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    automation in cockpits

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    automation in cockpits

    Post by Admin on Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:01 pm

    some years ago I went on a course and had a lecture on the effects of automation in a cockpit and how it was creating dangers that had hitherto never been thought about

    this following problem is becoming all too common these days and it is only a matter of time before someone is killed. The following summary is of a recent flight of a Boeing 787-9 belonging to EL AL

    "The AIAI rated the occurrence a serious incident, that began with poor preparation of the flight management system with the captain entering a zero fuel weight signficantly lower, by 40 tons, than the actual one with the cross check failing to detect the error. As result the takeoff performance (takeoff power, takeoff speeds) were calculated erroneously resulting in increased danger of a tail strike on departure or loss of control after lift off. The protection system preventing the pitch to increase above limits to prevent a tail strike operated as expected and most likely prevented an accident, however caused the aircraft to add additional speed first before becoming airborne. The departure preparations were rushed due to late arrival of the incoming aircraft. As result the crew was handed a preliminary load sheet right after arriving at the aircraft, the crew entered those data into the FMS but skipped the testing due to the preliminary nature of the data. After receiving the final loadsheet the captain entered the data again, the first officer cross checked the data but did not recognize the error. The captain however spotted the error and again entered the data, but made the same error again, the first officer remained unaware of the correction attempt. The secondary captain of the augmenting crew did notice the primary captain did enter some correction, however, was in the cabin at the time and didn't see what was done. While the gross weight was over 220 tons, it was still 40 tons below the actual weight resulting in speeds being 15 knots lower than the actual ones. While the aircraft would have been able to stop on the runway before V1, in case of an engine failure above V1 the aircraft would not have been able to become airborne before the end of the runway. Rotation for takeoff was initiated at (computed) V1, the protection activated preventing the pitch to increase above limit and thus maintaining a minimum clearance between tail and runway surface. The aircraft accelerated in that attitude for some time until the aircraft became airborne. The initial climb to 1500 feet, still with reduced takeoff thrust, occurred at a lower climb rate than required. The flaps were retracted based on the erroneous schedule. The climb above 1500 feet was continued with climb thrust and went normal. While climbing through FL200, upon checking the cruise performance data, the crew discovered the error, when the FMS recommended FL380 which seemed implausible to the crew. The departure occurred in night hours when due to the biological clock the cognitive and physical capacity of humans are reduced. The flight crew, including the captain, had done a flight the previous day, had consumed their legal minimum rest time, however, fatigue can not be ruled out. The aircraft and all its system were operating normally. The airline did not conduct risk assessment when introduced the 787 fleet that was efficient enough to update all flight crew converting from the 777 to the 787 properly. A lot of distractions occurred during departure preparations, the time of which was reduced, with the handling of how data are being forwarded to the crew, 3 of the 4 flight crew members arriving later than the captain within the conditions of a busy holiday flight critical for family members. In the standard operating procedures of El Al there is no effective cross check of the takeoff offset, there is also no instruction to check and verify the computed takeoff thrust setting before commencing takeoff. The procedures by El Al as well as flight regulations do not take into account the mental fitness of flight crew after experiencing a critical safety issue."


    The flight crew consisted of 4 pilots:

      Current date/time is Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:36 pm