Asiana Flights between ICN and SFO Banned.

Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, was ordered to halt its daily flights to San Francisco after the crash while landing at the city’s airport in July last year killed three passengers.

The airline won’t be allowed to fly to the city for 45 days from Seoul- Incheon airport, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said today. Investigations by the US National Transportation Safety Board found pilot error, inadequate training on automation system of the B777 aircraft led to the fatal accident.

Asiana strengthened pilot training, appointed a new chief executive officer and hired an official to oversee safety after Flight 214 struck a seawall short of the San Francisco airport on July 6 last year. The carrier violated US law by not promptly helping victims and family members immediately after the crash, which also injured 49 people, the Department of Transportation said in February.

“The government plans to implement additional measures to ensure proper pilot training at Asiana,” the ministry said.

The government reduced the penalty from the maximum of 90 days because of the crew’s efforts to evacuate passengers, the ministry said in the statement. Asiana has six months to comply with the ruling. The order will be finalized if the airline doesn’t object within the next 15 days.

Asiana will consider legal steps against the government’s decision, the Seoul-based airline said in an e-mailed statement after the government pronounced its verdict. The carrier’s shares gained 3.4% to 4,630 won as of 2.21pm in the city.

IATA’s support
Since the San Francisco crash, the South Korean government has stepped up regulations to improve airline safety standards, including steeper penalties for accidents involving casualties.

The International Air Transport Association had sent a letter to the South Korean transport ministry last month that the airline shouldn’t be sanctioned over the crash. A carrier already suffers significant financial loss from life and equipment, legal liability and damage to image, the group said.

The pilots on Flight 214 mismanaged their approach to the airport, failed to
notice the deteriorating speed and lights near the runway showing they were too low, and then didn’t abort the touchdown, which they were trained to do, according to the NTSB. The two pilots also didn’t communicate as they each made changes to the cockpit automation, the board found.

Source: Bloomberg News
Photo: Reuters

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China Enforces Airline Pilots to be CAT II Qualified

Starting from Jan 1, 2014, flight crews operating into Beijing’s International Airport, one the nation’s 10 busiest must be ILS Cat II Approach qualified to land when visibility falls below 400 meters.

The new requirement will be applied only to China based airlines and is part of the effort of the Civil Aviation Authority of China to improve on-time performance in an area where one for four flights is delayed due to low visibility and airspace congestion.  Low visibility caused by smoke has delayed more than 200 flights in a 24 hour period at Shanghai airport.

In January, Beijing suffered its worst bout of air pollution with PM2.5 readings hitting at least 886. Shanghai’s air pollution index surged to a record 482 on Dec. 6 into the “severe” level, the highest of a six-tier rating system. The haze also caused traffic congestion the nation’s commercial hub as the government took emergency steps such as ordering cars off the road and factories to cut production.

Capt. Ivan

When Ice Shows up…

There are a lot of good written articles and videos about icing, our knowledge about its causes and effects has increased significantly during last years, but we still have dangerous encounters, incidents or accidents due to ice formation.

The problem with ice is that you don’t know how bad it is until you are in a serious situation. Prevention is the best course of action, or escape if you are in the middle of it.

There are several types of ice, but once you see it forming in your airplane surfaces all ice must be considered as a threat.   Ice formation needs of certain conditions to meet, the most important of those conditions are moisture and sub-zero temperatures.  Ice formation is faster on clouds with vertical development, where the water drops remain on a liquid state under below zero temperatures, often known as super cooled drops.  When this drops hit the cold airplane surface, they freeze instantly.  Want an example of super cooled drops? – Place a closed soda drink in the freezer and leave it there for several hours, observe later that the drink still conserves a liquid state, but it freezes as soon as you open it.

There are certain important considerations about operations under icing conditions; first, as airline pilots say, is the equipment. – What kind of aircraft are you flying? – A Jet? – A Turboprop? – Or a piston single or multiengine?  I remember a couple of years ago I was flying a Piper Navajo without de-icing equipment and was very concerned about icing conditions on my route of flight.  Then came an MD-80 pilot and told me they had no ice at FL120 during descent – Of course Captain! I thought, the temperature rise at your descent speed, (around 280 kts. at that altitude) is of nearly three degrees! Jet performance is not parameters you can compare with other turboprops or piston aircraft.

Second, which is your on board de-ice, anti-ice equipment? – Is it working properly? Once in the clouds is very unpleasant to discover that is not.

Third, are you going to climb through icing conditions? Are you going to remain inside of clouds with forecasted ice formation for the duration of the flight? Or are you going to descent through them? – This questions have a direct relationship with the type of aircraft that you are flying.  A jet can exit icing conditions very quickly during climb to higher altitudes where the temperatures are so low that water does not exist on a liquid state, so, no ice formation.

A turboprop can face a serious challenge if it has to face severe ice formation during climb or during typical turboprops cruising altitudes.  Not to mention a piston aircraft, even worst.  If you going to descent through severe icing conditions, how about a go-around with an airplane degraded in performance due to ice accretion?

No doubt that flying in icing conditions requires careful planning.

One thing to bear in mind is that there is no aircraft that can sustain severe ice formation; again, the problem lies in that you don’t know how severe is it until you discover that ice is forming rapidly around the airplane.

When you discover that ice is forming quickly in your propeller aircraft, the only option may be begin a descent to a lower altitude, looking for warmer temperatures, but then it comes the fourth consideration; the terrain.

If you have to descent, how low can you go? – The mountains below you can be a hidden trap.

If you plan to fly on icing conditions or they are forecasted along the route, work on an exit to escape them in case that is necessary, being flying at a lower altitude, staying clear of clouds, or planning an alternate route of flight.

At last, when ice shows up, don’t sit there just wondering, do something quickly.

Capt. Ivan

Want to read more about icing?  I recommend these articles.

The Naked Truth About Icing Conditions – By Eric Jaderborg

In Flight Icing – Skybrary Aero

Defining Know Ice – Bob Miller

Flight Training AOPA – Aircraft Icing





FAA Issues Final Rule to enhance Pilot Training

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a final rule that will significantly advance the way commercial air carrier pilots are trained.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta stated: “Today’s rule is a significant advancement for aviation safety and U.S. pilot training,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “One of my first meetings as Transportation Secretary was with the Colgan Flight 3407 families, and today, I am proud to announce that with their help, the FAA has now added improved pilot training to its many other efforts to strengthen aviation safety.”

The final rule stems in part from the tragic crash of Colgan Air 3407 in February 2009, and addresses a Congressional mandate in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 to ensure enhanced pilot training. Today’s rule is one of several rulemakings required by the Act, including the requirements to prevent pilot fatigue that were finalized in December 2011, and the increased qualification requirements for first officers who fly U.S. passenger and cargo planes that were issued  in July 2013.

The final rule requires: 

  • Ground and flight training that enables pilots to prevent and recover from aircraft stalls and upsets.  These new training standards will impact future simulator standards as well;
  • Air carriers to use data to track remedial training for pilots with performance deficiencies, such as failing a proficiency check or unsatisfactory performance during flight training;
  • Training for more effective pilot monitoring;
  • Enhanced runway safety procedures; and
  • Expanded crosswind training, including training for wind gusts.

The FAA is focusing on pilot training for events that, although rare, are often catastrophic.  Focusing on these events will provide the greatest safety benefit to the flying public. The recent rule to boost pilot qualifications for first officers has raised the baseline knowledge and skill set of pilots entering air carrier operations. Many air carriers have also voluntarily begun developing safety management systems (SMS), which will help air carriers identify and mitigate risks unique to their own operating environments.

The FAA proposed to revise the training rules for pilots in 2009, one month prior to the Colgan Flight 3407 accident. The FAA issued a supplemental proposal on May 20, 2011, to address many of the NTSB’s recommendations resulting from the accident, and incorporate congressional mandates for stick pusher, stall recovery and remedial training.  A stick pusher is a safety system that applies downward elevator pressure to prevent an airplane from exceeding a predetermined angle of attack in order to avoid, identify, or assist in the recovery of a stall.

On Aug. 6, 2012, the FAA issued Advisory Circular (AC) Stall and Stick Pusher Training to provide best practices and guidance for training, testing, and checking for pilots to ensure correct and consistent responses to unexpected stall events and stick pusher activations.  A copy of the AC is available at online.

Air carriers will have five years to comply with the rule’s new pilot training provisions, which will allow time for the necessary software updates to be made in flight simulation technology. The cost of the rule to the aviation industry is estimated to be $274.1 to $353.7 million. The estimated benefit is nearly double the cost at $689.2 million.  The final rule is available.

Source:  FAA Press Release


Recognizing and Surviving a Spin

Accidental spins are still today among the list of the most deadly GA aviation accidents.  Years ago, private pilot applicants were required to demonstrate spins, so spin training was a routine part of the private pilot curriculum, later the FAA removed the requirement for spin training for private pilots, substituting increased training in stall recognition and recovery, since spins cannot occur without a stall. (A requirement for instructional proficiency in spins remains today only for flight instructor candidates).

A spin in a small airplane is a controlled or uncontrolled maneuver in which the airplane descends in a helical path while flying in a stalled condition at an angle of attack greater than the angle of maximum lift. Spins result from aggravated stalls in uncoordinated flight. In an aggravated stall, one wing will drop before the other and the nose will yaw in the direction of the low wing.

Two elements must be present in order for an airplane to spin: stall & yaw. By themselves, neither stalling nor yawing result in spinning; however, simultaneously stalling with sufficient yawing always results in a spin.

The spin is a high Drag maneuver. Consequently, airspeed will not continue to increase, but will generally stabilize at a relatively low and constant value. And once the spin develops (usually two to four turns), rate of rotation will stabilize as well.


Types Of Spins

  1. An incipient spin is that portion of a spin from the time the airplane stalls and rotation starts, until the spin becomes fully developed. An incipient spin that is not allowed to develop into a fully developed spin is commonly used as an introduction to spin training and spin recovery techniques.
  2. A fully developed spin occurs when the aircraft angular rotation rates, airspeed, and vertical speed are stabilized from turn-to-turn in a flight path that is close to vertical.
  3. A flat spin is characterized by a near level pitch and roll attitude with the spin axis near the C of G of the airplane. Recovery from a flat spin may be extremely difficult and, in some cases, impossible.

 Primary Cause

The primary cause of an inadvertent spin is one wing exceeding the critical angle of attack while executing a turn with excessive or insufficient rudder, and, to a lesser extent, aileron.

In an uncoordinated maneuver, the pitot/static instruments, especially the altimeter and airspeed indicator, are unreliable due to the uneven distribution of air pressure over the fuselage. The pilot may not be aware that the critical angle of attack is about to be exceeded until the stall warning device activates. If a stall recovery is not promptly initiated, the airplane is more likely to enter an inadvertent spin. The spin that occurs from cross-controlling an aircraft in a skidding turn usually results in rotation in the direction of the rudder being applied, regardless of which wing tip is raised.

In a slipping turn, where opposite aileron is held against the rudder, the resultant spin will usually occur in the direction of the applied rudder and opposite the aileron that is being applied.

Spin Recovery

Spinning ceases if and when forces and moments opposing autorotation overcome pro-spin aerodynamics. Since yaw coupled with roll powers the spin, we must forcibly uncouple them to effect recovery. Full opposite rudder is the primary means through which this is accomplished.

During the recovery phase, the nose attitude steepens. The rate of rotation ultimately decreases, too. Recovery can occur in as little as a quarter of a turn, or can take several additional turns depending on the airplane and the dynamics of the spin.

Inherent design differences between airplanes influence the effectiveness of spin recovery actions. Flight within the acrobatic category, for example, demands greater control effectiveness than operation in the normal or utility categories. Acrobatic category designs also must comply with more stringent spin test requirements. (See “A New Pilot’s Guide to Aircraft Categories,” August 1993.) As a result, aerobatic airplanes tend to display good-to-excellent recovery characteristics by design.

Since recovery capability from developed spins is not a design criterion for normal category aircraft, it’s reasonable to assume that such airplanes might display poor recovery characteristics by design. This assumption was validated repeatedly during the NASA spin test program (1977-87), where unrecoverable spins often were encountered beyond the one-turn margin of safety.

Recovery inputs must be applied in the proper sequence whenever an inadvertent spin is entered. Knowing what to move, where to move it, and when to move it are the keys to successful spin recovery. Since an inappropriate input could negate other recovery actions, let’s briefly describe how our control inputs influence spin characteristics.



The application of power usually drives the airplane deeper into the spin and can delay recovery. Gyroscopic effects associated with a rapidly rotating propeller can lead to increased rates of rotation and shallower spin attitudes – flat spins. In fact, flat spins, which are resistant to recovery procedures depending on the airplane, can be excited simply by applying full power. Therefore, the throttle should be retarded to idle as soon as possible to avoid aggravating the spin.




Deflecting the ailerons in the direction of rotation tends to steepen the spin attitude, reduce the yaw rate, and increase the magnitude of any roll or pitch oscillations. Deflecting the ailerons in the opposite direction tends to flatten the spin attitude, increase the yaw rate, and dampen any roll or pitch oscillations. The combination of full power and opposite ailerons can drive an airplane into a fully developed flat spin. Neutralizing the ailerons by moving the stick or yoke to the “wings level” position, therefore, is the best course of action during an inadvertent spin.



Applying full rudder opposite to the direction of rotation is always recommended for spin recovery. This is the primary action that needs to be performed. If unsure of which way the airplane is spinning, look at the airplane symbol on the turn coordinator and step toward the “high” wing (the attitude indicator, heading indicator, and the slip/skid ball are unreliable in a spin); or look straight down the nose of the airplane and step in the direction in which the ground appears to be “flowing” past the nose; or feel for a rudder pedal that offers more resistance and step on the “heavy” one.

Full opposite rudder alone may not always be sufficient for recovery from developed spins. It often must be used in conjunction with other spin recovery actions. Even so, once the direction of the spin has been determined, briskly push opposite rudder all the way to the control stop.



Moving the elevator around in developed spins can aggravate spin characteristics and may delay recovery. Common to all airplanes, pushing the elevator forward during an upright spin accelerates the rotation. This phenomenon may even be observed briefly during the normal recovery process. In some configurations, premature elevator inputs can induce a non-recoverable flat spin!

Applying the opposite rudder first, then pushing the elevator forward is a critical sequence of events for recovery from developed, upright spins. “Pushing forward” means different inputs for different airplanes. Don’t experiment on your own fly with a qualified flight instructor.  The final position of the elevator control during spin recovery depends on the airplane and the dynamics of the given spin. In developed upright spins in non-aerobatic airplanes, anticipate the need for brisk elevator movement forward of neutral, possibly fully forward, following the rudder input. With the enhanced control authority typical of aerobatic airplanes, anticipate having to move the elevator control briskly to neutral, or slightly beyond. In either case, the elevator control should be driven forward after the application of full opposite rudder.




Procedure vs. technique

Spin recovery actions do not follow a pilot’s natural instincts, nor the reactions reinforced during normal training. Spin recovery actions are a learned response. They are purely a mechanical process devoid of the usual sense of control feel developed in normal flight. 

Efficient spin recovery is predicated on the occurrence of specific actions, namely: Power — Off, Ailerons — Neutral, Rudder — Full Opposite, and Elevator —Briskly Through Neutral. These actions form the essence of spin recovery procedure. They outline “what” needs to happen. “How” these actions are implemented defines spin recovery technique. Maximizing the probability of recovery hinges on applying appropriate techniques to satisfy the intent of the procedure.

For example, there are at least three techniques that will satisfy the Power-Off requirement: retard the throttle, pull the mixture to idle cut-off, or run out of fuel. In most cases, retarding the throttle is the most efficient way to get the power off. Option two would come in handy if the throttle linkage was broken. Option three … it’s not really a viable or desirable option, is it?

Whether spin recovery technique describes a simultaneous application of recovery controls, a step-by-step application, a timed delay between the opposite rudder and forward elevator inputs, a prescribed amount of forward elevator, or a hands-off-the-stick approach, the procedural elements outlined above must be addressed.

Looking to simplify the learning process, the PARETM (pronounced “pair”) acronym evolved in the late 1980s as a convenient way of presenting spin recovery information to pilots engaged in spin training. It offers the same recovery actions recommended by NACA, NASA, the FAA, and many spin experts and airplane manufacturers, but in a more concise format.


Consolidating, simplifying, and prioritizing the rudimentary spin recovery actions yields the PARE procedure:


P=Power — Off.

A=Ailerons — Neutral (& flaps up).

R=Rudder — Full Opposite.

E=Elevator — Briskly Through Neutral.


Hold these inputs until rotation stops, then:


Rudder — Neutral.

Elevator — Recover to Straight and Level.


The letters in the PARE acronym spell out the sequence of events.  Each item in the checklist is performed one step at a time.  As soon as one item is completed, the next one is initiated until all four primary controls have been positioned for spin recovery.


The important rudder-then-elevator sequence appears twice: first to stop the spin, then while returning the airplane to level flight.


Remember, reversing the order of these inputs during a spin can aggravate the situation. Reversing them after the rotation has stopped could lead to a secondary spin in the opposite direction!  While classroom discussions about stalls and spins are educational, there is no substitute for hands-on experience in a controlled, dual-instruction environment. The value of spin training lies in its ability to stretch your operating envelope. It strives to improve your coordination and awareness skills.



The typical stall / spin accident it is largely a pilot driven process that culminates in a stall or spin prior to ground impact. Stall / spin accidents evolve as a chain of events with warning signs that, if recognized and corrected, can be broken before reaching the spin. Proficiency in the elements of a comprehensive, scenario based stall / spin training program should provide pilots with the awareness and skills to prevent an accidental spin departure in the first place.


If this article has inspired you to take some spin training, find a qualified instructor who has access to an approved, well maintained spin trainer. Most of the ingredients necessary for safe, quality spin instruction usually can be found at schools specializing in emergency maneuver and aerobatic training.

 Capt. Ivan

Source/s:  East Hill Flying Club; FAA Stall / Spin Recovery Training; Spin Training Transport of Canada; Rich Stowell Stall / Spin Myths Exposed




  •   GDL 39