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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

Old 13th Apr 2009, 08:27
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Fatigue does not exist in todays commercial aviation (at least that's what the mangers and regulators say. So they bear no responsibility if you screw-up redeyed, but you will get convicted)

Fatigue only starts at the moment you drive home (because if you injure someone upon leaving the companies car park, the police will tell you you were simply too tired to drive, and you will get convicted).
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 11:05
  #402 (permalink)  
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The NRT crew had started the evening before in the Philippines, hub-turned through Guangzhao and then up to Narita. No idea how long they had been in the asian time zones, but probably not more than a day or two. So yes, they were probably hanging in the straps that morning...

No other details yet. The Japanese are running the investigation, and the police are involved (as usual there). I'll post what becomes public.
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 21:39
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FedEx reduces fleet size

Associated Press has just announced that FedEx is going to trim 14 aircraft -- 10 A310s and 4 MD10s -- by May 31 . The MD11 was not mentioned by AP.

www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/04/13/business/AP-FedEx-Fleet-Reduction.html

Given some of the comments here over the past few weeks, can this be interpreted as a vote of confidence from the carrier for the MD-11?
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 11:36
  #404 (permalink)  
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After a duty like that, fatigue does not play a part. After a long duty, fatigue does not play a part, either. Red herring.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 11:43
  #405 (permalink)  
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After a duty like that, fatigue does not play a part. After a long duty, fatigue does not play a part, either. Red herring.
- that is rubbish!

Anyone involved in avaition should know that you are talking about tiredness - fatigue is different and often arises through cumulative duties and time zone messing. You are, however, possibly correct in what you say regarding fatigue on THAT duty alone, but there are many other issues that decide fatigue. None of us here know the work/rest pattern of the crew prior to the crash - or do you?
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 12:51
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BOAC, I hope Rainboe's post was just a poor attempt to be ironic.
As the Japanese Police are investigating and I am sure they will be pointed towards this site and the comments expressed therein ,I believe that any supposition as to the alertness and wakefulness of the crew.could be prejudicial.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 13:25
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Do they Japanese have an independent aviation safety organisation? or is it the police departments jurisdiction? If the latter, i fear the report, if ever released will be somewhat tainted, given the Japanese preference of arresting people (ie over Turbulence springs to mind).
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 14:05
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Do they Japanese have an independent aviation safety organisation? or is it the police departments jurisdiction? If the latter, i fear the report, if ever released will be somewhat tainted, given the Japanese preference of arresting people (ie over Turbulence springs to mind).
Japanese track record has been good. I would suggest discarding any rumors of tainted investigations. Just expect thouroughness.

Perhaps a comment from a local would add some credibility here.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 15:03
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This is what a DAC Test pilot says about the MD-11

What happened here (in Narita) is the same as what happened in Hong Kong (to a China Airlines MD-11) and Newark NJ (to another FedEx MD-11) some years ago. The hard landings, which resulted in ALL cases from failure of the aircraft to respond appropriately to pilot control inputs, resulted in rupture of the wing spar by the main gear oleo strut, breaking the wing; the lift from the wing not yet broken then caused the aircraft to roll, and turn upside down. In the case this morning, both wings broke - first the left, and then as the roll angle reached about 80 LWD, the right wing also broke. this can be seen clearly on the video presented on the BBC News website.

The failure of the aircraft to respond appropriately to pilot control inputs is the result of certification of the aircraft despite the omission of a vital part of the aircraft flight control system: namely the rate command function of the LSAS system. This omission leads, under certain circumstances, to what can be described as a "cliff-like" APC* as a result of the extremely slow response of the airplane to elevator control inputs at high gross landing weights. Despite protestations by the Douglas Aircraft Co. that the aircraft flies "just like a DC-10" (which are blatant untruths) the airplane is inherently dangerous and extremely difficult to handle in gusty wind conditions, especially at high landing weights.

I have had many discussions with FedEx ( and Delta) pilots and instructors about the MD-11, and have invariably heard horror stories about landings. I feel a great sense of sadness for the families of the airmen who were victims of this tragedy, and I know that sadness will turn into anger when once again the NTSB/Boeing clique start to insist that this was all caused by pilot error.

I am once again reminded of a statement by the chief investigator of the Hong Kong MD-11 accident, Mr. Robert Benzon, who, in the presence of several Boeing engineers, the Asst. VP of flight safety at China Airlines, and myself, said: "...sometimes we have to burn a couple of pilots to protect the local industry..." Not this time, Mr. B.

"cliff-like" APC

Airplane-Pilot-Coupling - the phenomenon used to be called PIO, but the name was changed so to avoid the implication of pilot causality.

A more complete description of this aircraft design/response problem can be found in Aviation Safety and Pilot Control published by the National Research Council. ISBN-10: 0309056888
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 15:22
  #410 (permalink)  
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The MD11. What's she really like?

What do you MD11 jockeys out there say about the Test Pilot's comments?

It certainly sounds and reads (having never flown an MD11 but having read this thread from beginning to end) that this aircraft was a compromise and it appears to have been left with some nasty handling traits and constraints, particularly in certain landing configurations and conditions.

Is the plane dangerous in certain landing situations?
 
Old 14th Apr 2009, 17:05
  #411 (permalink)  
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Guys, I've flown MD-11's for two carriers, in both seats, including the accident carrier.

I cannot / will not post anything regarding this accident other than what has been disclosed publicly by the company.

But the video speaks for itself. Show me the PIO......
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 17:47
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You dont agree the airplane is unstable in the landing environment?

The respective traits are much different in the DC-10 vs the MD-11.The common type rating on the MD-10 and MD-11 is a joke evidenced by the numerous tail strikes and incidents from the the carrier you mention you fly for. They are very different flying airplanes especially in the conditions that were present in Narita.

The technology exists to install on board load sensors to detect and record high landing loads. I find it hard to believe that the landing gears failed just from the damage incurred during the landing accident. I think it was progressive cracks from previous hard landings. No pilot wants to report a hard landing and they pass the airplane on to the next guy who ends upside down on a runway.. Since the same small stabilizer will remain and other landing damage will reoccur in future incidents, it is imperative to monitor the loads from each landing and take appropriate maintenance action.

This is not a slam on the pilots..........it is on the plane from someone who was on the certification Flight Test Team and is a SETP member.


Cheers
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 17:54
  #413 (permalink)  
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Huck;

Obviously "the PIO" cannot be shown because we don't have any data, nor is "demonstrating that it was PIO", the issue. Nobody can make that judgement from the video. The issue is, the MD11 has a demonstrated propensity for this kind of accident. Why?

I fully realize there are a lot of factors in deriving a set of truth-statements regarding this history. I realize that there exists a lot of economic and political interests which desire that their versions prevail, and most important as a flight crew member (now retired), the matter has a substantial human element for which I have greatest empathy.

The suggested reading on the notion of "APC" is at least interesting but it is a discussion of "APC", not a discussion of the MD11 specifically. I've downloaded the book, Aviation Safety and Pilot Control: Understanding and Preventing Unfavorable Pilot-Vehicle Interactions (1997) in pdf format, (takes about a minute on high-speed).
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 18:43
  #414 (permalink)  
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Basics

A simple explanation, perhaps too simple, but the MG struts attach under the Main Wing Spar, unlike newer types that separate the two by a Pillow Box. The 777 accident at LHR showed a better outcome at more than fail loads on the Gear. Up through the upper Wing skin, instead of severing the Wing Spar. There may be no connection whatever, but McD has built many types of a/c designed for the Carrier. Is there an Industrial memory at play in the design of this type?
 
Old 14th Apr 2009, 19:07
  #415 (permalink)  
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You dont agree the airplane is unstable in the landing environment?
I do not.

I don't think anyone does, since the software changes were implemented.

Not a SETP member here, but I am (or once was) a SFTE member. I know a PIO when I see one.

And that's all I better say for now. We'll chew the fat when the report comes out.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 19:45
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Has anyone in all of this speculation considered the effect of the first nose gear touchdown on the crew? I would think after getting your cage rattled as hard as that, it would take several seconds to get your wits about you (assuming they were not injured).

Although I am no pilot, I am a SLF with over 1 million FF miles. I spent many hours as a passenger on MD-11's with AA, Delta, Alitalia, Air Lingus and others. It provided me with some of the smoothest flights I have ever been on, and some of the roughest landings. One flight in particular was an Air Lingus flight into JFK just 3 days after the loss of Swiss Air 111 up in Peggys Cove. (our flight was Air Lingus Flt 111. Weird ) In any case, I have never been on an aircraft where so there were so many throttle changes and pitch adjustments in the last minute of flight. Even before we landed, I commented to my co-worker that the pilot really seemed to be fighting. It was a very windy day, and it was the hardest landing I have ever experienced. We bounced hard, and the second touchdown was almost as hard as the first, with the nose coming down very hard. Overhead bins opened in a number of locations. At the time I wondered how the crew was affected by the touchdown, because it certainly rattled my teeth in the first class cabin. I had no ideas there were concerns about the MD-11 at that time, but after that flight I avoided it if I could.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 19:57
  #417 (permalink)  
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That the NG remained in place after those two impacts is both testimonial and message. The distance from the camera is deceptive, that is a very large a/c moving 1/3 its length in Nose up/down in what appears to be one second. I can't calculate the acceleration due to that bounce. To say the crew had their wind knocked out and their bell rung is to put it mildly. It is the equivalent I'd say of a free fall from at least a three story height, generally fatal unless cushioned, (they were seated). The 737 in Schipol experienced a similar nose impact, and the crew all died. I think after the initial bounce, they were incapacitated.
 
Old 14th Apr 2009, 20:40
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I guess I have a hard time believing that we as crew can on a normal day, find ourselves in a situation between Nose gear and main contact where we can create an incapacitation.

maybe I don't want to believe it so,

I am sure that should we touch down, pull hard, shove the power up, then dive back it can happen,

But the Fedex accident is not so,
we have all watched the video, this was crew reacting, not acting. The airplane bounced from the mains, to the nose, and back to the mains., then broke up and rolled. They did nothing from what we see to actually induce this situation.

I am pretty sure that the crew was unfortunately fully aware of what was happening, right through the roll, I would think that they succumbed to smoke, as the cockpit appears pretty intact.
I guess the report will confirm, but I don't think the FDR, CVR can determine at what point they were no longer aware of what was happening.
It is an amazing and really tragic outcome.
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Old 15th Apr 2009, 02:13
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I believe the left wheel had collapsed making it rollin upside down.
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Old 15th Apr 2009, 04:24
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am assuming the rollover in these MD11 landing accidents is because the airspeed at touchdown is on the high side and the wing still attached is still flying/providing lift. Gear collapse/ wing failure alone would not roll a plane with an intact wing/engine/some fuel on the other side.
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