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rcmaehl

Hello, IT. Have you tried it off and on again? - Airbus A350 bug forces airlines to power cycle the craft every 149 hours

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source:
EASA
The Register (quote source)

 

Summary:
A bug in Airbus A350's is forcing airlines and pilots to turn it off and back on again.

 

Media (semi-unrelated):

image.jpeg.65aa271bd609c530058068a2318d416b.jpeg

 

Quotes/Excerpts:

Quote

Some models of Airbus A350 airliners still need to be hard rebooted after exactly 149 hours, despite warnings from the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) first issued two years ago. A mandatory airworthiness directive (AD) reissued earlier this week, EASA urged operators to turn their A350s off and on again to prevent "partial or total loss of some avionics systems or functions". The revised AD, effective from tomorrow (26 July) [states] operators need to completely power the airliner down before it reaches 149 hours of continuous power-on time.The original 2017 AD was brought about by "in-service events where a loss of communication occurred between some avionics systems and avionics network". The impact of the failures ranged from "redundancy loss" to "complete loss on a specific function hosted on common remote data concentrator and core processing input/output modules". Prior to 2017, at least some A350s flying passengers were suffering unexplained failures of potentially flight-critical digital systems. Airbus' rival Boeing very publicly suffered from a similar time-related problem with its 787 Dreamliner: back in 2015 a memory overflow bug was discovered that caused the 787's generators to shut themselves down after 248 days of continual power-on. It is common for airliners to be left powered on while parked at airport gates so maintainers can carry out routine systems checks between flights, especially if the aircraft is plugged into ground power. The remedy for the A350-941 problem is straightforward according to the AD: install Airbus software updates for a permanent cure, or switch the aeroplane off and on again. The A350's Common Remote Data Concentrator (CRDC) units were designed to "allow significant wiring simplification". 29 CRDCs "spread around the aircraft" and working in concert with 21 Core Processing Input Output Module (CPIOM) modules. CRDCs take input data (say, the exact position of a flight control surface) and turn that into an ARINC 429-compatible digital signal for transmission over the A350's internal network to a CPIOM. The CPIOM is effectively a mini computer; in the A350 CPIOMs run discrete avionics "applications", in the sense of apps. CRDCs themselves do not host or run applications, suggesting that the failure condition detailed in the EASA AD may mean loss of a particular app on a CPIOM after a buffer overflow. A Delta Airlines training manual on Scribd, of all places, explains what the A350's CPIOM apps are. They include: the fuel quantity and management system, which tells pilots how much juice their bird has drunk; the cabin pressure control system; wing ice protection systems; the engine bleed air system, which among other things supplies oxygen to the passenger cabin for you to breathe; and the landing gear extension and retraction system. Airlines acquiring the A350-941 model subject to the EASA AD include Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa, as well as Air China and Taiwan's China Airlines. Airbus PR reps failed to respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

My Thoughts:

Well, at least the age old power cycle still works. Regardless, it's a bit upsetting to see Airlines not updating their planes. Granted, it's not a MAJOR issue, just one or two systems down or without redundancies, but I puts a potential light on other software patches that have not been applied. It appears more and more software issues are starting noticeably affect aircraft, or at least have been published more often lately. Perhaps regulations need to be enforced in regards to software audits and compliance on aircraft.


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remind me to ask what plane I am going on nest flight I take.


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Buffer overflow? So the computers controlling the listed systems are running out of memory?

 

Reminds me of the USS Yorktown

 

''On 21 September 1997, while on maneuvers off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia, a crew member entered a zero into a database field causing an attempted division by zero in the ship's Remote Data Base Manager, resulting in a buffer overflow which brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail.''


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Posted · Original PosterOP
36 minutes ago, MMKing said:

Buffer overflow? So the computers controlling the listed systems are running out of memory?

 

Reminds me of the USS Yorktown

 

''On 21 September 1997, while on maneuvers off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia, a crew member entered a zero into a database field causing an attempted division by zero in the ship's Remote Data Base Manager, resulting in a buffer overflow which brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail.''

*Screams internally* This is why System Compartmentalization is important


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Reminds me of the time an issue with the anti-icing on a 777-300 required the aircraft to be power cycled. 

 

Well, that didn't fix it so we ended up having to switch flights. 


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Well I can't say I mind more excuses to take the more environmentally friendly train ;)


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8 hours ago, will4623 said:

remind me to ask what plane I am going on nest flight I take.

If you watch aircrash investigations, you'll go with a car :P Even if aircraft design is perfect and pilot is one of the best in the world, some underpaid mechanic will cock everything up because some briefcase suit demanded they service planes faster because time is money.

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1 hour ago, RejZoR said:

If you watch aircrash investigations, you'll go with a car :P Even if aircraft design is perfect and pilot is one of the best in the world, some underpaid mechanic will cock everything up because some briefcase suit demanded they service planes faster because time is money.

My exact thoughts whenever I end up having to fly.

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5 minutes ago, Trik'Stari said:

My exact thoughts whenever I end up having to fly.

When I had my first flight across Europe, the hotel where I was staying had Discovery channel. Of course I watched that. And entire time I had time in the eveneing it was aircrash investigations XD

 

Cars, if they break down, they usually stop at the side of the road. When airplane does that, it stops when it falls down on the ground. Not the best scenario.

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But statistically..........flying is just plain safer over long distances because safety culture + autopilot = 1-in-a-million chance crash

 

That's not saying that when people managing or operating those systems fail at their jobs it's any worse than careless drivers :P

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1 hour ago, Results45 said:

But statistically..........flying is just plain safer over long distances because safety culture + autopilot = 1-in-a-million chance crash

 

That's not saying that when people managing or operating those systems fail at their jobs it's any worse than careless drivers :P

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On 7/26/2019 at 1:50 AM, Cora_Lie said:

Don't worry... You're safe... It's not as if the plane will be in flight for 149hrs (more than 6 days) straight.

 

I prefer flying in an Airbus than in a B-737 Max...

It sounds more like in needs a complete power down rather than just landing since even on the ground these nodes will be running.

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On 7/26/2019 at 4:45 AM, RejZoR said:

If you watch aircrash investigations, you'll go with a car :P Even if aircraft design is perfect and pilot is one of the best in the world, some underpaid mechanic will cock everything up because some briefcase suit demanded they service planes faster because time is money.

A car ain't gonna get me down to Florida in less than a day, plus it's bigger so my claustrophobia doesn't kick in as much.


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man if boeing and airbus planes keep going this sketchy route we'll all be living the carbon footprint-less dream and taking 5 year boat rides or 5 week train rides where we need to go, only to get derailed by some moronic train driver or beached by a very unintelligent captain

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On 7/26/2019 at 3:05 AM, MMKing said:

Buffer overflow? So the computers controlling the listed systems are running out of memory?

 

Reminds me of the USS Yorktown

 

''On 21 September 1997, while on maneuvers off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia, a crew member entered a zero into a database field causing an attempted division by zero in the ship's Remote Data Base Manager, resulting in a buffer overflow which brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail.''

Now that is just hillarious. The world of computers never fails to amaze me.

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*I am your captain speaking we are going vertical to gain enough hight to restart are plain. I you begin vomitting,fainting or fealing light headed please seak out a flight atendent and they will help you*


I live in misery USA. my timezone is central daylight time which is either UTC -5 or -4 because the government hates everyone.

into trains? here's the model railroad thread!

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