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The Secret UX Issues That Will Make (Or Break) Self-Driving Cars
"The physical driving behavior of the car is actually its own human-machine interface" > great, great piece. also, they obviously studied #AF447 very closely indeed. those Airbus sidesticks look like a worse and worse idea all the time.
cars  driverless  ux  design  performative_technology  af447 
february 2016 by yorksranter
La gauche et l’euro : liquider, reconstruire - Les blogs du Diplo
À ce moment, vient immanquablement à l’esprit l’image du cinglé enfermé dans le cockpit de l’Airbus, toutes manettes bloquées en mode descente (l’avion était un modèle européen, et le pilote allemand, on ne le fait pas exprès, c’est comme ça) > mais pourquoi pas choisir comme image le vol AF447?
af447  europe  euro 
july 2015 by yorksranter
Should Airplanes Be Flying Themselves?
Excellent Vanity Fair article on the AF447 disaster, covering pilots' team-leadership skills, Clipper Skippers, Alternate Law, and autopilot design: 'There is an old truth in aviation that the reasons you get into trouble become the reasons you don’t get out of it.'

Also interesting:

'The best pilots discard the [autopilot] automation naturally when it becomes unhelpful, and again there appear to be some cultural traits involved. Simulator studies have shown that Irish pilots, for instance, will gleefully throw away their crutches, while Asian pilots will hang on tightly. It’s obvious that the Irish are right, but in the real world Sarter’s advice is hard to sell. The automation is simply too compelling. The operational benefits outweigh the costs. The trend is toward more of it, not less. And after throwing away their crutches, many pilots today would lack the wherewithal to walk.'

(via Gavin Sheridan)
airlines  automation  flight  flying  accidents  post-mortems  af447  air-france  autopilot  alerts  pilots  team-leaders  clipper-skippers  alternate-law 
november 2014 by jm
Justin.tv - Confreaks - Live Streaming - Mountain West Ruby Conf 2013
good talk by at ( @ 0:35:50) on lessons for + much better audio than at devopsdaysnz
devops  AF447  mwrc  from twitter
april 2013 by indra
Warum stürzte Air France AF447 ab? - In Teufels Küche - Wissen - sueddeutsche.de
Warum stürzte Air France auf dem Weg von Rio nach Paris ab? über den Abschlussbericht.
AF447  from twitter
july 2012 by joha04
Air France Flight 447: 'Damn it, we’re going to crash’ - Telegraph
" the errors committed by the pilot doing the flying were not corrected by his more experienced colleagues because they did not know he was behaving in a manner bound to induce a stall. And the reason for that fatal lack of awareness lies partly in the design of the control stick – the “side stick” – used in all Airbus cockpits.""For Air France the conclusion was crushing: the crew had ignored repeated stall alerts and kept trying to climb, instead of levelling off or descending to pick up speed. ""There were eight children onboard, including Alexander Bjoroy, an 11-year-old boarder at Bristol’s Clifton College. Also travelling was Christine Badre Schnabl and her five-year-old son, Philippe. She and her husband had purposely chosen separate flights to Paris, possibly because of their shared fear of air crashes. He had taken off earlier with the couple’s three-year-old daughter.""Meanwhile, Bonin’s instinct was again to pull back on the control stick. He left it there despite the stall warning that blared out some 75 times. Instead of moving the stick forward to pick up speed, he continued to climb at almost the maximum rate. If he had simply set the control to neutral or re-engaged the autopilot, all would have been well.""With no knowledge of airspeed or angle of attack, the safest thing at high altitude is to descend gently to avoid a stall. This is what David urged Bonin to do, but something bewildering happened when Bonin put the nose down. As the aircraft picked up speed, the input data became valid again and the computers could now make sense of things. Once again they began to shout: “Stall, stall, stall.” Tragically, as Bonin did the right thing to pick up speed, the aircraft seemed to tell him he was making matters worse. If he had continued to descend the warnings would eventually have ceased. But, panicked by the renewed stall alerts, he chose to resume his fatal climb.""Yet if Bonin was now beyond his knowledge and experience, the key to understanding the crash is Robert’s failure to grasp the mistake being made by his colleague. It is here that Airbus’s cockpit design may be at fault.
Like all other aircraft in the modern Airbus range the A330 is controlled by side sticks beside pilots’ seats, which resemble those on computer game consoles. These side sticks are not connected to the aircraft control surfaces by levers and pulleys, as in older aircraft. Instead commands are fed to computers, which in turn send signals to the engines and hydraulics.""But the fact that the second pilot’s stick stays in neutral whatever the input to the other is not a good thing. As King concedes: “It’s not immediately apparent to one pilot what the other may be doing with the control stick, unless he makes a big effort to look across to the other side of the flight deck, which is not easy. In any case, the side stick is held back for only a few seconds, so you have to see the action being taken.”""It seems surprising that Airbus has conceived a system preventing one pilot from easily assessing the actions of the colleague beside him. And yet that is how their latest generations of aircraft are designed. The reason is that, for the vast majority of the time, side sticks are superb. “People are aware that they don’t know what is being done on the other side stick, but most of the time the crews fly in full automation; they are not even touching the stick,” says Captain King. “We hand-fly the aeroplane ever less now because automation is reliable and efficient, and because fatigue is an issue. [The side stick] is not an issue that comes up – very rarely does the other pilot’s input cause you concern.”""
Whatever the cultural differences, there is a perceived safety issue, too. The American manufacturer was concerned about side sticks’ lack of visual and physical feedback. Indeed, it is hard to believe AF447 would have fallen from the sky if it had been a Boeing. Had a traditional yoke been installed on Flight AF447, Robert would surely have realised that his junior colleague had the lever pulled back and mostly kept it there. When Dubois returned to the cockpit he would have seen that Bonin was pulling up the nose."
AirFrance  design  technology  AF447  crash 
may 2012 by jschneider
Air France Flight 447: 'Damn it, we’re going to crash’ - Telegraph
Sempre più impressionante: Air France Flight 447: 'Damn it, we’re going to crash’ - Telegraph
airfrance  flight  crash  airline  af447 
may 2012 by marmaz
Air France Flight 447: 'Damn it, we’re going to crash’ - Telegraph
"As forward thrust was lost, downward momentum was gathering. Instead of the wings slicing neatly through the air, their increasing angle of attack meant they were in effect damming it. In the next 40 seconds AF447 fell 3,000 feet, losing more and more speed as the angle of attack increased to 40 degrees. The wings were now like bulldozer blades against the sky. Bonin failed to grasp this fact, and though angle of attack readings are sent to onboard computers, there are no displays in modern jets to convey this critical information to the crews. One of the provisional recommendations of the BEA inquiry has been to challenge this absence. … It seems surprising that Airbus has conceived a system preventing one pilot from easily assessing the actions of the colleague beside him. And yet that is how their latest generations of aircraft are designed. The reason is that, for the vast majority of the time, side sticks are superb. …
Boeing has always begged to differ, persisting with conventional controls on its fly-by-wire aircraft … The American manufacturer was concerned about side sticks’ lack of visual and physical feedback. … There is another clever gizmo on the Airbus intended to make life simpler for the pilots but that could confound them if they are distracted and overloaded. Computers can automatically adjust the engine thrust to maintain whatever speed is selected by the crew. This means pilots do not need to keep fine-tuning the throttles on the cockpit’s centre console to control the power. But a curious feature of “autothrust” is that it bypasses the manual levers entirely – they simply do not move. This means pilots cannot sense the power setting by touching or glancing at the throttle levers. Instead, they have to check their computer screens. Again Boeing have adopted a different philosophy. They told the Telegraph: “We have heard again and again from airline pilots that the absence of motion with the Airbus flight deck is rather unsettling to them.” In Boeing’s system the manual handles move, even in automatic mode. … Critics of side sticks may now argue that Airbus should return to the drawing board. A feature designed to make things better for pilots has unintentionally made it harder for them to monitor colleagues in stressful situations. Yet there is no sign that the inquiry will call for changes to the sticks and Airbus remains confident about the safety of its technology. It will resist what it regards as a retrograde step to return to faux-mechanical controls. The company is unable to speak openly during the investigation, but a source close to the manufacturer says: “The ergonomic systems were absolutely not contrived by engineers and imposed on the pilot community. They were developed by pilots from many airlines, working closely with the engineers. What’s more, it has all been tested and certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency and regulators in the United States, and approved by lots of airlines.” As Captain King points out, a belief in automation and the elegantly simple side sticks in particular, is integral to the Airbus design philosophy: “You would have to build in artificial feedback – that would be a huge modification.” A defender of Airbus puts it thus: “When you drive you don’t look at the pedals to judge your speed, you look at the speedometer. It’s the same when flying: you don’t look at the stick, you look at the instruments.” There is a problem with that analogy. Drivers manoeuvre by looking out of the window, physically steering and sensing pressure on the pedals. The speedometer is usually the only instrument a motorist needs to monitor. An airline pilot flying in zero visibility depends upon instruments for direction, pitch, altitude, angle of climb or descent, turn, yaw and thrust; and has to keep an eye on several dozen settings and lights. Flying a big airliner manually is a demanding task, especially if warnings are blaring and anxiety is growing."
aircraft  crash  2012  Telegraph  design  UI  AF447  flight  air_travel  jet_aircraft  failure  Air_France 
april 2012 by Preoccupations
Air France Flight 447: 'Damn it, we’re going to crash’ - Telegraph
another article about the AF 447. includes some stuff about the two independent sticks. claims that it's a one-time change rather than continuous pulling, not sure if this is correct given the repeated quote “But I’ve had the stick back the whole time!”
airbus  aircraft  af447  systems 
april 2012 by jarek
A330 Pilot Speaks Out - AF447
xacerbated by fixating on ASI that made no sense whilst trying to find a PWR setting with no guidanc
a330  airbus  sidestick  af447 
january 2012 by oog

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