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AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1

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AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1

Old 14th Oct 2011, 20:40
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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The trick to recovering from a stall is to first recognize being in a stall, or entering one.

That critical step never seems to have been reached.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 20:48
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Northbeach View Post
...powerful corporations and even nations have a vested interest in the outcome. It doesn't matter whether it is Boeing or Airbus; European Union or the United States.
I'm not sure that's much of a factor in this case to be honest. If we were talking about a new airliner that the manufacturer had bet the company - and by extension the aerospace industry of the host nation(s) to produce, then it might be a factor (although experience has shown that the truth tends to out in the end, just ask the former board of McDonnell-Douglas).

But we're not - the A330 is already a successful airliner. It has been flying for 20 years, recouped it's costs years ago and has been proven to be as safe as pretty much any contemporary airliner you care to name, safer than the previous generation to a noticeable degree - and a large majority of the pilots who fly it speak very highly of it. In terms of legal responsibility, Airbus are already partially in the frame because of the pitot tube issues - there's no question that they will shoulder some responsibility so there's nothing to be gained by hiding anything at this point.

IMO the reason that the data in the report cannot be entirely unexpurgated is not because of any nefarious desire to protect any of the players involved, because the French government is going to be on the hook to pay out either way. It is because the report should only deal with the factors relevant to the conduct of the flight - which this book seems to contravene. There is nothing to be gained scientifically or in terms of aircraft safety by publishing lurid details of how confused and scared the crew were in those last few minutes, and I think even those trying to argue for the release of raw FDR data would agree with me there.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 21:06
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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MCP wazzer's

There's no mystery to any of this. The current generation of pilots being churned out can't actually fly, or will they ever be able to .They have had no practice or will they ever get any.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 21:15
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DC-ATE View Post
Don't know about this particular type of aircraft, but recovery from a deep stall is possible [from 10000 feet above ground] in a 737-200. Been there, done that !! No problem.
Were you trans-oceanic in night IMC in the middle of patches of turbulence? I'm pretty sure you wouldn't consider it "no problem" if you had been.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 21:23
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Believe it or not, Dozy, the conditions for 447 do not mitigate their performance. One knows, or one doesn't. DC-ATE is right. Good bad or indifferent, it shouldn't make any difference. To try to soften their foulup is a wheeze. If the conditions were sudden onset, or out of the ordinary, fine, some slack.

None is given. Eyes wide open, no room to hide. No excuses.

Stick to Computers.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 21:23
  #46 (permalink)  
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Don't know about this particular type of aircraft, but recovery from a deep stall is possible [from 10000 feet above ground] in a 737-200. Been there, done that !! No problem.

Is the Boeing 737 subject to true deep stalls?
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 21:43
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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IMO, the last few seconds of the CVR doesn't impact the 'why' or 'how' of this accident and is therefore irrelevant to the investigation outcome. Below 4000ft. they were obviously scared and in a state of panic. What would interest me is the time from departure to AP cutoff (dependent on length of the CVR which was reported to be over two hours in Interim Report #3) to answer the following questions:
1) During the early portion of the flight, were standard procedures followed including the mandated checklists, challenge/reply etc?
2) Did they follow all rules/regulations concerning a Sterile Cockpit (or would those apply to an Air France flight outside the U.S.)?
3) How did they use CRM in the early stages of the flight versus the abomination we see in the transcripts of the last 4 minutes?
4) Complete discussions on weather, route diversions, radar etc.
5) Any abnormal 'glitches' with the aircraft earlier in the flight.
6) Leadership by the Captain including delegation of responsibilities and if there was a professional environment in the cockpit or just a laissez-faire attitude.
7) Did the PF have any trouble remembering standard checklists early in the flight?

This is the one place I feel BEA isn't being totally forthcoming. They know these things are vital to the investigation but have refused to put the transcripts from early in the flight into the record. IMO, when you are dealing with an accident where the obvious cause is pilot error caused by poor training, the performance of those pilots earlier in the flight is VERY relevant.

Last edited by PuraVidaTransport; 14th Oct 2011 at 22:37.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 22:41
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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DozyWannabe-
Were you trans-oceanic in night IMC in the middle of patches of turbulence?
Well, we weren't trans-oceanic, but it was night, solid IMC.

-------------

Loose rivets-
Is the Boeing 737 subject to true deep stalls?
No, this was a training flight.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 22:46
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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looking for the cause(s) of the cabin confusion

From reading the available transcripts I get the feeling that the software played a role in disorienting the pilots.

My understanding is that as the pilots approached zero forward air speed, there was an audible alarm, but once the pilots achieved something near zero forward air speed the stall warning was silenced.

From then on, the warning was inverted. Pushing forward on the stick (and causing the plane to recover some air speed) caused the stall warnings to sound again. Pull back, the warnings are silenced.

Was this a contributing cause of the cabin confusion?
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 22:49
  #50 (permalink)  
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That slips to the side of the question. Is the B 737 subject to true deep stalls?


You see, were dealing with an aircraft that was mushing down, probably not due to some tendency to enter a true deep stall, but because man or machine (computer) was holding it into something resembling a deep stall.


I've slogged away at this question since the threads (plural) started. They have I think, been ignored, and the same reverence to deeps stalls keeps reappearing.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 22:52
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Cool

Hi,

DW
There is nothing to be gained scientifically or in terms of aircraft safety by publishing lurid details of how confused and scared the crew were in those last few minutes, and I think even those trying to argue for the release of raw FDR data would agree with me there.
I think the opposite
The full transcript is very important
Every word and every action counts, not just fragments of the 4 minutes
Moreover, the BEA is certainly a very busy analyzing (the panel human factors) the entire transcript (or at least the entire record available)
They will also certainly lead survey (if the BEA is serious investigation office) for the time schedule of the crew during the stop over in Brazil
All this as the result of an image of the state of mind .. rest and the seriousness of this crew
The last 4 minutes of the CVR show the result of the expertise of these pilots
This expertise has been acquired not a minute before disconnection of the AP
We must go back very far to examine the past of those pilots .. and then .. hours before the flight and flight hours after the departure of Rio are very important
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 22:53
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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@PuraVidaTransport:

The Interim Report No. 3 summarises the conduct of the flight and the crew perfectly adequately by the standards of any modern accident investigation report I've read.

In short, it states that nothing out of the ordinary was observed during the earlier portion of the flight with either the crew or the aircraft. No-one bar the crew entered the flight deck, nothing untoward happened with the aircraft. The only question mark over CRM concerns the apparent lack of specific role delegation when the Captain summoned the PNF in order to take his rest period, and the implication seems to have been that the Captain left the PF (junior F/O) in charge. This may or may not have affected the PNF's decision making during the accident sequence, but to me his apparent concern with getting the Captain back ASAP indicates that he felt his options were limited. Weather was clearly being discussed prior to the PNF's arrival (which is included in the BEA's transcript) and continued to be discussed with the PNF present prior to the accident sequence.

Because nothing out of the ordinary happened prior to the accident sequence, it is unlikely that the PF would have had trouble recalling memory items, as they are both rote and routine. Emergency memory items are a completely different case.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 22:57
  #53 (permalink)  
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Well, I've made my feelings clear. The psychology has to be dissected, just as a pathologist would dissect a cadaver - no part left unopened just because it might offend someone.

had trouble recalling memory items, as they are both rote and routine. Emergency memory items are a completely different case.
I don't know how long rote and routine checklist would have applied. the flying was fairly routine, though getting demanding, by the time checklists would have become appropriate, I think the slew of confusing data would have made them next to worthless. They needed to be calling on some sound airmanship in the relatively early stages.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 23:01
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Night, IMC stall training?

Where do we find such men?

(737 Max AOA with the column held full aft in a stall is somewhere around 17 degrees. FPV (if selected) never leaves the PFD pitch scale, however the HUD (if so equipped) FPV will drop to the bottom of the HUD FOV and be 'ghosted'.)
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 23:11
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Night, IMC stall training?
Ya...sounds like fun doesn't it? It wouldn't have been a problem except for ICE. The 737-200 did NOT have tail de-ice capability. I tried to explain our early stall indications to the instructor but it took the 'deep stall' to convince him. I looked over at him as we were falling after following the 'book' recovery procedure and he just did NOT know what to do. I merely pulled the throttles [excuse me; thrust levers] back, nose dropped, and I pulled out of it no problem.

But.....we digress.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 23:15
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Well, I've made my feelings clear. The psychology has to be dissected, just as a pathologist would dissect a cadaver - no part left unopened just because it might offend someone.
I agree absolutely, and I'm sure once the Human Factors team have done their work, they will release the necessary information, along with relevant excerpts of any available transcript.

The BEA have effectively said not to expect a final report until the middle of next year at the earliest, which suggests to me that they are indeed taking it very seriously. I'm not sure if people have got into their heads the idea that the investigation and release of material stops with the release of the last interim report, given some of what I'm reading here...

I don't know how long rote and routine checklist would have applied. the flying was fairly routine, though getting demanding, by the time checklists would have become appropriate, I think the slew of confusing data would have made them next to worthless. They needed to be calling on some sound airmanship in the relatively early stages.
Again, agreed totally. I was just attempting to point out that the ability or otherwise of the PF to recall routine memory checklists earlier in the flight (that the BEA have said nothing was amiss implies he had no problem) would have little to no bearing on his ability to recall emergency checklists.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 23:37
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Night, IMC stall training in ICING conditions.

17 degrees AOA is not a "deep stall" nor a persistent one. Are you referring to a "full" stall as opposed to "deep stall"?
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 23:45
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Well, IMHO, it was a DEEP stall.
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Old 14th Oct 2011, 23:57
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Dozy
My point was IF the PF had any problems with those well-used checklists, even a momentary lapse in responding, it would indicate to me he had problems with remembering checklists, especially emergency procedures which he rarely, if ever, used.
I'm having trouble finding where the BEA said everything was normal or that no one besides the crew entered the cockpit. I did find, in the Interim report 3 where the cockpit door was opened and closed several times and had been left open for "some time on several occasions" (page 25, English version).
This one example goes to the core of my previous argument. I may be wrong, but I doubt opening the cockpit door "several times" and the having "it stayed open for some time on several occasions" is standard procedure for Air France these days.
This one small notation from the BEA tells me the pilots were not following standard procedures with regard to the security of the cockpit door so what other procedures did they ignore. Without the CVR transcript release, we may not know.
My questions in this regard come from the Colgan 3407 investigation where the earlier parts of the CVR were instumental in establishing a cause, not just what happened in the last few minutes.
I too think that once the Final Report is ready, many of these questions will be answered but a release of the first part of the CVR shouldn't harm anyone or the memory of the pilots as it should have been just 'another day at the office' for them.
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 03:04
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They were an average crew on an average day. Maybe even above "average" when you consider their experience and the fact that they continued to try to understand the problem and regain control all the way down. Its not like it was just one pilot who couldn't figure it out; it was a sample of three.
Statistically then it is likely that most of the posters on this forum, thrown into the exact same circumstances, would also end up in the ocean. And I include myself in that, hand flying skills and all..
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