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July2015
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#20
#18

Safety
first
002 Safety First #20 | July 2015

Safety first, #20 July, 2015. Safety first is


Safety first
The Airbus magazine contributing to the enhancement
published by Airbus S.A.S. - 1, rond point
Maurice Bellonte - 31707 Blagnac Cedex/France. of the safety of aircraft operations by increasing knowledge
Publisher: Yannick Malinge, Chief Product Safety and communication on safety related topics.
Officer, Editor: Corinne Bieder, Director Product
Safety Strategy & Communication.
Concept Design by Airbus Multi Media Support
20151274. Reference: GS 420.0045 Issue 20.
Photos by Airbus, H. Gouss, Lindner Fotografie, Safety first is published by the Product Safety depart-
A. Doumenjou, P. Pigeyre, P. Masclet, B. Sveinsson,
C. Brinkmann, Aneese.
ment. It is a source of specialist safety information for the
Printed in France. restricted use of flight and ground crew members who fly
This brochure is printed on Triple Star Satin. and maintain Airbus aircraft. It is also distributed to other
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that has been whitened without either chlorine Material for publication is obtained from multiple sources
or acid. The paper is entirely recyclable and is and includes selected information from the Airbus Flight
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The printing inks use organic pigments or dent investigation reports, system tests and flight tests.
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mercury or hexavalent chromium group. industry, studies and reports from government agencies
and other aviation sources.

All articles in Safety first are presented for information only


and are not intended to replace ICAO guidelines, stand-
ards or recommended practices, operator-mandated
requirements or technical orders. The contents do not
supersede any requirements m andated by the State of
Registry of the Operators aircraft or supersede or amend
Airbus S.A.S. 2015 All rights reserved.
Proprietary documents. any Airbus type-specific AFM, AMM, FCOM, MMEL docu-
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Brochure and of the materials it contains, even if 1, rond point Maurice Bellonte
Airbus S.A.S. has been advised of the likelihood
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safetycommunication@airbus.com
Fax: +33(0)5 61 93 44 29
editorial
In the current era of wealth of data where Big Data, smart
data and other data related trends emerge, a key question
arises: what can data tell us, and under what conditions?

Over the past decades, safety has evolved from primarily


reactive approaches such as accident and incident inves-
YANNICK MALINGE tigation, to more proactive approaches to try to anticipate
SVP & Chief and thus prevent safety issues. In line with this evolution,
Product Safety Officer there is a change of scale in the nature and the amount
of data. If Big Data seems a promising complement to
two other pillars of efficient safety enhancement - namely
proper reporting and cascading of lessons learned - it
requires some careful consideration as to how the data
are collected and analysed.

From statistical patterns identified to relevant safety rec-


ommendations, the way is long and involves interpreta-
tion, sense-making often requiring a qualitative analysis
calling for a good knowledge and understanding of oper-
ations and safety context.

With this in mind, we must take great care with some Big
Data approaches that use a variety of sources of data
collected for a variety of purposes and through a generic
and somehow magic algorithm come out with apparently
very credible safety results. Can we confuse big with
good when it comes to data? Is it reasonable to make
the assumption that big amounts of data could be self-
sense-making?

Evolving towards more proactive approaches, better


understanding of normal operations and detecting trends
are keys to further enhancements in safety. However,
whatever the amount of data, the experience of aviation
professionals is essential to make sure they are processed
and interpreted wisely.
002 Safety First #20 | July 2015

NEWS
A statistical Analysis on Commercial Aviation
Accidents: check the 2015 edition!
The new edition of our yearly brochure on commercial aviation accidents sta-
tistics is now available. This statistical analysis examines the evolution of hull-
loss and fatal accidents during revenue flights from 1958 to 2014. A particular
focus is made on a breakdown of statistics by generations of aircraft and main
accident categories, namely Controlled Flight Into terrain (CFIT), Loss Of Con-
trol In-flight (LOC-I) and Runway Excursion (RE).

Visit our airbus.com website (keyword safety) or find it on our tablet application.

SAVE THE DATE NEWS


22nd FLIGHT SAFETY CONFERENCE 2016
We are pleased to announce that the have an open dialogue to promote
22 Flight Safety Conference will take flight safety across the fleet, we are
place in Bangkok, Thailand, from the unable to accept outside parties.
21 to the 24 of March 2016. The for-
mal invitations with information regard- As always, we welcome presentations
ing registration and logistics, as well as from our operators. You can partic-
the preliminary agenda will be sent to ipate as a speaker and share your
our customers in January 2016. ideas and experience for improving
For any information regarding invita- aviation safety.
tions, please contact Mrs. Nuria Soler, If you have something you believe
email nuria.soler@airbus.com. will benefit other operators and/or Air-
bus and if you are interested in being
The Flight Safety Conference provides a speaker, please provide us with a
an excellent forum for the exchange brief abstract and a bio or resume at
of information between Airbus and nuria.soler@airbus.com.
its customers. To ensure that we can
22nd Flight Safety
Conference
Bangkok, 21-24 March 2016
004 Safety First #20 | July 2015
Safety First #18 | July 2014 005

Safety
first #20
PROCEDURES
P06
Control your speed... during climb

P14
Lateral runway excursions upon
landing

OPERATIONS
P28
Fuel monitoring on A320 Family
aircraft
Flight operations

Maintenance
GENERAL TOPIC
Engineering P36
High-altitude manual flying
Ground operations
006 Safety First #20 | July 2015
PROCEDURES
Control your speed... during climb

Control your speed


during climb
Second of a series of articles on the theme of speed control
during a flight, which started in issue #18 of this magazine,
we have just taken off and are now entering the climb phase.
The main objective is to retract the slats / flaps at an adequate
speed, while sustaining enough lift to accelerate and climb.

LORRAINE PHILIPPE
DE BAUDUS CASTAIGNS
Flight Operations Experimental Test Pilot
Standards and Safety
management
Safety First #20 | July 2015 007

After take-off, the aircraft continues in the climb phase and


flies away from the busy airspace. The objective for the crew
is to accelerate to the en-route climb speed and at the same
time, manage various aircraft configuration changes, usually
consisting of gears, slats and flaps retraction, and a change
from take-off power to climb power.
This article aims at shedding some light on the way the different
maneuvering and limit speeds that are of use during climb are
defined and determined, and how they can be implemented
in daily operations.

MANAGING YOUR CLIMB:


UNDERSTANDING SPEEDS
A climb is generally flown at an airspeed that is
often initially limited by Air Traffic Control (ATC)
instructions. To safely manage the climb phase
within these restrictions, some characteristic
speeds are useful tools, and they require a
close monitoring. What speeds exactly should
be monitored? What do these speeds mean and
what happens if they are exceeded?
For every flight, characteristic speeds Our objective is to highlight the design
F, S and
are computed automatically by the and operational considerations under- Green Dot speeds
aircraft Auto Flight Systems (Flight
Management System (FMS), Flight
lying all recommendations Airbus has
issued to flight crews regarding the
frame the aircraft
Guidance (FG) and Flight Enve- monitoring of these speeds during climb performance
lope (FE)) and effectively displayed climb. limits.
on the PFD airspeed scale. They Amongst other parameters, the maneu-
are extremely useful as maneu- vering speeds Flaps (F), Slats (S) and
vering speeds and limit speeds to Green Dot (GD) are a function of the
safely guide the pilots configuration Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) inserted by the
change decisions through the climb crew at FMS initialization. Therefore, any
phase. erroneous entry will impair these speeds.

Maneuvering speeds
In nominal conditions (all engines oper- help pilots fly their aircraft safely through
ative), the climb phase poses some the different steps of this phase of
challenges to the crew: accelerate the flight, some characteristic speeds were
aircraft, maintain a satisfactory climb defined as maneuvering speeds.
gradient and manage several config- F, S and Green Dot speeds frame the
uration changes at the same time. To aircraft climb performance limits.
PROCEDURES
Control your speed... during climb

F and S: Flaps and Slats minimum retraction speeds

Definitions

F speed is the minimum speed at S speed is the minimum slats retrac-


which flaps should be retracted from tion speed, i.e. the minimum speed at
CONF 3 or 2 to CONF 1+F. which a clean configuration should be
selected.
F speed
It is represented by a green F on the
PFD speed scale and displayed only It is represented by a green S on the
when the slats / flaps control lever is PFD speed scale and displayed only
on position 3 or 2 (CONF 3 or 2) dur- when the slats / flaps control lever
ing the take-off phase, the initial climb is on position 1 (CONF 1 and 1+F)
and go-around (fig.1). It is no longer (fig.2).
(fig.1)
displayed when in configuration 1 or
F on the PFD speed scale
1+F.

How are F and S determined during the take-off phase?

F speed varies according to the air- In this respect, F speed allows a mar-
craft weight and altitude. It is tab- gin above the stall speed in the con-
ulated in the Flight Envelope as a figuration 1+F.
function of VS1g CONF 1+F , which is the
reference stall speed demonstrated
by flight tests and agreed by the Air-
S speed
worthiness Authorities.

F speed = k x VS1g CONF 1+F , with k equal to about 1.18 to 1.26


VMCL + 5 kts F VFE CONF FULL 2 kts

S speed varies according to the air- In this respect, S speed allows a mar-
(fig.2) craft weight and altitude. It is tabu- gin above the stall speed in the clean
S on the PFD speed scale lated in the Flight Envelope as a func- configuration.
tion of VS1g CLEAN CONF.

S = k x VS1g CLEAN CONF , with k equal to about 1.21 to 1.25

Green Dot (GD): best lift-to-drag ratio

GD speed Definition

GD speed is the engine-out operat- represents the operational speed of


ing speed in clean configuration. In the clean configuration and the rec-
other words, it corresponds to the ommended speed in holding in clean
speed that allows the highest climb configuration.
gradient with one engine inoperative
in clean configuration. It is represented by a green dot on the
In all cases (all engines operative), PFD speed scale and displayed only
(fig.3) the GD speed gives an estimate of when the slats / flaps control lever is in
GD on the PFD speed scale the speed for best lift-to-drag ratio. It the 0 (CLEAN) position and landing
is also the final take-off speed and it gears are not compressed (fig.3).
Safety First #20 | July 2015 009

How is GD determined?

GD speed is computed by the Auto- ture and aircraft weight, in clean con-
flight systems and is based on the figuration with one engine out.
aircraft weight. The GD formula has In some phases of flight, GD is com-
been set up so that the resulting air- puted to minimize drag and thus, the
speed provides the best lift-to-drag fuel consumption (for example during
ratio for a given altitude, air tempera- the HOLD phase).

Limit speed
We have seen that deviations from the maneuvering speeds F, S and GD
during climb can have an impact on the aircrafts aerodynamic performance.
We will now focus on the limit speed VFE.

VFE: Maximum speed with Flaps Extended

With the A/THR engaged and active When the A/THR is not active, VFE
(CLB / OP CLB / SPEED green on exceedance may occur (for example
FMA), the aircraft remains below VFE. during a go-around).

Definition

VFE is the maximum speed with flaps gears extended) or VFE according to
extended. It has a specific value for the aircraft configuration. VMAX is equal
each flap setting. to VMO (or speed corresponding to
Generally speaking, the maximum MMO) only in the clean configuration.
speed defining the aircrafts flight On the PFD speed scale, it corre-
envelope is called VMAX. VMAX is equal sponds to the lower end of the red and
to VLE (maximum speed with landing black strip (fig.4). V display

How is VFE determined?

VFE is the maximum speed for high lift trol surfaces position), depending on
configurations, i.e. with slats / flaps the aircraft type.
extended: it is related to the structural
limitation of the slats / flaps. A VFE is In order to keep a sufficient margin
computed for each slats / flaps con- between the VFE CONF 3 and the speed
figuration, based on either the slats / at which the next configuration is
flaps control lever position or the actual selected, the following inequality is (fig.4)
aircraft configuration (slats / flaps con- met: VFE CONF 3 F + 10 kts. V on the PFD speed scale
PROCEDURES
Control your speed... during climb

MANAGING YOUR CLIMB:


OPERATIONAL
RECOMMENDATIONS

Flying a safe and steady climb requires pilots


attention to carefully manage the different
configuration changes, while accelerating to
the en-route climb speed and eventually, cruise
speed.

Indeed, not respecting the maneuver- quences - is important. It is therefore


ing and limit speeds leads to adverse worth understanding the different VFE
consequences that we will review. display logics implemented in each
Avoiding an overspeed situation dur- aircraft family, and the resulting over-
ing the slats / flaps retraction - with speed aural warning behaviour during
its potential structural damage conse- the climb.

What are the operational implications of not


respecting the maneuvering or limit speeds?

F and S: Flaps and Slats minimum retraction speeds

F speed (resp. S) is defined as the rec- Retracting the flaps (resp. slats) at
ommended minimum flaps (resp. slats) a speed significantly higher than F
retraction speed. Retracting the flaps speed (resp. S) would reduce the
(resp. slats) at a speed significantly lower climb performance and thus, possi-
than F (resp. S) would reduce the margin bly compromise the aircraft ability to
against the high Angle-Of-Attack (AOA) clear any obstacles (this is more likely
protection. This could lead the aircraft to if one engine is inoperative).
reach a speed below the lowest selecta- If flaps need to be maintained for a turn
ble speed VLS CONF 1 (or 0), and pos- before acceleration altitude for instance,
sibly low enough to break through the F speed (resp. S) can be used safely to
high AOA protection threshold. perform a turn while climbing.

GD: Green Dot

At a given weight and engine rating, been set to CLIMB / MCT), then the
the potential climb gradient is maxi- only way for the crew to recover a sat-
mum when (Thrust Drag) is at a isfactory climb gradient is to decrease
maximum - i.e. when the lift-to-drag the rate of climb (even enter a descent
ratio is maximum. if necessary) in order to accelerate to
or above GD. This maneuver is obvi-
Deviating below GD involves an ously counteractive to the objectives
increase in the drag on the aircraft of the climb phase.
and would eventually undermine the
GD IN A NUTSHELL aircrafts ability to continue a climb. Therefore in the clean configuration,
Indeed, if the aircraft speed goes sig- the crew should not fly below GD in
Avoid flying below
nificantly below GD, with the maxi- order to avoid degrading climb per-
GD during climb. mum available thrust already in use formance.
(assuming that thrust levers have just
Safety First #20 | July 2015 011

VFE: Maximum speed with flaps extended

In case of take-off with A/THR The flight crew will have to reduce
not active, flying with slats / flaps the speed or to retract the slats /
extended, or extending slats / flaps flaps accordingly.
well above VFE directly poses a risk of Exceeding VFE may subsequently
structural damage through the slats trigger inspections of the slats/
/ flaps track mechanisms. This may flaps mechanism and/or the aircraft
result in distortion of the flaps and structure.
slats or the extension mechanism or Specific trouble shooting procedures
even the aircraft structure upstream. exist to inspect and repair an aircraft
In case VFE is exceeded, an over- after flight above VFE. These proce-
speed aural warning is triggered in dures are available in the Aircraft
the cockpit in order to alert the crew. Maintenance Manual (AMM).

VFE IN A NUTSHELL
Do not fly with slats / flaps extended above VFE.

How to avoid an overspeed during slats / flaps


retraction?
Avoiding an overspeed during slats changes, understanding of the limit
/ flaps retraction relies on a variety speed and of the different VFE display
of complementary aspects. Proce- logics and overspeed aural warning
dures, pilots attention and coordi- behaviour implemented in each air-
nation, anticipation of configuration craft family.

The common approach

Slats and flaps retraction during task by anticipating them. During the
climb can be managed safely by fol- initial climb phase, the PM needs to
lowing SOP, and observing the visual be vigilant to speed trends and alert
F and S indications on the PFD. Inci- the PF in case the margin that is left
dentally, doing so allows the crew to against the applicable limit speed VFE
respect the VFE indication displayed becomes too tight.
on the PFD and thus, avoid trigger- This is valid at all time, for all aircraft
ing an aural overspeed warning (with families.
potential structural damage).
The use of A/THR also enables the Differences arise when we look more
crew to avoid an overspeed condi- closely at the VFE display logics for
tion during slats / flaps retraction. each family. In particular, we want to
emphasize the possibility of a tem-
While the PF is expected to manage porary, yet inconsequential, over-
these configuration changes, the PM speed aural warning on A300/A310,
plays a key role in facilitating his/her A320 and A330/A340 Families.
PROCEDURES
Control your speed... during climb

The case of untimely temporary overspeed aural warning during slats


/ flaps retraction

A300/A310, A320 and A330/A340 Families

 n A300/A310, A320 and A330/


O This is due to the following logic:
A340 Families, When the flap lever is moved from
The VFE value displayed on the PFD CONF 2 (or 3) to CONF 1+F, F speed
is based on the slats / flaps con- could be very close to VFE before flaps
trol lever position and it moves by retraction. Once the flap retraction is
one step as soon as this lever is initiated, VFE CONF (2 or 3) moves in one
moved. step to VFE CONF 1+F before the flaps
The overspeed aural warning trig- actually reach CONF 1+F. As a con-
gering threshold varies according sequence, in acceleration towards S
to the actual aircraft configuration, speed, the VFE aural warning could
i.e. the slats / flaps surfaces real activate although the actual surfaces
time position. speed is below the displayed VFE.

Therefore, during slats / flaps tran- 


When the flap lever is moved
sition, the dynamic acceleration of from CONF 2 (or 3) to CONF 1+F,
the airplane may lead to a temporary S speed could be greater than
OVERSPEED WARNING even if the VFE CONF 1+F before the surfaces
current speed is out of the red and retract. When automatic flap
black strip displayed on the PFD. In retraction occurs, the barbers pole
this situation, there are neither opera- does not move before the flaps
tional consequences nor safety issues. fully retract.

A350 and A380 Families

On A350 and A380 Families, a differ- ing threshold. This means that the
ent logic was developed. The VFE dis- two signals are perfectly synchro-
play on the PFD is directly based on nized, thus the risk of an untimely
the actual aircraft configuration, as is temporary overspeed warning is
the overspeed aural warning trigger- eliminated.

The case of temporary overspeed aural warning during slats / flaps


retraction after a heavy-weight take-off

In the particular case of a heavy- For example, an A320 at a Take-Off


weight take-off, the risk of a tem- Weight (TOW) of 76T, S speed of 205
porary overspeed aural warn- kts, the pilot will order flaps retraction
ing is increased. Indeed, in this most probably at or slightly above
configuration, S speed is quite close to 210 kts, which is precisely the Flaps
VFE CONF 1+F because the aircraft weight Auto-retraction speed. Once the slats
is higher and the lift needed to climb / flaps control lever is in the retracted
is higher too. Therefore the slats need position, the VFE red and black strip
BEST to remain extended for longer. As a is no longer displayed on the PFD
PRACTICE result, the crew will order flaps retrac-
tion at a speed that might be higher
speed scale. If the airplane acceler-
ates rapidly, then the airspeed may
After a heavy-weight take-off, do not than the Flaps Auto-retraction speed. catch up the actual instantaneous VFE
delay slats / flaps 0 selection above In that case, should the acceleration momentarily, which will trigger the VFE
S speed in order to prevent possi- of the airplane be rapid, a VFE aural aural warning.
ble temporary VFE overspeed aural warning may momentarily trigger. Again, this logic is as per design
warning. This logic is as per design and struc- and structural limits are not en-
tural limits are not encountered. countered.
Safety First #20 | July 2015 013

During climb, in manual flight, the main risk is to experience an aural


overspeed warning (with potential structural damage) as a result of
a late slats / flaps retraction. Understanding the implications of climb
speeds is paramount to enable pilots to sense instantly the available
margin they have left to avoid exceeding the limit slats / flaps retrac-
tion speed.
In practice, once the aircraft is airborne, pilots must be fully cognisant
of the airspeed as well as the speed trends at all time in flight.

DID YOU KNOW


To know more about speeds, read our brochure Getting to grips with aircraft
performance, available on AirbusWorld.
A presentation was also made at the 11th Perf and Flight Ops Conference in
Dubai in 2011.
014 Safety First #20 | July 2015
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

Lateral runway
excursions upon
landing
Lateral runway excursions upon landing have long been
rather low on the safety issues list. With the remarkable
improvements in other areas, they are getting higher up and
deserve careful attention. The analysis of real cases allows for
drawing interesting lessons on these events and reinforcing
prevention.

MATTHIEU MAYOLLE SAMUEL PELLET XAVIER LESCEU


Stability & control Product Safety Test Pilot
engineer enhancement analysis
engineer
Safety First #20 | July 2015 015

Safety statistics show that runway excursions have become


one of the most common types of accident worldwide. If
significant effort was put on the prevention of longitudinal
runway excursions, it turns out that lateral runway excursion
events are becoming a growing concern. Addressing them
efficiently requires a good understanding of how they originate
and what contributes to their occurrence.
This article will focus on the most safety critical veer off cases in
terms of likelihood and severity consequences, namely: lateral
runway excursions upon landing. It presents the outcome of a
thorough analysis of a number of real cases and reviews the
best operational practices to prevent lateral runway excursions
upon landing.

LATERAL RUNWAY EXCURSIONS


UPON LANDING: A GROWING
SAFETY CONCERN?

What are we talking about?


In the frame of this article, a lateral landing path, but many of these never
runway excursion is: any aircraft get- divert sufficiently to leave the runway
ting off runway markings, whether it surface and therefore never become
gets off the runway concrete or not. classified as incidents or accidents.
This implies that events at take-off and However, analysis of such minor
during taxi (e.g. during U-turns on the events in the future may well be bene-
runway) are not considered here. ficial as we seek more data and infor-
mation on this complex issue.
This definition is as valid as any other
for describing facts. However, when it The events where aircraft get off run-
comes to enhancing safety and more way markings need to be categorized
specifically prevention, this definition according to what contributed to their
is of little help. Indeed, the analysis of occurrence, thus what can be done
lateral runway excursion events corre- to prevent them.
sponding to this definition combines
situations that are so different in terms Generally speaking, the most safety crit-
of their underlying phenomena that it ical (as a result of likelihood and sever-
is extremely challenging to derive effi- ity of consequences) veer off events
cient mitigation measures. are the lateral runway excursions upon
landing where the aircraft goes off run-
Of course there will be many cases way markings at touch-down, or during
where aircraft trajectories divert from the roll-out phase. This article will focus
the runway centerline and the desired more particularly on them.
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

Statistics say a word


For decades, accident statistics have example, 15% of RE accidents cause
kept highlighting the three same acci- fatalities, and are the third source of
dent types at the top of the list of fatal accidents. Yet, RE have become
contributors, namely: Loss Of Control the main source of hull losses.
In-flight (LOC-I), Controlled Flight Into A closer look at the evolution of the
Terrain (CFIT) and Runway Excursion figures and tendencies over the past
(RE). If virtually all CFIT and LOC-I acci- 20 years shows that CFIT and LOC-I
(fig.1) dents lead to both fatalities and hull have significantly decreased whereas
Evolution of the three main loss, other accident categories gene- Runway Excursion remains relatively
accident categories from 1995 rate mainly only material damage. As an stable (fig.1).

0.30

0.25

0.20

0.15

0.10

0.05

0
1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014

Over the last decade, a huge effort was concern. Is it because of or thanks
put on runway overrun to prevent them. to the progress made on the runway
As a matter of fact, among the runway overrun front? Because they are more
excursions, not only did they use to be reported than before? For other rea-
the most frequent ones, but also their sons or any combination of reasons?
consequences are statistically more Difficult to say, but through the events
severe than that of lateral excursions. reported to Airbus by airlines, the trend
The main issue addressed was then is clear: the number of lateral runway
related to the management of aircrafts excursions is increasing.
energy given the aircraft performance,
deceleration, runway state Therefore it is worth to try and reinforce
prevention, and to start with, under-
In recent years, lateral runway excur- stand what lies behind real events.
sions have emerged as a growing safety
Safety First #20 | July 2015 017

WHEN REALITY HELPS SHAPE


THE SCOPE TO CONSIDER:
AFTER TOUCH-DOWN, YES,
BUT NOT ONLY

Thanks to airlines support, 31 in-ser- bigger and the results more robust.
vice lateral runway excursion events
were reported to Airbus over a 2012- They were studied with a main question
July 2014 period. A first analysis with in mind: is there a global or common
a prevention objective in mind led to signature for these events that could
distinguish between several lateral allow us to learn some generic preven-
runway excursions categories due to tion lessons? Interesting insights could
there being a variety of issues identi- be drawn from this work as we shall
fied and therefore, a variety of potential see later.
corrective actions.
When searching for common contrib-
Within the defined scope of lateral uting factors, two main families came
runway excursion upon landing, 25 out:
events from the initial 31 were consid- - weather environmental conditions
ered as relevant and usable. - flying technique

Of course, the events studied were These two aspects were found in a
only those reported to Airbus and number of events, most of the time in
therefore, they represented a limited combination with one another, but with
sample. However, they were corrobo- variations as to their detailed nature. A
rated by a study of the lateral runway closer look at these two fields allowed
excursion events reported to Airbus for refining the understanding of the
from 2007, making the sample much underlying phenomena.
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

Weather environmental conditions


Three main environmental factors came 22 events out of 25 analyzed involved a
out of the analysis: wet or contaminated runway. In 19 out
(fig.2) - Runway state, wet or contaminated of the 25, there were at least two of the
Categorization of RE events
- Turbulences or cross-wind aforementioned environmental factors
according to contributing
weather conditions factors - Visibility deterioration in the situation (fig.2).

Dry runway (3) Wet or Contaminated runway (22)

Visibility
deterioration (12)

A330-A340-
A350 Family /
A380

A320
Family

Lack of
control of
the lateral
trajectory
before Touch
Down

Contaminated
(SNOW or
FLOODED)

Turbulences
or Crosswind (12)
Safety First #20 | July 2015 019

Awareness Problem
before Touch Down (1)

Lack of control of
the lateral trajectory
before Touch Down
(12)

A330-A340-
A350 Family /
A380

A320
Family

Visibility
deterioration

Long flare
(t 8s)

No or insufficient Poor control High approach


decrab before on ground (13) speed (1)
Touch Down (7)

Flying technique (fig.3)


Categorization of RE events
according to contributing
Regarding the flying technique in the A major outcome of the analysis is flying technique factors
environmental conditions mentioned the significant contribution of the air-
earlier, three areas were identified phase, before touch-down, to lateral
as contributing factors to the events runway excursions.
occurrence:
- Control of the lateral trajectory before The next question, and more precisely,
touch-down THE question is: With these insights
- Flare and decrab before touch-down from real events, how to enhance pre-
- Ground control vention of lateral runway excursions? If
there is nothing we can do to change
In some situations, as illustrated in environmental conditions, it seems
(fig.3), there was a combination of worth going back to some operational
them. best practices.
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

PREVENTING LATERAL RUNWAY


EXCURSIONS UPON LANDING:
BEST OPERATIONAL PRACTICES

As stated earlier, handling issues turn What is the appropriate landing tech-
out to be a significant contributor to nique and why? Lets prepare for land-
lateral runway excursion events upon ing and review the technique, including
landing, especially under some difficult some explanations behind the scene,
environmental conditions such as wet with a special focus on the conditions
or contaminated runway or cross wind that were highlighted by the lateral run-
or turbulence. way excursion events analysis.

Landing technique: general principles


The appropriate landing technique, what- information and awareness (e.g. environ-
ever the weather conditions, is a whole mental conditions), state of mind & pre-
that combines a variety of dimensions: paredness and handling skills.

1/ Before flare
Be stabilized
Be aware of the landing conditions Be stabilized
until the flare. If not,
go-around. If landing with crosswind or on a con- In a number of events, there was
taminated runway rely on specific a localizer deviation away from the
techniques, the first thing to make sure centerline. Beyond the lateral control
of is that: before touch-down, it is essential that
- the crosswind, if any, is and remains the aircraft be on the correct lateral
within the limits of the aircraft and vertical flight path at the correct
- the runway state allows for a safe configuration and speed up to the initi-
landing and the runway braking coef- ation of the flare.
ficient is known.
 e Go-Around minded, as long as
B
Be correctly seated needed
As long as
reversers are not During cruise, sometimes a long one, Experience shows that some pilots
pilots may move their seat a bit. Yet, are increasingly reluctant to initiate a
selected, a go- upon landing, the full deflection of go-around as the aircraft gets closer
around is always all flight control and braking may be to the ground, even if the aircraft is not
needed to control the situation. There- well aligned with the runway. Neverthe-
possible. fore, make sure the pilot seat is in a less, from a safety viewpoint, initiating a
position (both horizontally and vertically) go-around close to the ground or even
to allow for those full deflections should after a bounced landing is always better
they be necessary. This is a key prelim- than performing an unsafe landing.
inary condition to a safe landing.

2/ From flare to touch-down

Use proper flare and decrab (if needed) flying techniques

Landing in the correct zone, with the In the case of crosswind, this requires
right alignment and at the right energy specific techniques that will be detailed
level is a good summary of what a pilot in the next section in this article.
should aim at. Easier said than done?
Safety First #20 | July 2015 021

3/ After touch-down

Fly until you vacate the runway

Do not relax immediately after touch- makes the day more difficult. Indeed, a
down. There is still work to do. number of physical phenomena come
into play requiring specific actions
A number of lateral runway excursions to be managed. More details about
resulted from poor ground control in these phenomena and how to main-
the rollout phase. This is obviously tain ground control with crosswind is
more often the case when a crosswind provided in next section in this article.

Landing with crosswind


As general principles, the landing - Be go-around minded as long as
technique mentioned earlier remains needed
valid. However, it is worth getting a bit - Use proper flare and decrab flying
further into details and background techniques
explanations when crosswind is in- - Fly until you vacate the runway
volved in the landing conditions such
as those underlined hereafter: Lets examine how these three princi-
- Be aware of the landing conditions ples translate into practice in case of
- Be correctly seated crosswind and why.
- Be stabilized

Be stabilized

In crosswind situations, the major approach to correct for the crosswind


difference in technique lies in how to component on the final trajectory to
keep the aircraft on the correct lateral the runway. Adopting a crab angle
flight path. In order to do so, it is nece- allows the pilot to keep the aircraft tra-
ssary to fly a wings level and crabbed jectory along the runway axis (fig.4).

A CRABBED APPROACH (fig.4)


Aircraft attitude during
a crabbed approach

Crab angle

Runway axis
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

But what does correct lateral flight izer antenna, under the radome, at the
path mean precisely? What part of center of the nose of the aircraft below
the aircraft needs to be aligned with the cockpit (fig.5), correct lateral
the runway axis? The answer is the flight path means localizer centered
same whether the approach is flown or nose of the aircraft trajectory aligned
(fig.5) manually or not, in visual conditions with the runway axis, thus ensuring the
Location of the localizer
or not. The reference is the cockpit. pilots eye is aligned with the runway
antenna Considering the location of the local- axis.

The localizer
antenna
is located
under
the radome
in the center
of the
aircraft

Some common tendencies to be avoided.


Experience shows that in some situa- -  When initially becoming visual
tions, some pilots have tendencies to below a low cloud ceiling
destabilize the aircraft approach trajec- - When performing the decrab in the
tory, especially along the lateral axis. It flare.
happens mainly in these 3 cases: Lets revisit the first two cases, see what
- When disconnecting the Auto Pilot happens behind the scene and then
(AP) for a manual landing. deal with the third case in more depth.

When disconnecting the AP

A tendency sometimes observed is to what it was under AP. Therefore, it


that of making large inputs on the side- is key to analyze the stable trajectory
stick when disconnecting the AP. Yet, before any stick input. This should
the aircraft attitude has no reason to avoid large inputs on the sidestick.
change at this very moment compared

When becoming visual

When first seeing the runway, some ral flight path. Again, becoming visual
pilots have a tendency to start an makes no difference as to the correct
immediate decrab and align the air- aircraft trajectory. It is normal to keep a
craft with the runway axis. By doing so, crabbed approach and see the runway
the aircraft drifts due to the crosswind from a certain angle.
and moves away from the correct late-
Safety First #20 | July 2015 023

Use proper flare and decrab flying techniques

Flare

If the flare technique is not modified -


In case of an extended flare, the
by the presence of crosswind, some decrease in the aircraft energy will
aspects need to be particularly kept in make it even more sensitive to cross-
mind in such situations, especially: wind. Counteracting crosswind
- A high or extended flare significantly becomes more and more difficult as
increases the landing distance, speed decays in the flare. Eventually,
whereas, due to possible adverse the crosswind may move the aircraft
reversers effects explained later in away from the centerline.
this article, it is even more important
than usual to keep as much runway In summary, flare at normal height and
length as possible to decelerate after do not look for a kiss landing.
touch-down.

Decrab

As mentioned earlier, keeping a crabbed detail to better understand what results


approach is the only way to keep the from this action on the rudder. Indeed,
aircraft on the correct lateral flight path. when doing so, the aircraft will move a
However, before touch-down, the air- bit towards the wind. Why is it so?
craft needs to be decrabbed to align In fact, when pushing on the rudder, the
with the runway axis. The aircraft is to be aircraft will yaw around a vertical axis
decrabbed at the time of the flare, using that is located a bit forward from the CG,
the rudder. the yaw axis. The moment induced will (fig.6)
make the aircraft move slightly towards Forces and moments effects
However, it is worth going into further the wind as illustrated in (fig.6). on aircraft during decrab

Ground speed Air speed Ground speed Air speed Sideslip

WIND WIND WIND

Airborne, before the decrab Rudder input effects : Moment and force effects:
- Side force on the fin - Rotation around a point
- Yawing moment located slightly in front of
the Center of gravity
- Sideslip appears
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

FLARE AND DECRAB IN THE SPECIAL CASE OF HIGH CROSSWIND, ESPECIALLY ON CONTAMINATED RUNWAYS

In such situations, allowing a slight Why 5 maximum for the crab angle? does not change immediately the CG
bank angle to maintain the runway Here again, it is an appropriate speed vector. Therefore, if the aircraft
axis, less than 5, and a small trade-off between maintaining the lateral flight path starts drifting away
crab angle, less than 5, from the aircraft trajectory and experiencing from the runway centerline, using
approach through to touchdown an acceptable load at the landing the rudder alone may not allow for
is the only way to keep the cockpit gear on touch-down. an easy realignment of the aircraft.
aligned with the runway axis.
A common tendency to be avoided Should such drift occur too close
Why 5 maximum for the bank to the ground, the safe practice is
angle? It is the appropriate balance Some pilots appear to be reluctant to go-around. And as mentioned
between the bank angle needed to to keep a bank angle, even a small earlier, as long as reversers are not
keep the aircraft trajectory aligned one, prior to touch-down. They then selected, a go-around is always
with the runway centerline and the try and compensate the crosswind possible!
risk of hitting the runway with the impact using the rudder only.
wing tip or engine nacelle. However, an action on the rudder
Safety First #20 | July 2015 025

Sideslip Sideslip Sideslip

WIND WIND WIND

On ground, to stay on the Without rudder pedal input,


runway centerline, a rudder a large yawing moment
pedal input is necessary. will make the aircraft turn to
It cancels the weathercock the wind
effect mainly due to the fin

WIND WIND WIND

Fly until you vacate the runway (fig.7)


Counteracting
the weathercock effect
After decrab

When the main landing gear touches towards the wind direction by weath-
the ground with residual crab, a pivot- ercock effect. Indeed, the effect of the
ing moment is created around a verti- wind on the aircraft fin aligned with the
cal axis located at the level of the main runway axis induces a rotation of the
landing gear by the combined effect aircraft around a vertical axis located
of the lateral friction of the tires on the at the CG that yaws the aircraft nose
surface and by the inertia force applied back towards the wind. This opposite
at the center of gravity. This moment moment thus tends to move the air-
tends to turn the aircraft so as to align craft upwind, away from the center-
the aircraft longitudinal axis with the line. It needs to be counteracted by
ground speed vector. In short, wheels the rudder.
tend to be more willing to go in the
same direction as the aircraft trajec- Nevertheless, as the aircraft speed
tory, more than to skid. The intensity of decreases, the rudder efficiency
the pivoting moment depends a lot on drops. Therefore, the action on the
runway friction. rudder to counteract the weathercock
effect needs to be amplified (fig.7).
However, the sideslip coming from As speed further decreases, the rud-
the crosswind when the aircraft is der effect could become insufficient,
decrabbed creates an opposite therefore the pilot must be prepared to
moment tending to yaw the aircraft apply differential braking.
PROCEDURES
Lateral runway excursions upon landing

(fig.8) Roll-out
Forces exerted on the aircraft
when reversers are used
During the roll-out, the primary means braking on the pedals when they are
to maintain the aircraft on the runway not aligned, the use of Auto Brake is
is the cornering force exerted on the highly recommended.
wheels through the tires. However, in
order to keep the aircraft on the run- Destabilizing reversers effect
way, it is important to understand some On slippery runways, the aircraft may
wind and aircraft related aspects. start leaving the runway axis and going
X- WIND downwards the wind when reversers
Auto Pilot disconnection effect are used. Indeed, in slippery condition,
As long as the Auto Pilot (AP) is con- the moment created by the tires fric-
nected, the aircraft automatically com- tion that tend to align the aircraft fuse-
pensates the effects of crosswind with lage on the runway axis, is not effec-
the rudder. As for the pedals, they tive enough. And if the aircraft remains
X force remain in the neutral position. Yet, at crabbed, the reverser thrust resultant
AP disconnection after touch-down, force can be resolved in 2 compo-
since the pedals are at neutral posi- nents (fig.8):
tion, the aircraft fin will naturally go - One parallel to the runway and actu-
back to a centered position, expos- ally stopping the aircraft.
ing the aircraft to weathercock effect, - One perpendicular to the runway, in
Stopping Resultant thus aircraft nose movement towards the same direction as the wind, i.e.
force
force the wind, away from the centerline, adding to that induced by crosswind.
unless immediately countered by the
pilot. Countering the weathercock This second force may make it more
effect requires immediate inputs on difficult to control the aircraft on the
rudder pedals, possibly large inputs. It ground. Therefore, if a directional
may even be that differential braking is problem occurs:
needed in addition to inputs on rudder - Consider reducing reverse thrust.
pedals in case of high crosswind. - If braking manually, consider reduc-
ing braking temporarily or use differ-
Therefore, at AP disconnection after ential braking.
touch-down it is key to:
- Have your FEET UP on the pedals Once directional control is recov-
- Be ready for immediate and possibly ered and the aircraft is on the runway
large inputs on rudder pedals centerline again (fig.9):
- Be ready to use differential braking in - Manual braking can be re-applied
addition if needed and keep in mind - Reverse thrust can be re-applied (only
(fig.9) that the rudder effectiveness reduces the component parallel to the runway
Recovering from the destabilization when speed decreases. Considering remains with no adverse effect on the
effect of thrust reversers the difficulty in performing a balanced lateral control of the aircraft).

X- WIND
Safety First #20 | July 2015 027
OPERATIONS
Fuel monitoring on A320 Family aircraft

Fuel monitoring on
A320 Family aircraft
Since the first A320 entry into service, very few events have
involved undetected fuel quantity issues. Yet, coming across a
situation where engines shut down by lack of fuel is a situation
no one wants to experience.

GRALDINE VALLE REGIS PERNET ALBERT URDIROZ


Product Safety Flight Operations Director Flight Safety
Enhancement manager engineer
Safety First #20 | July 2015 029

If fuel systems have proven their reliability, in case of failure, the


ultimate safety barrier to avoid finding oneself in a fuel critical
situation is fuel monitoring by the crew. Lets go back to some
fundamental questions around fuel monitoring on A320 Family
aircraft. How to determine the fuel quantity available in the tanks?
What are the various sources of information and how redundant
are they? Why is it key to perform regular fuel checks?

RARE BUT STRIKING EVENTS

In more than 25 years of Airbus A320 The reasons for these fuel quan-
Family aircraft operation, there have tity issues vary from one event to
been not more than a handful of another. Early detection and mana-
events involving undetected fuel quan- gement of the issue remains key to
tity issues. successfully deal with such events.

Event 1
During cruise of an A320 Family air- and passengers disembarked safely.
craft, the crew observed 3 occur- The remaining fuel quantity upon land-
rences of the ECAM warning L TK ing turned out to be 840 kg in the right
PUMP 1 + 2 LO PR. In line with this fuel tank, and no fuel in the left tank.
warning, they noticed a more rapid Investigation into this event highlighted
fuel level decrease in the left fuel tank that maintenance was done on the
compared to the right one. Following fuel tanks prior to the event flight, and
the applicable FCOM procedure, they both engines 1 and 2 fuel pump filters
opened the fuel cross feed valve, only had been replaced. After the event
to close it soon after as fuel quantity flight, engine 1 HP fuel pump filter
was abnormally decreasing. Minutes cover was found not properly fitted,
later, engine 1 shut down by itself and with 4 threaded inserts out of 6 being
the ECAM warning ENG 1 FAIL trig- reported unserviceable, thus allowing
gered. the cover to partially open. It was esti-
The crew managed to land the aircraft mated that approximately 4 to 5 tons
uneventfully with engine 2 still running, of fuel had leaked.

Event 2
In another event, the Fuel Quantity For the event flight, the aircraft departed
Indication (FQI) system had been with an indicated FOB of approximately
showing discrepancies for a period 5000kg (fuel at arrival from previous leg
of time. Given the intermittent nature was approx. 3800kg and fuel uplift was
of the fault, entries in the aircraft 1200kg). The flight crew performed the
logbook were investigated but with- initial fuel checks with reference to the
out findings by maintenance despite fuel logs of the preceding flight. The cal-
carrying out precautionary mainte- culated values remained consistent.
nance. On two occasions, different
crews failed to identify or properly In flight, transient fuel quantity fluctu-
record the FOB discrepancy du- ations were experienced and eventu-
ring pre-departure or post-flight fuel ally the ECAM alert FUEL L (R) WING
checks. TK LO LVL triggered. It was pro-
OPERATIONS
Fuel monitoring on A320 Family aircraft

cessed as per SOP by the crew who confirmed empty with the FQI over
checked the SD page as being no- reading by 1 ton.
minal. The alert was thus considered
spurious. The flight continued with The analysis of the event indicated
repeated fuel checks at short inter- that preceding fuel log entries did not
vals; however during the approach, allow the crew to identify a significant
engine 1 flamed out. Landing was discrepancy of about 800 kg prior to
performed on engine 2 safely. departure.
After the flight, the left wing tank was

Event 3
On the third flight of the day on an During the second flight of the day, the
A320 Family aircraft, while the aircraft discrepancy calculated by the crew at
was approaching its destination, a LO arrival was almost 3000 kg. The First
LVL alert triggered on one side. The Officer noticed that it was not what he
crew considered it spurious, as likely had expected but considered that they
resulting from fuel movement in the had benefited from a number of favora-
tank. Shortly after this first alert, a new ble factors such as a direct ATC rou-
LO LVL alert triggered on the other ting, and they eventually had arrived
side. The crew continued the flight and 20 to 25 minutes earlier than sched-
eventually landed uneventfully. The uled. In addition, they sometimes ferry
remaining fuel quantity upon landing fuel according to the company policy.
turned out to be approximately 900 As a consequence, nothing unusual
kg. was mentioned in the log book.
During the first flight of the day, the Before the third flight - which was
flight crew calculated a ~500 kg dis- the event flight - the refueler only
crepancy at arrival. Nothing was men- added little fuel since there was still
tioned in relation to fuel in the log book. a fuel over read. Yet, the flight crew
Safety First #20 | July 2015 031

departed with a significantly over- read was due to an intermittent FQI


estimated fuel quantity that ulti- Computer (FQIC) failure. The mainte-
mately led to the unanticipated LO nance record of this FQIC highlighted
LVL alerts on both sides. According numerous returns to the shop in the
to the investigation, the issue/over- months preceding the event.

HOW MUCH FUEL IS AVAILABLE


ONBOARD?

Considering the consequences of information relate to one another?


running out of fuel in flight, knowing Are they independent? Lets explore
how much fuel is available on board the various types of onboard fuel
during the flight is clearly essential to information that are available to the
safety. What information can be used flight crew. Where does this infor-
to determine the amount of fuel on mation originate and how are fuel
board? How is this information esta- levels established on Airbus A320
blished? Do the various pieces of Family aircraft?

FQI or Fuel Quantity Indication: a source based on


measures performed inside fuel tanks
The FQI system calculates the fuel Yet the information that is needed
quantity based on values taken from by pilots is the quantity of fuel on
probes in the tanks. The probes meas- board expressed as a weight. The
ure the level of the fuel in the tank, as translation of fuel volume into fuel
a consequence of changing capaci- weight is performed by the FQIC (fig.1)
FUEL System page on Lower
tance due to the amount the probe is using the fuel density measured by ECAM Display Unit
immersed. This allows the determina- specific devices in each wing tank
tion of the fuel volume in the tank. (fig.1).

INFORMATION
The low level sensing does not appear on the System Description page. Therefore, for
fuel indication, do not rely on SD page only.

Fuel Flow Meters: a source based on engines


consumption
Each engine is equipped with Fuel Flow mation is integrated by the FADEC and
Meters that measure the quantity of fuel provides pilots with information on the
consumed by the engine. This infor- fuel used.

Low level sensors: an additional independent source


based on dedicated sensors in the wing tank
In addition to the sensors and three independent dedicated low
probes feeding the FQI system, level sensors. These sensors are
each wing tank is equipped with located in such a way that they
OPERATIONS
Fuel monitoring on A320 Family aircraft

become dry when the remaining - Do not provide pilots with a continu-
fuel in the tank is approximately ous indication of the fuel quantity in
750 kg. If two sensors in the same the wing tanks, but only the signal that
tank remain dry for more than 30 the fuel level has reached below 750
seconds, a low level alert triggers kg (threshold crossed).
in the cockpit (fig.2). - The information provided to pilots in
The low level sensors are fully inde- the form of the low level alert results
pendent from the Fuel Quantity Indica- from a physical measure (sensors dry
tion, and are different in that they: or wet) rather than from a calculation.

DID YOU KNOW


The A320 Family aircraft low level indication is based on remaining fuel quantity in the
tank being sufficient to meet the requirement of 30 minutes at 1500 ft (corresponding to
(fig.2) approximately 1 200 kg). Should the low level alert trigger on both fuel tanks, the total
Low level alert display on ECAM
remaining fuel is: 750kg + 750kg = 1 500 kg.

INFORMATION
The low level The presence of water in the fuel tanks can lead to erroneous (over reading) fuel indi-
sensors are fully cations. The parameters used by the fuel system (density and capacitance) are highly
affected by the presence of water. Flight deck effects of a buildup of water in the fuel tanks
independent from include fuel gauging fluctuations and over reads.

the Fuel Quantity Consequently, among the maintenance tasks that are to be performed if pilots detect an ab-
Indication. normal fuel indication during a fuel check is fuel tank draining (fig.3). This can also help to pre-
vent microbiological contamination, which is often another cause of fuel gauging fluctuations.

(fig.3)
Maintenance Planning
Document ATA 28 Fuel Task FUEL CHECKS
281100-01-2 Drain water
content in tanks
An unnecessary burden or essential safety net?
Ensuring an accurate awareness of ler and fuel consumption figures
the quantity of fuel on board requires during flight, are all important. But
use of several sources of data. Cer- to ensure the information remains
tainly the FQI is the primary source accurate, the safety barrier com-
of fuel indication, but the other key mon to all cases is fuel monitoring
sources such as the Fuel Used, by the crew.
the fuel uplifted at the latest refuel,
the crosscheck between what is Although fuel checks with the manual
expected to be uplifted and what is calculations they involve can some-
uplifted, information from the refue- times be perceived as a tedious task,
Safety First #20 | July 2015 033

they form in reality an integral part of ate measures to secure the safety of
the measures taken to ensure safe
operations. They were designed and
the flight. They are applicable to all
Airbus Families aircraft from the first
The fuel
meant for detecting as early as pos- A300B to the latest A350, and remain available onboard
sible any fuel quantity issue, ensur- an essential part of airmanship when can be determined
ing timely and accurate maintenance piloting the A320 Family aircraft.
intervention, and allowing appropri- based on two
independent
What is to be checked and when? sources of
The maximum efficiency of fuel larly and at different times to either information
checks relies on the flight crew per- confirm anticipations, or detect any even three in case
forming a number of checks regu- discrepancy.
of low level.
Before start

The first fuel check to be performed is available for the flight. This check con-
before start to consolidate the infor- sists in making sure that:
mation about the total amount of fuel

Initial Fuel On Board (FOB) + Fuel Uplifted


= Fuel On Board (FOB)

Where
FOB is the fuel quantity derived from based on the uplifted fuel density.
the FQI system is an acceptable tolerance (see
Fuel Uplifted is the amount of fuel indi- Why do we need to consider a cer-
cated by the refueler as having been tain tolerance on fuel onboard val-
added during refueling. This may ues? insert).
require converting volume into weight,

During the flight


During the flight, fuel checks mainly the FMS fuel predictions too optimis-
aim at detecting any abnormal con- tic and potentially lead to fuel exhaus-
sumption, be it due to a leak or unan- tion in flight.
ticipated drag (e.g. spoiler or landing To ensure that there is no undetected
gear, slats or flaps not fully retracted) fuel leak, the following calculation
or any other reason. should be performed at each way
Indeed, such situation would make point or every 30 minutes:

Fuel On Board (FOB) + Fuel Used


= Initial Fuel On Board (FOB)

Where
Fuel Used is derived from the fuel flow meters
In addition, the remaining FOB and Fuel Used values must also be consistent
with the values given by the computed flight plan at each waypoint.
OPERATIONS
Fuel monitoring on A320 Family aircraft

Post flight

All fuel At the end of the flight, when the air-


craft has reached its parking stand,
ious sources and thus detect any
abnormal discrepancy that would
checks are equally a final fuel check is to be performed call for maintenance actions. The
important in to check the consistency between post flight fuel check consists of
the information provided by the var- making sure that:
the detection and
safe management Fuel On Board (FOB) + Fuel Used
of any fuel quantity
= Initial Fuel On Board (FOB)
issue.

NOTE
WHAT IF A FUEL CHECK IS MISSED?
Depending on the underlying reason for a fuel quantity issue, missing a fuel check may
make it very difficult to detect. In the second event described, the failure of the Fuel Quanti-
ty Indication Computer did not lead to a systematic wrong indication but rather to quantity
fluctuations. The fuel quantity indicated by the FQI system before the first flight of the day
was correct. In such cases, skipping a fuel check may be a missed opportunity to detect a
failure that may not be detectable later on, at the time of the following check. More gener-
ally, whatever the origin of a fuel quantity issue, detecting it as early as possible allows for
managing it and making sure appropriate decisions can be made in time to best manage
the rest of the flight as safely and efficiently as possible.

WHY DO WE NEED TO CONSIDER A CERTAIN TOLERANCE ON FUEL ON


BOARD VALUES?
Due to the nature of the fuel system, it is essential that the system tolerance be taken
into consideration when performing fuel quantity calculations. The overall FQI system
accuracy is designed to take into consideration several factors such as: attitude effects,
wing deformation, systems tolerances, manufacturing tolerances, component toleranc-
es, environmental effects, fuel characteristics.
These individual tolerances lead to an overall tolerance on the global system resulting from the
worst case (maximum tolerance) on each individual element.
The maximum tolerance is defined for the aircraft to guarantee an acceptable level of integrity
of the measure and the associated fuel quantity information. When a fuel check is performed,
any fuel discrepancy calculated by the crew and exceeding this value may then be considered
abnormal.
For an A320 Family aircraft, the instrumental tolerance on the ground is calculated as follows:
(1% of current FOB + 1% max possible FOB for this aircraft)
As an illustration, for an A320 aircraft, if there are 5 tons left in the aircraft, the maximum nor-
mal tolerance value is:
(5000kg (current FOB) * 1% + 20000kg (max FOB)* 1% ) = 250kg
Note: The FQI system is designed in such a way that the lower the fuel quantity in the tank,
the more accurate the fuel indication.
The FQI system is calibrated on ground during manufacturing and its accuracy (as per the
formula above) will remain the same throughout the operational life of the aircraft.
Safety First #20 | July 2015 035

TO FURTHER ENHANCE
SAFETY

Following the investigation of real events kg or lbs and will vary depending on the
involving fuel monitoring issues, Airbus fuel on board and fuel uplifted. They will
identified and implemented enhance- lead to a generic maintenance task in
ments in several areas: the TSM (Trouble Shooting Manual).

Further refinement of the description Service Bulletin A320-28-1214 for


of the Fuel Quantity Indicating and level A318/A319/A320 and Service Bulletin
sensing systems in the FCOM doc- A320-28-1202 for A321 aircraft intro-
umentation. During the interactions duce a new fuel leak detection function,
with the airlines involved, it turned out which eases and improves the detec-
that the independence of the two fuel tion of a fuel leak. This new function is
measures coming from respectively the meant to prevent situations where a
FQI system and the low level alert was loss of fuel would remain undetected
not clear to all crews. by the crew.

Definition of empirical criteria on A320 A new FCOM evolution will be availa-


Family aircraft to consider a fuel discrep- ble soon, that will describe the trigger-
ancy abnormal or unusual when ing conditions of the low level alert in the
performing the before start fuel check. procedure, and to show that the alert is
These thresholds will be expressed in independent of the displayed fuel.

DID YOU KNOW


A GOLDEN RULE IN THE TROUBLE SHOOTING MANUAL (TSM)
Until recently, there was no generic entry into the TSM in case of abnormal fuel quantity.
It is therefore worth reminding everyone of a key sentence in the introduction of the
TSM that encourages airlines to manage cases where there may be a doubt as to the
aircraft airworthiness:
If you cannot find a fault symptom and/or a fault isolation procedure necessary to en-
sure the continued airworthiness of the aircraft, or if you think that the information given
is not complete, contact Airbus.

An engine failing in flight, because of fuel starvation, is a situation all pilots


would like to avoid. In order to do so, and to ensure the continuing accu-
racy of the FQI, performing thorough fuel checks before start, throughout
the flight and after arrival at the parking stand is essential.
Should any discrepancy appear, effectively tackling the underlying
issue, be it intermittent or permanent, is the only way to prevent
further fuel quantity indication and possible resulting safety issues.
This relies on good cooperation between flight crews, maintenance
and the manufacturer.
Should the LO LVL alert trigger , it is to be trusted! It is the independent
voice from the tanks themselves warning you
036 Safety First #20 | July 2015

Had I not known this, under-


stood that or paid attention to
that, I wouldnt be here with you
today was a sentence Jacques
often repeated when he referred
to some of the thousands of
flights he performed either as
a fighter pilot or as an experi-
mental test pilot. Sadly, Jacques
is no longer with us today. He
was a genius pilot, a humble
man, a great man. Aviation was
his passion, safety his quest.
He was always ready to share
his knowledge, experience and
wisdom to improve safety, as
he did with the following article.

HE WILL BE MISSED
Safety First #20 | July 2015 037
GENERAL TOPIC
High-altitude manual flying

High-altitude
manual flying
Flying an aircraft manually at high altitudes, and therefore
necessarily at high Mach number, is a completely different
discipline to what it may be like at low altitudes. As it turns out,
opportunities to experience manual flying at high altitudes are
rare in a pilots career. Yet, regulations do require
it in certain circumstances, such as when
the Auto Pilot is unavailable.

JACQUES ROSAY
Experimental Test Pilot
Former Airbus Chief
Test Pilot
Most of the time, commercial aircraft fly at high altitudes, above
FL 290. In other words, they fly within the RVSM (Reduced
Vertical Separation Minima) space that extends from FL 290
to 410 included, and which now covers a very large part of
the worlds airspace. As it turns out, use of the Auto Pilot (AP)
within this airspace is mandatory, meaning that the regulations
actually prevent the pilots from acquiring practical manual flying
experience of their aircraft within the part of the envelope where
they most often fly.
Pushing this paradox further, in certain cases, especially if the
AP is unavailable, these same regulations require that the pilots
manually fly the aircraft to rapidly leave this airspace in coordination
with air traffic control. In other words, pilots are requested to do
maneuvers for which practicing in flight is prohibited.
However, the behaviour of an aircraft at high altitude is significantly
different from that of an aircraft at low and medium altitudes.
The aim of this article is to recall some qualitative aerodynamic, flight
mechanics and handling qualities notions specific to the high Mach
numbers and to high altitudes, to share practical experiences lived
by Airbus test pilots in these domains and to make suggestions
for training. Lastly, note that, apart from passages specifically
dedicated to the normal and alternate electrical flight control laws,
the whole of this article applies to all types of commercial aircraft
whether equipped with electrical flight controls or not.

AERODYNAMIC ESSENTIALS

The effects of Mach number


The air flow around the wings accel- air flow accelerates on the upper sur-
erates on the upper surface creating a face. Therefore, the local Mach number
negative pressure and it is this nega- around the wings is much higher than
tive pressure which mainly keeps the the aircraft flight Mach number and in
aircraft up (fig.1). certain locations reaches transonic
values. In high-altitude stabilised flight,
When the altitude increases and the air shock waves can be seen at certain (fig.1)
density falls, more aerodynamic speed locations by looking at the upper sur- Air flow around an airfoil
is required to create the lift required for face through the cabin windows.
a given lift configuration. This reduc-
tion in the density and this increase in This sonic phenomenon around the
the aerodynamic speed is accompa- wings leads to a degradation of their
nied by an increase in the Mach num- aerodynamic properties. This, in turn,
ber required for flight. We have seen leads mainly to a reduction in the
that by passing over the wings, the maximum lift angle of attack as the
Safety First #20 | July 2015 039

Mach number increases, which sig- wings, another well-known phenome-


nificantly reduces the stall margin. non is added to the previous one. As
Thus, at a high-altitude normal cruise the local Mach numbers along the
Mach number value, when the angle span are not identical, the distribution
of attack is increased to produce the of the lift does not vary uniformly with
load factor required to make a turn or the angle of attack. This creates non-
a pull-out, the angle-of-attack limit is linearities in the longitudinal balance
more easily approached than when of the aircraft most classically leading
the same maneuver is done at low to spontaneous pitch-up tendencies
altitude and at a low Mach number. or to self-tightening of the turn when
Also, on most aircraft with sweepback the angle of attack increases (fig.2).

(fig.2)
Early stalled areas at high mach -> pitch up Early stalled areas along the wings

Centre of gravity

Clearly the aircraft has flight charac- in manual flying, the aerodynamic If a Pilot has
teristics quite different at high altitude speed is 260 kt. When flying at FL350
compared with its characteristics at at M 0.85, at standard temperature, to fly manually at
low altitude. This means that if a Pilot the aerodynamic speed is 490 kt. high altitude, he/she
has to fly manually at high altitude, If the temperature is ISA + 12, the
he/she will not find the characteris- aerodynamic speed is then 500 kt.
will not find the
tics he/she is familiar with at low alti- That is practically twice as fast as the characteristics he/
tude. In addition, the aerodynamic highest speeds usually seen at low she is familiar with
speed, i.e. the speed in relation to altitude.
the air molecules, therefore in rela- This difference is not without conse- at low altitude.
tion to the earth coordinate system quences on flying. For example, for
(excluding the wind), is much higher a maneuver at identical load factor,
at high altitude. Consequently, the the radius of curvature of an alti-
purely kinematic characteristics of tude capture is multiplied by four
the vehicle are radically different. and therefore, starting from a given
To get an idea of this, when flying in slope, anticipation for this maneuver
the initial approach zone at 3000 ft must be multiplied by four in order
and 250 kt, which is often the case not to exceed the target altitude.
GENERAL TOPIC
High-altitude manual flying

Compressibility stall
We have seen that when the Mach for flight at supersonic speeds. Pilots
number increases, the maximum lift who have flown on the T33 or the
angle-of-attack is reduced (fig.3). Alpha Jet may perhaps remember
having reached subsonic Mach num-
We can imagine that at a certain point bers beyond which the wings were
in the increase of the Mach, the angle- incapable of providing a load fac-
of-attack can theoretically be so lim- tor of 1 g. Level flight could not be
ited that the maximum lift the wings maintained: compressibility stall was
are capable of producing becomes reached. The Mach number had to
insufficient to sustain the weight of the be reduced to regain the load factor
aircraft. In certain aerodynamic manu- authority required for straight level
als, this theoretical point is called the flight. On the Alpha Jet in particular,
compressibility stall. with a little patience and a very small
It depends on the evolution of the amount of fuel on-board, it is even
curve lift versus Mach. This change possible to climb to an altitude where
depends on many aerodynamic chara- it was neither possible to decelerate
cteristics of the aircraft, such as the due to low Mach number stall nor to
(fig.3)
wing profile, the chord, the sweep, accelerate due to compressibility stall.
General tendency in the evolution
of the maximum angle-of-attack () the span, etc. Remember that this There was only one single practicable
versus the Mach number phenomenon does not exist on an flight point: the aerodynamic ceiling
aircraft where the wings are designed was reached.

Stall

Mach

Aerodynamic ceiling and buffeting margin


In practice, even if the compressibili- is defined such that when an accelero-
ty stall and the aerodynamic ceiling meter located under the pilots seat
can theoretically exist in aerodyna- measures peak-to-peak accelera-
mics in certain cases, they cannot be tions higher than 0.1 g. Therefore, the
reached by a certified commercial air- aircraft MMO value and the lift ceiling
craft and this for several reasons. Let (which depends on the weight) are by
us see why. definition such that there is always a
buffeting margin of at least 0.3 g and
1) The certification regulations require therefore, a margin well above the
that throughout the flight envelo- compressibility stall is ensured.
pe, up to MMO, irrespective of the
weight, the aircraft must have a buf- 2) The certification regulations also
feting margin of 0.3 g. require that the flight tests check
This means that a load factor of 1.3 that the aircraft can fly above MMO
g must be attainable before buffet up to MD.
onset is encountered. Buffet onset MD is the highest Mach number at
Safety First #20 | July 2015 041

which the aircraft must be able to fly without structural anomalies (this is the
flutter margin) and without substantial degradation in the handling qualities
allowing the aircraft to be always easily controlled. It is determined by cali-
brated maneuvers (FAA dive, JAA dive) defined by the certification regulations.
In practice, typically MD = MMO + 0.06.

DETERMINING MD IN FLIGHT TESTS

During the flight test, MD must pitch attitude and then, the structure done with moderate buffeting, but
be reached fairly quickly by is excited by programmed impulses the aircraft can still be controlled
an accentuated dive before into the flight controls. The purpose and maneuvered. Beyond MD, the
encountering another limit: the of this is to check that there are structural integrity of the aircraft is
absolute speed limit VD (typically no divergent structure oscillations no longer ensured! Based on the
VD = VMO + 35 kt), which is (flutter). Then, test pilots do a positive experience accumulated at Airbus
approached as the altitude drops. pull-out, engines idling, to return to and seeing how many aircraft still
For this, Airbus test pilots start from the normal flight envelope. This pull- respond very well at MD load factor,
the aircraft ceiling, in direct law, at a out requires an important increase very serious structural problems will
Mach as close to MMO as possible. in the load factor and demonstrates be encountered before finding a
Then they accelerate by a dive with that compressibility stall is still far possible compressibility stall which,
an attitude of around -15 at the start from being reached. However, if it exists, can be found only at Mach
of the maneuver with engines at full the buffeting margin of 0.3 g is no numbers well above MD, probably
throttle. When MD is reached, this longer observed beyond MMO and above Mach 1.
Mach is maintained by adjusting the approach of MD at n = 1 is in reality

To conclude, the regulatory criteria nomena cannot be physically encoun-


related to the buffeting margin at MMO tered due to the design of the aircraft.
and to the flight characteristics up to Compressibility stall does not exist
MD imply that the compressibility on current commercial aircraft.
stall and aerodynamic ceiling phe-

FLYING MANUALLY

Definition
It would be interesting to survey obviously allows an accurate trajec-
pilots as to what they understand tory to be followed, with correct cap-
by the terms flying manually. Per- tures, and good control of the speed.
sonally, I have often heard during These functions are provided for this
test, demonstration, acceptance purpose.
or airline flights, colleagues, young However, within the scope of this arti-
or older, airline pilots or test pilots, cle, which concerns manual flying,
proudly say that they would do such flying in this manner can in no way
or such a part of the flight - in gen- be considered as flying manually.
eral a complete approach followed Indeed, the orders given to the flight
by a landing - in manual control controls by the pilot consist in setting
mode. I would then observe how the Flight Director (FD) bars to zero,
they performed and saw that all they which corresponds to the orders
did was actually disconnect the AP generated by the guidance function.
and servilely follow the Flight Direc- These stick inputs are actions done
tor, leaving the Auto Thrust engaged. mechanically by the pilot but are in
And this until start of the flare. This no way elaborated by him/her. These
GENERAL TOPIC
High-altitude manual flying

flight control orders are the same as able to correctly perform, at any alti-
those which the AP would give if it tude, all the maneuvers required to
was engaged. Thus, the added value manually control the aircraft and land
provided by the pilot is rather nega- it under satisfactory safety conditions.
tive, as the cognitive resources that These safety conditions would not be
he/she uses to follow the FD bars met if a pilot is not at ease when per-
are no longer available for the most forming, under all flight control condi-
elaborate flight monitoring and con- tions which may be encountered fol-
trol functions. In other words, this lowing failures, manual flying without
exercise provides strictly nothing the FD, without the ATHR and without
towards the manual flying training for speed vector, from the cruise ceiling
the cases where the pilot would truly of the aircraft to instrument landing
have to fly the aircraft manually. under CAT1 weather conditions.
The type certifications of all the
The terms flying manually in this commercial aircraft in the world are
article imply that the guidance func- established by the Authorities on
tions have become unavailable, pos- the fundamental hypothesis that any
sibly with the flight control laws in a qualified pilot is capable of meeting
degraded mode. this requirement.
In this configuration, pilots must be

The pilot Specificities of flight control laws


must anticipate to We have seen that the rules appli- the pilot must anticipate to a greater
a greater extent cable for RVSM mean that the situa- extent the changes in the trajectories
the changes in tions where the aircraft must be flown both vertically and horizontally. This is
manually at high altitude are limited valid whatever the flight control law
the trajectories to degraded cases, especially cases used, including the normal law.
both vertically where the AP is lost and, possibly, The behaviour of the normal law
and horizontally. where the normal law is also lost. As
the aim of this article is to get a better
differs from its behaviour at low alti-
tude by the effect of the speed on
knowledge of these situations, let us the trajectory. This is sufficient to
look at the specificities of the high-al- make it worth the effort to become
titude flight control laws. familiar with the situation in the sim-
As said earlier, compared to low alti- ulator. For degraded laws, or for
tude, the high aerodynamic speeds aircraft with conventional flight con-
used at high altitude radically change trols, the characteristics specific to
the trajectories followed for given load high altitude are more affected and
factor applications. This means that must be known.

Normal and alternate laws

The normal law and the alternate law maneuvers, for a given longitudinal
- so-called C* laws, or load factor stick order, give the same load factor
flight control laws - function practically excursion. As the alternate law is not
identically on the longitudinal axis as protected against excessive angles
long as we remain within the opera- of attack, awareness of an approach
tional flight envelope and we do not to limiting angle-of-attack is ensured
perform dynamic maneuvers leading by the Stall Warning (SW) or, in cer-
the angle-of-attack to approach max- tain cases, by the deterrent buffeting,
imum values (which depend on the to which the pilot must react imme-
Mach number). Beyond these limits, diately by releasing control. The SW
the alternate law no longer ensures directly alerts the crew of stall proxim-
the protections and this is recalled ity but it also indirectly alerts it by indi-
by the protection lost message cating, during dynamic maneuvers,
on the ECAM. The pull-out and turn that it is approaching angles of attack
Safety First #20 | July 2015 043

where the pitch-up phenomenon may altitude (around 4000 ft) below the
start to develop; this phenomenon REC MAX altitude.
itself can lead to stall if the pilot does
not immediately counter it by reac- According to the type of aircraft and
ting to the SW. In practice, maneu- type of failure, the alternate law may
vers a little too dynamic can fairly lead to lateral control being in direct
easily lead to the SW, especially if law, i.e. a deflection of the ailerons
they are done close to the maximum according to the stick input and not
cruise altitude (REC MAX) calculated according to a roll rate law, as is nor-
by the FMS. For this reason and to mally the case in normal law. This
make flying more comfortable, even difference can be fairly significant,
outside of the RVSM space, when generally leading to roll responses a
flying in degraded laws, it is recom- little more sharp than in normal law,
mended to maintain some margin in but still easy to control.

Direct law

In direct law, as its name implies, the less need to use the trim than at low
controls give direct orders to the con- altitude. To make flying
trol surfaces. In direct law, the aircraft
becomes an old aircraft where no
During flight tests, Airbus test pilots try
to adjust the kinematics of the direct
more comfortable,
assistance is given to the pilot. The law to make it as placid as possi- even outside of
longitudinal trim must be used to zero ble at high altitude in all the weight the RVSM space,
forces on the stick and to balance the and CG ranges. The aim is to have
longitudinal effects of the engines. enough authority to efficiently do the when flying in
The ECAM and the Primary Flight basic maneuvers in the vertical and degraded laws,
Display (PFD) remind us of this by the horizontal planes, but without trying
USE MAN PITCH TRIM message. to do specifically dynamic maneu-
it is recommended
However, depending on the aircraft, vers. Here also, as with alternate law, to maintain some
very basic yaw or roll dynamic sta-
bilisation functions may be included
the deterrent buffeting and/or the SW
warn against excess angles of attack
margin in altitude
in the direct law. At high altitude, the taking into account, if applicable, a (around 4000 ft)
trim law versus speed variations, pitch-up tendency. The same recom- below the REC
and therefore the Mach number, is mendations also apply concerning
very flat. Pilots should therefore the flight altitude. MAX altitude.
not be surprised that there is much

TRAINING FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE


MANUAL FLYING

Representativeness of simulators at high altitude


The flight mechanics models used on the models supplied by the simula-
the training simulators are established tors are very close to reality. However,
based on specific tests conducted dur- two important limits exist and must be
ing real flights. They generate what is known, which are the very high angles
called the data package. These tests of attack and the representativeness of
are long and many to obtain a model the cabin movements.
very close to reality. As I have done
several thousands of hours of tests 1) During flight tests, for each type
of all sorts on simulators before doing of aircraft, hundreds of stalls are per-
them in flight, I can confidently say that formed, beyond the SW and a little
GENERAL TOPIC
High-altitude manual flying

beyond the maximum lift coefficient can clearly have counterproductive


Over the (Cl) to clearly identify the loss of lift. In training effects as the pilots then per-
normal operating practice, the maximum Cl is exceeded ceive sensations contrary to what they
by several angle-of-attack degrees, would experience in reality. This can
domain of let us say four or five, but not more. be asserted based on a comparison
commercial This means that all maneuvers on the between the basic rotation speed and
simulator that go beyond these known acceleration parameters on the three
flying, simulators values enter a domain where the re- aircraft axis (i.e. p, q, r, nx, ny, nz of
are perfectly presentativeness of the model becomes the flight mechanics) with the same
representative of erroneous. Therefore, the exercises on
the simulator must not go further than
parameters measured in the cockpit of
a mobile simulator during somewhat
reality and utmost the excursions leading to the reactions dynamic maneuvers. For this reason,
confidence can be to the SW which, according to regu- during the flight tests, cockpit move-
lations, are expected by the pilot. In ments are never used to fine tune the
placed in them, for practice, not more than 3 seconds after flight controls knowing that the sensa-
both low and high the appearance of the SW during a tions experienced are, essentially false,
altitude manual dynamic maneuver in cruise. This obvi-
ously concerns only the unprotected
and can therefore seriously alter test
pilots assessment of these.
flight. laws.
Clearly these two limits can be consi-
2) The movements of mobile simu- dered as such only when certification
lator cockpits are intended to trick flight tests maneuvers are performed
the sensory channels of the pilots to very close to if not beyond the li-
make them believe that what they mits of the aircraft flight envelope. Over
perceive corresponds to a real flight. the normal operating domain of com-
This operates fairly well when the si- mercial flying, simulators are perfectly
mulated movements remain low. Sim- representative of reality and utmost
ply, let us say that the feelings are not confidence can be placed in them, for
too false whilst the movements of the both low and high altitudes. For this
aircraft are those that the Auto Pilot reason, flying in a simulator is the best
would command. Whenever signifi- option for pilots to experience and
cant dynamic movements are done, train for manual flying at any altitude.
the feelings become very false and

Some ideas for high-altitude manual flying training


Simulation training exercises must of AP, FD and ATHR, return to alter-
show pilots that at high altitudes and nate law. Keep level flight. Reduce
high Mach numbers, it is very impor- Mach to alternate law limit (if appli-
tant to adopt an especially calm, flex- cable). Do a turn with a bank angle
ible flying attitude without aggressive- of 30 (that is 1.15 g) in level flight
ness. At the same time, the exercises at constant Mach. Resume straight
suggested here will allow pilots to line flight. Descent with engines at
reinforce the necessary confidence in idle to first level outside of the RVSM
themselves. To gain this competence, space, still at constant Mach. Tem-
it is important that they do maneuvers porarily stabilise at REC MAX 4000
which go a little beyond those that ft, maintaining the Mach. Observe
they may have to do in flight. Here are the response of the aircraft, resume
several personal ideas of exercises to descent.
reach this objective. Within the same
frame of mind, others can of course be 2) Normal law, AP engaged, weight =
proposed. MLW + 2 hours of fuel consumption,
REC MAX altitude. Loss of AP, FD
1) Normal law, AP engaged, weight = and ATHR, return to direct law. Use
MLW + 2 hours of fuel consumption, the trim. Keep level flight. Reduce
REC MAX altitude and cruise Mach Mach to direct law limit (if applica-
according to airline Cost Index. Loss ble). Make a turn with a bank angle
Safety First #20 | July 2015 045

of 25 (that is 1.1 g) in level flight at manual flying training. But, again as a


constant Mach. Resume straight line passenger, I at the same time require
flight. Descent with engines at idle to that these same pilots have all the
first level outside RVSM space, still at manual flying skills that we have dis-
constant Mach. Temporarily stabilise cussed and which they require to face
at REC MAX 4000 ft, maintaining up to failure cases where the piloting
the Mach. Observe the response of aids are no longer available, whether
the aircraft, resume descent. at high or low altitude.
These two requirements are contra-
As a passenger, I would be very happy dictory only in appearance. Indeed,
to fly with an airline which gives its even as is the case in many airlines,
pilots the instruction to place them- the pilots are authorised to manually At high
selves in the easiest situation at all
times. Pilots should be instructed to
fly aircraft under certain conditions.
During commercial flights, they could
altitudes and high
use all the piloting aids placed at their never fly manually at high altitude due Mach numbers, it
disposal to facilitate their tasks as far to the RVSM rules, or under degraded is very important to
as possible. In practice, this perfectly flight control laws for obvious reasons,
respectable policy leads the pilots to which deprives them of all knowledge adopt an especially
almost never manually fly the aircraft, of the reactions of their aircraft under calm, flexible flying
except on take-off for a short period these conditions.
and for certain landings between the The only solution to cover this need is
attitude without
minima and the ground when auto- therefore the intensive use of training aggressiveness.
matic landing is impossible. This simulators and this in perfect compli-
means that the pilots of such an air- ance with the limits of their represent-
line acquire or maintain almost no ativeness.
046 Safety First #20 | July 2015

ARTICLES PUBLISHED
IN PREVIOUS
SAFETY FIRST ISSUES

Issue 19 Issue 18 Issue 17

January 2015 July 2014 January 2014

Tidy cockpit for safe flight Control your speed... at take-off Airbus Brake Testing
Landing on contaminated Safe operations with composite Hard Landing, a Case Study
runways aircraft for Crews and Maintenance
Understanding weight Learning from the evidence Personnel
& balance A320 Family cargo Containers/ Aircraft Protection during Washing
W  ind shear: an invisible enemy pallets movement and Painting
to pilots? Parts Departing from Aircraft (PDA) Flight Data Analysis (FDA),
a Predictive Tool for Safety
Management System (SMS)
Flying a Go-Around, Managing
Energy

Issue 16 Issue 15 Issue 14

July 2013 January 2013 July 2012

Performance Based The Golden Rules for Pilots Thrust Reverser Selection means
Navigation: RNP and RNP AR moving from PNF to PM Full-Stop
Approaches Airbus Crosswind Development Transient Loss of Communication
Atlantic Airways: Introduction and Certification due to Jammed Push-To-Talk
of RNP AR 0.1 Operations The SMOKE/FUMES/AVNCS A320 and A330/A340 Families
F light Crews and De-Icing SMOKE Procedure A380: Development of the Flight
Personnel Working together Post-Maintenance Foreign Controls - Part 2
in Temporary Teamwork for Objects Damage (FOD) Prevention Preventing Fan Cowl Door Loss
safe Skies Corrosion: Do not forget that you are not
L ow Speed Rejected Take-Off A Potential Safety Issue alone in Maintenance
upon Engine Failure
Late Changes before Departure
Safety First #19 | January 2015 047

Issue 13 Issue 12 Issue 11

January 2012 July 2011 January 2011

A320 Family / A330 Prevention Airbus New Operational What is Stall?


and Handling of Dual Bleed Loss Landing Distances How a Pilot Should React in Front
The Fuel Penalty Factor The Go Around Procedure of a Stall Situation
The Airbus TCAS Alert Prevention The Circling Approach Minimum Control Speed Tests
(TCAP) VMU Tests on A380 on A380
A380: Development of the Flight Automatic Landings Radio Altimeter Erroneous Values
Controls - Part 1 in Daily Operation Automatic NAV Engagement at
Facing the Reality of everyday Go Around
Maintenance Operations

Issue 10 Issue 9 Issue 8

August 2010 February 2010 July 2009

A380: Flutter Tests A320 Family: Evolution of Ground The Runway Overrun Prevention
Operational Landing Spoiler Logic System
Distances: A New Standard Incorrect Pitch Trim Setting at The Take-Off Securing Function
for In-flight Landing Distance Take-Off Computer Mixability:
Assessment Technical Flight Familiarization An Important Function
Go Around Handling Oxygen Safety Fuel Spills During Refueling
A320: Landing Gear Downlock Operations
Situation Awareness and Decision
Making
048 Safety First #20 | July 2015

ARTICLES PUBLISHED
IN PREVIOUS
SAFETY FIRST ISSUES

Issue 7 Issue 6 Issue 5

February 2009 July 2008 December 2007

Airbus AP/FD TCAS Mode: A320: Runway Overrun New CFIT Event During Non
A New Step Towards Safety FCTL Check after EFCS Reset on Precision Approach
Improvement Ground A320: Tail Strike at Take-Off?
Braking System Cross A320: Possible Consequence of Unreliable Speed
Connections VMO/MMO Exceedance Compliance to Operational
Upset Recovery Training Aid, A320: Prevention of Tailstrikes Procedures
Revision 2 Low Fuel Situation Awareness The Future Air Navigation
Fuel Pumps Left in OFF Position Rudder Pedal Jam System FANS B
A320: Avoiding Dual Bleed Loss Why do Certain AMM Tasks
Require Equipment Resets?
Slide/raft Improvement Issue 2
Cabin Attendant Falling through
the Avionics Bay Access Panel September 2005
in Cockpit

Tailpipe or Engine Fire


Issue 4 Issue 3 Managing Severe Turbulence
Airbus Pilot Transition (ATP)
June 2007 December 2006 Runway Excursions at Take-Off

Operations Engineering Bulletin Dual Side Stick Inputs Issue 1


Reminder Function Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer
Avoiding High Speed Rejected Damage January 2005
Take-Offs Due to EGT Limit Pitot Probes Obstruction
Exceedance on Ground
Do you Know your ATC/TCAS A340: Thrust Reverser Unlocked Go Arounds in Addis-Ababa due
Panel? Residual Cabin Pressure to VOR Reception Problems
Managing Hailstorms Cabin Operations Briefing Notes The Importance of the Pre-flight
Introducing the Maintenance Hypoxia: An Invisible Enemy Flight Control Check
Briefing Notes A320: In-flight Thrust Reverser
A320: Dual hydraulic Loss Deployment
Terrain Awareness and Warning Airbus Flight Safety Manager
Systems Operations Based on Handbook
GPS Data Flight Operations Briefing Notes
NOW AVAILABLE
ON TABLETS