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AF 447 Thread No. 5

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AF 447 Thread No. 5

Old 21st Jul 2011, 00:40
  #561 (permalink)  
 
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They said no such thing.

Originally Posted by Bearfoil
BEA state the a/c did not begin to climb until she was passing through ten degrees NU.
Originally Posted by Bearfoil
"PF input RLNU.....at PITCH +10 the a/c began to climb"
HazelNuts39's post (#30), after which even a PPL would understand the impossibility of what the rewriting of BEA's words is claiming, should have laid this one to rest.

Parsing and out of thin air indeed.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 02:17
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Hi PJ2,

There was a post, #2062 by SaturnV on the R&N AF447 thread regarding the deviation ("Can you maybe go to the left?"). He posted a satellite weather overlay where this turn to the northwest occurred that was posted earlier by MM43. If this is at all somewhat accurate, it would appear they recognized the weather ahead (perhaps a little late) and were using their radar to shoot the gap between two CB's, the one on the right being slightly more significant than the one on the left. And as they did so, the turbulence increased and they reduced speed to MACH .80. They probably had no time to ask for a deviation at this point in time and it wouldn't appear they needed to deviate for very long.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 02:37
  #563 (permalink)  
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Hello Turbine D;
And as they did so, the turbulence increased and they reduced speed to MACH .80. They probably had no time to ask for a deviation at this point in time and it wouldn't appear they needed to deviate for very long.

Just some thoughts.
Entirely plausible, TD - Absence of communications for an ATC clearance to deviate for weather does have other explanations. As I mentioned, I've had to do it just once - SFO HF was terrible, (noisy and crowded), there was no such thing as "CPDLC" and we HAD to start the turn in the next ten miles. Rare, but it happens. Normally it's accompanied by a broadcast in-the-blind on 123.45 and possibly 121.5 but maybe it got really rough quickly - the need to bring back the Mach doesn't occur very often. The pitch-up may have a similar, plausible explanation, before it got out of hand, that turns out to be entirely different than what has been posited thus far. We'll know soon enough I hope.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 02:38
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Wow.

I'm disappointed I didn't get any response from pilots to my last question, but that isn't going to hold me back from saying I think some of you (Bearfoil) are appearing to be frighteningly closed to the notion that the airplane may well have been just fine, but the PF screwed the pooch.

Good grief man, from what we "know" so far, it's the most logical solution to all questions.

Now, why he might have done so leaves all sorts of questions to answer, but all of this mind numbingly tedious examination and re-examination of every nitty gritty detail of the aircraft and suppositions of failures can surely wait until the rest of the data is shown to us all?
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 03:44
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Originally Posted by PJ2
Hi airtren;

Perhaps we're talking past one another!
Are we?

... you can't just "decide" to climb, or descend to a new altitude or deviate off course for weather or anything else, without an ATC clearance unless there is an emergency.

They didn't get a clearance to climb but just pitched the aircraft upwards.

Therefore we have to conclude that the PFs intention, unchallenged by the PNF, was not to just climb to a higher altitude and level off.

Therefore his reasons for the pitch up lie elsewhere and that is what we need to find out.

And to drive a point home which I have been stating for some time now, when one loses the airspeed indications, one does NOT change pitch or power. As soon as one does that, one loses the pitch and power settings in which the aircraft was stable immediately prior to the loss of airspeed indications and very quickly loses situational awareness.

Without careful attention to attitude and power, loss of control can quickly result. A pitch-up of 15degrees in a transport aircraft operating at FL350, if held and not reduced, is, for all intents and purposes, a loss of control.

Whether the PNF knew about and understood what the PF was doing is not known and not discussed in the BEA Update. We will know, I hope, in the upcoming Report.

Does this help?

Yes it does.

You seem to feel very strongly about "not following a procedure/rule" being a reason of not being an "intentional" climb.

Yours, and the reason posted by Lonewoolf - no additional throttle during the climb - and above all - perhaps not a surprise to you - the energy conservation calculation showing that the kinetic energy at FL350 and FL375, based on the BEA text are matching the climb potential energy, showing that no additional power was applied, are convincing.

With the risk of repeating what was perhaps already said, the implication of the calculation results is that while it shows that no additional power/throttle was applied during the climb, it also shows that no additional energy came from outside the A/C, like from the air turbulence providing additional lift.

However, what the calculation cannot show, is weather the air turbulence had a downward gradient, adding a downward force to the A/C weight, and thus delaying the A/C pitch-up response to the NU command, in spite of the correct response of the control surfaces.

The effect of this can be that the PF entered a gradually more forceful NU command, proportional with the delay of the A/C response, which resulted at the time of the change of air turbulence gradient into a sudden, much more aggressive pitch than intended, and a more aggressive climb at 7000ft/min.

A factor of surprise for such a sudden response may have been the cause of the delay to the ND command, slowing the climbing vertical speed from 7000ft/min to 700ft/min.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 06:18
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Originally Posted by airtren #463
You seem to feel very strongly about "not following a procedure/rule" being a reason of not being an "intentional" climb.
Yes I do, and there is one simple reason: an airline pilot lives by SOPs and "flies by the book." There are no "individual actions" anymore, in the cockpit of a transport aircraft. Cockpit discipline and crew coordination and communication in normal and abnormal circumstances is what keeps everyone safe when something bad happens. Remove that and the flight is at risk. It is no more complicated than that.

I am aware that there may be "energy for the climb without pushing the thrust levers up a bit", but that misses the point entirely. No matter how it was done, any pitch-up at all is absolutely the wrong thing to have happen and the expectation is that it would be resisted with all necessary force on the stick to maintain level flight with the thrust unchanged.
Yours, and the reason posted by Lonewoolf - no additional throttle during the climb - and above all - perhaps not a surprise to you - the energy conservation calculation showing that the kinetic energy at FL350 and FL375, based on the BEA text are matching the climb potential energy, showing that no additional power was applied, are convincing.

With the risk of repeating what was perhaps already said, the implication of the calculation results is that while it shows that no additional power/throttle was applied during the climb, it also shows that no additional energy came from outside the A/C, like from the air turbulence providing additional lift.

However, what the calculation cannot show, is weather the air turbulence had a downward gradient, adding a downward force to the A/C weight, and thus delaying the A/C pitch-up response to the NU command, in spite of the correct response of the control surfaces.

The effect of this can be that the PF entered a gradually more forceful NU command, proportional with the delay of the A/C response, which resulted at the time of the change of air turbulence gradient into a sudden, much more aggressive pitch than intended, and a more aggressive climb at 7000ft/min.
Sorry airtren, I may be mis-reading your post but according to these paragraphs it appears that you believe that the pitch up itself was a necessary manoeuvre, and I cannot think of a single good reason why aft sidestick would be applied within seconds of the autopilot and autothrust disconnect. Assuming the event occurred in stable, level flight, it is unquestioningly the wrong response to a loss of airspeed information and a disconnection of the autopilot.

And while it is quite possible that the BEA Update did not include all communications between the PF and the PNF on a timeline, it appears to me that this pitch-up action took place unilaterally, without the PF announcing what he was doing, what the drill to be actioned was, an what the PNF was to do.

I am of the view, supported by the BEA Update that the aircraft was pitched up past 10 degrees attitude at FL350 and kept there with aft sidestick, instead of pushing the stick full forward and keeping it there as is the SOP for stall recovery.

Perhaps, as I have said, there are other reasons for the pitch up which were initially unintentional and beyond the immediate control of the PF. However, the BEA Update makes it clear that sidestick input was aft with a few momentary exceptions, commanding up elevator, from which the THS slowly followed up upon, as it was designed to do and the stick was held back during the approach to the stall and in the stall.

I think it is this initial pitch-up, and then the aft sidestick position at the entry into the stall and held during the stalled descent, with a momentary relaxation, that needs to be explained.

Last edited by Jetdriver; 21st Jul 2011 at 06:42.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 09:18
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Attitude faults

Originally Posted by xcitation
@Takata
Do you recall the posts that AF did not install all of the available backup steam guages option on this a/c?
As far as I can remember, this was all about the optional BUSS (Back Up Speed System) not installed on AF fleet. Hence, this is not related to inertial references or standby gauges. In this regard, AF opted for optional ISIS as a backup instrument display.

Originally Posted by xcitation
The report does not explicitly state attitude failure. However it does not state that attitude indactions were all displayed faithfully. FDR did not record speed on right PFD, so maybe not the attitude.
Actually, the BEA report #2 explicitly ruled out attitude failure:
Fact/findings: None of the messages present in the CFR indicate loss of displays or inertial information (attitudes)
This fact was not challenged by further findings, including CVR and DFDR readings. What the BEA is stating in the last note as being the current pitch angle, at certain time, is comming directly from the same source used by the pilots. Even if ADIRU 2 (F/O's source) is not recorded, the way the system monitors the attitude sources (IR references) is ruling out that it could be at any time in error with the other sources recorded (ADIRU 1 & 3).

Originally Posted by xcitation
The BEA report does show errors on both ADIRU and ISIS. Having read some other incidents I recall that Airbus can give bogus stall warnings and PFD degradation under certain ADIRU failures (those 2 Airbus incidents near the Australian radar station?). IMHO the scant BEA reports do not eliminate the possibility of a degraded attitude indicator on the right PFD.
The BEA reports, as well as the fault sequence analysis, is showing that no attitude degradation of the PFD and ISIS ever occured during this flight.
PFD and ISIS are displaying a lot of informations, each linked with various functions. The faulty functions recorded in the ACARS CFRs (current flight report) is showing faults unrelated with aircraft attitude.
- ISIS failure: what faulted was the Speed/Mach function; specifically (now with further avail. data), it is showing that static pressure was at one point higher than total pressure (pitot/static probe 3 related fault); this happened between 0211:00 and 0211:59 (at this point, aircraft had already reached its top climb, 38,000 ft, and was certainly stalling).
- ADRIRs failure: the one reported by IR parts of the 3 ADIRUS is also related to probe issues: it is pointing that either values of pressure altitude, barometric vertical speed and true airspeed were invalid on the three ADRs (possibly all three cited values were wrong). As above, this happened between 0211:00 and 0211:59, same remarks.

Beside, Quantas issues with a faulty ADIRU was also unrelated to IR faults.

Originally Posted by xcitation
The list of 7 reasons are purely speculative.
Right, but basic speculations should be based on the whole dataset, not discarding a single information or pushing wilde interpretations of automatized systems which are basically highly predictibles (because they have been built to behave like that, this is a very deterministic process, unlike crew actions).

Originally Posted by xcitation
Probably a better title is "possible contributing factors to a general nose up/stick back". I was struggling with imagining the crew spending nearly 4 minutes looking at the +15 deg pitch and giving it generally stick back - sometimes to the stops. Which scenario(s) would you envisage to explain this?
When one reads many other reports (in whatever context) about human behavior in stressful circumstances, this is not very hard to catch up that a wrong initial analysis may surely lead one to sustained wrong acts. Here "the Crew" is a too strong term as for explaining the first sequence until reaching max altitude. This lasted no more than 40-50 seconds, Captain was in his bunk and PNF was certainly very busy with systems checks rather than monitoring exactly what the PF was actually doing, not even talking about him making some cool headed instrument scans.

Last edited by takata; 21st Jul 2011 at 10:10.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 11:05
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Yours, and the reason posted by Lonewoolf - no additional throttle during the climb - and above all - perhaps not a surprise to you - the energy conservation calculation showing that the kinetic energy at FL350 and FL375, based on the BEA text are matching the climb potential energy, showing that no additional power was applied, are convincing.
Really?

A simple conservation of energy calculation would show that a 3000ft climb requires a loss of 260 Knots of true airspeed.

gH = 1/2 x (V^2) where V is the speed change and H is the height change
So in metric units V=SQRT(2 x 9.8 x 914)
V=133 metres per second (approx 260 Knots decrease)

And that assumes a 100% efficient energy transfer - not usually provided by an aerofoil heading deep into the back of the drag curve.

So I would not be so sure that there was not a significant input of lift from the surrounding environment.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 11:33
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TAKATA #565

So for a few seconds PNF was busy - doing what ever was necessary.
And PF was flying by SS, using those instruments without warning flags etc.
No one had the spare ability to scan, for this short time, or to notice that the THS ( which we never touch - we let it do its own thing...) has trimmed in only one direction, not cycling as usual -- a little NU followed by a little ND.

So PF was busy, too.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 11:43
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Dont Hang Up -

I think we have been around this one before. Hazlenuts39 has made a detailed analysis of airspeed in one of the previous threads.

I am mere SLF, but my maths says that kinetic energy would be based on TAS (kinetic energy does not know, or need to know, about air density).
A quick calculation on this basis would have the resulting speeds drop by about 20% for a ~900m climb - or about 260 knots (IAS) down to about 210. I believe this is consistent with the BEA report at the point that speeds returned?
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 11:57
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@Bear:

If aerodynamically stowed, and absent hydraulic pressure, can they flutter?
Not as advertised, it is kept stowed by hydraulic lock internally.
Of course after degradation internal leakage could be introduced but this
was youngest A330 in AF fleet (MSN 660 age:4years 3 months).
It's position remains monitored even if locked by FCPC/FCSC command.


Also, RTLU. Is Rudder centered before limit is ennabled?
In AP mode rudder trim is deactivated. as last step after Eng. startup any rudder trim should be zeroed.


RUD TRIM ............................................................ ............................................................ ......ZERO
If RUD TRIM position indication not at zero, press the RESET pushbutton.


RTLU and subsequent PTLU are active in all modes incl. AP, therefore deflection can never be more than RTLU will allow.

Any chance of (R) Rudder staying with the a/c all the way, without annunciated ECAM or ACARS rpt?

Not - by any change - for sure Rudder didn't departed while still in the air.


Absence of any other Rudder / Hydraulic / HF message would be proof VS was still attached before impact.
Besides that, the THS actuator (taking the loads) is attached to frames that came with the VS.
If VS departed early, THS would be gone too!

Frames 86 and 87: failure of the horizontal stabiliser actuator supports





If jammed at (Right) would there be any ECAM, since the Rudder has (limited) authority anyway? Would the deflection be accepted as an input, not an anomaly?

In C(abled) rudder there is a "F/CTL RUD G(B)(Y) SERVO JAM" if any faulted.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 11:59
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TAKATA #565
So for a few seconds PNF was busy - doing what ever was necessary.
And PF was flying by SS, using those instruments without warning flags etc.
No one had the spare ability to scan, for this short time, or to notice that the THS ( which we never touch - we let it do its own thing...) has trimmed in only one direction, not cycling as usual -- a little NU followed by a little ND.
So PF was busy, too.
Understand me well.
a) I'm addressing here the initial climb (pitch up) sequence => from 0210:05 to 0210:50 (45 seconds, during which altitude went from FL350 to FL375).

b) PF was flying by sidestick, but recieved from the start all the relevant PFD flags about his airspeed/flight law situation (he was not blind flying).

c) THS did nothing during this sequence, if adjusted, it would be by tenths of degree, not 10° (this happened during the stall sequence, much later).

d) PF was certainly fully busy at flying the aircraft : his roll (over)correction seems to have induced an oscillation which lasted until the top by rolling right and left, up to 10-12 degrees (left-right); there was at least a pitch up order, then later, insufficient ND orders to correct the pitch angle and climb trajectory (it continued until FL380).

e) I don't know more about respective actions taken by PF and PNF.

Last edited by takata; 21st Jul 2011 at 12:11.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 12:26
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airtren
What's this supposed to mean?
It means I better understand what you were telling me about how you experienced the altitude change.

The BEA text does not mention manual power/throttle changes during the climb time interval from FL350 to FL375. So, that makes the climb unintentional?
That would be my assessment.
Typically, when you undertake a climb, you change both power and attitude. (Or is that now taught differently? It's how I used to teach a climb ...)

Caveat: some have suggested that the PF thought he had an overspeed, based on display anomalies, so perhaps he thought to trade airspeed for altitude. Hard to say.

I don't think a type rated pilot at that altitude would (given the small window of suitable speeds) purposefully bleed off his airspeed to climb 3000 feet. I am of the opinion that a rated pilot would do as pilots are trained to do from day one: he'd use power and pitch attitude to perform a climb. Note, he'd been intending to climb earlier, as evidenced by their discussing why they could not climb yet due the temperatures not being suitable for an altitude change.

So yes, airtren, I am of the opinion that he climbed unintentionally. Granted, if his gauges showed a high airspeed, and an altitude less than FL 350, assigned altitude, you could argue that a stick only altitude correction (and airspeed correction) would be the response. (But wait, if you are in bumpy/turbulent air, you usually hold an attitude, you don't chase airspeed, nor altitude.)

Back to my old question: what did he see?
JD
Rolling the plane to the left with up elevator is, I believe, a left turn input. If I'm right why'd the plane go into a fairly tight right turn?
Or, left wing up, nose up, is a correction to a right wing down, nose low, attitude. Whence that attidude? Not sure, but I find A33zab's post of interest.
A33zab
The MLA becomes active when the side stick is pulled more than 8°, and the load factor is more than 2g, in which case:

- The ailerons are deflected symmetrically upwards:
Max 11° added to Roll demand, if any.
-Spoiler 4,5 & 6 are symmetrically deflected:
Max 9° added to Roll demand, if any.
- Deflection is proportional to load factor in excess of 2g.
With the above in mind, is there a good reason to believe that AF 447 experienced a g load > 2g? (Does this take us to intermittent and substantial updrafts and down drafts? They did expect to hit some turbulence,)

To follow that thought, are you suggeting a possible malfunction or degradation of the MLA function you spelled out?
(Hence, PF having to correct a roll in Alt Law ...)

If this happened, might it have left no audit trail in ACARS or FDR?

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 21st Jul 2011 at 12:59.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 12:31
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So I would not be so sure that there was not a significant input of lift from the surrounding environment.
you calculate with stopped turbines, (correct, a stone need a start speed of vertical 134 m/s to reach a delta-high of 914m against gravity...... he need 13,6 sec.)

but with decreasing speed during climb no longer every energie of the turbines is required against air drag, so they provide more energie into the kinetic system....
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 13:10
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In case anyone missed 3holelover's question
Q for Pilots:
This question I address to the pilots among you:

Assume you're in IMC cruise, at night, and expecting some turbulence... Your instruments start "acting up", your AP drops, your ECAM/EICAS starts showing a cascade of failures, your PFD is showing various flags and missing data, and what data is displayed looks wrong to you..... among the various messages are intermittent stall warnings, but your airspeed has already been notably erroneous or absent...

.... you start to feel light in your seat. ... you soon see altitude displays that appear as if you are indeed falling fast. ... ... ... If you were still experiencing something less than 1g, would you believe your aircraft is diving, or stalled?
Well, if I believed my attitude indicator ...

If my nose attitude was nose low, I'd believe diving.
If my nose attitude was nose up, I'd believe stalled.

If I didn't believe my attitude indicator, you ask a very good question, and I am not sure what my reaction would be.

Your question doesn't include any reference to my primary scan instrument.

Was that intentional?
and what data is displayed looks wrong to you
By the way, what's my back up Attitude indicator showing?

What is my copilot's attitude indicator showing?
I'd sure as hell ask him.

A few threads back, I discussed the problems of a spin on instruments. Not easy.

This scenario looks equally difficult.

Go back to the first thread on this crash.
One of the common answers provided then was "fly pitch and power"

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 21st Jul 2011 at 13:27.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 13:31
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PJ2 True, the ICAO Flight Plan......... SALPU at which a climb to FL370 was flight planned, with the Mach remaining at M0.82,

UN873 SALPU/M082F370
beside the missing ATC clearance to deviat.... if you follow the plan and do the climb from F350 to F370, with how much pitch would you normal do the climb?



and at what place behind SALPU did they start their climb?
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 13:34
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Takata

Thank you for making clear to me the lack of movement of the THS in this, the initial phase.

I made no suggestion about " blind flying" but I assumed that some at least of the relevant flags on the PDF about the relevant airspeed law situation had not appeared much prior to the pitch-up.

( An earlier generation accident report to a very different aircraft, had pointed out that a good ILS procedure had been done but with the ILS switched off... That was why they had had the accident. The pilot had been so used to seeing the OFF flag that, for him, it was "normal".)
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 14:10
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Thanks Lonewolf.

Was that intentional?
Yes. Partly because we don't know what he saw, and partly because his actions (the one's we've been told about so far) lend credence to the notion he either had no attitude display, or he may not have believed what he saw... and the only tidbits of conversation we know of express doubt: "we have no indications", "je ne comprend rien".

So if that primary display is either absent or doubted, there's my question. -if he did indeed see 40-60 degrees nose up, it would appear from his actions that he wasn't buying that. - and I can well imagine he was looking at a number of rather confusing things - including flagged or absent displays - that could have caused doubt...

Having only had ab-initio instrument flight training myself, I am aware, at least, that one needs to disregard what one "feels" the a/c is doing, and trust your instruments.... But when your confidence in those instruments has been shattered, I can see someone resorting to actions based on what their body tells them.
So, I wonder what most pilots would conclude from that feeling?

Hopefully the CVR will enlighten us as to any further talk of their displays...?
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 14:52
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Vague Verbiage

The BEA reports on 447 remind me of the US Constitution. The Constitution is sufficiently vague that we have a Supreme Court that continues to interpret its meaning 222 years later.
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Old 21st Jul 2011, 16:05
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Originally Posted by Graybeard
How come BEA didn't know the takeoff cg was 23% at time of first report? Why didn't they do your math?
23% is actually mentioned on P18 in the first interim report.
To be honest, I didn’t do any math, just practical observation. Maybe our BEA Experts will comment on how their estimated CG was that far …


Originally Posted by LandIT
it probably already is due to modified UAS procedures promulgated
Hopefully guys on the flight decks are discussing the event, but on the procedure side, nothing has changed. The very same confused UAS procedure remains … and remains ...

Originally Posted by takata
In our AF447 case, with a triple ADR fault, those protections are lost as well, and it seems very bad as they could have prevented this crash.
Where do you get that certainty of a triple ADR fault from ?
To the contrary, Low and High Speed Stabilities may well have been available.


I still believe that a BEA hastily release of raw data would have caused more harm than good. Many things really need to be checked and cross-checked before reporting them to the public. Without expert analysis, it may be very harmful to everybody. Any inquiry needs time, patience and in depth processing in order to avoid mistakes and wrong conclusions.
Conclusions, whatever they are, whenever they come, belong to the BEA, but thinking has to belong to everyone.
Right now, the real ones to suffer are the victim's families , and especially the pilot's families, thanks to the last BEA note ...
Forget about the public, forget about us, we're not suffering we're just technically captivated, victim's families are ... and it appears they are also the ones to request the data.
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