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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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Boeing, and FAA oversight

Old 18th Jan 2020, 09:09
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51153286

Have to agree with the family.
does anyone have a link to the actual full report?
Yes our hearts go out to the families.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 10:02
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by retired guy View Post
does anyone have a link to the actual full report?
Official Report of the Special Committee to Review the Federal Aviation Administration's Aircraft Certification Process
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 10:37
  #183 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51153286

Have to agree with the family.
Yes indeed , a family always look at the accident in different light and I really feel sorry for them . . But basically the conclusions of the report could not have been any different for one simple reason ; it would put in question all previous similar certification processes done around that time by the same people and would probably affect the KC-46 and 787 certifications . An a grounding of those 2 aircraft would probably end Boeing , putting 100 thousand jobs in danger plus the economic impact and the loss of leadership in aviation , this is simply not an option for the US.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 11:11
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Dave
That will keep me out of the pub for the weekend.
Have a good one
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 14:10
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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The Dep't of Transportation / FAA advisory panel's report appears certain to complicate matters in several ways. To start, the pub, r guy, will have one more seat vacant here too.

While it seems pretty evident that the report was a result of a studied and determined effort to protect the status quo especially regarding delegation in a broad sense, there are too many other wheels in motion, for it really to be effective. Just as an example when I (SLF + att'y) conclude my weekend reading will I have seen, let alone found logical satisfaction with, this panel's rebuttal of the JATR?

Quickly to note the panel is made up (as far as I can tell) of heavy worthies. Usually it's worth noting a gap between "expertise" - which typically is for sale - and "authoritativeness" - which is earned most often the old-school way. But in this instance what matters is the full set of substantive issues, and questions, not anyone's career history to date.

One reported assertion by the panel is that policies were adhered to, that things were done appropriately and effectively. But compliance with the status quo process hardly warrants approval - if the current system is flawed, let alone deeply so. I'll not insult the dignity of the families by commenting on "appropriate" or "effective".

A second reported assertion is that certification as a new type wouldn't have improved the overall safety of the airplane. I'm going to plead dumbfoundedness on this....new type, but no bare airframe testing without MCAS? No revealing its inclusion to pilots, no simulator training? One AoA sensor only? I must be missing something (again, just SLF + att'y). At the very least, this is a stark counter-factual -- the panel is a roster of heavies but they don't have magic portals for seeing into what "would have happened" either.

Third and almost last, regarding the scheme of delegating areas of the certification process, for now my response is, "but of course the status quo will counter-attack, and this is part of that." Some other worthies on Capitol Hill are obviously angling to re-reconfigure the delegation scheme, and those efforts now have one more obstacle.

Last, and most tentative until back in the pub, I've reached the conclusion that the court got it wrong in the case brought by British Caledonian when Langhorne Bond pulled the certificate of the DC-10 after the crash in Chicago, 25 May 1979. There's a lot of lip service paid to the Chicago Convention of 1944 with regard to reciprocal acceptance of certification, and obviously after 737 Max this scheme too will need a review. (At the time the Ten was grounded the real accident causal analysis was not yet known, but the court ruled the U.S. had acted in violation of law, based on what one could call "legal-paperwork-technicalities." Which are still operative....for now.)

Last edited by WillowRun 6-3; 21st Jan 2020 at 22:39.
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 02:44
  #186 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3 View Post

A second reported assertion is that certification as a new type wouldn't have improved the overall safety of the airplane. I'm going to plead dumbfoundedness on this....new type, but no bare airframe testing without MCAS? No revealing its inclusion to pilots, no simulator training? One AoA sensor only? I must be missing something (again, just SLF + att'y). At the very least, this is a stark counter-factual -- the panel is a roster of heavies but they don't have magic portals for seeing into what "would have happened" either.

Third and almost last, regarding the scheme [sic]of delegating areas of the certification process, for now my response is, "but of course the status quo will counter-attack, and this is part of that." Some other worthies on Capitol Hill are obviously angling to re-reconfigure the delegation scheme, and those efforts now have one more obstacle.
WillowRun, fair points.

Had grandfathering not been available, then the conditions precedent would likely have been vastly different. The plane would not have need of the geometry that the MAX assumed, gear length would have been able to balance weight/cost of gear to development potential and optimised airframe configuration. That would have also permitted TBC to establish a fuselage section that permits LD loading which would permit the TBC product a cargo capability that it sorely misses out on in its 737 design. MCAS would not have been needed, however lord knows what else would come about out of a fresh design. Certification would be in the 10B+ range and that would add directly about 2M for 5000 airframes, and double that for the cost of finance for the sunk costs of development and certification. An aircraft such as the A330 was developed with relatively modern revisions of CS 25, and yet following a well thought out design (beauty in the eye of the beholder) and testing, the A330-300 ended up a hole in the ground doing a OEI GA on automation. Any design can have issues, old ones warmed over or new ones, and time exposes the strengths and weaknesses that are missed in the relatively exhaustive certification process.

A fresh start design has "unknown unknowns".

FAA delegation is not a scheme dreamt up by the FAA to circumvent the regulatory oversight, the FAA lags behind EASA in the establishment of DOA. Any delegation is dependent on the ethical standards of the delegate, and that is always going to be a point of contention; Chinese firewalls only work so well, as was exhibited by the investment banking communities. The issue of conflicting demands exists within a system that doesn't use delegation, where the regulator is responsible for both regulation development, certification and enforcement, as is being suggested, the back to the future scenario. In all cases, the certification of designs eats up talent, and that is scarce in all areas, with regulators disadvantaged usually to the commercial end of town in maintaining and developing talented people.

A continuing concern is the marginalisation of the quality processes, which are a stain on the industry. It is a specific part of the ODA/DOA system that the system is underpinned by effective QA, and there are examples abounding on systems disregarding and in fact silencing QA personnel going about their duties. As long as that is an accepted situation, there are dark clouds on the horizon. If an entity abuses the QA staff, or whistleblowers trying to get an urgent message to responsible managers or regulators, as long as they are treated the way they are, then any process is going to be inherently unbounded and heading towards badness.
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 05:45
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Daily Telegraph (UK) carrying a report that “Staff emails claim that Boeing 777X shares Max problem”.

🙁
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 08:14
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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..
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Old 19th Jan 2020, 11:15
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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I found this report strained credulity and to be patronising in the extreme.

Part of a campaign to convince Americans Boeing and the FAA are trustworthy?

If you can’t make planes that foreigners can fly and operate safely, don’t sell planes to foreigners!
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Old 20th Jan 2020, 08:39
  #190 (permalink)  
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Special Committee Report

On first look, the report is reminiscent of a missive by Sir Humphrey, of "Yes, Minister". There is some careful wording that results in a generally favourable view, all is well in the realm... That doesn't appear to be consistent with the holes in the ground.

Page 35, a description of MCAS is included, which is the final problematic variant, not what was presented. It was a surprise to the test teams what it had been morphed into. That alters the complexion of effectiveness of the processes. That change occurring was a process failure for various reasons, what was expected to be certified was not what existed.

MCAS was designed to augment flaps-up manoeuvring characteristics by providing enhanced control column force gradient. In simple terms, MCAS was designed to increase the airplane nose-down pitching moment and resulting aft column force when it detects the aircraft may be in danger of stalling. It was designed to operate only during manual flight and activate only during an abnormally high angle of attack.
The FAA reviewed the MCAS function as part of the review of the flight control system in the detailed certification plans. Intended system activation was limited to rare, non-normal, highangle-of-attack flight conditions in manual flight mode. Boeing’s analysis considered the effect of an erroneous MCAS activation throughout the flight envelope. The system hazard was assessed as less than that associated with a runaway horizontal stabilizer condition, which is a required training event. This analysis asked the question: is the human likely to be able to complete the procedure effectively? FAA and Boeing both conducted flight tests with the system fully functional and with the system inoperative. The FAA found that Boeing demonstrated compliance using accepted methods and accounted for stated assumptions, and therefore, with the information and experience before it at the time, the FAA concluded that additional training and procedures were not needed as a result of MCAS implementation.
I would suggest that these paragraphs don't pass muster to the situation that occurred. If they are actually correct, then the aircraft certification was non compliant as the fault mode is not annunciated, 25.203 and 25.672 appear to remain problematic to the MCAS as built.

Blaming the crew for being the global outcome of their training programs and what is acceptable to ICAO, doesn't fix the shambles. There is hubris in assumption of superiority on recent history, stuff comes around and bites, liek driving a serviceable B763F into the bayou, dropping a 738 off piste into the local river, and the northern neighbours trying to snag the tail of 3 jets on the taxiway at KSFO, or dumping 40 toms of wide cut over the local school grounds. Europe has had it's days where there is scuffing of the shoe in the dust, like a 744 in the lagoon at Tahiti, various others parked off in the rough, and 447 highlighting the issue that there but for the grace of god go a whole bunch of operators. We appear to have an observer bias that is close to hubris. As I have said before, the very best pilot I have ever known was from Ethiopia. The best helicopter instructors were from Japan, the best applied CRM was from a Russian pilot ex Aeroflot.

The report is disappointing, and does a disservice to all, even TBC and the FAA, as well as the dearly departed.

The average pilot is exactly that, AVERAGE. They are not Yeagers or Armstrongs, or Eric Moody nor can they be reasonably expected to be. The internal emails that show how hard the OEM pushed to stop the operator from having specific training appears incongruous to complaints that foreign crew were inadequately trained... that sticks in the throat.

§ 25.203 Stall characteristics.
§ 25.203 Stall characteristics.(a) It must be possible to produce and to correct roll and yaw by unreversed use of the aileron and rudder controls, up to the time the airplane is stalled. No abnormal nose-up pitching may occur. The longitudinal control force must be positive up to and throughout the stall. In addition, it must be possible to promptly prevent stalling and to recover from a stall by normal use of the controls.

(b) For level wing stalls, the roll occurring between the stall and the completion of the recovery may not exceed approximately 20 degrees.

(c) For turning flight stalls, the action of the airplane after the stall may not be so violent or extreme as to make it difficult, with normal piloting skill, to effect a prompt recovery and to regain control of the airplane. The maximum bank angle that occurs during the recovery may not exceed -

(1) Approximately 60 degrees in the original direction of the turn, or 30 degrees in the opposite direction, for deceleration rates up to 1 knot per second; and

(2) Approximately 90 degrees in the original direction of the turn, or 60 degrees in the opposite direction, for deceleration rates in excess of 1 knot per second.


§ 25.672 Stability augmentation and automatic and power-operated systems.

§ 25.672 Stability augmentation and automatic and power-operated systems.If the functioning of stability augmentation or other automatic or power-operated systems is necessary to show compliance with the flight characteristics requirements of this part, such systems must comply with § 25.671 and the following:

(a) A warning which is clearly distinguishable to the pilot under expected flight conditions without requiring his attention must be provided for any failure in the stability augmentation system or in any other automatic or power-operated system which could result in an unsafe condition if the pilot were not aware of the failure. Warning systems must not activate the control systems.

(b) The design of the stability augmentation system or of any other automatic or power-operated system must permit initial counteraction of failures of the type specified in § 25.671(c) without requiring exceptional pilot skill or strength, by either the deactivation of the system, or a failed portion thereof, or by overriding the failure by movement of the flight controls in the normal sense.

(c) It must be shown that after any single failure of the stability augmentation system or any other automatic or power-operated system -

(1) The airplane is safely controllable when the failure or malfunction occurs at any speed or altitude within the approved operating limitations that is critical for the type of failure being considered;

(2) The controllability and maneuverability requirements of this part are met within a practical operational flight envelope (for example, speed, altitude, normal acceleration, and airplane configurations) which is described in the Airplane Flight Manual; and

(3) The trim, stability, and stall characteristics are not impaired below a level needed to permit continued safe flight and landing.

Last edited by fdr; 20th Jan 2020 at 09:47. Reason: spllin', again
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Old 20th Jan 2020, 09:58
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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From FDR
The average pilot is exactly that, AVERAGE. They are not Yeagers or Armstrongs, or Eric Moody nor can they be reasonably expected to be.

The internal emails that show how hard the OEM pushed to stop the operator from having specific training appears incongruous to complaints that foreign crew were inadequately trained... that sticks in the throat.


Dear FDR. I think you have a lot of really good commentary here and I am working through and learning from it. Thanks. I would take a different view on one comment if that' ok.
Eric Moody is someone I have met from being around at the time, and had a long chat with the First Officer (we refer to the BA 747 that lost all four). I have also read the reports and even seen it on Nat Geographic so it must be true!

What is very clear is that the last person to say he was Chuck Yeager or Tex Johnson was Eric for any of his crew. He and his crew were truly average for the airline they worked for. The never claimed anything else. Yet their training, experience and airmanship allowed them to calmly cope with a situation "Beyond the Scope of the QRH" as the chapter in the Boeing QRH calls it. They were in a place where there was little or no advice. Improvisation came to the fore. Yes they worked the checklists, but with no expectation that they would succeed. They had to do workarounds all the time too. That is what I expect an average pilot to be able to do. Otherwise one begins to wonder what they are there for. For the expected? Engine failure on takeoff, practiced by me and every other pilot, over 100 times in my career in the sim. Could do that without heart missing a heart beat. And the other forty or so items which we all do every six months on the three year EASA training cycle. All easy enough really once you have the training. I just hope the training is not a band aid solution.

Your second para above is very true and is relatively new to me. Saw it couple of days ago. If Boeing were strenuously trying to prevent Lionair doing more training that they were actively seeking, (I have said from the start of these threads that training, or lack of training is the key), then that is very serious indeed. Until seeing those exchanges I had imagined that some airlines were just buying planes and not realising that a plane is not a bus with wings. That expression has actually been used by the way. I am glad to see that "training" is now part of the new program to get the MAX back flying and that is a major step forward in my view.
Thanks
R Guy





§ 25.672 Stability augmentation and automatic and power-operated systems.
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Old 21st Jan 2020, 22:48
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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There is extensive discussion on Boeing's interaction with the investigation into the 737 accident at AMS in:- NYT: How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

The conclusions in the 'suppressed' HF report are summarised, with a link to the report at:- NYT: How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

In addition, the final conclusion notes the following about design and training, and hazardous out of trim conditions; - relevant to the 737 Max.

Back in 1996, the FAA Human Factors team recommended the creation of interim certification policy guidance, which would fill the gap until design and training guidance material would be complete. It said:
"Specifically, the HF Team believes that the following areas should be addressed by interim guidance: Pilot/autopilot interactions that create hazardous out of trim conditions; Autopilots that can produce hazardous energy states and may attempt maneuvers that would not normally be expected by a pilot; and improved airplane flight manual wording regarding the capabilities and limitations of the autopilot.”
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Old 21st Jan 2020, 23:37
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
As I have said before, the very best pilot I have ever known was from Ethiopia.
This is not the same as all pilots from Ethiopia being the best pilots in the world. Clearly Ethiopian management did not ever ascertain if their pilots could fluidly cope with the Lion Air scenario before putting passengers into the seats. Ethiopian CAA did not ascertain if Ethiopian Airline had done that check. The pilots of the accident craft did not memorize the steps even though the prior crash should have been fresh in their minds.

I believe the pilot who was there at the time, that Ethiopian was avoiding doing anything about that training. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-737-max-crash

It's not a matter that Ethiopian nationals are innately incapable, that's absurd; it's a matter that these pilots, their management, and their CAA were all unmotivated to cease 737 Max operations before understanding how to deal with MCAS. Except for Bernd Kai von Hoesslinm who apparently resigned rather than be associated with them.
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Old 21st Jan 2020, 23:47
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
There is extensive discussion on Boeing's interaction with the investigation into the 737 accident at AMS in:- NYT: How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

The conclusions in the 'suppressed' HF report are summarised, with a link to the report at:- NYT: How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

In addition, the final conclusion notes the following about design and training, and hazardous out of trim conditions; - relevant to the 737 Max.

Back in 1996, the FAA Human Factors team recommended the creation of interim certification policy guidance, which would fill the gap until design and training guidance material would be complete. It said:
"Specifically, the HF Team believes that the following areas should be addressed by interim guidance: Pilot/autopilot interactions that create hazardous out of trim conditions; Autopilots that can produce hazardous energy states and may attempt maneuvers that would not normally be expected by a pilot; and improved airplane flight manual wording regarding the capabilities and limitations of the autopilot.”
See the thread here on that story for news that the Dutch Safety Board has now published the cited report.

NYT: How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’
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Old 26th Jan 2020, 02:08
  #195 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MechEngr View Post
This is not the same as all pilots from Ethiopia being the best pilots in the world. Clearly Ethiopian management did not ever ascertain if their pilots could fluidly cope with the Lion Air scenario before putting passengers into the seats. Ethiopian CAA did not ascertain if Ethiopian Airline had done that check. The pilots of the accident craft did not memorize the steps even though the prior crash should have been fresh in their minds.

I believe the pilot who was there at the time, that Ethiopian was avoiding doing anything about that training. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-737-max-crash

It's not a matter that Ethiopian nationals are innately incapable, that's absurd; it's a matter that these pilots, their management, and their CAA were all unmotivated to cease 737 Max operations before understanding how to deal with MCAS. Except for Bernd Kai von Hoesslinm who apparently resigned rather than be associated with them.
When I had interest in the matter, the training at ET was done by.... Alteon, who were a subsidiary of Boeing, and which was later renamed as... Boeing. Whether that is the case still is unknown.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 07:46
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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On a personal note there was a major difference in handling pitch on the BAC1-11 and the B737. On the 1-11 pilots used the elevators to control pitch then trimmed out with the stabiliser trim. The 737 has a far larger stabiliser compared to its elevators and all pilots I ever flew with learned to fly the aircraft by blipping on the trim switch effectively using elevators almost exclusively only during take off approach and landing.
QUOTE


I flew 707 and all 737s plus 757 767 747
i would be unable to type this Reply if the above were true since my hands would’ve been chopped off by at least two generations of trainers. !! I think the name STAB TRIM is the clue. Quite seriously has anyone out there been trained to use the stab trim to control pitch? As opposed to trimming out the stick force ?

​​​​​​?
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 15:46
  #197 (permalink)  

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Trainer on 737 and 747. I/we trained to select the attitude using the elevator, then trim the forces out. The 737 took a little practice as the electric trim is fast and powerful. You could always tell if someone was trying to fly using the STAB TRIM... the aircraft would poipoise all over the sky, enlisiting the shout of "stop doing that."
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 21:32
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by retired guy View Post
Hi Bendalot. It’s hard to cost sim per hour.
I know I can rent a local 737 sim for something like 1000 per hour- maybe less pro rata for four.
First you have the cost of the sim at say 12million. Then the building rent etc. utilization. Is it generating income from third parties? But the cost that scares airlines is the time off flying the line involved and impact on rosters. And the need for more training pilots- it’s a big overhead. In a LCC it’s not uncommon for pilots to have to travel a whole day from home base to a sim in day UK . Say Poland to UK? Three flights?
For a one hour Max refresher that would be the same. And then Hotac overnight. For some airlines that’s a cost too - not all!
Two days gone. And annual duty hours affected maybe. Oh dear. And FTL or roster agreement might mean he now can’t fly next day. Is the cost of this training worth it? A thousand times yes.

I would add a whole day annually onto every pilot if I were running the train set. ( Any finance guy reading this, and maybe others, will be saying “thank God the idiot is too old) One day devoted to flying in degraded modes. No autopilots. Multiple failures. Failures that are ambiguous. Raw data. Visual approaches. The works and no pilot would join who hadnt been been trained in those skills at flight school. Somewhere like Oxford or Jerez or equivalent.
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aka R Guy
Yes so $1K just for the unit (sim only)for one hour, then the pilot needs to be paid as does his replacement and then the ancillary costs.

$2K seems way of the mark in most cases.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 23:32
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by retired guy View Post
Hi Tuffy
in the last ten years out of all major accidents, only one was “western”- AF447. Two were Malaysian , missile and suicide. Then of course Germanwings. Western yes, but bizarre suicide. Two were the MAX , definitely not “western “ by location. 90%were in places that most people couldn’t place on a globe, with airlines that most of us have never heard of, and in what is politely called ‘developing ‘ world.
So I’m not sure what your point is but if you fly on “western airlines” and I won’t define that because there are plenty of “eastern airlines”:with excellent flight safety, QANTAS being a great example, you are historically much safer.
The threat is this. The world needs 500,000 pilots over next 25 years, mainly in the developing world and many are startups. No DNA on how to operate a safe airline. That is a massive challenge. There are two schools of thought
1/ train them to cope with the full spectrum of degraded airplane non normal situations including multiple failures sometimes escalating.rapidly out of control. Ie when computers fail, it’s easy for the pilots to fall back on basic flying skills and airmanship.
or
2/ Automate the problem -out so it can’t happen, and the pilots are there to conduct routine mundane tasks. So they don’t need to be extraordinarily skillful or even moderately so. Even better, set up your own flight academy to generate a constant flow of pilots. It’s a bit like marking your own homework though!
Interesting thread this! Thanks for raising this valid point.
R Guy
There really aren't two schools of thought there is only one.

Automate it.

There are people who may disagree with that approach, but that does not remove this is what is inevitably being pursued.

There used to be people who disagreed the earth being round. Folk even disputed gravity. That isn't a school of thought. It's just denial.

Whether or not automation is the ultimate outcome simply isn't in question. It is.

What is at challenge is whether the negative slope on training and experience is suitably aligned with the positive slope on the capabilities of automation.


Last edited by Turbine70; 1st Feb 2020 at 02:30.
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Old 1st Feb 2020, 00:36
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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There really aren't two schools of thought there is only one.

Automate it.
Automation is not the complete answer, it's a system designed by fallible humans, this very thread is about the failed attempt to automate a system. There have been at least one accident cause by automation where the aircraft was written off (an A320 where the automation wouldn't permit the aircraft to flare for landing) and a number of incidents, without dredging up the reports notable events in Oz have been to a 777 and 330.
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