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TAM A320 crash at Congonhas, Brazil

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TAM A320 crash at Congonhas, Brazil

Old 28th Jul 2007, 22:31
  #621 (permalink)  
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According to some reports PR-MBK landed on the main runway at 11:11 the same day under heavier rains than during it landing in the evening.

The level of water on 17R/35L was recorded to be +1.5mm between 11 and 12pm.
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Old 28th Jul 2007, 22:52
  #622 (permalink)  
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There seems to be some confusion as to whether selecting reverse on an engine where the reverser has been locked out will produce an increase in N1 and how this will affect autobrakes.

I will suggest that that is perhaps a lack in understanding but perhaps not in training. Those in the know will understand the difference.
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Old 28th Jul 2007, 23:51
  #623 (permalink)  
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Manual Braking

Post 46, suggests that manual braking is normally used at CGH. The 'decel' light would not be illuminated and therefore not monitored. Looks like the 'Spoiler' indication was not called or if it was it was, not acted upon. But then again, in this situation, it would take an inordinate amount of 'skill' or training to transfer a 'white knuckle' hand from the reverser to the spoiler lever. This maneuver is rarely if ever practised in the sim.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 00:43
  #624 (permalink)  
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Not being a pilot myself ... but reading all those interesting posts on the gaz levers ...reversers etc ... my conclusion is:

Many differents answers for a same problem.
Are the Airbus 320 each made differents and so have differents settings and modus operandi .. or it's the pilots who don't know really how to use it in all cases (if all posts here are made by real pilots)..or it's Airbus factory itself no able to provide good manuals to their customers and users..?
All this seem's so weird for me to read so differents opinions on a technical issue.

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Old 29th Jul 2007, 00:43
  #625 (permalink)  
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the VEJa article in English

the article in English

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Old 29th Jul 2007, 01:32
  #626 (permalink)  
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Veja magazine put all the guilty on the pilots, probably based only on the airbus recommendations as no official information has been released yet. I would bet that someone on Veja is reading this thread, as they also also say something about the 2 accidents on Taipei and Philipines.

Very sad that the pilots are being public accused of being guilty without any official information. I personnalite believe that it's possible that the pilots made a mistake, but to state that as a truth is a very different thing without proof.

I would like to ask, as an non-pilot, after touchdown someone told here that there will be alarms "retard... retard...", but even if they didn't listen to the alarms they would clearly see that the aircraft wasn't braking as expected. Supposing that one of the T/L wasn't in the IDLE position, wouldn't the manual break work ? even in this case ?

They could have forgot to put the T/L on idle, ok. But they SURELY would try to stop the aircraft with manual brakes and deploy spoilers manually, wouldn't that at least slow the aicraft ?

It's unthinkable to me that they would just sit and wait for the worst, even after a mistake they would surely trying something, and that something may not be able to stop in aicraft but surely it would slow it down a bit more, wouldn't it ?? ... Remember, I'm a non-pilot...
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 02:01
  #627 (permalink)  
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Remember, I'm a non-pilot...
Understand, and in that case it is best to suspend judgement of all matters until the official investigation is complete and the report issued.

Those who do not fly or do not fly professionally need to respect the level of conversation going on here and should not attempt guesses or come to conclusions. There are many professional crews, many who are on Airbus aircraft here, who are using very technical expressions and a lot of experience to discuss aircraft behaviours in many circumstances. It is not possible to explain details because in many aspects of this discussion, one must live the experience - it cannot be told. The intent is not to "shut out" non-pilots or be arrogant about this - it is a plain fact that much of this hinges on knowledge that is gained through very long study and longer experience and that simply cannot be told in a few sentences to the satisfaction of non-pilots. This is not meant to be unkind or exclusive, this is meant to request patience and respect.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 02:06
  #628 (permalink)  
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Brazilian media reports that that one TL has been found "in the wrong position" in the wreckage.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 02:17
  #629 (permalink)  
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Brazilian media reports that that one TL has been found "in the wrong position" in the wreckage.
Such a find, if true, is completely meaningless in such a catastrophic accident.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 02:44
  #630 (permalink)  
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duwde, you do not have to be a pilot to understand human error. All of the aspects that you and others believe to be unthinkable can and will, in the right circumstances, happen.
The circumstances are driven by the situation; the runway, the aircraft, the crew, and many, many external factors.
No one should blame the crew, and even after a considered investigation with an awareness of hindsight bias, the best outcome for safety would be to identify the contributing factors; - those issues which convinced the crew to do , not to do , to believe, to remember / forget.
These are the aspects of every day life; the difference in being a pilot is that anyone of those factors could be the difference between a normal day and life.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 04:09
  #631 (permalink)  
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When these two pilots touched down, both captains, they expected the airplane to stop but it didn't. They must have soon known they would not be able to stop. Would leaving the right engine TL above the idle detent cause all of this to happen? If so then AB needs to change their software. I have landed Boeings with one TR malfunctioning on short runways, TGU, and could see bumping up a TL if it had AB logic. I guess I just like to select something and get it rather than see if it is offered.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 04:37
  #632 (permalink)  
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I guess I just like to select something and get it rather than see if it is offered. by bubbers
Bubbers, I realize you're not on the Airbus, it's not as confusing as your making it out to be, the thrust lever scenario isn't caused by the thrust lever being accidentally positioned slightly forward, were speculating about the possibility of the crew not moving it back from the position it is in during climb and cruise. Left in this position (CLB detent), when the aircraft touches down, you would have idle on engine 1, about 55% N1 on engine 2, next thing that happens is while the pilot is selecting REV on engine 1, A/TH is disconnected automatically at touchdown and engine 2 accelerates to CLB power (90%N1), to further complicate the situation, the fact that the R/H thrust lever is not at the idle position, this inhibits spoilers from deploying, as you can see, a lot happening at once.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 05:59
  #633 (permalink)  
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To duwde and other non-pilots on this thread: try to remember that there are thousands of landings in A320 series aircraft every day for almost twenty years now. It is very likely that the same error or mistake that was the main factor in this crash (IF in fact it was the non-retardation of the TL to idle on eng#2), has already happened on many occasions. On virtually all of the occasions when this error happened, it was corrected swiftly and had no ill effect, other than a bruised ego. As a matter of fact, it is certain that thousands of potentially fatal errors were dealt with successfully since the aircraft's introduction. You have to keep things in this perspective - this was an extremely unlikely event that took place, that an error might have gone uncorrected, and it will take a very detailed and lengthy investigation to come up with any probable causes as to why an error was not dealt with successfully. It is quite likely that none of the professional pilots on this thread will be able to provide any meaningfull insight into the reasons why an error was not corrected, even if they get some details about the circumstances of this crash, and we are pretty far from having details yet.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 06:41
  #634 (permalink)  
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Here's one http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/W...ow/2241563.cms
Brazil plane crash blamed on pilot error: Report
29 Jul 2007, 0431 hrs IST,AFP
Print Save EMail Write to Editor
SAO PAULO: Pilot error was responsible for the airplane crash that killed nearly 200 people in Sao Paulo last week, the news magazine Veja reported on Saturday.
The magazine, citing investigators studying the cause of the crash, also said that a short runway and a constricted area that gave little room for victims to escape contributed to the high number of casualties.
But the Brazilian air force, which oversees civil aviation and accident investigations, said in a statement that no conclusion had been reached and that it had not leaked any information to the press.
It labelled as "premature and unfortunate" any conclusion about the accident, "as long as the investigations are ongoing."
On July 17, a TAM airline Airbus 320 carrying 187 people overran the runway while landing at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, crossed a road and slammed into an airport building.
The death toll will only be known when all victims are identified, but nearly 200 people are believed to have died in the crash. As of Friday authorities had identified 89 of the victims' bodies.
Veja said that investigators found that one of the levers that control the jet's turbines was in the wrong position.
While the left turbine was thrust in reverse and was helping the airplane slow down, the right one was accelerating, according to Veja.
Contrary to earlier reports the plane did not skid on the wet runway, nor did the airplane's brakes malfunction, Veja said.
Key information was also obtained from the airplane's black boxes, the magazine said.
The runway, which had been closed since the accident, reopened Friday and the first flight to land was a TAM aircraft.
Brazil's airways have been in crisis for the best part of a year after September's crash of a Gol airliner in the Amazon jungle that killed all 154 people on board.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 06:54
  #635 (permalink)  
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Haven't seen it anywhere here
And I doubt if you will, my guess it's just a misinterpretation, from the Portuguese report.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 09:06
  #636 (permalink)  
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1) The 'position' of cockpit controls is of relatively little value when there is an FDR trace. Several of us have cautioned about 'running away' with these pieces of information. Those who have seen cockpits after relatively high-speed impacts will know what I mean. Only where there is no FDR reading of throttle position on the runway will witness marks etc be relevant.

2) I also suspect that Veja has polled PPRuNe and elsewhere and made an 'intelligent' guess at this. Whether or not there has been a leak we will discover eventually. At this stage the article really provides only peripheral interest.

3) Without either second-guessing the cause/s of this accident, nor honestly trying to start an anti AB campaign, I sincerely hope that AB and the training system for AB are looking at the throttle lever function. I'm sure it is very clever and no doubt there are technological advantages to the way it works. The BIG problem is that it is not 'NATURAL' in terms of around 100 years of powered flight where the engine and the throttle lever are effectively directly linked, and furthermore it seems to be confusing judging by the different opinions we see here from supposedly qualified AB crews. All the clever graphs, pdf files and studies on landing risks and runway state etc go flying out of the window if this happens.

With some time on the 737, I am not aware of any 737 incident where the throttle/s may not have been closed on landing other than, perhaps, in early training days. If anyone knows different then there are bigger issues at stake than just the AB system.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 09:26
  #637 (permalink)  
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A question that I have not seen answered here is:

Was this the first leg of the flight deck crew on that particular airplane on that day?

If not, wouldn't they have landed the plane with one T/L locked and the correct technique on the inbound leg to Porto Alegre?
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 10:00
  #638 (permalink)  
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Auto/Manual thrust

The auto thrust on the AB is normally engaged right down to touchdown. In fact Airbus encourage its use except in times of heavy turbelence when the T/Ls are hunting during the approach. Over a period of time the skill of manual throttle use is eroded. It now becomes unnatural to take the auto thrust out. Most long haul A340 pilots would be petrified of going to manual thrust on the approach.
Only time manual thrust is now used is in the sim.
Autothrust on the Boeing or other non FBW aircraft is discouraged when the autopilot is dis-engaged and so the thrust levers would be manually controlled for a period of time prior to touchdown. Therefore this is NO or little chance that a T/L would be above idle at touchdown or shortly after. Some pilots do land with a little power on! In any case this would not compromise the landing distance.

Last edited by James7; 29th Jul 2007 at 10:30.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 10:00
  #639 (permalink)  
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Hi everyone,

I was just wondering, maybe I'm not getting it.

My total airtime on an Airbus is exactly 0 minutes, so I don't know what the airbus thrust levers look like.
Suppose one TL is in idle reverse and the other is in full forward thrust, are they aligned or are they staggered? Do you have to raise any lever to get reverse, as is on a Boeing?
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 10:20
  #640 (permalink)  
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Angry BOAC, sorry, but you're well off the mark...

The 'position' of cockpit controls is of relatively little value when there is an FDR trace. Several of us have cautioned about 'running away' with these pieces of information. Those who have seen cockpits after relatively high-speed impacts will know what I mean. Only where there is no FDR reading of throttle position on the runway will witness marks etc be relevant.
Words clearly written by someone who's not an investigator... All evidence is of value, even where there is a full FDR trace, for a number of reasons: correct selection in flight deck, control fails to respond (ergo pilot did not make selection); sensor attached to control or linkage, not surface (ergo surface position not, in fact, recorded), etc.

All witness marks are vital to a trained investigator - correctly interpreted they tell a story which must be heard...

Just as non-pilots are being cautioned to stay away from this discussion, may I suggest that flying an aeroplane doesn't qualify a pilot as an investigator?

(PS, as you're a Mod, I'm surprised at your post...)

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