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A350 pilot startled by windshear alarm

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A350 pilot startled by windshear alarm

Old 17th Jul 2021, 07:25
  #41 (permalink)  
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The Pratt GTF not withstanding, engine failure has been a less than one in 100,000 hour occurrence for some time - and during takeoff even less. Since the typical pilot flies ~1,000 hours/year, it's unlikely to occur during any individual pilots career. The problem is that if it does happen, you only get one chance to do it right or you, your aircraft, and everyone on board becomes headline news (and not in a good way).
Flying an Airbus without envelope protection may be extremely rare, but if it happens and the pilot doesn't know how to deal with it, it's going to be very, very bad day for all involved.
Unless it can be shown to be a "10-9 event" (for certification purposes, that means it statistically won't happen during the service life of the aircraft type), the pilots better know how to deal with it.

More to the subject at hand, I'm still struggling with the idea that a properly trained, professional pilot could become "incapacitated" by an unexpected warning. Given that warnings are seldom "expected", a pilot that becomes "incapacitated" by an unexpected warning has no business sitting in the row zero seats.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 09:06
  #42 (permalink)  
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@Nick 1, yes, and a lot of simulator time is wasted. LOFT exercise ? LOFT is what you do on line every day, with a hydraulic or fuel leak thrown in. Why waste hours of precious SIM time doing those - they are for command courses not recurrent SIM exams.

We cannot practise the handling involved with a OEI manual go-around, (no FD's), or wind-shear etc. on the line during our everyday work. The only time available to practise critical manoeuvres and drills is in the SIM.

A concert violinist can practise with their instrument every day and work on tricky passages over and over until they can play them almost without thinking about what they are doing. Pilots cannot do this. We cannot take the aircraft home or use the SIM by ourselves to practice. We have to do it in our armchair or using a cockpit poster. I was not even allowed to use the "cardboard bomber" * in my own time at a previous airline to practise drills on my own. Oh no, said the managers, we cannot allow you to use it.

If pilots only experience doing a drill every few years, then it is hardly surprising that stupid, unnecessary incidents and crashes result when they get a drill wrong that they haven't flown for ages.

Motor programs take time and multiple repetitions and regular revision to become stored in our memory. Doing something once or being shown something once does not work.

The "answer" some say is to remove the pilots and have AI. Fantastic, what could possibly go wrong?!. So we and our families will get into an aircraft that taxis and flies by itself until one day, something that the programmers never thought of or a sensor that goes wrong causes an awful accident - like the autonomous car that "saw" the plain side of a large truck across its path but assumed it was the sky, so instead of stopping, it carried on and drove straight into it...........

There have been so many accidents and incidents involving basic handling recently, that I think the current training and SIM strategy of airlines is badly flawed. Let's train pilots properly and give us the chance to regularly practise the critical manoeuvres.

* For those who might not know, a cardboard bomber is a mock-up of the aircraft cockpit, with photographs of the switches and dials printed on cardboard sheets and placed in the correct positions to resemble the real cockpit. Pilots can use cardboard bombers to learn and practice drills, and the physical actions and sequences involved.

Last edited by Uplinker; 17th Jul 2021 at 14:44. Reason: Clarity
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 09:13
  #43 (permalink)  
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You are like the child in the story Emperor's new clothes. You are not súpposed to say this. For every simple pilot error due to lack of skill, lack of knowledge of the system or poor decision making as an expert you are supposed to throw up some outlandish human behaviour theory to be counted as an expert. Inquires are not supposed to apportion any blame but to find root cause which off course must always be outside the cockpit. Ironically on another thread there's discussion on experiment on A350 long haul flights with single set of crew, one pilot in cockpit and the other one in crew rest. All pilots feel that's dangerous and two must be in front. While as we see Aircraft incidents/accidents happen with two, three or even four in front. In a A320 ferry the deadhead crew also came to cockpit four of them indulged in interesting conversation nobody monitored the aircraft. Due to wind change speed hit VMO, one pulled the speed brake the other pulled the thrust lever disconnecting the ATHR which was reengaged but speed brake was forgotten so speed going south and triggering alpha prot disconnecting the AP. This caused altitude bust by 3000ft. Interestingly the genesis of Airbus FBW is in the fact that Bernard Ziegler it's master mind built it so because he was pissed off with French pilot's unions attitude that pilots never make mistakes and it's immoral to blame pilot if they are dead. He disliked this elitist attitude of the pilot community which at least in Europe came from a influential class. He said this aircraft why! Even my concierge can fly. He had even received death threats. You may read a very interesting 2014 article by William Langewiesche on AF 447 in Vanity fair.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 11:59
  #44 (permalink)  
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Don't think that
AI is some godlike system that does not make a mistake. AI is a set of computer codes written by some computer geek who has probably never even flown a C152.The scope for code stuffups (bugs) is vast, and many code possibilities may never be fully checked for bugs. So you should EXPECT that your automation will one day go walkabout, right when you need it. To suggest that AI can solve safety issues in flight is downright naive. Accountants are naive in the ways of both flying and AI. Don't allow them to put pilotless aircraft in the skies...
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 12:57
  #45 (permalink)  
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I've called a few go rounds over the years when the approach was destabilised and it always became a single crew go round as, due to overload, the PF froze. I guess it's the task saturation that causes it, the blinkers go on and tunnel vision doesn't allow for a change of plan, it's been happening for years, level of experience has no bearing on the outcome, because I think the more experienced find it harder to come to terms with the rapidly deteriorating situation. PM should be prepared to take control if necessary.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 14:06
  #46 (permalink)  
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How fortunate that you were on board, every single time, to save the day when the PF froze. Or perhaps you are just exaggerating?
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 14:13
  #47 (permalink)  
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I estimate that the best course of action would be disregarding the alert and proceeding with approach and landing. Of course, CdB would have needed to explicitly say so.

Now, let's see how many of you will fail to resist the temptation of answering this post without reading the BEA report first (available in English).
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 14:26
  #48 (permalink)  
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The tone of this discussion really frightens me. Pilots are supposed to remain cool, even in the face of imminent death, and salvage the situation without damage to people or the aircraft. I am glad that, due to advanced age, I probably have made my last flight.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 15:26
  #49 (permalink)  
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Good evening to all,

Sorry if already online on this site, you will find below the url of the video of the French B.E.A about the incident :

Complete report (in French) :

Official French Report
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 15:41
  #50 (permalink)  

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On a side note, even if that's sprinkling salt...

The Airbus FBW is already equipped with automatic WSH recovery, if you will. It's called TOGA detent of TLs in the FCOM. Assuming the AP is ON as the case was during the occurrence discussed.

A320 procedure for reactive Winshear Alert when sensed by the FACs (audio WINDSHEAR - WINDSHEAR - WINDSHEAR):
1) Set THR LVR to TOGA detent (firewall) while announcing simultaneously "WSHR- TOGA".
2) Done.
3) (does not exist) No change of flap configuration or gear.

In case of a predictive warning from the forward-looking WXR feature (late in the approach with audio "GO AROUND, WINDSHEAR AHEAD”). Yes, this one is more tricky, so copy-paste the FCOM-ABN memory items verbatim:
1) GO-AROUND...................................................... ....................................................PERFORM
2) AP (if engaged).................................................... .................................................... KEEP ON

This should not be hard.

Sarcasm aside, there's evidence now and then it is. Looking honestly at the SHELL model, the conclusion is bitter.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 17:11
  #51 (permalink)  
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The Airbus FBW is already equipped with automatic WSH recovery, if you will. It's called TOGA detent of TLs in the FCOM. Assuming the AP is ON as the case was during the occurrence discussed.
The next mod will be the FACs will trigger TOGA/Alpha Floor and AP will come on. Idea is to offer relief to, not the pilot but human factor specialists.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 18:00
  #52 (permalink)  
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Cabbages, I've been a TRE/Line Trainer since the late 1990s. You may have misunderstood my point...in every case, the PF was not planning nor expecting to to go around....

however thank you for your input, great username btw...is that what crew control call you?

Last edited by hec7or; 17th Jul 2021 at 18:58. Reason: inserting passive aggression
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 18:13
  #53 (permalink)  
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hec7or - unless you work for BA. Then the PF is always planning 'expecting' a go around, and the PM takes over at minima and lands the approach. Don't know anywhere else that does this however. Seems to work for them.

Last edited by Flying Clog; 18th Jul 2021 at 03:45.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 18:53
  #54 (permalink)  
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clog....delete planning, insert expecting and yes, I understand the principle of the monitored approach, but if the go round is unexpected and PF freezes, PM becomes the PF

Last edited by hec7or; 18th Jul 2021 at 10:36. Reason: reread clog's post
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 18:56
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Was flying a very stabilized linked three axis approach a few weeks ago to 300-1/2 or so. Just after FAF I had an alert from a very excited controller about “excessive descent rate”. I disconnected the autopilot and hand flew the rest of the approach (after inadvertently giving about a 2g yank in response to the radio call). Landed uneventfully and called the tower to ask WTF was up, as I was never more than a dot off the GS or much of anything off the assigned altitude. Manager said that they concurred that there were no deviations, and “sometimes the computers just do that”.
Not entirely sure that technology is our best friend sometimes...
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 20:23
  #56 (permalink)  
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Great response hec7or......wheeling out the, 'I've been a TRE/Line trainer since the late 1990s...' really made me chuckle. Thank you.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 20:36
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I'm not enjoying your sarcasm dude. Not knowing your level of aviation please allow me to state that on the B737 upon pressing TOGA the autopilot will disengage. Just when you need some help, the damn thing has a coffee break! The thrust will come up though to a nice sensible level.
A few of my friends have told me first hand of the F/Os going around and losing the plot mostly due to the pitch. They had to take over before the day was seriously ruined.
Mostly great guys and girls but a few get very over confident before even 1000 hours on type. They know the books better than me and their knowledge is fine, but they don’t know a jet has teeth and is waiting to bite you hard. Very hard and very quickly.
So yes, the ‘Old Man’ is there to save the day so we all go home safely.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 21:07
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Cabbages, the reference to training was to add context, a single pilot go round is nothing to chuckle about
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 21:28
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Lessons to be learned / Issues to be understood

Lessons to be learned / Issues to be understood:-

Specifically brief GA procedures which require lower altitude level-off than normally encountered. Also those procedures requiring a turn which could be coincident with alt acquire.

Review training methods for predictive WS GA, compare this with reactive windshear requiring a full escape manoeuvre. Could the training for the warnings mislead crews (considering them to be the same), overlooking that PWS is constrained by ATC procedure with Alt limits, whereas Reactive WS mandates climb until safety is assured.
Would either of the trained procedures conflict with airport procedures; PWS GA level off, Reactive WS ignore procedural restrictions - climb for safety.
How would ATC know the difference between GA due to predictive wind-shear and a reactive WS GA.
What reaction / clearance might the crew expect; ATC reaction, surprise for some, startle for others. Follow SOPs, except …

Consider cognitive dissidence between WS GA mental model requiring continued climb vs Alt alerting - level off during a predictive warning. Cognitive overload - cognitive incapacitation - unable to change focus of attention, reconsider the situation, attempting to resolve which procedure to use, when.

Review WS checklists involving the above.
Identify misleading - incorrect terminology for Alerts (amber) and Warning (red).
Not to place ‘notes’ before boxed memory items (dual use; checklists-for-real vs checklists in ground school training vice other documents).
Also any caveat that a red warning can be ignored - requiring further, delaying situation assessment - more mental workload.

Check if Red is always used for Predictive WS displays - red warning in PFD, but some other colour on ND / Radar.

Review Pprune mindset re ‘blame’, ‘incompetence’, etc; judgement cannot be made unless we were there, and even those who were, may be unable to provide reasoning for their actions (human condition).

Last edited by safetypee; 17th Jul 2021 at 21:44.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 21:49
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I’m not in the game anymore but as a result I’m old enough to have pretty much seen the start of LOFTs being introduced…on maybe an annual basis ( and I don’t deny they are a good thing )through to the point where as you describe almost every failure/scenario seems to have to be placed in a LOFT context ….”right we are starting this section with a little flight from Manchester to London” and as a result valuable time is wasted on amongst other things on for example yet another bespoke in-flight landing distance calculation which you were doing every day on the line.
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