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Old 26th October 2014, 09:57   #331
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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I would say losing radar coverage is actually pretty unusual! Of course, STC gets trained for it. Pilots, well at least I, did not get trained for it during my IFR training. maybe for commercial ratings they do, but Im not so sure what there is to train. Pilots train for losing radio contact with ATC, but not for what to do when radar coverage is lost, because there is nothing you can do, until ATC tells you what to do. the essence of instrument flying is you do what ATC tells you. whether they do that because they have you on a radar scope or they figure out by other means is not relevant for the pilot. I never know what the vertical and or horizontal separation is,other then I know what the minimums are for a given circumstance. Its ATC that ensures separation vertical and lateral by whatever means.

It is only in the last twenty years or so that Indian Airspace to the best of my knowlege ( I am a layman and not a pilot) has got almost complete radar coverage. Yes pilots are depndent on ATC when you loose radar coverage and the direct result will ofcourse be higher separation norms and fuel wastage as ATC figures out the separation.

Well this is India and in India "pretty unsuual" in many other places are more like "rather usual".

I was one of the affected passengers when the below incident happened. I flew into BOM - all hunky dory as usual. When I flew back after a coupe of days...total chaos!!!!


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...how/960335.cms
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Old 26th October 2014, 12:08   #332
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It is only in the last twenty years or so that Indian Airspace to the best of my knowlege ( I am a layman and not a pilot) has got almost complete radar coverage.
There is a misconception that planes are flying under radar coverage all the time, these days. This is not so, as I pointed out earlier as well. Some of the most busy airspace in the world (North Atlantic Tracks) do without radar coverage.

Even the USA doesn't have complete radar coverage: http://www.roc.noaa.gov/WSR88D/Maps.aspx

Large parts of the Gulf of Mexico do without radar coverage and that's a busy airspace too.

I have flown in so called controlled airspace without radar and without ATC coverage, which I found very unnerving the first few times. Big relief once you pass your radio check points and you start to receive ATC again.

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Old 26th October 2014, 18:57   #333
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Yep, NATs do with something called SELCAL, and is used in conjuction with a HF Radio. In fact, most instructions for NATs are given digitally in the form of a text message to the flight deck. The HF Radio is only used for initial contact.
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Old 26th October 2014, 19:40   #334
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Yep, NATs do with something called SELCAL, and is used in conjuction with a HF Radio. In fact, most instructions for NATs are given digitally in the form of a text message to the flight deck. The HF Radio is only used for initial contact.

Standard these days on most long haul commercial planes. In essence the pilot doesn't have to continuously monitor the radios but will be advised when there is a message for him/her.

Wikipedia does a decent write up on NATs http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Atlantic_Tracks

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Old 27th October 2014, 08:56   #335
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A little incident with Air India: http://avherald.com/h?article=47c003d9&opt=0

To be fair, these sort of things happen fairly regularly. So nothing unusual perse. If you check the aviation herald website you will see on average 5-6 of these incidents per day world wide. What is unusual is that Indian carriers rarely show up on these public aviation forums. If you read throught the comments you can see the usual garbage and typical arm-chair pilots, but there are a lot of professionals on this forum who know what they are talking about and are pilots themselves or aviation engineers. Very often you will see comments that show intimate knowledge on the incidents, because they know the particular plane, have insight information etc.

I do wonder why Indian carriers show up so little on this AH world wide forum. Seems the Indian aviation ecosystem isnt really plugged into the rest of the world. Which is a shame. Because there is a lot to learn from all of the incidents and accidents. Could it be the Indian culture is less open about sharing mishaps?

Airlines will typically have their own safety type of bulletins, but that is usually restricted to what happens on their own fleet. For many years I was on a European company list, until things in their IT department got a bit more stringent. Shame, it was always very enlightning.

I check up on the Avationa Herald a few times a week. By far it will have the most up to date and factual information on aviation incident/accidents then you would typically find in the press. If you want even more detail you might want to check out PPrune: http://www.pprune.org/

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Old 27th October 2014, 13:02   #336
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Slightly off the current topic but airplane related anyway. I had a heated enthusiastic discussion with a friend of mine. He posted on Facebook that he was 22 Kgs excess but since he knew someone who was doing the checkin, they overlooked the excess. My point was, the aircrafts are finely balanced ships, fuel, distance to be traveled, type of airport to be passed, weather conditions, number of passengers etc are all taken into consideration including wind speeds etc.(my assumptions) He disagreed. Since I am no expert, would it have hampered or caused any issues with flying a commercial aircraft? I mean, if there are multiple passengers who do not declare the excess baggage - say there were 4 people with upto 20 kgs more than what the check-in guys report. Could it cause an issue in the safety etc of the aircraft? (It was a Boeing 737 by the way)
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Old 27th October 2014, 13:28   #337
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Could it cause an issue in the safety etc of the aircraft? (It was a Boeing 737 by the way)
I am no expert in the aviation field, neither a pilot, but as far as I know, weight is the most important parameter that is looked into while planning a flight.

It can include everything from fuel being carried in the tanks, to passenger weight (and their luggage), cargo and so on. Infact, several flights in the world are weight restricted. One example was when I flew Emirates 226 (a Boeing 777-300ER) from San Francisco to Dubai, it would go 20 seats empty as otherwise it would not be able to complete the entire journey without refueling midway. Similarly, there were cargo (non-passenger items) restrictions on the Emirates 777 flight from Birmingham International Airport to Dubai due to lack of runway length at Birmingham. Recently, the runway length as been increased and it may have changed the procedures.

So yes, to answer you question in a way, if multiple passengers start bringing excess luggage, it can hamper the aircraft handling dynamics for sure.

Experts can give a better answer I suppose.
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Old 27th October 2014, 14:04   #338
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I mean, if there are multiple passengers who do not declare the excess baggage - say there were 4 people with upto 20 kgs more than what the check-in guys report. Could it cause an issue in the safety etc of the aircraft? (It was a Boeing 737 by the way)
I have seen the FB post you are refering to but haven't walked in.

Just another layman post before the experts come in. Would a few hundred kgs here and there really mattered for an aircraft whose stipulated take-off and landing weight is in excess of 60,000 kg? That's 0.17%. I suppose there would be enough safety margin in the airlines' calculation to factor in excess baggage as well as over weight passengers.

It would of course be another matter if all 200 passengers were to carry in 20 kg of unaccounted excess baggage each.
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Old 27th October 2014, 14:38   #339
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by gtonsing View Post
Slightly off the current topic but airplane related anyway. I had a heated enthusiastic discussion with a friend of mine. He posted on Facebook that he was 22 Kgs excess but since he knew someone who was doing the checkin, they overlooked the excess. My point was, the aircrafts are finely balanced ships, fuel, distance to be traveled, type of airport to be passed, weather conditions, number of passengers etc are all taken into consideration including wind speeds etc.(my assumptions) He disagreed. Since I am no expert, would it have hampered or caused any issues with flying a commercial aircraft? I mean, if there are multiple passengers who do not declare the excess baggage - say there were 4 people with upto 20 kgs more than what the check-in guys report. Could it cause an issue in the safety etc of the aircraft? (It was a Boeing 737 by the way)
"Overlooked the excess" may be referring to the cost of 22kgs extra.

When the bags are checked in, the weights go into the computer which then outputs something called a "Loadsheet" for the pilots to use. This loadsheet is given handed off to the chaps on the flightdeck prior to push back. Now bear in mind, the flight has been planned with certain limitations in mind. If they've planned for 200 PAX, it's usually a case of taking the maximum baggage per PAX and using that figure to calculate the weights.

This is why the FINAL loadsheet is handed in with actual figures just before the aircraft pushes from the gate, so it can be compared with what was planned for. It doesn't make a huge difference unless the aircraft is operating at, or near it's maximum performance with regard to runway length, maximum takeoff weight, Center of Gravity or distance traveled.

There are always PAX travelling with excess baggage, and some travelling without any baggage. For example, tomorrow I'm flying out to Singapore for the day. Being in J-class, I have a maximum of 40KGS of luggage, but I'll be using 4-5KGS, just in my hand. Same deal with the flight back later that evening. This is why the initial loadsheet is compared to the final loadsheet to ensure the chaps at the pointy end aren't exceeding any performance limits.

You also have to remember, there are many variables not accurately accounted for. Passengers bring Carry-On luggage on board, usually around 2-3kg per PAX goes there, but it isn't weighed. Neither is each individual passenger. All these weights are taken as a mean value of what can be expected of a normal human being, which is why there can never be 100% accuracy. As I said before, it can always be a few hundred kilos this way or that.. Doesn't make much difference.

Last edited by Stiggy : 27th October 2014 at 14:40. Reason: sp
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Old 27th October 2014, 19:15   #340
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"Overlooked the excess" may be referring to the cost of 22kgs extra.

.

Good answer Stiggy. The cost you are to pay for excess baggage is related to the extra fuel the plane is burning doe to the additional load. As Stiggy pointed out all luggage gets weighted before its put on the plane. This is a very important part of the so called weight and balance calculation prior to take off. The centre of gravity is influenced by the weight of the baggage, but also where it is put in the hold. Same is true for fuel and passengers. The weight for the fuel is very precisely known, but for passengers they use average weights. The W&B calculations take all these variables into account. The centre of gravity needs to within specific limits and on some planes (e.g. boeing 747-40@) the CG determines the exact elevator trim you need to dial in prior to take off.

On larger planes where the luggage goes into containers, they weigh each container and the load plan will determine its subsequent place in the hold.

On the small planes I fly you typically do your W&B calculations using the real weight of everybody. Never the less, in all methods there is some uncertainty. Even so, no pilot will tale off if you cant get the CG within the required limits. Some of you might have experienced the cabin crew for passengers to move to different seats prior to take off. This happens mostly in less than half filled planes. Its to get the the CG correct.

weight and balance calculation are about moment. So how much weight sits how far from the CG. The CG is somewhere around the middle of the root of the wings. So having weight up front near the cockpit, or towards the tail, creates a lot of moment (weight X arm). So moving a few passengers from the rear to the front can have a noticeable difference on the CG. Some planes also need to be loaded with a certain sequence. Too much weight at the rear will simply top it on its tail! So you load front first.

Many years ago during a factory visit to Fokker on the ramp at Schiphol (Amsterdam) a whole bunch of us piled up in the tail of a F28 to look at the elevator hydraulics and the nose started to come up! On some planes you will see a special strut under the rear fuselage to prevent this tipping.

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Old 27th October 2014, 19:45   #341
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

This is a very interesting side track which "gtonsing" has raised and a lot of valuable inputs made by people who have responded. To continue the discussion on the same line lt is worthwhile if people do read through the following incident which is one of landmark ones as far as aviation safety is concerned.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Midwest_Flight_5481
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Old 28th October 2014, 09:28   #342
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Quite a lot of research goes into how to calculate passengers weight or mass really. I found this survey which makes for an interesting read:

http://easa.europa.eu/system/files/d...95%20Final.pdf

Part of the conclussion:

Quote:
[Based on the survey results, it is recommended for carry-on luggage masses to
include this mass in a value for passenger + carry-on luggage. Table 4.7. In this
case it is not necessary to apply a large safety margin on the carry-on luggage
weight.
• Conclusions on adult passengers:
• Within the regression analysis it has been showed that gender is the most
important factor. Therefore, separate standard masses for male and female
adults are recommended.
• It is recommended to include the carry-on luggage mass in the mass value
for passenger + carry-on luggage. In this case it is not necessary to apply a
large safety margin on the carry-on luggage weight.
• The masses of passengers measured in the Winter are leading.
• No other distinction in factors is recommended for passengers.
• The recommended male/female ratio is 70/30.
• Based on the aforementioned, the following standard masses are
recommended:
− male passengers: 94 kg
− female passengers: 75 kg
− all adult passengers: 88 kg
Conclusion on checked baggage:
• The recommended standard mass for checked baggage is 17 kg
This particular research was carried out in Europe. I wonder if there are large regional difference. Say in the Far East I would expect the average standard mass of passenger to be lower then in Europe. The American average standard mass would probably be considerable higher then most, no offense. Americans tend to be fairly tall to start with and a lot of them are grossly overweight, although the policitally correct terms is of course "obese". We can call it what we want, but it doesnt change the amount of kilograms or course.

The alternative of course, is to weigh every individual passenger! There are a few airlines that base their ticket price on your weight:

http://www.businessinsider.in/A-New-...w/21206176.cms

And of course, every now and then the higly controversial topic of whether fat people should pay more comes up as well:

http://travel.cnn.com/airline-fat-ta...ay-more-619046

Last edited by Jeroen : 28th October 2014 at 09:30.
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Old 28th October 2014, 23:22   #343
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To all those trigger happy individuals ready to point finger at Pilots, this is a good read..

Received this forward which seems to explain clearly how some things in the media are intentionally wrongly reported to create hype and get attention.

"Dear editor~TOI,

This is in reference to your learned reporter Saurabh Sinha's series of articles that 350 pilots from various airlines across India are flying with expired licences.

This is factually wrong. Pilots don't fly with expired licences. Neither do airlines make them fly that way. It's illegal (in India atleast) This situation has arisen due to an ambiguity in the understanding of a CAR ~ Civil Aviation Requirement.The esteemed dgca is doing the needful in consultation with all affected parties.

You might understand that more than 350 pilots and all the airlines cannot be wrong collectively.

FYI, pilots from all airlines with so called "expired licenses" also took part in relief flight operations to rain devastated srinagar airport, evacuated our nurses out of war torn Iraq, flew during cyclone hudhud to vishakhapatnam and are now flying through hurricane nilofer.. it's just another day at work..

Your journalist believes in reporting and then distorting for grabbing eyeballs.

Thank you kindly..."

Pilot Association of India

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Old 29th October 2014, 07:13   #344
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To all those trigger happy individuals ready to point finger at Pilots, this is a good read..







You might understand that more than 350 pilots and all the airlines cannot be wrong collectively.



A good read? Depends I would say on how you read this. Truth is there is no ambiguity in the CAR. It came into effect on a particular date and everybody needed to be in compliance as from that day forward. I have read it, and either you are in compliance or you are not. It is not that difficult, you have done your check flight/review in accordance with the CAR or you don't. It is that simple. I think this particular article is very similar in approach as one of our real pilots in this very thread claiming that India has the safest skies in the world. When pressed for substance on that claim to fame he fell short of any answers and a few weeks later ICAO downgraded the Indian system. India as far as safety is on par with what is known in the industry as Sub Sahara countries. to be continued that one, as ICAO is about to review India progress on this matter shortly.

Making broad sweeping states such as 350 pilots and airlines can not be collectively wrong is as I read it, a perfect example of what is very wrong with this gentleman's answer. There is absolutely no substance to it. In fact I find it somewhat patronizing, its like trust us we know what we are doing? Who gets away that these days.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 29th October 2014 at 07:15.
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Old 29th October 2014, 14:13   #345
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This is factually wrong. Pilots don't fly with expired licences. Neither do airlines make them fly that way. It's illegal (in India atleast) This situation has arisen due to an ambiguity in the understanding of a CAR ~ Civil Aviation Requirement.The esteemed dgca is doing the needful in consultation with all affected parties.
I was expecting a little more information at the end of quoted paragraph to clarify how the reportage is factually wrong. The statement / letter attempts to rebuff the press report but falls short. We the readers are none the more wiser for it.
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