Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Ground & Other Ops Forums > Safety, CRM, QA & Emergency Response Planning
Reload this Page >

Airbus Official Urges Major Pilot Training Changes

Safety, CRM, QA & Emergency Response Planning A wide ranging forum for issues facing Aviation Professionals and Academics

Airbus Official Urges Major Pilot Training Changes

Old 18th Apr 2015, 08:18
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,916
Mr Nelson's report here hit the nail on the head. Theres in fact very little training involved in current airline "training". It's almost entirely composed of testing..and as he rightly points out, there is no upside for the trainee.
ShotOne is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 08:45
  #102 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 543
I did a sim. session some years ago where the instructor failed all the goodies, leaving us with what amounted to a 300 tonne Cessna 150. No speed tape, no flight director, no envelope protection, just basic flight instruments.

In most sim. sessions, I usually leave it to the FO to fly the aircraft while I deal with the non normal procedures. In this case, that proved to be impractical, for within minutes, we were in an extreme unusual attitude - the FO just could not cope with hand flying without the goodies. I had to fly the sim. myself and let the FO handle the non normal checklist.

...and I have to admit, my own flying, without all the toys, if at least semi-controlled as I shared my IF scan with monitoring what the FO was doing with the non normals, left much to be desired and would not have merited a 'pass' in what used to be required in an instrument rating test.
MTOW is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 10:00
  #103 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,509
In my B75/767 days the SBY instruments (tiny little beggars) were all that was left when the A.C. went AWOL. It was a requirement in my hi-skill-set thinking airline that an upgrade command course included an ILS flown solely on these tiny displays. It was perfectly possible if you knew pitch/power and could trim the a/c accurately. It was what was necessary in a total A.C. failure. By luck, or bad luck, one day in the RST sim, the RMI failed as well. This meant using the real SBY liquid filled compass. The kit was on board and you should be able to make safe use of it. The TRE wanted to stop the exercise because of a 'sim fault' but decided to let to run. It worked out OK and both I and the F/O learnt a great CRM lesson as his monitoring skills were enhanced. It helped to work out the expected drift angle on finals and so alert him what the datum HDG was supposed to be. (Now there's a new one for the new guys. How to calculate an expected drift angle)
Now, it is a common customer option to have a large shiny PFD on SBY electrics. It's minus the FD and speed bugs and a few other toys, but the large ATT & ILS displays are there and a large speed tape. The tiny SBY's are still there but no-one looks at them. Try inserting some Map shift and see if the guys look at the needles. Is the ASI only there to have a 2 out of 3 voting system? What is the SBY ILS for? If they are there then you should be able to use them when all else fails. With todays FD dependant pilots I wonder what would happen if they were required to fly an ILS on just the small cousins of the PFD/ND. I suspect it would be quite hairy and entertaining to watch, but I'm certain the guys would find it great fun, and after a couple of practices and a safe performance, they would applaud the chance to try and learn. It would awaken the realisation of how lazy their scan had become and how agricultural their handling skills were.
For those airlines that live in fear of their pilots actually touching the controls with real hands, but can't find a solution to re-establish those skills, this exercise every 12 months would be a sharpener at minimal cost. Knowing it was coming would encourage guys to keep their scan sharp. That is often the root cause of bad handling; where to look for the information and how to adjust the a/c accordingly. I'm not saying such a simple exercise will suddenly solve all the problems discussed here, but I think it would be a positive productive start.

Last edited by RAT 5; 18th Apr 2015 at 13:44.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 11:44
  #104 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 96
Perhaps having pilots actually read the two below documents might help:

Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Team Report on: The Interfaces Between Flightcrews and Modern Flight Deck Systems, dated June 18, 1996, at:

http://www.tc.faa.gov/its/worldpac/techrpt/hffaces.pdf


Operational Use of Flight Path Management Systems, dated September 5, 2013, at:

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/...mendations.pdf
airman1900 is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 17:58
  #105 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,916
There's nearly 500 pages between those two references, airman, and the first dates back almost 20 years. Aside from saving us from wasting our next couple of days off talking to our families, in what way do you feel our "actually reading this" would help?
ShotOne is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 19:23
  #106 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 4
Ref to my earlier comments on AF447 it would be foolish of me to argue that a good sense of energy management and instinctive understanding of what the aircraft should be doing in relation to known ptich and power is not aided by hand flying. My point is that this argument is overly simplistic and fails to address some fundamental issues that no level of hand flying skill can address or indeed have guaranteed that the pilots could have flown the aircraft out of danger. I think that view is wrong and does no justice to the crew that had to deal with the situation.

There is so much more to it. I have been in an IFR situation where I have lost confidence in the information that is being presented by the instrumentation and without outside visual clues, re-established spatial orientation by reverting back to the basics of attituide flying that I learned so many years ago.

The techncology that is being put on flight decks is more advanced than the understanding of how humans have to interface with it, especially in high stress scenarios. The fact is that the accident was a total system failure, that can be traced right back to errors in the physical design, certification, and training but yet the accident report puts so much emphasis on pilot error. I think that is wrong and cycnical.

I wonder in reality how many of us would have safely flown the aircraft out of danger, given the exact same circumstances, hot shot manual pilot or not. I dread to think.
lowlevelpilot is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 20:18
  #107 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,957
I wonder in reality how many of us would have safely flown the aircraft out of danger, given the exact same circumstances, hot shot manual pilot or not. I dread to think.
lowlevelpilot, I think that's what the debate is about - how can we equip and train all pilots to recover a situation like AF447?

This is worth a watch - Rory Kay from ALPA contrasts some incidents and accidents where aircraft have and have not been recovered successfully from similar situations and why this was so

Airline Safety
fireflybob is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 21:20
  #108 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 23
I can't see how a pilot could let skills decay to the point he lacks the confidence to disconnect at any time
My answer to your question is that the pilots we are talking about did not have those skills in the first place, and therein lies the greater problem.
After reading six pages of this very interesting thread, most of the comments relate to the amount of hand flying necessary, as if that is now a universal fix. To me the problem is not a simple one of more hand flying; it is not a training problem, it is a recruitment problem.

The right seat of a commercial jetliner is not the place to learn how to fly.

Airlines are recruiting pilots with inadequate flying backgrounds. Just giving them more hand flying is not going to fix this. They have not been captains of small aircraft, have not learned to make difficult decisions daily; have not learned the basic flying, operational and management skills needed before exposing their experience to jets with a couple of hundred passengers. By the time they front up to a major airline, this should all be part of the repertoire.
Spotted Reptile is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 22:51
  #109 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: fl
Posts: 2,561
I agree, too many are hired with little real experience. It is unlikely they will be able to learn what we did sitting in the right seat.
bubbers44 is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 23:04
  #110 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 543
A little bit like young men going off to war believing that it will be the other bloke who gets killed rather than him, I think that in every pilot's heart of hearts, he/she thinks that he/she would have been able to recover the aircraft from a situation like AF447. And that's a healthy thing - if you don't have the self confidence to think you can handle an unusual situation, you really shouldn't be in the business.

What I don't understand is how anyone could graduate from ANY pilot training scheme believing that pulling back on the stick/yoke - and continuing to do so for how many minutes when it obviously wasn't working - will recover an aircraft from a stall. Or how anyone could graduate from any pilot training scheme and not be able to recognise a stall. (And before anyone leaps online to shoot me down for making that point, see paragraph one, particularly its second and third sentences.)

For all the advantages of the sidestick, the 'outdated' traditional yoke, retained by Boeing, (much to the disdain of many Airbus fans here), allows the other pilot(s) in the cockpit to be easily and clearly aware of the inputs, whether appropriate or inappropriate, being made by the other pilot, where the sidestick does not. In a really critical and highly unusual situation like the AF447 crew found themselves in, this is no small matter.
MTOW is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2015, 23:52
  #111 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Smelly Harbour at 22 North
Age: 67
Posts: 4
@MTOW, regarding your last paragraph:
Can someone explain finally the real reason for replacing the traditional yoke with that joystick that is used by the 'Bus? Is the "fly-by-wire" including such... "thing" mandatory? .
I mean (hope) what is/was the substantial advantage for replacement of that yoke?
Otherwise I concur for 100% with those that prefer the traditional steering yoke.
(Question from a retired PPL driver of a darn good old PA28.)

Last edited by twalfa; 18th Apr 2015 at 23:53. Reason: sp
twalfa is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 02:54
  #112 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: HK
Posts: 514
MTOW

Reasonably good post until

For all the advantages of the sidestick, the 'outdated' traditional yoke, retained by Boeing, (much to the disdain of many Airbus fans here), allows the other pilot(s) in the cockpit to be easily and clearly aware of the inputs, whether appropriate or inappropriate, being made by the other pilot, where the sidestick does not. In a really critical and highly unusual situation like the AF447 crew found themselves in, this is no small matter.
Pity the yoke did not save the Boeings that stalled in, with the yoke aft for all to see in a stall, eg Birgen and at least a couple of others!
iceman50 is online now  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 03:13
  #113 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 543
iceman, as someone who has flown both Airbus and Boeing, I stand by my comment that it's far easier to see that the other pilot is making an input with interconnected yokes than with sidesticks. In the Air France 447 case, the FO had supposedly handed over to the pilot in left seat - but he continued to pull full back stick, and with many conflicting inputs overloading him, (as many if not most of us would in a similar situation), the other pilot, (and also the captain when he returned to the cockpit), missed this.

With a yoke configuration, it would have been much more obvious because the other yoke would have been full aft as well.
MTOW is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 03:55
  #114 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 4
A way to make sidestick conflicts more obvious would be to install a vibration motor in the stick (like is in most cellphones) so that both sticks would vibrate if there was a "dual input" condition. Dual inputs are already detected, but the display is apparently not attention-grabbing enough.
SilentCloud is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 04:25
  #115 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: middle of nowhere
Posts: 348
It is not so much a stick vs. yoke problem. The initial design of the T7 cockpit went with a side stick, only to be rebuffed by dinosaur pilots from United.

We started on Piper L3 or L4s and the stick was between our legs, on the bus it is either left or right of our knees. No big difference in physical movement to achieve any result. You get used to either the old stick, new stick or yoke in a few minutes.

The real difference, and the one that was criticised right from the beginning, is that Airbus decided to put the opposite side stick to a dead mode when the fellow pilot flew, and to a blocked mode once the AP is engaged. Boeing initially wanted its drive back system it has on todays yoke on its side stick as well. That would have been the optimal solution!

Focus on the wrong stick design and not the stick itself. Such design could be changed with very little effort, contrary to what Airbus always pretends (they invoke weight ..... ) As the absolute exact replication of any buddy's or the AP's movement is not crucial, a simple rumble stick from the neighbourhood's game shop would do replicating at least the direction and continuation of any movement, any mediocre gamer can confirm that and it costs about 30 bucks!

The very essence of the problem of that comes down to what lowlevelpilot stated:

The techncology that is being put on flight decks is more advanced than the understanding of how humans have to interface with it, especially in high stress scenarios
That is what we have to focus on, apart from better initial and basic skill. The moving stick thereby is a fundamental requirement.
Gretchenfrage is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 05:55
  #116 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Rainsville
Posts: 46
Originally Posted by MTOW View Post
(And before anyone leaps online to shoot me down for making that point, see paragraph one, particularly its second and third sentences.)
There are only two sentences in the first para...
oblivia is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 09:21
  #117 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 78
Posts: 840
fireflybob,
Thanks for your post with that link to Rory Kay - what a powerful and excellent speech!
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 09:48
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,509
"I agree, too many are hired with little real experience. It is unlikely they will be able to learn what we did when sitting in the right seat."

At the risk of thread creep and repeating ourselves this is true. With 3000hr captains who are hot-shot SOP guru's who don't/can't/are not allowed to demonstrate much of the basic skills it will be a future of the blind leading the blind into a world of decaying skills.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 12:43
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,973
The tiny SBY's are still there but no-one looks at them
For the very reason you stated (no one looks at 'em) I have always had the standby ADI ILS switched on for all approaches where the ILS is available on the landing runway - visual or not. It is not so much as a back up in case of sudden double generator failure (extremely remote) but to keep those vital instruments incorporated into the normal day by day instrument scan.
In the simulator, it is an interesting exercise to train new pilots what happens if a lightning strike late in the take off roll disables both engine driven generators simultaneously. After all we train for double generator failure as part of the type rating course and that can happen equally likely in flight or on the runway.

Lots of caution lights, spurious warnings including take off configuration and importantly, loss of half the wheel brakes. A reject at that point could cause an over-run on a limiting runway. The climb away on the standby ADI involves not only manual stabiliser trim but it is all too easy to over-speed the flaps and LED as the flap indicator is inoperative. That is because the tiny pitch indications on the standby ADI makes it difficult to see and sometimes even misinterpret the pitch angle numbers and what you thought was 15 degrees body angle after lift off can very easily be 25 degrees real angle. Been there-done that in the simulator several times. And of course with double generator failure the pilot is back to real raw data with a vengeance.

All is not lost for the competent pilot, however. Adjust the trusty bi-focals, set the desired the pitch angle, and ensure desired thrust set for climb or what is appropriate for the occasion, which is just what you would do in any aircraft including a Cessna 172..

Finally, one has to be especially careful to remember the localiser indication on the standby ADI in the 737 Classic, works in reverse if tracking away from the ILS.

Last edited by Centaurus; 19th Apr 2015 at 13:00.
Centaurus is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2015, 12:51
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 802
An ILS on the standbys is an annual exercise on the recurrent on one type I fly. It is a challenge and requires good CRM from your colleague helping the flying pilot with corrections on localiser and thrust.

On the ISFD found on the likes of the newer 737s it is bloody difficult from the RHS as it is difficult to see and interpret and the viewing angle is rather awkward. Even if one is simply trying to monitor and help out the PF it's a bugger.
Jwscud is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.