A320 mishap

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Gabriel
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A320 mishap

Postby Gabriel » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:07 pm

Flyboy, I would sincerely like to know your take on this incident.

- The design of the automation.
- The pilots' performance (not just the initial human mistake with the flaps).
- The conclusions of the investigation.

http://avherald.com/h?article=49de3dbc&opt=234

There is a thread open there if you want to go and check some expert and non-expert comments.

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flyboy2548m
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby flyboy2548m » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:48 pm

What specific questions do you have?
"Lav sinks on 737 Max are too small"

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Gabriel
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby Gabriel » Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:31 pm

What specific questions do you have?
1) How common is a mistake of this type (like flaps selected up when down was intended, of selecting flaps up when gear up was intended)?
1b) What safeguards are in place to minimize the chance of this mistake and to detect it promptly if it happens? (in this incident it took them a couple of minutes to realize that the flaps were up and to understand that was the cause of al the events) (For example, I know that in engine failures procedures, there is a "confirm" check before shutting down the engine, but I don't think that something like this exists for a normal operation. Is the pilot flying expected to monitor the pilot monitoring extending the flaps? Is the pilot monitoring expect to confirm his own input for example by reading the actual flap position after moving the handle? Is the pilot flying expected to detect that the pilot monitoring moved the flap in the wrong direction? If so, how?
2) What do you think of the automation design in a case like this? namely
- That the plane doesn't go into go-around mode if the flaps are selected up.
- That even after applying TOGA and climbing quickly to get out of there, the mode remains in approach and the AT will try to slow down and go down after selecting CLB which may mean idling the engines like in this case, when you are still climbing.
3) What do you think of the performance of these pilots after the initial mistake was done? How understandable/acceptable is that
- They didn't detect the initial mistake
- They apparently expected the automation to go into TOGA mode (I will try an explanation myself: If they didn't realize that they selected the flaps up, they would naturally expect that the automation would go to TOGA when they selected TOGA)
- They apparently didn't realize that the mode did not go to TOGA, and attempted the same thing a few times with the same poor results.
- They were all over the place with the altitude and especially the airspeed.
- Even not understanding what the plane was doing with the thrust, they didn't disconnect the AT (as they did with the AP) to get the automation out of the equation and manually control the thrust and enforce the performance that they wanted.

I personally have mixed feelings regarding the crew performance.
I like that the PF was obviously paying attention to the speed and quickly decided to go around when the speed started to deteriorate (not because of the airspeed going down but because of the low-speed cues going up).
I didn't like that they apparently didn't check the mode that they were on.
I liked that they disconnected the AP and flew manually, and even disconnected the FD when they were receiving confusing cues.
I didn't like that they didn't disconnect the AT when the thrust was reacting in ways they didn't expect.
I don't know what to make of the initial mistake itself and of the failure to detect it. It is hard to never make such a mistake, but I would expect the PM to confirm in the instruments that the flaps are moving and settling in the desired setting after selecting a flap position. I think it is very hard for the PF to monitor and quickly detect such a mistake, since PF should be very focused in the PFD. But I also think that these mistakes, while understandable and expectable, are very potentially dangerous so there should be a reasonable level of safeguard to make it either extremely unlikely to happen (I don't know how) or mitigating the consequences (which was done in this case by the plane refusing to retract the slats as commanded).

In any event, while I have feelings and opinions I don't consider myself a very well educated person in the subject of transport jet operations, so I would love to hear the opinions of a professional 320 pilot.

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3WE
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby 3WE » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:13 pm

I will hijack this, and put in my own, much briefer question.

Brief background:

There was a line in the AvHeraldie write up that the "automation did not help the pilots".

And, the discussion there has gotten me worked up that "CLB" can equal flight idle and that TOGA doesn't mean TOGA if the flaps are up. WTP?

The question I think Gabiee wants to ask is if you feel that there are some bad design attributes on the 320 control systems?

All that being said, I'm guessing the answer is "Yes, always know your airplane, BUT MORESO, ALWAYS MAINTAIN SA OF SPEED AND POWER AND ATTITUDE, WHICH, IN SPITE OF THE SELECT-O-MAGIC AIRPLANE STILL GIVE PILOTS THE SAME DATA YOU CAN GET FROM A 150."

Yes?

Also, does my use of acronyms get you all hot and bothered? Thanks in advance.
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

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Gabriel
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby Gabriel » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:31 pm

I will hijack this, and put in my own, much briefer question.

Brief background:

There was a line in the AvHeraldie write up that the "automation did not help the pilots".

And, the discussion there has gotten me worked up that "CLB" can equal flight idle and that TOGA doesn't mean TOGA if the flaps are up. WTP?

The question I think Gabiee wants to ask is if you feel that there are some bad design attributes on the 320 control systems?

All that being said, I'm guessing the answer is "Yes, always know your airplane, BUT MORESO, ALWAYS MAINTAIN SA OF SPEED AND POWER AND ATTITUDE, WHICH, IN SPITE OF THE SELECT-O-MAGIC AIRPLANE STILL GIVE PILOTS THE SAME DATA YOU CAN GET FROM A 150."

Yes?

Also, does my use of acronyms get you all hot and bothered? Thanks in advance.
You are biased
And, the discussion there has gotten me worked up that (1) "CLB" can equal flight idle if the AT is on and the selected automation mode needs idle for the selected goal and that (2) TOGA will always mean TOGA thrust but doesn't mean TOGA automation mode if the flaps are up.
Fixed. And:

(1): Also in a Boeing, if you select a climbish thrust and the AT is on, the AT can/will modify that thrust to comply with the needs of the selected mode. Yes, it will move the thrust lever in the process, but this was a casual link for example in the Turkish accident where the pilots upon noticing (to late) the too-low speed added full thrust but the AT retarded the levers again, and when they got the stickshaker they added full thrust again and the AT again retarded the levers, and they crashed and died.
In the Airbus, at least, if you select anything above Climb that will put the AT to sleep and you will get what you selected.

(2): Also in Boeings if you don't have a minimum slat/flap setting, selecting TOGA (in Boeings it is with the TOGA buttons, not with the thrust levers) doesn't result in getting TOGA mode, and fully advancing the throttles never gives you TOGA mode by itself and, you will get TOGA thrust (just like in the Airbus) but as discussed above that may be short lived if the AT is on (unlike the Airbus)

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flyboy2548m
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby flyboy2548m » Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:16 pm

I would love to hear the opinions of a professional 320 pilot.
Since when? By that I mean, when have you EVER welcomed the opinions of a professional pilot? But I digress...

I can't say I've heard of this exact thing happening before, certainly not on approach. I've heard of flaps being retracted prematurely on takeoff (or go-around), but retracted instead of extended on approach is a new one.

The safeguard (at least in our case) is that the PF calls for whatever flap setting, the PM states it back, moves the lever while looking at the ED to see that the flap indicator shows the commanded position. In other words PF says "Flaps X", the PM responds "speed checked, Flaps X'. The second flaps X must come from the ED, not the lever.

I agree with Airbus system design on no G/A mode if clean. The reasoning is that if you're going around in clean config, odds are you're doing so from some higher altitude (more of an abandoned approach than a go-around), so do you really need to be climbing at 4,000fpm if you only need to climb 500-1000', if at all? The system is fairly idiot-proof unless, of course, you find exactly the wrong idiot.

As for crew performance, well...obviously pretty poor FMA awareness. I've said this other places and other times, if the automation is doing something wonky, get rid of it and turn the airplane into a Cessna. I don't care WHY it's doing something wonky (especially down low). Best to get rid of it, put the airplane where it needs to be and figure it out later. Works every time. Usually I get something about memory items thrown at me as a response, however.

Hope this helps.
"Lav sinks on 737 Max are too small"

-TeeVee, one of America's finest legal minds.

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Gabriel
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby Gabriel » Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:55 pm

I can't say I've heard of this exact thing happening before, certainly not on approach. I've heard of flaps being retracted prematurely on takeoff (or go-around), but retracted instead of extended on approach is a new one.

The safeguard (at least in our case) is that the PF calls for whatever flap setting, the PM states it back, moves the lever while looking at the ED to see that the flap indicator shows the commanded position. In other words PF says "Flaps X", the PM responds "speed checked, Flaps X'. The second flaps X must come from the ED, not the lever.

I agree with Airbus system design on no G/A mode if clean. The reasoning is that if you're going around in clean config, odds are you're doing so from some higher altitude (more of an abandoned approach than a go-around), so do you really need to be climbing at 4,000fpm if you only need to climb 500-1000', if at all? The system is fairly idiot-proof unless, of course, you find exactly the wrong idiot.

As for crew performance, well...obviously pretty poor FMA awareness. I've said this other places and other times, if the automation is doing something wonky, get rid of it and turn the airplane into a Cessna. I don't care WHY it's doing something wonky (especially down low). Best to get rid of it, put the airplane where it needs to be and figure it out later. Works every time. Usually I get something about memory items thrown at me as a response, however.

Hope this helps.
Thank you. I do appreciate it. And (surpisinly?) it seems we agree.
I would love to hear the opinions of a professional 320 pilot.
Since when? By that I mean, when have you EVER welcomed the opinions of a professional pilot? But I digress...
I have ALWAYS welcomed the opinions of EVRYBODY, including professional pilots. That doesn't mean that I will always agree. But I digress.

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flyboy2548m
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby flyboy2548m » Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:57 pm

I have ALWAYS welcomed the opinions of EVRYBODY, including professional pilots. That doesn't mean that I will always agree. But I digress.
I guess I might have possibly (although unlikely) believed you more had you at least spelled "everybody" correctly.
"Lav sinks on 737 Max are too small"

-TeeVee, one of America's finest legal minds.

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Gabriel
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Re: A320 mishap

Postby Gabriel » Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:09 pm

For the record, I also misspelled surprisingly (and probably another bunch of words).


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