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Air Canada A319 hits turbulence

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Air Canada A319 hits turbulence

Old 11th Jan 2008, 00:25
  #41 (permalink)  
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Computer failure in this case = systems switched off (automatic) as designed. Crew flying manual to keep ahead of the problem. Final result = professional crew handled the situation and landed at the next available airport just in case there were serious injuries. The only big deal is what the press is making of it!!!!!

And of course those injured are now released from hospital as they only had "soft tissue" injuries (bruises). And if they had kept their seat belts on they too would not have suffered any injury. Among those treated were two crew members who did not enjoy the luxury of keeping their seat belts on while providing cabin service.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 03:16
  #42 (permalink)  
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This below is a better reading than any forum discussion or "news reports"

Extract from the CADORS (Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System)

-"National report"
-"Reporting date: 2008/01/10" -->"Search"
-Scroll down to Record #14
(I tried a direct link but it didn't worked)

Cadors Number: 2008C0093 Reporting Region: Prairie & Northern
Narrative: ACA 190, an A319 with 88 people on board, was en route from Victoria to Toronto when the crew advised ATC of an aircraft upset that resulted in the aircraft doing a roll. The flight was in the vicinity of ONSET intersection (Washington state) about 65 NM southwest of Cranbrook when the crew informed Seattle Center that they were having difficulty controlling the aircraft. It is not known at this point if there was a flight management system problem or whether this event was related to turbulence. Vancouver ACC accepted control of the aircraft at 1450z. The crew declared an emergency, requested diversion to Calgary International Airport and requested medical assistance upon arrival. ACA 190 landed about 30 minutes later at 1529z and stopped on Runway 34 for visual inspection of the aircraft by airport emergency response personnel. The crew then taxied off the runway at 1533z. It was reported that there are some passengers with serious injuries. Medical assistance was on standby upon arrival. TSB Edmonton has sent two investigators to YYC.

Last edited by ehwatezedoing; 11th Jan 2008 at 03:30.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 04:16
  #43 (permalink)  
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Latest from CBC is that all injured pax released from hospital. Pax interviews suggest that the aircraft rolled about 60 deg left and then pulled negative g. Possibly there was additional rolling. Duration of event about 15 sec. Very unclear as to whether CAT or electronic problems initiated the event.

I'll be interested in the report.

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 05:33
  #44 (permalink)  
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White Knight - you beat me to it.

Look at the chart - moderate to severe CAT is nowhere near Alberta!! (Assuming this is the correct sigwx chart)
Having grown up in England and spent many years in Calgary, it always amuses me how little knowledge people in Europe have of the sheer size of Canada.

Saying that CAT over Ontario and Quebec affected this flight, is like saying CAT over Beirut affected a London to Paris flight.

For the benefit of the geographically challenged , I have annotated the turbulence map that GM posted. I see from ehwhatezedoing's post, that the flight was 65nm SW of Cranbrook, just south of the border in Washinton, when the incident occurred. This is just about the beginning of the higher mountains, which extend all the way to the Alberta-BC border, so if it was a CAT event, this is a likely area. This forecast was issued 8 hours after the event, but I couldn't find the previous forecast.

Just east of the BC border, the mountains stop abruptly, like this:

The Livingstone Range in the picture routinely generates lee waves up to at least 40,000' and you often have wave activity further west, which will be less organized than the front range waves and therefore probably more turbulent.

Note: It is not a coincidence that there are gliders in the picture (Cowley Airport).

The current data (14 hours later) shows strong westerly winds aloft and gusty surface winds from the west at Lethbridge, plus bars of cloud on the satellite images downwind of the Rockies all through Alberta and Montana, all of which point to wave activity. Can anyone find the METARs and Winds Aloft for Lethbridge and Cranbrook for 10 Jan 1200 - 1600Z?

And I've just noticed, what a suitable name for the intersection where the event occurred - ONSET.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 06:46
  #45 (permalink)  
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On the last long haul flight I took there were frequently at least 9 people queuing for the toilets (not the same toilet, I mean in total). Perhaps manufacturers should consider increasing the number or provide a safe means of queuing? Will be interesting to read the report on who was injured, where etc. I allways fasten belt while seated.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 08:09
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As a frequent flyer and industry insider, i am constantly amazed by the actions of some pax, from the moment the arrive at the terminal its as if the rules apply to every one but themselve's.

If it was not so B***dy dangerous it would be amusing!

Safety brief followed by CC taking to there seats and belting up = pax standing and rummageing in the overhead bin, whilst in selective hearing mode ie only recieving orders from the wife/hubby/partner.

Capt... we will shortly be starting our decent into....... followed by seat belt signs = que for the toilets.

My particular favorite was pax, yes more than one, standing up and retrieving duty free ect whilst still decelerating after touchdown.

The total disregard for there own personell safety yet alone anyone elses beggers belief.
I am not saying that was the case mentioned in this thread, but sometimes you wonder what goes throught the heads when travelling by aircraft.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 12:10
  #47 (permalink)  
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for this situation , landed at the next available airport just in case there were serious injuries, and the crew did that nice
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 12:20
  #48 (permalink)  
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An autopilot failure which would produce erratic roll as reported by passengers on this flight is extremely unlikely. It is more likely that the autopilot disengaged as a result of extreme attitude changes caused by turbulence. The autopilot on this type of aircraft will automatically disengage when the bank angle exceeds 45 degrees or the pitch attitude exceeds 25 degrees nose up or 13 degrees nose down.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 12:37
  #49 (permalink)  
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Great, so those passengers using overhead bins with seatbelt signs on and CAT, what happens when something fall out and injures someone who is actually taking heed of the Captain's recommendations?!
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 12:49
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I fly frequently also and always keep my seat belt loosely fastened
I suggest the term "loosely" fastened was coined by cabin crew when making the initial welcoming PA in order to play down the fact that turbulence can hurt you if you are not properly strapped in. They want to avoid scaring passengers with warnings of the inherent danger of flight. Severe turbulence against a loosely fastened seat belt can damage your internal organs due to the rebound effect not present with a firmly tightened seat belt.

Re "sudden" encounters with turbulence. if it happens in cloud it is sometimes caused by incorrect use of the airborne weather radar. The aircraft flies into the top of a storm cell unseen on radar simply because the crew were paying insufficient attention to the tilt or gain setting on their radar. I have observed crews reading a newspaper on the flight deck while at night in IMC and no one evaluating storm cells in the distance until a huge jolt throws unsuspecting occupants in the cabin off their feet. The captain expressed surprise at the sudden appearance of a storm by saying where did that bastard come from when blind Freddy ccould have seen the tilt control was way to high to pick up nearby storm tops. I always first suspect crew incompetency when someone gets hurt by "unexpected" turbulence.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 13:14
  #51 (permalink)  
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I believe the term they use is "comfortably fastened".

That seems like a pretty sensible thing to do. It's not as obstructive as a car seatbelt. Once you have it fastened, you pretty much forget it's there IMO.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 13:51
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RON "Can anyone in this forum suggest what might have caused them to manually land the plane; autopilot failure due to turbulence?"

While this may have been an autopilot failure, it may interest you to know that 9 out ot 10 landings are done manually all the time.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 19:45
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I think it is more like 99 out of 100 landings are flown manually.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 22:04
  #54 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up


Agreed, it was just a figure of speach. Nowadays people seem to think that everything is done on automatics and on automatics only.

For the uninformed:
As far as I know there is no commercial aircraft for which an automatic take off is even possible.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 22:25
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India Four Two
The predicted turbulence for around the time it happened was for moderate turbulence with some severe nearby.

You can see the stored chart at:


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Old 11th Jan 2008, 23:05
  #56 (permalink)  
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from the http://www.avcanada.caforum....

Hey Guys,

I was on AC 190 yesterday. I just wanted to say that from my point of view the crew did a awesome job. Two of the Three flight attendants were injured and continued to assist the passengers and prepare the cabin for landing. The Pilots kept us informed as to what happened and what we were doing. All I know is that we were in smooth air in cruise when the plane rolled abruptly to the left followed by a roll reversal to the right. There were then about 3 more roll reversal that were getting small in intensity. It seemed to me that after the first roll upset the crew was getting the Plane back under control. The first roll reversal was a very rapid movement. It was nothing that I have ever experienced before. It was a very violent disruption. As you can imagine anything that was not strapped down was airborne. I was lucky that my neither I nor my family was hurt. After the crew had the Plane back under control the Captain
made a PA and said that then had had a computer malfunction and that the problem had been isolated and that they were manually flying the Plane. The rest of the flight was smooth with a nice landing in YYC. I just wanted to say thank you to the crew for getting us on the ground safely.

Sean Atkinson
B757 FO
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Old 12th Jan 2008, 02:30
  #57 (permalink)  
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Reports say that the A-319 arrived in CYYC under "Direct Law".

The Internet give this definition of Direct Law....

Direct law is the lowest level of computer flight control and occurs with certain multiple failures.
Pilot control inputs are transmitted unmodified to the control surfaces, providing a direct relationship between sidestick and control surface.
Control sensitivity depends on airspeed and NO autotrimming is available.
An amber message USE MAN PITCH TRIM appears on the PFD.
If the flight controls degrade to Alternate Law, Direct Law automatically becomes active when the landing gear is extended if no autopilots are engaged. If an autopilot is engaged, the airplane will remain in Alternate Law until the autopilot is disconnected.
There are no protections provided in Direct Law, however overspeed and stall aural warnings are provided.
The PFD airspeed scale remains the same as in Alternate Law.

In my humble opinion...it seems as if there is more information pointing to a massive comuter glitch over any turbulence issue? Why are the other 100's of trans canadian flight not also reporting some degree of turbulence??

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Old 12th Jan 2008, 03:57
  #58 (permalink)  
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407 Driver...! I gotta go and peruse an international forum not even including helicopters to find you and your ever welcomed opinions.! Nice "seeing" you again (aka Zazu) . Back on topic though...Good job on the crew regardless of the circumstances. Hope all works out well with the Pax that were injured. Anyone who has done any amount of flying, whether pilot or Pax,will have realized that sometimes your bodily functions do not time properly with the present functions of the machine involved!!! Have patience. Given the present Times I'm sure someone will be found to blame...as always.

Fly safe all
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Old 12th Jan 2008, 10:26
  #59 (permalink)  
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Could it be that because of the turbulence (let us assume it was turbulence at this point in time) that the aircraft switched from normal law (I guess) to
abnormal law (abnormal alternate law) which more or less means manual flying.

As for the captain announcing to the pax about "computer failure" - is this an easy way of explaing Airbus control logic to pax?

E145 driver moving to A32x...
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Old 12th Jan 2008, 11:34
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Hi everyone, my opinion is that a computer failure with this results is highly unlikely but not impossible.

Has anyone consider reading FCOM I 1.27.30 Page 7 ABNORMAL ATTITUDE LAWS?

Not many A32O pilots know in wich configuration they will end up after recovering from this abnormal attitude, this is:

In Pitch: Alternate law without protections with autotrim
In Roll: Ful authority direct law with yaw alternate law

There is no reversion to direct law when the gear is extended

During the abnormal attitude itself the laws are slightly different to the mentioned above.

I am not saying this is what happened but is certainly a scenario not many people are familiar with.
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