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Faro
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Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:22 pm

Highly subjective question but how would today's pilots feel if they were to transpose themselves into the line flying environment of the early 1960's, piloting the first generation of (comparatively) low-performance jets? Without all the comfort and safety afforded by digital autoflight, CRM, FADEC, FMS/EFIS, autoland, ground radar, APU's, windshear warning, SELCAL, TCAS, etc?

Would they feel (initially at any rate) challenged, highly challenged or bordering on the unsafe? Admittedly the pilots of that era did a wonderful job of managing with the equipment and procedures at their disposal back then. In such a fictitious scenario however, how would today's pilots feel; to what extent would they deem that basic, raw airmanship was perhaps at somewhat of a premium back then?

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ZBBYLW
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:27 pm

The major issue would be work load. You should ask the NW DC-9 pilots about it, they seem to still be managing just fine. I think the biggest different would be the work load and the different "culture". In short as long as the pilots feel comfortable with the old steam guages I do not think it would be that big of an issue.
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VMCA
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:28 pm

Having flown the 727 for a couple of years in commercial aviation and the B-52 in the military along with being a T-38IP, I would say NO! All the advancements in technology have enhanced safety and reduced workload, but the basics are still the same. But, the fundamentals still remained the same.

Just one comment, CRM has always been there. I think it was called "common sense" then!
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Mir
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:47 pm

There is no reason that an older airplane cannot be flown safely today. But the pilots have to be trained for it. I wouldn't want to just throw an Airbus driver into a 707 without giving them a lot of training first. There are different philosophies and different skill sets that are needed.

Quoting VMCA (Reply 2):
Just one comment, CRM has always been there. I think it was called "common sense" then!

There were a lot of accidents that were attributable to bad CRM back then. Fortunately, things have come a long way.

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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:40 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
There were a lot of accidents that were attributable to bad CRM back then. Fortunately, things have come a long way.

Really, 20/20 hindsight is great. I think if you look at the accident reports you won't find that true. The highest cause was loss of contol. (Ref Boeing Stat Summary)
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lowrider
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:08 am

While the technology has changed, the basic skill set remains similar and, as always, good judgment reigns supreme. I would feel safe flying the aircraft and technology of the early sixties, provided they were maintained and and flown according to sound doctrine. I suspect if you asked the pilots of the early sixties the same question about the aircraft of the 30's you would get a similar answer.

Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
Would they feel (initially at any rate) challenged, highly challenged or bordering on the unsafe?

Depends on training and prior experience. If you threw me in a Caravelle or a Comet with no training or experience, I would say that would be a very unsafe operation. However if trained to the same level as I have been on other aircraft, then I would expect it to be similarly challeging but reasonably safe, like other transitions I have made. If you had no experience with analogue gages or technology, I think the transition would be tougher, but still possible.

Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
to what extent would they deem that basic, raw airmanship was perhaps at somewhat of a premium back then?

Depends on what you mean by basic, raw airmanship. Basic stick and rudder skills may have been more highly prized, but the idea of a pilot as a systems manager didn't really exist back then. If you mean the ability to use situational awareness and good judgment to either avoid or resolve problems, that has always and will continue to be highly valued.
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zappbrannigan
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:52 am

As a pilot of light charter aircraft, high-tech for me is coupling the autopilot to the GPS enroute. The terms "glass cockpit" and "anti-ice" are still little dreams for me, hopefully to be realised in the near future. Nearly all pilots (probably with the exception of airline cadets and the military) "grow up" flying 30-40 year old technology with borderline performance, in rubbish conditions down to minima, with passengers - often as a single-pilot operation.

Now, I'm not being silly and equating flying a Chieftain with flying a B707 - but the basic stick + rudder skills, and principles of raw airmanship and how to fly with the barest of equipment into marginal aerodromes in marginal conditions, are generally ingrained in the pilot early in their career, and regardless of whether you're progressing onto an A380 or a 707, you're progressing onto more reliable equipment with more performance and many, many years of lessons learnt that make for a safe operation.

My point being - nobody starts their career in a B777 or A380 - the acronym-soup of features you mention are foreign to most pilots in their first few years of flying. So while it may take a reasonable amount of training to get a new-gen jet pilot used to old equipment and older methods of operating - the lower-tech operating environment should not be totally foreign to them.
 
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:55 pm

No way! I fly old stuff now and I love it. It's all 60's technology except for GPS has been added and that's it. Someday I hope to be able to "retire" to the new stuff and let all the work be done for me for the most part.

That being said, and I've said this before, I do strongly believe that every pilot should fly basic old 6-pack steam gauges without all the automation for a good foundation. It's not necessarily anyone's fault that they can't, it seems there was a big push in the industry to make things safer by automation. The problem is, if something goes wrong and you lose your automation, a lot of guys lack basic skills to just fly the airplane. The hardest transition I see in training new hires is when someone goes from glass back to the past.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:40 am

Quoting VMCA (Reply 2):
Just one comment, CRM has always been there. I think it was called "common sense" then!

By no means is that even remotely true.

Quoting VMCA (Reply 4):
Really, 20/20 hindsight is great. I think if you look at the accident reports you won't find that true

I think if you did "actually" look back in those reports you WOULD see that lack of C/L/R (United) or CRM was one of, it not the greatest, factor to the crash. If it was not the greatest factor it was still usually the last hole in the swiss cheese.

I think you need to have a better understanding of what CRM is. Its not just, "lets all act nice to each other." Its a very complex skill that has been one of the hot button issues of the FAA and worldwide airlines since United 173 in 1978. So much so that United actually had a working model not 2 years later and was the benchmark for the rest of the industry which is now a mandated item at 121 (and soon to be 135) operations. And the thing is Malburn McBroom (Captain UA173) was not a "sky god" butthole but they still crashed. Had it not been for C/L/R (CRM) Al Haynes and this crew might have meet a very different ending to UA232.

Always remember this, given all the problems faced in Tenerife, the crash still could have been avoided if either the FO or FE would have had the balls to speak up to Van Zanten. So you might want to rethink your stand on "won't find that true."

Quoting VMCA (Reply 4):
The highest cause was loss of contol.

Loss of control because of poor use of available resources.

Jumping off soapbox now!

[Edited 2009-06-28 19:09:42]
 
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:39 am



Quoting DescendVia (Reply 8):
By no means is that even remotely true.

Really. That's great for an opinion, but how about some cold hard facts? Speculation is great but it's very bad in aviation.

Quoting DescendVia (Reply 8):
I think if you did "actually" look back in those reports you WOULD see that lack of C/L/R (United) or CRM was one of, it not the greatest, factor to the crash. If it was not the greatest factor it was still usually the last hole in the swiss cheese

I have looked back, unlike you. No need to shout, I can read just fine with the lower case letters.

Quoting DescendVia (Reply 8):
I think you need to have a better understanding of what CRM is

??? So, you're going to educate me? CRM has been called many things. But, in the end, it's about using everything you have available to make the best decision. That part hasn't changed since Orville and Wilbur flipped a coin. Airlines, such as you point out, have a culture that was not condusive to many things, but in the end of the day it's the people sitting in the pointy end that make the difference. Good crewmembers have been exercising CRM for years and most didn't even know it.

Quoting DescendVia (Reply 8):
So you might want to rethink your stand on "won't find that true."

I think you might want to refrain on giving advice until you have all the facts. You pointed out an incident at UAL and at KLM, if you are going to criticize me based on those two incidents then you might want to rethink things.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:05 am



Quoting Tb727 (Reply 7):
The hardest transition I see in training new hires is when someone goes from glass back to the past.

Very interesting case; I would not have thought that such transitioning can occur today but then no rule is so general that it will not admit some exception. Is the transition difficult because one has to go back to mental arithmetics/geographical awareness I wonder?

Faro
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:36 am



Quoting Tb727 (Reply 7):
The hardest transition I see in training new hires is when someone goes from glass back to the past.

Which yet again raises a point I've been making for a while - I can't agree with starting on glass cockpits from your first lesson onward (i.e. C172 with G1000 etc.), as some are doing nowadays - even with the assumption that "they're on an airline cadet program and they'll never need any real time on steam gauges". Until steam gauges are literally the stuff of aero museums (which will happen one day, but it won't be soon), I can't see how it's not essential to develop a good base of "second nature" flying on the good 'ol 6-pack.

I can't imagine one of these people transitioning to an old-gen jet when they've flown nothing but glass going right back their initial training.
 
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:53 am



Quoting VMCA (Reply 2):
Just one comment, CRM has always been there. I think it was called "common sense" then!

Indeed, common sense -in one form or another- has always been with us. Conceivably though (I am no expert in the matter), one aspect of CRM is what one may call "attitude management". Sensical as we all may be, it is sometimes difficult to avoid the personal/irrational that leads us to suspend our common sense every once in a while. For the earthbound, that may not lead to dangerous scenarios; for pilots, it is a different story.

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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:40 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 10):

Very interesting case; I would not have thought that such transitioning can occur today but then no rule is so general that it will not admit some exception. Is the transition difficult because one has to go back to mental arithmetics/geographical awareness I wonder?

It's normally a total lack of an instrument scan on a 6-pack. Most guys are also used to just following the flight director. I won't let new guys fly a flight director during training, I don't even show them how to turn it or the autopilot on until they are almost ready for their initial checkride. With the new glass, all you have to do is follow the bars and all your information is laid out right in front of you.

As far as geographical awareness, at first it's not a big deal that they have no idea where they are at. It's new, it's fast and I need them to just concentrate on flying the airplane and I'll worry about keeping us where we should be in the air by giving vectors and instructions. It's when guys get checked out and still have no idea where they are just by looking at an RMI and cross checking a couple VOR's or using DME off the VOR/GPS. Some of the guys are used to looking at the big moving map and don't seem to want to learn.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:56 pm



Quoting VMCA (Reply 9):
But, in the end, it's about using everything you have available to make the best decision. That part hasn't changed since Orville and Wilbur flipped a coin.

Simple principle, but of course it's so much more complex than that.

DescendVia had some good examples of accidents where poor CRM was a major factor. I can think of two others off the top of my head - Flying Tigers 66 and American 965. Neither of those is exclusively due to CRM, of course, but they are both very good examples of, among many other things, a captain who either interfered with his FO's work or pressed onward when the FO wasn't comfortable continuing.

Using all available information is just half the picture - the other half is about how to build relationships between crewmembers that facilitate getting all the information that you can. First and second officers used to be there to sit on their hands and shut up unless instructed to do otherwise by the captain. Not a great way to get information, or to create a catch for yourself in case you screw something up (and it does happen). Fortunately, that's not the attitude anymore.

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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:23 am



Quoting Mir (Reply 14):
First and second officers used to be there to sit on their hands and shut up unless instructed to do otherwise by the captain. Not a great way to get information, or to create a catch for yourself in case you screw something up (and it does happen). Fortunately, that's not the attitude anymore.

Well I was a F/E from 1966 to 1998 and all I can say is, that was not the attitude in either of the airlines I flew for. The attitude was in both airlines speak up now and live to discuss it later,and most captains and the airlines encouraged this attitude. There were then as now some awkward crew but generally not to the degree that you suggest.

Do not believe all they tell on CRM days about the good old days, it was not that bad

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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:07 am

As I see it, good commanders (of aircraft, fleets, armies, platoons, ships, tanks and whatnot) have implemented "CRM" in some form for centuries.

For example Horatio Nelson was known to thoroughly explain his plans and his approach so that his subordinates could use their initiative if they saw opportunities. He was of course in command (and responsible) but expected subordinates to make important decisions without his input. (Of course communication lags had a lot to do with it). As I see it, this kind of attitude is a direct ancestor of current CRM practices. This is in sharp contrast to micromanaging commanders who discouraged initiative and slapped down subordinates who moved before being given orders. Needless to say, Nelson's methods, which allowed for his famed tactical flexibility, were more effective than those of his typical contemporaries. And thus he won battles.

Good leadership which encourages good communications and initiative is thus not a new thing. What is "new" (well, since a few decades back) is the much stronger emphasis on these skills and the focus on the specific flight deck environment.

In the 50s, a captain could still have a career even if he was a tyrant who didn't listen. He might have been a bad captain, but the attitude was not necessarily a hindrance to his advancement. By the 80s, that was no longer possible. Flying skills and experience alone were not enough. You had to also be a good manager.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:39 am

I am, admittedly biased against Airbus, the more I learn about them, the less I find to like.

I would rather fly a basic 727 than any Airbus product, despite the advances in technology that have been a real benefit to safety in modern aviation I firmly believe Airbus has gone too far in taking the Pilot out of the loop.

The latest Air France crash looks very suspect. No matter what happens to your aircraft, as long as you have hydraulics and even degraded or standby electrical power you should have full control available with no restrictions.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:54 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
I would rather fly a basic 727 than any Airbus product, despite the advances in technology that have been a real benefit to safety in modern aviation I firmly believe Airbus has gone too far in taking the Pilot out of the loop.

The latest Air France crash looks very suspect. No matter what happens to your aircraft, as long as you have hydraulics and even degraded or standby electrical power you should have full control available with no restrictions.

The pilot is never out of the loop. The limitations are set way beyond what any pilot should encounter in operation. It's an extra safety net. Ask a random Airbus pilot if he or she has ever run into the limits set by envelope protection. I bet he/she will say no.

Anyway let's look at the possibilities:
- If you are down to the standby electrical you're probably in Direct Law or Mechanical Backup anyway so you DO have full control available with no restrictions.
- If you have all the hydraulics and everything else is hunky-dory you are in Normal Law, in which the restrictions are stall protection, high speed restriction, load factor protection (so the aircraft can't be overstressed) and attitude limits (banks beyond 67 degrees and such). Unless you're doing aerobatics, you won't need to go beyond the attitude limits. This is hardly limiting the pilot. Within the envelope, he or she can do whatever he/she desires. Not that I'm an expert but if speed indication completely fails (as it may have done on AF447) I don't see how the pilot is hindered by the system.
- If the plane, for some reason, becomes inverted or otherwise enters an unusual attitude, you will be in Abnormal Alternate Law. All protections apart from load factor are deactivated. So besides not being able to break the aircraft, the pilot can do whatever he/she wants. As it should be since in this case aerobatics may be called for.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:14 am

Quoting Zappbrannigan (Reply 6):
Nearly all pilots (probably with the exception of airline cadets and the military) "grow up" flying 30-40 year old technology with borderline performance, in rubbish conditions down to minima, with passengers - often as a single-pilot operation.

Also, keep in mind a fair number of commercial pilots tht have been employed 15-20 years or more with a major airline has fown the likes of the 727, 737-200, DC-9, etc. My father who I would consider fairly young has flown two out of the above.

A good captain friend of mine who retired from DL back in 2005; he flew the DC-8 for a time and loved it.

[Edited 2009-07-12 17:17:03]
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:20 am

I find flying the 727 more relaxing than the glass planes. Less information overload, less to worry about. It's just a big Navajo.
 
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:46 am



Quoting Peterpuck (Reply 20):
I find flying the 727 more relaxing than the glass planes. Less information overload, less to worry about. It's just a big Navajo.

I hope to find out shortly myself since my company is talking about moving a couple of us into the 727 by the end of summer Smile I hope it's just a big Falcon.
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Max Q
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:07 am

The Airbus philosophy is to 'protect the Pilot from himself'


They have attempted to make a fool proof aircraft and it cannot be done, all these protections and hard limits may, sometimes be a good thing, but not always.


The Pilot(s) should always have access to full and complete control of his aircraft with no restrictions.


Period.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:38 am

Several thousand sold Airbus FBW planes disagree with you. I would note that the envelope protection systems have never been the cause of a crash. In the case of AF 447 we don't know either way as yet.

Can you cite a real or hypothetical situation where an absence of envelope protection would lead to a better outcome? When would a pilot ever need to stall an airliner, exceed a bank angle of 67 degrees or overspeed? I think that if the pilot is headed that way, the aircraft should save the pilot from himself.

I can cite at least one event where envelope protection probably saved lives: The infamous Mulhouse 320 crash, where the pilot made several errors. In this case envelope protection ensured the aircraft augered in wings level instead of quite possibly stalling at low altitude.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:06 pm



Quoting Max Q (Reply 22):
They have attempted to make a fool proof aircraft and it cannot be done

I think they're well aware of the realities. However, the fact that it cannot be done 100% doesn't seem to me to be reason enough to avoid even going part of the way.

Similar things have been said about automatic gearboxes and anti-lock brakes in cars... "I don't want some system deciding for me how to apply and release the brakes in an emergency or deciding for me which gear the car should be in". Though it was many years ago now, I remember someone bemoaning the fact that "drivers these days" don't have a clue about fuel mixture, ignition timing, etc., and another saying he "might not want the indicators to self-cancel after a turn". I'm pretty glad the car manufacturers didn't pay any attention to such people.  Smile.
 
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:33 am

Kindly explain to me how the Airbus hard limit FBW 'protections' would function in the case of a Pitot / Static icing blockage.

In this case the Airspeed indicators will show a (false) steadily increasing airspeed until the overspeed warning sounds, if you increase pitch to counteract this you will eventually get a (real) stall warning signalled by the AOA vane.


How will the flight control system of the Airbus react in this case or is it even known, the hard limits on overspeed will activate an increase in pitch to rectify this while exceeding the critical AOA will signal a pitch decrease to prevent a stall ?


The two systems would seem to be in conflict, what will the end result be, and what will be the available control while the software 'gods' are arguing ? or does the system just give up ?


Just one of many issues with Airbus..
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:19 am

That is indeed a good example. Then again, there is no known case where this has been a problem in operation. Again, AF447 is still unknown.

One would have to ask an Airbus pilot for the details. I assume the system would revert to a lower law than normal if it disagrees with itself. It would then be the job of the pilots to sort it out, just like on a Boeing.

Also, how would a Boeing autopilot/autothrottle system react in this situation? Wouldn't you run into the same problem, barring the actual protection? That is, false indication of increasing speed, leading to lower power settings, leading to stall.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 25):
Just one of many issues with Airbus..

What are the other ones?
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:56 am

You may be assuming a lot.

No aircraft is immune to this problem, however, with a Pitot static icing problem in a Boeing (even a 777) you still have complete control of the Aircraft with no hard limits sending your FBW system into an irrecoverable conundrum.


In the 777 you can still completely turn off the FBW system and revert to pure manually signalled hydraulicaly actuated control.


Not an option available in any FBW Airbus.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:05 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 26):
One would have to ask an Airbus pilot for the details. I assume the system would revert to a lower law than normal if it disagrees with itself. It would then be the job of the pilots to sort it out, just like on a Boeing.

I'm certainly no Airbus pilot - but that was my understanding of how the control laws worked. If the aircraft "decides" it can't effectively provide envelope protection, or something similar, it degrades its level of interpreting and interfering with control inputs until it's in direct law, where it won't provide any protection and you can fly it as directly as is possible in a FBW system.

My basic understanding of the difference in Boeing vs. Airbus mentality is that you can "fight" the 777 into doing this no matter what, whereas the Airbus has to "permit" you to do it.

Interested in hearing the clarified explanation from someone who knows what they're talking about.
 
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:06 am

I will happily take my Boeing any day.


Aircraft should be flown by Pilots, not computers.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:49 am

Plenty of computers flying Boeing aircraft. The autopilots, FADEC and autothrottles.  Wink

Anyway the objective of the Airbus control systems is to be more efficient and to get the plane to do exactly what the pilot wants. It isn't a means unto itself. At the edges of the envelope, where the pilot should never be, there are protections.

There has always been resistance to new things. Way back, pilots resisted the move to a closed cockpit.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:16 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 29):
I will happily take my Boeing any day.


Aircraft should be flown by Pilots, not computers.

Me too, just got the call on Monday to go to the 727 Smile I think I am gonna take it!

All I need is a GPS so I can go direct, I can do the rest.
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:35 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 30):
Plenty of computers flying Boeing aircraft. The autopilots, FADEC and autothrottles.

The Autopilots on any Boeing can be completely disengaged (including the 777) leaving the Pilots full, unrestricted control.


FADEC does not 'fly the Aircraft' it is an engine management and control system that prevents engine damage by preventing exceedances in, amongst other things, EGT, EPR Fuel flow etc..


Autothrottles do not 'fly the Aircraft' they are there as a workload assist for the Pilots, automatically setting power on take off and controlling speed during the cruise to use just two examples.

They can be completely disengaged on any Boeing Aircraft when desired.


Progress in Aviation is a great thing, change for change's sake is not.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Max Q
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:39 am

That Falcon looks like a great machine TB727, are they as nice to fly as I have heard ?


You will love the 727, a real Pilots Aircraft, only bad thing I could say about it is that it's very noisy, enjoy !
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:19 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
Progress in Aviation is a great thing, change for change's sake is not.

It is hardly for its own sake. That would be silly. Airbus implemented the system to save money, improve efficiency and provide an extra safety net.

I have yet to hear good argument why the system is dangerous. Has there ever been a real world situation where envelope protection has endangered the aircraft? Where "total control" would have enabled the pilots to save the aircraft if they hadn't been "hindered" by envelope protection? I think not.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Flighty
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:20 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 34):
Where "total control" would have enabled the pilots to save the aircraft if they hadn't been "hindered" by envelope protection? I think not.

Apologies for my novice point / question.

Such a system probably depends on correct altitude and airspeed, right? With good sensors, the flight envelope is known by the computer. Great. But without correct sensor data, how can the computer know what the flight envelope is? If it thinks you are at zero altitude or zero airspeed, (or yaw problems?) it seems like it might start polluting your controls in a major way.

Or did they think of that already?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:38 am

My understanding is that if the computers determine the data is crap, they will revert to simpler and simpler flight laws until they end up in direct law, at which point control inputs are directly and without interpretation transmitted to the surfaces. In other words, just like a Boeing.

The big question is of course how to decide the data is crap. I assume there's a method.

Also, it is a fallacy to assume that if the data is crap the pilot in the Boeing would do that much better. Without visual references (say at night over the ocean) flying without instruments is not trivial. That's why pilots are taught to rely on the instruments instead of their senses in such conditions. The Aeroperu 757 crashed primarily due to missing airspeed data (taped over ports). The pilots could in theory have used known throttle settings, but did not.

[Edited 2009-07-15 04:41:13]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Faro
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe

Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:04 pm

Most of this thread has centered around FBW envelope protection and glass cockpits but what about all the other innovations implemented these last 50 odd years, things like:

- CRM
- SELCAL
- The under-250 kt-rule below 10,000ft
- APU's
- Prevalence of ground radar
- Mode C SSR
- TCAS
- ACARS
- FADEC engine protection
- etc.

Imagine you are on a MTOW night departure for an oceanic crossing from a busy airfield made busier still by numerous diversions from a neighbouring airport, with:

- erratic patches of fog here and there
- your N° 1 engine EGT slightly above norm and N° 2 showing intermittent jumps in vibration level
- an air conditioning pack acting up
- a highly competent yet irritable and temperamental captain
- a high-static yet otherwise serviceable HF set, and
- a mountain ridge peaking at 7,000 ft along your departure routing, just short of your top of climb point.

You've got a 707-320C at your disposal, with less than stellar airfield performance.

Comfy?

Faro

[Edited 2009-07-15 05:15:28]
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lowrider
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 37):
Imagine you are on a MTOW night departure for an oceanic crossing from a busy airfield made busier still by numerous diversions from a neighbouring airport, with:

Just a normal day in my world, except the aircraft is not a 707.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:14 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Such a system probably depends on correct altitude and airspeed, right? With good sensors, the flight envelope is known by the computer. Great. But without correct sensor data, how can the computer know what the flight envelope is? I

Exactly, and this was the direct cause of the sole crash of a B-2 bomber in Guam. Faulty sensor data led the aircraft to believe it was nose down and thus pitched up, overriding the pilot and stalling the aircraft.
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Max Q
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:44 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 36):
My understanding is that if the computers determine the data is crap



Well, in over 22 years of flying transport category jets I have seen how computers react to bad data and it's never been pretty.


I think that is wishful thinking on your part.

[Edited 2009-07-15 21:49:01]
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DocLightning
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:38 pm



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 5):
While the technology has changed, the basic skill set remains similar and,

Does it?

In the early days of jet aviation, there were a lot fewer planes in the sky. Pilots did a lot of "seat-of-the-pants" flying and did tricks like flying a 707 to within 60 miles of the destination, ordering flight idle, and setting the flaps at 40, which would make the ac drop like a stone to the runway. It wasn't recommended, but that's what they did.

Today's pilots need to be by-the-book players and efficient team managers. The first jet pilots needed a different set of skills to deal with the fact that there were long stretches where there was no ATC and no contact with anyone, service into semi-prepared fields, and far fewer forms, files, and procedures.
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lowrider
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:13 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
Pilots did a lot of "seat-of-the-pants" flying

Seat of the pants is a euphemism for for experience. A few may have pulled your 707 trick because they knew it could be done and they could do it with impunity. But it has been proven that unstablized approaches are more dangerous, so this seat of the pants trick would be looked on as too dangerous unless there was no safer course of action.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
Today's pilots need to be by-the-book players and efficient team managers.

This is not a new invention, it is just that the book has gotten thicker and more complicated. The most respected professionals have always displayed these traits, even if they had different labels.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
The first jet pilots needed a different set of skills to deal with the fact that there were long stretches where there was no ATC and no contact with anyone, service into semi-prepared fields, and far fewer forms, files, and procedures.

There are still vast expanses of the world where options are scarce, procedures are few, vary greatly, and are poorly documented. In another thread we spoke about the most desolate routes. How do forms, procedures, and nice airports help you in the middle of the South Atlantic or over central Africa? While communication has improved, the safety of flight will still rest upon good judgment from the cockpit when the unexpected crops up. Just as it has in the past.
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DocLightning
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:48 pm



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 42):

There are still vast expanses of the world where options are scarce, procedures are few, vary greatly, and are poorly documented. In another thread we spoke about the most desolate routes. How do forms, procedures, and nice airports help you in the middle of the South Atlantic or over central Africa? While communication has improved, the safety of flight will still rest upon good judgment from the cockpit when the unexpected crops up. Just as it has in the past.

This has always been a concern of mine. Just as is happening in medicine, what happens when you find yourself in a situation when the rules and regs tell you to do something that is clearly going to just make things worse?

I worry that our society is going to a mode where "more paperwork makes for better safety."

I'd love to turn this question around. We pull a Comet 4 pilot out of there and put him in a 787. I bet he won't know what to do.
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Max Q
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:07 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 43):

I'd love to turn this question around. We pull a Comet 4 pilot out of there and put him in a 787. I bet he won't know what to do.

I think he would do just fine. Obviously operating the FMS and understanding FBW etc.. would take him some time but, give him a five minute brief on where to see the attitude / airspeed/ altitude and vertical speed plus the engine instruments and he would fly quite competently.


Stick and rudder skills, despite conventional wisdom will always be essential.
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lowrider
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:14 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 43):
Just as is happening in medicine, what happens when you find yourself in a situation when the rules and regs tell you to do something that is clearly going to just make things worse?

That is why so many pilots are so guard a Captain's authority so jealously. We don't want are ability to meet the needs of an emergency to be hamstrung by by someone in a stationary office.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 43):
I'd love to turn this question around. We pull a Comet 4 pilot out of there and put him in a 787. I bet he won't know what to do.

I gotta go with Max Q on this one. The basics remain the same, and it would be like any other pilot transitioning out of steam gauge equipment to glass equipment. Glass is meant to be easier. It does take some time to learn how to interpret the data and to trust the magic behind the scenes, but give him 5 hours and he would be proficient in basic normal ops.
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glen
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:42 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
In the 777 you can still completely turn off the FBW system and revert to pure manually signalled hydraulicaly actuated control.

So on Airbus.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
The Autopilots on any Boeing can be completely disengaged (including the 777) leaving the Pilots full, unrestricted control.

So on Airbus.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
They can be completely disengaged on any Boeing Aircraft when desired.

So on Airbus.
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Faro
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe

Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:54 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 44):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 43):

I'd love to turn this question around. We pull a Comet 4 pilot out of there and put him in a 787. I bet he won't know what to do.

I think he would do just fine. Obviously operating the FMS and understanding FBW etc.. would take him some time but, give him a five minute brief on where to see the attitude / airspeed/ altitude and vertical speed plus the engine instruments and he would fly quite competentl

I am not a pilot and have no pretence to knowing these things better than the professionals. I would imagine however, that in normal operating conditions, your above statement would hold true. In an emergency or when dealing with abnormal situations however, I rather think that the Comet pilot would wish he were back in his old office. The mass of system checks, procedures, diagnostics and emergency manuals for a FBW envelope-protected airliner must be intimidating to say the least. To the proverbial aviate/navigate/communicate, he would have to interpose diagnosticate...

Faro
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Max Q
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:12 pm



Quoting GLEN (Reply 46):


Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
In the 777 you can still completely turn off the FBW system and revert to pure manually signalled hydraulicaly actuated control.

So on Airbus.

Not true, Airbus flight Control system can degrade automatically, however, as a pilot you never have the option to turn all FBW 'filtering' off yourself which you can do in the 777 with one switch.
[quote=GLEN,reply=46]
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2H4
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RE: Pilots: Would Early Sixties Flying Feel Unsafe?

Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:20 pm



Quoting Max Q (Reply 48):
as a pilot you never have the option to turn all FBW 'filtering' off yourself which you can do in the 777 with one switch.

Throughout history, how many instances would such a feature have saved lives had Airbus made it available on their aircraft?

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