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Pinnacle Airlines aircraft incident

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Pinnacle Airlines aircraft incident

Old 4th Jul 2005, 18:11
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An interesting item, armada.
It would indeed appear that a few junior jet guys are not paying attention.
Wonder just when these few will actually wake up?
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Old 5th Jul 2005, 05:09
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Glad nobody was crossing below them, Armada. Flying NW bound near Co springs like that can leave you stuck in the descending side of a rockies wave for a while. Bad deal without much excess performance to play with. My friends who fly Challengers have commented that the CF-34s really peter out above FL370. It's no Gulfstream or Lear and the wave around there can get pretty strong. Glad things worked out OK.

Best,

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Old 5th Jul 2005, 11:32
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If I may pass along something else to consider....

There are at least three different CF34s on the various Challengers.

The CF34s on the RJ 100s and 200s are different from one another.

and,

The CF34 on the 700 and 900 series are different again to those on the 100s and 200s.
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Old 5th Jul 2005, 13:25
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Good point about CF34's - the dash 3 (RJ100 & 200) is closely derived from the military TF34 - designed in the late 60's. It has 14 HP compressor stages, and 2 HP turbine stages.

The dash 8 (RJ700 & 900) is a fresh design with little commonality to earlier models. Improved aero design yields 9 HP compressor stages, 1 HP turbine stage. The LP system is all-new too.

The dash 10 (EMBRAER 190/195) is yet another go.

Last edited by barit1; 5th Jul 2005 at 14:41.
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Old 5th Jul 2005, 15:34
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How much time do these guys have?

What is the typical total time for the crews involved in these incidents? I am a corporate pilot, and all of these mishaps occured back in the 60's with Lear-jets in our end of the business.

Do the airlines teach high altitude aerodynamics at all, or do you put a turboprop guy in as PIC without much training? All of these things have happened before, history is being repeated. It is not magic up there. Keep your speed up, and you will be fine. I would soil my shorts if I was doing .70 at 410.
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Old 5th Jul 2005, 16:18
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You mean there's no AOA on your LCD????
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Old 5th Jul 2005, 17:50
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Some answers to the questions from Airrabbit:,

As soon as the stickshaker activates the autopilot will be disconnect automatically. Also the continuous ignition will come on!
To silence the tone of the autopilot disconnect you have to push the "Autopilot - Stickpusher- disconnect putton" on the control wheel. When you push this button the Stickpusher is deactivated for the time till the button is released!
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Old 6th Jul 2005, 00:57
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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If I may add the following comments?


"As soon as the stickshaker activates the autopilot will be disconnected automatically. Also the continuous ignition will come on!"

Not quite. But, I know what you mean.
Continuous Ignition commences prior to and in advance of, stick shaker as does the EICAS status message CONT IGN. If either pilot hasn't selected continuous ignition, for a reason, this event is likely telling him/her something isn't normal.

Activation of the stick shaker DOES disconnect the auto pilot and cancellation of the cavalry charge is left to either crewmember.
The way the auto pilot disconnect works in the RJ, is this. If either crew member disconnects the auto pilot, the cavalry charge is heard three times. If the autopilot disconnects by itself, for any other reason, the cavalry charge is continuous until either crew member presses the disconnect button on the control wheel.


"What is the typical total time for the crews involved in these incidents?"

Crew total time varies from pilot to pilot. Period.
There is no monopoly on smarts, knowledge or ability because of total time. Dozing off during flight, reading the Swimsuit issue or newspaper doesn't automatically make you an experienced pilot. No matter how many hours you have. It merely depends on what you did during the time you acquired those hours.

But. The average Regional Airline Captain showing up for RJ training and RJ Type Rating has 15,000 hr, approximately. As most have been flying Saab 340, Jetstream 31/41, Dash 8 and Brasilia aircraft. Some have even flown BAe146s, EMB 135/145s, F28s and F100s.

In my experience, many have also been affected by their company choosing to replace the B737s or A320s they've been flying. So, it's difficult to pigeon hole the Regional pilot.

"I would soil my shorts if I was doing .70 at 410."


How would you feel about 0.57 Mach??? Like these guys.
Well, the truth be known. Many RJ operators have the conviction that the only way to climb this aircraft is in vertical speed for PAX comfort. Unfortunately, the people who know better decided to publish climb speed profiles for the CRJ and it happens to be 290/.70. To date, I can't recall any of the jet aircraft I've flown having a vertical speed profile. I DO recall in most, a caution about a reduction in vertical climb capability on the order of "less than 300 feet a minute" being of significance. RJ students are taught to climb in IAS to Mach crossover and when V/S decreases below 500 fpm, heads up!!!

Funny things can happen when your are off the climb speed profile and trying to "zoom" climb to 41. But let it be said, there is no guarantee to an unwary crew who zoom climbs or V/S climbs to an altitude that may be just beyond aircraft weight vs thrust ability.

"do you put a turboprop guy in as PIC without much training"

These pilots receive sufficient training, for sure.
They are taught to fly the numbers. They are taught where to find the numbers. They are also taught to follow SOPs. When these edics are followed, success results. When they are not...it's up to the flying gods to decide.

But, who's to say what any pilot needs beyond the basic RJ cirriculum, especially when he/she is rarely vocal about what they lack or don't know about high altitude flying.
Isn't that an embarassing dilema for most of us? Human nature, being what it is and all?!

As an RJ Type Rating Instructor it's a tough one to call as the "approved" simulator training syllabus is suppose to cover the widest range of average pilot experience, knowledge and ability immaginable.

Looks like somebody got it wrong.
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Old 6th Jul 2005, 05:19
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Lightbulb

Are the Bean Counters (where cost accounting is "the church altar") a major problem regarding training costs and training " footprints (length)" at Pinnacle and many other companies?

Until less than nine years ago or so, at least one US major airline had no desk top computer training aids to allow a pilot to prepare in advance for an 0500 brief with a very rushed 0600-1000 fixed based training on the B-757. Its 'training cost managers' finally justified the expense to develop computer-based training aids which allowed pilots to better understand and prepare for training on their very first FMC aircraft, and allow that fleet's training equipment to finally catch up with that of some other US airlines. And the company's First Officers each had about 7,000 hours flying or more (CV-580, 727..), never mind the even more experienced captains. But these hours do you no good when you struggle to keep your head above water in an over-compressed, very rushed training syllabus learning an entirely new concept of c0ckp1t management. A different fleet has probably the very best training program, even several years ago.

If bean counters can create such handicaps with one US major airline (some FOs had previously spent their own money on an FMC course at Boeing, reportedly about $5,000 each, being well aware of how inadequate their airline's syllabus was; their classmates were baffled that a few guys could grasp the concepts and relax a bit each day after class, without day after day of confusion and humiliation), then what about an operation where new-hire FOs sometimes have very little experience (partly because there is no per diem nor pitiful paycheck for about five weeks)? Some apparently have very little instrument and no swept-wing backgrounds, based upon what two CRJ Check Airmen told me (at DTW and DFW). One had reportedly finished the famous (or infamous?) Gulfstream program in Florida but still had an inadequate instrument flying background, from what I was told, after paying so many thousands of hard-earned dollars and flying as FO on a B-1900 turboprop, mostly in VMC .
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Old 7th Jul 2005, 17:11
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Hey B738 –

Thanks for the information. A question back to you … Do I understand correctly, that if you push the A/P disconnect to silence “the cavalry” charge, as someone else posted here (BTW, I like that description), the stick pusher will not activate as long as you keep the disconnect button depressed? And does that mean that when the button is released, the stick pusher will fire if the pitch attitude or AOA has not changed?

I would suspect that nothing will happen to the longitudinal trim (which the A/P would have probably trimmed right up to the point of A/P disconnect) and I would suspect that if either the crew or the stick pusher got the nose down (not sure what triggers stick pusher deactivation) any airspeed increase above where the trim was last effective would result in some sort of nose-up pitch. Is that accurate?
_______
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Old 7th Jul 2005, 19:34
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Hello,

Willie thanks for the detailed explanation, I had not so much time to descripe it in such a detail...

@AirRabbit
"Do I understand correctly, that if you push the A/P disconnect to silence “the cavalry” charge, as someone else posted here (BTW, I like that description), the stick pusher will not activate as long as you keep the disconnect button depressed? And does that mean that when the button is released, the stick pusher will fire if the pitch attitude or AOA has not changed?"

The stickpusher will not activate as longs as you press the button. When you release it, the stick pusher will fire.
On the first flight of the day, you have to do a "Stall-test" where the Stickshaker and pusher is activated on ground. When the stickpusher is fired and you press the A/P-disconnect button, the Stickpusher is immediately deactivated. When you release the button the pusher is activated again.
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Old 7th Jul 2005, 21:18
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The SPS test, while on the ground, is an integrity test of the SPC system. The auto pilot is not engaged whilst doing this test (with most CRJ operators). Pushing the (red) AP Disc button on the yoke, causes the pusher to "push" the stick forward as it is designed to do.


I'd be surprised if holding in the AP Disc button during a pusher event, prevents the pusher from doing it's thing.

But I'll try it and get back to you.
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 23:47
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Hey Willie / B738:

Thank you both for the replies. And, while I'd like to learn a little more about how the shaker/pusher operates on the CRJ, please don't do something that has the potential of getting you or the airplane into trouble -- my thirst for knowledge ain't that big!
_______
AirRabbit
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Old 9th Jul 2005, 18:16
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Hello,


@ Willie:

I'd be surprised if holding in the AP Disc button during a pusher event, prevents the pusher from doing it's thing.

But I'll try it and get back to you.


An extract of the pilot reference manual CRJ200:

Stick Pusher Disconnect Features:

The stall protection computer monitors the rate of change of the AOA vane to determine when to disconnect the stick pusher.

The stick pusher can be stopped by pressing and holding either the pilot's or copilot's control wheel autopilot/stick pusher disconnect switch (AP/SP DISC). The stick pusher is capable of operating immediately when the AP/SP DISC swith is released.

Should the SPS incorrectly activate the stick pusher, the stick pusher my be disabled by selecting eigher STALL PTCT PUSHER switch to OFF at the pilot's or copilot's stall protection panel. Both switsches must bei ON for stick pusher activation.
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Old 9th Jul 2005, 23:16
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I made a little summary of part of the flight starting after the power came back on.

After the power came back online, until end-of-flight.

N1 for both engines was spooling down.
N2 for both engines were stuck at 0 (see Note).
ITT for both engines were decreasining and took a long time to reach 90C.
FF for both engines were stuck at 0 (see Note).
Air Speeds were way below 235 knots (IAS!?).
APU bleed valve opened around 13000 ft.

I didn't see much in terms of where this bleed air was going; i.e. right or left engine.

Note: on some graphs we don't see one of the lines at all.
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Old 10th Jul 2005, 07:14
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Regardless of what altitude the AFM or FMS predicts the airplane is capable of achieving at a given WAT, they do not account for unanticipated atmospheric conditions such as mountain wave, CAT or warmer than predicted (the temps entered in the FMS or used on the perf chart.) temperatures. If any of these conditions are encountered, then it will be important that the crew recognize the degraded performance and act appropriately. There comes a point in this scenario of declining speed (VS mode) or ROC (IAS,MACH or FLC mode) when defeat must be admitted! Time to level off or if getting really slow, descend. Will FLC descend to remain on speed? Airplane performance charts are done as part of certification and are intended to provide a means of performance planning. They guarantee nothing if the conditions are different than stated. You make your plan based upon the available information and then see how it goes. The ASI and VSI will let you know how it is going. The OAT, TAT, RAT or SAT will help you recognize whether temperature is the culprit. AOA can be used to crosscheck the speed trend. All of these things are available to jet pilots (depends which jet) for good reason. It is up to pilots to observe airplane performance closely and be careful what we believe. Always view AFM or FMS predicted performance as possibilities not yet proven. Show me! It is also better to let ATC in on your predicament earlier rather than later.

The above words might just as well have been written before the occurances being discussed on this thread. The lessons were learned because they came up as a natural consequence of flying moderate (some might say weak performers!) performance jets. I have little interest in magazines or crosswords while in flight. I do however enjoy watching all the little dials and indicators and such. I used to think all pilots did. Another useful lesson learned. (cool pilots read magazines) I guess my natural curiosity and interest pleases me at least. When it doesn't, I'll work for Wyvern or FAA. 9 to five baby! But not just yet.

Best to all,

Westhawk
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Old 10th Jul 2005, 16:02
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Bleed Air Selections

Can anyone tell me whether the starter button was pressed at all during the starter assisted relight procedure in this incident?

I seem to remember the QRH goes straight from windmill relight to APU assisted relight but doesn't highlight the subtle differences between the two procedures.

My observations in the sim were that approximately 75% of crews would need to repeat this exercise due to an inability to achieve the required N2 RPM during the starter assisted relight procedure because the QRH gave the impression that you needed at least 15% N2 prior to operating the starter button because this limit was written adjacent to the 90 degree ITT limit which you did indeed have to achieve before moving the start/thrust lever.

You would only get the 15% N2 after selecting start, a point the majority of crews failed to realise. The crucial difference being that the limits apply prior to initiating a windmill start but mainly only apply after an assisted start is initiated but before the start lever is moved.

We didn't see this as a major issue however as we considered a double engine flameout highly unlikely!!

Our management were reluctant to prescribe to captains an altitude limit and our flightplans were always giving cruise altitudes of FL360 and FL370 regardless of performance capability and the existance of an optimum FL was never discussed during briefings, the general perception being higher is better.

With this level of ignorance within the management and line pilot communities we were very fortunate not to have a similar incident.

Last edited by hec7or; 10th Jul 2005 at 16:34.
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Old 11th Jul 2005, 10:29
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Question

Ignorant question from an ex-PPL: does no-one find it surprising that they don't seem to have started planning a landing until below 13000'? I'd have expected them to estabish a clear plan to get down safely without engines right at the start of the incident, expecting to change it when they restarted the engines.
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Old 11th Jul 2005, 12:23
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<<Our management were reluctant to prescribe to captains an altitude limit and our flightplans were always giving cruise altitudes of FL360 and FL370 regardless of performance capability and the existance of an optimum FL was never discussed during briefings, the general perception being higher is better.

With this level of ignorance within the management and line pilot communities we were very fortunate not to have a similar incident.>>

I personally find this not at all surprising, Hec7or, as many new guys to jet transport flying, never having been informed about all this, would tend to agree with the idea that 'the computer knows all' and no logical thought process is generally required.

Years ago, before computers (and the magic boxes they come in) the lessons learned the hard way about potential problems that do indeed occur at higher altitudes with swept wing jet transports resultes in a few accidents that were not pretty.

Now, many of these older guys in management/line flying have long ago retired, and the replacements think that they simply 'know better'.

This very unfortunate accident sadly proves that simply do NOT.
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Old 11th Jul 2005, 13:55
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...many new guys to jet transport flying, never having been informed about all this, would tend to agree with the idea that 'the computer knows all' and no logical thought process is generally required.
The computer knows only when it's been programmed to know. It is POSSIBLE to give it the smarts to provide a margin for an unstable air mass (SAT creep) and other anomalies.

But that would just contribute to a further "dumbing down" of the newbies, IMHO.
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