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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 4th Dec 2016, 06:17
  #601 (permalink)  
 
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100% agree Surplus.

And I believe this "Ops Procedures" probably been going for some time, I doubt this was the first time.

This is not just about the Captain, but the culture within this company and how they operated. And the handling of this with regards dispatcher and other staff connected to this tragedy.
The Captain had ample time to divert enroute, and the last dice he could have declared an emergency before entering the hold.

His fuel alarms would have been going off long before he first announced any kind of emergency scenario, but he didn't tell anybody until his engines started cutting out, creating his electrical problems. The only chance he, (and more importantly, his passengers and crew), had, was if he announced his emergency fuel state BEFORE he accepted a hold clearance. Then, they may have had the time to clear him for a straight in.

CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, reportedly had endorsed LAMIA as its recommended charter carrier.

Those of us whose memories go back even a few months are aware that countless CONMEBOL officials have been arrested, extradited to the USA and charged with RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations) offences.

All of this raises the issue as to what had led CONMEBOL to make LAMIA its preferred carrier.

Additionally, the other flight of lengthy distance that the carrier recently undertook non-stop as mentioned on this thread was Buenos Aires to Belo Horizonte, which clearly was the recent CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier.

It makes me wonder what inducements may have been involved for both CONMEBOL and the clubs and federations which used this carrier. And whether fictitious fuel stops were a common practice.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 06:27
  #602 (permalink)  
 
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You would hope that the safety investigation will ultimately have a scope that goes far beyond a captain/co-owner apparently 'taking' a series of 'amazing' decisions.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 06:28
  #603 (permalink)  
 
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The reluctance to declare a fuel emergency or call a MAYDAY isn't simply the issue of paperwork..
Declaring a fuel emergency will result in an enquiry that under circumstances such as these is likely to reflect badly on the captain's decision making and result in a blemish on the pilot's record that will affect his future employment prospects with a major airline, or even threaten his current employment status.

This threat combined with what psychiatrists term 'cognitive dissonance', (the unwillingness to accept what's happening) results in an extremely strong reluctance to act rationally to a set of circumstances.

Many pilots reading of these events would be surprised at how susceptible they themselves might be to these pressures even had they'd not felt themselves guilty of any rash or imprudent actions during the flight planning stage.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 07:11
  #604 (permalink)  
 
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Surplus, if I may;

That information is in writing and I have seen pictures of the actual FPL.
You believe you have.

I have also seen a photo of her memo.
You have seen an untimed memo that you believe was written by the operator in the flight plan office.

Now that takes cojones on the part of the dispatcher and the Captain. That's the first time I have ever seen a Flight Plan on which the aircraft's endurance and the time enroute were the same - in writing and signed. I'm retired now but I drove commercial airliners for 40 years before retiring. That's incredible, but it is also true. I can't believe it But, I've seen the actual documents.
Leaving aside your repeated belief that you have seen the actual documents, doesn't your observation that you have never in 40 years seen a flight plan quite like this one strike you as odd? Surely only an idiot would advertise in advance that they were about to conduct a flight with zero fuel reserves and only one alternate?

If any pilot fudges anything, be it fuel, duty times or an MEL item, they make every effort to ensure that the paperwork looks straight. I would be astounded if the Captain authorized the figures on the flight plan we have seen, and agree that some other more junior person might have been trying to highlight a problem that they may have had difficulty in voicing.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 07:17
  #605 (permalink)  
 
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The translation or interpretation at 602 is debatable. A few, but certainly not all points:

I'll try to translate literally to demonstrate how hard it is to convey meaning from one language to another.

"No señora Celia, esa autonomía me han dado, nos alcanza bien."

"No Mrs. Celia, that autonomy they (who is they?) have given me, it fits us (who exactly is us?) (could mean it fits our plans, or we can fit our flight time within that time envelope) well."

"Ya no insiste mas al ver la terquedad del despachador."

I think this is a typo and she may have said "...no insistí mas..." I didn't insist more."

So: "At that point I didn't insist more upon seeing the (obstinacy, stubbornness, intransigence) of the dispatcher."

Almost every sentence has such ambiguities, but the gist remains the same. She argued with the dispatcher but ultimately gave up, presumably because she felt he had more authority than she did.

Pero al fin fue el despachador que se turqueó.

Last edited by thcrozier; 4th Dec 2016 at 07:33.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 07:28
  #606 (permalink)  
 
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......... snip............
Many pilots reading of these events would be surprised at how susceptible they themselves might be to these pressures even had they'd not felt themselves guilty of any rash or imprudent actions during the flight planning stage.
No doubt, but "many" pilots certainly aren't "all" pilots. Any military or professional pilot has occasionally been subject to pressures to do something which was close to being sketchy or, in some cases, downright dangerous/illegal/stupid. Furthermore, it's not always clear just how close you might be to doing something imprudent.

In those cases I always asked myself how comfortable I would feel when I was either on a judicial witness stand or appearing before a board of inquiry where you are seated at one end of a long table with a group of your superiors are seated at the other end and all the ash trays are on their end.

If my hypothetical story was going to cause me me squirm, lie, be embarrassed, or otherwise feel uncomfortable while I was trying to explain myself, then I was pretty sure the proposed course of action was unwise; go to plan B. This worked for me for over 40 years of professional flying.

Perhaps the captain in this instance should have asked himself how comfortable he would be explaining that his en-route fuel burn was the same as his fuel on board at take off............. oops.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 07:46
  #607 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MungoP View Post
The reluctance to declare a fuel emergency or call a MAYDAY isn't simply the issue of paperwork..
Declaring a fuel emergency will result in an enquiry that under circumstances such as these is likely to reflect badly on the captain's decision making and result in a blemish on the pilot's record that will affect his future employment prospects with a major airline, or even threaten his current employment status.
Because getting killed in the resultant crash is so much better
This literally falls into the Darwin Award category, unfortunately with a bunch of other victims.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 07:54
  #608 (permalink)  
 
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I think the reason that both numbers (elapsed time/ endurance) were the same, is because the elapsed time on the route was expected to be 4:22. There's not really much you can do to 'sharp pencil' that.

The aircraft on the other hand, would have had a number for endurance (don't forget, this a/c was full of fuel and nearly maxxed out pax wise, so real heavy) of less than 4:22

So they increased the 'endurance' number so as it would not be less than the 'elapsed' number.

I don't remember too much about the RJ limitations now, but can you fill it right up with fuel and then add 81 bods?

Must have been mighty near MTOW
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:09
  #609 (permalink)  
 
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TD Tracer

I'm not in any way defending these irrational actions merely pointing out that they are known to be a factor in some accidents and incidents. We're dealing with fallible human beings. If we can bring peoples' attention to these events then it's the first stage in learning to recognise them in ourselves and guarding against them.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:13
  #610 (permalink)  
 
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@TDracer
Had he declared a Mayday then the resulting investigation would have had far worse consequences than post @MungoP suggests
They would have slung in jail the next day the company ceasing and the possibility that during the investigation various other "activities" might have come to light. All of this may have led to him suffering what might be termed an "accident" while in jail.

So I can see a situation here where the options for him might have been:
1. Carry on and hope he gets away with it on the basis that it won't happen to him.
2. Declare an emergency and then the sh*t would really hit the fan for certain.

So he simply cannot declare a Mayday due to the perceived consequences - until of course the whole thing collapses, it is too late the fuel has run out and the panic takes over.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:19
  #611 (permalink)  
 
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It would be interesting if they would kindly post images of previous flight plans. If they had "got away with it" before, then would they not have been repeating their process this time and submitting the flight plan in a similar fashion?

Isn't it important to consider that the Celia is still alive to give "evidence" whereas Alex Quispe is dead. He is therefore not able to give any response to what is being quoted as his words. Isn't it convenient that the documents released would appear to place the blame on somebody who cannot give their side of the story?

An official investigation has reportedly been initiated against Celia, who is accused negligence, failing to fulfil her duties. The images of the flight plan were leaked by who exactly?

Last edited by dmba; 4th Dec 2016 at 09:18.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:23
  #612 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by deefer dog View Post
Surplus, if I may;
By all means you most certainly may.

You believe you have.
You are correct, I do "believe" that I've seen a photo copy of the actual FP complete with dated seal. I can't think of why or who might go to the trouble of faking it, or what might be the motivation.

You have seen an untimed memo that you believe was written by the operator in the flight plan office.
The header of Celia's alleged memos is missing so, we don't know to whom it was addressed. However it is both dated and timed as 291650. The language and style of the memo is, IMO, typical of what someone in that position might be expected to use. Someone attempting to create such a phony memo is highly likely to be much more articulate and grammatically correct than Celia was. BTW, for what it's worth I am fluent in the Spanish language so I did not need a translator and was able to pick up on the nuances. I do believe that the photocopy of the document is genuine.

Leaving aside your repeated belief that you have seen the actual documents, doesn't your observation that you have never in 40 years seen a flight plan quite like this one strike you as odd? Surely only an idiot would advertise in advance that they were about to conduct a flight with zero fuel reserves and only one alternate?
BTW, unless the weather is really crappy two alternates are not required. Celia blew that part.

Yes, it does strike me as very odd - another reason I believe the documents are genuine. Only an idiot would plan a flight and depart with inadequate fuel to reliably reach the destination, let alone meet the legal requirements. What you had in the left seat of that airplane is exactly that: The Village Idiot!

The level of arrogance and imagined impunity overall of the pilot, who has flown this same route at least twice previously with insufficient fuel (and god knows how many others pushing the limits) and gotten away with it, is typical of a teenager who blithely texts on his smart phone while driving at 70 mph on a two-lane country road is both (but for that damned tree) fat, dumb and happy.

Running out of gas happens to other pilots but not to him. So, don't worry, be happy. The local Top Gun is in town.

If any pilot fudges anything, be it fuel, duty times or an MEL item, they make every effort to ensure that the paperwork looks straight. I would be astounded if the Captain authorized the figures on the flight plan we have seen, and agree that some other more junior person might have been trying to highlight a problem that they may have had difficulty in voicing.
There you go again, assuming that this fellow is concerned about what looks straight and what doesn't. He's not in the least bit concerned about that. In fact the flight plan may even serve as proof of his exceptional skill level. Our "Ace" will go anywhere with less fuel than required but never without paperwork, the content of which HE and HE ALONE dictates. What really matters is that "Official Seal" in the lower right hand corner.

The junior person in the equation is none other that the so-called Dispatcher. He has a license for effect but he's really just the captain's errand boy. He fills out the paper work as instructed by the "Capi" [which is what he told Celia], delivers it to the office and comes back with the weather info - which our astronaut sticks wherever it fits and ignores. What does it matter what the weather says, do you really think he's going to cancel the flight for that?

Last edited by surplus1; 4th Dec 2016 at 10:13.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:31
  #613 (permalink)  
 
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I have plotted the ADS-B data from flightradar and associated all tech data I could find. Conclusions are that the Fuel Lo Level warning would have been raised at least 150 km from SKRG. The outbound turn on the second holding circuit crossed the line of any hope. The captain pit the airplane into landing configuration just after starting to descend from the holding pattern, which crippled their glide ratio.

Happy for any corrections or suggestions. Main effort is to show how useful ADS-B can be for accident investigation. Read the report knowing the data is limited and that there are many other aspects to analyze in the official investigation.

Satcom Guru: LMI2933 LAMIA AVRO RJ85 Medellín Deadstick
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:32
  #614 (permalink)  
 
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Should it not be made mandatory to call law enforcement when presented with such a flight plan? Same as when it is suspected that someone is under the influence [...]
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 08:40
  #615 (permalink)  
 
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IMHO the 'holes in the cheese' of this disaster were starting to line up way back when the Capt/Co-owner of Lamia, and probably others, started to be influenced by football money and privileges. The game causes corruption everywhere, least not in S America as has been documented recently. Why would any team heading for it's biggest occasion ever, use an airline with one operational, fairly aged aircraft? Whenever the company I worked for operated football charters, also using Avro RJs incidentally, the clubs, ok maybe more wealthy, would insist that a standby aircraft and crew were available. Or at the very least some slack in the program on that day incase everything went belly up. These trips are critical to the big teams. There was possibly a close connection between the owners/pilots and the club, a connection which may have over time, fundamentally altered the thinking and prioritisation of what was probably a safe operator in the past. Extreme reckless risky-shift tantamount to destructive addiction to wealth and ego-inflation. Selfishness beyond comprehension, combined with an associated mental illness? All my speculation of course.

I have to also say that I'm amazed such a slack system is in place , where a commercial aircraft can pull onto stand with fumes in the tanks and little else, and nobody raises an eyebrow. I'm assuming the reports are correct that they got away with this a few times before. In my company I seem to remember that if the engineer(s) receiving the aircraft saw less than a nominal reserve figure remaining on the gauges they would have to file an Air Safety Report or MOR . If memory serves me it was around 750kg on the RJ100.

If they (he?) did get away with dodging the bullet a few times prior to this awful event, then maybe an element of environmental capture was altering the thinking. 'This is how I've seen it before, this is how I will expect to see it today' When the expected turns into the unexpected, disbelief and shock can hinder clear thinking. Very sadly indeed.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 09:33
  #616 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Because getting killed in the resultant crash is so much better
This literally falls into the Darwin Award category, unfortunately with a bunch of other victims.
I'm just a private pilot (but I do fuel planning every flight), so what would I know? But I think tdracer has very succinctly summed it up. Remember, this guy, we're told, owned the airline; he didn't have management pressuring HIM.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 10:17
  #617 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure I buy all this " not declaring Mayday because of its consequences...." It seems nothing much happened to anybody when the same crime was committed before. It must have been known by numerous people including those refuelling the near empty tanks.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 10:56
  #618 (permalink)  
 
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Update 2 - impact and break-up sequence based on publicly available photo and video material - status morning December 3rd.

The available material is limited and the quality if the photos is quite low. Video material is even more limited and of very low quality.

+
Identification

In the hollow. Identified components (high probability) are the almost complete right wing plus engine number3 (completely stripped of the cowling). A significant part of the left wing. The left hand aft pax door with 5 1/2 window in front of it. One other pax door. One engine nacelle.

On the high ridge. One elevator half. The tail-mounted-speedbrake plus part of the vertical tail.

At this moment in time no trace of the other 3 engines. No trace of the cockpit section. No trace of the forward fuselage section. No trace of avionics 'boxes'. Limited wiring.

Which means 3 of the 4 corners can be identified.

+

At this stage a very very premature guesstimate of a more probable impact and break-up sequence could be:

a. plane in a slightly pitch up attitude, pointing approximately in the direction of the VOR, at a relatively low forward speed,
b. hits the high ridge, which breaks off the tail section behind the aft pax door, and leaves the tail and elevator with the tailspeedbrake on top of the high ridge,
c. the front of the plane pitches forward and contacts trees and ground, which breaks off the cockpit section and fuselage section in front of the wing, the cockpit and front section (and maybe one or more engines) then sliding down the high ridge,
d. the center section plus wing plus aft section is projected forward and impacts the hill opposite (!??),
e. this impact breaks off the wing with part of the associated fuselage structure, wing plus flips over forward, the aft fuselage section continues the movement forward and slides over the wing and comes to a halt,

There are other possible sequences but with the material that i have this would be the most probable.

The question with this scenario is, how did anyone survive? At least two different answers might be applicable.
The first is - pure luck - there are a number of possible explanations that improve chances.
The second is - based on a maximum energy dissipation and lowest G's scenario - people sitting (probably on the left hand side) in the fuselage section aft of the wing and before the aft doorframe. Cabin crew having taken a passenger seat aft or in aft facing folding crew seat inclusive.

Finding photo's of the cockpit section would be priority1 if you would want to reduce the number of possible scenario's.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 11:15
  #619 (permalink)  
 
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The reluctance to declare a fuel emergency or call a MAYDAY isn't simply the issue of paperwork..
Declaring a fuel emergency will result in an enquiry that under circumstances such as these is likely to reflect badly on the captain's decision making and result in a blemish on the pilot's record that will affect his future employment prospects with a major airline, or even threaten his current employment status.

Because getting killed in the resultant crash is so much better
This literally falls into the Darwin Award category, unfortunately with a bunch of other victims.

I agree.

I suspect he just carried on hoping - hoping - hoping he would make it. Pretty girl on the flight deck, doesn't want to lose face, hence the apparent calm and the 'senorita' used to address ATC.

Only when the engines started failing did he finally accept how deep into the shxt he had gone.

I just hope the XAA makes an urgent review of all flight planning by all airlines in their country after this ridiculous crash.
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Old 4th Dec 2016, 11:22
  #620 (permalink)  
 
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I can well imagine the despatcher trying to get numbers out of the Capt who was too busy whooping it up with the pax and not having time to give a proper answer. "Ah! Just use the figures we did last time!" or similar. And so the numbers just got made up. Or he simply dug out the previous plan and re-dated it. All perfectly feasible.

Speculation I know, but then all of this is as the protagonists are all dead bar the brave Celia.

Let's see the previous flight plans first and note the similarities.

Re the word "Autonomy". To avoid confusion could we please use normal English and refer to this correctly as "Endurance"? Autonomy is the sort of completely inappropriate but not quite completely incorrect word an autotranslator comes out with.
An aircraft's flight time available is called "Endurance". Everyone understands that word, because it conveys the correct meaning, autonomy has no such meaning - it means self-governing or independent operation. Plus it is never used in normal English.
Please?

Last edited by T28B; 4th Dec 2016 at 12:31. Reason: Insulting due to gender removed
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