Sign in to follow this  
JBlack

Chaos in the Cockpit

Recommended Posts

I watched this documentary for the first time today.. Stunning and unbelievable.

How could the flight crew get it so wrong?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

And AirAsia 8501? Practically the same stuff, the same errors (underlying technical issues were different). And it happened after the Air France accident, you would think pilots had learned something from the first one. This to me is even more bizarre.

Share this post


Link to post

And AirAsia 8501? Practically the same stuff, the same errors (underlying technical issues were different). And it happened after the Air France accident, you would think pilots had learned something from the first one. This to me is even more bizarre.

 

Too true.

 

Spoiler alert!

 

As a mere armchair pilot, it seemed to me that the stick control on the Airbus was a major factor in the crash.  If the Airbus used standard yokes instead then the captain would have spotted at once that his co-pilot was still pulling back on the yoke despite having handed over control to him. 

Or if  the flight sticks had even been situated centrally instead of on the far side, it would have been far easier to spot the co-pilot's constant death grip on that stick, which was hidden from view by his arm and body.

 

Yes? No?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Too true.

 

Spoiler alert!

 

As a mere armchair pilot, it seemed to me that the stick control on the Airbus was a major factor in the crash.  If the Airbus used standard yokes instead then the captain would have spotted at once that his co-pilot was still pulling back on the yoke despite having handed over control to him. 

Or if  the flight sticks had even been situated centrally instead of on the far side, it would have been far easier to spot the co-pilot's constant death grip on that stick, which was hidden from view by his arm and body.

 

Yes? No?

 

I believe its more along the lines of pilots getting complacent with automated systems, and not knowing how to properly recover from adverse situations. If the F/O was full aft on the stick, and the captain wasn't aware of it, that just comes down to bad CRM. If you're at a high power setting, with the controls aft, and the aircraft is buffering and losing altitude, the first and foremost thing you should do, is lower the nose. Not raise it. It all comes down to proper piloting and aircraft control. The side-sticks have nothing to do with it. If you lose airspeed indications, or it climbs rapidly because of a pitot issue, what do you do? Leave the thrust in a known power setting, and continue the flight. The LAST thing you should do, is decrease thrust. Just my 2 cents

Share this post


Link to post

If the F/O was full aft on the stick, and the captain wasn't aware of it, that just comes down to bad CRM.

 

Interesting. But It still seems logical to me that the stick was a factor in the crash, and a quick googly search seems to confirm my suspicions.

 

Smithsonian AirSpaceMag

Steve Satre

 

One big factor in the Air France 447 accident: uncertainty as to who was flying the plane.

 

Here’s the part that I believe was a major contributor to the accident. On the Airbus, when one pilot makes a control input (e.g. pulling back on the sidestick), the other pilot has no indication of this control movement. Compare this to more traditional aircraft, which have control yokes in front of both pilots. On these planes, when one pilot moves the yoke, the other pilot’s yoke moves in tandem. If I hold full back stick, this is glaringly obvious to the other pilot. Apparently this is not so on an Airbus. In addition, when both pilots move their respective control sticks, the inputs are averaged. So, when the senior FO made an attempt to lower the nose of the plane, his efforts were stymied by the junior FO who was holding back stick throughout the descent.
 
 

AirFrance flight 447

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447

In April 2012 in The Daily Telegraph, British journalist Nick Ross published a comparison of Airbus and Boeing flight controls; unlike the control yoke used on Boeing flight decks, the Airbus side stick controls give little visual feedback and no sensory or tactile feedback to the second pilot. Ross reasoned that this might – in part – explain why the handling pilot's fatal nose-up inputs were not countermanded by his two colleagues.[235][237]

 

In a July 2012 CBS report, Sullenberger suggested that the design of the Airbus cockpit might have been a factor in the accident. The flight controls are not mechanically linked between the two pilot seats, and Robert, the left seat pilot who believed he had taken over control of the plane, was not aware that Bonin had continued to hold the stick back, which overrode Robert's own control.[2]

Share this post


Link to post

Vanity Fair did a phenomenal piece on AF447, covering automation and human factors.

 

One of the pieces that their article brings up is how Airbus works around not having mechanically linked flight controls, which is to have a automatic callout of "DUAL INPUT" whenever both pilots touch the controls. This callout is heard several times on the AF447 CVR, and the FDR also recorded multiple pushes of the sidestick priority button, signifying one seat was trying to override the other. If they'd had mechanical controls they likely would have been wrestling with each other for control. This was a tragic breakdown in CRM, not some kind of fault in flight control design. It's worth noting that both AAR214 and CJC3407 both involved prolonged improper flight control inputs, and both the DH8D and 777 have mechanically linked flight controls. 

Share this post


Link to post

Interesting. But It still seems logical to me that the stick was a factor in the crash, and a quick googly search seems to confirm my suspicions.

 

Smithsonian AirSpaceMag

Steve Satre

 

One big factor in the Air France 447 accident: uncertainty as to who was flying the plane.

 

Here’s the part that I believe was a major contributor to the accident. On the Airbus, when one pilot makes a control input (e.g. pulling back on the sidestick), the other pilot has no indication of this control movement. Compare this to more traditional aircraft, which have control yokes in front of both pilots. On these planes, when one pilot moves the yoke, the other pilot’s yoke moves in tandem. If I hold full back stick, this is glaringly obvious to the other pilot. Apparently this is not so on an Airbus. In addition, when both pilots move their respective control sticks, the inputs are averaged. So, when the senior FO made an attempt to lower the nose of the plane, his efforts were stymied by the junior FO who was holding back stick throughout the descent.
 
 

AirFrance flight 447

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447

In April 2012 in The Daily Telegraph, British journalist Nick Ross published a comparison of Airbus and Boeing flight controls; unlike the control yoke used on Boeing flight decks, the Airbus side stick controls give little visual feedback and no sensory or tactile feedback to the second pilot. Ross reasoned that this might – in part – explain why the handling pilot's fatal nose-up inputs were not countermanded by his two colleagues.[235][237]

 

In a July 2012 CBS report, Sullenberger suggested that the design of the Airbus cockpit might have been a factor in the accident. The flight controls are not mechanically linked between the two pilot seats, and Robert, the left seat pilot who believed he had taken over control of the plane, was not aware that Bonin had continued to hold the stick back, which overrode Robert's own control.[2]

 

Just comes down to CRM. Whoever needs to take over the controls, the pilot just needs to state "I have the flight controls". Other pilot should relinquish the use of the controls immediately. Nothing more, nothing less. There doesn't need to be a battle between who has authority over the aircraft.

Share this post


Link to post

 

 


Or if  the flight sticks had even been situated centrally instead of on the far side, it would have been far easier to spot the co-pilot's constant death grip on that stick, which was hidden from view by his arm and body.
 
Yes? No?

 

We don't know. What was presented in the TV screening isn't necessarily what actually happened in the cockpit at that time and we have no idea where the captain stood. He could have spotted something or maybe wouldn't make a difference.

 

It all comes down to the human factor though. We can all say we would get it right every time, even fatigued in extremely stressful and panic inducing situation. But it's not true. The psychological factors are very complex and are constantly researched, improving the training of new and active pilots. What happened was tragic but cause was not uncommon.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

 


In addition, when both pilots move their respective control sticks, the inputs are averaged.

Correct and by the way that was also a contributing factor in the Air Asia crash. This "averaging" is very spooky. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

No amount of crm or stick design would have saved them. That flight was doomed the day that pilot began his flight training. This crash is a result of the techniques taught at these flight training schools geared towards ab initios and airline focused youngsters. Instead of teaching their students the basics of flying an airplane and understanding the wing, they skip the basic understanding of flight and focus on precise pitch and performance right from the beginning. The problem is that planes only behave that way in certain portions of the flight envelope, once outside of that area, the controls work differently and requires a pilot to change some very heavy mental gears in order to operate the controls properly. The pilot of that AF flight never made the mental realization that the plane was not going to react the way they had taught him It would.

Share this post


Link to post

No amount of crm or stick design would have saved them.

 

____The pilot of that AF flight never made the mental realization that the plane was not going to react the way they had taught him It would.

 

The pilot finally realised what was happening though and tried to pull the nose but he....

 Oh never mind.  Accidents will happen I guess, no matter how many checks and balances are put in place.

Share this post


Link to post

No amount of crm or stick design would have saved them

 

 

I can't believe that when the Captain finally came to the flight deck, had it been a convention yoke arrangement, that observing the pilot flying was pulling the yoke way back, he couldn't have failed to recognise the stall situation for what it was.

Also when the more experienced pilot not flying tried to take control, it would have been obvious to him if the other pilot was interfering or not.

 

A well written article that has been mentioned on AVSIM before is here:

 

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash

 

Eugene

Share this post


Link to post

I can't believe that when the Captain finally came to the flight deck, had it been a convention yoke arrangement, that observing the pilot flying was pulling the yoke way back, he couldn't have failed to recognise the stall situation for what it was.

Also when the more experienced pilot not flying tried to take control, it would have been obvious to him if the other pilot was interfering or not.

 

A well written article that has been mentioned on AVSIM before is here:

 

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash

 

Eugene

My point is there are many pilots out there who were taught in a manner that keeps them from naturally making the correct control actions when outside the normal flight regime. That is the root of the problem with in flight upset crashes in airline aviation.

Share this post


Link to post

My point is there are many pilots out there who were taught in a manner that keeps them from naturally making the correct control actions when outside the normal flight regime. That is the root of the problem with in flight upset crashes in airline aviation.

 

Okay I take your point. But I wouldn't mind betting that if your average flight-simmer was introduced to that cockpit situation and handed control, then he or she would probably 'naturally' opt to push forward on the stick instead of constantly pulling back hard on it.  I do realise that this is the classic question 'Could a flight-simmer' save a plane in an emergency?.' But I think in this case a simmer with a few years experience might well have saved the day as he/she would tend to have a more open mind and an instinctive grasp of the situation, albeit in an amateur capacity. Which sort of proves your point as well. 

 

Another fantasy scenario I envisaged was to have a large red button on the panel which, when pushed, would force the autopilot to engage and select whatever parameters were available to it, or  else 'best guess' parameters if no data existed.   The end result might be successful and certainly couldn't do more harm than three human pilots in a muddle

 

Talking of crashes.  How come the Crash Modelling topic got closed down tonight despite only being opened for 3 days, yet the American Truck Simulator topic is still open despite being started nearly three weeks ago! -and despite not even being a flight simulator-related topic!  Both topics have almost exactly the same number of replies (around 113) yet it seems that lobbying by a few non-crash damage members has swayed admin to shut down a lively and constructive debate that's only several days old. Meanwhile Truck Simulation is apparently okay to debate for weeks on end on Avsim,  and it features actual crash damage.  (Scratches head.)

 

End of rant

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

 


Okay I take your point. But I wouldn't mind betting that if your average flight-simmer was introduced to that cockpit situation and handed control, then he or she would probably 'naturally' opt to push forward on the stick instead of constantly pulling back hard on it.  I do realise that this is the classic question 'Could a flight-simmer' save a plane in an emergency?.' But I think in this case a simmer with a few years experience might well have saved the day as he/she would tend to have a more open mind and an instinctive grasp of the situation, albeit in an amateur capacity. Which sort of proves your point as well. 

You've never flown a real airplane, have you?

 

The best stick and rudder IFR guy I've ever flown with never played FS. One of the worst I've flown with played a ton. I don't really think you can draw a connection there. 

Share this post


Link to post

Okay I take your point. But I wouldn't mind betting that if your average flight-simmer was introduced to that cockpit situation and handed control, then he or she would probably 'naturally' opt to push forward on the stick instead of constantly pulling back hard on it.  I do realise that this is the classic question 'Could a flight-simmer' save a plane in an emergency?.' But I think in this case a simmer with a few years experience might well have saved the day as he/she would tend to have a more open mind and an instinctive grasp of the situation, albeit in an amateur capacity. Which sort of proves your point as well. 

 

I don't get why its every "simmers" fantasy, to take over an aircraft in distress. First off, if both pilots are incapacitated, you're not getting in the cockpit. You're just gunna die. Secondly, if one of the pilots is incapacitated, they're going to have another member of the crew sit in the seat, or a jump-seat pilot with actual flight experience. If that's not possible, then they're going to have to ask someone on board the aircraft if they're pilots. Every single non-rev flight I've been on, has one or two non-rev pilots commuting, so they're not going to pick an "expert simmer", over a trained pilot with actual experience. Simmers have never flown "seat-of-the-pants" before. It gets very stressful when things go south, and it will bring your skills to test. I have never been "stressed" flying a sim. However, having flown instrument approaches to just above minimums, with no autopilot, in a high-performance turbine aircraft, with a decent amount of crosswind, is very stressful. You have lives in your hands, and the people in the back are counting on you to do your job. The same goes for any type of situation, whether it be an approach, or an emergency situation. That's why its critical to ALWAYS be familiar how your aircraft flies, and to stay current on emergency procedures and memory items. It's very easy for some pilots to get complacent, which is why we're talking about this right now. It just really grinds my gears when I hear people say simmers would have a better chance of getting out of an emergency situation, opposed to actual pilots with thousands and thousands of hours logged.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

You've never flown a real airplane, have you?

 

and that's exactly my point! Namely that your average experienced flight-simmer could very possibly have recovered that aircraft to stability simply by sensing that a nose down attitude was required, whereas three 'experienced' pilots acted like headless chickens and were totally confused by the situation due to their blinkered training.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

I don't get why its every "simmers" fantasy, to take over an aircraft in distress.

 

Chris. Where did I say  'its every "simmers" fantasy, to take over an aircraft in distress'.  What I said was: "This is the classic question 'Could a flight-simmer' save a plane in an emergency?".  There's no fantasy involved here, its simply a hypothetical question.   Its certainly not my 'dream' to take over an aircraft in distress.

 

First off, if both pilots are incapacitated, you're not getting in the cockpit. You're just gunna die.

Secondly, if one of the pilots is incapacitated, they're going to have another member of the crew sit in the seat, or a jump-seat pilot with actual flight experience. If that's not possible, then they're going to have to ask someone ......

 

Chris.  Hold on. Read my previous post and you'll see that what I said was:  "I wouldn't mind betting that if your average flight-simmer was introduced to that cockpit situation and handed control, then he or she would probably 'naturally' opt to push forward on the stick instead of constantly pulling back hard on it".   Notice the words "introduced to that cockpit situation', i.e. the simmer could be in an  Airbus simulator, or else he could have been 'introduced' into the cockpit.  (Again a hypothetical situation but not impossible).

 

 

Every single non-rev flight I've been on, has one or two non-rev pilots commuting, so they're not going to pick an "expert simmer", over a trained pilot with actual experience. Simmers have never flown "seat-of-the-pants" before.

 

Again I was talking about a hypothetical situations.  But anyway, just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean that it could never happen.  Indeed, modern quantum physics states that every conceivable situation is probable.

 

 You have lives in your hands, and the people in the back are counting on you to do your job. ... It's very easy for some pilots to get complacent, which is why we're talking about this right now.

 

Exactly. And that's why I hypothesised that  an average experienced simmer -coming into the situation with a fresh/open mind - may well have saved the day..either in an Airbus simulator, or else during the actual event in the cockpit of flight 447.

 

It just really grinds my gears when I hear people say simmers would have a better chance of getting out of an emergency situation, opposed to actual pilots with thousands and thousands of hours logged.

 

Yes I can understand that.  But having having seen situations where the novice comes out on top - such as the  learner driver who snatched the wheel from his instructor to avoid hitting a cyclist;  or the novice white belt who totally floored a highly experienced karate black belt,  I'm well aware that in certain situations, just now and then, a bright and alert novice can save the day when perhaps the jaded or over-confident 'expert' failed to do so.

 

Just saying.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

and that's exactly my point! Namely that your average experienced flight-simmer could very possibly have recovered that aircraft to stability simply by sensing that a nose down attitude was required, whereas three 'experienced' pilots acted like headless chickens and were totally confused by the situation due to their blinkered training.

 

I am sorry, but that seems a little delusional. The input feedback from the real aircraft feels EXTREMELY different from what you get in the sim - games simply cannot recreate it.

Not to mention, it's easy to call someone "headless chicken" while sitting in your chair, sipping on a cuppa and having no care in the world. You somehow don't take into consideration the mantal state you would be in. The panic, fear and stress resulting from that situation can really incapacitate your decision making processes.

 

Perhaps that was the factor in the tragedy.

 

But indicating that pilots didn't know how to deal with an aerodynamic stall becuase of their training is a little silly. They do train to deal with situations like that couple of times per year and there it's much more likely that casual simmer you praise so much, would be terrified to death and couldn't do a thing.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Folks,

 

This is probably the best example of what happens during a flight when the pilot is incapacitated and a passenger - with very limited experience - has to take over... Fortunately the guy was one cool cucumber... While not and airliner it was a King Air 300...

 

 

Regards,

Scott

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

I am sorry, but that seems a little delusional.

 

But so does the sound of three experienced pilots allowing an Airbus to remain nose well up while stall warnings sound off.

 

The input feedback from the real aircraft feels EXTREMELY different from what you get in the sim - games simply cannot recreate it.

 

Different yes, but the stick surely behaves in some way like a conventional joystick, i.e - up-down-left-right.   So all I'm suggesting is a scenario where a simmer with a few years experience simply acts on the stall warning and pushes the Airbus nose down instead of constantly pulling back hard on the stick as the co-pilot did.  Its not rocket science..

 

Not to mention, it's easy to call someone "headless chicken" while sitting in your chair, sipping on a cuppa and having no care in the world. You somehow don't take into consideration the mantal state you would be in. The panic, fear and stress resulting from that situation can really incapacitate your decision making processes.

 

Having watched several documentaries and read several reports on this sad accident, I got the picture.

 

But indicating that pilots didn't know how to deal with an aerodynamic stall becuase of their training is a little silly. They do train to deal with situations like that couple of times per year and there it's much more likely that casual simmer you praise so much, would be terrified to death and couldn't do a thing.

 

As KevinAu put it:  "..there are many pilots out there who were taught in a manner that keeps them from naturally making the correct control actions when outside the normal flight regime. That is the root of the problem with in flight upset crashes in airline aviation..".

 

I'm simply suggesting a scenario where  the simmer manages to get flight 447 onto an even keel by going nose down. I'm not suggesting that he or she should then  pilot the plane safely back to France to a heroes welcome and then steal a real pilot's job .

 

Hi Folks,

 

This is probably the best example of what happens during a flight when the pilot is incapacitated and a passenger - with very limited experience - has to take over... Fortunately the guy was one cool cucumber... While not and airliner it was a King Air 300...

 

 

Regards,

 

Scott

 

 

Thanks Scott.  Interesting.

Share this post


Link to post

But indicating that pilots didn't know how to deal with an aerodynamic stall becuase of their training is a little silly. They do train to deal with situations like that couple of times per year and there it's much more likely that casual simmer you praise so much, would be terrified to death and couldn't do a thing.

It's not as silly as you might think. Most of these 'academy' grads that hit the airline cockpits at 400 hours were taught under the paradigm that pitch controls altitude during their first flight hours. It is an easier and quicker way to teach a person to fly, particularly if you want them in the mindset of flying a big transport, but it unfortunately misrepresents how a plane actually flies. To save an hour or two of instruction pre-solo, you short change them for the rest of their lives. Because if their primary instinct is to use pitch to control whether a plane goes up or down, then their primary instinct when confused and terrified is to pull back on the stick if the plane is going down unexpectantly. Exactly what you saw with the Colgan and Air France crashes.

 

As we saw with those crashes, the stall training 'maneuvers', done a couple of times in primary training and once or twice a year in recurrent, is entirely inadequate in overcoming the instincts from their primary training on basic control and years of daily routine flying that proved to them that houses got smaller when you pulled back. In fact, the recurrent stall training we did in the airlines would even reinforce to pilots that it was not appropriate to push forward on the stick, even when stalling. One of the requirements of the stall maneuver in airline training was to maintain altitude, so if you broke the stall with a push or let the stick pusher fire, you busted. We all learned how to perform this silly sim maneuver and graduated. But unfortunately, it made people even less likely to push on the stick when confused and terrified.

 

At least the FAA in the US had finally started to realize the mistakes of the flight training world after the crashes. At least now in stall training at the airlines, the silly altitude requirements have been removed and the stall is practiced with the requirement to push forward with all your gusto to break it and regain flying aoa and speed. Whether the airline training academy industry has changed from teaching pitch for altitude over to pitch for speed, I do not know, but until that happens, there will be a lingering threat that the pilot up front will do the wrong thing on that one night of confusion and terror.

Share this post


Link to post

 

 


Fortunately the guy was one cool cucumber

 

The guy was also a certified private pilot, just not certified on multi-engine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this