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Plane missing en route YCAB?

Old 19th Dec 2013, 05:13
  #241 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mel-burn
Posts: 4,882
No it doesn't make a lot of sense, but note that a PASSENGER activated the beacon and that passenger may have not been under the control of the pilot. A single pilot sits up the front well away from the passengers. In the mean time one of the passengers is calling up the Virgin AMCO office for assistance and the others who knows, perhaps activating their ELT.

Following a request from ATC at 1336, someone on board UXG activated a personal locator
See above.

The PLB also produced an ultra high frequency (UHF) 406 MHz digital beacon that was received by SAR satellites, and an audible tone that could be heard in the background of some of the radio calls made by the pilot of UXG.
It would not be unexpected that a portable PLB could be heard through a transmission from an Icom 210's transmissions due to the proximity of the transmitter aerial. I know that my PLB interferes with my VHF when in test mode.

At about 1357 the pilot of the SAR helicopter requested via relay
through the pilot of another aircraft that the pilot of UXG change from 129.0 MHz to 121.5 MHz.
It does seem strange that 21 minutes after the beacon is activated that SAR would request the pilot to change to 121.5.....

The pilot of UXG reportedly confirmed the frequency change and the crew of a commercial flight later reported to ATC that they had received a transmission from UXG on 121.5 MHz. The SAR elicopter continued to receive the PLB tone on 121.5 MHz but no voice transmissions.
As expected really.

Perhaps this is why the AMSA / SAR review is happening... maybe they realised that their response was incorrect on this occasion (purely based on what I'm reading)
VH-XXX is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2013, 06:11
  #242 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,179
Some things that stand out to me from the report...

Pg 22: ...High workload leads to a reduction in the number of information sources an individual will search, and the frequency or amount of time these sources are checked (Staal 2004). It can result in an individual’s performance on some tasks degrading, tasks being performed with simpler or less comprehensive strategies, or tasks being shed completely...

Pg 27: ...During the IFER, some ATC transmissions combined multiple requests for information and/or actions and UXG’s pilot generally responded to only one of the items...

page 34: (my bold) ...the aircraft’s radio was located low and forward of the control column, the pilot would have needed to reach forward and down, and possibly to one side, in order to see and manipulate the equipment. If in cloud and reliant on the aircraft’s primary flight instruments to maintain aircraft control, any head movement, inadvertent control movement, or diversion of attention away from those instruments would have interrupted the pilot’s instrument scan and affected his ability to maintain the aircraft’s attitude.

The pilot acknowledged a request to change radio frequencies shortly before the accident. However, the ATSB was unable to determine whether attempting to change radio frequencies contributed to spatial disorientation or some other problem (such as task shedding), which in turn led to the pilot being unable to complete the action. Alternatively, any subsequent transmissions from the aircraft may have been blocked by terrain, or the pilot may have tuned to a frequency that was not monitored, or he may not have actually made any transmissions...

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