2007 Flight Test Safety Workshop - London England
Europe - London, England
Wednesday, 17th October 2007
Global War on Error for the Test Team
P at Daily, Executive Vice President, & Rogers Smith, Consultant Lecturer, Convergent-Knowledge Solutions
In 2004, Convergent Knowledge Solutions, a private think tank, “declared war” on human error by designing a program to attack human error at the individual level. Dubbed “the Global War on Error ® it took a military science approach to identify personal error producing centers of gravity and counter them with specific knowledge and procedures. The 4 th Marine Aircraft Wing (4 th MAW) of the US Marine Corps were the pathfinders for this novel approach, and the results have been startling. Prior to employment of the program, the 4 th MAW Class A mishap rate was 9.8 per 100,000 flight hours. In the past 36 months, that rate dropped to - and has remained - at 0. Less severe mishaps have declined from 40 to 70 percent. These results led to a USMC-wide adoption of the program and is now branching into other areas such as flight test. This five-module educational program views each unique individual as the battleground. Each module of training empowers the individual to identify, categorize, analyze and neutralize personal sources of error to create a solid foundation for system safety and team training efforts, which was heretofore absent.
Incorporating a Safety Management System into Flight Test and Research Operations
Tim Leslie, Supervisor, Flying Operations and Training, Flight Research Laboratory
I joined the National Research Council of Canada’s Flight Research Laboratory (FRL) in 1997. My first task was to align our operation with the recently implemented Canada Aviation Regulations (CARs). Part of this alignment was the implementation of a Flight Safety Program. any viewed this as a tool to make more work…or a way of making employees more accountable…a conspiracy to record sloppiness…a disciplinary thing. Few accepted this undertaking was simply a means of making the laboratory a safer place.
Ten years later it is now a successful program, with several improvements incorporated. Transport Canada recently formalized a process with its Safety Management System legislation. As the FRL was already there, it took little to align with these Transport Canada recommendations. This presentation is a historical walk through of the setting up and fostering of a safety reporting culture focused on “what the problem is” and “how best to fix it” rather than “who is at fault.” It is a practical tool applied daily in our operation; it is not a theory.
Our program is not perfect…but we are getting there.
How a Federal Civil Certification Agency Deals with Flight Test Risk Management
Rod Huete, Test Pilot, Federal Aviation Administration
John Hed, Flight Test Engineer, Federal Aviation Administration
This presentation covers the challenges faced by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as it performs its function of flight testing for aircraft certification and the programs designed to deal with those challenges. Specifically, the presentation describes the organizational structure of FAA aircraft certification and its mission. Several safety concerns are identified with unique certification activities and safety concerns in general while conducting flight testing. A brief summary of FAA flight test accidents and incidents are shown to emphasize that the FAA is vulnerable to flight test hazards. A description of the current flight test safety program implemented to deal with these hazards is presented. Finally, an on-line demonstration is given of the new internet-based Flight Test Safety Database. The conclusion recognizes that the FAA is vulnerable to accidents, has learned from its lessons and has implemented proven safety practices to deal with the hazards of certification flight testing.
Lessons Re-Learned – A Mishap Review from a Flight Test Perspective
Daniel Levin, Experimental Test Pilot, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Billie Flynn, Experimental Test Pilot, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
High Incidence Flight Testing Risk Management
Terry Smith, Flight Test Technologist, BAE Systems (retired)
This presentation describes thirty years of flight testing combat aircraft. It commences with a review of deliberate spin testing on the Sepecat Jaguar and moves through deliberate spin testing on the Panavia Tornado to carefree handling testing on the Fly By Wire Jaguar Digital FCS demonstrator, the EAP demonstrator and the Eurofighter Typhoon. It concludes with testing of the automatic low speed recovery system on the Typhoon. Lessons learned from each test programme are identified.
Protecting the Flight Test Program
Dr. Guy Gratton, Lecturer in Aeronautics, Brunel University & T.C. Porteous, Chief Test Pilot (Fixed Wing), British Microlight Aircraft Association
The flight test programme is an essential component in the development of the aircraft or system, so even if safety is never compromised, the failure of a test programme to deliver the required results on time and budget can cause failure of the entire aircraft programme.
This paper considers the areas in which planning and conduct of a flight test programme should be protected. In particular it considers the conduct of flight test personnel in ways which go beyond only safety training, the important of documenting test planning and conduct and continuous justification of conclusions, planning project manning to ensure that the loss (for whatever reason) of key personnel or equipment does not cause complete failure of the flight test programme, how to recover from significant programme disruptions, and most importantly whilst protecting or recovering the flight test programme – how to ensure that safety is not compromised in the process.
Progress in Flight Safety - Lessons learned from Air Transport!
Dr. Dieter Reisinger, MSc, Director Quality Operations, Austrian Airlines
The risk of getting involved in an air carrier accident has been gradually reduced over the last decades. Passengers and crews not only benefit from new technologies, improved system reliability, enhanced warning systems, new certification standards, regulatory oversight, but also from advances made with respect to human sciences: improved man-machine interface, crew resource management programs, Reason´s model, Helmreich´s threat-and error management models etc.. From the traditional blame-the-pilot approach early on the industry now sees complex safety management systems with integrated data and giving emphasis to incidents in addition to accidents. The pilot at the last frontier plays a key role in the prevention of accidents. To make an ultra-safe system even safer new concepts have to be added. Flight data monitoring could give pilots a tool which will enhance pilot self assessment by applying threat and error management concepts to the flight data, eventually creating an individual pilot´s “pattern to incident”. Training to cope with such patterns could enhance safety.
Risk Management: A Comparison of the Similarities Between the Hollywood Stunt Business and Aircraft Flight Testing
Rusty Lowry, Technical Director US Naval Test Pilot School, US Navy
A close inspection reveals many parallels and a striking similarity between the risk management techniques and processes which have evolved in both the Hollywood stunt business and the field of aircraft flight testing. Many of the classic processes the flight test community has come to regard as our own, such as the greybeard review, the "no" vote, aircrew coordination, risk-hazard analysis, and pre-flight briefs, are alive and well in the movies. In both industries, open communications and thorough planning are essential elements of a solid risk identification and mitigation plan.
This presentation describes some of the stunt coordination efforts involved with making a motion picture and, combined with video footage from the movie US Marshals, illustrates that similar practices have evolved within the two professions to deal with the common need to identify and successfully mitigate the risks involved in performing inherently dangerous activities under tight schedule and cost constraints.
Thursday, 18th October 2007
Helicopter Shipboard Suitability Testing: Risk Management in an Unpredictable Environment
LT Keith S Kulow, H-60 Program Test Pilot, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ONE (HX-21), United States Navy & Mr. Christopher Szymendera, Helicopter Flight Test Engineer, NAVAIR Rotary Wing Ship Suitability Branch, United States Navy
At-sea testing was recently completed with the Organic Airborne Mine Countermeasures MH?60S aircraft to test the suitability of the configuration for shipboard operations. The configuration was highly asymmetric, resulting in extreme left lateral center of gravity and peculiar handling qualities. Additionally, there was minimal clearance between the mine sensor and the flight deck during shipboard operations. These characteristics raised several concerns for the test, most notably the risk of damage to the sensor or aircraft caused by the sensor striking the flight deck during shipboard operations. The effort was constrained by funding and time, meaning complex instrumentation or in-depth computer based modeling was not available to the test team. This brief discusses the risk mitigation techniques employed by the test team during the planning, buildup, and execution of the test.
Importance of Promoting the ‘No-Vote’ Within the Flight Test Community
Lawrence A. Feragotti , Propulsion Flight Test Engineer, NAVAIR, Joint Strike Fighter Program , United States Navy
Patuxent River , Maryland has long been the heart of the united states naval (usn) flight test community, and is an advocate of safe flight test. All engineers are encouraged to keep an active eye while testing, and to never be afraid of exercising their right to stop a test if they feel safety is being compromised. During a recent flying qualities test program, a second year propulsion engineer covering a test flight was put in an uncomfortable position. During the pre-flight checks, the pilot noted that a maintenance status panel (msp) code for the fuel boost pump for the right engine was set. The jet had been cleared by a maintenance troubleshooter to fly, but the code was listed in the propulsion engineer’s notes as a code that should not be flown with. Maintenance insisted it was a nuisance code, and that the fleet would launch with the code present. The msp code states that the right turbine boost pump could have foreign object debris (fod) preventing it from providing sufficient fuel to the right engine at high power. While it is possible to fly the aircraft with a damaged fuel pump by letting gravity feed the fuel to the engine, the first test point required the pilot take the aircraft to inverted flight. The propulsion engineer exercised the no-vote and forced an inspection of the pump that later proved it had ingested fod and may not have provided sufficient fuel to the right engine in the first manoeuvre on the test cards.
Laser Ground and Flight Testing
Raymond Beach, NAVAIR Associate Fellow
The proliferation of military airborne Laser Designators/Rangers and Target Markers has forced Government flight test engineers to develop an approach that will allow for the safe Test and Evaluations of these systems. This presentation will introduce the detailed procedures and test methodologies that allow Navy Flight Test Engineers at NAVAIR, Patuxent River, MD to fully and safely test Class IIIB and IV laser systems both in a ground and flight test environment. Specific areas to be covered include lab parametric measurements, ground measurements after install on the subject aircraft, Laser Safety Review Board requirements and coordination, Range safety calculations and flight test target boards and measurement capabilities/procedures.
Protection Against CFIT, Mitigating the Risk in TAWS Testing
Michael J.K. Johnson, GPWS/TAWS Flight Test Team Lead, DCS Corporation / GPWS IPT & Timothy J. Herten, GPWS/TAWS Flight Test Team Lead, NAWC VX-23 / GPWS IPT
The Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS) is a safety system, whose purpose is to provide aircrew that have lost situational awareness (SA) with directive warnings and commands to avoid impending Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT).
The Risk; How do you completely validate a system designed to operate in an unsafe operating environment without lose of life and a multimillion dollar asset?
The Mitigation; A well defined process of, applying lessons learned, test planning and execution are paramount in successfully mitigating these risks.
Risk Mitigation of the C-5M Dynamic Taxi Tests
Mariusz Wisniewski & Jessica Wojtanowski , Flight Test Engineers, United States Air Force
The C-5M is a modified C-5 aircraft with new CF-6 engines, new pylons, and over 70 other system and subsystem improvements under the Reliability Enhancement & Re-Engining Program (RERP). Constant speed taxi tests were conducted on the C-5M to determine the airframe elastic response characteristics to specific dynamic loading conditions designed to simulate runway roughness. Two sets of plywood ramps, each targeting specific, critical frequencies and loads, were used on the Edwards AFB, CA Rogers lakebed in an effort to reduce costs. Risks were mitigated with safety reviews, test plan reviews, ramp design reviews, ample test point buildup (in frequency/speed and loads), test conduct risk mitigation with a test conductor on the ground and in the airplane, as well as ground support. Despite the ample risk mitigation in place, failures still occurred with the ramps and airplane systems. Future dynamic taxi test programs could benefit from the C-5M lessons learned.
The Osprey as I Knew It
Grady W. Wilson, Test Pilot, Consultant, National Test Pilots School
The author relates his experience during the early days of the Engineering Manufacturing Development phase of the Osprey development and flight test program. He begins with a brief history of the development of the tilt-rotor concept along with the developments that led to the current V-22 and AB-609 tilt-rotor successes. He outlines some of the attributes of the tiltrotor that are often misunderstood, along with some of the specific design drivers that configured the Osprey. Finally he gives a pilot’s overview of the June11, 1991 accident where he was PIC during the first and only survivable Osprey crash. He covers the series of events that led to the accident in terms of errors than can be attributed to maintenance, management, and finally the crew. He relates these errors to the common problems that plague most test programs along with those that were specific to this Osprey crash.
Steps To Clearing The VAAC Harrier To Operate in Front of the NASA Hover Boards
Lt Christopher Götke, Test Pilot, Royal Navy
The NASA hover boards allow a pilot to get highly accurate 2 dimensional positioning that could only otherwise be achieved hovering just above the ground which is inadvisable in a Harrier due to hot gas re-ingestion and the ejection-seat envelope. The hover boards are raised on a crane to approximately 110 feet and the ideal distance for the evaluator is 66 feet from the back target-board. Test pilots from the JSF team have been evaluating the basic Unified control moding which was adopted for F35B STOVL variant, as well as advanced flight control sub modes in the VSTOL arena.
The VAAC Harrier is a unique STOVL research platform with a rear cockpit linked to flexible, experimental fly-by-wire controls, displays and guidance systems and a standard Harrier I front cockpit. The evaluator station in the rear cockpit is set up with JSF style inceptor’s and the flight control system has been response-matched to that of the latest predictions for JSF VSTOL variant. The experimental flight control system (FCS), when engaged, has full authority over all aircraft flight controls, nozzles and throttles which in turn are back driven into the front cockpit. However, the FCS is simplex and the software is not tested to usual safety-critical standards.
This presentation will run through the initial Trials Risk Assessment, the requirements and internal procedures needed to seen before the VAAC was cleared to operate in front of the boards. Additionally, as the presentation will address the “mission creep” from the initial academic handling qualities assessment to the development of a representative frontline task.
Large Cargo Freighter Program
Capt Gerald W. Whites, Chief Pilot, Chief Pilot Special Projects, Engineering Flight Test & Chuck L. Lidtka, Lead Test Director, Flight Test Engineer, The Boeing Commercial Airplane Company
The 747 Large Cargo Freighter was developed to meet the unique needs of the 787 airplane program. Large pieces of 787 structure are built in Italy, Japan and the U.S. and need to be transported quickly to the assembly plant in Everett, Washington. No aircraft existed that was capable of carrying those large structural components.
The program goal was to modify 5, 747-400, passenger airplanes from their “normal” configuration to the 747 LCF configuration while maintaining the same flight envelope and handling qualities. This would allow pilots to maintain the same (747-400) type rating and not require additional ratings or training.
During the flight testing of this airplane there were discoveries that required changes to the airplane configuration. The most significant being a (poorly damped) 2.2 Hz structural vibration mode. These changes created challenges to the program schedule.
In the end the airplane was certified on 09 July ‘07 and is currently in service.
EMBRAER Phenom 100 - First Flight Risk Management of a VLJ
Marcelo T. Basile , Flight Test Engineer, EMBRAER Phenom 100 Program, Carlos R. Silveira , Flight Test Engineer, EMBRAER Phenom 100 Program EMBRAER
The objective of this presentation is to show the main points and considerations that involve the risk management of the first flight of a very light jet prototype. The topics discussed are mainly focused on the safety aspects that should be addressed by the flight test group and the lessons learned from the flight. Initially, a brief review of the Company, including its Production sites and Products, is presented. Next, the main aspects of EMBRAER Phenom 100 aircraft are outlined. Afterward, a summary of the Risk Management performed by the flight test division for the first flight is also presented and analyzed in terms of safety aspects considered prior to the flight, including test condition buildup and risk mitigation, and lessons learned during and after the flight. Finally, the main conclusions are depicted and brought into discussion.
Flying UAV's in Civilian Airspace: Can It Be Done Safely
Martijn Stuip, MSc R&D Engineer & Arun Karwal MSc, Research Test Pilot, National Aerospace Laboratory NLR
Various countries aim to introduce UAV systems in civil airspace in the timeframe 2010-2012, In addition, EuroControl intends to publish guidelines for UAV operations as Operational Air Traffic (OAT). Therefore a demonstration of safe operation is required: maintaining separation and avoidance of collisions with other traffic during UAV operations. “Sense and avoid” or “detect and avoid” is the primary responsibility of any pilot according to ICAO rules. For UAVs, where the ‘pilot’ is operating remotely and lacks visual clues, a solution needs to be found with at least an equivalent level of safety. The challenge to find a feasible solution in the 2010 timeframe was addressed in The Netherlands with the National Technology Project OUTCAST. OUTCAST investigates a concept based on existing technology like ACAS in combination with the EO/IR camera that will be available on most types of UAV. The viability of the concept depends on the ICAO mandate for carriage of Mode S transponders on all IFR and VFR flights after 31 March 2008.
The investigation had to be performed by flight testing a demonstration system, installed on an ‘unmanned’ aircraft, in a representative air traffic environment. These flight tests were performed in April, 2007. The NLR Citation II laboratory aircraft was equipped with a representative sensor suite, including the Toplite II EO/IR payload (EOP) from Rafael ( Israel) installed in the nose of the aircraft.
For safety reasons a flight crew was at the controls in the cockpit, but the functionality of a UAV crew “ground” control station was emulated in the aircraft by installing two working positions in the cabin, one for the UAV Pilot and a second one for the Payload Operator. This set up together with the facilities for the communication with the pilots in the cockpit and the servers for the different application programs formed the Demonstrator Hardware Architecture. Finally a data acquisition system for recording of all the test parameters and signals was added. Also aircraft from the RNLAF were equipped with a position reporting system because in most flight test scenarios ‘intruder’ aircraft need to be introduced.
Last Updated: 10/31/2007