Correct me if I'm wrong but did a rudder reversal(unknown cause) happen prior to the full rudder input occur?
Yes, but only to a barely readable amount on the FDR. There would have been nothing noticable in the cockpit (no yaw observed on FDR to these very slight rudder movements).
Nope. All rudder movements were due to pedal input. There was no rudder reversal due to unknown causes.
Correction: the assumption
is that the rudder moved due to pedal inputs, but there is no proof
. This is the logical assumption any decent investigator would use when no physical defect can be found in the recovered parts of the aircraft. There have been multiple documented cases of uncommanded rudder movements in A300-600R aircraft well prior to this mishap. Cause was never determined and in none of those cases was the rudder fully displaced. So again, the logical assumption is that the pilot(s) input the full rudder displacements as well as the full rudder reversals... but it remains an assumption, not a "fact."
I think it is rather central to the cause. If Airbus did not inform AA properly about the sensitivity of the rudder, or if AA did not inform it's pilots properly, bears upon how the pilots were trained and used to reacting to upsets.
Pedal sensitivity is not an issue when the training is to place up to full rudder deflection in one direction only
in order to arrest an uncommanded roll that the ailerons won't arrest... and then release the rudder pressure
. Sensitivity would pay a role if the pilot was adding
pressure in the opposite direction, but that has never been in any AA
Since the aircraft seems to have been working as it should, pilot reaction to the wake turbulence becomes the central focus.
Correct! The assumption being the pilot(s) input full rudder reversals in direct violation
training! The real question is: WHY WOULD THEY DO
According to Airbus, AA modified their A300 simulator without consulting with the FAA or Airbus.
That is an outright fabrication! AA
did "modify" the A300 simulator (with FAA approval). The "modification" was to install a single instructor pushbutton switch and software so that when the switch was pushed, the simulator would simulate an uncommanded roll to a near inverted position. The pilot(s) must attempt to regain control. No flight control logic or laws were changed. Just a simple situation input very similar to windshear encounters are input.
There is also the point that "Airbus informing AA" does not really cover very much. After all, AA is pretty large. Even if someone at AA had the information, this does not mean that the flying pilots had it.
That would be a legal argument made by insurance lawyers... and an excuse! IF AA
had the information, it is AA
's responsibility to properly distribute that information to its employees.
An aircraft should not be manufactured in such a way that the entire tail can become detatched should full rudder be applied.
Airliner certification (in very simple terms) is for full deflection of a flight control surface to its maximum and then released with no adverse affect on structure or flight characteristics. A300 rudder very easily met this requirement.
This is really what it comes down to, isn't it. Training or no training, no
pilot should ever do what these pilots, according to the NTSB report, did.
At least somebody is starting to figure out the obvious.