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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 30th Dec 2014, 18:08
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Airlines in their rush to expand and reduce cost putting inexperienced crews in advanced aircraft with little relevant experience and training.
When I started out it was common to have a total of 25,000 hours plus of experience in the flight deck.

I wonder what the average experience is in the modern flight deck?

Whilst experience doesn't necessarily relate to competence, there must be some correlation.

It is appreciated that a man may have 25 years' experience rather than 1 years' experience 25 times, but the question in modern air travel still remains - airlines in their rush to expand and reduce cost put relatively inexperienced crews, with minimum training and real experience, in advanced aircraft in all weathers Worldwide.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:10
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AirAsia pilot was "one of the best":

AirAsia pilot one of military academy?s best graduates | The Jakarta Post
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:34
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Aviation Quote...


There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:39
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Cost maybe ?

By that I mean, the PIC is not to blame here (nor the F/O). His (their) constraints maybe are.

At some point people must "wake up and smell the coffee".
Cheap airline travel does not exist without limitations.
NOR DOES the fact you can't find a downed a/c in 2 hours ! It's "real life". You just can't do it.

Maybe it's "the internet" to blame. Instant "stuff" online, when you need it, right now !
But....within three days. All credit to the Indonesian SAR teams. They did really well I believe.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:41
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It is highly probable that neither QZ8501, nor AF447 for that matter, would have crashed if they had taken steps to avoid the thunderstorm cells on their chosen routes. In both cases, and before they took off, they must have been aware of the severe storm cells they were likely to encounter en-route. Creating a flight plan which avoids an aircraft entering a hazardous situation should be the crew's/airline's first priority. Introducing an exception clause to aircraft insurance policies that would invalidate hull cover should an airline/crew fail to take reasonable steps to stay clear of thunderstorms, might be a first step. It might force a more cautious approach at the flight planning stage on routes where severe weather can be expected. Also, to ensure their actions would be (in hindsight) considered "reasonable", crews might feel more ready to undertake costly detours or diversions to avoid dangerous weather systems.


Avoiding getting into a hazardous situations trumps flight deck heroics every time! Even my car insurance stipulates my cover will be invalidated if I fail to take reasonable care to avoid hazardous situations.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:45
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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the report of AF447 said the aircraft did not enter a thunderstorm?

And we don't know whether this flight did so yet.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:48
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Is there conclusive proof at this moment in time that the aircraft went thought a CB ? NO

Is there conclusive proof that lack of experience has played a part. ? NO
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:58
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to fireflybob Hi: Please look around the net an see for yourself the MONSTER line of thunderstorms that where present in the flightpath of that AF accident. There was a line of thunderstorms hundreds of mile long and wide enough to have caused a lot of problems.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:01
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I am not a pilot. I am a software/systems engineer by trade with a strong interest in aerodynamics. My point here is to discuss cockpit design issues and how they may have contributed. While this is Airbus specific, there is significant overlap with Boeing and so I am not trying to start a Boeing/Airbus flame war.

One thing that strikes me about this incident is that there are a number of immediate similarities to AF447. The plane climbs, appears to lose at least ground speed, may have stalled and subsequently crashed. If course without FDR/CVR we don't know exactly what happened so this is just speculation.

Yes, AF447 was proximally pilot error. But errors occur in contexts and one of the important areas that was also covered in the report and discussed in IEEE publications was the role of what is called the automation paradox, namely that the more reliable the automation system in place, the less a human can contribute to the success of the system when something goes wrong. One serious issue is that heavy automation in aircraft may make pilot error inevitable. That has some significant implications as we look at assigning blame for this accident, AF447, and the like. IEEE Spectrum had an article that is easily accessible to non-techies called "Automated To Death". I would recommend reading it. There has been some more AF447-specific coverage as well in Spectrum and other publications, and the fact is that the final report did discuss how the error reporting obscured the cause of the problems and contributed to pilot error.

Automation is a funny thing. There's a saying, that computers make it possible to make more mistakes faster than any invention since handguns and hard liquor. Unfortunately just because you put a person in charge, that problem doesn't go away. And when you add the fact that Airbus sidesticks do not provide significant feedback to the other side, you have a situation where things can be more difficult to recover from than they should.

In my view early indications point to pilot disorientation coupled with bad weather, turbulence, etc leading to a stall. Given the heavy automation in the systems, the question is, how does being suddenly thrown into a situation where the automation *isn't* working as expected and where you have to rapidly figure out both the technical and human elements of it, something which makes these sorts of mistakes more likely than they should be? Now throw the pilot into a situation where the automation isn't working as expected and weather is bad, and you have a real recipe for disaster. The question we should be trying to figure out is how we rethink the interface between pilot and avionics to minimize these issues. That's not as trivial as who has final authority, but it has to go into everything. On this I don't have immediate answers. it is however a field of on-going research. I don't think though that this issue can be left to computer scientists, aerospace engineers and the like. I think we need to be looking at getting a lot of pilot feedback as well.

In the end I think one has to be careful in assuming that if pilot error was the proximal cause (AF447) that this is where we place the blame. This case is shaping up to look eerily similar.

I do wonder though whether, as taboo as the subject is, if it is even possible to make much greater gains in safety automation without bringing back the flight engineer albeit in modified form. Yes, this has been marketed as reducing staff by eliminating this role. So yes there is a money vs further risk mitigation issue that comes into play (and it may not be worth it). But you can't just throw pilots into the role of troubleshooting a complex automated solution and expect that they will filter things out always correctly.

TL;DR: I am wondering what the role of automation was in any crew confusion and pilot error that resulted here was. I think it is likely that, as with AF447, that this interplay will prove important.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:04
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There are conventions used in the measurement of weather radar reflectivity...
Quote...
When describing weather radar returns, pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers will typically refer to three return levels:[20]
  • level 1 corresponds to a green radar return, indicating usually light precipitation and little to no turbulence, leading to a possibility of reduced visibility.
  • level 2 corresponds to a yellow radar return, indicating moderate precipitation, leading to the possibility of very low visibility, moderate turbulence and an uncomfortable ride for aircraft passengers.
  • level 3 corresponds to a red radar return, indicating heavy precipitation, leading to the possibility of thunderstorms and severe turbulence and structural damage to the aircraft.
Aircraft will try to avoid level 2 returns when possible, and will always avoid level 3 unless they are specially-designed research aircraft.


This flight and flight-plan took the aircraft through Yellow and Red areas on the weather radar plot, and contact was lost as it approached the second red area, almost to within a mile.
Those are the known facts...
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:10
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Crash: Indonesia Asia A320 over Java Sea on Dec 28th 2014, aircraft lost height and impacted waters
On Dec 30th 2014 Indonesia's Search and Rescue Services reported, that they have located the wreckage of the fuselage at the floor of the Java Sea, about 97-100nm southwest of Pangkalan Bun. The aircraft is broken up into several large parts but well recognizeable.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:11
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fireflybob

Try this page for weather info.

Air France 447 - AFR447 - A detailed meteorological analysis - Satellite and weather data
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:14
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CPDLC takes a lot of the work load off ATC.

With due respect. only post in the areas you know something about .

Cloudtoper :
Is there conclusive proof at this moment in time that the aircraft went thought a CB ? NO
Is there conclusive proof that lack of experience has played a part. ? NO
Best post so far .
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:18
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Anyone else see similarities with the Swiftair MD83 crash last July flying through the ITCZ and crashing after a speed decay in Northern Mali I believe?
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:22
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Given the heavy automation in the systems, the question is, how does being suddenly thrown into a situation where the automation *isn't* working as expected and where you have to rapidly figure out both the technical and human elements of it, something which makes these sorts of mistakes more likely than they should be?
Agreed but if that point can be reached, surely there must be some 'emergency red button' which just disables all automation and "hands back manual control" from whatever law or state the system is currently in/resets all warnings.

Of course, hardware does go wrong/gets frozen. Would a big red button have helped AF447? Maybe and maybe not. I guess we could find ourselves in an argument about whether pitot tubes are fit for purpose?
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:24
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QZ8501

Air Asia continues using QZ8501 flight number

Flightradar24.com - Live flight tracker!

2014-12-29
Surabaya (SUB) Singapore (SIN) A320 (PK-AXU) 05:20 AM WIB 05:42 AM 08:30 AM SGT Landed 08:35 AM
2014-12-28
Surabaya (SUB) Singapore (SIN) A320 (PK-AXC) 05:20 AM WIB 05:35 AM 08:30 AM SGT Unknown
2014-12-26
Surabaya (SUB) Singapore (SIN) A320 (PK-AXI) 05:20 AM WIB 05:30 AM 08:30 AM SGT Landed 08:27 AM
2014-12-24
Surabaya (SUB) Singapore (SIN) A320 (PK-AXW) 05:20 AM WIB 05:38 AM 08:30 AM SGT Landed 08:31 AM
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:34
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Agreed but if that point can be reached, surely there must be some 'emergency red button' which just disables all automation and "hands back manual control" from whatever law or state the system is currently in/resets all warnings.
That misunderstands the nature of the problem. Yes you can effectively get back some degree of manual control. But you get in a problematic situation, in an instrument flying scenario, and you have an automation system that is giving you tons of warnings, it is far harder to see what is wrong so you can take corrective action.

Think of it this way: For unsophisticated automation, you go a little from expected and you hand to the human while things are still a ways from critical, and the human can react and correct it. For sophisticated automation you do a better and better job until when you hand it to the human, the human has to be super-human in terms of filtering out what information is relevant in order to recover.

For example, suppose you get a stick-shaker and an overspeed warning at the same time. Which do you follow? If you have thought about it ahead of time, maybe you know that the stick-shaker should take precedence. But now imagine you have 5-10 errors and you need to figure out which ones you need to focus on, and you have to do so quickly, having just made a major context switch.

So it goes way beyond "just hand control back to the human." That's what AF447 effectively did, but with all the warnings, that didn't do the humans much good.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:00
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As usual on this forum, things can get off-track easily. I just logged on and tried to get caught up on the thread. But I found myself reading posts about the Air France accident, in-depth discussions about electronic tracking capabilities, systems that should or should not be turned off by the crew, and radar return levels that are OK to fly through.

So far, as always at this point, we know very little about this accident. As others have said, PRESUMING that this is weather related, I would be interested to know about the Captain's airline PIC and weather flying experience, especially since the he reportedly requested a climb.

Rarely is it a good idea (in a transport aircraft, anyway) to try to out-climb and overfly a thunderstorm. I would be interested in knowing how heavy he was at the point he requested a climb, and what was his maximum altitude for moderate turbulence based upon that weight.

Nor is it a good idea to try and penetrate a thunderstorm at night on radar.

Also, was there traffic ahead going the same way, and what were they doing to avoid the thunderstorm(s) ahead of him?

If he needed a heading change to safely skirt the cell, why didn't he simply declare an emergency and turn a safe distance off course when the clearance wasn't forthcoming?

Sorry if these things have been previously covered, but I got lost in discussions of wide body vs. narrow body differences in engine parameter transmission capabilities
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:05
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Agreed but if that point can be reached, surely there must be some 'emergency red button' which just disables all automation and "hands back manual control" from whatever law or state the system is currently in/resets all warnings.
Or a Blue Button, like some Garmin avionics have, which automagically returns the airplane to straight-and-level when pushed, no matter its attitude.

Altitude permitting, of course...
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:07
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Latest on ABC - Oz

ABC Oz news:

AirAsia QZ8501: Multiple bodies, wreckage recovered in search for missing plane

Updated about an hour agoWed 31 Dec 2014, 7:06am


Photo: Members of the Indonesian air force show items retrieved from the Java sea during search and rescue operations for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501. (AFP: Bay Ismoyo)
Related Story: US warship to join search for missing AirAsia aircraft
Map: Indonesia

An Indonesian warship has recovered three bodies from the sea in the search for the AirAsia jet, Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency says.
Earlier in the day, a navy spokesman told the media a warship had retrieved more than 40 bodies but later retracted the statement saying it was a miscommunication by staff.
Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyon said: "Today we evacuated three bodies and they are now in the warship Bung Tomo".
An Indonesian air force plane spotted items resembling an emergency slide, plane door and other objects in the search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 earlier in the day.
AirAsia has released a statement confirming the debris found is from flight QZ8501.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo said all available ships and helicopters would be deployed to the area where the debris was found.
He urged the families of the passengers and crew to "be strong as they faced this difficult moment".

Red and white debris spotted


Earlier, authorities gave media an update in which they showed a video of a body floating in the Java Sea.
"Based on the observation by search and rescue personnel, significant things have been found such as a passenger door and cargo door," Djoko Murjatmodjo, director general of air transportation at the transportation ministry, said.


Photo: Items spotted in the Java Sea during the search for AirAsia QZ8501. (AFP: Bay Ismoyo)

"It's in the sea, 160 kilometres south-west of Pangkalan Bun," he said, referring to the town in Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
He said aircraft searching for the missing aircraft had sighted "red and white-coloured" debris off the coast of Kalimantan.
Eleven divers were sent to the site and will search in an area of water about 25-30 metres deep.
There was no word on the possibility of any survivors and the plane has not been found, althoughIndonesian authorities have spotted a shadow under the water they believed was the aircraft.
Pictures of floating bodies were broadcast on television and relatives of the missing gathered at a crisis centre in Surabaya.
Several people collapsed in grief and were helped away, a Reuters reporter said.
"You have to be strong," the mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, said as she comforted relatives.
"They are not ours, they belong to God."
A navy spokesman said a plane door, oxygen tanks and one body had been recovered and taken away by helicopter for tests.
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