Report: Qatar Airways 787 Pilot Loses Situational Awareness, Puts Plane Into Dive

Report: Qatar Airways 787 Pilot Loses Situational Awareness, Puts Plane Into Dive

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My goodness, the number of near disasters we’ve seen in the airline industry lately is troubling. We’ve seen some recent ground incidents in the United States (between an American 777 and Delta 737 at JFK, and between a Southwest 737 and FedEx 767 at AUS), and here’s an incident that happened shortly after takeoff in Qatar.

Qatar Airways 787 enters steep descent after takeoff

The Aviation Herald has the story of what happened to Qatar Airways flight QR161 from Doha (DOH) to Copenhagen (CPH) on January 10, 2023 (we’re only finding out about this now, because the pilots never reported the incident). The flight was operated by a Boeing 787-8 with the registration code A7-BCO.

The Dreamliner departed runway 16L around 2AM local time, and started its standard climb, making a left turn to the east. The plane climbed to 1,850 feet, but then started losing altitude. We’re not just talking about a few feet, but rather the plane started a steep descent, and lost 1,000 feet of altitude within 24 seconds, bringing it down to only 850 feet.

The pilots ended up recovering the aircraft, and continued the flight to Copenhagen. The plane landed there without incident 6hr2min after departing Doha. If you want to see all this data for yourself, just take a look at the Flightradar24 tracking for this flight.

Flightradar24 data for this flight
Flightradar24 data for this flight

So, why would the plane lose 1,000 feet of altitude during such a critical phase of flight, when the weather conditions were perfectly good? The Aviation Herald reports that the first officer was the pilot flying, and while climbing through 1,600 feet, the pilots were cleared to fly toward the next waypoint (essentially an imaginary point in the sky used for navigation).

The first officer was flying the aircraft manually and without flight director indications, and lost situational awareness, sending the aircraft into a 3,000 foot per minute descent. The descent was so steep that the sink rate exceeded the flap speed limits, as the plane was flying over 300 knots true airspeed at that point.

The captain then took control of the aircraft, and managed to recover it at an altitude of 850 feet. Keep in mind at a descent rate of 3,000 feet per minute (and the rate usually increases quickly if you’re sinking), that 787 was less than 20 seconds from having a very different ending.

The flight continued to Copenhagen

This incident is really concerning

For every catastrophe there are many near catastrophes, and this was definitely one of those.

A Boeing 787 pilot shouldn’t be losing situational awareness while manually flying a jet out of a hub airport in nice weather conditions. Period. Yet somehow the plane got into a situation where it was within seconds from ending up in the Gulf.

The most disturbing part of this incident is that it wasn’t reported at the time, and it’s only coming out now, nearly a month later. I mean, I guess I’m not surprised — I can’t imagine the pilot would have had a job after an investigation was performed, especially in the Gulf region, where you don’t have unions.

I feel really bad for pilots in the Gulf, as they work some brutal shifts. No matter how much you program your body, performing such high pressure and critical tasks at 2AM isn’t easy.

But the way that aviation becomes safer is by reporting incidents, to be sure they can be avoided in the future. Therefore not reporting something like this is reckless, even if it comes at the expense of your job.

Bottom line

A few weeks back, a Qatar Airways Boeing 787 lost 1,000 feet of altitude shortly after takeoff from Doha. The first officer was allegedly manually flying the plane, and lost situational awareness, causing him to put the plane into a steep dive. Given the sink rate, the plane was within seconds of plunging into the Gulf. Fortunately the captain took control of the jet and managed to recover it.

What do you make of this Qatar Airways 787 incident?

Conversations (79)
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  1. LenK Guest

    Making an assumption that the First Officer flying was not inebriated, he might not have been 'current' on his instrument flying status as he, likely, (like so many other airline pilots, esp. those who fly long segments), meaning his instrument 'scan' was rusty and he could not stay ahead of the airplane. There are at least six cockpit instruments pilots need to scan to safwely fly the plane in instrument conditionss or black nights with...

    Making an assumption that the First Officer flying was not inebriated, he might not have been 'current' on his instrument flying status as he, likely, (like so many other airline pilots, esp. those who fly long segments), meaning his instrument 'scan' was rusty and he could not stay ahead of the airplane. There are at least six cockpit instruments pilots need to scan to safwely fly the plane in instrument conditionss or black nights with not natural sense of the horizon. I used the term "so many other airlne pilots" because many don't hand-fly the aircraft very often and let the auto-pilot do the work right after wheels-up on takeoff, until final approach upon landing. Without regular practice, instrument scan skills get rusty and disaster can happen.

  2. Ranjan Datta Guest

    Quatar Airlines is no mean a co. Even then when such incidents occurs, it's time for aircraft manufacturing cos to have system in place overriding pilots errors or absentmindedness. Brain mapping headgears ?

  3. Piyush Guest

    I was in this flight it was nightmare , I am still in shock by the incident and there are many people who got scared.

  4. Donal Guest

    This incident seems very similar to for one that took place United Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Maui, Hawaii, to San Francisco, California in December - are they sure about the explanation for the Qatar flight i.e. that the co-pilot "lost situational awareness" and it wasn't something else ?

  5. Hoodman Hoff Guest

    Nothing shouldn't be more urgent than a comprehensive investigations on this now!

  6. Steven E Guest

    It wasnt that long ago that QR’s initial pilots were all imported Western pilots - does anyone know what this ratio is now as all the Australian ones have returned to home carriers

  7. Steven E Guest

    So no DAMP testing done obviously so it’s anyone’s guess as to the reason for this mishap - maybe we will find out

  8. Nazrul Karim, Group Captain (retd) Guest

    What is this term 'situational awareness';?
    Simple and straight, the pilot displayed poor judgement in a very critical stage of flight at a very low altitude immediately after take off and he got disorientated.
    This is the effect of or lack of manual flying.
    Remember, Air France flight fom Rio to Paris few years bsck which crashed, while the 2 pilots manually flying the aircraft and over controlling it.
    Being an...

    What is this term 'situational awareness';?
    Simple and straight, the pilot displayed poor judgement in a very critical stage of flight at a very low altitude immediately after take off and he got disorientated.
    This is the effect of or lack of manual flying.
    Remember, Air France flight fom Rio to Paris few years bsck which crashed, while the 2 pilots manually flying the aircraft and over controlling it.
    Being an aviator, the airline pilots these days have become slave to automation and severely lack manual flying.
    I wonder what ICAO, FAA and EASA are doing?
    Will they please wake up?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Yes please wake up and remove humans out of the equation.

  9. patrick Guest

    if this is the same thing happening as 737 max, but now happens to a 787. we have a problem. because the 737's were forced down thru the mcast system. this pilot was not in auto pilot. he was manually flying the plane. so mcas should not have been the problem. but if this plane was being controlled as we're both 737 max. we have a serious problem on our hands

  10. W Mccarthy Guest

    Hire inexperienced poorly trained pilots. Work them too hard. Very similar to other Middle East company incidents. At least the cabin service is good. But you won’t find me on one of them. Ex CX senior check Captain.

    1. Bill Guest

      So you are saying, "At least the cabin service is good", what, for our last meal maybe? They need to start serving 80 proof alcohol before take-off! Dropping 1000 feet in a matter of seconds, wow, stomach would feel that!

  11. Rex Guest

    I figure the F O was just going to auto pilot and the altitude was not set pre departure, Captain had the waypoints already loaded huh... but right there for a 30 second ride.... hey Captthad a sneezing fit... IDK , could VFR see a horizon ... did they get sleep...

  12. Sam Guest

    I guess now that the info is out, has QR put out any response to that effect? If not, shouldn't we expect one?

  13. Gil Guest

    As an automation engineer, I can tell automation can only solve problems that were foreseen by the design team. If the issue that arises fits that scope, the response is usually very reliable, even better than an human response (not hindered by stuff like fatigue, distraction, stress,...). In case of unforeseen issues, the automation will probably act stupid. The human response on issues out of the scope of training could be better, but it is...

    As an automation engineer, I can tell automation can only solve problems that were foreseen by the design team. If the issue that arises fits that scope, the response is usually very reliable, even better than an human response (not hindered by stuff like fatigue, distraction, stress,...). In case of unforeseen issues, the automation will probably act stupid. The human response on issues out of the scope of training could be better, but it is depending a lot on the human understanding, reactivity, etc.
    It is a pity that the risk of losing one's job prevents someone declaring such problems, whatever the real underlying cause. Completely abnormal that the "speak up" culture is not required in a company to be able to commercially fly.
    As the trajectory of the plane is recorded, and went outside a "normal" enveloppe, why this wasn't automatically detected from the ground and why nobody asked the pilot what was the issue they faced? I know it is not comfortable for a worker to be monitored constantly, but it is the case for a lot of other less critical jobs with nobody complaining...
    One last question: could this "situation awareness" issue happen to any pilot or this is entirely preventable using standard precautions (medical scanning, good rest, synchronized biological clock, ...)?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      A question for the automation engineer.

      Would automation possibly lose situational awareness like humans?
      And if they do, would humans detect it better than automation?

      Would automation prevent 2 jets from landing on top of another on the same runway?
      If no, would it still be able to avoid a crash?
      Would a busy airport like JFK make it harder to automate than DLH (Duluth, MN)?

      Would automation prevent a jet from...

      A question for the automation engineer.

      Would automation possibly lose situational awareness like humans?
      And if they do, would humans detect it better than automation?

      Would automation prevent 2 jets from landing on top of another on the same runway?
      If no, would it still be able to avoid a crash?
      Would a busy airport like JFK make it harder to automate than DLH (Duluth, MN)?

      Would automation prevent a jet from crossing an active runway?
      If no, would the jet occupying the active runway detect and avoid the incursion?
      Would a busy airport like JFK make it harder to automate than DLH (Duluth, MN)?

      Two planes on a collision course should be a foreseeable problem right.
      Appreciate the answers.

    2. Antony VS Guest

      In automatic control, with modern days sensors and high speed communication, most of the response made after visual indication by human can be done automatically. The only setback in automation is initial setup cost is very expensive and maintenance of the system. Else this would be in place many years ago.
      Eg. To avoid two aircraft on a runway. Optic sensors along runway and taxiway and when an aircraft is on that runway, sensors...

      In automatic control, with modern days sensors and high speed communication, most of the response made after visual indication by human can be done automatically. The only setback in automation is initial setup cost is very expensive and maintenance of the system. Else this would be in place many years ago.
      Eg. To avoid two aircraft on a runway. Optic sensors along runway and taxiway and when an aircraft is on that runway, sensors detects it. And if there is another aircraft taking the taxiway to that runway, the automation system can be made to 1)Warn the 2nd aircraft pilot at his cockpit with lights or audio, 2) alert the Control Tower or 3) Automatically stop the aircraft from moving further.
      To execute all the above requires high investment. And designers would have chosen human instead of automation as it will be cheaper.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Antony VS

      Like I've posted on another comment.

      Your death is cheaper than keeping everyone alive.

    4. Gil Guest

      Hello,
      In automated system, situational awarness doesn't exist as such, but could be replaced by perturbation by an external or internal source, or by hardware or software flaws. These are usually by redundancy (if possible using different technologies to avoid common mode issues), careful design and extensive testing. Residual risk can be very low. Designing collision avoidance system could be possible, but is expensive. Probably easier in the air than on the roads, because...

      Hello,
      In automated system, situational awarness doesn't exist as such, but could be replaced by perturbation by an external or internal source, or by hardware or software flaws. These are usually by redundancy (if possible using different technologies to avoid common mode issues), careful design and extensive testing. Residual risk can be very low. Designing collision avoidance system could be possible, but is expensive. Probably easier in the air than on the roads, because less strange behaviour are to be expected... That is only my toughts as I have no experience in such developments.

  14. Michaels Guest

    I am looking at flying with Qatar in August from bkk to dohio an then USA to mempish is ok reg Michael maloney

  15. kamat Guest

    I hope is not another German wings situation, we grateful to God tbe captain was there to take command.

  16. Nick Guest

    I did fly Qatar in 2019. It was almost touching the ground but suddenly pulled up the sky again. It was real scary.

  17. Rich richy Guest

    Pilots should be professionally and socially monitored! Mental/psychological evaluation should be routinely mandated! All in all, financial remuneration should be comesurate with such a job of extremely high professional risk...just like that of medical doctors ( mistakes of zero tolerance!!)

  18. Nahayan bin Zayed Guest

    If you live in the region, you'll know why this happened, the nationality of the first officer and that the captain had a different nationality.

  19. PilotDan Guest

    Asky's comments are perhaps only due to his company's policy. Pilots are encouraged to handfly in most instances to keep their skills sharp. The planes can land themselves in most situations but like any piece of automation things can glitch...and thats where we come in without skills sharpened (like the captain in this story.) Or sometimes there are places or circumstances (bad weather) where planes CAN'T land themselves.

    It is odd that the First Officer...

    Asky's comments are perhaps only due to his company's policy. Pilots are encouraged to handfly in most instances to keep their skills sharp. The planes can land themselves in most situations but like any piece of automation things can glitch...and thats where we come in without skills sharpened (like the captain in this story.) Or sometimes there are places or circumstances (bad weather) where planes CAN'T land themselves.

    It is odd that the First Officer did not use the flight director. I also wonder if the first officer is new.

  20. Crosscourt Guest

    Give me a break.

  21. Endre Guest

    Don’t you even feel that you are descending that fast? I mean, I am obviously not a pilot, but I fly a lot and still feel in my body anytime a plane starts descending. And at what sink rate does the “sink rate, sink rate” alarm go off?

  22. Rizwan Guest

    No aircraft especially modern airliner would lose 1000 feet without pilots attention. After take off, in clear weather VFR losing situational awareness by two pilots is also out of question. It could be a downdraft due to temperature difference or some other factor. Since aircraft kept flying without calling emergency means, there was no technical fault. The flight recorder should be able to reveal facts.
    Jumping to conclusions in aviation and blaming the flight...

    No aircraft especially modern airliner would lose 1000 feet without pilots attention. After take off, in clear weather VFR losing situational awareness by two pilots is also out of question. It could be a downdraft due to temperature difference or some other factor. Since aircraft kept flying without calling emergency means, there was no technical fault. The flight recorder should be able to reveal facts.
    Jumping to conclusions in aviation and blaming the flight deck is common and also unfair.

  23. Clem Diamond

    I wonder if passenger noticed something was wrong. Chances are most people were awake since it was right after take off.

  24. dp Guest

    Sounds like a somatogravic illusion. Here is an article that describes it:

    https://www.skybrary.aero/articles/somatogravic-and-somatogyral-illusions

  25. SadStateofOurCountry Guest

    Not surprising to see a maga deplorable on duty jumping to defend the airline against a "clear and unfair attack" regarding the lack of a pilot union.

    It does matter, because if pilots had any protection/recourse they would likely be more willing to report, which would be beneficial for all.

    Everyone makes mistakes but the circumstances in which they will be dealt with sometimes lead people to make bad follow up decisions.

    1. Peter Benz Guest

      Maga? Wtf?
      The comment(s) seemed rational to me.
      Not sure which comment you are ridiculing, but your slur says more about you than either of the above.

    2. SosongBlue Guest

      FYI Ur coming off as an unhinged crazy again

  26. GlueBall Guest

    It's the result of deficient manual flying skills, primarily due to lack of hands-on simulator training with emphasis on essential instrument scan. I've flown with some new copilots who have an aversion of hand flying the jet. When the automatics go on vacation it's an emergency for them and their first instinct is to re-engage the autopilot by any means and try to correct the flight path instead of first correcting the flight path manually....

    It's the result of deficient manual flying skills, primarily due to lack of hands-on simulator training with emphasis on essential instrument scan. I've flown with some new copilots who have an aversion of hand flying the jet. When the automatics go on vacation it's an emergency for them and their first instinct is to re-engage the autopilot by any means and try to correct the flight path instead of first correcting the flight path manually. Learned automation dependency is the culprit.

    1. jcil Guest

      This is the answer, a lack of ability to manually fly the plane. The 777 landing accident at SFO a few years ago was also due to the fact the flight crew couldn’t fly a good enough approach manually and landed just short of the runway.

      I realize that the autopilot flys the plane for 99+% of any flight, but the idea that the flight crew may not be able to hand fly the plane in an emergency is not very comforting

    2. Crosscourt Guest

      This is an irrelevant comment ... ,"I feel really bad for pilots in the Gulf, as they work some brutal shifts." Seriously? Would you feel bad for them if their fault sent the plane into the Gulf, union or not? It's not as if these crews are going from a 6 hour flight to a 7 hr flight the same day.

    3. Andrew Fairclough Guest

      Hand flying is not always the answer. It takes away a lot of capacity and increases flight deck work load. Understanding automation is also important and reading the PFD information
      Many aircraft crashed in the days before automation with poor hand flying and misinterpreting instrumentation
      We dont have enough information on these events to determine the reasons this happened
      However, I will add that fatigue is now a massive industry issue. That...

      Hand flying is not always the answer. It takes away a lot of capacity and increases flight deck work load. Understanding automation is also important and reading the PFD information
      Many aircraft crashed in the days before automation with poor hand flying and misinterpreting instrumentation
      We dont have enough information on these events to determine the reasons this happened
      However, I will add that fatigue is now a massive industry issue. That companies are choosing to ignore or pay lip service to the thousands of reports that are generated annually

  27. Razzak Bakrichodh Guest

    This is why I always say that American Airlines is Number One. You would never experience this on AA because they are honest and greatly value us as customers.

    1. Evan Guest

      I can't tell if this is sarcastic or not. I'm an AA loyalist, but let's get real: in the past 20 years, American has had some serious incidents attributable to pilot error that we haven't seen on other US airlines.

      See, for example:

      An American Airlines Pilot Almost Crashed A Plane, And The Transcript Is Shocking: https://onemileatatime.com/news/american-airlines-pilot-almost-crashed-plane/

      American 777 & Delta 737 Nearly Collide On JFK Runway:
      https://onemileatatime.com/news/american-777-delta-737-nearly-collide-jfk-runway/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_587

      I can't tell if this is sarcastic or not. I'm an AA loyalist, but let's get real: in the past 20 years, American has had some serious incidents attributable to pilot error that we haven't seen on other US airlines.

      See, for example:

      An American Airlines Pilot Almost Crashed A Plane, And The Transcript Is Shocking: https://onemileatatime.com/news/american-airlines-pilot-almost-crashed-plane/

      American 777 & Delta 737 Nearly Collide On JFK Runway:
      https://onemileatatime.com/news/american-777-delta-737-nearly-collide-jfk-runway/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_587

    2. D3kingg Guest

      @Evan

      The FEDEX Southwest incident seemed much more serious. That ATC in Austin made poor judgements based on the low visibility then on top of that you have the arrogance of the southwest pilot “negative” refusing to abort takeoff. I’d love to know his whereabouts in Cancun post 24 hours. What was his excuse ?

    3. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      It's a troll.

    4. Crosscourt Guest

      Give me a break.

  28. Mary Guest

    How did a passenger on this flight not ask questions or not pull up the flight data afterwards and report it??

    1. Johnny Guest

      This is what is important.... A year ago from now I was on a Qatar Airways flight from Khartoum to Doha the problem

  29. stogieguy7 Gold

    I've said this many times before: night flights (especially late night flights) are incrementally more dangerous than flights that take place in daylight. Flying is still extremely safe, day or night, but the odds of an incident are higher in these night flights. This incident is a fine example of why this is the case. That Ethiopian flight that ended up in the Med left BEY at like 2 am and the crew.....lost situational awareness,...

    I've said this many times before: night flights (especially late night flights) are incrementally more dangerous than flights that take place in daylight. Flying is still extremely safe, day or night, but the odds of an incident are higher in these night flights. This incident is a fine example of why this is the case. That Ethiopian flight that ended up in the Med left BEY at like 2 am and the crew.....lost situational awareness, slamming it into the sea.

    And, I still don't understand why departures at ungodly hours are such a thing in Africa and (especially) the Middle East. Yes, this one was 11 pm, but they have tons departing at 1, 2 and even 3 am. Who wants to suffer flying at those hours?

    1. Donato Guest

      I am not an expert on airline operations but I have been around. Decisions pertaining to schedules take into account;
      1, Likelihood of maximizing an airframes hours in the air.
      2, Likelihood of temperatures amenable for takeoff at time of day.

      A simple calculation is examining TATL operations. A morning operation eastbound is likely to come up against airport closing hours in the best of conditions, requiring the aircraft sit overnight.

  30. David Diamond

    I would pity the passengers infinitely more.

  31. nunzio Guest

    would be interesting receive a post of someone on board bcs sure passengers felt such drastic steep down....

  32. Robin Guest

    This is what happens all the time here and in all kinds of aviation blogs praising Qatar Airways for its beautiful planes and other public relations and forgetting that it belongs to a tyrannical and undemocratic country with labor laws that do not protect workers at all thousands of workers in all kinds of construction branches die in Qatar every year and no one in the government It doesn't matter there, so pilots there will...

    This is what happens all the time here and in all kinds of aviation blogs praising Qatar Airways for its beautiful planes and other public relations and forgetting that it belongs to a tyrannical and undemocratic country with labor laws that do not protect workers at all thousands of workers in all kinds of construction branches die in Qatar every year and no one in the government It doesn't matter there, so pilots there will report a mistake that will cost them a job or the airline won't try to hide... Yes, even in American or European companies mistakes can happen, but hiding for a month won't happen

  33. J.J. Guest

    But wait wait wait they’re the best airline in the world. The pilots never reported the incident?

    1. Johnny Guest

      I hope so Last year, the same incident happened to me from Khartoum to Doha on Qatar Airways ... when I informed management no one has heard me yet

  34. Christopher I. Okojie Guest

    Such is a disaster and uncalled for afterall he has just taken off. Could we say he had some kind of spatial disorientation in a day time flight. I would beg for a check on his health. Eyes and ears.

    Possibly too look at the number of hours he flys in a day.

    This incidence should not be swept under the carpet. A pilot friend tells me Christopher all that can happen to crash a plane are yet to happen

  35. SMR Guest

    Yes he lost SA..BUT. a Dive? Seriously lucky? 2400 FPM is NOT a dive. On an A320 I can tell you the average rate of descent on arrivals is 2500-3500 FPM. Once again... Greta reviewers are turning into the "CNN" of aviation and it SITNKS!

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @SMR

      I should be in school right now. How dare you !?

  36. Dahisu Guest

    My friends in QR all complain about severely fatigued rosters but As long as there are people who want an Insta selfie in a Q suite the airline will be fine, I wouldn't step foot on one of their planes because the next selfie could be the one on my coffin.

  37. Hamza Danlami Yusuf Guest

    I think the matter needs to be investigated and the root cause be addressed, rather than assume the First officer lost Situational Awareness. Could have been a technical issue, could have been anything. Not reporting the incidence doesn't speak well of the pilots.
    Unions or not, pilots in the gulf know what they were getting into when they signed their contracts.

    1. Bravo Mike Guest

      Absolutely right, just blame the pilot that’s the easiest way out .

  38. Steve Grumman Guest

    I think the comments about no unions and pity for pilots in the Gulf really have nothing to do with this matter.

    1. pstm91 Diamond

      They knew what they were signing up for - they applied to be pilots for those airlines. Hard to have sympathy for someone in that situation (and a well-paid gig at that).

  39. GBOAC Diamond

    I apologize if I missed something but you use the term losing situational awareness multiple times without identifying the specific loss of awareness. Could you please explain what you mean by losing situational awareness.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Ummmm.....at 2am over the dark sea climbing fast with no horizon in sight......put it together.

    2. Jordan Diamond

      This is not how pilots fly. They are trained to look at their instruments only (glancing outside when you can) but instruments.

  40. Eskimo Guest

    I don't know how many more incidents or loss of lives need to happen before we stop this. I have to keep saying this.

    Isn't it about time we automate all these things and leave human error out of the equation.

    We have all the technologies available over the counter, but a bunch of Regulatorsaurus who are buddies with Unionosaurus aren't extinct yet.

    If a $300 game console can calculate and a $50k Tesla can...

    I don't know how many more incidents or loss of lives need to happen before we stop this. I have to keep saying this.

    Isn't it about time we automate all these things and leave human error out of the equation.

    We have all the technologies available over the counter, but a bunch of Regulatorsaurus who are buddies with Unionosaurus aren't extinct yet.

    If a $300 game console can calculate and a $50k Tesla can self navigate, when will you apply it to a hundred million dollar flying tube.

    1. K Helldoge Guest

      Well Eskimo, automation is not the answer. Human factors suggest that automation often leads to poor airmanship. In the case of AF 441, neither automation nor marginally-qualified ab-initio pilots could save the day. Aviation safety requires well-trained, very experienced aviators. You are about to see the same incidents creep up in the USA for the very same reasons.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @K Helldoge

      Well it actually AF447 (not AF441, another example of human error), and while that tragic accident proved humans couldn't save the plane, but the human panic did set off chain of events that made it impossible to recover.
      What it doesn't disprove is could automation actually saved the plane or not.

      Jurassic Park welcomes you.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      And I forgot to add the long gone CVR part.

      Another example of having all the technologies available over the counter just to be left out by dinosaurs.

      Unionosaurus would go berserk if you have to transmit the whole CVR (and should be video not just voice) realtime. And the storage time, we can buy terabytes of SSD for couple of dollars, that's more than enough for a 4K recording for the entire flight, and...

      And I forgot to add the long gone CVR part.

      Another example of having all the technologies available over the counter just to be left out by dinosaurs.

      Unionosaurus would go berserk if you have to transmit the whole CVR (and should be video not just voice) realtime. And the storage time, we can buy terabytes of SSD for couple of dollars, that's more than enough for a 4K recording for the entire flight, and maybe HD for weeks. All in a size of a coin.

      Aviation safety should stop getting stuck in the 60s.

    4. asky Guest

      as an a330/a350 pilot and previously a 777/787 I can tell you pretty much all flying and landing is done by auto pilot, being a pilot these days is more of an engineer role, making sure all systems are in check but the plane is flying itself and will land itself.... generally the only thing that isn't under autopilot during your flight is takeoff.... its very important that someone is there to pay attention to...

      as an a330/a350 pilot and previously a 777/787 I can tell you pretty much all flying and landing is done by auto pilot, being a pilot these days is more of an engineer role, making sure all systems are in check but the plane is flying itself and will land itself.... generally the only thing that isn't under autopilot during your flight is takeoff.... its very important that someone is there to pay attention to the instruments and flight systems if the aircraft has souls onboard

    5. SMR Guest

      Not true at all. Even when the autopilot is on...pilots need to constantly be interacting with the autopilot and making decisions. There is still plenty of workload for pilots when autopilot is active. Descent planning (airbus has no Vnav), Speed planning if not assigned, you kind of missed landing. Airbus has no ability to auto land in more than 15 knots os wind and we do not even use auto land unless visibility is less...

      Not true at all. Even when the autopilot is on...pilots need to constantly be interacting with the autopilot and making decisions. There is still plenty of workload for pilots when autopilot is active. Descent planning (airbus has no Vnav), Speed planning if not assigned, you kind of missed landing. Airbus has no ability to auto land in more than 15 knots os wind and we do not even use auto land unless visibility is less than minimums. A world without humans up there will be a world with constant disaster. We are in the safest period in aviation history thanks to pilots. It is just unfortunate bloggers and the media post articles with headlines such as this one.

    6. Replying to Asky. Guest

      By writing these comments I can tell 100% you are not a pilot. What a non-sense. Almost all landings are done manually with the exception of when in Low Visibility, the pilots, aircraft and airport follow a long list of procedures to make sure the autoland is made safely. Only major airport have such system hence all others the pilot has to land

    7. bruh Guest

      flydubai 981 crashed due to similar circumstances. the captain got tricked mentally into thinking that the instruments were displaying incorrect data, and ended up putting the plane to dive.

    8. SMR Guest

      Be careful what you wish for.. YEAH. CLOSE calls with humans flying.... I guarantee there automation would have crashed and killed thousand in the same time frame. I have had so many autopilots fail...automation fail... Haven't Teslas been killing people? I rented one that had the self driving... It defiantly is not ready for prime time. the world is in a HUGE hurry to replace humans. What will we all do when we are replaced...

      Be careful what you wish for.. YEAH. CLOSE calls with humans flying.... I guarantee there automation would have crashed and killed thousand in the same time frame. I have had so many autopilots fail...automation fail... Haven't Teslas been killing people? I rented one that had the self driving... It defiantly is not ready for prime time. the world is in a HUGE hurry to replace humans. What will we all do when we are replaced by robots? We do not even know all the facts of this incident yet....

      Humans will always error...but machines....had. THEY ARE TOTALLY PERFECT!! I think this is hilarious. BTW ..Autoland CANNOT even land in more than 15 knots of wind

    9. ted poco Guest

      Since many more people die in car accidents, you should be advocating that all driving should be done by computers.

    10. Eskimo Guest

      @SMR

      LOL your guarantees. More like fallacies.
      Automation wouldn't even put you in CLOSE calls (sic) in the first place.

      Have Tesla been killing people yet?
      Of all (most) those killed, wasn't there humans behind the wheel? It only proves humans are as helpless.
      Would Tesla learn from past accidents, definitely. Have humans learn from past DUIs?
      By the way, how many non Tesla have been killing people, TODAY?

      You are...

      @SMR

      LOL your guarantees. More like fallacies.
      Automation wouldn't even put you in CLOSE calls (sic) in the first place.

      Have Tesla been killing people yet?
      Of all (most) those killed, wasn't there humans behind the wheel? It only proves humans are as helpless.
      Would Tesla learn from past accidents, definitely. Have humans learn from past DUIs?
      By the way, how many non Tesla have been killing people, TODAY?

      You are also judging automation based on the technology in use, not the technology capabilities.
      Your so called Autoland, was in use since the 70s !!!!

      "Airbus has no Vnav"
      That statement says it all for Dinosaurs. Vnav exists. Vnav makes it safer. Airbus doesn't use it. Regulatorsaurus doesn't do anything to enforce it.

      And don't get me wrong, I don't think everything should be automated. But flying definitely should.

      I know pilots would feel insecure. Look at Flight Engineers, Radio Operator, and Navigators.
      Enjoy your life in the Jurassic.

      @ted poco

      It should, but the problem with driving is it can't be enforced at the level that aviation could.
      It becomes a financial problem. Your death is cheaper than keeping everyone alive. Per reports, it cost Boeing $5-600 million for the 737MAX victims. It's probably going to cost billions to implement automation on every commercial aircraft. Translate that to every cars on the road.
      It becomes a political problem.
      Look at the resistance when the government is trying to 'take away your guns'. Imagine the rampage if you think they are 'taking away your trucks'.

    11. Gilles Guest

      Airbus has ‘ Managed Nav’, essentially the same as VNAV & utilised for RNP approaches

    12. Trey Guest

      Complete automation? See 737-MAX (Ethiopian), 737-MAX (Lion Air).

    13. Eskimo Guest

      @Trey

      To be fair to automation. MCAS was human fighting computer. Boeing didn't properly explain or train non-MAX pilots. If you were able to fully automate those 2 flight, it's to be determined if it would have crashed or not.

      And it will almost be impossible to be a 3rd 737MAX, but seems Tenerife keeps being mentioned recently.

  41. canuck_in_ca Guest

    Sounds like spatial disorientation, like coriolis illusion.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Trey Guest

Complete automation? See 737-MAX (Ethiopian), 737-MAX (Lion Air).

3
ted poco Guest

Since many more people die in car accidents, you should be advocating that all driving should be done by computers.

2
Jordan Diamond

This is not how pilots fly. They are trained to look at their instruments only (glancing outside when you can) but instruments.

2
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