Are Domestic Arlines Really Getting Worse?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by spiderweb, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Leads to an NSFW site, Larry. I am going to assume you didn't mean to send this link, unless you wanted to prank me.
     
  2. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Glad you pointed that out. So, I guess you'd likely see why sweeping assumptions based on personal experiences (anecdotal) or just feelings about "cultural problems" in aviation wouldn't answer those questions.

    Data's the best we have.
     
  3. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Their service is crap, that's for SURE. Look at their website for evidence.

    But safety is another thing. And Spirit is only one of two American carriers on that list, so we either trust the methodology or we don't.
     
  4. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    There were cultural problems with US airlines too, as I mentioned. However, our CRM programs have changed the culture, or at least have pushed it in a direction when there is not such a strict hierarchy. I noticed the change during my career. Even the chief executive of Asiana admits the problem, which is a good thing. If you deny having a problem, there is no way you are going to fix it.
     
  5. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    There simply is no causal proof, Mari.

    Whatever the CEO thinks he's saying about his aviation culture, the safety rankings reported in this thread don't bear any supposed relationship between a somehow "Asian-style" or "Korean-specific" chain-of-command approach vs. the "Western approach."
     
  6. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    There is nothing in the report you quoted because they admit themselves that they don't measure it. What you call "the western approach" was developed because the previous "western approach" was found to be causing accidents. It's only coincidental the old "western approach" is somewhat like what you call the "Asian style".
     
  7. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I guess what I'm saying is that I prefer to understand risk and safety in the same way hopefully we all do with flying--we base our decisions on the best facts, objective reports, or data we can find, rather than on anecdotes or what we simply feel must somehow be true.

    In the research we've done here, the only thing any of us has come up with that was done with any objective rigor were two reports, both of which suggest Asian airlines are quite safe, despite anyone's perception that there is some inherent "cultural problem."
     
  8. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude

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    The issue comment by the CEO, has been posted in numerous other forums by check airman and instructors who train Asian crews. It has also been discussed by ex-military instructors, how they have to balance military orders with CRM. The amazing safety record in Asia and beyond has more to do with the equipment, its maintenance and modern technology. The combination of these three has significantly reduced how often SHTF which has reduced how often junior person in the cockpit to correct the more senior pilot, assuming the senior pilot did not see it first.

    Tim
     
  9. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    To be clear, I'm not calling it an "Asian style." I never insinuated there was a specific style OR culture that caused anything. Indeed I put the phrase in quotes, because it was an assertion made by others. I am trying to refute it, or at least call into question how much this so-called style, is a danger to our safety.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  10. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    OK, let's say you could definitively demonstrate that the key is really the three pieces you bring up--equipment, maintenance, and technology--and that one should understand those three pieces somehow to be the real reason Asian airlines have "amazing safety" (your words) records. First of all, I don't know if there is a report somewhere which demonstrates this assertion, but for the sake of argument, let's say there is such a report.

    Well, that's just fine! I hope those who read your post will then take your appraisal of that amazing safety, and won't fear riding on Asian airlines, as some here have said they do. Who knows? They may also enjoy their flight, as well!

    As for me, I'll suffer through my upcoming domestic leg to JFK, but look forward to what will probably be a very pleasant--and SAFE--flight on EVA from JFK to TPE.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  11. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude

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    @spiderweb

    At this point I think you are deliberately missing the point.
    • Will I fly on an a major Asian carrier? Sure.
    • Are they safe? yes.
    • Do they still have areas for improvement? Yes.
    • If yes for improvement, where? CRM. See comments from CEO, and others who train pilots in CRM.
    • Why does this issue present so rarely? It takes a perfect storm for this issue to arise, a there must first be an emergency, second the junior pilot must recognize the issue and know the correct solution while the senior pilot does not.
    • Why is the study linked too stupid? How doe fleet age affect risk, fleet age more than 8 years is a penalty. Why only long haul? Short haul gets penalized, so Asian carriers which mostly do long haul fair better. One of the primary operation risk factors is based on USOAP. Guess what, USA, Canada and Europe are the only participants! A few Asian countries provide some of the data and transparency but are not part of the program....
    • And lastly, there are lies, dam lies and statistics. Look at the accidents for airliners around the world. How often does it happen? Is that enough data to build any type of reliable ranking?

    Tim
     
  12. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    OK, we won't call it "Asian style", we'll call it "the former Western captain-is-god style". In any case, the way they teach it now, incorporating CRM has proven to be a safer method.
     
  13. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I'm not missing the point or even really arguing any of your points. In fact, your first two bullets are exactly what I was trying to demonstrate. And I even agree with you that your 3rd, 4th, and 5th points are probably true. I'm not trying to win an argument.

    But what I am ALSO trying to get people to understand is that just because a study or report may not be perfect, it may still be valid, especially when there is more than just one report, as is the case here.

    If you saw, for example, three different, objective reports, which all suggested that X had a better safety record than Y, it would be reasonable to select X. If you then heard an anecdote that Y was actually better, would you throw out the three objective reports because of that anecdote?

    No study is perfect, no methodology is perfect. But deciding to ignore all of them may not be a great idea, either.

     
  14. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    That is a fact with which I don't disagree. And I know I'm being a PITA by repeating this (sorry--it is very un-Gemini of me!), but the reports presented in this thread strongly suggest Asian airlines are safe--perhaps even SAFER than domestic airlines--even if their CRM isn't the same as our CRM.

    Both things can actually be true.
     
  15. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Of course, safety should be the most important piece to this.

    But returning to my original assertion that the domestic flying experience is getting crappier, for many reasons, it's nice to know that on that, we ALL can agree. I didn't see one dissenter.

    And I think we all agreed on what the solution is: be willing to pay more for a better experience. And, as we all also know, that ain't happening.

    Sigh.
     
  16. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    You shouldn’t
     
  17. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    No prank. The link is to a download site from which you can download the book in pdf form.

    The book itself is rather amateurish in style and execution, and includes a good bit of profanity, but it presents a view into the Asian (primarily Chinese) cultures and airline operation. The book relates the experiences of western expat pilots flying for a regional airline in China. Certainly not a top-tier airline but a good insight into their take on safety culture.

    https://www92.zippyshare.com/v/rRE4ARC2/file.html

    Here's a dropbox link for the same file.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/95yeucll1sy14qx/Flying Upside Down.pdf?dl=0#
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  18. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    At least you concede that their CRM is not the same as our CRM. :)

    But as others have pointed out, the methodology seems flawed. By their own admission they don't take into account crew performance and maintenance. They also score long haul flights higher than short haul. Long haul flights might be statistically safer because there are fewer takeoffs and landings, but that doesn't seem like a proper way to evaluate the safety of an airline.

    It's very Taurus of me to keep beating a dead horse. ;)
     
    jordane93 likes this.
  19. creweite

    creweite Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Years ago, I used to commute between Florida and Connecticut on Delta, so had some impressive FFMiles. Now I am a very infrequent passenger and find things less than user friendly. What determines zone 1,2,3,4 for boarding ? Why don't airlines board from the rear as they used to to avoid congestion in the aisles? And they used to serve food back then, not just cookies!
     
  20. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    As others have said, in America we can't sacrifice safety, but you're SOL if you care about customer service, or even just general non-safety training. I had to laugh at one FA who insisted that the EVERY seatback is a bulkhead, for example.
     
  21. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    That varies by airline. Check out your airline's website for the specifics. Generally it is first class, branded CC holders, and elite status levels making up the first several groups, often with a buy-up option. Basic economy is last. Middle groups are non-status passengers back-to-front, window-to-aisle, or some combination of the two.

    Because the airline's best customers (first class, elite status holders, and branded CC holders) want priority boarding. That is more important to them, and hence the airline, than the overall efficiency of the process.