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Pilot Commands TOGA; A320 lands anyway

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Pilot Commands TOGA; A320 lands anyway

Old 16th Jun 2001, 20:12
  #121 (permalink)  
Haas_320
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Unhappy

Fbw acft do not crash les or more, they just crash for diffrent reasons, Reasons that in my view scare us pilots more.
 
Old 16th Jun 2001, 22:04
  #122 (permalink)  
Burger Thing
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Smile

Yes Frederic, I agree. I am also enjoying good discussions, it widens our horizon and sometimes we can even learn something. That is the way it should be.
 
Old 17th Jun 2001, 11:11
  #123 (permalink)  
TowerDog
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Since I have never flown anything but Boeing and Douglas airliners, I am most interested in this discussion:
One side thinks the computerized airplane will save the pilot and the other side thinks the pilot will save the computerized airplane
given an overide button.

Hmm, interesting topic.
My first thought would be: If this A-320 plane is so smart, and have all this "laws" coupled with the EGPWS and all that other magic, I am having a hard time understanding, why did all these accidents happened:
Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Air France etc?

Most of my experience is on the B-747-100/200
with Pratts and without any engine limiters built in. Therefore: If you got caught in a windshear situation, you can firewall the motors and gain enough power to
equal a fifth engine.
Yes, you would have to explain to the boss why you did it, as it cost him 4 hot section inspections and perhaps engine replacements, but ah, there has never been a B-747 lost to a windshear accicent yet.

If however the bean counters and the engineers had installed their limiters to "save" the engines from pilots, the tally may
have been different.



------------------
Men, this is no drill...
 
Old 17th Jun 2001, 11:37
  #124 (permalink)  
411A
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TowerDog--
Now you should know why many companies do not allow their employees to travel on FBW Airbus equipment, on company business. Airline pilots generally do not know what the travel policies are at large corporations that are not airlines. Interestingly enough, one US military contractor that I know about, which manufactures FBW military aircraft, absolutely avoids travel on A320,330,340 equipment but has no such restriction with the B777. The French had the opportunity do do it right but dropped the ball, big time.
 
Old 17th Jun 2001, 11:43
  #125 (permalink)  
Haas_320
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While writing this post another was added to the thread. Just to keep evrything clear I agree with tower dog's statement about firewalling engines.


I have to agree. I like the 320 but I can not understand why the pilot can not "firewall" the engines.But then again this is impossible on any fadec powered acft. For all those bringing up the "but you cannot stall the acft so initialy you can use more of your kinetic energy" argument don't because it is not tru normal laws of aerodynamics aply to fly out of Windshear or a gpws situation only power will save your but in the long term.



[This message has been edited by Haas_320 (edited 17 June 2001).]
 
Old 17th Jun 2001, 16:03
  #126 (permalink)  
DISCOKID
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411A - It is not really surprising that a US military contractor does not like its staff flying on Airbus but is happy for them to use Boeing. This has nothing to do with Airbus FBW but is the usual petty policy similiar to the policy that US government employees are only allowed to fly on US airlines.

I work for a firm that has one of the largest annual corporate air travel spends in the world - large corporations are only concerned with choosing top airlines and the discount they receive.

Provide the name of a company with a no Airbus policy who is not connected to Boeing and your argument will have more strength!!
 
Old 17th Jun 2001, 18:58
  #127 (permalink)  
mcdude
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This thread is slowly turning to s....

High volt - Granted, this accident seems to be a software problem (however applicable only to some 320 - not 319/321) I fly the A320, but I have no knowledge or any requirement to know about the software it uses.

411a - Sorry mate, I think most airline pilots couldn't care less about the travel policies at large corporations except their own.... If your new "freight & pax airline" (sic) opts for FBW aircraft (unlikely I know), I'm sure you will operate it like any other aircraft type you have flown ie with common sense, airmanship etc - the Airbus responds well to these basics!

So far the A319/320/321 safety record aint perfect but it aint bad. Nearly 1500 in service, four fatals (in airline service) in 13 years.

This accident is no doubt an unfortunate and near tragic way to correct or perfect a system. Something that has happened to many types in the past, and likely in the future too.

 
Old 18th Jun 2001, 02:03
  #128 (permalink)  
chrisN
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Towerdog, you mention beancounters (and engineers) as if perhaps they are all the same: "If however the bean counters and the engineers had installed their limiters to "save" the engines from pilots, the tally may have been different."

As a former beancounter (car industry, not aviation, but there are parallels) and even longer ago an engineer, I have to agree that there are some poor beancounters who don't do things right, and maybe some poor engineers, too, but please don't class them (us?) as being all the same - maybe you didn't mean to anyway.

FWIW, I never stood in the way of a sound safety policy,nor did any of my beancounting colleagues AFAIK. One of the things a good beancounter takes into account is the incalculable cost of lost customer goodwill as well as the sometimes costable (though emotive to some) issues of insurance claims, "value of a human life", and legal liability.

To class us all as tarred with the same brush would be as bad as suggesting that if some professional pilots fall short of particular standard (not that that ever happens . . . ) then all do. I don't think that of your profession, and I hope you don't think that of mine.

Chris N.



 
Old 18th Jun 2001, 05:30
  #129 (permalink)  
TowerDog
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chrisN:

Well, no I don't put beancounters and engineers in the same basket, but, uh, here is the situation:
You are out there in a dark and stormy night: You are trying your best to survive, hungry and tired you are, say on an approach to Bombay in the Monsoon season, with numerous squaks in the logbook, rain and lightening all around you, low on fuel, then you get a warm and fuzzy feeling thinking about a bunch of engineers sitting in their cozy offices trying to figure out the next clever step to outsmart the stupid pilot who may need max performance out of his plane an any given moment?
Protect the idiot pilots against themselves.

Beancounters would like you to fly around with minimum fuel as that is most cost effective. Also minimum days off for the overpayed and underworked pilots.
Heck, let the F/As fly the airplanes for peanuts. Valuejet tried that for a while.
The pieces are still in the Everglades, but the business plan looked good: Let's hire pilots that can not get a job anywhere else, then let them pay for their own training, and
screw common sense and safety.

Beancounters tend to confuse fast food joints and airlines.

(Many have tried: Peoples Express wanted pilots to sell tickets/ticket agents to be pilots. When UPS started their own airline, they wanted their truck drivers to get a flying licence.
Made sense to the beancounters)

Uh, what was the question again?
Don't confuse the two groups?

I won't, but you walk in my shoes for a week or two and you will hopefully see the situation from a pilot's point of view.

Yeah, flying is easy, just keep the dirty side down, fly low and slow and survive the engineers and beancounters.




------------------
Men, this is no drill...
 
Old 21st Jun 2001, 13:04
  #130 (permalink)  
moggie
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Sorry folks - but am I missing something? Bilbao is infamous for it's windshear (and does not have a good overall safety reputation) so when you encounter a massive updraught and increasing IAS near decision altitude, should you not go around then? Stuffing the nose down, reducing power and losing energy is suicide as you are then unable to cope with the downdraught/IAS reduction when it inevitably happens - as was the case here. Once you get into the big downdraught at 200' you are stuffed - there is no way to recover.

This one smacks of a poor decision/press-on-itis rather than a problem of FBW (and I am no big fan of FBW, may I say). I believe that the actions of the crew would have lead to the same result in any aeroplane.

And by the way, do those people who ban their employees from flying with Airbus know that the 777 is a FBW aeroplane, too?
 
Old 22nd Jun 2001, 13:20
  #131 (permalink)  
Frederic
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Cool

Moggie,
AI has decided to implement a software modification concerning its' angle of attack protection system. So although you are making a good point, I do think there must have been something preventing this aircraft reaching its' angle of attack limit. My guess is that there was not enough allowance for overshoot built into the system and that the reation time was not right. Having said that, I am a big fan of FBW...
 
Old 22nd Jun 2001, 15:40
  #132 (permalink)  
stickyb
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I think there are 2 separate discussions going on here, and there is some confusion and crossover between them.

The argument that a lot of you seem to be getting into is the classic computer vs human argument. Airbus have designed to software to do a particular job. You either like or not, hence a lot of the arguments about being able to over ride or cut out the computer when you want to.

To my way of thinking that is a separate arguement from the thing that started this thread off. In this case there was a clear case of the software having a plain and simple bug, that is not working to specification, and it was that that caused the problem. If there was no bug, then there would be no need for a change to the sofware.
So the real question for me is "Does a pilot know when the sofware is not performing to spec?" If he does, then there is a clear case for some form of over ride or shutoff.
As long as the software works according to spec, and as long as the pilots know what the spec is, then everyone's happy. But if either of those statements become false, then a disaster lurks.

I say this not as a flying professional, but as a software professional.
Cheers
 
Old 22nd Jun 2001, 17:58
  #133 (permalink)  
L337
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Going slightly off thread, How many of you good A320/321/319 drivers have run out of aileron in the flare in a strong gusty crosswind? I have on at least three occasions, and did not enjoy the experience. The 737 seemed to settle just above the runway on a windy day. The Airbus is all over the sky, all the time. Flap three helps things, but the autothrottle, the FBW, and my pushing and pulling contrive to make things very sporting!

 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 03:15
  #134 (permalink)  
Diesel8
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L337,

I have flown the Airbus for four years and consider it easy to land in a crosswind, even approaching max recommended. Certainly easier than the DC-8.

In other news, the FAA issues an AD limiting the speed at which speedbrakes and flaps can be used on the 737-800.

I'll take the bus!
 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 07:49
  #135 (permalink)  
Flight Safety
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I'm with stickb.

Not only can the FBW software sometimes fail, but FBW computer hardware can sometimes fail as well. I know there are hardware redundancies built in, but any number of things could go wrong with the FBW and envelope protection systems. Again it's the same as with the autopilot.

I have no objection to the automation of FBW or envelope protection, nor do I object to the automation of an autopilot. All of these systems are great to have. But all 3 systems put a potentially fallable flight control automation system between the pilot and the flight controls. If one of these system fails for whatever reason, then the pilot needs an immediate reversion to direct operation of the flight controls, especially during a critical phase of flight.

As stated previously, the autopilot has had a cutoff switch for decades, so why not make the same method of immediate pilot reversion to direct control of the flight controls, available to the pilots for these new more modern systems? Does it make any sense not to provide this immediate reversion capability? Have autopilot failures been the cause of accidents in the past? Have FBW and envelope protection failures been the cause of any accidents?

Please forgive me if the failure override similarity between these two types of systems seems too direct and simple to my way of thinking.

------------------
Safe flying to you...

[This message has been edited by Flight Safety (edited 23 June 2001).]
 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 16:05
  #136 (permalink)  
Amos
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Changing the subject slightly, but still on the A320, what do you 320 drivers think of the fact that the a/c has a LOC selection but not VOR/LOC on the MCP? For a super advanced airplane an oversight surely!
 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 16:44
  #137 (permalink)  
northern boy
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You can do a managed non precision approach by selecting the relevant approach on the MCDU then activating APPR on the FCU.The FMA displays APPR NAV for the lateral bit then FINAL APPR when it intercepts the vertical profile.Hence no need for a separate VOR button.In my company however we are not cleared for managed non precision approaches as the CAA won't allow it.Providing nav accuracy is high however you can transition from managed nav to the localiser.
Hope that answers your question.
 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 18:14
  #138 (permalink)  
Amos
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Thanks for that northern boy...I accept what you say. Many companies restrict the managed non precision approach,which is why I pose the question of no VOR switch? Instead of piddling around with the heading selector,ad nauseam, to maintain the radial on a selected approach a VOR capture ala the 737 would do it for us.

Or am I just getting too lazy ?
 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 18:54
  #139 (permalink)  
Diesel8
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Amos,

No need to fiddle with the heading, you can just use TRACK/FPA. The aircraft will then maintain a desired track across the ground, which is of course what a VOR radial is.
 
Old 23rd Jun 2001, 19:02
  #140 (permalink)  
Max Angle
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The lack of a VOR radial capture is a bit strange on an a/c as advanced as the 'bus. The track/fpa funtion is quite good but in real life does not work as well as it does in the sim. I find that I have to adjust the track during the approach sometimes and that together with monitoring the vertical profile increases the workload. Much better for the a/c to track the radial and leave the pilot free to work on the vertical bit. Roll on fully managed nav.
 

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