"Rebooting Your Airbus (After All The Screens Go Dark)
Cures aside, pilots of Airbus A320-series airliners are getting new guidance on what to do if the screens on their electronically biased aircraft go blank. "Checklists will be streamlined so re-booting of power is quicker," an Airbus spokesman told the London Daily Mirror after Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch released a report on an incident aboard a British Airways A319 last October. The plane was carrying 76 passengers to Budapest from London when most of the electronic displays went blank. The crew was able to bring everything back online in 90 seconds and the passengers were blissfully unaware of the glitch. The incident brought to light five similar instances on Airbuses. In the October incident, the plane was over southern England when the crew heard an audible "clunk." Five of six screens went out, the intercom and radio failed, the autopilot and autothrottles disengaged and most of the cockpit lights went out. The captain took over the controls and flew night VFR (fortunately it was a clear night) while he and the first officer sorted out the power failure. The flying pilot's task was further complicated by the fact that the backup analog instruments aren't lit. The AAIB has issued a series of safety recommendations but its final report isn't finished yet. "
I am pretty sure this is a very rare occurance, and obviously the FBW controlls are designed for a proper failure mode. Does anyone know of other aircraft having this sort of failure? I've seen a similar thing in a G1000 system once (on the ground), required pulling the circuit breaker to restore.
Please don't make this into an A vs B thread. Just curious if this is an issue crosses aircraft models and manufacturers (commerical a/c). Is it related to a particular avionics manufacturer?
Ikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 22174 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8326 times:
Not unsafe except for the part about the backup instruments not being lit? Why the hell aren't they lit and how did the plane get certified without them lit? Isn't the point of a backup instrument so that you can see it if the main systems fail?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 34047 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8326 times:
It's been an issue on the A320 series since EIS. B6, for example, had a number of issues (all on the ground) delaying departures, and I've had to sit abit now and then on a UA A319/A320 while they reboot the system.
If there has ever been a failure in-flight, I don't know, though since I listen to Channel 9 on UA (which carries the cockpit feed), I tend to think I would.
Obviously the jouno who wrote the article did not write the headline.
This has nothing to do with rebooting. What it is is re-establishing power to the screens after a bus failure. No computors are involved, the pilots just had to push a switch on the overhead panel.
Rebooting on an Airbus is the same as rebooting your computor at home, but it works much faster (because the programme is in solid state memory and not on a hard drive.) Rebooting is usually carried out because it is quicker than doing a test on the system. All computors carry out a power up test.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 2): I've had to sit abit now and then on a UA A319/A320 while they reboot the system
I assume you mean that they turned off the power on the whole aircraft and then back on again. This of course reboots all the computors, takes about two minutes, but then you have to reprogramme the FMS, and(if you turned off the battery) realign the INS. I use this as a last resort, about once every 8 weeks or so. You would do this if you can't find the CBs for the affected system. ( can be difficult sometimes as some systems have CBs all over the place including down in the elect bay.)
Litz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8045 times:
Quoting Mustang304 (Thread starter): The flying pilot's task was further complicated by the fact that the backup analog instruments aren't lit.
Huh? Just how did that system pass certification? Are you supposed to have a flashlight handy if you have a complete power failure at night?
(boggles the mind)
Quoting Stitch (Reply 2): It's been an issue on the A320 series since EIS. B6, for example, had a number of issues (all on the ground) delaying departures, and I've had to sit abit now and then on a UA A319/A320 while they reboot the system.
I've had this happen on quite a few America West flight's I've been on, all on the ground. In fact, in a recent thread on ATC-Pilot communications/humor, this got referenced ... from thread A Little ATC To Pilot Humor (by AviationAddict Apr 11 2006 in Civil Aviation) :
Quoting Mustang304 (Reply 39): While doing some work, heard the following exchange on Kennedy Tower freq:
Twr: Cactus 51, turn right zulu and golf, hold behind the plane that's stopped to recycle.
Cactus 51: Cactus 51 we'll make the right zulu and golf, behind the recycled airplane ... whatever that means.
Trw: C'mon Cactus, you guys should know what that means, you fly Airbus' -- it's when the screens go blank and you have to restart them all.
Cactus 51: Oh, yeah, we know about that. We just thought it was 'cause we were out of quarters.