I am not familiar with the 73 but have many hours on the 75. I have had two occasions when, due to freezing slush, the outflow valve stuck, thus cutting out the auto pressurization. I was fully aware of what had happened even before all the various warnings manifested themselves. Ears can tell a story very quickly. Were the 73ís pressurization not set, what would have been the cabin rate of climb and would it not have been apparent even before 1,000ft, let alone 10 or 20?
Prober, just caught this at a late stage & I have not read through all of the previous. Apologies now for re-stating what might have already been discussed. I too flew 737,757 & 767. Pressurisation systems were similar if not identical. AUTO is a setting which permits fully automatic control of the dump valve. It is the normal ops setting. MANUAL was really meant for use if the auto system had failed. Manual gives electrically AC or DC control of the valve but through pilot inputs on the CLB/DEC rotary control. You are absolutely correct in stating that flight at any point in MANUAL would be easily detected by human sensing. The ears take a real wallop with insensitive use of the CLB/DEC control in MANUAL. Take off in the MANUAL position would have been instantly recognised as the cabin would climb / descend (whatever) at the same rate as the AIRCRAFT rate.
If the crew took off in MANUAL, they will have noticed immediately and switched to AUTO or at least manipulated the CLB/DEC facility in order to stabalise the situation in MANUAL & then go to AUTO. If, however, all was normal & the flight was conducted in AUTO, a failure, sometimes subtle, would in all probabilty still be "sensed" by the pilots and switching to MANUAL in order to attempt control of the dump valve would be a standard 'non -normal' procedure.
Again, deep apologies if this has all been discussed previously.
If the crew took off in MANUAL, they will have noticed immediately
- I'm afraid I disagree. Remember 'going up' has far less effect on the ears than coming down'. I suggest 'may'? I had to depart INN once unpressurised until around 6000' due to a tech issue and I do not recall noticing anything 'unusual' on the ears. No comments from c/crew or pax either.
I cannot remember the detail of the Helios but I'm sure the 'implication' is that the crew did NOT notice the lack of pressurisation even when the horn went off.
Whilst we should all be reminding our Accountable Managers they would join us in a Greek Jail ask him or her if your Company Insurers would cover the cost of a decent Defense team ie a cool few million euros, my advice here is don't listen to answers like ''Of course we wouldn't leave in the lurch'' or ''my goodness me of course every help would be offered to you'' It would be nice to see proof of help direct from the Insurers but don't hold your breath whilst waiting.
Legal Defense Costs - why you will never get the comfort you need
I have followed this case for a few years. It is not the first, or last, aviation crash where criminal charges will be brought against aviation professionals. AF447 grinds on in front of Mdme Zimmerman as we speak. BUT, you won't get any aviation insurer or airline to give you the comfort you deserve.
The aviation insurers of any airline have zero obligation to pay any criminal legal defence fees, under any circumstances. The aviation insurers are there to bail out the airline for compensation claims by the families of the dead and injured, and that includes expensive aviation lawyers to defend the airline for those civil claims.
Aviation Insurers only ever start to fork out for criminal lawyers, if they think it is expedient to their financial interests in the civil compensation claims. Put another way, if criminal charges/convictions somehow make the civil claims more expensive, this is bad for the aviation insurers as their bill goes up. Then there is a clear financial interest on the insurers behalf in paying less: so it then only makes sense to spend money on criminal lawyers, as well as civil lawyers, in an attempt to reduce the total bill.
So, money seems to trump human rights or air safety in certain situations.
Greek justice has always been rather different to our understanding.
An aquaintance of mine bought a holiday froman established operator to go plane spotting in Greece. While parked in a viewing spot near an airfield spotting except for one of the wives who was not interested and sat in the bus doing puzzles. The cops turned up and arrest them all for spying. They must not take photographs or note plane numbers.
At the court case they point out that the airfield features in an evening soap opera about the Greek air force at which many photographs and aircraft numbers may be seen... not relevant says the court. They describe the process of aircraft spotting... all lies says the prosecutor there is no such hobby as plane spotting. They produce plane spotting magazine printed in Greece and bought at airport that morning.. All fabricated says prosecutor... they say lets go airport buy more magazines... court adjourns Garry given bail of £10K which he borrows....
Garry told not to attend net court hearing but can't afford to lose the money so turns up... found not guilty..... eight years later still can't get the bail money back is told has been forfeit
If you go the Greece you must obey the rules and laws of that sovereign country, they may not be what you expect.. Greece is fully entitled to make it's own laws but we may be ignorant of them and should not expect allowance for our ignorance
I have no problems obeying the "law of the land". I do have a problem with people who are supposed to make evidence based judgements refusing to even accept that evidence and make a judgement anyway regardless.
Common sense finally prevails as far as the engineer is concerned! For chief pilots and executives however the message is clear, the buck for corporate responsibility stops with you. We are quick to criticize them. But as this case shows their positions are not without risk.