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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 31st Oct 2012, 07:29
  #381 (permalink)  
BBK
 
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I can't claim to be anything remotely like an expert on Airbus technology but I flew one for a short time compared to many years on Boeings. The first thing that struck me about the conversion course, and this was over ten years ago, was that Airbus were at pains to stress that even though it was advanced technology you could, if you desired, take all the automatics and "hand" it fly like any other aircraft. At that time they were not so widespread as the low cost operators nearly always used 737s. There was the mythology of "what's it doing now" and Airbus claimed that this was all nonsense and of course they would!

For my part it was a nice aeroplane to operate although it struck me that it wasn't easier than a Boeing as you HAD to understand the automatics more so than on a conventional ship. I don't want to use the word "feedback" as that may upset at least one Ppruner but it was apparent that certain cues that you have on a 737, for example, like the thrust levers moving were absent and ditto for the control wheel and so that monitoring the ECAM and FMAs were vital. For example, take the situation where you level off from a descent. In a conventional ship you will see, and possibly feel, the thrust levers move up to the cruise setting whereas the Airbus you won't so you have to scan the thrust parameters diligently. From my very limited experience I would say that the Airbus pilot is deprived of certain physical ie tactile cues in terms of understanding what the FMS is doing. Does this reduction in information make a difference? Well that's one aspect of the debate that is raging here but it is ridiculous to suggest that such a deficit does NOT exist. Talking to friends who fly the 'Bus they say they get used to it and cope with it during line ops but as one put it the Airbus is "quirky" in that respect.

In terms of the automatic protections my recollection was that Airbus appeared to take the view since humans make mistakes then maybe a system that takes said human out of the loop would be better. The problem was then that at some point the pilot need to get back into the loop. I'm sure if I had spent more time on the Airbus I would have gotten to grips with this aspect. By comparison, Boeing seem to have designed the 777 to compliment the human pilot not take over from him/her. I haven't flown the 777 so I cannot expand on that point which is there appears to me to have been a fundamentally different design philosophy between Airbus and Boeing.

Lastly, I haven't contributed to any of the numerous AF447 threads because like most of my (Boeing) colleagues I just cannot understand what the pilot flying was doing/thinking. I can easily understand the horrible sensation of being bounced around in the vicinity of Cbs in the ITCZ looking for the best option on the weather radar. However, in my current type it is practically unthinkable that anyone would hold full back stick (or control wheel) and leave it there AND for the PNF not to notice. For one thing the wheel is practically in one's abdomen when doing so such as when conducting the control checks on taxying out. It wouldn't be good CRM to whack a male colleagues in the crown jewels at the beginning of a long sector!

From what I have read about AF447 it does appear that there was a major deficit in situational awareness (SA). One of the questions, for me, is does Airbus technology help or hinder that SA. I'm sure the debate will continue to rage....
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 07:41
  #382 (permalink)  
 
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BBK

Nice and spot on contribution. You managed to cut out the emotions, bring in some true comparisons and ended with the right questions.

Thanks

Last edited by Gretchenfrage; 31st Oct 2012 at 07:42.
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 14:08
  #383 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Uplink
Well; It's not big, and it's not clever. It is like the playground nerd.
Now that's the best description of PPRuNe's Airbus threads: playground.

Originally Posted by bubbers44
Clandestino, with your opinionated retorts to every professional pilot here I think I must have had you as my FO once. We all have experienced sequences from hell and I am sure you must have been on one of them.
No matter how hard I try, I just fail to understand what his statement has to do with "Airbus takes the pilots back to basics with the A350". Must be me.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
Thanks OK! So it is the greediness of the operators not to buy this option, they are to blame!!!
Or perchance preference of the pilots who will really fly the stuff to have crossbars FD?



Originally Posted by BBK
I can't claim to be anything remotely like an expert on Airbus technology
Agreed.
Originally Posted by BBK
The first thing that struck me about the conversion course, and this was over ten years ago, was that Airbus were at pains to stress that even though it was advanced technology you could, if you desired, take all the automatics and "hand" it fly like any other aircraft.
Given the rumour mill about Airbi, they were not wasting their time. They were not wrong either.

Originally Posted by BBK
There was the mythology of "what's it doing now" and Airbus claimed that this was all nonsense and of course they would!
"What is it doing now" is not a myth, it has happened many a time. Now, is there any documented case of it being caused by something else than crew's inability to comprehend normal AFCS behaviour?

Originally Posted by BBK
it was apparent that certain cues that you have on a 737, for example, like the thrust levers moving were absent
Moving trust lever is cue of exactly what? How is it relevant to pilot?

Originally Posted by BBK
For example, take the situation where you level off from a descent. In a conventional ship you will see, and possibly feel, the thrust levers move up to the cruise setting whereas the Airbus you won't so you have to scan the thrust parameters diligently.
Whoever taught you that "conventional ships" obviate the need for diligent scan was very dangerously wrong.

Originally Posted by BBK
that the Airbus pilot is deprived of certain physical ie tactile cues in terms of understanding what the FMS is doing.
What are the tactile cues of what FMS is doing? Do they supplement or replace checking FMA?

Originally Posted by BBK
Talking to friends who fly the 'Bus they say they get used to it and cope with it during line ops but as one put it the Airbus is "quirky" in that respect.
So we are lead to believe that almost everyone is worried about the Airbus cockpit design but no one seem to be able to do something about it.
Originally Posted by BBK
In terms of the automatic protections my recollection was that Airbus appeared to take the view since humans make mistakes then maybe a system that takes said human out of the loop would be better.
That is severe misrepresentation of the Airbus FBW protections. Automatic protections take pilot of the loop only when he is unequivocally trying to do obviously dangerous maneuvre in transport category ae e.g. aileron roll or loop.

Originally Posted by BBK
Boeing seem to have designed the 777 to compliment the human pilot not take over from him/her
Sales pitch, based on largely false assumptions of the features of the competitors product. It has no support except in anonymous rants on internet fora, publicity craving authors promoting their techno-thrillers masquerading as serious research and lawyers / union reps defending the pilots who stuffed it up, at all costs.

Originally Posted by BBK
I can easily understand the horrible sensation of being bounced around in the vicinity of Cbs in the ITCZ looking for the best option on the weather radar.
That's something I believe you can. However, detailed published acceleration traces of AF447 in all three axes show there was no significant turbulence at the time of the accident or preceding it. So "bouncing around" in the context of AF447 is merely a very high flight of fancy.

Originally Posted by BBK
However, in my current type it is practically unthinkable that anyone would hold full back stick (or control wheel) and leave it there AND for the PNF not to notice.
People strongly believing something unthinkable were often nastily surprised by the reality. For example:

Originally Posted by BBK
like most of my (Boeing) colleagues I just cannot understand what the pilot flying was doing/thinking.
...some folks around (allegedly) still can't believe AF447 report that the crew got "destructured", implying rational thinking abandoned cockpit for good. So are bound to learn almost nothing useful from it.

Originally Posted by BBK
From what I have read about AF447 it does appear that there was a major deficit in situational awareness (SA). One of the questions, for me, is does Airbus technology help or hinder that SA. I'm sure the debate will continue to rage....
...limited to PPRuNe, i.e. storm in a teacup.

Recommended reading for those really interested in basics of civil FBW:

David Learmount: Perceptions by wire
, courtesy of FlightGlobal.
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 15:28
  #384 (permalink)  
 
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Apart from your usual dissection of the undissectable, the linked article is quite revealing. It basically states what we have been saying all along.

Learmonth does not judge, but we can all read.

for example:

One early Airbus explanation reads like this: "The A320 lives in a box. It can't fly too slow; it can't fly too fast." ... - ....
It was analogous to the announcement of unsinkability before the Titanic's maiden voyage.
followed by:

The investigators may since have found there was nothing wrong with the equipment in either case, but their reports demonstrated that the pilots had an incomplete understanding of what the A320 would do for them and - more important - what it would not.
So he is obviously stating that what Airbus was pretending protecting against, is not happening. It all comes down to "pilot understanding", which is simply admitting that the system is not doing what it was designed for, namely protecting if the pilot who does not completely understand it.
Is protection not intended to do exactly that? Protecting the one who lost the plot or never had it?

The next quote shows this quite blatantly:

Oliver Will of the German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit, commented: "[The A320] is a beautiful aeroplane. We love it. It's comfortable, it's safe - I never saw an aircraft going through windshear like an Airbus - but why build in so many traps?"
Now as to comparing the Airbus to Boeing, he quite evidently concurs with what we also state ever and ever again:

Effectively, the 777 pilots retain the right to bend the aircraft if that is what it takes to save it, whereas Airbus pilots do not have that privilege while they are using normal control law
He does not judge, but one can read between the lines.

One can have his differing beliefs, but clearly in this article the controversy of absence of tactile feedback or still retaining it has not been engaged. Some might say that it's because it's not important. The main reason I believe is however, that a entering in this very controversy would have Learmonth to take side, which would be so highly political that he'd rather refrain.

I side with BBK as he states:

From my very limited experience I would say that the Airbus pilot is deprived of certain physical ie tactile cues in terms of understanding what the FMS is doing. Does this reduction in information make a difference? Well that's one aspect of the debate that is raging here but it is ridiculous to suggest that such a deficit does NOT exist.
That is exactly the point why I can't take dozy or clandestino for a discussion parity, because they are constantly negating the obvious.

Last edited by Gretchenfrage; 31st Oct 2012 at 15:31.
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 18:39
  #385 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by iceman50
TTex660

If you have never flown using the bird without FD's then I suggest your training department needs to look at what they train. Very useful when flying raw data, visually and without the AP, FD"s and A/THR.
Useful for what? I fly the 320 on fairly high frequency runs, make lots of take of and landings, regularly fly with out Flight guidance or autothrust and am perfectly capable of putting the aircraft where it needs to be with just a basic panel. I'm a long way from being "God's gift to aviation" when it comes to perfect heading/alt/airspeed, but the basic panel suits me just fine. If I can fly raw data without a crutch, why would you want me to use the crutch?

However, I will take your advice and try the bird without FD's. I am admittedly lazy and have no problem using all available information some times, like when flying on the backside of the clock. The primary reason I fly raw data as often as I can is simple because I don't want to end up like Robert and Bonin. I want to have the best feel possible for the aircraft. Trust me, I don't hand fly to impress my FO's.
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 19:01
  #386 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Clandestino
So you have the actual experience of flying out of normal law and you fond out that manual is false? Did you warn your safety department about it so they can communicate to Airbus the need to change the manuals? If you did, what was their reply?
Actually, you're correct. I have no experience flying the Airbus outside of normal law. I can however read the accident reports and the manuals and quickly decipher the fact that the control response from control input varies between normal and alternate. The manuals are correct, it's the Airbus Golden Rule simplification that is misleading.

But your contention, and that of Airbus is laughable on its face. What percentage of airliners in current use: use rate for bank?, use "g" for pitch?, change the stick input-to-output characteristics in various phases of flight? are stable in flight path (edited from - pitch) but not speed?, have no "trim in motion' warning?, feature stationary thrust levers in normal ops?

I'll stick to my guns, the Bus isn't flown like any other airliner.

No, I haven't notified my safety dept. What we have is a difference of opinion. I don't think the safety dept really cares what I think about how their cash cow is flown.

I'll give you this, (unless I missed it in your encyclopedic post) at least you don't accuse me of being a Airbus Hater. Thanks for that.

Last edited by TTex600; 31st Oct 2012 at 21:06. Reason: replaced pitch with flight path
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 21:58
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Originally Posted by BizJetJock View Post
Ahh, the good old training days in the chipmunk......
To this day, the only real flying I've ever done, and I feel privileged to have been a part of it!

Replying a little out of sequence here, so please bear with me:

Originally Posted by TTex600 View Post
This is why we love you Dozy, you just can't let anything stand. You must have the last word.
Judging by the amount of discussion that has continued in my absence, I'm sure you can see that this isn't the case at all! For various reasons I'm not in a position to spend time on here as regularly as I once did, so I have to deal with more at once - that's all.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage View Post
..... the easiest, proven since two seaters were invented and realistically the most human-adapted tool to prevent even the most untrained and moronic team to s*rew-up, is a duplication of what one moron, for whatever reason is irrelevant, puts into his yoke or side-stick.
Not true - that part of the "traditional" design was a side-effect of having direct cable links from the controls to the surfaces. Even in the DC-3 days, four hands on the yoke was only ever supposed to happen if extra muscle power was required to move the surfaces. A pilot at ATPL level is expected to be able to handle the thing without assistance - if your concern is that ATPL qualification is not sufficient to handle the aircraft properly, then that's a very different argument and not really relevant here.

Originally Posted by re: FPV
Are you "pretty sure" or are you assuming for once?
This saddens me. I try to draw a line under the arguing and state something that I picked up on the other thread (later clarified by OK465 - cheers! ), hoping that you'd pick up on it and state whether you considered such behaviour a design problem. Instead, you immediately doubt the veracity of the statement and assume a hostile position because it was me who said it - even though it contradicts what iceman50 was suggesting.

Originally Posted by BBK View Post
There was the mythology of "what's it doing now" and Airbus claimed that this was all nonsense and of course they would!
"What's it doing now?" is FMS/autopilot-related and not specific to Airbus types.

In terms of the automatic protections my recollection was that Airbus appeared to take the view since humans make mistakes then maybe a system that takes said human out of the loop would be better.
Incorrect. That assertion originated with poorly-researched press articles. The level of automation on the A320 and her descendants wasn't really any more than that of her contemporaries (being the B757, B767 and MD-11 in Western terms). The fundamental specification of the FBW design (FBW is *not* automation!) was that the aircraft would stay within the limits of the tested flight envelope as long as all systems were functioning properly. This meant that an inadvertent control input would be stopped at the maneouvering limits, but it also meant that a pilot would be able to demand full deflection in an evasive maneouvre without having to worry about overstressing the airframe.

Now, Gretchenfrage - regarding the Learmount article, you're quoting out of context. For example, your quote:

One early Airbus explanation reads like this: "The A320 lives in a box. It can't fly too slow; it can't fly too fast." ...
It was analogous to the announcement of unsinkability before the Titanic's maiden voyage.
concatenates two paragraphs which are a significant distance apart. What he actually writes is:

"The A320 lives in a box. It can't fly too slow; it can't fly too fast." There are many other flight envelope limitations set by the aircraft's controlling computer systems, but Airbus started by mentioning the simple ones.

3 paragraphs omitted...

There is a case for saying that, when the early customer airlines and their pilots were introduced to the theory of the A320's FEP system, the knowledge had an unintended psychological side-effect on crews. It was analogous to the announcement of unsinkability before the Titanic's maiden voyage.
Which paints a very different picture from that which you are presenting.

In fact Learmount's homework for the article is incomplete. The sidestick testing began not with the specialised A300, but with a specially adapted Concorde (which had an analogue FBW system from the outset).

But let's continue. Learmount also states (emphasis mine):

The world's press homed in on the aircraft's computer control system, aided by the French pilots' union the Syndicat National des Pilotes de Ligne, which claimed there was a conspiracy to destroy data that would have proved the system to be fundamentally flawed. History has shown the SNPL to be wrong.
He also makes an interesting point about the trim wheels on the T7 (emphasis mine):

Unlike all the FBW Airbuses, in which trimming is automatic with the horizontal stabiliser immediately moving to the in-trim position for the attitude that the pilot has selected, in the 777 the pilots select the trim in what feels like the familiar, old-fashioned way. But when the pilot thinks he is trimming the load off, he is actually selecting the reference speed at which pitch control forces are zero.
It all comes down to the point that Clandestino has made time and again - what feels like a conventional control layout in airliners of the last 40-50 years is actually an illusion - an approximation enabled by technology that disguises the true nature of the control authority to the pilot. If anything, Airbus's design is actually being more honest with the pilot than the post-60s designs of Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 00:33
  #388 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
One can have his differing beliefs, but clearly in this article the controversy of absence of tactile feedback or still retaining it has not been engaged. Some might say that it's because it's not important. The main reason I believe is however, that a entering in this very controversy would have Learmonth to take side, which would be so highly political that he'd rather refrain.
In the meantime, his preference for the sidestick seems obvious to me when reading the all article. But he makes sure to avoid to have to debate on sidesticks versus interconnected sidesticks, yokes ...

The reason could be here :
The pilot? Yes, one pilot. If customers will accept the concept, of course. What do you need two for when the system will be the co-pilot to the captain you have?
All along the main idea has been to reduce further the number of members in a flight deck, eventually to nil.
But at only one in front, the sidestick option makes more sense.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 01:13
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Originally Posted by CONF iture View Post
In the meantime, his preference for the sidestick seems obvious to me when reading the all article. But he makes sure to avoid to have to debate on sidesticks versus interconnected sidesticks, yokes ...
If he "avoids [the] debate", then where are you getting the idea that he has a "preference" either way?

All along the main idea has been to reduce further the number of members in a flight deck, eventually to nil.
But at only one in front, the sidestick option makes more sense.
Rubbish. The concept of a single pilot being in direct control at any one time has been the case for as long as airliners have had dual controls. Two-person flight decks have been around since the days of the Jurassic B737 and BAC 1-11 (i.e the best part of half a century). If the A320 had been intended for single pilot operation then it would have been so - but it wasn't.

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 1st Nov 2012 at 02:54.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 02:38
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So is Airbus going to improve safety by giving a sim session or two in basic flying skills to the pilots or is it just an answer to the lack of that training contributing to the AF 447 crash. If they don't encourage hand flying to maintain their skills as my airline did the sim session or two isn't going to do much to maintain those skills.

I remember when I was a private pilot we had to have three take offs and landings to a full stop within 3 months to be legal to carry passengers. Do you think a sim once a year is adequate to be qualified to hand fly a plane your company wants you to fly on autopilot 98 % of the time?
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 02:53
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@bubbers44 - It's not down to Airbus either way, purely in the hands of the regulatory authorities and airlines. Remember that the prevalence of automation has nothing to do with the type being flown - it's an industry-wide issue. Ideally, aspects of piloting as basic as stall recognition and recovery should be understood and practiced long before the ATPL is granted, and I believe that the basics should be revised at regular intervals. As to the specifics I wouldn't like to hazard a guess.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 03:20
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I agree that low time pilots are being hired now but most of the US major's still have pilots furloughed for over 10 years with high time.

I was fortunate to fly with well qualified pilots. I don't understand how you could forget how to not recognize a stall and recover easily with your basic training.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 05:40
  #393 (permalink)  
 
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Dozy
For once a very short but good contribution.

It's not down to Airbus either way, purely in the hands of the regulatory authorities and airlines.
Absolutely. Especially the authorities fail miserably in this respect. The regulators basically only work with toothless recommendations not tying down anyone and all too rarely with stringent directions. As to how far they are tied up with lobbies or worse, itís a jungle, but itís not efficient enough to produce what authorities were meant for. Safety does not come first, unfortunately.

Remember that the prevalence of automation has nothing to do with the type being flown - it's an industry-wide issue.
Agreed. But there is logically enough always one product more prone to it than others. Thatís the meat of the discussion here.

Ideally, aspects of piloting as basic as stall recognition and recovery should be understood and practiced long before the ATPL is granted
Oh yes! Again, the regulators fail miserably to enforce what is basically understood and laid down to be minimum training. How can a MCC program fulfill such a requirement? How can pilots hold a ATPL and have never done any aerobatics? -- > All tacitly accepted in the name of the wholy profit, (and fallback)!

and I believe that the basics should be revised at regular intervals.
Yes again! But not in the band-aid way it is done today. Once a year well briefed manual handling sims is ridiculous when paired with the prevailing SOP to engage and disengage the AP at 500ft and refrain from visual procedures unless absolutely necessary.
This is an airline issue. But it might be adressed by us pilots as well as by the regulators. Because airlines never do anything costly unless forced.

Last edited by Gretchenfrage; 1st Nov 2012 at 05:40.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 11:12
  #394 (permalink)  
 
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It all comes down to the point that Clandestino has made time and again - what feels like a conventional control layout in airliners of the last 40-50 years is actually an illusion - an approximation enabled by technology that disguises the true nature of the control authority to the pilot. If anything, Airbus's design is actually being more honest with the pilot than the post-60s designs of Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed.
Concerning feel for the aircraft or feel what the guy in the next seat is doing itīs a non event, wether the feedback is artificial, generated by subbsystems (f.e. the bellow- and bob-weight-system in the F-4) or computers and electric motors or wether its a direct feedback by cables like 50 years ago. It worked satisfactory for the last 50 years in phantoms and it seams to work in the B-crafts. If it was abandoned in A-aircraft, then not due to pilots complaints but due to other reasons. Therefore the above statement is ......meaningless.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 11:29
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@Bubbers44 #412,

David Learmount on loss of skills due to automation: "Contrary to a lot of comments you will hear, this is not a function of the atrophying of manual motor skills - it is the brain skills and awareness that is being lost".

David Learmount AF447 - Explanation at 8:00.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 12:09
  #396 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bubbers44 View Post
I remember when I was a private pilot we had to have three take offs and landings to a full stop within 3 months to be legal to carry passengers. Do you think a sim once a year is adequate to be qualified to hand fly a plane your company wants you to fly on autopilot 98 % of the time?
What strikes me a bit in this discussion is the constant mix-up between FMS and FCS.

Regarding FMS, i.e. flying with A/P and A/THR to me there is no significant difference between Airbus and Boeing. If you fly your B7x7 99% of the time with A/P on you will probably lose as much ability in hand flying as if you do the same thing in an A3x0.
Cure seems simple and has to be provided by the airlines: More opportunities of actually manipulating the controls.

Then there is FCS. That is where the systems knowledge becomes important. I hear/read frequently concerns about the new generation of pilots being Systems Managers. Looking at AF447 one has to wonder: Are they really well trained Systems Managers?
Apart from improving manual flying skills in order to avoid getting into a situation where you need profound systems knowledge in order to stand a chance of survival what really concerns me about AF447 is the apparent lack of understanding of the systems when they became really survival relevant, that is after manual flying skills obviously failed.
In my eyes that is where another focus should be put. They had a lot of tools and systems available yet it seems there was no real concept how to use them and how the tools really work (example FD behaviour after re- engagement). In a complex environment (which modern airliners definitely are) that is not good!

What could the airlines do:
- Better/more training in real systems behaviour/logic highlight possible traps.
- Highlight those systems and their use which represent the essential flight parameters. (No matter how many bits and bytes are pushed around airliners are very conventional airplanes which do fly properly and sustained within a certain range of AoA and able to achieve/require a certain level of energy (kinetic + potential). as long as you stay in this range you have a lot of options for trade. Outside the range these options might quickly reduce / disappear. So the main focus of survival must be to stay in this envelope.

What could the manufacturer do:
- Better generally published documentation by the manufacturers which better highlight important facts/aspects and for future designs:
- Implementation of more intuitive systems behaviour. Try to avoid catches/traps. (Being involved with IT in my profession I know that sounds so much easier than it really is but sometimes it is really neccessary to take the perspective of the 'user' to not get too carried away when designing solutions).
- Install basic flight relevant instruments (e.g. AoA indicator) even if the airlines don't explicitely ask for it: As a amanufacturer you suffer from their cock-ups as well.

Airlines might come and go. You as manufaturer have to live with the impact on the reputation.

Edit: You might have noticed I didn't mention yoke vs. stick. To me this is more of a side issue. It might be an aspect in the area of improving intuitive environment. Could be a solution but I'm not really sure it is of highest relevance in this whole context.

Last edited by henra; 1st Nov 2012 at 12:20.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 17:47
  #397 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
It all comes down to "pilot understanding", which is simply admitting that the system is not doing what it was designed for, namely protecting if the pilot who does not completely understand it.
Not at all. It is admitting that pilots don't understand it, not than it's inherently non-understandable. Protections are not there to save clueless pilots, just to stop distracted ones from rapidly sending the aeroplane into area from which recovery is improbable.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
The next quote shows this quite blatantly:
Wasn't there in a post just before yours something about union reps defending the pilots who stuffed up? Did you miss it? Well, that's exactly what was referred to. Mr Learmount's article is good introduction to FBW basics, for going into details of Warsaw disaster, it's far better to read the report. Aeroplane was landed in the middle of the storm, on rain soaked 2800meter long runway with 18 kt tailwind, Vls+30 at 50 ft and VLs +20 at touchdown, which occurred 770 m past threshold at GS 168 kt on right main gear only. Aeroplane proceeded along the runway in what was almost low pass, with stick held right and just right mains and nosewheel in contact with the runway. Left gear was lowered 755 meters later and only then reversers opened and autobrake activated, however, aeroplane aquaplaned and left runway at 60kt and hit localizer berm.

Now, there were folks who did inappropriate, yet among mankind very widespread reaction of blaming what they understood least, which turned out to be Airbus systems.

Of course, Airbus did something to prevent such an event from reoccurring. If you guessed it's more automatics - you are right. Selecting reversers now cracks open the spoilers which plants the gear on the runway and defeats Buck Rogers insisting on the stick-into-the-wind-during-rollout technique he learned on Stearman - where it's appropriate, unlike on 320.

Sadly, instead of everyone learning something from Warsaw, cacophony of "Airbus is at fault!" screams drowned out sensible discussion and we have seen a rerun of it with 340.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
One can have his differing beliefs, but clearly in this article the controversy of absence of tactile feedback or still retaining it has not been engaged.
Those that have actually read Mr Learmount's article know that this statement of yours is spectacularly false.

Originally Posted by David Learmount
The same could be said of one of the most obvious FBW-enabled components: the sidestick or mini-stick flight control. Airbus has embraced it completely but Boeing has chosen not to. That visible symbol has always tended to be the lightning conductor for disagreement where it existed. Now that FBW is mature, however, and the industry has refined and deployed it to best advantage, it is easier to argue that the controversy was mainly in people's heads and never had any real substance.
Originally Posted by David Learmount
The FBW Airbuses, at first impression, are suspiciously easy to fly using the unfamiliar sidestick. The consciousness of difference from a normal aircraft, however, lasts only about a minute. Within that brief period the pilot forgets there is no "feel" in the sidestick, because the inputs required to control the aircraft are exactly what they would be in a conventionally controlled aeroplane, in the sense that they are intuitive and proportionate. Also, within the normal flight envelope, the outcomes resulting from control movements are exactly what the pilot would expect, with the exception of the fact that trimming is automatic.
Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
The main reason I believe is however, that a entering in this very controversy would have Learmonth to take side, which would be so highly political that he'd rather refrain.
Outside of the anonymous comments left on internet fora, issue is not highly political. It is practically non-existent.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
That is exactly the point why I can't take dozy or clandestino for a discussion parity, because they are constantly negating the obvious.
Obvious to some that are constantly unable to convince the rest of the world, and especially those tasked with determination of some system's or aeroplane's airworthiness, that their notions are really valid.

Originally Posted by TTex600
I can however read the accident reports and the manuals and quickly decipher the fact that the control response from control input varies between normal and alternate.
So what! Aeroplanes behave differently with different weight and CG. They behave differently when getting iced. They behave differently with lost or stuck control surfaces. They behave differently when part of hydraulics are lost. They behave differently when synthetic pitch feel unit packs up. How come pilots are still expected to cope with all of that and most of the time they do but mere change of flight control law is suddenly big, big, problem? Good old ignorance, I'd guess.

Originally Posted by TTex600
But your contention, and that of Airbus is laughable on its face. What percentage of airliners in current use: use rate for bank?, use "g" for pitch?, change the stick input-to-output characteristics in various phases of flight? are stable in flight path (edited from - pitch) but not speed?, have no "trim in motion' warning?, feature stationary thrust levers in normal ops?
Those in use since 1988. Those produced in more than 6000 examples. Those making 5000+ successful flights every day. Those that have incidents daily yet somehow still make it safely back to earth.

That's laughable?

Originally Posted by TTex600
I'll stick to my guns, the Bus isn't flown like any other airliner.

No, I haven't notified my safety dept. What we have is a difference of opinion. I don't think the safety dept really cares what I think about how their cash cow is flown.
Pilot disagreeing with his Operating manual, not seeking clarification from his CP or instructors or voicing concern to Safety Dept as it perceives them as ineffective displays very dangerous psychological traits of anti-authority and resignation but then we were all warned about it during compulsory CRM training.

Originally Posted by TTex600
at least you don't accuse me of being a Airbus Hater. Thanks for that.
Your emotional attitude towards Airbus is absolutely irrelevant to subject of this thread and therefore is not discussed.

Originally Posted by CONF iture
But at only one in front, the sidestick option makes more sense.
Not at all. Conclusion of the article misses what flying public would rather not know anything about yet the pilots are forced to live with; that any first officer at any time airborne might be suddenly, unexpectedly and irrevocably be tasked with commanding the aeroplane. Computers may fly the aeroplane but they cannot command her. Yet. When they will be able to do so, it won't be single-pilot aeroplanes, it will be zero-pilots. If that happens, we'll have much bigger things to worry about than just all the pilots being made redundant.

Originally Posted by bubbers 44
So is Airbus going to improve safety by giving a sim session or two in basic flying skills to the pilots or is it just an answer to the lack of that training contributing to the AF 447 crash.
In order to have sensible debate, it is important to be able to understand the difference between the Airbus as a pilots' training provider (TRTO) and Airbus as a manufacturer. If Lineas Aereas de Costaguana declares Costaguanian pilots to be superior to the rest of the world and slashes their training syllabus savagely, with the support of People's Revolutionary Party of Costaguana appointed CAA, Airbus as manufacturer is legally not required (and also unable) to do anything about it. It may warn anyone concerned about its misgivings, which might prompt FAA to degrade Costaguana to category 2 but that's about it.

What we're discussing is that Airbus TRTO is seemingly introducing in its syllabus for 350 what many an airline has been doing for decades with other Airbi.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
Especially the authorities fail miserably in this respect. The regulators basically only work with toothless recommendations not tying down anyone and all too rarely with stringent directions. As to how far they are tied up with lobbies or worse, itís a jungle, but itís not efficient enough to produce what authorities were meant for. Safety does not come first, unfortunately.
Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
Oh yes! Again, the regulators fail miserably to enforce what is basically understood and laid down to be minimum training. How can a MCC program fulfill such a requirement? How can pilots hold a ATPL and have never done any aerobatics? -- > All tacitly accepted in the name of the wholy profit, (and fallback)!
In the real world, just because the authorities don't conform to our notions is not reason enough to accuse them of being corrupt.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
But there is logically enough always one product more prone to it than others.
If we get extremely biased and prejudiced, we might agree with it.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
Thatís the meat of the discussion here.
Most of the time heavily seasoned yet the taste of rot is far too strong to get covered up.

Originally Posted by Retired F4
It worked satisfactory for the last 50 years in phantoms and it seams to work in the B-crafts.
One of the usual problem with Airbus threads on PPRuNe is some folks blowing differences between A and B out of all proportions and hinting Airbus is dangerous because it's different or claiming what was working on their specific aircraft should be fine for every other aircraft, Airbus included. Entertaining stuff, both of them.

Originally Posted by Retired F4
If it was abandoned in A-aircraft, then not due to pilots complaints but due to other reasons. Therefore the above statement is ......meaningless.
Way it's done, it works in A-brand also, except if we choose to be extremely biased and ignorant by concentrating solely on single accident and then concentrating just on the tiny parts of the report that taken out of the context confirm our prejudices

Acronym of the day: FUD. Spreading negative and dubious or false information is valid strategy for marketeer fearing no lawsuit, politician, the leader of religious cult or person posting on anonymous forum for purpose of provoking emotional response. However, it is detrimental to properly understanding the matter discussed.
Clandestino is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2012, 18:31
  #398 (permalink)  
BBK
 
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Clandestino

I tried to make a reasoned post based on my impressions of the Airbus course I undertook many years ago. I am more than happy to be corrected on technical specifics. As to my being not an "expert" that is in the context of not having much experience on type. However, one of the regular contributors to this thread isn't even an airline pilot so a little balance here please. The point, that you missed completely, was that I am more than happy to listen rather than transmit. And boy are you stuck on transmit!!

I watched the David Learmont clip and he doesn't say anything that I disagree with. In particular he talks of the danger of what happens when the human is out of the loop. The Recognise-Believe-Understand process he calls it.

Also, there was a link to an interview with Capt Sullenberger where he makes the very point I that I did namely that on a Boeing it seems inconceivable that one pilot could apply full aft input without the other pilot being aware of it. Maybe he's not "expert" enough for you? Anyway, I'll leave this discussion as it serves no purpose to discuss these issues with people who are paranoid that anyone who dares to ask a question about Airbus systems is either a luddite/incompetent/ignorant etc etc.

Last edited by BBK; 1st Nov 2012 at 21:21.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 20:10
  #399 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lower Skunk Cabbageland, WA
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Angry Ad Hominum

Condescino,
I have no dog in this hunt. I couldn't give a good goddamn whether A or B is a preferable design, in terms of flight laws and the like. I came here only to learn, and yessiree, I learned. Some who've read my flimsy contributions may not agree that I came here with a neutral and open mind, but I know that I did. Now for my comments as a psychologist and a decent, fair-minded human being.

Your long, sneering posts are breath-takingly insulting to almost everyone. Yes, I presume to speak for 'almost everyone,' so don't bother going there. Most of the people whom you excoriate are far too polite to put you in your place. You belittle anyone and everyone who disagrees with you in even the slightest way. You, like Dozy, go out of your way to twist the meanings of some very sincere professionals here, and to distort their positions. You're obviously quite learned and a stickler for detail; that does not entitle you to argue in a dishonest way, and speaking as a big fan of logic and reason, I'm here to tell you, even if the price is being removed, that you argue using belittlement and dismissal. Some of the people you put down in such a hostile manner, just for two fine examples, Gretchenfrage and TTex, have earned my undying respect, both for their knowledge and experience, but also for their forbearance for jerks like you.

You rely on biased opinion just as heavily as the posters you criticize for not having their "facts." Look in the mirror. I can't stand to read Dozy's biased and dishonest shilling for AB, either (lord knows, I did read every word for three years), but at least he is polite in attempting to negate every argument he doesn't like.

I have some personal suggestions for you, besides 'why don't you just STFU?'. Deal with your hostility and anger, 'cause spreading it here is just kid's stuff.

To all the rest of you, my sincere apologies if I have offended anyone else. I'm motivated only by my overdeveloped sense of fair play.
Organfreak is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2012, 20:29
  #400 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Organfreak View Post
I can't stand to read Dozy's biased and dishonest shilling for AB...
With all due respect, I challenge you to find a single occasion where I've been anything less than scrupulously honest or any point where I have suggested that the Airbus system is superior to any other, let alone "shilling" for them.

I have no dog in this hunt. I couldn't give a good goddamn whether A or B is a preferable design
And yet you consistently support only a single side of the argument - and you have the chutzpah to call *me* dishonest?

For what it's worth, I think Clandestino's abrasive style can be an acquired taste sometimes, but it's definitely refreshing to see the other side of the coin rendered in the kind of "take no prisoners" language that my non-ATPL status prevents me from using!
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