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Learjet 35 crash in the US - interesting lessons for 2 pilot operations



While most of us don’t fly formal multi pilot operations, this one is a lesson in that a useless co-pilot can make life a lot harder than flying with an empty seat.

I remember flying some instrument practice with someone like that, quite a few years ago, practicing for my JAA IR test, and after a couple of hours I was totally knackered.

There are other issues highlighted by this flight, specific to bizjet operations; some are pretty scary.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

For short 20min flight in busy airspace a useful RHS will have: his mouth shut, can put fuel selector/lower gear and will twist his knees away from rudder and use them as backstop if the LHS is pulling too much on the yoke (that is all I do as RHS job and recently I added watching CAS busts)

Peter wrote:

There are other issues highlighted by this flight, specific to bizjet operations; some are pretty scary.

Some do fly “low level VFR style” between Biggin Hill & Farbrough & Luton & spots in France for millions of reasons
I am sure they know what they do compared to the two guys in the video…

Last Edited by Ibra at 28 Feb 16:30
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Nice!

To be honest though, the performance both pilots was apparently very substandard.

What I don‘t understand: how can you pass a sim session whilst getting such negative notes on your performance. Is there no fail mode at all?

Last Edited by boscomantico at 28 Feb 16:46
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Peter wrote:

There are other issues highlighted by this flight, specific to bizjet operations; some are pretty scary.

The most important issue is that what is called “circle to 1” is really not a circling procedure at all, rather a visual procedure with prescribed tracks but (according to code7700.com), the FAA refuses to chart it as such!

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 28 Feb 18:26
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Uugh, tough to watch. Makes me cringe.

While most of us don’t fly formal multi pilot operations, this one is a lesson in that a useless co-pilot can make life a lot harder than flying with an empty seat.

I don’t think this accident has any relevance to private piston ga with two pilots flying together (eg the guest pilot making remarks and disturbing more than helping). None of what occurred here deserves to be called formal anyway.

I’ll leave it to someone else to assess who was less useful here but the ntsb came up with a good analysis.

On a level of business jet ops the lesson is there as in don’t be a tool, comply with procedures and pass up on being the complacent cool one no matter when and where.

EASA CB IR Training
Europe/Austria

On the co-pilot thing: take any junior ATPL FO in the business, even top-gun of the simulator with 100% marks, he will roll it 90deg on final in that tricky landing* of course you have to ask him to hand fly a complex Learjet at 260kts, 15min IFR in busy NYC airspace, low level VFR navigation, load of vectoring from ATC/LHS

IMO, he was “lost” since frequency change on takeoff, I think LHS should have flown it himself on circuit/landing config and approach speeds (I am not sure he is also capable to catch it, they did not even have a SkyDemon map with way-points )

*Maybe not stall it but surely he will land gear up, overshoot, bounce…you name it

Last Edited by Ibra at 28 Feb 19:47
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Have they ever heard of approach plates, briefing, checklists and go-around? Totally unnecessary loss of lives :(

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Their flight is barely 15min, I am not sure how that would work appart from self-breif? or as discussed on ground? I think in a multi-crew this would be: let’s do a long visual circuit, so checklists/breifs/talks are kept to minima

It would be interesting to know how multi-crew in short comercial flights do it? say those 10min VFR/IFR at 2000ft between Islands in Scotland? I am sure nothing like airliners or these guys, even so doing it in a slow Twin Otter at Isle of Scilly is different from a fast Learjet in NYC…

ESSEX, United Kingdom

C’mon… missing localiser, missing speeds, missing altitudes, missing IF, FAF, not contacting tower, not able to do correct read-back, trying to make impossible circling and finally stalling the aircraft. What kind of flying is that?

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Unreal. How do people like that get into a commercial cockpit? What strikes me most (apart from the myriad errors) is the pre-flight decision making. A short flight like this is, IMHO and experience, much more demanding than a long one where you have time to set things up. What was this ‘captain’ (I hesitate to use the term) thinking in letting an unqualified SIC fly that leg?

PS: we need a facepalm emoji here….

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