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Aerocaribbean ATR crash in Cuba

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Aerocaribbean ATR crash in Cuba

Old 20th Dec 2010, 07:59
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The TransAsia flight 791 ATR accident report makes interesting reading. Interestingly this icing accident is (almost) never referred to.

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Old 20th Dec 2010, 10:14
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Are Cubana able to obtain Pratt & Whitney engine parts for the ATR through official channels, notwithstanding the US embargo on exports to Cuba ? Does assembly of these engines in Montreal manage to get around these restrictions.
In short, yes. Having been to Cuba, it's lousy with Canadians who seem to love it that their trading links are running so well in the face of the US embargo. As you say (or at least imply) there's a version of the ATR fitted with Pratt and Witney Canada engines.
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 11:45
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As you say (or at least imply) there's a version of the ATR fitted with Pratt and Witney Canada engines.
Yes 42-200, 42-300, 42,320, 42-400, 42-500, 42-600, 72-100, 72-200, 72-210,72-500 & 72-600
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 11:51
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Originally Posted by VFD
I believe that there were modifications to the de-iceing boots after the Roselawn accident. Do we know if this plane had the modifications?
Almost certainly yes, because the Roselawn accident was in 1994, and this aircraft was new in 1995, to Continental in the USA. If the mod wasn't around at time of manufacture it would have been incorpoated while on the US register. The aircraft passed on to Binter in the Canaries in 1999, and to Aerocaribbean in 2006.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 11:44
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Here is an unofficial reconstruction of the accident:

YouTube - Reconstrucción del Accidente Aéreo de Cuba. Vuelo 883 deun ATR 72-212

Is in spanish.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 13:15
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That video is quite disturbing and very telling. Many similarities to the Roselawn accident.

RIP

Last edited by J.O.; 7th Jan 2011 at 15:28.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 15:57
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Looks indeed alarmingly like Roselawn and the other ATR Icing accidents.
Is it 100% confirmed that the AD's following Roselwan have been implemented in this particular AC ?
Normally icing shouldn't be of much consideration in Cuba, so installing the improved boots might not have been very high on their agenda !?
IIRC the delivery of this Aircraft was in '96 so it has probably been delivered with the old (i.e. short) ones.
Would be worrying if it happened with the improved ones.

Unfortunately my Spanish is non- existing, so I haven't understood if they disconnected the AP when performing the change of course. Could anyone fiigure out from the caption?

At the end of the descent it looked like a deep stall. Would somehow fit to the wreckage which seemed to bne within a pretty limited area.
I wasn't aware the ATR is susceptible to deep stall. However with a T- Tail that wouldn't be to unlikely
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 16:43
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Most probably the AP disconnected by itself, due to hi roll demand caused by huge ice accretion on the surface. During the whole incident is clearly audible the stall warning sound, it didn't stop a second. When ice accretion is so vaste, surface is deeply modified and recovery is pretty much impossible.
Being an ATR driver, back and forth over the Alps, since 2001, I can tell that the amount of ice accretion with this AC is really unpredictable. Deicing and antiicing system are up to date, but it looks like every single drop of ice can be collected easily.

R.I.P.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 17:37
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So if I'm reading that right, there was a 2:45-minute delay between the request for a lower altitude (FL 160, <<por engelamiento>> "due to icing"), and the ATC permission to turn (but NOT immediately descend, due to oncoming traffic, originally at 78 miles, at FL 190). Roughly 5 minutes in total from the first Ice Detect warning.

I have no clue what the realities are for pilots in Cuba who deviate from ATC - but I might have pulled an "American Airlines" here and said - "We ARE descending to FL160 - Emergency due to icing - get everyone out of our way!"
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 18:25
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Actually, as I understood it, ATC gave information on the conflicting traffic and offered to vector them (to enable an earlier descent). The problem was that the crew didn't hear or react to the first offer. ATC had to repeat herself after 1st reconfirming which a/c was requesting descent as there seemed to be a little confusion at one point.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 19:24
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From the video when they select de-ice / anti-ice on a master caution is on the cap ( unable to see which one but I bet it is anti-icing ) & stay on the cap even after selecting level 3.
I would like to know also if the stick pusher came on ( Probably since shaker was on ), did the flap was set at 15* after the ac start rolling, is max power was added. I do not speak spanish and the video alone leave a lot of question unanswered. I am just trying to get more informations from this misfortune.

We have a run from Miami to Jamaica in my company as well as up north all the way to Duluth minesota, and I can tell you that one of the worse icing ( Clear ice) I have ever seen was over the Caribbean also it is rare occurence the formation is extremely quick.

Last edited by skysign; 7th Jan 2011 at 21:50.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 21:48
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I did make comment on the video. But where that video come from ? Is it what really happened ?
I just talk to our director of safety and as of today no final report as been made. So no ATR operator has receive any infos from ATR on this accident.
He said that early assumption was : severe downdraft ( microburst ) due to Thunderstorm, but has always will have to wait the final report.
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 22:04
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Unfortunately my Spanish is non- existing, so I haven't understood if they disconnected the AP when performing the change of course. Could anyone fiigure out from the caption?
AP apparently disconnected at 4' 09 in the tape (?), followed by "Voy a cogerlo porque esta girando" (I'm getting it because it´s turning)
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Old 7th Jan 2011, 23:32
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Hotel tango - you are correct in that there were other factors also contributing to that comm delay: flight ID confusion among other things.
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Old 8th Jan 2011, 23:29
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But where that video come from ? Is it what really happened ?
That video would certainly appear to be a standard dump from the Flight Data Recorder. Yes, it looks genuine.
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Old 9th Jan 2011, 01:05
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Spanish is not my native language but I do understand some of it. There are two issues that I have questions on. First, if I understand the tape correctly there was a minute and 47 second delay after ice was detected and before the de-icing system was turned on. Does everyone else understand the tape that way? Second, when ATC asks for the first time if the crew wants vectors to avoid oncoming traffic the flight deck's reply to this question is "bueno". Is that the standard reply? Wouldn't it be "si"? Again, my grasp of Spanish (let alone the Cuban variety) isn't perfect but to my amateur ear that seems a confusing reply in that situation.
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Old 9th Jan 2011, 02:29
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my grasp of Spanish (let alone the Cuban variety) isn't perfect but to my amateur ear that seems a confusing reply in that situation
Bear:

Saying 'bueno' in those circumstances would equate to a gringo saying "OK", or "Go for it" in colloquial Spanish.

TC
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Old 9th Jan 2011, 06:34
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Saying 'bueno' in those circumstances would equate to a gringo saying "OK", or "Go for it" in colloquial Spanish. TC
Yes, that's the way I understand also. But is that the standard response? It seems rather informal. There's a reason that callbacks and read backs are standardized. It's to eliminate confusion when people are under stress.

Watch the the video carefully. ATC tells him (a) the location of on-coming traffic and then (b) asks him a question. His response is "OK". But ok to what? OK that he understood the transmission, ok that he understands the other plane's position, or ok that he wants the vectors. I think it's worth highlighting the fact when, after some delay, ATC asks him the second time if he wants vectors the response from the flight deck is crystal clear: "let's have the vectors." So why didn't he give that response the first time around?

Now that I think about it some more what strikes me most about the video is that the flight crew ascends to FL 200 and almost immediately hits ice. But there seems (and I highlight that word) to be a certain air of casualness in their response to that situation. They don't seem to be in any hurry to get the anti-ice on. They don't seem to be in any hurry to descend. It's almost like the flight deck is in la la land.

Again, that's just the impression I have. I'm not passing judgment. Especially given the language barrier and my ignorance of Cuban ATC.
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Old 9th Jan 2011, 13:55
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Bueno...

Saying 'bueno' in those circumstances would equate to a gringo saying "OK", or "Go for it" in colloquial Spanish. TC
Don't agree.
I understood this "bueno", not as a "OK" or "Roger", but as an expression of weighing options ("Well"...) or waiting for the opinion or confirmation of the other pilot.
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Old 9th Jan 2011, 15:29
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We have a run from Miami to Jamaica in my company as well as up north all the way to Duluth minesota, and I can tell you that one of the worse icing ( Clear ice) I have ever seen was over the Caribbean also it is rare occurence the formation is extremely quick.
Skysign,

I will add that icing is a definite hazard present every season over Cuba, the Bahamas and South FL at certain altitudes. Although I spend little time at FL200 while going up or down, but it is very common in the winter in that region to see big white fluffy snowflakes in the lights while they are on from 10K-FL180.

I will also add that the Cuban ATC is very accommodating for weather, turbulence, direct routings and altitude changes. 90% of my flying for a US carrier takes me over the island. My personal joke is that MIA Center works better with Havana Center than they do with JAX Center
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