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Sunday, April 23, 2017

The shortage of flight personnel in Russia leads at the helm of scams

Over the past few years, the country has witnessed several air crashes, the results of which it became clear that the pilots of the crashed Airliners, or did not have sufficient experience, or the flight had fake diplomas. And although the government has done much to remedy this situation, the risk of emergence at the helm of fraud persists.

As stated in April, the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, the captain of the liner “the Boeing-737 that crashed at Kazan airport in 2013, did not have the right to sit at the helm. “In the course of investigation it was established that the aircraft commander had a fake certificate commercial pilot civil aviation, as well as the corresponding diploma, which he acquired from the set by the result of the face in 2009,” – said Bastrykin.

“The problem is, when the pilots want “on paper” seem better and more experienced than it actually is in the West”

Recall that the accident Board of the airline “Tatarstan” has led the staff, though not quite a standard situation – a missed approach. Nothing beyond this maneuver not. Around the same time when he crashed Kazan “Boeing” at the airport of Birmingham in a strong crosswind made two attempts to land “a Boeing 777 of Emirates airlines. Both times he went to the second round, and just a few metres from the touch strip. The third time the pilots decided not to tempt fate and put the liner in London’s Gatwick airport, located approximately 150 miles from Birmingham. The only damage suffered by passengers, this is the time that they had to spend to get from Gatwick to Birmingham.

Thus, in the Tatar destruction of the “Boeing” blame the pilots. At the helm of the liner were people, each of whom have been in aviation for more than twenty years, and in flight positions. But to sit in the cockpit of an airliner during a flight does not mean to fly it. The commander was a former Navigator and the second pilot – the flight engineer. Of course, we should not think that they are simply transplanted from the chairs of the Navigator and flight engineer on the pilot’s seat – each of them had appropriate transition training in special centers. But then the questions arise.

“Mighty MAG only on paper I”

These words from the famous humorous songs would hardly be appropriate to apply to the death of Tatar “Boeing-737”, if by meaning they did not reflect the main reason for this tragedy. According to the Russian media, as the commander and the second pilot shared the experience of piloting not exceed three years. The commander flew about 2.7 thousand, and the co-pilot – about 1.9 thousand hours. These figures are totally unacceptable to work on the aircraft type “Boeing-737” airlines in the Western (particularly as regards the pilot experience of the commander). But the question now is not even about that. Factor that with high probability has considerably complicated the situation, caused by the lack of flying skills of the crew, could be not enough quality training centers, which hosted the pilot training, the pilots of the crashed “Boeing”. According to Director of airline “Tatarstan”, in the second round the crew in real time generally never came, only on the simulator. “The investigators have doubts about the legality of these centers,” – said in 2013 in an interview with “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, the official representative of RF IC Vladimir Markin.

Doubts about the quality of pilot training emerged after examining the documents seized in the airline “Tatarstan”. It turned out that the training center where training was held, the captain, operated in 2008-2009, and then suspiciously quickly closed. Something similar happened with other similar institutions. In the TFR suspect that many education centres were engaged in banal trading pilot diplomas, and some of them, perhaps, are still in force.

Here are a few illustrative examples. In 2012 for accepting bribes was detained the head of the aviation training center of the Krasnoyarsk branch of St. Petersburg state University of civil aviation”. He gave documents about the end of this educational institution or for courses of improvement of qualification to people who have not even crossed the threshold of this center. In the end the unprepared pilots were permitted to carry dangerous goods. Only law enforcement officers installed were 12 such episodes.

And in 2014 in St. Petersburg there was a scandal around the aviation training center “Wings of the Neva”. As reported by the First channel, against its Director was charged with several offences. According to investigators, he actually traded documents for aircraft control. Investigators claim that becoming a pilot could easily and an engineering graduate, and so-called simmer is a fan of aviation computer games. “To obtain the certificate of the Amateur pilot at the center, it was necessary to pay 50 thousand rubles, and the commercial pilot – 150 thousand. At that future pilots actually didn’t have any training, receiving in future the possibility not only to sit behind the wheel, but actually be responsible for the safety of passengers”, – said Markin. It is known that at least seven people were able to get a job in various airlines of the country.

According to the same SKR, one of the pilots of the Yak-42 that crashed in 2011 near Yaroslavl hockey team “Lokomotiv” on Board, had a fake license to operate. The responsibility for this flagrant violation of the rules of flight operation was entrusted to the Deputy Director of the company “Yak-Service”, which belonged to the deceased. According to investigators, the perpetrator is Vadim Timofeev for reasons of economy simply didn’t allow pilots to undergo the necessary training. In the end, he was put on trial.

“Pencil” clock plaque

Security measures at the airport (click to enlarge)In April 2012 under the Tyumen regional turboprop crashed ATR-72 of airline “UTair”. Of the 39 passengers and four crew members survived only 12 people. The accident occurred due to the fact that the aircraft commander (FAC) made the wrong decision to take off without a pre-icing of the aircraft. As a result, almost immediately after takeoff, the liner was covered with ice, which dramatically worsened the aerodynamic characteristics of a vehicle and, ultimately, led to its downfall. Not to undergo the said treatment before flying in conditions that threaten icing, – a blunder. How could allow such a commander, who, according to Russian media reports, had almost 10,000 flying hours, because it is a very solid pilot experience.

But it is this figure and casts doubt on the qualifications of the FAC. The fact that at the time of the accident he was only 28 years old, and without three days. This means that, starting from the age of seventeen (that is, from the time when he could go to flight school) he spent at the helm of one thousand hours per year, including cadet years. For comparison: the pilots of “Aeroflot” with the processing gain a maximum of 900 hours per year.

The plaque, measured in ten thousand hours, becomes even more absurd when it turns out that the deceased KVS ATR-72, as one expert put it in an interview with the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets”, he graduated from College only in 2008 and had a total work experience of about three and a half years. It turns out that the commander of the annually recorded in his flight book almost three thousand hours of a RAID (a RAID at the school, under the most favorable scenario amounting to 150 hours, the calculation is not). This figure could correspond to reality only in case, if in FAC literally spent day and night in the air.

They say, “dead shame no shame”. The last thing I would like to do is to question the professional skills of the deceased pilot who already paid for his mistake at the highest price. But if the figure is ten thousand hours per flight documents FAC not fiction journalists, it is obvious that he “flew with a pencil” – so called aircraft assigned flight hours. The real experience is impossible to attribute, you can only purchase it and no pencil will not help. And later in “UTair” admitted that the commander of the crashed ATR-72 had just 2.5 thousand flight hours.

Another example from the same category. According to the newspaper “Izvestia”, in 2011, 78 cadets buguruslanskoe flight school have not received diplomas of pilots due to the fact that instead of the program 150 flight hours spent in the sky at best half the time. Moreover, the fact undereducated established Prosecutor’s office. Not check she the College, nearly eight dozen “PalmPilot” “got the keys to heaven and sat at the helm of An-2, M-101T, and then a small jet airliner Yak-40. All, as of 2011, the school owed its cadets for nearly 25 000 hours of instructional flying. Explaining the situation, his leadership has traditionally referred to the lack of funding from the Federal air transport Agency “Rosaviation”.

The problem when pilots want “on paper” seem better and more experienced than it actually is, and in the West. So, according to the online Daily News, the commander of the Dash-8 (also turboprop regional aircraft) that crashed in 2009 near the town of Buffalo in new York state because of gross errors in piloting, concealed from the management of the airline Colgan Air, failed two flight exam, which handed over Federal aviation administration of the USA. He will not go to this fraud, not to see his commander’s chair. It is possible that the cost of this deception was the death of all 49 people on Board the ship (including crew), and one person on the ground.

After this catastrophe, the conditions of employment of pilots at American airlines engaged in passenger or freight transport, were significantly tightened. So, if earlier there it was possible to get a co-pilot with 250 hours total of flying time and a commercial license, but now, with rare exceptions, only 1500 hours and licensed line pilots (ATP). But to become a captain should be completed at least 1000 hours as co-pilot. The minimum age in America to receive ATP for 23 years. In flight training detachment of “Aeroflot” to prepare for the position of the second pilot aircraft type A-320 while take flight graduate schools of civil aviation, with 150 hours raids or military graduates of flight school with 200 hours of RAID.

The root of all evil

“In the Russian conditions the main line of defense from the “unfinished” of pilots is on the threshold of the personnel Department of the airline, which crosses the pilot who wants to work in it”

Shortly after the tragedy in Kazan online resource News.mail.ru conducted a survey “How do You think what is the reason of air crashes in Russia?”. It was attended by nearly 100 000 people. Here were the answers: improper maintenance and the use of old aircraft – 30%, the underdevelopment of Russian civil aircraft construction – 7%, lack of competent management of industry by the state is 45%, the human factor (errors of pilots, controllers) – 15, not dependent on human factors, case – 3%. Thus, the majority of respondents laid the blame for incidents on the state: provided, overlooked, neoproverjimo, not punished. In General, a textbook sloppiness plus the usual “post-reform” years of disregard for the life and health of its own citizens.

But does the government really look “through fingers” on the situation in Russian aviation, including the training of flight personnel? In 2012 the Prosecutor General’s office has prepared a report which was dedicated to the state of law and order in Russia in 2011. It specifically mentioned that “the system of qualification the Russian civil pilots does not meet the requirements of legislation and international standards”. Noting the growth in the number of accidents in air transport, the General Prosecutor’s office cited data from the report of the Interstate aviation Committee, according to which about 80% of crashes were caused by erroneous actions of the aviation personnel in the organization and performance of flights. In the report there have been four fatal in its consequences for the safety of civil aviation of fact. The first is “tolerance aviation authorities to fly individuals who do not have the necessary flying practice”. The second is that “educational institutions engaged in training of pilots, do not have the necessary human and logistic potential”. The third is the delegation of the Federal air transport Agency for a number of years some questionable aviation centres the right to conduct certification audits (dubious data centers was the fact that they had no official confirmation that they have the necessary resources for the implementation of such regulatory activities). And finally, fourth (and no wonder) is hidden by the local aviation authorities of all these violations from the inspection authorities.

The conclusions of the Prosecutor General concerning the situation with flight training in Russia, were confirmed by SK almost immediately after the Kazan disaster. “The testimonies of pilots of commercial aviation issued by the Federal air transport Agency on the basis of documents on training and retraining of pilots on the courses of the aviation training centres, which we have in the country more than 100 – quoted Markin ITAR-TASS. – We have every reason to believe that many pilots, but it primarily concerns the smaller airlines, was in fact fictitious testimonies of pilots of commercial aviation, because in fact did not receive training in those training centres”. In addition, in 2014 the Prosecutor General Chaika at a meeting on improving state control of the head of the Prosecutor General’s office said that the majority of aviation training centres not provided with the necessary equipment and 40% of them trained personnel without a license.

“The shortage of flight personnel in Russia is forcing airlines (especially small) “close eye” on insufficient qualified pilots employed or “unclear origin” of their flight experience”

Speaking about the reasons of a systemic nature, which contributed to the emergence in Russia of a similar situation, the head of Rosaviatsiya Alexander Neradko, in a recent interview to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” referred to the period of 2005-2008, when there was an active replacement of old domestic types of aircrafts, where were the crews with the participation of navigators and flight engineers, which began to retrain on the pilots. Good idea but was not provided with material-technical base and capabilities, flight schools, which were aimed at training of specialists of higher and secondary education. The question arose, where to retrain navigators and flight engineers. Then and there the idea is to pass training (flight training) for navigators and flight engineers in aviation training centers. Here, according to Neradko, and began the abuse when some organizers of the process in the training centers turned training into a source of profit. They can falsify and make annotations, which are very difficult to identify in the process of issuing pilot certificates.

Thus, to accuse the state of inaction is impossible. Close aviation centers issuing “useless scrap of paper”, dismissed those who engage in fraud, and against some of them to prosecute. In addition, suspended in the sky pilots-dropout – one of them loses his pilot’s license, or just not getting them. So, after rechecking retrained navigators and flight engineers 306 people lost their pilot certificates. In turn, state Duma deputies decided to tighten the rules of receiving not only professional but also Amateur pilot’s license. Finally, are subjected to “draconian” inspection, including searches, airlines, suspected of violation of safety regulations, in particular, the use of under-qualified pilots.

But on the way this company against forgeries and falsifications in the flight case are a few factors that hinder its effective implementation. The first is the shortage of flight personnel in Russia, forcing airlines (especially small) “close eye” on insufficient qualified pilots employed or “unclear origin” of their flight experience. The second is the lack of control exercised by the Federal air transport Agency over the activities of local aviation authorities, in particular, regional centers of flight training. The third factor is “relaxing” effect on pilots, airlines and training centers powerful hardware of a modern liner. Sometimes one gets the impression that pilots enough to teach “push the buttons” and all the rest of the plane “do it yourself”. Hence the disregard for the experience and hours spent by pilots in the sky, the employment in “large” aircraft of recent graduates of flight schools. Experienced pilots derisively called them “boys with sticks”, alluding to the fact that all the recent flying skills of the cadets have been confined largely to interaction with onboard equipment.

The main line of defense

In Russian conditions the main line of defense from the “unfinished” of pilots is on the threshold of the personnel Department of the airline, which crosses the pilot who wants to work in it. You can filter at the level of a preliminary interview. The author of the newspaper OPINION one had to observe such a situation. In flight training detachment (STREET) “Aeroflot” came a young man about thirty years old. In the team, he met a leading expert of the STREET, formerly one of the most experienced pilots of the airline. Here is what took place between them the following conversation:

– Finished?
– Kirovograd higher flight school – the young man handed a diploma. “It’s just…” and here he hesitated a little – flying practice we weren’t there. You know, materiel, fuel…

The young man looked earnestly into the eyes of the expert, obviously looking for sympathy in them: – the planes were faulty, the petrol at school there was no money. So I have a flight diploma, but no plaque (this is roughly the same as if the ballet school graduate said that he studied the theory of plasticity, but to dance so it never came).
– Well, how are you going to fly Aeroflot, not having any flight experience?
– I had it! – eyes of the young man joyfully flashed. – Got a job as a pilot on the An-2 in Odessa the airline, there could teach me things and has flown about 300 hours (for reference: to get trained on A-320 Aeroflot need 150 hours of flying time). In flight owner all written.
– The an-2 is a well – approved expert, which of the 22,000 hours of their total RAID 6 500 hours flown in this “maize”. – Well, what work you performed on it?
Different. “Chemistry”, for example.
What height did you do it?
Well… about 40-50 m (for reference: pollination with the An-2 was produced from such a height that the wheels of the aircraft had to be green zadavaemye from the tops of the plants).
– So. Well, what else had to do?
– Distilled (said the young man is already less self-assured tone).
– And at what speed surpassed?
– About 330 kilometers an hour (for reference: the maximum speed of the An-2 was about 260 km/h and overtook him at a speed of 180 km/h. 330 km/h this biplane could develop only in a dive close to steep).
– Goodbye, young man, – the leading expert returned his diploma. – You are not flying in “Aeroflot” you have nothing to do.

Such cases were far from isolated. This time is “failed”, but in another airline, and when less conscientious or experienced pilot, conducting an interview, might go. Thus, airlines must in the first place to put a reliable barrier on the way of penetration into the ranks of their pilots is not enough qualified pilots. This barrier two feet.

The first (alas, in modern Russia is not strong enough) – it is the moral responsibility of the leaders of airlines to passengers for flight safety. A second, much more effective is a serious legal and financial demand from these airlines from the Federal government for lack of security.

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