Reliant on automation?

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#41 Post by Boac » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:11 am

500N wrote:If the pitot tube is covered, is their any other way of telling what speed the aircraft is doing ?
- not in a Turbulent. Airflow noise is about all you have (long silk scarf and open cockpit sometimes helps :| ). I once did a post C of A airtest on an Auster, which as usual involved a dive to published 'Vne' which I think was around ?120mph? (long time ago!). With full power and about 30 degrees nose down and 105 on the ASI and a hairy Yorkshire engineer urging me to ' **** get the speed up' (yes, I got him to fly on the AirTest!!) I quit, since it 'sounded' bleedin' fast. Turned out there was a large 'ole in the ASI tubing and Lord knows what we were up to!

This was after I had embarrasingly spun round on the grass trying to taxy since a brake had stuck on...............

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#42 Post by Pinky the pilot » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:31 am

My first Flying Job after gaining my CPL (and MECIR) was in 1987, cruising around the Outback Oil/Gas fields of SA/QLD in a Cessna 206.

One day I took off from Moomba and only around passing through 300 ft or so I glanced at the ASI, and found it to reading zero! Looked out at the Pitot tube to find the anti bug thingy which covers it when the A/C is stationary and lifts off under airflow to be firmly closed! The flat part of the mechanism that uncovers the tube under airflow was severely bent!

Then remembered that one of the Ground handlers mentioned earlier that he had accidentally backed into 'some part of the airframe' when moving the aircraft by hand at the refuelling site.

I only had a 15 minute leg to a strip called Dullingari so just flew with a little more attention to attitude and power settings. Landed ok, shut down got out and straightened the bit of metal.

No problems thereafter.

During my earlier training, I was given 'heaps' of limited panel, some of which was along the lines of "Your ASI has failed...."
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#43 Post by Slasher » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:06 am

Pinks I was trained in a DH82. Limited panel was covering up the T&B, and recovery from UAs under the hood was sweaty work!
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#44 Post by ExSp33db1rd » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:14 am

This was after I had embarrassingly spun round on the grass trying to taxy since a brake had stuck on...............


Turned up for my flight test in a Cessna 152 to convert my foreign ATPL into a modest New Zealand PPL, the examiner told me to go out and pre-flight the aircraft - I suspect he watched me secretly from his office - which I did, then strapped myself into the left hand seat to await his arrival, which he shortly did - undoing the rope attached to the port wing and the ground picket as he passed ! I offered to get out there and then, he said " don't worry, it happens, but you might have had a bit of trouble taxying away." I passed. (Hope NZ CAA aren't reading ?)

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#45 Post by ExSp33db1rd » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:29 am

Automation ... I guess every generation thinks the next generation will never be able to cope. Learning to use a sextant for oceanic /desert navigation led one of my despairing instructors to tell me that I'd never make a navigator so long as I had a hole in my asre until I'd been over Berlin with the shells coming through the cockpit whilst I tried to get a three heading wind drift reading to adjust the Met. forecast winds for the trip back home, obtained by peering through the drift site whilst directing the pilot to avoid the shells and maintain accurate headings approx. 120 deg. apart for a few minutes. I never had to. Years later I could navigate the North Atlantic with a sextant and plot fixes at 30 minute intervals, and read a paper-back picked up at the airport bookshop in between, ( 20 minute intervals if no book available ! ) only daily hands on practice, couldn't do it now, tho' I'd like to have a go ! but I despaired of some of my nav. students ever getting to grips with the sextant in the same way that my instructor had despaired of me, but then they were soon relieved of the necessity with the coming of INS and now GPS linked FMS Glass Cockpit, follow the Magenta Line sytems. Double Dutch to me.

Not so long ago I was flying around California with a friend in his Cessna 172, and he was using an iPad loaded with some sort of flight planning, navigation programme. He let me have a go but I was uncomfortable with the iPad only showing me a small section of the total route that we were flying, I needed the "Big Picture" to be happy that I was even heading in the right direction, just following moving numbers didn't seem right, and had the iPad thrown a wobbler I would have been totally lost. Said friend did carry a local chart, but found no need to even unfold it. Didn't seem right to me.

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#46 Post by ian16th » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:56 am

Question from an old Radar guy.

Was there ever a doppler nav aid that gave ground speed and drift angle, that was fitted to any a/c that didn't carry a navigator?

Remember, I had the Green Satin bench at Akrotiri for 2 years, but it was kit that was only fitted to V-Bombers, some Canberra's and things like Britannia's.

With transistors, smaller kit could have been built, that put indicators in front of the pilot, but it might have been superseded by INS or some such.
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#47 Post by Boac » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:07 am

Not sure if your query is just military, but DanAir's 737-200s has Dopler drift and G/S and we used to find the Canary Islands with it!

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#48 Post by Alisoncc » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:13 am

ian16th wrote:Remember, I had the Green Satin bench at Akrotiri for 2 years, but it was kit that was only fitted to V-Bombers, some Canberra's and things like Britannia's.

Comment from a slightly younger radar guy. You would have never had the pleasure of winching up a "lump" of green satin kit into a Vulcan then Ian? Here's a string of our Vulcans at Finningley 1964. Don't know who decided which pan they went on, but you can guarantee the furthest one needed the heaviest of piece of kit replaced.

finningleyvulcans.jpg
finningleyvulcans.jpg (47.07 KiB) Viewed 515 times


Returning to the topic. At one point they dug a trench down the middle of our runway to install something called "Leader Cable". IIRC it displayed on the ILS needles. Wasn't automated in a real sense, still needed a driver to follow the needle.

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#49 Post by ian16th » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:06 am

Boac

No my question wasn't restricted to military. Thanks for the answer.

During my service the Rebecca was reduced from a Navigator operated system, to a DME dial in front of the driver on a/c such as the Hunter.

Alison,

I did once change a Green Satin 'lump' on a Vulcan, and I did it without the winch!

When I was on 214 Sqdn, after the IFR trials and we started training other aircrew in the black arts. We were involved in getting a Vulcan from UK to Sydney none stop. For some reason the OC the Vulcan Sqdn visited us to have a meeting with our guys. Because they were visiting 214 the a/c was sent to our dispersal.

This of course was of great interest and everyone gathers round to to meet and greet and tyre kick this big tin triangle.

When the crew get out a voice calls out 'any radar guys here', it was the Nav and his GS was U/S and he asks if we can look at it.

We of course jumped at the chance to get inside the strange beast and soon decided it needed a TxRx swap and when we asked 'where is it?', we were pointed to the port wing!

GS screwdrivers quickly attacked the panel and we could survey our problem.

Anyway, eventually with 2 safety raisers and about 6 bodies we got it all out, removed the TxRx, swapped it and put it all back.

Our biggest problem was we couldn't put it down as it would have bent the scanner.

When the crew returned and we spoke to the Nav, he asked where we got the winch from.

'Winch, what winch?' We were a Valiant Sqdn.

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#50 Post by ian16th » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:28 am

Alison,

Having read my last, I got to thinking.

On the Vulcan with the Green Satin all being in the port wing, how did you align the scanner and zero the drift indicator syncro?

On the Valiant the Green Satin scanner was on the a/c centreline and we set it up when the a/c went for a compass swing. We had poles with spirit levels that were fixed to the scanner and then aligned with the ones that the Instrument guys put into fixed points on the a/c.

Our job was quite quick, less than 5 minutes, aside from all the screws to undo and do up on the dielectric panel. Then If we didn't had a Rover or the RVT we were stuck on the compass swing pan until everyone finished.

Why was the compass swing pan always a cold drafty place?
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#51 Post by Boac » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:37 am

'Cos it was a place for those with 'deviation'?

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#52 Post by Alisoncc » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:10 am

ian16th wrote:Our biggest problem was we couldn't put it down as it would have bent the scanner.

Ian we had a cradle with wheels that we lowered the satin into, and then got to push it back to the hangar. As to the alignment, as a lowly J/T I was not party to such mysteries. :D

I do believe we had a Snr Tech who went out on compass swings. Most likely when any alignment would have been carried out.

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#53 Post by ian16th » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:22 pm

Alisoncc wrote:
ian16th wrote:Our biggest problem was we couldn't put it down as it would have bent the scanner.

Ian we had a cradle with wheels that we lowered the satin into, and then got to push it back to the hangar. As to the alignment, as a lowly J/T I was not party to such mysteries. :D

I do believe we had a Snr Tech who went out on compass swings. Most likely when any alignment would have been carried out.

Alison


I was a Cpl or Cpl/Tech all my time on 214. We didn't have any Snr Tech's in the Radio trades.

To align the GS scanner was a 3 man job! After clamping the scanner dead ahead, you needed one guy to operate the screwdriver at the syncro, one to watch the indicator and one guy to stand at the bottom of the steps to pass the shouted messages! If only cellphones had been invented then.

One oddity I came across was later at Akrotiri. I had 13 Sqdn with Canberra PR 9's as my main user. They had one a/c that flew slightly crabwise.

The guys on 13 adjusted the GS sycro on that a/c so that the drift angle displayed was the variation from track, not from the heading! I believe that the Sqdn Nav Leader was involved in that one.
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#54 Post by Alisoncc » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:23 pm

ian16th wrote:I was a Cpl or Cpl/Tech all my time on 214. We didn't have any Snr Tech's in the Radio trades.

To align the GS scanner was a 3 man job! After clamping the scanner dead ahead, you needed one guy to operate the screwdriver at the syncro, one to watch the indicator and one guy to stand at the bottom of the steps to pass the shouted messages! If only cellphones had been invented then.

Yes, but Vulcans were the epitome of cutting edge technology at the time. We had degreed eng's looking after the NBS, and some pretty smart kiddies playing with the Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) kit down the back.

As for aligning GS, Vulcans had an intercom socket in the nosewheel bay, and we had long extensions to allow the radio guy to tweak the alignment whilst an instrument guy also on intercom would monitor the indicator at the Navs desk.

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#55 Post by ian16th » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:20 am

Alisoncc wrote:
ian16th wrote:We had degreed eng's looking after the NBS,


At the time of my Fitters course, 1955-6, National Servicemen needed a degree to get on a Radar Fitters course. Never came across a regular with a degree though.

My class of 22 had 11 NS AC2's, 11 regular SAC's of which 10 were ex-Boy Entrants.

It was a very strange social mix, but we got on remarkably well.

I worked on one of the 1st NBS sets in the RAF! As an SAC I was assigned to help the guys from EMI install the 'trainer', it would be called a simulator today, at the BCBS at Lindholme. My normal job at the time was looking after the Gee-H trainers. That would be the back end of 1954 as I spent some time on a Squadron there before my fitters course started about April 1955.
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#56 Post by reddo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:34 pm

Yep I've done the ol' take off with the pitot tube cover on... Partenavia and at night in the Kimberley. Thank goodness for power pitch and attitude. :D

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#57 Post by ian16th » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:13 pm

Awakening this old thread.

We used to have 5 crew on the flight deck.

The signaller/Wop was done away with.

The Navigator went.

The Flight Engineer was declared redundent.

Then ETOPs did away with an engine or two.

Now the airlines are looking at single pilot!
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Re: Reliant on automation?

#58 Post by boing » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:54 am

Here is an example of being let down by automation.

We were assigned to fly a 747-400 from Washington Dulles to Heathrow. This flight was normally operated by a 777 but they must have run out of aircraft and a 747 had been substituted. We were a West Coast crew who normally flew the Pacific so the three of us, Captain and two copilots, were pleased to get a little variety. I was first to arrive in operations.

Being first to arrive I took the flight paperwork from its slot on the dispatch counter and began to work through it. Something was wrong, not terribly wrong but wrong enough that the flight plan calculations did not match our usual rough "wag" calculations for cross-checking fuel use. I could not spot the problem at first but after a while it hit me between the eyes and I could not understand why I had not noticed it immediately. I decided to let the copilots try their hand. All of us agreed that there was something wrong with the fuel planning but the copilots could not spot the error.

Simple, company dispatch had changed the header of the flight plan to read 747 with the correct 747 tail-number but they had left all of the calculations in 777 mode so we were planned with insufficient fuel, however all of the mathematical calculations checked correctly. The error was that the dispatcher had to change the aircraft type for the calculations manually and he had fouled up.

I checked later and found out that even with all the computing power available to the company there was no small database that tied together aircraft tail-number with aircraft type for dispatch purposes. Garbage in, garbage out.


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Re: Reliant on automation?

#59 Post by OFSO » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:49 pm

Way back when the first ARIANE-5 flew the software for the three Flight Computers was copied from an earlier, smaller and slower version of the launch vehicle. Some time after lift-off one FC noticed it was going much faster than it should have been. "Hey you guys, what do you think ?" says FC #1 "Jeeze yes", said the second FC, "an ARIANE 3 never flies this fast". "Must be something wrong, says FC #3". "Guess we'd better self destruct then, all agree ?" says FC #1 "On my mark 1....2....3"

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Re: Reliant on automation?

#60 Post by Woody » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:07 pm

Not the best pushback ever :ymdevil:

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