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Air Traffic Monitoring => Aviation Audio Clips => Topic started by: tkibob on December 22, 2015, 05:34:02 AM

Title: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tkibob on December 22, 2015, 05:34:02 AM
                                      10 sw  KBFL       N36402       PA-32RT-300T

KBFL 192254Z 11005KT 6SM -RA BR OVC055 10/08 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP147 P0003 T01000078

http://abc7news.com/news/bay-area-family-idd-in-weekend-bakersfield-plane-crash/1130538/

This audio is compressed from 28min to 6min.  ZLA was working many other aircraft and BFL was also in the mix - mostly redacted.  This pilot was NOT instrument rated (from the FAA Registry).

Significant transmissions:

02:50   ZLA:     "N402...Did you want to pick-up an IFR to Henderson if I could do that ?"

02:56   402:      "Ah...yea...I would take that...Lance 402"

03:07   ZLA:      "402 Are you ready for your IFR ?"

03:09   402:      "Lance 402 ready to copy"

03:12   ZLA:      "N402 now cleared to the Henderson Airport via Direct HECTOR H-E-C
                        ...DIRECT...Ah...Correction H-E-C V21 to BOULDER B-L-D Direct
                        Maintain 1-5-Thousand"

03:26   402:      "Roger...Hector...H...H-E-C via B-L-D...ah...15,000 Lance 402"

03:36   ZLA:      "N402 are you turning northbound ?"

03:39   402:      "Ah...Roger...I just took heading off of Bakersfield I'm gonna change it to the
                        current...ah...assigned...IFR

03:45   ZLA:      "N402 fly heading of zero-niner-five"

03:59   ZLA:      "N402 make an immediate right turn heading zero-niner-five"

04:06   402:      "Air Traffic Control (sic)402  MAYDAY  MAYDAY  MAYDAY"

04:20   402:      "402  MAYDAY  MAYDAY  MAYDAY.........
                        (center blocks 402 with his next transmission)....."

04:23   ZLA:      "N36402 LA Center...ah...Bakersfield airport is...ah...eleven o'clock and ah...
                        one-zero miles north-west bound"

My opinion:
This pilot had plenty of weather advisories from ATC and live pireps concerning tops, precip and icing starting at 00:24 and yet he continued to press on.  This pilot attempts to explore the context of a pirep at 00:50 with a telling comment lost on the controller:  "get over to their area...clear the clouds" (01:10)

Once again, a Controller has no clue of the consequences of trying to "help" a pilot;
This time by offering an IFR clearance to a pilot who made telling comments about:
 
"get over to their area...clear the clouds" (01:10)
"any idea...bottoms of those clouds are ?" (01:28)
"deviate...around these" (01:44)
"keep chasing...clouds..."(02:28)

The read back at 03:26 omits the airway.  Very telling to me and completely lost on the Controller (assuming the controller was listening for a read-back; I know he has many other things to do demanding and dividing his attention)  There does not appear to be an autopilot in play when this pilot attempts to copy & read back
(03:36  ZLA: "N402 are you turning northbound ?")

The second MAYDAY call is very Very UGLY !!!  That is NOT slipstream or the engine whining in the background.
Perhaps the controller did the world a favor by unintentionally blocking this guy's voice when he did.

Over the course of 25 minutes, How many escape opportunities did this pilot have available to him ?

WHY DO THESE VFR INTO IFR INCIDENTS CONTINUE TO OCCUR  ?!!!?!!!?!!!?!!!?

WHEN ARE PILOTS EVER GOING TO LEARN FROM THE GROSS NEGLIGENCE OF OTHERS  ?!!!?!!!?
(yeah that's right...willfully accepting an IFR clearance when NOT qualified to do so with this result is the
worst possible GROSS NEGLIGENCE !!!!!!!!)

There is enough material in this incident to become the next AOPA Accident Case Study.

The Pilot:
I don't know about this pilot's training, knowledge, skill, proficiency or experience.
I don't know if this pilot was current to carry passengers.
I don't know if this pilot was flying under a current flight review.
I don't know his age as of 12/2015.
I do know his last reported 3rd class medical was issued in 05/2012 (from the FAA Registry).
I DO KNOW this pilot's demonstrated judgment, ADM, SA and PIC authority was as final
and fatal as it gets.

Does his performance in anyway reflect upon the quality of the flight instruction and last flight review he experienced ?  Does his performance in anyway reflect upon the ferocity of the oral and practical tests he experienced ?

The Los Angeles Center Controller:
He is courteous.
He is professional.
He tried to help.
He discharged his duty to perform with alacrity.
NO controller is provided with any specific scenario based training to recognize the many warning signs this pilot revealed.

The policy guidance provided in the 7110.65w is weak and NOT proactive:

Chapter 10. Emergencies
Section 1. General

10−1−1. EMERGENCY DETERMINATIONS
d. Because of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific  procedures cannot be prescribed. However, when you believe an emergency exists or is imminent, select and pursue a course of action which appears to be most appropriate under the circumstances and which most nearly conforms to the instructions in this manual.

10−1−2. OBTAINING INFORMATION
Obtain enough information to handle the emergency intelligently. Base your decision as to what type of assistance is needed on information and requests received from the pilot because he/she is authorized by 14 CFR Part 91 to determine a course of action.

10−2−8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY
a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.

Had this controller been trained with aggressive and proactive tactics to recognize this pilot's disorganized communication, erratic thought process, get-there-itis attitude and numerous red-flag comments combined with the well known weather conditions;  He would have NEVER offered this pilot IFR service and instead would have queried the pilot early on:

"SAY YOUR FLIGHT CONDITIONS"
"ARE YOU INSTRUMENT EQUIPPED AND QUALIFIED ?"
"SAY INTENTIONS"
and offer an unsolicited vector to BFL much sooner rather than later.

This controller's performance is NOT to blame for this incident.
This controller is NOT to be made into a scapegoat as a result.
This controller performed as he was trained.
I sincerely wish him well.

FAR 91.3(a) makes the PIC "directly responsible".

However, is it fair and reasonable blame this PIC exclusively under the circumstances ?
If not, who else shares the blame ?

It is the ATO that creates policy by authoring and updating the 7110.65 and the AIM.
It is the ATO that allows these sorts of controller involved incidents to occur and will continue to do so unless and until an aggressive and proactive tactics policy derived from scenario based examples is created and implemented to address these issues.  A new paradigm in Air Traffic Controller training is long overdue.

The ATO has just as much to learn from the pattern of these never-ending incidents as does any pilot.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR >>> UGLY <<< 5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: InterpreDemon on December 22, 2015, 12:26:34 PM
There are no old, bold pilots, or foolhardy ones, either.

It's always a crime when they take others along to the other side.

Forget the IFR rating issue, there are many I have known who were rated but who I would never penetrate real IMC with, I just wonder if he knew he needed oxygen aboard to accept that clearance.

Anyway the short answer to your two bold ?!!!?!!!?!!!?!!!? questions:

1. Because pilots are human.

2. It is usually our deceased teachers who seldom learn from others, and there will always be a few, thanks to answer #1

That's why it's safest to limit all IFR flight operations to virtual airspace and bug-free software... as you do.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR 5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tyketto on December 22, 2015, 04:40:32 PM

We would have hoped that the KOMA incident would have taught you something, but alas, no, it hasn't.

Not before even arrangements have been made, you are again playing 'shoulda/woulda/coulda backseat pilot' and wanting to place blame. Not only does that smack of being rather cold hearted, but the way you are presenting this as well as yourself crosses into arrogance.

I'm willing to bet that like the pilot in the KOMA incident, this guy was experienced, and was worthy of flying the aircraft he had, otherwise he wouldn't have earned the ticket to be in its left seat.

Secondly, bloody hell, there were children on board this aircraft. If this person wasn't certified to fly this aircraft, in the conditions listed there, he wouldn't have put them in that aircraft.

I have plenty more to say, but believe me when I say that it is very coldhearted and brutally arrogant to completely start to play the blame game and backseat pilot when you have no idea what was going on with the pilot at that time. Very very arrogant.

BL.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR 5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: InterpreDemon on December 22, 2015, 04:51:13 PM
Ty, the only IMC he ever experienced was when he forgot to open the fireplace damper.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: patbarry on December 24, 2015, 11:05:43 PM
I understand that:
a) The pilot was not instrument rated;
b)  Last medical was in 2012;
c)  The aircraft disintegrated into small pieces. The largest section found was the engine.

If a man suicides by flying recklessly and stupidly it's one thing. Taking four people with him is another.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: martyj19 on December 25, 2015, 12:03:45 PM
b)  Last medical was in 2012;

Let's take this off the table right now.  A third class medical issued to a pilot under 40 is valid for five years.  This pilot's expiration is May, 2017.

Inducing a controller to issue and accepting an IFR clearance when you aren't rated is another matter entirely.  It should be noted that there is a time lag between a rating being issued and when it shows up on the public databases, so it is possible that the pilot recently received an instrument rating.  We will need to wait for the investigation to know this and other important facts like total time, time in type, and currency.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tonyairplane on December 25, 2015, 10:18:22 PM
What does he seem to be saying in that last Mayday call? Is it screaming, or is he yelling something about the aircraft?
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tkibob on December 25, 2015, 11:03:58 PM
Reply to tonyairplane:

The audio NOW connected to this thread is NOT my original.  The visceral content was deleted by the Moderator to conform to his sense of decency based what he thinks is appropriate.  This is his website, his forum and his rules.  I do not agree with his choices which is to be expected in any discourse.  It is satisfaction enough to have you and the WORLD read this post and the replies by others, however motivated, to decide for yourself the value of the message.  Therefore, I accept the moderator's authority and will not make any attempt to usurp it.  I urge you to freely express and post your comments here or privately to me and/or the Moderator as you see fit.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: StuSEL on December 26, 2015, 07:18:23 AM
tkibob, I actually agree with many of your points; however, how do you justify stating there were negative consequences to the controller trying to help the pilot, while at the same time encouraging the FAA Air Traffic Organization to provide controllers with scenario based training that helps them proactively take steps on behalf of pilots they believe to be in questionable situations?
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tkibob on December 26, 2015, 03:39:13 PM
tkibob, I actually agree with many of your points; however, how do you justify stating there were negative consequences to the controller trying to help the pilot, while at the same time encouraging the FAA Air Traffic Organization to provide controllers with scenario based training that helps them proactively take steps on behalf of pilots they believe to be in questionable situations?

There will be no "negative consequences to the controller" beyond the second-guessing and guilt he may be feeling for being caught up in something that is clearly NOT his fault.  It will take time to process any grief and it will eventually pass.  May it pass quickly.  I sincerely wish him well.

Much of Chapter 10 EMERGENCIES was authored years before the concept of Scenario Based Training was recognized as a PRICELESS training tool.  The statement:  "Because of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific procedures cannot be prescribed." has become obsolete at best and absolute nonsense at worst.

There have been more then enough examples of VFR pilots pressing on into IMC while in contact with a Radar Controller over the years to demonstrate the pattern of pilot behavior known as get-there-itis.  That pattern no longer fits in the realm of an "...infinite variety of possible emergency situations..."  Pilot's suffering from get-there-itis are in denial.  However, the warning signs are very clear such as disorganized communication reflecting on an erratic decision making process and maneuvers.  In this example, other pilots on the frequency picked up on the developing situation and the pireps were freely flowing.  The controller did not pick up on the many clues offered by the incident pilot of what was about to happen simply because he is not trained to do so.  That failure to recognize those clues is NOT the controller's fault.  The failure to recognize the result of offering IFR service with the clear intent to assist that pilot is NOT the controller's fault.  These failures make it easy to point the finger of blame at the controller simply because he was front and center along with that pilot and happens to be the last one standing when the smoke cleared.  Any fault on the controller's side of the radio lies squarely in the content and quality of the training he received and NOT in his performance of duty.  Training and performance policy decisions are made by the ATO, and NOT the controller.

Scenario based training is all about learning from the examples set by others to include the results of their actions.  This training is available to pilots. Those pilots who choose to learn from the mistakes of others do not repeat them while those who don't are destined to leave an unflattering legacy.  Scenario based training is NOT provided to controllers in Chapter 10 EMERGENCIES because of the ATO's resigned, defeatist mentality:  "...of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific procedures cannot be prescribed."  That quote is an ATO in denial and that mentality must change.  History will teach the ATO policy decision makers IF and WHEN they choose to learn.  The Radar Controller is the coordinator of all traffic on his frequency.  It is the Radar Controller who keeps the BIG PICTURE of weather, traffic and terrain in totality.  It is the Radar Controller who is in the best position to objectively evaluate the mindset of the VFR pilot with whom he is watching and communicating.  VFR operation in the vicinity of weather is always suspect.  Couple that fact with current and active pireps and VFR operation cannot possibly become ANY MORE suspect.  There is no debate on just how fast a VFR pilot can and does get himself into wx trouble.  This example is just one more heap on the pile.

"....However, when you believe an emergency exists or is imminent, select and pursue a course of action which appears to be most appropriate under the circumstances and which most nearly conforms to the instructions in this manual." is MEANINGLESS without the training and tools to recognize the confluence of factors.  The Radar Controller must be equipped with the tactics to proactively wake-up a get-there-itis pilot back to reality.  The Radar Controller must be trained and encouraged by the ATO to use those tactics aggressively.  No properly trained controller would ever offer IFR service to a waffling pilot actually in need of a reminder to make a one-eighty.  A VFR pilot in denial about deteriorating flight conditions is in need of a "cold slap in the face".  ATC is in the best position (and unfortunately {or thankfully}, the last resort) to provide it:

                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1prd0Dpfytw

The Radar controller could leverage his position to much greater effect IF and WHEN he is properly trained and equipped to perform proactively instead of reactively.  The FARs, AIM and 7110.65 have all evolved in hindsight from the smoke and flames of tragedy.  The real tragedy is when the ATO policy decision makers fail to recognize the need to learn from the past and adjust the training philosophy accordingly.  VFR into IMC incidents continue to occur.  Pilots are too slow to learn whereas the ATO does not appear to be learning at all !!!  In comparison, pilot training in this area is only one step ahead of controller training.  That's no surprise considering that text books and the PTS (soon to be known as ACS) are authored by pilots and instructors with a practical application perspective whereas the FARs, AIM and 7110.65 suffer from a much larger bureaucratic influence and drudgery.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: SirIsaac787 on December 26, 2015, 07:38:35 PM
I'm confused...

What about the statement "because of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific procedures cannot be prescribed" is nonsense? That seems pretty damn true to me. It is IMPOSSIBLE to train for every single emergency scenario that a controller may face because there are an infinite number of variables to any emergency situation that can make every single one a controller faces much different from the others they have faced.

But that doesn't mean the ATO is just giving up when it comes to emergency training and saying, "to hell with it, let the controllers figure it out when they experience it." Controllers still run simulation problems with emergencies that they have to handle well to pass training. Of course, what simulated emergencies each controller experiences during training will vary from facility to facility, depending on what that facility deems to be most important for that controller to see an example of (assuming it all meets the standards set by the national training order). So whether or not VFR-into-IFR is a scenario controllers experience in training is up to each facility.

Personally, I believe it is extremely valuable for controllers to experience it and learn some examples of ways to help a pilot. But again, each VFR-into-IFR real-world emergency is NOT the same and so it would in fact be impossible to designate specific procedures a controller should follow in EVERY VFR-into-IFR.

Also, what exactly could the controller have done in this situation to better help this pilot? He cannot see what he cannot see nor does he know what training the pilot has received or what equipment he is dealing with (aside from the basics that can be ascertained a potential filed flight plan). It shouldn't be on controllers to obtain from a pilot whether or not they can accept an IFR clearance. Controllers are not the regulating body. It should not be up to them to make sure a pilot is capable of IFR flight. That is on the pilot. If they do not receive the specific training on how to avoid IFR flight and not accept an IFR clearance if they are not capable, then that is something that needs to be address with pilot training standards.

Again, all the controllers can do is act based on what limited information they have sitting at their radar scope. The weather depictions they see on their scope are precip only and that isn't entirely accurate. I have had aircraft deviate TOWARDS where I thought the weather was, rather than away from it. But that is because they are seeing something different from what I am. And in this case, the pireps the controller received were 30+ miles from this accident aircraft's position. The weather can be quite different between those two aircraft and there could have been a hole or way for the pilot to remain VFR, as indicated by him saying he was deviating to the south to "chase the clouds." When the pilot indicated that, it seems to me the controller was simply trying to be helpful by offering an IFR clearance so he didn't have to deviate a long way out of his intended route of flight. At that point, it is solely on the pilot to say "UNABLE." If a pilot cannot say that, then they shouldn't be flying.

Also, you mention warning signs of "disorganized communication reflecting on an erratic decision making process and maneuvers." None of the audio in the linked file seems terribly disorganized to me, at least until after he issues the IFR clearance, and even still, it isn't all that bad. Missed readbacks occur all the time and in this specific case, HEC V21 BLD is more or less direct (I believe maybe a one degree turn somewhere along the airway) but I will agree with you, that is something a controller should hopefully pick up on, query the pilot, and at that point, it would make sense to me to have a heightened sense of awareness with that aircraft if they still have trouble communicating a correct readback. Now, I do not know the exact timing (specifically, how much actual time there was between each transmission on the linked audio) of transmission on this recording but when the aircraft makes an unexpected turn, the controller addresses that by issuing a heading and for all we know, he may have been considering him an emergency aircraft. At that point, however, there really wasn't much he could do; it seemed to simply be too late for that pilot.

TL;DR I personally do not agree with your assertion that this situation is a great example of the failings of the ATO's training of controllers.

And one last thing, If I may...

You seem to have a love affair with text formatting. Formatting such as bold or italics is meant to enhance the reader's ability to read and understand your text by drawing the reader's attention to certain things. When you format as much as you have, it is actually QUITE distracting.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tkibob on December 27, 2015, 07:10:33 AM
Reply to SirIsaac787:

Quote
"What about the statement "because of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific procedures cannot be prescribed" is nonsense? That seems pretty damn true to me. It is IMPOSSIBLE to train for every single emergency scenario that a controller may face because there are an infinite number of variables to any emergency situation that can make every single one a controller faces much different from the others they have faced."

I'm referring to the pattern of never-ending VFR into IMC incidents.  There were many telling clues in this case given by this pilot that the controller missed (NOT the controller's fault):

"get over to their area...clear the clouds" (01:10)
"any idea...bottoms of those clouds are ?" (01:28)
"deviate...around these" (01:44)
"keep chasing...clouds..." (02:28)

and how does the controller respond to all of that ?  by offering IFR service.  That may be the right thing to do in the name of good intentions; However, it is precisely the wrong thing to do without considering the results of that effort under the circumstances.

Quote
"But that doesn't mean the ATO is just giving up when it comes to emergency training and saying, "to hell with it, let the controllers figure it out when they experience it." Controllers still run simulation problems with emergencies that they have to handle well to pass training. Of course, what simulated emergencies each controller experiences during training will vary from facility to facility, depending on what that facility deems to be most important for that controller to see an example of (assuming it all meets the standards set by the national training order). So whether or not VFR-into-IFR is a scenario controllers experience in training is up to each facility."

The only standing order addressing front line controller procedure is the 7110.65
LTAs (letters to airmen), LOAs (letters of agreement), FDs (facility directives), etc. are all secondary to the ATC "BIBLE".  Every Radar Controller in every Center, TRACON or RAPCON, coast to coast, border to border is trained to that standard.  The ATO's philosophy is reactive.  That is old school. That is NOT adjusting to the reality of consistent incident data.  Many policies in that book are years and in some cases decades old.  The FAA is notorious for acknowledging and refusing to implement NTSB recommendations.  Learning how to recognize and preempt VFR into IMC is NOT rocket science.  It will simply take the commitment of the policy decision makers to create and settle on the procedure just like any other procedure that finds its way into that book.

Quote
"Personally, I believe it is extremely valuable for controllers to experience it and learn some examples of ways to help a pilot. But again, each VFR-into-IFR real-world emergency is NOT the same and so it would in fact be impossible to designate specific procedures a controller should follow in EVERY VFR-into-IFR."

I do NOT agree.  The RED flags are always the same.  A VFR pilot receiving flight-following always starts out in the clear and then gets himself into trouble right under the nose of the controller.  That pilot is going to see what he is about to get himself into before he actually does.  Unless he is completely silent, (they never are) there will always be some hint over the radio about the developing (and deteriorating) situation.

Quote
"Also, what exactly could the controller have done in this situation to better help this pilot? He cannot see what he cannot see nor does he know what training the pilot has received or what equipment he is dealing with (aside from the basics that can be ascertained a potential filed flight plan).  It shouldn't be on controllers to obtain from a pilot whether or not they can accept an IFR clearance."

10−2−8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY
a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.

This is the existing REACTIVE procedure.  Better than nothing, I suppose, but practically speaking;  The airplane could be inverted long before the controller can ask the question.  A PROACTIVE procedure my look something like this:

a. When, in your best judgment, based upon a VFR pilot's statements, questions, phraseology and/or observed aircraft maneuvers that pilot appears uncertain, disorganized, in denial or in fear of his flying environment; Aggressively query the pilot:

PHRASEOLOGY−
SAY YOUR FLIGHT CONDITIONS
ARE YOU INSTRUMENT EQUIPPED AND QUALIFIED ?
SAY INTENTIONS


NOTE−
NEVER offer unsolicited IFR service to ANY pilot !!!
Offer unsolicited vectors away from all observed and reported (pirep) conditions known to be less than VFR.  It is essential to get that pilot's mindset refocused on controlling that aircraft before a potentially deadly situation becomes fatal.


Quote
"Controllers are not the regulating body. It should not be up to them to make sure a pilot is capable of IFR flight. That is on the pilot."

All controllers have better things to do than to save a pilot from himself.  That does not change the fact that human beings with the means to fly themselves and their spouses and their children off of the ground often suffer from an arrogant sense of entitlement.  Who among us has not felt so compelled to achieve a goal as to skew our better judgment in the process ?  This controller REACTED to the situation as he was trained.  The controller was NOT provided with the mandate to act PROACTIVELY.

Quote
"If they do not receive the specific training on how to avoid IFR flight and not accept an IFR clearance if they are not capable, then that is something that needs to be address with pilot training standards."

That is something that needs to be addressed by CFIs & DPEs.  It is the CFI that signs off the student to solo, solo XC, take a Practical Test, complete a Flight Review or IPC, fly tailwheel, complex, high performance, high altitude, tow gliders, WINGS program etc.  The CFI's recommendation and signature is his endorsement of that pilot candidate's demonstrated performance and judgment.  The risk of liability to a CFI has never been greater and it is only getting worse.

It is the DPE who is confirming the competence of the CFI as well as testing the pilot candidate.

Quote
Again, all the controllers can do is act based on what limited information they have sitting at their radar scope. The weather depictions they see on their scope are precip only and that isn't entirely accurate.

Don't forget about pireps.  It would appear this pilot and controller had a lot to work with.

Quote
And in this case, the pireps the controller received were 30+ miles from this accident aircraft's position. The weather can be quite different between those two aircraft and there could have been a hole or way for the pilot to remain VFR, as indicated by him saying he was deviating to the south to "chase the clouds."

Do you drive your car defensively ?  There were enough RED flags in those pireps, known wx and incident pilot's comments for a properly trained controller to aggressively get proactive with this pilot and query for the facts...FAST !!!  That did NOT happen because the controller is not trained to do so.  You will recall the unsolicited vector to BFL came after the Mayday call and not before.  There is no harm in reminding a pilot suspected of pushing his limits of his available options.  Unfortunately, this type of pilot adds to the controller's workload.

Quote
"...it seems to me the controller was simply trying to be helpful by offering an IFR clearance..."

No doubt.  Scenario based training is the study of the results as well as the effort.  The ATO figured out a long time ago not to allow ATC to initiate the SPECIAL VFR or CONTACT APPROACH clearance.  Both of which are only available when requested by the pilot.  Do you know why ?  Let's hope someday the ATO will apply that same cause & effect philosophy to the creation of an aggressive and proactive tactics policy to save VFR (and not so proficient IFR) pilots from themselves.

Quote
"Also, you mention warning signs of "disorganized communication reflecting on an erratic decision making process and maneuvers." None of the audio in the linked file seems terribly disorganized to me, at least until after he issues the IFR clearance, and even still, it isn't all that bad."

"...it isn't all that..." good either.

01:44   402:      "Alright we're gonna deviate to the south to try to...ah...go around these and...ah...perhaps...ah...go through Barstow...Lance 402"

02:50   ZLA:     "N402...Did you want to pick-up an IFR to Henderson if I could do that ?"

02:56   402:      "Ah...yea...I would take that...Lance 402"

03:07   ZLA:      "402 Are you ready for your IFR ?"

03:09   402:      "Lance 402 ready to copy"

03:12   ZLA:      "N402 now cleared to the Henderson Airport via Direct HECTOR H-E-C
                        ...DIRECT...Ah...Correction H-E-C V21 to BOULDER B-L-D Direct
                        Maintain 1-5-Thousand"

03:26   402:      "Roger...Hector...H...H-E-C via B-L-D...ah...15,000 Lance 402"

03:36   ZLA:      "N402 are you turning northbound ?"

03:39   402:      "Ah...Roger...I just took heading off of Bakersfield I'm gonna change it to the
                        current...ah...assigned...IFR

There are no waypoints named BARSTOW.
Was he referring to the airport ?
The pilot never mentions HEC until after the controller does.
The pilot never mentions DAG.
That sounds disorganized.

The pilot is NOT IFR qualified. (from the FAA Registry)
Why is he accepting the invitation from the center ?
That looks like erratic decision making to the point of becoming Careless and Reckless !   91.13(a)

Why the turn NORTH coming from RHV to BFL toward HEC ?
Was he unable to hold a heading while copying the clearance ?
SE to N is maybe 120°.
That looks like an erratic maneuver.

What does "...I just took heading off of Bakersfield..." supposed to mean ?
The closest VORTAC to BFL is EHF (Shafter).
Shafter does not sound like Bakersfield.
Was he referring to something else ?
That sounds disorganized.

Quote
"Missed readbacks occur all the time and in this specific case, HEC V21 BLD is more or less direct (I believe maybe a one degree turn somewhere along the airway) but I will agree with you, that is something a controller should hopefully pick up on, query the pilot, and at that point, it would make sense to me to have a heightened sense of awareness with that aircraft if they still have trouble communicating a correct readback. Now, I do not know the exact timing (specifically, how much actual time there was between each transmission on the linked audio) of transmission on this recording but when the aircraft makes an unexpected turn, the controller addresses that by issuing a heading and for all we know, he may have been considering him an emergency aircraft. At that point, however, there really wasn't much he could do; it seemed to simply be too late for that pilot.

You got (all) that right !  I believe LoC began when he attempted to copy the clearance, maybe followed by brief recovery, then LoC again down to the ground.

03:26   402:      "Roger...Hector...H...H-E-C via B-L-D...ah...15,000 Lance 402"

03:36   ZLA:      "N402 are you turning northbound ?"

03:39   402:      "Ah...Roger...I just took heading off of Bakersfield I'm gonna change it to the
                        current...ah...assigned...IFR

03:45   ZLA:      "N402 fly heading of zero-niner-five"

03:59   ZLA:      "N402 make an immediate right turn heading zero-niner-five"

04:06   402:      "Air Traffic Control (sic)402  MAYDAY  MAYDAY  MAYDAY"

04:20   402:      "402  MAYDAY  MAYDAY  MAYDAY.........
                        (center blocks 402 with his next transmission)....."

04:23   ZLA:      "N36402 LA Center...ah...Bakersfield airport is...ah...eleven o'clock and ah...
                        one-zero miles north-west bound"

Quote
"TL;DR I personally do not agree with your assertion that this situation is a great example of the failings of the ATO's training of controllers."

You are entitled to your opinion, as am I.  Do NOT take that comment as a SLAM.  I acknowledge your effort in your post and I am grateful for your time and considered opinion.  The purpose of these threads is to get pilots to THINK for themselves, to whatever extent they choose.  The only good that can come out of this tragedy is to ask of ourselves:  What would I do in this situation ? and What can I learn from this latest example ?  No one is obligated to post but by the number of views, it does appear to be a topic of interest to most and so I presume the questions are being considered.  I encourage everyone to speak freely and post their comments and opinions as they see fit.  We all benefit from the exchange of each other's ideas and perspectives.

Quote
"And one last thing, If I may...

You seem to have a love affair with text formatting. Formatting such as bold or italics is meant to enhance the reader's ability to read and understand your text by drawing the reader's attention to certain things. When you format as much as you have, it is actually QUITE distracting."

You have exposed my deepest secret.  I am guilty as sin !  Managing distractions is what situational awareness is all about.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: semperflyer797 on December 27, 2015, 10:16:01 AM
Although I've read a number of tkibob's posts on here I have yet to gain anything from what he's posted.  It would appear to me that no one understand that tkibob is a troll and someone who needs to be banned from this website???  He must be the perfect pilot who's never gone flying when the wind was blowing over 4 knots.  He consistently degrades both pilots who sadly and, or tragically have lost their lives while flying, as well as the great people of our ATC who are simply trying to do their best to be of a service to those flying in their airspace at the time.  As I understand it, this forum is meant to be a place to listen to audio and to have meaningful discourse on said audio.  Far be it for me to sit here and try to be a Monday morning quarterback like you seem to want to do sir.  Never mind the fact that the accident investigation report isn't final and as such no hard findings of FACT are available to you but you seem to know immediately how the pilot in question was wrong.  My grandfather taught me that it's rarely ever the first mistake you make when flying that'll kill you, but most likely it's the second when you haven't corrected the first.  Dare I say your first problem is that you're a "perfect pilot".  All I can say to try to sum this up is, I hope you never find yourself in distress and in need of ATC's help because you obviously would refuse it, and may you never see a cloud in your windscreen.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: SirIsaac787 on December 27, 2015, 05:02:44 PM
I'm referring to the pattern of never-ending VFR into IMC incidents.  There were many telling clues in this case given by this pilot that the controller missed (NOT the controller's fault):

"get over to their area...clear the clouds" (01:10)
"any idea...bottoms of those clouds are ?" (01:28)
"deviate...around these" (01:44)
"keep chasing...clouds..." (02:28)

Sounds to me like a VFR pilot aware of the poor weather and saying they are staying VFR, or at least trying to.

Quote
and how does the controller respond to all of that ?  by offering IFR service.  That may be the right thing to do in the name of good intentions; However, it is precisely the wrong thing to do without considering the results of that effort under the circumstances.

Why not offer IFR service? If they say they can take it, it will help them get to where they want to go without having to go far out of the way. If the pilot cannot accept it or is uncomfortable, they need to speak up and say so. Controllers aren't mind-readers nor do they know what your qualifications are.

Quote
The only standing order addressing front line controller procedure is the 7110.65
LTAs (letters to airmen), LOAs (letters of agreement), FDs (facility directives), etc. are all secondary to the ATC "BIBLE".  Every Radar Controller in every Center, TRACON or RAPCON, coast to coast, border to border is trained to that standard.

They are also trained to the standard of the national training order as well as each facility's training order. Maybe I am understanding you wrong, but you seem to think controllers don't receive training for emergencies because of the one statement you highlighted earlier in the 7110.65.

Quote
The ATO's philosophy is reactive.  That is old school. That is NOT adjusting to the reality of consistent incident data.  Many policies in that book are years and in some cases decades old.  The FAA is notorious for acknowledging and refusing to implement NTSB recommendations. 

I 100% agree with you. It is typical slow-moving, red-tape government. This is one argument for why there needs to be dramatic change in the FAA to some form of privatized body (NATCA even agrees, to an extent).

Quote
I do NOT agree.  The RED flags are always the same.  A VFR pilot receiving flight-following always starts out in the clear and then gets himself into trouble right under the nose of the controller.  That pilot is going to see what he is about to get himself into before he actually does.  Unless he is completely silent, (they never are) there will always be some hint over the radio about the developing (and deteriorating) situation.

Except, there are also pilots who start VFR, encounter weather, go IFR and have no issues what-so-ever because they are IFR qualified, trained well, and confident. In this specific situation, I didn't hear any glaring warning signs that this pilot wasn't going to be able to fly through the weather until it was too late. If this pilot had said, "no, we cannot accept an IFR clearance" that's the end of that and the controller goes into helping them, the best he can, maintain VFR flight.

How much should we hold the hands of pilots? They receive extensive training just like controllers do. If they cannot make the safe decision as a VFR pilot to avoid inclement weather, then they should not be in the air. It's tragic but the stupid will find a way to be stupid. (Just want to clarify, I am not calling this specific dead pilot or his family stupid. This audio alone is not enough to make a judgment about someone. We do not know the entire facts and even after a full investigation is concluded and published, we still may not not everything we desire to know about this situation.)

Quote
10−2−8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY
a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.

The controller in this situation did say, "if I can do that for you." The argument could be made that this does not satisfy this requirement but I believe that is what the controller was doing.

Quote
A PROACTIVE procedure my look something like this:

[...]

Offer unsolicited vectors away from all observed and reported (pirep) conditions known to be less than VFR.  It is essential to get that pilot's mindset refocused on controlling that aircraft before a potentially deadly situation becomes fatal.[/i]

Except radar controllers cannot see all weather and, using the situation as an example, PIREPs may not be close enough. In this case, the only PIREPs were 30+ miles away. The weather can be dramatically different 30 miles from each other. Controllers see moderate, heavy and extreme precipitation and that's it.

Regarding the unsolicited vectors, part of the reason I believe aviation to be reactive as a whole nowadays is because of our sue-happy culture. Let's say this controller offers an unsolicited vector away from where they BELIEVE, not know, but BELIEVE the weather to be because they BELIEVE, not know, but BELIEVE the pilot is disoriented. Let's say that vector takes the aircraft right into clouds because the controller has no way of knowing where all the clouds are. Let's say the pilot doesn't speak up about this vector taking him into clouds and he becomes disoriented, loses control and dies in the resulting accident. Guess how long it takes for a lawsuit against the FAA for that.

When it comes to weather, the pilots are in a much better position to avoid and get themselves out of weather than a controller is.

I'm not saying there is no room for improvement or a more proactive approach when it comes to training and procedures, because there is. But there is only so much a controller can and should do.

And rather than continuing to just disagree with most of what you say, I'll stop there and we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: bigj93702 on December 27, 2015, 10:26:40 PM
From a local paper - being from Fresno, I wanted to dig up the latest info: most interesting is this analysis:

The speed of the aircraft, roughly 280 miles per hour, is over 100 miles per hour faster than the recommended top speed for a piper cherokee.

The sudden acceleration and climb, combined with the mayday calls, suggest the pilot lost control of the aircraft, something the planes co-owner, Terry Pickard, suggested to 17 news on Sunday.

Pickard also said there was an indication the aircraft broke apart in flight.

The stress of turning a nearly 40-year old plane, travelling much faster than intended, could be enough to tear parts of the plane apart, and would explain the sudden loss of radar contact, as well as the quarter-mile long debris field described by officials.

Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: martyj19 on December 28, 2015, 12:00:40 AM
The speed of the aircraft, roughly 280 miles per hour, is over 100 miles per hour faster than the recommended top speed for a piper cherokee.

At this point any analysis is pure speculation, but somewhat informed by experience in other similar accident scenarios, and I encourage you to wait for the accident investigators to do their work before you draw any conclusions.

We don't yet and may never know the exact speed of the aircraft.  The speed that the radar controller sees is only accurate in reasonably normal flight, not in a descent at a steep angle, and it includes the effect of whatever wind is present.

Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say that the excessive speed is not the cause of the crash, it is a result of an earlier loss of control and quite likely entering what is called a spiral dive.  This is a very common outcome of a non instrument rated pilot trying to continue into solid clouds where you cannot control the airplane by reference to the visual horizon.  Most of the time a loss of control will occur within a minute or two.  It is relatively easy to recover from a spiral dive if you do it correctly and quickly before too much speed builds up.

I agree that the evidence indicates the airplane broke apart in flight and this happens because the mechanical stresses caused by airflow in the dive exceed the values that the airframe components are designed to handle.  Every airplane has what is called a never exceed speed and this is the reason for it.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tkibob on December 28, 2015, 04:45:53 AM
Reply to SirIsaac787:

The 7110.65 Air Traffic Control and AC 60-22 Aeronautical Decision Making are available on PDF from:

www.FAA.gov

Simply type ( ___ ) in the search box.

The 7110.65 is a very useful tool for a pilot to comprehend the controller's perspective.

Quote
"Sounds to me like a VFR pilot aware of the poor weather and saying they are staying VFR, or at least trying to."

I agree, to a point; Right up until he accepted that IFR clearance.  This pilot departed RHV and traveled approximately 175nm to the point of impact.  I assume all that distance was covered non-stop in VFR conditions with flight-following.  He had the good sense not to attempt to fly direct to HND which, although expedient, would require him to cross the Sierra Nevada near Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48.  Maybe it was the WX that forced him to fly south toward BFL. 

Quote
Why not offer IFR service? If they say they can take it, it will help them get to where they want to go without having to go far out of the way. If the pilot cannot accept it or is uncomfortable, they need to speak up and say so. Controllers aren't mind-readers nor do they know what your qualifications are."

Because he is not supposed to:

10−2−8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY
a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter
IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.
b. If the pilot states he/she is qualified for and capable of IFR flight, request him/her to file
an IFR flight plan and then issue clearance to destination airport, as appropriate.

The key word is to ASK and not offer.  This controller made the assumption this pilot was equipped and qualified to accept IFR service by the framing of his question:

02:50   ZLA:     "N402...Did you want to pick-up an IFR to Henderson if I could do that ?"

The controller never asked the pilot as described in a. above.

I agree;  No controller is a mind reader and the pilot is solely responsible for his choices and actions.  Unfortunately, the temptation was too great for this pilot:

02:56   402:      "Ah...yea...I would take that...Lance 402"

Let's rewind what we know:  A family of 5 gets into the family airplane for a Saturday trip (probably longer) to Las Vegas (area).  Whatever the reason for the trip, it was probably supposed to be a fun, wholesome, nurturing family outing.  I have no problem trying to get into the mind of Daddy, the family patriarch and PIC.  He is clearly on a mission to get to HND.  The kids have probably been looking forward to this trip for at least a while and no parent ever wants to disappoint their children.  How does all of that pure speculation on my part, if accurate add up ?  Does that remotely sound like get-there-itis ?

We don't know how this pilot would have answered the question in a. above had it been asked.  We will never know if this pilot would have initiated an IFR service request on his own.  Regardless, it would NOT have made a bit of difference.  The simple fact is; He accepted the offer of IFR service.  Given his reported qualifications and his equivocation on the radio;  I am satisfied this controller's action (or insignificant deviation) did NOT cause or contribute to this incident.  The "buck" stops with the PIC.  I feel sorry for him.  I grieve for his wife and 3 children who went with him.  I am also in total support of a controller who tried to do the best job he could and be as helpful as he could only to get caught up in something that is clearly NOT his fault.

Quote
"They are also trained to the standard of the national training order as well as each facility's training order. Maybe I am understanding you wrong, but you seem to think controllers don't receive training for emergencies because of the one statement you highlighted earlier in the 7110.65."

Controllers do NOT receive SCENARIO BASED TRAINING to deal with these never-ending VFR into IMC reruns.  What you see in the 7110.65 is exactly what the controllers are trained with.  I contend it is weak, reactive and insufficient.  That is the "national training order".  Any "facility's training order" will not be any more specific in this area.

Quote
"Except, there are also pilots who start VFR, encounter weather, go IFR and have no issues what-so-ever because they are IFR qualified, trained well, and confident. In this specific situation, I didn't hear any glaring warning signs that this pilot wasn't going to be able to fly through the weather until it was too late. If this pilot had said, "no, we cannot accept an IFR clearance" that's the end of that and the controller goes into helping them, the best he can, maintain VFR flight."

That is the point of developing an organized, SCENARIO BASED TRAINING program.  The RED flags are subtle
and consistent.  There is plenty of history to work with.  It's all about gathering the dots to connect the dots.  A review of the run-up to these incidents will reveal the pattern of the pilot's struggle with the denial of his situation in his communication with ATC.  It is going to take the already burdened and distracted efforts of ATC, not intoxicated by any get-there-itis pressures and as a last resort to get those struggling pilots focused on what really matters at the moment and FAST, before that pilot gets himself any deeper into "weather difficulty".

Quote
"How much should we hold the hands of pilots? They receive extensive training just like controllers do. If they cannot make the safe decision as a VFR pilot to avoid inclement weather, then they should not be in the air."

That falls squarely on the Instructor and the Examiner.  This guy did not get off of the ground without them.
AC 60-22 Aeronautical Decision Making is 29 pages of the stuff the FAA thinks we need to know.  It was paid for with our tax dollars, it is there for our benefit so we should all read it and decide for ourselves what works for us, individually.  In the mean time, consider the possibility that ADM is no more complicated than the practical application of the fundamentals pilots are supposed to learn and practice to proficiency to fly safely.  That comes from the nurture, guidance and encouragement of the CFI.  Teaching is all about setting a good and proper example for a student to thrive, achieve and excel.  Holding a certificated pilot's hand is enabling irresponsible behavior and dare I say, incompetence.  Next, the DPE evaluates the pilot's acquired knowledge, judgment and performance to the standard of the Practical Test.  The DPE is also evaluating the effectiveness of the CFI.

It is NOT up to ATC to ever take this pilot by the hand should he fall through the cracks.  I believe it should be up to ATC, as the last resort, to recognize when a pilot is about to find himself in over his head and save him from himself.  Scenario based training in this area would give the controllers all they need to accomplish that.  The pilot's deficiencies can be addressed at a later time, if he survives.

Quote
10−2−8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY
a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.

The controller in this situation did say, "if I can do that for you." The argument could be made that this does not satisfy this requirement but I believe that is what the controller was doing."

Maybe.  It is possible this controller was training and consulting with his instructor for agreement or coordinating with the next sector's controller to see how this "pop-up" addition would fit with his traffic picture.  There is an enormous amount of behind the scenes coordination between controllers we never see or hear.  I think we all agree the intent of this controller, however stated, was to be helpful.

Quote
  "Except radar controllers cannot see all weather and, using the situation as an example, PIREPs may not be close enough. In this case, the only PIREPs were 30+ miles away. The weather can be dramatically different 30 miles from each other. Controllers see moderate, heavy and extreme precipitation and that's it.

Regarding the unsolicited vectors, part of the reason I believe aviation to be reactive as a whole nowadays is because of our sue-happy culture. Let's say this controller offers an unsolicited vector away from where they BELIEVE, not know, but BELIEVE the weather to be because they BELIEVE, not know, but BELIEVE the pilot is disoriented. Let's say that vector takes the aircraft right into clouds because the controller has no way of knowing where all the clouds are. Let's say the pilot doesn't speak up about this vector taking him into clouds and he becomes disoriented, loses control and dies in the resulting accident. Guess how long it takes for a lawsuit against the FAA for that."

Any and EVERY "instruction" coming from any controller is always SUGGESTED.  That logic fits perfectly with the command authority described in 91.3(a)  For example, Pilots ask for and ATC suggests vectors around WX every day.  It is always up to the pilot to accept or decline.  Whenever there is a divergence of the minds in any situation, pilots can say:  UNABLE and ATC can say:  SAY INTENTIONS.

The worst things a controller can say to a pilot's request is UNABLE and provide some plausible alternative or to do something IMMEDIATELY.  In either case, it is always up to the pilot to accept or decline and be prepared to justify his aeronautical decisions later:  91.3(c).

Quote
  When it comes to weather, the pilots are in a much better position to avoid and get themselves out of weather than a controller is.

Not always.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: GeoffSM1 on December 28, 2015, 10:02:21 AM
Although I've read a number of tkibob's posts on here I have yet to gain anything from what he's posted.  It would appear to me that no one understand that tkibob is a troll and someone who needs to be banned from this website??? 

Not being a pilot I don't always follow all the details of the points being made in the forums but I generally find the submissions to be quite informative. It grieves me to say however that those by tkibob generally make me feel very uncomfortable. If the Moderators do not consider it appropriate to take up the above suggestion would they at the very least instruct him to stop 'shouting' (inappropriate use of upper case characters, italics, underscoring and bold font - sometimes several at the same time)! My head hurts!
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: GeoffSM1 on December 28, 2015, 10:28:45 AM
The tragedy occurred at about 4pm local time and reports state that the wreckage wasn't found until about 7.30pm. As it seems possible that weather conditions were a major factor, I thought it might be of interest to listen to ATC transmissions from the period immediately following the aircraft's disappearance from radar to find out what conditions were being reported. The attached file is the result. 
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: InterpreDemon on December 28, 2015, 10:32:46 AM
Geoff, have no fear, he is not a real pilot, only one who plays one on his computer and reads everything he can access about real pilots on the internet. So he will never expose you or anybody else to real danger beyond death via boredom. In the beginning I recommended he NOT be bumped off because some of the real pilots were having fun toying with him, but after seeing the pedantic, OCD nature of his posting and receiving a few nasty PMs from him myself, I think it might be time to return the airwaves to something other than the "I am Bob, the world's foremost authority" infomercial.

Thanks for the additional recording... that's what this forum is supposed to be about.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: SirIsaac787 on December 28, 2015, 11:51:28 AM
Controllers do NOT receive SCENARIO BASED TRAINING to deal with these never-ending VFR into IMC reruns.  What you see in the 7110.65 is exactly what the controllers are trained with.  I contend it is weak, reactive and insufficient.  That is the "national training order".  Any "facility's training order" will not be any more specific in this area.

I just have to ask, how do you know?

You're quite the keyboard warrior and you do make some very valid points...but I'm curious as to what your real-world experience is in this area?
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tkibob on December 28, 2015, 12:03:38 PM
Reply to SirIsaac787

Quote
"I just have to ask, how do you know?"


Many inside contacts and like minds.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: RonR on December 28, 2015, 12:25:33 PM
I grieve for his wife and 3 children who went with him.

tkibob: one thing has bothered me about all of the novellas that you've posted on here thus far: I've noticed that there seems to me to be a complete and utter lack of compassion on your part for the people that were on board this aircraft.  It took you until today to post this little tiny sentence that was mixed in the middle of your most recent rant.  When I first heard about this accident I was stunned.  Although I didn't know this family, I felt terrible about what happened.  I can't even begin to imagine what their surviving family and friends must be going through right now.

Unfortunately, I hate to say it, but I sense absolutely none of that from you.  Blame was the last thing I was thinking about.  Instead, before the dust had even settled, the very first post from you on this subject was all about blame.  If a family member had read your posts on this accident, do you think it would have helped ease their pain or would it have infuriated them??  I think I know the answer....

I'd be interested to know what your background is when it comes to aviation.  Are you a pilot?  An instructor? A controller?  Some other aviation capacity?  "Many inside contacts and like minds" doesn't say much.

Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: SirIsaac787 on December 28, 2015, 01:05:30 PM
Reply to SirIsaac787

Quote
"I just have to ask, how do you know?"


Many inside contacts and like minds.


Huh. Okay, so then I guess they didn't tell you about the National Training Order that YOU SAID DIDN'T EXIST?

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/JO_3120.4N.pdf

Now, I'm NOT saying the Order specifies a controller must receive SCENARIO BASED TRAINING related to VFR into IFR you say it should. I'm also not saying it explicitly states a controller must receive scenario based training for emergencies.

What I am saying is a quick text search of JO 3120.4N reveals:


I'll also say my real world experience, although still very short compared to the long careers of others, has included simulated scenarios that included emergencies (many of them). Again, you seemed to indicate that didn't actually happen because of the one statement in the 7110.65. However, I have not yet experienced a VFR into IFR emergency in those scenarios. I cannot say it will or will not happen in further training I receive, but I hope it will.

So this order that you said just didn't exist and that the 7110.65 was the one and only national training order, well, I guess that was a bunch of bullshit? Further more, facilities develop their own training orders that have to meet the standards of the national training order, at a minimum, and by default, the 7110.65.

And here's some more bold, italics, and underlining just for the hell of it. Why not some color too?
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tonyairplane on December 28, 2015, 04:47:10 PM
So, why did they edit the end of recording?  One guess would be that he was screaming as the wings were peeling off.

If he said instead something such as, we're going down with a full load of ice, wouldn't they have left that on there?

Also, is there any information, maybe from the plane's other half owner, if there was oxygen on board?

Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: J4000 on December 28, 2015, 09:51:33 PM
Torn about whether the original recording should have been redacted....all these things are learning experiences, particularly for those of use who ply the skies in a less-than compensatory status.  With no disrespect for the deceased, I'm confused as to why the content matters in this forum GIVEN THAT THE FAA TYPICALLY ULTIMATELY RELEASES CVR CONTENT on the worst of events at some later point.  I know this is not CVR, but honestly, after listening to the Buffalo event that killed, what, 30 people, including the newby pilots chatting casually about how they didn't have any actual icing experience....nothing can EVER be that chilling, obscenities or otherwise.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: InterpreDemon on December 29, 2015, 11:54:42 AM
Actually, the FAA or NTSB rarely release CVR or communications audio, especially where the sound of the doomed screaming or impact are involved, only transcripts. I see no value, in fact I only see perverse curiosity, in listening to the family of the pilot screaming in the background as he calls out his final epitaph. Folks who get excited about such things have ample other places to go on the internet, Brazilian news cameras following suicide jumpers all the way down to the pavement, horrible accident scenes on Russian dash cams, ISIS recruitment videos, etc., and we not feed such perverted appetites here.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: patbarry on December 29, 2015, 12:49:11 PM
My info is second hand, but I'm told that the Mayday call had screams in the background of the daughter(s).

I read here about the controller and his offer of a clearance - it is the responsibility of the pilot to accept or decline a clearance. If the pilot was not instrument rated he should have declined and requested a vector to clear weather and maintained VFR.

This is a shocking event.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: tonyairplane on December 29, 2015, 03:04:14 PM
It seemed to me that when the guy first called mayday, but the controller didn't hear it.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: GeoffSM1 on December 29, 2015, 03:09:47 PM
Requests  to tkibob.

Please copy the pm you sent to me earlier today under the heading 'Hold your hurting head in both hands' into this thread.

Referring to the Barron @ HWD:
[/quote
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: Robert Larson on December 30, 2015, 02:25:32 PM
Alternate perspective on tkibob: He appears to be on the autism spectrum. I don't think he's deliberately trolling. He just thinks differently. I for one will attempt to embrace neurodiversity and put up with his nonsense as there do seem to be nuggets of interesting stuff in his over-long posts. I think he means well, he just has an odd way of communicating.

fwiw, while I AM a pilot I am NOT a psychologist. Just live with some autistic folks so am somewhat qualified in my "diagnosis". His posts seem very familiar to me.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: Fill on January 03, 2016, 08:01:46 PM
if it helps anyone with the registry delay question, i passed my checkride 11/11/2015 and it was posted just before christmas, so it's about 6 weeks backlog. 
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: frcabot on January 07, 2016, 03:21:13 PM
I can't get behind all the super long post and didn't even bother reading most of it (I find the bolding, underlining, italics, etc. really distracting and I will skip past anything formatted like that) but this does seem to be a pretty clear loss of control scenario -- either vfr into ifr or icing-induced spin. Condolences to the surviving family.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: frcabot on January 07, 2016, 07:23:51 PM
FYI he was not instrument rated and he had basically no IFR experience (some of you were speculating that he was IFR rated but the website just hadn't been updated). The plane broke-up in flight, almost certainly due to exceeding G-force limitations in a spin/LOC. http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20151220X04641&key=1
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: martyj19 on January 08, 2016, 02:58:56 PM
some of you were speculating that he was IFR rated but the website just hadn't been updated)

To clarify, having been the poster who originally suggested this, I wanted to be as charitable as possible to the pilot's qualifications and thus suggested that very slight possibility might exist.

Now that we have the NTSB preliminary, and the information from the pilot's logbook, a lot of the speculation surrounding the flight can be put to rest.

Interestingly, the NTSB doesn't touch on whether oxygen was available even though at these altitudes it is very pertinent, and it could well be that hypoxia contributed to the LOC.

While I have you here, if you are a student pilot, it is a good idea to get in the habit of scanning in and storing your logbook pages as you finish them.  That way if your logbook gets lost or destroyed, it can be reconstructed.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: greg99 on January 12, 2016, 11:29:54 PM
Horrifically, one of the local TV stations elected to repeatedly broadcast the CVR recording, including a part where the screams of the children could be heard.

Perhaps the most offensive thing I've seen on TV news in a very long time.

Greg
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: lajim on January 14, 2016, 10:20:35 PM
A couple of questions on the NTSB prelim information available at the previously provided link. It is basically a brief summary of facts and does not speculate on potential causes. It says:

"During the initial climb the pilot was provided traffic advisories from SoCal and then NorCal Approach..."

This seems incorrect; the flight path from San Jose to near Bakersfield is nowhere near SoCal airspace, especially the initial-climb portion.

The Report also mentions "Oakland Approach" which I think should be NorCal, especially since the flight path was pretty far from Oakland. 

Seems a bit odd that a NTSB-issued summary would have these types of basic factual inaccuracies? Any thoughts? It does contain a disclaimer:  "This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors."
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: martyj19 on January 15, 2016, 09:54:55 AM
The stages of an NTSB report are Preliminary, Factual, Probable Cause.  The first time you will see a potential cause mentioned is in the final Probable Cause report, which is approved by the full Board.  The NTSB does not speculate.  It can take a year or more to conclude the investigation and determine probable cause.

I wouldn't read anything into what may or may not be factual errors in the Preliminary.  The disclaimer you quoted says what it needs to say at this stage.  The one that caught my eye is the initial statement that the flight was conducted under an IFR flight plan and then it talks extensively about operating VFR.

Given that Northern California TRACON manages 20,000 square miles including Oakland, it's likely that both you and the report are referring to the same facility.
Title: Re: VFR into IFR.......5 souls 3 kids 1 family
Post by: ashawley on January 15, 2016, 11:54:14 AM
I think the sentence about IMC and IFR in the first paragraph were about what the flight experienced generally and not about the specific weather or ATC handling at Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV) in San Jose.  The sentence about IMC and IFR is after the one that mentions KRHV, but that seems like a correlation with possibly no connection.  Here is a METAR around that period from KRHV:

KRHV 192247Z 31015KT 10SM SCT040 13/05 A3001

Quote
The cross-country flight departed Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, San Jose, California, at 1435, with a planned destination of Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

Could the takeoff of LANCE 36402 from KRHV be added to the beginning of the file posted here?  They are in the following audio archives:

KRHV1-Ground-Dec-19-2015-2200Z
KRHV1-Ground-Dec-19-2015-2230Z
KRHV1-Tower-Dec-19-2015-2230Z