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AF 447 Thread No. 5

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AF 447 Thread No. 5

Old 11th Aug 2011, 05:11
  #1881 (permalink)  
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Maybe a good time for philosophy while we wait

Well thank you, De Sitter, and hope I am one of the 'real" pilots.

So maybe we take a break and actually discuss philosophy involved with the design considerations and the training and the so-called CRM ( we called it crew coordination). And BTW, Doze brought up the best example of CRM most of us have ever seen. TY.

Unlike Smilin' and 'bird and Retired, I actually flew the grandfather of the FBW systems. Unlike the Airbus folks, we called our "limits" limits, not "protections". But make no mistake, we had one feature that was intended to prevent us from getting into a spin, and another that 100% disconnected us from the stick ( our deep stall). Nevertheless, our limits were intended to enhance our mission capabilities and not make things easier for us.

There is no doubt in this ol' feeble mind that crew error will be the major finding. There is also no doubt that the Airbus control laws and reversion sequence will get some scrutiny. As another contributor points out - why allow the THS to reach full deflection? And the system seems to ignore some valid inputs because other inputs are considered invalid. Sheesh. What do I have to play with?

I would hope that training is improved for the folks flying the electric jets. The basics still apply - both aerodynamics of the jets and proven pilot responses to strange/unusual situations that have served us very well for a century. There is no substitute for being exposed to unusual attitudes and aerodynamic conditions you may never encounter. Just a few training hours, or even minutes, will come back to you when the real thing happens. I never had the responsibility of two hundred folks depending upon me, and I never wanted it. But if forced to do it, I would want to know everything I could about the plane and how to fly the thing in every imaginable situation, wouldn't you?
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 08:14
  #1882 (permalink)  
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I rather get the impression that you have an agenda and that agenda is the sort that gets in the way of the truth. It is clear from the actual airbus pilots that the accident was perfectly recoverable provided the flight crew identified the correct circumstances. Nothing to do with Smilin Ed's rubbish about autotrim delaying recovery.
I will repeat for all of those who seem to be under the impression that the aircraft was a factor in the accident that this is not the case. This is an accident caused by human factors and at the base a flawed and falacious company culture. Almost non-existent CRM and total failure to follow SOPs doomed the aircraft. No other type of aircraft would have survived the PF's actions on that night. Try to focus on that - pilot actions were the cause of the accident nothing else.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 08:16
  #1883 (permalink)  
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Dozy: For example, in the case of one of the best examples of CRM there has ever been (the crash of United Airlines 232 at Sioux City), none of the crew had been personally introduced to Captain Denny Fitch - who was a DC-10 training captain who was "deadheading" on the flight - ever before. But what you hear on that CVR is the trust that all the flight crew, plus their new member, have in each other and the decisions that meant that a lot of people walked away from a crash that was likely to have killed everyone on that aircraft. What I'm trying to say is that in the airline environment, it's a regular occurrence that you'll be working with people that you haven't worked with before - that's not unusual.
oh I do understand all the logic behind the planning taking place all the time with an airline (my son had worked with LH for some years).
But one should not forget to mention in all this: Whatever decision a captain takes to get out of a difficult situation, it is in the first place to safe his own life a nuance which seems to be a bit left outside in all these discussions (the instinct of self preserving is the strongest, together with preserving the human race *laugh*
That he gets the applaus of the world by having saved the aircraft plus its contents is of course justified!
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 09:59
  #1884 (permalink)  
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Hello Guys
Here is an excellent analysis of Operation and Safety editor David Learmount about the Loss of control of AF 447 and the 6 LOC that happened since year 2000.
I share this analysis about the atrophy of the mental skills of pilots with the new automated liners, this lack of training of mental skills being directly responsible for the work overload of the pilot during flights in degraded mode.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 12:06
  #1885 (permalink)  
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Thank you Captain G. An excellent summary by DL and I am completely in tune. Now, how do we get anyone to notice?
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 12:11
  #1886 (permalink)  
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In his own words - seductively credible but also rather flawed. An examination of airline accidents stretching into the past will turn up a long list of LOC accidents. Automation is not the cause of this nor is it a new phenomena (Clipper Skippers anyone?). Pilots have been losing control for various reasons for a long time and will continue to do so. An examination of one of his examples - the Adam Air accident he mentions suggests other causes for the accident, more relating to CRM than mental atrophy. A reading of the Air France audit (somewhere on this thread) will prove more productive than watching this video.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 12:29
  #1887 (permalink)  
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Thanks Cpt. G

Here is some more excellent stuff of D. Learmont

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Old 11th Aug 2011, 13:00
  #1888 (permalink)  
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Looking toward the future, how much nose up trim do you really need at FL350?

Are you ever going to drop the flaps up there?

Maybe the control laws need to be looked at in this regard.
I fear we head for a circular discussion.... previously in this thread we have decried the obnoxious Airbus automation as somehow evil and root of all issues. I feel we have gotten past that, however now we appear to be calling for limits in Alt Law, which as we all know (right?) is invoked ONLY due to some failure of the system - in this case UAS.

The transition to Alt Law is a heads-up to the crew - something is broken (temporarily or otherwise), since the interaction of the automated control system relies on the sensed performance parameters, would that highly trained human sitting up front please take control?

In the case in question, the aircraft was handed to the human in a reasonable condition, it was not stalled, it was not overspeed, it was not balanced on a wingtip... I accept that the hand-off was unexpected (aren't all system failures unexpected?) and this requires a considered and thoughtful reaction on the part of the PF.

The reaction appears to not have been that, and judging by the amplitude of the control inputs (3/4 travel this way or full to the stop that) excessive - perhaps at low speed/altitude appropriate, but not at M0.8/FL350... did the PF forget where he was, never had experienced hand-flying at this speed/alt (likely, given the Air France training info), or simply panic.... but the crux here is the automated systems and protections/limits available in Normal were by design no longer there, since the inputs and control data necessary to compute those limits were no longer considered VALID.

And so, why would you limit elevator/THS travel based in ONLY AoA? I venture you need a SPEED input to make a sensible judgement on limiting elevator/THS travel... but speed was the input in question.

Was the problem the aircraft did too little, or the pilot too much of the wrong thing?

Last thought - what would have happened if the autopilot/autothrottle had NOT dropped offline when the speed inputs went U/S? What if the system simply went into an extrapolation mode for say 3 minutes... using GPS computed ground speed as the delta control? I'd bet we would not be looking at this thread.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 14:20
  #1889 (permalink)  
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DL makes valid points about the automation / human interface. However, I'm not sure that this accident illustrates his point all that well.

As far as this passenger can tell, airlines prepare for dropout of automation by providing lists of actions to be carried out; in this case, the UAS checklist. These action lists allow the pilots to keep the aircraft safe for a short period while their physiology adapts to the new circumstances.

It deeply shocks me to read the CVR transcript and NOT see the AF447 pilots going automatically into that sequence. Surely there must be something in the displays / warnings that triggers the pilots into recognising why the A/P has dropped out? Concentrating on the UAS actions might have given them time for hands to be steadied, or even for the ice to clear and the speeds to come back to normal. Neither of them said anything along the lines of 'Help, the displays have all gone black' at the start of the trouble, so I assume the information was available to them.

The plane wasn't in immediate danger, apart from the fact that it was ploughing straight through some very bad weather. It was doing this because that's what the human crew had elected to do, not because the automatics had misread the situation. This was not the most low-risk strategy available to the Captain, but he had not only chosen it, he had also reduced the chances of managing the effects of the weather by choosing to absent himself at the critical time. Anxiety about the plane's course seems to permeate the younger F/O's words, and perhaps contributed to his later reactions.

The human /automation interface is undoubtedly a factor in this accident, but I can't see that it's the principle one. The finger has got to point at Air France and their training /management of aircrew, and quite possibly at their culture of performance measurement and rewards. Or is this standard of cockpit discipline the norm in other airlines, and I'm just an innocent to believe otherwise?
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 15:15
  #1890 (permalink)  
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Post 1863

Nothing to do with Smilin Ed's rubbish about autotrim delaying recovery.
You need to go back and read my post 1863.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 16:29
  #1891 (permalink)  
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One is not fearful of appearing 'dumb'. Too much in evidence here the posts to state a conclusion, claim others are incompetent, and seek to draw to a close this gfascinating thread. imo

I'll bite, and reiterate. airtren's tracks of specific data challenge me. Here, #1870, is the adress of these data.

The stick stirring, the commands, are quite "over the map". The results of the commands seem to be benign, as expressed in the two trails of elevator position and THS.

With all the stick activity, the controls seem to have responded very little.

They describe very little deviation from the far left, the time when the Autopilot was inputting.

At The STALL warn (the continuous level), the Pitxchups start to go seriously NU.

How did the a/c PITCH up to 10 degrees and "start to climb"?

I am sure am answer will make me look foolish. Bring it.

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Old 11th Aug 2011, 16:33
  #1892 (permalink)  
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It may be true that seeing is believing, but just as true that believing is seeing.


Anxiety about the plane's course seems to permeate the younger F/O's words, and perhaps contributed to his later reactions.....
Maybe there is something in that statement....

Article 3 - Inattentional blindness: let's not blame the victim just yet : The Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council / Le Conseil canadien de l'entretien des aéronefs (CAMC - CCEA)

Inattentional blindness accidents are especially likely when expectation and distraction combine......


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Old 11th Aug 2011, 16:40
  #1893 (permalink)  
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As we like read PDF's
Some article interesting to read .....
Current Issue | Flight Safety Foundation
Flight Safety June 2011
http://flightsafety.org/download_fil...june11.pdfRead from page 24 to 27
"Drappier, the Airbus representative, added, “Airbus does not recommend encouraging airline pilots to fly the airplane manually [during line operations] because the airline passengers have
paid to get the maximum level of safety
Most of the time, the autopilot is the best route.”
Ironic ?
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 17:04
  #1894 (permalink)  
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That's it: Now, pilots are no longer required to fly the aircraft. they are required to apply procedures. They don't fly anymore with their brains and
their mental skills. So how can we expect to analyse and understand.
Just call the hotline when there is no procedures.....
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 17:05
  #1895 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BJ-ENG View Post
That particular article should be made obligatory reading for all the posters here and on the other AF447 thread.....
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 17:17
  #1896 (permalink)  
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Scale, please. Good scout, I read this "scolding". It is propaganda. A shiny trinket to hypnotize while the real deal slinks away.

Unintentional, I am sure. A stone, while rolling, gathers moss, and analysis paralysis.

Simple is good, for simple things. Just as distractionm is the topic of this "paper", it is itself a distraction. Unintentional, certainly.

It is a bogeyman, and a slap dash solution. How many people when reading this opiniuon forget the dream machine gives up and surprises the crew? This is the real deal, and has a simple solution. Motorcycles are not airplanes, and pilots deserve more respects than "He just hit the pedestrians".
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 17:42
  #1897 (permalink)  
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Is your last post supposed to mean anything?

Go easy on the Jack Daniels.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 17:48
  #1898 (permalink)  
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You have obligated several hundred people to read something.

An uninvited Teacher is merely a Preacher.

Lem Motlow, now trhere was a man.

Power issues? You have called people Ignorant, drunks, and other nasties.

You should be more polite.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 18:18
  #1899 (permalink)  
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Bear: Get some help


Your disjoint ramblings are simply a waste of screen inches.

No one is "obligated" to read anything posted or linked here - choice is an individual act.

Previously there was a discussion regarding not bounding any problem and looking for free thinking "outside-of-the-box". But once the box is clearly misplaced or simply ignored, those comments become redundant or in the case of the recent crop, disconnected and hence worthless.

If it is being suggested the words appear to be Jack Daniels influenced, it is because that is how they appear... not because of any agenda to "get Vinny".
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 18:28
  #1900 (permalink)  
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What is an abject waste of Space? All things personal. Check me brother, find some personal attack I have made. Response? you gd betcha. For ChristuiaanJ......

Look at airtren's traces, and please explain to me why I am having sincere trouble why I cannot see how PF's stirring appears to have no effect on the Elevators?

I will not moderate this thread, neither should you. Answer my question or find your golf clubs.

sorry, it's post #1870. IMO, this trace is the maijn plot. Neptunus, can you help explain? Because otherwise, your post is just an editorial?
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