Friday, October 28, 2011

British Airways Pilot Recruitment Video 2011

British Airways Concorde

This is really a nice video which I liked. I can now look at it any time I want.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Much Time Would You Let Pass After Loss of Communications Before Selecting Transponder Code 7600?

TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1049G with tip tanks

The subject of Loss of Communications Procedures is not an unusual one for discussion in the cockpit. In most discussions in which I took part, it was almost always related to and limited to total failure of the radio transceivers. In addition, it was assumed Instrument Meteorological Conditions were being experienced at the time of the failure.

In my more than 50 years of flying, I never gave any thought to the question of how long to wait until I select code 7600. This question was brought to mind by a story told by a fellow pilot. He was approaching Teterboro to land during a busy afternoon. ATC directed him to change frequencies to contact Teterboro Approach Control. Teterboro Approach was really busy and the he was unable to establish contact.

He said he just selected code 7600 on his transponder and was shortly thereafter in contact with a controller. I really liked this thoughtful approach and the initiative he used to solve the problem.

Loss of communications was an important factor in the mid-air collision in Brazil 4 years ago between an Embraer Legacy 600 and a GOL Airlines Boeing 737-800. (Both airplanes were brand new and had all the latest collision avoidance equipment installed. Both were in radar contact in Brazil's modern, up-to-date air traffic control system.) Yet, the collision occurred with the loss of 154 lives.

The loss of communications resulted from the pilots not receiving a correct change of frequency instruction. This is not an uncommon event for pilots. The Embraer pilots made numerous calls to re-establish radio contact over the next 57 minutes with no success . During this period of time the pilots did not change their transponder code to 7600. What period of time would you consider as a maximum before selecting code 7600?

Another significant factor in the Brazillian mid-air collision was the fact the Embraer pilots had turned off their transponder about and hour and fifteen minutes into their flight. As a result, the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) installed in both aircraft was not able to do its job. (TCAS II relies on an operating transponder to be installed and operating to function.) Had the Embraer pilots considered use of Loss of Communication Procedures earlier with the selection of code 7600, they probably would have recognized the transponder was turned off and turned it back on. This would than have permitted the TCAS II systems to provide Resolution Advisories to each pilot and prevent the accident from happening.

The main point of my post is to suggest to each of you to do some thinking about this aspect of Loss of Communications procedures. When are you going to select code 7600? After 3 minutes, 10 minutes or after 20 minutes have gone by?

Your comments are appreciated.

For additional information:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Questions ...

Here are some interesting questions about your aircraft you should consider if you have not already done so...Updated October 17, 2012
What is the lowest altimeter setting capacity of each altimeter installed?

Does your aircraft flight recorder include your satellite telephone communications?

What units of measurement do each of your altimeters display? Inches of Mercury? Millibars? hectoPascals? Millimeters of Mercury?

What is a hectoPascal?

Is your aircraft equipped with a Wide Area Augmented System  Global Positioning System?

Is your aircraft certified under Part 25? or Part 23?

What is the lowest Pavement Classification Number number that your aircraft requires concerning runway strength?

Do you ever use reduced thrust power for takeoffs?

Who makes the choice of runways used for takeoffs and landings?

Who makes the choice of which instrument approach is used?

What is the impact on the your aircraft systems when using a QFE altimeter setting?

Is there an impact of using a QFE altimeter setting on the Enhanced Ground Proximity System  orTerrain and Awareness Warning System on your airplane?

What does the airplane flight manual say about Global Positioning System sensor use in non World Geodetic System-1984 countries?

Does it direct you to disable the Global Positioning Sensors?

Are you able to view the Global Positioning System calculated altitudes on your Flight Management System while in flight?

On what Flight Management System page are they available to view?

Have you ever compared the Global Positioning System calculated altitude to the barometric altimeters while in cruise flight at high altitudes or low altitudes?

How did they compare roughly?

How does your meters altimeter round off altitudes? To the nearest 10 feet? 40 feet? 100 feet? 10 meters? 40 meters? 100 meters or what?

When do you plan to add Traffic Collision Avoidance System II version 7.1 to your aircraft?

When do you plan to add Wide Area Augmentation System capability to your Global Positioning System receivers if you are not equipped with it now?

When do you plan to add Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast and Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications if you do not have it?

What is the cost of getting your aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast  and Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Contract for your aircraft?

What is the cost for Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications for your aircraft?

What does the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning system  cost for your aircraft?

How many Satellite Based Navigation Systems exist or are under construction today?

How many Satellite Based Augmentation Systems  exist or are under construction today?

This post is written without the use of acronyms.  Did you find it easier to understand?  Please comment on this aspect of this post...Thanks!