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Old 19th Dec 2012, 01:25   #41 (permalink)
 
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Remember when in a J3 cub you could point it south and descend through an overcast with no attitude instruments using the lead error to tell you you were turning? We all knew that back then. I still know it and could do it in an airliner today. Nobody has probably heard of that in the last 20 years. Automation is great but sadly the new pilots have to do it themselves to do what us old guys knew. The airlines now don't want you to turn the autopilot off. Training costs money.
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 07:05   #42 (permalink)
 
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"The airlines now don't want you to turn the autopilot off. Training costs money."

I still go back to the basic premise that pax expect us to be able to solve the problem when the computers & automatics go on holiday. We are the last insurance policy to get them home safely. The sure as hell don't expect us to screw up on the automatics, either. Consider all the accidents we know about which were caused by mishandling a flying serviceable a/c. We've read about the scenarios where pitot or static air sources were lost and there was a crash, yet the a/c was flying. With calm thinking this should be manageable if the basic foundations of piloting skills were in place. For that to be the case it will take much more than the rudimentary tick in the box handling exercise in the sim every 3 years. Once those skills are lost it takes repeated practice to recover them and keep them honed.
Years ago it was very sad to see pilots of both ranks transfer from a needles & dials a/c to an EFIS one and throw away all the scans and skills learnt from the old generation a/c and become 'children of the magenta' and VNAV PTH disciples. FD followers rather than pilots in command. The FD could fly you into a stall or the ground, but they didn't notice what was going wrong. The industrial solution has been to build in more fail-safe systems and numerous back ups.
It has always been said that if you think safety is expensive then try an accident. This was related more to flight safety training than piloting skills, but I think ultimately it should be about piloting skills. It is said we are contribute to the crash in 70% or so of cases. One wonders, if piloting skills have been allowed to deteriorate and replaced with technology, has there been a secret risk/cost assessment made and the industry has knowingly chosen the path we are on? Great for the conspiracy theorists. But surely, when you look at the spate of accidents over the past 15 years there have been some worrying trends and little corrective reaction from the industry; more aghast head in hands asking 'how could they have done that?' The answer might be 'because you allowed it in your training and daily operating philosophy.' This debate has been going round in circles within the pilot community for years. When will the circle be broken and action taken?
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 07:32   #43 (permalink)
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misd- yes, I should have said 'a few degrees'. I still, however, maintain that it is difficult to read the standby pitch accurately enough and as alf says, "We should not expect pilots to pass an IRT with it and the resultant extended scan pattern".

Quote:
Originally Posted by alf
inability to navigate
- I still do not understand 'inability'? Are you saying that heading information in the RJ100 on both sides would be lost (leaving the standby compass out of this, which is of course, 'able' to provide an approximate heading)? Why could P2 not provide heading info?
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 10:21   #44 (permalink)
 
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BOAC -
Quote:
- I still do not understand 'inability'? Are you saying that heading information in the RJ100 on both sides would be lost (leaving the standby compass out of this, which is of course, 'able' to provide an approximate heading)? Why could P2 not provide heading info?
No, the Captains EFIS was lost, and the FO's DBI was also lost as this gets its info from IRU1. The FO had a working and correct ND and PFD, and also the standby compass. The standby horizon is clearly visible from the right seat, and can easily be used to cross check indications if there is any doubt. The captain had heading information from his DBI as this takes its feed from IRU2.

It's a shame the CVR wasn't available to the investigation, it would have added a lot of useful information.

With a loss of the FGC (Flight Guidance Computer) and thus the FTC (Flap trim compensator), the RJ becomes a 146 and unless you've flown tbe 146, or practice it regularly in the rj sim, the pitch change when going from flap 0 to flap 18 or vice versus will catch you out. A lot of immediate trim is needed to counteract it. The crew would have been distracted and not prepared for it which could account for the initial "excessive" pitch changes.
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 11:29   #45 (permalink)
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Thanks, m-j, for the clarification. Makes it worse!
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 12:37   #46 (permalink)
 
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BOAC, the technical aspects for the compass are as #45; however the ILS aspects might not be as clear depending on ILS course selection and EFIS display switching.
The problem of ‘inability’ revolves around the crew’s apparent failure to recall this technical detail; I surmise that this could have been due to mental workload, memory degradation with time, or that the aspect had not been taught.

mini-jumbo, re flap trim compensation, RJ vs 146.
IIRC this not quite as simple as you state. A FTC failure in the RJ reverts to the basic airframe aerodynamics; in normal manual flight 146 has a mechanical FTC system.
You may have implied this, but if not, then your description of the need to anticipate 146 trim use could be significantly greater with FTC failure.
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 13:01   #47 (permalink)
 
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Only the 146-300 has a flap trim compensator, it is electric. The smaller 146s have no FTC. Unless a 146 pilot has only been exposed to the 300 series they would be familiar with the trim changes required with the first stage of flap and would do it automatically. I agree that an RJ pilot with no 146-100/200 experience would get a rude shock when extending or retracting the flaps if the FTC was not working.
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 13:22   #48 (permalink)
 
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alf5071h - Sorry,I should have been clearer in my initial post, but I was referring to the 100/200 series.

There is no flap trim compensation on the 146-100/200 series. The 300 series does however have FTC.
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 14:50   #49 (permalink)
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Do I assume the 'DBI' is like an 'RBI'? and throughout the whole exercise P2 had a fully working IRS driven compass and P1 a working 'DBI', plus a standby 'E2B' type compass?
Quote:
The problem of ‘inability’ revolves around the crew’s apparent failure to recall this technical detail; I surmise that this could have been due to mental workload, memory degradation with time, or that the aspect had not been taught.
- I cannot see how anyone could have missed those headings? The ILS display on both P2 and the standby would have worked, radar headings would have worked. Surely the only real 'problems' were a non-functioning P2 and the pitch detail on the standby AI? The trim change would have definitely caused a 'wobbler' if flying on the Standby AI. I wonder if the F/O is still a 'training' F/O..........................?
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 15:40   #50 (permalink)
 
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Limited panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by alf
inability to navigate


I must be naive and behind the times, but the old fashioned use of "Needle, ball, airspeed and magnetic compass" seems to be a lost art in these modern electronically controled aircraft.

Put pilots back into a Tiger Moth and a (gosport ?) tube and have them fly this to perfection "under the hood" !
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 16:01   #51 (permalink)
 
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"
Quote:
"Needle, ball, airspeed and magnetic compass" seems to be a lost art in these modern electronically controled aircraft.
To a certain extent yes, but this is how modern flight ops management see the importance of hand flying - here's a verbatim extract from a FCOM near me:

"It is recommended that appropriate use of the Autoflight sytem is used throughout flight to:

- achieve maximum efficiency of aircraft operation, and
- to reduce workload and exposure to errors.

Autothrottle should be engaged throughout the flight"
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 16:07   #52 (permalink)
 
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BOAC -
Quote:
Do I assume the 'DBI' is like an 'RBI'? and throughout the whole exercise P2 had a fully working IRS driven compass and P1 a working 'DBI', plus a standby 'E2B' type compass?
Yes, the DBI is essentially like an RBI.

All heading information with the exception of the standby compass is IRU fed.
The logic in the RJ is that under normal ops, a single failure of an IRU will not cause either pilot to lose all heading information and also allows quick verification that both IRU's are providing valid data.

IRU1 drives the LHS PFD / ND, and the RHS DBI, and IRU2 drives LHS DBI, RHS PFD / ND.

Transfer switches are fitted and used as directed by Abnormal checklists in the event of various system failures to restore data to the EFIS.
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 21:50   #53 (permalink)
 
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S/By Instr

Like Bubbers I, too, used to practise flying S/by only instruments on the 757. It was just like going back to the old steam era with the exception of the engine instruments. It made the ‘new age’ F/O’s realize that it was actually – an aeroplane! I only really needed it once and that was following an engine failure and the APU glitched on change-over, giving us nothing but blank screens. Reversion proved no problem, even for the subsequent S/E go-around. Pity about the Turn and Slip, though, it might have made it a bit easier. Had there been no previous practice .......?
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 22:46   #54 (permalink)

 
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The older Airbus has a crap standby Attitude indicator, it lags badly in turns and it's pitch indication can be 3 deg different to the main ADI's !!
The newer ones with the LCD ISD Displays are good in pitch but lag badly in the turns!!

Now the really new Airbus's are not fitted with DDRMI's anymore, so if all fails you'll need to look at that small crappy compass on the window......

I hope I never need to do it for real.
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Old 20th Dec 2012, 00:33   #55 (permalink)
 
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If you never look at your standby instruments how can you trust them if all electrical systems fail and all automation fails? It is your final backup so you should be comfortable using them alone.

Good pilots will get you to destination no matter what happens. Automation dependent pilots won't. A good example is the AF crash with full back side stick in a stall for over 3 minutes. Even if your airline doesn't require you to know how to hand fly do it anyway. Professional pilots all know how to hand fly, why shouldn't you be a professional pilot instead of a qualified pilot? Think about it. AF had two qualified pilots that couldn't hand fly.
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Old 20th Dec 2012, 02:46   #56 (permalink)
 
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nitpicker330

The stby AI's do NOT lag in the turns, have you heard of roll precession? Because the A/C turns at a gentle AOB in the cruise, below the roll precession cutoff limit, the stby AI will precess in the turn. It will show a minor bank on roll out but will quickly re-erect on wings level.

The DDRMI has been taken away as it was just a repeater of either ADIRU 1 or 3 so not independent, whereas the "E2B"is independent.
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Old 20th Dec 2012, 05:35   #57 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
If you never look at your standby instruments how can you trust them if all electrical systems fail and all automation fails? It is your final backup so you should be comfortable using them alone.
Fair point but FWIW given that on a lot of the shiney new toys the standby instruments are in themselves 100% "electrical" their usefulness in the event of a total electrics failure is a bit limited.
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Old 20th Dec 2012, 06:04   #58 (permalink)
 
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Are they still serving those swiss chocolates?they were miummy
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Old 20th Dec 2012, 06:59   #59 (permalink)
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Many, many years ago on PPRuNe, I was severely flamed for saying I could fly an airliner on limited panel. Back in 1970, even BAC 1-11s had a good old Tied gyro.

Back then we flew a lot of empty seats around, and when pax=0, cardboard and selotape would be fished out - assuming a good bloke in the RHS.

It wasn't anything special, except in the ability to do it without getting fired. Indeed, after showing the young ones the tricks, they could do it better than me.

There were a couple of time when knowing it was possible took a lot of heat out of a situation. Like, a heron down to one AH, which then breathed in soapy water and looked like a washing machine before it tumbled. Totally IMC, so flying on T&S was a fait accompli on that night.



Searches for packet of tinfoil.

Last edited by Loose rivets; 20th Dec 2012 at 07:02.
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Old 20th Dec 2012, 15:28   #60 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
most of us can't fly without an FD
That might be true according to what I read now-a-days, but back when they [FDs] first came out, I NEVER used it except in the Sim where I was told I had to use it. I was one of those that didn't like being "told what to do" by some artificial 'thing' !! Just like some of the GPS systems in cars these days: I hate hearing some person telling me where and when to turn when I already know.

Sure would be nice if pilots these days knew how to fly !!
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