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Jerry B.
7th Oct 2008, 07:33
BREAKING NEWS: UP to 50 people are reported injured after a Qantas Airbus on an international flight made a forced landing near Exmouth today.
The flight - QF72 from Singapore - made the landing at Learmonth Airport just before 2pm after what has been described as a ``mid-air incident''.
Police said about 50 of the 300 passengers on board the Airbus A380 had been injured.
Pilbara police are making their way to the airport to launch an investigation, but it is not known at this stage exactly what happened or the circumstanced leading up to the incident.
Police Media's Inspector Wayne Silver told Perthnow that the flight had landed safely, but preliminary information suggested there had been some sort of ``instrument failure'' and turbulance.
Insp Silver said there were reports of passengers sustaining severe lacerations and broken bones



FrequentSLF
7th Oct 2008, 07:41
Flightstatus.com indicates Airbus 330-300 not A380.
QF has not A380 in operation yet

tartan_penguin
7th Oct 2008, 07:43
Forty passengers injured in mid-air incident - News - Travel - smh.com.au (http://www.smh.com.au/news/news/forty-injured-in-airbus-incident/2008/10/07/1223145345200.html)

dany4kin
7th Oct 2008, 07:52
Further to the previous post UK BBC Radio 4 reported a 'mid air incident' involving Qantas A320 at about 0640Z.

R T Jones
7th Oct 2008, 08:09
"Police spokesman Greg Lambert said the Airbus A320, with more than 300 people on board, landed at Learmonth Airport in Exmouth after making a mayday call. "

From our friends at the BBC. :) , could not resist posting that.

TTango
7th Oct 2008, 08:11
The good old BBC is reporting that:

"Police spokesman Greg Lambert said the Airbus A320, with more than 300 people on board, landed at Learmonth Airport in Exmouth after making a mayday call."

Australia air 'incident' hurts 40 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7656171.stm)

More than 300 people in an A320? :sad:

Hope the injuries are not serious.

NIGELINOZ
7th Oct 2008, 08:12
From the ABC.
Posted 46 minutes ago
Updated 6 minutes ago

More than 40 people have been injured in an emergency landing at an airport in Western Australia's north.
It is understood mid-air turbulance forced the pilot of Qantas Flight 72 to land at Learmonth Airport near Exmouth this afternoon.
The pilot of the A-330-300 issued a mayday call after the mid-air incident.
The flight was from Singapore to Perth.
Police say 10 people with severe injuries, including lacerations and broken bones, have been taken to Exmouth Hospital.
Thrity people with minor injuries have also been taken to hospital.
Police say Qantas is sending two planes to bring the rest of the passengers to Perth.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service is also sending two aircraft to Exmouth.
Sergeant Greg Lambert says emergency services are still working at Exmouth airport.
"Emergency services at the airport, as well as medical staff, are on the ground treating to the people at the moment," he said.


Sounds serious,but plane landed safely and nobody died.:ok:

Capt Kremin
7th Oct 2008, 08:13
Its a Qantas A330 and it diverted after hitting CAT en-route from SIN-PER.

mavrik1
7th Oct 2008, 08:23
Met site shows high level jet stream through the area of Learmonth to across Australia! Severe turbulance could be on the money! WX radar might not of picked it up and seat belt sign off!

dany4kin
7th Oct 2008, 08:28
Wonder how fewer casualties there would be if people obeyed the simple request to keep belts on... thoughts go mainly to the lovely cabin crew who really don't have a choice in the matter with CAT.

Newforest2
7th Oct 2008, 08:28
And 44 people could have saved themselves injury with their seatbelts LOOSELY fastened, why don't they listen?

bunkrest
7th Oct 2008, 08:29
Qantas Press Release

Qantas Aircraft Diverts to Learmonth in Western Australia

Sydney, 08th October 2008

Qantas said today that a number of passengers and crew sustained injuries, including fractures and lacerations, on board QF72 this afternoon en route from Singapore to Perth following a sudden change in altitude.

The flight operated by an A330-300 aircraft with 303 passengers and 10 crew, diverted to Learmonth in Western Australia and landed at approximately 1.45pm local time.

The flight had been due to land at Perth at 2.10pm.

Emergency services, including medical attendants, met the aircraft on landing.

Qantas said there were no details at this stage as to what caused the altitude change.

Further information will be issued as soon as it is available.

ATC Watcher
7th Oct 2008, 08:36
And 44 people could have saved themselves injury with their seatbelts LOOSELY fastened, why don't they listen?

How do you know this ? They migh all have had their belts on and the injuries coming from falling luggage, overheadbins doors falling, galley trolleys , etc..
If you read previous injuries reports from severe CAT you can see that seats belts alone is not a guarantee to escape injury. But the advice is correct: keep them on at all times if you can.

ZEEBEE
7th Oct 2008, 08:45
Quote:And 44 people could have saved themselves injury with their seatbelts LOOSELY fastened, why don't they listen?

How do you know this ? They migh all have had their belts on and the injuries coming from falling luggage, overheadbins doors falling, galley trolleys , etc..

Well possibly because over 30% of pax undo their belts the second that the light's turned off. God ONLY knows why (she's not saying). :ugh:

The other possibilities you've mentioned are less likely to damage people if they stay put with their belts on.

Unfortunately, the CC don't have that luxury and are the true victims in these things. :uhoh:

Bograt
7th Oct 2008, 08:51
Last time I flew on QF the Cabin Crew were directed to "be seated" every time the seat belt sign was turned on. Is it QF SOP for everyone in the cabin to strap-in when the sign is on, or just that Captains preference?

If it is SOP to do that, then injuries to the CC would imply that the sign might not have been turned on in this incident.

The self-loading-cargo should still have had them "loosely fastened" though...

White Knight
7th Oct 2008, 08:56
Good to see 'Pilbara police' are starting the investigation...

'Yeah mate, seems she hit a cat..':E

Little_Red_Hat
7th Oct 2008, 08:59
SB sign on= pax & cc seated, no exceptions.

NIGELINOZ
7th Oct 2008, 09:01
This is part of a nine.msn report.-http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=642949

[quote]
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the aircraft had experienced a "sudden in-flight upset" while cruising in "level flight".
It said most of the injured were travelling in the rear of the aircraft.
"The crew declared a mayday and diverted the aircraft to Learmonth, near Exmouth in WA, where it landed without further incident," the ATSB said in a statement.
The ATSB had initiated a safety investigation and was making arrangements for investigators to travel to Learmonth as soon as possible, it said.
ATSB spokesman Ian Sangston said as many as 30 people were injured and up to 15 people had broken bones as a result of the incident.
"At that stage the pilot declared an emergency and diverted to Learmonth," Mr Sangston said.
Two ATSB investigators were preparing to arrive at Learmonth, near Exmouth about 9pm WST (midnight AEDT) on a chartered aircraft.
Five other investigators will also travel to the airport to investigate the incident."

Silver Tongued Cavalier
7th Oct 2008, 09:33
Check out this awful BBC photo of a 737 Qantas tail tilted down to indicate "Plunge"

Couldn't photoshop it better myself.

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Australian jet plunge injures 40 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7656171.stm)

bsieker
7th Oct 2008, 09:38
As long as the "please keep your seatbelts closed during flight" is just a friendly recommendation, some people will invariably unfasten theirs as soon as the sign goes off (some even earlier).

The problem with CAT of course is, that there is usually no warning. The phenomenon is known, and that is the very reason that it is recommended to keep buckled up, unless you have business wandering around the cabin, as part of your job (Cabin Crew), or for personal hygiene.

The weather radar cannot pick up CAT, since EM radiation only reflects off water droplets, and not clear air. So probably the seat-belt sign was off, people were wandering around or just feeling more comfortable without the belt, galley trolleys may have been in the aisles; lots of potential for injuries.

SB sign on= pax & cc seated, no exceptions.

Generally true, of course. The exception being that, prior to takeoff and landing, and if there is advance warning of turbulence, the sign goes on, and CC check that every passenger is buckled in, before strapping themselves down.

AnotherRedWineThanks
7th Oct 2008, 10:11
I am SLF in cattle-class. I obey the seatbelt sign. When seated, I buckle up. But when I have to use a lavatory I unbuckle. And on a long haul flight there are times when I have NO CHOICE but to queue up and wait in line (OK, I could p1ss in my seat, but what would CC say to that?). 44 out of 300? Say 15 queuing for the loos, plus one more for each loo, plus the mother walking to settle her baby, plus the lotharios permanently parked in the galleys trying to chat up the CC (M or F) or just wanting a drink refill, plus the CC themselves, plus the few getting their passport out of the overhead to write on yet another form, plus ...

Yeah, 44 or 50, easy, if the sign was off, and not one of them doing a 'stupid' thing.

Bruce Wayne
7th Oct 2008, 10:45
Good to see 'Pilbara police' are starting the investigation...

'Yeah mate, seems she hit a cat..'http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/evil.gif


Why on earth is a police investigation underway.. is there any evidence of criminal activity as the cause ?

Coleman Myers
7th Oct 2008, 10:49
The few time I have flown with QF they have been excellent with regard to cabin safety, especially the seat belt rules. A girl I know was severly injured on a BA flight in CAT some years ago.Hope the pax recover soon.

Old Fella
7th Oct 2008, 10:54
Bruce Wayne, the police are not conducting an investigation, just answering questions obviously asked by the media. Learmonth is not exactly Heathrow and the local police and emergency services would have attended to give what ever assistance possible.

crispey
7th Oct 2008, 11:00
Current charts-0600Z today- are showing a westerly jet(300hPa) of around 110knots right across Australia,roughly Perth to Sydney.

swordfish41
7th Oct 2008, 11:02
Thanks for this Another red Wine. Most intelligent comment in this debate so far. Its around 10% of passengers injured in some way, and as they are all at the rear of the plane sounds like the standard lengthy qeue for the washrooms. What else does anyone expect?

Just a Grunt
7th Oct 2008, 11:06
Check out this awful BBC photo of a 737 Qantas tail tilted down to indicate "Plunge"



Yikes! I reckon the 45 deg nose-down attitude on the Brighton Beach Novotel in the background is rather more alarming. :rolleyes:

tail wheel
7th Oct 2008, 11:06
"Learmonth is not exactly Heathrow"

No, and it's not Oodnadatta or Windorah either. It is the airport selected by the Captain in his sole professional decision, at which he landed his aircraft with no loss of life or airframe.

Little_Red_Hat
7th Oct 2008, 11:13
As my post was deleted, for the person who asked, yes, it is QF SOP for pax AND crew to be seated whenever the SB sign is on. To the mods, this is NOT me speculating, I know this as fact as I used to operate on the Bus for QF...

So plainly if people were up and about it was unexpected.

cloudbasezero
7th Oct 2008, 11:15
Who's to say that the turbulance might have already been underway with everyone and everything supposedly "lashed down", seatbelt signs on, and suddenly intensified to an almost unmanagable level ?

Worrals in the wilds
7th Oct 2008, 11:18
Why on earth is a police investigation underway..


It is standard procedure in Oz for the State Police (or the Feds in major ports once they've arm-wrestled control from the Staties) to assume command in any aircraft emergency, so as a Mayday was declared this would be following the protocol.

I'm not sure of the demarcation for any following investigation, but presumably the ATSB (Aviation Transport Safety Board) will take it on at some stage.

Flightsimman
7th Oct 2008, 11:27
A380, A320 and It only took them about three guesses to get it right (just as well the "media" don't fly these aircraft!)

Seriously though...Best wishes to all involved, BUT this is why I always wear my seat belt in-flight.

No doubt those great people in the Ops Department (including the crew) at National Jet Systems did another great job on the recovery plan to get the 717 up there!

outoftheblue
7th Oct 2008, 11:29
Flight was due in Perth at 2:30 but diverted and landed at 1:45 so good chance the SLF were starting to queue for the rear toilets for a "refresh" before landing hence reports that most casualties were at the back

aviate1138
7th Oct 2008, 11:36
Having done countless trips [over 25 years] across the USA, over the Rockies I never once had to attend hospital but many of my fellow passengers did because they refused/forgot to buckle up when in the cruise. If strapped in [loosely maybe] the chances of injury are fairly small and once the initial jerk attracts one's attention the buckle is tightened pretty quickly! Seeing a meal trolley fly up to the ceiling [with FA in attendance!] and then seeing the return journey knocking out a passenger [those trolleys are heavy!] and the FA break her pelvis, I have always strapped in when sitting. If it's good enough for the pilots, it's good enough for me!

Bograt
7th Oct 2008, 11:43
Thanks for the info re Signs ON-CC buckle-up SOP, Little Red Hat. I think my outfit should do that too.

Slats One
7th Oct 2008, 11:47
One wonders if Learmount will comment on the landing at Learmonth...

ampclamp
7th Oct 2008, 11:50
too much common sense there my friend.You'll need to beat it up a bit more. ;)
qantas are pretty good in the seatbelt dept, stricter than some asian carriers I've used on those legs. Folks in or waiting for the crapper, just stretching the legs or whatever could easily account for those numbers after a meal service and as said before being seated with a belt on does not preclude being hurt by flying bags trolleys catering or other pax.Even just being jolted around in a bad position while seated can hurt.

Gotta luv the media, its a 380 (not in service), a 320 (apparently with 200 or so travelling whilst standing) to finally a 330.
Never minds the facts just get the story out.

Hope all involved will be ok.Its a nasty shock being belted around like that even for crusty ol' veterans.(apparently:rolleyes:)

Worrals in the wilds
7th Oct 2008, 11:55
Any word on how the Exmouth hospital coped?
When I was there (within the last year) it was large, but pitifully understaffed.
My sister was turned away (with a painful, but non life threatening injury) because they were 'completely snowed under' i.e. one motorcycle crash victim, one premature labour and a diver who'd lost an argument with a moray eel :confused:

The local opinion was that one's last conscious words should be 'Fly me to Perth, now...'

Finn47
7th Oct 2008, 12:22
This article says, among other things, that bone fractures cannot be treated at Exmouth, so those passengers will probably have to be flown to Perth by the Flying Doctor service:

Passengers injured in mid-air incident over Exmouth : thewest.com.au (http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=77&ContentID=101572)

Lookleft
7th Oct 2008, 12:22
The police will have absolutely no role to play in this investigation, State or Federal. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will be running this investigation from the beginning, as per Annex 13.

ferris
7th Oct 2008, 12:29
Police statement that it was a control failure
"Mr O'Callaghan said he understood the incident was caused by "some sort of systems failure".
from here
Dozens injured in Qantas mid-air incident - News - Travel - theage.com.au (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/10/07/1223145345200.html)

ampclamp
7th Oct 2008, 12:40
mmmm, who knows but sounds like CAT to me.
not sure how mr o'callahan would know that already.
maybe a crew member or pax said something like we had clear air turbulence and our systems didnt pick it up.Could be construed as a failure when it actually isnt.Just a thought.
its all just talk for now.I look fwd to hearing some facts from investigators or better still the bush telegraph when on duty next.:hmm:

man on the ground
7th Oct 2008, 12:46
The police will have absolutely no role to play in this investigation, State or Federal. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will be running this investigation from the beginning, as per Annex 13.

Let's not read too much into this aspect. The police DO have a role to play. When a Aerodrome Emergency Plan is activated, especially at a non-controlled aerodrome, the police take the coordinating role for the full 'ground response'. They will always 'report/investigate/wrap up any such "event" where they have a major role.

ATSB, who would have been notified by ATC long before the acft landed, will of course conduct the 'aviation investigation' of the actual occurrence itself.

andrasz
7th Oct 2008, 12:57
It seems significant that now all news sources, however inaccurate they may be, consistently report 'a sudden change in altitude' and not turbulence. It seems that the event could be a pilot or systems induced upset similar to the China Airlines MD11 some years ago, rather than CAT.

Finn47
7th Oct 2008, 13:16
"Plunging 8000 feet in ten seconds", passenger says. Is that credible?

Forced Qantas Airbus plane landing in Exmouth injures 30 passengers (http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/qantas-forced-landing-in-exmouth-injures-30-passengers-20081007-4vpd.html)

MAN2YKF
7th Oct 2008, 13:21
Those carts are leathal.
My wife suffered injuries during an airpocket incident last year on an A310.
Her and the cart were eye level pinned to the celicing at the rear, could of been worse, she had a lucky landing well falling back to the floor.

As for seat belts, the only time i take mine off is for the toilet, but you hear so many unclick as soon as fasten seatbelt sign is turned off.

2ndGen
7th Oct 2008, 13:34
This is my relatively uneducated PPL level question so don't shoot me down but it seems to me to be more of a pan pan situation? Whats the dfferent criteria? I thought you pretty much had to be out of options before you declare a mayday?
Still as always its QF pilots doing very well in a tough situation.

sevenstrokeroll
7th Oct 2008, 13:38
Well, good job for getting down in one piece.


I've heard that in mountain wave over the USA, a friend had an A320 (that's airbus three twenty) that the plane encountered some sort of overspeed and, instead of jeoparidizing the structure, the plane CLIMBED to reduce speed. Hmmm?

Does anyone know if the plane went UP or DOWN during the control malfunction?

I encourage pilots to monitor the OAT or Static air temp as it can be a harbinger of CAT. If the temp goes up, you go up to avoid cat. Temp goes down you go down.

TO ALL PASSENGERS, stay in your seats with the seatbelt fastened as much as humanly possible...of course using the lavatory or trying to avoid deep vein thrombosis is vital...but have a plan...IF I HIT BUMPS NOW< WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

megle2
7th Oct 2008, 13:42
RFDS WA website presently showing three aircraft enroute to Perth

RFDS Western Operations: Flight Tracking (http://www.rfdswa.com.au/go/aviation/flight-tracking/)

Porrohman
7th Oct 2008, 13:44
Finn47 asked;
"Plunging 8000 feet in ten seconds", passenger says. Is that credible?
When an airliner is cruising normally at say 37,000ft there is, in normal weather conditions, a sensible and safe margin between the aircraft's stall speed and it's critical mach number. It is theoretically possible that a sudden encounter with a jet stream when cruising at high altitude could cause a sudden and significant change in indicated airspeed resulting in either a stall or mach tuck. The higher an aircraft flies, the closer the stall speed gets to the critical mach number and the less safety margin an aircraft has between these limits. An extreme example of this was the U2 which would fly within 5kts of stall speed and 5 kts of the critical mach number when cruising at 70,000ft. It's said that if a U2 performed a tight turn at that altitude it could cause one wing to stall and the other to exceed the critical mach number.

Stalling or mach tuck at cruise altitude caused by a sudden and significant change in wind strength / direction could result in a departure from controlled flight and could cause a significant loss of altitude. I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily what happened to the Qantas A333, just pointing out some basic aerodynamic principles.

Does anyone know what altitude the A333 was cruising at and what the margin between stall speed and critical mach number would be at that altitude?

More info here; Coffin corner (aviation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffin_corner_%28aviation%29)

ampclamp
7th Oct 2008, 13:49
If the crew thought they'd lost control mayday maybe the call.
when pax and crew are hurt I'm not sure of the SOP's, prob a mayday on that basis.Maybe flt crew injured , who knows ?

Any qantas drivers here?

ampclamp
7th Oct 2008, 13:57
800 ft per second / 8000 in 10 secs, man that'd be interesting to say the least.I'd hazard a guess and say thats supersonic at altitude.
Gotta be a mistake.

G-BHEN
7th Oct 2008, 13:57
Not sure of the procedures in Oz but I was taught that if you're not sure then declare a Mayday. You can always say after "Ah maybe I should've declared a Pan", but if you declare a Pan then ATC might not realise how serious the situation is.

ampclamp
7th Oct 2008, 14:04
I've been in several pan pan pan situations one where I thought we were spearing in.Stab control loss.So perhaps folks being hurt was the key?
Last thing qantas needs is another bent airframe on a big jet.

wiggy
7th Oct 2008, 14:04
Multiple injuries, some possibly serious, probably an "entertaining" Cabin enviroment, might be airframe implications ....... FWIW I agree with G-BHEN - "Mayday" it, you can always downgrade to "Pan" and sort the paperwork out later.

Finn47
7th Oct 2008, 15:46
This article says, the aircraft dropped 350 feet, according to "sources"...
which I find slightly more credible than the previous 8000 ft...

Qantas jet&squo;s nightmare plunge over Western Australia | Herald Sun (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24463183-662,00.html)

caveokay
7th Oct 2008, 15:49
Stalling or mach tuck at cruise altitude caused by a sudden and significant change in wind strength / direction could result in a departure from controlled flight and could cause a significant loss of altitude. I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily what happened to the Qantas A333, just pointing out some basic aerodynamic principles.

Does anyone know what altitude the A333 was cruising at and what the margin between stall speed and critical mach number would be at that altitude?

at FL3xx , can't we take for sure that the acft was flown with both AP and ATR ON and that these systems on new generation acft like A330 are supposed to cope with CAT without ending up in a spin or a dive bombing run ?? if some part of these sytems was U/S or OFF, that's however another story to know how george is going to react :confused: :confused: (an A310 romanian crew had a very bad experience years ago on final to orly :uhoh: )
anyway great airmanship from crew :D and wishes of quick recovery to the roaring forties :* :*

ChristiaanJ
7th Oct 2008, 16:45
Quote from BBC News:
"However, Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan later told the Sydney Morning Herald that he understood the incident had been caused by "some sort of systems failure".
The ultimate expert has spoken. We can all go home now.

vaschandi
7th Oct 2008, 17:31
AP 1+2 on A330 can only be used in APProach mode (armed) and ILS (auto)tuned!

vanHorck
7th Oct 2008, 17:52
as a humble MEP PPL and often SLC can I suggest the statement:
"for your comfort and safety please keep your seatbelts fastened during the flight even when the seatbelt sign is off"
is simply insufficient.

Most of your SLC have never heard of CAT and even if they have, most of them will not expect to end up against the ceiling, at worst they'll expect their cup of coffee in their laps like during normal moderate turbulence.
Some improved statement should explain the risks.

Also it is time that trolleys ran on tracks in the cabin, perhaps on the side of the aisle so that people can pass, because they are the hardest and sharp edged heavy items around and lethal in heavy turbulence.

Even that however will not prevent the painful Stewardess burns of the coffeee can which I once saw in a 737 in sudden turbulence. It can t be that hard to design quick latch/unlatch turbulence safe trolleys on tracks

ChristiaanJ
7th Oct 2008, 18:14
Salut Caveokay
AP 1+2 on A330 can only be used in APProach mode (armed) and ILS (auto)tuned!I think you'll find caveokay was talking about having and an AP and an ATH engaged, not both APs.
Ah those traps in the English language...

But the reponse to CAT by the AP and ATH would be interesting, if somebody can give a reasoned description.

Never having experienced CAT apart from "cobblestones', never the full 'upset' ... can such an 'upset' be a brief and violent event (negative G and all that) after which you get to sort out the damage, or do you find yourself systematically 15,000 ft lower... with a little help from the AP?

CJ

Globaliser
7th Oct 2008, 18:29
As long as the "please keep your seatbelts closed during flight" is just a friendly recommendation, some people will invariably unfasten theirs as soon as the sign goes off (some even earlier).IIRC, the Qantas briefing uses the words "It is a Qantas requirement ..." The emphasis reflects that in the video soundtrack.

Not that it makes the blindest bit of difference. Too many SLF just ignore everything said on the video anyway.

loloflyer
7th Oct 2008, 18:32
Why did the aircraft not continue to Perth where there are better medical facilities to treat crew/passenger injuries?

It seems crazy to land at a small town then have to fly some of the passengers on to Perth with the Flying Doctor Service.

In any case, best wishes to all involved.

lomapaseo
7th Oct 2008, 18:47
Why did the aircraft not continue to Perth where there are better medical facilities to treat crew/passenger injuries?

It seems crazy to land at a small town then have to fly some of the passengers on to Perth with the Flying Doctor Service.


it's called triage.

Any way you look at it from the ground it's second guessing. Tough decision in the air as a commander who has to rely on info from the cabin.

Finn47
7th Oct 2008, 19:27
Perth would have been some 1100 Km further south, which would have meant an hour and a half more for injured passengers without proper medical attention. Better get them on the ground & stabilized and transported later if needed, I guess.

glad rag
7th Oct 2008, 19:48
What would be the general consensus about positive/negative G figures encountered going from say mild turbulence to CAT??

mermoz92
7th Oct 2008, 20:39
I had quite a similar case when flying from Bogota to Paris CDG: all at ounce, during 8-10 seconds, my A340 encountered really huge CAT.

I was Captain on this flight and my wife chief purser...:cool:

It was a night flight, weather forecast on route OK, but very far from my route, there was a heavy tornado.

I felt weather was too calm, when my chief purser told me that all passengers were eating, and then I switched fasten seat belts on, "just in case".

Then happened this incredible CAT I had never met during my 17000 flight hours.

Happily I had only three injured flight attendants.

If seat belts signs had not been swicthed on, I am quite sure I would have landed at Fort of France or Pointe à Pitre, with dozens of passengers very seriously wounded, or even worse.

Two of my three injured cabin crew lost their medic after that flight.

PPRuNe Towers
7th Oct 2008, 20:44
Here at the Towers we'd urge very, very careful reading of the brief formal communications from both airline and investigating authority.

The wording is such that we suspect that the aircraft might have taken a cascading trip down through its control laws. Airbus people might want to revisit those quotes earlier in this thread and also the original statements from their primary sources.

Interesting to consider the potential effects of a multiple referencing failure rather than CAT.

Rob

sevenstrokeroll
7th Oct 2008, 21:04
Dear Passengers:

You pay my salary, so thank you. But all this about seat belts, trolleys on tracks and that stuff...PUHLEASE:

I've seen PASSENGERS complain about keeping the seat belt sign illuminated. Some disobey the sign and go to the lavatory.

I know of one case in which a 737 hit CAT...the SEAT BELT sign was illuminated...one passenger got up, went to the Lavatory and was thrown violently around BECOMING A QUADREPLEGIC (sp?). GETTING out of your seat with the SEAT BELT sign illuminated also presents a DANGER to the crew and passengers.


Trolleys on tracks...hey great idea...I thought of it over 20 years ago and someone probably had the idea 20 years before that.

So, you want a flight like that...fine, let's triple the price of your ticket.

ON every airliner in the USA there is a sign in front of YOUR face saying to keep seat belt fastened while seated.

I've had FA's get on the PA after I had told the FA's to remain seated telling passengers to get back to their seat in violent turbulence.

PORROHMAN:(and sorry for the mistake earlier) thank you for posting the bit about coffin corner. I know ATP airline captains who really don't have a clue about this. I know airlines who , when given a choice between the 1.25g and 1.375g buffet margins, always tell pilots to go to the 1.25g so the plane can go higher and save fuel.

I have no problem with QANTAS, but I would like to know if there has been any change in buffet margin use and the like.

I am not at all surprised to see NO ONE IS commenting on the bit about watching outside air temps as a clue for CAT. Very few pilots know about...or I should say, MODERN and YOUNGER pilots.

manrow
7th Oct 2008, 21:06
Good advice there Rob!

tubby linton
7th Oct 2008, 21:14
It has been a while since I flew the A330 but there used to be a procedure that preset some of the flight controls if elevator redundancy was lost.I think it preset the ailerons upwards to counter the pitch up.The pitch up could be quite alarming when you had a subsequent failure.At high altitude you would rapidly be into a stall if you didn't react quickly enough.
I also remember an A340 I think it may have been an SQ one that did a similar manoeuvre when the crew switched off some of the hydraulic pumps when they were trying to balance the fuel!

mermoz92
7th Oct 2008, 21:19
You cannot imagine how devastated can be the aircraft cabin with trolleys wine and food flying around.

Nothing to do with the aircraft type I am not so found of.

manrow
7th Oct 2008, 21:30
In my experience flight crew pay more attention to the needs of cabin service rather than the less frequent need to restrain passenger movements, so sometimes we get bitten hard!

Modest Pilot
7th Oct 2008, 21:40
QANTAS have their FMC's pinned at 1.3g.
You fly attitude in severe turbulance. (airspeed tape usually impossible to read in severe turbulance anyway)
I have never met a QANTAS pilot not aware of the temp drop crossing a jetstream and the implications entering from the cold to warm side we are always crossing them at close to 90 deg. due route structure. (have yet to find a way of 100% compliance of seat belt sign!)

mermoz92
7th Oct 2008, 21:42
:ok:manrow, you are right.

But my wife executed my orders....Not like at home.:ouch:

tubby linton
7th Oct 2008, 21:49
Trying to fly attitude in an Airbus fbw aircraft is very difficult in normal law as you are commanding a pitch rate.
If the crew had made a poor response the aircraft may have gone into this mode:



ABNORMAL ATTITUDE FLIGHT LAW
A completely different law emerges automatically when the aircraft is in an extreme upset as follows:
* pitch attitude > 50 deg nose up or > 30 deg nose down
* bank angle > 125 deg
* AOA > 30 deg or >-10 deg
* speed > 440 kts or < 60 kts
* mach > M0.96 or < M0.1
The abnormal attitude law is:
- PITCH ALTERNATE with no protection except LOAD FACTOR protection. No automatic pitch trim.
- ROLL DIRECT with full authority
- YAW ALTERNATE
After recovery the flight law reverts to:
- PITCH ALTERNATE law
- ROLL DIRECT law
- YAW ALTERNATE
The aircraft returns to a degraded mode (not normal law as usual) because there is a certain level of suspicion about its ability to control the aircraft (that is how could it have got to the extreme flight state in the first place? The protections should have intervened well before the pitch, bank, AOA, speed and mach limits above).


There was a similar incident in the North Atlantic a number of years ago when an A340 had a speed upset and rapidly departed its alloted level.

thekite
7th Oct 2008, 22:05
I have "Mayday"ed twice; once because the smoke coming up the windscreen persuaded me that I was on fire, and the second when I saw so much smoke from a trawler below that it seemed to be on fire.
Technically I should have "Mayday"ed only in the first case as it was "my" aircraft that seemed to be in immediate danger.
The trawler justified only a "Pan", it seems. However the RAAF people were not censorious.
No fire; only smoke in both cases. But who knew?
thekite

sevenstrokeroll
7th Oct 2008, 22:18
dear modest pilot:

thank you for that info...the only QANTAS pilot I know of is John Travolta...and I'm sure everyone at QANTAS is better than him.

I respect QANTAS and I'll bet you and I think alike.

When I mentioned the temp thing, I meant it for the other 90 percent of people on this website.

I have a feeling that the crew is not to blame and either a computer glitch or a real doosy of CAT.

ChristiaanJ
7th Oct 2008, 22:21
mermoz92, thanks, you answered several of my questions, if only implicitly.
Trolleys on tracks...hey great idea...I thought of it over 20 years ago and someone probably had the idea 20 years before that.
So, you want a flight like that...fine, let's triple the price of your ticket.As an engineer, I don't think it would add that much weight, hence not that much to the price of your ticket.
Look at the seat rails, which IIRC already are supposed to take 15G?

Replace the underfloor stiffeners in the aisle(s) with trolley rails integrated in the structure. Would need new trolley wheels, probably in titanium to take the stress.

I doubt it'll happen, not because it can't be done, but the logistics of the changeover would be horrendous.

And CAT and flying trolleys and injured CC and SLF are (thank goodness) so rare that they still make the 'media' and even PPRuNE, which in itself signifies it's not exactly a common occurrence.... so nothing will be done about it.

Yes I'm a cynic, but also realistic....

Eboy
7th Oct 2008, 22:36
"TO ALL PASSENGERS . . . have a plan...IF I HIT BUMPS NOW< WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?"

If a passenger is caught out of his or her seat during severe turbulence, the passenger should drop to the aisle floor, hook an arm through the framework of the nearest seat, and hold hands.

It would not hurt to toss that into the safety video as well.

OliV2
7th Oct 2008, 22:42
Rob makes a very important point. From my PPL **UNTRAINED** eye, this looks like it will be a very interesting case. The field they landed in is a disused airbase and a long way from anywhere. Was the absolute nearest place able to handle the '330 I suspect. Can any QF drivers comment on the mayday combined with the choice of field - just wondering (not saying!) if the big cheese up front suspected loss of control surface and/or other serious failures (was this uncommanded pitch/yaw??) or if (as others have suggested) the call was made based on a quick assessment of injuries etc. Either way, one more question from me for those that know (any QF techies?): What sort of gear will QF need to haul up there in order to carry out basic analysis of the state of the plane before it can be ferried? What typically would this involve and what challenges are they going to face given where she is parked? Thanks for indulging me. Good luck to all those injured and to the tech crew who will no doubt be in for hours of investigation and analysis of their every move and well done to said crew as well as CC for what passengers are all saying was a job well done.:ok:

NSEU
7th Oct 2008, 22:56
IIRC, the Qantas briefing uses the words "It is a Qantas requirement ..." The emphasis reflects that in the video soundtrack.

True... but I've never understood why it hasn't become aviation LAW for more emphasis (like smoking).

Also, I've never understood why the food carts aren't make of something lighter, like carbon fibre or some kind of hard wearing plastic, with much rounder edges (this would also help prevent the guillotine effect as the carts are being pushed down the aisles and you happen to have an arm hanging over the armrest or a leg dangling in the aisle).

harrogate
7th Oct 2008, 23:05
Aussie news now reporting/speculating that it was "some kind of systems fault".

stadedelafougere
7th Oct 2008, 23:14
Some passengers describing their "ordeal" here (http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24460989-952,00.html).
One mentions two consecutive "air pockets" and that the overhead compartments "came down".

harrogate
7th Oct 2008, 23:29
"the aircraft had plunged more than 3000 metres in a matter of seconds."

SOPS
7th Oct 2008, 23:39
Geoff Thomas is speaking on Australian radio now saying that he has a source inside Qantas, that told him it was a "computer malfunction"

ZAGORFLY
7th Oct 2008, 23:46
rob interestingly wrote:"Interesting to consider the potential effects of a multiple referencing failure rather than CAT."

If the incident is other than an unfortunate but ordinary CAT:

There is a friend of my, out there (that probably read this) that survived an ordeal in its A 320 approaching the old Kaitak Airport in Hong kong during a typhoon. After that he left the airline that was operating the flight. Rumors tells that Airbus/Airline made a deal with him to keep the incident classify. this Is a rumor that find in this blog its logical place to be.
However as you know in the Fligh By failures (FCOM 1 1.27.30 P1) that among the 3 levels of reconfiguration the third is the Mechanical. he the crew experience in the SIM to fly with the two only mechanics links available.

Re damages:
Is time to secure (simply) at the floor the carts. a simple rail at the floor where to engage a simple safety cable to limit the cart vertical travel any time.
simple and inexpensive and actually a way to secure even the crew (with a belt) to the cart. the only fying material to the cealing would be the beverages on the top and stupid passengers (eventually).

ronca
8th Oct 2008, 00:11
Zagorfly says ...

an ordeal in its A 320 approaching the old Kaitak Airport in Hong kong during a typhoon

I'm pretty sure I witnessed this from the ground. It was a Dragonair A320 and made 3 approaches to the seaward end of the Kai Tak runway. Each time, below about 500 feet on approach the plane was snap rolling about 45 degrees each way - same thing happened each time he tried to land - on the last occurrence he managed to get it on the ground with several burst tyres, stopped on runway and immediately evacuated passengers. I heard rumours at the time that it was caused by software problems but was never able to find out much about it. Anyone any further information? - it was frightening even to watch.

RatherBeFlying
8th Oct 2008, 00:24
A rail would likely create a tripping hazard.

My suggestion is for flanges projecting from the bottom of the cart that would catch on the lower part of the seats if the cart attempts take off. You would need a foot pedal to retract or deploy the flanges when getting it in and out of stowage.

If the cart stayed reasonably put, at least the CC would have a chance to hold on.

I suspect the worst injuries happen when the cart comes back down.

PAXboy
8th Oct 2008, 00:44
One mentions two consecutive "air pockets" and that the overhead compartments "came down".
With the amount of weight the carriers allow the pax to put in them? They will always open. But carriers know that pax will give them a very bad 'rap' if they restrict the weight of hand luggage.

Urshtnme
8th Oct 2008, 00:53
Where did you get "disused airbase" from??

Learmonth airport is used on a regular basis by the RAAF and international forces during exercises and it's allso used every day by Skywest and Qantaslink. They also fly out to Christmas Island from Learmonth. This is the airfield that services Exmouth for it's tourism and is the Southern Hemisphere landing field for the space shuttle in the event it has to land "Down Under"


So I have no idea where you get "disused airfield" from.

And I know this because I used to fly into Learmonth about twice a week.

TexAussie
8th Oct 2008, 00:57
I have experienced tha bad side of the "coffin corner" as a passenger on an Focker-100 over 10 years ago. Flying as high as we could to avoid building storms. Nasty bending jet stream (or possibly convective drafts) evidently caused a stall and enormormous uncontolled "plunge" yet with little or no change to pitch and roll... just a straight-down flat free fall. The extreme pos/neg g-forces through the two falls and subsequent recoveries were an terrifying experience. Fortunately most people had seatbelts on but those who did not were part of the ceiling. And yes, people flying around in the cabin injure the people who are properly belted in their seats... as do food carts and laptop PCs. Experience from reading the posts and news accounts on the 330 incident sounds familiar.

Had read that the 787 will have LIDAR that will help with CAT. Doppler is obviously no help without any particles to reflect in clear air, but I thought NASA was working on better CAT detection and the 787 would have some advances in this (of course, the same radar could be put in other aircraft so guess maybe that was just marketing hype).

Anyway, hope people recover and have no doubt that the QF (FD and CC) did a good job. Shame Qantas is getting bagged for this in the media. If it turns out to purely be a CAT-induced upset then that has nothing to do with the airline quality.

However... no doubt the media experts will conclude that obviously putting 300+ people in an A320 may cause some weight and balance issues!!! :suspect:

ampclamp
8th Oct 2008, 01:08
what they haul up there depends on the damage if any to the airframe or computers that are suspect, if any.
depending on the g's inflicted will determine the special inspections req'd again ,if any.
cabin repairs etc can wait.

interesting if it was multiple sequencing failures.why it would occur and why then drive the aircraft down violently is quite worrying if so.

airbus tech has considerable redundancy available depending on the control surface.
command / monitor inside each and from other computers.
A failed computer is one thing and not unusual, several is quite unusual and uncommanded violent input would be rarer still surely.

If I hadnt seen an oxy bottle blow up rip open an airframe bounce around the cabin and then exit thru the same holes in the floor and airframe I'd say impossible.But impossible happens.:ooh: I discount nothing now.

OliV2
8th Oct 2008, 01:24
Was referencing the fact that it was a ex-airforce base dating back to WWII, but accept that I am incorrect in calling it disused - apologies and thanks for the correction.

Another Number
8th Oct 2008, 01:25
Where did you get "disused airbase" from??

Certainly not from his ERSA!

QV: FAC L-11

ampclamp
8th Oct 2008, 01:58
anecdotally some friends have flown over that area several times in the last week or 2.
on 2 occasions they reported bad turbulence, ie saying their prayers every one strapped down services halted per procedures.

They are slf and not seasoned flt veterans but still it does indicate that maybe the jetstream in that area is creating some issues.

tartan_penguin
8th Oct 2008, 02:52
Latest from Sydney Morning Herald reporting systems irregularity.

Qantas plunge: computer 'irregularity' - Travel - smh.com.au (http://www.smh.com.au/news/travel/qantas-plunge-computer-irregularity/2008/10/08/1223145412587.html)

limelight
8th Oct 2008, 03:58
Latest on the ATSB initial statement, see it here Computer glitch may be behind Qantas incident: ATSB - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/08/2385305.htm?section=justin)

flyhigh744
8th Oct 2008, 04:24
Air safety investigators say there was an "irregularity" in the onboard computer equipment of a Qantas plane involved in a mid-air incident over Western Australia.
A second team of investigators was travelling to Learmonth, in the state's north, to find the cause of the incident which injured about 20 passengers and crew on board flight QF72 travelling from Singapore to Perth.
The pilots sent a mayday call shortly before making an emergency landing at the regional airstrip, 40km from Exmouth on WA's Gascoyne coast.
Qantas on Wednesday said the cause of the "sudden change in altitude" was speculation.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) director of aviation safety investigation Julian Walsh said the plane was travelling at 37,000 feet when the incident happened.
"The pilots received electronic centralised aircraft monitoring messages in the cockpit relating to some irregularity with the aircraft's elevator control system," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
The aircraft then climbed about 300 feet before "abruptly" pitching nose down.
Passengers arriving in Perth on Tuesday night told of their horror as the drop threw them and their personal belongings across the plane.
Jim Ford, of Perth, said he thought he was about to die as he watched people being thrown around the cabin.
"It was horrendous, absolutely gruesome, terrible, the worst experience of my life," he said.
Ben Cave, of Perth, said for a few seconds he had feared for his life and "saw a bit of a flash before me".
"We had a major fall and another fall shortly after.
"I hit the ceiling but I was OK, I only got a few bruises and strains. I just remember seeing that the plane was a mess."
Henry and Doreen Bishop, of Oxford, England, said it was one of the worst experiences of their lives.
"People were screaming but they cut off any panic that might have started...", Mr Bishop said.
"I put it down to life. The titanic hit an iceberg, we hit an air pocket."
A spokesman for Perth's Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital said one of the 20 passengers it treated on Tuesday night was in a serious but stable condition. Eight people were under observation and 11 other patients were discharged, he said. Injuries included fractures, lacerations and suspected spinal injuries.
WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan was forced to activate the state crisis centre because of the number of injuries.
"It seems that there might have been some sort of systems failure, we're not sure yet, we're still waiting for further information," Dr O'Callaghan told ABC Radio.
The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been quarantined and sent to Canberra for testing.
Two ATSB investigators were immediately flown to WA, while another five were on their way to the site where the plane landed to interview passengers and crew, Mr Walsh said.
An officer from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has joined the team, as well as an investigator from the Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses (BEA), which is the French counterpart to the ATSB.
The BEA officer has been assigned to the investigation because the plane was manufactured in France.
An investigator from Airbus is also travelling to Australia and will also assist the investigations.
"It is obviously very early in the investigation and too soon to draw any conclusions as to the specific cause of the accident," Mr Walsh said.
The ATSB investigation would explore all aspects of the aircraft's operation, including the flight's black boxes, on-board computer systems, air traffic control and radar warnings and weather conditions, he said.
"The ATSB will also be conducting a range of interviews with the pilots and cabin crew and will also speak with passengers to examine the cabin safety aspects."
The investigation was likely to take some months but the ATSB would release a preliminary report within 30 days, Mr Walsh said.
It was unclear how far in altitude the aircraft dropped during the incident.
The Australian and International Pilots' Association on Wednesday said turbulence was not uncommon on that flight path.
Captain Ian Woods said most modern passenger planes were built to cope with changes in altitude.
"When you cross those jet streams as you do from Singapore to Perth ... you run across the transition boundary," Capt Woods, also a Qantas pilot, told ABC Radio.
"It's at that point where you're crossing from smooth air to fast-flowing air, that there can be quite unexpected and significant turbulence."
This could cause a "jet upset", Capt Woods said.
"So if you're unfortunate enough to run into that, and it sounds like that's what's happened, then certainly it's unexpected and you can get outcomes like this."
Capt Woods said turbulence was nothing pilots "can't cope with".
"Aeroplanes have been ... refined over the years and if we go back to the 50s, then these kinds of events were worse than they are now."
The incident is another blow to Qantas which is still dealing with several problems this year including an exploding oxygen bottle which punched a huge hole in the side of a Qantas Boeing 747-400, forcing an emergency landing in Manila.
A Qantas Boeing 737-800 returned to Adelaide after a landing gear door failed to retract, and a Manila-bound Boeing 767 was turned back to Sydney after developing a hydraulic fluid leak.

Passengers tell of horror aboard QF72 - Yahoo!7 News (http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/5064724/passengers-tell-horror-aboard-qf72/)

Jonny Suave Trousers
8th Oct 2008, 04:36
I would have thought continuing on to Perth, being only 590nm away would have been a far better option. If passenger welfare was indeed the cause for landing in Learmonth here are some reasons why that does not make sense.

1. From the information we have, the casualties recieved broken bones, perhaps some compounded fractures and lacerations. If you present to a major hospital with these types of injuries over a weekend, you could expect to wait up to 3 days before a corrective procedure is carried out. The exception to this being any sort of head or spinal injury.

2. Head or spinal injuries.
These sorts of things can only be tackled by a major hospital with the latest equipment and techniques. Learmonth base to my knowledge does not have a specialised spinal unit. There is great risk in moving a spinal patient, I would have thought moving the patient once instead of the three hops involved in flying the patient (in a far less stable aircraft) to Perth would have made much better sense.

I think Qantas might have some explaining to do. Logically nothing adds up except technical failure prohibating the aircraft's passage to Perth.

DanAir1-11
8th Oct 2008, 04:52
If the 'upset' put enough g's through the airframe for the crew to have any doubts whatsoever as to its prolonged integrity, (And judging from the degree of injuries sustained this would appear to be feasible) then the correct and only decision would be to get it down pdq. Add to that (reportedly) critically injured pax with potentially major bleeds and the crew really didn't have any other choice. But injuries aside, if there is any real doubt concerning structural integrity then I believe there can only be one course of action.
I wish all injured persons as speedy a recovery as possible, and sincerely hope that reports of persons in critical condition are a typical media over-reaction.

Regards
1-11

philipat
8th Oct 2008, 04:53
Interesting possibilities and it remains to be seen after the DFDR has been decoded. However, in this part of the world at this time of year, in addition to the jetstream, there is a change in monsoons from from SE to W, which can also cause problems. Recall a similar incident sevral weeks ago involving a China Airlines 744 approaching DPS (Albeit further NE) which appears to have involved a substantial reduction in FL as a result of what seems to have been only CAT.

I have had a similar experience in a CX L1011 over the S China sea which hit CAT and dropped 3-4,000 M in a few seconds, involving several weightless passengers hitting the roof with several injuries and missing teeth etc.

"We recommend that when seated pasengers keep their seatbelts loosely fastened, just like we do up here on the flight deck"

Can this please be used as a simple illustration to ordinary travelling folks as to why this is the case?

Of course, there is no protection against being hit on the head by the corner of a flying meals trolley but, unfortunately, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

738FO
8th Oct 2008, 04:58
Qantas again? didnt they just had an incident that forced them to land in PRLL??
Whats the real story this time? Its nice to know that there were no lives lost . :ugh:

ankh
8th Oct 2008, 05:00
Problem is it's flying on its old trajectory while the surrounding aircraft is being accelerated in some direction, right?

Ya know, any place that has earthquakes anticipates suddenly accelerations up, down, or sideways with a force of more than one gravity will happen.

They keep the San Francisco streetcars down on the ground, with perfectly good pre-aviation technology -- a slot in the pavement.

That could be done right down the middle -- or on either side -- of the walkway.

In fact it's how the seats are attached -- that's how they can snug them up to remove excessive legroom when people are feeling lonely and far apart.

A couple more of the exact same little slots -- barely noticeable underfoot -- in the aisle would let the carts be anchored all the way, and yet easily released when needed.

738FO
8th Oct 2008, 05:04
The first 3 incidents

In the first incident in July, a Qantas 747 jumbo jet flying from London to Melbourne was forced to divert to the Philippines after an exploding oxygen canister ruptured its fuselage at 29,000ft.
Just days later, a Qantas Boeing 767 aircraft had to turn back less than 20 minutes into its flight from Adelaide to Melbourne after underside landing doors failed to close after the wheels retracted.
And in early August, a Qantas Boeing 767 bound for Manila turned back to Sydney after developing a hydraulic fluid leak.

Theyre havin some bad luck this year i guess....

No offense but i think they should start looking at their ac's now before they ran out of luck.

Edmund Spencer
8th Oct 2008, 05:15
I wonder if they cycled more than one of the FCC's in response to the ECAM message.
Cycling a FCC individually whilst airborne can give quite a jolt to the flight controls. Wouldn't like to try two at altitude!
ES

ampclamp
8th Oct 2008, 05:24
what FCC's Ed?

sevenstrokeroll
8th Oct 2008, 05:29
Dear ANKH:

I was born in San Francisco, I must remind you that the streetcars don't have slots...it is the cable cars that have slots, and the slots allow a grip to latch on to the cable to move the car. but there have been times the grip has ripped loose from the car.

It would be quite easy to serve passengers with hand held trays...double the number of FA's, and have stores located throughout the plane.


I praise the crew for realizing that any suspicion of aircraft problem deserves an immediate landing. IF this airfield was the first place, other than the ocean, then the crew did the right thing by landing there. A nation as large as Australia certainly has the facilities for the transportation of injured patients. The Royal Flying Doctors, God Bless them, has been known to this american since I was a boy of 7, now 52.

I do doubt that the plane lost 4000m. It might have felt that way, but if they lost more than 2000feet, I'd be very surprised.

Captain and Crew of this flight, good job for getting down in one piece. It is very likely that your actions insured that the plane's structure was not pushed that extra distance to Perth.

I hope the plane is thoroughly inspected for stress before any further flying.

ampclamp
8th Oct 2008, 05:39
depending on the findings of the recorders( ie g forces overspeeds etc) all special inspections will be carried out iaw the appropriate MM.
It must and will happen.
totally agree with you on flt crew actions.I will not 2nd guess what was right at the time.Multiple injuries including crew, possible flt control issues....

You want to be on the deck ASAP at the nearest available , suitable port.

ankh
8th Oct 2008, 06:21
You're right. And yes, the 19th century tech does fail from time to time, and the big wooden pads they use for friction braking aren't the best tech either.

But the slots in the floor the aircraft seats move in sure look solid.

gchriste
8th Oct 2008, 06:42
What utter tripe some people post on here concerning the Captain's decision where to land. You have absolutely no idea what the circumstances were apart from what you are concluding from the uninformed drivel from some posters on here, yet you seem well informed enough to sprout that it was the wrong decision.

Shame on you :=

Do you know the state of the airframe? Do you know the state of the onboard systems?

If you were onboard a potentially compromised airframe would you want to extend your trip just so a better hospital was available, or would you want to get on the ground to avoid a more potentially drastic consequence. You have no idea, so why don't you shutup!

Well done to the crew and no doubt passengers who helped those involved while the crew up front did what they felt was best for the safety of those onboard, including themselves.

No harm in speculating as to causes, but to question the decisions and integrity of those in control, without knowing the facts, is wrong.

Grant

Finn47
8th Oct 2008, 08:15
This article says they first made a PAN PAN call and declared MAYDAY shortly afterwards, obviously after having assessed the amount of injuries to pax and crew.

Full text of ATSB media release | PerthNow (http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,24465470-948,00.html)

equal
8th Oct 2008, 08:46
I think Qantas might have some explaining to do. Logically nothing adds up except technical failure prohibating the aircraft's passage to Perth.

ah, comfy in your chair there captain? nice and quiet surrounds? piping hot coffee on your computer table? maybe some of your favourite music to relax to?

BANG, you`re on your ass. there's suddenly people screaming, your cup of coffee's now all over you, this music has been replaced with alarms and warning chimes, concerned atc coming over the radio and a worried F.O. overwhelming you with information.

what to do? is the plane ok? was it mechanical, will it happen again? was it weather? how are all the people? should i get it down now or fly on?

ok breathe. checklists please.

OR tell us all how you`d handle the situation. obviously you know best.

NigelOnDraft
8th Oct 2008, 09:23
was it appropriate for the Captain to make the "Mayday" call???Who said the Captain made a Mayday call :ugh:

From the ATSB release, and the ICAO definitions of "Pan" and "Mayday", at a first glance it would seem the calls made were 100% correct :D

Of interest will be whether is was the ECAM actions that led to the pitch down, or whether the timing was coincidental and the original message effectively led to the small pitch up / large pitch down. We have a directive about Frozen/Jammed controls, and securing the cabin prior any attempt at release. I am not suggesting that I would ever link this directive to an Airbus Flt Ctrl message and carrying out the ECAM actions (e.g. cycling FCCs), but it will be interesting to see if this comes out after this accident ;) Something to ponder from now on...

NoD

zkmkw
8th Oct 2008, 10:06
I believe the skipper made the right choice in landing at the nearest suitable airfield, after all its not as if the tech crew are medical experts. i know if it was me with injured pax and not knowing what airframe damage there might be then the best thing to do is to LAND

777newbie
8th Oct 2008, 10:24
Rumour from an "insider" is that CB's were cycled under instructions/suggestions from engineering in an attempt to correct the flight control problem.

Pedalz
8th Oct 2008, 10:53
From a video on the news this morning from the interior, looks like someone at the front of business or economy went through the roof leaving a hole about 30 cm wide above their seat. Lots of damage done to the interior by the looks of it. Terrible thing, Charlie Q is going to get eaten by the media, with more fuel added to the fire.

ExSp33db1rd
8th Oct 2008, 10:54
ah, comfy in your chair there captain? nice and quiet surrounds? piping hot coffee on your computer table? maybe some of your favourite music to relax to?



Placed in the same situation Johnny Suave Trousers would probably now be Johnny Brown Trousers.

I once lost a large panel off the wing of a 747 departing Melbourne ( no, not Qantas ) no immediate problems encountered but WHY ?? Flap retraction and therefore possible extension problem ? Undercarriage retraction and therefore possible extension problem ? and should I continue over endless desert and shark infested waters to S.E. Asia ? No way, get the Mother -------- on the ground - fast. At the enquiry Boeing were indignant, informed us that a 747 could fly with a hole measuring X x Y ( forget the precise dimensions ) in that area so why had I returned ? My manager asked them what was the Captain supposed to have done, got out and measured it ?

We are all entitled to speculate on what might have happened, but NOBODY has the right to criticise the crew decision - yet, and if necessary only QF have will have a right to do that, too. Wind your necks in and WAIT for some facts.

Armchair "Experts" ? X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure - there I go again ! ( Sorry ) :oh:

Artificial Horizon
8th Oct 2008, 10:59
How dare we second guess if the crew took the correct actions without having ANY idea what actually happened. Mulitple injuries, a very frightening event and perhaps as yet unpublished technical problems. Let's also not forget that the aircraft itself depending on the problem can give the prompt LAND ASAP. The aircraft was safely landed, all injured pax and crew are still alive, seems like a great outcome to me.

fdr
8th Oct 2008, 11:09
Zagorfly/Ronca

Zags, As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم); the KaiTak A320 PIC is a close personal friend of mine, and I did the flight data reconstruction for his action against various parties.

There is no prima facie link between these events, HDA323 and QFA072 in essence, HDA323 was a mismatch of flight control laws due to the sensing logic used by the manufacturer to manage roll authority (OEB 117 infers). This resulted in unforseen flight control gains occurring due the effectiveness of the roll spoiler being commanded fully up with a CONF FULL TE flap deflection. The most notable issue was the term of "PIO" used in the official report and by the other parties, to obfuscate responsibility, when it was readily apparent that the aircraft was unstable in roll following an initial perturbation while the auto pilot was engaged. Apparently we can have a new term "AIO" :} (to sit along with PIO) and that was/is fine by the authorities and manufacturer....

I had the opportunity to discuss the reprehensible handling subsequent to the event by the then DO of the company, who was prepared to at least concede regret and a belated apology for the outcome. The investigative body and manufacturer never did offer an apology for their incompetence.

Now roll is bad enough to deal with, but a pitch issue such as MAS had with the B777 out of Perth a while back is going to make it uncomfortable for all, as appears to have been an issue on this A330.

ref:

www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2005/AAIR/pdf/aair200503722_001.pdf -

http://ebook.lib.hku.hk/HKG/B35840213.pdf

____________________________________________

The root cause will naturally be of interest, but will require informed and systematic investigation, rather than rumor, speculation & sensationalism. The investigative report and any subsequent OEB by the manufacturer will be worth awaiting for operators of FBW Airbus, and of at least passing interest to Boeing/Emb E series operators and SMS programs.



regards,
Franklin & Eleanor
Hot Springs

NigelOnDraft
8th Oct 2008, 11:11
777newbie Rumour from an "insider" is that CB's were cycled under instructions/suggestions from engineering in an attempt to correct the flight control problemAre we really talking "CBs" (of which, I think most in the A330 are not in the flight deck, unlike the A320), or "Computer Reset" buttons (which look CBs to the uninitiated, but are very different animals in action and when they can/should be cycled)?

Like most others, I can only assume the nearest Jonny Suave Trousers has been to an aircraft is as a Pax... :ugh:

NoD

777newbie
8th Oct 2008, 12:00
It is obvious I have no airbus time.
Do checklists call for the use of these "computer reset" switches?
I still think the scenario mentioned is plausible (remember the SQ guy who mistakenly cycled the hydraulic pumps not too far from Learmonth - similar albeit lesser consequences).

NigelOnDraft
8th Oct 2008, 12:39
Do checklists call for the use of these "computer reset" switches?Yes - under certain, defined, circumstances...

NoD

lomapaseo
8th Oct 2008, 14:12
I'm curious about the control logic (If applicable) that could command an aircraft manuever like reported here. Are there rate of change laws available by computer that can cause this? or does it have to be a mechanical failure?

Finn47
8th Oct 2008, 15:00
Another day, another article. Raising the possibility that elevator control "hydraulic O-ring seals" might have had something to do with the inflight upset... which would mean mechanical failure. For what it´s worth:

Qantas warned of flaws in plane&squo;s computer | Herald Sun (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24467981-2862,00.html)

sevenstrokeroll
8th Oct 2008, 15:21
ExSp33db1rd


of course you did the right thing. if pieces fall off the plane, land, do the paperwork.

I am reminded of "Fate is the Hunter" when a problem over the pacific caused the engines of a DC4 to quit.

Finally, EK Gann took THE ENGINEERS UP and said: you work the throttles, I'll just steer.

All 4 engines quit and the ENGINEERS started screaming.

The QANTAS pilots did the RIGHT, SAFE,PRUDENT thing in landing at the first available field. At that moment, those passengers were no better or worse off than if they had been in an auto accident in that city. I would like to think that methods of stabalizing a spinal injury patient were available there.

Had they continued to Perth, there was a small chance the plane could have come apart in flight...if that had happened, how would someone rectify that problem.

I am not a fan of airbus. The A330 and the A300, while having different flight control systems, are of the same heritage. If I were captain, the tragedy at KFJK would have flashed through my mind.

Jet upsets, flight control irregularities and the like are a damn good reason why a pilot shouldn't have anything on his lap and his attention constantly, CONSTANTLY focused on keeping the plane right side up.

st7860
8th Oct 2008, 15:29
Air Canada had one of their A320s or something like drop 'a lot'. Computer problems were also suspected in that case, although I don't know what the official conclusion was.

OverRun
8th Oct 2008, 15:45
BTW – to lay some of the Learmonth Airport speculation to rest. The runway is big, long and strong. The place is built to cope with, amongst other military things, B747 aircraft. I know because I’ve designed some of the parking procedures.

It’s a reasonable choice for an emergency landing. I was last there on a stopover a couple of weeks ago, and looked closely at the airport condition. It’s in good condition.

Yes, the terminal is [nice but] too small for a 747 (and A330), the facilities are very limited, there is no ARFF, the nearby town is very very small, the hospital and emergency services are very limited, and the hotel accommodation in the area probably won’t cope with 300 pax. But for PPRUNE readers around the world, most of Australia is like that. That is why we have the Flying Doctor to deliver medical services in outback areas [and to emergency landings of A330s]. Learmonth is not the Antarctic where passengers die of exposure. The passenger comfort issues at Learmonth are flies, lousy cappuccinos and sunburn while waiting for the aircraft to come up to ferry them out.

grumpyoldgeek
8th Oct 2008, 16:05
It doesn't take much sense to know that an aircraft full of hurting passengers with a suspected flight control problem is better off on the ground at a remote field than in the air.

TheShadow
8th Oct 2008, 16:26
Sq A340

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The know-it-all Capt. decided to balance the fuel [ showed his lack of knowledge] by turning the hyd. pumps off[ 2 at a time]. They were not protected in those days as Airbus thought no one would be that stupid.
With no hyd to the stab. it caused a violent pitchup. Quick thinking F/O grabed his side-stick and commanded a full down imput. while k-i-a realised his mistake and quickly put the hyd. pumps back on.
Result was a wild ride with some injuries,don't know how many, but not as bad as this A330 upset.

Is there an ATSB Report on this? Looked but cannot locate. SQ A340-300 I'd imagine.

dream747
8th Oct 2008, 16:48
Where are these "O-ring seals" located and what are their purposes?

Finn47
8th Oct 2008, 17:32
This Airworthiness Directive concerning A330 elevator servo controls mentions O-rings on solenoid valves of each servo, and the timing of the AD is the same as in the Herald Sun article

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/LegislativeInstrument1.nsf/0/3F3ADA4C3C991668CA25730F001AB424/$file/A330037Amdt2.pdf

lomapaseo
8th Oct 2008, 18:36
This Airworthiness Directive concerning A330 elevator servo controls mentions O-rings on solenoid valves of each servo, and the timing of the AD is the same as in the Herald Sun article

So what was the background info supporting the need for this AD?

What loss of safety was involved?

Finn47
8th Oct 2008, 19:03
Better explanation under "reason" here, in the EASA version of the same AD:

http://www.slv.dk/Dokumenter/dscgi/ds.py/Get/File-5643/2007-010-EASA-AD-2007-0009.pdf

kappa
8th Oct 2008, 19:51
The WSJ reports:Julian Walsh, director of aviation safety at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said an on-board electronic centralized aircraft monitoring system indicated there was "some irregularity with the elevator control system."

The aircraft departed from its normal flight at 37,000 feet, climbed 300 feet, "then as the crew were responding, the aircraft pitched down quite suddenly and rapidly," he said.

"Certainly, there was a period of time when the aircraft performed of its own accord," Mr. Walsh said.

The aircraft, built in 2003 and operated by Qantas since then, made an emergency landing at a remote airfield at Learmonth, an Australian defense force air base, near Exmouth, in Western Australia state.

lomapaseo
8th Oct 2008, 20:16
Finn47

Better explanation under "reason" here, in the EASA version of the same AD:

http://www.slv.dk/Dokumenter/dscgi/d...-2007-0009.pdf


....In both cases, this situation if not detected could lead to the loss of an
elevator on takeoff and, in the extreme case, reduce the controllability
of the aircraft which is potentially critical.
The aim

Thanks very much for the link above.

My initial read suggest to me that this failure mode mentioned in the AD only affects a failure to respond to a commanded input rather than forces an unwanted input.

still puzzled

Mark in CA
8th Oct 2008, 20:43
MEDIA RELEASE : 08 October 2008 - Qantas Airbus Incident Media Conference (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40.aspx)

NigelOnDraft
8th Oct 2008, 22:22
Well done for the ATSB to include this in each press release: Without pre-empting any findings in relation to cabin safety issues and the wearing of seatbelts, this accident serves as a reminder to all people who travel by air of the importance of keeping seatbelts fastened at all times when seated in an aircraft

As some SLF postings earlier indicate, there needs to be some better way of getting this message across... :ooh:

NoD

TyreCreep
8th Oct 2008, 22:36
As some SLF postings earlier indicate, there needs to be some better way of getting this message across...

Legislate it, and fine passengers who do not have the seat belt on within 10 seconds of post-loo visit (or other good reasons to stand up) or who do not stand up to go for a loo visit (or attempt to achieve some other tasks that are reasonable) within 10 seconds of unbuckling, unless they have a really, really good reason. Fines collected should be divided equally between all crew members. :}

Let's face it, wearing a seat belt in a car is compulsory in a lot of country, carrying fairly heavy fines.

Despite the fact that Qantas flights do state "It is a Qantas REQUIREMENT that...", I hear far too many people unbuckling as soon as the seat belt sign is extinguished. Consequently, I would think that legislating it and imposing a fine for not doing so would be the only way of persuading SLFs to wear a seat belt at all times they are seated - that should put people off leaving the seat belt unbuckled.

Although this post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I really feel that it is quite important for passengers to buckle up when they are seated. Not only can they injure themselves, but they can also injure others if they happen to 'go flying' in an unexpected event.

Edmund Spencer
8th Oct 2008, 22:39
FCC - Flight Control Computer - Three Primaries and two Secondaries in the A330 Flight Control System.
ES

thekite
8th Oct 2008, 23:16
According to "The Australian: newspaper this morning a "computer malfunction in the elevator system" was - if not the whole story - at least a factor in the incident.
Seems that the aircraft pitched sharply nose up, climbed 300' then pitched nose down.
thekite

RRMerlin
9th Oct 2008, 01:47
Pax Inflight Laptop Computer Use suggested as cause.

Qantas autopilot blamed for jet plunge

Paul Bibby
October 9, 2008
A computer malfunction involving Qantas Flight 72's autopilot system has emerged as the likely cause of the passenger jet's plunge that left 20 people seriously injured.
As Qantas disclosed yesterday that more passengers and crew had been injured than first thought when the Airbus A330 dropped from 37,000 feet on Tuesday, investigators said an "irregularity" in the jet's computer system occurred at the time.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau safety investigations director, Julian Walsh, said QF72's pilots received electronic monitoring messages indicating there was a problem with the plane's elevator control system, the device that controls a plane's up-and-down movement.
Mr Walsh said that as the crew tried to act on the alerts, the aircraft climbed about 300 feet before "abruptly" pitching nose-down, sending passengers - particularly at the rear - slamming into the cabin's roof and walls.
"There was a period of time where the aircraft performed of its own accord," Mr Walsh said.
Qantas management has refused to comment on the cause of the incident, but a source within the airline told the Herald the plane's autopilot system was to blame.
The Australian and International Pilots Association president, Captain Ian Woods, said that, based on investigator's statements, a problem auto-flight control was "a likely explanation".
"When an auto-flight system exceeds its authority - goes beyond what it is designed to do - it sends a message to the pilots. The pilots acted exactly as they should have done in that situation."
Qantas and Airbus did not respond yesterday when asked who had responsibility for installing and maintaining the A330's flight control systems.
Mr Walsh said he was confident the flight data record - contained in the aircraft's instrument and cockpit voice recorders that were removed yesterday - would provide clearer answers.

Speculation laptop use caused Qantas flight plunge

October 9, 2008 - 9:53AM

Air safety investigators say it is too early to blame passenger laptop computers for causing a Qantas jet to abruptly nose dive on a flight from Singapore to Perth.
The Airbus A330-300, with 303 passengers and a crew of 10, experienced what the airline described as a "sudden change in altitude" north of its destination on Tuesday.
The mid-air incident resulted in injuries to 74 people, with 51 of them treated by three hospitals in Perth for fractures, lacerations and suspected spinal injuries.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has said an "irregularity" in one of the plane's computers may have caused the dramatic altitude change which hurled passengers around the cabin.
Laptops could have interfered with the plane's on-board computer system, it has been reported.
But the bureau says it's too early to make that judgment.
A spokeswoman said the bureau had not yet received an update from its investigators at Learmonth, near Exmouth in WA's north, where the plane was forced to land.
The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder had only just arrived at the ATSB's Canberra headquarters and were yet to be analysed.
AAP
This story was found at: Speculation laptop use caused Qantas flight plunge - News - Travel - smh.com.au (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/10/09/1223145494293.html)

Speedbird61
9th Oct 2008, 03:11
Just seeing on TV, an animation of the Qantas Airbus going straight down nose first.
Was this really the case ???
If it was I would say there were a heap of passengers from the back piled up against the flightdeck door.
Talk about a fast upgrade.

Was the TV animation accurate ?
And what are your thoughts, could a PC really have buggered up the electronics ? normally you are allowed to use them during flight, so why has this never happened before ?
Thanks

DanAir1-11
9th Oct 2008, 03:25
TyreCreep - I fully agree that legislation on the mandatory wearing of seatbelts be introduced. However, there is an aside to that on long sectors in the shape of DVT, with pax being encouraged to get up and 'walk' regularly.
Given the majoritively unpredictable nature of CAT (or other unforseen upsets), there is always going to be the risk (however small) of pax being 'glued to the bins' or getting rag-dolled around the cabin.
We certainly don't want to risk a DVT related death on the back of insisting pax only unbuckle to use the toilet, there has to be a very careful balance of both risks, and whilst the DVT risk is certainly lesser, it still exists and must be considered.

Regards,
1-11

st7860
9th Oct 2008, 03:30
if passengers drank a lot more water or juice and/or squirmed around in their seats a lot more , then DVT wouldn't be a problem.

lomapaseo
9th Oct 2008, 03:41
if passengers drank a lot more water or juice and/or squirmed around in their seats a lot more , then DVT wouldn't be a problem.

OK, that solves the passenger injury part .... now if only we can come up with an as simple solution for the cause of the upset:hmm:

lowerlobe
9th Oct 2008, 03:46
To help prevent DVT all you have to do is drink plenty of non alcoholic or non caffeinated drinks and once every 30 minutes or so go for a walk.....However,when seated ensure that your seat belt is loosely fastened to guard against any sudden turbulence.

If the seat belt sign is on then fasten your seat belt....it's in all the PA's and safety cards...Not really rocket science yet how many people get caught out.The cabin crew are doing their job and one in which has a certain amount of inherent danger which cannot be helped but minimised by not working during times when the seat belt sign is on.

If it is neccessary to have the seat belt sign on for pax safety then it is also required for cabin crew.Their necks and limbs are not any different from the pax.

The problem is that common sense is not common at all and that most pax do not have any idea of the environment in which they are travelling and the potential for incidents.

Little_Red_Hat
9th Oct 2008, 04:02
Not questioning the chosen landing field here, all done properly as Captain on the day saw fit... but a pax was quoted on a news program (sorry forgot which channel) as saying that at the time of the event one of the flight crew was in the galley getting a drink. Can anyone confirm this? If so, the possibility of an injured f/d member thrown into the mix would sure as hell necessitate getting to a landing site asap! Just mentioning this as some seem to think taking a leisurely trip down to Perth the better option. *If* one of the tech crew were in the galley at the time, I can imagine they'd be pretty shaken up and in no condition to spend more time behind the controls than necessary...

I know a little bit about the whole aerodynamics/circraft control thing (lowly CC here :}) I just had a question regarding how the whole autopilot thing on the Airbus works... I know that when AP is on it will try to compensate through turbulence to maintan the chosen heading/alt etc... I know there would be a limited amount of speed/turbulence that it could be used in (someone give me the correct term please it's escaped me!)

My question is *If* an extremely severe CAT was involved, could it have been a case of computer just not coping? I know they would have tested those kinds of scenarios during manufacture but is it likely that turbulence could have CAUSED the failure in the first place, if there was a failure?

Willoz269
9th Oct 2008, 04:07
Up to now everything is speculation only, based on accounts from the passengers, which will get more and more alarming as time goes on.

The real intesity of the dive will not be known until the DFDR is opened and read, and then the findings made public (if at all).

As for the laptop, it depends...if the laptop user turned wireless internet on, then it would start emitting signals and they can interfere with radio equipment. If you dont believe it, put a wireless modem or mobile phone next to a working radio and see what happens to the radio signals.

Finn47
9th Oct 2008, 04:08
Turbulence information is readily available, but the problem of course is how to get people to read & obey...Even the Australian CASA has a good passenger safety page about it here:

Safer air travel - Turbulence (http://www.casa.gov.au/airsafe/trip/turbulen.htm)

Should the language be stronger, or would it scare customers away?

ken0311
9th Oct 2008, 05:39
i always have my seatbelt fastened whenever i'm in my seat, you never know when you might run into some CAT or some autopilot malfunction as in this case.

it's just really bad luck for the people that got injured while they were likely waiting for the toilet. and a "serves you right" for passengers not having your seatbelts on when in your seat. it doesn't have to be tight, just as long as it holds you down in case the plane gets into an UA situation.

how many seatbelts do you hear unbuckling immediately after the pilot turns the fasten seatbelts signs off? lots! :=

lesson learnt...wear your seatbelt when seated!!!!:ouch:

TyreCreep
9th Oct 2008, 05:47
TyreCreep - I fully agree that legislation on the mandatory wearing of seatbelts be introduced. However, there is an aside to that on long sectors in the shape of DVT, with pax being encouraged to get up and 'walk' regularly.
Given the majoritively unpredictable nature of CAT (or other unforseen upsets), there is always going to be the risk (however small) of pax being 'glued to the bins' or getting rag-dolled around the cabin.
We certainly don't want to risk a DVT related death on the back of insisting pax only unbuckle to use the toilet, there has to be a very careful balance of both risks, and whilst the DVT risk is certainly lesser, it still exists and must be considered.

Exercising is covered in 'other good reasons' that I put in my post - basically anything they can't do sitting down should be a good enough reason, but in any case, I was talking about when they are seated, i.e. having their seat belts fastened whenever they are seated.

parabellum
9th Oct 2008, 06:11
Good job it happened in the cruise and not at 1000' on finals.

Regarding wearing of seat belts, an insurance underwriter is very likely to reduce any pay out to the injured by up to 50% if they are not wearing a seat belt as they will be judged as having contributed their own injury by not using the supplied safety equipment that is recommended.:uhoh:

ZAGORFLY
9th Oct 2008, 06:37
As for the laptop, it depends...if the laptop user turned wireless internet on, then it would start emitting signals and they can interfere with radio equipment. If you dont believe it, put a wireless modem or mobile phone next to a working radio and see what happens to the radio signals.


Willowz 269:
don't worry!! There is already a study about these interferences. They will be not able to prove that a lap top was the problem or a phone.. How can they accept that radio frequency can interfere with the super complex computer architecture of the modern aircraft?

some "smart" are now shouting requesting a law that will chain you down! Why don't incluede also a fine for these passengers that still read the newspaper when the safety PA is done? and Then they law suit the airline because they did not find the door quickly..

Service Carts is another problem: it would be easy to make them safely "grounded" at the aircraft floor. and the airline industry should compensate those hit by the carts indeed.

the others should have learned a lesson: an Aircraft is NOT A RESTAURANT or a nice high platform to WALK AROUND! Airplanes Flyes! By keeping your seat belt unfasten is just play idiot.

However how many CAT or In flight upset can you count in one year? Just keep these pictures of the injured stupid passengers on the safety video and I will guarantee people will unbuckle only to go to the lavatory.

Your lap top is safe unless you have put into unauthorized certified battery that could explode and start the most serious problem of all when airborne: fire!

lowerlobe
9th Oct 2008, 06:49
If this was a result of a computer glitch then can you imagine what might have happened if it was one of the RAAF's new airbus refuelling tankers and it was refuelling another aircraft at the time?:eek:

ExSp33db1rd
9th Oct 2008, 07:13
if passengers drank a lot more water or juice and/or squirmed around in their seats a lot more , then DVT wouldn't be a problem.


But then they need more toilet visits, and on my last QF longhaul flight I was forbidden - by decree from the flight deck - to form a 'congregation' around the toilets, because as we know, all passengers are relatives of Osama Bin Laden and are bent on plotting a hijack unless prohibited from talking to another passenger; the ones seated next to you, and in front, and behind, don't count of course. Trying to work out exactly when to get out of ones' seat, to arrive at the toilet door first, and therefore not being made to walk the plank for disobeying the Captains' instructions, exercised my mind - and my bladder - for most of the 12 hr flight remaining after dinner. Fortunately, after many false starts, which involved walking seatbelt-less down the length of the aircraft and back many times, I made it. Phew! The relief was unbelievable. Next time I guess I'll pee on the floor - or use my empty beer can. Aussie Rules I guess ( and I never understood them, either. Wot's wrong with Rugby ? )

Wingover68
9th Oct 2008, 07:31
MEDIA RELEASE

Adjust font size:
http://www.atsb.gov.au/images/DOTARS_fs_off_01.gif (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40a.aspx) http://www.atsb.gov.au/images/DOTARS_fs_on_02.gif (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40a.aspx) http://www.atsb.gov.au/images/DOTARS_fs_off_03.gif (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40a.aspx) http://www.atsb.gov.au/images/DOTARS_fs_off_04.gif (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40a.aspx)

2008/40a

ATSB Airbus investigation update

09 October 2008

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation is progressing.
The aircraft's Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) arrived in Canberra late on Wednesday evening. Downloading and preliminary analysis overnight has revealed good data from both recorders. Data from the FDR has been provided to Qantas, the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA) and Airbus as parties to the investigation.
While the full interpretation and analysis of the recorded data will take some time, preliminary review of the data indicates that after the aircraft climbed about 200 feet from its cruising level of 37,000 feet, the aircraft then pitched nose-down and descended about 650 feet in about 20 seconds, before returning to the cruising level. This was closely followed by a further nose-down pitch where the aircraft descended about 400 feet in about 16 seconds before returning once again to the cruising level. Detailed review and analysis of FDR data is ongoing to assist in identifying the reasons for the events.
In addition, the on-site investigation activity is continuing and includes:

recording and photographing cabin damage
removing panels to examine wiring for damage prior to restoring power to the aircraft
preparation for downloading data from the aircraft's on-board computerised systems
arranging interviews with the pilots and cabin crew. The ATSB plans to distribute a survey to all passengers and will conduct interviews with injured passengers to understand what occurred in the aircraft cabin. Passengers with information about the accident are encouraged to contact the ATSB at atsbinfo@<hidden>.
The ATSB will provide further media releases when significant new factual information comes to light, ahead of a Preliminary Factual Report in 30 days time.
Media Contact: George Nadal: 1800 020 616

anartificialhorizon
9th Oct 2008, 07:38
I wonder how this incident (an those recent similar ones) will affect airlines like Emirates with their on board showers and on board bars?

baftabill
9th Oct 2008, 07:44
As usual, it is "stupid passengers" who are to blame for their own problems.

BA Advice:

Following our advice to reduce the risk of DVT:

drink adequate fluids (BUT DON'T STAND AROUND WAITING FOR THE LAST LOO WORKING ON A 12 HOUR FLIGHT)
avoid smoking
avoid beverages which contain alcohol and/or caffeine both before and during the flight
avoid crossing legs when seated
walk around the cabin whenever you can (ER...BUT DON'T, OR PRUNE REGULARS WILL CALL YOU STUPID)
stand up in your seat area and stretch your arms and legs (IF YOU'RE A FOOL!)
carry out the foot and leg exercises advised in the Well Being section of the Highlife in-flight magazine, on the in-flight entertainment system and the Well Being section on ba.com
wear loose fitting comfortable clothes when travelling

philipat
9th Oct 2008, 07:59
The Health and Safety brigade would just love another opportunity to make flying even more inconvenient. ECAM systems are fully redundant so I fail to see how a laptop could have caused such a problem. And if so, why now after Trillions of flight hours without incident. Is there any hard data whatsoever to support this allegation or is it simply more wild speculation from a narrow minded and mean spirited Australian media?

TWT
9th Oct 2008, 08:02
Just wild speculation.Not unique to the Australian media.

philipat
9th Oct 2008, 08:25
on my last QF longhaul flight I was forbidden - by decree from the flight deck - to form a 'congregation' around the toilets


Like most things wondrous and wonderful, this started in the US. Australia does seem to drift along in that direction. Australian authorities tend to be of the "Mummy knows best" school, with a narrow minded mean spiritedness superimposed. A direction the UK is also taking. The days of self responsibility and responsibility towards ones community, without State supervision, appear to have been lost.

Regarding Emirates showers etc., I imagine that a great deal of common sense and restraint will be exhibited by both Company and premium passengers.

The DVT issue poses a legal dilemna for lines. The advisories were, essentially introduced by way of a legal disclaimer. Should they now introduce regulations prohibiting passengers from walking around, they will again open themselves up to litigation from DVT incidents.

Again, why can't simple common sense prevail? When seated, always loosely fasten the seat belt, when not, do what you have to do then get back to your seat and buckle up ASAP? There are always extremists on both sides of these arguements who wish to impose a narrow minded viewpoint?

Admiral346
9th Oct 2008, 08:41
I remember 1 case of DVT that made it to the media a few years ago, but there is regular reports on CAT hurting passengers .

Take a risk assesment and decide for yourself!

I keep my belt fastened, in the cockpit and when riding in the back!

Nic

PS: Those extremists mentioned in the post above are usually US lawyers trying to get a fat slice of the cake!

ExSp33db1rd
9th Oct 2008, 09:10
As for the laptop, it depends...if the laptop user turned wireless internet on, then it would start emitting signals and they can interfere with radio equipment. If you dont believe it, put a wireless modem or mobile phone next to a working radio and see what happens to the radio signals.



It's true ! I could never understand why my radio didn't work in my 'home office' until the other day, when for the first time I already had the radio switched on as I started my laptop - the radio became unuseable as my laptop 'locked on' to the radio modem on the other side of the room

Very much doubt if that could affect the F.deck tho' ? Haven't "they" thought about that ? Don't believe the mobile phone thing, either, but anything that persuades people using them in public gets my vote, so keep up the myth.

Doesn't need electronics - had a 707 with heading reference problems once, found a tape recorder, you know, those things with big reels of tape that wind from one to the other, 'bout the size of an old Remington desktop typewriter ( remember ! ) lodged in the hat rack - where the compass fluxgate sensors were ! The permanent magnets in the innards were sending the compass bananas. Big notice telling passengers not to do that gleefully ignored. Wot's new.

Simonta
9th Oct 2008, 09:22
First. I wish a happy and speedy recovery to all affected by this incident.

Second. Another reminder of why we still have professional and excellent humans in charge, well done to the crew as usual.

Third. Apologies in advance for adding to the "signal to noise ratio"

Fourth. In no way do I want to detract from the seriousness of what happened.

But....

Qantas plane fell 200m in 20 seconds - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/09/2386914.htm?section=australia)

I wish that media types would pause, even for a few seconds, to apply the most basic thinking.

200m in 20 seconds, wow that must have been a wild ride and followed so soon by a second plunge of 122m in 16 seconds.

Point of posting? I know the press lurk here and perhaps, just perhaps, one of them might have a pang of guilt and vow to apply some basic diligence to what they write in the future.....nah....

infrequentflyer789
9th Oct 2008, 09:44
if passengers drank a lot more water or juice and/or squirmed around in their seats a lot more , then DVT wouldn't be a problem.

Dunno about you, but in my case drinking a "lot" more water or juice will result in a lot more trips to the toilets, leading to more walking around.

So, yes, that would help with DVT, however it'll increase the chance of people being out of their seats when they hit CAT.

JamesT73J
9th Oct 2008, 09:45
So was it "Thousands" of feet, or just 600?

The maneuver as described could have been quite mild (descending about 30ft/s, if those figures are accurate), but with sufficient acceleration (at the pushover) to cause a very unpleasant upset to people and objects that were not restrained in the cabin.

Aside from that, I'm curious why it isn't mandatory to have your belt fastened at all times - I'm 6'3", and uncomfortable in most aeroplanes, but I still leave it on because I know these things can happen, and the belt doesn't bother me at all.

udachi moya
9th Oct 2008, 09:48
Interesting article on inflight PED and EM published a number of years ago

Avionics Magazine :: Wireless Cabin: All Issues Resolved? (http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/categories/commercial/681.html)

and

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20030012794_2003014789.pdf

And for those SLF who think seatbelts are not for them, and it will never happen to them - I think someone should seriously consider publishing the pictures of this cabin ( whoever has them ) - how many times have I been in the cabin, and even on the approach heard the oh so familiar click of a unbuckling seatbelt.
As a previous p-poster had also mentioned, "some" / "a few" cabin crew regretably seem more concerned with service interuptions inflight if I switch on the seatbelt signs - I always ask for the nbr1 to confirm all pax strapped in and give them a quick briefing in case I need them to strap in too.....

SOPS
9th Oct 2008, 10:03
check 6PR - Homepage (http://www.6pr.com.au) for a video showing the damage in the cabin

Algy
9th Oct 2008, 10:24
Simonta,

not sure what your point is. The data is taken directly from the ATSB statement (see post 159 for full text), but here is the relevant bit:

While the full interpretation and analysis of the recorded data will take some time, preliminary review of the data indicates that after the aircraft climbed about 200 feet from its cruising level of 37,000 feet, the aircraft then pitched nose-down and descended about 650 feet in about 20 seconds, before returning to the cruising level. This was closely followed by a further nose-down pitch where the aircraft descended about 400 feet in about 16 seconds before returning once again to the cruising level. Detailed review and analysis of FDR data is ongoing to assist in identifying the reasons for the events.

So about 1,950fpm and then 1,500fpm. Pretty hairy obviously, but perfectly possible. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but I'm not clear what you're suggesting is wrong with the report.

philipat
9th Oct 2008, 10:37
650 feet in about 20 seconds

You're missing the point. Passengers wouldn't even feel this, let alone get weightless. Common sense?

oxenos
9th Oct 2008, 10:45
Phillipat
I think you are missing the point. It is not the rate of descent which is capable of causing weightlessness / negative g , it is the rate at which the aircraft pitches down.

Conan The Barber
9th Oct 2008, 10:50
An average descent rate is just that, average. It tells you nothing about the maximum or, more importantly, the rate at which that was acieved.

DeRodeKat
9th Oct 2008, 12:13
As for the laptop, it depends...if the laptop user turned wireless internet on, then it would start emitting signals and they can interfere with radio equipment. If you dont believe it, put a wireless modem or mobile phone next to a working radio and see what happens to the radio signals.Laptops and cellular phones interfering with the plane radio equipment is all BS. When an airplane flies close to a thunderstorm, it receives thousands times stronger interfering radio waves from lightning but nothing happens. How many times aircraft sustained direct lightning hits without much problem at all. And this is really powerful radio and electrical disturbance.

Fzz
9th Oct 2008, 12:27
It's not too hard to play around in a spreadsheet to calculate possible trajectories that fit the known facts. Just speculation, but for example:

Assume the plane starts off climbing at about 2000fpm after the initial reported uncommanded climb.

If it then pulls -0.6G for a full 2 seconds, then regular 1G (now descending at ~4000fpm) for 4 seconds while the flight crew figure out what's going on, then pulls 1.2G for 11 seconds to level out. This results in a descent of around 680ft in 17 seconds from the point where it pushes over.

-0.6G for 2 seconds isn't going to be too pleasant in the back. It can't be much more negative G than this or much longer than this, or you can't limit the descent to around 650ft. But from the reports of people pinned to the ceiling, it probably can't be a lot less time than this either.

I'm not trying to claim this is what happened or even realistic, and I ignored how much speed you'd have lost in the climb, then gained in the dive. But it illustrates the sort of trajectory that loses 650 ft in 20 seconds that matches the described effects on the PAX.

Wildfire101
9th Oct 2008, 13:28
The MEDIA RELEASE : 09 October 2008 - ATSB Airbus investigation update (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40a.aspx) release looks like they are interested in the integrity of the on-board systems.

It'll be a while before the full report - and it's conclusions materialise

infrequentflyer789
9th Oct 2008, 13:32
I remember 1 case of DVT that made it to the media a few years ago, but there is regular reports on CAT hurting passengers .

Take a risk assesment and decide for yourself!



Reading the medical research will give you figures of total 2million DVTs per year (US), causing 200k deaths, along with estimates that half of those are flight-related. Moreover, this isn't just someone spotting a correlation - the causation is experimentally proven (hypobaric chamber experiments).

Studies have shown 3-5% chance of a clot after air travel - most of those will be asymptomatic (maybe 95%), and most of those will probably do no harm. However, even some asymptomatic clots lead to pulmonary embolism, which has significant mortality rate, and all of them are potentially harmful.

Even if 95% of the clots do no harm, that's still about a 1 in 400 chance of injury from DVT on a flight - in my assessment I don't think the CAT figres come out that high.

I agreee with doing your own risk assessment - but beware of doing it based on number of media reports you remember. Beware of stats as well (including those above - to do it properly read the research).

Remember, CAT (or turbulence in general) is often cited as the leading cause of in-flight injuries (presumably the definition excludes crashing...) - but DVT related injuries may be flight-caused but will not show up in-flight, so they won't even be considered.

lomapaseo
9th Oct 2008, 14:14
I assume that the G's associated with this manuever are known from the DFDR as well (that would have been more interesting to me had they released them). Although, I suspect that the G's from the DFDR only reflect a specific aircraft loacation and would have to be extrapolated to the aft cabin passengers.

I'm trying to get a feel for this and I suspect that it might be like riding a roller coaster where some dude stands up to wave his arms and is ejected, only in this case the passenger ends up hitting the ceiling panels. The passengers still buckled up would feel it in the pit of their stomach.

Seems like many causative possibilities are still open including commanded (either via cockpit or computer) as well as uncommanded (something breaks or a servo sticks)

JenCluse
9th Oct 2008, 14:23
dear modest pilot: thank you for that info...the only QANTAS pilot I know of is John Travolta...and I'm sure everyone at QANTAS is better than him

Dear sevenstrokeroll,

Please be a little less disparaging in future. Mr Travolta is an extremely competent pilot. When I did a Gulfstream conversion course, his handling of an extremely obscure problem in his personal G2, a total electrical & coms failure due to a multiple TR drop off over NY, was quoted as a model of intelligent fault finding of a then unknown technical complication, since dealt with by Gulfstream.

He owns, is endorsed on, and regularly flies his own 707, and I would be totally confident to fly with him, and possibly learn from him.

You don't have to be ATR to understand (although, I do admit it usually does help a little.)

gas path
9th Oct 2008, 17:16
Interesting reading the AD that has been issued for the elevator solenoid valve o'rings. The part installed as standard are MS28775-xx. I'm sure they are not suitable for 'Skydrol' or other phosphate ester based hydraulic fluids. In fact I thought they were suitable for fuel and hydrocarbon based hydraulic fluids. They can also be found in use sealing against the elements.
The AD replaces them with NAS1611-xxx seals that are specifically designed for 'Skydrol' type fluids. :ooh::8
Could that have been the fault?
disclaimer: I know nought about things airbus....yet!

glad rag
9th Oct 2008, 17:42
during which time the crew had initiated non-normal checklist/response actions.

So will these non normal actions be published??

st7860
9th Oct 2008, 18:12
Qantas probe laptop link after 300 foot plunge - 09 Oct 2008 - NZ Herald: International and World News (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10536660)
Passenger laptop computers are now being investigated as a possible cause of the Qantas mid-air emergency off Western Australia on Tuesday.

In July, a passenger clicking on a wireless mouse mid-flight was blamed for causing a Qantas jet to be thrown off course, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's monthly report.

sg64
9th Oct 2008, 18:55
News | Bloody wreck | News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/gallery/0,23607,5035047-5007150,00.html)

Pretty disturbing pictures.

sevenstrokeroll
9th Oct 2008, 20:13
travolta's G2 problem was over washington, dc, not new york...at least the landing was in dca.

and you can learn from any pilot, good or bad.

I know at least two instructors who taught him...in santa barbara many years ago.

why not read his book? something like: ''one way, night, coach prop''

Milt
9th Oct 2008, 23:20
Autopilot Runaway Perhaps?

The incident raises the question about the flight test approved authority of the autopilot within the aircraft's flight envelope.

Having spent many flight testing hours ensuring that autopilots could not overstress military aircraft by means of auto cut outs I trust that due attention has been given to the potential for a max rate runaway of autopilots to break your aircraft or result in an unacceptable violent manoeuvre.

Hopefully auto trim failures are also currently covered to prevent a pilot from having a big surprise when the autopilot is disconnected.

Can anyone give reassurances?

zubediah
10th Oct 2008, 02:31
It seems Q are fairly worried about the potential for legal action and compensation claims given what they are reported to be offering in the way of refunds, travel vouchers and payment for medical expenses. Australian papers report packages of up to $AUD9000 for first class passengers. With 70 people reported injured a class action payout could be expensive for the airlines and lucrative for the lawyers

FE Hoppy
10th Oct 2008, 02:58
News | Bloody wreck | News.com.au

Pretty disturbing pictures.

What??

couple of PSU dropped out, probably after being hit by a pax head. Broken toilet seat, probably caused by a bouncing pax bum. Couple of panels come loose in the roof and a mess in the galley. Not disturbing at all. I think this incident is being blown out of all proportion.

philipat
10th Oct 2008, 05:25
Passenger laptop computers are now being investigated as a possible cause of the Qantas mid-air emergency off Western Australia on Tuesday.



I truly hope that the inability to isolate the true cause will not result in the blame being placed on laptop usage. In 2008, the need to use laptops onboard by Business (Premium) travellers is essential and, unless there is real hard evidence to the contrary, limitation of their use would be problematic for all, including the airlines.

There is a mean-spiritedness about the media, in particular the Australian media, which needs to be kept in mind. Many of these spotty little journos from Broom don't understand why business folks should be able to sip champagne at 8500M and play with a laptop. Of course, the reality is that catching up, often offline, with hundreds of email messages is not exactly the pinacle of relaxation.

It's important to keep a balance here and not speculate about causes until the very competent Australian investigators have been given time to report. In the meantime, let's keep in mind that the basic cause for the injuries was the simple expedient of not applying common sense and fastening a seat bellt whilst seated. If you need to leave your seat, even if to implement the advice of the airlines themselves to minimise the risk of DVT, then do so but also keep in view the CAT possibilities side of the equation. Get back to your seat and buckle up as soon as possible.

A lot of this remains common sense and doesn't really benefit from being sensationalised in the immediate aftermath of an incident.

ZEEBEE
10th Oct 2008, 05:41
PhilipPat

I truly hope that the inability to isolate the true cause will not result in the blame being placed on laptop usage. In 2008, the need to use laptops onboard by Business (Premium) travellers is essential and, unless there is real hard evidence to the contrary, limitation of their use would be problematic for all, including the airlines.

I don't believe that the laptop per se is implicated, but rather the wireless component that if not explicitly turned off will continuosly broadcast "where am i ?" messages.
The airlines state that any designated transmitters must be disabled during the entire flight. I say "designated" because even without wireless, most laptops transmit R/F quite copiously. However, the wireless transmitters are specifically designed to reach as far as their specs permit.

These transmissions DO have implications for security and it only takes a bad shield on one of the critical cables to allow the signals to be coupled into components that don't deserve them.

In fact just such a scenario occurred in an A320 in Minnesota where a mobile phone was responsible for shutting down the port engine several times during pushback startup sequence.

So, it behooves us as laptop users to ENSURE that the wireless component is disabled BEFORE getting on board.
This is OK for those that know how, but half the population don't even know they HAVE a wireless built in, let alone how to close it down.
Some others do know, but are reluctant because they possibly fear not being able to reset it subsequently.

It;s a long shot, but most accidents are caused by several "long shots" coinciding.

Brian Abraham
10th Oct 2008, 05:42
One passenger being interviewed on telly remarked on all the broken glass on the floor. Did not comment on its source but wonder if it may have been all that duty free booze. If so, wonder if the carriage of same on aircraft will get a revisit.

ZEEBEE
10th Oct 2008, 05:48
Brian

One passenger being interviewed on telly remarked on all the broken glass on the floor. Did not comment on its source but wonder if it may have been all that duty free booze. If so, wonder if the carriage of same on aircraft will get a revisit.

I believe that it was the glasses from the "trash trolly" that pax fell on and smashed.
I understand that a lot of the cuts and lacerations were from those also.

Coming from Singers, I don't think there would have been much in the way of duty free alcahol, since it's cheaper to buy it on arrival I've found.

Christodoulidesd
10th Oct 2008, 08:39
But of course it would appear as light to you, sitting safely and largely on your armchair at home!

fc101
10th Oct 2008, 08:55
(http://www.news.com.au/gallery/0,23607,5035047-5007150,00.html)News | Bloody wreck | News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/gallery/0,23607,5035047-5007150,00.html)

Pretty disturbing pictures.

Looks like buisness class after some flights I've been on ;-)

Is news.com.au a parody site?
mutant fish: Mutant fish 'killing people in river' | NEWS.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24471646-13762,00.html)
canada hates me: Canada hates me, says bear bite victim | NEWS.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24474279-401,00.html)
teaching standards: Students missing out on basic literacy, numeracy skills | NEWS.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24474224-2,00.html)

there was one about the Beckham kid's common sense too!!

:ugh:

I mean, how many laptops, cd players etc are used every day on nearly every flight world-wide without problems? Sounds more like someone either in the ATSB or Qantas (not sure which...anyone got a source on the original comment) is trying to shift blame - sounds like the claim that a mobile phone (or whatever) in Gordon's Brown car caused the BA 777 accident....

fc101
E145 driver

Hot Rod
10th Oct 2008, 08:57
ZEEBEE wrote:
"So, it behooves us as laptop users to ENSURE that the wireless component is disabled BEFORE getting on board.
This is OK for those that know how, but half the population don't even know they HAVE a wireless built in, let alone how to close it down.
Some others do know, but are reluctant because they possibly fear not being able to reset it subsequently."

You are absolutely right, and that goes for many pilots too, using their laptops in the cockpit...

philipat
10th Oct 2008, 09:21
You are absolutely right, and that goes for many pilots too, using their laptops in the cockpit...

Incidentally, from hereon out, all passengers (Including First and Business Class) will:

1. Have NO inflight entertainment (Swissair)

2. Have no inflight service (Qantas, or, well Ryanair!!) because the trolleys are too dangerous. Bringing your own on board is also prohibited by security.

3.Not be able to use latops, CD players, game machines NOTHING!!! Some airlines plan on offering Bingo to Premium passengers on flights of over 4 hours.

4. Cannot carry or consume duty free alcohol because this is too dangerous and, in any case:

5. There will be NO bathroom breaks because there will be no bathrooms because:

6. Passengers must remain locked in their seats by flight attendents for the duration of the flight. The locks will only be opened upon landing and after the aircraft has parked on the stand and engines all shut down. Adult size Pampers will, however, be available free of charge IF requested on boarding AND ONLY before being locked in.

Etc. Etc.

Isn't flying fun?

Trains and boats and..........................?

fdr
10th Oct 2008, 09:40
= not weather,
= flight control causation...

Finn47
10th Oct 2008, 10:04
Some more info from today´s media conference here, including downward pitch angles during the two upsets:

MEDIA RELEASE : 10 October 2008 - Qantas Airbus Accident Media Conference (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40b.aspx)

Brian Abraham
10th Oct 2008, 10:07
It's somewhat disappointing given the number of times this discussion has been had on Pprune that there are some decrying the possibility of passenger electronics interfering with aircraft systems. New comers forgiven.

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP756.PDF

Over the past ten years, the CAA has received 65 MORs relating to interference experienced with one or more of the aircraft systems that cited PEDs as a factor, which were not subsequently found to be caused by a system's malfunction.

PEDs will radiate RF emissions from their internal components such as poorly filtered oscillators, processor clocks, unsuppressed electric motors, and power supply converters. These emissions are referred to as unintentional because they occur as a by-product of the PED's operation.
In addition, some PEDs will also need to transmit RF signals at specified frequencies as a part of their functionality. These transmissions are referred to as intentional transmissions.

PEDs fall into two main categories:
a) those that only emit radio signals as a by-product of their operation (unintentional transmitters); and
b) those that transmit radio signals as a part of their functionality (intentional
transmitters).

Examples of PEDs classified as unintentional transmitters include:
a) personal computing equipment such as laptops, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) etc.;
b) electronic cameras;
c) radio receivers;
d) audio and video reproducers;
e) electronic games and toys; and
f) time measuring equipment.

Examples of PEDs classified as intentional transmitters include:
a) mobile phones;
b) personal computing equipment (laptops, PDAs, etc.) with wireless network
devices (plug-ins or embedded);
c) two-way pagers;
d) two-way radios;
e) radio transmitters; and
f) remote control equipment, which may include some toys.

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAPAP2003_03.PDF

Effects of Interference from Cellular Telephones on Aircraft Avionic Equipment

The tests covered the cellphone transmission frequencies of 412 (Tetra), 940 (GSM) and 1719MHz, including simultaneous exposure to 940 and 1719MHz. The applied interference field strengths were up to 50 volts/metre for a single frequency, and 35 volts/metre for dual frequencies.
The following anomalies were seen at interference levels above 30 volts/metre, a level that can be produced by a cellphone operating at maximum power and located 30cms from the victim equipment or its wiring harness.
• Compass froze or overshot actual magnetic bearing.
• Instability of indicators.
• Digital VOR navigation bearing display errors up to 5 degrees.
• VOR navigation To/From indicator reversal.
• VOR and ILS course deviation indicator errors with and without a failure flag.
• Reduced sensitivity of the ILS Localiser receiver.
• Background noise on audio outputs.
Most anomalies were observed at 1719MHz.

The reports linked interference with effects including:
• False warnings of unsafe conditions (e.g. baggage compartment smoke alarms);
• Distraction of the flight crew from their normal duties;
• Interrupted communications due to noise in the flight crew headphones;
• Increased work load for the flight crew and the possibility of invoking emergency drills;
• Reduced crew confidence in protection systems which may then be ignored
during a genuine warning;
• Malfunctioning of multiple systems essential to safe flight.

The difficulties experienced in trying to reproduce the events have led many (including pilots) to question whether a genuine problem exists. The degraded navigation precision could result in an inability to meet required navigation performance with potential adverse effects on aircraft separation and terrain clearance. However, the potential adverse impact on flight safety and the need to keep that risk to tolerable levels have led to restrictions on the use of cellphones in aircraft.

Bolding mine.

Our operation experienced a baggage compartment fire warning put down to a phone in a passengers bag. System itself could not be faulted.

Also remember the stories from a Red Flag (reliably reported) where the F-16 and F-15 were unable to start engines due to, ahem, jamming.

philipat
10th Oct 2008, 11:14
It's somewhat disappointing given the number of times this discussion has been had on Pprune that there are some decrying the possibility of passenger electronics interfering with aircraft systems. New comers forgiven.




It's just that the number of proven accidents caused by errors in TO configuration is greater, to the best of my knowledge, than from PED's?

Am I the only one who just gets sick of the constant erosion of freedom based on tenuous cr*p to suit the health and safety PC brigade. See above post.

Don't get me wrong. I've flown RTW at least 100 times and I care about safety. If there is proof that actual accidents have occured as a result of PED's then I am all for a complete ban. I am a responsible passenger. I don't drink on flights because I want to remain alert and I ALWAYS fasten my seatbelt when seated. It's just that I get so SICK of the B/S and P/C that has the ultimate objective of making travelling life even more miserable than it has already become, even up the front.

My view is that, beyond the PROVEN facts, and beyond the behaviours already noted above, I am prepared to take my chances from burning inflight entertainment systems, flying meal trolleys etc.

infrequentflyer789
10th Oct 2008, 11:23
With, say, 150 to 200 pax on a typical commercial flight, that would mean that on every second or third flight a pax gets off the aircraft with an injury from DVT.

Also, the quoted "3 to 5%" means about 5 to 10 pasengers per flight experience some form of DVT.

It does seem a lot... Can you quote any links to research, that would save us going off on a wild goose chase? Thanks in advance!

We're going off topic here, but here goes:

Airhealth has a list that may be a useful starting point - Airhealth.org - Science - Research (http://www.airhealth.org/research.html) - but bear in mind this is pretty much a campaign site on one "side" of the debate, so apply some caution. Plenty of anecdotal evidence to scare you there should you choose...

A couple of recent literature review papers are:

http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlPrinter=true&xmlFilePath=journals/ijs/vol10n1/dvt.xml

and

Venous thromboembolic complications following air ...[Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2006] - PubMed Result (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16230037?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)


Some studies look at DVT victims and their history and work back to assess air travel involvement. I am always a little sceptical on studies like this as I don't think you can ever really get round your sample being selected from the general population by a process you may not understand (and may be linked to what you are trying to measure). As an example the MEGA study is available here PLoS Medicine - Travel-Related Venous Thrombosis: Results from a Large Population-Based Case Control Study (MEGA Study) (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0030307&ct=1). It used DVT victims as case group and their partners as controls. I can think of plenty of variables that might not get taken into account by that.

I prefer population sample studies like the LONFLIT series, where they take sample of travellers and look for DVT. See here for one summary of these papers Development of blood clots following long-haul flights prevented with single dose of enoxaparin sodium (http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2001/B/200112920.html), or google for planty of citations. Many of the studies now are acutally looking at change in risk from eg. using compression stockings. They aren't directly trying to measure risk of DVT but effectively they do anyway for the control group. When you see that they can measure around 20times reduction in risk by using stockings, that tells you there is a definite associated risk in the first place.

One complication is that a lot of the research tries to separate people into "at risk" and "normal" groups - but without agreement on criteria... So you might see 5% risk for "high risk" travellers and 1% for "everyone else".



Be wary of assessing your risk assuming you will be in "everyone else", as the list of frequently quoted risk factors is quite long:Older people (over 50, or over 45 or 40 in some)
On the pill or hrt or pregnant
Any history of heart/circulation or diabetes problems
Overweight
Anyone with a particular genetic mutation
(factor V Leiden - about 5% of caucasians)
Very tall, or very short
And if you believe AirHealth.org anecdotal evidence: fit / athleticThat'll cover most people then...

infrequentflyer789
10th Oct 2008, 11:36
...

6. Passengers must remain locked in their seats by flight attendents for the duration of the flight. The locks will only be opened upon landing and after the aircraft has parked on the stand and engines all shut down. Adult size Pampers will, however, be available free of charge IF requested on boarding AND ONLY before being locked in.


I have my doubts that they'll be free of charge on Ryanair... :\

radeng
10th Oct 2008, 12:26
Interesting post from Brian Abraham.

I understand the figures are quoted from the CAA, and aren't Brian's own.

30v/m at 30cms is a radiated power in free space of 2-2/3 watts. What cellphone radiates this much power? It's also the limit in the HF range for uncontrolled exposure i.e. to the general public. At cellphone frequencies, it would corespond to about 2.4 watts/sq. metre. It would certainly be on the way to cooking the customer!

In context, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) recommendations for immunity are for 3v/m in light industrial and doemstic, and 10v/m in heavy industry and more critical applications, such as emergency radio and life supporting medical implants, such as pace makers.

Personally, I have doubts about radios in PCs interfering, unless the aircraft is using MLS, or maybe with a weather radar. Worrying is the vulnerability of aircraft systems to EMC: it doesn't cost that much to build in immunity at the design stage. There have been suggestions that a lot of weight could be saved by using WLAN technology to send data from various airframe sensors, rather than sue cables. Now that REALLY could lead to problems!

Has CAT really been ruled out yet?

justme69
10th Oct 2008, 13:28
Time for airliners to purchase a (quite inexpensive) portable RF/Gauss meters? Have the crew slowly walk around with it every 20 minutes up and down the aisles. If it goes over some preset limits, find the passenger/piece of luggage and throw it out the window ... I mean, turn it off.

sunmoon
10th Oct 2008, 13:43
I think airplane went into stall!

Busbert
10th Oct 2008, 13:45
I think that somebody somewhere may be undergoing recurrent training on the difference between a rotary selector and a push-button switch.

yamaha
10th Oct 2008, 15:31
There are literally thousands of "electronic" jets flying around out there at any given moment in time. They also suffer lightning strikes and amazingly continue to fly and land safely without incident.

Electronic interference is a fact but it also a fact that it is completely overstated and doesn't even move the dial as far as relevance is concerned to operating modern day jets.

Get real and get off those hobby horses.

nyt
10th Oct 2008, 18:53
Any word on this somewhat similar event? 15 seconds of terror (http://ago.mobile.globeandmail.com/generated/archive/RTGAM/html/20080111/wEmergency11.html) on flight AC190 (A319).
Edit: globeandmail.com: Wake turbulence possible cause of plane drop (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080116.wpassengers_hurt0116/BNStory/National/)

ChristiaanJ
10th Oct 2008, 20:38
Any word on this somewhat similar event?First time I see that one.

Might one say "same difference" ?

CAT, persisting wake vortices, mountain waves... they're all out there, up there, and they can be nasty. Invisible, unfortunately, so each time we're obliged to laboriously look for enough corroborating circumstantial evidence.

In the meantime, each time, the conspiracy lovers have a field day with multiple computer software failures and radiating laptops.

SLC_57
10th Oct 2008, 21:07
Many passengers do not understand Newton's first law: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.
Translation: Tie yourself to the aircraft.
The livestock is used to Trains and (ground) Buses which (usually) only accelerate in four directions. People can handle changes in velocity in those vehicles because the forces involved are similar to those experienced by a running footballer changing direction to avoid a tackle.

The problem is that some people are thick. They know that aeroplanes go up and down, but are unable to understand that gravity may be irrelevant.

Show them this footage of Lois (but lose the rocket and the external shots)
YouTube - Superman Returns - Superman saves an airliner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IexEzk6TTSY)

SLC_57
10th Oct 2008, 21:31
If you want a conspiracy theory, check out the secret facility at the end of the cape:

Google Maps (http://maps.google.com.au/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=-21.816246,114.165545&spn=0.032312,0.065918&t=h&z=15)

Wireless mouse or huge radio source at military base? If I want a CT I know which I would choose. ;)

llondel
11th Oct 2008, 03:43
A classic on my flight today. It got a bit bumpy, the seatbelt light came on and one of the cabin crew on the PA "...the Captain has turned on the seatbelt sign. Please would all those using the toilets or floating around the cabin return to their seats..." Fortunately it was only minor turbulence so her words didn't come true.

Having said that, 10% of the passengers were probably out of their seats when the sign went on (fairly full 744), so it's easy to see that a sudden upset could catch 40-50 people.

Brian Abraham
11th Oct 2008, 05:25
Of course there is no evidence that a PED may be implicated in this event, I felt posting what Boeing has to say may educational, since the subject has been raised.

Interference from Electronic Devices

Operators of commercial airplanes have reported numerous cases of portable electronic devices affecting airplane systems during flight. These devices, including laptop and palmtop computers, audio players/recorders, electronic games, cell phones, compact-disc players, electronic toys, and laser pointers, have been suspected of causing such anomalous events as autopilot disconnects, erratic flight deck indications, airplanes turning off course, and uncommanded turns. Boeing has recommended that devices suspected of causing these anomalies be turned off during critical stages of flight (takeoff and landing). The company also recommends prohibiting the use of devices that intentionally transmit electromagnetic signals, such as cell phones, during all phases of flight. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission already prohibits the use of cell phones during flight. In addition, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued Federal Aviation Regulation 91.21 to make operators responsible for governing the use of portable electronic devices on their airplanes.

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) from passenger-carried portable electronic devices (PED) on commercial airplanes has been reported as being responsible for anomalous events during flight. The operation of PEDs produces uncontrolled electromagnetic emissions that could interfere with airplane systems. Airplane systems are tested to rigorous electromagnetic standards to establish and provide control of the electromagnetic characteristics and compatibility of these systems. However, PEDs are not subject to these same equipment qualification and certification processes. Though many cases of EMI have been reported over the years, with PEDs suspected as the cause, it has proven almost impossible to duplicate these events. Boeing has participated in several related activities and has revised its all-model service letter for concurrence with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory circular (AC) on the use of cell phones while airplanes are on the ground. However, operators and their flight crews are ultimately responsible for deciding whether to allow the use of PEDs.

Operators can increase their ability to make proper decisions regarding the use of PEDs by becoming aware of the most current information in the following areas:

1. Testing and analysis of PEDs and airplane systems.
2. Resulting regulations and recommendations.
3. Operator actions for investigating and preventing PED events.
4. Ongoing related activities at Boeing.

1. TESTING AND ANALYSIS OF PEDS AND AIRPLANE SYSTEMS
Boeing has conducted several tests and investigations to better understand the effects of PED use on airplane systems. These include analysis of operator reports, investigation of specific instances of suspected PED interference, ground and airplane tests of in-seat power, and cell phone tests and analysis.

Analysis of operator reports.
Boeing has received many reports related to PEDs from operators. The majority of these reports were inquiries about PEDs in general. The remaining reports involved airplane anomalies and can be grouped into one of three categories of PED events: (1) events where PED interference was suspected (an airplane anomaly occurred when a PED was being operated), (2) events with an apparent correlation between PED operation and the airplane anomaly (the problem disappeared when the PED was turned off, either immediately or shortly thereafter), and (3) events showing a strong correlation between PED operation and the airplane anomaly (the problem disappeared when the PED was turned off, returned when PED use resumed, and disappeared when the PED was turned off again).

Of the reports involving airplane anomalies, only a few showed a strong correlation between the airplane reaction and the suspected PED.

Investigation of specific instances of suspected PED interference.
Some sample cases are included here to illustrate the variety of potential PED events.

1995, 737 airplane.
A passenger laptop computer was reported to cause autopilot disconnects during cruise. Boeing purchased the computer from the passenger and performed a laboratory emission scan from 150 kHz to 1 GHz. The emissions exceeded the Boeing emission standard limits for airplane equipment at various frequency ranges up to 300 MHz. Boeing participated with the operator on two flight tests with the actual PED, using the same airplane and flight conditions, in an attempt to duplicate the problem. Using even these extensive measures to re-create the reported event, Boeing was unable to confirm the reported interference between the PED and the airplane system.

1996/1997, 767 airplane.
Over a period of eight months, Boeing received five reports on interference with various navigation equipment (uncommanded rolls, displays blanking, flight management computer [FMC]/ autopilot/standby altimeter inoperative, and autopilot disconnects) caused by passenger operation of a popular handheld electronic game device. In one of these cases, the flight crew confirmed the interference by turning the unit on and off to observe the correlation. The same unit was used on another flight and on a different airplane, but the event could not be duplicated. Boeing purchased two of the actual suspect units through the airline and tested them in the laboratory, along with three off-the-shelf units. It was determined that these suspect units had emission profiles similar to the off-the-shelf units and that the levels from these devices were below airplane equipment emission limits.

1998, 747 airplane.
A passenger’s palmtop computer was reported to cause the airplane to initiate a shallow bank turn. One minute after turning the PED off, the airplane returned to "on course." When the unit was brought to the flight deck, the flight crew noticed a strong correlation by turning the unit back on and watching the anomaly return, then turning the unit off and watching the anomaly stop. Boeing was not able to purchase the actual PED, but contacted the PED manufacturer and purchased the same model. Boeing laboratory emission testing revealed that the unit exceeded Boeing airplane equipment emission levels by up to 37 dB by demonstrating energy levels in the frequency range of 150 to 700 kHz. In the Boeing navigation laboratory the unit was placed next to the FMCs, control display unit, and integrated display unit, but the reported anomaly could not be duplicated.

As a result of these and other investigations, Boeing has not been able to find a definite correlation between PEDs and the associated reported airplane anomalies. For future considerations and investigations, other factors are becoming significant. Qualification levels related to high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF) for new airplane equipment are higher than almost any level of emissions from passenger PEDs. The size of many PEDs is shrinking and, as a result, these units require less power to operate. Though this can increase the margin between airplane system susceptibility test levels and PED emissions, some PEDs are now operating in new frequency bands and are combining multiple functions, making it more difficult to distinguish between intentionally and non-intentionally transmitting PEDs (see below).

Consequently, some airplane systems that have not been reported as being susceptible to PEDs, such as the global positioning system, weather radar, and radio altimeter, may pick up energy from newer PEDs that operate in the high-frequency bands and whose harmonics or other noise may fall within one of these airplane systems’ operating bands.

Ground and airplane tests of in-seat power.
Operators have asked Boeing to install and certify in-seat power outlets for passenger use of laptop computers. Boeing and the FAA have three related electromagnetics concerns: (1) whether installing the outlets will increase the use of laptop computers and a corresponding number of potential PED events, (2) whether the power cord will introduce additional radiated emission effects, and (3) whether laptop connections will corrupt airplane power by conducting emissions into the airplane power system.

Boeing certifies the in-seat power system but does not certify or control the power cords and what is connected to them. The in-seat power system is qualified to the same standards as any other airplane system. Sufficient attenuation is required within the power supply to ensure that the conducted emissions from laptop computers are not fed into the airplane power system. In addition to the laboratory tests performed by the supplier, Boeing is required to conduct airplane tests where the system is fully loaded with laptop computers.

Boeing has tested in-seat power on eight airplanes: two 737s, one 747, two 767s, and three 777s. The number of laptops operating simultaneously in each test ranged from 32 to 245. Included with the laptops were a mixture of compact-disc players and electronic games. Boeing found no airplane susceptibility in these eight tests, though some emissions were found to be extremely noisy in the laboratory (up to 40 dB over the airplane equipment emission limit). The noise levels were above the airplane equipment emission levels from 150 kHz to 500 MHz. Even though these computers did not cause any airplane system anomalies, Boeing has observed airplane antenna receiver susceptibility from "noisy" systems with levels significantly lower than those recorded by the laptop computers used in the tests.

Cell phone tests and analysis.
Boeing conducted a laboratory and airplane test with 16 cell phones typical of those carried by passengers, to determine the emission characteristics of these intentionally transmitting PEDs. The laboratory results indicated that the phones not only produce emissions at the operating frequency, but also produce other emissions that fall within airplane communication/navigation frequency bands (automatic direction finder, high frequency, very high frequency [VHF] omni range/locator, and VHF communications and instrument landing system [ILS]). Emissions at the operating frequency were as high as 60 dB over the airplane equipment emission limits, but the other emissions were generally within airplane equipment emission limits. One concern about these other emissions from cell phones is that they may interfere with the operation of an airplane communication or navigation system if the levels are high enough.

Boeing also performed an airplane test on the ground with the same 16 phones. The airplane was placed in a flight mode and the flight deck instruments, control surfaces, and communication/navigation systems were monitored. No susceptibility was observed.

Telephones installed and certified on the airplane by Boeing or operators are not actually cell phones, but part of an airborne certified satellite system. These phones are electromagnetically compatible with the airplane systems because their emissions are controlled. In contrast, the emissions from passengers’ cell phones are not known or controlled in the same way as permanently installed equipment.

2. RESULTING REGULATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

All electrical and electronic airplane systems are qualified to meet stringent requirements for electromagnetic susceptibility. They are tested to well-established limits during various modes of operation and with setup configurations that represent the airplane installation in terms of electromagnetic protection. Sufficient margins exist between the qualification susceptibility test level and the expected airplane environment noise levels. Compliance with these requirements provides a high level of confidence that the airplane systems will function as intended in the electromagnetic environment of the airplane. However, susceptibility can occur in the airplane if an uncontrolled source of electromagnetic energy radiates emission levels above the susceptibility level to which the airplane system was tested or if the airplane system protection has been degraded.

In addition, airplane systems with a receiving antenna component have an exception from the susceptibility requirements. The radio frequency (RF) radiated susceptibility test is performed on the system over a full frequency spectrum, but not in the designed operating frequency band of the antenna. No value is gained from performing the RF radiated susceptibility test in the operating band of the antenna because it is designed to respond to signals in this band. PEDs can radiate non-intentional noise within the airplane antenna’s operating frequency band, and this can create EMI. Because the basic function of an antenna-based system is to seek and find low-level electromagnetic signals and to respond to signals in a certain frequency band, the probability of interference to these systems is more likely than interference to systems not connected to an antenna receiver.

As a result of these conclusions, recommendations and regulations regarding PED-related anomalies have been established by several agencies, including the U.S. Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), the FAA, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Boeing.

RTCA.
The RTCA has focused its attention on airplane system susceptibility with the highest probability of EMI from a PED -- namely, airplane antenna receiver systems. (RTCA document DO-199, "Potential Interference to Aircraft Electronic Equipment From Devices Carried Aboard," lists the eight conditions that are required for an airplane antenna receiver system to experience interference from a PED.)

The RTCA concluded that the probability of a PED interfering with an airplane receiver system is very low. In the case of an ILS localizer antenna, the probability of PED interference was calculated as one in one million. Based on the total number of flights per year (determined in 1988), the expected ILS localizer receiver disruption is once in any two-year period.

The first national committee that investigated interference by passenger-carried PEDs was created in the early 1960s. Its activities were initiated by a report that a passenger-operated portable FM broadcast receiver caused an airplane navigation system to indicate that the airplane was off course by more than 10 deg. The airplane was actually on course and, when the portable receiver was turned off, the malfunction ceased. A final report from this committee, RTCA DO-119, was issued in 1963 and resulted in the revision of the FAA Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) by establishing a new rule (FAR 91.19, now 91.21), which states that the responsibility for ensuring that PEDs will not cause interference with airplane navigation or communication systems remained with the operator of the airplane.

In the early 1980s, media attention focused on in-flight portable computer use and variations in airline policies. Some computer trade publications suggested that their readers avoid particular operators who restricted the use of portable computers. As a result, one operator requested that a special committee be formed to "generate a Minimum Operational Performance Standards document against which manufacturers (of computers and other portable electronic devices) marketing their products for airborne use, could test and label them as meeting this standard in a manner similar to the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. sign of approval." In 1988, a final report was released (RTCA DO-199) that recommended the following:

* Acceptable limits of radiation and associated test methods for PEDs should be established.
* The FCC should specify a new classification for PEDs that may be operated on board airplanes.
* The FAA should initiate a regulatory project to revise FAR 91.19, providing guidance for acceptable methods of compliance and to develop methods to enhance public awareness.
* Standardized reporting of suspected interference by PEDs should be implemented.

In 1992, the U.S. Government requested that the RTCA resolve outstanding questions on PEDs to ensure air safety, specifying that unnecessary restrictions should not be placed on untested PEDs, and to gain an understanding of multiple effects and those from intentional radiators such as remote control devices and cell phones. For various reasons, intentional radiators were not evaluated. In 1996, the committee issued its report, RTCA DO-233. The recommendations are as follows:

1. The FAA should modify FAR 91.19 (now 91.21), Portable Electronic Devices, so that
1. The use of any PED is prohibited on airplanes during any critical phase of flight.
2. The use of any PED having the capability to intentionally transmit electromagnetic energy is prohibited in an airplane at all times unless testing has been conducted to ascertain its safe use.
2. PED testing efforts should be continued and should include existing and new technology devices such as satellite communications, embedded communications devices, and two-way pagers.
3. A public awareness campaign should be initiated to educate the flying public about PEDs and especially those designed as intentional radiators.
4. More research is needed on the design and feasibility of detection devices.

FAA.
In 1993, the FAA issued AC 91.21-1, "Use of Portable Electronic Devices Aboard Aircraft." This circular provides guidance to the airlines in establishing compliance with FAR 91.21, which provides recommended procedures for airlines and test criteria for manufacturers. For the use of cell phones, the AC states that the FCC currently prohibits the use and operation of cell phones while airborne. The reason for this relates primarily to cellular ground base system susceptibility because a cell phone in the air will have greater coverage (transmitting to several cell bases simultaneously on the same frequency) than a cell phone on the ground (transmitting to one cell base). The FAA supports this airborne restriction because of the potential for interference to critical airplane systems. Currently, the FAA does not prohibit use of cell phones in airplanes while on the ground if the operator has determined that they will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the airplane on which they are to be used. An example might be use at the gate or during an extended wait on the ground, when specifically authorized by the captain. A cell phone must not be authorized for use while the airplane is taxiing for departure after leaving the gate. The unit must be turned off and properly stowed; otherwise, a signal from a ground cell could activate it.

FCC.
The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, title 47, part 22, subpart H, "Cellular Radiotelephone Service," section 22.925, "Prohibition on airborne operation of cellular telephones," states that cell phones installed in or carried aboard airplanes must not be operated while such airplanes are airborne (not touching the ground). When any airplane leaves the ground, all cell phones on board that airplane must be turned off, and the use of cell phones while airborne is prohibited by FCC rules. The use of cell phones on the ground and in the airplane is also subject to FAA regulations.

Boeing.
In addition to its active participation on the last two RTCA committees, Boeing released an all-model service letter in 1993 to provide guidance to operators regarding the use of PEDs. The letter included the following statements:

* Use of intentional transmitters should be prohibited at all times.
* Use of non-intentional transmitters should be prohibited during takeoff and landing (critical stages of flight).
* Operation of non-intentional transmitters should be allowed for use during noncritical stages of flight unless the operator of the airplane has determined otherwise.
* Airline procedures should be established for PED termination if problems arise.
* Data should be recorded during a suspected PED-related event.

Boeing has revised its service letter to be in accordance with the FAA AC on the use of cell phones while the airplane is on the ground.

3. OPERATOR ACTIONS FOR INVESTIGATING AND PREVENTING PED EVENTS
Because PED interference is often named as the cause of airplane anomalies, operators should be thorough when confirming a cause-and-effect relationship. Other possibilities should always be considered, including loose cables or other maintenance issues, flight crew activity, and HIRF.

The initial reports that operators submit to Boeing about possible PED interference must contain sufficient detail to allow further investigation, if desired. Follow-up information is difficult to obtain because the passenger and the PED involved in the event are seldom available, details may not have been fully documented, and relevant data may be unknown. To support further investigation, operators should provide the following data:

* Model and make of the PED.
* Identification of peripherals used with the PED.
* Seat location of the PED.
* Operating mode of the PED.
* Name, address, and telephone number of the passenger using the PED.
* Airplane model and tail number or effectivity number.
* Identification of airplane system and description of anomaly.
* Frequency and operation mode of the airplane system, if applicable.
* Length of time between PED shutoff and airplane system recovery, and confirmation of whether the PED was cycled off and on to confirm the cause-and-effect relationship.
* Flight phase and route.
* Copy of flight data recorder output.
* Results of postmaintenance inspection.

4. ONGOING RELATED ACTIVITIES AT BOEING
Boeing continues to monitor its fleet through reports submitted by operators and to investigate these reports when possible. The company continues to share its experience and knowledge of PEDs and airplanes with the industry and the public. Boeing is committed to supporting future committee activity and investigations into PED detection devices.

SUMMARY
Passenger-carried PEDs on commercial airplanes will continue to present a source of uncontrolled emissions and as a result may cause interference with airplane systems. The potential is great that PEDs will continue to be blamed for some anomalies regardless of whether they are the true cause. As a result, regulatory agencies and operators continue to offer the current policy for PED use on airplanes as the best safety measure. Most operators enforce this policy, which calls for no PED operation during takeoff and landing, no operation of intentionally transmitting PEDs during any stage of flight, and allowing the use of cell phones at the gate with operator or flight crew approval and with a termination procedure in place in the case of an anomaly. If an operator or flight crew suspects a PED-related event, further investigation can be initiated if key information was recorded at the time of the anomaly. Whenever a PED is suspected as the cause of an airplane anomaly, the operator should also investigate all other potential causes to validate the cause-and-effect relationship.

CATEGORIES OF PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES

PEDs are classified as either intentional or non-intentional transmitters of electromagnetic signals. Those that intentionally transmit signals outside the device must do so to accomplish their functions. Examples of these PEDs are

* Cell phones.
* Remote-control toys.
* Two-way pagers.
* Two-way radios.

Non-intentionally transmitting PEDs do not need to transmit electromagnetic signals outside the device to accomplish their functions. But like any electrical or electronic device, they will emit some level of radiation. Depending on the characteristics of this radiation, interference with the operation of other electronic devices can occur. For example, operating an AM radio close to a fluorescent light will cause static in the reception of the radio signal. Examples of non-intentional transmitters are

* Audio players and recorders.
* Compact-disc players.
* Electronic games and toys.
* Laptop computers.
* Laser pointers.
* Palmtop computers.

BRUCE DONHAM
PRINCIPAL ENGINEER & DESIGNATED ENGINEERING REPRESENTATIVE

ELECTROMAGNETIC EFFECTS AND ANTENNAS
BOEING COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES GROUP

Mark in CA
11th Oct 2008, 06:01
I was flying first class on a TWA L-1011 flight from SFO to BOS in 1983 carrying a Radio Shack M-100, one of the very first laptop computers. As I took it out of the case and placed it on my tray, the woman sitting next to me (who turned out to be the manager of TWA's Boston Admiral's Lounge) was very curious about it, and so I turned it on to show it to her. Just as I flipped the switch, the plane started to bank, and I experienced a momentary fright that perhaps I had caused this to happen by turning on my laptop. Turned out I didn't, but perhaps this was an omen of things to come.

NSEU
11th Oct 2008, 07:27
Surprisingly (or maybe not), a Qantas flight attendant commented to me today... that all of her passengers were still not wearing their seat belts throughout the flight.

Maybe this incident needs MORE media attention? (If that's possible) :}

ZAGORFLY
11th Oct 2008, 07:43
Airlines should write in the Boarding Card or in the cabin cards the following notice:

"WARNING our medical insurance policy is invalid if you will sustain injuries due not compliance of the safety precautions indicated by the crew. "

and let them be idiots without bothering us here in a discussion that veered out of control. Here we should discuss about "George the Autopilot" not seat belts would you agree?

cheeers

TheShadow
11th Oct 2008, 08:17
From post 138 (http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/346058-qantas-emergency-landing-7.html#post4447602) of this thread

My initial read suggest to me that this failure mode mentioned in the AD only affects a failure to respond to a commanded input rather than forces an unwanted input.

still puzzled

No reason to be puzzled lomapaseo; the elevator was simply responding to a necessary autopilot commanded input necessitated by the aircraft suddenly entering the fairly flat gradient pressure-change (significant, but not a jet-stream and involving no CAT) that was overlying the NW Cape and adjacent waters - at that time.

philipat
11th Oct 2008, 08:18
Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Australia's transport safety watchdog said there was ``no evidence'' to suggest the use of portable electronic devices by passengers contributed to a mid- flight plunge by a Qantas Airways Ltd. (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=QAN%3AAU) aircraft.



Oct.11 (The Australian) And it has now emerged that the calamity has striking similarities with two previous incidents, including an emergency involving a Singapore Airlines flight in 1996.
In these cases, questions were raised about the design of the A330's cockpit, including whether it could lead to both pilots, instead of just one, inadvertently overcorrecting the plane, resulting in the plane's computers recording a double input.


One similar incident involved an SQ A340 with an identical cockpit after the FP swiched off the hydraulics pumps (For whatever reason)

paulg
11th Oct 2008, 09:10
Some may be interested in reading this online article from NineMSN. Maybe a mouse can bring us back down to earth? (pun intended). I don't think so, do you?

Speculation Qantas plunge caused by wireless iPod headphones (http://apcmag.com/speculation_qantas_plunge_caused_by_wireless_headphones.htm)

Barkly1992
11th Oct 2008, 10:49
sunmoon

Hold that thought.

:bored:

FrequentSLF
11th Oct 2008, 12:47
ZAGORFLY
and let them be idiots

Hmmm... BA5390...pilot released the shoulder harness...we all know what happened...:rolleyes:

Using offensive terms and call your SLF idiots will not help your cause...will only make it worse...because if you write it here, means you think it and therefore you deal with your PAX as you are dealing with idiots!:ugh:

AN

mohdawang
11th Oct 2008, 13:47
Electronic interference, my foot. Care to speculate that they hit the top of a storm cell and tumbled...........like all those who speculated that the CAL plane tumbled near Bali because the pilots obscured the windshields with papers? Years ago ( well b4 911 ) when flying from old Halim airport to Syd on QF, the flight deck door was opened and I could see charts and other odd newsprint covering the windscreen too...........hey not only the Taiwanese do it! Oh dear, that cannot be, better swear on gramp's grave that we skygods never ever do that!!! Deny it a trillion times, spin it like those yankie spin doctors, swear again on great great gramp's grave a quadrillion times that only the Asians do such thing.......now the people really believe only the Asians do it! Any tumbling out of the skies by a western airline must be due to electronic interference.....wow, a so damn high tech explanation! Bah!

J.O.
11th Oct 2008, 13:59
If you knew anything about the A330 flight deck, you would realise that it has some of the best and most effective window shades installed. There would be little need to put charts up as sun blockers.

sevenstrokeroll
11th Oct 2008, 14:23
Its very nice to know that the Airbus 330 is good at something...Window shades!

those who can, fly

those who use a computer fly with good windowshades

Ding Dong
11th Oct 2008, 18:49
This was letter written in to the Sydney Morning Herald .. It could not be put any better ....


Just belt up
Regarding the Qantas passengers seeking compensation (smh.com.au, October 10) , this aircraft thing is pretty simple. It flies at 10,000 metres. It flies at nearly 1000 kilometres an hour. It gets you to the opposite side of the world in less than a day for about a grand (unless you are in business, where it seems your life and your seat are worth more). It's called an aeroplane. Wear a seatbelt, you muppets.

Dean Mayr Lyneham (ACT)

ZAGORFLY
12th Oct 2008, 02:59
dear FrequentSLF,

you call these passengers intelligent for fly with out wearing the Seatbelt? I call them Idiots, sorry..In addition to that there passengers will call to court the airline for damages. Sorry, I do not want to insult anybody but can them labeled differently?

I'm sure y agree...Soon we will read something like this: "Our airline insurance policy will no cover injuries by not compliance of the crew safety recomendation during this flight."

regards
ZF

Capn Bloggs
12th Oct 2008, 12:35
mohdawang,
Care to speculate that they hit the top of a storm cell and tumbled
I don't think so. Before you speculate any further, read the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Media Release here (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_40b.aspx). No mention of tumbling off the top of a CB there.

Maisk Rotum
12th Oct 2008, 16:39
AHhhhhaaa. In RVSM airspace if the autopilot starts taking you down-uncommanded-shouldn't you disconnect and fly manually. If you were asleep for the first 200 foot excursion you should have been focused by then to disconnect for the next 650' excursion! And even more focussed after that for the next 400' excursion. Believe it or not you can disconnect the autopilot in cruise on a 'bus.

Bruce Wayne
12th Oct 2008, 23:12
Quote:
Why on earth is a police investigation underway..
It is standard procedure in Oz for the State Police (or the Feds in major ports once they've arm-wrestled control from the Staties) to assume command in any aircraft emergency, so as a Mayday was declared this would be following the protocol.

I'm not sure of the demarcation for any following investigation, but presumably the ATSB (Aviation Transport Safety Board) will take it on at some stage.


Thank you Worrals that answers my question.

Capn Bloggs
13th Oct 2008, 03:06
Maisk Rotum

if the autopilot starts taking you down-uncommanded-shouldn't you disconnect and fly manually. If you were asleep for the first 200 foot excursion you should have been focused by then to disconnect for the next 650' excursion! And even more focussed after that for the next 400' excursion. Believe it or not you can disconnect the autopilot in cruise on a 'bus.

That's a pretty smart comment from a professional pilot... The crew didn't have control of the aeroplane. It was doing it's own thing. The captain told me he was sh!t scared about what was going on. This was not a case of a simple autopilot disconnect and wandering off altitude while both pilots were engrossed in the paper. Don't you realise the first bunt was so violent 50 people got slammed against the ceiling? Do you reckon a pilot would have done that?

If you'd bothered to read the media release, you would have read that the aircraft climbed, then went back to level flight at the assigned level for one minute before doing the first bunt.

iceman50
13th Oct 2008, 05:40
Capn Bloggs:rolleyes:

Perhaps you should heed what you say and re-read Maisk Rotum's post. He wondered why they did NOT disconnect the AP!:ugh:

Capn Bloggs
13th Oct 2008, 06:24
He wondered why they did NOT disconnect the AP!
Perhaps they did.

vapilot2004
13th Oct 2008, 07:56
Would George have been that quick with the control deflections? I think not.

This is more into the ELAC and servo realm I would think.

neville_nobody
13th Oct 2008, 08:29
Anyone have any idea what affect high powered VLF transmissions would do to your autopilot?

yamaha
13th Oct 2008, 11:14
Yes, absolutely no effect.

ChristiaanJ
13th Oct 2008, 11:27
Cheapo autopilot in a light plane flying low-level over an operating VLF array you might notice something. But I doubt that was your question .....

compressor stall
13th Oct 2008, 13:32
Care to speculate that they hit the top of a storm cell and tumbled...........like all those who speculated that the CAL plane tumbled near Bali because the pilots obscured the windshields with papers? Years ago ( well b4 911 ) when flying from old Halim airport to Syd on QF, the flight deck door was opened and I could see charts and other odd newsprint covering the windscreen too

Hmm what crap mate - Singapore to Perth...roughly south. It was the middle of the day. It's the southern hemisphere - the sun's in the north BEHIND the aircraft. You'd only be putting the SMH up there if you were scared of heights. :ugh:

Miles CNN
13th Oct 2008, 15:22
Interested in your thoughts on the Qantas plunge and chance that a laptop might have interfered with nav/flight control gear. Just for background. No attribution. No recriminations. Check out stories at this link:
http://tinyurl.com/qantas1 (http://preview.tinyurl.com/qantas1)

post here or email: miles.obrien@<hidden>

CONF iture
13th Oct 2008, 17:13
Just a thought but the behaviour of QF72 brought back to mind the Turkish A340 in the mid-Atlantic airprox of Oct 2000
Very interesting report GobonaStick, thank you for bringing it up !
From what I can see, this event did not bring any important negative G, at least nothing close to what experienced QF72.

But it should be a report to be read by any bus pilot, and most importantly by any pilot riding close above an Airbus.
Strategic Lateral Offset over the NAT tracks seems to be a very wise move ... and Airbus "protections" should be studied and understood much more carefully by their operators.

PJ2
13th Oct 2008, 19:11
Vapilot2004:
This is more into the ELAC and servo realm I would think
Yes, I think so. In fact I posted a long summary of an Airbus OEB on this thread a while back and either can't find it for looking or it's been deleted. The OEB, issued June 2007 and remains in effect until "Corrective Action" takes place as follows; - The OEB is cancelled "upon the installation of [an] F/CTL PRIM (FCPC) and a SEC (FPSC) software standard as follows", and the OEB goes on to state the references which apply.

The OEB discusses certain PRIM1 or servo controller failure modes, (which may or may not be associated with a Green hydraulic system pressure loss), a "dual independant failure" can occur which results in the loss of control of the associated elevator. The OEB states that this fault would normally be seen on the ground during the control check but there is provision for crew response if the messages occur In-flight. The associated in-flight ECAM messages referenced by the OEB are:

F/CTL PRIM1 FAULT
F/CTL PRIM1 PITCH FAULT
F/CTL ELEV SERVO FAULT
HYD G SYS LO PR

The OEB requires that if any of these messages occur, normal ECAM and STATUS procedures are to be applied by the crew.

In normal operation, each elevator is actuated by the Green servo control in active mode and controlled by the FCPC PRIM1 (Flight Control Primary Computer 1) while the other servo control is in "damping mode".

The OEB explains that if a failure occurs with PRIM1, the associated green elevator servo control or the associated hydraulic system, control is transferred to PRIM2 and the associated servo control becomes the "active" servo while the other servo reverts to damping mode.

The "dual independant failure" as a failure of the second servo control to change from the damping mode to the active mode and the failure of PRIM1 to detect this. The result is a loss of control of the associated elevator.

In referencing the QF flight, apparently there were ECAM messages just before the incident. We don't know what those messages were, nor do we know if the above description applies to this incident. The OEB has been effective for more than a year and will likely have long since been enacted. This description of the OEB is only provided for information and interest.

airtags
14th Oct 2008, 00:44
good bgd - thnx PJ2

be interested to know what those ECAM msgs were >

reading some posts and some poorly written pieces by journos that should (and one certainly does) know better, it seems that the line between reason and blame has wrongly become a floating absolute. - and to be fair, Q's media unit has been outstandingly below average (yet again) in being proactive and standing up for the crew.

Miles CNN pls note: - mate save the story for the final investigator's report when one can deal with fact rather than tabloid hypothesis. Besides, running it now will only be a 1 minute filler for the Obama McCain title fight mini series and probably will be dropped before the 10pm bulletin.:E

AT

sevenstrokeroll
14th Oct 2008, 00:55
Miles CNN

saw the piece...felt it correctly explained that while very unlikely, the scenario with the laptop/cellphone etc. is worth investigating in a scientific manner.

keep it up.

Brian Abraham
14th Oct 2008, 02:31
Interesting that over on D & G Reporting Points it is said that the aircraft was over stressed in the negative and the question raised is how this could happen with the so called FBW envelope protections provided. Reverting to direct law is one suggestion, so the question from this bystander is how could it revert to direct law?

sevenstrokeroll
14th Oct 2008, 02:41
IF the plane was overstressed, then DOUBLE congratulations to the crew for landing at the first available,suitable field.

YRP
14th Oct 2008, 03:16
Yamaha can you explain why? VLF and computers run around similar frequencies.

Say again? VLF is less that 30 kHz. Computer chips are well into the MHz range.

Plus shielding against low frequency interference is simple. It's higher frequencies that can be challenging.

For the CNN chap, no real chance of this being laptop/cell phone interference. The danger from digital devices used by passengers is interference with analog navigation signals (eg 25-33 MHz processor generating harmonics in the 100 to 133 MHz realm where the VOR/ILS signals live). It is much less likely to interfere with a digital computer - they have to tolerate much self-generated noise as it is.

sevenstrokeroll
14th Oct 2008, 03:57
so how do you explain the wireless mouse which caused a different QANTAS plane to go off course...published reports.

hmmme?

Barkly1992
14th Oct 2008, 05:34
I don't think the digital mouse story was ever verified.

My understanding is that it is often the case that crew see a deviation, can't find an immediate explanation - ask a flight attendant to check whether there are any computers/handheld devises being uses. Answer is yes - conclusion drawn.

then incident cannot be replicated.

Might as well ask whether any blondes in the cabin - answer is yes 10 - ergo - 10 blondes will cause navigation deviation.

:p

NSEU
14th Oct 2008, 06:57
Reverting to direct law is one suggestion, so the question from this bystander is how could it revert to direct law?

With great difficulty... :}

Airbus Flight Control Laws (http://www.airbusdriver.net/airbus_fltlaws.htm)

Comoman
14th Oct 2008, 10:10
A COMPUTER fault caused the autopilot system to be overridden, sending a Qantas plane into a mid-air plunge over Western Australia last week, authorities said tonight.

The air data computer - or inertial reference system - for the Airbus A330-300 sent erroneous information to the flight control computer causing the autopilot to disconnect, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said.

More than 70 people on Qantas flight QF72 from Singapore to Perth were injured on Tuesday last week when the Airbus, carrying 303 passengers and 10 crew, suddenly dropped altitude.

People were hurled around the cabin and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in Western Australia's north

Source: Computer fault caused Qantas plunge | NEWS.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24497514-29277,00.html)

Just a Grunt
14th Oct 2008, 10:20
MEDIA RELEASE : 14 October 2008 - Qantas Airbus A330 accident Media Conference (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_43.aspx)

philtee
14th Oct 2008, 10:21
Released today, on line here -
MEDIA RELEASE : 14 October 2008 - Qantas Airbus A330 accident Media Conference (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2008/release/2008_43.aspx)