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Loss of Control In-Flight - Flight Crew training

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Loss of Control In-Flight - Flight Crew training

Old 5th Jul 2019, 09:46
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SABIRS is used to recognise the signs of an approaching stall.

Speed reducing
Attitude increasing
Buffet
Instability
Rate of descent
Stick fully back
this amuses me, or saddens me. During a sim involving stall recovery training a few years ago I was asked what signs would indicate approaching the stall by the TC (Checkie). I reeled off the above list of signs and was immediately corrected as the correct answer is apparently - an audible ďSTALL STALLĒ warning and then treated to a white board presentation of the speed tape cues to correct my lack of understanding of the question. Finger, pulse etc

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Old 5th Jul 2019, 11:04
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
Thankyou for your very detailed and thoughtful post.


I fully appreciate that when IMC at night the situation the pilots were presented with was confusing and terrifying in equal measure. Who knows what I would have done on that Airbus that day. Iím not a large aircraft pilot of course. However, I know what I would have done in my fast jet. It has happened to me, albeit during the day, and my knowledge of power settings and attitudes meant that I was able to conclude fairly quickly that it was obviously a faulty ASI.

I still canít quite get my head around the idea that you think they didnít hold it in a stall just because they didnít know they were in one.

At a lower altitude in my fast jet if I kept pulling back on the stick it would loop. At 35000í it would stall. The AI and AoA gauges would tell me that along with airframe buffet and all the other constituents of SABIRS.

BV
The evidence suggests that the PF in AF447 did not recognize that he had the stick back, perhaps because he had not properly settled into the left seat when the Captain gave him the nod rather than the more senior PM.
He promptly climbed to excess altitude and stalled, keeping back pressure on the stick almost continuously till impact. The PM did not intervene sufficiently forcefully, perhaps because he had just been put down. CRM here was not effective.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 11:40
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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etudiant

Let me begin by repeating I have never flown an Airbus, or any heavy aircraft (a go in the Nimrod sim doesnít really count).

However, there are a few things you say that donít sit easy with me.

You say the junior pilot hadnít settled in. He stated he had the controls and had been in the seat for 9 minutes when the AP disconnected. How long does he need to get comfortable. I also donít believe he didnít realise he was pulling back on the stick. How could a qualified pilot not know that?

As for the other pilot feeling Ďput downí, I donít buy it. Surely any long haul airline pilot must expect for the duties to be shared round between the crew.

Is it possible, Iím honestly not trying to start an argument, that some people are looking to provide excuses for the crew when really there arenít any?

The one positive thing that comes out of the AF447 incident is the learning that is now, belatedly, coming out of it.

As I said I am not trying to rile people but, as a frequent long haul passenger, I obviously have a vested interest.

BV

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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:00
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Originally Posted by ZFT
Somewhat confused as the motion systems haven't changed. I assume the motion pad wasn't correct to start with and more aggressive use caused the problem?
Over the years as old planes are retired and new fleets are added, simulators get swapped out. Some of the sim bays at my company go back decades, and even the "newer" ones were built before the new motion programs took effect. The original sims were never programmed to represent the full range of forces that would be felt by the crew during a full stall. The new programming, while much more representative, requires the sim to make much more aggressive motions to simulate those forces. Newton's law and all that, these now increased forces were never part of the specs when the floor mounting systems were designed. I suspect this was known in advance and those involved hope that the typically over-engineering that goes into aviation related products would handle the issue. Unfortunately not. I don't know if this is a problem everywhere, but eventually the concrete around some of our sims will need to be replaced.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:06
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As much as I welcome seeing the CAA waking up to the problem, there were similar calls for reform after AF447 and Colgan Air 3407 which have not been fully enacted. While we are seeing the introduction of advanced upset training, at least at my airline there has been no additional time allotted in the sim. As a result, this training has the effect of crowding out other events, and the pacing of the sim sessions has become even more chopped up as the instructor pushes through all the boxes with event, position reset, event, positions reset. It is becoming increasingly hard to absorb the lessons from one event before moving on to the next one.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:11
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Originally Posted by TheiC


At risk of immediate and catastrophic thread drift, no-one intentionally Ďheld a plane in a stallí. The AF447 crew were utterly devoid of comprehension of the aircraftís condition, let down by poor and unreliable systems, and I strongly suspect profound distrust of those systems. They did the wrong thing because they hadnít a clue what was going on and therefore had no idea what to do about it.

Yes, children of the magenta are all around us, and professional standards have never been lower, but please donít blame the AF447 crew in that manner.
The Captain of AF447 was aware he was in a stall and took the appropriate action. He was unaware the copilot was holding full aft stick so the best he could get was neutral elevator.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:35
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Originally Posted by etudiant
The evidence suggests that the PF in AF447 did not recognize that he had the stick back, perhaps because he had not properly settled into the left seat when the Captain gave him the nod rather than the more senior PM.
Rubbish, it's right there in the transcript: "But Iíve been at maxi nose-up for a while". Stall might not have been deliberate, but the control inputs certainly were.

Possibly, possibly, when he said this the captain may have realised what was going on, but he wasn't settled into either seat and only came in after LOC was well in progress. Recovery was probably impossible by that point as well.

Problem is none of them correctly associated stick-back and altimeter unwinding as stall, even when the alarm was going off. Maybe flying a plane that normally protects you from stall leads to that? There are plenty of references to "climbing" (and to engines being on full power) in the CVR even as altitude is being lost at speed and they are clearly falling. Translation may have turned "pitched up" into "climbing" but this does not detract from the fact that if you are "pitched up" on full power and falling out of the sky, you are not flying, you are stalled - at least that is my non-pilot's understanding from aerodynamics courses long ago, feel free to correct me if I am wrong...
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:48
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May I add?

I suppose one advantage I may have here (which may contribute to my astonishment that the AF447 crew didnít fully appreciate their situation) is that, as a Fast Jet QFI, I practice stalling airborne with almost monotonous regularity.

When we teach SABIRS on the ground and in the sim, we then go and fly it and experience all the effects first hand. I have done them at night as well (not in the UK I hasten to add, but in other Air Forces where they donít mind doing such things) and the signs are all there.

I realise a direct comparison between an A330 and a small FJ is a little specious but flying is flying at the end of the day.

BV
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:58
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I once watched (for a short time) whilst my FO handled turbulence so pronounced that it disconnected the auto pilot (a rare occurrence in the A330), the auto thrust remained engaged. We were close to max cruise alt with a narrow gap in the speed tape. Although an experienced ex military pilot and should have known better his reaction was to maintain ALTITUDE. Whilst yoyoing up and down the engines spooled up and unspooled to maintain speed, but slowly enough to be out of sync with his pitching. Within 2 cycles we were going up at idle and down at full power and he was still chasing ALTITUDE.
There is a tendency to want to retain vertical separation rather than admit loss of control.
He learned a lot that night.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 14:16
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Originally Posted by beardy
I once watched (for a short time) whilst my FO handled turbulence so pronounced that it disconnected the auto pilot (a rare occurrence in the A330), the auto thrust remained engaged. We were close to max cruise alt with a narrow gap in the speed tape. Although an experienced ex military pilot and should have known better his reaction was to maintain ALTITUDE. Whilst yoyoing up and down the engines spooled up and unspooled to maintain speed, but slowly enough to be out of sync with his pitching. Within 2 cycles we were going up at idle and down at full power and he was still chasing ALTITUDE.
There is a tendency to want to retain vertical separation rather than admit loss of control.
He learned a lot that night.
- manual flight
- manual thrust

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Old 5th Jul 2019, 14:29
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Originally Posted by gearlever
- manual flight
- manual thrust
Not always, but in this case, yes.
There were many more lessons than that.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 14:33
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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beardy

If he was ex military then he would have understood if youíd given him any of the following helpful debrief points:

Stop being ****.

I can do it, why canít you?

Why do you find this so difficult?!

How about we turn down the suck and turn up the awesome?

The three principles of old school flying instruction. Fear, sarcasm and ridicule.

Ah, the good old days.

BV
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 15:30
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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UPRT

Originally Posted by yoko1
As much as I welcome seeing the CAA waking up to the problem, there were similar calls for reform after AF447 and Colgan Air 3407 which have not been fully enacted. While we are seeing the introduction of advanced upset training, at least at my airline there has been no additional time allotted in the sim. As a result, this training has the effect of crowding out other events, and the pacing of the sim sessions has become even more chopped up as the instructor pushes through all the boxes with event, position reset, event, positions reset. It is becoming increasingly hard to absorb the lessons from one event before moving on to the next one.
Wow. My operator added a full day for recurrent and initial training UPRT. its a non jeopardy; train to proficiency event. 2-3 hours briefing, 4h in the sim and a solid debrief.
Sorry to hear it's not like that everywhere...
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 15:39
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
If he was ex military then he would have understood if youíd given him any of the following helpful debrief points:

Stop being ****.

I can do it, why canít you?

Why do you find this so difficult?!

How about we turn down the suck and turn up the awesome?

The three principles of old school flying instruction. Fear, sarcasm and ridicule.

Ah, the good old days.

BV
Don't be silly. We talked about it like grown ups, as grown ups do, or have standards slipped that badly since I left the waterfront?

Last edited by beardy; 5th Jul 2019 at 15:50.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 16:11
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Chris 2303, #37

“CAA … Surely they bear some responsibility”
Responsibility, yes. But life is grey; what is responsibility, why or how to proportion responsibility.
With hindsight every ‘player’ could intervene, but it is difficult to identify slow change or specific outcomes before hand.

The CAAs’ tasks are equivalent to those asked of operators and pilots; understand the situation and select a course of action, awareness, workload, monitoring - all as in the safety notice.

Decisions follow awareness. Following the introduction of A320 it was suggested that the type should have a specific instrument rating; it was the exception. Nowadays that technology is the norm, the exceptions are legacy aircraft.
Who identifies the significance of this difference and decides on a course of action; probably the authorities, but that should not exclude everyone else.
New from old is easier to judge - adapt to the new; however, new back to old is retrograde, more difficult to justify, it depends on assumptions that the standards of human performance are maintained, and those which are currently trained still apply to the older technologies.
We have same-type differences ratings upwards, but retrograde … …

Thus everyone should continuously review the assumptions in operation, old and new; that is what the safety notice asks …, but who asks the CAA.





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Old 5th Jul 2019, 16:54
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The entire thrust of the argument about AF447 centers around recovery from stall but not much is discussed about the incorrect handling in alternate law. The crew didn't realize the UAS but they should have realized they were in alternate law. Even simple theoretical knowledge that in alternate law you never apply full back stick would have saved the day.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 17:06
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Originally Posted by vilas
The entire thrust of the argument about AF447 centers around recovery from stall but not much is discussed about the incorrect handling in alternate law. The crew didn't realize the UAS but they should have realized they were in alternate law. Even simple theoretical knowledge that in alternate law you never apply full back stick would have saved the day.
Yep, but to be fair the roll rate command worked "perfectly" e.g. made it harder to recognize a stall. A conventional plane would have rolled...., dived and regained speed! A deadly trap IMHO.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 17:08
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Originally Posted by old,not bold
UK CAA Safety Notice 2019/005 landed in my inbox just now.

It is a devastating indictment of regulators and operators who have allowed a situation to develop where this SN is necessary.

Stripped of the dreadful jargon-ridden, ungrammatical verbiage it is telling everyone to get back to teaching and practising basic flying skills.

Isn't it?
Sadly, the grammatical construction of this SN is pretty typical of the debased level of English employed by a UK civil service no longer dedicated to the maintenance of those standards which once were the hallmark of a splendid institution. This is but an extension of the lamentable quality of teaching currently to be found in the British maintained education system.

It seems inevitable that the lack of regard for proper communication demonstrated by this Notice will be reflected in a diminished respect for its contents.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 22:58
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
Let me begin by repeating I have never flown an Airbus, or any heavy aircraft (a go in the Nimrod sim doesnít really count).

However, there are a few things you say that donít sit easy with me.

You say the junior pilot hadnít settled in. He stated he had the controls and had been in the seat for 9 minutes when the AP disconnected. How long does he need to get comfortable. I also donít believe he didnít realise he was pulling back on the stick. How could a qualified pilot not know that?

As for the other pilot feeling Ďput downí, I donít buy it. Surely any long haul airline pilot must expect for the duties to be shared round between the crew.

Is it possible, Iím honestly not trying to start an argument, that some people are looking to provide excuses for the crew when really there arenít any?

The one positive thing that comes out of the AF447 incident is the learning that is now, belatedly, coming out of it.

As I said I am not trying to rile people but, as a frequent long haul passenger, I obviously have a vested interest.

BV
Thank you for a helpful input, I'd not known the PF had been in his seat 9 minutes before the AP disconnected.
The details of the timeline are important, because he did pull the plane up to an unsustainable height pretty immediately on taking the LH seat and the PM remonstrated.
The crew dynamics matter, because the PM was senior but apparently on a slower track than the PF, so the PM did not assert himself when the PF goofed.
A lot of this was touched on in the AF447 threads, including the suggestion, which seemed plausible to me, that the PF had not settled fully into his seat and hence was not keeping the stick neutral.
I can't explain the initial altitude bust otherwise.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 00:24
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2-3 hours briefing, 4h in the sim and a solid debrief.
This is but an extension of the lamentable quality of teaching currently to be found in the British maintained education system
2-3 hours briefing makes a mockery of Education Departments recommended classroom lesson at schools of 45 minutes duration. It is well known that students attention wanes beyond that time. Pilots as the captive audience are no different.

In fact, having already endured 2-3 hours preflight briefing, plus four hours of sweat in the simulator, the last thing the poor blighters need to endure is a "solid" debrief. This is a very common fault with simulator training instructors despite all the lecture technique courses they are supposed to attend and get signed off. No doubt death by Power Point was included in the 2-3 hours. And how about the "solid" de-brief? Another hour of the instructor droning on?

Last edited by sheppey; 6th Jul 2019 at 00:41.
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