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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 29th Nov 2016, 23:40
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Aviation International News
Bolivian BAe 146 Crashes in Colombia, At Least 75 Dead

Rescue crews found six survivors of the Monday night crash of a BAe 146 aircraft operated by Bolivian charter company LaMia on a flight between Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Medellin, Colombia. Carrying 81 passengers and crewmembers, including members of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team, Flight LMI-2966 circled José María Córdova International Airport outside Medellin several times before descending into an area some 50 miles southeast of its intended destination, near the municipality of La Union. Before losing contact with radar at around 10 p.m., the pilots asked for priority landing and reported an electrical problem, according to local reports out of Medellin.

Apart from the team members, three of which authorities said were among the survivors, the passengers included at least 21 journalists, all but one of which died.

Chapecoense flew to Medellin to play that city’s Atletico Nacional in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday.
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Old 29th Nov 2016, 23:42
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According to an interview with Gen. Gustavo Vargas, managing director of LaMia, the plan was to stop and refuel in Cobija, Bolivia, and then fly to Medellin. But they decided instead to fly direct to Bogota for the stop. For some reason, they carried on to Medellin.

Director de la aerolínea LaMia habla sobre accidente de Chapecoense - Justicia - ELTIEMPO.COM
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Old 29th Nov 2016, 23:50
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Just heard from the pilot of Avianca 9256, they were in the holding pattern with LAMIA RJ85....they were waiting for Viva Colombia A320 to land as they declared emergency due to a fuel leak.
Avianca 9256 was at 19,000ft and the LAMIA Rj85 was ABOVE them.....as the Viva Colombia A320 was landing, the LAMIA RJ85 requested immediate tracking to the field as they had a "fuel problem" but did NOT delcare an emergency...the controller stated they could not track direct as there was an Airbus on final approach with a fuel emergency.....

The RJ85 replied that they were tracking direct and descending, and THEN declared an emergency.....the controller told Avianca 9256 to turn left immediately as the RJ85 had started descent without authorisation... and the Avianca aircraft saw the RJ85 descend rapidly from above them, seeing clearly its lights and watched it on TCAS...it was a very steep descent...

Moments later, the controller gave them instructions for direct tracking and the LAMIA RJ85 stated they had a "total electrical failure"....the pilot was quite agitated and started requesting vectors direct to the field.

The controller stated they were no longer visible on radar and could not vector them....the pilot of LAMIA kept repeating "Help, request direct vectors" again and again...on the radio you could also hear the other pilot asking "gear, gear down"...the controller saw them for a moment and advised they were at 9,000ft at 8nm....the crew kept repeating "help, request vectors" and the transmission ceased.

Last edited by Willoz269; 30th Nov 2016 at 00:12.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 00:28
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Willoz269 View Post
Just heard from the pilot of Avianca 9256, they were in the holding pattern with LAMIA RJ85....they were waiting for Viva Colombia A320 to land as they declared emergency due to a fuel leak.
Avianca 9256 was at 19,000ft and the LAMIA Rj85 was ABOVE them.....
Do you mean Avianca 9356? AV9356 was an A318 operating BOG-MDE with an ETA of 0304Z, a few minutes after CP2933 contact was lost on the Flightradar24 link posted earlier.

CP2933 was in holding at FL210 before starting a rapid descent at about 0253Z according to the FR24 playback, usual caveats with this data source.

Originally Posted by Willoz269 View Post
The RJ85 replied that they were tracking direct and descending, and THEN declared an emergency.....the controller told Avianca 9256 to turn left immediately as the RJ85 had started descent without authorisation...
This turn was cited in an earlier post about a video posted by a UK newspaper but the post and the link to the news video were deleted.

Last edited by Airbubba; 30th Nov 2016 at 00:39.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 01:00
  #105 (permalink)  
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Thinking back to the Gimli Glider, it 'vanished from radar' when the transponder stopped due to loss of electrical power. but ATC managed to reacquire it on primary radar as a straight reflected return. That was a long time ago, so no idea how this works with current systems installed on the a/c and at ATC, but it could explain some aspects.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 02:07
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Long-time lurker, registered earlier to post about the Avianca emergency flight which caused the hold of this aircraft - but by the time I got home it had already been mentioned.

Of the numerous watershed moments in aviation history which ALL remind me of (what appear to be) issues relating to this crash, one of the largest is Avianca Flight 52 - the 707 crash back in 1990 due to fuel starvation in a hold. I know there are many practical differences, but it's interesting that they failed to (clearly) state a fuel emergency, resulting in starvation and eventual crash. Of course that flight had PLENTY of adequate reserve / alternate fuel unlike (presumably) this accident flight. There was also no wrong-doing by the airline, which followed fuel and route / aircraft load and range guidelines. Just poor communication on everyone's part.

What's even more strange about Avianca 52 (other than being the same carrier as the Airbus which caused the hold of the accident aircraft and that both had fuel emergency issues) is that it flew to JFK via Medellín.

In any event, I'd expect the lawyers of said "charter" company to be gearing up for many long nights.

The range issue and equipment selection is rather shocking - especially given that the flight ops manager guy has since gone on record saying it was planned to stop for fuel in Bolivia, yet the exact aircraft type has flown the same route non-stop before for them?! Even more shocking is that the previous flights were only a few minutes shorter in total flight time. This seems to have been totally inevitable - and as is the case with most crashes, the event requires the addition of some other totally unforseen issue to push things over the edge. The fluke fuel leak / emergency of the Avianca diversion to Medellín seems to be the 'ignition source' for a disaster which was waiting to happen.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 02:31
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Originally posted by Willoz269 You mean it's outside the aircraft's payload-range capability.

Nothing to do with the flight envelope.
Indeed, sir. You are quite correct.

Thank you for pickin my nits.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 02:51
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If all four engines were flamed out, what system does the emergency Ram Air Turbine (RAT) support?
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 02:59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Willoz269 You mean it's outside the aircraft's payload-range capability.

Nothing to do with the flight envelope.
Indeed, sir. You are quite correct.

Thank you for pickin my nits.
If I can pick your nits, I didn't pick at anything before...you got the wrong person
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 03:02
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No R.A.T installed....
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 03:26
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Engine Rollback Bae146

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
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 04:19
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Post #10 stated:
BBC World Service reporting that the aircraft had declared a fuel emergency.
Starting with Post #13, however, the discussion switched to assuming they'd reported only an electrical failure, not a fuel problem, because the airport statement mentioned only an electrical failure.

The discussion continued on that assumption for pages (though recognizing the RJ85 likely was very low on fuel, wondering if that caused the electrical failure reported -- and speculating why they didn't report being low on fuel.)

Recently, post # 107 (http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post9593813) said the Avianca pilot heard the LAMIA RJ85 tell ATC it had a "fuel problem" and requested immediate tracking (but did not declare a fuel emergency).


As it happens, I had just been reviewing early reports from 360 Radio Columbia's twitter feed.

Early on, that twitter feed was saying the plane reported being low on fuel minutes before it disappeared from radar.

Perhaps the radio station --or its source-- confused (or conflated) transmissions by the LAMIA RJ85 and the Viva Columbia A320, but it may offer some corroboration of the Avianca pilot's report that at some point the LAMIA RJ85 eventually did tell ATC it was low on fuel:

(Google translation into english, sorted by older tweets at the top):

360 Radio Colombia @ 360RadioCo · 23 hours ago
#Sports | Plane crashed carrying Chapecoense in La Unión

360 Radio Colombia @ 360RadioCo · 23 hours ago
# Attention | Apparently plane reported little fuel load minutes before disappearing from Rionegro airport radars.

360 Radio Colombia @ 360RadioCo · 23 hours ago
# Attention | First reports indicate that plane disappeared more than an hour ago, emergency units already make presence in place.

José María Córdova @AeropuertoMDE · 23h23 hours ago  Rionegro, Colombia
Confirmed, the aircraft with registration CP2933 * transported the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors.
88 replies 3,295 retweets 1,689 likes

360 Radio Colombia @ 360RadioCo · 23 hours ago
# Attention | Chapecoense's plane reported an emergency for low fuel, was given priority at the airport but failed to arrive.

Last edited by Passenger 389; 30th Nov 2016 at 05:06.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 04:27
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flight recorders appear in good condition

CNN has posted a link to a twitter posting bearing an Aeronautica Civil imprint which includes this image:

Of the many images I have seen of recorders recovered from crashes, these seem among the least damaged.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 05:06
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Possibly the trail starts well before the flight, with its commercial arrangements. We can presume the football team had little or no experience of Due Diligence on the carrier selected. Were they chosen on the basis of being the bottom bidder ? There's not a lot of medium-haul jet charter capacity available in South America, what there is mainly comprises A320/737 from the mainstream operators, doubtless at a higher rate.

The accident reminds me of the Zambian national football team accident in 1993 when they were being taken right across Africa to Dakar in nothing more than an air force DHC-5, which required three fuel stops on the way, and was lost at one of these intermediate points.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:05
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Possibly the trail starts well before the flight, with its commercial arrangements. We can presume the football team had little or no experience of Due Diligence on the carrier selected. Were they chosen on the basis of being the bottom bidder ? There's not a lot of medium-haul jet charter capacity available in South America, what there is mainly comprises A320/737 from the mainstream operators, doubtless at a higher rate.

The accident reminds me of the Zambian national football team accident in 1993 when they were being taken right across Africa to Dakar in nothing more than an air force DHC-5, which required three fuel stops on the way, and was lost at one of these intermediate points.
what are the similarities, apart from a football team on board, if I may ask?
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:13
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:23
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Nightmare scenario from a pilot's PoV

I wrote this for my friends who like to pick my brain (7,000hr ATP) when a major crash happens. Total electrical failure at night over the mountains is up there with dual flameout in a blizzard for nightmare scenarios. In the following, I assumed that LaMia lost or couldn't find the ILS when the gens dropped offline.

####

Medellin is one the worst places in the world to have a major electrical problem. If they lost the panel (flight instruments, lighting and generators) they'd only have a junky little magnetic compass for direction, airspeed, and altimeter. One of them would have to hold a flashlight and go back/forth between heading and the altimeter. I did this during captain upgrade and it's crazy difficult in a familiar setting with a flat airport at sea level. They'd also have to guess at the power settings based on their speed and pitch (nose high/low). The next step would be to get a radar vector to RNG @ 9.5 miles south of the airport and have ATC (air traffic control) tell them when they were over the VOR (radio station). This assumes their backup battery is fully charged and they have one good radio. No comms is death.

Then they'd have to use the PoS compass to fly outbound from RNG down to 11,000 ft. and make a turn back to the VOR. Then cross it and pray they are directly over the station. This is WW II style of navigation, which killed thousands in bad weather. Modern radar from ATC is not terribly precise for this maneuver either, even 75 years after it was invented. The U.S. has the good stuff (precision approach radar) but only on certain military bases. I got to practice with it once flying into Yuma, but it's a rare ATC service. The life saver with the PAR technology is that it's like looking down a gun barrel at the airplane. They can give detailed course corrections, like turn left 2 degrees, descend 50 ft., etc.

Back to the Lamia flight deck, now they have to manage a 750 fpm descent while doing the flashlight dance and a ton of mental processing is spent trying to correct speed/power while flying blind. Then they have to pray they shot the gap between the two hills at 8,100 ft. heading north to the airport. The backup compass bounces, esp. in bad weather and it's hard to hold a heading within 5 degrees, and easy to be off course. There was no wind on the surface, but all planes drift and there is roughly a 3 mile buffer each side of the approach center line. It's easy to drift several miles off course and ATC would have trouble seeing it and warning the pilots, if at all. The news stated ATC lost radar contact when the plane was at 15,000 ft.

This would be a stressful approach under normal conditions (with an autopilot which they probably lost) and worse late at night after a long flight in weather. I have to test this scenario on my PC sim and see if I can make it to 223 ft. above the airport without crashing on the first try. There was a cloud layer 1,500 ft. above the surface, which would make the airport impossible to see and require a full instrument approach. From the crash photos, it looks like they clipped a ridge then slid into a ravine and stopped halfway up the next hill. It's an old school, sturdy, British design which is probably why there are survivors. Lastly, there was financial stress on the company being out of Venezuela, so I'm curious about their maintenance history. The BAC 147 is a notorious hangar queen and hard to maintain.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:24
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This picture seems to be from the beginning of the company in Venezuela.
Now they're Bolivia-based and have another web site : INICIO - Lamia
Quite surprisingly, the said web site has absolutely no mention of the accident.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:48
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what are the similarities, apart from a football team on board, if I may ask?
A charter aircraft which seems more than a little inappropriate for the length of the flight, potentially selected on a basis of cheapness.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 06:57
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So if you run out of fuel, the engines will quit! Wow. There is a surprise in every accident.
If this is the (basic) summary of this whole affair, that would certainly warrant a criminal investigation.
Especially if you consider the fact they did this route before without refuelling.
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