Decisions

CAT File No. H-2334-60
MoT File No. 5802-247944

CIVIL AVIATION TRIBUNAL

BETWEEN:

Anastase Lyrintzis, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 7.1(1)(b)


Review Determination
Philip D. Jardim


Decision: November 5, 2001

Capt. Kenny was right in his assessment of the pilot proficiency check on August 16, 2001. The suspension of Mr. Lyrintzis's pilot proficiency check and instrument rating must stand until he successfully demonstrates his competence on a new check ride.

A Review Hearing on the above matter was held Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 10:00 hours at the Federal Court of Canada, in the city of Edmonton, Alberta.

BACKGROUND

On August 16, 2001, a pilot proficiency check (PPC) was conducted in a B-737A simulator, in Calgary. The captain, pilot flying (PF), was Darryl Hedges. The first officer, pilot not flying (PNF), was Anastase Lyrintzis. The company check pilot (CCP) was Capt. Dan Kenny of Royal Air/Canada 3000, and he in turn was being monitored by Transport Canada flight examiner, Capt. Larry Biccum.

The flight was conducted according to a "script" which involved a number of simulated failures and emergencies, and two instrument approaches, one of which was an automatic direction finding (ADF) approach to runway 26L at Vancouver (YVR). This approach was conducted on one engine, and included a single-engined missed approach. When this missed approach was mishandled by the crew, Capt. Kenny terminated the ride and suspended the instrument ratings of both pilots.

First Officer Anastase Lyrintzis, the PNF, protested at the reasons for his failure and the suspension of his instrument rating, and applied to the Tribunal for a review hearing. Unlike Capt. Hedges, Mr. Lyrintzis was not given the opportunity for a retest. He was on probation with the airline. He claims that there was a misunderstanding by the CCP of the question asked him by the captain, and that he had complied with the captain's request; hence, he said, his instrument rating should not have been suspended.

Mr. Lyrintzis requested the Civil Aviation Tribunal to review the circumstances surrounding this PPC, hence this hearing in Edmonton, on October 24, 2001.

EVIDENCE

There were two witnesses from Transport Canada, Capt. Dan Kenny, the CCP, and the Transport Canada examiner, Capt. Larry Biccum. There were no witnesses from the Applicant. Capt. Biccum was excluded while Capt. Kenny testified.

Both check pilots' notes were submitted in evidence (Exhibits M-3 and M-5), and they were in close agreement with each other, that Mr. Lyrintzis had wrongly briefed the captain on the missed approach procedure for YVR, runway 26L ADF procedure. In addition both check pilots testified independently that when asked by Capt. Hedges to confirm the missed approach procedure, Mr. Lyrintzis did not consult the chart, but advised Capt. Hedges, "Left turn to the VOR," instead of "Climb to 2,000 feet on track 260 degrees, left turn direct YVR VOR at 2,000 feet."

Capt. Hedges initiated a left turn thereafter, but stopped the turn after 20 degrees on a heading of 240 degrees. He continued the left turn to the VOR when his altitude was 1,600 feet. It was at this point that Capt. Kenny terminated the check ride, and debriefed both pilots. He suspended both of their instrument ratings. Mr. Lyrintzis was also failed for his lack of, and poor, crew coordination, as Capt. Kenny was concerned at his overall failure to act as a team with the captain, and to support the captain in the proper management of the flight. This lack of coordination and support included: misidentification of radio facilities, selecting the RMI (radio magnetic indicator), switches to ADF mode, when on a VOR hold, and not reading from the checklist, using his memory instead, which resulted in errors, culminating in the major error with the missed approach procedure.

In his cross-examination of the two check pilots, Mr. Lyrintzis alluded to a misunderstanding with Capt. Hedges. He repeatedly referred to the noise in the simulator distorting what he had actually said. He implied that Capts. Kenny and Biccum may not have accurately heard what was said on the flight deck: He claims that coming up to the missed approach on the ADF approach for runway 26L, he was "very busy," while all the captain had to do was fly the aircraft on one engine. He said that Capt. Hedges asked him, "What will be my turn after level-off?" To this he responded, "Left turn to the YVR VOR," without referring to the approach plate.

Mr. Lyrintzis says that he believed that Capt. Hedges was confusing the instrument landing system (ILS) 08R approach with the ADF 26L approach! He said that after Capt. Kenny had terminated the ride, Capt. Hedges said: "Oh! You're right, I thought it was the same missed approach for 08R." Neither Capt. Kenny nor Capt. Biccum remembers hearing this. Mr. Lyrintzis alluded to the noise on the flight deck of the simulator, and questioned both check pilots on their respective distances from where he and Capt. Hedges were seated at the front of the simulator. He inferred that the noise of the simulator and their respective distances from what was going on rendered it likely that they would not have accurately heard everything that was said between the two pilots.

DISCUSSION

Notwithstanding that Capts. Kenny and Biccum may not have heard every word that transpired between the two pilots under check, accurately, the evidence of what transpired is clear: Mr. Lyrintzis failed in his duties as first officer, to support and monitor the captain on all the procedures during the flight. He made errors in misidentifying radio facilities, wrongly selecting RMI indicators to ADF mode, when on a VOR hold, and finally, not properly advising the captain on the correct missed approach procedure for the runway 26L ADF approach at Vancouver. After so advising Capt. Hedges, he must have seen the initial 20-degree turn onto 240, yet he said and did nothing to redeem the situation. He should have been more supportive - monitoring the tracking and speed of the aircraft, and advising the captain of any errors and properly briefing him of the correct missed approach procedure when asked. This is especially true if, as he said, he perceived that the captain was confused as to the approach he was doing - 08R ILS instead of ADF 26L. His failure to do so is especially serious if he believed that the captain was disoriented enough to think he was on a different approach. A quick and clear remark citing that they were doing a missed approach for runway 26L ADF and citing the correct procedure for this would have done much to make the flight safe and to demonstrate that he really was on top of what was going on, as he should have been.

The duties of a good first officer are to support the captain in the accurate and safe procedures for flying the aircraft. This includes:

  1. Reading checklists and monitoring that the captain successfully accomplishes each check. This cannot be done accurately from memory.
  2. Briefing correct missed approach and other procedures directly from the appropriate charts, not from memory.
  3. Monitoring aircraft speeds, tracking, altitudes, limitations etc. and briefing the captain appropriately, among other things.

Failure to do this in a multi-crewed aircraft results in serious situations and accidents. The first officer is a vital part of the crew, and his failure to recognize this destroys crew cohesion and cooperation and leads to accidents.

Mr. Lyrintzis would do well to take this criticism of him constructively, and to resolve to inculcate crew cooperation in his future career, whether as a captain or as a first officer.

DETERMINATION

Capt. Kenny was right in his assessment of the PPC on August 16, 2001. The suspension of Mr. Lyrintzis's PPC and instrument rating must stand until he successfully demonstrates his competence on a new check ride.

Philip D. Jardim
Member
Civil Aviation Tribunal