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AF447

Old 15th Sep 2009, 18:25
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AJ, I do not think your comment is fair to the people who have taken a lot of their time gathering facts and figures relating to AF447 demise. The BEA and AF are being very economical with the facts known to date, so there are those who try to use their knowledge and skill to enlighten us as best they can. We all want the BBs to be found.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 18:35
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fruitless

Promani,

I am just saying that this discussion will be fruitless at this point, with all that could be discussed effectively taken into account.

Nothing against the people who are cooperating here. It was just an advice.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 18:53
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No, AJ's right - useless

Well, without further data, I think it very fair to say that any additional comment here is either conjecture (of which every possible theory under the sun have certainly already been explored), or repetition (since most new posters don't seem inclined to read the 4000 odd posts that went before them).

If new analysis of existing data reveals something unnoticed previously, then fair enough, but really there has been nothing of value added for at least 2 weeks I'd venture.

- GY
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:05
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but really there has been nothing of value added for at least 2 weeks
I am sorry, but I do not completely agree. While information added may be repetitive or redundent, it still provides an ongoing understanding of what may have occured. At the least, it keeps the subject alive, under continuous review, and a thought provoker from those who fly the airplane. I fear there may be a complete likelyhood that neither recorder will be located. Perhaps additional pieces of the airplane may be recovered, but that will likly be the best one might expect. Thus, we are left with one option, to continue to develope a credible cause based on the facts as known todate. Sticking our head in the sand touting "thats been said before" is not the answer. I favor keeping the opinions flowing.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:21
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Pilots only...

whats curious to me is why in heaven's name the Autopsy reports havent been released.

Pilot (or maybe aircrew specific question)

If you start to feel a tightness in the chest, and notice blurring and/or eye pain what would you think?

or if you happened to notice a vague absent mindedness perhaps coupled with a thin watery nose (like rhinitis /allergy reaction) what would think of doing? (If anything?)
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:27
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Oh yeah. Lets keep the opinions going.

A post like that ought to get a few going.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:49
  #4387 (permalink)  
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Forgive the lack of application, but did we ever get a 'final' on the big panels washed up in W Africa?
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 19:56
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Ariane. (yes is less than 10 characters....)
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 21:01
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Cessnapuppy,

whats curious to me is why in heaven's name the Autopsy reports haven't been released.
That's what the BEA are asking, but then the politics and inter-government deals about what the BEA will say in its final report have yet to be sorted out. Guess who's holding the joker in their hand of cards? Yeah right!

mm43
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 21:51
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AJ is spot on.
*
200+ pages (and a lot of deleted posts) later, nothing has been uncovered that was not known already.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 22:11
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200+ pages (and a lot of deleted posts) later, nothing has been uncovered that was not known already
Double negatives are hard to decipher, but this one is worth remembering for future use
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 22:29
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Somehow I knew you would appreciate it.
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Old 15th Sep 2009, 22:42
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Guys, I apologize.

I re-read my earlier post this morning and realized it was a little harsh. We have a political mess over here in the colonies, and reading the morning papers always gets me riled up.

I did not mean that we should give up. Or even give up hope of finding the BB's. (Is that a double negative?)

I am pretty sure what I was posting was the frustration of not KNOWING yet. OK, there MAY be some politics involved, but not necessarily. I would hope that SOMEONE would spend whatever (impossible sums) of money to find my last words in a CVR, if that was all that was left to tell the story. There are large sums of money being spent to do as methodical a search as can be designed. It may not look it from here, but tougher underwater search tasks have been accomplished, eventually.

We will not know any more until the following order of retrieval is complete. CVR (I believe the answer is there), DFDR (may be some more data, but I doubt it). I am earnestly praying that the bus power lasted long enough to keep the boxes recording. The ACARS transmissions (from a relatively minor bus) lasted long enough to provide pretty much everything we know so far, so that fact that the ACARS bus was alive pretty late in the sequence gives GREAT hope of there being invaluable data in the CVR. Next would be complete autopsies, crash debris, an eyewitness or a survivor would be even spectacular. Sorry for the black humor, but I cannot think of another single thing that would tell the ending of this story.

I tell every one of my newbies that each and every word on our checklists are written in blood (even the 'Printed in China' at the very last page...). Having been involved with some of my many types from the very beginning, I could cite the incident/accident that spawned every item on the checklist.

There is an answer out there in the mid-Atlantic to learn from. It will be found. It must be found.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 03:25
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Hi,

saturnV do you agree with this ?

AF447 had only a TEMSI outdated of 24 hours.
What is the point to have old weather report for planning a flight?
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 12:25
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jcjeant

From the English version of the BEA report:

The part B meteorological charts were printed in black and white with the route traced by computer. The following charts were handed over to the crew:
the TEMSI chart valid on 1st June at 00 h 00 between FL 250 and FL 630,
the wind and temperature charts valid on 1st June at 00 h 00 at FL100, FL180, FL300, FL340 and FL390,
the CAT charts valid on 1st June at 00 h 00 at FL340 and FL390 (no clear air turbulence was forecast).

Part C of the flight dossier contained the TAF and METAR of the departure, destination and alternate airfields and relevant airfields on the route, including the ETOPS support airfields along with the SIGMET.

A dossier thus constituted meets the regulatory requirements.

The criteria for selecting a SIGMET in a flight dossier via EOLE are:
1. the FIR involved with regard to the planned route,
2. the validity at the time of printing of the set of documents.

Note: ICAO Annex 3 does not impose any requirements related to the selection of the SIGMETs

According to testimony, the request for the printing of part C of the flight dossier was made after the printing of parts A and B of the dossier and shortly before the arrival of the crew, i.e. between 19 h 00 and 20 h 00. The time of this transaction was not recorded. In this interval, the SIGMETs that satisfied the selection criteria were:
SIGMET 5 SBRE (RECIFE) of 31 May from 18 h 00 to 22 h 00
SIGMET 7 SBAO (ATLANTICO) of 31 May from 18 h 00 to 22 h 00
SIGMET 7 GOOO (Oceanic DAKAR) of 31 May from 16 h 35 to 20 h 35. The route of flight AF447 did not enter into the area of this SIGMET.

The crew also had the option of using a computer application (EOLE) to consult a colour screen showing other meteorological charts (particularly the tropopause and icing chart) and satellite photos and printing them in black and white.

Note: on the crew's OCTAVE flight plan there was additional turbulence information (SHEAR RATE) calculated according to the estimated wind gradient, between 0/1/2, weak and 7/8/9, strong. Between the NTL and CVS reporting points the highest value was 2, around point INTOL. This value did not take into account turbulence of convective origin.
The SIGMETs cited above were subsequently superseded by several other SIGMETs:

SIGMET 10 was then issued for the ATLANTICO FIR for the period from 31 May at 22 h 00 to 1st June at 2 h 00, reporting a forecast of stationary storms in the layer, with tops at FL400 [I've omitted the chart that shows the coordinates for this SIGMET.]

SIGMET 1 issued on 1st June for the ATLANTICO FIR, valid between 2 h 00 and 6 h 00, reported forecast stationary storms in the layer, with tops at FL380
If your point is that there is nothing in the BEA report indicating that the crew of AF447 were aware of SIGMETs 10 and 1, and their knowledge of significant weather enroute was apparently based to a large extent on SIGMET 7 which had expired at 2200 hours on May 31, then I would agree with your point in part.

I will note that there was the alerting message from dispatch at 0031 hours of convection between SALPU and TASIL. And this BEA report does not include any communications between flights preceding or immediately following AF 447 on this route and the ATLANTICO controller from 0133 hours to 0200 hours that AF447 might have overheard while it was on that frequency. (AF447 contacts with ATLANTICO lasted all of two minutes, from 0133 to 0135 hours, and without the CVR, we will not know whether they unsuccessfully tried to contact ATLANTICO after 0135, or switched frequencies to DAKAR early.)
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 13:10
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Reply to Donkey497 #4365: a lesson to be learned?

As pointed out within the posts of 4th July (In particular Rob21, post #2964) there should have been an 'automatic' mayday response to the circumstances on the AF447 situation. An automatic response should have happened because of the number of ACARS maintenance messages received within a few minutes, describing multiple system 'failures', ending with a message that could indicate a rapid descent; the AF maintenance centre could have instigated the SAR process within minutes, rather than others taking hours to realise that there was a problem! Introducing a 'panic' button will not help if there is no-one listening. But (as you hint) the monitoring and data gathering approach would certainly seem to need a serious upgrade. A possible starting point could be to replace the on-board FDR and CVR systems with real time data transmissions. If ACARS cannot cope/is too expensive to handle the volume of data or cannot deliver the required dependability, the Iridium system (Iridium) would seem to be an alternative. If such a data collection service were to be made available, automatic monitoring would be possible. For example, if an aircraft went off course or had an unscheduled change in Flight Level a low level alert could be generated; loss of a sequence of transmissions could generate a higher level alert. Replacing the FDR and CVR with a global data transmission capability should be a cost saving; as they are built to such a high spec, I'm sure that FDR do not come cheap. There should be a weight saving as well.
However, I believe such a change (plus other improvements in data gathering and analysis) is highly desirable purely from an aircraft safety perspective. It should be 'unacceptable' that aircraft may still be flying with possibly the same vulnerabilities that has already resulted in loss of aircraft, just because of the lack of adequate diagnostic data. We have the situation now that it might take a year (or never) to find the FDR; we are all living in hope that another aircraft is not lost to the same problem (or more likely combination of problems). The problem(s) could apply or not to Boeing and/or Airbus, to Goodrich and/or Thales, could be related to freak weather conditions or inadequate pilot training or something else. We just do not know, but we could, and should.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 16:36
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VicMel's post sums up why this thread can still be useful.

The most important reason we conduct thorough, and very expensive, investigations is to reduce the likelihood of a similar accident, through "lessons learned." In this case we have had confirmation of this lesson: Recovery of the all-important recorders is a herculean task in a deep ocean environment.

Recovery may not happen, or it may be that if the recorders are recovered, the data may be irretrievable due to the integrity of the boxes being compomised over time.

So, discussion of different data storage methods, possible in-flight transmission of CVR and FDR data, different structural and signalling requirements for the "boxes" are all valid and worthwhile. Having said that, the mods may well believe that such a discussion is more appropriate under a new thread on a different forum.

Grizz
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 18:58
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VicMel :
A possible starting point could be to replace the on-board FDR and CVR systems with real time data transmissions. If ACARS cannot cope/is too expensive to handle the volume of data or cannot deliver the required dependability, the Iridium system (Iridium) would seem to be an alternative. If such a data collection service were to be made available, automatic monitoring would be possible
This already exists. A Canadian company (Aeromechanical services) offer real time data streaming using Iridium for operators that want to pay for it.
So far only VVIP jets are customers .
Iridium rates are not cheap, and as you rightly said someone must be at the other end listening, 24/7 and able to take decisions ( like alerting SAR ), also expensive. It is all down to money as usual.
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 20:57
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I keep referring back to the Pulkovo 612 crash. You've got a super-experienced training captain, augmented by a navigator, who flew into some nasty weather and couldn't extricate themselves. I am sure their plane would be sending some funny error messages as it was spinning out of control, if it were so equipped, and people would be still coming up with all sorts of interesting theories abt what happened...
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Old 16th Sep 2009, 21:17
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Going around in the same fish bowl (year after year, wish you were here)

Augustus is right (with exception of mm43's recent interesting contributions)

With all due respect, wx info has been discussed some 1000 posts back in the first half of July. For ease of reference: # 3428 DB, #3430 PJ2, # 3433 SaturnV, # 3479 DB, 3482 SaturnV, # 3494 PJ2

Let's put our hopes on the 3rd search phase and let's get a life in the meantime.

DB
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