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Operational Liaison Meeting

Unreliable speed indications

Background

Two recent fatal accidents on non-Airbus aircraft and several reports of incidents attributed to erroneous airspeed and/or altitude indications have prompted the need to improve flight crew awareness to identify and tackle such a failure.

Unreliable speed indications

Content

Architecture
display architecture interface with flight controls interface with flight guidance conclusion about architecture

Probes: what may happen? Recommendations Procedure Conclusions

Unreliable speed indications

Display architecture - A300/A300-600/A310


(Airspeed indicator on A300)
PFD 1
STBY

PFD 2

(Airspeed indicator on A300)

ADC 1

ADC 2

CAPT probes
Normal display Reconfigurations
Unreliable speed indications

STBY probes

F/O probes

Display architecture - Fly by wire A/C


PFD 1
STBY

PFD 2

ADC 1

ADC 3

ADC 2

CAPT probes
Normal display Reconfigurations
Unreliable speed indications

STBY probes

F/O probes

Effect on flight controls


A300 / A300-600 / A310: Erroneous airspeed / altitude does not affect the flight controls (conventional aircraft ). Fly by wire aircraft: Depending of the failure, erroneous airspeed / altitude may affect the flight control of fly by wire aircraft. In the worst case, the aircraft reverts to a conventional aircraft.

Unreliable speed indications

Effect on flight controls (fly by wire A/C)


Each flight control computer (PRIM on A340/A330, ELAC on A320) receives the speed from the three ADC.
speed
ADC 1 speed ADC 3 speed
COMPARISON/ SELECTION

PRIM/ELAC

ADC 2

Unreliable speed indications

Effect on flight controls (fly by wire A/C)


If one has deviated:
PRIM/ELAC

speed ADC 1 speed ADC 3 speed

COMPARISON/ SELECTION

ADC 2

it is eliminated, without any caution. Normal operations continue.

Unreliable speed indications

Effect on flight controls (fly by wire A/C)


If the two remaining values are no longer in agreement:
speed
ADC 1 speed ADC 3 speed ADC 2

PRIM/ELAC

DISAGREE

ADR DISAGREE caution is triggered. the flight controls revert to alternate law (without protections). SPD LIM flag is shown on both PFD ( no Vls, no Vsw).

This situation is latched ( PRIM/ELAC reset has no effect).


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Effect on flight guidance


A300/ A300-600 /A310
AP 1
ADC 1 speed/altitude

ATS 1

ADC 2

AP 2
speed/altitude

ATS 2

AP / ATS are affected if ADC 1 or 2 are affected. Possible AP /ATS disconnection depending on speed inaccuracy.
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Effect on flight guidance


Fly by wire aircraft:
Each flight envelope computer (FE)on A340/A330 or flight augmentation computer (FAC) on A320 receives the speed and the altitude from the three ADC.
speed/altitude ADC 1 speed/altitude ADC 3
COMPARISON/ SELECTION

FE/ FAC

speed/altitude
ADC 2

On A320, same check is performed by the FMGC on the speed and the altitude.
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Effect on flight guidance


Fly by wire aircraft:
If one speed deviates:
FE/ FAC
ADC 1 ADC 3
ADC 2 speed/altitude speed/altitude speed/altitude

COMPARISON/ SELECTION

the related ADC is eliminated without any caution. Normal operations continue (except that CAT 3 is no more available).
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Effect on flight guidance


Fly by wire aircraft:
If the two remaining ADC are no longer in agreement:
speed/altitude speed/altitude speed/altitude

ADC 1 ADC 3

FE/ FAC

ADC 2

DISAGREE

autopilot and autothrust disengage.

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Effect on flight guidance


Fly by wire aircraft:

When the disagree disappears: the autopilot and the autothrust may be used again on the A330 / A340.

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Conclusion about architecture

Single failure (one probe affected):


A300 / A300-600 / A310:
One display is wrong. AP and ATS are affected with possible automatic deactivation.

Fly by wire aircraft:


One display is wrong but, no effect on flight control and guidance.

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Conclusion about architecture

Dual failure - Two probes affected, giving different wrong values:


A300 / A300-600 / A310:
Autopilot and autothrust are affected with possible automatic deactivation.

Fly by wire aircraft:


flight control normal law and protections, autopilot, autothrust are lost; on A330/A340, FD/AP/ATHR are again available if disagree disappears. The crew is aware of the anomaly (ADR DISAGREE ECAM caution). The aircraft reverts to a conventional aircraft, in manual flight.
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Conclusion about architecture

Dual failure - Two probes affected, giving identical wrong values: This may not be detected by the systems which may eliminate the correct value and use the erroneous ones (only fly by wire aircraft).

The crews must be aware of the symptoms in order to recognize such a situation.
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Pitot probes
ADM

Heating resistor

Total pressure

Drain hole
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Unreliable speed indications

Pitot probes - heavy rain


ADM

Total pressure

Measured pressure is lower than total pressure: speed indication is too low or fluctuating It returns to normal when water drains.

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Pitot probes - icing


Pitot icing may be due to:
severe icing condition (in this case the anomaly is transient) or, pitot heat failure.

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Pitot probes - icing


ADM

Measured pressure gradually decreases : Total pressure speed indication decreases. If icing is transient, speed fluctuations and erratic A/THR are observed.

with free drain hole

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Pitot probes - icing


ADM

Measured pressure remains constant

Total pressure

with obstructed drain hole

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Pitot probes-foreign object accumulation


ADM

Measured pressure remains constant: Speed is constant in level flight. It increases in climb. It decreases in descent.

Total pressure

Abnormal AP/FD behavior to hold the speed: pitch up in OPEN CL pitch down in OPEN DES
( SPEED MODE A300/A310).

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Pitot probes obstructed


Other consequences: The Mach number will vary in the same way as IAS. The altitude and V/S information remains correct. The FPV remains correct.

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Static probes - total obstruction on


ground
Static pressure constant at airfield value.

Lift-off

Normal indications

speed decreases

speed increases

altitude remains constant


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Static probes - total obstruction on


ground

Altitude is wrong Speed and Mach are wrong Flight Path Vector is unreliable

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Recommendations
Pilots should suspect erroneous speed/altitude information when they observe:

Fluctuations of indicated speed. Abnormal correlation of the basic flight parameters (speed, pitch attitude, thrust, climb rate).

Abnormal AP/FD/ATHR behavior.


Undue stall warning or overspeed warning. Reduction of aerodynamic noise with increasing speed. Increase of aerodynamic noise with decreasing speed.

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Recommendations

When erroneous speed/altitude information is suspected:


Crosscheck all three ADR outputs and stand-by instruments.

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Recommendations

When erroneous speed/altitude information is suspected:


Crosscheck all three ADR outputs and stand-by instruments.
Detecting an unreliable airspeed indication presents some traps:
all indications may be consistent but equally unreliable. indications may differ but attempting to assess the correct indication may be hazardous.

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Recommendations
When erroneous speed/altitude information is suspected:
Disconnect AP, FD and A/THR.

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Recommendations
When erroneous speed/altitude information is suspected:
Fly target pitch attitude and thrust setting.

Pitch and thrust memory items have been established for short term flight path control:
Intended to provide short term protection against Vls and Vmax until the QRH is accessed.

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Procedure to ensure safe flight before referring to QRH


AP/FD....................................................................OFF A/THR....................................................................OFF FLAPS.......................MAINTAIN CURRENT CONFIG SPEEDBRAKES.......................CHECK RETRACTED L/G...........................................UP WHEN AIRBORNE

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Procedure to ensure safe flight before referring to QRH


INITIAL PITCH ATTITUDE AND THRUST GUIDANCE: A300 / A300-600 / A310:
To climb:

PITCH...with slats extended: 12.5 with slats retracted: below FL 100: 7.5 above FL 100: 5 THRUST................................................100% N1

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Procedure to ensure safe flight before referring to QRH


INITIAL PITCH ATTITUDE AND THRUST GUIDANCE: A300 / A300-600 / A310:
to level off / maintain level flight (at safe altitude) :

PITCH ................................2.5 THRUST.......................... below FL 100: 72 % N1 FL 100 - FL 250: 82 % N1 above FL 250: 92 % N1


To descend:

PITCH ..............................- 2.5 (nose down) THRUST........................ IDLE


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Procedure to ensure safe flight before referring to QRH


INITIAL PITCH ATTITUDE AND THRUST GUIDANCE: Fly by wire A/C:
With slats extended: THRUST......................................................MCT PITCH ATTITUDE...................................12.5 In clean configuration: THRUST LEVER..............................CLB PITCH ATTITUDE below FL 100...................10 PITCH ATTITUDE above FL 100.................5

aircraft climbs with the initial pitch and thrust (simpler than A300/A310 to have common values for A320, A330 and A340).
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Procedure to continue the flight

When the aircraft flight path has been stabilized the crew should refer to the unreliable speed indication procedure or , in cruise, thrust setting for turbulence speed. This permits to refine the initial pitch and thrust settings and prepare for the next phase of flight.

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Procedure to continue the flight

Takeoff:
Pitch and thrust are provided for level flight at F and S speeds for configuration change from Conf2 to 1 and from Conf1 to Clean.

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Procedure to continue the flight

Climb , cruise and descent:


Pitch and thrust are provided for turbulence speeds (speeds vary according to the FL)

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Procedure to continue the flight

Cruise:
A detailed thrust table for the cruise is available in QRH 5.01 SEVERE TURBULENCE
Note that the crew may also use this table in case of ADR disagreement to determine which ADR (s) is wrong

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Procedure to continue the flight Approach:


decelerate from the descent speed to green dot speed: increase pitch and thrust according to the table ( level flight at green dot)

Clean conf

Descent speed Green Dot


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Procedure to continue the flight

Approach (contd):
Configuration changes are done in level flight

Green Dot 5.5


Clean

S speed 7.5

Vls conf2 +10 7

Vls conf 3 +10 6


(Conf full )

Conf 1

Conf 2

Conf 3

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Procedure to continue the flight

Approach (contd):
Deceleration to the speed for the next configuration change is done in level flight by:
reducing the thrust towards idle, and increasing the pitch to maintain the level flight

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Procedure to continue the flight

Approach (contd):

how to decelerate to the speed for the next conf change ?


Actual conf Next conf

Reduce towards idle thrust Adjust pitch to maintain the level flight

When the pitch reaches the pitch required to fly the speed to select next conf, adjust the N1 to fly that speed

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Procedure to continue the flight Approach (contd):


Conf 1 5 59 % Clean pitch N1 Reduce thrust, adjust pitch for level off

When pitch reaches 7.5 set 60% N1

Conf 2

7.5 60%

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Procedure to continue the flight


Final

approach:

- Reach FAF in Conf FULL and Gear down - At FAF, set the appropriate pitch and N1 to descend at -3 gradient at Vls + 10 kt.

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Conclusions

A new procedure concept with memory items is proposed based on extensive simulator testing
The FCOM has been revised to provide expanded awareness information and guidance material The new procedure is incorporated in the QRH for quick access.

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