Old Carthusian, Your mantra is KNOW YOUR MACHINE but in the meantime donít want to hear about technical stuff Ö ?
The simple fact is that it was the crew who put the aircraft into the situation where it crashed - nothing else.
Equation is simple : If a type is repeatedly exposed to unreliable airspeed indication at cruise flight level, the manufacturer has to be aggressively proactive by publishing at least a safety bulletin addressed to all operators with a clear procedure to be followed if needed and to recommend all operators to train their crews for such eventuality.
When you have practiced once you are so much better equipped.
Every Boeing I flew had an unreliable AS chart for weight and altitude to hold a pitch setting and power setting. What these pilots did when they lost AS and autopilot was not anything remotely close to what the Boeing chart says. Everybody knows you can't pull up over 5 degrees at 35,000 ft in an airliner and still fly.
Unfortunately this is the new way of hiring pilots out of flight schools with no experience. We still have plenty of experienced pilots but they won't work for2,000 per month.
I know they were flying an Airbus 330 but the attitudes to maintain level flight are about the same. I went out of my way in my career to only fly Boeing AC. Had to fly MD80's for a brief period but that was just so I could marry my now wife of 21 years because of geographical problems flying the 727.
If you bothered to go back and read the previous threads (around 3 or 4 I believe) you would find a discussion of Airbus' procedure for UAS. It existed but wasn't used or even consulted in this case. The question is why? A stall warning was ignored for a very long time, again why? This is not the fault of the manufacturer as much as you may wish it to be. This accident is a result of the actions or lack of them of the Flight Crew, nothing more and nothing less. The important thing to examine is what led the Flight Crew to act in the way they did and then to consider what can be done to avoid future occurences. The suggestions that somehow you can attribute the accident to the autotrim or the lack of a yoke do not conincide with the transcript of the CVR or the FDR. They are missing the point which is psychological. This ironically is more difficult to understand than simple mechanics and aerodynamics. However, we may postulate what led the PF to take the course of action he did but we will never know for sure. The one thing is if this accident induces AF to improve its training and procedures the loss of life will not have been in vain.
The response of the airplane in the first minute is shown in high resolution on pages 41 and 42 of Interim #3. Something odd struck me in the 'simulation' traces on page 42. According to the associated text, "it was agreed that, initially, the simulation would be confined to the longitudinal axis, without introducing turbulence." If the simulation is without turbulence, what caused the variations of alpha prior to 02:10:05, without noticeable variations in pitch, V/S and Az, and why did the elevator move after 02:10:00? Why differs the THS position from that recorded?
Last edited by HazelNuts39; 6th Nov 2011 at 09:25.
Also why simulated elevator position shows signs of oscillation movement already before 02:10:00 ?
Why that time period is not represented in page 41 graph ?
Why only left elev is represented ?
Do left and right elevators really move together or graph on P108 could be better Ö ?
"Airbus conducted a simulation of the aircraft behaviour based on the theoretical model and on the actions of the PF (sidestick and thrust)." Why not then represent PF's actions (sidestick and thrust) on those P41-42 graph ?
I don't recall having particularly missed it when reading the report. Anyway, this thread is about AF447.
Correct. But investigation led by the same investigation body and again some data of interest are not published.
In a few words : Why does the Judge withold data from the proceeding ?
I think the simulator has a small, random amount of air resistance worked in - even when flying in "clear air", there are still small "bumps", just as in the real world. The (simulated) FBW systems therefore add very small corrections to compensate.
Obviously the simulation is not going to be 100% precise, but as long as the general trend follows suit the exercise is valid. You'll note that the real elevator and G traces diverge from the normal significantly more, and more frequently than those on the simulated traces - this appears to indicate the effect of turbulence.
CONF - the final report on this accident is still some time from completion, give them a chance. Having said that, given the number of ambulance-chasing vultures that would attempt to twist the data to suit their commercial ends, I'm not surprised that the release of data is limited.
Last edited by DozyWannabe; 6th Nov 2011 at 16:20.
I think the simulator has a small, random amount of air resistance worked in
Seems like a very reasonable explanation, but why is it virtually absent until 02:09:50, then growing in amplitude until 02:10:05, when it similar to that encountered by AF447, but without effect in Az and elevator?
A reaction to autoflight disengagement perhaps? In all honesty I don't know, but the deviations around the normal prior to manual input still seem to be less than those encountered on the actual trace - it's just that because the AoA ended up at such an extreme value, the vertical element of the graph is compressed in it's early stages.
Vertical Speed = 10,000 fpm, How can one not realise one is stalled?
This goes to the heart of the question that is continually in my mind. With a descent rate of 10,000 fpm for over 2 minutes why did the crew not realise they were stalled ? Even during the last few seconds of the flight the CVR indicates anguished surprise that the aircraft was going to crash. Was this parameter not prominently displayed on the PFD unwinding rapidly downwards ? If not why not ?
dnr, FWIW, I have recalled tentative conclusions drawn by others in my post no. 1646. Briefly, some ATPLís thought PF confused the status with overspeed. There are several bits of evidence to support that, though I think it is only a theory, but seems to me the best one at present.
So once fixated upon that, he kept pulling back, presumably trying to pull out of a dive and failing to understand why it wasnít working.
So, I was talking about some research this weekend. I got in touch with an old Aero Engineering pal of mine from Uni and he managed to wangle us some spare sim time at his facility in the wee hours inbetween training sessions. What we had was an A320 sim rather than an A330, which comes with some key differences - the most obvious of which is the lack of Alternate 2, the nearest equivalent being Alternate without speed stability, and a different underlying architecture past a certain point.
Due to time constraints we could only run each experiment once, preceded by some familiarisation time handling the sim manually in Normal Law, albeit at low level, following the FDs around basic turns and level changes.
The first experiment involved setting the conditions to night IMC with CBs in the vicinity, having set the autoflight to take us to 35,000ft and hold us there. We had a friend of his who is a TRE sitting in the LHS to provide guidance and monitor what we were doing. He then failed the ADCs, leading to autopilot disconnect and a drop to Alternate (without speed stability) and we tried to follow through and maintain a 15 degree pitch angle. Things we noted:
I'd suspected it would involve considerable effort to hold the sidestick there for a significant amount of time, but I was genuinely surprised at just how much.
The zoom climb occurred exactly the way we expected
The Alternate Law (no speed stability) on the A320 seems to have a hard trim limit of 3 degrees nose up
It was definitely possible to hold the aircraft in the stall with 3 degrees of nose-up trim and full back stick, but it required effort
The aircraft wanted to nose down and recover itself, and with about 10 degrees of nose-down maintained with the sidestick at the moment we passed about 30,000ft, we managed to effect a recovery with the speed coming back up to a point where we could level out safely at about 20-25,000ft judging by the standby altimeter.
The second experiment was the same as the first, but as my pal had noted, the A320 has a hard limit of 3 degrees NU trim available via autotrim in the secondary Alternate Law. We tried again, this time winding in full nose-up trim manually just prior to the point of stall. This time:
The aircraft seemed more willing to hold pitch with the trim at full-up, but to hold it at 15 degrees still required considerable effort
We had to add a touch of rudder (on the TRE's advice) to control the roll.
Despite full nose-up trim, we elected to start a recovery as we came down through about 35,000ft this time, just to see if it was possible using sidestick only
Following the same 10 degree nose-down sidestick demand as before, the trim rolled forward with the sidestick demand, returning to around neutral within about 5-8 seconds, and we came out of the stall as before.
Based on this, as far as the A320 is concerned at least, recovery is possible using autotrim via sidestick only even when the trim has been manually wound fully nose-up. Given more time we'd have liked to see what happened attempting recovery at lower altitudes, but the general take-away seems to be that with sufficient forward sidestick demand it is possible to recover from stall even with trim forced to where it's not supposed to be.
Of course, these were purely technical experiments. Not only was this a sim session with only pride at risk, but we all knew what was coming and had a pretty good idea of how to get out of it. This does not and cannot compare to a situation where you're trying to get out of it for real, especially with the added handicap of limited manual flying experience.
Whether the A330 behaves differently I don't know, but I've called in my favours for now and am eternally grateful to the people who made it possible. Someone else is going to have to take that on.
Last edited by DozyWannabe; 7th Nov 2011 at 02:28.