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Guest joea

flying manually with A/P on can put you in jail ...

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From Aviation Week, May 27, 2002The Captain of Japan Airlines MD-11 that experienced severe air turbulence leading to the death of a flight attendant has been indicted on a charge of "professional negligence resulting in death".Capt. Koichi Takamoto, 52, .. was indicted by the Nagoya District... for making manual flight control inputs while the autopilot system was engaged. The incident occurred ... while his flight was on a too-fast approach to Nagoya on a flight from Hong Kong (1997).... he was flying the aircraft on autopilot as it descended at 4,500 ft/min at 350 kt.. the aircraft airspeed increased to 368 kt. exceeding VMO. The captain, intending to decelerate by pulling up the nose, tried overriding the autopilot system by pulling back on the nose and deplying the speed brake.The autopilot was disengaged but a moment later the aircraft began 15 sec. of violent bucking at an altitude of 16,700. In all the MD-11's nose pitched up and down 5 times, its pitch angle varied from -3 to +10 deg and vertical acceleration changed from 2.8 to -0.5g. A 34-year old flight attendant was walking .. checking seat belts when she was thrown against the ceiling .. entered coma and died. .. the aircraft landed 26 min. later without incident.The indictment faulted Takamoto for attemting to manually override the autopilot before disengaging it. Had he disengaged it first and then pulled on the nose ... the aircraft would not have reacted so violently prosecutor said... MD-11's .. operating manual said overpowering autopilot with control forces can cause the autopilot to disengage with too much control input, which could result in over-control ....Michael J.

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How very interesting...In Greece we have a trial right now about a similar accident, where a Falcon 900 entered severe porpoising when the pilots tried to level off at an altitude during descent, by overriding the A/P. The aircraft entered sever porpoising and if I remember correctly 5 passengers (including the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs) were killed!The Olympic Airways pilots union representative, in defence of the pilots (who were supplied by OA), claimed that such actions are taken on an almost daily basis by airline pilots!!I suspect a "conspiracy" to put all blame on Dassault and acquit the pilots for their actions.Stamatis

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If I may say,If you have ever read "Airframe" this incident is almost an exact duplication of the story! Even the aircraft in the book was called the "N-22"

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Another case with much worse results happend a few years ago. On approach the crew noticed that they were too high, thus the pilot pushed the yoke forward. The autopilot responded with trim. The pilot irritated that his actions did not result in what he wanted, added more forward pressure on the yoke. The AP responded with more trim. The pilot eventually released the pressure on the yoke, the nose then pitched up violently due to too much trim, the plane stalled and hit the runway tail first. The details here may be a bit fuzzy due to my old age, and memory problems LOL!!! Yet many were killed due to poor understanding by the crew of how the AP works. The aircraft as I remember was an A300.

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Oh, I recall this one very well. Very "bloody" accident and very unique too. I had no idea this one had its origins at pilots overriding the a/p as well.Michael J.

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>Another case with much worse results happend a few years >ago. On approach the crew noticed that they were too high, >thus the pilot pushed the yoke forward. The autopilot >responded with trim. The pilot irritated that his actions >did not result in what he wanted, added more forward >pressure on the yoke. The AP responded with more trim. The >pilot eventually released the pressure on the yoke, the nose >then pitched up violently due to too much trim, the plane >stalled and hit the runway tail first. The details here may >be a bit fuzzy due to my old age, and memory problems LOL!!! >Yet many were killed due to poor understanding by the crew >of how the AP works. The aircraft as I remember was an A300. >>This all leaves me to wonder how a trained experienced pilot can commit these errors? Especially when their own lives hang in the balance and are dependent on their own actions.Any comments from real life pilots please?Thanks Barry

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Because they are human. In my mind, there is no better demonstration of this simple fact than the crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 401. Three crewmembers, and 98 pacs are killed. What were the contributing factors? A light bulb! Read it for yourself. When I was an Air Traffic Controller, this was mandatory training.Cheers,btPS...I am a pilot. Just thought I'd let you know I wasn't speaking out of turn! :)http://aviationcrashes.com/special/eastern401.htmlAnd for some more blatant examples of the human condition's effect on Aviation Safety...http://www.jnd.org/TurnSignals/TS-CoffeeCupsInCockpit.html

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Yes, this was a good one, absolutely classic case.Another one of this sort that I recall was a DC-8 fatal crash on approach to Portland whereby the nose gear did not extend. The pilots circled about 50 nm from airport for a good 2 hours primarily preparing passengers for the emergency landing. They were so meticulous in their preparation efforts that they ran out of fuel ....Michael J.

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The second article reminds me of the flight from London to Belfast that crashed by the M1 near Leicester. The copilot became confused as to which of the two engines was vibrating too much and shut down the wrong engine. The problem could have been the way this information is displayed on modern all glass cockpit instead of the older circular guages. A great article!

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''The copilot became confused as to which of the two engines was vibrating too much and shut down the wrong engine.''Hmmm, if I remember this correctly, it was the captain who instructed to shut down the healty engine, wereas the copilot had serious doubts of this action but did not dare contradict his superior....This issue has been on the discovery channel various times.

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Could be, but it was still the copilot who shut it down. Not daring to contradict a superior in a situation like that is not a good thing, maybe the pilot was too insistent on his higher rank and had a reputation?

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Excellent book. I thought very same thing when I read this post.Dave

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>Could be, but it was still the copilot who shut it down. >Not daring to contradict a superior in a situation like that is not >a good thing, maybe the pilot was too insistent on his higher rank >and had a reputation?Sounds similar to the Tenerife disaster, the Captain I think was KLM's chief pilot and his picture was on many of their ad's. The FO had already once prevented him from taking off without clearance, maybe he didn't dare do it again was the speculation of some.Ernie.

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Good grief!!!!!!! Similar things have happend to me on fs when the AP starts doing something funny like descending too much and I try pushing the stick only to make things worse...I usually just disconnect anyway, a very important lesson for sim pilots too.

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MichaelPart of the problem must be identifying the cause and responding in the correct sense.I had an engine failure in a twin at grosse and 200 feet in the climbout.My first thought was that I had some sort of control problem and kept adding rudder to counteract the yawing moment.It took me a few seconds to realise what was going on.The second example is a current problem with N145DR Seneca five.There are two positions for engaging the Yaw damper, auto and manual.The auto position is for use when the autopilot is engaged.Flying back at night the plane made a violent uncommanded yaw which felt like a massive control failure in a high speed descent from altitude.I remembered that the ferry pilots had complained of yaw damper problems and kicked off the yaw damper.This resulted in a full scale deflection of the turn and slip which I then managed to manually trim and normal flight resumed.Two weeks ago I was checking out another pilot on the same aircraft with the same result as the pilot wasnt aware of the problem he attempted to do all the wroung things misreading the situation.A few weeks before in icing and at FL170 the aircraft started and uncommanded and worsening pitching moment which at first made me think that the tail had iced up and was losing control authority.Again I thought autopilot and kicked it out. Handflying soon confirmed that it was indeed the rubbishy S Tec autopilot (a known fault)Its easy on the ground to pick these mistakes apart but harder in the busy invironment of the cockpit especially in bad conditions with an element of fear involved.Always treat an autopilot like a woman "never fully trust them ;-)Peter

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Barry,Humans are capable of gross mistakes as the accidents quoted here clearly show. They are also capable of major dereliction of duty. Because how else would you classify this incident at Anchorage airport, barely a few months old, when China Airlines senior captain well familiar with the airport decided to takeoff in his Airbus from a taxiway ! It happened at 2 am on a clear night so granted there were probably few other airplanes around. But taking off from a taxiway which by the way was too short and placed almost perpendicular to the runway he was cleared for ? Where was the copilot ? Upon rotation their wheels hit some puffy snow embankment - there was practically no pavement left in front of them. What were they thinking that no one will see them ??Both pilots have been suspended. I would hang them by their ba***Michael J.

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Hmm-- as I am about to travel from Australia to London and return by Korean Airlines -- I sincerely hope that the aircraft pilots have at least as much understanding as I have of how an autopilot operates!!!! :) That is - that either the autopilot flies the aircraft or I do -- but not both at the same time ---- Pretty basic understanding hey!!Barry

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