Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:28
  #621 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,284
Originally Posted by John Hill View Post
With the exception of VDL Mode 4 (which I dont think is in common use?) what systems are there that provide a means for the pilot of one aircraft to be aware of the position of others aircraft near his?
A slightly more explicit response than PeeKay4

TCAS will give information on aircraft that are potential threats to the safety of your aircraft. The picture is somewhat distorted but the algorithms for alerting are excellent.

ADS-B (In) is the ability for an aircraft to receive and display the ADS-B transmissions of other aircraft. This is displayed in the cockpit on a display rather obviously called a Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI). This is a GPS map type display with the other aircraft shown on it with the ADS-B information that is available. CDTI is common in many small GA aircraft but airline operators are less keen to spend the money. (If you want to read about the development of CDTI do an internet search on CAPSTONE CDTI ADS Capstone was an FAA project in Alaska looking into the use of CDTI. The search though will get you more information on other research and even EUROCONTROL aspects. I have flown with CDTI and the only drawback seemed to be (for GA) that there is a tendency to look down at the CDTI rather than out and as equipage in the open airspace with GA is not ubiquitous there could be aircraft out there that are not on your display while you are head down.

ADS-B (IN) that would allow CDTI in commercial aircraft cockpits is likely to be mandated in around 5 years or so for 5 years later than that. It may be supported by 'Aircraft Access to SWIM' (System Wide Information Management) that (amongst a lot of other things) could also provide the flight data of the other aircraft including its future trajectory rather than a prediction based on its last few seconds flight.
Ian W is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:35
  #622 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,113
The whole tracking issue is a red herring in this case. They HAD tracking to within 6 miles of the crash site. They had RADAR tracking to within 5 minutes of the apparent crash time, and ADS tracking for a minute after that! How much more tracking do you think we need, can afford, or will do anything useful?

IMO, it was the delay -- 50 minutes! -- in the response to the LOSS of tracking that caused the delay in the start of the search. In this case, that delay did not cause any further loss of life or property, but might cause additional loss in other types of mishaps.
Intruder is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:36
  #623 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Chateau d'If
Posts: 1,927
crHedBngr - are you and Airbus pilot? Every Airbus pilot knows the information to which you are referring, but you will note that no one is writing it but you - draw your own conclusions. Just say nothing and be thought a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt. This is really not helpful input at this stage - think of the people who could be reading your comments.
Count of Monte Bisto is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:41
  #624 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 49
"airline with balls"

Last year I was through Juanda in Surabaya on a couple of Garuda flights. I was taken aback by the Air Asia advertising posters in the terminal which had a strap line "Air Asia - the airline with balls". I am led to believe that was an oblique reference to the football club QPR, in which the Air Asia CEO has an interest, but I was immediately put off by it and thankful I was on Garuda.


There has been chat on here about the culture of Asian airlines in general, but that strap line sounds a bit iffy to me and perhaps "just" an indication of attitude in management?
enola-gay is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:42
  #625 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: El Paso, Texas
Age: 68
Posts: 27
Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.

this is the sequence of auto flight technology development;

1) First a basic airplane with flight control cables routed to the control surfaces.
2) autopilots developed that have servos that move the cables.

economy drives industry to design aircraft that fly closer in to the edges of the stability envelope, enter stability augmentation systems or yaw dampers.

3) autopilots grow in sophistication with the capability to control aircraft in all three axis and control power, follow navigation signals and move the rudder in response to yaw damper demands.


Up to this point there was a "big red Button." The autopilot, "george" could be turned off and the pilot knew that he was controlling the aircraft control surfaces with no other input. The pilots control columns were linked so that movement of either moves the control surfaces and the other control column. Also the same is true of the autopilot. When george was flying, the control columns/control wheels/ throttles moved and gave feedback and reference as to just what george was up to.

then economy drives industry to want to eliminate the cost of routing control cables/rods and hydraulic power to each flight control, enter fly-by-wire.


4) An autoflight/flight control computer/autopilot system must always fly the fly-by-wire aircraft. there is no manual control to back up to. Worse than that, the autoflight system has various degraded modes that it can step down to.

This new type of aircraft control is not so bad in the event of simple single malfunctions. The problem is that if the pilots become complacent and fail to be up to the minute with what is going on with the performance of the airplane and then encounter a malfunction as in AF447, they are in a bad situation and starting from behind. They must determine which indications are accurate and at what level the autoflight system is operating. Combine this with "stick and rudder" skills that atrophy with continued use of autoflight and rare use of manual flight, the problem is compounded again.

Yes, pilots made bad airmanship mistakes in airplanes with control cables. A DC-10 crossing the Atlantic using vertical speed control to climb to a higher altitude stalled and fell thousands of feet breaking in and out of stall because the pilot flying did not know to unload the wing to recover. The other pilot took over, recovered and the flight landed in Miami with a damaged elevator.

Worse, pilots do not always have the most up to date information on the technology they are operating. Prior to the AirBus crash at New York Kennedy, pilots were taught that below maneuvering speed they could safely fully deflect any control surface. It was not common knowledge that this was not true in the case of sudden control reversal. It is alleged that a sudden abrupt reversal of the rudder snapped off the vertical stabilizer.

The day will soon be upon us when we have pilots who have never flown an aircraft that had fully manual controls. We will develop aircraft, avionics and procedures to deal with this and keep flying as safely as possible but the old axiom applies;

"Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect."
abdunbar is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:46
  #626 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nowhere near Shinbone Waterhole
Posts: 201
Count of Monte Bisto.....
I would thus encourage enormous self-discipline and the wisdom to remain silent until more is known.
As a high time 320 driver myself your post was well said Sir!
mikedreamer787 is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:51
  #627 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chelan, WA
Age: 43
Posts: 43
Last year I was through Juanda in Surabaya on a couple of Garuda flights. I was taken aback by the Air Asia advertising posters in the terminal which had a strap line "Air Asia - the airline with balls". I am led to believe that was an oblique reference to the football club QPR, in which the Air Asia CEO has an interest, but I was immediately put off by it and thankful I was on Garuda.


There has been chat on here about the culture of Asian airlines in general, but that strap line sounds a bit iffy to me and perhaps "just" an indication of attitude in management?
I have been a passanger on Air Asia flights roughly monthly for the most of 2014 due to frequent trips between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. There is a lot to dislike about them (if you want to drink water you have to pay). But they do have a better safety record than most other carriers in the region (iirc this is their first major disaster).

No major complaints as a passenger, other than the recommendation to pre-book meals.
einhverfr is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 21:00
  #628 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,284
Originally Posted by phiggsbroadband View Post
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...
Your post is correct - but pilots need to be aware that the radar is showing reflectivity from rain not turbulence. (I realize with some I am teaching grandmother to suck eggs here) Apart from some military aircraft with funny paint-jobs most aircraft can manage rain quite successfully. It is turbulence and hail that need to be avoided. Unfortunately, as posts on this thread have noted, rain reflections and turbulence are not always together, indeed extreme turbulence can be found between the radar reflections. Not only that but hail can have a significant 'throw' out of the top of storms and that is why the FAA advise 20 NM separation from large Cb. That is not always possible of course places like the area in question in this post, South Texas and Florida would be unflyable if 20NM were always taken. But be extremely cautious of a natural assumption that red is where the danger is, it is just the area of strongest radar returns. So 3D radar may look everso pretty and really wow the management, but it may not be the tool required to avoid dangerous turbulence, that may be (to the dismay of management) training and experience of the crew.

As always experience is a hard teacher as the exam comes before the lesson. So try to learn from experienced pilots who have had the exam, passed it and learned from it.
Ian W is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 21:25
  #629 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: home
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
Check their new connectivity for ATM services SwiftBroadband - Inmarsat
That is not ATM, is IP, or packet based. There are no new developments in ATM since longer than a decade now.
lapp is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 21:50
  #630 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: E Anglia
Posts: 1,100
I was taken aback by the Air Asia advertising posters in the terminal which had a strap line "Air Asia - the airline with balls".
ISTR the term 'Big Kahunas' figures prominently in our very own Virgin's current media advertising bumf.

'cojones' next I guess.

Lucky that Brits only understand English
Cusco is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:01
  #631 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,284
Originally Posted by lapp View Post
That is not ATM, is IP, or packet based. There are no new developments in ATM since longer than a decade now.
Expect all ATM to move to IPv6 and WIMAX in the near future. The actual network and transport layers are transparent to the applications like FANS. I also expect that FANS both 1/A and 2/B will be totally replaced by a more capable system.

See System Wide Information Management (SWIM), Flight Information eXchange Method (FIXM) and Weather Information eXchange Method (WXXM) and Aeronautical Information eXchange Method (AIXM). All will be available over Aircraft Access to SWIM (AAtS). SESAR and FAA have to settle a few standards issues. But ATM will be enhanced considerably.

I don't want to hijack the thread onto a totally different area that should perhaps be in Tech Log.
Ian W is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:22
  #632 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: US
Age: 61
Posts: 394
Just a point on fly by wire systems. Most systems in use do allow the pilot to disconnect the computers and enter a manual mode. There are different names for this mode such as direct electrical link or manual law. In this mode the aircraft is essentially a conventional aircraft.
Airbus is the exception to allow pilot reversion to a direct electrical link mode. Re versions and mode downgrades are computer controlled and not pilot selectable. The 787 allows manual selection by the pilot via one switch. There are pluses and minuses to both concepts.
Sailvi767 is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:23
  #633 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: America
Posts: 130
First of all, if you are not an Airbus pilot you are unfortunately completely unqualified to draw too many conclusions from this tragic accident. If you are an Airbus pilot, you will know how little you know at this point, and are probably wisely remaining silent. Airbus pilots, and particularly those from the training community, will know the potential issues, but until the CVR and FDR have been recovered will say very little indeed.
Completely unqualified? Pretty strong statement, unless and until the cause is determined to be aircraft-specific
Murexway is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:23
  #634 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bottom of the Harbour
Posts: 252
Referring to floods in Malaysia and Thailand, he suggested that climate change may have played a part in more dangerous conditions for air travel: "There's a lot of rain, so that is something we need to look at carefully because the weather is changing. The weather is changing".
This is from the CEO of Air Asia!

Are we starting to pass the buck here rather than take full accountability for the practices his company has adapted on experience, training and conditions? There are numerous threads referring to previous incidents, I have witnessed their operations as another professional pilot at numerous airports around SE ASIA and all I can say is that I am not surprised.
KABOY is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:24
  #635 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,300
Regarding comments that existing (and fitted) technology is already available for tracking aircraft at all times:

But is this equipment currently powered when the engines have flamed out? Satcom transmission invariably involves boxes which tend to use up a lot of power (and therefore are usually omitted from the list of things usually powered when the main electrical busses fail). Some aircraft don't even have standard ATC transponders powered when the aircraft systems are running on Standby or HMG/RAT power.
NSEU is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:30
  #636 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Age: 62
Posts: 28
Count of Monte Bisto:

Whether I am an Airbus pilot or not doesn't matter. There are Boeing pilots here, as well as other technical and non-technical personnel. I'm asking a valid question. A pitot tube issue is a situation that could have affected the flight's outcome, and could be similar to AF 447 in that respect. You'll notice I'm not pointing a finger to any type of pilot error at this point.

Let's keep an open mind, shall we?????

BTW, this is a Professional Pilot Rumor board - I think we need to consider every possibility as to why this plane crashed. "Just the facts, Ma'am" are sketchy right now.

Last edited by crHedBngr; 31st Dec 2014 at 00:08.
crHedBngr is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:37
  #637 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Paso Robles
Posts: 261
then economy drives industry to want to eliminate the cost of routing control cables/rods and hydraulic power to each flight control, enter fly-by-wire.

4) An autoflight/flight control computer/autopilot system must always fly the fly-by-wire aircraft. there is no manual control to back up to.
Totally false statements. For your info fly-by-wire doesn't eliminate hydraulics. You have a long way to educate yourself about FBW and current flight control systems.
porterhouse is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:43
  #638 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Chateau d'If
Posts: 1,927
crHedBngr - whether you are an Airbus pilot or not is extremely important. It is a bit like having a discussion on a medical forum about the merits of forceps deliveries. I may have a view, but it is frankly not really worth a whole lot as I am a guy who will neither be the recipient of or participate in such a procedure. My point to you is this - fun and entertaining as conjecture like yours on a public forum may be, your comments will be read by many people who have no professional ability to process them meaningfully. If you are not an Airbus pilot, you yourself cannot really know the entire significance of your own comments. The problem is that many of those reading this will be family members who have just lost loved ones and are looking for answers, when in reality there are none right now. Like you, I too am keeping an open mind, but I am keeping my thoughts to myself for fear of saying something foolish or harmful to the aviation community or indeed to cause pain to those who are grieving. You will note that there are only a handful of Airbus pilots writing on here with any degree of conjecture, and that tells its own story. I have flown many thousands of hours in the A320 series, plus spent thousands of hours teaching and examining other pilots in the simulator - I would personally not say anything here because there really is not enough genuine knowledge yet to voice a credible opinion.
Count of Monte Bisto is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:44
  #639 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: America
Posts: 130
Count of Monte Bisto:

Whether I am an Airbus pilot or not doesn't matter. There are Boeing pilots here, as well as other technical and non-technical personnel. I'm asking a valid question. This is a situation that could very well have affected the flight's outcome, and could be very similar to AF 447.

Let's keep an open mind, shall we?????
Agree...
While everyone is most familiar with what they're typed and current on, weather is weather, aerodynamics are aerodynamics, and decisions are decisions.
Murexway is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:48
  #640 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: America
Posts: 130
Count of Monte Bistro - crHedBngr - whether you are an Airbus pilot or not is extremely important. It is a bit like having a discussion on a medical forum about the merits of forceps deliveries. I may have a view, but it is frankly not really worth a whole lot as I am a guy who will neither be the recipient of or participate in such a procedure. My point to you is this - fun and entertaining as conjecture like yours on a public forum may be, your comments will be read by many people who have no professional ability to process them meaningfully. If you are not an Airbus pilot, you yourself cannot really know the entire significance of your own comments. The problem is that many of those reading this will be family members who have just lost loved ones and are looking for answers, when in reality there are none right now. Like you, I too am keeping an open mind, but I am keeping my thoughts to myself for fear of saying something foolish or harmful to the aviation community or indeed to cause pain to those who are grieving. You will note that there are only a handful of Airbus pilots writing on here with any degree of conjecture, and that tells its own story. I have flown many thousands of hours in the A320 series, plus spent thousands of hours teaching and examining other pilots in the simulator - I would personally not say anything here because there really is not enough genuine knowledge yet to voice a credible opinion.
Perhaps, but unfortunately for your point of view, this is an open forum and the word "Rumor" is in the title.
Murexway is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.