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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:16   #261 (permalink)
 
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FZ staff page says Capt. first flgt to URRR.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:19   #262 (permalink)
 
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cumulonimbus

From the U.S. Federal Meteorological Handbook Number 1 - Surface Weather Observations and Reports:

FMH-1

Quote:
cumulonimbus. An exceptionally dense and vertically developed cloud, occurring either isolated or as a line or wall of clouds with separated upper portions. These clouds appear as mountains or huge towers, at least a part of the upper portions of which are usually smooth, fibrous, or striated, and almost flattened.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:27   #263 (permalink)
 
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Once in 6 months training, will make people legal, but not competent.

Or in the case of some airlines (including the one which I recently retired from), once every 12 months,


More training but less often, just happens to be a cost saving too
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:54   #264 (permalink)

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Or??

Reluctant to even suggest this, but could the rapid descent have been caused by a deliberate input of one of the pilots? Most unlikely, I think.

The FDR should reveal all, assuming the recording is intact. But never take anything for granted in this business, until a proper analysis and report are undertaken.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 13:05   #265 (permalink)
 
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No. Just no.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 13:15   #266 (permalink)


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Just thinking about their flight duty.
This was a BIG day, even as rostered. Two long 4 hour sectors and a report, one turnaround and a check out.

Now this crew held for two hours, so they were now looking at 10 hours at the controls, plus their ground duties before they get to go home in DXB.

I don't know their start time, but wouldn't they have been out of hours to fly the return leg anyway, after that 2 hour hold? And if so, why not divert? Why persist with trying to get in at Rostov, only to be stuck there anyway?

Also, who the heck waits for two hours in the air for weather (that's not clearly transient- like a Cb over the field) to improve?

I expect it will all be clear soon enough....
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 13:27   #267 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by B737Pilot3 View Post
For those wondering, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7orMIfJx-uw
a FZ low vis approach into BTS, from cockpit. As can be seen here, it's Single CH all the way until the AP disconnect. Also what's interesting is the VSD on both sides, Pm and Pf.

Also, as I read somewhere, Rostov is captain's airport only, so capt was PF i'd guess.
Whats wrong with VSD on both sides?
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 13:51   #268 (permalink)
 
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 14:04   #269 (permalink)
 
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Reluctant to even suggest this, but could the rapid descent have been caused by a deliberate input of one of the pilots? Most unlikely, I think.

The FDR should reveal all, assuming the recording is intact. But never take anything for granted in this business, until a proper analysis and report are undertaken.
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Both of the cockpit crew's wives were pregnant. FO's wife with twins. It was supposed to be one of the captain's last flights with FZ, he had resigned, intended to move back to his home in Cyprus to raise his children, and start flying wit Ryan Air on Monday...

Sad day...
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 14:28   #270 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by microscalewx View Post
Just decided to sign up to inject some extra weather information into an already compelling discussion, and to back up some of weatherdude's input.

I am an amateur, not a professional, and do not hold any kind of pilot/aviation credentials.

The METAR report is a good source for surface conditions and observations from there, and I'd like to add that the CB report is quite likely correct. Any cumulus cloud (Cu) that rains is by definition a cumulonimbus (Cb), the discriminator for a thunderstorm is in METAR code as TS, with +/- for each to indicate rain rate. The reason for this is that any Cu is technically convective and thus can cause upset, with TCu also used to warn of non-raining but potentially strong updrafts. The METAR reports around the accident time correctly state showers and broken low clouds, hence CB's, with stratiform cloud cover at 10k ft. Given the immediately pre-frontal nature of that night's weather at Rostov this is a likely cloud pattern.

A better source for weather conditions, if you can find one nearby to an accident time/location, is a sounding; it just so happens a balloon was launched from Rostov-on-don at 00z (likely just prior, so perhaps 1hr before accident). The lowest levels up to 700mb are available here: 34731 URRR Rostov-Na-Donu Sounding in which on either side of the diagram you can see the height of a recorded measurement and wind information (bearing, strength) from this you can infer a wind shear difference of 40kts within ~600m of the surface. Additionally, there is slight vertical directional shear (difference in wind bearing with height), both of which would suggest shear-induced wave action, ie: turbulence. This amount of low level shear is quite extreme, and on an airfield already known for turbulence.

The synoptic scenario on the night was a strong frontal zone advancing from the NW that had just reached the Black Sea area at 00z, and was at it's strongest point for that location. Here is the 850mb wind chart for that part of Asia taken from the initial chart of the GFS model (note: this would be mostly assimilated actual data, just gridded, before the model started to compute anything): http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analy...850_asia_1.png A quick look on Google maps at the local terrain shows that the wind fetch was coming straight off the Black Sea up into a valley where Rostov is with an elevation change of 78m. Adding to the vertical turbulence effects would have been the possibility of further horizontal eddying from orographic wind effects of the valley coupled with the approaching front maxima. All in all a very bad weather situation to head into.

As for icing, the complete diagram for the 00z Rostov sounding shows saturation between 0C and -20C: 34731 URRR Rostov-Na-Donu Sounding (note for non-weather folk, that diagram is a skew-T which means temperature on the x-axis relates to the blue lines that are the most skewed to the right from immediately above their labels, the black lines are the instrument measurements so to read off the temp see where they intersect at your chosen height) which means riming was possible. It also shows that at above 5.5km there was less saturation (separation between the lines of temp and dewpoint measurements), so quite possible there was minimal icing risk in the hold (esp being off to the SW of this reading) but perhaps some icing in the descent to the 2nd attempt.

brb an associate is running a GFS-WRF simulation at 2km grid scale
No. Most parts of the text are not correct. especially the assumption, that a raining CU is automatically a CB - in most cases the other layers are the rain producers (as/ns) and the Russian assumption, that the sky is overcast with CB doesn't match the truth anyway. In most rainy weather situations the lower atmosphere is saturated, again: This weather pattern is being handled worldwide hundreds of times and it is beyond me why we would create non existing weather drama out of the situation at Rostov. If this created someting automatically, we'd see planes crashing every day.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 14:36   #271 (permalink)
 
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My professional opinion is that weather probably had little to do with this tragedy. For example the idea that 40 kts shear [with little directional shear] in the bottom 600m of the atmosphere is at all unusual is risible.

My opinion is based on a long career as a weather forecaster with the British service, and retiring as a PSO, Chief Met Officer British Forces Germany
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 14:41   #272 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airman1900 View Post
From the U.S. Federal Meteorological Handbook Number 1 - Surface Weather Observations and Reports:

FMH-1
Again: They do that in Russia with any shower cloud. In the night, nobody sees if it was a CB cloud. The cloud top temperature of -26 degrees at the time of the event means that the cloud never reached heights where you would expect to see a well developed CB. It just doesn't make sense and I can't follow the agenda to create a weather drama out of a situation which is mastered by pilots many times every day.

Last edited by weatherdude; 20th Mar 2016 at 14:42. Reason: Typo
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:17   #273 (permalink)
 
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Thinking about the somotographic illusion question posed by some posters. Lets not discount the fact that flying around in circles for hours on end, no doubt fatigued and anxious by this point is going to degrade performance significantly. Anyone who has experienced this phenomena in a high performance jet at night will understand that you must rely on your excellent instrument flying skills in order to stop yourself screwing up. I remember feeling disorientated for a number of seconds, tired and during the throes of a windshear escape manoeuvre in a 737 at night. Body telling me one thing, eyes the other, fatigue a factor, its always on the last sector and at night when these things happen. Were these guys aviating navigating and communicating? Or was this a loss of control due to the loss of situational awareness by a fatigued crew? Never mind the supposed calm manner of the pilot over the RT, that really tells us nothing. You have to question the commanders reasoning for the 2 hour hold over the field. If he was under commercial pressure do you think he would have been worried? By all accounts this chap had resigned and was leaving for Ryanair in the morning. Somehow I don't think tea and biscuits in Dubai the following day factored in his decision making somehow. Murphy was out that night, time will tell.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:21   #274 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooneyCaptain View Post
Both of the cockpit crew's wives were pregnant. FO's wife with twins. It was supposed to be one of the captain's last flights with FZ, he had resigned, intended to move back to his home in Cyprus to raise his children, and start flying wit Ryan Air on Monday...

Sad day...


Very pertinent input relevant to the discussion of there being a corporate policy which inhibited diversion. If this was the captain's last flight with the carrier, would he not feel free to ignore a counterproductive policy?
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:31   #275 (permalink)
 
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"Some of the victims were from rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine where fighting between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government troops has killed more than 9,100 people since April 2014. The war has turned the region’s main airport of Donetsk into a wasteland, and many locals have been using the airport in Rostov across the border".
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:31   #276 (permalink)
 
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JJ, bag's from the first flight wouldn't be on the return.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:32   #277 (permalink)
 
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Listening to the ATC tape, I can't understand why one of the pilots asked the controller to look out the window, to tell if the weather looked better or not. The first landing attempt was 1:41AM local time and the second attempt 3:43AM local time, so the sky would have been pitch black. How can a controller look at a dark sky and say "oh yes, the conditions look better now". To me, the fact that the plane made this call suggests the pilots were already fatigued, perhaps disorientated, and desperate to get the plane on the ground.
Absolutely to the contrary! The fact that they ask the controller to look outside illustrates to me that they were able to think out of the box, which would be the first to go when fatigued (or under stress).
To have the best situational awareness you use all the information you can get.
I think asking for an observation was a very professional thing to do (albeit it yielded little).

And having flown into and over their airspace often for 25+ years I hardly read a Russian tag, meter or runway state msg anymore, they are notoriously unreliable and just generic for the time of the season. Do what you like but for me discussing them would be a waste of time..

Last edited by golfyankeesierra; 20th Mar 2016 at 15:42.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:38   #278 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centaurus
Somatogravic Illusions are often used as the catch-all excuse for crashes like these because it's hard to believe there are airline pilots out there simply cannot fly on instruments when most of their career has been watching an autopilot do its work.
I might have thought that too until one of the military stovepipe drivers on our base (NTU) pulled up into the overcast after a normal takeoff and then came right back down and did a lawn dart, still in afterburner. And that was with a crew of two-two sets of eyes, but one set of controls!

I've been looking at possible causes for piloting failures under stressful conditions, and there is one common thread that I keep seeing:
  • A startling event.
  • A perceived need for quick action.
  • Action taken on the basis of incomplete information, perhaps using improvised methods.
  • Action continued beyond an appropriate duration.
I am not a professional psychologist, but I do have a lifetime of my own experiences to reflect upon, and what I see is a form of what is called attention tunneling.
I am posting the above observations so that others can perhaps distill their own experiences in that light, and perhaps learn from them.


Last edited by Machinbird; 20th Mar 2016 at 18:40. Reason: Clarification of Location
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 15:55   #279 (permalink)

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This was a BIG day, even as rostered. Two long 4 hour sectors and a report, one turnaround and a check out.
I don't know where you work, AtomKraft, but it must be a cosy operation. I'm not going to get into fatigue issues, because I have no idea of their previous work/rest schedules, but two four-hour sectors is hardly a big day.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 16:17   #280 (permalink)
 
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Somatogravic illusion the culprit?

I have experienced performing go-around on an A320 and A330 both engines aircraft during the day in good visibility and can say that it is most uncomfortable feeling I ever want to experience. I had a very strong urge to push forward on the joystick but thankfully did not. Imagine the same situation but at night in rain and with pitch up of at least 17 degrees you have no visual que, in strong turbulence the illusion is even more pronounced, you have to trust the instruments.

I have practiced the manoeuvre in a sim and it does not even come close to replicating the real thing in the aircraft in weather conditions described. Hopefully the data recorders will reveal the truth. I wonder what the results would show if research was done to evaluate the pilot reactions to similar situation as that in the Kazan and fly Dubai.

My feeling is that the pilot in flydubai had even more unstable approach extreme weather and visual ques such that on this second Go/Around his own perception was very different from that of the aircraft with the resultant mismanaged control.

We need to replicate this most dangerous manoeuvre in aviation in the sim and train pilots to fly it safely 100% of time every time. How hard can it be to train pilots in basic power/attitude flying to get out of trouble ?
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