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Air Astana flight serious problems over Lisbon

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Air Astana flight serious problems over Lisbon

Old 15th Nov 2018, 12:52
  #101 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PAXfips View Post
No, that's the Lufthansa Frankfurt incident, discussed in post #54 et seq.

The Gatwick incident that the previous poster asked about may be the Excalibur A320 in August 1993 that departed following maintenance with spoilers only operating on one wing.
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Old 16th Nov 2018, 10:53
  #102 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
Possibly. If we draw a line after the pre flight control check, post maintenance.
Failing to use their superior judgement to avoid the situation where they had to use their superior skill did not prevent the Gimli Glider crew from receiving an award recognising them as superior pilots ( Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship).

(with apologies to Frank Borman)
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Old 16th Nov 2018, 22:30
  #103 (permalink)  
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For example theres a ton of new generation aircraft flying out there in wich the "Aileron Cockpit Display/Aileron Synoptics" are not shown anymore.
AFAIK (i've seen it) Ryanair 738 (example here but others could be taken alongside Europe and Off-Europe) do not have that option, wich according some Operators and Manufacturer new philosofies, are getting outdated and non-useful anymore. (a kind of optional menu)
At before TO Check List you only need to check free and proper yoke/column movements, but nothing are displayed in the cockpit "screens" anymore, according them.
That relies mainly on the maintenance/enginnearing teams, and the trust they have between each other, pilots&enginners (a kind of that).
In some operators wich use modern "flying machines" having ECAM or EICAS with that synoptic, even when checking the proper free Yoke/Column movements (Boeing at least), not all operators&SOPs have the obligatoriness to open it (that ecran menu) when doing the free movement check.
However after this Astana incident, maybe things could revert to the old days and mandatory again to have that "option" on our cockpits.
I Stopped flying many moons ago, but would like to hear your wise and humble opinion about this

Last edited by JanetFlight; 16th Nov 2018 at 22:45.
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 01:10
  #104 (permalink)  
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JanetFlight, I think you need to draw a distinction between normal line operations and a just out of maintenance situation. The first flight is usually a functional test flight. If the aircraft flew in and turned up on the bay two hours before you walk on to it and no maintenance has been performed then it is pretty clear that the controls operated normally and in the correct sense. So the after start or before take-off control check is looking for full and free movement. That is also why we check the maintenance log/tech log/DL to see what maintenance has been done recently.
Now, if the aircraft has just come out of maintenance then the checks take on more importance as to correct sense for obvious reasons.
Normal procedure would be for one engineer to check and sign for work and being primary flight controls it would require a second visual inspection and signature. So it should have had two engineers looking at the rigging. Given the amount of fair leads and pulleys involved they did well to cross them over, if that is what actually occurred.

theres a ton of new generation aircraft flying out there in wich the "Aileron Cockpit Display/Aileron Synoptics" are not shown anymore.
Can you give some examples?

Here is the 787...https://forums.x-plane.org/uploads/m...c76b9cb782.jpg
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 03:42
  #105 (permalink)  
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Hi Icarus, many tanx for your kind and attentious explanation.
Yeap, maybe i used the word "ton" in a "too much metaphoric" way, so please accept my apologies regarding that lil grammar typo (maybe b'cause english not my mother language).
However i've been told that almost all Ryanair fleet of 738s (wich are pretty big, lets say around 450 planes nowadays), and even other LCC using NG 737 are not equipped with that option on the cockpit displays ('i ve seen it too during some flightdeck visits). I dont know about their future MAX, but a great portion of their present 738's dont have it. (maybe a kind of optional, as also in other operators).
But as you wisely and correctly said, theres a fine line between normal day procedures and those coming out from the MROs and similar.
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 03:47
  #106 (permalink)  
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Is this not something that could relatively "easily" be caught by the onboard warning systems?

If it can display the graphic showing the ailerons down but the spoilers up, it can alert a master caution that something is wrong with the flight controls.

In-flight, this would still be extremely confusing, but at least it might lend a bit of clarity as to WHY it's behaving incorrectly and what steps to take. My thoughts with this warning were actually while still on the ground, but that would require a flight surface check anyway, which either was not done here, or was not interpreted correctly.
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 09:53
  #107 (permalink)  
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Is this not something that could relatively "easily" be caught by the onboard warning systems?
How about the offboard warning system, two engineers and two pilots?
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 10:42
  #108 (permalink)  
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We have 737 versions with flight control displays and some without.
I used to fly for an airline that used regular line pilots to pick up aircraft after C checks. The acceptance flight was the flight back to base. No special checks done.
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 10:55
  #109 (permalink)  
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If I remember rightly - it was a long time ago - when we did C of A air tests after major maintenance (VC10, 707 and 747), the flight engineer went outside with a headset and long lead while we checked the flight controls. He checked each of the control surfaces positions (ailerons and spoilers, elevators, rudder and stabilser) and coordinated his observations with the pilot doing the checks on the flight deck.

It pays to be thorough!
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Old 17th Nov 2018, 11:11
  #110 (permalink)  
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On any and all of the post maintenance air tests I have flown there has been a requirement to stand outside and physically watch each and every flying control whilst you tell the guy in the flight deck which way to waggle the stick.
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Old 18th Nov 2018, 06:47
  #111 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by EternalNY1 View Post
Is this not something that could relatively "easily" be caught by the onboard warning systems?
It would be easy but the Embraer philosophy is rather minimalistic regarding alerts. E.g. if you switch a standby hydraulic pump from AUTO to ON for single-engine taxi-in you get a HYD PUMP NOT AUTO message. Turn it the wrong way to OFF will result in the same message rather than a HYD PUMP OFF. They don‘t program more than absolutely necessary and every extra warning mode would need to be verified and tested, making it harder to remain cheap.... hard to stomach, but it‘s the economy, stupid as they used to say.
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Old 1st Jun 2019, 11:30
  #112 (permalink)  
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via AvHerald

Accident: Astana E190 at Alverca on Nov 11th 2018, severe control problems

On May 31st 2019 the GPIAA changed the classification of the occurrence from serious incident to accident. The GPIAA released their preliminary report and provided preliminary findings:

The left and right aileron surfaces control the rolling (lateral) movements of the aircraft with the actuation of the two control yokes or with the autopilot controls. The ailerons are assisted by the flight mode spoilers (roll spoilers).

The aileron control system is actuated by rotation of either the pilot or co-pilot aileron control yokes which are mechanically connected to each other and that through the cable circuit, the torque tubes and the quadrants, transmit these movement to the Power Control Unit - PCU which moves the aileron surface.

The PCUs are mechanically controlled through the cable system and are hydraulically powered.

The data collection during the initial investigation phase included a detailed examination of the aircraft flight controls and an incorrect ailerons control cable system installation was confirmed on both semiwings.

By introducing the modification iaw Service Bulletin 190-57-0038 during the maintenance activities, there was no longer the cable routing and separation around rib21, making it harder to understand the maintenance instructions, with recognized opportunities for improvement in the maintenance actions interpretation.

The message “FLT CTRL NO DISPATCH” was generated during the maintenance activities, which in turn originated additional troubleshooting activities by the maintenance service provider, supported by the aircraft manufacturer. These activities, which lasted for 11 days, did not identify the ailerons' cables reversal, nor was this correlated to the "FLT CTRL NO DISPATCH" message.

From the investigation process carried out so far, it also resulted in the identification of deviations to the internal procedures by the maintenance service provider, which led to the error not being detected in the various safety barriers designed by the regulators, aeronautical maintenance industry and within the maintenance service provider implemented system.

The ailerons incorrect operation caused by the control cables reversal, was not identified in the aircraft operational checks (flight controls check) by the operator crew.

The GPIAA reported the damage:

From the preliminary analysis to the condition of the aircraft after the event flight, significant structural damage in both semi-wing, fuselage and flight control surfaces was verified, which led the GPIAAF to change the initial classification of serious incident to accident, following ICAO Annex 13 recommendations.

The aircraft was returned to the operator on Jan 21st 2019, who is currently evaluating the aircraft and deciding about further action. The investigation has completed the collection of facts and is now engaging in analysis and drafting the final report.
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Old 1st Jun 2019, 14:52
  #113 (permalink)  
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11 days of troubleshooting and no one noticed an aileron reversal
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 03:31
  #114 (permalink)  
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Pretty shocking. And crew also did not notice during the flight control check. So completely unavoidable. Hard to believe these types of incidents are still happening.

Last edited by Sqwak7700; 4th Jun 2019 at 04:07.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 06:25
  #115 (permalink)  
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Does this help explain why the aircraft initially kept heading east away from the sea when trying to ditch?
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 08:26
  #116 (permalink)  
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Problem with many "engineers" nowadays is that they have forgotten how a system functions and only go by FIM or TSM. Quite damning that nobody appeared to question why the ailerons were functioning in the incorrect "sense"!!!
Have people forgotten the reason duplicate inspections used to exist precisely for Flying controls , landing gear and emergency/back up systems.Very lucky the crew managed to "steer" the aircraft away from Lisbon, dread to think what could have happened had it gone down in the city.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 08:36
  #117 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sqwak7700 View Post
So completely unavoidable.
I suspect you mean the opposite. At least I hope you do.

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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 09:43
  #118 (permalink)  
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Well I guess that's one maintenance organisation Air Astana won't be using again. I wonder why they positioned the aircraft all the way from Almaty to Portugal and back for the check. Selected by the beancounters as being the low bidder ?

Air Astana from my experience (albeit only their 767s) came over as a pretty class act with traditional service standards, even in economy. Maybe not known is they are 50% owned by British Aerospace (that's BAe the aircraft manufacturer, not BA the airline), with some expat staff. So they should have more than a little background in aircraft engineering. The other 50% is owned by the Kazakh government.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 10:10
  #119 (permalink)  
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From what I've seen of the flight control schematics diagram on the MFD, a right control yoke deflection gave an indication of the right wing's roll spoilers deflected up and aileron deflected down. Shouldn't this raise alarm bells to the crew when doing a check of the flight controls before take-off? The fact that the flight control MFD indication was shown in 'green' also contributed to 'confirmation bias' that all was well with the flight controls. Perhaps Embraer should look at the colour schematics of the flight control checks where an obvious discrepancy between control yoke deflection and aileron control surface deflection should result in a caution or warning colour (eg, amber or red) rather than green?
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 10:31
  #120 (permalink)  
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Looks as though this was a similar handling issue to the Global Express that managed to recover to Berlin having had the roll spoilers reversed. Again not spotted on the pre-flight control check. I don't think the Global crew managed to disable the roll spoilers prior to their eventful arrival!

Post maintenance air-checking - you just have to be thorough!
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