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Lost control near Sicily

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Lost control near Sicily

Old 7th Jan 2018, 12:14
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Lost control near Sicily

Few days ago, January 4th, Blue Air somewhere near Sicily lost control of the plane and recovered about 1000 feet above the water. Checked the internet and it seems they fly 737s.

Heard the distress call on the radio but I had to change frequencies. Last I heard was the emergency landing request to Palermo. Does anybody know anything about this?

Last edited by countbat; 7th Jan 2018 at 12:54.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 12:25
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A quick look...

You would expect a note of that on ANSV - Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo but that only shows a message from Jan5th,2018:

Turbolenza severa: assistenti di volo feriti a bordo di un A319 diretto a Verona Villafranca
Mercoledì 3 gennaio, l’aeromobile A319 marche G-DBCA proveniente da Londra Gatwick, durante la discesa verso l’aeroporto di Verona Villafranca, incontrava una turbolenza severa, a seguito della quale un assistente di volo riportava lesioni gravi e altri due lesioni di varia gravità in via di definitivo accertamento.
Il velivolo atterrava regolarmente all’aeroporto di destinazione.
L’ANSV ha aperto l’inchiesta di sicurezza classificando l’evento come incidente, in considerazione della tipologia delle lesioni riportate, in linea con quanto previsto dall’Annesso 13 ICAO e dal Regolamento (UE) n. 996/2010.

I did not immediately see an English language button on the website.

So next check would be to take a look at the website of the regulator. They have an english version of their website Enac - Info in English . This does not have a News chapter. And no mention elsewhere it seems. The site has a security but not a safety reporting option.

You certainly would expect a LOC event to be reported and published.

Last edited by A0283; 7th Jan 2018 at 12:37.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 12:59
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FR24 records Blue Air's 734 YR-BAU on a short after the event positioning across the island from Palermo to Catania on 4th January. A bit of sleuthing and disregard of the actual FR24 headline data finds your likely subject flight here: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/a...r-bau#1006b259 which had come from Bacau, Romania with intent to land at Catania.

FR24 recorded data does indeed seem to show a sudden drop in groundspeed and altitude at around 1200 feet on an otherwise fairly normal looking approach(?) to CTA on over the sea, and a missed approach and short divert to Palermo seems to have been the natural solution to whatever caused bottoms to twitch.

Last edited by slip and turn; 7th Jan 2018 at 13:16.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 13:15
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Thx Slip. That’s interesting. From 34000 down to 600 ft and back to 16000 ft. That must have been a nice rollercoaster ride for the back people.

I remember back in 1990s the 73s had some rudder issues but as far as I know that was fixed and 73 is one of the most versatile, economical plane out there. It must be something else.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 13:15
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From a Romanian web site - Un avion Blue Air a aterizat de urgenta la Palermo dupa ce era sa se prabuseasca in Mediterana

As reported and tranlated by google,
According to Digi24, the pilot managed to restore the aircraft when it was 100 meters above sea level

Google translate of Blue Air release:
UPDATE 16:50 - In a Blue Air release, it explains what happened.
"Because of bad weather conditions, Blue Air flight 0B2945 which took off today from Bacau to Catania was forced to make a stop at Palermo reserve airport, where the 126 passengers and the six crew members landed safely. The exact cause behind the Boeing 737 aircraft being forced to discontinue the race was mainly the strong breeze with the shear phenomenon as well as the severe turbulence near the airport, "said News.ro.

Looks like Ryanair 4066 diverted as well.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 13:46
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Originally Posted by b1lanc
Looks like Ryanair 4066 diverted as well.
Yes, two missed approaches after approach became unstable at exact same place as Blue Air: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/f...r4066#1006a487

So I guess that means Ryan tried it just before Blue and had another go after Blue ... bit of an experiment, that last one do we think?

Oh and Basil, that report you've translated relates to a different flight in a different area on the day before this Sicily thing, although may be symptomatic of the unusual conditions thereabouts ... well both ends and maybe the middle of the Italian boot, anyway
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 13:55
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Oh and Basil, that report you've translated relates to a different flight in a different area on the day before this Sicily thing, although may be symptomatic of the unusual conditions thereabouts ...
Yes, thought there was something odd and removed Google translation.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:08
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Looks a fun morning at Catania on Thursday ... FR4852 also diverted behind the Blue yet FR4066 still hung around for their second go.

Oh dear, and FR9953 tried two a full two hours previous to the above tip of the iceberg saga, and then bogged off back to the mainland - for a family pack of Andrex I shouldn't wonder

Last edited by slip and turn; 7th Jan 2018 at 14:44. Reason: to add link for FR9953
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:19
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Originally Posted by slip and turn
FR24 recorded data does indeed seem to show a sudden drop in groundspeed and altitude at around 1200 feet on an otherwise fairly normal looking approach(?) to CTA on over the sea, and a missed approach and short divert to Palermo seems to have been the natural solution to whatever caused bottoms to twitch.
I don't see that on the FR24 data.

Other than three minutes of missing data at between roughly 20 nm and 9 nm on the approach, the vertical profile looks pretty much as you would expect.

Having said that, the flight doesn't actually seem to have been lined up for CTA 26 before the GA (although the track should be treated with caution as it's steam-powered B734).

The approach to PMO 25 looks OK, though, so the data may not be that bad.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:22
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Well lots more to look at now, Dave ... the Blue Air was just one of an interesting bunch of experiences that morning! Add FR5515 as a no fuss diversion around 90 minutes before the Blue ...

So how well do these local weather experiences get communicated by those that break off approaches, and by ATC? If the answer is quite adequately, then what good or bad thing are we actually looking at?
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:28
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Rotors from Mt. Etna I expect..
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:34
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Originally Posted by A0283
A quick look...

You would expect a note of that on ANSV - Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo but that only shows a message from Jan5th,2018:

Turbolenza severa: assistenti di volo feriti a bordo di un A319 diretto a Verona Villafranca
Mercoledì 3 gennaio, l’aeromobile A319 marche G-DBCA proveniente da Londra Gatwick, durante la discesa verso l’aeroporto di Verona Villafranca, incontrava una turbolenza severa, a seguito della quale un assistente di volo riportava lesioni gravi e altri due lesioni di varia gravità in via di definitivo accertamento.
Il velivolo atterrava regolarmente all’aeroporto di destinazione.
L’ANSV ha aperto l’inchiesta di sicurezza classificando l’evento come incidente, in considerazione della tipologia delle lesioni riportate, in linea con quanto previsto dall’Annesso 13 ICAO e dal Regolamento (UE) n. 996/2010.

I did not immediately see an English language button on the website.

So next check would be to take a look at the website of the regulator. They have an english version of their website Enac - Info in English . This does not have a News chapter. And no mention elsewhere it seems. The site has a security but not a safety reporting option.

You certainly would expect a LOC event to be reported and published.
From Google Translate:

"Severe turbulence: wounded flight attendants on board an A319 bound for Verona Villafranca
On Wednesday 3 January, the aircraft A319, G-DBCA brands from London Gatwick, during the descent to Verona Villafranca airport, encountered a severe turbulence, following which a flight attendant reported serious injuries and two other injuries of various gravity being definitively ascertained.
The aircraft landed regularly at the destination airport.
The ANSV has opened the safety investigation by classifying the event as an accident, in consideration of the type of injuries reported, in line with the provisions of the ICAO Annex 13 and Regulation (EU) no. 996/2010."
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:38
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Wakey wakey - you're not the first or most senior to do so, but you've followed an erroneous vector, cats_five

This thread is about fun and games and unexpected twists and a local run on the toilet paper in Sicily on Thursday, not unfortunately injured Ladies and Gentlemen of Verona on Wednesday
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:54
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Ah yes, was thinking Verona is rather a long way fro Sicily! However Google Translate is worth remembering.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 15:47
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Always , yes indeedy - it gets better all the time

Meantime have just rediscovered FR24's global playback feature which also has got better since last I used it ...

Have a butchers and a play with the timebar selector bottom right to see the various groups of likely landers as they arrived on approach in fits and starts from say 0700UTC that morning through to 0900 onward when our friend from Blue Air with his Ryanair escorts fancied their chances ... or not
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 15:59
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Verona was the only case mentioned on the ANSV website for 2018. The serious injury caused a classification of accident. Which required reporting.

The original question was about a LOC. If it was one, it was not reported. You would think that any serious LOC would be classified as a Serious Incident and be reported, even if there were no injuries or serious damage. Investigation organizations are able to decide that.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 18:15
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Thx Slip. That’s interesting. From 34000 down to 600 ft and back to 16000 ft. That must have been a nice rollercoaster ride for the back people.
Well, from 34000 down to 600 over 24 minutes (8:42-9:06) is hardly a rollercoaster ride. 1390 fpm.

The upset at ~1300 feet, and recovery, were of course quite a ride - for 2 minutes.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 19:00
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Except that there isn't actually any evidence of an "upset" in the recorded data.
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 21:59
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I'd say the degree of upset or otherwise to safe conduct of the thread headline flight coupled with that of multiple other CTA approaches that morning encountering the same problem in the exact same section on short final, depends on what you concede as an "upset".

Not only on what you concede as upset, but also on whether multiple similar problems with separate aircraft one after the other counts as one upset, or several, and whether all the crews from say 0705UTC onward that morning, and others involved in CTA operations, were appraised of the likelihood that all approaches would attract a significant probability they'd have to be binned at the same spot, as opposed to each encountering their own independent "upset" on a pot luck basis . Hopefully none arrived established on final, but blind to what had befallen others ...

I'd hazard that Nightstop inevitably put his finger on the problem some posts back - open this page in Google Chrome and right-click on the page and select Translate to English (or your fave sprog) if Italian is not your bag. The following diagram is also to be found on that MeteoEtna.com link:



A more wordy decades old document about mountain wave effects on aviation may be found here.

Last edited by slip and turn; 7th Jan 2018 at 22:09.
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