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Old 26th Jun 2009, 00:01
  #2341 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 120
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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Old 26th Jun 2009, 00:06
  #2342 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 286
The release from the NTSB is real. It was sent via Email to subscribers. FYI, two (2) emails were sent one behind the other. First,


and second,


So, put it to rest. they are authentic.

And since you asked:




National Transportation Safety Board

Washington, DC 20594

June 25, 2009





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]


This message is delivered to you as a free service from the

National Transportation Safety Board.

You may unsubscribe at any time at

NTSB - Mailing Lists

An archive of press releases is available at

NTSB - Press Releases

Current job opportunities with the NTSB are listed at

NTSB - Vacancy Announcements

For questions/problems, contact [email protected]
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 00:25
  #2343 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 7
Agaricus bisporus quote - followed up by ttcse
the problem was not the things freezing up, rather the thawed ice flowing back down the plumbing and causing varying and moving hydraulic blockages.
Try the following link and the authors 'third theory' re Qantas Airbus A330-303 in-flight upset (QF72).

The QANTAS Airbus A330 Inflight upsets
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 00:44
  #2344 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Petaluma
Posts: 330
Pedant mode. "indications in the cockpit malfunctioned"

"there were no injuries and damage"

Indications don't malfunction, (not in English)

there were no injuries or damage is correct

If this is verbatim, it didn't appear originally in English, NTSB doesn't make those kinds of syntactic blunders.

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Old 26th Jun 2009, 01:40
  #2345 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Singapore
Posts: 89
A Boeing with similar problems..?
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 02:06
  #2346 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Northwest-Southwest
Posts: 93
Suspicious Formatting of Delta-NWA email

"GarageYears said: Does anyone have the purported email - can you publish the full email header? This will almost certainly prove the source one way or another."

The original email purportedly came from a address; however, when that address is selected the yahoo mail login page comes up...
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 02:11
  #2347 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: melb
Posts: 58
Another report that these things dont like storms.

LOCAL TIME:early morning LOCATION: Tel Aviv-Intl AP area (LLBG) COUNTRY: Israel AIRLINE: bmi British Midland TYPE: Airbus A330-243 REGISTRATION: G-WWBD C/N: 401 AGE: 8 y + 2 m OPERATION: ISP FLIGHT No.:BD 762 FROM: London-LHR TO: Tel Aviv VIA: - OCCUPANTS: PAX: - CREW: - FATALITIES: PAX: 0 CREW: 0 OTHER: 0 INJURIES: PAX: 10+ CREW: 0 OTHER: 0 DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT: minor On approach to Ben Gurion Airport, the A330 was hit by lightning. The entire right wingtip appeared to have detached during the thurnderstorm encounter sincei t was found missing on arrival. Despite the damage, the pilots made an uneventful landing.

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Old 26th Jun 2009, 04:12
  #2348 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Planet Earth, mostly
Posts: 447
The alleged NTSB press release contains many grammatical and stylistic errors.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 05:05
  #2349 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Paris
Posts: 691
NTSB 'inquiry' - is it a fake?

Will Fraser:
If this is verbatim, it didn't appear originally in English, NTSB doesn't make those kinds of syntactic blunders.
The press is jumping on it without providing a single additional detail from the NTSB. This stuff was not cross-checked by any (real) journalist.

- why only the A330 without the A340?
- nothing about the suspected pitot probe model;
- still nothing published in the NTSB press releases page where the other one is published: "NTSB Issues Update On Investigation Into Collision Of Two Metrorail Trains In Washington, D.C."
NTSB - Press Releases

Someone with a genuine (older) NTSB e-mail archived should be able to compare the headers and tell us the truth. I don't think that the NTSB would use MSN for sending e-mails.

This is plain wrong and smell like another hoax. The previous NW Capitain's report looked strange also and circulated by e-mails (a friend who had it from a friend, e-mailed it to me...).
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 05:23
  #2350 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: southwest
Age: 74
Posts: 287

If I sent an e-mail about the N-TSB, folks would spot the error. I don't believe the real NTSB would call the plane an A-330. They surely know how to use the correct model names.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 05:44
  #2351 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Paris
Posts: 691

If I sent an e-mail about the N-TSB, folks would spot the error. I don't believe the real NTSB would call the plane an A-330. They surely know how to use the correct model names.
No... they don't:
Press Advisory
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 06:02
  #2352 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Posts: 159
ITman quote,, A Boeing with similar problems..?

A LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration SP-LPA performing flight LO-2 from Chicago O'Hare,IL (USA) to Warsaw (Poland) with 206 passengers and 10 crew, was enroute at FL330 about 9nm eastsoutheast of North Bay,ON (Canada) about 70 minutes into the flight (Jun 19th 22:02L, Jun 20th 02:02Z), when the airplane encountered "severe turbulence at high speed" and started to deviate signficantly from assigned altitude. The crew reported later, that their airspeed had become unreliable and requested to divert to Toronto,ON (Canada). During descent towards Toronto the crew reported, that airspeed had returned to be normal and requested to hold to reduce weight. No ambulances were needed. While in the hold and descending, the crew was ordered to stop descent at 16000 feet, the crew was however unable to comply and reported, the airspeed problems had reoccured. The airplane proceeded directly for a safe landing on runway 23 73 minutes after the onset of problems and taxied to a gate.

At the time of the incident air traffic control reported continuous light chop (light turbulence) on all altitudes above FL300, later changed to severe turbulence at FL330 reported by a 763.

The Canadian TSB reported on Jun 22nd, that the airplane was enroute at FL330 near North Bay, when it experienced a sudden and uncommanded overspeed condition, stick shaker and illumination of the left and right hand engine electronic control (EEC) caution lights. The aircraft descended to FL280 before the situation was resolved. The airplane diverted to Toronto, where it landed without further incident. The TSB has dispatched investigators to the site.
Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed, Douglas, Gulfstream etc. doesn't matter who builds it. Every aircraft designed, with all equipment operating perfectly, will experience sudden air data and aerodynamic screwiness if running into bona fide severe turbulence, especially at high altitude. In this case, and uncommanded overspeed condition, a stick shaker (associated with an underspeed/high AOA) condition, and possible engine problems (EECs also use air data). If that aircraft had been at FL350 or FL370 (where it's aerodynamic margins were even smaller) and transited into the same level of turbulence, the situation would have been even dicier, especially if there is a sudden temperature change(s) (as there often is, affecting mach number and performance) associated with the area of shearing and/or vertical gusts. Sudden temp changes only compound the problem of airspeed control when trying to stay between narrow buffet margins.

The severe turbulence was unreported until that particular aircraft encountered it, and when it did there was no malfunction of systems at the time. The event, however, apparently caused one that recurred later, which is no suprise. There's no mention of icing, or malfunctioning/frozen pitot-static sources. But there doesn't need to be, and there usually isn't, when similar events occur.

The pilots also reported that the aircraft was unable to hold assigned altitude (and one must assume this means the autopilot rate of response or pitch trim limits to turbulence-induced deviations were exceeded), but it doesn't say whether the A/P remained engaged throughout the event, was disengaged by the pilots and the recovery hand-flown, or disengaged itself (as designed if exceeding internally-designed parameters) for the descent. It sounds like the crew did a good job managing the recovery through a quick descent as the situation at altitude became aerodynamically untenable.

If the ongoing assumption that there could have been a pitot heat/ADIRU/etc malfunction on AF447s is acceptable to this thread, then I submit that a no-malfuction scenario is as much of a possiblity, if not moreso, given the area of weather in which the aircraft was lost. Encountering ice-accrual of any significance that would exceed sublimation at FL350 outside a CB is an anomaly, with the coincidence of malfunctioning pitot heat making it a factor even more unlikely. On the other hand, the possibility of encountering moderate-to-severe turbulence in, around, or over developing hard-to-detect CBs (especially in a large, dynamic, steady state area of them where dissipating cells and ITCZ conditions feed developing ones) isn't, given the limitations of airborne weather radar.

Last edited by AMF; 26th Jun 2009 at 09:41.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 07:21
  #2353 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 26
Please check email headers

Wes Wal,

You received two emails in quick succession. Can you please check the headers to see if they came from the same place? If you use Outlook, click on "view" then "options" and you will get the complete "Internet headers"

If they are not from the same location, this implies very strongly a fake.

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Old 26th Jun 2009, 08:10
  #2354 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: EGSS
Posts: 909

Any aircraft can be struck by lightning, and lose part of the wingtip in the process. No significance to the 330 there
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 08:45
  #2355 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: LHR
Posts: 78
BD 330

The lightning strike damage to the BD 330 was minor burns (nothing unusual) to the right hand wing tip. It was removed upon return to LHR to facilitate a minor repair. (easier to carry out 'off wing' than 'on'). Chinese whispers.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 09:02
  #2356 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 67
The entire right wingtip appeared to have detached during the thurnderstorm encounter sincei t was found missing on arrival. Despite the damage, the pilots made an uneventful landing.
Was about to say that the BD wingtip missing on arrival was a load of crap.

I was involved in removing the tip in the hangar last Friday.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 10:05
  #2357 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Falls Church, VA, USA
Age: 46
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Both NTSB emails were from the same place, with the same headers - they both originated from the NTSB. I received the same emails. Living in DC, I was paying more attention to the Metro crash update, but the second one was useful too! :-) A WSJ article this morning also references both occurrences mentioned in the NTSB press releases.

I propose any future posters who doubt the NTSB release to please call their main office, (202) 314-6100 or contact Ted Lopatkiewicz, [email protected] - they might even provide more information, as the NTSB listserv to which I subscribe is sometimes a bit short on details.

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Old 26th Jun 2009, 10:19
  #2358 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Paris
Posts: 691
NTSB Inquiry isn't fake

Thank you both for the confirmation by posting those e-mail headers.
The NTSB page isn't still updated, but at least, we can be sure that this news is genuine without any doubt. There was so much unreliable informations published about this case that it is always better to verify every source as far as possible.

By the way, this would mean that at least one of Northwest A330s fleet was still flying with THALES C16195AA pitots probes and wasn't upgraded before this June 25th incident, or was it with the new model? It would be interesting to know the full story. TAM communicated early June that they had changed all the probes on their fleet.

Additionnaly, this change isn't really a big deal of $$$: an Air France ground crew declared that it was a 15 mn work per probe and each would cost around $500. The question remains if this would fix those issues of unreliable Air data in severe icing conditions at cruise level.


Last edited by takata; 26th Jun 2009 at 10:49.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 10:51
  #2359 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 842
Would you be confident in putting the control system back from its fail-safe mode into its normal mode, knowing that one of the critical data sources was untrustworthy? Note that it behaved as it was designed to, reacting to loss of data by moving from Normal Law (with lots of computerised protections that depend critically on this data) to Alternate Law (with fewer protections that don't).

After the speed indication came back on line, it was still true that it was now an unreliable data source. It seems more than sensible that, if it isn't safe to use normal with unreliable speed indication, it isn't safe to use it until the speed indication has been *proven* to be reliable again. The word unreliable doesn't mean permanently broken, it means that you can't rely on it.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 11:22
  #2360 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: us
Posts: 694
unclemohammed, Lopatkiewicz is the Director of Public Affairs. The [email protected] address is probably used by him when functioning as Director of that office. [email protected] is probably used as a media contact address for specific incidents. It is not unheard of for government officials to have more than one email address.
The [email protected] appears in other NTSB releases as the media contact.

As to errors in style or syntax, Lopatkiewicz doesn't follow the government style manual in this release, or in other releases in which his name appears as the contact person. For example, 5 is written numerically, the style manual would prescribe "five".

Finally, its possible that a summer intern wrote the release. The NTSB Public Affairs Office is quite busy with the investigation of a serious subway accident in Washington DC earlier this week, amd I would think that Lopatkiewicz is rather busy arranging for NTSB press conferences and briefings.
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