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AF 447 Thread No. 12

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AF 447 Thread No. 12

Old 28th Jan 2015, 12:02
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Off course it is not same but he saying as reply to my objection to practice steep turns. You can do few 25 degrees bank turn in direct law to see how it feels but 45 degrees with gear down is crazy and waste of time. agreed.
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 13:02
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Yeah

Airbus should give more clarification on what the control laws really are.

All the old stuff in the FCOMs and bulletins is not clear and it is old.

imho, DIRECT law is a very degraded control law (not at all like a reversion to conventional control system). You could never certify an airplane with such system.

In the 330 DIRECT law comes in fewer occasions. You can land in ALTN (it has a flare mode)
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 16:17
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Originally Posted by alf5071h
There is no indication from everyday flights that handling skills for normal operations are less than required; however non-normal indicators suggest otherwise.

Thus the safety focus should be on how non-normal situations are encountered, - handling skill or awareness. Many LoC accidents were self-inflicted, the unsafe flight condition was created by the crew – they stalled the aircraft, and having done so by ‘conscious’ action might be less amiable to reconsider the situation and changing the course of action. These are mental skills not manual skills.
Sir, any so called "manual flying" still includes significant mental skills, particularly when flying in instrument conditions.
Thus the need is to improve appropriate awareness in these unusual and rare situations, the skills of assessment, and reconsidering and changing actions. More manual flying in benign conditions is unlikely to improve skills for LoC recovery.
While true, you have to have good basic flying skills to take on the more advanced flying tasks. Building block training approach. For example, it does you little good to try and teach aerobatics or spin training if basic flying skills do not meet standards yet, or if perishable skills have atrophied.
Some manual flight might improve skills of awareness, but not necessarily be effective in self-created surprising conditions.
Yes, that takes task loading to saturation to find out where the gaps are in mental processes. Sims can be great for this when properly used.
Instead of chasing the negative aspects of this accident, seek to understand how those crews who avoided or recovered from the same situations; then do more of what they did.
We will get another round from the Pitch and Power Chorus, I hear the humming offstage.
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 19:32
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Originally Posted by Microburst2002
Airbus should give more clarification on what the control laws really are.

All the old stuff in the FCOMs and bulletins is not clear and it is old.
The fundamentals are actually more-or-less identical to what they were in 1988. The crucial point (which to the best of my knowledge has always been in FCTM/FCOM etc.) is that in ALT or Direct Law, it is possible to stall the aircraft.

DIRECT law is a very degraded control law (not at all like a reversion to conventional control system). You could never certify an airplane with such system.
How so?

In the 330 DIRECT law comes in fewer occasions. You can land in ALTN (it has a flare mode)
You can land in any mode on any of the Airbus FBW types- how do you think they did the flight tests? The only addition Flare mode makes is requiring a degree of gentle, progressive back-stick to simulate conventional input to some degree. In Direct Law as long as you use the ADI to manage your flare you should be fine!
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 19:37
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PJ, but which ‘manual handling’ skills …
… and what range of skills is required to ‘avoid’ vs skills to ‘recover’, and to avoid or recover from what?

There seems to be greater opportunity for improving safety by reconsidering the role of the human, not as an item to be controlled (a hazard to be improved by training), but as a resource to be used before the event, not after when the skills demands are greater.
It’s better to stay within a relatively well defined operating area than attempt to train for a much wider range of scenarios outside of the norm, often unknown or predictable.
Thus which skills are required to keep within the normal envelope?

@F4, yes knowledge, but which theory, what depth and form of training, how much; there is no simple answer only a balance of judgements which are more often wrong after an event.
The industry requires foresight, often only available with hindsight.


Many contributors, perhaps all of us, suffer from ‘OOS-HEV’. The link identifies the symptoms, contributory factors, and identifies treatment and prevention.
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 19:57
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Lonewolf, ‘ "manual flying" still includes significant mental skills’, obviously yes, but which comes first.
It may be of greater value to consider the physical and mental skills together as a process; one process for hands on flying and another for auto flight. Thus we need alternative skill sets or differing emphases’ on components of the basic skills; what to use (to look at, to consider, to do) and when.
Unfortunately many contributors use "manual flying" to mean exactly what they mean, which is not always interpreted having the same meaning when read.

Please no more ‘Pitch and Power Chorus’

Has the industry investigated the differences between AF447 and those A330 crews who successfully managed ASI malfunctions, or those who avoided ice crystal encounters, similar to the A330 in the same area as AF447 (I have mislaid the link to the graphic of other traffic and tracks).
Whatever those crews did – skills, actions, etc, might provide a better basis for training in order to avoid LoC accidents; promote and train the successful skills.
The industry must review some of the basic operational and training assumptions – double loop learning.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 08:02
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"In Direct Law as long as you use the ADI to manage your flare you should be fine!"
Dozy, in any law or any aircraft flare is done visually, looking out side and not on any instrument. I am surprised nobody has hauled you over the coals especially your friend Conf.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 13:23
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It may be of greater value to consider the physical and mental skills together as a process;
agree, I think that was my point.
one process for hands on flying and another for auto flight.
related processes in any case.
Thus we need alternative skill sets or differing emphases’ on components of the basic skills; what to use (to look at, to consider, to do) and when.
On this we agree.
Please no more ‘Pitch and Power Chorus’
I am making a humorous allusion to both a classic trope in Greek Tragic theater and Verdi's Anvil Chorus.
Has the industry investigated the differences between AF447 and those A330 crews who successfully managed ASI malfunctions, or those who avoided ice crystal encounters, similar to the A330 in the same area as AF447. Whatever those crews did – skills, actions, etc, might provide a better basis for training in order to avoid LoC accidents; promote and train the successful skills.
You'll get no argument on that score.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 14:05
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Originally Posted by vilas
Dozy, in any law or any aircraft flare is done visually, looking out side and not on any instrument. I am surprised nobody has hauled you over the coals especially your friend Conf.
Fair point, but then I never claimed to be a pilot!
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 18:56
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The safety-fication of everything

The safety-fication of everything, even better - referenced in the OOS-HEV article. Could not agree more. These days, one cannot move either physically on our roads or socially where landminds which will give "offence" are everywhere, without running into a set of physical or social barriers accompanied by a real or imaginary person with a hat, whistle, safety-vest, clipboard and, above all, authority. O, deliver us...

Re,
… and what range of skills is required to ‘avoid’ vs skills to ‘recover’, and to avoid or recover from what?

There seems to be greater opportunity for improving safety by reconsidering the role of the human, not as an item to be controlled (a hazard to be improved by training), but as a resource to be used before the event, not after when the skills demands are greater.
It’s better to stay within a relatively well defined operating area than attempt to train for a much wider range of scenarios outside of the norm, often unknown or predictable.
Thus which skills are required to keep within the normal envelope?
Allow me to start with the assumption, If one can do the basics...ie., fly the airplane and keep it in or return it to, stable flight while navigating (meaning keeping it out of hazards, not doing airways work!), then one has sufficient skills under high demand to handle "events".

The example here is that of the thirty-one other crews who flew their A330 during a UAS event. I think that would as good a "metric" as any for such events.

In this, it is clear that I believe basic flying skills as described above may no longer be something that can be taken for granted.

I accept that the examples when handling skills are required are few these days. I accept that transports these days require systems-management skills and do not require manual skills, until they do.

On the rare occasions when such capability is required I think the data supports the view that there is a high degree of correlation between the capacity to fly an airplane and the successful resolution of abnormalities or emergencies.

Aside from their relationship to cognitive clarities and the practice of "muscle memory", (I play piano and it works as well there), the reason I chose to focus on manual handling skills in the original post is because such exercises are "tells" in terms of cognitive capacity and the capacity of "autonomic" learning, (muscle memory, as in playing the piano, etc.) I am not trained as a pyschologist, but I know from experience that when flying an aircraft is "in the muscles", the mind has less to distract it, so to speak.

You likely know this but in the spirit of "the exchange" I would like to establish these notions.

It's a way of saying that "average skills" are what aeronautical engineers and all members of the engineering/design team know they must design towards. The machine and/or system must be useable by those of average ability and capacity, "average" being defined as someone who has been trained to competency as measured by examination and as assumed by some level of experience with the machine/system in question, or who would be recognized by another pilot with experience, as "competent", (Johnston's Substitution Test - the notion applied here to "normal flying skills). The "tells" emerge as signs of competency levels, (clearly, some judgement of the presence of "competency" is involved as one cannot always measure experimentally in controlled circumstances).

Approached this way, I wonder if the notions being expressed as OOS-HEV become sidebars?...(that is not my intent, - I haven't thought it over enough yet! - I'm just positing that while legitimate, the relevance of OOS-HEV in the context of LOC accidents may not be high in the determination of needs, and I do take seriously your comments regarding hindsight & learning).

I would say at a minimum, that if one can handle aircraft with a high level of intuitiveness borne of thorough training, practise, reasonable exposure, (experience, in other words), in short...one can "fly", then one already has sufficient skill to handle all except perhaps rare, extreme encounters.

To make the connection between this response and the original long-ish post regarding 45-deg bank turns and "lazy eights" then - having some experience with these - I considered that one way to measure such skill in a pilot candidate (in initial or recurrent training/checking), was to do these exercises first to see if further training/practise was needed, and as a way of practising one's craft, which, first, is to fly the airplane.

Last edited by PJ2; 29th Jan 2015 at 19:35.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 19:07
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Originally Posted by Dozy
Fair point, but then I never claimed to be a pilot!
Then maybe quit writing as you was one ...
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 07:34
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Unusual attitude recovery (in a PA28), was part of my ATPL syllabus, as I hope it was for many others.

(For any who don't know; at a suitable safe altitude you would take your hands and feet off the controls and close your eyes while the instructor would put the aircraft into an unusual attitude - nose high, nose low, plus bank etc. On command of "recover", you would open your eyes and by reference to the instruments would have to quickly return the aircraft to straight and level flight and correct speed).

This was a very useful exercise. However, I have never done this in any airliner SIM that I have flown. (I did once spin a Shed for real, but that's another story.....).

We also did instrument exercises involving a series of 360 turns, linked with straight sections and including climbs and desents; Ours were called pattern A and pattern B. These had to be practised and then flown accurately under test conditions. Again, I have never done anything like this in an airliner SIM.

From my many years of airline flying and recurrent LPC/OPCs I think that TRI/TRE's get so wrapped up with the compay's program, the SOP's and the 'flavour of the month', that the basics are given very scant regard. We do do manual flying with no flight directors, but that is usually carefully controlled under radar vectors to an ILS, so it doesn't involve much attitude change.

Last edited by Uplinker; 30th Jan 2015 at 07:44.
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 11:42
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That's interesting. Have you flown other than Airbus aircraft?

My airline schedules regular UA/Upset recoveries in our Boeing simulator cyclic program, and always has.

And yes, I was also exposed to it in a light aircraft, but not for ATPL, for private licence. (And exposed to many more doing aeros but that's irrelevant).
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 21:09
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Lonewolf, PJ2, obviously we have similar views, but within this agreement, some differences.
PJ, considering your ‘assumption’ in a wider context, then there is an inference that the ‘average skills’ within the overall flying process will ‘always’ be used at the appropriate time; i.e. both having and knowing which skills to use, and when.

However, this point might be refuted in the differences between previous events and AF447.
All crews encountered adverse conditions; some initially reacted as AF447, but at a later point transitioned to a successful outcome. Why; what attributes, skills, behaviour, etc, led them to revert to appropriate actions whereas AF447 did not.
As far as is known all crews had ‘identical’ (acceptable) ‘average ability’ based on training, checking, normal operations, etc (but I am prepared to debate that). Thus the key issue is the ability to switch between alternative courses of action, which in turn involves awareness / understanding, knowledge of procedures, and ability to recall them (including cognitive resource).
The latter point includes surprise which appears to dominate in AF447 and other LoC events; thus how do crews use their skills when subject to surprise?

This line of argument can be applied to other ice crystal (non) events in A330s. We do not know how many other crews have been confronted by ice crystal conditions, but either due to less severe weather or appropriate change of track, they did not suffer an adverse event. Again what led crews to take these courses of action. It appears that this involves similar qualities of ‘skill’ (judgement) within the overall flying process as required in the incidents, but were used at an earlier time. Thus key issues are when to change the course of action and what mental abilities are required to understand the situation and choose the correct action.

The above concentrates on mental skills with all the problems of influences, bias, training, knowledge, and constraints of human factors.
Outwardly this involves TEM and Time; Avoid (detect and react a threat), Detect and react to an error (revise the course of action), Mitigate (recover), before the situation degenerates to an accident – the importance of timely thoughts.

… does the above challenge the assumption that average crews have sufficient skill for all reasonable situations (what is reasonable); if not then how are these aspects to be taught, checked, practiced, and then how can we ensure that they will be used.
The alternative is to minimize the occasions where crews are exposed to adverse situations.
Neither is a perfect solution, and there may not be one, because the variable human is involved; could there be a compromise, and if so what (assuming that this form of safety activity is required).
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 07:34
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Derfred,

Commercial airline types I have flown are SD360, Dash 8-200/300/Q400, BAe146, and Airbus 320/321/330.

Interesting that your ATPL did not include unusual attitude recovery. I take it that you did spinning and spin recovery? I did mine in a Zlin.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 11:54
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Originally Posted by alf5071h

However, this point might be refuted in the differences between previous events and AF447.
All crews encountered adverse conditions; some initially reacted as AF447, but at a later point transitioned to a successful outcome. Why; what attributes, skills, behaviour, etc, led them to revert to appropriate actions whereas AF447 did not.
As far as is known all crews had ‘identical’ (acceptable) ‘average ability’ based on training, checking, normal operations, etc (but I am prepared to debate that). Thus the key issue is the ability to switch between alternative courses of action, which in turn involves awareness / understanding, knowledge of procedures, and ability to recall them (including cognitive resource).
The latter point includes surprise which appears to dominate in AF447 and other LoC events; thus how do crews use their skills when subject to surprise?

This line of argument can be applied to other ice crystal (non) events in A330s. We do not know how many other crews have been confronted by ice crystal conditions, but either due to less severe weather or appropriate change of track, they did not suffer an adverse event. Again what led crews to take these courses of action. It appears that this involves similar qualities of ‘skill’ (judgement) within the overall flying process as required in the incidents, but were used at an earlier time. Thus key issues are when to change the course of action and what mental abilities are required to understand the situation and choose the correct action.

The above concentrates on mental skills with all the problems of influences, bias, training, knowledge, and constraints of human factors.
Outwardly this involves TEM and Time; Avoid (detect and react a threat), Detect and react to an error (revise the course of action), Mitigate (recover), before the situation degenerates to an accident – the importance of timely thoughts.

… does the above challenge the assumption that average crews have sufficient skill for all reasonable situations (what is reasonable); if not then how are these aspects to be taught, checked, practiced, and then how can we ensure that they will be used.
Automation Surprise is often misunderstood. It is not surprise every time automation that you depend upon fails, it is the initial surprise for that particular failure. Once that particular failure has surprised you once, you do not suffer from the same impact again. This makes it hard for human factors testing as you can only catch people out once so it is difficult to do comparisons of behavioral changes in slightly altered situations with the same crew.

So it may be that in the other cases the particular training or experiences of the crews had put at least one of them through a very similar loss of pressure instruments and a drop into Alternate Law at height - or they just had pilots who reacted to their automation surprise differently.

By its very nature, 'Surprise' leads to indeterminate responses from the human 'subject' and can lead to cognitive tunneling on inappropriate actions such as trying to follow a failed FD as that 'always works' and disregarding other disagreeing valid inputs.

Once that surprise has happened and the responses corrected then it will not happen again. Unfortunately, in some cases the results of the first surprise are such that there is no second chance.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 14:21
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Ian W, , but I remain open minded; “… surprise, once happened it will not happen again. Even though this is qualified by “… and the response corrected”.
How can we be sure that the response has been corrected (learnt), and even if learnt will it be used in a future event.
“By its very nature, 'Surprise' leads to indeterminate responses from the human …

There is an interesting study on Sim Stall Models, which concludes that surprise can be generated in simulation. However, it interesting that many of the pilots who suffered surprise were already trained in stall recover and may have experienced some of the evaluations previously; also, they were briefed that the training (evaluation) exercise was stalling, … and yet they were still surprised. What surprised them; the situation which led to the stall, the severity of the simulation, or the complexity of recovery – and consider the number of pilots did not recover according to the book.

Surprise depends on context, the situation and all those aspects which affect the human assessment and understanding of the situation at that time – same technical failure, different situation, … surprise!

Pilots might be taught to tolerate or mitigate surprise; how, and without assurance of success.
Pilots could be protected from ‘surprising’ situations; how and in what range of circumstances.
Perhaps aspects of both, training (experience) and protection, but even then the risks are only minimised.

It’s time to look beyond the human and automation in isolation, look at the total operating system and how it functions. Consider the operational processes, revisit the assumptions about humans and automation and compare these with the desired level of risk (safety is what is done to contain risk).
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Old 1st Feb 2015, 12:18
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alf5071h I do not think we disagree.

Normal surprise when something even expected happens without warning is unsettling and cause errors. Automation surprise, has the effects of normal surprise but is also "what is it doing now?". The system exacerbates the pilot confusion by an overload of alarms of all different sorts and often (as in AF447) the loss of the information that was relied on almost to the exclusion of everything else - that is the automation failure was a surprise and what it was doing was a surprise. These surprises were never recovered from as the intermittent FDs appear to have been trusted each time.

Perhaps an older pilot with more pre-automation skills would have (as many on this thread suggest) have disregarded the hubub and the loss of speed indications and just flown 'pitch and power' accepting the turbulence and then tried to sort things out. But that isn't the way the new pilots are trained they are trained to use the automation, it is always right and will protect you from doing things wrong. Or as was said on another thread - "protections are not lost even in alternate law". Well guess what you can zoom climb to above coffin corner in a high nose up attitude and protections in Alternate Law won't stop you and presto you are stalled. But you CANNOT be stalled - all your training says that protections are always there and will stop it so disregard all the stall warnings - you cannot be stalled. Then when I put the nose down I get stall warnings and the aircraft is going down fast so I want to follow the flight director UP but it doesn't work however hard I pull.

Total automation surprise and cognitive overload. Not helped by the 60Kts stall warning cut off, or the FD coming back when the aircraft is stalled etc etc.


The real underlying error I believe is that what has been inadvertently taught to the younger pilots is 'always trust the automation' which is completely the opposite to the more 'experienced' who NEVER fully trust automation. So the expectations of experienced pilots are met when the automation fails, and it comes as an unwelcome and confusing surprise to the younger pilots.

You may be interested in http://csel.eng.ohio-state.edu/produ..._surprises.pdf which is a paper on the subject biased to aviation.
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Old 1st Feb 2015, 16:05
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Ian W - absolutely agree. Also, in the Far East for sure, a whole lot more attention should be devoted to staying well away from CuNims and NEVER deciding to climb over them anywhere near the max cruise altitude of the aircraft at that time.
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Old 1st Feb 2015, 16:06
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Yes the FD business was most confusing. If the IT reckons they should be switched off then why not just do it and let the crew switch them back on if they insist. Also, was the aoa inhibit below 60 knots flagged on any display?
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