Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Afriqiyah Airbus 330 Crash

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Afriqiyah Airbus 330 Crash

Old 21st May 2010, 16:59
  #781 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
Out of Steam?

Ladies, Gentlemen, Naval Officers, Chaps, Guys, Galls and Mates,

Contributions to this Thread for the past two-three days have been thinning out... look at the average TBP (time between posting), although there have been some admirable efforts to keep the discussion going (see for example Takata on 735 or Ret'dF4 on 772) the discussion has been fading away.

So, let's try to get the ball rolling again.

In my view there are two areas where there is still a lot of room for debate.

Crash Site
With the latest pictures from our Man in Havana (post: 721/722) and the Takata's video clip analysis (post 735) we (collective "we" referring to the panel of experts, not the Royal We) still have to reach consensus on how this thing ended on the ground.
My personal observations from all the sources available so far are that the site in nearly one Km long and it is straight like an arrow; that at the beginning from impact point to the perpendicular road there are few pieces of debris; that the parallel mark from the impact point onwards could be the fuselage scraping the terrain; that the tail could have shredded when the aircraft hit the perpendicular road, launching the aircraft in the air minus tail and starting the destruction sequence.

This is the first area of further debate. Those interested in this area, remove the thump from its resting place and put your brains in action.

Pre-crash Events
So far we have heard many highly professional accounts of what an A330 is capable of doing. We all agree that an adequate crew, with adequate experience and training, like the one most probably was at the controls (because until disproved this is the assumption we must work with) when getting to MDA and not being visual will go around and start again. We have heard how difficult it is to force an A330 to do something "wrong", we know how many audios, alarms, etc. are there to stop us from messing up our NPA, so the question for those experts who want to contribute to this area is:

What can make an adequate crew crash 1.5 Km short and 150 mt wide?

100% has already done some good calculations and made some comments on the altimeter setting. But what happens with the RadAlt?
(This is for you experts of A330) how will the EGPWS and the RadAlt and all the gizmo you have help you to determine an incorrect altimeter setting? Was it fatigue?
Was it a technical failure of the equipment?
Or was it that the flying pilot was not used (in the sense of practiced, trained) enough on this procedure? [This is an easy one becuase the CVR will tell us who was seated where... and you understand what I mean]

So, all the good minds, back to work!! Keep the steam coming!!

We owe it to the crew and the passengers that sadly are not with us anymore, but owe it also to all those thousands of silent readers that revert to this site looking for the opinion of the Professional Pilots.

One last request to another group present in this Thread: The Trolls...
Yes I know, we do not want them, etc.
I respectfully disagree.
We need them, because, when thinking hard to solve problems, sometimes a good laugh is always welcome!!!
So for the trolls, here is an assignment for you too:
Yesteday one reputable news site, referring to the Polish President crash, mentioned that The aircraft was flying 15 meters below the tarmac
Trolls: Go Figure It!!

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 17:11
  #782 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: VA, USA
Age: 54
Posts: 561
C-SAR:

I believe that at least one engine detached before the tail broke off, can you confirm this from your site inspection? I believe the first engine position can be determined from post #256 (last pic) and then post 267 to give a distance perspective.

I have not seen anything regarding the second engine.

Thanks for all your great work on the ground.

- GY
GarageYears is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 17:54
  #783 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
Engine

GY

My guess is that the engine you mentioned is about 80 to 100 meters pass the tail to the left of main debris field axis.

I can't place the other one. I looked again at the initial video clips shown in the media and there is something that could be an engine (but it might also be a piece of fuselage skin) in the area of the building at the corner of the perimeter fence, another 100 or so meters further forward and to the right of the field axis.

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 18:23
  #784 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: On the Beach
Posts: 3,290
Lomapaseo:
I just don't see the time delay in reading out the recorders as significant.
Have you participated as a member in a Western Europe or U.S. air carrier accident investigation?

The CVR/DCVR is considered to be of the highest priority. A premlinary of the FDR/DFDR is not far behind.
aterpster is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 18:29
  #785 (permalink)  
bearfoil
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
C-SAR

An easy guess would be the pilot thought he was lined up, had a distraction when looking into the rising Sun, add in the mist of Dawn, and just when he "found" the runway he had been tracking, it was an insignificant road with a line of lights that mimicked approach lights.Instead of having the 1000 feet of altitude his brain told him (by deducting a 40 foot width of road that looked like a 175 foot wide runway means we're at.....1000 feet...... instead he was at 40 feet, sinking and engines low.

A friend a long time ago had a similar event. On his third approach to 19R he saw the approach lights and chopped his throttle expecting to see asphalt any second. It was night, and he landed on the roof of a MACY'S Department Store. Only eight people died. He had flown several hundred traps in Corsairs, a distinguished civil pilot with 30000 hours. The "Approach lights" were parking lamp standards at the Mall 1000 meters right of the threshold. RIP Jim.

As for the debris and trajectory, by now it seems fairly well thought out. Tail left early followed by a belly plant at the vicinity of the Main Gear. The wing box, wings, and fuselage bounced high, but the nose was heading low from the loss of the tail, so it planted nose first and the fuse pole vaulted over the forward body which was wheelbarrowing into the rock and gravel. The wings, together still though broken at the rear box, launched another several hundred meters and flopped down in near normal orientation, separating from the wing box which had fallen off just before the two wings came to rest. In this debris Hell, there lived a ten year old Dutch boy, who was no doubt in shock that he was alive.
 
Old 21st May 2010, 18:51
  #786 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Patterson, NY
Age: 62
Posts: 436
bearfoil:

In your scenario how do you explain the total devastation of the aircraft?
I'm not saying your scenario doesn't fit, it just doesn't seem to match the obvious devastation.
rgbrock1 is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:07
  #787 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
Bearfoil said:

it was an insignificant road with a line of lights that mimicked approach lights
Bear, I drove that road and there are no lights. Having said that, the rest of your description seems plausible.

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:17
  #788 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
rgbrock1 said:

In your scenario how do you explain the total devastation of the aircraft?
rgbrock1, this is one of the issues still to be clarified. The long debris field and the lack of noticeable "craters" points to a relative fast and flat impact.

On the absence of big(er) pieces, I have seen recently some local pictures with substantial chunks of fuselage skin, several meters long and aslo one where a wheeled bulldozer is riding in the debris field.
Could it be that the big pieces have been moved and we do not have pictures of them?

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:40
  #789 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Playing Golf!
Age: 42
Posts: 1,037
"(This is for you experts of A330) how will the EGPWS and the RadAlt and all the gizmo you have help you to determine an incorrect altimeter setting? Was it fatigue?"

Easy... many airlines have a callout.....

When the RADALT says something you do a baro crosscheck... as a catch for wrong pressure setting.

Easy at HLLT too as the terrain on approach to 09 is pretty flat.. so not many RADALT fluctuations....

I think the RADBARO crosscheck is a great thing to be in SOP's it only takes a moment and if done everyday as a required check, one day it may save your bacon...... (well no bacon in Libya.. but you get the picture)


PT6A
PT6A is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:44
  #790 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,962
"(This is for you experts of A330) how will the EGPWS and the RadAlt and all the gizmo you have help you to determine an incorrect altimeter setting?
Altitude/Height Check as shown on instrument approach chart against raw data (e.g. DME)
fireflybob is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:48
  #791 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
Thanks PT6A.

So, everybody: How will an adequate crew disregard all the warnings and penetrate MDA until hitting the ground?

Opinions, gut feelings, technical explanations, experiences, etc. The floor is open...

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:54
  #792 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Playing Golf!
Age: 42
Posts: 1,037
Lack of SOP, poor crew cockpit discipline, complacency (being at home airfield) fatigue....

These are all issues which could of allowed the crew to overlook their position on the approach. (if that is what happened - prime candidate IMO)

Factor in that some of the NAVAIDs were not working... don't hear a QNH correctly etc etc and you soon end up in a situation where you could do something silly.

Good SOP's are aimed to catch things from slipping through the net - but they depend on cockpit discipline.

PT6A
PT6A is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 19:59
  #793 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
PT6A

In your opinion, is the A330 an aircraft that will "leave you behind" if you are not alert enough or tired or following loose SOPs?
You know what I mean by being left behind by your plane..

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 20:20
  #794 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Germany
Age: 63
Posts: 1,809
Hi,

bearfoil

A friend a long time ago had a similar event. On his third approach to 19R
Sunvalley Mall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1985 Sunvalley plane crash

On the evening of December 23, 1985[3], two days before Christmas, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, executing a missed instrument approach procedure from an approach to runway 19R of Buchanan Field Airport, lost control and crashed into the roof of Macys, killing the pilot and two passengers and seriously injuring 84 Christmas shoppers in the crowded mall below, mainly by spraying them with burning fuel. Four of the victims on the ground later died from their injuries. The accident brought increased local opposition to the airport, and caused Pacific Southwest Airlines (now part of US Airways) to delay scheduled passenger service that had been planned to start at the beginning of the new year.

The airport had been closed due to thick fog a few hours earlier and the pilot (who was a student flying with an instructor) attempted to land anyway. After failing to spot the runway at the point where a missed approach should have been made he continued the approach in the hope of finding the runway farther along. When this failed he finally began the procedure for a missed approach. He had to do several things at once: Raising the flaps and landing gear, adding power to both engines, and making a left turn. While he was distracted by these activities he failed to notice the nose of the plane dropping. He lost altitude and struck the building.
Sunvalley Mall Crash

Seem's a student pilot error .. or it was the instructor in command ?
jcjeant is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 20:22
  #795 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 105
The A330 in particular will bite you if you are a little high, with a tailwind maybe, and you increase rate of descent. The autothrust reduces power from pretty low to idle, and can be quite relaxed - lazy - if you then pull up again (on the profile). It will often allow IAS to fall well below required, particularly with winds light or tail. Below 100ft radalt the autotrim freezes, so if you were doing (say) a 4 degree slope at 100ft then trim will freeze at that value.
Now imagine a very low G/A after the above approach. Power is at idle, and on the 3-spool Trent at least takes ages to produce meaningful thrust. Autotrim has put the aircraft into a 4 degree slope so a harder pull than normal is required. IAS is below the bug, possibly still reducing, and although the engines are accelerating they are still at little more than idle thrust.
This may have nothing whatsoever to do with this incident, but I put it in for what it's worth.
jshg is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 20:40
  #796 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 824
The QNH was 1008 so about 150 feet difference from 1013. The minimum was 620 feet (358 above ground). Even with the wrong setting there should have still been some margin for a go-around. Tripoli is not exactly thousands of feet up.

I also do not understand why they flew a non precision approach in light winds to land on 09 rather than an ILS on 27 particularly when taxying time and the rising sun appears to favour a landing on 27. Is there some prefered runway or other reason for this?

Crashing a widebody at your homebase is quite a feat but I guess complacency and fatigue must play a role. At least we won't have to wait too long for a verdict from the recorders.

It has not been a happy 12 months for the 330 however good it looks.
lederhosen is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 20:51
  #797 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: When I am there, it is Thistleland
Age: 69
Posts: 51
The reasons for selecting 09 instead of 27, particularly with a little wind from 270 are unknown.

Some of the participants who are regulars into Tripoli suggested that TWR prefers landings for 09 early in the morning, but we do not know for sure if this was the case here.

CVR will tell us... maybe?

C-SAR
C-SAR is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 21:03
  #798 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: VA, USA
Age: 54
Posts: 561
A friend a long time ago had a similar event. On his third approach to 19R
and

On the evening of December 23, 1985[3], two days before Christmas, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, executing a missed instrument approach procedure from an approach to runway 19R of Buchanan Field Airport, lost control and crashed into the roof of Macys
Not quite the same thing here... the crash at Sunvalley occurred while executing a missed approach, and seems a little different than our friend 'bearfoil' indicated.

- GY
GarageYears is offline  
Old 21st May 2010, 21:29
  #799 (permalink)  
bearfoil
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
rgbrock1

A belly in is hard to envision, the brain wants to take us in many unhelpful directions.

Think of it this way. A 334,000 pound airliner is descending at 2500fpm at a speed of 140 knots. Without being able to arrest descent, or diminish a/s, the airliner contacts the ground (let's say concrete) at the same ROD 2500fpm, and a (now) groundspeed of 140 knots.. The descent in lay terms is roughly 30 miles per hour, Thats a fall from a three story building. No big, right? 334,000 pounds at thirty miles per hour is an unthinkable amount of energy. The a/c hits and the first snapshot shows a two foot section scraped off at the tail rise. roughly 2000 pounds has hit and given its energy to the concrete and to the smithereening of its aluminum. The next snapshot shows a section two feet more deep, a larger section and this time 7,000 pouinds of mass gives it up for friction, disintegration and a very, very minor dissipation of energy of 325,000 pounds of the mass remaining. Third snap, fourth, etc. As the mass is heating itself and the concrete, shredding its metal, the tail has slowed with an energy its mounts cannot survive, it snaps off, and is left behind to tumble and pose for the photographers. The down force it has provided the fuselage to keep the nose up is instantly missing, and the nose starts to drop dramatically. Now the wing box, landing gear, and engines contact the ground. Perhaps 100,000 pounds of mass this time, and it bounces like you cannot believe straight up into the sky, with very little of its energy missing. The trucks of the Main gears have been evaporated, the only piece left is the strut, and it bounces out of its pillow block mount in the wing box like a toothpick. The Nose, having slammed down intensely onto the rock and gravel, disappears into pieces the size of a credit card. The rest of the fuselage has been lifted up behind the nose, and continues along like a plow, as if it was entering the earth itself, except it isn't it is disappearing as the nose did ahead of it. the wings now have the appearance of a boomerang, though undoubtedly the box connecting them is broken. They have a low trajectory, perhaps rolling slowly about the spanwise axis of this 80,000 pound "boomerang". They eventually slow, and drop, roughly in designed for orientation, but the left engine pylon has pierced the upper left wing, and acquired a chord wise rip that at first glance looks like a canoe (Flap fairing). The leading edge is separated full span, yet the ribs, stringers, spars and portions of the center box remain, amazingly robust, considering their experience.

A Ferrari dropped from 30 feet at 140 knots would look the same, substituting component parts. I worked in accident investigation for a time, for attorneys. I quit when they embellished or downplayed my findings before the Court.

jcjeant that's the one.

GarageYears have it your way. I know the story, and without putting a too fine point on it, these two accidents are eerily similar to me. (If indeed the 330 succumbed in this way, so it's really not germane to debate, we don't know the widebody's procuring cause), Jim Graham was the flying pilot. cheers.

bear

Last edited by bearfoil; 21st May 2010 at 22:19.
 
Old 21st May 2010, 21:31
  #800 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Third planet from the sun
Posts: 383
Originally Posted by C-sar
Opinions, gut feelings, technical explanations, experiences, etc. The floor is open...
... autopilot disconnection at MDA, thrustlevers to TOGA and pf forgetting to pull the sidestick...

...crew simply going below MDA looking for the rwy...

OR

-copy from PT6A, post 800-
"Lack of SOP, poor crew cockpit discipline, complacency (being at home airfield) fatigue....

These are all issues which could of allowed the crew to overlook their position on the approach. (if that is what happened - prime candidate IMO)

Factor in that some of the NAVAIDs were not working... don't hear a QNH correctly etc etc and you soon end up in a situation where you could do something silly.

Good SOP's are aimed to catch things from slipping through the net - but they depend on cockpit discipline.
"
sabenaboy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.