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Old 4th Jun 2009, 19:41
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,094

Fine! I'll start with some thoughful advice:

Just a reminder that this was a real aircraft carrying real people which really crashed in a real ocean due to some real cause - while flying in the vicinity of real weather. Winning points of logic or quoting more unnamed sources than the other guy does not - in the long run - count for anything in the face of the tragic reality. We aren't a Talmudic debating society, there is no jury to persuade, and a "convincing" argument will still carry no water if, in the end, it does not match up with the real event. Which, we hope, will eventually become clear(er).

"No Captain is going to go through thunderstorms to stay...". = "No Captain is going to let his airliner stall while talking to other cockpit personnel while the speed decays" (Schipol, Buffalo) = "No Captain is going to land downwind on a short, high-altitude, rainslick runway" (Toncontin) = "No Captain is going to take off on an unlighted runway less than 1/2 the required length for his aircraft." (Lexington). Never say never....

At this point, almost anything is "possible", far fewer things are "probable" consistent with the limited evidence, and only one is "correct".

BTW, as a sometime reporter (yes, I confess) I find most of the press accounts quoted so far dismally below standard. We'd never quote someone else's "unnamed" source because there is no direct way to determine that source's credibility. We'd rarely even quote another publication's report, because we'd have no idea how competent - or lazy - that publication's reporters were.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 20:21
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
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>>>one more to close raise ur hand<<<

[journo raises hand.]

I want facts. I read nearly all the speculation on the original post. Now we wait. Some people contributed wise information, but it's time to go for coffee and check AF every so often for solid info.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 20:32
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
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While I never subscribed to the notion that some threads in PPRuNe should be limited to "experts", I think it is time to require some kind of qualifying standards just like Bluecoat, AVSIG. The reputation of PPRuNe is on the line here and something has to be done to retain the level of expertise and intelligent, thoughtful discourse.

The focus should be on learning and enquiry as opposed to the diarhea that followed the re-opening of the thread. I think it is time to find some way to qualify participants for certain threads. Not most, but some - qualifying is a least another layer of entry which may assist in raising the level of the dialogue.

In a world that has flattened all experience, training and "time in" and which permits an unbridled, automatic disrespect of the thoughts, opinions and offerings of those who do this work including those who fly transport aircraft safely thousands of times every day without result, thanks to all the other unsung professionals, it is time to take back what Sully and others have shown to those who have no clue that they have no clue, what aviation itself has lost.

The internet experience and presence of "instant experts" have done a lot of serious damage, not to aviation but to society. They have neutered and otherwise destroyed through anonymity, the ability to feel, think and sense as a human being. In this, "pattern_is_full" is absolutely correct but then goes on to break his/her own rule. There were people, families, "our" families, on every accident we choose to discuss here and because we are anonymous and because we have been digitally separated from our humanity, we can proceed as if we are discussing an ordinary, everyday occurence. We are not.

We are not discussing dinner or when to pick up the kids from school, but it is absolutely plain from the nature of most contributions that many simply never read these threads beyond the page they're on and instead shove an oar in without the slightest bit of thought or feeling. In a thread and a forum which is serious about aviation and it's issues, that kind of discourse is simply unacceptable and at times, shameful. It is certainly not what I joined PPRuNe for.

From day one, the AF thread was and is, deeply embarrassing for those who are experienced professionals in aviation, engineering and human factors. It is time to come up with a fix that helps us retain the great value that has been PPRuNe.


Last edited by PJ2; 7th Jun 2009 at 08:16.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 20:56
  #4 (permalink)  
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I think I agree but, it has to be said, a new thread will appear after each exorcism 'cos that's the nature of the beast.

PJ2 is a much respected trainer and is fed upness is understandable but even that doesn't change the basic reason of PPRuNe.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 20:59
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
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By the way, French Air Force has just reported that most of the debris found by SAR didn't belong to AF 447. Fuel patch most probably comes from some ship dumping tank residue. Doesn't help.
Do you have a source for this at all? Who did they report this to?
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:05
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 53

Has everyone now discounted the Meteorite theory now ?

Clearly you are aware how much work these threads are causing for the mods yet you still chose to create a new persona and post this idiotic comment. Take a forum ban for a week, perhaps the temptation of this thread will have dissipated by the time you come back.

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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:09
  #7 (permalink)  

aka Capt PPRuNe
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No one has discounted a meteorite theory... or a bomb... or a fire... or aliens for that matter! What we will be discussing is known facts based on reliable sources and educated theorising.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:21
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
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Legislating for quality debate

PJ2, as a one-time PPL but full-time scholar of public discourse, I absolutely understand the frustration of informed professionals like you, but no amount of 'cleansing' is going to stop this. From my experience across many media, and from my observations of PPRuNe, you can't legislate for quality. Instead, IMHO, what works is the public availability of information sources that do not have a vested interest, such that competing views get fed into forums like this.

Compare this thread with the Buffalo Q400 thread, or the Hudson ditching. What characterises those threads is not that the people commenting were any less fallibly human, but that many of those fallible fellow-creatures who did leap in had instantaneous access to high quality, publicly-available tracking, ATC and other data direct from the sources. While even the Buffalo thread, nonetheless, descended at times into ill-informed nonsense about tail-stalls etc, the base level quality information was there.

Now look at things like the EK tailstrike incident at MEL. No publicly available data sources -- the only source was EK themselves and the Australian authorities, plus some quick-thinking MEL groundcrew -- and the quality there is likewise poor. The same is panning out in the AF447 case - little publicly available alternative sources of data with the notable exception of some fantastic meteo analysis. It is not surprising that the quality discussion is on the meteo facts, on which there is good, alternative-source data; the crap is based on information drip fed without alternatives by AF and the Brazilian military.

Given all that, we should either be lobbying for flight data to be publicly available worldwide; or we should give up and have some sort of professional pilots only forum. How you would get that is something I can't tell you; whether that would be a good thing, given the excellent meteo, engineering and retired pilot contributions made every day, is another matter entirely.

The short-term lesson -- if you're going to have a good quality discussion forum, pray no-one in the media finds it. Once they do, you not only attract them, you attract all the goons have made the AF447 discussion the mess it is today.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:26
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SEA (or better PAE)
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I assume the probability of all these "theories" is the same as the case of 3 (three) ADIRUs failing, close to 10exp-9 (for those of you better versed in the terminology). For others - 10exp-9 is close to 0. In general, reliability and maintainability analysis usually treats this as a non-existent case, only theoretically possible.

In addition, for all the speculations regarding structural capability of A330-200, documentation on certification of that article is widely available. Simply said this airplane was tested (and proven airworthy) as per relevant transport aircraft category requirements (Part 25). Everything outside of the tested envelope is purely theoretical and can be covered with additional documentation from delegated authority (EASA in this case).

Everything else is unfounded speculation.

Just 2p from the structural/certification side.

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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:28
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Posts: 13
AF447 SAR effort

At roughly 1300LT the first Brazilian Navy vessel to arrive at one of the debris fields (patrol ship NPa Grajau) began collecting items found floating in the water. Regrettably, none of the items could positively be identified as coming from AF447.

Among other items retrieved were a 1.2m x 1.2m wooden bed for pallets and two buoys - and none of these carried any sort of inscription, stencilled data or a mfg. plate indicating its origin.

Unfortunately, the Brazilian Navy press release does not clearly indicate which of the three debris fields was being surveyed by the NPa Grajau.

Tail Chase is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:29
  #11 (permalink)  
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I think Danny was right about the first thread. I think that's the first time I've said he was right about anything.

For the record, the "speed" story in Le Monde says ONLY that Airbus and BEA are going to issue a bulletin today (4th June) that Airbus crew should maintain thrust - conserver la poussée des réacteurs - during difficult weather conditions - en cas de conditions météorologiques difficiles.

That's the first paragraph. Everything else in the story is Brazilian newspapers quoting each other reporting the same bloody ACARS sequence everyone reported days ago. They also say that Alternate Law is an emergency power supply. Further, they say that the various Brazilian papers involved have really good sources in AF.

Well, I'd be stunned if anyone had better sources in AF or indeed in any other big French seminationalised industry than Le Monde, which is after all a Gaullist postwar national project itself, and like most of them does a damn good job.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:50
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I find post #2 by huskerdu very interesting indeed.

In other words, the oil spill has nothing to do with AF-447
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 21:54
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Has Airbus Industrie issued anything yet, and if so, is it in line with what Le Monde etc. is claimed to have published? If the theory is a reasonable explanation, I guess pilots understand what it implies, and it is exactly the sort of post-analysis theorising that Danny wants.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:11
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Foster City, California
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A plea from a non-professional viewer...

From a first-time (and probably last-time) poster:
While I earned an Aeronautical Engineering in France in the early 70's and saw lots of friends go work in the industry (Airbus, Boeing and all their subcontractors), I chose a different professional path (IT) and therefore would NOT dare to contribute any opinions or comments to this forum, as I have no working experience on most of the topics.
However, I have kept a fond interest in anything related to aviation, and while I have not kept up with all the technological progress of aviation, I have enough educational background on it to understand and learn, and I enjoy immensely the information, debates and arguments presented by the true professionals, even the barbs thrown at the French, the friendly rivalry between US and Europe, etc.
My plea is to not close the forum to non-professionals, but if you need to establish some type of credentials to allow posting and eliminate all the nonsense, to let the "rest of us" read the posts only, rather than exclude us altogether.
Thank you,
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:22
  #15 (permalink)  
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Has everyone now discounted the Meteorite theory now ?
The best way to find out, is email nasa @ NASA - Contact NASA as they near enougth keep track of anything bigger than a golf ball, so surely if somebody types them an email and asks if they tracked anything orbiting in the direction at LEO for a Re-Entry that would reach earths surface near enougth were AFR447 was, there might be a chance to prove that theory.

As I say NASA keep track of anything like this, with radars to help keep the ISS on its LEO out of the way, becuase at 25,000mph a golf ball could destroy the whole thing.

Just to add, something such as debris from the recent Sattelites de-orbitting, there trajectories place them in either the atlantic or pacific from there LEO to Re-entry to final phase.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:25
  #16 (permalink)  
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Grunf, I think you are referring to the design criteria of a failure per 10^9 operational hours. You also mention probability. The probability of all three ADIRU's failing at once is more like 10^9*10^9*10^9!
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:27
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Brings to mind a report I read last year of trash collecting in ocean current eddies. Perhaps that's what these debris spots are turning out to be.
That was probably about "Garbage Island" which is located in the Pacific. There have been a lot of articles on that recently as well as a few documentaries. If a plane went down there they would have a lot of trouble figuring out what is from the accident and what is just garbage floating out there.

Just a quick search shows that there are a few similar "oceanic gyres" in the Atlantic, though as yet there do not seem to be reports of garbage islands forming there - Oceanic Gyres - of course that does not mean they are not there.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:29
  #18 (permalink)  
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Accident Information Telex - Accident Information Telex

Subject: A330-200 AF447 accident

Airbus regrets to inform that an A330-200 aircraft operated by Air France has been involved lost over the Atlantic during flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, CDG on June 1st 2009.

The missing aircraft, registration number F-GZCP bearing MSN 660 was delivered to Air France in April 2005 and had logged over 18800 flight hours and 2500 flight cycles. It was powered by General Electric CF6-80E1 engines.

Preliminary report indicates that communication with the aircraft was lost over the Atlantic after approximately 3.5 hours since departure.
Further information is not available at this time. In particular the exact location of the aircraft has still to be identified.

According to available information, there were 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

In line with international ICAO Annex 13 convention, Airbus has offered full technical assistance to the investigation board which should be the French BEA (Bureau Enquêtes et Analyses) as the aircraft is registered in France and has been presumably lost over international waters.

The concerns and sympathy of Airbus go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident.

Further update will be provided as soon as reliable information is available and Airbus is authorised to release them.




This AIT is an update of the previous AIT n°1 concerning the AF447 accident into the Atlantic ocean on June 1st, 2009.

In line with the ICAO Annex 13 recommendations, the French investigation Board - BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses) is leading the technical investigation, with accredited representatives from the Brazilian Investigation Board and US NTSB, with Airbus providing technical support.

The following data have been approved for release by the French BEA.

The route of the aircraft was crossing a tropical multicell convective area at the time of the accident.

Failure/ maintenance messages have been transmitted automatically from the aircraft to the airline maintenance center.

The above mentionned messages indicate that there was inconsistency between the different measured airspeeds. Therefore and without prejudging the final outcome of the investigation, the data available leads Airbus to remind operators what are the applicable operational recommendations in case of unreliable airspeed indication.

The following operational procedures are available for the Airbus

Aircraft Type :

-A300: QRH 13.01 thru 13.03, FCOM 8.05.10;
-A310: QRH 13.01 thru 13.03, FCOM 2.05.80;
-A300-600: QRH 13.01 thru 13.03, FCOM 2.05.80;
-A318/A318/A320/A321 family: QRH 2.15 thru 2.18A, FCOM 3.02.34;
-A330/A340 Family: QRH 2.21 thru 2.23B , FCOM 3.02.34;
-A380: ECAM not-sensed procedures, FCOM - Procedures / ECAM

Abnormal and Emergency Procedures / 34 Navigation.

An update on the accident data will be provided as soon as further valuable information is approved for release by the Investigation Board.
-A300: QRH 13.01 thru 13.03, FCOM 8.05.10;
-A310: QRH 13.01 thru 13.03, FCOM 2.05.80;
-A300-600: QRH 13.01 thru 13.03, FCOM 2.05.80;
-A318/A318/A320/A321 family: QRH 2.15 thru 2.18A, FCOM 3.02.34;
-A330/A340 Family: QRH 2.21 thru 2.23B , FCOM 3.02.34;
-A380: ECAM not-sensed procedures, FCOM - Procedures / ECAM

Abnormal and Emergency Procedures / 34 Navigation.

An update on the accident data will be provided as soon as further valuable information is approved for release by the Investigation Board.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:29
  #19 (permalink)  
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A thoughtful and welcome post, thanks.

I don't advocate exclusion, nor do I think that "cleansing" is the right thing. The most important aspect of discourse of any kind is a willing suspension of judgement and ego in favour of thought-full curiosity. Implied in that stance is a wholesome respect for those that know more than one, (I very much include myself in the latter category because I have learned a great deal from others about my own profession - I even include non-specialists who ask intelligent, seeking questions without pronouncing from afar).

I realize the job of creating another layer of qualification is a headache and another layer of rules. It can be done and has been but the sad thing is, a lot of very good learning is lost to those who may benefit the most when a thread is locked away from them. How does one judge while keeping the prole-factor down?

The key here, and it cannot be controlled (nor should it) but it can be engendered in an air of expectant reserve, is a modicum of self-discipline and plain old manners; - but we live in an age when such personal, human qualities are not only eschewed but intentionally trampled upon because, it is perceived, that "in-yer-face" trumps courtesy in a badly mistaken notion that "loud and rude is right". Take a look at the model that all television and not just public atrocities like Fox, offer as examples of attention-getting, argument-for-the-sake-of-it. Geraldo is calm by today's standards, but we see such qualities right here and I think it is unacceptable behaviour, (that someone would even express this is, in itself, a foreign and even "controlling" notion to many).

The agenda, as I perceive it, is a serious discussion for aviation people of all backgrounds and for those with a serious interest which they nurture and not just shove out into the public sphere for the sake of filling silence. Such a discussion should welcome disagreement but not ego.

Such a change would go a long way to re-civilizing the public discourse, (fascinating topic in it's own right).

My plea is to not close the forum to non-professionals, but if you need to establish some type of credentials to allow posting and eliminate all the nonsense, to let the "rest of us" read the posts only, rather than exclude us altogether.
I have no say but that would be exactly my plea as well - perhaps even looser than that to keep the administration reasonable. For me there are no "the rest of us"; it's a subtle difference, a shift rather than a rule, that I would advocate.
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Old 4th Jun 2009, 22:50
  #20 (permalink)  

aka Capt PPRuNe
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Location: UK
Posts: 4,541
I'll post this one more time only...

This thread is about the AF447 crash. If you want to debate the pro's and con's of closed forums/threads or limiting them to whoever, then there are plenty of threads on this website where those debates have taken place. Use the search function.

The points have been made and now, any more posts that are not about the thread subject or are outside the guidelines I specified in the old thread then you are wasting your time posting on here.

The rest of the mods and I need a break from continual monitoring of this thread. There may be periods when there is no one monitoring it and hence some posts will be made that deserve to be deleted but won't be until a mod gets a chance to review it. Either report the post using the 'report a post' link (bottom left corner of every post) or else ignore it and it will be dealt with eventually. If you post a response about a post you think shouldn't be here we only have to go and delete that too and it makes extra work for us. So, if you find you've been banned from posting on a thread, you'll have some idea why.
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