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AF447 wreckage found

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AF447 wreckage found

Old 24th May 2011, 09:41
  #421 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, exactly, but as airmen, we should be able to weigh the facts we have. If I leave the controls in a single pilot operation, that's quite certainly a contributing factor for the events that will unfold, probably even the cause. If the captain leaves the controls and the cockpit is still staffed with two pilots who are licensed and capable to fly the airplane, it becomes a non issue. Not worthy of (press) coverage.
Firstly, no criticism intended for this crew and CPT as we don't know all the facts yet.

However, (and I am trying to choose my words carefully here!) I know that when I am the Captain compared to the FO it "feels" different. The ultimate responsibility for safe operation rests with me. The FO(s) may well be more qualified and experienced than I am, just because one is Commander that doesn't mean I have all (or any) of the "answers".

What I am trying to say is that, for me, as the designated commander I will fight tooth and nail to keep me, my a/c and my passengers from meeting disaster. Please don't understand me - I am not saying that any FO wouldn't attempt to do the same but I am saying that, in extremis, it might make a difference although I am not saying this was necessarily the case here.
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:12
  #422 (permalink)  
 
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AGBagb post # 423

I can understand French, for those that cannot I guess we can translate the situation they found themselves in as "a crock of sh1t"

Being faced with a shedload of failure messages seems to be de rigeur in most Airbus whoopsies (Qantas A380 had a fairly lengthy novel to be perused if I remember)
Strikes me that when Airbus envisaged (or did they even bother? ) these scenarios, insufficient emphasis was given to just how much information the human part of the jigsaw can process and react to in a given (very short & critical) time period.

fireflybob, # 427

I know just what you mean, I guess it is a bit different if your oppo is pretty much as experienced as you,undoubtedly in ops like this the authority/experience gradient is much less steep than we experience in a short haul loco, but. . . . not so much the feeling I believe I would do better, just that disquieting sensation of being merely a passenger if I am in my bunk & it is all going to a can of worms up front.
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:26
  #423 (permalink)  
 
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Firstly, no criticism intended for this crew and CPT as we don't know all the facts yet.

However, (and I am trying to choose my words carefully here!) I know that when I am the Captain compared to the FO it "feels" different. The ultimate responsibility for safe operation rests with me. The FO(s) may well be more qualified and experienced than I am, just because one is Commander that doesn't mean I have all (or any) of the "answers".

What I am trying to say is that, for me, as the designated commander I will fight tooth and nail to keep me, my a/c and my passengers from meeting disaster. Please don't understand me - I am not saying that any FO wouldn't attempt to do the same but I am saying that, in extremis, it might make a difference although I am not saying this was necessarily the case here.
If I've ever seen carefully chosen words, here they are ;-)

Thanks. And yes, you may be right, the additional burden of "I am in charge, it's me who is responsible for those 228 souls" may make you think about options even harder. I don't know, few have ever been in that situation and live to tell.

N-TV, a German News TV has a clip that obviously completely reverses the course of events: the captain storms into the cockpit when it was already too late, shouting orders at the pilots flying and then the speed sensors iced up. DOH! That's what the public gets (Hinweise zur Air-France-Unglücksursache: Pilot war offenbar nicht im Cockpit - n-tv.de)

We know that there's press people looking at this forum and if they do, they better get "the other side" which should be level headed, factual discussion. Whether or not the captain's presence in the cockpit would have made a difference is not determined, wether or not the proficiency level of the PF and PNF were directly contributing to the accident is not determined (at least not publicly known).

What we all know is: they were presented with a situation that they ultimately could not turn around and rescue.

That N-TV clip also interviews an unnamed expert who claims that there is no reason he can see to go into a sharp ascent in the situation and he attributes that to a loss of situational awareness / to confusion in the cockpit.
As we know from the Birgenair case, clogged up pitot and descending static pressure is a great setup for an AP to pitch up. Given the weather they were going through, a considerable drop of static pressure is not at all impossible.

There's a lot of utter bullshit being reported about this right now. I'm sure the aircraft manufacturer is rather happy to get off the hook.
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:47
  #424 (permalink)  
 
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2 warmkiter:
What about FOs with 2000 hrs total and 2 years on type experience???
That's why I never sleep outside of the cockpit...... :-(((

P.S.: A week after the crash I told to my colleges that probably CP was on rest and FOs just missed the penetration into CB..... looks like I was right :-((
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Old 24th May 2011, 16:01
  #425 (permalink)  
 
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On AF447:
The captain, age 58, had 11000 hrs TT, qualified on the A330/340 in 2007, and had 1700 hrs on type.
One FO was 37, had 6600 hrs TT, qualified on the 330/340 in 2002, and had 2600 hrs on type.
The other FO was 32, had 3000 hrs TT, qualified on the 330/340 in 2008, and had 800 hrs on type.
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Old 24th May 2011, 16:15
  #426 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC - exact same quote with a different emphasis -


"Until now, it appeared that the crew of Flight AF 447 had steered the plane directly into a severe storm that eventually caused the speed sensors to ice over. But the flight path recorded by the black box reportedly shows that the crew had been trying to find the safest possible path through the storm front. They initially appear to have succeeded as the flight data doesn't contain any evidence of more severe turbulence."

Every event is "initially" successful, until it isn't.

The linkage between the airspeed issue, weather, turbulence, pitot static icing, upset, etc, still isn't 100% based on the reports being leaked.
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Old 24th May 2011, 16:16
  #427 (permalink)  
 
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@STS,
Re the German TV news item "Pilot was clearly not in the cockpit"...

This will be read by the public as "There obviously was no pilot in the cockpit".

The implied idea being: "Co-pilots ain't pilots, just minions.... when their chief and master leaves the cockpit even for a moment, the aircraft is just stumbling across the sky with only George in control, and two MS FS players looking on."

I think we can expect more of this rubbish in the coming days.....
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Old 24th May 2011, 16:25
  #428 (permalink)  
 
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AF447

Just received.

Black Boxes Point to Pilot Error
]By ANDY PASZTOR And DANIEL MICHAELS

(WSJ) The pilots of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean two years ago apparently became distracted with faulty airspeed indicators and failed to properly deal with other vital systems, including adjusting engine thrust, according to people familiar with preliminary findings from the plane's recorders.

The final moments inside the cockpit of the twin-engine Airbus A330, these people said, indicate the pilots seemingly were confused by alarms they received from various automated flight-control systems as the plane passed through some turbulence typical on the route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. They also faced unexpectedly heavy icing at 35,000 feet. Such icing is renowned for making airspeed-indicators and other external sensors unreliable.

Ultimately, despite the fact that primary cockpit displays functioned normally, the crew failed to follow standard procedures to maintain or increase thrust and keep the aircraft's nose level, while trouble-shooting and waiting for the airspeed sensors and related functions to return to normal, according to these people.

Slated to be disclosed by investigators on Friday, the sequence of events captured on the recorders is expected to highlight that the jet slowed dangerously shortly after the autopilot disconnected. The pilots almost immediately faced the beginning of what became a series of automation failures or disconnects related to problems with the plane's airspeed sensors, these people said.

The crew methodically tried to respond to the warnings, according to people familiar with the probe, but apparently had difficulty sorting out the warning messages, chimes and other cues while also keeping close track of essential displays showing engine power and aircraft trajectory.

Spokesmen for Air France, a unit of Air France-KLM, and Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., have declined to comment on any details of the investigation. Airbus last week, however, issued a bulletin reassuring airlines that the preliminary readout of the recorders hasn't prompted any "immediate recommendation" regarding the safety of the global A330 fleet. French investigators, who gave the green light for that statement, also have said their preliminary findings don't highlight any major system failures or malfunctions that could have caused the fatal dive.

The Air France pilots were never trained to handle precisely such an emergency, according to safety experts and a previous report by France's Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses, which is heading up the investigation. All 228 people aboard Flight 447 died in the accident.

The senior captain, Marc Dubois, appears to have been on a routine rest break in the cabin when the fatal chain of events started, according to safety experts familiar with the details, but the cockpit-voice recorder suggests he may have rushed back to the cockpit to join the other two Flight 447 pilots.

Though Friday's announcement won't provide final conclusions or specific causes, investigators believe Air France didn't train its pilots to cope with such automation problems in conjunction with a high-altitude aerodynamic stall, an emergency when the wings lose lift and the plane quickly becomes uncontrollable. Since the crash, Airbus and a number carriers, including Air France, have emphasized such training.

According to a report issued by French investigators in November 2009, Airbus identified 32 instances involving similar model jetliners between 2003 and 2009 in which external speed probes, known as pitot tubes, suffered ice buildup at high altitude and caused "erroneous air speed indications." Over the years, the same models also suffered numerous failures of external temperature-sensors because of icing. Both issues were known to Air France.

Most of the incidents with speed sensors involved probes similar to those on the A330 that crashed. Many were on Air France planes, according to the BEA report.

Friday's update follows sniping between senior officials of Air France and Airbus, usually close corporate allies, who in this case have tried to shift the blame for the accident to each other.

Air France began addressing problems with its pitot tubes almost a year before the crash. Amid several incidents in which air crews lost speed indication at high altitude during 2008, Air France reported the icing problems to Airbus. The two companies discussed solutions and Airbus talked to its supplier.

In April 2009, roughly 45 days before the crash, Airbus proposed that Air France swap out its pitot tubes for a different model believed to be less prone to icing, according to the BEA report. Air France began the work on April 27, 2009, and it received the first batch of new pitot tubes six days before the crash. The plane that crashed hadn't yet received the new equipment.

According to the 2009 report published by investigators after the crash, experts examined 13 other incidents of airspeed-sensor malfunctions on Airbus widebody jets at cruise altitudes. During most of those global incidents-none of which resulted in a crash-both the autopilots and automated engine-thrust systems disconnected on their own, and it took many of the flight crews up to a minute to manually adjust engine thrust.

The earlier report found that pilots in nine of those 13 events received warnings of an impending stall. And in a finding that may have particular relevance to the upcoming update, accident investigators in 2009 also concluded that when airspeed-sensor malfunctions kick off automated thrust controls, "the absence of appropriate manual adjustments" to engines "can present a risk" of a mismatch between power settings and the jet's orientation in the air.

Investigators began focusing on pitot problems from the start, because Flight 447's automated maintenance system broadcast 21 separate messages related to such malfunctions during roughly the last four minutes of the fatal flight. But the final report, which may not be released until 2012, also is expected to delve deeper into how European air-safety regulators dealt with persistent reports of pitot-tube icing prior to the crash.

The previous interim report indicated that in late March 2009, less than three months before the crash, European aviation regulators decided that the string of pitot-icing problems on widebody Airbus models wasn't serious enough to require mandatory replacement of pitot tubes
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Old 25th May 2011, 03:33
  #429 (permalink)  
 
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"I am in charge, it's me who is responsible for those 228 souls" may make you think about options even harder. I don't know, few have ever been in that situation and live to tell.
I agree that the press is running with this aspect of the crash to drum up sales/excitement. Having said that, the captains presence in the cockpit from the start may have helped "manage" the situation...lending a guiding hand and making sure SA was not lost, IMHO that would be his ultimate value...not physically flying, but commanding. Maybe in the future rest periods can be adjusted to compensate for weather situations etc....which can be critical aspects of flight as well as landing and takeoffs.
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Old 25th May 2011, 04:18
  #430 (permalink)  
 
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So seems that the more experienced F/O ,most likely in the LHS ,was trying to fly the a/c but also having to help out the inexperienced F/O (800 on type)
with dozens of chimes /bells/ messages etc...and ended up distracted and eventually losing control.

as we all know rule 1 : fly the airplane.however these guys were dealt a bad set of cards..particularly the less experienced F/O..they just got overwhelmed with the situation...one which they were not trained to cope with.
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Old 25th May 2011, 07:06
  #431 (permalink)  
 
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as we all know rule 1 : fly the airplane.however these guys were dealt a bad set of cards..particularly the less experienced F/O..they just got overwhelmed with the situation...one which they were not trained to cope with.
That seems to be the jist of what is coming out of this investigation. I would say a huge "wake-up call" for the industry...not just Air France and Airbus!
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Old 25th May 2011, 07:52
  #432 (permalink)  
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The other FO was 32, had 3000 hrs TT, qualified on the 330/340 in 2008, and had 800 hrs on type.
On another Forum someone mentioned that this FO was in the LH seat and there was confusion who was PF. Rumors or fact ?
We will know more tomorow hopefully.
Incidentally this FO was not ATPL, only CPL .
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Old 25th May 2011, 08:01
  #433 (permalink)  
 
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First of all I am a frequent SLF, although my Cessna 172 experience is about 30 years back.
In my car I am regularly checking my speedo with the GPS build into my iphone. AFAIK I also have a GPS speed on my PFD. I this correct or are all speeds on the displays coming from the pitot tubes ?
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Old 25th May 2011, 09:17
  #434 (permalink)  
 
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fendant:

FWIW and from a Boeing POV - Indicated Airspeed (IAS) on the Primary Flight displays (T-panel in old money) is from the pitots..

GPS ground speed and/or Inertially derived ground speed is usually available to be displayed somewhere if you need it, but it's probably not going to be in your instrument scan and obviously doesn't match IAS 1:1 at altitude, though they can give indications of a trend.

Last edited by wiggy; 25th May 2011 at 09:33.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:06
  #435 (permalink)  
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GPS will give you Ground speed, not IAS , stall protections are IAS based, not GS. A sudden change in GS could be due to wind/ windshear for instance, not indicating some failure .
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:58
  #436 (permalink)  
 
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A sudden change in GS could be due to wind/ windshear for instance, not indicating some failure .
Um, as an aside if you're talking about A330 size such as the AF aircraft hitting windshear then the G/S will tend to remain the same initially ( due to the "heavy's" momentum ) but there will be a sudden change in IAS.
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Old 25th May 2011, 12:30
  #437 (permalink)  
 
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I'd be very surprised if the LHS pilot was PF - in our company (also flying A330s, amongst others), if two FOs are upfront, only the RHS pilot can be PF. The reasoning being that an FO in the LHS most likely has no experience of handling that aircraft type from the LHS. Makes sense.

I'd presume the PF role was being done by the RHS pilot.
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Old 25th May 2011, 17:00
  #438 (permalink)  
 
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good point ....but can imagine a scenario where the least experienced pilot is in the rhs ..as pf ...but when the proverbial hits the fan ...then the more experienced f/o ,in the lhs , has to take over...hmmm well lets see on friday ...should be a little clearer..
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Old 25th May 2011, 17:34
  #439 (permalink)  
 
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Camel and Bucket -

Company's SOP is the Captain decides who the PIC is during his absence. If the experience level is similar it's often becomes the FO almost by default.

Had a flight to S. America where the reserve FO had low experience in the a/c and had never flown the a/c at max gross weight or been to S. America. Gave him the leg but the relief pilot was in charge during my absence.

Others have commented on how crew rest periods are done. At my company typically the PF picks first, then CA(if not PF), then the FO (if not PF), then the relief pilot. If the relief pilot is PF he gets to choose his break. All subject to change if difficult conditions are expected enroute, at which point my break will either be before, or after, the area of concern.

Last edited by misd-agin; 25th May 2011 at 17:35. Reason: added text for clarity
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Old 25th May 2011, 19:19
  #440 (permalink)  
 
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Cool

Hi,

hmmm well lets see on friday ...should be a little clearer..
I wonder if this will be verified the Friday 27 May .......

AF 447: What the BEA will not tell!
(Recovery: this note was posted on this blog June 11, 2009)
Those who pay attention to communications from BEA after an accident to know what method to use that body to convey its message.
BEA determines the direct cause of an accident and assigns it a number of contributing parameters. For example, in the report of the crash of the Fokker 28 of the company's Regional Pau January 25, 2007, the BEA said that the crash resulted from a loss of control during takeoff and that may have been contributed to the accident awareness limited risk associated with icing, a lack of awareness among the crew of procedures for checking the surface condition in icing conditions, the ordinary aspect of the flight etc.. In this example, the BEA has overshadowed the fatigue of the crew which was subjected to a short night and therefore insufficient rest.
This archaic method allows to rank the errors and thus give them a greater or lesser extent. In general, the BEA, the main cause is always the one who, chronologically, is the latest. It is the result of the crew. That is what the audience holds.
It is convenient to limit the mistakes in the cockpit. This avoids the question for example the operation of the company and the bodies responsible for control, recurrent defects of aircraft etc..
To explain the tragedy of Flight 447, the BEA will say that the main cause of the accident was the inability of drivers to maintain the A330 in its flight and that may have been contributed to the accident of defects Pitot probes and weather.
It is the sense of first communications from Airbus and EASA and probably "the option" chosen by the political power so that there is a minimum of collateral damage ...
Claim that an accident is the result of one cause is the misinformation. If the drivers make mistakes, no one can deny that they are not the only ones to commit.
Systemic analysis advocated by ICAO is the opposite: we must determine all the barriers that have failed in preventing the accident.



This is the model of REASON. It requires investigators to incorporate the latent causes in the chain of events leading to the accident. That is really annoying when it comes to protecting a manufacturer, administration, industry etc..

The latent causes ..., BEA does not know!

Yet there are some in this drama ...



Deficiencies · a supplier Airbus (Pitot probes)

· Deficiencies of feedback (BEA, Airbus, DGCA, EASA, Air France ...)

· Lack of "airworthiness directive" concerning the change of the probes (EASA)

Function of Air France (flight plan, weather parameters)

• Choice of business objectives (Air France)

· Culture of Security (Air)

· Etc..



But that BEA will not tell!

Note added date: Friday, BEA will describe a "context" (read the note of May 21 on this) which increased the workload of pilots and led to a reduction in their ability to control the flight of the A330. These are the terms used by EASA and the others in the AD as of August 10, 2009 he was acting to remove the pitot probe Thales SA in an emergency. So, nothing new that they already knew at the time ...
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