Old Facts, New Insights – Lessons from A-320 Part 3

A spate of incidents and accidents during 1990s suggested that pilots flying modern ‘glass cockpit’ aircraft “sometimes fail to detect unanticipated and undesirable automation behaviour in time to recover” [2, 8, 9]. Hence it is important to understand the likelihood of human error for the A-320 pilots monitoring the status and behaviour of the automated cockpit. Continue reading

Old Facts, New Insights – Lessons from A-320 Part 2

The details of the automation surprises faced by the pilots participating in the questionnaire survey is presented hereafter [2]. Continue reading

Old Facts, New Insights – Lessons from A-320

Automation surprises result from an imbalance between ‘autonomy’ and ‘authority’ of advanced automated systems and the gaps in the operator’s mental model of the system and its interactions. The vital factor at play in such cases could be low observability interfaces in novel (“nonroutine elements”) situations with operator caught in a bind while trying to track and anticipate the actions by the system in his hands! Simply put, when he (rather, they, being multi crew environment) is loosing the grip of the unfolding situation and finds himself inadequately prepared for the fast unwinding situation, which was chillingly evident in Air France Flight AF 447 as brought out in the final report [1]:-
Continue reading

Old Facts, New Insights – Surprises in Glass Cockpit

The final report of crash of Air France Flight AF 447 stated that the precipitating event of the accident was “temporary inconsistency between the measured airspeeds…..that led in particular to autopilot disconnection” which was compounded by “inappropriate control inputs that destabilized the flight path” [1]. This accident has brought the focus of the aviation community back to overdependence on automation at the cost of forgetting basic piloting skills! Continue reading

Who failed in Crash of Flight IX-812? Part 3

Glaring Organisational Failure

For the purpose of brevity, the organisational failures are only listed here. Continue reading