Divided by a common language? Language and Safety: Case Studies Philip Shawcross, ICAEA. ICAO LPRI workshop, Saint Petersburg 24th-26th May 2011. Aspects. Insufficient language proficiency in operational communication
ICAO LPRI workshop, Saint Petersburg 24th-26th May 2011
KZK 1907 / SV 763, Charkhi Dadri, India, 12 November 1996
Avianca 052, New York 25 Jan 1990
‘The failure of the flight crew to adequately manage the airplane’s fuel load, and their failure to communicate an emergency fuel situation to ATC before fuel exhaustion occurred… Also contributing to the accident was inadequate traffic flow management by the FAA and the lack of standardized understandable terminology for pilots and controllers for minimum emergency fuel states. The Safety Board also determines that windshear, crew fatigue and stress were factors that led to the unsuccessful completion of the first approach and thus contributed to the accident.’
‘When we experience problems, it’s not that this has necessarily caused me to make a wrong turn or do something incorrectly; the problem that I feel it has caused is the communication and the deciphering of what exactly that they want us to do takes a little bit of time and puts us behind the aircraft.
Sometimes I won’t catch the numbers in a frequency change, the name of a fix or off-route waypoints because they might be pronounced differently.’
US Airline Transport Pilot International Experiences Report 2, 2010 (www.faa.gov/library/reports)
‘In 5.8% of the cases (i.e. 679 cases) the inspections identified findings concerning the language proficiency of the pilots: no ELP endorsement or endorsement with level lower than required.’
EASA: SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) harmonisation topics based on inspections carried out 01.01.2010 – 31.01.2011
2. communication RT discipline & inappropriately idiomatic speech by ‘Level 6’ native English speakers
ATC: ‘Jet Blue 497 we've got a lotta weather in the area that's slowing things up a little, so I need you to go to Fostor the 010 Fostor radial and hold at the 15‑mile fix, left turns expect further clearance at 1512.’
ATC: ‘Jet Blue 497, hold NE on the Fostor 010 radial one five mile fix, left turns, expect further clearance 1512, time now 1455.’
FAA Air Traffic Bulletin, 2003-4
LIB9907 (MD83) / SSW200 (Shorts 330) Paris CDG 25.05.2000
United 497, New Orleans, April 2011
3. communication Language erosion over time and the loss of language proficiency under stress
4. communication Aviation language training which does not address the conditions of operational use
He _____________ [to be] a commercial pilot since 2003. Before _____________ [to become] a commercial pilot, he ____________ [to be] a private pilot for seven years.
The leading edge can ______________ a layer of ice.
a) pull up b) take up c) pick up d) uplift
Read the text and answer the questions:
VORs operate on frequencies of 108.00 MHz through 117.95 MHz. VHF frequencies offer relatively interference-free navigation, but unlike lower frequency radio waves, which can skip within the atmosphere or travel over the ground for great distances, VOR reception is strictly line of sight. This limits usable signal range at low altitudes or in mountainous areas.
VOR reception may be limited by:
a) ground equipment b) terrain c) aircraft equipment
Use this diagram to describe the
four forces of flight to your partner
5. communication Sub-standard or
Are these test tasks transposable to operational communicative functions?
e.g. Doc. 9835 Appendix B
Translate into English:
Listen to this recording and complete the text with the missing words:
The A319 departed from Alicante at 09:26 UTC. The commander was the pilot flying. The aircraft was in VMC at Flight Level 320 near Nantes, at 10:52 when the crew heard a loud “clunk” and several systems became inoperative. The commander’s initial assumption was that either the APU had shutdown or the APU generator had failed. He saw that his own electronic instrument displays had blanked and so, after checking that the co-pilot’s instruments were available, handed over control.
Listen to this recording of an in-flight incident and write a short report (100-120 words)
At approximately 13:42 UTC, engine number four began surgingand soon flamed out. The flight crew immediately performed the engine shutdown drill, quickly cutting off fuel supply and arming the fire extinguishers. Less than a minute later, at 13:43 UTC, engine two surged and flamed out. Within seconds, and almost simultaneously, engines one and three flamed out prompting the flight engineer to exclaim, "I don't believe it—all four engines have failed!“
The second engine to fail was Engine a)1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4
‘… statements of compliance, on their own, are necessarily of limited value. Related to this, there are important issues around the comparability of language proficiency testing programmes, and grounds for concern that differences in the real or perceived difficulty of tests run by different bodies is leading to ‘test shopping’, including within Europe.’
Report of the ECAC ad hoc working group on English language proficiency, March 2011
‘In certain cases it was identified that, although pilots have the ELP endorsed in their licence with the required level, the communication between inspectors and crew was very difficult, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the ELP examination.’
EASA: SAFA harmonisation topics based on inspections carried out 01.01.2010 – 31.01.2011