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Old 6th Oct 2008, 02:46   #2121 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenstrokeroll View Post

and yes, there should be a big frickn light that says:

AIR MODE

GROUND MODE

and all planes should have this, not just the MD80.

this ''fix'' should cost about 5 bucks, but will really cost about 50k
That sounds a really nice simple fix, but think logically about it and it will make the situation much, much worse.

As I understand the posts here, this plane has several sensors/circuits that take part in the ground/air mode decision. So which one do you choose to light up your big frickin light? Only part of the plane thought it was in air mode, the rest was still on the ground. Put in your light and choose the wrong circuit to drive it and you make the whole thing many times worse.

"Oh look,. RAT heater is on."
"That can mean the plane thinks it is in the air - remember Spanair at Madrid?"
"No, it can't be the same as that, the big frickin light says we are in ground mode....."
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 04:33   #2122 (permalink)
PJ2
 
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lomapaseo;
Quote:
Those two concepts are not exclusive
Yes, I'm fully aware of that but thank you for making the point clearer, even if only some pilot starting out in his/her commercial career reads this and learns one more fact about aviation that isn't taught as a licensing requirement...

The key requirement has been amply stated in the thread. However, hands up those who haven't either been fooled only to realize it later or probably more likely at least had maintenance try to fool you into taking the airplane "under the MEL" when you know damn well the airplane doesn't belong in the air?

Like I say, these are traps for young players and I'll bet you more than one crew has taken an airplane that shouldn't have gone.

As someone here said, "It's all about the money" and absolutely nothing else. Management never sets the park brake; that is up to us.
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 04:41   #2123 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
That sounds a really nice simple fix, but think logically about it and it will make the situation much, much worse.

As I understand the posts here, this plane has several sensors/circuits that take part in the ground/air mode decision. So which one do you choose to light up your big frickin light? Only part of the plane thought it was in air mode, the rest was still on the ground. Put in your light and choose the wrong circuit to drive it and you make the whole thing many times worse.
Yeah,

At the very least, the light needs to tap on all sensors and indicate:
-Ground
-Air
-Disagree
-Off (light broken)

Unfortunately, if i.e. the Madrid case turns out to be a case of a malfunctioning single relay (R2-5), even if you make this more sophisticated logic, as you just mentioned, it will still confuse the heck out of the pilots ...

They will see an indicator lighted:
-Ground

Then, if they notice at all, they'll see a RAT probe indicating way too high temperature. Maybe they'll notice/figure the heater is on.

Maintenance will see the logic is "correct", so it must be a case of the heater "mysteriously" malfunctioning. Cut it out, MEL the thing, and out we go.

And we still get Madrid's likely inop TOWS takeoff condition ...

Boeing's recommendation of testing TOWS shortly before each take off is the best (and cheapest, mind you) solution. The alarm could still fail from the time it was tested til the time it was actually needed, but usually that would be some short period of taxiing time, so the risk is small.

Testing with a POSITIVE test, where you actually hear the alarm, not a test where you are suppossed to NOT hear the alarms, which is "worthless" in case of a "broken" TOWS.

The real "best solution" is a TOWS re-design where the alarm indicates both, possitive and negative results. Nowadays, with digital technology, I'm sure the change wouldn't cost all that much (at all). You push the handles and the TOWS will announce out-loud:

-Configuration OK (you are good to go)
or
-Beep - slats -- beep -- flaps (you are not yourself today -- drink more coffee and stop chatting on your cellphone with that cute flight attendant you are about to meet)
or
-Silence (TOWS is inop ... you are NOGO)

Last edited by justme69; 6th Oct 2008 at 06:12.
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 07:25   #2124 (permalink)
 
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There is a definite disconnect between pilot and engineer in todays world.Didnt used to be.Engineers were once flt engineers but then they took the third seat out.Pilots used to have work the engineers panel before sitting in the right.Pilots used to get shown the ropes in the hangar during C check..now they learn by rote and do the 6 month answer A,B or C monkey check.Some today have never seen an EEC or PACK..if you see it you'll catch on..a picture tells a thousand words etc.CP's in the old days were tough SOB's who'd wouldnt give a damn for this modern BS(Captain isnt a pilot but a flight manager)..they would have been on that Lanzarote incident like flies on dogsh*t and making sure data was disseminated to their guys..I know the powers that be will throw more SOP's at this as part of their answer..irony is you need less and a little more airmanship.Even if Madrid turns out to be the relay itself and not the cb,the lesson was check the TOWS every time..the full check at the gate during pre-flight.And if the SOP says the other guy checks this or that,doesnt matter,check it again..know the condition of your plane before you go flying.
Justme69,
Thank you for post 2133
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 07:41   #2125 (permalink)
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FORUM WARNNG! This post implies no judgement/implication/hint/rumour on the cause of this accident.

100% with Ranamin. However, and not wishing to be 'trite', all these 'devices' - TOWS, EGPWS etc are 'backstops', and surely the important lesson is to get it right in the first place. If you need flaps/slats xxx for departure - make sure you have them. If there is high ground (or even just 'ground') around, make sure you know where it is and you are etc etc. It does not matter how you do it, and if your company does not try to ensure there is such thinking in place, develop it yourself. SOPS are not the answer to avoiding accidents, merely part of the building blocks. Sitting in front of these SOPs are pilots with brains and hopefully some sort of survival instinct.
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 12:18   #2126 (permalink)
MPH
 
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All the warnings TOWS, AIR/GRND shift mechanism etc, still does not exempt any crew from visually checking the positions of the slats/flaps( including the postion of the flap selector) or,if applicable LE devices. Confusing that the A/C systems might not have worked, yes. But, to blame it on this alone, Hmm
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 19:53   #2127 (permalink)
 
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CHECKLIST items

Just as a reminder of where the focus needs to be:

The Boeing checklist, printed on the chartclip that is affixed to the steering wheel in the B-767 and B-757 contains only the really important items:

Take-Off
FLAPS


Landing
SPEEDBRAKES ARMED
GEAR DOWN
FLAPS

The warning system is just there to alert the pilot in case he has forgotten to set the mentioned items in the correct configuration.
Having items in the wrong configuration is not the fault of the warning system.

(This is not written as accusation of the deceased pilots. If the final outcome of the accident investigation proves that the high lift devices were not properly configured for take-off, well, to err is human, it is as simple as that).
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 21:04   #2128 (permalink)
 
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Would there be a net safety gain from adding a 'TOWS Untested' warning system? Just a thought.
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 22:00   #2129 (permalink)
 
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John,
And who or what is going to test the " 'TOWS Untested' warning system"?
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 01:59   #2130 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Would there be a net safety gain from adding a 'TOWS Untested' warning system? Just a thought
Where should we draw the line about adding untested equipment to an airplane?

Just to answer that question requires a deliberate process of analysis and verification.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 02:05   #2131 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
And who or what is going to test the " 'TOWS Untested' warning system"?
ECAM - takeoff memo has a line: T.O CONFIG.......TEST (with 'test' in cyan) which turns into green T.O CONFIG NORMAL when test is pressed. My takeoff checklist has three items: 1. checking that entire take off memo has turned green 2. checking actual config on E/WD 3. checking the state of AC packs, and it's done by both pilots.

OTOH, ATR has a similar TOWS to MD80 and I had to test it with flaps retracted, before each and every flight per company policy.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 02:17   #2132 (permalink)
 
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Seems like a quick advancing of throttles asking for take off flaps should verify TOWS working. Simple and flows with the initial taxi procedure. It would have saved all of those lives. In their case apparently no one asked for take off flaps so may have not worked. Interupted normal flow as they had can really mess up a routine. I always tried to start from scratch when an interuption of our normal routine made us backtrack on our checklist.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 06:35   #2133 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
and yes, there should be a big frickn light that says:
AIR MODE
GROUND MODE
and all planes should have this
Yep, and those two lights should be on a big toggle switch, so that the pilot can always tell the computer that it is wrong, and toggle the mode to the one that is correct. (to keep the pilot from messing with that switch, each use should be recorded in the computer as a system fault and trigger an investigation within the company)
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 06:40   #2134 (permalink)
 
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please

Iíve been reading this thread from post No.1, Iíve been posting in a similar thread on a Russian pilotsí forum. Iíve been always eager to participate in any major accident thread out there. But it probably takes a real-life involvement in an accident to realize how inappropriate, how leisurely, careless and ďjust-posting-for-fun-while-sipping-my-nice-hot-tea-and-not-giving-a-damn-to-be-honestĒ all these discussions are.

I came back from Perm (Boeing 737-500 crash) more than a week ago. But everything I saw and everything I felt is still with me. I saw relatives sitting and crying just a table away from us while we were eating and talking. Iíve been at the crash site, Iíve looked down the hill, Iíve looked across the railway, Iíve looked to the left where the wreaths and the plaque are, Iíve walked around the wreckage area, Iíve come across a kidís shoe, a cell phone, a belt, a backpack, a book, an album ďWatchesĒ, a CD with English audio course. It hurts. That kidís shoe will stay with me forever. No, there were no body fragments, no blood, no hairs, nothing like that but I think it would not give me so much pain as did those signs of life, those things still breathing with life, still belonging to someone. Seeing this makes you silent, makes you shut up. Makes you respect what youíve seen with your silence.

It also makes you respect the work of investigators youíve seen. It was the first (and I hope the last) time I saw how they work and I am probably too emotional but watching their work filled me not just with respect or admiration but with something more than that. Worship is the right word, I think. Serious, dedicated, thorough, intent, professional is how they look when you watch them work. Now when I look at this thread and other threads like this the contrast is stark.

Please, let us honor the relatives, let us honor the work of the investigators, let us honor the gravity of the event with our silence and let us wait patiently and silently for the official report.

This is not preaching. Me being there did not make me more special or better or cleverer than everybody else, it just made me say what I have just said. And I really feel the urge to spread these words to you and to share what Iíve seen and felt with you.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 07:55   #2135 (permalink)
 
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Your allowed your view.
It's tainted by your first view of an accident. There are many on here who have seen more than one, and at closer quarters than you did.
The thread is still valid.
People are free to choose what they post. The moderators will moderate.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 11:08   #2136 (permalink)
 
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Xolodenko,
Even though I appreciate your emotive words, I think that the whole thing it to save lives and learn from the experience.
Donīt you think that many of the pilots who follow this thread may have changed their own procedures; understanding minimally whatīs happened contributes for aviation safety. And think about how many lives may have been saved since pilots follow this and other aviation forums and threads, where accidents and many other questions are questioned. These are very good reasons for continue with this thread respectfully.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 14:13   #2137 (permalink)
 
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We all respect and care for the victims. I don't really appreciate suggestions that, out of respect for the victims, all we should all do is NOTHING AT ALL until some "experts" tells us "officially" what THEY think happened and then take it as the absolute truth. Whatever they feel we don't need to know, they can then just not share with the world and keep it secret.

If myself or my daughter would've been in that airplane (and she actually had just flown round trip on Spanair from the Canary Islands to Madrid on an MD-82 the week before the accident), I would not want to have "no news whatsoever until a final investigation concludes, possibly years from the accident".

Actually, I would be doing exactly what I'm doing. Trying to spread as much information as possible so that people I trust know better than me could help me understand what happened, tell me who (if anybody) is at fault, and what is gonna be done so that it doesn't happen to others.

I even think that, if I found a thread like this, I would be most grateful to all, experts and "inmature afficionados", for each sharing their views, experiences and speculations. I rather visit this forum than hit "refresh" on CIAIAC's website only to find that, as it happened in Lanzarote's case, after 15 months all you can read is:

05-06-2007. OE-LMM. McDonnell-Douglas MD83. Aeropuerto de Lanzarote (Las Palmas) - CIAIAC - Ministerio de Fomento

A single paragraph that, basically, says nothing at all on why or how 150 people had their lives hanging from a string that day. That's the "offical investigation" (so far) in a case where they had an intact plane, the crew was alive and a company investigation that concluded the likely cause 10 months ago.

Because the Madrid accident actually had a large number of victims and initiated a judiciary investigation, the CIAIAC is going to take it a bit more seriously and the burocrats that run it (some of them not very bright, by the way, it's my personal opinion) are going to meet tomorrow to vote on the agreement of the current preliminary report to be then published. They were required by international safety organizations and their own regulations to have done that two weeks ago. The report, in its current state, although still missing some important information, at least is brave enough to point out the causes of the accident and appropiate action.

Even worse is the pitiful show put on by the press, where they've run headlines such as: "Turbulences caused the accident", "An engine fire caused the accident", "A wing malfunction caused the accident", "A wrong repair by a technician caused the accident", "Spanair's procedures didn't follow Boeing recommendations and caused the accident", "The airplane reverser was broken and could've caused the accident", "The plane had a miriad of malfunctions and still tried to fly", "The RAT probe heater was broken ... and it's needed to make sure the engines don't freeze on the air", "The airplane's flaps had failed a few days before ... and maintenance did 'nothing'", "The probe repair deactivated vital systems for the take off", "The airplane crashed because it thought it was in air mode on the ground", "The flight was overweight", "Spanair didn't check take off devices", ...

Truly sad.

If I was family of the victims, I would be angry at the press for such careless "wide" speculations that large population take as "truth". On the other side, a "small", private forum of professional pilots, under the "Rumours and News" chat room, I don't see why they couldn't make speculations probably 10 times better informed than some newspaper reporter decides to print.

I understand some people feeling offended by comments on this thread. That is fine. All they have to do is not read/participate in it. They can also express their view that they are feeling offended by it. Fine. But we already know that some people feel this way. We don't need to be reminded over and over. We understand, politely disagree, and each is free to stop reading it or continue posting on it under their own moral standards.

Only 7 survivors remain hospitalized in Madrid. The state of 2 of them is not made public by desire of their families. Out of the other five, they are all evolving favourably, with two remaining in serious condition, one of which is still in intensive care and assisted respiration. I wish for their prompt and complete recovery.

To the families of all those that perished in this tragic accident, my deepest condolences.

Last edited by justme69; 8th Oct 2008 at 10:04.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 16:33   #2138 (permalink)
 
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Litigation

US judge orders Boeing to release information on Madrid crash plane
Submitted by Sahil Nagpal on Tue, 10/07/2008 - 09:56.
Source: www.topnews.in


Madrid - A US judge has ordered aircraft maker Boeing to hand over all available technical information on the MD-82 jetliner that crashed in Madrid on August 20, killing 154 people, Spanish press reports said Tuesday.
A US law firm has filed a complaint against Boeing and its subsidiary McDonnell Douglas in the name of 18 families that lost members in the accident.
The judicial proceedings started Monday in the US state of Illinois, where Boeing has its headquarters.
Ribbeck Law Chartered was initially seeking technical information on the plane in order to decide how to proceed, lawyers representing the law firm were quoted as saying.
The lawyers want to find out which company made the wing flaps that were not deployed on take-off and may have contributed to the accident, according to a preliminary report by an investigating commission that was leaked to the Spanish press.
The flaps help to lift aircraft on take-off.
If the flaps were not made by Boeing or its subsidiaries, the court case could be extended to the company that manufactured them, lawyers said.
Judge Ronald Davis gave Boeing six weeks to provide the requested information.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 16:54   #2139 (permalink)

 
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"Lawyers want to find out which company made the wing flaps"

".... if the flaps were not made by Boeing or its subsidiaries, the court case could be extended to the company that manufactured them..."

Hmmm. The rivet makers will be next in line.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 18:06   #2140 (permalink)
 
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xolodenko wrote:
Iíve been reading this thread from post No.1, Iíve been posting in a similar thread on a Russian pilotsí forum. Iíve been always eager to participate in any major accident thread out there. But it probably takes a real-life involvement in an accident to realize how inappropriate, how leisurely, careless and ďjust-posting-for-fun-while-sipping-my-nice-hot-tea-and-not-giving-a-damn-to-be-honestĒ all these discussions are.


I Write:
We all have a great respect and care for the victims.
Pilots who reads this thread will be better pilots, how many times have we not heard of pilots who forget to put down the flaps, then think of all the times in which we have not heard about this, because of the TOWS have warned the pilots.
I am sure that pilots flying MD80 and have read this thread, thinking "flaps" before take off.
It is very likely that some investigaters reading this thread that he / she will have information which may help to solve the problems of the accident, or get a different approach to the real problem.

Hopefully, a tread as this can save human lives.
It's just my opinion
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