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United Airlines Vision for Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC). Captain Rocky Stone Chief Technical Pilot - Surveillance Aug. 29, 2013. Overview. Turbulence information, what do we do with it? Turbulence information, needs Pilot and dispatcher training

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united airlines vision for weather technology in the cockpit wtic

United Airlines Vision for Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC)

Captain Rocky Stone

Chief Technical Pilot - Surveillance

Aug. 29, 2013

overview
Overview
  • Turbulence information, what do we do with it?
  • Turbulence information, needs
  • Pilot and dispatcher training
  • Business case for Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) information
  • United Airlines Class 1 EFB – WSI weather
  • Summary
turbulence information what do we do with it
Turbulence information – what do we do with it?

There are only two things aircraft do in reaction to turbulence information:

  • Change the trajectory of the aircraft
    • Horizontal or vertical
    • Flight plan - dispatcher
    • Tactical deviation – pilot in coordination with dispatch
  • Prepare the cabin for turbulence
    • Seat belt sign “on”, passengers seated and belted-in
    • Flight attendants seated and strapped-in
    • Galley and cabin secured
    • How much notice determines how much preparation is accomplished
what happens when the cabin is not prepared for turbulence
What happens when the cabin is not prepared for turbulence?

Example of turbulence damage to aircraft

turbulence what information do we need
Turbulence – what information do we need?
  • Ideally – deterministic information on exactly where and when turbulence will be present
  • Realistically - probabilistic information could be useful to
    • Adjust planned trajectory
      • Based on what is an acceptable risk level
      • However, we plan for an optimum flight, and any change costs $$$
    • Adjust cabin service times, pre-planning for when it may be appropriate for all to be seated
    • Adjust cabin “preparation for landing” execution, doing it early when turbulence is possible during the descent
turbulence alerting
Turbulence alerting
  • Alerting is critical to informing the pilot and dispatcher about short term immanent hazards
    • Pilots don’t know what they don’t know
    • Automated, simultaneous alert should go both to the cockpit and the dispatcher
  • Tablets with graphical weather capability are great, but most do not include any monitoring or alerting functions
    • Alerts via ACARS/SATCOM text message could direct pilots to specific graphical products to look at
pilot and dispatcher education
Pilot and Dispatcher education

What can we teach our pilots and dispatchers about turbulence, especially CIT?

98% of the time, in clear air, it’s okay (light turbulence)

How do we tell the 2% of the time when it’s not okay?

turbulence tactics and mitigation
Turbulence tactics and mitigation
  • The three “C’s”
    • Communicate
      • How much time until we encounter turbulence?
    • Cabin preparation
    • Compliance
      • Compliance increases as our information about turbulence improves (less “crying wolf”)
  • Survey of flights through potential areas of CIT shows
    • Passengers seated with seat belt sign on 83% of the time
    • Flight attendants seated 19% of the time
the business case for wtic information
The business case for WTIC information
  • There needs to be differentiation between WTIC capable aircraft and non-WTIC capable aircraft
    • If aircraft with WTIC information are treated the same as all others, the system won’t change
    • Products delivered to the aircraft need to tailored for in-flight use, and many do not exist today
      • Convective initiation product
      • Near-term GTG with information on CIT
      • Convective tops product
    • WTIC information needs to be supplemented with traffic flow management information (i.e. ATC sector loading)
  • Possible Traffic Flow Management (TFM) differentiators:
    • Parallel Airspace Flow Programs (AFPs), one for WTIC capable with a higher transit rate (hence lower delays)
    • Relief from the requirement to strictly adhere to playbook routing
class 1 efbs tablets
Class 1 EFBs - Tablets

Software Applications

  • Airwatch Mobile Device Manager (MDM)
  • AirWatch Secure Content Locker – Document Management & Viewer
  • Jeppesen Mobile FD Pro
  • WSI PilotBrief Optima
  • Non-company applications restricted – App Store disabled
wsi pilotbrief optima v2 1
WSI PilotBrief Optima (v2.1)

Weather Overlay / Google Maps

  • Full weather graphics available with Route overlay
  • Textual weather cached for offline viewing
  • Forecast feature showing future weather depiction
  • Ability to view displays in both landscape and portrait orientations
  • Decoded and Encoded weather reports
e enablement connectivity
E-Enablement / Connectivity
  • United is in the process of installing LiveTV Ka-Band satellite broadband onto DirecTV equipped aircraft
    • 737 Fleet
    • 757-300s
  • Panasonic (PAC) Global Ku-band (GCS) broadband system being installed on remainder domestic and international aircraft
    • A319/320
    • 747
    • 777
    • 757-200s
  • When activated, crew internet access will be via segregated portal, limited to operational products only
  • Customers may access internet using any Wi-Fi enabled portable electronic device (PED)
united vision for t ablet efb w eather
United Vision for Tablet EFB Weather
  • Within 2-3 years all aircraft will have a broadband pipeline to the ground, so live graphical weather will be routine, for now….
  • Cached graphical weather for inflight viewing
  • Goal is to replace pilots printing a copy of graphical weather during preflight preparation
    • Inflight reference
    • Crew briefings
    • Issues:
      • What products are appropriate to cache, and for how long?
      • How are “cached” products marked to differentiate them from “live” weather products?
slide14

United Vision for Tablet EFB Weather (cont.)

  • What can live graphical weather be used for inflight?
    • Better management of cabin service around areas of turbulence.
    • Better management of the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign
    • Bring the cockpit into the Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) triad with ATC and Dispatch
      • May also require traffic flow management information in addition to weather information
    • Give pilots the tools to advocate for better decisions
      • Better reroutes
      • Better pilot situational awareness during Severe Weather Avoidance Plan (SWAP) operations
      • RTCA Special Committee 206 is working on a standards basis for the FAA to allow for appropriate use of updated graphical weather inflight
slide15

Summary

  • Only two things we can do to mitigate turbulence
    • Change the aircraft trajectory
    • Prepare the cabin for turbulence
  • Turbulence information needs
    • Deterministic vs. probabilistic
    • Alerting
  • There needs to be a business case for equipping to receive WTIC information
    • Preferential Traffic Flow Management (TFM) initiatives for WTIC capable aircraft