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Air Astana flight serious problems over Lisbon

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Air Astana flight serious problems over Lisbon

Old 2nd Jun 2019, 11:33
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by esscee View Post
Problem with many "engineers" nowadays is that they have forgotten how a system functions and only go by FIM or TSM
I take exception to that statement. Many engineering type courses nowadays are much shorter and go into much lesser detail on systems than they used to. The manufacturers want the "engineer" to follow the FIM or TSM. They actively enforce the fact. Would you prefer the "engineer" to act all gung ho and act outside of the manufacturer's documentation? In this day in age "engineers" work on numerous types. I regularly work on 4 or 5 different types and some with more than 1 engine manufacturer per type in one shift. Are we supposed to have a photographic and encyclopedic knowledge of all those systems?

In this instance it looks like a massive blunder by the MRO but there also has to be responsibility taken by the manufacturer and also the pilots doing the pre flight.

It's too easy to just blame the "engineer" just like in the numerous other threads on here that jump to the conclusion and blame the "pilot".
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 11:49
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Well I guess that's one maintenance organisation Air Astana won't be using again. I wonder why they positioned the aircraft all the way from Almaty to Portugal and back for the check. Selected by the beancounters as being the low bidder.
This maintenance organisation is well known for its low prices. Some of the standards of post maintenance on aircraft being collected to ferry home has been dreadful. I have personal experience of this!

The engineers are reportedly to be on a very below average wage.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 12:18
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Yeehaw22 View Post
I take exception to that statement. Many engineering type courses nowadays are much shorter and go into much lesser detail on systems than they used to. The manufacturers want the "engineer" to follow the FIM or TSM. They actively enforce the fact. Would you prefer the "engineer" to act all gung ho and act outside of the manufacturer's documentation?

In this instance it looks like a massive blunder by the MRO but there also has to be responsibility taken by the manufacturer and also the pilots doing the pre flight.

It's too easy to just blame the "engineer" just like in the numerous other threads on here that jump to the conclusion and blame the "pilot".
I hear what you are saying. It would seem that to reduce costs, engineers as well as pilots are having shorter and less supervised training. So we end up with the situation that today’s new pilot can operate a computerised aircraft but hasn’t got basic stick and rudder skills, and it would seem that today’s new engineer can interrogate a computer and replace systems, but lacks basic engineering fault finding and resolution skills?

A friend’s Porsche would not rev beyond 4000rpm. The Porsche “specialist” garage with its computer diagnostics replaced the mass air flow meter but the problem remained. I had a look (without access to computer diagnostics), but using my ingrained troubleshooting experience, which is based on first principles; I first checked the power supply to the various engine components. The voltage of the feed to the fuel injectors was well below what it should have been, and I traced this to a bad earth. Once fixed with an alternative earthing point, the V8 was back to its free revving self.

Yes, of course today’s complex aircraft need computer diagnostic facilities, but the basic engineering skills are still needed to give an overview and ‘reasonableness’ check of what is being done, and whether the system is functioning correctly once fixed.

Something as fundamental as flight controls need special attention. Pilots in the cockpit cannot see their own control surfaces, and have to rely on cockpit displays - which might also be wrong. The only true check of flight controls after maintenance is with a third party external to the aircraft observing and confirming correct movement.

Last edited by Uplinker; 2nd Jun 2019 at 12:30.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 12:39
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post


I hear and agree with what you are saying. It would seem that to reduce costs, engineers as well as pilots are having shorter and less supervised training. So we end up with the situation that today’s new pilot can operate a computerised aircraft but hasn’t got basic stick and rudder skills, and it would seem that today’s new engineer can interrogate a computer and replace systems, but lacks basic engineering fault finding and resolution skills?
In some ways yes with new engineers being brought up on modern Airbus, 787 etc rather than the previous generation of aircraft where you had to rely on proper hands on troubleshooting and fault finding. Its inevitable there's going to be a difference in approach. But in my opinion there should always be a basic underlying knowledge and initial troubleshooting ability present in any engineer.

BUT my main point and objection to the post by esscee is we are only human, we cant possibly remember the ins and outs of every system of every aircraft we work on. And to try and do so would be massively dangerous. That's why we have technical documentation to use and follow. But pilots and engineers alike, sometimes all that's needed is the mk1 eyeball.

Last edited by Yeehaw22; 2nd Jun 2019 at 13:07.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 12:46
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Uplinker,

I agree. When I used to do C of A air tests after any kind of major maintenance, we always did a flying control check which required one of the flight crew, usually the flight engineer, to go outside with a headset and long lead while one of the pilots moved the flight controls in a clearly defined sequence. Each of the control surface positions (ailerons and spoilers, elevators, rudder and stabiliser) were reported and correlated with the pilot who was manipulating the controls in the cockpit.

It pays to be thorough - you cannot, and must not, rely solely on the indications within the cockpit.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 13:18
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Uplinker and Bergerie1

Agreed about the criticalilty of checking controls post maintenance on an aircraft where the controls are not visible from the pilots seats. I've only flown small stuff, where you could see the control surfaces, but would check full and free movement, in the correct sense, before taxi every flight and give the stick a good stir just before departure. Looking at the stakes involved, it seemed a very wise investment of a few seconds.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 15:03
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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What part of "FLT CTRL NO DISPATCH" was misunderstood?
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 16:13
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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None - except that when it comes to electronic systems I prefer to believe the evidence of my own eyes. From which part of the control runs/systems (electrical, hydraulic, mechanical) does the input to that warning come? But I am ancient and have a deep distrust of such things. It stood me in good stead over the years.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 16:29
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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I agree. When I used to do C of A air tests after any kind of major maintenance, we always did a flying control check which required one of the flight crew, usually the flight engineer, to go outside with a headset and long lead while one of the pilots moved the flight controls in a clearly defined sequence. Each of the control surface positions (ailerons and spoilers, elevators, rudder and stabiliser) were reported and correlated with the pilot who was manipulating the controls in the cockpit.
Isnt that why the numbers and ticks are painted on the flaps and elevators?
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 16:48
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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But to use those, you need to go outside and LOOK.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 17:30
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Those are rigging marks. You don't need them to check whether a surface is moving in the correct sense.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 21:26
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Smythe View Post
What part of "FLT CTRL NO DISPATCH" was misunderstood?
This message was apparently unrelated to the aileron cable reversal issue. Although it was not clearly stated in the report, it appears the problem was cleared after troubleshooting involving consultation with the manufacturer. I doubt they (or any crew for that matter) would be silly enough to have attempted the flight if this message was still showing. Here's the quote from the report;

The message “FLT CTRL NO DISPATCH” was generated during the maintenance activities, which in turn originated additional troubleshooting activities by the maintenance service provider, supported by the aircraft manufacturer. These activities, which lasted for 11 days, did not identify the ailerons' cables reversal, nor was this correlated to the "FLT CTRL NO DISPATCH" message.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 14:09
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Not so much to do with "type" course technical training at all, my earlier post was pointing out the lack of "basic" technical training and understanding of Flying controls and their operation. Others have mentioned the point that experienced engineers who worked with and were accustomed to the "duplicate" inspection process would be aware of how to check correct operation of a flying control system and importantly in the CORRECT SENSE.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 14:49
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VH DSJ View Post
From what I've seen of the flight control schematics diagram on the MFD, a right control yoke deflection gave an indication of the right wing's roll spoilers deflected up and aileron deflected down. Shouldn't this raise alarm bells to the crew when doing a check of the flight controls before take-off? The fact that the flight control MFD indication was shown in 'green' also contributed to 'confirmation bias' that all was well with the flight controls. Perhaps Embraer should look at the colour schematics of the flight control checks where an obvious discrepancy between control yoke deflection and aileron control surface deflection should result in a caution or warning colour (eg, amber or red) rather than green?
Is it known that the schematics were unaffected by whatever misalignment of cabling caused the underlying issue? Seems to me that it is POSSIBLE that whatever reversal of logic was built in by the maintenance activity might have had an equivalent effect on the display.

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Old 4th Jun 2019, 07:55
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORICHETTI View Post
There is always a compass and an auxiliar attitude indicator on all paxs commercial plane. Once i had a totally screen failure and i flew with those two.
Thats wonderful for you Ace. We've all landed like that - albeit most of us, only in the Simulator. And, I bet that you didn't have screwed up flight controls on top of your instrument failure Ace. Or?
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 13:29
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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It's certainly known that after they landed, the flight controls schematic was telling the truth. In other words was indicating the problem correctly, but the aileron that was deflecting in the wrong direction still showed in green.

Although the report says the aircraft was returned to the operator, I'm pretty confident it's stil in Portugal. I believe quite early on it was stated that it wouldn't rejoin the fleet. I hear it pulled well over 5G on several ocasions, which says a lot for the manufacturer.
Amazing that it stayed in one piece, and I fully understand their reluctance to accept it.

Last edited by Nomad2; 4th Jun 2019 at 13:41.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 13:56
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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Is it known that the schematics were unaffected by whatever misalignment of cabling caused the underlying issue? Seems to me that it is POSSIBLE that whatever reversal of logic was built in by the maintenance activity might have had an equivalent effect on the display.
The schematic page photo was shown earlier in this thread. It did show ailerons down and spoilers up on the right wing.
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 11:37
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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