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View Full Version : FAA urges ICAO to address erosion of 'manual' piloting skills


Tomaski
27th Sep 2019, 18:51
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faa-urges-icao-to-address-erosion-of-manual-piloti-461057/​​​​​​

FAA urges ICAO to address erosion of 'manual' piloting skills

The US Federal Aviation Administration is set to urge ICAO to address pilot training deficiencies that may leave some of the world's airline pilots unprepared to manually fly aircraft when automated systems fail.

Representatives from the agency will bring up their concerns about training shortcomings and a related concept called "automation dependency" during ICAO's 40th assembly, occurring now in Montreal.

The meeting kicks off as the aviation industry continues grappling with pilot training and automation questions that have simmered for years but became salient following several accidents, including but not limited to recent crashes of two Boeing 737 Max.

Those particular crashes spurred criticism of a Boeing flight control system that contributed to the accidents, but also raised questions about the pilots' response.

The FAA's concerns turn on the theory that many pilots lost or never attained adequate manual flying skills because they have come to rely on increasingly complex automated systems designed largely to prevent pilot error in the first place, according to a paper outlining the FAA's recommendations.

But technological reliance has left some pilots unprepared for emergencies, it says.

"When automation systems do not work as intended or do not work well in the operational situation, pilots without sufficient manual flight control experience and proper training may be reluctant or may not be adequately skilled to take control of the aircraft," says the paper, available from ICAO.

"As the use of automation increases in aircraft design, it is important to consider how ICAO standards and guidance should evolve to ensure that pilot training programmes align with technological advancements," it adds.

The paper's key points will be presented to ICAO's technical commission by the FAA and representatives of Canada, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago, the paper says.

The FAA has not said the date its representatives will present their concerns.

The agency will ask ICAO to "identify the scope of automation dependency", identify standards related to manual flying, assess airlines' training programmes and review the need for new standards, says the paper.

The FAA and its partners will also urge ICAO to recommend that states take steps themselves to ensure their pilots have adequate manual flight training.

AUTOMATION AND PILOT ERROR

The FAA's concerns cut deep into a pilot training controversy swirling around and within the aviation industry. Safety experts have long warned of an erosion of manual flying skills, with some expert noting many commercial pilots rely on autopilots from a moment after take-off to a moment before landing.

The issue became charged following crashes of a Lion Air 737 Max in October 2018 and that of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max in March.

Regulators grounded the Max following those crashes; investigators have said a new flight control system called MCAS played a leading role.

But the crashes spurred discussion about whether those pilots had sufficient training to address the emergency, and whether they might, with better training, have recovered from MCAS-inspired dives.

Suggestions they might have has occurred in hushed tones, reflecting the overall emotionally-charged nature not only of the crashes, but also of pilot error discussions.

The Max accidents also raised concern about a fast-track ICAO commercial pilot licence standard known as the "multicrew pilot licence". That licence requires no minimum cockpit hours, but holders must have 240h of simulator or cockpit time and a private pilot licence.

Ethiopian was among airlines to adopt the licence standard.

The 737 Max crashes are only the latest accidents to raise questions about pilot training and automation. Others include the 2013 crash of Asiana flight 214 at San Francisco and the 2009 crash of Air France flight 447 into the Atlantic Ocean.

Jet Jockey A4
27th Sep 2019, 19:50
I find it funny that the FAA is now only getting on to this problem while pointing to the two 737 MAX crashes. It sounds more to me like the FAA is trying to protect its a$$ and trying to shift the blame away from Boeing. Just more political BS.

goeasy
27th Sep 2019, 20:22
Quite agree. Too much ass-covering instead of admitting that the MPL introduction has reduced the flying experience required, for non-normal ops, far too much.

Only now are we seeing the first of the MPL candidates, getting commands, and flying with others who have almost no significant hand-flying experience.

fdr
27th Sep 2019, 20:50
Concur.

The problem in these events were related to inadequate certification, that led to the pilots needing to have extraordinary skill in order to cope with the ***** $@ndw1Ch they were offered by the manufacturer and regulator.

The rules require a design that can be managed by an average pilot.... not Chuck Yeagers. Changing training does not give a free pass for bad design.

Have manual skills degraded? Possibly, but that is a direct result of what the system has elected to focus on in order to ensure that other problems were cured.

Bend alot
27th Sep 2019, 20:57
But can substitute hand flying training for iPad training - and still insist that is fine!

sixchannel
27th Sep 2019, 20:58
Lets not forget that some airlines actually require Pilots to go Automated at every opportunity and the decision to hand fly when possible (eg on fully visual approaches) is taken away from them.

​​​​

OldnGrounded
27th Sep 2019, 21:48
I'm sure the timing is entirely coincidental and that the same is true of the recent Langewiesche op-ed.

Seriously, do you think the FAA doesn't know how this must look to much of the world?

India Four Two
28th Sep 2019, 00:04
If the FAA were serious about this, all they would have to do, is announce that airlines, whose SOPs forbid hand flying, would not be allowed in US airspace, after a certain date.

cessnaxpilot
28th Sep 2019, 00:08
Concur.

The problem in these events were related to inadequate certification, that led to the pilots needing to have extraordinary skill in order to cope with the ***** $@ndw1Ch they were offered by the manufacturer and regulator.

The rules require a design that can be managed by an average pilot.... not Chuck Yeagers. Changing training does not give a free pass for bad design.

Have manual skills degraded? Possibly, but that is a direct result of what the system has elected to focus on in order to ensure that other problems were cured.

Air France? Asiana? Chuck Yeager? Please....

misd-agin
28th Sep 2019, 00:28
IMO it's not some new FAA issue unless my company has added training outside of the FAA requirements. I was under the impression that some of the new training stuff is because of FAA requirements. I forget the changes but I think they've added crosswind landings, VFR arrivals, low altitude go-arounds, etc. Due to additional requirements it's become unusual to have excess simulator time at the end of the training period. This might be company added events and maybe were not mandated by the FAA.

iceman50
28th Sep 2019, 01:54
cessnaxpilot

fdr was not referring to those accidents as you well know or should, he was referring to the 737 MAX accidents.

Centaurus
28th Sep 2019, 02:17
Having long since reluctantly accepted that automation dependency has resulted in lack of skill of some of its pilots to fly an ordinary visual circuit, at least one Australian 737 operator now has the SOP requirement to have final landing flap down and all landing checks completed, while the aircraft is still on the downwind leg of the circuit. This is supposed to ensure the aircraft is stabilised by 1000 ft with all landing checklists completed. In the simulator it was noted pilots were having difficulty coping with manual visual flying and stabilisation requirements.

cessnaxpilot
28th Sep 2019, 03:07
cessnaxpilot

fdr was not referring to those accidents as you well know or should, he was referring to the 737 MAX accidents.

Point taken. But I do think we’re seeing a change in technology that has diminished the required flying skills when everything is working as designed. The real question is... where are we when things go wrong? That was my point. If everything is hooked up and working, great! Airbus and Boeing seem to have incidents in equal proportions... and most often it’s attributed to pilot error. Until we remove the pilots, we better train them to fly when things don’t go as planned.

filejw
28th Sep 2019, 03:21
Not that I’m a fan of the FAA but domestically they have been pushing hand flying for more than a few years now.

glofish
28th Sep 2019, 04:18
Many older farts on here have called out this misery for a long time now. And here we are, the FAA "discovers" it finally!

May i re-post an earlier one from me:

​​​​​​Training pilots for airlines has changed considerably the last 60 years. It started with mainly ex Air Force trained guys that needed some CRM but certainly no upset training. They were joined by the guys and gals working their way and hours up postal/bush/taxi flying with underpowered single and twins, then via weak regional props up to the main carriers, having acquired a good amount of experience in difficult conditions to be converted to very capable airline captains. Today there are more and more MPL/ab initio?P2F pilots going through ever shorter crash courses from zero to hero onto big twin aisle airliners, especially where there is national pride to propel young locals into cockpits of prestige born carriers in certain regions. Not to mention the fake hours pilots weaseling their way in. Not one of the latter has ever recovered from a spin, flown an Immelmann or wrestled a choking 207 over a mountain range with howling downdrafts at night . A German saying goes what Little Johnny does not learn, Big John will never learn. That is where some latest accident reports point at. As a consequence we see the incorporation of manual handling and upset recovery simulator sessions at almost all serious airlines. It is however a futile fig leaf to cover up the blatant lack of basic skills of most new applicants that can hardly be trained at later stage. If taken seriously it would imply a much more comprehensive syllabus and not only in simulators. But again, that would be too expensive, so everyone works with the bandaid only and continues to pretend it’s a fixing surgery.

andrasz
28th Sep 2019, 05:21
At the risk of receiving a lot of flak, I beg to present a slightly dissenting opinion. Despite the number of recent high profile accidents ultimately attributable to failure of automation combined with the lack of skills to counter it, overall aviation has constantly improved the safety record over the past decades, and the constant reduction of the accident rate can mostly be attributed to automation preventing fatal errors, and strict adherence to SOP's. The accident rate (per flight hours) is a tiny fraction of what it used to be in the fine old days (an older fart myself, I cherish those days but accept that they are gone forever). One only needs to go through the records of the sixties and seventies so see how many accidents happened during trainng for new types, mostly while hand flying. Simulators and automation have all but elminated these types of accidents, and most of the other common causes of the past decades.

One must face the realities that in the post-deregulation world, with accident rates so low as they are, consumers are no longer influenced by safety when chosing the carrier. Even in the dodgier parts of the world, air travel is far safer than any alternate (I did take a domestic flights in Sudan recently, knowing that the overnight bus is far riskier, one crashing into an oncoming truck every week). The commercial pressures require any operator to meet the expected safety standard in the most cost effective way, and automation was a huge boost, permitting crew with less time and experience to operate aircraft as safely (or safer) as crews decades ago with vastly superior training and capabilities. Bluntly put, is any money spent by the industry to expand initial and recurring training to maintain or improve those hand flying skills on a global level beyond what is required today (we are talking billions in training costs) going to prevent further accidents, and if so how many? Would we not be better off by spending the same money on ensuring that current standards are adhered to (regulators in many countries are under staffed and under funded), or infrastructure is improved ? One also needs to consider the possiblity of inadvertantly introducing new risk factors into a system that, based on numbers, appears to work reasonably well.

Bend alot
28th Sep 2019, 06:07
andrasz, I proffer the following graph to evidence that much is safer than the sixties and seventies. I expect technology and knowledge, rather than training was a large part of fatality reduction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:US_traffic_deaths_per_VMT,_VMT,_per_capita,_and_total_a nnual_deaths.png

andrasz
28th Sep 2019, 06:58
I expect technology and knowledge, rather than training was a large part of fatality reduction

Absolutely, we are saying the same thing. The corollary is that when faced with the choice of spending limited resources, by and large spending on improving technology offers better results than spending on improving training for existing technology.

Bend alot
28th Sep 2019, 07:37
andrasz,

Why did we switch from flying the real thing a few circuits to using a simulator?

Safety, we kept crashing and killing the crews - it is not better training but it saves lives.

Why did we shift from simulator to computer based?

It is cheaper!

Mandate x hours sim time, per pax seat for each new type. Not because it is needed but because it is safer.

fdr
28th Sep 2019, 08:18
cessnaxplt;

as noted by iceman, the topic of flight crew training arises from the Max issue.

As we age, we look back with nostalgia at what we used to do, and reflect on what the youth is doing today. The "obvious" observation of lack of flying skills may be true, it may also be the way we look at the world from our own vantage point.

Going down memory lane gives lots of examples of crews driving tin into the water, ground, short long, nowhere near, "how on earth did they get to that point?" sort of events. many of those were due to the state of the art at the time, but many were not. CXP raises AS214, and I must confess, that one still irritates me. (6 hours after the bingle, I was called up by the CEO of a major and asked if their fleet could have done the same thing and the answer was an emphatic yes, it was a surprise that the paint was owned by Asiana. The CEO didn't miss a beat when advised that I had made 5 reports to that effect in the period of being involved in their program).

AFR was a shambles, no doubt, but it was an event with cognitive overload rearing it's head. Normally, it is reasonable to state that if the action you are taking isn' working, then in the absence of infinite time to act, it may be worthwhile altering your tactics. The Max adds a caveat condition to that; make sure that what you are doing isn't working in part at least. For AFR447, holding full aft SSC precluded any recovery occurring. In almost all cases (Max excepted) the aircraft will naturally recover from an uncontrolled flight condition by the crew getting off the controls, and that is good up to the condition of departure from controlled flight post stall. The exception is where the flight control system is compromised, or a TR is deployed, or components have departed the aircraft, in which case, good luck, you are now a TP.

Looking back in time, and just looking at one data base, in no particular order but covering a time frame from 2012 back to 1967, a random selection of events in which pilot performance, flying skills, head skills, team skills, and often basic IF flight competency occurred are listed. "New boss, same as old boss". We broke planes in a similar manner to today way back when. I avoided events where technology advances would have made a change, adherence to procedures used to be more critical than today, but the slips and errors still occurred, and people got hurt.

The industry could do with improved flying skills, it always could, but that is not a panacea for poor procedure designs, congestion and overloaded ATC, commercial pressure on crews, and bad system designs. Collectively we have accepted as good a lot of designs that in reflection were pretty daggy. We then fight over the relative merits of an Airbus v Boeing, when both have their own dark baggage in their DNA. That is true up to the 380, whether the 350 is better is unknown at this point. Nature cannot be fooled as Feynman stated.

The random selection below comes out of the U.S. databases, so any assumption that it only happens in 3rd world, $h1TolE banana republics may not have that much traction. The MD11 is interesting. The cure for a plane that crews had a high prevalence of PIOs, (or APC, etc... MIL-HDBK-1797A) was to fi the crews by augmented training, which had variable results, planes kept being parked awkwardly on turf, often enough unusable other than as chicken coops, and occasionally not even as that. It is a reminder that fixing pilots may sound cheaper than fixing the dynamics, but in the end it all ends in tears, human performance is a variable that has imponderable inputs that amaze and awe anyone trying to harden safety performance.

AAR-12-01 757 off piste Jackson Hole WY

AAR-11-02 ATR drives into ground on appr

AAR-07-06 SWA 737 overrun Midway...

AAR-04-04 A300-605 tail fell off

AAR-04-02 Tallahassee FL, B727 FEDEX,

AAB-02-04 Burbank off SWA B737...

AAR-01-02 MD82 Little Rock into the approach lites, far end

AAR-05-01 Diesel X hard landing...

AAR-00-02 FDX14 Mega death 2.0 Newark, NJ,
Mega death 2.0 Narita FDX80
Mega death 2.0 Chep Lap Kok, CAL 642 (mandarin)
Mega death 2.0 Riyadh, SA LHC 8460
(12 other hard landing/PIO nasties on the MD11, the pilot was occasionally out of sync with the aircraft. Once is bad luck, 2 times is untidy, 3 times.... Enhanced pilot training to make up for the deficiency of the aircraft, as the pilots were "...not good enough..." Why not fix the fundamental problem).

AAR-67-AG Delta DC-8 training

AAR-69-01 UAL B727 config warning "The takeoff warning horn sounded shortly after commencing takeoff from runway 09R. The takeoff was continued as the crew tried to figure out what caused the warning. The horn ceased prior to reaching rotate speed. The stickshaker came on and thrust was added..."

AAR-70-02 JAL DC8-62 "The flight descended in a constant, uninterrupted rate of descent from this time until about 6 seconds before water impact at..."

AAR-69-08 PANAM DC8 Anchorage "The stickshaker sounded shortly after VR (154 kts). The aircraft rotated climbed slowly. The right wing contacted the snow covered ground 94 feet left of the extended centerline at a distance of 2760 feet from the runway. The aircraft rolled inverted and broke up."

AAR-70-08 TWA 707 "At the decision height, a missed approach was announced. The captain advanced power on engines 1, 2, and 3, and called for "25 Flaps," "Takeoff Power," "Up Gear." However, neither the flaps nor the landing gear moved from their previous positions. The aircraft was accelerated to 130 knots and a missed-approach climb was instituted.
Approximately 16 t o 18 seconds after the start of the missed-approach procedure, one of the observer pilots commented, "Oh! Oh! Your hydraulic system's zeroed." At 300 feet agl and an airspeed of 127 knots all hydraulic pumps were shutdown, but power on the no. 4 engine was not restored. Directional control was lost and the aircraft struck the ground"

AAR-70-06 B727 UAL "with the no. 3 generator inoperative. This was allowed because according to the Minimum Equipment List, the aircraft is airworthy with only two generators operable provided certain procedures are followed and electrical loads are monitored during flight. Flight 266 was scheduled to depart the gate at 17:55, but was delayed until 18:07 because of the inclement weather and loading problems. The flight commenced its takeoff roll on runway 24 at approximately 18:17. At 18:18:30 the sound of an engine fire warning bell was heard in the cockpit. The crew reported a no. 1 engine fire warning and stated that they wanted to return to the airport. Shortly after shutdown of the no. 1 engine, electrical power from the remaining generator (no. 2) was lost. Following loss of all generator power, the standby electrical system either was not activated or failed to function. Electrical power at a voltage level of approximately 50 volts was restored approximately a minute and a half after loss of the no. 2 generator. The duration of this power restoration was just 9 to 15 seconds. The Boeing descended until it struck the sea". ("CHECK ESSENTIAL...")

AAR-70-19 B747 operated by Boeing. "premature touchdown of the aircraft during a visual approach to a relatively short runway, induced by the pilot's not establishing a glidepath which would assure runway threshold passage with an adequate safety under somewhat unusual environmental and psychological conditions."

AAR-71-15 DAL DC9-32 "the pilot’s misjudgment of altitude due to the absence of sufficient lights in the approach area, misleading information produced by deceptive sloping terrain, and that the pilot did not position the aircraft on the ILS glide slope while he was establishing the final approach profile"

AAR-72-09 UAL B737-200 "The termination of the take-off, after the No.1 engine failed, at a speed above V2 at a height of approximately 50 feet, with insufficient runway remaining to effect a safe landing. The captain's decision and his action to terminate the take-off were based on the erroneous judgment that both engines had failed."

AAR-72-10 Flying Tigers DC-8 Naha JP "The aircraft struck the water approximately 2,200 feet short of the runway threshold lights."

AAR-72-04 NE AIRLINES DC9 "While on a VOR final approach to Martha's Vineyard in instrument flight conditions, the aircraft struck the water, received minor damage but remained airborne."

AAR-72-18 Western B720 Ontario Calif; "The failure of the aircraft rudder hydraulic actuator support fitting. The failure of the fitting resulted in the inapparent loss of left rudder control which, under the conditions of the flight, precluded the pilots’ ability to maintain directional control during a simulated engine-out missed-approach. The existing weather conditions degraded external visual cues, thereby hampering rapid assessment of aircraft performance by the flight check captain".

AAR-72-17 PANAM B747 'Clipper Young 'Merica" San Francisco, Calif, performance for wrong runway... out into the approach lights. (crew done good post whoopsie, and got a very sick plane back in mainly one piece).



P.S.:

Do I think that there is merit in some advanced handling such as aerobatics, tailwheel aircraft etc... even UA handling? Absolutely, but it is no cure for bad design. (i've had the pleasure to teach that in jets, small aerobats and heavy ex mil radials etc... The best aircraft to do it in for the money? A tiny little Bolkow 108 or an Airtourer T5, cheap and you can throw away the instruments and listen to the aircraft talk to the pilot in some comfort. A Pitts adds a bit too much activity for the student).

Crews need to be comfortable under pressure which comes from familiarity, and if that is missing in the MPL system, then that can be addressed, it is not that much of an imposition to give enough intro that the student is not cowered by being out of normal flight attitude and speeds. There is merit in going out in the pattern occasionally and flopping around doing visual circuits, it is a weakness in both the knees of some of the crews and the system. (AZ214 etc... and historical precedents).

cessnapete
28th Sep 2019, 09:06
cessnaxplt;

as noted by iceman, the topic of flight crew training arises from the Max issue.

As we age, we look back with nostalgia at what we used to do, and reflect on what the youth is doing today. The "obvious" observation of lack of flying skills may be true, it may also be the way we look at the world from our own vantage point.

Going down memory lane gives lots of examples of crews driving tin into the water, ground, short long, nowhere near, "how on earth did they get to that point?" sort of events. many of those were due to the state of the art at the time, but many were not. CXP raises AS214, and I must confess, that one still irritates me. (6 hours after the bingle, I was called up by the CEO of a major and asked if their fleet could have done the same thing and the answer was an emphatic yes, it was a surprise that the paint was owned by Asiana. The CEO didn't miss a beat when advised that I had made 5 reports to that effect in the period of being involved in their program).

AFR was a shambles, no doubt, but it was an event with cognitive overload rearing it's head. Normally, it is reasonable to state that if the action you are taking isn' working, then in the absence of infinite time to act, it may be worthwhile altering your tactics. The Max adds a caveat condition to that; make sure that what you are doing isn't working in part at least. For AFR447, holding full aft SSC precluded any recovery occurring. In almost all cases (Max excepted) the aircraft will naturally recover from an uncontrolled flight condition by the crew getting off the controls, and that is good up to the condition of departure from controlled flight post stall. The exception is where the flight control system is compromised, or a TR is deployed, or components have departed the aircraft, in which case, good luck, you are now a TP.

Looking back in time, and just looking at one data base, in no particular order but covering a time frame from 2012 back to 1967, a random selection of events in which pilot performance, flying skills, head skills, team skills, and often basic IF flight competency occurred are listed. "New boss, same as old boss". We broke planes in a similar manner to today way back when. I avoided events where technology advances would have made a change, adherence to procedures used to be more critical than today, but the slips and errors still occurred, and people got hurt.

The industry could do with improved flying skills, it always could, but that is not a panacea for poor procedure designs, congestion and overloaded ATC, commercial pressure on crews, and bad system designs. Collectively we have accepted as good a lot of designs that in reflection were pretty daggy. We then fight over the relative merits of an Airbus v Boeing, when both have their own dark baggage in their DNA. That is true up to the 380, whether the 350 is better is unknown at this point. Nature cannot be fooled as Feynman stated.

The random selection below comes out of the U.S. databases, so any assumption that it only happens in 3rd world, $h1TolE banana republics may not have that much traction. The MD11 is interesting. The cure for a plane that crews had a high prevalence of PIOs, (or APC, etc... MIL-HDBK-1797A) was to fi the crews by augmented training, which had variable results, planes kept being parked awkwardly on turf, often enough unusable other than as chicken coops, and occasionally not even as that. It is a reminder that fixing pilots may sound cheaper than fixing the dynamics, but in the end it all ends in tears, human performance is a variable that has imponderable inputs that amaze and awe anyone trying to harden safety performance.

AAR-12-01 757 off piste Jackson Hole WY

AAR-11-02 ATR drives into ground on appr

AAR-07-06 SWA 737 overrun Midway...

AAR-04-04 A300-605 tail fell off

AAR-04-02 Tallahassee FL, B727 FEDEX,

AAB-02-04 Burbank off SWA B737...

AAR-01-02 MD82 Little Rock into the approach lites, far end

AAR-05-01 Diesel X hard landing...

AAR-00-02 FDX14 Mega death 2.0 Newark, NJ,
Mega death 2.0 Narita FDX80
Mega death 2.0 Chep Lap Kok, CAL 642 (mandarin)
Mega death 2.0 Riyadh, SA LHC 8460
(12 other hard landing/PIO nasties on the MD11, the pilot was occasionally out of sync with the aircraft. Once is bad luck, 2 times is untidy, 3 times.... Enhanced pilot training to make up for the deficiency of the aircraft, as the pilots were "...not good enough..." Why not fix the fundamental problem).

AAR-67-AG Delta DC-8 training

AAR-69-01 UAL B727 config warning "The takeoff warning horn sounded shortly after commencing takeoff from runway 09R. The takeoff was continued as the crew tried to figure out what caused the warning. The horn ceased prior to reaching rotate speed. The stickshaker came on and thrust was added..."

AAR-70-02 JAL DC8-62 "The flight descended in a constant, uninterrupted rate of descent from this time until about 6 seconds before water impact at..."

AAR-69-08 PANAM DC8 Anchorage "The stickshaker sounded shortly after VR (154 kts). The aircraft rotated climbed slowly. The right wing contacted the snow covered ground 94 feet left of the extended centerline at a distance of 2760 feet from the runway. The aircraft rolled inverted and broke up."

AAR-70-08 TWA 707 "At the decision height, a missed approach was announced. The captain advanced power on engines 1, 2, and 3, and called for "25 Flaps," "Takeoff Power," "Up Gear." However, neither the flaps nor the landing gear moved from their previous positions. The aircraft was accelerated to 130 knots and a missed-approach climb was instituted.
Approximately 16 t o 18 seconds after the start of the missed-approach procedure, one of the observer pilots commented, "Oh! Oh! Your hydraulic system's zeroed." At 300 feet agl and an airspeed of 127 knots all hydraulic pumps were shutdown, but power on the no. 4 engine was not restored. Directional control was lost and the aircraft struck the ground"

AAR-70-06 B727 UAL "with the no. 3 generator inoperative. This was allowed because according to the Minimum Equipment List, the aircraft is airworthy with only two generators operable provided certain procedures are followed and electrical loads are monitored during flight. Flight 266 was scheduled to depart the gate at 17:55, but was delayed until 18:07 because of the inclement weather and loading problems. The flight commenced its takeoff roll on runway 24 at approximately 18:17. At 18:18:30 the sound of an engine fire warning bell was heard in the cockpit. The crew reported a no. 1 engine fire warning and stated that they wanted to return to the airport. Shortly after shutdown of the no. 1 engine, electrical power from the remaining generator (no. 2) was lost. Following loss of all generator power, the standby electrical system either was not activated or failed to function. Electrical power at a voltage level of approximately 50 volts was restored approximately a minute and a half after loss of the no. 2 generator. The duration of this power restoration was just 9 to 15 seconds. The Boeing descended until it struck the sea". ("CHECK ESSENTIAL...")

AAR-70-19 B747 operated by Boeing. "premature touchdown of the aircraft during a visual approach to a relatively short runway, induced by the pilot's not establishing a glidepath which would assure runway threshold passage with an adequate safety under somewhat unusual environmental and psychological conditions."

AAR-71-15 DAL DC9-32 "the pilot’s misjudgment of altitude due to the absence of sufficient lights in the approach area, misleading information produced by deceptive sloping terrain, and that the pilot did not position the aircraft on the ILS glide slope while he was establishing the final approach profile"

AAR-72-09 UAL B737-200 "The termination of the take-off, after the No.1 engine failed, at a speed above V2 at a height of approximately 50 feet, with insufficient runway remaining to effect a safe landing. The captain's decision and his action to terminate the take-off were based on the erroneous judgment that both engines had failed."

AAR-72-10 Flying Tigers DC-8 Naha JP "The aircraft struck the water approximately 2,200 feet short of the runway threshold lights."

AAR-72-04 NE AIRLINES DC9 "While on a VOR final approach to Martha's Vineyard in instrument flight conditions, the aircraft struck the water, received minor damage but remained airborne."

AAR-72-18 Western B720 Ontario Calif; "The failure of the aircraft rudder hydraulic actuator support fitting. The failure of the fitting resulted in the inapparent loss of left rudder control which, under the conditions of the flight, precluded the pilots’ ability to maintain directional control during a simulated engine-out missed-approach. The existing weather conditions degraded external visual cues, thereby hampering rapid assessment of aircraft performance by the flight check captain".

AAR-72-17 PANAM B747 'Clipper Young 'Merica" San Francisco, Calif, performance for wrong runway... out into the approach lights. (crew done good post whoopsie, and got a very sick plane back in mainly one piece).



P.S.:

Do I think that there is merit in some advanced handling such as aerobatics, tailwheel aircraft etc... even UA handling? Absolutely, but it is no cure for bad design. (i've had the pleasure to teach that in jets, small aerobats and heavy ex mil radials etc... The best aircraft to do it in for the money? A tiny little Bolkow 108 or an Airtourer T5, cheap and you can throw away the instruments and listen to the aircraft talk to the pilot in some comfort. A Pitts adds a bit too much activity for the student).

Crews need to be comfortable under pressure which comes from familiarity, and if that is missing in the MPL system, then that can be addressed, it is not that much of an imposition to give enough intro that the student is not cowered by being out of normal flight attitude and speeds. There is merit in going out in the pattern occasionally and flopping around doing visual circuits, it is a weakness in both the knees of some of the crews and the system. (AZ214 etc... and historical precedents).


its not not just some smaller well publicised Airlines that lack pilot manual handing skills.
The only time a BA pilot manually controls their aircraft on routine route operations, is usually below 1000 ft when established on an Instrument Approach. Even that is not strictly manual, as SOPs dictate no manual speed control, continual Autothrottle until touchdown. (All types except the B744)

zerograv
28th Sep 2019, 12:31
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faa-urges-icao-to-address-erosion-of-manual-piloti-461057/​​​​​​

FAA urges ICAO to address erosion of 'manual' piloting skills

The US Federal Aviation Administration is set to urge ICAO to address pilot training deficiencies that may leave some of the world's airline pilots unprepared to manually fly aircraft when automated systems fail.

"As the use of automation increases in aircraft design, it is important to consider how ICAO standards and guidance should evolve to ensure that pilot training programmes align with technological advancements," it adds.

The FAA and its partners will also urge ICAO to recommend that states take steps themselves to ensure their pilots have adequate manual flight training.

AUTOMATION AND PILOT ERROR

The Max accidents also raised concern about a fast-track ICAO commercial pilot licence standard known as the "multicrew pilot licence". That licence requires no minimum cockpit hours, but holders must have 240h of simulator or cockpit time and a private pilot licence.

Ethiopian was among airlines to adopt the licence standard.

The 737 Max crashes are only the latest accidents to raise questions about pilot training and automation. Others include the 2013 crash of Asiana flight 214 at San Francisco and the 2009 crash of Air France flight 447 into the Atlantic Ocean.

It is my understanding that in the US airlines there is no "fast-track" in terms of training of pilots when it comes to operate a 737. Certainly they have far more experience than "some of the world's airline pilots" when it is time to fly a 737.

Have to then say that don't understand the reason as to why was the MAX grounded in the US ??? The experience being there, the aircraft being safe on manual flight, and the US being big enough country to justify the MAX use within its frontiers, have to say that I don't get it why the MAX was grounded in the US ...

Clandestino
28th Sep 2019, 13:11
Seriously, do you think the FAA doesn't know how this must look to much of the world?
After being given a vote of no confidence (IMNSHO, justified) by the rest of the world, do you think FAA cares?

OldnGrounded
28th Sep 2019, 13:51
After being given a vote of no confidence (IMNSHO, justified) by the rest of the world, do you think FAA cares?

No, I'm afraid the FAA probably doesn't care. (And I agree that the no confidence vote is justified.)

This thread has renewed the ongoing discussion about erosion of hand-flying skills (which discussion will always be with us), but I think the most interesting point is what the release of the "FAA urges ICAO" story suggests about the current posture at the FAA. To me, it appears stubbornly defensive with a strong tendency toward denialism and a disinclination to engage in introspection. Not encouraging of trust.

kwh
28th Sep 2019, 15:53
A question from the cheap seats...

Full motion sims for modern airliners are no doubt incredibly expensive to buy & operate, & a very scarce resource. Is there any merit in filling a warehouse sized space with user-operated full motion sims for a far simpler type of aircraft without all the complex systems of an airliner or bizjet or the ability to simulate complex failures that a simulator used for training & testing crew on those planes would require, & just provide a realistic sandbox for people to play in, then let airline pilots put hours in regularly in those sims, possibly requiring them to complete some objective test of hand-flying skill once in a while...?

My mind keeps imagining a B57/Canberra sim, but after an imaginary low budget glass cockpit upgrade & with irrelevant instruments deleted entirely. Something like that, anyway, so that pilots who spend entire careers pushing button A & then watching the aircraft systems do everything except taxi them to the gate at the other end know what to do when the automation goes tilt...

lomapaseo
28th Sep 2019, 16:14
After being given a vote of no confidence (IMNSHO, justified) by the rest of the world, do you think FAA cares?

I think this kind of discussion point serves no purpose in this thread. The FAA is not insular unto itself

The US industry does care about equal relationships when it come to competing with other worldwide companies and their regulator.So collectively "we" do care and will ensure that the FAA is equally respected. Already there has been much soul searching by various committees and sufficient changes and updates are expected to be undertaken to ensure improvement to practice

Clandestino
28th Sep 2019, 16:31
To me, it appears stubbornly defensive with a strong tendency toward denialism and a disinclination to engage in introspection.
Perchance soulsearching introspection uncovered some quite embarrassing facts which convinced FAA that situation is so bad it would gain nothing by coming out clean?

OldnGrounded
28th Sep 2019, 16:40
Perchance soulsearching introspection uncovered some quite embarrassing facts which convinced FAA that situation is so bad it would gain nothing by coming out clean?

That's an even more cynical view than mine. Mind you, I'm not arguing . . .

andrasz
28th Sep 2019, 18:12
A question from the cheap seats...

A full motion sim consists of four main components. A sawed off cockpit section (with full working instrumentation) of an actual airplane, the hydraulic platform supporting the cockpit section to create the 3d sensation, the display unit to provide the visual sensation through the cockpit windows, and the processing unit to run the software powering the visuals and the motion. The only difference between aircraft models is the physical cockpit section and the software, which makes very little difference in the final cost. A 172 and 380 full motion sim will both be in the same price range.

Smythe
28th Sep 2019, 18:17
Dont forget, it is Boeing that is insisting on no further training.

What is Boeing's baseline of training or experience for this statement or requirement/lack of?

A 172 and 380 full motion sim will both be in the same price range.
ummm, if nothing else, the shear size of the sim, as well as the flight deck design differences/flight computers and electronics....

A 172 FM sim same as an A380. FM sim...sure...

damn.

C172 FM sim.....

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1200x800/cessna_172s_skyhawk_sp_2c_private_jp6817606_1df09eb7912e2101 1155fa780632130be735b315.jpg

45989
28th Sep 2019, 18:50
Lets not forget that some airlines actually require Pilots to go Automated at every opportunity and the decision to hand fly when possible (eg on fully visual approaches) is taken away from them.

​​​​
I rembember the master of "meritocracy" going down that road.. Still the CAA took his Aoc and Ato away

kwh
28th Sep 2019, 22:16
A full motion sim consists of four main components. A sawed off cockpit section (with full working instrumentation) of an actual airplane, the hydraulic platform supporting the cockpit section to create the 3d sensation, the display unit to provide the visual sensation through the cockpit windows, and the processing unit to run the software powering the visuals and the motion. The only difference between aircraft models is the physical cockpit section and the software, which makes very little difference in the final cost. A 172 and 380 full motion sim will both be in the same price range.

Actually, it occurs to me that for the purpose we are discussing, an off the shelf HOTAS & yoke plus a VR helmet like an Occulus Rift or similar should suffice for the visual interface, so it's just a chair with a full motion system to make it move...

Fly Aiprt
28th Sep 2019, 22:29
Actually, it occurs to me that for the purpose we are discussing, an off the shelf HOTAS & yoke plus a VR helmet like an Occulus Rift or similar should suffice for the visual interface, so it's just a chair with a full motion system to make it move...

Sim manufacturers won't be happy, but you may have a point.
Any game manufacturer might come up with a decent 3D seat sim and software, to offer pilots lots of hand flying for far less $$$ than the full blown multi k$$$ of the industry.
And they are good at replicating cockpit and aircraft behavior.

Lookleft
29th Sep 2019, 03:32
The manufacturers have been trying to design the pilot out of the cockpit for a while so that they could sell them to operators who didn't want to pay for all that pesky training. What wasn't forseen was the reduction in engineering standards and testing requirements, demanded by the Executives, that would expose flaws in the aircraft before they were released to line operations. Boeing with the FAA's help are in a bare knuckle fight for survival and will deflect as much liability from themselves by fare means or foul.

Sailvi767
29th Sep 2019, 08:52
I find it funny that the FAA is now only getting on to this problem while pointing to the two 737 MAX crashes. It sounds more to me like the FAA is trying to protect its a$$ and trying to shift the blame away from Boeing. Just more political BS.

The FAA has addressed this issue for at least the last 10 years and has required increased emphasis on hand flying and flying with reduced levels of automation.

cessnaxpilot
29th Sep 2019, 11:38
its not not just some smaller well publicised Airlines that lack pilot manual handing skills.
The only time a BA pilot manually controls their aircraft on routine route operations, is usually below 1000 ft when established on an Instrument Approach. Even that is not strictly manual, as SOPs dictate no manual speed control, continual Autothrottle until touchdown. (All types except the B744)

i always enjoy the opportunity to request a visual approach and turn off the flight director and auto throttle system. How does a company expect one to be proficient at that skill when needed if they never get to practice?

Maninthebar
29th Sep 2019, 13:09
i always enjoy the opportunity to request a visual approach and turn off the flight director and auto throttle system. How does a company expect one to be proficient at that skill when needed if they never get to practice?

One might ask the same question of the Runaway Trim procedure

alf5071h
29th Sep 2019, 13:20
As yet we have not seen the FAAs submission. It is reported as:-

“The FAA's concerns turn on the theory that many pilots lost or never attained adequate manual flying skills because they have come to rely on increasingly complex automated systems designed largely to prevent pilot error in the first place, according to a paper outlining the FAA's recommendations.”
This is an unsubstantiated ‘theory ’. A theory should trigger research, but none has been referenced.

“But technological reliance has left some pilots unprepared for emergencies …
When automation systems do not work as intended or do not work well in the operational situation, pilots without sufficient manual flight control experience and proper training may be reluctant or may not be adequately skilled to take control of the aircraft,"
The FAA fails to provide evidence of experience and training shortfall - thus ‘supposition’.

EASAs position:- “Pilot training requirements are not meant to compensate for non-acceptable design on the compliance and safety standpoint.”

Whilst ICAO and member nations might note the FAAs concerns, the international industry must not resort to safety measures based on supposition.
What if the FAA’s theory is incorrect? more rules, unnecessary training, without safety improvement.

Research into loss of manual flying skills suggests that degraded cognitive skills, situation appreciation, is of greater concern,
There is scant evidence of difficulties arising from manual flight in normal operation, but there has been many problems in abnormal situations originated by technology failure. Thus safety focus should be on the origin of abnormal situations; avoid or simplify the systems and situations which pilots are required to understand - fix the machine not the man.

AF447 and 737 Max involved sensor / system malfunction. Airbus changed the sensor, improved the system, and provided an independent back-up speed display; ‘belt and braces’.
Boeing / FAA, their pants down, promote unproven theory !

EASA’s position
https://www.easa.europa.eu/newsroom-and-events/press-releases/statement-clarification

HalinTexas
29th Sep 2019, 14:00
Manual flying skills have been on the radar at the FAA for several years. Airlines have been adding this training for a couple of years now.

Note the date: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/121.423

Tomaski
29th Sep 2019, 14:07
Research into loss of manual flying skills suggests that degraded cognitive skills, situation appreciation, is of greater concern,
There is scant evidence of difficulties arising from manual flight in normal operation, but there has been many problems in abnormal situations originated by technology failure. Thus safety focus should be on the origin of abnormal situations; avoid or simplify the systems and situations which pilots are required to understand - fix the machine not the man.








Proficiency at manual flying (or any psychomotor task for that matter) has a direct impact on cognitive processing, so they really can't be separated. The reason for this relates to the difference between working and procedural memory. Learning a new skill, whether it be typing, knitting, pinball, shooting goals, or flying initially requires a great deal of working memory. The problem is that there is only so much working memory available, so other cognitive tasks suffer. This is why a student pilot's auditory and verbal processing plummets early in training - they literally cannot fly and hold a conversation at the same time. Given time and practice, the mental processes associated with these new skills shift to procedural memory thus freeing up working memory. Thus one way to rate student pilots' progress is to observe how quickly their auditory and verbal processing returns as they are performing flight duties.

To the degree that a pilot practices a certain psychomotor task repetitively, whether we are talking about basic flying skills or immediate action items (i.e. "memory" procedures, stall and/or windshear recoveries, etc.), then those tasks will draw more on procedural memory and less on working memory thus freeing cognitive resources to direct toward situational awareness or other higher cognitive tasks.

In regards to the "fix the machine" as opposed to the person, until such time that technology has advanced to the point that pilots are no longer necessary, it will have to be some of both. Neither human nor machine has been perfected, and seeing as machines are created by humans, I suspect it will be awhile until we have a flawless machine.

lomapaseo
29th Sep 2019, 14:19
As yet we have not seen the FAAs submission. It is reported as:-

“The FAA's concerns turn on the theory that many pilots lost or never attained adequate manual flying skills because they have come to rely on increasingly complex automated systems designed largely to prevent pilot error in the first place, according to a paper outlining the FAA's recommendations.”
This is an unsubstantiated ‘theory ’. A theory should trigger research, but none has been referenced.

“But technological reliance has left some pilots unprepared for emergencies …
When automation systems do not work as intended or do not work well in the operational situation, pilots without sufficient manual flight control experience and proper training may be reluctant or may not be adequately skilled to take control of the aircraft,"
The FAA fails to provide evidence of experience and training shortfall - thus ‘supposition’.

EASAs position:- “Pilot training requirements are not meant to compensate for non-acceptable design on the compliance and safety standpoint.”

Whilst ICAO and member nations might note the FAAs concerns, the international industry must not resort to safety measures based on supposition.
What if the FAA’s theory is incorrect? more rules, unnecessary training, without safety improvement.

Research into loss of manual flying skills suggests that degraded cognitive skills, situation appreciation, is of greater concern,
There is scant evidence of difficulties arising from manual flight in normal operation, but there has been many problems in abnormal situations originated by technology failure. Thus safety focus should be on the origin of abnormal situations; avoid or simplify the systems and situations which pilots are required to understand - fix the machine not the man.

AF447 and 737 Max involved sensor / system malfunction. Airbus changed the sensor, improved the system, and provided an independent back-up speed display; ‘belt and braces’.
Boeing / FAA, their pants down, promote unproven theory !

EASA’s position
https://www.easa.europa.eu/newsroom-and-events/press-releases/statement-clarification

You certainly capture some important questions here.
In my view this is beyond the FAA's ability to respond let alone lead.
The way to address this is for all the aircraft manufacturers to lead as a group by calling in all the stakeholders (who can add) and the output just might be for the regulators to embrace (that's where they come in)

The problem we sometimes see in our industry is that all the stakeholders (designers, regulator multi groups, operators and pilots) don't act as one in understanding the issues and then responding as one under a incompasing rule.

Longtimer
29th Sep 2019, 17:17
Manual flying skills have been on the radar at the FAA for several years. Airlines have been adding this training for a couple of years now.

Note the date: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/121.423
Here is what they published in 2017:
https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/safo/all_safos/media/2017/SAFO17007.pdf
http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/safo (https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/safo/all_safos/media/2017/SAFO17007.pdf)
A SAFO contains important safety information and may include recommended action. SAFO content should be especially valuable to air carriers in meeting their statutory duty to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest. Besides the specific action recommended in a SAFO, an alternative action may be as effective in addressing the safety issue named in the SAFO.
Subject: Manual Flight Operations Proficiency
Purpose: This SAFO encourages the development of training and line-operations policies which will ensure that proficiency in manual flight operations is developed and maintained for air carrier pilots.

alf5071h
29th Sep 2019, 17:37
Tomaski, #40, the skills required for awareness - understanding, do not involve a motor function.
Without previous experience aiding appropriate understanding there is little opportunity to identify the correct action.
Many of the situations erroneously related ‘loss of manual flight skills’ have not been experienced or even known of, thus the cognitive task is very demanding and often requires a change of ‘view’ (reframing**).

The required focus on the ‘machine’ does not imply more new technology, but a review of how current systems have been accepted - certification assumptions, particularly in the context of the overall operational environment.

** recent research on startle and surprise. https://pure.tudelft.nl/portal/files/55707836/dissertation_startle.pdf
Apart from the relative importance of surprise over startle, there is an important discussion on the need and difficulty of changing ‘frame’ - thinking for situation awareness. Many problems arise from the generation of background knowledge in training and due to operational constraints, e.g SOP culture, expected SOP for every situation, and repeated situational training by rote without considering alternative context.

Not more training, reconsidered training with respect to new systems - the machine, together with modern operations.

It would be possible to review and change these aspects of the ‘situational machine’ right now, if only we choose think about them and not be distracted by calls for more manual flight.

Also https://www.pprune.org/10580754-post65.html

Tomaski
29th Sep 2019, 18:13
Tomaski, #40, the skills required for awareness - understanding, do not involve a motor function.


I do not disagree, however the mental processing required to exercise those awareness skills can compete for cognitive resources with the mental processing required to execute a motor function if that motor function does not yet reside in procedural memory. This is easily demonstrated by attempting to accomplish a still-developing psychomotor skill (juggling perhaps?) and simultaneously engaging in another cognitive task such as conversation, solving an moderately easy math problem, or the like. There is only so much working memory available, and the more that is used for one task is the less available for another.

NWA SLF
29th Sep 2019, 19:13
Have there been a lot of unexpected pitch down events on Boeing, Douglas, McDonnell-Douglas, and Airbus planes where proficient crews recognized the problem and saved the day? Yes including several Airbus incidents designed with pilots of lesser capabilities in mind. QF72, QF71, and LH1829 come to mind as 2 of the most publicized. Have the MAX crashes which involved numerous fatalities instead of only injuries brought the issue into focus and pressured organizations such as the FAA and EASA to take action? Of course, it would be serious neglect not to have done so. If QF72 had crashed with a loaded A330 have resulted in grounding the A330?

Should the MAX have more AOA sensors? Where do you stop? 3 hasn't been enough for Airbus. Is 5 enough, 7, 9? We need more Bryce McCormicks, Alfred Haynes, and the like.

yanrair
29th Sep 2019, 21:45
Having long since reluctantly accepted that automation dependency has resulted in lack of skill of some of its pilots to fly an ordinary visual circuit, at least one Australian 737 operator now has the SOP requirement to have final landing flap down and all landing checks completed, while the aircraft is still on the downwind leg of the circuit. This is supposed to ensure the aircraft is stabilised by 1000 ft with all landing checklists completed. In the simulator it was noted pilots were having difficulty coping with manual visual flying and stabilisation requirements.


it’s not too long ago when to pass the initial type rating at a well known UK airline, you did not have to be Chuck Yeager. But, you did have to hand fly a single engine approach at night with no flight directors, on a 737 for real - not a sim - to a landing. Usually best of three at least. So no luck involved. In the sim you had to fly a manual trim landing using only the wheels. And a manual reversion landing. To name but three of about forty demanding routines.
That was just part of the base training then before zero flight time sims. I was a base trainer then and never had to fail a single cadet. They could all do it really well. They had to, to pass. These guys are now captains and they carry that training with them for life. The point is that such skills are quite achievable, but no longer required or demanded. I have said since this thread started that the lack of basic flying skills will be a major factor in the final reports. The MCAS will be a factor of course, but not the cause. MCAS is now fixed- has been for a long time and is stalled out in the certification issues that have arisen. But the elephant in the room is the lack of training to enable an “average” pilot to cope with (multiple) automation failures which will never go away. Put another way, the skill level of the average pilot has to improve. An MCAS style event can be fixed relatively easily as in this case. Conversely, Pilot training is a mammoth task both in retraining perhaps thousands of current newer pilots, and in the future training requirements. Guess which one the industry would rather tackle? Much easier to blame a daft MCAS design and hang the whole thing on Boeing. But it’s not just Boeing. There have been several truly shocking pilot error events like AF447 and Turkish at AMS- you all know them. Caused by inability to comprehend what the plane is actually doing.
If I were head of training in an airline with 737s, (or any type really) I would be right now insisting on extra sim time and extra time on LPC/OPC twice yearly training to raise the bar significantly. And have my pilots ready for the MAX when it returns, as it surely will, some time soon. It won’t be called “MAX” I don’t suppose though.
And passengers would know that the guys on this airline are up to the task.
Y

Raffles S.A.
29th Sep 2019, 21:55
I'm happy to say I fly a 727 and get quite a lot of hand flying, just a few weeks ago had to do a hand-flown VOR approach almost down to minimums. I still don't understand the fixation of the requirement of 500 hours glass cockpit to get a job on a glass cockpit plane. It's a most ridiculous requirement. It should be the other way round, 500 hours of steam to get a job on a steam driven airplane.

yanrair
29th Sep 2019, 22:25
It is my understanding that in the US airlines there is no "fast-track" in terms of training of pilots when it comes to operate a 737. Certainly they have far more experience than "some of the world's airline pilots" when it is time to fly a 737.

Have to then say that don't understand the reason as to why was the MAX grounded in the US ??? The experience being there, the aircraft being safe on manual flight, and the US being big enough country to justify the MAX use within its frontiers, have to say that I don't get it why the MAX was grounded in the US ...

I must agree with you. I think that they got caught up in a world wide media led fever \tidal wave that followed ET and the fact that Ethiopian blamed the plane almost immediately- because that’s what you do if you are a national authority when one of your own planes crashes in your own country and National prestige is at stake. A domino effect as one by one each authority waited and watched to see who would blink first. And one by one they blinked til the lights went out
Does Concorde report ring a bell? A lecture at the RAE a few nights ago told a very different story from the commonly held view of what caused the fatal, final crash.
I’m quite sure that if USA had permitted the Max to stay flying, and Boeing had fixed right away the three glaring shortcomings of MCAS which they could have done in early summer, there would have been no recurrences whatsoever. I feel that once all,pilots in the US knew the cause of the two crashes, the pilots would have been all over it.
We kept flying after the three rudder hardcover crashes in the nineties because we trained pilots what to do if it happened, before the actual cause and remedies were found and implemented. And that was a nightmare where the cause was very obscure.
Since that’s not what happened it’s in the realm of conjecture but if only Indonesia and Ethiopia had banned the Max, it would still be flying. I would have had no trouble at all flying down the back of an unmodified Max back in the Spring, and still wouldn’t provided the guys up front had the proper experience and training.
Yes, there is a split on this forum since the start on whether it’s a training issue, a software/hardware issue, or somewhere in between. I’m really looking forward to a final factual report on the two crashes after which we will know the truth. If it emerges.
Cheers
Y
y

futurama
29th Sep 2019, 22:57
... I still don't understand the fixation of the requirement of 500 hours glass cockpit to get a job on a glass cockpit plane. It's a most ridiculous requirement. It should be the other way round, 500 hours of steam to get a job on a steam driven airplane.

Unfortunately I've known many (esp. older) pilots who really struggled with the transition from 'steam' to glass cockpit. It's not just about the steam vs. glass but about learning & understanding the new complex computerized systems and automation. Many pilots were effectively forced into 'early' retirement when their fleets upgraded and they failed to make the transition.

So I can see why many outfits want pilots who have previous experience with (and are comfortable with) glass cockpits.

yanrair
30th Sep 2019, 08:11
The latest trend seems to be “you shouldn’t/can’t try to fix the pilots. It’s all too difficult. Engineer out the faults and the pilots won’t have to put down their cup of tea. “
I can think of many situations where a combination of seemingly simple faults, when combined make operating the plane extremely demanding to fly. Guess that’s why we need competent pilots. And no software engineer can “ automate-out” all conceivable fault combinations.
Double engine failure is a good example where, assuming the APU starts, you are stil left with an extremely demanding situation which requires you to revert to basic airmanship and flying skills. Even with no APU, a 737 can still do it. Uniquely, because it’s really a 707 with a glass cockpit and flies like a Cessna. Seen it on the sim. Accomplished successfully maybe a hundred or more times over the years. But the guys at the sharp end have to know what to do and have the multitasking skills to implement them.
So when the dust settles I will still fly happily with airlines that cut the mustard. And avoid the others. Always have and most smart passengers too. There are over one hundred airlines that are not permitted to operate in the EU, yet they are all “approved and licensed” by their own national authorities. Wonder why the EU does this? Don’t think it’s racism though.
Y

yanrair
30th Sep 2019, 08:13
https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/search_en

cessnaxpilot
30th Sep 2019, 16:36
The latest trend seems to be “you shouldn’t/can’t try to fix the pilots. It’s all too difficult. Engineer out the faults and the pilots won’t have to put down their cup of tea. “
I can think of many situations where a combination of seemingly simple faults, when combined make operating the plane extremely demanding to fly. Guess that’s why we need competent pilots. And no software engineer can “ automate-out” all conceivable fault combinations.
Double engine failure is a good example where, assuming the APU starts, you are stil left with an extremely demanding situation which requires you to revert to basic airmanship and flying skills. Even with no APU, a 737 can still do it. Uniquely, because it’s really a 707 with a glass cockpit and flies like a Cessna. Seen it on the sim. Accomplished successfully maybe a hundred or more times over the years. But the guys at the sharp end have to know what to do and have the multitasking skills to implement them.
So when the dust settles I will still fly happily with airlines that cut the mustard. And avoid the others. Always have and most smart passengers too. There are over one hundred airlines that are not permitted to operate in the EU, yet they are all “approved and licensed” by their own national authorities. Wonder why the EU does this? Don’t think it’s racism though.
Y


+1.

Everyone wants to blame the manufactures... but we’ve had a lot of perfectly good airplanes crash. And others where a simple defect brought it down... and others, like a taped over static port, that require solid pilots to earn their money. Any yet others where the pilots feathered the wrong engine on departure during an engine failure.

LH used to start their pilots in gliders and they developed stick and rudder skills. Now there is a fast track to the airline job, but unlike the military, the pilots don’t fly anywhere near the edge of the envelope. There has clearly been a reduction in flying skills. To the point that pilots sit in the seat and watch the accident without taking proper steps. I’m not talking test pilot skills.

Yes... there are defects that need to be fixed. An early A-320 accident made them change the idle thrust settings on approach. The MD-11 has to add LSAS for pitch problems. Boeing will have to fix the 737 Max... but the fact is, there are a lot more accidents due to pilot error that shouldn’t happen.

Grebe
30th Sep 2019, 20:00
I'm happy to say I fly a 727 and get quite a lot of hand flying, just a few weeks ago had to do a hand-flown VOR approach almost down to minimums. I still don't understand the fixation of the requirement of 500 hours glass cockpit to get a job on a glass cockpit plane. It's a most ridiculous requirement. It should be the other way round, 500 hours of steam to get a job on a steam driven airplane.

Sorry cant resist ;)Steam Powered Aircraft Flies

Really. Believe it or not, a successful aircraft flew using a steam engine for power. Built by Travel Air Manufacturing Co. and modified by Besler Steam Laundry to promote their business, the aircraft first flew on April 12th, 1933 over Oakland, California.

The original Travel Air 2000 was known as the 'Wichita Fokker' because of it's role in numerous Hollywood movies about WWI. It was designed by Lloyd Stearman, and built by his partners Walter Beech and Clyde Cessna. In fact, over half the aircraft built between 1924 and 1930 were produced by their company.

https://www.wowreally.blog/2007/01/steam-powered-aircraft-flies.html

parkfell
1st Oct 2019, 08:02
If you are going to attempt to improve manual flying skills, you start at the very beginning during the SE phase at the ATOs. The critical ability is accurate trimming. Without this basic skill, you are wasting your time. The six round dials are needed to ensure that the basic scan technique is learnt.

You build on these skills when the student moves onto twin engine phase. You need to ask what style of instruments are best to build on what has been achieved. Again the ability to TRIM accurately is a vital ingredient. Reduces the workload and increases the situational awareness (the ‘seesaw’ analogy ~thanks Chris Brown).

From there, the MCC phase needs manual flying preferably at the very start of the course, and a RAW DATA ILS from base leg at minimum clean speed during every alternate exercise. Power / Pitch couple: the new aspect to practice.

The type rating course then needs to consolidate these skills. A review of the OPC/LPC is probably needed.
On the nice days line flying, pilots must be encouraged to keep these skills ‘on the boil’. Keep the practice going and the skills will be retained. The less you do, the less you want to do. A basic lack of confidence will develop. A gentle spiralling down process will take place and you will end up where we are now.

Bottom line: good training and continuous practice.

LeadSled
1st Oct 2019, 08:47
Folks,
Looks like us "old fogies" were correct all the way along.
Re. Multi Crew Licenses (MPL) some courses are well done, with good pilots coming out the end.
Some MPL courses are terrible, and ignore much of what we know, both from an academic and practical sense, where proper manual flying skills are never developed --- the basic muscle memories are absent, in my experience this type of MPL course comes from "entrepreneurial" "service providers" , they don't know what they don't know.
Bottom line: Proper manual flying skills are critical, they must be developed and maintained, get the accountants out of the Ops Manuals and SOPs.
Tootle pip!!

HPSOV L
2nd Oct 2019, 12:10
There’s not much that can be done to improve training.
There are practical and economic realities it has to fit into.
What can be improved dramatically is the outdated thinking associated with cockpit ergonomics, human factors and infrastructure.
All of that is achievable with current technology and fresh thinking.

Centaurus
2nd Oct 2019, 13:18
There’s not much that can be done to improve training.

For a start the instrument rating test and subsequent renewals for airline crews should be 50 percent automatics and 50 percent manual raw data flying. That means no flight director and no autopilot on instrument approaches.

That change alone will force managements to think twice when pilots inevitably fail to keep within instrument rating tolerances during manual instrument flying. Only then will pure instrument flying skills gradually improve. After all, isn't that what we are trying to achieve?

parkfell
2nd Oct 2019, 19:54
There’s not much that can be done to improve training.

A closer scrutiny of basic training for the CPL/IR would consider the wisdom of approving certain light GA twins for training.
I would suggest that CAE (Oxford) have now recognised (again) that the Piper ac family is an appropriate basic trainer.

One of the fundamental skills a junior birdman must learn is accurate TRIMMING which is critical to attitude flying, thereby reducing the workload and increasing the situational awareness.

Without that, raw data flying is somewhat difficult. This skill needs to be practiced on a regular basis if accurate flying is going to be achieved.

Airlines needs to recognise the importance of getting the basics right. In the ideal world your most experience FIs would carry out the first 20 hours of flying training. Get the basics right. Attitude & Trim control.

At least MPL students require MPL qualified FIs. Usually the more experienced staff.

parkfell
2nd Oct 2019, 20:07
For a start the instrument rating test and subsequent renewals for airline crews should be 50 percent automatics and 50 percent manual raw data flying. That means no flight director and no autopilot on instrument approaches.
?

When I did my initial IRT on a Seneca 2, many moons ago, it was all raw data. No FD. No AP.

My first “airliner” was a Shorts 360-300. On my first OPC conducted at PIK by a retired BA pilot, he ‘criticised’ me for flying the ILS using raw data only. No FD.
Six months later, I thought it best to humour Pete A by using the FD ( Smiths). The FD was less than accurate, and attempting to follow it produced a less than ideal approach profile. Half way through the approach, I announced I was turning the bloody thing OFF as it was sh_te. An improved profile then occurred !

EXDAC
5th Oct 2019, 12:34
Yes... there are defects that need to be fixed. An early A-320 accident made them change the idle thrust settings on approach. The MD-11 has to add LSAS for pitch problems.

LSAS was part of the MD-11 original design. It was not added to fix any problem but was included because of the design requirement to cruise close to the aft CG limit with a smaller stab than the DC-10. It is true that LSAS control laws were revised after the aircraft went into service.

Caboclo
10th Oct 2019, 17:54
Everyone acknowledges in principle that automation dependency is a bad thing, but almost all of my captains look at me funny when I ask to handfly all the way to altitude. The senior is instructor also pushes automation very hard.

+1 for learning to trim. That is indeed key, and very few of aforementioned captains ever touch it.

Re automation making the industry safer, that is true to a point, but still the problem of dependency remains. Also, a lot of the improvement in the accident rate is down to such things as EGPWS, TCAS, and precision approaches, rather than autopilots.

I was lucky. I never even saw a FD or had a functional, approach capable AP until I had 8000 hrs.

hans brinker
10th Oct 2019, 20:14
Everyone acknowledges in principle that automation dependency is a bad thing, but almost all of my captains look at me funny when I ask to handfly all the way to altitude. The senior is instructor also pushes automation very hard.

+1 for learning to trim. That is indeed key, and very few of aforementioned captains ever touch it.

Re automation making the industry safer, that is true to a point, but still the problem of dependency remains. Also, a lot of the improvement in the accident rate is down to such things as EGPWS, TCAS, and precision approaches, rather than autopilots.

I was lucky. I never even saw a FD or had a functional, approach capable AP until I had 8000 hrs.

I look funny at pilots that hand fly all the way up, and then leave the AP on till 500ft on the approach. Climbing is easy, just keep the nose pointed up, once clean no more trimming required, and there is (mostly) no requirement to hit TOC at a specific spot. Hand flying the arrival takes a lot more skill, also, if the FD is on you might as well keep the AP on.....

misd-agin
11th Oct 2019, 00:41
"+1 for learning to trim. That is indeed key, and very few of aforementioned captains ever touch it."

Why don't airline Captains mention trimming? Seriously? Airline Captains have to tell new hires with an average of 5,000+ hrs to use the trim? We're doomed if that's something that they don't know by the time they get to an airline.

misd-agin
11th Oct 2019, 00:47
I look funny at pilots that hand fly all the way up, and then leave the AP on till 500ft on the approach. Climbing is easy, just keep the nose pointed up, once clean no more trimming required, and there is (mostly) no requirement to hit TOC at a specific spot. Hand flying the arrival takes a lot more skill, also, if the FD is on you might as well keep the AP on.....


My PR for 'hand flying', without touching the yoke, is 6000' or 7000'(?). Nothing like talking about the need for more guys to hand fly...and not touching the yoke for thousands of feet. In the last 250+ hrs I've seen one FO turn the auto throttles off on arrival. One. They are not required to keep the auto throttles on. The degrading of skills isn't always someone else's fault.

cappt
11th Oct 2019, 01:02
I look funny at pilots that hand fly all the way up, and then leave the AP on till 500ft on the approach. Climbing is easy, just keep the nose pointed up, once clean no more trimming required, and there is (mostly) no requirement to hit TOC at a specific spot. Hand flying the arrival takes a lot more skill, also, if the FD is on you might as well keep the AP on.....

It's certainly better then never, keeps the scan going. Approaches can get really busy in the big airports and hand flying then really increases the workload, especially for the PM. At the smaller airports or non busy times have at it.

hans brinker
11th Oct 2019, 07:27
It's certainly better then never, keeps the scan going. Approaches can get really busy in the big airports and hand flying then really increases the workload, especially for the PM. At the smaller airports or non busy times have at it.
FD&AT on, just keep the FD centered, zero scan required. I encourage everyone to properly handfly the arrival and approach (AP/FD/AT OFF) wx/traffic permitting. Amazing how few do it.

hans brinker
11th Oct 2019, 07:32
My PR for 'hand flying', without touching the yoke, is 6000' or 7000'(?). Nothing like talking about the need for more guys to hand fly...and not touching the yoke for thousands of feet. In the last 250+ hrs I've seen one FO turn the auto throttles off on arrival. One. They are not required to keep the auto throttles on. The degrading of skills isn't always someone else's fault.

Yeah, I mostly go AT off at TOD, AP off below 10K, FD off when I get vectors (not when crazy busy/new FO/wx/mountains, aso). From the feedback I get, I'm one of the few, and my company is very supportive of handflying.

pineteam
11th Oct 2019, 08:54
Yeah, I mostly go AT off at TOD, AP off below 10K, FD off when I get vectors (not when crazy busy/new FO/wx/mountains, aso). From the feedback I get, I'm one of the few, and my company is very supportive of handflying.

Like you I hand fly a lot. My company does not push it but at the same time it’s not forbidden unless bad weather, strong crosswind etc...
I often encourage the FOs I fly with to hand fly and very few of them are interested. I guess most of them are scared of the QAR. That’s pretty sad. And then they wounder why they struggle in the sim in direct law. :}

A and C
11th Oct 2019, 10:18
The FAA is spot on, being within three years of mandatory retirement I have seen a gradual erosion of flying skills to usually based on company culture.

Thankfully I work for a company that encourages manual flying in appropriate situations but it would seem that the culture from previous companies hangs on and the First Officers can tell a Captains previous company from the way he flys.

By restrictions on the way first officers fly the aircraft and over reliance on automatics captains are eroding the skills of their FO’s and restricting the appropriate use of automation. Blind and unthinking following of SoP’s is also having the same effect SoP’s are a useful tool but they also have to be appropriately applied.

BARKINGMAD
13th Oct 2019, 17:45
How many of today’s pilots have actually hand flown their ‘frame at cruise altitude at max AUW for that level?

Since RVSM the practice has been discouraged or downright forbidden so when the autopilot quits or something else throws the aircraft at the startled crew to handfly then all hell and worse will break out.

I don’t believe the initial training in a simulator can possibly reproduce the ‘bungee cord effect’’ and the IAS v TAS effect.

Therefore by definition the current crop of “flightdeck managers” is incapable of and not qualified to operate.

beardy
13th Oct 2019, 17:54
How many of today’s pilots have actually hand flown their ‘frame at cruise altitude at max AUW for that level?

Since RVSM the practice has been discouraged or downright forbidden so when the autopilot quits or something else throws the aircraft at the startled crew to handfly then all hell and worse will break out.

I don’t believe the initial training in a simulator can possibly reproduce the ‘bungee cord effect’’ and the IAS v TAS effect.

Therefore by definition the current crop of “flightdeck managers” is incapable of and not qualified to operate.
You have a good and valid point. But, you spoil your case with the last single sentence/paragraph, what 'definition' are you referring to?

fdr
14th Oct 2019, 10:49
Therefore by definition the current crop of “flightdeck managers” is incapable of and not qualified to operate.

Not sure I would agree with you on that. Have hand flown B747s across the pacific on a couple of occasions, and the plane is... a plane. Not much different, a lot more care in accuracy though while drinking coffee or eating a meal at the same time.

Have hand flown well above the top of RVSM airspace, long distance at FL510 and that also takes some accuracy, but it is still just a plane.

It's just a plane.

BARKINGMAD
14th Oct 2019, 20:04
If none of the flight deck operatives have actually hand flown their craft at max AUW for the cruise altitude then are they really qualified so to do?

If experienced pre-RVSM skipper is in the bog, it’s the low hours inexperienced RHS occupant who has to sort the problem.

Yes, few of us have had a real EFATO but we cope using the right sim techniques so I won’t take that as a valid argument. And how often is this scenario practised in the sim? Probably never since initial type rating.

However, every day the ‘frame is in this hostile and dangerous environment for hours on end close to coffin corner and the crop of LOC at altitude accidents possibly had such unfamiliar “feel” attributes which made life more difficult or impossible.

Tin hat on......

BARKINGMAD
16th Oct 2019, 20:59
Well that stopped the conversation?!
C’mon skygods of Europe, why don’t you ‘fess up that few if any have handflown the ‘frame at max cruise AUW at optimum/max altitude?
And can someone please confirm that either company procedures or the equivalent of the original ANO prohibit such extreme activity?
All I can recall from too many years ago was that “the book” said “thou shalt have an APFDS capable of.... in RVSM Airspace...” which I suspect gave rise to the old wives’ tale that “thou shalt not handfly in RVSM...”.
I’d be very happy to be corrected, quoting chapter&verse as to the correct practice as per EASA or CAA or any other ‘reputable’ authority.
Until then my assertion stands re today’s crews not being capable or in current practice for what should be a normal handling task, performed IAW the privileges of your Instrument Rating!

Tomaski
16th Oct 2019, 21:19
C’mon skygods of Europe, why don’t you ‘fess up that few if any have handflown the ‘frame at max cruise AUW at optimum/max altitude?


I do this every so often, just as I will hand-fly other segments of a particular flight. I don’t find high altitude to be particularly challenging compared to, say, a hand-flown arrival and approach. YMMV.

hans brinker
17th Oct 2019, 00:47
Well that stopped the conversation?!
C’mon skygods of Europe, why don’t you ‘fess up that few if any have handflown the ‘frame at max cruise AUW at optimum/max altitude?
And can someone please confirm that either company procedures or the equivalent of the original ANO prohibit such extreme activity?
All I can recall from too many years ago was that “the book” said “thou shalt have an APFDS capable of.... in RVSM Airspace...” which I suspect gave rise to the old wives’ tale that “thou shalt not handfly in RVSM...”.
I’d be very happy to be corrected, quoting chapter&verse as to the correct practice as per EASA or CAA or any other ‘reputable’ authority.
Until then my assertion stands re today’s crews not being capable or in current practice for what should be a normal handling task, performed IAW the privileges of your Instrument Rating!

Well, American skygod now, but did JAA from 00-05. The reason I don't handfly in cruise: boring. Got a base turn at 5000' doing 250 at 10NM from Boston after a red-eye and went AP off to get full speedbrake, that for sure got the FO's attention.

BARKINGMAD
17th Oct 2019, 19:56
Thanks for the replies from enthusiastic handflyers!

I still want to know if anyone has heard of a RVSM restriction by EU or western European airlines on hand flying above FL240?

I hope it was then and is now a myth, but I recall the noises being made when I was still in seat 0A until retirement.

Curious that there’s not been a chorus of voices saying it’s rubbish and quoting chapter&verse so the jury is still out......

futurama
17th Oct 2019, 20:36
In RVSM airspace the autopilot (specifically, the altitude control system) should be used during cruise, in Europe and elsewhere.


RVSM
In-flight procedures.
An automatic altitude-control system should be operative and engaged during level cruise, except when circumstances such as the need to re-trim the aircraft or turbulence require disengagement. In any event, adherence to cruise altitude should be done by reference to one of the two primary altimeters. Following loss of the automatic height-keeping function, any consequential restrictions will need to be observed.


You will find the same language in FAA (AC 91-85B), EASA AMC, etc. So if you choose to hand-fly and... "something happens"... then you're on your own.

hans brinker
17th Oct 2019, 20:41
Thanks for the replies from enthusiastic handflyers!

I still want to know if anyone has heard of a RVSM restriction by EU or western European airlines on hand flying above FL240?

I hope it was then and is now a myth, but I recall the noises being made when I was still in seat 0A until retirement.

Curious that there’s not been a chorus of voices saying it’s rubbish and quoting chapter&verse so the jury is still out......

again, from the other side of the pond, but I would think there will be something similar on your side:


Appendix 4 of AC 91-85 (http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC%2091-85.pdf), Section "5. In-flight Procedures"

shamrock_f22
23rd Oct 2019, 19:23
My questions to all the folk saying "we were right all these years, we saw this coming"...

Yes, but what did you DO about it?
How many of you challenged your airlines leadership?
How many of you went on strike in protest at the changing standards?
How many of you ignored changing SOPs and encouraged manual handling for new recruits regardless?
​​​​​How many of you called BS on the ATOs and went to the press to highlight the dangers?
What did you do to stop airlines from focusing on the bottom line and invest more in sim time and URT?
What have you done to shake up airline recruitment?
What have you done to help lower flight training costs and the barrier to entry for new pilots?
How many flight hours have you subsidised to help self funded pilots gain more manual handling practise before they went down the airline route?
What did you personally do to stop this situation from occurring?

I'm genuinely asking out of interest and curiosity. Mostly because there seems to be a touch of millennial bashing going on here.

You forget, the situation which exists today was not created by the recruits/MPL grads themselves, they are a product of the environment they're coming into. And don't forget the personal risks they've taken and sacrifices made to get there. Nobody is going to rock the boat and lose their seat, especially new recruits.
It doesn't make it right and it doesn't make it acceptable but we all have a part to play here.

​​​​​So my challenge back to you is what have you done to improve the situation we now find ourselves in using all your wisdom, experience and influence?

misd-agin
23rd Oct 2019, 23:35
Who volunteered to get fired because they were going to ensure new hires followed THEIR personal SOP’s instead of the company’s SOP’s? Is that what you’re asking?