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Pakistan Airliner Landed Gear Up On First Try: Report

Pakistan media is reporting Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK8303 landed gear up and the crew muscled it back into the air before it crashed on a second landing attempt, killing 97 of 99 people aboard on Friday. According to reports gathered by the Aviation Herald, the A320 slid on its nacelles at the airport in Karachi for more than a thousand feet before it became airborne again. ( 기타...

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Juan Brown, an airline pilot, has a series of four shows on this. His you tube channel is blancolirio
Yep. Good stuff
darjr26 8
I wonder about the culture of the airline. It seems to be heavily influenced by the military. Airlines run that way tend to give unquestioned authority to the captain and many first officers are afraid to challenge the captain. If the CVR
transcript is made available to the public it will be interesting to read what the first officer said and what, if any, actions he took.
Korean Airlines was like that. Several crashes. Got to be so bad, US Military forbade service personnel & families from flying on the airline.
Not understanding the warning systems in any automated cockpit or the ability to run a checklist is a training issue that goes far beyond even the ability to fly a plane! From an Indian Airbus crew that forgot to raise the gear to now another crew forgetting to lower can’t make this stuff up?
Actually they DID remember to put the gear down... but the plane refused to lower it because they touched down at well over safe deployment speeds! They were on an incredibly steep approach and should have gone around, landing gear down or not. Arguably even worse than forgetting to put the gear down.
Your answer does not make sense. Max gear extension speed is a least 100 knots faster than touchdown speed so using your rationale, the gear doors should have started to open prior to touchdown, but there were only engine nacelle scrape marks on the runway. Steep approach would dictate flight idle so there should have been a gear warning tone, EGPWS warning tone, likely an tone or annunciator indicating speed to fast for landing flaps and two tone deaf pilots up front which in this case should have carried warning sticker right on the fuselage beside the entry door!
I think Alex meant vertical speed (rate of descent), not forward speed.
What’s the speed for the A320? I’m not familiar with that plane, but on a 777 it’s 270 knots indicated, I’m assuming they are at least in the same ballpark and therefore your hypothesis doesn’t sound right. You just can’t overspeed the gear on final .
The maximum gear extension speed on the A320 is 170 knots, the aircraft did not slow to that speed after the gear down was selected. By the way the 777 cannot lower its gear doing 270 knots, not in real life.
From Riding a Camel ………… flying an A320 BIG JUMP !
Camels in Pakistan? Maybe you need to consult a map.
Bactrians in the north.
john doe 0
Camels in India? When did that start?
jptq63 1
Isn't it a tiger in Africa?
About a thousand years ago. Like the guy who put his stamps on the left side of the envelope and asked when did they start to put them on the right side?
All of the audio recordings I've heard begin with the pilot in the middle of a conversation giving a less-than-confident "we're comfortable now." I'm curious to know what was going on before that as it doesn't sound like it was a textbook approach.
Exactly, Richard. The "comfortable" word in the ATC conversation was the earliest link we can discern as to the chain of events to follow. They were too high and too fast. ATC noticed this and offered them a way out of their dilemma. However, this crew decided they were "comfortable" but obviously they were way behind the airplane already (hear ding-ding-ding in the audio indicating gear not down). Too early to judge, but it's not looking good for the performance, training, competence and CRM of the two humans in the cockpit.
I'd like to know what "we're comfortable now" means. If that's what a steep final is to those pilots they should try the GPS-F RW15 into KASE (Aspen. CO) with 2 SM vis. From the FAF to the MDA is a 6.49 degree descent. It's a real dive but "I'm comfortable".
sparkie624 11
I guess he did not hear the GPWS system when it announced the following message....

“Too Low, Gear... Too Low, Gear...”
Yep, FDR/CVR recordings will make for some interesting commentary.
sparkie624, The Dornier 328 would say very loudly "too low gear" followed by "too low flap". I can say this now (retired in 2003) that we had a bet on who could fly from KPIT to KCAK in the shortest flight time, rotate to touchdown. My best was about 15 minutes. It had to be VMC. I believe the best time was 14:30. 250kIAS below 10? A bit of a tailwind? There was cheat'in go'in on.
I’m guessing they only realized their mistake when they heard the warning and instead of going around, they decided to continue regardless and just lower the gear real quick. We’ve all seen the video of the guy setting his flaps during take-off roll, so...
In the 80's, at the local airport, I saw that happen. DC9, and they did a quick 'snap turn' at the end of the taxiway, and it looked like they were already on the throttles too. I was so shocked, I almost drove off the road. It ran perpendicular to the end of the runway. All I could think was 'there are old pilots and bold pilots but no old bold pilots'. Oh, and 'stupid kills'.

It was a Northwest plane. I'm sure the pilots were grinning. Not funny...
They were looking up what it meant in the pakistani-english dictionary....
That has got to be one of the best answers yet!
TO ensure competent new hires who will trained into competent line pilots, airlines are setting up flight acadamies that train to a standard with a number of hours that make that training meaningful. With the military training less pilots and less pilots leaving to find airline jobs, unquestionably qualified candidates are fewer and further between. And that is in this (USA) country. Where the Pakki's and Lion Air's find their upfronters is a mystery to me, with horrible results. Perhaps foreign carriers can send their candidates to some such academy, whether it be in England, The united states, or Singapore. As long as these pilots are graduates from some place with a petigree, we are more confident as passengers. Foreign carriers may choose to swallow their pride and shame to get pilots of better quality. Lufthansa trained in arizona, Aer Lingus trained in melbourne, florida or was it Vero Beach , florida. ?
The reason why Lufthansa trains in Arizona is because of the nearly year-round flying weather, it accelerates the training programs and helps reduce the costs.
Plus the European skies were very, very crowded
This has nothing to do with anything. More hours on andofferent plane would have not prevented that accident, that sounds like a textbook case of “get-there-itis”: “lets just procede and try to lower the gear real quick”. Of course we don’t have all the facts yet, that’s an assumption based on what we have so far, but one fact is clear: basic flight training wasn’t the issue, the issue was clearly a violation of airline specific procedures.
ADXbear 12
WTF WERE THEY THINKING...Who teaches these people how to fly..
FAwareM 0
Obviously, no one.
The "ACME" road runner traps and pilot training company.
with the days of handflying all but gone, with pilots morphing into "systems managers", i am not surprised that accidents occur that have at root cause the disconnect the pilot of today feels from the pilot of yesterday. I don't like or trust automation, i don't like very much Garmin's next new great idea of autolanding in an emergency, because there is no stopping a stupid idea from spreading when small minds think they have seen the light. Pilots land gear up when they are too lazy to run all the parts of a check list, period, sometimes because they have crossed too many time zones with not enough proper rest, sometimes because they sit in a comfortable chair being fat, dumb and happy.
While I agree with you, this had nothing to do with the automation, as a matter of fact, it seems like they somehow ignored the automation.
And sometimes pilots just lose it because of lack of training, or experience, or both.

It will be interesting so hear the results of the investigation. That they were able to actually touch down on a runway but chose to take off again sounds like they flight crew just lost it from fear, incompetence, just freaking out. So sad. The CVR will show crew management, relationship, planning, reaction to what was happening. From the gouges on the runway, they were lined up, and there was nothing in the distance that would have been an immediate danger, so why take off again. It makes no sense, and smells of training and desperation. Wow... I can't think of a reason to try a go around at that point. They were already landing! Tragic...

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

VKSheridan 16
I rarely downvote anything because I enjoy observing the commentary but your reaction to two lousy downvotes earned one from me.

Your initial post was neither fantastic nor ignorant but your second post was just ridiculous.

Disagreeing purely by downvote doesn’t mean someone is being a troll, rude or hateful, it means they disagree. Labeling anyone and every who disagrees with you as “dicks” suggests you feel your statements are to be accepted without dissent. That’s not going to happen and surely you should have the capacity to understand that.
Airbus pilots, please correct my limited understanding of the 319/320 engines automation. In the case of Sully and the Hudson incident, automation either idled or shut down both engines after sensing damage. I can understand automation idling one engine but if both engines have damage, personally, my design would give the pilot total authority over the engines, damaged or not. In the case of PK8303 this may have allowed damaged engines to get them to safety a short distance away. Help me out here................
The accessory unit on these engine is on the bottom at the 6 o'clock position. Millimeters away from the cowling -- and this case the runway pavement. The accessory units run all sorts of life-giving things for the engine, such as fuel pressure, oil pressure, and electricity. So yes, the engines kept running for as long as they could until they ran out of everything that sustains them. And when dual engine failure occurs, the RAT deploys.
Malcolm Jones has an interesting possibility in a post from yesterday. His premiss is a botched late go-around compounded by slow engine spool-up. AirCal scuttled a B737 years ago at SNA with almost the same situation Malcolm describes. In that incident the gear came up but it was premature flap retraction that doomed the go-around and they slid of the runway with no fatalities.
Never forget that evening. I lived 400 yards off the Southern boundary of SNA. The amazing strength in the 737 fuselage really impressed me. As I recall the worst injury was some passenger broke an ankle when he jumped out.
Thanks Hal. Can the pilot override the system that protects the engine if it senses damage?
The Airbus is a flying computer. It's a computer that looks at your input and decides. Under normal conditions, all is well and my Airbus friends had no problems. I've never flown one but I think I would like it. However, I would like to be able to override the computers and simply hand fly.
Peter, You would like the previous French designed Dassault FanJet Falcon 20. When things are going wrong the pilot could reach up to the center overhead panel and hit the LOAD SHED switch and instantly be flying on manual and on battery power only. One of the last jets for REAL pilots.
FAwareM 7
Obviously, the entire A320 fleet will now need to be grounded until such time as the aircraft can be rendered idiot-proof from poorly trained, low-skill foreign air crews.
This is obviously a Computer Error.. If the Crew Wants the Gear down, they plane should put the Gear Down... Big Fault.
How do you say "ALEXA..." in URDU?
With so many pilots out of work due to Covid19, PIA couldn't have found a decent crew? Yeah, I understand national pride, but keeping poor pilots on the company payroll has resulted in a national disaster. I would be really curious as the to flying records of both pilots. I wonder how many tests they failed in simulators.
If they have seniority and a union, it's hard to get rid of them. Their performance is the only way.I taught Captain upgrade and failed several pilots. They got one more chance or they were gone. Most made it on the second try.
More details from a video on TheFlightChannel.

Apparently BOTH engines failed. It was seen with the turbo generator deployed.

So first, they were to high for the approach. The PIC said he was 'satisfied' after two warnings from the tower and approach.
Second, the pilot did not tell the tower that the landing gear had failed until after the attempt to land.
Third, the PIC didn't handle the belly landing well, and took off again with damaged engines. Potentially the oil pumps in both engines were destroyed.
Fourth, the PIC did not consider the engine damage before elected to go around again. On climb out both failed likely do to loss of oil, they lost power, and were unable to maintain airspeed or altitude, and then he pulled a tight left turn.
Fifth, the tight streets and congestion/panic made rescue a near impossibility.

It was a mess from the beginning. To high, too fast, should have committed to the belly landing and decided 'on his own' to do a go around, for whatever reason, and try again.

If both engines were failed, how did they go around... Last time I checked, Airbus's do not glide quite that well.
The engines didn't fail until after they were airborne following the go-around. They got up to around 2,000 feet or so and then the engines failed.
Sorry I didn't make that clear, but I imagine the engines quickly blew all their oil when they spun back up, and then failed. They were requested to climb to 3,000, and initiate a left turn, when the pilot requested 2,000, and to start the left turn, then the tower said they were at 1,800 and descending and doing a tighter left turn, when they finally declared mayday, and crashed.

The pilot's judgement is clearly called into question for trying to take back off. He should have committed the plane to the landing, and if needed, extend the landing into dirt at the end of the runway. Looking at the airport, either end of it would have been better than crashing the way they did. At least they would have been within the airport perimeter and had access to some fire and crash rescue I would think. It's sad how they all died. It could have turned out better.,67.1613221,7479m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xec5d1d821453c988!8m2!3d24.9007815!4d67.1681027
I wonder if the crew filed an ASAP over that one... LOL!
jbermo 7
I think they filed it with St Peter.
I like your way of thinking... Probably pretty accurate! - At least someone know humor when they see it. LOL
The ASAP gives you protection from the FAA, not God. But then, the FAA is God. LOL
Some dark stormy night when the shit is hitting the fan, your plane is failing and you have 100 terrified pax relying on you, try whispering a supplication to the FAA and see how that works.
According to the video at TheFlightChannel, they never announced the engines had failed, just like they never 'officially' declared the gear wasn't going down.

Is it possible that the plane wouldn't let them lower the gear? Well, I imagine it's possible. If the gear or the gear doors rip off, there could be a lot of damage to the plane, HOWEVER, apparently the landing gear (which gear?) was replaced 6 flights before this incident. Who knows if the gear failed, or they 'forgot'. Either way, it's crazy that they actually touched down (twice reportedly) and took off again trying to land another time. If it was an experienced flight crew, they were freaking out. If it was an inexperienced flight crew, they were miss-matched for the flight, and fed into each others inadequacies. Sad... Or stuff just went sideways and they both lost their minds. Still, damn tragic.
Hmm.. Wonder Why? LOL!
An article I read this morning says the pilots 'missed' the warning that the gear wasn't down.

How do you 'miss a warning' like that? It's training, it's crew maintenance, it's just epic dysfuntion that killed people that shouldn't have died. The article showed the gouges in the asphalt at the airport during the belly landing. Apparently they couldn't figure out how to stop the plane. Did they just completely breakdown/freakout?

Flying some foreign carriers just isn't worth it. So needlessly tragic...
They missed more than the landing gear. They were 5 miles out at 3,500'. ATC offered a vector to extend the approach. They rejected it, said they were on the ILS. From that point to get down on the ground, there could hardly have been time for the luxury of a checklist. Tragic and unnecessary.
3,500’ at 5 miles out? 3 degree glideslope, 5 miles out, would expect about 1,300’. ATC should have required not just “offered” vectors to get them down and on a stabilized approach. The investigation report will tell the tale, but it seems this one’s on the pilots with an assist from ATC.
Peter, I used 300 feet AGL per nautical mile. That's a 3 degree standard glide slope or path (WAAS). You also have to realize a localizer DME is from the far end of the runway. On a 12,000' runway that is 2 NM. So to touchdown, you are really two miles closer. GPS is a great tool. It will give you distance to the approach end.
The article I read said that they had tried at least 3 times to land the plane, and actually contacted the runway THREE TIMES on a belly landing attempt. It sounds like the flight crew had enough time to decide what to do. Video of the actual crash does not show any indications of bad weather. The video shows them in a very nose up attitude, slowly sinking into the ground. Did they just flat out fly into the ground, or were they just that incompetent that they couldn't save themselves. A lot will come out when the boxes are recovered and analyzed. It's a senseless tragedy. So many thnigs could have happened, but it appears that the flight crew just totally blew it. Tragic...

One thing that is also horrific is there was a Pakistani model on the plane. Her social media accounts were shut down because too many people were slamming her saying that she deserved to die, and will be denied entry into their religions version of heaven. Pakistan is still a mess. Did the pilots decide to crash the plane to kill her? It's as crazy to me as a plane making a belly landing, and then taking off again to circle the airport and crash. Sad doesn't quite accomplish the task...
One pass. Three scrapes.
LOL... I find that hard to hear... A message over the Speakers, All the Headsets, blaring out....


What part of that did they not understand!
irfaan99 0
Please read above messages about minimum speed to deploy landing gear. if speed is too high and you were to "override" and force gear down. airframe damage was likley to occur
What's a "foreign carrier"?
simstick 4
Non US. If this was a Pakistani website it would "domestic" carrier.
You realize of course that Flightaware has participants from many countries, not just the USA?
So I guess we are all "foreigners" to eachother. It depends on the country in which you reside. We in the USA are foreign to a Pakistani. I can live with that.
There are reports elsewhere that the gear was down initially but the approach was from too high and too steep due to a false glide slope lock but they initiated the go-around and selected undercarriage up before the engines had time to spool up. Whatever the actual scenario was it does appear to be pilot error or incompetence.
That makes even less sense. How in the world they would go from a high/steep approach to touching the runway? In thsi case the go around would have/ should have been initianted waaaay sooner.
Interesting observation, Malcolm. AirCal scuttled a B737 years ago at SNA with almost the same situation you describe. In that incident it was flap retraction that doomed the go-around and they slid of the runway with no fatalities.
bbabis 2
Clowns in the cockpit. Clearly India has serious pilot issues.
bbabis 1
Sorry, Pakistan has the issue but I am sure India might not be far behind.
linbb 1
Third rate pilots third rate airline just like the 737 max deal was not all Boeings fault. They test flew an AC with a known reported problem full of pax. But hey its Boeings fault they didnt try to find the problem before test flying it now who is the dumb ass?
This time someone will probably want to blame Airbus for the crash, when again it's probably pilot incompetence.
I am coming around to your point of view on the MAX.
I knew he would be here with the same old same old.
For the airlines management is it a very serious mistake to overshoot an arrival? Do they pressure pilots not to scare passengers and for this reason an apparent wrong preparation'for arrival caused pilots to descend at abnormal speed and even with the warnings for some reason did not lower the landing gear in time. If not mistaken Ryan Air gave pilots a bonus if they flew with least amount of fuel to save on gas. Many declared emergencies and that was eliminated.
I'd think a gear up, engine dragging, non-landing would be a little more "unsettling" than a go-around.
Jim Ward 1
I’m a novice airman and all of you are obviously professionals in the art of aviation. Can someone comment on what happen on the second approach to the runway when they crashed into a neighborhood? Thanks.
WoW! I'm at a loss for words on this one!
The aircraft crashed with all landing gear deployed, adding even more doubts about what exactly happened in the first attempt.
Did one of the photos of the plane climbing out from the first attempt look like the flaps and slats weren't down?
VN 781 hat a similar incident last September approaching Melbourne but was warned by air traffic control before touching down. Up to now there was no report about the human and technical failure.
john doe 1
I understand there's a theory out there that suggests: Flight comes in high and fast, but properly configured (gear lowered). Pilots realize they haven't enough runway and decide to go around. TOGO power, flaps adjust, gear up. But crew fails to account for engine spool-up taking 6-7 seconds. Plane settles onto runway. Engines scrape, then thrust comes on and PIC raises nose, go-around commences...

I'm no pilot. Is this scenario within the realm of possibility?
If they were coming in hot they should have had enough energy to climb even if the engines haven’t spooled up yet. They also would not (or should not) have retracted the gear until achieving positive climb.
A very Similar thing happened with American Eagle (I Believe Trans States Airlines) touched down on the Belly and pulled it back off the ground for a Go Around... Big difference here was that the Gear Handle was Down and they showed 3 Green. they Cycled the Gear, did a fly by the tower to verify gear down and made a successful landing. The problem was with the PSEU (Proximity Switching Electronic Unit). ERJ released an AD to fix the problem. That is the only event of the ERJ doing a Gear up Touch and Go, but there were others that showed gear down when it wasn't. The only cockpit indication was a Gear Handle Disagree but still had 3 green.

One thing unique about that one, was that it was actually caught by a TV Camera Man doing an interview at the airport
Yes Sparkie624. It was an Embraer 145. I was instructing Captain upgrade with CHQ at the time and we had quite a lesson on this. Which do you believe. The three green or gear handle disagree? If the two are not in sync, there's something going on.
I just hope the CVR sheds some light on what happened. These were two pilots, not idiots!!
Pilot and idiot are not mutually exclusive.
At somee point there will be real information like did air traffic control leave him at altitude or they lost track. For some reason they were still high. A video of where the plane scraped the runway showed distinct tire marks too. Would seem possibly they sank during missed approach and the retracting gear struck causing it to further retract allowing both engines to impact. Terrible accident. Hopefully it wasn't inattention due to sleeping pilots.
What's going on, I never saw this in the video games we trained with.
Does this tragic, loss of life, accident mean Airbus is next in line to receive Boeing's 737 MAX design review, grounding and hyperbole?

Since the A320 operates in the USA, where is the domestic mainstream media coverage?
Well, is is utter nonsense to compare this incident with the 737-Max desaster. You should better compare it to flight VN 781 (B787) which also almost landed without getting the landing gear out.
Which A320 design deficiencies do you blame for this accident?
Don't think so. A320 is a 30+ year aircraft with well-proven systems and it did not change significantly over its lifetime to justify such concerns. 737 instead retains only its name since first version, having changed completely from handling perspective.
I see, so your perspective is 97 fatalities do not rise to your; "justify such concerns", standard?

A well-maintained/designed aircraft (3 years or 30) is not a respecter of age or airspace (i.e., foreign or domestic). As with any machine, the variable is always the human element from maintenance to in-flight.
The gear lever is extra long so you can see if it is up or down. They even put a little tire on the end of the handle so even a five year old knows what it is for. How these Bozo's get through flight school is amazing. It crashed in a crowded neighborhood leaving thousands homeless, but being Pakistan there is only nine dollars damage.
What? A belly landing is a landing. Tragic...
Technically yes... It was more of a Touch And Go... Emphasis on the Touch!

As a friend of my used to say... "Take off's are optional... Landings are Mandatory.... In all our aviation history, we have a 100% perfect record.... We have never gotten a plane stuck up there... sooner later they all come down.... Some just not as graceful as others!"
Hey Sparky what do you think of GE/Snecma engines that can develop the power to get an a/c airborne while sledding along the ground ingesting all kinds of crap scraped up off the runway, and the strength of the pylons holding those engines to the airframe. Pretty impressive equipment eh ?

Maybe Airbus doesn't need all that complex landing gear, just bolt some wheels and brake drums under the nacelles.
That is exactly what went through my mind. It's sucking all kinds of stuff off that runway. Shards of metal, gravel, and small animals? The friction alone would have made taking off much harder, plus being flat on the ground. Kudos for bad judgement, but they got it airborne again. So that's one bitching case of industrial grade stupidity there...

'You were already ON THE GROUND! WTH!'

Airbus could just use skids! Like on the X-15. Think of the money saved. Make wheels an option in the Middle East. DOH!
Maybe they have coined a new term 'Scrape and Go . . . crash"
It is certainly making Touch and Go's a lot different.
"A good landing is one you can walk away from.
A great landing is one you can take off again"
I don't think this one qualifies on either.
Well it will take off again... I will just need some extended ground time in a Hangar with some mechanics TLC! so it will be able to take off again... Just not as soon as originally expected!
Excessive TRFS metric on this one (Time to Revenue Flight Status)
jbermo -8
So we now add PK-8303 to our young century's growing list of major crew induced fatal accidents. That along with Atlas Air Flight 3591, Germanwings Flight 9525, Asiana OZ214, Colgan Air Flight 3407, and many others (Ethiopian Flight 302?-perhaps that one is a tie). Such accidents promote the coming future of crewless, fully automated airliners. Go ahead- vote me down!
And then you have Aircan trying to land on taxiways containing a queue of a/c full of fuel and pax.
jbermo 5
Also forgot AAL 587, AF 447, UPS 1354, Aeroflot 1492 . . .aw heck the list goes on and on - just go to
Fully automated flight only goes as far as the system has been programmed to encounter. Having a real human at the controls has probably saved more lives than it has cost. It's just that when the 'human factor' fails, it can fail in incredibly bizarre and tragic ways. In ground school, I was taught that the autopilot can save your life, but overdependence on it can be deadly.
You are correct.... There is one major difference that distinguishes differences between Boeing and Airbus.

Boeing believes that the Flight Crews should have final authority over the aircraft.

AirBus believes that the Computers should have the final authority over the aircraft.

That is the biggest reason that I am a Boeing Fan.
F A 2
Don’t let the downvotes bother you
So I should down vote you? ;-)
Kind of reminds me of an old joke on Pilotless flights...

Message on Taxi out: "Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to flight 101, We are next for departure. Flight Attendants please be seated, seated, seated....."
simstick 2
I agree. You will know it is coming when you see the first paperless office.
Sad thing to happen, but I guess the FDR and CVR will finally establish what went wrong.
have to wonder if the crew were impaired by drugs or booze?? sooo many errors.
Time will tell, hopefully!
Put your faith into crewless fully automated airliners- it even sounds silly-and you will have plenty of seperation between other demented believers in unnecessary automation in the passenger cabin.

social distancing will occcur by reason of sufficient brain cells in operation coupled with a self preservation drive.
jbermo -8
Then go book a flight on AF-447
That is just cold!
Hah! I would have gone with 'roll the dice'.

The problem I definitely see is if the computer wasn't programmed for *every type of weather*, the planes will be dropping out of the sky like rocks!

The flight I had between HNL and KOA about 5 years ago would have taxed a supercomputer. We were in severe turbulence, and I'm sure were struck a number of times by lightening. It was easily the absolute worse flight I've ever been on. The window frames were popping, the turbulence was so bad. The started the 'drink service', and the flight attendant bailed quickly. Just over half way through, we were told 'things are smoothing out now until we reach Kona', and it was clear, and then we flew into clouds and even more of it. It felt like someone was shaking the plane! It was pretty much freaking everyone out. Some were actually crying. I used my hand to pop the frame back in the window at my seat, and the woman next to me lost her shit. I swear the copilot bolted from the cockpit and ran down the stairs to kiss the ground. The last 5 minutes of the flight were pristine. Sunny, and amazing. Kona's library was flooded, and multiple roofs were destroyed and property damage was wide spread. I think we were the last plane to take off heading east. After landing, whoever was doing the announcing said 'Well, sorry we missed that call earlier'. Yeah...

I can't see a computer handling that level of complexity, sorry... (Looking now for average flight times, that was the LONGEST 44 minute flight I've ever had)
Look at it this way, at least the crew didn’t fall asleep and overfly Kona!
HAH! True, or overfly Chicago. I know enough pilots, and also during my training, realize that there is a great opportunity for long stretches of nothing going on, and that is the biggest danger of having the cockpit run by computers. I can't imagine a transcon flight, with HOURS of nothing going on, and having to stills stay alert and aware of what's going on. The instructor I had was pretty awesome. We were talking about auto pilots and GPS, and he said that he rarely uses his autopilot, and only uses GPS when he's in IFR conditions. He said that pilot friends of his were getting concerned that younger pilots were depending on the automation far too much. He said that he hand flies his planes as much as possible, and a pilot I ran into on FB said that he also hand flies the plane (767) as much as possible, and has freaked out younger copilots.

I'm not saying that automation is bad. The instructor I had told us several stories he and others had encountered when automation saved lives. He said if you're in a storm, and having a hard time keeping the plane stable, engage the autopilot because it can react faster than almost any human pilot, but then told us that if we are flying in storms, we aren't flying in VFR, but he wanted to make the point that an educated and careful VFR pilot will run into situations they weren't anticipating, and having some of the skills of an IFR pilot can save your life. One, he described, happened on a training flight, when turbulence got moderate all of the sudden. He calmed the student down, told him to release the yoke, and flipped on the autopilot, and they rode it out. How cool is that... Anyway, fly safe!


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