pianokeys wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:36 pm
righthandman wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:47 am
Maybe planes (especially with sidestick controls) should have a red robust centrally located 3 position switch labeled “Auto L” @ 10 o’clock position, “Auto R” @ 2 o’clock position, and an “Auto Off” @ 6 o’clock position. There should also be 2 green lights below the L and R switch positions. The Auto positions (L or R) should normally be used by the PF and remain in that position if and only if reliable sensor inputs are fed to the corresponding pilot, otherwise the other side should be engaged and if that too is receiving unreliable sensor inputs then the Auto Off should disconnect any and all automation flying the plane and let the pilots do their piloting sh*t.
Other than the obvious which was already pointed out, autopilot, Airbii have a side stick priority function, meaning you can isolate a side stick from making any control input and put the aircraft solely on one stick.
If it’s a plane with a sidestick/FBW and the plane’s automation is disconnected and in full manual mode, one or both green lights should then light up on the corresponding side(s) anytime the sidestick is sending valid control signals to the various aircraft flight controls.
That’s why there are five flight computers, none of them talk to each other, and the plane only needs one to fly. Redundancy
If you take the Airbii in to manual, it overrides any flight envelope protection. And it’s up to you, the pilot, to make sure to do as you said and make sure there are no “pitch disagreements...” or control disagreements.
All these freaking software safeguards are killing people. Commercial aircraft shouldn’t require a computer for stability argumentation. I just want the plane to behave something like what I learned to fly on. And then make sure that the good button pushers also retain basic flying skills otherwise drive a taxi.
Nope. Definitely not. They prevent people like you from “knowing better”
One of the companies that I worked for had a fleet of Airbus aircraft. Fortunately, we had a pilot who knew better. The Airbus training at the time made no mention that their wonderful aircraft flight control design could ever do wrong. After all, it was an Airbus and that would be "imposseeble". The system would save the passengers from the pilot, not the other way around.
Then one day a flight departed on one of those wet snowy days, fortunately with a pilot who knew better. They were climbing out in the higher levels when the Airbus decided that the pilot was placing the aircraft ina dangerous position. So it overrode everything and started descending.........at TEN THOUSAND feet per minute. The pilots tried pulling back on the control sticks but to no avail. It kept descending. Fortunately, the pilot who knew better, who also happened to be a check airman decided that he had had enough and did what Airbus should have trained pilots to do but did not. He disconnected the flight computers(known as ADR's) by pushing some buttons on the ceiling and all returned to normal.
Of course Airbus refused to believe that their aircraft had done anything wrong when informed of the incident but slowly, the recorded evidence became irrefutable. It turns out that.....similar to many jets, there are AOA vanes on the Airbus. There is a protective plate at the base of the AOA vanes where they enter the aircraft fuselage. Airbus was worried about ice crystals affecting these plates which are unheated so they created a replacement plate known as a conic plate. The problem was that the new conic plate was susceptible to water entering this area on the ground and then freezing in flight which is exactly what happened. The vanes froze at a certain AOA down low. That partcular AOA was lesser angle than what it would be at higher altitudes where such an AOA is near the stalling AOA. So the computers thought the aircraft was stalling even though the indicated airspeed was just fine. Fortunately, this pilot knew what to do even though the manufacturer had not told him what he should do if such a thing would ever happen because....such a thing would never happen.
Airbus apparently issued what is known as an OEB to inform pilots of this issue and modified their training(and perhaps their AOA vanes). They did send a representative to one of our pilot safety meetings part way through their investigation to discuss the incident and while doing their best to avoid admitting blame on the manufacturer, they couldn't really do so. I knew they would try to hide this as much as possible so I specifically asked if a report on this specific incident would be published and was told yes. Haven't seen anything yet.
Anyways...what is the lesson. Perhaps, there is something to be said about learning some more about your aircraft above and beyond what the manufacturer tells you. Not ridiculous minutia but interesting systems knowledge. I suppose it is like the instructor many years ago said when describing the electrical control for the prop....."if there is a problem, get rid of the electrical sh*t". Same with the Airbus, get rid of the computer sh*t. Boeing too, I suppose. And if things settle down after that perhaps best not to turn it back on.
I always read my FCOM updates and compare with what was written in previous issues and mark it down. I see Boeing removing some detailed info from the fuel system description recently. Minor stuff but perhaps they feel we just don't need to know....sort like in the Lion Air case.