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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

Old 18th Sep 2010, 22:27
  #601 (permalink)  
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Some people may believe that UAVs or their control systems are still inherently unreliable or do not have the full functionality required for complete flights. This is however demonstrably untrue...
Oh, it is very demonstrably true. Just Google "UAV accident rate". This has been an issue within the Pentagon and it is now becoming an issue in Congress.
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Old 18th Sep 2010, 23:15
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In order to pressurize the flight deck, one would require a higher source pressure just for the flight deck, and this doesn't exist, nor does any way to provide it exist, in the pneumatic system, after the air conditioning packs are done preparing the air for cabin use.
Guppy, it has been suggested in a previous message thread on a similar topic that, on 744 Freighters with Main Deck Fire Suppression systems, that a slightly positive pressure is maintained on the upper deck when the lower deck is depressurised to 25,000' (when the Main Deck Fire Suppression system is activated).

Airconditioning to the Main Deck is cut off and Pack/s in low flow mode provide air to the cockpit.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 00:00
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@GlueBall
"This had previously been hashed over in a previous thread.
Keep in mind that UAVs are operated by the military and are funded by unlimited tax dollars. That's one of the reasons the government keeps the NUMBER of UAVs that have NOT returned to base a secret. In fact, hundreds have been lost, and not just in combat.
Just as the automatics in an airliner . . . everything works OK until something breaks, except that in a UAV the remote operator may lose control when the autopilot goes on vacation, or when the hydraulic system springs a leak.. "

I apologise for not having seen the other related threads.Please bear in mind that you need to differentiate between the causes of the losses you cite, technical systems failures, human factors and intent. In the first case, that is the same as for piloted AC (dependent on certification requirements), the second is again the same. The third, intent, is clearly a case that particularly in military use, the UAV by the very nature of being unmanned is considered expendable. It is no surprise that the stats are as you mention, but this is irrelevant to the point.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 00:02
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@742
See above reply to Glueball.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 00:16
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@Guppy
"Quote:
That's one of the reasons the government keeps the NUMBER of UAVs that have NOT returned to base a secret. In fact, hundreds have been lost, and not just in combat.
I've been present when it's happened (at the business end, not the operator end). I've also seen up close and personal what they can do,and what they can't..."

Me too

Quote:
The autopilot is there to fly the aircraft.
"No, it's not. The autopilot is there as an auxilliary control system; the pilot still flies the aircraft, but flies it through the autoflight system, rather than through the control column. The autopilot doesn't fly the airplane. It's merely one of the controls that pilots use to operate the airplane. You don't fly, do you?"

Yes I do fly. You missed the point, but I apologise for making it a little too oblique.
If an autopilot were to be used to save an aircraft in the situation relevant to this discussion, it would need the full functionality to fly the plane autonomously. Those APs exist and are routinely used in UAVs. There is no fundamental reason they could not be easily fitted to your large jet transport.

"Quote:
The question is, why could the crew of the AC in question not use its autopilot to save their lives?
"I guess that answers the last question. If you have to ask, then obviously you don't fly. The crew was blind, you see."

Bad guess, see above

Quote:
My point is that we now have new autopilot technology (as can be observed in UAVs) which can navigate an aircraft completely autonomously, and of course the autopilot may be manually controlled from the ground (anywhere in the world) with a variety of existing comms links with (for example) click and drag waypoints, climbs, descents, and various configuration changes with ease.
"It would appear that what you know of UAV/UAS systems, you learned from CNN, wouldn't it? "

Negative Guppy

"Chock this up to the same thinking that so far has brought us "give the crews parachutes;" "dive the airplane and push the cargo out the door while it doesn't weigh anything;" and of course "put a doctor, lawyer, indian chief, and marriage counselor, priest, and firefighting brigade on board just in case" ideas. "

Look, I really do understand the reticence on behalf of pilots to give away control. It is quite right to be skeptical, however as with all new and challenging concepts, good skepticism requires an open mind and a strong guard against denialism.

I imagine Mr Sperry may have encountered skeptics at first, but once people realized that overall safety could be improved, and that the technology was able to augment their role rather than diminish it, the future was inevitable. Else you risk to be a Luddite.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 02:03
  #606 (permalink)  
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If your wife and children were on the aircraft...

If an autopilot were to be used to save an aircraft in the situation relevant to this discussion, it would need the full functionality to fly the plane autonomously. Those APs exist and are routinely used in UAVs. There is no fundamental reason they could not be easily fitted to your large jet transport.
Essentially, that functionality exists at present. The aircraft I fly will capture, autoland, and autobrake to a full stop on the runway, no human intervention necessary. The configuration changes however, flaps and gear, reverse thrust, are still necessary, the autopilots also need to be armed at the appropriate time during the approach sequence, all things great and small being a go, as determined by the aircraft commander.

In the lightweight, remotely controlled UAV/Nintendo way of things, as far as I understand them, all such configuration changes are unnecessary, a vastly simpler tasking. The accidental loss of a UAV involves cash, only, no lives at stake there.

That is not all to say these decision making issues cannot be automated, that next step in the minimalist, financially advantageous way of current engineering madness is already well under way.

Remove the human, save the airplane. God forbid flesh and blood pilots should usurp the technical academy geniuses who propose to claim that authority.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 12:07
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so it can be done, what's the next step

.... that functionality exists at present. The aircraft I fly will capture, autoland, and autobrake to a full stop on the runway, no human intervention necessary. The configuration changes however, flaps and gear, reverse thrust, are still necessary, the autopilots also need to be armed at the appropriate time during the approach sequence, all things great and small being a go, as determined by the aircraft commander.
So, IF it can be done from a technical/engineering standpoint, then is the issue solely whether (or when) it becomes advantageous from a cost-benefit standpoint. Does that portend a progression to aircraft "commanders" on the ground, handling various aircraft (perhaps in shifts) and still making those 'go' decisions but not from the cockpit. And is that a 'bad' thing in terms of safety?
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 14:43
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I'd like to see a UAV operator keep up with with the rapid fire directions from a North East controller, and dodge thunderstorms all during the peak rush hour. Or have them do the same from a Hong Kong controller with a chinese accent. This all takes experience and can't be learned from a classroom.


I have dodged way too many UAV's in the "Stans". Its a little unnerving!
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 15:35
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Two things that have not happened yet but surely will: A UAV will hit a passenger flight and bring it down with huge loss of life, and some twit with an attitude will order an airliner that is having comms problems to be shot down because it is approaching a sensitive area.

So if the airliners are also UAVs are we off the hook?
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 22:41
  #610 (permalink)  
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Perfectly said, Boof...
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 22:44
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@Bugg smasher
Yes the whole lot could be automated, but very few people really want that for airliners, there are too many variables and the humans who design systems and code are way too fallible. Yet why would we not want to take advantage of the means to reorient the Human/AP interface paradigm and allow that slight extra functionality?

I may be unwilling to fly in an airliner with no human pilot, but I would be quite happy for the pilot/s to have a better system to manage. Particularly if they were unable to see their instruments due to smoke, but also if automation of the aircraft were sufficient to allow better automation of the airspace, and therefore better utilization and efficiency. Of course there are many projects underway with this aim, better to participate and help steer it in sensible directions, than attempt to impede it I'd say.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 08:02
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@ guppy

It appears, Oh stolid gupp,

You were right about the Belgium 747 bird ingestion/abort accident. Pacplyer sends his acquiescence (Look it up) of your correct interpretation of the unfortunate event. V1 is not to be negotiated, as you were emphatic (Look it up) about. . However, at the time of the K accident, we were not privy to any of the accident facts and were simply deferring to the PIC's judgment until other facts were known. None the less, you were proven right.

In this inevitable accident, going back to my 747-100's, and some 747-200's a sextant smoke vent port was installed near the overhead hatch. I jumpseated 747-400's and noticed no such device. Is it your informed opinion that such installation and use of such a device, under the application of a trained flight engineer might surely have prevented this accident?

Why were smoke evac ports eliminated?

I never understood this.

Crunch - out
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 08:42
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Crunch

It's there on the 744,same place as the -100/200. No need for a sextant so it's called a smoke evac port. Utilised by a gert big 'andle on the center overhead panel.


Too busy looking out of the window were you?

S
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 14:44
  #614 (permalink)  
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And for those pilots that still smoke, a very handy port indeed...
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 01:49
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Does that portend a progression to aircraft "commanders" on the ground, handling various aircraft (perhaps in shifts) and still making those 'go' decisions but not from the cockpit. And is that a 'bad' thing in terms of safety?
Anytime an aircraft commander does not have a vested, direct, viscerally palpable, and immediate interest in the inherent risks of a given emergency situation, the safety of the aircraft and the passengers under his or her command, said safety becomes secondary to the technical and very inhuman aspects of efficacy, larger question marks overlooked until the aftermath, enter the lawyers.

All engines out, lets perhaps minimize loss of life by crashing it on that empty football pitch over there.

Commanders on the ground, as you put it, are potentially nothing more than reasonably well-paid technicians, outsider game players without understanding of any significance. In the extreme, they would pander to the dictates of omni-present bean counters, the task masters who control them, an Orwellian proposition by any standard.

How do you think the Hudson River scenario would have played out, given your proposed remotely controlled automation, without the physical presence of Sullenberger?

If you asked him right now about ground-jockeying an airliner full of passengers, Im reasonably certain hed say, I know a damn goose when I see one.
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 04:10
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Definitely the right man for the occasion. Splendid job.

If smoke had obscured his view? Could deeper level automation help?
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 08:17
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Commanders on the ground, as you put it, are potentially nothing more than reasonably well-paid technicians, ... In the extreme, they would pander to the dictates of omni-present bean counters,
And that's exactly why they will happen - they will be a lot cheaper. One ground commander will be able to oversee several flights, for example. They are being used by the military already and the next step will likely be cargo flights.
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 09:35
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As Willit Run and others have posted.....I, for another, certainly HOPE NOT!
Computers can do a lot at the present time....but they aren't as FLEXIBLE as a human at the controls. I don't even want an RC CARGO flight flying over my family....let alone FLYING my family - regardless of the (current) technology!
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 10:20
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Why is this thread degenerating into considerations on fully automated flight ? Why do people who are not pilots at all, and likely unable to ever become one, dream of aircraft that fly themselves ?

The unfortunate fellows who had to face one of the most dangerous situation ever in a civilian airplane only needed a few cheap things, and not billion-bucks drones :

- a way to fly the aircraft with heavy smoke in the cockpit : EVAS
- quick, accurate and reliable information about the fire

It seems maintenance had received ACARS with info on the fire location, and I for one am convinced this info was not available to the pilots.

Now, for those who dream of remote flying, I suggest they try remote lovemaking. Much, much safer.
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 10:43
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Originally Posted by resar40
The autopilot is there to fly the aircraft. The question is, why could the crew of the AC in question not use its autopilot to save their lives?

You most likely know far more than me about the details of how much programming, physical manipulation etc is required to setup the presently installed AP and its limitation wrt to 3D nav, approach and landing.

My point is that we now have new autopilot technology (as can be observed in UAVs) which can navigate an aircraft completely autonomously, and of course the autopilot may be manually controlled from the ground (anywhere in the world) with a variety of existing comms links with (for example) click and drag waypoints, climbs, descents, and various configuration changes with ease.

Some people may believe that UAVs or their control systems are still inherently unreliable or do not have the full functionality required for complete flights. This is however demonstrably untrue, but the same fundamental technical and human system problems are present in UAV operation as with conventional piloted aircraft. This should not be seen as a reason to dismiss the technology and its potential to increase safety in situations such as the topic of this thread.
Reliability or functionality of UAV is competely irrelevant, if one is unable to program or reprogram it.

Just a simple experiment: Program your UAV for a mission and bring it in the air. 20 minutes after takeoff, put on a blindfold and then start reprogramming your mission, click and drag waypoints, climbs, descents, and various configuration changes with the goal to land your UAV safely within 20 minutes on any airport in its vicinity.
Remove your blindfold after your UAV has landed.
Can you do it? Will it be possible?

For all others unfamiliar with UAV's another experiment: Do you see the reply button in the lower right corner of my post? Yes?
Put on a blindfold, then move your mouse, click on that reply button, write a reply with 10 sentences and submit it.
After sending your reply, remove the blindfold.
Have you been successfull? How many spelling mistakes are in your 10 sentences? Did your PC record any sentences at all?

A "simple" task if you can see, but without vision it is a hundred times more challanging and I personally doubt that it is possible to submit a reply when blindfolded and you are untrained in doing so.

Now imagine you are sitting in the smoke filled cockpit of a burning airliner, unable to see your nosetip, its getting hotter than in a steam bath, you use a mask to breath oxygen, you don't know exactly where you are, your heading, speed and altitude are are only guessed from information you received by radio from a radar measurement...
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