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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 30th Dec 2016, 23:34
  #1061 (permalink)  
 
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English preliminary report

No fooling around...says "fuel exhaustion" on cover page.
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 11:56
  #1062 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MrSnuggles View Post
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.
That ECOBOL (post office) issue is an ongoing saga. Unfortunately the maladministration and lack of effective governance that seems to have contributed to this LaMia accident is typically Bolivian (and nothing new; in 1878 they started a sea war with Chile despite having no navy, losing their entire coastal region and access to the sea ever after).

It will be interesting to see what fallout if any is suffered by BoA and Amaszonas, Bolivia's two operators of scheduled international passenger services.

With regard to Bolivian airlines operating at the limit of their fuel, in the mid 2000s a friend of mine was travelling on a Lloyd Aťreo Boliviano 767 non-stop service from Madrid to Santa Cruz. At the time the airline was in financial crisis and it eventually ceased operations for good in 2008. The plane made a landing at a Brazilian air force base on Brazil's northern Atlantic coast, and couldn't leave until the passengers had a whip-round to pay for more fuel to get them to VVI.
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 14:05
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Anyone care to comment on what it takes to get and keep a Bolivian type rating?

Are we at risk of making a W European assumption that the "must" have done all the sim exercises in the BAe syllabus? Or do they concentrate on just operating the thing normally and leave out some of the more esoteric emergencies such as loss of all engines and glide approach? Are these less common emergencies things routinely practices in the sim as we all do in Europe - or maybe you were shown them once on the conversion course and they never appear again?

I'm wondering if these clowns even knew how to glide it in - they seem to have displayed no knowledge of any such technique and even while still in glide range of the field when doing so stood a chance of a landing but failure to do so was guaranteed fatal they left full flap and gear down diving at a glideslope that they could not achieve without power?

Perhaps they simply didn't know how?
What depth of skills and knowledge does one expect in that part of the world?
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 15:50
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Originally Posted by noflynomore View Post
Anyone care to comment on what it takes to get and keep a Bolivian type rating?
Knowing the right people and/or greasing the right palms, it would appear.
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 21:17
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In an earlier post I suggested we not hold our breath waiting for the preliminary report. I based that comment on having seen how long it usually takes Aerocivil/GRIAA to get the reports out. LaMia was obviously a different case. I should have realised this and I apologise to anyone I may have offended with my remark.

Having just read the report - and seen the earlier PowerPoint presentation - Iím beginning to think the captain may actually have decided, when the engines began to quit, that they'd never make Rio Negro, that a crash was inevitable and that his only option was to drop all the anchors and do so at the slowest possible speed.
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 21:26
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That might have been his only option, but surely he would have warned at least his colleagues in the cabin of his intent? Quite possibly more would have survived if they had been prepared.

This pilot was no Sully, but despite his workload Sully managed to address the cabin with three short words : "brace for impact."
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 23:09
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FCS! It was obviously not his only option, as we see it in 20/20 hindsight. I was just suggesting that, in the life/death mindset of the moment, it might have seemed, to the captain, the best solution.
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 05:48
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On 31st Dec 2016, 21:17, broadreach wrote:

Having just read the report - and seen the earlier PowerPoint presentation - I’m beginning to think the captain may actually have decided, when the engines began to quit, that they'd never make Rio Negro, that a crash was inevitable and that his only option was to drop all the anchors and do so at the slowest possible speed.
Respectfully, I'm unable to discern the basis for your conclusion, having carefully reviewed the detailed chronology in the Preliminary Report that combines FDR data (until it stopped recording) with the radio communications between LaMia 2933 and ATC.

Everything in that chronology seems to point to the opposite conclusion - that they "drop[ped] all the anchors" in an effort to descend rapidly to reach the glideslope (the one for 'powered' planes, not gliders).

The chronology indicates they set flaps 18, reduced thrust, extended speedbrakes, lowered the landing gear, then set flaps 24 and eventually 33.

All that was done before the FDR stopped recording, approximately 3 minutes prior to the crash, when it showed "a CAS of 115 kt, a ground speed of 142 kt and a pressure altitude of 15,934 ft msl."

And it was done at a time when they needed to maintain sufficient altitude to clear the mountains between them and the airport (or even to reach the flatter terrain beyond the mountains).

And most of it was done as they were requesting from ATC (or undertaking) an immediate descent toward the localiser and final approach.

Even while they were losing engine power -- and continuing after they lost engine power entirely -- they appeared to have been fixated on trying to reach the glideslope, and kept urgently requesting "vectors" to the runway.

11 seconds before the final recorded communication, they were still requesting "vectors."

Experienced pilots and/or accident investigators may see something I have overlooked. And the Report lacks (and will lack) the benefit of a CVR for the relevant time window.

However, I see nothing that suggests they were looking for a place to set the plane down short of the runway, and that is why they 'drop[ped] all the anchors' (as you put it.)

On the contrary, the timing seems all wrong for such a scenario. The "anchors" already had been dropped by then.

Last edited by Passenger 389; 1st Jan 2017 at 05:51. Reason: correct typos
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 14:46
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Originally Posted by broadreach View Post
In an earlier post I suggested we not hold our breath waiting for the preliminary report. I based that comment on having seen how long it usually takes Aerocivil/GRIAA to get the reports out. LaMia was obviously a different case. I should have realised this and I apologise to anyone I may have offended with my remark.

Having just read the report - and seen the earlier PowerPoint presentation - Iím beginning to think the captain may actually have decided, when the engines began to quit, that they'd never make Rio Negro, that a crash was inevitable and that his only option was to drop all the anchors and do so at the slowest possible speed.
Perhaps you could learn from your earlier post and think a little harder before posting?
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 16:10
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Originally Posted by Hippy View Post
Knowing the right people and/or greasing the right palms, it would appear.
Can anyone explain how a 36 year old Bolivian managed 3417 hours in a 146/RJ? He must have operated in Europe at some time. Anyone heard of him?
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 19:16
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Perhaps he previously flew for TAM the Bolivian Air Force's airline, which operates the same aircraft type?
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 19:28
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Originally Posted by ciderman View Post
Can anyone explain how a 36 year old Bolivian managed 3417 hours in a 146/RJ? He must have operated in Europe at some time. Anyone heard of him?
He was previously employed by TAM before starting "his own" airline. TAM has 6 146's on it's fleet according to Wikipedia. So it's somewhat plausible.
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 23:01
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There is nothing logical about this flight and this crew. It was doomed before takeoff.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 09:59
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Despite clearly being well above ILS glide-path when in the hold, these guys could surely have tuned in to get a valid localiser signal. Despite the shocking decision on the plan v range issue, it looks as if there was no absolutely no attempt by them to think ahead about the likely loss of all 4 engines and the associated loss of electrical power.

It was clearly a shock to them all when the lights and PFD/MFDs went out, but I'm still amazed they didn't ensure they maintained a position with enough height/range to enable them to reach the field.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 10:01
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Assuming that the FDR stopped recording with the loss of essential electrical power, an indication that all engines had failed, then the previous selection of wheels and flap down could indicate some aspects of standard operation. The crew appeared to have set up for a 'normal' approach, perhaps also indicating a weak understanding of the fuel state.
(I hope that someone will be able correlate the loss of FDR with the ATC timelines and crew communication).

Lack of fuel awareness might be interpreted by the 'bad apple' theory of human performance (illogical, irrational thought / rouge behaviour), but a more tempered view of the crew's lack of concern probably represents their joint view of the situation at that time - normal behaviour (rational thought.)
Alternatively this could suggest that the crew did not look, appreciate, or have accurate indications of fuel quantity, or even any indication at all (MEL?); we don't know.
And of course there are many options between these views, again we don't, and may never know.
Faced with a total loss of power, the very surprising realisation that fuel had run out, and the inability to retract flaps and gear, then there would be very few options. If the crew knew where the airfield was (not indicated by ATC comms) then the next judgement would be if the aircraft was capable of reaching it, probably not.

The alternative, and extremely fraught and surprising reality required an off airport landing, which demands significant rethinking of normal flight operations in severely stressful circumstances.
Without knowing position relative to the airfield, and thus terrain, then there would be little choice of landing site; + night time.
Thus if there were a logical decision (under stress), the choice of a slow speed and lowest rate of descent flight appears to the best, if only option.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 10:55
  #1076 (permalink)  
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Iím beginning to think the captain may actually have decided, when the engines began to quit, that they'd never make Rio Negro, that a crash was inevitable and that his only option was to drop all the anchors and do so at the slowest possible speed
Emergency landing in the field , at night ?.. no way , except going for an illuminated motorway, but in a 146? I do not think that was in their mind setting. illogical, but OK nothing was very logical in this accident.

Flying at slowest possible speed = no way to avoid sudden obstacles or to stretch the glide if too short. No-one would do that in an emergency .

My guess is that they realized they would soon loose hydraulics and dropped everything they could and thought they would make the runway. They did not see/ count to overfly a hill at 9000 ft on the way ...looking at the pictures of the accident , they just missed 20-30 feet.
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 15:37
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Drives me crazy when people call "this " an accident.... This was no accident.
That's all.
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 16:40
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Doesn't the FDR on this type operate independent of electrical generation?
Assuming it was 115V/400Hz AC powered 980-4700-003 (Plessey or Honeywell) it states 200 ms of power interruption max.
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 17:00
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
Why would the FDR stop recording? Doesn't the FDR on this type operate independent of electrical generation?
Lemme has previously noted the following:

Originally Posted by Lemme Post #804 8th Dec 2016, 17:21
The cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder operate on ESS AC power. The flight data acquisition unit operates on ESS DC power.

With all engines off and no APU, the only source of power is battery to EMERG DC/AC.

The recorders would not be operating on battery power, and would not record the information from the point power was lost (flameout).

Satcom Guru: LMI2933 LAMIA AVRO RJ85 MedellŪn Deadstick
Originally Posted by Lemme Post #841 10th Dec 2016, 05:30
For those wondering about the Cockpit Voice Recorder stopping when the airplane reverted to EMERG AC/DC power. There is a mandate for a 10 minute Remote Independent Power Supply (RIPS) for the CVR that applies here in the US to newly manufactured airplanes starting in 2010. I doubt that CP2933 was modified voluntarily to add this feature.

The flight data recorder relies on a cascade of sensors that are not reliable under EMERG AC/DC power, along with the drain to power the acquisition unit and the data recorder. Keeping in mind that the battery is needed for the continued safe operation, data recording takes too much current.

FYI, there is an ICAO GADSS initiative that in 2021 mandates an autonomous tracking system that will operate on its own power, but the jury is out whether ELT or ADS-B will be used for compliance. I am hopeful ADS-B, but it will take work to make it self-sufficient.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 10:14
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According to Spanish media, the final report is out: https://www.eldiario.es/internaciona...765374394.html
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