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AF447

Old 9th Jul 2009, 07:39
  #3361 (permalink)  
 
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Hi,

BEA to bring Airbus down?
BEA is not there for put Airbus or AF down or support AF or Airbus.
BEA is there for make a IMPARTIAL investigation with all their knowledge and publish the results and the eventual corrections or practices to be amended.
I hope this will be this way !

Bye.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 07:41
  #3362 (permalink)  
 
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French Newspaper Interview with AF/KLM CEO Gourgeon

I saw this item from Reuters just now at Air France dément tout manque de réactivité lors du vol AF 447 - Yahoo! Actualités

It sources from Le Figaro, a leading national daily of conservative bent.

Anything between quotes is out of Mr. Gourgeon's mouth; the rest is journalese.

I have omitted some content.



In an interview published on Thursday in Figaro, Air-France/KLM CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said pitot tube icing "may have been a factor" in the AF447 crash but "does not suffice to explain the accident."
He denied having access "to a secret recording from the pilot," one of the many rumors in circulation around this case.
He said "no radio recording was picked up between AF447 and (other) aircraft in the area."
"The Air France control center only became aware very gradually that something was going wrong."
Over six hours passed between last contact with AF447 and a first report to the BEA.
"We often lose aircraft over Russia, Africa or oceans and we find them. Because sometimes aircraft have radio malfunctions."
"Between 0630 and 0830 (LT France) it's still too early for Brest or Madrid to pick up the flight. It was only after connecting the dots between the numerous electronic maintenance messages and long radio silence that disappearance of the aircraft was suspected, at about 0830."
"Asst. Gen. Manager for Operations Gilbert Rovetto phoned me and said that ATC centres were confirming no contact with AF447 the one after the other. That meant we had probably lost an aircraft."
He said nothing indicated the seriousness of the situation to the technician on duty that morning who processed the 24 automatic messages from the aircraft.
He said the problems faced by AF447 were not the result of any negligence.
"There is no contradiction between safety and bottomlines (économie). When you improve safety, you improve the company image and you logically improve its competitive (économiques) performance."
The BEA report...affirms that the aircraft hit the water intact, practically in normal flight attitude, i.e. in horizontal position.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 08:23
  #3363 (permalink)  
 
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Surplus1:

If it did not stall all the way down from FL350, why would it suddenly stall at low altitude? If it made a last minute pull up into an accelerated stall - how did the pilots manage to see the ocean and judge when the should pull up? Was it diving at very high speed before this happened?
For me, the most likely scenario is still the same, after all that discussion: They stalled all the time. After loosing pitots and/or computers/screens and situational awareness, they flew around in the dark without knowing their speed and their attitude. They had overspeed and stalls, they where in a spiral dive.

Until they where below the freezing level, that's where the pitots reopened and let some true information get through.

Unfortunately, that was too low to recover.

Reminder: This is only my theory and is solely based on the same information you all have. And again: It's not important how they crashed but why. The impact theory is an interesting one, but not of great importance. It's clear that they crashed, and it's very likely because of the pitot icing. That's what we should discuss here.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 09:29
  #3364 (permalink)  
 
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It's clear that they crashed, and it's very likely because of the pitot icing. That's what we should discuss here.
These are causes, and then there are causes. Pitot icing was probably a cause. But there have to be at least two other causes:
  • What caused them to fly into icing and probable turbulance?
  • What caused them to lose control?
The pitot icing problem can doubtless be comprehended and thus physically improved, even if it is impossible to solve in all possible cases. Improved procedures and training can likely also mitigate the situation. But if things stop with "fixing the pitot icing problem" then great opportunities for improved safety and pilot operational ability will have been lost. There are clearly opportunities here to at least:
  • Improve weather awareness for airmen (sat feeds, etc)
  • Improve cockpit->ATC/base communications in remote areas; or at least this one specific remote area
  • Improve the capabilities and training for DAKAR ATC
  • Provide an acceleration to R/D for improved WX radar and WX tools in general in the cockpit
  • Study the MMI (Man/Machine Interface) during critical situations such as occurred between 0210 and 0213 in AF447 and see if there are things that can be improved
  • Improve simulator training for unusual but possible situations
All of that could come out of this accident. But if we simply decide to say "the pitots done the deed" and end there, many other improvements might be lost.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 09:49
  #3365 (permalink)  
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JuggleDan;
Actually, even the bean counters may actually learn a few good things
. . .

I daresay there is hope yet!
I doubt it. Fought too many fights, seen enough studied ignoring of "inconvenient" data to believe any of that.

That's not to say they're not good - they are, and I know of dozens and dozens of ways that flight safety is protected, enhanced and otherwise "looked after". Otherwise the stats would be horrendous.

I don't focus on "beancounter parsimony". I focus on the propensity of very good, motivated people with earnest intentions and very high standards to normalize "normalizing the deviance". Airlines have extremely good safety records including the one I retired from - there are exceptionally good procedures in place to secure safe flight. That is not where the issues lie. The issues lie in being "satisficed" - proceeding with an air of satisfaction to the point where there may be a latent unwillingness to examine uncomfortable and even plainly inconvenient operational data. Seen it - been scared at the lack of curiosity or interest. Organizational issues are curious this way, and I will bet that Will Fraser was turning his attention to this much broader matter in the later posts given some of his comments on the "mileu" in which reports are written.

The story of an accident is not one of bad people doing poor work, or ordinary people succumbing to what Diane Vaughan termed, "amoral calculation" as in "what can we get away with?" That rarely happens in aviation, certainly not without result.

It is the story of earnest people trying to satisfy dozens of competing interests and priorities which, almost 100% of the time, are sorted benignly. The seeds of accidents are sown months, but more often years, before the occurence, in attitudes, in actions not taken and data not hearkened to.

These are not mysterious forces or anomalous contingencies. They are standard fare for any safety specialist, who will always wear a different pair of glasses than the operations managers and beancounters. The key is in the balance and that balance is set by a very active and robust two-way communication between those that must make money and those that ensure a safe operation. Over the decades I have become convinced that that conversation does not always take place.

PJ2
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 10:44
  #3366 (permalink)  

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JuggleDan

I daresay there is hope yet!
It never cease to amaze me how some "editing" can change the whole meaning of a newspaper article.
Actually, safety was a lot more on the minds of Air France people, including the pilot union SNPL / ALPA now , than a lot of posters think.
all...except our friends from Alter / Eurocockpit / rdio cockpit (they are the same people).
Back to the Figaro article,

Talking about safety, there is this passage, question and answer :

Qu'avez-vous vraiment changé depuis le très critique rapport Colin sur la sécurité aérienne ?

Je suis fier du rapport Colin, diffusé à tous les navigants de la compagnie, et qui montre que chez nous, il n'y a pas de tabous en matière de sécurité. En octobre 2005, nous avions confié à trois commandants de bord instructeurs d'Air France une mission d'analyse portant sur l'organisation et le fonctionnement de nos opérations aériennes. Depuis, il faut savoir que les recommandations de ce rapport ont été mises en œuvre dans tous les domaines : règles opérationnelles, organisation et sécurité des vols, formation des personnels navigants, exploitation et maintenance au sol.
I leave you to google translate that.
As an active witness / participant of the whole process, I find it quite insulting to find people with absolutely no idea on what an aircraft is made of, let alone how it operates, to emit judgments of value backed by nothing but a despicable agenda.
All the recorders of the airline - and I insist on the ALL - are systematically speed-read in order to detect (through a thorough and specific thresholding algorythm) mishaps, irregularities, deviations from SOPs, trends...etc... and the results are published in the bi-monthly air safety brochure, which every crew member receives. An Internet portal exists, parallel to the anonymous reporting system that exists in every serious airline.
In case one of this recordings shows a dangerous operation, the crew is called to explain the deviation and can ask for the legal help of the Union...The procedure can go a lot further, though rarely.
.....sorry, can't go further...
JuggleDan, the rant is not addressed to you.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 11:19
  #3367 (permalink)  
 
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Angel Close this thread?

Danny, did you think about closing this thread?

Since days and weeks a group of about 6 to 8 experts, some retired many years spend an incredible amount of time posting in this thread page after page.
Could it be they are just entertaining themselves? And PPRuNe readers by spreading endless theories. They often start: I HAVE NEVER FLOWN AN AC/AIRBUS/FBW.......,BUT I THINK THAT.....
I doubt most of them have ever seen an AIRBUS cockpit inside or have the slightest idea about FBW, much less AB FBW laws. One item finished it starts all over again: french-english "en ligne de vol" translations, BEA conspiracy, flat spin, VS separation and so on and so on. In between the same questions asked and answered weeks ago several times.
IMHO pilots with adequate background concerning AC accident investigation are not amused.

Last edited by Captain104; 9th Jul 2009 at 15:53. Reason: spelling
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 11:27
  #3368 (permalink)  
 
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Dear Captain104

Translation errors can be as deadly as pilot error.

I have learned a thing or two following this thread. It may be of some help to someone some day. We know not.

If I have injected bits of translation here, it was a perhaps clumsy attempt to thank you all for what I am learning here.

Please also note some non-native speakers of French or English in your industry may also find it useful and easy to remember because the vocabulary is presented in context instead of one term in a thousand on a laundry list of aeronautical terms.

Having been a moderator and forums administrator elsewhere, I can assure you there is nothing to stop the webmaster/owner(s) of this website from establishing closed/locked forums accessible only to the privileged.

Happy Skies, Sir!
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 11:31
  #3369 (permalink)  
 
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Surface Impact from BEA findings

Reading the BEA report/findings, and beyond linguistic barriers, I visualized the impact like this: http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6169/impact.jpg
(nose up a bit exagerated, tail crushed on the surface absorbing part of the kinetic energy, snapping off the VS, airframe broke in two points, one allowing at the rear of the a/c a massive/brutal water inflow that may have stripped off the clothes, another structural failure in the aera of the Galley G2).
Some of you have produced alternative scenarii (in particular to account for the distorsions observed on the VS) which may be better visualizations
Jeff
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 12:14
  #3370 (permalink)  
 
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From a humble PPL:
If no further items are recovered, especially the CVR & FDR, then I suspect that the final report can be little different from the Prelim report. Thus, and this keeps me glued to the thread, one or more of the 'heavyweights' posting here will have posited a scenario close to 100% accurate. We are sharing the same data apart from physical observation of the small amount of wreckage, and the autopsy reports.

Regarding the endless thread concerning 'ligne de vol': I have not read anyone offering the possibility that the pressure hull and main spar, plus remaining attachments, just happened to hit water horizontal and bottom-down, ie. it could have tumbled and rolled from FL300+. The initial wreckage spread would still have been compact, viz Lockerbie.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 12:31
  #3371 (permalink)  
 
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stress along the longitudinal axis ?

"Fragments of the walls of the flight crew rest module were crumpled and those of the ceiling were deformed downwards. The floor was curved under the effect of a strong upward pressure from below. The connecting brackets between the floor and the walls were bent backwards" (page 38 of the BEA report, my emph.)
------
I am trying to understand this backward bending of the brackets (and to understand whether the floor moved backward relatively to the walls, or the contrary ?). Are there available schematics showing these connecting brackets anywhere ?
Jeff
PS) maybe this aspect can help to discriminate between the gliding hypothesis - with a relatively high incidence ? - and a turbulent fall with a nose up ?

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Old 9th Jul 2009, 12:45
  #3372 (permalink)  
 
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JuggleDan

Still, I wonder if the fault lies with AF only... What about the EASA, what about the SNPL?... Sorry, if I keep reusing the same metaphor, but some guys were supposed to be watchmen there. "Watchmen", meaning people who's job is to keep watch: where were they?...
I don't follow what you mean

What were they supposed to watch?
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 12:48
  #3373 (permalink)  
 
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surplus1:
Me thinks the ultimate goal of automation is the eventual elimination of piloted aircraft. Think of the money that would save and you’ve just justified the cost. We’re a very long way from that but eventually it will be achieved and passengers will be quite happy with it assured as they will be that absolutely nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong.
I can't 100% say for certain, but I'd say that is in all likelihood utterly inaccurate. The men who worked in aviation software that I studied under and my peers who went into that industry were absolutely adamant that it was not, and in our lifetimes at the very least would never be the case.

The only group of people speculating "the end of manned passenger flight" during the advent of the A320 were the self-same media who are regularly and rightly pilloried on here for not knowing their arse from their elbow when it comes to aviation. They were also the ones who promulgated the misunderstanding that "the computers can override the pilot", "the Habsheim A320 computer [sic] thought it was going to land" and other sundry inaccuracies that nevertheless sent a frisson of outrage through the piloting community that has never completely gone away. Admittedly AI didn't help themselves in the early days, but the foot-in-mouth statements were made by senior management and sales executives, *not* the engineering staff.

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 9th Jul 2009 at 16:03.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 12:50
  #3374 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the endless thread concerning 'ligne de vol': I have not read anyone offering the possibility that the pressure hull and main spar, plus remaining attachments, just happened to hit water horizontal and bottom-down, ie. it could have tumbled and rolled from FL300+. The initial wreckage spread would still have been compact, viz Lockerbie.
Yes, this was spoken of the first day of the release of the prelim report, but got lost in the endless spin discussion.

metaphor = a falling leaf. How does it hit the ground?
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 13:06
  #3375 (permalink)  
 
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There are still a lot of options re sequence of events from the plane being in the air to the plane in the sea. Is there enough information to work backwards?

Re: The galley unit that was recovered - at some point this section left the aircraft through a hole/break that presumably was the same size or larger than the galley section itself.

Can this wreckage or any other of the pieces narrow the possibilities as to the type of impact with the water?
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 13:18
  #3376 (permalink)  
 
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How many pilots?

I know that there has been quite a bit of discussion about the whereabouts of the Captain at the time of the incident. Yet it has always been assumed/agreed that there were no less than two alert crew in the cockpit as per regulations.

I was just reading a UK CHIRP report: http://www.chirp.co.uk/Downloads/ATFB/ATFB90.pdf (page 12), about a worrying incident.

The flight concerned had four pilots, two went to the bunks for sleep.

The cabin crew were then instructed NOT to contact the cockpit at all, as a third pilot was taking a rest there!

So there was only one fully alert(?) pilot for at least some of that flight. The other, sleeping(?), pilot probably not much use should a sudden crisis arise.

I am not suggesting that this happened in this instance, but it does seem to rather diminish the discussions of assumed crewing rules and practices in this thread.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 14:04
  #3377 (permalink)  
 
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I believe one of two things happened: the plane crashed, or the plane did not crash.

Since the airplane has not yet been found intact, the plane did not crash.

This is a worthy contribution, almost as useful as this thread.

Long live aliens.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 15:23
  #3378 (permalink)  
 
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PARIS (AP) — More than 600 pieces of Air France Flight 447 are being sent from Brazil to France by ship to be studied further for clues to the June 1 crash, Airbus said Thursday.
...
She said the material will arrive in mid-July and be examined at a Defense Ministry aviation center in the southern city of Toulouse — where Airbus is headquartered — by French accident investigators and judicial police.
The Associated Press: Remains of Flight 447 en route to France for probe

Lengthy legal procedures in Brazil are slowing down a French inquiry into last month's Air France crash and Brazilian autopsy reports are still to be released, a French magistrate said on Wednesday.

French police sent by examining judges have visited the Brazilian institute charged with medical and legal examinations, but still lacked basic information related to Air France flight AF-447, which crashed into the Atlantic with 228 people aboard.

Authorities in Brazil have refused to hand their French counterparts the results of autopsies on 51 bodies, for example, as they had only begun so-called administrative proceedings and had not yet opened a formal judicial inquiry, he said.

"So from their point of view, they can't proceed with formal judicial cooperation," the judge said.
Brazilian delays slow Air France inquiry | World | Reuters
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 15:33
  #3379 (permalink)  
 
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Re: The galley unit that was recovered - at some point this section left the aircraft through a hole/break that presumably was the same size or larger than the galley section itself.

Can this wreckage or any other of the pieces narrow the possibilities as to the type of impact with the water?
I believe it does. It supports the analysis of belly down and nearly flat with little forward speed.

I guess that this is what the prelimin report is also saying, but I can't read french.

But for me, I'm only interested in stuff happening at altitude for the time being.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 15:50
  #3380 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe Brazil wants to be paid for its search and recovery efforts.
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