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Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

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Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

Old 9th Dec 2015, 07:25
  #3701 (permalink)  
 
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Understandably, airline jet pilots don't have the same privilege to take the plane for half an hour refresher, as "small" plane pilots might. But in my opinion, that should be balanced off with these pilots having easy access to smaller aircraft for their refresher flying. I read that NASA Astronaut pilots are "sent" solo flying to remain sharp - so should airline pilots.

Some airline pilots seek out recreational flying, and keep their skills sharp - good for them, they are being true to themselves, and their passengers.
I agree.
Basic flying skills are the foundation of everything, we build anything on top of those.
As such, I also feel there should be recurrent training for them to make sure they are rock-solid.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 07:47
  #3702 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
PPRuNe is a valuable forum for sharing ideas and improving safety
It might be so, yet being anonymous internet forum it (as expected) suffers from quite low wheat/chaff ratio, mostly brought on by good folks who get their kicks from proudly displaying their aeronautical ignorance here. I find it especially funny when convoluted and basically wrong theories are supported by reference to author's self-professed experience & expertise.

I'll try to answer a few questions I think might be worth answering, to the best of my ability. As usual, feel free to correct me.

1. What happened here?

Pilot induced upset, followed by pilot caused and pilot sustained stall that was broken only by disintegration of the aircraft upon impact with the sea surface. G trace shows no turbulence signature, aeroplane behaved i.a.w. flight control orders made, as long as it was aerodynamically possible to do so.

2. How often does it happen?

AFAIK, there is no proper study of it but there are fairly useful indications that it happens very, very seldom but when it does, it tends to be fatal.

First, in connection with AF447 investigation BEA analyzed frequency of multiple pitot blockages and found 40-odd of them on 330 and 340. All of them resulted in degradation of flight control law to alternate and AP disconnect. Some of them even went unreported as the crew didn't think much about having to handfly in altn mode, at high altitude. Some received stall warning. AF447 was unique not just because full back stick was sustained after stall warning, it was the only one where reaction to stall warning was to pull! So much for the "uncoupled sticks are gonna kill ya and we need stickshakers because overloaded crew won't hear anythıng"

Second, do you really believe that in this day and age of enlightened investigation authorities, flight data monitoring, Flightradar24, AvHerald and social media it is possible for some airliner busting couple of levels in extreme attitude and RoC unsustainable even at SL, empty and with maximum thrust and then stalling but somehow recovering and landing safely to go unnoticed? Yeah, neither do I. There were some lucky escapes like Dynasty 006 back in 1985. where diving aeroplane managed to get into VMC so the crew finally figured out their AHs were not toppled and recoverd or Flagship 3701, which was a real shame that the crew finally managed to kill themselves as the post-accident interview, revealing what in the world were they thinking as they forced aeroplane into stall and how did they manage to gather their wits (I suspect the distinct lack of them in the first place made the task easier), to bring it into more-or-less controlled glide would be precious.

3. What do we do to stop it from happening again?

I don't know. It's really just the matter of psychology and from my (quite limited, I admit) perspective, I don't see any particular effort, coming from any aviation psychologist, in trying to make useful theory what the happens in severe pilot-induced-upsets. AF447 report was very weak on it, QZ8501 is utter disgrace.

However, I can tell you a few ways that some believe might reduce chance of the QZ8501-like event reoccurring but won't do good at all.

You can't prevent it by fitting connected controls; there are far more cases of conventional controls aeroplanes being pulled into stall or spiral dive till impact than FBW Airbi and having interconnected yokes did not help at all. For all the cries of "I need to see what my effoh is doing to his stick!", no FCOM or FCTM reference to "As PNF, observe your PF control input procedure" was ever brought forward.

You can't preventing it by installing AoA gauge. Pilot who forgets about maintaining proper attitude, which is the very basic of flying from the first second of his very first flight, stands no chance of checking alpha.

You can't prevent it by installing pusher, for it was shut off at Staines and overridden at Buffalo and Jefferson City.

You can't prevent it by increasing upset recovery training. Aerobatic aeroplanes quite differ in characteristics from transport ones. It is not true that airliners' high altitude stall characteristics are unknown; they are tested but recovery is effected immediately past alpha max and that's the data that is fed to sim manufacturers so sim can realistically reproduce it but no test pilot is suicidal enough to pull to alphas above forty, so that is the area of quite some conjecture. Anyway, the biggest objection to more training is that everyone knows it is training and one is prepared and knows what to do. In real accidents, crews were presented with flyable aeroplane and they only had to minimal corrections (or nothing at all) to keep it flying. It's not that AF447 or QZ8501 crews did not do the UA or stall recovery properly, they never initiated it after creating upset themselves in the first place.

You can't prevent it by having more CRM or more experience. A pilot who has a panic attack and reverts to atavistic notion that aeroplane is trying to kill him by diving and only way to prevent it by pulling the stick was very well described by Wolfgang Langewiesche in his deathless tract "Stick and rudder", back in 1944. Conventional wisdom has it that better training of airline pilots and multi-crew concept should eradicate this kind of accidents in airline environment. Alas, this is only partly true. While better training really seems to reduce the number of occurrences, in the accidents where one pilot goes brains off and gets into upset, the other is very inefficient in figuring out what's going on, no matter what his experience might be. Capt Irıyanto was a former fighter pilot so he for sure knew a lot about unusual attitudes and stalls, yet his attempts at recovery were weak and ineffective, showing that he dıd not understand the gravity of the situation. AF447 CM2 was former glider pilot, so he had to know about energy management. Captain of Swiftair MD-83 who kept pulling all through the spin into the spiral dive was freakin' TRE! What more experience and skill do you want?

Issue is what made these pilots forget the very basics of flying a couple of minutes before they perished. For the time being, it's either we don't have enough data to answer this question or our analysis tools are inadequate. Perchance both.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 07:58
  #3703 (permalink)  
 
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Airbus stall Training

My nephew sent me this last month ...

Airbus Stall Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WuPoVjOXLY

... and posed this simple question: "If they knew they were in a stall, even I would know what to to do - and if they didn't realize, how is that even possible?"

Beats me.

edit to add: What Clandestino said, but with less fibre

Last edited by unworry; 9th Dec 2015 at 08:39.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 08:03
  #3704 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GlueBall View Post
Huh? I keep my skills sharp by hand flying the jet for takeoffs, approaches & landings whenever conditions and traffic permit.

I was surprised how many commercial pilots fly gliders, and the one I asked (747 for Cathay Pacific) gave doing hand flying as the reason.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 08:16
  #3705 (permalink)  
 
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FD indication in a stall?

This accident, along with AF447 has led me to wonder what the FD would be displaying as the airplane was descending in the stall.

As the aircraft descended through the initial altitude (FL320 I think), would the FD have been commanding a nose up pitch order, thus further confusing a pilot who's been trained to "follow the FD"?
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 08:42
  #3706 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Clandestino
You can't prevent it by fitting connected controls; there are far more cases of conventional controls aeroplanes being pulled into stall or spiral dive till impact than FBW Airbi and having interconnected yokes did not help at all.
Arr, the Clande has appeared at last. How about detailing the "far more cases" for us, you know, where the pilots were opposing each other like they were here...

As for "You can't... you can't... you can't..."

Yes you can, Clande: the aeroplane crashed because the crew couldn't hand-fly (got it into a stall) and second couldn't recover (I simply do not believe you that the captain, an ex fighter jock, would not have been able to recover had he been able to override a control column [if fitted]). The sidestick positions tell the story; they were opposing each other all the way down. Even blind Freddy can spot the message there. I wonder how many times had the captain pushed the priority button for 40 seconds in anger?

I've done plenty of sims, and done some semi-weird stuff in them, including severe windshear/wake encounters where the thing ended up on it's back. They don't have to be perfectly representative of a fully stalled wing-walking aircraft completely out of the flight envelope; we could go a long way to fixing this "we can't handfly" issue by just expanding (or perhaps starting?) what we do already. Chuck it around, pull it through to the stall, flick it, try a loop or two, get yourself "out of control" and try to recover. Do a whole (shortened) session with the FD off. All this can be done now, without massive explorations to expand flight envelopes or to reprogram sims.

And I do not agree that we need to all start flying Aerobats to keep our hand in. You train the way you fight, and maintaining stick and rudder skills is easily doable in our current sims; there just has to be the will from the regulators to force it on the bean counters that are in charge of the operation these days...
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 09:27
  #3707 (permalink)  
 
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of course this is a pilots forum and pilot issues should come first. Please don't lose sight of the fact though that the safety chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

Excluding af447 a number of recent accidents have seen repetitive defects not being properly dealt with which was the first hole becoming aligned in our piece of cheese.

There is enough human behaviour information and knowledge out there now that will support the line that even the most able pilot will make at some point make mistake potentially resulting in disaster because they are human. Therefore even if you improve pilot basic training etc.. (which I fully support) the true safety benefits will only be achieved by filling in all the holes in the cheese.

Within the maintenance world there are many and they are increasing.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 10:09
  #3708 (permalink)  
 
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My nephew sent me this last month ...

Airbus Stall Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WuPoVjOXLY

... and posed this simple question: "If they knew they were in a stall, even I would know what to to do - and if they didn't realize, how is that even possible?"

Beats me.

edit to add: What Clandestino said, but with less fibre
Well unworry, your nephew, like many of the posters here, is probably not an expert in human behavioural factors as they relate to the operation of complex non-failsafe life-critical systems during abnormal life-threatening events. Which would explain why he thought a complex problem can be dealt with by a simple question.

Last edited by bud leon; 9th Dec 2015 at 10:24.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:15
  #3709 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
Arr, the How about detailing the "far more cases" for us, you know, where the pilots were opposing each other like they were here...
Several had been mentioned about a week ago, only to be immediately disallowed from the discussion by the "airbus sidestick kills again - it is a fact!" brigade.

Your last two paragraps though: if they came with a dotted line I would have signed them already.

This, I would like to help answer / comment on, but not sure whether I get it right:
the aeroplane crashed because the crew couldn't hand-fly (got it into a stall) and second couldn't recover (I simply do not believe you that the captain, an ex fighter jock, would not have been able to recover had he been able to override a control column [if fitted]). The sidestick positions tell the story; they were opposing each other all the way down. Even blind Freddy can spot the message there. I wonder how many times had the captain pushed the priority button for 40 seconds in anger?
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:33
  #3710 (permalink)  
 
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As a PPL I can only imagine a few reasons for the LH wanting to over ride the RH pilot. In all the reasons I can think of, and I am sure that there are many more that wouldn't occur to me, 40 seconds seems an awfully long time to have to press the over ride button. When things are going wrong, they can get a lot worse in that time.

May I ask what is the logic for choosing 40 seconds?
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:46
  #3711 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent
Several had been mentioned about a week ago, only to be immediately disallowed from the discussion by the "airbus sidestick kills again - it is a fact!" brigade.
Sorry for harping on, I was one of them, when a 707 (over 40 years ago) and one of the 757s was mentioned. They did not involve the pilots doing different things with the control columns. Nor did Buffalo, even though it too was mentioed. Here, neither knew what each was doing because they couldn't see the other's stick.

From the report:

Therefore, as on any other aircraft type, PF and PNF must not act on their sidesticks at the same time.


Speaking of "other types", even if you don't do a formal handover/takeover, if you were trying to push the nose down and you saw your silly mate trying to pull back, a short "physical interaction" would resolve the confusion! Think of these guys... the stall warning is blaring, the aeroplane is shaking like billyoh, the captain has tried to take control a couple of times (pressed his button for a few seconds), he's moving his stick with no apparent response... "maybe this is all I'm going to get in a stall..." Confusion reigns supreme. Now if you had said "hey, do you realise your mate is actually opposing everything you are doing with your stick?" he'd probably thump him into reality and get control.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:52
  #3712 (permalink)  
 
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Clandestino,

Good post.

So much blame here, and so little desire to understand.

I too am low on psychology, but it appears that in the thick fog of intense fear, there is a human tendency to revert to the most basic and instinctive actions in order to achieve escape or defence. Going down too much? Pull the stick/yoke back because that normally makes you go up.

When faced with extreme danger, the desired thought process should be:

"Hold on, hold on, what have we got here".

Not

"Going down, will die, must go up, pull up, must go up, pull up".

I would suggest that some people (as you point out, irrespective of experience, training, ability and so on) are much more pathologically prone to the latter rather than the former.

So a solution would be to somehow identify those people and mitigate the risk through training, coping strategy or other means.

PS Getting bored of those with an agenda using this and other incidents to further such agendas.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:52
  #3713 (permalink)  
 
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Pulse,

Press and hold the button and you have sole control of the aircraft, normally accompanied by a clear statement of "I have control". The other stick stops working, and the other pilot gets an alerting light on his glare shield. Release the button and both sticks become useable again.

The 40 second function is to disable the other stick completely, for example if it gets stuck or is being leaned on by an incapacitated pilot. After 40 seconds you can release your button and the other stick remains inop. So much quicker and easier than trying to separate cross-connected columns and yokes in similar circumstances...
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:58
  #3714 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pulse1
As a PPL
You and many others have misunderstood how the takeover system works. To any Airbus pilot it is easy, and instinctive. For the last time, in the hope that this topic disappears:

You push and hold the button to instantly disconnect inputs from the other pilot. When you can confirm that the other pilot is not making any more inputs (shout "I have control", ask to see his hands, hit him with the newspaper etc), then you let go of the button.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 12:00
  #3715 (permalink)  
 
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So much quicker and easier than trying to separate cross-connected columns and yokes in similar circumstances...
I don't agree. You hold your button for 40 seconds, I'll just give my control column a good hard yank and it'll break. Done. And if my oppo collapses onto the control column, he won't break out the system anyway; there's just not enough weight on it to do that. Leaning on a sidestick, however, with a dead arm, may be a different matter...
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 12:05
  #3716 (permalink)  
 
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Capn Bloggs,

Misunderstanding the system perchance?

We have some 7 stone female captains. I'd rather have a disconnect in 0.5 seconds with a push of a small button rather than a mighty struggle from a small person trying to mechanically disconnect the linkage.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 12:06
  #3717 (permalink)  
 
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With both FACs disabled all PFD characteristic speeds, protections except manoeuvre, both APs, ATHR are lost, in this situation the FDs would also be lost. In both AF and QZ the initial knee jerk reaction of the PF in pitch destabilised the plane and during recovery the resultant high rate of descent seems to have clouded their situational assessment of stalled condition as they did not seem to have noticed the high attitude because if the stick was pushed forward it was quickly brought back. I tend to think this may be due to the subconscious fear factor or reaction to extreme anxiety. In airbus FBW there is never a need to suddenly act on the pitch as the flight path is stable even in alternate law and also thrust would be locked at present level. There is only need to level or maintain wings level. It needs to be emphasized that no changes to pitch and thrust should be made untill careful assessment of the situation done.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 12:10
  #3718 (permalink)  
 
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HPP,
Good training is what enables you to still function when in extreme danger. I suspect, as others have said, the main issue is the training one.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 12:10
  #3719 (permalink)  
 
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100%Please,

From the report:

If a flight crewmember falls on a sidestick, or a mechanical failure leads to a jammed stick (there is no associate ECAM caution), the "failed" sidestick order is added to the "non-failed" sidestick order.

In this case, the other not affected flight crewmember must press the sidestick takeover pushbutton for at least 40s, in order to deactivate the "failed" sidestick.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 12:18
  #3720 (permalink)  
 
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Capn Bloggs,

The takeover is instant, and continues while the button is pressed. After 40 seconds, the takeover is latched, until the other pilot presses his button.

The report, in many respects, is dreadful. Don't expect to learn how an Airbus works from this skewed piece of literature.

How about a bit of FCOM?



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