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Old 05-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #4681
PvtIdaho
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From the Times of India

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MUMBAI: Two Air India pilots put the lives of 166 passengers on a Bangkok-Delhi flight in danger by taking a 40-minute break from the cockpit and getting two flight attendants to operate the plane in their absence. Their stunt almost ended in disaster after one of the flight attendants accidentally turned off the auto-pilot, forcing the pilots to rush back to their seats.

The incident took place 33,000 feet in the air on Air India flight AI 133 (an Airbus 321) from Bangkok to Delhi on April 12, which took off from Bangkok on schedule, at 8.55 am.

Thirty minutes later, First Officer Ravindra Nath excused himself from the cockpit for a bathroom break and got flight attendant J Bhatt to occupy his seat in his absense. "According to the guidelines it is a standard procedure to ensure the presence of second person in the cockpit so that if the pilot is not able to operate the aircraft for some reason, the other crew member in the cockpit can immediately call for the other pilot. But what actually happened after this made a mockery of air safety," said a a source in Air India, who did not wish to be named.

Minutes after his co-pilot left the cockpit, Captain B K Soni called another flight attendant, Kanika Kala, and asked her to take his seat. Captain Soni did not leave the cockpit immediately; instead, he spent a few minutes teaching the two flight attendants how to operate the aircraft.

He left the cockpit after putting the plane on auto-pilot, leaving the flight attendants to operate the flight by themselves for the next 40 minutes while he and his co-pilot took a nap in business class.

Putting an aircraft on auto-pilot does not exempt pilots from remaining in the cockpit; their presence is required to monitor the flight's status and turn off auto-pilot if required. This was illustrated perfectly when Captain Soni and First Officer Nath were forced to rush back to their seats after one of the flight attendants accidentally switched off the auto-pilot, endangering the lives of everyone on board.

"A senior cabin crew member witnessed the entire drama unfold and brought the matter to the notice of the airline's management. All four were derostered and later suspended for this violation," added the Air India source.

Director General Arun Mishra of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), confirmed that all four employees had been suspended. "Following a safety violation, the airline has already suspended the people in question. We are conducting a inquiry into the matter," Mishra told Mumbai Mirror.

Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member of a government-appointed aviation safety panel, blamed the 'lackadaisical attitude' of the DGCA for the increase in air safety violations. "The DGCA should be held responsible for the increase in such cases as they have failed time and again to effectively enforce safety guidelines," said Ranganathan.

K Swaminathan, deputy general manager (corporate communications), Air India, did not comment on the incident, saying, "Your query has been referred to the concerned department for comment. We will revert to you on receiving their reply."
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:26 PM   #4682
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I did a contract flying gig in India. Air India is not to be confused with several other notably more air worthy carriers in the country. (Although a few of non-state private carriers were not so great....).

The DGCA, at the time I was there, and for some time thereafter, reportedly had not one qualified air transport pilot on staff. I don't think they even had any pilots of any kind on staff.

Every year you had to trudge to Delhi and get your FATA, basically a permit for a foreigner to fly in India. It was a surreal experience to say the least. No AC, a very very grotty bathroom, broken windows, cracked walls, mold on walls, tatty calendars on the wall that were showing March, 3 years previous, a room with mountains of paperwork stacked floor to ceiling bound with string, and all over the big tables too, with about 6 government employees sleepily going through whatever papers were there. You always had to wait 1-3 hours in the dismal lobby because it was just a power trip on their part because you could watch them do nothing but read the paper and sip tea while you waited.

But I love India. Really.

However, those two pilots might deserve the gaol.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:30 PM   #4683
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Good god. Air India is the national carrier. With the flag comes an expectation of professionalism and responsibility.

I can't believe their crew would do something so stupid. A 40-minute nap with no pilot in the cockpit? Something's rotten in the culture of that airline. Air India just made my no fly list.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:15 AM   #4684
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FFS - its 2013!
the CRM, the SMS, the blah blah blah training that we have to provide our crews and gournd staff and pencil pushers, and this kinda drama still goes on - in a supposedly decent switched on country, it makes a mockery of the whole thing!
grr....



Quote:
MUMBAI: Two Air India pilots put the lives of 166 passengers on a Bangkok-Delhi flight in danger by taking a 40-minute break from the cockpit and getting two flight attendants to operate the plane in their absence. Their stunt almost ended in disaster after one of the flight attendants accidentally turned off the auto-pilot, forcing the pilots to rush back to their seats.

The incident took place 33,000 feet in the air on Air India flight AI 133 (an Airbus 321) from Bangkok to Delhi on April 12, which took off from Bangkok on schedule, at 8.55 am.

Thirty minutes later, First Officer Ravindra Nath excused himself from the cockpit for a bathroom break and got flight attendant J Bhatt to occupy his seat in his absense. "According to the guidelines it is a standard procedure to ensure the presence of second person in the cockpit so that if the pilot is not able to operate the aircraft for some reason, the other crew member in the cockpit can immediately call for the other pilot. But what actually happened after this made a mockery of air safety," said a a source in Air India, who did not wish to be named.

Minutes after his co-pilot left the cockpit, Captain B K Soni called another flight attendant, Kanika Kala, and asked her to take his seat. Captain Soni did not leave the cockpit immediately; instead, he spent a few minutes teaching the two flight attendants how to operate the aircraft.

He left the cockpit after putting the plane on auto-pilot, leaving the flight attendants to operate the flight by themselves for the next 40 minutes while he and his co-pilot took a nap in business class.

Putting an aircraft on auto-pilot does not exempt pilots from remaining in the cockpit; their presence is required to monitor the flight's status and turn off auto-pilot if required. This was illustrated perfectly when Captain Soni and First Officer Nath were forced to rush back to their seats after one of the flight attendants accidentally switched off the auto-pilot, endangering the lives of everyone on board.

"A senior cabin crew member witnessed the entire drama unfold and brought the matter to the notice of the airline's management. All four were derostered and later suspended for this violation," added the Air India source.

Director General Arun Mishra of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), confirmed that all four employees had been suspended. "Following a safety violation, the airline has already suspended the people in question. We are conducting a inquiry into the matter," Mishra told Mumbai Mirror.

Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member of a government-appointed aviation safety panel, blamed the 'lackadaisical attitude' of the DGCA for the increase in air safety violations. "The DGCA should be held responsible for the increase in such cases as they have failed time and again to effectively enforce safety guidelines," said Ranganathan.

K Swaminathan, deputy general manager (corporate communications), Air India, did not comment on the incident, saying, "Your query has been referred to the concerned department for comment. We will revert to you on receiving their reply."
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:43 AM   #4685
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Sooooo you like P-51's?

Me too!

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Old 05-04-2013, 03:47 AM   #4686
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Welllllll, How 'bout Spits?

What a beautiful "bird"!


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Old 05-04-2013, 04:03 AM   #4687
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I just happened to be in Scott Yoak's hangar yesterday at KLWB.

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Old 05-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #4688
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I was an avionics tech on these. Pic below was RAF Lakenheath Wing Commanders jet.


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Old 05-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #4689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoldar View Post
I was an avionics tech on these. Pic below was RAF Lakenheath Wing Commanders jet.
One of the most beautiful airplanes ever made. I used to write Mission Planning routing software for them, we reused a lot of our cruise missile software on them since the F-111 also had terrain following radar.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:35 PM   #4690
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Originally Posted by BillsR100 View Post
One of the most beautiful airplanes ever made. I used to write Mission Planning routing software for them, we reused a lot of our cruise missile software on them since the F-111 also had terrain following radar.
Agreed!

And I'm sure you know, but for others whom are unfamiliar, the ejection system was quite unique...a pod that separated from the aircraft. The electrical connections were actually guillotined just prior to separation, and the pilots control stick worked as a bilge pump in case of a water landing! There was actually a hope to use a Navy version on carriers, but it failed. Here's a video of the pod ejecting from a rocket sled.

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:25 PM   #4691
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Great weapons platform too. The F model had a Pave Tack laser pod in the weapons bay.

It could also carry a data link pod for TV guided munitions like the GBU-15 pictured below. In this configuration the Pave Tack pod is not used. Data link pod is aft, ALQ-131 ECM pod forward.



Video from Desert Storm


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Old 05-06-2013, 06:45 PM   #4692
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Anytime I see an F-111, I think of Boyd and the Fighter Mafia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_Mafia


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In the 1960s, both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy were in the process of acquiring large, heavy fighters designed primarily to fight with missiles. Project Forecast, a 1963 Air Force attempt to identify future weapons trends, stated that a counterair force must be able to destroy aircraft in the air at long ranges using advanced weapon systems. The Air Force felt that these needs would be filled for the next twenty years by missile-armed variants of the F-111 and F-4 Phantom II.[1] Their F-X fighter acquisition program, initially merged into the TFX program (which developed the F-111), was written along those lines.

Real-world combat during the Vietnam war demonstrated that the entire "Missileer" concept did not work in practice. Rules of engagement, limitations in communications, poor performance of the missiles and a wide variety of other problems conspired to make air-to-air combat devolve into dogfights in almost every situation. In spite of a huge technical superiority on paper, the US Navy and Air Force F-4s found themselves fighting at close quarters with the "inferior" MiG-21, and losing the fight all too often. The heavy and poorly maneuverable fighters imagined as part of F-X would be even worse off in these situations.

Boyd's work with E-M theory demonstrated that the F-111 would be poorly suited to the role of fighter, and the Air Force F-X proposal was quietly rewritten to reflect his findings, dropping a heavy swing-wing from the design, lowering the gross weight from 60,000+ pounds to slightly below 40,000, and the top speed to Mach 2.3, from 2.5. The result was the F-15 Eagle, an aircraft that was far superior in maneuverability to the F-111 fighter variants. The Air Force had also been studying a lighter day fighter; starting in 1965, the Air Force had pursued a low-priority study of the Advanced Day Fighter (ADF), a 25,000 pound design. After they learned of the MiG-25 in 1967, a minor panic broke out and the ADF was dropped in order to focus work on the F-15. The F-15, originally a lighter aircraft, grew in size and weight as it attempted to match the inflated performance estimates of the MiG-25. While Boyd's contributions to the F-15 were significant, he felt that it was still a compromise.[2]

Boyd, defense analysts Tom Christie and Pierre Sprey, and test pilot Col. Everest Riccioni and aeronautical engineer Harry Hillaker formed the core of the self-dubbed "Fighter Mafia" which worked behind the scenes in the late 1960s to pursue a lightweight fighter as an alternative to the F-15. Riccioni coined the nickname, a joke on his Italian heritage that harkened back to the "Bomber Mafia" (whose acolytes still occupied the upper command positions of the Air Force), and dubbed himself the "godfather". In 1969, under the guise that the Navy was developing a small, high-performance Navy aircraft, Riccioni won $149,000 to fund the "Study to Validate the Integration of Advanced Energy-Maneuverability Theory with Trade-Off Analysis". This money was split between Northrop and General Dynamics to build the embodiment of Boyd's E-M theory - a small, low-drag, low-weight, pure fighter with no bomb racks. Northrop demanded and received $100,000 to design the YF-17; General Dynamics, eager to redeem its debacle with the F-111, received the remainder to develop the YF-16.[2]
NFE
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #4693
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Military Flight attendant spelling out the rules of the flight


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Old 05-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #4694
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That was a pretty good brief, not sure what plane that was on.

Loadmasters do the pax briefings on my plane, and it was always fun to throw something in there to see if they were paying attention.

I'd usually do it right after briefing the use of the drop-down oxygen masks. At this point, people are talking, their heads would be down while they fired off some last minute texts, or they'd have their nose in a book or magazine.

"If loss of cabin pressure should occur, a warning horn will sound, lights will brighten, and oxygen masks will drop from the overhead panel. At this time pull down firmly on the nearest mask. Place the mask over your nose and mouth, and adjust the head strap as is now being demonstrated. Similar oxygen mask provisions are located in each rest room. If the oxygen mask storage container does not automatically open it may be manually opened by pushing the emergency manual release pin on the container door in the direction of the arrow. Of course, you won't really be getting any oxygen anyhow, the mask is simply to muffle your screams of terror as we plummet 32,000 feet to a fiery death. (pause) The airplane is equipped with the...."

At this point, I'd generally see a few heads pop up with a "What did he just say?!" look on their face.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:39 PM   #4695
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Had a nice Fairchild 24 swing through today. They also made these with a radial engine. I'm guessing that this is a Ranger engine.





Prop detail...

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