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General => General Chat => Topic started by: Homer J Simpson on March 29, 2020, 10:03:03 pm

Title: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Homer J Simpson on March 29, 2020, 10:03:03 pm


From  "Mentour Pilot" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwpHKudUkP5tNgmMdexB3ow/videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwpHKudUkP5tNgmMdexB3ow/videos)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDl1JNqjpM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDl1JNqjpM)
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: NiHaoMike on March 29, 2020, 10:52:10 pm
Didn't the Mythbusters test the myth long ago?
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Brumby on March 30, 2020, 09:34:36 am
I watched this not long after it came out.  It's not a myth... at least not for the particular type of aircraft used in this example.

What it does rely on is the correct operation of the technology.  This video just shows the sort of steps that might need to be taken in order to achieve a successful outcome.

It is made very clear, though, that this should NOT be considered as a training resource.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Brumby on March 30, 2020, 10:04:47 am
As a post-script, Mythbusters don't always perform truly conclusive tests.  It doesn't take much to see holes in their processes every now and then - but it does make for an entertaining show.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: taydin on March 30, 2020, 10:05:18 am
So based on that video, there's no chance in hell that a passenger can land the aircraft, because the first step, establishing communication with ATC is going to fail (too complex and requires knowledge of frequencies etc). There would have been a glimmer of hope if there was a communication channel with ATC open by default.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Brumby on March 30, 2020, 10:16:41 am
I'm no pilot - but I know those first steps.

You might also find some of the cabin crew might know a thing or two.  They know a lot more than just how to serve meals.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: NiHaoMike on March 30, 2020, 12:47:11 pm
So based on that video, there's no chance in hell that a passenger can land the aircraft, because the first step, establishing communication with ATC is going to fail (too complex and requires knowledge of frequencies etc). There would have been a glimmer of hope if there was a communication channel with ATC open by default.
Or most likely the passenger will dial 911 and hopefully the call center will figure out how to forward it to ATC.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: donotdespisethesnake on March 30, 2020, 01:09:51 pm
Ok, I failed the first step. What button do I need to release?
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Nusa on March 30, 2020, 01:24:48 pm
It's pretty standard for at least the senior flight attendants to have some emergency training for a no-pilot emergency.

After that, consider there are likely a lot of passengers on that plane, with various backgrounds. The odds one or more of them knows something about planes is actually pretty good.

If I were on such a flight, as a general aviation pilot I would already know the basics of flight and radio procedure. In addition, I happen to have a pretty good idea of what is what in an airline cockpit, since I was involved in creating an MD-11 cockpit procedures trainer and spent some time in Delta's actual MD-11 simulator to compare details. Admittedly, that was over 30 years ago, but the MD-11 has a glass cockpit and did have auto-land capability.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 30, 2020, 04:23:41 pm
Saw this video a while ago.

You can usually land most airliners almost automatically, provided that 1/ the airport runway is equipped accordingly (not all do) and 2/ you follow every indication to the letter... Missing just one single push of a button (which can obviously happen if you don't know what you're doing, even if you're being instructed in real-time point by point) or entering wrong frequency settings can lead to a nice crash.

Of course, that would work also only if conditions are perfect. Just add to this significant lateral wind, and you're likely to get fucked. Any case that would require a go-around (and shit happens frequently) has zero chance of being handled properly by someone with zero training.

Then there's the small part once the plane has touched ground. Sure touching ground is the essential part, but auto-braking has limits. Once you're on the runway, it's pretty easy to get the plane go anywhere except in a straight line.

So yeah - it's possible in theory, but in practice the odds of that ending up very badly are pretty high.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Tom45 on March 30, 2020, 05:06:42 pm
So yeah - it's possible in theory, but in practice the odds of that ending up very badly are pretty high.

And the odds of failure are even higher if nobody on board does anything.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on March 30, 2020, 05:11:13 pm
So based on that video, there's no chance in hell that a passenger can land the aircraft, because the first step, establishing communication with ATC is going to fail (too complex and requires knowledge of frequencies etc). There would have been a glimmer of hope if there was a communication channel with ATC open by default.
Or most likely the passenger will dial 911 and hopefully the call center will figure out how to forward it to ATC.

Interesting idea. Do cellphones work from 35,000 feet?

I wonder how the 911 call center could possibly know which facility they would need to contact.

 :)
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: nctnico on March 30, 2020, 05:17:24 pm
So based on that video, there's no chance in hell that a passenger can land the aircraft, because the first step, establishing communication with ATC is going to fail (too complex and requires knowledge of frequencies etc). There would have been a glimmer of hope if there was a communication channel with ATC open by default.
Or most likely the passenger will dial 911 and hopefully the call center will figure out how to forward it to ATC.
Interesting idea. Do cellphones work from 35,000 feet?
Maybe. But cell-phone cell handover is likely to fail at speeds of over 200km/h. At least this was the case last time I checked.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on March 30, 2020, 05:34:55 pm
So based on that video, there's no chance in hell that a passenger can land the aircraft, because the first step, establishing communication with ATC is going to fail (too complex and requires knowledge of frequencies etc). There would have been a glimmer of hope if there was a communication channel with ATC open by default.

Except for some remote areas, an aircraft flying IFR is always in communication with some form of ATC.

The main issue is that any airliner flight deck is complex. The typical passenger has no idea what to look for. He has no idea what a PTT is, let alone find it. A passenger pilot experienced with "lighter" general aviation aircraft would know about the PTT alright, but would not be familiar with the radios and the communication panel he would be looking at. And the speed, a jet airliner is flying at 500 to 600 mph (800 to 950 km/h); it is mind boggling when you are not used to it.

 :)
 
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Fred27 on March 30, 2020, 05:48:46 pm
Not quite the same, but I know someone who was flying a light aircraft solo when he had a stroke and went blind. They managed to talk him down to a successful landing.  :o
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Brumby on March 31, 2020, 04:44:56 am
Not quite the same, but I know someone who was flying a light aircraft solo when he had a stroke and went blind. They managed to talk him down to a successful landing.  :o
The BIG difference there is that they would have known how to fly and would know their instrument layout.  Lack of vision could be worked around through radar, other aircraft within visual range and ground observers - but the basics of communication and what an aircraft feels like to handle would already be there.

If that were to happen on a 737 (or similar aircraft) then the pilot might still have half a chance to fly the plane with someone giving them the visual information they were missing.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: rgarito on April 01, 2020, 03:27:13 am
I'm not a pilot but worked in the industry for many years.  Because of that, I know a lot of pilots and some who are even 737 type-rated.  Some have taught me a few things, but what was really interesting was that a former client of mine was a flight school that had a full motion 737 simulator (believe it or not, a professional version of MS Flight Simulator plus a ton of add-ons was the software!).  IIRC, it took about 10 PCs (each running specific modules) connected together with Firewire (yes, firewire!) to operate it.  It was FAA certified as a real simulator.  Anyways, I played in that quite a bit and in a pinch I might be able to pull it off (albeit, it's been several years so I probably forgot a few things).  And obviously with guidance over the radio, as various procedures and calculations and limits I would not know.  Of course being in the real aircraft with the stress involved would be a factor that one has to consider, too....

As for radio frequencies, again, being in the industry previously (but not a pilot), I am aware of the types of frequencies, etc.  A google search of the approach plates, if you could not figure out how to use the electronic versions on the aircraft, it would be pretty easy to figure out the proper ATC frequencies.  (provided you can get an internet connection of course).  You can also squawk the emergency code on the transponder to get attention (I forget the code, but it's the same worldwide).  Squawking the code is as simple as dialing in the 4-digit code in the proper place and (I think) you have to press IDENT.  That would at least get ATCs undivided attention.

For the record, I've also flown in a Learjet-55 simulator's right seat a couple of times, with a real lear pilot (who used to be my business partner) in the left seat and also a flight instructor (who was a friend) at the trainer's console...  At one point I was considering getting a pilot's license but never got around to it.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Brumby on April 01, 2020, 06:07:23 am
Squawk code is 7700.

Emergency frequency is 121.5MHz

Other than that, I know very little.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on April 01, 2020, 10:44:43 pm
Squawk code is 7700.

Emergency frequency is 121.5MHz

Other than that, I know very little.

121.5 MHz is for when you have no other frequency to work with.

An emergency should be declared on the frequency that is being currently used. As I mentioned earlier, an airliner is operating IFR and is always in communication with an ATC facility somewhere. A Mayday or a Pan Pan will get you full ATC attention.

A pilot incapacitation situation, where a passenger is on the radio would definitively be a Mayday.

 :)
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on April 01, 2020, 10:55:51 pm
I'm not a pilot but worked in the industry for many years.  Because of that, I know a lot of pilots and some who are even 737 type-rated.  Some have taught me a few things,

...

You are not a typical passenger. While you are not a pilot, you have some knowledge. And this is what you should tell ATC if you ever find yourself in a position where you have to bring a plane back on the ground.

I am not aware of any large airplane that was flown back on the ground by a none-pilot. But it happened several times with light general aviation airplane.

 :)
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: Brumby on April 02, 2020, 01:58:46 am
An emergency should be declared on the frequency that is being currently used. As I mentioned earlier, an airliner is operating IFR and is always in communication with an ATC facility somewhere.
... unless the aircraft has flown out of range of the previously set ATC.  It's certainly worth a try, but I would think having 121.5 in your mind as the next step would be essential.

Quote
A pilot incapacitation situation, where a passenger is on the radio would definitively be a Mayday.
I couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on April 02, 2020, 03:14:58 am
An emergency should be declared on the frequency that is being currently used. As I mentioned earlier, an airliner is operating IFR and is always in communication with an ATC facility somewhere.
... unless the aircraft has flown out of range of the previously set ATC.  It's certainly worth a try, but I would think having 121.5 in your mind as the next step would be essential.


Yes of course, if it is impossible to raise anybody on the air-to-ground frequency what was previously used. But then, chances are it will be a pilot, who was monitoring the frequency, that will respond. This pilot will have no idea where you are. It is not like 121.5 was really monitored by ATC. But yes, it would be your go to frequency if you have no other frequency to work with (no response on the previously used frequency).

 :)
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: CatalinaWOW on April 02, 2020, 03:28:56 am
So yeah - it's possible in theory, but in practice the odds of that ending up very badly are pretty high.

And the odds of failure are even higher if nobody on board does anything.

I think this says it all.  If something happens that incapacitates all pilots (the assigned crew, any dead-heading, off duty, retired, vacationing), all partially trained cabin crew, and all non-commercial pilots on board there is still a chance (assuming that the anti-hijacking features have been disabled before the pilots were) that one of the passengers could get the information together and get the plane on the ground.  Maybe a landing.  Maybe a survivable crash.  Not a great chance, but somewhat better than everyone assuming the tuck position and waiting for whatever happens.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on April 02, 2020, 03:46:15 am
Squawk code is 7700.

Emergency frequency is 121.5MHz

Other than that, I know very little.

I think you are the one to which I suggested a movie once. This time my suggestion is "Mercy Mission, the rescue of flight 771". It is the true story of a guy who get lost over the Pacific. An airline pilot tries to locate him. It is a movie, so the story is not 100% accurate. But in the book "Emergency" by Stanley Stewart, you can find exactly what happened.

 :)
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: SkyMaster on April 02, 2020, 03:59:06 am
So yeah - it's possible in theory, but in practice the odds of that ending up very badly are pretty high.

And the odds of failure are even higher if nobody on board does anything.

I think this says it all.  If something happens that incapacitates all pilots (the assigned crew, any dead-heading, off duty, retired, vacationing), all partially trained cabin crew, and all non-commercial pilots on board there is still a chance (assuming that the anti-hijacking features have been disabled before the pilots were) that one of the passengers could get the information together and get the plane on the ground.  Maybe a landing.  Maybe a survivable crash.  Not a great chance, but somewhat better than everyone assuming the tuck position and waiting for whatever happens.

Flight attendant Andreas Prodromou, from Helios Flight 522 wished he would have known how to fly the 737.

But I never heard about flight attendants being trained to fly an aircraft in an emergency.

 :-\
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: taydin on April 02, 2020, 10:30:28 am
How about adding the ability to control the airplane through a real flight simulator, by a real pilot in case of emergency? This of course assumes that there is a real flight simulator that is close enough to get real time flight data from the plane.

All technology required for this is already available. The only disadvantage is that the simulator will recreate the plane's behavior maybe 95%, but there will be some things that the pilot can only feel when he was there, on the plane. Also, the data link bandwidth and latency requirements might not be guaranteed under all circumstances.
Title: Re: How a passanger can land a 737
Post by: GlennSprigg on April 02, 2020, 12:38:47 pm
I have a pretty good Simulator setup at home, with the majority of real-world external (from the computer) controls, pedals, instrumentation, Nav etc. etc.  And I use them all properly, to simulate real flights. However, even 'I' would admit that to be 'thrown' into the pilot seat of a real Passenger Jet would be overwhelming!!  Sure, I would do better than someone who knows nothing, having extensive knowledge of speeds, flaps, stall speeds, decent rates/instruments, landing gear, nose pitch attitude, how to go around etc., but the COMMs/NAV instruments would be lost on me in the 'moment'. I'd rather do it myself, than my Missus who still can't reverse park after 40 years!!   8)