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Thread: Air Astana serious control problems, request ditching, land safely

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaztr View Post
    Try this now - turn you mouse upside down (not flip it on its back) point the bit that would normally be towards the screen, towards you. Now minimize a window/press the start button etc. Bet you can't do it first time, bet it takes sooo much concentration the 2nd, 3rd....nth times. And this is just steering a mouse - you're not going to die, and you know what you did!!!
    I designed an industrial control system a while back that used touchscreens connected to PCs such that the touchscreen emulated a mouse.

    When the touchscreen would lose its calibration, the mouse action would be reversed... left was right, and up was down.

    We jokingly referred to that as "sobriety test mode".
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

  2. #22
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    After congratulating these crew members for this amazing feat, giving them medals, raising statues and giving them a high monetary bonus, let's fire them for not catching such an important basic and obvious thing in the pre-flight checks, especially after the plane had undergone major maintenance. The synoptic page that should be used during the control checks is very obvious. I may even understand someone missing a fully inverted system (where all the controls go right when you turn the wheel left), but the spoilers going up and the ailerons down on the same wing should have raised all kind of red flags even if peeked with the peripheral vision.

    Attachment 19865
    Synoptic Page (Photo: GPIAA, retrieved from The Aviation Herald)
    Some time ago- the conflict between small airplane and big airplane and control checks came up. I THINK it was In The Shade relaying that story of the misrigged Metroliner that he was scheduled to fly. As it happened, someone else was killed in the crash and In The Shade has one of those "Fate is the Hunter" moments.

    On small planes we generally do "Free AND correct" because 1) We can see the control surfaces and 2) These things have genuine cables and pullies that can (and have been) rigged backwards with some frequency.

    Airliners do not have much visual view of control surfaces...and they have much better mechanics. I see the TV screen showing that, but that strikes me as a fairly new thing...

    I am thinking that in the airliner world you crank, shove and kick and if it moves and not red lights go off, that's it...even if you are fresh out of the shop- the mechanic should have quintuple checked everything.

    /Parlour blabber.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  3. #23
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    ***When the touchscreen would lose its calibration, the mouse action would be reversed***
    May I put words in your mouth, and say that "sometimes, things malfunction"?
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    And certain things (*cough* PCs *cough*) are just about 100% likely to malfunction, given enough time.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Some time ago- the conflict between small airplane and big airplane and control checks came up. I THINK it was In The Shade relaying that story of the misrigged Metroliner that he was scheduled to fly. As it happened, someone else was killed in the crash and In The Shade has one of those "Fate is the Hunter" moments.

    On small planes we generally do "Free AND correct" because 1) We can see the control surfaces and 2) These things have genuine cables and pullies that can (and have been) rigged backwards with some frequency.

    Airliners do not have much visual view of control surfaces...and they have much better mechanics. I see the TV screen showing that, but that strikes me as a fairly new thing...

    I am thinking that in the airliner world you crank, shove and kick and if it moves and not red lights go off, that's it...even if you are fresh out of the shop- the mechanic should have quintuple checked everything.

    /Parlour blabber.
    Well no, they are supposed to be looking at the controls synoptic page while cranking (precisely because it is hard to see the actual control surfaces). Did you see the attached image? Doesn't give you shivers seeing things going up and down on the same wing at the same time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Doesn't give you shivers seeing things going up and down on the same wing at the same time?
    It sure did for me, but I bet it's about 1/100 the effect as on the guy who signed off on the aircraft's maintenance.

    But more directly to your point... if looking at that display while checking the controls is part of some pre-takeoff procedure (and it seems like it would be), it's not just the maintenance folks who effed up.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    1. Did you see the attached image?
    2. Doesn't give you shivers seeing things going up and down on the same wing at the same time?
    1. Yes. My reaction was that that was an extremely new and perhaps limited thing that did not exist on metroliners, 707's, 737-200's, 727's, Early 747's, DC-9's, J-31, Saabs, Brasilias and MD-80s. I really didn't know such things existed (but then again, with ALL of the computer wizardry, why not?)

    2. No, it does not give me shivers. When I look at #2 my mind thinks of what I just said above...I think most AIRLINE pilots on most of the trips I took in my lifetime were checking for the controls being FREE BUT NOT NECCESARILY CORRECT. (For most of those flights, a ton of other flights had already been done including extremely recent trips and the controls worked right...and you'd think the mechanics would triple check if they were monkeying with control systems.)

    If there is a control position readout that is part of the checklist, then they SHOULD check AND DETECT such problems. Repeating- I took the control checks seriously on 172's and used the memory device: thumbs points UP towards the aileron that should point UP. Took it serious because mis-rigging has crashed a lot more light planes than big planes.

    I would hope the airline guys take their TV check just as seriously and slowly and pause to not get dickleskick about what should be up and down (nor blindly do the motions like they have done thousands of times before- without really registering what they saw).

    "Hope" is the critical word...when it worked right the other 1000 times AND YOU PROMPTLY and maybe a tiny bit mindlessly GO TO THE NEXT CHECKLIST ITEMS...Could be me, you, Bobby, AND EVAN EVEN, but NOT ATL nor ITS.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    It sure did for me, but I bet it's about 1/100 the effect as on the guy who signed off on the aircraft's maintenance.
    Maintenance looking from outside the aircraft might not have seen the onside spoilers go up with the ailerons if the FBW spoilers were somehow inhibited on the ground or at low (as in 0kts) airspeeds. (They also wouldn't be able to see the yoke movements to catch the misrrigging).
    Perhaps one slice of the cheese right there.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    All of the above said, I still don't understand how:

    1- They are not all dead after crashing immediately after take-off, AND AT THE SAME TIME...
    2- Given 1), that it took them so long to figure it out and control the plane. They were basically all over the sky unable to control bank, heading, airspeed and altitude (and Gs!!!!) for how long? Like 20 minutes?

    As I mentioned before, I don't understand how 1 and 2 can be simultaneously true. They seem so incompatible.

    However they did, big kudos to the crew, big kudos to ATC, and big kudos to the F=16 pilots.

    (by the way, the airplane and persons were exposed to high Gs, let's see what "high Gs" mean, this airplane may be a write-off)

    OK, I have so many thoughts about this. Whenever I design something that is connected, I make damn sure, there is only one way the connector goes in. How could the control system parts be ambiguous enough to allow improper connection?????? The engineers should be shot for that one. The airbus incident was different, they were fixing an electronic part on the control device itself, and in replacing wires mis-soldered them. That is different.

    My Guesses:
    1) They aren't dead because I don't think the system was fully reversed. It was just messed up on one side, and some of the surfaces were messed up, but not all of them. I suspect that meant that they had some limited control especially at lower deflections. I also imagine that the effect of the messed up controls would be amplified at higher speeds once they were higher up. It looks like the controls would have cancelled each other out to some degree at lower deflections. I suspect if they had hit a lot of turbulence or gusts, they would have been in big trouble.
    2) Same as above, I doesn't look fully reversed so the outcome of movements would not have been trivial to figure out and I suspect behaved very differently under different conditions. They had to figure enough of it out. Given they were stalling and losing control several times, I suspect it wasn't easy for someone to wander to a window to figure out what was going on with the wing surfaces.

    That reverse bike video is great. The mouse example is really good too. I grew up playing flight sims as my favourite computer games. What that resulted in is that when I want to look up, I move the mouse down. Interestingly, there are a lot of people like me out there, so every computer has a setting to reverse the vertical settings of mouse controls. I play all my games with reverse vertical settings -- and I have browser scrolling controls reversed as well on touch pads. If I try to switch it back it is extremely difficult for me to untrain it. The trick to reversed controls of course is not to make any sudden moves which is why you are screwed on a bike... and a plane?

  10. #30
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Two comments:

    1. If faced with reversed ailerons, I would think that the single best hope is to recognize the situation (and that's easier said than done), and then don't use aileron inputs (which is also going to be a challenge). Instead, use the rudder (and don't tell Evan).

    2. How about the fact that the artificial horizon indication and the turn coordinator indication already "go different directions". I actually found myself confusing them in my dabbling with instrument flight...just crazy blabber, but you could then stare at one instrument, tell yourself it's the OTHER instrument and then use traditional inputs (and hope your brain decouples where the gauge is and what it looks like)...
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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    If there is a control position readout that is part of the checklist, then they SHOULD check AND DETECT such problems. Repeating- I took the control checks seriously on 172's and used the memory device: thumbs points UP towards the aileron that should point UP. Took it serious because mis-rigging has crashed a lot more light planes than big planes.

    I would hope the airline guys take their TV check just as seriously and slowly and pause to not get dickleskick about what should be up and down (nor blindly do the motions like they have done thousands of times before- without really registering what they saw).
    I think I am not making myself clear,, so here it goes again, for the third time, with emphasis added:

    After congratulating these crew members for this amazing feat, giving them medals, raising statues and giving them a high monetary bonus, let's fire them for not catching such an important basic and obvious thing in the pre-flight checks, especially after the plane had undergone major maintenance. The synoptic page that should be used during the control checks is very obvious. I may even understand someone missing a fully inverted system (where all the controls go right when you turn the wheel left), but the spoilers going up and the ailerons down on the same wing should have raised all kind of red flags even if peeked with the peripheral vision.

    Doesn't give you shivers seeing things going up and down on the same wing at the same time?
    That is very different from just an inverted aileron for which you need the thumb rule to make sure.

    And by the way:
    707's, 737-200's, 727's, Early 747's, DC-9's, J-31, Saabs, Brasilias and MD-80s.
    I don't know if all of them, but many of them have things that looked like this (go and find it. Hint: zoom in):


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  12. #32
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
    OK, I have so many thoughts about this. Whenever I design something that is connected, I make damn sure, there is only one way the connector goes in. How could the control system parts be ambiguous enough to allow improper connection?????? The engineers should be shot for that one. The airbus incident was different, they were fixing an electronic part on the control device itself, and in replacing wires mis-soldered them. That is different.
    It is not different. In the Airbus system they routed the electric wires incorrectly and soldered them to the wrong connectors. In the E-190 they routed steel cables incorrectly and attached them to the wrong lever hole.

    1) I don't think the system was fully reversed. It was just messed up on one side, and some of the surfaces were messed up, but not all of them. I suspect that meant that they had some limited control especially at lower deflections.
    The ailerons were inverted on both sides. The spoilers were ok on both sides. The question is who had more roll power, and I will go and guess it was the ailerons or the incident would not have happened, it would have been "just"a reduced (but positive) roll authority. This was clearly not a limited control issue. Limited positive control let's you keep the plane at least roughly wings level. These guys exceeded bank angle limits all the time (rumor say they rolled inverted a couple of times), and where unable to keep even a "generally western heading" to aim for the ocean as they intended. And, especially at lower deflections.... I don't know the E-190 but in general the roll spoilers only start acting after certain minimum deflection threshold is exceeded, so at lower deflections only the ailerons would act, and those are the ones that were inverted.

    2) Same as above, I doesn't look fully reversed so the outcome of movements would not have been trivial to figure out and I suspect behaved very differently under different conditions. They had to figure enough of it out. Given they were stalling and losing control several times, I suspect it wasn't easy for someone to wander to a window to figure out what was going on with the wing surfaces.
    Well, again, how did they not crash then. I think that the main thing to realize is that the ailerons are working terrible and that you cannot control the plane's roll/bank with them. Once you realize that, the first thing to do would be refraining from using them, there are other means to control roll (mainly the rudder). Once stabilized at a safe airspeed, altitude, attitude, and hopefully in VMC, you can start the troubleshooting, analysis and test flights with incremental use of the wheel. The decision may be then ök, let's ban the wheel for the rest of the flight" (I suspect that is what they ultimately did).

    That reverse bike video is great.
    I agree. So my question is, what would you do if you get on a bike like this, suddenly discover that the handlebar is not working or is giving totally unexpected response to your inputs, and somehow you manage to survive the initial moments?
    Because I would crash in 2 seconds, but if I by miracle didn't then I would eventually (sooner rather than later) stop using the handlebar at all and revert to tilt control mode.

    By the way, it happened to me once that the handlebar got loose so it was sliding semi-freely both angularity and vertically. I didn't last 2 seconds and ended up rolling on the floor with the handlebar in my hands and the rest of the bike 6 feet away from me.

    I don't imagine that I could have done anything to avoid crashing, but even less I imagine keep riding the bike not figuring what is going on and still trying to control the bike with the handlebar. Any success scenario would include as necessary but not sufficient conditions realization of the situation (at least that the handlebar was not responding as expected or needed) AND stopping using it. So again my question is not how 1) or 2) are possible in themselves but how they were possible TOGETHER.

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  13. #33
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    I wonder how much of a factor yaw was here?

    I bet a wing with the aileron deflected downward and the spoiler deflected upward has a hell of a lot of drag...
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

  14. #34
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    I wonder how much of a factor yaw was here?

    I bet a wing with the aileron deflected downward and the spoiler deflected upward has a hell of a lot of drag...
    Yes, but in the "good" direction (pro- intended turn)

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  15. #35
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I don't know if all of them, but many of them have things that looked like this (go and find it. Hint: zoom in):
    Always on, mechanical fight control indicators? Not on the 190. I think the synoptic page looks like this:Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #36
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    The ailerons were inverted on both sides. The spoilers were ok on both sides. The question is who had more roll power, and I will go and guess it was the ailerons or the incident would not have happened, it would have been "just"a reduced (but positive) roll authority... I don't know the E-190 but in general the roll spoilers only start acting after certain minimum deflection threshold is exceeded, so at lower deflections only the ailerons would act, and those are the ones that were inverted.
    I think the roll spoilers are more effective at high speeds. The spoilerons in particular. Also, spoilers create roll by creating drag, by dropping the onside wing, so they would be more hazardous at low speed/low altitude.

    I think this incident makes a good case for split-able speedbrake levers though... Some sort of guarded disconnect lever as we have on the yokes. Maybe more effective at low speed than differential thrust anyway...

  17. #37
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    One other thought ... couldn't they just fly it through the autopilot? The yokes would be going the wrong way but rigging shouldn't affect autopilot...

  18. #38
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    go and find it. [a sea of gauges, knobs and lights wrapped in Turquoise]
    No...

    As humorously depicted in the movie Airplane!, airliners have a LOT of gauges and knobs and blinking lights.

    AND in spite of a lot of parlor talk and occasional peeks in the cockpit and MSFS, sitting in a cockpit in a Virginia? museum once, I never noted a control-surface position indicator...other than the flap indication.

    Not arguing against what you say- but don't feel like searching for a "needle in a haystack" when I have rolled in the hay a few times...you wanna direct me to it, great.

    Actually- how about a checklist: "Flight controls free and correct".
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  19. #39
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I think the roll spoilers are more effective at high speeds. The spoilerons in particular. Also, spoilers create roll by creating drag, by dropping the onside wing, so they would be more hazardous at low speed/low altitude.
    Ummm….you wanna rethink that?

    There may be a few correct comments, but ummmm…...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Ummm….you wanna rethink that?

    There may be a few correct comments, but ummmm…...
    Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner.

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