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AF447 - French prosecutors sends AF to court for negligence

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AF447 - French prosecutors sends AF to court for negligence

Old 15th Aug 2019, 14:28
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Originally Posted by Tomaski
In regards to the AA587 A-300 accident, the yaw doublet that led to the vertical fin failure was the result of a number of interrelated issues of which the AAMP training was certainly a part. However, there were also issues related to rudder sensitivity vs airspeed and Vm limitations that were not well documented in the existing manual which contributed to overcontrol/PIO inputs. There was a lot of good information in the AAMP videos, but the section on the use of rudder in large transport aircraft did not have sufficient warnings regarding the dangers.
That is simply not true. When is the last time you've watched them?

I've watched them recently, and Warren Vandenburgh repeatedly urges caution when using the rudder because of the sheer size and force of it. Yeah he doesn't say "you might rip the fin off", but that wasn't known at that point - that you might cause the vertical stabilizer to fail even at relatively low speeds.

But there are multiple warnings to be gentle with the rudder in those videos, and certainly no suggestion that it's ok to repeatedly swing it from one side to the other.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 18:32
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Originally Posted by Tomaski
In regards to the AA587 A-300 accident, the yaw doublet that led to the vertical fin failure was the result of a number of interrelated issues of which the AAMP training was certainly a part. However, there were also issues related to rudder sensitivity vs airspeed and Vm limitations that were not well documented in the existing manual which contributed to overcontrol/PIO inputs. There was a lot of good information in the AAMP videos, but the section on the use of rudder in large transport aircraft did not have sufficient warnings regarding the dangers.
A pilot friend once told me there was an anomaly in the American A-300 simulator that - in that sort of wake encounter - you could quickly and easily straighten out the aircraft with a quick 'left-right' or 'right-left' rudder input. This had the unfortunate effect of teaching some of the pilots a bad habit - which ultimately bit them on AA587.
Assuming my friend knew what he was talking about (he usually did), while the maneuver wasn't 'trained' as such, it was inadvertently taught.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 12:45
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AF447 has been beaten to death. More than 24000 posts. Now that the court has said something about 447 so only that aspect should be discussed. There's no need to repeat 24000 posts again. Even in any judicial system when one goes in appeal to higher court against lower court verdict you are not allowed to repeat the whole argument.
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Old 17th Aug 2019, 09:33
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Originally Posted by vilas
AF447 has been beaten to death. More than 24000 posts. Now that the court has said something about 447 so only that aspect should be discussed. There's no need to repeat 24000 posts again..
Agree. As the one that starter this, I would rather see the discussion moving back to the fact that the airline is prosecuted , and not the manufacturer.
So basically it is the training and not being proactive to previous incidents by said airline ( as opposed to other airlines,( e.g Air Carraibes)
I am still not sure what training other airlines did that AF did not , where they differ , except for not buying the BUSS option.
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Old 18th Aug 2019, 09:45
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Of course the airline should be prosecuted, not the manufacturer. If you taxied an aircraft and crashed into the hangar or another aircraft, that would not be the manufacturer’s fault.

Those pilots apparently flew through convective clouds, iced up, then failed to correctly follow the Unreliable Speed memory drill. They then mishandled the aircraft and stalled it, then failed to follow the Stall memory drill. Having made these blunders, one of them then incorrectly held rearward stick for most of the subsequent descent into the sea.

We have since learned - if it is true - that the Captain was ill or not properly rested.

So, for sure it is the company that needs to address its training* standards and crew behaviour down-route.

*I think that during every SIM: It should be mandated that every pilot should be allowed to practice and then be checked on all the memory drills, and have to fly complex manoeuvres without the flight directors or auto-thrust. Otherwise, how can we know if we are competent and keep our skills sharp?
.

Last edited by Uplinker; 18th Aug 2019 at 10:08.
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Old 18th Aug 2019, 16:00
  #66 (permalink)  
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Uplinker :
We have since learned - if it is true - that the Captain was ill or not properly rested.
Ill? I never saw it mentioned before , not properly rested , yes this is now a fact ,but according the Judiciary report , fatigue is only a secondary contributory factor .

What the judiciary report mentions is the lack of response to 8 previous similar IAS/pitot incidents ( 5 of which in AF) and that 78% of ASR filed by crews never received an answer. ( only 22% were answered by the company , and most of those only on the crew explicit request ) , It also mentions the fact that AF did not qualify the STALL recovery procedure as a memory item, that no training was given to doubtful IAS in high altitude ( only at low alt, where there 12,5 degr pitch is mentioned in the recovery procedure) , and that when converting from A320 to A330, unreliable IAS is not part of the conversion training .
The choice of the Capt not to select the most experienced FO as PF when taking his rest is also mentioned as a lack of directive by AF to its crew , which , according the report. gives complete freedom to the Capt to determine the functions .

What is not clear to me, is if these facts raised by the judiciary are purely specific to AF or if they are common practices in other large airlines, and if it just the judges looking for people to prosecute to satisfy the families ..
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 15:19
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From reply #52 above:

Originally Posted by VFR Only Please
There were many reports following the accident from hotel staff and others in Rio saying that the captain appeared absolutely exhausted, or ill, when he left for the flight. (I Think he'd been out on a helicopter sight-seeing trip the day of departure -- anyway, that sort of thing.)
.
I did not see the reports myself, hence my disclaimer.

Last edited by Uplinker; 22nd Aug 2019 at 15:30.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 10:26
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Judges working on the case since beginning and driving inquiry ('juges d'instruction") have finally turned off prosecutor requests and pronounced "no charge" ("non lieu") for both Airbus and Air France. For the time being there will be no trial, but victims ("parties civiles") and prosecutor can appeal this decision
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 19:09
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Air France crash: Manslaughter charges dropped over 2009 disaster

"Magistrates in France have dropped charges against Air France and Airbus over a mid-Atlantic plane crash in 2009 that killed all 228 people on board.

The Airbus 330 aircraft flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris stalled in a storm and plunged into the ocean.

On Thursday, the magistrates looking into manslaughter charges brought by victims' relatives decided that there were not enough grounds to prosecute.

They blamed the plane's crew for losing control after speed sensors froze."
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 19:17
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Devil Gulliver's Travels

people surprised at the way justice is rendered should read again SWIFT.
Nothing has changed!
Why charge AIRBUS and AIR FRANCE when charging dead PILOTS is far less expensive to everybody but the victims.
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Old 6th Sep 2019, 18:47
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Following up on the point made by @vilas:
The AF 447 library/resource base on PPRuNe (curated by our very own john_tullamarine) is here in Tech Log,

I encourage anyone wishing to comment on the accident itself (rather than this legal proceeding) to first review the BEA Final Report.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 17:45
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Originally Posted by KingAir1978
I sincerely hope that this gets thrown out.

Imagine the precedent if this would result in a conviction? It is simply impossible to train crew for every conceivable scenario... Would be very interesting indeed to see the full text and the eventual outcome.
every conceivable scenario? Please...
For god's sake, the PF stalled the AC in unreliable airspeed situation, and rode it stalled (while pulling SS aft) all the way to the ocean surface. That is hardly a strange or unexpected situation.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 18:18
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Originally Posted by Sunamer
For god's sake, the PF stalled the AC in unreliable airspeed situation, and rode it stalled (while pulling SS aft) all the way to the ocean surface. That is hardly a strange or unexpected situation.
Which is something I learned how to recover from when still a pre-solo student.

Stall recovery is something that is something that everyone with a fixed-wing pilot's certificate is trained to recognize and recover from. The fact that this FO in the heat of the moment was unable to apply his training, is not something that can be attributed to the airline or manufacturer.

The other thread about the unfortunate FO suffering from an anxiety attack comes to mind.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 17:16
  #74 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Stuka Child
That is simply not true. When is the last time you've watched them?

I've watched them recently, and Warren Vandenburgh repeatedly urges caution when using the rudder because of the sheer size and force of it. Yeah he doesn't say "you might rip the fin off", but that wasn't known at that point - that you might cause the vertical stabilizer to fail even at relatively low speeds.

But there are multiple warnings to be gentle with the rudder in those videos, and certainly no suggestion that it's ok to repeatedly swing it from one side to the other.
The A300-605R rudder limiter had (has) a fundamental conceptual flaw in the design. This is not just semantics. On Boeing aircraft, protection of the structure from rudder inputs at high speeds is achieved by either de-powering the system operating pressure, or by altering the ratio of input to output. For the A300, a limiter to the rudder throw was provided mechanically. The alteration of the stops reduces the ultimate force that can be obtained from the rudder, which is the intent of the system.

but...

In a Boeing design, with a rudder ratio changer, the rudder pedals would move the same distance, however the rudder itself would move through a smaller arc. e.g., a 4" rudder pedal movement at low speed may give 100% throw of the rudder, but at high speed, the same rudder pedal deflection would give a partial throw, say 30% rudder deflection. With a rudder limiter design, for the same 4" of pedal movement at low speed, which gives 100% throw, at high speed, the 30% (for arguments sake) deflection is achieved with 1 1/2" of rudder pedal deflection. The force required to move the pedals 1 1/2" in the A300 case is the same for low speed to high speed. The sensitivity of the system has increased by 300%.. In the Boeing case, of ratio, the force to move the pedal 4" is the same at low or high speed, but the deflection is less, so the sensitivity is reduced, by 60% roughly. With the Boeing designs that reduce rudder hydraulic pressure at high speed, the throw is reduced by the high pedal force, but the pedal movement is reduced as well, so the load is protected, and the sensitivity remains similar in both high speed and low speed cases.

The A300 system worked well enough, and was simple, but a pilot doing a doublet would find that the sensitivity was much higher than would have been anticipated, so over control is a likely outcome.

The second issue with the A300 design that was of concern was that the yoke secondary structure was designed in such a manner that if a primary structure failure occurred, the primary failure would act with a lever arm on the yoke that assured secondary structure failure would occur, which it did.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 10:17
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Has anyone got the link to the original prune thread on the accident?

sorry disregard I was looking for the Phuket thread.

Last edited by Global Aviator; 22nd Sep 2019 at 10:20. Reason: Wrong thread
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 15:50
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Originally Posted by Sunamer
For god's sake, the PF stalled the AC in unreliable airspeed situation, and rode it stalled (while pulling SS aft) all the way to the ocean surface. That is hardly a strange or unexpected situation.
Airbus pilots spend most of their actual flying time in Normal law. Pulling the SS aft causes the aircraft to climb (increases thrust and you get stall protection), that's how it flies. Even with the master caution light on, the ECAM alert for Alternate law is not very obvious. So muscle memory in the Airbus says to climb I pull back on the stick, and the aircraft does everything else - I am sure his brain was thinking, I am pulling back on the stick, why are we still descending? A: aircraft is stalled, in alternate law and there is no stall protection.

My assumption is Airbus pilots get trained in alternate law and the differences in control behavior and envelope protection. But muscle memory is another thing.
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