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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

Old 9th Jul 2013, 14:50
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I hope the NTSB does individual interviews with each crewmember and then ask them as a group with everyone in the same room. I'm sure the replies will differ a lot....
Differences include new info from a different view of the accident

If critical differences occur all you need to do is to re-interview to re-enforce the investigators understanding. It may not be productive to mix interviews in the same room as you may subdue comments that have subjectivity in them.

In the end nothing is that factual unless it is also supportable by other means.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 14:51
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Originally Posted by ross_M
On the plus side, at least the guys in the front seats are alive this time around.

Four of them too, for added measure.
It is starting to look like there were only two pilots up front. The other two were likely sitting in the passenger cabin or the crew rest area. There have been numerous posts saying it was normal procedure for Asiana "Heavy" crew to sit in the back for landing and takeoff.


Asiana Airlines Flight 214 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The cockpit crew at the time of the accident were Captain Lee Kang-kook (Hangul: 이강국; Hanja: 李江鞠), who had 9,793 flying hours, with 43 in the 777,[30] and Captain Lee Jeong-min (Hangul: 이정민; Hanja: 李鄭閔), who had 12,387 hours of flying experience (at the time of the incident) and 3,220 with the 777.[31]

Last edited by Lost in Saigon; 9th Jul 2013 at 14:55.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 14:52
  #1163 (permalink)  
 
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Chesley Sullenberger's response to a rather aggressive interviewer on Bloomberg demonstrates the sort of calm personality which enabled his remarkable landing on the Hudson in 2009.

Additionally, he (when allowed!) gives remarkably informative answers and neatly refuses to speculate as to blame at any point.

This interview is a very helpful addition to this discussion which will be of particular value to the layman, but with a reticence towards blame which is an example to us all.

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Old 9th Jul 2013, 14:52
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Just like to agree with transilvana re the Cabin crew.

Saw the photos today of the head crew member carrying the child
on her back and the interview. Impressive all round.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:05
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Some companies specifically prohibit the "disabling" of systems, for training purposes, on passenger carrying sectors.

Which doesn't prevent certain trainers from doing just that, of course........
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:07
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My carrier allows us to drop automation to Level 1 which is A/P and A/T off but only in day VFR.

I do make full use of that option on each and every allowable approach.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:08
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The ex Inspector General Mary Schiavo certainly has more telephone numbers in her black book than I do in mine.

Quote.

"...they commented to each other that they had lost their airspeed and that they were low"

This was seven seconds before impact she claims.

Who are the "they" ?
The "each other" makes it sound like "two".

The Purser seemed to indicate that there were "four" working the flight.
With three up front at the time of the accident.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:10
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Posted by Aileron Drag:
JFK ATC seemed to favour an on-limits VOR approach, even with an ILS equipped runway available. They seemed to be unaware that flights coming in from Europe were being flown by very tired crews who would have appreciated as much technological help as possible. Demonstrating your hero-pilot visual approach prowess is great if you've just flown a one-hour sector, but not if you're knackered.
...
But, but, but - a place like SFO should have their aids working. It's San Francisco Airport - not Hinton-in-the-Hedges.
Good points, and ideally all of the navaids would be working 100% of the time. But sometimes maintenance is needed, things break, or in this case the aids were being moved to a new location for runway *safety* reconfiguration.

I'm not so sure that flying a CAVU visual approach is anywhere on par with a hero pilot. The PAPI was online (until the crash debris damaged them). It would be interesting to compare other landings at on KSFO 28R recently from transoceanic flights. Have other crews been having difficulty with flying the visual approach to standards or relying on good CRM to save the day if mistakes were being made by the pilot flying?

Is it naive to think that a professional crew would have trouble flying to the runway on target speed and descent rate on a clear and cloudless day with light winds? Were there problems getting crew rest en route, including crew changes, and if so--was fatigue a safety issue?

And if something *had* gone wrong (bad weather suddenly, aircraft malfunction, runway closed requiring last moment diversion to alternate airport) what margin of safety would be left?

Last edited by Feathered; 9th Jul 2013 at 15:21.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:14
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@post 1053, viewphoria

"Do you close an airport on CAVOK day because you don't have ILS?"

It seems that, in the days we find ourselves, it is going to be cheaper and easier to ensure there is never a time that ILS is inoperative without closing the airport (or find a way to close just the runway affected). The airlines are not going to start training their pilots better without a lot of force, and this looks like the cheaper and easier option.

"While this accident appears to be a result of human error, lets also remember the crews of US1549 and QF32 in which ALL PASSENGERS were saved as the result of crews doing what they are trained to do!"

True, and almost all flights land safely because the crew does its job properly. It doesn't alter the fact that the powers that be will look at this (if it turns out to be pilot error - I'm maintaining a degree of openness until the report comes out) and look for other ways to externalise the cost, such as putting it on the airports and, possibly, aircraft manufacturers.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:17
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Fire damage clues

The one point that's still a bit intriguing to me is the nature of the burn. I'd love to see the report on the origins / spread of that fire.

The internal cabin photos reveal a mechanical wreck but not significantly bad fire damage. The roof OTOH.....

Was it really oxygen bottles? Or is the roof area naturally more combustible?

Assuming a fuel leak fire that wouldn't be the shape of the fire damage I'd expect. Then again, I'm no expert.
This is of course secondary to the cause of the accident but fits in with stuff like cabin safety, breakup locations etc. (all not easily managed due to variables)

From my view the RH engine probably caught fire from scrapping all it exterior component (fuel-oil sources) in an environment of sparks including any breaks in the engine casing. Unfortunately this fire which was visible early on was nestled against the RH fuselage where there appears to be a buckle fracture in the tube. This could now expose the interior to an ignition source. No need then to wait for the aluminum skin to be burnt through in a pool fire.

Once the interior starts to burn it looks for sources of air above the flame and makes it way to the ceiling panels inside the cabin. Smoke is your problem here, but even now it can remain localized until somebody opens a door. Then it rapidly migrates towards fresh air. That's probably the most significant part of this as to when and how the flame front spread.

Will see what the NTSB fire experts say in their final report about the timing of the fire spread vs egress of the passengers
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:21
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FWIW my airline, and others I know do NOT allow the altitude window to be set lower than 1000 feet ABOVE Threshold elevation. If you are in FLCH , and have not coupled to the approach or entered a proper 'approach' mode then the aircraft will level at 1000 ft and the AT will maintain the commanded speed.

If you are still out of the park at 1000ft and need flch or similar to get in then it ain't gonna happen. go around.

And IF you are so maxed out that you loose situational awareness then its better that the 'what's it doing now' moment occurs at 1000ft with the aircraft flying off level and thrust coming up than it stalling into the sea at 100 ft.

Simples.

This seems like a classic swiss cheese accident. Removal of any one of the 'errors' both latent and on the day probably would have prevented the accident.

Last edited by 757_Driver; 9th Jul 2013 at 15:22.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:22
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Would it be worth considering a 'Mode 8' for EGPWS? Something along the lines of speed VREF to VREF + n, V/S between 500 fpm 1000 fpm at 500 feet otherwise "UNSTABLE GO-AROUND"
Yes, it definitely would be. Considering very recent experiences.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:22
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo
This is of course secondary to the cause of the accident but fits in with stuff like cabin safety, breakup locations etc. (all not easily managed due to variables)

From my view the RH engine probably caught fire from scrapping all it exterior component (fuel-oil sources) in an environment of sparks including any breaks in the engine casing. Unfortunately this fire which was visible early on was nestled against the RH fuselage where there appears to be a buckle fracture in the tube. This could now expose the interior to an ignition source. No need then to wait for the aluminum skin to be burnt through in a pool fire.

Once the interior starts to burn it looks for sources of air above the flame and makes it way to the ceiling panels inside the cabin. Smoke is your problem here, but even now it can remain localized until somebody opens a door. Then it rapidly migrates towards fresh air. That's probably the most significant part of this as to when and how the flame front spread.

Will see what the NTSB fire experts say in their final report about the timing of the fire spread vs egress of the passengers
Originally Posted by cameo
So, if they did not run out of fuel, how come it was not the wings (where the fuel is) that got burned, but the top of the fuselage? What is so flammable up there that could melt the aluminum skin? I am not a pilot, so forgive me if this is a stupid question.

These photos tend to support your view of how the fire spread.




Upper fuselage still intact

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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:26
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I think falcon's point is being overlooked. I probably did as many visual approaches into US airports as I did in Africa. By definition, it was at the end of a long day's work, and sometimes in very marginal weather. JFK ATC seemed to favour an on-limits VOR approach, even with an ILS equipped runway available. They seemed to be unaware that flights coming in from Europe were being flown by very tired crews who would have appreciated as much technological help as possible.
Does the ATC have an incentive to favor a visual (when ILS is up and running).

Just curious. Is there any hidden work-load aspects that are incentivising this.

How often do crews refuse an offered visual and insist on ILS. What's the protocol: Who proposes? Who decides?
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:26
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The question here is if FLCH is being used by some carriers for rapid descent from a high and fast profile...why?
There is nothing wrong with FLCH unless you set 00000 in the MCP window. It's very useful for intercepting the GS from above however you set a min GS intercept altitude. To restrict its use below 3000' is useless especially when some airports descend you down to 1500' to intercept the GS.

For reference FLCH commands a 2 min climb or descent. Not all descents are done at idle.

An interesting note from the 777 FCOM

Note: During a descent in VNAV SPD, the autothrottle may activate in HOLD mode and will not support stall protection

With FLCH stall protection is not offered below 100' on landing.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:30
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Question airbus+?

an airbus would not have let the airspeed decay to that point surely boeing has a similar system on the 777?
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:31
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Assuming the OZ 214 crew were indeed set up for the RNAV (GPS) Rwy 28L (posted earlier on this thread), a couple of possible gotcha's other than the FLCH trap come to mind.

If the crew forgot to set missed approach altitude in the MCP window after passing DUYET with the autothrottles on and the autopilot off in VNAV wouldn't they get an altitude capture at DA (not sure whether OZ does LPV or LNAV/VNAV)? Attempting to raise the nose to correct for a shallow approach angle would bring the throttles back to idle, right?

Also, if the aircraft altimeter setting was not correct, with a higher QNH set in the plane than actual, the VNAV path would lead to a point short of the runway with instruments showing on profile all the way down. Crossing altitudes would look fine but the RA would not cross check (at least on an LNAV/VNAV approach, I don't believe you would get the wrong path on an LPV with WAAS even with a bad baro setting).

Obviously, someone should be looking out the window on a day visual approach with CAVOK weather.

I've never flown the Triple but on other Boeings the altitude capture and wrong altimeter setting can ruin your whole day on a non-precision approach if you don't take immediate corrective action.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:38
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All in all, an excellent argument for hand flying proficiency and adoption of heads-up displays.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 15:41
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Originally Posted by airjet
an airbus would not have let the airspeed decay to that point surely boeing has a similar system on the 777?
No. On Boeing aircraft you can turn off the both the autopilot and autothrottle any time you want. The aircraft will then fly just like a Cessna 150.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 16:12
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Excellent interview by Sullenberger - A discourse miles above the predominant "oh it's because they are Asian" nonsense that is being spouted by so many so-called professionals here.
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