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Intruder
17th Aug 2011, 19:00
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 ?
[Not so] Minor point: Teaching hand-flying in cruise is not a high-priority concern because it has been effectively regulated out of existence. We MUST use autopilot with altitude hold in RVSM airspace!

Intruder
17th Aug 2011, 19:07
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?)
The answer to your first question is an unqualified YES!!! They had attitude, altitude, and vertical speed information. The nose-high attitude was THE primary clue that they were indeed stalled, and the unwinding altitude and vertical speed verified it. If they had only recognized those basic clues, they could have recovered as late as 10,000', and likely much lower (the attempt when they started realizing their fate at 4000' would have been close, but maybe possible).

As for the "Hail Mary" system, it would depend on what input that system used. The combination of AOA and pitch attitude may have allowed an automatic correction even without airspeed, but any system that depended on airspeed might have failed.

Intruder
17th Aug 2011, 19:29
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.
. . .

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?
Regarding center sticks, you are still very misinformed. Most pilots flying with a center "joystick" will rest the elbow or forearm on some conveniently provided (or innovated) rest (including, in some cases, the pilot's thigh or other body part). The shoulder movement is not needed for most low-amplitude motions.

In the A-6, for example, the pitch pivot on the stick was at the floor, but the roll pivot was half way up the stick, with another pushrod going through the floor from that pivot point. That allowed knee clearance at full roll deflections. When flying in cruise at altitude, the upper arm was normally at rest against the body, and again no shoulder movement was required.

Even in the 747, I rest my elbows on the armrests to manipulate the yoke in most flying regimes. During takeoff and crosswind landings I might use deliberate shoulder movements, but most of my flying is still done with fingers, wrist, and forearm. At times the armrest becomes a fulcrum for the forearm for larger-amplitude movements.

Though I have not flown with a left-hand sidestick, I still fly in both the right and left seats with a yoke. The stick and throttle motions transfer freely between hands when the controls are anchored.

With all that said, I have made NO judgement or statement regarding the setup of the Airbus cockpit and the lack of motion on the stick -- that was from others. I see that as a tertiary (or lower) issue. As you pointed out at the end of your post, it was a simple (at least after the first 30 seconds) matter of looking at attitude, altitude, and (possibly) vertical speed to analyze the situation and recover from the obvious stall. Tragically, that never happened. I might note here that I have flown in that regime in the past, because flying the A-4 in a stalled condition, with significant sink rate, at altitude was a great exercise in control discipline, and it recovered readily with the simple easing of the backstick.

Lonewolf_50
17th Aug 2011, 19:35
Safety, my apologies, I read into that a bit, and I thank you for correcting me. :O

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.
I don't have a dog in that fight, actually (what was that about reading posts? :8:} ) though some others do. Given that any number of pros fly the sidestick on a daily basis and are content with it I'll let the fur fly on that one and learn what I can. My concern is in the trend of taking the man out of the loop ... so you could say ... that my dog in the fight, such as it is, applies to A & B, and T, and whomever else is making passenger planes.

The machine should serve the man, and the man/woman I have in mind is in it, not in a board room. ;)

GerardC
17th Aug 2011, 19:51
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.If you read carefuly BEA's reports you will notice that most (if not ALL) affected crews wisely decided NOT to apply the 5° up/TOGA drill :D

They are still alive (if, arguably, undisciplined).

jcjeant
17th Aug 2011, 20:03
Hi,

captplaystation
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

Well at least we have already a small statistic about the Thales Pitot tube causing UAS ...
On 37 events .. one only was fatal
So .. seem's this statistic shown that the pilots are on the good side of the coin :)

RetiredF4
17th Aug 2011, 20:10
Safety Concerns

Lonewolf you should read my posts.

[QUOTE]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.

Do you have a reference for this? That looks like everybody who intends to improve his working conditions and the efficiency and safety of his work should loose his job.

I accept it must be difficult and I respect the loyalty shown to colleagues no longer with us.


That is a wrong assesment, the issue is for those who still live and work.

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.




Safety is not driven by statistics, that is the engineering point of view. Safety is the condition of being safe; freedom from danger, risk, or injury. You might use statistics to compare two items and clarify the relative safety against each other. According your point of view in continuosly comparing A v. B or past v. present you use the better one as reference.

So it would satify, if f.e. A would loose 1 frame per year and B 2 frames per year, then safety under your point would be high enough, because A is double as good as B. The truth would be, that there are 3 losses to much each year.

Dealing with safety you improve whatever is improvable, regardless of statistics.


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.

That is your opinion, others may have another one.
In between your sentence i read, that you think that this group of professionals see the problem AF447 only in the mentioned SS and throttle issue. This group sees training deficiencies since a long time, especially in the younger groups of pilots. It has been adressed in this thread and in a lot of others in this community. Go back and read them, you might find a lot of helpful information about flying. Problem being, that due to the statistically high rate of reliability handflying is not deemed necessary any more.
When however problems arise and the pilot has to handfly the system, he is not only missing the practice to do so, he must rapidly tune into a malfunctioning system and and must bring his knowledge and expierience (if there is one) flawless to work. For that he has to use a system, that was designed for 90% monitoring and 10% flying, in normal everything functional conditions. Therefore it is legit to think about improving these systems to assist the crew in those few occasions in a better way, like some of us described. If manufacturers and engineers are unable to do it and if the industrie is not willing to pay for it, then it might be that way and the pilots will have to cope with it. But not saying anything might be tolerable from your position in a practical kind of way, but not from the flying side in relation to safety matters.

Finally the manufacturers will makeup their mind, and either replace the pilot at all or improve the workingplace. Wether the initial cause for that will be Habsheim or Paris-Rio or any other happening in the future, we will see. And when the change takes place with a later design, then it will be ok as well.

The pilots and people advocating a change are not defiant children (which i have the impression you see them), but professionals in their world of responsibility and thus have a right and a duty to adress those matters.

DozyWannabe
17th Aug 2011, 20:11
@JenCluse - that was a very well-written and emotive post. I want to make it clear to everyone here that I do accept that there is a valid argument for force-feedback. However I also believe that there are valid arguments against, especially when the Airbus control philosophy as a whole - including human factors and training - is taken into account. See my previous post on CRM and handling discipline if you like.

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?

"Might"? Yes. "Would have"? I don't know, but possibly not. If we accept the possibility that it might have made a difference, we must also be prepared to accept the possibility that it wouldn't - based on previous accidents where aircraft with conventional control layout met similar fates, as well as the human factors in this incident - the Captain having been summoned to the flight deck from his rest period, for example.

Surely 'piloting skills' ought to be valued in an aircraft pilot?

Of course, and I've never disputed that. Convincing me isn't the issue - convincing the industry *is*, and the ones in the best position to do it are yourselves. But (and this is my opinion only, for all that's worth), you have to convince them with focused and well-reasoned arguments. Going off into tangents about sidesticks, yokes and force-feedback won't do you any favours in the eyes of the hard-nosed financiers who for better or worse call the shots in most of our industries in this day and age.

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'?

What right do I have to call myself the 'grand fromage' pilot?

Because you're undoubtedly good at your job (all other things being equal, it's hard to end up in the LHS of an airliner if you're not), and more than that you are legally expected to carry the can for everything that goes on on board your aircraft. It's a rare case in aviation where a design flaw is so egregious that an engineer will be expected to take responsibility in a legal sense (though a good engineer in my book will take personal and emotional responsibility for everything he or she was worked on).

To serve man ... that is the purpose of the machine.

But "to serve man" (...and the sci-fi lovers on here will know how hard I'm fighting the urge to yell "It's a cookbook!") and "doing it the way we've always done it" is not the same thing. MountainSnake makes a very good point that yokes and force-feedback are not "must-haves" on a FBW aircraft. The argument for and against has effectively split the piloting community into two camps - I'm not a pilot, but I know that the "pro-feedback" argument is not unanimous no matter how some may try to portray it thus.

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.

Not meaning to be facetious, but do you have any evidence that the number is growing? I haven't seen any as yet - the Tech Log thread in particular demonstrates that the divide is as clear and as balanced as it ever was.

Or what it does not and what the consequences are in terms of safety, stubborn denial from the lobby or not.

It's not just "the lobby" - many pilots who have as much skin in the game as yourself do not see the lack of force feedback as a big deal, and as I said before, you have only to look at the various threads on this subject for proof. Just as I do not have the right to label all Airbus FBW sceptics as, say, stubborn old-timers (nor would I!), what right do you or anyone else on your side of the fence have to dismiss their opinions as irrelevant?

SC:

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.

That is a useful and well-reasoned argument.

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

That is unhelpful and unsubstantiated rot, and on a piloting forum I would say it is also borderline inflammatory and/or inciteful.

As a techie - one who tries to understand the logic behind the systems and knows well the calibre of the average person that designs and puts those systems together, I still fervently hope that there'll be at least one Mk.1 human brain at the controls of any aircraft I fly until I shuffle off this mortal coil - and I see no evidence that any less than two at any one time would be safe, given the present state-of-the-art. Yes, human error has led to accidents, crashes and the inevitable deaths - but human ingenuity has equally saved lives when the situation has appeared completely hopeless based on layman's logic alone (UA232, BA038, the DHL A300 in Iraq to name but a few).

@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.

Er, the AF447 PF very clearly states (according to my learned Francophone fellow posters on this board) that he believed he was in an overspeed "crazy speed" situation, as did the Birgenair 757 Captain (who also believed that all ASI's were unreliable when in fact it was only his own).

Anyways, apologies to all for the long post, but I've been building up thoughts for the last 48 hours that I wanted to get off my chest - before I sign off for a bit I want to quote a section from a PM that I sent to a pilot I recently disagreed with, but respect a great deal nonetheless.

I'm not saying there isn't a safety case for backdrive - but I can tell you that retrofitting it to the Airbus systems would not be a simple or cheap task. Look at it from a systems perspective - first they would have to develop it, then get it certified, and then they would have to physically modify thousands of aircraft in service (costing billions). They would also have to completely reconsider and rework their training programme and ground most of their aircraft while these processes happen. The result would mean many airlines facing bankruptcy and in all likelihood would bankrupt Airbus as well - thousands of pilots and engineers (among others) would lose their jobs and the airline industry would take the largest hit it has ever experienced. Would it be worth risking that for a design change that hasn't even been proven to make things safer?

Some people argue that if the PNF or Captain of AF447 had seen or felt the PF's inputs then "maybe" they could have resolved the situation - in fact some argue that it's a certainty, but the history of LOC incidents due to stall doesn't bear this out (e.g. NWA, BEA548, Birgenair - all of them had yokes, none of them recognised and/or corrected the situation - in fact all of them had at least one flight crew member who was convinced that their stall warning and protection systems were in error). I'm happy to accept that it *might* have helped to have backdrive, but I'm not convinced that it *would*. I'm certainly not convinced that it's worth risking the future of European civil aviation over that "might" or "maybe".

In the end I leave it to you to choose how seriously to take what I'm saying, as I do with everyone, but don't think for a second that I haven't done my homework and don't respect the opinions of those who disagree with me - I do, and I especially respect those who provide statistical or anecdotal evidence to back up their arguments. But you'll have to cut me some slack if I don't accept "no pilot would do xxx" or "I just don't like the idea of non-moving thrust levers and passive sidesticks" as more than an opinion as opposed to a proven fact. We're human beings and we adapt to our changes in environment pretty well - but change is something that we have to work to accept psychologically, bringing with it as it does reminders of age, obsolescence and eventual death.

Lonewolf_50
17th Aug 2011, 20:18
Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/447730-af447-wreckage-found-post6644358.html#post6644358)
To serve man ... that is the purpose of the machine.

But "to serve man" (...and the sci-fi lovers on here will know how hard I'm fighting the urge to yell "It's a cookbook!") and "doing it the way we've always done it" is not the same thing.

Please don't serve up a straw man, dozy, since we are not cooking scarecrow stew. ;)

Serving man is NOT the same as "doing as we've always done," and you will NOT find me foolishly equating the two.

My takeaway from aquadalte's concise point is that adding features can frequently be counterproductive. Cockpit functions intended to serve those flying, with their flesh on the butcher's block, have to account for a holistic approach to a pilot, as do the wetware policies in how to apply those features.

If your features (and policies, which are RULES just as a computer rule is a rule) erode proficiency and currency, then a malfunction has ample opportunity to turn into something worse.

AF 447 isn't the only example of that.

DozyWannabe
17th Aug 2011, 20:37
@LW_50:

Gaaah - I'm supposed to be taking a breather!

OK - I'll answer your point and then I'm done for a bit. I'm not putting forward a straw man (though, on the subject of scarecrows, admittedly my head has hurt so much turning these issues over that bursting into a chorus of "If I Only Had A Brain" has been a distinct worry ;) ). That point was a response to the suggestions put forward in the support of force-feedback that the past has many lessons to teach us, and that the march towards technology runs the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. It's a fair point and one I'm happy to concede.

However I've seen no evidence, either statistical or anecdotal, that the decision to simplify the control logic and reflect the modern state of airliner control systems (i.e. they ain't connected to the sticks and haven't been for nearly 40 years) by not implementing it on the current Airbus stable has had any effect on safety. All I've seen on this thread (and others) are people who have already made their minds up on the subject deciding that this was so. For what it's worth (as a non-pilot who does his homework before spouting off because he loves aviation and hopes that his forum handle makes that clear), I don't think there's enough evidence to support an unequivocal argument either way, and certainly not enough evidence to support a unilateral design change to what is a very successful and unprecedentedly safe airliner series and the knock-on effect that would undoubtedly ensue in practice.

I hope that people will also note that I don't see technological solutions as the be-all and end-all, and remain firmly in the "airliners need pilots" camp. I agree that overuse and misuse of automation, largely at the behest of airline executives whose qualifications consist of a trust fund, an MBA and precious little else, has had a negative impact on safety - especially when the automatics decide it is no longer safe for them to continue. However it is this aspect of the airline industry that needs to be tackled, and making automation itself (which as I've said is merely a tool) out to be the bad guy in all of this is, I believe, not only short-sighted but harming the debate that really does need to happen on the subject of hand-flying currency.

PJ2
17th Aug 2011, 21:43
If you read carefuly BEA's reports you will notice that most (if not ALL) affected crews wisely decided NOT to apply the 5° up/TOGA drill

They are still alive (if, arguably, undisciplined).
Re "undisciplined", yes, possibly, or alternatively they were highly-disciplined, knew how the drill should go and understood that any pitch-up at all only applied where the safety of the aircraft was affected (usually at takeoff), which is certainly not the case in cruise flight. Momentary loss of airspeed information isn't an emergency, it is a minor abnormal that, according to the drill, requires setting the MCDU to the GPS page to monitor altitude and levelling off for troubleshooting which means get out the QRH for the pitch-power settings, and wait.

The various reports of these events are sparse on details and we don't know why the crews actually kept level flight with the pitch and power in place at the time of the incident, (given room for minor variations due turbulence, etc), but we know none of them pitched the aircraft up.

The_Steed
17th Aug 2011, 22:12
I'll declare myself as SLF up front, so apologies if this is way off, but I've been following this thread since Day 1 and was wondering if my understanding of the developing explanation for the crash is correct...

Essentially, flying into a storm meant the pitots froze, and the UAS meant the Autopilot disconnected, and instead of flying roughly level, they used a drill meant for the take-off phase which meant nose-up attitude. This in turned led to speed decay, and then a stall. Because of the UAS and the flood of ECAM messages, they didn't really know what was going on and so kept the nose-up which meant that the plane eventually was going about 60kt and dropping I'm guessing almost vertically? They didn't notice that they were losing altitude because there were no outside visual cues until they started scanning instruments, but by that point it was too late to pull out of the stall and they couldn't recover.

So I guess my point is this. Is this a typical 'swiss cheese' affair where a combination of bad decisions, bad luck and some below par flying skills resulted in an avoidable crash?

kwh
17th Aug 2011, 22:17
I'm not a pilot, but what I get from this thread is that the only guy in the cockpit who knew what control inputs were being made was the guy making them. The problem wasn't that HE had insufficient feedback, it was that he was pulling back on his stick, and the other pilot and the captain when he got back to the cockpit couldn't see that he was doing so, but possibly assumed that he was doing the opposite.

Clearly one solution would have been for the pilot who was flying the thing to tell everybody else on the cockpit what he was doing so that they had a chance to tell him he was doing it wrong. In the absence of that, rather than a force feedback joystick, would the simple solution to this be a telltale on one of the displays? Anybody who has ever flown a computer game with a keyboard will surely be familiar with one of those little 'stick position' indicators that shows you where the joystick would be now if you had one... so, would a small circular display with a glowing 'stick position' display in the middle of the glass cockpit, showing the stick was 'being pulled back' have made it obvious to everybody else on the flight deck what control inputs the pilot flying was making? A lot easier to do (in software) than retrofitting force feedback, all the information is obviously available... presumably you'd only need/want it in certain circumstances, but would it have prevented this crash assuming one of the other humans in the cockpit had known the right thing to do but didn't realise that the pilot flying was doing the wrong thing?

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 22:25
PNF knew what PF was doing, there was no mystery. It is a fairytale. He was constantly scolding the PF to descend. And probably not from looking at the ss. He also could see, feel, and understand the results of the "inputs" made in the other seat. (Not so much lateral, eh?). What is mysterious is the lack of a decision to take over. Only occasionally, did PNF input with his ss, (a very bad idea). Then, after relinquishing the controls to PNF, PF took them back. Thus far, no orders do we hear from the COMMANDER.

Sadly, with the informations to hand, the arguments will not stop.

kwh
17th Aug 2011, 22:40
Yes, he was telling him, but based on the transcript, it appears that either he had no idea that he was being ignored, or he lacked the courage of his convictions and thought the pilot flying might be doing the right thing after all... but in that case, was the situation saveable when the captain came through the cockpit door if he had seen a stick position indicator hard back against the stop and yelled "Nose down, NOW!!!"?

Lyman
17th Aug 2011, 23:40
It is worth a discussion, but not a conclusion. We will likely not hear the actual voices, nor the complete recording. We will be given "transcribed" pieces in support of what will be a "Point of View". Most will be happy with that, fearing criticism for being conspiracist. Go figures. but witholding data is not dishonest? Such sheep.

The tone and Pitch of each voice tells perhaps more than the words themselves. It will be dexcided that it is too painful, or some excuse.

What we see is what we are intended to see, and cannot refute, due the sparse data. As intended.

Captain knew nothing more than the others, we think. WHY? radical descent, and intense noise from the slipstream. Either could describe Nose UP, OR Nose Down. Pick em.

stepwilk
18th Aug 2011, 00:02
Ah, yes the posters who have never, ever been on a flight deck can tell us what it sounds like, what it feels like, what it looks like, how flightcrew member interact...incredibly helpful! Thank you for your insights!

BarbiesBoyfriend
18th Aug 2011, 00:35
To the 'automated' pilot, ie those who always use the automatics to fly, quite minor upsets, like capturing the GS from above can be major hurdles.

Indeed, as I myself become one (and I am, sadly) such simple tasks are becoming more and more stressful.

A major upset, like the AF447 will likely leave an automated pilot completely stunned.

ie, unable to think or act.

What experience has he to fall back on?













Can he remember his stall/spin training all those years ago?















Might he remember his Airbus 'recover at the first sign of the stall-and go full aft on the sidesick' training?


















Or, is he a PILOT. The man who guides the aircraft using his many years of FLYING experience to save his own ass (and his/ her pax) because he knows what TF is going on?

I cannot state this MORE EMPHATICALLY!

These guys were OUT OF THEIR DEPTH immediately! STRAIGHTAWAY!!

They had LITTLE or NO experience TO FALL BACK ON.

They had BUGGER ALL experience HAND FLYING their own aircraft.

They had NO FUGGIN IDEA THAT THEY'D STALLED. Would that be permitted in a 152 on lesson 3?

They had 20 , 000 Hours of Sweet Fu"K All in piloting terms.

20,000 hours of reading the papers, chewing food and jerking off.

I plead guilty.

I'm ashamed to say so, but it could happen to me too.

We must teach pilots to fly.

The fact that it even needs saying, jars! :ugh:

jcjeant
18th Aug 2011, 01:01
Hi,

DW

I hope that people will also note that I don't see technological solutions as the be-all and end-all, and remain firmly in the "airliners need pilots" camp. I agree that overuse and misuse of automation, largely at the behest of airline executives whose qualifications consist of a trust fund, an MBA and precious little else, has had a negative impact on safety - especially when the automatics decide it is no longer safe for them to continue. However it is this aspect of the airline industry that needs to be tackled, and making automation itself (which as I've said is merely a tool) out to be the bad guy in all of this is, I believe, not only short-sighted but harming the debate that really does need to happen on the subject of hand-flying currency. You are not a pilot .. exactly like me .. but dreamer (or idealist ?) .. I am not a dreamer
Airlines (that is, banks and other investors and states) have nothing to do with security as primary matter
Their primary purpose is to make a profit and as much as possible .. no matter what.
They have very good analysts who calculate risk ..
They are not adventurers ..
There is too much money at stake (even the governments economy are involved)
As long as return is positive (taking into account the accidents already planned in advance "statistics" .. .. ..insurances premiums an extra charges .. etc. ..) companies will invest no more in security if the balance is good
More .. regulators and legislators of aviation safety make it the least possible disruption to the business of these companies because these regulators are often associated with the states .. must promote civil aviation .. and must protect the country's assets
A few hundred lives per year and some insurance premiums and an extra charge are nothing compared to the financial and political stakes.
A good trial to satisfy the families .. a maximum dilution of responsibility .. and after a few months nobody talks about and the business can continue as usual .
This is the reality we see when awake .. at the end of the dream

Machinbird
18th Aug 2011, 01:14
BBI plead guilty.

I'm ashamed to say so, but it could happen to me too.

We must teach pilots to fly. We both understand how easy it is to lose skills you once had. I saw my IFR skills deteriorate when I retired from the military. You are apparently seeing your skills wilt in your hands because you aren't getting opportunity to actually fly the aircraft enough.

My experience was that it took almost 5 years before I began to scare myself a bit flying IFR approaches.

What do you think is the "time constant" for significant loss of ability.

Is recurrent training every 6 months sufficient to maintain a skill assuming you exercise that skill during recurrent training?

BarbiesBoyfriend
18th Aug 2011, 01:40
machinebird

Sorry, don't know how to crop from your post.

You asked 'how long before you get rusty on IFR flights. For me (50 years old. 10,000 hours) I get rusty after a long weekend. No kidding.
The more recent I am (today is good) the better I am.

Time constant? I don't claim to know.

That's an easy question to ask, but a very difficult one to answer.

My point is simple though.

Pilots should not rely on the autos to do stuff they CANNOT do themselves.

By all means use the autos, but only because you CHOOSE to, not because you NEED to.

I'm an experienced Capt. I see F/Os (tomorrows Capts.) who actually fly 1% or less of what they log.

Dammit, I'm not much better than them (but at least I have some experience of hand flying)

bubbers44
18th Aug 2011, 01:43
recurrent training isn't going to help much. By the time the check airman is through checking the squares rarely is any time left for hand flying. Your best opportunity is in benign conditions at lower altitudes just hand flying for a while. If you don't do this you will fly like these guys did. How would you like your name in a similar accident report showing your inability to hand fly?

BarbiesBoyfriend
18th Aug 2011, 01:52
Bubbers.

If that q. was directed to me, then-no is my answer.

I only contributed a comment to this thread because I feel that the current 'autos' trend is killing my very hard won stick and rudder skills.

Also, those same skills- which the AF447 crew must have had back in their PPL days- were plainly absent when they, and all their passengers and crew, got killed.

Why go stick back in a stall?

Why go stick back at all?

Why did the Colgan crew go stick back in a stall?

Might I, or you go stick back in a stall someday? Kinda hard to rule it out, no?

airtren
18th Aug 2011, 02:07
I'm not a pilot, but what I get from this thread is that the only guy in the cockpit who knew what control inputs were being made was the guy making them. The problem wasn't that HE had insufficient feedback, it was that he was pulling back on his stick, and the other pilot and the captain when he got back to the cockpit couldn't see that he was doing so, but possibly assumed that he was doing the opposite.

The info you've mentioned is inferred from the BEA Report, and the way the AB stick is functioning. You could check to see if your own conclusion based on same sources would be a match....

Clearly one solution would have been for the pilot who was flying the thing to tell everybody else on the cockpit what he was doing so that they had a chance to tell him he was doing it wrong.It seems that he misinterpreted the neutral position of the stick, and consequently. what he thought is Neutral, was NU, so most of his work, around the Neutral was, in fact around NU.

Therefore, any verbal communication coming from the PF would have not been of real help, as it would have gone through the translation of his own senses, or in other words, his misperception of the Neutral position of the stick.


Anybody who has ever flown a computer game with a keyboard will surely be familiar with one of those little 'stick position' indicators that shows you where the joystick would be now if you had one... so, would a small circular display with a glowing 'stick position' display in the middle of the glass cockpit, showing the stick was 'being pulled back' have made it obvious to everybody else on the flight deck what control inputs the pilot flying was making? A lot easier to do (in software) than retrofitting force feedback, all the information is obviously available... presumably you'd only need/want it in certain circumstances, but would it have prevented this crash assuming one of the other humans in the cockpit had known the right thing to do but didn't realise that the pilot flying was doing the wrong thing?This would have been one way to directly and unambiguously transfer the pertinent stick info to the PNF and Captain.

airtren
18th Aug 2011, 02:25
PNF knew what PF was doing, there was no mystery.
Not really. He could not see directly, constantly, and continuously what the PF was doing with the stick.

He had a clue, as he could infer based on some indirect information, but not see directly, each motion the PF was performing.

It was like a wall in between, a blanket over the PF, etc,...

Lyman
18th Aug 2011, 03:23
I think PNF 'knew'. In the sense that he saw, felt and heard cues that prompted his scolds. I hesitate to say specifically (sometimes) that the ss was visible to PNF. I am not persuaded this is a flaw. It is not inadvertent, this design, so Airbus knows this also.

Unless a human is perfect in posture, his body will explain his movements. I don't believe the pull back full SS is perfect with the shoulderrs, and neck as the push SS. I do know it is very poor form to criticise a Frenchman in the way he performs hisd tasks. So to do this scolding is convincing, the PNF is very sure. He will not assume the controls, this is next to forbidden, and in Korea this is similar, the steal of the stick to humble the other.

I think it is not wise to avoid that this PF has created some doubt about Stall in the PNF, then Captain. When it is doubted, the command is left alone. "Some crazy Speed" is obvious on this flight deck, but the position of the Nose is in question, Dive, or Stall. So crazy speed is correct for this team, and that is the source of all following mistakes, an unknown attitude. Crazy speed by noise, and by VSI.

A slim chance for those who favor the pilot is not a fool is that we hear, read, what is released to us, and it fits like a glove to the conclusions.

In fact, not called conclusions, by the BEA, but only here.

Slim one though/

airtren
18th Aug 2011, 04:35
I think PNF 'knew'. In the sense that he saw, felt and heard cues that prompted his scolds. I hesitate to say specifically (sometimes) that the ss was visible to PNF. I am not persuaded this is a flaw.
You think he "knew". ... But he didn' know, as he could only assume, or suspect, or infer, but not see directly, and thus know for sure.

IMO, the efficient and easy synchronization between the two pilots is a major Goal of the cockpit design. That Goal seems to be achieved with only one exception, which is the stick. Currently the active stick is controlled almost in complete secrecy, as the other pilot has no easy and natural ability to directly see what's going on with it.

I suspect that the PF's problem was that he was confused about the Neutral position, and instead of Neutral, he kept the stick off Neutral in a NU position.

Had that been clearly, and easily visible to the PNF, and later by the Captain, they would have reacted either by pointing that out, or simply taking the control away.

Machinbird
18th Aug 2011, 05:01
BB
Pilots should not rely on the autos to do stuff they CANNOT do themselves.Fully in agreement here, and there should be precious little that a pilot cannot do himself, else he is on the slippery slope that can lead to an accident.

Bubbers44
recurrent training isn't going to help much. By the time the check airman is through checking the squares rarely is any time left for hand flying.That just goes to show that the system does not appreciate the value of hand flying.
There should be specific hand flying exercises that need to be performed and checked off. (Like the S-1 and S-3 patterns that I posted a week ago.)

Guess the regulators will have to step in and insist.

GerardC
18th Aug 2011, 05:01
@PJ2
Momentary loss of airspeed information isn't an emergency, it is a minor abnormal that, according to the drill, requires setting the MCDU to the GPS page to monitor altitude and levelling off for troubleshooting which means get out the QRH for the pitch-power settings, and wait...Well... not really. According to AF book (see BEA's report appendix 9), when ALL IAS are unreliable "sécurité du vol" must be considered "affectée" and 5° NU/TOGA drill MUST be performed.

fdr
18th Aug 2011, 06:22
Correction: I must confess first up, that I was suspicious early on re an upset induced structural failure of the VS. Given the downlink info, there was some reason to consider that scenario. Having evaluated the structure and also real world piot inputs, I remain less than enthusiastic about the AI rudder limiter system, and the design of the primary and secondary load paths. The system remains sensitive to consequential failures particularly following DFCS sensor failures. Nonetheless, in the AF447 case, this did not occur, as the rudder appears to have been functionally dormant...

The CVR and DFDR have allowed another look into the operation of a flight deck and decision making in a condition of high stress and uncertainty.

It is very easy to post event slate the flight crew for the lack of SA, not being aware of the energy state of the aircraft, (PNF calls acknowledged...), but one assumes that this is a qualified, moderately alert crew of common competency dealing with a moderately complex problem that is probably compounded by the crews actions. On the day, the outcome was less than satisfactory. Unless this type of outcome is to be an accepted by product of cost savings, then the industry needs to learn the lessons that can be gained from this event and work on the fundamental problem which remains as always:

Loss of Situational Awareness

The fact that crew continue to apply incorrect flight control inputs on a depressingly growing number of events (RAL, AA, USAir, CAL, KAL, XL, AF etc...) is in part evidence of the relative ease of which the crew can be placed in a position where loss of SA occurs. Poor HMI design and inadequately documented system behaviour can increase this likelihood.

Training can provide some protection however, the existing FFS are not suited to high fidelity in the area of concern. Flying small aircraft may be beneficial (at least it can be fun...) but a spin in a S-1, S-2 SA-300 or Stearman bears little resemblance to departure from controlled flight in a swept wing jet. (What is consistent though is that any aircraft with normal stability will tend to recover from uncontrolled flight [inverted/upright/incipient/stabilised] if the controls are held positively in a neutral position, and a dive will result. The FBW aircraft if operating normally will recover rapidly if the controls are released (Boeing anyway, AI.... beware the stab trim). Caveat: Follow your normal procedures.

Where the sensors have failed, the problems for the flight crew are substantial, even if they are relatively benign in the commencement of the event. On FBW aircraft, pretty much all bets are off, as the behaviour of the system is going to be whatever the newly established control laws are... if the engineers chicken entrails correctly established the failure mode, then that will be relatively benign, however if the runes were not working that day, then the outcome is going to be at the very least entertaining.

Lets consider being a little bit more understanding of the stress that these guys were under, and acknowledge the fact that they are the product of the level of interest the travelling public have in safety (by proxy through the performance of the open skies/deregulated industry, "the race to the bottom").

Training can be improved, but it will occur only when the customers demand that the airlines stop killing them.

Boeing and Airbus both make adequate aircraft, both suffer from hubris, and the merits of automatics/FBW etc IMHO are subservient in causality to the loss of SA that exists for various reasons, but a number being within the purvey of the airlines to act to mitigate.

Machinbird
18th Aug 2011, 06:38
when ALL IAS are unreliable "sécurité du vol" must be considered "affectée" and 5° NU/TOGA drill MUST be performed. I'm with PJ2. That isn't smart to apply that by rote in all corners of the flight envelope.

Short Sea Story. (I'm USN Ret)
Once had an instructor that demonstrated the approach to stall by forcibly unloading the aircraft to the point that g was actually fairly negative. (I acknowledged the procedure, but thought to myself, "No way in H#ll that I'm going to pop the stick forward like that."
Later I was on a 4 plane tactical hop, 2 students versus the instructor and another student. I was leading the student section, and we forced the instructor into an overshoot and split the flight so that my wingman was now on the instructors tail.
Instructor was embarrassed and tried to shake off his new "wingman". He went over the top of a loop at very low speed with my wingman in tow. Inverted at the top of the loop, my former wingman saw his airspeed at near zero and forcibly popped the stick forward by rote as he had been trained. Result-a very pretty and stable inverted spin that continued all the way to the ground. Fortunately his ejection seat worked as advertised but I was afraid we had lost him for quite a while.:ooh:
End of Sea Story.
I am very suspicious of things you do by rote.

PJ2
18th Aug 2011, 06:54
Well... not really. According to AF book (see BEA's report appendix 9), when ALL IAS are unreliable "sécurité du vol" must be considered "affectée" and 5° NU/TOGA drill MUST be performed.
I don't read or speak French. If I may, could I ask that the paragraph beginning with the statement, "Si la sécurité du vol est affectée", be translated? I would like to understand exactly what it is saying. Specifically, I would like to know where it says, "and 5° NU/TOGA drill MUST be performed." Thanks very much.

In the UAS drill's design, the memorized items are for when the crew doesn't have time to look up the pitch and power, and instead must react very quickly, for example on takeoff. Remember, this drill has evolved from the original ones written a few years after the Birgenair and Aeroperu accidents.

When in stable cruise flight at FL350, a loss of any or all airspeed indications is not an emergency like the loss of engine thrust, loss of cabin pressure or a fire warning. One is not required to instantly act and "do something".

I think a mandatory pitch of 5degrees at cruise altitude if the airspeed is suddenly unreliable is a serious error in checklist design and the wrong guidance to the response given what would result if one pitched the aircraft from 2.5deg to 5deg.

The result would be destabilizing because level flight has been lost in the resulting climb and there is no longer any pitch and power reference with which to stabilize the speed because 5deg NU is going to cause a loss of energy/speed and if one is pitched up, one has no idea what one's speed is regardless of the power setting. At cruise altitude, there isn't much reserve power and pitch attitudes for most climbs when changing altitudes are usually a half to one degree higher than cruise pitch. A 2.5degree increase in pitch is huge.

Further, if the memorized drill requires "5deg" when the aircraft is clearly above both the MSA and circuit altitude" (the last memorized item in the box), then the drill is open-ended and does not provide for a level-off point from which to troubleshoot. It might be argued that at some point a crew flying this airplane, knowing that it is losing speed and energy, (one would hope they knew!), would level off because the result of a continued pitch-up is obvious. Of course, that then begs the question of the mandatory pitch-up in the first place, does it not, so why would anyone ever do it?

I think that if a mandatory pitch-up to 5deg whenever the aircraft is above FL100 which may have been the last training on this abnormal that the PF had received, then perhaps we have the reason why the PF pitched up almost instantly, and unannounced to the PNF, upon the loss of the speed indication. But I can't for the life of me really believe that that is what the drill means or requires, is it?

Pitching the aircraft up like that rather than maintaining level, stable flight is a guaranteed loss of situational awareness and potential loss of control as happened here, whereas maintaining level flight with pitch and power settings "as they were", keeps all factors in the "known" territory while the speeds sort themselves out.

I don't understand why two things aren't abundantly clear to everyone upon pitching up to 5deg - a) what the airplane would immediately do, and b) regardless of the memorized items which would mostly be applied during takeoff or early in the climb, why is there any support at all for a pitch-up to 5deg at cruise altitudes, when the outcome of such a manoeuvre is quite clear?

The question might be rephrased thus: Do we follow a bad checklist and place the flight at serious risk or are we pilots who think and fly to stay alive?

It isn't complicated and it certainly wasn't an emergency requiring the instant action that occurred.

GerardC
18th Aug 2011, 07:49
@PJ2 and "machin" : to clarify.

"Si la sécurité du vol est affectée (toutes les indications de vitesse sont erronées ou si l'indication de vitesse fausse ne peut être clairement identifiée)...appliquer la procédure suivante
- appliquer les actions immédiates (équivalent de la maneuvre d'urgence)...

-AP/FD.....OFF
-A/THR.....OFF
[....]
Au dessus (above) FL 100
Poussee/assiette...CLB/5° (up)"
(Bold is from AF book)

"If flight safety is an issue (all IAS unreliable OR if unreliable AS indication is not clearly identified)... apply thereafter procedure : (same as unreliable IAS drill : AP/FD/ATHR OFF ; CLB thrust/5° NU).

I am not saying this is a smart idea, I am just saying that, from a notary/Court point of view : AF book mandates "AP/FD/ATHR OFF ; CLB thrust/5° NU" each time ALL IAS are unreliable or if THE unreliable/faulty IAS cannot be "clearly" identified
Any one of these two conditions is considered to be "affecting flight safety".

PJ2
18th Aug 2011, 07:52
GerardC;
I am just saying that, from a notary/Court point of view : AF book mandates "AP/FD/ATHR OFF ; CLB thrust/5° NU" each time ALL IAS are unreliable or if THE unreliable/faulty IAS cannot be "clearly" identified
Any one of these two conditions is considered to be "affecting flight safety".
Okay, thanks very much.

Wow.

RWA
18th Aug 2011, 08:13
"If you read carefuly BEA's reports you will notice that most (if not ALL) affected crews wisely decided NOT to apply the 5° up/TOGA drill"


Nevertheless, that - 'apply TOGA power and seek to maintain altitude' - was the 'book procedure' (for both Airbus and Boeing) at the time AF447 went in? It was changed to 'get the nose down and apply power sparingly as the attitude improves' - a few months after AF447; can't myself believe that that was just a conicidence, and had no connection with the accident (plus the 2008 Perpignan one)?

PNF knew what PF was doing, there was no mystery. It is a fairytale. He was constantly scolding the PF to descend. And probably not from looking at the ss.

Except, though, that he could only get that information from the instruments? First of all there'd have been a 'timelag' - and secondly, given the abnormal conditions etc., he couldn't have been 100% certain that it was the result of the PF's inputs? I remain of the opinion that if he'd known about the stick inputs 'at first-hand' he'd have had a better (and earlier) chance to intervene decisively?

In any case, we haven't had much discussion of the fact that about halfway down the pilot (or 'pilots') DID make some nose-down inputs; and both the attitude and the airspeed improved. Because of the increased IAS, though, these inputs resulted in the 'dormant' stall warning waking up and sounding again. This is the point that the pilots' union is stressing - it very probably just served to make the pilots (all three of them by that time) even more confused......?

Finally there's the question of the THS staying at 'full up.' BEA barely mentions this fact in the AF447 report, but they covered it very well in their report on the (similar) Perpignan crash the previous year. That report very clearly explains why that happened:-


"Footnote:- The elevators must go beyond the neutral position before the auto trim function adjusts the position of the stabilizer.

"When the stall warning sounded, the Captain reacted by placing the thrust levers in the TO/GA detent and by pitching the aeroplane down, in accordance with procedures.

"The nose-down input was not however sufficient for the automatic compensation system to vary the position of the horizontal stabilizer, which had been progressively deflected to the pitch-up stop by this system during the deceleration."


As I understand it (given that the THS was at 13 degrees up) a very decisive nosedown input would have been required to get the THS moving down again; and even if one had been applied, let's not forget that the THS took a full minute to go from 3 degrees to 13 degrees; so, presumably, it would have taken another full minute to go down to a reasonable angle again?

Sadly, I'm not sure that the flight crew had as much as a minute of life left to them by that stage?

Furthermore, that report goes on to say:-


"Under the combined effect of the thrust increase, the increasing speed and the horizontal stabilizer still at the pitch-up stop, the aeroplane was subject to pitch-up moment that the Captain could not manage to counter, even with the sidestick at the nose-down stop."


Full Perpignan report can be read here:-

http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2008/d-la081127.en/pdf/d-la081127.en.pdf

So it appears that the BEA considered that the 2008 Perpignan captain had no practical chance of regaining control, even with full nosedown inputs? Yet, in the AF447 report, the BEA says that the AF447 2009 situation (in exactly the same circumstances, in a deep stall with the THS full up) was 'recoverable'?

I can't overly blame Airbus for trying to offload as much liabilty as they can; that's the way business works, especially with hundreds of millions in compensation at stake. But I hope very much that they will act quickly and decisively 'behind the scenes'; as I believe that they already have by changing the stall recovery procedure.

In particular, I hope that they:-

1. Link the sidesticks at least to the point that both pilots are aware of inputs on either side;

2. Review the operation of the stall warning; ideally, if technically possible, add a second warning reacting to an actual stall rather than an imminent one;

3. Make sure that, in future, if the rest of the aeroplane 'gives up' and hands the pilots manual control, the THS does the same.

My guess is that none of those changes would cost a great deal; they'd mainly be 'software' rather than 'hardware.' Additionally, they could be introduced quite quickly, on existing aeroplanes as well as new ones. Furthermore, I don't see any way in which those changes would make the aeroplanes any more difficult to fly; and they sure MIGHT help to avoid further such accidents in the future?

BOAC
18th Aug 2011, 08:16
PJ2 - whatever you think of the "5 deg nose-up" it would not have killed all. The a/c would have flown reasonably happily while the UAS drill was actioned. Any stall warning that might have been thus induced could have been actioned as normal.

What the focus needs to be (apart from stall recovery training, of course) is why the pitch went from 0 deg to 11deg.
So it appears that the BEA considered that the 2008 Perpignan captain had no practical chance of regaining control, even with full nosedown inputs? - this is not in fact the case. He had roll available. A perfectly 'practical' way to get the nose down and should be taught during 'unusual attitudes'.

Coagie
18th Aug 2011, 09:44
The BEA report has some of the flying backgrounds of the three AF447 pilots. None of the three had been military pilots, and it's possible the two younger pilots had only flown whatever automated equipment Air France put them in. I don't know if you needed a PPL to train as a pilot for Air France, when the two co-pilots trained (Ages 37 and 32). I think Air France trains it's own pilots. Not sure if either one had so much as soloed in a 152. Maybe some of you guys know?
The Captain started out as a flight attendant with Air France, then trained as a pilot.
The apparent lack of leadership, airmanship, and teamwork heard on the CVR made my curious about the background of these pilots. The PNF calling the captain back anxiously, make it seem as if neither co-pilot knew how to fly in the aircraft in the situation they found themselves in, and the PNF knew it.

philip2412
18th Aug 2011, 10:49
lyman,pls answer a single question.just yes or no

do you believe,every pilot inthe whole wide world,capable of flying an jet
a/c would after a/p disconnect had put the a/c in a climb of 7000ft/m ?



yes or no ?

GarageYears
18th Aug 2011, 11:50
The lack of hand-flying experience was discussed a page or so back... some of you here are Captain's seeing new F/Os. Have any here experienced crew trained according to the (relatively) new MPL licensing scheme? These crew will NOT have necessarily been through what I would call the conventional PPL -> etc route, and may have "learned" to fly in a simulator. Entirely.

If I understand the MPL correctly, an F/O may be in the right-hand seat on a fare-carrying loaded commercial flight after no more than a total of 12 take-off and landings (of which 6 can be in a simulator...).

What hope is there given that level of experience?

cwatters
18th Aug 2011, 12:45
Just had another look at the third report and was struck by how hard the PF appears to be working the roll axis right after the disconnect. See page 29..

http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601e3.en/pdf/f-cp090601e3.en.pdf

In the 30-35 seconds following the AP disconnect he made 17 more or less alternate roll inputs with the aircraft rolling 10 degrees first one way then the other. Was he simply too busy or too focused on roll to notice he was climbing ?

RWA
18th Aug 2011, 13:08
Quoting philip2412:-

"do you believe,every pilot inthe whole wide world,capable of flying an jet
a/c would after a/p disconnect had put the a/c in a climb of 7000ft/m ?"

Welcome, philip2412.

But as to your question, it remains by no means certain that the climb was caused by pilot inputs. Please refer to Page 111 of the BEA's third report:-

http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601e3.en/pdf/f-cp090601e3.en.pdf

This shows that, at the time the THS started moving and the sudden climb commenced, the PF was applying relatively small movements, up or down - largely consistent, in my less-than-expert view, with an attempt to 'fly pitch and power.' However, the THS was already well on its way to 'full up.'

Agreed, the PF later applied TO/GA and a lot of noseup - presumably in response to the stall warnings. But by that time the aeroplane was ALREADY in a steep climb that, on the available evidence, had been commanded not by the PF but by the THS.

For confirmation, it's worth mentioning that, if you look further down the table, you'll see that the increase in the angle of attack from the point the THS began moving appears EXACTLY to parallel the THS's progress towards 'full up'........ and started long before the PF applied full noseup stick.

I'm prepared to accept that the pilot(s) could, arguably, have made a better job of attempting to recover. But I'm not at all sure that 'pilot error' caused the initial steep climb. Indeed, on the (limited) available evidence, it appears to have been the THS that started it, not the PF.......

BEagle
18th Aug 2011, 14:21
I can't believe that this drivel is still going on....

Face it. The 2 co-pilots porked up in spades. The PF's agricultural flying commanded the THS - it did what he'd erroneously commanded. He then failed to understand that he'd stalled the aircraft through incompetent handling.

Poor system knowledge, lack of awareness and no idea of basic principles.

But why on earth the captain decided to go and sleep before the aircraft was clear of the known serious weather forecast for the route....

Air France arrogance and their unwillingness to face the consequences of inadequate training on a complex aeroplane seems to me to be a contributory factor.

Jazz Hands
18th Aug 2011, 14:29
While the devil's often in the detail, BEagle, I'm inclined to agree with you. Seems to me that some posters would have spent considerable effort trying to blame the iceberg for the sinking of the Titanic.

Lyman
18th Aug 2011, 14:38
I'll try again to frame what I see is the beginning of the confusions in this place.

What was assiete at 2:10:03? We know the Pitch of this a/c at 2:10:05 was 0 degrees. Knowing this would give a rough 'trend'.

Because here's the deal: After taking controls (after 2:10:05) the Pitch actual of the a/c is ? Trending ?

A normal cruising PITCH value would be ~2.5 degree?

If we consider that this a/c was @ PITCH lower than expected and perhaps trending even lower when a/p was lost, called into question is the perhaps not too relevant "Book".

What does the "Book" have to say about this?

Throughout, I see this "Book" as simplistic in nature. It assumes straight and level, unaccelerated flight?

Some say that the pilot should have done nothing by way of maneuvering.

NOT FAIR. The airframe was assumed to be active; sit still and watch the nose drop further?

Or "SET 5 degrees PITCH and CLB THR." Sorry, also not pertained.

That is a COMMAND to maneuver, quite possibly.

Consider: A "proper" PITCH command by the PF could have involved a PITCH excursion of as much as 6 degrees, perhaps a bit more.

The a/c did not immediately climb. What shall he do? Likely wait and see what his initial stick produced? From the Traces, I think that is what he did. I will forgive this gent some anxiety, and perhaps that, brand new to the grip with a/p loss, he is NOT conversant completely with Neutral Point. Throw in a proven wing drop that the a/p quit on, OK?

Rolling, Nose Low, Cavalry Charge, Master Caution, etc.

Not an Emergency? Like DePressurization? hmmm.......... The "Book" calls the loss of the AutoFlight system an "UPSET".

In what language is "UPSET" not an emergency?

Rananim
18th Aug 2011, 15:08
Someone mentioned that the js may have been occupied at the time.By the PF's better half.Has this been proven one way or another(CVR)?

Here are 2 relatively inexperienced co-pilots with no clear chain of comand order left by absent skipper.What dynamic would the presence of a 3rd party,especially a spouse or relative,have on this democratic mess?People act differently when theyre being watched than when alone.What led PF to over-react to a relatively benign situation(AS loss for 50 secs) and why didnt PNF intervene if he knew,as Lyman keeps saying he did,what was going on?Was it just atrocious flying skills or is there something else here as well?

Lyman
18th Aug 2011, 15:20
To be clear, the Sidestick visibility issue is not involved in my saying PNF knew. I base it on what the PNF said to PF, and what I know of French culture, not necessarily cockpit culture. One never prompts, or interrupts with critique, another's efforts. For PNF to have done so shows me he was elevated to that concern. Also not elevated sufficiently to remove PF from Stick control. In the middle. That way lies confusion. No command ethic should be operated as a democracy, certainly. This does not foreclose teamwork. Who would confuse democracy anyway with teamwork?

A33Zab
18th Aug 2011, 15:38
CHARACTERISTICS IN PITCH

IN FLIGHT

When the PF performs sidestick inputs, a constant G-load maneuver is ordered,
and the aircraft responds with a G-Load/Pitch rate.
Therefore, the PF’s order is consistent with the response that is "naturally"
expected from the aircraft:
Pitch rate at low speed; Flight Path Rate or G, at high speed.

• The aircraft maintains the flight path, even in case of speed changes
• In case of configuration changes or thrust variations, the aircraft
compensates for the pitching moment effects.
• In turbulence, small deviations occur on the flight path.
However, the aircraft tends to regain a steady condition.

AIRBUS PITCH CHARACTERISTIC
Operational Recommendation:

Since the aircraft is stable and auto-trimmed, the PF needs to perform
minor corrections on the sidestick,
if the aircraft deviates from its intended flight path.
The PF should not fight the sidestick, or overcontrol it.
If the PF senses an overcontrol, the sidestick should be released.

Zorin_75
18th Aug 2011, 16:03
But as to your question, it remains by no means certain that the climb was caused by pilot inputs. Please refer to Page 111 of the BEA's third report:-

http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp...90601e3.en.pdf (http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601e3.en/pdf/f-cp090601e3.en.pdf)

This shows that, at the time the THS started moving and the sudden climb commenced, the PF was applying relatively small movements, up or down - largely consistent, in my less-than-expert view, with an attempt to 'fly pitch and power.' However, the THS was already well on its way to 'full up.'

Huh?

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/554/447d.jpg

The pitch up coincides pretty precisely with the NU inputs. Airbus pilots please correct me, but I'd guess inputs using 50% of the total stick travel probably are not what you would call "relatively small movements"? The THS is still more or less stationary at this point.

PJ2
18th Aug 2011, 16:23
ventus45;
Then there is the advanced version of the above, the revered "pitch and power". As some have noted, (PJ2 in particular) works OK on climb out, but has wharts on at anywhere near ceiling, aerodynamic, or propulsive.

My point is, all of these "simplistic SOP's" can "lead you up the garden path" and are thus counter productive, and dangerous.

Thinking that maintaining a positive pitch attitude (pick a number, 2, 2.5, 3, 5, degrees - whatever) should be part of a procedure to recover from a stall is idiotic. Thinking that the use of power is a primary or even a seconday way to recover from a stall is idiotic.
I think you're confusing the published response to the UAS with a previously-published stall recovery procedure. Please read my post carefully. I'm not discussing the stall or stall recovery. I am discussing the UAS Memory drill in force at the time of the accident, and also discussing the crew's response to the loss of airspeed information.

It is the UAS procedure to which I refer when I state that maintaining level flight with pitch-and-power settings existing just prior to the event will keep the aircraft in stable, level flight, (obviously the crew has to fly the airplane to do this...), until the pitots and the affected ADRs sorted themselves out.

The crew had all information necessary to maintain level flight, (altitude, VSI, N1, etc), to do this but instead instantly pitched the aircraft up and essentially maintained that pitch up until the aircraft ran out of energy and stalled. That would have been the time to reduce power to idle and pitch the nose down.

Whether recovery from the stall, which had become firmly established with the NU SS inputs after the apogee, was possible or not remains an open question for aeronauticists but the prevailing opinion is, notwithstanding the potential to aerodynamically stall the horizontal stabilizer due to a full-down elevator and without rolling the THS -13 position forward even just a little, that if such recovery had begun around FL350 on the way down, that it was possible. I have read and heard that it is a testimony to the design of the aircraft that the elevator retained some effectiveness right up to impact. Some will disagree with the possibility of recovery or offer other scenarios, lower or higher, but the point is essentially moot after the apogee given the sidestick inputs.

FYI, Boeing and Airbus have already discussed responses to the stall with a view to indicated changes. Airbus presented the changed procedures at the 17th Performance and Operations Conference in Dubai and the pdf can be found here (http://fucampagne2008.unblog.fr/files/2011/08/updatedstallprocedure.pdf).

PJ2
18th Aug 2011, 16:40
BOAC;
PJ2 - whatever you think of the "5 deg nose-up" it would not have killed all. The a/c would have flown reasonably happily while the UAS drill was actioned. Any stall warning that might have been thus induced could have been actioned as normal.
Respectfully, I disagree.

First, it is clear that maintaining a pitch attitude of exactly 5deg can be problematic and I think that's what happened here - the PF did not have the experience at high altitude flight to achieve precise control and over-pitched in the same way as the PIOs were introduced in roll - (the reductions in roll show that he learned quite quickly about the sensitivity of roll direct).

Second, the moment one begins the climb one reduces predictability and stability at precisely the moment when both are required to retain some situational awareness and assured energy level of the aircraft. Level flight is most certainly more predictable and any pitch attitude required by rote when the circumstances do not warrant it means something is wrong either with the drill itself or the way it is being interpreted and actioned. In my view, both phenomenon are occurring here in various quarters.

By pitching up to "more or less 5deg", with thrust in CLB and A/THR likely disconnected either by the aircraft or as per the UAS drill and in "THR LK" many unknowns are introduced the most critical one being the energy level (speed) of the aircraft while transitioning from level flight to the climb resulting from the increase in pitch with the possibility of a decreasing speed due to a slightly higher than 5deg pitch.

The airplane was stable before, so why momentarily destabilize it by climbing which is what 5deg NU is certainly going to do? Maintaining level flight prevents the introduction of these unknowns and permits a calm cockpit while reaching for the QRH.

In fact, by the time the QRH page is found and the numbers read out, the UAS event would have been over and normal indications would have returned on this flight. As someone said, this should have been a log-book entry.

ChristiaanJ
18th Aug 2011, 16:49
FYI, Boeing and Airbus have already discussed responses to the stall with a view to indicated changes. Airbus presented the changed procedures at the 17th Performance and Operations Conference in Dubai and the pdf can be found here (http://fucampagne2008.unblog.fr/files/2011/08/updatedstallprocedure.pdf).

Thanks, PJ2!
Sadly, it's just a pdf of a PowerPoint slideshow.... one can still hope for the full text of the presentation at the conference.

That pdf almost reads as if the authors had been reading PPRuNe :rolleyes:
But, then: pilots, and designers, and engineers, and investigators, even if they don't post here, are not as stupid as some posters here try to make them out to be.
That they arrived at the same or closely similar conclusions as the more reasonable posters here, is barely astonishing.

canyonlight
18th Aug 2011, 16:56
Is it possible that AF447 was just the result of a clueless crew (I'm sure that were good guys, but their training was clearly inadequate; hence, a training issue) and 13 degrees nose-up THS (a design issue)?

GarageYears
18th Aug 2011, 17:11
RWA:

[Chart] shows that, at the time the THS started moving and the sudden climb commenced, the PF was applying relatively small movements, up or down - largely consistent, in my less-than-expert view, with an attempt to 'fly pitch and power.' However, the THS was already well on its way to 'full up.'

Where are you getting this fantasy from?

More importantly why?

According to the report and the controls 'chart' the THS does not move appreciably until some 45 seconds into the event, at which point the aircraft was at the apogee of the climb. The first 10 seconds of the event consist entirely of varying degrees of NU command. There's you climb... nothing to do with the THS.

aguadalte
18th Aug 2011, 17:35
Safety C:
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.

Safety,
Remember this video? (Pay attention to aircraft behavior at time 00:22)
I do know these guys personally and I have talked with both of them about the reason why they were bouncing wings...
This is (another case of ) two pilots "flying the bird at the same time"! No feed-back (and no Dual Input Warning, at that time). This wasn't an accident cause the Captain decided to Go-Around in due time.
But the situation persists. And if this wasn't an issue, Airbus would have never accepted to include the Dual Input Warning only some years ago, which is a huge step for such a proud organization...
What I can't understand is your incapacity to accept that there is margin for improvement...
If there wasn't margin for improvement, we would still be in the Stone Age...

HazelNuts39
18th Aug 2011, 17:46
RE:: Lyman #3036

It all depends. Yes, as you say, pitch attitude in level flight and still air would have been about 2.5 degrees nose-up. At AP disconnect, pitch was zero and slowly increasing at about 0.6 deg/s. Also the power had been pulled back from 100%N1 in still air cruise to about 85%N1. A little while ago I explained that these conditions are consistent with the airplane maintaining speed and altitude in an updraft of about 1000 fpm. 'Doing nothing' would have maintained these conditions until a change in the environment. Let's suppose the airplane left the updraft and entered an area of still air. Leaving pitch and power unchanged, it would then descend at 1000 fpm at constant speed. To restore level flight, the pilot would have to pitch up to 2.5 degrees nose-up, and increase power to 100%N1. If entering a down-draft, a little more of both. I think that the transition from updraft to still air or downdraft would explain the 'delay' in the airplane starting to climb.

infrequentflyer789
18th Aug 2011, 22:45
Thanks, PJ2!
Sadly, it's just a pdf of a PowerPoint slideshow.... one can still hope for the full text of the presentation at the conference.


There's a bit more here: 20101536_SafetyFirst-11-Toconsult (http://www.scribd.com/doc/47758956/20101536-SafetyFirst-11-Toconsult)
and here: Stop Stalling | Flight Safety Foundation (http://flightsafety.org/aerosafety-world-magazine/april-2011/stop-stalling)
still looks a bit like a report about a report though

The first few slides in that are in some ways the most worrying - explaining AOA and stall about how I would explain it to my kids (based on my knowledge from long ago when part of my career was in building stuff that flys), and a whole slide on how nose-down reduces AOA. I'd expect to be yawned or jeered off stage presenting that to actual pilots. I really really hope the transcript that went with those first slides was along the lines of "you all know that, and that, and that" but I fear it may not be.

I've looked at stall accident reports before, fascinated (I thought) at how panic and confusion could override the best of training... but I am starting to believe that this industry really has managed to train a generation of pilots who don't acutally know the basics of what keeps a plane in the air, and think(from their training) that they can accelerate and climb out of a stall.

If so, it's probably taken decades to come to light, and will probably take as long to fix. I find it more than slightly scary. Am I the only one ?

Lyman
18th Aug 2011, 23:16
I am still trying to acclimate to Airbus' use of cartoons in the FCOM.
You know, the silly drawings about overspeed that show sweat coming off the a/c's eyebrows, the wing tips glowing red, and shedding parts?

maybe it's just me. In spin training, I got out of the a/c grinning, and the CFI scolded me for not taking things seriously. They stopped spin Training what, thirty years ago?

Clandestino
19th Aug 2011, 00:05
There's a question I really love to ask my F/Os that prefer to climb in V/S instead of pitch hold mode (I'm not on Airbus anymore, if you wonder): when will the aeroplane stop climbing with pitch 5°, climb power set and what will happen then.

Anyone willing to take a guess?

OK465
19th Aug 2011, 00:17
Low Earth orbit?

infrequentflyer789
19th Aug 2011, 00:25
I am still trying to acclimate to Airbus' use of cartoons in the FCOM.
You know, the silly drawings about overspeed that show sweat coming off the a/c's eyebrows, the wing tips glowing red, and shedding parts?


Yeah, you aren't the only one.

Seems to be a trend - have you seen kids' school textbooks lately ?

Each page seems to have any text broken far beyond submission by irrelevant pictures, breakout boxes, sidebars, bubbles, and all in a cacaphony of fonts and sizes that would make any sane graphics designer weep. And that's the maths books. It's no wonder the kids are all hyperactive - a few pages attempted readng of it and my old brain was getting fried.


maybe it's just me. In spin training, I got out of the a/c grinning, and the CFI scolded me for not taking things seriously. They stopped spin Training what, thirty years ago?Thought you were a committee these days [ http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/456874-af-447-thread-no-5-a-92.html#post6632144 (http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/456874-af-447-thread-no-5-a-92.html#post6632144]) ] ? You all went spin training at once ?

PJ2
19th Aug 2011, 00:28
infrequentlflyer789;
I find it more than slightly scary. Am I the only one ?
No, you are not.

It has been almost three decades now, under a neoliberal political economy that the profession of "airline pilot" has been under serious attack by a de-regulated industry characterized by cash-strapped or bankrupt airlines which think that pilots are paid too much and should be paid what "the market" thinks they should be paid. Like the Colgan First Officer who was living at home with Mom and Dad in Seattle on US$16,000/year and commuting to Newark.

A veteran pilot acting as F/O on a commuter aircraft with a major Canadian carrier makes under CAD$40,000/year. A first year nurse makes more. An entire generation of potential pilots has taken a look at how expensive it is to get into the business, how shaky and hostile the business is, how pilots are viewed by just about everyone but especially airline managements (can anyone say "Crandall"?) who, because these airplanes now fly themselves through the automation that managements spent a lot of money on, don't need to pay well and don't need to hire keen young people and don't need talent. Along with the rest of us, their retirements have been destroyed, (long before October, 2008).

So in exchange for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal investment to get the university degree, the licenses, the instrument and multi-engine endorsements and the time-building as well as risking one's life in the bush while hauling or lifting just about everything, budding pilots looking for a career, essentially buy a lottery ticket which offers a slim chance to get hired by a connector and later maybe get on with a major carrier. The odds and the rewards these days are both tiny, in comparison to other professions and careers, and wildly changed since I began in the early '70's.

Of course life is constantly filled with disappointments and mature adults deal with them quietly on a daily basis, aviation has turned itself into such an enormous disappointment for those who used to have stars in their eyes and a fire in their belly about flying for an airline, that those with the intelligence, the ability, the self-discipline, the resources, the patience and the luck have gone elsewhere for their life's work because aviation is as never before, a harsh mistress.

There are many reasons why more than a dozen airline crews have stalled their aircraft but the "headwaters" of all these streams which collect in one thematic "river" lie, to some degree, in the way this industry has gone. It was always a tough industry, but the rewards for those who stuck it out were always there. No longer. A lot of guys my age have said the industry has changed and they're glad to be out of it. They say they miss the people, miss the layovers, miss the airplanes, miss the beautiful nights over the Pacific or the Atlantic but don't miss the business. Young people are very savvy and expect to be treated better than corporations have treated their parents.

Paying more doesn't make a better pilot. But those who would have made fine aviators have gone into medicine, law, education, engineering, (but not politics, economics, sales or the corporate ladder.)

Some here will ask what the hell has all that got to do with AF447? But there are a lot of others here who know, only too well.

Aviation's lessons are not altered by technology; they are merely displaced, delayed or hidden until a combination of factors come together and this time there is no intervening error-trap which prevents an accident. Automation has made aviation far safer, and that includes the automation we rarely think about such as ATC, weather forecasting, communications, navigation and tracking which all support a heavily-automated aircraft.

In my view, the industry long ago passed that point where being a pilot meant something... a pilot was someone who had "address", who was always just slightly cranky if things weren't just so, who bristled when his skill and his thinking were called into question and who knew his airplane, the air that kept his aircraft aloft and the weather, all expressed in a kind of sixth sense that can only be pointed to when it happens. it can't be written about so that someone in an MCPL classroom "gets it"; its catalyst is adrenaline which teaches an abiding respect borne of a nurtured but mature fear of what an airplane is capable of.

This isn't romanticizing aviation or a pilot's life. This is describing attitudes and beliefs that are proven to keep aviation safe while the beancounting MBAs and senior managements, who know the cost of everything but not the value of their employees, have long forgotten about the business they are in, viewing aviation from afar at a desk in front of a monitor. They expect pilots to "manage" their airplane as they "manage" budgets. I laughed the first time I ever read that description of what I did for a living. But I remained just cranky enough all the same.

Stalling one's airplane? Unconscionable for a pilot. It is the worst failure one can visit upon oneself and one's passengers. What we are wrestling with is, Where did the stall begin?

This is a human factors and organization question; it is not a technical question. What and where are the antecedents? Training? Hiring? Standards? Expectations? Licensing? Ego? One thing is certain in human factors. The stall did not begin with the pitch-up. Perhaps a few are going to understand the thread running through all these notions which I have described. There are those here, including myself, who have been around aviation long enough to not to have to prove these statements to anyone because we know, to a greater or lesser extent, they're true. We knew in the mid-80's that automation was going to be a problem not because humans don't play well with autoflight systems, but because of the way managements saw how automation could reduce training costs, hiring costs, and salaries because "anyone could fly these aircraft". That is the way it was marketed and many here knew then what was coming.

So, no, you are not the only one, infrequentflyer789. It is not accidents per se that is disconcerting. It is the nature and the "quality" of accidents that is disturbing, and one does not fix such things by legislation, more automation or more training alone.

westhawk
19th Aug 2011, 02:38
PJ2:

Thank you for summarizing so well. :ok:

My own rant on the general subject of the incredible aircraft mishandling blunders seen over the last few years has become somewhat less eloquently stated as time goes on. It's all too easy to adopt the attitude that making well reasoned arguments supporting carefully thought out and logical conclusions is like shoveling sand against the tides. But I appreciate insightful commentary and recognize that a few others do too. Perhaps the effort might not be futile after all.

Gretchenfrage
19th Aug 2011, 03:43
Great post PJ2. :ok:

Coagie
19th Aug 2011, 04:34
I long for the jet-setter days! Flying used to be like going to a high class party. Now it's like going to the bus station.
Not as good to be a pilot or a passenger anymore :(.
I'm with you PJ2. Great post.

PJ2
19th Aug 2011, 05:40
ventus45;
Agree, but, it only works in still air. In 447's case, they were in light turb, A/P and A/T had thrust down a bit, and pitch attitude was down a bit when they disconnected, so they were not in a "stable" condition either dynamically or from a trim and power point of view. Hence, they did not have the preconditions required for the use of the UAS procedure anyway. This isn't a significant departure from stabilized flight. It is a straightforward matter to stabilize the aircraft which means dealing with the slight variations in altitude, setting the power and get the aircraft in more-or-less level condition in which things are known so you know where you're at and can get on with the next steps. This is what being an aviator is all about.

PJ2

MountainBear
19th Aug 2011, 06:03
For heaven's sake man, are they not pilots?! Do we actually have to tell them how to keep an aircraft level? Are they truly automatons? Those variations are non-events - child's play. Does the point your making not illustrate the very problem at hand? Fly, do your job, for goodness sake! Stabilize the aircraft in level flight, take command, which means dealing with the variations in altitude, set the damn power and get the aircraft in more-or-less level condition in which things are known so you know where you're at and can get on with the next steps. Are we that far from being aviators?!I understand where you are coming from and in a general sense I think your comment has validity. But I think when you apply that perspective to AF447 it is leading you astray.

There are many elements to AF447 that appear obvious in hindsight but it's wise to remember that the crew was faced with a host of unknowns that we, today, are not faced with. Anyone who says that this accident should just have been a logbook entry is either tremendously arrogant and feeding their pride off the bodies of the dead or living in a fantasy world so divorced from reality that they are flying high, and not in a good way. Yes, the pilots should have handled this better. But lets not get carried away and pretend that iced up tubes happen every day. The crew of AF447 is not the first group of pilots to crash because of UAS issues. Responding to what happened to AF447 with an Internet tough guy attitude doesn't serve anyone well.

llagonne66
19th Aug 2011, 07:22
PJ2

Great post to give us the pilot's point of view on the sorry state of our industry today.

... while the beancounting MBAs and senior managements, who know the cost of everything but not the value of their employees, have long forgotten about the business they are in, viewing aviation from afar at a desk in front of a monitor.Your perception is also totally relevant today in the design and manufacturing side of the aviation business.

costamaia
19th Aug 2011, 07:40
@ PJ2
Great post!:D

RetiredF4
19th Aug 2011, 08:02
@ PJ2
Thank you for this excellent analysis and summary.

It makes one thing clear:
Those things have to be adressed by all means. It makes no sense to say, it wont change anything.

At least it puts responsibility to those, who are not willing to change anything.

Mikey56
19th Aug 2011, 10:31
As a humble member of the SLF community, PJ2 has reiterated an absolutely important point in my view.
I have 4 children, at least one of which had harboured ambitions of becoming a pilot, until he realised the rewards available.
He is now training as a doctor, and of his friends, medicine and law are the career leaders.
I had truly not realised how a pilot's rewards had dropped, let alone the rest of the cabin crew. Not to say there are not still excellent pilots coming through, but the pool of talent they are being drawn from I would suggest must be shrinking.
I have no answers of course, and continue to read these highly educational forums with admiration for the jobs you perform. And indeed for the insights into the computer / human being interface that also apply away from the flight deck for sure.
:D

DozyWannabe
19th Aug 2011, 13:24
[LURK MODE OFF]

PJ2, just wanted to add to the chorus of "cracking post" that seems to be the order of the day.

One thing I wanted to add though was that it's not just happening in aviation, it's happening in almost every industry you care to name. The financial industry has basically reigned supreme in the West since the '80s, and as such it becomes the ambition of all MBAs to work there. As a result, business courses tend to focus on finance and profit above all else, and so what we're finding is that senior management and executives have no connection to the industry they end up working in, other than a superficial knowledge of how to cut costs - I believe (and I hope you agree) that this is one of the root causes of the "cost of everything and the value of nothing" syndrome that you so rightly point out.

In aviation, it has led to a top-down edict that automation is to be used wherever possible, pilots and cabin crew's interests become a distant second to that of the shareholders, and a seeming failure to understand that while airline safety has consistently improved over the years due in part to technical advances, a disturbing rise in the number of accidents caused in whole or in part by loss of situational awareness (whether that be due to poor training, overreliance on automation or fatigue) is insidiously eroding those advances.

But it is definitely happening in other industries too. For example, healthcare in the US is among the best in the world if you happen to be rich and a complete joke if you are not, because of the incestuous relationship it has with the insurance industry. Even the banking industry has not been unscathed at the high street level, because no-one in the high street divisions wanted to believe that the investment divisions were building a house of cards with their money. The big one in my industry was the tech crash of 2001, where the MBAs and executives figured that the Y2K problem was over, and at the same time decided that seeing as programmers only work to a design spec anyway, why pay 5 people here when they could get 15 people for the same money in India or the Far East? They found out about that one the hard way (though I hasten to add that this is not a slur on the abilities of the people in those countries, the main problems were poor communication and a lack of accountability in some of the offshore firms), although tellingly a lot of my peers who graduated CompSci and Software Engineering believing it would make them rich moved into management, and it was largely those of us who had it in our blood who remained.

In our case it was much the same as yours - what management didn't realise was that while we did code to specifications and design, the unwritten part of what we did was work amongst ourselves to correct shortcomings in the design, or realise when part of the spec was unclear and confusing and work with the designers to clarify and resolve the issue. Of course, we have the advantage over the outsourced folks that it's a matter of crossing an office floor or maybe going up a flight of stairs to raise an issue, whereas they would have to plan a conference call with all parties present, which could take days.

In short, we were the last line of defence when things didn't go to plan and relied on our experience and problem-solving abilities to make it work and get things back on track - much the same as you are.

Anyways, that's my ramble - again, brilliant post!

[/LURK MODE ON]

Clandestino
19th Aug 2011, 15:04
Low Earth orbit? Nope... try again. It is so basic thing almost every aeroplane that is considered to be practical flying machine will perform exactly the same, so it's not type specific.

Excellent posts, PJ2 and DozyWannabe :D

I'd wholeheartedly agree that powers that be today strive to become living example of the Oscar Wilde's definition of cynic: "One who knows price of everything and value of nothing". However, the rest of of us seem to be content with emulating them rather than resisting the depravity. When they started telling us we're not pilots but mere system managers, drivers, autopilot programmers, etc. did we rebel and tell them to go stuff themselves? Did we explained them that they are not paying us for hours on autopilot but to be prepared for minutes that may came once in a lifetime, when our knowledge of air and aeroplane, our quick and correct thinking and our dexterity with controls will save them millions in increased insurance premiums and damage to reputation? Or did we meekly say "Yes, you are probably true, we don't deserve our pays and pension plans. Go cut them!"? Did we get so demoralized as to be happy with knowing as little about flying as we believe we can safely get away with? Just what satisfies the Feds/EASA/company and that's it? Are we, pilots, left with any self-esteem at all? Are we so effed up that we are strangers to the air, letting FMS/AP/ATHR lead us along the narrow path of properly controlled flight and not knowing how to return to it when our guides suddenly decide to call it a day?

Not all of us are so, but I suspect many are. Look no further then TechLog to see some discussions there and check yourself whether my opinion is justified.

Regarding the AF447, I think William R. Voss, president and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation is on the right track

Did they think they were at risk of 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 they get their high-altitude aerodynamics lessons from dog-fighting shows on Discovery Channel or old textbooks written about Boeing 707?
In other words, just as piston-engined aircraft were limited by performance so is the modern civil jet aircraft. The old days of coffin corner went out with the over-powered, low Mach number limited designs.That's from a book first published in 1967 and last revised in 1971. Long time to absorb the lesson, eh?

philip2412
19th Aug 2011, 15:36
bravo ,bravo,bravo !!!

FRying
19th Aug 2011, 15:51
Guys, don't you know that AN AIRBUS SIMPLY CAN NOT STALL !!!

jcjeant
19th Aug 2011, 16:03
Hi,

Did we explained them that they are not paying us for hours on autopilot but to be prepared for minutes that may came once in a lifetime, when our knowledge of air and aeroplane, our quick and correct thinking and our dexterity with controls will save them millions in increased insurance premiums and damage to reputation?

I wonder what would have made ​​the AF447 pilots at FL350 (same flight conditions as Rio-Paris)... if one of the engines would stop
And what is the training that Air France has given its pilots for this event?

Lyman
19th Aug 2011, 16:47
Christalmighty.

The players are in the field, the cheerleaders are on the sidelines.

Cheerleaders/Sidelines.

Players/Field.

447/Unknown.

MountainBear, one of the best.

PJ2's post was a crackerjack. Unfortunately he bases it on things outside the present body of evidence for this accident. Extrapolation, smoothed edges, and generic appeal to the need for "closure". Otherwise, a great piece.

A fine essay on things other than 447. Off Thread, aisi.

HazelNuts has a fine opinion on the excursion possibilities 447 was making at a/p drop. Rush to judgment? BEA themselves have no opinion on the matter. Odd though, how all the released data points in a certain, umm....direction. Toward the Graveyard, where opinions cannot be challenged.

This is, as I have said interminably, and at no small risk to my tender feelings, bs.

No one's agenda and bias should be "protected" by propaganda. "Baby Pilot kills ALL". That is an agenda. "Pilots are sadly, badly trained". THAT TOO IS AN AGENDA. Any conclusion prior to the end is Propaganda, likely.

Recall the Airbus directive post 447? "Pilots, please review your skills".

AGENDA.

Air France, "The pilots were unfortunate in their uses of the RADARS".

AGENDA

Still then, the Truth will be held captive by "Witheld" data, "Need to Know" considerations, and a well paid program to keep the ball rolling, and control the "damage".

See, sometimes the Truth is hazardous.

The greatest conceit? Proprietary data.

To pre-empt some retort re: the AGENDA evident here, NOTED.

Clandestino, a guess. One will attain an aspect in which:

Cannot Climb further, or one will STALL

Cannot TURN, or one will SPIN

Cannot descend, one will overspeed.

Clandestino
19th Aug 2011, 17:33
Completely wrong. Question was intended to demonstrate in the simplest aerodynamic terms why THR CLB/5° pitch procedure is safe yet it somehow didn't go according to a plan.

EDIT: I meant that question didn't go according to my plan, not procedure. With information available so far I don't think that any meaningful procedure was initiated during last few minutes of AF447 flight.

kwh
19th Aug 2011, 17:46
A question from a non pilot...

I remember reading various accounts of pilot training in days of yore, all of which featured the student, often in a Tiger Moth, having to deliberately induce a stall (and a spin, I remember), and then recover from it, before they were allowed to solo, in order to obtain a PPL...

I had always assumed, rightly or wrongly, that if you needed to be able to do that for a PPL, an airline pilot would have definitely needed to do it! I get the impression from the subtext of some of the comments in this thread that there are people out there flying commercial passenger jets who have never recovered any aircraft, not even a tiddler, nor even a flight simulator, from a proper developed stall, let alone a spin, because they are never ever supposed to get themselves into that situation in the first place and thus recover from it isn't part of training any more...

Is that really the case?

Coagie
19th Aug 2011, 18:03
Bingo!
Be great if someone investigated the various modern ways of licensing commercial pilots around the world. I think the public would be shocked to see how the beancounters (erbsenzahler- sorry keyboard not set up for umlauts) have caused standards to atrophy, in some cases, to an unbelievible level.

John Farley
19th Aug 2011, 18:22
I have been told that Air France are the only airline to have crashed three Airbus aircraft and a Concorde.

Correct?

Clandestino
19th Aug 2011, 18:33
BA never crashed a Concorde so it must be correct. Three Airbi would be 447, 340 landing overrun at Toronto and Habsheim airshow disaster.

Coagie
19th Aug 2011, 18:36
I know of flights 296, 358, and 447, and the Concorde of course, but I don't know if they are the only airline with that many crashes on Airbuses. Don't know if I'd single out Air France.
The Air France Concorde crash was the only one, I know of, where it was totaled. That was a shame. Wish they'd bring that bird back. The problem with accountant types, is they don't understand intangibles. The Concorde brought a lot of intangible benefits to France and Britain. Like a concept car bringing intangibles to a automotive manufacturer by making it "cool". Unfortunatly, you can't put "cool" in a ledger.

kwh
19th Aug 2011, 19:28
Again as a non-pilot, I see some interesting 'compare and contrast' opportunities between AF447, BA38 and 'The Miracle on the Hudson'. In the first case, it _appears_, based on expert informed discussion in this thread, that the pilot(s) turned a potential minor high-altitude whoopsie when the aircraft suffered a comparitively minor technical failure at high altitude into a catastrophic crash, and in the latter two cases, pilots were handed catastrophic situations seconds from big smoking cratersville in the middle of major cities and used incredible skill and judgement to make inspired decisions not drawn from any manual, simulator exercise or checklist to save everybody on board (from memory, I read on here that the BA guy did something unusual and undocumented with the flap settings on the spur of the moment that got him onto the runway and... well, the miracle needs no further exposition). Do these cases really bear comparison in the above fashion?

Edit: And if they do, was the only relevant variable factor the background, experience and training of the crews involved?

Gretchenfrage
19th Aug 2011, 19:31
Like a concept car bringing intangibles to a automotive manufacturer by making it cool

Reading that I couldn't resist the irony .....

tangible originates from Latin "tangere", -> to touch.
tangible in English means -> "perceptible by touch"

intangible therefore can be perceived as .........

Coagie
19th Aug 2011, 20:15
Don't know, but when the stall warning sounded, the PNF said "What's that?" Another translation I saw was "What's that all about". To me, "What's that all about?" Means "What's that? I've never seen/heard of that before." Where "What's that?" could mean he couldn't quite hear the audible "Stall" or I've never seen/heard of that before. Maybe some native french speakers can shed some light on this.
Oh the idiosyncrasies of language!

Coagie
19th Aug 2011, 20:19
Good observation Gretchenfrage, I guess folks that understand intangibles, might be "In touch" or "With it" as some might say.

Lyman
19th Aug 2011, 20:37
je ne sais quois? Nuance. Indefinable. ?

The PF said I think "What WAS that". Past tense?

The STALL (WARNING) triggered at .6 second before the exclamation.

It stopped without the cricket, after the PF said what he said.

In .6 second, he senses, and verbalizes "What was That" before the sound stopped?

It is not entirely demonstrable that the PF intended his interrogoratory because he did not know what the warning was. Nor is it certain his exclamation had anything whatever to do with the sound of the Warning.

It is too easy to form 'findings' that satisfy a preconceived theory, methinks.

oldchina
19th Aug 2011, 20:57
If you are referring to the PNF's "Qu’est-ce que c’est que ça", there's no past tense in there.

Coagie
19th Aug 2011, 21:10
Lyman,
You think that's a pre-conceived theory, you should hear me when my medication wears off!
Anyway, I'd like to read or hear the opinions of native french speakers when, or if the actual CVR audio is released. There's a good chance it will shed light to what the PNF/PM was refering with the exclaimation in question.

MountainBear
19th Aug 2011, 21:14
Again as a non-pilot, I see some interesting 'compare and contrast' opportunities between AF447, BA38 and 'The Miracle on the Hudson'. In the first case, it _appears_, based on expert informed discussion in this thread, that the pilot(s) turned a potential minor high-altitude whoopsie when the aircraft suffered a comparitively minor technical failure at high altitude into a catastrophic crash, and in the latter two cases, pilots were handed catastrophic situations seconds from big smoking cratersville in the middle of major cities and used incredible skill and judgement to make inspired decisions not drawn from any manual, simulator exercise or checklist to save everybody on board

This is outcome bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcome_bias). To wit, "outcome bias is an error made in evaluating the quality of a decision when the outcome of that decision is already known."

Do these cases really bear comparison in the above fashion?

No.

FRying
19th Aug 2011, 21:25
Honestly, I really doubt I'd feel happy with an alarm screaming every single time I'd be doing the right thing and turning off every single time I'd be doing the wrong thing again. Foster this pattern with the satisfying impression you're applying the right procedure, i.e. 5°/CLB. That can turn any rock-spirited man into a puppet.

Considering all that, it's all too easy to speak, all comfy in our couch :hmm: two years and a zillion articles on the event later.

Rob21
19th Aug 2011, 22:00
Clandestino, when the a/c reaches it's max ops ceiling it will, very gently, loose some altitude and go up again, and then gently will loose some altitude again and then will go up again until all passengers are sick. Maybe the pilot will get sick too...

Lyman
19th Aug 2011, 22:10
Rob21

Unless it reaches a point in the sky, depending on temp., where

It cannot:

Climb, because it will Stall.

Turn, or it will (Stall, then) Spin.

Descend, or it will overspeed.

kwh
19th Aug 2011, 22:27
A fair point re outcome bias, except that my understanding is that every decision made in the heat of the moment by Chesty Sullenberger and the BA-38 driver have been second guessed endlessly and tested in simulators by the great and the good ever since the events. Did I read somewhere that if the BA-38 pilot hadn't decided to make that flap setting, all the simulator tests indicate that he'd have landed on the perimeter road at best? Did I remember correctly that if Sullenberger had decided to try to make it back to the airport, the second-guess simulations showed that he only had a 50-50 chance at best of making the runway? I suppose the Sullenberger example is a shakier example, because who can know from the outcome whether he had a better than 50-50 chance of landing in the Hudson river in one piece? But the BA-38 example is on stronger ground is it not?

Lyman
19th Aug 2011, 22:38
Chesley, kwh, Chesley. You show a different kind of bias than outcome, perhaps.

;)

Zorin_75
19th Aug 2011, 22:40
Where "What's that?" could mean he couldn't quite hear the audible "Stall" or I've never seen/heard of that before. Maybe some native french speakers can shed some light on this.
They already did, either here or in the tech thread - apparently it's more along the line of "What the *beep*?". He knows what the warning is, but is quite surprised to get one.

Lyman
19th Aug 2011, 22:51
Taken in context with the CVR and mechanical traces (as it should be), I get that he is not "with" the Stall warning, he does not increase Thrust, and does not attempt to hold altitude. He tries to climb, both are not included in recovery from the Warning in the procedure current at the time. No other comment is heard from either pilot, and that is quite strange. Until the complete and AURAL record is released, it is a guessijng game. Even after the "FINAL REPORT", w/o the complete record, it will remain a guessing game. Perhaps until the next similar accident?

ihg
19th Aug 2011, 23:10
Honestly, I really doubt I'd feel happy with an alarm screaming every single time I'd be doing the right thing and turning off every single time I'd be doing the wrong thing again. .

Honestly, I really doubt that this argument has any real base. Even though repeated over and over again.

These guys chose to completely ignore the "screaming" stall alarm continuously for over 50 seconds (Do you know how long that is?).
And suddenly they decide to pay attention to it? I seriously doubt that.

But ok, let assume they suddenly for whatever reason cared about the stall warning.
So, you assume, the PNF acted the following way:
- I move the stick foward....oooh, stall warning , bad!
- I move it back....ah, silence again, good!

Excuse me, with all due respect, but that is the 'naive ad hoc learning behaviour' of a 3 year old.
But not the reaction to expected from a higly qualified aviation professional. If you had not completely forgot all about basic aerodynamics, flight mechanics, etc., how can you really believe that pushing the nose down can get you into stall????

..Considering all that, it's all too easy to speak, all comfy in our couch http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/yeees.gif two years and a zillion articles on the event later.
I really love this kind of argument.
Well, it wasn't actually rocket science, what was demanded from them that night. Most basic airmanship would have been sufficient.

And if that cannot be expected from pilots anymore, then it might really be better to "design them right out of the cockpit".

J.O.
19th Aug 2011, 23:11
Honestly, I really doubt I'd feel happy with an alarm screaming every single time I'd be doing the right thing and turning off every single time I'd be doing the wrong thing again. Foster this pattern with the satisfying impression you're applying the right procedure, i.e. 5°/CLB. That can turn any rock-spirited man into a puppet.

What "right thing" was that?

Edited to say that ihg has covered my points very well, as did PJ2 when he said, "Are we not aviators?"

airtren
20th Aug 2011, 04:00
Have you read the BEA Report? Its analysis and CVR transcript are quite clear. Isn't that a enough "real base" for you?

Honestly, I really doubt that this argument has any real base. Even though repeated over and over again.


If you read the BEA Report it states clearly that the PF and PNF had no Stall Approach, or Stall at High altitude training.

Is that enough?

bubbers44
20th Aug 2011, 04:32
So it was ok for two professional airline pilots to crash because they didn't get the high altitude training because they couldn't be expected to figure it out by themselves?

Lyman
20th Aug 2011, 05:12
bubbers44

Not ok. Absolutely not ok. Of course they were expected to recover the a/c. They did not. Why, how, and what to do is an enormous undertaking. To downplay this UAS event, whether out of ignorance, arrogance, or agenda, is most unproductive. Serious issues are in play, from all directions. Simplistic accusations guard against an open mind.

FRying
20th Aug 2011, 06:31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRying
Honestly, I really doubt I'd feel happy with an alarm screaming every single time I'd be doing the right thing and turning off every single time I'd be doing the wrong thing again. .
Honestly, I really doubt that this argument has any real base. Even though repeated over and over again.

These guys chose to completely ignore the "screaming" stall alarm continuously for over 50 seconds (Do you know how long that is?).
And suddenly they decide to pay attention to it? I seriously doubt that.

But ok, let assume they suddenly for whatever reason cared about the stall warning.
So, you assume, the PNF acted the following way:
- I move the stick foward....oooh, stall warning , bad!
- I move it back....ah, silence again, good!

Excuse me, with all due respect, but that is the 'naive ad hoc learning behaviour' of a 3 year old.
But not the reaction to expected from a higly qualified aviation professional. If you had not completely forgot all about basic aerodynamics, flight mechanics, etc., how can you really believe that pushing the nose down can get you into stall????

Quote:
Originally Posted by FRying
..Considering all that, it's all too easy to speak, all comfy in our couch two years and a zillion articles on the event later.
I really love this kind of argument.
Well, it wasn't actually rocket science, what was demanded from them that night. Most basic airmanship would have been sufficient.

And if that cannot be expected from pilots anymore, then it might really be better to "design them right out of the cockpit".

All right you've got a point. I partially agree. However I have that strange feeling the Airbus philosophy does get in the way of basic airmanship from time to time. I do not mean Airmanship does not apply to Airbus aircraft. What I mean is the way Airbus aircraft are designed, the way the interface, the interaction system was built does not help pilots being pilots on certain instances. This is the reason I posted a reminder about the fact "Airbus aircraft CANNOT stall. Period." (Yeah right...)

Now, sure, once the systems don't kick in in a way that should be leading to recovery, you should be reverting to basic airmanship, almost animal, which these guys did not do. Am I immune to such a lack of behavior myself ? I really have no clue.

FRying
20th Aug 2011, 06:41
Anyway, the bottom line is :
- we know what would have saved them. We know what needs to be done and we know what we will do if we have to face a similar situation.
- This is a harsh recall that we need to stick by our basic airmanship, never being dictated our fate by technology. For that, hand flying MUST be kept alive and strong. Training should be oriented in such way that pilots will remain pilots, not just technology saavy monkeys.

777300ER
20th Aug 2011, 09:14
Anyway, the bottom line is :
- we know what would have saved them. We know what needs to be done and we know what we will do if we have to face a similar situation.
- This is a harsh recall that we need to stick by our basic airmanship, never being dictated our fate by technology. For that, hand flying MUST be kept alive and strong. Training should be oriented in such way that pilots will remain pilots, not just technology saavy monkeys.

Well said. The sad truth is that these type of incidents are going to become all too common if the worlds airlines continue on their current trajectory. The poor guys on AF447 were simply the product of a larger system. A flawed system.. The swiss cheese lined up that evening, and it will line up again unless something changes..

Centaurus
20th Aug 2011, 09:33
Latest edition of Flight International issue 9-15 August. Page 5 includes the editorial under the title of Comment. The headline is A Harsh Lesson: practice makes perfect. It goes on to say:

“Publication of the Air France 447 CVR transcript has confirmed the crew failed to regain control of the aircraft because they did not understand what was happening.
With shocking clarity, the transcript has revealed the extent of their confusion. It was total. So was it the pilots’ fault? That is far too simplistic. If three qualified pilots do not perform to specification, before blaming them, study their training. The accident investigator, the BEA, has already said the two co-pilots in charge of the aircraft had never been trained for manual flying and stall recovery at the edge of the Airbus A330’s flight envelope. That is what got them into trouble – but when they had four minutes to get out of it, so why couldn’t they? The answer lies in the fact that this is not the only recent example of a crew failing to recover control after losing it. In fact, there have been six other fatal loss-of-control accidents in serviceable airliners since 2000, and they have killed nearly 1000 people.

Flying manually on instruments requires a sophisticated cognitive skill, and today’s high level of automation ensure that pilots never get the practice, so the skill atrophies. Worse still, recurrent training requirements do not recognise that the flying task has changed.
The villains of the piece are the regulators who have failed to update recurrent training requirements.”

My thoughts: Some responsibility lies with the aircraft manufacturers who have always been aware that automation dependency was bound to happen eventually. Regulators won't move unless they see a manufacturer's comment in the FCOM that if nothing else acknowledges the need for operators to ensure crews keep current on manual pure flying skills in the simulator. On the other hand operators are reluctant to make quantum changes to their simulator training syllabus until forced by the regulator.

The solution to the whole subject is really quite simple and that is significantly more training accent on pure flying skills using the simulator - not just a couple of ILS hand flown with FD and autothrottle engaged. If simulator time is already limited due to regulatory box ticking, then simply make the time available by shaving LOFT. And have crews hand fly fifty percent of each simulator period whether type rating or recurrent training.

Jazz Hands
20th Aug 2011, 10:26
"Another problem concerns the new automatic systems which are coming into service with newer aircraft and being added to older aircraft.

"Flightcrews become more reliant on the functioning of sophisticated avionics system, and their associated automation to fly the airplane. This is increasingly so as the reliability of such equipment improves. Basic control of the aircraft and supervision of the flight’s progress by instrument indications diminish as other more pressing tasks in the cockpit attract attention because of the overreliance on such automatic equipment.

"Pilots’ testimony indicated that dependence on the reliability and capability of the autopilot is actually greater than anticipated in its early design and its certification. This is particularly true in the cruise phase of flight."

I'll let you chaps work out how long ago that was written.

Clandestino
20th Aug 2011, 10:35
when the a/c reaches it's max ops ceiling it will, very gently, loose some altitude and go up again, and then gently will loose some altitude again and then will go up again until all passengers are sick. Maybe the pilot will get sick too... Nope.... OK, I give up! If you set and hold 5° and set climb power, the aeroplane will climb, after a while power available goes down with altitude, EAS goes slowly down, AoA goes gently up and aeroplane levels off when AoA reaches five degrees minus wing incidence angle. Now if you are light and below ISA, you might get to altitude that's too high for pressurization to cope with but you will never, ever get anywhere where either your wings or your engines won't support sustained flight.

Reason I've used "almost every aeroplane" instead of "every aeroplane" is because overpowered designs with low limiting mach might get one into mach buffet region during climb, however, DP Davies assures us that those were out of commission by 1970.

I've always claimed that best remembered procedures are those pilots understand reasons behind them and likely outcomes of their application.

If you read the BEA Report it states clearly that the PF and PNF had no Stall Approach, or Stall at High altitude training.

Is that enough?

It is good enough to make me remember certain short story; "Found at Pharisee"

The inspector is responsible, and you are innocent. All you have to do is let your airplane be destroyed in these mountains because you are not required to know how to survive in any land you fly over. Everyone else is responsible, you are just the guy who does the dying. Is that it?

Forget for just a second about Airbus, storms, training, fly-by-wire, stall waring, ADCs, etc. The crew was incapacitated just as Marwin Renslow and Rebecca Shaw were. The question that needs to be answered is how and why did it happen and if answer to that completely shatters our cozy picture of commercial aviation, it is small price to pay to avoid just a single, future, untimely death.

Rob21
20th Aug 2011, 11:16
The only way operators will change their training policy is by pressure of insurance companies.

I am a retired helicopter pilot and I fly a light twin airplane. I remember that insurance companies "gave" reduced premiums to operators sending their pilots to recurrent training at the factory Training Academy.

I hope AF 447's accident will be an "eye opener" for insurance companies. They have more power than regulators. If they "feel" that flight crews need more training, they have the power to put "pressure" on operators.

But if, on the other hand, this accident fell on the "acceptable percentage" of loss, nothing will change.

Very stupid of them if they won't put pressure on operators to increase SIM training time.
Training is never too much, just ask the pilots if they think they are getting enough SIM time.

Twice a year is ridiculous. IMHO, as a/c get more complex automation, flight crews need more training. Not less.
Complexity and automation are here to increase safety, not to reduce pilot training. This is a huge mistake, and AF 447 is another clear proof of that.

Back in the 70's my aerobatics instructor used to say: "modern aircraft have very modern failures..."

jcjeant
20th Aug 2011, 14:25
"Another problem concerns the new automatic systems which are coming into service with newer aircraft and being added to older aircraft.

"Flightcrews become more reliant on the functioning of sophisticated avionics system, and their associated automation to fly the airplane. This is increasingly so as the reliability of such equipment improves. Basic control of the aircraft and supervision of the flight’s progress by instrument indications diminish as other more pressing tasks in the cockpit attract attention because of the overreliance on such automatic equipment.

"Pilots’ testimony indicated that dependence on the reliability and capability of the autopilot is actually greater than anticipated in its early design and its certification. This is particularly true in the cruise phase of flight."


I'll let you chaps work out how long ago that was written. Those words come from an NTSB report dated 14 June 1973. The subject is the crash, on the preceding 29 December, of Eastern Airlines Flight 401 in the Florida Everglades. That was the L-1011 aboard which the entire crew was busy troubleshooting an indicator light problem while the airplane - with the autopilot inadvertantly disengaged - spiralled slowly down into the swamp.From:
http://n631s.********.com/2009/10/automation-induced-complacency.html

RunSick
20th Aug 2011, 14:43
Hi, just one quick question (Ï´m sure it has been touched before but looking into the endless pages...) so if anyone could please briefly clarify:

Which technical event/failure made the aircraft´s Normal Law go to Alternate? In the report it only says AP disconnect and then the mode changes. But AP diconnection is surely not enough for reverting to Alternate Law right?

Thanks a lot,

Mr Optimistic
20th Aug 2011, 15:20
With regard to deficiencies in training, I can appreciate that the initial handling of the aircraft left much to be desired (assuming a climb was not intended) but once stalled the handling wouldn't have been anything like nominal so 'normal' training wouldn't have been much use would it ? The thing I struggle with is how the concept of a stall was outside their conceptual universe. That is pretty fundamental and nothing to do with practicing handling skills or incremental training. Sympathy for the captain though as without knowledge of the earlier climb excursion he was bowled a pretty short ball.

jcjeant
20th Aug 2011, 16:32
Grâce au BSPN d’ALTER (note précédente page 2) nous savons donc qu’à la demande d’Airbus, le CEV a réalisé un vol dans les conditions de décrochage où l’A330 s’est trouvé et que les pilotes d’essais n’ont réussi à s’en sortir in extremis … qu’en coupant les 2 réacteurs !

D’ailleurs, lors de la conférence de presse du BEA le 29 juillet, JP Troadec a affirmé en réponse à une question dans la salle « Avant le décrochage, oui, bien sûr, la situation était rattrapable » ce qui signifie qu’après, elle ne l’était plus.

Résumons le contexte du crash :

· Un équipement défectueux, les sondes Pitot AA, qui ne fonctionne pas sans restriction dans tout le domaine de vol de l’A330 et que l’EASA et Airbus feront disparaître en urgence après le crash du 1er juin 2009

· Un constructeur, Airbus, qui se débarrasse du problème en demandant aux pilotes de s’accommoder de ce défaut par l’application d’une procédure

· Une procédure, mise en place pour éviter que l’avion ne sorte de son domaine de vol, qui est inefficace (dixit Airbus en octobre 2008)

· Des normes de certification des sondes Pitot que tous savent obsolètes et que l’EASA modifiera en urgence après l’accident

· Un organisme de prévention, le BEA, qui estime que les, pourtant nombreux, événements liés au blocage des sondes Pitot sont des incidents sans importance

· Une administration, la DGAC, qui refuse de publier la consigne opérationnelle adéquate que l’OCV juge nécessaire

· Une compagnie, Air France, qui ne prend pas les mesures adaptées à sa « grande inquiétude » devant les incidents qui se succèdent

· Un avion de transport de passagers, l’A330, dûment certifié et réputé pour ne pas pouvoir décrocher, mais qui, en fait, ne doit pas se trouver en situation de décrochage car il ne peut pas en sortir

Et pour finir, un équipage qui aurait dû, à lui tout seul, effacer toutes les négligences ou carences décrites ci-dessus...

With ALTER BSPN so we know that at the request of Airbus, the CEV has made a flight in stall conditions when the A330 was found and test pilots have managed to get out last minute ... that by cutting the two reactors!

Moreover, during the press conference on July 29 BEA, JP Troadec said in response to a question "Before dropping out, yes, of course, the situation was recoverable" which means that after, it was no longer.

Summarize the context of the crash:

• A faulty equipment, pitot probes AA, which does not work without restriction throughout the flight envelope of the A330 and the Airbus and EASA will eliminate emergency after the crash on 1 June 2009

• A manufacturer, Airbus, which gets rid of the problem by requiring pilots to put up with this defect by applying a procedure

• A procedure in place to prevent the aircraft from leaving its flight envelope, which is inefficient (according to Airbus in October 2008)

· On the certification standards of the Pitot probes obsolete and everyone knows that EASA will change after the accident emergency

• A prevention agency, BEA, who believes that, despite numerous events related to the blocking of the Pitot probes incidents are not important

• A administration, the DGAC, which refuses to publish the proper operational directive that VCA deems necessary

• A company, Air France, which does not take measures appropriate to its "great concern" to the incidents which follow

• A passenger plane, the A330, duly certified and known for not being able to stall, but in fact should not be in a position to stall because it can not get out

And finally, a crew that should have been, by itself, remove all deficiencies or omissions described above ...

AF 447 : résumé du contexte : Les dossiers noirs du transport aérien (http://henrimarnetcornus.20minutes-blogs.fr/archive/2011/08/20/af-447-resume-du-contexte.html)

jcjeant
20th Aug 2011, 16:50
2 h 12 min 04
2 h 12 min 07
Les aérofreins sont commandés et
déployés.
J’ai l’impression qu’on
a une vitesse de fou
non qu’est-ce que vous
en pensez ?

2 h 12 min 04
2 h 12 min 07
The airbrakes are controlled and
deployed.
I have the impression
that we have some
crazy speed no what do
you think? How the PF can have this feeling (high speed)
He has heard or seen anything ?

oldchina
20th Aug 2011, 20:19
Someone has already suggested they were hearing extraordinary aerodynamic noise.

Who, after all, has any experience of the wind noise inside an A330 when it's mostly horizontal but going down at 10000 ft/min?

This crew was not up to the job in so many ways, but I'll forgive them this.

Lemain
20th Aug 2011, 22:03
Someone has already suggested they were hearing extraordinary aerodynamic noise.

Who, after all, has any experience of the wind noise inside an A330 when it's mostly horizontal but going down at 10000 ft/min?

This crew was not up to the job in so many ways, but I'll forgive them this. If the instrumentation did not present accurately the status of the aircraft then it was an instrumentation problem -- not the crew.

If the instrumentation did present the information accurately but the crew had not be trained to determine it, then it was an operational problem -- not the crew.

I find it hard to believe that the crew were so deficient -- and if they were, the 'blame' should rest with those who selected them, trained them and signed them off as fit.

Lyman
20th Aug 2011, 22:07
oldchina. At times at VS approaching 15k fpm. Now that's nearly 180 mph, and with an AoA such as it was, well, in a wood frame house with a class five Tornado outside witnesses describe "one hundred locomotives".

Yes, it was noisy. And Bumpy, and unsussable, imho. So can we agree that after the intial accelerations to 10k VS (post Stall), this situation is immune to the snotty remarks re: crew?

One mile/moccasins.......

ChristiaanJ
20th Aug 2011, 22:41
Re the NTSB report dated 14 June 1973 re EA401, could you post a valid link?
I know the story (in detail), but I haven't seen that report.

infrequentflyer789
21st Aug 2011, 00:19
Re the NTSB report dated 14 June 1973 re EA401, could you post a valid link?
I know the story (in detail), but I haven't seen that report.

Believe this is it:
http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR73-14.pdf


Also relevant to the yoke-vs-sidestick debate, since the theory is that yoke was in the way and inadvertent pressure disengaged the autos... and no one noticed despite all the lovely old fashioned feedback...

bubbers44
21st Aug 2011, 00:21
I stayed current on hand flying by hand flying. That is the only way you can do it and not just 30 minutes in a sim. I practiced using standby instruments only and not looking at the standard panel. If you rely totally on automation, good luck with your career. If you are very lucky it might work but don't count on it. If the stall warning ever goes off just nudge the nose down and add a little power like you did in the Cessna 150. We learned that in lesson 3 remember?

Emere
21st Aug 2011, 07:02
Post of the century mate.

From pointers to drums... From dynamics to numbers...

Tiny observations large outcome...

When I started flying ‘digital’ I missed and preferred the ‘old’ familiar dynamic moving pointers on the Airspeed indicators and Altimeters, rather than the relatively ‘dumb’ moving number-tapes and/or drums on the flight displays.

And my ‘emotion’ is not limited to Airspeed indicators and Altimeters only.

Of course, as with all sort of changes, I was told that I “just have to get used to it!”

OK... Fair enough... But, although I am getting more and more used to ‘flying digital’ by now, on occasion, I really sense the lack of instant dynamic ‘speed and altitude situational awareness’ that the ‘old’ analogue Airspeed indicators and Altimeters with their moving pointers will give us more or less instantly.

Looking at the tapes I have to figure out: Are the changes going up or down? Moving Fast or slow? Is it an increase or a decrease? What’s the trend? Things, that I would instantly be aware of with the analogue indicators. With digital indicators, however, I need more of my brain capacity to ‘translate’ the sheer changing of numbers on the rolling tapes (or drums) into dynamics.

ChristiaanJ
21st Aug 2011, 13:46
Many thanks to those who posted/sent me the full link to the EA401 report.

ihg
21st Aug 2011, 15:37
If the instrumentation did not present accurately the status of the aircraft then it was an instrumentation problem -- not the crew.

If the instrumentation did present the information accurately but the crew had not be trained to determine it, then it was an operational problem -- not the crew.

I find it hard to believe that the crew were so deficient -- and if they were, the 'blame' should rest with those who selected them, trained them and signed them off as fit.

Amazing logic. :D
Bottom line, whatever happened, the pilots can never be blamed!
That maybe be a popular view in a pilots forum, but ....:oh:

And not necessarily meant to be linked in any way with AF447, if you have problems to believe, why even highly regarded professionals suddenly act like absolut amateurs who have no clue whatsoever, it does happen. Sudden momentarily "incapacitation" happens. Humans are like this.

stepwilk
21st Aug 2011, 15:53
If the instrumentation did not present accurately the status of the aircraft then it was an instrumentation problem -- not the crew.


So why did I ever bother practicing speedle/needle/airball? I could have just phoned it in as an "instrumentation problem."

lomapaseo
21st Aug 2011, 16:04
Ihg

And not necessarily meant to be linked in any way with AF447, if you have problems to believe, why even highly regarded professionals suddenly act like absolut amateurs who have no clue whatsoever, it does happen. Sudden momentarily "incapacitation" happens. Humans are like this.
Regards, ihg

but that's why we have two person crews.

crew errors are typically

Knowledge based

skill based

or

rule based

need facts to decide

ihg
21st Aug 2011, 16:35
Have you read the BEA Report? Its analysis and CVR transcript are quite clear. Isn't that a enough "real base" for you?If you read the BEA Report it states clearly that the PF and PNF had no Stall Approach, or Stall at High altitude training.
Is that enough?
I did read. And I don't know what you are exactly referring to. I was just expressing my doubts that a pilot, who is able to completely ignore a continuous stall warning for nearly one minute, even applies full aft stick during this alarm, suddenly (during the faulty intermittent stall warning later) not only regards stall warning again, but also adopts by 'instant learning' to do exactly the opposite to what he has ever been taught before.( see your own post: http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/456874-af-447-thread-no-5-a-80.html#post6621429 ). It's simply my view on that, nothing more.
So, no 'high altitude' approch to stall / stall training? The 'ordinary' approach to stall training would have done: nose down. No difference at high altitude.

jcjeant
21st Aug 2011, 16:55
The BEA press meeting Q and A from 29 July2011 is very interesting .. maybe more interesting than the interim report N°3
It's show the feelings of the BEA (at least those of the director Troadec and the chief investigator Bouillard)
Many disturbing questions (journalists are good at the task to ask disturbing questions) are not directly answered .. not because no infos ..
Some answers are evidently not honest ... but I let you only judge on this subject

French:
Transcription de la conférence de presse du 29 juillet 2011 (http://www.bea.aero/fr/enquetes/vol.af.447/questions29juillet2011.fr.php)
English:
Transcription de la conférence de presse du 29 juillet 2011 (http://www.bea.aero/fr/enquetes/vol.af.447/questions29juillet2011.en.php)

RetiredF4
21st Aug 2011, 16:56
Is it really that easy as you say it? What was then the reason for doing wrong?

You might read in the history of upset and stall recovery procedure development. Since 2004 it changed 2007 and 2009 (after AF447).

upsets and stall (http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/460625-af-447-thread-no-6-a-12.html#post6653278)

Those changes and developing and refining the procedures and the asociated recommended (unfortunately only recommended) training would not be necessary according to your saying. Did you do stalls and spins in real aircraft or simulator? No, not approach to stalls, real stalls? I did it in real like some others. It´s a expierience and you dont stay cool when doing it.

If you say the upset should not have happened at all, i might agree. But the recognition and the recovery from stall is some different matter. Two years ago when i mentioned the possibility of stall on this forum, it was rebuked as not possible. Probably AF447 thought as well that it was not possible, by the way also the words of the crew on the CVR.

Not possible? Any failure is possible with humans, also the misjudgement of 3 pilots.

flydive1
21st Aug 2011, 19:03
Many disturbing questions (journalists are good at the task to ask disturbing questions) are not directly answered .. not because no infos ..
Some answers are evidently not honest ... but I let you only judge on this subject

Which ones?

jcjeant
21st Aug 2011, 19:12
As I write in my post "but I let you only judge on this subject "
Read the Q and A and maybe you will find some ... this is personal appreciation
Not all have the same feeling about honesty

bubbers44
21st Aug 2011, 22:48
Is it really that easy as you say it? What was then the reason for doing wrong?

You might read in the history of upset and stall recovery procedure development. Since 2004 it changed 2007 and 2009 (after AF447).

upsets and stall

Those changes and developing and refining the procedures and the asociated recommended (unfortunately only recommended) training would not be necessary according to your saying. Did you do stalls and spins in real aircraft or simulator? No, not approach to stalls, real stalls? I did it in real like some others. It´s a expierience and you dont stay cool when doing it.

If you say the upset should not have happened at all, i might agree. But the recognition and the recovery from stall is some different matter. Two years ago when i mentioned the possibility of stall on this forum, it was rebuked as not possible. Probably AF447 thought as well that it was not possible, by the way also the words of the crew on the CVR.

Not possible? Any failure is possible with humans, also the misjudgement of 3 pilots.



I think Airbus convinced Airbus operators it couldn't be stalled so why not pull back on the SS because it can't stall even with UAS. The captain most likely could have handled it just fine with his experience but these guys couldn't. Hopefully we can let these guys learn how to hand fly an airplane if the autopilot goes south from now on. I can't believe we have reached this stage of automation dependency. It can be changed, you know.

Jazz Hands
22nd Aug 2011, 08:58
Some answers are evidently not honest



I'll follow Flydive1's lead - which answers are "not honest"?

Since you're prepared to call the BEA liars in public, I think you ought to back up your accusation in public without the snide evasive remark.

The only thing which seems evident to me is that you're determined to push your own nonsense about this inquiry.

BEagle
22nd Aug 2011, 09:15
I think Airbus convinced Airbus operators it couldn't be stalled so why not pull back on the SS because it can't stall even with UAS.

That is a myth perpetuated by airline TREs who don't consider anything other than Normal Law. I once had a significant 'discussion' with a ba training captain who assured me that it was impossible to stall an A320. Lord knows how many pilots he'd passed that piece of BS on to.....

If people took the time and trouble to RTFM they would soon understand the aircraft's FBW envelope protection features and how they are degraded if Normal Law is not available. But no-one pays them to do that, so they don't bother....

oldchina
22nd Aug 2011, 11:26
The authorities certify the aircraft knowing that it is possible that Otto throws in the towel at high altitude and the human has to take over.

So how is it within the rules for Air France to designate an FO with no experience of manual flying at altitude as PF (and as Capt's deputy)?

jcjeant
22nd Aug 2011, 11:47
Methink it's simple to answer .. AF seem's no have any FO with experience of manual flying at altitude (at least .. no training) .. so the designation for a Capt's deputy is also simple .. no mistake ....

RoyHudd
22nd Aug 2011, 11:50
Does the sim provide a good replication for hand-flying skills at high altitude? Obviously this is important to practice in the various degraded laws if so.

I believe from the tone and content of some folk that they see as straightforward hand-flying a heavy A330 in alternate law (without protections) in a jet at night at high altitude in severe turbulence with many distracting and conflicting audio AND visual warnings going off, along with wildly misleading airspeed displays due to ADR faults. This ain't so. I've had this happen in part climbing through FL200 in an A321 in stormy weather (not inside a cb) at night, and it is not easy for the crew to manage.

However, I am not implying that a cool head and a competent pair of hands cannot manage the situation, simply that it is far trickier than non-A330 guys may think. Trite remarks about hand-flying and automation are useless. No-one flew the 707 or DC8 in the cruise by hand unless forced to. And that's 50 years back.Incidentally we all hand-fly the 330 when operating; long-haul means we don't do it so regularly as short-haul guys. Twas ever thus.

Lemain
22nd Aug 2011, 12:16
RoyHudd -- Surely these are two different issues? Hand-flying skills and instrumentation. From the published CVR evidence the pilots did not know for sure what the aircraft was doing. Something like "but the airspeed is mad, no?" from the PF. The instruments have to work and the pilots need to have training and experience. Neither by itself would have saved the aircraft, it seems....back to the classic "accidents are almost invariably due to a chain of events, not a single cause".

Mimpe
22nd Aug 2011, 13:11
RoyHudd- are you saying that the Instrumentation interface is poorly suited to hand flying in aircraft upset?

Pilot training aside, are we getting to the nub of the matter now?

These desperate situations are survived by those designers, engineers and aircrew who understand the simple, time limited, essence of the problem to be solved.

If the behavioural effect of the technology is not directly towards enacting the simple solution to the aircraft upset, then it becomes "The Problem Itself".

notfred
22nd Aug 2011, 13:50
Saw an episode of "Mayday" on TV over the weekend concerning West Caribbean 708, an MD-82.

Report: West Caribbean MD82 at Machiquez on Aug 16th 2005, did not recover from high altitude stall (http://avherald.com/h?article=4308e7d6&opt=0)

Although they got in to the high altitude stall in a different way from AF447, it seems that they also didn't get the nose down to unstall the wing but rode the stall all the way down to impact.

Different types and different causes for stall but same pilot behaviour in the stall and same recommendations to improve training in handling high altitude stalls.

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 14:22
mimpe re: your last: Tip of cap, and deep bow.


Three qualifieds seemingly rejected the thought that a/c was STALLED.

Several thousand others are scolding because they KNOW she was.

I'll take the Pilots' side. If only to avoid the "ick" factor by association.

IcePack
22nd Aug 2011, 14:32
As I said some time back. Flying an A330 at height is not that easy, it is very sensitive. Someone said treat the side stick as if it has Dog Sh*t on it, that may give you some idea.
As for practice in the SIM. Well up to now I have not flown any simulator that has the correct algorithms ,to give the correct feel at height. The sims fly the same at 5000ft as they do at 40000ft so until they are modified IMHO practice in the sim is pointless in terms of handling characteristic at height.

DozyWannabe
22nd Aug 2011, 14:49
Lyman/Bearfoil/whatever,

There are no "sides". There are only questions for which we need to find answers, and they are:


What happened?
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
How can we stop it from happening again to the best of our ability?


Anything else is purely academic and/or lawyer fodder and has no place here.

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 15:33
Doze I cannot argue that. However, should sides be taken, I am available. One cannot have it both ways.

What is "HERE"? I think that as an engineer, you favor the TECH aspect, That is on the other thread. Bless you, I think that is appropriate. I am trying to fold my opinions into the frame, I promise you.

You are so on target, but we are humans, and have not the discipline I think you want/expect.

It is this lack of discipline and constant harping that prevented a career in the line. Guilty!

The career choice was my decision. I ended up in independent aeronautical pursuit, and I have held the gift. It is a gift, it is not a right, nor even a grant. It is a gift, and due the sacrifices of those before us whose names I cannot remember, it is not "inherently dangerous".
It is safe, when practiced with reason, and dare I say, Profitable?

jcjeant
22nd Aug 2011, 16:51
Hi,

DW
How can we stop it from happening again to the best of our ability?

Honestly .. the type of accident (stall situation and not recovery) is not the first .. so many were investigated .. and many recommendations made (in fact always the same .. and surely the BEA final report AF447 will again make the same recommendations)
The problem is not make recommendations (they are enough) .. the problem is who will take the hammer to drive the point and force those to whom the recommendations are intended to put them into practice
Recommendations are only words without value if they are not put into practice
If a donkey does not move forward with a carrot you should use a stick

vaneyck
22nd Aug 2011, 18:04
In the BEA press conference linked by jcjeant, J-P Troadec says:

'the pilot should have applied the unreliable IAS procedure and in fact this procedure consists specifically of adopting a pitch attitude of 5°, whereas the pitch attitude that was adopted at that moment was greater.'

So once again we have confirmed, without comment, that the SOP in case of UAS in cruise involves raising the nose - just not as greatly as the PF with his large stick input raised it.

PJ2 has argued against any change in pitch before starting the checklist, and his arguments sound very convincing to me. Why would you make any change in the flight path of an aircraft in level cruise that has shown no signs of instability? And how long would you keep on at this pitch angle? Indefinitely? Surely the chances of inadvertent overspeed are less threatening than the chance of getting yourself too high, too slow.

Is that (overspeed) the only reason to raise the nose, or have I missed something?

alf5071h
22nd Aug 2011, 18:36
Posted in another forum in response to the question:- “What might an Operations or Training manager learn from the AF 447 accident?”

General points:
1. Remind ourselves that it is not possible to understand, and thus predict, how humans will react in all situations, and that …

2. Humans cannot understand all of the interactive aspects of new technology in their operating environment (man, machine, and organisation); either from an operators view or that of a manager / regulator.

3. The operating environment has many threats which are believed to be contained, but can still pose serious problems due to changes in the aircraft, or the operation, or human behaviour, e.g. ice crystals, new aircraft type, operating closer to Cbs. The industry at large and individually we must be aware of the hazards due to change, assumption, and complacency.

Specific points:
A. Add knowledge of ice crystals to the Cb threat, reinforce the need to avoid Cbs by a large margin – more than any ‘legal’ minimum distance.

B. Re-evaluate situation assessment training, and surprise / stress management behaviours.

C. Re-evaluate SOPs for flight instrument failures and flight with unreliable airspeed (UAS). What do crews need to know to determine the difference?
• Determine in what circumstances each SOP might be used, state the assumptions made, and need to consider alternative actions.
• Reduce the complexity of drills – is there a need for a table of attitude vs wt vs thrust vs altitude for UAS. Confirm what is important and why – what are the assumptions.

D. Asses the crew’s dependency on automation; does this affect the currency of hand flying skills. Question if the use of the Fight Director detracts from basic instrument flying skills, or knowledge / rules of thumb for aircraft attitude / power setting for various stages of flight.

E. Consider what drills / crew action might be required in critical situations if either the crew misidentifies the situation, or with good awareness, acts incorrectly: ‘what if’; is there an 'undo' option'.

F. Report and share all incident / event data; follow up all technical investigations with a HF view. Share data with other operators, and seek data from other operators and consider applicability in your operation.

G. Require that aircraft type training identifies the significant differences between FBW and conventional aircraft control, and that the crew are trained in these features, e.g trim followup (autotrim) – when to check / use manual trim, lack of / differnt control force feedback or change of force with speed – what alternative crosschecks could be used.

Key items:
Safety management, safety culture, a learning culture, professionalism, reduce complexity.
Remember that certification requirements only provide a minimum standard.
The company Philosophy and Policy should reflect the need for a safety margin in all aspects of operations, publish this in Procedures (and training material), and Practice this both in training and operations – then check. PPPP

Epilogue:
Occasionally the industry encounters situations beyond the limits of certification, these are ‘black-swans’ where the industry depends, either consciously or not, on the human rescuing the situation. We celebrate many notable successes. Unfortunately we have to suffer failures because the situation is beyond human capability; this hurts our pride, beliefs, and our professional standards, yet correctly we search for a solution, we have to keep on doing our best.
In such circumstances the human is still best placed to evaluate and judge the situation; but the human might benefit from some generic human training to improve awareness, managing surprise, and recall knowledge; aspects of higher professional standards. (Excerpt from an earlier post to this forum).
And remember … (taken from a related blog) “… the software quit before the human.”

oldchina
22nd Aug 2011, 18:41
I tried earlier, but it doesn't seem to be important. Here goes again...

It is legal for AF to leave the cockpit in the hands of pilots with no competence in manual flying at high altitude....

... when the plane is certified to oblige them to fly manually at high altitude if the autopilot disconnects... ?

Lonewolf_50
22nd Aug 2011, 18:59
oldchina:

I'll add to your "is it legal" a less concise question.

Is it right?

vaneyck (http://www.pprune.org/members/65381-vaneyck)

Good point, in that a pitch increase to 5 deg at that power setting would seem to result in a climb and deceleration, where on wasn't required, nor desired. Indeed, some minutes before, the crew had remarked on how a planned climb could not be done since temps had not developed as forecast.

Why go from S & L to decelerating climb when there is no need for it? :confused: If this is what the BEA contact is suggesting, I am puzzled as to why.

ECAM_Actions
22nd Aug 2011, 19:01
@oldchina: The problem is said aircraft was considered "impossible" to stall (no matter how crazy that idea actually is) prior to AF447. This has changed with stall awareness and recovery training now being mandated as a result.

Yes it is preposterous that any such suggestion would be made, but it is implied by the lack of training and the fact that FBW systems are infallible as far as Airbus and the regulators are concerned.

I'm willing to bet that whatever the outcome of the investigation, the systems and training will not be considered a root cause, merely a "contributing factor", and that the crew should have known better (but I'm straying into speculation now).

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 19:03
And, it is of course illegal. waiting to hear the pleadings am I.

ECAM_Actions
22nd Aug 2011, 19:13
@Lonewolf and vaneyck:

More to the point: if you have an aircraft flying in a known pitch/power combination that is sustaining level flight and stable speed quite happily, why use approximations from the book in the first instance?

If the aircraft had been upset and at the same time airspeed became (or was already) unreliable then it is understandable, as it at least gets you back to a ball-park figure, but surely the crew were not so absent-minded as to have not made a mental note of the current pitch and power? They are, after all, supposed to be flying the aircraft?

DozyWannabe
22nd Aug 2011, 19:20
@oldchina: The problem is said aircraft was considered "impossible" to stall (no matter how crazy that idea actually is) prior to AF447. This has changed with stall awareness and recovery training now being mandated as a result.

Yes it is preposterous that any such suggestion would be made, but it is implied by the lack of training and the fact that FBW systems are infallible as far as Airbus and the regulators are concerned.

Wrong (IMO). Airbus were pretty bullish in the early days of the A320 project, but they long since reconsidered their opinions, and anyone in this day and age passing on the idea that an FBW Airbus "cannot stall" needs to be R'ing T F'ing M pretty sharpish.

Jcjeant mentioned that this situation is not new and that recommendations have been made - he also seemed to imply that the recommendations have not been heeded (though I'm personally not so sure). What is the case is that this is the first incident in a *long* time where it has happened at a major flag-carrier, and as such, anyone wishing to sweep it under the carpet is going to face an uphill struggle doing so. To the industry's credit, Airbus, Boeing and the EU and US regulators have jumped on this and have since put forward a major overhaul of training criteria as regards stall training, which is a step in the right direction, which hopefully will plug one hole in the cheese.

However, as an interested SLF I have to beseech the piloting community to press forward with this, using their organisation and the fact that they are one of the last remaining unionised and associated professional groups in the western world to explain to management in no uncertain terms that the rot has gone far deeper and needs to be cleaned up before we suffer another incident like this.

Speaking for myself, whatever I may feel about the causes - I don't care about blame. I don't care about the politics that will follow in the legal battle, where lawyers for all concerned parties will try to blame the other parties in an effort to minimise liability. I care about the system as a whole being made safer.

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 19:26
Blame in itself, is an opinion, without authority.

Responsibility is a Horse of a different Hue.

How did AIRBUS avoid the installation of a Shaker/Pusher?

hetfield
22nd Aug 2011, 19:30
How did AIRBUS avoid the installation of a Shaker/Pusher?

How can you ask such a silly question?;)

Airbus has reinvented the art of flying, approved by BEA....!

ECAM_Actions
22nd Aug 2011, 19:46
How did AIRBUS avoid the installation of a Shaker/Pusher? This is why I made the comment I did regarding the aircraft being considered "un-stallable".

It was considered that the aircraft would prevent itself from stalling. The small detail omitted is that it only does this in Normal Law. Combined with the STALL audio warning (problem: it is silenced when the airspeed drops below 60 kts), this was considered sufficient protection.

Lonewolf_50
22nd Aug 2011, 20:29
Repeated for emphasis.

I will grant that a variety of certification decisions of similar weight (and posible lethal side effects) have been made over the years, but when you consider how pervasive shakers are, throughout the airline industry world wide, deliberately omitting them is a signal regulatory decision in a certification process. Not saying this is any sort of golden bullet, see Colgan, but another hole in the cheese? Likely. (But if it cuts out as the SW does, rendered useless in this case??? Not sure).


Q:
How did AIRBUS avoid the installation of a Shaker/Pusher?
A: This is why I made the comment I did regarding the aircraft being considered "un-stallable."

It was considered that the aircraft would prevent itself from stalling.

The small detail omitted is that it only does this in Normal Law.

Combined with the STALL audio warning (problem: it is silenced when the airspeed drops below 60 kts), this was considered sufficient protection.

Of note in the causation chain analysis: regulating authority and manufacturer (and who else?) are the parties to this compromise, which saves cost (and possibly weight?) and reduces by a small amount system complexity.

Question: does anyone know what the test pilots involved in the A330 program thought of this decision, to omit the stick shakers?

There are a few lapels upon which I'd like to have been a fly, eh? :cool:
Speaking for myself, whatever I may feel about the causes - I don't care about blame. I don't care about the politics that will follow in the legal battle, where lawyers for all concerned parties will try to blame the other parties in an effort to minimise liability. I care about the system as a whole being made safer.
Nicely put.

Mr Optimistic
22nd Aug 2011, 21:01
'Horse of a different hue'.

Say what ?

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 21:29
Mr. O. 'A horse of a different color', meaning: a different thing altogether. Responsibility is necessary, and entirely proper. It will be used to gauge the size and shape of each meatus in the cheese. Altogether proper, and to argue against it is to feign "JUSTICE". That means only the result matters, and politically wise is that.

You will have noticed my reference to "She did not, technically, STALL". Now that the passion has subsided, make me a bet that this comment was unnoticed by the (both) legal teams.

Airbus is currently attempting to suss a way to fold my comment into their bleatings. "It wasn't actually a STALL, so Shaker/Pusher are mooted......"

I would piss gramma's grave, were it only not so.....

jcjeant
22nd Aug 2011, 21:33
Hi,

Question: does anyone know what the test pilots involved in the A330 program thought of this decision, to omit the stick shakers? I dunno ...
What I'm sure is that the test pilots involved in the A330 test program thought that an artificial horizon was mandatory
So .. it's an artificial horizon instrument in the A330
How the pilots AF447 (apparently) were not aware of this fact ? or used it in a discriminatory manner ( horizontal wings indication only )

hetfield
22nd Aug 2011, 22:22
Question: does anyone know what the test pilots involved in the A330 program thought of this decision, to omit the stick shakers? Test pilots?

When the autopilot finally engaged, the aircraft started to ascend to 2000 ft. However, the aircraft rose too sharply and began losing speed. The speed decreased to 100 knots (120 mph; 190 km/h), but the minimum speed for controlling the aircraft is 118 knots.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_A330_test_flight_crash#cite_note-Airbus_wary_over_A330_changes-4) The aircraft started to roll so the crew reduced power to the operating engine to reduce the thrust asymmetry; however, this made the problem worse and the aircraft pitched down by 15 degrees and shortly afterwards crashed into the ground.[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_A330_test_flight_crash#cite_note-ASN-0)1994 A330 test flight crash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_A330_test_flight_crash)

safetypee
22nd Aug 2011, 22:48
“How did Airbus avoid the installation of a Shaker/Pusher? … this decision, to omit the stick shakers?”
The certification regulations do not require a shaker or stick pusher – or any other stall recovery ‘device’ if the aircraft meets the stalling criteria.
IMHO this would have been evaluated in all control law configurations, and thus we might assume, and as indicated by some incidents, that the A 330 has conventional stalling characteristics and does not require any special assistance or technique for stall identification or recovery.
A stick pusher is not installed to prevent a stall, it is a recovery device.

hetfield
22nd Aug 2011, 22:53
Yeah, it's all according certifications, even some crashs.

:ugh:

exeng
22nd Aug 2011, 23:10
However, as an interested SLF

We are where we are. Ticket prices decide what level of training Pilots receive - if you want 8 sims a year the the pax have to pay for it - unfortunately most of the SLF seem to be quite happy with the accident statistics as they are.

The unions in the main are mostly innefectual against the onslaught of the beanconters. If as a man you stand up you will be shot down. ( I tried it once and the union were hopeless)

Any way my friend please do not take this post to be aggresive as it it not intended this way.

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 23:15
safetypee. Can you provide the language ennabling the Pusher waiver? Because there are only a few tenths of a second between prevention and solution.

DozyWannabe
22nd Aug 2011, 23:21
A stick pusher is not installed to prevent a stall, it is a recovery device.

True. Read your HTBJ to get the background. A basic "stick nudger" was installed in all UK CAA certified 707s due to the less than benign characteristics of that airliner at the stall, and a full stick push was installed in all CAA-certified T-tail airliners because of the deep-stall characteristic inherent in that design (which was illustrated by pancaked 1-11s and Tridents that fell foul of it). I can't remember off the top of my head if one was installed on CAA-certified 747s, but Davies does mention that the stall characteristics are surprisingly benign, and that the aircraft tries to get it's nose down without significant assistance. Judging by the traces, it would appear that the A330 is equally benign, as long as one doesn't hammer the THS to the nose-up stop.

Now - as I said, I don't care about blame, I don't care about legal bobbins (though I hope that the victims families are properly compensated at the end of all of this), but what it ultimately boils down to for me is that it is unacceptable to induce a nose-up attitude of that magnitude (or make any control inputs as large as the PF was making) in the cruise phase of flight. None of your "but the THS should have...", "Why did the autopilot kick out...", "What if the displays were confusing..." matters as far as I'm concerned. If a pilot is expected to handle the aircraft in the cruise phase then he should damn well be trained to handle the aircraft in the cruise phase - automatically, manually, on the trim dials if necessary - and if airlines have been neglecting the training to do so then we have serious problems here.

@exeng - I'm well aware, but I'm also aware that there comes a time when the potential outcry forces manufacturers and/or airlines to listen. The DC-10 crash in Ermnonville was one such time. The A330 test crash which killed senior test pilot Nick Warner was another. Heaven knows it must be a lonely place when you believe that you're the only one sticking your head above the parapet, but that's the point at which you must band together and draw a line in the proverbial sand. We've had one accident where the pilots were so damned tired that they stalled their aircraft and maintained the controls in a stall-inducing attitude until it hit the ground. It now appears that we have a transatlantic flight where the designated pilot in charge seemed to have no idea how to control the thing manually at altitude. Eventually something has got to give. Right now, public faith in the methods of the finance industry and the methods it employs is at an all-time low - with enough pressure you could have the beancounters on the ropes. I'm not saying it will be easy, but if it was ever possible it has to be possible now.

@testpanel (below) - Forgive the guy his wording, which was slightly inaccurate - his point is fairly valid though. They may not have a stick-shaker, but they do have an aural warning and if I recall correctly the word "STALL" flashing in large letters in the centre of the ADI display of the PFD. As such it isn't likely that the annunciations could have been missed (for nearly a minute) unless there was something terribly wrong with either the systems (which the CVR and FDR apparently refute), or the perception of the crew.

Lyman
22nd Aug 2011, 23:37
But the ring comes round again, DOZE.

It does not matter for purposes of certification who is flying, that's the rub. Assume poor piloting, that is good.

Assuming poor piloting (the BUS does that subrosa, yes?) Without the Barn door doohickey, the STALL IS BENIGN, and recovery is straightforward, easies. It behaved in bizarre, untoward fashion, and would not behave in a straightforward manner. Protections are provided, STALL Recovery behaviour is Provided, on the basis of poor piloting...
We are now talking about survival after the fact, and ipso facto, how one gets to the dance is not about how one survives it.

DozyWannabe
23rd Aug 2011, 00:09
Assuming poor piloting (the BUS does that subrosa, yes?)

No it sodding* doesn't. It has an interface that is designed in such a way that there are backstops to prevent inadvertant departure from controlled flight in the vast majority of cases, and to assist the pilots by taking a degree of workload off them during the more tedious portions of the flight (as has been the case with every airliner fitted with an FMS since the '70s).

If you continue with these wild generalisations, then I'm going to have to assume that you are simply trolling to create an argument and I'm not willing to rise to it.

* - I hope that expletive is within acceptable boundaries, mods!

testpanel
23rd Aug 2011, 00:25
The certification regulations do not require a shaker or stick pusher – or any other stall recovery ‘device’ if the aircraft meets the stalling criteria

A shaker is NOT a recovery device.............:ugh:

jcjeant
23rd Aug 2011, 01:35
Hi,

unfortunately most of the SLF seem to be quite happy with the accident statistics as they are.
SLF don't decide of seat price .. I tried once .. and it's no work :8

The unions in the main are mostly innefectual against the onslaught of the beanconters. If as a man you stand up you will be shot down. ( I tried it once and the union were hopeless)
Mostly unions launch a strike for their members have more privileges or better wages
Rarely for a safety issues ...
Indeed .. unions are useless for safety grow

safetypee
23rd Aug 2011, 01:38
Lyman, as there are no requirements for a ‘pusher’ (or any other device) in the stall certification requirements, then no waiver is required. CS 25 / FAR 25.201 onwards.
The circumstances leading to this accident do not appear to differ significantly from the certification demonstration requirements, although the lack of initial recovery action (post stall 'identification') and trimmed condition may represent aspects which were not, and perhaps did not need to be demonstrated.

testpannel, to ease your headache, and for clarification – no recovery device (stick push or otherwise) is required at the stall; I think that most pilots understand that a shaker is not a recovery device.

Lemain
23rd Aug 2011, 08:13
Addressing pilots with an A320 type rating, is there anyone here who believes that had they been the PF AF447, without the benefit of hindsight, they would not have ended up in much the same situation?

Safety Concerns
23rd Aug 2011, 09:10
what has this to do with airbus?

have you not been reading the accident reports from analogue aircraft that have stalled in the past?

Exactly the same reaction from crew flying, leading to exactly the same end result.

As much as I respect Aguadalte, his comments about going back to the stone age apply here. We have been there done it, seen the film, read the book.

Aircraft with tactile feedback, stick shakers and all the rest have stalled and crashed in the past just like AF447. The only difference between then and now is that safety has never been better.

The way forward and away from this caveman approach is not to go back to the stone age and install tactile feedback and stick shakers. The way forward is to improve on the technology (with sensible pilot input void of emotion) and increase training where necessary.

jcjeant
23rd Aug 2011, 11:43
what has this to do with airbus?

have you not been reading the accident reports from analogue aircraft that have stalled in the past?

Exactly the same reaction from crew flying, leading to exactly the same end result.

So .. airplanes and flight systems and many more things are progressing in the civil aviation world
It's just the pilots who stay the same ...
It's indeed a safety concern

RetiredF4
23rd Aug 2011, 11:55
what has this to do with airbus?

Nothing, except that that was the manufacturer of AF447.
It might apply to all FBW aircraft some way or the other.

have you not been reading the accident reports from analogue aircraft that have stalled in the past?

Exactly the same reaction from crew flying, leading to exactly the same end result.

As much as I respect Aguadalte, his comments about going back to the stone age apply here. We have been there done it, seen the film, read the book.

Aircraft with tactile feedback, stick shakers and all the rest have stalled and crashed in the past just like AF447. The only difference between then and now is that safety has never been better.


With lesser reliable aircraft, with other workloads, with other environmental information. yet lost to the same cause: Unable to recover due to different reasons. Although we have no statistic how much aircraft really expierienced a stall situation and how much of those recovered succesfully. The percentage of stall events versus resulting crash would be the interesting one.

The way forward and away from this caveman approach is not to go back to the stone age and install tactile feedback and stick shakers. The way forward is to improve on the technology (with sensible pilot input void of emotion) and increase training where necessary.

That is your argument again and again despite the fact that nobody wants cables and pulleys back, nobody an old style shaker and nobody a control column the size of a street lighting pole.

It has nothing to do with stone age to (re) add some features, which provide an aditional sensory input by a different sensor (not the eye). Nobody wants the old systems back, invent something brand new (must not bee JD-EE´s old pizza throwing device), something that helps to recognize the situation not only with eyes and ears. Let´s use the full engineering knowledge not to skip something for weight reduction and costs, but to add some new developped gadget despite weight and costs for safety concerns (nice username though).

By the way, we are back to the old stall recovery procedure (see TechLog) as well, why not use the formerly used tactile input channel as well? Pride? Cost? Stubborness?

Just work on a way to get the crews attention by using all available sensory channels to recognize and act to an extreme situation like AF447 got itself in. That must be the aim.

And to repeat it : No stick pushers like the old ones, no stick shakers like the old ones, no center yokes as the old ones, no pulleys and cables, no stone age. Invent something new instead of those with the same or even improved feedback results, and we won´t be back in stone age, but hopefully in a more safer future.

Clandestino
23rd Aug 2011, 12:00
In the BEA press conference linked by jcjeant, J-P Troadec says:

'the pilot should have applied the unreliable IAS procedure and in fact this procedure consists specifically of adopting a pitch attitude of 5°, whereas the pitch attitude that was adopted at that moment was greater.'

So once again we have confirmed, without comment, that the SOP in case of UAS in cruise involves raising the nose - just not as greatly as the PF with his large stick input raised it.

PJ2 has argued against any change in pitch before starting the checklist, and his arguments sound very convincing to me. Why would you make any change in the flight path of an aircraft in level cruise that has shown no signs of instability? And how long would you keep on at this pitch angle? Indefinitely? Surely the chances of inadvertent overspeed are less threatening than the chance of getting yourself too high, too slow.


Vaneyck Good point, in that a pitch increase to 5 deg at that power setting would seem to result in a climb and deceleration, where on wasn't required, nor desired. Indeed, some minutes before, the crew had remarked on how a planned climb could not be done since temps had not developed as forecast.

Why go from S & L to decelerating climb when there is no need for it? If this is what the BEA contact is suggesting, I am puzzled as to why.


More to the point: if you have an aircraft flying in a known pitch/power combination that is sustaining level flight and stable speed quite happily, why use approximations from the book in the first instance?

Ladies and gentlemen, dear fellow PPRuNers, please allow me to clear some of the misconsceptions you might have about procedure we're discussing here.

Too keep nomenclature proper: UAS procedure is not SOP. If it is to be applied, you have departed the domain of standard operation. It is EMERGENCY / ABNORMAL.

Emergency procedures are not written by company lawyers, they are written by test pilots. They write them in blood in of those who were unfortunate to trespass into territories forbidden to them by aerodynamics, meteorology or mechanics and underline them in blood of those who were unable to follow them for whatever reasons.

If an emergency procedure could talk this would be what it says to pilot: "I am your emergency procedure. Know me well, apply me properly, timely and precisely when you need me or die. Second guess me only if you are absolutely sure you're better off without than with me but accept you very well might die if you are wrong."

Values of 5° degrees and climb power are written in the book but they are not to be set by the book. They are memory items, they have to be known by heart and set without undue delay. On Airbi they are to be maintained until attitude and setting appropriate for flight phase and weight are read out from QRH and set. They keep you both out of stall and overspeed at any weight even if you fumble with QRH and it takes you couple of minutes to find the table or even if you maintain them until fuel runs out.

5° pitch with climb power, applied at cruise altitude/level will keep you out of both stall and overspeed on any Airbus, 318 to 380, at any weight. So on Piper Cub, ATR-42, B737, Su-27 Flanker and her derivatives (provided external stores don't affect maximum allowable speed more than drag, that is), An-225 Mriya and almost anything in between. Designs on which it might or might not work are relatively overpowered ones with relatively low limiting Mach number, such as early jet transports.

It's basic aerodynamics and performance, folks.

Safety Concerns
23rd Aug 2011, 12:10
franzl you have gained my respect on 2 counts.

1) you have read and understood my posts
2) And to repeat it : No stick pushers like the old ones, no stick shakers like the old ones, no center yokes as the old ones, no pulleys and cables, no stone age. Invent something new instead of those with the same or even improved feedback results, and we won´t be back in stone age, but hopefully in a more safer future.

That was very much a forward looking post.

Rananim
23rd Aug 2011, 12:25
Safety Concerns,
No disrespect,but your callsign is very ironic if you dont mind me saying.

Aircraft with tactile feedback, stick shakers and all the rest have stalled and crashed in the past just like AF447

Not an indictment of the aircraft,but of the pilot or training.It adds nothing to your argument.

The way forward and away from this caveman approach is not to go back to the stone age and install tactile feedback and stick shakers

Disagree.Strongly.Not for Airbus,no.They cant go back now,I agree.They must stick to their guns.But for other manufacturers,the way forward is not to copy Airbus.The only thing Airbus have actually done is invent a new way of crashing by totally disconnecting man from machine through its complex and not very user-friendly interface(visual feedback alone-myriad of changing laws during abnormals-autotrim that suddenly cuts out-SS with no feedback-no feedback TL's-stall warning that cuts out etc etc).

KISS.Old is good.Old is tried and tested.Train the pilots better.Thats the way forward.These are my safety concerns,old chap.

Lonewolf_50
23rd Aug 2011, 13:00
Clandestino:

Whilst I appreciate your points enumerated above, I am more persuaded by PJ2's take on the UAS drill, which is that
1) UAS at cruise altitudes is a malfunction (rather than an emergency)
2) at altitude, the need to climb before trouble shooting is absent.
3) Hence, rote response of IF UAS THEN 5deg nose up does not apply to the malfunction arising in cruise.

On second thought, if you were posting a bit tongue in cheek, then a wry grin from me to you. :cool:

I fully understand EP's and required memory items. Used to teach such things, I did, and had to apply a few when things like compressor stalls and engine fires arose in flight. Memory itms are very handy at such times, to be sure.

Safety Concerns
23rd Aug 2011, 13:15
The only thing Airbus have actually done is invent a new way of crashing

Have you actually understood anything that has happened in the past 20 years regarding aviation and technology? It may have escaped your attention but FBW accident rates are pretty impressive.

Older aircraft have suffered the same fate, it is documented that pilots reacted incorrectly in a similar situation with all your bells and buzzers yet somehow you twist that round to Airbus are responsible for designing a new way of crashing. :ugh::ugh:

RetiredF4 hit the nail on the head.

Invent something new instead of those with the same or even improved feedback results, and we won´t be back in stone age, but hopefully in a more safer future.

It is going that way whether you like it or not because flying is fundamentally safer with more automation. There will always be the odd one or two accidents yet designers will not lose their nerve because statistically flying has become much much safer.

Rananim
23rd Aug 2011, 14:01
It may have escaped your attention but FBW accident rates are pretty impressive.



Systems reliability has improved with better technology for all aircraft manufacturers.Thats all.Nothing to do with the Airbus interface design/philosophy.

Older aircraft have suffered the same fate
Of course.The pilots are the same.They dont change.Some are good,most are average, some are below average.

RetiredF4 hit the nail on the head.



Invent something new instead of those with the same or even improved feedback results, and we won´t be back in stone age, but hopefully in a more safer future.

No,he did not hit the nail on the head.All commercial airliners are 2 man crew last time I checked.What better feedback is there than a great big control wheel beween your legs?Dont try to reinvent the wheel.It works and it works well.

It is going that way whether you like it or not because flying is fundamentally safer with more automation.

Did you read the report?Is it you that doesnt understand whats been going on in the last 20 years?They couldnt fly the plane.They were automation-dependent and that dependence was condoned by both manufacturer and airline.
:mad:

Mac the Knife
23rd Aug 2011, 14:47
Apologies for asking again.

Was not (at least) the standby Artificial Horizon working?

Would not the fact that it would have been showing mostly blue sky have given them a clue to the marked nose-up attitude?

And thereby an indication of incipient/actual stall?

Why wouldn't they have looked at it?

DozyWannabe
23rd Aug 2011, 15:05
No,he did not hit the nail on the head.All commercial airliners are 2 man crew last time I checked.What better feedback is there than a great big control wheel beween your legs?Dont try to reinvent the wheel.It works and it works well.

So does the sidestick - in almost all cases the people kvetching about the Airbus controls and system interfaces are those that have never flown one. Also, not that I'm one for whataboutery, but EAL401 would never have happened if the L-1011 was fitted with a sidestick.

For what feels like the thousandth time, It's not better, not worse, just different.

Also, let's just examine your argument - you want the systems simple, but you advocate yokes and force-feedback. There is no way to implement force-feedback in a digital flight control system without making the system more complex and adding thousands more potential points of failure - that's just engineering reality.

Did you read the report?Is it you that doesnt understand whats been going on in the last 20 years?They couldnt fly the plane.They were automation-dependent and that dependence was condoned by both manufacturer and airline.

Actually the manufacturer seemed quite concerned that the automation was being used by at least some airlines in a way that they did not intend:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/388573-pilot-handling-skills-under-threat-says-airbus.html

This article came out a few months after AF447, but you can't say that Airbus have been blase about it, nor have they applied any pressure to have it viewed as pilot error and leave it at that.

@Franzl (below) - That's a valid opinion, sure. But I would recommend at least trying the systems out or making an in-depth effort to understand the design decisions that were made - and why they are made, before saying something "must" be changed. As yet, I've seen no evidence that either change you suggest would have helped in this situation or any other Airbus FBW incident, and seeing as there are thousands of the things flying people around the world, trouble-free, every day I'd say the design is as sound as any other as it stands - it's not perfect, but what system is?

[As always, caveat emptor - I'm not a pilot. But the fact remains that there are plenty of pilots on here that are either current on the FBW Airbus, have flown the FBW Airbus and are now on a different type, or are retired FBW Airbus pilots and very few of them have a negative thing to say about the control hardware or logic compared to other types. Several have also said that the aircraft is a dream to hand-fly, thus scotching any ideas about it being designed for automatic flight only.]

RetiredF4
23rd Aug 2011, 15:14
Of course.The pilots are the same.They dont change.Some are good,most are average, some are below average.

Quote:
RetiredF4 hit the nail on the head.
Quote:
Invent something new instead of those with the same or even improved feedback results, and we won´t be back in stone age, but hopefully in a more safer future.

Rananim
No,he did not hit the nail on the head. All commercial airliners are 2 man crew last time I checked.What better feedback is there than a great big control wheel beween your legs?Dont try to reinvent the wheel.It works and it works well.


Let´s be realistic, the change is made, and from general layout it is not a bad design. As i read in between the lines you seem to accept that fact for single seated fighter aircraft, but not for a two man cockpit.

I can understand that and i´m with you concerning feedback what the other guy is doing with the stick. I´ve never flown a yoke, and i was always wondering how somebody can execute those tiny necessary commands i could do with the stick inmy F4. Later on i did the ATPL Sim Sessions in a caravelle simulator and missed my stick badly.

I think the SS design can improve to fullfill these tasks. That ranges from feedback to repositioning of the SS from the side consoles to the centre console. Sure some equipment can be moved from the center to elsewhere. The throttles only move some switches, however they are still designed as needing to move an oxcart. Or put the throttles amd trimwheels to the side controls, the interconection of those shouldnt be that difficult to achieve.

I agree with Safety Concerns, there will be no going back to the old design, but we need to get back the old functionality and interface quality of this old design.

jcjeant
23rd Aug 2011, 16:38
Hi,

Apologies for asking again.

Was not (at least) the standby Artificial Horizon working?

Would not the fact that it would have been showing mostly blue sky have given them a clue to the marked nose-up attitude?

And thereby an indication of incipient/actual stall?

Why wouldn't they have looked at it? I asked also ...
Seem's the pilots of the AF447 and pilots here .. don't like to use the Stdby Horizon
Or if they use it ... they use it in an discriminatory manner .. they check it for leveling wings ( or make mayonnaise for AF447) but don't see blue color .. :8
Daltonism :confused:

DozyWannabe
23rd Aug 2011, 16:55
@jcjeant - That's funny, I seem to recall the Captain specifically directing the flight crew's attention towards the ISIS horizon according to the CVR. I don't think we'll ever know if the flight crew ever looked at it beforehand.

aguadalte
23rd Aug 2011, 16:56
I agree with Safety Concerns, there will be no going back to the old design, but we need to get back the old functionality and interface quality of this old design.
(my bold)
Well, I also agree with this affirmation, there will be no going back to the old design, because it would cost a huge sum of money and effort, and would specially cost the "face" of Airbus Industrie's system design.
What bothers me, is not to see the need for the functionality and interface quality the old design used to have. To improve the tactile feed-back of what your aircraft is doing is to move forward. The challenge of today, would be to create a system much more "user-friendly" (Human Factors speaking) aimed at what would best suit the already identified weaknesses of pilot/machine interface.
When I say that if it was not for men to be never content with what they had achieved, we would still be in the Stone Age, is to put in practice the ideals of men and women like Da Vinci, Einstein, Neils Bohr, Marie Curie, etc., who had the virtue of being open minded and were not afraid of criticism once their goal was to do the things they already did well, but wanted to do better next time (and not get lazy under the glory of their achievements).
There is always room for progression and if to progress one would have to use old stuff like feed-back functionalities or tactile feed-back, so be it!

Regarding the use of the UAS memory items (5º/Climb Thrust) in CRZ, I do agree with PJ2's idea that it is not worth to destabilize an aircraft that is already flying well in present conditions. Pilots who are used to hand-fly their aircraft to TOC do know what ATT they are handling at those altitudes (never more than 3º/3.5º, even overpowered A310's would use no more than 3.5º when reaching TOC or changing altitudes). An ATT of 5º is sufficient to slowly decelerate an heavy bird and bring it to the onset of a stall.:uhoh:

PJ2
23rd Aug 2011, 17:10
Clandestino;

Thanks for keeping the dialogue on this drill alive. The disagreement on how to apply the drill in force at the time.
Emergency procedures are not written by company lawyers, they are written by test pilots. You're probably right but I'm not a test pilot and don't actually know how drills and checklists obtain the form they do. I do know that the UAS drill has many iterations throughout its history since it was first instituted after the Birgenair and Aeroperu crashes.

When the Airbus FCOM Bulletin and the UAS drill first emerged, a pitot (or static) failure was assumed to have occurred at takeoff as the two accidents had. Of course, it is an emergency under those circumstances and the guidance in the memorized drill was appropriate.

An ADR Disagree event occurred on an A330 as early as 1996. The characteristics were pitot icing, an undesired stall warning and a latching of Alternate law for the rest of the flight. I believe these events drove some of the changes which we see today regarding the stall warning, (inhibition above M0.866), the (10sec?) delay in latching Alternate Law, etc. Airbus issued Bulletin #11 dated October, 1997.

I don't know if an Unreliable Airspeed Drill/Checklist was in place at that time or not. The earliest drill I know of is November of 2002; there may be examples prior to this date.

Both FCOM Bulletin 11 and the UAS drill at the time, (found in 1.02.34 - Navigation) stated that the memorized pitch attitude and thrust setting were to be flown. The UAS drill qualified this by stating under "How to Apply This Procedure":

" - if the wrong speed or altitude information does not affect the safe conduct of the flight, first apply the ADR Check procedure to identify the faulty ADR(s) and switch it (them OFF. If necessary, enter the unreliable speed procedure, or severe turbulence table (if in cruise), to set the pitch and thrust corresponding to the current flight phase.

...

- if the safe conduct of the flight is affected (all the speed indications are unreliable, ro the wrong speed indication cannot not [sic] be positively identified):

- immediately apply the memory items: AP/FD/ATHR OFF, and fly the memory pitch - thrust settings";
- Then, once stabilzed, refer to the QRH in order to determine the pitch and thrust settings required by the current flight phase;

... " etc

There is no guidance as to what the meaning of "stabilized" is in this context. Does it mean, "stabilized in the (resulting) climb"?, or does it mean, "stabilized in level flight"?, because setting a pitch attitude of 5deg in cruise is going to result in a strong climb.

In my own experiment* the pitch to 5deg causes an initial climb rate of about 4000fpm with a commensurate decrease in airspeed even with thrust set in the CLB detent. It takes about two minutes to reach FL400 by which time the airspeed is around 200kts.

These numbers are nominal, and are in the same ballpark as those seen in the AF447 data.

Two minutes is not a long time as we know; by the time the QRH is brought out and the page found and numbers read, the airplane is already a long way from stable, level flight and is climbing while the energy level is reducing.

Later UAS drills are not materially different. However, two flight crew training manuals I am aware of states,

"A330/A340 FLIGHT CREW TRAINING MANUAL - ABNORMAL OPERATIONS, NAVIGATION
Rev.No.01
1st February 2007
MEMORY ITEMS
The flight crew applies the memory items, if the safe conduct of the flight is affected. The memory items allow to rapidly establish safe flight conditions in all phases of flight and in all aircraft configurations (weight and slats/flaps).

The flight crew must apply the memory items, if they have a doubt on their ability to safely fly the aircraft in the short term with the current parameters, ie:
• The flight crew has lost situation awareness, or
• The current pitch and thrust are not appropriate for the current flight conditions, or
• The aircraft has an unexpected flight path for the current flight conditions.

When the PF has stabilized the target pitch and thrust values, the flight crew applies the QRH procedure to level off and troubleshoot the problem. The flight crew must apply the QRH procedure without delay, because flying with the memory pitch/thrust values for an extended period of time can lead to exceed the aircraft speed limits.

Note: The flight crew must respect the STALL warning."

So, although the drill/checklist state that setting 5deg of pitch "protects" the airplane from stall, I see the opposite, and I can't see a test pilot actually thinking this was a better solution than remaining level while the QRH was brought out.

One can certainly re-establish stable, level flight by immediately flying the QRH pitch and thrust settings, but what has been lost is the situational awareness of what one's speed is. We know that at cruise flight levels there is not a lot of reserve power. So instead of staying level and keeping the pitch and thrust that was "successful" immediately prior to the loss of airspeed information, the crew loses that awareness by climbing and losing energy, which must be regained.

I would argue that it is not the "Is the safety of flight impacted?" that should be the qualifying condition, but the flight phase and the altitude at which the failure occurs. That removes the possibly-subjective assessment of whether one's aircraft is in jeopardy or immediate danger, and instead outlines those conditions in which the aircraft either is, or is not in immediate danger, which is predicated on the Thrust Reduction Altitudes and the Takeoff flight phase.

At cruise flight phase the airplane isn't in immediate danger if the airspeed information is lost. One has pitch, altitude, VSI and thrust indications from which stable flight can be maintained while the pitot's and ADRs sort themselves out, or if they don't, one has a stable airplane in level flight from which to troubleshoot the ADRs.

This emminently satisfies the first rule of aviation - "Aviate". Once the aircraft is under full control, then carry on with the drills, by first announcing them so that everyone knows what you're doing and can monitor and provide assistance. One continues to Navigate which means ensuring headings are suitable while the abnormals are being looked after, and one continues to Communicate which means using standard calls to announce the abnormal or the drill and, where an action is irreversible, (engine shutdown, for example), confirmation from the other crew member, (PF) before taking action.

To address Mountain Bear's earlier point, none of this is the result of "hindsight bias" or second-guessing the crew. I am well aware of the issue and have written about it on PPRuNe. I don't claim immunity from the bias but what is the boundary between hindsight, and examining what occurred and is known in the data? It isn't easy to establish. We have to start somewhere and then remain cautious. While we may not know what the PF saw on his PFD or elsewhere, there is nothing which should have prevented the crew from carrying out these SOPs, which are also designed by test pilots and manufacturers as well as individual airlines. The question will be, Why were these actions not carried out in the manner trained?, which is a reasonable question to ask for the Human Factors Group.

I am glad that the discussion on this continues as I think it is a material factor in this accident. We do not know what was displayed on the PF's PFD, (although we know that the BEA is pursuing this possibly through the QAR) and we do not know what UAS training was provided or what reactions where recalled.

But the fact that there is some disagreement in how this should be done, means that at least a discussion is warranted and useful. I have yet to see or hear a good reason why flight with pitch and thrust settings which existed prior to the loss of airspeed data should not be maintained and instead the aircraft pitch set, by rote, to 5deg and then without delay, (as per the FCTM remarks), the QRH Procedure to level off and troubleshoot the problem" must be done to avoid exceeding aircraft speed limits, (which we must assume means both high and low speed boundaries).

Thanks again, Clandestino. Agreement isn't the goal, but thinking about the way this drill and checklist is designed and intended to be executed, is.

BOAC
23rd Aug 2011, 17:34
Apologies for asking again.

Was not (at least) the standby Artificial Horizon working?

Would not the fact that it would have been showing mostly blue sky have given them a clue to the marked nose-up attitude?

And thereby an indication of incipient/actual stall?

Why wouldn't they have looked at it? - I don't think we have any reason to suspect that any of the attitude indicators were not functioning properly - including the *** big ones in front of the pilots - unless someone is hiding something.

Lonewolf_50
23rd Aug 2011, 17:49
@BOAC:

I don't think we have any reason to suspect that any of the attitude indicators were not functioning properly - including the *** big ones in front of the pilots - unless someone is hiding something.

Unless the BEA is simply being coservative and admitting that it's unknown.

That said, were you and I in Vegas, I suspect we'd both bet the same on the likelihood of the PFD, RH, being functional. Were it not, I suspect at least something on CVR would have come up, but we do have the PNF switching to 3 ... perhaps a sign of non verbal communication regarding PFD being suspect? :confused:

Unknown.

dogle
23rd Aug 2011, 19:42
Unless the BEA is simply being coservative and admitting that it's unknown.... or just at a loss to explain the protracted failure to recognise inappropriate attitude?

The roll axis traces in the first half minute after AP disconnect suggest the PF was struggling to get hold in this period, with several regular cycles of overcontrol left/right.

I cannot envisage this happening unless he had a working display as reference ... too regular.

Proof positive - or not?

BOAC
23rd Aug 2011, 19:55
Certainly makes sense

nikplane
23rd Aug 2011, 22:20
Mac the knife

Apologies for asking again.

Was not (at least) the standby Artificial Horizon working?

Would not the fact that it would have been showing mostly blue sky have given them a clue to the marked nose-up attitude?
And thereby an indication of incipient/actual stall?

Why wouldn't they have looked at it?


It seems interesting to look at the normal and stand-by instruments mounted on 'Airbus A380
------------------
The ADIRS is composed of 3 Air Data and Inertial
Reference Units (ADIRUs).

>The Air Data (AD) section computes primary air data
parameters using data from different probes installed
on the aircraft fuselage:

>1 Multi-Function Probe (MFP) per ADIRU
provides total pressure (Pt), Total Air
Temperature (TAT) and Angle-of-Attack (AOA)
Measurements

>1 Side Slip Angle (SSA) probe per ADIRU
provides the sideslip angle

>2 Integrated Static Probes (ISPs) per ADIRU
provide the static pressure (Ps)

-----------------

The Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS)
provides backup flight and navigation displays in the case
of an ADIRS, FMS or CDS failure.


The ISIS is composed of:
2 independent ISIS units,
the Standby Flight Display (SFD) unit and
Standby Navigation Display (SND) unit
1 standby pitot probe (Pt)
2 standby static probes (Ps)
-Internal gyros (attitude).



In normal configuration:

-The SFD unit computes and displays air data and
inertial reference parameters (SFD)
-The SND unit computes and displays navigation and
flight plan information (SND).

Each unit can perform all the ISIS functions.


---------------

Now on A380 there are 3 multifunction probes and 1 normal probe air speed for ISIS?
and how many probes and static ports are mounted on the sides of the fuselage?


.

bubbers44
24th Aug 2011, 01:21
I guess noone can figure out why they didn't just hold their previous attitude, about 2.5 degrees up and about 85% N1 and get UAS checklist instead of pulling up into a stall at high altitude. If the low time PF didn't know any better why did the PNF let him continue, I don't care who was designated captain. Neither one had a clue what they were doing. Didn't they teach them that in Alt law you have no stall protection? Couldn't they have figured that out themselves? No normal law, no stall protection.

stepwilk
24th Aug 2011, 02:08
I guess noone can figure out why they didn't just hold their previous attitude, about 2.5 degrees up and about 85% N1 and get UAS checklist instead of pulling up into a stall at high altitude. If the low time PF didn't know any better why did the PNF let him continue, I don't care who was designated captain. Neither one had a clue what they were doing. Didn't they teach them that in Alt law you have no stall protection? Couldn't they have figured that out themselves? No normal law, no stall protection.

160 pages in, and this should have been said--and of course has been any number of times--maybe 150 pages ago and this thread closed. Deal with it.

bubbers44
24th Aug 2011, 02:29
I know it has been brought up many times but posts in the past have suggested it was not recoverable by any crew. Indicating it wasn't entirely their fault. I disagree. It was their fault. Airbus made it easy for them to do what they did but it was their fault. I think pilots of low experience thought the Airbus couldn't stall so disregarded normal flying rules and thought no matter how hard you pulled back on the SS it wouldn't stall. That only works in normal law. They were in alternate law.

PJ2
24th Aug 2011, 02:32
bubbers44;
Didn't they teach them that in Alt law you have no stall protection? Below is a typical CBT image from the late 90's. Alternate Law is covered very well in any Airbus course I've seen or for which I've had access to the training materials.



http://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-KRNSqw4/0/L/i-KRNSqw4-L.jpg

bubbers44
24th Aug 2011, 02:47
So is it A, B or C? I never flew an Airbus, by choice. I just learn here.

iceman50
24th Aug 2011, 03:29
Bubbers44

To help you think it is a normal A/C without stall protection!

I personally think this will eventually come down to inappropriate inputs PRIOR to the stall and having "looked" at the scenario you have to really hold the aft input to GET the A/C into that position. Extremely high rates of descent 15,000+ and the recovery will require at least 15degrees + nose down and TOGA, once the nose is down.

However during the entry the STALL warning is continually "sounding" and even if you had just let go of the sidestick, after the initial input, the stall warning stops and an extreme attitude is NOT achieved. You have to HOLD it in.

Having got themselves into the deep stall then things would have been very confusing, so we can perhaps understand why they did not know what was going on, but the A/C should not have got there in the first place. This is NOT an "Airbus" problem but perhaps a "pilot" problem. Difficult as it is to say and we always defend our profession but we do sometimes make mistakes / errors and I have made a few in my time.

The only good thing to come out of this, at the sad cost of many lives and as we used to say when I was in the Military "I learnt about flying from that!", is that I hope all of us "pilots" are now thinking about what WE would do in our A/C be it an Airbus / Boeing and we had an UAS situation at night and at altitude manually flying.

bubbers44
24th Aug 2011, 03:48
Yes, I agree, keep a stable attitude and power, get out the UAS checklist, fine tune it a bit and fly out of the icing. It takes some piloting skills but don't we all have them?

MountainBear
24th Aug 2011, 06:08
Yes, I agree, keep a stable attitude and power, get out the UAS checklist, fine tune it a bit and fly out of the icing.How, pray tell, were the crew of AF447 supposed to fly out of something they never even knew existed. As the CVR indicates they made a minor course correction because of concerns about turbulence, not icing. They never knew there was ice. They never knew that the ice had closed the tubes. They never knew that the clogged tubes caused the UAS. We know those things to be facts. They knew none of it.

The most dangerous thing about comments like your bubbers44 is that everyone starts flying in response to the last accident so that the next accident, once again, takes everyone by surprise. Being scared of one's shadow is the worst possible outcome.

BOAC
24th Aug 2011, 07:52
MBear - they did not need to know what had caused the loss of IAS indication. To apply backstick with a ridiculously low IAS flies in the face of any logic. I still find it difficult to accept any trained pilot would do it.

Step - "160 pages in, and this should have been said--and of course has been any number of times--maybe 150 pages ago and this thread closed. Deal with it".- you are forgetting the 150 times per thread on previous threads.

Why is the biggest question and is the priority. It indicates a major chasm in AF training - and I fear probably across other AB companies too.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 08:21
It indicates a major chasm in AF training - and I fear probably across other AB companies too.

Even after the stall manifested by the rapid heading change (bank attitude) and the sudden descent, the FLIGHT CREW FAILED TO RECOGNIZE the problem for a number of seconds. THEY CONTINUED TO APPLY BACK PRESSURE ON THE CONTROL COLUMN WHICH KEPT THE AIRCRAFT AT A HIGH ANGLE OF ATTACK.

Boeing 727 Accident Conclusions:

The aircraft accumulated sufficient ice during its flight to block the drain holes and total pressure inlet ports. Static ports were not affected.

The flightcrew misconstrued the operation of the stall warning STICK SHAKER as mach buffet.

The flightcrew continued to increase the nose up attitude of the aircraft following the operation of the stick shaker

Following the stall the aircraft entered into a right spiralling dive at a high rate of descent. Throughout the descent the flightcrew reacted primarily to airspeed and rate of descent indications instead of attitude indications and this failed to initiate recovery techniques and procedures.

In an effort to recover the aircraft from the high rate of descent the flightcrew exerted excessive pull forces on the control column.

CAUSE:

The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was the loss of control of the aircraft because the flightcrew failed to recognize and correct the aircraft high angle of attack and low speed stall. The stall was precipitated by the flightcrews improper reaction to erroneous airspeed and mach indications which had resulted from a blockage of the pitot heads by atmospheric ice.

Sound familiar. Now perhaps BOAC when you reread Aeroperu, Birginair and several others, you could perhaps expand on your fear that this is something to do with airbus. :ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:

The truth hurts but you need to look closer to home for this one. It is the mark I human being at fault, nothing else.

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 08:49
iceman50

However during the entry the STALL warning is continually "sounding" and even if you had just let go of the sidestick, after the initial input, the stall warning stops and an extreme attitude is NOT achieved. You have to HOLD it in.

I question that, depending on your undestanding of "initial input". If you define that as before the pitch reached more than 5°, i might accept.

In Alt2B without protections the FCP follows an loadfactor demand. If, for example, the initial loadfactor demand called for 1,5 g´s and that resulted in an pitch attitude of 15°, releasing of SS input would now demand a loadfactor of 1 g. This new load factor demand would lead to maintaining the 15° pitch regardless of speed decay.
Although if no further input for a NU demand will be made on the SS (in neutral as you say), the FCP would continue to drive the elevators NU and start to trim the THS NU to maintain this one g equaling the pitch at SS release in the decaying speed situation. Result will be a stall with 15° pitch, elevators and THS full nose up.

Does this sound familiar?

What you described would be the behaviour of a conventional aircraft, where elevators return to neutral when NU input is terminated and with no trim input the aircraft would answer the decreasing speed with a decrease in pitch and climb rate to find its equilibrium / stable state of flight again.

Or it would be the behaviour of a FBW aircraft with protections working.

I think you are aware of that, i just wanted it to make clear for other readers.
If i´m wrong, please post.

Lemain
24th Aug 2011, 09:06
MBear - they did not need to know what had caused the loss of IAS indication. To apply backstick with a ridiculously low IAS flies in the face of any logic. I still find it difficult to accept any trained pilot would do it.Clearly they were trained pilots. Let's assume they weren't incapacitated by drugs or medical problems (?) what could conceivably have caused trained pilots to do just that? Something made them make those decisions.

iceman50
24th Aug 2011, 09:35
Hi Franzl,

It was "looked" at in ALT Law and to get anywhere near 15 degrees will take a lot of sustained effort. It also looks way wrong on the PFD.

cwatters
24th Aug 2011, 10:19
Safety Concerns writes...

The truth hurts but you need to look closer to home for this one. It is the mark I human being at fault, nothing else.

Well yes but isn't it the job of aircraft designers and pilot trainers to look at previous instances of human failure and try to reduce the chances of other people making the same mistake again?

How long has it been known that pilots sometimes fail to recognise they are stalled? The examples you and others provided clearly show it's happened before.

Could/should something have been done about the issue sooner? Should something be done now? Would it really cost much? Have accidents become so rare that even relatively cheap changes fail cost v benifit analysis?

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 10:21
Hi Franzl,

It was "looked" at in ALT Law and to get anywhere near 15 degrees will take a lot of sustained effort. It also looks way wrong on the PFD.

Ice


But that is, what happened here with AF447. They got way over 5° and stalled.

2:10:08 = pitch 5°
2:10:15 = pitch 10°
2:10:30 = pitch 13°
2:11:00 = pitch 15°
2:11:08 = pitch max pitch about 17°

And releaving SS at that moment would not have changed anything to a positive outcome. Releasing at less pitch than 15° would only lengthen the timeframe till stall would occur if not dealt with the problem by SS ND.

So my question was (and still is), to what time/ pitch you reference your term "after the initial pitch up"?
Even the 5° pitch would not be good for endless time, as same as stated above would apply. No protection, therefore maintaining 5° pitch until speed is below stall speed and same time elevators and THS full NU. It would take considerable more time and would leave more time to counteract though.

It´s important to understand aerodynamic and energy management also in an FBW protectet aircraft, when those protections and ATHR go southbound.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 10:45
Well yes but isn't it the job of aircraft designers and pilot trainers to look at previous instances of human failure and try to reduce the chances of other people making the same mistake again?

Yes absolutely. But the issue here is being blurred (as always) by unnecessary and irrelevant references to manufacturers and one manufacturer in particular.

It may surprise many of you but it is a fact that most airspeed related accidents have been in Boeings whereas most airspeed related incidents have been in Airbus's. Which would you prefer, an accident or an incident?

I haven't witnessed any great cries for design change on the Boeings.

So remove the emotion, argue facts, tune in with your aircraft and the designers will work with you to improve safety.

Lonewolf_50
24th Aug 2011, 11:59
Safety Concerns, in re this:
The truth hurts but you need to look closer to home for this one. It is the mark I human being at fault, nothing else.
Are you referring to the human beings who failed to replace the Thales pitot probes, even though an airworthiness directive had been issued to that effect?
Are you referring to the human beings who are in charge of training at AF?
Are you referring to the Captain of AF 447, and his decisions?
Are you referring to the PNF who didn't take the controls?
Are you referring to the PF who held a high nose attitude, and seems to have applied a low altitude solution to a high altitude problem? (Go back to the training, and how you reward people for various performance.)
Are you referring to the human beings who believed that disabling stall warning when the aircraft is stalled (< 60 kts) while airborne is a good design approach?

Which human beings are you referring to, Safety Concerns?

Rananim
24th Aug 2011, 12:04
The truth hurts but you need to look closer to home for this one. It is the mark I human being at fault, nothing else.

Safety Concerns

I hope by "human" you meant to include the designers because if not,its grossly unfair to the pilots.Are you really saying that the interface design contributed nothing to the probable cause whatsoever?
An experienced Airbus pilot left a post saying how sensitive SS control was at even low altitude.What about high altitude with little buffet margin and throw in moderate(perhaps worse) turbulence..what then?How easy would it be to overcontrol then?The forearm must rest on an armrest with the wrist as the pivot point for SS control in an Airbus.Great for small precise control inputs in smooth air.But what about during a high alt upset in rough air when the forearm might become dislodged.The stick isnt between your legs,its off to one side.
And then theres no feel feedback.And the PNF cant see what the PF is commanding on the stick.Hes out of the loop so its effectively a single crew response.The PNF can override and try his luck but theres no way for both pilots to work it in tandem.They can override each other or they can work in opposition with the computer adding the inputs algebraically or cancelling each other out.And who knows who's really in control?The "priority" audio call and the visual green/red arrow on the glareshield might be fine in a normal situation.But in a bad situation with turbulence and with loads of ECAM warnings?These channels get dumped quickly.You just wouldnt get this in a conventional aircraft.YOU SEE BOTH STICKS.YOU SEE WHAT THE OTHER GUY IS DOING WITH HIS STICK.YOU WORK IT TOGETHER IN EXTREME CASES WITHOUT ANY NEED FOR AUDITORY/VISUAL FEEDBACK.ITS ALL TACTILE.

And then the autotrim cutting out with THS at max ANU.Do you think pilots have time in a bad situation to look at the ECAM and start deciphering what effect the changing laws have on what theyre doing?If they can remember.ALT LAW..right, I have no stall warning protection.ABNORMAL LAW..right, trim is manual.THEY FLY THE PLANE FIRST AND FOREMOST.And the stall warning inhibit?Going off when the aircraft was in a deep stall?This is acceptable design is it?All this complex and frankly suspect interface design didnt have any effect whatsoever on the outcome??

The Airbus is a video game,nothing more.In normal ops,Im prepared to believe its the most wonderful thing since slice bread.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 12:26
It is quite incredible how far off track you guys have become.

The design interface played no more of a role in AF447 as did Boeings design interface in NW6231 back in 1974.

Everything posted in the previous two posts as in BOAC's silly slip up highlights nothing more than YOUR personal refusal to get in tune with the aircraft. The proof is that your clarion calls for change would have us believe that stick shakers and feedback and no electronic software would have resulted in a different outcome.

WAKE UP CALL: Aeroperu, Birgenair, NW 6231. Thats 3 Boeings so why haven't you called for major design changes on them?

I quote again the President of the Flight Safety Foundation

"This should have resulted in a log entry"

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 12:48
And then the autotrim cutting out with THS at max ANU.Do you think pilots have time in a bad situation to look at the ECAM and start deciphering what effect the changing laws have on what theyre doing?If they can remember.ALT LAW..right, I have no stall warning protection.ABNORMAL LAW..right, trim is manual.THEY FLY THE PLANE FIRST AND FOREMOST.And the stall warning inhibit?Going off when the aircraft was in a deep stall?This is acceptable design is it?All this complex and frankly suspect interface design didnt have any effect whatsoever on the outcome??

Lets not drift off the truth.

Automatic trim was working in Alternate Law, only in direct law autotrim is not available. Autotrim was not cutting out, the situation with loadfactor demand by SS and decreasing speed caused the NU trim to travel full up and also kept it there. The crew did not understand that and it looks that after some hundred of pages it´s still not understood.

Safety Concerns
It is quite incredible how far off track you guys have become.

That is not true, pilots want tactile feedback and better machine- human interface. That is a legit demand of the people who have to fly those aircraft under (unfortunately only) abnormal conditions. .

As i stated before, adopt to that demand and design something new and better instead denying the need for improvement. Its the task of the manufacturers´with the designers and engineers to make apropriate recomendations for those necessary improvements. The pilot comunity will bring the old reference (stick and all other old but functioning input tools) as an way to describe the need for change in layman terms, not as a demand that it has to be in the exact old way.

I told you that before, and i thought you got it and would be able to communicate in the future on that basis. Instead you fall back in the old A vs. B and old vs new saga.

That does not take care on the aim to improve safety.

DozyWannabe
24th Aug 2011, 12:49
... when you reread Aeroperu, Birginair and several others, you could perhaps expand on your fear that this is something to do with airbus.

It's not BOAC's fault - the received wisdom in the piloting community is that the dependence on automation and company edicts to use the automatics wherever possible started with the introduction of the A320. A little digging will reveal that this is not the case, with full-featured FMS being around since the '70s and widespread on the line with the introduction of the 757 and 767 in the late '70s/early '80s.

It's possible that it became even more widespread later on, but I'd argue that probably has more to do with the retirement of the "old school" management and executive levels, many of whom had worked their way up through the airline, or indeed founded it - and their replacement with the newer generation of MBA grads who were more purely bottom-line orientated. Unfortunately this also happened to coincide with the introduction on the A320 in the late '80s and early '90s, which may have served to reinforce the perception.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 12:57
I told you that before, and i thought you got it and would be able to communicate in the future on that basis. Instead you fall back in the old A vs. B and old vs new saga.

That does not take care on the aim to improve safety.

Exactly but it is pilots who have posted airbus attack after airbus attack even though Boeing has suffered more accidents under similar conditions

And then the autotrim cutting out with THS at max ANU.Do you think pilots have time in a bad situation to look at the ECAM and start deciphering what effect the changing laws have on what theyre doing?If they can remember.ALT LAW..right, I have no stall warning protection.ABNORMAL LAW..right, trim is manual.THEY FLY THE PLANE FIRST AND FOREMOST.And the stall warning inhibit?Going off when the aircraft was in a deep stall?This is acceptable design is it?All this complex and frankly suspect interface design didnt have any effect whatsoever on the outcome??

To apply backstick with a ridiculously low IAS flies in the face of any logic. It indicates a major chasm in AF training - and I fear probably across other AB companies too.

To quote just a few of the more ridiculous comments.

Analogue aircraft suffered the same outcomes under the same conditions. Yet safety is better today than then. Going back won't achieve anything as won't the constant consistent misinformed uneducated criticism of one manufacturer over the other.

That message still aligns with retired f4

Mac the Knife
24th Aug 2011, 13:15
"Something made them make those decisions."

From the CVR and their subsequent actions it appears that the UAS indications with sudden AP disconnection and reversion to alternate law took them completely by surprise. This sort of behavior from the aircraft was something totally unexpected and for which they were emotionally unprepared. They were "gobsmacked" and and what training they did have, just went out of the window - no actioning of lists, no attempt at analysis, no rational response at all, just fiddling in increasing confusion with the primary flight controls as more and more warning messages flashed and audible alarms blared on and off as the situation deteriorated.

Finally they were completely lost as the PF admitted ("I have no control of the aircraft") with no coherent mental image of the situation - even the altimeter winding rapidly down seemed unreal, and the Captain appeared on the scene far too late to compose his own perception or take any meaningful action.

A tragedy composed of overconfident automation design compounded by pilot complacency and inadequate systems training.

BOAC
24th Aug 2011, 13:26
Unfortunately this also happened to coincide with the introduction on the A320 in the late '80s and early '90s, which may have served to reinforce the perception. - indeed it did and made it worse, and before that all pilots KNEW that they could stall an aircraft (and did as we know) by 'mishandling'. Following that they were told they could not (I have lost count of the number of the blatherings about it I heard from those operators in the 80's) and unfortunately a large number believed it. I hope that cult memory is slowly being eradicated, and as I said before, that both AB and AB pilots are having some serious thoughts about the way they present and operate the type. I suspect/hope this and the PGF crash have opened a few eyes. The parallel I draw is the driver I saw last winter here who, dazzled by the brilliance of the 'perfect' ABS in his car, was amazed when it let him slide into another car on sheet ice.

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 13:34
Exactly but it is pilots who have posted airbus attack after airbus attack even though Boeing has suffered more accidents under similar conditions

To quote just a few of the more ridiculous comments.


I tend to agree with you, although i would not call them ridicolous but far fetched or not quite derived from the necessary system understanding. And that is one of the training problems, not a personal misbehaviour.

Not all pilots make those comments, some originate out of the early days of the discussion where the knowledge base was still narrow and lot of speculation was involved. If you have an an understanding of pilots work and believe their desire for an improvement, it should be possible to answer in a more positive way instead of total opposition. F.e. like thinking about how those systems can be improved.

Then the discussion changes from "why should we improve the system" to "how can we improve the system".

And the term "system" i reference to all involved parties, including pilots and including manufacturers.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 13:49
The parallel I draw is the driver I saw last winter here who, dazzled by the brilliance of the 'perfect' ABS in his car, was amazed when it let him slide into another car on sheet ice.

you can draw this parallel as long as it is done on the following basis:

30 years ago 100 cars a winter were sliding into other cars on sheet ice. Today we have reduced that to 10. Our aim is to reduce further.

You cannot draw this parallel if you do it on the basis that Honda's ABS is flawed because I want my own foot to do the braking as in my Chevy whilst quietly overlooking the small issue of more accidents in a chevy.

Lyman
24th Aug 2011, 14:06
The a/c lost a/p, changed FlghtLaw, and required handling.

The LAW eliminates PITCH protection, and the a/c is considered lively, certainly more active than NORMAL.


No judgment, but a starting point, and one suspiciously missing some easy to include safety features, and training changes.

Judgment: There is confusion, among the people who fly her, whether the correct action is:

1. Resist Manual Flight, be patient.

2. Set 5 degrees NOSE UP. (See 1, above)

3. Start eliminating Warnings via the "BOOK".


Unless and until these points are addressed, and by addressed I mean Remedied, not mitigated, the rest is distraction.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 14:27
Where is the difference between that and NW6231?

Lyman
24th Aug 2011, 14:57
If you are talkin' to me, the difference is irrelevant. Comparing accidents, like comparing a/c, is a Hangar game. Each one is exquisitely individual, and in lumping them together, the trap is set for continued human nonsense.

edit. IMHO

RWA
24th Aug 2011, 15:03
Quoting Lyman:-


"The a/c lost a/p, changed FlghtLaw, and required handling.

"The LAW eliminates PITCH protection, and the a/c is considered lively, certainly more active than NORMAL.

"No judgment, but a starting point, and one suspiciously missing some easy to include safety features, and training changes.

"Judgment: There is confusion, among the people who fly her......"


Terrific point, in my view, Lyman.

Does anyone know whether Airbus simulators are configured to 'simulate' the effects of 'law changes'? I'd be very surprised to hear that they are - but (given that the pilots cannot overrule the 'laws') introducing such a training facility would seem to be a very logical step?

After all - as we've all sensed from this accident - when the pilots had less than four minutes to save the aeroplane, the passengers, AND themselves, surely the last thing they should have had to do was to try to recall the small print of the various 'laws'?

Hope it's done, anyway. I've encountered a certain amount of flak by suggesting areas, following this crash, in which safety might be augmented by constructive changes in current SOPs. That's second nature to me; in my own career (like those of most other people) a policy of 'continuous improvement' became second nature.

However good you may reckon anything you and your colleagues have devised to be, it's never going to be perfect. But - if the will is there - you can always find ways to move CLOSER to perfection.

Sincerely hope that Airbus (and the other manufacturers) rapidly learn, and respond to, the lessons of this accident.

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 15:21
If you are talkin' to me, the difference is irrelevant.

actually its not. Now we are getting to the nitty gritty of it all.
Just one post after yours come this nonsense

After all - as we've all sensed from this accident - when the pilots had less than four minutes to save the aeroplane, the passengers, AND themselves, surely the last thing they should have had to do was to try to recall the small print of the various 'laws'?

The post was clearly directed at Airbus, heavily implying some perceived design flaw.

Yet NW6231 (a boeing 727) also only had a few minutes to save the aircraft, DID NOT have to concern themselves with the small print of which law and still crashed. As did aeroperu (757) and birgenair (757) after both suffering from pitot or static issues.

So the real issue is not manufacturer related at all.

Lonewolf_50
24th Aug 2011, 15:22
I quote again the President of the Flight Safety Foundation
"This should have resulted in a log entry"
Should, yes, considering the matter of 32 other (similar but not identical) incidents that did not impact terra firma, nor terra aqua.

Perhaps there is more to this than you'd prefer to admit.
Automatic trim was working in Alternate Law, only in direct law autotrim is not available. Autotrim was not cutting out, the situation with loadfactor demand by SS and decreasing speed caused the NU trim to travel full up and also kept it there. The crew did not understand that and it looks that after some hundred of pages it´s still not understood.
Back to the systemic issues, which involves humans and decisions: why not understood?
The pilot comunity will bring the old reference as a way to describe the need for change in layman terms, not as a demand that it has to be in the exact old way. I told you that before, and i thought you got it and would be able to communicate in the future on that basis.


From the CVR and their subsequent actions it appears that the UAS indications with sudden AP disconnection and reversion to alternate law took them completely by surprise.
With 32 previous incidents of something related, why by surprise? Which human errors lead to that situation?
A tragedy composed of overconfident automation design compounded by pilot complacency and inadequate systems training. .
Those are three factors whose weight we can quibble about, but I think Mack summed up the major human factors, less one.

Why the equipment change (airworthiness directive relates to this) had not been completed.

As before, while it "should" have been a logbook entry, the necessary condition for this mishap, which arose from a multiple malfunction, was a piece of hardware that failed in triplicate, in a known failure mode. Absent the iced up tubes, not even a log book entry.

Safety, not the manufacturer "at all"?"

Sorry, I don't care about A vs B, just about good system and good interface and good tools.

If you can explain to me, in plain language, why a stall warning system goes dormant while the aircraft is stalled, in flight, and tell me why this is allegedlyl a good design, I'd sure like to hear it.

In this case, would it have made a difference?

No idea, the crew were behind the aircraft, and how that might have helped them catch up I can only guess. It might have helped the Captain when he arrived, not sure.

Lyman
24th Aug 2011, 15:24
"so the real issue is not the manufacturer at all."

As that is what I intended to say, :ok:

May I make a further Point? Some discussion here tends to lump Training in with something that I associate with autoflight. ROTE.

It is the very difference between Human piloting and autoflight that creates the possibility of near perfect safety numbers.

Sadly, it is glossed over. Training is not (should not be, only) the drive to commit to memory.

It must be the pursuit of what Humans do so well, and why I think we will never see "unattended" (commercial) Flight?

Innovation, and Intuition. Tempered with EXPERIENCE, NOT TRAINING.

Knowledge plus experience = WISDOM. And wisdom is priceless, deserves a comfortable salary, and dismissal of errant critique, absent the same WISDOM.

Program your computers, and I say, BULLY! Programming the human animal is a fools errand. And ignorant of the resource to hand.

386 or SULLY? For crying out loud, can we not have both?

RWA
24th Aug 2011, 15:34
Quoting Safety Concerns:-

"The post was clearly directed at Airbus, heavily implying some perceived design flaw."

Can't help recalling my days as Reserve artilleryman, Safety. And a marvellously-humorous lecture that an American officer gave us on the perennial subject of the 'Dual-Purpose Gun' - which could have operated with equal efficiency against both tanks and infantry (if only someone had ever managed to invent one).

I recall him saying at one stage, "Frankly, gentlemen - and ladies - after a long career in weapons development - I can't help but conclude, up to the present time, that the only truly-effective 'dual-purpose gun' ever invented was the one God gave to man......"

Do you believe that the design of the A330 (and the relevant training procedures) are already so perfect that they cannot be improved?

If not, surely you'll agree that it is the duty of both the designers and the trainers to learn as much as they can from this event?

MountainBear
24th Aug 2011, 15:34
@BOAC
MBear - they did not need to know what had caused the loss of IAS indication. I agree with you. Go back and read my post because you appear to have misunderstood my point.

Comparing accidents, like comparing a/c, is a Hangar game. Each one is exquisitely individual, and in lumping them together, the trap is set for continued human nonsense.This is the point I was trying to make. It is a grievous error and frankly an endless game to design training around preventing the last accident. I have harped on this point before. Safety is a process.

Lyman
24th Aug 2011, 15:42
Elaboration? Comparing accidents, then, is not only unhelpful, but infects the process with the tentacles of the flaws of the past.

Contrast? yes, there we go? because to compare is to get stuck, to contrast is to allow progress, not (but approaching!) perfection.

jcjeant
24th Aug 2011, 16:16
Hi,

Since we seem to going in circles .. why not leave the circle and take a tangent that takes us back two years ago when the first research to refresh our memories and try to understand why these two years have passed before we could go round in circles around preliminary BEA reports.
Of the beginning and certainly after the publication of ACARS and expert commentary it soon became apparent that the AF447 had not made a gliding flight but instead of ... the fall had to be fast or because of a stall or a result of a spin entry
Whether one or both of these reasons .. obviously has the time it was known that the fall was rapid (nearly vertical)
Early research in the area near last known position (with inadequate equipment .. and we knew it) did not yield results.
The experts knows that this first search was not correct (inadequate gear)
Instead of repeating the research in this area (with the good gear) .. and despite all this knowledge and despite some warnings of external analysis it was decided to do (with the right equipment this time) for further research in areas where it was impossible (practically) that the aircraft go ( 100 km from the last pos)
After the discovery of the black boxes the BEA give some explanations for the failure of the first search.
In fact the BEA explanations shown some things .. the complete failure of the BEA to conduct professionally a search for a disappeared plane (for this particular plane at least) .. or more things for imaginative people
And BEA can't argue that they don't know that pingers can fail .. they can fail
And anyways .. the first research gear used was not good even if the pingers were active at this time.
The BEA duty is to improve safety ... and in the most quickest time possible
By the BEA failure in researches a precious time was lost for publish new recommendations
The BEA explanations are not satisfactory .. and as many other subjects related AF447 .. they will be scrutinized accurately in a other room than a press meeting venue or a forum
We can now return in our AF447 hamsterwheel

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 16:22
Do you believe that the design of the A330 (and the relevant training procedures) are already so perfect that they cannot be improved?

This is the point I was trying to make. It is a grievous error and frankly an endless game to design training around preventing the last accident. I have harped on this point before. Safety is a process.

And here we clearly have the problem. In the first quote a specific manufacturer is mentioned, why for what purpose other then to run down the manufacturer.

The second quote is intended to further enhance the position of far too many pilots that the airbus is somehow not really designed for them.

But there is hope because the last few words are safety is a process.

The FACT is that regardless of current design, regardless of analogue or digital, regardless of european or American or whatever, pilots when confronted with extraordinary circumstances, often miss the warning signs about a situation and then end up making a wrong decision. Safety is a process that will correct that in the end.

What the safety process won't do however is entertain you biased, uneducated comments specifically directed at one manufacturer. It may do if there is evidence or statistics confirming a significant difference in accident rate.

There isn't.

So don't mix issues. Everybody in aviation is committed to improving safety. It will be done on the back of facts and not emotions. Because if we did follow emotions and go backwards, safety levels will decrease.

The point I am making is quite simple and based upon todays facts. Apparently intelligent pilots keeping come back in a misguided attempt to prove that black is in fact white.

Stick feedback, throttle feedback, AOA indicators, direct law, normal law have had no effect on accidents for forty years. The weakest link has always been and will probably remain the human interface, the pilot.

Designers are working very hard to design a foolproof system. However one only has top read some of the posts here to comprehend what an impossible tasks they have.

ChristiaanJ
24th Aug 2011, 16:51
In fact the BEA explanations shown some things .. the complete failure of the BEA to conduct professionally a search for a disappeared plane (for this particular plane at least) I take it then that you are an expert professional in underwater searches in the Mid-Atlantic (3000m depth plus), to profess such a judgment.
Do you work for Wood Hole? If not, why didn't you offer your services?

And I even suppose you don't know the expression "needle in haystack".....
By the BEA failure in researches a precious time was lost for publish new recommendationsSlightly dumb remark.... Some recommendations HAVE already been published, and so far I haven't seen any crashes similar to AF447. What "precious time" was lost?
The BEA explanations are not satisfactory...Maybe not to you, since they don't match your conspiracy theories.
I doubt you've ever been part of a real accident investigation.

DozyWannabe
24th Aug 2011, 17:11
... and as I said before, that both AB and AB pilots are having some serious thoughts about the way they present and operate the type.

Airbus* changed their tune nearly two decades ago, after they lost Nick Warner. Honest question, and I don't want you to think I'm getting at you - when was the last time you honestly heard an Airbus pilot or TRE say that it was impossible to stall the aircraft under any circumstances? If it was more recent than the mid-'90s I'd be inclined to suggest you report them to their chief pilot, because that's a dangerous misapprehension.


I suspect/hope this and the PGF crash have opened a few eyes. The parallel I draw is the driver I saw last winter here who, dazzled by the brilliance of the 'perfect' ABS in his car, was amazed when it let him slide into another car on sheet ice.

Then that's another fundamental misunderstanding of how the ABS system works - it does exactly what it says on the tin in that it will release the brake pads for a split-second if it detects the wheels locking up - in essence it's just automating what is known as "cadence braking" if you do it manually. It doesn't necessarily stop you in any shorter distance than regular brakes (in fact some of the earlier systems actually induced a *longer* stopping distance than with correctly-applied conventional brakes), but what it does do is give you more control over steering than you have with locked wheels. On ice, even with ABS working full-chat, your stopping distance will still be significantly greater and your ability to steer will still be severely compromised. Heaven knows I've read many road safety articles over the years warning drivers that ABS will not necessarily stop them in a shorter distance even under normal conditions, let alone on wet roads or ice, and it's astonishing how little this information is understood by drivers, though in my experience most driving instructors are aware of those limitations if you ask them.

You'd like to think that pilots, TREs especially, would have a more in-depth knowledge of the systems they are training people to use!

@RWA - From what I understand from talking to current and former line pilots, the FBW Airbus simulators do indeed simulate the behaviour under different laws. I think it was PJ2 on the Tech Log threads who mentioned that he took a sim check that simulated failure all the way down to Manual Reversion mode, where the only controls available are the pitch trim and rudder - he also mentioned that he successfully landed the simulator, but was thankful he wasn't faced with the challenge in real life.

No design is perfect, but on here opinion seems to be clearly divided as to whether the decision to go without tactile feedback was a major oversight. The opinion that it was seems to be largely held by people who've never flown the thing, and it seems that most that have don't regard it as a major loss. As a non-pilot I'm bound to watch what I say and hold a neutral position on the subject, but from what I understand about the design and training as a holistic entity I'm inclined to agree with the latter. I have yet to be presented with incontrovertible evidence that any FBW Airbus incident to date would have been avoided by having the sidesticks connected via backdrive.

Opinion seems to be split as to how the A330 handles under Alternate Law - so far we've had one pilot saying that they were surprised at the increase in response, and IIRC two saying that there wasn't that much difference and they adapted to it fairly quickly. The pilot in the former case seemed to believe that Airbus was directly involved in the de-skilling of pilots, a claim which again I've seen no evidence to support - so I'm less inclined to trust his opinion. At least one of the latter is well-respected on here as a no-nonsense senior pilot whose opinion I therefore trust implicitly.

[* - By which I mean the marketing department and executives - the engineering department had always been realistic about the aircraft's capabilities (good though they were)... ]

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 17:35
Safety Concerns
Stick feedback, throttle feedback, AOA indicators, direct law, normal law have had no effect on accidents for forty years.

That is your assumption, i know lots of accidents where one or another part was contributing to the cause.

The weakest link has always been and will probably remain the human interface, the pilot.

I hope that last sentence is a misspelling.

The pilot is not the human interface, he is the user of it.
The human interface starts with all aircraft systems which output information to the pilot and ends with all aircraft systems, the pilot operates, and the most important part is feedback.

If you see the pilot as human interface, then i understand your communication problem with the pilot community.

PJ2
24th Aug 2011, 17:38
Dozy;
it's astonishing how little this information is understood by drivers,
Yep. Nature trumps automation every time.

The sim experience (fully manual flight on THS and differential engine thrust) was done during the initial course on the A340 and it worked sufficiently to get onto the runway. The A320 was much easier to control under the same circumstances, primarily due to mass and the need to anticipate much earlier for the A340 and would be a huge challenge but doable.

Tactile feedback simply wasn't an issue for most. While there are always counterexamples, no pilots I discussed Airbus issues with commented that moving thrust levers, sidestick positions, artificial pressure during out-of-trim conditions etc were fundamental to flying the aircraft. The key discussion point for us was always the airline's restriction on hand-flying and the absence of such practise in the simulator. The manual was written in such a way as to permit/encourage hand-flying and there was also an "appropriate-level-of-automation" list which provided good guidance for the engagement of automation, (fully automatic, to fully manual), but the trouble was, because no one was practised at it, they lost the touch and the confidence to disengage everything and that is a self-fulfilling series of actions. The policies were good and permitted the decision to disengage, but were not actively encouraged, the reason given being "fuel consumption". But automation is a god-send at the end of a long-haul flight and is an enormous enhancement to flight safety - it just has to be understood, and trained/checked well.

At least one exercise should be included in any practise session (not on the ride), and that is climbing and descending S-turns with changes in speed - fully manual flight including manual thrust levers, and no flight directors. It is a worthwhile exercise which takes about 20 minutes of sim time for both pilots and is a lot of fun (and is very revealing!)

A no-FD hand-flown ILS approach to CATI limits is already in the script and so are steep turns, but the above exercise is a good coordination, instrument-scan one...it should be done in Alternate then Direct Law, but one thing at a time.

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 19:34
Some pieces out of the final report from Gulf Air manamana 2000
final report (http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2000/a40-ek000823a/htm/a40-ek000823a.html)

The accident itself has nothing in common with AF447, but it highlight the human factor somewhat closer. That might help the discussion in understanding the difference between blame and detailed accident investigation.


2.3 Analytical Methodology
A review of the factual information indicates that this accident was primarily
attributable to human factors, there being no technical deficiencies found with the aircraft and its systems. Consequently, the following analysis focuses on these human factors issues, both at the personal and the systemic levels. The analysis adopts the philosophy of Annex 13, which is well articulated by Dan Maurino, Coordinator of the Flight Safety and Human Factors Study Programme, ICAO. ‘To achieve progress in air safety investigation, every accident and incident, no matter how minor, must be considered as a failure of the system and not simply as the failure of a person, or people’.
The term ‘human factors’ refers to the study of humans as components of
complex systems made up of people and technology. These are often called ‘sociotechnical’ systems. The study of human factors is concerned with understanding the performance capabilities and limitations of the individual human operator, as well as the collective role of all the people in the system, which contribute to its output. There are two primary dimensions of human factors, these being the individual and the system.

In this context the following analysis addresses the human factors issues: at
the individual level, and at the systemic organisational and management level.


2.3.1 Individual Human Factors
In considering the role and performance of individuals it must be recognised
that people are not autonomous, they are components of a system. Therefore
human performance, including human errors and violations, must be onsidered in the context of the total system of which the person is a part. There is a need to investigate whether such errors or violations were totally or partially the products of systemic factors. Some examples are: training deficiencies, inadequate procedures, faulty documentation, lack of currency, poor equipment design, poor supervision, a company’s failure to take action on previous violations, commercial pressures to take short cuts, and so on.


2.3.3 The Reason Model of Safety Systems
At the 1992 ICAO AIG meeting it was recommended that the Reason Model
should be used as a guide to the investigation of organisational and management factors.

The Reason Model is described in the ICAO Human Factors Training
Manual (1998, Chapter 2). The model and its application is described in more detail in the book Managing the Risks of the Organisational Accident (Reason, 1997).

Operational experience, research and accident investigation have shown that
human error is inevitable. Error is a normal characteristic of human performance and while error can be reduced through measures such as intensive training, it can never be completely eliminated. Consequently, systems must be designed to manage human error. What follows is an integrated systemic analysis based on information drawn from all the specialist groups involved in the investigation. It is conceptually based on the Reason Model of safety systems.



2.4.6 Information Overload
The circumstances in the cockpit, and the behaviour of the captain, indicated
that at this time (1929:41) the captain was probably experiencing information
overload. While there are a number of theories of human information processing, one characteristic that they all share is the concept of some form of overall central limitation on the rate at which humans can process information. This may take the form of a ‘bottleneck’, a pool of limited attentional resources, or an ‘executive controller’, supervising and co-ordinating multiple information processing resources.
However, while the underlying more esoteric theoretical issues continue to be investigated, the research carried out over the last 50 years or so, combined with actual operational experience has provided a practical first order working model of the fundamental capabilities and limitations of human information processing. This model is applicable to ‘real world’ situations, such as the analysis of human performance in complex socio-technical systems, accident investigation and training.

Some key aspects of the model are briefly described as follows:

At the conscious level, the human brain functions as if it were a single channel information processor of limited capacity. Under conditions of information overload, responses fall into one or more of the following categories:

Omission - ignore some signals or responsibilities.
Error - process information incorrectly.
Queuing - delay responses during peak loads; catch up during lulls.
Filtering - systematic omission of certain categories of information according to some priority scheme. This can lead to the focussing, or ‘channelling’ of conscious attention on one element of a task, or situation, to the exclusion of all others.
Regression - reversion to a previously over-learned response pattern.
Approximation - make a less precise response.
Escape - give up, make no response.

High levels of stress and anxiety can increase these effects. The situation had progressively deteriorated from the time of high speed initial approach, and the subsequent actions not achieving the desired results. It is also probable that the captain’s level of stress and anxiety had progressively increased as the initial approach, and then the orbit, did not go as he had intended.

As said before, there are no similarities between the accidents, this post only should point to the fact, that pilots are no supermans and that human errors are also mostly systemic errors.

jcjeant
24th Aug 2011, 19:54
Hi,

Maybe not to you, since they don't match your conspiracy theories.
I doubt you've ever been part of a real accident investigation.
I suppose you will tell the same to the judges (and lawyers) in the court of justice to refute the findings or even possibly say that there are no courts to judge the case since the justices have never participated in an investigation of aviation accidents.
Do you think your arguments will be reviewed and considered ?

Safety Concerns
24th Aug 2011, 19:55
no retired F4 I just lost it with those tunnel visioned pilots determined to run down a perfectly good and very safe but not perfect technology at any cost.

My point is this isn't about A V B, this is about moving forward with design improving its user friendliness and ability to produce the necessary feedback in a manner which ensures maximum transfer of info without overloading.

I cannot and will not accept the constant uneducated, ill informed, negative comments about one manufacturer's approach based upon emotion and not fact.

There is no way to communicate that message politely because one is dealing with ignorance.

DozyWannabe
24th Aug 2011, 20:23
@jcjeant - As I said to Bearfoil/Lyman on the Tech Log threads, be very careful when tangling with ChristiaanJ - on the off-chance you're unaware, the man was a senior engineer on Concorde during development and service and - to coin a phrase - he's likely forgotten more about aircraft design in terms of aerodynamics and the human/machine interface than you or I could ever hope to know, and just from reading his public posts I've learned an absolute shedload.

Apropos of nothing, here's a brief blogpost on the man responsible more than anyone else for the A320's (and by extension her descendants) handling characteristics:

Gordon Corps (1929-1992) (http://tinyurl.com/3dv7v77)

Sentences that should be paid particular attention to include (emphasis mine):

In 1964, after his RAF service he joined the Air Registration Board. He became chief test pilot to the Civil Aviation Authority in 1981 on the retirement of Dave Davies.

(Yes - *that* Dave (D.P.) Davies, the one who wrote what many still consider the Bible of heavy jet handling characteristics nearly 40 years after it's last edition. Prior to that, Captain Corps was effectively Davies' SIC)

He joined Airbus Industrie in Toulouse in 1982 as an engineering test pilot. In the intervening 10 years, he had been involved in flight-testing the Airbus A310, A300-600 and A320 airliner family, with special responsibility for flying qualities.

I hope this helps to lay to rest any remaining belief that the A320 series was designed without the input of pilots, and indeed was designed with the input of at least one of the most skilled and safety-conscious pilots who ever lived.

It was Captain Corps who devised the previously-mentioned simulator test that proved to at least one sceptical pilot that the A320's systems, including bank and pitch limitations, were more than capable of permitting emergency escape maneouvres with a better success rate than conventional control designs.

Captain Corps sadly died of altitude sickness in 1992 when investigating a fatal accident on Talkuassir mountain, which, though tragic, demonstrated his commitment to safety in the air above all else (and frankly what our cousins in the US would call "brass balls") - how many 62-year-old men can you think of who would risk a treacherous journey to the Himalayas just to be the point man for an accident investigation?

From a personal perspective, another tragic consequence of his death, which I've mentioned before, is that the contributions of Captain Bernard Ziegler (who was first and foremost a sales evangelist) to the history of the Airbus FBW project, of which there were many that were controversial, are common knowledge among the piloting community - but the contributions of Captain Corps (who was a technical and engineering pilot with hours logged in more types than many can name off the top of their head, and an acute knowledge of the good and bad points of *all* of them) are nowhere near as well-known. Part of me wonders whether if he had lived long enough to complete his retirement, he'd have written a book which would have picked up where Davies left off, and left no doubt in the minds of the pilots and engineers who read it, that the design considerations of the A320 series were thoroughly thought through and had to get through the approval of this formidable aviator before they would pass muster.

Lonewolf_50
24th Aug 2011, 20:30
Safety Concerns
Stick feedback, throttle feedback, AOA indicators, direct law, normal law have had no effect on accidents for forty years.

I doubt you can support that statement, given how contributory factors add up in aircraft mishaps of any brand, not to mention the variety of change, modification, and adjustment the industry has made in forty years.

But let's try another view on this: is half a truth a whole lie? If it is, then you could be accused of lying (or simply being wrong) even if there is something in your statement close to the truth.

You can make a case that any single one of the above were not the sole cause of a mishap over the past 40 years, and my guess is that you'd be able to support it.

Since we may never get good granularity on the recent crash (early morning) in Libya, thanks to that bit of Arab Spring, whatever factors contributed to that remain lost to the industry at large.

(Here's hoping I am wrong about that).

Lonewolf_50
24th Aug 2011, 20:42
Dozy, FWIW ... from an older thread (http://www.pprune.org/388573-pilot-handling-skills-under-threat-says-airbus.html#post5185068)... PPRuNerNorman Stanley Fletcher (http://www.pprune.org/members/35360-norman-stanley-fletcher)
The Airbus has to be considered as a box of tools - there is a tool for just about every occasion in the locker. The problem for many Airbus pilots is that they only use a few of those tools nearly all the time. Such skills as manual flying are often neglected. My personal philosophy is that at least once a week or so, I switch the autopilot, autothrust and flight directors off and do a raw data approach to minimums. It is hard work as raw data instrument flying is a perishable skill which significantly decays through lack of use. If you are not careful you end up losing key abilities that you had in your early years. To be a good Airbus pilot undoubtedly requires a solid grasp of the numerous flight guidance modes, but it also requires the ability to switch the whole lot off should the need arise. I personally encourage low-houred Airbus pilots who have become familiar with the Airbus over say the last year to stretch themselves and periodically switch off the automatics - weather and ATC environment permitting.

This is not just an Airbus problem but a problem related to all new aircraft types (B777, B787, A380 etc, etc). Increasingly we as pilots are becoming systems managers - and it is absolutely vital we have a full grasp of those systems.

Nonetheless, it is also imperative the basic handling skill are not allowed to erode. All the 'stick and rudder' men may despise the realities of modern aviation - they alas need to embrace the new skill set required of them. Equally a whole generation of Airbus pilots need to ensure their systems management capabilities, good as they may be, are not maintained at the expense of basic flying skills.
When there is a corporate disincentive to hand flying, and even punishment, Norman's appeal may become increasingly difficult for anyone to hear, particularly those who are not pilots, who need to hear it loudest.

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 20:49
Safety Concern
I cannot and will not accept the constant uneducated, ill informed, negative comments about one manufacturer's approach based upon emotion and not fact.

It always takes two for a disagreement. The fire keeps burning by the aditional coals those two groups are shoveling in. It´s like feeding trolls, wherby i´m not saying that those posters are trolls, but there are parallels.

Honestly i´m tired with this A v. B talk (and i think others too) and it is hindering reasonable discussions. I think you have higher qualities and can contribute more for future safety when letting A v. B. and stone age v. future at rest. If it gets that bad at you that you mix up the pilot (a human being) with the human interface (technical system asociated with the necessary training), then it is time to disregard those posts.

No harm intended.

PJ2
24th Aug 2011, 21:05
Franzl;

Jim Reason's Swiss Cheese model, extremely useful, has provided a good insight into human factors but is being challenged in the way any theory is challenged - through increased research and new knowledge, some of it made possible by a powerful computing capability which did not exist at the time the model was introduced.

Alongside (and not in place of!), Reason's notions are those of some superbly-insightful writers such as Sidney Dekker, John Stoop, Charles Perrow, Nancy Leveson, certainly PBL (Why-Because Analysis), who has contributed here in the past and others who are taking "systems theoretical" approaches (to describe it broadly...they may disagree!). Each are worth the trouble in looking up and reading, just as Reason is, for an understanding of this approach. Such an approach is (again!), entirely blame-free; - rather, it attempts to find things out.

Let us examine two notions. This isn't unique and is said in my own words. Others will have expressed these notions differently.

One way to think of an accident is a series of elements or things, which then interact (or don't interact). The focus is upon "things" as (philosophically) solid items with a fixed nature, which then interact with other "things" with their fixed natures which are then portrayed as "causes", which have "outcomes". It is perhaps a mirror of the way the western world approaches most things...in a Cartesian manner, or a mental model that looks at the world as "mechanically linked" in terms of cause and effect, (note the singular form of these words!).

Because human factors deals naturally with the way humans see their world, another way to examine an accident sequence (and view the world!), is in terms of relationships...that which occurs "in-between" things. It no longer sees "things-in-isolation" but instead sees primarily relationships...what goes on in-between things and how relationships change those things. So, an organizational system, which can be printed out as the usual "org-chart" isn't a "thing", it is a living organism which materially affects the behaviour of people within such a system. Therefore, the notions of "cause" and "effect" are significantly changed. So much so, that analyzing a series of events from a "Cartesian" view, (as one might do a physics experiment), cannot work and a better model is needed. Charles Perrow first broached this notion in 1984 in a ground-breaking book entitled, "Normal Accidents". Perrow is emminently worth reading and listening to.

Diane Vaughan (sociologist), wrote about the Challenger accident in a way that analyzes the organizational structure of NASA - the relationships between engineers and managers - there was very little analysis of "things" in Vaughan's work.

Many of us here understand this stuff intuitively but many others do not, and are perhaps a bit stuck in a Cartesian world view in which the notions of local cause/effect = blame are legitimately/automatically attached to any understanding of what happened in the accident and why. Concepts like blame and accountability are legal terms and the legal discourse is quite different than the discourse of the safety process, which is being discussed by Safety Concerns.

This applies to AF447 in ways that have already been very well described and written about here by those who know this aspect of flight safety work. The importance of the sociologists' work in this cannot be over-emphasized, but nor can the engineers' work be set aside. The two need to work closely and this is where the field is tending - a systems theoretical approach.

In the July - September 2011 issue of ISASI Forum has an excellent article on this approach - it is the paper presented by Sidney Dekker and John Stoop at the 2010 ISASI conference entitled, "Limitations of 'Swiss Cheese' Models and the Need for a Systems Approach". I tried the link to that issue of the magazine and it doesn't work yet, but it does work for the entire Seminar Proceedings (http://www.isasi.org/docs/Proceedings-2010.pdf) Vol 14, and you can find their presentation there.

I believe we will learn far more about AF447 using this approach and indeed this has already been put into practise in many of the posts here, but there is always more learning! The benefit of such robust process is it provides a solid basis upon which pet theories and recurring themes may be judged in terms of relevance and consistency as well as their contributory value towards understanding, and where indicated, safely set aside.

BOAC
24th Aug 2011, 21:19
Then that's another fundamental misunderstanding of how the ABS system works - actually THAT is a fundamental mis-understanding of my post. Try substituting the players in 447 into the story. The parallel? The 'surprised' human factor (or 'interface' as some see it. Gulp) - how can aviation safety progress with that frame of mind?

New sheets, nurse! When is the next BEA report if there is to be one?

RetiredF4
24th Aug 2011, 21:25
Thank you very much for sharing,
i will have weeks to read and study!

llagonne66
24th Aug 2011, 21:44
Final report publication is planned by BEA in first half of 2012.

So, we've got many more months to quarrel on A vs B, pilots vs engineers, conspiracy theorists vs rational guys, blame vs safety...:ugh:

DozyWannabe
24th Aug 2011, 21:55
@LW_50 (and again, you make me break my personal limits on daily post count - curse you! ;) )

I followed that thread closely at the time, and in essence I agree whole-heartedly with what NSF said, with the proviso that I would have included the A300, A310, MD-11, B747-400, B757 and B767 (and to some extent, the B737 Classic and NG) in that list. Something that has rarely been clearly delineated is the distinction between FBW technology (which applies to the aircraft he lists, along with Concorde, albeit using analogue technology in that case), and FMS technology (which applies to that list as well as any Western airliner that came off the drawing board post-1972). My contention is that the former does not necessarily impact negatively on currency in hand-flying expertise, while the argument that dependence on the latter makes it possible to do do definitely has merit.

If you look at how some people respond to my posts, as opposed to what I've actually been saying, you would think that I must be some kind of blinkered supporter of automation ueber alles, which I categorically am not - and have gone out of my way to make that clear several times. While I agree with some of what people like SC and JD-EE say in terms of the reality of the systems (and respect their expertise), I do not share their confidence in the ability of these systems to operate successfully and safely without the need for human intervention, particularly when the situation begins to degrade from normal to FUBAR.

So all I can do is reiterate the gist of some of my most recent posts - you have two clear cases of recent accidents where a lack of proper training and a lack of understanding as to just how important it is that pilots be fit for duty have clearly contributed significantly. You've got Airbus (of all manufacturers!) expressing concern that manual handling skills have been allowed to deteriorate and that action must be taken to resolve this. There will probably not be another opportunity to take the fight to airline management across the industry for a very long time, so please understand that I am four-square behind any effort on the part of pilot unions and associations to do so. I get weary of all the old Airbus canards being brought up over this accident because it is a distraction from the real problem - a new breed of airline management and executives that don't know anything about the sharp end of the industry that they are supposed to be managing, nor do they understand why the cost-cutting measures that they were taught and are routinely applied in other industries are simply inappropriate for airline operation.

@BOAC - I was referring to the misunderstanding on the part of the driver who expected ABS to save his bodywork and spare his blushes - clearly he believed that ABS was a "magic" braking system that would contravene the laws of physics and make everything alright. Right now, we don't know why the AF447 crew (and the PF in particular) did what they did, whether it was overconfidence in the system through lack of understanding and/or training, whether it was a sustained panic reaction which would have led to the same result in any other airliner, or whether it was a simple case of pulling back on the stick while attempting roll corrections without realising it - to name but three possibilities. It is likely that we will never be 100% sure, so we must work with the information that we do have.

ChristiaanJ
24th Aug 2011, 22:04
PJ2,
Thanks for the link.
Too late in the evening to read it fully now and make full sense of it.... it's on the to-do list for tomorrow.

BarbiesBoyfriend
24th Aug 2011, 22:36
I don't blame AB for the lack of piloting skill which 447s' crew exhibited.

It could have easily happened in another type.

The fault was the pilots', plain and simple. They let the a/c get away from them while effectively flying 'partial panel'.

If they had been better trained, or even spent more hours actually flying (by hand) their aircraft then this accident could easily have been avoided.

Probably ( although the wx may have been a factor) all they had to do was leave things as they were and hang on until their airspeed problem went away- as it was bound to.

Straight and level was beyond them. So used were they to the automatics that the concept of actually flying the aircraft was too much.

Autos- and the way they degrade those hard earned flying skills- are the new killer.

DozyWannabe
24th Aug 2011, 23:48
Autos- and the way they degrade those hard earned flying skills- are the new killer.

Make that "misuse of/overreliance on" autos and you've got my unequivocal support. The autos themselves care not how they are used. :)

@exeng (below) - Actually, I seem to recall reading on the EgyptAir 990 accident that if the yokes on the 767 are pulled and pushed opposite each other that the design caused one elevator to deflect up and the other to deflect down (which I think was later changed). Ultimately the Airbus FBW design depends on co-ordinated flight deck roles to a greater degree, but I don't think it's demonstrably less safe. One can argue that if the PNF had the courage of his convictions he should have held down the priority button and stated "I have control" in no uncertain terms, which would be a variation on the procedure practiced in Airbus training, which makes the reasonable assumption that the pilot relieved of control should relinquish their sidestick. The overriding impression I get from the AF447 interim reports is that the lack of clearly-delineated flight deck roles, for which the ultimate responsibility lies with the Captain, led to confusion as to which F/O should be doing what and may have contributed to the PNF's uncertainty as to whether he had the right to relieve the PF of control.

exeng
25th Aug 2011, 00:06
An awful situation to find oneself in, but nevertheless basic attitude + power should have seen them through the airspeed issue.

The stall warning should have alerted the PF to the situation. Even in low level stall training ( I understand the PF had this) then a reduction in pitch should have been almost automatic I would have thought.

Where I have sympathy for the Pilots is in the extreme angles of attack following the stall when the stall warning disappears - and yet when nose down inputs are made the stall warning re-appears. I know others have made the point but I felt it worth re-stating.

The pitch angles on the ADI are abnormal for the stage of flight (i.e. cruise + stall) but not abnormal for take-off and initial climb. 'So what' some may say - but the PF may have thought that such a pitch angle was not so out of the ordinary. (importance of training aginn)

Interesting to note that the PNF took control quite late in the proceedings (probably too late to effect a recovery) and I believe he made a nose down input. I also understand that the PF almost immediately took control agian (or overode the NPF's input) with a nose up input.

Whilst I don't want to start an A/B versus Boeing scrap again I feel that the sidestick logic is flawed in this respect amongst others. On a Boeing it obvious which way the elevator is moving (and in some cases therefore the THS) and on the A/B it is not obvious. I've flown both by the way (including the 320 and the 777 but not the A330).

Both types of aircraft are well designed - some have advantages or deficiencies when compared against each other.

The clue is in training - and what we have in this terrible accident is a crew that has been poorly prepared for the situation they find themselves in. Complex aircraft need rigorous training - but the airlines won't pay for it - and A/B don't recommend it's necessity.

I hope that some changes in attitude from the various CAA's will follow the final report - I won't hold my breath.