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 culture.
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.
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There is more similar discussion on rec.aviation.military, though that's the best so far. jsw
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Phil Kangas wrote:

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.
Jon
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Unless someone in the newsroom was knowingly pranking their own organization, they essentially broadcast a Usenet joke.
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wrote:

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!
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pilot-names-20130713,1104232,5568243.story
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.
Gunner
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children. Thus, for example, there is also the popular tactic of
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Hey, that's funny. Thanks. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
The only thing that makes this joke funny is that a local FOX affiliate actually broadcast it as information the NTSB just released! http://www.liveleak.com/view?iV3_1373664708
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