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TAM A320 crash at Congonhas, Brazil

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TAM A320 crash at Congonhas, Brazil

Old 29th Jul 2007, 20:16
  #661 (permalink)  
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I truly wish everybody reasoned like you, and was capable expressing it like you did.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 20:20
  #662 (permalink)  
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BOAC, I've no intention of wasting to much time arguing this, but...-

The accident was caused by something that happened on the runway, not after leaving it.
Fundamentally, no. I'm no fan of Jim Reason's, or his cheesy theory, but he's absolutely right to identify latent and active causes. Leaving aside your schoolboy error of assuming that the accident was
'caused by something'
(one thing), and, whilst giving due respect to your claimed expertise in this field (on BOIs, perhaps?), the causal factors, direct and indirect, active and latent, call them what you will, will be complex. Often their complexity is in direct proportion to the expertise and political freedom of the investigative team, especially where any critique of fundamental design matters is involved.

Any witness marks will only show the position of various controls at impact and not where they were before touchdown and during the landing roll - agreed?
No, not agreed. I presume you're restricting your remarks to witness marks relating to flight control positions in the flight deck or on the airframe. I'm not. There are others, notably on the runway (skid marks and/or areas 'cleaned' by steam from aquaplaning or burst tyres, and the like). These will (with luck) be fairly easy to interpret - road accident investigators do this day in, day out.

Regarding the 'mod' bit
Yes, regarding this, as I've said before (in public and private) PPRuNe is very stiffly moderated - censored is not too strong a word. The moderators' words here carry a certain weight, especially to the non-cognoscenti (that is, the vast majority of readers and posters). Therefore, for non-experts to be posting 'expert' opinion is even less acceptable than it would be otherwise.

I'll PM you about some of your other remarks.

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Old 29th Jul 2007, 21:00
  #663 (permalink)  
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Kit d'Rection KG
... as I've said before (in public and private) PPRuNe is very stiffly moderated - censored is not too strong a word.
As a non-expert, my experience of PPRuNe is the exact opposite - that it is LIGHTLY moderated.

Over the years, I have been surprised at the statements that are allowed to remain and be judged by the reader. The owner of PPRuNe has often made it clear the main reason that posts are edited or deleted is for statements that could cause legal action against the website owner. It has been, broadly, established that the site owner is responsible for ANYTHING that is posted on it. No matter that the poster may have signed a statement accepting liability for their words - if it goes to court the site owner will be first in line.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 21:59
  #664 (permalink)  
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A good forum does not select participants on the basis of what they are, but by the quality of the posts. It is up to the moderator to judge them. If he believes that non-pilots --- Im not --- should keep their mouth shut for best of the discussion, it is his prerogative. I will follow his directives.

Last edited by A22; 29th Jul 2007 at 22:14.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 22:12
  #665 (permalink)  
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I agree with the last
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 22:26
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Discussions about moderation are generally subject to moderation themselves since they are off topic

(expect this post to be binned pretty soon! )
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 22:50
  #667 (permalink)  
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I don't fly airbus, so my apologies for the ignorance. I just read that the FDR information was leaked to a major magazine in Brazil. The results are:
1) ACFT crossed landing RWY at the correct speed and touched down within the normal touchdown zone.
2) PF select idle thrust only in the engine that had the reverser operating normally. The other thrust lever was left in its position and, according to some guys who fly airbus, this caused the engine with inop. Rev. to try to keep Vref even after ACFT landed, since the Autothrust logic needs the thrust lever to be at iddle to disengage SPD Mode.
Basicallt, one engine had full reverse and the other one full power trying to accelerate to V approach. Although this is not officially announced, it is published in a respectable magazine in Brazil and got no response from the investigation team. The report also mentions 2 other accidents where the same problem occur. One in phillipines and the other in Taipei. This would explain why the ACFT landed at 138KT and crossed the RWY end at 110Kt.
As a Boeing pilot I was surprised to discover that Airbus do not disengage A/T at touch down during a normal landing.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 23:19
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From flyingnewbie10's earlier post:

"Airbus has developed a specific warning when one throttle is set to reverse
while the other is above idle. This warning generates an ECAM warning "ENG
x THR LEVER ABV IDLE", a continuous repetitive chime (CRC), and lights the
red master warning light. This new warning is implemented in the FWC
standard "H2F3".
A Service bulletin will be issued very soon on this subject. "

So the crew did not resond to this fairly major clue that something was amiss? Or was this not installed on the accident A/C?

As a Boeing pilot I was surprised to discover that Airbus do not disengage A/T at touch down during a normal landing.

The pilots simply have to move the throttles to idle to achieve this, as the aircraft prompts them to do. Is this not unreasonable? Or is it actually desirable, in case a GA is decided upon?

In any case, if this particular speculation was to be true, there must be some logic improvements to be made, i.e. one side full reverse, the other side TO power. But as with everything else, it remains speculation for now.

got no response from the investigation team

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Old 29th Jul 2007, 23:30
  #669 (permalink)  
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got no response from the investigation team
They responded.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 23:41
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for me it is not logic to have the autothrust still on after touchdown, but I realize we are talking about two different phylosofies (Boeing and Airbus), but having one engine on reverse and the other in full thrust is definately not acceptable, regardless the manufacturer.In Boeings you still have the A/T ON until 2 seconds after touchdown. As you well said, the investigation is just beggining but I suspect there is some true in what I said in my previous email. Possibly this new Airbus boletim was not performed on that specific aircraft.
Bt the way, this information would also explain why the ACFT drifted to the left during the landing roll, since hypotetically, the right engine was at Max thrust.
Just to make it clear, I'm not blaming anyone or anything, just passing the findings of an extensive report made from a respectable magazine; although I consider the theory as the most probable one after I talked to some friends who fly Airbus. Regarding the FDR, I believe the information published is correct because some senators and deputies had access to it and possibly leaked the information to the reporters.
Another finding was that both CM1 and CM2 were captains. The PF was CM2 (Instructor pilot) and PNF was seated on the left and was a new hire captain.
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Old 29th Jul 2007, 23:56
  #671 (permalink)  
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Thousands Blame Brazil Gov't for Crash

Published: July 29, 2007

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- More than 5,000 teary-eyed Brazilians marched Sunday to the site of a plane crash that killed 199 people, blaming the government for the nation's deadliest aviation disaster.

At the front of the group was Dr. Mauricio Pereira, who wore a T-shirt with a picture of his 22-year-old daughter, Mariana, a first-year medical student who was aboard TAM airlines Flight 3054 when it sped off a runway and slammed into an air cargo building.

''Corrupt and incompetent officials killed my daughter,'' read a banner Pereira held as he walked six miles from a park to the crash site just outside Congonhas airport, the nation's busiest.

Pereira and hundreds of other demonstrators threw flowers toward the gutted building, and shook hands and hugged firefighters who had retrieved the charred remains of the victims. The crowd then recited the Lord's Prayer in unison, sang Brazil's national anthem and demanded President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's ouster.

The respected news weekly Veja reported over the weekend that information from the flight recorders showed one of the jet's throttles was in the accelerate position instead of idle while touching down. Veja did not say how it obtained the information. The recorders were analyzed in the United States and brought back to Brazil last week.

But many marchers said they doubted the report because it would ease pressure on Silva -- known widely as Lula -- whose administration came under withering criticism after the crash for failing to invest in airport infrastructure over the past five years despite a commercial travel boom.

''It's the best thing for Lula that could have happened,'' said Gabriela Paulino, a lawyer who did not know anyone on the TAM Airbus A320 but carried a single yellow rose for the victims. ''Now they're going to blame the pilot because he's dead.''

The plane's right reverse thruster was also deactivated when it landed, but TAM Linhas Aereas SA said that was in keeping with government-approved safety measures and that the plane was safe to fly.

Brazil's air force issued a statement saying investigators have not disclosed any information about the data recorder to outside sources, and that Veja's suggestion of pilot error is just one of many being studied.

The magazine said the incorrect throttle position caused the plane to speed down the runway at Congonhas airport three times faster than normal, and may have prompted the plane to veer off the runway's edge.

It also said the short runway played a role in the crash because the troubled jet did not have enough room to stop.

Silva last week replaced his top aviation official and vowed to improve the nation's air travel system.

Congonhas' main 6,362-foot runway was shut down for more than a week after the July 17 crash. It reopened Friday, but TAM -- Brazil's No 1. airline -- has since imposed new restrictions and says it will not use the airport when it is raining.

Protesters called on Brazilians to boycott commercial flights on Aug. 18, when they plan another demonstration at Congonhas.

Singing the national anthem with jets landing just hundreds of meters (yards) away, Maria Furquim raised her fist and waved a placard saying that Brazilian politicians have turned into murderers because their inaction led to the crash.

''We're just totally fed up with what this country is coming to,'' Furquim said. ''Brazil doesn't deserve it.''

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Old 30th Jul 2007, 02:21
  #672 (permalink)  
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But, if the Auto Thrust was disengaged, how the thrust in the right engine increased? The maximum it could have happend would be have the engine at the same thrust it was prior to the auto thrust disengagement. Or maybe you meant that the right engine accelerated between the time the ACFT touched down and the time the reverser thrust was selected in the left engine.ugh:
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 02:42
  #673 (permalink)  
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but IMO this could derive from a somewhat flawed Thrust control system in the A320
I have to say that you have seen only what you want to see in the long and detailed discussions here on the AB autothrust system and I was hoping your view would grow in the light of all the information provided by knowledgable participants/flight crews on both Boeings and Airbussi.

flyingnewbie10, there is no inherent "flaw" in the Airbus autothrottle system.

Permit me to state this a little differently:

- saying there is a flaw in the A320's autothrust system because the "autothrust system doesn't put the engine to idle thrust on touchdown" is exactly the same as saying there is a flaw in your car's gas pedal because it doesn't idle the engine when your foot is on it and you come up to a stop sign.

In a manual thrust-lever, manual landing, if you leave a thrust lever above idle thrust in a Boeing, that engine is going to stay to that setting. Same with the Airbus.

If the autothrust system is engaged on either a Boeing or an Airbus and the aircraft is being manually landed (very common situation), if the thrust levers are not pulled back to the IDLE position for touchdown and -in the Airbus, left in the CLB regime, and -in the Boeing, not disconnected, the engines will be commanded by the autoflight system to accelerate to maintain the approach bug speed. (On the Boeing I stand to be "fine-tuned" on this - it's been a while, but the general notion is, I believe, correct - tx ).

I have written in this thread that there is a caution to Airbus pilots that if the engine is started at the gate and the thrust lever is above IDLE, the engine will accelerate to the thrust lever setting. No autothrust system is going to bring the engine back to idle thrust. I suspect the same is true with the Boeing thrust levers, but someone on the Boeing can help me here with that information.

In an autoland, the Airbus autothrust system reduces engine thrust and in a "Thrust Lever Fault", the autothrust system will reduce the engine to idle thrust EVEN if the thrust lever is left in the CLB position. The lever is a thrust-"request", limited by the detent it is set in and is controlled by the autoflight/FMGC system. That stated, the airplane flies beautifully in manual thrust-lever, manual control flight.

I would like to know from a Boeing pilot if the thrust levers are moved by the autothrust system to IDLE on every landing whether it is an autoland or it is a manually-flown landing but with autothrust engaged - in other words, is the Boeing a/t system a full-time autothrust system that places the thrust levers to IDLE upon touchdown every time or will they stay in the last position they had if the pilot leaves them alone on touchdown if the autothrust is engaged for the approach, and then when the speed decays, will they move forward to maintain the bug speed? That happens on the 76' I know but I last flew a Boeing in 1991. Then, one always disconnected using the instinctive disconnect buttons but software changes - tx.

My impression from reading here and from discussing this with others is that the Boeing and Airbus systems behave in the same way in the same respective regimes described, except that the Boeing thrust levers move (reflecting the automation's 'thinking') and the Airbus thrust levers do not, (the automation's 'thinking' is reflected in the FMA and on the N1 guages).

Thanks - I hope this can be put to bed.

Last edited by PJ2; 30th Jul 2007 at 03:23.
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 02:48
  #674 (permalink)  
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So far it is just especulative stuff, but IMO this could derive from a somewhat flawed Thrust control system in the A320
You are quite right: How can any aircraft allow an engine to be put at high forward thrust while the other engine is in reverse, and with all this happening in a normal landing and touchdown ?
So we seem to have a classic man vs machine problem here. Who should win? the man or the machine?

So maybe you are saying that the machine should be given even more power in case the the man forgets to do something and ends up in violation of the rules of the interaction?

But then we have the other situation, where an engine fails catastrophically at Vr and sends an incorrect signal to the machine that the reverser has been selected, thus causing the remaining good engine to go to idle. OK, so my imagination is a little off. But the issue is who is in charge, the man or the machine saying "retard"?
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 03:19
  #675 (permalink)  
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Accident description
Date:22 MAR 1998
Type:Airbus A.320-214
Operator:Philippine Air Lines
C/n / msn:708
First flight:1997
Total airframe hrs:1224.0
Engines:2 CFMI CFM56-5B4
Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 124
Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 130
Ground casualties:
Fatalities: 3
Airplane damage:
Written off
Bacolod Airport (BCD) (Philippines)
Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Manila International Airport (MNL/RPLL), Philippines
Destination airport:Bacolod Airport (BCD/RPVB), Philippines
Flight PR 137 was a regular scheduled passenger flight and departed Manila for Bacolod at 18:40. The airplane departed with the thrust reverser of engine nr.1 inoperative.
At 19:20, PR137 called Bacolod Approach Control and reported passing FL260 and 55 DME to Bacolod . The crew then requested landing instructions and was instructed to descend to FL90 after passing Iloilo and descend to 3,000 ft for a VOR runway 04 approach. Wind was030 at 08 kts, altimeter 1014 mbs, transition level at FL60 and temperature at 28C .At 19:28, the flight requested to intercept the final approach to runway 04 and Approach Control replied 'PR 137 visual approach on final' . At 19:37, Bacolod Tower cleared the flight to land at runway 04 and the clearance was acknowledged by the pilot.
The approach was flown with the Autothrust system was engaged in SPEED mode. The thrust lever of engine no.1 was left in Climb detent. Upontouchdown the first officer called out 'no spoilers, no reverse, nodecel'. Engine no.2 was set to full reverse thrust after touchdown,but the engine no .1 thrust lever was not retarded to idle andremained in the climb power position. Consequently, the spoilers did
not deply.Because one engine was set to reverse, the autothrust system automatically disengaged. With the autothrust disengaged, nr.1 engine thrust increased to climb thrust. Due to the asymmetrical thrust condition, the A320 ran off the right side of the runway. At this speed, rudder and nosewheel steering are ineffective. Engine no.2 was moved out of reverse up to more than 70 percent N1 and the airplane swerved back onto the runway. The A320 continued past the runway end. The aircraft hit the airport perimeter fence and then jumped over a
small river. It continued to slice through a hallow block fence where it went through several clusters of shanties and trees. No fire ensued after the crash.
PROBABLE CAUSE: 'The probable cause of this accident was the inability of the pilot flying to assess properly the situational condition of the aircraft immediately upon touch down with No. 1 engine reverse inoperative, thereby causing an adverse flight condition of extreme differential power application during the landing roll resulting in runway excursion and finally an overshoot.
Contributory to this accident is the apparent lack of technical
systems knowledge and lack of appreciation of the disastrous effects of misinterpreting provisions and requirements of a Minimum Equipment
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 03:22
  #676 (permalink)  
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Very prety similar

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Old 30th Jul 2007, 04:20
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I am not against automation. On the contrary.

But it should be a clever one. Not a contradiction itself. Brings more danger than safety.
To use a phrase that seems appropos once in a while around here, Bollocks.

If you can tell me how many hours you've logged over the years in Boeing and Airbus fleet types, I may consider taking you seriously but frankly your posts convey no comprehension of either aircraft or of automated flight.
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 06:59
  #678 (permalink)  
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Forgot something:
The A320 really does something:
It prevents spoilers and autobrakes in such a situation, but doesnt put the offending engine at idle.
Are you really suggesting that on the runway, with a TL at Climb Power i.e. most of the way forward, the aircraft denies that to the pilot and puts the engine at idle

Qu: On a B, I believe there is a "mechnanical" interlock on the TLs themselves preventing Rev selection unless the TL is at idle? Does any Rev selection require ALL TLs to be idle, or just the one Rev is trying to be selected on (AB the latter)...?

I think we need to get away from stating the AB system as inherently flawed, since it gets people's backs up, and the system has done many thousands (millions?) of landings safely. If you understand the system (which as professional pilots we should) and operate it correctly (ditto) then there is no issue. There seems a somewhat strange / unpredicted HF issue over the handling / briefing of the TLs in a 1 Rev U/S scenario, and that potentially was being addressed, albeit maybe too late in this case. All types have their "gotchas" - see Helios 737, LH 747 @ NBO...
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 07:46
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in all Boeing Aircraft the autothrottle system moves the throttles to iddle at about 27ft RA, unless you disconected the system prior to it. If you disconect the system and don't move the throttles to idle they will keep the same thrust they were producing prior to landing.Most Boeing aicraft are flown with autothrottle on even when manually handling, except for the 737 that has a recomendation to disconect autothrottle when flying manually, although the throttles retard to iddle the same way if you keep the A/T system engaged.
Although I personally think the Airbus system should be designed in a way to prevent the autothrottle to be engaged after touchdown (Boeing disengages the system 2 sec after touchdown) I would understand if the engine had maintained its commanded thrust when the A/T was disengaged; but the problem is that the engine accelerated to maintain Vapp because the SPD mode remained engaged (this would never have happened in a Boeing).
As I said before, I don't fly airbus, but this is what was said in the extensive report and by some friends who fly the A320. Flying Boeing, I aknowledge we are talking about 2 different phylosofies and I'm passing what was said to me by airbus pilots and what I believe it is true once it reasonably explains a lot of things.
I don't want to enter in a discution about which aircraft is best, because I believe both have good qualities, but no one can deny Boeing is a simpler,thus more reliable aircraft.
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 07:56
  #680 (permalink)  
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you could select idle thrust in one engine while the other was above idle in a Boeing Aircraft, but what you would never see is one engine trying to maintain Vapp after touchdown.
However, in all Boeings larger than the 737, The autothrottle remains engaged up to touchdown, therefore, the Throttles are moved to idle at about 27Ft RA. The B737 has a recomendation to disconect the A/T when manually flying the approach.
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