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Safety Concerns
8th Aug 2011, 08:32
once upon a time there were aircraft flown by gentlemen and heroes. They were heroes cos the aircraft always got into some sort of a fix and technology was unreliable. Too many accidents though.

Slowly but surely the technology improved but accidents were still there. In fact the highest accident rate was CFIT. So this was worked on and accidents did reduce. However accidents still remained.

Then it was discovered that those gentlemen and heroes were in fact just normal human beings who made normal human being type mistakes. So engineers went about designing out those human mistakes.

This resulted in FBW and computers replacing the flight engineer. It was a brilliant move. Accidents have reached an all time low because the technology allows for pilot mistakes to remain undetected by correcting them. Pilots still think they are in control yet the bulk of the work is accomplished inside those black boxes.

Its true that very occasionally the pilot/black box interface gets it wrong and there is a smoking hole. Fortunately this is extremely rare.

There will always be the 1 in a google case where the pilot should have had full control but implementation of this is now widely accepted as ridiculous not least because pilot full control would significantly increase the day to day accident rate.

Unfortunately too many pilots have been way behind on this working reality and it shows here on pprune. It is not intended to be rude or dismissive but pilots you were part of the accident statistic problem and this has been improved upon by automation.

I believe it is in the pilots best interests to work with and embrace the very technology that works silently in the background protecting them. AF447 is yet another unfortunate reminder that the human brain is an extremely complex and unpredictable organ and doesn't always do as we would wish or expect.

Accident statistics prove that the technology is robust. Robust but not perfect. Technology is flawed just as humans are flawed. The statistics however highlight that if we wish to eliminate accidents, then there is only one path to follow, the technology path.

Owain Glyndwr
8th Aug 2011, 08:37
All aircraft are developed and certified so as to ensure that their control is easy and well-behaved throughout their operating envelope. Testing to ensure these good handling characteristics assumes that pilots are utilizing typical piloting techniques during routine line operations.
The advancement of technology in today’s modern airplanes has brought us flight directors, autopilots, autothrottles, and flight management systems. All of these devices are designed to reduce the flight crew workload. When used properly, this technology has made significant contributions to flight safety. But technology can include complexity and lead to trust and eventual complacency.
The systems can sometimes do things that the flight crew did not intend for them to do. Industry experts and regulators continue to work together to find the optimal blend of hardware, software, and pilot training to ensure the highest possible level of system performance
Aircraft are designed, tested, and certified based on accepted assumptions of how pilots will operate them, together with various environmental and technical constraints (e.g., gusts, engine failure dynamics). These assumptions drive the regulatory certification requirements and are validated through in-service experience. The certification flight test process examines the entire flight envelope of the aircraft, including that area beyond which the airline pilot normally operates. Examples would be a fully stalled aircraft or airspeed exceeding Vmo. The process even explores how the aircraft could possibly be inappropriately operated; however, the testing assumes fundamental flying skills are known and understood. A primary assumption regarding pilot inputs is that they are based on control inputs that are measured (the result of experience), analyzed, then fine-tuned to achieve a desired result. Exaggerated rates and amounts of control deflection (overcontrolling) may cause an accelerating divergence of flight path control until the input is countered.
Pilots are expected to make control inputs based on desired aircraft reaction. Control deflections at one point in the flight envelope might not be appropriate in another part of the flight envelope. Pilots must have a fundamental understanding of flight dynamics in order to correctly make these choices. They should not make mechanical control deflections and rote reactions to dynamic situations that require an understanding of these flight fundamentals.
Extract from Boeing Document entitled Airplane Upset Recovery dated August 2004

OK465
8th Aug 2011, 09:44
From Post #2738

90% of my flying is with a competent crew with us.

May I inquire about the other 10%?

cwatters
8th Aug 2011, 10:23
Deleted this post as I made a mistake with the time line.

Man Flex
8th Aug 2011, 10:55
The missing clue in all this may be what the flight directors were demanding.

There are just two seconds between the autopilot disconnect and the F/Ds becoming unavailable but during that time the change in measured pressure saw an indicated loss of altitude - 300 feet. The F/D bar may well have shown a fly up indication before it disappeared completely and the PF may have "blindly" followed it.

Later the F/D is restored in HDG/ALT* modes and HDG/VS modes which may have briefly confirmed to both pilots that their actions were correct.

It was only later that the PNF saw that the aircraft was climbing.

Also very telling is the autothrust disconnect, the realisation that climb thrust has been inadvertantly applied and then the subsequent reduction in thrust.

The PF didn't want to climb otherwise he would have remained in climb thrust.

By then he is really confused and doesn't really know what pitch attitude to set without F/D guidance.

Say Again, Over!
8th Aug 2011, 12:11
Mountain Bear wrote:

If the technology can't correct for pilot error then it's rubbish technology. That's what FBW is all about. What part of the word "protection" in "flight envelope protections" doesn't you understand. The software is to protect the pilot from screwing up. It didn't. It failed.

People keep talking about pilot error as if that's the conclusion of the matter. Pilot error is just the beginning. Every single major advance in flight safety over the last hundred years has happened because "pilot error" was not an acceptable answer. The fact that the pilots in AF447 screwed up is as obvious as it is irrelevant. The pilot is just one cog in the system. If the system cannot compensate for errors in the system then it isn't a robust system.

While I agree with the general sentiment of your post and that pilot error is just the beginning, you are, in this case, going too far.

Yes: the system should compensate for errors from the pilot but you can't blame the engineers for thinking that a pilot who made it to the right seat of a heavy had mastered stall recovery about 5 hours into his basic flight training.

This isn't a "pilot error" accident. Maintaining nose-up for four minutes in a stall from 37000' is not an ERROR!

Gretchenfrage
8th Aug 2011, 13:00
The statistics however highlight that if we wish to eliminate accidents, then there is only one path to follow, the technology path

This line could have been a direct quote out of "Brave New World".

How many times have we heard that "only one path" thesis in history?
It always lead to disaster.

lomapaseo
8th Aug 2011, 13:30
" The statistics however highlight that if we wish to eliminate accidents, then there is only one path to follow, the technology path "

This line could have been a direct quote out of "Brave New World".

How many times have we heard that "only one path" thesis in history?
It always lead to disaster.

Depends on how you read it :)

I agree with its message but interpreted it as;

reduce accidents (we can't seem to elimnate anything to zero)

and

There is far more room in technology improvements per year than reducing human error per year.

and

Since a human is likely to still be involved for the direction that they provide to using the technology, we still have to keep them in the loop or they will cancel out the technology improvements.

We should strive to make human error less critical.

Safety Concerns
8th Aug 2011, 14:39
eliminate was a bit strong but you interpreted my post correctly

dlcmdrx
8th Aug 2011, 17:08
It is actually really sad to see so much ab apologists. Ab philosophy is clearly that of reducing costs, pilots costs included, and if that has so much flaws seems it doesnt matter, there are still a lot of short sighted people believing everything the bea says and shouting pilot error anytime they can

Lyman
8th Aug 2011, 17:13
If not understanding how thye a/c keeps trimming, this is Pilot error.

If a fundamentsl trap, this is aircrafts error. If Pilots know the trim is happening, and cannot feel it, where do they see it?

Loose rivets
8th Aug 2011, 18:36
Many years ago I posted on full automation. I suggested pilots were already redundant and electronics would take over within the next 20 years. Public sensibilities? We could employ actors. Then I quipped, "Oh, we already do."

It was meant to cut. I again referred to Davis' 'Handling the Big Jets' - later edition. Hey, I haven't seen a quote from that yet. Is there a single first officer that doesn't carry it with him these days?

It was all meant to shout: If humans are on the flight-deck, they MUST be able to fly the aircraft. Really fly it. Oh, and be allowed to fly it.

Twenty years on and every incident, let alone accident, will be built into the logic of civil airliners' control systems. All that will remain is what to tell the passengers. Frankly, if they believe half the horse-feathers they're fed now, they'd believe anything. They don't matter. Conveying the aircraft to destination with perfect safety is all that matters.

The entire problem that faces the industry now is how to bridge the gap from the human nervous system controlling the kit, to a total black-box industry. That really is not an easy question to answer.

Today I read of a new alloy. A molecular seeding that will make aluminum/aluminium very, very much stronger. Plastic aircraft are a stop-gap, in the same way the hybrid human/electronics control interface is. It's just getting over these years.

As an electronics bod who was later forced to fly the Zero-Reader, I know how difficult this transition period is going to be. The Zero-Reader was a smoldering pile of valves/tubes and melting rubber insulation. How the heck did it find itself advising human captains of civil aircraft?

Reverserbucket
8th Aug 2011, 18:59
I again referred to Davis' 'Handling the Big Jets' - later edition. Hey, I haven't seen a quote from that yet. Is there a single first officer that doesn't carry it with him these days?

Sadly, yes.

Gretchenfrage
8th Aug 2011, 19:23
It was all meant to shout: If humans are on the flight-deck, they MUST be able to fly the aircraft. Really fly it. Oh, and be allowed to fly it.

Your words in gods ear!

The reality is that whenever the automatics are no longer capable of handling, due to invalid signals they need, they throw the aircraft back at the human.

- Perfect - It will be him screwing up finally.
Good for statistics and engineers.

Second reality is that even when the automatics switch off autopilot and autothrust, it can still intervene with pilot inputs, through automatic protections, and therefore limit his authority.

Why on earth? ?
It had detected itself incapable of handling the aircraft, but still messes with controls.

Isn't that a paradoxon?


I am not entirely against automation and technology to improve safety. But the implemented systems must work flawlessly.
Otherwise I don't need them.
So before introducing even more protections, please fix the technology that's already on board.

Concerning statistics, lots of contributors just love those, I am still missing a serious one about automation induced pilot errors. This would give a clearer picture than the one containing just plain pilot error. Not that it would excuse any such error, eliminating those should be just as noble a cause, but it would point back at the magic automatics that benefit from too big a confidence and a lack of genuine criticism, as it would mean responsibility (meaning doe) from you who I mean.

kwateow
8th Aug 2011, 19:28
Over and over again I ask: did these 2 FOs do any better than an average, armchair, MS Flt Sim "pilot"?

We'll never know, but they were paid big bucks to do better.

DozyWannabe
8th Aug 2011, 19:38
It is actually really sad to see so much ab apologists. Ab philosophy is clearly that of reducing costs, pilots costs included, and if that has so much flaws seems it doesnt matter, there are still a lot of short sighted people believing everything the bea says and shouting pilot error anytime they can

That's a pretty serious accusation - where's your evidence?

Lyman
8th Aug 2011, 20:00
Here, the poster has said, "We the computer have some ill readings, so you pilot must fly, out." But the computer stays close, and interferes....

For Gretchenfrage then a new word, '.Paradoxicon..' A smiley airbus?

hetfield
8th Aug 2011, 20:04
Concerning statistics, lots of contributors just love those, I am still missing a serious one about automation induced pilot errors. This would give a clearer picture than the one containing just plain pilot errorSpot on Gretchenfrage.

About one week ago I opened a thread about this subject at this very place.
It was deleted within minutes for whatever reason.....

AF447, TAM 3054, XL 888T, etc. etc.

blind pew
8th Aug 2011, 20:24
KWATEOW
and for three hundred grand plus one would have expected the captain to be on the flight deck during THE critical part of the enroute phase!

Safety Concerns
8th Aug 2011, 20:25
somebody asked about statistics. well no accidents involving european airlines during 2010. safety levels the best they have ever been.

its time to look forward. automation has improved safety but isn't quite perfect yet.

JJFFC
8th Aug 2011, 21:38
I apologize if my last post appeared to point out a pilot error again. It is not my point.

My point is that you have two co-pilots with equal rights giving dual inputs.

If the two pilots have to hand-flight because of a mechanical problem, then:

- Can the plane detect and decide who's of the pilot it has to obey yet it has problems and gave the control to the pilots ?
- Can the designers predict in which seat will be the good pilot vs the bad and therefore, allow this seat to take control of the plane and withdrow this possibility to the other seat ?

In AF447, if the PNF or the Captain had not a mean to prevent the PF from giving inputs, since this PF didn't obey his Captain, what should have they do?

Knock Down the PF ?

OK : but what if it has been the PF that was right ?

This has nothing to do with the stall warning or the SS, since the PF'brain was stuck at nosing up whatever would be the stall warning !.

IMO, in the actual state of the art, only a human action could have stop the PF, not the plane.

In particular, it is wrong to say that the Capt and the PNF didn't recognized a stall. Not only they did but they gave the good advices to the PF, only 21s after the PF took control !

And they keep on asking the PF to go down for minutes.

But when the PNF took control, the PF re-took it, several times and again in the last seconds.

Without a knock down he would'have stoped.nosing up.

Should the Capt. have had a billy ?

Casper
8th Aug 2011, 21:49
KWATEOW
and for three hundred grand plus one would have expected the captain to be on the flight deck during THE critical part of the enroute phase!

Couldn't agree more, blind pew. Crossing the ITCZ is not the time to be in the sack.

HarryMann
8th Aug 2011, 22:52
The Aircraft was hand flown from a stable configuration into a stall situation, albeit unwittingly complicated by the autotrim..... leaving the best aviation experience/resource in the non control role , or absent from the cockpit and not decisively involved throughout.

The problem was a skill, perceptual (including spatial disorientation) and CRM one on the pilot/company side, worsened by design faults with the aircraft ( pitots, autotrim, stall warning parameters useless in a mjaor attitude upset, no A of A display, digital readouts vs analogue readouts worsening performance in emergency environment, unobserved sidestick)

Mimpe, pretty well covers it.... :D

A33Zab
8th Aug 2011, 23:42
The reality is that whenever the automatics are no longer capable of handling, due to invalid signals they need, they throw the aircraft back at the human.


To prevent the system of using faulted sensor input but unfortunately the human input was faulted too.

Second reality is that even when the automatics switch off autopilot and autothrust, it can still intervene with pilot inputs, through automatic protections, and therefore limit his authority.

Why on earth? ?
It had detected itself incapable of handling the aircraft, but still messes with controls.

It didn't messed up......... it followed PF demand and didn't limit his orders.


I am not entirely against automation and technology to improve safety. But the implemented systems must work flawlessly.


As pax may expect from the crew in front.

misd-agin
9th Aug 2011, 01:34
Casper - Couldn't agree more, blind pew. Crossing the ITCZ is not the time to be in the sack.

Casper,

Agreed. I pick my break so that I'm in the cockpit if I anticipate difficult conditions. I don't pick my break, the conditions dictate when I'll go on break.

bubbers44
9th Aug 2011, 01:44
Pilots should never be flying an aircraft they can not hand fly. These two obviously couldn't. If you always fly on autopilot, as Airbus and a lot of airlines want, you lose hand flying skills. AF447 crashed because of lack of hand flying skills. Why can't we let pilots do some hand flying enroute to keep these skills up or rebuild them?

Pitch Up Authority
9th Aug 2011, 01:59
There are those that train to pass a check and there are those that go beyond that.

Knowing your power-settings and attitudes for unreliable airspeed is something the first group doesn't bother about.

Having said so, flying a jet manually at high altitude (reduced dynamic stability) and low excess power available is not easy.

Another issue is that very few airlines train their pilots well for cases of failed sensors and/or ADC.

takata
9th Aug 2011, 02:00
Also very telling is the autothrust disconnect, the realisation that climb thrust has been inadvertantly applied and then the subsequent reduction in thrust.
The PF didn't want to climb otherwise he would have remained in climb thrust.
What is very telling is that none of the facts do fit with your "proposition".
When autothrust disengage, it doesn't "inadvertantly" apply "CLB" thrust (that's an urban legend) as thrust is frozen at its last setting which is independant of thrust levers position (CLB at cruise). Actual thrust levers position is only providing for autothrust its possible range of operation: when placed on CLB, autothrust may adjust N1% between IDLE and CLB level.
When autothrust is disconnected, a warning is sounding and an ECAM will display "ENG THRUST LOCKED", which means that Thrust is frozen. This should be acknowledged by the pilot, stopping the alarm, by moving the levers to their current settings or anywhere wanted.

In AF447 case, it is exactly what happened and thrust was locked at N1% 84, which is low for such FL and weight (about 94% would be needed at Mach .80). In fact, few seconds prior to disconnection, pilots changed their selected Mach from 0.82 to 0.80 (turbulence penetration speed). Consequently, she was decelerating. Next, thrust levers were not unlocked before about 15 seconds after autothrust disconnection, while she first climbed, then still at 84%.
When levers were unlocked, PF manually applied 100% N1, for about another 15 seconds, before reducing thrust when PNF asked him to go down... but she was still climbing. Shortly after that, stall alarms sounded and he applied TOGA while pulling up, and... she stalled. (it is taken from DFDR tracks and report).

Mimpe
9th Aug 2011, 02:33
if he had just picked an appropriate attitude and power setting ( im not commercially trained) ...I presume its a bit over

1. 85 percent power and
2. 4-5 degrees nose up
3. checking wings level and minimal change of altitude,avoiding overcontrolling and changes to thrust... and
4. immediate (read...IMMEDIATE) call to Captain

none of this would have happened?

I also wonder whether the small thunderstorm in front obscured the Really Big One immediately behind that they ended up fyling into (my view of the relevant satellite depictions and track taken).Can this happen with weather radar? It seems they were in weather they really had no need to be in...supercooled water and all that. A right divergent track of about 20 degrees looked a lot healthier.

scrunchthecat
9th Aug 2011, 03:32
I have been following this thread (this whole event, actually), with great sadness and interest. The Telegraph and some other UK publications claim to have come up with some additional info, take the reports as you will:

Last Words of Air France Pilots Revealed - The Telegraph
Last words of Air France pilots revealed - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8689176/Last-words-of-Air-France-pilots-revealed.html)

Jazz Hands
9th Aug 2011, 08:12
That Telegraph report doesn't give any more information than the BEA released days ago. There are French reports with more alleged CVR information, but it's hardly blockbusting stuff.

Rob21
9th Aug 2011, 13:01
A pilot flying any type a/c knows he must avoid problems, simply because some problems he might not be able to solve. One of these problems is weather. A pilot is a "problem avoider". And he can do this with only a knob turn.

As I understand, AF447's captain chose to not deviate from weather. He knew ITCZ was very active that night, but chose to straight cross it anyway. Was the flight running late? Strong headwind?
We will never know why he chose not to deviate, but this bad judgment together wiht bad timing on deciding to take his rest, led him to a huge problem. Iced pitots, UAS, autopilot disconnect, a/c descending stalled inside a Cb. When the captain made it back to the cockpit, he was presented with a huge, yet avoidable problem.

A simple knob turn, deviate and then go to sleep.

dlcmdrx
9th Aug 2011, 13:24
Yes but it is not the captains fault that the stall horn inhibits below 60 kias, and therefore he doesnt recognize the situation, specially when he was taking his reglamentary rest. And it is not his fault that the bea omits concerns about this from their report.

Jazz Hands
9th Aug 2011, 14:16
Yes but it is not the captains fault that the stall horn inhibits below 60 kias

No, but whose fault is it that the captain doesn't get told that the stall warning has been blaring in the cockpit for nearly a solid minute?

Lyman
9th Aug 2011, 15:11
Perhaps, because a stall horn isn't present when the Capt. comes in, and the two pilots are not rightly afraid of its meaning. They do not speak the stall language, they are flying an airplane that can do anything they think to help, and other things.

Perhaps when Strall goes, a packet of smelly cat poop ex[plodes in the cockpit, so no ojne can not know their danger of dying. Stall is the language you will all be soon dead, nothing else matters but to re3sume flying. Unles you have this deathwish.

Hard to ignore, this Stall warn, and there is not such thing 'spulios'.

Man Flex
9th Aug 2011, 17:17
Consequently, she was decelerating. Next, thrust levers were not unlocked before about 15 seconds after autothrust disconnection, while she first climbed, then still at 84%.
When levers were unlocked, PF manually applied 100% N1, for about another 15 seconds, before reducing thrust when PNF asked him to go down...


Nope!

Sorry disagree.

The PF didn't apply the appropriate procedure which was "THR LVR... MOVE" he instead disconnected using the disconnect push-buttons and because the thrust levers were in the climb detent the thrust increased immediately to climb thrust.

Later he realises his mistake... "we are in climb" and reduces thrust manually.

Had he wanted to climb he would have left it alone.

agusaleale
9th Aug 2011, 17:29
Quote:
Yes but it is not the captains fault that the stall horn inhibits below 60 kias
No, but whose fault is it that the captain doesn't get told that the stall warning has been blaring in the cockpit for nearly a solid minute?

whose fault is that the captain doesn´t get told that the stall warning has been blaring in the cockpit for neary a solid minute when it actually stopped making them believe the stall issue was solved

testpanel
9th Aug 2011, 18:15
Well,

does anybody "needs" a stall warning? we should be trained not to be even closse to it, by various "indications".

i have seen in person one of capt Haynes (sorry if i misspelled) lectures on his experinece during the dc10 crash in sioux city.
it is/was an eyeopener.
you see somebody doing something that does not look right and you take it over, with the consequense now you are in worse shape!

pnf should be as it means; pilot-NOT-flying, in other companies called "pilot-MONITORING" and thats what he should have been doing.

i remember the 757 crash which static-ports were taped-over due to cleaning..............
i used it during recurrent training just to train/demonstrate the crew the effects and to keep them (hopefully) interested in studying previously occured incidents/accidents.

its sad to see another perfectly-good-aircraft got crashed (buffalo, amsterdam etc etc).

CONF iture
9th Aug 2011, 19:26
The PF didn't apply the appropriate procedure which was "THR LVR... MOVE" he instead disconnected using the disconnect push-buttons and because the thrust levers were in the climb detent the thrust increased immediately to climb thrust.
I would think he did MOVE the THR LVRs, fast enough that it's not showing on the thrust lever FDR trace. A quick move out of the CLB detent and back into it.

Using the disconnect push-buttons would not do anything as A/THR is already disconnected.

RWA
10th Aug 2011, 05:13
Quoting Man Flex:-


"Also very telling is the autothrust disconnect, the realisation that climb thrust has been inadvertantly applied and then the subsequent reduction in thrust.

"The PF didn't want to climb otherwise he would have remained in climb thrust."

Not sure that I follow that, Man Flex? Up to now it's been my understanding that, with autothrust operating, 'Climb' is the 'default setting' for cruise flight, and the next setting down is 'Idle'? Surely they wouldn't have been using the 'next-up' setting - 'Max. Continuous' - in normal cruise?

Quoting CONFiture:-


I would think he did MOVE the THR LVRs, fast enough that it's not showing on the thrust lever FDR trace. A quick move out of the CLB detent and back into it.


Just from reading, that's the correct procedure, as far as I know - except that, once the autothrust has signed off, I'd expect that the pilots are supposed to use the throttle levers 'normally' - that is, move them forward or back to adjust the power, presumably by reference to the N1 gauges? Again as I understand it, in the absence of the autothrust, just using the 'Climb' detent could have been either too much for the situation or insufficient to maintain level flight?

That raises another point. We know that, in response to the stall warning, the PF carried out the prescribed drill at that time; that is, applied TO/GA power. But at some later time - typically, the BEA doesn't tell us when - the levers appear to have been pulled right back to the 'Idle' detent.

I'd appreciate some guidance from those who know. Obviously - now that the 'stall avoidance' procedure has been revised - we know that TO/GA power was probably too much. But it seems to me, as a mere amateur pilot - mostly with no engines at all! - that while 'TO/GA' was very probably too much, 'Idle' (which I understand is only 55% power, virtually none in a jet) might very well not have been enough (given that by that time the aircraft was genuinely in a deep stall) to give them any reasonable chance of regaining flying speed?

I DO hope that, even though they can't actually be trained in 'stall recovery' in a real aeroplane, Airbus pilots are at least taught to use the throttles in a conventional way if the autothrust is off; that is (I presume) to follow the power gauges, NOT just use the detents?

RWA
10th Aug 2011, 06:10
Apologies - to the BEA AND for the double post:

The relevant BEA appendix in the latest report does give the power settings. 'Rough copy' says:-

2.10.47 33%
2.10.56 TOGA
2.11.43 MCT
2.11.56 TOGA
2.11.51 TOGA
2,12.07 CLB
2.12.33 TOGA
2,13.48 CLB
2.14.09 IDLE
2.14.18 TOGA

They do indeed appear to have used the detents all the way down - with just the one exception at the beginning.

Jazz Hands
10th Aug 2011, 08:55
Simple question to those who fly A330:

At 2:10:23 the thrust lock mode was "de-activated".

If the autothrust was already disengaged, how does one then de-activate the thrust lock?

Is there a button to push, or can it only be done by manually moving the thrust levers?

CONF iture
10th Aug 2011, 09:24
Just from reading, that's the correct procedure, as far as I know - except that, once the autothrust has signed off, I'd expect that the pilots are supposed to use the throttle levers 'normally' - that is, move them forward or back to adjust the power, presumably by reference to the N1 gauges? Again as I understand it, in the absence of the autothrust, just using the 'Climb' detent could have been either too much for the situation or insufficient to maintain level flight?

To move the thrust levers in the CLB detent is part of the drill for UAS.
At FL350 with no A/THR the output is absolutely the same whatever the thrust levers position from CLB to MCT to TOGA.


Is there a button to push, or can it only be done by manually moving the thrust levers?
It has to be done by manually moving the thrust levers - No PB.

sebaska
10th Aug 2011, 13:39
Quote:
It was all meant to shout: If humans are on the flight-deck, they MUST be able to fly the aircraft. Really fly it. Oh, and be allowed to fly it.
Your words in gods ear!

The reality is that whenever the automatics are no longer capable of handling, due to invalid signals they need, they throw the aircraft back at the human.

- Perfect - It will be him screwing up finally.
Good for statistics and engineers.
Statistics here mean more souls staying here on Earth, well and alive.

There is a serious misconception repeated on this forum (as well as elsewhere) that pilots are reduced to be system monitors and all that nonsense. Simply monitoring would be much more comfortably done from the ground. Those guys/gals in front are there for a reason. They are there to command the thing and to handle all the situations which might arise. Not monitor - command!

I already wrote a bit about that in one earlier post: http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/447730-af447-wreckage-found-104.html#post6582987

What's worrying is that aforemntioned misconception is taken as truth by some pilots flying those birds...


Second reality is that even when the automatics switch off autopilot and autothrust, it can still intervene with pilot inputs, through automatic protections, and therefore limit his authority.

Why on earth? ?
It had detected itself incapable of handling the aircraft, but still messes with controls.

Isn't that a paradoxon?
It's not. It only looks like a paradox for those who do not understand how those things work.
AP is completely different system than flight control computers. AP works on completely different abstraction level. AP directs airplane through the air. Flight control computers translate commands given to the plane into flight controls. So there is nothing paradoxical nor even strange that one function might work wile the other could not. For example partial loss of airdata does not prevent G-load-demand driving of control surfaces while it prevents automatic directing of the bird (i.e. AutoPiloting).


I am not entirely against automation and technology to improve safety. But the implemented systems must work flawlessly.
Otherwise I don't need them.
So before introducing even more protections, please fix the technology that's already on board.
Nope. It just must work better that humans performing the same tasks. And statistics, i.e. number of people still alive, shows that it works. If some pilot feels bad because of that, so be it, but those few hundred souls behind him/her might be still alive just because that damn electronics prevented his/her error altogether or just reduced it's effect to be much less significance.

Computers (and generally artificial devices, i.e. tools) are better (often significantly) than humans in many areas. Smart humans will take advantage of that and let the computers do the stuff they're good at while keeping doing stuff computers are bad at or even completely incapable of.


Concerning statistics, lots of contributors just love those, I am still missing a serious one about automation induced pilot errors. This would give a clearer picture than the one containing just plain pilot error. Not that it would excuse any such error, eliminating those should be just as noble a cause, but it would point back at the magic automatics that benefit from too big a confidence and a lack of genuine criticism, as it would mean responsibility (meaning doe) from you who I mean. Such statistics would be meaningless without automation prevented pilot errors. And that last one, while impossible to be known exactly could be pretty easy estimated. And the (estimated) result is that it simply dominates other statistics. Crashes caused by pilot error dominated (i.e. were more than 50%) statistics before FBW era. Now, total number of crashes of contemporary, FBW aircraft is significantly less the number of earlier crashes caused by pilot error. Thus either pilots are so much better now, or those new birds reduce possibilities of errors and reduce effects of many such errors to get them off accident/incident tables. This reduction comprises vast majority of pilot errors which had bring down older planes.

RWA
10th Aug 2011, 14:14
Quoting Sebaska:-
"FBW aircraft is significantly less the number of earlier crashes caused by pilot error."
Apologies, Seb, can't resist quoting a BBC radio witticism that I heard many years ago. A 'voice' supposedly coming on to the airliner's PA and telling the passengers that they were flying on the world's very first fully-automated passenger flight. That there were no pilots up front, that the only airline personnel on board were the cabin crew.

I recall that the radio sketch ended with the guy saying, "Please do not be alarmed. All the systems involved have been exhaustively tested over many years of development - and we can give you all a positive guarantee that nothing can possibly go wrong.......go wrong.....go wrong.....go wrong........"

:)

Lyman
10th Aug 2011, 15:12
rwa Yes, it is the twilight zone, then?

Commercial travel is so safe it is boring. That makes an accident stick out in dramatic invitation for taking sides.

This discussion is two years old, and before that, and by the grace of God, the 777 at Heathrow. Some lazy ice arrived at the inlet tyoo late to kill all on Board.

What is on the surface is interesting, and seems to have been well shepherd into perfect corrals.

Today in this country, one thousand peoplle will die in auto accidents. Because this is a large place, the slaughter will appear dilute, and less important than 228 falling out the sky two years ago.

Tomorrow, only five hundred could die in autos, but these vehicles would be more expense, and the roads extremely more costly.

The tragic and heartbreak is when the possible prevention is from humans.
Operator Error? Likely. but by the time the other causes have come to the reports, people will be looking at different things.

Sometimes Air Travel is not the bargain we think, most other times, it is.

It is not this Stabiliser, nor the young pilot, nor the conveyance. It is our desire to skirt the basics, the Physics, to please ourselves and the Bank. Please to not cut these margins so fine, Paris will be there next week.

takata
10th Aug 2011, 15:28
At 2:10:23 the thrust lock mode was "de-activated".
If the autothrust was already disengaged, how does one then de-activate the thrust lock?
Is there a button to push, or can it only be done by manually moving the thrust levers?

a) one need to understand why the "THRUST LOCK" function was activated:
In our case, it means that AUTOTHRUST disconnection was due to a system fault and not to any pilot action (like using the disconnect pb, or setting levers to IDLE).
Consequently, thrust will remain locked at its last setting which is unrelated with THRUST LEVERS actual position: at cruise at FL350, with turbulence, thrust could be anywhere between IDLE thrust and CL thrust = (MIN-MAX range: this is autothrust range of operation when active and engaged - MCT is only used in case of one engine failure). Hence, when A/THR disconnect, actual Thrust doesn't change (increase to CLB if actually set below this level), it is locked.

b) What caused the loss of A/THR was both FMGS (auto flight system) faulting due to their IAS monitoring function (A/THR fault is recorded at 0210:08, three seconds after A/P OFF at 0210:05).

c) Unlocking THRUST action is only manual by moving the levers. If one re-engage them where they already were set (CL detent), like in our case, DFDR record won't show any change of detent setting: they were set off CL detent, moved and engaged back in CL detent. Nonetheless, DFDR will record the manual action of Unlocking the Thrust and the total duration of the "THR LOCK" period before crew reaction (about 15 seconds).

http://takata1940.free.fr/thrlock.jpg

During this period (0210:08-0210:23), thrust was locked at N1% 83.

@ FL350, standard settings for pitch/thrust should have been adjusted to:
Mach .80 ; GW > 190 t ; pitch = 3.5°
Mach .80 (260 kt) ; 200 t > GW < 210 t = 91.9 > N1% < 93.1

@ FL370:
Mach .80 ; 200 t > GW < 210 t = 94.3 > N1% < 95.9
And, of course, there is no N1 value for above levels.

Consequently, she was starting to climb up to FL380, at an high V/S and pitch rate (close to take off), without initialy enough thrust to maintain FL250 in level flight (as she was decelerating just prior this sequence started). It took about 25 seconds to manually increase N1 up to 104% while she had already bleeded a good deal of her speed in between.

http://takata1940.free.fr/thrust1.jpg

Lyman
10th Aug 2011, 15:49
A very subtle language thing, but I think important.

The Thrust is NOT LOCKED. AB says so, but it is not "LOCKED".

It is "retained". If anyone thinks words don't matter, consider, "MOVE THROTTLE". "CYCLE LEVERS". Left in last position, "VALUE".

It is politics and Philosophy, not an accurate description of Throttle avail.

The AB is NOT pilot friendly in many ways, even in subtle ways that start an argument. It has an "ATTITUDE".

"LOCKED", in an emergency, with impaired conditions, means "DON'T TOUCH". If you think ergo and linguistics are not life and death, think again.

RWA
10th Aug 2011, 17:40
Quoting CON fiture:-

'at FL350 with no A/THR the output is absolutely the same whatever the thrust levers position from CLB to MCT to TOGA.'

Sincerely hope that I've misunderstood, CON fiture?

You appear to be saying that, due to a total lack of logic in the Airbus auto-throttle controls, the unfortunate AF447 pilots spent most of their last three minutes on this Earth pissing about with throttle settings like CLB, MCT, TOGA, and whatever - but that ALL of those settings simply resulted in no change at ALL in the actual power generated by the engines - which remained at TO/GA?

As a law graduate, on the face of it, I'd say that if that's even halfway true, it provides adequate evidence for the designers of any such systems (AND their parent companies) to face manslaughter charges, at the very least?

Almost can't believe that any designers could generate systems which were THAT stupid?

Jazz Hands
10th Aug 2011, 17:52
but that ALL of those settings simply resulted in no change at ALL in the actual power generated by the engines - which remained at TO/GA?



Not true, RWA.

Page 113 of the interim report shows the engine power commanded by the crew (N1 Command), and the resulting engine thrust generated (N1 Actual).

The thrust is clearly not staying at TO/GA, but following the power level set by the pilots.

From CONfiture's post, I think he was specifically referring to the maximum power available during high-altitude cruise.

CONF iture
10th Aug 2011, 18:55
You appear to be saying that ...
Negative.
I just say that at FL350 TOGA thrust will not deliver anything more than CLB thrust would, and this is normal.
Nothing 'stupid' here, just altitude density.

A33Zab
10th Aug 2011, 19:29
As long as the AB crew will know what to do with:

'ENG THRUST LOCKED
- THR LEVERS..........MOVE'

all others are allowed to never understand it.

The B. EICAS message:

'THRUST ASYM COMP'

will be known by B. crew but says as less as an A. message.

bubbers44
11th Aug 2011, 01:39
Quoting CON fiture:-

'at FL350 with no A/THR the output is absolutely the same whatever the thrust levers position from CLB to MCT to TOGA.'

Sincerely hope that I've misunderstood, CON fiture?

You appear to be saying that, due to a total lack of logic in the Airbus auto-throttle controls, the unfortunate AF447 pilots spent most of their last three minutes on this Earth pissing about with throttle settings like CLB, MCT, TOGA, and whatever - but that ALL of those settings simply resulted in no change at ALL in the actual power generated by the engines - which remained at TO/GA?

As a law graduate, on the face of it, I'd say that if that's even halfway true, it provides adequate evidence for the designers of any such systems (AND their parent companies) to face manslaughter charges, at the very least?

Almost can't believe that any designers could generate systems which were THAT stupid?


That being said you combine that with a junior pilot that insists on pulling the SS up for over a minute while the stall warning is going off without realizing he is stalling and his 2nd pilot not correcting him for over 3 minutes gives no chance of survival. Stupid was not just the engineering, it was the pilots too.

No experienced pilot would pull up continuously with a stall warning blaring for almost a minute. I don't care how many other alarms were going off, that one is the big one, ignore the others.

jcjeant
11th Aug 2011, 03:58
Hi,

FBW aircraft is significantly less the number of earlier crashes caused by pilot errorI dunno to what FBW aircraft statistics you take reference ... but for the Airbus FBW serie .. all important accidents were the cause of pilots errors (and some human errors associated) ..... never the aircraft (system or engines or structural) was plain implied in the cause of accidents.
And it's seem's that the AF447 (and the Libyan A330) accident will be added to this list
In fact .. so far .. after read all BEA or NTSB or other reports about Airbus accidents .. the aircraft was always working fine (minus the Sully one and the Qantas A380...) .. the pilots .. no.
Globally today the statistics shown that 75-80 % accidents are caused by pilot errors .....
That's normal that the balance change (more accidents cause pilot errors ) .. as the technology (engines and systems and structures) are more reliable today

md80fanatic
11th Aug 2011, 13:34
Isn't the aircraft at fault, at least in part, if it's certificated pilots repeatedly fail to understand what is happening with it in an emergency?

Jazz Hands
11th Aug 2011, 13:35
Slightly off-topic, but this popped up today:

EASA to order checks on A320 angle-of-attack sensors (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/08/11/360621/easa-to-order-checks-on-a320-angle-of-attack-sensors.html)

Mimpe
11th Aug 2011, 14:15
thats great info Takata.

I dont have access to an Airbus Simulator, but ive run this accident at home twice now with the worst thunderstorm i can find, a pretty much fully loaded aircraft and all the other parameters , and those power settings and pitch attitudecsettings are about right. I an early BBC documentary I think they mentioned power in the high 80's (at least85%) and 3-5deg pitch up. I even dialled up an aft COG to see what effect it would have on stability...nps..

Just maintaining reasonably steady altitude to within a few hundred feet would have been a good proxy, with nil or minimal thrust alteration if they wanted a decent turbulence penetration speed. The climb at low power was the toxic confection. I even wonder if a gentle descent would have given them safer tolerances to a possible stall..done in a planned way, but of course they seem to have chosen to fly right through the densest and widest part of the storm, which would have left yhem with more weather than neccessary to have tolerate(read..survive)
My own simof it didnt seem that difficult and no hint of overspeed or stall...just bumpy and needed patience and gentle hands.

I think the poor guy just lost his scan discipline very quickly, got distracted and probably spatially disoriented, couldnt prioritise,and ignored the (expletive) stall warning and the very good advice he was getting ...

SLFinAZ
11th Aug 2011, 14:19
I think the BEA report makes it entirely clear that there was nothing "wrong" with the airplane. This statement is in the broadest sense, yes the airplane had significant fault warnings however the plane responded correctly to all system inputs and the AP " kicked out" leaving the plane in a reasonably stable configuration.

At the time of the AP disconnect the airframe did not need to be "recovered" just flown. The upset was entirely pilot induced and not influenced by any erroneous instrument displays. The PF was simply overwhelmed and either forgot his training or never had appropriate training to begin with.

In spite of knowing that the PF was responding to the crisis inappropriately and immediately taking command he allowed the PF to continue a course of action that led to a potentially unrecoverable situation. To me the apparent company culture as it relates to CRM is the root cause of this accident. The least qualified pilot happened to be the designated PF and was somehow to allowed to continue flying the airplane in circumstances clearly beyong his ability to handle.

The PM should have assumed control within 15 seconds of AP disconnect based on the PF's failure to apply basic airmanship and fly "pitch and power" stabilizing the airplane while the PM worked to sort out and prioritize the fault warnings.

This is a scathing indictment of AF's safety culture and CRM training. For a seasoned pilot to sit there and watch a colleague kill not only himself but the SOB they are responsible for is criminal....literally. This comment is not aimed at the poor pilot involved but at the airline itself. At this point they need to be slapped down hard...and hopefully will be.

Mimpe
11th Aug 2011, 14:26
I fully agree

good firm clear non democratic CRM could have saved this situation...

none of this liberte fraternite egalite stuff.

We sound like a bunch of 50 somethings...

jcjeant
11th Aug 2011, 15:21
Hi,

Some article interesting to read .....
Current Issue | Flight Safety Foundation (http://flightsafety.org/aerosafety-world-magazine/current-issue)
Flight Safety June 2011
Current Issue | Flight Safety Foundation (http://flightsafety.org/aerosafety-world-magazine/current-issue)
http://flightsafety.org/download_file.php?filepath=/asw/jun11/asw_june11.pdf
Read from page 24 to 27
"Drappier, the Airbus representative, added, “Airbus does not recommend encouraging airline pilots to fly the airplane manually [during line operations] because the airline passengers have
paid to get the maximum level of safety. Most of the time, the autopilot is the best route.” Ironic ?

Lyman
11th Aug 2011, 16:26
Mr jeant
Perhaps a translation problem, but Monsieur Drappeur has just cost his company some billions of eurosd. Mr. Lawyer has already copied these comment, and is drooling down his chins.

bubbers44
11th Aug 2011, 20:21
Too bad the old guy was taking his break. Then it would have been a non event. Reocurring icing problems because of the pitot probes seems to be the only problem when the automatics disconnected because of UAS and the PF hauled back for no reason and put it in a deep stall which any airliner would do. Then he held the SS back for several minutes, ignoring the stall warning until impact. Basic flying skills are going away with the new automation. Some were never acquired if a new guy.

dlcmdrx
11th Aug 2011, 20:21
What i said, airbus doesnt care one bit about pilots, only reducing costs

Jutta
11th Aug 2011, 21:04
What i said, airbus doesnt care one bit about pilots, only reducing costs
but producers of goods only comply to the demands of customers!

DozyWannabe
11th Aug 2011, 21:07
@jcjeant, dlcmdrx

Remember that you're reading a translation there. Also note that he does not say that Airbus does not encourage pilots to hand-fly at all, merely that it is not recommended when flying the line. Hand-flying *should* be taught as part of recurring training - either in the simulator or on the real aircraft if necessary.

If Airbus "[didn't] care about pilots", then they would not have fixed the FMC in 1994, would not have instructed airlines to replace the pitot tubes and would not have warned pilots about the dangers of UAS incidents. A bit less hyperbole, please...

jcjeant
11th Aug 2011, 21:46
Hi,

Remember that you're reading a translation there
What can be a translation error for be that the AB spoken person was telling the contrary of reported ??
I'm sure that if it was a translation error in the PDF .. Airbus had reacted and requested a immediate correction
Airbus had always take care of their image projected in the public .. it's for them a commercial imperative !
And on the AF447 case they will still defend their image in every way .. in the press and at the trial

infrequentflyer789
11th Aug 2011, 22:15
Mr jeant
Perhaps a translation problem, but Monsieur Drappeur has just cost his company some billions of eurosd. Mr. Lawyer has already copied these comment, and is drooling down his chins.

More likely a comprehension problem, and possibly a bit of selective quoting.

Airbus was absolutely not saying that pilots should not be trained to hand-fly - in fact they have said exactly the opposite (expressed concern at lack of such training and practice) more than once recently.

What they said was that such training should not normally take place when the punters are in the back.

Seems entirely reasonable to me - after all, wft is the sim for if not allowing this ? [and that's before we even get into RVSM rules etc.]

Lyman
11th Aug 2011, 22:29
if789.

Yep. However, the Gentleman, in saying that the pax pay for the utmost safety, he is parsing the format such that when flying, Pilots exhibit less than........... He has specifically set the table for revenue flight? Sides, the lawyer will pretend what he will. It was an unfortunate set of commentary, imho. This Guy is from Marketing, not Legal......Think?

ChristiaanJ
11th Aug 2011, 22:37
Hand-flying *should* be taught as part of recurring training - either in the simulator or on the real aircraft if necessary.
We've been here before, it seems.....

The 'fidelity' of the simulator 'on the edge and beyond' is doubtful, because of the lack of aerodynamic data 'on the edge and beyond' the envelope. So such training may well lead to installing wrong habits. (The 'low-level' 'maintain altitude' UAS procedures seem to be one of those 'wrong habits'.)

And the 'beancounters' are not going to allow taking real aircraft 'up there' just for training......

Personal remark....
When the 'brown matter hits the ventilator', initial training, or highly incidental sim training (even if FFS), or incidental glider or aerobatic training (as suggested elsewere), will never be enough.

Until more research is done about 'the edge', and that research is fed back into training, and possibly a look at the aircraft/pilot interface, another 'AF447' is bound to happen sooner or later.

DozyWannabe
11th Aug 2011, 22:52
@ChristiaanJ - I'm not talking about "on the edge" training in sims for line flight crew, I'm talking about basic manual handling - turns, pitch management, stall warning recoveries and the requisite amount of sidestick manipulation for each.

If the PF had apparently lost control because of external forces beyond his ken, then you'd be right, and there wouldn't be much that more training could accomplish. But to all intents and purposes it looks like this guy controlled a perfectly flyable airliner (albeit with minor systems degradation) into a full stall -which he neither recognised nor was able to recover from - by significantly overcontrolling at altitude.

Someone needs to tell the "beancounters" just how expensive crashes can be, not to mention the amount of business they stand to lose when it turns out that their training regime produced a fully-qualified pilot who ended up completely out of his depth making basic course corrections at altitude!

Lyman
11th Aug 2011, 23:27
Let's not forget, that but for the grace... The a/c could well have gotten there on its own (technical problems beyond his or its ken? ). Cuts both ways, seems to me.

The unknown is by its very nature, the unknown. To train for it is an oxymoron, and a waste of time. But let's be honest, and speculate to include the a/c as possibly the problem, No?

Thank you both for your patience

ChristiaanJ
11th Aug 2011, 23:34
@ChristiaanJ - I'm not talking about "on the edge" training in sims for line flight crew, I'm talking about basic manual handling - turns, pitch management, stall warning recoveries and the requisite amount of sidestick manipulation for each.@DozyWannabe - I'm not querying the pilots' basic manual handling skills either (none of them were tyros), but I have my doubts about their skills at handling the 'brown matter hitting the ventilator' at FL350 entering the ITCZ.....

A long way away from the 'engine failure at V1' in the sim.... which seems to be the usual thing they get thrown at them during a sim check (I'm exaggerating of course, but I would be sure they'd never seen anything even remotely resembling the "AF447 scenario" in the sim, ever.)

To all intents and purposes it looks like this guy controlled a perfectly flyable airliner (albeit with minor systems degradation) into a full stall -which he neither recognised nor was able to recover from - by significantly overcontrolling at altitude.So far, I agree with your remarks ..... and I admit to being equally baffled.....

Maybe this was the first time an A330 ended up in a fully developed stall, and the PF was not a test pilot?
Maybe, like in the olden days, an early A330 should have been taken into a full stall, and the data recorded, with a large parachute in the tail, and an escape chute and parachutes for the pilots? We had both on Concorde.....

jcjeant
12th Aug 2011, 01:15
A long way away from the 'engine failure at V1' in the sim.... which seems to be the usual thing they get thrown at them during a sim check (I'm exaggerating of course, but I would be sure they'd never seen anything even remotely resembling the "AF447 scenario" in the sim, ever.)Well I hope pilots will never seen (or learn) the AF447 scenario in the sim
What is the instructor who would teach pilots to get a airplane stalling ???
I hope that instructors will show in the sim has not go to a stall
Do not pull up on the stick like crazy is probably the first advise they will teach

dlcmdrx
12th Aug 2011, 02:54
likely a comprehension problem, and possibly a bit of selective quoting.

Airbus was absolutely not saying that pilots should not be trained to hand-fly - in fact they have said exactly the opposite (expressed concern at lack of such training and practice) more than once recently.

BS. They are clearly stating that the airplane will fly safer than any pilot. And therefore implying pilts are not safe.
What he doesnt say of course is that their philosophy without all the protections would be hell, but whatever im not even gonna argue, ab has gone away wih so much stuff its ridiculous.

What is worrying is the amount of pilots defending people like the above from the quote.

JCviggen
12th Aug 2011, 09:17
BS. They are clearly stating that the airplane will fly safer than any pilot. And therefore implying pilts are not safe.
I think you're reading what you want to read there. Taking 1 sentence out of something rarely captures the gist of it. I think what he was saying is that there is a time to practice hand flying, but it isn't while cruising with a hundred odd passengers in the back. I'd be inclined to agree with that. There is definitely a need to keep up manual skills but that doesn't mean one should start disconnecting the AP somewhere over the atlantic at FL370 to see what happens.

Jazz Hands
12th Aug 2011, 11:15
They are clearly stating that the airplane will fly safer than any pilot. And therefore implying pilts are not safe.




To use your own phrase, dlcmdrx, I think your interpretation is BS.

The meaning of the original comment is that sometimes a computer is better at handling an aeroplane than a human - which is spot-on. If your ego can't handle that, don't sit in a cockpit, because it's that attitude which leads to accidents.

DozyWannabe
12th Aug 2011, 11:52
ab has gone away wih so much stuff its ridiculous.

Would you care to enlighten us as to what you think Airbus has "gone [sic] away with"?

Huck
12th Aug 2011, 12:35
Also note that he does not say that Airbus does not encourage pilots to hand-fly at all, merely that it is not recommended when flying the line. Hand-flying *should* be taught as part of recurring training - either in the simulator or on the real aircraft if necessary.


I just flew from CDG to the US in the right seat of a 777. Weather good at both ends. Hand-flew to 18,000 on climbout. Hand flew from 3000' down on the visual approach. I consider it my duty to keep my hand-flying skills sharp. To do less would be lazy. The day I can't do this I will find another job.

Hand-flying only during recurrent? Go play the piano once every six months and see what happens to your performances.....

That said, I don't hand-fly at cruise.

Lonewolf_50
12th Aug 2011, 13:08
EDITED later:
@ testpanel
I may have misread your post, or misunderstood its context. A Flightglobal article seemed to allude to something that your pithy observations may have been rooted in.

BEA stated that the relief pilot should have immediately called out the excessive parameters. "The absence of specific training in manual aircraft handling at high altitude likely contributed to the inappropriate piloting inputs and surveillance," it said.

If that's what you were getting at in re the PILOT monitoring function, then your post makes more sense to me than the way it read the first couple of times.
@testpanel
does anybody "needs" a stall warning? we should be trained not to be even closse to it, by various "indications".
You need the warning since the aircraft feedback system doesn't provide cues. Attempting to solve this by training perfect prevention is a good way to fill up a few more graves.
While I completely agree that stall avoidance is the general best practice, stall warning is particularly handy in conditions near stall (approach) where abrupt changes (gusts) or malfunctions can take your margins from comfortable to too darned close ... so yes, stall warning is a good design feature.
1) make sure it works
2) design as well as can be to eliminate spurious stall warning
pnf should be as it means; pilot-NOT-flying, in other companies called "pilot-MONITORING" and thats what he should have been doing.

You know that is NOT what CRM is all about. As to AF447, the PNF was indeed doing that, and more. He had to. (If you were arguing that he wasn't doing it well enough, that was a curious way to state the case).

The PILOT not flying or PILOT monitoring is a role which sometimes requires action ... back to CRM 101 ... for example, when the PILOT flying is cocking it up. (See the CVR extracts for this mishap). I don't recall ever teaching that one keeps monitoring failure. One works to correct error or failure.

PNF (LHS) noted errors and was at one point playing the helpful copilot role to support the PILOT flying (in terms of trying to get him to recognize and correct a pitch up error and a climb), a PILOT whose flying was breaking down. (Were his verbal inputs optimal? Separate discussion, and as I don't speak French, no further comment).

What more do you want this monitoring PILOT to do?
Monitor the screw up all the way down to the ground?
(Come on, you can't feel that way.)

I could make the complaint is that he didn't take the aircraft soon enough, but he also was struggling with his scan and puzzling out airspeed issues ... one can also argue that he didn't prompt the PILOT flying that they needed to get the UAS procedures underway ... but if the guy can't fly the bird straight and level, can you begin to work that QRH? There was apparently a fundamental flying problem underway.

The LHS guy is a PILOT, a role that sometimes requires action.
its sad to see another perfectly-good-aircraft got crashed (buffalo, amsterdam etc etc).
Amen, Deacon.

Also: I had to edit again, I realize my tone was way off base from appropriate.

Apologies for that. :(

sebaska
12th Aug 2011, 13:51
I dunno to what FBW aircraft statistics you take reference ... but for the Airbus FBW serie .. all important accidents were the cause of pilots errors (and some human errors associated) ..... never the aircraft (system or engines or structural) was plain implied in the cause of accidents.
And it's seem's that the AF447 (and the Libyan A330) accident will be added to this list
In fact .. so far .. after read all BEA or NTSB or other reports about Airbus accidents .. the aircraft was always working fine (minus the Sully one and the Qantas A380...) .. the pilots .. no.
Globally today the statistics shown that 75-80 % accidents are caused by pilot errors .....
That's normal that the balance change (more accidents cause pilot errors ) .. as the technology (engines and systems and structures) are more reliable today
You didn't get what I meant... Pilot errors were most frequent (primary) causes of accidents even 40 years ago. And they are now as well, of course. The important thing to notice is that todays total number of accidents (per number of flights or flying hours -- whatever you choose) is significantly (i.e. few times!) less than just the accidents caused by pilot errors those 30-40 years ago. That means than (so) many pilot errors went away. It's either because pilots are so much better today (which is rather hard to belive) or their errors either get corrected or are unable to happen. IOW: those protections do work. Of course CRM progress has helped as well, but all those protections, GPWSes, TCASes, FDs, etc. are primary factors.

BS. They are clearly stating that the airplane will fly safer than any pilot. And therefore implying pilts are not safe.
What he doesnt say of course is that their philosophy without all the protections would be hell, but whatever im not even gonna argue, ab has gone away wih so much stuff its ridiculous.


It's not BS. BS is your overinterpretation :=. And those protections are the primary reasons that from about 2500 heavy FBW planes out there only 4 (or 5 if flight testing is included) were lost while on duty (compared to ~40 out of 1500 of most popular earlier design).

What is worrying is the amount of pilots defending people like the above from the quote.

Maybe they're grown up pilots, who know their limitations and that their duty is to without undue risk get those few hundred souls behind them to their destination not their destiny. There are both old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no bold old pilots, my son.

We've been here before, it seems.....

The 'fidelity' of the simulator 'on the edge and beyond' is doubtful, because of the lack of aerodynamic data 'on the edge and beyond' the envelope. So such training may well lead to installing wrong habits. (The 'low-level' 'maintain altitude' UAS procedures seem to be one of those 'wrong habits'.)

And the 'beancounters' are not going to allow taking real aircraft 'up there' just for training......


I hope you're not proposing that pilots should train stall-recovery (or even approach to stall) while there few hudred pieces of Self Loading Cargo behind them :E .

There is no other option than sims to train dangerous things.

Personal remark....
When the 'brown matter hits the ventilator', initial training, or highly incidental sim training (even if FFS), or incidental glider or aerobatic training (as suggested elsewere), will never be enough.

Until more research is done about 'the edge', and that research is fed back into training, and possibly a look at the aircraft/pilot interface, another 'AF447' is bound to happen sooner or later.

Well, AF447 would not happen if PF handled properly UAS. If that guy simply kept that bird flying (mostly) straight there would be no issue of approach to stall, and no need for stall recovery.
Then I think that sims are capable enough to even train propmpt stall recovery, when the plane is just stalled (with AoA ~7deg at FL350) not when stall was allowed to progress to >40deg AoA.

BESIDES: it looks like that PF was also a glider pilot... So you're apparently right that glider training is no substitute for type training.

morphmorph
12th Aug 2011, 14:22
does anybody "needs" a stall warning? we should be trained not to be even closse to it, by various "indications"Stall warning systems have saved a lot of lifes over the years. People make mistakes (even pilots), and if pilot error did cause an inadvertent approach to the stall would you prefer they discovered about it by means of a stall warning before it happened, giving them adequate time to avoid the stall, or would you prefer they discovered it only after the aircraft actually stalled?

Lonewolf_50
12th Aug 2011, 14:24
You didn't get what I meant... Pilot errors were most frequent (primary) causes of accidents even 40 years ago. And they are now as well, of course. The important thing to notice is that todays total number of accidents (per number of flights or flying hours -- whatever you choose) is significantly (i.e. few times!) less than just the accidents caused by pilot errors those 30-40 years ago. That means than (so) many pilot errors went away. It's either because pilots are so much better today (which is rather hard to belive) or their errors either get corrected or are unable to happen. IOW: those protections do work.
I find your two factor analysis wanting.

The entire system has improved (in some ways, degraded in others), which includes over fifty years of working at crew skills and crew habits, and the improvement thereof. Likewise, there are a pile of things, inputs that pilots must consider, that inform crew decisions. What 40 to 50 years of continual change has also done is make it more common to fly at the edges of performance (and weather and airspace capacity) margins.

THAT change helps the bottom line, as fewer flights are cancelled or diverted, with associated cost, and along with this benefit the system as a whole gets more comfortable with operating at a higher risk profile. (Take down ATC radar and see what that does to the tightly timed and coreographed spacing around LaGuardia, for example.)

You might want to consider that in your accident and causation analysis.

Also, as another poster raised this point in the other thread ... what behaviors and decisions are rewarded by the company, and by the industry (by pay or strokes or reinforcement) and what are discouraged?

That will influence decision making, and thus your mishap rate.

dlcmdrx
12th Aug 2011, 16:54
The meaning of the original comment is that sometimes a computer is better at handling an aeroplane than a human - which is spot-on. If your ego can't handle that, don't sit in a cockpit, because it's that attitude which leads to accidents.

Amusing, yet to be determined if those fabulous systems of yours have killed 200 people and you still will affirm those things. Whatever. I guess perpignan or quito wasnt enough

Jazz Hands
12th Aug 2011, 17:04
Go and check your history, dlcmdrx, especially regarding Perpignan. And Quito, for that matter. When you're better educated on both accidents, come back.

MountainBear
12th Aug 2011, 18:10
The important thing to notice is that todays total number of accidents (per number of flights or flying hours -- whatever you choose) is significantly (i.e. few times!) less than just the accidents caused by pilot errors those 30-40 years ago. That means than (so) many pilot errors went away. It's either because pilots are so much better today (which is rather hard to belive) or their errors either get corrected or are unable to happen. IOW: those protections do work. Of course CRM progress has helped as well, but all those protections, GPWSes, TCASes, FDs, etc. are primary factors.That's a guess, and nothing more.

It's a fact that flight safety has improved. Why it has improved in terms of specific interventions is a different question. One of the problems with comments like yours is that it ignores the role of luck in the equation and attributes all the statistical improvements to mankind.

Some people in the airline industry often think that they are the only ones dealing with issues surrounding extremely unlikely events. They are not. Lotteries are another field where this discussion rears its heard all the time. There is a nice non-academic article that talks about this issue here (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kiriblakeley/2011/07/21/meet-the-luckiest-woman-in-the-world/). I especially like the article because it breaks down the thinking of the two different camps nicely. One camp is willing to put it down to luck. The other camp “When something this unlikely happens in a casino, you arrest ‘em first and ask questions later.”

The question "Did she cheat?" is no different than the question "Who is to blame for the crash of AF447?" My response is that she has the money; you don't. AF447 crashed. If you are going to take that money away from her the burden of proof is on you to prove that that she cheated. If you are going to argue that CRM improved safety, prove it. If you are going to argue that bad CRM was to blame for AF448, prove it. You can't. All you can say is something along the lines "it's possible that she won fairly but it's more probable that she cheated." That's why the findings in an accident report are based upon the probable cause of the accident, not the definitive fact. I await the day, however, when the NTSB or CAA or BEA finds the probable cause of an accident to be "bad luck".

aguadalte
12th Aug 2011, 18:29
tespanel:
does anybody "needs" a stall warning? we should be trained not to be even closse to it, by various "indications".
Would you please enlighten us all, as to what "indications" do you think the AF447 pilots had (apart from the stall warning) when AP failed?
thanks

Jazz Hands
12th Aug 2011, 18:39
Would you please enlighten us all, as to what "indications" do you think the AF447 pilots had (apart from the stall warning) when AP failed?


Buffet, as indicated in the BEA report?

Pitch-up, as probably indicated on the attitude display?

Sudden increase in altitude, despite the flying pilot mentioning to both the captain and the second co-pilot that the REC MAX was only FL375?

There may be others.

aguadalte
12th Aug 2011, 19:07
Thanks JH:
Buffet, as indicated in the BEA report?

Pitch-up, as probably indicated on the attitude display?

Sudden increase in altitude, despite the flying pilot mentioning to both the captain and the second co-pilot that the REC MAX was only FL375?

There may be others. Buffet could be one of them, although could also be confused with turbulence;
Pitch-up would have been another indication, if not for the "probably indicated" interjection you have used in your answer, because (like me) you are not sure. I haven't seen a good explanation for this message, yet 2:13:14FLR/FR0906010211 34123406IR2 1,EFCS1X,IR1,IR3,,,,ADIRU2 (1FP2),HARD;
and although I recognize they have completely obliterated their previous concerns regarding climbing restrictions, FL375 would have given them a 1,3G protection (in steady flight circumstances), so FL380 would have given them, what? 1,1G, 1,2G?.
But there are more, I'm sure. And altogether would have meant to a clear minded pilot, that he would be approaching the edge of stall...

aguadalte
12th Aug 2011, 19:24
Further to what I have said on the previous post, my question still is:
Would the PF, if flying a yoke equipped non-FBW aircraft, have stated at time: 02:11,58
I have a problem it’s
that I don’t have vertical
speed indication
...
I have no more displays

I have the impression
that we have some
crazy speed no what do
you think?

(my bold and underlining)

An important "indication" of a stalled aircraft is given to the pilot via yoke or stick feed-back. And "that one indication" he didn't have...

Jazz Hands
12th Aug 2011, 20:08
Add to that, the rolling motion of the wings, symptomatic of asymmetric loss of lift...

deSitter
12th Aug 2011, 21:22
It is absurd to posit that automation and crew disconnection have increased safety. The modern turbofan engine, materials engineering advances, and real-time weather forecasting are primarily responsible for airline safety improvements. Having a crew that can't fly an airplane is obviously not helping safety. I know 225 people who would have agreed.

bubbers44
12th Aug 2011, 21:30
I agree, automation, if it had continued working, was the only way these guys could have survived. Their flying skills killed everybody because they didn't have any basic skills.

deSitter
12th Aug 2011, 21:32
Oh I agree there! Automation is wonderful when there are no pilots aboard!

DozyWannabe
12th Aug 2011, 22:16
It is absurd to posit that automation and crew disconnection have increased safety.

But it is disingenuous to blame automation as the primary factor in what you term "crew disconnection". The real problem lies in the attitude of the airlines and their senior management in the endless drive to increase profits (and by extension bonuses and shareholder dividends) by cutting costs wherever possible - of which abusing automation (which despite the hyperbole has always been intended as a pilot *aid*, not a pilot replacement) is merely one facet.

captdaddy
12th Aug 2011, 22:40
Can somebody please tell me what the pilots were seeing in front of them and not what the FDR and CVR tell us was going on ?....without KNOWING (not guessing or assuming) what was being DISPLAYED to the cockpit I think it is erroneous and even irresponsible to make a judgement about how inept a crew was...a blacked out sim with blank and contradictory screens is alot different than gauges that are pegged out either at zero or max....that's the problem I have with all video/LCD displays where some main computer decides to just not send info to various screens because you are outside the "box" of a particular regime of flight...but again the point is NOBODY has been able to establish WHAT was being displayed to the COCKPIT.

deSitter
12th Aug 2011, 22:56
That's a patently absurd argument. Minus the gewgaws of automation, what training would a pilot receive? Surely how to combat a stall - or even simply to understand the risk! I get the strong feeling that these modern crew lack basic knowledge of flight dynamics, as well as the simple kinesthetic understanding of being in charge of a large and fast machine. The entire issue of the sidestick is absolutely revealing - the body is completely disconnected from the machine - you don't even fly it, you point it here and there and wait for error reports. It's a video game in the sky.

Let's not forget that last year, a Libyan crew flew a perfectly good A330 right into the ground.

The entire philosophy of cheapness coupled to gizmoism is responsible. Everybody's an expert. Everyone gets a trophy. Don't we all feel good? But it's cold at the bottom of the sea.

Dalex64
12th Aug 2011, 23:00
That sounds like an argument for putting cameras in the cockpit.

Would it be so bad if they were only pointed at the instrumentation?

dlcmdrx
12th Aug 2011, 23:42
Oh I agree there! Automation is wonderful when there are no pilots aboard!


Is this really a pilots forum??

Go and check your history, dlcmdrx, especially regarding Perpignan. And Quito, for that matter. When you're better educated on both accidents, come back.


Let me guess, you are one of those that say the only fault of perpignan was of the pilots for not being prepared before hand right??

And as far as quito you are one of those that say that the 20 year experienced captain didnt know how to land a plane right??

Check out Bilbao 2001 and come back when you are not so biased in favor of airbus.

DozyWannabe
12th Aug 2011, 23:44
That's a patently absurd argument. Minus the gewgaws of automation, what training would a pilot receive? Surely how to combat a stall - or even simply to understand the risk! I get the strong feeling that these modern crew lack basic knowledge of flight dynamics, as well as the simple kinesthetic understanding of being in charge of a large and fast machine.

But you don't even get your PPL unless you've done stall and spin training and understand the basics to at least some degree. Hell, I was taught about stalling before they even let me up in a Chippy for my first AEF flight!

The problem is that this training is not being maintained by the airlines.


The entire issue of the sidestick is absolutely revealing - the body is completely disconnected from the machine - you don't even fly it, you point it here and there and wait for error reports. It's a video game in the sky.

There hasn't been a new airliner design with directly-connected controls since the '60s. Everything since then has been variations on mechanical and electronic artificial feel while the hydraulics do all the heavy lifting. As I've argued previously, the yoke can be a crutch - just look at the crews who didn't let them go even after it was clear that they'd lost all hydraulic pressure.

If your company doesn't like handflying on the line, pressure them to make you practice it in the sim, or get yourself into a flying club that will allow you to practice maneouvres in your off-duty time.

Let's not forget that last year, a Libyan crew flew a perfectly good A330 right into the ground.

Due to which it could be argued (though I'm not arguing) that the Airbus guy who said they didn't recommend handflying on the line had a point!

The entire philosophy of cheapness coupled to gizmoism is responsible. Everybody's an expert. Everyone gets a trophy. Don't we all feel good? But it's cold at the bottom of the sea.

The only widebody that tried to use old-fashioned techniques exclusively was the DC-10, and that led the designers to miss points of failure that they didn't take into account, like the pressurised air volume being so much larger than anything they'd built to date that a significantly large hole in the fuselage could collapse the floor, under which they'd laid the supposedly redundant controls - all of them.

Funnily enough, one of AA's senior captains didn't like what the Douglas guys said about it being impossible for the DC-10 to lose all hydraulics (and consequently all flight controls), and was able to wangle enough simulator time to learn how to control the thing using differential thrust. His name was Bryce McCormick, and the only reason that there weren't significantly more air crash fatalities in 1972 than there actually were was because he happened to be the captain on the flight on which it happened.

Ultimately engineering is there to solve problems, and the FBW advances were designed to solve the problems of reducing weight and thereby extending range and capacity, exposing less of the hydraulic system to risk by making more use of redundant electronic controls and as an added bonus, using obsolete, reliable computer technology to assist pilots with the workload. Airbus's relative newcomer status and lack of legacy models also meant they could get a jump on flight deck commonality across the range.

To hear you talk you'd think that the FBW systems of both Airbus and Boeing were designed with no pilot input at all, when in fact pilots were heavily involved in the specification for both. You're also conflating FBW with the advent of FMS systems, which predated the A320's arrival in service by 16 years, and were enthusiastically adopted by Boeing (in the 757 and 767) and McDonnell-Douglas (in the MD-11) shortly afterwards.

deSitter
13th Aug 2011, 02:00
Don't lecture me on accident reports. I'm well aware of all the things that can and do go wrong. But I always have confidence that the men and women up front will do their best on bad days. I assume there exists a culture of aviation that has its own internal rules, that are not all based on politics, and that in particular, pilots, like concert pianists, would be especially jealous of the honor of their guild, and would not admit members who were not up to snuff.

jcjeant
13th Aug 2011, 03:52
Hi,

To hear you talk you'd think that the FBW systems of both Airbus and Boeing were designed with no pilot input at all, when in fact pilots were heavily involved in the specification for bothIt's many urban rumours about Airbus
Pilots were heavily involved in the specification of Airbus is one of them :8

britfrog
13th Aug 2011, 06:54
do not make the mistake that all pilots , like all doctors, all lawyers etc are good and professional. As I know from first hand experience of being a check pilot for many years there is an awful amount of dross out there.

Gretchenfrage
13th Aug 2011, 08:04
Dozy, you wrote:

Ultimately engineering is there to solve problems, and the FBW advances were designed to solve the problems of reducing weight and thereby extending range and capacity, exposing less of the hydraulic system to risk by making more use of redundant electronic controls and as an added bonus, using obsolete, reliable computer technology to assist pilots with the workload.

To hear you talk you'd think that the FBW systems of both Airbus and Boeing were designed with no pilot input at all, when in fact pilots were heavily involved in the specification for both.

First, those two statements somewhat contradict each other. At least it demonstrates the heavy unbalance of input, as the commercial pressure certainly would dictate.
Second, I consent that some pilots were involved in design. But which ones?? Most probably management pilots and technical pilots. Now most experienced line dogs will agree, that they are not bad guys, but somewhat estranged to daily operations.
The statements of some manufacturers when launching new technology emphasized way more on how to protect everything from pilot’s mishandling and gaining weight, than giving pilots the right tools to overcome the threats out there, whatever they may be, wherever they originate.

The big issue with Airbus was and still remains the lack of feedback on controls. They let their aircraft use one single channel to communicate with the pilot, the one through the eye, meaning an intellectual, a serial input to the brain. To a small degree they use the audio channel as well, however in this particular case shows how small: The THS movement is not audio connected, you can’t hear it moving, you need to look at it again, with your single serial channel.

Don’t bother mentioning the weight issue, with columns and thrust levers. We don’t need the absolute direct and precisely interlinked feedback from the different systems, what would make the thing heavy. You can buy a rumble joystick and a simple thrust level duplicator for a few bucks in any game shop (not wanting to implement such a cheap solution remains therefore a matter of pride and principle).
A simple movement in the direction of input from the collegue or from the AP/AT is sufficient. We only need the tactile feedback serving the other channel input to our brain. That one works parallel to the intellectual one, thus not impeding it. Additionally we all know that such input is some factors faster than the intellectual one.

It boggles my mind that this has not been sincerely addressed by the regulators or investigators:

WHY DEPRIVE THE HUMAN OF AN INPUT CHANNEL INTO HIS CONTROLLING DEVICE? A CHANNEL THAT IS OLDER AND MORE INSTINCTIVE AND MUCH FASTER THAN THE ONE HE LATER AQUIRED, THE INTELLECTUAL ONE?

As a pilot being placed into the modern cockpit to supervise and program the automation and to intervene when it screws up, I need all the channels and inputs I can get, especially the parallel ones, as my brain starts working more constrainly in stress.

You can point at the not using the unreliable speed checklist, badly using the stall recovery procedure, not realizing the THS position, not knowing that the stall warning goes out below 60kts, being slow in realizing that the AT was off, the lever position not where the power was, having tocheck on ECAM and click up and then down with it, etc. etc. (all single channel eye-brain operations).

But what bugs me more is the switching of stick priority back and forth, no double inputs, as this is not allowed, the swinging of the stick up-down-left-right, the moving of the thrust to TOGA-idle-TOGA and so forth, the shouting “I have no control”.
It reveals a completely lost PF(no feedback on his tactile channel), a PNF that has no clue what the PF is swinging (again no tactile feedback).
Not that this would be the initial reason for the crash, but to me it certainly points to a huge weak spot of the Airbus design.

I know however that I will be cried down by the lobbyist and all others will shrug their shoulders and say “so what, there are so many ABs flying around and so much money involved, nothing is going to change”.

Let us thus wait for the next pilot error

jcjeant
13th Aug 2011, 08:42
Hi,

What about the next step ....
The use of voice recognition software ... and the pilot will not even have to use his hands and feet ... he will just talk to the aircraft via the microphone ..
Even the disabled can finally be pilots

Jazz Hands
13th Aug 2011, 08:47
Let me guess, you are one of those that say the only fault of perpignan was of the pilots for not being prepared before hand right??




Several things went wrong in Perpignan, not the least of which was the deliberate erosion of safety margins which are there to provide the wiggle-room needed to get yourself out of a fix.

If you ignore the basic preparations, and cut corners, and rush procedures, and perform stunts at 3,000ft which are meant to be done at 12,000ft, and wrongly assume - despite being a test flight - that the aeroplane is fully functional, then it's a bit much to start blaming the automation once you've boxed yourself in and left yourself no time, space or height to work it out. And that's assuming you've been adequately trained in the first place.

I don't have an Airbus bias. I've just read too many accident reports where basic airmanship seems to have gone out of the window.

Owain Glyndwr
13th Aug 2011, 09:10
Gretchenfage:

Second, I consent that some pilots were involved in design. But which ones?? Most probably management pilots and technical pilots. Now most experienced line dogs will agree, that they are not bad guys, but somewhat estranged to daily operations.

I know better than to indulge in arguments with pilots, but since I happen to have known the pilot most involved in the development of the AI FBW system (Gordon Corps), I must take up cudgels on his behalf - he died tragically walking to a crash site in the Himalayas.

Contrary to the somewhat snide slur implied by "not bad guys, but not really up to the job" Gordon was an ex ARB, ex CAA, test pilot who had flown many more types than, I suspect, anyone else writing in this forum. This for passing them off in certification, not joy riding. He probably knew more of the good and bad points of As and Bs and quite a few other manufacturer's designs than any line pilot.

So please - check on facts before denigrating the manufacturers pilots!

Mimpe
13th Aug 2011, 09:59
A bit off track, but as much of the discussion has been on the limitations of automation and the pilot response.

People ridicule the upset recovery system used by Cirrus in its user friendly SE GA aircraft.

I bet if the 3 crew faced with the first 15 -18000 ft of altitud loss had a magic (last resort button ) to press that would rectify the upset, and put it back in S and L flight attitude at 85 % odd throttle , they would have been more than relieved.

TJHarwood
13th Aug 2011, 10:52
As this forum is meandering far more than the main AF447 (thread 5) forum on the key issues, could we please not lose total focus? The industry is safer, and automation has played its part. The significance of AF447, and several other LOC incidents in recent years, is assessing where the industry currently is in the limited circumstances where pilots are left to their own devices. Aircraft are stopping pilots making many mistakes which could turn fatal, and I think most veterans would accept that, but can we say that many commercial airline pilots are ready to now suddenly be handed back manual control and ride to the rescue in the way most could once have done......? We are where we are through AF447, and it is not happy reading.:ugh:

britfrog
13th Aug 2011, 13:23
sadly there is a similarity between the 2 accidents, ie the pilot over riding the system, only a raving loony would practice flight at the bottom of the envelope with no altitude or hope of recovery if the sh-t hit the fan, the perpignan accident was very poor piloting nothing else and so was af447 there is no inherent problem with the a/c but sadly there are a few nuts behind the column that need a bit of tightening. the modern regime that insists that the autopilot should fly the a/c has some merit as the a/c can fly happily by itself however the side affect of this is that pilots do not any longer get enough hands on experience and they forget the old adage first aviate then navigate. what kind of a pilot holds an a/c at up to 43% nose up for up to 75 seconds and still keeps the joystick fully aft? and he hasnt realised after this time what is going on? this is beyond reason it is sheer madness. The only sane conclusion, however unlikely, is that he wanted to commit suicide.

DozyWannabe
13th Aug 2011, 15:01
Second, I consent that some pilots were involved in design. But which ones?? Most probably management pilots and technical pilots. Now most experienced line dogs will agree, that they are not bad guys, but somewhat estranged to daily operations.

As I understood it the group from which requirements were drawn involved a fairly broad cross-section of pilots.

The big issue with Airbus was and still remains the lack of feedback on controls. They let their aircraft use one single channel to communicate with the pilot, the one through the eye, meaning an intellectual, a serial input to the brain. To a small degree they use the audio channel as well, however in this particular case shows how small: The THS movement is not audio connected, you can’t hear it moving, you need to look at it again, with your single serial channel.

I'd venture to say that *your* big issue with Airbus is the lack of tactile feedback. You're not alone, Heino Caesar of Lufthansa felt the same way - however a lot of pilots have no issue whatsoever with it.

You can buy a rumble joystick and a simple thrust level duplicator for a few bucks in any game shop (not wanting to implement such a cheap solution remains therefore a matter of pride and principle).

If you really believe it's that simple, give it a try, and good luck getting that gear certified. "Pride and principle?" - rubbish. In order to pass certification the devices have to be proved to be able to resist failure to a probability ratio of 10^-9 per hour. My CH simming gear went back twice - the first time failing after 6 months, and that was kept in a dry, sealed box, not constantly exposed to the ever-changing temperature and humidity of a line aircraft - though somewhat ironically, the cheapo rumble stick that I used when flying the A320 sim (sadly, I don't have the free time anymore) never gave me a day's trouble.

We only need the tactile feedback serving the other channel input to our brain.

Who do you mean by "we"? If you mean pilots, then it's clear that a significant number consider it a "nice to have" rather than a necessity in day-to-day operations, otherwise Airbus would never have been able to challenge Boeing in the airliner stakes.

If you mean human beings in general, I'd say that it becomes a matter of training and what we become used to. I maintain that tactile feedback is useful in the initial training scenario in order to accustom the pilot with the inputs required to maneouvre the aircraft, and additionally to understand the factors of how air resistance affects the control surfaces at various attitudes and speeds - in line flying, when you're supposed to have all that stuff (as well as stall recognition and recovery) down, I (along with others) don't see it as so much of a necessity.

WHY DEPRIVE THE HUMAN OF AN INPUT CHANNEL INTO HIS CONTROLLING DEVICE? A CHANNEL THAT IS OLDER AND MORE INSTINCTIVE AND MUCH FASTER THAN THE ONE HE LATER AQUIRED, THE INTELLECTUAL ONE?

No need to shout. As I said earlier there are several things to take into account. The A320 project went onto the drawing board in 1982 and was just about ready to enter service by 1988. This meant that in those 6 years (which is by no means a short time to develop an airliner) every new system had to go through a long certification process which, coupled with the engineering complexity maxim, meant that those systems had to be kept as simple as possible.

Combine this with the fact that the hardware specified had to be proven and therefore a few years old at the time. I'd hazard a guess that the hardware was specified around 1985, which meant the venerable (in computer terms) 80186 (introduced 1982) and 68000 (introduced 1979) were pressed into service. They were quite advanced for their time, but even by the standards of the late '80s and early '90s they were fairly low down the pecking order performance-wise. When Boeing caught on to how the airlines were responding to the new FBW offerings and put the 777 on the drawing board, they had more advanced proven technology to work with, and so the complexity of a force-feedback system was less of a challenge. Added to which the FBW concept in general had been proven by Airbus, so Boeing probably had an easier job getting their basic control logic systems certified in the first place.

As a pilot being placed into the modern cockpit to supervise and program the automation and to intervene when it screws up, I need all the channels and inputs I can get, especially the parallel ones, as my brain starts working more constrainly in stress.

What this tells me is that you have an innate distrust of technology, and that colours your perception of the systems - which is quite ironic given that the modern Airbus and Boeing systems are designed to degrade quite gracefully - they've convinced the certification authorities and the regulators that they won't automatically control you into an unstable attitude and then hand you back the controls, yet you seem to be fully convinced that they will.

Now I'm not saying they won't or can't, but I believe the chances of it happening are suitably remote, and I hope that given a competent pilot, the aircraft is capable of being recovered in the highly unlikely event that they ever do.

You can point at the not using the unreliable speed checklist, badly using the stall recovery procedure, not realizing the THS position, not knowing that the stall warning goes out below 60kts, being slow in realizing that the AT was off, the lever position not where the power was, having tocheck on ECAM and click up and then down with it, etc. etc. (all single channel eye-brain operations).

That's a fair amount of conjecture in there, and a couple of outright misapprehensions. They didn't perform the stall recovery procedure *at all*, the PNF clearly called out that A/P and A/THR were off, followed by announcing Alternate Law - and none of us know whether the PNF was ever "head down" reading the ECAM messages, let alone scrolling through them - he certainly seemed to be aware enough of how the PF was controlling the aircraft to tell him several times that he was overcontrolling in pitch and roll.

But what bugs me more is the switching of stick priority back and forth, no double inputs, as this is not allowed, the swinging of the stick up-down-left-right, the moving of the thrust to TOGA-idle-TOGA and so forth, the shouting “I have no control”.

He had no control because he'd stalled the aircraft! Look, regarding the priority switch, the Airbus design (due to the factors I mentioned earlier) was designed to operate in an environment where the crew follow procedure, which is that one pilot should be PF and the other PNF at any given time in 99% of operational situations, and as such is an aid to enforcing CRM and flight deck discipline. Double inputs *are* allowed by the system, but they are summed, meaning that in an emergency situation, the pilots can theoretically command twice normal pitch-and-roll rate in an emergency situation if they co-ordinate properly, and that a pilot can counteract the inputs of an incapacitated pilot in the other seat if the situation is recognised. Compare that to the old yoke system whereby whoever was the strongest decided the direction of the aircraft, or the more modern yoke in the 767 when opposite inputs cause the elevators to move in opposite directions (as EgyptAir 990 appeared to prove).

It reveals a completely lost PF(no feedback on his tactile channel), a PNF that has no clue what the PF is swinging (again no tactile feedback).
Not that this would be the initial reason for the crash, but to me it certainly points to a huge weak spot of the Airbus design.

But that's just it - you're hammering the known aspects of this case into the frame of your particular dislike of the Airbus design. There's no evidence that the PNF was unaware of the inputs being made because he told the PF to ease off several times, and there's no evidence that tactile feedback would have told the PF that he was overcontrolling, and it looks like he simply had no appreciation of how little input is actually required to get positive response from the aircraft at altitude.

I know however that I will be cried down by the lobbyist and all others will shrug their shoulders and say “so what, there are so many ABs flying around and so much money involved, nothing is going to change”.

It's so easy to blame lobbyists and beancounters, because it's not well-known by the public that pilots were involved in the Airbus FBW design, that the march towards pilotless airliners was a fabrication of the press (as was the junk about the Habsheim A320 "thinking it was going to land") and that the politics being played by pilot's unions in the wake of the A320's introduction were largely a response to the cr*p being spouted by the press, and not because they'd flown the A320 and found it wanting.

Let us thus wait for the next pilot error

This wasn't just pilot error, this is a systemic problem affecting the airlines and the industry as a whole. PPLs start their ATPL training knowing how to recognise and recover from a stall - that this knowledge is not periodically revised and enforced is a sad indictment of the real issues that cost-cutting and poor corporate morale produce.

Kalium Chloride
13th Aug 2011, 15:14
Just to add to DozyWannabe's comments, the nonsense is further compounded by the data in an earlier interim report showing many other cases of A330s and A340s encountering precisely the same circumstances - two of them in the same week as AF447 - but never making it to the front page.

Why? My guess is that the crews handled the aircraft with the required bit of professional respect and care, and it responded without any problems.

Petercwelch
13th Aug 2011, 16:26
Would not a relatively simple and I believe inexpensive AOA indicator have helped these poor pilots. Why is there not one on the panel or is there?

jcjeant
13th Aug 2011, 16:35
Hi,

however a lot of pilots have no issue whatsoever with it.

Maybe the AF447 crew are not in this group
Unfortunately they can't more report .. but they let us a testimony with the CVR

Zorin_75
13th Aug 2011, 17:03
Would not a relatively simple and I believe inexpensive AOA indicator have helped these poor pilots.
My guess is if at that point they'd known what to do with an AoA gauge, they wouldn't have needed one in the first place...

oldchina
13th Aug 2011, 17:06
There was no AOA indicator on the AF A330. I'm not sure whether it is an option. The BEA's latest report recommends that the reg. authorities study the case for making it mandatory.

On one hand it would be hard to be against it, given that during the final four minutes none of the three pilots recognised they were stalled, not even talking about it as a possibility.

On the other hand, for most of the way down it was AOA that was setting off the stall warning. Presumably they didn't think that was reliable.

MountainBear
13th Aug 2011, 17:16
This wasn't just pilot error, this is a systemic problem affecting the airlines and the industry as a whole. PPLs start their ATPL training knowing how to recognise and recover from a stall - that this knowledge is not periodically revised and enforced is a sad indictment of the real issues that cost-cutting and poor corporate morale produce. I understand your desire to shill on the part of the airline manufacturer as it seems your livelihood is attached to it. Nevertheless, this accident is primarily a manufacturer's problem, not an operator's problem. That's the historical trend. For more than 75 years the liability of the manufacturer has been increasing, not decreasing. You can blame that history on the pilot's union, you can blame it on the press, you can blame it on whatever you like but casting blame doesn't change the underlying reality it just evidences your irritation at it.

The underlying reality that Airbus (and Boeing for that matter) can't escape is this. In a matter of 30 seconds the PF managed to kill 200+ people and cost the people of France hundreds of millions of dollars. That French crew did more damage to France in blood and treasure than the recent riots in England did to the English. How could so few people do so much damage so fast. Paeans to pilot competence ring hallow. As a cultural matter in the Western world we expect technology to solve our problems. Right or wrong, good or bad, that is the expectation. And the person responsible for the technology and the hardware in the airline business is the manufacturer.

ChristiaanJ
13th Aug 2011, 17:37
How have thousands, nay, millions, of pilots flown their aircraft without AoA indicators....?

To me, it seems a red herring.

Thery're useful for carrier-based aircraft.
They were fitted on Concorde (a somewhat unusual aircraft configuration - and even there, they were on the side of the panel, not inside the primary scan).

Can anybody, and preferably a pilot, comment on the practical use of an AoA indicator ? How would you "fly" it ? How would you train for using it ? In particular during an unrecognised stall at F370 ?

CONF iture
13th Aug 2011, 17:38
Double inputs *are* allowed by the system, but they are summed, meaning that in an emergency situation, the pilots can theoretically command twice normal pitch-and-roll rate in an emergency situation if they co-ordinate properly
Dozy, don't lecture people when you know that little ...


There's no evidence that the PNF was unaware of the inputs being made because he told the PF to ease off several times
What do you know about being PNF on a FBW Airbus after all ?

Lyman
13th Aug 2011, 17:43
Yes, a Red Herring. The 'AoA' is already in the cockpit. The Shaker, the pusher, the Horn, etc. Do what they say, or.....die.


Spend the money on BUSS. It's here, available, and it costs only money. The knock on BUSS is by the beanies, "It ruins the trip", Law disruption, etc. Only avaliable below xxx, etc. Point is, it is consistent with AB Philosophy. Buy it, Train it, and move on.

Mr Optimistic
13th Aug 2011, 20:24
In this particular case it is hard to disagree with Zorin 75.

Lonewolf_50
13th Aug 2011, 22:59
ChristianJ: you don't fly an oil pressure gauge, but you need one nonetheless to tell you what's going on.

See also the AoA gauge, in an airliner's cockpit, a good cross check in certain situations so you know what's going on.

But Zorin made a decent point: with what looks to be a scan breakdown among two pilots, who would the AoA gauge have helped? Most likely the Captain in this case, as he entered and tried to suss out the problem.

bubbers44
13th Aug 2011, 23:36
I flew 76 different types of airplanes and the only one with an AOA gauge was the citation jet. It was fun to look at but didn't really do anything. Sure, put an AOA gauge in every airplane and see how safety improves. It works well for carrier landings otherwise just fly the F....n airplane, you don't need it. Honor stall warnings and if you ever get one in your career ask yourself how it happened. Then never do it again.

stepwilk
13th Aug 2011, 23:38
Can anybody, and preferably a pilot, comment on the practical use of an AoA indicator ? How would you "fly" it ?

The ones I've flown, you "fly the needle," or lights, or indicator bar. In other words, If the needle/bar is slowly heading upward on the panel instrument, deeper into the yellow band and toward the dreaded red at the top, you "push it down"--add power and maybe a bit of forward stick. The display is typically either vertical or half-round, like a VSI though usually reversed--pointing to starboard rather than port.

Conversely, if you want to slow to approach speed, you bring the needle/bar up out of green by reducing power and adding a bit of back stick or trim, then watch the needle/bar rise into the yellow band as you "pull it up."

AoAs are remarkable instruments, and I've always been amazed that they aren't more broadly used.

DC-ATE
14th Aug 2011, 00:06
You don't need no stinkin' AOA. As bubbers44 says: "just fly the F....n airplane..."

Petercwelch
14th Aug 2011, 00:07
I believe for technical reasons the stall warning was not continuously sounding despite the persistence of an aerodynamic stall. These guys did not recognize a stall IFR at night with lots of other alarms. AOA indicator might have alerted them to the fatal condition. It also might help avoid some stall spin accidents in small aircraft,not a rare cause of death.

ChrisJ800
14th Aug 2011, 00:36
Ive read the CVR transcript from the 3rd interim report and it opens up a lot of questions that I know you have been debating. I have one immediate question:

Is that the complete transcript as it says its an "Extract" so do we take that to mean that the transcripting of the CVR has not been completed?

As there seem to be many communication gaps and obvious things you would expect the crew to be discussing given stall warnings etc.

Machinbird
14th Aug 2011, 00:37
Can anybody, and preferably a pilot, comment on the practical use of an AoA indicator ? How would you "fly" it ? How would you train for using it ? In particular during an unrecognised stall at F370 ?

I've flown with the AOA indicator for the aforesaid carrier landings role, and given the choice I would want one in the cockpit of any highly wing loaded aircraft I was flying, whether or not it was flying aboard a ship.
We used it also for maneuvering limits, unusual attitude recovery (to avoid entering a spin) and it was always available as a backup to airspeed for lowering gear and flaps as well as setting a safe approach speed.
Now you guys flying airliners around do not plan on landing on aircraft carriers, but the maneuvering limits and unusual attitude recovery would have applied very well to AF447.
So next time a bird plugs up your pitot tube, what do you plan to do for an alternative?

bubbers44
14th Aug 2011, 01:08
Yes, I guess occasionally AOA would be helpful with plugged pitot tubes but these guys couldn't have figured it out no matter what they had, they both panicked so couldn't fly the airplane. They needed the captain to sort it out for them because they couldn't. Kind of a sorry state for our new pilots who need someone to watch over them.

stepwilk
14th Aug 2011, 01:08
You don't need no stinkin' AOA.

Ever used one? Somehow I doubt it.

DC-ATE
14th Aug 2011, 01:55
Nope.....never used one.....never needed one.....never wanted one. I don't have to worry any more either. RETARDED.....I mean RETIRED !!

jcjeant
14th Aug 2011, 02:00
Hi,

Ive read the CVR transcript from the 3rd interim report and it opens up a lot of questions that I know you have been debating. I have one immediate question:

Is that the complete transcript as it says its an "Extract" so do we take that to mean that the transcripting of the CVR has not been completed?

As there seem to be many communication gaps and obvious things you would expect the crew to be discussing given stall warnings etc. Actually .. the BEA have the full CVR (voices and background noises) and so also the full CVR transcript
They have also the full FDR data
They just decided to release fragments (transcripts) of those in the interim report N°3
These are selected pieces of BEA
Ce sont les morceaux choisis du BEA

AvMed.IN
14th Aug 2011, 02:16
Besides the system failure, due to suspected malfunction of the pitot head, BEA's third interim report points towards likely lacuna in training (http://www.avmed.in/2011/07/orientation-pilot-training-–-the-lacuna/) in recovery from stall at high altitude. This brings us back to the need for relook at the training (http://www.avmed.in/2011/06/do-flight-simulators-help-in-transfer-of-learning/) in human factors and performance, including maintaining Situational Awareness (http://www.avmed.in/2011/03/lost-it-situational-awareness/) through all phases of flight.

Lyman
14th Aug 2011, 03:02
Rananim

On the traces for the Elevators and the THS, shown is the THS remaining in position at -3 degrees during the fatal climb. At the Top of the climb, the airframe STALLED, and it was at this point the THS started to lumber full NU. This migration was caused by the demand of the Pilot and the a/c's low airspeed.

At this point, well into the LOC, the Pilot would probably have selected more elevator and more THS TRIM, if available. He had applied TOGA, and was holding the stick back full. This isn't consistent with a Pilot who would be looking for ND TRIM. It may have everything to do with why no one found NOSE DOWN.

A belabored point, but the fatal accident happened well in advance of the STALL. That is the issue. The answer to the crash is in the a/c layout, the controls management, automatique, and the Pilot's responsibilities at the loss of NORMAL LAW. IMHO.

Taking sides is madness. That way lies BAU.

iceman50
14th Aug 2011, 03:03
Rananim

Sorry but you are incorrect, there are forces on the sidestick, it does not just flop about! As the trim had moved to nose up "significant" effort would be required to hold the stick forward to get the nose down. It would be much "easier" to hold back stick as the "pilot flying" did.

Lyman
14th Aug 2011, 03:06
iceman, wdr, I think that is mostly nonsense.

Define: "Flop About"?

Machinbird
14th Aug 2011, 03:51
Bubbers44
Yes, I guess occasionally AOA would be helpful with plugged pitot tubes but these guys couldn't have figured it out no matter what they had, they both panicked so couldn't fly the airplane. They needed the captain to sort it out for them because they couldn't. Kind of a sorry state for our new pilots who need someone to watch over them.

I generally agree that AF447's crew's training was deficient. Initially I thought that issues in roll control overrode the pilot's ability to keep the nose where he wanted it, but now I am inclined to believe that the PF could have been in Normal law and would still have caused a climb because his scan was completely broken and disfunctional.

He palmed the stick from the start. The amplitude and frequency of control movement is the indicator. That is no way to fly smoothly!

The PNF must have been so concerned with the PF's technique, he didn't start the UAS drill, but instead nagged him to control the aircraft. (The PF's control technique was a greater emergency than UAS.)
He should have given him an ultimatum to get the aircraft back on altitude or he would take control-and then acted. PNF's efforts to get the Captain back on the flight deck delayed proper corrective action tremendously. Sometimes you just have to take charge, whether you are mentally ready or not.

If you were to ask the average Airbus pilot to fly an S-1 or S-3 pattern manually in alternate 2 law (with a little turbulence to make things interesting) up at cruise altitude, I think a lot would be very embarassed.
I don't think the average B pilot is likely to do much better in his favorite machine either. (Note: S-1 and S-3 Patterns are USN basic instrument instruction maneuvers). Maybe we need to emphasize instrument fundamentals again.

S-1 pattern
http://home.comcast.net/~shademaker/S-1Pattern.jpg

S-3 Pattern
http://home.comcast.net/~shademaker/S-3Pattern.jpg

Gretchenfrage
14th Aug 2011, 05:21
Owain

Contrary to the somewhat snide slur implied by "not bad guys, but not really up to the job" Gordon was an ex ARB, ex CAA, test pilot who had flown many more types than, I suspect, anyone else writing in this forum. This for passing them off in certification, not joy riding. He probably knew more of the good and bad points of As and Bs and quite a few other manufacturer's designs than any line pilot.
So please - check on facts before denigrating the manufacturers pilots!

Well, there’s no intent to denigrate anyone and I never implied “not up to the job”. Even a genius can provide an inept design. As Dozy pointed out, there might have been a broad selection of pilots involved in the design, just as your friend. By the way I truly honor his credentials.
With all the information about how and when and why a design was created, we tend to forget to look at the outcome. This is the essence of it. Unfortunately this design seems not to convene to a lot of pilots, just read on these pages. That is the troubling fact.
Now what does that tell you of a design? At the least I would expect that the manufacturer and regulator would also listen to them. Not only lecture them to understand the system better or get more training, although this can never be wrong.
It is like wanting to change the human (good luck) instead of going the way we all thought was intended, namely to adapt the helpful automation to the humans capacities.

Confusion with the absence of tactile feeback started with Habsheim, as the PF was not sure if the AT really was giving TOGA because nothing moved and then clicked back to idle and TOGA again losing precious seconds, and still lingers with AF447, seeing the clicking through detents and swinging the stick.

We need to accept that not all pilots are of the stuff of the forementioned designer. An airliner needs to be designed for the average pilot. Some may be able to work with the single channel input, some may not. My point is that probably more are of the second breed, at least that is what I experienced and I am of that club myself.
This leads me to the question as to why not adapt the system to the prevalent talent that operates it? As Dozy rightly points out

This wasn't just pilot error, this is a systemic problem affecting the airlines and the industry as a whole

So go ahead and change all the flaws, not only the pilot's.

Just a few remarks on Dozy’s other reflections (I like your factual way of discussing)

What this tells me is that you have an innate distrust of technology, and that colours your perception of the systems

I was always told to expect the unexpected and always stay on top of the things. This involves a healthy amount of initial distrust.

they've convinced the certification authorities and the regulators that they won't automatically control you into an unstable attitude and then hand you back the controls, yet you seem to be fully convinced that they will.
Now I'm not saying they won't or can't, but I believe the chances of it happening are suitably remote

Even remote chances need to be correctly addressed. Otherwise no need for V1 or ETOPS ‘cos the chances are statistically very remote.

That is my point.
This particular problem with automation gets too little attention.

iceman50
14th Aug 2011, 05:56
Lyman

WDR I don't think you understand, if you cannot grasp what "flop about" means with regard to stick forces - do you fly the Airbus?:ugh:

bubbers44
14th Aug 2011, 08:19
The neat thing about Boeing is when you flop around you display to your fellow pilot you don't have a :mad: clue what you are doing so the other pilot will take over before you kill everybody. Airbus makes it so you are not sure what is going on.

Owain Glyndwr
14th Aug 2011, 08:35
Gretchenfage

Well, there’s no intent to denigrate anyone and I never implied “not up to the job”. Even a genius can provide an inept design. As Dozy pointed out, there might have been a broad selection of pilots involved in the design, just as your friend.

OK, I accept you did not intend any denigration, and that "not up to the job" was my interpretation of the gist of your remarks. But you did seem to be implying that the pilots on the development team were incapable of understanding how line pilots actually fly their aircraft -and yes, I can confirm that there was discussion with a range of pilots.

With all the information about how and when and why a design was created, we tend to forget to look at the outcome. This is the essence of it. Unfortunately this design seems not to convene to a lot of pilots, just read on these pages. That is the troubling fact.

I am not a pilot, so I cannot speak from personal experience, but I have to say that just from reading these pages I see the world divided into two camps on this question of tactile feedback and throttle movement under A/T command. Those who have flown the AB design seem to be generally (but not exclusively) happy with it, those who have not seem generally anti.

Now what does that tell you of a design? At the least I would expect that the manufacturer and regulator would also listen to them. Not only lecture them to understand the system better or get more training, although this can never be wrong.

I am sure that AI are well aware of the preferences of about half the pilot population, but in practice there is no way they are going to throw away the results of twenty years development.

Confusion with the absence of tactile feeback started with Habsheim, as the PF was not sure if the AT really was giving TOGA because nothing moved and then clicked back to idle and TOGA again losing precious seconds, and still lingers with AF447, seeing the clicking through detents and swinging the stick.

Habsheim has been done to death, but I just went back to the accident report to refresh my memory, and I was right - the pilot planned to and did, disconnect the alpha floor function, so there was never any chance of the A/T giving him TO GA thrust - he was in charge of that himself, and he left it until he was at 30 ft and 112 kts before moving the levers. 5 seconds later he hit the trees. Those high bypass engines take about 8 seconds to spool up? I am surprised that an experienced pilot would not have been aware of this.

I don't see any absence of tactile feedback here - was there ever 'tactile feedback' on manual throttle movement?

We need to accept that not all pilots are of the stuff of the forementioned designer. An airliner needs to be designed for the average pilot.

Well actually they are designed for an average pilot having a bad day, but as PJ2 has said from time to time it is difficult to set a limit on exactly how bad a day and how many poor decisions you have to take into account.

Some may be able to work with the single channel input, some may not. My point is that probably more are of the second breed, at least that is what I experienced and I am of that club myself.

Which is fair enough, but whether you are in the majority is unproven surely?

Quote:
This wasn't just pilot error, this is a systemic problem affecting the airlines and the industry as a whole
So go ahead and change all the flaws, not only the pilot's.[/quote]

I agree with Dozy, this wasn't just pilot error, although we might differ on what the other factors were.http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gif

Just a few remarks on Dozy’s other reflections (I like your factual way of discussing)
Quote: they've convinced the certification authorities and the regulators that they won't automatically control you into an unstable attitude and then hand you back the controls, yet you seem to be fully convinced that they will.
Now I'm not saying they won't or can't, but I believe the chances of it happening are suitably remote
Even remote chances need to be correctly addressed. Otherwise no need for V1 or ETOPS ‘cos the chances are statistically very remote.

OK again, but the problem is to identify the remote chances well before they matter. For example, only a few short weeks ago these discussions were full of remarks along the lines of "Don't be silly, no pilot would fly like that" It seems to me to be harsh when people criticise AI for failing to predict that they would have to design for pilots taking the aircraft so deeply into stalled conditions.

Don't get me wrong - I am not saying that with hindsight the aeroplane could not be improved - clearly it can be, and IMO will be, modified in certain respects, but I am also saying that reasonable people would perhaps agree that the need for these changes depends on the new knowledge of what the spectrum of possible pilot actions might be.

That is my point.
This particular problem with automation gets too little attention.

It will for sure get more now.

Gretchenfrage
14th Aug 2011, 09:59
Thanks Owain

It will for sure get more now.

Hopefully.

(just for info: I have flown all modern Airbus, MDs and Boeing)

bubbers44
14th Aug 2011, 10:41
For decades we have hired pilots that had thousands of hours to fly our airliners. Now some airlines are hiring kids who just got out of basic flying school. The two left in this AF airplane needed a supervisor. They had no clue what they were doing on their own if things got out of the norm.

Centaurus
14th Aug 2011, 11:03
For decades we have hired pilots that had thousands of hours to fly our airliners. Now some airlines are hiring kids who just got out of basic flying school. The two left in this AF airplane needed a supervisor. They had no clue what they were doing on their own if things got out of the norm.

You ain't seen nothin' yet. Over the next few years, just watch the thousands of 200 hour cadet airline pilots in Asia coming off the sausage machine flying schools in Australia, Asia and USA. They may be able to type at 80 words a minute into the FMC; but situational awareness and flying ability is another thing altogether.

ap08
14th Aug 2011, 11:05
For decades we have hired pilots that had thousands of hours to fly our airliners.
Perhaps, but how did these pilots acquire thousands of hours, if they were not allowed to fly airliners? I can see only four other options:
1) General aviation. GA could be a reasonable source of pilots in the US in the past, but not so much in other countries and certainly not in the future. Considering the latest trends in the economy, GA is a luxury that will soon become totally unaffordable to everyone except the rich. Obviously, you can't hope to recruit all the pilots from just the richest 1% of the population.
2) Military background. Maybe, but the number of military pilots is not so high and will probably decrease in future, due to a general shift to unmanned planes.
3) Small regional airliners. Maybe, but with rising fuel prices and falling real incomes, more people will prefer other travel alternatives like trains and such. Also, the regional airliners tend to become bigger to save costs. E.g. Dash-8 used to be a small Dash8-100, but now we have Q400 that is like 2 times longer...
4) Bush flying in Africa and similar remote places. But would you expect every pilot to start their career in Africa?
To sum it up - the future is grim, and with the way things are going, soon there will be no way for pilots to acquire thousands of hours before they are allowed to fly an airliner. Obviously they won't be going to a widebody right after flight school, but I see no way to avoid 200hr co-pilots on 737's and the like.

bubbers44
14th Aug 2011, 11:13
Kind of scarey, isn't it. No talent up front, just a guy trying to figure out how to fly a jet.

Mimpe
14th Aug 2011, 12:35
Flop about means.....do something....quick...

Machine..... I've always had great respect for USN training.

Their safety culture and accident rates were always regarded as superior by aviation safety researchers.

galaxy flyer
14th Aug 2011, 16:26
Just my experience, there maybe some worries about 200-hour pilots, but it depends a lot on their training. Puppy mill schools without standards beyond the decency of payment--very frightening. Put into place structured training with high standards, lots of training in the outer reaches of handling--no problem. Pilots should have exposure to and evaluated on stalls, spins, some acro and even formation, which does teach some skills in handling. Lots od actual instrument time. All in jet aircraft, too.

Will it been done, I doubt it, too expensive.

bubbers44
14th Aug 2011, 17:05
I don't think any 200 hr pilot should be flying an airliner. It never happened in the past. When we had FE's united hired 300 hr guys in the 60's but they never touched the controls for years. I don't want to fly on a foreign airliner if they allow this. American pilots are all in their 40's plus with tons of experience, why take your chances with an airline with low hiring standards?

CONF iture
14th Aug 2011, 17:08
Habsheim has been done to death, but I just went back to the accident report to refresh my memory, and I was right - the pilot planned to and did, disconnect the alpha floor function, ...

planned - yes
did - no

Except that alpha floor was inop due to the altitude, nothing was done to disconnect the alpha floor function. Do you have a quote from the report that states otherwise ?

Habsheim has never been done to death, actually I cannot find a single thread dedicated to Habsheim ...

Kalium Chloride
14th Aug 2011, 17:52
For decades we have hired pilots that had thousands of hours to fly our airliners.

The three pilots of AF447 had about 20,000 hours between them. Didn't make much difference. There's more to this game than just hours, I think.

jcjeant
14th Aug 2011, 18:47
Hi,

Kind of scarey, isn't it. No talent up front, just a guy trying to figure out how to fly a jet. Other guys trying to figure how to fly a jet
Interesting similarity in this report (from page 17 of the report) with AF447 cockpit events
other jet .. other company .. other culture .. other era .. other original cause (but pitots anyways) .. but pratically .. same guys
http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR75-13.pdf

Owain Glyndwr
14th Aug 2011, 18:50
Except that alpha floor was inop due to the altitude, nothing was done to disconnect the alpha floor function. Do you have a quote from the report that states otherwise ?

Sorry - hasty reading on my part. It was the autothrottle he disconnected, but it has the same effect - the automatics had no control over thrust; it was all in the hands of the pilot. (Section 1.11.3 of the accident report)

Safety Concerns
14th Aug 2011, 19:17
I think the 727 stall and the same stick back behaviour from the crew finally puts the technology argument to bed. Thanks jcjeant

ChristiaanJ
14th Aug 2011, 20:48
jcjeant,

That 727 report does read similar to AF447, I agree.... Lessons not learned?

ap08
14th Aug 2011, 21:10
It seems that the 727 also did not have an angle of attack indicator. Why this instrument is omitted so often? It would have prevented both accidents.

A4
14th Aug 2011, 22:37
It was the autothrottle he disconnected, but it has the same effect - the automatics had no control over thrust; it was all in the hands of the pilot.

Just to be clear here, there is a subtle difference. If the pilot chooses to disconnect the autothrust by use of the instinctive button on the thrust lever (to manually control the thrust) then Alpha Floor IS still available provided the aircraft is not below 100' RA. At Habshiem, the aircraft was below 100' RA so Alpha Floor would not have activated......

If however the autothrust has been deactivated by the pilot (hold instinctive button for >15 seconds) or is u/s, then Alpha Floor is not available. If the pilot has deactivated it, it will only be available again once the aircraft has completed an air-ground cycle i.e. It's lost for the remainder of the flight.

Alpha Floor is an autothrust protection not a FBW protection.

Despite it's detractors the Airbus/FBW/Alpha Floor system can get you out of a whole heap of trouble..... But it is imperative that you understand what it's doing, why it's doing it, it's limitations and how to recover back to normal flight.

Know your steed!

galaxy flyer
14th Aug 2011, 22:50
bubber44

I don't think any 200 hr pilot should be flying an airliner.

You do know that LH, BA and others have been doing just that, quite successfully for decades? The USN and USAF put 200+ hour pilots into all kinds of situations far more demanding that level cruise all the time. Think of shipboard ops.

Flying time, if it is the same hour on autopilot over and over again, is just numbers in a book. The training environment is key to safety, not a whole bunch of hours. 20,000 combined hours didn't help AF 447.

DozyWannabe
14th Aug 2011, 23:17
Dozy, don't lecture people when you know that little ...

I did say "theoretically". And as for what I do/don't know...

What do you know about being PNF on a FBW Airbus after all ?

It doesn't matter - the PNF's verbal reactions to the PF's handling are all in the CVR traces - down there in black and white (along with red, blue and green in this case):

"You're going up, you should be going down"
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"

- to give but two examples.


planned - yes
did - no

Except that alpha floor was inop due to the altitude, nothing was done to disconnect the alpha floor function. Do you have a quote from the report that states otherwise ?

You're being selective with semantics. What he did was permanently disable the autothrottles in order to get the aircraft into position for the flypast despite the fact he was too high and off course (because AF's briefing sent him to the wrong runway) - by the time he crossed the threshold of the grass strip he was too low and too slow (and getting slower!). Disabling the autothrottles meant that his thrust setting commanded the engines to spool down and also that the automatics could no longer apply TOGA power if the aircraft got too far into the low/slow corner of the envelope (in effect *partially* disabling the alpha-floor protection). To my mind this could be explained in two ways - either he didn't fully understand the parameters of the very safety feature he was supposed to be demonstrating, or he had complete faith in his ability to execute the manouevre with the safety feature partially disabled. Please feel free to PM me with your thoughts on that.

One last thing - reading the actual BEA report in that case reveals that it was not simply the PF and crew that came in for censure - AF's p*ss-poor preparation of the flight plan, and the discrepancy between AF's guidelines for airshow displays and the national regulations are also explicitly referred to, but the press chose to ignore that, because the PF's Quixotic war of words with Airbus made for more sensational copy (and also arguably because said PF became their primary source for leaking information on the investigation so far - crossing him would mean losing their "exclusive"). As such, it has become received "wisdom" that the BEA focused on pilot error to the exclusion of all else when this was not in fact the case.

Habsheim has never been done to death, actually I cannot find a single thread dedicated to Habsheim ...

Using the search function (thread titles with term "Habsheim") reveals two threads dedicated to Habsheim, one of which was in the last year. Doing a search for threads and posts with the terms "A320 trees" reveals about a hundred threads that are partially or completely dedicated to Habsheim over the past few years, including one called "Airbus technology defects" by "the shrimp", who was either one of Jacquet's devotees, or even the man himself - you even posted in that thread, so you're being completely disingenuous.

Anyway, no more discussion of Habsheim here - we're already outside the main thread of discussion anyway.

I understand your desire to shill on the part of the airline manufacturer as it seems your livelihood is attached to it.

Not at all, and I have explicitly stated that several times. I slacked off too much at university to be accepted into the safety-critical real-time module which is necessary to do the kind of work required in aeronautical informatics.

I find it slightly bemusing that you believe in order to have the viewpoints I have I must therefore have some part of my livelihood connected to the manufacturer (and indeed consider me to be a "shill", which under most circumstances I would take as a deep personal insult), so let me just be clear - I do not, I am about as neutral as it is possible to be on this subject, and even if I did, I would still be neutral because I take pride in my work as an engineer and as such I believe it is of the utmost importance that anything which is universally perceived as a problem must be fixed - and I have in fact done my career more harm than good on more than one occasion by speaking up about policies that I believed would lead to an inferior product at the end of the day.

Nevertheless, this accident is primarily a manufacturer's problem, not an operator's problem. That's the historical trend. For more than 75 years the liability of the manufacturer has been increasing, not decreasing.

I argue that is more to do with the fact that manufacturers have the deepest pockets, and as such it is in the interests of the lawyers acting on behalf of the affected to go after them primarily. I'm not saying that the manufacturers are or have ever been blameless - they've all done things for which they should be less than proud.

You can blame that history on the pilot's union, you can blame it on the press, you can blame it on whatever you like but casting blame doesn't change the underlying reality it just evidences your irritation at it.

Let me be clear again, I'm not interested in blame and never have been. I'm interested in finding as many factors as possible that *actually* led to the loss of this aircraft and want to discuss what it is possible to do to prevent it.

The underlying reality that Airbus (and Boeing for that matter) can't escape is this. In a matter of 30 seconds the PF managed to kill 200+ people and cost the people of France hundreds of millions of dollars.

It's not the first time that has happened and sadly it probably won't be the last. A poor repair by Boeing engineers killed 520+ people in one go in Japan, yet you don't hear arguments on this board that the idea of repairing the pressure bulkhead, or indeed pressurising airliners in the first place was a bad one. I could make the argument that is is in part because the introduction of pressurised airliners didn't bring with it dark accusations of trying to replace pilots in the way that the introduction of automatics going all the way back to the stick pusher devices of the '50s did*.

I'm not going to make that argument though, because it is counterproductive to what I'm trying to get out of this discussion.

As a cultural matter in the Western world we expect technology to solve our problems. Right or wrong, good or bad, that is the expectation. And the person responsible for the technology and the hardware in the airline business is the manufacturer.

I disagree - it is an accepted fact that technology has it's limitations - the continued weary complaints about home and business computers crashing at inopportune times and being difficult to fathom a lot of the rest of the time are but one example of that.

I believe that the attempt to blame automation in general (and that of the Airbus FBW philosophy in particular) is also counterproductive. The analogy I'd make would be akin to blaming the manufacturer of the Stanley/utility/boxcutter knife for all the crimes committed with it over the years. Both aircraft automation and the Stanley knife are simply tools. They have legitimate uses and in such cases are very good at what they do. The problems occur when they are abused for purposes for which they were not really designed (cutting aircraft handling training to the bone in the case of automation, use as an offensive weapon in the case of the Stanley knife).

[* - This information comes from Davies' HTBJ, which is one of the bibles of airliner literature.]

alph2z
15th Aug 2011, 01:38
ap08 It seems that the 727 also did not have an angle of attack indicator. Why this instrument is omitted so often? It would have prevented both accidents.

PULKOVO 612 Tupolev Tu-154 (85185) seems to have had an AOA indicator and it didn't help them, very unfortunately. Also available, is an official simulator video on Youtube.

RWA
15th Aug 2011, 03:13
Quoting Safety Concerns:-

I think the 727 stall and the same stick back behaviour from the crew finally puts the technology argument to bed. Thanks jcjeant


Yes indeed, thanks jc.

There's one particularly close parallel. The factor that started the 'accident chain' in the 727 case appears to have been a misunderstanding prior to takeoff, resulting in the pitot heaters not being switched on. And we all know that a similar pitot problem initiated AF447's problems - except that the cause in that case was outdated/inferior design.

The 727 pitots froze up in the climb - and apparently relatively high-pressure air trapped inside them, while the unaffected static ports went on measuring the drop in outside pressure, resulted in very high speeds and a very high rate of climb being shown by the instruments. The pilots appear to have concluded that they were in a dangerous overspeed situation and reacted accordingly - and, tragically, fatally.

The AF447 pilots initially lost all airspeed indications. Later on they seem to have received some 'valid indications,' but they were so low (like 60 knots) that they (knowing that the pitos were stuffed anyway) probably felt that they could disregard them. Meanwihle the altimeter was unwinding at over 10,000 feet per minute and the wind noise (with the aeroplane standing on its tail and falling fast) would have been unlike anything they had heard before. They then lost the vertical speed indications as well.....

No way, IMO, that AF447 can just be put down to 'bad flying' alone. Various instrument malfunctions and lost displays (mostly caused, apparently, by the malfunctioning pitot-tubes, which were known to be sub-standard and should have been replaced much earlier) must have played a big part as well?

oldchina
15th Aug 2011, 06:59
I know it's only a preliminary report but the BEA makes no reference to what the crew got up to in Rio, and whether they were properly rested in accordance with the rules.

CONF iture
15th Aug 2011, 09:39
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"
So Dozy, now you even go to the extend to literally modify the CVR translation to make your point ...

Page 92 EN or 96 FR

DozyWannabe
15th Aug 2011, 10:38
Must try harder - the actual phrases from the English version were:

"Go back down "

"According to the three you’re going up so go back down"

"You’re at... Go back down"

"Above all try to touch the lateral controls as little as possible eh"

I don't see any substantive difference between the phrases I pulled from memory versus the ones I just wasted 5 minutes re-downloading just to prove a point.

aguadalte
15th Aug 2011, 12:46
I think the 727 stall and the same stick back behaviour from the crew finally puts the technology argument to bed. Thanks jcjeant I am very sorry but I do not quite agree, IMHO.
In the case of that B727, the pilots were erroneously misinterpreting a "consistently" high-speed information given on all speed indicators. They were "tunnel visioned" for the same interpretation of a "high speed situation". And they were all dealing with that false high speed situation. This is consistent with a "there's the high speed mach buffet" statement of the co-pilot.
Later on, the captain "understood" they were on a stall and asked for flaps 2º,but failed to properly use ATT indicators.
In the case of the AF447, they had no clue of what speed they were flying. That's when you turn on to the "feed-back" of your flight controls. When there is nothing more one can rely on, one would tend to feel the aircraft. I do concede however that there are a lot of common errors in both cases. The first ones being not to follow ATT indicators and SOPs.

DozyWannabe
15th Aug 2011, 13:10
That's when you turn on to the "feed-back" of your flight controls. When there is nothing more one can rely on, one would tend to feel the aircraft.

But when the control column feel at overspeed (vibration, unresponsive controls) is so similar to that of stall (stick shaker, unresponsive controls), one could argue that the benefit of active artificial feel is limited.

@Intruder, below - I was referring to the NWA 727 incident linked a page or two ago, where the pilots indeed mistook the stick shaker for Mach buffet.

Intruder
15th Aug 2011, 14:29
You would have to get significantly over the VMO/MMO to get the vibration similar to a stick shaker. Also, control feel, even artificial, is WAY different at high (over-) speed than at low (stall) speed. Artificial feel is generally designed to be "heavier" at high speed to help prevent overcontrol.

ap08
15th Aug 2011, 15:39
alph2z
PULKOVO 612 Tupolev Tu-154 (85185) seems to have had an AOA indicator and it didn't help them, very unfortunately. Also available, is an official simulator video on Youtube.
That's a different accident. Pulkovo 612 did not have any failed instruments. The official report states that the pilots deliberately tried to climb over a thunderstorm, lost a lot of airspeed in the process, encountered heavy turbulence and hail at FL380 and lost control at FL390. The indicator is there to allow pilots to avoid dangerous AOA well in advance (unlike stall warning/stick shaker). Obviously, it will not help if the pilot insists on flying at a dangerously slow speed, at the aircraft's maximum ceiling, in hail and in turbulence - all at once!!

CONF iture
15th Aug 2011, 23:56
I did say "theoretically"
And what does it change to the fact that your following statement is plain wrong ?
Double inputs *are* allowed by the system, but they are summed, meaning that in an emergency situation, the pilots can theoretically command twice normal pitch-and-roll rate in an emergency situation if they co-ordinate
properly
Please quote your FCOM reference ... ?


"You're going up, you should be going down"
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"
Can you make your mind at least ?

Initially you state it is :
"all in the CVR traces - down there in black and white (along with red, blue and green in this case)"
but when caught out it is suddenly only :
"pulled from memory" ?

But the point is, whatever your CVR quotes are, they show one thing :
2 PNF had no idea what PF was doing with its sidestick, at best they were guessing.

And it is dishonnest from you to substitute :
"Above all try to touch the lateral controls as little as possible eh"
by :
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"

Very different meaning !


What he did was permanently disable the autothrottles
No he did not.
Or quote the report reference … ?

in effect *partially* disabling the alpha-floor protection
There is no such thing as :
"partially disabling the alpha-floor protection".
As you don’t understand the system, read A4 post above (http://www.pprune.org/6640542-post2897.html) if you’re ready to learn, maybe you will accept if it’s not from me … ?

BarbiesBoyfriend
16th Aug 2011, 07:25
If this a/c had a yoke instead of a sidestick, then what was happening would have been clearer to the other pilots.

I dont think the Captain and PNF realised that PF was holding so much 'nose up' input.

Safety Concerns
16th Aug 2011, 08:42
If this a/c had a yoke we would have seen an accident report not dissimilar to the one posted by jcjeant.

http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR75-13.pdf

The biggest problem here is analogue pilots flying digital a/c. And by that I do not mean remove the pilot from the cockpit but after more than 40 years of digital a/c that have more than proven their safety capabilities it is about time pilots stopped harping on about "old" a/c and moved into the 21st century.

The a/c are sound, the technology is sound, room for improvement yes. The A320 for example is actually one of the safest commercial airliners flying despite all the doom and gloom and the first lightning strike will send it spinning to the ground out of control crap that is often brought into the same sentence.

Gretchenfrage
16th Aug 2011, 09:13
from Safety Concerns

The biggest problem here is analogue pilots flying digital a/c. And by that I do not mean remove the pilot from the cockpit but after more than 40 years of digital a/c that have more than proven their safety capabilities it is about time pilots stopped harping on about "old" a/c and moved into the 21st century.

The a/c are sound, the technology is sound, room for improvement yes. The A320 for example is actually one of the safest commercial airliners flying despite all the doom and gloom and the first lightning strike will send it spinning to the ground out of control crap that is often brought into the same sentence.


A lot of pilots criticising Airbus are quite used to digital flying. They operate EFIS and FBW aircraft as well, simply from other manufacturers. So your first point is polemics.
Second, such an aircraft is actually the safest, the T7, therefore the whole discussion about the Airbus layout has a point, as there is just as modern an aircraft flying that is, at least at the moment, even safer. So your second point is none.

Here are a few comment and questions from a recent meeting:


Some traps in the Airbus philosophy:
The dead stick on the PNF side (or on both with AP on).
If a PF starts losing it, be it a simple PIO or as here with stress-motivated and effectless swinging around the stick, the PNF, in order to realize, must look over and observe the PF.
This is a waste of concentration, he should be monitoring the instruments. With a moving stick (or yoke), he could continue to monitor instruments and simultaneously would be realizing the PFs error, through his second, tactile input channel. Additionally if he wanted to intervene, he could exerce force on the stick and by that raise attention of the PF, again through the second channel. The first one is quite often absorbed by the situation and trying to talk to a stressed PF is futile, the audio channel is the first to leave us under stress.
Why no feedback?

The fixed Autothrust Lever
The Airbus lever is set in a detent, this applies as well when the AT disconnects. When this happens, the AB pilot needs to realize the ECAM warning. With a moving lever, the disconnected, stuck and no more moving AT sort of warns the pilot additionally through the tactile channel. Furthermore the lever will be in the exact position of the thrust. Not so in an Airbus. The lever is still in the detent and the thrust where it was last. The Airbus philosophy tells us, that when the AT is disconnected, the lever acts like a conventional one, position equal thrust, but in the bad case of an automatic disconnect, this is not true. The pilot has to un-detent the lever to get the correct position vs. thrust ratio. This is an unnecessary additional step in a high stress situation.
Why fixed levers, what is their advantage (pls don’t come up with the weight issue)

THS
As I understand, the THS was following the PFs inputs right up to full aft, even though the stall warning was active. On Boeings the stabilizer is inhibited to move further aft when stall speed is reached.
Why can an Airbus THS?

Stick shaker
Where is it on Airbus? One of the most direct warnings, going directly through the hands right into the spine and brain seems to be missing. A whole channel missing.
Why?

Harry Spotter
16th Aug 2011, 09:31
All in all an avoidable accident.

Had they flown "pitch attitude and thrust" as in normal flight , as in "unreliable airspeed" it wouldn't have come so far.

Boeing vs Airbus , FBW , sidesticks , THS , normal/alternate/direct law don't matter , it is Attitude and Thrust that counts.

Safety Concerns
16th Aug 2011, 09:33
Gretchen what are implying that a/c with stick shakers never stall?:ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:

Your last post confirmed everything I said about analogue pilots and digital a/c

A lot of pilots criticising Airbus are still in analogue mode and wishing for a return to stick shakers and throttle movement. The safety case to go backwards isn't there.

Despite your analogue post please correct me if I am wrong. The Lufthansa Frankfurt incident of reverse stick input saw a PNF take control without witnessing any stick feedback or looking over to see what PF was doing. He was digitally minded and in tune with the aircraft.

It is time you tuned in as well. And if you are referring to the Japanese T7, pathetic response.

The sad fact in most of these accidents but not all is that the pilots are not in tune with the a/c. There may well be a case for a different training approach but there is NOT a safety case to change the technology.

Lyman
16th Aug 2011, 09:49
Eventually, after two years of drawing the same line in the sand, there would appear to be a shortage of sand.

Gretchenfrage
16th Aug 2011, 09:50
Actually, Safety, I have to agree with your post.

I simply would like to remind you, with your steadfast and slightly arrogant statements, of this:

The nuclear lobby was reasoning with the same steadfast arguments, even after Tschernobyl.

Then came Fukushima.

The safety case to go backwards isn't there.

Think it over.

(I'm out)

Lyman
16th Aug 2011, 09:57
So, unintended consequence......My Bad.

Merely meant that the discussion is well framed, and the canvas is empty.

RetiredF4
16th Aug 2011, 10:32
The sad fact in most of these accidents but not all is that the pilots are not in tune with the a/c. There may well be a case for a different training approach but there is NOT a safety case to change the technology.

A strong statement, but does it take care of the human nature?
Do we believe that people, in this case pilots, can be trained sufficiently to follow all technological evolutions without limits (under the present training budget)? Isn´t it necessary to develop the evolution of technology in accordance with the capabilities of the operator and under recognition of the available training?

To be in tune with the aircraft is not only a training issue, its also a design issue.

If design would disregard the human factor (and it does in case of the missing tactile feedback, in case of the intermittent stall warning, which by the way was already a known issue years ago, in case of documentation like in LH at Hamburg) then only a small number of top notch pilots would be eligable to be trained and hired for the job (causing higher costs for training and salary).

.........but there is NOT a safety case to change the technology


It finally depends on the side, from where you are looking at that matter. The manufacturer and his engineers will see no need until the regulatory authority comes into play. And a lot of changes take place anyway later on or even before the final report shows up, but for sure not related to any kind of accident, that would nag on reputation and finally on sale numbers.

The human race has gone lots of different streets, and lots of errors and the recognition and avoidance of those in the future brought us to the point we are standing now. It´s not at all bad to accept error also in technical matters, because also designers and engineers are humans and not gods.

Sorry to say that here, but sometimes some technical people here seem to be unfailable.

No need to change anything, it worked as designed...............

There are lot of sound recomendations of the pilot community in this forum how some changes would improve the handling of advanced designed aircraft
(AOA indicator, tactile feedback, different law degradation, other trim logic to name a few), why not start working on the implementation of it?

The training side probably changed UAS training and approach to stall training already, lots of pilots sure as hell are busy in improving their knowledge database concerning UAS, flightlaws, stalls, trim..., but the engineering side is occupied by defending .........what???

It might be time to side with the people in the pointy end and make those beautiful air machines safer, close some holes in the swiss cheese in a unified effort.

Together we are strong, arguing against each other will not help much but disqualify it as saving his own a**.

aguadalte
16th Aug 2011, 10:50
The sad fact in most of these accidents but not all is that the pilots are not in tune with the a/c. There may well be a case for a different training approach but there is NOT a safety case to change the technology.

My dear Safety, I could not disagree more. The question is exactly the opposite. It is the technology that has to serve humans, therefore, it is the technology that has to be in tune with human factors. If you were a pilot, you would understand my point of view. The aircraft doesn't have to behave like an enigmatic robot. It has to transmit "feelings" to the pilot, and they have to "work together" for the same objective, to fly safe. I understand that this XXI Century "new" concepts need a new mindset to be flown. But the interface between man-machine, in step of being reduced, should have been emphasized.

Safety Concerns
16th Aug 2011, 10:57
some good points F4Retired but...

human nature has been taken care of to a certain degree but not completely. We must move away from this "I must have ultimate control" flawed logic.
In the early days of military FBW there were a number of relevant events.

One in particular comes to mind. One FBW fighter had an onboard system which prevented spins and stalls. One particular fighter pilot felt this system limited his dog fighting abilities and so disabled it. "I must have ultimate control". He promptly crashed overcooking it.

Yet that itself doesn't really indicate anything. Had he been shot down with the system enabled that was wrong too. So we need other indicators of a working safe system.

The A320 is one of the safest commercial airliners out there. So it has proven both its safety and design features. This is a fundamentally safe aircraft minus stick feedback and throttle feedback. Tells us a lot.

I do not advocate engineers have it 100% right and one of my earlier posts called for more forward thinking pilots in order to improve on what we have. Fundamentally safe technology.

I could agree more with your points if we were talking about unsafe technology. We are however in the safest period of commercial flying ever. The overwhelming majority of a/c are new technology. This is no coincidence.

Analogue Boeings have stalled and crashed, Boeing pilots have been confused by blocked pitot and static ports and crashed. None of your AOA indications, stick shakers, yoke feedback helped in any way at all. Its pure nonsense, sorry but it is.

Where I totally agree with you is on the together bit. But that requires many of you letting go of the past.

A4
16th Aug 2011, 12:12
The Airbus philosophy tells us, that when the AT is disconnected, the lever acts like a conventional one, position equal thrust, but in the bad case of an automatic disconnect, this is not true. The pilot has to un-detent the lever to get the correct position vs. thrust ratio. This is an unnecessary additional step in a high stress situation.

This is not quite correct. If the A/THR disconnects involuntarily (or fails) the ECAM will present:

ENG - ENGINE THRUST LOCKED
THR LEVERS.............................MOVE

Additionally the FMA will be flashing THR LCKD. This will be repeated every 5 seconds, with a single chime, until the levers are moved to match actual thrust setting - simply match the "doughnuts" (small circles above N1 gauge arc) to the indicated N1. So if the A/THR falls over - DON'T PANIC!!! the thrust setting has not changed. Assess what's going on and then move the levers - you now have control of the thrust.

Not having motorised levers has never presented me with any problems. I don't deny that the tactile feedback is lost but you just learn/retrain to utilise the visual feedback from the N1 gauges we're humans and adapting is what we are quite good at. The sidestick issue is different and, as a trainer on the bus, I acknowledge that the lack of feedback from the PF to the PNF is less than ideal.

In the case of AF 447 perhaps a requirement for the unreliable speed procedure should be the selection of the FLIGHT CONTROLS page on the systems display (lower centre screen). It would certainly enable the PNF and any other observer to see what inputs the PF was making - especially in a dark cockpit.

Good discussion guys,

A4

RetiredF4
16th Aug 2011, 12:16
some good points F4Retired but...

human nature has been taken care of to a certain degree but not completely. We must move away from this "I must have ultimate control" flawed logic.
In the early days of military FBW there were a number of relevant events.

One in particular comes to mind. One FBW fighter had an onboard system which prevented spins and stalls. One particular fighter pilot felt this system limited his dog fighting abilities and so disabled it. "I must have ultimate control". He promptly crashed overcooking it.

Yet that itself doesn't really indicate anything. Had he been shot down with the system enabled that was wrong too.

If the pilot has the ultimate responsibility for the souls on board, he has to do be able to use all available means the system can provide. I would that not call ultimate control, just give the pilots all methods and systems available to do the decision making and to transfer his conclusion into action. And put the pilot in the loop by all means and all human channels and senses.

So we need other indicators of a working safe system.

Those would be?

The A320 is one of the safest commercial airliners out there. So it has proven both its safety and design features. This is a fundamentally safe aircraft minus stick feedback and throttle feedback. Tells us a lot.

Would it get more unsafe in your opinion with feedback? Why not add feedback and an AOA gauge for aditional safety?

I do not advocate engineers have it 100% right and one of my earlier posts called for more forward thinking pilots in order to improve on what we have. Fundamentally safe technology.

I could agree more with your points if we were talking about unsafe technology. We are however in the safest period of commercial flying ever. The overwhelming majority of a/c are new technology. This is no coincidence.

That is again a thinking in statistics and probabilities, i wont accept. Any near accident is too much, any accident is a waste. Why not improve things some more despite the relative high safety? Money? Pride? Neglecence?
By the way, its not A vs. B, its make things safer when you know how.

Analogue Boeings have stalled and crashed, Boeing pilots have been confused by blocked pitot and static ports and crashed. None of your AOA indications, stick shakers, yoke feedback helped in any way at all. Its pure nonsense, sorry but it is.

What do you want to proove with this statement?
Cars continue to crash despite antiskid and other gimmicks, but nobody would come to the idea to remove those systems or to build a new car without them. Aircraft with or without FBW and with or without all obove mentioned systems and helpers will crash, human race will not be able to produce and operate a failsafe system of any kind. Its just a matter of time and circumstances until anything fails. But it is necessary to improve systems and training out of expierience, develop it further and make it safer.

To deprive the ultimate responsible instance in the cockpit (the pilot, if you forgot) a very important information by disabling the feedback channel (tactile feedback to the hand, which executes the inputs) and saturating other channels with the information (like eyes or ears) does not make things safer.

Where I totally agree with you is on the together bit. But that requires many of you letting go of the past.

If you forgot, we come from the past, everything we have and every development does not found on the future, but on past systems and past expierience. If you disregard the past, you let go of vital expierience and learn it the hard way again. To work it out together, the engineering side has to accept the expierience of the expierienced pilots and the success of previous designs. This expierience is the living one, not the one by death toll. They used tactile feedback and survived with it. No one complained about it being present and no one told the industrie, that we dont need it any more, develop some aircraft without it.

The expierienced pilots from the past having flown with tactile feedback may be the least affected by the absence of this channel, they can work around with their expierience in flying (and handflying) in the past. The young kids like that one in the right seat have no fall back pposition available when the sh++t hits the fan, when they are saturated by alarms, whistles, bells, different coloured displays in the absence of otherwise present navigation and aviation helpers. Then a simple UAS event with a AP+AThr dropout, a slight (pitot induced) altitude deviation coupled with some roll tendency leads to a breakdown of situational awareness.

That is not a training issue alone, it is a problem to tune in the pilot into the system and to keep him in the loop from normal operation to the biggest f****up possible.
And this is also an engineering task, wether you like it or not.

franzl

Lyman
16th Aug 2011, 13:43
Unsaid, after the part about pilots entering the present, how old is the AB format? Perhaps together then into the present, to embrace the future.

Because right now, there is some seriously qaulified commentating wasting time on defending and indicting?

Sky King had wing levelers and ATT hold on his B18. Penny's 310 had a Strikefinder. 1950's-ish.

Traveling a long way is not a guarantee of "getting There". Tech wise.

DozyWannabe
16th Aug 2011, 13:58
And what does it change to the fact that your following statement is plain wrong ?

I meant exactly what I said, "theoretically" - meaning that the system may not necessarily behave that way at present, but it would be a small matter to change the functionality (certification would be another matter though). The fact is that sidestick inputs not following priority switch are summed, so a full left deflection on one and a full right deflection on the other would command a roll rate of 0.

I'm not going to be your monkey and go dig documents up, because I don't have the time.

Initially you state it is :
"all in the CVR traces - down there in black and white (along with red, blue and green in this case)"
but when caught out it is suddenly only :
"pulled from memory" ?

Yes - the second one (which you so charmingly refer to as "catching me out" - I prefer to think of it as reacting to an overly pedantic nitpicking exercise on your behalf), was me going back to the BEA's translation - the first was based on my notes (from discussion of the French report), because I'm a busy guy at the moment and don't have time to go around linking documents.

But the point is, whatever your CVR quotes are, they show one thing :
2 PNF had no idea what PF was doing with its sidestick, at best they were guessing.

Or he could have been looking at his ADI and seeing the path the aircraft was taking (he may even have had FPV enabled prior to Alternate Law).

And it is dishonnest from you to substitute :
"Above all try to touch the lateral controls as little as possible eh"
by :
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"

Very different meaning !

How so? I can't see how there's a major difference other than a slightly different use of the English idiom. What other lateral controls were in the flight deck that were being moved in an excessive manner at that point in time? None - only the PF's sidestick.

The problem is that, like Gretchenfrage, you're coming at this from the preconceived decision that the Airbus control philosophy is bad and less safe than the old yoke, then you try to fit the circumstances of this accident to fit the narrative that you've already arrived at.


No he did not.
Or quote the report reference … ?


There is no such thing as :
"partially disabling the alpha-floor protection".

I told you I'm not going to talk about Habsheim on this thread. I've already tried to open a PM dialogue with you in good faith, but you're insisting on it being in public - if you must, go dig up the AH&N thread that was fairly recent and post in that, but I'm not likely to have the time to look at it often.

That said...

"2.2.3 Flight preparation by the crew ... The training given to the pilots emphasized all the protections from which the A320 benefits with respect to its lift which could have given them the feeling, which indeed is justified, of increased safety. In particular, the demonstration of the activation of the safety features and protection of this aircraft may lead one to consider flight approaching one of the limitations (especially the one related to angle of attack) as a foreseeable flight condition since lift is guaranteed. ... The choice to inhibit the automatic go-around protection (Alpha Floor) resulted from the need to eliminate this protection if flight at 100 feet or above is planned at an angle of attack higher than the one activating this protection. The inhibition in this case can only be achieved in practice by pressing and holding the two switches placed on the throttles. After 30 seconds, inhibition becomes permanent for the rest of the flight. This decision is compatible with the objectives expressed by the Captain to maintain a height of 100 feet and seems to confirm that the incursion below 100 feet was not considered by him at this stage. In effect, below 100 feet, this protection is not active." (page 18, French version)

stepwilk
16th Aug 2011, 14:12
Penny's 310 had a Strikefinder.

Nah, not possible. Actually, the Strike Finder was preceded by the Stormscope, as I remember, and they were both a big deal/new invention when I was at Flying Magazine in the mid-1970s. Penny was an old lady by then.

jcjeant
16th Aug 2011, 14:17
Hi,

And it is dishonnest from you to substitute :
"Above all try to touch the lateral controls as little as possible eh"
by :
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"

Very different meaning ! How so? I can't see how there's a major difference other than a slightly different use of the English idiom. What other lateral controls were in the flight deck that were being moved in an excessive manner at that point in time? None - only the PF's sidestick.DW .. you know like me that those two stances translated in french have a very different meaning

Dans le rapport du BEA
Ceci est un conseil donné au PF (préventif)
Surtout essaye de toucher le moins possible les commandes en latéral

DW
Ceci est un conseil donné au PF après avoir constaté une action
Surtout ne donne pas de commandes latérales de si grande amplitudes

RWA
16th Aug 2011, 14:27
About the sidestick thing, I'll put an idea on here in case it eventually achieves results where they count........

I mainly flew stuff that had the traditional 'stick between the knees' - only occasionally (when I could afford it) did I fly anything with a yoke. But it just occurred to me that, because of the layout of the other controls, even though I'm left-handed, I worked the stick almost exclusively with my right hand. Using my left hand would have put me on quite a steep learning curve -and it would have been even more difficult for right-handers......

It was even simpler with a yoke. Most of us will have travelled and rented cars in other countries - sure, you can get things like the wipers and the signals mixed up, but at least the steering-wheel and the pedals are arranged the same way whether the car is lefthand or righthand drive......

Occurs to me that Airbus' adoption of the 'sidestick' calls for pilots to learn to fly equally-effectively with either hand. Beyond that, 'first officers' must find themselves doing most, if not all, of their 'learning' flying from the righthand seat. In this case, the PNF was in the seat that he was accustomed to, but the PF was in the one he very possibly hadn't got much experience of at all.........

Add to that the 'visibility' problem. Had the sticks been in the traditional 'between the knees' position, the PNF would have had no difficulty at all in 'reading' the PF's inputs.

Years back, when sidestick Airbuses were 'just coming in,' I had an airline captain as a neighbour and he was 'all for' the sidesticks. Mainly because, for the first time in his career, he reckoned that he was able to eat his meals in a 'civilised' manner, without the yoke getting in the way! :)

So a suggestion for Airbus. Try putting the sticks back in the central, 'between the knees' position that pilots have been used to for (literally, nowadays) a century or so. I won't even argue for 'feedback' - I know that would cost a lot of money and weight.

But at LEAST it would mean that every hour of hand-flying that pilots can accumulate - not much anyway these days - would count as 'solid' experience, and they wouldn't have to adjust to 'using the other hand' just because they happened one day to find themselves sitting on the other side of the cockpit?

Just MIGHT help?

DozyWannabe
16th Aug 2011, 14:35
DW .. you know like me that those two stances translated in french have a very different meaning

Actually I can barely speak a word of French, hence making notes and relying on the translation abilities of other posters and Google Translate. I can speak pretty passable German though...

If you could elaborate on what you see as the difference, I'd be grateful - however I'm still convinced that the PNF knew that the PF was overcontrolling, why would he make a reference to lateral controls otherwise?

@RWA - wrong way round. The PF was the one in the RHS - so experience with either hand should not have been an issue. Over and above that, looking at the traces from the PNF's inputs (who was not in his normal seat), his inputs appear to be much more gingerly applied - focused and concise.

iceman50
16th Aug 2011, 14:38
RWA

When you move to the left seat in a Boeing 737/747/757/767/777 you have to mainly fly the aircraft using your LEFT hand, the right covers the thrust levers, so it is NO different to an Airbus!!:ugh::ugh::ugh:Putting it between your knees would not solve anything on having to use your LEFT hand. Are we now to have a major design change because 1 guy could not "fly" the aircraft properly.

RWA
16th Aug 2011, 14:51
Quoting DW:-

@RWA - wrong way round. The PF was the one in the RHS...."

Apologies, DozyWannabe, but not so, as far as I can see from the BEA Report.

If you look at the FDR/CVR transcript (Page 111 yet again :)) you'll find that the PF's inputs are listed under 'Captain' - meaning that he was on the left.

Quoting iceman50:-

"Are we now to have a major design change because 1 guy could not "fly" the aircraft properly."

Well - just maybe because a few hundred OTHER people got killed......?

But I suppose I broke the first rule of websites - "At your peril, never say anything that may appear to be 'outside the box'........" :)

jcjeant
16th Aug 2011, 14:54
Hi,

DW .. you know like me that those two stances translated in french have a very different meaning

Dans le rapport du BEA
Ceci est un conseil donné au PF (préventif)
Surtout essaye de toucher le moins possible les commandes en latéral

DW
Ceci est un conseil donné au PF après avoir constaté une action
Surtout ne donne pas de commandes latérales de si grande amplitudes

The BEA stance mean the PNF give a preventive advise to PF

Your stance is that the PNF had seen the stick movements of the PF .. and so the PNF ask PF to don't do large stick lateral inputs

And ...

Or he could have been looking at his ADI and seeing the path the aircraft was taking (he may even have had FPV enabled prior to Alternate Law).

What he maybe seen on the ADI can't be not related to the stick inputs of PF ... the aircraft can roll by itself ...

Hope all this made sens ...

Out for shopping :)

DozyWannabe
16th Aug 2011, 14:55
@RWA - have a look at the traces here:

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/460625-af-447-thread-no-6-a-3.html#post6643497

There was a misprint in one version of the report, but if you look at the traces from the latest version (link to other thread above), you can see that the large inputs (that we know are coming from the PF) are from the FIRST OFFICER position.

@jcj - The BEA don't give a "stance", they're just giving a literal translation of the words. I'm trying to apply logical thinking to those words. Put it this way - would you give "preventative" advice to a pilot that was the same rank as you unless you thought they might be doing something that didn't seem right? Of course it's "possible" for the aircraft to roll by itself, but wouldn't an instinctive first reaction of the pilot monitoring be to ask the handling pilot if he was responsible for the aircraft trajectory he was seeing?

@franzl, below - You and CONF (and some others) see it one way, I (and some others) see it another. I get tired of being told I'm seeing things like a "computer game" and that I should listen to "real pilots", as though every pilot feels the same way about the Airbus control philosophy (they don't, but to people like CONF those that don't simply don't count). I agree that tactile feedback is a "nice to have", but I don't think it is a necessity - I don't even think it makes things that much safer, especially given that there are far more glaring holes in the cheese far further up the chain. To me it's the "Back to interconnected yokes or bust" crew who are making the unreasonable demands in the face of the fact that it is *not* apparent that the PNF was unaware of what the PF was doing, on top of the fact that UAS incidents have felled aircraft with yokes as well - it is simply not a good situation to be in.

[EDIT : *Here's* the quote of the entire sentence, which CONF helpfully edited :

Double inputs *are* allowed by the system, but they are summed, meaning that in an emergency situation, the pilots can theoretically command twice normal pitch-and-roll rate in an emergency situation if they co-ordinate properly, and that a pilot can counteract the inputs of an incapacitated pilot in the other seat if the situation is recognised. Compare that to the old yoke system whereby whoever was the strongest decided the direction of the aircraft, or the more modern yoke in the 767 when opposite inputs cause the elevators to move in opposite directions (as EgyptAir 990 appeared to prove).

I intended to use the words "theoretically" and "can" to distinguish what might be possible from the actual state-of-the-art. I didn't phrase it well, so my apologies. ]

RetiredF4
16th Aug 2011, 15:01
Quote:
Originally Posted by CONF iture
And what does it change to the fact that your following statement is plain wrong ?

[quote]DozyWannabe
I meant exactly what I said, "theoretically" - meaning that the system may not necessarily behave that way at present, but it would be a small matter to change the functionality (certification would be another matter though). The fact is that sidestick inputs not following priority switch are summed, so a full left deflection on one and a full right deflection on the other would command a roll rate of 0.

I'm not going to be your monkey and go dig documents up, because I don't have the time.

That is cheap, DozyWannabe,
you are gambling with your credit. What your initial statement told the reader was, that dual SS orders would add up and thus double the flightcontrol input. to achieve better performance. See quote below.

Quote DozyWannabe:
Double inputs *are* allowed by the system, but they are summed, meaning that in an emergency situation, the pilots can theoretically command twice normal pitch-and-roll rate in an emergency situation if they co-ordinate
properly

You should know, that statement is wrong, as the sum of the double input is limited to the amount which one SS could achieve alone. When you dont know it, you should not elaborate about it like knowing.

As you stated it there could be an advantage which would not achievable with a conventional layout, but what it really represents can be achieved with an conventional layout as well. Even better, as one can feel the amount of input from the other pilot. So please do not try to sell us apples for potatoes.

Quote:
But the point is, whatever your CVR quotes are, they show one thing :
2 PNF had no idea what PF was doing with its sidestick, at best they were guessing.

Or he could have been looking at his ADI and seeing the path the aircraft was taking (he may even have had FPV enabled prior to Alternate Law).


The stick input does not move the ADI, but the flightcontrols, and those might move the aircraft which would finally show on the ADI. As during this process other influences like turbulence might take place, what you see on the ADI might not tell you the truth of the actual input. Take as an example the ND inputs, they had been quick and too short, with tactile feedback easy recognizable by PNF. Instead he first had to assume that the PF followed his advise and had to wait on the outcome on the ADI. With a tactile feedback he could have caught that mistake and other erratic stick inputs easyly.

We are not talking about a computer game here, we are talking about flying. Please accept that from people who know.

Quote:
And it is dishonnest from you to substitute :
"Above all try to touch the lateral controls as little as possible eh"
by :
"Above all, don't make lateral inputs so large"

Very different meaning !

How so? I can't see how there's a major difference other than a slightly different use of the English idiom. What other lateral controls were in the flight deck that were being moved in an excessive manner at that point in time? None - only the PF's sidestick.

You dont like to see the difference, because you dont like to be prooved wrong. As mentioned before, you are gambling with your credentials, you should think over it.

Your statement suggests, that the PNF observed large SS inputs in the roll channel and tells the PF to make them smaller,

whereas in reality PNF adresses the PF to touch the lateral controls (in this case those would be ailerons and rudder) as little as possible, meaning to focus on other important things like pitch. That is quite different to your altered terminology.


The problem is that, like Gretchenfrage, you're coming at this from the preconceived decision that the Airbus control philosophy is bad and less safe than the old yoke, then you try to fit the circumstances of this accident to fit the narrative that you've already arrived at.

The problem is, that this horse is hunted over the place again and again, also by yourself and some others. To create opposition you have to side yourself first, what you and some others are permanently practicing in a way like "i´m on this side, so you with your other understanding of things must be on the other side. That behaviour does not represent an argument, it gets boring.


One final word to Habsheim:

I live 20 km from that place, and the flight shouldn´t have taken place at all. It was and still is a small airfield. There is no reason at all to authorize a flyby over such an uncontrolled strip in 100´altitude with paying passengers behind, but it was intended as good PR for AF and AB and was published as higlight in the local media.

It went wrong and all actions later were motivated by damage control.

franzl

airtren
16th Aug 2011, 15:09
Gretchenfrage,

The quoted paragraph bellow links well with the:
[/URL]
"[URL="http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/456874-af-447-thread-no-5-a-94.html#post6633045[/URL"] (http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/456874-af-447-thread-no-5-a-94.html#post6633045[/URL)PostedGraph on Techlog AF 447 Thread #5 Post #1862"

which shows - see the Grayed area - that the Automated (a/c computers controlled) move of the THS from -3 to -13 (to max NU position) took place while the Stall Warning was fully and constantly active.

from Safety Concerns

Here are a few comment and questions from a recent meeting:
...
THS
As I understand, the THS was following the PFs inputs right up to full aft, even though the stall warning was active. On Boeings the stabilizer is inhibited to move further aft when stall speed is reached.
Why can an Airbus THS?....

Safety Concerns,


Your last post confirmed everything I said about analogue pilots and digital a/c

A lot of pilots criticising Airbus are still in analogue mode and wishing for a return to stick shakers and throttle movement. The safety case to go backwards isn't there.

While I think that the analogue versus digital looks like an interesting wording, or catch, I think that its application in this case is in danger of missing a fundamental point, which is the lack of a direct information channel between the pilots, in regards to the positioning/moving of the active stick, which matters regardless if the information is processed in an analogue, or digital fashion.

This information channel can take different shapes, including the feedback, or a screen with a 3D animation of the stick, or a 3D animation of the a/c and its control surfaces, etc....

Despite your analogue post please correct me if I am wrong. The Lufthansa Frankfurt incident of reverse stick input saw a PNF take control without witnessing any stick feedback or looking over to see what PF was doing. He was digitally minded and in tune with the aircraft.The sad fact in most of these accidents but not all is that the pilots are not in tune with the a/c.The first officer was as analogue, as a pilot can be, or a human being is: his visual sensors, internal neural network, memory and analysis/decision functional blocks, as well as the analogue motions actuators worked perfectly. But he was in tune with the situation, and the "a/c", as you state in your last sentence.

There may well be a case for a different training approach but there is NOT a safety case to change the technology.Training always matters, but this seems to be a different matter, which is quite simple:

The presence of two pilots in the cockpit has a rich set of reasons, one of which is that one pilot can take over, if something is wrong with the controls, or the actions of the other pilot which is being in control.

For this to work as intended, and efficiently, the pilots must be in sync at any moment, and there MUST be a DIRECT information channel in whatever shape, regarding the status of the stick, which is one of the main elements of entering commands/controls.

The guessing or inferring stick status/position/actions INDIRECTLY from other elements is simply IMO bellow the level of general logic behind the Airbus controls.

In abstract, as several levels of indirection, and translation/conversion in passing information is introducing delays, unreliability, and/or loss of information, a direct information transfer is the better solution for that system.

Safety Concerns
16th Aug 2011, 15:14
I am sorry but this is now becoming stupid. Reading some comments here you would think aviation safety has just taken a nose dive.

Sorry to wake some of you up but it hasn't. It has never been safer. I don't remember calls for changes when the 727 stalled NW of New York. You know the one where an analogue aircraft full of AOA indicators, stick and throttle feedback and a whole bunch of stuff to fill the eyes and ears of pilots but the pilots still stalled.

F4 you are only doing the opposite of those who oppose your view. Its no different.

The starting point in any discussion like this should be safety. Not one of you has provided a safety case. You have only posted emotive comments.

iceman50
16th Aug 2011, 15:18
RetiredF4

Whilst I agree with some of what you have said in your post, here you say
Your statement suggests, that the PNF observed large SS inputs in the roll channel and tells the PF to make them smaller,

whereas in reality PNF adresses the PF to touch the lateral controls (in this case those would be ailerons and rudder) as little as possible, meaning to focus on other important things like pitch. That is quite different to your altered terminology.
I think you are making interpretations as from the BEA Interim report, he may have been making the calls due to the roll he was experiencing and seeing on the PFD.
At 2 h 10 min 16, the PNF said “we’ve lost the speeds then” then ”alternate law protections”.
The airplane’s pitch attitude increased progressively beyond 10 degrees and the plane started to climb. The PF made nose-down control inputs and alternately left and right roll inputs. The vertical speed, which had reached 7,000 ft/min, dropped to 700 ft/min and the roll varied between 12 degrees right and 10 degrees left. The speed displayed on the left side increased sharply to 215 kt (Mach 0.68). The airplane was then at an altitude of about 37,500 ft and the recorded angle of attack was around 4 degrees.

At around 2 h 11 min 45, the Captain re-entered the cockpit. During the following seconds, all of the recorded speeds became invalid and the stall warning stopped.
The altitude was then about 35,000 ft, the angle of attack exceeded 40 degrees and the vertical speed was about -10 000 ft/min. The airplane’s pitch attitude did not exceed 15 degrees and the engines’ N1’s were close to 100%. The airplane was subject to roll oscillations that sometimes reached 40 degrees. The PF made an input on the side-stick to the left and nose-up stops, which lasted about 30 seconds.

iceman50
16th Aug 2011, 15:22
RWA

Pity you did not quote the rest of my comment about the design change you require, there is no difference in which hand you use to fly the A/C from the LHS or RHS be it a Boeing or an Airbus,so your design change is NOT required. Apologies but that is not thinking outside the box!

RetiredF4
16th Aug 2011, 15:34
I am sorry but this is now becoming stupid. Reading some comments here you would think aviation safety has just taken a nose dive.


It is not mine. But in my time we looked at the matter and adressed safety issues wether we lost one aircraft in 10 years or 5. If you get lazy and look at an accident as an acceptable and necessary loss, you will loose more.


F4 you are only doing the opposite of those who oppose your view. Its no different.

As you might have observed, i´m mostly reading. But when things are being posted wrong /like adding up dual SS input and selling that as advantage and at some other occasions i feel the need to contribute. I try not to side with AB or Boing or Fokker or any other manufacturer, i dont care who is building the aircraft. I do exactly what you challenge, its for safety, as my job with the airforce as chief standeval of a wing brought it with.


The starting point in any discussion like this should be safety. Not one of you has provided a safety case. You have only posted emotive comments.

That is your point of view, but you have no emotive motivation?

iceman50

RetiredF4

Whilst I agree with some of what you have said in your post, here you say
Quote:
Your statement suggests, that the PNF observed large SS inputs in the roll channel and tells the PF to make them smaller,

whereas in reality PNF adresses the PF to touch the lateral controls (in this case those would be ailerons and rudder) as little as possible, meaning to focus on other important things like pitch. That is quite different to your altered terminology.

I think you are making interpretations as from the BEA Interim report, he may have been making the calls due to the roll he was experiencing and seeing on the PFD.

You are correct, it is my personal conclusion (like DozyWannabe might have his own), i should have told so. IMHO it makes sense though, PNF primary concern was pitch and altitude and he was looking for the reason why PF was falling way behind this task. And i think we agree that PF was spending too much time with lateral control.

Finally we dont know for sure.

franzl

RWA
16th Aug 2011, 15:46
Quoting iceman50:-

".....there is no difference in which hand you use to fly the A/C from the LHS or RHS be it a Boeing or an Airbus,so your design change is NOT required."

Sincerely hope we don't fall out, mate. But there clearly IS a difference.

In a conventional 'transport category' aeroplane you will normally have both hands on the yoke. You can take either hand off, to attend to other things if needed - but both hands will be 'in practice.'

In the sort of small stuff I used to fly, the same applied - especially if the sticks for both pilots were between the knees.

In an Airbus, you HAVE to 'work the stick' with whichever hand is on the side of the sidestick. Normally the left hand if you're the captain, the right hand if you're what we used to call the 'co-pilot.' Except, of course, that a lot of the stuff amateurs like me flew had the two cockpits 'in line' rather than side-by-side.......

Sorry, just in terms of flying, I STILL can't see why Airbus put the sidesticks literally 'one side or the other,' rather than between the knees.

As I implied earlier, it seems to me to be a considerable (and, as far as I can see, totally unnecessary) change from a century-long history of 'common controls'?

iceman50
16th Aug 2011, 16:11
RWA

Sincerely hope we don't fall out, mate. But there clearly IS a difference.

In a conventional 'transport category' aeroplane you will normally have both hands on the yoke. You can take either hand off, to attend to other things if needed - but both hands will be 'in practice.'


Sorry, but we will have to fall out as you are wrong. I have actually flown both manufacturers, Boeing B757 / B767 and presently fly the Airbus A340 / A330, you have NOT. If you are "manually" flying your right hand, if you are in the LHS, will be on the thrust levers!! We now have hydraulic systems and do not need the leverage of two hands on the "yoke"!

GarageYears
16th Aug 2011, 16:17
Sorry, just in terms of flying, I STILL can't see why Airbus put the sidesticks literally 'one side or the other,' rather than between the knees.

Assuming you are sitting at a desk, place your right hand directly in front of you, centered on your body. Unless you are deformed, your arm will be at nearly 45 degrees relative to your chest line. Tip your hand forward/back, turn it side to side.... get it? Every axis is 45 degrees off what would be the nose of the (imaginary) aircraft.

Now take your arm and position it at the most natural position on the desk to your right side, probably just about where your mouse sits.... look, everything is now more or less orthogonal with the imaginary aircraft.

Repeat with your left hand... in the center position the axis are now 90 degrees offset from before - i.e. to pulling back on the stick is now operating in an entirely different direction than it was with the right hand...

Now you can argue that the central joystick should be oriented fore-aft/left-right on axis with the aircraft, but now you are inducing a very painful twist to either arm, and the stick movement is no longer in-line with any of the arms natural axis.

That is why. Airbus are not dumb.

jcjeant
16th Aug 2011, 16:45
Hi,

I am sorry but this is now becoming stupid. Reading some comments here you would think aviation safety has just taken a nose dive.The fact is that the aviation safety will (or be feel) taking a nose dive .. when pilots are not good enough for cope with emergency situations.
In the case of AF477 .. my feeling is that the pilots were maybe good .. but not good enough for cope with a unusual ? (the UAS is not a new event BTW) situation

ChristiaanJ
16th Aug 2011, 16:57
Repeat with your left hand... I tried.
But unfortunately there was a glass of whiskey in the left-hand location.....

Good description, thanks .... and personally I think the 'left/right' discussion is vastly overdone.

Maybe there is a very small part of the population that is really severely "left-hand-challenged".
But if so, would they ever have gotten as far as the RH seat of an AB?
They would have needed to show their competence in a LH seat as well.

Dimitris
16th Aug 2011, 16:57
What about having a screen or even better a small portion on the HUD (they are introduced slowly) that shows a rectangule divided in 4 quadrants with a dot showing where the stick position is. Add a RH/LH indication for where the input comes from and a 'Dual Input' flashing indication when there is dual input...

Something similar with what fighter aircraft/helicopters have in the targeting pods' screen to show where the sensor is looking compared to foward.

(I'm not a pilot)

BarbiesBoyfriend
17th Aug 2011, 00:12
I hope you'll all forgive me for sticking with this angle for a moment.

Would the PNF and Captain have had a better grasp of the situation had they SEEN a yoke held full 'nose up' ie with the PF holding the yoke right back, probably with both hands!?

I think...Yes.

Someone would have said 'push FFS!'

With the sidestick (and I know it works great on single seaters) this was plainly FAR from obvious.


A second point re flying hours. I've seen 20,000 hours as the experience on the FD mentioned a few times. 19,950 of that was prolly playing sudoku (or whatever long haul guys do) while the AP flew and the FMS nav'd.

At my company we have to show one 3degree landing a month (steep apps normal) and there's also recency for Autoland.

Why not recency for visuals and hand flying? Why not for raw data too?

God knows we could all do with it.

These guys were very poorly prepped for their hour. And when the hour arrived............

Automation makes you (and me) lazy.

It's the new killer.

Intruder
17th Aug 2011, 00:23
Now you can argue that the central joystick should be oriented fore-aft/left-right on axis with the aircraft, but now you are inducing a very painful twist to either arm, and the stick movement is no longer in-line with any of the arms natural axis.
Except that your analysis is not borne out in reality...

I have flown several aircraft with central control sticks from Cubs and similar light airplanes to fighter jets. I have also flown the AH-1W Cobra helicopter with a right-side control stick that moved (yes, actually MOVED) in the normal fore-aft and left-right axes. NONE of those were even remotely "painful." All of them fell naturally to hand.

While a ergonomically shaped and positioned stick grip is better than a straight stick like the Cub's, even the straight stick poses no problems for translating the arm/hand's 45 deg orientation to the 90 deg orientation of the control movement. The reason is that the stick is anchored, not free-floating, and the arm/wrist/hand readily adapts to the control movements. The brain has no problem translating.

DozyWannabe
17th Aug 2011, 00:27
Would the PNF and Captain have had a better grasp of the situation had they SEEN a yoke held full 'nose up' ie with the PF holding the yoke right back, probably with both hands!?

I think...Yes.

Someone would have said 'push FFS!'

So why didn't the NWA 727 crew react that way back in the '60s? Why didn't the Birgenair 757 F/O do the same? They had yokes - I think the issue is more complex than that.

Automation makes you (and me) lazy.

So use your associations and unions to get the industry to accept more hand-flying, either on the line or off! If they argue that it's too expensive, just point out what this incident is likely to cost Air France in monetary terms, to say nothing of prestige and reputation.

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 00:41
BBF is exactly correct, and his points suffer no loss of importance because other accidents turned out differently.

Trench warfare. Call a truce.

The commonality seen in recent accidents irrespective of type, Line, or Pilotage is how simple and horrible they appear in retrospect.

The part still that gets my goat is the apparent nonchalance of those doing the retrospecting. And the investigating, and the "improving".

None of these were "flukey". Bizarre confluence of highly improbable vectors? No, not at all. Straightforward lapses in Maintenance, engineering, training, rostering, and COMPLACENCY.

So one is left with hope alone. Not even Trust. Why Trust? Trust whom?

The tooth Fairy?

grimmrad
17th Aug 2011, 00:48
Couldn't airbus come up with a design that lets you swing the sidestick either in front of you or keep it where you prefer on the side? Should be not too hard to do, after all I can adjust steering wheels in cars also (though up/down), and the concept that everything is electronic should make that implementation even easier...

JenCluse
17th Aug 2011, 00:52
HarryMann, back in the previous thread at 13th Aug 2011, 10:27, #1961, and later, again expressed his concerns about the AB side stick, and presumably side sticks in general. I agree with his other points, esp. the concern that the primary flight parameter, AoA, is very, very rarely instrumented. On sidesticks, no.

Harry, I graduated after other stuff to the Victa Airtourer, #2 pupil on #1 off the line, and later instructed on it. A side stick per se is *never a problem (& you do *not have to shove a aircraft physically 'round the sky if it’s controls are well designed.) In fact, given my druthers, I'd take a side stick any day, for precision.

IMHO the control problem, and IMexperience on AB, is the quite misguided removal of the tactile and physiological feedback that is so fundamental to the driver in the quite superb working environment of the Porsche designed AB cockpit.

The fundamental problem is that there is zero interconnectedness between the sidesticks, (even out of sight to the other pilot), and this borders on the criminal stupidity. There should at very least be a panic button on the stick which would put up the other’s stick position on the AH,PFI,ADI,PFD (choose one) like any computer game. When I was young and new to types I would ask the skipper if he minded my following through, and would place my little finger on the underside of the yoke. I then quickly knew *exactly what inputs were executed to achieve the required ‘product placement’ on that A/c.

That the throttle levers do not move to echo the fuel flow demand is (IMHO) another piece of almost criminal engineering ignorance and arrogance. So easy to incorporate that it implies a deliberate attempt to remove the pilot from the loop. The non-pilot’s dream of having control of an aircraft?

That the standby instruments are also computer driven is just the acid on the cake. And no, I’m not a recidivist, in fact a long time computer nerd. It freaked me when I first moved to the AB, the way various computers would crash and need repeated rebooting (‘resetting’) pre-departure in the *early 320. I trust they’ve got that right by now.

I've previously mentioned here about a total non-flags freeze-up of both non-steam-driven gauges early in my airline career, which needed a basic-instruments recovery at night while the skipper was stuffing fuses back in, after trying to fix the autopilot. Acutely aware all my years of what can happen, I made a point of flying limited panel for a while on a leg a couple of times a month to keep my hand in (all the obvious precautions, obviously) until the fast jet -- I doubt it can be done successfully -- but would then fly on the standby a.h. in lieu of limited panel.

I also hand-flew across continents at night three times when the A/P was U/S after departure, but when solid curfews meant that the complications would be horrendous -- because I maintained the touch. I hear the howl of horror now. Believe me, having the pilot *totally in the loop is the epitome of safety! I’ve had a check captain who didn’t comprehend a trimmed A/c, and demanded the yoke be grimly clutched at all times. (Incidentally, the phugoid oscillation frequency of a 727-200 is 20 seconds, and the divergence +/- 95’. Trim it, and it sits on height +/- 100’ with no intervention. (YMwillV on other type’s.)

None of this style of activity was ever suggested officially nor was there a sim exercise, but it instilled a huge sense of security, not just in me.

Early in one of these threads I stated that, in light of the above (too personal) ramble, & given my background (Gums’ ‘touch’), and my time on AB, that there was no way that I could have been able to fly AF447 in the situation they put themselves/found themselves in.

So forget sidestick fears, Harry. It’s the total lack of tactile controls feedback to the driver, and of awareness of what the other person is doing, which lays an unacceptable demand on the visual and computational ability of the brain. Thinking about it, has there been any research published on the maximum amount of data a person can process successfully process before the *brain stalls?

The situation that has so obsessed us here was IMHO the AB computer game crashing after a sensor failure, and was just as incomprehensible to the crew. It is why I was glad to retire from the beautifully built and so elegant AB, anticipating connector corrosion implications in 18-20 year-old aircraft, and now grieve for the innocents who have suffered.

(Retires to flame-proof bomb shelter for a week :) )

BarbiesBoyfriend
17th Aug 2011, 01:01
Dozy.

Re your point 1. yep, having a yoke didn't save them. Perhaps these two F/Os might have been saved by the intervention of their Captain though, if he could have quickly grasped what was occurring?

He would have grasped it more clearly if he could have SEEN what inputs PF was making.

Agree?

Dozy.

Re my point about the autos making us lazy.

I guess you agree.

The less you fly, the less you CAN fly.

If you rarely fly, your skills diminish.

If you NEVER fly (and where I work the AP goes in at 1000 agl and stays in til final) you'll soon not be a pilot at all.

Surely 'piloting skills' ought to be valued in an aircraft pilot?

No.

Sometimes, as I'm driving to work, I think...'why am I flying this thing? what makes me the pilot instead of, say, an engineer- or that guy who taught me 'flat-panel'?


Or indeed, any guy who can wrestle the airacraft up to AP min engagement height!

What right do I have to call myself the 'grand fromage' pilot?

Lonewolf_50
17th Aug 2011, 02:39
GY, great illustration.

Ladies and gents, if I may repost something CRITICAL to aviation safety ... from aquadalte ...

My dear Safety, I could not disagree more. The question is exactly the opposite. It is the technology that has to serve humans, therefore, it is the technology that has to be in tune with human factors. If you were a pilot, you would understand my point of view.

To serve man ... that is the purpose of the machine.

Period.

GarageYears
17th Aug 2011, 02:43
Except that your analysis is not borne out in reality...

I have flown several aircraft with central control sticks from Cubs and similar light airplanes to fighter jets. I have also flown the AH-1W Cobra helicopter with a right-side control stick that moved (yes, actually MOVED) in the normal fore-aft and left-right axes. NONE of those were even remotely "painful." All of them fell naturally to hand.No, a stick is pivoted at the floor - correct? And the hand grips the stick in the palm with your fingers wrapped around - right? This has a totally different movement and total throw, compared to a joystick type controller. The total throw is what... 3 inches max forward/back for the joystick. Very different and uses a completely different set of muscles.

I guess there are just folks that refuse to see to control for what it is - there is also a wrist rest - the arm doesn't move, only the wrist and fingers.

westhawk
17th Aug 2011, 04:35
GarageYears:

I guess all those joyful hours I spent flying Decathalons, Citabrias and Super Cubs gave me an entirely different perspective than yours. I find the "center stick" arrangement quite natural and easy to make precise control inputs with. It took me just a matter of minutes to adapt. It's not just me either.

Sidestick controllers came into vogue in the past couple of decades and I've yet to fly a plane so equipped. I'm sure they're fine too when properly designed with sensible force/motion/feedback (feel) built in. Long-EZ and Airbus pilots seem to like it. Pilots have adapted to a number of differing man/machine interface system designs over the course of aviation history. Some worked better and were more accepted than others. Some arrangements are better suited to certain missions. But you won't find many pilots with "stick" time who think it's a bad or even uncomfortable system to use. I'll agree that "center sticks" probably won't be anyone's first choice for installation on large transports!

The lack of motion interconnect on the Airbus sidesticks is something worthy of consideration though...

Gretchenfrage
17th Aug 2011, 05:07
JenCluse

Love your post and agree completely. Nice to see that more and more FBW experienced pilots (read this Safety?) admonish the absence of a vitally fundamental in Airbus cockpits.

As to the sidestick discussion:

There is no problem with a sidestick.
After 25 years of J3 stick, MD yokes, even the Bonanza Z-yoke, it took me 15 minutes to get used to the Airbus sidestick, be it with the left or with the right hand. It flies very well, is nicely precise, confirmed by all Airbus pilots.
I'd take a sidestick over a fossil yoke anytime, had it a tactile feedback though ....

What we focus on, is not what kind of a stick it is, or where it's located, but what it does.
Or what it does not and what the consequences are in terms of safety, stubborn denial from the lobby or not.

Intruder
17th Aug 2011, 05:13
No, a stick is pivoted at the floor - correct? And the hand grips the stick in the palm with your fingers wrapped around - right? This has a totally different movement and total throw, compared to a joystick type controller. The total throw is what... 3 inches max forward/back for the joystick. Very different and uses a completely different set of muscles.

I guess there are just folks that refuse to see to control for what it is - there is also a wrist rest - the arm doesn't move, only the wrist and fingers.
Not all sticks are pivoted at the floor. I've flown several (most) that had the pitch pivot at the floor, but the roll pivot higher on the stick. Also, floor height may be significantly different among types.

And, NO, I do not grip a stick in the palm! Depending on the airplane, different parts of the FINGERS are used to grip the stick (and occasionally braced with the edge of the palm), but SELDOM with the fingers wrapped around!

Regardless of the total throw, the grip on either a conventional center stick or a sidestick is VERY dependent on the individual installation. You apparently have little or no experience flying real airplanes with stick controls...

While there may be a wrist rest in SOME airplanes, and SOME sidesticks use no arm movement, that is definitely NOT a universal truth! A brace for the forearm or elbow may well replace a wrist rest. I doubt you could fly a Cobra without arm movement, though it may be possible in an F-16 or A3xx (I've flown neither of the last 2).

Safety Concerns
17th Aug 2011, 05:30
It is the technology that has to serve humans, therefore, it is the technology that has to be in tune with human factors.

That the throttle levers do not move to echo the fuel flow demand is (IMHO) another piece of almost criminal engineering ignorance and arrogance. So easy to incorporate that it implies a deliberate attempt to remove the pilot from the loop. The non-pilot’s dream of having control of an aircraft?

Someone has finally grasped the direction design is moving in (bold text).
The technology is in tune with humans but the ultimate or primary goal may not be to serve pilots interests. We are in a transition phase to pilotless aircraft. The significant influence which will determine how quick or how slow this is implemented will be public perception

Many of you will remember the introduction of computers and hand held calculators. Apparently they were rubbish because they kept making mistakes in their calculations. The mistake however was more often than not the user. Rubbish in, rubbish out.

Early FBW pilots used to complain the aircraft did this or that without their input only to find out on examining the flight data that they did in fact move the stick and they did in fact cause the input.

In both the above cases very occasionally the system was at fault. Despite all the complaints at the time, I doubt there are many that support going back to human filing systems or the abacus.

I am sure many of you have used the driversless trains at some modern airports.

This harping on about the good ol days will not achieve much. There is no safety case. Even older generation aircraft had their own character including the spitfire which suffered from handling difficulties if the c of g was too far aft. Pilots however tuned in to the aircraft.

Number of aircraft in service, number of flights, number of fatalities all indicate proven technology. Humans remain the weakest link. Until the safety case is proven I still believe the argument should be about training and not technology.

Gretchenfrage
17th Aug 2011, 07:08
Safety

1. No one wants to go back to the good old days. Repeating that eternally doesn't make it true.

2. If you pretend that there is no safety case basically takes you out of the discussion equation.

3. Arguing that even on the other planes some guys crashed is only an infantile argument, not a valid one (look Mama, he did it too ...).
Look at the one in question, with its technology, try to fix that and then go on to the other.

You need to understand one thing:
To really and objectively judge if there is a safety issue, you need to have operated both systems (with and without feedback/driveback). Many pilots who actually have, joined us who ask to have all the new technology kept in the systems, but add tactile feedback to Airbusses. For the sake of enabling the pilot to better do what he is kept for in a modern airliner.
No engineer, no FS pilot, not even PPL pilots would have the real time experience of both designs.
This should not be taken as arrogance, but as sheer fact.

In science and technology there is no such thing as "that's the way it is, adapt or leave" (didn't I hear such cr@p before? Right, it was something like "love it or leave it").
Science has to try different approaches, otherwise its results mean zilch.

I miss the differentiated approach to this particular issue. Instead of stubbornly denying anything could be missing, why not try and install such devices on a trial aircraft. Boeing had a sidestick with driveback developped, only to have the United pilots request back the yoke (now here is a classic case of what you described Safety, I admit and condemn).

Get it and install it.
This aircraft could then be evaluated by all sides in such replicated upsets.

I would certainly volunteer and go for such test for free.

odericko2000
17th Aug 2011, 07:40
Been following the thread for a while and some good valid points are being put across from both sides but some folks are arguing for the sake of it, @Dozzy i think you are missing the point or deliberately trying to push peoples buttons, it had been earlier explained very clearly that the NWA 727 crew didnt push nose down though they had a yoke, simply because they both believed that their actions were correct trying to recover from a percieved overspeed as opposed to the AF PF who had no clue what he was doing and his PM had no way of seeing his control column inputs.

Now i crawl slowly back to my woodwork...

Safety Concerns
17th Aug 2011, 07:51
"Pretending" there isn't a safety case.

In the 60's and 70's we had more accidents. We also had analogue aircraft with cable runs, AOA indicators and stick feedback crashing. We also had pilots who were human and unfortunately the biggest single cause of accidents.

In the 21st century we have removed the cable runs, removed the feedback (on some a/c), significantly increased automation but we still have pilots and we still have accidents.

Although the accidents have significantly reduced the number one cause is still pilot error yet the safety statistics and results of accident investigation show no significant difference between Boeing philosophy and Airbus philosophy.

Designers will be continuously monitoring operation and performance for improvements including of course accident causes. The aircraft are different, the way flying is conducted today is different yet there really is a valid argument about training and time "hands on". Is it sufficient?

There isn't however, yet at least, a valid argument about the technology. The industry remains driven by cost and safety. Until you can present a case that meets one of those criteria nothing will change.

On that basis it would appear that change isn't coming so industry has accepted that pilot error remains the issue and not technology. That is not meant to be derogatory just a statement of how it is today for those outside your bubble.

Gretchenfrage
17th Aug 2011, 08:09
talking about a bubble ....


so industry has accepted that pilot error remains the issue and not technology


Well, I think I have to rest my case, as the tecno bubble seems to have a greater surface tension, mainly financially driven, than the genuine safety concern bubble of pilots.

You know, the ones with their bums inside the thing.

Brave new world

infrequentflyer789
17th Aug 2011, 08:10
Would it get more unsafe in your opinion with feedback? Why not add feedback and an AOA gauge for aditional safety?


AOA gauge is there as an option already (I believe) - airlines just don't order it. An extra gauge will make no difference without training to use it - it might as well display phase of the moon. AF apparently couldn't be bothered to train pilots to manually fly in cruise at all (A/P goes off - learn to fly a new a/c, fast) - what makes you think they would have trained AOA ?

Feedback - well, it might improve things or it might not. Intuitively, yes - more feedback through more channels = better. In pratice, aviation history is littered with the smoking holes left by those who have ignored and overridden stick shakers and pushers, all the way to the ground.

The 'bus designers didn't just decide to do something different from shaker / pusher, they went for "better" with active protections ["limits" for Gums - but that's just semantics and audience because I sure wouldn't want to be the designer that tells a fighter pilot I'm going to "protect" him by limiting his control authority!].

Unfortunately, in this case (and perpignan) the protections were lost due to technical faults, leaving the warning system that is maybe less good than the old stick shaker. So question should be, is the overall system - active protections degrading to aural warning at 1 in 10k flight hours - better or worse than "stick shaker only" ?

I'd say they made it better. Could it be improved ? - certainly.
Should they go back ? - not IMO.


That is again a thinking in statistics and probabilities, i wont accept. Any near accident is too much, any accident is a waste. Why not improve things some more despite the relative high safety? Money? Pride? Neglecence?
By the way, its not A vs. B, its make things safer when you know how.
[...]
That is not a training issue alone, it is a problem to tune in the pilot into the system and to keep him in the loop from normal operation to the biggest f****up possible.
And this is also an engineering task, wether you like it or not.
That's agreed. The tricky bit is how to know what makes things safer. There are so many changing variables and so little accident signal buried in the statistical noise that you could find support for almost any change.

Human factors, and particularly human-machine interface is a complex area, and the little involvment I've had with it has given a clear impression of how counterintuitive it is.

Users of a system (pilots in this case) will happily tell you how they use it and how it needs to work - but record their usage with eye-trackers etc. and you'll get completely different answers. I would expect that to apply even to highly trained pilots and insturment scan - I bet that they weren't looking at what/where they thought they were when it all hit the fan in that cockpit.

The most interesting link posted on these threads (more than once)
was the Nasa study of A vs B control systems for CFIT escape. Covering sidestick, laws protections the lot. Result:


the pilots overwhelmingly thought B was the better system
the actual outcome was that the A system saved your ass more often

So which set of designers got it right ? Not easy.

jcjeant
17th Aug 2011, 08:18
Hi,

If we base the analysis of a statistical point of view .. (those known) it is clear that removing the pilots of the aircraft is definitely the solution.
This would avoid 80% of accidents to occur.
What a huge step for flight safety :D
But it would be to forget the number of accidents prevented by the presence of pilots
Who can give me a statistic about the accidents avoided by the intervention of the pilots ? :)

captplaystation
17th Aug 2011, 09:04
jcjeant,
This one you probably can't find, as most who achieved it are probably keeping quiet, as in many instances the "save" will have been a response to a prior cock-up on their part :hmm:

I think the bottom line in all this is that the original designers of the control architecture & responses in Airbii FBW were not really taking pilots wishes too seriously in their list of priorities.
Any of you who know the chequered history of Monsieur B Zeigler (& cringed at his Paris /Farnborough air show boasts about the maid being able to fly his new wunder-plane) will underatand better how the "aircraft knows best" control concept was evolved. How we laughed (not) after Habsheim/Bangalore/Mt St Odile at the inane previous "uncrashable" horlocks he had spouted.
If a situation, no matter how it was provoked (AF447/ Perpignan ? doesn't matter) could have been better assimilated & resolved by enhanced pilot perception of what was happening & what the other guy has done/is doing/ will do in the causal chain , it is difficult to argue against more feedback being a good thing (unless you are a Beanie /pilot basher , or both)
If an aircraft is being genuinely operated two crew, and you expect the "pilot monitoring " to actually monitor, I think you would be well advised to give him the tools to actually monitor what his cohort is up to, and possibly for both of them to rapidly understand what their Bus is doing, in a manner more obvious than currently only available by closely monitoring ( & rapidly assimilating whilst all goes pear shaped around you) ECAM messages & instruments.
Anyone who has flown through severe weather will realise the limitations of relying solely on this.
And don't get me started on how it will all be when these things get older & the wiggly-amps go on the blink even more often :eek:

If you lose control of your car on a slippery bend do you find it easier /more intuitive to manipulate the pedals/steering wheel to avoid the ditch, or would you find it easier to jump into the sat-nav & arm "skid correction" whilst hurtling ditchwards ? If your car was two-crew & you as DM (driver monitoring) had to decide whether to activate this or another system , would you not find it just a little helpful to see what the other guy was doing with the wheel ?
Humans are far better at intervention than analysis, we need to have the information /mechanism to do this. Nanny is right 99% of the time, but we cannot rely on her ,otherwise how do we grow up.
Our current generation of pilots are in regression in terms of basic piloting ability, we need to reverse this trend, it is time Airbus listened to what we ask for to achieve this.

Safety Concerns
17th Aug 2011, 09:18
Nanny is right 99% of the time, but we cannot rely on her ,otherwise how do we grow up.

That is a very good point. However if we quote infrequentflyer we may get a brief insight into current thinking.

The most interesting link posted on these threads (more than once)
was the Nasa study of A vs B control systems for CFIT escape. Covering sidestick, laws protections the lot.

Result:
the pilots overwhelmingly thought B was the better system
the actual outcome was that the A system saved your ass more often
So which set of designers got it right ? Not easy.

So we already have an operational system that has been scientifically proven to save butts more often. Therefore the answer may well lie in a different approach to training including more hands on time.

I think the bottom line in all this is that the original designers of the control architecture & responses in Airbii FBW were not really taking pilots wishes too seriously in their list of priorities.

Have to seriously disagree with that but it is a trade off influenced by other factors.

MountainSnake
17th Aug 2011, 10:31
What's all this obsession with the sidestick (mainly from other manufacturers lovers...)? Why would one want a yoke if there are no cables, springs, whatever, to pull? It's illogical to use a yoke on a fly-by-wire aircraft. Should we all be typing with a typewriter (mechanical) instead of our keyboards? :ugh:

captplaystation
17th Aug 2011, 10:55
Think the main obsession is with its position (out of sight of the other guy) & the fact that there is no feedback to the other guy what you are doing & vice-versa, particularly as it is all about pressure rather than movement (AFAIK ?having not have the pleasure of "Bussing" it . . . except TO work, not after I arrive ! )

MountainSnake
17th Aug 2011, 11:03
The History is full of CFIT's with yokes equipped aircrafts, you know, even with that feedback and position sight thing.

RetiredF4
17th Aug 2011, 11:19
Mountainsnake
What's all this obsession with the sidestick (mainly from other manufacturers lovers...)? Why would one want a yoke if there are no cables, springs, whatever, to pull? It's illogical to use a yoke on a fly-by-wire aircraft. Should we all be typing with a typewriter (mechanical) instead of our keyboards?

You are right, it looks natural and the basic idea is not bad at all, and it has proved to be safe and workable as the thrust levers do as well.
But it lacks two important features, a yoke or a stick or conventional throttle linkage in former A/C provided:

- tactile feedback from flightcontrols / throttle position
- tactile feedback from the second set of control input, being it SS or yoke.

Those feedbacks are negligable when things work out straight forward, they are missing when things start to get wrong in more ways:

- it is easy to get out of the loop and be caught by surprise (flightcontrol imputs / throttle position prior something going wrong not known)
- it is hard to catch up and make the correct input (if the inputs / position prior something going wrong is not known, the input might be wrong as well)
- it takes more time for the feedback loop, as the action first needs to be transferred to the flight controls / engines and the resulting change later on gets displayed to the panel and has to be picked up by the eyes.
- this feedback over the panel needs an input channel (the eyes) which might be at it´s limit already, saturated by things gone wrong.
- as this process is not a single one, but has to take place several times in a short period of time with changing parameters, references and environmental and human factors, it influences and hinders other necessary processes of the senses, other channels of human sensing as well.

Let me use your exemple of the keyboard here. If you plug everything on one hub to your PC system and saturate that channel, you might not only slow your system down, you may loose some letters, and there might other input/ output demands been affected to.

The keyboards still have the initial feedback of a typewriter, you press the key, the initial force is higher, and when you reach the point where the key sends the letter on its way to the system, the force resistance brakes down. That way i dont have to look at my screen to see the letter written down, i can feel it. On my iphone there is no tactile feedback from the keys, i have to check the screen or i switch on the aural feedback.
Typewriter is out for 30 years, but we still use the keyboard the same way as an typewriter. Why did the hardware manufacturers do that? Because it´s easier to write that way.

I think nobody really needs the yoke back,or cables and pulleys, but why not build in the features, which would keep the nice design and functions of the SS / autothrottles and provide the desired tactile feedback? It would make things still more safer and not unsafe at all. Most is built in anyway. Feedback loops to the flightcontrol computers are already present, so imho its the SS and throttle mechanics that need to change and some programming to get the feedback info present in the Flightcontrol computer to output the respective signal and create the artificial feedback signal to the changed mechanics. It costs money, so what? Flying is too cheap anyway, in two weeks i go on leave to Sardegna, the two way trip for three persons is under 150.- €. I would not care to pay 50.-€ more.

Safety Concerns
So we already have an operational system that has been scientifically proven to save butts more often. Therefore the answer may well lie in a different approach to training including more hands on time.

You still miss the point. Nobody wants to change the system back and make it more unsafe, call it further development under new aspects.

With training you are so right, but you do not overlook the consequences. The things we talk about here can only be trained in a limited way, as the saturation of the channels (eyes, ears) are natural and can be influenced only in a limited way by training, and i mean by a lot of training.

Training would have to be done in relation to real dogsh**t situations, and part of it in the real aircraft.

The approach of new technology however was and is and has to be in the future to get things like flying and training for flying easier, simpler and also cheaper.

For this task the system-human interface has to change in some points, the training has to change as well undoubtedly, and management has to allow their pilots more hands on stick in the real aircraft.


Edit: Most gear handles are still shaped in the form of an wheel, and flap handles like an airfoil. Because of tactile feedback. One of those can be found and handled in the dark without looking at them. Did somebody had the idea already to change those into an pushbutton on the top panel? I hope not.

voyageur9
17th Aug 2011, 11:23
A question from a SLF who most lurks and learns a lot here.
At any point after the initial upset and once the initial period of pitot-iced UAS ended, did the systems on board AF447 have sufficient information about the aircraft's attitude/altitude/speed(s) to ascertain and deliver the appropriate recovery inputs? (i.e. would the kind of Hail Mary recovery systems on Cirrus and some other aircraft have worked if the big red button was pushed?)
If so, then could it be that the fundamental issue is not how much "Nanny" control is best but training pilots to know when they are out of their depth or have lost awareness. It certainly seems that all three pilots in AF447 understood that they didn't understand what was going on and what to do.

airtren
17th Aug 2011, 11:26
So we already have an operational system that has been scientifically proven to save butts more often. Therefore the answer may well lie in a different approach to training including more hands on time.
Statistically proven is perhaps a more accurate, or precise description (yes, statistics is a science).

One can train the pilots 24 hours a day. Training will not change the fact that from the stick position/status perspective, the PNF cannot see directly what the PF is doing (with the stick) - the PF might as well be separated by a wall, or covered by a blanket, it would not matter.

As I've already mentioned, practically in any system, several levels of indirection and several levels of translation/conversion of information instead of direct, single step transfer of information is not the way to do it, if the goal is instant and efficient information transfer for synchronization between two pilots.

The failure of the indirection and translation/conversion of information, as it is shown by the AF 447 - night time, and instrument information malfunction - is a clear instance for anyone who is objective enough to see the system in which the chain of indirection and translation/conversion of information was/got broken due to its weakness. And as usual, the breaking happened at the worst time, when the information was needed the most.

I am confident though that the Airbus architects and system designers are astute and quick in seeing this shortcoming, along with the others, and developing the necessary system improvements.

J.O.
17th Aug 2011, 11:31
An excellent comment from Flight Safety Foundation.


Myths and Training



By William R. Voss, President and CEO, Flight Safety Foundation

This is not a column I like writing, and I know I am going to upset some people, but I have to comment on the recent release of more preliminary information regarding the crash of Air France 447, the Airbus A330 that fell into the Atlantic Ocean two years ago. The investigators have given us a clear idea of what likely happened and the sort of recommendations they will make when the final report is issued. The difficult part now is to understand why this tragedy happened and do something about it.

I spent two days with Airbus test pilots, accompanied by Foundation Executive VP Kevin Hiatt, trying to understand the nuances of envelope protection and failure modes. We spent some time going over the accident timeline and then flew the accident scenario in a simulator. I came away with a number of impressions.

First, I was amazed at how benign the initial failure really was. Some electronic centralized aircraft monitor (ECAM) messages, an autopilot disconnect and some bad speed indications. All of this happened in light turbulence, and lasted for less than a minute. The only response needed was to manually fly the same attitude the autopilot had been flying for hours. It should have ended with a logbook entry.

Instead, there was an aggressive pitch up resulting in a 7,000-fpm climb, followed by a series of pitch-up commands that eventually resulted in a stall. These were not small or inadvertent commands. When airspeed numbers came back they were so low they looked erroneous. In fact, the airspeed dropped so low the stall warning was disabled. This had to be confusing. When stick backpressure was released, the aircraft accelerated a little bit and the warning came on again. This kept up all the way to the ocean.

So now we have to try to understand why all of this happened. We can never know what the accident pilots were thinking, so we are stuck making some guesses to help others avoid the same mistake.

Did they think they were at risk of a high-speed stall? Was this a real risk, or was it mythology? Test pilots will tell you it is very hard to get into a high-speed stall in a modern aircraft. Do crews understand this, or do they get their high-altitude aerodynamics lessons from dog-fighting shows on the Discovery Channel, or old textbooks written about the Boeing 707?

Perhaps the AF447 crew was trying to fly the stall scenarios they practiced at low altitudes. Stall training historically has focused on minimum altitude loss. Some pilots will even tell you they rely on the envelope protection to fly them out. Just go to TOGA (take off/go around power) and pull back. Let the airplane do the rest.

The manufacturer will tell you that this is not the right procedure to use at altitude. Instead, pilots are encouraged to trade altitude for speed by reducing the angle of attack. Has this philosophy made it into simulator training, and more importantly, has it become the new norm on the line?

This tragedy compels us to ask some tough questions about training. Do we spend so much time driving simulators around at low altitudes with one engine out that the real risks are only discussed in the break room? This issue extends far beyond Air France and Airbus; it is about an industry that has let training get so far out of date that it is irrelevant, and people are left filling in the blanks with folklore.

Safety Concerns
17th Aug 2011, 11:37
we are going in circles.

You still miss the point.

your opinion but I would quote mountainsnake as my reply as I consider you still miss the point

History is full of CFIT's with yokes equipped aircrafts, you know, even with that feedback and position sight thing.

Once again if we compare amount of fatalities and accidents from the 60's and 70's with now, what are we discussing here?

I do not want to undo anything but it would seem the flight safety foundation align with my arguments. This is not and should not be about technology.

It is about training.

GarageYears
17th Aug 2011, 11:50
While there may be a wrist rest in SOME airplanes, and SOME sidesticks use no arm movement, that is definitely NOT a universal truth! A brace for the forearm or elbow may well replace a wrist rest. I doubt you could fly a Cobra without arm movement, though it may be possible in an F-16 or A3xx (I've flown neither of the last 2).

Well, the F-16 side-stick moves just about 1/8" total throw.... It is a force demand input, not a deflection demand. A regular poster here, Gums, can very eloquently explain, after spending a good many hours in the Viper. FWIW - all F-16 SS's are right-handed and I never heard of a left-handed pilot finding this a problem

I still think you are missing the point regarding center "sticks" and the different muscle sets used to move them - if a center stick provides roll control, then it pivots at the stick head (I presume you mean yoke type control, a pic or reference to aircraft type would help), your entire arm moves to effect the movement, pivoting at the ball socket of your shoulder. With a joystick this is never so.

Again, I think that AB spent many, many hours looking into the human factors aspect of the cockpit design (along with Porsche I recall) and I'm confident that this is not the root of all evil related to the AF447 accident.

I will give you the lack of positional feedback for the PNF, does, on the surface, seem to be an issue worth inspection - when the original Airbus sidestick driven aircraft were introduced, the technology to *reliably* drive the non-active stick was likely considered a significant risk. Since basically all AB cockpits are a simple derivative of the previous, the SS arrangement has been retained A320 through A380, probably not without good thought.

But, really, were not all the required indications available to both PNF and Captain - surely the ADI and altitude readout alone should have been the only two instruments necessary to figure out the situation, along with the fact the engines were working:

1) I'm pitched up (What was it? 15 degrees or thereabouts?)
2) I'm falling at 10K/min
3) I have engine power

Hmmm, what could be wrong....

Did the PNF or Captain ever state - "The aircraft is stalled, pitch-down! Lower the nose!"

Was it because the PF had the SS nailed to the rear stop? Would that have been the vital clue to all in that cockpit? Or was the problem well past that?

airtren
17th Aug 2011, 13:06
we are going in circles.

....This is not and should not be about technology.

It is about training.

The AF 447 accident showed clearly problems with training. But it showed problems that span other areas as well, which contributed to the outcome during all 3 phases, including the last two (2) : (a) climb and getting into the stall, and (b) fall and attempt to recover.

It's hard to escape the impression that being selective in reading, and answering on this thread - an example seems to be the ignoring (so far) of RetiredF4's post# 2969, and airtren post# 2971 - is helping to come back to the same conclusion, in a self created circle.

The stick's shortcoming(s), along with those of some other elements were pointed out throughout the AF 447 threads, and they are easy to see or understand for a technologist, engineer, or system architect, and as I said, I am quite sure they are well known by those that should know.


- tactile feedback from the second set of control input, being it SS or yoke.
Those feedbacks … are missing when things start to get wrong in more way…. [and more]
... The failure of the indirection and translation/conversion of information, as it is shown by the AF 447 - night time, and instrument information malfunction - is a clear instance for anyone who is objective enough to see the system in which the chain of indirection and translation/conversion of information was/got broken due to its weakness….
....................


Many of you will remember the introduction of computers and hand held calculators. Apparently they were rubbish because they kept making mistakes in their calculations. The mistake however was more often than not the user. Rubbish in, rubbish out.

During the roughly 1/2 a century of electronic computers, generation, after generation, problems/bugs in the software and/or hardware were cause of operational problems, smaller, or bigger, and got fixed from one version to the next of the OS/applications, or of the hardware, regardless of the particulars of the software, or hardware technology used. In the same time, new versions brought new sets of problems/bugs. And the cycles are continuing, it's not different today, than it was 10, or 20, or more years ago, and it's not different than it is in other industries.

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 13:12
Post Voss, the circle closes. From ACARS alone, the initial impression in public view was of an a/c in deepess, One can probably conclude that for at least one of the flightcrew present it appeared that way.

So it is. Not a training issue, for the training was on the money; it's in the book. Not A Stall (training) issue, the correct technique was not applied.

Not a "Mysterious quirk of hitherto unknown Physics" (BA038).

A system has shown quirks in the aftermath of the initial blunder. The SS actually can be improved! The STALL warning system might need a tweak. The THS system can benefit from some critiique.

For two years, a few posters have been trying to point out the meat of the matter was in and around 2:10:05.

The 'pinch' in the pipe. As above, accidents lately seem organized around some very elementary concepts.

For the Wrights, they had an excuse. After all the Press, all the pats on the back, and all the airshows and corporate intrigue, A perfectly good Airplane went in with all her people.

As a Pilot, I find that embarrassing.

airtren
17th Aug 2011, 13:39
....
I will give you the lack of positional feedback for the PNF, does, on the surface, seem to be an issue worth inspection ....

But, really, were not all the required indications available to both PNF and Captain - surely the ADI and altitude readout alone should have been the only two instruments necessary to figure out the situation, along with the fact the engines were working:

The stick status and its handling was important, as it was a main cause, in two phases, (a) from the beginning of the climb to stall, (b)from stall all the way to the minimum altitude from where the recovery would have been possible.

Seeing, or perceiving directly the handling of the active stick would have been the very easy, unambiguous way, and the very fundamental direct information needed.

The instruments are ONLY AN INDIRECT indicator of the actions on the stick, and are in the same time indicators of other causal elements, and therefore can be ambiguous, and even hide the very cause of a certain behavior.

From a system architecture perspective, the instruments are at one end in "a chain of elements" that among other things do a transfer of information. The "chain" includes further, the "state of the a/c" in space, then the status of the "control surfaces", etc..... The "position/handling of the stick" is at the other end in the chain, the very opposite one.

This "chain" in its function of transferring information, represents from an abstract system architecture perspective several levels of indirection, and translation/conversion of information, which can ambiguate or hide from one end to the other, the information that is really needed, as the AF 447 clearly has shown.

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 13:59
Yes, embarrassing. Forest/Trees (pun intended). The problem is a bit basic, and should have been entertained and mitigated perhaps back in the thirties (It was).

Step back, let's. Going back to the drafting table is what got us here. The solution was in the elementaries, and long ago.

Making a simple endeavour complicated is arse about?

As per JDEE, the hardware is archaic, simplistic, and dependable.

Archaic, simplistic, and dependable = PILOT.

Ziegler was a lunatic. False idols and all that. Making the ship complex, for the sake of its complexity, was a fools errand.

See, ECAM. What a load of "Les bolloisie". The warnings can be cleared by the system presenting them to the PILOT.

Right, in the midst of what was a challenging flight theme, let's make everything dependent on the one resource ill-equipped to handle the system. And then, when he fails, light him up, and get everyone started on why the system is Excellent/Bulless.

Time release homicide. I blame Bernard.

"The silly Pilot couldn't cope". That's the expletive of those complicit in this cruel joke.

Pilots need to stop pretending they are GOD's gift, and Techies need to
stop acting like the Gift's GOD.

juct a tuppence, eh?

stepwilk
17th Aug 2011, 14:19
I'm sure that after 150-odd pages of opinions, there will be more than enough available to decry this excellent article, but the author, Peter Garrison--an occasional poster here--has, I think, done a splendid job of explaining AF447 within the limits of a newspaper op-ed article's space and the fact that it was written for a general audience.

Air France 447: Super-smart planes still vulnerable to human error - latimes.com (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-garrison-flight-447-accident-20110814,0,5104609.story)

PJ2
17th Aug 2011, 14:41
"First, I was amazed at how benign the initial failure really was. Some electronic centralized aircraft monitor (ECAM) messages, an autopilot disconnect and some bad speed indications. All of this happened in light turbulence, and lasted for less than a minute. The only response needed was to manually fly the same attitude the autopilot had been flying for hours. It should have ended with a logbook entry."
Thanks for posting Bill Voss's remarks.

I have been making this point for a very long time now. But I see in the Tech thread there are still those who believe, like Alain Bouillard of the BEA that pitching the aircraft to 5° at cruise altitude is the correct response. It isn't.

The UAS drill is badly written and can mis-direct the crew into an incorrect response if the Memory Items, intended for when the safety of the aircraft is immediately impacted such as the takeoff phase, are executed at cruise altitudes. The training they had would have been at low altitude, right after takeoff, where the UAS Drill's Memory Items are appropriate until the aircraft is above the MSA or circuit altitude. The "If above FL100....5° of pitch" qualification is misleading and wrong.

In cruise flight the initia UAS Memory Items should not be followed step-by-step - the aircraft is to be leveled-off for troubleshooting yet there is no evidence that any new thinking on the UAS Memory drill has been introduced.

Bill Voss is right - this should have been a log-entry. He is also right about how benign the initial failure was. It is almost a non-event...take over and hand fly, "do nothing", which means maintain level flight, while the system sorts itself out. The even certainly didn't threaten the safety of the aircraft.

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 14:48
So the Computers turned over the flying to the human, and he got it wrong?

So pat, so concise, so off target. If anyone could temporarily turn off the knee jerk "judgment", we may make some actual progress.

Implicit in Mr. Garrison's conclusion is the source of the very problem that caused this accident. It is here on this and other threads, and is not being addressed.

It is mouse trap thinking at its worst, and dare I say, most deadly.

Until we can improve the technology, these events are acceptable?

Until we can improve the training, these events are acceptable?

No, and NO. Ziegler set the tone with his supercilious and smarmy conceit.

The AB fbw system is OLD. The pilot's were experienced. Yet, in an event that is (should have been) mundane, 228 souls DIED.

So long as simplistic judgment is perpetuated, people will continue to die.

Groundhog day is unacceptable. Look a little deeper, seek the AHA moment.

Stop pushing our Peas to the side. Eat your Peas. Stop with the shoulder shrugging, the winks and the nods.

Someone put "Dumb" in the cockpit, and I don't mean pilots. Get the dumb out. Then I'll book a flight on an airbus. I can fly for free anywhere. I choose to pay, and fly other than AIRBUS.

Safety Concerns
17th Aug 2011, 15:18
Dear oh dear oh dear. Lymon I get the feeling you want some startling statement to take to the AF447 court case.

Well here it is PILOT ERROR.

For all those claiming unsafe, come back with proof, an accident statistic, something other than emotive pleas for the good ol days of yoke's and feedback.

Till then EASA has just published a document highlighting no fatal accidents in 2010 involving a European airline. Accidents globally are at their lowest level ever.

Bill Voss The FSF president stated

"First, I was amazed at how benign the initial failure really was. Some electronic centralized aircraft monitor (ECAM) messages, an autopilot disconnect and some bad speed indications. All of this happened in light turbulence, and lasted for less than a minute. The only response needed was to manually fly the same attitude the autopilot had been flying for hours. It should have ended with a logbook entry."

Sadly one need go no further because as mountainsnake stated

History is full of CFIT's with yokes equipped aircrafts, you know, even with that feedback and position sight thing.

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 15:33
Hi safety

None so blind.... Look, PILOT ERROR implies HUMAN PILOT, is that fair?

You do mean Human, yes? Because the AUTO is also a PILOT. Any integral discrete computing system can fly an aircraft. ANY.

Why did the AUTO PILOT DISCONNECT? THAT IS 'FAIL', and before the PF could clear his throat. It also qualifies as an UPSET, in the REGULATIONS.

THE PF was, and must be considered, a back up system. You gloss over this, and for some bias, I assume.

You have, implicit in your tone and delivery, a childish bias for facts that are not present.

For once, can someone make a statement, and not end it as if he were channeling MOSES? That, for reason of implicit wisdom, the finding is the end of discussion?

See, I disagree with you, strongly. Do not take that personally, consider it an invitation to continue. If you wish not to discuss, stop addressing your commentary to me. If you comment, I may respond, that you will have to accept, I think.

Lonewolf_50
17th Aug 2011, 16:53
Safety Concerns:

the science of ergonomics and human factors was just beginning in the 60's and 70's. I find your appeal (a refrain often made by numbers people) to that era of air mishasp disingenuous.

The numbers actually show me that air travel is quite safe right now, with all of those manned aircraft flying all over the globe daily in their thousands.

We are in the digits to the right of the decimal in terms if incidents, and beyond that in accidents, per flight hour.

Each crash can almost be treated as a special cause, if you are running the numbers as you would in a production environment, even if one bows down at the altar of six sigma.

Enough on the numbers.

Your pilotless personnel transport aircraft is a poor idea for anyone other than a lab rat.

Given the number of Predators that have crashed (an example I am famililar with from personal experiences and knowledge, I am pretty sure there were others), I find your proponency for unmanned personnel transport aircraft baffling.

If you take those Predator crashes and put 228 people in each of them, you'd find a groundswell of opinion against your industry bias proposing unpiloted passenger aircraft.

That human error is a common element of a human undertaking (powered flight) should not come as a surprise.

What surprises me is anyone who will profess by their argument a belief in the culmination of aircraft development into a zero defects, automated personnel transport system*. Those pilotless aircraft will crash too, if you build them, and what is unknown is how often. We'll only know after we count those body bags, won't we?

* = That is the between the lines read I am getting from you.(And some of our other non-pilot participants). It is a proposal that only appears attractive from an idealized bottom line discussion on a spreadsheet.

I have concerns for safety as well, being mostly a passenger these days, and only when I have to be.

I know, having worked with mechanical and electromechanical things since I first repaired a bicycle at age eight, that things manufactured by humans often break, sometimes predictably and sometimes unexpectedly.

You can take your pilotless airliner and park it on the ramp in Hell. I won't pay the fare to travel in one -- ever. (Hell, I barely fly now). Nor will I travel in a bus without a driver.

I don't trust robots.

Why?

I don't trust the people who make them to be free from human error.

See how that works? The machine does what someone tells it to do ... remember our old friend General Protection Fault from Windows 3.11?

Too many dead friends, for reasons both mechanical and human, as well as the ultimate cause in aviation: gravity.

I am not interested in trusting someone with no skin in the game.

captplaystation
17th Aug 2011, 17:17
Wonder how an unmanned A320 would have fared landing in a x-wind in Hamburg ?

The fact that the aileron authority is reduced if a main wheel touches down during the whoopsy/ go-around would no doubt have been fed into it's electronic brain. Shame no-one had previously thought to tell the human robots about it.
What other little foibles/glitches are still hidden in there , just waiting for the required circumstances to rear their ugly heads.
My 20 yr old 737 Classics occasionaly throw electronic wobblies that I have never seen in 20 odd years of flying them.
How will Airbii perform when they get a little older ?

Some interesting accident investigation in store in Africa etc in a few years when they end up with their 3rd/4th , no doubt loving/caring /technically superb, owners. :rolleyes:

GarageYears
17th Aug 2011, 17:52
Lyman:

Through hook or by crook you continue (and have done under previous user names) to incite, infer and apportion blame, either explicitly or otherwise, in all directions, other than in the lap of the fella with his hand on the controls. Or do I misunderstand you?

At one point you were campaigning vigorously that the V/S had snapped off in mid-air... despite a lot of evidence to the contrary. You got quite animated.... but were quite wrong. In fact that has been your operating mode since pretty much day 1.

This was not the first UAS instance affecting an Airbus - but unless I am mistaken, it is the first that ended up in the Ocean. So, were the prior successful UAS occurrences luck? The aircraft systems were the same. The same cockpit displays, controls, warning tones, etc. What was different? The fella charged with flying the aircraft... yep, that is one identifiable difference.

Yes, the human got it wrong. Why can't you accept that? It seems as if that simple concept is somehow entirely implausible. It MUST be the planes fault.

Can the plane be improved? Yes, I suspect so - better support information for the human, perhaps MORE automation/protections.... better pitots in the first place, etc. But ultimately the PF is sitting up front because there ARE failures, things drop off, or break, and since autonomous flight is not (yet) desired, "we" (collectively, as a flight community) believe that the best outcome will come with a trained crew in the front seats. In this case, the crew lined up the holes in many slices of cheese in a particularly unfortunate order.

As has been more eloquently put by others, what should have been a log-book entry, became a disaster. Deal with it.

CONF iture
17th Aug 2011, 18:10
A lot of good reading here lately ... Thanks guys !



I have been making this point for a very long time now. But I see in the Tech thread there are still those who believe, like Alain Bouillard of the BEA that pitching the aircraft to 5° at cruise altitude is the correct response. It isn't.
2.5 deg + N1 at one o'clock ... I'm all for it too.

My question to you, PJ2 :
Why the BEA still 'believe' in the 5 degrees ?

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 18:15
Moses hath spake.

Yes the other UAS incidents were luck. You put 32 successful against the One fatal, and can't notice that makes 33, instead of 32:1?

What emanated from the VS discussion was a lot of interesting discussion, and an understanding, an informal one, of how the VS and the Rudder operate.

You appear to believe that focusing blame in one (accepted) direction closes the subject. Yet you criticise me for being narrow? Pot/Black.


Making this personal is useless, immature, and a waste of energy.

You think I am up to some form of harm? Evidently you do, or you value your passion so little you take time to get upset into the wind?

relax

Safety Concerns
17th Aug 2011, 18:24
lonewolf you should read my posts.

I made it quite clear early on I do not agree with removing pilots from the cockpit. I am merely highlighting the industry wish and the fact that some pilots do not help themselves on this issue by continuously referring to perceived safety issues that aren't there.

I accept it must be difficult and I respect the loyalty shown to colleagues no longer with us.

Safety is driven by statistics. You have no chance of getting stick feedback on a bus until accidents occur where without any shadow of any doubt lack of feedback was an issue.

You have seen the NASA results of A v B and the A320 over 20 years into service is doing just fine and is safer (statistically) than a 737.

Therefore my point was merely that if as a group of professionals you are hell bent on the return of stick feedback, you need to find a different argument because going on about perceived automatics issues with AF447 or Habsheim or anywhere else won't help your cause.

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 18:37
Let me stand in agreement with you, then, safety concerns. Feedback is not an issue. It is vestigial.

Feedback is a form of SA, and a tactile one. Cockpits have been non tactile for a generation. (commercial).

I made note before, that allowing one's body to sense and decide a course of recovery of control is a very bad thing. One is stuck with, works from, instruments, and indications.

Is it possible PF was trying to utilize his 'feel'. Could be, he certainly chased NOSE UP until 1.65 'g'. If he was flying 'g', he was in the weeds.

I don't reject Pilot blunders, and yes, it is difficult. But there are a thousand pilots like the one caught out here. Is that comforting?

My bottom line. The Big Picture. Salivating and ranting about the "ONE" UAS incident that was fatal, and how safe fbw truly is, is dangerous.

In jumping on this pilot, one is entering a dangerous State.

The State of DENIAL. Reliance on automatic flight is routine. How is all of a sudden a shift to Human flight uncomfortable? Pilotage should be a given, a default to be yearned for, not feared.

This time it was "his" fault? That is shortsighted, and dangerous.

PJ2
17th Aug 2011, 18:49
Hi CONF iture;
My question to you, PJ2 :
Why the BEA still 'believe' in the 5 degrees ?
I can't say, but they're not alone in this belief.