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Tom Allensworth

Asiana B-777 Reported Down At KSFO

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Also agree that commercial flight will eventually be fully automated, just as driving a car will eventually be fully automated -- 100's of pages of checklist just opens the door for the potential of a human mistake.

I know this is a totally seperate debate, but I just want to point out that that is very very far off, if not even impossible. There are far, far, far too many variables involved in flying for a programmer ever to be able to cover them all. Just look at accidents like the BA 777 at LHR, QF32, US1549 etc, where if the correct procedure was followed, then everyone on board wouldn't be around right now. The level of possibilities is next to infinite, unlike driving a car, or automatic trains where if anything goes wrong they pull over and wait for an engineer to come and fix it.

 

It's also a bit of a perception thing, in that most crashes now seem to be caused by pilot error, but that's only because well trained pilots are averting all the other accidents that would have been had they not intervened. We only here every couple of months that airline XYZ has crashed due to pilot error, because if we were to list every incidence of automation error, we'd spend an hour a day on the news going "The AP screwed up on Lufthansa123, pilots landed it safely.The AP screwed up on Aer Lingus 231, pilots landed it safely.The AP screwed up on Air France 153, pilots landed it safely. The AP screwed up on BA483, pilots landed it safely." etc ect for hours on end, but people don't ever hear ab out when the AP screws up, as it's a none event, it's only when the pilots screw up that we hear about it...

 

On a decision making process, how does a computer decide whether to divert early, or to make another approach into a destination? How does a computer know to go around/RTO if it spots a jeep driving out onto the runway without the tower knowing? It can't be programmed, it's things like that that humans are good at, decision making, computers are great at doing set repeatable tasks such as flying a heading, or maintaining a speed, they can't be creative or make decisions.

 

Anyways, mini rant over.

 

Regards,

Ró.


Rónán O Cadhain.

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Less automation is key to safety and not more....NASA has been researching ways of making aviation more engaging for the pilots to increase safety. It is the dependencies on the systems that has caused pilot errors in some areas due to a lack of pilot activity.

 

http://human-factors.arc.nasa.gov/flightcognition/Publications/Holbrookcopy.pdf


Matthew Kane

 

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I wonder why The flight crew (at least some of them) of the 747 seeing there was survivors apparently hurt, wouldn't grab first aid kits, open up the passenger door (Of the 747) slide down to administer whatever first aid they could for them until the EMS responded?


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Tom

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I wonder why The flight crew (at least some of them) of the 747 seeing there was survivors apparently hurt, wouldn't grab first aid kits, open up the passenger door (Of the 747) slide down to administer whatever first aid they could for them until the EMS responded?

People get hurt sliding down those slides. And a bunch of people from that 747 running loose amidst that chaos would just cause problems for the arff.

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I know this is a totally seperate debate, but I just want to point out that that is very very far off, if not even impossible. There are far, far, far too many variables involved in flying for a programmer ever to be able to cover them all. Just look at accidents like the BA 777 at LHR, QF32, US1549 etc, where if the correct procedure was followed, then everyone on board wouldn't be around right now. The level of possibilities is next to infinite, unlike driving a car, or automatic trains where if anything goes wrong they pull over and wait for an engineer to come and fix it.

 

Totally agree with Cpt. Ronan, I don't think we'll ever see pilotless civil aircrafts in our lives. On the contrary, probably there's gonna be a rising request of airline pilots in the next decades, barring unexpected energy crises (the only thing that could possibly cause a deep, long-lasting economic downturn).

 

What could happen instead, is an increasing presence of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the aircraft systems; in other words, increasing capabilities of on-board systems of self-diagnosis, self-management, etc., mainly aimed at assisting the pilots and lowering their workload. If you think about it, it's already been happening from decades: the on-board systems of a B777 are a lot more "intelligent" (and hence simpler to manage) than those of e.g. a B707.

 

On the other hand, IMHO the request for military pilots will decrease in the following decades. Of course some type of missions will remain manned, but more and more will be unmanned. An electronic chip can stand a lot more than 9g, does not fatigue after a 36h flight and has light speed reflexes and precision. And, probably more importantly, you don't have to show the public opinion a flag covered coffin when a UAV is "KIA".

 

Marco


"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." [Abraham Lincoln]

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I wonder why The flight crew (at least some of them) of the 747 seeing there was survivors apparently hurt, wouldn't grab first aid kits, open up the passenger door (Of the 747) slide down to administer whatever first aid they could for them until the EMS responded?

Just so you know, no need to deploy the slides, most aircraft have a ladder from the avionics compartment down to the ground if you need to get in and out of the aircraft without a stairs, so no need to go deploying the slide and possibly breaking your arm.

 

Like so:

1195922190.jpg

 

On the subject of helping them out though, by the time you got hold of the first aid kit and got out of the aircraft the Fire Service would have likely reached them, and you'e likely not going to be able to do much in this case with a plaster and some disinfectant wipes...  :mellow:

 

Regards,

Ró.


Rónán O Cadhain.

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I know this is a totally seperate debate, but I just want to point out that that is very very far off, if not even impossible. There are far, far, far too many variables involved in flying for a programmer ever to be able to cover them all.

 

Not really, decoding DNA is far far far more complex and we've done that.  Also, NASA's space shuttle was capable of a full automatic landing (and this is a glider) ... in fact this was planned back in 1970, and the Shuttle's computers are ancient compared to current day computers.

 

We can disagree, but I see fully automated systems in commercial aircraft's future with the option for remote control (improved version of existing drone technology) including anti-terror system making hijacking an aircraft futile.  It'll be a sad for sure, but inevitable.

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Robains, do you know why airliners have passenger windows? From an engineering point of view, passenger windows only bring negative consequences: they weaken the aircraft structure and hence require doublers, strenghtenings, etc., making the aircraft heavier, less performing and more expensive. The reason they're there, is simply because no-one in the world would ever board an aircraft without windows. For the same reason, no one in the world would board an aircraft without pilots, and this will not change for maaaaany decades.

 

And as Cpt. Ronan said, we're still a long way to go before an artificial intelligence could manage the infinite variables a pilot encounters everyday...


"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." [Abraham Lincoln]

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Not really, decoding DNA is far far far more complex and we've done that. Also, NASA's space shuttle was capable of a full automatic landing (and this is a glider) ... in fact this was planned back in 1970, and the Shuttle's computers are ancient compared to current day computers.

 

We can disagree, but I see fully automated systems in commercial aircraft's future with the option for remote control (improved version of existing drone technology) including anti-terror system making hijacking an aircraft futile. It'll be a sad for sure, but inevitable.

Decoding DNA may be more complex, but as I mentioned, flying is a time critical operation, decoding DNA is not.

 

As I said in the previous post, computers are great for doing set repeatable tasks such as landing a plane or glider as you say, but what they're not good at doing is coming up with creative solutions to problems, they are not good decision makers. By their nature, they're only ever able to do what they're programmed for, if at any point a situation arises that they were not programmed for, they simply can not deal with. Computers may be perfectly fine at operating a flight from gate to gate on a clear day with no technical issues, but if you limit flying to clear days and only to planes in perfect condition, then that's not going to be good for business. You've got to weigh the cost of having two pilots up front vs. the cost of fully automating it and the cost of what happens when something goes wrong and you're left with a smoking crater. Pilots are relatively cheap when it comes to the overall cost of operating aircraft, but they provide a vast level of flexibility and fluidity to the system that is essential in a constantly changing environment...

 

Regards,

Ró.


Rónán O Cadhain.

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computers are great for doing set repeatable tasks such as landing a plane or glider as you say, but what they're not good at doing is coming up with creative solutions to problems, they are not good decision makers. By their nature, they're only ever able to do what they're programmed for, if at any point a situation arises that they were not programmed for, they simply can not deal with.

 

Though you could say that some people (and pilots) are not better than that, as the aviation accident history shows... But yeah, apart this witticism, of course I agree with you. :smile:


"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." [Abraham Lincoln]

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Robains, do you know why airliners have passenger windows? From an engineering point of view, passenger windows only bring negative consequences: they weaken the aircraft structure and hence require doublers, strenghtenings, etc., making the aircraft heavier, less performing and more expensive. The reason they're there, is simply because no-one in the world would ever board an aircraft without windows. For the same reason, no one in the world would board an aircraft without pilots, and this will not change for maaaaany decades.

 

And as Cpt. Ronan said, we're still a long way to go before an artificial intelligence could manage the infinite variables a pilot encounters everyday...

I'm not sure how much AI advancement is necessary before you can take at least one pilot out of the cockpit when you can control them from the ground. I would bet significant cost savings can be garnered by having an airline's fleet managed in flight at a dispatch center where a single person can watch over several flights, data linking direct commands to the aircraft from there. ATC could even datalink commands to the aircraft themselves. And if there was a problem with an aircraft, an entire team of people can immediate descend upon the problem and manage it from there.

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Sorry, but this is clearly Photoshopped! Look at the left wing of the "supposedly" landing 777-- it is OVER the fuselage - in fact the wing is IN part of the wreckage. Also, 28R must be several hundred feet to the back of 28L so the image of the "fake" would be smaller, not larger, than the fuselage in the forefront. Nice try but no cigar!

Lyn

Update! I just viewed the video of the same angle on NBC News and admit that I was completely wrong! I could frame by frame advance (DirecTv HD DVR)  and could see the image exactly as the picture shown on this site. My apologies to anyone I may have offended. I have always been man enough to admit when I am wrong and this is one of those times.

Thanks.

Lyn

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First off, my apologies for the length of the following post.

 

I've been reading through the comments here and on other websites, both FS and RW Aviation related. While perusing through one of these I came across this post, which I found interesting. I've taken the liberty of "borrowing" it for your consideration (please note the quotation marks):

 

"From a former UAL check captain.

After I retired from UAL as a Standards Captain on the –400, I got a job as a simulator instructor working for Alteon (a Boeing subsidiary) at Asiana. When I first got there, I was shocked and surprised by the lack of basic piloting skills shown by most of the pilots. It is not a normal situation with normal progression from new hire, right seat, left seat taking a decade or two. One big difference is that ex-Military pilots are given super-seniority and progress to the left seat much faster. Compared to the US, they also upgrade fairly rapidly because of the phenomenal growth by all Asian air carriers. By the way, after about six months at Asiana, I was moved over to KAL and found them to be identical. The only difference was the color of the uniforms and airplanes. I worked in Korea for 5 long years and although I found most of the people to be very pleasant, it’s a minefield of a work environment ... for them and for us expats.

One of the first things I learned was that the pilots kept a web-site and reported on every training session. I don’t think this was officially sanctioned by the company, but after one or two simulator periods, a database was building on me (and everyone else) that told them exactly how I ran the sessions, what to expect on checks, and what to look out for. For example; I used to open an aft cargo door at 100 knots to get them to initiate an RTO and I would brief them on it during the briefing. This was on the B-737 NG and many of the captains were coming off the 777 or B744 and they were used to the Master Caution System being inhibited at 80 kts. Well, for the first few days after I started that, EVERYONE rejected the takeoff. Then, all of a sudden they all “got it” and continued the takeoff (in accordance with their manuals). The word had gotten out. I figured it was an overall PLUS for the training program.

We expat instructors were forced upon them after the amount of fatal accidents (most of the them totally avoidable) over a decade began to be noticed by the outside world. They were basically given an ultimatum by the FAA, Transport Canada, and the EU to totally rebuild and rethink their training program or face being banned from the skies all over the world. They hired Boeing and Airbus to staff the training centers. KAL has one center and Asiana has another. When I was there (2003-2008) we had about 60 expats conducting training KAL and about 40 at Asiana. Most instructors were from the USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand with a few stuffed in from Europe and Asia. Boeing also operated training centers in Singapore and China so they did hire some instructors from there.

This solution has only been partially successful but still faces ingrained resistance from the Koreans. I lost track of the number of highly qualified instructors I worked with who were fired because they tried to enforce “normal” standards of performance. By normal standards, I would include being able to master basic tasks like successfully shoot a visual approach with 10 kt crosswind and the weather CAVOK. I am not kidding when I tell you that requiring them to shoot a visual approach struck fear in their hearts ... with good reason. Like this Asiana crew, it didnt’ compute that you needed to be a 1000’ AGL at 3 miles and your sink rate should be 600-800 Ft/Min. But, after 5 years, they finally nailed me. I still had to sign my name to their training and sometimes if I just couldn’t pass someone on a check, I had no choice but to fail them. I usually busted about 3-5 crews a year and the resistance against me built. I finally failed an extremely incompetent crew and it turned out he was the a high-ranking captain who was the Chief Line Check pilot on the fleet I was teaching on. I found out on my next monthly trip home that KAL was not going to renew my Visa. The crew I failed was given another check and continued a fly while talking about how unfair Captain Brown was.

Any of you Boeing glass-cockpit guys will know what I mean when I describe these events. I gave them a VOR approach with an 15 mile arc from the IAF. By the way, KAL dictated the profiles for all sessions and we just administered them. He requested two turns in holding at the IAF to get set up for the approach. When he finally got his nerve up, he requested “Radar Vectors” to final. He could have just said he was ready for the approach and I would have cleared him to the IAF and then “Cleared for the approach” and he could have selected “Exit Hold” and been on his way. He was already in LNAV/VNAV PATH. So, I gave him vectors to final with a 30 degree intercept. Of course, he failed to “Extend the FAF” and he couldn’t understand why it would not intercept the LNAV magenta line when he punched LNAV and VNAV. He made three approaches and missed approaches before he figured out that his active waypoint was “Hold at XYZ.” Every time he punched LNAV, it would try to go back to the IAF ... just like it was supposed to do. Since it was a check, I was not allowed (by their own rules) to offer him any help. That was just one of about half dozen major errors I documented in his UNSAT paperwork. He also failed to put in ANY aileron on takeoff with a 30-knot direct crosswind (again, the weather was dictated by KAL).

This Asiana SFO accident makes me sick and while I am surprised there are not more, I expect that there will be many more of the same type accidents in the future unless some drastic steps are taken. They are already required to hire a certain percentage of expats to try to ingrain more flying expertise in them, but more likely, they will eventually be fired too. One of the best trainees I ever had was a Korean/American (he grew up and went to school in the USA) who flew C-141’s in the USAF. When he got out, he moved back to Korea and got hired by KAL. I met him when I gave him some training and a check on the B-737 and of course, he breezed through the training. I give him annual PCs for a few years and he was always a good pilot. Then, he got involved with trying to start a pilots union and when they tired to enforce some sort of duty rigs on international flights, he was fired after being arrested and JAILED!

The Koreans are very very bright and smart so I was puzzled by their inability to fly an airplane well. They would show up on Day 1 of training (an hour before the scheduled briefing time, in a 3-piece suit, and shined shoes) with the entire contents of the FCOM and Flight Manual totally memorized. But, putting that information to actual use was many times impossible. Crosswind landings are also an unsolvable puzzle for most of them. I never did figure it out completely, but I think I did uncover a few clues. Here is my best guess. First off, their educational system emphasizes ROTE memorization from the first day of school as little kids. As you know, that is the lowest form of learning and they act like robots. They are also taught to NEVER challenge authority and in spite of the flight training heavily emphasizing CRM/CLR, it still exists either on the surface or very subtly. You just can’t change 3000 years of culture.

The other thing that I think plays an important role is the fact that there is virtually NO civil aircraft flying in Korea. It’s actually illegal to own a Cessna-152 and just go learn to fly. Ultra-lights and Powered Hang Gliders are Ok. I guess they don’t trust the people to not start WW III by flying 35 miles north of Inchon into North Korea. But, they don’t get the kids who grew up flying (and thinking for themselves) and hanging around airports. They do recruit some kids from college and send then to the US or Australia and get them their tickets. Generally, I had better experience with them than with the ex-Military pilots. This was a surprise to me as I spent years as a Naval Aviator flying fighters after getting my private in light airplanes. I would get experienced F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16 pilots who were actually terrible pilots if they had to hand fly the airplane. What a shock!

Finally, I’ll get off my box and talk about the total flight hours they claim. I do accept that there are a few talented and free-thinking pilots that I met and trained in Korea. Some are still in contact and I consider them friends. They were a joy! But, they were few and far between and certainly not the norm.

Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one of these new first officers that got his ratings in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in accordance with their SOP, he calls for the autopilot to be engaged at 250’ after takeoff. How much actual flight time is that? Hardly one minute. Then he might fly for hours on the autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below 800’ after the gear was down, flaps extended and on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it in to land. Again, how much real “flight time” or real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on the 777 or 747, it’s the same only they get more inflated logbooks.

So, when I hear that a 10,000 hour Korean captain was vectored in for a 17-mile final and cleared for a visual approach in CAVOK weather, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.

Tom
"

 

Again... my apologies for the lengthy post.

 

:smile:


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We can disagree, but I see fully automated systems in commercial aircraft's future with the option for remote control (improved version of existing drone technology) including anti-terror system making hijacking an aircraft futile. It'll be a sad for sure, but inevitable.

I disagree as well. Also the majority of the world doesn't live in fear of terrorism and that wouldn't be a motivator to automate as well. People need to see more of the world to see how the other half lives because things are different then in your own backyard. USA is only 4.4% of the worlds population and geopolitically less influential as the rest of the world moves forward right now.

 

I am of the belief that systems will be more engaging as we move forward and their is currently a lot of research going into this area.

 

Also I would much rather have the persons responsible for flying the aircraft in the aircraft with me rather then by remote or automation, because that person will more likely react to save his life and my life if he was on-board the aircraft with me. If flying remotely from the ground then they are removed from the situation.

 

Survival instincts are gone when you take the pilot outside of an aircraft and they will not react the same to try and save the aircraft and its passengers because they will live regardless of the outcome.


Matthew Kane

 

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  • Tom Allensworth,
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