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Nanny mode will cause an accident?

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Nanny mode will cause an accident?

Old 8th Feb 2018, 10:48
  #1 (permalink)  
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Danger Nanny mode will cause an accident?

Ok so whilst flying a DA62 the other day I rolled the aircraft past 45 degrees of bank. The autopilot began pushing the stick back towards the centre. Pushing the CWS button over rode this and allowed me to turn as steeply as I wanted but the alarming thing was the autopilot engaged without command in ROL and ALT hold modes. Depressing both red buttons on the stick would not disengage it and neither would selection of the AP button on the panel. I found the only way of disconnecting the autopilot is by pressing the FD button....... I am told that this is normal? Normal for an autopilot to be selected without command and also a struggle to disconnect?

Yesterday in a King Air with similar avionics I wondered if the same thing would happen (Garmin G1000 NXi) and the aircraft did exactly the same thing!

Surely this cant be right?

I assume Garmin think that they are making a contribution to safety by such a feature?

Questions for me are:

Is this a matter of time before an accident will occur where an inexperienced pilot is focused on trying to disconnect the autopilot? Not easy, took me a while!

What about teaching people to fly properly in the first place to avoid such Nanny devices?
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 11:34
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It's the same with many makes of cars. It seems that the manufacturers are determined to foist their prejudices on us come what may !


The doors self lock; the wipers operate; the dashboard lights fade as a reminder that dusk is approaching - all un-commanded.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 12:16
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Is this a matter of time before an accident will occur where an inexperienced pilot is focused on trying to disconnect the autopilot?
I think it's already occurred... a police 135 crashed onto a playing field after the pilot fought the autopilot then disconnected it, removing the stabilisation.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 14:53
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I fly the DA62. The 'Nanny' (in this case the ESP) will indeed try to roll wings level if you exceed 45 deg AOB. It's actually quite easy to over-ride by either applying more pressure, using the CWS, AP disconnect, deselecting ESP in MFD AUX Page 2 or pulling the AFCS CB. (AFM Supplement A34 refers).

I have never had the AP engage on release of CWS under any circumstance, including high AOB (the nature of our role is that we often operate beyond 45 deg AOB). Furthermore, the red buttons and AP should disconnect the AP, regardless of whether Nanny is interfering.

Whoever told you your experience is normal is wholly incorrect. You have described a significant AP malfunction and not a normal feature of the GFC700 which, I personally believe, is an exceptional light aircraft AP.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 18:01
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This "Nanny" mode in cars, but also in IT, drives me furious. It amounts to "we know what's good for you" and I am having a hard time with it. My little plane (with nothing automated, and the Trig avionics the most complex equipment carried) is a relief from all that!

Actually, it amounts to "we know what's good for you AND we'll stick it down your throat whatever you may think of it".
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 18:47
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Actually, it amounts to "we know what's good for you AND we'll stick it down your throat whatever you may think of it".
Jeez, where have I seen that before? Welcome to the Western world nanny states. From “It takes a village” to if there’s blame there’s a claim, we’ve all got our leaders making the tough decisions in life for us and thank god.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 19:45
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This seems like a good moment to post this link:


Probably for about the 100th time....

Please click the View on Vimeo link!
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 21:43
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I think there are two separate discussions here. Firstly the apparent misbehaviour of an autopilot; as described, the AFCS system had failed and needs to be snagged. Indeed the failure mode appears to be 'fail un-safe' and is worthy of a formal report.

Turning to Nanny, on the DA62 you have a number of options regarding her including switching off the ESP. Like most light aircraft, the DA62 will happily let you crash spectacularly.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 00:18
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level of training in the likes of a cirrus or DA62 and that is when accidents will happen.
I beg to differ... as a CTCI I would be hung, drawn, quartered, re-assembled and then fed through the mincer if I did not ensure my students were fully conversant with all auto pilot functions, the LVL button, the FD and how to disconnect and hand fly before signing the transition paperwork. The Cirrus learning portal is quite comprehensive and contains a significant amount of information about the structure and integration of the equipment. That's the difference between the manufacturers and their official partners and some unapproved providers!

The thing that is often overlooked as part of training these days is a good failure recognition and response plan. Like CBG says, the '700 is a nice autopilot (certainly better than the STEC 55) and in the SR20 and 22 I've never had issues with trying to disconnect it.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 10:37
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What scares me about that video is something he says right at the end. Not quite verbatim but close:

"When you turn off the autopilot also turn off the autothrottle so that you maintain the skill to, when the day comes that you need to, confidently and proficiently fly the aircraft in all circumstances."

He is suggesting that AA airline pilots are taking to the air without the confidence and proficiency to fly the aircraft! I never feel comfortable as a passenger in an airliner and this makes me even more nervous. I'm not a commercial pilot.

(Sorry for the thread drift.)
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 11:03
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He is suggesting that AA airline pilots are taking to the air without the confidence and proficiency to fly the aircraft! I never feel comfortable as a passenger in an airliner and this makes me even more nervous. I'm not a commercial pilot.
This part of the speech is mainly referring to lower hours first officers, who when things get tough, rely on the autopilot to get them out.

An experienced captain will realise that in certain situations, the lowest threat option is to go down a level of automation.

The comment about autothrottles is because when the autothrottle is engages, the computer will program the best use of engines for fuel/engine life, once you go manual it will ultimately cost the airline more money, but he's just reminding crews that this doesn't matter and regularly practicing full manual flying is important.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 14:18
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I've yet to fly a "new generation" autopilot. S Tech 30 is where I left off. My experience with older autopilots taught me to maintain my competence as a flying pilot (as opposed to button pusher) and watch what the autopilot was doing like a hawk. Ultimately I have found hand flying GA airplanes to be my preference for VFR flying.

I've seen a few spectacularly unairworthy autopilots (a part of my latent mistrust). I had occasion to maintenance check fly a Bellanca Viking (which is a surprisingly agile aircraft). I decided to check the autopilot function. It was not good. I found that when engaging it on the heading I was flying in nice straight flight, the autopilot would roll the plane looking for some other heading. When I finally had the nerve to see how far it would roll the plane, I let it go to 120 degrees of bank angle before I said "enough of that". I had to fly it again and demonstrate this failure to the avionics tech, who refused to believe that the plane would do that.

I'm sure that the next generation of autopilots are better than the suspect ones I have encountered in older days. But, ultimately, it's a human pilot who signs for the plane, not the autopilot. The human pilot has to be competent to operate the systems (or not use them), and is responsible for the safe return of the aircraft - no fair blaming the autopilot!
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 18:11
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Originally Posted by Capt Kremmen View Post
The doors self lock
Airport parking person: just leave the keys in the car.

Me: I don't really think you want me to do that.
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Old 10th Feb 2018, 00:20
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I've seen a few spectacularly unairworthy autopilots (a part of my latent mistrust).
I've owned one of those! My plane came with a Century 31 (I think - it was a while ago). If it had worked, it was a great a/p - it did everything an STec 55 does, coupled approaches, climb/descent control...

It was old and analog, and I think there was quite a bit of corrosion in the internal connectors. I spent thousands trying to get it to work properly - amazingly, my local avionics shop knew it reasonably well. We replaced boards, cleaned things... the last straw was when I was flying a coupled approach (flight testing in VMC) and it suddenly decided to go for a 1000+ ft/min dive at 400 feet.

That was the end. I replaced it with an STEC 30, which is perfect for what I want. I'm happy to hand fly climbs and descents, and on local pottering around, but for a long XC trip it's a lot easier to have the a/p. An STEC 55 would have been a better fit for my plane, but I wasn't ready to splash out another $10-15K.
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