jm + air-france   2

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
How the search for flight AF447 used Bayesian inference
Via jgc, the search for the downed Air France flight was optimized using this technique:

'Metron’s approach to this search planning problem is rooted in classical Bayesian inference,
which allows organization of available data with associated uncertainties and computation of the
Probability Distribution Function (PDF) for target location given these data. In following this
approach, the first step was to gather the available information about the location of the impact site
of the aircraft. This information was sometimes contradictory and filled with ambiguities and
uncertainties. Using a Bayesian approach we organized this material into consistent scenarios,
quantified the uncertainties with probability distributions, weighted the relative likelihood of each
scenario, and performed a simulation to produce a prior PDF for the location of the wreck.'
metron  bayes  bayesian-inference  machine-learning  statistics  via:jgc  air-france  disasters  probability  inference  searching 
march 2014 by jm

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