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Air France 447: Stalled From FL380 To The Surface

eklendi
 
▷ After the autopilot disengagement: ◦ The airplane climed to 38,000 ft. ◦ The stall warning was triggered and the airplane stalled ◦ The inputs made by the PF were mainly nose-up ◦ The descent lasted 3 min 30, during which the airplane remained stalled. The angle of attack increased and remained above 35 degrees (airinsight.com) Daha Fazlası...

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AIRCAPITALJETSALES
I have flown my twin Cessna safely and successfully thru full panel training failures using the Garmin 396 panel page! With a safety pilot of course! Stalls, unusual attitude recovery, slips,steep turns and simulated emergency descents with an approach is no problem. GPS provides primary and secondary flight parameters with airspeed control which could have provided valuable primary flight information, independent of the unreliable flight deck instruments, on 447 and others. Priced at around $1,600.00 every Airbus crew should have one in the flight deck until the engineers get it right!
Fly safe everyone!
bpmdtw
Brian Manuel 0
I'm wondering why the captain was on a break so soon into the flight, especially knowing of storms in the area. The co-pilots on deck were very young and not experienced enough to recognize and handle the situation. Like the previous comment says FLY THE AIRPLANE!!!! Too much auto-pilot which leads to laziness to see a problem.
JBReinertsen
Anyone else think that with the storms in the area, the PF was thinking of recover along the lines of windshear instead of listening to the audible tones of "stall, stall"
jkabradley
Justin Bradley 0
I agree with Brian Bishop. My read of this is they set TO/GA thrust, but didn't push the nose over, then -20,000 ft. later, set flight idle thrust around FL100 (!), still with a 35 degree nose-up pitch. Sounds like they got task saturated by the EICAS messages (due to loss of airspeed from the frozen pitot tubes) and ultimately lost situational awareness. It sounds to me that they didn't even know they were nose up and none of the three of them bothered to check. Raises the question as to whether the stall was even recoverable at such a low speed/altitude, however.

Tragically I too think this was most likely avoidable. There are very simple procedures to follow when you lose airspeed data, as well as when a stall happens. As others have said, FLY THE PLANE first.

This also sounds like one of those cases where no segregation of duties was established early in the developing incident by perhaps a young, slightly inexperienced crew while the captain was out of the cockpit...reminds me of that Eastern Air Lines L1011 that crashed in FL because of a dead light bulb on the gear indicators.

This is just my interpretation of the report. We'll see what happens with further analysis.
eagle763
John Hale 0
I do have a private pilots license so let me throw my 2 cents in. Everyonee say the two pilots were young and inexperienced. My thought is if they have enough hours to be hired by an airline and have enough hours to be trained on flying the a330 and be doing trans atlantic flying then they are plenty experienced enough. second, there had to be something in the cockpit going on or telling them to possibly give the plane a nose up input or they wouldn't do it. Thats something early you learn in training. stall warning goes off you slam the nose down and get speed. third there could have been false readings telling them they needed nose up or something electrical could have gone bad wrong and gave it nose up on it's own. Remember they were in bad thunderstorms, plenty of lightning so the plane could have be struck one more times and caused computer problems. just my thoughts
baranski
baranski 0
Even in IMC it seems to me that IFR basics should apply, push the nose over to level and use a standard power setting to stay at least level...
theschoolofchuck
It's starting to sound a lot like AeroPeru 603 and Berginair 301. Both of those flights crashed in the evening ocean after airspeed data was lost. What is striking is that in both situations, experienced pilots made some questionable calls in the handling of the situation. Hindsight is 20/20, but when the whole cockpit is sending off buzzers and warning lights and all your instruments are producing conflicting and arcane data, it is easy just too easy to make a mistake.
dardav
dardav 0
It sounds like to me a flat spin/stall occured. With no air speed (107kts) any imputs would have been defeated by high angle of attack, of course leading to no airflow over the elevators or ailerons. And as mentioned, over the ocean, at night, warnings going off, 3 pilots trying to figure it all out, they simply ran out of time. The aircraft literally fell out of sky. IMHO
HRSINCLAIR
it seem there was a lot more going on with this aircraft than is presently known. I don't buy the fact that highly trained transcontinental pilots flying one of the most technologically advance aircraft available, were unable to recognize, are recover from a stall, especially with the amount of time they have to achieve this. I thing as more information become available the this will sum up differently.
TTail
TTail 0
IF your pitot tubes were iced over, and you were NOT getting any semblance of correct information from you instrument panel, or MFD'S, whatever type of panel you were looking at, how are you suppose to make a decisive CORRECT decision to get your aircraft back under control??? this is a question from a NON PILOT to any pilot who can answer the question.
ranold
Randy Oldfield 0
Descent of ~11,000ft/min is ~660,000ft/hr = ~125mph decent... which is near gravity's terminal velocity, which means it was a free fall.
Here is my concern....
The plane was unresponsive to pilot commands, whether it was stick/throttle or any other systems. If they hit TO/GA or simple throttled up, that would of reduced the descent speed[drag], but because it was near terminal velocity, it seems it just fell like a rock.
I know via the ACARS messages that this craft went into Alternate Law... could the Airbus systems be a factor here?
I find hard to believe they simple pulled back on their joysticks and didn't throttle up, all while descending in basically flat calm spin at terminal velocity....and if they did, wouldn't it be at much lower descent speed?
alwilson565
Alan Wilson 0
TTail...
how are you suppose to make a decisive CORRECT decision to get your aircraft back under control???

You follow standard operation procedure which has been tested and proved using simulation and expirience.

In the case of no air speed readings, throttle up(sop usually sets a certain speed), set horziontal trim in the nose up scenario typically as far as it will go(again sop usually specifies the setting).

I think in this case it will come down to the PF not taking control of the throttle soon enough. He only got part of the SOP right which caused a stall and then snow balled from there.
tooblack
I haven't noticed whether anyone has mentioned the trim wheel in all this. As much as I am a fan of the Airbus philosophy, the one control that becomes very inconspicuous if not almost invisible in the Airbus cockpit is the trim wheel. It's striped but doesn't move. If the trim was set with a nose up for cruise at 29% CG the and either power was applied or improper inputs delivered to the other control surfaces after autopilot disengages, the effects can lead to high AOA or stalls... A moving clicking trim wheel might draw some attention to it especially with a younger crew under stress...
t38talon
t38talon 0
Some of the media has been talking about Airbus recommending pitot replacements for 330/340's. Can faulty pitot readings really cause this kind of a reaction from the Autopilot or fool an inexperienced FO? How many independent airspeed readings are available in the 330 cockpit? Would the computer let them push the nose down if it disagreed with them?
Do we have any Airbus experts in the Forum?
Drag0nflamez
Drag0nflamez 0
@t38talon: The computer actually only takes over when you're flying nose up too high (around 25 degrees) or 15 degrees nose down. Flight envelope protection..
Airbuses are quite scary if a system doesn't work properly anymore..
cblair0608
cblair0608 0
I believe there was more going on in the cockpit than what anyone realizes. There is no way a pilot with this much experience would pull nose up when the KNOW they are in a stall. I think the pilot was receiving two different readings and he didnt know for sure what was happening. In my opnion I say he was receiving a stall and an overspeed warning at the same time, just like in the crash from years ago.
mjschwartz
Come on now.....doesn't the airbus have an Attitude Indicator? You would think that an altimeter quickly unwinding and a VSI that's pegged would make one glance at the AI and get the plane lined up with the horizon again.
kb9uwu
Matt Comerford 0
I agree with "cblair0608" of course any pilot knows how to react to a stall... there was much more going on that we don't know about, obviously.
MimosaDrive
MimosaDrive 0
When flying commercial I sometimes take out my $79 Garmin Nuvi that I use in my car, just to see where we are, how fast we are going, and what altitude we are at. Having a GPS, that is totally independent of aircraft systems, would be nice to have in unreliable instrument scenarios.

And if the data recorder know they were dropping at 10,0000 ft/min, why didn't the pilots have that information. Or did they have it and were just overloaded with conflicting data coming at them?
ranold
Randy Oldfield 0
Here is a question:
If that storm was severe enough to create icing conditions in the pitots, thus blinding the Airbus' systems, was the icing severe enough to affect external control surfaces, such as the slats, flaps, ailerons, the stabilizers and/or the rudder?
chalet
chalet 0
All these very interesting theories as to why the pilots did not push the nose over might be clarified when the investigators try to duplicate the scenario in the simulator: no instruments and trying to fly by the seat of the pants in a moonless night. Also the matter of having a low-cost and trustworthy GPS in the cockpit is an idea worth pursuing. And here is my 2 cents: I can not comprehend why is it that the FDR records the aircraft's every move like AOA, attitude, altitude, flap and all control surfaces deflection, engine thrust, everything etc. but all of that is kept for the posterity instead of also feeding the same data to an independent (emergency) panel in the cockpit so the pilots would be able to recover a plane from a situation like this. I mean the technology is there.
elsidd
Dennis Gillman 0
3 separate pitot tubes all with heaters, 2 angle of attack vanes with heaters, all suppying redundant imformation to the flight instruments, including the autopilot, all failed at the same time. What about the stand-by attitude indicator supplied power by the emergency bus which is there just in case all power is lost, all of these primary systems and back up emergency systems failed at the same time leaving the flight crew flying blind on a moonless night in a storm. Hmmmmmm
johnlear
John Lear 0
I agree with John Hale (above)Remember they were in bad thunderstorms, plenty of lightning so the plane could have be struck one more times and caused computer problems. just my thoughts
metermender
Flying without instruments over water at night is sure to end in a crash Without a horizon, it is impossible to know up from down, left from right, pitch or bank. This was demonstrated to me during flight training. My instructor blindfolded me and did a number of manuevers and I never felt a thing but level flight. I feel sorry for these guys, They had no way out. Just like JFK's son. Was he looking at the stars or lights on shore?
elsidd
Dennis Gillman 0
Maybe the redundant systems in the Airbus aren't so redundant, haven't they had pitot tubes fail before? Let's not be too hasty to blame the pilots. If they're qualified to fly that aircraft, they can handle just about any reasonable situation thrown at them. That is if the hierarchy of failure is maintained. It appears that there was a complete failure of all avionics and flight guidance system and electical interface, which left them blind. Again, what else did the Flight Data Recorders reveal that hasn't been mentioned?
elsidd
Dennis Gillman 0
Remember, Airbus spent a couple of years blaming there chief test pilot for the crash and the airshow at Toulouse before they and the authorities admitted they had a fly-by-wire problem. I hope this isn't another one of those situations. The flying public needs all the imformation as quickly as posible to restore the faith in the Airbus product.
chalet
chalet 0
MimosaDrive I am considering buying a Garmin aera 500 mostly to use when flying commercial but I am checking first if the airlines are allowing to use them, can you and fellow bloggers enlighten me on this for I would hate to speng 600 bucks and be told turn it off or else we will summon a 6ft.3" Air Marshall.
dsandrs
Duane Sanders 0
Would it be possible for them to be is such a severe downdraft that no matter the power setting and the pitch that they could not get the airplane to stop descending?
flyingcookmosnter
Very interesting read about airbus flight "laws:"

http://www.airbusdriver.net/airbus_fltlaws.htm

As Randy said, if the computers reverted to alternate law, "the plane can be stalled." Wouldn't this have to happen?

This accident should trouble every pilot. Perhaps it has been said but could it be that cockpit automation has gone too far and stick-and-rudder not far enough?
allench1
allench1 0
After reviewing new info it appears that their radar picked up a smaller echo return which the radar could not see through and by the time they were through it and then saw what was behind the first echo return they were in it, so their reaction to retard speed at that point is really the only option they had. However you have to consider that this crew had almost always had this weather condition each flight coupled with the obvious false sense of security with the planes safe flight computer thereby they had become complacent about the dangers which other pilots flying that night had chosen to deviate around. Steve was quick to blame the pilots and it is becoming more apparent they made several very bad choices, however training is going to share the blunt of this in the final report as well as a review of the software design that is obviously flawed.
,flying itself is and always will be somewhat dangerous. I have seen weather phenomenons while flying heavies that needed immediate response that only happens with the experience to know the radar is a tool at best with many shortcomings.

ck this out on the Falcon 7x. might help answer some questions.

http://discussions.flightaware.com/general-aviation/falcon-7x-checkout-t13163.html?sid=beaa3b669aa8977256d342d4c166e40c

also sully's take

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7367955n
jollytall
Richard Jones 0
I don't think it's been mentioned yet - one of the F/O's (PNF) had 4479 hrs on type, more than double that of the captain (who was not on the deck when it all started), and "pilot’s licences allowed him to perform the duties of replacement pilot in place of the captain". So they weren't a 'very inexperienced crew' as suggested earlier.

Also, it appears the trimmable horizonal stabiliser stayed at +13 degrees throughout most of the decent. That either means the flight computers initially put it - and maintained it - there, or the pilot(s) did. Did this contribute to/cause the stall? As mentioned earlier, +13 isn't something you'd want in a stall situation.

And then there is an issue of the timing of the stall warning - on, then off during much of the decent, until PF commands nose-down inputs, at which point stall warning sounds again, PF ceases nose-down inputs. That *has* to be extemely confusing at best, certainly counter-intuitive.

It's quite possible that these two factors (THS & stall warning timing) had a significant bearing on the cause of the accident. Don't be so hasty to blame the pilots at this stage of the investigation!!
dtschuck
Charles Jensen 0
A commercial pilot, had a saying, "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going". He was convinced that the Airbus control philosophy made the Airbus pilots hitch hikers, rather than pilots. One starts to wonder now?
corso
corso 0
Before you opine, look at this site, look at the systems warnings, then if you have ever been inside that kind of weather, you can opine.

Air France 447 meteorological conditions

www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/

This is quite scary¦

Hope the rest of the world's A330 fleet are 100%!? +
Thought you may be interested in this - not pleasant.......... doesn't look like the pilots had a chance in this situation >> high technology is fine until it goes to CRAP!

The following is the ACARS messages received by Air France. They are time stamped plus annotated FLR (Fault Report) and WRN (Warning).



This is a breakdown of the ATA listings for the relevant messages:

34-22-25 - INDICATOR - ISIS (INTEGRATED STANDBY INSTRUMENT SYSTEM)
34-43-00 - TRAFFIC AND TERRAIN COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM
34-12-00 - AIR DATA/INERTIAL REFERENCE SYSTEM (ADIRS) ((ADIRU & CDU))
34-10-00 - AIR DATA/INERTIAL REFERENCE SYSTEM (ADIRS)
27-90-00 - ELECTRICAL FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM (EFCS)
22-83-34 - FMGEC (FLIGHT MANAGEMENT, GUIDANCE AND ENVELOPE COMPUTER)
22-62-00 - FLIGHT ENVELOPE COMPUTATION
22-30-00 – AUTOTHRUST
27-23-00 - RUDDER AND PEDAL TRAVEL LIMITING ACTUATION
27-93-00 - FLIGHT CONTROL PRIMARY COMPUTER (FCPC)
34-11-15 - PROBE – PITOT
27-93-34 - FCPC (FLIGHT CONTROL PRIMARY COMPUTER)
21-31-00 - PRESSURE CONTROL AND MONITORING
27-91-00 - OPERATIONAL CONFIGURATION (F/Ctl Altn law)

Here is the list of faults in the order they occurred: Not official this, it's from a LAME however.

02:10Z:
Autothrust off
Autopilot off
FBW alternate law
Rudder Travel Limiter Fault
TCAS fault
Flight Envelope Computation warning

02:11Z:
Failure of all three ADIRUs
Failure of gyros of ISIS (attitude information lost)

02:12Z:
ADIRUs Air Data disagree

02:13Z:
Flight Management, Guidance and Envelope Computer fault
PRIM 1 fault
SEC 1 fault
02:14Z:
Cabin Pressure Controller fault (cabin vertical speed)

Informed speculation on the thread is that the A/C may have suffered a triple ADR failure, perhaps as a result of icing. This would have caused a loss of all primary flight instruments and for some reason the ISIS (standby instruments) were also affected

The following is a list of affected systems from the loss of all ADR's checklist.

F/CTL PROT (Alternate Law)
ADR 1+2+3
L/G RETRACT
AP 1+2
A/THR
RUD TRV LIM
WINDSHEAR DET
CAB PR 1+2
GPWS

OTHER INOP SYS
FLAPS AUTO RETRACT
ALPHA LOCK
FLAPS LOAD RELIEF
ATC ALTI MODE TCAS

Not conclusive I know, but very interesting nevertheless.
ncpilot
ncpilot 0
Not to condemn the dead, but were these actually "pilots"? When you are behind the power curve, it is impossible to "fly out" of a 35 degree nose up stall with a loaded airliner at altitude with the available full power. If they had lowered the nose, or rolled the plane 90 degrees and let the nose fall, it might have been uncomfortable for the passengers, but the results would have been different. Also, you never heard of a DC-3 or even a Constellation having this type of accident. Those pilots actually flew the aircraft.
rupertdlc
This sounds like a classical high altitude upset accident. The aircraft is heavy close to coffin corner maybe just a 15 knot spread between going too slow (stall) and too fast (mach tuck) and flies into some bad weather and turbulence aircraft looses assigned altitude and the pilot raises the nose to regain the assigned altitude and stalls the plane.
The rest is history..
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Thank you CORSO, your input gives a good light on the entirely rubbish to construct a/c´s which rely entirely on electric/electronic. Most pilots now are more or less blindfold believing the stuff they have been trained in x-hours in simulators. Things like this accident would never happen is in these so "sophisticated electronic nightmares" one set of proper analog instruments as used in my 16000 hrs B707 had been used, a Vario, an Altimeter and a stb Horizon!! Frozen pitos? Alternate air switch on !! Even with an old Garmin 196 you have ground speed,heading, horizon as an alternative to overcome sudden disorientation!F/O´s with 3000hrs + should be able to remember the basics; never mind the Captain! At least "proper" aircraft like B707 had wires to the flight controls as well as to the engines. In 16000 hrs these attributes never left us alone!! cirrusair
bulow
If in the middle of a thunderstorm with a cockpit full of warnings and alarms you find yourself looking at your primary airspeed indicator and see a severe overspeed, and you see confirmation in the altimeter winding down horrendously fast, your primary instinct and the thought following right behind it is to pull out of the nosedive. It will take time to analyze standby instruments like a secondary airspeed indicator and while your eyes and senses flicker between the two trying to make sense of it all you of course ought to double check with the attitude indicator. Now it will take a lot of effort overcome your initial response based on two agreeing instruments and force yourself to believe the third one and do the opposite of what seems right. And might'n the 03:30 minutes just be gone!
Gurica
Gustavo Rios 0
Hi in my modest opinion is very easy to talk about and try to make arrangements to the past. I guess that emergency in a short period of time neither one of the crew member could do anything to solve taht situacion
sailsimplicity
Jon Mann 0
may be we are relying on computers to heaverly? Or maybe the fly by wire is fallible on Airbus. we need to hear the whole story before judging I guess.
m2young
Mort Young 0
I am not a pilot. I have done some work doing programming of systems. (I wrote in English, programmers translated it into machinese.) Then I oversaw the system. What I quickly learned was this: you don't know whether a system works until it hits a facet that either knocks off the user or downs the entire system. Only the obvious errors are fixed.
Only the "fatal" errors/mistakes are seen when they occur -- which is too late.
Result: You cannot trust computer systems to always operate as you want them to operate. Users ordinarily are not capable of fixing the system's hidden errors; nor are technicians-- again, until the threat appears. Perhaps a simulation of the last minutes of Flt 446 would duplicate the scenario leading to the crash. But perhaps NOT.
The best fail-safe for aircraft is this: pilots must be trained to fly the plane without the use of the computer system. That does leave human error, which is inescapable anyway.
bulow
Pilots are already trained to fly the plane without the use of the computer system. The problem it that Airbus does not allow that. Let us all pray and hope that some responsible person at Airbus reads Mort Young (m2young)'s comment.
dabuzzo
Buz Page 0
An old Navy pilot I knew took it upon himself to write(with pencil)FTFA on the inst panel of all of our aircraft. That was many years ago. You know what the second "F" stands for. FTFA is a stunning reminder that I haven't forgotten after 33,000 hours and far more complex acft. That advice still holds true to this day. Anyone know what happened to the "standby" artificial horizon? Independant of all electrical systems? FTFA boys!
m2young
Mort Young 0
My apologies: should have written Flt 447.
Chalk it up to human error.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Chalet, GPS units are not allowed. Unlike most electronic devices, which may be operated after the captain gives the OK, GPS units are in the list of devices that are not ever supposed to be operated. At least this was the case the last time I checked.
tadennison
Terry Dennison 0
GPS Receivers are permitted on Continental Airlines above 10,000 ft.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Seems like a case of information overload and a fixation on the instruments and procedures and basically forgetting to fly the aircraft. As the PF was quite young, I am wondering if this latest generation of pilots are actually flyers (a la Sully Sullenberger) or highly paid computer operators to which we hand over our well being while in the air. Very tragic that so many people were effected by what seems like a senseless error.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Dan, where did you get the information on the age of the PF?
egnilk66
egnilk66 0
Incredible.
afa8265
Vincent Thomas 0
I would not say the crew was inexperienced because to sit in a cockpit without being qualified is in itself remote. There was a problem on-board and in a highly sophisticated plane where computers do many of the jobs, if they had started failing, it would have been impossible to do anything to save. Too much of computerization / automation and when it fails, its doomsday.
Pushing nose down is primary training, but surely the speeds were not correct, they might have got stall warning and speeds showing normal. Whatever - may their souls rest in peace, am sure the pilots did what they could, they were not on a suicide mission.
brhett
Bobby Rhett 0
I have to agree with Holger von Bulow's first comment: If your airspeed indicator says you are overspeed and at risk of ripping apart the airframe, that can preoocupy your attention. You can't "fly the airplane" after the tail rips off. It seems that the PF made 2 errors: Not recognizing the stall (likely because the stall warning stopped sounding) and believing the wrong instrument. When presented with multiple warnings and conflicting data, what do you believe? They had, at best, a 50/50 chance of knowing what instrument to trust. With no stall warning and an overspeed warning, what would you respond to? How do you handle an overspeed warning?
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Victor - various spots on the net. Can start here . . . http://calvininjax.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/flight-447-pilot-had-20-years-of-flying-for-air-france/. Ages 58 (captain) copilots 37 and 32. Based on this article, http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/air-france-crash-pilots-fought-with-controls/article2037022/?service=mobile, th ePF was the youngest of the lot.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Thanks, Dan. I was unaware that information had been released.
Tacan37
Edward Parise 0
I'm old Navy and retired TWA capt. with much experience from stick and rudder thru computerized glass cockpit machines and most stuff in between. Yes, as Buz Page wrote above, FTFA is the best advice so long as you have info about your situation and how to FTFA, to wit: many years ago, I was checking out a squadron pilot on a P2V we had---on a cross country flight. All went well until we got to NAS Norfolk on PAR (Precision Approach Radar) approach, in an ice storm area. The radar controller kept telling us we were high---repeatedly. The airspeed we saw was always at least 20 kts too high, the altimeter did not want to descend and the rate of descent indicator stayed close to zero. SOP in the P2 was to have the jets running at idle on all approachs. Soon enough, mushy controls told me that we were on the edge of a stall so I went to 100% on the jets til we got rid of mushy controls. "You're above the glide slope" was all the radar guy was saying. After 3 or so blind stall recoveries we finally broke out high above the runway. I quickly nosed it over and made a safe, "uneventful" landing. With the a/c stopped we were indicating 130 kts and altimeter reading 800'. Within a short time the mech checked out the pitot system and found a tiny bird's nest under construction in a static port. An easy fix but it damn near killed us including a plane full of liberty lovin' sailors in the ass end of that a/c. In my report, I kiddingly suggested hanging a box lunch ham sandwich from a string between the pilots with a scale indicating nose position. That simple, mechanical device does not/cannot lie! It always tells where in hell the nose is pointing!
The moral of my story/experience, so many years ago, holds especially true today with all the fancy electronics/computers/yaddah, yaddah, yaddah happy horse crap that can and will go wrong. My ham sandwich idea could have saved this a/c, assuming, of course, the f**king electronic flight control system was still functional. Brings up another point---maybe the backup flight control system could be one of those funny old cable/pulley non-fancy horse sh*t...... you get the idea, right?
toolguy105
toolguy105 0
We were not on the flight deck of that plane so we don't know for sure what was going on other than what the recorders tell us. I believe that when the pitot system froze over the information the pilots were seeing on the primary flight display was inconsistent. Then with all the warnings they were receiving from the flight management system they actually had an informational overload. The nose up attitude tells me three experienced pilots saw something we are not seeing on the recorders. We all know what to do in a stall but something they saw, heard or felt caused them to do otherwise. Since the recorders are not telling us the what and the why of their attempt to claw for altitude,we will never know. It is easy to blame the pilots who are not able to defend their actions. I still blame an over automated aircraft whose systems, one of which was known to be defective, caused the pilots to fly it into the ground.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Edward, great story - thank you. How ironic that a bird almost had you buy the farm. I believe that a large number of the pilots today (and yes this is a general statement) are in it for a career, not so much for the love of flying which first led them to a career. There are fewer and fewer kids looking up to the skies these days when an aircraft passes us by. :-(
brhett
Bobby Rhett 0
There has not been any report anywhere and there is no indication of any flight control failure. The plane cannot respond to a command the PF did not give it. According to the articles I have read, the pilot inputs were nose-up. No matter how the Airbus systems responded, the pilot inputs were incorrect for the situation. Blaming the Airbus systems for not doing what the pilots told the plane not to do is insane...that is asking for MORE control to the flight control systems. If anything, this crash argues for less information to the pilots from the computer and more control by the computer to override the pilot's erroneous decisions.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Toolguy105,

Agree with your point that the complexities and focus on automation are the trigger behind this event and potentially others in the future. Let us remember that this is but a single event. How often in a day are there issues, albeit most often minor, related to mixed signals and technology brain f@rts. AF447 was an unfortunate alignment of the stars with bad weather, captain at rest, frozen pitot, information overload, and mind numbing stress coming together at once. Odds are this will happen again.
brhett
Bobby Rhett 0
Hmm...that comment, "claw for altitude". The pilots saw a reason to climb initially, that much we know. Perhaps due to a storm cell they wanted to get above? That puts the aircraft into the "coffin corner" where airspeed and AOA are critical. And they had incorrect airspeed information...the beginning of the stall seems very easy to explain. What happened from there is a mystery.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Lot of good comments here; information overload, wires and cables on a 707,never heard of a crash like this on a DC-3 or Connie, FTFA. All good and all valid and all maybe having been a contributing factor in some way, but somewhere up here is something about the invesigators running this out in a SIM.By putting in what came out of the FDR, they may be able to simulate SOME of what happened up there, but by not sitting in their seats as it happened, the very best they can do, when all is said and done, is an educated guess. As I have said in other forums and comments, I have got to go with the information overload and all these other comments about electronics and complexity vs flying the plane. I keep going back to the Quantas engine blowout a couple of months ago. Had there not have been 5 senior captains on that plane, some to do nothing but handle alarms, and the others to strictly fly the plane, the results would probably have been the same as 447. As French Law can have criminal proceedings tied to it, I feel like Airbus and Air France are doing some posturing to take some heat off themselves. Pilots are dead, can't defend themselves, good scapegoats.
jrfly182
Joe River 0
Recomend have installed a new redesigned flight director / AHARS that work indenpently from one another and have it as redundant sytems. Please do not fit the aircraft with 3 of the same flight systems. you already know the bad consequence. Enhance the pitot system with one that can prevent or handle severe Icing in the first place. My sincere condoloscence to all family member lost in this tragic event.
Mause1978
I see people talking about a 35 degrees nose up attitude. If you read the report correctly, it says a 35 degree angle of attack. The angle of attack not neccesary equal to the pitch angle of the plane. The angle of attack is not measured from a level plane but is defined as the angle between the airfoil chord line and the relative wind. (http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/aerodynamics/q0165.shtml)
jlsiemens
John Siemens 0
Edward Parise is right on track with the story from his Navy days.

Here is my take on the possible scenario: Autopilot engaged in ALT (altitude) hold mode and probably LNAV or HDG lateral modes. Icing the pitot tubes in a constant airspeed/altitude condition would trap a pressure in the pitot side of the MADC (air data computer). Climbing to a higher altitude would now give the indication of an airspeed increase because the delta P would increase due to decreasing Ps. In the clouds at night just adds to the spacial disorientation. Likewise, decending at higher airspeed would indicate a loss in airspeed since Ps is increasing and Pt is fixed. The reverse of what the pilot would expect to see. Therefore confusion. When they put the nose down, the airspeed indication is decreasing toward stall.

If the autopilot were engaged and they selected a climb to a higher altitude in IAS hold with an advance in thrust, the autopilot would have sensed an increase in airspeed and pitched the nose further up to hold airspeed until it ran out of pitch authority resulting in a full nose up trim at which time the autopilt would drop off line.

medrei
Michael Edrei 0
It sounds to me as autopilot runoff without the ability/thinking of mannually trimming the nose down. That could happen (happened to me) when engaging FPL and the autopilot for some (its own)reasons would not level off at the assigned altitute. Its impossible to level off manually (pushing the stick forward) overcoming the electronic trim which is set all the way up. I don't know the aircraft but doubt there is a mannual trim on board... another thought.
HBFlyer
HBFlyer 0
Here's my take on the scenario. It's my opinion, nothing more.

Frozen Pitot tubes and loss of airspeed indication causes autopilot to shut down. FO takes over flight controls. Numerous distractions due to flight computer warnings and loss of or conflicting data causes FO to enter a nose up attitude without realizing it and eventually enter a stall. Keep in mind, with frozen pitot tubes, you have no indication airspeed and you are flying through a severe thunderstorm at night. There is absolutely no visual reference to the horizon, sky or water below. Turbulence disguises the normal feelings of gravity and inertia. Eventually, the nose up attitude causes the aircraft to slowly enter a near flat stall, but due to missing airspeed indication and no visual references, you have no idea that the airplane is stalled. The flight computer also doesn't know you are stalled either due to frozen pitot tubes and so there are no stall warnings or inconstant warnings which the FO is now ignoring because he knows the data is unreliable. The aircraft is falling and you have NO indication whatsoever that you are in a stall.The throttles are still at full or near full thrust, so you assume there is no way you could be stalled. Within minutes the aircraft hits the water flat and you don't even know it.

How could this tragedy have been avoided? The FO should have first and foremost flown the aircraft flat and level based solely on the back up steam gauge attitude indicator with flight level throttle and ignore all other flight computer data which was bogus due to frozen pitot tubes and computer software that was not written to understand conditions of flight through a turbulent thunderstorm with no pitot tube/speed data. The Capt should have been called back immediately to the cockpit and he and the 3rd pilot should have done the flight computer trouble shooting checklist. They would have eventually passed though the storm and airspeed data would have returned and we not have had this tragedy.

I think this is a classic case of too much computer software and not enough old fashion know how and flying.
preacher1
preacher1 0
You know what the bottom line is in all this and it really don't matter the aircraft. there are so many bells and whistles now that it is bad difficult to fly one of the newer ones by the seat of your pants, and that is what's scary.
smokey831
smokey831 0
I feel there is a large amount of information that has yet to be disclosed, if ever, and it is really in bad taste for any of us to second guess in harsh fashion just exactly what these pilots aboard Air France Flt 447 went thru or what they were truly faced with. Politics aside it will only be a successful if airplane manufactures and insurance companies allow the learning curve of this tragedy to be fully explored and learned from instead of protecting what pocket change they may be able to save by starving off information paid in the lives lost. Everyone on this aircraft were innocent victims of circumstances well beyond their control. God rest their souls.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Amen brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paciano
Geoffrey Luck 0
Irrespective of what the pilots could/might/should have done in the situation, this accident reminds me of the crashes and lives lost in the early days of developing and testing swept-wing aircraft. Volume 1 of the immensely important two-volume history: NASA's Contributions to Aeronautics published in late 2010 and available as a free download, details the thin line that exists between flight and stall and the difficulty of effecting a recovery. This was difficult in thin air but usually fatal close to the ground. Modern swept-wing airliners are perfectly safe if they keep going forward at the right speed - which is why they were found very susceptible to microbursts when landing.
SF3aviatrix
SF3aviatrix 0
There is no way the crew (PF) would have taken the actions they did had they realized they were actually in a STALL. Part of the problem is the 'Bus automation, the other ? ? Task saturation? It's anyone guess.

The French investigation into the accident revealed that the A330 did not enter the abnormal attitude law after it stalled, despite its excessive angle of attack. The abnormal attitude law is a subset of alternate law on the aircraft and is triggered when the angle of attack exceeds 30 degrees, or when certain other inertial parameters, such as pitch and roll, become greater than threshold levels. Remaining in alternate law allowed Flight 447's horizontal stabilizer to autotrim to 13º nose-up, as the aircraft initially climbed above it's assigned altitude of FL350. The stabilizer remained in this nose-up trim position for the remainder of the flight, meaning that the aircraft would have had a tendency to pitch up under high engine thrust. Crucially the abnormal attitude law, if adopted, would have inhibited the auto-trim function, requiring the crew to re-trim the aircraft manually (which they did not).

Interestingly, a failure to realize a need for manual re-trim was cited as a factor in the loss of an Air New Zealand Airbus A320 over the Mediterranean Sea in November 2008. That aircraft had the auto-trim had adjusted the horizontal stabilizer fully nose-up during a test flight. In a near-stall, the aircraft switched control laws and inhibited the auto-trim. Without manual re-trimming, the aircraft pitched up sharply as the crew applied maximum thrust. It stalled and the crew lost control, crashing into the sea, killing all 7 crew members.

More comparisons between these two accidents are likely forthcoming. Strange beasts, those computer driven Airbuses.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
...just sayin'
gorsek
wayne gorsek 0
I am type rated in three jets and my entire training combined including to ATP standards at CAE/Simuflite and Flightsafety regarding advanced upset recovery in jets was very inadequate. All pilots should and should be required to take this training, after I took it I was amazed at how little I knew prior about stall recovery and advanced upsets.
http://www.apstraining.com/

Wayne Gorsek
Embraer Phenom 100, 300 and Premier 1A type rated pilot.
DerekAshton
Derek Ashton 0
Keep seeing it again and again in these comments - Aircraft and computers don't mix. Pilots fly airplanes - not computers. Computers should be there to advise, and to be overridden. Passengers want a trained experienced crew with the controls in their hands, not a bunch of young computer geeks 5,000 miles away flying their plane. I say this as a 40 year software veteran who also programmed a successful flt sim (entertainment type). Just as the experienced pilots here have seen a few eye-opening airborne shockers, I have seen the tons of garbage software pouring out of inexperienced, wet-behind-the-ears programmers. I WILL NOT TAKE AN AIRBUS ride if at all possible.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Technology was no more the fatal cause than a cell phone if the driver is texting and gets into an accident. Like the CA Highway Patrolman who was calling on his cell for help while his car accelerated wildly down the interstate, bad decisions and lack of basics ended in tragedy.
captoats
captoats 0
I fly the 320 so my intrest in this is obvious. I wonder if Airbus had to demonstrate deep stall recovery during the certification process in the airplane or is that done in simulation. Nobody at my airline seems to know the answer to this so any test pilots feel free to chime in. Is it possible that once in a deep stall at 35 degrees AOA, recovery is impossible, even with a normal CG? Can you recover with the horizontal stab at the nose up limit of 13 degrees? I remember early in my airlines experience with the 320, a few guys set the trim incorrectly and aborted the takeoff due to abnormal feel on the stick shortly after liftoff (yes they were airborne and set it back down!). Airbus and the company put out a blurb stating in that situation, the jet would fly fine and would auto trim itself once the transition took place to the flight mode. Wonder if the same holds true for stall recovery with full nose up trim in the 330?
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
John, couldn't you dip a wing?
captoats
captoats 0
Steve, I suppose you could, although as someone else mentioned, there are a couple versions of alternate law on the 320 and one of them will keep you from rolling beyond 45 degrees if I recall the number correctly (we never come close to that in line flying, of course). What I don't know is how much aileron/spoiler authority you have at the excessive angle of attack these guys had. Think of the turbulent flow over the wing and how that might have hampered control surface effectiveness both on the wing and tail. Too many unknowns right now to say but I am keenly interested in the certification process for this jet and what they had to demonstrate in the actual airplane
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Weren't they doing like 110 knots? What's landing speed?
captoats
captoats 0
Steve, 110 knots was the forward velocity measured by, I presume, the IRU units, or IRS as it is often called. Downward velocity was over 10,000 feet per minute. With the jet in a deep stall, you arent making much forward progress. Interesting that there is no mention of any inverted attitude, which leads me to believe either the pilots had some lateral control or the minimal protections in alternate law that they might have had kept the wings somewhat level during the ride down.
robertl30
Robert Larson 0
just a private pilot here, but how does icing the pitots affect the ADI? Surely they had a steam gauge ADI somewhere in the cockpit. Why didn't they just push the nose over until they had the electronics issues sorted out? My instructor clearly taught me in unusual attitudes training: blue/through, black/back. They should've seen blue on the ADI and pushed the yoke and the throttles through the firewall. Isn't that all that needed to be done to recover?
HBFlyer
HBFlyer 0
Interesting podcast on this topic by a A330 instructor.

http://iagblog.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-27T13_17_10-07_00
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
HB, nice job finding that. I rest my case.
clipper1
Gene Ray 0
Retired Pan Am: The Capt. made the comment "all our information is bad" or something to that effect. With pitot sensor icing any system, computer or not, will show increasing A/S in a climb. As far as I know (and that's not much anymore) the stall warning is still a separate system that senses attitude and goes off when the nose gets too high and A/S can't keep the "tab" down. Years ago, Pan Am had an a-330 receive a lightining strike in a thunderstorm over Geneva, Sw. According to the Capt's write-up that crew was fortunate to break out of the cloud shortly thereafter and they stayed VFR, declared an Emergency and landed WITH NO INSTURMENTS WORKING except for the "beer can" attitude indicator. For those who wonder why they didn't take corrective action, they were in mod. turb. (shakes you pretty good) and it's doubtful they knew just what their attitude was. The only thing in the insterment grouping that worked was the altitude warning system which went off just prior to impact. Some autopilot systems have a separate gyro which is used to maintain wings level as a separate function (it's pretty hard to completely disengage all autopilot functions without pulling circuit breakers in a computer controlled flight management system. What disturbs me is why they didn't advance power--they hit with all throttles at idle. It's obvious they had quit thinking as they had nothing to give them a clue as to what the A/C was doing. Truly a tragedy and I hope the A/C mfg. and all airlines using a-330's insist on enough changes that at least one pilot has basic instruments to rely on. Another puzzle, I'm sure they would at least try to lower the nose and change the trim, why didn't that give them a clue as to what was going on? Why didn't anyone turn the anti-ice on? Questions we will probaly never know the answer to.
preacher1
preacher1 0
There are truly a whole lot of what ifs and why nots coming out of this thing and a whole lot of questions that will never be answered, but if nothing else comes out of it, pilots, AC manufacturers, Airlines and all are going to have to take a strong look at what Gene says here and other comments made in this string. Gene says "It's obvious they had quit thinking as they had nothing to give them a clue as to what the A/C was doing."Pilot's need to not only have a way to tell them something accurate but they need to know not only how to fly the plane but they need to have a way to fly it when all the bells and whistles fail.In some of these new Aircraft a pilot can't fly by the seat of their pants because some malfunctioning electronic item may overide their ability to do so. As a computer programmer said in one of the comments above, Some garbage programmed in by a junior somewhere may sound good on paper but have no bearing or cause major problems in practical application.We can armchair this thing to death and the best that will come out of it are more unanswered questions. It does seem though that Airbus is a whole nuther world from Boeing and there are some problems and procedures here that are found only in their Aircraft.
robertl30
Robert Larson 0
good podcast. I liked his last line: "Correct attitude and thrust will make airplane fly." They had pitch and thrust data. Fly the plane.
captoats
captoats 0
The Boeing vs. Airbus comments really don't apply here. All new Boeing's are fly by wire, Boeing just choose to have a traditional control wheel instead of a sidestick (politics and pride!). Still not connected to any cables like in the old days.

Hard to point fingers at this point because all the data hasn't been released. If they had valid pitch information and the flight controls were able to move the aircraft in all axis and the deep stall was something that was recoverable, then it would appear this was a pilot induced event. Anybody know when the BEA will release more data?
HBFlyer
HBFlyer 0
The issue isn't fly-by wire. The issue is how far the software is programmed to limit and/or interpret flight perimeters for the pilot instead of letting the pilot do those things. It's my understanding that Airbus programmers do much more in this regard than Boeing does.
allench1
allench1 0
As stated above the Falcon 7x has been grounded ( see link in previous post )
HBFlyer is correct. The new Airbus computer is intuitive and will anticipate the pilots needs and restrict control surfaces and power movements to keep the airplane safe.....again I will say it will lead to changes in the software and the training program. I do not agree with my fellow capt oats in that it was pilot induced, I believe it was more than likely software induced after the radar return hid the larger weather mass behind that the pilots could not have know about, that being said the safer flight path would to have deviated as others did before and after him.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Allen: I don't think he is meaning here that it was pilot induced INTENTIONALLY. It may have been but if it was, it started with what they had before them or maybe didn't have. At any rate, the information overload, good and/or bad had to be overwhelming and there is no good old fasioned anything that you can really trust in these newer cockpits for a pilot to really rely on, even if they know how to fly the plane; That plus at that altitude, with no visual reference(you really don't have that much feel to commence with), I don't think they had the chance of a snowball in a South Georgia Summer.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Gyro? Power settings? geez, plz re-read Robert above
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne roger that, I grew up in south GA. started with eastern on 9's ended up on 747's. Also standard procedure was to pitch up at about 14 deg. set the power levers at a prescribed point to stabilize the plane which they did. The pitch up would have balanced the vertical descent rate feel. The never had a chance. The pitch and power took them to 380, hit the corner,stalled and did not have knowledge of the events until they saw level 100 and by then it was too late. The single biggest mistake they made after the upset was to not monitor the standard Altimeter, maybe they will add a standard VSI I think that would have saved them but not sure
dmaccarter
dmaccarter 0
Goofy things happen in airplanes built by airbus. for example, American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus Industrie A300-605R in November 2011. The tail fell off the plane! The NTSB blamed it on the copilot making full full rudder inputs, right then left then right in quick succession, while dealing with turbulence. I don't want to ride on a plane that the pilot can make the tail fall off of with control inputs. How many times have you slipped an airplane to lose a bunch of altitude in a hurry with full cross controls. Did the tail fall off when you did?

This leading edge technology still has much to prove. There will me more strange accidents in Airbus planes before we fully understand what is going on.

If it ain't Boing, I ain't going!
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well, they are the new kid on the block and unusual things may happen. It's been 10 years since that tail fell off. We talk about all the safe guards that came into play on AF447. Probably by now, there is something in there to prevent that rudder over correction from happening. All my experience was with the 707's and 757, and now thanks to some good friends at AA and DAL, I can keep my ticket current on CRJ's while living here in Arkansas. KDFW and KMEM are all I want these days and it feels good coming back into KLIT or KFSM. All that to say this. Even though foreign made, it didn't take that long to make the transition from a 757 to a CRJ. Even though different manufacturers, there is a familiarity. As it was same manufacture, it did not take a lot to go from the 707 to the 757, but in all of that there was a logic on procedure and instrumentation that was not only key to the plane itself but ACTUAL FLYING, regardless of type. I hope that makes sense. I am told that it takes a fair amount of time to go into an airbus from a like sized Boeing and that there is more emphasis on the systems rather than flying the plane?. They are trying to makes things better without field proving them (they'll do it in a SIM rather than a plane)and sometimes they may not go as expected. Unfortunately, if that better idea goes wrong, in this arena, it generally results in loss of life. Hopefully enough will come out of this that something can be revised for safety rather than cost.
rdfish
Richard Fish 0
Presuming they had correct attitude information (and believed it) wouldn't asserting "correct attitude" inputs be difficult/impossible with the hstab trim at +13?
dmaccarter
dmaccarter 0
Wayne, you obviously see things from a professional perspective. Myself, as a private pilot and otherwise as a layman with no professional insight, the new tech just looks fishy to me. Every new technology goes through the same process. The British Comet of the 1950's, with it's square windows is a good example. Boeing is building carbon fiber airplanes with high tech automated cockpits now. They may have some failures in their future too.

Engineering is an art AND a science. There are failures in both arenas in all engineering. Fact remains that air travel today is the safest means of transport ever devised. We will learn from our failures to make it safer. Bravo to Air France and BAE for keeping up the search for the recorders.

I just hope you or I or our families aren't on one of those failures.
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Following closely all the inputs of professional and non prof´s: Everybody read again the input of "Corso" of 06/03/2011, 12:31 GMT !!! According to this failure list this crew had nothing to rely upon in this electronic nightmare. Has anybody seen the library in A330 for abnormal and emergency procedures??? There are several books to consult in the fltdeck, 3.5 min are not enough to even read the checklist in a severe thunderstorm!! Never mind the different laws quoted, all this is the proof that the a/c flies the pilot (like bank restriction to 45% etc) ! The main problem is that younger pilots have no more choice other than sit in this electronic junk!! It´s cheap, this is why it is used and somebody in an earlier input said already about inefficient programmers are on the job!
It all boils down to the fact that if the pilots cannot switch to alternate pressure and in turn have not a set of proper analog instruments used up to the mid 90 ties you are doomed if you have all the electronic infos inop!!
"If it ain´t a Boeing, I ain´t ride it !!!
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Hi dmaccarter, You should refrain from "Bravos" to any Frog investigation!! They will never tell you the truth in order to protect their industry!!
This is proven in the past !!
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Most likely the French will blame the crash finally on the "Bermuda Triangle", even if it is a bit of track !
allench1
allench1 0
No Wolf, they are already setting up the pilots for the blame. You are absolutely correct on the Corso comment, he confirmed that the pilots should have gone to the written emergency manual because they could not get through all the data they were getting on the MFD, and of course they also did not have time to consult the manual even if they could have reached and read it in the turbulence they had to be in. As already said if it's not Boeing my family's not going. We were pilots not computer operators. Glad to be retired from 40 years with 35 on Boeing's.
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Thanks Allen, pity we are a dyeing species. My situation is the same, but the commerce of today cannot anymore go back to basics.
allench1
allench1 0
Wolf would it not be great to go back to 1955, fly a j3 cub with a sleeping bag around the country with no towers to worry about 100 to 1000' above terrain. Maybe hop into a Beech 18 at night and do dutch rolls flying into the moon, ah! that would be the way I would like to make my last flying days.
Hey, one can still dream. STICK AND RUDDER FLYING, INSTINCT AND SEAT OF THE PANTS AND OF COURSE GOOD TRAINING.
dmaccarter
dmaccarter 0
OK Wolf,
You are no doubt right about the French investigation being biased. At least the recovered recorders provide some objective evidence, so rational people can draw rational conclusions, even if the French don't. It's always easy to blame it on a dead pilot.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
in case you missed it, podcast from an Airbus Instructor pilot

http://iagblog.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-27T13_17_10-07_00
preacher1
preacher1 0
As has been said earlier by myself and others, dead pilots make good scapegoats, but whether it's AF447 or other crashes, we weren't looking out their windshield. Allen, you are correct about the glory days but they are definitely a thing of the past. Airliners of 20 years ago were then one of the most complicated pieces of machinery on earth and you not only had to have the skills to fly but deal with the tecnology. As technology has progressed, good intentions of "helping" technology have overloaded pilots to the point that the flying seems to be forgot. Yes, Boeing is trying some new things too and there will undoubtedbly be failures. It just seems that, by past experience I guess, that they are a little more cautious in their approach to it and even moreso when something goes wrong, ala the electical problem on the 787 in Laredo. I don't think Airbus, in a rush to get a product out, underwent that kind of testing, plus, unless I am mistaken, all Boeing here is under FAA testing and certification. Isn't Airbus under their European authority. Not sure about standards.
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne you are right again and we both know the European authority is a little more behind the power curve on understanding the parameters of testing needed before acceptance than the FAA. I would prefer that the NTSB would oversee all approvals of future flight systems in the USA as that would take the politics out of the formula.
johnlear
John Lear 0
Dutch rolls flying into the moon?

What did you do? Turn the yaw damper off?
And then head towards the moon?

Weird.
preacher1
preacher1 0
John, you got an ATP and look like a little older guy in your picture. Dobn't try and tell us you haven't been there.lol
johnlear
John Lear 0
Thanks Wayne. Been there, done that. I thank God I didn't have to fly fly by wire before I retired. I am sticking with the pilots on this one. They did the best they could do with iced up pitots and electrical problems up the gazoo. It must have been a nightmare of epic proportions. God rest their souls. Air France and Airbus have no choice but to lie, cheat and steal on this one. All the best.
allench1
allench1 0
John what is weird is the only comment you make is a judgement on a fellow aviator or are you just that unhappy. Go to St. Augustine and fly 10 hours with Patty Wagstaff and maybe just maybe you will develop something that is inside your body, not your head.
preacher1
preacher1 0
You know, I don't know that the fly by wire is all that big a deal although it does feel weird to all us old folks, but the fact that there is so much other crap meant to help out the pilot, that when it goes beserk and overides a pilot input, there comes the problem. As I understand it, there are some things that a pilot could not do because of those thing even if he knew that's what it would take to save the plane. Better ideas that are put in by sombody on the ground not looking out the windshield and not having one iota of an idea about what it took to get one off the ground or back to it. At 3.5 minutes, somebody up here said it best, that they didn't even have time to get a book down, let alone read it. I keep going back to that QUANTAS engine blowout a couple of months back. There just happened to be 5 senior captains on that flight and 3 of them were kept totally busy answering and running checklists on alarms, otherwise that Airbus may have ended up like 447
allench1
allench1 0
John one other note A Beech 18 does not have a yaw damper.
preacher1
preacher1 0
heh,heh, heh
johnlear
John Lear 0
Please accept my apologies Allen. I was thinking of the ducth roll instability in yaw. Was that the judgement on a fellow aviator?
preacher1
preacher1 0
And I guess I should have been more specific on a earlier comment since everybody is getting tecnical. DAL is all CRJ out here and all I see on AA are the Embraer's. Didn't mean to offend the Brazilian folks. Not a lot of difference in the cockpits. PAX seem to like the Embraer's just a little better as the cabin design is a tad higher and you dont have to bend your neck to look out the windows. Like I said, cockpits are close and they are all REGIONAL JETS.lol
preacher1
preacher1 0
And I guess I should have been more specific on a earlier comment since everybody is getting technical. DAL is all CRJ out here and all I see on AA are the Embraer's. Didn't mean to offend the Brazilian folks. Not a lot of difference in the cockpits. PAX seem to like the Embraer's just a little better as the cabin design is a tad higher and you dont have to bend your neck to look out the windows. Like I said, cockpits are close and they are all REGIONAL JETS.lol
allench1
allench1 0
John I was merely remembering what I enjoyed in the very early 60's when I was building time flying a beech 18 and how I felt with all that power in my butt. Felt the same way in 68 when I took the controls of an F4c. I did not mean to insult you, merely trying to keep it light.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Allen: Were you at Davis Monthan in Tuscon in 68 or at Kunsan S Korea in 71?
johnlear
John Lear 0
Allen, I thought you were refering to some type of aerobatic maneuver 'dutch roll' and I was reminding you that dutch roll is yaw instability in swept wing aircraft. I earned my Swiss aerobatic rating in Geneva, June of 1959 in a Bucker Jungmann 131. Did Patty ever settle the Oshkosh deal? All the best.
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne, afraid not. Where you in the air force?
allench1
allench1 0
John I understand, I met Patty just after she left Alaska to hook up with Jim Moser in St. Augustine so I have no long term relationship with her, great pilot though. A 131, wow. I got my first real aerobatic training in a stearman from an old crop duster that took an interest in me.
johnlear
John Lear 0
When I think of 'fly by wire' I only think of the 2 Swissair MD-11 pilots over Nova Scotia that spent the last 3 minutes of their lives back in First Class because of the fire in the cockpit.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Yeah but all my flight training, while around it all in USAF, came in off hours on the civilian side. Long story but I got it all for free while I was at Tuscon, step by step, from private in a C-182, thru CFII and all the rest in type. Got semi adopted by a self made millionaire that had 3 planes that he used very little and a private pilot that taught me. For a job I was on crew member status as a flight medic and flew on HH43 rescue chopper at both those bases I mentioned. Tuscon was an F4 training wing and Kunsan had the 3rd TFW based there.Your name got to sounding familiar which is why I asked. After I got out, all my work was as a corporate Pilot, flying everything from King Air's to 757's. Then I got into trucking and that has been a trip.lol
allench1
allench1 0
Wow Wayne you have had a good life. sounds like John did too.
johnlear
John Lear 0
I flew in the days when we knew who the enemy was.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well, it's had it's moments, but by and large it has been good and blessed. It's good to reminice about stuff such as this but I am glad that I am not involved in it daily anymore. It is like a lot of other things. All the fun is getting taken out of everything. I guess as long as DAL and AA keep Airbus out of this part of the world, I'll be OK. I guess they are cheap for the Airlines but are making it rough on the pilots. Hell of it is, most PAX dobn't know the difference. They are just interested in getting from AtoB cheaply.Past that me and my two acres here in Arkansas can tell the rest of the world to kiss my ^&*.:)
johnlear
John Lear 0
Wayne, you said it. Its been 12 years since I had to wake up in the morning and call scheduling, pack, drive to the airport, beg for a jump seat, get to a hotel at 9pm for a 2am show for a JFK-FRA ferry back to ORD with a fuel stop in YQX. Those Int'l duty times go on forever legally. They were great times but I'm glad its over. All the best.
dmaccarter
dmaccarter 0
Anyone interested in this accident might watch this BBC documentary: "Lost - The Mystery Of Flight 447". It was presented a year after the plane went down before any data recorders were found.

There are six 10 minute segments to watch in all. You will be surprised to see how much was deduced from what little evidence was available. It won't settle the debate over the cause or blame, but it does add much clarity to the situation the men in the flight deck faced on a dark stormy night over the Atlantic including some detail about the weather situation many folks never heard about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERHttqikXBU
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne & John Go to this site, and you will know what happened


Air France Crash Suggests Inadequate Training | AVIATION WEEK*
allench1
allench1 0
Also:





* Please note, the sender's email address has not been verified.



The BBC report was before the data recorders were found. Here is a recent article that details the true causes of the accident. Bombardier started demonstrating stalls at FL400 over a year ago during recurrent. We still do the stall series at 15,000 for the checkride, but the stall at 40,000 is an unbelievable eye opener. Totally different technique needed for recovery plus many thousands of feet altitude.





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Air France Crash Suggests Inadequate Training | AVIATION WEEK*







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http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awst/2011/06/06/AW_06_06_2011_p36-330706.xml&headline=Air%20France%20Crash%20Suggests%20Inadequate%20Training&channel=awst
bulow
Seems the article in Aviation Week was written by Airbus - moving the pilots into the foreground. As was to be expected.
allench1
allench1 0
Holger it put the problem on two factors. 1. Inadequate Training. 2. software.
not, I repeat not the pilots and in fact the atty representing over 40 families is suing the software designer company not the Airline or the pilots.
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Hi Holger, you are dead right, the next one blowing into that horn will be the French CAA. They will never blame themselves or the French product !!!
bubblecom
Robert Fleury 0
After reading all the comments, many by very experienced members, the impression that remains with me at this point is: a) none of us was on board while this flight, uneventful until then, entered the ITCZ; b) it is obviously not a simple situation and I believe it is quite premature to express conclusions for now. It doesn’t belong to us to do that anyway.

Whatever the final conclusion will be (if one is reached eventually), I think we should not forget that this is primarily a weather related accident. Big weather! ITCZ thunderstorms are nothing to fool around with no matter how sophisticated, how big and how powerful a modern airplane may be. We all know that bad things happen around CBs. The fancy electronics, glass displays, radar and computers inside do not change the fact that outside, any manmade machine will always be a puppet if it falls under the grip of a mature CB, let alone an ITCZ monster. Crew training will not be very relevant in the final issue and warnings, buzzers of a tumbling airplane in such a cloud will only contribute to the hysteria. The only viable strategy in my opinion is: avoidance. And that’s what modern equipment and crew training should be used for.

One thing bothers me in some member’s comments: allegations about crew experience. If we are to consider that a crew flying an Airbus Jet from Rio to Paris over the ocean and through the ITCZ is not qualified to be there, I’ll start looking for maritime agencies for my next trip abroad. Let’s be serious, this is an insult to all FOs flying for an airline at the very moment I’m writing these lines.

One last idea: the flying crew of a modern a/c may be composed of 2, 3, 4 persons but no matter the number, when things start going bad, a crew can be overwhelmed. Automation was certainly developed to prevent or at least delay such an occurrence but automation also means that there are a lot more than 3 or 4 people in the cockpit. Engineers, designers, programmers, etc. have all made flying decisions way before an airplane abandons a supporting surface and the airborne crew will have to live with the consequences of those decisions. Air New Zealand 101 vs Erebus Nov 1979… So, let’s wait and see what the pros in AAI will come up with.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
updated news article..

We hear it so often that it’s taken as a truism: Trust your instincts. Obey your intuition. Ignore your book knowledge and go with your gut.

The importance and value of intuition (especially in women) is widely accepted. One author, Gavin De Becker, even wrote a book based on the premise that we must listen to intuition to be safe. In his bestseller The Gift of Fear, De Becker calls intuition “your personal solution to violence (that) connects us to the natural world and to nature. Freed from the bonds of judgment, married only to perception, it carries us to predictions we will later marvel at.”

Yet heeding instinct and intuition apparently contributed to the 2009 disaster in which Air France flight 447 crashed in the North Atlantic with 228 people on board. Now that one black box was recently found, investigators have a better idea of what went wrong. Experts are calling for improved pilot training that will in part teach them to ignore their intuition for their passenger’s safety.

According to USA Today, French authorities concluded that the pilots made a series of mistakes. The plane encountered rough weather that caused the speed sensors to ice over and malfunction. This by itself was not necessarily a serious problem, but:

Instead of flying level while they diagnosed the problem, one of the pilots climbed steeply, which caused a loss of speed. Then the aggressive nose-up pitch of the plane and the slower speed caused air to stop flowing smoothly over the wings, triggering a loss of lift and a rapid descent. They had entered an aerodynamic stall, meaning the wings could no longer keep the plane aloft. Once a plane is stalled, the correct response is to lower the nose and increase speed. For nearly the entire 3½ minutes before they crashed into the ocean, the pilots did the opposite, holding the Airbus A330’s joystick back to lift the nose.

Why did these trained pilots do the opposite of what they learned in flight school? They trusted their instincts. Human instinct and intuition for pilots in such a situation is to keep themselves (and therefore the rest of the aircraft) facing up toward the safety of the sky, not to intentionally aim directly toward the ground. In their fear and panic they listened to their intuition instead of their knowledge of basic aviation, and it cost hundreds of lives.

This is not the first time that pilot intuition has killed passengers. In February 2009, a commuter flight crashed near Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people including one person on the ground. Investigators determined that the accident was caused by a series of errors by the pilot and co-pilot. They had not been paying attention to the plane’s airspeed, and when they realized the plane was about to stall, the pilot pulled the plane’s nose up instead of down, exactly as the Air France pilots did.

It’s certainly true that intuition can be right. But intuition fails people all the time, and we just don’t notice it because we selectively remember the times when our intuitions or fears were confirmed. We’ve all read news stories of serial rapists or serial killers whose friends and neighbors, upon being interviewed after the criminal was caught, say, “He seemed like a normal guy, I never would have expected this.”

For example, suspected serial killer Anthony Sowell seemed like “a civilized person” before he attacked, according to one of his victims who escaped; Ted Bundy was handsome and charming; and no one had suspected a Sunday school teacher and mom of raping and killing eight-year-old Sandra Cantu in 2009.

Intuition and instinct routinely fail to warn innocent people about impending accidents, attacks, abductions and death. If intuition could reliably avert disasters, and even terrorism, the world would be a very different place.

Perhaps the legacy of Air France flight 447 is reminding the world that intuition is fine for deciding who to date or picking a pet, but when you’re in a life-or-death emergency, let your brain overrule your gut.
johnlear
John Lear 0
To the people who say the pilots of 447 were doing the wrong thing:

How was it possible to be doing the wrong thing when all passengers were found in the 'brace' position and had obviously been advised by the crew to prepare for a ditch?

To the people who are assuming that the pilots were doing what the 'flight recorder' said that they were doing you should know that accident information is routinely falsified by the NTSB and other accident agencies for political and other reasons.

For instance UAL in Colorado Springs and USAIR in Philadelphia both blamed on faulty yaw dampers were both due to pilot suicides. But it was decided at the highest levels that the release of this information was not in the best interests of the public.

TWA 800, blamed for a center fuel tank ignition by a fuel pump exposed wire was in fact accidentally shot down by a US Navy submarine who launched an unarmed missile at a drone flying near the B-747's flight path. For some reason the tracking device of the missile broke lock for a millisecond and when re-acquiring the target accidentally picked TWA flight 800.

This was actually the fifth civilian airliner accidentally shot down by the US Navy beginning with the Flying Tigers Lockheed Constellation, containing a full passenger load of US servicemen on their way to Viet Nam. A US navy fighter was using the Constellation for target practice when a missile was accidentally released.

The Arrow Air DC-8 which crashed at Gander was blamed by Canadian authorities on icing when the true story was that a bomb was placed in the aft cargo compartment.

American Airlines 587 at La Guardia, an Airbus A-320, which crashed killing hundreds was blamed on a tail separation. The true facts are that a bomb was placed in the aft cargo compartment.

So let's knock off the uninformed speculation as to what the pilots of 447 did or did not do. There is no more truth to the alleged information coming from the flight recorders than there is in the story of the Easter Bunny.

These pilots were faced with conflicting information from a faulty design and resulting in faulty and misleading information; and not from improper training. They are being used as scapegoats by Air France and Airbus who have billions at stake.

And you can take that to the bank.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Allen: I watched thru part 4 and saw enough to reinforce my original suspicion, that Thales and Airbus are in bed on this thing together as far as the crappy pitot tubes, and also noticed that AF was in a replacement mode but that this aircraft still had the old style tubes. That being said, it still brought on a total system shutdown, which caused total information overload, overwhelming the pilots, and being at night, in that Tstorm, had no visual reference as to what was going on and not a damn thing to give them any true readings in that cockpit and with all those systems shutting down, could they have done anything in 3.5 minutes if they had recognized it. They never had a chance and like I said earlier, dead pilots make good scapegoats.
preacher1
preacher1 0
One last thing, to Steve Emery: you make the comment that "According to USA Today, French authorities concluded that the pilots made a series of mistakes. The plane encountered rough weather that caused the speed sensors to ice over and malfunction. This by itself was not necessarily a serious problem, but:
If the video's that Allen refers to are anywhere near accurate, then pitot tubes iceing over were a hell of a serious problem, as it caused all the other systems to start shutting down and throwing out alarms. All systems in that A/C were desisigned to work off of airspeed. Daylight might have been one thing but to be in pitch dark with Tstorms all around and no visual reference, I am just like John. They never had a chance and dead pilots make good scapegoats. I urge you to watch that video. Each segment is about 10 minutes long. Find you an hour or so of uninterrupted time. After watching it, then see how you feel.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Wayne; Icing won't affect the attitude gyro or power settings. This type has had such a known problem with this that there is a PROCEDURE for no airpseed indicator failure (it's pretty basic). Try listening (for at least 23 min) to an A330 instructor.

http://iagblog.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-27T13_17_10-07_00
johnlear
John Lear 0
Steve, who does the A330 instructor work for? Do you have any flight manual supplements for the alleged PROCEDURE? And lastly what exactly is "it's pretty basic?" Are you saying it 'pretty basic' for the alleged airspeed indicator failure? Thanks and all the best.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Thank you John. Maybe he has some Airbus time and knows something we don't. I notice no ticket so maybe he's either retired like the rest of us or don't fly. And as far as listening to that podcast, I tried and couldn't understand him.
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne and John, Steve started ranting on another site of AF447 about the pilots being totally responsible and MANY of us took him to task. He took me to task. I have over 20,000 hrs in heavies and he is a young military know it all. Steve one more time, THE PROCEDURE THE PILOTS WERE TAUGHT WAS TO PITCH THE NOSE UP 5 DEGREES, SET THE POWER TO TO/GA AND THE COMPUTER SOFTWARE WOULD KEEP THE PLANE SAFE AND HAD BEEN DONE IN PREVIOUS PITOT TUBE FAILURES, THE DIFF. THEY ALL HAD VISUAL REF. AS WELL. The a330 instructor made it very clear that they should have ignored the text warnings and used the written manual for emergencies to get what they needed faster. In the turbulence they were in I doubt that either pilot could have accomplished this task. Were they perfect, no. But they were not the root cause of this crash, so get off your podium until you have our experience to help guide your ill intended comments.
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
I listened to the quoted "Flt instructor A330" ; only if´s and when´s and nothing constructive!! A lot of jabber like a politician who has basically nothing to say! Like Allench 1, I have a bucket full of heavy time and came across Sahara and other routes in some similar situations due to thunderstorms in B707, but we went from 37000 to 21000 within a minute or so; icing as well, but never lost control more than a/p and yaw dampers. Of course, there was no computer telling us what to do !! Never blame the crew of AF 447, just the equipment they had to operate !!
allench1
allench1 0
Wolf I could not agree more, plus I never listen to people that hide behind curtains when talking. B707's huh! That Wolf, took pilots to fly and what a well built jet that was ahead of it's time and look how long it lasted. You were fortunate to have flown one when you did. Props to you
preacher1
preacher1 0
Allen/Wolf/John: All well said, and I'll grant that Airbus is new kid on the block with all this new technology and someday when all the bugs are gone, it may be the greatest thing since cotton candy. Yes Boeing is coming out with this fly by wire and all that and so will other mfgs as it happens, but with their years of experience and having tried and true systems to come of of, I can't help but think they will be much more methodical and deliberate in their offerings, and by doing so, would probably be configured to the point that old war horses like us could get in there and do our thing with minimal time rather than complete retraining. On the civilian side, they may have gotten beat into the jet airliner age by the comet but the 707 took over and ruled the skies, and then there was the 27 and the 47. Best I remember, the 747 took to the skies in the late 60's, and the A380 didn't come around until last year. That's 40+ years of doing something right.
Back to Allen's comment- " THE DIFFERENCE - THEY ALL HAD VISUAL REFERENCE.
It's like I have said since we all started talking about this thing, WE WEREN'T LOOKING OUT THEIR WINDSHIELD!!!!!!!! THEY NEVER HAD A CHANCE!!!!
allench1
allench1 0
Here, here Wayne could not have summed it up better.....
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
John; don't know...who wold he work for? Sounds European, as does the interviewer who seems to be going to great lengths not to dis the pilots.

Allen; I'm an old military pilot, with many contemporaries flying heavies for airlines and FedEx. Was an IP in the Sim and the real thing. Flying is 10% maneuvers, 90% judgement...this crew had issues with both...fatal ones.

This Airbus IP is the only guy with direct experience quoted on this blog. The rest of us have our "best guess" (BTW, how do you have a clue about the "turbulence" they were in? Was that on the flight recorder?). Perhaps when you remove the tin foil from you head, you'll be able to judge the facts dispassionately.
allench1
allench1 0
Steve I still believe you are being judgmental while the rest of us are merely trying to determine what went wrong through our basic instinct to be inquisitive, our fondness of flying, to educate ourselves in the belief that politics still play a major role in the final analysis as already proven by not releasing the cockpit conversation on tape after the Capt. returned to the cabin, however I am glad you cleared up your age as in a previous statement on the other thread you mentioned flying as a young pilot so I assumed your age wrong. so sorry about that, I stand corrected on your age and experience.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Allen, thank you for kind post. If I'm being "judgmental" it's not on the "character" of the pilots. No one takes off not intending to land. I hope they were great guys and family men. Professional pilots learn from their own mistakes and those of others, especially the fatal ones. Certainly aircraft systems, weather, and pilot training were factors. Many here are struggling to come up with any reason it isn't pilot(s) error(s) that ultimately flew a flawed but flyable aircraft from FL350 into the Atlantic. A chain of events caused that, and one needs to understand that chain or this situation will be repeated...and that would be a bigger tragedy.
allench1
allench1 0
In response to your turbulence remark STEVE it was determined by the radar returns that were verified by the national atmospheric agency at the time and track that AF 447 went through. One more time STEVE as I stated on the other thread these pilots have families and friends so back off on your condemnation remarks.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Steve: I have to stand with Allen on our thinking. I too must apologize for being judgemental on your age and all as that was sort of guided by the tone of some of the comments. That being said, you do make the comment about turbulence; if you go back up in the comment string and run the link that Allen sent yesterday, it does, in about 5 parts, go into great detail about the investigation so far, featuring very prominent investigators, utilizing known information, including automatic position reports and readings that the plane sends. Crucial weather info on all that shows what they were in and also that the larger storm was masked by a smaller one, and getting out of it, they were in the bad one with no place to go. As I have said before, 3.5 minutes is not a long time to do anything, and in pitch dark, with no visual reference, I don't think they had a chance. Perfect, no, mistakes, probably, but we weren't looking out their windshield. Dead Pilots will always make good scapegoats.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Steve, regarding the turbulence, did you read the detailed weather reconstruction report linked earlier in the thread? It points rather specifically to when and where in the trip there was most likely turbulence.
allench1
allench1 0
Steve in reference to your 10:07 remark I agree with your last sentence, but we can accomplish that goal without your 6/3/11 - 11:03 remark. Just saying..
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Allen, so do the cabin crew and pax.
allench1
allench1 0
correction make that 6/3/11 - 11:31 remark
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Victor...as they were over the ocean and radar is land-based, "most likely" is about as close as we can get on weather here.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Allen, I feel bad for that guy..but worse for his pax as well...just turn the key to "off"
allench1
allench1 0
STEVE they were using sat. images or are you an expert in space technology as well......and your "off" comment ...another immature comment. but Steve we are not bashing the passengers.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Steve, way more than radar was used. Read the analysis. Also, you said, "how do you have a clue". All I was trying to show was there was at least a clue. In fact, there is way more evidence than just a clue.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Allen, be careful or he'll pull you down to his level. While he may be of age, I think your original assessment was more correct. Wayne
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Allen & Vic...didn't know sat images show individual cells at the different FL's. And you seem to be ignoring the pax...they have families as well
allench1
allench1 0
Again Steve with all due respect we were not blaming the passengers, and you are the pilots. All we are all saying is lets make sure the pilots are looked at fairly. That atty. in Miami had legal access to all the info collected to date and we do not and he is going after the electronics company, not included were the pilots which would by default involve AF.
allench1
allench1 0
TKS Wayne.I will adhere to your advice..
johnlear
John Lear 0
Steve just to clear this up for myself and others are you type rated in any heavy and how much time (approx) do you have in that heavies? The reason I ask is because you stated that you have contemporaries that fly heavies. Not that you did yourself. Thank you and all the best.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Steve, as you apparently have no expertise in meteorology, it's probably a good idea to stop making assumptions about the weather and accept what expert analysts have devoted many hours to discern. Contrary to your apparent intuition, it is possible to discern things at different levels from satellite imagery. And, yes, when it comes to the weather, I am ignoring the passengers. They have absolutely nothing to do with it. They were just along for the ride, after all.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Allen, with all due respect, you mis-interpret. Not blame, just equal empathy. Strong agreement of "fairly". Airbus and AF and the pitot system manufacturer have strong reasons to defend their positions (called lawsuits $$$$$$$$$$)...pilots/union seem to be most concerned with their reps and blaming every other possible/impossible factor despite decades of aviation history

http://www.planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm
allench1
allench1 0
John and Victor, well put gentlemen. Steve it seems that your comments in general has move us away from why we are all here. WE ARE ALL TRUE AVIATORS THAT HAVE A ADDICTION FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF AVIATION AND IT'S SAFETY. PLEASE TRY TO ADD MEANINGFUL COMMENTS THAT HAVE MERIT IN THE FUTURE, REMEMBER YOU HAD THE SAME COMMENTARY FROM PILOTS ON THE LAST THREAD AND HAVE SHOWN NO EMPATHY FOR THE PILOT'S TO DATE.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Allen. Had a close friend....crashed an Intruder. Ever been to Arlington? I put him in the ground there. Gave folded flags to his parents and pregnant widow. My son is named after him. Perhaps because Military pilots don't have a union, and out mistakes are more often widowmakers, we are more interested in getting to the root causes than the politics.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Best I can tell here that a big part of us have buckets of time typed in various Boeing heavies and the Air bus cockpit would probably seem like a strange animal to most of us, but I just don't think I agree with that comment that flying is 10% manuevers and 90% judgement. Granted it is a good part judgement but that judgement must then equate to the manuevering and that goes back to knowing how to fly the plane.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Wayne...good point. Question-how much time of a flight is spent actually hands on flying?
preacher1
preacher1 0
Steve, that is a loaded question and will basically depend not only on the length of the flight but also the area you are leaving or going into, whether a Hub like KJFK/KLAX/KDFW/KATL to name a few. There are a lot of standardized routings in there for any of these but on some of them you are hands on 300 miles out. A good for example is KFSM / KTUL / KXNA or KOKC down to KDFW. If you want to take a look, you are barely at altitude out of any of them before you are on a mandated approach path to KDFW. You get on something like KLAX to KORD or KJFK, you clear the pattern, flip the switch and you can take a nap until you hit the other end. It just all depends on what you are doing and each flight is a little different. One advantage I had as a corporate jockey, as far as the heavies went, was having the same plane all the time. It was just like a car, you could feel it if something was out of kilter. Like the Airlines, the hours were lousy, but the money was good.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Wayne, of course. I would suggest on most "heavies" they are long-haul, 90% of the flight on cruise.
allench1
allench1 0
I would suggest that the 90% time on cruise is where 1% of the action occurs, so the balance of the remaining flight is where 99% of the action is at, therefore the pilot is either flying or closely monitoring the flight about 70% of that time envelope and is where 95% of incidents occur. I have had flights across the pond that had to be hand flown almost the entire trip, others were dull and boring. The single most critical event is always the first one, if you recognize where that first event is going you can save the airplane 100% of the time, if you do not you usually have one more change to stop the event escalating and as it is well known the third in a sequence is the one that goes bad. We are up their to stop the sequence after the first event.Based on this event I believe it became as in the movie "fate is the hunter". The perfect storm as it were.(1.) The major build up was behind a smaller system and could not be detected.(2.) The failure of the three pitot tubes.(3) The failure of the programed flight system.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well, again not to argue and that may be so with the Airlines, but within the corporate world, one of the first things a company looks at in a town, whether to locate a plant or see a customer, is how big is the Airport, and in particular, on most of those midwestern Airports I mentioned above and the short hops to KDFW, were all done in both a 707 and later a 757. Like I said, you ain't even got time to put the AP on cause about the time you get FL you start hollerin' at approach. Hang around here son and you may learn a thing or two.The world ain't black and white.lol. I will agree with you on one point though that as the hub concept evolves, the regionals are taking over the shorter hauls.
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Hi Wayne and Allan, it seems that all these non relevant inputs to this discussion divert an great detail what we have experienced in years in 707´´s and similar equipment: You had proper analog instruments, you had alternate air in case of "frozen pitos" and you had been a again proper trained pilot in a/c´s as well later additional simulators. The total reason we comment in this rumor is: do not believe in the computerjunk but demand a/c´s which have proven to be maneuverable like it had been 20 years ago without all these "Advanced technology"
preacher1
preacher1 0
Wolf read back up to my 0753 comment this morning and those are my feelings between Boeing and Airbus
bishops90
Brian Bishop 0
To Geoffrey Luck and his post about halfway down the page referencing the book "NASA's Contributions to Aeronautics". Thanks for mentioning this resource. What a wealth of information - and FREE (my favorite price!). This is a must-download piece of info - over 2000 pages. Thanks again.
allench1
allench1 0
Again well put Wolf
captoats
captoats 0
From the FDR data that has been released, we know a couple of things: The engines were responding and the airplane was responsive to pitch and roll commands. The question is did they have valid pitch information? IF they did, it appears to have been ignored or overlooked in the task saturated enviornment they were in. Why and how is going to be the debate.
allench1
allench1 0
my above comment at 2:13PM is info on 6-9 hr legs. I give this with the understanding that most flights are from :45 to 1:45 and require a much heavier work load but also less boring if you like flying instead of monitoring of flight parameters and maintaining situation awareness.
allench1
allench1 0
John that brings up a good point for debate. Remember the software was designed to keep the airplane from losing control not to keep it from stalling therefore it could have kept the inputs from the pilots from a hard stall break which would have made them aware of their situation early enough for a recovery. The system might have just flown the plane itself while in a free fall stall and not allowed inputs that were dramatic enough to save the plane, radical but maybe?
allench1
allench1 0
To add to above would the inputs by the pilots have been recorded if the flight system would not allow the inputs themselves to be used so as not take the plane out of it's given parameters that would have been needed to save the plane.....????
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Allen, I was wondering the same thing. What determines if an input is recorded? And how is it communicated?
allench1
allench1 0
I have been trying to figure out why they released the cockpit tape only until the capt. entered the cabin and not the last 1 and 3/4 min. Could it relate to the above which could make Airbus,AF and the software designer all liable???? Hummmm!
preacher1
preacher1 0
I believe you may have hit on something there Gentlemen, but I guess that's an answer we'll have to wait for the story to end to find out, unless in all these folks on here there is a qualified Airbus Pilot to answer, then he may not know as that just may be reserved for the hierarchy and us peon pilots don't have a need to know.
captoats
captoats 0
Allen and Victor, the inputs to the ELAC's were recorded on the FDR and, if you read the BEA report, the pitch commands were followed by the servos at the top of the climb around FL375 and once again before they hit the water. You have to remember that once the speeds became invalad, the AP and autothrust disconnected and the flight controls degraded to alternate law. No stall protection in alternate law but I believe they had bank angle protection to some limit, I think 60 degrees, at least we do on the 320. They would still have pitch control and the data reflects that. Hope that helps
allench1
allench1 0
Thanks John I knew it was radical I just can not for the life of me figure how the two pilots could have gotten to level 100 before realizing their altitude and finally lowering the nose, can you help?
preacher1
preacher1 0
John: I'm curious. I aassue you came out of a Boeing product at some point and into the Airbus or maybe still doing both. How long was the transition time and is it as complicated as it's made out to be. My last was a 757 and staying current on some regionals but everybody is just telling me it's as different as daylight and dark.???????????????????????
captoats
captoats 0
Correction to my earlier post. Just pulled out the 330 flight manual. The 330 has 3 PRIM's (computers) that process normal, alternate, and direct flight control laws, and 2 SEC's (computers) that process rudder trim, rudder limiting, flight in direct law, and backup yaw dampining and turn coordination. There are no SEC's (spoiler elevator computers) on the 330.

There are 2 levels of alternate law on the 330. ALT 1 and ALT 2. We dont know which one these guys were in but in ALT 1 you do have bank angle limited to 67 degrees. Yaw control is identical to normal law also. ALT 2, there is no bank angle protection or yaw damping or turn cordination.

With a double ADR fault, they should have been in ALT 1. With a triple ADR fault or ADR disagree, the jet would have degraded to ALT 2.
captoats
captoats 0
Wayne, the 320 is a great airplane. Transition to the side stick for me (with no military time) took about an hour to get used to it. Odd thing for me was the lack of throttle movement with autothrust, but once you get used to the scan of the ECAM, watching the engines do their thing, with trend arcs and movement, is not a problem. Cockpit was designed by Porsch Design and probably the best in the industry. I've been in the 787 cockpit and it comes close, but those darn yokes are a waste of space and weight, IMHO, in a fly by wire jet. Only real challenge with this jet is a gusty crosswind landing, due to the microsecond lag in response between what you do with the stick and what the airplane actually does.
preacher1
preacher1 0
I haven't seen a 787 cockpit but my guess is the yokes are there as a familiarity transition from another Boeing product. I can see where the throttle movement thing might cause a little consternation. As far as the crosswind landing,any fly by wire may have that same problem, regardless of what you have in the cockpit. It will still be a computer response. Not all hydraulic actuations were as instantaneous at times as they should have been and it made places like Kaitek very interesting at times.lol
allench1
allench1 0
Hong Kong Kai Tak brings back memories( both airports) and some of the most difficult landings I have had the pleasure to survive.lol
captoats
captoats 0
Landing survival, something we all strive for! LOL
allench1
allench1 0
As long as you don't have to run to escape your landing huh John.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well boys, ya'll know the old saying, that a good landing is one that everybody walks(or runs) away from. lol
preacher1
preacher1 0
You know, to watch a video of the old Kai Tak and watch the heavies at times sit down on one gear at what looks a 45degree angle to the runway and let the wind bring it on around, that's where that gut and manuevering comes into play. You had better damn sure know how to fly a plane.LOl
And now you have to say, what in de hell were we thinking, but we wuz bulletproof then:)
allench1
allench1 0
yes we wuz Wayne. OMG do you think you know who could do that after all it requires more than training can give you.....he might dare I say abort and tell the tower he has not had proper training for that type landing....
johnlear
John Lear 0
Are any of you guys old enough do have done a Stonecutters NDB before they put the ILS in? I am. :)
allench1
allench1 0
so am I John. I have to wonder if Steve could figure out how to adjust for crosswind using the diff. between your magnetic compass and your directional gyro. remember those terms and correction charts.
johnlear
John Lear 0
Well shoot Allen..then you knew where Bluie West 1 was. :)
allench1
allench1 0
Are we really this old John, made it all this way. wow The days when a VOR approach was king, speed,time altitude do it right and low and behold the runway, then ILS with of all things a glide slope heck we had died and gone to heaven with that. Now Cat 3, HUD, synthetic vision. it's all still stick and rudder ( or side stick ) now. We have been blessed to have seen and experienced tremendous growth & let's not forget Wayne,Captoats Wolf and victor not that they are as old as us, heck i've still got a radio made by Fred Flintstone.LOL. well time for mu wife to tuck me in at beautiful Destin,Fl.
allench1
allench1 0
Back to Bluie west one in Greenland, as I remember it was an east/ west runway with a dogleg approach and you did NOT want to miss that turn with those mountains very close to the North. can not remember the name of that village Narscasug or something like that as I recall
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Why yes Allen. Dozens of trips across the Atlantic, Pacific, and over the pole (Grid Nav) with mag compass and a Corporal taking sextant shots. And BTW, I have flown the HK curve for some R&R in 1987.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Dang, I thougt I was feeling old the other day when I was talking about GCA and the glide slope to a younger pilot and he had to ask what in de hell I was talking about
allench1
allench1 0
Are ya sure you did know what you were taking about there do you Wayne. LOL
ya young pup ya!
allench1
allench1 0
Steve ya sounds like your Ok if you'd just stay off the pilots until we know more laddie. Hang in trooper!!!!
preacher1
preacher1 0
I am kinda glad to be out of the mainstream to tell you the truth. To even see what is happening now when I do pull a regional flight now and then, it is like a lot of other things, they are taking all the fun out of it. As we would sit and talk about old times as we have been here, probably the younger crew as those were on 447, possibly even the Captain would sit and listen as younsters around a campfire because those days are gone and they will never experience them. By the same toke, there will come a day when things progress so much that we will not be able to understand their conversations. John Oc and a few like him are still out there and having to make some of these transitions but for the most part, we are a dying breed
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne I am afraid you are right. Our heritage comes from aviators that are long gone and we will be as well before long. Remember pilots never leave we just fly at a much higher altitude. BUT, we do have the memories. Those regionals take a long take-off run when they are loaded do they not?
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne I remember whenever I got a new flight attendant we would always have her up to the cockpit during gate push out and look back and yell "move I can't see where I am going" they would jump out of the way every time and we could tell by her reaction if we would keep her on beard for future flights.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Yeah they do; thank God everything out this way has 8 grand plus. Some, as with ASA/Delta, are kinda getting to the point where I hesitate to call them regionals anymore. They are dumping all their 50pax and going to 90pax in the same model. Eagle probably ain't far behind. One reason being, and I didn't know this until a month or 2 ago, their contract with the majors pays them full seated on every flight, so talk about a money makin little deal. ASA is the beneficiary of the the demise or scaledown at ComAir. They were Delta's darling here in the US and ASA had the far South, caribbean and all that. Well, a couple-3 years ago, when DAL had all the Pilot layoffs, they tried to place them with the regionals where they could. ComAir thumbed their nose at them, so as business came back, ASA started rising and ComAir started declining.
In answer to your original question, other than normal upgrades, there has been no real powerplant change to compensate for the increased PAX/AC size. That being said, they were sort of overpowered to commence with, so what is there, and there is a variety, is more than adequate but it is still nice to have plenty of concrete out there in front of you. BTW, you said earlier that you flew with Eastern; did you get in on any of the REVERSE THRUST gate backing out?????????????
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne for some unknown reason I can't remember.......maybe...... On another memory anyone that piloted the 727 and caught on how to land it absolutely loved it as I did. The single most predictable airplane I had the privilege to fly.
20U60N4
STEVE EMERY 0
Try shooting an NDB at night..in Indonesia btw the peaks
allench1
allench1 0
I will leave that to those who have to do it Steve, I am too old and tired, I am sure it was a challenge but all of us got goose bumps making that 90 degree turn at Bluie west one, that was enough for me.
preacher1
preacher1 0
I was just curious on the gate/thrust thing. I had seen some of the Eastern guys have to do it at Hartsfield before but in thinking about it, it was mostly on the 9's. I had heard that about the 727 but never had the privelege to fly one. Company I used to work for just traded old for new but stayed with the 757. It just came out of the mod center at KLIT. As I still fill for them every now and then too, I guess I'll have to drive up to KFSM and get a current check ride one of these days, just to stay legal.LOL
allench1
allench1 0
It was done on 9's not others to my knowledge.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Those are all I ever seen it done on, and that was in their later days as a cost cutting thing I think. It was a hell of a deal to watch, especially if somebody got a little heavy handed on the throttles. They was a bunch of them missed the centerline and came close to the other side if the bird made a quick jump or the ground man was slow with the wands.LOL
allench1
allench1 0
On more than one occasion the ground crew had to bail as the thrusters were stowed and the throttles not all the way retarded and lurched forward. When one was almost run over the practice was stopped as I recall.
preacher1
preacher1 0
chiphermes
Chip Hermes 0
This reminds me of the recent A380 incident in Singapore where the pilots where overwhelmed with the Airbus's complexity.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well Chip, as I have said before in this comment string and others, if there had not been 5 senior captains that just happened to be on that Flight, 3 or 4 that did nothing but answer alarms and run emergency checklists, while the rest flew the plane, the results of that flight would have been very different and that was stated by the crew themselves. The only difference would have been that there wouldn't have been such a mystery to what happened or the cause of the crash, but more than likely a bunch of folks would have been very dead.
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne,Wolf,John Lear,John Oats,Robert looks like we have run this thread out hope to see you on another one or if this one starts back up with additional info. I have enjoyed your comments and meeting all of you
preacher1
preacher1 0
10-4, I'm on Facebook, holler sometime. Wayne
allench1
allench1 0
I'll do that
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Thanks Allan, nice to see sensible thoughts and comments. See you !
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Allan, I forgot, lets wait if my predictions concerning CAA France and Airbus Industries will be correct in the end result of their "findings" !!!
allench1
allench1 0
Ya Wolf. to all I am reachable at allenchurchwell@gmail.com
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Ok Allen, you could get me on n444wa@hotmail.com
bubblecom
Robert Fleury 0
Yes Allen, your'e right. I was getting to the same conclusion. Let's wait and see the final report in about 2 years. Emotions have to come down and, as it is always said, there is never a single cause to an accident. It may be true but it also helps the insurances companies to carry the burden of claims when the responsabilities are spreaded over many. Bye bye guys.
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Well put Robert, but insurers nowadays do not go for details; like AF will have a ins.policy covering all fleet and if something happens it will be treated like a ramp car crash, the insurers will pay because of the total premium they make with a company like AF ! The only problem for them might be the questioning of relatives of victims which might go for higher compensation because of negligence of somebody. This is usually the legal procedure. We all will suffer from some ridiculous Airbus system in the way of future premiums going up by a certain percentage because of this accident. Remember the brand new 747 of AF which went down the runway in Hong Kong, ending up in the water at the end!!! No big shouting about this, blaming it on the cross wind, slippy rwy or whatever. The only result was that the premiums go up worldwide. Thank you AF !!!!
cirrusair
Wolf Wohlmuth 0
Hi Allen, you are getting very quiet; I would have liked your comment to my last input! See you !
allench1
allench1 0
OK, nice to have someone like my input God knows my wife never has.LOL
I agree 100% Insurance companies make all the rules for ever item they insure. I also agree that Airbus has leaped too far ahead and to fast in software design and implementation in the cockpit. We are becoming observers and switch flippers. I have a friend that flies the Boeing 777 and loves it, came off the Airbus 310-300 also FED EX pilots put the stop on the purchase of the 330's, and he told me today they cancelled all their A380 orders.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Just for what it's worth on the FedEx, I don't know about the Pilot's effecting the Airbus 330 cancellations, but the primary reason they killed the 380's is that the smaller Boeings, ala the 767's, 777's and the like would handle their required tonnage and the extra space, aaircraft weight, fuel consumption and all that, was not needed. At least that was the official line. Makes sense though, because they never even got into consideration of the 747 or anything that size.
allench1
allench1 0
Wayne I just repeated what I was given, but I checked by goggling fed ex A380 and found on a site where they got fed up with the delay,s.
allench1
allench1 0
Fedex, frustrated with delays in the Airbus A380 program, cancelled its order for ten of the aircraft in the freighter configuration early this morning. Citing “significant delays for delivery of A380s” and a need to meet the growing global package demand, the freight carrier elected to purchase the Boeing 777F instead of the much larger Airbus A380 aircraft. In response to the largest blow dealt to the Airbus A380 program, an Airbus spokesman said that “Airbus regrets FedEx’s decision but understand[s] their need to urgently address capacity issues.”
preacher1
preacher1 0
The word on the street out here was that they were actually glad of the delays because it gave them a good excuse to cancel. When they got to looking at the extra cost that would have to be figured in to reconfigure Memphis and Greensboro and all their major metro terminals to handle the larger aircraft, it dawned on somebody that they had really $%^&*^ up and besides the demand thing, that was true, the 777 fit right into the schedule.LOL
allench1
allench1 0
Knew you would have the scoop since it is in your back yard OLD boy.lol I'll bet they are more than happy with their decision after AF447's new findings and the blown engine on the 380.
preacher1
preacher1 0
I haven't heard anymore, but I'll bet you are right, especially on the 330's after all the flap and wonderment on 447. They seem to be keeping that awfully quiet about the 330's. I don't know if orders were even firm on those or not. Have a good weekend. I'm outa here
bishops90
Brian Bishop 0
Absolutely incedible. Nobody ever thought to push the nose over? Stall recovery 101 whether its a 152 or superjumbo. Fly the airplane. 16 degrees nose up with a desent rate of 11,000 ft /min. Such an unneccessary tragedy

"The inputs made by the PF were mainly nose-up
The descent lasted 3 min 30, during which the airplane remained stalled. The angle of attack increased and remained above 35 degrees"

"The last recorded values were a pitch attitude of 16.2 degrees nose-up, a roll angle of 5.3 degrees left, and a vertical speed of -10,912 ft/min."
clipper1
Gene Ray 0
This has been a real pleasure to read the "lingo" and think back. I flew into the old Kaitak in both 707's and 747's. At that time you had to have 6 total approaches under the "care" of a check pilot! The idea of "trust" between a pilot and his airceaft only came after much trial and error but when it came, it was wonderful! The 707 was the aircraft I felt I could put into anywhere under almost any conditions. I started with Pan Am as a pilot engineer on the 707. flew it for 12 years total and started on the 747 as a pilot engineer. Because I flew 2 contracts with "foreign" airlines (Korean, and China Air) I have a total of 19 years on the 747 but little to no time on the Bus or non-boeing aircraft. It has been good reading your thoughts even tho the discussion was about a tragedy. I have personally never been put into the terrible conditions of the pilots on 447 but I know enough about "distraction" and "confusion" that I can only feel the helplessness those guys muct have felt on the way down. I only wish the arrogant engineers who "know it all" had to ride through that (even in a sym.) to show them they really DON'T know it all!

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