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Pilotted FAA Simulation Study of Stall Recovery Guidance System to be Held August 20th
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Pilotted FAA Simulation Study of Stall Recovery Guidance System to be Held August 20th

A NASA-developed Stall Recovery Guidance (SRG) system for commercial aircraft is being studied on an Airbus A330 Level D flight simulator at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA_ Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Twenty-four Part 121 air-carrier line pilots are planned to participate in the study starting on August 20. This is the third piloted study of the SRG system in a collaborative effort between NASA Ames, NASA Langley, and the FAA. This overall effort is focused on delivering airplane state awareness-related research and technology development results to the Commercial Aviation Safety Team.

BACKGROUND: Though rare, stall-related accidents and incidents still occur in commercial aircraft. This includes aircraft with hard envelope protection systems such as the Airbus A330 (Air France Flight 447) and the A320 (AirAsia Flight 8501). Under ordinary circumstances these aircraft will act automatically to prevent stall. In certain off nominal conditions, however, these automatic protections are lost, and flight crews have demonstrated inappropriate control action to recover the aircraft.

Based on a review of loss-of-control accidents, the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), comprised of both industry and government experts, determined that addressing the stall recovery issue required additional research into, among other things, improving flight simulator fidelity, new training guidelines, and pilot display algorithms and guidance. SRG technology is focused on the algorithm and pilot display guidance aspect of the CAST recommended research. The central idea is that by combining sensor measurements and flight dynamics, an algorithm can compute the specific trajectory that an aircraft should fly to either prevent or recover from a stalled aircraft condition in a manner consistent with new FAA stall recovery training guidelines. The results of the computation are displayed for the pilot by means of flight directors presented on the Primary Flight Display. This work supports the technology maturation of the SRG system, which includes the evaluation of algorithms and display strategies to aid in the prevention of, and recovery from, approach-to-stall or stall conditions.

This upcoming FAA study is the third piloted study of the SRG system, and the first to examine the system on a heavier wide-body aircraft that normally has hard automatic envelope protections to prevent stall. The first study occurred in the Ames Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) in April 2017. It was focused on manual handling qualities and system performance of the base SRG system with the Generic Transport Model (a representative medium narrow-body, single aisle aircraft), which included stalled aircraft dynamics. The second study was conducted in the Langley Research Flight Deck facility in April 2018. It included more sophisticated flight deck interfaces and supporting systems, along with the NASA-developed high fidelity Extended Upset Recovery model of the same aircraft type as the VMS study.

NASA ROGRAM FUNDING: Technologies for Airplane State Awareness (TASA), System Wide Safety (SWS) Project, Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP), Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

TEAM MEMBERS: NASA: Tim Etherington (LaRC), Gordon Hardy (ARC-AFS), John Kaneshige, Lynda Kramer (LaRC), Thomas Lombaerts, Peter Robinson, Stefan Schuet, Kimberlee Shish, and Vahram Stepanyan; FAA: Randall Couper, Douglas Rodzon, Pete Rohde, and Ricky Zoellner

POINT OF CONTACT: Stefan Schuet, stefan.r.schuet@nasa.gov

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