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AF B772, GPWS averts CFIT

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AF B772, GPWS averts CFIT

Old 25th May 2015, 16:48
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DunePrune

The Malabo departure feeds straight into the Douala arrival. Mt Cameroon is just outside the MSA circle of both airports, and is only obliquely referred to on the Douala chart. AF pilots fly world wide, and it is quite possible that neither pilot on the flight in question had any local knowledge.


Throw in some enormous thunderstorms with ATC that is among the world's worst and a small mistake suddenly becomes major. I feel for those pilots.


An excellent post, ATC Watcher.The snipers are just part of the background noise. As usual.
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Old 26th May 2015, 06:19
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The chinese (SIM) love to vector you outside of the 25 NM range at an altitude below MSA to see your reaction...maybe should be practiced more,generally speaking of course
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Old 26th May 2015, 15:43
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DunePrune:

The Malabo departure feeds straight into the Douala arrival. Mt Cameroon is just outside the MSA circle of both airports, and is only obliquely referred to on the Douala chart. AF pilots fly world wide, and it is quite possible that neither pilot on the flight in question had any local knowledge.

Throw in some enormous thunderstorms with ATC that is among the world's worst and a small mistake suddenly becomes major. I feel for those pilots.
I too feel for the pilots. Perhaps a lesson to be learned by all flight operations management there are locales such as this one that need a special qualifications package and some tailored area charts with topography clearly shown.

The technology in most airliners is, in some respects, quite obsolete compared with the newer equipage sophisticated, newer business jets have. Such as topographical moving map on the MFD and synthetic vision (SV) on the PFD that is "talking" to the EGPSW.

But, the airlines will so equip only through attrition so tailored local area Jeppesen area charts would be in order.

Here is a snippet of what is apparently an aeronautical chart I found on the Internet:

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Old 27th May 2015, 08:43
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Now on the BBC

Now on the BBC website, currently under the rather unusual title of

"Air France flight AF953 misses Cameroon Mountain"

Air France flight AF953 misses Cameroon mountain - BBC News
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Old 27th May 2015, 12:44
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In line with some of the thinking here, perhaps we should just praise the crew for 'missing' the mountain?
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Old 27th May 2015, 16:00
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It's all about situational awareness and choosing the lesser of the two threats: the cumulonimbus or the cumulogranite
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Old 27th May 2015, 17:07
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EGPWS has saved many lives, respect it and use it.
The terrain mode provides a strategic view of terrain; it’s not a map for navigating with, but an aid for planning and awareness.
The alerts and warnings must be followed – no deliberation or choice. EGPWS is a vital every-day device which warns of error, your error, someone else’s, or from within the wider operational situation.
Celebrate the ‘saves’; learn from them.
Well done the crew, the operator, the system, … Don Bateman … another one for the book.
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Old 27th May 2015, 22:51
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I think for any pilot that has not experienced this area of operation should not be so critical of this crew
Douala experiences 3,851mm of rain annually (151.6"). A point near Tiko airport (shown on the topo map immediately southeast of Mt. Cameroon) gets 10,300mm (405") per year!

On climbout from Tiko in a Twin Otter many, many years ago, I recall seeing a drop in T5 (Turbine Temp) of approximately 50 degrees Celsius, on both engines, caused by the firehose of water streaming in the intake!

Very intimidating indeed, but no excuse for loss of SA.
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Old 28th May 2015, 01:16
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Non-Driver,You found the heart of information.
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Old 28th May 2015, 01:47
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Of course. there was a precedent:

ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-6B F-BIAO Mt. Cameroon

The Air Afrique flight took off from Douala runway 12 at 13:16 GMT on an IFR flight plan to Lagos, cruising altitude 16500 feet. Last radio contact was with Kano at 13:25 when the crew estimated leaving the FIR around 13:38. Two minutes later the aircraft struck Mount Cameroon in a straight climb at 6500 feet (800m below the peak).

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused by a lack of caution on the part of the pilot-in-command who deliberately selected a route which led the aircraft into a dangerous and even prohibited sector at too low an altitude. Also, he neglected his navigation and transferred to instrument flight when approaching the mountain range."
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Old 28th May 2015, 02:03
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Originally Posted by Current Limiter View Post
Bearing in mind, flying into a CB that extends up to 60,000ft will have the same effect as flying into Mt Cameroon,

I think for any pilot that has not experienced this area of operation should not be so critical of this crew.
If these are the only two options, I'll take the CB option, you can try your luck with the mountain.

Strange ideas from some.
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Old 28th May 2015, 02:11
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For those unkown in these threads. Pilots are vulnerable to mistakes,as any one in a human world. And still persons,as in a human world.
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Old 28th May 2015, 02:15
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There are times when it is best to stay on the ground or once airborne and faced with a radar display full of horrible wx, to simply turn around and land at departure point.

Alas, the airlines are mission oriented so the poor crew would have been screwed either way.

The human-factors folks should really look at the "mission oriented" aspect of this near CFIT in terrible weather.
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Old 28th May 2015, 02:34
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They might have been focused on the WX radar a little too much, but that mountain certainly would have turned up solid red on that as well..

Anyway nobody goes to work to screw up like that, most probably there were other factors as well. Can't wait for the story behind it. Classic CRM training case in the making here..
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Old 28th May 2015, 02:54
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This has a ghostly resemblance to the AA crash on approach to Cali.. Out here in Afghanland due to a number of issues it's not uncommon to find oneself in an area of mountainous terrain and being vectored into IMC conditions below the MSA.. the natural reaction should always be.. "whatever else we do let's climb".. after all the crew didn't plan to be off-airways or below a safe MSA in IMC away from their selected route.. If you can't get visual, Get Safe. ..
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Old 28th May 2015, 03:30
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Mungo P exactly.

We are talking EGPWS here, not GPWS, and in IMC it doesn't matter where on this earth the event occurs (or at what Alt/FL) the response should always be the same. The "PULL UP" is not an Alert. It is an EGPWS Warning of excessive closure to terrain and requires immediate, aggressive, action to avoid a CFIT.
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Old 28th May 2015, 04:19
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Just a thought ...

Not saying this was a factor in this incident , but in several cases , the 250 below 10000 default in the FMS has caught folks out. For example, going into a high altitude airport ( eg Nairobi / Tehran ) , if you don't modify this slow down point , following a standard 3x profile may cause you to be still doing 320kts , at sub 5000 AGL as you transition thru F100. I see this aspect of the FMS as a HF weakness that has caught several pilots out in the past. There are other factors , but this default if not modified can catch folks out with terrain closure etc.

Ask Emirates how many they have had!

Now CSA is heading to Nairobi for example , I am waiting to see if the same thing happens there. And yes , I have mentioned this to those in power so it's not a case of sitting back and letting it happen, just wondering why the FMs can't reduce speed below 10000AGL as it has elevation input , or if the terrain GRID mora is > some value slow down based on that for example.

That way you would actively intervene to maintain speed in some cases , but at least would have to think about it.

And yes that's what pilots are supposed to do anyway with terrain- but they are also supposed to be able to fly aircraft away from stalls , upsets, speed loss , not into sea walls ...need I go on ?
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Old 28th May 2015, 06:45
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Originally Posted by Wood
if you don't modify this slow down point , following a standard 3x profile may cause you to be still doing 320kts , at sub 5000 AGL as you transition thru F100.
So what happens if you clear the 250/10000ft into a sea level airport? Our FMS will still slow down normally to achieve the correct approach speeds, regardless of the initial descent speed.
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Old 28th May 2015, 14:12
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Training guy trying to blame a hard landing on the crew exceeding 250kts below 10,000'. My response? "If that's true 90% of the landings in the Caribbean should be hard landings."
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Old 28th May 2015, 15:12
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Training guy trying to blame a hard landing on the crew exceeding 250kts below 10,000'
Sad, isn't it?
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