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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 31st Dec 2014, 18:34
  #781 (permalink)  
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I'd like to think that 20 years from now, the current radar inability to detect a wx threat e.g. a high-velocity updraft (also alluded to in compelling anecdotes) will seem tragically archaic.
I'd like to think that, too. However a lot of very bright people have spent quite a bit more than 20 years trying to solve this problem already, without much success in terms of a practicable engineering solution. If you want to make your fortune then you could do it by cracking this one, but don't expect it to be easy!
I can't help thinking that if global warming is happening, then the place where climate/weather dragons (never before seen (unexpected) phenomena) will first show is at the already-hottest places on the globe -- the tropics.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 18:41
  #782 (permalink)  
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@ Mixture

well, the safest thing would be to never take off...............................how do you think that will play out?

Also, people keep mentioning the CA was an F-16 pilot, so what? Flying an F-16 is absolutely nothing like flying an Airbus. The only commonality is they both are Yoke-less..............
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 18:42
  #783 (permalink)  
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Indeed and aside from the question about whether its technically possible or feasible to engineer out 100% of risks, @ft001 also seems to think money grows on trees...
with full hindsight MH370 search probably costed already more than all the imaginary tracking would cost to this day
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 18:43
  #784 (permalink)  
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The reports of the aircraft hull being located are (all) apparently false.

On Dec 31st 2014 the chairman of Indonesia's Search and Rescue Service stated in an evening press conference, that earlier reports about the fuselage having been located have been incorrect, the search is still ongoing, so far - referring to a report by CNN hitting global headlines - there are no sonar images of the fuselage as well. Correcting other media reports the chairman stressed that none of the bodies recovered so far was wearing a life vest. All valid information concerning QZ-8501 only and only comes from one source, namely the Search and Rescue Service which is currently in charge of the entire operation, the chairman stated with reference to the current information chaos.
Crash: Indonesia Asia A320 over Java Sea on Dec 28th 2014, aircraft lost height and impacted waters
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 19:03
  #785 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lucille
Will the FBW allow the pilot to pull excessive G? Or will it try to protect the airframe even if it means contact with the ground will be inevitable?
Protection of the airframe, and most probably what happened in the late stage for the 320 in Perpignan.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 19:21
  #786 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NoD
The only drill I can think of where you "use" a protection is GPWS "pull up"
You may have to use it also for the WINDSHEAR procedure.
ECAM gives you some hints e.g. some Speed Protection might be lost, but who in their right mind is intentionally going to fly the aircraft is a manner requiring "speed protection"? Ditto Stall Protection - are you really going to fly differently if this is active or not?
For sure a GPWS procedure will be flown differently.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 20:07
  #787 (permalink)  
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Would the automatics eventually recover from any condition resulting from a jet upset? Stall/Spin? Inverted?
Because I suspect this will come up over and over I am thinking about putting a write-up on tech log about automation challenges and issues, and the direction I think things are likely to go.

I think we should remember that automation in aircraft is still really in its infancy and we really haven't figured out how best to integrate pilots into the system. There are a very large number of issues that need to be approached.

Although I tend to be fairly critical of Airbus for a few details (lack of feedback of sidestick inputs is a big one), I think the overall approach of flight laws is likely to be expanded over time in the name of safety, and that really solving the issues of automation are likely to mean better encapsulation and separation of actual duties. This means both giving more tasks back to the pilots (to keep them engaged and in the loop) but also making the plane a bit more autonomous as well. This means better avoidance and recovery regarding upsets, stalls, untrusted instruments, etc.

This of course doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a way to kill a lot of the automation and fly the plane pretty manually (this may happen anyway in even the most sophisticated fighter aircraft -- see the F22/international date line incident).

Obviously there are aerodynamic limits. There are also informatic limits. There are physical limits. A lot of the value is likely to be in avoiding these limits since not much can be done to overcome them.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 20:20
  #788 (permalink)  
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ECAM sent to AirAsia Headquarters?

Has anyone heard if Air Asia enabled ECAM warning messages to be sent to HQ for their Airbus fleet?
I recall AF447 had automatic warning reporting of the ECAM alerts transmitted back to Air France headquarters during the incident. They were discovered the next day after the missing flight. For years this was the only data available. This can be an important early motivator for pro-active safety directives to be issued before the final accident report is released.

If option enabled and zero warnings received then it would be consistent with a very sudden event.
If option enabled and warnings were received then they should be included in the accident report, analysed asap as a potential benefit for other a/c.
If option disabled then they should seriously consider enabling and integrating the alerts with their operations center.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 20:23
  #789 (permalink)  
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Airbus 320 prang

I am and old critter, and the last heavy aircraft(being greater than 12500 kg)
was a DC8 73 and then 747 200 preceded by DC10-30.
Non of these aircraft had all the white mans magic of a dozen different laws etc, just the old ones, Pull stick back equals houses get smaller and push stick forward houses get bigger.
It appears to this fuddled brain, that airbus industries have put so many protection systems in place that the aircraft systems are able to out maneuver the pilots inputs.
This with the new era of pilots who have never witnessed a spin, upright or inverted or even know how a spin in entered and how to recover i.e AF 447 spun for four and a half minutes right down to impact with I have the wheel/stick back why wont the nose come up!
Here in Godzone the local CAA examiner does not accept any spin manouver until the candidate is checked out to be an examiner (A Cat).
Hence all the budding instructors only experience steep turns with stall warning, no aerobatics.
Now we let these people loose on heavy metal which can spin(All aircraft can made to spin) which in adverse met conditions i.e. in amongst the ITZ or other savage meteorological conditions they experience an upset and then the call is "What is happening" and after some time a sudden stop is experienced by contact with the planet.
For interest an IAS of 350 kts or so at FL320 on an Isa +10 day equated to about 495 kts TAS which is close to .85 Mach
My point is: maybe we should revert to cable operated controls and switches.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 20:28
  #790 (permalink)  
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If there is any truth in this, surely this is "the elephant in the room "

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Old 31st Dec 2014, 20:43
  #791 (permalink)  
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If there is any truth in this, surely this is "the elephant in the room "

Alternatively, a few posts in this thread already speculated that QZ8501 might have encountered a very strong updraft. And possibly the Mode C altitude readings could be wrong due to the change of air pressure in a storm cell.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 20:46
  #792 (permalink)  
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My point is: maybe we should revert to cable operated controls and switches.
This new generation highly automated a/c has resulted in a significant increase in safety. That said refinements will continue to be made, who knows even a big red button to revert to direct control mode.
Spin and stall control have historically been outside the training remit for heavy A/T training because the focus is to avoid that place at all costs. It should also be noted that excursions beyond the flight envelope are only entered into with low energy by the manufacturers test pilots (i.e. gently pushed). Airbus do not flight test deep stalls or flat spins, these a/c are designed for efficient cruise and keeping you there safely.
If you read the AF447 report closely it is clear that the airbus has a superb stall recovery so long as the pilot executes the correct flight controls inputs upon hearing the stall warning.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 21:21
  #793 (permalink)  
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Automatic recovery from stall/spin/departures

Automatic recovery from stall/spin/departures, is already operational in some airplanes, sometimes coupled with automatic ground avoidance.

But? All depends on the sensors.

If the sensors, pitot tubes and/or AOA vanes are partially or comletely frozen up or contaminated? => No automatic system can work when it gets the wrong information.

Modern computers can do a lot but garbage in, garbage out.

The weak link is "the sensors" that are out in the open.

Multiple accidents happened by faulty or not working sensors.

- pitot tubes frozen or FOD contaminated
- static ports frozen or FOD contaminated
- AOA probes and or vanes frozen or FOD contaminated

- Yes even probes that where taped over when washing the airframes and the A/C went flying with the tapes still over the probes => crash

The computes can do the work, the softwares are there, but the probes are the weak link.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 21:29
  #794 (permalink)  
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Thanks, Nigel.

I posed this question because of the, as yet unsubstantiated, allegation that the aircraft was "slow".

An unintended inverted spin is confusing enough in VMC when tightly strapped into a clean, debris free cockpit. Add in the complication of IMC, the degree of difficulty magnifies by several orders of magnitude.

And now between man and machine there exists a filter (laws). My question was related to whether this filter aided or hindered a recovery or made no difference at all.

Abnormal attitude recovery training in the sim is unrealistic. Clean cockpit and always 1G sensed by your backside.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 21:29
  #795 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ChickenHouse View Post
BTW: is it just me wondering what the results of Inmarsat location detection would be for the AirAsia flight? I assume AirAsia had the same technology on board and the data would be similar, so this would give a nice estimation on how good the algorithms for MH370 really were ...
I'd have thought that the many thousands of successfully completed flights in the meantime would have provided benchmark data at least as useful as anything generated by the AirAsia flight?
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 21:54
  #796 (permalink)  
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Weather radar

Regarding the inadequacies of weather radar in detecting many hazardous conditions there has been a lot of promising recent research using LIDAR.
Meteorologists are very pleased with the ability to better detect convective conditions but this is cutting edge stuff so likely to be many years away from routine use in aviation.

Maybe this will replace our current weather radars in the future. OTOH having a scanning [email protected] on the nose of every airliner may prove to be too hazardous.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 22:03
  #797 (permalink)  
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WRT computer-control : I always wonder what the vision is for Airbus and the European model of automating life. What are human beings, us, supposed to do after the world is computerized? Go shopping and watch TV?

Where is the courage, the skill, the craftmanship that inspired us to want to be part of aviation ?

Actually the human being is already an exceptional computational being, capable of reprogramming itself, of interfacing in multiple channels with other complex sentient and non-sentient systems, healing itself, reproducing itself, and growing itself. It will take man thousands of years to get anything near this level of power. It took Earth about 4 Billion years to create 'man'.

I despair when I hear of novice pilots playing games on their iPads sitting on the control whilst a machine flies the plane. Where is the dignity? Is this living?

It's one thing to die because of the forces of Nature, another when adults act like children.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 23:03
  #798 (permalink)  
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I have not had the "pleasure" of flying in that part of the world, however, a couple of very experienced colleagues that did, for some time, intimated to me that if you did not accept to routinely fly through weather that you assuredly would avoid in Europe, you wouldn't operate any flights.
I also operate in Europe and I'd say that is a fair assessment.

Down low, if you 'never fly through the red' on the radar sometimes you'd never make it to the airport in places like SIN. You can turn down the gain and play with the tilt and try to find structure but often all you have is rain with very little turbulence.

As for up high, several of us have come down to the PPRuNe altar and testified here about those cells that just don't paint but have a tremendous kick.

Just as you get used to the icing, fog and low ceilings in Europe in the winter, convective activity is a common challenge year-round over the South China Sea.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 23:11
  #799 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gulfairs
I am and old critter, and the last heavy aircraft(being greater than 12500 kg)
was a DC8 73 and then 747 200 preceded by DC10-30.
Non of these aircraft had all the white mans magic of a dozen different laws etc, just the old ones, Pull stick back equals houses get smaller and push stick forward houses get bigger.
It appears to this fuddled brain, that airbus industries have put so many protection systems in place that the aircraft systems are able to out maneuver the pilots inputs.


My point is: maybe we should revert to cable operated controls and switches.
It is interesting to compare the accident rates of the FBW Airbus products against the B747 Classic and DC-10. If we can believe the data on AirSafe.com, the Full Loss Equivalent accident rate for the FBW Airbus products is 0.10 fatal accidents per million flights (I summed the flights and FLE for A319 to A380 to get this rate). The B747 Classic rate is 1.02 (roughly 10 times higher) and the DC-10 was 0.64 (roughly 6 times higher). Of course, operational practices have changed significantly over the last 50 years, so even with the same type of aircraft, accident rates today should be much lower than accident rates several decades ago.

Comparing the A319/320/321 against the B737 NG, the rates are identical, at 0.08. Perhaps the type of flight control system is less important to accident rates than some would like to think. Given a particular scenario, you can make an argument that one design is better than another. But, over the whole range of real world scenarios, it all averages out.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 23:30
  #800 (permalink)  
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Information given to media

I am concerned by what looks like incorrect information being given to the media by non-authorised personnel - similar to the MH370 incident. The grief caused to the family members from the dissemination of such information is unthinkable.

So far, we have:
bodies recovered going from 3 to 40 then back to 3.
bodies holding hands then debunked.
body wearing a lifejacket then debunked.
airframe found under the sea with sonar, then debunked.

Those people involved in the SAR teams, and their superiors (I don't care if you are a general or a minister - SHUT UP) should just keep mum when confronted by media and refer them to the appropriate channels. And the media should not be pushing so hard and diseminating such information so quickly just to get a scoop on the other media organisations.
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