The photos we see are from the 1st flight of the day, so these are not the passengers that perished. Obviously the Russian pilots and crew went down in the crash. As far as the Sky Airlines cabin crew, not sure if they were on both flights. In some respects, the human face put on this crash may do more too help solve what happened and prevent similar incidents in the future. Yes, it is very sad, but the impact on the flying public, especially here in Indonesia can help improve safety And awareness in the near future.
Just checked for an update to come on Mr. Soejatman´s site and found this link: http://gerryairways.********.co.uk/2...deadly_17.html The update shows some more detail that might be correct - probably as correct as the suggestion of mxgyvr81´s post # 316. I have mentioned before that the ideas behind that post could be THE explanation, but must admit that Mr. Soejatman´s theory of an innocent descend to an unsafe altitude might be correct as well. I am tending more towards the latter possibility. The big question would be, wether or not it is possible to get over or along the eastern canyon walls in such an innocent turning descend. Checking on Google Maps -Terrain set up - and following the 2000 m line = 6000 ft. it appears possible. Probably creating a "first impact" position, such was reported earlier. Though it wasn´t confirmed yet by finding any parts or ground or tree marks, there are position pins visible on those early "rescue centre" pictures that show a crash site position on the eastern wall too ?? Another question in that context is the reported last Radar contact position. It is depicted as to be on the southern side of Mt. Salak - opposite to the canyon !! If this observation is correct - I mean correct observed and depicted at the right map position - it couldn´t be taken as a hint to the crash it self. It could be as simple as a Radar shadow created by the mountain. If however that would be the case and mxgyvr81´s drawing of the assumed flight path are correct, the Radar signal should have been re-aquired again on the western and northern side of the mountain, to show the flight path circling the peak untill the crash. There is no hint or bit of information about such a re-aquired Radar track. That leads me to the conclusion that the last Radar positon - by memory - was depicted at the wrong position and shows the last return prior impact, north of the highest peak of Mt. Salak at that infamous ridge, thus confirming Mr. Soejatman´s theories.
The canyon ist not that wide (<1/2 mile). Assuming a speed of 200kts and the fact that they would pull max a 2G turn (probably even less) would bring them beyond the middle of the canyon when completing the turn into the canyon. (a = v^2 /r => R = v^2/ (2*9,81m/s) => Turn Radius R = 540 m = 1/3 mile.
This is wonderful in theory. I know only a tiny little bit about mountain flying, but one thing I have learned is that you do not get inside a 1/2 mile canyon below the ridges, and if you do then you stay on the sunny side, opposite to where the winds comes from and you slow down . There you might have a chance to make a 180 if the end is blocked, If you stay in the middle or on the others side , your turn will be far wider and part of it will be inside the downdraft. As the Ziegler brothers former bosses of Air Alpes used to say : "it is far easier to teach to fly to a guy that know mountains , than to teach the mountains to an experienced pilot "
There you might have a chance to make a 180 if the end is blocked, If you stay in the middle or on the others side , your turn will be far wider and part of it will be inside the downdraft.
Honestly I don't think they ever planned executing a 180 inside the canyon. even if flying close to one ridge it would be really unlikely you could do that with an airliner in a halfmile wide canyon.
And that is what puzzles me. Let's have a look at the options:
1) Turning too early Maybe they wanted to fly along the outside of the mountain and turned too early as per mcgyver81's theory (which really has some merit to it).
=> That would require that they couldn't see the left ridge of the canyon. That was the aspect I was referring too with my rough calculation of the turn radius. Conclusion: a normal turn would have brought them as close as a quarter mile to the left canyon wall. They apparently flew FL2000 which is 1800m (impact at ~1850m) and thus ~200m below long parts of the left ridge which itself is slightly higher than the right ridge. So they would have to be able to see the right ridge to skim along but not the higher and probably closer left ridge. Still absolutely possible depending on local weather phenomena.
1a) Turning too early without continuous sight of the mountains They just saw the right 'entry corner' of the canyon briefly, took it as a reference point and started turning into a direction which would lead them alongside the mountain range without seeing the right ridge after that or seeing it only intermittedly.
2) Deliberate 'canyoning'. Requires less technical violation of Occam's razor (see explanation above) but seems so much more irresponsible to do that in an airliner in a mountaineous area with which you are not familliar that it might be less probable than the first option despite requiring less assumptions.
3) completely blind and unaware turning into the canyon thinking they are clear of the mountains.
=> Quite improbable, as that would be a hell of a coincidence not hitting any ridge prior to impact.
Razoray - The photos circulating are definitely of an earlier flight, but the pax list of the Sukhoi shows that out of the 45 deceased pax, 11 were hosties employed by Sky Aviation, plus another two executives of the same company. That's a big hole in anyones company or organisation.
One can speculate extensively on what caused the accident, but the entire scenario effectively screams poor flight planning (we're only going for a quick joyflight!); quite possibly inadequate pre-flight briefing; and a substantial degree of complacency on the part of the pilots. These were old, bold pilots, and they paid the ultimate price.
Does it seem a bit strange that both black boxes weren't found fairly quickly once the SAR forces were on the spot?
Black boxes do not transmit their position unless they are under water (due to triggered Under Water Locator Beacons). Only deployable Flightrecorders (which are mainly used in military aircraft/helicopter installtions) have ETL's installed which transmit their position (or the position of deployment) on 406 MHz to the satellite for locating the black boxes).
Last edited by flighttest-engineer; 18th May 2012 at 13:21.
Reason: quote added
If they have Secondary it comes up imediately that the two antennas are in line of vision again, provided transponder is working. A primary target, I agree , might have been more difficult to re-aquire, not that it wouldn´t show as fast, but because of the obviously present clouds. If these had enough water or ice it will cover the Radar return at least to a very large amount.
Yes and not only one , there are all the technical failures possibilities , the human interferences ones , etc.. That is why it is better to wait for the CVR that will give some clues ( or perhaps not)
However in this case, in the meantime the media propaganda is likely to be in full gear: the Indonesians to prove that they did not do anything wrong, the Russians that the aircraft was not at fault and is safe to buy. So caution on what you read on the media.
loose rivets :
I guess the radar operator would only have got primary for a while, and that may well have been very weak even at that range.
Anyone know how long it takes for secondary display to kick back in.
(They do have secondary, don't they?
"Radar operators " are called Air traffic controllers today. They issue instructions if you are in IFR to keep you clear of other aircrfat and terrain. In this case ,the R/T exchange reported in the media ( if they are correct ) would indicate that the aircraft flew VFR . If this is confirmed , then the controllers are releived from their responsibility of separate for terrain ( read flying below MSA ) and depending on the class of airspace you are in they do not have to monitor the flight on radar anymore. If you subsequently crash, of course we can find your track on the video recording, but while you crash no-one is likely to be looking at you on radar.
( excatly what happenned on the 2 recent crashs in Nepal by the way)
For your info in the XXI st century,in civilian ATC , Primary radar is the exception, SSR secondary the norm .. Return depends on Antenna rotation and availibility or not of a multiple radar tracking system , ,but to give you an idea, anything between 3 and 10 seconds.
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There was an element of sarcasm in the 'they do have secondary . . .' but I don't really want to get into the relative qualities of various countries radar. Though in my day, it could be chalk and cheese.
Last edited by Loose rivets; 17th May 2012 at 20:12.