View Full Version : Experts discover pilot error

19th Nov 2002, 01:43
from 'www.theaviationforum'

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Experts discover pilot error
caused Flight 585 crash

THE pilot of Laoag International Airlines Flight 585 did not flick on a switch that lets additional fuel flow to the aircraft’s engines, aviation experts have found out.

Flight 585, a twin-engine Fokker, crashed into Manila Bay last Monday, killing 19 of the 35 people aboard.

A government fact-finding committee looking into the tragedy has confirmed the claim of a re_presentative of Roll Royce of London, which built the Fokker’s engines, that pilot error caused the crash.

The Roll Royce representative, Cris Devall, was shocked when he saw the video shot by an amateur cameraman of the plane seconds before it slammed into the waters off the reclamation area in Pasay City, a source in the ATO said yesterday.

The video showed that both engines of the plane had stopped. That is not supposed to happen, unless the pilot forgot to switch on the Sump Tank or the Fuel Collector Tank, Devall was supposed to have concluded.

The sump tank draws fuel from the main tanks to the engines. If not turned on, there would have only 10 minutes of fuel in the engines, according to Devall.

Flight 585 was at the time piloted by Capt. Bernie Crisostomo, who survived.

Authorities are checking reports that Crisostomo forged a training certificate so he could renew his flying license.

The fact-finding team’s initial findings have been sent to President Macapagal-Arroyo and the Presi_dent was said to have been surprised why a basic standard operating procedure had not been complied by the pilot.

Yesterday afternoon, the plane’s black box was recovered from the crash site.

The box, which is actually painted red orange for easier recovery, was found in the tail section of the Fokker which was retrieved from the sea floor.

The plane has split into two after it hit the water. The front section was found earlier and towed ashore.

The black box, which consists of a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder, records the plane’s movements, temperature, flight history and the conversation in the cockpit from the time it takes off.

It will be sent to the United Kingdom for transcription.

The possibility of Laoag Air importing dilapidated engine parts to use as replacements in its aircraft surfaced after the discovery of a used, unserviceable Rolls Royce engine that arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last month that was consigned to the airline.

A source at the Air Transportation Office (ATO) told The Times that cannibalizing an aircraft engine for usable parts is allowed as long as the origin of the engine is traceable.

“Everybody rummages through used engines for salvageable parts. But the plane must first be inspected by us before it is flown,” the source said.

Once a particular part is installed, the airline requests the ATO to put it on a test flight.

All the parts that were replaced and are about to be replaced are listed on the airline’s maintenance book, the source said.

Also yesterday, ATO chief Adelberto Yap announced that the ATO is no longer the lead agency in the investigation of the crash of Flight 585 after President Arroyo created the fact-finding team headed by Transportation and Commu_nications Undersecretary Arturo Valdez.

Yap said he has turned over the documents compiled by the ATO to the committee.