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AF 447 Thread No. 12

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AF 447 Thread No. 12

Old 23rd Nov 2014, 20:45
  #781 (permalink)  
 
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Automation and HAL

I really liked the WSJ article that Winner referenced.

The author pointed out what I experienced in 13 or 14 years of flying the smart fighters. We didn't have automated flight systems that climbed and cruised and descended according to a program. But we had great nav gear and displays of our flight conditions and so forth. In the Viper, we also had AoA protection.

In short, we had to climb for a while after takeoff and use attitude mode on the A/P if it was enabled. We didn't. We trimmed. Ditto for descent from a hunded miles out at 30,000 feet. Look at the HUD flight path vector and trim down to get a 3 degree angle with power retarded. Duhhhhh?

Up to me, I would demand that all line pilots imagine that they were manually flying the jet when it is on A/P. Additionally, I would demand that "x" percent of their flying time was with A/P off!!! I realize that flying around the airport to do manual approaches is expensive, but seems we could have a half-dozen pilots in the big jets take turns. Hell, it ain't like we had to do with a single seat jet at a few thousand $$ per hour to practice or train.

Bottom line from this old pilot is to use the new tech to do the "admin" and leave the "pilot stuff" to the pilots.
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Old 23rd Nov 2014, 23:10
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@gums

Wish you would have been here since 2009 to see the thousands of posts and such. Also know your background.
No problem. I'm rather a newcomer, fascinated by this accident after I watched a documentary on Discovery channel. I leafed through final report, in Annex 3 noticed the THS graph. Then, I realized that this accident is much more complex than the nobrainer "pilot error". However, my knowledge are limited with regarding the FBW system, but I'm an aircraft engineer, former glider pilot(prior to get married. So, I'm a normal guy, who honestly and freely express his opinions.

What I have seen is a bunch engineers trying to make a fool proof system that does not account for the human being That Knows how to fly!
Bottom line from this old pilot is to use the new tech to do the "admin" and leave the "pilot stuff" to the pilots.
The "bunch of engineers" have a moral duty, they have to answer the question:
But, what is happening?
I would suggest: "I do not know, I wasn't there ..."

... let's take a step back and leave the "pilot stuff" to the pilots.

Last edited by _Phoenix_; 23rd Nov 2014 at 23:18. Reason: deleted stuff
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Old 23rd Nov 2014, 23:16
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Phoenix, welcome to the fray! I have huge respect for engineers, particularly aircraft and aeronautical ones. The best conversations are between those with differing priorities regarding a common subject! Having retired 7 years ago, my work is in flight safety now and I can tell you that there is a ton of things for pilots to learn from AF447 and other accidents. I don't think televised programs can tell the whole story of AF447 and I don't watch any of them, but I would feel comfortable recommending the Vanity Fair article by William Langewiesche, the links to which were posted earlier in this thread. Also, pick up Bill Palmer, (Understanding Air France 447), and for knowledge of flight safety work, read anything by Sidney Dekker, Tony Kern, Jim Reason, and the pioneer of modern approaches to organizational behaviour, Charles Perrow. Also, I think you would find fascinating, Diane Vaughan's, "
The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA
"

gums;
I often hand-flew all my types including the A320, A330 & A340 to cruise altitude and for the approach, sometimes from cruise all the way down. One took into account the airport, the complexity of the SID and/or STAR and the F/O's comfort with setting the autoflight and working the FMS - (rarely found anyone unhappy), but that done, it was a joy to hand-fly these aircraft in all kinds of weather. I also offered the same to the F/O ...I'll punch keys and turn the knobs, you fly, but found very few takers which I thought was a bit sad as it's what we do - but they were not comfortable disconnecting the AT's. The 'bus flew beautifully, in cruise as well as all other phases, even in turbulence. But so did the Boeings, Douglas's and Lockheeds.

Automation is not the problem if one isn't lazy and instead digs in the books. It's only when one relies upon the automation without knowing what's in the back room that it's a problem.

One should never, ever just pass a checkride...

Last edited by PJ2; 23rd Nov 2014 at 23:29.
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Old 24th Nov 2014, 00:12
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Originally Posted by Phoenix
former glider pilot( prior to get married
former glider pilot (prior to get married
Originally Posted by PJ2
recommending the Vanity Fair...
You too?Have we to replace the BEA and the other official agencies by Vanity Fair and such glamour newspapers? Or are you writing in VF?
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Old 24th Nov 2014, 00:14
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PJ2,
Thank you for your kind words and for references. Your posts are exciting and profound.
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Old 24th Nov 2014, 00:33
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Hi Roulis...mais non, mais non!,....I'm not hacking for VF! I strongly dislike glamour and media...a little credit for my years of reasonable posting on the subject,...please!

Somewhere in between the BEA's work and those one-hour dumbed-down television specials which insult the investigative process, we in the industry have to find a way to convey the lessons of AF447, and "me too" thought that Langewiesche article was worth reading even as it does not tell a full story. It's not either/or...but one must choose from the thousands of documents and articles on AF447 and I considered among them, the VF article reasonable.

For me, the BEA did a superb job in both its interim and final reports. However for me, the BEA may not have dealt thoroughly enough with the Human Factors aspect of this, but you will have known that that was my view from all the writing I've done here in the past. Because 30 others faced with the same abnormality made a log-book entry, there is something different about the AF accident that requires addressing because this accident is only partly technical. I have flown thousands of hours on Airbus aircraft and while these airplanes requires different skills and thinking than all the other aircraft I've flown, it is still a superb design and a wonderful design to fly. That said, one has to know one's airplane, thoroughly and the training regimes must support this view.

Last edited by PJ2; 24th Nov 2014 at 05:21. Reason: clarified what could be a confusing sentence!
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Old 24th Nov 2014, 02:48
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Automation

PJ said it all in one sentence.

Automation is not the problem if one isn't lazy and instead digs in the books. It's only when one relies upon the automation without knowing what's in the back room that it's a problem.
Thank you.
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Old 24th Nov 2014, 06:13
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Hi PJ2,
Of course, I give you much credit, on this subject and others too.
I did not want to analyse here Langenwieshe's text that BEA could not write. Fatigue of Dubois is highlighted as a shocking scoop to sell paper, as did Otelli already, and first cause of the crash and should be hiden by the BEA.

Why couldn't the two pilots Robert and Bonin manage an UAS and aircraft's attitude on a type between many others ? Have we really to call help to psychology what is only piloting technique with an autotrim FBW? I read anywhere that around 500 persons by Air France were involved in human factors improvement! I cannot share that definition of human factor in a closed loop effective system, and refer to the definition from USAF's General Arquiette in Manas KC-135 dutch roll crash report.
Of course pilots have to rest as soon as they are preparing a flight.
Another thing I didn't appreciate in Langenwiesche is to write about personal conversation with BEA's leader without possible feedback.
He really needs a glamour newspaper to write that, and that is not professional, and worse if he is an expert who knows the rules.
I was amazed how many accepted that.
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Old 24th Nov 2014, 06:24
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Hi roulishollandais;

How the industry must change as a result of the lessons of AF447 as well as other accidents may be up to those agents of change which are beyond/outside of the BEA. That would not be unusual - I suspect the same is true of the Canadian TSB and the American NTSB process - no report can be definitive, and certainly beyond human factors which relate directly to the accident, here, AF447, a report cannot deal with changes which may be needed within the industry.

It was really the last paragraph of the VF article that I thought was entirely relevant and we know that the BEA nor any formal investigative body cannot and does not write that kind of commentary. So I think there is value in what Langewiesche says.

As for media, glamour, television and all those endeavours stand for I dismiss them all, wholly, as untrustworthy for serious work. The fact that they may sell so well around the world and be tremendously profitable for their owners is both a fact and a disheartening reality.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 07:39
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I have nothing against glamour, TV or media, but I don't trust mixing them with investigation or science , unless you are building fake investigation and fake science.
Rigor seems arid but is the onlyway to improve air safety not only in words , and respect victims.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 03:11
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Reconstruction "STALL" vs CVR transcript (!)

Winnerhofer, you start me again
This needs a remix!
Remember Robert thought for a second that stall meant an engine stall
It seems that the video reconstruction is based on CVR's listening. At least, it's the most accurate reconstruction so far.
Interesting is that everything is textbook as the CVR except for exclamation "STALL" when thrust levers were advanced to TOGA. See Figure 28 and CVR at 2:10:55 (!). Interesting, isn't it? In CVR we have (!), but in the video they said "STALL" clearly

See video at minute 4:01
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKT3dd_ko8E#t=241

Maybe the crew realized the situation "STALL" from the very beginning
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Old 27th Nov 2014, 02:33
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Originally Posted by gums
What I have seen is a buncha engineers trying to make a fool proof system that does not account for a human being that knows how to fly!!
And yet the head of the pilot engineering team was the man who succeeded the legendary D. P. Davies - presumably poached precisely because he had experience in testing and designing around pilots' needs. Sorry gums, but I have to disagree strongly here.

Originally Posted by Winnerhofer
Remember Robert thought for a second that stall meant an engine stall..."...c'est les moteurs..?!"
Rubbish. I think the English translation at that point was "But we’ve got the engines what’s happening (…)?" - which has many possible implications, none of which suggest what you're claiming.

@_Phoenix_ : "(!)" in the CVR transcript indicates an expletive (or swear-word).
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Old 27th Nov 2014, 06:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gums View Post
What I have seen is a buncha engineers trying to make a fool proof system that does not account for a human being that knows how to fly!!

Answer by Dozywannabe
And yet the head of the pilot engineering team was the man who succeeded the legendary D. P. Davies - presumably poached precisely because he had experience in testing and designing around pilots' needs. Sorry gums, but I have to disagree strongly here
.


Yes, gums statement looks harsh, Although I underwrite the first part of his sentence and see the second part more as outcome than as intent.

See the FAST magazine 23 from 1998

Most late-technology aircraft carry the most up-to-date systems to assist the pi- lots in achieving their tasks, without changing the nature of the tasks them- selves. The protections built in the fly- by-wire system is one of them. These systems have been designed to be a COMPLEMENT for the pilots, after a thorough analysis of pilots’ strengths and weaknesses; basically they have been added wherever they could do better than man, to compensate for those weaknesses.
http://www.airbus.com/support/public...docID%5D=17429

Read the whole article, it is interesting in its own way.
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Old 29th Nov 2014, 14:31
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Dozy,
And yet the head of the pilot engineering team was the man who succeeded the legendary D. P. Davies - presumably poached precisely because he had experience in testing and designing around pilots' needs. Sorry gums, but I have to disagree strongly here.
Who by name are you referring to here, Bernard Ziegler? He was the son of one of the co-founders of Airbus Industries, Henri Ziegler.
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Old 29th Nov 2014, 14:57
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Winnerhofer,
On a pourtant les moteurs qu’est-ce qui se passe!
"There yet engines what is happening!"
I think if you went back and looked at the discussions about the engines in the early threads, the engine performance data and charts presented in the accident reports and the CVR translations, you would conclude they knew they had working engines and that the engines did not stall.

Last edited by Turbine D; 30th Nov 2014 at 00:46. Reason: wording correction
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Old 29th Nov 2014, 15:50
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Turbine D,
Gordon Corps?
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Old 29th Nov 2014, 19:11
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Precisely.

I have it on good authority that BZ was to all intents and purposes a figurehead for the engineering end of things during the actual development and testing work. Gordon Corps was the effective head of the pilot engineering team, and what he brought to the table was a unique understanding of some of the technical and piloting points (having been at the ARB for so long), as well as specific knowledge of the prior work on the control system (having been heavily involved in the Concorde "minimanche" tests). What he could also do - as much as a result of his character as well as his qualifications and experience - was act as a mediator between the test pilots/pilot engineers and the technical (aero/mechanical/software) engineers when it came to disagreements or areas where one side had trouble understanding the other.

If you look at the old Flight articles from the time, you'll note that while Ziegler was briefing the press on the overall direction of the project, it was Gordon Corps who was handling all the briefing on the actual technical end of things.
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Old 30th Nov 2014, 00:44
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Thanks Bergerie1 & Dozy,

When you read some articles, it appeared that B. Ziegler got nearly all the credit for the FBW Airbus A-320 inventions and ideas with no mention of Gordon Corps.

I did find an interesting article about the early testing of the A-320 and what the design/testing team was trying to achieve with the sidestick operation and some interesting comments on flight envelope protections:
http://www.carry-on.com.au/wp-conten...irbus-A320.pdf
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Old 30th Nov 2014, 03:08
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D. P. Davies or Gordon Corps were obviously switched on guys but that does not mean they were infallable. In the era when the AB flight controls were developed complex automation was in its infancy. It is feasible they did not fully understand the consequences of creating a highly automated cockpit and the concept of “automation dependency”. As gums suggested maybe they were trying to develop a foolproof system but did not consider that pilots could lose their manual flying skills. They probably never dreamed that airline cost saving measures would actually ban pilots from manual flying.
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Old 30th Nov 2014, 03:58
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Originally Posted by Cool Guys
D. P. Davies or Gordon Corps were obviously switched on guys but that does not mean they were infallable. In the era when the AB flight controls were developed complex automation was in its infancy.
No it wasn't - the FMS/autoflight systems of the A320 were of the same generation and layout as those fitted to the B757 and B767, which had been around for eight years when the A320 went into service. The A300 had the first generation of those systems from the mid-'70s.

It is feasible they did not fully understand the consequences of creating a highly automated cockpit and the concept of “automation dependency”.
We're talking about the FBW/EFCS here, which is a completely different concept from autoflight.

If you read Davies' "Handling The Big Jets" - the most recent edition of which dates to 1971 - then it will quickly become apparent that Davies and the ARB were remarkably prescient when it came to determining potential issues with technology and making recommendations to avoid such issues. It also becomes apparent that certain pilots had a knee-jerk negative reaction to what they perceived as "interference" in the flight deck as far back as the introduction of "stick pusher" systems.

As gums suggested maybe they were trying to develop a foolproof system but did not consider that pilots could lose their manual flying skills. They probably never dreamed that airline cost saving measures would actually ban pilots from manual flying.
They were trying to design a flight control system that would assist pilots to a degree that was not previously achievable with older technology. Automation did not really come into it because they were simply adhering to the existing standard as far as that was concerned.

I don't know how many times I've repeated this point, but I'll do so again in the hope that I won't have to repeat it further - the cost savings in pilot training that Airbus touted with the introduction of their FBW types had absolutely nothing to do with increased use of automation, and everything to do with the unprecedented level of commonality in flight deck layout and "feel" between their narrowbody and widebody fleet. The A330 and A340 would handle (and be laid out) more-or-less identically to the A320 - a situation no other builder could offer at the time.

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 30th Nov 2014 at 04:16.
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