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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 2nd Feb 2015, 17:46
  #2941 (permalink)  
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ELT found !
AirAsia emergency locator transmitter found in Mamuju | The Jakarta Post
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 18:09
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All this chat about aerobatic and unusual recovery training is, very sad to say, pie in the sky. I've been there, done that and hope to do even more. That's what flying for fun is about. However, the modern thinking of airline flying - which is looked upon as a potentially vast profit making business - is to design trained monkey SOP's that keep the crew as far away from the need for basic piloting skills as possible. This is exacerbated by modern fail safe a/c design. Captains are being upgraded with half the experience of years ago. Some accidents are now contributed to bad decision making not always bad handling. That could come from lack of experience with the environment you find yourself in. We've all been in a new scenario, where SOP's and QRH's were not helpful, and used nouse, airmanship, tickly hairs on back of necks moments to help in decision making in dark moments. Hi-tech airports & ever more hi-tech high powered a/c, coupled with a diluted basic training syllabus and fast track command upgrades, creates an over dependancy on automatics & SOP's and an over relaxed approach to operating in a 'mother nature' environment where we are not supposed to be. When smart decision making is needed, to avoid the deadly combination of mother nature & gravity, some are found lacking - as a crew.
It has been said, earlier, that the Swiss cheese model is all about hazards and the layers are the defences. The holes are the weaknesses. I like that analogy. In some cases the holes are created when a hazard is encountered and the experience is not there to handle the scenario you are confronted with. Then a hole appears. I'm saying this in general conversation, not specific to this case. How to reverse this trend? There have been smoking holes, but the public reaction by the authorities and airlines has not been what we might have expected. Some years ago people on here said that smoking holes would create a reaction, but it hasn't happened. Some mishaps have been tried to be cured by redesign or extra technology. There has not been a reversal in training/checking philosophy demanded by the so-called safety agencies. Hm? Has there even been any discussion and a review process. Are a few smoking holes an acceptable risk & consequence in this vast profit making business? Is a technology based solution cheaper? Humans have always been, and perhaps always will be the major contributor to accidents, no matter what. To solve that would cost massive energy and funds. I suspect the temptation to use technology as a smart solution is too great. The days of stick & rudder airline flying may been a dodo. Very sad. But how do we improve the decision making process?
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 18:15
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Originally Posted by Machinbird
From this link Investigator: Co-pilot was flying AirAsia Flight 8501:
Investigator: Co-pilot was flying AirAsia Flight 8501
we have a comment by one of the actual investigators.
Ertata Lanang Galih, a senior pilot and investigator, said after
requesting permission to ascend, the plane was veering left and
wobbling, CNN reported. Siswosuwarno said it then ascended to 37,400
feet in about 30 seconds, according to the broadcaster.
The key word getting my attention is the use of the term "wobbling", and
the comment that this occurred before the sudden climb.

What would deserve use of the term "wobbling"? There is one thing that
comes to mind-roll oscillation causing a sinusoidal flight path.
What would cause roll oscillation? Basically a high gain pilot suddenly
dropped into Alternate law with roll direct. One who has never
experienced the change in roll sensitivity and decreased roll damping
that occurs at cruise altitude.

Now I can state with some confidence that 99.9% of the actual pilots
here have never had a roll PIO experience. So virtually none of you have
any comprehension of what it is like. Simply put, it demands your
complete attention. It is a draining experience. Less than five seconds
of roll PIO will get your adrenaline flowing. Thirty seconds is probably
enough to break down the average pilot's scan. It is as if your aircraft
has suddenly grown fangs and a mind of its own. PIOs do not require a
FBW system to happen. It is just that with their many reversion modes,
FBW aircraft are more likely to put a pilot into a part of the flight
regime he has never encountered before. At its core, PIO avoidance is a
training issue, assuming a properly designed flight control system.

The final piece of what could have happened is the basic additive (or
integrating) nature of Alternate Law. When PF's arm gets exhausted from
stick flailing he inadvertently starts moving the stick in an arc and
starts bumping nose up in the corners of roll travel. With the scan
broken and focused solely on roll, the aircraft starts a climb that
rapidly increases in attitude.

With the Captain out of his seat (perhaps performing a troubleshooting
procedure that Maintenance has briefed), we have all the Swiss cheese we
need to have an accident.

When the FDR data is finally published, look for a roll oscillation at
the beginning of the event. If it exists, you have an explanation here.

I use the term PIO because that is what I am comfortable with and one
interpretation of it is Pilot In-the-loop Oscillation. Also know by the
more modern term APC-Aircraft Pilot Coupling. I have had one short
encounter with roll PIO and that was an eye opener
There is no need of high altitude sensitivity to start a PIO. Stopping the FAC is just so efficient
And the failure mentioned eight times before the mishap flight is enough too. And more, resonance is enough to start a roll "PIO" ...or divergent oscillation leading to break the plane like the Kirgiz KC-135 in a dutch roll which is not stabilized by the yaw damper, which can no more be stabilized by the rudder control .
Too much confidence in plane stability -in fact only static stability without consideration to the transient part of the flight leads to design failures. You may accept them on toys, but not on real airliners.
The F-16 did not seem to have such lettal simplification.
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 18:52
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"(2/1/2015) A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation, Adravida Barata, told Tempo.co that Indonesian airlines are now required to have “at least” one medical personnel on standby to monitor the health of pilots and co-pilots before take-off.

This new safety requirement being imposed on Indonesian air carriers is outlined in a regulation issued by Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan on January 15, 2015 of Health Standards and Certification of Flight Crew (Peraturan Menteri Perhubungan Nomor 8 Tahun 2015 tentang Standar Kesehatan dan Sertifikasi Personel Penerbangan).

Barata was speaking in Jakarta on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN). He went on to explain that the medical staff would be expected to test the blood pressure of flight crew and determine if they are under the influence of alcohol. Emphasizing that specialist doctors are not required for such health screenings, the Ministry spokesman said such tests are needed to prevent pilots and co-pilots in an unfit condition from taking commands of a commercial aircraft.

The President Director of Indonesia AirAsia Sunu Widyatmoko asserted that his airline has always routinely reviewed the health of its cockpit crews. Commercial pilots must undergo a complete physical twice yearly, plus a separate additional drug screening by BNN also conducted twice a year. There are also unscheduled surprise checks conducted by the Aviation Medical team of the Directorate General of Aviation done at a minimum of once a year."
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 19:40
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On reset of FAC versus Circuit Breakers

drphillips and others have stated the difference between reset and CB. MY point was/is that IF the FAC(s) are fubar due to ?? ( sensors, bad connections, etc ) then pilots wind up in a infinite loop of on-off, partial protection, full protection, etc.

Whereas pulling Circuit breakers at least stops that loop, but still prevents from bending the airplane.

The article seemed seemed to describe that pushing the reset button(s) would have fixed things or from my view seemed to treat the reset as a circuit breaker ( which it is not )

On other control issues suggest looking up ' phugoid ' in wiki re getting behind the curve or pilot induced oscillations or out of sync feedback..
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 21:44
  #2946 (permalink)  
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Enough with the captain-out-of-seat rumor!

It did not happen according to the NTSC!

Even Reuters who started the whole thing had to walk back their original report:

Investigators say no evidence AirAsia captain left his seat | Reuters

Now back to you pros discussing relevant facts/rumors.
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 22:02
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Just about the only sensible thing reported by Reuters so far

"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".
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 00:28
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Boomtown the FAC flight envelope functions are not the same as the fbw protections. I would argue that selecting the two FAC off will put the aircraft into alternate law in the same way that selecting two functioning ADR off will achieve the same result.
I may have missed it in this now huge thread but what were the symptoms the aircraft was displaying that the crew were trying to correct? Was it directly connected to a FAC or did the previous history of the FAC predispose them to think that was the cause?
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 00:46
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This A320 accident seems related to conditioning and acceptance of known problems, i.e. FAC and weather.
Forget about pilot procedures, loss of control and the accident for the moment.

Can experienced airbus FBW pilots suggest other reasons why management, maintenance and multiple crews allowed this aircraft to continue to fly with a history of unresolved FAC problems?

With the limited information available, what percentage of the responsibility for flight with a dodgy FAC would be reasonably attributed to each of these 3 groups?

Alternatively, suggest who else may be responsible?

Suggested response examples:
1 Nobody is responsible for flight with FAC problems. It was just an insignificant ongoing issue. Since everybody knew about it, it was no big deal and not affecting the safety of flight.
2 Engineers 0% were seeking to repair this difficult problem. They were doing their best. Flights were 100% captain responsibility.
3 Airbus 50% and regulatory authorities 50% should know about these problems and should have grounded the aircraft for repair.
4 The airline was under financial stress, and it is OK to cut a few corners.
5 Management unwritten financial stress information filters down through the system. Anyone who makes FAC an issue will suffer, so it is 100% management responsibility. Untimately the captain has no responsibility.
6 Engineers 100% should have grounded the aircraft after a few ongoing FAC reports. Pilots 0% should be able to trust engineers.
7 Management 100%, maintenance 100%, captains who continued to fly this aircraft 100%, Experienced first officers who continued to fly this aircraft 50%, 200 hour first officers who continued to fly this aircraft 0%
8 Management 30%, maintenance 30% captains 30% experienced first officers 10%.

Last edited by autoflight; 3rd Feb 2015 at 07:33.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 00:50
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Autoflight the engineering write up will be -Ground test satis , no fault found, please report further.
It has not yet been leaked ,what problems the FAC or FACs had been exhibiting on previous sectors. Standard practice would have been to swap their positions to try and troubleshoot the problem.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 00:51
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You have a small fleet of A320 aircraft. How do you troubleshoot an intermittent FAC?
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 00:56
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Swap it with a FAC from another aircraft or your spare from stores.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 00:57
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Autoflight the engineering write up will be -Ground test satis , no fault found, please report further.
This is an obvious engineering response to the first few reports. Of course the get a bit exasperated when a swapped FAC from another aircraft gives same problems and the problem FAC in the donor aircraft FAC works OK.

If you are experienced airbus FBW driver, please consider suggesting final operating responsibility
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 01:03
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It will come down to following a troubleshooting protocol. I would hope that this included swapping positions or exchanging units between aircraft. If you were unlucky you could have a pool of rogue FAC.
I am not an engineer but I do remember some obscure problems with Airbus 300-600 fuel computers that caused faults and were returned by the overhaul company with no fault found on bench testing. They would fail on fit when put back into the aircraft and I don't think that the exact cause of the failures was ever discovered before the aircraft were retired. Sometimes they would work fine on the ground but a few hours of cold soak soon started the failures again.
as to final responsibility it would be difficult to reject an aircaft for service if the log shows no faults but I would read the corrective actions in the log very carefully to see what fault finding had taken place.
The A320 family relies on engineers interrogating systems through the mcdu to troubleshoot systems and a lot of the old fashioned engineering practices and knowledge are slowly becoming a lost art,imho.

Last edited by tubby linton; 3rd Feb 2015 at 01:18.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 01:28
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...of failed components shouldn't blindly progress past the second changed computer. Not in a fleet that has normal reliability figures for that component. I mean, what are the chances of two bad ones, let alone a third? After that the related sensors, antenae, wiring, switches etc should become the focus. Or perhaps the repair procedures.

Often a fault will be traced back to some long-forgotten part change or procedure performed just before the saga of intermittent defects started. (Always check the last thing you did)
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 04:38
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You have a small fleet of A320 aircraft. How do you troubleshoot an intermittent FAC?
Small Fleet? Indonesian Air Asia has 29 A320, Air Asia Group has 182 with another 475 on order.

It is currently an Airbus only airline group. Previously it flew 737-300s, up until 2010 it was banned from EU air space.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 04:45
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There is one solution, and as long as it will not be implemented, stupid crashes like those one will continue to occur, with dummy pilots stuck to their seats and looking helplessly at the horizon - visual or instrumental - spiralling in front of them : put priority in recruiting ex-fighter pilots, all over the world, which means consider that 2000 hrs of combat jets in 10 years have the value of 15000 spent in airliners, doing only God knows what - like reading the news, chatting in the galley with the CC, sleeping on controlled rest, sleeping in the CRC, or doing navigator but not pilot job as PNF, logging all the hours as "pilot"hours.
The ex-military pilots certainly do not set the bar in my airline. Many perform below average. Traits required for military selection do not necessarily transfer well to the multi-crew conservative approach required for safe airline flight.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 05:09
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The military captain did not need to overcome FACs' failures in his F-16 life. Once again Airbus systems are poor copies of the F-16 systems.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 05:13
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Although it is already confirmed that the captain did not get out of his seat to pull the CB (this can not be 100% trusted IMO), I want to point out on thing. CBs are not "normal" controls and there is not CB schematic availible to the pilots (I guess maintenance has it, because they use CBs more often - but to pilots its not a normal control). I'm wondering why the captain should have known the location of the FAC cb and was therefore able to find is quickly? Yesterday I looked for it during a long ground stop just out of curiosity and it took me around 2 minutes to locate it. I can image that an experienced captain knows the location of the CBs that are used from time to time (approved reset procedures, that occur rather often...) - for example I know the location of the FMGC 1 + 2 CB by heart (I'm still a rather new FO on the A320), because I needed to use them several times already (but of course I didn't do the reset by heart, but with reference to the approved procedure in the manual!). However as several people already pointed out there is no approved FAC reset procedure involving the use of the CB, the only approved reset (for flight crew) is done with the FAC pushbutton.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 05:20
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If they were already eight problems with FACs, they learned where the CB was !
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