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Air France A330-200 missing

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Air France A330-200 missing

Old 2nd Jun 2009, 09:15
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I am not a "fly by wire" man.

What I find disturbing is I have heard from informed sources is this.

"If the computers are knocked out by e.g., a voltage surge or spike, the crew are unable to control the aircraft."

The Titanic? Hmmm... Hasn't it been stated by ABI's the A380 is "uncrashable"? Maybe they might take this opportunity to amend that statement, that reeks of arrogance, a little.
What happens if the mechaincal linkages in a non FBW plane fails? or the control column...
It's similar situation, the things that control the hydraulics can get knocked out either way, however, I would agree there is probably a greater chance that something will go wrong with a complicated computer and electronics than a relatively simple mechanical system....

With the reasons for the crash/disappearance I certainly do not know enough to come up with a solid ideas on what happened... I think that the parties involved are holding alot back from the public...

BTW, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole point in the 406MHz ELTs to allow rescuers to find them easier... Did it not work or something?
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 09:16
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http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25576862-5005961,00.html

DEBRIS floating on the Atlantic Ocean in the area where a missing Air France passenger jet is suspected of crashing has been sighted by crew on a French freighter, Brazilian media has reported.

The sighting by the crew on the Douce France is said to be in the same area off the coast of Senegal where a Brazil TAM airline pilot spotted what was thought to be a burning piece of wreackage.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 09:28
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a detailed meteorological analysis

See Air France 447 - AFR447 - A detailed meteorological analysis - Satellite and weather data
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 09:36
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Ladies and Gentlemen, when an Airbus 330 suffers a total electrical failure, flight is still possible through the use of backup. The horizontal stabilizer can be used to sustain flight in the vertical plane until electrics can be restored. The rudder on this particular aircraft would be electrical and therefore control in the horizontal plane can be achieved through the use of asymmetric power. But this is difficult to perform in the best of conditions and if the aircraft entered into a descending roll, a spin could be inevitable and would be unrecoverable unless electrics would be restored.

But let us look at what takes place if a severe lightning strike were to have taken place. There could have been a short circuit of the buses and hence the engine driven generators would drop off line. If the short exist on the buses even the likely hood of restoring power through the APU generator is unlikely.

In this situation, the emergency generator should now come on line and will more than likely be powered by the engine driven pumps and not the RAT. The RAT will only power the emergency generator if there is an unlikely combination of engine failure/failures and short circuiting. This situation is so unlikely that the summary section for the Electrical Emergency configuration does not take into account that the Emergency generator is powered by the RAT and hence that summary can only be used if the emergency generator is being powered by the engine driven pumps.

Now having said all of that is it really likely that the emergency generator could not come online? Did the engine driven pumps fail to get the emergency generator online, and if so, is it likely then that the RAT failied to power the emergency generator after the engine driven pumps could not do its job? Well the answer to this is yes it could happen and this would be indicated by looking up on the overhead panel and seeing a red light next to the SYS for the emergency generator. But highly unlikely I say.

But let us say then that the emergency generator does not come online, there are 2 batteries that can supply minimum power to some of the flight instruments for 25 to probably 30 minutes but the CPC's will not be powered and hence the aircraft will now depressurize.

Did these pilots try and perform some sort of emergency descent with an aircraft which may have had MAN PITCH TRIM ONLY, ie an aircraft that was in backup? If this was the case then the aircraft could have gone into a roll and hence a spin that would have been unrecoverable.

But I believe that one thing is for sure and that is this aircraft had two working engines but with a flight control problem.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 09:40
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This is an interesting analysis, Aviator 38.

Excerpt:

" It appears AF447 crossed through three key thunderstorm clusters: a small one around 0151Z, a new rapidly growing one at about 0159Z, and finally a large multicell convective system (MCS) around 0205-0216Z. Temperature trends suggested that the entire system was at peak intensity, developing rapidly around 2300-0100Z and finally dissipating around dawn. From a turbulence perspective, these cold spots would be the areas of highest concern as they signal the location of an active updraft producing new cloud material in the upper troposphere. "

Cheers
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:06
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Severe icing is possible in CB weather down to -50 C
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:10
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Byalphaindia.
You and I know that it is the duty of aircraft manufacturers, airline operations staff and pilots to deal with even the most extreme weather conditions. Of course we would never blame the weather itself !
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:10
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The A330 doesn't have a compass that could depolarize. Only the stby (whiskey-) compass, maybe.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:11
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Air France CEO mourns crash of flight AF447 with international passengers onboard

>> Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said Air France flight AF447 had reported “the failure of several onboard computer systems” after flying through an area of “extreme turbulence” prior to air traffic controllers loosing contact with it.

I wonder how many of those were flight control related. Mech backup in "extreme turbulence" with everything that entails is not a situation I'd ever want to be in.

ECAM Actions.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:23
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Whilst I will not speculate on what may have happened, I hope that this event will expedite the worldwide coverage of Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS) , especially in Oceanic areas where VHF radio and normal radar is non existent. This would greatly assist the search and rescue operations, especially if there are survivors involved.

Whilst it is unbelievable in this day and age that a modern aircraft like the A330 would disappear whilst airborne, it is more unbelievable that the last exact position of the aircraft is not known. All of us aviators should push for the worldwide coverage of remote areas with ADS and other satellite based monitoring.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:27
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In this type of crash (from what we know so far) I think the FDR would be of limited use.
I strongly disagree. Straight away the FDR will tell you what G-loads were experienced and at what frequency. This will indicate to investigators the likelihood of turbulence as a major factor.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsr
...thank god accident investigators start their sad tasks without preconceptions...
Since. Bloody. When???

That has got to be one of the most naive posts I've seen on here.
Exactly. They might start without preconceptions, but not without hypotheses - just like the hypotheses presented here. They will then test these hypotheses using the scientific method, until they find one (or maybe more than one) consistent with the facts.

Thus has science and engineering been carried out since the days of the enlightenment.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:33
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thapr2,

I strongly suspect the TAM pilot will be interviewed by the investigators. So that will come out.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:35
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New information provided by sources within Air France suggests, that the ACARS messages of system failures started to arrive at 02:10Z indicating, that the autopilot had disengaged and the fly by wire system had changed to alternate law. Between 02:11Z and 02:13Z a flurry of messages regarding ADIRU and ISIS faults arrived, at 02:13Z PRIM 1 and SEC 1 faults were indicated, at 02:14Z the last message received was an advisory regarding cabin vertical speed. That sequence of messages could not be independently verified.
If the aircraft had been flipped onto its back, Alternate Law, ADIRU and ISIS failures would make some sense. Then the crew find themselves in a monster CB, at night with no flight instruments, so they loose control, aircraft breaks up, hence loss of pressurisation?
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:36
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Straight away the FDR will tell you what G-loads were experienced and at what frequency. This will indicate to investigators the likelihood of turbulence as a major factor.
That is correct. However the angle I am coming from is whythe a/c was in this precarious situation in the first place. (And this is why I don't want to speculate).

But, you do not magically find yourself in the middle of a storm. And if you do, you would have worked out that your a/c would still be within limits. So I am looking at one of the the possibility that there may have been a prior weakness in the structure - whether this be an inherent weakness or something like a crack that has occurred during operations.

So yes, the FDR will tells us the conditions at the time, but if an important piece of fuselage/wing is not found, then we may never know what failed.

This is just one of the many things going through my mind. And I didn't really want to say this much as any speculation causes discussions and it may not even be right.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:37
  #456 (permalink)  
 
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Informative posts only - AF A330 loss

I read somewhere that Air France 447's wing touched an A320 rudder in a taxi incident prior to departure. The A320's rudder was severely damaged, but AF447's A330 wingtip was not. AF447 departed, and is now missing.

First things first: Did the taxi incident occur?

Answers to big problems or issues are often simple. Here is one possibility: AF447's wing was weakened if not visibly damaged; the airplane suffered stresses during flight via flight in turbulence; the damaged, stressed wing broke off; the airplane plummeted into the sea.

What supports this?

1. Alleged taxi incident involving A320 and AF447.
2. Alleged time delay of four minutes from altitude to impact.
3. No calls from the pilots.
4. Sudden spurt of messages sent to base: multiple system failures.
5. Item 3. and 4. indicate an inflight breakup.
6. Airplanes don't fall out of the sky for no reason.

I don't want to hijack a thread by creating a new one. However, it is my hope the above can be expanded on by professional aircraft engineers and even, God forbid, pilots.

The 117 pages of uninformed drivel on "the other thead" has turned it into a complete farce. Nothing good can come of continuing with it.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:38
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Oh they will find the position of the boxes I am sure, as they give off a sonar signal for up to 30 days, IIRC.

Whether they can get to them or not is another matter.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:42
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Debris Sighted

RIO DE JANEIRO - BRAZILIAN media outlets are reporting that debris from the missing Air France passenger jet has been sighted floating on the Atlantic Ocean by the crew of a French freighter.
The Douce France is reported to be in the same area off the coast of Senegal where a Brazil TAM airline pilot was also reported to have seen a burning piece of wreckage
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:43
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Poison, re flight controls on the A330

Having flown the A340 for several years - the 340 has exactly the same flight controls as the A330 - I have to tell you that your statement:

The rudder on this particular aircraft would be electrical and therefore control in the horizontal plane can be achieved through the use of asymmetric power.

is incorrect.
Normally the rudder is electrically controlled, but may - in case of all flight control computers fail for whatever reason - be mechanically controlled (via cables from rudder pedals to hydraulic actuators).

In other words, it is possible to control the aircraft in the horisontal plane by rudder, so no reason for using asymmetrical thrust!

Last edited by grebllaw123d; 2nd Jun 2009 at 11:04.
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Old 2nd Jun 2009, 10:43
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Is there a possibility that a 'Blue jet' (atmospheric lightning) could have struck the aircraft causing associated damage to airframe/electronics? Has there been any incidents of this kind of phenomenon affecting aircraft before or ineed any research?
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