Korean pilots

Read with interest if you contemplate using a
Korean airline for travel.
Date: Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Subject: Low-down on Korean pilots
Mon Jul 8, 2013 2:42 pm (PDT) .
After I retired from UAL as a Standards Captain on
the ?400, I got a job as a simulator instructor
working for Alteon (a Boeing subsidiary) at
Asiana. When I first got there, I was shocked and
surprised by the lack of basic piloting skills
shown by most of the pilots. It is not a normal
situation with normal progression from new hire,
right seat, left seat taking a decade or two. One
big difference is that ex-Military pilots are
given super-seniority and progress to the left
seat much faster. Compared to the US, they also
upgrade fairly rapidly because of the phenomenal
growth by all Asian air carriers. By the way,
after about six months at Asiana, I was moved over
to KAL and found them to be identical. The only
difference was the color of the uniforms and
airplanes. I worked in Korea for 5 long years and
although I found most of the people to be very
pleasant, it?s a minefield of a work environment
... for them and for us expats.
One of the first things I learned was that the
pilots kept a web-site and reported on every
training session. I don?t think this was
officially sanctioned by the company, but after
one or two simulator periods, a database was
building on me (and everyone else) that told them
exactly how I ran the sessions, what to expect on
checks, and what to look out for. For example; I
used to open an aft cargo door at 100 knots to get
them to initiate an RTO and I would brief them on
it during the briefing. This was on the B-737 NG
and many of the captains were coming off the 777
or B744 and they were used to the Master Caution
System being inhibited at 80 kts. Well, for the
first few days after I started that, EVERYONE
rejected the takeoff. Then, all of a sudden they
all ?got it? and continued the takeoff (in
accordance with their manuals). The word had
gotten out. I figured it was an overall PLUS for
the training program.
We expat instructors were forced upon them after
the amount of fatal accidents (most of them
totally avoidable) over a decade began to be
noticed by the outside world. They were basically
given an ultimatum by the FAA, Transport Canada,
and the EU to totally rebuild and rethink their
training program or face being banned from the
skies all over the world. They hired Boeing and
Airbus to staff the training centers. KAL has one
center and Asiana has another. When I was there
(2003-2008) we had about 60 expats conducting
training KAL and about 40 at Asiana. Most
instructors were from the USA, Canada, Australia,
or New Zealand with a few stuffed in from Europe
and Asia. Boeing also operated training centers in
Singapore and China so they did hire some
instructors from there.
This solution has only been partially successful
but still faces ingrained resistance from the
Koreans. I lost track of the number of highly
qualified instructors I worked with who were fired
because they tried to enforce ?normal? standards
of performance. By normal standards, I would
include being able to master basic tasks like
successfully shoot a visual approach with 10 kt
crosswind and the weather CAVOK. I am not kidding
when I tell you that requiring them to shoot a
visual approach struck fear in their hearts ...
with good reason. Like this Asiana crew, it didn't
compute that you needed to be 1000? AGL at 3
miles and your sink rate should be 600-800 Ft/Min.
But, after 5 years, they finally nailed me. I
still had to sign my name to their training and
sometimes if I just couldn?t pass someone on a
check, I had no choice but to fail them. I usually
busted about 3-5 crews a year and the resistance
against me built. I finally failed an extremely
incompetent crew and it turned out he was a
high-ranking captain who was the Chief Line Check
pilot on the fleet I was teaching on. I found out
on my next monthly trip home that KAL was not
going to renew my Visa. The crew I failed was
given another check and continued to fly while
talking about how unfair Captain Brown was.
Any of you Boeing glass-cockpit guys will know
what I mean when I describe these events. I gave
them a VOR approach with an 15 mile arc from the
IAF. By the way, KAL dictated the profiles for all
sessions and we just administered them. He
requested two turns in holding at the IAF to get
set up for the approach. When he finally got his
nerve up, he requested ?Radar Vectors? to final.
He could have just said he was ready for the
approach and I would have cleared him to the IAF
and then ?Cleared for the approach? and he could
have selected ?Exit Hold? and been on his way. He
was already in LNAV/VNAV PATH. So, I gave him
vectors to final with a 30 degree intercept. Of
course, he failed to ?Extend the FAF? and he
couldn?t understand why it would not intercept the
LNAV magenta line when he punched LNAV and VNAV.
He made three approaches and missed approaches
before he figured out that his active waypoint was
?Hold at XYZ.? Every time he punched LNAV, it
would try to go back to the IAF ... just like it
was supposed to do. Since it was a check, I was
not allowed (by their own rules) to offer him any
help. That was just one of about half dozen major
errors I documented in his UNSAT paperwork. He
also failed to put in ANY aileron on takeoff with
a 30-knot direct crosswind (again, the weather was
dictated by KAL).
This Asiana SFO accident makes me sick and while I
am surprised there are not more, I expect that
there will be many more of the same type accidents
in the future unless some drastic steps are taken.
They are already required to hire a certain
percentage of expats to try to ingrain more flying
expertise in them, but more likely, they will
eventually be fired too. One of the best trainees
I ever had was a Korean/American (he grew up and
went to school in the USA) who flew C-141?s in the
USAF. When he got out, he moved back to Korea and
got hired by KAL. I met him when I gave him some
training and a check on the B-737 and of course,
he breezed through the training. I give him annual
PCs for a few years and he was always a good
pilot. Then, he got involved with trying to start
a pilots union and when they tried to enforce some
sort of duty regs on international flights, he was
fired after being arrested and JAILED!
The Koreans are very very bright and smart so I
was puzzled by their inability to fly an airplane
well. They would show up on Day 1 of training (an
hour before the scheduled briefing time, in a
3-piece suit, and shined shoes) with the entire
contents of the FCOM and Flight Manual totally
memorized. But, putting that information to actual
use was many times impossible. Crosswind landings
are also an unsolvable puzzle for most of them. I
never did figure it out completely, but I think I
did uncover a few clues. Here is my best guess.
First off, their educational system emphasizes
ROTE memorization from the first day of school as
little kids. As you know, that is the lowest form
of learning and they act like robots. They are
also taught to NEVER challenge authority and in
spite of the flight training heavily emphasizing
CRM/CLR, it still exists either on the surface or
very subtly. You just can?t change 3000 years of
The other thing that I think plays an important
role is the fact that there is virtually NO civil
aircraft flying in Korea. It?s actually illegal to
own a Cessna-152 and just go learn to fly.
Ultra-lights and Powered Hang Gliders are Ok. I
guess they don?t trust the people to not start WW
III by flying 35 miles north of Inchon into North
Korea. But, they don?t get the kids who grew up
flying (and thinking for themselves) and hanging
around airports. They do recruit some kids from
college and send then to the US or Australia and
get them their tickets. Generally, I had better
experience with them than with the ex-Military
pilots. This was a surprise to me as I spent years
as a Naval Aviator flying fighters after getting
my private in light airplanes. I would get
experienced F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16 pilots who
were actually terrible pilots if they had to hand
fly the airplane. What a shock!
Finally, I?ll get off my box and talk about the
total flight hours they claim. I do accept that
there are a few talented and free-thinking pilots
that I met and trained in Korea. Some are still in
contact and I consider them friends. They were a
joy! But, they were few and far between and
certainly not the norm.
Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving
automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one
of these new first officers that got his ratings
in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana
with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in
accordance with their SOP, he calls for the
autopilot to be engaged at 250? after takeoff. How
much actual flight time is that? Hardly one
minute. Then he might fly for hours on the
autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below
800? after the gear was down, flaps extended and
on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it
in to land. Again, how much real ?flight time? or
real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on
the 777 or 747, it?s the same only they get more
inflated logbooks.
So, when I hear that a 10,000 hour Korean captain
was vectored in for a 17-mile final and cleared
for a visual approach in CAVOK weather, it raises
the hair on the back of my neck.
Reply to
Phil Kangas
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There is more similar discussion on rec.aviation.military, though that's the best so far. jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Well, I know nothing about Asiana, but the situation at KAL has been pretty evident for a long time, interesting to see not much has changed. KAL is the only airline to have TWO planes shot down at about the same place (by the Russians). There was a KAL accident a LONG time ago coming into Seoul that seems quite similar to the SFO one.
Reply to
Jon Elson
Unless someone in the newsroom was knowingly pranking their own organization, they essentially broadcast a Usenet joke.
Reply to
Ah..no they broadcast a fraudulant NSTB "update"
Had nothing to do with Usenet.
And it was verified (wrongly) by the NSTB.
Which just goes to show how buffoonish the Leftwing media actually is. No one read those names out loud before broadcasting the story.
And in the Liberal/Leftwing Frisco area too. Laugh!
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TV station, NTSB apologize in prank Asiana pilot names Racially insensitive fake names for pilots in Asiana crash were read on air at Bay Area's KTVU and went viral, sparking outrage.
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By Kate Mather and Rong-Gong Lin II
July 12, 2013, 10:41 p.m.
Both a San Francisco Bay Area TV station and the National Transportation Safety Board apologized for their roles in the broadcast Friday of fake, racially insensitive names of the pilots flying ill-fated Asiana Airlines Flight 214.
The segment that referred to the pilots by four false names, including "Capt. Sum Ting Wong" and "Wi Tu Lo," has gone viral and drawn heavy criticism on the Internet.
In a statement read on KTVU-TV Friday night, anchor Frank Somerville said the station made several mistakes.
Somerville did not say how exactly the station got the errant names, which were read aloud by an anchor.
Before the broadcast, "we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out," he said.
Late Friday, the NTSB acknowledged that a summer intern errantly confirmed the names to KTVU when a reporter from the station called about them.
"The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crew members or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today's incident. Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated," the statement added.
Somerville said the station didn't properly verify who at the NTSB was confirming the names.
Two teenage girls from China were killed and more than 180 people were injured when the Boeing 777 clipped a sea wall and slammed into a runway July 6 at San Francisco International Airport. A third passenger, a girl, died of her wounds Friday.
On Sunday, Asiana Airlines identified the pilot and copilot as Lee Kang-kook and Lee Jung-min.
The KTVU newscast was captured in a video posted to YouTube, in which the station displayed the four incorrect pilot names on the screen and an anchor read them aloud.
"Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again," Tom Raponi, KTVU/KICU vice president and general manager, said in a statement.
The hoax prompted outrage from some Asian American activists and a journalism organization.
"Words cannot adequately express the outrage we ? feel over KTVU's on-air blunder that made a mockery of the Asiana Airlines tragedy," wrote Asian American Journalists Assn. President Paul Cheung and MediaWatch Chair Bobby Caina Calvan. "We are embarrassed for the anchor, who was as much a victim as KTVU's viewers and KTVU's hard-working staff."
The two said KTVU should explain where the names originated.
In a letter to Raponi, retired KTVU reporter Lloyd LaCuesta, an Asian American Journalists Assn. member, said he was saddened by the airing of the prank names.
"Common sense indicates that simply sounding out the names would have raised red flags," LaCuesta wrote in the letter.
LaCuesta credited KTVU and its parent company, Cox Media Group, for supporting workplace diversity and racial awareness, but added: "It does point out that we all need to work harder at the craft of journalism and educating ourselves to sensitivities."
Leftwingers..mentally ill and dumber than dog shit.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Hey, that's funny. Thanks. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus
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. .
The only thing that makes this joke funny is that a local FOX affiliate actually broadcast it as information the NTSB just released!
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Reply to
Stormin Mormon

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