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Pinnacle Airlines aircraft incident

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Pinnacle Airlines aircraft incident

Old 26th Nov 2004, 09:23
  #101 (permalink)  
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This thread seems to be going a bit off-topic suddenly!

To answer some earlier questions, the CrJ 200 does not have autothrottle.

Unless at very light weight on a cold day it will not usually manage to climb above FL370. The FMS will tell you (if you ask it) whether a nominated FL is acheivable or not, but this facility is not automatic

Most crews use VS autopilot mode for climb above Fl250 approx just to keep the profile smooth.

Crews do seem to be fascinated by the idea of making it to FL410 when possible - thats human factors for you.

There have been a number of incidents where the stick shaker sounded unexpectedly during high altitude climbs, and it is very common for the aircraft to reach the desried FL but then not to be able to accelerate if crews elect to climb above optimum (nb sometimes for wx avoidance or other good reasons). A good guideline seems to be a body angle of 2.5 degrees or less, below which the jet will accelerate ok past the bottom of the drag curve.

The double engine failure is fairly straightforward but there are several pages of drills and also a number of potential errors and most crews do not do a very tidy job the first time they see it in the sim! Second and subsequent attempts are usually much more successful. The posts relating to training are therefore probably very pertinent, so long as we are talking about initial or recurrent typerating training.

The stall alarms are noisy and brightly lit and a combined stall with double flame out (and the VERY noisy ADG electrical power source) will certainly make you jump!

The aircraft will of course depressurise (the rate will depend on the integrity of the doorseals etc, but probably fairly slow rate and therefore potentially insidious, the CABIN ALT warning may go unnoticed among the very many other related EICAS messages).

After the decision to discontinue windmill starts is taken (ususally by about FL 150) there is quite a lot of time available, most experienced crews maintain fairly high speed to FL130 and then fly a level glide at FL130 while using the APU start technique and decelerating to 180 kts approx. Further glide at 180 kts approx gives about 1200 ft per minute descent and about 6 degree glide angle. If in the sim try to use a glideslope but aim to be right on the full scale flydown pointer and it will be about right, clean

note, no APU means no flaps available, most instruments dark, no DME, no autopilot etc. In this case I understand the APU was lit which makes it all a lot easier.

My main point - this is a tough drill even from high altitude with lots of time. If you have briefed it and done it once or twice in the sim then your chances are much better - that is what sims are for
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Old 26th Nov 2004, 19:47
  #102 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately, most FAA 121 operators have absolutely no interest in training engine failure at altitude (either single or double) even less in taking time for glide or high altitude stall work. The entire attitude exhibited by every one that I have dealt with has been "get them through the checkride" and don't worry about the rest. One carrier basically forbade "screwing around with the FMS" as that is "an IOE thing" even though the FMS is a key instrument in the CRJ, and one that can be a life saver in a tight spot.

The absolute best that I've worked with have at least briefed some of these things, but still would not actually include them in their TCM as training items. The FAA sure hasn't been pushing either. The JCAB (Japan) insists that these things be accomplished satisfactorily on initial courses, and mistakes are frequently made by even the best prepared students (we are talking ex-747 captains here that are the best pilots I have dealt with PERIOD ). Those folks have the right attitude about training--it costs a lot more, but I think it pays off in the long run.

121 operators are generally happiest if their students can get through with a giant classroom groundschool, little or no FTD time and a max of 8 sims before a canned checkride. In that kind of time you just get the basics unless you're a really fast student. I have talked to experienced RJ pilots who had no idea that there is a way to use the FMS to fly a full procedure approach in the RJ. Others have never seen an ADG drop (double gen fail) or trim runaway, and many would tell you that there are immediate action items for a simple engine failure (flameout--no damage) when this is only considered an ABNORMAL item.
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Old 17th Dec 2004, 18:41
  #103 (permalink)  
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Hy @all!

Any news about the reason for this accident???
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 09:30
  #104 (permalink)  
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the following link sends you to a television station's transcript of the ATC audio tape concerning the crashed pinnacle RJ. it does not credit any sources or have much detail. no subscription required to read it. gives an idea of what the actual audio tapes may contain.

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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 14:16
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Godspeed, chaps.

Last edited by dudduddud; 2nd Mar 2005 at 14:32.
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 16:08
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"Having some fun"???
Talk about famous last words.
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 18:43
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It seems 41,000 was at max for the RJ's published limits .......

"Maximum Service Altitude: FL410"
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 23:17
  #108 (permalink)  
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The Bombardier website says that the max operating altitude for the CRJ200 is FL410... so if those guys were at the correct weight and speed, I dont see how why that aircraft should stall and loose two engines... maybe the comment "having some fun" was misinterpreted and it could well have been a cocky reply to the controller enquiry at seeing the aircraft at FL410...

...if on the other hand they purposely went into slow flight then they were asking for trouble.

Just another eye-opener for us all not be tempted to do "test flights" in an uncotrolled manner especially during such positioning flights.

Are U.S. airlines obliged to have a Flight Data Monitoring programme in place?
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Old 6th Mar 2005, 00:15
  #109 (permalink)  
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if those guys were at the correct weight and speed, I dont see how why that aircraft should stall
Buy 320 driver a beverage of his or her choice!

...if on the other hand they purposely went into slow flight then they were asking for trouble
Then again, maybe they didn't know they were in slow flight. I don't know about these boys, but a HUGE number of jet pilots out there wouldn't know--and a pile of airlines have little or no interest in stopping to teach them (or at least they didn't before this happened)
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Old 6th Mar 2005, 02:28
  #110 (permalink)  
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This is just a reminder that one of the doomed pilots had a wife and a young child, according to one of their Line Check Airmen who spoke to me in an airport.

I've skipped most pages of this topic, but are most of the CRJ pilots aware of the minimum indicated airspeed for the highest altitudes, or are they required to check a plastic card which shows a given weight/altitude/ min. indicated speed for 1.3 and 1.5 gs? On the larger plane which we fly, we learn quickly that about 250 KIAS can be a limit, but a heavy 'stretched' version can require at least 260 plus, never mind an immediate clearance to hold on the arrival, NOW. Even a very experienced (two-pilot, no automation ) crew got into some trouble, briefly, when ATC abruptly assigned them to hold in three more miles, on a very busy arrival into ATL. At about the very same moment, a cabin crewmember mistakenly rang the c0ckp1t chime THREE times (suggesting trouble...), because the captain had asked her to always give them two chimes. All of this as they leveled off and pushed the two throttles up, all by manual control . They must have thought/assumed that there was an emergency in the cabin.

In retrospect, even with 7,000+ hours for each of them, they were both distracted by the three chimes, and the flying pilot would normally have quickly checked a card for the required holding speed for a heavy weight plane (106,000 lbs +).
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Old 6th Mar 2005, 17:16
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The min speed as normally used in the US would be "green-line" which is about 1.27XVs. Less than that and you're behind the power curve. Climb capability is usually limited by when the aircraft stops climbing (500fpm nominal is the norm). Min climb speed is .70 for most operators, and will ensure the aircraft will stop climbing well before the buffet margins are a serious factor.

The only way to climb into a sticky situation is generally to go slower to trade airspeed for altitude, but once you try to level, it won't accelerate, and may continue to lose speed if you are "zoom climbing" to get the altitude. Some operators have the buffet cards, but they aren't actually used that much due to the above reasons.
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Old 13th Jun 2005, 21:39
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More news on the cockpit voice recording now being released.
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Old 14th Jun 2005, 00:33
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What a tragic result. I find it hard to believe that these pilots did not know, or were unaware of, engine restart approx. parameters. Did the APU start? Will it even start until below the 30's? Best glide speed vs. eng. relight?
What a mess; I strongly suspect inexperience was a player from the FO's comments on the thrill of reaching the 40's. (If he had been using meters, would they have even known the difference between the 30's and 40's? I suspect not. 40K feet - big deal...)

And as for the ridiculous remarks of the Air Travellers Association rep. - well, they're all pilot haters anyway who think we're overpaid and should take big cuts to help lower their ticket prices. AKA the " Rude wannabe-CEO's Alpha-male flight-attendant-ignorers Association". I've had a meeting with one of them before, during a wx delay at MIA, during which the guy went beserk and started ranting about his "rights" and Sen. John McCain. Whatever.
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Old 14th Jun 2005, 15:24
  #114 (permalink)  
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USA Today articles

13 June


14 June
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Old 15th Jun 2005, 00:26
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If the a/c is certified to 41,000, I can expect it was a big surprise to the crew when they got both a stall and a double engine flameout.

It seems that there are weights and temperatures that allow that altitude and others that don't.

Did the crew's training cover variation of maximum altitude with weight and temperature?

Did the crew's training address what could happen in a high altitude upset and what would lead to one?

Or was the crew just told to conform to whatever dispatch fed them without understanding the constraints?

What would happen to a crew that felt a higher altitude than that given by dispatch would obtain better conditions?

What knowledge would they need to make a good decision?
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Old 15th Jun 2005, 01:19
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Even if the aircraft was at correct weight and speed for 410, if it had just a smidgen of leading edge contamination, the picture could change significantly.
Todays super-critical wings are very intolerant of even small airflow disruptions in the first 1/3 of the chord.
Climbing through just a wisp of cloud with 10 or 15 seconds of un-noticed light icing could change the characteristics of the wing enough to surprise the unprepared when in the narrow end of the envelope.
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Old 15th Jun 2005, 02:24
  #117 (permalink)  
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Pinnacle NTSB

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Old 15th Jun 2005, 09:57
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Another example of junior jet pilots (IE: regional jet flight crews) provided insufficient high altitude performance training by the respective airline...with bad results.

Higher is not always better, as these guys certainly found out, in short order.
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Old 15th Jun 2005, 13:16
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Am I alone in my skepticism over the title of this thread?

I looked up "incident" in my dictionary, and have to question whether this is an "incidental" topic.
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Old 15th Jun 2005, 13:29
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your coment about incident? is a few days late.

The original poster seems to have posted breaking news where there was no benefit of numerous pages of intelligent discussion here on PPRune.

About the only way to satisfy your concern would be for an update of the thread titles to suit the latest information.

I don't see that happening on a public message board.
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