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MarkW

AF447 - What really happened, Popular Mechanics Article

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Thanks for posting, quality.


Regards

Luke M

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I didn't know an airliner like that is allowed to be flown by two copilots. Quite a shocking report. Unbelievable what can happen to a human brain in panic.

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Thnaks for the link, Mark.I have just read it and I must say I am rather shocked. Nail%20Biting.gifI will not generalise but I must admit for a moment I thought it might not always be so easy to put your full trust into the professionals (?) who have your life in their hands between the takeoff and the landing...


Rafal Haczek

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You also have to wonder about how the Airbus is designed. Why are the sticks independent, why no aural & screen warning when the aircraft changes from Normal Law to Alternate Law. I think the families will have a very good case against both the training at Air France and the aircraft design at Airbus. Very sad that this could happen.Mark.


Mark W   CYYZ      

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I suggest there's nothing new in this article that hasn't already been published in BEA's Reports.


Gerry Howard

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Mark, have a study of the FCOM first. They did have a warning on the ECAM in amber - ALT LAW PROT LOST - (alternate law protections lost) if they got to a stage where they could land, as soon as they lowered the gear they would have a got a big DIRECT LAW USE MAN PITCH TRIM on both PFD's.The argument regarding the sidestick has been done to death - how many A318/19/20/21/330/340/380 crew are flying right now and how many sidestick equiped machines have been safely flying since the 80's?This issue is not about the sidestick but CRM, pilot training, especially manual flight in Direct and Alternate law.I was impressed with the article, not the usual nonsense that has been floating around, the only thing I am sure he got wrong was that the crew never flew the aircraft in Alt law. It is standard to get a feel of the aircraft in Alt and Direct law during training in the sim however crew normally train to land the aircraft in Direct law not hand fly in cruise.Regards


Rob Prest

 

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The argument regarding the sidestick has been done to death - how many A318/19/20/21/330/340/380 crew are flying right now and how many sidestick equiped machines have been safely flying since the 80's?This issue is not about the sidestick but CRM, pilot training, especially manual flight in Direct and Alternate law.Regards
How many sidestick machines (or traditional ones for that matter) have faced this same scenario?I agree with you mostly, but you can't deny the fact that the side stick added to the chain in this particular crash given the FDR/CVR data.

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The pliots did not follow the procedure for unreliable air speed indications despite their realising that they were unreliable. They also ignored the stall warning alarms. Given those facts, discussions about sidesticks seem irrelevant.


Gerry Howard

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Hey Zach,Sure, I am not saying it didn't contribute. I dont have the exact details (can find them for you) but there have been two incidents that I know off with yokes that involved the pilot pulling when in a stall. I think the Colgan air crash was one of them. In fact let me do a search for my own peice of mind.But anyway, my point was that it is easy to get distracted and talk about the sidesticks, the simple fact is the pilot pulled and held the stick back like someone gripping on to a speeding rollercoaster. No attempt was made to fly the aircraft, no real communication was made between the crew, no ECAM actions we're followed, the PNF took control in the correct manor and then he took it back without announcing I have control and kept yanking full back. Yes you can blame the sticks for not being linked but was that really the real problem on the flightdeck?Regards


Rob Prest

 

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The pliots did not follow the procedure for unreliable air speed indications despite their realising that they were unreliable. They also ignored the stall warning alarms. Given those facts, discussions about sidesticks seem irrelevant.
It's all the big picture. Do you the the left seat could feel the right seat pulling the stick back? Would he have identified what was going on with the flight controls otherwise? It's all relevant. All of it.
Hey Zach,Sure, I am not saying it didn't contribute. I dont have the exact details (can find them for you) but there have been two incidents that I know off with yokes that involved the pilot pulling when in a stall. I think the Colgan air crash was one of them. In fact let me do a search for my own peice of mind.But anyway, my point was that it is easy to get distracted and talk about the sidesticks, the simple fact is the pilot pulled and held the stick back like someone gripping on to a speeding rollercoaster. No attempt was made to fly the aircraft, no real communication was made between the crew, no ECAM actions we're followed, the PNF took control in the correct manor and then he took it back without announcing I have control and kept yanking full back. Yes you can blame the sticks for not being linked but was that really the real problem on the flightdeck?Regards
Agreed. Finally, it sure didn't help. Again, it was just another link. Who's to say it wouldn't have happened if not for that, but it would have given one more chance to identify what the ignoramus (bless his soul) was doing in the right seat.I digress. I've got no arguments

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Yes you can blame the sticks for not being linked but was that really the real problem on the flightdeck? Regards
It seems it was a large contributing factor. Even though the senior co-pilot took control of the aircraft a couple of times he apparently had no idea that he was fighting against the junior co-pilot who was holding full back on the stick even though we was supposed to have relinquished control. If the sticks were linked the senior would have realized he was fighting against the junior and could have reached over and smacked him on the head and told him to let go of the stick.

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It seems it was a large contributing factor. Even though the senior co-pilot took control of the aircraft a couple of times he apparently had no idea that he was fighting against the junior co-pilot who was holding full back on the stick even though we was supposed to have relinquished control. If the sticks were linked the senior would have realized he was fighting against the junior and could have reached over and smacked him on the head and told him to let go of the stick.
Again please read the FCOM - if the PNF wants to make an input he holds the takeover pushbutton, the aircraft will announce PRIORITY LEFT or RIGHT and a green arrow will flash on the glareshield, if he holds it he will lock out the other sidestick.If both pilots try to use the stick at the same time the aircraft will say DUAL input. Not matter how you look at it the basics are no SOP was followed, no clear command structure was defined, and no alerts or warnings were acknowledged including 60 seconds of STALL, STALL,STALL.The first officer panicked, the PNF was preoccupied with getting the captain back on the flightdeck instead of monitoring the warnings, and when he did try to take control he allowed the guy in the right hand seat to take it back and continue to treat the stick like an arcade machine.I just checked the CVR, the aircraft said DUAL INPUT 5 times, but like all the other warnings it was ignored. To be blatant a punching glove could have popped out of the PFD and hit the pilots in the head and I still believe they wouldn't have snapped out of the fear confusion and disorientation. They became mere passengers on there own aircraft.Regards

Rob Prest

 

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