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Everything posted by dsam

  1. I think it is telling that Europe and Canada will now refuse safety investigations from US authorities (according to ABC Australia). Might that be saying that FAA and Boeing are too closely allied, to the detriment of safety, and the Europeans and Canadians don’t trust them anymore? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-22/boeing-plans-to-reverse-optional-safety-feature-on-737-max-fleet/10928066
  2. As I understand it. MCAS drives the jackscrew “trim” which moves the entire horizontal stabiliser 2.5 degrees downwards at its extreme, pitching the angle of incidence nose down, possibly beyond the range of the elevators to counteract that nose-down attitude (at that extreme). Happy to be corrected on that detail by someone more knowledgeable...
  3. My Dynon Skyview system uses differential pressure ports on their pitot tube. You can see AoA depicted (below) as the coloured green/yellow/red segments just right of the airspeed “tape”. I also get an audible beeping in the headsets just as I approach stall, with a solid tone within the stall.
  4. So we can now expect a lawyer‘s picnic ascribing blame & costs to various parties, a software update, and re-wired integration of the second AoA sensor into the flight control system & related algorithms. How sad that this post-crash detail wasn’t better promulgated & rectified after the first Lion Air crash. Must investigations really take so long to deliver preliminary findings...? If it was dealt with sooner, might it have prevented the Ethiopian crash? Might we blame lawyers for this delay in releasing findings? As so often seems to be the case, the cause of these tragedies could also be shared across a number of groups (Boeing accountants, engineers (software & hardware), airline crew training staff, airline maintenance procedures, FAA regulators vs. corporate expediency, and lastly, flight crew experience & expertise, (though it seems they weren’t really given all relevant info & training to rectify this issue). My condolences to the families of all the victims from these crashes. Blame and lawsuits won’t bring the victims back to their families. The only positives will come from complete transparency about the why’s & how’s of these crashes - and an undertaking to not repeat the mistakes.
  5. Precisely! If there was an independently powered GPS failsafe system that over-rode all systems where non-landing automation was merrily flying into the ground, the GPS "terrain-floor failsafe" could stop it.
  6. Nev, I wasn't quite suggesting pilots were "instructed" by training (or otherwise) to remain on autopilot, just that they habitually grow over-reliant on autopilot. If crew attention is diverted towards "systems rectification" rather than looking out the cockpit window at the ground rapidly approaching, that's a problem! I am aware that hand-flying is often done in IFR conditions, but if the primary flight instruments were showing senseless & conflicting data, a pilot might not want to disengage their autopilot in haste. That is where a GPS derived "terrain floor" in the autopilot should come to the rescue. I believe VFR conditions were in existence during this latest crash, thus the pilots could have had every reason to disengage autopilot (assuming they could & perhaps they did). Of course I accept that the actual cause of this crash may have nothing to do with the earlier Boeing crash - my comments are mainly meant to focus on cockpit automation parameters, and the way today's pilots interact with it all.
  7. Regarding automation failure, it defies belief that Boeing would design software that would fly the aircraft into the ground at considerable speed. Their software is integrated with numerous airspeed sensors + AoA sensors + gps location, speed, altitude info + terrain data. Even assuming Boeing's airspeed and AoA sensors all failed simultaneously, my basic iPad knows my GPS altitude, groundspeed, and local terrain proximity. Surely this same basic info is available to the Boeing flight systems automation! Why wouldn't the Boeing software use GPS data to stop CFIT as a last resort? Regarding pilot-software integration, I am inclined to worry that some pilot training programs might allow an over-reliance with staying on autopilot right into the ground, when VFR conditions allow hand-flying as an alternative before you hit the ground. Disclaimer: I am a mere recreational pilot with no experience of modern airliners, or their training regimes. I do have a Dynon Skyview that drives my autopilot, and it provides exceptionally good situational awareness. The data available to me is most certainly available to Boeing systems. Surely that should ensure automation failure safety?
  8. dsam

    ALBURY tower hours

    Ok good news for me as an RA-Aus pilot. Can you indicate what is behind these reduced hours? Less RPT? Funding cuts? Lack of need/rationalisation?
  9. dsam

    Tell us about your last flight

    It’s hard to beat the scenery of The Grampian ranges, and the 12 Apostles/Great Ocean Road on a single flight. Point Nepean looks fine too... can anybody spot Harold Holt... me neither🧐
  10. Ok, to hell with thread drift... I’ve resisted as long as I can bear😬 I’m grateful I grew up in Alberta, Canada. Learner’s permit at 14, Driver’s licence at 16, no alcohol before 18. Driving at night through blizzards on black ice gave one an appreciation for driving “on the limits” (10/10) at 45 km/hr. “Skid school” was an everyday occurrence when I drove myself to High School before first light. Following school, I then got a job driving GMC Public Transit busses in Calgary, again a 3 month defensive driving course + more “Skid School” - this time in a big bus on ice! Somehow, I survived it all. I’ve driven the German Autobahns and appreciate the high speed skills and how Europeans actually DO stay out of the fast lanes unless overtaking at speed. Why are Aussies so inclined not to do this!! As for unlimited speed limits in NT, my biggest concern is Kangaroo strike, as unlike Europe, the roads in NT don’t stop incursions from wildlife. I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this except to support those who advocate for better driver training, and flexible speed limits that make sense in each specific circumstance (not “politically” too slow, and not recklessly too fast).
  11. Authorities claim speed cameras aren’t about revenue raising, but genuine safety. I will only truly believe that when their infringement notices allow recipients of the fine to nominate a registered charity to pay it to (ie. Red Cross, Salvos, etc). Fair enough, we can still accumulate demerit points that eventually stop recidivist speeders, but I’m convinced revenue is the prime motivator for speed cameras. (Sorry about contributing to thread drift)
  12. dsam

    Tell us about your last flight

    Thursday was a terrific flying day! Victoria’s southern coastline, and the Phillip Island racetrack were at their usual splendour.
  13. Post #106 above: no steam, just glass...
  14. dsam

    Jacobson Flair

    The U/L instructor should also cover off the value of sideslipping, especially when clearing obstacles near the threshold.
  15. And to help keep on-topic, this is my layout. 10” Dynon Skyview + Garmin Aera linked to the autopilot. Each display has its independent backup battery. My iPad (and backup iPad) provides weather, and traffic awareness via ADS-Pi.
  16. In supplement to my earlier posts (#33 & #38) I also support Mike Borgelts comments on the usefulness of audio alerts from glass panels. Getting an immediate audible alert that something is amiss ensures it isn’t ignored (while I’m inspecting my charts, or peering for landmarks, traffic etc.) If my oil pressure drops out of range, I want to know ASAP, not just the next time I happen to scan the analogue dials. Despite being an old grey haired guy, glass wins hands-down!
  17. Today I had a chat to my Tassie friend who was driving in the nearby general area that fateful day. In his opinion, airframe icing that day was unlikely - cool but not freezing. No doubt, BoM records will be more definitive about conditions at 4500 ft and the authorities will certainly be checking the facts on this in their investigations.
  18. Yes, human factors comes into play (remote stranded passengers), as does “airmanship” (perhaps an antiquated term these days) - but I’m an old guy with an appreciation of powerful modern tech + old lessons learned by other’s mistakes. Garfly, your last ATSB 1971 link may well be closest to the mark on such airmanship: “The probable cause of the accident was that the pilot persisted with such determination or confidence in his attempts to reach his destination in the face of deteriorating weather conditions, that he did not ensure he could safely discontinue the approach at any time and still maintain visual reference to the significant terrain.” May we all heed the lessons of those who have challenged avoidable disasters and paid the ultimate price.
  19. Excluding severe mountain wave factors, CFIT is a sad & puzzling outcome to me. These days, for the price of an iPad & EFB software, every aircraft & pilot in Australia has excellent terrain & weather awareness at their fingertips. With this modern equipment, and competent planning & airmanship, CFIT in mountainous areas should be a thing of the past. I can only imagine that other factors must be involved (eg. loss of engine thrust, or unseen airframe icing...).
  20. I did an enjoyable day visit as a passenger with Par Avion down to Melaleuka a couple years ago, travelling on a fine day. As a frequent Tassie visitor, I know very well how the weather down that way can become suddenly challenging. Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the pilot - very sad.
  21. dsam

    Sideslipping again. . .

    I'm forever grateful that my (early 1970's) original flying experience was in a glider where spins, spiral dives, and sideslipping were a major part of my basic training, (along with rope & winch-break straight ahead forced landings that were somewhat common). All my glider final-approaches were set up somewhat too high, so sideslips on final were normal, then levelling the wings near flare, along with use of spoilers near touch-down. These days, I'm happy that my Eurofox (with its full-length hanging flaperons) makes an excellent platform for well-controlled sideslipped short landings. It is particularly helpful at unfamiliar aerodromes where there may be unseen wires, fences etc. on short final. My natural approach instinct has a steeper angle of decent on short final, so sideslips are second nature to me, and the steep angle keeps me well away from any unknown/unseen obstacles on my approach to the threshold. Yes, sideslips are always a natural option for me.
  22. If you ever wanted to know how a Lufthansa A350 crew enjoys their career, here is an edited multi-cam view of a flight from Munich to Tokyo. Yes, it's a longish video, but they've covered everything you might ever want to know (and perhaps a bit more...) You get an insight to the electronic capabilities of the aircraft, as well as the career path taken by the crew (front and back). More than the usual amount of hand-flying, I believe. Very informative for me...: https://youtu.be/jk-WClye4bw
  23. What an absolute cock-up! Who do we blame for this? CASA? Airservices? Who do we sue when there is a midair because of this bureaucratic cluster f#*k? Disgraceful!
  24. dsam

    Rotax 912

    Ok here is another data point: YLIL to YCBA, 4.2 hours wheels-off to landing, 70.52 litres at the pump to re-fill (16.79 litres per hour). It is rather consistent with the real time readout on the Dynon Skyview.
  25. dsam

    Rotax 912

    I get a wealth of data from the Dynon Skyview, but to be fair, the spreadsheet is merely a collection of (constantly updating) data points (from photos like the attached) over 2 flights on different days across a range of altitudes, temperatures, QNH etc etc. Lots of variables involved, but good enough for some fairly good predictability when flight planning future trips. The Auxiliary pump was mistakenly left on for the early part of that flight test (it is capable of being left on long-term). I tend to only turn it off after I’ve climbed past 2000 AGL to give me time to rectify any (unlikely) negative fuel-surge surprises necessitating re-starting. That’s never happened yet, but I usually notice a momentary fuel pressure drop in the gauge when I switch it off each time. Distance per litre is a quick visual reference for me, along with the Range readout (vs Distance to Go readout), and wind vector display. It helps me find the optimum altitude under actual MET conditions, all during climb out, and throughout a cross country trip. From this recent photo, I read a data point of 110 KTAS @ 17 lph, 5260 RPM, MAP 20.1, 9500 ft (DA 10492 ft) OAT 8 degrees, QNH 1024 I calibrated the k-factor for the Dynon fuel-flow by my record-keeping of actual fuel to fill at the pumps along my trips.