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Airbus takes pilots back to basics with the A350

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Airbus takes pilots back to basics with the A350

Old 16th Oct 2012, 17:48
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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Airbus controls

Just catching up on subject and noting discussions on position/mutual visibility and lack of force feedback of sidestick positions, and complication of motorised stick etc. Why not move the "sidestick" to between the pilots knees in place of the lunch tray?. It's been done before!.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 07:50
  #262 (permalink)  
 
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Why not repostion the "sidestick" to between the pilots knees in place of the lunch tray?. It's been done before!. This would be much easier than trying to introduce force feedback or coupling between SS's.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 13:32
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by petitb
Why not repostion the "sidestick" to between the pilots knees in place of the lunch tray?. It's been done before!. This would be much easier than trying to introduce force feedback or coupling between SS's.
Unless optimal conditions, this would not produce much better visibility on the opposite stick.

Also, according to the documentation linked by RF4, Bernard Ziegler writes :
Experience accumulated worldwide in the simulator and in flight tests highlights the difficulty to achieve a proper uncoupling between pitch and roll with a mini-stick in front of the pilot.

But more than anything, according to Airbus, it is useless or unnecessary to physically witness how the PF or the AP is manipulating the flight control commands - End of discussion.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 16:54
  #264 (permalink)  
 
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With very few exceptions, the criticisms being brought against Airbus aircraft are from those pilots who have never flown one. Indeed, there will be exceptions but the are few and far between. The Boeing fan club like to believe that somehow the Airbus has fatal design flaws - that is not my own experience. As any Airbus pilot will tell you, it is a magic machine that will protect you from going wrong so often compared to conventional aircraft. I would have to say, however, that the quality of the type-rating training is absolutely critical. IMHO the training of the Air France pilots in question was very poor, if not non-existent, in regards to stall recognition and recovery - but they were not alone at that juncture among Airbus pilots. When I did the Airbus course 11 years ago, I did no stall training at all - the assumption being it was of no relevance because you could not stall the aircraft. I daresay that was not unusual among Airbus pilots at that time. In stark contrast today, my own company has implemented stall training in each of the last two recurrent checks, and I think most pilots have found that very beneficial.

Having now sat through around 100 individual stalls in the last 12 months in the simulator, I can see exactly what happened to the Air France guys and why. The combination of the loss of control, the unfamiliar flying characteristics, the incessant noise in the cockpit from the countless warnings going off (including 75 occurrences of the aural stall warning) and the lack of a qualified commander in the flight deck used to grabbing a decaying situation, not to mention the understandable extreme anxiety generated by such an unexpected event, all combined to bring disaster. The key to this never happening again is good simulator training so that recoverable situations can be sorted quickly and decisively before becoming irrecoverable.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 18:05
  #265 (permalink)  
 
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Alexander
not to mention the understandable extreme anxiety generated by such an unexpected event
The lost of speed indication (for any reasons) or a lost of one engine is not a unexpected event for a pilot
It's a expected event ... because other events of this type have occurred since the decades
For a pilot .. that can't be source of extreme anxiety
the unfamiliar flying characteristics

Last edited by jcjeant; 17th Oct 2012 at 18:07.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 21:51
  #266 (permalink)  
 
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jcjeant - these were two First Officers who found themselves in three and half minutes going from safe 'normal flight' to a loss of control they could not understand followed by a descent rate at times in excess of 10,000 feet per minute. I would strongly suggest than any normal human being would feel extreme anxiety under these circumstances, and that may go some way to explain why the right seat FO acted 'strangely' and kept the sidestick back the whole time.

Regarding engine failures being normal events, again I would strongly suggest to you that the testimony of history is that these things generate strong physiological reactions in pilots. I have had several engine failures in my career and not one of them did I regard as normal and all of them made my heart beat a lot faster! The much-congratulated Chesley Sullenberger of Airbus-in-the-Hudson fame also said that one of the hardest things to deal with was a sense of acute anxiety - that would strike me as totally normal under these circumstances. In my experience, when it comes to wars or emergencies there are a handful of people who do not feel anxiety - the rest just lie about it. I unashamedly have felt anxiety when being shot at or facing significant and unusual events. I reckon that makes me a normal guy - the trick is being able to work through the natural anxiety we all feel. The particular circumstances that the Air France crew dealt with (a stall that they did not recognise as such) would seem an extremely anxious situation to me and I would have been astonished if that did not affect their performance.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 22:56
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I would strongly suggest than any normal human being would feel extreme anxiety under these circumstances, and that may go some way to explain why the right seat FO acted 'strangely' and kept the sidestick back the whole timeQUOTE]

So this is accepted performance by our new pilots that AB decided didn't need stall recovery training because the AB couldn't stall?

This was unheard of when I was flying not too long ago.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 00:31
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Originally Posted by Alexander de Meerkat
As any Airbus pilot will tell you, it is a magic machine that will protect you from going wrong so often compared to conventional aircraft.
Curious to know what exactly is going wrong so often on conventional aircraft and not on the magic machine ... ?
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 00:45
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jcjeant - these were two First Officers who found themselves in three and half minutes going from safe 'normal flight' to a loss of control
My point of view:
these were two First Officers flying a safe 'normal flight' who put theirselves in three and half minutes in a total loss of control flight
I think they not understand .. because they don't know what they made
Their actions are so abnormal .. that they don't understand ... and believe it's no more possible to control the plane
Then come the anxiety ..... fatal for all ... panic is contagious ..
Their answers to the first captain question demonstrates their state of panic
They explain nothing .. they just answer they don't control the plane anymore ....

Last edited by jcjeant; 18th Oct 2012 at 23:54.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 22:13
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I've not been able to read the report entirely but I wonder why the cruise captain did not take over the controls?

Is it not his job to do so in absence of the actual captain?
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 00:11
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You won't find the reason why the PF was allowed to continue with full back SS here. I couldn't find anything. I assumed it was lack of confidence of the PNF that kept him from intervening. He only summoned the captain to return to the cockpit and then it was too late.

I don't know any pilots that would respond this way, do you?
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 00:29
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That is the primary problem. The Cruise Captain was quick to scold RHS, for climbing, but his concern disappeared prior to the most radical portion of the ascent. He never mentions the climb again, and by the time they are above 38,000 and Stalled, he agrees with "We have no idea, we have lost control."

What happened, and why did he call for Commander? Since he never mentions altitude after the initial scold, is it available?

When Commander returns, are things so bolloxed up, he hesitates to regain his chair, fearing a loss of all possibilities?

They are focused on altitude after the STALL, and no mention of attitude, save roll, and rudder. Attitude? They may as well be ignoring PITCH, but why?

Breathtaking ROD, noisy airstream, but PITCH? Not a sausage. Until Captain asks the flying pilot to CLIMB? He cannot know PITCH, if he sees and understands it, he suggests ascent?

Something is missing from the report. Instead of offering possible reasons for such a dramatic departure from airmanship, from BEA nothing. NOTHING.

Instead, the field is left open for the audience to guess. Better conjecture from the experts, I should think.
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 03:19
  #273 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bubbers44
You won't find the reason why the PF was allowed to continue with full back SS here.
Because to intervene, you need first to know, but the Airbus sidestick concept deprived both PNF to simply witness how the PF was full back stick for a 30 seconds period.
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 04:58
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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I cant understand why would anyone make an airplane that has two pilots in control on landing. Namely invisible George and me. Imagine landing that on a wet blustery night with gusting crosswinds. Give me my 'manual' back anytime.
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 05:20
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Because 'George' can fly 10times better than you (or any other pilot).

As long as you haven't confused the shit out of him already!

People who have never flown Airbus should bother trying to comprehend the concept. It isnt natural for any pilot to accept the computer can do the job much better than you can.
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 05:26
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I can understand to a certain degree that pilots who never flew the bird think it is dangerous.
It might be twitchy, but as others stated, pilots simply have to know their bird and their game and act accordingly. This is commonly called:

pilots skill and training

If they still insist by stating that there should not be an aircraft flying that needs such skill and training, then how on earth can the same people denigrate the AF447 pilots and defend the Airbus design by ...... exactly the same arguments? Namely that you need to know your bird and your game. Because this is exactly the same requirement:

pilots skill and training

It always seems that it's same same but different:
Accidents with the Maddog is the aircraft design's fault.
Accidents with the Airbus is the pilots fault.

Some coherence please.
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Old 20th Oct 2012, 00:26
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It always seems that it's same same but different:
Accidents with the Maddog is the aircraft design's fault.
Accidents with the Airbus is the pilots fault.
This is not the general consensus at all. Maddog had a lot of problems but didn't make the pilot as autopilot dependent as the AB training.

I retired in the B757 and 767 and trusted them to not let me down. I knew in the B757 I could lose everything electrical including battery and still keep flying to destination or emergency airport and visually land. Our automation was used to reduce work load, not as a primary way to fly the airplane. If automation decided to take a detour for some reason we simply turned it off until it was helping us again, not hindering us.

Automation might fly 10X better than a pilot when everything is working 100% but all bets are off when something glitches. A pilot will handle the glitch and proceed safely if he has the experience handflying to not rely on the automation.
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Old 20th Oct 2012, 03:06
  #278 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bubbers44 View Post
Maddog had a lot of problems but didn't make the pilot as autopilot dependent as the AB training.
The 'za?

Reliance on automation was an industry-wide move, not an Airbus-specific one. The Honeywell FMC in the A320 wasn't a great deal more complex or more capable than that installed in the B757/767, and FBW is *not* - nor has it ever been - a form of automation.

The fact that the safety record of the Airbus FBW types has maintained parity with types with a more traditional layout suggests very clearly that the dire warnings put about by the sceptics 24 years ago were not supported by fact and have been proven little more than scaremongering.

Northwest 6231, West Caribbean 708 and Birgenair 301 are all accidents involving aircraft with traditional controls where the non-handling crew had connected PFCs displaying exactly what the handling pilot was doing and yet the non-handling crew did nothing to correct the situation. The idea that connected controls make the difference is therefore not supported by the evidence and smacks of wishful thinking on the part of those who have already decided that the Airbus flight deck design is unsafe because of the lack of said connection.

The advent of the A320 and its FBW implementation is not - and never was - part of a move to sideline and de-skill the job of the line pilot. The opprobrium directed at the A320 and her sisters is and has has always been entirely misdirected.
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Old 20th Oct 2012, 12:03
  #279 (permalink)  
 
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The fact that the safety record of the Airbus FBW types has maintained parity with types with a more traditional layout suggests very clearly that the dire warnings put about by the sceptics 24 years ago were not supported by fact and have been proven little more than scaremongering

In essence the modern Airbus design is on parity with more traditional layouts, as you state, we can agree on that.
But the safety record of the Airbus FBW falls way short of the one of the Boeing FBW. It seems that the interpretation of the B FBW logic is safer than the one of A.

Finally it's improvement we are striving for, not parity!

There's a lesson to learn here.

Some of my fellow posters join me in pointing at the lack of tactile feedback and more complicated intervention in case of automation failure.

Last edited by Gretchenfrage; 20th Oct 2012 at 12:07.
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Old 20th Oct 2012, 12:18
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where the non-handling crew had connected PFCs displaying exactly what the handling pilot was doing and yet the non-handling crew did nothing to correct the situation
Probably because they didn't have anything extra to offer (that 727 crew were responding to what they thought was an overspeed, not a stall). The AF447 captain may have offered a lot, had he seen the PF's control column (had there been one) back in his guts for most of the descent...

Last edited by Capn Bloggs; 20th Oct 2012 at 12:19.
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