Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

End of Aircraft Operation

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

End of Aircraft Operation

Old 30th Jun 2020, 18:24
  #1 (permalink)  
ENTREPPRUNEUR
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The 60s
Posts: 564
End of Aircraft Operation

The future is Mission Management

https://www.flightglobal.com/systems...139044.article
twistedenginestarter is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2020, 19:16
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Paisley, Florida USA
Posts: 167
It seems that Airbus intends to enhance aircraft automation, which: " ... could help flightcrews focus less on the aircraft operation and more on mission management." Other than monitoring aircraft systems, routing, turbulence avoidance, etc., what is "mission management". I also find it interesting that Airbus uses the term "flight crew" rather than "pilots". We have seen the future, and it may not include "pilots" as we know them now. So goes Airbus, so goes the World.

Cheers,
Grog
capngrog is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2020, 21:00
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Spain
Posts: 129
This is going to end with someone watching a plane crash into the ground.
The Pilot I mean Flight Crew are going to be so removed from the operation of the aircraft, that they will have no idea something is wrong until it is too late.
Already there are concerns about the level of Automation making neccessary skills redundant and deminishing safety. Now they essentially just want to have a Start and Stop switch. The rest will be in the hands of a computer, that WILL NEVER fail.
IBE8720 is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2020, 21:36
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: the City by the Bay
Posts: 523
On the first 737 max crash the crew certainly had no idea what was happening thanks to Boeing. The second crash they may have had an idea but didn't know exactly what to do or were unable to do the right thing in the very narrow window of opportunity they had, again thanks to Boeing.
armchairpilot94116 is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 09:02
  #5 (permalink)  
ENTREPPRUNEUR
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The 60s
Posts: 564
Originally Posted by armchairpilot94116 View Post
On the first 737 max crash the crew certainly had no idea what was happening thanks to Boeing..
The whole point is they didn't need to know what was happening. If the computers were flying, none of this would have happened. Automation is so complicated nowadays,it is difficult for the pilots to know how the plane works and what it is currently doing. So why try and make them gain that knowledge? What's the point any longer?

Hundreds of people died because pilots were controlling the planes. Much worse than that, Boeing lost $Billions. There was nothing wrong with the Max. It was just the pilots did not do what the plane was designed to have done.

Boeing did make some cryptic statement about re-thinking the computer-pilot interface. The obvious way is to apply currently available technology to remove the need for the pilot for second-to-second control.

You can currently buy a number of small planes with Garmin Autoland. It chooses which airport to go to, does the R/T, makes the approach and lands.

Boeing sees the problem (as no doubt Airbus does) as 'third world' customers who have pilots who are less likely to fly the planes as it has tested. The most economical solution to that challenge is to make the plane be flown by Boeing ie tried and tested computer programs.

It has got to happen. The Max pressed the eject button
twistedenginestarter is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 10:00
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Way north
Age: 43
Posts: 311
Originally Posted by twistedenginestarter View Post
The whole point.....
Are you saying that if the pilots weren't there, those two aircraft wouldn't have crashed?

The thread wasn't about the Max though, there's already one on that.

Flight crew, pilots, airmen or whatever you call them, doesn't really matter.... it's just something people has always been doing, changing names of positions to make it sound more "fancy"....

And yes, I believe were closing in on the date where both pilots and controllers are made redundant. They are certainly investing A LOT of money in "developing" everyone out into unemployment. Where technically we could save A LOT of money by reducing the development teams instead.
jmmoric is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 10:14
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,209
I always, every time, I hear nonsense about automation taking over the role of {{{ Flite Cru}}} I think back to that 737 on which one gear wouldn't deploy. after 2 go arounds to try to bump the gear down, that were unsuccessful he realized that he couldn't do it, so he pulled the antiskid, blew the tire and landed safely...No computer could do that, no "Landing gear won't deploy due to a misplaced chock" item in the QRH!

Plus a computer can't ever do a Hudson River dead stick landing. Though I admit that they can be trained to do an Al Haynes scenario...the MD11 has demonstrated total hydraulic loss landing using something called " PCA" Propulsion Controlled Airplane" But hydraulic check valves make the Al Haynes situation highly improbable today.

Last edited by Pugilistic Animus; 1st Jul 2020 at 10:25.
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 10:16
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 2,005
The type of research conducted by Airbus is likely to gather information required for single pilot operations.

Extended automatic functions would reduce workload to enable single pilot operation, but require a new automatic, autonomous capability to provide recovery in the event of incapacitation.
The current standard of automation, software, and implementation could achieve such an operation, but certification often depends on pilot involvement in extreme situations.

A difficulty for single pilot ops is being able to prove a sufficiently high level of system safety for commercial operation; both with a complicated system (todays systems), and also with a self-adapting 'complex' software system which might be required in an autonomous (pilot-less) role.

Quoting the 737 is meaningless in this context, being at least two generations out of date.
safetypee is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 10:32
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,209
Safetytypee such a mishap can occur with any airplane with retractable gear. What happened was that one of the ground support people left chocks in the wheel well causing failure of the gear to deploy on one side
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 10:37
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: attitude is nominal
Posts: 861
Pilots must be able to fly even after some lightning strike crippled the electronics compartment or after heavy mechanical damage or in unforeseeable situations. Something beyond drone management is needed for passenger transport. Just look at drone accident rates.
Less Hair is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 12:55
  #11 (permalink)  
ENTREPPRUNEUR
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The 60s
Posts: 564
Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Pilots must be able to fly even after some lightning strike crippled the electronics compartment or after heavy mechanical damage or in unforeseeable situations.
Possibly so, but not otherwise. The normal operating procedure should be the computers receive information directly (not through R/T driven pilot input) and manage the flight profile according to predictable rules and procedures.

The current framework of pilots operating computers which in turn try to warn them of various dangers or mistakes has performed extraordinarily well since I first started flying over half a century ago. However I suspect the tide is finally turning.
twistedenginestarter is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 15:52
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wanderlust
Posts: 2,557
Originally Posted by Pugilistic Animus View Post
Safetytypee such a mishap can occur with any airplane with retractable gear. What happened was that one of the ground support people left chocks in the wheel well causing failure of the gear to deploy on one side
When you pit this one against dozens that have crashed in fully serviceable conditions it is not that convincing. Take PK8303 an Airbus or Indian version IX812 a Boeing without pilots those guys would be alive. One Sully cannot make summer.
vilas is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 18:18
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 65
Posts: 2,820
Originally Posted by vilas View Post
When you pit this one against dozens that have crashed in fully serviceable conditions it is not that convincing. Take PK8303 an Airbus or Indian version IX812 a Boeing without pilots those guys would be alive. One Sully cannot make summer.
Fully autonomous passenger aircraft will happen - it's only a matter of time. The only real question is how much time - years, decades? Computing power continues to expand exponentially, the human capabilities not so much.
My personal view is we're still decades away (single pilot - really only there to take action if the automation goes crazy - will happen first). Examples of the humans saving the day with the current aircraft are meaningless - current aircraft are not designed to be autonomous, they are designed to reduce crew workload but to hand the aircraft back to the human(s) if things go south. Commercial aircraft have become incredibly safe and rarely crash - but the percentage of those crashes that can be attributed to either suicidal pilots (e.g. Germanwings) or incomprehensibly bad piloting keeps going up (latest example being PIA 8303).
Fully autonomous cars have proved to be more difficult than expected, but progress is continuing and eventually they well become mainstream - and I foresee a future where human controlled autos will be banned from most roads since they 'unsafe' (I probably won't live to see it, but I expect it will happen). There will come a time when people will start to wonder why they can ride safely to the airport in a fully autonomous taxi - so why do we still let human pilots try to land a perfectly serviceable aircraft at 210 knots with the gear up...
tdracer is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 19:14
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,209
Gentleman, the point that I am trying to make is there will always be something unforseen in engineering airplanes. A more modern version would that 777 that crashed at LHR due to ice in the fuel/ oil heat exchanger. Would an automated plane retract the flaps to avoid the highway? I think pilots will be needed, at least for the next 4 or 5 decades?
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 21:14
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: united states
Age: 41
Posts: 111
Scary Thought

Originally Posted by Pugilistic Animus View Post
Gentleman, the point that I am trying to make is there will always be something unforseen in engineering airplanes. A more modern version would that 777 that crashed at LHR due to ice in the fuel/ oil heat exchanger. Would an automated plane retract the flaps to avoid the highway? I think pilots will be needed, at least for the next 4 or 5 decades?
While I am not a pilot or an aviation engineer, I research AI/ML and various autonomous systems. It's highly improbable that in years or even decades we will see fully autonomous commercial aircraft. The issues we currently have in land vehicles is plethora, and the problems of deep-learning and Neural Networks for split decision making with limited learning rates and gradient descent based generalization is way more significant than those outside of AI/ML realize. Some aviation engineers I consult with from time to time concur with PA's general assessment.
jcbmack is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 21:17
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: united states
Age: 41
Posts: 111
Interesting

Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Fully autonomous passenger aircraft will happen - it's only a matter of time. The only real question is how much time - years, decades? Computing power continues to expand exponentially, the human capabilities not so much.
My personal view is we're still decades away (single pilot - really only there to take action if the automation goes crazy - will happen first). Examples of the humans saving the day with the current aircraft are meaningless - current aircraft are not designed to be autonomous, they are designed to reduce crew workload but to hand the aircraft back to the human(s) if things go south. Commercial aircraft have become incredibly safe and rarely crash - but the percentage of those crashes that can be attributed to either suicidal pilots (e.g. Germanwings) or incomprehensibly bad piloting keeps going up (latest example being PIA 8303).
Fully autonomous cars have proved to be more difficult than expected, but progress is continuing and eventually they well become mainstream - and I foresee a future where human controlled autos will be banned from most roads since they 'unsafe' (I probably won't live to see it, but I expect it will happen). There will come a time when people will start to wonder why they can ride safely to the airport in a fully autonomous taxi - so why do we still let human pilots try to land a perfectly serviceable aircraft at 210 knots with the gear up...
You make several salient points. The field of computer- vision, and semisupervised learning grant us significant useful information, but we have had higher than expected application of cost functions, and differentiation in variables (issues) which represent real-world events than we expected.
jcbmack is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2020, 22:09
  #17 (permalink)  
ENTREPPRUNEUR
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The 60s
Posts: 564
When I started flying, a Trident could do a Cat 3C autoland. That was over 50 years ago. Self driving cars are here now. True, they can't drive on ordinary roads. That may take a decade or more. But flying is not like driving a car. It takes place in a highly organised, structured and protected context.

I am not suggesting there will be pilotless airliners in my lifetime. That would be far too ambitious. What Boeing/Airbus want is to reduce costs and avoid Max-type complications. Going too far would simply present new alternative deadly threats to their revenue streams.

Single pilot is missing the point. That still implies a pilot operating the controls. It still means the pilot has to know what to do in every situation. It still means pilots making mistakes or doing bad things.

No, I think the logic is to enable the plane to carry out all phases of every flight. That in turn puts pressure on everyone to ensure all the pieces are in place (eg The Bergerac Ryanair 737 being set up to perform a GPS approach).

The remaining pilot (or pilots) would still have an important and skilled job in managing the mission (including handling emergencies) although it would quite likely be less enjoyable.

By the way Sully did not handle the Hudson River ditching perfectly. As it happens his mis-settings were not fatal, but they could have been in different circumstances. I think the essence was he didn't know what the correct configuration was for a Hudson River landing because it is something no one would ever train you for. Airbus of course did know, so a computer operated landing would have been just that tad safer.
twistedenginestarter is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2020, 03:09
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: united states
Age: 41
Posts: 111
Can you elaborate?

Originally Posted by twistedenginestarter View Post
When I started flying, a Trident could do a Cat 3C autoland. That was over 50 years ago. Self driving cars are here now. True, they can't drive on ordinary roads. That may take a decade or more. But flying is not like driving a car. It takes place in a highly organised, structured and protected context.

I am not suggesting there will be pilotless airliners in my lifetime. That would be far too ambitious. What Boeing/Airbus want is to reduce costs and avoid Max-type complications. Going too far would simply present new alternative deadly threats to their revenue streams.

Single pilot is missing the point. That still implies a pilot operating the controls. It still means the pilot has to know what to do in every situation. It still means pilots making mistakes or doing bad things.

No, I think the logic is to enable the plane to carry out all phases of every flight. That in turn puts pressure on everyone to ensure all the pieces are in place (eg The Bergerac Ryanair 737 being set up to perform a GPS approach).

The remaining pilot (or pilots) would still have an important and skilled job in managing the mission (including handling emergencies) although it would quite likely be less enjoyable.

By the way Sully did not handle the Hudson River ditching perfectly. As it happens his mis-settings were not fatal, but they could have been in different circumstances. I think the essence was he didn't know what the correct configuration was for a Hudson River landing because it is something no one would ever train you for. Airbus of course did know, so a computer operated landing would have been just that tad safer.
While again not a pilot myself, I cannot see how Airbus's computer-operated landing would have been safer--this event was unprecedented at the time. In some cases, Airbus or Boeing systems do have settings or semi-autonomous applications that potentially are safer within specific contexts, but it is not clear that would have been superior in Sully's case. If you have specific experience as an Airbus pilot and/or references we can look at--that would be very helpful. Thanks.
jcbmack is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2020, 05:57
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by twistedenginestarter View Post
The whole point is they didn't need to know what was happening. If the computers were flying, none of this would have happened. Automation is so complicated nowadays,it is difficult for the pilots to know how the plane works and what it is currently doing. So why try and make them gain that knowledge? What's the point any longer?
The short answer is the meaning of life twisted. What would be the purpose of life without the opportunity to transcend our human failings and perform far better than any machine?
Manwell is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2020, 09:12
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,292
Some of the respondents above seem to view 'pilots' as a uniform entity with standard skill sets and operating ability. Sadly, it's not so. The number of Capts Sullenberger and Eric Moody are (from personal experience) limited. I had the pleasure of working with Eric Moody when he converted to the 400 and his personal skills matched, if not exceeded, his flying. Such people are rarities and to base future operating criteria on the premise that they will exist in the right place at the right time is (forgive the pun) 'pie in the sky'!
Cornish Jack 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.