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Air France A330-200 missing

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Air France A330-200 missing

Old 3rd Jun 2009, 07:34
  #641 (permalink)  
 
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My only comment would be that the forecast is to be taken as a rough guide of only what to expect. It is far from accurate, and really only an indication of where there may be a few bumps and a bit of weather dodging. The scale of it, and the fact that it is only a forecast makes it of only little to moderate use.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 07:37
  #642 (permalink)  
 
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RWA,

QANTAS group A330s (both -200 and -300) are equipped with Litton ADIRUs.

The other option available to customers is Honeywell.

So, can an Air France pilot/engineer tell us which ADIRU manufacturer they use?
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 07:39
  #643 (permalink)  
 
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The fixed ones in the a/c, do they activate on contact with water or only due to a high impact force? E.g., if an aircraft broke up mid-air does that mean the ELT would not activate?
I believe they only operate with high impact force (the manufacturer's notes don't mention water activation... only "crash situation"). I don't have any values for the g forces required, but I'd imagine they would need a respectable jolt to operate them (certainly higher than bumps sustained during aircraft ground handling). The sensor may be oriented in a particular plane/axis, so a mid-air breakup may not trigger it.

The ELT transmitter unit is mounted to the stringers on the upper fuselage and a short coaxial cable runs to the external antenna. The ELT has an internal battery pack.

Someone mentioned EK aircraft having a manual switch in the flight deck.
Yes, there is a guarded switch on the cockpit overhead panel for both activating the ELT and cancelling a triggered ELT. You can't disable the unit with this switch, only reset it if it has been triggered. You may see this switch in cockpit photographs. The switch can either have a black plastic guard or a red/orange flap to keep it (the switch) in the armed position.

Rgds.
NSEU
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 07:47
  #644 (permalink)  
 
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Does a generator off line interuption cause the AP to disengage or change it's "law mode" in an Airbus? In the boeing it does and at an unopportune time ie flying into servere turbulance at night while on limited or load shedded power could increase the chances of inadvetant loss of control then A/C overload. A 737 was lost recently due to an unrecovered upset.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 07:51
  #645 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NARVAL View Post
.../...the A330 is a beautiful aircraft but it has shown, again and again , very susceptible to probes icing, with the deicing system on auto (numerous reports). This leads to very rapidly presenting the crew with a very lame aircraft to say the least.../...
External sensors iced. => AP disengaged, alternate law with reduced securities, and so on.... (in a very disturbed environment, at night, over the sea, no visual references). Stall !
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:10
  #646 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks NSEU, it helps explain the lack of signal, I guess I expected even with an in-flight breakup that *some* sort of signal would have been receieved. (Not saying this is the case with AF, just generally speaking)

There's so many theories/hypothesis going around at the moment, but I did question one pilot stating in a blog that turbulence on its own could cause an accident... I thought that while one factor may contribute more than another, that it takes two or more factors (the holes in the cheese if you will) to result in something such as we have seen here...? So that would mean while turbulence may contribute to difficulty or damage there would have to be something else (system failure, human factor/control issues or stress) for it to result in a crash. Correct?
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:16
  #647 (permalink)  
 
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Where are prim1 and sec 1 located? Close to each other?
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:20
  #648 (permalink)  
 
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Unlikely but not to be ruled out:

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/tea...es/Cassidy.pdf

A close shave, plane almost hit by "meteor" - Ajarn Forum - Living and Teaching In Thailand
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:28
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I believe they only operate with high impact force (the manufacturer's notes don't mention water activation... only "crash situation"). I don't have any values for the g forces required, but I'd imagine they would need a respectable jolt to operate them (certainly higher than bumps sustained during aircraft ground handling). The sensor may be oriented in a particular plane/axis, so a mid-air breakup may not trigger it.
The ELT used in our aircraft must sense a 5g force in any direction (spherical sensitivity) for a sustained duration of 11 milliseconds.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:41
  #650 (permalink)  
 
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There are numerous flights leaving Brasil for Europe at this time of the evening. AF have a B744 flying GIG-GRU-CDG, not sure if this would take the same routing as an ETOPS twinjet though.

Other reports have mentioned a Lufthansa aircraft flying a similar northerly track from GRU-FRA that evening and not experiencing any sig wx problems.

I flew back on Saturday evening GIG-LHR on a BA B772, we experienced the usual light-moderate chop for a good few hours from the north east of Brasil, up over FLZ continuring 2hrs north of the Equator on a similar northbound routing. We took significant wx deviation just north of 0 deg before returning back to track.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:48
  #651 (permalink)  
 
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Just a point. I'm a Boeing pilot and I'm not familiar with Airbus systems.

In the case of an electrical failure, there should be a systematic shut down of systems-ie non essential items first. Would ACARS fall into the bracket of a non essential item? Would the fact that it kept transmitting faults until a final catastrophic conclusion to the events(as indicated by the cabin v/s message) indicate a random shutdown of systems in a progressively deteriorating situation? Also there has been a suggestion that the on board mobile phone system continued to operate.

To me there is only one thing that could cause a shutdown that would leave non essential items operating while essential items such as the ADIRU's and ISIS shut down and that would be a fire in the avionics bay knocking out essential systems in an erratic manner and not shutting down non essientials first.

Whether the fire was caused by a lightning strike is another matter.

For the record I spent the evening yesterday with the family of a beautiful girl lost in this tragedy and am merely trying to better understand events.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:49
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Le Figaro (Paris) on the recovery mission.

"An Awacs radar aircraft is going to carry out a 'mapping' [cartographie] of the débris to try and determine the scene of the accident and thereby make possible the recovery of the black boxes. This mapping will be completed by a Falcon 50 which will take off from Natal, in Brazil, and by a fresh Atlantique 2 flight....

"The Pourquoi pas is en route to the area. Equipped with two robot submarines--a Nautilus mini-submarine and a research robot capable of operating in depths up to 6,000 metres--this Ifremer [French maritime research institute] vessel is eight days' sailing distance from the area. Its mission is to try to find and recover the Airbus' black boxes, whose signals will be transmitted for no more than thirty days. They can be recovered from depths of up to 4,000 metres in the Atlantic. 'A needle in a haystack,' as one expert summed it up on Tuesday. In the race against the clock to find these black boxes, the French military too has committed additional resources to the operation. Two Breguet Atlantic 2 'submarine-hunter' aircraft equipped with radar and long-range infrared scanners, as well as a Falcon 50 designed to detect pirates and drug-runners and an Awac radar aircraft will provide aerial coverage."
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:57
  #653 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by farjer
Is the A320 series so unrelated from the A330 that this is irrelevant?
- I am reliably informed by a 330 man that the electrical system is different, so apparently yes. Personally I do not consider it 'irrelevant' however, as it shows what CAN be lost in an electric aeroplane and the problems that can ensue.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 08:59
  #654 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bb3
Where are prim1 and sec 1 located? Close to each other?
I don't think they are; I recall reading that they are in totally seperate bays.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 09:12
  #655 (permalink)  
 
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It was an Air France PR guy that said it was a probable lightning strike. He just pulled it out of his A--. Nobody knows what happened. Hopefully they will recover the black boxes and get some real information.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 09:16
  #656 (permalink)  
 
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normal to alternate law in bumps

In severe turbulence the AOA probes on the bus can be triggered into a disagree position which will trigger alternate law - removing many protections including the ability to stall the aircraft.

THe auto pilot will also disconnect at this point.

A reset of prims/secs etc may reengage normal law ( I think??? but not sure if it can only be done on the ground) .. then the AP becomes available again.

In big bumps it could always be possible to over control and overload the airframe if not careful.

Not saying any of this happened but if the ACARS was sending this type of report then might have occurred.

Will wait for the FDR but the airbus is certainly NOT uncrashable as AB would like us to believe..

W
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 09:43
  #657 (permalink)  
 
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Written by Red Paddy in post:


In the case of an electrical failure, there should be a systematic shut down of systems-ie non essential items first. Would ACARS fall into the bracket of a non essential item? Would the fact that it kept transmitting faults until a final catastrophic conclusion to the events(as indicated by the cabin v/s message) indicate a random shutdown of systems in a progressively deteriorating situation? Also there has been a suggestion that the on board mobile phone system continued to operate.

To me there is only one thing that could cause a shutdown that would leave non essential items operating while essential items such as the ADIRU's and ISIS shut down and that would be a fire in the avionics bay knocking out essential systems in an erratic manner and not shutting down non essientials first.

------------------------------

Exactly along the lines of what I have been thinking. On page 7 in this thread it is mentioned that ACARS is powered from AC1, and that it would be unpowered in an EMER ELEC CONFIG. That would indicate that the elctrics were working as long as the ACARS was transmitting, all the way until the vertical speed waring.

The flight controller computers are located away from eachother, so a single fire should not take out all of them.

So, if there is power, and at least some of the FCC's are working, what about the inputs (and outputs)? If all the sensors started to report conflicting information, how would that affect the computers? If there was not enouh consistant data to know what data to ignore.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 09:46
  #658 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by slings
Back in 1981 in the netherlands a fokker F28 fellowship (later developped through to F100) crashed due heavy turbulence caused by flight through a CB.

The right hand wing separated.

So people stating turbulence can not cause a crash are wrong.

LINK
No sir, that flight travelled though a tornado and experienced g loadings of +6.8g to -3.2g.

The most severe turbulence should not see more than 2g.

There is no suggestion that the AF 330 went into a tornado, at least not at the moment.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 09:57
  #659 (permalink)  
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I read that the French are now saying that the data recorders may never be found.
With the availability of modern satellite and data transmittion technology, the possibility of continual tx of FDR information should be possible. Given how essential that data is in understanding the causes of an accident perhaps this should be considered by the powers that be for A/C crossing deep oceans.

I know it would be costly, but then again so is the recovery of sunken black boxes.
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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 09:59
  #660 (permalink)  
 
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From an separation at 35,000 feet you would expect a much larger area with larger pieces in different areas that had air resistance on them.
The heavier pieces travelling further would though, be more likely to sink, no?

Thuis reducing the apparent surface debris field?
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