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Subject: B787 Info From A Ua Pilot


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#21 seeker

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

Thanks Don, I was afraid you would show up and "ruin" our discussion with all those inconvenient facts! :white:

#22 DEFCON

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

Perhaps a panel mounted 'stick position indicator' would alleviate the AF 447 style event?


The 787 is a technologically advanced bird, but with so many ‘new’ concepts, I’m certain there’s an equally large number of ‘new’ ways to screw-up to be invented.

#23 Boney

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:56 PM

Agreed....One must learn from the unfortunate so that it doesn't happen again. That's the nature of the aviation beast.

#24 Mitch Cronin

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:36 PM

Hi Don, I appreciate your response.... As you know, it's the discussion that counts, not who's "right". ...and I'm pretty sure you're an exception when it comes to willingness to discuss.

Those examples you cite are good ones, and I doubt anyone would argue... But the point I'd like to stress isn't whether or not other cases exist where the CC didn't make a difference, but rather, whether the AF447 crew specifically, could have benefited from a little more information. And I'm sure it's a point we're never going to be sure of, but I'm equally sure we could agree that a yoke held to it's aft stop, for a minute or so (wasn't it nearly that long the PF held the SS back to it's aft stop?), is not something as easily missed as was the SS position.... To me, it's that simple. More information. More chance for information. Who knows whether or not in that particular instance it would have done any good? No one can say..... But you sure can't say that it wouldn't, and there is certainly reason to believe it could have.
How many 'situations' have happened where the PNF recognized right away the aft stick, and corrected for it, is never going to be known. It can't be.
How can anyone, in any given scenario, say that more information was immaterial?
If you go looking for a case where having a CC instead of a SS made the difference, how could you find it? You couldn't. But if you look at this case, knowing the outcome, can you say that knowing the prevalent elevator position via a CC wouldn't have helped? I don't see how you could.

Re :" Why is the control column perceived and argued by many, as superior to the SS?"

Obviously some of that is the same prejudice I referred to in my previous post... and "superior" is, so far, something somewhat subjective... But, like a "fault" light on any given system, or function, it provides information more readily than a little side stick whose position needs to be looked for on the display. That much seems, to me, undeniable.

"Many argue that the control column is a significant visual indicator. I do not think so, even if it is in plain view."

Please explain? It seems obvious to me it is more readily visible than a SS.... What is it that makes you argue it isn't?

"As both NTSB Reports indicate, the problem appears not to be the visual confirmation of the position of the control column, (and, I argue, the SS), but recognizing the stall and doing something about it."

Of course. ....but for the PNF's ability to recognize the situation, having had the stick nudging his nuts for the greater part of the predicament, if nothing else, surely that might help him to recognize that pulling back has been tried already?

...and in AF447's case.... Who knows what the Captain might have added to his assessment of things, had he seen a CC held aft for so long?

#25 Mitch Cronin

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:15 PM

Thanks Don, I was afraid you would show up and "ruin" our discussion with all those inconvenient facts! :white:


Chicken. [baaak, buk, baaak....buk buk] :biggrin2:

#26 thor

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

I think that it would be 1.4megawatt vs gigawatt. I cannot believe that the two engines would be able to produce that much power. The 17 turbines from hover dam produce 2.08 gigawatts.

#27 Kip Powick

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:40 PM

Evening Don,

As you stated, we all have an opinion one way or the other concerning which "tool" is better in the cockpit.

To be brief, I am a CC (Control Column/Yoke),advocate, primarily because of the visual cues when the other guy is flying. I have not digested all the AIB reports in your posting but the fact that a pilot had a CC in the full aft position prior to impact is understandable...for any CC lover. I am sure the last thing any pilot who has grown up on CC flying, when realizing he is doomed to unavoidably contact the blue marble, sans runway, is automatically pull the CC aft...you know "house get smaller syndrome" and the impact will be lessened in the front end if we 'belly in'.. :glare:

I am sure that would be his last effort at correcting his problem even though he knows he is "stalled" because even if he has the knowledge that he is stalled, and subconsciously knows that he should push the CC forward to unload the wings, he would not do so when impact is enevitable. If an aircraft was stalled at a recoverable altitude and the "guy not flying" let the "guy flying" hold the CC full aft, I would be tempted to state that neither pilot were aware that they were in a stall, or neither knew the stall recovery procedure...which does not speak very highly of that particular crew..

As stated I like the CC because of instant visual cues, and that is so obvious when the "other guy is flying" If one is the PNF and gets distracted from their cross-check for a moment they can be very aware the instant the PF commences to move the aircraft from its present position to another by way of the CC moving ever so slightly.

How many times have you glanced down to confirm some information on the Approach Chart, or dial in a radio, or do someting that takes you out of the loop for just a brief moment and caught the movement of the CC by the PF and that has triggered an immediate cross check of the instruments, particularily at night, or in a poor weather approach??

That is my primary reason for being an advocate of that other thing pilots have between their legs. :blush:

As you have stated, everyone has a preference and I would think that preference is probably because of 'types' flown and variance of career paths. It is very easy for a pilot to say "I like them both" but if push came to shove, which would he/she rather have???

Have a pleasant weekend.....going to install the new radar on the radar arch :checkmark:

#28 Kip Powick

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

I think that it would be 1.4megawatt vs gigawatt. I cannot believe that the two engines would be able to produce that much power. The 17 turbines from hover dam produce 2.08 gigawatts.



Boeing’s “more-electric” power architecture for the 787 will face special conditions to achieve airworthiness certification by the US FAA.
The extra certification requirements released today by the FAA require Boeing to prove that the 787 “is capable of recovering adequate primary electrical power generation for safe flight and landing” in the event of an in-flight power failure.
Boeing’s older airliners use pneumatic systems to power the hydraulics controlling flight control systems and landing gear, with comparatively small electric generators needed for onboard electronic systems.

But the 787 design omits the heavier pneumatic system in favor of electric power for the hydraulic actuators.
This change requires the aircraft’s two engines to drive four integrated drive generators providing 1.45MW of electricity, . The flight controls and landing gear depend on the electric generators as a primary power source.

The FAA recognizes the 787’s electric power as a potential safety concern that must be addressed by imposing special conditions beyond its normal airworthiness-proving requirements.

Boeing must show that the 787 is capable of safe flight with the engine and APUs inoperative. Alternate sources of power may include the battery, ram air turbine or a permanent magnet generating system.
The manufacturer also has to prove that the 787 has enough alternate sources of electrical power onboard to descend from the maximum operating altitude to the minimum altitude to attempt an engine and APU restart.

#29 JL

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

CC or SS, regardless of which control input the aircraft is configured for, the ability to assimilate information when one begins to become cognitively over loaded will quickly overcome many defences built into the flight control design and avionics. That comparison is easily made with the DC8 ABX accident and the AF447 accident. It is my opinion that once you transition from overload situation and enter into a panic, all bets are off. The only hope is that both crew don't arrive there at the same time and that someone can take control and recover. Better yet, don't get there at all.
  • J.O. likes this

#30 Don Hudson

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:20 PM

seeker;

Re, :white:

As Max said, Sorry about that, Chief.

Kip - regarding preferences, I honestly didn't have any. The SS was as easy to use as the CC and I liked both - they did the job. A lot more airplanes survived than were lost by both types of controls because it was the mind and "hands" behind the SS/CC that rescued the airplane, not the kind of control it was.

The one difference for the Airbus was, the autoflight system was engaged most of the time, which was the way the airplane was designed. And below 400', one was paying close attention anyway, SS or CC. I don't know what the philosophy is for the B787, but I'll bet airline managements aren't encouraging hand-flying given the price of fuel.

Mitch - you'll already know that I doubt whether a CC would have made a difference with the AF447 crew. The fact that the PF pulled up immediately without announcing the abnormality and the drill/checklist as per SOPs, and the fact that the PNF did not stop matters immediately and intervene with what should have been an obvious high-risk manoeuvre, (sustained 10deg NU at FL350, constant stall warning within 40 seconds) means to me that neither a control column nor an AoA indicator in the first 30 seconds, nor, post-apogee, the captain's ineffective questioning even upon viewing the rate-of-descent on the PFD would have altered the outcome. The pitch attitude of 15deg NU with a 20,000fpm descent rate was a strong indication that the aircraft was stalled and not in a high-speed situation, but, like both the Airborne Express DC8 and the Northwest B727, the crew was confused and continued to pull back on the controls, CC or SS. That says to me that they did not recognize the stall and did not know how to unstall and fly the wing. There are a host of similar LOC accidents in the past seven or eight years.

AF447 was recoverable even at FL100 yet the will and the training to do so was not there. Why not?

The argument isn't about CC or SS, it is about knowing one's airplane and being sufficiently trained and checked in SOPs, CRM and having sufficient presence of mind to remain in control of the airplane except where extraordinary circumstances mitigate against it. Here, there was no emergency which required immediate action yet it turned into a loss of control. Why?

I believe the crew likely did not know what they did not know and responded as best they thought, as we all would have. Thus the human factors aspect, including the examination of organizational factors of this accident have much to teach the industry and I hope the BEA spends the time to do it right.

Don

Edited by Don Hudson, 12 May 2012 - 10:21 PM.


#31 seeker

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:45 AM

Chicken. [baaak, buk, baaak....buk buk] :biggrin2:


Well, I actually did have more to say but I was off to bed so I knew/hoped you or someone else would pick up the torch.

I pretty much agree with you and Kip - the CC is a bigger and more obvious clue than the SS so logically it should make it more likely that the GNF would notice this and react in some positive way. The problem however is that we are looking at the situation from a post-event frame of mind and not putting ourselves "in" the situation as we contemplate what happened. There is a certain amount of arrogance (myself included) that comes out in these discussions but really, at the heart of it, these guys had latched onto an "understanding" of the situation that was completely wrong and I doubt whether a CC would have made a difference to them. Now, whether it would make a difference to another crew on another day - who knows? How many airplanes have landed gear-up with a red light in the handle and the horn shrieking and after it's all over the pilot says, "I heard the horn and saw the light but didn't
understand". Surely it's impossible to miss the red light and loud horn - ahhh, no, it isn't.

#32 Kip Powick

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:31 AM

I believe the crew likely did not know what they did not know and responded as best they thought, as we all would have.

Ah, Don, I see by the "time-shot" on your last post it was 2:20am.....not sure where that is but it would be my local time here in "Dotland" and if your local time is close to that, no matter where you are, then I can understand why the above sentence may seem clear and understandable to you .....but not to me :biggrin2: .


If the reference is to AF then I think it would be safe to say no one in the front end knew that they were stalled, had no perception of a stall, did not even know the indications of a stall, and in a near panic mode kept the aircraft stalled.

In this instance I find it hard to get my head around the part of the statement that says " as we all would have".

Perhaps in the far reaches, in a dusty corner, under a tattered blanket, there may be a moldy tidbit of basic aerodynamics that many pilots do not understood and perhaps due to ego.... failed to accept the fact that they are not well informed about said fact and failed to clarify the issue.......but a stall and the cockpit indications, day or night, are the most basic elements of knowing any aircraft..

I have read and reread and reread your statement and I think I now understand what you posted..(my excuse - it's early here :biggrin1: )...... ..basically........".ignorance is bliss and in a feeble attempt to instantly become 'unignorant', (if that is a word), in a critical aviation situation,...... one will resort to basic aerodynamic thoughts"...............in the AF case.. aircraft going down..... don't want that....point nose up......ergo SS pulled back.

No back to SS and CC.......As stated, the discussion is not about theorizing a different outcome to any accident based on SS or CC in the aircraft but rather why any pilot would prefer one installation over the other.

My preference is pretty clear ...as I have stated, but you have dodged the question..(due to your political forays?? :biggrin2: ), Now com'on ......here is the scenario.........you just won xxx millions of dollars and you are having a personal aircraft built to your specs. Every builder in the world can install SS or CC but only one system in your dream plane......what's it gonna be????? :biggrin2: (no waffling)

#33 J.O.

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:04 AM

You didn't ask me but my answer is an easy one - no waffling required - it would be the sidestick controller, provided that it functioned as part of the Airbus FBW system. I know it has its detractors but in my opinion it is a brilliant system, very effective and very safe. But then when I first was trained on it, I learned that flying near thunderstorms (or in any icing situation) meant that an unreliable speed scenario was possible, that I had to know the memory items (including maintaining current pitch and thrust at altitude) and be prepared to apply them.

Edited by J.O., 13 May 2012 - 07:06 AM.


#34 boestar

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:34 AM

IAm with Kip on the CC / Yoke. Reason it gives both Tactile feedback as well as visual position feedback from the aircraft where the SS just sits there in the middle no matter what the airplane is doing. Also the CC is visible to both pilots no matter what side where the SS is blocked possibly by the pilots body.

#35 mo32a

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:13 AM

Would it have been technically possible or feasible to put the SS on the other side so that it would be more visible to the PNF?

#36 Don Hudson

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

Hi Kip -

My preference is pretty clear . . . what's it gonna be????? :biggrin2: (no waffling)


Sidestick.

The CC and moving thrust levers are concessions to history. The SS is, as JO observes that the SS is a brilliant system and I completely agree - it is as natural as any control I've ever used in an aircraft. Clearly, it works for thousands of pilots over millions of hours and it works extremely well. I'm mildly surprised that Boeing didn't make the leap. Likely they just didn't want to be seen as copying Europe? :biggrin2:

Don

#37 Don Hudson

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:44 AM

Hi mo32a;

Would it have been technically possible or feasible to put the SS on the other side so that it would be more visible to the PNF?


Technically? Absolutely. With digital controls almost any control and indication arrangement is possible. The thrust levers could have been dining-room dimmer sliders on the armrest. Now that would be something that would have merited some controversy.

#38 Thebean

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:45 AM

1.4 Gigawatts!!!
1.4 Gigawatts!!!
Where are we gonna find 1.4 Gigawatts??


Dilithium crystals?

:cool:

#39 J.O.

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:44 PM

Who among our control column proponents has actually flown the Airbus sidestick operationally for at least a couple of years or more?

#40 conehead

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:07 PM

Technically? Absolutely. With digital controls almost any control and indication arrangement is possible. The thrust levers could have been dining-room dimmer sliders on the armrest. Now that would be something that would have merited some controversy.


Or even wireless. :)