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HF A310 accident report @ Vienna out now

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HF A310 accident report @ Vienna out now

Old 9th Aug 2007, 13:04
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HF A310 accident report @ Vienna out now

a looong wait of 7 years is over...

http://versa.bmvit.gv.at/uploads/med...li_2000_01.pdf

unfortunately time was not long enough for a translation into english
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Old 9th Aug 2007, 13:28
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It's dated 08 Dec 2004......
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Old 9th Aug 2007, 14:14
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today I called the head of the austrian accident investigation. Shortly before we´re finished he told me the report ist "just out in this moment"... what a coincidence !

He also stated most of the delays were due to gave other parties time to comment and 2ndly labs in other nations consumed "more time than planned" finding out about specific technical aspects.

However, it is exciting to read.
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Old 9th Aug 2007, 15:04
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My German language skills are zero and therefore the main contents of the report are lost on me and no doubt the vast majority of pilots worldwide. However, reading the comments from Airbus, it seems that the crew were trying to wriggle out of their incompetence by blaming some of the technology and wording in some of the FCOM's and manuals.

Whilst Airbus have covered their backsides (rightfully so) by pointing out that the FMC does not give an accurate fuel prediction when flying with landing gear extended, even though the bit about not being accurate for vertical profiles is a bit confusing, how come the most basic aspects of airmanship were disregarded by this crew? Apparently they were even discussing "phantom fuel" at a stage of the flight when they still had plenty of en-route alternates they could have diverted into!

I don't think there is one experienced Airbus or Boeing pilot out there that doesn't understand the fact that flying with an appendage extended into the breeze will cause increased drag and the associated increase in fuel consumption. Then again, I'm wrong as the crew of the accident flight have proved! As far as I'm aware, we are all taught to ignore the fuel predictions on the FMC for abnormal flight conditions, particularly so when landing gear or flaps are not fully retracted. It is usually drummed home at an early stage of training is it not?

I will wait another seven years for the translation to prove to me that the investigators have tried to pass some of the blame for the gross incompetence of this crew onto the equipment manufacturers and the fact that, despite the bleedin' obvious, they couldn't figure out that they were not going to make it to their destination with their company minimum reserves of fuel. To ignore basic cues such as almost twice the normal fuel consumption and fuel remaining over waypoints shows that you aren't going to make it to your planned destination, never mind the basic airmanship of "we only loaded enough fuel assuming normal flight parameters but now we have the landing gear extended but we'll carry on anyway... duh!", shows gross incompetence.

How can anone justify seven years to release a report where the crew are alive, uninjured and the aircraft and all its monitoring and recording systems survived intact? At least we can take some comfort that there is probaby very little to be learnt from this accident apart from the fact that anyone can screw up big time if they are poorly trained, lazy in thinking and have an arrogance that defies logic!
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Old 9th Aug 2007, 16:17
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mumbo jumbo, after reading your post, I have no need to read the translation. Thank you.
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Old 9th Aug 2007, 17:26
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Has the art of a 'how-goze-it' chart been lost for ever?
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Old 9th Aug 2007, 17:40
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Oh dear, now you'll get all the hotshots telling you that a computer is the modern way, works wonderfully and never, ever fails, so back to the slippers, grandpa.

We wrinklies (well me, anyway) must realise that the fact that the chart wins on every operational and HF criterion, ie access speed, simplicity, ease of use, accuracy and so on does not overcome its fatal flaw.

It's a piece of paper and not a screen.
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 02:43
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Yes there is a hint of blame assigned to the the function of the FMS in the Austrian accident report. However, the last paragraph states:

" As audio and visual warnings on the flight deck indicated the low fuel status to the crew, the aircraft was abeam Zagreb where a safe diversion landing was available. In spite of all indications, the captain made a decision to fly for a further 30 minutes to Vienna instead."
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 03:27
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The Austrian Accident Investigation Board assigns the probable cause as:
Continuation of flight with landing gear extended until engine failure due to fuel exhaustion.
- Non compliance of maintaining regulatory fuel reserves; contributing are human factors due to extreme workload and stress, resulting in loss of situational awareness.
- Over reliance on FMS fuel predictions which precluded data of flight with gear down.
- Failure to entertain alternative strategies in low fuel state.
- Ignoring "Fuel Low Level" warning and bypassing Zagreb Airport
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 09:34
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Question from a PPL holder and flightsimmer for an FMS expert:

I understand that the FMS assumes a clean aircraft, however if on the fuel progress page the calculation was based on 'FF+FQ' ie fuel flow and fuel quantity, and the fuel flow was double its normal value because of the extended gear, why did the FMS not calculate the remaining fuel correctly?
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 10:15
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I see your your point, a simple whiz wheel could have performed the computation, more factors must be involved, could it be due to the incorrect performance factor associated with the configuration, not sure myself.
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 13:21
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<<why did the FMS not calculate the remaining fuel correctly?>>

Although the FMS will not have the correct performance figures, it will always give a reliable indication of fuel at destination based on what it was told was there at the beginning of the flight and how much has been going through the fuel flowmeters during the flight - which I guess must have been 0 or less ( does it do minus figures?) for quite some time
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 15:46
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So if I understand it correctly, they took off in Khania with 17t of fuel, couldn't retract the gear but continued anyway, the FMS showed not enough fuel to reach Hannover so they replanned Munich which was ok with a reserve of 3t, the FMS knew about the increased fuel flow but mislead the crew about remaining fuel at destination? Strange system!
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 16:31
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What would have happened is that on re-planning MUC it might well show 3T. That figure would then reduce as the fuel was burnt above expected. As I said, the back of a gas bill envelope would have shown them they would run out
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 16:49
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So if I understand it correctly, they took off in Khania with 17t of fuel, couldn't retract the gear but continued anyway, the FMS showed not enough fuel to reach Hannover so they replanned Munich which was ok with a reserve of 3t, the FMS knew about the increased fuel flow but mislead the crew about remaining fuel at destination? Strange system!

What would have happened is that on re-planning MUC it might well show 3T. That figure would then reduce as the fuel was burnt above expected. As I said, the back of a gas bill envelope would have shown them they would run out

The ONLY strange thing here is when we do not want to understand the system.

Ofcourse it might have showed CORRECTLY 3 tons or whatever at early stage of flight, BUT for that part of the flight WIND dir/speed.
that must have changed after passing Zagreb. Especially if the crew did not enter every stage of the flight wind dir/speed, in the FMS, given the situation.
 
Old 10th Aug 2007, 16:50
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I'm just speculating here on why FMS didn't use fuel flow data:
Just suppose that it always use such instantaneous data. Then during takeoff, climb-out, acceleration, and level change climbs, it would show that you can't make it to your destination. Somewhat distracting.
Instead it probably assumes that any abnormalities are temporary, that the gear will be retracted any time now, the climb will stop as per entered profile, etc.
It's not strange, rather logical.
Am I far off? We need a real expert.
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 17:46
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I'm somewhat amazed.... having read the report.

I know reasonably well what mileage my car does in town and on the motorway. Never mind the exact figures.

At 10 ltrs/100km a 50 litre tank will take me about 500 km before running dry.
The "fuel remaining" indicator on a car is never all that accurate, but when it says 1/2 it means I roughly have 25 ltr= 250 km left.
I tend to look at the odometer. When that goes much over 300km I pull in and fill up.

Now for the first time I'm towing a caravan (the equivalent of flying gear down). Suddenly, at about 300km, the "fuel remaining" indication is much less than the just under 1/2 I'd expect.

"Motorway service area ahead" (ZGR). "Next service area at 80 km".
Do I sit fiddling with a calculator (FMS) to figure if I can make it to the next service area? Hell no.
Do I pull in to the service area coming up and fill up and have a think? Hell yes.

Situational awareness is not only 3D. It's also 4D.... knowing where you are going... in this case into the service area rather than onto the hard shoulder with an empty tank.

Sorry to present a simple analogy, rather than a 60 page translation.
Oh, and to take that one step further, they could still have taken a motorway exit (GRZ) and found a local garage.
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 20:59
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I thought that Airbus tweaked the software after the Air Transat glider incident to flag warnings if consumption was more than it could explain? Or was that just for leaks, and engines working harder than expected take an amount of fuel that is considered acceptable based on control settings?

It sounds like they could do with another tweak to at least display that at current fuel consumption rate (averaged over five minutes, perhaps), the target number of miles won't be reached. It shouldn't actually be that hard for it to flag standard reasons why, such as climb, headwind, excess bits hanging out causing drag, etc, as I'm sure the FMC normally knows all this.
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 21:17
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Can anyone at T-Fly copy Colin Budenburgs' "I fly Purple Lines to Blue circles" letter onto here? Would make a useful addition to the thread.

I was in the Sim with a certain Eastender who was saying that he was gonna fail some random bloody FO on a line check one day if he couldn't tell him which country they were flying over!
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 22:07
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I was in the Sim with a certain Eastender who was saying that he was gonna fail some random bloody FO on a line check one day if he couldn't tell him which country they were flying over!
Most Yanks would fail that one Running for cover
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