Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

AF447

Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:00
  #3481 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: us
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
DutchBru

From this section:

1.17.1.4 Flight follow-up
The following operational information was exchanged via ACARS:
• at 22 h 51 the crew asked for and received the METAR of the Brazilian airfields of Belo Horizonte, Salvador de Bahia and Recife,
• at 0 h 31 dispatch sent the following message:
“BONJOUR AF447
METEO EN ROUTE SAILOR :
o PHOTO SAT DE 0000Z : CONVECTION ZCIT SALPU/TASIL
o PREVI CAT : NIL
SLTS DISPATCH”,
• at 0 h 33 the crew asked for and received the METAR and TAF of Paris Charles de Gaulle, San Salvador and Sal Amilcar airports,
• at 0 h 57 the crew inquired about the use of the second ETOPS backup aerodrome and dispatch replied at 1 h 02
• at 1 h 13 the crew asked for and received the Dakar, Nouakchott and Natal METAR and TAF,
• the regulatory bilateral contact before entering an ETOPS zone (SALPU, estimated at 1 h 48 by the crew) took place between 1 h 17 and 1 h 19.

Note: the crew could take the option of requesting SIGMET by ACARS. This functionality was not used by the crew.
SaturnV is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:18
  #3482 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Netherlands
Age: 54
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Radar failures and ACARS

Quick question - I can't remember this being discussed here.

If the weather radar suffers a failure on the A330, would that be reported by ACARS? In other words, is the absence of any ACARS reports regarding the weather radar firm evidence that the weather radar was functioning correctly prior to the crash? Or is it feasible that the radar had failed and hence the reason for the aircraft apparently not avoiding the weather?
PEHowland is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:21
  #3483 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SoCalif
Posts: 896
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We don't know that anybody was conscious in the cockpit after 01:35. If they were merely asleep, they would have been awakened some time, maybe shortly, before the 02:10 ACARS report.

Did the BEA or Brazilian authorities investigate the activities of the pilots in the hours before the accident thoroughly enough to rule out fatigue?

GB
Graybeard is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:22
  #3484 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pretty far away
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My point is that since the AF447 flight crew according to the BEA report did not ask for nor did they receive SIGMET updates by ACARS, they were disadvantaged in their awareness.
You are adressing a very valid issue here. More than often have I been the only one on board to worry about the sigmet's follow up. That isn't part of the compagny culture, although a recent document coming straight from the 777 chief pilot reminded everyone that it should be done.

Borges
I like the way you talk, you certainly don't mince your words.
The main reason why we don't get the exact aircraft's position more than every 10 minutes is because Pilot's unions are totally opposed to it. They are even allowed to disconnect the system if they feel like it. I know, we are in cloud cookoo land but it's the sad truth.
Why is that ?? Because pilots are scared management might be spying on them which is totally crazy. In short, it means that the owner of a 250 Mill $ aircraft isn't allowed to know his aircraft's exact positionwhen every truck owner in France knows exactly where his vehicule is.
Every 10 minutes means 80 NM and you will easily realize how so much more difficult it made the search and rescue operation.

TXL

You are right, a lot could be said about the compagny safety culture. To say there isn't any would be harsh but the smugness displayed by some crews is a fact and nothing is done about it.
Why is it so ?? Mainly because the upper levels of the compagny were so busy making Air France the major it's become, they didn't want Flight Op's and their very volatile pilots to rock the boat. For the last 15 years, the moto has been " Do not rock the boat and keep the pilots happy". Strike means losing customers hence losing money etc........... So, in essence we all were very happy. Compagny growing, fast and easy promotions, apple pie !!
No matter how compassionate or caring Mr Spinetta is, the sad fact remains that the words " accountable " and " responsability " have lost all meaning in the last 10 years.
What good does it do to have an audit producing the famous " Collin report " if the management and the pilots think they can go cherry picking and take what they like and leave the rest..........mainly the hurting bit.
Between 1969 and 1988 Air France didn't have any accident. Between 1988 et 2009 there's been 7 crashes. 2 frames were repaired, hence not appearing in the official statistics.
Between 1988 and 2009, Air France merged with 2 other airlines, both with their own very strong culture. At the same time the compagny grew so fast that it could barely find the pilots it needed and became therefore a lot less choosy than in the past. Bad choice.
There are however some outstanding blokes and of course, you never hear about them. These guys are totally pissed off right now and hope for some change while ploughing through. I am not holding my breath. I'm not talking about seeing the Flight Op's Vice president's head roll in the sand, what difference would it make ?? None !! As long as Mr Gourgeon doesn't decide to put his foot down and let the managers .............er............manage, we can just sit tight and wait for the next one to happen.
To be at the level of KLM or Cathay Pacific, we will need to be accident free for the next...............34 years !!! I find this a rather daunting task, given the circumstances.

Last edited by Me Myself; 11th Jul 2009 at 15:43.
Me Myself is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:45
  #3485 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SoCalif
Posts: 896
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Radar failures and ACARS

Good Question, Howland.

The Collins radar on the AF330 fleet is highly monitored, and since it's an essential system, any detected failure would be transmitted via ACARS so that maintenance would be prepared to fix it.

Possible undetected failures would include:

*Heavy coating of ice on the radome - highly unlikely.

*Antenna plate coming detached from its pedestal. It is attached by clamps held by two small bolts that are safety-wired. That one is pretty rare, too.

All other functions, including antenna drive position, are monitored, and hence any failure would be reported.

Water ingestion into the honeycomb structure of the radome may cause false targets, but will not get large enough to matter at altitude, once frozen.

The pilot, of course, has to engage the Wx radar to display, and has to adjust intensity of the Wx display, mode, and tilt. The radar range is the range selected for Navigation on the display. Those are normal functions not reported by ACARS, and therefore a missing link at this point.

GB

Last edited by Graybeard; 11th Jul 2009 at 15:50. Reason: of the radome
Graybeard is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:46
  #3486 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Manchester UK
Age: 80
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
An innocent question - please don't shoot me down.

Is it usual for a Captain to have far less A330 and SA experience than his F/O? Would there have been a human factors issue in which the Captain might have taken his rest during the critical period because he could/could not effectively exercise his seniority?

Or is it just a roster issue that the Captain acquired a more experienced crew than himself?
Dr Brian Evans is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:54
  #3487 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LA
Age: 74
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Did the BEA or Brazilian authorities investigate the activities of the pilots in the hours before the accident thoroughly enough to rule out fatigue?
In theory, yes. There is a section in the preliminary report describing very generally the activities of the pilots for the preceeding day or so. Whether that study was (or could have been) deep enough... ?
WhyIsThereAir is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:56
  #3488 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pretty far away
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Would there have been a human factors issue in which the Captain might have taken his rest during the critical period because he could/could not effectively exercise his seniority?
Fear not, I'll hold my fire )

It is common to have a less experienced Captain than his F/O. When you move from short haul to long haul you get to fly with more experienced F/O's on the type and on the network. You're not a yearling either. Usually, you will have spent 7/8 years as a long F/O before upgrading for command on short haul.
In the 447 case, the captain came from the former domestic carrier Air Inter and could only access long haul rather late in his carrier. Commenting on this would get me to shot on site so I'll pass. Thanks a bunch.
By no mean is it a problem to exercise your seniority and if he chose ( which we don't know ) to go and take his brake before the accident occured, this was entirely his decision.
Me Myself is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 15:58
  #3489 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AF Accident rate

Two points:
1. Arbitrary start date, 1988, moves Habsheim crash into the 1988-2009 period.
2. Wikipedia page says AF had 3 fatal hull losses in 1968-1969

... so you could say: AF had 4 accidents in 1968-1989 period and 6 in the 1990-2009 period. And that this doesn't take into account the increasing size of the airline over the period.

The point is: accidents are rare enough that they may or may not tell you anything about whether safety culture of AF has improved or decayed.

I don't have an axe to grind, and I don't know anything about AF (only flown with them a few times). But for any western airline it's nearly impossible to make meaningful statements about safety culture using hull loss statistics.

There's a more technical prob/stats explanation which I won't burden you with...
BryceM is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 16:09
  #3490 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pretty far away
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
... so you could say: AF had 4 accidents in 1968-1989 period and 6 in the 1990-2009 period. And that this doesn't take into account the increasing size of the airline over the period.
This is really far streched mate !! The last accident was in 1969 and nothing happened until 1988 which makes it a good 19 years.
The question that needs to be asked is :
How come we went from the horror show of the 1960's to the pretty good track record of the 70's and 80's.
I can partly answer that one. 2 of these 1960's crashes were the direct result of very poor CRM. I can remember flying with skippers who were F/O's during that period of time and you wouldn't believe the stories they had to tell.
Obviously, things were done during these 19 years and then..........well, the plot was lost.
Fast growth, if a factor, is not acceptable. AF isn't the only airline that grew fast in the last 20 years.
Me Myself is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 16:25
  #3491 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: China (CGO)
Age: 76
Posts: 164
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Me Myself

Borges...you certainly don't mince your words.
I do avoid wordmincing but most of my content here is pure translation presented in normal Verdana font. I lapse into ego-Verdana only in the absence of translation output. When posting a mix of me and output, I toggle myself into italics.

That said, I'd love to understand the pilot union rationale for such stealth-mode cruising!
ArthurBorges is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 16:30
  #3492 (permalink)  

Sun worshipper
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ArthurBorges

This is the most despicable piece of reporting I have ever seen...and radiococo and its subsidiaries euro ( !!!!) cockpit have quite a record of nastiness...They outdid themselves in terms of hateful anti BEA or AF agenda. Quite impressive, really.
I really am sorry that their so-called "work" is taken on this site more seriously than PH-KAR study or the more objective contributions of a few posters...

txl :
The "Spiegel" piece cites a three year old "internal AF report" that allegedly criticizes "insufficient security culture" at the French carrier.
Same tactics, here. Well known piece of news ( it's about the Colin report back in 2006 that audited the flight safety measures in the airlines).Gourgeon mentioned it in le "Figaro" interview of two days ago :
"... 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."


My ranslation :
"..What have you done since the Colin report which was full of critics on flight safety (measures) ?
I am proud of the Colin Report, dispatched to all flying personels of the airline, which shows that in our company, there is no taboo as far as safety is concerned. In October 2005 we charged three training captains with a mission of analysis of the organisation and the functioning of our air operations. Since then, it should be made known that this report recommendations have been implemented in all domains : operational rules, organisation and flight safety, crew training, ground operations and maintenance...

Interview HERE
As for the declaration COB Spinetta made :
" La sécurité de nos vols a été prise en défaut, il nous faut comprendre ce qui est arrivé", a-t-il ajouté. "Il nous faut comprendre pourquoi. Nous ne prétendons pas avoir tout bien fait", a dit M. Spinetta, à l'ouverture de l'assemblée générale des actionnaires d'Air France-KLM. "Il faut comprendre ce qui s'est passé, dire la vérité quelle qu'elle soit pour l'entreprise", a-t-il ajouté. "
or :
"the safety of our flights has been caught out. We have to understand what happened...We have to understand why. We don't pretend we've done everything right,said Mr Spinetta on the opening of the AF/KL AG...We have to understand what happened, tell the truth, whatever it is, for the airline..."
Interview Here

That's not quite what you're so keen on publishing :
Accoring to "Spiegel online", AF claims to have addressed these issues since the report was presented in June 2006. Still, AF/KLM Group Chief Jean-Cyril Spinetta is said to have told investors last week that AF is aware of its bad security record (wording by "Spiegel online", not a direct quote).
I'm glad that some people know the quality of journalism from der Spiegel :
I guess you know Der Spiegel. It has broken many big stories but its track record for accuracy in journalism is pretty sloppy.
Thanks, ArthurBorges.
On the other hand,
For starters, the AF/Air Inter merger was, for all legal purposes, the purchase of state-owned AF by privately-owned Air Inter: Air France is just a registered trademark.
is not correct.Air Inter came into AF's basket when UTA was merged with AF. The Air Inter shares UTA brought made AF the main shareholder.
As for the financial manipulation, just replace" Air Inter" with "UTA". It's true.

I just realised that a few posts have gone through while I was doing my research.
I don't agree with everything Me Myself has written but there is definitely some truth behind his words. Some of what he wrote can explain a lot on the Alter/Radiococo/Eurocockpit attitude (still a despicable attitude, though) and if we scratch the surface a bit more, we could find that these same guys wear a heavy load on the responsibility. If Me Myself is who I think he is, he could have a lot to tell.
Me, I'm callously out of that sort of discussion.

Last edited by Lemurian; 11th Jul 2009 at 16:48.
Lemurian is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 16:32
  #3493 (permalink)  
PJ2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: BC
Age: 76
Posts: 2,486
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Dutch Bru;
My point is that since the AF447 flight crew according to the BEA report did not ask for nor did they receive SIGMET updates by ACARS, they were disadvantaged in their awareness.
I would like to disagree and offer the view that this isn't something can easily be judged.

First, I would not like to think that just because a crew didn't ask for information that they were somehow "diadvantaged". We do not know what they were aware of; absence of requests is not evidence for absence of awareness.

As I stated, flight following is an airline dispatch function and part of that function is to send pertinent weather information via ACARS. It doesn't happen every trip nor does it need to.

A SIGMET is only an advisory. Awareness may begin with the receipt of same, but awareness of ITCZ weather is not predicated on such information.

The key understanding here and the reason I chose to respond is, we don't usually ask for SIGMETS enroute because we are already so-informed through our pre-flight briefing and are already well aware of air-mass weather enroute. It needs to be understood that SIGMENTS are not like ATIS messages which are issued every few minutes but in fact are usually hours old even when received for the first time in flight planning.

To be quite clear, no crew is relying solely upon the SIGMETS system for such awareness, and certainly not when transiting the ITCZ - I submit that crews would have the radar on from the top of climb on, and build continued awaress through radar scanning, watching outside and listening on the common frequency - if a crew or airline pilot is waiting for someone else to describe the weather ahead, s/he don't belong in the cockpit.

For these reasons, this crew would be at no disadvantage at all by "not requesting SIGMETS".

Planning weather diversions either early or when the line of thunderstorms begins to show on the 320nm scale is another matter. One does not strategize from SIGMETS except very broadly; operationally, one plans weather diversions using radar intelligently, based upon one's experience and knowledge. These are the areas in which questions should be asked, and I hasten to add that asking the question does not imply anything whatsoever.

PJ2
PJ2 is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 16:38
  #3494 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pretty far away
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That said, I'd love to understand the pilot union rationale for such stealth-mode cruising!
If you think of an answer, feel free to give me a call !! I think this is just plain crazy.
This being said, if you don'tknow France that much; one of its traits is the appallingly low level of trust in every corner of society. A very good book has been written about this. In short, one always think of the possibility of being screwed while negociating. More than often, this possibility becomes harsh reality.
If you take the germans, they sit around a table...................talk until the cows come home but do get a result called " agreement " which they immediatly implement right away. Everyone ends up happy.
Here, you sit around a table..............usually all night long because it is said that your opponent will break because of lack of sleep. An agreement is reached willy nilly. Everyone walks claiming having beaten the opponent and rushes home to find loopholes in the still warm out of the oven agreement in order not to implement it.
Maybe the thought of the boss knowing where you are at all times is just too much for some.
Had we had the actual position report, we would have found the wreckage and the black box giving us all the answers to that tragedy.
Instead, we blow tax payer's money with a nuclear submarine and an exploration vessel to find nothing, leaving us and more important the families, with unanswered questions and only unanswered questions. When I think about that, my blood is really up.

Last edited by Me Myself; 11th Jul 2009 at 17:01.
Me Myself is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 16:51
  #3495 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: us
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Graybeard, I believe the ADS-C reports are initiated by a human being. If so, the crew was alert in the cockpit at 0201.

Only three attempts were made to connect up to the Dakar centre ADS-C system and were recorded on 1st June at 1 h 33, 1 h 35 and 2 h 01. The three requests were refused with a FAK4 code,....
SaturnV is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 17:15
  #3496 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Orlando, FL, USA
Posts: 108
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't suppose there could be any chance that the German report is more of an indicator that Germans don't like Frenchmen than anything else?

Frenchmen are 'arrogant', Brits are 'arrogant', Americans are 'arrogant' and Russians, of course, don't know what they're doing - that's why their airplanes crash.

Germans? Well we all know there is just nothing arrogant about a German, now is there? Germans are more perfect than anyone. Lufthansa would never lose an airplane due to its "safety culture". That's impossible!

Give me a break, please. Der Spiegel should keep its politics out of accident investigation.
surplus1 is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 17:18
  #3497 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tomsk, Russia
Posts: 683
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
ADNL Fuel

@ #3471 (2009-07-11, 06:10, amdt 13:53) - PickyPerkins:

So, it had 940 kg additional fuel.

...

Looking at the fuel planning, it looks as though the Captain thought it was
likely that he might have to deviate for weather. [13:53]
Thanks for clearing this up. There was a suggestion in the earlier thread that the IB crew were privy to AF taking 2000 kg additional fuel. Viz,


[...] They spoke to the Air France crew at Rio airport, while in the passport
contro queue. They said they were very likeable and were laughing with the
"sobrecargo"?, which made this more of a shock for him. While in flight
despatch he saw that the area in question was very complicated due to
bad weather and decided to 2000 extra Kgs of fuel, foreseeing that
he would have to deviate quite a lot. [...]
-- Page 45, Post # 889 by skywreck (2009-06-04, 14:45).
selfin is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 17:32
  #3498 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LA
Age: 74
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> There was a suggestion in the earlier thread that the IB crew were privy to AF taking 2000 kg additional fuel. Viz,

I read the report of the IB crew as saying they had decided to take on the additional 2000 kg of fuel. AF of course took on about half that.
WhyIsThereAir is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 17:36
  #3499 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pretty far away
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't suppose there could be any chance that the German report is more of an indicator that Germans don't like Frenchmen than anything else?
Nope !!! This means Der Spiegel is notoriously anti french and has been known so for years. This being said, it remains a very good weekly that I read religiously every week.
Like it or not, there are national traits. I see it every day I'm on the job.
A list of the most and least agreable customers was put up by world hoteliers.
Most likable ?? Japanese, Brits and Canadian. They are supposed to be courteous and are not too fussy about prices ( Although the brits.....) )
Least ?? The french behind..................????? The Greeks and the Turks !!! They are supposed to be impolite, fussy and very stingy as they very rarely tip !!
You'll find that on the net.

Yes, national culture plays a big part in airline safety. It has been eloquently described by an Australian professor at the university of Newcastle NSW. Too bad I forgot his name, but he did make a telling parallel between the rate of accidents and the culture of the airlines concerned.
At the top of the pile were the australians and this, due mainly to the very no fuss, tell it as it is culture.
At the bottom of the pile, asians and south americans where the sense of hierarchy is very strong and sometimes paralyzing.
I'm sure you can find this on the net somewhere.

Lufthansa would never lose an airplane due to its "safety culture". That's impossible!
Well, old boy, they haven't since 1999 and prior to that the last accident was in 1974 or 77. Anyway, hoodle ago.
It is said germans are boring but I tell you, in this line of work, you have to be a bit of a bore. You know, like doing things exactly as they are supposed to be done again and again. Look at the safe side.........and the germans are very good at that, look at their cars !
The flamboyant type as we all know, usually ends up hurting himself.

Last edited by Me Myself; 11th Jul 2009 at 17:47.
Me Myself is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2009, 17:46
  #3500 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ADS-C Reports

No. ADS-C reports are set up by the ground. A typical FANS1/A installation can handle up to 4 ATC ADS-C requests plus one from the operators AOC (Airline Operational Control) centre.

ADS-C is kind of like a transponder. The crew have nothing to do with it except to enable the function. They can also disable ADS-C reports. They cannot alter the content of such a report.

An excellent desription of ADS-C is available at ADS
FLY400 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.