Simulators Still Not Accurate Enough On Stalls

 - March 25, 2013, 2:03 PM

As experts struggle to identify why the crew of Air France 447 lost control of their A330 over the South Atlantic Ocean nearly four years ago, the industry is also still struggling to develop the precision data needed to accurately reproduce a stall in a Level D simulator. The lack of accurate stall data limits entry and recovery practice because the computers running the simulators have no idea how the aircraft will actually perform.

Safety experts believe better data is needed to properly prepare pilots for a portion of the aircraft’s performance envelope that was once thought easy to avoid.

At a recent conference held at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, officials from both Airbus and Boeing joined forces to explain the situation to date as well as where the industry still needs to go. Airbus test pilot Terry Lutz believes the day may be coming when pilots will need to hand over more control to onboard computers when the situation becomes too chaotic. This is reminiscent of the blue “level” button in use aboard the four-place Cirrus SR22 piston single that automatically brings the aircraft back to a wings-level attitude even if the autopilot is turned off.

Boeing engineer Paul Bolds-Moorhead reiterated the monumental task of developing accurate lift and stall data in the high-altitude regime, where the stall and unusual-attitude behavior of transport aircraft is typically never tested.



While I agree with the article the irony is that we have the data. Current avionics transmit data constantly and we also have black box data from accidents but no real way to incorporate this data in commercial simulation. Airlines occasionally input the data into simulators as far back as Delta Microburst crash in DFW(Delta 191) or Sioux City United crash(United 232) where pilots tried to replicate results. What we need is a neutral repository where simulator manufacturers can have access and incorporate the data which is not part of the normal flight envelope and therefore are not included in the manufacturers data package.

I'm on the verge of setting up in FRANCE a new syllabus oriented "Unusual Attitude & Upset Recovery Program".
I expect operatng a revamped Aermacchi SF-260TP trainer.
Military cadet-pilot applicants
Airline first-officer candidates
Recurrent training for current pilots.
Best regards,
former naval fighter pilot with the french Navy
retired airline captain