Mitigation for Loss-of-Control Accidents in Transport Airplanes
Prevention of catastrophic upset mishaps cannot depend solely on recovery training. The proposed document should complement the training initiatives already in place. As a committee dealing with transport human factors and handling qualities, the output must consider both issues. At the same time, we cannot ignore initial and recurrent training issues and the widespread use of ground-based simulators.
The plan would follow the approach taken in the 2003 S-7 white paper but would extend the scope to all forms of LOC, not just repeated rudder reversals. As with the white pa-per, the new document would have sections on transport handling qualities, flight control modes, aircraft displays, simulator requirements, and approval for IFR test evaluations as well as covering training issues. This new document would complement, not replace documents such as the Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid.
While the ultimate goal might be preparation of an Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP), the initial output might be an Aerospace Information Report (AIR) or an Aerospace Research Document (ARD) or both. The S-7 LOC subcommittee will develop back-ground material for possible use to prepare an AIR. During this process, any topics that require further research may be written up as an ARD.
Rationale: Loss of control accidents continue to be the leading cause of aviation mishaps. This as-sertion has been documented many times in recent years. - In Aviation Safety Network’s Annual Review of Airline Accidents, Ranto says:
A notable figure in 2006 was the high number of “loss of control” accidents
Seventeen aircraft crashed as a result of loss of control, killing over 800
There have been several recommendations proposed to reduce the numbers of these loss of control (LOC) mishaps. Most of these recommendations involve revisions to pilot training. - A few papers discussed the need for improved training simulators in terms of their aerodynamic envelope. Others recommended improvements in achievable simu-lator motion cues to the pilot. With the possible exception of Burki-Cohen & Sparko or Knotts & Moreau, these recommendations concentrate on a single aspect of LOC accident mitigation, improved training with existing simulators, simulators that cover a wider aerodynamic envelope or improved motion cues including use of in-flight simulation.
Following the accident to American 587, Stowe prepared a draft document emphasizing the lateral-directional loss-of-control issues. This draft recommended that SAE S-7 up-date ARP-4104 to address rudder control, pedal deflection and force in transport air-planes. With 20/20 hindsight, we can see that the emphasis on pilot training and tech-niques hasn’t been as successful as we would have liked. SAE S-7 should implement the recommendation.