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Pilot of Fly-By-Wire Helicopter Overruled by Computer. Six Dead

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Old June 23rd 20, 07:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Posts: 3,940
Default Pilot of Fly-By-Wire Helicopter Overruled by Computer. Six Dead

I was wondering when this might happen.

Given the fact that Airbus airliners employ fly-by-wire control
systems, when will we see a similar scenario killing hundreds of
airline passengers?

Oh, wait. This is very similar to what happened to two Boeing 737 MAX

Perhaps Musk and Hawking are right about AI. :-)
He's previously said that AI is “a fundamental risk” to the existence
of human civilization.

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Fly-By-Wire Helicopter, Military Pilot Had ‘Conflict’ Before Fatal
Russ Niles June 21, 20209

Canadian military authorities say the pilot of a Sikorsky CH-148
Cyclone anti-submarine helicopter was apparently overruled by the
aircraft’s fly-by-wire flight director and autopilot just before the
aircraft crashed in the ocean off Greece on April 30. Preliminary
assessment of the flight data recorder information recovered from the
wreck of the helicopter, a military version of the S-92, showed the
pilot had a “conflict” with the aircraft’s computer and the computer
won. He and five other crew members were killed. Lt.-Gen. Alain
Pelletier, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, said the aircraft’s
flight director ended up “in competition with the inputs that the
pilot was trying to actually induce in order to set the recovery. That
element of conflict resulted because of the flight-control inputs.”

Pelletier said the series of inputs from the pilot created a scenario
that had not been tested during development of the sophisticated
control system but did not elaborate on what, exactly, the computer
disagreed with. Those intricacies will be dealt with in a thorough
investigation of the accident but in the meantime, Canada’s Cyclones
have been cleared to resume flying. Pilots have been trained in the
“very narrow band” of flight conditions they need to be aware of to
avoid a repeat of the circumstances that caused the fatal crash. The
flight manuals have also been amended. The ship-borne helicopter was
returning to HMCS Fredericton after a NATO exercise when the crash
occurred. The wreckage was recovered by an underwater drone from water
more than 10,000 feet deep in the Ionian Sea and the remains of all
the crew members have been identified.


May 1, 2020 | News

CH-148 Cyclone crashes in the Mediterranean Sea
By Fred Vergneres

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter engaged in
a NATO mission and carrying six members of the Canadian Armed Forces
crashed in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece on Wednesday, April
29. One victim, Ensign (Navy) First Class Abbigail Cowbrough, a Marine
Systems Engineering Officer from Toronto, Ontario, was found dead and
five members are missing.

{Photos of six dead]

From top left to right: Ensign (Navy) 1st Class Abbigail Cowbrough,
Marine Systems Engineering Officer; Ensign (Navy) 1st Class Matthew
Pyke, Naval Warfare Officer; Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Airborne
Electronic Sensor Operator; Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Air Combat
Systems Officer; Captain Kevin Hagen, Pilot; Captain Brenden Ian
MacDonald, Pilot.

According to military authorities, “the aircraft, recently acquired by
the Canadian Army, was returning to the frigate Fredericton after a
collective training mission with Turkish and Italian vessels when
contact was lost at 6:52 p.m. local time.”

The Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone was operating out of HMCS Fredericton as
part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). The ship departed
Halifax, N.S. on January 20 for a six-month mission as part of
Operation REASSURANCE, which includes the participation of more than
900 Canadian soldiers. Since 2014, the operation aims to ensure the
security and stability of Central and Eastern Europe, particularly
with respect to Russia.

For the time being, Harjit Sajjan, the Canadian Minister of Defence
has stressed that “the cause of the accident remains ‘unknown’ and
that the black boxes had been found“. The minister also said that the
recorders will be brought back to Canada for analysis.

The first official flight of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter on October
11, 2013, at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia. On June 18, 2014, the
Government of Canada announced that it has completed all required
amendments to both the acquisition and long-term in-service support
contracts with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the acquisition and
maintenance of 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters for the Royal Canadian
Air Force. © Corporal True-dee McCarthy, 12 Wing Imaging Services,
Faced with the accident, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General
Jonathan Vance, decided “to ban all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
Cyclones from flying until further notice” while specifying that it
was “an operational pause“. This “layoff” is nonetheless another sign
of distrust of this militarized version of the S-92, which after more
than a decade of delays and cost overruns, is struggling to become
fully operational. Originally scheduled for delivery in 2008, the
first aircraft, which was not received by the CAF until 2015, has also
proven to be unusable in operational condition due to a lack of
equipment and software upgrades. With 18 deliveries out of the 28
ordered, the Cyclone has only been officially operational in the
Canadian Forces since 2018.

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