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MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures

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MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures

Old 12th Sep 2019, 23:44
  #2361 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Peter H View Post
Somebody brought up a query from post #3. This topic was explored in a Tech Log thread. THS hinge point

I gained the impression that it would be difficult to move the pivot point from its current position close to mid-section.
What would moving the axis do? And more importantly, imagine the grotesque manual trimming forces that would be required to move a stabiliser that was so mounted.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 00:57
  #2362 (permalink)  
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That is the whole point. I raised this issue months ago, looking at the available space aft of the bulkhead. I realise there has to be another reason apart from available space that it has ended up being pivoted the unstable and high load way around.

Talking of moving it was of course a worst case scenario, powering the cable-run being a zillion times easier.

The thing is, I doubt it's going to be an easy fix, and how far back does it go . . . all the way to Toronto and seeing the fuel station sign go past the starboard window?
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 06:56
  #2363 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of stating the obvious, for any given configuration (stab position, airspeed, AoA, etc) the force required to move the stab (whether supplied by the trim motor or the manual wheel) is a function of the distance between a) a line drawn through the stab pivot point, b) the centre of pressure of the stab and c) its C of G.

The designer's job is to do the sums and work out the optimum position for the pivot.

It's hard to see how moving the pivot way forward or aft of its current location would lead to any significant reduction in trim forces, even if possible from the structural point of view (which it probably isn't).
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 07:28
  #2364 (permalink)  
 
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Dave

I think you have made the (understandable) assumption that the current design is optimised for output v input force.

I suspect the truth is that this is but one part of the calculation(s) used, another being the difficulty* of designing the mechanism otherwise, as you have alluded to.

* = expense, for the very greater part of 'difficulty' is cost.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 07:28
  #2365 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JPJP View Post


One of the interesting off-shoots is the discovery that none of the NG or MAX simulators provide realistic forces on the manual trim wheel.

Surprise !

The Sims are being updated.
Whilst you are totally correct, I wonder how they are or have been updated. Did Boeing provided updated data to the TDMs for both MAX and NG?

My understanding on the NG is that the classic stab force model was effectively supplied as the data by Boeing and only the larger Canadian TDM elected to use different data derived internally (so someone then had doubts?)

Assuming this alternative means of compliance was within the FFS initial qualification documentation, the respective NRAs really should have picked this up on the NG.

However, if it wasn't then certain operators and that TDM maybe have some interesting questions coming their way!

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Old 13th Sep 2019, 08:37
  #2366 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
From another thread - this applies absolutely to the Max. See 1.2 of link
UK CAA LOC due failure to keep aircraft trimmed
Wow! Takes us straight back to Tomaski's excellent posts, including this one.
Quotes from CAA:
The effects of startle factor and the crew’s ability to manually control the aircraft in an undesired state when the malfunction/s cannot be accurately diagnosed should be thoroughly evaluated and assessed with training interventions, when required.
Examples of flight crew training syllabus items which may assist in the avoidance of aircraft loss
of control are given in the following list.....The difficulty of manual trim intervention at high aerodynamic loads with applicable commercial air transport aircraft, particularly at lower altitudes and with consideration of crew coordination difficulties/techniques


Reading the whole document I found myself wondering why they need to tell people to train for these situations - I mean surely it's all standard training protocols - and then I look again at Tomaski's post and I find myself thinking it's time to stop trusting the civil aviation industry.

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Old 13th Sep 2019, 10:07
  #2367 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Turb View Post
Reading the whole document I found myself wondering why they need to tell people to train for these situations - I mean surely it's all standard training protocols - and then I look again at Tomaski's post and I find myself thinking it's time to stop trusting the civil aviation industry.
CAA SN–2019/005 is a direct response to the second B737 Max loss. It may be polite and encapsulated in vague discussion, but it is directly talking to the 737 trim system. Peripherally, it may remind some airbus operators of the implications of direct law and the need to remain in trim, but that is not the central theme.

"This is with particular reference to aircraft equipped with conventional trimming systems (i.e. non-fly-by-wire) and aircraft which use manual trim back-up systems in the event of an electronic trim system malfunction."

Until MCAS came along as a surprise in the MAX, the latent issues of the B737 trim system had been lost in the mists of time.

While giving warm fuzzies for effort, I rmain befuddled by the following comment:

"Utilising their Safety Management System (SMS)...". The industry had two exceptional events occur, which are the subject of major mishap investigations. Two airlines have SMS that would have applicable information in that area, the other 200+ IATA airlines and sundry other operators around the world, in 121, 125, 135 and 91 type ops would be wondering what they are referring to. As it is a UK CAA document, then presumably it is targeting the SMS programs of the handful of 737 operators that have the aircraft on their AOC's and which have not had events of note for the subject matter. Arguably the FCF manual reversion events from about a decade ago may at a pinch be considered to be the SMS items of note, however, that is not technically correct, the events in the manual reversion arise from an elevator position difference between power on and manual reverted conditions, which may indeed have led to an out of trim problem touching on the limitations of manual trim, but they didn't in the cases that occurred, so the SMS reference is, well, odd. Consider ICAO DOC9859 (latest revision 4, of 2018) which is the foundation of SMS systems. Within that document, it is hard to find a chapter that one would follow I.A.W the CAA's SN, Its not

Ch 3; Safety Culture,
Ch 4; Safety Performance Management
Ch. 5; Safety Data Collection and Processing Systems
Ch. 6; Safety Analysis
Ch. 7; Protection of Safety Data....
Ch.8; State Safety Management.
Ch. 9; Safety Management Systems

Out of all of those parts, how that fits into the SN suggestion to use the SMS... is lost on this observer. Possibly it is an urging of the airlines to become expert in the latent deficiencies of the aircraft they operate, to second guess the regulator and the certifying authority, but I doubt that is something that the airlines want to or should be doing. The fundamental problem with say Ch.5 and 6 which are the meat and potatoes (er, Yorkshire pud and gravy for Brexiteers) is that data doesn't exist to work with for the operators, unless they did have the problem on the Max. If they had, we would have heard about it in the Mirror, or other rag, or at least on PPRuNe. In the absence of data, how does a reactive linear/quasi linear system function to promote safety?

Paragraph 2.3 of the SN gives a list of suggested points of training to review and to reinforce manual flying skills. I contend the problem is not manual flying skills per se, it is loss of situational awareness. The ability for the pilots to push and pull is not in question except in a general sense that the pilots were defeated by events. Essentially, the pilots were taking a knife to a gun fight due to a lack on knowledge, and an inability on the day to get back to achieving SA, essentially they were booted outside the OODA loop at the very beginning, and never gained the bandwidth to regain SA. Does being able to hand fly an aircraft at a certain time give you that SA recovery opportunity? Possibly, but only in passing. the problem is recognition of the loss of SA, and then having strategies to recover SA.
  • Manual Flight with and without Flight Directors including manual and automatic trimming scenarios, where applicable: Not the problem in the MAX event
  • No autopilot, no auto thrust/auto throttle and at different control laws, where applicable, Not the problem in the MAX event
  • and at different speeds (including slow flight) and altitudes •
  • Steep turns using 45 degrees bank, 180 degrees to 360 degrees left and right • Not the problem in the MAX event , fun but not an issue, and usually considered as a precision flying requirement, gotta keep within xxx' etc etc etc... which is irrelevant for the purposes of recovery from out of control flight.
  • Turns with and without spoilers • Not the problem in the MAX event
  • Procedural instrument flying and manoeuvring including instrument departures and arrivals and visual approaches • Not the problem in the MAX event
  • Prevention of and recovery from stall events • Not the problem in the MAX event. Yes they had false warning, but they never stalled. Had they recovered SA, then the aural CB would have been pulled at some point to stop the ringing in their ears.
  • Thrust and pitch mode awareness in automatic, partial automatic and manual flight including pilot monitoring and crew coordination • Not the problem in the MAX event
  • Automatic trim malfunctions, The MAX problem. Utterly unknown before the 1st event. inadequately understood before the 2nd event.
  • associated crew actions and implications of manual intervention and lack of awareness of the aircraft’s trim state. As above. The crew advise prior to event #2 was inadequate, the problem of manual trim limitations was only referenced in legalistic weasel words, that defied the intent of being defensive in nature to the crew.
  • This should include strategies to recover from an out-of-trim condition after an automated system failure and various energy states at different altitudes • The difficulty of manual trim intervention at high aerodynamic loads with applicable commercial air transport aircraft, particularly at lower altitudes and with consideration of crew coordination difficulties/techniques FINALLY That is 737 related, it is not directly airbus, CRJ, ERJ, Dassault, Gulfstream, Learjet etc... it is a 737 curiosity, that has existed for 1/2 a century and awoke from the mists of time with the advent of MCAS as produced.
  • Pitch and power couple, in automatic and manual flight, with and without auto thrust. Warm fuzzy stuff, and contradictory to the MCAS out of trim case....
  • Particular focus should be given to fly-by-wire aircraft, especially in the event of a control law downgrade • Flight control law downgrades, if applicable • Always worthwhile, refer to Perpignan, but again, not something arising from the ooze of most SMS data collections, only the exceptions exist and those were in.... ask your local AAIB/CAB etc.
  • Unreliable airspeed events and crew co-ordination • Existing requirement, and not the primary issue in the MCAS events, it was a symptom and an increased workload issue.
  • Reduction in automation levels and subsequent reinstatement of automatic systems; • Instrumentation failures and basic scan warm fuzzy stuff.

So... while always keen to spend coin on training in the simulator, I'm not sure that much of what is suggested here materially deals with the issues that are intended to be enhanced. The fundamental issue is loss of SA, with or without the recognition of the loss of SA, and the failure to implement a strategy to recover SA before making headlines.

The system does not need more bandaids on top of old bandaids, it needs to give simple training to ensure that crews can recognise when they are starting to lose the plot, and how to get back into a position where they can make sense of it all again. That can mean being able to fly on instruments, being able to pull an ejector handle, being able to read a checklist or being able to call for help from competent technical assistance. Both MCAS events placed the crews in positions where the workload and stress stopped them from regaining control of the situation, as they did not comprehend what their problem was. As went 447 for the RHS pilots full backstick input, as went the Perpignan splash, as went the A330-300 loss at Toulouse.

The simulator training proposed in the SN while all warm fuzzy stuff, and always fun to do, does not cure the fundamental problem.

ITS THE ECONOMY, S.A., STUPID

Now, HOT's, TM's etc, do what you need to do to tick the boxes, that is what regulation has devolved to, but if you want to reinforce your operational safety, work on S.A. issues, Stop the bandaids for the ulcers that we have within.

Now, I'm going off standby, and having a beer.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 12:26
  #2368 (permalink)  
 
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I contend the problem is not manual flying skills per se, it is loss of situational awareness.
Understand where you are coming from, but the two issues are really inseparable.

Like many skills, operating an aircraft involves both cognitive and physical aspects. With sufficient practice and repetition, many of the required physical actions become wired into procedural memory and do not require much in the way of active thought thus freeing the mind to focus on higher order concerns. I once read that the best way to throw an athlete off their game was to force them to really think about some basic skill (i.e. their golf swing, ball passing, foot work, etc). This would be enough to slow them down or force other errors. The same goes for pilots.

There is only so much that the brain can process at one time, so when additional neurons in active memory have to start thinking “okay, how do I physically execute this rarely used skill,” then those same neurons cannot be used to address the “what the heck is going on” question. In short, a lack of practice and/or training in manual (or otherwise degraded) flying modes denies the pilot the chance to fully incorporate these skills into procedural memory which then contributes to cognitive overload when that same pilot must then employ those skills AND try to diagnose an ambiguous malfunction.

As I have related previously, there was a time when simulator practice would include combinations of surprise, multiple (and sometimes ambiguous) malfunctions, with a generous amount of hand-flying. From a strictly bean-counter standpoint, this was a great deal of overtraining (i.e. more expensive) because, frankly, rarely do pilots find themselves in situations requiring this level of response. As a result, airlines (with the complicity of manufacturers) over time “streamlined” training into something that would probably cover most of the typical emergencies a pilot might face. Most, but not all.

There is simply no getting around the issue that the kind of training that would have helped the pilots survive these accidents, when applied globally, is going to cost a whole lot more money. The cynic in me says that airline managers are going to do the math, play the odds, and hope the next hull loss doesn’t happen on their watch.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 12:43
  #2369 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
CAA SN–2019/005 is a direct response to the second B737 Max loss. It may be polite and encapsulated in vague discussion, but it is directly talking to the 737 trim system. Peripherally, it may remind some airbus operators of the implications of direct law and the need to remain in trim, but that is not the central theme.

"This is with particular reference to aircraft equipped with conventional trimming systems (i.e. non-fly-by-wire) and aircraft which use manual trim back-up systems in the event of an electronic trim system malfunction."

Until MCAS came along as a surprise in the MAX, the latent issues of the B737 trim system had been lost in the mists of time.

While giving warm fuzzies for effort, I rmain befuddled by the following comment:

"Utilising their Safety Management System (SMS)...". The industry had two exceptional events occur, which are the subject of major mishap investigations. Two airlines have SMS that would have applicable information in that area, the other 200+ IATA airlines and sundry other operators around the world, in 121, 125, 135 and 91 type ops would be wondering what they are referring to. As it is a UK CAA document, then presumably it is targeting the SMS programs of the handful of 737 operators that have the aircraft on their AOC's and which have not had events of note for the subject matter. Arguably the FCF manual reversion events from about a decade ago may at a pinch be considered to be the SMS items of note, however, that is not technically correct, the events in the manual reversion arise from an elevator position difference between power on and manual reverted conditions, which may indeed have led to an out of trim problem touching on the limitations of manual trim, but they didn't in the cases that occurred, so the SMS reference is, well, odd.

. . . .

Out of all of those parts, how that fits into the SN suggestion to use the SMS... is lost on this observer. Possibly it is an urging of the airlines to become expert in the latent deficiencies of the aircraft they operate, to second guess the regulator and the certifying authority, but I doubt that is something that the airlines want to or should be doing. The fundamental problem with say Ch.5 and 6 which are the meat and potatoes (er, Yorkshire pud and gravy for Brexiteers) is that data doesn't exist to work with for the operators, unless they did have the problem on the Max. If they had, we would have heard about it in the Mirror, or other rag, or at least on PPRuNe. In the absence of data, how does a reactive linear/quasi linear system function to promote safety?
fdr;

Interestingly, having gone to the CAA SN after Turb's comments but prior to reading your post, your comments reflect precisely the way the SN struck me as well. What do we do that isn't already being done, and on what basis?

For example, I was thinking about how both our SMS and FDM/FOQA Programs could best be employed to advance the thinking and implied plan of response in the SN.

But for this to occur, there would already have to be events in the reporting system or in the flight data and, hopefully, a plan already in place. I like the emphasis on manual flight, SA, etc., but AF447 was our lesson for that important and still-necessary aspect of training.

Since the inception of our FDM Program we have monitored the operation for LOC Events, including stabilizer trim position-and-movement in phases of flight in which changes might occur which increase risk., (e.g., trimming into the level-off during a go-around).

While FDM Events may be captured and crews contacted in standard (typically western) ways for further info (and not for punishment), the SN appears to emphasize what we already know should be done.

The emphasis is correct. I'm looking foward to seeing how airlines come to terms with the SN especially if they're already "tuned-in".

The cynic in me says that airline managers are going to do the math, play the odds, and hope the next hull loss doesn’t happen on their watch.
Tomaski, for those that may not have heard the term before, that approach by those who don't understand how safety work is done, is known as "tombstone safety".

PJ2
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 13:21
  #2370 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
At the risk of stating the obvious, for any given configuration (stab position, airspeed, AoA, etc) the force required to move the stab (whether supplied by the trim motor or the manual wheel) is a function of the distance between a) a line drawn through the stab pivot point, b) the centre of pressure of the stab and c) its C of G.

The designer's job is to do the sums and work out the optimum position for the pivot.

It's hard to see how moving the pivot way forward or aft of its current location would lead to any significant reduction in trim forces, even if possible from the structural point of view (which it probably isn't).
The location of the pivot point should, however, make a significant difference in the degree to which loading either assists or resists moving the stab away from a particular position. For instance, trimming away from AND with a stab pivoted farther forward would require less force than with a stab pivoted farther back.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:03
  #2371 (permalink)  
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maybe

Originally Posted by Tomaski View Post
but the two issues are really inseparable.
maybe

maybe not

An aircraft stalling accidentally isn't due to manual flying skills, it is because the driver doesn't recognise his energy or spatial orientation state. Now driving holes around the pattern will be both fun and assist to develop some general awareness, but, if you call for me to set flaps 30 and instead I select flap 5 from 15, does your hand flying skills actually come into play or not. There is a trim change, and an attitude change, but as the hand flyer is effectively pushing and shoving to make needles point to where they are eye pleasing, the pilot won't necessarily pick up the slip between expectation and reality. [maybe 5-10% of pilots will detect an anomaly through proprioceptive triggers, some more will crosscheck the setting of the flap vs commanded, and some of those will actually ping to the fact that the wrong selection has been made... the rest will be oblivious to the difference from required thrust, attitude etc that is needed to fly at the erroneous configuration]. Or, you are taking off out of KLAX on 07L for a change of scenery, and ATC gives you a left turn to 180 instead of a right turn to 180. As you are an english speaker, convert the languages to this being Kunming, same scenario... ATC has made an error. Your manipulative skills don't assist directly in avoiding the turf. Say you are instead taking off out of Sharm Al Sheik, doing a turn out over the darkness, and your outer slat does not retract when you select flaps 0. Does manual flying skills actually alter the outcome in that instance, where the uncommanded roll occurs but is within the lateral authority of the flight controls. The slip between the real world and the expected world is what gives the bad hair day IMHO. Same story for say a B747 in the cruise and having an outboard engine failure and the crew dithering about a response, while the aircraft is above the driftdown height. In all of these cases, the crews perception of the state of the aircraft aerodynamically, geographically, or system wise is not the same as the world as it is (or was) and that needs to be resolved. The hand flying activity is nice to have, it improves the confidence of the flight crew and their ability to toss away automation and revert when said automation is doing undesirable antics, but not really that much beyond.

It is possible to train for SA, the US Army has been doing that for a while, in ascertaining an individual or teams level of SA, when it becomes compromised, training for recognition of loss of SA, and training for recovery of SA. the interesting thing is it doesn't take a 6-DOF device to do that. SA is the "head-fake" (1) we play on ourselves. Every pilot who ever parked an aircraft into the side of a mountain was surprised to see the mountain goats. A lot of those planes that got parked were also being driven by handraulics at the time of impact A disproportionate number of handflown aircraft have parked unceremoniously outside of the MM.

I had the chance to go through a major airlines rather considerable data set once upon a time, which included a large number of wadded aircraft, from small to top of the line, and also a comprehensive set of serious events, where generally the aircraft remained useable after a fashion. The data set had a population of flight data rather larger than that necessary to get a normal distribution for any particular characteristic, think of a number between 3000 and 5000 events. (it was a big program, and, well they had their challenges that they were attempting to meet). Two points stood out of the data. Actually about 4 things did.
  1. events that were crew involved were usually not reported to the company, they were detected. That is about the first point of interest in determining if y'all may have a pathology in your management process.
  2. crew reports when made were 50% ATC, 40% BIRD (or fish, said mountain goats if the crew had survived...) and 90% MECHANICAL. Yep, they really didn't add up to making any sense at all... excuse the literary license...
  3. 98% ( an actual statistic found by analysis of each events data) of all serious events had a point which could be identified where SA was lost. The company analysis previously had not evaluated their data set in such a manner...
  4. The crews were reticent in reverting to manual modes, even when stuff was getting weird. The aforementioned management had a policy that added some latency in the decision making of the drivers, there was a vice like grip on the trivial, and infractions were effectively binary conditions, not a fuzzy logic analysis of soft edges.
Hand driving may assist in SA, but it is not a direct outcome it is osmotic at best. what a pilot does with their hands has a weak linkage to their awareness of their operational state, it may actually reduce that on occasions through the limited capability of multitasking that humans have. (We are essentially serial processors, not truly parallel, other than very well established manipulative processes. The more trained we are the closer it looks to being parallel processing, as the access time to gain inputs to correct a control requirement becomes more refined. We employ scanning effectively as a technique to maintain a reasonable control of multivariate inputs, but add a cross check or additional cognitive load and we skip a beat. If I call as a support pilot Gear, checked, 3 green, no red, I can almost guarantee that a pilot handflying the approach with any dynamic demands will parrot back the same response, without looking... and even if they do, they as often as not will still say what they heard, not what they see).

What does all this suggest? Merely that hand flying itself is not the panacea to the problems that we see in our profession, it is a nice thing to have, and has some use but it is as much as anything a nostalgic look back to the future. When we didn't have good systems we yearned for them, when we have them, the fact that we are still human has us looking backward to the good old days, of aircraft that had awful ergonomics, lousy radar, inaccurate and unreliable nav systems, lousy approaches. smoky cockpits... etc. The engines used to cough and wheeze, stall and surge, and otherwise make life annoying. The lack of fuel capacity and range gave us interesting tech stops and overnights. in places that are on travel alert lists frequently. Ah, the good old days. Where trees and boundary fences were always bigger than expected on departures. And notwithstanding the fact that we hand flew the planes routinely, we buried planes in every tall hill and every ocean, parked short of runways, overran the other end to balance the mess about the concrete. Was our SA better for it? Not sure that it was.

keeping on doing the same experiment expecting the outcome to change is the basis of one of Einstein's quips. Another was:

"A man should look for what it is, and not for what should be..."



(1) the last lecture of Randy Pausch, PhD; September 18, 2007, Carnegie Mellon Uni. Pittsburgh, PA
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:42
  #2372 (permalink)  
 
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fdr,

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that more proficiency at hand-flying, or more generally, degraded-mode operations, in itself improves SA. I am suggesting that a lack of such proficiency requires increased use of active, as opposed to procedural, memory when those skills are unexpectantly needed. That then reduces the amount of cognitive resources available to process the environmental cues necessary to maintain SA and diagnose any malfunctions. A somewhat indirect relationship, for sure, but still relevant.

In a more perfect world, the various automation tools would be there to assist the pilots while they managed the problem and maintain SA. Unfortunately, we have plenty of historical examples in which these systems are stripped away just when they would be most useful, so it really isn't a matter of choice as to whether a pilot wishes to hand-fly or use alternative law as they work the malfunction. When these situations are thrust upon the flight crew, a lack of comfort and/or familiarity with degraded automation becomes a significant distractor and can ultimately make the difference in a successful outcome or not.

Last edited by Tomaski; 13th Sep 2019 at 21:48. Reason: Added comment
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:58
  #2373 (permalink)  
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Tomaski,

Noted,

My comment is a continuation of my musings. Your response led me to review my own, and reply above. Your desire to see more hand flying is a solution that is in line with the CAA apparently; I am suggesting that a RCA of the issue may not arrive at the same place as the necessary steps to reinforce operational safety. Hand driving places the pilot in the loop, which prima facie improves awareness, however, that is only true to a point, and history shows that point often ends up in the dirt. Hand flying also leads to tunnel vision, task saturation and then dropping of cues. What looks like a loss of one skill is essentially a loss of SA, and that is the area that needs to be reinforced.

Being aware of your SA state by whatever means floats your boat is at the very least desirable... most likely absolutely necessary for safety to be maintained. Doing that is not a trick, it able to to be learnt, evaluated and enhanced, by recognition of SA loss, and techniques to recover same.

Last edited by fdr; 13th Sep 2019 at 17:31.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 05:15
  #2374 (permalink)  
 
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Sometimes I fall captive to the illusion that I am insightful and possess a lexicon adequate to the task of explaining the world, then I read you two and think: no, not so much. Kudos to you both.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 06:16
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How many MAX Sims are currently in service or are being prepared? One in Canada, I'm told.

Is a -800 cockpit capable of being retrofitted as a MAX as this would make it quicker to 'rush' some MAX sims into use. Looking at a bare 747 cockpit last week it did seem that a bit of de-rivetting would be required.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 06:32
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It just takes an hour on the ipad and if you hold your head juuuust so, its all you need.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 06:35
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Originally Posted by blue up View Post
How many MAX Sims are currently in service or are being prepared? One in Canada, I'm told.

Is a -800 cockpit capable of being retrofitted as a MAX as this would make it quicker to 'rush' some MAX sims into use. Looking at a bare 747 cockpit last week it did seem that a bit of de-rivetting would be required.
I think there were 3 not sure if that included Boeing's one that is not exactly a Sim.

I thought Canada had 2 and Ethiopia one??

None are able to simulate a MCAS issue as I understand.

No idea of NG retrofit issues.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 09:52
  #2378 (permalink)  
 
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Tomaski, fdr,

I mustn't swim out of my depth on this, but there are 3 things I want to say.

fdr points out that the UK CAA Safety Notice does not relate directly in all its aspects to the MAX disasters but I never said it did. What struck me about the SN was that it seems to be addressing issues which Tomaski has raised concerning degradation of routine in-service pilot training, and particularly the lack of "startle factor" training in simulators. I had no idea that this aspect of training was a rarity now. I assumed that pilots were still expected to experience nasty surprises while in the Sim and sometimes more than one nasty surprise at the same time. The SN also calls for other things which I never dreamed had disappeared from pilot training. I don't think the UK CAA SN should be read as addressing the MAX's problems alone. If Tomaski is right the SN is addressing an industry-wide problem of degraded pilot training and while it may have been prompted by the MAX disasters, and contain some recommendations which can be read as directly addressing the MAX's deficiencies, I'm much more interested in the fact that it tells me that my confidence in the aviation industry is, at the moment, mis-placed because routine in-service pilot training simply isn't good enough.

My second point is that fdr also alleges that hand flying skills are being over-emphasised, and that Situational Awareness is a key issue. I do know something about SA. I have very high level SA abilities. They're what kept me alive when I used to fly my little single-seat open-cockpit VW-Beetle-powered limited-panel light aircraft around Europe & N. Africa. I also have experience of Safety Management Systems and training in another industry where poor SA is a problem due to a number of factors which I won't go into here. I totally agree that good SA is a vital necessity for safe operation of any complex system, and should be part of training. But I also agree with Tomaski that if a situation arises in which automated aircraft systems are doing surprising things and have to be switched off while the problem is diagnosed a pilot MUST be able to hand-fly AND perform the diagnosis correctly and simultaneously. The crew who have done so little hand flying that the one delegated to the task in an emergency has to think about it while doing it is going to be at a disadvantage, whereas if they have sufficient experience of hand flying to do it without thinking much they will be able to apply almost all their mental capacity to the diagnosis along with their colleague. And the crew who have good continuous SA and good hand flying skills will be able to diagnose the problem more quickly between them than the crew which has to begin by delegating one to concentrate fully on flying the plane while the other tries to work out single-handed what the starting point was for the predicament in which they find themselves and what the correct diagnosis is for the problem.

My third point is that if (but only if) the majority of regulators around the world publish SNs similar to the UK's, and if Boeing's dictum that "the MAX is just another 737" is no longer accepted by the regulators, then Boeing are in an even worse pickle than I thought because someone is going to have to build or adapt an awful lot of simulators, and put an awful lot of pilots in them, before the MAX fleet can fly. Boeing's first reaction to the MAX grounding was to say that a software patch would cure the problem. Anyone who still believes that (including the stockholders) is probably going to get a surprise much like fdr's goat-spotting pilot.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 11:28
  #2379 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Turb View Post
Anyone who still believes that (including the stockholders) is probably going to get a surprise much like fdr's goat-spotting pilot.
And cue the graphic.....

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Old 14th Sep 2019, 15:22
  #2380 (permalink)  
fdr
 
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Originally Posted by Turb View Post
Tomaski, fdr,

I mustn't swim out of my depth on this, but there are 3 things I want to say.

fdr points out that the UK CAA Safety Notice does not relate directly in all its aspects to the MAX disasters but I never said it did. What struck me about the SN was that it seems to be addressing issues which Tomaski has raised concerning degradation of routine in-service pilot training, and particularly the lack of "startle factor" training in simulators. I had no idea that this aspect of training was a rarity now. I assumed that pilots were still expected to experience nasty surprises while in the Sim and sometimes more than one nasty surprise at the same time. The SN also calls for other things which I never dreamed had disappeared from pilot training. I don't think the UK CAA SN should be read as addressing the MAX's problems alone. If Tomaski is right the SN is addressing an industry-wide problem of degraded pilot training and while it may have been prompted by the MAX disasters, and contain some recommendations which can be read as directly addressing the MAX's deficiencies, I'm much more interested in the fact that it tells me that my confidence in the aviation industry is, at the moment, mis-placed because routine in-service pilot training simply isn't good enough.

My second point is that fdr also alleges that hand flying skills are being over-emphasised, and that Situational Awareness is a key issue...

My third point is that if (but only if) the majority of regulators around the world publish SNs similar to the UK's, and if Boeing's dictum that "the MAX is just another 737" is no longer accepted by the regulators, then Boeing are in an even worse pickle than I thought because someone is going to have to build or adapt an awful lot of simulators, and put an awful lot of pilots in them, before the MAX fleet can fly. Boeing's first reaction to the MAX grounding was to say that a software patch would cure the problem. Anyone who still believes that (including the stockholders) is probably going to get a surprise much like fdr's goat-spotting pilot.
TURB;

PPRuNe provides an opportunity for a wide range of inputs and thoughts on all manner of subjects. It would be self limiting if only people of a particular viewpoint, experience or flavour add commentary tot he general discussion. It may have it's moments, but all viewpoints from people who have an interest in the subject are valuable. whether one agrees with another's views is not where value is gained, the benefit comes from exercise of the mind which is otherwise atrophying in the institutionalised world we live in.

1. Training processes today are the product of the regulatory structure we live in, along with the assumed benefits of process control such as ISO-9000, AS-9100, IOSA. Standardisation makes for a simplified task of compliance audit, by which we determine the health of a system. That results in canned training plans, to the extent that a crew may know in some airlines which engine is going to fail, when and where, and what they are going to be expected to do. It puts lipstick on the pig, but it does remove some variability of the instructor and more importantly the examiner where major systemic issues arise from variability of assessments. The training that is provided is adequate for the globally acceptable safety outcome, but it is not optimal. It is measurable, quantifiable in it's outcomes, and most importantly, provides metrics of performance to management groups, including the company and regulator.

2. Hand flying skills are great to have, but they are not a panacea for loss of SA. The average jet aircraft is a lot nicer to fly than a C-150, but maintaining awareness in the operational IFR environment that we require the crews to operate in can be challenging, moreso that beetling around VFR. When SA is lost in either case, in a 787 or a corby starlet, or an S-1S, bad stuff can happen promptly. having good eye hand coordination is nice, but doesn't directly affect S.A. maintenance, other than being in the control loop gives the driver awareness of the current dynamics of the aircraft, at the cost of everything else, traffic, fuel, systems, crew coordination, checklist management etc.... Sometimes it is a benefit, sometimes it detracts. Making drivers hand fly the jets to TOC and from TOD to landing comes with exposure to collateral risks, and as there is not a direct link between hand flying and S.A., then the current assumption that this will be a panacea to the apparent problems we have is flawed. Historically we flew beautifully smoothly into the sides of hills, into water, into mountain rotors in the lee, were hand flying when we kicked the tail off a jet, when we rolled upside down in wake, etc... At the risk of being the lightning rod of objections, The venn diagram of benefit from hand flying and of S.A. barely overlap, and occasionally the overlap is detrimental. [I fly helicopters and single seat biplanes to improve my hand flying... On my own jets, I do get the crews to handfly, but say today, my student coupled up down through minima to minimum AP engagement height at my behest, due to conditions and to give him some confidence in the ability of the system to behave correctly given half a chance. On the same flights, in the cruise, we also went through randomly selected NNCL items, they get to select one, I get to select one, and we run the well dry on the subject. On this day, about the only "hand flying skills" was doing a minimum vis approach to an airport that required going overhead the runway and then descending into a low level circuit keeping obstacles in sight. The hand flying was only to the extent that the APFD was not coupled to an ILS or an FMC or a GPS, it was managed by heading/track, and by manual pitch to fly a descending pattern around obstacles to land. If a pilot removed a tool from their tool belt in a limiting case, it would be hard to consider that desirable. Any tool or technique that reduces the likelyhood of a loss of S.A., or that assists in regaining it has a place in any operation. That is not just in aircraft, it is in the O.R, where S.A. failures are far too frequent, to corporate management, and to voters, who have a slip between reality and expectation.

3. Boeing has talented guys in their design offices. Personally, I'm attached to the marque, but the 737 is my least preferred embodiment of the art. Boeing's corporate side is another matter, I think that they need some time in a retreat cogitating their navels and hopefully that may lead to some insight as to what they have done in the last 25 years to a company that was known for design excellence. The stockholders should be balancing the merits of myopic expediency vs long term value adding to the program. The MCAS debacle may ultimately be pinned on some poor schmuck, as that is the way of the world, however, responsibility resides at the highest level of the entity, and in part with the self interest in short term gains that stockholders apparently have. MCAS is fixable. The manual trim reversion oddity is a latent risk that resulted from the pernicious problems of maintaining corporate knowledge in the industry. Over time, what we knew and why we knew it gets lost in the QRM and static of the continuous changes to regulations and systems; we don't realise what we have forgotten. Training for that is necessary, and that needs reasonable QTG fidelity, it doesn't need to be perfect, but it needs to be similar to the real world, much like 763ER/PW4062 inadvertent reverse in flight post Lauda 4. Wheter Boeing needs to implement a system design change in due course is an open question, I would think that they would be looking at a secondary electrical trim system to complement or replace the manual trim. Learjet, and IAI could do that in a tiny package... it should be viable to the B737. As a former owner of a 737, I would rather not have to pay for that though, training is cheaper and does the task. The SEA FAA TAD has some highly capable people in the building. All of the criticisms voiced on the matter of ODA have the same relevance to the EU's very own EASA DOA system. Having been a user of ODA, DOA and DER's, I think that the problems that have been highlighted are not fully justified, an ODA approval is predicated on the merits of the QA system. While being a vocal critic of various QA programs, as far as compliance is concerned, the main frustration I have is the lack of buy in to the intent to have an effective QA system; one that just ticks boxes is worse than none at all, the system gets fooled into believing their own advertising at some risk. Boeing needs to reflect on their historical position with QA.... That needs to be fixed, and that means the guy at the top needs to start doing what he is paid a lot of loot to do, "to lead".

[My opinions are purely that, my opinions, they may add value to someone else's deliberations of intractable problems, or not. If they make anyone consider their own opinion, and either reinforce their contrary view or alter that, it entirely up to them, no one needs to agree, but if they consider then they may achieve a better viewpoint of their own, even if it is merely that there is a clown sprouting heresy from the cheap seats]
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