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Jet goes down on its way to Medellin, Colombia

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Jet goes down on its way to Medellin, Colombia

Old 1st Dec 2016, 08:57
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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As this drama unfolds I have to "defend" to several not-flying friends, that these situations can and do happen. Very rightfully they ask how in the world a crew can be so neglectful of their fuel state. That is so basic to them they cannot understand how a professional crew gets themselves in such a bad position with a full load of pax.

My ole company is on the verge of even more fine tuning the reserve fuel qty. Hope this accident makes them think another time.

One idea about the steep descent could be failing instruments, that made them dash for VMC conditions below clouds. Just an idea, not more.

Yes and for the ATC lady: my (worn) hat off.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:09
  #262 (permalink)  
 
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Nightstop, landing with less than 30 mins fuel is a Mayday in our Ops manual.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:25
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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I would presume the quoted price for the charter included the en route fuel stop. Avoiding that fuel stop (thinking they had "enough" to make it) would have increased the profit margin. Commercial decision gone bad? Pure but reasonable speculation. It's been done before.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:26
  #264 (permalink)  
 
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Hi RiSQ

I have to agree with you 100%, so many human factors ignored here, too heavy, wasting time circling, too low, too slow, no fuel, no emergency call until 11th hour, while this is going on undercarriage deployed resulting in drag,??? WTF ? they may aswell chucked out a 2 tonne anchor aswell, to make sure they fall out off the sky quicker - just in-believable,??? the silver lining in all this is that the Flight technician survived, and if this is true, I bet he wished he didn't as he too is culpable.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:28
  #265 (permalink)  
 
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Referencing Avianca 52...

...they were under the impression that they indeed HAD requested emergency assistance due to their word "priority" and the slightly different meaning it had in whatever Spanish related dialect those poor chaps spoke.

This crew also uses "priority", could it be that this means something like "emergency" in South America? Sure, native English speakers of course use their words of choice, but Spanish/Portuguese speakers maybe use "priority" when they are in Spanish/Portuguese speaking environments?

Anyone who could clarify this?
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:31
  #266 (permalink)  
 
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@ Capt Scribble

Nightstop, landing with less than 30 mins fuel is a Mayday in our Ops manual
I said "may" not "will". Will land with less than final reserve is indeed a "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday Fuel".

Last edited by Nightstop; 1st Dec 2016 at 09:32. Reason: Spelling
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:32
  #267 (permalink)  
 
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But agree too, many parallels with the Avianca 52 crash, and the V/Viscount 700 crash in 79, Alidair Scotland, but at least Capt. Whitaker got her onto a plateaux, "flaired" the Viscount in a nose up attitude, wheels up, and got her down, all survived, that was fuel gauge issues if I recall, thought he had more than he did, - just some bent props and flattened underside.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:50
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by azure70 View Post
At least one occurrence of high-altitude engine rollback in icing conditions causing loss of electrical power on a Bae146.



https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...200286_001.pdf
That links to an incident on a bae 146, not an avro rj. 146's were modified after a number of rollback incidents to be rollback protected. RJ's had a different engine installed, Alf 507 (146 Alf 502), this had an extra stage of compression known as a supercharger which prevented rollback.


Ref pannier tanks...
As has been mentioned this was a former Cityjet aircraft, none of their fleet has ever been installed with pannier tanks. The last lot of pannier tanks that became available were from an aircraft scrapped in Canada and found a home on one of the the Dubai Air Wings two RJ's. Lamia would not have carried out this modification.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 09:56
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing useful to contribute to the technical discussions on here but I'd like to add my admiration for the professionalism displayed by the ATC lady. I hope that the subsequent enquiry makes this point.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:09
  #270 (permalink)  
 
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I would presume the quoted price for the charter included the en route fuel stop. Avoiding that fuel stop (thinking they had "enough" to make it) would have increased the profit margin. Commercial decision gone bad? Pure but reasonable speculation. It's been done before.
Came up with the same thought, especially as I heard it was the airline owner who was one of the pilots. Can you imagine challenging his decision not to stop en route as planned. Instant South American equivalent to the P45.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:12
  #271 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MrSnuggles View Post
Referencing Avianca 52...

...they were under the impression that they indeed HAD requested emergency assistance due to their word "priority" and the slightly different meaning it had in whatever Spanish related dialect those poor chaps spoke.

This crew also uses "priority", could it be that this means something like "emergency" in South America? Sure, native English speakers of course use their words of choice, but Spanish/Portuguese speakers maybe use "priority" when they are in Spanish/Portuguese speaking environments?

Anyone who could clarify this?
They were communicating in native Spanish. The crew and ground are Spanish speakers, not Portuguese. "Emergencia" would be emergency. I get the sense that he wasn't aware of the seriousness of the situation until it was too late or that as others have suggested, he was reluctant to admit its seriousness. Difficult to know.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:17
  #272 (permalink)  
 
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Malcolm Gladwell's excellent book "The Outliers" covers the Avianca / JFK crash due to fuel exhaustion and is extremely interesting - it's Ch7 "The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes".

Columbians register on Gert Hofstede's Power-Distance Index (respect for authority) as one of the highest - meaning that, as a culture, they have a high respect for perceived authority and this was considered a factor when they were negotiating to land at JFK (where ATC is generally pretty alpha bordering on aggressive).

One can imagine that some of us in this situation would head for the nearest runway regardless of what ATC are saying but, for others, it's not so easy. We'll wait for the reports but it looks like there's going to be a lot of Human Factors across the board nvolved in this one.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:18
  #273 (permalink)  
 
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The tanks were bone-dry, and you guys are discussing what he said on the way down?
We should be discussing:

- company structure
- lack of oversight by authorities
- authority gradient
- criminal investigation possibilities
- economic pressure
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:40
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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Fuel Reserves

I am wondering if they had filed an en-route alternate to get around the initial fuel planning calculations to arrive with sufficent legal fuel at destination.

At the en-route diversion point the airline owner/pilot/captain decided there was sufficient fuel to continue to destination saving an en-route landing, however 'Murphy's Law' popped up with the Airbus fuel emergency at destination and an unplanned hold occurred using up those vital few kg's of fuel.

Just a thought.

Last edited by Above The Clouds; 1st Dec 2016 at 10:49. Reason: text
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:45
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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I hope the SLF on here dont get the notion that ATC only reacts to the magic Mayday x 3 call as I can assure them that the merest mention by pilots of any sort of trouble sets their mental alarm bells ringing. As for the pilots, it is probable that 99.9% of them go through their entire careers without uttering Mayday for real, so cut them some slack when the day finally arrives. In this tragedy, on the speculation so far, its looks bad for the crew. The initial report will tell us the facts of the fuel situation. It could even have involved a fuel leak, who knows right now?
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 11:03
  #276 (permalink)  
 
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The thread is drifting towards the valueless conclusion of 'human error'; whereas the real threat to the industry is the continuing number of 'organisational' accidents and those outside the current technical categorisation*, unexplained disappearance, terrorist action, or local war.
Although the industry might be enjoying the lowest 'technical' accident rate for a number of years, the public perception, often biased by tabloid news, may drift towards the notion of aviation still having significant risk. Many of these risks appear to beyond regulatory control, or put aside as not fitting the accident data category which safety activity might address.
The most significant threat to the industry is changing public perception, they provide the pay cheque. If we continue to promote the idea of 'human error', then the danger is a call to eliminate the human from the process, then what for a career in commercial aviation. Cf, the interest in autonomus cars, 'drones', irrespective of feasibility, practicality.

Lessons for the industry: - the continuing need for professionalism, (crew, operator, and regulatory organisation), expertise, planning, communication.

* e.g. Boeing accident summary.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 11:05
  #277 (permalink)  
 
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I've got about 8,000 P1 on the 146 (albiet long ago), I recall we were restricted to FL260 due to the icing rollback issue on the ALF 502's fwiw. Low fuel was a tricky situation to deal with, especially if Holding (with turns always in one direction) fuel would tip from the higher to the lower wing tanks due to an always open high level weir, the type's anherdral added to the imbalance which had to be managed via cross feeding.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 11:11
  #278 (permalink)  
 
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At the en-route diversion point the airline owner/pilot/captain decided there was sufficient fuel to continue to destination saving an en-route landing, however 'Murphy's Law' popped up with the Airbus fuel emergency at destination and an unplanned hold occurred using up those vital few kg's of fuel.
Mmmmmm.

Final Reserve is used to combat 'Murphy's Law'. It's 30 minutes of fuel. No pilot in their right mind would PLAN to eat into it, when overflying an en-route fuel diversion, simply to reach their destination! A MAYDAY call was required as soon as it became apparent the aircraft would LAND with less than 30 minutes of fuel in it's tanks!

After all the other preceding HF/planning/cultural issues. That simple, single act would highly likely have saved many lives here.
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 11:17
  #279 (permalink)  
 
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At the en-route diversion point the airline owner/pilot/captain decided there was sufficient fuel to continue to destination saving an en-route landing, however 'Murphy's Law' popped up with the Airbus fuel emergency at destination and an unplanned hold occurred using up those vital few kg's of fuel.
Mmmmmm.

Final Reserve is used to combat 'Murphy's Law'. It's used for NOTHING else! Ever!

It's 30 minutes of fuel. No pilot in their right mind would PLAN to eat into it, when overflying an en-route fuel diversion, simply to reach their destination! A MAYDAY call was required as soon as it became apparent the aircraft would LAND with less than 30 minutes of fuel in it's tanks!

After all the other preceding HF/planning/cultural issues. That simple, single act would highly likely have saved many lives here.

Having said all the above, it's not JUST a cultural/ethnicity issue. I'm led to believe Concorde once had 4 engines flame out on the taxi in at Heathrow, and was towed to stand! I could of course be wrong?
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Old 1st Dec 2016, 11:42
  #280 (permalink)  
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I think it important the young lady in ATC is made aware of her (worldwide) peer's feelings about her performance. It may help a lot.

Perhaps someone local could make contact even if it was to just give an overview of this forum's relevant comments.
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