PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Jet goes down on its way to Medellin, Colombia
Old 2nd Dec 2016, 11:55
  #442 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: MSP
Posts: 4
Used the sim & LaMia 2933 was totally survivable

Maybe if the crew had trained for total electrical failure everyone would have lived. Some of my best training was at 4 am, in the sim at FlightSafety, when we had time to experiment.

Human factors: Based on their ATC calls, it sounds like they did not realize a flameout caused a total electrical failure. This blacked out the flight deck, where the captain overreacted and dove for the runway. Then the cabin went pitch black and people jumped up out of their seats screaming, which the pilots heard. It appears they totally lost situational awareness, thinking the radio beacon was the airport. Look at the crash site picture (Crash: LAMIA Bolivia RJ85 near Medellin on Nov 28th 2016, electrical problems, no fuel, impact with terrain).

Why would they nose dive for a spot 9.5 miles from the runway where there are no lights? The ridge they hit is 300 meters from the station (RNG VOR). My hunch is that they completely disregarded their fuel state, partly due to the distracting nature of the charter. How often was the captain leaving the flight deck to socialize in the back? Whatever he had been wrapped up in, he was not calm or setup for the approach. Instead of pitching for best glide, they dove for the deck. They could have squeezed out 10 minutes from FL210 when the lights went out. That's a ton of time to make life saving decisions.

Sim test: I tried the scenario w/ an ERJ-190 gear down at FL210 heading away from SKRG 15 miles to the south--made the runway, no problem. LaMia could have easily glided that distance and seen the runway. Even if they only made it halfway to the airport, there are flat open fields to ditch. People could have walked off that plane, at least the smart ones belted into their seats.

I'm left wondering if the pilots had clue one that they were in trouble. If I was in the right seat (or the jumpseat) I'd of been worrying about the fuel situation an hour prior. I would have been vocal about it. With 30 mins. left I'd of been pushing hard to land, and at 15 mins. I would have been freaked out and declaring an emergency. The closest I came to this scenario was a nasty winter storm at SFO. I was pressing ATC to let us land after being stuck in a +1 hour hold over Santa Cruz. The FO and I were discussing contingencies the entire time. When we approached 30 mins. of fuel left, I demanded immediate routing to San Jose. This got us clearance to SFO, but it still took 20 mins. to land and 10 mins. to taxi. I was worried that one of the engines might quit on the way to the gate, and how I'd explain myself. Anyway, the LaMia accident was totally survivable, even with fuel mismanagement and a dead stick landing.
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