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Reports of A400 Crash, Saville, Spain

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Reports of A400 Crash, Saville, Spain

Old 29th May 2015, 15:31
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Courtney. I never use Google. However I should have just posted the Les Echos headline I received this morning.
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Old 29th May 2015, 16:09
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone have an idea what was the issue with the data recorders ? Given the crash circumstances it would seems that they should have been recovered in a fairly decent shape and these must be state of the art. I'm a little puzzled by this.
The problem was not with the data recorders. The problem was with the data readers. They were incompatible with the recorders. The manufacturer (L-3 Com) was able to download all the data using their readers and the data has been sent to the Spanish investigators. Still awaiting their analysis.
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Old 30th May 2015, 07:21
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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From today's German paper ....

There's a report in today's newspaper from the German Press Agency (DPA) that some sort of installation error may have occurred in the software on the accident aircraft to cause the crash. This has not been confirmed by Airbus.

Then there's the usual speculation about how this might cause people to lose confidence in the quality control standards of Airbus. Anyway, the report points away from some sort of crew error that might have caused the crash. It also reads that there's no basic problem with the powerplant design.
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Old 30th May 2015, 07:57
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The problem was with the data readers. They were incompatible with the recorders. The manufacturer (L-3 Com) was able to download all the data using their readers and the data has been sent to the Spanish investigators.
Interesting - Aren't the recording performed in a standardized manner (sorry if this sounds like a naive question) ?
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Old 30th May 2015, 12:24
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting - Aren't the recording performed in a standardized manner (sorry if this sounds like a naive question)
No more so than airplanes

Beta and VHS

Android and Windows

Pacemakers

etc.
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Old 30th May 2015, 14:47
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I guess you build your data recorder to record data from a particular aircraft. A Tornado recorder wouldn't be much good in a 747 where would be so many more channels required. Or it may be that a Mac can't read a Windows hard drive - yes I know there are ways!

Anyone know if the data is encrypted?
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Old 30th May 2015, 15:03
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I don't know for sure, but there's several reasons why you would not want to encrypt the data and not a single reason why you would. That said, the data might not be in what we would consider "plain text". It may be binary, binary coded decimal, or plain ASCII decimal.
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Old 30th May 2015, 17:24
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grumpyoldgeek: ...but there's several reasons why you would not want to encrypt the data and not a single reason why you would....
Grumpy: In military aircraft there may be some desire to keep flight and voice data encrypted. The aircraft might be lost over hostile airspace and the adversary may get to the boxes first, and that data could prove useful to an adversary.

Here is recent press release for one such system:

Curtiss-Wright Announces Encrypted Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder
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Old 30th May 2015, 18:41
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Thank you Sandiego, you beat me to it.
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Old 31st May 2015, 13:15
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Agreed, there are definite reasons why you would encrypt such data in the Military world, I would also suggest if your having trouble recovering such data your main aim initially would be to ensure that the data your trying to extract is not being damaged by your attempts to read it.
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Old 31st May 2015, 14:01
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The problem was with the data readers. They were incompatible with the recorders. The

Does this not suggest the manufacturer had never downloaded data from the FDR/CVR during the course of the certification program? One would think they would, as a matter of course, have downloaded the FDR/CVR data to compare with the downlinked telemetry during the course of the test program.

Last edited by twochai; 31st May 2015 at 23:06. Reason: clarity
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Old 31st May 2015, 18:02
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Snoop

installation error
I would like to understand that the software user manual was not correctly understood by the crew ?
That document is very important because a software user is not an aircraft user. The software user is a total stranger to the bit by bit process. Every word of that written process (the user manual) must be perfectly clear. Mostly the soft user don't use the document, or don't have it.

IT is a still new culture where we jumped too quickly. It looks like a play,but isn't a play.
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Old 31st May 2015, 21:11
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There we all go speculating again. And not in a very smart way.

Twochai, no, ADR data is not used to compare with anything. There is no requirement to do so. The test data recorders/telemetry do all that is required. If you know of a reason to compare with other data sources, perhaps you might explain to us. The ADR is an independent archive for one use only and is not designed to be milked after every sortie.

Roulis, the crew did not install the software and they do not have a user manual for it, certainly not in the sense your words might suggest. The manufacturer and their sub-contractors write and install the software. The crew do not install the software. The software is installed by engineering personnel, once installed it resides in the aircraft systems. I suspect I may have misunderstood you as I don't think your translation is that good. But I respond to the way it sounds so that no one else thinks your statement means what it sounds like.
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 09:50
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Snoop

Courtney Mil,
You didn't misunderstand me. After a former Air France Captain and Airbus fan compared the "installation" error to another classical Crew action (French radio) I wanted to have confirmation or corrected information that the misinstallation was/wasn't a Crew action. Therefore my post could seem a bit provocative. You brought the answer, thank you. It means Crew have been victims of IT world.

As a retired IT guy and Airline pilot I'm preaching since 1988 that IT testing has other rules than aircrafts' certification There is a lack in our FBW planes resulting of a sad confusion well pointed in the Ariane501 report. That is first an Ocean of vanity and lack of modesty not only the money competition.
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 11:49
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I understand now.

As for FBW testing, yes it is done in a very different way to hardware. As an example, the flight control software in a certain current fast jet is so complex that to test it fully using traditional methods would have taken decades. So some of it is modelled instead. So software tests software really.

Courtney
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 12:44
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It looks like the flight recorder data has been reviewed, and an Airbus official quoted with "....a serious final assembly quality problem."

Airbus admits to A400M assembly problems | Business | DW.DE | 29.05.2015

Several reports have suggested a temporary loss of power to three engines, which just strikes me as an odd number. I could see one, two (same wing), or even all four being subject to software or otherwise issue, it is just that three, if confirmed, strikes me a bit more odd or unprecedented. Just a point of interest- no theory- no blame, just caught my eye.

Last edited by sandiego89; 1st Jun 2015 at 12:58.
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 15:33
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Several reports have suggested a temporary loss of power to three engines, which just strikes me as an odd number. I could see one, two (same wing), or even all four being subject to software or otherwise issue, it is just that three, if confirmed, strikes me a bit more odd or unprecedented.
The problem is we know nothing of the actual software fault. It could be that the gitch rolled back power on the engines one at a time and then when the third engine rolled back, the software switched to an "alternate law" (or rough equivalent) that prevented the fourth engine from rolling back and then the other three engines starting rolling back up but not in time to avert the crash. Of course this is pure speculation on my part and is provided strictly as an example of how three engines MIGHT roll back and not the fourth.

Separately on Boeing installations, the engine software queries a pin to determine where it is installed on the aircraft (#1, #2, #3, or #4 position). If this pin was not correctly installed during assembly (the cause was described as a final assembly quality fault) perhaps all four engines thought they were in the #4 position and three engines rolled back when the data they were getting stopped making sense. Again pure speculation on my part. But the bottom line is that when software is involved there could be any number of explanations of how the engine software interacted with each other and with aircraft software to cause a three engine power roll back.
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 16:05
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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C17 vs A400M

Regarding C-17 [Sorry if this is a bit off-topic]

If I understand right, a C-17:
  • costs half as much as an A400M
  • carries a heavier load
  • carries a bigger load
  • carries the load further
  • needs fewer trained crew because of the above
  • Has inter-operability
  • Is fully developed
So why are we, in Europe, buying into this silly aircraft ?
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 16:37
  #219 (permalink)  
 
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PAX

You answered your own question. The very last line of your post, 5th and 6th words, would (I suggest) provide the answer/reason you seek!
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 16:56
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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Pax, I offer you might be missing a few points, and although it is tough to find a price, I feel you are way off in saying a C-17 is less than 50% of the A-400 purchace price. Way off.

A-400 customers mostly needed a C-130 and C-160 replacement/augment, with a bit more capability than what those have, not the huge leap the C-17 brings. For many scenarios you do not need the capability the C-17 brings. The A-400 is a "tweener" between the C-130 and the C-17, and for some customers that makes sence, especially for many of the European customers that are not flying continental distances that often. The UK has decided they need both (and that makes sense for them).

The A-400 claims lower operational costs. I would not want to pay the refueling bill on either, but a C-17 burns more fuel.

The 400 is likely better for tactical airstrips. Although the C-17 touts rough strip capabilty, it is mostly used as a hub and spoke type transport. What you read and whom you believe may influence you thoughts here.

Political and industrial implications are also important. "Buy American" is not always the answer- and I am one (American), but understand that.

You don't need a semi-truck (lorry for my UK friends) for every run to the home improvement store....
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