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Virgin ATR grounded in Albury

Old 14th Jun 2014, 07:03
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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"At 1640 and about 8,500 ft, the crew noticed the airspeed going up quickly and the speed trend excessively high. The first officer reduced engine power and used touch control steering to temporarily disconnect the autopilot before manually raising the nose to control the speed. The aircraft felt ‘heavy’, requiring the first officer’s two hands on the controls to move from the then -4° pitch angle (aircraft nose-up/down). The first officer expected that the pitch correction would be sufficient to arrest the speed trend.

The captain was unsure if the first officer’s control inputs were sufficient to avoid an overspeed so put one of his hands on the controls and disconnected the autopilot to raise the nose further. The captain believed he indicated his intention to take over control and while the first officer could not recall it being verbalised he was aware of the captain’s actions. The first officer recalled that he took his hands off the controls, releasing touch control steering in the process. Shortly after, concerned about a high nose-up attitude, the first officer put his hands back on the controls. To both crew members, what happened next was unexpected and unclear.

Suddenly, the crew felt high positive g,[3] the controls felt different and spongy, and cockpit warnings activated. The crew then verified that the aircraft was under control at a stable attitude and speed. It was level or in a slight descent at an airspeed of about 230 kt.

One of the cockpit warnings was ‘pitch disconnect’, indicating the left and right elevator control systems had been decoupled. This allowed for independent movement of the elevators via the captain and first officer control columns."

An explanation of the how the damage occurred is inferred, but not clearly explained in the updated ATSB Report IMHO.

From the report, it would appear that one pilot (Capt) was pulling on the pitch control and the other pilot (FO) was pushing and that opposite load caused the disconnect of the two elevators as per the system design for elevator jams. After the elevators disconnect each pilot still had independent control of his respective side (L/R) elevator only (no elevator jam). The sum of the two pilot's pitch inputs at the time of disconnect and conflict over who was in control resulted in the + g overstress. The flight loads from the asymmetric highly deflected (assumption from high +g loads generated) elevator control surfaces (one elevator up and the other down) at near to Vne also caused excessive loads which resulted in structural damage to both elevators and including their attachments to the horizontal tailplane. In turn the asymmetric loads imparted on the horizontal tailplane gave rise to over design limit loading to the vertical stabiliser attachment and surrounding structure resulting in permanent deformation. Some damage was also done to the rudder. So far no reference has been made to whether or not the vertical stabiliser attachment points to the fuselage have also been damaged...but one would assume that the manufacturer's inspection has cleared that area.

The message to aviators from this event so far indicates that a strict handover/takeover of control must always be implemented in SOPs and strictly enforced.

ATSB Report:
Investigation: AO-2014-032 - Flight control event involving an ATR72, VH-FVR, 47 km WSW Sydney Airport, NSW on 20 February 2014
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 10:53
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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The message to aviators from this event so far indicates that a strict handover/takeover of control must always be implemented in SOPs and strictly enforced.
And tell the LAMEs what actually happened so they can do their job properly, instead of trying to write something that avoids criticism of ones own actions, leaving them to have to come back guessing what to do. The sequence of events in the report seems more like the LAMEs failed because they were being mislead about what really happened in the air, even after having once realised the story was not good.
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 13:32
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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no the message to aviators is that big transport category aircraft are not as strong in some areas as a lightie and shouldn't be flown like a lightie.

they also shouldn't be flown in high speed Vmo descents in bloody turbulence!

you can actually fly these aeroplanes to death (overstress them) as was nearly done in this instance.
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 18:12
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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. Kharon Someone should tell them (the Brits), that the story is almost verbatim, cribbed from the ASTB press release. (was there a wrong tail plane piccy in the mix?). After the Pel Air smack bottom and an 'aberration' excuse being graciously accepted the Rev. Forsyth's crew; you'd reckon the Beaker outfit could at least try to shine on this, fairly significant event. How often can we get lucky – there have been some very close calls this year; mathematically, at current rate, we are about due. My Grand-mamma always said – when you're in a hole, stop digging.
I reckon interested parties will read the article realise it's junk and decide to read the Atsb report to get the real information. Then realise it ain't much better than what was in the paper!

Half baked reporter.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 02:49
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Interesting to see the 'rear end' of a B737 in the Daily Mail story about the ATR72 at Albury.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 07:35
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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W8,

If you put your wittmans tailplane under the same stress as what was experienced, pretty damn sure it would fail also.

The moral of the story is follow the SOPs and be honest with the Engineers when you [email protected] up.

j3
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 11:55
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Grrr

The moral of the story is follow the SOPs and be honest with the Engineers when you [email protected] up.
The latter is probably more important. I once had a know all (knower) F/E chasing the EPR figure on a high ambient takeoff, and in the process he exceeded the N2 operating limitations on all 4 engines through being fixated on the EPR readings. It took some coercing to get the truth out of the preek, and to get it actually written in the Tech Log.

The Industry operates on honesty, integrity, trust, and truth. This should be practised and remembered at all times, instead of a tendency to use the smokescreen at times.

Regards to ya all, TBE.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 02:40
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Whenever an incident plays out on an aircraft it often weighs very heavily on the minds of the engineers involved, whether they are at fault or not, and regardless of the outcome. It is a sickening feeling.

Fortunately the damage was noticed. We can all learn from this experience.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 08:25
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Pictures dont always tell the full story but, I have to ask was the fist inspection done with a biro. The damage "looks" fairly significant, looks like it should have been picked up with even a cursory check.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 08:37
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There are no secrets on the flight deck- Anon.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 08:44
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Virgin ATR grounded in Albury

Lucky they had a spare ATR in the West. I think it arrived last September and they have only just wheeled it out! Happy to be corrected. (VH-VPI)

Last edited by TwoFiftyBelowTen; 20th Jun 2014 at 06:43.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 08:58
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Arnold E,i fully agree.3 LAME failed to perform their job.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 09:02
  #153 (permalink)  
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Thread drift

VPI went into service a few days ago operating flights to BUD and ROK.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 09:34
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No hoper,

This entire thread you have been trying to shift blame solely to the LAMEs. My question is why and why are you also not criticising the operating crew?

j3
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 09:41
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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"Arnold E,i fully agree.3 LAME failed to perform their job."


Mate, a Tad extreme suggestion I think.


Regardless of the repartee' between them that break em and them that fix em, its our ass..es that our brothers in overalls protect.


In 47 years I've never known one that hasn't protected us from ourselves.


Why this aberration occurred I have no idea, but them that fix em can only work on what we tell em, ie. "there's a Clunking noise coming from the KAfoofle valve"..any blame for this incident cannot be laid at the door of them that fix em.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 09:56
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The damage was visible from the ground.The force to disengage the columns
is >120 LBF.You have to start thinking why and what happened... and then read the JIC.It is not too complicated. For the performance of the flight crew there is only "no comment"
from my side.



The picture of the white tail was taken from the ground.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 11:32
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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Geez the pictures of the tail look as if the aircraft was an old GA aircraft that has had years of neglect, not a shiny new ATR
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 20:30
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For those who subscribe to James Reason paradigm, was this a maintenance error or wilfull violation?
SKYbrary - Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS)

Errors
  • Skill-Based Errors: Errors which occur in the operator’s execution of a routine, highly practiced task relating to procedure, training or proficiency and result in an unsafe situation (e.g., fail to prioritize attention, checklist error, negative habit).
  • Decision Errors: Errors which occur when the behaviors or actions of the operators proceed as intended yet the chosen plan proves inadequate to achieve the desired end-state and results in an unsafe situation (e.g, exceeded ability, rule-based error, inappropriate procedure).
  • Perceptual Errors: Errors which occur when an operator's sensory input is degraded and a decision is made based upon faulty information.
Violations
  • Routine Violations: Violations which are a habitual action on the part of the operator and are tolerated by the governing authority.
  • Exceptional Violations: Violations which are an isolated departure from authority, neither typical of the individual nor condoned by management.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 21:43
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On that note No Hoper #2,

Was the crews actions to report moderate turbulence as opposed to the truth an error or violation?

Servo, I think the white tail is a different ATR.
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Old 19th Jun 2014, 07:05
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J3pipercub
Perhaps a skills based error on part of pilots
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