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  • #46
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    First of all, unfortunately he didn't freeze, he acted, wrongly. "Why?" is the million-dollar question, we agree on that.
    I think it's already been answered (with some good probability) - he assumed the protections were still active, he was used to them, and they were worried about going too fast rather than stall.

    I don't think he "stopped thinking". I think he had his hand on the stick and his eyes—and full attention—on everything but the primary instruments.
    They were unable to understand what's going on: that a plane, with a pair of good, working engines, and a "healthy" attitude, can be rapidly losing altitude. They didn't understand the concepts of stall and AoA. I guess they were effectively taught a stall is a matter of attitude and/or speed alone.

    As I posted a good while ago on the AF447 thread (where this discussion belongs), there are comments on the CVR just prior to the event that indicate his attention and concern were on the engines,
    They weren't 100% certain about their real airspeed (and probably other indications). They feared overspeed, but they were also aware that a lack of thrust from engines can force the aircraft to descent.

    They were missing what a stall is, and this is where things should be improved (and hopefully are) so that no another AF447 happens. Do you really think a procedure can fix it?

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by elaw View Post
      I think I'd put it slightly differently, and much more succinctly, as "the pilots panicked".

      I bet either one of them, in a low-pressure classroom situation, could have recited the proper procedure for handling unreliable airspeed indications, and could have told you that in alternate law the stall warnings are still valid and why. The problem is, this was not a low-pressure classroom situation!

      Or in other words the failure was not that procedures were not in place, and not that the pilots were not well trained on the appropriate procedure and the aircraft's systems, but that when the s**t hit the fan, their brains did not access and use that information correctly.

      I'm not necessarily trying to say "people f**k up and there's nothing you can do about it"... while I think sometimes that's the case, other times it's not.

      But if you've instructed your people 100 times on how to do something and they're still not doing it right, I don't think instructing them 25 more times is likely to help. You need to find a different approach... somehow.
      I agree with you on "startle factor'. So does the report:

      The startle effect played a major role in the destabilisation of the flight path and in the two pilots understanding the situation. Initial and recurrent training as delivered today do not promote and test the capacity to react to the unexpected.
      Thus:

      EASA ensure that operators reinforce CRM training to enable acquisition and maintenance of adequate behavioural automatic responses in unexpected and unusual situations with a highly charged emotional factor. [Recommendation FRAN - 2012 - 043]
      I disagree with you on "you've instructed your people 100 times on how to do something and they're still not doing it right". The PF (Copilot, Right Seat) had the following IAS procedure training:

      Unreliable IAS 2008-2009 instruction season E33 simulator training. “IAS douteuse” exercise Note: The A320 type rating programme at Air France in 2004 did not include a “vol avec IAS douteuse” exercise.
      That's one exercise, not recurrent "100 times" as you imagine, in his career with Air France. Is that sufficient to instill proficiency? Clearly not.

      Not to mention...
      The copilots had not undertaken any in-flight training, at high altitude, for the “vol avec IAS douteuse” procedure or on manual aeroplane handling.
      And of course, approach to stall and stall recovery were insufficient as well:

      Examination of their last training records and check rides made it clear that the copilots had not been trained for manual aeroplane handling of approach to stall and stall recovery at high altitude.
      So, what about my theory of inattention to the primary task of flying due to poor CRM and cockpit distraction?

      The PNF’s reading of the ECAM messages, in a broken and hesitant manner, may have drawn the PF’s attention to the ECAM, to the detriment of the piloting task.
      I go further than that, speculating that the PF was distracted from flying by his own lack of CRM discipline and his collateral concerns.

      And finally, this:

      The investigation brought to light weaknesses in the two copilots: the inappropriate inputs by the PF on the flight controls at high altitude were not noted by the PNF through an absence of effective monitoring of the flight path. The stall warning and the buffeting were not identified either. This was probably due to a lack of specific training, although in accordance with regulatory requirements. Manual aeroplane handling cannot be improvised and requires precision and measured inputs on the flight controls.

      Comment


      • #48
        Evan, I agree with all you said, and sure more and better training would have increased the chances that the pilot doesn't react irrationally.

        But the pilot did react irrationally and he started doing so a fraction of a second after the AP disconnected. Sure, he lacked high-altitude manual-flight training. But keeping an a 330 straight and level at 35000ft is not so different from doing the same in a Cessna 172 at 1000ft, and what he did was absolutely inadequate in any airplane at any altitude. And his irrational reaction started before there was even a chance of starting to implement a CRM-friendly task division or the UAS procedure. The pilot didn't freeze, as he was doing "interesting" control inputs. His brain did.

        Again, I agree more exposure by training in a controlled training situation will reduce, but not eliminate, the chance that the pilot stops reacting rationally when the shit hits the fan for real, but once he lost his mind to the point that he wasn't able to apply the most basic, manual-independent, airmanship like keeping the plane straight and level (don't even mention follow any procedure), and in fact makes basically all the opposite to that, what can you expect?

        --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
        --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
          Evan, I agree with all you said, and sure more and better training would have increased the chances that the pilot doesn't react irrationally.

          But the pilot did react irrationally and he started doing so a fraction of a second after the AP disconnected. Sure, he lacked high-altitude manual-flight training. But keeping an a 330 straight and level at 35000ft is not so different from doing the same in a Cessna 172 at 1000ft, and what he did was absolutely inadequate in any airplane at any altitude. And his irrational reaction started before there was even a chance of starting to implement a CRM-friendly task division or the UAS procedure. The pilot didn't freeze, as he was doing "interesting" control inputs. His brain did.
          All we know is what HIS HAND did with the stick. He had no training in high-altitude hand-flying skills. Now, let's assume he wasn't looking at the PFD and had his attention focused on the ECAM / SD / ignition switches, etc.: He grabs the stick, calls out that he has control, and applies some back-pressure (either intentionally or unintentionally) without coordinating with the PFD. He might have been quite unaware of the load factor he was commanding at that moment.

          Now, try the opposite. He grabs the stick while focused on the PFD and moves it to achieve and maintain 5-10° pitch while the other pilots is on the ECAM tasks. That's how it should have gone. That's CRM.

          Maybe you are right and he intended to climb like that, but it seems crazy. Was he crazy or was he not focused on flying...?

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Evan View Post
            He had no training in high-altitude hand-flying skills.
            Which flying skills that is specifically high-altitude did he fail at? It's not that the crashed in the coffin corner, a transonic dive, or divergent flutter caused by shockwaves.

            Now, let's assume he wasn't looking at the PFD and had his attention focused on the ECAM / SD / ignition switches, etc.: He grabs the stick, calls out that he has control, and applies some back-pressure (either intentionally or unintentionally) without coordinating with the PFD. He might have been quite unaware of the load factor he was commanding at that moment.
            1.5G, your buddy telling you that you are aiming too high, and the stall warning are hard to miss if you are reasonably ok. I am sure the passengers noted it. If you are in panic or something like that, that's another story.

            Now, try the opposite. He grabs the stick while focused on the PFD and moves it to achieve and maintain 5-10° pitch while the other pilots is on the ECAM tasks. That's how it should have gone. That's CRM.
            Yes, and of the most basic form. Of the same form that we use in the Cessna 172 when flying alone so you are the only crew to manage. It is also known as aviate, navigate, communicate. It is also known as fly the plane first.

            Maybe you are right and he intended to climb like that, but it seems crazy. Was he crazy or was he not focused on flying...?
            My point is that he was crazy at the moment, but not that he was a crazy person (you guys seriously need to divide the verb "to be" like we do in "ser" and "estar", then the difference between "ser crazy" and ëstar crazy" would be easier to explain). I never said that he intended to climb like that. I said that, I think, he stopped thinking, so he didn't intend anything. It's like a panic stop in the car. You don't intend to lock the wheels, ground loop and throw the car down the cliff. Of course he was not focused in flying. But that could be because simple lack of CRM or focus while your brain keeps otherwise functioning normally (like the L-111 that crashed when all 3 crewmembers were troubleshooting a burned indication light) or like the Turkish stall or Asiana, or it can be because you lost your wits.

            --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
            --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
              My point is that he was crazy at the moment, but not that he was a crazy person (you guys seriously need to divide the verb "to be" like we do in "ser" and "estar", then the difference between "ser crazy" and ëstar crazy" would be easier to explain).
              ¡Oh Dios! Not that! We don't wan't your genders either. We have "is being" and "is", don't we?

              We both consider "startle effect' to be a big factor here, at least at first. Beyond that, you say he probably wasn't thinking and I say he probably wasn't concentrating. He was thinking just moments before the incident about ice protection, turbulence and the plan to climb to the scheduled altitude. When he first took control he was dealing with the uncommanded 8.4% roll and he got into some roll occillations (indicating perhaps an unpracticed hand with high-altitude stick coordination in Direct Law.) If he had eyes on the PFD at that moment, he might also have been intending to bring on moderate pitch to counter the -330ft drop in indicated altitude and the slightly negative vertical speed indication (caused by the speed anomaly) and maybe to climb to the planned altitude. But of course what he did was abrupt and excessive, and sustained. Could that be explained by a thinking pilot hampered by moderate confusion, divided attention resulting in poor stick coordination and a general desire to climb above the cloud layer? Here's what the report says:

              [Immediately prior to the incident] the crew’s mental resources were already taken up by turbulence avoidance manoeuvres and the plan to climb during the minutes that preceded the autopilot disconnection. Associated with the environmental conditions (smell of ozone that the PF did not seem to recognise and the noise due to the ice crystals), the PF’s attitude in the minutes that preceded the autopilot disconnection probably constituted a factor that significantly added to the highly charged emotional factors during the sudden and unexpected change in the situation, at night and while passing through the ITCZ, which suddenly confirmed his vague concerns about it.

              In addition, the deviation in roll may have been caused by the risk of turbulence that had preoccupied the PF in the minutes leading up the autopilot disconnection.
              Also, prior to the event, the PF also repeatedly asked the PNF about continuous ignition. He heard the ice and his thoughts were on the engines at that moment (where were his eyes?). When the calvary charge sounded and the loss of AP and the sudden roll occurred, in his confusion did he think it was engine/thrust-related? How much of his attention went away from the PFD to the SD indications and ECAM?

              Following the autopilot disconnection, the PF very quickly applied nose-up sidestick inputs. The PF’s inputs may be classified as abrupt and excessive. The excessive amplitude of these inputs made them unsuitable and incompatible with the recommended aeroplane handling practices for high altitude flight. This nose-up input may initially have been a response to the perception of the aeroplane’s movements (in particular the reduction in pitch angle of 2° associated with the variation in load factor) just before the AP disconnection in turbulence. This response may have been associated with a desire to regain cruise level: the PF may have detected on his PFD the loss of altitude of about 300 ft and loss of vertical speed of the order of 600 ft/min in descent. The excessive nature of the PF’s inputs can be explained by the startle effect and the emotional shock at the autopilot disconnection, amplified by the lack of practical training for crews in flight at high altitude, together with unusual flight control laws.

              Although the PF’s initial excessive nose-up reaction may thus be fairly easily understood, the same is not true for the persistence of this input, which generated a significant vertical flight path deviation. There remain a number of possible explanations: ˆ The crew’s attention being focused on roll, speed or on the ECAM; ˆ The initiation, more or less consciously due to the effects of surprise and stress, of the action plan (climb) desired by the PF prior to the autopilot disconnection; ˆ The attraction of “clear sky”, since the aeroplane was flying at the edge of the cloud layer; ˆ A saturation of the mental resources needed to make sense of the situation, to the detriment of aeroplane handling; ˆ The presence of turbulence that may have altered perception of aeroplane movements in response to his inputs.
              So whatever happened, It seems likely that 'startle factor' may have at least exaggerated it. I tend to think he had intentions and did not coordinate his inputs well under the circumstances because his attention was not focused on flying, neither right at the moment of upset nor for an extended time after that. This is exactly what CRM is there to prevent. "I figure out the problem, you keep your eyes on the PFD. You just fly the plane."

              Anyway, I'm blue on the face from trying to point out the very obvious here, but this accident was the inevitable result of relaxed procedural training and discipline. It was bound to happen. And if pilots are still thinking like 3WE, it is bound to happen again.

              Comment


              • #52
                [QUOTE=Evan;636639]To all of the above I have one word to say: maybe.

                To the line below:
                Anyway, I'm blue on the face from trying to point out the very obvious here, but this accident was the inevitable result of relaxed procedural training and discipline. It was bound to happen. And if pilots are still thinking like 3WE, it is bound to happen again.
                We discussed this a lot of times. Of course that following the procedure would have been effective to avoid the accident. But there is more to that. Aviate-navigate-communicate; fly-the-plane-first, or even no pilot intervention at all, would have also very likely saved the day. What happened up there was not just not following the procedures, but doing things that are incommensurably against the most basic airmanship. If you have instructions to bake a cake that say "bake at moderate oven for 30 minutes", but instead of doing that the cook pours gasoline on the preparation, lights a match and sets the mix on fire, dying in the process, would you say that he died because he didn't follow the instructions?

                --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                  Aviate-navigate-communicate; fly-the-plane-first, or even no pilot intervention at all, would have also very likely saved the day.
                  As it saved the day... what? Thirteen times before? Thirteen unreported incidents. It was nothing really, nothing a bit of 'holding attitude and power setting' couldn't deal with. Just do nothing but hold it in stable flight and ride right through it. WIth a bit of luck there are no stealth factors and no human factors to get in the way.

                  And then it did happen. Why? Human factors, stealth factors, lax procedural discipline, particularly lax CRM. It was an accident waiting to happen. And now that this has happened...

                  The EASA know this is true. The NTSB knows this is true. Why can't you see it?

                  And now we have what appears to be another case of not being proficient on procedure resulting in a write-off. I know it's not the same scenario at all, but it illustrates the importance of procedure and discipline just the same.

                  Too many cowboys out there. And I'm cattle.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Evan View Post
                    ...if pilots are still thinking like 3WE, it is bound to happen again...
                    Again, you step in a huge pile of dog (not_cow) shit and reveal your strong disdain for fundamentals.

                    If the pilots had thought like 3WE the plane would not have crashed that night.
                    Gabriel concurs.

                    But your hatred of fundamentals blinds you from seeing that.

                    As Gabriel and I and others have said, ad-infinitum, yeah, the pilots defied procedure, but they also defied THE MOST BASIC FUNDAMENTALS OF AIRMANSHIP!

                    Listen carefully- when the shock factor kicks in, people forget procedures. You call for more practice. I say WTF- they PRACTICE FLYING AT FAT DUMB AND HAPPY ATTITUDES AND POWER SETTINGS FOR 80% OF THE EXPELITIVE TIME THEY ARE FLYING.

                    PRETTY FORNICATING SIMPLE!!!

                    And it would have worked. You don't have to believe me, but Gabriel said so.

                    Repeating- you keep calling for more training when 80% of the time, they practice cruising fat dumb and happy at a known power and attitude.

                    Sure, following procedure was ideal, but again, the Evan disdain for someone thinking BASIC aerodynamics and airmanship when the computer, IN FACT HAD GONE CRAZY VERSUS NORMAL AND COULD INDEED CONFUSE A LARGE NUMBER OF HIGHLY-TRAINED PEOPLE...

                    Can I say, "Dios forbid they might remember basic 172 fundamentals when the situation goes to hell and revert to them for a whole friggen 15 seconds while they remember the memory checklist and get the proper CRM going?"

                    Nope you have closed minded black and white thinking and I'm glad you JUST sit here and pass judgement.

                    (And, please, get a job, or drive your own damn car instead of your driver. You still have no clue whatsoever how human factors work.)
                    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Evan View Post
                      The EASA know this is true. The NTSB knows this is true. Why can't you see it?
                      I do see it, and by all means, do follow the procedure. I am not proposing to use airmanship and stick-and-rudder in lieu of the procedure. Not at all. Better use it to follow the procedure with grace and precision.

                      What I am saying is that this was much worse than a simple "not following the procedure".

                      Ok, you said that the pilot had an intention, right? I am not convinced but let's assume that. Whatever was his intention (that obviously was not to follow the UAS procedure), he failed miserably. Unless his intention was to pull up strong enough that he triggered the stall warning a second after the AP disconnected, establish a 1.5G, 15 deg nose-up, 7000 fpm climb and when the plane finally stalled, pull up hard again and keep "pulling up all the time" all the way down from 38000 ft to sea level. Not following the UAS procedure and lack of CRM cannot explain this (except in the trivial and useless way that, yes, they didn't follow the procedure or the CRM). The pilot was out of the game since t=0. (wait, was all that a copy paste from a previous post?).

                      If his intention was to keep the plane straight and level, or even to climb to the filled cruise altitude of 37000ft, or anything imaginable, and that resulted in this, then his airmanship was terrible, and it is not because of lack of high altitude manual flight training, since there was nothing special about high altitude skills for keeping the plane straight and level or climb to 37000 (for which he didn't even advance the throttles). So I am skeptical that he could have kept the plane 5deg up and CLB, even if he knew the UAS procedure by hart. Yes, if this was the result of moving the sidestick without looking at the PFD, then yes, CRM was a critical skill that was lacking. But again, it is CRM of the most basic type. You look at the horizon (artificial or natural) when maneuvering. Nothing special about an A330 at high altitude with UAS. Fly the plane first. Aviate, navigate, communicate. There is no reason one cannot use the Cessna 172 skill for it. If I all pilots had had the fish and I was alone in the left seat of that plane, I, a PPL with 180 hours in the Piper tomahawk, would not have crashed that plane like that. I may have crashed in a different way (like succumbing to spacial disorientation), but not in that way. If all the pilots had had the fish and there was nobody conscious in the cockpit, the plane would not have crashed like that either.

                      I've said this many times: This pilot lacked skills and training, but not only UAS and high-altitude manual flight: Also (and first), the most basic type of airmanship. Unless...

                      If, instead, the startle/panic effect left him instantly so emotionally perturbed to the point that he did what he did by a gut, irrational reaction and was unable to think critically (or at all), then knowing the procedures would have not helped, except that perhaps having enough exposure in training may have reduced the chanced that he lost his mind.

                      --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                      --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                        I've said this many times: 1) This pilot lacked skills and training, but not only UAS and high-altitude manual flight: 2)Also (and first), the most basic type of airmanship.
                        To which Evan has dismissingly replied many many times that the basic stuff (2) is "Cowboy stick and rudder airmanship".
                        Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                          I do see it, and by all means, do follow the procedure. I am not proposing to use airmanship and stick-and-rudder in lieu of the procedure. Not at all. Better use it to follow the procedure with grace and precision.

                          What I am saying is that this was much worse than a simple "not following the procedure".

                          Ok, you said that the pilot had an intention, right? I am not convinced but let's assume that. Whatever was his intention (that obviously was not to follow the UAS procedure), he failed miserably. Unless his intention was to pull up strong enough that he triggered the stall warning a second after the AP disconnected, establish a 1.5G, 15 deg nose-up, 7000 fpm climb and when the plane finally stalled, pull up hard again and keep "pulling up all the time" all the way down from 38000 ft to sea level. Not following the UAS procedure and lack of CRM cannot explain this (except in the trivial and useless way that, yes, they didn't follow the procedure or the CRM). The pilot was out of the game since t=0. (wait, was all that a copy paste from a previous post?).

                          If his intention was to keep the plane straight and level, or even to climb to the filled cruise altitude of 37000ft, or anything imaginable, and that resulted in this, then his airmanship was terrible, and it is not because of lack of high altitude manual flight training, since there was nothing special about high altitude skills for keeping the plane straight and level or climb to 37000 (for which he didn't even advance the throttles). So I am skeptical that he could have kept the plane 5deg up and CLB, even if he knew the UAS procedure by hart. Yes, if this was the result of moving the sidestick without looking at the PFD, then yes, CRM was a critical skill that was lacking. But again, it is CRM of the most basic type. You look at the horizon (artificial or natural) when maneuvering. Nothing special about an A330 at high altitude with UAS. Fly the plane first. Aviate, navigate, communicate. There is no reason one cannot use the Cessna 172 skill for it. If I all pilots had had the fish and I was alone in the left seat of that plane, I, a PPL with 180 hours in the Piper tomahawk, would not have crashed that plane like that. I may have crashed in a different way (like succumbing to spacial disorientation), but not in that way. If all the pilots had had the fish and there was nobody conscious in the cockpit, the plane would not have crashed like that either.

                          I've said this many times: This pilot lacked skills and training, but not only UAS and high-altitude manual flight: Also (and first), the most basic type of airmanship. Unless...

                          If, instead, the startle/panic effect left him instantly so emotionally perturbed to the point that he did what he did by a gut, irrational reaction and was unable to think critically (or at all), then knowing the procedures would have not helped, except that perhaps having enough exposure in training may have reduced the chanced that he lost his mind.
                          You keep reciting what he did wrong, which I completely agree was atrocious airmanship, and I keep reciting what I believe is the reason why. I entirely reject the notion that an Air France pilot with his training and experience thought it was acceptible to establish a 1.5G, 15 deg nose-up, 7000 fpm climb, and so does the report. Now, you may be right that "the startle/panic effect left him instantly so emotionally perturbed to the point that he did what he did by a gut, irrational reaction and was unable to think critically (or at all)". The report also suggests that possibliity:

                          A saturation of the mental resources needed to make sense of the situation, to the detriment of aeroplane handling;
                          But of course this what CRM is all about. There are two pilots and the procedures are designed to overcome human factors such as this. WIthout CRM, both pilots are working in isolation. You basically have a single-pilot cockpit at that point.

                          So I am skeptical that he could have kept the plane 5deg up and CLB, even if he knew the UAS procedure by heart.
                          Well, as you said, you could do it. I could do it. Of course he could do it. If he had only known what was happening, what to do about it and had focused on doing it. Run the scenario with CRM intact, even if the PF has "stopped thinking". The PF does what he did, for whatever reason. The PNF calls out 'alternate law, protections lost' (he did not) and memory item pitch and power (he did not) and cross-checks or gets to the QRH and reads out the standard pitch and power settings for the altitude and weight, then cross-checks this against his instruments. He then clearly sees what the PF is doing (sidestick control is a detriment to SA for the PNF, and this is why instrument cross-checks are so important here) and calls the PF out—get it to this pitch and move the damn throttles into CLB!!—or better yet, takes command.

                          The PF may not have touched the throttles due to his assumption that the AT was still active. This was all on the top of ECAM list and not called out until the PNF eventually told him to move the thrust levers. It's fair to say that, during the time of the initial, abrupt climb, the PF did not know that the AT was off and locked, did not know the law was 'alternate'' in pitch and 'direct' in roll, did not know stall protections were lost, did not know the airspeeds were in disagree and therefore did not know the aircraft was not descending and did not know the FD was unreliable and did not know the stall warnings were to be respected. All of this he would have known if CRM had prevailed.

                          CRM is to prevent a single pilot from succumbing to his own human factor weaknesses, by providing the resources of the other pilot and vice versa. ECAM is a step by step guide (red items are master caution, blue items are actions, priotized items remain at the top of the list until they are cleared). The key is healthy communication between both pilots, a distinct division of tasks and a simple list of actionable items. Without that, things can get crazy. WIth them, it would be almost impossible to get into this situation.

                          Instead, you had two pilots improvising here mostly in isolation, and stress isolated them even more. One of them was stricken by unthinkable airmanship and, because he was isolated, nothing could defend him from his own mental confusion and errors. It's like losing an engine on a single-engine plane. You need that second engine, that redundancy. Without CRM, you have a single-pilot plane. If one goes, it crashes.

                          I do see it, and by all means, do follow the procedure. I am not proposing to use airmanship and stick-and-rudder in lieu of the procedure. Not at all. Better use it to follow the procedure with grace and precision.
                          I know you see it, but it's not there for 'grace and precision'. It's there for human factors. It is there to preserve airmanship.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by 3WE View Post
                            Again, you...reveal your strong disdain for fundamentals... blah blah blah...
                            There's no point in discussing this with you 3WE. You want to put me in an either/or argument and it's never been that. Airmanship and CRM are one in the same. I do not "have a disdain" for basic skills. I have a disdain for the arrogance that leads some pilots to think—naively—that they don't need to learn and follow procedures. A good airman is constantly aware of the limits of situational awareness, proficiency under extreme and sudden pressure and the vulnerability of human judgment.

                            I do have a disdain for technical ignorance. The computers did not 'go crazy' on AF447. The crew crashed a perfectly good airplane. Everything worked as designed and the computers gave correct instructions to the PM. The interface could be improved to provide clearer instructions but a properly trained crew should need only the cues it provided. The plane shouldn't have to teach pilots on the fly.

                            WIthout having any technical knowledge about the event, how is anyone supposed to take your opinions seriously?

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Evan, we are saying almost the same. The part that we disagree is that you put more focus in type-specific training and I, for this case in particular, I say that yes, that was needed, but the pilot failed at basic training first.

                              You already have a pilot flying (PF) and a pilot monitoring (PM). The primary function of the PF, even on AP, os to keep blue over brown and speed within stall and overspeed, or ensure that the AP/AT are doing so, in both cases by monitoring the flight parameters in the PFD (that has the words "primary" and "flight" in its name for a reason) and taking action as needed. The primary function of the PM is to back up the PF in the monitoring of the flight parameters and to handle all of the rest (engine status parameters, ECAM messages, systems status, communications...). The PF doesn't need to say "I have the plane" in any given situation, because he was having the plane all the time and still have it. He is the pilot flying. When one pilot overtakes the PF function, then he needs to announce "I have the plane" (or similar, "I have the controls", "my plane", etc...) and the other one has to acknowledge "you have the plane" (or similar).

                              When something unexpected happens, the pilot flying needs to focus more than ever in his primary duty: to fly the plane. When the problem is related with flight itself (windshear, upset, ground or traffic avoidance) it is the job of the PF to manage the situation at great, and the PM monitoring assist by calling out flight parameters (altitude, speed, attitude). When the problem is related to systems (engine problems, hydraulic problems, or pitot-static problems), the job of the PF is basically reduced to "fly the plane" and wait for the initial troubleshooting of the PM. In either case, as said, there is no need for the PF to say "I have the plane, you have the ECAM". It had been like that all the time and nothing changed. Later, as the PM makes progress in the troubleshooting, the PF must also participate by following specific procedures that may include confirming the position of switches, or following specific flight parameters appropriate for the specific issue (like 5deg and CLB, you will not do that before UAS is identified). That last sentence in bold is type-specific. The first part is quite universal and applies to any airplane in any flight regime at any altitude or speed.

                              Let's go to Air France.

                              The AP disconnect warning sounded. The PF immediately says "I have the plane" (even when it was not required to say so) and starts to do manual inputs. A few seconds later (that can be counted with the fingers of one hand) the PM says "we lost the speeds". Up to here, I would say that that was a quite reasonable CRM, right? The problem is that, by when the PM identified and verbalized the speed issue, in these very few seconds the PF had done excessive control inputs that resulted in 1.5G, the stall warning sounding twice, the pitch increased from about zero to 10 ANU (and still increasing), and the vertical speed had reached 5000 FPM (and increasing). An interesting point is that, despite the roll inputs being much larger and exaggerated than the already large and exaggerated pitch inputs, the PF managed to keep good control in roll, what means that probably he was actually looking at the PFD.

                              So whatever was his intention, if he had one to begin with, the PF either had a crazy intention or was failing miserably at it. Lack of training? Sure.

                              Now let me make a distinction.

                              I think that we will agree "airmanship" is the set of skills and attitudes needed to fly well and safe. It includes stick-and-rudder skills, good flight planning, good judgement, conservative decision making, adherence to procedures, and CRM (and perhaps more things that I am missing).

                              Now, in all and each of these categories, there are things that are BASIC and UNIVERSAL, and others that are TYPE SPECIFIC and AIRLINE SPECIFIC.
                              Both things are important, but some, the basics, come before and are prerequisite to others, the specifics.

                              This PF failed to apply specific CRM, specific UAS procedures, specific high-altitude flight skills and specific stall avoidance and recovery techniques, but BEFORE that he failed to the most basic of all the same things that are not specific to this type of airplane, to this airplane, or to this flight condition. So here is the key question. Why?

                              I don't buy the lack of specific training by Air France in UAS, high-altitude stalls, high-altitude UAS, and high-altitude manual flight, because what all what the pilot did, starting IMMEDIATELY after the AP disconnected and before the UAS was identified, was contrary to the BASIC AIRMANSHIP that comes BEFORE all that and that should have been applied in the A330 at 35 to 38000ft and transonic speeds or to a Cessna 172 doing 90kts at 1000ft.

                              CRM of the most basic type, of the type that we low time, single engine, GA plane us: Fly the plane first, that applies to any plane with any number of required flight crew members, and what was already the duty of the PF even before the problem started. Actively stalling the plane first by pulling up like crazy, and failing to lower the nose in a fully developed stall where the stall warning, the combination of pitch and sink rate, and the behavior of the plane were all indicating a stall. So why?

                              You keep talking about:
                              - UAS training
                              - high-altitude manual flight training
                              - high-altitude upset recovery
                              - transport-category-specific CRM.

                              I keep talking about:
                              - fly the plane first
                              - don't pull up relentlessly
                              - don't make unsustainable climbs
                              - stall warning x (10deg ANU + -10000 fpm) x airplane buffet x roll instability x the plane will not pitch up anymore despite pulling full back = stall^5
                              - to recover from a stall or proximity to stall, reduce AoA
                              all of which apply to an A330 at cruise and to a C-172 around the pattern.

                              Again, it is not that what I say is more important than what you say, it is that it comes BEFORE and is a PREREQUISITE.
                              You have to learn to walk before you learn to run.

                              Sure, AF should ha trained these pilots better (even in those basic tasks), but also should the flight instructor during the PPL course.

                              Either that, or the pilot's brain forze, which, even when training and exposure reduces the chances for that to happen, it is impossible to predict how a person will react when facing, for real, a daring life-or-death situation (or that he considers so, because this was not such a situation at all). If that was the case, that is where the ultimate reason to have two persons in the cockpit should have kicked in. Someone should have said "I have the plane", and it was not the PF.

                              --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                              --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Gabriel
                                CRM of the most basic type, of the type that we low time, single engine, GA plane us: Fly the plane first, that applies to any plane with any number of required flight crew members, and what was already the duty of the PF even before the problem started.
                                CRM of the most basic type for a 172 is probably what got them into this. I still think the PF believed he was flying the plane but his mental concentration was distracted and thus his motor skills and SA. But he was behaving as if he was flying a GA, single pilot aircraft. Now this situation would never occur in a GA single-pilot aircraft because the sheer complexity of the system failures involved require a second pilot. Imagine a single pilot in a Cessna that has all these systems suddenly losing autoflight and a cascade of system failures while trying to concentrate on flying and not knowing what the hell is going on! Is it going to distract him from the primary task of flying? Or course it is.

                                And that is why we have two pilots with clearly defined roles and task-divisions (also known as CRM) in such complex cockpit environments.

                                Actually, I think you nailed it though. I think what we had up there was two very confused and distracted GA pilots both piloting a single-pilot aircraft from within the same cockpit.

                                BUt we are aurguing at cross-purposes. You are pointing out the actions themselves and the negligence without providing a reason why (aside from 'crazy' or 'not thinking'). I'm trying to get at the reason why, and I agree with the report that the reason was a breakdown of CRM and I suspect a PF very distracted from the task of flying as a result. Thus: the importance of CRM-based procedure to keep the PF squarely focused on flying.

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