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AF447

Old 25th Jun 2009, 21:28
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I went to the FAA accident/incident data base and scanned for incidents/accidents from 01/01/2008 for a sampling. Basically nothing. 7 reports of which only two were 'substantial' and 4 of the 7 were ground events.

Aviation Accident Database Query for the NSTB reports and it has 6 entries, all non-fatal.

Service Difficulty Report Query Page for airbus A330* (for all 330 versions). 35 records. 1 24** JACDEC codes (electric) for a seat. 2 27** for Primary Flt Control Computer failing and being replaced in 2000. But in the 35 records NO 3030 which is pitot static system.

NONE and now this. ???
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:04
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The version of the Delta/NWA email I received had both pilots' names on it. It would be a simple thing for it to be verified. I would leave it to the authorities instead of we anonymous posters.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:09
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Back-up Speed Scale & Altitude for AF 447 ?

Has it been confirmed that the AF 447 was fitted with the Backup Speed Scale & Altitude display (*) ?
Jeff
(*)http://www.smartcockpit.com/data/pdf...able_Speed.pdf
http://aviationtroubleshooting.*****...le-barthe.html
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:20
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NTSB advisory

************************************************************
NTSB ADVISORY

************************************************************
National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594
June 25, 2009
************************************************************
NTSB INVESTIGATING TWO RECENT INCIDENTS INVOLVING
POSSIBLE A-330 SPEED AND ALTITUDE INDICATION ANOMALIES
************************************************************

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two recent incidents in which airspeed and altitude indications in the cockpits of Airbus A-330 aircraft may have malfunctioned.

The first incident occurred May 21, 2009, when TAM Airlines flight 8091 (Brazilian registration PT-MVB) flying from Miami, Florida to Sao Paulo, Brazil, experienced a loss of primary speed and altitude information while in cruise flight. Initial reports indicate that the flight crew noted an abrupt drop in indicated outside air temperature, followed by the loss of the Air Data Reference System and disconnections of the autopilot and autothrust, along with the loss of speed and altitude information. The flight crew used backup instruments and primary data was restored in about 5 minutes. The flight landed at Sao Paulo with no
further incident and there were no injuries and damage.

The Safety Board has become aware of another possibly similar incident that occurred on June 23 on a Northwest Airlines A-330 (registration unknown) flying between Hong Kong and Tokyo. The aircraft landed safely in Tokyo; no injuries or damage was reported. Data recorder information, Aircraft Condition Monitoring System messages, crew statements and weather information are being collected by NTSB investigators.

Further information on both incidents will be released when it becomes available.

###

NTSB Public Affairs
(202) 314-6100
Ted Lopatkiewicz
[email protected]

Last edited by Squawk_ident; 25th Jun 2009 at 22:36. Reason: Size reduced
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:34
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NW A330 en route to NRT

I got this e-mail too, but from a source that is highly suspect. All 3 speeds behaving the same way at the same time sounds odd, plus there is something about the way the message is written. I can find no corroboration of this event, anywhere.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:36
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The name Ted Lopatkiewicz is listed for NTSB contacts.

Resources for Journalists

But I can't seem to find the release posted.

NTSB - Press Releases
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:39
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A common thread of these incidents seems to be a drastic drop in outside air temperture.

Erractic and/or extreme weather patterns may be aiding to these malfunctions.

It is interesting that all of these incidents are grouped so close together.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 22:46
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Wiley
If you use A330% for the aircraft type you'll get 174 SDR entries. You can use that parameter with whatever code you select to find ADIRU or whatever reports. I would play with it but gotta go. Later maybe.
Rgds.
24V
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:02
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More questionable, P51guy, is how you could design a static port to freeze up at flight levels. Prior to the above, I don't believe there was any report of false altitude. A frozen static is more dangerous than frozen pitot.

The prior reports of events discussed a temperature rise, not a fall, as above. An iced TAT sensor will logically show temperature increase, as it becomes insulated from outside air, and the ice next to the sensor is warmed.

I am suspicious of both the DeltaNW event, and the NTSB release.

GB
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:13
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I have noticed that the post, posted by squawk_ident has got the email address incorrect, for Ted Lopatkiewicz. If you click the link 'Resource for Journalists' from ACLS65's post then click on Ted's name the email address comes up as:

LOPATKT @ ntsb.gov

not lopatt @ ntsb.gov which comes up at the bottom of squawk_ident's post....(please pardon the spaces in between the posted email address, it comes up as 'invalid hash' on my machine for some reason, security?)

Highly suspect in my opinion, unless someone can confirm the NTSB post, it is certainly not in the public domain.

Mo'
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:16
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JungleDan


lumpaseo,

Thanks for the Aviation's week link. Quite frankly, I find the whole pitot probe story utterly confusing! On the one hand, the posts I've read from a/c pilots seem to indicate that air speed data are critical to safe flight conditions. On the other hand, EASA seem to consider that pitot probes issues are no big deal, just routine work, really...

I just don't understand how pilots' and officials' positions can be that far apart, as if they were living in two completely separate worlds? Seems to me that pitot probe icing is either hazardous or it isn't...
Agree!

The confusion stems from the typical myriad of expert opinions offered on the internet. The main reason that I posted that link was to illustrate that there are many facets to our (internet) collective lack of understanding.

One thing that you can be sure of, it will be sorted out by the investigators.

Every so often I do post a hint that we aren't going to understand some of these accidents without understanding the man and machine interface that played at the same time. There's no use speculating about this without many more facts to support the great amount of speculation
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:20
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NTSB press release

I can confirm the NTSB post, as I also received the same NTSB press release to my email address (I subscribe to their feed). I noticed some formatting errors in the post but the text is verbatim from the release. I tired to post the same release but wasn't quite as quick on the draw :-)

-Chris
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:23
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Pitot + PFDs

The issue with the pitot in isolation would appear to be not so grave so you have the authorities issuing warnings. Loss of airspeed is anticipated in the QRH and training.
However I think in the case of Airbus equipment we have a compounding secondary issue of the flight computers not gracefully handling the loss/corruption of airspeed sensor data.
So the authorities looking at the pitot issue by itself only see part of the problem. Much as the 5 blind men feeling parts of the elephant and each coming to different conclusions. What is need is a higher level perspective of the issue that combines all of the parts of the problem.

At the end of the day I can't understand how one sensor (ok 3 redundant pitots) can take out something as critical as an entire flight system. It appears that there are too many dependencies in the software that causes the pitot failure to initiate a chain of software errors that are not handled. Instead the errors cascade to secondary software modules which go into failed state. Good electronic/software design seeks to minimize coupling and un-necessary dependencies. Error exceptions are handled gracefully and trapped.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:24
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Nothing at all on the NTSB website - but I found this piece in the Fresno Bee (so it must be true )

NTSB probes 2 incidents involving Airbus A330s - National Politics - fresnobee.com
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:33
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AP & Aviation Herald reporting

More trustworthy reports?

NTSB probes 2 incidents involving Airbus A330s
By JOAN LOWY –WASHINGTON (AP)
Federal safety officials say they are investigating two reports of Airbus A330 planes experiencing airspeed and altitude malfunctions.
The aircraft are the same type as the Air France plane that crashed into the North Atlantic on May 31 after sending out low airspeed messages, killing all 228 aboard.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the first incident occurred May 21, when TAM Airlines Flight 8091 flying from Miami, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, experienced a loss of primary speed and altitude information.
The board's information on the second incident is more sketchy, but it involves a Northwest Airlines flight between Hong Kong and Tokyo on June 23. In both cases the planes landed safely.

Incident: Northwest A333 over East China Sea on Jun 23rd 2009, unreliable airspeed
Incident: Northwest A333 over East China Sea on Jun 23rd 2009, unreliable airspeed
By Simon Hradecky, created Thursday, Jun 25th 2009 22:26Z, last updated Thursday, Jun 25th 2009 22:37Z
A Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration N805NW performing flight NW-8 from Hong Kong (China) to Tokyo Narita (Japan), was enroute overhead the East China Sea, when the crew noticed a sharp drop of the indicated outside temperature followed by the loss of the air data reference system, disconnection of autopilot and autothrust system along with the loss of speed and altitude information. The flight crew used the stand by systems and was able to restore the primary data. The airplane landed safely in Tokyo Narita.

The NTSB is investigating, the flight data recorders have been retrieved, the aircraft condition monitoring system messages, crew statements and weather information are being collected by NTSB investigators.

The NTSB reported, that a very similiar incident happened on May 19th to a TAM Airbus A330-200, see Incident: TAM A332 enroute on May 21st 2009, unreliable airspeed and altimeter.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:35
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GB;
I am suspicious of both the DeltaNW event, and the NTSB release.
Also, with reference to the A330 QRH "UNRELIABLE SPEED INDICATION/ADR CHECK PROCEDURE, for Cruise between FL200 and FL360, the N1 setting, (Trent installation) is 69.6%, pitch is 2.5deg; above FL360, N1 required is 77.2%, pitch, 3.0deg.

The comment in the informal "report" first posted states that the crew used "83%N1". The lower N1 referenced in my QRH may be due to engine installation but shouldn't otherwise vary. I believe Delta A330's have the CF installation however - don't the GE installations use EPR?

Also - not sure about the "Nara Japan" comment. There is "Naha" FIR but I don't recall any "Nara".

The fact that such a report hasn't officially surfaced, with comments, certainly makes it suspicious. It's two days old.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:37
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how you could design a static port to freeze up at flight levels.
I've been led to believe that previous incidents where similar symptons occurred (Air Caribies or something like that?) the problem was not the things freezing up, rather the thawed ice flowing back down the plumbing and causing varying and moving hydraulic blockages.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:56
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NW probes freezing

As far as I know, Northwest was using Thales 'C16254AA' probes (the same as AF447) but as the press is not making its headlines: "NORTHWEST FAILED TO REPLACE THE PITOTS" (23 days after AF 447 crash) following AIRBUS directives bla bla bla..." like in Air France case... or maybe the new model C16254BA did freeze?... or it is another hoax.

S~
Olivier
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 23:57
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Suspicious Formating of NTSB report

This still looks very suspicious to me - there are several formatting issues with the report (in other words this PR differs from all others in a few ways compared to all other NTSB PRs), and the fact this is dated 6/25/2009 and still not listed on the NTSB website does not make sense.

For now I'd regard this as suspicious. And just because a few local newspapers pick up on it does NOT make it official. Viral email fakes are easy to produce. Does anyone have the purported email - can you publish the full email header? This will almost certainly prove the source one way or another.

- GY
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 00:01
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It is a problem for the Pitot manufacturers....Qantas did a lot of work on the pitot tubes of their 767 fleet after it was found that there were sheets of ice forming on the inside of the fuselage, around the rubber seal of the pitot tube. They installed a heater for the O ring to try to solve this problem before it becomes a serious issue. The Qantas fleet does not use the default Pitot tubes that come with the A330, they have their own supplier. Airbus does NOT build or produce Pitot tubes, they purchase them from another supplier as well.
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