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TAM A320 crash at Congonhas, Brazil

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TAM A320 crash at Congonhas, Brazil

Old 25th Jul 2007, 12:39
  #501 (permalink)  
 
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Please, please please can this not be turned into another A v B thread. Last year's 737-700 incident proved that you *can* get into an overrun situation at Congonhas in a Boeing, and it's not just Airbus who have had control interface issues over the years.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 12:40
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Following the storm over Brazilian Civil Aviation, authorities there have decided to upgrade many airports landing categories.

There are plan to give in a near future Cat.III capabilities to SBGR SBCT SBCO SBGL and Cat.II. to SBBR.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 12:52
  #503 (permalink)  
 
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For ACMS and his ilk

12 September 1993, Tahiti, Air France 747.

Summary (ASN/FSF)

Boeing 747 F-GITA operated Flight AF072, Paris-Los Angeles-Tahiti. Weather was good when the flight approached Tahiti at night. The aircraft positioned for a Runway 22 VOR-DME approach. At 21:05 the aircraft touched down at a speed of 168 knots. Two seconds later no. 1 engine power increased to 107% N1.
Because of this the spoilers did not deploy and the automatic brake disarmed. Reverse thrust was used on all remaining engines. Because of difficulties due to thrust asymmetry, the no. 4 engine thrust reverser was cancelled. The aircraft overran the runway and ended up in a lagoon.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 13:04
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Yes, but just a question, maybe silly, and don't want to frown anybody. Why AB has modified the TL ergonomy from the A318/319/320/21 series to the one seen in A330s A340s and A380s?

In the A318 etc. you pull the TL to be in REV mode while on the others the TL is more "Boeing-like" so to speak, with the "old fashion" reverse levers that you pull while the TL is a idle.

Could it be that AB realized that this kind of TL was more reliable, in a sense that there is a lesser chance to be caught "off guard" with it?
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 13:26
  #505 (permalink)  
 
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Please, please please can this not be turned into another A v B thread.
Dozy don't get excited. Let me emphasize again: I am not against AB and would point to apparent weaknesses of other manufacturers just as much. I am pointing to a system design that I find less suited for our needs (pilots) than other existing systems. With the constant "safety first" claims of the whole industry I would simply expect that one could learn a lesson and maybe, maybe implement a "improvement" to their product. All we see however, are even more bulletins and procedures to cover up some glitches and make our life more complicated, when a simple design change would make such paperwork futile and maybe our life on AB a bit easier.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 13:27
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you still have to move them from a detent located way way forward back to idle in the last 40 odd feet, not very natural.
Maybe not to a 'B' only pilot... and this is only in ATHR - in MAN THR is just as a B...
The T/O config horn sounding the same as the Cabin alt horn on the 73 is not a great thing but..............IF you hear it at the start of the T/O roll:- you stop........
IF you hear it in flt:-- you check the pressurization........
not too difficult I would think.
Still killed 150+ people...
NOD - or anyone - no-one has yet explained why on the AB some pilots are not closing the throttle/s on landing? Surely this is BASIC flying, and I have only seen it in pre-solo single-piston stuff where I quickly eradicated it. To have it issued as a 'warning' to crew by AB puzzles me.
It puzzles me too... but seems to have the 1 Rev Inop as a common theme - so a strange HF thing probably not thought through / anticipated...
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 13:30
  #507 (permalink)  
 
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@ Shortfinals

Boeing 747 F-GITA operated Flight AF072, Paris-Los Angeles-Tahiti. Weather was good when the flight approached Tahiti at night. The aircraft positioned for a Runway 22 VOR-DME approach. At 21:05 the aircraft touched down at a speed of 168 knots. Two seconds later no. 1 engine power increased to 107% N1.
Because of this the spoilers did not deploy and the automatic brake disarmed. Reverse thrust was used on all remaining engines. Because of difficulties due to thrust asymmetry, the no. 4 engine thrust reverser was cancelled. The aircraft overran the runway and ended up in a lagoon.
There was an issue with the ATH, at 500ft radioalt. all 4 engines passed from 68% to 96% N1. The speed was too high and the crew should have selected a TOGA. Instead the PF tried to set the TL to idle without announing it. While doing so he couldn't disconnect the ATH.

The report stated that the crew was probably too busy evaluating the aircraft trajectory and during that time never looked at the instruments.
in particular the PF was found to be anxious to activate the reverse thrust as soon as possible that his hand was probably not on the TL when engine 1 increased power to 107% N1.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 13:44
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http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/912225

Title: British Airways Airbus A320 Pilots Autothrust Survey
Document Number: 912225


Author(s):
Steve Last - British Airways
Martin Alder - British Airways

Abstract:

The Airbus A320 has an autothrust system which is unique among transport aircraft in not having feedback movement provided to the pilots' thrust levers. There has been some controversy in the airline world over the operational aspects of this system. As British Airways was one of the earliest operators of the type, a survey was conducted to determine the views of line pilots as to the advantages and disadvantages of the system compared with conventional moving levers. This paper contains the results of that survey. It was concluded that the A320 design provides advantages in respect to engagement and selection of rated power settings, and that movement provides better disengagement and information on system function. BA concludes that from a flight operations perspective a future system should consider providing movement between the idle and climb power positions, whilst retaining the A320 thrust setting and engagement "detents" technique
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 14:30
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I agree that this should not be an Airbus vs. Boeing debate (if it were I would chose douglas ;-)

Quite simply, there have been landing events for both types.

Even the southwest/midway event indicated 18 seconds after landing prior to getting into reverse thrust.

Air France Toronto, 17 seconds for TR !

AS accidents like this WILL HAPPEN again, proper overruns, emas systems and the like must all be part of the equation.

SO TOO grooving (*which alpa has asked for for over 40 years) and crowning, in which the center of the runway is higher than the edges to allow water to go off to the sides MUST be the norm.

I hope our Brazillian friends will ask if CROWNING had been done on 35left.

As to the unique elements of the airbus throttle system, we must believe that these high time pilots were properly trained at some point. If not, the indictment must be against the entire system of certification of pilots, trainers, airports and the aircraft.

FURTHERMORE, I would like to see all responsible authorities remove THRUST REVERSERS from the MEL list. Thereby requiring thrust reversers to be properly functioning for all passenger flights. Ferry permits could still be authorized for flights without passengers to repair depots.

any of these may have prevented the tragic outcome...we must defend safety in depth.

What are the porteugese words for: what the hell is it doing?

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Old 25th Jul 2007, 14:44
  #510 (permalink)  
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thrust reversers to be properly functioning for all passenger flights.
- far too restrictive! TRs have NO effect other than to reduce brake heating on 'normal' landings on 'normal' runways' with 'normal' autobrake. Where the restriction is needed is on slippery surfaces. Not just 'add 55m'.................
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 14:59
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Sorry for trying to raise the bar of safety. While you may be technically right, it is the over all spirit of safety vs. money that I am trying to change.

Quite simply, you fly around with thrust reversers in op because an airline doesn't allocate the resources to keep them working right.

Money.

PS: and what is wrong with cooler brakes? with the over abundance of 20 minute quick turns, the possibility of hot brakes and an aborted takeoff raise the need for operating TRs. TRs make for cooler brakes which make for an added level of safety on takeoff. Plus there are aborted takeoffs in which TRs can be useful (non engine related aborts) though not legally required.

Last edited by bomarc; 25th Jul 2007 at 15:10.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 15:38
  #512 (permalink)  
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NOD - or anyone - no-one has yet explained why on the AB some pilots are not closing the throttle/s on landing? Surely this is BASIC flying, and I have only seen it in pre-solo single-piston stuff where I quickly eradicated it. To have it issued as a 'warning' to crew by AB puzzles me
As an Airbus operator, I can't even fathom why crews would not close the thrust levers (T/R inop), before they changed the MEL I used to select full reverse on both engines just due to habit, didn't realize it was happening on the line until reading this thread, does this relate to experience level?
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 15:39
  #513 (permalink)  
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Abukaboy

On the A300, it is possible to induce a forward movement of the TL's when beginning to pull up the reverser levers due to the geometry of those levers as they pivot around the top ends of the TL's. It all depends how they are gripped, and whether the ball of the hand is rested on the ends of the TL's during the first upward movement of the reversers. Airbus saw fit to include two small levers at the back of the TL's, pointing inwards towards each other, in order to hold the TL's firmly back against the quadrant stop while reverse was deployed. And who got to hold those levers? Why, our dear old friend the FLIGHT ENGINEER, that amazing aid to safe flight, (admittedly sometimes with a fuzzy logic all of his own, but never on the flight-deck). I was forced to prematurely retire from the 3-man cockpit just over a year ago, and sorry for the thread digression, but I really do miss it. Third pair of eyes and third engaged brain and all that......... There's no substitute, electronic or otherwise, IMHO. Just reflect on how many of the aforementioned unnoticed actions and lever movements simply would not have been allowed to happen in the 3-man cockpit, especially during challenging conditions and with maybe a fatigued crew. Those who have never tried it have missed something, but thats progress.....or is it?????
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 16:49
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Exclamation

Gol Airline Tells Brazil Customers to Avoid Flying
By Telma Marotto and Romina Nicaretta

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Brazil's second-largest airline, told customers to avoid air travel in the country this month as the government banned ticket sales for the nation's busiest airport.

Clients should try to wait until July 30 to fly so the company can implement a new schedule, Gol said today by e-mail. TAM SA, Brazil's biggest airline by market share, today canceled 68 flights at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, and diverted 22 more, after pilots refused to use the facility's runways under rainy conditions, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported today.

The measures by the airlines and government to restrict traffic at Congonhas follow the crash of a TAM Airbus A320 that was trying to land during rain at airport on July 17. The cause of the crash, Brazil's worst civil aviation disaster, is still under investigation. The accident killed 187 on the aircraft and another 12 on the ground.

``It will for sure have an impact on airlines' results in the short term,'' said Beatriz Fortunato, who helps manage about 4.6 billion reais ($2.5 billion) in assets at Rio de Janeiro- based ARX Capital Management. ``We'll probably have a decline in demand at the airport that provides the best margins for the airline.''

The government's ticket ban will last indefinitely, Milton Zuanazzi, head of the National Civil Aviation Agency, told reporters in a televised news conference in Brasilia. Tickets that have already been sold for flights through Congonhas, Latin America's busiest airport for domestic flights, remain valid, Zuanazzi said.

`Frustration'

Gol said it will keep offering service to customers who need to travel immediately and to those whose flights have been delayed or canceled. Cancellations have mounted since the government cut the number of flights permitted at Congonhas after the crash.

``There are no words to describe Gol's frustration for not being able to keep its flight schedule and good service,'' the company said in the statement. ``The reasons for the current situation are beyond the company's responsibility.''

Gol, Brazil's biggest airline by market value, said it would transfer some flights to Guarulhos international airport outside Sao Paulo.

TAM shares fell 1.3 reais, or 2.4 percent, to 53.05 reais at the Sao Paulo stock exchange. The stock has fallen 20 percent since July 17, the day its airliner crashed. Gol shares fell for a seventh day, dropping 76 centavos, or 1.5 percent, to 50 reais. The stock has dropped 11 percent since July 17.

Safety Concerns

Some Brazilian pilots are declining to use Congonhas in wet weather because of safety concerns, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported today. TAM has told its pilots not to land at Congonhas if they think it's unsafe, a spokesman for the company in Sao Paulo said yesterday.

Congonhas' main runway has been closed since the crash. Only the secondary landing strip is operating. TAM has decided not to use Congonhas' main runway until the end of the investigation about the cause of the crash, Chief Financial Officer Libano Barroso, said today in a conference call.

Infraero canceled plans to reopen Congonhas' main runway after an embankment, damaged in last week's crash, collapsed yesterday during a rainstorm. The authority also changed plans because it's awaiting results from an investigation of the crash.

The danger at Congonhas became a national concern in February when a judge, citing short runways, a decaying tarmac and slippery conditions during the city's frequent rains, barred the Boeing 737 and Fokker 100, the workhorses of Brazil's inter- city service.

Flight Recorder

The runway shut for an upgrade, then re-opened on June 29, before the addition of grooves in the tarmac designed to carry away surface water and improve traction. Minutes before the crash, Infraero officials inspected the landing surface and found no water on it, said Armando Schneider Filho, the agency's engineering superintendent, in a news conference on July 18.

On July 16, a Pantanal Airlines ATR-42 turboprop with 21 aboard skidded off the same runway while landing. In March 2006, a BRA Airlines Boeing 737 flight with 115 aboard almost slid off the end of the runway; a similar near-miss occurred with a Gol Boeing 737 in October.

Brazil expects to receive the flight recorder transcripts from the TAM airliner that crashed from U.S. authorities on July 27, Brigadier Jorge Kersul Filho with the country's investigation center for air accidents, said in a press conference in Brasilia. The final report of the investigation may take up to 10 months, he said.

Growth Estimate

TAM's Barroso said the carrier is maintaining its estimate for growth in travel demand this year at between 10 percent and 15 percent. The forecast may change depending on what measures the government takes to alleviate congestion at Congonhas, he said.

TAM expects business flights that last up to two hours will be less severely affected than tourism travel with government measures announced last week, Barroso said in a conference call today.

``The impact of diverting flights to Guarulhos is causing a reduction in demand,'' Barroso said.

Airbus cleared to release TAM accident flight recorder information
By David Learmount

Downloading information from the TAM Airbus A320 flight recorders began successfully on 20 July, three days after the aircraft fatally overran the runway end at São Paulo's downtown Congonhas airport, Airbus reveals in an accident information telex to operators.

The manufacturer reports that it has been cleared by the Brazilian authorities to release advice about essential considerations for landing an A320 with one thrust reverser intentionally rendered inoperative because of a fault.

The main advice, addressed to A320 pilots, reads: "During the flare at thrust reduction, select all thrust levers to IDLE."

This action is so fundamental to landing any aeroplane, it has led the professional pilot community to discuss whether the pilot handling the aircraft that night might have failed to retard the right power lever to idle to avoid deploying the deactivated thrust reverser on that engine.

Video recording of the landing, in which surface spray is seen being kicked up under the left wing, has been interpreted by pilots who have watched it as an indication that the crew were using the left thrust reverser only, which is permitted.

The standard procedure for using thrust reverse when one of the reversers has been disabled, according to the A320 flightcrew operating manual, is to operate both the reverser levers.

The other information Airbus has provided gives the pilots the flightcrew operating manual references denoting where to find the considerations for operating A300, A310, A320, A330 and A340 series aircraft with a thrust reverser intentionally rendered inoperable.

TAM's own A320 manual says the only airport at which both thrust reversers must be fully operating is Rio de Janeiro's downtown Santos Dumont airport, which has a shorter runway than Congonhas.

Airbus explains: "The two accident recorders [cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data recorder have been retrieved and are providing good quality data.

The DFDR decoding started on 20 July, the CVR decoding started on 23 July, both in US National Transportation Safety Board facilities under the responsibility of the Brazilian investigation authorities with the participation of the other involved investigation authorities and parties.

It is confirmed that the aircraft was dispatched with the reverser of Engine 2 inhibited according to MEL [minimum equipment list]."

The advice continues: "Based from the preliminary analysis of the DFDR, and in agreement with the Brazilian investigation authorities, Airbus reminds all operators to strictly comply with the following procedures: During the flare at thrust reduction select ALL thrust levers to IDLE."

Probe asks why Airbus A320 could not stop
By David Learmount

Although the runway is short it was technically long enough. Investigators await flight recorder data for answers.

Until data from the aircraft's flight recorders can be downloaded, aviation community debate about the fatal TAM Airbus A320 overrun at São Paulo's Conghonas airport is centring on why the aircraft did not slow down as other aircraft landing before it had done.

The speed at which the aircraft overran runway 35L is not yet known, but witnesses say the aircraft "vaulted" traffic on the main highway at the base of the 15m (50ft) embankment on which the runway's end is raised, before colliding with buildings on the far side.

On 17 July TAM flight JJ3054 departed Porto Alegre for a 90min flight to Conghonas, arriving at 18:45 local time. The visibility was 6km (3.2nm) in light rain - but rain had been falling for days - with a headwind of 8kt (15km/h) and overcast at 700ft.

The runway surface was new but as yet ungrooved, and it had been reported by many pilots as slippery. The previous day a Panantal Linhas Aereas ATR 42-300 twin turboprop had skidded off the side but no-one was hurt.

TAM president Marco Antonio Bologna confirms the right engine thrust reverser had been deactivated because of a fault, but it was permissible to operate the flight.

The total tarmac surface, including overruns beyond the displaced thresholds at either end of 35L, is 2,066m. At the aircraft's declared 62.7t landing weight, in rain, with a total 186 people on board, theoretically the landing distance available should have been sufficient for an A320 landing in the touchdown zone at the correct speed.

The military-run air traffic control service has said it was too fast, and this theory will be tested when the US National Transportation Safety Board has downloaded data from the flight recorders.

Despite airport operator Infraero's protests that braking action was acceptable, the runway length allows little room for error in the wet.

Footage from fixed airport security video cameras of several landings before JJ3054, as well as the fatal landing itself, shows a limited field of vision, but the aircraft is seen travelling faster than those preceding it, and little if any deceleration is apparent.


bomarc wrote: "What are the porteugese words for: what the hell is it doing?"

O Meu Deus !
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 17:07
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Rumour has it that the Brazilian defence minister's been sacked.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 17:26
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Rumour has it that the Brazilian defence minister's been sacked.
You could almost say: "now what has that to do with the price of lawnmowers?".....
I thought that, so far, ATC was not really involved at all.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 17:33
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Rumour has it that the Brazilian defence minister's been sacked.
Confirmed. That guy was to old for this confusion. And certanly there will be more changes on the civil aviation administartions.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 17:59
  #518 (permalink)  
 
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TAM has told its pilots not to land at Congonhas if they think it's unsafe, a spokesman for the company in Sao Paulo said yesterday.
They needed to be told ?
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 18:26
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Media my friend, media...Not landing at CGH if the captain think's it is unsafe was always a accepted policy at TAM. And once again, that's why I think something else (unannounced failure) happend last week.
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Old 25th Jul 2007, 19:03
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rippa:

I would also like to give the benefit of the doubt to two such high time pilots, that would seem to have every reason to want to live.

when all shakes out, the lack of grooving, the probably lack of crowning, some unknown fault with the plane may all play a part.
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