replied that I wanted to stay upwind of it.....No, No, No, you are flying further away from our route, you should fly south, it will save time. I explained about the anvil and turbulence to which he replied..."My way is best"...a phrase I was to often hear.
When we arrived at our destination and we were taxiing in Brussels this training captain shouted at me you're taxiing too fast, slow down....I wasn' I slowed right down from about 13 knots to 5 knots.....then he shouted what are you doing you're too slow, come on, we'll be late!

Also, I was told by another training captain that to make a smoother landing, you should trim up during the flare.....a real no-no, I wonder how many tail strikes they have had?

Also flying into Seoul's Kimpo airport one day ATC asked us to slow down, so I called for the next stage of flap to facilitate esteemed Korean instructor said 'No' and set the speed below the minimum manoeuvring speed for our configuration by about 15 knots. I said that this was not correct and went to increase speed....he shouted at me not to do this and said that when he did stall training in the simulator he could fly a lot slower and still not stall............

Secondly in Korean Airlines:

I remember flying into Sydney on a gorgeous morning being radar vectored for an ILS onto runway 34L. My female (though this has little bearing, her sex) co-pilot was 'pilot flying' and we were offered a visual approach as we entered downwind. We were already configured to flaps 10 and slowed right they always did. (I have been 50nms from destination at minimum clean speed...even when this conflicted with the VNAV requirements, I believed that this was due to a lack of self confidence and slightly afraid of the aircraft).
I looked at my co-pilot who just smiled and so I took this as a Yes, so accepted the visual approach. When she did nothing after passing the runway threshold, I suggested we descend, configure and slow down. She had no comprehension on how to fly a visual traffic pattern and was getting increasingly agitated the further she got behind the aircraft. In the end I had to take over control and complete the landing.....even though it was a beautiful CAVOK, calm wind day and we had the ILS programmed into the FMS and an extended centre line. She just lost complete situational awareness which at the time mystified me.......but it was to get worse!
When in the hotel, downtown in 'lovely Kings Cross' my hotel room phone rang and it was my co-pilot. She then proceeded to rant and rave at me for the best part of an hour, I didn't stop her as I wanted to see how far she would go. She stated that she hated flying with ex-pat Captains as they insisted on speaking English and she couldn't understand, she stated we should all learn Korean and only speak Korean on the flight deck. She also complained that we flew an illegal the visual approach had not been briefed........she said that no Korean Captain would ever accept a visual I understood then the limitations of the people I would be flying with.

On a beautiful night flying a CDA (Continuous Descent Approach) into Japan's Kansai airport I decided to manually fly the approach and so disconnected the autopilot and far fine. My co-pilot was a very uptight ex Korean Air Force pilot, who made it obvious that he didn't like me.
When I tried to flare prior to touchdown....I couldn't, the control column was locked.....I looked to see if the autopilot was somehow wasn't, I looked over at my co-pilot and he had his hands on the control column...I shouted at him to 'LET GO'.....but he didn't......I screamed and swore at him so loudly that I am sure that my passengers would have heard at the front of the upper deck......He still didn't let go. We hit the runway with no flare and he then immediately put full left aileron in.
I managed to fight his actions as he had relaxed his inputs and get the aircraft under control.
I taxied clear of the runway and told ATC that I needed to stop for a minute......I needed to calm down, I was shaking through both fright and anger and needed to compose myself.
After engine shutdown I asked what the Hell he was doing he said nothing looked at me with contempt and left the cockpit.
On the return sector I started the take-off/departure briefing and he said 'No Captain', it is my turn to fly......I was dumbstruck by his arrogance. I replied, 'If I can't trust you when I am flying. I certainly can't trust you when you are flying. On take-off you will have your feet on the floor away from the rudder pedals and your arms crossed, on arrival at Incheon we will make an auto-land'. This really p****d him off, he was not used to being spoken to like this, especially by some foreigner who was at least 15 years younger than him.
On my return to Seoul I filed a report on all that transpired, almost no feedback. I never saw this co-pilot again.........................................he had been promoted to Boeing 737NG Captain.

There are so many other stories I could tell but I shall leave those for another time.......that is if you are interested!