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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 30th Sep 2012, 21:58
  #61 (permalink)  
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With all due respect, some people refer to such a "cognitive shift" as "learning". If you're genuinely worried about how the aircraft handles in abnormal situations, then your employers have not trained you properly.
No Dozy, I'm worried about wading through volume 3 and it's plethora of condition statements and Airbus arse covering.
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Old 30th Sep 2012, 22:47
  #62 (permalink)  
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One could just say, "Better Late than Never".
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Old 30th Sep 2012, 22:54
  #63 (permalink)  
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A great example of this is the utterly inane use of complex and complicated terminology when far more simple and understood terms of reference already exist...example AOTILS, Approach Other Than I L S, which for everyone else in avaition land is a non precision approach but no, Airbus have to be different.
AOTILS? Never heard of it. Airbus call a Non-Precision Approach a, wait for it ... "Non-Precision Approach"

They do however have an extraordinary adoration for idiotic acronyms, in that I'll agree. However it seems that's a trend that becoming quite universal, so at least one thing we can't blame the French for!
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 08:06
  #64 (permalink)  
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I have taken a look at Boeing FCOM for the 777. It is very small, compared to airbus one.

That means that Boeing is easier and simpler or it means that Boeing does not bother to provide non-superessential info to pilots?
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 09:08
  #65 (permalink)  
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So that means it's either a huge oversight by the investigators, or it's a red herring.
Well, if you title it a red herring when numerous professionals who have flow both systems, with and without feedback (just by the way have you??) repeatedly state that they feel it is an issue, then it shows little respect to fellow aviators. To me at least, any issue brought up by numerous colleagues must be taken seriously, if you agree or not. After all we are talking safety and not comfort.

If you only leave the other possibility, namely that it is a huge oversight, then it's your interpretation.

I for myself strongly believe that there is no oversight in that respect. It is well know, but it is very deliberately not addressed, for specific reasons.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 11:00
  #66 (permalink)  
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Gentlemen and (possibly) ladies,

Firstly may I present my credentials. I am an ex QFI and test pilot with experience on airliners made by de Havilland, Vickers, MD, Fokker, Boeing and Airbus, and ran the MCC course at London Guildhall University.

I was a member of a six man GAPAN working group of the Education and Training Committee that produced the paper "Pilot Handling of Highly Automated Aircraft". In their deliberations the group became very concerned at the tendency for many company SOPs to demand the absolute minimum element of hand flying in any sector. "Airborne, wheels up, autopilot on". Amongst the conclusions and recommendations in the paper was the passage "There has been an asumption in some quarters that, with the introduction of automation, pilot training could be reduced, whereas the reverse is actually the case.--------- In some respects automated aircraft may require a higher standard of basic stick and rudder skills, if only because these skills are practiced less often and may be called upon in the most demanding situations" This paper was published in 2007 and was, I fear, widely disregarded simply because the truths it contained were unpalatable and expensive to implement. Quite recently the FAA, in the persona of Cathy Abbot, has been making similar noises and I thought that this might stir the pot to a more significant extent.

I hope that, however late it may be, all these voices crying in the wilderness will, at last, be heard. The old saying "Flight safety is expensive but try an accident" remains valid.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 12:21
  #67 (permalink)  
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That's the way my outfit trains its new A320 pilots ever since 1998! We start with no F/D, no ATHR, direct law and only gradually switch all the neat stuff on.
I was somewhat unusual among my fellow QFIs on RAF Hercules way back in the early 1970s. I picked up the guys straight out of ground school for their first flights in the sim. I would get them to fly without any F/D, etc. Many of them were having their first experience of flight directors so better to start them off with something that they were familiar with rather than throw them in at the deep end with all systems in use (as did some of my colleagues). The by-product was that they had to hand fly the aircraft (but the Herc was a real joy)

None of my students failed, although of course some found it much harder work than did others.

There is nothing new under the sun.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 12:32
  #68 (permalink)  
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Much of this badly thought out pilot/machine interface can be laid on the plate of Bernard Zeigler.

Perhaps if the DGAC had given him an easier time when he quit cable-car collisions for civilian flying, he may not have had this zealous need to categorise civilian pilots as incompetents, & degenerate their perceived skills as being achievable by his "cleaning lady".

Just did my PC yesterday (Boeing) & it was a wake -up call to me that I need to spend more time with AP OFF. If we are all honest & self-critical enough to do this , and companies sensible enough to allow it within their SOP's, I think we can make a big impression on this problem. I guess we could all fly fairly competently at one stage, hopefully still enough nuerons up there to reacquaint ourselves
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 12:35
  #69 (permalink)  
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Why make the training longer than necessary

"With all due respect, some people refer to such a "cognitive shift" as "learning". If you're genuinely worried about how the aircraft handles in abnormal situations, then your employers have not trained you properly". Why make the learning longer than necessary and the cognitive shift more arduous? The use of excessively complicated terminology etc just adds to the time required to train and allows more chance for misunderstandings to enter in. Keep it simple, reduce the training time, keep the pilots and accountants happy.

Last edited by Jetdriver; 2nd Oct 2012 at 12:48.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 12:51
  #70 (permalink)  
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21 years ago I was lucky enough to present my RAFVR ID card and sit in the jump seat of an airbus routing BHD - LHR. The young crew (young to me at 42 yrs) seemed a bit miffed when I asked them did they consider themselves to be pilots or systems managers. The left hand seater spent most of the flight trying to convince me that they were pilots and that they flew mostly on automatic systems as, (his words or similar) "humans can't fly as accurately as the computer, hence it's more cost effective" He proved this by pointing out how accurately the AP was flying the hold. Later that day I returned to BHD on the same airline and again blagged the jump seat again. And again, I asked the pilots v systems manager. The mature crew (slightly older than myself, at a guess, replied that though they considered themselves pilots, they felt that newer staff were moving more and more in the direction of becoming system managers. The right hand seater then flew a beautiful manual approach and land landing on 22 at BHD.

I fear, IMHO, that over the years there are now fewer pilots and more System managers
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 13:22
  #71 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage View Post
numerous professionals who have flow both systems, with and without feedback (just by the way have you??) repeatedly state that they feel it is an issue
But there are also those who say it is not an issue.

Question should be what proportion of qualified professionals believe it is an issue, when questioned in a statistical sample, not who shouts loudest and most often.

Airbus was at the forefront of civilian FBW and went with sidesticks. Boeing got the feedback from the Airbus experience and took a different route. That's not really definitive, only once both systems are out there and in use can you get real comparative feedback on which is the best system for a FBW civilian jet.

So what is interesting to me (and I am not qualified to have a personal opinion on it) is what choice the 3rd,4th, 5th etc. mfrs to go FBW will make - because only they can canvas the fully informed opinions that you refer to. And they will (have). Maybe there is no significant difference and we will see a mixture, maybe regional or cultural preferences, or maybe one system will be preferred and one will prove, in decades to come, to be the odd-one-out.

That process is already happening. You may not like the result (too soon to say, but one side is ahead). That doesn't make your opinion or experience wrong, just maybe that it is in the minority.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 18:06
  #72 (permalink)  
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Here's the institutional position of IFALPA

Electronic Flight Control Systems

Handling qualities
In order to preserve pilot feel of electronic flight control systems, the minimum acceptable criteria are those specified in SAE
International ARP 4104, which provides design objectives for civil transport aeroplane handling qualities in the following sections:
1) Longitudinal flying qualities, section 2.3;
2) Lateral directional flying qualities, section 2.4;
3) Miscellaneous flying qualities, section 2.5;
4) Characteristics of the flight control system, section 2.8.
In addition, flight control systems which serve reduced statically stable aircraft (by their aerodynamic characteristics), such as the
fly-by-wire system, should provide a back-up system, totally independent of the primary system.
Note: It is acceptable that the flight envelope becomes restricted when using the back-up system.
Dual control capability
The system design should ensure:
a) that all inputs from one side are reflected in equivalent simultaneous movement of the other side; and
b) that all inputs into the control system from the auto-pilot are reflected in equivalent simultaneous movements of both
control devices.
Thrust/power control
Where an automatic thrust/power control device is used the system design should ensure that all the device’s outputs aimed at
changing the thrust/power level are reflected in equivalent simultaneous movement of the thrust/power levers. Throttle movement
(reflecting power modulation) is essential to enable the pilot to monitor effectively the change in power levels achieved by the
automatic full authority digital engine control (FADEC) device.
Note: Monitoring of power levels by observation of engine instruments is not adequate due to the fact that the engine instrument
panel does not lie in the normal scan pattern of the pilot.
Stall protection system
Where a stall protection system is fitted to an aircraft, the pilot should be informed by an appropriate means when the system is
limiting the angle of attack.
The target angle of attack and the actual angle of attack should be displayed so that the pilot can monitor any system discrepancy
and correct manually to provide the optimum angle of attack in the event of a discrepancy.
Stall protection should be available at all heights, right down to the flare on landing.
The system should be set to maintain conventional margins to the stall and should not be used as a device to allow reduced
margins in all flight phases.

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Old 1st Oct 2012, 18:56
  #73 (permalink)  
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Thank you aguadalte

Good work from IFALPA
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 19:12
  #74 (permalink)  
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Electronic Flight Control Systems
This is exactly the opposite of what is found in Airbus FBW
What a challenge !

Last edited by jcjeant; 1st Oct 2012 at 19:14.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 19:24
  #75 (permalink)  
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Airbus...........a clever flying machine with no connection to aviation.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 07:34
  #76 (permalink)  
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Question should be what proportion of qualified professionals believe it is an issue, when questioned in a statistical sample, not who shouts loudest and most often
There is no statistcal sample. Question would be why? Answer: No one in charge is interested.
As to who shouts the loudest, I challenge you to reread all the relevant threads, you will be surprised who shouts the most and loudest …

That doesn't make your opinion or experience wrong, just maybe that it is in the minority.
Wow, I didn’t know that airline safety was a democracy! If in a minority, I still would like to be heard and I would guess the flying customer would think so too. I wrote further up, that if a respectable number of professionals voice concern, even in minority, I would hope that they’d be taken seriously and not brushed under the carpert by the “majority”.

maybe one system will be preferred and one will prove, in decades to come, to be the odd-one-out.
Maybe. The danger here is that airliners are not chosen or purchased by the line pilots, like i.e. your personal car. Their preferences are not, or no longer considered, even if all manufacturors pretend their design originates from pilots, it's a small breed of office-pilots. Today it’s the beancounters and ignorant managers (in cockpit design) who order planes. Theiy couldn’t care less about safety. That’s something the manufacturors sells them with glossy papers and the regulators sanction it with a twisted shift away from hands-on knowledge, but compensated by other interests .....
Any statistic is therefore not representative in terms of safety and design.
Look at the layout of the car controls. A lot of fancy ideas, but it has leveled out long ago and no mass manufacturor rattles the proven design. Why? Because the self driving customer wouldn’t buy something he didn’t feel comfortable with, even if all the designers and Stigs, in the world told him how much better it would be. Add protections, no one complains, but take away the steering feel, the moving pedal with speed control, the customer goes and visits the competition. Guaranteed. Or he sues suspicious spontaneous acceleration, that made the industry jump! Even if not true, bad press is bad business.

A hired pilot cannot sue a company. His boss would fire him first, the union leave him in the rain and all alone he faces oblivion or bancrupcy. QED.

____________________________________________________________ ______
Add every protection and computer our wizzard engineers invent, but leave me with two things:

- to feel my aircraft and fellow pilot
- to be able to override the gimmiks easily whenever I deem necessary

It's easy, not expensive and enhances safety.
I cannot cite one incident where a tactile control would have aggravated a situation, but there are a few where their absence raises such suspicion.
Look at the odds!

Last edited by Gretchenfrage; 2nd Oct 2012 at 07:35.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 10:43
  #77 (permalink)  
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Is the Airbus head of flight training DO of easyJet fame ? The concept of the Airbus being ' just another aircraft' is not new. Indeed a manufacturer's course from the 'early days' of Airbus fbw would always start with some hand flying exercises. There was also a Virgin Atlantic ex test pilot who wrote a paper some years ago proposing exactly what is now being presented as revolutionary . The endless Boeing / Airbus arguments are fatuous; both are fantastic examples of engineering expertise, both will bite in the wrong / inexperienced hands.

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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 11:10
  #78 (permalink)  
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Toulouse. 1994. A330 Sim #1: Flown without the magic: Just like a "conventional" 'plane.
Later: Manual redundancy: although not required, flown to landing rollout.
Envelope/protections explored. Knowledge = confidence.
Enjoyed 10 yrs on the 'bus, would fly it again. Anytime.
However, I do understand that some people have difficulty discerning the wood from the trees be and can be mesmerised by the foliage.
Notwithstanding, the Airbus initiative is a good thing.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 12:29
  #79 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ventus45 View Post
To this end, I propose "the-bum-kicker".
All you need is a motor, rotating a lateral shaft under the bum cheeks, with a couple of well placed cams on it. Think about it. Easy-peasy.
The car guys are ahead of you: Cadillac's New Seat Shakes Your Butt to Save Your Behind | Autopia | Wired.com

Cadillac XTS Safety Seat Alerts Drivers to Dangers

Allegedly it is real, despite the late march release dates.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 12:51
  #80 (permalink)  
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To the uninitiated, what will the IFALPA findings mean for Airbus (particularly the point regarding 'reflective' movement in both the surface and thrust controls)?

Last edited by tumtiddle; 2nd Oct 2012 at 12:52.
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