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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 28th Dec 2016, 16:16
  #1041 (permalink)  
 
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So the CVR mysteriously stopped 1 hour 40:45 minutes prior to the accident.
Now I'm sure we are all going to be very interested in why this might have been and in particular whether it was (indeed if it can be) deliberately switched off by the crew.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 16:32
  #1042 (permalink)  
 
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I believe it can be switched off simply by pulling the appropriate CB.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 17:50
  #1043 (permalink)  
 
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Twelve minutes from the start of the landing brief to the CVR becoming inop and not a word about what was said. Methinks there must be some telling information in those passed-over 12 minutes but I suppose we can only wait for the Colombian authorities to reveal what it was.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 18:40
  #1044 (permalink)  
 
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Legal action will be taken against the Regional Director of AASANA Santa Cruz by the Bolivian government for not cooperating with the Colombian investigators.

Caso LaMia: Director de Aasana Santa Cruz será procesado por no cooperar con Colombia - Diario Pagina Siete
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 23:45
  #1045 (permalink)  
 
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This really is a hornet's nest full of, let's say, surprises.

A dodgy operator with suspicious connections and cowboy attitude to everything that is survival has obliterated a whole football team. Why is the Bolivian gouvernment that thick? Damn it, I heard (and this is no joke) that they cancelled the postal services there because the prez thinks it is too expensive.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 01:13
  #1046 (permalink)  
 
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Re: why the CVR ceased recording

Re: why the CVR ceased recording

1. Most likely (but NOT only) scenario seems to be CB pulled to conceal what was being discussed or might be discussed -- from fuel situation to 'we did it before' or the financial and other implications if they did stop for fuel, or any discussion of how airline got the contract or would get others, or ???

2. Yet it seems premature to rule out another possibility: that someone with access to the cockpit other than the Cptn -- whether FO, "observer," or ??? -- who heard or learned of the fuel discussions -- pulled the CB to preserve a CVR record of what had been discussed thus far, including that Cptn (and others) knew short on fuel yet decided against stopping.

Perhaps this person had disagreed with the decision and wanted that dissent recorded. Or simply had no say in the matter.


3. The "to preserve a record" scenario admittedly is less likely than "to coverup what was going to be said thereafter" scenario.

But we don't yet know what is on the portion of the CVR that was preserved. Some related info might also be informative (eg, was someone momentarily out of the cabin when the CVR stopped recording? Was the CB accessible from the observer position, or ?)


4. In theory the stoppage also could have been unintentional. But that seems relatively low on the probability list.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 04:13
  #1047 (permalink)  
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Considering the force of the impact (several people survived the crash) wouldn't it be quite likely that the circuit breaker for the CVR was preserved well enough so that the state it was in could be determined?
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 10:24
  #1048 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Passenger 389 View Post
...

3. The "to preserve a record" scenario admittedly is less likely than "to coverup what was going to be said thereafter" scenario.

...
What makes no sense was that the CB was pulled to cover up some discussion, as that would imply that they were planning to crash and therefore have the CVR reviewed. There was some dumb thinking at the pointy end of this flight, but not to the extent of planning to crash and thinking ahead to deceive the accident investigation.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 10:45
  #1049 (permalink)  
 
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What can be learnt, what can change?

I'm struggling to pull any clear lessons out of this apart from the blindingly obvious ones.

It seems that some regions should be taking a good look at themselves and their practices. Apart from that, what the heck??

Being prepared? One thing that has struck me about this from page 1 is that the crew seemed inexplicably and entirely unprepared for the imminent and inevitable fuel exhaustion situation.

Is there anything to be learnt from this?
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 13:08
  #1050 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DuncanF View Post
What makes no sense was that the CB was pulled to cover up some discussion, as that would imply that they were planning to crash and therefore have the CVR reviewed.
Well that's one explanation, I suppose.

The CVR stopped recording roughly 1 hour 45 minutes before the end of the flight. In the final 30 minutes of recording there was discussion on whether or not to divert to Bogota to refuel.

While the CVR recorded a decision not to do so, it seems highly likely that as the fuel state became more apparent there would have been further debate about how fine they were cutting things. If so, it's no surprise that the crew would not want that discussion recorded.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 13:33
  #1051 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DuncanF View Post
What makes no sense was that the CB was pulled to cover up some discussion, as that would imply that they were planning to crash and therefore have the CVR reviewed. There was some dumb thinking at the pointy end of this flight, but not to the extent of planning to crash and thinking ahead to deceive the accident investigation.
Nah, the guy was part-owner of the company, and understood the liability involved with the horrible decision-making which got them into the mess they were clearly in at that point of the flight. This is further implied by his obvious reluctance to declare an emergency, regardless of fuel warnings, which provides an important clue into his (perhaps "their") frame of mind re: deception and liability.

He also realized (I'm guessing, based on their prior experience) that punishment for operating commercial aircraft with a couple gallons of fuel remaining by the time they get to the gate is BAD. I believe there were some stories, documents, etc which hinted at this in past ops with them, like when they flew the same route successfully, they'd obviously be bingo fuel.

They could easily (try) to claim some mistake on the part of the ground crew, fuel calculations, etc - but it wouldn't necessarily imply criminal intent. I'm guessing whatever was said in that cockpit in the last 30 min of that flight CLEARLY showed criminal intent, like "well boss, we knew it'd catch up to us some time!" "damn, I knew we were close but I can't believe it's actually happening" or "ok, once we get on the ground, if we need a tug what's our story going to be? Shred that fuel calculation sheet for me" - etc etc etc.

That's very different than just playing dumb.

A crash implies death, though I guess that's not usually how a pilot would think gliding in dead stick - but still, I think if they actually pulled CVR CB, it was because they were more worried they'd land intact after having to declare emergency, priority, etc.. and be met by govt. officials after landing. Especially considering there was already an active arrest warrant out for one of the guys.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 14:10
  #1052 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by noflynomore View Post
As stated by many of us this "accident' was clearly a result of a macho, rule-averse crew working in an inadequately regulated and nepotistic environment who lacked the "professionalism" (lower case intended) or judgement to even declare their error when it must have been clear that it was of fatal proportions.

As the engines began to fail they clearly had the altitude to glide directly to the field yet declined to do so, preferring to pursue a fatal 3-dimensional flight pattern that saw them squander their glide range immediately in a max-drag descent that ate up no distance to home in order to capture an utterly inappropriate glideslope that was clearly only attainable to a powered aircraft, but not a glider.

With all the pre-flight showboating, big I AM pics, and load of high-level high-living pax could they have been partaking too much of the cabin fever that surrounds such prima-donnae - Peruvian Marching Powder perhaps? I can't think of anything else that would make sense in this most senseless of crashes.

How else can you rationalise deliberately flying beyond your available range, deliberately passing en route fuel stops, deliberately arriving at destination with a fraction of required fuel, deliberately going into a hold and saying nothing, losing engines due to fuel starvation and STILL saying nothing...

They clearly weren't in their right minds. Given the nature of the pax perhaps recreational pharmaceuticals played a part?
I can think of few passanger loads less likely to be indulging in recreational drugs than a Brazillian professional football team on their way to the most important game of their lives.

I think deadheader has it right.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 14:14
  #1053 (permalink)  
 
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how a pilot would think gliding in dead stick
But it seems they didn't think of gliding it in - they appear to have set up a dirty dive for the localiser at or near the RioNegro VOR as though they were intending a standard 3' approach and continued in this full drag config even as engines failed and they squandered life saving height - so much height that they could still have reached the field even as the first engine failed if only they'd been at min clean sped and gear up.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 15:07
  #1054 (permalink)  
 
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There have been several comments speculating that the co-owner/crew may have been worried about the repercussions about a safe arrival without adequate reserves. Could someone explain how that would have worked at this arrival airport if they had made a safe arrival but on fumes? Process? What do they submit and who checks and how do they verify? Sorry if I missed it.


Thank you in advance.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 19:42
  #1055 (permalink)  
 
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the easy answer would be, they could have had the AOC, crew licences, suspended and possibly a fine too, if poor planning on the part of the company / crew was proven to be the cause.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 20:04
  #1056 (permalink)  
 
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Bolivian operator and licensed crew, hence Colombia not being the issuing authority cannot pull licences. Most severe, but most unlikely consequence, a ban from Colombian airspace for the operator.
To answer sandiego89`s question in full, Medellin ATC would have written it up and filed it with aerocivil, that is if they had not made it to the gate but needed a tow off the rwy. As some distruption would have ensued to operations. Should they however managed it to the apron, chances are nothing further would have happened.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 20:16
  #1057 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
I'm struggling to pull any clear lessons out of this apart from the blindingly obvious ones.

It seems that some regions should be taking a good look at themselves and their practices. Apart from that, what the heck??

Being prepared? One thing that has struck me about this from page 1 is that the crew seemed inexplicably and entirely unprepared for the imminent and inevitable fuel exhaustion situation.

Is there anything to be learnt from this?
Yes, there is.
The right attitude and the right mindset can and will make all the difference in the world, esp in our industry.
It doesn't matter how many rules, regulations, safety checks you can come up with. If someone is willing to deliberately ignore and violate them, they are totally useless.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 22:47
  #1058 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by noflynomore View Post
But it seems they didn't think of gliding it in - they appear to have set up a dirty dive for the localiser
As others have observed here more than once, what competency did this crew and operator demonstrate that in any way makes you think they would be prepared and able to handle a nighttime complete loss of power when the inevitable happened?

I don't think they thought of gliding it in. I don't think at that point they were thinking at all. Just shouting "vectors! vectors!" and staring desperately out the window hoping to see runway lights.
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 13:27
  #1059 (permalink)  
 
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noflynomore - True - and I agree, which was very poor airmanship (or, a continuation of poor airmanship, which shouldn't surprise me given what we know now!)

I simply mentioned it as an observation into what their frame of mind may have been regarding pulling CVR CB's, which has about an entire book of (albeit) circumstantial evidence at this point.

Also as far as what the ramifications would be for landing dry on a commercial flight; as many have said, there would be significant actions against the pilots and carrier, plus subsequent investigations most likely - BUT (again, re: thought process of potentially pulling CVR CB's) if they had to declare an emergency or even mention some type of fuel problem, etc, they'd almost certainly be under Govt investigation - as I assume that's SOP out there as well?

Again, without the CRV they gain some level of deniability - but that's almost guaranteed to be totally out-the-window based on what was probably said in the last 30 min of that flight.

I'm curious if this had been done previously? I wouldn't think it's exactly second nature to reach up (behind?) and yank a CB in the middle of a crisis. Given the continued evidence of sustained 'normalization of deviance' ops by the carrier and specifically, that PIC (who again, had an arrest warrant out on him!) I wouldn't put it past him to pull the CVR CB's on some of the other tight fuel flights.

In fact, at that point in the flight, there probably wouldn't have been any significant difference from their other extreme-range flights on that aircraft in the past. No obvious reason (at that point) to pull the CB, unless (again) it became "a thing" as they approached bingo fuel on these flights.

How long do these CVR's record? Did we figure out the model? I know some of the more modern units record for a LONG time. I'd assume the investigators went back to check if there were cut-outs towards the end of other flights.
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 15:48
  #1060 (permalink)  
 
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English preliminary report:
http://www.aerocivil.gov.co/autorida...SION.pdf?Web=1
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