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Old 06-12-2013, 10:52 PM   #21
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A good friend and old Navy aviator put it more succinctly. He said, "don't fly with Frogs".
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:47 PM   #22
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And I thought TSA was reason enough to avoid airports!
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:21 PM   #23
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I do agree with Boeing being a better aircraft. I know a few United pilots who call them selfs "BUNKIES" . Most of them really do not want to fly. Just do the minimum to keep their job. Many times they run out of landing currency and have to go get sim time to be legal.How proficient can you be operating like that. Both AirBus crashes were pilot error. You have to go back to the training they received and the manual flying abilities of the pilots flying.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:34 PM   #24
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I agree with you about the pilot error findings, Ron. But no airplane tail should fall apart because a pilot fully deflected the rudder pedals.

One of the maneuvers we consistently performed on my job was called a vertical polarization check. This was performed with a "dutch roll" right and left 30 degrees to displace the horizontally mounted navigation antenna into the vertical plane, while at the same time continuing to fly the designated course precisely. This required full rudder with cross-controlled aileron at times to keep the aircraft on course. We did this in Saberliners, Jet Commanders, DC-3s, King Airs, Hawkers and Learjets to name a few types. We never had a vertical stabilizer fall off.

It's also common for small planes to perform a slips which sometimes require full rudder deflection. Their tails also remain on the airplane after the maneuver.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #25
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I agree with you about the pilot error findings, Ron. But no airplane tail should fall apart because a pilot fully deflected the rudder pedals......................

It's also common for small planes to perform slips which sometimes require full rudder deflection. Their tails also remain on the airplane after the maneuver.
Whew! I felt like the Lone Ranger for a minute...
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:20 AM   #26
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I do agree with Boeing being a better aircraft. I know a few United pilots who call them selfs "BUNKIES" . Most of them really do not want to fly. Just do the minimum to keep their job. Many times they run out of landing currency and have to go get sim time to be legal.How proficient can you be operating like that. Both AirBus crashes were pilot error. You have to go back to the training they received and the manual flying abilities of the pilots flying.
This is how it goes. You fly 3 trips a month that have 2 landings each. The captain takes one...and the first officer takes one. If you are one of the relief pilots/IROs(I am assuming that is what "bunky" is referring to), then you get no landings. Occasionally, an FO or captain will give an IRO a landing. But you need 3 in the past 90 days....just like you do in ANY aircraft(Part 91...category and class). If you do not get those landings, then you go to the simulator to get them.

And it is not a matter of "wanting to fly" or "not wanting to fly". It is simply a matter of where you want to be.....in some hotel in Japan? Or with your loved ones on your boat? By doing long haul trips, you can knock out a full months worth of work in 9 days and have 21 days off. Now who wouldn't want that gig???
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:40 AM   #27
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I agree with you about the pilot error findings, Ron. But no airplane tail should fall apart because a pilot fully deflected the rudder pedals.
Al, you have heard of the term "maneuvering speed"(Va), have you not??? I know you have... The whole premise of that speed is that below it, you can make full and abrupt control inputs without harm to the structure. Above that speed, then damage can occur. And transport category aircraft only have to make a full deflection IN ONE DIRECTION for the certification of the rudder at Va. On AA587, the FO made numerous full and abrupt inputs in opposing directions...well above Va.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #28
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I don't think we'll ever be changing ours. It's the reason we've stayed with conventional (cross-connected) yokes.

Two questions
  • Did the MD acquisition maintain this philosophy
  • Are the newer the Boeing designs sticking with conventional yokes
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:06 PM   #29
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John, I agree that maneuvers involving full and abrupt control inputs above maneuvering speed can overstress components and lead to deformation or failure. It's an industry standard and should be well understood by all pilots. (I learned some new aspects of VA in reading the NTSB Accident Report.) But after this accident, Airbus issued a bulletin quoted below. The source for this is the NTSB Aircraft Accident Report
NTSB/AAR-04/04 PB2004-910404 Notation 7439B.


"1.18.4.1.2 Airbus Flight Crew Operating Manual Bulletin

In March 2002, Airbus issued A310/A300-600 FCOM Bulletin number 15/1,

“Subject No. 40, Use of Rudder on Transport Category Airplanes, in response to the Safety Board’s recommendations.” The bulletin emphasized proper operational use of the rudder and highlighted certification requirements and rudder control system design characteristics. The bulletin included the following information in a box labeled “CAUTION:”
Sudden commanded full, or nearly full, opposite rudder movement against a sideslip can generate loads that exceed the limit loads and possibly the ultimate loads and can result in structural failure. This is true even at speeds below the maximum design maneuvering speed, VA. (emphasis mine)

Certification regulations do not consider the loads imposed on the structure when there is sudden full, or nearly full, rudder movement that is opposite of the sideslip.

The bulletin also made the following operational recommendation:

RUDDERS SHOULD NOT BE USED:
– To induce roll, or
– To counter roll, induced by any type of turbulence.
Whatever the airborne flight condition may be, aggressive, full or nearly full, opposite rudder inputs must not be applied. Such inputs can lead to loads higher than the limit, or possibly the ultimate loads and can result in structural damage or failure.

The rudder travel limiter system is not designed to prevent structural damage or failure in the event of such rudder system inputs.

Note: Rudder reversals must never be incorporated into airline policy….[165]
As far as dutch roll is concerned, yaw damper action and natural aircraft damping are sufficient to adequately dampen dutch roll oscillations. The rudder should not be used to complement the yaw damper.

Note: Even if both yaw damper systems are lost, the rudders should not be used to dampen the dutch roll. Refer to the YAW DAMPER FAULT procedure.


At the public hearing on this accident, the American Airlines A300 fleet standards manager testified that American had not received “such specific limitations or prohibited maneuvers on the rudder use” before the flight 587 accident."

Here's a section discussing Pilot understanding on VA:

2.5.3 Pilot Guidance on Design Maneuvering Speed
During this accident investigation, the Safety Board learned that many pilots might have an incorrect understanding of the meaning of the design maneuvering speed (VA) and the extent of structural protection that exists when the airplane is operated below this speed.

From an engineering and design perspective, maneuvering speed is the maximum speed at which, from an initial 1 G flight condition, the airplane will be capable of sustaining an abrupt, full control input limited only by the stops or by maximum pilot effort. In designing airplanes to withstand these flight conditions, engineers consider each axis (pitch, roll, and yaw) individually and assume that, after a single full control input is made, the airplane is returned to stabilized flight conditions. Full inputs in more than one axis at the same time and multiple inputs in one axis are not considered in designing for these flight conditions.

The American Airlines managing director of flight operations technical told the Safety Board, during a postaccident interview, that most American Airlines pilots believed that the airplane would be protected from structural damage if alternating full rudder pedal inputs were made at an airspeed below maneuvering speed. The American Airlines A300
fleet standards manager confirmed this belief during testimony at the Board’s public hearing for this accident. The Board notes that the American Airlines A300 Operating Manual contained only one reference to design maneuvering speed, which indicated that it was the turbulence penetration speed (270 knots). However, as evidenced by flight 587, cyclic rudder pedal inputs, even when made at airspeeds below maneuvering speed, can result in catastrophic structural damage.
(emphasis mine)

My thoughts...

This accident report is a fascinating read and deals with many factors in the accident including inappropriate pilot rudder control inputs, light rudder force input/high sensitivity, rudder limiter design and limitations, vertical stabilizer attach methods and materials, pilot training, etc. Like most accidents, it's not just one failure that causes the accident, but a series of events/issues/failures that combine to cause the crash.

Thanks for posting this thread. Great stuff here.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:00 AM   #30
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At least Air Bust got thru the Paris Air Show with out crashing their new 350 .
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #31
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Al, either I am misunderstanding you or you are contradicting yourself. You at first stated that no airplane tail should fall apart just because the pilot went full deflection on the rudder. And then you post up the "legal reasons" why it did fall apart.

I am very well aware of the proceedings of the investigation of AA crash. We are immediately informed and many times our training is changed to reflect the findings in these cases. This was the case with the AA crash and it is the case with this Air France crash. Our stall training has completely changed because of this accident and I am not sure it is for the better.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:02 PM   #32
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From what I read in the report, the pilot's control inputs occurred BELOW VA. Is this correct?
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:59 PM   #33
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OK, I just quickly reread that portion of the report. The aircraft was at 251 Kts. VA is 270 kts. The structure failed even though the pilot inputs were 19 Kts below the 270 Kt Maneuvering Seed.

Before this accident, there was no mention of control inputs below this speed causing structural deformation or the loss of airplane parts in flight. Pilots were taught that all control inputs below VA were safe and non-damaging to the aircraft structure. After this accident, Airbus issued the bulletin quoted above to spread the word that this has occurred and could continue to occur.

The report findings point to contributing factors of the American Airlines Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Training Program and characteristics of the A300-600 rudder system.

Your post #27:

"Al, you have heard of the term "maneuvering speed"(Va), have you not??? I know you have... The whole premise of that speed is that below it, you can make full and abrupt control inputs without harm to the structure. Above that speed, then damage can occur. "

Agreed. This aircraft was being flown below this speed limitation.

Post 27 continued:

"And transport category aircraft only have to make a full deflection IN ONE DIRECTION for the certification of the rudder at Va. On AA587, the FO made numerous full and abrupt inputs in opposing directions...well above Va."


This info was disseminated to pilots during post-accident training and added to the manual after the accident via bulletin. This was not common knowledge or accepted industry practice among pilots.

I'm not trying to call your baby ugly, but name one other airplane which had its vertical stabilizer fall off due to overstressing rudder inputs below maneuvering speed. I can't think of a single one but I'm not an expert in the areas of structural integrity or accident investigation.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:40 AM   #34
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Hey, don't bring my baby into this!!!!..... I got it now. I have to admit to being lazy because of being on my phone and not going back and rereading everything to make it all cohesive again.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #35
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Two questions
  • Did the MD acquisition maintain this philosophy
  • Are the newer the Boeing designs sticking with conventional yokes
1 - I've heard that said around here before

2- As far as I know, no intent of going that direction. I would never think an asymmetric joy stick, with no cross functional feedback could beat the tactile feedback that a pilot gets from a yoke.
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