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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 Dec 2015, 09:54
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Ice Pack

Exactly.

If it's a situation where someone is saying, "I once saw this done, let's give it a go", that's risky enough on the ground in an empty aircraft. Wicked to try that stunt for a non-lethal error warning in the air.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 10:14
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TriStar
if I saw a nose pitch up attitude, decreasing airspeed and Mach number, and the aircraft was screaming stall, I would shove the nose down and increase thrust.*
Really?

Cpt Blogs just because an incident happened more than 20 years ago does not make it irrelevant.

Rather than could this happen on B rather than A, the question should be could thhis happen with yoke rather than side stick?
The answer is an emphatic yes.
Look at Colgan. Another case of the non lethal leading to lethal.

No one intentionally takes a civil aircraft on a normal flight close to the envelope. Therefore when their actions or the situation result in being close to a stall or actually stalled it takes them completely and utterly by surprise.
Whether the other pilot recognises the inappropriate response is a side issue. The real problem is that so many pilots react inappropriately in the first place and do not carry out the correct stall recovery procedure.
Training!
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 10:36
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The CVR and FDR times on page 55 do not match up with those on page 57. Some of the facts that led up to this are missing and a more comprehensive CVR transcript might have been omitted because doing so wasn't "convenient."

If the PIC has left his seat to re-set the CB's surely this would have been picked up by the CAM mike, and probably also it would have been discussed.

What happened next, and why, is an entirely different matter, and one that training will have to address.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 10:44
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"If the PIC has left his seat to re-set the CB's surely this would have been picked up by the CAM mike, and probably also it would have been discussed."

It surprises me that someone has not commented on this before, I've seen comments that the PF was slow to react to the 56 degree left bank, but if the captain was busy sliding/falling around due to the increasing bank while out of his seat then maybe that explains why the FO didn't react, he may well have been looking back over his shoulder and thinking "Oh crap!"
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 12:04
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Quote:
if I saw a nose pitch up attitude, decreasing airspeed and Mach number, and the aircraft was screaming stall, I would shove the nose down and increase thrust.*

Really? Increasing thrust in a nose high stall with underslung engines is only going to make things worse.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 12:12
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Detailed hypothesis.
P2 (handling pilot) is a Frenchie with 2,000 hrs. Check the AF447 accident report (http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090 ... 601.en.pdf), which has a similar P2.
These junior guys do not know how to fly. There is nowhere near enough real handling on their training courses.

Clearly neither of them expected the autopilot to trip out on pulling the second CB. It was nine seconds before they noticed the aircraft at 54 degrees left bank. Poor systems knowledge.
Wouldn't be surprised if one of them was completely out of seat operating the CB (panel is behind the crew),and the other was watching him or concentrating on the checklist
Handling pilot panicked, huge pitch input and bank all over the place.
Captain can't speak English - instructed P2 to "Pull Down". P2 responds to first word.
Later on, we get "Pull", "Pull down" and "Pull Up". At no point is there a "Push down"
The two pilots are opposing each other on the sticks, and the airbus takes the average (how stupid is that?!).
There is, of course, no cross-feedback like mechanical sticks - I bet the P2 was unaware the Captain was inputting.
At no point does the Captain state he is taking control verbally. He's reverted to type and, with a combination of single seat time and the Asian authority gradient, isn't communicating effectively to the P2.

Like AF447, this goes on for 3 and a half minutes plus.

Absolutely no one in the aviation system is going to admit the entire training process is abysmal, because they like the profits and this kind of thing happens rarely enough that the punters don't care, but that's the reality.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 13:17
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The aural stall warning is evidently ineffective. Would it be difficult to attach a shaker to the sidestick?
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 13:44
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the first thing to go when overloaded, is hearing. An aural stall warning is ineffective and couples with the complex airbus computer FBW system is a recipe for disaster IMO.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 13:45
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Originally Posted by PT6Driver
Rather than could this happen on B rather than A, the question should be could thhis happen with yoke rather than side stick?
The answer is an emphatic yes.
Look at Colgan. Another case of the non lethal leading to lethal.
No, the was no indication in the Colgan prang that the pilots were fighting each other with the controls (nor the 767 prangs). The FO sat there watching. Here, the FO was doing one thing and the captain was doing another. That would have been impossible with control columns. As for pressing the red button, in the heat of the moment, you fight the way you train. Perhaps the captain had never used it, so it was not an automatic response in a "startle" situation.

The fact that this time the pilots were quite experienced
I don't agree. The FO had a career change at middle age and had only 2000-odd hours. If the majority of those were in an A320 "in the new world", he'd have probably 10 hours actual stick time, if that; liftoff to 500ft and 500ft to touchdown on the sectors he was pilot-"flying".
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 13:49
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I disagree that there is anything wrong with the Stall warning. The P2 is doing what he has been (wrongly) told, and the Captain recognised the stall (from his stick movements) but never told the P2 to let go.

"Pull down"
The Captain probably thought the P2 was pushing down, because that's what he thought he'd told him to do. The P2, however, was pulling because that's what he thought he'd been told to do, and he probably thought the Captain was also pulling.

The initial stall is a pilot handling problem.
The continued stall is a language problem.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 14:05
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As many have concluded, this is a scary similar to the AF447 horror story.

Disclaimer: I am a concerned SLF with a huge interest in aviation.

What I do not see much is references to the weather. The report clearly states that the weather was not a contributing factor, but if you weigh in the weather conditions the similarities becomes even more awful.

1) Somewhat adverse weather in both cases.

2) A technical fault (in AF447 the probes -> unreliable airspeed, QZ had a rudder glitch)

3) which is not responded to according to SOP (seriously, resetting CBs inflight, that was a bad bad idea even before that Northwest plane without flaps some years ago)

4) Neither technical fault should have had any adverse consequences had the crew followed SOPs.

5) Pilot Flying is the FO.

6) Capt is not situationally aware.

7) Noone has formal control of the airplane.

which tragically ends with...

8) So FO puts all his efforts into stalling the **** out of the plane as hard as you possibly can.

Now, how comes that two FOs can do such extreme harm to people and matter? Many are calling for extended training, and now I wonder: How much more training can you get? How many hours of "nose down, gain speed" do one person need to avoid or recover from a stall?

Here you have a FO with 2000+ hours. He should know how NOT to stall something, right? Yet he didn't. In AF447 the FO was a glider pilot during free time. He would have known tons about how NOT to stall the bird. Yet, when manure reached the air condition he goddarn sat on that side stick all the way into the drink.

So I would guess that there is more to it than just increased training. There is something going on that we might not yet see. It might have something to do with the side stick/yoke thing. I do not think we should dismiss that possibility. While there have been lots of stalling accidents with yoked airplanes, they have all included some kind of mechanical failure or, as in the Colgan case, extreme fatigue and/or flying in the circadian low. (Not counting Asiana here, that was very low altitude.)

As an SLF I find it troubling that people who, by all reasonable assumptions (flying hours, flying experience), should have the skills to... well, fly... they still don't. I don't believe that any of these FOs believed they weren't up to the task. I believe they did everything necessary to succeed and yet they failed so miserably.

So, can this happen to you who write here? Can you too one day end up in the big blue with the whole world condemning you for being a product of "p2f"? I think you could. So please, if you believe "more training" is what is needed, press your concerns with your airline. Be vigil, fly more in your free time. Challenge yourself with some home sim software. And be aware that maybe there is something we not yet know from these accident reports. The circumstances are soo soo similar, there must be something more than just "more pilot training" as a response.

-----------

What also concerns me is that two very similar accidents can happen. This tells me that the number of near misses must be reasonably large. Which is very unsettling.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 14:19
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On the airbus, stall warning is only encountered in alternate law, i.e. when the systems are already degraded by multiple failures. So stall warning is always preceded by other, unrelated, warnings calling for ECAM actions, and causing an unusual and stressful environment in which aural warnings tend to be ignored.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 14:23
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Mr Snuggles

Some interesting comments and observations but if I may can I bring up a couple of points before somebody else does?

fly more in your free time.
I think you may just get a bit of robust feedback on that, so I'll be gentle.

Most pilots on full time contracts these days are working long hours on quite punishing rosters...I know there's this idea we are all "total aviation people" but in reality many don't have time to rush down to the flying club for a bit of GH on a day off...even if him/her indoors would sanction it . It's also worth taking a look at the cost of flying in some parts of the world, and in any event many a newer pilot's cash is spoken for in repaying training loans.

Challenge yourself with some home sim software.
Ummm.....well....you need be aware of it's limitations (and most of it is very limited) and be very very aware of negative training....I'm not sure a PC/joystick combo has much stick and rudder training value for someone flying a Boeing as a day job......

If more training is the answer then it must be done properly, using realistic equipment and not left to the individual ...and that will cost the industry money.

Last edited by wiggy; 2nd Dec 2015 at 14:36.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 14:33
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Gysbreght:

On the airbus, stall warning is only encountered in alternate law, i.e. when the systems are already degraded by multiple failures. So stall warning is always preceded by other, unrelated, warnings calling for ECAM actions, and causing an unusual and stressful environment in which aural warnings tend to be ignored.
This MIGHT be one of those strange things that MIGHT be involved in the repeat of AF447.

As I see it: The publicity from the AF case, its widespread media coverage, the appaling truth, noone, especially not a French aviator, would have missed that report. I honestly believe that FO here had knowlegde of the causes of AF447 and I betcha he never ever thought that would happen to him. I am sure he believed he would have all the nuts in the bag if **** ever got to that. Yet he too failed. And the Capt failed. In horrifyingly similar circumstances.

There must be something more about this. MAYBE it has to do with ergonomics. MAYBE aural warnings are not optimal. MAYBE it after all is a stick vs yoke discussion. I do not know. MAYBE it has something to do with sensory feedback. The input from pilots experienced in both types of aircraft might be extremely valuable.

What do you think?
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 14:40
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wiggy

Yes, I know, I know. Flying is expensive. But is that a reason not to do it? I mean, it IS after all the hand flying skill deterioration that is widely critiqued in a number of threads. I would hope that those critiquing it at least lives up to their own expectations.

And, press the airlines! You are the reason the planes fly at all. Now you have two eerily similar tragedies to shove in the face of any beancounter.
In Sweden, unions would be the way to go forward with this. Unions are not evil monsters, not here anyway.

Home sim software is far from the real deal. Being a humble wheel-born driver I also know this. But as with all home sim things, the procedures are what you want. They don't change; buttons actions don't change.

BTW, would anyone here happen to know how many near misses of this sort that amounts to one tragedy?

Last edited by MrSnuggles; 2nd Dec 2015 at 14:57. Reason: adding "home"
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 14:52
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flight sim?? give me strength
i think the post above about alternate law and degradation is onto something there. i have flown with A and B types and IMO, both are excellent planes. However, when things go wrong, airbus is much much more comlex than its American equivalent.
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 15:08
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What you didn't read in the FINAL report:

23:15:36 the fourth failure of the Rudder Travel Limiter Units triggered ECAM message....and 3 seconds later a sound similar to a seat motion is heard..

It seems also that Airbus picked up on my observations that some of the times do not match up.

The crucial point here (other than the fact that having stalled the airplane they failed to recover from it) is that "some" may believe that this report has been carefully worded to avoid stating that one of the pilots might have actually left his seat to re-set a CB that was not called on the ECAM to be re-set. Throughout the report the investigators have chosen to use the phrase "AUTO FLT FAC (1 or 2) FAULT which was triggered by FAC (1 or 2) FAULT followed by signature of erratic fluctuation of the parameters of the components controlled by FAC...".

Airbus on the other hand wanted the statement amended to " triggered by FAC 1 (or 2) being de-energised concomitant with FDR signature of unavailability of parameters computed by FAC 1 (or 2).[/QUOTE].

There is a big difference between the two statements, especially when one considers the definitions of fluctuating and unavailable.

Perhaps that is why not much of the CVR transcript was included in the report.

Last edited by sooty3694; 2nd Dec 2015 at 15:10. Reason: added text
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 15:20
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I have a question for those who know more than me. Why would this plane be flying around so long with this known fault? Why would AirAsia not fix this issue? Cost, Time, both?
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 15:42
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Why would this plane be flying around so long with this known fault?
because the exakt fault was not known. Spurious computer errors do happen frequently. If resetting solves the issue, no further action is taken. If the fault can not be reproduced on ground (e.g. due to a temperature related problem, like thermal stress on a cracked solder joint) the units are declared "serviceable" and end in an aircraft again. Just when the frequency of one specific fault indicates a real issue which can be pinpointed to one specific system, more action is taken. This would have probably been the case after this flight, on whicht the unit would have failed 6-7 times or more...
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Old 2nd Dec 2015, 15:59
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@sooty3694
and 3 seconds later a sound similar to a seat motion is heard
It's a philosophical call regarding how much to include "based on speculation" vs. based on facts that can be proven.

E.g., the sound "similar" to seat motion was speculative (it may or may not actually have come from seat motion) -- and in any case unnecessary to be included, so it was omitted from the official transcript.

There is a big difference between the two statements, especially when one considers the definitions of fluctuating and unavailable.
Again the Indonesians were (correctly) conservative in this case, since the FDR data actually shows the parameters to be fluctuating between min and max, not unavailable.

See for example the graph on top of Page 48. When FAC 1 was reset, the TLU1 parameter (green) fluctuated between 0 and 1. Similarly when FAC 2 was reset, the TLU2 parameter (blue) fluctuated between 0 and 1.

Similarly the Wind Shear Detection parameters 1 & 2 (purple and black) fluctuated during these periods. They did not become "unavailable".
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