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Old 06-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
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Air France 447 transcript

If you haven't read this, It will make your skin crawl. Marin, maybe I can lure you out of hibernation on this one....but that is not my objective.

Air France 447 Flight-Data Recorder Transcript - What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447 - Popular Mechanics
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Excellent post, with much to learn from.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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1. It's amazing to me that this professional pilot had such a poor understanding of how to fly his airplane! I'm afraid some pilots have learned to become systems managers, not intuitive pilots.

2. I believe all planes should provide tactile feedback to all system flight controls so fellow pilots can see and feel what's happening on the aircraft.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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1. It's amazing to me that this professional pilot had such a poor understanding of how to fly his airplane! I'm afraid some pilots have learned to become systems managers, not intuitive pilots.

2. I believe all planes should provide tactile feedback to all system flight controls so fellow pilots can see and feel what's happening on the aircraft.
Another question you have to ask yourself is would this have happened if it was a Boeing? I will answer by saying...not likely. It is easy to just blame the pilots and while I think some of the conclusions in this article are good...one is that this pilot likely did exactly how he was trained. Airbuses have "envelop protection"...and this guy thought he was within the envelop(being protected by the computer) the whole way to impact. And they were completely baffled the whole way down because the aircraft wasn't doing what they thought it should be doing. One thing I have against Airbuses is that they are simply flying computers...garbage in, garbage out. And this guy was feeding it garbage all the way to the surface of the ocean. A Boeing gives you a lot more clues to what is going on with the aircraft.....and at the very least, you can see what the other guy is doing just by the position of the yoke. Anyway, I am not one to armchair quarterback the crew. It is a dangerous/arrogant pilot that thinks it could never happen to him. I think some major contributing factors are Airbus philosophy and the training from the airline. Do they ever question Airbus design/philosophy? Not really other than the control sticks are not really visible by the other pilot.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Agreed. That's the tactile feedback of the flight controls I was referring to. Besides the fact you mentioned of being out of sight, the Airbus sidesticks do not deflect with cross-pilot input. I'm told they also do not 'load up" with control force as the airplane slows. Not sure if this is accurate or not, but if so, it doesn't sound much different than an inexpensive computer joystick from the 1990s.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:53 AM   #6
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The failure in the system is the simulator training "approach to stall", as a practiced drill.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:42 AM   #7
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I'm told they also do not 'load up" with control force as the airplane slows.
Don't know either but I think I would prefer the stick to "load up" as speed increases. Low(er) stick forces at low speeds, high stick forces at high speeds to provide feedback and reduce overcontrolling.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Not only tactile to pilot in command, but to the first officer as well. Asynchronous controls without tactile feedback is troubling and a key difference in the Boeing design philosophy. I don't think we'll ever be changing ours. It's the reason we've stayed with conventional (cross-connected) yokes.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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1. It's amazing to me that this professional pilot had such a poor understanding of how to fly his airplane! I'm afraid some pilots have learned to become systems managers, not intuitive pilots.
I haven't flown a plane since about 1988-89 but this report really upsets me. Pilots who are just monitoring computer generated data and don't really know how to recognize/recover from a stall. Where is all this heading? A tail falling off an Airbus in new York, another Airbus falling out of the sky over the Atlantic. I don't even want to go near that plane!
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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Normal flight controls (non-Airbus) become sluggish at slow speed and fluttering flight control surfaces and wing buffet can provide a tactile clue as one approaches a stall. Aircraft are trimmed for the speed of flight to minimize the control forces. This trim is adjusted by the pilot or autopilot as the desired speed changes.

If one is flying slower than desired, the nose wants to drop and it requires excessive back pressure to hold the nose up and the flight controls are sluggish. Conversely, if the plane is flying out of trim faster than desired, the nose wants to lift and excessive forward pressure is required to hold the nose down and flight controls are highly effective. Pitch trim adjustments relieve these nose-up/down forces.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:39 PM   #11
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With over 12,000 hours in Gulfstream II, III, IV and Vs, I think the feel of the controls given to the pilot are the best design. Your body always knew what your aircraft was doing. I found to many new pilots relied completely on the auto pilot and FMS. The only time they would do it by hand was to taxi. We would click off the A/P crossing the pond and never spill the drinks. Kept us sharp to hand fly to cruise altitude. To many robots in the cockpit.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Airbusts are built so 3rd world "pilots" do not kill folks with minimum training..

A new Paris air show is coming up, any bets if for the 3rd time a new Airbust crashes in front of the crowd , with test pilots performing?
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #13
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Don't know either but I think I would prefer the stick to "load up" as speed increases. Low(er) stick forces at low speeds, high stick forces at high speeds to provide feedback and reduce overcontrolling.
Rick, you won't overcontrol it....the computer won't let you! You can slam the stick back and forth at speed and the aircraft will gently rock it's wings....okay maybe not gently but it will only roll at the rate limited by the computer.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #14
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I haven't flown a plane since about 1988-89 but this report really upsets me. Pilots who are just monitoring computer generated data and don't really know how to recognize/recover from a stall. Where is all this heading? A tail falling off an Airbus in new York, another Airbus falling out of the sky over the Atlantic. I don't even want to go near that plane!
Those two crashes are unrelated. The NYC crash was an A300(or maybe 310) but is not fly by wire. They hit turbulence and for some reason one of the pilots used the rudders to counteract the turbulence and over stressed the rudder.

Because of the computers on the Fly-by-wire Airbuses, some pilots use a "last ditch effort" mentality of pulling back on the stick and full power on the engines. The "envelop protection" of the computers will keep the airplane from stalling and you should climb. The problem here was that the pitot tubes iced over and the computers reverted to "alternate law" which means that envelop protection was lost. They stalled the airplane. The pitots unfroze and the normal law returned but they were already outside the envelop...and the computer could not protect them and the pilots did nothing to help it. It took a moment for the captain to figure it out but it was too late....
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:17 AM   #15
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Airbust first 350 to fly Friday , for how long?

Till someone attempts to actually fly the aircraft in stead of just making computer suggestions the computer likes.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:13 AM   #16
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I don't get why both copilots were in the seats and the Jr one was flying the plane. Shouldn't the more senior person be in charge?

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Old 06-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #17
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Those two crashes are unrelated. The NYC crash was an A300(or maybe 310) but is not fly by wire. They hit turbulence and for some reason one of the pilots used the rudders to counteract the turbulence and over stressed the rudder. Unrelated? Aren't those two planes built by the same company? I wonder what forces an F-35 sees on its rudder.
If it's an Air Bus. I won't go near it!
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:56 PM   #18
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I don't get why both copilots were in the seats and the Jr one was flying the plane. Shouldn't the more senior person be in charge?

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I believe this was an 'augmented crew'. That means they have an extra pilot on board for very long flights to allow a pilot to rest/sleep in a separate sleep area during the flight. When the Captain sleeps, the 2 other pilots control the airplane. One is assigned Capt duties during this period, but the official Captain retains ultimate authority when not in rest. All pilots assigned Captain duties must be Captain qualified, so it's not like some junior inexperienced pilot is given the command of the aircraft.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #19
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I believe this was an 'augmented crew'. That means they have an extra pilot on board for very long flights to allow a pilot to rest/sleep in a separate sleep area during the flight. When the Captain sleeps, the 2 other pilots control the airplane. One is assigned Capt duties during this period, but the official Captain retains ultimate authority when not in rest. All pilots assigned Captain duties must be Captain qualified, so it's not like some junior inexperienced pilot is given the command of the aircraft.
True. The way it works at our company is your "awarded" position determines the chain of command. The Captain is PIC. The first officer is second in command(and PIC when CA is not on flight deck) and then the IRO(international Relief Officer). Usually the FO is more senior than the IRO....but not always.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #20
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If it's an Air Bus. I won't go near it!
Walt, my point was that the crashes and their cause and the aircraft involved were very different...regardless of the fact that it was the same builder. The Air France crash was a fully functioning airplane that was flown into the ocean by the crew. The AA crash was structural failure and subsequent loss of control.

But I agree. My personal opinion is that Boeing makes a better airplane.
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