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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 14th Sep 2013, 16:52
  #1721 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you Crab - I couldn't remember if we had limits except for snow and icing! And serviceability of coffee boiler of course (joke - it never went u/s)

ps just in case DB thinks you never go IMC because of the day/night trg limit of "CCISS" you'd better explain FCS procedures, RADOPS, modified transitions, AHT etc.......I had to explain all that to various green 78 Sqn types, oh, and the Irish Government, who couldn't understand why their shiny new Dauphin's didn't seem to work

Last edited by Al-bert; 14th Sep 2013 at 17:03.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 18:03
  #1722 (permalink)  
 
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CRAB and ALBERT I concede to your posts as I thought your trg limits were your operational limits. My apologies.

DB

Last edited by DOUBLE BOGEY; 14th Sep 2013 at 18:04.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 18:12
  #1723 (permalink)  
 
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So perhaps a different approach in training, more away from training for the test?
I like that one S76H, but your earlier

In order to make sound decisions, one needs to know the system, but also when hand flying might be more appropriate (i.e. because it gives quicker responses than many a/p systems would).
implies a black/white choice. What one actually needs to know is what level of automation is appropriate. HDG & ALT seems to me to be a good intermediate step which doesn't demand rapid adoption of IF scan and 'feel'.

But, you see, that's the sort of thing that (have I said this before?) TRAINING would improve.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 18:23
  #1724 (permalink)  
 
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ALBERT do not think for one minute I do not have enormous respect for MIL SAROPS because I do. 3 years of HEMS, day and night (yes before JAR-OPS), in an unstabilsed, let alone coupled, AS355, risking all for often nothing. I know the efforts and the risks you take or have taken.

I am going out on a limb here and say do not judge others by your standards. What I mean by this is Mil SAR crew selection and training produces a very different product than Offshore selection. It has too given the nature of the job.

The success story of military SAROPS is down almost entirely to the skills and qualities of the front and rear crews. It surely was not down to the quality of the kit you had even though we love the old Seaking/S61!

DB
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 19:11
  #1725 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

Your Apology is Graciously accepted DB. But that doesn't solve the conundrum of what went wrong at Sumburgh (et al) and how to fix it?
All I can offer is the suggestion of more training, more often, especially on the superwhizzokit, and maybe a lucky rabbits foot (joke re rabbits foot!).

(and the Gnome fuel control therefore engine response beats the S61 by miles btw - which helps a lot.)

Last edited by Al-bert; 14th Sep 2013 at 19:19.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 20:35
  #1726 (permalink)  
 
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While we talk about Unusual Attitudes and CFIT.....I have to throw this one in for just a bit of comic relief. Now I want you to think of being in your Office and the Talking Bone begins to make funny noises.....you picks it up...and your Man at the other end begins to tell you about his Day in Nevada.


IDOT helicopter crash blamed on birds - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Last edited by SASless; 14th Sep 2013 at 20:36.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 21:07
  #1727 (permalink)  
 
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Simulator training of 'take over control' situations

As a number of the incidents & accidents that have been discussed here relate to cases in which the controlling pilot allowed the helicopter to gradually get out of a safe condition, to the extent that the subsequent report deemed that the non-controlling pilot should have intervened, could any of you enlighten me how this practice of recognizing and determining the correct point for taking control by the non-controlling pilot is practiced in the simulator in a realistic manner?

In addition, what proportion of a pilot's annual simulator time might be spent in practicing these 'Its time to take over' scenarios?

Last edited by Mechta; 14th Sep 2013 at 21:07.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 21:51
  #1728 (permalink)  
 
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could any of you enlighten me how this practice of recognizing and determining the correct point for taking control by the non-controlling pilot is practiced in the simulator in a realistic manner?

In addition, what proportion of a pilot's annual simulator time might be spent in practicing these 'Its time to take over' scenarios?
Well, now, there you have put your finger on it, Mechta. It would be true to say that EVERY MINUTE in the simulator, the Pilot Monitoring (as the current phrase has it) is checking he/she is happy with what is going on. Whether it is mishandling, incorrect response to malfunctions, failure to follow a clearance - whatever - the PM is expected to voice his concerns, or takeover, depending on severity and timescale. It would be dangerous to take over if you are wrong, so it needs at least a moment's thought.

So, it is not "A Situation" that needs practicing, it is a whole - what shall I say? - job description.

We can't define a point for intervention. It is a matter of judgement. If that judgement is not clear cut, it may take time to decide to intervene.

I don't think we can ever define appropriate action for every scenario. That is, we have drills for predictable events or failures. But as far as is humanly possible, things are designed not to go wrong, so when they do it needs analysis, not impulse.

And time for analysis may be very short.

Last edited by keithl; 14th Sep 2013 at 22:11.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 22:59
  #1729 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps the issue is our relationship with automation that is the problem - on one hand we want automation to reduce the pilot workload yet on the other, we require the pilot to constantly monitor what the automation is doing.

I do a lot of motorway miles and I rely on the cruise control to keep me at a sensible compromise between the speed limit and the point where plod will start to take an interest in me.

Depending on weather conditions and traffic I will spend either 10% or 90% of my time monitoring the cruise control to ensure it keeps me in the right place with reference to the surrounding cars. Sometimes the traffic density requires me to disengage the cruise control completely, sometimes a simple blip on the increase/decrease speed control is required.

There is no doubt that the cruise control can maintain a constant speed far more accurately than I can, but there is equally no doubt that sometimes it is too limited for the constant change in circumstances that motorway driving brings about.

Intelligent autopilot anyone???
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 23:06
  #1730 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mechta View Post
As a number of the incidents & accidents that have been discussed here relate to cases in which the controlling pilot allowed the helicopter to gradually get out of a safe condition, to the extent that the subsequent report deemed that the non-controlling pilot should have intervened, could any of you enlighten me how this practice of recognizing and determining the correct point for taking control by the non-controlling pilot is practiced in the simulator in a realistic manner?

In addition, what proportion of a pilot's annual simulator time might be spent in practicing these 'Its time to take over' scenarios?
This is a question for the plank-flyers too. There have been several unfortunate plank incidents recently where exactly this question arises.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 00:36
  #1731 (permalink)  
 
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CRAB & PAX BRITTANIC - I think your points are striking at the heart of the matter. We have 3 x recent CFIW where the PM has not intervened and 1 x where the PM intervened (but the CVR actually indicated that in this case the PM only intervened after the PF asked for help) - all 4 end up in the water.

In the NS 4 years ago just after the ETAP crash, all Operators changed there procedures to include the concept of Night stabilised approachs. (to be fair Bristows at this time were already half way there)

The Stabilised Approach should detail the vertical and horizontal profile for all night approaches conducted in VMC and a policy for the use of Automation.

(Please note I personally do not believe "Night VMC" exists until the flight path of the helicopter can be assured by visual references alone. In offshore night approaches we only really achieve this by a combination of the correct sight picture of the helidecks lights supported by some surface texture from the installation environment - there remain many who believe they are VMC at night over water just because there are not in clouds).

Moreover, the night stabilised approach included intervention parameters for the PM (unacceptable deviations) and an intervention policies that detail exactly when the PM should take control.

The intervention policy is intended to "Flatten" any cockpit gradient in place thus empowering the PM, especially if PM is not the Commander, to take over control long before the helicopter.gets anywhere near a unsafe condition.

The same policies should already be in place, detailed in the OM, for all IFR approaches, both onshore and offshore.

I have to say that 4 years ago, in the Company I worked for at the time, I met considerable resistance from fellow TRI/TREs over these policies.

In fact a number refused to buy into the concept that descent beyond the HDP (the point at which the PF announces he believes has has the required visual references I detailed above, in sight), should not occur without the express agreement of the PM In my opinion, this crucial agreement not only regularly and formally acknowledges the latent power of the PM but also is the core concept of the MCC element of the stabilised approach.

This cultural resistance to change was palpable.

As a result I do not believe that any formal training or practice is carried out in the simulator or aircraft to fully familiarise the crews in the intervention parameters and policies. I also believe it is actually very difficult to setup scenarios which would stimulate and develop these skills during training. Finally in the training environment, most Pilots perform well enough that opportinuties for the PM to intervene are few and far between.

I hate to have to come back to CRABs question on whether we should have an "Intelligent Autopilot" to do the role of the PF for us!! This is exactly what the EC225, EC155 and soon the EC175 DAFCS does!!

However, PAX BRITTANICA, the EC225 DAFCS is useless unless the crews actually engage the coupler. You will have already realised, from the number of posters advocating less Autopilot and more Manual flying just how difficult culturally it can be to get them to use the coupler.

I fact Euroopter is so painfully aware of this resistance that serious consideration is being given to design the system so the coupler is always engaged, and therefore the protection always available, on all future helicopter designs, so as to remove this cultural obstacle amongst crews.

In the meanwhile, we will keep pressing for a change that recognises the differences in AP capability such that the CAA, and or the Helicopter Operator, mandate use of the coupler from and to, defined pints in the flight envelope.

We must not forget how this thread started. With the L2 Sumburgh accident. At face value, the AAIB interim report states that L2 was descending in 3 Axis mode (Mixed Mode). There is little doubt in my mind this is likely to be the prime causal factor in this accident. If that L2 had been fully coupled this accident could never have occurred.

We do not know at this stage WHY the approach was flown in mixed mode BUT if the PF self elected to operate in this manner it is because he operates within a culture and OM that has allowed him to do so.

Hopefully the HSSG, the Government enquiry into helicopter safety and the AAIB will identify these cultural obstacles and force the Operates to properly and adequately mandate the use of Automation in sufficient detail, for each type, such that the loss of life, caused by these completely avoidable accidents, ends forever.

In addition we must now surely all recognise the enormous safety benefits of a DAFCS with in built flight envelope protections.

DB

Last edited by DOUBLE BOGEY; 15th Sep 2013 at 11:35.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 08:55
  #1732 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/17594

As long as 'joke' placards like this exist, they'll perpetuate a dismaying mindset that will be found in some corners of multi-pilot aviation and one that it seems is an important factor in a number of the accidents and incidents being discussed.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 08:59
  #1733 (permalink)  
 
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In the meanwhile, we will keep pressing for a change that recognises the differences in AP capability such that the CAA, and or the Helicopter Operator, mandate use of the coupler from and to, defined pints in the flight envelope.

We must not forget how this thread started. With the L2 Sumburgh accident. At face value, the AAIB interim report states that L2 was descending in 3 Axis mode (Mixed Mode). There is little doubt in my mind this is likely to be the prime causal factor in this accident. If that L2 had been fully coupled this accident could never have occurred.

We do not know at this stage WHY the approach was flown in mixed mode BUT if the PF self elected to operate in this manner it is because he operates within a culture and OM that has allowed him to do so.

Hopefully the HSSG, the Government enquiry into helicopter safety and the AAIB will identify these cultural obstacles and force the Operates to properly and adequately mandate the use of Automation in sufficient detail, for each type, such that the loss of life, caused by these completely avoidable accidents, ends forever.

In addition we must now surely all recognise the enormous safety benefits of a DAFCS with in built flight envelope protections.
The last few pages of this thread have really made some interesting reading and some very good points highlighted. I hope some from the AAIB are dropping by from time to time!
Again a very relevant point from DB. There are so many questions to be answered here and it will not be a single simple answer. What we do know is that a helicopter ended up in the drink with both engines operative. We assume that there was no other major technical issue with the aircraft. If this assumption is correct, then we are right in asking why and how. This why and how should be far reaching and most certainly not stop at the crew.
We have gone back and forward on the hand flying debate, and this is in my view an over simplistic argument. As already argued, this is not a hand flying issue, it is a poor use of coupler issue. It is a CRM issue. It is a supervision issue. Lack of SOPs. A company not fully supporting their operation and crew with appropriate supervision and support perhaps? Why? Why and how has this culture developed? Is it widespread across the NS? Is it developing? How has it managed to develop? Have we really lost our basic understanding of aviation safety culture due to commercial pressure? Why are our operators not pushing for better technology to be mandated from the manufacturers and authorities? This should be wide ranging from autopilots to safety equipment. I am still often astonished at how basic the S92 autopilot system is and how sloppy it can be. Why are we still not all flying P2E across the NS after so many years since its incarnation? Why do we not have STASS and proper survival suits? Why do we fly at night when the sea-state is above 6 and aircraft have only SS6 floats, basically condemning a ditching to be fatal to all or most on board? Why do we have inadequate and poorly used reporting systems? I would be willing to bet that a large number of incidents pass unreported.

Ok - not entirely relevant to this particular case, but all an indication of the culture we work in. We accept a lot of questionable risks that could easily be mitigated given the will, and still get the job done. That is the big picture. Why is it the case? That is the real question to ask in my view. Is it just money? Is it leadership? Do we want to accept a situation whereby we do the maximum possible with the minimum amount of money and resources to maximise profit? Only when it falls down will we know we went too far and by then we have gone way too far. I would suggest that is where we are now. We are taking people to and from work. We should not be trying to save their lives in the process.

I agree with Al-bert and Crab in that more training would be a godsend. I really hope this can be a reality. It was always a luxury we had in the military that training hours and aircraft without pax on board were available. Now we only have the sim. Al-bert mentioned the autopilot culture and said should we just go all the way, with pilots really just monitoring? This is the direction we are heading. With the introduction of the new rig-approach into the S92 autopilot system the pilot will effectively only need to take control once committed to landing. With the introduction of all these fantastic levels of automation we must be even more cautious as to how to implement them and how to support our pilots through training. We must also use them completely and thoroughly to reap their benefit. This has to develop. Basic flying skill MUST not be lost. Otherwise we might as well sit in Mumbai with a non-alcoholic cocktail. Sounds nice to me on a dark winter night but not sure it will sell!
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 09:41
  #1734 (permalink)  
 
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Great post 26500 . But the 'guy in Mumbai' won't be you or me - it'll be Derek or Nigel. Spoke to him just last week, a consumer survey I think!
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 10:38
  #1735 (permalink)  
 
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We had these autopilot/manual flying arguments when I was monitoring coupled ILS approaches fifty years ago. One of the discussions in the BLEU at the time was the potential damage to the runway being caused by the mainwheels hitting the same two square yards of concrete every time.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 11:07
  #1736 (permalink)  
 
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@Keitll: apologies, did not mean black/white choices just worded poorly. Appropriate level of automation is indeed what I am after; and sometimes that boils down to hand flying (either assisted by the AP/SAS system or not, depending on the system).

As far as cockpit gradient is concerned: as a Line Trainer I stress the fact that I am very capable of making my own mistakes and therefore they have the duty to speak up if they are not happy. Mostly I try to be humorous about it to avoid any tension, saying something like "Don't kill me and don't allow me to kill you".

When correcting errors I make an effort to keep the emotions out and calmly discuss events later. Ensure the safey of the flight, the rest is secondary. Every error, after correction, is first and foremost an opportunity to learn. That also goes for my own errors, and whenever they have corrected me I am very happy with their performance and tell them so.

There is never any doubt about who is in charge on the flight, so my attitude does not diminish the capability to take decisions, very quickly if required. But it also helps to create an open atmosphere where my copilot feels safe to monitor my actions, and act if required.

Guys, this is a great discussion and a shame it needed a fatal accident to generate it.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 11:35
  #1737 (permalink)  
 
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In addition, what proportion of a pilot's annual simulator time might be spent in practicing these 'Its time to take over' scenarios?
In my experience, the true value of creating these scenarios - either deliberately or through the crew actually inducing a UP/UA - is debatable. The problem is that the PM will often not take control for one of two reasons:
  • He knew he was in a sim and wanted the PF to sort himself out for training value
  • He knew he was in a sim and wasn't concerned about the consequence of hitting the ground/water

That said, such events have normally resulted in fairly forthright debriefs, and those who have taken control are commended.

Last edited by 212man; 15th Sep 2013 at 11:37.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 11:39
  #1738 (permalink)  
 
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212 Man I fully agree. It's very difficult to create these scenarios to any degree of training value. However it is an area we need to really look at closely.

DB
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 12:10
  #1739 (permalink)  
 
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One of the things I noticed since we got the 225 sim, was that the majority of debrief points were aimed at PM. Before that, it was very difficult to do valid PM training in the aircraft.

Whilst there is a general requirement to train for all roles the pilot will act in, IIRC there are no specific PM tick items in the generic multi-pilot prof check, although of course there are in our operator elements.

Last edited by HeliComparator; 15th Sep 2013 at 12:11.
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 15:03
  #1740 (permalink)  
 
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More thoughts from an ex Pax

From DB
Hopefully the HSSG, the Government enquiry into helicopter safety and the AAIB will identify these cultural obstacles and force the Operates to properly and adequately mandate the use of Automation in sufficient detail, for each type, such that the loss of life, caused by these completely avoidable accidents, ends forever.

In addition we must now surely all recognise the enormous safety benefits of a DAFCS with in built flight envelope protections.
I want you guys, the biggest contributors to this thread, to try and bring the learned outcomes to the enquiry, or the HSSG, I worry that it won't find it's way there otherwise? There has been fantastic input from many here, in particular DB (who already seems to have huge respect from his peers for the improved procedures for night flying after ETAP from what I have read), HC, 26500lbs, keithl, victor papa and others. How can we make this happen?
I know HC works for Bristows, don't know and not asking about the others either, but is there no forum or method for getting some workshop or workgroup together from the 3 Aberdeen companies, with trainers and NS pilots included?

The comparison with Norwegian statistics was mentioned early on lots of times. We should also ask the question why are Bristows UK statistics so much better than the other 2? Is it chance - remember no criticism here - shields down and looking for learnings.

26500lbs quote
I agree with Al-bert and Crab in that more training would be a godsend. I really hope this can be a reality. It was always a luxury we had in the military that training hours and aircraft without pax on board were available. Now we only have the sim. Al-bert mentioned the autopilot culture and said should we just go all the way, with pilots really just monitoring? This is the direction we are heading. With the introduction of the new rig-approach into the S92 autopilot system the pilot will effectively only need to take control once committed to landing. With the introduction of all these fantastic levels of automation we must be even more cautious as to how to implement them and how to support our pilots through training. We must also use them completely and thoroughly to reap their benefit. This has to develop. Basic flying skill MUST not be lost. Otherwise we might as well sit in Mumbai with a non-alcoholic cocktail. Sounds nice to me on a dark winter night but not sure it will sell!
More training - tailored to needs - agreed.
I don't want to be flown by anyone remotely from Mumbai - ever. The new Rig Approach AP mentioned for S92 also worries me (also as previous comments say S92 AP very inerior to EC225?) - the helideck is usually very close to the Derrick - I would want to be hand flown on/off the rig as we are now.

S76Heavy Post
As far as cockpit gradient is concerned: as a Line Trainer I stress the fact that I am very capable of making my own mistakes and therefore they have the duty to speak up if they are not happy. Mostly I try to be humorous about it to avoid any tension, saying something like "Don't kill me and don't allow me to kill you".

When correcting errors I make an effort to keep the emotions out and calmly discuss events later. Ensure the safey of the flight, the rest is secondary. Every error, after correction, is first and foremost an opportunity to learn. That also goes for my own errors, and whenever they have corrected me I am very happy with their performance and tell them so.

There is never any doubt about who is in charge on the flight, so my attitude does not diminish the capability to take decisions, very quickly if required. But it also helps to create an open atmosphere where my copilot feels safe to monitor my actions, and act if required.
Could not agree with this more. Also agree with the post by 212 man - this cannot really be trained in the SIM - it's a culture that needs to be built if it is not there already - and it does not appear to be there from what I have read.

Finally (for this post) EASA already knew a lot of the above. In a much earlier post I mentioned a section of a report from them, first issued in 2009 but then uprevved in February this year - but I don't know if anyone read it - but nobody commented so I am going to post the link and a section in below, but there is much more in this section of the report than I have posted here.

8.6 Training Areas of Special Emphasis (TASE).
8.6.1 General
Within “Super-Puma Fleet”, each variant differs from the others in complexity and sophistication;
EC225 LP and AS332e should be considered as highly automated aircraft.
Several studies have identified that automation (its use and its limitations) is not well understood by a part of the pilot community. This in turn can lead to situations where pilots are unable to satisfactorily control the flight path of their aircraft.
This leads to two separate but connected issues:
a. Understanding how to use the automatics, what can go wrong with the automatics and how to cope when they do go wrong, and
b. The need to retain the ability, when all else fails, to recover the aircraft manually.
Training, initial, additional and recurrent are the only effective mitigation for these issues.
Automatics and their integration with other systems should be taught holistically, rather than treating it as a separate subject.
Training providers should ensure that pilots completing training courses for highly automated aircraftsuch as the EC225 LP & AS332e and to a lesser extent, the AS332L2, have a detailed operational knowledge of the automatic flight systems and have demonstrated competence in their use. The
Type Rating examination question paper should test a pilot’s understanding of how the automatics affect the operation of the aircraft. Furthermore operators should have in place a programme of training that will ensure pilots are able to retain their manual flying skills.

Last edited by thelearner; 15th Sep 2013 at 15:07. Reason: formatting last section
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