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neville_nobody
19th Sep 2010, 22:49
This could get interesting.....

Qantas passengers sue Airbus over flight scare - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/20/3015989.htm?section=justin)

601
19th Sep 2010, 23:47
plunged 200 metres in 20 seconds

= 1800 fpm = gentle descent?

404 Titan
20th Sep 2010, 00:52
601

The photos of the damage to the interior or the cabin and blood everywhere would suggest it was anything but gentle.

Regarding the law suit being instigated by a US law firm in a US court, apart from Northrop Grumman, I can’t see how any verdict can be enforced against Airbus as it is an EU company and any verdict is only enforceable in the US.

Kiwiconehead
20th Sep 2010, 01:59
= 1800 fpm = gentle descent?

That is the average rate of descent, to achieve that from steady state back to steady state requires so pretty big accelerations and peak decent rates.

Xcel
20th Sep 2010, 02:15
It is nothrop they are suing as they are the manufacturer of the system which malfunctioned. So it will be enforcable in the US although they are trying to move it here as we don't have psychological damages here anywhere near the magnitude of the US.

neville_nobody
20th Sep 2010, 02:29
It is a class action against Airbus and Northrop Grumman. All the flight crew are claimants too.

Pedota
20th Sep 2010, 03:42
Two excerpts from the ABC’s The World Today program . . .

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the lawsuit about a terrifying Qantas flight in 2008 when a jet plummeted towards the ocean off Western Australia before making an emergency landing. More than 100 people on board were injured and it's been revealed that the plane's pilot hasn't been able to fly since.

and

ALISON CALDWELL: As I understand it, some of the pilots have actually joined this compensation claim. Is that right?

FLOYD WISNER: Yes, all three of three as a matter of fact including the captain who was flying the plane at the time is a former top gun pilot from the US navy. He is an American with also Australian citizenship. He has told me that when the plane went out of control, the computer would not give him back control of the plane and he said it was in a dive. All he could see was the ocean. He has never been as frightened as he was at that point despite all his prior military aircraft training.

ALISON CALDWELL: Has he been able to fly since?

FLOYD WISNER: No. He would certainly like to fly again. He loves flying but this experience has just been traumatising even for a very experienced and capable pilot such as him.

The full transcript can be seen at The World Today - Passengers prepare to sue Airbus 20/09/2010 (http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2010/s3016360.htm)

Icarus2001
20th Sep 2010, 04:05
This will be settled out of court, with moderate pay out figures for those concerned.

They are filing the claim now due to a two year statute of limitations which comes in to effect in October.

Qantas flight in 2008 when a jet plummeted towards the ocean off Western Australia before making an emergency landing Pretty sure it WAS NOT an emergency landing.:sad:

Ned Parsnip
20th Sep 2010, 05:09
Quote:
Qantas flight in 2008 when a jet plummeted towards the ocean off Western Australia before making an emergency landing Pretty sure it WAS NOT an emergency landing.http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/puppy_dog_eyes.gifExcerpts from the ATSB Preliminary -

At 1249, the crew made a PAN emergency broadcast to air traffic control, advising that they had experienced ‘flight control computer problems’ and that some people had been injured. They requested a clearance to divert to and track direct to Learmonth, WAAt 1254, after receiving advice from the cabin crew of several serious injuries, the crew declared a MAYDAY...............A MAYDAY transmission is made in the case of a distress condition and where the flight crew requires immediate assistance

Capn Bloggs
20th Sep 2010, 05:17
Pretty sure it WAS NOT an emergency landing.
Definitely not. Severely injured pax from uncommanded sustained full nose down elevator (twice) with nobody knowing WTF the crazed scarebus was going to do next. Nothing "emergency" about that. :cool:

Jack Ranga
20th Sep 2010, 06:28
AND..............

A pan-pan call is NOT an emergency, it is an urgency call.

A mayday call is an emergency.

Icarus2001
20th Sep 2010, 07:00
Not an EMERGENCY LANDING. It was a normal approach and landing following an in flight emergency.

Which checklist was used for the landing? OEI? Nil hydraulics? One gen U/S? Oh, you mean the NORMAL landing checklist. Well how about that?

The landing guys, not the reason for the diversion to a normal landing.

Capt Kremin
20th Sep 2010, 07:44
All the pilots are back flying.

neville_nobody
20th Sep 2010, 07:53
All the pilots are back flying

That's not the line Mr Floyd Wisner is spinning in the news....he might want to get his story straight before he goes to court.

The The
20th Sep 2010, 07:55
Not an EMERGENCY LANDING. It was a normal approach and landing following an in flight emergency.

Which checklist was used for the landing? OEI? Nil hydraulics? One gen U/S? Oh, you mean the NORMAL landing checklist. Well how about that?


Well maybe there wasn't a "THE PLANE HAS GONE CRAZY APE BONKERS" non-normal checklist, but I'd call it an emergency landing.

Uncommanded rapid pitch changes - tick
severe injuries - tick
mayday call - tick
diversion to nearest airport - tick

Or maybe they just did a "NORMAL" landing, wrote "NIL" in the tech log and went off to the pub for a few beers and a laugh!

Icarus2001
20th Sep 2010, 08:39
Maybe Airbus should have a " This aircraft has performed an illegal operation and will now land at the nearest airport" checklist...

Capt Kremin
20th Sep 2010, 09:47
Mr Wisner is talking through his hat.... but since it is sub-judice right now it is probably best to leave it at that.

Watchdog
20th Sep 2010, 11:35
Jack Ranga,

ahhh no,you are incorrect:

4 Distress and Urgency Messages
4.1 Pilots have been advised that, in the event of an emergency situation, an ATSU can
only provide the necessary priority and handling if the controller is made aware of the
emergency by the crew’s formal declaration on the RTF. Pilots have also been
advised that the extent to which an ATSU will be able to offer assistance will depend
on the amount of information provided and on its being transmitted at the earliest
opportunity. Furthermore, it is preferable that if pilots believe that they are facing an
emergency situation, to declare it as early as possible and cancel it later if they decide
that the situation allows.

4.2 There are two classes of emergency message:

Distress: A condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and
of requiring immediate assistance.
Urgency: A condition concerning the safety of an aircraft or other vehicle, or of
some person on board or within sight, but which does not require
immediate assistance.

4.3 The message will contain as many as possible of the following items:
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY (for distress messages)
or
PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN (for urgency messages)
and
Name of the station addressed (time and circumstances permitting)
Identification of the aircraft
Nature of the emergency
Intention of the person in command
Present position, level and heading
Distress: A condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and
of requiring immediate assistance.
Urgency: A condition concerning the safety of an aircraft or other vehicle, or of
some person on board or within sight, but which does not require
immediate assistance.


http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP493Part1adv.pdf
(from ICAO Annex 12)

TIMA9X
20th Sep 2010, 11:45
the plane's pilot hasn't been able to fly since.What is implied here about the pilots is grossly unfair and a good example of how the media get it so wrong. Yep, the A330 that day did something pretty weird but the pilots did a great job and handled this weird situation extremely well.

by Capt Kremin Mr Wisner is talking through his hat.... but since it is sub-judice right now it is probably best to leave it at that. I strongly agree, best left for the courts to try and make some sense out of it all.
Having said that, I think in this case QF management have also demonstrated total support with all the parties involved in this incident.

gobbledock
20th Sep 2010, 17:48
It is nothrop they are suing as they are the manufacturer of the system which malfunctioned. So it will be enforcable in the US although they are trying to move it here as we don't have psychological damages here anywhere near the magnitude of the US.

Correct. Most lawsuits in the US focus on the element of 'pschological trauma' etc and that is where the punter picks up the majority of their payout. The punter will also have his/her partner make a claim (even if they were not involved directly with the incident) for additional pain and sufferring, scared of aircraft sounds, nightmares about A330's, no longer being able to throw the leg over etc etc....
Australian law doesn't compare with the US in this regard hence the parties involved, ie the aicraft manufacturer and component manufacturer will certainly push for an Australian determination based upon the location of the incident.

Al E. Vator
20th Sep 2010, 22:10
Rant Commences
Sounds like a horriffic experience and I wouldn't want to be in the fron LHS in that situation. Reckon they did well.

However I do get upset at leach Lawyers and their "psychological trauma" claims as unlike a broken leg it is an intentionally difficult to quantify claim and an easy target. There were probably people who slept through the whole thing (my wife could sleep through a bomb explosion) but who will be pushed by the lawyers to jump into the class action.

It's amazing the human race can achieve anything anymore such are the constraints of litigation. All these stupid litigation claims will do is create a generation who never achieve but derive income from trying to get money from those who do/have achieved. Just imagine this headline: "Neil Armstrong sues NASA for psychological damage caused by failure of computer during decent to surface of moon". Won't happen because Neil Armstrong is a doer.

These lawyers are leaches. They not only do nothing towards progressing human achievement they actually impede it. Great contribution to society that is. Perhaps in this case there should be some compensation but it's the overall litigation mentality that makes me sick and deservedly gives lawyers a very bad name.

Rant Terminates

601
20th Sep 2010, 23:52
I wonder how much an individual payout will be reduced if it is shown that passengers did not have their seat belts fastened while seated as recommended.

Or will that be glossed over?

Edited to say what I meant:O

rmcdonal
21st Sep 2010, 00:20
Al E. Vator the difference being that Neil was in an experimental (at best) aircraft and knew that there were increased risks, where as the Pax on the Qantas were led to believe that the aircraft was safe (not the best word, but I can't think up a better one). However I agree with 601 , if you don't have your seatbelt on then you were asking for trouble.

What people really need to be reminded of is that they are hurtling through the air at 600Khr over 10K from the ground, this is not natural and nothing like a bus doing 60khr to your local shops. When the crew say leave your seatbelts on while seated there is probably a good reason for it.

Taildragger67
21st Sep 2010, 02:19
rmcdonal,

When the crew say leave your seatbelts on while seated there is probably a good reason for it.

:ok:

If it's good enough for the professionals to do it (leave their belts on and fastened), then it's good enough for me the punter SLF in the cheap seats.

Maybe the outcome of this will be a forceful demand for SLF to put down their papers and PAY ATTENTION to the safety video / demo, as well.

Icarus2001
21st Sep 2010, 02:42
I wonder how much an individual payout will be reduced if it is shown that passengers did have their seat belts fastened while seated as recommended.
Is that what you meant to type?

Surely if you did have your seatbelt on as recommended then you are complying with a safety directive. If you are then injured that would increase the size of the payout.

If you did not have your seatbelt on then I agree that it would probably decrease the size of the settlement.

ie73
21st Sep 2010, 04:23
Why should the flight crew be joining this action against Airbus and Northrop? I could understand it if they had been physically injured....fair enough. But come on...really? What next? Have any flight crew involved with other inflight incidents suffered by Qantas aircraft (eg, the engine failure out of SFO recently) lined up to sue the respective manufacturers of the failed component? Not that I've heard.

Not taking away from the serious nature of this incident, but if this gets through and is successful, where does it stop? Will we see pax & flight crew suing engine manufacturers every time an engine so much as puffs out the tiniest bit of smoke?

The only winners in this scenario are the lawyers.

Cheers

Capt Kremin
21st Sep 2010, 05:14
People have a right to sue. You cannot bar them from that right on the basis of the fact they were flying the aircraft at the time.

If no other crew have sued over other incidents it is because of their personal choice; the right remains however.

According to the lawyers website, the action is on a no win/no fee basis, so the lawyers are not guaranteed of coming out of this ahead.

QF72 – Singapore to Perth – Information site for Passengers (http://www.qf72.com)

Taildragger67
21st Sep 2010, 05:51
Photo - "standard plane photo" rather than anything to do with a QF hull or an A330 :ugh: (more like LH or CO);

Spelling - flight was operated by a carrier based in a country which employs 'aeroplanes' and not 'airplanes'; likewise was operating between two such countries.

The plane was momentarily brought under control before it pitched downwards again

Wasn't it several minutes between episodes?

Qantas has been settling these cases for a fraction of what passengers should be entitled to

"entitled to"? "Entitled" by whom, mate?

The compensation cases in the US for those on this flight who experienced such terror :eek: will potentially be for much greater amounts than what the carrier wants people to accept under Australian law

At what point did the instant flight have a US nexus? Why are you casting aspersions on Australian law? Australia has generally managed very well to date without ambulance-chasers of your sort, who only lead to higher prices for just about anything.

Attorneys heading up the litigation have blamed the failure of the airplane’s controls as being intermittent malfunctions of the air data inertial reference unit (ADIRU). That unit is manufactured in the United States by Northrup Grumman Guidance & Electronic Systems – one of the main defendants in the action. Also named in the complaint was Airbus S.A.S.

So why does this home page make comments against "the carrier"?


For the avoidance of doubt, I am not ranging against any litigant (including crew - if I operated faulty equipment and it bit me, I'd be looking for someone to be held to account), but against these ambulance chasers, their 'entitlements' and their greed, all apparently in the name of helping the battler get a fair deal from these big, nasty corporations.

tail wheel
21st Sep 2010, 08:22
According to the lawyers website, the action is on a no win/no fee basis, so the lawyers are not guaranteed of coming out of this ahead.

Conversely, the lawyers fees in no win/no fee class action cases of this nature can be up to 40% to 50% of the total damages awarded. No guarantee .... but the attorney could walk away with a princely sum!

Because a traumatic event occurred, I suspect the US attorneys are on a good bet with only the quantum of damages to be decided.

ie73
21st Sep 2010, 08:29
Nobody's talking about removing an individuals rights to sue, but surely as a professional pilot one would expect that things are going to go wrong at some stage during your career....it goes with the territory. A reasonable person wouldn't expect to go suing the pants off everyone every time something goes wrong.

To put the shoe on the other foot, consider the situation if an airline was to sue a pilot for something they had erroneously done during a flight that damaged the reputation of the airline?

Again, I don't want to understate the seriousness of this particular situation. It could have ended up a lot worse if the crew didn't get the aircraft under control and they clearly performed exceptionally well in what would have been a very hairy period of time on that flight deck. I just find it interesting that when things go wrong these days the first thing people think about is "Who can I sue?".

mrdeux
21st Sep 2010, 08:52
It seems to me that there is some difference between having (say) an engine fail, and having the aircraft (because of the maker's arrogance) decide that it knows best and ignore pilot inputs.

Having had my share of events in the 747 and 767, I was always happy to get back onto the horse. On the other hand, if the 380's flight controls gave me the demonstration that was given to the crew of the 72, I doubt that I'd be prepared to set foot in an Airbus again.

teresa green
21st Sep 2010, 10:40
Outrageous, I can understand PAX looking for a quick dollar, but CREW? Come on, there is not one of us that has not had the S%it scared out of us on more than one occasion, mine being having a donk injest a bit of tyre on rotate out of CBR, dusk, poor visability, full tanks, and a full aircraft, and the Brindabella's just out there, and Lake George straight ahead and one donk. I should have sued the tyre company, TAA, and the refuelers for filling her to the limit, instead a go around (being a DC9 she pulled like a trojan) we got back in, and all we got was a beer at the Hyatt. enough all ready, THAT is your job mate, a disgrace to the profession.:*

E.P.
21st Sep 2010, 11:21
Approximately two minutes after the autopilot disconnected, the aircraft had climbed several hundred feet.

Most experienced Airbus pilots are aware of this design trait.

According to the NTSB report, there were 'dual inputs' i.e. both pilots ‘pushing or pulling’ the sidestick at the same time. Dual inputs are algebraically added which results in double the input, or a very severe rate of change if the push or pull is in the same direction.

Leave you with it.

Back Seat Driver
21st Sep 2010, 13:04
Quote ie73
Why should the flight crew be joining this action against Airbus and Northrop? I could understand it if they had been physically injured....fair enough. But come on...really?

DOH. Wrong! You don't understand it then and obviously don't know all the facts.

Do you and Teresa (who has just disgraced himself) want to bet me your houses that one of the pilots wasn't physically injured.

I'll split it with you Pete.:ok: I think one of 'em has a house on the coast.

Going Boeing
22nd Sep 2010, 00:49
You guys who are having digs at the captain are doing so on the basis of a report written by a journalist who quoted statements by a lawyer (at least one of those statements we know to be factually incorrect). Personally, I'd trust my colleague's judgement - especially as I know him to be of impeccable character.

Jack Ranga
22nd Sep 2010, 01:27
Jack Ranga,

ahhh no,you are incorrect:




Watchdog, you are quoting me CAA UK references. Please quote Australian references (as we all know, Australia knows best when it comes to aviation, especially when it comes to documentation and it's prolific production).

I still stand by PAN-PAN equalling URGENCY and NOT EMERGENCY :ok:

compressor stall
22nd Sep 2010, 02:03
How is their “fee” calculated?


Pursuant to the agreement, the lawyers will take one third (33.33%) of your compensation. They will also recover their expenses on a pro rata basis across the entire client base – but no expenses will be recovered where your pro-rata share is more than four percent (4%) of your compensation payment.

On that basis you would receive no less than that sixty-two percent (62.66%) of the compensation made to you by the above parties.:ouch:

Keg
22nd Sep 2010, 05:11
This thread and comments critical of the captain, speculating of his potential dispute origins, family status and financial position typify everything that is wrong with PPRUNE. :mad:

Captain Dart
22nd Sep 2010, 07:28
Keg old chap, it looks like my post, which made it clear that it was asking a question on the basis of what was reported, and whether what was reported was true, has been deleted, presumably by the moderator. The post was relevant and within the 'rules of engagement'; maybe it was deleted because it touched a nerve or two.

One little step toward making PPrune 'right' for you.

Jack Ranga
22nd Sep 2010, 08:07
Well said theresa :ok: You'd be the bloke (are you a bloke or sheila?) I'd want up front on such an occurence. Too many princesses in cockpits these days and too many politically correct [email protected] in the world.

You would have got several more beers if I was on that flight :ok:

teresa green
22nd Sep 2010, 08:45
To ugly to be a sheila Jack. IF IT IS TRUE, and the bloke is trying to make a dollar out of a aircraft malfunction, than he deserves the ridicule that will be heaped upon him, and then where does it stop? A go around, and a PAX declares that they had a nervous breakdown out of fear, talks to a few others, result: a class action against the airline in question. Then there is turbulence, can you just imagine what could happen there? As far as I am concerned the bloke did a sterling job, but to make a buck out of it (IF HE IS) is a disgrace to our profession, and absolutely unheard of from a professional pilot, but pehaps somewhere a long the line we have gone from being pilots to systems managers and have the attitude of "this sh%t should not happen to me" and somebody has to pay for it, which is now the norm, for most these days. If you are paid to do a job, and do it to the best of your ability with a good outcome that should be enough.

Capt Kremin
22nd Sep 2010, 09:47
The position that airline crew should refrain from suing for negligence on the basis of the fact they fly the aircraft is total arrant nonsense. If an aircraft crashed due to negligence and the crew were killed, would you deny the family of the crew the right to sue? So what is the difference?

If your car bursts into flames due to a manufacturing fault, are you telling me that the mere fact you were operating the car at the time means you should refrain from legal action?

Airline crews make claims all the time, for many different reasons including hearing loss, fumes exposure, violence encountered from passengers and harassment; all of them inherent risks in the environment we operate in that the airlines and manufacturers are required by law to mitigate.

If a fumes exposure ended your career, or caused a deformity to your children, would you refrain from taking action on the basis that you were flying the aircraft?

To single this crew out is ignorant.

That said, I really feel the content of this thread is now pushing the boundary; and if people don't know the facts, they really should refrain from silly uninformed comment.

teresa green
22nd Sep 2010, 22:03
Capt Kremin, if you are physically hurt, like the S/O who had his nose rearranged yes, you would possibly have a case, but lets put aside this Captain who could be well innocent of the statement made, and probably bemused by the whole thing. The question remains where does all this start and finish. If you are not physically hurt, you are doing the job you are paid to do, and which you obviously chose to do, and are trained to do, when is the line crossed. Most incidents and accidents are normally made up of a number of factors as you well know, WX, systems failure, pilot error, engine and airframe failure etc, and anybody in command of a Aircraft knows, that sometime during their career, they are going to be confronted with a situation for whatever reason, that is going to test their skills and their knowledge. Regardless of all the Jesus boxes these modern Aircraft have, they are still Aircraft, a fact which is often brought home, horribly, and when you least expect it, and that is when you earn your money. Now if every Skipper sues, when a system lets him down, ( and if one Skipper sues successfully, its human nature that many more will follow) the end result does not even warrant thinking about, one hint of possible pilot error, will have the Airlines suing you for a start. If a Pilot is hurt, and cannot fly again for whatever reason, yes, he should be paid for his loss of income, his entire income, ( and don't give me this mental crap, that should have been weeded out in their early flying days, and they should not be in the job). If a Captain does go on to sue, this will open a can of worms, that are going to be hard to put back in the tin, and will do a lot of harm to the profession, which was already badly damaged in 89, and I for one hope that most pilots accept the risks as part of the job, not as a possible money grab.

ie73
23rd Sep 2010, 04:25
quote: teresa green

If a Captain does go on to sue, this will open a can of worms, that are going to be hard to put back in the tin, and will do a lot of harm to the profession, which was already badly damaged in 89, and I for one hope that most pilots accept the risks as part of the job, not as a possible money grab.

Couldn't agree more...:D

If this gets through it will never end...

Concentrate on something more relevant and that affects all pilots, not just an individuals back pocket...like fair pay rates.

Capn Bloggs
23rd Sep 2010, 04:34
You two clowns really are sick. :yuk:

Keg
23rd Sep 2010, 05:31
...and don't give me this mental crap, that should have been weeded out in their early flying days, and they should not be in the job).

Teresa, I've generally loved the things you've had to say and as a veteran of the industry, I've always placed significant weight on your thoughts. It's with the respect with which I hold you that I ask you to have a think about your comments and perhaps reflect on them a bit more considering exactly the sort of things the captain has been through and the capacity for those organisations to 'weed out' those who aren't up to the grade.

Apparently in your book it's OK for physical injury to be entitled to compensation but sleepless nights, nightmares, etc is unworthy of consideration.

(I should note that I have no idea what this crew actually suffers from, if anything, but given I don't know, I support their right to seek compensation for injury, physical or mental, suffered as a result of alleged negligence).

blueloo
23rd Sep 2010, 06:08
If a legitimate lawsuit results in a manufacturer or component manufacturer (or airline) fixing a product/part which has demonstrated life threatening flaws and ultimately somewhere down the track saves lives then good on the pax/crew (the associated parasites can get stuffed) .

Unfortunately we can no longer rely on airlines, manufacturers etc. to do the right thing - they seem to only respond to the threat of financial loss.

neville_nobody
23rd Sep 2010, 06:16
To all those who are calling for the tech crew to go to Bunnings buy a bag of cement and harden up, might want to remember that as it stands, the aircraft overruled or ignored the inputs by the pilot. As I understand it they were pitching back whilst the aircraft was pitching down toward the ocean and not responding to the control inputs. Other than an Airbus I am not sure of another aircraft that would do this to you with the autopilot disconnected. If that doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night with cold sweats I don't know what will.

This court case may also bring out into the public arena some of Airbus's thinking on their design philosophy.

Unfortunately we can no longer rely on airlines, manufacturers etc. to do the right thing - they seem to only respond to the threat of financial loss.

This unfortunately is very true. We also live in an era of weak regulators who do nothing until the horse has bolted. (or crashed)

indamiddle
23rd Sep 2010, 06:31
don't know about the tech crew but one f/a from that flight received some very serious injuries and has not been back to work since. this crew member is no chicken little, had a hazardous job pre QF. maufacturers/operators spend mimimum $$ for mimimum costs so if they get a few boots in the ar$e via lawsuits maybe they will spend a few more dollars in production/ maintenance to reduce further lawsuits. in the end it all comes down to the actuaries and how they value risk to crew/pax

Icarus2001
23rd Sep 2010, 06:39
As I said before and I will repeat, this will never make it to the inside of a court room. It will be settled out of court, perhaps at the eleventh hour prior to court but there is too much risk for Airbus and Northrop to take it to court and roll the dice.

swh
23rd Sep 2010, 06:59
Other than an Airbus I am not sure of another aircraft that would do this to you with the autopilot disconnected. If that doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night with cold sweats I don't know what will.

The numerous 737 rudder hard overs, Alaska Airlines MD-83, Boeing EC-135N in 1981, Malaysia Airlines 777 north of Perth.

Capn Bloggs
23rd Sep 2010, 07:08
The numerous 737 rudder hard overs, Alaska Airlines MD-83, Boeing EC-135N in 1981, Malaysia Airlines 777 north of Perth.
Wikipedia says the MAS 777 only misbehaved whilst the AP was engaged.

swh
23rd Sep 2010, 07:54
Wikipedia says the MAS 777 only misbehaved whilst the AP was engaged.

Wikipedia did not do the investigation.

The ATSB said ( http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2005/AAIR/pdf/aair200503722_001.pdf ):

"The autopilot was manually disconnected and nose down column was applied by the crew. The aircraft pitched to 18 degrees nose up and climbed to approximately FL410 with a rate of climb up to 10,560 feet per minute (fpm). The airspeed decreased from 270 kts to 158 kts. The autopilot (A/P) overspeed and stall protection activated simultaneously and the autopilot flight director system (AFDS) pitch mode failed prior to A/P disconnection. The stick shakers activated near the top of the climb."

In the ATSB animation of the recoded data, you can see around the 1 minute mark with the autopilot disconnect, forward movement of the control column and manual reduction of thrust the aircraft continues to pitch up.

YouTube - REAL Pitch Up Boeing 777 Incident (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XNnEzFF5fg)

Capn Bloggs
23rd Sep 2010, 08:15
Fair enough but:

The pilot in command later reported that the PFD indications appeared normal when descending through FL200. He then reportedly selected the LEFT autopilot ‘ON’, but the aircraft banked to the right and the nose pitched down, so the autopilot was disengaged. A similar result occurred when the RIGHT autopilot was selected, so the pilot in command left the autopilot disengaged and manually flew the aircraft. The pilot in command reported that, with the autopilot disengaged, there were no further control difficulties experienced.

Not fair enough at all actually. At the back of the report it says:
9M-MRG pitches nose-up to +17.6º and climbs through 38,590 ft
at a vertical speed increasing to 10,560 fpm. A/P overspeed and stall protection activate together and the AFDS pitch mode goes to FAIL resulting in A/T changing to speed mode. The A/P disengages and the thrust levers retard slightly before returning to original 65º position. A/P disconnect is again pressed and thrust levers retarded to 45º. All accelerations maintain their excessive values. Airspeed reduces through 241 kts.

So Wiki was right.

teresa green
23rd Sep 2010, 08:29
Keg, did not mean to offend mate. But I am from the old school, stiff upper lip and all that. I don't mean to upset anybody with that attitude, but being trained in my career by mostly surviving Bomber Command pilots, who taught no emotion, no fear, just do it attitude, and you had no balls if you could not follow their creed. I took that with me thru my whole career. Any mental stuff was not allowed in our time, it mean't you were not suitable, not good enough, and worse still, a coward. Times have changed, but blokes of our era find it difficult to understand all this mental stuff. Which is probably our problem.

Gas Bags
26th Sep 2010, 23:49
A terrible experience all round, however I have got to agree with Teresa on this one.

Where does it all end once it starts. It is a very long road to travel down.

GB

Capt Kremin
27th Sep 2010, 00:19
Maybe on another thread we could have a rational discussion on such matters as PTSD and it effects on pilots, I am sure we could fill a few pages with various anecdotes.

TG, your generation was schooled in the, for want of a better term, "suck it up big guy," mentality. In my opinion the price paid for that was well documented in the alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide statistics.

Maybe it is time we acknowledge that we are human just like anyone else and exhibit the same symptoms to a traumatic event as anyone else does. In some ways, being trained and knowledgable in aviation can make it worse.
Imagine how you would feel in the same situation? Nothing but Indian Ocean in the windscreen and your jet is NOT responding to the controls?

I personally know of at least one old school captain who had a traumatic event, kept it bottled in, and eventually had to be pensioned off when it began to seriously affect his flying performance. That's a loss of a career, for want of acknowledgement and treatment of his disorder.

In short, if you weren't there you really cannot comment on the event or the aftermath. Pilots have sued companies for myriad reasons. IMHO this one qualifies one hundred fold and we should leave it at that.

CONF iture
27th Sep 2010, 13:36
swh,

What the 777 MAS and the 330 QF have in common is an ADIRU dysfunction which led to in flight upset. But there is a MAJOR difference :

The 777 upset was AP and AT induced.
The 330 was nicely manually flown when the protections did the mess.


I believe the paragraph you quoted from page 22 is misleading and does not correlate with the overall report, FDR parameters included.

Nuthinondaclock
27th Sep 2010, 23:49
Follow up care and support for someone experiencing a traumatic event and suing are totally different things. FTSD does not get cured by a pocket full of cash. I'm told the support these guys have received has been excellent.

I'm sure they did get the [email protected]#t scared out of them but I don't think that's grounds for a financial gain unless they have suffered some form of injury or trauma that actually prevents them from continueing their employment, which I believe is not the case here. Unless there was some kind of cover up of a known faulty design from Airbus/Northrop, which has not been suggested, then this only harms our industry.

Still, I'm yet to be convinced that the pilots are actually involved in this case as I certainly don't believe the word of some ambulance chasing parasite. I hope they're not.

Capt_SNAFU
28th Sep 2010, 00:29
The only bomber command pilots who did not have fear were the dead ones.

teresa green
28th Sep 2010, 12:00
Capt SNAFU, they had war nerves, they had mental problems, they were angry, they resented that they had lost their youth in war, but I never saw one show fear. Their attitude was that they survived and anything a airliner could throw at them was a piece of cake. I was totally in awe of them, and one, the late Capt. Gordon Close was the best pilot I have ever seen. Nothing, but nothing fazed this bloke, and I well remember going into OOL on a black and stormy night, the aircraft all over the sky, and as you know not much in the way of aids, and Im thinking :mad: we are not going to get in here, and there is Gordon, a scratch and a yawn and sets her down like a cat pissing on glass, smooth as, never seen anything like it, and that was typical of these blokes, no sweat, was their attitude, probably would be considered too casual these days, they were tough buggers, but could they fly.

swh
28th Sep 2010, 12:24
So Wiki was right.

On the 777 in the normal Primary Flight Computers (PFC) mode (AUTO) the control column inputs are process by the Actuator Control Electronics (ACE), sends them to the PFC via the ARINC 629 data busses, the PFC gets inputs from other inputs like the ARIDU via the ARINC 629 data busses as well. When the PFC are in the AUTO position, the PFC supply the actuator position commands to the ACE, which in turn converts them into an analog servo command moving the control surfaces.

The PFC in pitch mode is a manoeuvre demand control law, at low speed pitch rate is the controlling factor, when the aircraft was in the low speed regime as the pilots push or pull of the control column, the PFC then converts that into a desired change of pitch rate of the aircraft, and then generates the desired flight control commands to acheive that pitch rate. As the PFC thought it went into the high speed regime, as the pilot moved the control column was interoperated by the PFC to change the given load factor, the PFC then converts that into a desired change of load factor of the aircraft, and then generates the desired flight control commands to acheive that load factor. This is why the pilot somewhat over controlled the recovery.

The manoeuvre demand control law on the 777 places significant reliance of the accelerometer values supplied by the ADIRU, as it is so significant, a secondary source the Secondary Attitude Air Data Reference Unit (SAARU) is also used by the PFC to try and eliminate any possible input errors. The commanded flight control outputs on 9M-MRG would have been a lot worse if the PFC did not compare mean values of the ADIRUs and the SAARU.

During manual flight the aircraft continued to pitch up and enter the low speed protection (while the pilot was commanding nose down via the control column), stick shaker activated, overspeed protection was also activated. This was due to due to accelerometer #5 providing false information to the PFC.

Basically all of the "misbehaviour" happened AFTER the A/P was disconnected at the 46 sec point in the animation. The accelerometer that failed at the time of the event (#6) actually got voted out at the time of the event, but a long time faulty accelerometer (#5) was voted in.

The ATSB included on the last page of their report a copy of the screen capture, in that you can clearly see the A/P disconnected, throttle commanded via the T/L to zero, commanded nose down pitch on the control column, and the aircraft continuing to pitch up. This is due to the PFC combining the various inputs to what it sees as being the desired output.

The pilot pressed the throttle lever A/T disconnect switches continuously for a period of approximately 90 seconds, during that time the A/T was not engaged in any mode, with the release of the A/T disconnect switches the low speed protection placed the A/T engaged the A/T speed mode.

On the 777 the ADIRU accelerometer values are processed by the Fault Containment Area (FCA)/Fault Containment Module (FCM) and sent to the to the PFC over the ARINC 629 data busses which produces navigation and flight control output in both manual and automatic flight to the FCS. Disconnecting the A/P does not remove the accelerometer inputs to the FCA/FCM, nor from the PFC. Acceleration values are needed by the PFC in all flight regimes, autopilot engaged or not.

The ATSB coved this on page 9 of their report “Even though the second fault resulted in proper annunciation of a status message, the ADIRU flight control FDI algorithm which excluded accelerometer number -6 from the flight control outputs at the moment it failed, erroneously allowed accelerometer number -5 back into the computation of the flight control outputs.”

To remove all influence of faulty acceleration values on the FCS would require the pilots to move the PFC switch on the overhead panel to the DISC position, that is the only way to remove the PFC from the FCS and put the FCS into direct mode. In direct mode, the ACEs do not process commands from the PFCs. Instead, each ACE decodes pilot commands directly from the transducers on the cockpit controls and uses them for the closed loop servo control of the actuators (direct law). This mode will automatically be entered due to total failure of all three PFCs, failures internal to the ACEs, loss of the flight controls ARINC 629 data busses, or some combination of these failures. It may also be selected manually via the PFC DISC switch on the overhead panel.

That was not done by the crew, nor did the ATSB consider it.

The main reason for the different outcomes from the two events was that 9M-MRG only occurred 18 minutes after departure. It actually experienced much higher accelerations, rates of climb/descent, and pitch range over the A330 event. If this happened several hours into the flight after a meal service with many people waiting to use the toilet, I think the outcome would have been very different.

The 777 upset was AP and AT induced.

No, it was caused by erroneous acceleration values, it was not induced by the A/T or A/P.

The ADIRUs were pulled from the aircraft, and tested by the manufacturer, it was determined that the ADIRU’s accelerometer #6 failed at the time of the occurrence, and that accelerometer #5 failed in June 2001 (4 years earlier).


The 330 was nicely manually flown when the protections did the mess.

The AoA sees the relative airflow direction at the position of the vane, it changes with attitude, airspeed, configuration, sideslip etc.

It is apparent from the FDR data plots that a pilot did contribute pitch commands to the FCS at the time of the two events. The ATSB has not stated that pilot inputs did or did not influence the outcome.

The ATSB have not published their investigation findings which one would hope would make this consideration. Nor has the ATSB considered the other crew actions that were and were not completed.

It is also apparent that over 30 AoA spikes were recorded in the FDR (which was limited by the sampling rate), however 3 nose down pitch events were seen. If it was as simple as you were suggesting that it was the protections kicked in, one would assume that a correlation would then exist between all the AoA spikes and the pitch events.

The ADIRUs were pulled from the aircraft, and tested by the manufacturer under ATSB supervision, no fault was found with them, this is very different to 9M-MRG where component faults (accelerometer) were found.

That is why the ATSB has stated it is looking into the possibility of cosmic radiation as being the possible cause, it might conceivably cause a problem inside the volatile memory in the ADIRU, or even in the analogue to digital converter for the AoA probe.

A fault message in modern avionics equipment does not necessarily mean an internal problem within that unit, it can also point to a problem with an input used by that equipment failing to pass the continuous fault tolerant testing they perform. The ADIRUs not only monitor faults within the ADR and IR, they also monitor the performance of the probes/vanes and the probe heat computers.

adsyj
28th Sep 2010, 13:00
Guys (and girls) I am a bit of a fence sitter on this one.

I agree with TG and I also agree with Keg (including his praise of the contribution TG makes to this forum.)

My understanding, and I am happy to be corrected is that the Tech Crew did not instigate the legal action rather they were invited to join the class action. I am told that if this indeed ends in court the flight crew regardless of whether they are part of the class action will be in the witness box for the applicants and will therefore be cross examined by the defense team. This could be an unpleasant time with the defense team throwing all sorts of pressure on the flight crew. Again my understanding is the actions of the crew was perfect but a smartarse defense lawyer can make your time in the witness box particularly unpleasant.

My thoughts are if they are going to be called why not join the class action, if they are all in.(Flight Crew) Possibly cop a hammering by the defense which would happen anyway (called as witnesses) the difference being instead of being subpoenaed witnesses they might be in for a bit of a "drink" if it goes the applicants way. Why not?.

They are not suing there employer but the Aircraft Builder and a specific part supplier.

In saying all that if it were me on duty that day, would i sue? I honestly don't know.

I would hope that the thought would not even cross my mind and be satisfied that I went to work and did my job, but I honestly can't say that would be my answer.

I hope that this is not misconstrued as criticism of the flight crew (definitely not my intention)

It is just food for thought and a different angle to consider before we hang the crew.

As I said earlier I agree sort of with Terese Green but I also agree with keg and others. I hope it is a conundrum I never have to face.

Either way my colleagues will have my support whichever way it turns out.

Happy to be corrected if any of my assumptions above are wrong.

unseen
28th Sep 2010, 14:02
blah blah blah

I don't really know anything about the facts but I will comment on it anyway,

blah blah blah

I read something in the papers so I am an expert and will bang on about how others should deal with things that I have no knowledge of

blah blah blah

probably knowing nothing about anything to do with this event I will comment and make references to all sorts of crap that has nothing to do with this situation.

blah blah blah

C441
29th Sep 2010, 07:04
Capt SNAFU, they had war nerves, they had mental problems, they were angry, they resented that they had lost their youth in war, but I never saw one show fear.

Forgive the thread drift but this reminded me of the quote from Keith Miller, a WWII fighter pilot, brilliant all-rounder on the cricket ground, and ex St Kilda footballer.

After a particularly Miller-like innings in difficult conditions he was asked if he'd felt any pressure during his innings.

"Pressure, I'll tell you what pressure is,'' he said. "Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse, playing cricket is not,''

CONF iture
29th Sep 2010, 18:28
Thanks for the reply swh, interesting reading.
Obviously, you seem to have a good technical knowledge of the 777, which I don’t, but still, I have to stand to my earlier post.

The 777 initially pitched up under AP which was following the FD commands. AP disconnect came up only at time 17:03:16 Airplane was already 10 degrees NU.
Then the manual FWD displacement of the control column didn’t seem aggressive enough to stop the pitch up movement. The guy seems undecided : Do I follow the FD or I do it my own way ?
Another point is : How was the trim at that moment ? I haven’t seen that piece of information …

As stated by Boeing, you are correct to say that not only the AP was affected by the erroneous accelerations, but also the manual flying.

Erroneous accelerations will affect the Primary Flight Computer (PFC) control laws during manual and automatic flight
But it is also said :

The flight crew should disconnect the autopilot and manually fly the airplane. Although initial manual control forces may be high, the affects of the ADIRU anomaly on manual control forces are expected to diminish within 10 seconds and should be back to near nominal within 2 minutes.

The flight crew should also disconnect and disarm the autothrottle via the arm switches on the MCP if there is any undesired behavior.


I find this idea of direct mode switch interesting, Airbus should have a serious look to it.

Questions :

Is it a single DISC switch for all 3 PFCs or one switch per FPC ?
Except from an automatic transfer, is there an ECAM or QRH procedure to command to switch to direct mode, or is it something left to the pilots judgment ?



The main reason for the different outcomes from the two events was that 9M-MRG only occurred 18 minutes after departure. It actually experienced much higher accelerations, rates of climb/descent, and pitch range over the A330 event. If this happened several hours into the flight after a meal service with many people waiting to use the toilet, I think the outcome would have been very different.

Disagree on that. Rates of climb have been very significant, yes, but although real accelerations have not been published for the 777, noway they were at the QF72's level.

It is also apparent that over 30 AoA spikes were recorded in the FDR (which was limited by the sampling rate), however 3 nose down pitch events were seen. If it was as simple as you were suggesting that it was the protections kicked in, one would assume that a correlation would then exist between all the AoA spikes and the pitch events.

No Sir. And no pilot inputs either, only protections, two of them actually :

The famous high angle of attack protection (alpha prot)
And the anti pitch-up compensation (I had never heard about that one
before reading the ATSB interim report …)

A total of 42 AoA spikes have been recorded, but only 2 of them had the requested properties to generate an undesired nose-down elevator command.
Please, read page 29 and 30 in the report for more information.