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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

Old 23rd May 2020, 23:00
  #341 (permalink)  
 
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I've not heard the entire ATC recording, but from first spotting they were high and fast, and offering delaying vectors, ATC should have paid particular attention to this approach. An observer with binoculars should have seen the ground strike and climb-away trailing smoke. I would at least have expected ATC to have warned them that they'd hit the ground, were smoking, and probably had engine damage. I would then have expected ATC pro-actively to have vectored them clear of built-up areas either by suggesting a tear-drop return or an approach that avoided the Model Colony, which is built up almost to the runway threshold.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 23:01
  #342 (permalink)  
 
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No, not passing the blame, but recognising that it appears ATC could have done a bit more than it seems they did.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 23:25
  #343 (permalink)  
 
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I'd like to take this conversation back to when the aircraft was 10-15 miles out.
If we consider that at about 6 miles out (depends on if you are using RNAV or ILS and which runway as the basis of your GS and intercept point) you want to be at about 2000' . They are reported to have been at 3500' at about 5 miles out.
Granted, I am not familiar with PIA's SOPs, so this is a bit of a guess based on what I observe when I am (on a rare occasion) in the back of an aluminum tube.
When they were 15 miles out (or so) my thought is that the crew should either be in the process of configuring the aircraft for landing, or already be configured, depending on the situation at hand. Gear / flaps / various checklist items, etc.

What happened in the intervening ten miles?

Last time I was in the back end of a passenger jet, they had the gear down about 10 miles or a bit more from the airport. What was going on in this case from 15 miles out to them arriving at 5 miles out well above profile?

Will be interesting to see the FDR info, and see where and when configuration changes actually occurred. (Or if they did)

PJ2 alluded to a human factors element, and I am thinking through a CRM problem: in the past three months, how often have the two pilots flown and have their habits/processes gotten rusty due to the curtailment of flying in general. The old currency/recency thing has me wondering.

True confessions time: more than once I had either a crewman, co pilot, or a tower ask me to check my gear on short final. With good reason. It can happen to anyone if a particular habit pattern, or rhythm, gets disrupted as one gets into the terminal area.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 23rd May 2020 at 23:36.
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Old 24th May 2020, 00:01
  #344 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
...
. . . .
It can happen to anyone if a particular habit pattern, or rhythm, gets disrupted as one gets into the terminal area.


Hi Lonewolf_50 - that statement is SO true; right there, just ahead of "airspeed, altitude & ideas"!
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Old 24th May 2020, 00:24
  #345 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CanadianAirbusPilot View Post
Waster warning. Likely a Flap Overspeed though given the profile on approach and attempt to salvage it....
It's pretty much established from the ATC recordings that the overspeed warning was going off during their first, rushed, approach.
As I noted in a previous post, humans have an incredible capability to block out various noises/sounds - particularly in high work load situations where concentration on the task at hand is high. If they were getting repeated overspeed aural warnings, it's likely that they were either just ignoring them and didn't notice that a new aural warning for the gear had been added to the ruckus.
- OR -
They were repeatedly hitting the 'cancel' button when the overspeed warning went off and failed to notice that the warning had changed to landing gear before it too was cancelled. Someone brought up this scenario several pages ago and was brushed off - but it seems perfectly reasonable to me.
What boggles my mind is not that the flight crew could miss the warnings that the gear were not down - it's that they continued with the initial approach when it was so obviously flawed. Particularly in the current environment where there is so little air traffic - aborting the approach and doing it again wouldn't take much time.
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Old 24th May 2020, 00:37
  #346 (permalink)  
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tdracer, I haven't listened to the ATC recordings, but for clarity for others who may not have flown or know the A320/Airbus products, likely the aural warning would have been a flap overspeed not an airframe overspeed. A minor point I know but it adds to understanding I think. PJ
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Old 24th May 2020, 00:48
  #347 (permalink)  
 
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Things we can all learn right now

Further google search indicates that substantial RAT deployment takes 2 seconds. If they destroyed the AC bus 1 & 2 sources on the engine scrapes, there might be a chance that the RAT was also destroyed before becoming airborne again. If the crew were stressed enough to land gear up (rated as impossible by some), imagine the additional stress if this was immediately followed by battery backup and two failing engines!
Morales of this story might be remain alert following a good night's sleep, be well hydrated, be really sure to lower the gear for landing or start the APU if you think you might do a gear up touch and go.
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:19
  #348 (permalink)  
 
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It's pretty much established from the ATC recordings that the overspeed warning was going off during their first, rushed, approach.
Thatís purely speculation. The only fact is that you can hear the Continuous Repetitive Chime during one of the transmissions, which is associated with the Master Warning. As to what triggered it, at this stage, nobody knows.
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:25
  #349 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
... What boggles my mind is not that the flight crew could miss the warnings that the gear were not down - it's that they continued with the initial approach when it was so obviously flawed. Particularly in the current environment where there is so little air traffic - aborting the approach and doing it again wouldn't take much time.
Particularly since, if they were high and fast on approach, they would be looking to add as much drag as possible, which the gear would help with. Cockpit workload at that point, though, may have been an issue...
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:25
  #350 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by metro301 View Post
No. there is no such protection
Thats funny....I have flown jets for 25+ years and this never crossed my mind, maybe a thing in the future.
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:33
  #351 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Magplug View Post
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?
He was coming in Hot & High, Established at 3500feet, thatís high, he did miss the touchdown zone and initial touchdown was 4300 down the runway - seems like Landing Gear issue wasnít there or something close to this happened!
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:34
  #352 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Joejosh999 View Post
I meant does it show wheels were never down? Or merely that they never got weight? I.e. they were down, never landed, and upon TOGA were retracted (early) thus scuffing both engines and gear doors?
It does mean they never got weight on the wheels as you say. I don't think the gear doors were scuffed from the photos I've seen.

I agree that you really have to work hard to ignore visual and aural warnings in a modern airliner. But history has shown time and time again that some folks work really hard at it.

Originally Posted by clark y View Post
Need to see the whole approach data. The first 2 lines of Airbubba's data- 800' to 475' in 11 seconds appears unstable though not enough data to prove it.
The FlightRadar24 data for PK8303 is in this .csv file:

https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/w...nular_data.csv

It will open with most spreadsheet programs like Excel or Google Sheets.

DaveReidUK posted a quick plot of the altitude data earlier in this thread, no positions were included in this granular .csv file.

Here's the altitude plot from FR24:



Here's another section of the tabular data from the .csv file:



As you can see, PK8303 sent the uncorrected baro altitude of 2450 feet at 09:32:54Z. From the previously posted go around data they transmitted 275 feet at 09:34:26Z. They descended 2475 feet in 92 seconds on the final segment, about 1400 fpm, a little fast for stable approach criteria at most places.

This .csv file has data merged from multiple receivers and the data packets may be received more than once so many of the altitudes are duplicated and do not necessarily indicate a level off.

Last edited by Airbubba; 24th May 2020 at 02:26.
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:46
  #353 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wishiwasupthere View Post
Thatís purely speculation. The only fact is that you can hear the Continuous Repetitive Chime during one of the transmissions, which is associated with the Master Warning. As to what triggered it, at this stage, nobody knows.
OK, fair enough - perhaps I should have said "It's pretty much established from the ATC recordings that a warning was going off during their first, rushed, approach." It still means basically the same thing - they were either ignoring or silencing an audible warning - which would have made it much easier to miss the new warning for landing gear.
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Old 24th May 2020, 01:54
  #354 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Superpilot View Post
This annoys the heck out of me too. I've seen it on the line way too many times. Trigger happy PMs (in both seats), who are more concerned about going through the song/dance than looking for the real cues. Training for positive rate/climb identification is based on teaching pilots to recognise a positive V/S trend and increasing RA. You can both of those parameters (momentarily) without engine power. The FMA for a go around and dealing with the lack of it is way more important than raising the landing gear.
Agree very much, except the 'annoy' part. I cannot stress enuff how important it is to check the FMA AND Commanded thrust setting/throttle position during the initial GA phase. I learned this the hard way(on the A320 as a very junior cap)during a GA in a downburst/windshear and 0 vis just b4 the flare, the co forgot to advance the throttles and I initially missed it, but few seconds later realized we weren't accelerating and climbing, I slammed the throttles pretty much into the firewall...we are all human
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Old 24th May 2020, 02:13
  #355 (permalink)  
 
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"Training for positive rate/climb identification is based on teaching pilots to recognise a positive V/S trend and increasing RA."

Two wrong
statements in less than twenty words - pretty impressive even for a thread which is wanna-bee infested to a degree not often seen.

Neither of these things are "positive rate". A V/S trend is a measure of vertical acceleration. It will happily read a positive vertical rate with both main gear planted on the runway with say, a gross error in take-off performance calculations or wind shear. RA is valueless for rate as the reading which the pilots see is a product of an algorithm of pitch attitude and gear tilt and is by no means a direct reading of actual height.

The ONLY measure for positive rate is a sustained and progressive increase in the altitude displayed on the altimeter.

Should you doubt any of this, consult any FCTM from a company called Boeing. They've been doing this stuff for quite some time.
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Old 24th May 2020, 02:19
  #356 (permalink)  
 
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Now reported that the CVR and FDR have been recovered so there should be some preliminary findings fairly soon. The CVR should be quite interesting as it will reveal the crew awareness of the situation, was the F/O shouting at the Captain to go-around or sitting there afraid to speak up ?

The ATC recording suggests that the controller was aware of the excess height and was vectoring them around for another approach to give them time to descend. An approach controller handles more arrivals then a pilot does and usually just into one airport, so he would have been well aware of what position an aircraft should be in at a particular point. He sounded a bit surprised at the Captain but accepted the decision to continue with the approach.

It would be reasonable to assume that the ATC equipment in Pakistan isn’t state of the art but now we are opening up another issue. The Captain is the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft however any Captain in a western airline who ignores legitimate input from the F/O on safety matters is putting his head on the block. Ignoring an F/Os call to go around from an unstable approach will be taken very seriously and likely result in anything from a CRM course to termination.

Whilst a controller isn’t a pilot and can’t be expected to know stabilised criteria for every type of aircraft and airline, the issue of permitting an approach which is obviously so far out of tolerance that a safe landing is in doubt comes into question.

Perhaps there should be a “gate” that an aircraft has to be able to pass through unless a “MAYDAY” has been declared. It shouldn’t be necessary but it would add another layer in the “Swiss cheese model”
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Old 24th May 2020, 02:30
  #357 (permalink)  
 
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It seems to me that there is a pretty clear picture of the events here. Extremely Unstable Approach with 3,500' at 5 nm (if ATC points out how high you are then you need to worry), Overspeed warning was sounding in the background during Landing Clearance, deep touchdown as evidenced by the data. GO AROUND was commenced but as per EMIRATES and JETSTAR is wasn't executed properly and the Gear was selected up prior to a confirmed positive climb, JETSTAR and AIRFRANCE have both done this and got away with it when the aircraft got to below 50' RA with the wheels up before climbing away. EMIRATES did not get away with it and ended up with a Belly Landing and subsequent destruction of the aircraft. These two ALMOST go away with it with just the engine cowls making contact with the runway before the aircraft climbed away, might have been better if they had crashed on the runway. Sadly with TOGA selected and damage from the 1st impact both Engines have likely been starved of either Fuel or OIL and have give up during the climb out. This is going to be one very interesting accident report as it would appear the whole sequence started with a rushed approach. I don't know what happened prior but the fact that the ATC contact at the start of the tape said 'we are now ready to continue the ILS' would suggest they were out of shape a long way out and an extra couple of minutes sorting it here may have prevented a needless accident. All conjecture of course but it fits the sequence and we have seen a few near misses in the past. The last safety course I went on as an Investigator had an entire presentation on how mishandled approach and go-arounds are emerging as one of the most deadly occurrences up there with excursions.
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Old 24th May 2020, 03:08
  #358 (permalink)  
 
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Airbubba thanks for reposting the radar data. For the approach it would appear the aircraft was about 8000' 3 minutes from touchdown. 2 minutes later it about 1300'. That would give a rate of descent down the ILS initially at over 3000FPM. The last minute works out to over 1000FPM. even without knowing the airspeed/configuration involved it was never going to be pretty.
As for the "gate" that Krismiler mentions, most people have personal ones that vary between individuals and comfort factors. Manufacturers and Airlines have mandatory ones. 1000' and/or 500'. If you do not make the requirements- go-around.
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Old 24th May 2020, 03:35
  #359 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
It seems to me that there is a pretty clear picture of the events here. Extremely Unstable Approach with 3,500' at 5 nm (if ATC points out how high you are then you need to worry), Overspeed warning was sounding in the background during Landing Clearance, deep touchdown as evidenced by the data. GO AROUND was commenced but as per EMIRATES and JETSTAR is wasn't executed properly and the Gear was selected up prior to a confirmed positive climb, JETSTAR and AIRFRANCE have both done this and got away with it when the aircraft got to below 50' RA with the wheels up before climbing away. EMIRATES did not get away with it and ended up with a Belly Landing and subsequent destruction of the aircraft. These two ALMOST go away with it with just the engine cowls making contact with the runway before the aircraft climbed away, might have been better if they had crashed on the runway. Sadly with TOGA selected and damage from the 1st impact both Engines have likely been starved of either Fuel or OIL and have give up during the climb out. This is going to be one very interesting accident report as it would appear the whole sequence started with a rushed approach. I don't know what happened prior but the fact that the ATC contact at the start of the tape said 'we are now ready to continue the ILS' would suggest they were out of shape a long way out and an extra couple of minutes sorting it here may have prevented a needless accident. All conjecture of course but it fits the sequence and we have seen a few near misses in the past. The last safety course I went on as an Investigator had an entire presentation on how mishandled approach and go-arounds are emerging as one of the most deadly occurrences up there with excursions.
Given how low the MLG doors swing, below the engine nacelles, a gear cycle anywhere around the time the engines were very close to or scraping the ground seems unlikely. The MLG doors would be badly damaged, I think.
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Old 24th May 2020, 04:20
  #360 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Iron Duck View Post
The accident started with whatever caused them to be high energy at 3500ft 4km out. It was made much more likely by whatever caused the crew to reject the ATC offer of delaying vectors to lose height. After they bashed it on the ground, it was made more likely again by the tight circuit rather than the life-saving Smartlynx teardrop. And then it was sealed by bringing them back in over a built-up area.

I think ATC has a bit of a case to answer here, as well.
Bullshit. Donít pass the buck. The pilot in command has responsibility for the safety of their aircraft and those on it. High on energy late in a approach? Go around. Dealing with an emergency and not ready to commit to an approach, ask for vectors or let the box hold for you.

Being rushed by ATC (not saying thatís whatís happened here but it seems to be implied by others) itís a shit excuse for poor decision making.
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