View Full Version : Emirates emergency landing in JNB

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11th Apr 2004, 13:20
Anybody heard any more about the reason for the EK emergency landing in JNB on Friday?
Is it true that they hit the lights at the end of the runway on take off in JNB and had to turn back?

11th Apr 2004, 13:45
Emirates' plane forced to land

10/04/2004 11:15 - (SA)

Johannesburg - The aircraft that performed an emergency landing at Johannesburg International Airport on Friday was an Emirates Air aeroplane, not a Lufthansa plane as was reported.

Captain Sophie Mayisela said the tyre of flight Alfa 6ERN, carrying a crew of 14 people and 216 passengers, burst during the emergency landing and left the pilot slightly hurt.

All the other people escaped unhurt when the accident happened around 21:30 on Friday.

The passengers and the crew were flying to the United Arab Emirates from Johannesburg, Mayisela said.

She said it was unclear what forced the aircraft into an emergency landing, but the police would investigate all the circumstances surrounding that landing.

Emirates Air was not immediately available for comment.


12th Apr 2004, 06:45
Unable to retract flaps after TO !

12th Apr 2004, 12:47
minor points if anybody has a ready answer, otherwise just ignore me :O

Why the use of the word emergency ?

Isn't it just a plain ole return-for-landing incident?

And what is possible cause for injury only to the pilot?

12th Apr 2004, 13:44
Seems that on departure, for some reason or another, the Aircraft hit the approach lights (for the other side).

It is not clear if the aircraft got airborne before the runway end or not.

Flap(s) stuck at take off setting, (multiple) tyre damage.

Aircraft burnt/dumped fuel, returned and landed.

Apparently some part of the undercarriage went through some part of the wing, I am not sure of the extent of this damage, or if this occured on departure or landing.

I suppose the pilot could have got hurt during the departure or landing.


12th Apr 2004, 13:59
Well, had to apply toga after Vr cause nose did not want to come up, smashed through the lights at end of runway and drove the wheels through the grass for upto 150m. Struggled out across the trees with gear/flap damage. Came back, lost the brakes after touchdown and had to use alt brake system to try and stop the bas#ard. Pulled up 100m short of the end.

Lets see all the deck chairs being pushed around this time. Your boat is rapidly sinking EMIRATES. !!!!

12th Apr 2004, 14:11

How can an incident like this result in the Company sinking? If the aircraft has suffered a technical malfunction of some sort, and the crew have struggled firstly to get it airborne and then to re-land, surely we should be congratulating the crew for doing a first class job in getting it safely back on the ground, rather than blasting the company (or wherever your angst is aimed), and writing EK off as history?

You have me perplexed!


12th Apr 2004, 15:27
Loungelizard, balanced character then....chip on both shoulders.

Didn't happen to fail the selection procedure did you?

Apparently there was an unaccounted 3 Tonnes in the bulk cargo hold. a/c hitting lights damaged brakes hence loss of braking. TOGA was selected at some point on the rw.

12th Apr 2004, 16:06
Only 3 tons over the top??

Come on, if they are going to use that as an excuse it needs to be more than 3 tons, believe me.

12th Apr 2004, 16:49
FYI, gentlemen.


The following report has been rated as SEVERE RISK:

3/04/343 A6ERN 09-04-04 EK
The report stated, that following a normal application
of the reduced flexible thrust, the aircraft
commenced its take off run, with the flaps set to 1+
F. Following the rotate call, the PF applied rearward
side-stick and, for approximately 6 -7 seconds the
aircraft nose did not move upwards. After that, the
nose rose and the PF selected 9° nose up, expecting
the aircraft to lift off. Very shortly afterwards the
crew felt a rumbling, selected TOGA (full) thrust and
about two seconds later the aircraft became airborne.
The initial climb out and thrust reduction was normal,
but as the aircraft was accelerated and flaps were
retracted an ECAM caution annunciated for FLAPS

Since the flaps were now in an immovable position and
not fully retracted a decision was made to return. ATC
were informed and fuel jettisoned to maximum landing
weight. ATC advised that a runway inspection

had revealed damage to two runway end lights and that
the aircraft may have traveled about 150 meters across
the grass at the end of the runway, before getting

In the absence of other warnings and no ECAM system
for displaying tyre pressure, the crew assumed that
the landing gear and tyres were unaffected. The
aircraft then returned for a non-standard
configuration (Flaps Locked) landing during which at
about 70 knots normal braking failed. The aircraft was
slowed using alternate brakes and came to a halt
approximately 150 meters from the end of the runway.
The fire services were in immediate attendance and the
main gear tyres were seen to be damaged and deflated.
There were no reported injury to the crew or
passengers. This incident is the subject of an ICAO
annex 13 investigation by the country of occurrence.
They have also invited a member of the local authority
as an accredited representative to the investigation
and have permitted airline participation, in an
advisory capacity.

12th Apr 2004, 17:02
Only 3 tons over the top?? Come on, if they are going to use that as an excuse it needs to be more than 3 tons, believe me.If you actually read what has been said, you'll find the 3T is not a TOW problem, but a Trim one. In my previous outfit, ~2T of Fuel error in the A340 Tail Tank caused a similar problem - but with no damage etc., just a change of underwear required.

Apparently there was an unaccounted 3 Tonnes in the bulk cargo holdSuspect the opposite? 3 Tonnes in Bulk on the loadsheet, not there in reality...?


12th Apr 2004, 18:01
The passengers and the crew were flying to the United Arab Emirates from Johannesburg, Mayisela said
of course the pax AND crew were flying to UAE - hardly be flying to DIFFERENT lacations ;)

Seriously - sounds like the poor s0ds got load/balance probs and managed to get back agian - well done!

Martin Baker - the only way to fly!

12th Apr 2004, 18:37
a300 and slug,

Hahaha, we shall all see wont we now. 16 trainers gone in 12 months and more to follow.
Why we are not hearing from 340 "project pilot's" are we. MMMM such company men. !!!

12th Apr 2004, 18:53
Exuse my ignorance. but who is ultimately responsible for checking that the weight/balance is correct at time of departure?

It was always my assumption that the loadmaster did the balance sheet, and handed it to the captain for checking, but how can the captain check the info?

12th Apr 2004, 19:37
Do you think it was the EK with the call sign THE Emrites?:yuk:

12th Apr 2004, 20:27
Sounds like emirates has a new business plan and is diversifying to trim the grass at the runway ends.

On a serious note, there was a serious failure on the human side and congrats to the crew for making it. Could've been a nasty one.

View From The Ground
12th Apr 2004, 21:10
Isn't it about this time in these threads that some one says...lets hold on a wait for the investigation........there I have said it now :D Sounds like a close call....let's just be thankful they all came back safe and sound...150m on the grass, if true, scarey

Send Clowns
12th Apr 2004, 21:27
Lucky it didn't happen here at EGHH - it'd have hit a bus! Well done to the crew - wait until the report to see who screwed up, or who is to be shafted with the blame.

jack schidt
12th Apr 2004, 21:36
Sloooooooooooooooooowdown peeps. Could be a crew calculated take-off problem, nah? Me, I'm sure it's load and balance from JNB. The loadsheet checking procedure on EK, I have been told, is almost foolproof now. Regarding checking the loadsheet, you may as the crew check it all you like but if its wrong compared to the loadsheet, there is nothing you can do about it except be extreme professionals and save everyones lives. Well done EK pilots.

13th Apr 2004, 01:49
Hello all,

Would it be appropriate (from an invesigative point of view) to have weighed all the bags and cargo after the incident? Is this a normal thing to do?

Is there any way that a calc error on the part of the airport staff can be traced after the fact?

Are there any aircraft in the world that have "scales" (not the fishy type) built in to the aircraft to check the weight of an aircraft?

Thank you in advance.


13th Apr 2004, 04:37
Hello All. Just got back from JNB. Spoke to the crew involved, ground staff and engineers. As the matter is still under investigation I will not mention any details, just a few minor points.
None of the pilots, cabin crew or passengers was hurt. I had dinner with both pilots last night. They are fine.

I think the crew did a great job and should be commended for it.

LOUNGE LIZARD, you slag the pilots without knowing the cause of the incident. Someone like you should know that rushing to conclusions is a no-no in aviation. Sadly not.

SKIDCANUCK - posting an ASR on a public website is not really a great idea isn't it? Especially when your colleagues are involved. It's also against company policy. Bad show old chap.

I do appreciate that PPRUNE is a rumour website and that everyone has the right to express an opinion. But as VIEW FROM THE GROUND said, the matter is still under investigation. I agree that discussion is healthy as we all stand to learn from other people's experiences but try and keep it professional and avoid useless mud-slinging. Remember also that the crew involved have access to this site and would be hurt to read some of the crappy posts, especially after doing a great job of flying a crippled ship back to safety without a single injury to the occupants. Which is, I'm sure most of you will agree, what our profession is about.
To the pilots and cabin crew on that flight, well done. You have my utmost respect.

13th Apr 2004, 05:03
There but for the grace of god etc.

NoD, apparently there was 4t on the loadsheet when in fact there was 7t.

13th Apr 2004, 05:17
>>SKIDCANUCK - posting an ASR on a public website is not really a great idea isn't it? Especially when your colleagues are involved. It's also against company policy. Bad show old chap.<<

I agree. It is extremely poor form with a third world airline to post anything related to safety since that implies that the procedures and standards were less than perfect. Severe loss of face may follow.

Wait for the non-published accident report which may or may not come out within a year.

You would never want to do like the Americans and immediately put a quick factual report online:


El Peligroso
13th Apr 2004, 06:11

Emirates is not the NTSB nor is it the civil aviation authority in the UAE. What possible reason would it then have to make an INTERNAL (at this stage) air safelty report public?

I agree with picu, pasting the ASR here is in bad taste!:yuk:

To the boys involved: Congrats on stopping her in one piece.

13th Apr 2004, 06:23

Mr clown, go back and re read the statement. I did not slag off at any of my fello men. I have no doubt whatsoever that the guy driving that day ( whom also has an empecable record) was certainly the bloke EK needed at the helm to get everyones ass back on the ground safely and bloody well done to them at that. Let's all be grateful for that one shall we. Keep your "slagging" for Canuck.

13th Apr 2004, 09:29
Hello again, nice to have generated a few replies but please try to keep it clean.

LOUNGE LIZARD you are quite right - I re-read the threads and didn't find anything from you against the pilots. The tone you used seemed to imply it but I guess that was just my interpretation. Apologies.

AIRBUBBA, regarding the American system I have a lot of respect for their freedom of information policy and think it's a model that other countries all over the world should follow but I have to disagree with your post. Putting out information of this nature to the public before it's fully investigated can be dangerous as it leads people to make up their own conclusions without a clear picture of the truth. As often happens on PPRUNE.
It's also grossly unfair for the company and crew involved.

Historically it has been shown that getting one's facts right before declaring yourself is what really saves one's face.
Now which country declared it invaded Iraq because the latter had weapons of mass destruction? Ask the hundreds of innocent Iraqis, Americans, Brits, Spanish, Italians and more killed since then............

13th Apr 2004, 10:18
OK, first person to even try to respond to the last paragraph of 'picus' post above gets an automatic 'PPRuNe headache'. (Talk about triggering a thread diversion!:rolleyes: )

There is no way this is just going to 'die down'. Someone opened the Pandoras Box and no matter how much some of you want me to remove the ASR, it has been published and it is being discussed. If someone had bothered to 'edit' the ASR into something a bit more 'journalistic' it would still be the same info. At least the ASR is about as factual you can get at this moment of time.

A few people still seem to be amazed that this is the 21st century and information can and will be spread very rapidly. At least those pilots who operate out of JNB will be able to take note that perhaps they need to take a bit more interest in their loadsheets because of this incident. They will be aware that there has been a problem and can take any necessary actions to double check anything that they may feel needs attention.

No one is apportioning blame and anyone who does at this stage is probably not an airline pilot but someone with an ego that is just looking for attention. Anyone trying to point a finger at Emirates at this stage only shows themselves to be disgruntled and probably someone who didn't make the grade for them and so shouldn't be afforded the dignity of a response. As discussed, there appears to have been a weight and balance problem at this stage and an investigation is underway. We, as professional pilots can and should be able to discuss this and similar issues without fear or recrimination. We would be discussing these issues privately so why not widen the pilot participation? Yes, this is a publicly accessible forum but the issue under discussion is not some secret conspiracy. Most of us can spot a 'pretender' a mile off and they should be ignored. The rest of the debate will involve speculation, hopefully from an educated point of view.

The few posters who are unable to keep the debate mature enough because they either have to tag on some kind of infantile snipe and then get all upset and foulmouthed because they don't like the response to their snipes had better learn to control their emotions a bit better. This is a serious discussion about an incident that could have ended as a disaster but didn't because of the professionalism and skill of the crew. Even if it ended up as pilot error, which is highly unlikely in this incident, it is never just pilot error and there are often unforeseen elements that contribute to any incident. Those of you who enjoy armchair quarterbacking surely have either not had an incident yet and believe that you are infallible. Definitely not a trait most of us would want on the flight deck.

Incidents such as these are a fact of life. They are not pleasant for the company or the crews and trying to brush it under the carpet is akin to burying ones head in the sand. Speculation is natural and if we can all learn something from it on here then it has at least achieved something positive. So what if the media follow up on it. Do any of you really believe that the majority of the media give a toss whether what they report is accurate? Of course they don't and we should all learn to give the media the respect it deserves... contempt. Passengers who are afraid of flying will still be afraid of flying and those that aren't are not likely to any less afraid because of the sensationalist stuff they read either.

This thread manages to highlight to many of us that what we read on the loadsheet and sign for means nothing if the people producing it have not checked that it is correct. Whether at JNB or any other airport we operate into all over the world, any pilots reading this thread will at least think twice about it and that is probably a good thing.

13th Apr 2004, 11:03
It is most difficult for us as pilots to check that the numbers are correct if they are wrong from the very beginning. If load-control says it's 4t's in the bulk cargo and it's infact 7t's we really have no way of finding out other than getting the bags off.

The loadsheet will add up quite nicely only it won't reflect the load carried..

13th Apr 2004, 11:13
it is never just pilot error

Isn't it?

13th Apr 2004, 11:50
Is there any way that a calc error on the part of the airport staff can be traced after the fact?

That is very simple: A320/330/340 have a sophisticated system to calculate weights in flight derived from angle of attack calculations. Unless those computers were at fault (but this is very unlikely since the computers are all independant). The inflight weight calculation would not have prevented the accident but will be very handy to find out the problem.

As all the insiders here already found out that it was a loading problem, everything's clear. It could also have been a wrong input to the performance page (too high flex temperature setting) or just wrong reading out of the performance book (or laptop, whatever they use in Emirates).


13th Apr 2004, 11:54
Danny, well said.

And just to make the point, our own airline has had an incident of this, i.e. loadsheet / trim error - which, from memory, happened two summers ago at Skiathos.

The aircraft arrives, wherein the Greek ramp agent ( with very poor English, i.e. nearly as bad as the pilots Greek ) starts the usual dialogue about how much fuel, and the number of passengers & bags, etc.

Now on a B737 the normal practice is to load as many of the bags into the rear cargo hold as possible ( as it unloads the elevator and thus improves fuel economy ) - indeed most airports that regularly handle B737's will automatically load its rear hold first - and so this is what our pilot agrees with the ramp agent, i.e. "Put them all in the back" and with that he ( the pilot ) went to work on the loadsheet using standard figures for weights and load distribution.

With the turnaround complete, they taxi out, line-up for departure, push-up the thrust levers and start rolling up the runway wherein the handling pilot senses that the nose of aircraft seems very light ( which it shouldn't be so early in the take-off ) and so he aborts the takeoff roll.

Pulling back onto stand the pilots open the flightdeck door and see the pax ( it wasn't a full load ) all sitting in the rear seats - doh !

Thus, they had the right amount of fuel, the right number of bags ( all stashed in the rear hold ), and the right number of passengers ( albeit NOT evenly distributed throughout the aircraft ), i.e. it all added up correctly - except for the trim.

Me thinks it's a good example of the error chain in action, i.e. all from a relatively simple misunderstanding, following which nobody mentioned that pax sitting only in the rear seats seems unusual. Of course we, as pilots, don't actually check who's sitting where and / or what's been loaded in to the holds and / or what everything really weighs - we 'assume' that everybody has done their job in the normal & correct manner and, so long as everything adds up, all's well.

Fortunately, on that day, the error chain was broken when the handling pilot ( an experienced bloke ) recognised that aircraft didn't feel right and stopped.

There again, what might have happened had the handling pilot been an under training 'newby', less familiar with the feel of the aircraft, is open to conjecture !

We learn by our mistakes - hopefully.


13th Apr 2004, 12:31
Fortunately, on that day, the error chain was broken when the handling pilot ( an experienced bloke ) recognised that aircraft didn’t feel right and stopped.

Well said. It just goes to show how experience plays a huge role in avoiding many accidents. Thats why it amazes me how airlines recruit guys with no experience besides basic training but thats for another forum.

Of course we, as pilots, don’t actually check who’s sitting where

Thats brings up another issue. Airline pilots have alot on their plate especially on quick turnaround flights. and dont have the time to check on the loading although most companies state that it is the capt. responsibilty. Maybe we should start training hosties to recognise when pax have moved from their allocated seats that it might alter the trim of the aircraft. That example above might be able to introduce a new link to a chain to avert accidents.

To get back to emirates im sure those guys had plenty of aviation background and once again i congratulate them for avoiding disaster. Im sure only quick thinking and skill saved the day something some computer pilots MIGHT be lacking.

13th Apr 2004, 12:36
NoD, apparently there was 4t on the loadsheet when in fact there was 7t.I normally do not like "speculating", but only did it in reposne to what looked like a preliminary report (now appears to be the ASR - I'd be v p*ssed off if people posted my ASRs here!)

Earlier the 3T discepency referred to the Bulk Hold (at the back). Surely if there was 3T extra at the back, then there would not be a rotation problem? Seems to me that to prevent rotation, we need too little weight at the back, and too much at the front?

Is there any way that a calc error on the part of the airport staff can be traced after the fact?Yes - I am sure the crew activated this "process", which involves weighing all bags and cargo. But has has been suggested, it is more likely to be more fundamental - whole pallet(s) / bin(s) on Loadsheet and not aircraft (or v-v), or at the wrong end of the aircraft... I am sure EK and JNB know exactly by now - in fact, did some hours after it occurred.

13th Apr 2004, 12:53
I'm with NoD, and from the "info" given so far, would lean toward it either being either
not enough loaded aft
too much loaded foward
a lot too much being loaded everywhere
stab set incorrectly
wrong thrust or speed or flaps

or a combination of the above.

All of the above can be affected by a large number of variables, which are completely out of the hands (and eyes) of the guys in the hot seat, so lets no jump on the bandwagon too quickly.
On another note, mention is made of TOGA being selected after Vr.

Can someone who knows tell me if you are likely to get a flex t/o out of JNB going home? And also, what variety of Bus is it?

Well done to the crew for the return.

13th Apr 2004, 13:07
Anorak on :

And also, what variety of Bus is it?

Serial number 166
Type 340-313X
First flight date 06/03/1997
Test registration F-WWJZ

27/03/1997 Singapore Airlines 9V-SJH
15/05/2002 BAHC D-ASIC
12/02/2004 Emirates Airlines A6-ERN

Anorak off....

13th Apr 2004, 13:24
Thx CR2, a FLX out of JNB on an 8 hr flight with 4 cfm's sounds like a stretch, however maybe someone can validate.

13th Apr 2004, 14:37
To all you anti-EK prophets of doom, it's time to slow down and wait for the FACTS to come out.

To the drivers involved -> well done! :ok:

Reports are that A6-ERN experienced poor take-off and climb performance departing DXB for JNB (it's 1st revenue flight for EK) and engine performance will be checked.

13th Apr 2004, 15:06
"TOGA selected when there was a problem"? Excuse my being way out of touch, but didn't we used to give full thrust until after "weight off wheels"?

Or are today's engines different?

(Well rusty ex Flight Sim Engineer from before the days of Glass Cockpits!)

13th Apr 2004, 15:29
I'm no expert and I don't want to speculate, but it sounds like the crew did a great job.

I can't help but think that if this incident had happened at some airports the outcome could have been much worse (EGCC 24R for example - plough through the arrestor bed and off into the dip at the the end).

In these days of computerised aircraft, is it not feasable that this problem could be caught much earlier by the aircraft itself checking the load/balance by means of front/rear oleo compression on the groud prior to the takeoff roll?

Idgie Tea
13th Apr 2004, 16:16
I don't want to sound stupid but just for my understanding:

If I have let's say 3t more in the bulk, it definitely is a trim problem. So this might lead to premature rotation.

Assuming this were the case on any given hypothetical flight, here are my questions:

1. Wouldn't that rather lead to a tail skid before liftoff?

2. If it does would that be a little like the test during certification to find the min unstick speed? From all that I know these T/O's don't take longer to get airborne but are very sluggish when in the air (to say the least).

3. Would it really lead to a late liftoff? After all, the plane is only 3t heavier which doesn'r make that much difference in speeds.

4. If it did lead to a late liftoff, would it be so late that I could screw ALL performance data derived from the different weight calculations? (3t is about a 1,5 to 2% weight change only)

I just ask these questions because I don't understand why so many here think it was a trim problem. I don't want to suggest or assume anything but I can't see why all the mentioned factors should lead to that extreme low T/O profile.

Correct me if I'm wrong! Perhaps my aviation knowledge needs some urgent update... I hope not but it would mean that the trim wasn't the big contributor to that incident.

13th Apr 2004, 17:01
Do not know the facts but the airbus trim is not like the boing just put it in the green band and ok. On our a/c though a wrong weight by 4 tonnes would trigger a prompt to check GW as the computer would sense that it is not correct

13th Apr 2004, 17:09
Excuse my being way out of touch, but didn't we used to give full thrust until after "weight off wheels"?

Only Airbus is different ;)
Eighter you go TOGA which means full take off thrust (there is no fire wall on the Airbus) or you go one detent lower, which is called Flex/MCT. In this position FADECs give as much thrust as selected on the take off performance page on the FMGS (FMS).


13th Apr 2004, 19:06
Incidents such as this can happen to anyone / anywhere / anytime. In the long term let us all take time to learn from the investigation; a successful landing such as this should have many positive aspects for everyone.

In the short term the operator should on congratulated on the positive safety culture and open and honest reporting. In return for the valuable heads up, we in the industry should be supporting the crew and operator, defending them from the trials of modern journalism and a punitive society.

Well done all round, no need for any more speculation, I will wait for the facts.
Unless specifically authorized everything else is forbidden.

Champagne Lover
13th Apr 2004, 21:03
It's going to be interesting to see how politically correct all findings are to be presented once determined. Especially considering that it will likely take quite some time, to calm down and hopefully, to receed into vagueness......

jettison valve
13th Apr 2004, 21:22

That is very simple: A320/330/340 have a sophisticated system to calculate weights in flight derived from angle of attack calculations. Unless those computers were at fault (but this is very unlikely since the computers are all independant). The inflight weight calculation would not have prevented the accident but will be very handy to find out the problem.

As all the insiders here already found out that it was a loading problem, everything's clear. It could also have been a wrong input to the performance page (too high flex temperature setting) or just wrong reading out of the performance book (or laptop, whatever they use in Emirates).

What you allude to is done on the A340s by a part of the FMGEC - however, to my understanding only as a monitor in normal conditions for what the FCMCs come up with (based on initilization of ZFW and ZFWCG plus current fuel quantity information). Parameters for the FMGECs are AOA, Ma-number, altitude, THS position and... I forgot the other parameters.

I seriously doubt that the calculated weight/CG values will help in this case. I guess any value calculated by the FMGEC would have to be inaccurate as there wasn´t a long segment of undisturbed flight (I´d rule out the jettison segment as it certainly messes up the calculation). Secondly, I am pretty sure - unless proven otherwise, of course! - that none of the values calculated by the FMGECs over time is stored anywhere. In fact, even the INIT values are dumped at...hmm... last engine s/d I think.

Finally, it´s interesting to see that MSN 166 is still a trouble-maker! (yes, I know, you can´t blame it on the airframe itself... *g*).


14th Apr 2004, 00:46
This has to be the first time Murphy's Law has worked in someones favour. I say this because only one RWY at JNB will allow for an overrun and that is RWY 21R, which was the RWY in use that night. 21L would've put them through a highway and into a residential suburb, 03L would've put them through a main road and into an Industrial area, and 03R would've seen them drop down an embankment and into a residential area. The prevailing RWY for deps at JNB is 03L. So I guess thanks to Murph, and great work by the crew.

14th Apr 2004, 10:26
Just a quick point, and not to divert attention away from what seems to be a good job by the crew, and also not to start an 'anti-A340-200/300 discussion', but as regular pax on the a/c I do have to say that I've always found those CFM engines on the 340 to be very 'tinny' and much akin to hair dryers.

Wouldn't surprise me if report indicates that JNB's highish altitude combined with tinny engines and less than max power selected by a/c's computer and load problems are significant cause?

Hopefully report will also say 'good save by the crew'.

(PS - Skipper's name quoted in the press cutting on page 1 as 'Sophie' - most on this thread referring to 'her' as a 'him' - any reason?)

14th Apr 2004, 11:17
Skipper's name quoted in the press cutting on page 1 as 'Sophie' - most on this thread referring to 'her' as a 'him' - any reason?

It is possible that the Capt Sophie reffered to in the origional press report was actually an Airport Official (Police, Security, Armed Forces........... or something like that)

I also did a double-take when I first read the article....

14th Apr 2004, 12:06
(non pilot speaking) If the loadsheet was wrong, it would not be altogether surprising. A close relative of mine who is a Cpt in Southern Africa and uses JNB frequently, albeit on smaller a/c, tells me that he has had to tell the ramp crew to remove bags/freight many times.

The loaders sometimes think that, because the hold has more space it can take more stuff. Unfortunately, stuff has mass. :uhoh:

14th Apr 2004, 13:32
I know that pilots do a lot of training when it comes to engine fires, loss of hydraulics, decompressions, flame outs etc. All of these things happen when they are airborn most of the time .

But do they get enough training on what happens when they pull back on the stick on take-off and nothing happens, after V1, as just happened to Emirates in JNB last week?

What should the first reaction be?

Should runways compensate for such happennings?

14th Apr 2004, 15:41

What on earth prompts a reaction like that?

Whether the crew/Company screwed up will be a matter of historical record one way or the other - it's happened.

It was obviously terrifying for all involved and God forbid any of us find ourselves in that position.

Memories of a VERY heavy DC10 trying to get airborne from Male to LGW at 32C springs to mind . There but for the grace of big G . . .

Had we f*****d up, (even if they did) I wouldn't have expected someone to gloat like you are doing.

Did Emirates sack you? Or couldn't you get the job?

I recommend psychotherapy.

14th Apr 2004, 21:05
Invictus asked:
<<Are there any aircraft in the world that have "scales" (not the fishy type) built in to the aircraft to check the weight of an aircraft?>>
Yes, (some) B747 freighters have weight and balance computers which sense undercarriage load.
. . and, before you ask, the only reason I can think of why all big jets (say B737 up) don't have them is, you guessed it again, $$$

On another thread aagg asked if we receive training in severe mistrimmed take-off. I've never received such training although most professional pilots do give some thought to the problem e.g. stop or go (you're above V1), use the stab trim and, if airborne, split the flaps on alternate but any way you are in serious doo doo.
On a freighter one can have a stroll along the main deck (if it isn't totally obstructed) and spot, say, a load of steel or an engine at the end instead of in the middle (and organic peroxides on top of flammables :ooh: ) but it is well nigh impossible to monitor what's going in the underfloor stowage.

14th Apr 2004, 22:02
I seem to remember that when Gulf Air first got the Tristar there was an on board weight and balance computer, probably derived from the Lockheed C5. The aircraft were then on the UK register and the CAA (remember them) would not let the crews use the on board system because it seldom agreed with the load sheet, now there's a surprise! It was removed from the aircraft, together with the ground run monitor, which was a wonderful device for proving that you had actually touched down at the correct point on the runway for the scheduled landing distance. Having had a close look at the far end of the runway at Montego Bay from the office window in a 757, because I had made a 10 tonne error in the loadsheet AUW and thus selected a reduced EPR somewhat less than required, I know how the Emirates crew must have felt. They have all my good wishes and congratulations for a nasty situation well recovered whoever caused it. As someone already said,"there but for the grace of God go I" As for manual load sheet calculations are you all still using them or are they computerised, they always used to be computerised at most out stations when I was with Air 2000 and we certainly had a very simple arithmetical (ie accurate) method of producing load sheets and calculating take off data which was far superior to the Airbus and Boeing way with all those funny diagonal lines and odd graphs which I never could understand.

14th Apr 2004, 22:12
Just a quick post on the subject of load control and ground dispatch functions for any of you who don't quite know what goes on.

Firstly a load controller works out how to load an aircraft so that the CofG is within the limits. This is done several hours before departure and is based on booked figures.

They then send a written instruction called a 'loading instruction / report' to the loaders, this says exactly what should be loaded and where.

As the loaders load the aircraft they write what they have loaded in each compartment and sign it, before giving it to the ground dispatcher.

The ground dispatcher checks to make sure that how the loaders have loaded the aircraft matches how they were told to load it.
Any differences should be picked up and either the aircraft reloaded correctly, the loadsheet ammended via the LMC section for small differences or a new loadsheet produced which matches the actual loading.

I will close with the statement from IATA which governs the above procedures.

"Loadsheet activities are NOT complete and the aircraft NOT permitted to depart until the loadsheet and loading instruction / report are in TOTAL agreement"

If an error in the loading was to blame in this case then it was either the loaders who did not report exactly how they had loaded the aircraft or the dispatcher who did not spot and correct the error.

Either way hats off to the crew.

Next time you get a minute grab a manual loadsheet and see just how much 3 tonnes in the front affects the MACTOW of your aircraft and how far you have to spin the trim wheel in a nose up direction to compensate. You may be suprised.

Sorry to butt in on what is looking like an interesting debate.

14th Apr 2004, 22:24
First off, A Big Congratulations to the Crew, I bet the beers in the Hotel that night tasted Magnificent.

A quick question, does anybody know the actual wx at Joburg that night ? a previous post says Rwy 03 is the prevailing wind rwy however rwy 21 was in use at the time. I'm sure everything was in limits but the T/O perf and subsequent CLB gradient on a big jet like the A340 with as little as 6 or 7 knots tailwind is adversley affected.

Just another possibility

15th Apr 2004, 08:54

Thanks for the run-down on the process of how the final trim levels are decided upon.

On another note, just how effective are the arrestor beds seen at some thresholds at stopping a several hundered tonne airliner going 160kts plus?

I'm surprised in these days of FBW airbus's that once you run out of elevator authority the coputer doesn't command instant trim apllications. It was always my assumption that in the Airbus you don't command a control surface deflection, but rather a pitch angle/rate, and the computers do whatever they have to do to get you there, without leaving the flight envelope?

15th Apr 2004, 09:01
It was always my assumption that in the Airbus you don't command a control surface deflection, but rather a pitch angle/rate, and the computers do whatever they have to do to get you there, without leaving the flight envelope?Not so at all... Depends on the FBW mode, and this in turn depends on the seviceability of the FBW computers, and/or where the aircraft is.

Until a certain time after takeoff, you might be suprised to know that the Airbus Flt Controls act like a C152. Control Surface deflection directly in proportion to Control Stick Deflection...


15th Apr 2004, 09:22
Ta NoD. I'd be lost without you guys! :ok:

The more I think about this, the more scary it seems. Reach VR, pull back normally, nowt, pull back some more, nowt, start to sweat, pull it to the the stop, still nothing, fill trousers.

"Will the fat git in row 44 please make their way forward of the CG please!"

15th Apr 2004, 09:44

Did I miss something

"Will the fat git in row 44 please make their way forward of the CG please!""
should that be "Will the fat git in row 44 please make their way to the aft toilets to assist rotation"

15th Apr 2004, 10:18
you might be suprised to know that the Airbus Flt Controls
I was once told by someone 'wot knows' that Airbii do their own little thing all the time on pitch law and that something like 23 changes in control logic can take place between TOD and landing. A bit frightening for a simple pilot?

'What's it doing now' seems to be an impossible question to answer:D

15th Apr 2004, 10:42

Did I miss something

"Will the fat git in row 44 please make their way forward of the CG please!""

should that be "Will the fat git in row 44 please make their way to the aft toilets to assist rotation"

Doh! :ugh:

[Note to self] Drink coffee before posting wise crack [/Note to self]

15th Apr 2004, 10:52
Never mind, BigHit - maybe you have solved the Emirates puzzle....:D

On a more serious note, picking up on 'Who'stheDaddy's' reference to index corrections, it is VITAL that these are only used for small adjustments, as they are normally gross 'rounding-up/downs' for ease of use (otherwise they would be into several places of decimals), and with large weights can give significant trim errors.

15th Apr 2004, 11:44
As close as it gets, a wake up call??


T/O JNB 21R is most probably 2nd segment obstacle limiting and not RWY limiting. This leads to the conclusion that even with an engine failure at V1 the A/C should have been able to reach well above 35 ft at the RWY end. With all four engines operating, EK 764 probably should have reached + 100 ft at the end. EK 764 used more than 4500 m of RWY before getting airborne, more than 1000 m in excess of what in normally would need. I doubt this was caused by a 3T overload.

One possible contributing factor not mentioned earlier could be MFF (mixed fleet flying). Emirates A340 transition is performed in an A340-300 SIM. Line training and checks are done in the A340-500 A/C. From day one there is a strong focus on rotation techniques and the importance of avoiding tailstrikes. After 50 hrs (4 sectors) on A340-500 the EK pilot is considered MFF qualified. The pilot then flies a mix of A330 and A340-500 flying. All of a sudden a flight on the A340-300 shows up on the roster. (1st a/c entered into service mid March, 2nd on the day of the incident). The EK pilot now goes to work flying an a/c none of the pilots probably ever flew before except in the SIM one to six months ago.

Can you expect a crew to pick up a loading/trim error, slower than normal acceleration, abnormal flex setting or other abnormalities ? I personally believe chances are significantly reduced if none of the pilots ever flew the a/c in real.

Furthermore the differences between the types are not minor ! T/O weights ranging from 233 to 375 Tonnes, packs on T/O on A330, packs off on A 340, A345 has a pitch rotation limiter, the other types don`t, 3 significantly different methods of setting thrust on t/o, significantly less thrust/weight ratio on the A343 than the other types, 2eng performance vs 4 eng performance, totally different methods to adjust speeds below V2 min in the T/O charts only to mention a few. No doubt this is a very demanding task for an aircrew. 3 or 4 type MFF is obviously efficient, but is it safe?

Finally a note on that the A340 crews have received reminders on at least 4 occasions (in every information and instruction regarding A340 entry into service) about “avoiding that tail strike” plus a strong focus on this matter during the transition course. On the day of the incident the following message was sent to the crew:”ROTATION TECHNIQUE AND PERFORMANCE-REMINDER” : “Avoiding tailstrike during the rotation is a critical aspect of A343 operation. Hot, high, optimised performance operations at JNB require particular attention. Use the correct rotation technique, know your pitch target and avoid that tailstrike”. The intentions in the messages are obviously good but maybe the focus on this issue has been to strong. After receiving this message enough times a normal line pilot probably knows about this risk, but how about the opposite, rotating to slowly, very quickly leads to infringements of the 1-eng rwy/obstacle clearance profile. Many operators with heavy a/c experience gives a lot of attention to this. We know that 3 type MFF is demanding and it is efficient, but is it safe??


16th Apr 2004, 00:45

A well written and constructive post. You have highlighted the problems in Airbus A330/343/345 MFF perfectly.

16th Apr 2004, 03:15
Instead of being 'just another number' I could order a Personal Title and help support PPRuNe
posted 14th February 2004 07:33
Overloaded A-320
Just got to know that a Gulf Air A-320 took off for Mumbai with an error of 11,000 kgs in the load sheet.
The aeroplane was loaded to 11 tonnes over the given weight figure!
Thank goodness there was no engine failure!
Apparently, the crew realized it in flight, and then held over Mumbai for over an hour, to bring the weight below the maximum landing weight.

You can read the rest at: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=119035&highlight=A320+BOM

So please would you stop talking about that 3T load not accounted for? It makes me freaking scared to see that actual pilots thinks that 3T can make a difference on a A340!!!

I use to sleep peacefully while deadheading untill recently...

Yo le pogo

16th Apr 2004, 15:00
I agree with Yo767 that an overload of 3 tonnes on an A-340 should not make a world of a difference. 3000 kgs may sound a lot to some, but is not even a couple of percent of the take off weight of the 340, in my estimation.

All aeroplanes are designed to withstand a certain amount of abuse in line operations and that abuse is commonly a misrepresentation of the actual weight of the plane. Some other examples of abuse are a mis-trimmed take off, rotation at less than V-R, and fast or slow rotation.

The ‘Safety Speed’ for take off, the V-2, and its corresponding V-1 and V-R speeds have some safeties built into them. I do not know the exact amounts but they will be with the manufacturer or the certification authority, for sure.

With all engines operating, the surplus climb performance available on a twin engined airplane far exceeds the surplus climb performance available on the 3 and, especially 4 engined ones. That is why, with all engines operating, an overloaded A-320 managed to fly with about 10 tonnes error in the weight and correspondingly lesser speeds.

Now, I am not assuming or making presumptions that there was a gross miscalculation in the weight ex-JNB on this flight, but if the error is rumoured to be 3000 kgs, then IMHO it is not a significant amount to warrant such an incident.

As far as the ethics of dissecting the incident, well, this remains a column for ‘Rumours and News’, and under the guise of anonymity, one does rake issues that may not surface, especially in some parts of the world. The Middle East is certainly one of them. Most incidents and corrective actions are never publicized and forums like the PRUNE remain the best source of information. (Thanks, Danny.)

In the present case also, no one mentioned an incident, also in Emirates, when the crews miscalculated their take off speeds, not too long back.

16th Apr 2004, 16:24
Propellor / Yo767

I do not know if you have bothered to read this thread. Maybe start at the beginning?

At "Rotate" the PF pulled the stick fully back. Nothing happended... for some time, when eventually the nose rose and they got airborne.

We are not talking an aircraft at the correct attitude and failing to fly - we are talking an aircraft failing, for some time, to even start moving to the correct attitude.

Do you stand by your assertion, that 3T misloaded in anyway on an A343 will not be noticed? As I say, from my A343 days, a ~2T fuel error in the tail (trim) tank caused a similar incident (late slow rotation with full back s'stick)... Maybe I am just a liar?


16th Apr 2004, 16:45
Never mind, NOD - I understand what you are saying:*

16th Apr 2004, 16:53
Sorry but I find this post a bit disturbing - first, there are a lot of assumptions. We all should know that there is probably more to this incident than we currently know, however I will make a comment..

A 3000 kg error would probably not cause this incident but what would cause this problem would be incorrect rotation technique OR Technical - see below

Multi fleet flying flying is and continues to be my concern.

If the A340 is rotated as per FCOM you would not have a problem ie rotate at approx 3 deg per sec to 12.5 deg and the aircraft will fly away without any tailstrike - don't stop at 10 deg and wait, particularly if using 1+f for take off config. That will cause a problem - any heavy jet operator knows this. Rotation technique is normally a continues RATE of rotation.

What would be a factor, which would obviously have to be investigated, is if the oleo's were under inflated. This has the potential of this kind of accident.

Please don't blame the crew until the full enquiry has been completed. It could happen to any of us - does not matter what aircraft we fly - could be speed calculation - poor technique - etc

Trying to be fair,

happy Landings

17th Apr 2004, 01:23
Airbus issued an FOT last night suggesting that the rotation was consistent with the pitch command - i.e. that the pitch commanded by the PF was not sufficient to generate the required rotation.

17th Apr 2004, 06:40
So it looks like first stone is being thrown by the good old manufacturer - pilot error!!!

This does beg a question tho - unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of flying a Airbus only Boeing so apologies on the technical side - just looking at it from an airline ops side - the PF used "incorrect rotation technique" and this caused the aircraft to remain on the ground until 150m AFTER the runway!!! Really?? Was the take off that marginal??

If at Vr the stick is moved back a little bit- lets say a 1/4 of the normal required input - will the nose pitch up "a little bit" or does the stick have to go back to a certain point before the nose will even start to rise??

The PNF - does he/she have any indication of how much movement the PF has put into the stick??

17th Apr 2004, 07:43
If at Vr the stick is moved back a little bit- lets say a 1/4 of the normal required input - will the nose pitch up "a little bit" or does the stick have to go back to a certain point before the nose will even start to rise??No difference to your Boeing / Cessna or whatever. Elevator deflection purely proportional to stick deflection at this stage. What actually happens depends on how the trim was set (loadsheet etc.). Each takeoff is as per my Boeing days - sometimes it leaps off, sometimes needs a bigger than normal tug etc. - each followed by some sarcy comment about the loadsheet / dispatcher etc. !

The PNF - does he/she have any indication of how much movement the PF has put into the stick??Not once the TO roll starts - except from looking across!


Pontius' Pilot
17th Apr 2004, 07:46

I haven't been at the office in the last few days and therefore have not read the FOT you refer to.

Did they mention or refer to the FOT issued on 23 Sept 2003 titled ELEVATOR IN DAMPING POSITION. The reason for issuing the FOT was:

"Two cases of an elevator dropped in full-down position, without ECAM warning, after hydraulic power up, and subsequent to the engine start sequence, have been reported".

It goes on to state that both these cases were identified during the normal flight control checks. The FOT changed the flight control checks as to who responds during the normal flight control check after start, and also added an additional one by the PNF " at a convenient stage, and as close as practicable before takeoff...." to check for the presence of this condition.

The FOT was applicable to all A330-200/300 and all A340 200/300 aircraft.

At the Annual Airbus Safety Conference Oct 2003 held in Barcelona, I recall one of the Airbus test pilots mentioning that this condition would lead to rotation problems if normal elevator control wass not recovered.

Felix Lighter
17th Apr 2004, 07:55
I think youre talking about a different FOT......there is a new one, although I too havent read it yet.

I wonder how may here have actually flown an A343 out of JNB.

In fact 3T can make a huge difference to the take-off performance. Please remember that JNB is often ISA+25 and is 5000ft AMSL. The poor old CFMs are really hurting. Last minute payload adjustments for 1-2deg temp changes are very common.

I wonder if anyone has the METAR or ATIS info from JNB on the day of this incident? What time of day do EK depart JNB?

The 3T being loaded aft is a red herring as when the A340 is perf limited then the CofG is moved beyond 26%. In this case a whole new set of RTOW charts needs to be used....... or if the crew are using ACARS RTOW then they need to be very careful with the numbers they put in the box. It is possible to get large errors in V speeds.

What ever the causal factors....and they will all come out in the wash...... well done to the crew for recovering a very very nasty situation.

17th Apr 2004, 10:12
Felix - If a 3T error in the TOW (about 1% or 2%) can make such a difference as you say, I would hate to see what sort of performance you would get if a donkey died a few knots after V1!!!

17th Apr 2004, 13:26

Try this simple experiment.

Place 10kg of groceries in a shopping bag. Stand up, place the shopping bag on your shoulder steadying it with your left hand. Fully extend your right arm in front of you and raise it to fascist salute level. Easy wasn't it?
Now move the shopping bag to the fingers of your right hand and repeat the excercise. It is more difficult and more strength is required.

Your legs can easily cope with the weight, but you are struggling to rotate your arm about your shoulder.

If you imagine that your shoulder muscles are the elevator and that your right hand is the nose of the aircraft and you will see the problem.

A 3 tonne error in TOW is minor, but 3 tonnes assumed to be in tail, then placed in the nose is major. It is not about weight, it is about trim. On some a/c trim limits become very restrictive at high weights.

Angel`s Playmate
17th Apr 2004, 13:33
The good thing on the Wonderbus is, that you really can feel it ,
if you are nose or tail heavy on rotation !

....mmmmh, or did I miss something in the course!?

Happy ldgs to all

17th Apr 2004, 23:10
There are a few things which need to be pointed out on this forum which have either been ignored, or incorrectly posted.

CDRW - yes there is an indication on the PFD as to how much input the PF has used. This disappears shortly after take off.

Felix wrote about the altitude and temperature at JNB. Anyone remember the WAT limit, or Weight Altitude Temperature limit for maximum weight at take off? You can bet that the weight will probably been performance limited, so any overload, even 3 tonnes will make a serious dent in your performance, and would have been a contributory factor if true.

Most of us are awaiting the outcome of any enquiry but there will of course be supposition and conjecture at the moment.

Dagger Dirk
18th Apr 2004, 06:05
Seen a few pages back (pg4 in post by BigHitDH)

On another note, just how effective are the arrestor beds seen at some thresholds at stopping a several hundred tonne airliner going 160kts plus?

That question itself brings up the contrary aspect:

<<arrestor beds>>
If there had been an arrestor bed in situ on the 21R overrun at JNB, would the extra drag on the aircraft (albeit fairly light on its wheels but still with some degree of oleo compression) have altogether precluded the aircraft getting airborne at all?

I think that the answer might be YES (so maybe gravel arrester beds should be overlaid by a shallow supportive surface - in order that such an outcome might be avoided.

Otherwise I could see a nice overrun equipped with a gravel arrester bed someday leading to a "sticky" end for someone....not just a noteworthy audible "rumble"

18th Apr 2004, 09:12
CDRW - yes there is an indication on the PFD as to how much input the PF has used. This disappears shortly after take off.Thanks for that - my error. Of course you're right - it's there to judge a small amount of aileron for a x-wind on the TO roll, and presumably disappears as you leave the "take-off" phase? That said, even as PNF, I am never watching it at rotate, but judging the rotate rate, and guarding the sidestick should the rate be alarmingly too little or much...


18th Apr 2004, 13:45
[QUOTE]Has anyone mentioned a stick failure at all ?ECAM does NOT trigger a warning on that one![QUOTE]

sidestick faults are indicated by a single chime & master caution light, they are NEVER inhibited during any phase of flight !!

The 'maltese cross' on both PFD's is visible throughout the ground roll until airborne, and indicates the algebraic sum of the Captains & F/O's sidestick inputs. Its purpose is to permit PNF to monitor the aircraft performance relative to the input observed, in the same way on a conventional machine the PNF watches the 'Yoke' deflections.

Roger Miller.

18th Apr 2004, 16:44
Non pilot speaking:

"What time of day do EK depart JNB?"
EK 762 dpt daily for Dubai (DXB) at 14:15 local
EK 764 dpt daily for Dubai at 19:15 local
(Code shared with SAA as SA 7158)
Both listed as being 343 a/c.

Incident reported as being "around 21:30 on Friday 9th April 2004". This is the typical time for longhauls to leave JNB, from 20:00 onwards when the heat has gone out of the day.

CDRW: "The PNF - does he/she have any indication of how much movement the PF has put into the stick??"
The substance of this question has already been answered. My understanding from previous Airbus discussions in PPRuNe, is that either Captain or First Office can command control to their side by a switch at any time? This is to allow for sudden incapacity of PF etc. This changeover of command side is annunciated clearly and recorded by FDR. I sit to be corrected on that.

CDRW: "So it looks like first stone is being thrown by the good old manufacturer - pilot error!!!" Sounds like they are on their SOP of "Get our version in first and, by the way, it was the pilot's fault." My greatest reservation about Airbus has always been the way in which they consistently blame the pilot/s - irrespective of the circumstances. It comes across to me, as a corporate mantra stemming from the very highest level and I do not like it.

John Farley
18th Apr 2004, 17:07

I must say that the similarity between the event under discussion on this thread and the one you have just mentioned is not obvious to me

montys ex teaboy
19th Apr 2004, 11:14
I can't for the life of me fiquire out why weight and balance computers are not fitted in the "great European aircraft" called the airbus. If nothing else the W & B computor provodes a check angainst the load sheet. It's hardly new as the later models of the B707 had them. Called a STAN system, if memory serves me correctly.

Some of the cargo brokers used to hate it, as it would uncover their dirty little lies of what weight was actually on board.

Just a thought, it might very well have picked up the problem in this case before the A/C reached V1.

19th Apr 2004, 11:32
From a non-flying type,

1. Are "Bug-Settings" for V1 etc.. still (in this case A343) manually set prior to departure, or does the FMS handle all these data calculations and settings?

2. "IF" a rotation was commanded prior to v(rotate), does the deflection of ailerons increase drag and thus increase the length of runway required to achieve flying speed?

This is not an indication of what I think may/may not have happened, just a curious mind.


19th Apr 2004, 13:01

Thank you for a very good post. Your comments are consistent with Skidcanuck’s Report and also Plastique’s post on Airbus’s FOT.

square leg
19th Apr 2004, 14:13
On Scarebus the following applies re take-off performance:

FLEX => balanced take-off (TOD=ASD)

TOGA => unbalanced take-off

Thus, if using FLEX and an abort is initiated at V1, the A/C comes to a stop at the end of the runway, provided flexing to the maximum possible for that runway.

Some operators even have programs on their laptops that tell them how many meters will remain in case of aborting (e.g. 10 meters).

19th Apr 2004, 15:12
Attn : Angel's Playmate !!

Where is your sim ? maybe it's a company option ?

I work the instructors panel weekly & frequently give this failure on prof.checks and conversions.

On MY sim there are definately ECAM cautions & warnings for various sidestick faults & failures, including when inoperative due to takeover pb pushed for more than 30secs.

See FCOM 1.27.40 p12, SEQ201, REV36.



*asterisk note at bottom of page.

Cheers : Roger Miller.

19th Apr 2004, 16:48
From a non-flying type,

1. Are "Bug-Settings" for V1 etc.. still (in this case A343) manually set prior to departure, or does the FMS handle all these data calculations and settings?

2. "IF" a rotation was commanded prior to v(rotate), does the deflection of ailerons increase drag and thus increase the length of runway required to achieve flying speed?

This is not an indication of what I think may/may not have happened, just a curious mind.

Invictus, I'm not "qualified" to answer your question, but this is how I understand it. (I'm sure I'll get corrected if I'm wrong!)

The V1 bug settings are handled by the FMS (FMGC in the Airbus). The figures are derived are from crew input however, as with any computer system (Sh!t in - Sh!t out).

The crew enter their weights (operating empty weight, fuel weights, and the current centre of gravity), plus the desired flap settings for takeoff and the current wind/runway conditions and pressure alititude. The FMS will then auto generate a trim setting and auto-populate the VSpeed fields, as well as produce an expected thrust setting needed.

It is however the resposibility of the crew to check these speeds against the various takeoff perfomance tables, and adjust taking into account all the variables such as wether engine de-ice is needed, runway slope, headwind/tailwind, pressure altitude, temerature, and reported surface braking action condition, among other things.

To answer question 2: If rotation is commanded prior to VR, (you mention AILERON defelction, I presume you mean ELEVATOR deflection?) then yes, this deflection will increase the drag and thus the runway length needed.

Some operators recommend that to counter the "nose-up" effect of setting takeoff thrust, aplly half-forward stick deflection until 80 knots, then gradually release until at 100kts. For crosswind takeoffs applying rudder and aileron deflection during the takeoff roll to maintain the runway centerline, the action of the spoilerons being partially extended on one wing can greatly increase the drag on that side of the aircraft, leading to the aircraft turning into the wind. For that reason it is not recommended to use excessive amounts of sideways stick deflection during the takeoff roll. If you do, you must centre the sidestick during rotation so you get airborne with zero roll rate demand. After that you are supposed to follow the SRS pitch command bar (a bit like the flight director).

square leg
19th Apr 2004, 20:30
The FMGS doesn't generate any speeds, at least not on the Pegasus types. The pilot inserts them, derived from the book.

There are no one set of V speeds for SRS. Green Dot, F & S speeds will be generated by the FAC, but the take-off speeds are pilot inserted.

There can actually be a whole host of various V1/VR/V2 speeds, depending on FLEX/TOGA/"going to the left"/"shortening" etc. for one specific mass at take-off for one specific runway.

Airbus is speed optimised as oposed to Boeing which is runway optimised.

20th Apr 2004, 15:54
New rumour is that it may have been an incorrect entry to RWY

RUMOUR being the operative word

20th Apr 2004, 23:35
Someone point out that MFF flying may have been a factor.

A330 is rather 'light' on the stick for rotation, on the other hand on the A343, you have to really pulled to make a correct rotation.

So tendency for experienced 330 crews to under-rotate in A343 and higher risk of tail strikes for A343 crews.

Just my 2 cents
Nice job for the crew.

21st Apr 2004, 06:53
This is my first post on this website,take it easy on me plz:>
As was said before, the last thing needed is an A vs B war...
therefore, when i was departing JNB for SYD in january, on a Qantas B744, the normal flight is non stop to SYD, but the Captain had to make a judgement of either leaving behind 16 passengers and having no problem with reaching SYD, or stopping over to refuel at Perth.He did however choose to refuel at Perth.
Therefore this shows that any little weight, even on the mighty B744 makes an enormous difference, a difference of gettin airborne or not in the current circumstances.
p.s it was relatively hot that day as one would expect in summer.

21st Apr 2004, 19:50

It's late, I'm tired and sticking my neck out but.........

If you are lighter, then you flex more and power to weight is reduced?:confused:

On a lighter note (pun intended:O )..

I hear rumour tonight that the crew have been cleared :ok: and the target of blame has been moved elsewhere.:sad:

Felix Lighter
25th Apr 2004, 07:01
Ive finally been faxed the AIRBUS FTO, it states:

The aircraft rotated to 7deg nose up at its Vr of 150kts....... the nose was then lowered to 3.5deg nose up before being raised again and TOGA selected.

The takeoff occured 17secs after initial rotation at 9deg nose up and CAS of 174kts.

3 tyres blew as the aircraft trampled the rwy end lights. The tyres fragged the flaps causing them to be stuck at 1+F.

After dumping fuel the aircraft blew 4 more tyres on landing.

25th Apr 2004, 10:29
This is long, but direct from the Airbus FCOM on Take0ff. Emphasis on the Roation technique. The moderator may shorten it, but at least is shows where it fits in to the Airbus procedures.Look at Rotation Perform and note the immediate CAUTION regarding a tailscrape.

Note is taken that EK did not tailscrape.

TAKEOFF Airbus FCOM 3.3.12

This Topic is relevant to the whole fleet

At VR, initiate the rotation with a positive sidestick input to achieve a continuous rotation rate of about 3�/sec, towards a pitch attitude of 12.5�.

I have been trying to copy and paste a PDF file about rotation technique from the Bulletin section of the FCOM 3 but have no luck at the moment. If anyone knows how to copy and paste a PDF, let us know and I will glady show for those interested. All the above comes from the Airbus FCOM CD.

Right Way Up
25th Apr 2004, 16:12
That would only be the case if an engine failed. A 3T overweight takeoff will all engines operating should not be a problem. However a 3T mis-trim may well be!

27th Apr 2004, 10:30
Dubai has always been masterful at public relations but I'm somewhat amazed that I have seen nothing in newspapers or Internet on this topic. Am I asleep at the switch and just missed the news or are they really that good?

Flip Flop Flyer
27th Apr 2004, 14:35
I've played around a bit with our W&B system. We don't have the 340 in the system, so I selected an MD11 which is of comparable size.

Anyway, I introduced "dummy" weights to balance the aircraft and then "played" around with the bulk (Hold 5) load. If H5 was loaded to maximum (3400KG), with all other parameters static, the ZFW MAC would be 21.13%. With 3 tons less, i.e. 400 kg in H5, the ZFW MAC was reduced to 15.92% - a quite remarkable difference as anyone even vaguely familiar with W&B will tell you. And obviously, the stab. trim settings will be quite different on a 21% vs. a 16% MAC. I am assuming that even a fully electric Airbus still need to have the stab. trim set manually for take-off. Correct me if I'm wrong.

While it has been stated that an additional 3 tons might not have any great impact on performance, it will have a very measureable effect on the trim if loaded at the far end of the aircraft.

Just an observation mind you, nothing more or less.

White Knight
27th Apr 2004, 15:57
Cap 56 - many airlines have incidents of misloading!! Not just EK. Obviously you have a bee in your bonnet about something. Are things covered up?? Just because it's not in "The Gulf News" doesn't mean that it's being hushed up. I certainly read about the incident through the EK safety department - which is confidential and rightly so!! BA have a monthly ASR digest which is also CONFIDENTIAL but not everything that happens to a BA aircraft makes the BEEB or the Daily Mail... Why any different for EK:confused: :confused:
As for the "Paris" incident, how many photos have we seen of aircraft sitting on their tails BEFORE they even leave the gate??? Let alone on selecting take off thrust. Good thing we have switched on crew isn't it.:E

27th Apr 2004, 19:29
Hushed up??

I have read about the incident in the Gulf News and Flight International!

28th Apr 2004, 03:50
Does the 340 have positive and negative trim units either side of zero? Curious because a similar incident happened in the US on a 320 where the trim was on the wrong side of zero...

28th Apr 2004, 08:14
Cap 56 and all those other conspiracy theorists, the reason why nothing further has been heard of the incident is that there is an active investigation going on at the moment. The safety dept and all other related bodies are flat out trying to get to the bottom of this, hence after the initial report, all is quiet.

I suggest we all do the same and wait for the final report. Wether it is released to the public is a different matter but the way we have been irresponsible with all the other "confidential" reports I would not be suprised if they decide to withold it.

28th Apr 2004, 12:57
"Facts are always being denied"

Can you prove it?

"Courage", "eliminated", and "sleep in the same bed" -

Sounds like emotional language to me. I rest my case.

28th Apr 2004, 13:07
Common, Ladies and Gents!

Lets cool our jets and get back to the facts.

Has anyone had any details as to the TOW of the a/c, as assumes by everyone? ANy idea of what the load sheet trim and weight figures were?

square leg
28th Apr 2004, 17:38
I hear that on the A340 the side stick has to be pulled back to the FULL aft position on take-off and then once rotation has begun, no more than 9° pitch is allowed (in order to prevent tail strike).

I guess this needs some vigilance and prudence when rotating.

This is merely an observation/interesting thought that does not imply in any way what-so-ever that the pilots did any mistakes.

The investigation will reveal the facts.

White Knight
28th Apr 2004, 17:57
FULL aft sidestick would not be a very good idea during take-off. (rotation) :\ :\
Besides, 12.5 degrees pitch is the initial target attitude, then SRS once stabilised.... Yes, a tailstrike may occur with that kind of pitch attitude when on the runway still - can't remember the precise figures for compressed or uncompressed bogies without reaching for the FCOM - but on a normal rotation the aircraft will leave the ground with even a small increase in AOA, and fly away nicely.

square leg
28th Apr 2004, 21:49
Yeah, I guess FULL aft side stick would be a bit much.

I was chatting to an A340 TRE and most probably misunderstood him.

On the A321 a pitch of 9.5° with L/G compressed or 11° with L/G not compressed will cause a tailstrike.

Possibly similar figures apply for the 300 and 600.

I guess the essence of his message was that the side stick force is more than on the A330 and/or you need to hold the stick back longer (for a longer period of time) on the A340, before something actually happens, i.e. before the nose actually rises.

28th Apr 2004, 22:05
Talking about the a/c weight. The flight from JNB to Dubai is only about 8 hrs. So my guess is that approx 55 tonnes of motion lotion was needed. A guestimate of the T/O weight at about 230 tonnes. Do these figures sound realistic???:confused: Surely they couldn't have been at max on a flight of this duration. Runway limit and flex were more likely to be the cause-just speculating of course.
Rwy 21R was in use that evening with a temp of +-20 deg C!:sad: Maybe an intersection T/O was incorrectly calculated-which is also a strong possibilty. That intersection being Foxtrot of course.

Can anyone shed some light on this issue???

29th Apr 2004, 03:32
Cap 56

You would have thought that incorrectly loading an aircraft is a difficult thing to achieve, but the reality is somewhat different.

I have seen it many times when the loader get it wrong and all the underfloor load is in the rear hold - not very clever.

And you sya that 'Full is full'. What about the density of whatever you are loading? I am not saying that this is the reason, just pointing out that you need to open the blinkers somewhat to look at a wider perspective.

Full maybe full, as in no more space, but what about the different weight characterisitcs of the load. It then become more of a possibility for an error to occur. I have even seen a computer load sheet which had incorrect cargo mass on it which put us at a 7 ton underload.

AND that was inJNB.

In the mean time we will all speculate as to what happened, but let us hope that the investigation is published and we all learn from the outcome.

29th Apr 2004, 03:41
Yer CRJ, I have heard TWY F was used, but data done for full length.RUMOUR

29th Apr 2004, 05:30

29th Apr 2004, 07:20
Rather than all this speculation. Does anyone have any idea when initial findings and subsequent full report will be published.

rgds CRS

White Knight
29th Apr 2004, 13:26
Cap - you're a drivel spouting fool:mad:

Let the investigation happen before you sling mud around you idiot..

29th Apr 2004, 16:17
Here is a little more from the AirbusA340-300 FCOM Bulletin pertaining to the section "Avoiding Tailstrikes". A few points about rotation from the "horses mouth". For those who know more, relax, this also for those who would like to learn a little more about the subject.
Certain sections were chosen as there is a lot more here on it. Note second sentence under paragraph 2 about increase of take-off distance.

R Too fast rotations increase the risk of tailstrike
R Too slow rotations increase the take off distance and take off run.
The performance calculations were based on the following rates achieved during test flights :
After engine failure :
– normal = 2.5°/sec – maximum = 3°/sec.
All engines operation : – normal = 3°/sec – maximum = 4°/sec

Recommendation ~ Rotate at the average rotation rate of 2.5°– 3°/sec4) ROTATION TECHNIQUE
At VR rotate the aircraft smoothly aiming for a continuous rate to a pitch attitude of 12.5°.
Note : The SRS command bar does not give orders to obtain the correct pitch rate
during the rotation on the ground, but to reach and maintain the SRS speed R after lift off.Therefore, do not attempt to follow the SRS pitch order during the
rotation phase before the lift off.
The A340 has a large inertia.The rotation rate produced by a given sidestick input takes time
to build up ; once it has developed it remains relatively constant for a given sidestick position. R It is therefore important to initiate the rotation with a positive rearward stick input.A small R or slow movement of the sidestick will give a sluggish rotation.If, to increase the rotation R rate, a further aft movement is made around the time of lift-off, the possibility of tailstrike is R significantly increased.
R Recommendation ~ At VR, initiate a prompt and positive rotation to achieve the desired R
rotation rate (2.5° to 3°/sec). Avoid making further rearward sidestick
inputs around the point of lift-off.

– The higher the thrust to weight ratio (T/W) the better the acceleration capability of the aircraft and the lower the risk of a tailstrike.
– Risk of tailstrike increases on take off at low T/W ratios, where the aircraft’s performance is limited by climb gradient (1st or 2nd segments).


During flight test it is demonstrated that for whatever A/C CG position, as long as the trim setting lies within the certified limits (green band of the trim wheel), there are no major effects on the aircraft handling.
It is, nevertheless, a fact that a wrong trim setting (for the T/O CG) will change the aircraft usual behaviour during the rotation, specially in the initial part.It might be felt by the crew that the rotation is more brisk or more sluggish than usual. In both cases the crew will observe a different aircraft reaction to their usual stick input and might be tempted to overreact.

Recommendation ~ Set the trim according to the A/C CG displayed in ECAM.
For a given stick input the aircraft rotates slightly faster in CONF 1 + F than for the other take off configurations, although the margins to tailstrike are identical for the same rotation rates in all configurations at a given weight and given ratio of VR/VR min.
No single factor should result in a tailstrike, but accumulation of several can significantly reduce the margins.It is therefore important to ensure that the correct technique is used in conditions of crosswinds where the take-off is VMU limited (RTOW limit code 9) and is conducted at low thrust/weight ratios (e.g. max RTOW and FLEX temp).
If a tailstrike occurs at takeoff, flight at altitude requiring a pressurized cabin must be avoided and a return to originating airport should be performed for damage assessment

29th Apr 2004, 17:44
Well Bird On, a man of only 12 posts-can't say you have helped much in the 5% either.
Maybe you would contribute towards the 5% and tell us what we all want to hear "first hand information.:ok:

29th Apr 2004, 22:30

Thank you for your clear and non emotional posts. While I appreciate other posters opinions on the subject I do believe that attacks against any other poster only diminish their own credibility.

And I am a firm believer that our job is to prevent the next accident, so how better to do this then to discuss and plan our own actions based on what ifs. Thus to await the final report years later serves no purpose other than who gets the assigned blame.

1st May 2004, 15:18
Non-pilot asking: Cap 56
If a hold container has (for argument's sake) boxes of domestic cushions or boxes of domestic carpet tiles, the density and weight will be different. A) If the load sheet says one thing and the container something else, then a weight error has been made. B) If the placing of the container in the hold is at variance to the load sheet, then a trim error has been made. Potentially, both errors.

As I said at the start of this thread, in South Africa, it is not unknown for people to confuse 'available space in the hold' with 'available weight on the loadsheet'.

I see that people have said in this thread that weight is more crucial with a light load and trim at almost any load but I do not understand how it can be that: The stuff below the floor has more or less the same density therefore you really have to go for it to get it wrong.I sit to be corrected.

4th May 2004, 18:59

"Moreover, the investigation has confirmed that the aircraft was loaded correctly and the responsability rest entirely with the EK training department. "

Care to enlighten us?


Desert Nomad
5th May 2004, 04:30

Please enlighten us further as to where you have discovered that training is to blame for this.

What evidence do you have that the CAA here is corrupt?

You can't just go posting random thoughts because it is what you believe to be the case. If you believe your posts to be true then please substantiate them with "FACTS" and hard evidence.

5th May 2004, 14:12
Good grief CAP 56 - you sure you are refferring to the correct airline -sounds very much like you are talking about SQ!!!

Farty Flaps
5th May 2004, 14:48
Cap 56.

Nice one , bang on , just wait for the slagging as many the dubai self apprecciation society chip in.

And before i'm attacked no i havent failed ek, passed, chose not to go for the same reasons.


White Knight
5th May 2004, 15:49
Awful lot of editing going on here folks:confused: :confused:

6th May 2004, 06:30
Since page 2 nothing has been edited??? Or are you expecting some editing to happen in the near future:} ?

6th May 2004, 07:07
‘126,7,’, what ‘White Knight’ was referring to was that the Moderators have seen fit to remove three(?) posts on this page, two of which were from a contributor who made the suggestion that ‘Cap 56’ and ‘Streamline’ might be one in the same person. He also suggested that this person might be a disaffected ex-EK employee, (a First Officer), who was sacked by EK with the full agreement of UAE DCAA (and, I hasten to add, the vast majority of EK pilots).

6th May 2004, 13:13
Surely it's JNB?

Or have EK had another incident, this time in Jairobi?

7th May 2004, 12:37
Fact #1
Nothing unusual on the load sheet. (cannot comment on actual loading)
Fact #2
For TOW 23280kg, TODV1min 14543ft if eng failed at V1 of 132 kts and assumed 30° flex on full runway length.
TOD for JNB21R is 14823ft.
Fact #3
Takeoff limited by brakes and not 2nd segment climb nor obstacle limited at 30°C
Fact #4
Takeoff obstacle limited at 32°C
Fact #5
Takeoff VMU limited at 28°C

8th May 2004, 14:05
FROM MEMORY (Not current)

All Eng 12.5 deg
E-inop 11.0 deg

square leg
8th May 2004, 16:33
I don't have the wisdom, the facts, nor the knowledge to make any judgement. I also wasn't there to observe what happened.

Maybe this has been mentioned before, I don't know, BUT I hear (this being ppRune) that the engines were derated more than reflected by the books. That A/C was an ex-Boeing A/C sold to Emirates (not that that should make a difference), having come from Singapore or some other outfit that changed to Boeing.

But the moral of the story is that any of us could have experienced the same as the (un)fortunate crew on that day, had we been using official data that was incorrect.

So , I take my hat of to the crew, irrespective of who is to blame. Let us rather look forward and learn from what happened (when the info is available) and correct the mistakes and forget about it.

Again, this is tsjust anuthzur rumour

Safe flying

9th May 2004, 04:34

It can lead to ground-stick - even though the paperwork is great.

It's not the lighter side of weight theft - pilferage

but 25% can affect your profit margins in the long run... particularly in that long run off the end......

how gross!

square leg
9th May 2004, 17:39
Should my previous post have incorrectly led anybody to believe that I implied that Boeing made a mistake, then I would like to apologise. This was not the intention whatsoever.

I don't see a connection with the two bits of info anyhow.

The company that operates the A/C would theoretically be in charge of making sure that the IRT data is correct.

El Peligroso
9th May 2004, 18:29

9th May 2004, 22:56
Seems that EK needs DECaptains rather urgently...not only at the pointy end but in the head shed as well.

We wait with baited breath for the investigation...ah, outcome....presuming of course that the outcome will be 'OK' with the UAE DGCA.:suspect: :ooh:

10th May 2004, 04:22
The anonymous Cap 56 has made some rather serious and wide-ranging allegations on this thread. Readers of his (and Streamline's) posts might be forgiven for thinking that he is employed by EK. (Note that I said 'he', not 'they').

It needs to be said that First Officer Cap 56 ceased his employment with EK in 1999 or thereabouts in circumstances that could only be termed 'highly unusual'.

Rightly or wrongly. five or so years later, he quite obviously still feels very aggrieved.

10th May 2004, 08:20
CAP 56

'A...technically speaking perfectly... A340'.

Did you have many conversations? What were they about? Good depth of knowledge of all things technical?No grammatical errors,eh?

Do Airbus and the Press know about this phenomenon???????????????

:\ :uhoh: :bored: ;) :D :ok:

David Learmount
11th May 2004, 10:06
PPRuNers please note, CAP 56 is not the source of anything that appears in Flight International this week (or at any time in history), but you might find what we have reported useful to test his theories against.


Formally Known As
11th May 2004, 20:11
Hello David. Well we are in good company aren't we.

Good to see you on the forum!!

12th May 2004, 06:06
7x7, re "The anonymous Cap 56 "

Aren't we all anonymous here? (almost all anyway)

16th May 2004, 16:43
CAP 56
I do not care to get into a debate about why you left Emirates,
but the GF air incident and this particular one have nothing in common other than both aircraft being Airbus. The GF incident has been studied and been beaten to death in the western world in all universities and I can assure you that Emirates in JNB is completely different. For one there were no fatalities. The crew never lost situational awareness. The whole issue you are trying to raise is losing credibility when you attack fellow colleagues in such a way. When you retire and are no longer flying you can look back and say " I have been fortunate enough to have had no inidents or accidents, thank god"


16th May 2004, 22:38
The field wasn't that high last weekend.......

17th May 2004, 02:54
Ah well, last I looked, JNB was at about 5558 or thereabouts...not 8000 feet.

17th May 2004, 06:15
not a cover up operation as they did 5 years ago ???

Please elaborate

17th May 2004, 09:41
Hate to say it 411A but CAP56 is right. Density altitude on the day in question was around 8000ft, something like ISA+20C.

CAP56, you did not answer my previous question. When was there a cover up?

17th May 2004, 10:28
Cap 56, please check your PMs

17th May 2004, 14:09
Befor you all jump on the bandwagon and attack me this is only a RUMOUR heard it down route!!AND NO, I am not starting a crusade or Jihad against EK.
Because of MFF(mixed fleet flying) there has been strong emphasis on rotation and tailstrike. The rumour is the PF was a TRE,using flex t/off rwy 21R.the rotation was slow, the a/c drags along the rwy, PF applies TOGA the a/c pitches up with instant forward stick input from PF sidestick to counteract the pitchup tendency. once airborne part of the damage from the landing gear strikes the wing trailingedge causing the flaps to cease. Capt decides to jettison to max landing wt, and returns to land. On landing most tyres bust and a/c comes to stop at end or rwy.

17th May 2004, 19:34
The only thing that changes on an A340-300 when you go from FLEX to TOGA is the length of your arm. Especially in a place like Joburg. There's no "pitching" moment. Otherwise a good story JABAL. Can't wait to see what Flight has to say; normally good gen.


18th May 2004, 22:59
Looks like JABAL was very close, if not spot on. Hope this doesn't run into copyright problems, from Flight International (11th - 17th May 2004), but perhaps it makes a few things clearer & will stop some of the arguments:

Operational procedures and take-off calculations remain in the frame as accident investigators continue probe.

Centre-of-gravity problems and aircraft technical faults have been ruled out as causes of last month's Emirates Airbus A340-300 take-off incident at Johannesburg airport, South Africa, according to sources close to the investigation (Flight International, 20-26 April).

However, South African Civil Aviation Authority chief accident investigator, Dr Andre de Kock, declines to comment, and the aircraft manufacturer will say only that it has not been instructed - nor had cause - to issue any technical or operational advice to A340 operators as a result of the event.

The aircraft, bound for Dubai with 216 passengers and 14 crew on 9 April, began its take-off roll on Johannesburg's 4,420m (14,490ft) long runway 21R, but did not get airborne until it had passed beyond the end of the runway, blowing three main gear tyres and damaging the flaps, which subsequently locked in a partly deployed position. It then returned to land having dumped fuel.

Flight International has obtained details of the take-off run from sources close to the investigation: the aircraft rotated to 6º nose up at a calculated rotate speed (VR) of 150kt (278km/h); the pitch was then reduced to 3.5º before increasing again as the crew selected take-off/go-around (TOGA) thrust; Unstick occurred at 175kt, 17s after initial rotation with 9º nose up. When the aircraft returned for landing four more of its tyres burst on touchdown, but the landing roll was completed safely.

The A340-300 flightcrew operating manual (FCOM) advice for take-off is, at VR, to begin rotation at a steady rate of 2.5-3º/s toward 12.5º nose-up attitude. Providing VR is correct, according to the FCOM, the aircraft will have left the ground by the time a 12.5º pitch angle has been attained. Tailscrape angle for the A340-300 with oleos not compressed is given as 14º in the manual.

Although 150kt was the VR the crew used, sources close to the investigation cannot say whether or not this was the correct VR for the prevailing weight, altitude and temperature. The sources add that they are not aware of the crew having attempted to use anything less than the whole runway length for the take-off.

Emirates declines to comment on the information.

19th May 2004, 01:02
Next time you look at a map for the height you might notice that Joburg is in the fairly hot bit of the map, (towards the middle)which does affect the density altitude a bit.

19th May 2004, 03:15
All well and good, Reginald, but on all jet aircraft that I have flown, the takeoff performance calculations started with pressure altitude, corrected for temperature.

Unless Airboos aircraft are different (more than likely...) perhaps the takeoff thrust data was incorrect.
If derived from the FMS, and not checked with the AFM performance tables....the result may not be as advertised.
All speculation of course, will be interesting to find out the true cause, if it comes out at all.:suspect:

White Knight
19th May 2004, 09:16
Not from the FMS, but good old fashioned manuals.

20th May 2004, 05:19
Hello all... I am NOT a flying type..

Is it possible that a pilot might "resist" trained techniques if there has been an overemphasis on "Tail Strikes" during training.

Also, with the commonality of flight decks that Airbus are known for, is there a risk that Airlines are not putting as much time and emphasis on actual flight training on new type conversions ?


20th May 2004, 08:29

I think you may find that your comments have caused a nail to have a very sore head.


Have you been to the Sir Humphrey School of Letter writing? That last diatribe was almost unintelligible; say what you mean man!!!

My opinion,

(Remembering that opinions are like ar**holes, we've all got one and they usually stink)

If there was nothing wrong with the aircraft or loading which appears likely then an inappropriate configuration, inappropriate training or an erroneous rotation technique are all that are left. I guarantee the pilots concerned were not planning to screw up!!

Cap, you are probably correct that CCQ across too many aircraft types can be a contributory factor. I am certain that emphasis on tailstrike avoidance rather than correct rotation technique to lift the aircraft off without hitting the tail is also a factor.

A lot of debate surrounds rotation training techniques and the use of the 'iron cross' prior to SRS guidance becoming available or put the stick in this position and wait. However the weight range available on the 340-300 and the differences between the -300 and -500 are likely to make the use of feel or control surface positioning pretty worthless. A T/O out of Jo'burg in a full -300 requires different control surface positions to say a T/O in an empty -500 out of Al Ain. In fact with a heavy aircraft, initially the control surfaces should probably be over deflected to overcome inertia and then reduced to provide the required rotation rate. Once the system goes to load factor demand from direct that is essentially what occurs.

Cap you are certainly right that stick and rudder skills have decayed over the years but that is a trade off for the safety improvements that better automation have brought. Perhaps though, the attempt to use feel rather than looking at the picture and ensuring that the actual rotation rate meets the required rate is more important. Maybe a lot of experienced pilots fall back into trying to use feel when the Bus' flight control system is almost devoid of it. Better to ensure that the nose of the aircraft is doing what you want!

So overall, this will probably end up like most other incidents in that the crew did not rotate the aircraft correctly. BUT.....the contributarory factors were:

1. The airline was expanding so rapidly that the crew had very limited experience of the jet they were flying.

2. The risks of hitting the tail on take-off were over-emphasised at the expense of the correct lift off technique.

3. The trainers provided some useful hints and tips from what they had seen which although ok in the Al Ain circuit or sim probably didn't help out on a dark night, at high altitude in Africa

So enough of my rampant speculation, I must stress that I do not have any priviliged knowledge and have only gleaned my information from what has already been written and by chatting with mates. I am glad it wasn't me on the flight deck and I am delighted that no one was hurt and trust the guys concerned will be not unduly disadvantaged. I hope that the right lessons will be learn't from the incident and that it results in improved safety for all in the future.


21st May 2004, 13:00
Normally the load sheet is accepted as fairly close to the truth. Checking is for calculation or procedure errors. It is expected that crews will exercise discretion about physical checks.
Some things are obvious. If you expect the flight to have a full pax load, or a specified freight, and the figures don't show this, its grounds for at least a question. 300 pax and 30 bags also shouldn't compute. Too many doubts could finally be grounds for a physical check. Excess physical checks of payload & distribution will result in questions from Chief Pilot, and in many airlines, demotion or loss of job.
Crews should take all reasonable steps to determine the load before checking the load sheet. Mostly they might be quite rough estimates from observations during or after loading. We all need to be streetwise in this area.
Usually we have to have a measure of faith in our loaders.

31st May 2004, 10:06
The interim findings must be out. Any information available?

31st May 2004, 12:59
Well, for one the SVP Flight Operations was sacked two days ago.

31st May 2004, 15:23
Airbus has just revised the FOT with some more details. It appears that the PF used the commanded pitch angle data on the PFD as a reference during rotation. PF tried to keep the tick for commanded pitch angle steady, however as the angle of attack increased the scale on the PFD changed, so the achieved pitch angle was less than the PF desired.
The FOT goes on to recommend use of an external visual reference during rotation - i.e. fly the aircraft like an aircraft and not a video game...

1st Jun 2004, 13:49
I think people are missing the point, the real story here is the botched take-off. The comparitively uneventful landing (given the condition of the aircraft) was simply a consequence of all the damage from the trip through the scenery on the way up.

In my opinion, fortune shone brightly on every man, woman and child on that aircraft. It is a tribute to the design and robustness of the aircraft that they are all still alive.

2nd Jun 2004, 06:18
Plastique - thought that your sentence should read:

"It is a tribute to the design of the aircraft that the accident happened at all"

Is there a conncection between this and the SVP getting the boot?

2nd Jun 2004, 08:33
"Heh heh" CDRW , I enjoyed that.

2nd Jun 2004, 09:03
This comes from Airbus addressed to all A330/340 operators:























DEGREES (A340-200/300), OR 15 DEGREES (A330 AND A340-
(A340-200/300), OR 15 DEGREES (A330 AND A340-500/600).

2nd Jun 2004, 10:57
What a bunch of clowns. I hope there are heads rolling over this, and I don't just mean the gentlemen who had his hand on the sidestick on the day - the problem goes much, much deeper than that.

2nd Jun 2004, 11:08
I have to say, this seems absolutely unbelieveable! Not just what seems to have been a "technique", but that Airbus have to issue guidance as to the very basics as to how to rotate an aeroplane...


2nd Jun 2004, 11:10
So......finally EK has been exposed for the rock show that it really is.

This puts into perspective how poor the conditions here are for the majority of pilots. Every pilot here has to rely on the experience and knowledge that they bring to the job, because some of the stuff that gets taught here is less than ideal, and some (as shown above) is outright dangerous.

Even though the bulk of EK pilots bring with them a wealth of experience and are great operators, EK pays them as if they came with nothing, and owe everything to being lucky enough to be an 'EK' pilot.

As soon as this outfit starts paying the guys what they are worth, then you will find some seriously talented and experienced pilots volunteering for training to replace the guys who are teaching this rubbish.


2nd Jun 2004, 12:40
"then you will find some seriously talented and experienced guys volunteering for training to replace the idiots who are teaching this rubbish."

Was this technique actually taught by the EK instructors?

Have that particular crew, never flown an Airbus before.

If the info from Airbus is correct, then it does appear, that it was a pilot technique problem.

2nd Jun 2004, 14:18
I think the 'technique' described was probably more along the lines of a stab at an initial stick position until the aircraft nose begins to move. Then continue the rotation at 3°/sec and eventually follow the SRS.

Perhaps a bit of gen passed around and used inappropriately due to worries about inducing a tail strike. The only rotation procedure formally published was IAW Airbus. It maybe betrays the lack of experience of the trainers involved and 'let's reinvent the wheel syndrome'.


2nd Jun 2004, 15:43
Isn't this something that Flight Data Monitoring should pick up if in place?

2nd Jun 2004, 19:20
In the early days of jet transport flying, the FD was not used for pitch commands during takeoff for very good reasons, not the least of which was 'not reliable'.

Then, along comes the Lockheed TriStar, with its superb autoflight/FD system, that provided very useful data for low vis takeoffs.
Yes, I can here 'em now, those from BA or GF with the proviso that it was not CAA approved, but nonetheless, it was however FAA approved, and it worked good.
Reliable heads down pitch info for takeoff...more than thirty years ago.
Now we have Airboos equipment where you (apparently) have to look out the windscreen for takeoff pitch data.

Three steps behind, it seems. Why are we not surprised.

OTOH, Lockheed got it right, many many years ago.:ok: :ok:

PS: I would however be remiss if I did not mention that Lockheed got it right with help from the 'ole Trident design team...good gosh, even makes Airboos look even further outdated.:ooh:

2nd Jun 2004, 21:38
I think we're missing the important link indicated in the Airbus document above. Of course you can rotate the aircraft referring only to the PFD - that's the only recourse in a low visibility takeoff; sure it's a good idea to look outside but it's not necessary.

What this kid seems to have done is placed the crosshairs depicting the sidestick position on his PFD (only displayed on the ground) at the desired pitch attitude instead of rotating the aircraft and placing the pipper of the aircraft symbol at the desired pitch attitude.

It's conceivable. What is difficult to grasp is that they trundled the 4.5 kilometer runway at max flex thrust (I assume that refers to maximum possible reduction) and only got to 175 buttons as they rumbled off the end of the blacktop. That's an awfully slow acceleration for an aircraft at only 85% of MAUW.

Should we be doing max flex T/O's out of a high elevation fields such as Joburg? Sure go for some reduction to save the donkeys & keep the beancounters happy but Max? I don't think so.


2nd Jun 2004, 21:43
Sorry Jack, but T/O min vis 125m, I think using visual references would leave you a bit short of cues. PFD young man , that is where you get your primary reference, unless it's a nice day.

So as much as it pains me to say it 411a is right on this occasion.

EK has its duty scapegoat ,TCK.

Remember TCK was only a management tool, don't be fooled into thinking all the changes were his doing. I can be sure that he was against most of them.........makes you think, well maybe not...just blame the person.

New Scapegoat required please apply within..:cool: :cool:

2nd Jun 2004, 21:51
"So......finally EK has been exposed for the rock show that it really is."
Great post!

Flying Bagel
3rd Jun 2004, 09:03

That's quite scary. Something this fundamental should be well known to any Airbus jockey. 12.5 degrees, at 2.5 degrees per second, using the pitch dot for reference.

I really don't believe what I'm reading. Using the cross? How the hell did anyone come up with that idea?

3rd Jun 2004, 09:40
not saying for one second that what happened with the cross actually did, we dont know what happened yet, but IF it was the cross then it is scary. Absolutley nowhere is is written that the cross by used as a reference during rotation, and IF that was the case where was the PNF during all of this?


Flight Safety
3rd Jun 2004, 15:13
From the design perspective, what the heck is the sidestick position cross doing on the PFD when approaching VR?

It seems to me that good man-machine interface design would remove the cross from the display once airspeed reached a value where the pilot would normally shift his focus from the sidestick ground postion indication, to pitch attitude indication (just prior to rotation). Get the darn thing off the display when its no longer needed, so the pilot doesn't accidently focus (or get distracted) by an unneeded indicator.

I know that most posting are focused on the training issue (which is extremely important), but there's a design issue here as well.

3rd Jun 2004, 15:39
From the design perspective, what the heck is the sidestick position cross doing on the PFD when approaching VR? See the post here about what Airbus said:THE SIDESTICK POSITION SYMBOL (THE CROSS) WAS DESIGNED TO BE
PILOT NON-FLYING TO MONITOR THE PF SIDESTICK INPUTS. Does this answer your question? I personally do not do this, but others may well... May be more necessary on A330/340 where Airbus technique is to use ~2/3 Aft Stick to initiate rotation - without the white cross, PNF / Trainer cannot monitor this at all...


Flight Safety
3rd Jun 2004, 16:47
NoD, yes it does, but apparently the PNF was NOT monitoring the stick position of the PF. Then again, Airbus did use the phrase "Initial Takeoff Roll".

To me, this whole setup raises lots of questions. When I get some time I'll sort them through, and hopefully post some relevant questions.

My first question.


What kind of design is this???

Why superimpose a sidestick reference box OVER a moving pitch attitude display, when the 2 have no direct correlation with each other? Shouldn\'t these be separated displays (assuming you have room on the PFD)? Since the cross moves relative to the fixed right angle marks, why put a moving pitch attitude scale underneath it, when there is no direct correlation to the aircraft pitch attitude? This is an opportunity for confusion.

3rd Jun 2004, 18:18
It confusing if you never read the FCOM...

3rd Jun 2004, 19:17
Flight Safety,

That was exactly my point when I first met this system.

However I must admit that although there's no correlation between stick input and attitude, the system works very well in telling you the percentage of flight control input at a time when they produce no effect on attitude i.e, ground roll. It's just placed in the right place.

As in many Airbus designs it may sound weird when read but you've got to use it to really appreciate its functionality.

This is no concern whatsoever to any experienced Airbus drivers and I'm pretty sure it was not contributory to this incident.

4th Jun 2004, 03:30
Hello all,

Is the format of presentation of this information coincident with the format of the same information in 340-500 and 330?


4th Jun 2004, 06:09
With regard to the PNF, and what was he doing, read the AB statement again, initial rotation was correct. And from what I understand it was only 1st or second sector on type, at night out of JNB. Flying with a very experience Capt., so how was the guy supposed to know that there was a different technique being used. He probably compared it to the 500 and thought the storys are true, what a pig, with the nose in the air at night at elevation....... makes it a tricky one if your honest and think about it. The stick was put in the correct position for rotation, so why would you second guess the guy next to you?

4th Jun 2004, 08:13

It might sound "confusing", or "strange", but as others' have said, works well in practice.

There is absolutely no chance of confusion to anyone who has been trained on the system, and knows what it represents. To someone not trained on the system, and/or in basic "Instrument Flying" skills (the IF Take-Off being a most basic manoeuvre IMHO), possible potential for confusion.

Why is it needed? Main reasons:
1. For the PNF to see what is happening. I mainly use it in crosswinds, to ensure the PF is applying the correct aileron (or rather, not applying the incorrect aileron), and the correct elevator during the early part of the roll (on the A32x series, you start with 1/2 down elevator, and then remove this between 80K & 100K).
2. For the PF to make some of these control movements. With a Control Wheel, you can describe the deflections in terms of stick position e.g. on the 757, the aileron deflection can be decribed in terms of the trim scale on top of the wheel. Not possible with a sidestick, and the indicator on the screen works very well as a substitute (e.g. for a X-Wind, use up to 1/2 white cross width).
3. As you get airborne in an Airbus, the effects of the sidestick alter. During the TO Roll, stick input directly demands control stick deflection. Shortly after takeoff new "laws" blend in e.g. lateral input demands roll rate. So any aileron put in during the TO Roll has to be removed, since it is now asking for something else. And also the need for the white cross, since sidestick input can be correlated to what you see happening with the attitude.
4. It does not need much aft stick in the A32x to rotate. However, the Airbus article mentioned 2/3 aft stick required to "initiate" rotation in the A330/340. I've forgotten my A340 days, but the only way for PNF to judge if this is applied, and then backed off as the 3d/s get going is an eye on the white cross, whilst of course monitoring primarily the attitude as the "performance instrument".

It might be worth holding back into reading too much into this. Let's see what the pilot and/or EK have to say (if anything). This is Airbus' first statement in a potential PR battle with EK a la AA in New York. If the "white cross" caused genuine problems, then we would have seen lots of similar incidents?

4th Jun 2004, 09:35
Small correction to your first number 1 sentence. I think you have used PNF instead of PF. Why would the PNF be applying correct aileron when he isn't even flying? PNF

Just a slip of the fingers on the keyboard I suppose.

A340 typed

4th Jun 2004, 10:08
Absolutely... edited!

White Knight
5th Jun 2004, 14:53
Give it a rest Cap - I've flown with that particular skipper a few times previously and he's very capable, experienced on the 'bus and very professional.
It's so nice to keep hearing your poncy comments over and over again like a stuck record:mad: :mad: I don't think.
If you have a bone to pick I suggest you give Knowles a visit somewhere in southern France.......

White Knight
5th Jun 2004, 15:29
Cap 56
My dear learned fool - if you think ever possibly think me as not "professional" then you are very much mistaken.
Hindsight as to what happened that night in Jo'burg is not something that the unfortunate crew had the benefit of.
Obviously you sitting there at your keyboard with gentle music playing in the background, and time to rehash things gives a very different scenario. Well, all I can say is go back to your mental simulator and be a little hero.
You are very anti EK - that's your perogative (or should I use small words so that you can understand them?), but don't bash a crew you don't know. YOU WERE NOT THERE so BUTT OUT :mad:

White Knight
5th Jun 2004, 17:59
your opinion of professional may not be that of everybody else
As far as I can see that is suggesting in some way that I am indeed not professional!!!!!
You are wrong.

I am not defending EK at all - try re- reading my last post. I am defending the crew against your tirade of who,what,where and how.

How do you KNOW you would have done something different that night if you weren't there!! You don't know and you CAN'T KNOW. You weren't in the front row with the tight sphincter!!

I have been told some pretty stupid things by various "trainers" from time to time, it happens - get used to it in this business.

5th Jun 2004, 18:46
2. It was an unreasonable decision to return to that field. It was clear that in doing so, the crew would create another emergency.

Cap 56 sometimes your ramblings almost make sense but then your biggoted tunnel vision shines through. They had the problem on take-off, their flaps were jammed in the take-off position. Where would you have gone if you were the skipper? Oh I'm sorry, where would you have suggested that you go if you were the First Officer? They put it back on the longest piece of blacktop in the country. Would you have taken it to? Cape Town or maybe Maputo?

They got themselves into a whole lot of trouble but they did a fine job from there. Landing at any field with the flaps jammed at take-off setting and a number of the wheels blown & then stopping on the runway is a good job.

You've just blown any cred you had. Go get a life bud.


5th Jun 2004, 18:52
as a layperson (so go gently), I feel the need to ask a few questions regarding your last post.
Are you suggesting that under the circumstances, they should've landed elsewhere? Also, are you intimating that a 4400m runway would've restricted their landing performance in any way?
If the answer to the above is in the affirmative, I wouldn't hold my breath for a reply from the SA CAA....

P.S. May I suggest a vacation to East Anglia - I hear they have excellent axe-grinding classes there...

5th Jun 2004, 20:08
Hi Cap,
Again, speaking only as a person who has access to a SonyPlaystation 2 game.
Am I correct in suggesting that the 1000ft increment above SL for landing distance on a 340 equates to approx 3% increase in landing distance? If so, then 8000ft translates to a 24% increase.
Hardly substantive evidence when considering you only need about 2800m to stop in landing config.
I'm guessing then, in the situation they found themselves in, i.e. conf 1, they would've calculated that they had about half a kilometre to spare...
Wake up. Smell the coffee. Address the facts. Get a semblance of an exsistance. Reapply.

5th Jun 2004, 20:43
Cap 56

Put your money where your mouth is and tell us your professional(?) opinion on where they should have gone and why.
What other emergency are you referring to?

Personally, I set the stick position using the cross as a loose reference to initiate the rotation while looking out and count to 5.

The CFM56 works hard in JNB and gets hot, using TOGA can cause other probs like overtemp during the roll. Flex works fine, knock a few degrees off if you feel the need.


Flying Bagel
6th Jun 2004, 02:56
I just flew out of Joburg recently (in a 343, no less), and I can tell you that the choices for an alternate are scarce to almost none, especially with an aircraft with stuck flaps. Situational thinking, especially with the pilots in the case that they were in, I think the only choice would have been to go back to Joburg.

The other choices available to the crew is quite daunting, to say the least. Bloemfontein is out of the question, almost the same altitude as Joburg with shorter runways. Durban is at 25ft AMSL, but the runway is just over half as long as 03L/21R at Joburg. Neither are an online EK port, with emergency services which are probably not going to handle an aircraft the size of a 343.

Then you look at a place like Cape Town, which is possibly the only alternative which makes sense. However, it's like throwing apples and oranges, the chances of the aircraft making it that far, without knowing exactly what shape the aircraft is in, is probably not a good deal. I'd rather dump fuel, stay within the vincinity of JNB in case something goes dramatically wrong, and hope for the best.

In the end, the landing was made, and everyone was safe. Was it the right choice? Hindsight is 20/20, and unless if you were in the cockpit, I highly doubt anyone can give the correct answer in the comfort of their own home.

Cpt. Underpants
6th Jun 2004, 03:46
Bagel, you're not quite correct.

RFF at FABL and FADN are both able to deal with with B744 sized aircraft. BA and SAA both have scheduled services into FADN and B744 base training is conducted at FABL from time to time.

Don't lose sight of the fact that SAA has a sophisticated infrastructure at both airports, and operates A342's, A343's and A346's.

There is also FAWK, abeit a military field, most carriers should have permits to land there should the need arise. FAWK is 1000 ft lower than FAJS and the longest R/W is 11000' vs 13000' at JNB.

6th Jun 2004, 04:44
Hi Cap 56,
To reiterate what helen-d asked: please tell us specifically where you would have diverted to, given the circumstances that afternoon, i.e. flaps stuck, unsure of aircraft's condition, etc.

But be forewarned: whatever you say can and probably will be used against you. The point is that you have had weeks to mull over different scenarios from your armchair and I guarantee you others will still pick holes in any solution you come up with.
I'm guessing you already know this, hence the lack of any specifics from your side thus far.

6th Jun 2004, 05:12
CAP 56



1. I do not see why the crew would use another Take Off technique on that particular night.

That is not a proven fact: do you know that the crew used a different technique to the one they were taught? Please bear in mind that the training was geared to the A340-500 and so they might have used what they deemed to be the correct technique.


2. It was an unreasonable decision to return to that field. It was clear that in doing so, the crew would create another emergency.

So where, in your mind, should the crew have gone under the circumstances? And what was the other emergency they would have created?

It has been said that 3 tyres burst on take off, but did the crew know? The ECAM is not fitted with tyre pressure indications on these aircraft so how would they have known?

I agree that, ON HINDSIGHT, dumping fuel to a lower weight may have been prudent, but again do we KNOW what other factors were involved? No, unless you were there that evening.

While there maybe some factors in the training at Emirates which contributed to the accident, I don't think you, with your seemingly prejudiced opinion of the company, are in a position to FAIRLY criticise the event of that evening.

PS: Having re-read some of the preceeding posts, we all wait with eager anticipation to your solution.


6th Jun 2004, 08:35
Cap 56, The Rocket-Scientist-who-had-lots-of-time-to-think-about-it-from-the-comfort-of-his-armchair-after-all-the-information-was-clarified is making a big deal out of nothing.

Is stopping 150 metres from the end of the runway not sufficient, especially considering that they lost normal braking at 70kts.? I would have been happy to stop 10 metres from the end, just enough for a push-back truck to squeeze through and tow the aircraft off the runway. In fact, since this is not a safety-orientated reason, even 10 millimetres would have been enough.

Some are saying that the crew could have dumped more fuel.
Granted. But remember that
- The aircraft came to a stop ON THE TARMAC.
- Nobody was hurt.
- Apart from the blown tires, no further damage was caused to the aircraft during the landing run.

So what's the problem????????

As I said before, I think the crew did a good job. Would be happy to pax with them anyday.

Now I'm sure CAP 56 will reply with some intelligent-sounding-with-the-impression-that-it's-God's-gift-to-aviation-talking-but-actually-pointless-beating-about-the-bush post.

While he refers to "The Oxford Concise Book of Bullshit Speeches" to prepare his post, I'm off to eat my spaghetti al pesto. Definitely more interesting than Cap 56's drivel.

White Knight
6th Jun 2004, 08:47
cap56 - you just haven't got it have you chum.

Biggest chips on shoulders I think I've ever heard of!!!

Go back to your microsoft flightsim and happy pretending.

Teddy Robinson
6th Jun 2004, 08:51
We still await your chosen diversion airfield. :E

Given the set of circumstances the crew did a fine job. QED
The implication is that you could do better.
I hope you never have the opportunity to test your assertion.

6th Jun 2004, 10:16
Crap 56,
please define when a take off alt is required..... bearing in mind WX, Fire cover and rwy lenght for over weight considerations. Then PLEASE with your vast knowledge tell me considering the aircraft was within structural limits why you would dump more fuel and there by useing up fuel that may be required in the event of a go around and divert.... ohhh you didnt think that far ahead I see!!
The aircraft landed on a rwy which was sufficently long and no speed was exceeded on touch down. As for you earlier statement on the USE of reverse thrust as a stopping factor, then please tell me how much thrust is created below 100 knots with all 4 cfm engines at full reverse.....

If you were to check the landing distance required for normal and then abnormal for the elevation required you will see that no more than 2400 meters are required (rounded figure as I couldnt be bothered for you) and check available rwy lenght ...... is it even close??? NOPE!!

Really, I think you are talking out your arse, fly away from an exellent airport with all the cover and support to an unknown airfield with little or no support and with an aircraft that has been damaged...... I would worry about your decision making ability, not theirs.......
P.S. Under JAR a return alt is only required if the departure field is outside limits for an immediate return....i.e. wx or lenght. (stand to be corrected)

White Knight
6th Jun 2004, 11:49
Just looking through the A340-300 QRH. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

MLW is 190.0tonnes

With config set at 1+F (used for the takeoff), from page 2.41 and from the S/F fault section I get flap lever position 2 for landing, delta Vref Appr. speed increment of 10 knots and multiply dry runway landing distance by 1.2.

So, from page 2.40, Abnormal/Emergency config (with delta Vref) at 190.0 tonnes Vref(=Vls config full)= 138 knots.

Add the 10 knot increment plus wind correction and that is the speed that goes into the MCDU PERF APPR PAGE. = 148 KNOTS.

Even with increased TAS it is not approaching anywhere near the tyre limiting speed. Consider that Vr is commonly much higher than 148 knots- yes cap56, I have flown the A343 in and out of JNB myself a couple of times.

Going to the Abnormal procedures page 2.43 it says that LDG DIST factors have to be applied to the actual "LANDING DISTANCE WITHOUT AUTOBRAKE-CONFIGURATION FULL (4.03).
I turn to that now, and at 190.0 tonnes on a dry runway the distance is 1160 metres. Adding the correction per 1000' above sea level (+3%) - call it 40 metres to be generous to you - makes 1400 metres. Now multiply by the 1.2 factor makes 1680 metres. Hardly 4400 metres I think. By the way these figures DON'T assume use of reverse thrust.

If you want to combine the increment for failure of normal brakes, that's a further 1.1 distance increment or 1.32 total, SO, 1.32 X 1400 metres = 1848 metres, again, hardly limiting.......
By the way there is no speed increment for normal brake failure.

Over to you.

Flying Bagel
6th Jun 2004, 13:49
Bagel, you're not quite correct.

RFF at FABL and FADN are both able to deal with with B744 sized aircraft. BA and SAA both have scheduled services into FADN and B744 base training is conducted at FABL from time to time.

Don't lose sight of the fact that SAA has a sophisticated infrastructure at both airports, and operates A342's, A343's and A346's.

There is also FAWK, abeit a military field, most carriers should have permits to land there should the need arise. FAWK is 1000 ft lower than FAJS and the longest R/W is 11000' vs 13000' at JNB.

I suppose Captain Undies, that you are absolutely correct in your statements.

In fact, I know FABL and FADN can handle the aircraft in a situation, because they are nominated alternates in the flight plan. That I can rest assured of.

But to someone like me, who is unfamiliar with South African aviation (and none of this is in the company literature provided, except for basic airfield information), these are all bonus info that, for most intents and purposes, I will not be thinking of using in a situation like this one. Right or wrong, that's just my opinion.

To me, FABL and FADN can be used as takeoff alternates provided I cannot return to the airfield because it's shut due to a crash or weather or whatnot. But then, I would have to wonder myself whether or not FABL or FADN is realistically a better alternate to go to than Joburg. FAJS does have a 14490' runway, and no matter how high your speed is or how high the density alt is, you will not need 14490' of runway to stop a 343 in most situations. The only consideration in this matter is the fact that some tires may burst. But when the aircraft is in such an unknown state, I really wouldn't want to venture too far from JNB, in case if it's more than just 'stuck flaps'.

That's all I'm trying to say, really. Though I'm sure many others would have a totally different opinion, or have hit on something that I overlooked.

Which is good, actually, because as pilots, we should all learn from incidents like these.

6th Jun 2004, 20:21
Have just read the whole forum on this issue. Goodness, talk about loosing the plot ! Cap 56 appears to be using this is as a cause to slag EK, however can see he has a grudge and fair enough and his views are interesting. However, give the crew a break ! Maybe there was a slight balls up....but at least they sorted it. On the whole...........how often do you see Emirates making the headlnes due to mechanical/operational issues? Not often is it? But then again........a lot of things get pushed under the magic carpet in Dubai...

6th Jun 2004, 20:28
Under the magic carpet in Dubai is right.

Will never fly them again. Shocking lack of personnel to make decisions about anything on the ground. Sub-continent people to afraid to tell the Arabs what needed to be done!

6th Jun 2004, 22:21
I note several references earlier in this thread to a max tyre speed of 195 kts. This is incorrect, the A340 tyre rated speed is 204 kts (235 mph).

White Knight
7th Jun 2004, 01:17
cap56 - it is indeed a superb wing.

Unfortunately you are still waffling. As has been pointed out max tyre speed is 204kts.
The figures I came up with were right out of the abnormal section of the AIRBUS QRH.

It's plain to see that you don't understand too much about the 'bus, so why don't you give us all a break and go and hassle someone else.

7th Jun 2004, 02:44
Hello again everybody,

I tried to read most/all of the commentary on this thread and as an outsider (ATC), I must make the following observations.

1. Obviously something went wrong in the departure sequence, and it appears as though it may involve human/training error(s).

2. Most pilots commenting in this thread seem to be of the the opinion that the crew did a good job getting the aircraft back to the ground safely.

3. Most pilots commenting in this thread seem to be of the the opinion that the crew made the correct decision to stay at JHB for the landing.

4. There has been some speculation regarding training issues at emirates (with reference to the departure technique in this case).

Cap56, as an outsider, you really do just look like a trouble making plonker, the problem is that because of that, I will treat any information that you provide on this and other threads as hmm ..... drivel. When others ask you to follow through with your statements,

Put your money where your mouth is and tell us your professional(?) opinion on where they should have gone and why

You just seem to ignore them.

Anyway, this is all just MHO.


7th Jun 2004, 17:48
So where would you have gone Cap 56, educate me,

Mr @ Spotty M
7th Jun 2004, 18:44
I as an oily rag as some of you Jet Drivers would call me, have been following this thread with interest since the incident/accident happened. I have been trying to work out and understand some of the many points which have followed with interest. I have been trying to find out what the time interval was before the crew hit the magic button for TOGA, after the aircraft did not come unstuck as planned. I for one as a layman would have hit it straight away, as any extra speed you require in a hurry requires power and engines do not give power instantaneously. I am under the impression that extra speed will normally help you to reach an unstuck state, unless your trim is so far out, that you have had it in any case. I have seen the figure of 17 seconds from the first input until it finally took the lights with it, so would be interested to see the time relation to the extra power applied.
I have read with interest to see if CAP 56 has a big chip on his shoulders or not and if he does talk sense or not? However his last post about tyre bursts, has me beginning to sway to the “not” side of the squabble.
Most main wheel tyres are up into the pressure figures of around 200 psi and above. Yes when a tyre explodes it will be just like a bomb going off, but when was the last time anybody heard of a tyre exploding on an aircraft, other than a maintenance error on the ground. Tyres for as long as I can remember have thermal fuse plugs fitted which lets the pressure out before the big bang. So CAP 56 you should have no problem or worry about putting the gear up. The advantage that you would have in leaving them down is wheel and brake cooling, plus the advantage of burning more fuel to lighten the fuel load. You keep telling us about damage to the wheels, but the crew did not know or why should they believe the wheels were damaged. I have read plenty of reports over the years of aircraft taking out structures on take-off and landing without damage to the bits that dangle. So why should the crew not believe the aircraft gear is intact unless told by ground control and so have full braking available.
I look forward to you comments.

Jack The Lad
7th Jun 2004, 18:57
According to many of the posts on this subject, Cap 56 has an 'axe to grind' and maybe he does.

Nevertheless, In spite of all of the criticisms levelled at him here, he has maintained his reponses in a most dignified manner and would appear to know much more about the technicalities to back up his argument than most line pilots I know.

Whatever you might think of him as a fellow pilot for 'questioning' the actions of the crew involved, you have to admit that he has backed up his arguments with technical substance that the detractors here appear unable to refute.

You might not like him criticising the actions of the EK crew and those in the sandpit will naturally defend the honour of their fellow crews, but he has put forward some very valid points that you cannot ignore! Furthermore, as Cap says, these are issues that will surface in any AAI that follows, so we shall have to wait and see. You may not appreciate him airing his views in the public domain but he may just be proved right! Best therefore not to argue unless you can shoot him down on the technical issues. Just my 'tupence' worth.


7th Jun 2004, 22:23
d) Suddenly out of the blue the max tire speed goes up from 195 to 205 kts

It's always been 205 kts for this a/c, as you should have found out if you'd done your homework fully.

8th Jun 2004, 02:38
Cap 56,

Why are you deleting all of you earlier posts. It is impossible to work out what arguement you are trying to develop and starts to look as if you have a different agenda.

As to all the newtonian physics. Obviously before going to the QRH, FOM, FCOM et al, you jump for your schoolboy physics book. It is always much easier to play armchair quarterback having had 2 months to think about the problem don't you think.

So EK have a T/O over run and return for a landing where by the tyres blow due to previous damage. Are there TPIs in the 340-300? What did the crew feel at lift off? Unanswered questions but clearly unimportant before launching into a tirade about there actions.

I didn't see company slagging of this nature after the Quantas over-run or the 300 tail falling off due to extreme use of rudder at an inappropriate time.

Bottom line is that an error was made and they then returned without injuring any passengers and crew. The damaged wheels on return had less to do with the length of the runway than the state of the gear, which was un-known to them at the time.


8th Jun 2004, 04:25
Cap 56, will that question remain unanswered, like the “where would you have diverted to with your flaps extended” question?

8th Jun 2004, 04:58
Bird on, his calcs also prove that the runway was long enough, and that the tire speeds were not exceeded. I think he is busy drafting an apology at the moment.
I notice also that he has made no mention of how the crew also had to deal with another non-normal on the landing roll (loss of normal brakes and NWS), but were able to keep the Bus on the tarmac. This seems to prove that their calcs re AC weight and distance required were pretty good, don't you think!

Desert Nomad
8th Jun 2004, 05:40
This one coming in from someone who knows sod all about flying other than sitting in one far too often.

It appears that the crew messed up at take off. Not that bad though as the aircraft got airborne and remained airborne until the Capt decided it shouldn't be.

Capt made his decision of where to land and what procedures he should follow.

He landed the aircraft on the runway (better than his take off), all PAX and crew got off safely.

Other than the take off he did it all OK in my books. Some of it may have been luck but I am sure there was plenty of skill and sound judgement that went into it together with his training.

You criticise EK training but perhaps this Capt had plenty of experience on type before going to EK?

The investigation will find out all the details, but until then the Capt has to live with the fact that he fecked up the take off and thank his lucky stars that he got everyone safely back on the ground.

8th Jun 2004, 06:39
Desert Nomad

So crew messed up but not that bad eh??

That was nearly a major disaster along the lines of the SQ6 Accident at Tapei.

I would question the use of max flex reduction in the first instance and why they were so slow to go to full power.

Certainly the right decision was made to return to JNB to land and perhaps it would have been wiser to have dumped below the MLW of 190 tons in view of the Flap position.

On any runway other than a completely smooth one which is getting exceedingly rare these days I always used Full Power for Take Off as the clattering and bouncing around which occurs on the A340 during the take off roll is most disconcerting and the sooner I can get into the air the happier I feel.

I have never been to JNB in the A340 so do not know the performance details but I was surprised to hear they used Conf 1 + F instead of the usual Flaps 2 Position.During my 4 Years on the A340 I never had an occasion to use Conf 1+F for T/O, maybe it is necessary there?

8th Jun 2004, 07:59
Several people have commented in this thread that because the plane landed without serious damage or injury to crew or passengers that the pilots did a good job. This is not correct IMHO. They may or may not have done well on landing, but since poor performance does not automatically lead to a broken aircraft and dead bodies (as was shown on take-off), the absence of such does not prove good performance.

8th Jun 2004, 14:57

It’s the same on an aeroplane, you ask ATC or they tell you.

If my memory serves me correctly, it was a night take off (but I stand to be corrected).

If it was you can imagine the R/T at the time:

EK XXX: 'Request undercarriage inspection'
JNB ATC: '????!'

Once again we have no idea whether or not the crew thought of an inspection or not.

8th Jun 2004, 22:31
Where do you get 205kts from?

From the A330/A340 tyre specification.

I do not have access to the FCOMs right now, will check what they say tomorrow morning.

9th Jun 2004, 03:00
GEAR INSPECTION............. expect a crew to do a fly by in an A340 by NIGHT which is in an abnormal config....... no thanks !!:sad:

9th Jun 2004, 22:26
What happened to Cap 56s posts?:confused:

10th Jun 2004, 00:11
A340-300 FCOM chapter 3.01.20 Page 5 Rev 26 states maximum tyre speed 204 kts.

10th Jun 2004, 06:23
Did CAP56 get censored ????

PPRuNe Towers
10th Jun 2004, 10:12
Not by us.

Regards from the Towers

10th Jun 2004, 10:47
CAP 56 keeps deleting his posts. For instance, He posted one about the Chief Pilot being removed because of the Emirates CAA. Or words to that effect. 15 minutes later he removed it.

All very confusing.

10th Jun 2004, 11:09
At last, a breath of fresh air in mid management. Lets hope for the grass to be greener when the replacements arrive!:ok:

10th Jun 2004, 12:00
PPRuNe Towers ?????????????

Did you by any chance delete my post from this morning wishing CAP56 well, or did I accidently do it myself, because if you did it then whilst you may have "control" then by jingoes dingo you really have taken the cake on this one.


Cap 56
10th Jun 2004, 15:07

Believe me, that it is exactely what has happened.

And if TCK was not up to speed, you guys should be happy about it. ;)

If you like my posts, then copy them or quote them, if not then ignore them.

I will have my final say on this issue shortly. Just checking some cultural values on stopping distances on the A 340 using reversers only.

I am almost sure you can get the A 340 slowed down to around 60 kts using reversers only in less than 2500m. Good to know, if I would on it I would make sure I knew what I can do with it.

Any crew flying this model should have a good idea about that, since they do it after every landing. With such a performing wing and approach speeds at 1.2 V stall thanks to the Flight By Wire this bird should not cause many problems if you loose the anti skid.

Any A 340 drivers who have a cultural value on this?

I think it is a usefull figure since it makes you completely independent of braking action.

Any feedback on this issue ?

White Knight
10th Jun 2004, 15:45
What is a CULTURAL VALUE?????????

On a post that you removed Cap- you say add 25 knots as the "cultural difference" between Vref full flap and Vref flap 1+F, when I already explained that there is only a 10 KNOT INCREMENT from the QRH.

Oh by the way, landing on 03R in JNB the other day in a 343, (short runway) and not using the brakes and only full reverse down to 70 knots - we were doing about 30 knots as we approached the end of the runway, at near max landing weight. With alternate brakes and FULL reverse to a standstill it would have been a cinch, especially with blown tyres. (loads of drag, basic physics old chap)
I still do not see the what you are trying to say:confused: :confused:

10th Jun 2004, 15:52
Again Crap 56, your info is incorrect. If you are going to state some tech facts then do at least give the correct ones...

VLS : Lowest Selectable speed.
Represented by the top of an amber strip along the airspeed scale on the PFD.
It is equal to : 1.13 VS, at takeoff

1.18 VS, when the flaps are retracted.

1.23 VS, when in clean configuration. (It remains at this value until landing).

VLS is corrected for Mach effect to maintain a 0.3g buffet margin.
In addition, VLS is increased when the speedbrakes are extended.

So again the mention of 1.2VS is incorrect along with the statement that you can slow and A340 to 60kts on rev only...... cant wait to see the rubbish you produce on that one.....

Jack The Lad
10th Jun 2004, 22:28
For goodness sake girls, let the issue take its natural course; let the AIIB investigate, then you will know the truth!

It's clear you all want to throw your hanbags at Cap, but you do yourselves no justice whatsoever by your bitchiness.

EK pilots should be proud to be professionals, so get on with it and keep a stiff upper lip. Hearing some of your comments makes me doubt if I should mount one of your airplanes again as a pax. I hope not, because the cabin service is generaly excellent.

You will be judged by this and your comments.

11th Jun 2004, 05:23

As of now,only one of Cap56's messages remains on this entire thread.

He is busy winding everyone up.


Can the system be adapted to leave a blank message in the correct chronological sequence when a user deletes their post? That way at least the rest of us don't look like we are talking to ourselves.


Desert Nomad
12th Jun 2004, 07:05

There are only a couple of EK folks posting on this thread. Some ex EK with an axe to grind and plenty from elsewhere putting their word in. Just as the thread is about and EK situation does not mean only EK are responding to this.

13th Jun 2004, 01:49
I am so glad everybody walked out safe thats important the important part is to learn from others mistakes.If you look a step to a point after the mistake was made I think he recovered the aircraft well and thatswhat counts ,to be cool and skilled under stress. Captains make mistakes because they are human afterall .It appears many in this forum have assumed that they are perfect.
I get the feeling that the C.G was out by a mile dont know much about the airbus ,or the sidestick ,just a thought ,was the loading rechecked after the aircraft returned.
No point dreaming of the worst , thats not real.

Cap 56
13th Jun 2004, 09:44

So again the mention of 1.2VS is incorrect along with the statement that you can slow and A340 to 60kts on rev only...... cant wait to see the rubbish you produce on that one.....

To argue about the difference between 1.18 or 1.2 Vs is nonsense.

White Night stated himself that it can be done on reversers only, actually you do it on a daily basis. I am quite sure you do not brake alot on the A 340 unless on a very hot day. Realizing that, is what I call airmanship and you carry this with you.

Definitely on a 4400 m runway, no need to touch the brakes until below 60 kts.

Either they completely crippled the gear on T/O, if not they must have done a very bad job on the return.

The key issue on the return for landing is lack of situation awareness (aircraft performance capability) and very likely poor handling.

An approach followed by Go/Around was definitely an option (to asses the condition of the gear BEFORE making the decision on dumping.

The A 340 made it very easy on them.

Only an increment of 10 kts between full flap and t/o flap and approach speeds of around 1.2 Vs.

I call that a plane that does not get you in trouble unless you do it yourself !

As I said before, two questions are important when assessing multiple failures.

1. What is my touch down groundspeed going to be?

2. What do I have to stop and how am I going to use it and why ?

By this I am not making a statement different the EK CRM manual:

Share Analyze Decide Implement Evaluate

(Well know within EK as "Sadie the cleaning lady"), the difference between my suggestion and the EK CRM Model is that I think my method is more pragmatic.

You can not make a decision on what your touchdown groundspeed is going to be unless you have thought about :

(Flaps, Weight, pressure altitude, sped additive, temperature and wind conditions) the same reasoning for the other question

CRM is a good tool but you have to know what you are looking for.

Share …..what ?
Decide……What ? etc

Would they have come to another conclusion, acted differantely?

cargo boy
13th Jun 2004, 09:46
Obviously Purr has not read the whole thread! :rolleyes:

It's pompous oiks like this that ruin PPRuNe for the rest of us with their all knowing, simple solution comments based on no substance or qualification.

Read the whole thread before making such stupid remarks! :*

13th Jun 2004, 12:26
Again you fail to comprehend CRAP 56, pls read again and again and again untill it seeps in, with flaps extended on the approach the relevant protection is 1.23VS, unlike you I feel details are important as do most other pilots.....ppl,cpl,atpls even!!

A bit like your quote on speeds (195 where it is actually 205)..... yet again proven to be incorrect, along with the idea of shooting an approach to go around at night and expect to learn anything from the controller about the state of the gear. As you said nonesence and it ALL comes from you.

I think I speak for more than myself when I say your lack of actual knowledge and obvious chip on shoulder is just becoming boreing.... :\

13th Jun 2004, 14:07
Can one assume that the ramification of what happened in JNB has resulted in the safety circular just pushed under my door.

It states that the DG of CAA UAE has issued a bulletin which is quoted below

It has come to the notice of the GCAA that some operators have been involved in operating their aircraft in overweight conditions whilst operating in the UAE airports and airspace. This is a serious violation of the UAE Aviation Law which strictly prohibits such operation s regardless of the cause.

With immediate effect and in accordance with the provisions of the UAE Civil Aviation Law Articles 34 and 16 all aircraft are prohibited from planning to enter or to operate in the airspace and territory of the UAE unless the loading and mass and balance mainifest and documentation are within the limits prescribed by the competent Authority (State of Registry) and the state of Design of the Manufacturer. Improper manifest and documentation by operators will lead to denial of take off clearance.

Operators are remained to ensure that the weight of the aircraft and it c of g location must be established prior to commencement of operations. An aircraft load manifest and mass and balance docs shall be retained by the operator and the concerned Airport Authority for min of 6 months

White Knight
13th Jun 2004, 14:51
This bulletin came out a while ago - was even quoted in the "Gulf News" long before the Jo'burg incident. I think it was aimed at our CIS chums!!!!
Besides Engineer, has OVERWEIGHT been reported as the cause, or was the aeroplane even overweight. I think probably not. Let's wait for the SA authorities to release their report shall we?

We (at EK) most certainly do not operate "over weight" or "out of trim"!!!-- Within the criteria of being able to check load and balance from the flight deck it has to be said...

13th Jun 2004, 16:53
White Knight:

"I think it was aimed at our CIS chums!!!!"


I think White Knight is refering to the motley collection of CIS aircraft (including AN-8s, AN-12s, IL-18s and IL-76s) which operate into and out of Sharjah and which are registered under just about every flag of convenience known to man.

I would imagine that EK aircraft operate under much more strictly enforced regulations.

White Knight
13th Jun 2004, 17:28
Thank you JW411 for explaining what I thought I'd already said:hmm: :hmm:

Silberfuxs - try rereading my last post!!!!!!!

You tell me, by the way, how any crew can in reality check exactly what has been loaded and where :confused:
I can tell you that no-one can, not on an 18 seat island hopper, a 50-70 seat turboprop, a 110 seat regional jet or a 280 seat intercontinental airliner. (ps - I've flown all the above)

The crew are responsible for checking the accuracy of the LOADSHEET.....not the actual loading. We can't physically do that. We have to trust the despatcher and the loaders I'm afraid.

13th Jun 2004, 18:10
White Knight Is that your CV you have just written???

Are the rose tinted glasses misting up a bit??

As an F/O I am afraid you have to hang on in there and hope it all comes good:{

What EK quite clearly need desperately judging by the JNB incident is somew experienced A340 Captains and other 4 Engine experienced ones.( I do NOT include the BAE 146 in that!!!!)

Silverfuchs You must excuse WK as he does tend to fly off in a puerile tirade at times. He cannot help it.

13th Jun 2004, 18:21
I think you will find..The commander is legally responsible to the extent of his worldwide wealth if he signs the load sheet and it is incorrect.
Not the load control officer or his loaders.
The commander is also legally responsible etc etc.... for all the doors being properly locked befor takeoff.
The commander is also responsible etc etc... If a passenger is injured by any type of turbulance or abrupt manouvre and the seat belt sign is not on.
This is why I always flew with the seat belt sign on most of the time and invested my allowances in beer, wine, women, and slow horses and wasted the rest.
I read about the legal proffession going to town on a Thia Captains assets and pension fund in the seat belt sign case.
Balpa attended this court case in Instanbull so it should be onfile.

13th Jun 2004, 18:46
Cap 56,

In one of your previous post, now deleted, you stated you did not wish to attack the crew. However, you repeatedly do that with inane comments like:

'Either they completely crippled the gear on T/O, if not they must have done a very bad job on the return'
'The key issue on the return for landing is lack of situation awareness (aircraft performance capability) and very likely poor handling.'
'An approach followed by Go/Around was definitely an option (to asses the condition of the gear BEFORE making the decision on dumping.'


Your quoting of figures may impress some but you have been shown to have got them all wrong as well.

You also don't know the EK sops:
'I am quite sure you do not brake alot on the A 340 unless on a very hot day.'
We use autobrake, (FCOM 3: The use of autobrake is recommended) which, being the knowledgeable chap you are, gives a rate of deceleration. Therefore, other than to raise the ground spoilers etc, you could in theory, repeat, IN THEORY, not use reverse at all.

As my Grandfather would have said:
You're a Horses ar$e and talking less sense:sad:

White Knight
14th Jun 2004, 02:43
scanscanscan - all very well being legally responsible, but unless you as the skipper can personally weigh every item, and check the loading position of every container then what I say is correct. It is unfortunatley physically impossible to check what is placed in the aeroplane. I lilke the way you invested your allowances by the way :ok:

MC - considering you're sitting miles away from Dubai, you seem to be very knowledable as to what we need or don't need. I think not:yuk: :yuk:

Silberfuchs - my apologies old bean.:cool:

14th Jun 2004, 03:20
From comments so far, it hardly seems likely that the loadsheet was incorrect, ie: the aircraft was more than likely properly loaded and in trim.

A more likely scenario is a poor rotation technique combined with a little too much (little) flex thrust.
One thing to 'improve engine longevity' only to have other bits take a beating.

14th Jun 2004, 06:52
Helen-d Surprised to hear that EK's SOP use Autobrakes as standard.

On the A340 you must have some very hot brakes on turnrounds requiring cooling.??

When we had these A340's in SQ we hardly ever used Autobrakes as not necessary unless on very short runways or doing an Autoland.

With the correct landing technique one could arrive on the ramp with cool brakes even with high ground temperatures in most cases.

Cap 56
14th Jun 2004, 07:33

You are right; I should be writing crew/training department since there is a mutual responsibility.

Even at night I think it would have been wise to make an approach, down to a position reasonably close to the RWY with ATC representatives posted nearby and full intensity on.

This way the crew would have done everything possible to asses the situation, finally it would have been up to ATC to asses if they could make any assessment or not. As a crew you can not decide on your own.

My rule of thumb of TAS = IAS + FL/2 + ∆ IAS/2 is something we used on aircraft without TAS indicator onboard. It is fairly accurate above FL 100 were compressibility plays a mayor role and around SL for landing. (FL/2 basically equal to 0)

The issue is NOT this rule of thumb but the fact that you have to be aware that at these fields there can be a big difference in the first place.

You will however remember that I also stated that the crew only had to look at their screens while in the holding, to get a good idea of what he difference between IAS and TAS would have been. Now as a cultural value below FL 100 and at approach speeds TAS = IAS + FL/4 + ∆ISA/2 will give you a good idea.


Thanks you only confirm my former statement. I would add that SOP are Standards Ops Proc, there was nothing standard in this approach. I just hope they didn’t use A/B 3 to blow up their tires as a result.

14th Jun 2004, 08:06
there is no autobrake 3 on an A340-300.... yet another detail you got wrong...............

14th Jun 2004, 08:27
Not sure of the exact wording that I blithely sign every day when the Load Sheet is presented to me, but I believe it is along these lines: “I confirm that the aircraft is correctly loaded…” etc.

I used to fly with a old captain who would always cross out “confirm” and insert “hope”. Wise old man that.

Cap56, I understand that you’ve deleted the post (along with all your other posts except your last one - now two) where you replied to my post asking why EK had sacked you. You replied that EK hadn’t sacked you, but that you’d “Voted with my feet. Big difference.” So if you did in fact “vote with your own feet” when you left EK, why the continuing, concerted campaign to smear an employer you left voluntarily all those years ago and who has (again to quote you from another of your deleted posts):“…asked me to return – in writing.”?

Perhaps you’d care to enlighten us all with what caused you to “vote with your own feet”? No aeronautical formulae required in the reply. And try not to make any montains out of molehills.

Cap 56
14th Jun 2004, 10:13

It does not matter if there is an A/B 1, 2 or 3 setting, it's irrelevant.

Even the use of the lowest setting would have, given the deceleration capability with reversers only, been unwise if it would sqeeze out a decelleration of more than 2 m/s*s out of the remaining tires.

7 x 7

I repeat that part of my post that you didn't quote: "get in touch with me outside this forum and I will give you what you want."

In order not to discredit those professionals at EK I will not do what you are trying to.

Maybe you should ask Capt Phil Smith why he refuses to reveal the truth. Probably because he is too busy on this one.

I used to fly with a old captain who would always cross out “confirm” and insert “hope”. Wise old man that

This captain may be wise in your opinion; in reality he states I do not thrust the system. Having a reasonable distrust is of course a healthy thing. Maybe he added a couple of knots to his approach speed or T/O N1 too. Maybe he thought, well...I have no PTI so I will make sure.....

I do not think that those professionals at EK would agree with you: "rolling of the runway and nearly killing all onboard is a minor issue."

Fact is that any pilot who sees that things may be wrong, illegal or improved they should speak up if only to discover their point of view may not be that accurate after all.

So maybe you should mention that EK had receive a fax from BOEING addressed in my name and that of the fleet manager confirming that they "Boeing" had recommended our SOP to other airlines and would issue 3 new aircraft operating limitations following our meeting.

It just happened to be me who got involved while asking some pertinent questions to my line trainers who answered; we do not know yet, it's all new to us too.

It could have been anyone else but it wasn't for one simple reason: "Others refused to get involved simply because they knew the upper management would not accept anything that did not come from their selves".

They were right in saying so but some of the locals suggested us to continue. So we biased ourselves by going directly to the chaps that had build the thing to force the upper management to listen. Maybe the locals had another agenda, we do not know, I do not think so, we were not into politics.

We all stuck out our neck and paid a price for it. And believe me or not, we didn’t do it for ourselves but for the whole pilot pool, instructors in the first place. In the end they have to answer the questions and it is better they get the answers from the builder of the schip.... that is all we did, nothing else.

It is not my problem that EK management got compromised after they asked me to have a look at the legal implication of their operations. I did not impose myself, I was asked. All the rest was a face loosing operation from their side.

So really, I would love to see that this crew gets treated fairly; this implicates a judgment on their performance and were the training department could/should have done better. It will make EK more interesting to work for.

If the UAE CAA treats them correctly then there is no problem is there?

Chattanooga Choo Choo
14th Jun 2004, 11:18
Seem to remember the last person who used ""get in touch with me outside this forum and I will give you what you want."" also claimed to be one of the great founts of aeronautical and aviation knowledge. I remember he used to claim to be a pilot as well as a CEO and would impress suitably gullible wannabees and pretenders with all sorts of distractions, especially when he was repeatedly shot down in flames on these forums. Liked to be known as The Guvnor. :yuk:

Wonder if he has internet access in the pervs wing at Barlinnie? :rolleyes:

14th Jun 2004, 12:45
Not sure if I'm allowed to quote from today's copy of Flight International, page 9 (Crew Error led to A340 overrun):

AI Chief Test Pilot Jacques Rossay says that the pilot flying incorrectly believed that the sidestick position symbol could be used to select pitch attitude for rotation. This is thought to be an unprecented error, and Rossay cannot explain why the pilot thought it was a valid technique.