What I cannot get my brain around is why, with an engine failure just after lift off, the good engine wasn't at full power (this is not a propeller driven aircraft) until landing profile for whatever runway they could get to was assured.
Why go to full power on the good engine just because of an engine failure? If we imagine for one moment they did the correct thing i.e. raised the gear etc, then there's no requirement to go to full power. If they used an assumed temperature for take-off (and take it as read that they calculated that correctly) then this will allow for adequate performance in the event of an engine failure.
Of course, should you wish, full power is an option but let's not go down the incorrect road of saying engine failure automatically means full power on the good engine. If you're going to go on a low level navex around AMS with your gear down then I would agree that more power would be required than what these guys used but in a 'normal' engine failure scenario we know you can leave the power where it's set for take-off.
I know what they were DOING. We all do. It's the thought-process that matters, and can help others...
Surely this is where the human factors and psychologists come into it all?
It seems to me (and I've not read the report but will do on the way in to work tomorrow) that the thought processes of the PF here were of a simple 'get it home nature' and the PNF simply stepped into line because he didn't have anything better to offer.
Both crew were in an unfamiliar situation - even if they had trained for it in the simulator real life is different - they knew that they had engine damage (probably didn't remember that they had TWO engines but just had 'engine damage' going through their heads) and they knew that to land they needed to have the gear down. Maybe with all the alerts going off as well the thought was to keep the gear down to remove part of the workload for later on?
I'm not saying what they did was right, it was careless and against common sense. It was pure luck they got down in one piece but I do think that what happened on the flight deck was simple 'get it home' syndrome.
Just one other thought - could they have not gone to a higher power setting on the good engine due to noise abatement? Could that aspect of flying have been drilled into them so much that it override other aspects?
My "why not max power?" question had embedded in it an assumption (perhaps off the mark) that the rationale for leaving the gear down was "gonna land real soon anyway, leave it down ..." though my initial instinct would be "clean up" which apparently is close to what SOP is.
However, I seem to understand that the gents in the cockpit had begun to raise it, and reversed it in transit. Did I read that incorrectly?
Well AF447 did everything wrong and everybody died. These guys did what they had to do in their opinion and everybody is ok. Sometimes sop doesn't work, remember AA DC10 crash at ORD, they followed AA sop and see what happened. These guys got it back on the ground quickly because they didn't worry about the checklist, they got it on the ground safely. Good for them. Depending on the circumstances, I might have done the same thing. I don't know the details.
TGU is one of the most dangerous airports in the world, #2, and the other airport in the mountains jets can't land at. If with all the hundreds of turkey buzzards in the valley I lost both engines of my 757 I had only one way to survive and that was stand it on a wing and land downwind otherwise you went into the hills with no chance of survival. No Hudson river there. Sometimes the pilots can handle the situation best by their talent and not just doing sop procedures. I like to follow SOP but sometimes I just can't.
Where were the hills and valleys in this case to argue the throwing away of SOP's? They were LUCKY, as well as the people on the ground that they overflew. If they had followed SOP it would have probably have been a less frightening event for all involved. As was mentioned in the BEA report about AF out of Guadeloupe, "surprise" probably had a major effect here as it was not in the script. Mind you if they had seen the birds during the take off roll then they might have been expecting something! We all know you have flown into TGU, but his was not TGU.
Last edited by iceman50; 21st May 2012 at 04:41.
I find all of this talk about following or not following SOP's really worrying.
EFATO is not SOP's, its how the aircraft is certified, by not following it you are entering no mans land. Sure the aircaft can be flown with 90 degrees of bank or even inverted (Tex Johnson did it on a 707 and nearly got fired).
You are playing with peoples lives and should take that seriously, if you want to be a test pilot, do it without pax and over the sea (as long as I am not fishing there).
There are no if's and but's about EFATO, if you dont understand it ask someone to teach you.
Wrong turn while climbing Calling the gear back down as it is going up Throttling the remaining engine up and down Erractic flying, left, right, up down, steep turns Not listening to ATC vectors (at least they didn't have to take out a Jepp chart) Shuting down the dead engine after 4 minutes Landing at 173kt with flaps 5 instead of the normal flap 15 engine out procedure (they actually left the flaps at take off setting just like the gear)
Obviously they got scared and wanted to get back down to the ground ASAP.
These guys got it back on the ground quickly because they didn't worry about the checklist, they got it on the ground safely. Good for them.
No, they turned what should have been a non-event into a near disaster. It was "got onto the ground" in the most un-safe manner imaginable!
If they'd followed SOPs and flown a standard EO profile, we wouldn't be talking about it now.
Sometimes the pilots can handle the situation best by their talent and not just doing sop procedures. I like to follow SOP but sometimes I just can't.
Yes, there are times when you have to "think outside the box". A simple, contained engine failure is not one of them. Your performance is predicated upon a) having the gear up and b) at least the power you took off with on the other engine(s); anything else and it's lap-of-the-gods stuff.
It's a good idea to have a "plan B" (and C, D, E...) and to discuss or at least think about what you might do in certain scenarios before you commit to the sky. In the case we're looking at now it really seems like they were making it up as they went along and only through sheer good fortune got it back on the airfield in one piece.
At the point of failure, the aeroplane had the capability to climb to a safe altitude, fly an arrival, execute a missed approach and divert to a safe landing at an alternate airfield. This is what it is certified to do. What possessed the crew on this particular day to go way outside the envelope I'd really like to know... They had two opportunities to get straight back on the ground not long after takeoff but didn't take them, so it can't have been a desperate urge to return to the Earth's surface driving it. As I've said before, what were they thinking?
737ng.... Could you provide a similar sequential critique of the A.F. crews performance?...as this produced a different outcome. I presently despair that neither crew were following SOPs or indeed most forms of basic airman-ship or any form of present day CRM which I read so much about. If asking WTF were you thinking about?... regarding any incident I might have been involved in..this would by its hostile implication stun me into total silence and a 2,000yard stare as an Sop response. Probably not the best opening accident investigation question in a "We are all in this together" age which I observe we are not.
I wouldn't call it sequential criticism, just trying to analyse the facts; I think we all know that chair flying, or even sim training is one thing, but real life emergencies are something else. This could explain the added stress, and the fact that a pilot would have basic human reactions,(pulling up instead of down, not run through the checklist properly even though you know it by heart, etc) instead of a "well trained" pilot's reactions.
About AF447... Well we all agree that they messed up BIG TIME, but it was a dark black night, above the ocean, lots of alarms, unreliable instruments (at least what they thought) plus high altitude stalls are said to be harder to recover from usual stalls (I didn't try, and don't want to).
I actually think if one of the other pilots was PIC, they might not have crashed. Bonin kept pulling up, up, and up on that stick. On the CVR he even admits "we're descending but I've been pulling back for a while" and Captain Dubois tells him "no, no don't pull up". The PNF, from his words on the transcript, seemed to have grasped the situation a little better. But unfortunately, he did not take over command. And I can understand that.
What I really find incredible though, is NOT not being able to break the stall, (even though they had 4 minutes to do it), but GETTING INTO that stall in the first place. Bonin should have known better than recklessly pulling on the stick and climbing 3000 feet in a few seconds when they were already very close to max cruise altitude for their given weight, and the air temperature.
And, even more unbelievable, as you can read on the transcript, even though his colleague expresses his worries saying "we're passing 10000 feet", and then saying "damn it, we're going to hit, I can't believe it" Bonin replies "but what is happening here", proof he still had no clue what was going on, even though the altimeter must have been unwinding down at 10000ft/mn!!!!!
All the while Captain Dubois is sitting behind, watching them, saying a couple words and not doing much.
Once again, my personal analysis of the situation, we'll wait for the human factors specialists and what they have to say about that.