727LOVER
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AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:15 pm

Hi,
I was wondering if the pilot's actions were legal under French aviation law? Was it considered an acrobatic maneuver with revenue pax aboard. What was the purpose of the low pass? Did he keep his job? Would that maneuver have been legal in the USA?

Thanks.


Edit: Just saw a thread from 11 years ago that answers some questions. Apparently he was convicted of manslaughter and went to prison. AF was not allowed to do that with pax aboard again.

[Edited 2011-09-05 16:19:21]
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jetjack74
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:20 pm

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AR385
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:30 am

I know that given the regulations at the time, the height at which he performed the flybys before crashing was not legal, as they were at 30ft, the minimum at the type being 100ft. About the other factors I can´t tell you.
 
DALCE
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:18 pm

it was a dirty game played between Airbus & French Government and the PIC was bashed for it.
Very unfair and a still discussable moment in recent french aviation.....
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:21 am

Back then when this A320 went down, there were two problems.
The pilots did not fully understand the electronic operation of the then "new" A320 aircraft and were not familiar with the terrain of the airfield. Secondly, the A320 was a computer controlled and operated aircraft. The aircraft's computers were always right, the pilots were always wrong. A pilot could not override the computers even if the computers were flying the aircraft upside down. At the time I went to school on the A320 in March of 1988, I was told that the pilot would be required to go through as many as 17 steps to override the computers and hand fly the aircraft. The pilot must always be able to fly the aircraft. That is the pilot's job.
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travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:15 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 4):
The aircraft's computers were always right, the pilots were always wrong. A pilot could not override the computers even if the computers were flying the aircraft upside down.

This is some prime Bravo Sierra right here.

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 4):
17 steps to override the computers and hand fly the aircraft.

Nonsense, a few button pushes dis-engaging 3 or 4 flight computers on the overhead panel will force the Airbus FBW into direct law immidiatly. Not that you want too though.
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Rara
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:30 am

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
Nonsense, a few button pushes dis-engaging 3 or 4 flight computers on the overhead panel will force the Airbus FBW into direct law immidiatly.

I was going to say... Grabbing the yoke and hitting the red button, while at the same time pushing the thrust levers forward should do the trick, right? If the Habsburg pilots had done that a bit earlier, they wouldn't have crashed into the trees. NWAROOSTER makes it sound like you have to use a programming language or something.
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breiz
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:31 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 6):
Habsburg


Mulhouse-Habsheim would be more correct  
 
AirbusA370
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:50 am

The problem was the long time the engines needed to spool up. Had nothing to do with FBW, exect that alpha floor protection kicked in and saved the aircraft from a stall killing everyone one board.
 
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CARST
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:56 am

Quoting AirbusA370 (Reply 8):
The problem was the long time the engines needed to spool up. Had nothing to do with FBW, exect that alpha floor protection kicked in and saved the aircraft from a stall killing everyone one board.

Perhaps a stall at that moment would have been better. It would have been an belly landing and the aircraft would have not flown into the trees.

I am no expert, but saying the outcome was best thing in the given situation and the aircraft saved a lot of lives with its systems is just speculation, too.
 
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breiz
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:03 pm

Quoting CARST (Reply 9):
I am no expert, but saying the outcome was best thing in the given situation and the aircraft saved a lot of lives with its systems is just speculation, too.


The result of a stall versus the actual thing is speculation.
The fact that the systems allowed the ac to "land" in the forest in a controlled manner is no speculation.
The Hudson A320 benefited for the same systems and Sullenberger acknowledged that.
 
rfields5421
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:27 pm

Quoting CARST (Reply 9):
Perhaps a stall at that moment would have been better. It would have been an belly landing and the aircraft would have not flown into the trees.

A stall would not have been a belly landing. It would have been a nose high, tail first crash into the trees which most likely would cartwheel in a flaming ball of burning fuel, broken fuselage and other parts.

Survivability would have been very unlikely.
 
Rara
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:35 pm

Quoting breiz (Reply 7):


Mulhouse-Habsheim would be more correct

Indeed, thanks  
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Aesma
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:52 pm

Rules at the time were more lax, but the more important thing imho is that adherence to rules was also more lax. It wouldn't even come to the mind of a pilot or anybody with some responsibility at the airline to do this today.
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Goldenshield
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:08 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
Nonsense, a few button pushes dis-engaging 3 or 4 flight computers on the overhead panel will force the Airbus FBW into direct law immidiatly. Not that you want too though.

He's not talking about now. He's talking about back in 1988, when the airplane was still brand new, and the first line pilots were being trained.
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tdscanuck
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:21 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 14):
Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
Nonsense, a few button pushes dis-engaging 3 or 4 flight computers on the overhead panel will force the Airbus FBW into direct law immidiatly. Not that you want too though.

He's not talking about now. He's talking about back in 1988, when the airplane was still brand new, and the first line pilots were being trained.

I don't think they've changed the buttons, have they? The fact remains that the FBW system had nothing to do with crashing the aircraft and probably improved the survivability (it certainly didn't decrease the survivability).

Tom.
 
travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:35 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 14):
Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
Nonsense, a few button pushes dis-engaging 3 or 4 flight computers on the overhead panel will force the Airbus FBW into direct law immidiatly. Not that you want too though.

He's not talking about now. He's talking about back in 1988, when the airplane was still brand new, and the first line pilots were being trained.

So? The setup hasn't changed AFAIK. A very robust and reliable system IMHO that has been in service for more than 25 years without major change.
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Goldenshield
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:51 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 15):

I don't think they've changed the buttons, have they? The fact remains that the FBW system had nothing to do with crashing the aircraft and probably improved the survivability (it certainly didn't decrease the survivability).
Quoting travelavnut (Reply 16):
So? The setup hasn't changed AFAIK. A very robust and reliable system IMHO that has been in service for more than 25 years without major change.

Based on just what was said in this thread alone, I'd say it has. His quote says 17 steps. You say "a few." I'd say there was a major design change in the over-ride logic based on numbers alone, most likely in response to this accident.
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travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:56 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 17):
Based on just what was said in this thread alone, I'd say it has. His quote says 17 steps. You say "a few." I'd say there was a major design change in the over-ride logic based on numbers alone, most likely in response to this accident.

Or the poster talking about 17 steps was wrong. The rest of this post was utter nonsense, so I would assume those 17 steps are BS as well. But hey, I'm always up for learning something new, if someone can show me some sources/evidence of this supposed change I'll happily stand corrected.
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Kaiarahi
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:07 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 18):

  


Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 14):
He's talking about back in 1988, when the airplane was still brand new, and the first line pilots were being trained.

He wasn't a pilot.
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David L
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:40 pm

I tend to agree with Travelavnut and Kaiarahi. Those views don't agree at all with the views put forward by people who have flown and continue to fly FBW Airbuses. In any case, disabling the computers at Habsheim-Mulhouse would have achieved what? Airbus can't override the Laws of Physics. Wouldn't a better solution be to ensure you keep some energy in reserve at all times?
 
Goldenshield
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:06 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 19):
He wasn't a pilot.

He turned wrenches. That doesn't mean he has no experience with the airplane.

I'm not going to argue over who is right or wrong here, since I myself have neither flown, or worked on the plane. However, one thing is for certain: Pilots know what something does and how it works. Mechanics know what something does and WHY it works.
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Kaiarahi
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:45 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 21):
He turned wrenches. That doesn't mean he has no experience with the airplane.

In his own words:

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 4):
I was told that the pilot would be required to go through as many as 17 steps to override the computers and hand fly the aircraft.

There's a difference between running a checklist in response to a fault alert and shutting the system down. It's the same distinction between running an engine alert checklist and punching the fire button.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 17):
I'd say there was a major design change in the over-ride logic based on numbers alone, most likely in response to this accident.

I highly doubt it. The overhead panel schematic for the A320-100 (AF296 Muhouse-Habsheim) and the A320-200 are the same. The CPUs went from Intel 80186s to 80286s, but the switching logic remained the same. There was nothing in the BEA report on AF296 suggesting panel switching or logic issues. Maybe an A320 driver could confirm.
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David L
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:02 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 22):
There's a difference between running a checklist in response to a fault alert and shutting the system down

There's also a difference between hand-flying (pilot decides where the aircraft points) and Direct Law (pilot decides where the control surfaces point).
 
bonusonus
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:57 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 6):
I was going to say... Grabbing the yoke and hitting the red button, while at the same time pushing the thrust levers forward should do the trick, right? If the Habsburg pilots had done that a bit earlier, they wouldn't have crashed into the trees. NWAROOSTER makes it sound like you have to use a programming language or something.

Isn't it as simple as switching to TO/GA mode? or would the envelope protection in that mode still prevent the pilots from pulling out of a low pass like that?
 
Pihero
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:38 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 18):
Or the poster talking about 17 steps was wrong. The rest of this post was utter nonsense, so I would assume those 17 steps are BS as well.

     

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 22):

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 17):
I'd say there was a major design change in the over-ride logic based on numbers alone, most likely in response to this accident.

I highly doubt it. The overhead panel schematic for the A320-100 (AF296 Muhouse-Habsheim) and the A320-200 are the same. The CPUs went from Intel 80186s to 80286s, but the switching logic remained the same. There was nothing in the BEA report on AF296 suggesting panel switching or logic issues.


You are correct. Nothing changed in the 'Bus FC architecture after this accident

Quoting Rara (Reply 6):
Grabbing the yoke and hitting the red button, while at the same time pushing the thrust levers forward should do the trick, right?

No need to hit the A/P disconnect button as they were in manual flight, but, yes a timely overshoot would have saved the day.

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 24):

Isn't it as simple as switching to TO/GA mode?

That's how one selects TOGA mode on the 'Bus. A hell of a lot simpler than on other planes.

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 24):
or would the envelope protection in that mode still prevent the pilots from pulling out of a low pass like that?

The captain had cancelled the Alpha floor protection - which would have called for a go-around when the AoA reached that value BUT only if the airplane had been higher than 100 ft AGL. Alpha floor wasn't then available any more but the AoA protection still was, preventing a stall and keeping the flight controls active with still full authority.
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UALWN
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:58 pm

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 24):
or would the envelope protection in that mode still prevent the pilots from pulling out of a low pass like that?

Actually, in normal law, the envelope protection would allow pulling out of that situation better than without the protection. Just hit TOGA, pull the stick full aft, and the plane will try the best possible attempt at pulling up without stalling, flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do...
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travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:56 am

Quoting UALWN (Reply 27):
and the plane will try the best possible attempt at pulling up without stalling, flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do...

A feat demonstrated on every Airbus airshow take-off I understand;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfHTc69AFUo
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aaexecplat
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:14 am

Geez...some of the comments here are so clueless/baseless. Thank you Pihero and Kaiarahi for keepings things sane around the asylum (yet again).
 
BrouAviation
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:29 am

Quoting UALWN (Reply 27):
Just hit TOGA, pull the stick full aft, and the plane will try the best possible attempt at pulling up without stalling, flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do...

Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall like you are able to do in a truly direct controlled aircraft, when you fly it properly and with enough experience.

It's a good thing they don't allow you to, as from the thousands of hours an average airline pilot has, only a few contain manual flying, making it very difficult to really get a good feeling with an aircraft. Kick in some type changes during a pilots career, and all of a sudden you will find people with thousands of hours stalling their airliner from 35000 feet into the ocean within three minutes as soon as they are at the mercy of Direct Law and their own flying abilities..
It's an issue throughout the whole industry, and the nature of it hasn't changed since that accident in 1988. It's what you get when a pilot is requested not to do manual steering throughout the flight by company regulations, because of economical reasons and passenger comfort. Keeping up your flying skills has become the sole responsibility of the pilot. Some of them do gliding, or buy themselves a Yak52 or a Marchetti and keep up their skills that way while having fun. But others don't. They buy themselves a sailing boat, and their faces start turning yellow/green after an aileron roll or a stall turn even after thousands of logged hours. For those (and their passengers) I hope FBW and other automating systems safeguard them to their retirement age..
Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
 
travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:57 am

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):
Quoting UALWN (Reply 27):
Just hit TOGA, pull the stick full aft, and the plane will try the best possible attempt at pulling up without stalling, flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do...

Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall like you are able to do in a truly direct controlled aircraft, when you fly it properly and with enough experience.

He probably meant to say;

"flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do safely"

Which is of course entirely correct AFAIK.
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David L
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:57 am

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):

Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall like you are able to do in a truly direct controlled aircraft, when you fly it properly and with enough experience.

But isn't it true that Airbus will let any pilot balance very close to the stall better than a significant number (perhaps most) could on other types?
 
BrouAviation
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:06 am

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 31):
He probably meant to say;

"flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do safely"

Which is of course entirely correct AFAIK.

That completely depends on the experience you have with an aircraft. Yes, I bet the FBW computers do a fine job compared to most pilots flying Airbusses today, but on the other hand I think it's a safe bet Airbus' test pilots are able to fly the A320 closer to the stall without any issues whatsoever than FBW allows them to. Those having sufficient experience with the Airbus I believe are able to do a better job than FBW, problem is most pilot's don't have that experience..

Quoting David L (Reply 32):
But isn't it true that Airbus will let any pilot balance very close to the stall better than a significant number (perhaps most) could on other types?

Again, correct. It all depends on experience on type. And by experience I do not mean the thousands of hours pushing buttons, but I mean serious manual flying at the edges of the envelope. The problem I am pointing at is that only very few pilots have that experience, while they someday might find themselves in a situation that requires that experience and the skills that come with it.
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David L
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:47 am

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 33):
The problem I am pointing at is that only very few pilots have that experience, while they someday might find themselves in a situation that requires that experience and the skills that come with it.

Agreed, but I'm still a bit puzzled that you said:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):
Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall

It will let you balance the aircraft "on the edge of a stall" better than can be done by most pilots in most types.
 
travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:53 am

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 33):

That completely depends on the experience you have with an aircraft. Yes, I bet the FBW computers do a fine job compared to most pilots flying Airbusses today, but on the other hand I think it's a safe bet Airbus' test pilots are able to fly the A320 closer to the stall without any issues whatsoever than FBW allows them to.



I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to make that bet or not. And to be honest, I kinda question if you are. Also I don't think it's a very relevant point you are trying to make.

The important point for me is that when an Airbus pilot needs to make evasive maneuvers (for example a GA aircraft wondering into the approach path of an Airbus) the pilot can concentrate fully on maneuvering (full aft side stick, immediate TOGA by slamming the thrust levers to the stops) and trust that the FBW system will keep him within limits. And I think that's the point UALWN tried to make;

Quoting UALWN (Reply 27):
Actually, in normal law, the envelope protection would allow pulling out of that situation better than without the protection. Just hit TOGA, pull the stick full aft, and the plane will try the best possible attempt at pulling up without stalling, flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do...
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Aesma
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:02 am

BrouAviation :

I'm not a pilot (yet), but from what I understand, flying an airliner "by the pants" is not really a good idea because you don't get an accurate feedback. I'm not sure how that would change with experience. Also, an airliner will be loaded differently every flight, so that would change the way it flies at the edge.
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InsideMan
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:09 am

Quoting AirbusA370 (Reply 8):

The problem was the long time the engines needed to spool up. Had nothing to do with FBW, exect that alpha floor protection kicked in and saved the aircraft from a stall killing everyone one board.

   nothing else to say.

Funny how the same topics surface again and again and the same arguments are exchanged, yet cetain people are immune to logic and reason...

Nevertheless, the questions in the original post were different...
 
BrouAviation
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:05 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 35):

I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to make that bet or not. And to be honest, I kinda question if you are. Also I don't think it's a very relevant point you are trying to make.


I think it is. In discussions like this it is always FBW that's being discussed, while the actual problem (and as such the solution) lays in pilot training. That is the point I am making.

Whichever situation is discussed, this AF A320, the TK 738 or the AF A332, the pilots blame the manufacturer and the other way round. Or, in Airliners.net terminology, the one side saying FBW and other automation systems (Autoland in case of Turkish 1951) are perfect and pilots do not understand it good enough, and the other side saying automation takes away authority from the pilots. Both are forgetting that how great a system may be, the pilot that operates it is as good as the training system he comes from.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 36):
I'm not a pilot (yet), but from what I understand, flying an airliner "by the pants" is not really a good idea because you don't get an accurate feedback.
Quoting Aesma (Reply 36):
Also, an airliner will be loaded differently every flight, so that would change the way it flies at the edge.

You make valid points, but AF447 is a great example of the rare situation where 'flying by the pants' is required. When your vertical speed changes from 3000fpm UP to 10000fpm DOWN, that will most certainly give you feedback, no matter what plane you are in. Are pilots experienced enough to use that feedback and fly by it when they need to, is the question.
Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
 
David L
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:24 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 38):
3000fpm UP to 10000fpm DOWN, that will most certainly give you feedback, no matter what plane you are in.

As far as feedback through the "seat of the pants" goes, it depends on the rate of change, not on the actual values. With the buffeting and other distractions the crew were facing, perhaps the instruments would have been more trustworthy (excepting the airspeed indications, of course). When pilots put more faith in their senses than in the instruments the result is very often spatial disorientation and a loss of situational awareness.
 
MD-90
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:28 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):
t's what you get when a pilot is requested not to do manual steering throughout the flight by company regulations, because of economical reasons and passenger comfort. Keeping up your flying skills has become the sole responsibility of the pilot. Some of them do gliding, or buy themselves a Yak52 or a Marchetti and keep up their skills that way while having fun. But others don't. They buy themselves a sailing boat, and their faces start turning yellow/green after an aileron roll or a stall turn even after thousands of logged hours. For those (and their passengers) I hope FBW and other automating systems safeguard them to their retirement age..

Avweb has had some interesting letters recently regarding cockpit automation. Here are three of them to consider.

Quote:
With 42 years of experience, I just recently retired out of the B767. It was always my policy and pleasure to hand-fly the aircraft below 10,000 feet: no auto throttles, no autopilot, no nothing. The airplane was just a pleasure to fly.

When I would suggest it to my first officers, some were very reluctant to hand-fly and others would downright refuse, afraid they would screw up. Some were just too lazy. Yes, in my opinion, the new generation is becoming too addicted to automation. ~ Frank P.

and

Quote:
I had been flying the Airbus A320 for a supplemental 121 carrier when I was furloughed and had to scramble to find any flying job. I interviewed for a job which required a sim check in a B727 simulator. I had not flown an aircraft with manual thrust levers, a yoke or a trim switch for several years and had never flown a 727 or a 727 sim.

My hand-flying skills were atrocious. I could interpret the steam gauges okay, but I couldn't keep up with the trim, and I ham-fisted the thrust levers badly. Needless to say, I didn't get the job, and I didn't blame them a bit. ~ Jerry H.

and

Quote:
I observed early in a 40-year airline career that some managers assumed that automation was the key to safety. In particular, where those managers' skills were weak, they would try to enforce minimal training and minimal use of basic skills.

After instructing on several generations of jet transports, I would find some pilots who simply refused to fly the aircraft with any automation turned off. Airbus Industry -- and, to a lesser extent, Boeing, Lockheed and Douglas -- have fallen victim to the myth that automation is infallible. Boeing and Airbus are now calling for more emphasis on basic skills, a long-overdue recognition of the problem.

The new multi-pilot licenses are a concern. Some of these pilots have no real experience in basic skills and therefore nothing to fall back on. The recent Air France accident is only one of many where a perfectly flyable aircraft stalled at altitude and crashed because the pilots had no idea how to fly. ~ Brian H.
 
UALWN
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:35 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):
Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall like you are able to do in a truly direct controlled aircraft, when you fly it properly and with enough experience.

In the Mulhouse situation we were discussing, a sudden realization that you have to get the hell out of here asap, where every second counts and you cannot play around trying to feel the limits of the aircraft, I don't think any pilot (probably not even a test pilot) could have bettered the FBW system.
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BrouAviation
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:46 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 39):
As far as feedback through the "seat of the pants" goes, it depends on the rate of change, not on the actual values. With the buffeting and other distractions the crew were facing, perhaps the instruments would have been more trustworthy (excepting the airspeed indications, of course). When pilots put more faith in their senses than in the instruments the result is very often spatial disorientation and a loss of situational awareness.

Naturally rate of change is the vital factor, but looking at the flight path of AF447 the rate of change should have been enough. (although turbulence could create difficulties recognizing it) It's not just one or another, or your senses ór your instruments. Naturally, you are right saying flying on senses alone isn't the right thing to do. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't use your senses at all. A combination of your attitude indicator, your senses, your experience with the performance of the particular aircraft (pitch/power settings) and general flying skills should be enough to operate an aircraft safely when automation lets you down.
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Pihero
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:47 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 39):
When pilots put more faith in their senses than in the instruments the result is very often spatial disorientation and a loss of situational awareness.

Hear, Hear !

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 38):
AF447 is a great example of the rare situation where 'flying by the pants' is required.

Certainly not, and quite a few observers (myself included ) think that the main fault of that crew was to have believed their senses ( high nose-up attitude ) instead of the main parameters which were vertical speed and winding down altimeter.
To teach , or even hint, that one could trust one's personal gyros in IFR / IMC is a gross mistake which amounts to criminal mass murder intent.

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 33):
I bet the FBW computers do a fine job compared to most pilots flying Airbusses today, but on the other hand I think it's a safe bet Airbus' test pilots are able to fly the A320 closer to the stall without any issues whatsoever than FBW allows them to.

Aircraft certification always goes with the proviso that any manoeuvre can be performed by *an average * pilot.
There is absolutely no distinction between a test pilot and a line professional : the system will give both exactly the same performance.
Here, we are just on the border of a discussion on AoA protection on FBW 'Buses... it keeps the AoA at alpha max with a full aft sidestick and stays in the alpha protection range with a control deflection proportional to sidestick angle.
In a windshear escape scenario, ToGa thrust and full aft stick will give any pilot the same performance.
Your assumption is more in line with non-A FBW equipment ,on which the same windshear escape scenario will depend a lot on pilot skills and training.

[Edited 2011-09-09 05:50:40]
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Pihero
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:04 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):
Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall like you are able to do in a truly direct controlled aircraft, when you fly it properly and with enough experience.

There is somewhere in the web an ALPA report on FBW comparison (basically, A330 vs 777)
Funny enough, the A330 was consistently better than the 777 with repeatedly consistent performance whereas the 777 crowd performance dispersion was a lot greater and depended a lot on who was flying the exercice.
Plese don't try and teach us how to do our job, we are big boys, especially when your assumptions are so full of errors and prejudice.
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travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:08 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 30):
Quoting UALWN (Reply 27):
Just hit TOGA, pull the stick full aft, and the plane will try the best possible attempt at pulling up without stalling, flying closer to the stall limit than a human could do...

Not true, Airbus will not let you balance on the edge of a stall like you are able to do in a truly direct controlled aircraft, when you fly it properly and with enough experience.

Just wondering Brou, for what aircraft are you certified?
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BrouAviation
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:18 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 43):
There is absolutely no distinction between a test pilot and a line professional : the system will give both exactly the same performance.

True, but I was talking about hypothetically removing that system. (or it gets removed thanks to frozen up pitots) You can take the aircraft further than the systems would normally allow you to without falling out of the sky, only the margins become so small that it takes skills and handflying experience to do so safely, is the point I am trying to make.
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BrouAviation
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 44):
Plese don't try and teach us how to do our job, we are big boys,

I don't want to, but history shows us somebody else should as the system is rotten throughout.

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 45):

Just wondering Brou, for what aircraft are you certified?

No commercial aircraft, for the rest, let's just say I like to fly upside down a lot.  

EDIT: My true flying experience may be limited to small airplanes, it is therefore even more scary to me that the so-called 'big boys' seem not to be able to recognize nor recover a stall situation. Me not flying an airliner does not have anything to do with that.

[Edited 2011-09-09 06:34:59]
Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
 
notaxonrotax
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:52 pm

A detail that often gets forgotten about this crash, is that the pilots were looking for the airstrip (visually), found it quite late and then continued a rather hasty approach, instead of doing a 360 to get organized and lined up. They were winging it.......which is pilot error in my humble opinion.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 3):
it was a dirty game played between Airbus & French Government and the PIC was bashed for it.
Very unfair and a still discussable moment in recent french aviation.....

Apart from the argument I stated above, the whole low-pass was executed at a lot lower altitude than initially agreed upon.
I believe the proposed fly-by was at 100feet, while Captain Asseline was quite happy doing it at 40 feet or something like that, until he was SURPRISED to see the the high trees at the end of the runway; selecting TOGA etc etc.
It all sounds like poor planning to me and the planning is a big factor in this accident; whether the engines were delayed in spooling up or not. Those engines were supposed to get him out of trouble that he got himself into, unnecessarily.
He himself initiated a chain that eventually lead to a loss of life & aircraft; no washing hands in innocence for him I´m afraid.

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tdscanuck
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:56 pm

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 47):
EDIT: My true flying experience may be limited to small airplanes, it is therefore even more scary to me that the so-called 'big boys' seem not to be able to recognize nor recover a stall situation. Me not flying an airliner does not have anything to do with that.

It does have something to do with it, because airliners don't have the same stall or flight dynamics as small aircraft. The ability for pilots to correctly fly "seat of the pants" is grossly reduced, the stall behavior is different, and the control systems can be radically different.

If you're going to be scared about the "big boys" behavior, you need to know what the "big boys" experience.

Tom.
 
travelavnut
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RE: AF A320 Crash, 1988....pilot's Actions Legal?

Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:58 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 48):

If you're going to be scared about the "big boys" behavior, you need to know what the "big boys" experience.

Indeed, I fly gliders and wouldn't dare making assumptions or speak as-matter-of-factly about how it is to fly heavy metal.

I guess someone needs to know his place  
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