PDA

View Full Version : AF447 wreckage found


Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

goldfish85
8th Jun 2011, 14:55
Basil:

At last a reasoned comment. I have reviewed most of the posts and have concluded that we should all wait for BEA to review the data and, at least, provide a complete time-line and FDR traces.

SeenItAll
8th Jun 2011, 15:32
To re-enter the translation discussion ...

Language is often quite flexible, and requires context and inflection to discern its particularly-intended meaning. The BEA transcripts give us neither. We don't know the precise context in which these phrases were uttered -- because the preceeding and trailing conversations are not provided; and because we only have the BEA text and not the actual CVR recording, we don't have the tone and inflection.

Once (or if) the full CVR is made available, then we may better know exactly what these pilots really meant or were doing when they said these things. Of course it is also possible that the BEA selected its particular English translation because it thought that its selected words conveyed better the complete nuance of the conversation (for which they know the context and inflection) than the would be conveyed by a literal translation of the French.

But I will note that it would be hard, on the basis of the BEA listening to a CVR, for it to conclude that the captain "attended" the briefing if he said absolutely nothing. :)

Good memories
8th Jun 2011, 15:33
Please compare post 1219 and post 1491. We are dealing here with two very experienced men . The Shadow's possible analysis complies a lot with the experience of a many hours 330 skipper. In 1491 once more is brought forward the design of stationary throttles. From the beginning of the 320 design this was a mistake according to line pilots from various companies, Airbus interviewed.

To my best knowledge in the very beginning of the 320 ,Indian Airlines had a accident at Madras during push back and engine start . There the tow pin broke and the tow bar sheared the ground/air wiring on the nose strut. The acft. thought it was in the air with 0 IAS and the computer gave GA thrust without the pilots noticing it. It ended up with it's nose in the terminal.

Imhu if we continue flying these planes and we will, training and pilot's system knowledge should get more attention. Yes it will cost a little more money.

RWA
8th Jun 2011, 15:36
I have reviewed most of the posts and have concluded that we should all wait for BEA to review the data and, at least, provide a complete time-line and FDR traces.


Just so long as we don't have to wait as long as last time, goldfish85.

If you've noted my post 1486 above, the BEA analysed a remarkably-similar accident that befell an Air New Zealand A320 in November 2008. But, at first, they issued only a pretty 'non-committal' report that very closely paralleled the recent 'note' on AF447. It wasn't until September 2010 - many months after the AF447 accident - that they issued their 'final report' on the 2008 ANZ accident.

OK - I'll stick my neck out. I think that the evidence provided by the Air New Zealand accident, plus AF447, already provides enough evidence to point to an urgent need to review both aircraft systems (particularly the operation of stall warnings, and such things as the THS 'default mode') and pilot training (particularly the difference between 'stall avoidance' and 'stall recovery').

And that such measures should be embarked upon next week at the latest. NOT in a year's time or more, when the BEA eventually issues its final report.

On the face of it, as things stand, the same sort of accident could happen again tomorrow?

bearfoil
8th Jun 2011, 15:51
Yes on the face of it. Likewise another airburst of a Rolls, a rollback of a TRENT, a runaway THS, etc. Not that that will happen. What's missing is an open disclosure of the mods, the research, and transparency to the flying public.

Oh.....and the ODDS. Informed decisions are the only kind that mean a thing.

Lonewolf_50
8th Jun 2011, 16:46
In general.
On the subject of pitot icing: yes, it can happen, on Airbus as well as Boeing.
TAT probe icing happens as well, probably more often than pitot icing. It can be observed from the TAT anomaly phenomenon (again, read the Boeing Bulletin). For crystal icing to occur, you do not have to fly through any solid wall of red, just the light green outskirts will suffice.
1. If TAT probe ices up, how much impact would that have had on the pilot's observation during the crew brief (all three pilots) in re temperature not changing as forecast? How much impact would that have on the T value used by the ADC for various computations, and thus both displays and inputs to the Flight Control Computers?

2. If AoA vane/probe ices up, is there a warning associated with that which crops up on ECAM? I'd not expect an iced AoA probe to be noted in ACARS for maintenance, since AoA would most likely un ice as the aircraft descends. (Put another way, flying in and around ice isn't a maintenance fixable issue in re AoA performance in flight. )

If AoA is suffering from ice degradation, is that of any use in discussing this mishap? It appears that the AoA probe kept feeding FDR data all the way down. Is there any reason not to assume the AoA dat reliable?

RWA
8th Jun 2011, 17:15
On the subject of pitot icing: yes, it can happen, on Airbus as well as Boeing.


Just as a matter of interest, Lonewolf 50 mate, whoever said that it can't happen to both or either company?

ChristiaanJ
8th Jun 2011, 17:17
2. If AoA vane/probe ices up, is there a warning associated with that which crops up on ECAM? .....
If AoA is suffering from ice degradation, is that of any use in discussing this mishap? It appears that the AoA probe kept feeding FDR data all the way down. Is there any reason not to assume the AoA data reliable?It would seem the AoA sensor on the A330 is the classic "vane" (not a "probe"), so icing would at the most cause some "asymmetry" (not fully calibrated value), and with both AoA sensors affected, probably not even enough to get a "vane disagree" (i.e. a comparator trip).

Please, let's not confuse AF447 with Perpignan, where it seems, during washing on the ground, water got into the AoA sensor part, which then froze at altitude, stopping the vane from rotating freely.

Is there any reason not to assume the AoA data reliable?Depends on what you call "reliable". The "AoA data" finally are nothing more than the angle of the vane with respect to the fuselage.
They can be corrected for AoA + IAS + Mach, etc. only within the flight envelope explored during test flights....

I would suggest the "AoA data on the FDR" are likely to be good enough to be accepted as a first ballpark figure, until we get the full records.

goldfish85
8th Jun 2011, 17:18
We should review the incident to an A-340 (with the same control logic) which experienced a zoom during cruise over the North Atlantic. While this was reported as an near-miss incident, the circumstances have unmistakable similarity.

The A-340 was in turbulence and entered alpha-protection which, with no stick input commands alpha-prot (about 4.2 deg at M=0.6). Achieving this resulted in a zoom of about 2300 ft (as I remember). The angle of attack reported in the latest BEA summary is about the same.

I'm traveling, so I can't refer to the report, but the incident was to A-340, TC-JDN on 2 October 2000. The report was AAIB Bulletin 6/2001.

Lonewolf_50
8th Jun 2011, 17:41
RWA, I went back a few pages to try and figure out the context of that which you isolated, and could not find the post. I think what was in my mind was that we have had a number of different mishaps and incidents discussed here, and pitot anomalies have been featured in either family of aircraft. (As contributing causes to incidents or mishaps/crashes).

I am not sure if I sensed an AB bash and was responding to that, or why I phrased it just so.

So I can't answer your question, as I am not sure what post (in total) you were referring to. :bored:

TioPablo
8th Jun 2011, 17:46
There you are:

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Airbus%20A330,%20C-GCWD%20Airbus%20A340,%20TC-JDN%2006-2001.pdf

captdaddy
8th Jun 2011, 19:56
As much as the author of 1491 has spent in the Airbus , I have spent in Boeing and Douglas aircraft and although I finished my career( 26,000 hrs) in glass cockpits I consider myself a "steam gauge" pilot. In the days when we have the glass all over the place the problem in recreating this scenario will be determining "what the pilots saw"....what information was given to them and what screens were just blank?
Not too long after the Delta L-1011 crashed at DFW the airlines came up with an AAMP (Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Program) that was meant to show the pilots of transports how to get max performance out of their aircraft...one thing we at our airline found out that when the sim was put out of the normal flight envelope and then handed over to blindfolded flight crew they were able to recover the aircraft by reference to the attitude indicators and airspeed alone....EXCEPT for our Airbus sims...all the screens went black with a big RED X across them...apparently since they were outside their flight envelope ...I say apparently because we could never get a response from Airbus on why this occurred except the same caveat I read in response to the professor from University of Berlin ...face it , if any fault is laid at the Airbus door for bad design/ cause of accident, that will be the end of Airbus....and the EU will not stand by for that....blame the pilots , they can't talk back.
There's been enough doubt cast over the whole Airbus laws of control to warrant a serious review....One thing I do know....if I wanted to split -s a 747 from FL 410 , it would roll over and do what I asked it to . Nobody here has shown that the Airbus would or could. I am not trying to say that they don't have some great features but for 3 and one half minutes three very qualified pilots tried to avoid dying and were unable to do so because either they didn't know what was REALLY happening or because they couldn't do anything about it. Either way AIRBUS owes them and us a better answer than WE need more training...maybe they do in how to design Pilot's airplanes...

Mr Optimistic
8th Jun 2011, 21:02
Was this significant in terms of priorities and delays,

the commander took manual control of the aircraft because neither autopilot would engage.

WilyB
8th Jun 2011, 21:50
As much as the author of 1491 has spent in the Airbus , I have spent in Boeing and Douglas aircraft and although I finished my career( 26,000 hrs)...

Daddy,

I have zero hours in a simulator, but I am pretty positive that simulators can only accurately reproduce the real life data they have been fed.

Meaning that unless Airbus or Boeing deliberately fly an aircraft outside its envelope, and record the data, the simulator will not be able to reproduce accurately the aircraft reactions.

Man Flex
8th Jun 2011, 21:51
Guys,

The mid-atlantic A340 zoom climb has little bearing on the AF447 accident. Try reading the reports. :ugh:

The high speed protection was triggered by turbulence and the aircraft did what it was designed to do.

The AF climb was pilot induced, it's there in the report quite explicitly. Why the pilot made nose up inputs is the real mystery here and it may possibly have something to do with his airspeed reading.

The high speed protection was disabled when the aircraft went into alternate 2 law and was never available.

bearfoil
8th Jun 2011, 22:08
"...The AF climb was pilot induced, it's there in the report quite explicitly..."

No it in't. BEA made NO conclusions, they only reported data. YOU say it was PF induced, conclusively. There is a mild difference.

IcePack
8th Jun 2011, 23:22
Good post 1491 (Basil) interesting in that the upper air handling is a challenge. BEA say trim was 29% usually that would be 38% I.e more aft.. That may be because of the AF configuration.. (note the cofg moves aft in flight due fuel transfer to tail) which makes the a/c even more sensitive in pitch.
I agree IMHO a very very difficult situation when one takes surprise/shock into account.

captdaddy
8th Jun 2011, 23:35
WilyB,

The sims have a sets of equations describing everything from Engine Performance to turbulent weather to day/night to ACARS ...the data points to create that would take decades if they were collected and then programmed. The whole idea of the sim is it will do exactly what the plane would in the real world....if they had to program captured data points that means that the below glide slope approach some guy flew in the sim wouldn't be possible unless they'd captured the data points beforehand....the whole reason they can train pilots to fly the 787 or 380 before the plane ever flies is because they have detailed equations to describe all phases of flight....what happened to our Airbus sims is that the equations only described what the programmers in Toulouse expected pilots to see in normal flight regimes.

Turbine D
9th Jun 2011, 00:51
Man Flex,
I agree with you.

From the AF447 report: From 2h 10min 05sec, the autopilot then auto-thrust disengaged and the PF said, "I have the controls". The airplane began to roll to the right and the PF made a left nose up input. The stall warning sounded twice in a row. At 2h 10min 16sec, the PNF said, "So, we've lost the speeds" then "alternate law". The airplane's pitch attitude increased progressively beyond 10 degrees and the plane started to climb."

It certainly sounds "quite explicitly" to me. It is reported data, no conclusion necessary.

Relative to the mid-Atlantic A-340 zoom incident, I agree that was different in many respects. To begin with, erroneous speed was not the reason for the AP/AT disconnect, as was the AF447 AP/AT disconnect. For AF447, one of the first fault messages with cockpit effect was "PROBE-PITOT 1X2 /2X3 / 1X3 (9DA)", and IMO, this is what caused the AP/AT disconnect and lead to the cascade of subsequent events.

bearfoil
9th Jun 2011, 01:27
"From the AF447 report: From 2h 10min 05sec, the autopilot then auto-thrust disengaged and the PF said, "I have the controls". The airplane began to roll to the right and the PF made a left nose up input. The stall warning sounded twice in a row. At 2h 10min 16sec, the PNF said, "So, we've lost the speeds" then "alternate law". The airplane's pitch attitude increased progressively beyond 10 degrees and the plane started to climb." "

Show me where, exactly, this concludes (or even says) that the Climb was initiated by the pilot. Careful.

WilyB
9th Jun 2011, 01:59
The whole idea of the sim is it will do exactly what the plane would in the real world....


Daddy,

I am sure you are correct, and with my 0 vs. your 26K hours of flight SIM who am I to argue, but the Airbus and Boeing actual test pilots appear to have a very different point of view.

USE OF SIMULATORS

We manufacturers were very concerned over the types of manoeuvres being flown in simulators and the conclusions that were being drawn from them. Simulators, like any computer system, are only as good as the data that goes into them. That means the data package that is given to the simulator manufacturer. And we test pilors do not deliberately lose control of our aircraft just to get data for the simulator. And even when that happens, one isolated incident does not provide much information because of the very complicated equations that govern dynamic manoeuvres involving non
linear aerodynamic and inertia effects.

The complete data package includes a part that is drawn from actual flight tests, a part that uses wind tunnel data, and the rest which is pure extrapolation. If should be obvious that conclusions about aircraft behaviour can only be drawn from the parts of the flight envelope that are based on hard data. This in fact means being nol far from the centre of the flight envelope; the pari that is used in normal service. It does not cover the edges of the envelope. I should also add that most of the data actually collected in flight is from quasi-static manoeuvres. Thus, dynamic manoeuvring is not very well represented.

http://www.ntsb.gov/Events/2001/AA587/exhibits/240005.pdf

Poit
9th Jun 2011, 02:13
I've had an opportunity to discuss this with a friend of mine who flys military A330s. He hasn't had a chance to read the report, but when I queried him on the pilot's maintenance of a nose-up attitude, his only explanation was that they believed they were in an over-speed situation, rather than a stall.

Incidently, I flew from London to Sydney on A340s several days ago, and I couldn't help but imagine the aircraft falling from our cruise in little over 3 minutes! It was the first time I've EVER felt uncomfortable on an aircraft. This should never have happened, and the boffins who design these modern marvels need to make sure the pilots retain the authority and ability to recover an aircraft in distress.

Someone else mentioned that a 747 would 'roll over and do what you want it to' in such a situation. I can't comment on the differences between the two manufacturers, but it would appear to me from various comments I've read that Airbus needs to incorporate some slightly more pilot-intuitive aspects to the way the aircraft relates to its crew.

As a pilot who trained in the military, I'm still shocked and dismayed by the chain of events that unfolded.

bubbers44
9th Jun 2011, 02:30
Poit, the Airbus people will say you are trying to send technology back 25 years so you must adjust to total automation. Pilots now manage autopilots and the computer because it can do it better most of the time. Handflying skills are no longer required.

WilyB
9th Jun 2011, 02:33
Poit

It was the first time I've EVER felt uncomfortable on an aircraft. This should never have happened,

I agree: what's wrong with you? ;)

Poit
9th Jun 2011, 03:20
Bubbers44: Clearly hand-flying skills ARE still required, as this accident tragically illustrates. Hence my point. Sure, computers can do a better job, but when they decide to pack it in (as happened in this case) the pilots need to have a pilot friendly and intuitive aircraft to fly. A combination, therefore, between the highly advanced, and old-school simplicity.

WilyB: LOL. This accident (and several others...such as the QANTAS A380) has made me question that pilots are system operators, and no longer aviators. Thankfully the QANTAS event ended without any casualties, but it could have quite easily gone in another and far more horrific direction.

These things never happened in the old, classic 747's. Maybe it wasn't so bad 25 years ago Bubbers!

iceman50
9th Jun 2011, 03:35
Bubbers44

We know you despise Airbus and do not understand it, so please no more useless posts.


Captdaddy

Do not know what kind of simulator you were flying but when I taught unusual attitudes the instruments never went to big red crosses. Ever heard of controlled precession, because you can see it in the simulators I have "flown".

BASIL's CUT and PASTE

The post that was copied and pasted from the "one of the most experienced A330 pilots in the world". A lot of what he has said is absolute rubbish and you would not think it came from such an "experienced A330 pliot", e.g. you would not want to follow the FD's if you were in AF447 position as it would be giving erroneous information. Altitude is the least of your concerns at that point in time, ATTITUDE and POWER are the life savers. If you have stalled, you MUST unstall the wing and add power progressively to be able to counteract any pitch up due to the low slung engines. As for the thrust going to climb power it freezes at the setting just prior to disconnect, with the Thrust Lock function. The non-moving thrust levers are NOT an issue. If you disconnect the A/THR you match the blue 'donuts" then disconnect, in the AF case the thrust levers could have been left in the detent and moved to the correct power setting when required. Even if it went to climb thrust there would not be a huge increase in thrust and you certainly would not stall. As for never being trained in stalling, you never train to stall in the simulator, but most regulators require approach to the stall recovery training as part of the Type rating requirements. But there again what would I know only been flying the Airbus A330/A340 since 1996 and for those that wonder flew 757/767 for 6 years before that, so seen both manufactures!

Poit
9th Jun 2011, 05:00
Iceman, given your experience with both major manufacturers, do you have a theory as to what went wrong on this occasion? I'm not being sarcastic in asking that, just want the benefit of someone who's got experience with these aircraft.

Is there a difference between Airbus and Boeing (you might not want to answer that)?

ChrisVJ
9th Jun 2011, 05:27
I asked a question earlier but it was one of several and did not get answered with the others.

The glass indicates when the ASI is unreliable and the autopilot disengages as its inputs don't agree.

Is there anything that sounds etc to say that the ASI has become reliable again? Would it be possible for pilots, perceiving the ASIs to be intitially wrong to continue to do so to the exclusion of paying attention to attitude?

Just how tight is coffin corner at FL 380?

NigelOnDraft
9th Jun 2011, 05:29
These things never happened in the old, classic 747'sNo, they never did:
Air India 747 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_India_Flight_855)

KAL 747 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Cargo_Flight_8509)

Air China 747 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Airlines_Flight_006)

As for the thrust going to climb power it freezes at the setting just prior to disconnect, with the Thrust Lock functionThere are failure modes, including inadvertant disconneciton, where they do run to full (CLB) power.

...and the boffins who design these modern marvels need to make sure the pilots retain the authority and ability to recover an aircraft in distress.How can you conclude the "boffins" have not made sure of this in the AF A330 crash? In the TC incident, they had the ability (but "chose" not to use it) to control the aircraft. As the above links show, the "boffins" add these protections in an attempt to increase safety. Some of the above accidents could not occur in the same manner in a FBW Airbus...

I am not overly for or against the Airbus v Boeing philosphy - I have flown both. But until we get a full analysis from the BEA, it is hard to see whether the FBW "laws" were a (significant) factor.

Graybeard
9th Jun 2011, 05:31
About ten years ago, the Roll Channel went to sleep on an Evergreen 747-1 cargo plane one night over Canada enroute KJFK-KANC. It was well beyond 30 degrees roll when the pilot caught it. They went something like 1.06 M in the recovery.

SperryWell could find nothing wrong with the roll channel, so it became a boat anchor. EV installed 30 degree bank limit alarms in the fleet after that.

RWA
9th Jun 2011, 05:54
Iceman 50


Altitude is the least of your concerns at that point in time, ATTITUDE and POWER are the life savers. If you have stalled, you MUST unstall the wing and add power progressively to be able to counteract any pitch up due to the low slung engines.


Agree, Iceman50. I wonder, though, whether that procedure (attitude first, then power) was 'in force' at the time of AF447? I ask because I recall reading this a while back - a 'new' approach (well, actually, the 'old' one) published by Airbus in 2010, long after the AF447 accident? According to the poster, and many of those who replied to him, previous advice was along the lines of 'full power and seek to maintain assigned altitude'?

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/415373-new-airbus-stall-recovery-procedure.html



As for never being trained in stalling, you never train to stall in the simulator, but most regulators require approach to the stall recovery training as part of the Type rating requirements.


Thanks for that information. Obviously you couldn't have pilots in training practise actual stalls in a real transport category aircraft, but up to now I'd been assuming that some sort of 'simulated stall' could be practised in the simulator.

So, on the face of it, pilots can only be taught 'stall avoidance,' and there's no way to train them in actual 'stall recovery' - except, of course, that they'll have practised it in light aircraft in their early flying lessons?

Roseland
9th Jun 2011, 06:41
Shouldn't it include checking you aren't trimmed fully nose up?

Man Flex
9th Jun 2011, 07:48
studi,

With respect, read the report.

The protections were not available because the aeroplane had reverted to Alternate Law 2. That means that the pilot is fully responsible for the aeroplane's course except load factor limitations which are still applied.

The A/P and A/TH failed at the moment that the probes froze over and the airspeed readings became unreliable.

The F/O took control.

The F/O made persistent nose-up inputs - not the autopilot.

I reiterate that now the mystery is why he made those inputs.

Any alternative discussion on this thread or any other is quite frankly, irrelevant.

aterpster
9th Jun 2011, 07:55
For all you current Air Bus pilots. Is this guy telling it correctly?

AVmail: June 6, 2011 (http://www.avweb.com/news/avmail/AVmail_LettersToTheEditor_204773-1.html)

Good memories
9th Jun 2011, 08:06
Not according Iceman50. But like you Aterpster, I am very interested in the opinion of experienced and objective Airbus pilots.

iceman50
9th Jun 2011, 08:24
Poit

I have my own theory but it will stay that until the report is out, no point in posting it here as it would be speculation.

There are differences between Boeing and Airbus philosophy and on both there are some good things and some not so good things. The whole point is you have to "learn" the aircraft you are flying and not continually think back to previous types, didn't do that on a ......... (insert A/C type here). That's what we as "pilots" are supposed to do. Any A/C with the AP / A/THR (Autothrottle) off are still aircraft and subject to the same rules of flight as your small cessna or chipmunk.

RWA

It was not just Airbus that re-stated the "new / old" stall procedure, Boeing did as well. I believe that Boeing, Airbus, other manufacturers and the regulators got together and the "new/old" procedures were emphasised. This was after events like Turkish in AMS (with moving throttles) and Colgan at Buffalo. The same thing happened when the revised procedures for Smoke and Fumes were changed a couple years ago. Manufactures and regulators assessing the most likely causes of Smoke and Fumes and devising a checklist priority, with reminders that an off field landing may be required should the fire escalate.

aterpster

Good memories beat me to it!

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 09:09
Hi,

I have my own theory but it will stay that until the report is out, no point in posting it here as it would be speculation.
"Sarcastic mode open"
What a great contribution from a A330/A340 expert
"Sarcastic mode closed"
But of course it's your right to have an opinion and not post it !
I wonder why you post here in the first place ? (Rumours and news)
BTW Bubbers44 have also the right to have an opinion (despise Airbus) .. and he post it.
Why fallen in love with a girl you don't like ?

iceman50
9th Jun 2011, 10:20
jcjeant

I have not posted my opinion as I / we do not have all the facts.

I posted as I am fed up with the total nonsense that is sometimes spouted and do not want to add to the "speculation / Airbus bashing frenzy".

Just in case you are still unsure, I get great pleasure flying the A330 / A340 and do not wish to return to Mr Boeing. A blue cockpit is so much nicer than brown!;)

Yes, Bubbers has a right to an opinion but the endless Airbus sniping is boring and does not bring anything to the debate.

Basil
9th Jun 2011, 10:42
iceman50,
Your comment, for which thanks, is the reason why I posted that reference.
With a personal Airbus total of half an hour in the A320 sim I'd no idea whether the writer was talking sense or not.
I think that this is a great thread and, when I next pax in a 'Bus, I hope that the drivers have read it.

Rananim
9th Jun 2011, 11:34
Just in case you are still unsure, I get great pleasure flying the A330 / A340 and do not wish to return to Mr Boeing

I would never have guessed that judging by your previous post.;)

There are some very open-minded Airbus pilots on this thread who accept and acknowledge the best and the worst of the aircraft they fly.Post 1491 confirms what I have always believed about this aircraft.I say "believed" because having never flown it(and never will) I must step carefully having been burned on a previous thread.
NOD's reference to Air China upset(and others) is not so open-minded and unbiased if hes attempting to use it to compare the two designs.The Air China upset was a clear case of pilot error.The culprit was the pilot.We dont know yet to what extent(if any) system design played a part in 447.The jury is out.The BEA is that jury and it will be interesting to see if they can remain totally impartial and unbiased.I doubt it but lets wait and see.

Man Flex
9th Jun 2011, 12:41
PPRuNe should really be renamed "Arm Chair and Flight SIM Wanna Be Airline Pilots" because the vast majority of the so called "experts" on these forums are exactly that and not current professional airline pilots.

Studi,

The aeroplane reverts to Alternate Law whenever a "dual" failure is detected. The failure of the A/P, A/THR and reversion to Alternate 2 Law all occurred simultaneously.

Ironically perhaps but the aeroplane reverts back to being a Cessna 150 whenever the failures are such that the automation feels that it can no longer cope. I say Ironically because it is on these rare occassions when the protections are probably most needed.

In this case the autopilot had at least two or more unreliable airspeed indications and it would be unsafe for the autopilot to continue to fly the aeroplane when it is being fed unreliable information. The protections are also abandoned because they too rely on this information. What's the difference then between the autopilot flying and the pilot flying when both will receive the same limited, reduced and unreliable information? Because the pilot is human and hopefully has the ability to recognise and reason out the solution based on the evidence available. First and foremost he must take control and fly the aeroplane.

If you bother to read the other interim reports produced by the BEA then you will know that the very many previous occurrences of this issue have resulted in the same symptoms and an almost immediate stall warning occurring. Partly due to the abrupt change in measurements (pressure) and also due to the turbulence that was encountered.

The margins that an airliner flies within at 35000' are pretty small and a pitch attitude of 10 degrees nose up would never be seen in normal everyday operations at this altitude.

sekant
9th Jun 2011, 13:18
"NOD's reference to Air China upset(and others) is not so open-minded and unbiased if hes attempting to use it to compare the two designs.The Air China upset was a clear case of pilot error.The culprit was the pilot.We dont know yet to what extent(if any) system design played a part in 447.The jury is out.The BEA is that jury and it will be interesting to see if they can remain totally impartial and unbiased.I doubt it but lets wait and see. "

So, let me guess. If the BEA faults the plane, you will judge that it remained impartial. But if it faults the pilot, it is clearly because it is biaised.

I mean it is so transparent from your posts that you are the biaised party that is starting from a preconceived position. In other words, if Boeing crash, always a pilot error. If airbus, the suggestion of pilot error should be discounted. If BEA goes into another direction it is because it is biaised to protect French interests. For its part, US authorities are always totally unbiaised and never whithewash Boeing (here, allow to laugh for a good five minutes.).

sd666
9th Jun 2011, 13:37
OK. So this thread again degenerates into Airbus bashing. No surprise there then.

Let's just step back a minute and consider the frequent calls to ditch all that fancy automation and put full authority back into the hands of a human pilot.

Consider what the objective of the Airbus laws are - from first principals.

They allow a pilot to control the aircraft with maximum performance when the muck hits the fan. Prevent a stall, keep the aircraft flying, even on the brink of maximum AoA. Prevent overloading the airframe. Prevent overspeed. If you are faced with looming CFIT, pull back, all the way, and the Airbus will deliver maximum performance to avoid it.

Case in point: The Hudson river incident. The media loves a hero pilot, but by rights they should have been equally applauding a bunch of anonymous engineers in France. Because they are just as responsible for delivering a 100% survivable ditching as the men in the cockpit. The reason everyone walked (floated?) away from that incident was because of excellent CRM, a very good call by Sully (He activated the APU which kept the aircraft in Normal Law) and Airbus' Alpha protections.

So what's the downside? We'll I'm not a pilot - I'm an experienced Control Engineer - servo systems, process control, you name it - the kind of safety critical systems you find in an Airbus are found everywhere from a Nuclear power station to your Toyota Prius. If you ever crash you car into a power pole and bring down the high voltage lines, there's a good chance that my own software kept you from being fried. Even electric wheelchairs can kill you - should one suddenly propel you off the curb and into traffic. For fun I work out Laplace Transforms.

The problem with all safety critical systems is that you want them to fail-safe. And, when you consider protections and they priorities, you need to start off with a bit of FMECA analysis. The trouble is that some systems cannot fail-safe - you have to compromise by "failing-as-safe-as-you-can"

Another case in point, related to a relatively simple system I developed: You're a skydiver. Your reserve canopy has a microcontroller AAD (Automatic Activation Device). It has one simple objective. If you are going to hit the ground, and haven't deployed your main canopy, or for some other reason, it has not deployed correctly - the AAD will deploy the reserve canopy for you. But while you're freefalling, the AAD self-tests and detects a fault. So what should it do while you fall at 120mph directly toward the ground? What's the *safest* thing for it to do? I'll leave it open for you. But it's not as simple as you think.

Back to Airbus. The downside of an automatic protection system is that it adds a layer of complexity to debug if it fails. Though Airbus' fallbacks are well designed - this is going to mean you have a tougher task to manage when there is a fault. This means Airbus Pilots have to be smart.

But given the huge safety benefits of their automated protections, the answer is not to remove them - the answer is to improve their robustness, refine their fallback modes and ensure that failure conditions are adequately trained and simulated.

To round off in line with my argument about protections and in a roundabout way come back on topic: I don't understand why Air France didn't purchase BUSS (Back Up Speed Scale) - designed specifically for loss of speed data incidents.

Man Flex
9th Jun 2011, 13:48
I don't understand why Air France didn't purchase BUSS (Back Up Speed Scale) - designed specifically for loss of speed data incidents.

Because it wasn't developed until after this accident. :rolleyes:

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 13:52
Hi,

Because it wasn't developed until after this accident.Ohhh .. this is completely wrong statement.
Why do you post such disinformation ? ignorance I hope ....
Was already available during the 90

Man Flex
9th Jun 2011, 14:05
Was never a mod on the airbus until recently.

bearfoil
9th Jun 2011, 14:06
For this aircraft, both BUSS and steam AHI were available. Air France did not select either. This was established in the original thread, as I recall.

KBPsen
9th Jun 2011, 14:09
Why do you post such disinformation ? ignorance I hope ....You should acquaint yourself with the difference between disinformation and misinformation.

BUSS have certain limitations that makes it questionable whether it adds anything safety wise.

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 14:15
Hi,

Google Vertaling (http://translate.google.be/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lexpress.fr%2Factualite%2Findis crets%2Frio-paris-a-qui-la-faute_1000516.html&sl=fr&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8)

This press article from l'Express had not yet triggered any official reactions or any reactions in the other medias.
It is to notice that the author of this article is Christophe Barbier
This journalist is well know journalist and chief editor and he is exposed everydays ...
I would be astonished if what he write is false.

Lonewolf_50
9th Jun 2011, 15:28
jc, that article doesn't do much to unlock the mystery of why, all it does is report that a finger has been pointed.

Not a very productive link.

Rananim
9th Jun 2011, 15:38
So, let me guess. If the BEA faults the plane, you will judge that it remained impartial. But if it faults the pilot, it is clearly because it is biaised.



It is my strong suspicion(based on what we know) that a good air accident authority would fault both plane and pilot in this case.It is also my strong suspicion that only fault will be found with the pilots.They can quite legitimately use the old excuse "the pilot did not know/understand the aircraft".

Sekant,
Im never politcial when it comes to flying believe me.Frankly,I dont care where the plane's built.I write from one perspective only;that of a pilot.Did this aircraft through its design confuse/obstruct the pilot in any way,shape or form?

Lonewolf_50
9th Jun 2011, 16:15
Rananim:
It is my strong suspicion(based on what we know) that a good air accident authority would fault both plane and pilot in this case.

It is also my strong suspicion that only fault will be found with the pilots. They can quite legitimately use the old excuse "the pilot did not know/understand the aircraft".
In that last sentence lies a large body of investigation that either will or won't get answered: why?

You are I am sure aware of the following, but FWIW as this forum has lots of non pilot readers ...

A good accident authority ought to uncover systemic factors (training, culture, SOP, scheduling, maintenance, equipment, etcetera), and other contributing factors that help align the holes leading to the human factors you point to. Man-machine interface ain't out of the woods yet ...

The subtlety of some of those factors is lost on the public. In the rush to get to court and settle via money, when "blame fixing" trumps pursuit of detailed causes and remedies for accidents, the public noise may drown out the voices speaking of "problem(s) -> solutions(s)" ... with the risk that the right ears won't hear and decide upon which to implement.

If the root causes are not both identified and addressed, something like this will happen again. A question we learned to ask when I contributed to mishap investigations:
were they set up to fail?
If so, how?

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 16:24
Hi,

As far we can see that accidents are not all treated the same way or with the same rigor ...
We have very recently the Falcon 7X after a malfunction (do not know why) is immediately banned from flying before any investigation start
Note that this incident did not cause any casualties
On the other hand we have AF447 ... which has claimed many victims.
After initial analysis of black boxes .. BEA announces that do not know what happened and the investigation continues ...
So long as the BEA does not know (and it is not even able to show that the plane is not faulty by design or management system) that aircraft presents a potential risk that must be assessed
Why grounded the Falcons .. and why let fly the A330
Both aircraft are not recently commissioned .. and both had so far proven reliability.
I see nothing about from EASA
Where is the logic?

Jig Peter
9th Jun 2011, 16:26
I'd be very surprised indeed if the BEA's final report doesn't cover all the points you mention, as would the authorities in your country. It's a major, and respected, authority, fully conscious of its responsibilities (and incidental pressures that might be brought to bear).

PS @ jcjeant: Couild be, in the Falcon case, that a "whoopsie" came to light in the "first look" that people "in the loop" always make, without necessarily waiting for an official investigation to start. In my military flying days, I remember one or two cases where safety of crews demanded urgent and immediate action - not saying that this was the case with the Falcon, of course - I just wouldn't know.

Lonewolf_50
9th Jun 2011, 16:31
Jig Peter, I'd be surprised (and disappointed) as well if it turns out that way when the final report is released.

What is worrisome from the outside, (which is as true of mishaps in our country as anywhere, see the wake stirred up by Colgon Air accident) is my last concern: which cause factors will be actioned, and which paid lip service? (Ref: Sully's testimony in Congress ...)

That worry crosses all borders.

Jig Peter
9th Jun 2011, 16:36
Lonewolf - That's often the case, sadly. Depends, I suppose, on what seemed relevant at the time the report was drafted, though I agree that Colgon (and possibly AF447?) showed up some training (or understanding of training?) "loopholes". We shall see ...

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 17:00
Hi,

PS @ jcjeant: Couild be, in the Falcon case, that a "whoopsie" came to light in the "first look" that people "in the loop" always make, without necessarily waiting for an official investigation to start. In my military flying days, I remember one or two cases where safety of crews demanded urgent and immediate action - not saying that this was the case with the Falcon, of course - I just wouldn't know.

It's also a precedent:
The Concorde was forbidden to fly for sometime (after a first accident with casualties) and long before the investigation was finished ....
As I asked before .. where is the logic ?

simon001
9th Jun 2011, 17:21
I have been following this thread on and off for a while. I see contributors range from non pilots to pilots with many years in the accident airplane type.

I am a pilot myself, although only SEL, but I did shoot a message to a friend of mine, a pilot for Virgin. He is not familiar with what happened to the pitot(s), what the autopilot commanded or what the pilots did, so no flaming please on his questions because he does not have all the facts that we now know. His question is more on a basic level of the loss of control and whether the pilot may have been able to regain control by 'conventional' techniques. He has 737 experience but no Airbus experience. I guess we are both wondering whether the the answers to his questions have something to do with the interaction between Airbus systems and the pilot.

So, hopefully someone with Airbus experience can respond. Here goes. Thx.

"Is it difficult to disengage the autopilot, disengage the autothrottle, level the wings and nose in an airbus? This technique used for unreliable airspeed indications and turbulent weather penetration. There is an attitude and a power setting for every phase of flight, airspeed and vertical speed being secondary indications in a way. The difficult thing for me to understand is why didn't they just disengage the autopilot as soon as the nose started pitching up? And a jet will descend at a safe speed with the thrust off at 2.5 to 3 degrees nose down. I guess we'll learn all about it in CRM next time."

flydive1
9th Jun 2011, 17:44
As far we can see that accidents are not all treated the same way or with the same rigor ...
We have very recently the Falcon 7X after a malfunction (do not know why) is immediately banned from flying before any investigation start
Note that this incident did not cause any casualties
On the other hand we have AF447 ... which has claimed many victims.
After initial analysis of black boxes .. BEA announces that do not know what happened and the investigation continues ...
So long as the BEA does not know (and it is not even able to show that the plane is not faulty by design or management system) that aircraft presents a potential risk that must be assessed
Why grounded the Falcons .. and why let fly the A330
Both aircraft are not recently commissioned .. and both had so far proven reliability.
I see nothing about from EASA
Where is the logic? Dassault decided to ground the 7x, they then asked EASA and FAA to issue the AD

Me Myself
9th Jun 2011, 17:55
Good God mate, you are a test to one's patience.
Bear with me :

1/ pitot probes freeze. Speed doesn't make any sense to autopilot, consequently autopilot goes KABOOM !
Aircraft goes into alternate mode. No big deal. Just a few protections lost....like stall. Errrrrr ! Trim is still functionning though. You have basically your normal A300 only with fly by wire, but the logic is the same. Pull makes you climb and push.....well, you guessed.
2/ in any airline, trained pilot keeps pitch and thrust AS THEY WERE ! The damn thing was flying a second ago, why on earth shouldn't it fly a second later, speed or no speed indication !
3/ pilot for reasons the majority doesn't want to picture and will therefore hzve its nose rubbed in, pulls nose up. 7000 ft / min at FL 350 ! Some kind of pull ! 10 deg pitch ! Plane bleeds off all its speed and STALLS. by that time, still functionning trim has done its job.......it's trimed the aircraft since somebody was pulling !
4/ by that time, speed is back and shows an horrific 215 kt.....pilot pulls some more adding full thrust making things a lot worse than they already were.
5/ the rest is a long 3 minutes ending by a just horrifying death for 228 people if anyone cares.
Don't tell me they didn't feel anything ! 40 deg bank angle, 11 000 ft / min, some kind of smooth ride !
6/ according to rumours coming from Airbus, once stalled and the fuselage hiding the stab, it was too late.
I heard of some stunt which would have consisted of shutting the engines down, pitch down, relight......blablabla.
The trick was not to let it stall in the first place.
As to the skipper whose rest timing was well.......who could make a sense of the mess he had to face getting out of the bunk almost in his undies ?
Why isn't the french press full of this article when the rest of the world is ? Cuz the french press is a joke whose mission is to report what they're told to report exept maybe for Christophe Barbier. But then......who told him to leak this ?



Finally, this speed BUSS thing that was already in service in other airlines, like LH, is not reliable or very reliable above 25 000 ft, so says the rumour.

Chris Pike
9th Jun 2011, 18:01
1. What were they doing flying through huge CBs when everyone else was going around them???
2. Was the Air Data Ice Protection switched on, and if not, why ???
3. So if you have unreliable airspeed indications, don't you revert to Attitude and Power?

Karsten99
9th Jun 2011, 18:18
Quote:
3/ pilot for reasons the majority doesn't want to picture, pulls nose up. 7000 ft / min at FL 350 ! Some kind of pull ! 10 deg pitch ! Plane bleeds off all its speed and STALLS. by that time, still functionning trim has done its job.......it's trimed the aircraft since somebody was pulling !
4/ by that time, speed is back and shows an horrific 215 kt.....pilot pulls some more adding full thrust making things a lot worse than they already were.
I write this as a none pilot.
What makes me wonder is why a expirenced and well trained crew did these actions. I simply can not believe they ignored what seems to be SOP and standard pilot knowledge.
For some unknown reason they must have lost thier situation awareness and reacted the way they did with the known consequences.

After the auto pilot disengaged thier understanding of the situation seems to be very different from realtiy.
I hope the recovered data help us to understand why this happened.

carlosgustavo
9th Jun 2011, 20:14
I don't know if someone said, but the Stall Warning was automatically cancel due to auto cancelation of angle of attack sensor because speed was showing bellow 60 kt.

Stall warning is the first and basic warning in aircrafts. Maybe a modern Airbus fell from 37000 ft because the crew didn't know they were stalling. I can imagine the workload, the storming and the IMC falling thinking they were in over speed or high speed stall.

That's my conclusion, it may be wrong but can somebody tell me why no stall warning during a stall?

In Airbus Manuals is said clearly that during a Unruialbe speed RELAY on Stal warning and Overspeed.

xcitation
9th Jun 2011, 20:25
Below link shows a sim 747-400 at FL400 cruising with A/P.
The thrust is reduced to approach stall. Note that the the plane pitches up automatically to try and maintain FL400 as power is reduced. Until finally it approaches stall with 5% pitch. In this case the Training Capt (Don Grange ) applies full thrust. This prevents a stall however the A/P is unable to correct its nose up attitude and is unable to increase its IAS. It can only be recovered by a gentle descent.

See link below and skip to about 5:15 min.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqatQ60vw34

PEI_3721
9th Jun 2011, 20:38
CP, #1558
1. ‘They were in a CB’’. There is no evidence that the aircraft was in a CB; the crew had seen and planned / turned to deviate around weather.
2. ‘Air data ice protection on’. A feature of pitot blocking due to ice crystals is that there has to be a heated surface on which some crystals can accumulate / melt. The water becomes the glue for other crystals to build up on, or the water ice mix can stabilize around freezing and block the pipes / vents.
3. ‘Fly attitude / power’. This depends on what the crew see and understand about the situation, and then depending on complex circumstances the ability to fly accurately, all in a very sudden, surprising, and complex situation.

Lonewolf_50
9th Jun 2011, 21:04
CP, #1558
1. ‘They were in a CB’’. There is no evidence that the aircraft was in a CB; the crew had seen and planned / turned to deviate around weather.
Yes, but is what they saw in front of them what was actually there?

PEI, wouldn't it be true to state that there is no evidence that they weren't in, or in the vicinity of, either a CB or a significant vertical development? I may be stretching the boundary of inference here, but there has been ample anecdotal evidence of possible "blind spots" with Wx radar, from people who operate and operated them. The possibility of locale specific weather/metro surprise remains open, and may remain an unknown forever. The metro conditions along the flight path route were sketched out by Mr. Vasquez. What was locally experienced remains unclear, beyond the BEA release of some conversation about turbulence before the event.
2. ‘Air data ice protection on’. A feature of pitot blocking due to ice crystals is that there has to be a heated surface on which some crystals can accumulate / melt. The water becomes the glue for other crystals to build up on, or the water ice mix can stabilize around freezing and block the pipes / vents.
Gonna save that one in a text file. :)

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 21:27
Hi,

Open Part 5 and skip to about 5:15 min.

Boeing 747-400 Tutorial Video | Aviation Blogs (http://www.flightschoollist.com/aviation-articles/2010/08/boeing-747-400-tutorial-video/)I skipped all .. ROFL cause videos no more available due to copyright claim :)

EDIT:
jcjeant and others

The training video link is fixed.
Thank's for edit !

Poit
9th Jun 2011, 21:59
NigelOnDraft:
My comments Re 'classic 747s' was not meant to suggest that they were impervious to accidents, although the cases you referenced differ quite markedly to the Air France and QANTAS incidents. My point was, does a cascade of automated system failures distract / confuse a pilot from his most important job...flying the aircraft? Are these aircraft too complex? In the QANTAS incident the pilots became very task saturated trying to clear the multitude of system errors, and I wonder how they would have fared had they not had an additional two pilots on the flight-deck that day to assist.

I'm not Airbus bashing BTW, and as Iceman kindly responded to my query, both major manufacturers have their good and bad points. I'm merely posing a question for discussion.

Iceman, thanks for your reply. I'd love to hear your theory, but understand that it's probably not prudent to do so until more info comes to light. Will be interesting to hear how close you were when we do learn more...

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 22:17
Hi,

Tireless I read and reread the BEA note .........

From 2 h 10 min 50, the PNF tried several times to call the Captain back.
At 2 h 10 min 51 , the stall warning was triggered again. The thrust levers were positioned
in the TO/GA detent and the PF maintained nose-up inputs. The recorded angle of attack, of
around 6 degrees at the triggering of the stall warning, continued to increase. The trimmable
horizontal stabilizer (THS) passed from 3 to 13 degrees nose-up in about 1 minute and
remained in the latter position until the end of the flight.
Around fifteen seconds later, the speed displayed on the ISIS increased sharply towards 185 kt;
it was then consistent with the other recorded speed. The PF continued to make nose-up
inputs. The airplane’s altitude reached its maximum of about 38,000 ft, its pitch attitude and
angle of attack being 16 degrees.
Note: The inconsistency between the speeds displayed on the left side and on the ISIS lasted a little less
than one minute.15 seconds after 2H10Min51Sec the speed is coherent
So at 2H11Min06Sec the speed is coherent
It's also noted that the inconsistency between the speeds lasted a little less than ONE minute.
So for the sake of accuracy I will take the "less than ONE minute" as 59Sec.
So this indicate that the inconsistency between speeds appears (the earliest) at 2H10Min07Sec
So before 2H10Min07Sec the speeds are coherent
Or the BEA note that at 2H10Min05Sec the autopilot and auto-thrust disengage and the pilot tell he is in control..
From 2 h 10 min 05 , the autopilot then auto-thrust disengaged and the PF said "I have the
controls".So .. the autopilot and auto-thrust disengage before the apparition of incoherent speeds :confused:
Where is the logic in the BEA chronology ?
Around fifteen seconds later
Why using the word around when they are accurate at the Sec for the other times in the note ...they have the accurate times or not ?
Can we take this BEA note as serious ?

YorkshireTyke
9th Jun 2011, 22:31
It's time to close this thread now, I'm totally overdosed on the same arguments, and newcomers asking the same questions, until more information is made available, which I frankly doubt will ever happen, IMHO the 'final' report will just be a padded out version of what has already been released. Hope I'm wrong, and it would be nice to have a complete voice transcript.

My thanks to those with Scairbus experience for some insight, but even they differ - recent sidestick 'feel' - or 'no feel' - opinions for instance.

Goodbye.

jcjeant
9th Jun 2011, 22:43
Hi,

I'm totally overdosed on the same arguments,
Another already posted PDF :)
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/10483604/2002517561/name/Updated%20Stall%20Procedure.pdf
It's ironical that the emphasize is put on the AOA ... when we know that the Airbus A330 had not a AOA indicator :)

chris weston
9th Jun 2011, 22:57
Yep

1561 don't work for me either

But I'd like to see it, is there another way?

xcitation
9th Jun 2011, 23:23
jcjeant and others

The training video link is fixed.

PEI_3721
9th Jun 2011, 23:34
Lonewolf, “…what they saw in front of them what was actually there”
I think it best to credit the crew with appropriate use of the WXR until evidence is presented otherwise. Plotting the proposed deviation on some weather charts suggest that it was in keeping with the general weather situation.
Also, assuming ice crystals were a major factor; these are more likely to be encountered around Cbs – up to 15nm away, although the Cb core probably has high concentrations. The analogy is that the Cb core is the chimney, and the crystals / grauple is the soot / smoke. The heavier particles fall out of the high-level cloud, whereas the light particles travel downwind in / under the anvil. In both instances, they are not easily detected with WXR (if at all).

Re #1549 “… were they set up to fail? If so, how?”
First I don’t think that we should pursue crew failure – you probably did not mean any negative connotation.
Like most accidents, the findings will probably fall into three broad categories: technical, human, and organisational.
There is insufficient evidence to judge any technical aspects at this time, but there are indications of complexities in the human / technical interface. Not that this implies technical failure or poor design, just different; and thus this requires a different way of looking at systems, different operations, and differences in required human behaviour.

The human behaviour is crucial. The crew were faced with a surprising and complex failure situation, challenged by weather, time, and changing circumstance. Unfortunately we cannot know what they thought, at best we might only speculate, based on what was presented to them, but even that might be less than normally certain from an FDR.

The organisational aspects might focus on airworthiness. The authority knew of the problem but judged the risk of simultaneous ADC failure as being remote (but warranting remedial action), and that the intervening ‘at risk’ period could be mitigated by crew performance, which was supported by evidence of previous events.
This was a failure of risk management, but a failure at or beyond the limits of probability, and based on reasonable assumptions. Yet perhaps a difference which was overlooked was that a modern aircraft with highly augmented controls might not be as easy to fly with pitch /power as previously assumed based on a conventional aircraft, or that the crew may not have had had the appropriate training / experience. Were the regulators ‘set up’; – by life, aviation; probably yes.

How long did it take to read the text above, to understand, to formulate any reaction … 3.5 mins? That’s all that AF447 crew had, and whilst we have had 2 years to define the major themes of the situation and improve our general understanding of systems, weather, operations; the crew only had blanks on the screen.
Such is human performance – variable. We are never set-up, only faced with the limits of our capability in a given situation, assuming first that the situation is understood.

glhcarl
9th Jun 2011, 23:58
The difficult thing for me to understand is why didn't they just disengage the autopilot as soon as the nose started pitching up? And a jet will descend at a safe speed with the thrust off at 2.5 to 3 degrees nose down. I guess we'll learn all about it in CRM next time."

simon001, I have to agree but convincing a pilot to do nothing in a time of panic is really hard!

On the L-1011 there was a situation that could occur only during ground operations. If the stabilizer was moved abruptly a fuselage osculation could be set up. To stop the osculation all you had to do was let go of the column. Lots of luck trying to convince the crew to do nothing!

bubbers44
10th Jun 2011, 00:34
Poit, which airplane would you rather be in if you were in turbulence, at night, iced up pitot tubes with unreliable airspeed trying to hold pitch and power using the unreliable airspeed checklist? A 747 classic with a yoke and direct throttle or a side stick and a lot of broken automation? Would you pitch the 747 up into a 10 degree plus nose up stall?

That is why I never bid the Airbus so never had to fly it and never learned all the laws, even though it paid more. I never cared if the AP or AT disengaged because the automation was just a help when it worked and when it failed it just increased the workload slightly. I'm thinking pilots are now depending too much on automation and it failing isn't just a small inconvenience.

I am waiting for the BEA to finally tell us what they know because so far the info has been scant so it is hard for us to really know what happened. The CVR would tell a lot of the story and they have all of that.

Just because you don't trust an airplane doesn't necessarily mean you dispise it by the way. I just happened to love and trust my B757 because I had total control over it no matter what the computer thought.

barit1
10th Jun 2011, 01:38
jcjeant:
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/1048360...0Procedure.pdf
It's ironical that the emphasize is put on the AOA ... when we know that the Airbus A330 had not a AOA indicator

Excuse me for saying so, but that FAA/Airbus pitch seems pretty elementary to me. About the only aspect a PPL holder might find unfamiliar is the pitch-up moment generated by underwing engines - and even that is obvious after a moment's thought.

So - I must ask why the ATP world has become so disconnected from this very basic flying lesson?

RWA
10th Jun 2011, 02:16
iceman50


It was not just Airbus that re-stated the "new / old" stall procedure, Boeing did as well. I believe that Boeing, Airbus, other manufacturers and the regulators got together and the "new/old" procedures were emphasised.


Thanks again, iceman50. Only word I'd (gently :)) query is 'emphasised,' though - surely, at the time of AF447, the 'old' drill had been completely replaced by the 'new' one>?


previous advice was along the lines of 'full power and seek to maintain assigned altitude'?


So the old 'nose down and add power carefully' rule wasn't even there to be 'emphasised'? it had been completely replaced by the new - and, in my view, flawed - new 'full power and stay level' one?

xcitation

In this case the Training Capt (Don Grange ) applies full thrust. This prevents a stall however the A/P is unable to correct its nose up attitude and is unable to increase its IAS. It can only be recovered by a gentle descent.


Thanks, xcitation - shows exactly why the 'standard operating procedure' in operation at the time of AF447 appears to have been flawed - or, at best, inadequate.

So the AF447 PF appears to have done exactly what 'the book' (and his instructors) said at the time - applied TO/GA power and tried to maintain level flight. But, looking at the various press stories, and many comments on this thread, a lot of people (possibly already a majority of people) already think that he was guilty of 'pilot error.'

Maybe the investigators will invent a completely-new accident cause in this case, though - something like 'handbook error'..........? :)

TioPablo
10th Jun 2011, 03:07
Yet another link...

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/10483604/2002517561/name/Updated%20Stall%20Procedure.pdf

Given the assertion of Basil: "the AB should be handled as a video game"... (great post for sure)...
I have a nasty question: Why was the AB logic (software), unaware of its deep-stall condition?
Why did the logic not kicked into Direct Law instead of Alternate? Conditions to do so were not met? The proper parameters weren´t reached would many say... Still, it may had saved the a/c and the guys in it... Or not? A simple: "YOU NEED TO TRIM MANUAL" may had made a difference...
I have a lot of respect to AB, French goverment, investors and all of you in this forum... I´m just addressing some aspects which may go beyond training... And at the end: Life can always surprise you!
I hope that many (I won´t name no-one), will further show some respect for the guys which were doomed in this particular event...
As TheShadow said in his post #1219, (It was #1222 or something like that a while ago... index change here also...): I´m also sick of defenceless pilots who aren´t here to tell what really happened and have to carry the can... Cheers.

opherben
10th Jun 2011, 07:51
Quote:"Why using the word around when they are accurate at the Sec for the other times in the note ...they have the accurate times or not ?
Can we take this BEA note as serious ?"
Not being familiar with the specific FDR output characteristics, it could conceiveably be the FDR data sampling intervals, for instance- write every 5 seconds...

Capt Turbo
10th Jun 2011, 09:36
No, we do not get all the details, and unfortunately whoever did the translation into English is not a professional pilot. "Assiette" in French means Pitch, not AOA (which is "incidence" in French).
So, initially the PF raised the nose to 10 dg+ (with less than 7 dg AOA which would have caused an immediate accelerated stall) and at 38000`the nose lowered to around +5 dg. The momentum + the TOGA thrust (which at this altitude is only a modest MCL) then took the aircraft into a deep stall.
At this time the only survivable strategy would have been to pitch the aircraft down to below the horizon.
For the record: even with aft trimmed stab at VS, the A330 does have sufficient nose down authority for this. Only in a fully developed deep stall at very low EAS may this not be available; goes for almost any aircraft type.

As a TRI/TRE I do these hi-altitude stall recovery exercises on a regular basis on A330 and believe me; in a confusing scenario like the actual one, only the most proficient pilots prevail, so please stop the "pilot-factor" blame game.

If the majority of pilots cannot cope with a given situation it is either "natural causes" (like all-engine failure + loss of instruments in ash scenario) or "system failure" (if an operator or manufacturer does not ensure adequate training for a particular situation).

The 747 "sales video" is nice, but misleading. It is true that you can power your way out in level flight (and the A330 actually does this better than the 74) provided you have not stalled. In that case you must regain airflow by lowering the nose and thus decrease the AOA and regain speed.

When building an aircraft, the various design offices try to envision all kinds of contingencies and design a safe aircraft accordingly, but there are limits to human imagination (like when a 74 lost part of the rudder in Japan, or when the same happened to an A330 in the US ).

The events so far seem to be logical but unfortunate. We can only hope that the operators will use this wake up call to go beyond the "minimum required training" policy that is so common today in our cost saving environment. Few pilots come to the airlines with 10 years of fighter experience and the rest have never seen a 10 dg nose down recovery at FL 380.

And for the stupid West Coast vs. TLS comparison: I have stalled wide bodies from both sides: Marginally prefer TLS for its better wing design (and the good red wine you get after the flight testing ;).

B744IRE
10th Jun 2011, 10:25
In our company we developed the following cruise stall recovery by trial and error in the B747-400 simulator due to the fact that the aircraft would not accelerate in level flight with full power...

Select VS -3000 ft/min
(stick shaker stops almost at once)
When IAS is half way up amber caution range...
Reduce VS in 100 ft/min stages with caution...
When IAS is at top of amber caution range...
Select FLCH to recover in protected mode to cruise alt.

Typical height loss is 2000-2500 feet.

Training Captains with plenty of time in the simulator could with trial and error finesse this to a height loss of 1000 feet but often nibbled the stick shaker...the above method works every time for regular line pilots.

jcjeant
10th Jun 2011, 11:22
Hi,

Not being familiar with the specific FDR output characteristics, it could conceiveably be the FDR data sampling intervals, for instance- write every 5 seconds...

FDR record in real time (no delay or blank timing)
So the BEA use of word "around" is deceiving

The_Steed
10th Jun 2011, 11:35
jcjeant

With respect, I do not think that the use of the word "around" is "deceiving". My background is IT, and when you look at log files from certain software applications the timestamps will be accurate to hundredths or thousandths of seconds.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that the log files from the DFDR are recording in hundredths or thousandths of seconds intervals, which would mean that for ease the time would be rounded up to the nearest second hence the use of the word "around".

Or maybe it's just been lost in translation from French to English...

Lonewolf_50
10th Jun 2011, 11:38
PEI, thanks, well said. :ok:

The question you refer to that I learned to ask about mishaps "were they set up to fail?" describes a generic way to look at the human to system to machine interface, and was not directed at the crew of AF 447 personally. What is behind that question is overcoming the throwaway of "OH, it was pilot error" in one mishap or another, and to lead to identifying the influences of systems, conditions, training, and other inputs (like from ATC or unergonomic cockpit set ups) that contribute to things going wrong.

Considering the numerous extended threads on this topic, some common themes keep cropping up: there are some arguments to be made that the crew was set up for a surprise, and worse.

If you look at it from the perspective of Team Air France, the flight failed to do as intended: deliver plane and pax to Paris. Would a more useful form of that question be: "where were the seeds of mission failure sown?"

I suggest that's the driving question behind BEA's difficult task.

jcjeant
10th Jun 2011, 11:56
Hi,

With respect, I do not think that the use of the word "around" is "deceiving". My background is IT, and when you look at log files from certain software applications the timestamps will be accurate to hundredths or thousandths of seconds.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that the log files from the DFDR are recording in hundredths or thousandths of seconds intervals, which would mean that for ease the time would be rounded up to the nearest second hence the use of the word "around".

Or maybe it's just been lost in translation from French to English... I disagree this to justify the use of word "around" by the BEA
Read again the BEA note please.
For all the other timings BEA use **H**Min**Sec
Why use the word around for another important timing ?
Something lost in the translation ? .. that's possible .. but not acceptable from a organization like the BEA ....
They are not writing romances .. they are writing reports and notes that can have in the futur .. consequences on the life of many people...

SaturnV
10th Jun 2011, 12:16
PEI 3721

CP, #1558
1. ‘They were in a CB’’. There is no evidence that the aircraft was in a CB; the crew had seen and planned / turned to deviate around weather.

Without the release of the full CVR transcript, there is no way of knowing what they saw, or didn't see painted on their radar. We do know what the Lufthansa, Iberia, and AF459 crews saw on their radars that night because they have told the BEA.

As for the Cb, the satellite imagery of 02h07 as analyzed by Meteo France (included in the first interim BEA report) indicates at 02h10 off their starboard wing there was a rather cold cloud top:
On constate qu’à 2 h 07 les températures les plus froides sont de l’ordre de -75 °C à -80 °C, alors que la tropopause se situe entre les FL500 et FL520, avec une température voisine de - 80°C : certains des cumulonimbus de l’amas ont atteint l’altitude de la tropopause et leur stade de maturité, mais l’imagerie ne révèle aucun développement vertical exceptionnel du point de vue climatologique, qui serait caractérisé par un « overshoot ».

I assume you don't need a translator for "cumulonimbus".

Tim Vasquez has this to say in his June 1 2011 re-analysis,
Based on the soundings above, my conclusion is that the maximum cumulonimbus tops were 56,000 ft with an equilibrium level of 47,000 ft, representing the tops of most parts of the MCS except near the edges. This agrees fairly well with the observed METEOSAT thermal data.
.....
This indicates that the aircraft was flying through convective clouds at about 0150 UTC and again from 0158 UTC onward.

Air France 447 - AFR447 - A detailed meteorological analysis - Satellite and weather data (http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/)

vovachan
10th Jun 2011, 14:17
Could it be that they saw that SOME indications were incorrect and assumed ALL instruments were suspect/wrong? And continued - seat of the pants

Lonewolf_50
10th Jun 2011, 14:27
Not likely, Vovachan.

Type training typically includes systems understanding and working knowledge. The "all or nothing" idea is at odds with how each instrument is fed data by different systems, something pilots who fly professionally have to understand to pass their exams and type ratings.

xcitation
10th Jun 2011, 14:29
I would add that the pilot reduced cruise speed from mach .82 to .80 which is condusive with passing through bad weather. The purpose of this slowing is to reduce stress forces on the air frame. Secondly the BEA clearly states that the pilots advised cabin crew of turbulence. Also stated was air temperature increase which indicates updrafts and turbulent weather.

complexman
10th Jun 2011, 14:49
I am not a pilot but I have an MS in Aerospace Engineering and an MS in Aeronautical Engineering. I have worked for over 15 years in the aerospace industry. My main occupation has been control law design for satellites - this is different from flight control SW for atmospheric flight but there are many common issues. Today I work in a company that measures the complexity of systems (air traffic systems, power plants, IT systems and SW).

Modern airliners - especially those that fly-by-wire - are full of SW (4+ million lines of code is a commonly cited figure). In practice, pilots "train to fly the SW", not the aircraft. I agree, it is a strong statement to make but when I see pilots posting in this thread that the AoA is not something you necessarily want to be displayed in a cockpit it kind of confirms my point.

But the point is this. I work in measuring the complexity of (SW) systems and I can state that when you have 4+ million lines of code:

1. There is a huge amount of circumstances (combinations of operating conditions) are never tested.
2. To test a SW system of that size you need another SW system that is at least as large as the one you're testing.
3. Because high complexity implies the capacity to deliver surprising behavior, SW systems of that size are almost bound to do so.
4. There are some misconceptions when it comes to systems of systems:
- if you have 100 components then you can get at the most 100 headaches. In actual fact, the number is orders of magnitude larger.
- the worst condition for a given system is NOT that which corresponds to all variables operating each at its operating limits. Sometimes, combinations of values well within the design bounds correspond to the worst-case scenario
- if you have 100 great components a system made of these components is also great.
5. High complexity implies high fragility. If we continue to manufacture more complex SW and more "intelligent" aircraft, these will cause an increasing number of accidents.

My opinion, based simply on my own professional experience and knowledge, is that we are in the hands of computers and that the trend will be to go in that direction even more. I used to work for a computer HW company in the late 1990s. We had a problem with our operating system on one of our models (which was already on the market). We put in one meeting room all our experts on OUR operating system. Their knowledge, when added up, was estimated to cover about 99% of OUR own product! Now 1% of a complex product/system is still something terribly huge. That was in the 1990s, now things are even worse!

stepwilk
10th Jun 2011, 16:32
Could we move this thread to Good Housekeeping Magazine's website, maybe, or Rolling Stone's? It is of no more value on an aviation forum.

PEI_3721
10th Jun 2011, 16:58
Lonewolf, re "were they set up to fail?" # 1582
In that sense, they (us, the industry), were ‘set up’ to fail. However, ‘set up’ could imply forethought / previous knowledge, which might be, or its absence might be, a major contributor to the accident.

With hindsight, many posts question “why did/didn’t they” … etc, etc; whereas if the industry had foreseen these issues then the accident might have been avoided, e.g. a complex interaction of system design and human reaction, changing economic climate, social changes in operations and training, expectation, peer pressure.
Alternatively, where the industry considers issues, human judgement could still decide not to act – the risk is acceptable, e.g. multiple pitot icing resulting in LOC. Much of this is driven but public expectation; - and we are a very safe industry, but beware the seeds of complacency.

The above reflects normal human behaviour; humans are irrational. We don’t foresee every eventuality, systems cannot be tested rigorously, particularly where there is human interaction, and where problems are identified safety vs practicality are often judged to balance.

In this sense, AF 447 may have been an accident too far. Yet there have been other, similar situations where the humans rescued the situation (DC-10 Sioux City, A300 Baghdad). The human behaviour in all of these was identical – the humans did their best in the circumstances – as they saw the situation; only with hindsight is an event judged, and on occasion, ‘best’ is not good enough.
I prefer to avoid hindsight, instead look to see how and why human performance varies, and hope to establish what might be done to improve human performance or change the nature of circumstances to be faced (technical / social); but this probably requires some forethought, which is where the ‘seeds of failure’ might be found.

PEI_3721
10th Jun 2011, 17:12
Saturn V, I suspect that we are interpreting words differently.
What I posted was “the crew had seen and planned / turned to deviate around weather”, which was based on details released so far.
I agree we do not know what exactly the crew saw, but circumstantial evidence suggests that the aircraft was not ‘in’ the core of a CB, although it was in an area of convective weather.
In this regard I disagree with Tim Vasquez’s conclusion “This indicates that the aircraft was flying through convective clouds at about 0150 UTC and again from 0158 UTC onward.” Implying, (my interpretation) flying through a Cb core.
From personal experience – ‘in’ and around Cbs – I would be very surprised if the reported conversations and aircraft parameters originate from a situation in a Cb core, but transiting an area of convective clouds would be understandable.
IMHO, the aircraft was below a cloud layer or in high level cirrus (anvil) in a situation similar to that shown in VH-EBA Incident (picture on page 11) (http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/2906163/ao2009065.pdf) where there were high cloud tops in an area of convective weather – a classic ice crystal situation.

safetypee
10th Jun 2011, 17:53
Vovachan; lonewolf, re “assumed ALL instruments were suspect/wrong”, but ‘not likely’.
Not likely, but don’t discard the thought. See another A330 Incident (www.atsb.gov.au/media/2906163/ao2009065.pdf ) where unreliable airspeed (pitot probes freezing) resulted in an apparent change in altitude (assumed low speed correction factor). Also, note the effects in the erroneous change in TAT (TAT probe freezing). What haven’t been established so far are the effects of ‘rapidly’ changing speed and temperature on other computations in the ADC and possibly in the IRS module.

If the crew’s perception was of a ‘failure’ of airspeed, sudden drops in altitude, and perhaps rapid changes in VS, then concluding that there was a ‘display’ failure (the computation behind displayed parameters) would be logical.

xcitation “Also stated was air temperature increase which indicates updrafts and turbulent weather”.
The ‘increasing’ temperature could have been due to the TAT probe blocking with ice crystals, again see the A330 incident above.

chris weston
10th Jun 2011, 18:23
Steed

1581 Agree

Spurious accuracy does not make one data set innately superior to another

"All time data here rounded to x dp" could be held to be a clumsy use of English and "around" could be held to be held to be more succinct. I personally prefer the former.

I suspect different authors were at work rather than Machiavelli.

Lonewolf_50
10th Jun 2011, 18:57
http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/447730-af447-wreckage-found-80.html#post6505825
safetypee:

Roger your post. I had asked, in this thread or the other, about TAT probes being ice obstructed, and you provide me an answer. Report saved FFR. Thanks.

Vovachan; lonewolf, re “assumed ALL instruments were suspect/wrong”, but ‘not likely’.
Not likely, but don’t discard the thought.
See another A330 Incident where unreliable airspeed (pitot probes freezing) resulted in an apparent change in altitude (assumed low speed correction factor).

300 feet off. (The ATSB document you linked to) Not quite the altimeter unwinding, is it? :) However, perhaps the point you are making is that seeing alt low a few hundred feet (from an iced TAT and iced pitot probe) prompts pilot to make what is initially a small correction to climb back to FL350? Is that what you were getting at?

If the crew’s perception was of a ‘failure’ of airspeed, sudden drops in altitude, and perhaps rapid changes in VS, then concluding that there was a ‘display’ failure (the computation behind displayed parameters) would be logical.

But not the attitude indicator, which is what I had in mind primarily when I made my response. Sorry for the ambiguity, I had thought I was addressing how pilots tend to know which systems influence which cockpit gauge ... but I guess I did a poor job.

ADIRU includes IRU. IRU does not use airmass data to display attitude. Have I missed something?

The ‘increasing’ temperature could have been due to the TAT probe blocking with ice crystals, again see the A330 incident above.

I may have asked that in the other thread. Thanks! :)

bearfoil
10th Jun 2011, 19:43
The Captain says "The temperature is not falling as fast as we expected".

Pertinent?

Lemain
10th Jun 2011, 19:46
Lonewolf 50 If you look at it from the perspective of Team Air France, the flight failed to do as intended: deliver plane and pax to Paris. Would a more useful form of that question be: "where were the seeds of mission failure sown?"

I suggest that's the driving question behind BEA's difficult task.Not all seeds are immediately obvious. Nearly impossible to disprove, parts of the system soft/firmware might have been altered either by mistake or or purpose, maybe with the deliberate intention of causing this crash. Now that systems behave according to rules laid down in software they must be a prime candidate for interference by those who intend harm. Perhaps it hasn't yet happened somewhere, but for certain it will.

Oh, yes, it HAS happened. Erebus. TE901 November 1979. And, as Gordon Vette pointed out, there were a number of factors that came together to turn an incident into a tragedy.

safetypee
10th Jun 2011, 20:03
Lonewolf_50, TAT probe freezing.
This is (was) a ‘relatively’ common problem occurring on several aircraft types. It was most prevalent on the BAe146 which suffered engine roll back due to ice crystal icing in the compressor – all engines since modified.
The most usual erroneous TAT indications, as with the A330 incident, are where the temperature stabilises at zero (ice or water ice) due to the blockage. The temperature change is relatively slow in comparison to the assumed ‘near instantaneous’ pitot blocking.

“…seeing alt low a few hundred feet … prompts pilot to make what is initially a small correction to climb back to FL350?”
Yes, very much my point; this would provide a reason for the initial nose up input, but not answer the subsequent control actions.
Amongst this we should consider that the FDs had probably failed (cf VH-EBA), thus the crew might be looking for a cued parameter to follow. Also, consider what the VS might show after an ‘instantaneous’ 300 ft descent and attempted recovery (inertial / air data mix IIRC).
What happens to Mach No? cf VH-EBA.
What happens to MMO/VMO computation? It’s most likely to be independent of the airspeed display as the value is also used by the FWC for audio warning; would the warning still work?

As for IRU, I knew of one design which had an air data correction in the unit (I forget why), but during testing, a sharp pull up with a rapid loss of speed and quickly increasing altitude caused the ADC software to detect a ‘failed’ (out of tolerance) condition and shutdown both ADCs, which in turn shut down both IRUs. The system design was changed before certification!
The point is that ADC seems to get into many dark corners of modern systems, thus we might not be sure of what the effects of simultaneous ADC malfunction might be.

Lonewolf_50
10th Jun 2011, 20:13
safetypee: much obliged.
The point is that ADC seems to get into many dark corners of modern systems, thus we might not be sure of what the effects of simultaneous ADC malfunction might be.
Were such an anomaly to have the capacity to muck up a pitch and power response ... :eek:

xcitation
10th Jun 2011, 20:18
FAA Proposes Airspeed-Sensor Fixes - WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304392704576374024167827528.html)


US aviation regulators are proposing mandatory fixes to potentially defective airspeed sensors on more than 1,000 regional jets, less than two weeks after investigators determined malfunctions of similar devices played a big role in the crash of an Air France jetliner over the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
Released Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration's proposed directive wants U.S. airlines to replace a problematic part associated with several incidents of "airspeed mismatch" between captain and co-pilot instruments on a wide range of Bombardier regional jet models. The external sensors, called pitot tubes, can malfunction because they may "become partially or completely blocked by water" during or after flying through heavy rain, according to the agency.

The result may be erroneous airspeed and altitude indications, though an FAA spokesman didn't immediately know the number of such incidents on Bombardier jetliners.

The move follows a similar safety fix ordered by Canadian regulators last fall. It also piggybacks on a voluntary service bulletin in March -- as well as an earlier version the year before – both of which were issued by the aerospace unit of Canada's Bombardier Inc....

ExSp33db1rd
10th Jun 2011, 21:56
Could we move this thread to Good Housekeeping Magazine's website, maybe, or Rolling Stone's? It is of no more value on an aviation forum.

Hear ! Hear ! ( see also #1567 )

GHOTI
10th Jun 2011, 23:19
Yup to Speedbird. Just blurking here. AB (and Boeing) pilots will get something constructive out of the final reports, and as a very old SLF I will be grateful. The rest is dross.
My days ended with dinosaur blood. Cannot relate to all this FBW stuff, but judging from you guys, it mostly works. Think back, you aulde guys, to what a handful a DC-4 could be in rough wx.

RWA
11th Jun 2011, 02:05
Extract below from the BEA's report on the 2008 A320 Air New Zealand accident at Perpignan. Also an excerpt from the CVR transcript covering the last few minutes.

The BEA, on this occasion, seems to have concluded that the THS going to 'full up' made it impossible for the pilots to get out of the stall even with the sidestick fully forward; but that the pilots apparently simply didn't see the need to re-trim. It also says, rather poignantly, that they 'did not understand the behaviour of the aeroplane' - a point that is very clearly illustrated by the CVR transcript.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the eventual report on AF447 says very similar things.

Full report available for download here.

http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2008/d-la081127.en/pdf/d-la081127.en.pdf


The aeroplane rapidly regained speed under the dual effect of the increase in thrust and the pitch-down attitude. Under the combined effect of the thrust
increase , the increasing speed and the horizontal stabilizer still at the pitch-up
stop, the aeroplane was subject to pitch-up moment that the Captain could
not manage to counter, even with the sidestick at the nose-down stop. The
exchanges between the pilots at this time show that they did not understand
the behaviour of the aeroplane. In particular, the aeroplane’s lack of reaction
to the nose-down control input did not draw their attention to the position of
the horizontal stabilizer and the loss of the auto-trim function.

The aeroplane attitude increased sharply and its speed dropped to the point
that rendered it practically uncontrollable, the flight control surfaces becoming
ineffective due to the low speed and the high angle of attack. The aeroplane
stalled again, this time irrecoverably, bearing in mind the aeroplane’s altitude
and without any crew inputs on the trim wheel and the thrust levers.

The loss of control was thus caused by a thrust increase performed with a
full pitch-up horizontal stabilizer position. This position and the engine
thrust made pitch down control impossible. It should be noted that the PF
made no inputs on the horizontal stabilizer nor reduced the thrust and that
the PNF did not intervene.



15 h 44 min 46 Okay here we go
15 h 44 min 49 Und ich sag ihr jetzt dass wir im Moment in Dreitausend bleiben
The weight is fifty four
And I say now to her that we are maintaining three thousand at the moment
15 h 44 min 51 Golf X-ray Lima triple eight
Tango can you speed reduce speed again
15 h 44 min 56 We are reducing
15 h 44 min 57 Triple click
15 h 44 min 58 ��We are still reducing the speed Golf X-ray Lima triple eight Tango (*)
15 h 45 min 03 (*) I will say when the trim stops
The word “stops” is stronger than the rest of the phrase
15 h 45 min 05 SV: Stall ( x13)
Cricket (stall warning)
15 h 45 min 06 Stop ! Noise similar to thrust levers being moved forward to the stop
15 h 45 min 13 (oh oh oh)
15 h 45 min 18 (…)
15 h 45 min 19 End of stall warning
15 h 45 min 20 Single chime
15 h 45 min 24 Ich nehm die Speed noch mal hoch ja?
(I increase speed ) Yeah?
15 h 45 min 26 Ja it's pitching up all the time
15 h 45 min 27 (…) Stick forward (*)
15 h 45 min 29 Pitching up
15 h 45 min 30
15 h 45 min 31 It’s (*) alpha floor we’re in manual Single chime
15 h 45 min 33 It's pitching up this (…)
15 h 45 min 34 Kriegst du das geregelt? Are you able to handle this?
15 h 45 min 35 Nee No
15 h 45 min 36 Gear up SV: Stall (12 times)
15 h 45 min 37 Gear up Cricket (stall warning)
15 h 45 min 39 Gear up Gear up
15 h 45 min 40 (*)
15 h 45 min 42 (…)
15 h 45 min 44 (…)
15 h 45 min 45
15 h 45 min 47
15 h 45 min 48
Golf X-ray Lima triple eight
Tango contact tower one one eight decimal three bye
End of stall warning
Single chime
15 h 45 min 54 What’s wrong here
15 h 45 min 55 Flaps up
15 h 45 min 57 (*)
15 h 45 min 58 Flaps up
15 h 46 min 00 End of stall warning
15 h 46 min 00,5(*)
Continuous repetitive chime
15 h 46 min 02 Speedbrakes
15 h 46 min 02,5 End of CRC
15 h 46 min 03 C chord (Altitude alert)
15 h 46 min 04
SV: (*) terrain terrain
15 h 46 min 05 (…) (…)
15 h 46 min 06
15 h 46 min 07 End of recording

SKS777FLYER
11th Jun 2011, 05:38
Also, the Perpignan A320 was, I think, being piloted by very highly experienced Type Rating Examiner; the guys who really know their aircraft inside out.
I agree with the assessment above, something not good about THS's that trim themselves full or nearly full NU and then remain there when it might be appropriate for them to auto-nose down to help overwhelmed pilots in the heat of battle with FBW systems..... not to mention stall warnings that shut down at slow speeds, then warn again as airspeed increases... brilliant.

I am not a fan of autotrim in the 777 either.

mm43
11th Jun 2011, 06:10
Not exactly the case. The flight crew were two XL line pilots asked to do an Alpha Protections test without full knowledge of how the aircraft would behave as it approached the stall. The test should have been carried out at above FL100 but commercial pressure resulted in the test being undertaken without ATC knowledge while being vectored on approach at about FL030. The third seat was occupied by the AirNZ check pilot tasked with overseeing the end of lease handover by XL to AirNZ.

A full read of the report will reveal all.

Gretchenfrage
11th Jun 2011, 08:16
A lot of interesting reading and theories.

A quick and incomplete look at some stall accidents still bothers me.

Birgenair 757 stalled due to pitot problems and the pilots not proficient enough to recover, although the aircraft would have permitted. Reasons known and uncontested.

Cali AA 757 stalled due to the non self retracting speedbrakes and the pilots not realizing it. The aircraft would have permitted recovery. Reasons known and uncontested.

330 testflight in Toulouse stalled due to pilot mishandling leading to an unrecoverable stall. Two experienced pilots. Still some debate if the aircraft would have been able to save, still debates about the electronics/protections handling.

320 Perpignan stalled due to THS behavior. Normal pilots. Still some debate about the recovery possibility or not.

Qantas Perth. Aircraft apparently didn't obey pilot orders, recovery succeeded. Still debating about the real reason of the electronic/protections behavior.

AF 447. Enormous debate about the THS, crew performance. Unsure if the aircraft was recoverable.

The troubling questions are still looming, and they are all on AB.
Boeings might fail just as much, but it seems that they would be more easily recoverable in upsets. I can't dismiss the ugly feeling that in upsets the possibilities in AB are less and it would take almost IT trained astronauts to be able to realize and apply the multiple tasks, switchings or many and different procedures to recover.

Airbus needs to clean up their act. Even Joe bloggs like me should be able to apply and memorize a simple and uncomplicated task for upset recovery.
At the moment this seems unrealistic. Therefore all debates are basically futile, because any finding will lead to the perpetual "they should have known" which seems almost impossible.

iceman50
11th Jun 2011, 09:56
Gretchenfrage

330 testflight in Toulouse stalled due to pilot mishandling leading to an unrecoverable stall. Two experienced pilots. Still some debate if the aircraft would have been able to save, still debates about the electronics/protections handling.

Where did you get this misinformation from? if it is the crash I think you were talking about they were simulating and engine failure and the due to a problem with Alt* the aircraft lost too much speed, they had almost recovered but did not have enough height. The Alt* programme was subsequently changed. More of a Vmca problem.

320 Perpignan stalled due to THS behavior. Normal pilots. Still some debate about the recovery possibility or not.

Again misinformation! The THS was a contributing factor, the pilots incorrectly carried out the low speed check at too low an altitude and without following the Flt Test procedure. A recovery could have been possible if the correct actions were taken / correct procedures followed.

Qantas Perth. Aircraft apparently didn't obey pilot orders, recovery succeeded. Still debating about the real reason of the electronic/protections behavior.


Jury still out on that one, as the equipment tested correctly and there were other factors.

AF 447. Enormous debate about the THS, crew performance. Unsure if the aircraft was recoverable.

There is no enormous debate about the THS, it behaved correctly and if the correct actions had been taken I am sure the A/C would have been recoverable.

Airbus needs to clean up their act. Even Joe bloggs like me should be able to apply and memorize a simple and uncomplicated task for upset recovery.
At the moment this seems unrealistic. Therefore all debates are basically futile, because any finding will lead to the perpetual "they should have known" which seems almost impossible.

What an amazing statement to make! Perhaps you are not an average Joe Bloggs!:rolleyes:

Man Flex
11th Jun 2011, 10:35
Finally, some useful and relevant discussion on this thread during these last two pages.

The Perpignan Accident may well explain why the crew were unable to recover flight AF447.

However it doesn't explain the F/O's actions in response to the unreliable airpseed.

Was it...

A) He was applying (inappropriately) his memory items practised recently in the sim?

B) An attempt to "regain" altitude apparently lost during the event?

C) An attempt to climb above the weather they were experiencing i.e. turbulence, hail, st elmo's fire?

Shaka Zulu
11th Jun 2011, 10:40
@SKS777Flyer

the 777 only auto trims for config changes as you know. It doesn't speed trim which is still a manual input.
May I ask why you are not a fan of this trim setup?
The only thing I have with the system is that there is no trim wheel so you are not very aware of what position the stab is at.

I think the THS has played a massive part in this incident but there is not enough information to deduce exactly what happened. A lack of visual cues I've always had issues with. It relies on an active scan (even in cruise) which as we all know is not something a human being is very good at in states of low physical demand. Combine that with a lack of training (cost/sim limitations) in unusual situation and we can see the holes in the cheese lining up.

Having had TAT probe icing in the cruise (without knowing what to look for!!) we thought it was static around the EECs that was causing the EPR indications and all Perf calcs in the FMC to blank (Also A/T disconnect) therefore never did the QRH drill.

Lesson learned...

Graybeard
11th Jun 2011, 11:02
An airliner on departure, climb, cruise, descent, approach and landing is like a symphony orchestra, with all the components working in concert. The conductor can be the FMS, Fright Management System, or the aircraft commander.

It's all seamless and symphonic until a component hits a sour note. Then you really see the contribution of the other components and what is driving them.

It's basic to conventional airplane dynamics, as taught in Langewieche's "Stick and Rudder" and hundreds of other instructional manuals:

Pitch controls airspeed.
Power controls altitude.

The A330 Flight test accident in 1994 uncovered the flaw in Airbus logic. The plane was on autopilot in Altitude Capture mode when the pilot pulled the power on one engine. The AP responded to lack of power by pulling the pitch up to over 30 degrees. Instead, it should have kept the pitch at desired speed, and told the pilot, "We can't do that."

The TK951 B737 approach accident at AMS in 2007 revealed the same flaw. An undetected erroneous input to the A/T caused it to go to Flight Idle. The autopilot tried to stay on Glideslope by pulling the nose up and trimming to lower speed to make up for lack of power. Instead, it should have kept the desired speed, and let the plane sink below glidepath. If the pilot hadn't caught that, he would have heard, "TOO LOW! GLIDESLOPE." Firewalling the throttles would have stopped the sink, and not have caused such a pitchup, as the elevator would still have been trimmed for the correct speed. The pilot could have intentionally traded some airspeed for altitude, and without fighting full aft trim.

How does this apply to 447? We'll see. Trying to control altitude with pitch is a loser, regardless.

jcjeant
11th Jun 2011, 11:09
Hi,

The test should have been carried out at above FL100Just a tought ... but for me if the tests were conducted at the altitude of 35.000 feet ... the result of Perpignan will be the same than AF447
I don't see that altitude will change the fate of the Perpignan event.
The scenario was set to finish in the sea .. from any altitude over the one of the day.
And indeed the pilots were very experimented on type.
Again .. the hours on type are not a reference for "experience" ... as seen in many accidents.

A) He was applying (inappropriately) his memory items practised recently in the sim?The memory items were innapropriate (reason why AF changed it after the AF447 crash and sended all their "experienced" pilots to the sim for play again the scenario)

golfyankeesierra
11th Jun 2011, 13:03
It's basic to conventional airplane dynamics, ......
Pitch controls airspeed.
Power controls altitude.

I DON'T BELIEVE THIS..
Are you serious?...:ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:

We are talking about jets here, it's the other way 'round

(And that makes it adamantly clear: you never flew one)

aguadalte
11th Jun 2011, 14:06
Quote:
It's basic to conventional airplane dynamics, ......
Pitch controls airspeed.
Power controls altitude.
I DON'T BELIEVE THIS..
Are you serious?...:ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:

We are talking about jets here, it's the other way 'round

(And that makes it adamantly clear: you never flew one) Its not "black and white", golfyankeesierra, it really depends on the circumstances: for example, when you're on an "open climb" in your A330 (at a fixed power), its pitch/attitude that controls your speed. The same for an open descent.
After more than 1600 posts here, where the main preoccupation was to understand why the AF447 PF didn't lower the nose of its A330 to reduce AoA and therefore to increase "speed", it seems pretty clear that not always "power" is enough to regain speed...

Gretchenfrage
11th Jun 2011, 14:33
iceman you just proved my point.

QED

stepwilk
11th Jun 2011, 14:38
golfyahnkeesierra makes it plain why modern "airmen" sometimes know nothing about airmanship. Just because his electric airplane's power levers stay in the climb detent, he thinks "You pull back to go up and push forward to go down."

I'd rather fly with Wolfgang Langeweische (or his son William, which I have done) than GYS.

bearfoil
11th Jun 2011, 17:23
Pearpignan

Golf X-ray Lima triple eight
Tango contact tower one one eight decimal three bye
End of stall warning
Single chime
15 h 45 min 54 What’s wrong here
15 h 45 min 55 Flaps up
15 h 45 min 57 (*)
15 h 45 min 58 Flaps up
15 h 46 min 00 End of stall warning
15 h 46 min 00,5(*)
Continuous repetitive chime
15 h 46 min 02 Speedbrakes
15 h 46 min 02,5 End of CRC
15 h 46 min 03 C chord (Altitude alert)
15 h 46 min 04
SV: (*) terrain terrain
15 h 46 min 05 (…) (…)
15 h 46 min 06
15 h 46 min 07 End of recording

Someone unstalled the a/c. Unfortunately, it was pointed at the Ocean. Either the pilots started the Drill too low? (or not). Or the a/c would not allow NU? (what do the g traces say?). Both?

NigelOnDraft
11th Jun 2011, 17:58
GYS Quote:
It's basic to conventional airplane dynamics, ......
Pitch controls airspeed.
Power controls altitude.

I DON'T BELIEVE THIS..
Are you serious?...

We are talking about jets here, it's the other way 'roundI presume you are a Flight Sim wannabee if you don't understand how we can control airspeed with pitch (which you do everyday on an airliner, well any aircraft, in both climb and descent) :{

complexman
11th Jun 2011, 18:28
I am an aircraft engineer with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. I am not a pilot. What I find SHOCKING is that many professional pilots in this thread disagree so strongly on such basic issues as flight dynamics or what a variation of throttle will do to you in level flight. This is really scary. I know quite a lot about airframe design as well as flight control system design having done both for many years. But this thread is proving that as automation proceeds flying IS going to become more and more dangerous. And if that were not enough, they've now started to make airplanes from plastic!

jcjeant
11th Jun 2011, 19:27
Hi,

(what do the g traces say?)

If you find G traces in the BEA report .. you lucky man
Myself found nothing about G traces in the BEA report.

bearfoil
11th Jun 2011, 19:50
jcjeant

No traces of gee? How is that possible? Is the report available through the FAA? I can't imagine not, the A320 is everywhere over here.

complexman

As to resin, 447 had few composites in structural places. If it actually did, please don't tell me. As one who has designed and built in composites for ~40 years, I am most apprehensive about two things. Elasticity, and Fire.

complexman
11th Jun 2011, 20:01
Airbus has the obsession to use composites in much of the tail in most of its models. Joining a metallic component with a composite one is like asking for trouble. Always. (e.g. see section 19 on the A380). But that is not what is worrying me - I am scared of the 787. Rumors indicate that it actually would be lighter had it been built of Al instead of composite. This is because composite have never been used on such scale before so large safety margins are used to absorb the uncertainty.

golfyankeesierra
11th Jun 2011, 20:20
NOD, stepwilk, aguadalte,
Pitch controls airspeed.
Power controls altitude.
I was reacting to above statements

Yes, in a climb or descent pitch=speed, but then power becomes rate

But otherwise:
In a prop: pitch=speed, power=altitude
In a jet: pitch=altitude, power=speed

When you fly an ILS and you get a little high, you don't pull the power, you put your nose down.

What I am objecting to is GB's notion that the 2 mentioned accident are attributed to this pitch/power thing, and what I object most to is his "advice":

Trying to control altitude with pitch is a loser, regardless.

Now back to the AF447 and all this discussion about the stall recovery "procedure".
Stalls aren't trained anymore, they are such basic flying skills that the only time you do them is as mandatory items during type conversions,
but on every type conversion from the very beginning of my flying career they are (with the exception of the option of flapextension on some types) the same: lower your nose (on the horizon will do most of the time) and put on some power and you're out of it.


I can't believe that a pilot with the experience that equals the AF447 least experienced pilot consciously counteracts a stall with pitch-up command.
The big issue here is what the pilots felt and saw, and the BEA statements are a bit puzzling here.
I don't understand the sequence of AP and ATS dropping of before the airspeed indications became faulty. You only get alternate law after ADC's become unrelaible but the aircraft was already in alternate law before the speed dropped from 275kts to 60.
I don't understand the low speeds; I would expect speed increasing with altitude with blocked pitots.
I also don't understand the pilots perseverence in maintaining pitchup command; in his situation I could understand a temporary wrong input, but why so long?
Personaly I think the BEA has not given the full picture regarding actual flight laws; I am also afraid some unknown pitch protection feature played a role, pulling the nose up, while we are thinking it was the pilots doing...

Anyway the pilots were most likely overloaded, spatially disoriented and fooled by their indications, as we all would be.

I don't think an industry wide change of flying technique "Pitch equals speed", as GB suggests, would have saved the day here.
And as much as I like to be a "hands on" pilot, I think the prevention of this happening again will be a technical/engineering solution and not a piloting skill.

BTW, no, I am not a FS wannabe

bearfoil
11th Jun 2011, 20:56
golfyankeesierra

I more or less resent the ease with which pilots are doubted, and the fall back is "It did what it is programmed to do". Fine, perhaps because pilots can think and
innovate, there is some residual resentment that programming gets a look once in a while. For what it's worth, any discussion should have some (alot) of room to wander, we're stuck with fbw. Not that it is poor, it is fine, but it gets this knee jerk defense where professionals get the magnifying glass.

So be it. My baseline is that this crew were eminently qualified, and perhaps more so than the bus. If there is a fault, it may be (probably) that the orchestra hit some sour notes, whether flute or conductor, no matter. The deal is that not enough practice leads to "Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance". Will the Bus surprise? It is certain, for there is simply no way this crew flew to STALL without some mitigating events. I think this should continue, for it is only the pressure of the folks that will goad the sloth.

golfyankeesierra
11th Jun 2011, 21:42
Bear, not doubting the pilots, nor the plane.
I think the 'bus is as safe as any other plane, probably even more.
But I do think there will be some "discoveries" in the course of the investigations revealing a) new notions in passing through weather in that particular area of equatorial Atlantic, and b) new insights in the A330's FBW system.

BTW, remember the Lufthansa A320 tipstrike at Hamburg? In the course of that investigation it showed that most pilots were unware of a specific behavior in the roll-authority at touchdown:
The pilots could not have been aware of the specific flight system control response characteristics
during a landing with a gusty crosswind ...

BFU report page 62 (http://www.bfu-web.de/cln_030/nn_224270/sid_61B4E88665B271BBDFE078F26CC9A179/EN/Publications/Investigation_20Report/2008/Report__08__5X003__A320__Hamburg-Crosswindlanding.html?__nnn=true)

I guess the AF447 final investigation report will spit out similar words..

Rananim
11th Jun 2011, 23:15
There is no enormous debate about the THS, it behaved correctly and if the correct actions had been taken I am sure the A/C would have been recoverable.


Iceman(appropiate enough),

So you dont think autotrim will feature in the report then?You're quite confident that the automatic application of full ANU tim followed by auto-cutout is a good example of "fail-safe" design?And that the transition from auto to manual (when how why it occurs) is intuitively understood by the poor pilot?So why perpignan and now AF?or the tarom or taipei?
It behaved correctly?It behaved as designed.

You might think your oh-so-clever destruction of Gretchenfrage's points were on the nose but you forget one thing;those planes crashed and Im afraid the pilots didnt really know why they were crashing.THEY DIDNT UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY HAD/HADNT DONE.If a design is ambiguous,then it is deficient.

Do you have anything to say about the stall warning inhibit?Id love to hear your thoughts on this one.Over to you ace.:mad:

jcjeant
12th Jun 2011, 01:42
Hi,

So far as this accident is concerned, the adjustments in thrust and trim that were computer-directedIn alternate law with auto-throttle off :confused:(read BEA note !)

jcjeant
12th Jun 2011, 02:08
Hi,

A little of topic but an interesting table ....
By the ACARS ... the BEA ?? .. and many people of this forum had concluded that the plane was falling rapidly (a stall or spin condition)
So (I already commented) I still puzzled with the management of the researches by the BEA (almost two years spend in thin air ..)

http://i.imgur.com/BI6Ml.png

RWA
12th Jun 2011, 05:58
It used to be said that the only really silly question is the one you don't ask.

I'm wondering WHY the autotrim 'decided,' in both accidents, to go to 'THS full up' in the first place? And then STAY there, even though both pilots were in the end pushing the stick forward? Anyone know what the 'system logic' that could cause that reaction is?

The BEA gives us no guidance at all on the point. For the Perpignan accident - even though it's the final report - the BEA just says:-


The auto-trim system gradually moved the horizontal stabilizer to a full nose-up position during the deceleration. The horizontal stabilizer remained in this position until the end of the flight.

In the case of AF447, it says even less - it just tells us 'what' happened, and doesn't even tell us when it happened (i.e. which minute):-


The trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) passed from 3 to 13 degrees nose-up in about 1 minute and remained in the latter position until the end of the flight.

No mention of 'why?' in either case.

So here's my 'silly question.' Despite the fact that the autopilot and autothrust had 'signed off' on AF447, and the pilot at Perpignan was most certainly seeking to get the nose down all the time, and the AF447 one much of the time - is it possible that the autotrim in both cases was still trying to regain the previously-commanded altitude?

Never flown anything with autotrim (in fact, I've only flown anything with an autopilot twice in my life). But as far as I know, that (keeping the aeroplane exactly to a given altitude) is the main 'everyday' function of an autotrim?

opherben
12th Jun 2011, 07:20
Flying Basics, straight and level:
Pitch attitude controls altitude
thrust controls airspeed
This for prop, jet, rocket any type of propulsion in fixed wing aircraft, but only on the front, right side of the thrust versus speed curve.

Left side of the curve- opposite. This because of negative speed stability, where a given power setting doesn't have one but two correct speeds, and the aircraft would always fly away from the desired speed on the left side..

opherben
12th Jun 2011, 07:26
BEA published facts found, not conclusions, that is why no reason given for AF447.

RWA
12th Jun 2011, 07:39
So why no reason for the 2008 A320 accident at Perpignan either, opherben?

In the final report?

NigelOnDraft
12th Jun 2011, 09:18
GYS

When you fly an ILS and you get a little high, you don't pull the power, you put your nose down.Disagree... ;) If you can show me a training manual clearly stating the opposite, please post it here, but for now I will extract from the Student Guide to my first Jet:

http://www.aghsoftware.com/PrecApp.jpg (This is actually for the PAR, but the same technique used for an ILS).

In practice either technique works to an extent, but the 2 are intertwined.

NoD

Walder
12th Jun 2011, 10:54
Keep it simple:

Pitch attitude IS speed control: :8
On a glider you adjust your speed with your pitch attitude.
On a 747 without any thrust you have a veeery big glider:O. Again you adjust your speed with your pitch attitude.:ok: (Altitude is "just" a time factor:sad:)

The bonus by power/thrust: You are now able to maintain your altitude - even climb (in most situations:}) So power/thrust IS altitude control!!!:ok:

By the way - ain't we just a little of topic??:\

aguadalte
12th Jun 2011, 11:04
complexman:I am an aircraft engineer with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. I am not a pilot. What I find SHOCKING is that many professional pilots in this thread disagree so strongly on such basic issues as flight dynamics or what a variation of throttle will do to you in level flight. This is really scary. I know quite a lot about airframe design as well as flight control system design having done both for many years. But this thread is proving that as automation proceeds flying IS going to become more and more dangerous. And if that were not enough, they've now started to make airplanes from plastic! complexman:
We have a saying in my country, that goes like this:
"Presunção e água benta, cada um toma a que quer..."
(Presumption and holy water, each one takes whatever...)

What I find really scary is the way engineers are designing flying machines that are so complex that even made them think that they have created an aircraft "against pilot's mistakes".
Man/machine interface was relegated to a status of "get used to it". Adapt yourself to your new role: flight management.
Fortunately for us, things are not all black and white. Engineers are not perfect, nor are we pilots...
But one thing is for sure, pilots are open to debate, open to new ideas, open to other professional classe's meddling and scrutinizing opinions.
In favor of flight safety, we do need to continue to open ourselves to our own scrutiny and open ourselves to other's opinions. I have learned a lot in this forum. There are a lot of great professionals with whom I love to exchange ideas and comments.
What we don't need is that sort of sleaze and arrogance, especially when coming from someone who should behave as an invited guest and therefore adopt more urban manners.

opherben
12th Jun 2011, 11:13
Quote, "With the greatest respect to some: On Approach,

1) light aircraft use pitch for speed

2) Heavy Jets use thrust for speed

Too many light aircraft pilots here who obviously have no experience in heavy aircraft operations "


By George,
I beg to differ. Since you are on the thrust curve backside, adding thrust will not necessarily regain target airspeed, but lowering attitude will. No different from light aircraft.

The differentiation of light from heavy aircraft flying technique is an error in understanding aircraft flight mechanics and resulting handling qualities, even if the chief flight instructor taught this way. What matters are design parameters like wing loading, thrust over weight, lift over drag, and the CL vs Alpha and thrust vs airpseed curves. The B747 at any landing weight isn't substantially different in approach handling qualities from a Cessna 206, even though the Boeing wing is swept, and has more tires and Lbs. Their greatest handling qualities differences are in the flight control system mechanical characteristics, irrelevant to the above quoted issue.
The writer served as chief experimental test pilot since the 70's.

jcjeant
12th Jun 2011, 11:34
Hi,

Pitch and attitude ....

YouTube - ‪Stopped engine aerobatics‬‏

Man Flex
12th Jun 2011, 11:56
For those questioning the auto-trim on the airbus - this is a function of the FBW system.

On a conventional aeroplane (PA28 or 737) the pilot pitches up using the control column and manually trims the pressure off using the trim wheel or electric trim switch (same thing).

On the airbus this happens automatically. The pilot pitches the aeroplane up with sidestick inputs and the computer trims off the resulting "pressure" (you can still see the trim wheel rotating back during this process).

If the pilot applies sufficient back stick for a sufficient amount of time then the trim will wind fully back to the stop. This is what happened during the deceleration phase of the Perpignan Accident and almost certainly what happened during the Air France 447 tragedy.

In some conditions the auto-trim disconnects (abnormal attitude and direct law) and the trim setting and therefore wheel and stabiliser will remain in that final position until either

a) auto-trim is restored

or

b) the pilot moves the trim wheel manually!

RWA
12th Jun 2011, 15:27
Man Flex

If the pilot applies sufficient back stick for a sufficient amount of time then the trim will wind fully back to the stop. This is what happened during the deceleration phase of the Perpignan Accident and almost certainly what happened during the Air France 447 tragedy.


Fair enough, Man Flex - except that I can't recall (unless I missed it) any reference to the Perpignan pilot applying 'up stick'? Please correct me if I'm wrong?

And secondly, the ('vestigial)' BEA 'note' about AF447 does indeed refer to the PF applying 'up stick' in the early stages of the accident -but it ALSO says, in the next paragraph:-



"The airplane’s pitch attitude increased progressively beyond 10 degrees and the plane started to climb. The PF made nose-down control inputs and alternately left and right roll inputs. The vertical speed, which had reached 7,000 ft/min, dropped to 700 ft/min and the roll varied between 12 degrees right and 10 degrees left. The speed displayed on the left side increased sharply to 215 kt (Mach 0.68). The airplane was then at an altitude of about 37,500 ft and the recorded angle of attack was around 4 degrees."

So it appears, on the face of it, that the PF 'did the right thing,' recovered control, and restored the aeroplane to a stable flightpath and a sensible attitude? But - important point - the THS didn't respond?


On the airbus this happens automatically. The pilot pitches the aeroplane up with sidestick inputs and the computer trims off the resulting "pressure" (you can still see the trim wheel rotating back during this process).



If the pilot applies sufficient back stick for a sufficient amount of time then the trim will wind fully back to the stop. This is what happened during the deceleration phase of the Perpignan Accident and almost certainly what happened during the Air France 447 tragedy.


In some conditions the auto-trim disconnects (abnormal attitude and direct law) and the trim setting and therefore wheel and stabiliser will remain in that final position until either



a) auto-trim is restored



or



b) the pilot moves the trim wheel manually!





Entirely acceptable in after-dinner parlour games. But NOT, IMO, on airliners travelling at around 400 knots at well under 10,000 feet......


OK, I'll stick my neck out. I think that it's high time that aviation (Airbus, but also Boeing if appropriate) adopted a principle called 'failsafe.' At one time (I'm actually ancient enough to know :)) it was new to my own industry - but it was a 'blinding light' at the time, and (in my own experience) started saving lives within months.......



What it would have amounted to, in aviation terms, is that the 'systems' should have reverted to neutral settings after they signed off - so that the autotrim, for example, would not have just signed off and left the THS at an unheard-of 13 degrees up or so, but would have reduced the angle to a conventional setting (say 3 degrees up or so).



But even that 'begs the question' of how long the THS actually TAKES to adjust. From the BEA 'note,' it appears to have taken the best part of a minute to go from 3 degrees to 13 degrees - presumably it would have taken most of another minute to go back from 13 degrees to any sort of reasonable angle? Considering that the whole accident happened within not much more than three minutes, that still wouldn't have given the pilots much chance?



OK - as just a 'seat of the pants' amateur pilot from many years ago (who mainly flew sailplanes because I couldn't afford powered aeroplanes) I'll stick my neck out.



And say that, in my (genuinely-humble) opinion, both manufacturers should actively consider whether such 'new' features as slow-acting, but enormously powerful THS's - as opposed to old-fashioned, under-powered, but quick-acting trim-tabs -are 'a step too far'.........

Man Flex
12th Jun 2011, 16:58
RWA,

I don't know you're experience but you are one of few posters here asking the right questions.

In the Perpignan Accident the autopilot was disconnected in level flight and the aeroplane decelerated. The pilot would require to applying increasing nose up attitude to maintain level flight. The auto-trim would react correspondingly.

I see your point about the pitch down inputs made by the Air France F/O. I personally believe that these were token gestures to reduce the rate of climb. If the aeroplane has reached a pitch attitude of 10 degrees nose up then the trim would be wound back. The fact that the trim wound all the way back does, in my opinion imply that the F/O's inputs were predominately nose-up and as I say his inputs would have to be sufficient to allow this to happen. I don't think for one second that the THS acted alone or there was a failure.

What it would have amounted to, in aviation terms, is that the 'systems' should have reverted to neutral settings after they signed off - so that the autotrim, for example, would not have just signed off and left the THS at an unheard-of 13 degrees up or so, but would have reduced the angle to a conventional setting (say 3 degrees up or so).

I completely agree and a very valid point. I believe that in both accidents both crews failed to appreciate that auto-trim was no longer available and it was necessary for them to move the trim wheel.

In my opinion and from all that I have read, the aeroplane responded as it was designed to do in accordance with the pilot inputs that were made.

Why he made those inputs are yet to be explained.

skip.rat
12th Jun 2011, 22:46
RWA
Agree with your post as well as Man Flex; Have discussed the THS with a few colleagues & I don't see what benefit there is in allowing the THS to remain in a position (that would most likely render the aircraft unflyable) without manual re-trim following reversion to alternate law.
Indeed, (and without knowing the typical range of THS movement during the cruise phase of flight), I can't see why the autotrimming isn't limited to a degree or two beyond the "normal" cruise range, with a warning that it is reaching the limits of its "normal" travel. I doubt that more extreme manoeuvres such as TCAS RA or Terrain avoidance would be hindered significantly by such a limit.

goldfish85
13th Jun 2011, 00:58
Some of the descriptions of Airbus's propensity to stall are inaccurate and, in my opinion, incorrect.

***************************
330 testflight in Toulouse stalled due to pilot mishandling leading to an unrecoverable stall. Two experienced pilots. Still some debate if the aircraft would have been able to save, still debates about the electronics/protections handling.

320 Perpignan stalled due to THS behavior. Normal pilots. Still some debate about the recovery possibility or not.

Qantas Perth. Aircraft apparently didn't obey pilot orders, recovery succeeded. Still debating about the real reason of the electronic/protections behavior.
**************************
I recently reviewed flight test accidents in FBW airplanes.

The circumstances in the A330 in Toulouuse was caused by deviating from the desired entry conditions and engaging the autopilot with full thrust then shutting one down. Unfortunately during the brief interval between A/P engagement and engine shutdown the autopilot entered altitude capture mode because the selected altitude had been left too low. Because of the nature of altitude capture, the airplane tried to maintain too steep a climb gradient. Some of the envelope protections were not available in altitude capture.

The A320 in Peripignan had two alpha probes frozen effectively outvoting the third (correct) probe. The test card was to verify alpha protection. Clearly with two indications at low values, alpha protection mode was never going to activate. Nevertheless, the crew continued down to the stall to see if it would finally activate (it didn't). During the stall, airflow differences between the various probes cause a transition to direct law. Unfortunately the test was flown at much too low an altitude for recovery.

This paper was presented at the Flight Test Safety Workshop last month.

The A-330 north of Perth is one of the very few in-service, civil flight by wire accidents (several serious injuries). In my opinion, this was a result of a poor voting scheme for a failed sensor. I say "In my opinion" as the formal report has not been released yet.

This was discussed in a 2009 paper at the International Society of Air Safety Investigators. At that time, only three FBW-caused accidents had been reported with no fatalities. AF-447 was not included because the cause wasn't known (and actually still isn't)

I think we should wait for the report to come out. After all, they've only had the flight and cockpit voice recorder data for a few weeks now.


Goldfish

Golden Rivit
13th Jun 2011, 01:05
Would the crew have a "Man Pitch Trim" annunciation in the FMA?

jcjeant
13th Jun 2011, 02:00
Hi,

Goldfish85
320 Perpignan stalled due to THS behavior. Normal pilots. Still some debate about the recovery possibility or not.From the BEA report Perpignan

Captain

Flying hours:
• 12,709 flying hours of which 7,038 on type.
• 128 hours in the previous three months, all on type.
• 14 hours in the previous thirty days, all on type.
• No flying hours in the previous 24 hours.


Co-Pilot

Flying hours:
• 11,660 flying hours of which 5,529 on type.
• 192 hours in the previous three months, all on type.
• 18 hours in the previous thirty days, all on type.
• No flying hours in the previous 24 hours.Maybe not very very experienced ... but certainly more than those of the AF447

The crew of Toulouse test flight:

Nicholas Warner, chief test pilot and captain. 7,713 flying hours experience.
Michel Cais co-pilot. 9,558 flying hours experience.
Jean Pierre Petit engineer. 6,225 flying hours experience.
Very more experienced ? .. maybe as test pilots ......

RWA
13th Jun 2011, 03:21
Many thanks for your open-minded approach, Man Flex. It 'spurred me on' to have another read of the Perpignan report which I linked to earlier. I'm afraid that the paragraph immediately preceding the part I quoted does indeed say that the 'systems,' for reasons best known to themselves, did apparently ignore the pilot's nosedown inputs and leave the THS at 'full up':-


When the stall warning sounded, the Captain reacted by placing the thrust levers in the TO/GA detent and by pitching the aeroplane down, in accordance with procedures. The nose-down input was not however sufficient for the automatic compensation system to vary the position of the horizontal stabilizer, which had been progressively deflected to the pitch-up stop by this system during the deceleration. The Captain controlled a left roll movement, caused by the stall. The aeroplane’s high angle of attack and the roll movements generated asymmetry, and a speed variation between ADR 1 and 2 appeared. This increasing divergence caused a rejection of the three ADRs by the FAC then the ELAC. The flight control system then passed into direct law. It is likely that the crew did not notice this due to the emergency situation and the aural stall warning that covered the warning of a change of flight control laws. The Air New Zealand pilot, by saying “alpha floor, we’re in manual” likely considered that the alpha floor function had triggered and that in fact the autopilot had disconnected.

Golden Rivit, the same paragraph also largely answers your question. As far as I know (Airbus pilots please amplify) when the systems go into 'direct law' a message appears saying "USE MAN. PITCH TRIM" - I don't know whether there is an aural warning as well. But the BEA report concludes that this could well have been 'masked' by all the other warnings that would have been going off by that time.

Man Flex, have to 'come to the defence' of the AF447 pilot. He did indeed apply nosedown stick and get the aeroplane practically level, at Mach 0.68, and at an AoA of only four degrees (that is, near enough 'normal flight'). I'm afraid that it looks increasingly likely that the AF447 THS, like the Perpignan one, ignored the pilot's 'nosedown inputs,' and stayed at full up. Which could very well have both caused and maintained the stall?


The PF made nose-down control inputs and alternately left and right roll inputs. The vertical speed, which had reached 7,000 ft/min, dropped to 700 ft/min and the roll varied between 12 degrees right and 10 degrees left. The speed displayed on the left side increased sharply to 215 kt (Mach 0.68). The airplane was then at an altitude of about 37,500 ft and the recorded angle of attack was around 4 degrees.



Anyone know more about that 'automatic compensation system' that the Perpignan report mentions?

thermostat
13th Jun 2011, 03:28
Thank you Basil for what I consider to be the best post so far on this topic. I too have flown the 320 and agree with all you say. I will forever state that they should never have entered the CB in the first place given the circumstances (heavy, high, turbulence). I still feel that the radar was not working. So far there has been no conformation that it was. Why else would trained pilots fly through the red area of a CB ? (see the satellite Wx photo). Something that most of you don't know is that Airbus issued a NOTAM reminding pilots not to depart with inop radar if there was reported CBs enroute. This was sent out some time after the 447 crash. Got me thinking !!
I blame the government watchdogs like the FAA, and others like them, for not paying attention to the type of training required on these new computer driven 'planes. There are a number of items we never covered during our training in the sim. With one day of so called "practice" and then a nerve racking check ride that that was full of surprises, I don't see how any pilot gets any benefit from these stupid sim sessions.
Hope we get more info from the two data recorders soon.
Glad to be retired from a crazy industry such as this.

camel
13th Jun 2011, 04:04
With the Captain on a break ...and two f/o's in charge ...what would be the likely seating arrangement ?

I would imagine the less experienced f/o (800 on type) would be in the RHS as PF and the more experienced f/o in the LHS..

However after the proverbial hit the fan there was a change over of PF..and
this would lead to the f/o in the LHS trying to recover it..with no real experience of operating from that seat ?

is this a possible scenario?

bearfoil
13th Jun 2011, 04:48
camel

It is my understanding that a typed Pilot must fly in the Seat which he occupies in his regular role, Captain LHS, F/O, RHS, and relief in either. This puts the F/O in the RHS the one whose panel reads are not recorded. In the ITCZ, my guess is that the F/O is PF. Stand to be corrected.

Reinhardt
13th Jun 2011, 05:26
jcjeant wrote :
From the BEA report Perpignan
Crew maybe not very very experienced ... but certainly more than those of the AF447
.............
The crew of Toulouse test flight:
Very more experienced ? .. maybe as test pilots ......

What a lot of confusion regarding flight hours !

It's hard to admit for a lot in the industry, but flight hours don't have the same value, depending on the background... Even if it doesn't prevent them for having accidents (see Toulouse Airbus crew, also british Trident stall in the 60's, dozens of others...) hours in a flight test environment have thirty (or more ?) time the value of hours in an airline environnment, with nothing happening in cruise, and landings always identical - if not in external conditions, but for sure in performing. Comparing flight hours of both sides is like mixing strawberries with potatoes.
Maybe there will be an understanding of all this after ?
The Perpignan crew was conducting an acceptance flight, and they had no training for that, period. To call them test pilots is totally unappropriate. I know that in the companies (including mine) you have supposed experienced pilots, calling themselves "test pilots" when they just perform "out-of-maintenance" check flights ....

One day airline pilots will have to admit that their hours don't have big value, compared to other backgrounds ... but as flying big jets is supposed to be the pinnacle of careers, its' not going to happen soon, I'm afraid.

So jcjeant .. please document yourself a little bit about flight testing, ask people or read books...

opherben
13th Jun 2011, 06:21
Bubbers44 wrote, "I know we are drifting off topic but I don't understand why the pitch for glideslope and power for airspeed is so hard to comprehend. All autopilots work this way. "

Repeating wrong technique isn't going to make it right. I explained why on the previous page.

The comparison here of autopilot to human is wrong, in that an autopilot is designed to make corrections a number of times a second, which makes speed instability a non factor in flying an approach. The aircraft longitudinal time constant is significantly longer, making autopilot control effective, however a human burdened with multiple tasks, is unable to effectively cope, because of our inherent time constant, especially during multi-tasking workload.

opherben
13th Jun 2011, 06:29
RWA wrote,
"So why no reason for the 2008 A320 accident at Perpignan either, opherben? In the final report? "
You are right. It isn't a complete, professional document. I say that being myself a government authorized air accident and incident investigator.

camel
13th Jun 2011, 06:33
Bearfoil

yes of course one of the f/o's is PF due to the Capt being on a break...my point being which one of the f/o's and from which seat ....if the more experienced f/o started of as PF in the RHS i find it hard to believe that he would give control to the less experienced other f/o in the lhs ...

however if the less experienced f/o was PF from the RHS then handed over control to the other F/o in the LHS one can envisage the added problems in trying to sort it all out from the LHS..

make sense?

btw i am in no way trying to blame any of the pilots for this disaster.

Shaka Zulu
13th Jun 2011, 07:17
In our airline normally the relief FO occupies the seat either P1 or P2 vacates. So in this case the P1 seat. It's assumed that the FO who is most 'senior' will become acting PIC.

As for flying roles: Depending on who is PF and PNF those ''roles'' stay with the seat.
eg. the P1 FO can be ''pilot flying and acting PIC''.
Whether this is what you want is another discussion and best left out of this accident.

B744IRE
13th Jun 2011, 07:43
In our company the Acting Pilot in Command (APIC) is in the seat in which they are qualified...a First Officer would be in the RHS.

Man Flex
13th Jun 2011, 08:11
I think I'll bow out soon as this thread is far too up and down for me.

The guy flying was in the RHS and was the least experienced of the three. The guy in the LHS was the other F/O who yes, would have little if any flying experience from that side.

RWA,

I think you might be reading too much into the THS "sticking" theory. I reiterate that the pilot must apply sufficent and sustained movement on the sidestike for the THS to move. Remember (without getting too technical) that Trim is a function of speed. A pitch change at slow speed has a different effect on Trim than at high speed.

For what it's worth. My reading of the 27th May update is as follows...

The autopilot and autothrust disconnect and the aeroplane reverts to alternate law 2 due to an ADR disagree. They are in turbulent conditions and the aeroplane rolls slightly to the right. The F/O who has been only mildly alert until this moment grabs the sidestick and makes a left nose up input. This may have been instinctive or he may have been reacting to what he saw on his PFD (apparent loss of altitude). This pitch input is enough to cause an increase in the nose attitude to 10 degrees and aeroplane starts a climb. Such an input is fairly agressive at altitude and this creates a zoom climb with a rate of climb momentarily reaching 7000'/min. The THS reacts to this significant and sustained input and starts to wind back relieving the "pressure" on the sidestick. He realises that his initial input is aggressive and slightly checks the rate of pitch reducing the rate of climb to 700'/min (is he seeking 10 degrees pitch?).

I am at a loss what happens from here but it would appear that following the second stall warning he applies TOGA and raises the nose still further, the AoA reaches 6 degrees and continues to increase reaching 16 degrees at 38,000'.

When the aeroplane stalls the AoA reaches 40 degrees and the aeroplane enters Abnormal Attitude law where auto trim ceases and the THS remains at it's previous nose-up position.

I don't know after that whether the elevator alone has the authority to pitch the nose down to what was required but I doubt it.

beardy
13th Jun 2011, 08:22
Apparently it didn't enter Abnormal Attitude law, continued pitch up will keep THS trimmed esp at slow speed, small excursions pitch down wouldn't give it time to unwind.

Graybeard
13th Jun 2011, 13:34
The discussion on pitch/power has been enlightening. Guess I shouldn't be surprised there's so much misunderstanding in this group, as just now A&B are admitting power alone does not give you speed to recover from a stall.

Next will be the realization by A&B that trimming the tail to maintain altitude is wrong if your power is limited, as in the case of the Flight Test A330, TK951, etc. I expect some serious limits will be introduced to prevent trimming that presently takes the plane into a stall.

RWA
13th Jun 2011, 14:36
opherben


RWA wrote,
"So why no reason for the 2008 A320 accident at Perpignan either, opherben? In the final report? "
You are right. It isn't a complete, professional document.


Great, opherben. We appear to be of one mind.

Man Flex


RWA,

I think you might be reading too much into the THS "sticking" theory. I reiterate that the pilot must apply sufficent and sustained movement on the sidestike for the THS to move.


Sorry we're disagreeing, Man Flex. We currently have only the sketchiest information about AF447 - but we have fairly full information about Perpignan. In both cases the THS went to 'full up' and stayed there, whatever the pilot did. The 'difference' is that the (full) report on Perpignan clearly says that the captain repeatedly pushed the stick forward all the way to the stop, and held it there - but the THS just stayed in the 'full up' notch........

Studi


At the end, it boils down to 4 things:



Agree that all those things are relevant, studi. But I would submit that there are at least three other relevant factors.

1. The (known to be sub-standard) Thales pitots. Just the AF447 guys' bad luck that, although these were already being replaced, Air France just hadn't got round to replacing those on their particular aeroplane.

2. The weather. Not just the icing, but probably turbulence as well. Can't have helped.

3. The instruments. The positive 'cascade' of ACARS messages shows that one instrument and 'system' after another was cutting out or in right through the crisis period. I think the most serious criticism one can levy at the BEA is that they didn't say much about that issue in their first report, and say absolutely nothing about it in their recent 'note.' Most of the malfunctioning was probably linked to icing in the pitots and ports. But we'll maybe never know what information the pilots had (or didn't have) as to the aeroplane's attitude, speed, or even its altitude at various times during the crisis. Especially, I fear, if we rely on the BEA to inform us........

In particular, we more or less 'know' that the pilots didn't have any sort of 'natural horizon' to work with. And it's only too possible that, at times anyway, they didn't have an artificial one either........?

Lonewolf_50
13th Jun 2011, 14:55
What would lead to the attitude indicators failling, RWA?

It has been explained to me in the various other threads on this topic that the attitude indicators are driven by ring laser gyros (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_laser_gyroscope). I had posited that perhaps the pilots were on a "partial panel" sort of scan, and was advised with some vigor that my supposition was groundless.

There don't appear to be ACARS messages indicating Inertial Reference kicking off, so what anomaly do you think would account for both (all three?) of the "gyros" dropping off?

Or, if you think there was a single failure, the pilot flying, how would the BEA know that his failed and left seat pilot's didn't? Unless the BEA is able to find and publish evidence of an attitude indicator failure, it's hard to point to that as a causal factor.

FWIW (From a summary of how an ADIRU works on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Data_Inertial_Reference_Unit), consider the source ...) :
An ADIRS consists of up to three fault tolerant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fault-tolerant_design) ADIRUs located in the aircraft electronic rack, an associated Control and Display Unit (CDU) in the cockpit and remotely mounted Air Data Modules (ADMs).
The No 3 ADIRU is a redundant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundancy_(engineering)) unit that may be selected to supply data to either the commander's or the co-pilot's displays in the event of a partial or complete failure of either the No 1 or No 2 ADIRU.
There is no cross-channel redundancy between the Nos 1 and 2 ADIRUs, as No 3 ADIRU is the only alternate source of air and inertial reference data.
An Inertial Reference (IR) fault in ADIRU No 1 or 2 will cause a loss of attitude (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_attack) and navigation information on their associated Primary Flight Display (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFIS#Primary_Flight_Display_.28PFD.29) (PFD) and Navigation Display (ND) screens.
An ADR (Air Data Reference) fault will cause the loss of airspeed and altitude information on the affected display. In either case the information can only be restored by selecting the No 3 ADIRU.

Each ADIRU comprises an Air Data Reference (ADR) and an Inertial Reference (IR) component.

As I understand how the ACARS messages were deciphered, it was that ADR faults that stood out, not IR faults. I may misunderstand what was reported.

Lemain
13th Jun 2011, 15:16
I think I've read every post in this thread and there are many, many comments about 'faulty' or blocked pitot(s). I've not seen (or maybe missed) comments about the static vent(s). What exactly about the pitot(s) or static vent(s) is believed to have 'gone wrong'? Surely the electric heaters were functioning and switched on?

Lonewolf_50
13th Jun 2011, 15:49
Lemain: in a nutshell, there is more than one kind of ice up high. Numerous posts in the three threads covering this crash discuss the micro crystals outside of usual icing environment that can be encountered and, due to size, essentially frustrate the pitot heating that usually works just find on other kinds of ice.


AERO - Engine Power Loss in Ice Crystal Conditions (http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_4_07/article_03_1.html)
Cracking a high altitude mystery - News - NRC-CNRC (http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/news/nrc/2009/08/28/engine-icing.html)

While that articles discuss is a problem with engines.

What apparently happens in some pitot tubes is the ice crystals adhere, melt, then bond to the metal, which insulates following ice crystals from the heat and leads to build up in other parts of the pitot tube, heat on or not. Some months ago an early utterance from BEA seemed to support a previous industry finding that some models of pitot tube (Goodrich in this case) are a bit better at dealing with that problem than others (Thales), but numerous posters here have pointed out that until the regulating authorities (globally) create an agreed standard, it may be tougher to require/enforce a specification. This crash is perhaps a motivating factor in moving that process forward.

See this for added info ...

A330 Pitot Tube Icing Concerns Persist | AVIATION WEEK (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/awst/2010/01/04/AW_01_04_2010_p28-193411.xml)


Europeans Require Pitot Tube Modifications for A330/A340 - >> The Cranky Flier (http://crankyflier.com/2009/09/29/europeans-require-pitot-tube-modifications-for-a330a340/)

kwateow
13th Jun 2011, 15:57
With the Capt in his seat everyone knows who's commanding and that he had some training to be a commander.

When the Capt is resting who is in command in the cockpit?

I don't mean who is PF, nor who is more senior, but rather is the command of flight deck activity formally handed over to one of the pilots?

stepwilk
13th Jun 2011, 16:14
I think I've read every post in this thread and there are many, many comments about 'faulty' or blocked pitot(s). I've not seen (or maybe missed) comments about the static vent(s). What exactly about the pitot(s) or static vent(s) is believed to have 'gone wrong'? Surely the electric heaters were functioning and switched on?

Hard to imagine that you've even read many posts, much less every one...

aguadalte
13th Jun 2011, 16:17
RWA:
In particular, we more or less 'know' that the pilots didn't have any sort of 'natural horizon' to work with. And it's only too possible that, at times anyway, they didn't have an artificial one either........?Agree.

This message is part of the 24 CMC messages delivered by the aircraft at time of accident:
02:13:14 - .1/FLR/FR0906010211 34123406IR2 1,EFCS1X,IR1,IR3,,,,ADIRU2 (1FP2),HARDNot explained on the 1st BEA interim report and certainly not completely explained on the second one.

aguadalte
13th Jun 2011, 17:43
At 2 h 12 min 02, the PF said "I don’t have any more indications", and the PNF said "we have
no valid indications". This messages are from 02:11,
(Those, are presented to pilots):
2:12:10WRN/WN0906010211 341200106FLAG ON CAPT PFD FPV 2:12:16WRN/WN0906010211 341201106FLAG ON F/O PFD FPV(These, are not)
2:13:08FLR/FR0906010211 34220006ISIS 1,,,,,,,ISIS(22FN-10FC) SPEED OR MACH FUNCTION,HARD 2:13:14FLR/FR0906010211 34123406IR2 1,EFCS1X,IR1,IR3,,,,ADIRU2 (1FP2),HARD(and this one would be also presented to them - if ECAM was not full of previous messages):
2:12:51WRN/WN0906010212 341040006NAV ADR DISAGREEAt 2 h 13 min 32, the PF said "we’re going to arrive at level one hundred". About fifteen seconds
later, simultaneous inputs by both pilots on the sidesticks were recorded and the PF said "go
ahead you have the controls".
The angle of attack, when it was valid, always remained above 35 degrees.
The recordings stopped at 2 h 14 min 28. The last recorded values were a vertical speed of
-10,912 ft/min, a ground speed of 107 kt, pitch attitude of 16.2 degrees nose-up, roll angle of
5.3 degrees left and a magnetic heading of 270 degrees. After that zoom climb to almost 38000ft, (and its still not clear to me if it wasn't made by/due to high speed stability, [yes HSS is available in ALT LAW], and the probable entrance into a reconfiguration provoqued by Abnormal Attitude Laws [speed less than 60kts] with the consequence of Auto Trim stoppage, their fate was closed.

bearfoil
13th Jun 2011, 18:46
kwateow

May I ask a dumb question?
With the Capt in his seat everyone knows who's commanding and that he had some training to be a commander.

When the Capt is resting who is in command in the cockpit?

I don't mean who is PF, nor who is more senior, but rather is the command of flight deck activity formally handed over to one of the pilots?

Not dumb at all. In the same vein, I think prior to any additional money spent on training, a fourth bar will be issued to all who lack one. Phony confidence is still confidence, after all.

aguadalte
13th Jun 2011, 18:56
The Captain is always the guy with four stripes.
Even when he is resting.
In my company, when we have 3 or four member crews, we have the figure of the commander. Even when the augmenting crew member is a Captain, the Commander is always the one in charge of the strategic decisions. The Captain or the SFO are only allowed to take tactical decisions.
To take a nap, before crossing the Intertropical zone is of course, unthinkable...

Lemain
13th Jun 2011, 19:09
Lonewolf -- thanks for that full reply. It's getting hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

GerardC
13th Jun 2011, 19:21
thermostat :
I will forever state that they should never have entered the CB in the first place.... Why else would trained pilots fly through the red area of a CB ? (see the satellite Wx photo)Thermostat : please stop confusing the "red areas" on the "satellite Wx photos" with convective cells as they appear on "our" radars.
There was obviously NO "red wall" 80 Nm ahead when the captain went to rest.

thermostat :
I still feel that the radar was not working.There is no suggestion, so far, that the radar was "not working".
Please do not forget :
1) they went through a lot of "red satellite photo Wx area" without too much problem before starting to deviate ;
2) 20' before, the LH 744 deviated only 10 miles for weather ;
3) see a post above. A 744 captain flew the same route during the same night and stated "no weather to speak about....".

IMHO, they obviously flew into clouds and encountered THE conditions leading to AA pitots freeze.
In the months before the accident, dozens of AA pitots freezes happened.
Do you, seriously, believe ALL these crews flew straight into "red wall(s)" ?

Lonewolf_50
13th Jun 2011, 20:53
aguadelta:
EDIT: sorry, that ought to be addressed to aguadalte :O

You say that high speed protection is available in alt law.
What I read from (dated) material is that high speed stability is available. Pilot can overcome that, according to my dated sources. Overspeed prot, as I understand it, is only available in Normal Law. Protection as in "won't let the pilot go that far out of the box" by making control inputs to counter a tendency/trend to get out of the box.

What am I misunderstanding about the difference between overspeed protection and high speed stability?

bearfoil
13th Jun 2011, 21:02
As there was MachLimit on ACARS, and there is evidently no overspeed mentioned thus far, The Protection was obviously there. Have Faith.

Seriously, the warning could have been a "sensed" event, due only plugged drain. They were @ .82 (limit for conditions) No?

Lonewolf_50
13th Jun 2011, 21:11
bear, maybe I misremember, but didn't the reconstruction so far show that the crew choose to slow to M 0.8 in anticipation of entering turbulent air?

More to the point on this item, bear: once the crew verbalized "alternate law" they are aware that they aren't in Normal Law. That tells me that the crew are aware that they no longer have overspeed protection. The crew would thus be aware that they need to be mindful of avoiding an overspeed, since the robot won't be doing it for them.

High speed stability, as I read the chart, would "assist" if airspeed approaches (is close to?) overspeed, but a pilot could override that and make it go too fast. So it isn't a protection, by design, it's more of an assist.

In the Protection mode in Normal Law, my understanding is that the robot would do considerably more to resist the pilot trying to increase speed beyond the threshold value. (Airspeed as sensed by the infamous pitot tubes and massaged vigorously by the various flight control and nav computers. No cigarette afterwards, sorry, this is a no smoking flight! :p )

With High speed stability still an available function (presuming that Alt Law was as far as things degraded ... the possible Abnormal Attitude law excursion remains "unproven")
IF erroneous or valid airspeed at the "too fast" limit is sensed,
THEN high speed stability would be expected to make an input to reduce airspeed a small amount. Not sure what that value is.

That's how I read the chart. If I'm wrong, so be it.

bearfoil
13th Jun 2011, 21:18
I vaguely remember that on the report. However, I think it is not affirmed as actually occurring. Similarly, they were about to enter warmer air, perhaps they changed their (his) mind, and retained their lift instead. This occurs at the "FROM 2:10:05" time stamp, where events are reported without their attendant time point, and thus even the sequence loses credibility (though not all of it) imo.

jcjeant
13th Jun 2011, 21:45
Hi,

kwateow

May I ask a dumb question?
With the Capt in his seat everyone knows who's commanding and that he had some training to be a commander.

When the Capt is resting who is in command in the cockpit?

I don't mean who is PF, nor who is more senior, but rather is the command of flight deck activity formally handed over to one of the pilots?

Not dumb at all. In the same vein, I think prior to any additional money spent on training, a fourth bar will be issued to all who lack one. Phony confidence is still confidence, after all. The Captain is always the guy with four stripes.
Even when he is resting.
In my company, when we have 3 or four member crews, we have the figure of the commander. Even when the augmenting crew member is a Captain, the Commander is always the one in charge of the strategic decisions. The Captain or the SFO are only allowed to take tactical decisions.
To take a nap, before crossing the Intertropical zone is of course, unthinkable..Someone here know who was the PF and if yes .. if this PF was complying the European law and Air France crews laws regarding licenses for be the relief of the captain on AF447 ?
Can a AF pilot post the AF law for flight deck crew management for flights like the one of AF447 (long flight) ?

bearfoil
13th Jun 2011, 21:52
I am fairly certain, but I know who knows for absolute sure, BEA. This will without question be in the Final Report.

Turbine D
13th Jun 2011, 22:30
Bear,

If you were trying to remember Mach number, this is it:
From the BEA May Update:

At 2 h 08 min 07, the PNF said "you can maybe go a little to the left [...]". The airplane began a slight turn to the left, the change in relation to the initial route being about 12 degrees. The level of turbulence increased slightly and the crew decided to reduce the speed to about Mach 0.8.

Previously at ORARO they were level at 35K and Mach 0.82

bearfoil
13th Jun 2011, 22:46
TurbineD

Hey, how are you? Thanks for the post. I have no reputation other than partisan nitpicker, so why should I change?

"..the crew decided to reduce the speed to about Mach 0.8 ..."

Did they?

At that point, the change would be dialed into the AutoPilot, and we know the a/p was a shortimer from here on in....No?

aguadalte
14th Jun 2011, 00:48
Lonewolf_50 (http://www.pprune.org/members/307224-lonewolf_50)
Yes you're absolutely right, I meant High Speed Stability.
Thanks for the correction L.

Edit: correction made:ok:

Turbine D
14th Jun 2011, 01:43
Hi Bear,

I am sure if the BEA reported this as they did, the speed was reduced to Mach 0.80, the turbulance penetration speed and it was done by moving the throttle levers while in AP/AT. When you do this, it doesn't drop out of AP/AT. However, when the disagree event occurred and the AP & AT did dropped out, the thrust locked into whatever the setting was in AP/AT. So, I assume this would be a slightly reduced N1% verses normal level cruise N1%. If my assumption is correct, it sure influenced speed bleedoff (more rapid) in the subsequent climb event to 38K as the throttles were never touched until the TOGA command.

thermostat
14th Jun 2011, 02:49
GerardC.
You may be correct on a number of items. I (like all others who have posted on this topic) don't have the answers to this accident. All we can do is speculate with the meagre facts reported so far. We can only base our opinions on the many years spent flying different jets under all kinds of weather conditions.
Perhaps you would like to enlighten me on the difference between red on the wx satellite photo and red on the radar screen, I had no idea there was a difference. To me, red is red and means danger.
I agree there has been no mention of radar failure. This is only a hunch on my part given the fact that they flew through what appears to be an area of bad weather (even though they must have received a weather briefing before departure from Rio) and the fact that Airbus issued a notam reminding us not to depart with inop radar if there is known weather on the route. This came some time after the 447 crash. coincidence ? Maybe.
The other question is, why did other aircraft deviate around this weather that wasn't so bad in the eyes of some? Were they stupid to burn unnecessary fuel? Are they alive today?
I walked away from flying 2 years ago after surviving 32 years on 5 different jets. I did not fly through CBs at any time in my career. The old saying "prevention is better than cure" was always my guide. Thanks you for your interest in my post.

jcjeant
14th Jun 2011, 03:49
Hi,

More questions about softwares ...
Do the BEA use this for their investigations concerning the FDR data ?
Flight data analysis software - Flight analysis 3D : CEFA Aviation (http://www.cefa-aviation.com/index.html)
http://www.cefa-aviation.com/CEFA%20Brochure.pdf
Or this ?
SimAuthor, The Leader in Flight Data Analysis & Visualization (http://www.simauthor.com/flightviz.html)
A result of their usage
YouTube - ‪Flight Data Visualisation as a Briefing Tool‬‏ (with a stall)
If they use one of those softwares ... can we assume they know many more than some weeks ago ?

jafa
14th Jun 2011, 11:00
I ain't ever flown Airbus. But reading about this accident and looking back over it seems an endless stream of similar disasters... well, it has got to be the end of the road for Airbus' cockpit and flight control design philosophies. And ditto for such loony ideas as multi-crew licenses.

FBW pilots should spend four hours a year minimum in aerobatic gliders. It wouldn't do the rest any harm either.

before landing check list
14th Jun 2011, 11:30
Agreed on the glider.

aguadalte
14th Jun 2011, 12:19
...and agree on the aerobatics, too... But to all airline pilots. Not just Airbus drivers.
Gliders and aerobatics are a great learning tool. It is unbelievable the number of actual airline pilots who have never actually experienced to fly more than 30 deg bank turns...

before landing check list
14th Jun 2011, 12:23
Yes to acro also.

lomapaseo
14th Jun 2011, 12:52
More questions about softwares ...
Do the BEA use this for their investigations concerning the FDR data ?
Flight data analysis software - Flight analysis 3D : CEFA Aviation (http://www.cefa-aviation.com/index.html)
http://www.cefa-aviation.com/CEFA%20Brochure.pdf
Or this ?
SimAuthor, The Leader in Flight Data Analysis & Visualization (http://www.simauthor.com/flightviz.html)
A result of their usage

YouTube - ‪Flight Data Visualisation as a Briefing Tool‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XUgeWTeYgg)
YouTube - ‪Flight Data Visualisation as a Briefing Tool‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XUgeWTeYgg)



Notice the title in the video says "briefing tool" and not "analysis tool"

There is a big difference.

Imagine the uproar about computer limitation on planes being explained by yet another computer limitation in an analysis tool :E

barit1
14th Jun 2011, 13:02
Latest AW&ST has a must-read commentary by Pierre Sparaco - Information Chaos (p.50, 13 June 2011)

He quotes Thierry Mariani (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-19/france-s-bea-pushed-to-release-information-early-echos-reports.html) as expressing hope the investigation can be completed in time for Airbus' marketing push at the Paris Air Show (!)

A veritable model of impartiality. :ugh:

barit1
14th Jun 2011, 13:10
Pitch, power, airspeed, altitude?

At high altitude, unless you have rocket power, available thrust is always less than at low altitude.

But gravity is always available as an acceleration force, and it's undiminished by altitude. :8

RWA
14th Jun 2011, 13:55
jafa


FBW pilots should spend four hours a year minimum in aerobatic gliders. It wouldn't do the rest any harm either.


Terrific point, IMO, jafa. Anyone who thinks that 'power comes first' should try a bit of flying with no engine!

Mind you, we're very lucky here in Australia - there are so many thermals around, most of the year, that in my gliding days we quite often had to use the spoiler to get the darn thing to go down at ALL......

But, flying sailplanes, you very quickly realised that 'pitch' really WAS your primary source of 'power.' Flying nose-up for any length of time in a glider meant, quite simply and quite soon, loss of airspeed and an inevitable stall.

ap08
14th Jun 2011, 15:15
But gravity is always available as an acceleration force, and it's undiminished by altitude.
Well actually it IS diminished by altitude... a little :)

flydive1
14th Jun 2011, 17:53
Anybody here for multitasking, power and pitch(or pitch and power;)) ?

Reinhardt
14th Jun 2011, 17:55
jcjeant wrote :
From the BEA report Perpignan
Crew maybe not very very experienced ... but certainly more than those of the AF447
.............
The crew of Toulouse test flight:
Very more experienced ? .. maybe as test pilots ......


What a lot of confusion regarding flight hours !

It's hard to admit for a lot in the industry, but flight hours don't have the same value, depending on the background... Even if it doesn't prevent them for having accidents (see Toulouse Airbus crew, also british Trident stall in the 60's, dozens of others...) hours in a flight test environment have thirty (or more ?) time the value of hours in an airline environnment, with nothing happening in cruise, and landings always identical - if not in external conditions, but for sure in performing. Comparing flight hours of both sides is like mixing strawberries with potatoes.
Maybe there will be an understanding of all this after ?
The Perpignan crew was conducting an acceptance flight, and they had no training for that, period. To call them test pilots is totally unappropriate. I know that in the companies (including mine) you have supposed experienced pilots, calling themselves "test pilots" when they just perform "out-of-maintenance" check flights ....

One day airline pilots will have to admit that their hours don't have big value, compared to other backgrounds ... but as flying big jets is supposed to be the pinnacle of careers, its' not going to happen soon, I'm afraid.

Jafa and others said just above : give airlines pilots 4 hours of glider every year (or 4 hours of aerobatic aircraft) ... Who will pay for those hours ? Airlines are already saving money on pilot's food and hotel allowances, they are squeezing every hour of duty times from them, and you would expect them to pay for general aviation hours for their pilots (thus losing flying days of the same pilots, by the way..) A bit unrealistic, I'm afraid.

Just give more consideration to the hiring of ex-fighter pilots, by factoring their hours an appropriate way, and the industry will have moved significantly forward regarding safety. Yes, I know, very difficult to swallow for some, especially for those having been saying for years " Ah those guys for sure, have a good set of hands, but in commercial approach... bla-bla-bla-... CRM...bla-bla-bla-... putting mission before safety...bla-bla-bla..(what the hell do they imagine with this last point ?!?)

As AF337 is showing, a good set of hands and an alert eye might be of some use from time to time in aviation.

And stop flying at night with the storm light "On" in the cockpit, that will help a little bit... (flying in a dark cockpit is also supposed to be typical of ex-military pilots, I heard...)

GerardC
14th Jun 2011, 19:29
thermostatPerhaps you would like to enlighten me on the difference between red on the wx satellite photo and red on the radar screen, I had no idea there was a difference. To me, red is red and means danger.
Please do your own homework on the subject. (in breif : colors on Wx satellite pictures are based on temperature ; colors on "our" radar displays are based on droplets size. Red on a satellite picture do not mean "danger", these temperature differences could be shown with any other color).

Lonewolf_50
14th Jun 2011, 20:14
And stop flying at night with the storm light "On" in the cockpit, that will help a little bit... (flying in a dark cockpit is also supposed to be typical of ex-military pilots, I heard...)
As I suspect you already know, there were some good reasons for that, which included the need to remain night adapted when you needed an inside outside scan during certain parts of your night mission. The military now (as I understand it) deal in two kinds of night flying: aided and un-aided. Unaided is like old school night flying, aided is with various NVG suites added to the pilots kit. (ANVS 9, etc) That requires NVG compatible lighting.

Lucky for the airlines, that modification requirement hasn't arrived.

Will it? Not sure. Treating night as instrument probably covers most bases in that regard ... with the exception of different challenges in see and avoid.

Which takes us to the weather/clouds.

"See and avoid" vis a vis clouds at night can be tricky.

For Gerard: To expand on your comment in re weather.

The depicted differences in temperature (Vasquez plots referred to) typically accompany differences in the characteristic of the air columns within a cloud (like the build ups in the ITCZ), a difference which at high altitude (warm air rising) any pilot will be interested in since it influences his aircraft's performance to one degree or another. (AF 447 crew were keeping an eye on temp (was TAT probe iced?) and commented on how that influenced their original plans for the route ...) Is there a way to link those sorts of data from weather services to a cockpit selectable screen?

Food for thought. Might be a handy tool for crews at high altitude. (IIRC, we discussed this somewhat in the first iteration of the AF 447 search thread ... )

GerardC
15th Jun 2011, 08:36
Is there a way to link those sorts of data from weather services to a cockpit selectable screen?Of course, with technology, everything is possible. As far I as know, for the moment, this system is not implemented on intercontinental airliners.
I understand weather can be displayed on the flydeck over USA only for the time being (wonder if many airlines invested in the system ?).

Concerning temperature, you have to monitor SAT at all times (especially in this area) not only for aircraft performance but also for icing : it is not uncommon to see the SAT rise well above -40° C at cruising flight levels.
If you get into clouds -> NAI ON even at FL 350...

Pittsle
15th Jun 2011, 09:13
In reply to aguadalte: ...and agree on the aerobatics, too... But to all airline pilots. Not just Airbus drivers.
Gliders and aerobatics are a great learning tool. It is unbelievable the number of actual airline pilots who have never actually experienced to fly more than 30 deg bank turns...


:ok::ok:

YES! Totally agreed!
Maybe in the long run we could even extinct the use of the word "Stall speed" by Pilots and use the correct "Stall angle of attack".

Especially in aerobatics it can be seen - and demonstrated - that a wing can be stalled at almost any speed (limited by structural design), remain unstalled even at 0 airspeed (with 0 g´s) and that the attitude / pitch / bank is only secondary.

before landing check list
15th Jun 2011, 12:41
remain unstalled even at 0 airspeed (with 0 g´s) and that the attitude / pitch / bank is only secondary.

This is exactly what meant by unloading the wing.

RetiredF4
15th Jun 2011, 13:18
And that´s what probably happened to AF447 on the way up to FL380, until gravity struck again.

wiggy
15th Jun 2011, 13:37
But to all airline pilots. Not just Airbus drivers.
Gliders and aerobatics are a great learning tool.

You're probably preaching to the choir - I suspect many of the older generation of airline pilots here have taught aeros and/or basic combat manouevering at some point in their career and, many, for a variety of reasons have seen the speed off the clock, have had to unload the wing, and all that other good "pilot s*** :ok:

Problem is the airline bean counters are not going to like the idea of pilots being taken "off line" to indulge in some form of high AOA manouvering course ( though we could invoke the tombstone imperative). Also would such training, presumably in a light aircraft, really prepare one to really unload the wing of a 200 tonne plus airliner at night, in IMC?

aterpster
15th Jun 2011, 14:24
wiggy:

Problem is the airline bean counters are not going to like the idea of pilots being taken "off line" to indulge in some form of high AOA manouvering course ( though we could invoke the tombstone imperative). Also would such training, presumably in a light aircraft, really prepare one to really unload the wing of a 200 tonne plus airliner at night, in IMC?

If a pilot is adept at attitude instrument flying, power management, and recognition of erroneous airspeed indications, he would unload the wing whether or not he understood the aerodynamic implications.

Having said that, having conventional thrust levers and flight controls would probably help as well.

SDFlyer
15th Jun 2011, 14:33
Recent posts bring up an interesting question - to me anyway. Does anyone here have any idea (rough estimate) what proportion of jet pilots fly light aircraft "recreationally". That is, own their own Cessna/Cirrus/light twin/whatever or rent one occasionally.

Back in the day, when my old man worked for Pan Am (as a dispatcher in Europe), I recall learning that a fair number of pilots put some piston hours in every year. Couldn't say what percentage though.

This might be a tad off topic, but then again it might not be. When I go up for a couple hours in a Cessna I like to spend a fair bit of time in unusual attitudes, incl. falling leaves, power-on stalls and the like (lots of trim wheel cranking involved). It's one of my favorite things.

Any thoughts?

Lonewolf_50
15th Jun 2011, 15:21
SD, I have a friend who flies for Southwest. A few years back, he restored and flew a T-34B for a while. I think he later sold it. He once told me he had to be careful how much recreational time he flew, since his log book entries compared to his log book entries for the 737 he flew for pay could not exceed X hours without a waiver, or he'd violate a rule (IIRC, an FAA rule). Not sure enough about the rules to say more.

shortfinals
15th Jun 2011, 15:46
Don't worry about recovery from extreme attitudes chaps/chapesses: Rockwell Collins is going to replace the P2 with a button that will put your aeroplane the right way up if you don't know what that is:

Rockwell Collins to inject new autonomy into business jets (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/06/15/358028/rockwell-collins-to-inject-new-autonomy-into-business.html)

Oh yes, and if you don't notice the cabin altitude has climbed too high the FMS will turn and dive the aircraft for you.

And when you lose all engines in ash it'll calculate let-downs to all nearby aerodromes.

Ho hum! Anything left for me to do, then?

ChristiaanJ
15th Jun 2011, 16:23
Anything left for me to do, then?Somebody will still be needed to push the panic button, no?

MountainBear
15th Jun 2011, 17:02
Rockwell Collins is going to replace the P2 with a button that will put your aeroplane the right way up if you don't know what that is:

If a pilot has lost situational awareness by definition he has lost the presence of mind to press a button. If he comprehends enough about the situation to press a button to save the aircraft he truly hasn't lost situational awareness. At least he hasn't lost it completely.

To me, it sounds like the type of 'idiot button'. The type of thing a person would use when they comprehend the situation quite well but they don't have a clue as to have to fix it.

stepwilk
15th Jun 2011, 17:12
Sort of the air-transport version of the Cirrus SR-20/22 BRS parachute, then...

recceguy
15th Jun 2011, 18:45
Just give more consideration to the hiring of ex-fighter pilots, by factoring their hours an appropriate way
Cathay Pacific and Virgin are doing that, I believe.
Those hours are in any case more appropriate than general aviation hours, of which some have been writing about just above.

SevenSeas
15th Jun 2011, 19:41
What happened to Stick Pushers ?

EGMA
16th Jun 2011, 02:57
What happened to Stick Pushers ?They were made redundant by pen pushers.:ugh:

Hirem J Trashcan
16th Jun 2011, 06:53
Oh yes, and if you don't notice the cabin altitude has climbed too high the FMS will turn and dive the aircraft for you.

FMS = Fix My Situation ?

I still find it hard to believe that a simple event like loss of accurate airspeed indication could lead to the total loss of a modern commercial jet aircraft

aterpster
16th Jun 2011, 07:26
Hirem Trashcan:
I still find it hard to believe that a simple event like loss of accurate airspeed indication could lead to the total loss of a modern commercial jet aircraft

Check this out:

AVmail: June 6, 2011 (http://www.avweb.com/news/avmail/AVmail_LettersToTheEditor_204773-1.html)

aguadalte
16th Jun 2011, 11:46
aterpster:
Check this out:

AVmail: June 6, 2011 (http://www.avweb.com/news/avmail/AVmail_LettersToTheEditor_204773-1.html)

Although I generally agree with the "video game" idea of the author of that letter, I think his idea of "following Flight Directors" is wrong, once in the case of AF447, FD's were not available, which turned the "game" much more difficult...

ChicoG
16th Jun 2011, 11:56
I hope this will bring comfort to some of the families. Very sad.

The last salvaged bodies and wreckage from the Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 arrived by boat in a French harbour on Thursday.

Back from a months-long mission dredging the depths of the ocean, the Ile-de-Sein salvage ship pulled into Bayonne harbour in southwestern France at dawn in the rain and fog, an APF reporter witnessed.

Authorities said it was carrying four containers -- three with wreckage from the Airbus 330 plane and the last with remains of 104 of the 228 people killed in the crash, dredged from thousands of metres (yards) under the sea.

Authorities closed off the harbour to onlookers out of respect for the victims' families. Officials said a short ceremony was planned when the bodies were unloaded.

The BEA aviation authority investigating the crash said the human remains will be transferred to a forensic mortuary for examination, and the plane wreckage to a hangar.

Rescue workers recovered 50 bodies in the days immediately after the crash. More than 70 could not be retrieved in the two years of searching.

The plane crashed en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009. It took investigators until last month to salvage the black-box flight recorders from the wreck on the ocean bed.

According to information from the flight data recorders, released earlier by the BEA, the pilots saw conflicting speeds on their instruments as the plane stalled and fell into the sea.

The BEA is due to deliver a report in July on the causes of the crash.

takata
16th Jun 2011, 14:03
Check this out:
AVmail: June 6, 2011 (http://www.avweb.com/news/avmail/AVmail_LettersToTheEditor_204773-1.html)
Although I generally agree with the "video game" idea of the author of that letter, I think his idea of "following Flight Directors" is wrong, once in the case of AF447, FD's were not available, which turned the "game" much more difficult...
I wonder also how someone calling himself "one of the most experienced A330 Captain" (this AVmail's letter author) may be also completely wrong about what an A330 autothrust is actually doing when it is disconnected at cruise level by the system (thrust is locked at its last settings without being "moved/adjusted" to the levers actual position. ie. levers set to CLB at cruise, N1 at 75% won't result, if autothrust is kicking off, to Max climb thrust => thrust will stay locked at 75%, including a warning).

Hence, his whole point is quite moot and his credentials very doubtful.
He certainly should be called a "video game A330 expert".

jcjeant
16th Jun 2011, 15:12
Hi,

Methink .. Air France will face some problems ....

From the BEA preliminary report:

1.5.1.2 Copilote
Homme, 37 ans
Licence ATPL obtenue le 13 avril 2001
Qualification de type Airbus A340 obtenue le 14 février 2002
Fin d’adaptation en ligne le 13 avril 2002
Qualification de type Airbus A330 obtenue le 1er octobre 2002
Fin d’adaptation en ligne le 25 octobre 2002
Autre qualification de type : Airbus A320 obtenue en février 1999

1.5.1.3 Copilote
Homme, 32 ans
Licence FCL de pilote professionnel (CPL) obtenue le 23 avril 2001
Qualification de vol aux instruments multi-moteur (IR ME) obtenue le
16 octobre 2001
ATPL théorique obtenu en septembre 2000
Qualification de type Airbus A340 obtenue le 26 février 2008
Fin d’adaptation en ligne le 9 juin 2008
Qualification de type Airbus A330 obtenue le 1er
décembre 2008
Fin d’adaptation en ligne le 22 décembre 2008
Autre qualification de type : Airbus A320 obtenue le 7 septembre 2004



1.5.1.2 Co-pilot
Man, 37
ATPL obtained April 13, 2001
Type Rating Airbus A340 obtained February 14, 2002
End adaptation online April 13, 2002
Type Rating Airbus A330 obtained on 1 October 2002
End adaptation online 25 October 2002
Other Type Rating: Airbus A320 obtained in February 1999

1.5.1.3 Co-pilot
Male, 32 years
FCL Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) obtained 23 April 2001
Rating instrument multi-engine (ME IR) obtained the
October 16, 2001
ATPL theory obtained in September 2000
Type Rating Airbus A340 obtained February 26, 2008
End adaptation online 9 June 2008
Type Rating Airbus A330 obtained the first
December 2008
End adaptation online 22 December 2008

It's appears that the copilot aged 32 years was the PF and was in the right seat.
Why it was in the right seat as PF with no ATPL in abscence of the captain ?

takata
16th Jun 2011, 15:30
Hi jcjeant,
Methink .. Air France will face some problems ....
[...]
It's appears that the copilot aged 32 years was the PF and was in the right seat.
Why it was in the right seat as PF with no ATPL in abscence of the captain?
Actually, despite what the press is saying, the PF was certainly the other one, 37 years old (FO1) in Right Hand Seat, with 32 years old FO2 being the relief pilot just replacing the Captain as PNF in Left Hand Seat before the start of the accident.
No qualification is needed for LHS during cruise legs and it is standard for AF to use this resting order for second cruise legs.

jcjeant
16th Jun 2011, 16:22
Hi,

Actually, despite what the press is saying, the PF was certainly the other one, 37 years old (FO1) in Right Hand Seat, with 32 years old FO2 being the relief pilot just replacing the Captain as PNF in Left Hand Seat before the start of the accident.
No qualification is needed for LHS during cruise legs and it is standard for AF to use this resting order for second cruise legs. I'm not on the professional side ...
Can you post here the AF rule(s) about flight deck pilots management in cruise (what is required by pilot to be PF and when) on long haul (licenses etc .. )
Thank you in advance.

Actually, despite what the press is saying, the PF was certainly the other one, 37 years old (FO1) in Right Hand Seat

So far I can't be certain (like you) of this fact ..

hetfield
16th Jun 2011, 16:35
No qualification is needed for LHS during cruise legs and it is standard for AF to use this resting order for second cruise legs. Oooops, are you sure?

As far as I know, e.g. for LUFTHANSA, there is a special qualification called Senior First Officer.

It takes several weeks including classroom instructions and simulator.

camel
16th Jun 2011, 16:37
Takata

ok so if the PF was the more experienced f/o in the rhs and then couldnt handle the problems thrown at them ..was control handed over to the other less experienced f/o in the lhs?

if control was not handed over then why didnt the capt just swap places with the less experienced pnf f/o in the lhs ?

is a 'frozen' atpl even allowed to sit in the lhs as pnf ?

or am i missing something here ?

takata
16th Jun 2011, 16:40
I'm not on the professional side ...
Your side is obviously to systematically back up the worst rumor side one can only find in those dirty garbage bins. So far, I can't remember a single informed post of you after almost two years reading your daily crapshootings!
Get a life men.

jcjeant
16th Jun 2011, 16:55
Hi,

or am i missing something here ?

Yes .. you are missing the implications of all this in the court of justice (where the responsabilities and blames are given)
BTW .. if any professional AF pilot can post the AF rules for flight deck management I will be more than happy.

takata
16th Jun 2011, 17:08
if any professional AF pilot can post the AF rules for flight deck management I will be more than happy.
There is no such "written" set of rules about company flight deck management. It is left to the Captain's choice (but it will follow company "traditions"). On the ohter hand, a LHS qualified pilot is required during two specific phases: from take-off to top of the climb and from top of descent to landing.

takata
16th Jun 2011, 17:24
Hi camel,

ok so if the PF was the more experienced f/o in the rhs and then couldnt handle the problems thrown at them ..was control handed over to the other less experienced f/o in the lhs?
if control was not handed over then why didnt the capt just swap places with the less experienced pnf f/o in the lhs ?
I have read the report just like you. There was a hand-over in the last sequence reported and possibly it was the Captain taking over the LHS from the junior FO which was PNF until then (this is a conjecture, but very probable if usual resting order was respected).
The PF is reported to have made the previous meteo briefing before the Captain rest and it was also obviously not the junior FO talking here.
is a 'frozen' atpl even allowed to sit in the lhs as pnf ?
Otherwise, what would be the point to have one on board as relief pilot?
LHS restriction/qualification is phase specific, it is not at cruise level or you would have systematically the need for two Captains per long-haul flight (which is not the case). This first report was published about two years ago and seriously, nobody noticed that?

camel
16th Jun 2011, 17:26
jcjeant

thanks , however i think i am just about able to imagine any implications regarding crew composition/seating arrangements.

i also have just read on a previous post that control was indeed handed to/taken over by the lhs occupant around 45 secs before the end.missed that one ...

Takata

ok thanks ,what you say makes sense for sure ..perhaps out of this will come the suggestion that maybe another relief captain should be the normal instead of a relief f/o ? of course that would increase costs ...but as we all know safety is the No 1 priority...... right ?

jcjeant
16th Jun 2011, 18:30
Hi,

There is no such "written" set of rules about company flight deck management. It is left to the Captain's choice (but it will follow company "traditions"). On the ohter hand, a LHS qualified pilot is required during two specific phases: from take-off to top of the climb and from top of descent to landing. I'm sure we will write more about all this in few (long) years when the things will be in the justice court ......
BTW .. licences are not tradition matter .. they are things required by the laws for perfom some things in aviation or any other occupations where special qualifications are required
Of course you can put a monkey on the commands of a plane or a bus .. if the travel have a happy end .. nobody will complain .. but if it's not the case .............

stepwilk
16th Jun 2011, 18:36
if control was not handed over then why didnt the capt just swap places with the less experienced pnf f/o in the lhs ?

or am i missing something here ?

You're missing the fact that "swapping places" on a flight deck in the middle of turbulence and an extreme flight-control situation isn't quite the same as moving from the sofa to a Barcalounger in a living room.

Lonewolf_50
16th Jun 2011, 20:30
stepwilk, nicely said.

takata:
There was a hand-over in the last quence reported and possibly it was the Captain taking over the LHS from the junior FO which was PNF until then
{EDITED thanks to TLB's point that I have misinterpreted the reports. Thanks TLB.}
Might I re-phrase what you posted like this?

The BEA report indicates that the other pilot attempted to take control of an already stalled aircraft whose rate of descent was greater than 10,000 feet per minute. He had "X" seconds to get it under control before it hit the ocean.

It paints a slightly different picture than your post does.

Aside: I cannot offer you a good value for X, but from what is available so far my estimate is that the number less than sixty.

TLB
16th Jun 2011, 21:25
I do not think that we can assume that the Captain took over the LHS prior to impact. Given that the Captain's body was recovered floating on the surface days after the accident and that the two copilot's bodies were apparently recovered on the ocean floor still strapped into their seats, it seems unlikely that the Captain got into the LHS.

SaturnV
16th Jun 2011, 23:19
TLB, I agree. The first two bodies recovered by Ile de Sein were those of the two first officers, and recovered in their seats. The fourth seat in the cockpit was also recovered, and its possible BEA has an interest in the position of the straps. It is unclear whether the third seat was ever retrieved.

Chris Scott
17th Jun 2011, 00:08
takata,

(Wondered where you were...) This AW&ST article:

Air France Crash Suggests Inadequate Training | AVIATION WEEK (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awst/2011/06/06/AW_06_06_2011_p36-330706.xml&channel=comm)

– which PJ2 has provided a link to on the Tech Log thread, states that the less-experienced co-pilot was the PF in the RHS. I know nothing of Air France protocols, but is it possible that he was the P2 or even the P1U/S (pilot-in-command under-supervision) on the GIG-CDG leg, and that the more-experienced co-pilot was acting as the relief pilot? How does a junior co-pilot get regular landings, if so qualified? This one seems to have been qualified. (I am assuming that the relief pilot is the one who occupies the P3 seat for T/O and landing, and in the cruise moves into the seat of whichever pilot is taking a rest-break.)

flown-it
17th Jun 2011, 00:08
Locked door wrote:-
Don't forget there's a recall drill for unreliable airspeed, and it doesn't call for heroics from the pilots. If all else fails 90% N1 and 2.5 degrees nose up in the cruise will keep you safe in almost any heavy jet.

Basic stuff.
SKS777FLYER wrote:-
Yes, basic "stuff"........ provided there are presentations of attitude by flight instruments on that off chance of a pitch black night perhaps in cloud where a horizon is not remotely visible.... provided there is a stable platform to fly

So far we only have guesses and educated guesses to what those Air France aviators faced those fateful last minutes.

Locked door is So Right.
What sks77 and all the buffoons forget is that the PFD is Repeat 2 separate instruments. The tapes are Pitot-static and the center is IRS. Thus PITCH and POWER are your friends. Screw cross checking.. Fly the effing plane. AND, it is counter-intuitive but stop checking the tapes. Fly attitude and power.The problem all Bus pilots have is normal law which prevents stalling, over speeding and over banking. But I flew the mini bus and when it went senile one day I hand flew with the A/T's out of the detent. Complete non-event. These guys may never have been able to fly out of the problem they flew into but future pilots need to be educated. Not on crosschecking but, as locked door said. Attitude and thrust. Pitch and Power.

Shaka Zulu
17th Jun 2011, 09:19
@ Flown-it

I completely agree with what you say HOWEVER it very much depends on when you recognize what's going on.
Sure setting 2.5deg 90%N1 will get you out of most UAS situations but if you get an aircraft severely close to coffin corner and low on speed you can set 2.5deg 90%N1 it isn't going to do jack to your situation (Backside drag curve etc)

In all cases though: Aviate before anything else. Any aircraft can be flown directly (except mil jets that are inherently unstable) but the current mindset is that ''the more automation the better''. I am still not buying it

takata
17th Jun 2011, 09:41
Hello Chris,
takata,
(Wondered where you were...) This AW&ST article:
Air France Crash Suggests Inadequate Training | AVIATION WEEK
– which PJ2 has provided a link to on the Tech Log thread, states that the less-experienced co-pilot was the PF in the RHS. I know nothing of Air France protocols, but is it possible that he was the P2 or even the P1U/S (pilot-in-command under-supervision) on the GIG-CDG leg, and that the more-experienced co-pilot was acting as the relief pilot? How does a junior co-pilot get regular landings, if so qualified? This one seems to have been qualified. (I am assuming that the relief pilot is the one who occupies the P3 seat for T/O and landing, and in the cruise moves into the seat of whichever pilot is taking a rest-break.)
You wondered where I was? Simple: I took my "rest-break"...don't you remember my planned Alsacian two weeks vacation? Now, I'm catching up with the 50+ added pages in between!

About AW&ST article linked by PJ2, the crew as described seems based on the previous (bad) press headline stating that "AF447 Baby pilot killed 228" that followed the 27 May BEA update.
In my opinion, this theory is nothing more than speculation as the BEA obviously refrained from saying precisely who was in command when the event started (precisely for avoiding such kind of headlines pointing at one crew "failure"). All we do know for sure is that both FOs were in charge at that point and that the Captain was resting.

Nonetheless, this new fact was a confirmation of what we have already deduced in 2009 based on a classical AF long-haul operation: usually, the Captain will take the second rest-break, the senior FO will become PF in RHS and the junior FO will take the LHS as PNF. Reading carefully the BEA update, it will become clear that the meteo briefing reported was obviously conducted by the senior FO, which was also the PF during the preceding cruise leg and take-off.

This is possibly the reason why there was no early hand-over (between FOs) up to the very last moment (as the actual PF was the most qualified on type onboard). Hence, the very late hand-over could be simply due to the junior FO and Captain switching seats (and I fully agree that it would be some kind of desperate move).

Considering that the aircraft was stabilized in attitude with barely no g-load variation, it would make sense if the Captain was disposed to try something himself after constating that his senior FO failed to recover: "go ahead" said the FO. If the junior FO has been the PF until then, I suspect that the senior FO would have tried some imputs much sooner.

Speculations about who's body related to salvaged cockpit seats is based on what? There was strictly no communication about the first (and later) bodies recovered in relation with any flight deck element.

takata
17th Jun 2011, 10:17
Hi jcjeant,
I'm sure we will write more about all this in few (long) years when the things will be in the justice court ......
BTW .. licences are not tradition matter .. they are things required by the laws for perfom some things in aviation or any other occupations where special qualifications are required
Of course you can put a monkey on the commands of a plane or a bus .. if the travel have a happy end .. nobody will complain .. but if it's not the case .............

Well jcjeant, you should have a look at the BEA published facts rather than reporting those "rumors" only aimed at descrediting all the work done. Those are summarized at the end of each interim report, including the last 27 May note.
I Paraphrased the BEA statements (numbering is mine) and one may read in compilation with such issue:

At this stage of the investigation, on the basis of the factual elements gathered in the course of the investigation published in Interim reports of 2 July 2009(a), 17 December 2009(b) and an update on Investigation of 27 May 2011(c), The following facts have been established by the BEA:
---------------------------------------------------
100. AIRCRAFT AND CREW
---------------------------------------------------
. 101a. The crew possessed the licenses and ratings required to undertake the flight;
. 102a. The airplane possessed a valid Certificate of Airworthiness, and had been maintained in accordance with the regulations;
. 103a. The airplane had taken off from Rio de Janeiro without any known technical problems, except on one of the three radio management panels;
. 104c. The composition of the crew was in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
. 105c. At the time of the event, the weight and balance of the airplane were within the operational limits;
. 106c. At the time of the event, the two co-pilots were seated in the cockpit and the Captain was resting;
. 107c. The Captain returned to the cockpit about 1 min 30 after the disengagement of the autopilot.

GerardC
17th Jun 2011, 12:05
"How does a junior co-pilot get regular landings, if so qualified? This one seems to have been qualified. (I am assuming that the relief pilot is the one who occupies the P3 seat for T/O and landing, and in the cruise moves into the seat of whichever pilot is taking a rest-break.)"For all readers/posters on this forum : AF has NO "releif pilots" / "3rd officers".
ALL F/O's were/are fully qualified to fly the A/C for T/O cruise and ldg.
At the time of the crash, il was only suggested that, at captain's discretion, the most experienced F/O should be PF seating in the right seat.
Pretty obvious, since, at that time, F/O's did not get (imho) enough training for flying from the left seat.
In response to the the crash (?), routine F/O training include more sim flying from the left seat. ALL F/O's are now well trained to fly from the left seat.
It's still up to the captain to decide who will be seating in the left or right seat during his rest time : the right seat F/O is PF ; the left seat F/O is "captain" (ie performing "captain's items of emergency procedures).

Lonewolf_50
17th Jun 2011, 13:17
This is possibly the reason why there was no early hand-over (between FOs) up to the very last moment (as the actual PF was the most qualified on type onboard). Hence, the very late hand-over could be simply due to the junior FO and Captain switching seats (and I fully agree that it would be some kind of desperate move).
takata, please consider what TLB posted in re whose body was found in the initial search and recovery, not strapped in a seat. I had forgotten that fact.
From TLB:
I do not think that we can assume that the Captain took over the LHS prior to impact. Given that the Captain's body was recovered floating on the surface days after the accident, and that the two copilot's bodies were apparently recovered on the ocean floor still strapped into their seats, it seems unlikely that the Captain got into the LHS.

jcjeant
17th Jun 2011, 13:36
Hi,

. 101a. The crew possessed the licenses and ratings required to undertake the flight;
. 102a. The airplane possessed a valid Certificate of Airworthiness, and had been maintained in accordance with the regulations;
. 103a. The airplane had taken off from Rio de Janeiro without any known technical problems, except on one of the three radio management panels;
. 104c. The composition of the crew was in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
. 105c. At the time of the event, the weight and balance of the airplane were within the operational limits;
. 106c. At the time of the event, the two co-pilots were seated in the cockpit and the Captain was resting;
. 107c. The Captain returned to the cockpit about 1 min 30 after the disengagement of the autopilot.Never writed the contrary :)
Just writed (also in the BEA report) that the pilot aged 32 years not detained a ATPL
The question is
If AF allow a not ATPL pilot to be PF when captain is not in the fligtdeck

oldchina
17th Jun 2011, 14:23
I don't think a military force would go into a situation that might become stressful or even panic-stricken, without someone in command.

There is a lot of discussion about PF / PNF, but that's more about who had his hand on the gun.

Can anyone explain who was in charge of the flight deck that night, while the capt was resting?

Please don't say "2 pilots". Was one of them aware that he was minding the store?

jcjeant
17th Jun 2011, 15:15
Hi,

Can anyone explain who was in charge of the flight deck that night, while the capt was resting?

Please don't say "2 pilots". Was one of them aware that he was minding the store? From the BEA note we can't know who was in charge after the captain departure from the flightdeck

We just know that the captain "assisted" at the briefing between the two other pilots.
Maybe we must check the "AF traditions" (les habitudes de la maison) for know exactly ?
All options are open :)

flydive1
17th Jun 2011, 15:45
From the BEA note we can't know who was in charge after the captain departure from the flightdeckFrom the BEA report, regarding the older F/O

Les licences de ce pilote lui permettaient d’assurer la fonction de pilote
suppléant du commandant de bord en tant que pilote de renfort.

jcjeant
17th Jun 2011, 16:36
Hi,

Les licences de ce pilote lui permettaient d’assurer la fonction de pilote
suppléant du commandant de bord en tant que pilote de renfort. Thank you very much
So we know that the older F.O (37 years) was in charge and was PNF and the younger FO (with no ATPL) was PF
Never the 37 years FO tell (So far we know) "my plane" but instead it was the 32 years FO who give " it" to 37 years FO (or it was to the captain like I read somewhere.. I doubt) the plane .. far in the event.

flydive1
17th Jun 2011, 16:42
I do not understand what is this obsession with the ATPL.

He had a frozen ATPL
Plenty of F/O have a frozen ATPL(maybe the majority of them), in all the airlines and yes they are allowed to touch the controls .

jcjeant
17th Jun 2011, 16:44
Hi,

I do not understand what is this obsession with the ATPL.

He had a frozen ATPL
Plenty of F/O have a frozen ATPL(maybe the majority of them), in all the airlines and yes they are allowed to touch the controls . I never writed this FO can't touch the controls
I just emphasize on the AF "tradition" about flightdeck management and law

flydive1
17th Jun 2011, 16:49
Plenty of companies have a "one leg each" policy, one leg the captain is the PF, next leg the F/O is the PF.(and is the correct way in my opinion)

This is in no way restricted to Air France.

takata
17th Jun 2011, 16:53
Just writed (also in the BEA report) that the pilot aged 32 years not detained a ATPL
The question is
If AF allow a not ATPL pilot to be PF when captain is not in the fligtdec
And I posted the answer from the BEA published in the last update:
. 104c. The composition of the crew was in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
If it's wrong, sue them. But considering that it was presented as a "fact", you may also take it at face value as it means that they would have made all the necessary verifications before writing it.
Beside, GerardC, which is quite familiar with AF, already posted the evidence as Lemurian did it more than once: all three pilots must be fully qualified for the type (there is no such a "relief" pilot included in AF crews, one used only for limited duty).
About who is in charge when the Captain leaves the deck is left to Captain to decide but he would of course use the senior FO in this case: he is the one fully qualified for Captain's replacement (= "suppléant du commandant de bord" as posted by flydive1), being either PF or PNF.
And this is why the senior FO should be in charge for the meteo briefing (as "commandant de bord suppléant"), and, consequently, we also know that the same pilot was the PF in RHS when the event started.

takata, please consider what TLB posted in re whose body was found in the initial search and recovery, not strapped in a seat.Yes, then what does it mean? If he took over from FO2 in a last minute attempt to do something, would he find the time for strapping himself?

jcjeant
17th Jun 2011, 16:54
Hi,

Plenty of companies have a "one leg each" policy, one leg the captain is the PF, next leg the F/O is the PF.(and is the correct way in my opinion)

This is in no way restricted to Air France.

As I write before is not a big debate to have now.
It's just to know that a problem can exist about the flight deck duties at the time of the event.
It will be different when all this will be in the court of justice
Lawyers job.

flydive1
17th Jun 2011, 17:00
You are the only one seeing a problem about the flight deck duties.

One of them was the captain replacement and was qualified for it.

Either one can be the PF.

All clearly defined

Lonewolf_50
17th Jun 2011, 17:26
takata, who was strapped in where.
Original search finds Captain's body unsecured.
After wreck discovered, the PF and PNF are found secured to their seats.

I don't understand how you reach the idea that the Captain was strapped in anywhere. :confused:

@jcjeant: I find your harping on the age of the pilots pointless. :p

camel
17th Jun 2011, 17:39
It seems most likely,finally, that the Pf was indeed the least experienced f/o ,in the rhs (frozen atpl)

This leaves the other f/o as pnf in the lhs.acting as 'commander' in the absence of the captain.with all the responsibilities that involves.

it seems pretty clear that he had had no training whatsoever in sorting out problems of this magnitude,especially from the lhs.probably never ever had to recover from a fully developed stall at high level in the sim .

how can this be ? something is seriously amiss here ,in the training department?