Learning the lessons of flight AF447

The BEA report has advised the European Aviation Safety Agency to mandate eight additional type and recurrent training requirements for crews.

A330 simulator
 

These include: training in stall recovery at varying altitudes; practice at flying in alternate and direct control law as well as normal law close to the edges of the flight envelope; flying exercises to test whether pilots understand aerodynamics in practice as well as in theory; and introducing more surprise events into recurrent training scenarios to prepare pilots - individually and as a crew - to react calmly to the unexpected.

The BEA also wants airlines to raise the standards of their simulator instructor pilots, and asks EASA to demand improvement in the fidelity of flight simulators to represent more accurately the aircraft's behaviour at the edges of the flight envelope.

EASA has told Flight International it is including these recommendations and others in the report into its rule-making plan, but it may be some years before changed requirements result because the Agency must put its proposals through the normal consultation process.

Referring to its studies about the effect of automation on piloting competency, EASA adds: "The two action paths envisaged are to enhance the automation management and basic piloting skills through improved simulator use and to better formalise the transfer of the airworthiness assumptions made on pilot competencies needed to safely fly the aircraft into training and operations, in particular through the Operational Suitability Data mechanism."