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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 29th Dec 2014, 19:15
  #421 (permalink)  
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"Given the Xpdr etc was lost about FL290"

VHF line of sight range at FL320 is ~219 miles; may have dropped below line of sight?
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:15
  #422 (permalink)  
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What would they say?

38000 feet to ground level is a long time, plenty of time to make a call regardless of the situation at hand
AFR447's crew had 3.5 minutes, but never mashed the mic button...
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:19
  #423 (permalink)  
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"38000 feet to ground level is a long time, plenty of time to make a call regardless of the situation at hand"

AF447 crew plummed out of the sky for 4 and half minutes before crashing in the Ocean .. any mayday in a such situation is going to be the last thing the pilots will think about. You fly the plane and try to do the possible and the impossible, it's a powerful instinct, our brain doesn't get stuck in a cognitive process when life is in a such danger.

Last edited by butterfly68; 29th Dec 2014 at 19:29.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:19
  #424 (permalink)  
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If that was directed at me - I haven't posted a single image. Nothing I say is intended to dramatise or sensationlise this accident. We have enough spotters, simulator gamers and conspiracy theorists on here for that.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:23
  #425 (permalink)  
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Many people here, not pilots I may add, think that the priority of emergency procedures in an airliner is to keep people on an internet board informed as soon as possible. The number one priority of the aircraft design, the procedures design and the crew dealing with the emergency is to AVOID a crash. Leaving an information trail is not a priority, that is what the CVR and data recorders are for. When you hit a patch of ice in your car what do you do? Call An ambulance as the car is still moving? Start filming on you mobile? No, you try and drive out of it. Only when you have stopped and assesed if there are any injuries you call an ambulance and only when the ambulance has taken the injured away you take photos for your insurance claim.

Aircraft are not designed by idiots,;beleive it or not they are designed, like all machines with certain compromises, by people that know their stuff.

We will find out what happened here and we will change whatever needs changing to avoid a re-occurrence. Real time sattelite data downlink, not needed. It would not have ovoided the crash and the data will become available when the boxes are found. Calling ATC? At the bottom of list of priorities when your AC is out of control. What can they do to help? Fly the AC for you?
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:37
  #426 (permalink)  
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What we know isn't much but is definately painting a picture

sigmet active for emeded TS to FL500

Deviation requested to the left and climb to FL380 (from FL320) to avoid weather

Last ATC plot was climbing through FL363 with a slow 353kt G/S (aprox 200kts IAS)
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:39
  #427 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jumbobelle
Forgive me for stating the bleeding obvious but weren't we here a year ago with disappearing aeroplanes? We're perfectly capable of tracking something as large as an airliner but don't learn the lessons.
?????, this aircraft was being tracked, right until what ever happened, happened. Primary and secondary radar.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:43
  #428 (permalink)  

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"We're out of control!" "HELP!"

Phew! Sense at last.

Try calling ATC while actively dealing with a full-on emergency in the simulator and you'll be strictly admonished (b....cked) by the examiner as a matter of course. And rightly so.

And when in the dwang for real, "Mayday" means "m'aidez" = "help me". What help can ATC offer?

Answers on a postcard.......

(When in control having addressed the emergency, and with time allowing, once the actions have been performed, then it is time to let ATC know what you are up to)
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:55
  #429 (permalink)  
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Radar MEL

Lucille, does this mean a plane can be dispatched for a week without operating radar, even in a storm environment as existed in this case?
The MEL for Radar needs to be changed to Category A. And the exceptions tightened up to minimize a "relaxed" interpretation for commercial reasons.

The thing that really angers me is that in contrast, the CVR, which does absolutely nothing for the immediate safety of the aircraft in which it's installed is allowed to be unserviceable for only 3 days.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 19:58
  #430 (permalink)  
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Oh, thanks for that, RoyHudd ... so that's my career completely wasted.

Although I do completely understand where you're coming from ... Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
But - does pressing the Tx button involve that much distraction from the acknowledged essentials? Perhaps it does?

I only ever had one airborne emergency, in a Piper Colt, and one of the very first things after "Aviate" was to whimper "Pan". But then I was only a PPL student at the time, and someone in the circuit landed to get an Instructor up to the Tower ...
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:12
  #431 (permalink)  
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I would like to point out to some of the newer posters...

Ahem, cough, sorry something was stuck in my throat there.....
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:22
  #432 (permalink)  
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RoyH is correct. ATC is last priority unless it is an ATC related problem.

On the speculation that this aircraft stalled; discounting wind, the 353knots ground speed equates to approx 167KEAS and 172KCAS.

This is not a stall speed for the A/C weight of approx 59 tonnes and roughly equates to where you would expect the airspeed to be in a high alpha situation being managed by the FMGEC.

There was about a 20 knot tailwind at the altitude the aircraft was flying at. Whether this can be factored in depends on whether the aircraft actually entered a CB, as the local wind speeds in the up draught and down draughts would render the calculation moot.

The 353 knot radar groundspeed (if accurate) probably means that the aircraft was very slow, but not stalled.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:27
  #433 (permalink)  
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ITS all about money. Are you willing to pay X amount MORE for your ticket if the plane has a 1 percent great chance of being found in 3 days after a crash?
It is indeed about money. But, think about it this way. Governments and businesses have already spent many, many tens of millions of dollars on the MH370 SAR operation [1].

In my opinion, the argument "improved tracking ability would benefit less than 99% of flights, so therefore we shouldn't invest in it" is NOT a strong argument. We can quantify *precisely* how much should be spent on an improved tracking ability because it is a given that some number of planes will be lost.

Even if we only lose a plane once every 5 or 10 years, many millions of dollars are spent on search and rescue by various entities, and we also must include damages and potential losses for airlines, plane manufacturers, related business and industries, etc.

So if the search for lost planes costs $1B per decade, economics dictates we should then simply spend up to $1B per decade on preventing planes from being lost. Even if that investment wouldn't actually save the lives of passengers, it would reduce SAR costs, reduce risk of accidents during SAR operations, reduce grief of affected family, and also have side effects such as bolstering the perception of travel in the media and reduce any public fear of flying.

[1] MH370 search: Australia has spent far more than Malaysia | World news | The Guardian
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:28
  #434 (permalink)  
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MMEL says Weather Radar "May be inoperative provided weather reports indicate that no thunderstorm or other harzardous weather condition which can be detected by weather radar exist enroute."
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:44
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Without any basis of fact I, like everyone else, is "assuming" that this is a weather related incident. Specifically, a possible inadvertent cell penetration.

So here's my pet peeve regarding the serviceability of weather radar.

Most MEL's allows for the weather radar to be unserviceable for 10 days (Category C) albeit with certain exceptions. These exceptions are open to interpretation.

And as we know, whenever there are commercial pressures, interpretation of any exceptions pertaining to safety never ends well for the crews.

The MEL for Radar needs to be changed to Category A. And the exceptions tightened up to minimize a "relaxed" interpretation for commercial reasons.

The thing that really angers me is that in contrast, the CVR, which does absolutely nothing for the immediate safety of the aircraft in which it's installed is allowed to be unserviceable for only 3 days.

Every MEL I have flown under adds to the above that the MEL may only be used if there is zero chance of convective weather along the route of flight. I think a 10 day MEL with the above restriction is reasonable.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:55
  #436 (permalink)  
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Whatever category the WX radar would be, no MEL should substitude proper AIRMANSHIP. Especially in that area full of monsters with top higher than many airliners max ceiling.

Last GS was 353kts, maybe the plane wasn't stalling at that time... But what about a few second later, inside the cell, in a shear, turbulence, icing crystal condition...?

Probes blocked by ice maybe, loss of control due to shear very close to rec max alt. And speed tape so narrow, sudden unusual attitude followed by improper recovery technique..

Just my two cents, not speculating but recalling past accidents.. Wishing all the best to the SAR team and condolences to the families..

Last edited by mototopo; 29th Dec 2014 at 20:57. Reason: Spelling
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 20:59
  #437 (permalink)  
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...and YES, communicating is last thing and quite useless if you are falling from the sky...
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 21:19
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Or was the sale of stock by CEO of Air Asia a planned sale of insider stock announced quite some time ago?
On another note, I find it less than amusing; the frequent bashing of posts here of those unwashed and ignorant masses of lowly journalists, PC sim gaming pilots, self loading freight, etc, who dare to post their thoughts or opinions in this lofty realm of "Professional Pilots". To my knowledge, non of those bottom feeders have ever flown perfectly good airliners into terrain or bodies of water, never tried to race thunderstorms to an aerodrome with a full cabin of paying passengers merrily riding along. Non of these disrepected classes of fools have killed a single fare paying passenger with acts of egregious idiocy or outright recklessness. Plenty of sometimes well respected and experienced professional aviators have. There rant over.....
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 21:26
  #439 (permalink)  
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Satellite Available Bandwidth

Originally Posted by mixture
No, it really doesn't.

Do you buy an A380 and the leave it on the tarmac and just shout to the world that you've got capacity 400 people ?


Well its the same with satellites.

Satellites cost a lot of money to build, get into space and monitor.

A satellite is in use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as soon as the satellite reaches space, the operators will already be activating contracts ..... the cost of using satellite transmissions reflects the limited spare capacity available.


So please guys... ENOUGH of these stupid requests for realtime streaming data from all aircraft .... it just isn't workable. Period.
It is dangerous in any technology field to say something is impossible.

Check INMARSAT latest offerings for broadband internet to passengers Inmarsat S-band services - Inmarsat
Check their new connectivity for ATM services SwiftBroadband - Inmarsat

Iridium Next is also adding broadband links https://www.iridium.com//About/Iridi...echnology.aspx including importantly 'short burst data with bandwidth on demand'


That brings me to the repeated posts on Tracking. Both INMARSAT and Iridium Next are offering a free tracking service. This is for aircraft carrying ADS-C (that is Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Contract over Satellite links). All widebodies are equipped for this from the factory, even if the operators turn the equipment off it is standard fit. It provides more than ADS-B and is usually transmitted at 4 or 10 minute intervals. After AF447 the French BEA asked for the transmissions to be increased in regularity. This was avoided as beancounters in the operating companies did not want to pay the cost. As the SATCOM companies are providing it FREE there is now no excuse not to regularly pass ADS-C reports (which can contain a lot more data than just position and altitude.

It is mandated in many areas for aircraft to broadcast their position at up to twice a second on Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B Out). This is line of sight transmission to ground systems and other aircraft. In this case the aircraft WAS broadcasting its position. The air traffic unit will have stopped receiving it if the aircraft was below the horizon (below line of sight) or the power failed in the aircraft.

Emergency Location Beacons
These ELTs are carried by large numbers of aircraft both fixed and portable. In most cases the fixed beacons have a g-switch and the portable beacons an immersion switch that activates them. They broadcast mainly to 406Khz and give aircraft ID and position. Note people they already exist. However, if the aircraft sinks and the crew have not deployed life rafts with ELTs then the ELTs will not be able to send radio transmissions through the water. There are several military aircraft that have deployable external ELTs that would float. Needless to say the beancounters have not gone for these on commercial aircraft. Standard response: How many aircraft have been lost at sea that would have been helped by an ELT in the last 10 years? How many flights have there been in the last 10 years? What is the chance of one of our aircraft being one of those 3 or 4 that might crash in the next 10 years? Have you seen how much these things cost and the life-cycle maintenance cost? Go away.

So to sum up-
There IS sufficient satellite bandwidth to send DFDR/CVR data but probably as a short burst when the aircraft thinks it has a problem rather than a continuous download.
There are already tracking systems on aircraft that can provide accurate positions all the way to the surface - but no compulsion for the airlines to switch them on despite the satellite comms providers providing the tracking as a FREE service.
There are already methods of auto deploying ELTs when an aircraft crashes on land or in water, but only the military have fitted them to aircraft.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 21:27
  #440 (permalink)  
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Regarding previous posts about techniques other than pitot tubes to measure airspeed (such as doppler) I read about about system being trialled on helicopters right now, using l@sers.
It is said to be so accurate, it can function at speeds below 30 knots.
I'll try and find the reference...
Airbus Completes Flight Tests on Airspeed Sensor System for Helicopters - IHS Engineering360

Last edited by formulaben; 29th Dec 2014 at 21:27. Reason: quote for reference
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