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MK Airlines B747 crash at Halifax

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MK Airlines B747 crash at Halifax

Old 20th Nov 2004, 13:03
  #481 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Retford, UK
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Article about this in today's Times:-

Times MK Article
MichaelJP59 is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2004, 22:39
  #482 (permalink)  
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A little African airline starts up in 1990 and ends up in one of the UK’s top newspapers – but for all the wrong reasons. But isn’t it so typical of the owner of that airline to put it down to “an element of bad luck”. I suppose he would say that it was bad luck that he allowed the Captain that crashed one of his DC8’s, to remain in his airline so that he could do it again (but he was an old Air Force mate so it is OK). Is it bad luck that he allows, condones, his crew to travel from their bases in South Africa and Zimbabwe and then immediately operate his aircraft without an intervening rest period? Is it bad luck that he only pays his crew if and when they fly? Is it bad luck that MK’s flight and duty time limitations are probably amongst the most onerous in the world? Is it bad luck that those onerous FDPs are not adhered to? Is it bad luck that procedures are not adhered to?

No, it is not bad luck – it is bad management, pure and simple!
Fuel100 is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2004, 02:26
  #483 (permalink)  
quidquid excusatio prandium pro
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A little history may be in order here.

In the not too distant past, the Zims were fighting tooth and nail for their very existence. Their country, all of the things they built, scratched tooth and nail out of the African countryside over many generations, were summarily expropriated by a murderer-politician whose name is all too familiar.

Despite that, from little more than a paltry vacuum, Mike built an airline that exceeded most people’s wildest expectations. And for that, my judgmental friend, he deserves at least that modicum of respect not normally accorded to lesser men. There are those that build, and those that bleat; my personal preference lies with the former.

Mike, I am truly sorry mate, this one may very well sink you. Your route to continued operation seems to point to reregistering to Euro tail numbers. That would not only require a complete rewrite of your ops specs, but put you on a head-on collision course with the mega-carriers, something I am not certain you can survive.

In the inscrutable way of this world, however, if anyone can find a way forward, it must surely be you old son.
bugg smasher is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2004, 11:38
  #484 (permalink)  
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Bugg -

I agree.

I've known Mike since he was a FO in Affretair. And to start an airline from scratch, operating a fleet of some 20-odd aircraft worldwide is some achievement. I also know and have flown with many of the MK pilots in years past - all of whom were capable, competent operators. There obviously were weak links and mistakes made, which I'm sure, the management would readily acknowledge. But there was also, no doubt, an element of bad luck.

I hope MK recovers from this. A flood of job-seeking pilots onto the market doesn't do any of us any good
Kep Ten Jim is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2004, 12:34
  #485 (permalink)  
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Having been involved a little with Affretair I agree that what has been built is great achievement against alot of adversity that many here can only imagine.
However if you are going to keep saying that the Ghana standards are the same as the EU standards ( or even the FAA standards then why not go onto an EU register

I am sure that fixed fees must be cheaper
GotTheTshirt is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2004, 14:53
  #486 (permalink)  
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Affretair stopped activities in 2001, when it was not able to settle its debts with DHL Aviation and with the Sudan Civil Aviation Authority. In its whole carreer, it operated 8 aircraft, four of them propeller “oldies”. One of its DC8 collapsed in Harare in 1996, when reverse thrust appeared not to be available on two of the engines. In earlier times known as AirTrans Africa, Affretair was formed by the controversial Rhodesian Captain Jack Malloch, well acquainted with Mike Kruger, who served as a TO in Malloch’s company. One of Affretair’s DC7 was impounded after illegal use of registration, Malloch’s DC7 aircraft reportedly known as often being used for sanction busting flights during the Nigerian civil war.
It seems that Mike Kruger and MK’s management have partly been influenced by the history and the questionable culture of Affretair, the African way of dealing with reasonable standards and regulations. So, reregistering to Euro tail numbers and accepting European standards might eventually be the best option.
Tawny Eagle is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2004, 07:29
  #487 (permalink)  
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I do not like your assumptions about what happened in the cockpit during the takeoff. You may well have access to more information than most of us but your rantings demonstrate a lack of understanding and a clear anti MK bias. Now I am not defending MK in any way but am interested in promoting the facts as they are known and suppressing speculation such as yours.

You place a lot of importance on the fact that the thrust was reset to the correct setting and that therefore "somebody must have known" the correct setting. The fact is that if you knew anything about 747s you would know that the max thrust EPR (in this case the correct EPR) can be displayed next to the EPR guages at the touch of a button by the FE.

Another thing you seem to be missing is that if the take-off thrust had been calculated incorrectly then so would the speeds. Therefore Vr as far as the crew were concerned would have been considerably lower than the actual Vr. Pulling the nose up "well below flying speed" was probably not an act of "panic" but simply a normal rotation at what the crew thought was Vr. The increase in thrust was more than likely a conscious decision by the captain to abandon the reduced thrust procedure due to a feeling of uneasines, not "panic".

I believe that the first time this crew knew just how much trouble they were in was when it would not fly at the original rotation.

All this discussion about events during the takeoff roll is diverting attention from the main error made in the calculation of the take-off data. When you place the aircraft at the holding point with the wrong data set you are relying on the last line of defense to save the day and that is never good safety wise.
jumbodrvr7 is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2004, 13:10
  #488 (permalink)  
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I am neither anti MK nor have I been ranting. You want to see ranting look at some of the other posts. This thread is all about speculation and that is what I have been doing. Just normal human curiosity to solve a mystery.

ps. I know a lot about the 747, but some of the things you said make sense. thanks.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2004, 16:23
  #489 (permalink)  
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Sorry, but I am getting more and more confused. Am I alone in my confusion?
To review:
I am of course open to correction but, as I understand him, 747FOCAL has written or implied
1. A crewmember advanced the throttles from 1.3 to 1.6 EPR at or around V1.
2. The pilot raised the nose at or around V1.
3. The pilot raised the nose, set it down, and raised it again.
4. At or around V1, at least one crewmember realized they probably wouldn't make it.
5. The pilot raised the nose at Vr.

Even I, a mere item of SLF, know that V1 does not equal Vr.
I fully realize we are speculating and perhaps we should desist from this and wait for the accident investigation report to be released. However, 747FOCAL appears to be in possession of some inside info. Could he please set out in plain English and in a logical sequence what he knows of the events that took place during the takeoff?
Rockhound is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2004, 17:38
  #490 (permalink)  
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B747 Halifax

To all who mourn their loss.
Please just give up on this one. Have any of you seen the insurance assesment? If you had, you might not have been so quick to assume that you could have worked out what went wrong.
And by the way I HAVE seen the insurance assesment.
FaPoGai is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2004, 19:22
  #491 (permalink)  
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Rockhound, I agree with FaPoGai. Why don’t you gust give up, or desist as you so rightly say.

747Focal has merely given his interoperation of the data that he may or may not have actually seen. Someone else may interoperate it differently. The accident investigators are far more qualified to give their assessment given that they will have most of the information before them. Why not wait until their report is published, then learn from that.
Fuel100 is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2004, 19:40
  #492 (permalink)  
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quote ....

"Have any of you seen the insurance assesment? If you had, you might not have been so quick to assume that you could have worked out what went wrong.
And by the way I HAVE seen the insurance assesment"

FPG, that sounds very mysterious?

whats the Insurance Value got to do with it?
hobie is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 00:06
  #493 (permalink)  
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I gotta admit, you're probably right. Now that yet another factor, the "insurance assessment" (whatever that is exactly), is coming into play, perhaps we'd better leave off. Seems a shame though. The causes of air accidents make a fascinating topic.
Rockhound is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 00:35
  #494 (permalink)  
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Fuel100 is correct. We have debated this one. I hope in some way the knowledge will help alleviate another disaster. I think the ones that passed on this one would wish that.

Maybe I made a mistake by revealing what I know. When I started at PPRuNe this place was nothing but OUR people. Somehow, through NO fault of Danny (who I respect dearly), this place has deteriorated dramatically. (at least in the public forum) Now our house is riddled with fools and those that would strive to be fools.

Now they are desecrating the remembrance of these men.

We just want to know why they died so their death was not in vain. Maybe it is just me.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 01:01
  #495 (permalink)  
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I think you will find that Hartford takeoff thrust was used. Rotating at hartford Vr would likely result in a tailstrike. Then it was seen the trouble they were in an rotated forcefully and gunned the thrust but it was too late with the tail creating a two foot deep trench off the runway end and hitting the berm which I believe may have only been as high as the runway. Just a rumour.
punkalouver is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 08:31
  #496 (permalink)  
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Whenever there is an accident, pilots congregate in bars around the world to discuss it and speculate about the cause. Throughout my time in aviation I have never heard a pilot say " Let's not talk about this until the report is published". Many lessons can be learned even from incorrect speculation and many accidents have been prevented by information gleaned during these discussions.
I have no idea whether it was the cause of this accident but there have been many cases of crews using the performance data for the wrong runway or airfield. I have done it myself but fortunately in my case it was picked up by the other pilot.
If you use performance charts then there are a couple of things that we can do to help prevent this;
1. Having completed the T/O card, do not leave it in the page that you have used. If you place it in a random page, the checking crewmember will have to locate the correct page rather than just use the one that you have used.
2. Ensure that the airfield locator is clearly shown on the card. I can (but won't) name several airlines that do not have a space for this information on their T/O card.
We can either act now to prevent incorrect data being used in the future or we can wait until the report is published.

Captain Airclues is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 14:23
  #497 (permalink)  
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Ah, finally, we have it - the standard put-down: not one of US, y'know. An interloper - Shock! Horror! (Danny, I love you but why, oh why do you allow outsiders (yecch) onto OUR site?). Not only an interloper but a fool. Actually, not only a fool but someone who desecrates the memory of those who lost their lives in the crash.
It's OK, I've had put-downs on other threads in other forums but I've also had plenty of support, publicly and privately, from professionals who appreciate debate and discussion with a non-professional with a modicum of knowledge of, and a whole lot of genuine interest in, matters aeronautical.
So, taking my cue from Captain Airclues, I would respond to Punkalouver.
You may well be right but 747FOCAL, in one of his numerous conflicting posts, asserted that at no time were the throttles firewalled; power was merely adjusted higher (from 1.3 to 1.6 EPR) relatively early on, at or around V1, to correct a mistake (according to 747F).
Rockhound is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 14:30
  #498 (permalink)  
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That is exactly what the data recorder says. At no time during the takeoff run where the throttles firewalled. Granted 1.6 EPR is about as close to firewall as you can get.
747FOCAL is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 17:21
  #499 (permalink)  
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B 747 Halifax

I did not use the phrase "Insurance Value"
Rgds. FPG
FaPoGai is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2004, 17:42
  #500 (permalink)  
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FPG, you are correct, it was my choice of word .....

I'm still lost though re the importance of the "insurance assesment" ?

"assesment" .... an amount(value) determined as payable

Last edited by hobie; 24th Nov 2004 at 22:04.
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