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Sim training for pitot/static/AOA faults at major carriers?

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Sim training for pitot/static/AOA faults at major carriers?

Old 13th Nov 2018, 03:15
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Sim training for pitot/static/AOA faults at major carriers?

Can any current airline jet drivers comment on how often, if ever, they are confronted with pitot/static or AOA sensor faults during a sim ride? Back in my days, I can't remember having seen much of training other than "let's take off then we see the effect and continue on to the next failure". It always seemed a bit haphazard, actual handling including bringing the airplane back down safely was never done. "now you open the dump valves and use the cabin pressure as altimeter, got it? ok, reposition, next failure!". Hmm.

What's the training philosophy on these basic failures these days? A regular occurrence? Or only going to be a regular occurrence now after the Lion Air crash?
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 03:47
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My last training event had us spend quite a bit of time on just this scenario, including a return to the airport for landing. Our airplanes are equipped with the BUSS, so it was quite manageable.

A320 operator in the US
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 05:25
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A bit dated now, but we used to run the following sort of exercise for the inexperienced endorsement folk on the 732 toward the end of the program -

(a) takeoff single pilot (you can either play act or just make it single pilot from the start)

(b) during the takeoff after rotation fail as many PS items as the sim would allow and cover up any others you fancied

(c) the student had to get him/herself around the circuit without altimeters, VSI, ASI, etc and only the ILS to save the day.

(d) progressively (ie after a few goes) reduce the wx to very low minimums

(e) the majority of students managed to do a presentable job after some exposure and get themselves back on the runway in a fairly tidy fashion

A very, very good confidence builder and I/F basic flying exercise. If time permitted, the other exercise of value was the single pilot, hand flown, raw data, 0/0 ILS and landing to a stop.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 06:39
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Failures of the pitot/static/AOA system have to be done in the normal three year simulator training cycle. So at least once every three years everyone sees those, but in my experience usually quite a bit more often. Although it usually does focus on pitot/static and less so on AOA failures. However, a double static system failure in a bus can be quite eye opening, as the system automatically rejects the sole remaining correct system.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 07:03
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Originally Posted by Denti View Post
Failures of the pitot/static/AOA system have to be done in the normal three year simulator training cycle. So at least once every three years everyone sees those, but in my experience usually quite a bit more often. Although it usually does focus on pitot/static and less so on AOA failures. However, a double static system failure in a bus can be quite eye opening, as the system automatically rejects the sole remaining correct system.
The double static failure was eye opening indeed. No failure messages, and in the scenario we were given, no time to consult the QRH either.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 07:32
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We've got in our training cycle, but as far as I remember it wasn't much more than a pre-warning that it's coming, it came, we recovered with memory items, on to the next exercise.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 11:46
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Did it in my last sim. Complete pitot static failure so all we had was pitch and power settings.

System ems failed at 25000 in the climb and we took it all the way to landing. Not fun at all.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 12:00
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IMHO it is vital for pilots to have a very good working knowledge of every Non-Normal in the QRH and where to find it in a hurry. The first time they might need it is in the actual aircraft when something goes pear shape. .Then watch the fumbling and the excuses..
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 22:35
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Not fun at all.

.. which is why there is some value in a bit of exposure to the problems at some stage for new chums especially. A bit of practice and it becomes pretty straightforward .. a lot to do with self confidence and knowing it isn't quite the mysterious bogey man it seems in the absence of practice and exposure.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 22:40
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Thanks guys for all your responses. I'm pleased to see this is handled better now than in my past (never worked for a truly reputable outfit I should add...).
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Old 14th Nov 2018, 03:00
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A question from a SEP pilot. Is there an Alternate Static system available on commercial jets?

I imagine smashing the glass over the EFIS VSI is not going to do much good!
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Old 14th Nov 2018, 03:02
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
A question from a SEP pilot. Is there an Alternate Static system available on commercial jets?

I imagine smashing the glass over the EFIS VSI is not going to do much good!
Not much good at all 😁. Yes, jets usually have multiple static sources.
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Old 15th Nov 2018, 04:07
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After the AF447 accident I ran a scenario at the end of a two day recurrent if there was enough time remaining. Clearly stated as no jeopardy; let's take a look at something that will be of benefit; but not saying what it would be. The failure I gave was left and right static port blockages at 50' after takeoff. In ten events only two crews identified the problem prior to heading for a serious overspeed or crash. Of course I froze the sim prior to any negative event occurring and pointed out the problem. Once the problem was known all ten crews were easily able to get the airplane back around for an ILS to a landing using the Airspeed Unreliable checklist.

The point here is this: Any sim training where the problem is known in advance is lacking in reality. Almost every crew can easily get the airplane back on the ground once they know what the problem is. The accidents that are occurring are because the crew is not recognizing the problem in time to take corrective action.

The more modern the airplane the more serious the issues when pitot or static systems are out since all of the computers are relying on this information. This results in some seriously misleading cues such as stick shakers; stall warning; overspeed warnings; poor flight control feel; etc.

Obviously any training and awareness given as to what pitot/static/AoA faults look like is good, but the best training is the surprise effect in order to help crews learn to recognize the fault in a timely manner.
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Old 15th Nov 2018, 04:23
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That is the post I was hoping for... can I ask what platform your scenario took place in, Airbus or Boeing, or something different altogether? 20% successful recovery is a horrifyingly low rate. But it's what I've been thinking all along, and during my professional flying I've always felt we weren't being trained adequately by being briefed on what was going to fail (well, plus minus we knew). But throwing such a basic instrument malfunction into the equation is eminently important, because surprisingly perhaps the automatics are doing a terrible job at helping identify what's going on. Quite to the contrary, all sorts of "false alarms" are distracting from the real problem.

When it could be so simple: A cross check between three independent systems: IRS, GPS, and ADC (i.e. the static/pitot input) could simply run a continuous check on whether the altitude and speed agree within some large margin of error. And when they don't simply state: PITOT/STATIC DISAGREE. Very simple, and a really good hint at what might be happening...
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Old 15th Nov 2018, 06:07
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Originally Posted by physicus View Post
That is the post I was hoping for... can I ask what platform your scenario took place in, Airbus or Boeing, or something different altogether? 20% successful recovery is a horrifyingly low rate. But it's what I've been thinking all along, and during my professional flying I've always felt we weren't being trained adequately by being briefed on what was going to fail (well, plus minus we knew). But throwing such a basic instrument malfunction into the equation is eminently important, because surprisingly perhaps the automatics are doing a terrible job at helping identify what's going on. Quite to the contrary, all sorts of "false alarms" are distracting from the real problem.

When it could be so simple: A cross check between three independent systems: IRS, GPS, and ADC (i.e. the static/pitot input) could simply run a continuous check on whether the altitude and speed agree within some large margin of error. And when they don't simply state: PITOT/STATIC DISAGREE. Very simple, and a really good hint at what might be happening...

B777

A similar failure in the B787 might yield a changeover to AOA SPEED and GPS ALT under the respective Airspeed and Altitude tapes or ISFD SPD and IFSD ALT in the same locations, which is a big improvement that would limit the same confusion that occurs in the B777.

The 737NG with PFD/ND has AOA DISAGREE (amber); IAS DISAGREE (amber); and ALT DISAGREE (amber) on the PFD. Not sure what the MAX has on it's displays.
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Old 15th Nov 2018, 10:38
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The 737NG with PFD/ND has AOA DISAGREE (amber)
I think I read in a previous post that AOA DISAGREE is only displayed if the aircraft has the AOA display option.
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Old 18th Nov 2018, 06:05
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The accidents that are occurring are because the crew is not recognizing the problem in time to take corrective action.
I totally agree with that. When speed gradually keeps increasing or decreasing without any warning the natural tendency to keep the FDs centered gets one in trouble. Requirement of any continual input to center the FD needs to be cross checked between the FD with the attitude. Once you recognize unreliable speed it's straight forward procedure especially at lower altitude as in JT610 case to maintain the climb attitude and climb thrust which I am sure they would have done it. Here the problem is false AOA and aircraft throws up unreliable speed and half a dozen other warnings but may not have included AOA warning. And while the crew is running the unreliable speed the stab is trimmed intermittently into the fatal dive. Accidents have happened with much less than that. The AA union office bearer's remark why nobody was flying the plane is silly and unfair at least at this stage.
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