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Lufthansa Hamburg

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Lufthansa Hamburg

Old 13th Mar 2010, 08:52
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Very interesting reading.I believe that the BFU are barking up the wrong tree in placing emphasis on the ambiguity of x-wind "limitations" as being the "golden nugget" here.Genuine miscalculation or pragmatic stand-down to avoid conflict with Airbus?

The PF has no way to evaluate the amount of deflection on the flight control surfaces in relation to his own side stick displacement.
The PM has no way to know what the PF request is.
3.And now on top of it we learn that the flight controls deflection can be suddenly reduced by 50%
Do Airbus pilots feel that:
A)These are non-issues
or

B)These are issues,we know them,we are trained to deal with them,we always feel confident of precisely controlling the a/c in changing wind conditions close to the ground using dual input or by using takeover button
or

C)These are issues,we know them,I as Captain always fly the approach in gusting x-winds because the design of the airplane leaves me as PNF in a x-wind approach and landing in a vulnerable position.

Last edited by Rananim; 13th Mar 2010 at 23:51.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 15:44
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rananim
Very interesting reading.I believe that the BFU are barking up the wrong tree in placing emphasis on the ambiguity of x-wind "limitations" as being the "golden nugget" here.Genuine miscalculation or pragmatic stand-down to avoid conflict with Airbus?
It is my thought too but in the same time the German BFU is going much further, in a territory where the French BEA would never adventure.

B)These are issues,we know them,we are trained to deal with them,we always feel confident of precisely controlling the a/c in changing wind conditions close to the ground using dual input or by using takeover button
C)These are issues,we know them,I as Captain always fly the approach in gusting x-winds because the design of the airplane leaves me as PNF in a x-wind approach and landing in a vulnerable position.
Even if I can feel some contradiction between your points B and C, I believe your appreciation as described in point C is absolutely correct regarding the state of vulnerability to which a Captain can be exposed. Isn’t it symptomatic that a "new" technology does not bring any improvement but more something like a kind of setback … !?

Final point, I don't share your view on dual input.
Dual input should not be considered as an option.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 17:26
  #103 (permalink)  
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confused. (Hamburg)

So, are we saying that at certain times, given certain conditions, there are Two (2) Pilots monitoring and not flying? Or is it two pilots flying and no one monitoring, though neither knows what the other is doing?

bear
 
Old 13th Mar 2010, 17:29
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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One pilot is monitoring the other who believes he/she is flying.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 18:03
  #105 (permalink)  
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Would it be better, then, to train pilots of this aircraft to monitor themselves? There would need to be an alert, commanding the changing of roles, one pilot to another. It could be called the "command alert".
 
Old 13th Mar 2010, 18:20
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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If the Captain is as experienced as the report suggests then he must be aware of the lack of control feedback that the Airbus gives. The fact that he then allows a very low hour first officer to attempt to land in those conditions is surprising.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 18:34
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Rananim, the questions in #101 have many assumptions. In general they are non issues particularly where compared with the principles of aircraft control and crew monitoring. The issue of training has to be considered in context.

1. Why should the PF need to evaluate the relationship of the control surface – stick position? Many aircraft have gearing changes or variable movements, more usually hidden from the crew. The inference that this knowledge is required to fly an aircraft is misplaced. The report discusses the ‘gearing’ change because it occurred at touchdown with bank applied, and at a time when a control change was made / required.

2. The task of monitoring is to check / crosscheck the output (the result) of an activity – you know what you put in, but what has happened. This is the basis of the control loop used in manual fight. For a lateral input, the output check usually looks for a combination of roll and roll rate.
The incident was a "I have control" situation, which worked; no requirement to invoke the takeover button.

3. Re aircraft technical knowledge; the inference is that this is something which can only be gained from experience. These aspects can / should be taught where and when relevant – in context.

If the Captain is always going to fly the crosswind landing how do First Officers ever learn?
Simulator?
Another thread (http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/31609...ml#post5562388, here onwards) on this subject has asked if simulators adequately represent the one wheel touch down and thus provide the correct control response which pilots might experience (so far without response).
Pilots who are trained in simulators can be taught crosswind landing technique and provisioned with some confidence, but the actual experience of the landing is required to reinforce the skills.
If a pilot is qualified to fly the aircraft then logically they may attempt a landing (within limits – a separate discussion). Similarly the safety aspects are a separate discussion; why should there be any difference between passengers / no passengers.
If this was a cargo flight there could have been an investigation, similarly for a pure training flight, but would the investigation report have been different?
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 18:53
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RightWayUp
If the Captain is as experienced as the report suggests then he must be aware of the lack of control feedback that the Airbus gives. The fact that he then allows a very low hour first officer to attempt to land in those conditions is surprising.
I tend to agree.

I flew the A320 family for about 3,000 hours, and with FO's with a variety of experience levels. My company's approach was that FO's have landing limits of 2/3rds that of the aircraft, unless flying with a training captain (I was not one).

It was not then within my remit to offer sectors outside the Ops Manual. I remembered as a junior FO myself being happy to let the captain do strong crosswind landings himself, and to build up my experience over time - I would not have appreciated being given as a junior FO a max crosswind with gusts landing with only a few hundred hours total time, so I agree with the company philosophy in the early year or so (mine were on the B737-200).

The Airbus brings other factors to the equation, as mentioned, re the lack of feedback from one side to the other. In marginal conditions I believe that the captain needs to be fully aware of all inputs at all times with visual cues, and therefore that it is better that the P1 handles the aircraft (for which he/she is responsible) , as I don't believe that exercising the sidestick priority button is in any way desirable, and should be an emergency action, and not a planned one, and neither should PNH sidestick input be anything other than in an emergency on line operations.

None of this is to suggest that a captains role is not to encourage First Officer experience and to develop confidence.

Adopting that strategy, in over 4 years I never had to take over an approach, never pushed the sidestick priority button other than in the simulator and never had to input any sidetick guidance at all.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 22:22
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Page 58 of the BFU report :



When a basic maneuver such as the crosswind landing needs so much documentation from a Manufacturer, I cannot help than think that maybe something is cruelly missing of simple simplicity.

No offense to PJ2 but the roll rate demand is certainly no stranger to that voluminous and partly contradictory documentation.
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Old 14th Mar 2010, 01:50
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Hmm... I haven't read the German translation of the manuals, not that I think my rusty German is up to the task at present, but the English version read as fairly straightforward unless my memory's playing tricks on me - it was something like "We recommend this method for most consistent results, but if you want to use the other method or combine the two, here's how to do it" (heavily paraphrased).
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Old 14th Mar 2010, 05:20
  #111 (permalink)  
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CONF iture;
No offense to PJ2 but the roll rate demand is certainly no stranger to that voluminous and partly contradictory documentation.
No offence taken CONF iture - this is an ongoing discourse which has great value; the object is not to "win converts", the object as always is to debate thereby bringing out information and thoughts for others.

I understand very well what you're saying and yes, the airplane is complicated and difficult to feel at home in during the first six months to a year. Mode confusion can occur and it can be a handful during an emergency mainly because of all the verbiage associated with the ECAM drills but also because of the different way Airbus calculates Vref, called Vapp, and applies the landing distance corrections.

That acknowledged, please permit me a couple of points.

First, the airplane design is 25 years old, modified extensively as is usual with airplanes as a result of industry experience and yes, accidents (nothing new in that process). For me, and the vast majority of my colleagues, when I left the airplane it was as comfortable as an old shoe, as we say, as were both the A330 and A340 when I retired off them. It was a joy teaching on the A320. Both the narrow-body and wide-body Airbus became transparent to their complexity and hand-flew beautifully and flew under full automation without squirreliness or surprises which weren't readily addressed by disconnecting and piloting the airplane myself until I was happy re-engaging.

Second, it seems despite claims of complexity overwhelming crews and obscurities beyond its crews, the airplane is nevertheless falling to hand for the vast majority of pilots who fly it and know the airplane well. Yes, the airplane does have its idiocyncracies but, although not quite on the same plane, so do all other types.

Finally, history does not bear out claims that there are "serious" problems with the airplane in the most critical record of all, fatal hull loss accidents. By comparison with the B737-300/400/500, (not the 100/200 series or the 700, 800 or 900), with a similar number of departures, the numbers are essentially the same for all types of A318/A319/A320/A321, 0.24 per million departures for the A320 series vs 0.30* for the B737 series as described. It is a wash.

safetypee;
1. Why should the PF need to evaluate the relationship of the control surface – stick position? Many aircraft have gearing changes or variable movements, more usually hidden from the crew. The inference that this knowledge is required to fly an aircraft is misplaced. The report discusses the ‘gearing’ change because it occurred at touchdown with bank applied, and at a time when a control change was made / required.

2. The task of monitoring is to check / crosscheck the output (the result) of an activity – you know what you put in, but what has happened. This is the basis of the control loop used in manual fight. For a lateral input, the output check usually looks for a combination of roll and roll rate.
The incident was a "I have control" situation, which worked; no requirement to invoke the takeover button.

3. Re aircraft technical knowledge; the inference is that this is something which can only be gained from experience. These aspects can / should be taught where and when relevant – in context.
Precisely. Well stated.

PJ2

*Boeing Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents Worldwide 1959 - 2008
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Old 14th Mar 2010, 17:31
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Overall, statistics just confirm that an airplane is a very safe place to be in, but that the 320 series "wash" the 737 series … not too sure what you mean ?

A serious event like HAM would not appear in such statistics, but is relevant in the way Airbus is modifying its Flight Control System in the most discrete way without revealing proper information.

Suddenly, as mentioned by the BFU, you realise that part of a FCOM paragraph on the crosswind landing just vanished … !?



What is in that paragraph now, I don't know, my book is not up to date. Anyone ? (FCOM 3.03)
Do you have an explanation on that ?

Or after a serious event you learn that the manufacturer did not consider as necessary to advise the pilots that after a brief rebound on one main gear they will get only half deflection of the control surfaces, which means that the very next second the airplane will respond very differently to the same sidestick input.

No need to say that the FCS has been modified since … maybe, who would know it anyway ?

No consistency in the flight control response is questionable.

Sorry but I find such behaviour and philosophy quite unpredictable.
In that regards, I find the Airbus attitude as arrogant, and transparency is simply not in their line of thinking.

Except from the FBW Airbus, I’m not aware of any airliner being "extensively modified" in its Flight Control System ?
Why such modification still 20 years later, is it really because the vast majority of pilots feel "at home" … ?

If you ask me, FBW Airbus are great airplanes, but too much is happening on these birds at the ground proximity, enough that the Airbus engineering itself does not seem on top of it.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 13:20
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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but that the 320 series "wash" the 737 series … not too sure what you mean ?
"It's a wash", unless directly laundry-related, usually means something along the lines of "there's not much difference". I.e. it was quite a neutral remark.
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