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Old 29th Apr 2012, 09:28   #1 (permalink)
 
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Interesting video on cockpit automation

...................here
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 10:51   #2 (permalink)
 
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That's unsettling. I hope whenever I fly commercial, the pilots have seen that video!
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 10:58   #3 (permalink)
 
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Better avoid Air France then
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 14:03   #4 (permalink)
 
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Watched the video this morning, picked up off another thread.

Very interesting, and very valid. I liked the presenters style, and the honesty at the end with the sim ride. I taught them - badly.

It is becoming a real issue, and it makes you think when flying on commercial aircraft. I also thought the three principals of automation was a very good way of putting things, and obviously coming down levels when things start to go pear shaped. But the industry does not teach thisApparently
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 14:23   #5 (permalink)
 
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I was pleased to be able to say to myself that what I do is exactly what they suggest you should do which is to drop down a level in automation when things get complicated.

But that is because I don't have much choice

I've got STARs in the GPS (not the newer RNAV ones) but I almost never load them because in almost every case I know of I was vectored anyway.

I also wonder how a runway change would be handled in practice, in Europe, in a non vectored environment.

If it occurs before the enroute termination (i.e. before you reached the start of the STAR) then you can just load the new STAR. The autopilot will be in NAV mode and nothing changes.

If it occurs after the enroute termination then what the hell are you supposed to do? ATC must consider this, because they will be faced with traffic departing one STAR part way through and intercepting the new one. If you (or your GPS) are dumb in doing this, you will end up doing something like a 180 because when you load the new STAR, it will get inserted into the route whole i.e. you will now be taken back to its starting waypoint I've never heard of a defined procedure for doing such a thing.

In nice wx you would deal with a runway change by asking for a visual approach and just hand fly to the other runway, or fly a circle to land. In OVC00x you can't just do that, and this is where overly-general comments run out of steam. At simplest, if too close in, you have to go around and do it all again.

I am not sure I agree with what I think he is suggesting which is to drop out the autopilot when you don't know what it is doing. Far better to leave it engaged but set the heading bug to where you want to go and then press HDG. Most pilots don't fly on instruments all that well when they have been suddenly dropped into it.
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 18:35   #6 (permalink)
 
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I think he was suggesting to drop the autopilot and A/T when close in due to lag in the system. Ie the pilot could respond quicker by dropping the lot out and repositioning. And or totally abandoning any procedure and FLY the aeroplane, basics which I think he felt had contributed to many upsets. Good stuff though. Also the disclaimer - No American Airlines SOP affected..
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 20:23   #7 (permalink)
 
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It's interesting to consider that video along with the end part of this Avweb Audio.

http://www.avweb.com/podcast/podcast/AudioPodcast_Aero2012_Diamond_ChristianDries_FlyByWire_AI_20 6561-1.html
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 20:42   #8 (permalink)
 
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Its like Garlic Bread - The future.

Not sure I liked his take at 2.22 where he starts stating all that can go wrong, everything is failing, and 'Ve Have A Parachute'.

Just great if you are an innocent passer by underneath the thing.

I find it fascinating where the pilots/operators are coming back with the safety issues within the 'automation', and the maufacturers are steaming ahead with further takes on it, driven no doubt by cost and accountants looking for ever bigger financial savings. (Commercial ops)

Also not sure if I would like a Fly by Wire GA aircraft
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 21:33   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
I liked the presenters style, and the honesty at the end with the sim ride. I taught them - badly.
There is probably a lot of truth in that...but also probably some physiology.

It's easier to get people to admit the weaknesses in their own proceedures, even to themselves, if they don't feel that they have any of the blame in the first place Good teaching! The message is more important than the blame
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 13:25   #10 (permalink)
 
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It's a real interesting video instead. Very well presented: Just three powerpoint slides in 25 minutes is something not many people can do. As a professional instructor the only style comment I have is that he could have used the stage a bit better. Don't stay behind that (protecting) desk, but use the whole stage. (On the other hand, he may have been limited in the amount of space he could use, based on the camera positions and their field of vision.)

Forget the presenting style comments though. What I'm surprised at, is that he doesn't bring his presentation to a logical conclusion with a few criteria on when to use which of the three levels. But he hints at that logical conclusion a few times...

What should have been added, in my opinion, is a discussion on something that I would call "setup time". And that's the time it takes to "program" the 'puters to do what you want. Something you need to do before you engage the mode selected. Or, in computer terms, before you execute the program.

Flying manually, with the autopilot (and possibly the autothrottle) off, requires the least setup time. Hands on the controls, click, click, and you're flying.

Flying on the AP/AT in LNAV/VNAV mode takes a few seconds longer to setup, and flying with the AP/AT slaved to the FMS might take several minutes to setup properly.

If you incorporate this into your decision as to which level of automation to fly at, in a given situation, the decision all of a sudden becomes very clear-cut and obvious.

Quote:
I am not sure I agree with what I think he is suggesting which is to drop out the autopilot when you don't know what it is doing. Far better to leave it engaged but set the heading bug to where you want to go and then press HDG. Most pilots don't fly on instruments all that well when they have been suddenly dropped into it.
I think his comment is a bit more complex than that. In "WTF is it doing now?" the "it" may refer to the FMS or the AP/AT. If the FMS is doing something unexpected, you drop to AP LNAV/VNAV mode. If it's the AP which is doing something unexpected (like in the stuck throttle example) you drop to hand-flying. (I have never flown with an FMS and I don't know how easy it is to distinguish between the two though.)

But I think you're on to something anyway. If you are not able to take over from the AP/AT at any time, in any flight regime, you probably shouldn't have put yourself in that profession/aircraft/regime/situation in the first place.
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 13:51   #11 (permalink)
 
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I also wonder how much of that commentary is based on aircraft without a moving map display.

With just an FMC (or if you like an old style GPS which has just a bare "CDI" type display like the ancient decrepit Trimbles) driving the autopilot, you can easily have the plane going off at some funny angle when you press NAV.

Even with an MFD showing the whole [relevant part] of the programmed route, you need to be careful about pressing NAV because the AP is likely to not quite do quite the intercept you wanted

Often, it is easier to just fly in HDG mode and manually align the magenta line with the projected-track-ahead dotted line which you get on most Honeywell displays (not some Garmins though).

There can be odd behaviour in the intercept according to how much the CDI is deflected when you press NAV.

I've certainly had plenty of "oh b*gger this" moments and quickly switch from NAV to HDG but at least with the MFD I could see where I actually was.
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 14:08   #12 (permalink)
 
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I don't know the exact context but to me it seems like footage from an internal American Airlines convention of some sort.

So I would expect the audience to fly Mr. Boeing and/or Mr. Airbus' finest.
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 14:33   #13 (permalink)
 
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As the example shown at the end is full EFIS and has triple auto pilots I don't think it will be fitted with the mighty trimble.

They will have a EFIS mode with quarter rose, map (with magenta line) and wx radar and TCAS overlay on one of the screens.
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