Skip to comments.Korean Pilots Rely on Autopilot: Aviators
Posted on 07/16/2013 4:12:41 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
A potentially telling revelation in the wake of the Asiana Airlines crash landing at the San Francisco airport: Asiana pilots have little training on manual flying and visual approaches, according to three pilots Bloomberg spoke to who have either flown for Asiana or helped train Korean crews. One of the three recalls preparing to land an Asiana jet at LAX and asking his Korean co-pilot to make a visual approach. The co-pilot couldn't do it, forcing the American captain to take over in order to avoid an accident. The co-pilot's explanation to him afterward: "I don't need to know this. We just don't do this." Explains the US captain, "You will never hear an Asiana pilot request a visual approach."
Since the Asiana pilots in the San Francisco incident were forced to use a visual approach due to the airport's closed glide slope, their manual flying skills are a focus for crash investigators. While hand-flying skills are integral in US pilot training, many experts say not just Korean pilots but other foreign pilots are deficient in that area, particularly since heavily automated planes are now the norm and many international flight crews spend most of their time on autopilot.
Sum Ting is Wong with this story.
Do we know for sure that Sum Ting Wong was doing this?
The USA is VERRRRY unusual by world standards —it’s common to fly tiny, all-manual crop-dusters, ultralights, hang-gliders, freaking RC a/c...the works.
A highly automated jet is like the 10th or 50th airplane you fly, usually. This means most US pilots are pretty well acquainted with flying fundamentals and have had a few (or more) emergencies
In the USA, it’s very weird to hear, “a jet was the 2nd plane I ever flew” but that’s not super weird in the rest of the world.
Remember that French heavy that went down in the middle of the Atlantic 6 years ago? As the plane started to stall, the guy simply kept pulling the yoke back, “I prefer to remain in the sky...”
Even an RC guy or a paraglider would know that’s a mistake. But NOT if most of your training was on a computer or a HUGE airplane with tons and tons of thrust.
The observation about their educational system is one I made separately as well in the past. It’s not just the Koreans, but the Japanese and Chinese as well, based on how students from there behave in university here in the U.S. They study to pass tests, as opposed to studying to learn the subject at hand. So while they might get very high scores, they have very little practical application of their knowledge, and this is the result of their school training as opposed to any real mental incompetence on their part. It’s simply a cultural thing that emphasizes high scores and appearance. Hence the 3 piece suits and the memorization of the manual.
if this is true asiana shouldn’t be allowed to land at us airports.
Also we have more Air Force pilots.
Capt. Sullenberger was a glider pilot, which helped him land his plan in the Hudson:
After the KAL crash on Guam a few years ago, both Korean carriers came close to losing their landing rights in the US and Europe. That crash revealed another problem: subordinate flight crew members would virtually never challenge or over-rule the Captain. KAL and Asiana were forced to hire American, European, Aussie and Kiwi instructor pilots to re-educate Korean crews. Clearly, problems still remain. From what I’be heard, cockpit calls to pull up came too late to prevent the crash landing.
Pilots aren’t paid to fly planes, they are paid to be there when something goes wrong and manage to safely land the plane when things do go wrong.
they have also run into this with dutch crews, co pilots getting into trouble with captains making bad decisions. i think that big africa island crash decades ago by the two 747s was where i remember this.
I heard a similar comment like that to a dimwit news anchor years ago when he was talking about how expensive pilots are. The interviewee calmly replied that you don't pay pilots a lot of money to land a plane on a sunny day. You pay them for when two out of three engines are on fire and you have to land in a hurricane, so that you can have someone there capable of saving as many lives as possible.
Yeah, the Dutch Captain overruled his first officer and decided it was a good idea to wait at the end of the active runway for takeoff, in the fog if I’m not mistaken. His decision resulted in the death of more than 500 people. As I recall, he was the KLM check pilot for 747s.
I seriously doubt it's a matter of creativity. Flying airplanes is rote stuff that can be learned. No creativity involved. The Chinese have a civil aviation sector with an order of magnitude more traffic than the Korean airlines combined, and you don't generally hear about Chinese crashes. I can't remember the last time I heard about a Japanese airline crash that did not involve bad weather or terrorism. The problem with the Koreans isn't rote learning - it's corner-cutting. They're skimping on the cost of adequate pilot training and testing. That KAL 007 thing back in 83 was just retarded. The Soviets were morons for shooting it down, but the pilots were incompetent for entering Soviet airspace.
Actually, the KLM captain tried to takeoff in the fog without proper clearance and hit the Pan Am 747 which was still on the runway.
I will not fly a foreign airline other than a Canadian, UK, AF, or Israeli
I got the same thing forwarded to me as well. I’m glad to see that it’s getting around.
I remember watching that video of that crabbed A320 flown by some Euro pilot, and the news calling it heroic to go around.
And I was like, this guy was flying all automated and did not know how to fly the damn thing.
Apparently my suspicion might have been correct.
I think in Alaska it is almost mandatory to be a pilot, like one in 9 or 10 people are bush pilots.
That was an absolute pleasure to read after all of these idiotic tweets by the pro Trayvon crowd.
Honest, intelligent and informative.
The author, Matt should become a professional writer.
It's been a long time, but I seem to recall from the days when I was working on my instrument ticket (late 1970's or early 1980's) that Cat III approaches require both a working glide slope system on the ground (the system at SFO had been broken for months) and a radar altimeter aboard. My instructor was showing me how to do an emergency CAT III approach at Dulles airport. Back then, the folks at approach control and those in the tower were lonely and were happy to have the airport used for practice IFR approaches. Conditions were VFR and I was "under the hood."
The aircraft I was flying had a full ILS and the glide slope system at Dulles was working. As the glide slope needle passed the center and very quickly went up, I flared perhaps five feet from the runway and it was easy to make a perfect landing.
My aircraft did not have a radar altimeter so I asked my instructor whether it was legal. Quite reasonably he said, "beat's dying."
These are pilots, they are appliance operators.
Tenerife, Canary Islands. Two Boeing 747’s. I watched a documentary that mirrors what you say. The co-pilot of the Dutch (?) plane was cowed by the Captain, who was the “big man” of the company. The crews also had trouble understanding the tower controller, who’s native tongue was Spanish. A third problem was that both crews were in a hurry to take off and their calls to and from the tower overlapped at times, cancelling out the ability of both crews to follow the clearances given.
When I was working on my instrument ticket, late in my training my instructor had me do a zero-zero ILS, just letting me peek at the very last second to prevent bending the airplane. It was a rewarding and sobering exercise.
Royal Canadian Air Cadets train 15 and 16 year-olds to fly gliders and then Cessnas. Number one son went through the program, as did Chris Hatfield and many RCAF fighter jocks. They seemed to have a lot of American CAP commanders come up to observe. They were always welcomed.
A hot-shot F-5 and F-4 jockey can’t do a visual? I ain’t buying it.
I thought that for the plane to survive that landing, it would have to be built like a battleship. I was right. That clip was apparently from a Heineken commercial. It's fake through and through. Here's the original.
Good post! Very interesting read!
Whether true or not, I posted it for humorous reasons. Really, didn’t you go “Bad plane! Bad Bad Bad plane!” inside your head as the nosewheel bounced?
I found another, clearer version of that same video, and the logo on the side appeared to be “Hawaii”, though I have never heard of that airline.
My first thought was "Holy s**t! They're f****d". Maybe my high school physics got a choke hold over my sense of humor, but I kind of figured that people were getting scrambled like a breakfast omelette inside the plane. Then I got to thinking that there's no way a plane's fuselage can take that kind of stress, so I went looking for an explanation. That was when I found the full clip. Now that I know it was a commercial, it is kinda amusing.
Wow. That’s really damning.