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 3rd Jan 2015, 06:37
  #1061 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: South Australia
Age: 70
Posts: 19
"Erroneous overspeed warning, pilot induced climb, stall ....? ":

Yes, instrumentation icing does explain the observed facts a lot better.

But the last word, of course, will be from the air safety investigators, not meteorologists.
Richard C is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 06:45
  #1062 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 2
About 10 km horizontal from 36,000 feet implies a descent angle of about 45 degrees. If wind accounted for some of this angle, that's quite a fall.
catterwell is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 06:59
  #1063 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Mk. 1 desk at present...
Posts: 360
Airbubba, that's interesting.

Hard factual information will mostly have to wait for wreckage and especially FDR/CVR recovery of course, and much speculation before then is bootless and to me somewhat distasteful when done in public - but I've been keeping my eyes open for a proper formal met. aftercast; that should be available *now*.

What, exactly, were the conditions at the precise time and place they lost contact...
Ranger One is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 07:14
  #1064 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
Posts: 822
So they are flying along, encounter some pretty bad weather and request deviations to avoid. Pitots ice up and give erroneous indications leading to the PF inducing a 1.6g pull up resulting in a 10,000 ft/min climb and speed quickly reducing down to below stall speed. Aircraft ends up with 16 degree pitch up / 40 degree angle of attach / 60kt groundspeed and 11,000 ft / minute descent.

Total confusion on the flight deck as when the G/S drops below 60 kts the aural stall warnings stop as the angle of attack information is unreliable below this speed leading to 'reversed' indications i.e. push nose down and speed increases and 'STALL STALL' warning starts, pull back and reduce power and 'STALL STALL' warning stops.

Aircraft impacts the ocean with very little forward speed, a high rate of descent and a very high pitch.

No mayday call due to the very busy confused cockpit workload, not much left on the surface as the aircraft impacted in one piece at slow speed.

Oh oops, I have summarised the Air France 447 crash. I hope this is not the case, it would be a real shame for those lessons to have not been learned.
Ollie Onion is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 07:24
  #1065 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: on a blue balloon
Posts: 324

"The first object measured 9.4 meters by 4.8 meters by 0.4 meters (30 feet by 15 feet by 1.3 feet), while the second is 7.2 meters by 0.5 meters (24 feet by 1.6 feet), he said".

Those objects are pretty large by A320 standards. Both are bigger than the vertical stabiliser (approx. 5.9m).
oldchina is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 07:34
  #1066 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nowhere near Shinbone Waterhole
Posts: 201
Erroneous overspeed warning, pilot induced climb, stall ....?
Or EXPED button pushed above F250 in concert with TAI non-activation/failure?

Or Erroneous Alpha Prot activation (AB AD 2014-0266-E)?

Point is there's no use speculating any of this until at least the preliminary investigation has been completed.
mikedreamer787 is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 07:52
  #1067 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: .
Posts: 306
To add to the weather discussion, this article from the Malaysian Star tabloid:
The BMKG report, written in Indonesian, is here:
Most of their "analysis" seems to have been taken directly from the website of an American University, much of the rest is from forecasts that, as it turned out, weren't particularly good.
Nemrytter is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 08:03
  #1068 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Asia
Age: 58
Posts: 125
FLEXPWR, I don't doubt your observations. I'm very selective about which airlines I travel on in Asia. I don't doubt that there are many risks to quality in many parts of the world right now. What bothers me is that there is no reliable properly analysed evidence of cause in this incident but people have already arrived at a conclusion which clearly reinforces racial and cultural biases. Even referring to the region as the "Far East" sends a culturally biased message.

There is no doubt safety standards in Asia in many industries fall behind the west. That is a recognised development issue. There has to be some recognition that these are developing economies and standards also are developing. There is also no doubt that western safety standards are under increasing pressure. Whether there is a significant regional difference in aviation safety requires more than anecdotal evidence. This region, and aviation generally, are in a period of significant flux.

The statistical reality is that revenue passenger kilometres are increasing almost exponentially at over 5.4 trillion kilometres per year (doubled in ten years) and a lot of that increase is in Asia. Yet global airline crashes continue to fall.

Anecdotally there is equally sufficient information to suggest lapse standards in other countries… a quick look at this forum reveals pilots accomplishing hands free nose first landings into the runway, taxiing a plane to the gate on smoking rims, undershooting runways by 500 metres, landing at the wrong airport, landing on taxi-ways, stalling airbuses, the list could go on. I can't help think there are some cognitive biases at work here. Maybe there is a difference in standards, maybe the difference isn't as big as people imagine.
bud leon is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 08:14
  #1069 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: L.A.
Age: 52
Posts: 556
Midland 63:

What always surprises me reading these threads is the amount of disagreement among the pro's about topics which I would have thought were quite basic such as stall recovery.
Most of these guys commenting are wannabee's not pros, and you cannot take C152 experience and apply it to jets. Having said that, there are some pros out there who could do with a 20-hour refresher in a glider or puddle-jumper, because they have forgotten basic stick-and-rudder skills. (Because they are actively discouraged in some airlines - an old debate that has been aired many times here.)

Another problem is that the extremes of the flight envelope are often not explored in the sim, because you are not supposed to be at those extremes. So it would come as a surprise to many, if you did enter those forbidden areas.

An example of this, that few have explored in the sim, is a stall recovery at very low speeds and high power settings, which creates a thrust induced pitch-up (which is why you are supposed to reduce power in the stall). Reducing thrust in the stall is not a puddle-jumper technique, but is a must on jets with under-slung engines.

You will see from this example that even though the captain applied full stick forward very quickly, the pitch rose up to 44 degrees. (This is a real flight, with pax on board.)

There was probably a big 'thinks bubble' on the flightdeck, because the aircraft 'should not be doing that'. But it will, and it is a corner of the flight envelope that is rarely explored in training. So I will throw this out there to the pros - how many of you have actually practiced this scenario in the sim? Anyone? Would Air France have taught this in the sim? Or was it all dual autopilot all the way stuff?

The only thing that stopped this aircraft doing a low-level back-flip, was the wing dropping - thus reducing the vertical component of the thrust and allowing the nose to drop. Then, the captain was back in 'normal territory', and was able to recover very professionally in the normal manner.
silverstrata is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 08:41
  #1070 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Asia
Age: 58
Posts: 125
"Even referring to the region as the "Far East" sends a culturally biased message".

What the fook are you talking about? From where I live it's always been the Far East. I must go check my school atlas."
Exactly. From where you live. From the centre of the 21st century world point of view it's you who lives in the "Far West", actually. It's a 12th century term that evokes the exotic and culturally separate.
bud leon is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 08:51
  #1071 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Asia
Posts: 2,378
If an A320 pilot really wants to he can simply switch off flight control computers until the aircraft goes into DIRECT LAW. In this case he would lose all protections.

Why is beyond me as there no advantage in being able to over stress the airframe.

No single computer failure will down grade the control laws it has to be multiple, and often a simple reset will restore normality.

There is a control mode which recognises an upset and will allow manoeuvres necessary to regain control which would normally be prevented.
Metro man is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 08:53
  #1072 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,548
Silverstrata, the very very scary example you have posted of a stall experienced on a real flight with pax on board, is impressive and how. Am I reading it correctly? is it actually rather low in altitude? and was the first response of the pilot to shut down the stall warning noise?
The stick shaker seems a bit late to arrive to get their attention....

This printout of all these happenings should be enough to wake up any airman who flies expecting the computers to do his job. I wonder if the passengers noted anything amiss? and if they were on approach, did ATC have any comments? can we read the report anywhere, please?
mary meagher is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 09:06
  #1073 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: LAX
Posts: 68
Most of these guys commenting...
This is a great post with an eye-popping set of graphs, but the bean counters will win every time on issues like this, sad to say. Training costs money and unless there is a strong financial or regulatory incentive to shore up training in areas like this, it just won't happen. The pressure on management is accountability to shareholders, not accountability to the traveling public or the pride that should come from running as responsible and safe operation as one can. So the MBAs in the Executive Offices run their cost-benefit analyses on this kind of stuff and decide it isn't worth the impact to the bottom line. Pilots are not an asset, they are a cost to be mitigated with things like P2F.
mseyfang is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 09:25
  #1074 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 110
Can we read the report

BillS is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 09:42
  #1075 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: the pub
Age: 52
Posts: 146
Could somebody please explain why airbus
can't fit their aircraft with pitot static probes with
enough 'oomph' so that they don't ice up in a CB when
you really need them to be working?
one dot right is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 09:43
  #1076 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,979
And the full (64pp) report here: http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources...9%20G-THOF.pdf
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 09:51
  #1077 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Yangon,Myanmar
Posts: 51
they are a cost to be mitigated with things like P2F.
Agreed. There is only one way to fight bean-counters, by making their business model unprofitable.

You could start with this...

Pilots involved in P2F should not be called professional pilots, because the definition of professional is being paid to do a job (in your profession)..."not paying to do your job"!

During in-flight introductions they should be introduced as such. ie... cadet pilot, amateur pilot, or pilot in training.

I think the PAX have a right to know, and just maybe, just maybe it might raise some eyebrows. Or make some feel uneasy, and choose another airline next time.
chefrp is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 10:12
  #1078 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,342
About the captains military experience.
It's difficult for western pilots to understand how some air force fighter pilots from some South East Asian countries can leave the service with very limited flying skills.

Speaking in general terms, not saying that was the case with this AirAsia captain.
Any information on his age?
ManaAdaSystem is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 10:22
  #1079 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: australia
Posts: 114
Bud Leon #1088 and others: ICAO has a handy tool for comparing air safety capabilities of different states at http://www.icao.int/safety/Pages/USOAP-Results.aspx. It’s based on very thorough, independent audits.

Before making sweeping comparisons between Asian and “Western” safety regimes just note that Singapore is one of the few States with a near perfect score and China is almost as good. Malaysia is much on a par with Australia and well above the international norm. Sadly Indonesia lags badly and theirs is very recent audit. So I fly on AirAsia’s Malaysian registered planes but not on those of its associates.

Interestingly AirAsia X Indonesia was due to start direct flights between Melbourne and Bali on 26 December but postponed the service at very short notice. Does anyone know if there were problems with the airline’s technical readiness?
ozaub is online now  
Old 3rd Jan 2015, 10:30
  #1080 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 678
@mary meagher

In dangly engined jets at low airspeed, and therefore low aero forces, extreme pitch up with high power has happened many times. Not all were so fortunate as in the example illustrated.

Other events:-

Report about go arounds

Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
power up, pitch excursion, CFIT

AeroUnion Flight 302 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Can't find much detail.
jimjim1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

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