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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

Old 23rd May 2020, 14:46
  #261 (permalink)  
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Ground Contact

Mil ATCO speaking. I was Local Controller when a Hunter performed a wheels-up ‘roller’ on the 230 gal drop-tanks. The pilot realised the error in the last second, applied full power and delicate stick, and wobbled a foot or so off the runway whilst regaining the right side of the drag curve. He scraped the paint off one tank, and split the seam on the other. Normal circuit, landing and interview followed. Ground contact is a variable quantity ... the report and other evidence will determine how hard and/or prolonged the A320’s encounter was.

BTW, I had seen his gear was up as he turned final, but my plaintive cries of “Overshoot” were jammed out by a 4-ship checking in and calling for taxt and departure clearance. Local controllers should look out of the windows at noth runway and aircraft ... at least, we used to in my day.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:46
  #262 (permalink)  
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You can "Kiss" the pavement without generating a significant flat spot. Enlarging the photo will show that the black streaks under both engine cowlings of the PIA jet likely appear to be reverted rubber deposits scooped from the touchdown zone of the runway with sufficient pressure to disrupt the IDGs to cut power to AC Buses which had then triggered auto deployment of the RAT.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:46
  #263 (permalink)  
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Pilots are conditioned that once a go-around has commenced, that’s it forget about landing so the option of putting it back down may have been unconsciously rejected by the crew.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:49
  #264 (permalink)  
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AvHerald now reporting this:
On May 23rd 2020 Pakistani media are reporting quoting sources within the Civil Aviation Authority, that the aircraft touched down on the runway with retracted gear during their first approach, climbed again and positioned for another approach. Ground observers reported sparks from the aircraft when it touched the ground.

I know CRM is quite an important thing in aviation. But where does it end, and where does criminal negligence start? I am sure everyone has had their experience towards rushed approaches. Most end up in a go-around as they should. But this?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:50
  #265 (permalink)  
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To cut some of the speculation here, this is the kind of damage one would expect to see from a ground contact while the gears are in transit:

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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:57
  #266 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by CanadianAirbusPilot View Post
. . .
I have a fair bit of time in various Airbus including the A320... it would be absolutely impossible to fly an approach and unintentionally land gear up.
. . . .
In accident investigation, one cannot describe anything in aviation as, "abolutely impossible", or "unbelievable" or other notions that dismiss certain scenarios with, "...no crew would ever do...", etc., and still get to the truth of what happened.

All scenarios must be considered until evidence rules them out. Experience may dictate how plausible one theory may be over another. Sometimes the simplest explanation is more or less what happened. The initial approach appears to have been unstable. Not unusual, but if it was unstable to the point of distraction & narrowed focus, most know what normal cognitive functions also narrow. The AF447 crew, for whatever reason, did not "hear" or process the visual and audible stall warnings when they were present.

So it is possible to miss warnings. For similar reasons, perhaps the PIA crew never heard the gear warnings and continued the approach, we don't know yet. What we think should have occurred in the cockpit never explains an accident or human behaviour. We just have to look at the available evidence, and we have that in the recorders.

It is not "absolutely impossible".
It can happen, anywhere, to anyone at any time.

This was not a rushed approach nor was it a surprise to the crew as they were dealing with a known emergency and it ended well.


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Old 23rd May 2020, 15:03
  #267 (permalink)  
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Sent a pic of another chat saying it was a long landing - float, decided to go around however the gear was selected up prematurely (lack of positive rate) settled on the engines prior to lifting off again.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 15:42
  #268 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
Also possible that the gear was retracted before the flaps during the go-around. Standard procedure is “Go Around - FLAPS, retract one stage, positive climb - GEAR UP.

Perhaps it happened out of sequence by mistake, “Go Around” and the wheels went up first instead of the flaps.
Yes, my thoughts as well, Retracted the gears before positive rate of climb was ensured.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 15:58
  #269 (permalink)  
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But this was unlikely to be a standard GO AROUND from DH at 200’ AGL, this was a Baulked Landing. For a Baulked landing (also known as a [email protected] up) on the A320 we used to have a procedure known as “TOGA 10” then, when safely climbing away, “GO AROUND, FLAPS” (as mentioned above). TOGA being the obvious Firewall of the Thrust Levers, followed by no more than 10 degrees of Nose Up pitch (to avoid tailscrape).

On introduction of the A321 this was no longer appropriate, due to the pitch angle of 10 degrees being more conducive to a tailstrike for that variant. The result is, a tailscrape is now far more likely in fleets operating multiple variants of the A320 family.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:00
  #270 (permalink)  
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Two things:

Carbon fibre is black. If you scrape the pod you will get through the paint to the black. No touchdown zone rubber required - and if they were fast and long the engines would probably have scraped after the touchdown zone - not in it.

Nr. 1 Engine doesn’t look straight - the exit cone isn’t in line with the centreline but hanging below it.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:05
  #271 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FlyingAce77 View Post
Yes, my thoughts as well, Retracted the gears before positive rate of climb was ensured.
I can’t see how you could rotate to a pitch attitude sufficient to get airborne again once the engines make contact with the runway.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:13
  #272 (permalink)  
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I always felt the A320 was a tough little aeroplane, maybe if the nacelles and engine mounts have had folded and engines detached they would have slid off through the clearway ?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:20
  #273 (permalink)  
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I wonder if the witness reports of “2 or 3 attempts” plus the survivor noting they hit “thrice” might mean a bounced landing. Hit hard, bounce, hit again, TOGA...certainly being high and hot as they were is sometimes a precursor to a hard/bounced landing.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:24
  #274 (permalink)  
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Classic Airbus A320 stuff, read the Airbus spoiler deployment logic modification for mitigation of that scenario.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:38
  #275 (permalink)  
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If there was a gear problem prior to the start of the first approach ATC would have been informed and the aircraft would have held while the cabin was secured for a full emergency landing. Survivors make no mention of any such alarming preparations. There is the mention of the words 'comfortable now' on the R/T suggesting to me they were previously too fast or high but now happy. You also hear the CRC ringing over the R/T suggesting the gear is not down below 700' RA... It's loud and you can't possibly miss it unless your SA is so maxed out trying to slow down for landing. The survivor reported that the first sign of anything wrong was when he saw sparks & flames on touchdown.

Landing on the engines is quite survivable but guess what?.... the engines are written off as a result. So lets just slide down the runway a little and then apply TOGA thrust and see how long those donkeys last. Apparently not very long. By the time they got downwind the RAT was out indicating AC BUS 1+2 offline which rather suggests a double engine failure. Had they carried on downwind there was some open space straight ahead to put the aircraft down rather more tidily than they did. If you look at the crash position it was close abeam the downwind end of the runway (remember 40secs +/- the wind) with absolutely zero chance of making a turn onto the runway axis with all engines.... let alone no engines. However, if their SA was so low that they went around having not noticed the gear was up, having scraped the runway with both engines, it seems unlikely they would have the SA to carry out a dead-stick landing to anywhere from downwind.

I read that the aircraft had not flown for 60 days. There is no suggestion yet the aircraft was unserviceable but how about the crew?.... I wonder what their Covid-19 Recency practice was like?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:58
  #276 (permalink)  
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If the first attempt was a gear up landing, the master warning for LDG GEAR NOT DOWN may have been inadvertently cancelled by one of them as they were no doubt already smashing it repeatedly for the over speed. Thereafter, all eyes outside and occasionally at the PFD with no one glancing at the ECAM.

Also, the A320 is relatively new to PIA. I doubt most captains have more much more than 500 on the type given seniority and the fact they don't hire DEC.

Unfortunately, this may prove to be another example of a super dangerous ex military jockey pushing things to the limit.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 17:00
  #277 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Magplug View Post
I read that the aircraft had not flown for 60 days.
The aircraft was inbound from Muscat the day before the accident.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 17:03
  #278 (permalink)  
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That was reported by one of the airline execs. on interview. Perhaps he was referring to the last major service.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 17:09
  #279 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Goldenrivett View Post
I can’t see how you could rotate to a pitch attitude sufficient to get airborne again once the engines make contact with the runway.
A quick back-of-the-envelope bit of geometry would suggest that about 5.5° of pitch attitude is achievable with the engines in contact with the runway, before the tail hits the deck.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 17:31
  #280 (permalink)  
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Just to clarify, people are talking about a master caution for the gear not being down.

The warning is a repetitive “TOO LOW, GEAR” in a loud, urgent voice over the speakers. IIRC it triggers at 500RA, it’s hard to believe they continued to land with that happening. You can’t cancel it unless you turn the GPWS off on the overhead panel.

A mishandled baulked landing after a high energy approach and deep landing is much more likely.

Very sad.
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