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Spanair accident at Madrid

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Spanair accident at Madrid

Old 26th Aug 2008, 08:41
  #921 (permalink)  
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BelArgUS Thats the best appraisal I've read so far .Thank you.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 09:30
  #922 (permalink)  
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This morning El Mundo informs that the investigators told they have an initial idea since they discovered that at least one of the reversers was not locked. So one may have been open.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 09:31
  #923 (permalink)  
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Thrust reverser

Spanish media reports say investigators on a preliminary assessment found no apparent evidence of explosion or fire on either engine. Instead, they seem to be directing their attention to the thrust reversers, as it seems that at least one reverser had been deployed.

Maybe someone better at Spanish than me can expand on that.

Last edited by txl; 26th Aug 2008 at 09:33. Reason: typo
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 09:32
  #924 (permalink)  
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ATW Daily News

ATW Daily News today includes this article which tends to corroborate some of the speculation already posted on this forum.

ATW Daily News

Spanair crash investigation focuses on engine thrust, flaps
Tuesday August 26, 2008
Spanish investigators are focusing on whether the Spanair MD-82 that crashed last week had reached adequate speed for takeoff and whether its flaps operated properly.

The MD-82 ascended only briefly from the Madrid Barajas runway and, while initial speculation regarding an engine fire has faded (ATWOnline, Aug. 25), investigators are examining whether there was a lack of necessary engine power as the aircraft attempted to take off. El Pais reported that an airport video of the failed takeoff and crash being studied by investigators reveals that the plane lifted off about 500 m. farther down the runway than it should have, indicating that it did not have adequate thrust when it reached the spot normally designated for takeoff.

After lifting off, it almost immediately banked to the right and then crashed back down onto the runway. Investigators reportedly are trying to determine if there was a problem with the flaps that prevented a level ascent.

As the death toll reached 154 over the weekend with the death of one more passenger, one of only 18 survivors addressed reporters and said the aircraft seemed to be going "very slowly" as it moved down the runway. Just after lifting off "it made a turn, as if the wing dropped abruptly," she said. "We were still very low, very close to the ground."

As Spanish media continued to speculate over whether Spanair's financial problems led to a falloff in maintenance oversight, Spanish Civil Aviation Director General Manuel Batista came to the carrier's defense. Speaking at a press conference in Madrid, he said the airline had a strong safety record and has passed all inspections of its maintenance program conducted by the government this year. "We have not detected any problem that affects safety or a link with cost-cutting policies," he said.

by Aaron Karp

Last edited by pietenpohl; 26th Aug 2008 at 09:43.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 09:42
  #925 (permalink)  
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CAL B737 Very, Very Long Takeoff Roll / MD80 Stall Recovery

One of the recent threads where timing V-speeds has been discussed was that of a China Airlines 737, which took all of the runway, and then a bit, and only just got airborne: Cracked CAL 737 only just gets airborne

What made that one even more confusing was that it was an empty test/transfer flight after significant structural repairs.

Probably not of direct relevance here, since indications are that they did not use up excess runway.


Stall recovery?

The consensus seems to be that the stall recovery procedure calls for "Max thrust, flaps 15°"

However, in the (admittedly not very recent) FM that I have seen it says for stall recovery at low altitudes merely to call and set "MAX THROTTLES", which means firewalling the throttles to the forward stop, and levelling the wings if in a turn. It specifically mentions that:

Originally Posted by MD80 Flight Manual, Rev. 12/01/00 #29
Less altitude is lost and the recovery is simplified by not changing flap position.
I'm just curious about the flaps setting, and when or if, and why the procedure might have changed.

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Old 26th Aug 2008, 10:04
  #926 (permalink)  
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Just my thoughts,

Wouldn't a partially deployed or recycling thrust reverser (on one side only) explain the extra 500 meters of runway used before lifting off? If that is a plausible scenario, why was there no reverser light or warning indication on the flight deck? Apparently the crew had no notion of anything wrong with the aircraft during the take-off roll.

And could the "bang" heard by some survivors have been the reverser extending to fully deployed position just after lift-off?

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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:00
  #927 (permalink)  
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The supposed CVR data showed on Argentina TV is just a FAKE, nothing real. Not reliable at all. This info is now confirmed.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:11
  #928 (permalink)  
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ZQA297/30 a big bow and thank you
Finally a post that puts some value back to the reading of tons of crap on this supposed "Professional Pilot" site.

It proves once more that no checklist nor warning system will protect you to no end...

I applaud and share with your
habit of fairly gentle rotation when plenty of runway was available
It is a good (and comfy for pax) way of letting the lift and energy built up. Many a MTOW what is the wind doing or not too sure if wings clean TO will benefit from this technique. Unfortunately there are still many pilots yanking the craft in the element iso of the gentle pull necessary to aviate...

live 2 fly 2 live
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:15
  #929 (permalink)  
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In the 1978 Cranbrook B-737 accident, the accident report mentioned as one of the causes that the uncommanded reverser deployment caused the throttle to come back to idle so quickly it broke the thumb of the pilot with his hands on the throttle at the time -- the distraction from the resulting pain was cited as a contributing factor.

So if an uncommanded reverser deployment before coming back to ground happened on this flight, how hard would the throttle come back on this different type?

We are looking at possibilities of insufficient thrust combined with insufficient flaps/slats, and/or reverser deployment. Ockham's Razor of course argues against fancy combinations, but transport accidents are usually a result of lining up holes in the cheese.

Next question: How many pilots have tried out a flapless takeoff in the sim? I know the Viscount would never lift off, but that's all I can contribute.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:32
  #930 (permalink)  
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The earlier debate about the value of having the runways and general airport area monitored by cameras was deflected by news that the investigators were studying video of the crash. Can anyone enlighten us whether what we are talking about is:

a) amateur or plane spotter video,
b) CCTV cameras designed for passenger or road traffic surveillance that “caught” the crash by accident, or
c) Cameras installed by the airport specifically to monitor take-offs and landings for safety or flight operations performance that we haven't yet been told about.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:32
  #931 (permalink)  
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Ockham's Razor...I don't think ockham flew a jet...finding an easy answer doesn't mean its the right answer.

gentle rotations...I would like to think that long ago we learned that a gentle rotation is vital...especially with icing conditions.

someone mentioned the CVR transcript is now a phony...if so, will someone please verify!

as to thrust reverser deployment, the engine should go to idle, you attempt to stow and if unable you shut down the engine...BUT DURING EVERY EMERGENCY, YOU FLY THE PLANE FIRST.

I noticed that someone was talking about a "takeoff stall" recovery and said the call was "MAX THRUST"...we say "FIREWALL POWER" and or FIREWALL THRUST...SELECTING FLAPS 15...but if you already have flaps 15, that is just a confirmation . There is a difference between max and firewall in our lexicon.

It would seem to me that if the CVR was recovered an initial playback should have recorded a stall warning, or a fire bell. And if neither were present, we have something really odd.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:38
  #932 (permalink)  
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"How many pilots have tried out a flapless takeoff in the sim?"

And I would like to add the same question concerning uncommanded reverse.

My experience on the sim on this (corporate jet, though) is restricted to a deployment on ground, well before V1. Even knowing what´s going to happen, it´s quite a task. I could imagine that they would have had a hard time if the reverse popped open during or shortly after rotation.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:50
  #933 (permalink)  
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the first time in the sim for this type, without any briefing, the thrust reverser deployed just after takeoff. our sim instructor said, without looking at any checklist, what makes sense to try to fix this?

so we tried to stow the reverser...unable
and then we cut the fuel to the engine

and then we flew around the pattern and landed like we would on one engine, because we were now on one engine.

Remember a thrust reverser does not reverse 100 percent of thrust...perhaps 60 percent at max thrust is reversed...and at idle, its not too bad.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:51
  #934 (permalink)  
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It's in Spanish, but I found a forum thread from a person that saw the accident from ground:

Foros de AviationCorner.net - Testigo en directo de accidente de MD Spanair

"Lo 1º quiero expresar mis condolencias a todos los familiares de la tripulación como del pasaje. Descansen en paz.
Estaba en rampa de la T-4s, eran aproximadamente las 14:25, vi como despegaban un md de Spanair y me llamo la atención que utilizó mucha distancia para despegar casi igual que la que utilizan los A-340.
Levantó casi a el final de pista y se ladeaba hacia la izquierda luego se giró hacia derechas y el ala tocó el suelo, a continuación el avión se arrastró 500m se metio en una arboleda y explotó provocando una bola dem fuego grandisíma.
En ese mismo momento me temblaban las piernas por lo que habia visto, no daba credito, fue espeluznante el pensar que el avión estaria repleto de pasaje.
Espero que mis ojos no vuelvan a ver una cosa semejante.
Siento asco por lo que esta saliendo en los periodicos, no logro como pueden publicar que un piloto puede volar si su avión no esta enb condiciones; poniendose peligro su vida y la todo el pasaje.
Estos comentarios envenenan a los familiares de las victimas.
Soy nuevo en la web y lamento que mi primer comentario sea por una castrofe en un aeropuerto español.
Un saludo a todos.

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Old 26th Aug 2008, 12:16
  #935 (permalink)  
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And if neither were present, we have something really odd.
Like a pulled C/B you mean?
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 12:39
  #936 (permalink)  
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I haven't done a flapless TO in the SIM, but did do a few deployed reversers. The first being in my initial. Let me tell you. Close to the ground it is hell to get out of. You will get an uncommanded yaw like you have never seen. It is almost to the point of saying that this scenario is one instance where priorities change. Memory items, aviate, navigate .
It is imperative to remedy that situation. 100% thrust on one side and -60% on the other absolutely kills you. However an unlocked reverser that close to the ground should have been seen by the investigators on the video. If the engine does not surge you will see two huge shiny slabs on one side and in many cases soot shooting from the reverser buckets upwards and downwards. I think the reverser was a last ditch attempt to stop the plane...........ASAP.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 13:56
  #937 (permalink)  
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Eyewitness accounts of the aircraft's excessive takeoff run and difficulty getting airborne are easily explained and its not power.
-aircraft was heavy
-hot high airport
-improved climb speed-take less flap to improve climb grad-reduced thrust/flex and improved climb shouldnt go together btw-

Now thats for a normal situation,an aircraft that is properly configured.It will use more of the runway to achieve a higher V2 speed and better climb gradient.But once it reaches Vr,it will rotate and lift off at 6-8 deg body angle(MD-80) and climb away normally.For an aircraft that has no flaps/slats extended,it will rotate until 11 degreees body angle,struggle into the air,and if the stall recovery procedure is not flown,it will stall on leaving ground effect.On this aircraft,the stick pusher/autoslats would not have been active because the slats were retracted.Also,it is quite possible that a flex takeoff was performed although this is naughty.Some operators deliberately use opt flap to improve engine life(actually youre supposed to use it when you're climb limited)..ie..take very low flap,still reduce thrust by about 20% and end up having ridiculously high Vr and unnecesssary RTO risks.It should be done with full TO thrust.

Could some Mad Dog pilot please be kind enough to say what signs you might get when this bird is stuck in air mode whilst on the ground?Anything you can think of like parking brake/antiskid/autobrake anomalies..so far the reports indicate that the pilots mentioned only this probe heater to the engineer which sevenstrokeroll has already confirmed is heated whilst airborne but not on ground.They would have armed the autobrake in the T.O position as part of pre-flight.If the aircraft was in the air mode,presumably a disarm light would have alerted them and this may have been mentioned to the engineer as well.

Last edited by Rananim; 26th Aug 2008 at 14:07.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 14:03
  #938 (permalink)  
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Translation of Spanish post above (to the best of my ability):

First I would like to express my condolences to all the families of the crew and pasengers. Rest in peace.

I was in ramp of the T-4s, at approximately 14:25, I saw how a Spanair MD took off and it caught my attention that it used a long distance to take off, almost equal to what the A-340 uses.

It lifted off almost at the end of the runway and was rolling to the left when it turned to the right and the wing touched the ground, after which the aeroplane dragged itself 500m, hit a grove of trees and exploded in a huge ball of flame.

At that moment my legs shook over what I had seen,(no daba credito) ,the thought that the plane was full of passengers was horrifying. I hope that my eyes never see anything like it again.

I feel disgusted about what is appearing in the newspapers - how can they publish that a pilot could fly if his plane was not in condition? putting his life and that of all the passengers in danger.

These comments embitter the families of the victims.

I am new in the web and i am sorry that my first comment is about a catastrophe at a Spanish airport.

My salutations to everyone.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 14:22
  #939 (permalink)  
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I think the MD80 is one of the planes with the most amount of differering options out there. There's EFIS, non-EFIS, autobrakes or not, FMC's or not, switch locations on the overhead, TOW options etc etc. I have flown 4 MD-82's and one MD-83. 2 82's were the sisterships. One had a higher TO weight of 67.8 tons, but the units were in pounds. None had GPS-FMC's. The 4th -82 has the same TO weight of 67.8, but weights in kilo's and some switch positions wre different. The MD-83 is a HGW version which at one time was supposed to be delivered to the US military if memory serves me correct. Than planned didn't go through and there are a few out there. The have a TO weight of 72.6 tons and a MLW of 68.0 tons. That's 9 tons of extran landing weight than an -82. 5tons more than a normal -83.

The reason I say is that this plane may not have had an autobrake system. On the MD-82, the most prominent item being the RAT probe. It is the most obvious. Other than that, the cabin blower fans under the front cabin floor will stop operating. But only a lot of experience and a relaxed keen ear can detect that. If it was night time, you can also see the strobe lights flashing away on the wing tips. Other than that even though there's quite a list of inputs few may be aparent to crews. Remember also that the ground shift system abviously has a mechanical part and hydraulic part. It may be that for example that the landing gear anti retract knob which should retract when airborne, or the rudder controlled nosewheel steering which should be disconnected if the plane is in air mode, do operate as it should because electrecally the plane would thinks it's in the air, but mechanically (because the nose strut is still compressed) it is in gournd mode. I think these two systems are affected mechanically.

EDIT: If the taxi out checklist was carried out you would also have noticed that when carrying out the flight control check, the SPOILER DEPLOYED caution light fails to illuminate. In the check you verify that the light illuminates to confirm if your flight controls behave as they should. So if the checklist was carried out they should have noticed it.

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Old 26th Aug 2008, 14:23
  #940 (permalink)  
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there is a button near the gear handle that is sticking out about an inch...press it and you override the ground shift mechanism and you can retract the gear on the ground

thinking it was in the air, this button would be flush with the instrument panel.

xantham above is quite right...we just don't know the exact configuration of this plane. indeed, former TWA ships had switches moving opposite direction to american airlines ships.

the RAT thing is really weird, you just don't see EPR settings that WRONG unless the plane is heating the RAT...and the only way it heats the RAT is when it thinks its airborne.

Now that the CVR thing is a phony, I stand by my theory
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