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TACA aircraft crashed in Honduras

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TACA aircraft crashed in Honduras

Old 3rd Jun 2008, 21:06
  #101 (permalink)  
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Ok, lets remember some numbers.

I going to take the first 20 years of service of the B737-100/200 and the B727-200.

The B737-100/200 suffered 39 hull losses in 20 years. From the 1968 to 1988, 4 of the were hijacks, 2 in flight bombings, 1 attacked on the ground.

B727-200 suffered 23 hull losses in 20 years, from 1970 to 1990.

This two models are 2º generation aircraft. The B727-200 has almost the same rate of the A320.

To compare with a 3º generation aircraft, I going to pick the B737-300/400/500

It suffered 15 hull losses from 1985 to 2005, now a rate lower than the A320, and this plane is one generation older.

I can also take the B757 but better not to compare.

And if I pick a 4º generation aircraft like B737NG to match the A320, the result is 3 hull loss in ten years. The A320 doubled that number in the same service period.

A study of the Gale Group in the year 2000, said:

Fatal accidents by 1 million departures.

A320.................... 0,53
All B737(except NG).0,58

Almost the same rate of older aircraft. What a technology breakthrough!

Another 4º Generation like 717 has 0 hull losses.

Airbus investement in marketing is paying it´s results, everybody feels unable to say something bad about the aircraft, but sorry, I dont get it.
This plane is not better that some models of the 60s. In some ways, to go to places like Toncontin is worst.
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Old 3rd Jun 2008, 22:05
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I am not convinced that generic statistics are relevant in accident investigation, analysis results probably are.

If there is a repetitive problem with the A320, the accident analysis should show it, and the issue will then be how Airbus responds.
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Old 3rd Jun 2008, 23:05
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I have to agree with Daikilo.

Another thing to bear in mind is where the aircraft fly. There is sure to be a correlation between the country where the aircraft are maintained, where their pilots are trained, and the quality of the airfields the planes fly from.

In the '70s, the vast majority of 737s were likely flying in first-world countries. A fair fraction of the rest of the world was flying russian-built aircraft. As other nations have developed somewhat and the USSR disintigrated, we're seeing a lot more jets flying in less developed countries. So you can't simply compare total stats across 40 years - it's an apples to oranges comparison.

You might be able to compare stats for the same time period, but you'd only get a reasonable comparison if you normalized for other factors. For example, you might get a vaguely fair comparison if you compare aircraft flying for US-based airlines, because they will be flying more similar routes and have more similar maintenance procedures.

- Fzz
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Old 3rd Jun 2008, 23:33
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Thanks for the info kwick; are there any comments on runway grooving?

OutOfRunWay, re autobrake “it wouldn’t have made any difference if had been a bus or a boeing”.
I agree, but in you ‘criticism’ of pilot behaviour (pilots should notice these things #96) you may wish to consider the many aspects of human factors and for example, how a pilot’s perception might be effected by daily use of autobrake, particularly those systems which demand deceleration level.

First consider operations without autobrake. With experience pilots develop a relationship between deceleration and brake pedal foot force; this is modulated depending on runway length, surface condition, landing weight, etc. On long dry runways minimal braking is required, but with increasing wetness/contamination and/or reduced runway length more braking is required, requiring higher foot forces.
From this relationship a pilot develops a sense of how the landing deceleration is progressing (judgment); if the deceleration is not as expected more braking is applied; the pilot might conclude that the runway has less friction than expected. In extreme (erroneous) situations maximum braking and full reverse can be used to salvage a deteriorating situation.

With autobrake, pilots might not acquire (or refresh) their sense of braking as there is no relationship between foot force and the applied braking.
When autobrake is used in conjunction with reverse the pilot is further ‘detached’ from the aircraft. It is not possible to determine which of the retarding devices is providing the braking effort. In normal use on a dry or minimally wet runway, the autobrake may only provide a small component of the required deceleration, reverse contributes the larger amount. The sum of decelerations meets the required (selected) autobrake deceleration level. This is described in the first ref link.
Problems can occur with reducing runway friction. The autobrake provides a greater proportion of the braking so that in a limiting case the brakes and reverse only just meet the required level of deceleration. If an inappropriately low autobrake setting is used, a pilot might not detect the limiting situation until it is too late for any corrective action to be effective (max brake / full reverse). Pilots might perceive this condition as a failure in a retarding system, but actually the autobrake is working as set by the crew.

Similarly for an unexpected tailwind or a wet ‘contaminated’ runway (deep water, no grooves or rubber deposits, where the pilot misjudges it as only ‘wet’), the limiting retardation is quickly achieved and there is a significant risk of an overrun.
The ability of the pilot to detect the limiting deceleration requires exposure to such situations (experience); this must be supported by guidance materials (SOPs training), and an appropriate decision when the runway situation is assessed as marginal.

Pilots who only use autobrake require an in-depth understanding of autobrake operation and its interaction with reverse (know – what), and greater exposure to a range of deceleration situations to aid their judgement in the approach and landing decision (know – how).
However, these pilots may not get opportunity to gain experience in limiting situations, particularly as in normal operations we strive to avoid them. Thus the provision and use of guidance and procedures in limiting situations is of heightened importance. This in turn involves situation awareness/judgment training (operator responsibility) and supporting activities from airports and regulators.

Manual Brakes, foot force demands deceleration – feed back
– Dry runway: Reversers are additive
– Slippery runway: Reversers are additive
Autobrake, little or no foot force feedback
– Dry runway: Reversers NOT additive
– Slippery runway: Reversers may be additive

Study the Boeing diagrams carefully; many place deceleration level on the x axis, which should not be confused with landing distance – deceleration is ‘more’ or ‘less’ stopping capability. Flight Ops - 'Landing on Slippery Runways'.

Also see the links in post # 23.

Avoiding an overrun: what should be trained?

An unrelated video, but useful for training.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 00:19
  #105 (permalink)  
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Apparently a small history lesson is in order. Please recall the following accidents:
  • B737 goes off end of runway on landing in Burbank, CA after the crew continued a very unstable aproach and ended up in a gas station. While no one was seriously injured, the potential was very high.
  • B737 crashes into the sea on departure out of Sharm el Sheik, Egypt. All on board lost due to an apparent loss of control by the Captain.
  • B737 goes off end of runway at Chicago Midway, striking a car and killing a young child. Crew attempted landing on a contaminated runway with very marginal performance available. Captain was distracted because it was his first use of autobrakes, and reverse was selected very late.
Now can anyone recall any discussions on this or other forums, where Airbus proponents made accusations against the B737 technology, or making bold statements suggesting that this would never have happened in an Airbus? I certainly don't recall any such points being made. Maybe some people are better at realizing that bad things can happen to anyone than others ...

Obviously there is much yet to be learned as to the cause of the accident at Tegucigalpa. But based on the internet videos showing the challenge of flying a visual approach there, Tegucigalpa is (or at least should be) a fair weather airport only when it comes to large jet operations. Assuming that the indications about the landing conditions are correct, then it's highly likely that this accident could have happened to anyone flying any aircraft type. IMHO, believing that bad weather ops can be carried out successfully at Tegucigalpa is more normalization of deviance that, like so many times before, has led to an unnecessary loss of life.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 01:03
  #106 (permalink)  
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Having flown the B727 and B757 into TGU since 1995 I have never needed the last 1,000 feet of runway 02 in over 500 landings. None of the approaches were marginal where I felt any concern of the outcome. In the last 10 years only two airliners have had a problem. Both were Airbuses, one about 9 years ago that slid off the runway into a ditch cocked 150 degrees to the left in a ditch at the very end before the cliff and the latest one. The other US carrier that flies in there is a B737 with no incidents. I am very sorry to see that no larger airliners will be allowed into TGU because of this crash. I believe the first one was a Taca A310. It will be interesting to see what automation had to do with this one. TGU was my favorite airport and am sorry it may be just a part of aviation history.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 01:29
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Originally Posted by Dream Land
I feel in complete control with my hand guarding the joystick and red button as you feel with your yoke, how do I know what the control inputs are, by years of experience.
Dream Land, surely you would not know the 'control inputs,' since your sidestick would not move; you would only notice the effect of those inputs (e.g. in the case of the Hamburg A320 wingstrike incident, the aircraft starting to bank the wrong way, downwind?).

Secondly, you wouldn't know how much input the pupil had made until the aeroplane reached the full commanded bank, you'd be guessing; there'd be a distinct risk that you'd over-correct or under-correct?

Thirdly, to override the other sidestick, you'd have to press your 'red button' and keep it pressed for up to 40 seconds and make damn sure that the pupil didn't panic and press his/her red button and cause 'dual input'?

If all that's correct surely just seeing the yoke move the wrong way, grabbing it, and calling "I have control!" would be a lot simpler and quicker - not to say safer? Especially in a situation as urgent as the Hamburg one?

If I've got any of that wrong, please correct me. I got it from Eric Parkes' A320 Training Notes. Here's the (sorry, quite long and complicated) section he includes on the subject of sidesticks:-

"No feedback (feel) is given. Sidestick is spring loaded to neutral.

System algebraically sums the signals from both sticks if both are operated at the same time (dual input). However, the total input is no more than the max input from a single stick.

A red Takeover pb in the sidestick (also serving as autopilot disconnect) allows one pilot to override the other or to disable a damaged sidestick. If priority is taken an audio “PRIORITY LEFT (or RIGHT)” is sounded.

A red arrow light will illuminate in front of the pilot who has been deactivated when one pilot has taken priority over the other. A green CAPT or F/O light will illuminate in front of the pilot with priority if the other sidestick is out of neutral.

Last pilot to press Takeover pb has priority.

Pressing Takeover pb for 40 secs. will latch the priority condition (pilot does not have to continue to press Takeover pb). However, a deactivated sidestick can be reactivated by momentarily pressing the Takeover pb on either sidestick.

Green CAPT and F/O sidestick priority lights will flash during dual input and an audio “DUAL INPUT” will be sounded.

The Takeover pb and dual input warning system are commonly misunderstood. A green light in front of you means dual input or you have just taken priority in a dual input situation and a red arrow means your sidestick has been deactivated. These are two different things. Dual input is almost always unintentional and unwanted. The takeover priority may be something that needs to be done if a sidestick has gone bad or some other problem has occurred. However, if YOUR sidestick is bad the OTHER pilot must latch it out with their Takeover pb."

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Old 4th Jun 2008, 02:03
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Thanks for verifying that. I have wondered how you could know what the other control input was if you couldn't see it easily like yoke movement. I have had FO's blame all of their unstable approaches on turbulence but can see with peripheral vision what the real problem is, PIO.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 02:23
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FBY implementation

I think that as in the B777 (FBY) also Airbus should have (not necessarily mechanic) link between the two Joysticks controls as well a stick shaker (like in my son Xbox control) when dual asymetric imput is apply above a certain force.

Last edited by ZAGORFLY; 4th Jun 2008 at 02:40.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 02:45
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After Sao Paulo it will be interesting to see if there are any common automation difficulties like ground spoilers not activating and no auto brakes. Both reversers were operative on this landing but did they function? They shouldn't have needed reversers to stop but surely needed ground spoilers. I landed a 757 once and one reverser would not operate but still didn't need the last 1,000 feet. Wet runways reduce landing weight some but has never been a big problem. I have landed right before hurricanes and have been cleared to land on 02 but requested 20 because of a wet runway and preferring an upsloap runway with 600 ft extra runway with no wind advantage either way. 02 would have worked too but 20 was safer. I hope to hear from my friend in TGU to get the latest info.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 02:45
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I'll tread carefully and not mention anything that might upset those with EADS shares.Dont want to get censored again....
The usual suspects are here ..the wet and the tailwind.. but maybe we as pilots arent focusing on the real killer...namely the reluctance of the pilot to perform a go-around from the deck(and some would say theres a general reluctance to perform any kind of GA).Why is that?Is it fair to say that a majority of pilots associate the GA maneuver with being airborne in the first place?In the sim we see 99% of them that way..so it becomes part of our mindset,once on the deck,we're committed.
But the runway GA is a perfectly valid and safe maneuver and should be trained more.Generally,the shorter the runway,the quicker those hands are to reach for the reversers...which is a natural reaction but also a shame as it narrrows the window for the runway GA option as well as jumps the gun before spoilers are confirmed...suppose the rwy report was way off and you started aquaplaning,you wouldnt get spoilers but youve already pulled the reversers,very dicey..
Some pilots will take it round again if they land on the wrong main gear first and only get flt spoilers instead of both flt and gnd..its that tight a decision...you pull the reversers when you're sure that everything is AOK and not until..ie you got the right touchdown point,and you've got the green light on all your spoilers..rev thrust makes a lot of noise but only contributes 10-20% to your stopping capabilities..why the hurry.When the time is right,by all means go for full GA rev thrust.

Please dont dodge CONF iture's question.Its too important.

Strong Resolve,
I totally agree with you that they put the cart before the horse..machine before man..but they wont admit to that now will they twenty years on?Also I strongly support your view that the crash in Bahrain was "facilitated" by the Airbus design..not caused by it,just facilitated by it.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 03:10
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Originally Posted by Rananim
Generally,the shorter the runway,the quicker those hands are to reach for the reversers...which is a natural reaction but also a shame as it narrrows the window for the runway GA option as well as jumps the gun before spoilers are confirmed...
Good point - in the Congonhas crash the FDR/CVR clearly showed that reverse thrust was activated before the FO called 'no spoilers'....

Possibly 'instant reverse' is even more likely in the A320, with its 'one-piece' throttle levers? I recall seeing a video of a (very good) A320 landing on a short runway (the Azores, I think) where the captain pulled the levers back to the 'Idle' detent after the 'Retard' call, kept his hand on them as he flared and touched down, and then slammed them into reverse the moment the nosewheel was down.

PS - Doing the guy an injustice, found the video again and he DID wait for the spoilers call.....

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Old 4th Jun 2008, 04:35
  #113 (permalink)  
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Taca 390 landing


Is thrust reverse deployed at first frame?
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 04:52
  #114 (permalink)  
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Dream Land, surely you would not know the 'control inputs,' since your sidestick would not move; you would only notice the effect of those inputs (e.g. in the case of the Hamburg A320 wingstrike incident, the aircraft starting to bank the wrong way, downwind?).
IMO this incident is a failure of the PIC to make a safe decision, and effects as you put it is all I need to monitor to be on top of the situation safely.

A lot of people putting emphasis on the control inputs, I'm afraid this point isn't compromising flight safety in my opinion, when the aircraft is close to the ground, my focus of attention is simply the trajectory of the aircraft, I am fully following on the rudders for the simple reason that I am fully responsible for the outcome of the landing. I simply don't agree that the technology limits my ability for monitoring pilots, I haven't seen it.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 06:21
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We Boeing guys with a questionable FO would not want to be restricted to just rudder input feel to see what the other is doing in a wild approach. Taking an aircraft in an attempt to save a disaster is a lot easier if you saw the last input that put that aircraft in that situation and how much input was used. My flight instructor instinct would get me through fixing a Boeing upset, don't know about fixing a situation that up to my taking over have no clue what his last inputs were.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 06:49
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Doing some research, I found that by the end of this March the Toncontin runway repairs were finished by the airport authority, including a brand new layer of asphalt. It also included an additional of 300 feet of runway, but they were unable to get more lenght because of lack of government funding to buy the land from the owners.

While searching for that info, I read a statement made today by some engineer, saying that the runway repair personnel did not clean oil that is used while placing the asphalt layer, something as an emulsifier. Also read in another newspaper that the runway had to be vapor cleaned after the asphalt application, which they did not do.

I would not like to comment if the runway had grooves or not before I can confirm, but you know ...............
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 06:51
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We Boeing pilots don't have to delay reversing for a ground spoilers call because we have a handle that the PNF verifies or pulls so ground spoilers don't go through computer logic. We can reverse at touchdown. It is a nice safety feature.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 07:05
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If anybody wants to watch my retirement flight at TGU in 03 go to www.flightlevel350.com and enter mhtg. My flight is the second one with the 757 cockpit view done by one of my check airmen friends. It looks wild but after a few landings there it is routine.
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 07:39
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SUBJECT: TACA INTL AIRLINES FLIGHT TA0390 accident in Toncontin Int'l airport of

AIRBUS regrets to confirm that an A320 aircraft operated by TACA International Airlines was
involved in an accident during landing at Tegucigalpa Toncontin Intl airport, Honduras at 09:45
am local time on May 30th 2008.
The aircraft was operating a scheduled flight TA0390 from El Salvador to Tegucigalpa.
The aircraft involved in the accident, registration number EI-TAF, bearing msn 1374, was
delivered to TACA International Airlines from the production line in January 2001 and had logged
around 21900 flight hours and 10000 flight cycles. It was powered by IAE V2500 engines.
According to available information, there were 129 passengers on board and 6 crew members.
Initial reports indicate several injuries and 3 fatalities on-board.
In line with ICAO Annex 13 International convention, the Authorities of El Salvador will lead the
investigation assisted by Accredited Representatives from the French BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et
d'Analyses) as State of aircraft manufacturer and from the US NTSB as State of engine
manufacturer. A go-team of 5 Airbus Technical Advisors has been dispatched to Tegucigalpa to
assist the Authorities.
Further update will be provided as soon as valuable information becomes available.
Airbus expresses its sympathy to the families and relatives affected by this event.
Yannick Malinge
Vice-president Flight Safety
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Old 4th Jun 2008, 09:27
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i'm not a pilot , but look, well done on that landing and congratulations on the end of an obviously good job. Like the PNF said : "only thing comes close is a porn star !
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