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AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1

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AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1

Old 16th Dec 2011, 09:58
  #841 (permalink)  
 
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Is there any other proof needed that a real captain needs to be sitting in the left seat?
Was it not the real captain who set the radar up?
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 10:57
  #842 (permalink)  
 
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Captain heard (briefly) STALLSTALL, then it ceased. The a/c was flying substantially faster than 60 knots. Having heard it, then its cessation, the Captain was done entertaining a STALL, at least due "WARNING".
Almost certainly a contributory factor that degraded the Captain's perception.


I am the captain on AF447, I enter the cockpit, the right seater maintains the yoke to his stomach.............I have here very serious indications what the problem is, don't you think ?
Yes, I think you would. The fact that the Captain could not see where the SS was being held is surely another contributory factor that degraded his ability to perceive the situation.


Last edited by clivewatson; 16th Dec 2011 at 11:48.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 12:06
  #843 (permalink)  
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We are in danger of going around in yet another 'Oozlum bird' circle, here, but once again - ignoring sidesticks, stall warnings, who is doing what and to whom etc, surely the sight of a nose high attitude (x 3?) and (3?) altimeters unwinding rapidly towards the sea is enough?

Basics?
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 12:22
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Pardon my Airbus ignorance, but is there no warning for dual input received anywhere?
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 13:42
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Yes - it is:

"Dual Input" sounds and two SIDESTICK PRIORITY lights at the glare shield come on
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 15:23
  #846 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BOAC
surely the sight of a nose high attitude (x 3?) and (3?) altimeters unwinding rapidly towards the sea is enough?

Basics?
Couldn't agree more.

Among the 3 in the front office, there must have been an active case of denial. Something along the lines of, "We can't be stalled, the computers must have gone bonkers."

None of them even voiced the suspicion of stall!
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 15:35
  #847 (permalink)  
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No one seems to put much emphasis into the fact that they drove the aircraft directly into an area of severe weather, most non Airbus people convinced that "if only it was a Boeing, with control feedback", etc., etc.

But if we look back at some other aircraft accidents such as the 757 with one blocked pitot tube, this crew did exactly the same thing, other accidents with multiple alarms, completely confused crews.

In the AF accident, multiple alarms and warnings, along with severe weather, brain overload.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 15:57
  #848 (permalink)  
 
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I wanted to add my experience of doing things in the airplane that you are not trained to do, and have never come up before.

I recently finished a training course on a glass, automated jet (NOT as new as the Airbus in question). While online, we had a directed go around, while in a non-standard configuration, quite far from the runway, after we had captured the localizer and glideslope.

ATC told us to do a left climbing turn to a heading and an altitude. While this situation would seem "easy", and it would have been in a DC-9 or a C-172, it was quite different in our automated cockpit. We never have trained for this, or seen it in the sim or online (and the capt had lots of online experience).

While we ended up doing what ATC required, there was quite a bit of confusion, and we had to cobble together a number of things before we had the automation turned back on again and everything was back to normal. It took us some debriefing time afterwards to figure out what would be the best course of action if the same thing happened again.

Note: This was a MUCH simpler situation than the A-330 crew experienced, but because we had no training of any kind for this manuever, and no one had ever seen it or thought about doing it, it was awkward, and a lot more complicated than it had to be. If we had seen this in the sim even once, it would have been 10 times easier.

I think in the future, setting up the sims and training to recover from a fully stalled situation is imperative. My understanding is that most simulators today cannot replicate a fully stalled situation.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 19:30
  #849 (permalink)  
 
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Pardon my Airbus ignorance, but is there no warning for dual input received anywhere?
"Dual Input" sounds and two SIDESTICK PRIORITY lights at the glare shield come on
AFAIK not always; it is (or at least used to be) a customer option.
Didn't it play a role in the Hamburg A320 tip strike incident? I thought LH didn't have them activated.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 19:55
  #850 (permalink)  
 
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Cliff said:
I think in the future, setting up the sims and training to recover from a fully stalled situation is imperative. My understanding is that most simulators today cannot replicate a fully stalled situation.
I agree, but the sims people have told us here in the thread that it's not possible due to a lack of real-world test data, IOW, no-one is willing to actually fly that.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 01:52
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Originally Posted by HN39
While I agree with your observation regarding the captain, are you proposing that a cockpit should be designed around this particular situation?
This particular situation is nothing else than one additional example how the sidestick concept as implemented by Airbus deprives a PNF or/and observers from a very valuable source of information.

Such sidestick concept
  • for single crew operation : anytime
  • for multi-crew operation : loss of information of great value

Why losing information of great value should be ignored ?

Why the BEA is unable to even discuss the point when the AAIB has openly acknowledged such loss ?
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 06:01
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Originally Posted by Dream Land
No one seems to put much emphasis into the fact that they drove the aircraft directly into an area of severe weather
For one very basic reason : they did NOT.
Please read again BEA report #2 :
Flight LH507 (B747-400) preceded flight AF447 by about twenty minutes at FL350.
The crew reported that it flew at the upper limit of the cloud layer and then in the clouds in the region of ORARO.
In this zone they saw green echoes on the radar on their path, which they avoided by changing their route by about ten nautical miles to the west.
While flying through this zone, which took about fifteen minutes, they felt moderate turbulence and did not observe any lightning.
They lowered their speed to the speed recommended in turbulent zones.
They saw bright St Elmo’s fire on the windshield on the left-hand side.
IMHO, this is very precisely the type of weather AF 447 went through with the very same crew reaction : speed reduced ; slight turn to the left (west) of the airway.
Please read BEA's #3 report :
the AP disconnected while the airplane was flying at the upper limit of a slightly turbulent cloud layer
@ captplaystation and many others : if each time there is this kind of weather on your route, you MUST not, as a captain, take your rest :
1) what do we train/pay F/O's for ?
2) won't the captain be exhausted at approach/landing time ?

Originally Posted by Dream Land
But if we look back at some other aircraft accidents such as the 757 with one blocked pitot tube, this crew did exactly the same thing, other accidents with multiple alarms, completely confused crews.
+1
Completely confused crews have (will ?) always been deadly.
Convective weather has nothing to do with crew confusion, icing conditions have a lot to do with blocked pitot tubes.

Another case of blocked tubes without "driving the aircraft directly into an area of severe weather" :
They [NWA 08 crew] reported that the main cell appeared to be about 25 miles north of their flight path. However, just prior to the event the airplane entered an area of cirrus clouds with light turbulence and moderate rain with a brief period of intense rain, and hail aloft....
See NTSB report # DCA09IA064 for more details.

Last edited by GerardC; 17th Dec 2011 at 06:20.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 06:24
  #853 (permalink)  
 
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I am confused.
W.i.t.h. Is nose forward?
Surely they mean release the back pressure, and un stall.
Or: Nose down and regain positive control,
or; pitch to level flight attitude and apply standard cruise epr/rpm/power.
Me thinks a lot of comments come from the armchair experts who have not yet soloed even in a pa 18.
The accident was tragic but something is missing in the translation.
Here is hoping that a lesson has been learnt so that it will not happen again in that manner.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 06:41
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From experience, on a high speed descent the master caution has illuminated to reduce v/s to let the cabin catch-up, then why didn't the Air France A330 caution appear if not earlier, in concurrence with their 10000fpm ROD? Surely the crew would have felt pressure in their ears?
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 11:56
  #855 (permalink)  
 
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GerardC, given that the area of weather concerned was probably the only significant one en-route & given the possibility for very severe weather in that area I think it shows lack of imagination to have chosen that moment to leave, having discussed the possibility of turbulence before leaving the flightdeck if I recall.
Some companies produce a schedule of suggested rest allocation to allow each crew.member their allocated due, however this may always be modified at Commanders discretion, & does not nullify his primary responsibility/authority to act to achieve the optimum safety levels.
One would have to suggest that going for his rest just prior to entering the ITCZ weather is neither acting as a Commander, nor utilising much imagination.
What quality of rest did he anyhow hope to achieve back in the bunk whilst getting bounced around, I can't personally imagine feeling very relaxed/rested, or maybe I am just a dinosaur that has seen too many inept attempts to control the aircraft in severe weather & decided I want to be personally involved in weather penetration.( &would, even more so, if I was flying a type with a known history of pitot icing problems)
I am all for CRM, & according trust commensurate with experience, however the one with the 4 stripes should never forget where the buck stops & what he is paid for. . . making Command Decisions. I find no argument to classify this choice to be absent at that moment as one of the better options available.
Easy to be wise after the event I know, but I would wager that a fair percentage of Capt's would hesitate to leave just prior to weather, penetration, in preference to biding their time a little.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 12:29
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Hope you guys don't mind me butting in here, but I wonder if the Capt new they were in a degraded law. Is there any explicit statement on the CRM to show that he did know ? Would have expected him to have gone over the loss of protections with the crew as a reminder if nothing else.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 12:45
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It strikes me from reading the CVR transcript that all 3 of them were in "Forrest Gump" mode, flying an A330 in a degraded mode was like a box of chocolates, & no-one really knew what they were getting.
At no point in the so far published inter flight-deck communications do I recall reading someone explicitly stating loss of valid airspeed info / Stall/rate of climb/ the magnitude of the altitude bust/the rate of descent/ the recovery action being taken. . . . . . horrible/unbelievable to say, they sounded completely confounded/dumbfounded & were apparently completely unable to assimilate what was happening/what was needed.
I don't doubt the contribution of the "wonder-plane" to this situation, but these guys were just totally overwhelmed by their situation & this is something Air France /Airbus / & those responsible for setting the syllabus for initial & reccurrent training will have to address with some vigour.
It is not acceptable/valid to suggest that these were 3 guys who showed a below average performance, the logical, & very disturbing conclusion, is that the "average" performance they demonstrated would appear to be the new norm, & THAT is the bullet the industry must bite if there is to be any good legacy achieved by those wasted lives.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 13:52
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from catplaystation....

I think it shows lack of imagination to have chosen that moment to leave, having discussed the possibility of turbulence before leaving the flightdeck if I recall.


.....absolutely with you 100%.

I don't use staff travel much now days...once in 10 years actually.... but if I did, I would MUCH prefer the Captain to be on the flight deck whilst crossing the ITCZ. Any F/O's upset by my remark, please remember that I spent many years observing men far greater than I will ever be negotiating this part of the World from that RHS position; your turn will come too.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 18:24
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From experience, on a high speed descent the master caution has illuminated to reduce v/s to let the cabin catch-up, then why didn't the Air France A330 caution appear if not earlier, in concurrence with their 10000fpm ROD? Surely the crew would have felt pressure in their ears?
It would have been one small voice among a cacophony of buzzers, alarms, chimes, and other computerized admonishments that were bombarding the crew over that period of a few minutes.

While I am unsure of the mention of this within the few pages of compressed data recordings and voluminous (and unrelated as to cause) ancillary data provided by the BEA, there was a leaked maintenance message sent via ACARS circa 02:14 regarding cabin rate.

Earlier suppositions were this advisory alarm was precipitated by a loss of ADR data to the pressurization system, but with the FDR information released, we now know that aircraft descent rate was the more likely trigger.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 21:31
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Surely the crew would have felt pressure in their ears?
And unfortunately .. also same pain feeling for the passengers and cabin crew ..
Sure the last minute was not a sweet ride for them
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