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21 dead in Chile plane crash

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21 dead in Chile plane crash

Old 4th Sep 2011, 12:44
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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How about you wait before shooting your mouth off like a [email protected]
You know nothing about it. Not everywhere has a diversion.
This was a civil airline operation. If an airforce wants to operate a civil airline it should obey civil airline standards. Sufficient fuel to reach an alternate plus at least an hour is a fundamental requirement.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 12:57
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The plane apparently ran out of fuel as strong crosswinds prevented it from landing on the island’s 1 kilometer-long airstrip, air force chief Gen. Jorge Rojas said.
That seems quite the leap at this stage of the investigation.
Why?

I am sure that the pilot was talking to those on the ground at the airfield, the cross-wind problem would have been obvious (especially if 2 failed landing attempts had been made, as reported in this thread) and the fuel load is known.

It is VERY likely that the pilot informed the ground station that the aircraft was low on, or out of, fuel and what the intentions (attempt to ditch?) were.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 13:01
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Is there an aircraft which could have landed on that 860 metre strip, carried that number of people, and complied with the fuel requirement for diversion?
Note that if you overrun the strip you end up going over a 130 metre cliff into the sea
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 17:05
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more on the pilot at
Carolina Fernández Quinteros: One of Chile
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 17:20
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Sufficient fuel to reach an alternate plus at least an hour is a fundamental requirement.
That's not true. There is provision even in ultra-cautious EU/OPS regulations to operate into isolated aerodromes without an alternate. It requires higher weather minimums and supplementary fuel. Section 1.297(b) if you want to look it up.

The Chileans no doubt have their own regulations, and indeed probably have more experience of operating into isolated aerodromes than most EU regulators anyway, given their long experience of operating to their isolated pacific territories.

There is nothing wrong or irresponsible with operating into an isolated aerodrome as long as accurate weather forecasts are available.

Interestingly though, even EU/OPS regulations for operating into isolated aerodromes do not have any requirements for maximimum wind limits (only visibility & cloud base are defined). It is probable that Chilean regulations are derived or are closely analagous to EU/OPS and US regulations, so maybe there is a lesson in there.

Last edited by Trim Stab; 4th Sep 2011 at 17:37.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 18:08
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It is VERY likely that the pilot informed the ground station that the aircraft was low on, or out of, fuel and what the intentions (attempt to ditch?) were.
How many times have were heard on this forum this type of chest thumping only for everyone to be absolutely wrong once the final report is released. Your very words are the definition of logic based upon the most dubious assumptions.

Besides, I'm highly skeptical of the idea that there was a decision to ditch. While I have never flown there it seem to me that in this isolated location I'd rather take my chances with the wind than bury the plane in the sea. I recognize that this is a "damned if you do damned if you don't" decision. But I think it's a huge assumption to make that landing on the waves would have been the better choice.

I think the much more likely situation is that she made a mistake calculating the fuel left and was either near or on her last approach when it ran out of fuel and crashed. I'm talking out of my ass, of course, but no more than Senor General.

edit: and then there is this gem:

Initial speculation, based on observations of a single eyewitness, indicates that the crash resulted from a fault in the plane’s hydraulics, a fault so great that not even the skills or noteworthy determination of Lt. Fernández could save its passengers from their fate
From the article above.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 18:09
  #27 (permalink)  

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Wonder what the cross wind limits and minimum approach speed for a Casa 212 is..?
Given enough cross wind, one could almost land across the runway if flying a near STOL plane.

The news clip above however states the crash was caused by an hydraulic failure

Initial speculation, based on observations of a single eyewitness, indicates that the crash resulted from a fault in the plane’s hydraulics, a fault so great that not even the skills or noteworthy determination of Lt. Fernández could save its passengers from their fate.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 18:36
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the conspiracy theorists are out as well.... with a few web postings noting how "convenient" it is that a whole TV team which were highly critical of the Chilean governments support for the islands following a major tsumani, should all be lost together
Probably utter bollocks, but it does make the case that there is more than one possible cause
Another point is that reports seem to suggest she was in radio contact with the mainland when comms were lost: not with the island


The Spanish language version of Wikidepaedia at
Google Translate
currently says (in translations):
"The plane attempted to land at the airport twice, but strong winds prevented a landing. The device did not have enough fuel to return to the mainland and according to the excessive time of flight to the island made ​​(due to strong head wind during the trip), had few extra minutes of flight. "

Last edited by jamesdevice; 4th Sep 2011 at 23:26.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 23:01
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LANDING IN JUAN JUAN FERNANDEZ ISLAND

There is only one paved airstrip, 0.66 miles long (1000 meter) in the island
There are no alternative airstrips anywhere near
There is no radio communications with ground or control tower in the airstrip
There was only one person awaiting for the plane at the airstrip on the ocassion. (Only witness)
Two other similar planes had landed successfully before the accident.
The plane made two attempts at landing, then aborted due to strong cross winds.

No cause for the accident has been determined.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 03:02
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I agree with you Sir Mr. Papapapahotel:

No cause for the accident has been determined.

But, the plane had no enough fuel to return to Santiago anyway.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 07:59
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OK, so lets summarise.
The aircraft was heavily laden.
It was impossible for the aircraft to carry enough fuel to make a diversion or return.
Fuel consumption was probably heavier than expected due to strong headwinds.
The airfield has no landing aids or radio.
As there is no radio, there is no way the pilot could have been informed of weather conditions at the airstrip. However thie strong cross wind which prevented the landing could have been deduced from the strong head winds, but the flight went ahead anyway.
There was only one person at the airfield awaiting them, so by implication, no rescue / fire team. So in a crash landing they're on their own.
If they overshoot the runway they go over a 130 metre cliff into the sea.
If they ditch, the only chance of rescue is if a fishing boat happens to be near



Notwithstanding the fact that this pilot had previously flown this route with similar aircraft, it seems to me that the chances of this becoming a one-way trip seem far too high.

Last edited by jamesdevice; 6th Sep 2011 at 09:05.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 09:27
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There was nothing foolish or reckless about the flight. Just because the aircraft crashed does not prove that the flight was risky. Indeed, as I mentioned earlier, it could probably have been undertaken even under EU/OPS regulations.

There would be many communities around the world cut off from the outside world if it were not for some pilots, operators and regulators who were not prepared to shoulder a small, calculated and managed risk to fly to isolated airstrips.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 10:06
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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This is beginning to sound like a communications issue.

They were talking to ATC on the mainland and could have been turned around while there was sufficient fuel. That could have happened if ATC had any way of knowing the current weather on the island.

So, who knew about the worsening weather and did they realise the implications.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 12:09
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So, who knew about the worsening weather and did they realise the implications.
I haven't seen any evidence that the conditions worsened during the flight. The captain may have been fully aware of the likely wind conditions on arrival before she took off.

If visibility and cloud-base are below regulatory minimums, it is easy for the Captain to cancel the flight by pointing to the rule book. However, there are no regulations about maximum wind (in EU/OPS anyway) and most aircraft have no certified wind limits (only a maximum demonstrated crosswind). A captain thus has to use judgement, rather than the rule-book, to cancel a flight due to forecast wind conditions. Whenever there is a judgement call, human factors immediately come into play. It is easier for an experienced gnarly old captain to make the call to cancel a flight due to difficult forecasted wind conditions - nobody would question his judgement. However, it is much harder for a young (26) and inexperienced (1000 hours) pilot to make the call to cancel a flight because of wind forecasts.

Having said that, who said the crash was caused by the wind? Could have been any number of other reasons.

Last edited by Trim Stab; 6th Sep 2011 at 20:58.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 13:29
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Is there an aircraft which could have landed on that 860 metre strip, carried that number of people, and complied with the fuel requirement for diversion?
Yes -
Dash 7 - my last job was with British Antarctic Survey - our regular route was Falkland Islands to our base on the Antarctic Peninsula, 1000 nm with the nearest alternate a further 400nm. If the weather was not suitable at the alternate (i.e. normally....) we could do it PNR (the last hour of the flight was usually committed).
The runway at our base was 900m of gravel (800 or even less would have done....)
The aircraft had long-range tanks (Standard factory option, not a special installation) - we could only carry about 12 people over that range though (in a 50-seater)

(Apologies for thread drift)
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 14:13
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the crash may not have been caused by the wind, but the two failed attempts at landing WERE due to the wind. If the aircraft hand landed on one of those attempts, it could not have crashed.
Following on from Trim Stab's comments re age / experience. I also wonder if she felt under any pressure to complete the trip simply due to her sex.
Thats not intended as an insult to her: merely a question as to what kind of peer pressure she was under as female pilot in a machismo oriented society.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 22:13
  #37 (permalink)  
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3 links to CNN Chile videos of an interview with Cmdr. Nicolas Vidal from the company "Inaer" and then some text - also from CNN Chile and all in spanish - but what.. Finally a translation (could be better) by Google in the end :

CNN - CHILE : NACIONAL

CNN - CHILE : NACIONAL

CNN - CHILE : NACIONAL


Tras el impacto del accidente en el archipiélago de Juan Fernández, son muchas las teorías que salen a la luz para dar explicación a esta tragedia. La ruta y las condiciones meteorológicas son algunas de las dudas que se presentan a hacer estos análisis. En entrevista con CNN Chile el piloto comercial de la empresa Inaer y quien habría volado en la isla antes del CASA 212, Nicolás Vidal, nos explica los detalles de los detalles del vuelo.

"Nosotros tenemos un centro de operaciones que el día anterior nos habían confirmado que íbamos al archipiélago. Con nuestra experiencia de vuelo, la 8:30 nos parecía exagerado, porque hay que tener una tendencia meteorológica en la isla y las primeras informaciones se saben a las 8:30. Con la tecnología de hoy el día anterior se sabe, pero hay variaciones", señaló Vidal.

"Esperamos una hora más, porque en Juan Fernández había condición meteorológica no favorable, pero tampoco podemos decir que mala", dijo.

En cuanto a los últimos informes de fuertes vientos en la costa Vidal señaló que "la información que se utiliza es una mezclada. Además, al aproximarse a Juan Fernández ya sabía cuáles eran las condiciones meteorológicas y cómo debía aterrizar.

Pasado el medio día del viernes el piloto de Inaer Nicolás Vidal, aterrizó en Juan Fernández. El piloto nos explicó que en la isla no hay torre de control, pero si sistemas de mangas que indican las condiciones para aterrizar.

Vidal señaló que el aterrizaje que realizó durante esa jornada tuvo dificultades, pero que las habilidades de un piloto profesional dan la posibilidad para efectuar este tipo de maniobras sin problemas.

En cuanto a la situación del CASA 212 "sin ser operario de este tipo de nave, este avión no va y vuelve por ningún motivo. El CASA tuvo que tener peores condiciones", señaló Vidal.

"Para un piloto entrenado, el viento un tema, pero si no está en un área confinada, donde pasas una bahía hasta otra bahía, el avión está en una zona cómoda. El viento no votó ese avión", señaló el piloto de Inaer, Nicolás Vidal.

"Yo creo que la Fuerza Aérea prepara bien a sus pilotos, lo que si es que no hayan tenido la experiencia en esa zona. Lo que encuentro más grave es que esté haciendo la Fuerza Aérea haciendo este trabajo con civiles en misiones militares y con características militares. No creo que los civiles sabían que estaban en un avión con punto de no retorno", señaló el piloto.

* * *

After the impact of the accident in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, there are many theories come to light to give an explanation for this tragedy. The road and weather conditions are some of the questions presented to these tests. In an interview with CNN Chile, the company's commercial pilot who had flown Inaer and on the island before the CASA 212, Nicolas Vidal, explains the details of the flight details.

"We have an operations center the day before that we had confirmed the archipelago. With our experience of flight, the 8:30 it seemed exaggerated, it must be a weather trend on the island and the first reports are known to 8:30. With the technology today is known the day before, but there are variations, "said Vidal.

"We waited an hour, for at Juan Fernandez had unfavorable weather conditions, but we can say that bad," he said.

As for recent reports of strong winds on the coast Vidal noted that "the information used is a mixture. In addition, approaching Juan Fernandez knew what the weather and how it should land.

In the afternoon of Friday driver Nicolas Vidal Inaer landed at Juan Fernandez. The pilot explained that the island there is no control tower, but if hose systems that indicate the conditions for landing.

Vidal said the landing was made at that time difficulties, but the skills of a professional driver gives the possibility to perform such maneuvers smoothly.

Regarding the situation of the CASA 212 "without operator of this type of ship, the aircraft will not and returns for any reason. The house had to be worse," said Vidal.

"For a trained pilot, the wind issue, but if you are in a confined area, where you spend one bay to another bay, the aircraft is in a comfort zone. The wind did not vote on that plane," said pilot Inaer, Nicolas Vidal.

"I think the Air Force well prepared their drivers, so if you have not had experience in that area. What I find worst is that is making the Air Force doing this work with civilians in military missions and features military. I do not think that civilians knew they were on a plane with the point of no return, "said the pilot.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 23:23
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Interesting observations by the INAER pilot in the interview. The transcript is not accurate and the translation pythonesque - eg CASA=>house!

To summarise:

Interview 1: Conditions were forecasted to be bad at 0830, INAER pilot delayed flight, but then undertook the flight later in the day and carried out the flight succesfully shortly before the accident. There were some strong crosswinds, but not outside the limits of a well-trained and current pilot. The observed conditions were not exactly as forecasted, but not significantly different either.

Interview 2: Conditions were within capability of CASA 212. Some discussion of cross-wind landing techniques.

Interview 3: Discussion of capabilities of the deceased pilot. INAER pilot very diplomatic - refuses to criticise competence or training of the pilot, admits she was not particularly experienced. Reserves criticism that the military should be allowed to carry civilians, as the military fly to different safety regulations - particularly regarding reserves and point-of-no-return.

There may be a hidden agenda here as Chilean Air Force are competitors to INAER for public transport in Chile...
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 02:18
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Mr. Trim Tab
many countries around the world have their AFs flying around, doing carrying pax and cargo to and from several destinations, others do not matter.
sometimes, somebody lost the bid and every body start to judge the thing.
¿¿why are air force xx carrying people w/o inssurance. ??
sometimes civilians and gob agencies, used to ride with the AFs simply because is for free, and they simply do not ask...
I agree, they possibly they did not know about bingo point. They didn't matter.
What happen "the morning after", the relatives ask for responsabilities, and claim for a head to be cut off.
And, one can only imagine that, she (the pilot) had a lot of cargo, pax and crew to carry to the island, she had the wc abl and fuel on the island, then, as her regulations permits, took off and something happen.....
C-212 is a good plane, and Lt. Fernandez, a good pilot. Something went wrong.
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 12:05
  #40 (permalink)  

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Some years ago a Casa 212 crashed on short final in Puerto Rico.
I seem to remember the cause of the accident was that one of the props went into reverse.

Wonder if this aircraft has a flight or cockpit voice recorder..?
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