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Old 07-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Hey everyone ... I just stumbled across this extremely fascinating diatribe on YAHOO, from a former Naval Aviator (Matt), a Boeing 747-400 "Standards Captain" and an Alteon Flight Simulator Instructor (working for Asiana) during the years 2003 to 2008.

Instead of copying/pasting, I took the liberty to make a screen capture of the entire comment that "Matt" posted, just in case anyone wanted to share this anywhere else on the Internet. For convenience, the bitly link for this graphic is http://bit.ly/1auOFzM.

You can find the original comment in this article on Yahoo, but since it's sometimes hard to notice quality comments as they are truncated to the first few lines of type, you'll see the entire comment below.

I'm quite confident you will enjoy this read.

Asiana crash evacuation delayed by 90 seconds

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Old 07-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

That is amazing and not a bit surprising considering 214 amongst other numerous incidents
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Very interesting. Great read!
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

The second to last paragraph was rather concerning in the way it was described. And in light of Asiana 214 on Saturday, it almost seems to be a prophecy of sorts:
Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one of these new first officers that got his ratings in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in accordance with their SOP, he calls for the autopilot to be engaged at 250’ after takeoff. How much actual flight time is that? Hardly one minute. Then he might fly for hours on the autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below 800’ after the gear was down, flaps extended and on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it in to land. Again, how much real “flight time” or real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on the 777 or 747, it’s the same only they get more inflated logbooks.

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Very good article, it will be interesting to see if any changes are made to flight training since the OZ accident.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Read this on airliners.net earlier today, found it very interesting, seems to tally with an episode of air crash investigation I saw a while back about a Korean 747-200F that crashed after take off at STN.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

This was/is an extremely interesting article. I'm surprised there haven't been more KAL or Asiana crashes. I still believe that the "Instructor" who was sitting in the right seat didn't want to "challenge" the F/O in the left seat. At 500' they knew they were low. Why didn't they ask for a go around then? Why didn't the pilot in the jump seat say anything? Were they all distracted in the last seven seconds?
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Originally Posted by Adam92 View Post
Read this on airliners.net earlier today, found it very interesting, seems to tally with an episode of air crash investigation I saw a while back about a Korean 747-200F that crashed after take off at STN.
That was Korean Air Cargo 8509. Funny (actually, scary) that a pilot would rather risk his life and the lives of others on the aircraft then speak up and challenge the other pilot... Something really needs a change there.

Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

I read this a couple of days ago on a forum by someone who knows this guy. I considered posting it here, but was afraid Air Paradigm would not approve and have another hissy fit.

My gut feel is we are going to find some cultural issues with employees and management at Asiana which contributed to the CRM issues on this flight.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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I read this a couple of days ago on a forum by someone who knows this guy. I considered posting it here, but was afraid Air Paradigm would not approve and have another hissy fit.

My gut feel is we are going to find some cultural issues with employees and management at Asiana which contributed to the CRM issues on this flight.
I think the proverbial "writing is on the wall" ... this entire investigation is pointing directly at "pilot error" as the entire plane has checked out mechanically and functionally in all other respects.

It's unfortunate that it might take a crash like this to truly awaken the actual dangers of the status quo in the Korean aviation industry - this could have been a disaster of epic proportions if the plane had lost any more altitude than it actually did. The saddest part about all this is the cost of those two innocent lives and the needless injuries to those who are still suffering. It seems so unnecessary but it is what it is for now ... and hopefully it will change as a result of this mishap.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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I think the proverbial "writing is on the wall" ... this entire investigation is pointing directly at "pilot error" as the entire plane has checked out mechanically and functionally in all other respects.

It's unfortunate that it might take a crash like this to truly awaken the actual dangers of the status quo in the Korean aviation industry - this could have been a disaster of epic proportions if the plane had lost any more altitude than it actually did. The saddest part about all this is the cost of those two innocent lives and the needless injuries to those who are still suffering. It seems so unnecessary but it is what it is for now ... and hopefully it will change as a result of this mishap.
I've been following the NTSB briefings daily. A lot of good will come out of this tragedy. Other improvements will come in aircraft design for survivability in a crash, evacuation procedures, emergency response plans.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

How about a minimum of ONE expatriate pilot in the cockpit on ALL flights? Let the expatriate over-rule the Korean so there are no longer ANY cultural dogmas to be concerned about ... at least THIS way someone will still be qualified to "hand-fly" the plane without ILS functionality or when the autopilot is disengaged!

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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How about ONE Korean pilot AND a minimum of ONE expatriate pilot in the cockpit on ALL flights? Let the expatriate over-rule the Korean so there are no longer ANY cultural dogmas to be concerned about.
If you read Matt's comments carefully, you will see he was not very welcomed by many Koreans and this caused a great deal of friction. I don't know if this is the answer.

But this is an interesting question. All large ships coming into major harbors are required to bring aboard the local harbor pilot to help guide the ship in. Perhaps an FAA inspector/evaluator should ride on selected foreign carrier flights coming into the USA on a spot check basis to observe CRM and pilot skills training.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Not a bad suggestion Tupe ... in light of the checkered history of Korean pilots as related to serious accidents SOMETHING has to be done ... before it happens AGAIN!
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

You think this is a problem set to one airline or one country for that matter? The ignorance of two grown men truly amazes me. Yes, because all those expat pilots are so much better and intelligent then those Asian ones let's go and babysit them. Ignorance abounds.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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If you read Matt's comments carefully, you will see he was not very welcomed by many Koreans and this caused a great deal of friction. I don't know if this is the answer.

But this is an interesting question. All large ships coming into major harbors are required to bring aboard the local harbor pilot to help guide the ship in. Perhaps an FAA inspector/evaluator should ride on selected foreign carrier flights coming into the USA on a spot check basis to observe CRM and pilot skills training.
I believe that is happening already. It is accomplished by the International Field Office's (IFO).
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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You think this is a problem set to one airline or one country for that matter? The ignorance of two grown men truly amazes me. Yes, because all those expat pilots are so much better and intelligent then those Asian ones let's go and babysit them. Ignorance abounds.
So does arrogance.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

So, the guy wants to trash an entire group of pilots and expects to take him seriously even though he doesn't have the balls to put his name by it. What a joke and a schmuck.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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So, the guy wants to trash an entire group of pilots and expects to take him seriously even though he doesn't have the balls to put his name by it. What a joke and a schmuck.
Honestly, I didn't find what he said the least bit offensive towards the Korean pilot training system. He was merely deliberating that their system is significantly different than that of other programs, and even brought up very unique differences with regards to civilian aviation over in their country - that it doesn't even exist. Clearly, they lead a much different lifestyle given their proximity to North Korea, and therefore this permeates throughly their culture, et al.

I used to work for Mazda as an automotive design engineer in their R & D facilities in Irvine, CA, and even within the Japanese work culture, corporate policy is much different than here in American companies for which I have worked. Not saying there's anything "wrong" about it, but just that it is different and it takes some getting used to. Some non-Japanese NEVER get used to it, and end up quitting. Others, who are able to adapt to their work culture can also thrive and become highly-respected and successful as well. It also helps to play tennis, golf and sing karaoke with them after work!

This is much different than flying an airliner for KAL or Asiana, but all I'm saying is that I respect the differences. I may not AGREE with their approach (no pun intended), but I can empathize with why they do things differently - but in the interest of safety, it seems obvious that things MUST change, because when you have so many lives at stake on each and every flight, you can't take anything for granted. Especially given the fact that both Asiana and KAL are A380 customers.

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Old 07-12-2013, 07:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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So does arrogance.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

I work with a lot of Koreans and some are good friends. They would completely agree with the cultural issues in this letter.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:04 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Very interesting read. Thank you. The problems of flight automation made its first ugly affects known back when airbus flew their brand new A320 into the trees at LeBourget.

Reading on how there's such a big disconnect between the new age of pilots and machine raised my eyebrow. I'm from an age when pilots knew how to hand fly "their" machines in all conditions despite automation. It can be a good thing but it seems now there is more monitoring and less "flying". Determining when a freshly minted trainee is also quite an eye opener. Why would anyone let a 40+ hour pilot in training receive the chance to fly into an unknown airport with such a large machine? You would think he would have been trained domestically before thrown into such a stressful situation at an airport he had never flown into? I'm not a pilot, but knowing trainees with this minimal amount of experience scares the s--t out of me and will definitely make me think twice when booking certain airlines.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Very interesting read. Thank you. The problems of flight automation made its first ugly affects known back when airbus flew their brand new A320 into the trees at LeBourget.
It was at Habsheim, near Mulhouse, in the east of France. Not Le Bourget.
And blaming automation is a bit easy. Having tools you cannot handle properly doesn't mean those tools are bad. More than often it's rather a matter of proper training.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Was the flight at Habsheim a demo flight by Airbus? I would be surprised to find out that it was being flown by automation under this particular circumstance. If it's what I'm thinking of I believe the Captain, who was I believe a test pilot, was fired and then quietly rehired some time after the accident.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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You think this is a problem set to one airline or one country for that matter? The ignorance of two grown men truly amazes me.
Actually, in regards to your comment, I don't think this is an "isolated" scenario at all. I've flown on Cathay Pacific many times, along with Philippine Airlines, and I do recall seeing expatriate pilots flying for said airlines. I actually didn't give a second thought about it, thinking that maybe the pay was better at CX or PAL, so these non-Asian pilots were taking the opportunity for their personal benefit.

But perhaps, and maybe you can enlighten us in this regards ... what is the reason for expatriate pilots to fly for foreign carriers? For better pay? Or to provide a more harmonious "balance of authority" within the cockpit? Or is it to some sort of "political benefit" for the airline - such that these international carriers are granted FAA approval to fly into the U.S.? I'm just trying to put 2+2 together and see if it all adds up ... thanks!

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Old 07-15-2013, 06:34 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Not a bad suggestion Tupe ... in light of the checkered history of Korean pilots as related to serious accidents SOMETHING has to be done ... before it happens AGAIN!
but something already was done - that's the thing everybody has to keep in mind. just as the commentary says - after KAL's poor safety record really came to the everybody's attention several years back, they took all sorts of measures to improve things, like the extra training described above (I guess this extended to Asiana as well). And a lot of people thought things in Korea had improved, though clearly the author of this commentary had serious concerns (expressed publicly after the fact).

So we have to look at that big picture - is this an isolated case, or are poor flying skills that prevalent in Korea? and if so, then given that there already were intense efforts to improve safety, with foreign involvement, then why does this situation exist?

Or do some of the problems exist world-wide (not just Korea), more than we'd like to admit?

Either which way, the NTSB is going to do a professional and thorough job and we'll see what they find; our speculation here is just cheap noise until we get their reports.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Yes, because all those expat pilots are so much better and intelligent then those Asian ones let's go and babysit them. Ignorance abounds.
To your point - in the Air India Express crash, wasn't it the expat captain who was performing the landing?

Air India Express Flight 812 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

just having an ex-pat around is not a panacea.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Was the flight at Habsheim a demo flight by Airbus? I would be surprised to find out that it was being flown by automation under this particular circumstance. If it's what I'm thinking of I believe the Captain, who was I believe a test pilot, was fired and then quietly rehired some time after the accident.
No it wasn't an automated flight, although some systems possibly had a part of responsability. Even 25 years after we're still unsure of what really happened there. It was a demo flight, flown at an airshow with passengers aboard : needless to say this kind of flight was forbidden thereafter. And the captain was eventually sentenced to jail for 10 month. The whole affair is still very controversial.
While it draws conclusions a bit hastily, this webpage sums it all quite well :
AirDisaster.Com: Investigations: Air France 296
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #29 (permalink)
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To your point - in the Air India Express crash, wasn't it the expat captain who was performing the landing?

Air India Express Flight 812 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

just having an ex-pat around is not a panacea.
Yeah, a Serbian expat flying for an Indian carrier, because we ALL know Serbian standards are equally as high as American standards of flying. GREAT POINT BUDDY

Your post is illogical.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:24 PM   #30 (permalink)
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You think this is a problem set to one airline or one country for that matter? The ignorance of two grown men truly amazes me. Yes, because all those expat pilots are so much better and intelligent then those Asian ones let's go and babysit them. Ignorance abounds.
Air Paranoob, you have your head so far up somewhere it is sad. Please refrain from posting because you have no idea what you are talking about. Thank you.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:26 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

For the comment about CX, almost all of Cathay's pilots are expats. Mostly British and Australian with quite a few Canadians too. The cabin crew are mostly from Hong Kong and surrounding countries.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:12 AM   #32 (permalink)
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For the comment about CX, almost all of Cathay's pilots are expats. Mostly British and Australian with quite a few Canadians too. The cabin crew are mostly from Hong Kong and surrounding countries.
That's exactly what I recall ... and WHY is that? Does it somehow give the airline more (cough! cough!) credibility when it comes to international routes and that sort of thing?

Just curious!
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:55 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

Well ... now they're reporting about the fact that Korean airline pilots resist manually flying VFR ...

Now the question is, how pervasive is this issue of less-than-confident pilots who are literally "uncomfortable" flying non-ILS VFR approaches? This is almost unthinkable and unbelievable!

Korean Pilots Avoided Manual Flying, Former Trainers Say - Bloomberg
As the Asiana Airlines Inc. (020560) jet neared Los Angeles International Airport, Captain Vic Hooper told his Korean co-pilot to make a visual approach, meaning he’d manually fly instead of letting automation do the work.

The co-pilot froze, leaving them too high and off course, Hooper said about the incident, which occurred several years ago. Hooper said he had to take over the controls to get the Boeing Co. (BA) 777 back on track.

“I don’t need to know this,” Hooper said the co-pilot told him later, explaining why a maneuver that’s second nature to most U.S. airline pilots rattled him. “We just don’t do this.”

Three aviators who flew for Asiana or who helped train crews in Korea said in interviews that the Asiana pilots they flew with, while intelligent and well trained on automated systems, rarely flew manually.

Hooper is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) captain with more than 25,000 hours in the cockpit.

Ross Aimer, a retired United Airlines captain who trained crews at Korean Air Lines Co. (003490) for Boeing subsidiary Alteon Training in 2008 and 2009, and Kenneth Musser, of Roswell, Georgia, said they also noticed that many Korean pilots struggled with visual approaches. Musser, a former Delta pilot, flew 777s for Asiana for almost four years until 2009.

“You will never hear an Asiana pilot request a visual approach,” said Hooper, who flew for the Korean carrier from 2006 to 2011 after ending his U.S. airline career. “That happens all the time here” in the U.S.

Civilians in Korea rarely learn to become pilots because the country doesn’t have the same network of public airports, Aimer said. Most non-military pilots hired by Asiana are sent to flight school by the carrier, he said.

Among Korean pilots, even those who flew in the military, comfort with manual flying was unusual, he said.

“They know their procedures almost better than we did as instructors,” said Aimer, who now works at Los Angeles-based Aero Consulting Experts. “But we all noticed they all had more trouble with a simple visual approach than with a very sophisticated approach.”

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Originally Posted by MarinerOne View Post
Well ... now they're reporting about the fact that Korean airline pilots resist manually flying VFR ...

Now the question is, how pervasive is this issue of less-than-confident pilots who are literally "uncomfortable" flying non-ILS VFR approaches? This is almost unthinkable and unbelievable!

Korean Pilots Avoided Manual Flying, Former Trainers Say - Bloomberg
As the Asiana Airlines Inc. (020560) jet neared Los Angeles International Airport, Captain Vic Hooper told his Korean co-pilot to make a visual approach, meaning he’d manually fly instead of letting automation do the work.

The co-pilot froze, leaving them too high and off course, Hooper said about the incident, which occurred several years ago. Hooper said he had to take over the controls to get the Boeing Co. (BA) 777 back on track.

“I don’t need to know this,” Hooper said the co-pilot told him later, explaining why a maneuver that’s second nature to most U.S. airline pilots rattled him. “We just don’t do this.”

Three aviators who flew for Asiana or who helped train crews in Korea said in interviews that the Asiana pilots they flew with, while intelligent and well trained on automated systems, rarely flew manually.

Hooper is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) captain with more than 25,000 hours in the cockpit.

Ross Aimer, a retired United Airlines captain who trained crews at Korean Air Lines Co. (003490) for Boeing subsidiary Alteon Training in 2008 and 2009, and Kenneth Musser, of Roswell, Georgia, said they also noticed that many Korean pilots struggled with visual approaches. Musser, a former Delta pilot, flew 777s for Asiana for almost four years until 2009.

“You will never hear an Asiana pilot request a visual approach,” said Hooper, who flew for the Korean carrier from 2006 to 2011 after ending his U.S. airline career. “That happens all the time here” in the U.S.

Civilians in Korea rarely learn to become pilots because the country doesn’t have the same network of public airports, Aimer said. Most non-military pilots hired by Asiana are sent to flight school by the carrier, he said.

Among Korean pilots, even those who flew in the military, comfort with manual flying was unusual, he said.

“They know their procedures almost better than we did as instructors,” said Aimer, who now works at Los Angeles-based Aero Consulting Experts. “But we all noticed they all had more trouble with a simple visual approach than with a very sophisticated approach.”
Wow, this not only makes not want to fly on Korean airlines, but makes you wonder how we allow them to fly into our country?
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:39 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Originally Posted by MarinerOne View Post
That's exactly what I recall ... and WHY is that? Does it somehow give the airline more (cough! cough!) credibility when it comes to international routes and that sort of thing?

Just curious!
for an airline based in a place like Hong Kong or Singapore - there's not going to be a ton of qualified local pilots with the hours needed, ready to hire.

Across Asia more generally (speaking beyond the city-states), aviation has expanded faster than the airlines can find qualified local pilots with hours.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:49 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Originally Posted by Bill-ay View Post
Yeah, a Serbian expat flying for an Indian carrier, because we ALL know Serbian standards are equally as high as American standards of flying. GREAT POINT BUDDY

Your post is illogical.
And what's your point bill-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

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Originally Posted by Adam92 View Post
Read this on airliners.net earlier today, found it very interesting, seems to tally with an episode of air crash investigation I saw a while back about a Korean 747-200F that crashed after take off at STN.
I was talking with some BA 777 pilots last week who alluded to the same thing...
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:41 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asiana 214 • Commentary by "Matt"

And the KAL 747-300 at Guam(?).
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