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-   -   AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1 (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/466259-af447-final-crew-conversation-thread-no-1-a.html)

before landing check list 18th Oct 2011 19:10

I'll bet no manufacturer would let you try!
I'll bet you are correct. I was just trying to dispel a common misconception that bank angle automatically equates to loading. You do not have to be "aerobatic trained" to know this, all you need is some experience. That is why I made the comment the aircraft is for the masses. Like the Ercoup.

Lyman 18th Oct 2011 19:23

Of course the 330 will roll. And STALL.

It is perfect only in NORMAL LAW, and before the bank gets >67, or the AoA crit, it changes clothing, as a chameleon. It is this different iteration that is problematic, as this crew found it.

"Tire, Tire, Tire....."

By day, an Ercoupe. By night, able to leap tall buildings.......kind of.

Why so much emphasis on NL training? Isn't the "other" the presenting problem?

A Capeless Superman? Waiter! This fish has bones!

saltyfish 18th Oct 2011 20:07

Its about the BEEEEAAAANS !
Nope, but I'm a bean counter :E

Dani 18th Oct 2011 21:08

Thanks for that, Studi, agree 100%. :ok:

Alley Oops 18th Oct 2011 21:13

http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/sr...n/post_old.gif 14th Oct 2011, 22:54 #63 (permalink) lyo

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: earth
Posts: 14

Hi all
Had a conversation with an AI FE. He told me about a test flight last summer.
3 test pilots, an air asia 330 And a flight test program. Vmc day light over the Jay of Biscaye in a dedicated flight test area.
This guys reconfigured the lad in alternate 2, stable fl 350, zoomed to fl380, entered a Stall. It developed into a deep Stall. No information about ths position though.
Eventually, they recovered at ...6000ft... As the elevator authority was lost, deep Stall, they found themselves powerless using standard techniques to recover from it. A rudder input induced a spin which Led to a dive And our test pilots recovered This tricky Stall. These guys reported that they felt the end was near...
I hope the live feed he witnessed that day Will be Made available for all pilots to learn from guys who were prepared And trained for that event.

Had some discussion with my checkees prior to a LOFT session and the checkee captain ( a TRI ) was scathing in his criticism of these AF447 pilots. We all agreed to do some manual flying exercises after the LOFT session and the LOFT exercise would be a little bit non standard, a little bit out of the ordinary.

I improvised by giving the Captain a very light aircraft climbing to FL390 in night IMC, with some small electrical problems, window arcing then with a badly cracked left forward windshield window ( verbally simulated, with the outer pane cracked impairing visibility ). We then obscured the left windshield with a manila card board; the TRI was in his element as they went through the ECAM and QRH, transferring control to his F/O.

Earlier I had programmed the loss of all PRIMs and SEC 1 together with unreliable airspeed/radome loss with turbulence with a TCAS climb event; as we were messing around with taping up the manila card, the crew's checklist procedure and simulated ATC calls, all the programmed events kicked in with all the crazy warnings. To cut a long story short; it wasn't pretty, the sim ended up in the drink!!!

We then had a very, very quiet session of many visual circling approaches which both checkees performed to acceptable standards ( they were obviously still rattled after ending up in the drink! ). Both looked were very chastised; we then revisited the previous LOFT scenario with each failure coming sequentially one by one which they managed reasonably well.

During the debrief, we had the litany of usual excuses. However they were more circumspect and understood that we might never know the actual " atmosphere and displays " in the AF447 cockpit. To this day, I am not 100% confident that had I been in the Af447 cockpit that night that I could have recovered before we hit water; sorry I am just an average pilot who happened to be a TRE!

Octane 18th Oct 2011 21:14


I believe ChritiaanJ is an ex Concorde pilot, he would know.........

Aileron Drag 18th Oct 2011 21:32

Alley Oops,

To this day, I am not 100% confident that had I been in the Af447 cockpit that night that I could have recovered before we hit water; sorry I am just an average pilot who happened to be a TRE!
Oh goodness, speaking as one (non-AB) IRE/TRE to another, I cannot believe that your reaction to an unreliable ASI and A/P disconnect would be to pull the stick back to the stops and attempt Trans-Lunar-Injection.

I further cannot believe that any pilot would sit like a dummy for several minutes with the stick hard back, the ASI on zero, the VSI off the clock, and the altitude unwinding rapidly.

Further, I cannot understand a captain swanning off on rest just as his aircraft is about to transit the ITCZ. There is no way I would ever have done that, even with experienced F/Os.

Dani 18th Oct 2011 22:00

windshield cracked, all PRIMs and SEC 1 together with unreliable airspeed/radome loss with turbulence with a TCAS climb event
well, that's maybe a tad too much, don't you think? Of course you can bring every crew to its knees. This has nothing to do with AF447. It was a simple case of unreliable instruments. Nothing more. We are not saying that you can have multiple failures that makes you unable to survive. AF447 had a single failure. An aircraft should never crash out of a single failure (but they do and sometimes even without one).

fullforward 18th Oct 2011 22:21

The latest previous few posts are the best on this thread.
Take your gloves gentleman and your arms, touché!
Go on!


bubbers44 18th Oct 2011 22:45

Studi, first of all I know hundreds of wide body boeing pilots and not one of them would pull up to a 15 degree deck angle at 35,000 ft and expect to survive. We all know it would cause a full stall. We learned this in our basic Cessna trainer. I don't think any competent pilot on this thread can say what the PF did made any sense at all. You shouldn't have to teach common sense in flight training.

OK465 19th Oct 2011 00:02

Earlier I had programmed the loss of all PRIMs and SEC 1...
Doesn't that put them in Direct Law?

So much for the advantages of Direct Law.

Now all you gotta do is fail the remaining SEC and you've got them in Mechanical Backup.

Very realistic...

OK465 19th Oct 2011 00:08

I cannot agree with you that all aircraft accidents are not down to human error.
John Farley: I respect your opinion.

TTex600 19th Oct 2011 00:20

Cozy, no offense intended with the question. Your perspective is actually fairly apparent in your writings, but I didn't want to assume.

Please don't assume that I am attacking the Bus. It's not my favorite transport category aircraft but I'm not a "hater". I'm a relatively intelligent, fairly well educated, PILOT. I'm not an engineer, nor a techno-geek of any sort. I'm your typical American civilian trained pilot with 29 years of flying in my logbook. In our system (at least when I was in training) the FAA requires excellent stick and rudder skills and minimal academic knowledge. For example, knowledge testing consists of a multiple choice written (the answers to which are available beforehand) and a few oral questions given during the flight check. I don't mean to portrait American aviators as uneducated, I've got two college degrees and am typical of my peers; I do mean to show that the FAA emphasizes hands on flight skills.

That's where I'm coming from, a background of "flying". To me, flying is like riding a bicycle. I don't have to think about riding my bicycle. My bicycle always reacts the same and gives me the same "feel" no matter where I ride. My bicycle doesn't require any conscious consideration to change course, ever. No matter what goes on around me, no matter the trail's condition, the connection between my feet and the pedals - my hands and the bars - my butt and the seat remains faithful and true. The same can be said for the yoke of a Lear and my hands - it's seat and my backside- the rudder pedals and my feet.

The same can't be said for the Bus. I've hand flown a DC9 at altitude, both fast and slow, etc. If the maneuver is in the McBoeing DC9 production flight test guide, I've done it , including full stalls. (some inadvertent :ok: ). But this isn't about me, it's about how a pilot flies an airplane.

Which is why I say that the Airbus requires a masters level of learning when things go abnormal. Simply, one can't rely on flying being an "auto" function when flying the Bus because: 1. No feel exists, and 2. the control response changes with flight law degradation. It's all a visual/mental exercise. One must focus on the PFD, understand the meaning (in a time critical way) of small and seemingly insignificant symbols, process the info while dealing with a cacophony of other signs and noise in order to derive a course of action. None of which allow me to rely on thousands of hours of experience actually flying the aircraft.

i'm a bit tired of non-Airbus pilots judging the AF447 Airbus crew from a non Airbus perspective.

Alley Oops 19th Oct 2011 00:28

Dani and OK; well the checkee TRI was a gungho kickass type who wanted a few of the surprises. You have to appreciate all the aural/visual warnings the AF447 crew got; someone wrote a simple case of unreliable instruments............sigh. The A330 has SSGs, calvary charge, etc plus a host of ECAM messages when there are failures which lead to other degradations. All these are very hard and too much for arm chair know - it - alls to appreciate.

Plectron 19th Oct 2011 02:48

Then...CV-600 school on the Dowty Rotol prop (RR Dart engine) 2 days total time on the prop alone. And an exam.

Flash forward quite a few and the Fokker school on the same prop. About 2 hours. Including: "When the red light illuminates, push the red button." No exam.

B777 Power Plant School at a prestigious Airline. Yep boys, them are big engines out there. Trents. Work good good, last a long time. Well, that's enough on that - let's talk about the autopilot.

This is no exaggeration.

cyflyer 19th Oct 2011 04:01

ChristiaanJ, I stand corrected. That is an amazing fact I didn't know. Thanks to the poster of the video clip.

Gretchenfrage 19th Oct 2011 04:47

Autotrim, stall warning design, ergonomics, etc. might be contributing, but at the end the only plane which would prevent you from such bad pilots inputs is actually an Airbus in Normal Law! Funny, isn't it, when you read most contributions here from non-Airbus pilots.
I commend you and some other Airbus pilots writing here for your displayed and porttraied knowledge and thus utmost confidence in this system.
If every Airbus pilot would display the same, encompassing your faith in the system, we would maybe not be debating.

I just want to inject that, as I understand, AF447 was no longer in Normal Law!

And it's right there where the problem starts.

citing TTex600

Which is why I say that the Airbus requires a masters level of learning when things go abnormal.
The very central questions now are:

Do we want this?
Do the SLF want this?
Is such a sophistication necessary, in view that another FBW product, less complicated, has even a better safety record?
Do we get enough capable people to be sufficiently trained for a more complicated flying?

Any pilot blessed with common aviatic sense would have to say no to all.
The KISS principle is still one of the basics for commercial aviation.

Glorifying the system and blaming the pilots who supposedly were just not mastering it won't help eradicate the facts pointing at multiple factors.
It will simply stay around and continue to haunt you, as long as no improvements are made.

And that wisdom does not originate from aviation, but from psychology.

Dani 19th Oct 2011 07:29

You have to appreciate all the aural/visual warnings the AF447 crew got
I fully appreciate the misery the AF447 crew was in. It was not easy, and it's easy to loose oversight.

One thing that helps clearing your mind is: Master Warning Cancelling. You might have to do it several times. After that at least the cockpit is calm. Then you have to start doing your pilots job: Stabilize aircraft, memory items, organize cockpit. That's pretty basic stuff and what TTex600 describes as "it's about how a pilot flies an airplane".

You cannot generalize but with these tools in your mind, you can survive most incidents, on an Airbus and on any other aircraft. Because an Airbus is not different. It's obviously the thinking of some pilots on it that is different.


BOAC 19th Oct 2011 07:56

Ah well, I might as well join in since the thread has lost its direction and is now 'AF447-xx'.

Originally Posted by studi
in a Boeing, if the PF would pull the plane violently to 15° pitch and keep it there, they would also crash.

- this is, of course, absolutely correct. However when trying to draw a rather simplistic comparison to a different a/c in the same situation, I think that in order to keep a balance it is important to ask (NB for 'Boeing' read 'different type') :-

1) Would a 'Boeing' trim the tailplane fully nose-up all on its own in the same situation? (NB talking manual input now, not A/P)

2) Would a 'Boeing' cease a stall warning in the same situation?

3) Is the 'transition' between one set of control laws in a 'Boeing' with degraded IAS inputs as complicated as with the 330?

4) Would the instrument displays in a 'Boeing' degrade the same way?

5) Would the 'Boeing' physical 'stick shaker' acting over the same period have more or less impact on PF than a voice warning?

6) Would the 'Boeing' stick displacement give a clearer indication of control input to another pilot?

I believe 1, 3 and 4 are 'NO', 5 and 6 'YES' and I don't know about 2 but I suspect not.

rudderrudderrat 19th Oct 2011 08:33

Originally Posted by studi
in a Boeing, if the PF would pull the plane violently to 15° pitch and keep it there, they would also crash.
As BOAC correctly points out - true.
However in a conventional aircraft the pilot would have to pull back considerably harder as the speed washed off and manually trim like fury to hold it at 15° whereas on the AB in ALT2 Law he could simply let go of the stick.

"What the :mad: is it doing now?" probably sprang to mind.

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