Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Air France rejected T/O in Lagos

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Air France rejected T/O in Lagos

Old 30th Jan 2010, 05:32
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Some airport hotel
Posts: 80
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Absolutely right regarding the superfluity of the FE in the modern flight deck. I have the fortune/misfortune to fly a Jurassic jet and have flown with our FE for 4 years now. I really appreciate his technical knowledge. I very much agree that this incident is a result of poor airmanship and a lack of adherance to SOP's.
yambat is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2010, 11:43
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

In my humble opinion, I think you'all are missing the point here, well, most of you anyway,

As I see it, the point is that the flight deck automation has gone way too far,
we need to 'back off' somewhat, AND reintroduce the PFE, that's my point AND that of many others here and elsewhere!

In other words get the operation of the airplane back into the hands of the flight crew, not just have them being passengers to the automation, or worse, not knowing what to do when (not 'if') the automation let's you down, either as the result of mishandling or malfunction.
What was that the Airbus company released in a document recently, (surprisingly, from them), something to the effect that pilots in general (well, airline pilots at least) are losing their handling skills by using the airplane automatics most all the time!

From my first days in the flight deck, I have adhered to a short saying, which has always faired me well...."If it's electronic, it's unreliable", and I'm still here to repeat it, some 14,000 hours later!

There, I've said it!

Now bring on the automatics lovers!!

Flight Detent is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2010, 12:19
  #63 (permalink)  

Controversial, moi?
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,606
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Would you care to look at the accident statistics and compare, say, the year on year statistics for jet transport hull losses for the past 40 years.

The implication of what you, and some others, are saying is that aeroplanes are becoming unsafer due to over reliance on automation. Sure there have been losses caused by inappropriate or inadvertent improper use of the automatiion but that is down to poor training, procedures or incompetence, all of which is not the fault of the automation.

Having flown both which would you rather do:

Fly a non-precision approach by hand or using an autopilot in vertical speed and heading mode or

fly a non-precision approach fully automatically in LNAV and VNAV (B777 because that is all I have experience of in doing so)?

So many situations which demanded very high levels of skill and interpretation and, therefore, an increased consequent exposure to possible catastrophic mistakes have reduced due to automation.

I remember being route checked on the B747 on a jumbo out of LAX and during the debrief I was criticised, correctly, for hand flying the aircraft to 10,000' or so meaning I was hugely pre-occupied with that task and had increased the captain's workload dramatically in what is incredibly busy and demanding airspace, not to mention one less pair of eyes able to keep a lookout.

I realise the likes of 411A would be able to fly more accurately while hand flying a non-precision approach and at the same time lecturing his FO about the appalling standards he observes in all other airlines but, as a lesser mortal, I cannot accept the premise that aeroplanes which require a flight engineer are inherently safer.

Edited to add that I have just found this which is raw data and does not take into account the increase in hours flown year on year: Fatal Airliner Hull losses.
M.Mouse is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2010, 14:35
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Central Montana
Posts: 28
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not enough data in those Fatal Airliner Hull losses.

Need total number of miles/year, hours/year, etc. in order to get any kind of meanful stats.
doyll is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2010, 17:38
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Eternal Beach
Posts: 1,086
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Over 10,000 hours before l even saw an auto throttle, it took a while to accept it's capabilities on the type l am on now, the 777.

Monitoring is our job description under SOP's, and it's when all turns pear-shaped that manual reversion is required. But the issue is understanding what you are monitoring before manual reversion is needed.

The FMA would have told the whole story. No THR REF means no AT. Back to basics, set power manually, 50% engines stable, set take-off thrust.

Raising a hand to manipulate anything on the MCP during the take-off is not only not necessary, but dangerous. Don't do it.

Lagos is not my favorite destination, and l am glad no one got hurt.

halas is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2010, 00:11
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bangkok,Thailand
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As I see it, the point is that the flight deck automation has gone way too far,
we need to 'back off' somewhat, AND reintroduce the PFE, that's my point AND that of many others here and elsewhere!
In my humble opinion I think you are both correct. Automation is a great thing and has made planes safer in an ever busier environment. Unfortunately the PFE was a casualty in this process, mostly to save money. I would think it would be great to have the PFE back in conjunction with the modern automation. I feel with these new giant planes, flying thousands of miles and with new security concerns it is the responsible thing to do. If this were the case the modern PFE would be more of a computer geek. And the Captain would have more time to manage the aircraft. Kinda of like Captain Kirk.....

And if this were to happen some of you old geezers could help as consultants and trainers. Maybe that's the idea all along
Razoray is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2010, 19:13
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can anyone tell me how it's possible to engage the autopilot when you are trying to arm the autothrottle?
I fly B73NG and the autothrottle switch and autopilot button are on different sides of the mode control panel, I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that the MCP layout was more or less the same on Boeing aircraft.

Killroy is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2010, 22:16
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 6,548
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts

The MCP layout is not standard across Boeings - Does anyone have a graphic of the Air France MCP? Is it indeed a standard Boeing fit?

FWIW on "my" 777 there are two Autopilot switches, one on the left of the MCP, the other on the right. There is also a single Autothrottle button just below and to the right of the Left Autopilot button, that "above 400', with the autothrottle armed, activates the appropriate autothrottle mode....."

Last edited by wiggy; 31st Jan 2010 at 22:31. Reason: complete re write
wiggy is online now  
Old 31st Jan 2010, 23:34
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 2,087
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 7 Posts
In any case, on the 777 do you not engage the Autothrottles on take off with the TOGA switches on the throttles ?

Unlike our practice on the 75/6 I don't see a reason why anyone would be reaching for the MCP during take off on the Aircraft in question.
stilton is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2010, 00:31
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ---
Posts: 282
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Courtesy Airliners.net, here the original image:
Photos: Boeing 777-228/ER Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net
ray cosmic is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2010, 13:08
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: france
Age: 50
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

ATR are set OFF during taxi out in AF SOP.
They should be switched ON during preflight check by the captain.
On preflight CPT has to check his O2, thrust levers idle and ATR ON, and FO has to do all the rest including walk around and CDU entries.
I'm quite sure AF management will conclude the high workload of the CPT during turn around is the cause of this incident....
beaver34 is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2010, 17:43
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London UK
Age: 65
Posts: 28
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AF is certainly in choppy waters on the safety front at the moment. They seem to be doing a lot of the right things but too no avail - yet. Is this analysis getting at the truth?:
"The Air France pilots' union was furious with the company last year when they suggested that the pilots should pay more attention to in-house operational instructions. This incident is yet further indication that the airline might have a point."
From here.
Shingles is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2010, 20:42
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FMA "Call Outs"

Jeff reports that the Captain failed to notice he engaged the A/P rather than the A/T.

In a publication of B757 systems the author quotes the phrase "you live and die by the ADI". He refers to using the ADI to ascertain what autoflight modes are actually engaged.
Some operators require verbal annunciations of all FMA changes.
The procedure compels the crew to focus on the annunciations.
In this instance would a similar SOP have alerted the crew of an incorrect mode selection?

Jeff's information eludes to the Captain being the PF and the person engaging the A/T while also steering the aircraft. In this instance would the cockpit workload be better distributed if the PNF set the manual thrust and performed any other required functions at the direction of the PF Captain?
Such a procedure has the secondary benefit of bringing the PNF F/O more effectively into the loop.

Manual setting of T/O thrust does not appear to be a procedure that is trained for or practiced in the simulator. As a result when it is required on the line the procedure is a "novel" event. Performance on the first sector is often well below par. Crews fail to achieve the required thrust by the required speed and loose their monitoring capacity as a result of the task fixation.
The crew coordination required for this procedure is significant.
Would crews benefit if simulator sequences had more emphasis on events that utilise manual modes?
It is possible that CRM and management skills may improve while responding to the more demanding situation.
338C is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 02:10
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 2,087
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 7 Posts
A point is being missed here. If the Ca was flying it would be normal for him to engage the Autothrottles with the TOGA switches on the throttles and have the PM verify the thrust is set properly.

Just like on many other Boeing Aircraft. Of course he would be steering as well as is normal if it his leg.

Or was he reaching for the AT arm switches on the MCP ?
stilton is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 04:41
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,188
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 5 Posts
Manual setting of T/O thrust does not appear to be a procedure that is trained for or practiced in the simulator.
We need to get all this in perspective. Tiger Moths and Spitfires, Lancasters and Fortresseses and ye olde Boeing 737-200 all had manual "thrust." Surely the requirement to actually train airline pilots how to manually shove open the thrust levers on take off has got to the ridiculous stage. Perhaps the next thing is to have airline pilots undertake an hour in a real flying Cessna 150 with a jumior instructor as part of cyclic training, just to get them out of automation dependancy. Much cheaper than a set of Boeing 777 replacement tyres.
Centaurus is online now  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 07:42
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: FRANCE
Age: 37
Posts: 39
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Till two years ago, Southwest Airlines didn't have AT installed on those 737 (200 - 300 - 500 - 700)
And I am not sure there was more accident related to thrust at southwest (at least at southwest, an accident like Turkish at schiphol wouldn't have occurred) than any other airline.
And still today, they are not allowed by SOP's to use AutoThrust on takeoff and on descent.

I was reading (again) the report on the Air France 744 swim training on Tahiti (1996 I guess).
744 landing by night from LAX. VOR DME approach. Manual flying but AT ON, approach in LNAV VNAV.
Approaching MDA, AT set go around thrust. The PNF announced "THR REF" but none of the crew analyzed the situation and the announcement.
The PF felt the force of the thrust levers wanting to move forward, but he restrained them. The speed increased to VREF + 35 and they noticed it, but didn't do any action and continued the landing.
5 seconds before Touchdown, the PF raised his hand to take the reverses, but number one engine spooled up to GA thrust (and again, they didn't noticed it).
The PNF announced "four reverses" (but that was not true) and some seconds later announced "errr, number one is not in reverse".
At this moment (about 10sec after TD), they noticed the number one was in full forward thrust, the ground spoilers were still down, and the autobrake was deactivated. Too late. 90 degrees right, right into the lagoon.

And I'm sure we can find a more more more cases of unreading or misreading of FMA. (how many cases of AP disconnect unnoticed by the crew ? Only in France, I have read two or three reports, and none of them was air france. By memory, an 310, an Bae146, and an 330.)
jeff64 is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 10:36
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: FL 600. West of Mongolia
Posts: 463
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let's get the BEA to conduct an investigation. I'm sure that they will say that Boeing confused things by putting the A/P and A/T at diagonally opposite sides of the MCP (far too close together you know); The ATC at LOS for not warning them of this; perhaps the crew became dis-orientated by not being in CDG. Either way, I'm sure a report would blame anyone and EVERYONE except for the airline concerned. AGAIN!!
M2dude is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 15:27
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: FRANCE
Age: 37
Posts: 39
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you badly know the BEA

They have no scruple for blaming everyone else than Airbus and the Airline, and this include the pilots.

In every accident since late 80's (habsheim, saint odile, toronto, cayenne, tahiti, concorde, 447, etc) the pilots were charged by the BEA (because they could not charge airbus nor Air France).

So in this case, even if we are facing a boeing and not an airbus, I think the pilots will be charged (but not air france who have changed the boeing procedure by inducing some unneccessary AT movements).
jeff64 is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 15:30
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: TWIMyOyster
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Question AP minimum engage altitude during takeoff

Just wondering .. I don't know the minimum AP engage altitude (RA) on a 777, but normally it would be something like 250 feet after takeoff. What is the philisophy behind being able to engage an AP during takeoff in the B777 design? Why isn't this feature inhibited until the minimum engage height?

And yes, IMHO the AP switch might easily be confused with the AT switch in this B777 setup (and no, I don't need the old levers back nor the FE). Not to "blame" Boeing, but perhaps to learn in the process (especially if all that is broken is an ego and some tires/brakes).

Luck was on their side, this time .. next time the RWY is wet
HotelT is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2010, 16:13
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: FL 600. West of Mongolia
Posts: 463
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Errrr... every aircraft that I've ever been involved with has had NO AOG A/P inhibit. It's never been relevent before; no pilot I've ever known has been so daft as to even want and try and do it. As a previous poster pointed out, what in the world is a pilot doing messing around with the MCP on Take Off!!
M2dude is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.