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Squawks & HeadlinesAir Canada flight helps locate sailor off Australian coast

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Air Canada flight helps locate sailor off Australian coast

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Air Canada B777 dropped down to 3500 feet, flight crew borrows passenger's binoculars to search for stricken yacht which happened to be near the flight path of the Boeing. They found them, and radioed the location to rescuers and help was dispatched. (www.cbc.ca) More...

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onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 26
In Australia flight crews of commercial flights are hailed as heroes for assisting in finding stranded vessels..Here at home that flight crew would have been featured on "The Nightly News" for potentially operating the aircraft in a manor that may have put passengers lifes in jeopardy by flying at un-safe altitudes, flying a low rates of speed and not adhering to victor airways....I am also pretty sure they would have found all the passengers that they could have found to tell their stories of how they didn't know what was going on and how they thought that they were going to crash into the drink.....Great job pilots.
dg1941
Damien Gehler 9
And in America, that's why airlines lose millions of dollars in settlements in court every year.
Derg
Roland Dent 9
Yeah Tim...same in EUR...the operators managers would have issued a warning letter for inappropriate operating procedure. Sea or Air the principal is the same regardles of colour creed or politics. Business people don't see it that way unless it is their kin.
ssmith3104
Stewart Smith 3
don't be so negative (but I fear you are right).
mariofer
mariofer 9
Same scenario in the US: Half the passengers raise hell because the flight is late 45 minutes and get free vouchers, crew gets fired for not obeying the flight management system and "assuming" there is enough fuel for the descent and climb back to assigned flight level and putting passengers at risk, the other half of the passangers sue the airline for being put at risk after the last statement about the fuel becomes public. Boy we got a lot to learn. This is a perfect example that great things happen when common sense is used and people are willing to be "inconvenienced" for the good of others.
TheBunnie
Bunnie Meyer 6
G-d bless the crew who pushed aside regulations and saved the people in the ship. There are still people who have the brains to take action when it is called for and perhaps a set of good binoculars should be standard cockpit equipment.
andriy17
Andriy Tsyupka 6
big 777 comes to the rescue, I bet the sailor was surprised to see AIR CANADA :)
gossend
gossend 6
Whatsa matter Bunnie, can't spell God?
aprusan
aprusan 3
It is the practice of many people ,myself included,not to spell out the Lord's name when it is on a disposable item- such as a sheet of paper. This is a gesture of respect, nothing more,nothing less.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
Jewish tradition
preacher1
preacher1 2
My biggest peeve is when they do spell it out and don't capitalize it. @aprusan: I'll take your word on what you say and respect it, but FYI, I have never heard that before.
Just Sayin'
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Preach on Preacherman!!!
rgrammatico
Rebecca Grammatico 1
Lord's name? God is a title, like mum. There are many gods but only one true God....hmmmm
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
???????????????????????????????
andytyler
Andy Tyler 1
i doubt the pilots would've descended to 3500 feet if it was against regulations. They probably messaged their supervisors at dispatch first to see if they were allowed to. Besides, AC33 flies along the same route on approach to Sydney as the 10 other flights from North America, so one of the flights would've seen this guy eventually im sure.
preacher1
preacher1 2
You can't see squat from FL350 or wherever he was at up there except a lot of blue. If you would read the article, you will see that the CAPTAIN said the still couldn't see squat at 5000' which is why they went to 3700'. If I was the guy in the boat, I'd be glad you weren't flying one of those 10
andytyler
Andy Tyler 2
and any commercial PILOT knows that serious deviations from the assigned flight plan for anything other than safety reasons for the flight crew and aircraft & passengers is a serious violation. Thats why i was saying its likely the flight crew asked for permission and got it before undertaking this SAR operation, as opposed to the thought they violated rules in order to do so.

had you READ my original post you would've noticed that's what i was trying to say.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, I don't see but the 1 post here and the part about the regulation/deviation is not my issue. It was your flip attitude about the other 10 flights as if the guy's life in the boat didn't amount to a tinker's damn. Read it yourself. Goodnight.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
A tinker's damn!!! Preach on Preacherman!!!
andytyler
Andy Tyler 1
that's not what i said lol. I said if the flight didn't find this guy, then one of the other 10 flights on the same exact route probably would have.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Thanks for clearing that up. I apologize for taking it the wrong way.
skylloyd
skylloyd 1
I like it..go preacher!!
ricmech23
Ricardo Figueroa 5
6000 ft above the water in 777 sounds like fun!
eichmat
Tim Eichman 3
Article said they dropped to 3,700--that sounds even more interesting...
skydart27
John Ost 4
Great job by the crew in helping getting those on board the yacht rescued. I am sure the crew of the aircraft informed the passengers of their intent . Everyone was a winner- the yacht crew for being rescued- the aircraft crew knowiing they helped their fellow man(woman) - the passengers having a great story to share with family and friends.
FedExCargoPilot
FedExCargoPilot 4
That must have been a long flight! Over 16 hours. If there was enough fuel, I'm sure others would be willing to do the same.
wasclywabbit
John Berry 4
Does anyone think that United would have done the same?
suz
suz 4
Great story! Must have been quite satisfying to help out.
Derg
Roland Dent 3
Nvr mind the others we want all civil airliners to help if they can.
flyerh
flyerh 3
Dumb comments! If the jet had sufficient fuel, what they did was perfectly safe. It's just that at that low altitude much more fuel is used. That's a lot of ocean and even near sea level it is very difficult to spot even a large sailboat. I know. I filmed a rescue at sea from a cruise ship. We had to reverse course and track down an emergency flare. Put yourself in the situation of the stranded mariner. In our case many ships had passed unawares. After five days adrift the three people were very glad for our assistance.
BluegrassFlyer
Randy Michel 3
This event reminds me of the Air NZ flight that found the lost ag-wagon pilot whose ADF malfunctioned in 1979.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 0
There's nothing dumb about the comments. It's nice to help and this one worked out. What's being overlooked is maybe some passengers didn't want to do this, they may be nervous fliers. You say it was perfectly safe, not correct, there was some danger involved.
Low altitude flying like that in a big airplane has some risk. The point I'm making is once the crew decided to do it, everyone else was just along for the ride, whether they wanted to or not. I'm not against it, just pointing out that your statement of perfectly safe is very incorrect. Check out the Mt. Erebus crash and you'll see how "stuff" happens.
Nikolai
Nikolai St 1
The captain is the chief on board and the ultimate authority. If he decides to do something, everyone must just keep their mouth shut and obey. They could just voice their humble opinion as a proposal, if anything.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
"Low altitude flying like that in a big airplane has some risk" tell me more
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Wrong, nobody shuts up and obeys the captain!!!
Either like the guy above said, you're a smartass, which is fine, or u don't know much about the topic...
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well now old man, you know that is the theory and the way it is supposed to be, but what you are stating is more real life.lol. I do have to agree with you on your comment about additional risk at low altitude, besides the addition fuel burn. At 3700', your aircraft is more in a landing mode in most cases and is a whole 'nuther machine. According to the story, they did check the FSIS for fuel but by their own admission, the FSIS does not take altitude into it's calculations, but they did check and felt they were OK
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Nah, he just made it seem like when the captain says jump, everyone has to say how high...
Just one of those captain is g_d mentality. Didn't capitalize, I'm tired, just flew 5.5 in a 172 dodging weather with my eyes...
preacher1
preacher1 1
What were you doing in a 172 anyway? I thought you wee a Lear man>
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Visited Sportys with my son, I paid, he flew. Damn I haven't done cross country flying deviating around weather at 80 kts. gs in a little airplane in probably 20 years. We made it back non stop, I sat there reading performance charts and tweaking the mixture, it was a good refresher. Got about 7 miles from P40. Didn't see the pres. though...By the way, we flew form NJ to Sportys for a sectional, that sectional cost $1400!!!
preacher1
preacher1 1
That is a high priced sectional.lol
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Ever heard of the USPS; they need business too...lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Yeah, but a slobbish guy will deliver the sectional via USPS, while I got in person service by 2 hot 20 year old chicks at Sportys... Priced almost like when Preacherman used to hit the strip bars back in '71...
preacher1
preacher1 1
you not supposed to tell what you think you know.lol
preacher1
preacher1 1
Would yu mind passing along the location of P440 and Sporty's. I can't seem to find them on any chart I have.lol
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Sporty's is at I69 and is east of Cinn. Downtown....you may need a terminal map to see it....P440; I tried to look it up but couldn't find it....check your identifier
preacher1
preacher1 1
I found I69. tks Tim, I was just razzin' THRUSST
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
P40, Camp David
preacher1
preacher1 1
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
double oh
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
That must be oh oh!!!
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Manoeuvring,low speed, low to the surface, it just adds up. Fatigue at the end of a long trip, acting on impulse. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy it worked out, but there was some great risk there, calculated but still great...
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
hahaha....if a captain ever told me he intended to crash a plane I would smack him in the face with the fire extingusher....just saying..lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
I wonder if and what Transport Canada will say about it.
iainrushman
Iain Rushman 2
Who really gives a toss about G-d or even spent God or GOD it doesnt matter
bigbill3111
bigbill3111 2
By golly if Sully was flying he would have landed on the ocean, let the sailor climb aboard, taken off and continued on to the destination............JUST KIDDING........GREAT story and hats off to all involved. I can just imagine that guy looking up and seeing that huge plane dipping it's wings ............what a feeling that must have been.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
What do you mean?
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
I was wondering if there was some leeway or if it was contrary to their procedures.
Derg
Roland Dent 3
"We expect aviation company employees and managers to make decisions that will increase the level of safety, while still complying with aviation safety regulations." Canucks are good.
Nikolai
Nikolai St 1
How do you land on the ocean anyway?
Derg
Roland Dent 2
Like Sully did
bigbill3111
bigbill3111 2
You either don't know who "Sully" is, don't understand the words in all caps that said "JUST KIDDING", or you are being a smartass ? You can read up about Capt. Sullenberger on Wikipedia, can't help you with the other two.
Nikolai
Nikolai St 1
I know perfectly well who Sully is, I'm just being a smartass about this pun of yours. Last time I checked aircraft, ditch on water.
Nikolai
Nikolai St 1
sorry wrong comma after aircraft, must've been after checked
VAGABOND49
VAGABOND49 3
Pleased to see an Air New Zealand A320, en route from Sydney to Auckland, was also able to offer assistance in the search!
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
Way to go air canada
Derg
Roland Dent 6
Can you remember that "Gimli" event sparkie where they sailed a 757 I think it was for about 100 miles to land on an unused airfield. What a masterpiece of airmanship that was. I know they applauded Sully but that Canuck was on another league.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 3
It was a 76, then Air Transat had the A330 into the Azores...
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
You are correct, and they landed on an abandon airstrip that had been converted into a race track. the nose gear collapsed for an unknown unrelated reason, and if it had not would have killed a kid on a bike that never saw it coming... Interesting Miracles.

I hate to say it, as good as the Captain was at flying, it was still pilot error. The fueler misfueled the a/c (due to weight conversions) and with the MEL on the A/C for fuel quantity the Pilot who was ultimately responsible for it.
glgc
mike ronan 0
The nose gear did not collapse. It never went down because the gear lever was not selected to the "OFF" position prior to activating the Alt Gear Ext switch. Because they had to delay gear extension until the field was guaranteed, there was not enough time to find the Alt Gr Ext checklist. In those days this was stuck at the back of the "Loss of C Hyd" checklist.
preacher1
preacher1 1
We actually got 2 glide stories here. Both links are below. The AirTransat is listed below but the "GIMLI GLIDER" was Air Canada and was a 767. Jeremy has a link posted below on the Air Transat and Dan Baker has one posted on the GIMLI GLIDER, about 3 comments on down. They made a movie on the GLIDER later. On the GIMLI GLIDER, the nose gear collapsed as they had to do a gravity drop and it did not lock.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
You got a link to that Azores event T...am unaware of that
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
I don't, probably just google it. Fate played a part in that too. They were supposed to go on a northerly track, but got recleared on a southerly track. That was probably the only reason they made land.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Yes I remember it well. There was also an episode from Air Emergencies that revisited that flight...
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Thanks Dan yes....." (In previous times, this task would have been completed by a flight engineer, but the 767 was the first of a new generation of airliners that made this position redundant.)" To put this in context of the times I started my high school education in 1966 and all aour scinece ed was in metric.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
I think after this event all fuel measures went to kilograms..
haydenlamb747400
Hayden Lamb 2
Top Pilots and all aboard!
batmanrr
Devin Battley 1
This story makes me happy!
rchilde
rchilde 1
wonderful of the Air Canada 777 to be able to help. I can only imagine what it would be like, to be stranded in the ocean and see a International carrier's 777 coming down to 3,500 feet to look for me. Wow! way cool!
kapocius
Marius Kapocius 1
Would love to hear those transmisions
gmuzymirski
george uzymirski 1
there's always pro's and con's help locate sailor ftom a AC flight and different airlines have certain procedures and some one always will complain. What if that sailor was your brother or relative? then we would be happy no complaint.
JeanRustom
Jean Rustom 1
Beau geste de la part du commandant de bord et de ces passgers, d'avoir collaborer au sauvetage d'un naufragé. BRAVO
notaperfectpilot
notaperfectpilot 1
3500 ft.? it was 6,000.
HerrThor
HerrThor 1
Check the log on flightaware, it records a higher than normal flight time and the descend and climb!

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/ACA33/history/20121015/0645Z/CYVR/YSSY
callumwilkinson
callum wilkinson 1
year what was air canada doin over there??
rwf1001
Robert Fleming 1
I saw a passenger and the Captain on that flight talking about the FACT that they dropped from 37,500 ft to 5000ft to assist in finding the yacht...where did the author of this article get their WRONG info?
smoki
smoki 1
Once again, given the opportunity, far too many people eagerly jump on the America bashing bandwagon given the negative content of many posts presented herein. It seems to be the thing to do these days especially from senior officials in our government and the media. While it may be symptomatic of frustration for a variety of reasons, it's always easiest to seek the path of least resistance when you think you're part of the crowd. I prefer to think that an American flight crew if given the same set of circumstances would have done the same thing. I know I would have.
iainrushman
Iain Rushman 1
Knut26
Charles Knutson 1
Kudos to the USCG and SPAWAR guys who came and stayed on the project for the digital distress system knowing it was already going to be treaty violation late when the money for the project showed up. Read Hillenbrand's Unbroken for one of the more compelling stories of what it is like to be adrift in the pacific
Sbord1
Sbord1 1
I'm assuming they AC clearence to follow this procedure. Thank You AC. They were almost on top of Sydney, i've been on this flight and a great way to say Hello Sydney.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 4
U r a perfect pilot, it was 6000...
Derg
Roland Dent 2
doin what it does most days..carrying people and freight.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Croissants too
preacher1
preacher1 1
Captain says in the article he went to 5000' then to 3700'. I never did see 3500' anywhere except in the headline up here
preacher1
preacher1 1
Paul, somewhere up above in a comment the term common sense was used. I don't think the reaction fron any flight crew would have been any different. The aftermath would have been how airline management would handle it; take the PR while there or discipline for the crew, bitch about the cost to the bottom line and bitch about the expected lawsuits. Seems to me that there was an ANZ A320 came in here too. It's just the American way man.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
You got that wrong Paul...most of us here have every respect for the USA and her people. In my posts you will often find damning crticism of the non operational management who are led by people who have no operational experience. Many of them are "empire builders" and rely on the goodwill and good judgement of people who are at the operational "coal face". The modus operandi of this class of manager is intimidation.
Sbord1
Sbord1 1
They're FLYING AC FLIGHT 33 WHICH FLIES FROM TORONTO TO VANCOUVER AND THEN FROM VANCOUVER TO SYDNEY AUSTRALIA. United and Qantas are not the only flights from North America to Australia. Canadians love it . No more transferring through US Customs and Immigration. Especially nowadays .
Flyaay
Bryan McKee 1
Hat's off to the crew for helping with the search!
RobSJC
RobSJC 1
Great assistance !! .. Nothing like .. the right place at the right time ..
stevooz
steve rogers 1
trust me after 13 hours in the air im sure it was nice to break the boredome
nedlitam
Kerry Ahearn 1
If I had a manor, I wouldn't want Air Canada flying large jets in it.
genethemarine
Gene spanos 1
Great job!
redkettle
Jim Parker 21
Hi all - I was a passenger on this flight. It DID break the boredom! The crew kept us informed as to what was happening and even put out a call to borrow passengers' binoculars to help spot the yacht. We got down under 6000ft (if the inflight map is to believed). I think the pilot probably enjoyed turning off the autopilot and doing some flying as well. The passengers didn't seem worried – we'd rather have the 'joy ride' than have one dead sailor.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 2
Thanks for sharing, Jim.
ssmith3104
Stewart Smith 1
Thanks for your extra info.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
I'm lost...
Derg
Roland Dent 1
WTF you posting about FGS communicate clearly!
kea001
Tom Kearney 0
Derg
Roland Dent 3
This tracking function on here is cool as you yanks say hahah Anyway:

Distance Direct: 7,776 sm Planned: 7,844 sm Flown: 8,350 sm

500 miles worth of jungle juice..
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
Why isn't the altitude change reflected on the graph?
jet4ang
ANGELO DROUTSAS 1
Get the hell off this website!!
iainrushman
Iain Rushman 1
DIDNT MEAN TO UPSET YOU ANGELO JUST EXPRESSING OPINION SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE DOES IF OFFENSIVE I WITHDRAW MY COMMENT IF I COULD SORRY
preacher1
preacher1 1
lain: There was a SPAMMER that jumped in between you and him and that was who he was responding to. FA delted it about and hour ago and his came up as a reply to you.lol
iainrushman
Iain Rushman 1
PREACHER1 Thanks buddy, it is not my intent to offend anyone but some times I run off the mouth too easily, thanks for the info

Iain...
cfuller3
Carl Fuller -1
Just what good did the 777 do by putting itself that close to the ocean? He certainly didn't stop, didn't drop anything. A wing wiggle? The sailors transponders already gave his location. There wasn't a rescue based on anything the 777 did. duh.
TheBunnie
Bunnie Meyer -1
Not being Orthodox you wouldn't know that you spell it G-d out of reverence and only use the full letters if you are writing something religious and then you would mostly use Hashem (Hebrew for The Name) instead. If you were a conservative or reform or other Jew you probably would spell it as you do.

And, there would be some Orthodox Jews somewhere who don't care about that but its what we do here.

Hopefully I have cleared up your misconception and I did graduate from the University of Maine Magna Cum Laude if that makes it more clear.

Almost time to light candles for the weekend, so I will turn off my computer and not worry about any replies until later Saturday night, Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom
ricmech23
Ricardo Figueroa 4
Being in a situation like that any sign of help is huge relief for people in distress. The Aircraft at no point was in any danger. You should see what pilots do when they have no passengers onboard.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Only the pilots of any given plane knows how well it climbs empty...lol....the 10 degrees of pitch climbing out and 500 ft per min descent are for passenger comfort..lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
I flew a light Lear years ago that used to see 10000 fpm... That was fun!!! We'd come out of JFK VFR and pull it straight up to avoid getting vectored off course...
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Did you ever fly for Royal Air Freight and have you ever been to KEHO(shelby,nc)?
tgoldberg
Trevor Goldberg 3
I disagree that the B777 did nothing. As the first eye ball on the scene rescuers could plan a response. If the beacon was coming from the sailor in a raft or even swimming in the water it would become an emergency rescue and helicopters would have been dispatched. The identification of a dismasted yacht allowed for a controlled rescue by ship where time was not as important. Kudos to Air Canada. We are in this together.
gossend
gossend 2
....ok (lower case)
Derg
Roland Dent 1
I have the DNA and you can spell it any way you want...I really don't think it matters.
TheBunnie
Bunnie Meyer -1
Well since you know more than the people who wrote the story, I nominate you for Commander in Chief of the armed forces of America, you couldn't do any worse than whoever we have now.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 4
I knew it, that damn Obama caused that sailor to get lost. Good thing Romney was piloting that 777!!!
preacher1
preacher1 1
lol...He had to get in this string somewhere.lol
Philliphigg
Phil Higginbotham -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Air Canada B777 finds Stranded Australian Yacht

Being identified as the closest to the beacon, an Air Canada B77 flight inbound to SYD was asked to try and locate a missing yacht off the Australian coast.

http://avherald.com/h?article=45785315
stbernardpass
Jackie Butcher -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Air Canada 777 Diverts to Help Locate Stranded Aussie Yacht

The passengers and crew of an Air Canada flight to Sydney are being hailed for helping to find a stricken yacht off the coast of Australia.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2012/10/16/air-canada-new-zealand-yacht-rescue/1636511/
BentParrot
Ray Irizarry 0
Congrats to Air Canada. At least that sailor's life was saved. Which is more that can be said for the two Panamanian fisherman who, after being ignored by a Carnival Cruise Lines captain, died of exposure off the coast of Ecuador earlier this year. This, AFTER, several of the cruise ship's passengers saw, filmed, and reported the small fishing vessel in distress to the ship's officers. A third fisherman, who lived to tell the tale, was rescued by the Ecuadorian Coast Guard.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
I call that manslaughter by neglect
cfuller3
Carl Fuller -2
So tell me. What good did the 777 do for the guy? He had transponders giving his location. If not, they couldn't coordinate the overflight. Read the story. Except for letting him know help was coming possibly all he did was delay the flight and put a 777 a lot closer to the water than it should have been.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
well I'll bet that 3,500ft to 6,000 ft is a lot further away from other things that planes come in proximity of on many other approaches around the world that everyday commercial pilots encounter....Don't believe me; look up some of the approach footage from Toncontin and the old Hong Kong airport.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Tim: you could have gone all day without talking about KaiTak. I was in there 4 times in my lifetime; once as an FE, once as an FA and twice as left seat. All 4 times, regardless of position, required a change of clothes before leaving the plane and sending the seats to the local upholtery shop after we got back to have the pucker removed. Bad as they were, at least they were daylight landings.lol
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
I bet you still have nightmares about that....how was that for low and slow then having to correct for the usual cross-wind?...lol
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Visual contact gets a focus.