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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 31st Jan 2015, 01:44
  #2761 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Asia
Age: 58
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xcitation:

The weather is just one hole in the swiss cheese.
Sorry to be pedantic, but in the swiss cheese model of accident causation weather is not a hole in the swiss cheese. Weather is a hazard. The slices of cheese are defences that sit between hazards and losses. A hole in the cheese is an inadequacy in part of the defence. Assuming weather was the primary hazard in this event, the defence layers might include aircraft design, AB FBW control philosophy, cockpit ergonomics, pilot training, pilot behavioural aspects, airline SOPs, crew resourcing, CRM, management behaviours, scheduling, maintenance, information provision and analysis, etc. Inadequacies in these defences are holes. When the inadequacies manifest at once, the holes line up. Some holes could be much bigger than others. This is only one conceptual model of accident causality. I make this point because it seems to be a much misunderstood model on this forum. But it is also a good argument against the people here who are speculating a single cause as the cause.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 03:34
  #2762 (permalink)  
 
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The position of the THS will be documented on the DFDR download of which I believe they already have.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 04:07
  #2763 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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I am seeing a pattern here. Three major aviation disasters (AF, Mali, this one) involving western pilots trying to tangle with heavy tropical thunderstorms. Is it possible that better education on tropical weather might prevent this toll from increasing? Those of us who are used to the weather in the temperate zones are also used to seeing severe storms moving east. Tropical severe storms move west. Their dynamics are similar but everything about them moves opposite to what we are used to seeing.

I wonder if this basic fact underlies the tragic end results of these three confrontations of aircraft and severe tropical thunderstorms.

Pre-flight planning of avoidance should stress the fact that tropical cells move west and planning a slight deviation west as you might do with storms further away from the equator is the wrong way to proceed. You would do better to be thinking of avoidance to the east in low latitudes.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 04:26
  #2764 (permalink)  
 
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Question captain left seat before ' climb "

per AirAsia captain left seat before jet lost control: sources | Reuters

[quote](Reuters) - The captain of the AirAsia jet that crashed into the sea in December was out of his seat conducting an unorthodox procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane, two people familiar with the investigation said.
After trying to reset this device, pilots pulled a circuit-breaker to cut its power, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.
and

Reuters reported this week that maintenance problems on the Flight Augmentation Computer (FAC), and the way the pilots reacted to them, were at the heart of the investigation.

After trying to reset this device, pilots pulled a circuit-breaker to cut its power, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters it was the Indonesian captain Iriyanto who took this step, rather than his less experienced French co-pilot Remy Plesel, who was flying the plane.

The outage would not directly upset the aircraft but would remove flight envelope protection, which prevents a pilot from taking a plane beyond its safety limits, leaving the junior pilot to fly the jet manually in delicate high altitude conditions.

The decision to cut off the FAC has surprised people following the investigation because the usual procedure for resetting it is to press a button on the overhead panel.

"You can reset the FAC, but to cut all power to it is very unusual," said one A320 pilot, who declined to be identified. "You don't pull the circuit breaker unless it was an absolute emergency. I don't know if there was one in this case, but it is very unusual."
GEEEZE !!!
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 04:34
  #2765 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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New to this thread. Airbus mostly has a "training problem". When flown by properly trained crews, 320's never crash. The one that deadsticked into the Hudson River is the only hull loss in the US, and maybe all of N America. Same Same big carriers in Europe and elsewhere. When flown by Airbus trained pilots, their safety record is not so good.

The bus also has an "auto" function on the weather radar that Airbus tells pilots to use. My legacy airline put a "INOP" sticker on it. I never used it till I got to Asia. It just doesn't work. If you want proof just jump on the airway that goes over Wuhan, PRC. Half the jets in China are asking for radar vectors around it in VFR, severe clear weather. The city shows up as a huge thunderstorm 120 miles out in "Auto". All the airbuses ask for vectors around it, the Boeings fly over it. The windows are all covered with newspapers and blankets.

Flying through a thunderstorm in an airbus is very easy to do in "auto"

I am betting the THS is full nose up on the tapes.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 05:01
  #2766 (permalink)  
 
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USMC

Yes seen the blankets and newspapers covering the windows. The first rule of airmanship is lookout, which should be taught and insisted upon from day one. However the sound basics seem to be out the window these days.

I observed an EX senior Captain of a flag carrier, based in the region who had his eyes glued to the WX radar and flying around Islands, being certain they were CB's. I did suggest in passing that if he ever did have the time available it might be worth a look outside.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 05:01
  #2767 (permalink)  
 
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A320 Maintenance

Can anyone advise whether the airline does its own maintenance or contracts it out to another party. Thanks.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 05:21
  #2768 (permalink)  
 
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Coagie & ekw

You're way overestimating the influence of what you call 'PR' people. Even when they exist they're way down the pecking order and I don't think the (company) lawyers would pay too much attention to them.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 05:33
  #2769 (permalink)  
 
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Captain was out of "his seat conducting an unorthodox procedure"

(Reuters) - The captain of the AirAsia jet that crashed into the sea in December was out of his seat conducting an unorthodox procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane, two people familiar with the investigation said.

Details emerging of the final moments of Flight QZ8501 are likely to focus attention partly on maintenance, procedures and training, though Indonesian officials have stressed publicly that it is too early to draw any firm conclusions.

It had been suffering maintenance faults with a key flight control computer for over a week, and one person familiar with the matter said the captain had flown on the same plane with the intermittently faulty device just days before the crash.

AirAsia (AIRA.KL) said it would not comment while the matter was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) of Indonesia. Reuters reported this week that maintenance problems on the Flight Augmentation Computer (FAC), and the way the pilots reacted to them, were at the heart of the investigation. After trying to reset this device, pilots pulled a circuit-breaker to cut its power, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.People familiar with the matter told Reuters it was the Indonesian captain Iriyanto who took this step, rather than his less experienced French co-pilot Remy Plesel, who was flying the plane.

The outage would not directly upset the aircraft but would remove flight envelope protection, which prevents a pilot from taking a plane beyond its safety limits, leaving the junior pilot to fly the jet manually in delicate high altitude conditions. The decision to cut off the FAC has surprised people following the investigation because the usual procedure for resetting it is to press a button on the overhead panel. "You can reset the FAC, but to cut all power to it is very unusual," said one A320 pilot, who declined to be identified. "You don't pull the circuit breaker unless it was an absolute emergency. I don't know if there was one in this case, but it is very unusual."

It is also significant because to pull the circuit breaker the captain had to rise from his seat.The circuit breakers are on a wall panel immediately behind the co-pilot and hard or impossible to reach from the seated position on the left side, where the captain sits, according to two experienced pilots and published diagrams of the cockpit. Shortly afterwards the junior pilot pulled the plane into a sharp climb from which investigators have said it stalled or lost lift. "It appears he was surprised or startled by this," said a person familiar with the investigation, referring to the decision to cut power to the affected computer.

The captain eventually resumed control, but a person familiar with the matter said he was not in a position to intervene immediately to recover the aircraft from its upset. Data already published on the plane's trajectory suggest it may have been difficult for someone to move around the cockpit in an upward-tilting and by then possibly unstable aircraft, but there is so far no confirmation of the cockpit movements. "The co-pilot pulled the plane up, and by the time the captain regained the controls it was too late," one of the people familiar with the investigation said. Tatang Kurniadi, chief of Indonesia's NTSC, told Reuters there had been no delay in the captain resuming control but declined further comment.

Airbus declined to comment.

Lawyers for the family of the French co-pilot say they have filed a lawsuit against AirAsia in Paris for “endangering the lives of others” by flying the route without official authorisation on that day. Investigators have said the accident was not related to the permit issue. AirAsia did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. Although more is becoming known about the chain of events, people familiar with the investigation warned against making assumptions on the accident's cause, which needed more analysis.

Safety experts say air crashes are most often caused by a chain of events, each of which is necessary but not sufficient to explain the underlying causes of the accident.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 06:26
  #2770 (permalink)  
 
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SOP Monkey;
I saw it twice at my legacy carrier in 15 years. Really embarrassing.

I saw it every single day in the far east at two airlines. I even landed once at an airport with half a dozen Boeings. Every single airbus but me diverted. 7 km visibility, ceiling 2000 ft. Light rain. Auto radar showed a big huge thunderstorm. Eyeballs and manual radar showed light rain. My FO wanted to divert.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 07:48
  #2771 (permalink)  
 
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"What Airbus may issue is an AOT (Alert Operator Transmission)"

In fact AOT = All Operator Telex
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 08:30
  #2772 (permalink)  
 
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I have never flown Airbus but all this is pointing once again to the fundamental flaw in Airbus design logic.

If pushing autopilot disconnect does not instantly enable PF to manualy and directly fly the aircraft to regain an attitude of his choosing then it should never have been certified IMHO.

Will someone familiar with all the airbus specific "laws" and terms "alpha floors" etc. answer in lay pilot's terms exactly what actions have to be taken to enable basic control to be directly recovered.........or is this always "subject to the approval of" software that will overrule if it perceives an excedence ( maybe of its own creation)
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 08:53
  #2773 (permalink)  
 
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If pushing autopilot disconnect does not instantly enable PF to manualy and directly fly the aircraft to regain an attitude of his choosing then it should never have been certified IMHO.
The problem to date has not been as you say, but when the Airbus does allow PF to fly an attitude of his choosing

This accident is not worth discussing yet in regard to this item. AF447 and Perpignan both occurred because, for various reasons, protections did not prevent PF essentially leading to unrecoverable situations.

Until recently there was no FCOM technique to "force" the aircraft to a "basic law" - albeit much debate here and in cockpits about "how" to. The recent OEB alters this, and covers an unlikely (but not impossible) scenario where protections inappropriately kick in. It requires 2 PBs pressed to cause the required downgrade. IIRC in the incident triggering this the downgrade happened anyway, but presumably the boffins have now found a scenario that might not. The actions required are to turn off 2 of 3 ADRs.

I would much prefer to fly a "basic" stick and throttles aircraft, but I do not make the big $$ decisions. The accidents to date show a mismatch between pilots' interpretations and the technology - but ironically it is not the pilots misunderstanding the "complex" part of the technology, but the basic flying aspects

2 routes we can go down: either further the technology, try and really make the aircraft uncrashable, and take the pilot further out of the loop (and eventually the cockpit). Or alter pilot training and practices such that they still have basic skills, and realise the technology is there to help most of the time, but is not infallible. I know which route I prefer, but many here seem to favour the former
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 09:03
  #2774 (permalink)  
bzh
 
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In my books a FAC reset can be done via circuit braker on the ground, engine off brakes on and hydrolics on, big no no in the air.... Ecam action only no airborne reset for FAC fault.....I only have 1700h on type and 11000h total, not a test pilot....
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 10:05
  #2775 (permalink)  
 
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N o D

I totally agree with the content of your last 2 paragraphs.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 11:01
  #2776 (permalink)  
 
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USCMProbe:

Are you suggesting perhaps, that Airbus pilots in the east rely too much on the automation and when things get sticky (the the automation won't help), prefer to vector around or away?
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 12:52
  #2777 (permalink)  
 
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i can't help thinking some of what's being reported is coming straight from here, or from people posting here, so please consider the implications of your speculations.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 13:34
  #2778 (permalink)  
 
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I think we can all agree that if we were all privy to the actual CVR transcript and FDR data we could make a better guess on what really happened to AirAsia.


Press reports, citing people ''in the know'' or "familiar with the investigation" can end up sending us all on a wild goose chase.

When I read the article, posted here by BG47, I thought: Company Man, trying to trouble shoot "INTERMITTENT" problem that could not be reproduced on the ground by Mx. Didn't want to get stuck at the next stop with a plane that would be grounded somehow.

Sometimes pilots have been given information by other sources which allow them to think they KNOW BETTER or KNOW MORE on how to get things done. I've seen it before, not to this tragic end however.


ADVICE:

IF you are having ANY Problems with a plane, do not get close to a hazard like a thunderstorm. Instead, stay way far away from additional hazard and accomplish checklist WHILE MAINTAINING CONTROL OF THE PLANE.

DO not go into thunderstorm without both pilots securely strapped in to their seats and have an "OUT" in case things get too hairy.

I do not know how the legal system works in indonesia. BUT BOY OH BOY I would think the lawsuits could cripple air asia if in a country like the USA.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 14:12
  #2779 (permalink)  
 
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The 800lb Gorilla in the room no one seems to want to mention is ab intro pilots who get most of their training in simulators. They never get the opportunity to build a solid background and learn solid basic stick and rudder skills. It now appears two airbuses have been lost to pilots with similar ab intro training.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 14:20
  #2780 (permalink)  
 
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Next to suicide

Of course this is all in the area of pure speculation in the absence of reliable facts. But I have to say this. Trying to fly an aircaft in bad weather, with all protection disabled is next to committing suicide. That too by a junior pilot and the captain not in command. How many agree with me? Tony Fernandez in a recent TV interview has said, he called in the Airbus to review all the airline procedures. I am sure there will be many holes in their SOP.
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