Aviation Tales, this is my story:

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Pine
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Re: The Cattle Attendant....

#21

Post by Pine » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:16 am

Very interesting story, Moertoe Image

Nico sounds like a very interesting guy, but...........shame...........that last one...............Image


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: The Cattle Attendant....

#22

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:55 am

Yes Nico is an interesting guy, he didn't know much about flying and airplanes as you can read between the lines....


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four engine jock
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Re: The Cattle Attendant....

#23

Post by four engine jock » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:03 am

I did many flights with Nico. Yes: he did not have many fingers left. But was fun to fly with.



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Bob The Dog
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Whom is Muntu Pilut

#24

Post by Bob The Dog » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:19 pm

Hi Moertoe Pilut,

Altough I have i good idea who you are, you're story about the rubber boots in the oven is not you're story. I was the flight engineer o/b of the a/c and after I took the cockpit

apart to find the burning smell it still took a while before I found Nico's melting boots in the food oven in the galley.

He had cold feet, wanted warm-up his rubber boots and while doing this he feel asleep.......... still it's a good story.........



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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: The Cattle Attendant....

#25

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:22 pm

Then it happened more then once, I took his shoes out, not boots Image Was it you or Fillip with the smoke in the O2 mask?


Image

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Re: The Cattle Attendant....

#26

Post by Bob The Dog » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:26 pm

he did so many crazy things during the flights that I can't remember them all, he did make me jump more than once, that's for sure........

how are you doing Moertoe, all okay, Mum and Dad okay?

let me know.



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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: The Cattle Attendant....

#27

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:45 pm

Bob, you have a PM Image


Image

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Aviation Tales, this is my story:

#28

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:51 pm

Image




As most of you will know, I started my flying career as a Flight Engineer, riding side saddle on an old clapped out DC-8. In those days it wasn't uncommon to pull a 36 hour duty day, with of course the "necessary" catnaps in between. We would do let's say, Ostend to Lome, Lome to Luanda, Luanda to Mwanza, Mwanza to Cairo and then Cairo to Ostend, only of course if extra money was going to be paid.

If you were unlucky, and you got back to Ostend, they would ask you to go out again and do another 12 hours or so, just because of a lack of crew.

I can not remember what we as the operating crew did prior to this particular flight, but we were well fatigued to say the least. We only had to fly one more sector which was a Ostend to Accra flight, with a crew rest in Accra. The flight time itself to Accra is around 6 hours.

The entire flight itself was uneventful except the approach. That particular morning, the cloud base was low and the visibility wasn't that great either. We were vectored for an ILS approach onto the westerly runway, Runway 21. The approach was flown by the First Officer, The Captain being the Pilot Monitoring.

The initial approach was flown at flaps 15 and we were still on a radar vector to intercept the ILS. The ILS frequencies were never selected by either pilot, which at the time I didn't think much of. As we got closer, the airplane started to slow down with flaps 15 still selected. Neither the Captain nor myself picked up that the airplane was starting to fly below Flap 15 manoeuvring speed.

The next thing I remembered was hearing the stick shaker. I looked up and saw we were still at flap 15 and flying on Vref plus 15 knots or so. I called out the stick shaker but neither pilot was responding to it. The airplane then started to waggle its tail (buffeting) with still no response from either one, the airplane was now doing Vref. I took all 4 power levers and fire walled them.

The airplane immediately flew out of the stall at an altitude of 1500 feet and was flown back to Flap 15 manoeuvring speed followed by a missed approach.

Another series of confusion erupted then. The Pilot Monitoring switched from Approach Control to Tower frequency, without being handed over. The controller, just as confused, handed the Captain back over to Approach Control. Meanwhile the F/O was trying to figure out what the missed approach procedure was and didn't know where to go.

Lucky for us, the Approach Controller gave us another series of vectors for another ILS onto runway 21. We landed about 20 minutes after the initial stick shaker and both pilots were instructed by ATC to report to the tower after landing….

We never spoke about this incident.....

One would think that this was a major wake up call and a lesson for us not to fly over fatigued. Unfortunately it wasn't, although we didn't have any further fatigue related incidents.


Image

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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#29

Post by Burner » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:33 pm

Geez Moertoe that is an incredible story! Luckily you firewalled those thrust levers when you did. I'm sure incidents like this definitely do still happen (and often are widely publicised, remember the 2 guys who overflew their destination because of "an argument they had about their rostering"), but I'm sure they happen a lot less now with the strict FDP limits as well as SMS systems that most operators have in place.

Quite recently a crew in the EU actually declared a PAN as they were both fatigued, despite being within legal limits.

I've only done a few months of night freight runs, and damn I have respect for you chaps who have done it/did it for years!



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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#30

Post by happyskipper » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Well, muntu - there but for the grace of God........... :mad: if you had not reacted as you did, chances are that would be another one of those "confusing" CFIT accidents that we try to solve on CRM courses........ :eek: "but why would a professional crew just fly into the ground??", as is so often asked... :cool:

I bet that you were all wide awake for the next try.... :whistle:



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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#31

Post by Pine » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:24 pm

We live just to the western side (± 2km) of the approach from Tygerberg Hill to runway 19 (FACT) - and then take-off from 01 when the northerly wind is having its time. Many times, during the night, I have listened to these "Freight Dogs" approaching or taking off. And just as many times I have wondered about this night flying. Never mind how much/good you sleep during the day, its just never the same as sleeping by night and working by day.

Thanks for sharing this with us. :thumbs: :thumbs:


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#32

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:13 pm

This happened back in 1996 or so and I'm not very proud of it either. Back then, most of the "freightdogs" didn't care much about duty time, rather make more money. We were pretty lucky and thinking back on it, pretty stupid too... I have woken up in the airplane with all 3 of us sleeping... I know one a certain member here, who had the same thing and actually over flew destination :whistle:

I actually enjoy night freight. It's quiet in the skies, no SID's or STAR's to be flown, and boxes don't complain.


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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#33

Post by four engine jock » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:17 pm

I remember those days very well.
Back then we did many things we would never do today.
Moertoe and I have been through many things together.
To talk about fatigue.

I remember back in the early in the 90’s on the B707. We started our flight in Ostend with a 35 ton load for Luanda; Flight was about 8 and half hours.
When we landed in Luanda we off loaded our B707, fueled her up with 72 tons of fuel and flew direct to Bombay, another 9 hour flight. After we landed we were told we had to back to Luanda after 8 hours.
We only had about 5 hours in the hotel so not much sleep.
Our next stop was Mombasa for a fuel stop as we had about 40 tons of bicycles on board. That flight was around 6 hours.
But this is what happened to us.
We all fell asleep on our way to Mombasa and the Load Master lucky for us came in the cockpit and woke us up. At that point we figured out we were 200 miles to the west of Mombasa.
When we landed in Mombasa we said screw this and took a very long crew rest.
Back then we didn’t worry about fatigue. No one ever talked about it.
Moertoe and I could write a book about some of things we did together in the old days as Fright Dogs. I will never forget it as it was some of the best times flying I ever had.



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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#34

Post by Raffles » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:50 pm

I remember doing 14 sectors. Started at 7 am and finished at 2 am the next morning. Passengers what's more. On the freight side, well we did around 200 hours a month at Transafrik.


Hindsight is what you see from the tail gunner's position. :D

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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#35

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:29 am

We also averaged around 200 hours a month, pay was good then!


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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#36

Post by avi-addict » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:17 am

GeeWiss Munts, these are hair rising stories! Can the blame mainly be put on the god Mammon? You must have been very young then . . mmmm round about 21yrs? Fatigue is a very dangerous 'condition' especially in you people's occupation. :pine:

I suffered severe fatigue at a time when I was teaching - so much so that I got medical help. Teachers also work long and after hours but in this case, without extra pay. I remember working till 00:04 into the morning just to start school at 07:00am....and then you have to face some terrible unruly little brats!

Tnx for sharing Munts. If you don't mind I would like to share your story with an 'aviation enthusiast' friend in Clarence.

Please 'give' us more. . . this is actually 'exciting stuff! That goes for all the members behind the controls. :please: :utheman:


If you can't convince them, confuse them or cast a spell over them.  I'm the witch, then there's the cat and the broom . . .

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Re: "Freight Dog Fatigue"

#37

Post by happyskipper » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:08 am

Having flown with Safair's freighters (Hercs and B707) on many occasions, I can vouch for everything that Moertoe and FEJ talk about regarding Freight Dogs. I also flew as crew with the Russian crew of an An- 32 on a few freight runs locally, as well as one trip to Nairobi and back.

Flying with the Russians was a whole new ball game, however, and the rules and F&D limits that we introduced at Safair did not apply with African Aeroflot, as they were known.......that's the subject of a whole new thread...



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Flying with "The Russians"

#38

Post by happyskipper » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:47 am

As promised elsewhere, I thought I'd share some of my memories of flying with the Russian crew of an AN32 UR48131:-

Safair was operating the freight schedule to Durban and back to JHB with a Herc (sometimes a BAe 146), but the flight was not profitable, as we rarely filled the hold's 20 ton capacity, and it was decided to wet-lease the Antanov AN-32 UR48131 for the sched.

On 16th November I flew on the first freight run, JHB - DUR - JHB - DUR as an observer/company rep and Radio Operator.
The Captain's name was Sergienko, and the Navigator was the only crew member who could speak some English. With a crew of four (Capt, F/O, F/E and Nav) there was no seat available in the cockpit - so I perched on the Nav's table for the entire first leg......

But I get ahead of myself........ Late in the afternoon, it was decided that the Russians could not operate safely on their own, and needed an English speaking company rep to go along for safety and security reasons...... I, of course, volunteered immediately.

Firstly, we had to get the aircraft from Safair's Hangars to "F" apron to load the night's cargo.... we all jumped in, and I sat in a web-seat in the empty cargo hod while the crew taxied across the airfield to "F"........... except it wasn't that simple....

As we taxied towards 03L, I could see a B747 at the threshhold, lining up for take-off. I went to the cockpit, and saw that no-one had a headset on, and that no communications had taken place with "Ground"..... as we approached the "hold" line before the main runway, we were still going at a fair clip (those Russians don't waste any time taxying slowly)....

I attracted their attention by waving my hands in front of the Captain's face, and shouted the only word I knew in Russian: "Nyet, nyet" (No, No)..... I have still to find out what the Russian is for STOP!!

Anyway, they figured out that I wanted them to stop, which we did, with the nose just sticking over the hold short line...... The SAA B747 rotated just before our position, and disappeared into the evening sky. Thus forewarned, I decided, in the interests of self-preservation, to keep a close eye on proceedings thereafter.


Image

UR48131 in Miami, Florida - 1995 (Pic from Airliners.net)



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Re: Flying with "The Russians"

#39

Post by Pine » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:13 am

HS thank you very much for sharing this. It sounds like quite a close encounter of "some other" kind. Glad you're still here to share it.

That brings me to something else. I'm sure that guys like yourself, Moertoe, Raffles, FEJ, Burner, Gooneybird and others have great stories to tell from your own flying experiences. To people, like me, Avi, Millie and a lot of others, who have a great interest in aviation, but only fly as pax from time to time, this is very interesting and also exciting stuff.

My request: Don't you guys want to share more of these experiences with us? :please: :please:


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

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Re: Flying with "The Russians"

#40

Post by happyskipper » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:31 am

Continued....... :whistle:

The trip to Durban was uneventful, with me making a list of the things that I had observed for our Flight Ops dept to mull over........

Most obvious was the lack of any "Challenge-and-response" checklist, as was SOP in our operation - the flight crew each followed their own checklist (from memory) and there was no cross-checking between them.

The cargo was not tied down correctly, and there was no 9G cargo net installed before the cockpit door (with interesting results later on).

No seat for me, in the cockpit.....

And, the main concern to me, the fact that cargo was loaded into the hold until max T/O weight was reached - thereafter the cargo was very carefully weighed and loaded until the hold "bulked-out", as the crew were paid a bonus for every KG loaded over the weight limit for take-off!!!!!! (We stopped that practice quickly - :burner: )

The way the crew flew was not the way that I was used to - basically everything was done at high speed, including the taxi, take-off (fortunately) and even the descent and landing. The take-off was nice and smooth from 03L, with no V1, Vr and V2 calls (as far as I could make out)..... basically they pushed the power levers forward to the stops, and held the controls aft of centre until the 'plane got airborne, wheels up, flap up, and turn onto heading for Durbs (left at 11pm, so no traffic, in those days)

Landing at Durban was a case of lowering gear and flap on final, and driving the aircraft onto the runway, where max braking and beta range were applied (no reverse thrust, but the props go into super-fine pitch, which means the entire prop disc acts as an air brake).
This results in a fairly hectic deceleration, and we were taxying in at the normal high speed in no time at all. Unfortunately, we couldn't open the cockpit door to the cargo compartment, as the 8 tons or so of freight had shifted forward and against the door, which opened outward.

Luckily we had technicians on the ground who could open the cargo ramp, and, after off-loading, we finally got released from the cockpit.

I did two more rotations that first night, each time improving on things, until I could hand over to a Safair Loadmaster the following day (also a comm pilot) who took over as observer and radio-man.

More to follow....



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