View Full Version : Luxembourg Crash 6/11 (Threads Merged)

6th Nov 2002, 08:38
Have just heard that a Luxair aircraft has had an accident close to the airfield in Luxembourg. Anyone know anything?

Flight was inbound from Berlin, Fokker 50.

Reports say the aircraft has come down in fields close to Niederanven. 19 onboard plus 3 crew. No reports of casualties as yet.

6th Nov 2002, 08:38
Fokker 50 crashed on approach 24 into LUX, near Niederanven. LUX airport closed.

Newsreports claim aircraft that crashed was LG flt from Berlin, having 17 on board, no news on crew or passengers yet.

6th Nov 2002, 09:31
According to Reuters 19 Pax on board, at least 10 fatalities. Luxair flight from Berlin to Luxembourg. No further information at the moment :(

6th Nov 2002, 09:36
Closed my previous. Salient points were;
LG9642 Berlin-Lux and weather;

ELLX 060720Z 16003KT 130V210 0100 R24/0275N FG BKN001 04/04 Q1024

RVR 150m if I remember correctly from the 0850Z atis.

6th Nov 2002, 09:50
Latest report is that the Captain has survived but sadly the First Officer and a number of passengers have not.

Thoughts and sympathies to all involved.

From the Reuters website:

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - A Luxair plane on a flight from Berlin has crashed in thick fog near Luxembourg airport, killing at least 10 people, according to a Luxembourg government.
Spokesman Guy Schuller said the twin-engine Fokker 50 plane carrying 19 passengers and three crew members crashed five km (three miles) from the Grand Duchy's international airport.

"Of the 19 passengers, there are reported to be seven or eight survivors," Schuller told Reuters on Wednesday.

The condition of the survivors was not immediately known.

The plane, on a scheduled flight from Berlin-Tempelhof airport, was making its final approach at around 10.15 a.m. (9:15 a.m. British time) when the crash occurred, officials said.

A spokesman for Belgium's defence ministry said Brussels had sent three helicopters to the site of the accident and put a military hospital on alert after neighbouring Luxembourg requested help.

Luxair said the plane had been in service since 1991.

"Luxair deeply regrets having to confirm that flight LG9642/LH2420 coming from Berlin-Tempelhof to Luxembourg was involved this morning in an accident at Niederanven," the airline said in a statement.

srs what?
6th Nov 2002, 09:54
Last report is at least 16 dead.

Click Here - BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_2409000/2409267.stm)

6th Nov 2002, 09:59
Just got the news from CNN on TV. 13 killed including crew but 6 pax survived. a/c presumably crashed in thick fog.

BBC says there are 22 on board and 16 of them were killed.

6th Nov 2002, 10:03
I'm watching it right now on Sky News.

So far, 17 people have lost their lives. Very sad.

My condolences to the family of the deceased.:(

6th Nov 2002, 10:08
Lux Govt just confirmed 16 out of 22 on board did not survive. They mentioned crash site as 6nm from airport.

LX-LGB Fokker 50 (c/n 20221)

Found this link in Luxembourgish

RTL.LU (http://www.rtl.lu/)

Sensible Garage
6th Nov 2002, 10:10
sorry, in German

Tote bei Fokker-Absturz Lininenmaschine der Luxair kam aus Berlin und hatte 22 Menschen an Bord

(rar, 12.30 Uhr) - Eine Fokker 50 der Luxair ist am Mittwoch morgen kurz nach 10 Uhr zwischen Niederanven und Roodt-Syr abgestürzt. Die Linienmaschine der Luxair hatte 19 Passagiere und drei Besatzungsmitglieder an Bord. Nach Polizeiangaben gibt es Tote. Das Flugzeug kam aus Berlin und befand sich im Landeanflug auf den Flughafen Findel. Warum die Maschine abstürzte, ist noch unklar. Zur Unglückszeit herrschte dichter Nebel um die Hauptstadt. Starke Rettungsmannschaften von Protection Civile, Feuerwehr und Polzei sind am Unglücksort im Einsatz. Nach ersten Berichten von Unglücksort ist die Maschine fast vollständig zerstört worden, das Cockpit sei jedoch intakt geblieben. Es gebe Rauch, jedoch kein Feuer. Die Luxair-Direktion will um 12 Uhr über das Unglück und den Stand der Rettungsaktion informieren.

Buster Hyman
6th Nov 2002, 11:29
Sincere condolences to all concerned.

6th Nov 2002, 12:24
If you look at the pictures, it seems the propeller is not very damaged. Could this mean that it wasn't turning at the impact (shut down or failed, contributing to the accident?) Speculating, I know... Does anybody know what may have caused the crash?

6th Nov 2002, 12:51
Does anyone know the nationality of the crew?

6th Nov 2002, 12:57
It is being reported that one of the flight crew is the son of the Luxair Chief Pilot.

Localiser Green
6th Nov 2002, 13:09
The Captain of the F50 was apparently the son of the Luxair CP.

6th Nov 2002, 14:08
A friend of mine was landing just before them. The WX was RVR24: 250m and they had contact with the RWY at the 50' minimums for the Saab 2000. According him the last transmissions were:

LG9642: We are established on ILS 24
ATC: Ok you're n°2 continue APP, latest RVR 250m.
LG9642: We need 300m for LDG...

About 1 minute later:

ATC: LG9642, you're clear to land 24.

That was not aknowledged by LG 9642 and afterwards the TWR call them several times without succes and shortly after the airport was closed:(...

My condolences to all concerned.

Question; are the F-50 and Luxair crew cat 3 approved?

6th Nov 2002, 14:26
Just been a press conference.
Cat II conditions, a/c & crew Cat II.
They mentioned there are now 18 dead, 2 critical in hospital and 2 unaccounted for/missing.

outback aviator
6th Nov 2002, 15:41
:( I flew for Luxair when they had just begun to operate the F-50
and found them a great bunch to work with and very professional.
All the crew were good people, cannot imagine what went wrong.

My sincere and heartfelt condolences to all concerned.:confused:

6th Nov 2002, 17:25
Saw report on BBC that the plane site was not "in line with the runway" eg offset to one side some distance. Not sure how reliable that is.

Oldjet Jockey
6th Nov 2002, 17:36
I know the area of the crash site as I live in Luxembourg. The road that they scraped across is in line with or closely parallel to the final approach path. I notice from pictures that the aircraft crossed the road at about 45%. This would be consistent with the failure of the starboard engine causing a vere to the right at a stage when the pilots were probably in full imc. I agree that the conditions of the starboard prop seems consistent with striking the ground while not under power. Of course no more than speculation and i'm sure the black boxes will soon provide the investigating team with the real state of the engines. Although the pictures from the rear were not all that clear I could not see extended flaps. Has any one any better views of this?

6th Nov 2002, 18:11
I just saw photos on CNN. Couldn't see props. Cockpit area did not look severely damaged. Rest of aircraft destroyed.


Brookmans Park
6th Nov 2002, 18:36
Just a thought
do we know if the a/c had been holding prior to the approach
the idea of a fuel starved engine failure would account for the course deviation maybe?
I realise that there was a post crash fire but a little fuel goes a long way in crash

6th Nov 2002, 19:42
I live only a few miles from the crash site, about right at the FAF 24. At the time I was on the phone so I didn’t hear it pass by but my mailman told me that he heard it pass by “making a funny noise”. Of course such a “layman observation” could mean a lot of things but obviously something was already going wrong.

The aircraft crashed about half a mile right of track with a considerable off-track heading (45 to 60º). From the pictures it is clear that the right prop isn’t damaged much suggesting its engine wasn’t running at the time.

From a point of view of topography the airport is about 500-600ft above the level where I live and a good 400ft above the crash site. Also the airport was fogged in but at my place was about 400ft ceiling with a visibility of about 2 miles. This suggests that the crew could have been VMC in the very final stages of the flight.

Thus far for the facts – the rest is pure speculation at this stage. However, there are wild rumors going around already.

- The aircraft just came out of a service and rumor has it that the right engine had been changed;
- Luxair will resume operations tomorrow but only “experienced” pilot will be allowed to fly;
- All the local political dignitaries were having a “field day” and Mr. H. Grethen, Minister of Transport and Economy was once again making a fool of himself.

Rumor has it that Mr. Grethen has more expertise regarding alcoholic beverages than his about his functions. Well I personally don’t know about his drinking habits but a can confirm his poor judgment regarding aviation from first hand experience. Since he became minister back in 1999 the civil aviation scene in Luxembourg has been in permanent state of crisis.

So far many forces try to “unseat” Mr. Henri Klein, the director of the DACL (Direction de l’Aviation Civile de Luxembourg = the Luxembourg CAA), as a consequence of his minister’s decisions. And to name the account of such decisions and scandals would go far beyond this sad story. Let me just say as much as since Minister Grethen has taken over the DACL is forced to “police” their airlines in the worst possible way.

As a result communications and collaboration between authority and airlines have gone done here in Luxembourg which took its toll and training standards, maintenance quality, etc are going downhill. I fear that today’s sad accident may be the result.

In my opinion, and whatever the accident investigations reveals as primary cause, the JAA should take a very close look at Luxembourg. The time where airlines and crews have to fear their authority should be over and even in Luxembourg the industry and the authority should team up to improve safety.

In Luxembourg pressure is already rising that “heads must roll”. I sincerely hope that it will be Henri Grethen and not Henri Klein. Otherwise, the DACL will lose its most competent member.

So, without knowing the cause of this accident yet a lot of problems within the country’s aviation industry are finally coming to light. I hope that this sad day will be the turn around for Luxembourg.


King Kee
6th Nov 2002, 19:50
Condolences to all. Used to have a lot of involvement with LUX and LG in particular, though on the handling side so do not know flight crew.

I may be in totally the wrong area, but I know on one of the approaches to LUX, if slightly too steep before capturing the glide, you often used to get a 'spurious' GPWS warning due to hills in the area, even though your turn to capture the ILS avoided these. As I said, I may be totally in the wrong area, and the comments above regarding the 'stationery' prop may point to other causes, but could CFIT be an issue?

7th Nov 2002, 06:20
Reports now say 20 of the 22 people on board didn't make it. One pax survived after being "catapulted" (reporter's words) out of the aircraft when it crashed. One of the pilots also survived.
Was just wondering if that off-track condition could have been because he was heading to DIK for another approach?

7th Nov 2002, 07:10
Lots of sorrow... lots of questions. As a controller my immediate reaction was "how could it crash 5km (6m in one quote) from touchdown simply because of fog?" Mode C should have been visible to ATC and no controller is going to allow an a/c to descend to ground level without doing something. I therefore suspect a major control problem, but who knows - yet?

I do get very distressed at the media - BBC, papers, etc., implying that fog was a major cause. A/c land in thick fog day after day with no hassle.

7th Nov 2002, 07:22
Don't know if this is relevant, but I'm sure the authorities will be checking; this flight was the second flight after it's 220Hr maintenance check - first flight being the outbound to Berlin early in the morning.

7th Nov 2002, 07:59
Some reports give bird strike as a _possible_ cause. Huge flocks of migrating birds in the vicinity at time of impact.

7th Nov 2002, 08:12
Does anyone know if birds fly in cloud/fog?

7th Nov 2002, 08:43

I wondered myself, and after a very quick search found a (what seems to me reliable) source stating reported deaths of 1000s of migrating birds in fog.

(in German)

Birds do fly during fog. They are obviously being attracted by strong sources of light during fog, especially at night - collisions of flocks of birds with light houses etc. are common, according to that source.

7th Nov 2002, 09:06
Of all the possible causes, and I am not one to speculate, Brookmans Park's takes the cake.

Would you like to pop over to Luxembourg and convene a kangaroo court for the surviving pilot too?


7th Nov 2002, 09:47
Just saw a big picture of the Fokker 50 from behind. Badly "flattened". Definitely no flaps extended, and the right propeller seemed undamaged, not feathered. The left propeller destroyed, it seems. Could the "flattened" wreckige suggest little forward motion at the moment of impact? A stall, or spin? Just thoughts. The plane had apparently (according to a newspaper) just left a holdingpattern, heading for the airport. (I'm not a pilot, obviously). I guess the two survivors were very lucky. The captain will surely end all speculations, when he can be questioned.

7th Nov 2002, 10:46
Following my posting I received an irate private mail from a pilot who had taken umbrage at my post because I mentioned "control problem". He viewed this as some sort of criticism of the crew! How anyone could jump to such a conclusion is totally beyond me but let me emphasise that nothing was further from my mind. By "control problem" I meant that perhaps there was a malfunction preventing control of the aeroplane and this seems to be backed up by other postings on here.

7th Nov 2002, 10:59
Am I correct in saying that the auto feather function is not operative on approach and only available for T/O? I cant remeber but I do recall an eng fail on my days on the FK on approach was a pig to handle.

My sympathies to all.

Nick Figaretto
7th Nov 2002, 11:31
A/F on an F50 is inhibited in descent, as the power levers must be in T/O detent for A/F to be armed. When experiencing an engine failure during approach, the propeller will not autofeather when initiating a G/A because of this.

7th Nov 2002, 11:33
have found added some arr charts for ELLX rwy 24

7th Nov 2002, 13:21
Hello guys

U have talking about autofeather function of the Prop during approach.

I don't know the Fokker 50. In the Aeroplane I fly (Saab 2000), this function is fully operational during all phases of flight.

If somebody has other infos about the Fokker I would highly apprechiate any comments. ;)


My deeply condolences to all people concerned.

7th Nov 2002, 14:45
Has anyone noticed the left hand elevator is completely missing
whereas the right hand one is still attached ???
Hard to see how the inpact forces would have done that.
Anyone know where it is ??

7th Nov 2002, 14:54
Don't know the F50 either, but in the Viscount autofeather was dependent on throttle position such that an engine could flame out or have the fuel shut off but would not autofeather until throttle advanced into takeoff/climb range -- at least that's how it worked in the simulator.

Oldjet Jockey
7th Nov 2002, 15:09
Two photographs in the Luxembourg press show the right tailplane and elevator almost intact. On the left side the tailplane appears to have been boken by impact damage at about mid point. the outer half together with parts of the elevator seem to have been twisted underneath and lie still partly attached to the inner part of the tail plane. The aircraft's wheels initially touched in a field about two meters before the road. After crossing the road the aircraft struck an embankment rising about two meters above the road and planted with trees and bushes. It is likely that the left tailplane was damaged by contact with the embankment or the trees. An arial view taken from a helicopter makes this clear.

7th Nov 2002, 15:16
Tragic. In a flatter landscape the outcome could have been different for the souls onboard.

7th Nov 2002, 16:46
Just ter info:

A F-50 has a so-called ERP: engine-rating-panel with the following possible selections: Take-off, Go-around, Flex (these are push-buttons, and only when 1 of these selections is done AND the power levers are IN THE DETENT the autofeather is/should-be armed.
Then the other selections are climb, cruise and max contimuus thrust, in these selections you will NEVER have autofeather.

And Dash8100, "flat country-only flying" is not for ATP's (to make sure, Airline Transport Pilots, not the other A/C)!! :mad:

7th Nov 2002, 17:03
Why the angry face and comment? You must have misunderstood my post.

"...The aircraft's wheels initially touched in a field about two meters before the road. After crossing the road the aircraft struck an embankment rising about two meters above the road ..."

I only meant that if the aircraft would have had the chance to slide to a stop in a flatter landscape, the chances for survival would have been better". That's all. Of course that's not how mother nature is made.

There's too much anger in the world already :)

7th Nov 2002, 19:37
To add another to the list of speculations: wake?
Anyone knows whether the Fokker was following other traffic (and what kind) on approach?

7th Nov 2002, 19:47
Am I missing something, but why are the CAT 1 minimums for the airport in question, which are posted on this thread, less than 200feet agl?

See http://www.jacdec.de/news.htm

7th Nov 2002, 20:35

You are indeed missing something! The figures on the plate refer to OCA(H) Obstacle Clearance Altitude(Height) NOT DA(H) Decision Altitude(Height). On a CAT I approach the DH is a minimum of 200' provided that the OCH is <200'. If the OCH is >200 then the DH will equal the OCH rounded up to the most convenient figure. State produced plates (as the example is) show OCA(H). Jeppesen/AERAD then copy those plates and show the relevant DA(H). CAT II approaches have the same rules except the minimum DH is 100'


7th Nov 2002, 22:55
The autofeather/APR (automatic power reserve) on the Fokker 50 works as follows:

The system is standby when
-T/O G/A or flex is selected on the ERP or
-the landing gear is down.
AND -neither propellor feathered

The system is armed(and will autofeather) providing the following conditions:
-it is in standby and
-the power levers are in the T/O detent and
-Torque rises above 50%

It is then activated when the torque of an engine drops below 25%

This means that on a typical approach the prop will not autofeather.
With sufficient time available (1500-2000 feet) the approach can be continued without to much handling problems.
A failure at lower altitudes will necessitate a go-around which is a bit of a bitch with one engine (still) unfeathered.

But who knows what really happened out there???

8th Nov 2002, 03:08
sad day for all involved, all us F50 drivers send our deepest sympathies to families and Luxair.:(

8th Nov 2002, 15:10
Luxembourg radio just reporting that a government spokesman told reporters: both engines quit on approach. Info 2 engines out from cockpit voice recorder? Cause still unknown.


8th Nov 2002, 16:24
If my french is still good enough:
1) French safety experts exclude terror and birdstrike.
2) Blackboxes( FDR and CVR) indicate a double engine failure just
"shortly prior hitting ground".

Room for a lot of speculation. :(

Best regards

8th Nov 2002, 16:48

On the official site of the LUX Gov: http://www.gouvernement.lu/salle_presse/communiques/2002/11/08enquete/index.html

"L’examen du site et de l’épave ... est maintenant terminé. Il en ressort que les moteurs ne délivraient pas de puissance au moment de l’impact avec le sol." and about the FDR "Les enregistreurs ont fait appara'tre une diminution rapide de puissance sur les deux moteurs au cours de l’approche, ainsi que l’arrêt de ces moteurs, mais l’explication de ces éléments reste à être déterminée. Toute hypothèse, à ce stade, ne serait que de la spéculation."
1. "The inspection of the crash site and the wreckage … has now been concluded. From this it can be determined that both engines didn’t deliver any power at the moment of impact with the ground.”
2 “The FDR indicates a rapid loss of power on both engines during approach plus a complete engine shut down but an explanation for this remains to be found. At this stage any hypothesis would be pure speculation.

So far officially no possible cause has been ruled out except for terrorism.

However, there aren’t that many possible causes for total engine failures. There seems to have been enough fuel on board as the taxi driver who was the first on site reported that “there was fuel everywhere”. Mechanical would be a quite unlikely coincidence. Leaves bird strike and in my opinion more likely in view of the weather: icing. I’m not familiar with the F50. Can a F50 driver tell us something about its engine anti-ice system?


8th Nov 2002, 17:16
Fuel contamination perhaps? Has happened before on jet aircraft.

8th Nov 2002, 17:51
Yep, that's a possibility.

Just watched the local news and they said that there were no traces of birds found on the wreckage – so it wasn’t a bird strike either.

Mr. Heinzmann, Luxair’s CEO, said that the pilot was still in coma and a hospital spokesperson said that the pilot was awake and had spoken with the authorities. Guess we will here some more soon.

The surviving passenger is getting a lot better and will probably be able to leave hospital Monday or Tuesday. First good news!


8th Nov 2002, 18:48
I flew the F50 until last year and I can recall the anti-ice system should do the job well enough in icing conditions, especially since the acft was not continuously in IMC (top of the cloud deck should have been around 4000 ft apparently).
If you are prolonged in icing you might encounter vibration on the props, but there are enough ways to get rid of that. So if the system was working ok, there should not be any trouble coming from the icing side to explain a double engine flame-out.
Hope that helps BeePee.

8th Nov 2002, 19:14
what if anti-ice was NOT selected ON during entry into cloudlayer - ice must have formed -
if anti-ice is then selected ON once ice has formed it can result in engine flame-out....
possible isn't ?
[just thinking loudly...]

8th Nov 2002, 19:53
yep, but you would say it's such a routine for these pilots they select it almost automatically...

8th Nov 2002, 20:31
Since one engine might have been shut down (acording to FDR) - we could be dealing with an enginefailure, followed by shut down of the wrong engine (seen before).

8th Nov 2002, 21:53
But how does the relight sequence work again? Don't you have to shut the fuel lever before restarting?
This to explain the shutdown...
just a thought.

8th Nov 2002, 22:24
@ Superpilut,

Thanks for the quick answer. What kind of system is it? Bleed-air like on normal jet-engines or is it electric like on some light twins. Could an overlooked electric problem cause the anti-ice to fail?

I've re-read the official statement. Although it doesn’t specifically state that both engines quit simultaneously, I still kinda got the impression that’s what they meant. So if they both quit together I would focus on icing. Ground temp was 4º, thus a few thousand feet in freezing stratus with anti-ice problems could do it.

Well, just pure speculation on my behalf.


8th Nov 2002, 22:37
F50 has PW engines which utilise electrical anti icing.

Condolences to those involved.

outback aviator
9th Nov 2002, 02:09
and also hot air from the engine bleeds to prevent ice forming in the engine air intake

9th Nov 2002, 02:56
prevent ice forming in the engine air intake

That jogged something, I remember an AD about this when the F50 first came out. Can't find the text online, but the AD number from Fokker was F50-30-003 of 1988. Probably irrelevant as it is hard to imagine that AD not being applied in the intervening 14 years. What was the age of this particular airframe ?

Rwy in Sight
9th Nov 2002, 05:26
I was talking with a former Air Force instructor last Thrusday and he told me that some pilots tend to believe that during an ILS approach they are higher than they should be. So they tend to increase the rate of decent.

Is it true and if yes could that be a factor.

Rwy in Sight

Oldjet Jockey
9th Nov 2002, 07:28
Anyone thought of a possible compressor stall with sudden change of throttle settings during a go around?
I dont know these engines but compressor stalls have been known when throttles are quickly opened! Is there some electronic control during GA that could have malfunctioned?

9th Nov 2002, 08:36
With the crash site being approximately 5-6km from the airport, that would equate to about 4 miles / OM / 1000' ATRE. If the RVR was below the required minimum then they may well have been executing a missed approach (not allowed to continue if RVR below minima).

If indeed it turns out to be a twin compressor stall then the time to analyse and deal with the problem would have been minimal.

Condolences to all affected by this accident..... :(


Sensible Garage
9th Nov 2002, 09:03

Type F27-050
C/n 20221
first flight 07jun91
01may91 PH-EXU Fokker
18jun91 LX-LGB Luxair
PROBLEM Offered for sale jun00.
NOTED Seen at Woendrecht 30nov01.

9th Nov 2002, 09:05
The acft was from 1991, frame 20221.
Normally you can open the throttles very fast...
And regarding the diving during an ILS: it was a CAT II, so flown through the autopilot.

Sorry S.G. I didn't see you posted the number already..

What do you mean with: "Problem: Offered for sale... "

Flight Girl
9th Nov 2002, 10:58
Please, guys, stop the speculations and just wait until we hear what really happened.

But let's make a few things clear:
- Luxair is JAR approved and has very high training standards that are permanently supervised also by Lufthansa, even Quick Access Recorder were installed in almost all the a/c so LH could check that Luxair and crews are working by the book.
- As the training is equal it is not necessary to say "only experienced pilots will fly". So on a "normal" day they send out "unexperienced pilots" and good luck to everyone?
- Birds definitely fly in clouds and fog or do you think they would take a brake, stop when they find a bunch of suitable trees and take a picknick? Then it would take them very long to reach warmer areas for the winter
- and there definitely were tons of wild geese crossing the airport that day, no matter if that was a factor or not
- control in Luxembourg is professional, but not the best. Eg. your "cleared visual, maintain 3000ft" (cleared visual or not??)
- Luxair a/c and crews are approved Cat I, II and even IIIa; Cat II is flown on Autopilot so there's no staying above the glide
- the a/c was not holding anymore as G.Fongern/VC had been quoted in some newspapers but was on approach ILS 24

With kind regards to the victims, the only two survivors, especially the Captain and all their families and relatives as well as Luxair Crews, as for them these really are hard times as they lost collegues and friends and had a quick but hard realization of what can happen not only to others but also to them - please stop speculation about any mistakes of the crew or whatever.
They will absolutely appreciate it!

Kaptin M
9th Nov 2002, 11:31
Were they flying to Cat I or Cat II mins?

Maybe they hit a UFO!!
The wild conjecture by a few here does indeed prove that "a little knowledge is sometimes a dangerous thing", and that "it is sometimes better to keep your mouth shut and appear to know nothing at all, than to open it and remove all doubt"!

I have appreciated hearing some of the FACTS from people who have a working knowledge of the F27 500 (thank you), but NOT from others who are comparing apples with oranges.

Rwy in Sight, I think that the pilot with whom you were talking was probably referring to "duck under" - a phenomenom that may occur when a pilot becomes visual following an IFR approach. At that point in time there can be a visual illusion that one is too high, and hence a tendency to "pole forward" (increase the rate of descent) - thus the need to monitor the PAPI and glide slope rather than relying on one's senses!

9th Nov 2002, 11:47

AD/F50/12 Engine Anti-Ice Control Unit 3/89
Applicability: F27 Mark 050 aircraft.
Requirement: Replace engine anti-ice control units in accordance with the requirements of Fokker
SB F50-30-003.
Note: RLD AD BLA No. 88-105 refers.
Compliance: Forthwith.
Background: Following a number of flight tests which revealed ice formation in the engine intake
duct, the manufacturer has released a new anti-ice control unit which increases the
protection of the intake duct against ice formation. Fokker SB F50-30-003 details the
procedure for replacement of the anti-ice control unit.

9th Nov 2002, 12:03
" please stop speculation about any mistakes of the crew or whatever."
Well said and appropriate at this time. Thank you.

Also agree on most of other points you brought up. A small remark: Heard rumours from people close to investigation that they were looking carefully for traces of bird remains(blood/feathers) and did not find any yet. In a radio transmission yesterday someone stated in french that one could exclude bird strike. Have no idea how valid these infos are. Wild speculation?

Could you enlighten me where you got this info "Since one engine might have been shut down (acording to FDR)"???
Did I miss somesthing? :confused:


9th Nov 2002, 13:51
Ref. Rwy in Sight and the "we're too high on the ILS, I dive"-stuff...

Altimeters are calibrated in ISA conditions. So if you have a positive deviation from ISA (warmer conditions) your altimeter will over-read. On the other hand, in colder temperatures the altimeter will under-read. You shouldn't worry too much about it unless your ISA deviation reaches -15 or even goes beyond that (which wasn't the case for the Luxair F-50 anyway). In the sim some guys absolutely love to play with that, and what usually saves the crew is their radio-altimeter...

There's a correction table in the Jepp manual, so that you can easily apply the necessary corrections to your altitudes in cold weather ops approaches. There's also a rule of thumb, but tired brains after 11hrs on duty tend to forget it.

Maybe that's what some of the Air Force pilots took for an error coming from the ILS ??

9th Nov 2002, 16:10
Captain104 - I don't know if you missed something, or I just misunderstood a previous post (by BeePee, Nov 8th 17:48):

2 “The FDR indicates a rapid loss of power on both engines during approach plus a complete engine shut down but an explanation for this remains to be found.

I admit that it is pure speculation, and that it is not the time to do so - I do apologize to all involved.

FlyByHeart :)

9th Nov 2002, 16:19
Sorry, I think I missed it, not you. Still not sure that on FDR there is to read out that ONE engine has been shut down by crew.
Well, all speculation. Propose to leave it there. Have a nice weekend. ;)

9th Nov 2002, 16:20
IF(!), after a double engine flame-out, an airstart is to be performed, the fuel lever of the affected engine (to be started) should be in shut (Fokker QRH): thus 1 engine shutdown. Then you initiate an airstart; i would (so close to the ground..) do it by heart, this could be an explanation..

9th Nov 2002, 19:07
I have just read this suggesting engine failure?


Sensible Garage
9th Nov 2002, 20:06
SP, data is copy-paste from a/c database, seems Luxair had them for sale at reported date
"problem" indicates that according to that database the a/c was not noted for a while and was suspected to have been sold and been given new reg, hope that clarify's things

PS, you flew for ATAS way back?

9th Nov 2002, 22:27
@ Flight Girl, re your posts and your private message

1) I don't post "nonsense" - in fact I have access to some inside information.
2) I defined the statement “…but only “experienced” pilot will be allowed to fly” as a “wild rumor”, it is supposedly a quote from down-town – and rather hostile.
3) In my post nowhere I criticized Luxair’s training standards. In fact I talked about the fact that the hostile policy of the minister is having its toll on the quality of the Luxembourg Aviation Industry (including training standards).

I’m primarily concerned about safety here and since Grethen became Transport Minister in 1999 the policy of the ministry has taken a nasty 180. I’m further adamant that the current policy of this minister has a negative influence on the aviation industry in Luxembourg. It would be very sad indeed if at the end it would turn out to have already been a contributing factor in this terrible accident.

I post this public to make sure that there is no further misunderstanding.


Ignition Override
10th Nov 2002, 04:14
I feel bad for everyone involved in these tragedies.

These remarks address shortfalls in one major airline's training syllabi, for at least two different jet fleets. If an engine on a twin-engine turboprop fails during final approach, it is very easy for me to imagine the challenge of flying such a plane with the prop not in feather, unless crews are regularly trained for this very dangerous situation. Of course, I have no idea what happened to the Fokker 50, or what their training consists of.

Over the last sixteen years on two different twin-turbofan jets (avg. about 108,000 or 227,000 lbs MTOW, i.e. either 100 or 194 passengers), my airline trained me only ONE TIME for an engine failure during final approach, and this was about a year ago with very good visibility during a visual while at about 2,000' AGL on the glideslope. If at MDA on a non-prec. approach, it would be difficult, even for very experienced pilots, to safely regain control while staying on course, altitude and at a safe airspeed! With one or two exceptions (i.e. many years ago, in holding) each simulated flame-out was at V1 speed. For the laymen, this is when you must continue the takeoff, unless the Captain has already initiated a very rapid and intense abort procedure. During an approach to many small airports, or to a large airport with an inop. glideslope, a failed engine can be difficult to quickly and correctly identify (as the plane suddenly slows down below approach speed and quickly yaws away from the localizer, VOR or NDB course, maybe towards hills or trees which are hidden by the fog), with the immediate need to also identify the prop to be 'feathered'.

Who knows? The time we spent doing FAA-mandated, simulated "Valuejet" cabin smoke emergiencies, although productive, might also have been spent on other engine-failure scenarios...Apparently the FAA finds it very difficult to consider the need for engine failure training other than what is required for a high-speed abort or during rotation at V1-V2 . The airlines are very focused now, even more than before the recession, on their 'precious' training budgets and four-hour simulator slots.

May Heaven help the Fokker Captain through his "Sp. Inquisition", assuming that he physically/mentally recovers.

10th Nov 2002, 14:16
Just food for thought for all those speculating on compressor stall from rapid application of thrust. Those PW turboprops are they axial flow or centrifugal compressors. Remembering that axials are the ones that are prone to surge/stall.

10th Nov 2002, 14:22
Thanks Sensible Garage..
No, I'm not around for that long yet!
and Ignition Override:
I'm am 200% convinced it is not coming forth out of shortfalls in training, because the training is extremely thorough.

10th Nov 2002, 15:08
F-50 PW-125B engines:

High pressure spool: comprises a centrifugal compressor and a single stage axial turbine (rpm governed by fuel metering)
Low pressure spool: comprises a centrifugal compressor and a single stage axial turbine (ungoverned)
Power turbine: 2-stage axial power turbine drives the propeller via the reduction gearbox.

10th Nov 2002, 16:06
Ignition Override

From day one my airline trained us on the GA engine loss and an engine failure of some sort on final besides the standard V1 cut and reject. I was always of the opinion that everyone trained to this standard.

Are you sure that this is not what the regulator requirement is?

10th Nov 2002, 20:31
Non continuance of approach.
With the crash site being approximately 5-6km from the airport, that would equate to about 4 miles / OM / 1000'

ATRE. If the RVR was below the required minimum then they may well have been executing a missed approach (not

permitted to continue if the RVR was below their minima - which it was, they required 300m, and it was only 250m).

If indeed it turns out to be an icing-induced twin compressor stall (or two in quick succession) then the time to

analyse and deal with the problem would have been minimal. It might also explain why the aircraft was off centerline

and its heading about 80 degrees off the localizer course. A double compressor stall is not improbable, particularly

as the a/c came out of IMC holding to commence the ILS - however it's equally likely that only one engine may have

compressor stalled - and in the rapid shutdown of that problem engine, they may have feathered or fuel-chopped the

wrong engine. Equally, a single-engine go-round from low-speed configured in IMC is a difficult proposition. It is

very significant that photos show the starboard prop virtually undamaged but unfeathered.
Stbd Prop obviously not rotating at impact (nor feathered)

a. At low power, high AoA in a holding pattern, engine bleed-air output may not be sufficient to stop some

ice forming in the intake and on the intake lip.

b. When the pilot made the decision to abandon the approach and go-round (because the RVR was too low), one

or both of the following may have happened:

(i) Engine(s) might compressor stall due to insufficient air-flow through ice-obstructed intake and/or
(ii) Suddenly increased bleed-air flow might dislodge intake and lip ice damaging compressor blades and causing surge/stall/power loss on both.

It would be interesting to know how the new anti-ice control unit was tested as adequate and then certified (see AD

above). F50's may well have been flying for years in similar icing conditions - and landing successfully... but

doing it with an engine intake ice-load that would have caused a dual compressor stall - had they applied go-round


If this was the case, it would be indeed ironic to reflect that, had they continued the approach (even though they

only had 250m RVR vice the required 300m), they may have landed safely and never been any the wiser about the intake

icing (which would only have become a compressor surge/stall problem at go-round power).

Just a theory. I doubt that any extensive testing would have been carried out on the "improved" anti-

ice control unit. It was Fokker - not Boeing or Airbus - and apparently the first anti-ice control unit wasn't up to

it. The "improved" version was probably just an upgraded flow.

http://www.casa.gov.au/avreg/aircraft/ad/adfiles/over/f50/f50-012.pdf (the AD)

Kaptin M
10th Nov 2002, 21:26
The posting of some people`s hypothetical theories are further making public the LACK of knowledge often displayed by the press.

FYI, Belgique it IS permissible to continue an approach if the RVR/vis drops below the min, as long as it was at or above the minimum at the commencement of the approach.

How about waiting until there`s a bit more HARD evidence from the investigators.

"It is often better to keep one`s mouth closed and APPEAR to be a fool, than to open it - and remove all doubt!" :(

10th Nov 2002, 21:40
First of al: my condolences to all familie and friends of the victims.

For all self declared specialist on a/c.......leave the guessing to the authorities..or at least state accurate facts.

Some people do practise the GA... with n-1 ! realy it has been done. :rolleyes:

Actualy Luxair has a very good training program for Cat2 (i've done the cat2 thingy) where the GA in CAT2 is not a spectacular event.

And a compressor stall is a very unlikely possibility with the Fokker50. Even when advancing the throttle quite vast (lets say a pilot new to the plane) would not give mayor hickups warranting this.

What might have been the problem? I'll find out when they publish it!

10th Nov 2002, 21:49
Generally I agree. But please avoid being harsh. Belgique is just offering some guesses. In the past he provided brilliant posts concerning AA 587 or 747 cargo door related threads. ;)
Good night.

10th Nov 2002, 23:15

Please reread what I wrote, I was not implying anything, just stating a fact that my airline trains and tests to the standard that I described.

I was under the impression that everyone else trains to the same standard.

Since I seem to have touched a nerve, please explain...

By the way, even though I have over 30 years experience as a Airline Captain I wouldn't even comment as to the cause of the accident as I wasn't there and I have only limited time on a turoprop...

Ignition Override
11th Nov 2002, 04:47
Tan: The FAA, which I referred to, only 'oversees' (so to speak) US airlines, and I know nothing about foreign airline requirements. Other than the British CAA, or Dutch RLD (?), I have no idea what the foreign aviation 'authorities' are called. As my remarks attempted to describe, my company, since training me as FO in November '85 (was FO about thirteen years), has only three or four times given me engine failures which were not during takeoff.

As previously stated , only o-n-e such approach 'event' was during a visual: never at an MDA, and never in IMC, even for an ILS, and this was during my four years as Captain.

My company's mainline operates turbofan jets, which range from, generally speaking, 108,000 pounds MTOW up to that of the 747-400.

To repeat, I know nothing about other US airline nor foreign airline requirements, but I suspect that the training for those unfortunate F-50 pilots, no matter what caused the accident, was much better than what many US airlines require on their many jet fleets, most of which carry a larger number of (naive and unsuspecting) passengers per plane.

11th Nov 2002, 08:50

I don't quite get the point of your rather stinging reply to Tan.

The airline that has employed me for the past 29 years has regularly trained and tested us in various 'engine-out' scenarios. Last sim check three weeks ago, given over 2 days, was typical in that among the various exercises, it included engine seizure exiiting a hold, in icing conditions, and subsequent non-percision approach to landing. (We are trained a lot in icing scenarios!)

Also covered, besides the usual engine fire/failure just past V1, were engine flameout in cruise, engine fire + shutdown on vectors, engine flameout with full flap just inside the OM (in icing condiitions) as well as the usual engine failure during missed approach from low level.

These are not 'one-of' sim exercises. They have all been a regular part of every sim syllabus that I have ever taken.

I,too, was under the impression that every airline trained to the same standard. If, as you claim, that the JAR Ops directives do not include scenarios other than the standard 'engine failure after V1', then perhaps those Ops should be re-written and regularily trained for. But I'm willing to bet that, either they do include those exercises, or perhaps that your recurrent training syllabus has become an exercise in checking off the squares on a list of minimum exercises to satisfy some regulatory paperwork. But I hardly think so.

11th Nov 2002, 08:54
Last call I agree with you on what you say and on reflection deleted my post as it was over the top.

11th Nov 2002, 09:07

Very honest, considerate and tactful.


11th Nov 2002, 12:21
Someone asked if wake turbulences could have been a factor: I confirm this was not the case as the previous was a Saab 2000 and with increased separation during cat 2 and 3 that Saab was on short finale when the F-50 started its approach.

This A/C asked for holding before the app. They were cleared to DIK to hold as the WX was below their minimas. and then they were cleared for the app...:confused: even the RVR didn't improve in the meantime.

To kaptin M.

I tought you are not allowed to continue the app. if the WX is below the minimas before the OM, thus you have to perform a missed app. You can continue this app only if the RVR goes below your minimas after you already passed the OM. Correct?


11th Nov 2002, 12:38

Correct. You must have your required minimum RVR at the OM/1000' ARTE/4 miles or equivalent point. If the RVR is below your minima at this point you must go around.

If you have continued your approach because the RVR was at or above minimum at the OM/1000' ATRE and it subsequently goes below minimum then you can continue the approach down to DH' and land IF you have the required visual reference.


11th Nov 2002, 17:35
Insider information indeed. BEE PEE if you are feeding us inside information from your well known Luxembourg source , well then yes , it is garbage. Garbage in, garbage out. Sorry to say that no one except you can take your inside source seriously. Best to disregard any of that information as in my six years of hard experience with said person he never told the truth about anything. And that is an unfortunate smear on Luxembourg and it's aviation community. I thinks that people have to excuse BEE PEE for his gullability because otherwise he does seem to know what he is talking about.

11th Nov 2002, 20:02
Ahh, the Canadian viper again, 5 posts - 5 squirts of poison. Don’t sting yourself!


11th Nov 2002, 21:42
Can we PLEASE stick to the topic :rolleyes: If you wish to get into a slanging match, please do it in private.

This thread is to discuss a serious accident and provides an opportunity to learn about aspects of aviation/aircraft operation we may be unfamiliar with. Please don't let THIS thread degenerate in to a "tit-for-tat" point scoring scenario - it's too important for that.

There's a time and place...........and this isn't it!


11th Nov 2002, 21:46
BoxcarWilhomena, you might be right. I just watched the local TV news and they announced that “extreme icing may have played a major role” and “a collision with migrating birds can definitely be ruled out”. It was however left unclear if this was an official statement or not.

A note about the crash site: Within 15m of touchdown the aircraft hit an embankment of about 3-4m height. It is indeed a sad turn of fate that they didn’t have that little extra kinetic energy as the very soft field behind would have been suitable for an emergency landing.


12th Nov 2002, 00:30
So much speculation and inuendo - Why not wait for the official results of the accident?

Everyone is so eager to add their hypothesis on what happened, the press would have a field day.

Wait till someone can give you all hard facts, not hypothesis; until then, don't cast aspertions.

Lots of armchair critics here. No worse than a back seat driver wife! We all have (or had) one of those.


Ignition Override
12th Nov 2002, 00:41
Last Call: Your pilots are fortunate to have received such realistic training scenarios, and let's hope that many other airlines (and military squadrons) now include, or will include, these events in their high-cost simulator periods. Years ago, simply due to cost, some major airlines had no FMC trainer, which could have prepared pilots for each morning's fixed-base sim period in a certain Boeing FMC aircraft, in contrast to pilots showing up after no preparation. The people responsible for training pilots to face the newer type of flying later realized that after many years with many problems, they could then 'justify' the development of a desktop training device, to their "people upstairs". Some FOs at a major US airline actually spent about $5,000 out of their own pockets at Boeing for a course on the same aircraft, having little faith in a certain training department at their own airline. Back then, the company believed in pilots training themselves, to a large extent, don't ya know?

Many valuable simulated events can be done for training, without necessarily being graded by check airmen, if initiated by the Training/Program Managers etc, and allowed by the supervising authorities. Sometimes, the less such situations are graded as "pass/fail", the better the training results, and the lower the stress (better rest) for the pilots when they arrive for an 0500 briefing ( :().

12th Nov 2002, 00:48
I don't normally like to speculate with respect to accidents but has anyone mentioned possible FM Immunity/interference issues with the FADEC? The thread titled "Mobile Phone Sends Jet Out Of Control" notes some worrisome issues.

12th Nov 2002, 00:55
>So much speculation and inuendo - Why not wait for the official results of the accident?

Everyone is so eager to add their hypothesis on what happened, the press would have a field day.

Wait till someone can give you all hard facts, not hypothesis; until then, don't cast aspertions.

Lots of armchair critics here. No worse than a back seat driver wife! We all have (or had) one of those.

Overall the thread has balance. Some good some bad. Nothing wrong in hypothesis based on reported info, that's what accident investigators feed on. I agree with avoiding any hint of blame without a final report.

I also agree with the debate about training for a myriad of possible engine failure/conditions How many are too much, how few are too little. There is little guidance in the regs about this.

I don''t feel that we are proactive enough by shutting up and just waiting for *all* hard facts.

12th Nov 2002, 11:00
I am quite shocked at the misunderstanding by some on this thread as to what consists of proper engine failure training and it’s relationship to the regulator authority.

This is just a quick simple overview of what this means. All the major carriers as part of their operating certificate produce or use training manuals and a training syllable’s that must be approved by their regulator authority. This then becomes part of their operating certificate or license to run their business. Normally the standard required by the issuing state is lower then that required by the major airline. It shouldn’t be like this but the state always caters to the lowest common denominator. This is one of the reasons that the major airlines training infrastructure costs are so high. They train to a higher standard. It makes good business sense; they’re protecting their investment.

It’s not much of a stretch to realize how the low cost carriers are able to offer such low fares. Their training costs since they only train to the lowest required standard are minimal compared to that of a major carrier. This same thinking extends throughout their operation. It’s akin to rolling the dice and counting on nothing ever going wrong. Just remember that the next time that you fly on the cheap, you get what you pay for.

It’s a lot easier to respect and work with pilots that you know are required to perform to the same high standard that you are. I might add and a “hell-of-a-lot safer”.

No doubt some of you will read something into my musings that was not intended, so be it.

IMHO this is the reality of today’s aviation world.


12th Nov 2002, 12:56

As a LCC training Cpt, I would just like to say that on what authority do you base your findings of: LCC do not train to the highest standards?


12th Nov 2002, 13:40

I think the question concerns you comment:

"It’s not much of a stretch to realize how the low cost carriers are able to offer such low fares. Their training costs since they only train to the lowest required standard ---- etc"

I too would be interested in the source of your information.

12th Nov 2002, 13:50
Might it be there is a little confusion? A LCC is not the name of an airline I think it means LOW COST CARRIER. ;)

12th Nov 2002, 14:29

Well if you worked for the majors you would be very familiar with the training standard that is expected of us. To even think that a LCC is ever going to spend that amount of money on training is pure fantasy. Training properly costs big bucks.

I might add that I shutdown/lost three engines on three different aircraft (DC-9, B-727, B-767). Why am I still here in good health responding to your question? Because of the expensive high standard training that I received. If you think it does'nt make a difference, well....


Thanks for clearing up the meaning of LCC.

Ray Ban
12th Nov 2002, 14:41
I think you assume way too much Tan. Do you have any idea how much low cost carriers spend on training? To think that they all cut costs by watering down their training seems to me to be rather naive. There are many many other ways that carriers can cut costs without impacting safety. By my reckoning Southwest appear to be doing rather well both in making money and flying very safely. The majors could perhaps learn a thing or two.

12th Nov 2002, 15:25

I could not agree with you more. Just so you know, I had the good fortune to be with a “very major” carrier that not only had excellent facilities, personnel, and equipment, but also one that
was a leader and one that set the bench mark for carriers when it came to training. I don’t know how long you have been flying, but I would not be surprised if some of the training you received
in the past or are receiving today, did not originate from my airline. As a result, I consider training to be more than basic fundamentals, but required for safe airmanship. But I will agree that unfortunately, the risk - reward equation still enters the picture, particularly when financial times become difficult. Training is often the first to suffer when it comes time to trim budgets.

12th Nov 2002, 17:14
Ray Ban

No, I'm not naive, just being realistic. What takes us 5 days of training to do the LCC do in three. There is no way in earth that they can train to our standard in that length of time.

Just by your comments it's obvious to me at least, that you never experienced first class training, otherwise you would know.

The LCC people are so defensive when it comes to training. I wonder why?

Remember it just takes one accident to spoil your day

12th Nov 2002, 18:09
company friends involved in trainung in 320/737 fleets tell me that there are huge differences in LCC training.
Some are absolutely top and spend time and money as any respected classic airline. High class checkers.
Some train not more than min. required by JAR Regs and do it the cheapest way they can.
Could it be that it's not a black-white picture but ordinary gray and both parties struggeling in the last posts are 50% right?

Back to topic: red somewhere that people working for Luxair are
talking about:
1) AC started with more than 2100? kg fuel in Berlin(about 900? kg used) and 800 kg were pumped off the wreckage. So no dry tanks. All numbers just rumour.
2) Was fuel flow from tanks to engines interrupted? Nothing found yet.
3) Was prop anti-ice (electric) working properly? To find out. If not it's possible that ice formed on props, melted in descend due to warmer air and was fed into engine intakes.
Well, in a week or so we will know more.


12th Nov 2002, 20:14
> 3) Was prop anti-ice (electric) working properly? To find out. If not it's possible that ice formed on props, melted in descend due to warmer air and was fed into engine intakes. <

Ice trajectory off the props is unlikely to go into the engines. Spinner ice or inlet ice might.

12th Nov 2002, 20:27
Capt 104
Ice and de-icer boots that come off props will hit the fuselage or the outboard engine, not get ingested. (....having had a de-icer boot come off an Allison and go through the fuse exactly in the prop-plane => sudden very noisy decompression at FL310 plus high vibration but with nil engine indications, even on the P/L's. - It needs quite a bit of quick detective work as you're getting shaken to bits). Finally ... and with a choice of 4, picked the correct engine (i.e. picked the loss of disc solidity by torch-light).

It's more likely that when Fokker did the anti-icing unit mod fix for the then existing problem of intake lip (and inlet throat ice - formed earlier due to the venturi effect), they never really trialled it effectively. In extended holding at reduced power settings in severe icing at low IAS/high AoA, the bleed air flow is somewhat limited and probably does not stop ice building up. As long as the pilot thereafter has no need to increase power due to engine failure or go-round, he'll probably never know that he's carrying a potentially lethal load of intake ice. But if he does increase power to go round, as I'm surmising may have been the case here, the greatly enhanced bleed air output at high power will very quickly dislodge intake ice in sizeable lumps and cause compressor damage or blade failures.

Once again it's only a theory - but on the evidence, one worth keeping in mind - despite the carping of some about waiting for "the word" (etc).

12th Nov 2002, 21:28
Thank you for enlightment LP and Belgique. Sounds very reasonable. We will see. :)

Kaptin M
12th Nov 2002, 22:12
Very informative FACTS, thanks Belgique - and apologies if I appeared somewhat abrasive in an earlier post.

To Danou_71 and A4, I'm not aware of any requirement to re-check the wx conditions at the O.M. - only to ensure that they (ceiling and vis. or RVR) are at or above the minimum required at the commencement of approach.
Hence if they are reported as having fallen below the minimum once the aircraft has passed the FAF, the approach may be continued to the MDA/MAP at which point the decision is up to the pilot (which may be PF or PNF, depending upon whether or not your company utilises the "monitored approach"system.) whether to go around, or to continue.

Ignition Override
13th Nov 2002, 05:21
Among the flying public, not to mention the media, there are misunderstandings as to what the phrase "low cost carrier" represents. One major exception to the general definition is Southwest Airlines. I've never worked there, only talked with pilots who are with them. Anyway, when an airline flies its planes a few more hours per day, especially on linear routes, compared to " hub and spoke" airlines (as most are, here in the US), the operating costs are averaged out over more flight hours.

Therefore the phrase, "low cost airline", can be very misleading. And another fact (awkward for many Pprune members to admit): Southwest has been heavily unionized for many years.

Back to the main topic...

13th Nov 2002, 10:28

Quote: "By the way - I would NEVER carry out extended holding in severe icing in any turboprop !"

You sure got that right. We are not allowed to operate in known severe icing conditions in any type of aircraft at any time. Period...

Take care out there :)

Buster Hyman
13th Nov 2002, 12:34
Could someone clarify for me whether this bears any relation to icing problems experienced on the ATR42 in it's early days, or was that more to do with ice chunks from the leading edge hitting rear flaps??

I'm not going anywhere with this, just curious.:confused:

13th Nov 2002, 13:26
if you're thinking about the roselawn incident, then that was because of a ice ridge buidup just aft of the leading edge boot..
Disturbed the airflow enough to interrupt aileron authority..hence it spun in

condolances to all

13th Nov 2002, 16:07
If I remember correctly the ice ridge airflow change caused the aileron to reverse. Authority was not the problem as they could not be used in the airflow that the ridge produced - semantics maybe.


13th Nov 2002, 16:08
All this talk of icing , but were the conditions really ripe for more than a trace that day? As far as I can tell from the various reports, it was a calm and stable morning with stratus tops around 4000 ft, surface temp +4 degC, and relatively clear air above. I don't have a chart for Luxembourg that day, but the low level chart indicates a freezing level of about 8000 ft over NW Belgium with no mention of any sub-zero layer.

Although it may have been holding close to the tops of the layer (for how long, BTW?), are these really the sorts of conditions that are likely to result in an icing accident?

13th Nov 2002, 19:02
No spin at roselawn, ailerons "snatched" from stop to stop, aircraft entered steep spiral dive..airframe failed on the way down due to excessive airloads...much like the dolomiti atr over the alps several years earlier...

15th Nov 2002, 01:07
I do not intend to be condescending to anybody, but unless your involved with the 'investigation team' none of you know what your talking about, ...... in this instance!!....

.....Or in the aftermath of any future incident. Sitting at a computer that may or may not be in the comfort of your home is no place to be speculating about the cause of an accident/incident.

If you have expertise in the area of accident investigation, please feel free to comment. However those that do, generally stay mum until all the facts have been discovered.

15th Nov 2002, 02:00
.....Or in the aftermath of any future incident. Sitting at a computer that may or may not be in the comfort of your home is no place to be speculating about the cause of an accident/incident. So what is a good place then ?

Perhaps one other admonition should be added to your little list - don't waste bandwidth unless you have something to contribute to a discussion.

Pompous a**.

15th Nov 2002, 02:45
> If you have expertise in the area of accident investigation, please feel free to comment. However those that do, generally stay mum until all the facts have been discovered.<

I don't agree. Much can be learned by speculation with arguments based on some facts.

Even an expert investigator can learn from these arguments

As I have stated before,assignment of blame to any party has no place in these arguments.

Ignition Override
15th Nov 2002, 04:31
Ironbutt757: Regarding the ATR tragedy at Roselawn, many of us know that the (US) FAA regulatory authorities were well aware of the icing problems on ATR-42s which operated in Europe, long before the Roselawn nightmare, but the FAA assumed that it did not matter, nope, not one bit. Their government service jobs and GS pay grades were safe, no matter what their actions or inactions.

Otherwise, they would have initiated, on their own (a very rare step for our "friends" at the FAA), more operational icing research following those serious control problems in Europe, before a planeload of people died. They were very clever to begin this research after the 'closed casket' funerals (simply say good bye to what is left of your son's, daughter's, Mom's or Dad's remains in the well-sealed coffin) all over the country, which clearly demonstrated their genuine concern for the traveling public (most of whom pay their salaries...).

Oldjet Jockey
15th Nov 2002, 11:55

I understand your post but quite frankly think you are misguided in wanting to inhibit discussion on possible causes of a tragic accident. It has already been stated by the authorities that it is likely to be next September at the earliest before a report is published. Providing no fingers of blame are being pointed, any discussion by professionals of possible, and I emphasise "POSSIBLE" causes can contibute to the official investigators thoughts and may be draw attention to potential system faults or deficiencies that can help alert other crews in avoiding similar disasters while waitng for the results of the enquiry. I'm sure you would not like to hear of other loss of life because we cannot talk among ourselves of possible problems. Lets keep talking in a sensible way about anything that comes to mind from our professional experience while avoiding pointing the finger. I am now retired and still alive. Many years ago after an accident to another aircraft I was alerted to certain possible causes and in similar circumstances I was able to avoid a nasty, so I will forever be grateful to those who are bold enough to voice their professional thoughts after an accident. The only posts to be avoided are from those who, without the facts claim to KNOW the cause or Who if any one was to blame. For the rest let us continue sensible technical discussions!!!!!!!

15th Nov 2002, 12:04
I totally agree "OJJ" - well said!

A4 :)

15th Nov 2002, 12:51
Ellion...have downloaded and read in it's entirety the NTSB report, as well as the book Unheeded Warnings...flew for that airline in the mid 80's as a shed capt...know all the people in the book, as well as the fellow who lost control on approach into DTW and was fortunate to recover...

IG override..yes it was a big coverup...don't know quite why the simmons management took it so personally...especially in light of the atr 42 that suffered the same fate...also little support from alpo when management went after the author of the book mentioned above....guess the whistle-blower laws are a bit toothless aren't they:mad: :mad:

16th Nov 2002, 08:25
Sorry to interrupt, but from what I hear the official announcement made by the LX gov on their website is way off-track from what investigators think (= BS). I don't know whether it was intentional or not, and of course the guys from the French BEA may still change their mind further down this investigation which has just started. At this time, when the mass media is pressing for new information and something smart to say on the air (which doesn't happen very often unfortunately), I guess it's a smarter move for the gov to say it's probably a technical problem and focus everybody's attention on that until the final report goes out (in a year or so).

What leaked is that the right prop is amazingly "intact" compared to the left one, so people start thinking "hey what if, in just a snap, they became single-engine ?". That's all they seem to say regarding the engines: one was turning much faster than the other. The other bit of info is concerning the rate of descent, which apparently reached up to -7,000 fpm. It is assumed that the aircraft bounced once before crashing in the field (I find that a bit hard to believe but I'm not an expert on the subject).

Then comes the pure speculation regarding the crew, which couldn't come from the BEA of course, but obviously I won't repeat it here. Actually I find that totally disgusting, especially when it comes from collegues. Especially when one of them survived. Especially when the investigation has just begun. Especially when all the crew members are in tears (is there a special team to help them go through all this ?). I don't know who started it and who followed him/her, but I wouldn't want to have collegues like that.

16th Nov 2002, 13:28
I was enticed by stratocaster's post above, but with so much tongue in cheek :) I couldn't entirely decipher what he was hinting at.

Can anybody help out here?

What issues need to be checked further?

16th Nov 2002, 16:31
A local weekly paper is stirring things up - they are known for articles like this.

Last week they were trying to blame the controllers - they'd been up to the flying clubs and all the PPLs were complaining about the controllers here.

This week, they say that the pilot told the passengers that it would be a difficult landing - yet nothing was said to ELLX Tower who believed everything was normal. From what I can understand in the article they're asking the question "was the plane crashed on purpose?"

Maybe someone with a better command of French could translate this.

Article in French (http://hebdo.le-jeudi.lu/journal/article.asp?ArticleNum=2748)

16th Nov 2002, 18:36
This is my quickie attempt.

After the crash of the Luxair Fokker, the mystery remains complete.
Need for Serenity

Human reaction -- always under shock. everybody is waiting to know and understand. However we must still remain patient. And avoid hasty conclusions.
Daniel Pol-Soum

Now that the investigators at BEA in Paris are reading the black boxes, serenity has not returned to the souls far from there. Whether at Luxair or the people below or potential customers, questions acculmulate and speculations florish.

Christian Heinzmann, director général of the company, wants the answers as quickly as possible, just for the morale of his troops (see interview). Besides, he has to confront certain criticisms of his décision to allow the other Fokkers to continue flying. However, it must be understood that such a décision is taken in consultation with the manufacturer. Now, Fokker has confirmed to Jeudi that there is no reason to ground the Fokkers.
Certain people underneath are taking advantage of the accident to reassert their demands to modify the approach corridors. A solution totally utopian because of the size of the country and the technical constraints in navigating approaches. For Raymond Weydert, mayor of Niederanven, it would be convenient to calm the polémic for the moment, «if only out of respect for the victims».
Is it, in this context, to calm people that the Parquet ?? has décidéd, since Friday, November 8, to publish a communiqué indicating a first élément of explanation for the accident: the simultanéous halt of the two motors? But this communiqué for the less hâsty, is strongly contrary to Fokker's experts in charge of the investigation.
«Difficult landing»
Besides, according to all the aviation professionals that we have contacted, it is highly improbable that the two motors shut down simultanéously, at least it has nothing to do with a voluntary action. Now, what reason would have led a pilot to carry out such an action?
One has besides affirméd that the position of the propellors démonstrate that the motors were stopped. However the blades of a stopped propellor get put into feather to avoid all résistance to the air. Now, the photos show blades in working position.
According to a source close to BEA, the pilot would have announcéd to the passengers «a difficult landing». But, according to Jean-Claude Wahl, vice-président of the Guild of air contrôllers, working that morning of November 6th, at the last contact with the pilot, 30 seconds just before the crash, he didn't report anything abnormal.
Besides, the contrôllers themselves inquired among themselves. The airplane was alone, its approach was perfect, nothing gave any forewarning of an accident. Moreover, the ILS and the tower are protected with a redundant uninterruptable power and alarms come on, in the cockpit and tower, at the least problèm.
While waiting for the résults of the investigation, the familys have buried their relatives, and the people of Luxembourg and Berlin, have rendered homage to the victims. As for the air contrôllers, in contrast to Luxair personnel and various emergency services, they wait for moral support from their employer...

16th Nov 2002, 18:59
...Meanwhile, investigators have revealed that a sudden power loss in both engines brought down the Luxair Fokker 50 that crashed on final approach to Luxembourg Findel airport on 6 November. The information came from the flight data recorder, and the technical investigators say that the engines appear to have stopped but do not yet know why. They have ruled out fuel exhaustion, however, because fuel was evident at the crash site and contributed to the post-impact fire. Propeller damage indicates that there was no power on at impact. There were 18 passenger and two crew fatalities, but the captain and a passenger survived despite injuries.

This is the Link, look under the Manila bay crash (http://www.flightinternational.com/fi_frameset.asp?target=fi_latest/lt_news.asp)

Nick Figaretto
20th Nov 2002, 22:05
Any news lately?

20th Nov 2002, 22:26
AOF's (All Operator Message) have been send to operators, with more information of a POSSIBLE cause.
Its too early now to jump to conclusions, but........

near enuf is good enuf
21st Nov 2002, 05:04
As hopeful as I am that it's not, this has a strange similarity to Kegworth to me !

21st Nov 2002, 11:46
Ground fine pitch?????
Never heard of it on the 50.
Even if the props went into beta range(which normally is not possible in flight), that would still rule out shutdown of the engines.
Nice try, let's stick to the small amounts of facts we do hear on this.


21st Nov 2002, 11:49
bit harsh there spuis, huh?...

settle down beavis

23rd Nov 2002, 16:24
Re the Article Below
No sane pilot is going to lift a guard and select power levers to ground-fine whilst airborne (that's a very definite action in any turboprop).
It's far more likely that another selection on the centre console (flap perhaps, but may have been anything?) caused an electrical short and removed the beta stop baulk, allowing the pilot's reduction to low Flt Idle power to "go through" into ground idle. Or maybe the short was there all along and the baulk just wasn't there. I would guess that a box swap-out may have occurred on that centre console during the "technical check the day before".... and that could have set up a short (or the makings of a short). But they'd fall out of the sky really quickly if both had gone into GI.

Really needs a further explanation for why they were so far right of the final approach course for the ILS and heading even further right. So it may have been that the excursion into Ground idle occurred on only one engine (i.e. he didn't bang both against the "disappeared stop" and only one, the RH one, went through). The asymmetrics would have then taken them (and their heading) right of course. I'm not sure whether immediate feathering action is available on an engine with its prop stuck in ground idle. Would it possibly be inhibited? And how feasible is a quick reselection of the Flight Range (assuming that they tumbled to what had happened?)

Can a tripped CB remove that GI baulk?

November 23, 2002 - Luxair Disputes Magazine's Crash Report

BERLIN, Germany- Pilot error could be to blame for the fatal Luxair plane crash near Luxembourg's airport earlier this month, a German magazine reported on Saturday, but the airline called the report speculation.

Der Spiegel weekly said in a report issued before Sunday's publication that flight recorder data showed both propellers of the Fokker 50 were on a setting for taxiing, not for flying. This could have caused the plane to crash as it came in to land, killing 20 of 22 people aboard, it said.

Paul Greis, spokesman for Luxair in Luxembourg, rejected the report.

"I have not seen the article itself, but from the media reports I can say it is pure speculation," he said. "We do not have any information from the investigation team."

Without citing its information source, Der Spiegel said the propellers could not be mistakenly moved from the so-called "flight idle" setting to "ground idle" because the switch to make the change was covered by a protective flap.

Der Spiegel said the plane's manufacturers explicitly warned in their handbook against putting the propellers on to the "ground idle" setting during landing.

The plane smashed into a field in thick fog about five km (three miles) from Luxembourg's international airport when it was on landing approach on November 6. The dead were 15 Germans, four Luxembourgers and one French.

French passenger Jean-Daniel Boye escaped with light injuries, while the Luxembourg pilot, Captain Claude Poeckes, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Visibility was about 100 metres (300 feet), and five planes had landed safely at the airport before the Fokker 50.

Poeckes had been flying with Luxair for about seven years. The plane had been in service since 1991 and had had a technical check the previous day, according to the airline.

The crash was the first in the 40-year history of Luxair, which is 13 percent owned by the German airline Lufthansa and 36.5 percent by the Luxembourg government. The rest is held by private companies and the Luxair Group.

23rd Nov 2002, 17:42
The LX gov (the biggest shareholder of the airline if I recall correctly ?) said the F-50 lost power on both engines... I don't believe it. Take a look at the flight path, check out what's left of the engines and the props. And I'm not even talking about the leaks close to the BEA...
'Smells like single-engine trouble.

M. Greis says Luxair doesn't have any information from the investigators... I don't believe it either. I doubt he missed the big "secret" meeting on the subject two days ago in ELLX. And I doubt the chief pilot, father of the surviving captain, is not trying to find out what almost killed his son.

A few people from Luxair know almost everything, but they won't say anything before the report is out. They don't have to, of course. Actually they're paid to act the way they do. And the report will only give the most probable cause. But if they could at least avoid broadcasting BS I would really appreciate it !

23rd Nov 2002, 18:27
Then begin with yourself, Stratocaster, since the current Chief Pilot is not his father and so on, and so on....

23rd Nov 2002, 18:31
The CASA 212 has had a number (at least four attributed) crashes due to a similar problem (failure of that flt idle stop)
So either:

a. _the technicians left the CB (for the baulk)_out during the previous day's servicing (and the pilots didn't notice it out_) or

b. the CB had shorted out itself out (or tripped enroute) or

c. There was a short that kept_the baulk in_absentia through-out or

d. There was a shorting-out (that removed the GI baulk)_when a flap handle (or something else was moved - at about 1000ft AGL on finals), or

e. For some unfathomable reason, during an ILS, the pilot intentionally selected ground idle.

The relevant AD is 98-14-15 Fokker Services B.V.
To prevent loss of airplane controllability caused by the power levers being positioned below the flight idle stop while the airplane is in flight, accomplish the following:

(a) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Limitations Section of the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to include the following statements as specified in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this AD, as applicable. This action may be accomplished by inserting a copy of this AD into the AFM.

(1) For Model F27 Mark 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 700 series airplanes, insert the following:

Warning: "Ground fine pitch must not be selected in flight. This may lead to loss of control from which recovery may not be possible."

(2) For Model F27 Mark 050 series airplanes, insert the following:

"Warning: Do not attempt to select ground idle in flight. In case of failure of the flight idle stop, this would lead to loss of control from which recovery may not be possible."

23rd Nov 2002, 18:34
Btw, about this flight idle stop: the one F50 pilot landing with this stop engaged forgot a checklist item, since this mechanical stop is not supposed to be engaged during landing! How else would you select reverse or ground idle after landing! It is designed for the take-off, so that you don't select reverse when rejecting..

23rd Nov 2002, 20:52
Superpilu, may be as you say but ALSO,

Reference the AD above

If you look closely at the "Warning": at the bottom there would seem to be an anomaly (at least that's the way it appears to me).
The pilots are being warned about selecting GROUND IDLE in flight because "In case of failure of the flight idle stop, this would lead to loss of control from which recovery may not be possible."

What they really meant to say was (perhaps): " Be careful selecting Flight Idle whilst in flight. If the Flight Idle Stop has failed you might inadvertently (drop below Flt Idle and) enter Ground Idle. This would lead to loss of control from which recovery may not be possible."

It's no subtle distinction IMHO. Is not the hazard in bringing the power-levers back to where the flight-idle stop SHOULD BE, not finding it there and then unconsciously continuing to retard the P/L's looking for it - and consequently suddenly hearing the propeller note change and finding yourself dropping out of the sky?

And in fact, isn't that just about what's guaranteed to happen any old time the FLT IDLE STOP disappears (CB pulled or tripped, shorted solenoid - or whatever). It might happen one engine at a time (=> severe asymmetry)_/ maybe BOTH.

I hope you see my point. Of course you'd have to run it past someone who knew the F50 system intimately. There may be a power-lever_lift-ramp that I'm unaware of.

But prima facie, it appears to me to be another single-point CRITICAL FAILURE.

25th Nov 2002, 09:54
Speculation grows over cause of Fokker crash

An article in this week’s German weekly news magazine Stern, published today, has sparked further speculation about the cause of the Luxair Fokker 50 crash that left 20 people dead and two seriously injured three weeks ago. According to Stern, investigators have established that the plane’s motors were actually at “ground idle” status just before the plane crashed. Luxair CEO Christian Heinzmann yesterday confirmed on RTL television that this was the case. However, Heinzmann pointed out that the engines cannot be set at “ground idle” manually – a safety mechanism blocks the switch. The Fokker’s engines have now been shipped to Montreal for detailed analysis. Heinzmann also confirmed that the cockpit voice recorder cut out 15 seconds before the impact, thus making the job of the investigators even more difficult.

From Luxembourg News (http://news.lu)

Yet on 23rd a Luxair spokesman denied this...

2nd Dec 2002, 18:36
Flight International:

Information from the crashed Luxair Fokker 50's flight data recorder has revealed that, on approach to Luxembourg Findel Airport, the propellers entered the low-speed fine-pitch regime normally only usable on the ground. This would have provided a considerable amount of sudden drag, forcing the aircraft to descend to retain flying speed, and might explain why the engines had suddenly stopped producing power.

According to a European aviation authority, Fokker Services re-issued a notice to operators on 14 November advising them of an anomaly that had occurred previously that could lead to an event such as this. A stop controlled by a solenoid switch normally prevents the power levers being retarded into the ground fine pitch sector while the aircraft is airborne, but during the first 16s after the landing gear has locked down, it had been found that the solenoid could trip out. The notice to operators (No 137) was reissued to remind airlines of this. Although a modification to the anti-skid system which would also correct the anomaly had been developed by Fokker, Flight International has learned that it had not been embodied on the crashed Luxair aircraft. There is also a manual switch that enables the solenoid switch to be tripped to enable the pilots to engage ground fine pitch, but there is no indication at this stage as to whether it had been selected. Until the mishap, however, the instrument landing system approach had been stabilised with no indication of malfunction or crew concern.

Oldjet Jockey
3rd Dec 2002, 16:32
I have seen and understood the technicalities of the "stop" system and solenoid on the TV. This latest suggestion implies that an attempt was made to reduce throttle settings to flight idle and that the stop mechanism was, for some as yet unexplained reason, not functioning correctly.

This brings a couple of questions to mind, and not having flown the F50 I'd be interested in answers from those who have:

It has been said that the aircraft would have been making an "autopilot" approach in CAT2 conditions.
Question: does the auto approach control speed and throttle settings or only glideslope and localiser on this type?

The aircraft crashed about 6Km. from touchdown and so the problem would have commenced at least at 7Km or over 4 miles from touchdown.
Question: Why would any pilot or auto system need to attemt to reduce to flight idle on a CAT2 approach just inside the outer marker, gear down and locked?

Genuine questions from a curious retired pilot

3rd Dec 2002, 19:13
F50. CATII is a coupled approach because of DH being lower than 200' and thrust is manual, thrust normally being controlled by the captain, as he is PF for the CATII approach.

Oldjet Jockey
4th Dec 2002, 18:54

Thank you for your very clear answer to my first question. This removes the possibility of a system failure in the coupled ILS approach. It does however still leave my second question unanswered. Since this was said to have been a normal ILS approach until the problem manifested itself it is perhaps reasonable to assume that the aircraft was not well above the glideslope nor was it at an unusually high speed (wheels down presumably below the normal limiting speed).
This indicates the need for an answer to whether it is normal for a pilot to reduce thrust (throttle) settings to anything close to flight idle four miles from touchdown if everything else is normal. If the stop device to prevent selection of ground idle was not functioning correctly it would surely only become a problem if the thrust levers were fully pulled back in the expectation that they would not go beyond flight idle. I ask again, is it usual that during a normal ILS approach, that a pilot would want to reduce thrust to such an extent four miles from touchdown?

4th Dec 2002, 19:30
The max speed for gear down on the F50 is 170 KIAS. Final approach would probably be somewhere between 90-100 KIAS. It would not be unusual to leave deceleration until this phase of flight, as the aircraft slows very quickly, and it makes it easier to fit in with other traffic when necessary. So, to answer your question, it is plausable that the Thrust Levers were retarded at this stage of flight and it would not be uncommon to do so. However this aircraft may not have been flown in that manner, and It would be dangerous to make assumptions. It would be more normal practice to fly the decelerating approach in better conditions, and fly a stabilised approach in more limiting conditions. By this I mean that the a/c would be stabilised passing the OM, and hence the landing gear & full flap would be selected and the aircraft flown using engine power to fly the target speed. So, its possible what you think may have happenend, then again there are reasons why it might not have been the case.

GearUp CheerUp
4th Dec 2002, 20:14

a CAT 2 or 3 approach is flown by the first officer not the captain.

The approach and go around is flown by the FO with the autopilots engaged (min 2 are required) and, in the case of the F50 will manually controll the speed using the power levers. The captain will monitor to some extent but his primary task as the aircraft reaches minimums is to look out of the front to try and see the lights. If, at descision height he succeeds in acheiving the required visual reference he will disengage the autopilot and carry out a munual landing (for CAT 3 the Autopilot stays in and carries out an autoland , monitored by the captain). Throughout the landing the FO stays heads down and monitors the landing and ground roll, providing additional guidance from the ILS LLZ that the aircraft is on the centreline which is usefull if the aircraft should enter thicker fog and the captain loses visual reference for some reason.

If the lights are not seen at descision, the captain calls 'Go Around' and the FO executes the go around and flies the missed approach.

4th Dec 2002, 20:57
But not all operators follow the same procedures during low visibility approaches! This is not type or manufacturer sensitive: whilst GearUp CheerUp gives what was, if I remember correctly, ( and it has been a while) the Fokker recommendations for the F27 - 050 there are certainly other operators that reverse those roles and have the Captain as PF with the FO simply monitoring. I cannot see any post dealing with SOPs in the instant case. There is, of course, no reason why any manufacturers recommendations MUST be followed : it is a matter between the operator and their regulatory authority how operations are conducted. It may well be, for example, that for fleet standardisation a certain philosophy is applied which diverges from manufacturer recommended SOP. There is nothing intrinsically wrong in this. As to speed ( and again relying on distant memory) the suggestion was to be fully configured and reduce to Vref + 5 kias at G/S capture. This could make it a fairly lengthy approach and it is not particularly unusual to amend this to have full config and speed at the descent point from procedural altitude. In the instant case this is ( 11-2A,12 Jul 02) 3000feet/D5.5 ILW.ARTE 24 is 1214.

4th Dec 2002, 21:34
Gear Up, Cheer Up, Read Up!!!!!!!!

"A CAT 2 or 3 approach is flown by the first officer not the captain. "

What you are referring to is often called a monitored approach. Some operators utilise this technique, however most manufactures recommend in their operating procedures that the captain is PF. It is possible that some operators utilise this procedure, however Fokker flight techniques requires that for a CATII approach, the captain is flying the approach. If your policy is different, it contravenes the Fokker AOM and operating procedures. A Cat III is not possible because only one autopilot can be engaged, as there is only one, hence the F50 is only CATII capable and certified.

"The approach and go around is flown by the FO with the autopilots engaged (min 2 are required) and, in the case of the F50 will manually control the speed using the power levers. "

That may be the case if it is a monitored approach and go-around, then yes, the co-pilot will fly it. This may be the way the aircraft you fly is operated, which is obviously not a F50 because of the multiple autopilots.

The speed is not controlled by the thrust levers. The thrust levers on the F50 are advanced to the TO detent, the Thrust Lever buttons are pressed which gives go-around FD commands and TOGA power on the ERP( Engine Rating Panel). This is a fixed power setting and speed is controlled by pitch, until you level off and the TL is then taken out of the detent to control speed.
There is only one autopilot on the F50.

4th Dec 2002, 21:34
As ive gone trough some of the training that is done at luxair, i can report that the accent on a stabalized app. during catII is very much present atleast in theire training.

More tought should go to the Engine Rating Panel in my opinion. Since we don't have the exact procedings .....some where in that phase of flight the ERP is selected from Cruise power to G/A power. For those not so intimate with F50's, its an unique feature for such an aged design. no prop levers or adjusments just buttton selection. This is however a power transition moment and any failure conected to it can give you more than you bargained for. Then again i'm not speculating just supplying the "type" facts and making you (the spectator) broaden your horizon on this factfinding mision.
After all ...who said the pilots initiated the "flat pitch" ?


4th Dec 2002, 21:35
Gear Up, Cheer Up,

"A CAT 2 or 3 approach is flown by the first officer not the captain. "

What you are referring to is often called a monitored approach. Some operators utilise this technique, however most manufactures recommend in their operating procedures that the captain is PF. It is possible that some operators utilise this procedure, however Fokker flight techniques requires that for a CATII approach, the captain is flying the approach. Whether Luxair or other operators follow the operating manual is an issue for the regulator and the airline. The AOM says 'requires' and not 'should'. If your policy is different, it contravenes the Fokker AOM and operating procedures. A Cat III is not possible because only one autopilot can be engaged, as there is only one, hence the F50 is only CATII capable and certified.

"The approach and go around is flown by the FO with the autopilots engaged (min 2 are required) and, in the case of the F50 will manually control the speed using the power levers. "

That may be the case if it is a monitored approach and go-around, then yes, the co-pilot will fly it. This may be the way the aircraft you fly is operated, which is obviously not a F50 because of the multiple autopilots. There is only one autopilot on the F50.

The speed is not controlled by the thrust levers. The thrust levers on the F50 are advanced to the TO detent, the Thrust Lever buttons are pressed which gives go-around FD commands and TOGA power on the ERP( Engine Rating Panel). This is a fixed power setting and speed is controlled by pitch, until you level off and the TL is then taken out of the detent to control speed.

I hope this is of help

4th Dec 2002, 21:50

sorry mate, gearup cheerup is correct on the info however some company's adopt a common training for catII/III if they have a mixed fleet. So some remarks do not apply for the type your acctualy flying. ( This is the case with luxair) And the remark as for power control is due to the fact that indeed the powerlevers are moved "manualy" by the PF to the detent in case of a GA.
So yes you can read the book alwright.. but did you read the manual? no offence, its not the place for cheap one liners.


GearUp CheerUp
4th Dec 2002, 22:05

Yes Ive never flown the F50 and is they or Luxair do it differently then I stand corected. My comments come from the ATR but having flown that and a jet type the type of approach I described is so logical it is hard to imagine another way of doing it.

The ATR also has a thrust control panel and a notch for the power levers but on the approach the levers have to come out of the notch and be manually controlled as the power management does not have a function for approach which would involve it maintaining a demanded speed. Such a device would be an autothrottle which the ATR does not have and I would suspect that the Fokker does not have it either. Again I could be wrong but I'll shut up now as I feel Im moving away from the original thread.

4th Dec 2002, 22:29

The points I make are as follows;

Gear Up Cheer Up, referred to the monitored approach.
I have no disagreement with his discription of that.
I only pointed out that Fokker 'requires' the PF to be the captain. It's in the AOM, which is the operating manual by which the aircraft is certified. If an operator deviates from that it is done by production of operating procedures presented to and agreed with the regulating body of the controling state of the airline/operator. I am not aware of any operators utilising the monitored approach on the F50 but I'm sure there are numerous, and for the reason you stated, fleet standardisation. I make no reference to whether Luxair operates a monitored approach or not, because I do not know.
The questions asked were type specific. Gear Up Cheer Up, made numerous non type specific statements about systems/equipment that do not exist on the F50. There is only 1 autopilot, there is no autoland function, and the a/c is not CATIII, in a go around the speed is not controlled manually. The Thrust levers are manually put into the detent, but that is not what I read in the post. That's the only point I make, His/Her post has type specific inaccuracies in it, whilst answering a type specific question, and he/she refers to a monitored approach on the F50 with CATIII and autoland capability that does not exist.

GearUp CheerUp
4th Dec 2002, 22:49
I also failed to make clear in my post that when I was talking about CAT3 I was making a general point about the CAT 3 operation. I did not mean to imply that the F50 was CAT 3 capable.

Also I wrote about the speed being controlled by the power levers during the approach and go around. I meant to say that the aircraft is flown by the FO and that the power levers control the speed during the appeoach phase. During the go around, max power is applied and the speed is controlled by the pitch as you state.

I think thats the last time Ill make a post about a type Ive never flown, I just thought that all modern turboprops (ATR, F50, Dash8 etc) were all much of a muchness. :o

5th Dec 2002, 07:36
Bgosull...about the wording in the Fokker AOM. There were some rather heated arguments about this at the time the F27 - 050 came into service. The AOM was largely written on input from the flight test department, few of whom had an airline operational background. The few of us who had argued that it was simply not the remit of the manufacturer to REQUIRE how the aircraft should be flown. Our view did not prevail in the general corporate culture that <it is the Fokker way and is therefore correct> of the time.

7th Dec 2002, 19:48
Oldjet Jockey,

How about "too high - too fast" for your last question ? It's unfortunately a classic.

(Don't forget your seatbelt before landing, gentlemen)

Oldjet Jockey
10th Dec 2002, 13:50

My thoughts exactly!!!

Theseare the only real reasons I can think of, but this leaves a rather unlikely situation. The pilots had been advised that they were number two on the approach so would most likely have left the hold at a normal rather than too fast speed. The vis. was also reported at below their minimum and they had said they would need more, so there was a very good chance of a G.A., I would suggest that these factors would not normally give rise to a too high, too fast approach. I'm sure the recorders will prove what the situation was just before the problem so we will have to wait and see.

10th Dec 2002, 16:22
As a naive outsider, I still wonder about ground idle prop pitch while in the air. Go to this site, click on 1956, and then on Capital Airlines, for a 1956 accident at MDW caused by failed switches and resulting removal of idle stops.


10th Dec 2002, 20:00
Hi Folks,

First of all let's get ride of a small but common mix-up:

Superpilot: qoute:
"Btw, about this flight idle stop: the one F50 pilot landing with this stop engaged forgot a checklist item, since this mechanical stop is not supposed to be engaged during landing! How else would you select reverse or ground idle after landing! It is designed for the take-off, so that you don't select reverse when rejecting.."

You are referring to the ground idle stop, not the flight idle stop.
You described the ground idle stop correct, but named it the flight idle stop. (it was designed for a rejected take-off since a RTO without reverse was more efficient then one with reverse. had to do with pitch change system)

Then the flight idle stop:

It consists of two separate systems:
The first being mechanical on the power levers, the pilot has to lift the levers to be able to select power below flight idle.

The second being on the engine itself:
a solenoid being springloaded in the lock position, which can be removed electronically. Thus failure of the system will result in the inabilty to select ground idle after landing, but not the other way around.

Apparently there were some problems in the skid control box providing certain data to the flight idle solenoid, that during certain special conditions a false signal was being sent to the solenoid to retract (for instance both main gear locking down at the same time) therefore a non mandatory redesign of the antiskid box was made to correct the problem.
But then still ground idle has to be selected at the flight deck.


BTW my company flies cat II app. on the F50 (and the rest of the fleet) with capt. PF and F/O PNF

16th Dec 2002, 18:42
There are lots of speculations coming together all around this mysterious catastrophe more likely to happen at Bermuda Triangle. – I had been involved in piston aircraft maintenance business in Luxembourg for number of years. Let me tell you about my experience.

One question first: I am reading official communiqués and articles in the press pretending that this had been the first accident for Luxair within their 40 years of operation. - Everybody agrees. – Was it? – Let’s just stay within the past 15 years: Luxair Embraer looses #2 prop, gearbox and cowling over WLU NDB on a right turn inbound ELLX. The crew manages to land the aircraft at ELLX. Nobody is injured on board, nobody injured by down falling debris (in an open meadow). – Further Luxair Swearingen Metro Liner: a cabin window bursts in flight. A passenger’s arm is pulled outside by the resulting cabin decompression, his hand injured by the close prop, looses his hearing on the exposed ear. – Further a Luxair Metro Liner looses one engine short after takeoff at ELLX. Turning back immediately to ELLX the other engine looses power too. Flight conditions are IMC. Loosing altitude the crew manages to land the aircraft on a visual short approach turn in. Engine quits on the runway. – Further Luxair Executive Cessna Conquest II makes gear-up landing at ELLX: Fog. In the right seat a private pilot with recent PPL-IFR. No multiengine ratings. - Upon my experience all above are to be considered accidents in accordance to ICAO definition. Are Luxembourg DAC definitions different from ICAO standards?

Now let’s talk Luxembourg DAC (the Civil Aviation Authority): For any national civil aviation authority, the total volume of responsibilities to meet as an ICAO member state is a constant and will barely change with the number of registered air vehicles. The emission of an Airworthiness certificate by a national CAA certifies compliance with ICAO standards and minimum requirements for this air vehicle. The air vehicle may now operate within the international airspace of other ICAO member states. - How does the Luxembourg DAC handle the responsibilities taken with the state’s ICAO membership? Do you know?

Let me show you some of my experience:

Example 1.
Certification of Airworthiness: (please look up: ICAO standards for certifying staff as a reference)

Who does the certification of air vehicles for the Luxembourg DAC in accordance to the state’s obligation towards ICAO? (German equivalent = Pruefer Klasse 1 acting for the LBA or FAA equivalent = DAR)
Isn’t Bureau Veritas a French private organization with a small Luxembourg branch contracted by the Luxembourg DAC. - Does the professional formation and certification of the Bureau Veritas inspectors satisfy the ICAO requirements? Please investigate and find out yourself. Please compare the requirements for becoming a FAA DAR or a German Pruefer Klasse1 and the requirements to maintaining those privileges with the practices common in Luxembourg. Any doubt in any of these questions could represent one safety device of an internationally installed safety system switched out or bypassed (=a violation of ICAO standards). Catastrophes are generally nothing more than the result of a fatal combination of different minor discrepancies or human failures, coming together the wrong time at the wrong place- aren’t they? Your airline maintenance organization might be the best and in a perfect standing with the JAA directions. Who ever may exclude human failure? ICAO standards require the national civil aviation authorities to supervise airworthiness, same as they require dual primary flight instruments in your aircraft. Would you take off with one single set?

Another question: FAA Designated Airworthiness Representatives as well as German Pruefer Klaase 1 have specified qualifications defining their scope of competency. I.e. Airframe-Structural, Avionics, Power plant. The German LBA requires further type ratings that are initially obtained by written and practical type exams and are renewed on a two year cycle. Please ask them for their opinion: Bureau Veritas Inspectors have never passed any required exam or test. No minimum formation is required and generally after a very short introduction period they will individually certify for and in behalf of the Luxembourg DAC all air vehicles in all classes, from parachutes, balloons, gliders, light piston aircraft up to the 747! In-all-classes(!): Airframe, power plant and avionics! All-one-single-person!

Example 2:

Please take any Luxembourg DAC aircraft registration certificate and the airworthiness certificate and all other mandatory aircraft documents. Will you find somewhere any evidence of the TCDS (technical certification data sheet) this air vehicle is compliant with? – You won’t. Luxembourg DAC is not able to own its own national TCDS neither to maintain them. TCDS is unknown to the Luxembourg DAC and you will encounter i.e. aircraft initially certified in accordance to a French TCDS, altered following multiple STC’s (supplementary type certificate) from different national authorities and being maintained following a FAA TCDS and FAA airworthiness directives! Please ask your local FAA DAR, he may tell you what this really means.

Example 3:

Equipment: Luxembourg DAC has no existing regulation, requiring periodic tests for pitot-static and altimeter systems. Not for transponders, not for VOR/ILS or any other navigation or communication equipment. Many private aircraft are operated under IFR without having these tests ever carried out.

Example 4:

ICAO annex 10 FM immunity requirements: Did Luxembourg DAC ever notify ICAO about the fact that there are Luxembourg aircraft operating under IFR that are not compliant? They do operate still today.

Example 5:

B-RNAV Airspace: Luxembourg DAC requires no qualification for pilots operating under IFR in B-RNAV airspace with GPS. Many Luxembourg light aircraft are still operated in this airspace without B-RNAV certified equipment on board. Flight plans show out B-RNAV!

This list can go on but I guess you might be frightened enough. I wish you good luck on a parallel approach during IMC together with a small LX piston aircraft. It might be compliant with FM immunity requirements just without any official certification or there might be no powerful commercial radio boosters in the area around. Luxembourg DAC does not worry, why should you?

Not willing to work any longer under the risks of this situation, I decided to give up my maintenance business. Short before taking this decision I informed Mr. G., Minister of Transport about his problems resulting in the Luxembourg situation. There was no evidence in his reaction of any intention to change. Considering my report as a personal attack against his person I guess, his reaction was quite violent: “… upon what I understand, Mr Duke101057, if somewhere in two years from here I have a Luxair lying down there in the meadows of Niederanven, you will come ahead pretending that it is the Minister of Transport who is to blame for.” (I just tried to translate his words as they were spoken. This was somewhere around January 2000.)

13th Jan 2003, 08:45
I thought that this forum was to talk about intelligent stuff where everybody may be interested in and not to treat personnal affairs!

The french have a nice expression for doing what you do: "Laver son linge sale en famille".

Putting rumers or accusations anonymously on an Internet forum, why not.
But sending them personnaly by email to the LBA in Germany is much less intelligent, because it becomes official and you risk to be charged for it at court by DAC Luxembourg! ---> And thats what will happen to you

For the other PPrune members: Sorry guys, I had to awnser Duke.

13th Jan 2003, 17:54
Dear Scarabet,

I cannot really follow your arguments.

I do believe that safety issues must not be considered as personal affairs. – But yes, I have been fighting for long years in order to improve the Luxembourg situation of airworthiness certification.

Now, I was asking just a few questions related to my different point of view in safety issues and definitions.

Please investigate, please prove what’s wrong! Uncomfortable? – I was…

My job had always been preventing accidents, not hiding possible hazards and reasons that can lead to those. I see it as my civil obligation to notify authorities if I have strong reasons to believe that there are violations of international airsafety rules.

Why DAC charging me? For what? Do you mean Luxembourg will drift now towards a totalitarian regime where any criticism of the authorities will be a criminal offense? – Let’s come down to earth, when a man is ill, he needs help. If this cannot be done from inside, international community must help. Isn’t that the ICAO? I have just been asking to audit in order to make sure …

Sorry, Scarabet, but two really bad aircraft accidents in the year 2002 should be enough for a while in a small place like Luxembourg. But thanks for your post. It might help illustrate the spirit in which technical problems are sometimes “resolved” back there.

6th Feb 2003, 14:20
According to a local newspaper an official report shall be

released this afternoon

The report is now available under


in French. An English translation will be issued at a later date

Part 2 of the report: annexes


8th Feb 2003, 10:17
For those of us not well versed in French, can anybody provide a brief summary?

Thanks for any assistance



8th Feb 2003, 16:08
There's quite a bit of dense tech talk en francais, especially about the beta pitch control stops at the power levers and the ground regime solenoids that keep the props out of beta until either the gear struts are compressed or both wheels are turning faster than 17 kt. and perhaps an interaction with the antiskid system as antiskid maintenance and post-accident service bulletins are also discussed:confused:

Wreckage shows left props in feather; right in beta.

Final bit of CVR - so far everything seems normal

05 min 19 s 40 Noise -- P1-"What's that?"
05 min 21 s 20 Noise similar to movement of flaps lever
05 min 21 s 60 Noise similar to change of prop speed
05 min 22 s 80 P1 - Ha
05 min 22 s 90 P1 - Oh merde Oh sh**
05 min 23 s 40 Noise similar to electric [switch?]
05 min 23 s 70 Single Chime
05 min 26 s 20 Noise similar to reduction of prop speed
05 min 27 s 00 Noise
05 min 27 s 70 Beginning of GPWS "Terrain" alert
05 min 28 s 00 Break in recording (1/3 s)
05 min 28 s 30 P1 - Bo dàt war awer eng lenk Yikes! What a bitch!
Various breaks and losses of timestamps

05 min 29 s 10 Timestamp Invalid P1-Oh merde P2-Sound of breathing

28th Mar 2003, 14:34
English translation of report now available at http://www.government.lu/salle_presse/communiques/2003/02/18luxair/index.html