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NTSB Report: Glass cockpits have not led to expected safety improvements

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NTSB Report: Glass cockpits have not led to expected safety improvements

Old 15th Mar 2010, 13:01
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The 737 300 was FMC, not glass cockpit.
I must be going nuts here or most probably I have missed the point. I flew many hours on the 737-300 and that was certainly an EFIS glass cockpit type. Certainly all the regulators I have dealt with considered the 737-300 EFIS was by definition a glass-cockpit aircraft. Sure the first 737-300's were non-EFIS and there are a few still around in Indonesia for a start.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 20:50
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my airline ( a big major US carrier) still has some 737-300's with FMC and steam gauges.

it does happen...and p51 guy is quite right.

so, that's the story here in the states.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 20:54
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I am really pleased that the NTSB has released this report. Glass is over complicated. You have to beat too much information into the wretched thing to give you the time of day let alone where you are let alone where you are going. Personally, I think there should be a switch fitted to these systems so you are able to give the software engineer's balls a tweak when the system doesn't work at advertised. If such a device was fitted, within a few minutes you'd find that the only people prepared to work on these systems were women.

There's no surprise it doesn't work on small aircraft. Fancy systems installed in aircraft (and probably everything else) only ever appear to work in the hands of those who are 1. Prepared to learn how to use them and 2. Those who have Plan B running alongside Plan A for when that one fails.

PM
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 01:29
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When I was reluctant to admit my ignorance of not being able to find the altitude in the 747 glass cockpit we were carrying on a discussion about other things too. Until that night I knew where the altimeter was located on all aircraft I had flown. I could have spent the last several years of my career on a B777 but didn't want to fly all nighters and be on reserve. My buddies in my class were on it and tried to coax me to switch. Finally one of them said "stay on the B757/767". He said I had a flight last week to Brazil at midnight and it took me 45 minutes to find the autopilot switch. I didn't want to embarrass myself so hand flew it. He hadn't flown for so long he forgot where the switch was. A captain that can't turn on the autopilot doesn't exude much confidence with his crew. He was an ex Marine fighter pilot so he was really good at handflying.
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 06:17
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Some bizarre stuff being posted here
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 08:01
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If true, some of the statements are not only bizarre but also downright scary
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 11:44
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Oh no worries, PTH will tell you that's just normal in the USA...
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 12:05
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Boeings are not radically different between models - most things are in a similar location...
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 14:51
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it seems to me that the non navigational displays are quite small...airspeed/altitude and the like

so, it also seems to me that this type of display was more for attitude and monitoring of the flight director/autopilot system.

and I think that makes is less friendly to pilots hand flying the plane.

I am all for information in the cockpit...moving maps and the like...but when we reduce the really important stuff...the ''aviate'' stuff ( aviate navigate communicate) we are asking for problems.
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 03:00
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protectthehornet

I really think you should come out of the past and move forward!

As for
it also seems to me that this type of display was more for attitude and monitoring of the flight director/autopilot system.

and I think that makes is less friendly to pilots hand flying the plane.
Attitude is the most important instrument! That is why it is big and in the centre!! You talk about the "T" scan have you ever heard of the "selective radial scan"?

and

when our airline went from low tech (DC9, 737-200, 300, 757) to high tech airbus. it turned out that those with no FMC experience learned the airbus FMC fsater than those who had to forget the boeing way and learn the airbus way.
must have been a problem with your airline then, as when I changed from 6 years B757/767 to A340/A330 there was NO major hurdle you just had to LEARN the slightly different way of doing it. Allegedly the reasons for the differences was that Mr Boeing did not want Mr Airbus to have the same buttons / pages on their MDCU's. Great for win for "Flight Safety"!
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 08:54
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Iceman 50

yes, attitude is very important...and I'm sure the pilot of Colgan near BUF was looking at it.

too bad he wasn't watching his airspeed....out of the past indeed!

ocean crosser...what is your problem?
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 19:20
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I wish that the G-1000/Avidyne and others had a basic function where you can turn off all the excessive-ness and just present the 6 main guages in standard format.

Ok so the redundancy still isn't there but as I am still a student PPL I would love to just turn off the GPS r/h screen, and flick the PFD over to the 6 core instruments found in any good trainer.

I really don't care too much for all the information the screen gives, things like V-speed pennants on the ASI should be in your head if you are familiar on type. It gradually pushes the information out of your head and into the screen making you feel like you don't need to remember.

Mobile phones are a good analogy, years ago everybody had to remember peoples numbers or write them in a notepad. Now everybody freaks when their phone is broken, damaged or they forget it because they can't remember things without it.

Reliance on technology in this way is troublesome.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:06
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Chocks, I hope you keep thinking the same way no matter what you see posted here. You seem to have the right idea of how to fly using real info vs computed data. The new generation will disagree with you but you somehow found a way to fly the way it was meant to be. You are very lucky. Now go out and have a wonderful career doing it just the way you are. Thank whoever taught you or congratulations on figuring it out yourself. I had a combination of both.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:22
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I agree with p51guy, master the basics of instrument flying and everything else comes easy.

From an old fart that thought he had died and gone to heaven when I flew an aircraft with a real flight director. PN-108 if any one cares. With no pitch sync.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:34
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Chocks_Away85

I really don't care too much for all the information the screen gives, things like V-speed pennants on the ASI should be in your head if you are familiar on type.
That comment unfortunately shows your inexperience. The system is probably designed to train for the future where in "large" aircraft the V speeds vary markedly depending upon many variables. Plus on the round dials we used to set "bugs" and when the proverbial hits the fan and you loose yet more of the "brain power" the "bugs" will assist.

Basic instrument scan is a must and it can be done on modern PFD's.

p51guy

how to fly using real info vs computed data
The data is all "computed" it is the "presentation" that is different. A bug in the pitot will screw up round dials just as much as "glass".

protectthehornet

yes, attitude is very important...and I'm sure the pilot of Colgan near BUF was looking at it.

too bad he wasn't watching his airspeed....out of the past indeed!
Pity you did not read my point about "scan" as that would obviously have solved his lack of attention to speed. However, there were many more holes in the swiss cheese on that accident so it does not support your thinking.

Yes out of the past because you seem to live there along with a few others and do not want to move into the future. A WIWO! (When I was on).

A lot of what we are discussing comes down to basic AIRMANSHIP.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:46
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past vs. future:

in the past we landed on the moon...but we can't do that now.

Maybe, just maybe the older ways of computing everything yourself made you more ''in the loop'' and having machines do everything for you takes you out of the loop.

The old ways were just fine...refine them a bit is fine...its like George Costanza and his view on toilet paper.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:49
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Chocks, I hope you keep thinking the same way no matter what you see posted here. You seem to have the right idea of how to fly using real info vs computed data. The new generation will disagree with you but you somehow found a way to fly the way it was meant to be. You are very lucky.

The post above proves my point.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 03:29
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p51guy / protectthehornet

Avoid the reality and keep the blinkers on guys, you never address the points I or others are trying to make.

By the way I am NOT new generation, very much yours!!
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 14:37
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isn't the whole point the need for training to proficiency and not just ''you will learn it on the line''?

There is no time to learn on the line. You are either fully competent or not. And the same thing for GA flyers...even more so as they rarely have copilots.

Sadly, engineers who create the gee whiz stuff have forgotten some earlier learned lessons. Buttons, switches and the like use to have specific shapes to remind pilots what did what. Multi use switches can be confusing. (reminded of the collision over brazil and whether the transponder was ON on the biz jet)

iceman...sometimes we don't respond to your points just ''cuz''.

I like the physicallity of moving a bug on the airspeed indicator...making a calculation...but I also want an AOA backup. I know one guy who landed hard...oops...garbage in garbage out...20,000 lbs overweight.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 02:30
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Good for you. If you can't get basic instrument training using your G1000 panel, rent an older generation aircraft with basic instruments. It will be essential if you ever lose electrical power at night and are down to basic standby power or no instruments. Automation is great if it is backed up with basics. Glass cockpits are great likewise. Always be able to go back to needle, ball, and airspeed if that is all you have. You never know when your airline goes out of business and you will be required to fly a 737-200 for somebody else. Flying a B757 I occasionally went to whiskey compass, standby altimiter and airspeed scan to refresh my scan. I even remembered the lead, lag error on north south headings.
Chocks,
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