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ZSPD Cargo Plane Crash

Old 2nd Dec 2009, 16:12
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As far as I'm aware there is no current active 777BCF programme, although i do hear that a large purple freight carrier are talking to Boeing about one.
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 16:49
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Lederhosen: Your push to compare MD-11F (sub-type) & 737 (all types) accident rates in a randomly selected period of time leads to the logical fallacy of assuming that correlation equals causation.
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 16:58
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The Boeing 777 BCF is in full swing and has been pushed up to around 2012 for first flight. We've already bought slots. You heard it here first.
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 17:39
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Actually Machaca, 200 is the total production run for all MD11 variants. The last year is as good a period as any to take and I am pretty confident that by any measure, for example hull losses per total flight hours from entry into service against any modern jet, the diva as we call her in Germany, is high on the list of accident prone jets. Rubbishing the data is most people's first reaction to something they do not believe in. I have no axe to grind. I am making no assumptions, just pointing out that as a highly trained professional your chance of crashing or being involved in a serious incident has in the past been higher with this particular jet. There are other aircraft, the meteor and starfighter would be good examples in the military, where a concerted push has improved a dismal record.
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 18:18
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Fact is, even before these two latest hull losses, the accident rate of the MD-11 (pax and freight combined) was inferior to all models of the 737. The statistical accident rate comparison prepared by Boeing, which takes into account the number of departures made by each aircraft type worldwide between 1959 and 2008, shows that the hull loss accident rate of the MD-11 up to 2008 was:
- twice the rate of the 737-100/200
- 5 times the rate of the 737-300/400/500
.. and about a hundred times the rate of the newest 737 models.

See pdf page 22 here: http://www.boeing.com/news/techissues/pdf/statsum.pdf

.. but of course there will always be those who donīt appreciate statistics, whoever prepared them, Boeing or not.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 04:33
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Unfortunately you cannot confuse some people with facts. It seems misplaced loyalty to an inanimate, unforgiving poorly designed machine is more important than an unbiased objective view of the MD11's accident history.


This 'jewel of an Aircraft' will simply continue to crash or be involved in serious accidents and incidents until at least one Airworthiness authority revokes it's C of A, or a crash involving large numbers of fatalities.


What do you think would happen if, for example passenger carrying B777's started to crash or were involved in serious accidents at the same rate as the MD11, or one every few months (the same thing)


A record like that would never be acceptable to the FAA, CAA or other certifying body. The only reason this Aircraft has 'got away with it' for so long is the nature of it's mostly Freighter operation where sadly the 'only' fatalities and injuries have been the very unfortunate crewmembers.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 04:46
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The recorders have been sent to Beijing for analysis:

Eastday-Pudong crash boxes get more analysis
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 06:19
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If the md11 has such bad stats, which it does, and its pilots agreeing that its a handful to fly, then theres a problem. Not all pilots will have the superior skill of other pilots hence why these accidents occur at an alarming rate considering the very few in the air. Love it or hate it, it could well be considered a dangerous airplane, considering how unforgiving it is.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 07:34
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%&#* the political correctness!

Pilots who can't handle the specific aeroplane, shouldn't be flying it. Applicable to anything, from Airbike to Concorde. It's simple in principle, difficult to apply, bites back if disregarded.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 09:09
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Funny to mention the Concord.
In the morning of July 25th 2000, it was the only passenger aircraft without a loss and statically the safest airplane in the world operating for almost 30 years. By the same evening it was deemed the worst passenger-airplane ever in service!
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 10:21
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Stilton,

Do you actually think that because nearly all remaining MD-11s in service are in freighter role actually makes any difference at all to what any national authority thinks? There's no "getting away" with anything as you put it. If they felt the need to withdraw the CofA, ground it etc they would. Full stop. The requirements are the same. Naive or what.

Last edited by Flightmech; 3rd Dec 2009 at 10:55.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 11:14
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Thank you for illustrating my point, Nubian. There was even one aeroplane that was statistically far, far worse than Concorde. It was A320 on the evening of June 26th 1988. And then there was passenger jet that never crashed during its entire career; Dassault Mercure. A320s are commonplace today, while no Mercure is active. Go figure.

Dear PPRuNers, some of you are putting forward the arguments similar to the following:

Premise A: MD-11 has worse accident statistics than B737

Premise B: Aeroplane that has worse accident statistics than B737 is dangerous.

Conclusion: MD-11 is dangerous.

The logic of the argument is impeccable. However, the conlusion is false, as the premise B is false and represents the misuse of statistics. Last year is not as "good a period as any" as there were no MD-11 incidents or accidents. This year? Very significant for anyone unaware of the meaning of the word "streak" in statistics. Statistics can point to areas requiring further examination but most of the time cannot be relied on to provide definite answers by itself.

Recommended reading: Carl Sagan: "Significance Junkies", Darell Huff: "How to lie with statistics"


Originally Posted by Lederhosen
There are around 6000 Boeing 737s. Yes they do crash, but apparently not at the same rate as MD11s. If we knew why there is such a difference, it might allow a few more colleagues to spend Xmas with their loved ones to use the emotive language of our cabin crew correspondent a few posts earlier.
If we knew.... well if you did bother to read reports, you would know the causes of every MD-11 accident bar the last two, as the investigation teams are still working on them! Do you really have no incentive to look them up?!? Would you like to be spoon-fed? OK, let's go:

First there was FedEx at Newark
Originally Posted by Aviation Safety Network
The aircraft touched down 1175 feet down runway 22R at 149 knots with a 500f/min descent rate and 1,67g acceleration. The flight bounced, yawed and rolled right, and touched down again 2275 feet from the threshold, at 1,7g (lateral acceleration 0,4g to the right) and dragging the no. 3 engine 238 feet further on. The right roll, pinning the no. 3 engine to the ground, possibly continued until the right wing's spars broke. The MD-11 skidded off the right side of the runway and ended up on its back 4800 feet from the threshold and just short of Terminal B.
It appeared that the aircraft (N611FE) had suffered a similar incident (bounced on landing) in Anchorage, November 4, 1994.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captainís overcontrol of the airplane during the landing and his failure to execute a go-around from a destabilized flare. Contributing to the accident was the captainís concern with touching down early to ensure adequate stopping distance."
Then there was SR111; using MPETs was design error which had no bearing on aeroplane's handling and would probably go undetected if it wasn't for slopilly concieved and executed instalation of IFE.

Korean at Shanghai:

Originally Posted by Aviation Safety Network
When the aircraft climbed to 4500 feet in the corridor, the captain, after receiving two wrong affirmative answers from the first officer that the required altitude should be 1500 feet, thought that the aircraft was 3000 feet too high. The captain then pushed the control column abrubtly and roughly forward causing the MD-11 to enter a rapid descent. Both crew members tried to recover from the dive, but were unable. The airplane crashed into an industrial development zone 10 kilometers (6 miles) southwest of Hongqiao airport.
After that it was China Airlines at Chek Lap Kok

Originally Posted by Aviation Safety Network
CAUSAL FACTORS:
"The cause of the accident was the commanderís inability to arrest the high rate of descent existing at 50 ft RA.
Probable contributory causes to the high rate of descent were:
(i) The commanderís failure to appreciate the combination of a reducing airspeed, increasing rate of descent, and with the thrust decreasing to flight idle.
(ii) The commanderís failure to apply power to counteract the high rate of descent prior to touchdown.
(iii) Probable variations in wind direction and speed below 50 ft RA may have resulted in a momentary loss of headwind component and, in combination with the early retardation of the thrust levers, and at a weight only just below the maximum landing weight, led to a 20 kt loss in indicated airspeed just prior to touchdown.

Fast forward to Subic Bay:
Originally Posted by Aviation Safety Network
PROBABLE CAUSE: The failure of the flight crew to properly address an erroneous airspeed indication during descent and landing, their failure to verity and select the correct airspeed by checking the standby airspeed indicator, and their failure to execute a missed approach. These failures led to an excessive approach and landing speed that resulted in a runway overshoot.
4 out of 5 losses mainly attributable to pilot error. Take note: errors committed were largely not type specific, they were more indication of wanting airmanship. Read the reports and learn; lessons might be pertinent to you even if you are not MD-11 pilot.

Dear Lederhosen, if your Bobby has Kranich on her tail, then I can understand your Angst beim Elfer. However, I'm really not amused by you and your colleagues 1) making dubious statements based on less than firm grip on statistics 2) accusing posters that don't agree with you for:

Rubbishing the data is most people's first reaction to something they do not believe in.
(...)
misplaced loyalty to an inanimate, unforgiving poorly designed machine
Such a statements are (to my despair) acceptable in modern politics. What we're discussing is aviation. Mix of the two never produced satisfactory results.

So is the MD-11 dangerous? Hell, yes! She's 250t+ and goes down the glide at 150kt, there are not many people in the world that can handle this. Those who can are called "MD-11 pilots" and every day they prove that the beast can be tamed. All of you believing that being a pilot is easy money are dead wrong. When this notion permeates the flightdecks, we'll be truly and deeply ed.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 12:06
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Well said [written], Clandestino. Problem is that it seems like nowadays pilots want the airplane to fly itself without their input. That's what all this 'automation' has led to unfortunately. People have forgotten basic flying skills and assume they can just jump into any aircraft and fly it. I'm not saying that is the case here. We'll just have to wait and see what the investigators come up with on this one.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 12:33
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Clandestino I enjoy a good debate and you have put a lot of effort into your last reply, so despite your tone I will respond. Have you read Finn47's post and looked at the Boeing statistics for all recent jets?

The MD11 has a demonstrably worse record than any comparable jet. Of course if you take aircraft produced in small numbers you can come up with outliers. But for aircraft with flights measured in the millions, the MD11 is significantly worse than any recent jet.

The premise is not that anything worse than the 737 is dangerous. The thread is about the MD11 and facts show that even without the last two write-offs the MD11 has a very poor record. Your argument that the accident reports exonerate the aircraft has not yet convinced me.

You are obviously a fan of crash comics and safety reports in general so will no doubt be familiar with the concept of 'the holes lining up on the swiss cheese' causing accidents. In this case we have :

1. An aircraft that a lot of pilots see as demanding and with a poor overall safety record
2. An operator with what appears to be a mixed reputation and one week's experience flying the MD11
3. Pilots who may not have been in recent practice flying the MD11 due to point two
4. Oversight of the operation in a country that also has a very mixed reputation.

The report will I am sure make interesting reading. In the mean time I think some interesting points have come out and will hopefully be clarified.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 13:13
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How mixed a reputation has China got these days. Please can you explain and illustrate with examples...?
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 13:15
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Operator Experience ?

@Lederhosen,


from your mail:

2. An operator with what appears to be a mixed reputation and one week's experience flying the MD11

The operator has no experience flying the plane. It's the crew upfront who does. Let me repeat that the crew that tried to bring the MD11 into the air was rather very experienced. Yes the plane was new to the outfit, but the plane was not new to the crew.
And regarding reputation: Some rate it good, some rate it bad, as with pretty much every other outfit carrying cargo...


3. Pilots who may not have been in recent practice flying the MD11 due to point two

Has the crew that piloted the MD11 not had any recent flying experience ? I read all the contributions to this thread but did not find such information. If you could please point me towards that info.
I have read on multiple replies from experienced crew that the crew was very experienced.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 13:18
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I have read on multiple replies from experienced crew that the crew was very experienced.
Yes they were. I've flown with three of the four.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 14:37
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Flightmech.


Of course it makes a difference that the MD11 is mostly operated as a freighter.


In this role is does not draw as much attention when it crashes simply because only the unfortunate crew members pay the price


As I mentioned already, if B777's or any widely used passenger Aircraft for that matter were crashing at the rate of the MD11 with large numbers of casualties the offending aircraft would already be grounded and a fix mandated.


Whether the MD11 can be 'fixed' is questionable though..
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 14:49
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I still disagree, whether its a freighter or pax aircraft, the authorites would take the same interest either way. A smoking hole is a smoking hole.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 14:52
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Load Toad ,the oversight should be provided by the country of registration, in this case Zimbabwe, one of the most troubled countries in the world. The country has a mixed reputation in the aviation world going back decades to the era of sanctions. Although not registered there MK airlines of Halifax 747 fame etc. also had very strong associations with that country.

Heading South, the crew fly the plane according to the operations manual provided by the airline. The company procedures with respect to loading, checking weight and balance could have played a significant role. The unfortunate pilots seem to have been known to Huck and we might reasonably infer were from Fedex the most experienced operator of the type in the world. How likely is it that they left a good job there to start the next day at Avient? I am sure this will all come out some time in the future. I may be wrong, but it is at least a reasonable question, thus the use of the word 'may' in point 3.
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