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Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

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Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

Old 25th Jan 2015, 19:02
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I can't imagine there was any real confidence that given previous video of the fuselage that it could be raised intact as there was no apparent remaining structural integrity.
There may have been, the first time around. That right wing looks nothing like the original video, which appeared to show the top surface mostly intact. The latest video shows nothing but internal structure. I wonder if one of the previous "recovery" attempts included rolling that wing over the ship's stern?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30972235

clipped from above source ..

"Rear Admiral Widodo's comments came after a renewed attempt to raise the wreckage from seabed failed when it kept breaking into pieces."
"The wreckage includes parts of both of the wings of the Airbus."


From Wall Street Journal ...

http://www.wsj.com/articles/airasia-...nue-1422087284

On this page one can get a good idea of the challenging diving conditions, including swells of less that 1 foot and water clarity that really cannot be expressed as being similar to whale poop. Great video on that page as well.

Last edited by md80fanatic; 25th Jan 2015 at 19:24. Reason: additions
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 19:14
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Definitely it's main fuselage and wings. In the view of the damage to the structural fuel tanks I suspect an "almost" horizontal splashdown similar to AF447 at around 10000ft/mn.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 19:41
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They seem intent on ripping it all to bits dragging it over the back of the ship. Dear Lord have they no cranes down there?
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 20:18
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Indeed .. recovery operation turn into a farce !
Real shame and what must think the families of the victims seeing that ?
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 20:20
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Recovery Vessel

The vessel being used is an offshore oil industry anchor handling tug, which normally hauls or deploys a cast steel anchor over the stern with steel hawsers or chains as part of a semi-sub drilling rig deployment.


It is not a suitable vessel for an aircraft fuselage recovery. The outcome was predictable.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 20:29
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Are they trying to tow the fuselage to shallower water maybe? It seems kind of large to put it on the deck. At first glance, I thought it was the HS, so it might have had enough room on the boat, but as a wing and fuselage, it looks as though they would be too unwieldy. Maybe they can tie them down, fold, or stack them, where they don't interfere with the boat's seaworthiness.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 20:42
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Wings pic

Different pic of wings and fuselage top I've not seen before:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/q67265sv48...n%202.png?dl=0
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:15
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Picture is Worth 1000 words

A photo grab which I hope is appropriately sized. This is at the instant the lifting line parted.

We are seeing the center section (from the bottom side) with the slats still retracted and the skin immediately behind the slats missing/fragmented.

The wing&fuselage is canted to the left in this view which might imply more right wing under the water or alternatively, more air bags on the LH wing.

As for the choice of vessel, probably the best that they could lay hands on in the time available. Now that the black boxes have been recovered, their priority is on recovering the dead, not so much the wreckage.

Upon being given a priority grab list by the accident investigators they will work that into their plans, but you can anticipate that salt water has intruded almost everywhere. For example, on the THS position, all they will see is the final position of the THS, which can confirm the DFDR calibration of that parameter, but the actual flight history data is going to be on the DFDR.

I think that when all is said and done, this will be an aircraft flight law induced departure, possibly also related to a hidden failure which suddenly became unmasked.

One question for the Airbus pilots here. If you really really needed to, how would you get to Direct Law. Drop the gear in alternate law? But then suppose the aircraft had shifted into Abnormal Alternate Law due to an unusual attitude? Airbus Flight Control Laws

Last edited by Machinbird; 26th Jan 2015 at 01:25. Reason: Plumb Bob has demonstrated we are looking at the bottom of the wing here
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:19
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"Well,Airplane-salvage ship may not be the most economical... I guess these Big "tugs" -designed for oil platform work are the best available for now. I guess everyone there are doing all they can,with what they have."

indeed... all credit to the effort in dangerous waters

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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:36
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That is most definitely not the way to raise an aircraft which contains human remains and vital evidence. Every effort should be made to enclose the parts within a load bearing frame which is lifted intact by a sea-going crane.

I have watched, in calm water, a sunken boat completely wrecked by inappropriate recovery attempts. This is simply a repeat on a larger scale.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:41
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@ Leightman 957, the link to the video filmed from the ship is http://youtu.be/qlk-eJoRLnc

Note at t=0m50s the white-on-red letter C of “Now Everyone Can Fly”, which on the RH side should be above a window above the leading edge at the RH wing root.

The aircraft concerned indeed had the large-size fuselage-long lettering version of that text, which is evident on the image http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/i...0111220801.jpg of the retrieved short part of the fuselage sidewall ahead of the aft RH service door. On that image the large-size letter N of “Now [etc.]” is visible when it is being lifted from the ship onto the blue open trailer for transport from dockside to investigation site.

@ Machinbird: with the aid of the video taken from the ship, your image appears to be the wing center section top skin inside, as seen from the bottom up. The view of curve of the slat extenders suggests likewise to me.

Last edited by Plumb Bob; 25th Jan 2015 at 21:59. Reason: observation for Machinbird edited for clarity
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:43
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We are seeing the center section (from the top side I believe) with the slats still retracted and the skin immediately behind the slats missing (probably removed by some hydraulic effect of water entry). The fuselage section seems to be missing the crown, and the break at the forward fuselage seems to angle up and aft into the center section.
I'm no expert on the A320, but that could also be the rest of the tail section with those "wings" actually being the horizontal stabilizers. Also looks like it rather fits that part of the empennage already recovered. I hope I'm right because if I'm not, they've badly mangled what from prior pictures looked to be a fairly intact section of the center fuselage extending forward and aft of each wing and at least a portion of each wing. Without scale, though, it's hard to tell with any certainty.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:48
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Raising the Fuselage

While I agree that it's not the best way to do things. I do feel badly for everyone involved. I am familiar with someone on the Onyx. He is very eager to be part of the team, and the whole team just wants to do the right thing. They are working long, hard hours and dealing with things I wouldn't even want to see in a horror movie.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:53
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Recovery video

I am sorry but that did not look like a professional salvage operation to me. There was no vertical lifting force on the fuselage once it met the stern of the anchor handling tug at a right angle, and the fuselage was not a flexible sausage nor a solid anchor which would roll over the stern


Instead the tension on the hauling ropes increased to breaking point at the critical position and they broke, consigning the fuselage to a second crash to the sea floor, probably distributing the victims over a wider area.


This act has made the operation far more difficult. They needed a floating crane of which there are many in SE Asia.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 22:04
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In previous statements I believe the stated goal was the recovery of bodies. The divers reported that entry into the fuselage was too difficult hence the attempts to raise the fuselage to the surface so as to be able to search for bodies in a safer environment.
In terms of forensic analysis of the wreckage very little will be accomplished because of the destruction we have seen to the tail section and now the centre section during and after recovery. Some deliberate some accidental.
Sadly I suspect that CVR, FDR and whatever chips are recovered from other systems will be the only credible evidence left.
Whether this is a deliberate policy or just a by product of the "recover bodies as the highest priority" remains to be seen.
This is not intended as a criticism of the divers themselves who are working in a very challenging environment, rather that of the policy makers.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 22:50
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Wing images

I too think the video grab of the attempted hoist shows the underside of the wings. The pic I posted earlier appears to me to show the upper wing surfaces nearly intact, really quite amazing, while the larger stills of the right wing, lettering intact, really show only the tip broken off.

The largely intact wings really present a puzzle. When we think of wings being pulled off by aerodynamic loads, and how relatively easy that is, it is easy to wonder what kind of impact on water with a large vertical component might allow wings to stay attached. I'd welcome any conjecture about how that might occur.

Short of a small drydock that might have been lowered and the fuselage section raised just enough to load it, then being towed a long ways at slow speed to shallow, calm waters for eventual raising on the dd, I see no reasonable way the fuselage could have been raised. Even lifting under water would have caused some damage. I do hope that many more underwater videos and photos were taken in anticipation that recovery would cause a lot of damage, and that some of those are released. They may not be released at least initially due to implications for the passengers survivors, but a final report in this instance would have to contain quite a few. The still pic and video grabs of the fuselage to me suggests the fuselage as it sat on the ocean floor had lost some internal cabin height from the fuselage top indentation, and probably more height from the floor pressed up from below. That could have resulted in very little vertical cabin room, mostly taken up by a jumble of seats which both pics suggest largely remained inside except at fuselage breaks. Divers reports of wiring and piping would apply inside. Not surprising divers could not enter.

No further word on cockpit location or confirmation of that of other major parts?

Last edited by Leightman 957; 25th Jan 2015 at 22:52. Reason: more pics taken?
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 23:37
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Direct Law

One question for the Airbus pilots here. If you really really needed to, how would you get to Direct Law. Drop the gear in alternate law? But then suppose the aircraft had shifted into Abnormal Alternate Law due to an unusual attitude?

Machinbird, an excellent question! Although I am not an Airbus pilot, I am a CFI with 40+ years of experience and have a BS/MS EE with 50 years of experience programming and using computers. More importantly, I have a good friend who is a current and qualified A320 first officer.

A previous post really put this question in perspective. It stated that the computers fly the Airbus, the pilot merely gives suggestions! It is only when sensor or other hardware/software failures make it obvious to the computer that it doesn't have a clue, that the Airbus goes to Direct Law. There is no button that the pilot can push, that activates Direct Law. According to my friend (who works for a major US air carrier), he has never been trained how to take over the control of the aircraft. He believes that there is a combination of circuit breakers that can be pulled to shut down enough computers to force Direct Law. He also thinks there is a document in the cockpit that describes how to do this, and given a few minutes, he could make it happen. I (along with the rest of you?) firmly believe that the pilots of the A-320 had only seconds to react.

Last edited by bob1vt; 26th Jan 2015 at 02:59. Reason: typo
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 02:01
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Recovery fail

Thanks for the video link Plumb Bob and FlyerBabe. There's not much there but its all we have. Slats appear retracted but they are there. I'm beginning to wonder what the point is in hauling the wreckage aboard. If they do get it aboard the interior will have been run through a mixer, its contents may largely be evulsed, interior having become exterior in the process, and a lot of lighter debris will escape like styro peanuts in a 100' deep wind with limited visibility, vastly spreading the debris field and virtually guaranteeing a lot of debris loss. Without getting more detailed, integrity of bodies will be almost completely lost so recovery of bodies does not seem like a good reason. Is there some other reason to hurry? Compared to raising it would appear to remain more stable and intact on the bottom.
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 04:11
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Would a pilot do better?

Assuming that the assumptions made about how the upset came about are near correct, and that there was no mechanical fault (not meaning sensors) or airframe damage.......

If a properly experienced pilot was hand flying in direct law, at the time of the problem, alert and hooked up, would he stand a better chance of maintaining or re-gaining control than the electronics (purposely broad) ? (including taking over when they kick out)
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 05:10
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Assuming that the assumptions made about how the upset came about are near correct, and that there was no mechanical fault (not meaning sensors) or airframe damage.......

If a properly experienced pilot was hand flying in direct law, at the time of the problem, alert and hooked up, would he stand a better chance of maintaining or re-gaining control than the electronics (purposely broad) ? (including taking over when they kick out)
The hazard in Alternate law, IMO, is that it cannot anticipate your trim needs properly in certain kinds of upset scenarios, particularly those involving high angle pitchups and rapidly changing airspeeds.

I used to fly an aircraft that entered an unrecoverable flat spin mode a relatively high percentage of the time if spun. Yet the job entailed flying at the limits of aircraft performance. When very nose high and running out of airspeed, the formula for spin avoidance was to neutralize the controls and fly zero g until the aircraft was flying again. This even worked when the aircraft backed down before reversing direction.

When flying with a Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer (THS) equipped aircraft, holding your flight controls neutral is not sufficient if your THS is trimmed for a low airspeed. It needs to be trimmed for cruise range airspeeds or it may cause a secondary stall.

Your airliner can swap ends on you in as little as 3 seconds when very nose high (See the Interflug-Moscow loss of control reconstruction and count seconds). You need to accelerate through the point where your flight controls are very loose to the point where they become solid and the aircraft stabilizes before attempting recovery. You do not need the aircraft helping you in the wrong way.

Until we see the QZ8501 DFDR readouts we will not know if the aircraft systems interfered with the piloting task, but it is a distinct possibility.
We already know that a bedlam of noise in the cockpit must have made communication difficult.
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