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ZSPD Cargo Plane Crash

Old 9th Dec 2009, 16:46
  #241 (permalink)  
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I agree.

On that length of runway, at that temp and altitude, I believe that if you can get the doors closed the MD-11 would make it into the air on three good engines at max rated.

What we may be looking at, though: power settings were undoubtedly set for a certain gross weight - reduced to min required to save the engines. If the weight used was in error, or if the charts were improperly used, this accident could conceivably follow......

All total speculation on my part, though. Easy enough for the investigators to check.

Last edited by Huck; 9th Dec 2009 at 17:22.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 18:00
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word from within Avient: A miscalculation/input of the ZFW ...

Has happened before, and no-one is immune to make these mistakes
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Old 10th Dec 2009, 18:27
  #243 (permalink)  
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I'm not getting on your case here but your statement that the MD doesn't have all the flight envelope protection schemes...
FBW, such as those systems installed on the Airbus family, provide greatly increased protections over traditional aircraft, at the expense of course, of what the pilot is able, or in some cases, not able to do (Habsheim, for example).

Most MD-11 protections can be over-ridden by pilot stick and throttle input, several famous incidents come to mind. In the Airbus they cannot (reversion modes excepted), hence the old-school/new school comments. The NRT-generated sim training as described by Huck, wrt maintaining pitch attitude by visual reference only, is an aircraft handling case in point. In the FBW way of things, you place it there, let go, the aircraft won't budge until you place it somewhere else.
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 22:20
  #244 (permalink)  
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The MD-11 has a "FADEC BAR" that to my knowledge will spool beyond max rated by slamming the throttles to the firewall removing protection.

I have had several flights overloaded that resulted in fuel deversion for uplift, one was an 8 hr flight and was told we were as heavy as 20k lbs overweight. This fine beast will still climb out nicely overloaded. Have had a DC-10 auto rotate due to an aft CG.

There is a good chance that there was a combination of being heavy with an aft CG. There is also a good chance of a cargo shift EGArrow/KMIA).

Given the ZFW possible incorrect entry there is also a possibility that T/O flap and trim settings were not correct.
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 22:41
  #245 (permalink)  
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I hate to say it, but what about kg / lb errors....
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 22:56
  #246 (permalink)  
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Was the FMS pin option on this aircraft set to KG's? I've flown some that were, load sheets arrived in LBs, the calculator finger trouble possibilities were something we watched very carefully.
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 23:31
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bugg smasher:
Most MD-11 protections can be over-ridden by pilot stick and throttle input, several famous incidents come to mind. In the Airbus they cannot (reversion modes excepted), hence the old-school/new school comments.
Although it must be stated here that the limits set by the Airbus FBW are set at or near the stress limits of the airframe, and it could be argued that any human input beyond that could do more harm than good. If you need more than 67 degrees of bank with TOGA power to get out of a situation, I'd be sceptical of anyone's chances. Habsheim is very much a red herring here (and in most arguments on the subject).

The arguable issues with the MD-11 are more to do with fundamental design aspects carried over from the DC-10 as fitted to a substantially different airframe in other respects, as stated before. Best to wait and see what comes out in the wash here, I feel.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 00:18
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Does the MD 11 have a built in gross weight/CG calculator on board, independant of crew input? If it doesn't, it is impossible to xcheck weights. That is the old problem with cargo ops.

Livestock flights are/were the worst. The handlers used to dictate that the lightest animal be weighed x by so many head cattle, horses or whatever, then they would throw water, etc., feed that wasn't weighed! So before you took off you knew you were going to be "heavy" sometimes very heavy. Talking 30 years ago.

Pax flights it is easy of course to xcheck weights. Unless the a/c has the stand? system, cargo can and still is it seems, be an "inexact science."
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 00:58
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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stand?
That would be STAN...Sum Total And Nose.
Worked good, lasted a long time.
Caught gross errors darn quick.

Should be mandatory on freighters, in my considered opinion.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 02:07
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Should be mandatory on all aircraft IMHO. Pax aircraft aren't immune. There have been at least three tailstrikes to my knowledge due to the TOW entered into performance calculations being 100 tonnes light.

I used to fly 744s with WABCs (Weight And Balance Computers) which is similar to STAN and it's a great gross error checker.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 02:34
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Dan

"Pax aircraft aren't immune."

Agreed, however passenger and baggage only aircraft, there is "10 to the ton" as an independent cross check. Close enough I think.

Having stated the above I guess now though, all aircraft have some cargo on board.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 12:15
  #252 (permalink)  
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Does the MD 11 have a built in gross weight/CG calculator on board, independant of crew input?
It's available as an option, I've flown a few with the system installed, don't know if this aircraft had one.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 12:42
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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This genre of aircraft used to have a gross error check system.

It was called - a flight engineer, we worked out take off data independently and cross checked with what the pilots got - even in Avient.

The SOP was developed from some damn good trainers with high levels of professionalism.

BUT isn't this all presumption, rather than fact?

One of my questions would be, since it was carrying heavy crew, did the aircraft have a rested change of crew at Pudong, or did the crew that dead-headed inbound operate outbound? You NEVER get adequate rest dead-heading on a freighter (in my experience).
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 15:26
  #254 (permalink)  
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Amen.

Rest enroute is like the Yeti. Everybody's heard of it, but few actually see it.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 15:31
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Rest on the B744 was the same as resting in a hotel, fabulous in my opinion, as you had your own bedroom with a flat bed and could be totally isolated from the other shenanigans on the upper deck. Rest on the DC10 on the flea-bitten mattress which any self respecting tramp would turn his nose up at was a different kettle of fish. And often meant sleeping in subzero conditions between the crates of fish!
Rest on the B742 was akin to trying to sleep in a YMCA or overly exuberant youth hostel!
IMHO!
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 21:57
  #256 (permalink)  
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B.B. King

the Airbus FBW are set at or near the stress limits of the airframe, and it could be argued that any human input beyond that could do more harm than good. If you need more than 67 degrees of bank with TOGA power to get out of a situation, I'd be sceptical of anyone's chances. Habsheim is very much a red herring here (and in most arguments on the subject).
Point well taken, Dozy. Having flown both products extensively, however, I am somewhat aware of the flight path management skills required for each, and, as such, feel justified in contributing my own, albeit pilot-limited views on the subject.

The FBW enhancements, installed on the MD-11, would have prevented most of the accidents and incidents that have occurred to date. Said enhancements, however, have undergone a very tortuous development history, the Habsheim accident is a case in point (as are other very surreal computer-generated incidents), most certainly not the Red Herring you claim it to be.

The MD-11 remains, in very real ways, an old girl with old-girl habits, the electronic displays and protections are only so much make-up and lipstick, a DC-10 gussied up for a night on the town. She is, however, like the very venerable old Douglas cable and wire products, once grasped a very honest ship, and even though a truly unforgiving one, a pilotís pure pleasure to fly.

The Airbus was not designed by pilots, it is a software package summarily attached to a wing. As an afterthought it sometimes seems.

The thrill is gone, my brother, the thrill is gone.
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 01:18
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bugg smasher: "The MD-11 remains, in very real ways, an old girl with old-girl habits. . . "
Well said! And the TriStar is a lady, and the B74 is the queen.


tflier: "Rest on the DC10 on the flea-bitten mattress. . ."
Funny that you mentioned that. Curiously, once upon a time we did have a flea infestation in those cosy upstairs quarters . . . transmitted by working sniffer dogs!
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:20
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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MD11 - an old girl? Hardly!

Bugg Smasher

Like you, plenty of time to give away on the MD11 (about 10K, but who's counting). Hardly an "old girl"; more like my ex-girlfriend - don't rile her, and life is fine and a wonder to behold; get her angry, then "vicious" and "unforgiving" take on whole new meanings.

Ah, the FE - fine group of persons; generally bought the first round of drinks and took care of us young (as it were) pups.

Apologies for the drift, but I still want to know WHY!
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 02:21
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I have been on the A/C for 15 years, I struggle with what would have enabled this accident to happen. I have seen some pretty bizarre circumstances,NONE of which would cause this. Most likely an FMS entry error without a backup crosscheck.

WW
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Old 15th Dec 2009, 07:18
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A scenario

How about:

Possibly fatigued crew, with CM1 doing his LOE.
At commencement of TKOF roll, CM1 commands "Set takeoff thrust".
CM2 hits the APPR/LAND switch instead of the AUTOFLIGHT switch which engages the ATS. (For those not familiar with the MD11, the APPR/LAND switch is a smaller switch above the AUTOFLIGHT switch in the center of the FCP, which is above the ATS OVRD OFF switches). At the same time, CM1 advances the throttles, with the expectation that the ATS will drive the throttles to the correct position hence computed takeoff thrust; however with the ATS not engaged, takeoff thrust is not achieved.

T/O CLAMP does not annunciate on the FMA at 80kts, which goes unnoticed by the crew, and, thrust is only about 80% of that required of the Tflex as set in the FMC.
End of the runway is appearing and V1 not yet attained - CM1 pulls back on the stick with a resultant tail strike and aircraft fails to become airborne, and the rest, regrettably, is history.

For those with access to a MD11 sim, try the above scenario - same result as at ZSPD.

I still want to know WHY.
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