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AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1

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AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1

Old 23rd Dec 2011, 17:24
  #921 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC,

If its like my previous company the Acting PIC (relief Capt) could only act in that role if they were sat in their trained seat. i.e f/o will be APIC & PF in the RHS.
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Old 23rd Dec 2011, 17:25
  #922 (permalink)  
 
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Whatever his licenses say, 228 people think that this pilot was unqualified.

I do strongly believe that the AB interface was a contributory factor, but a pilot well-trained in all phases of hand-flying would likely have saved the day.

As for seating protocol, when one is about to die, WHO CARES???

(Just adding a new factor to argue about.
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Old 23rd Dec 2011, 17:27
  #923 (permalink)  
 
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Gerard C and BOAC:

I seem to recall that there was a segment of CVR that showed Commander Dubois asking PF FO Bonin if he was qualified to fly as PIC, to which Bonin said yes. IIRC all that, Dubois then told Bonin in RHS that he was in charge.

I canít find the CVR transcript portion with that in, but if Iím wrong no doubt somebody will correct me.
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Old 23rd Dec 2011, 18:57
  #924 (permalink)  
 
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ChrisN;

The following is the first para on page 73 of BEA's Interim Report No.3 :-
A little after 1 h 52, the turbulence stopped. The copilot drew the Captainís attention to the value of REC MAX, which then reached FL 375. The Captain made no comment and, a few moments later, he woke the second copilot, said he was taking his place, and asked the copilot in the right seat if he had a commercial pilot license. He thus ensured that he was qualified to act as relief and implicitly designated him as relief pilot. This question to the copilot probably meant that the issue of the relief pilot for the Captain had not been raised during the briefing before the flight.
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Old 23rd Dec 2011, 19:05
  #925 (permalink)  
 
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1) PF did hold a valid ATPL since aug 3rd 2007 (see BEA interim report #3 page 15).
I will always ask (until the BEA final report) why this partcular point was not specified in the interim report Nį1 page 17 (report published BEFORE the FDR-CVR recovery) ?

1.5.1.3 Co-pilot
Male, aged 32
 Professional pilotís FCL license (CPL) issued on 23 April 2001
 Multi-engine instrument type rating (IR ME) issued on 16 October 2001
 ATPL theory obtained in September 2000
 Airbus A340 type rating issued on 26 February 2008
 Line oriented flight training completed 9 June 2008
 Airbus A330 type rating issued on 1st
December 2008
 Line oriented flight training completed 22 December 2008
 Other type ratings: Airbus A320 issued on 7 September 2004
 Medical certificate (class 1) issued on 24 October 2008, valid until 31 October
2009 with compulsory wearing of corrective lenses
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Old 23rd Dec 2011, 19:10
  #926 (permalink)  
 
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MM43, thanks. That was probably what I was recalling.
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Old 24th Dec 2011, 16:51
  #927 (permalink)  
 
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Captplaystation: "Some on here seem to have problems with that & think" all crew should be capable of flying" / "crew must respect the rest allocation to be rested for arrival" etc.
I don't think this situation was one where respecting anyones sensibilities was of any importance, the most senior guy (who is payed to be in charge/paid to ensure safety) should have taken a hold of the damn thing. . . on the 2nd point, the arrival, & how rested you feel for it,is of little relevance, if, in the meantime, you dump the ship in the ocean."
-----------------
Thanks for that, I find it convincing. I had felt that the Captain probably didn't have the time and information to take a front seat and assume command but it seems that many experienced pilots here take a different view.

Certainly as pilots we are all trained to analyze and deal with unusual attitudes in a few seconds, under the hood at the very least. I've never had to deal with an unusual attitude in clag but I hope I'd benefit from my training, even as an humble 172 IR pilot.

Good discussion.

Last edited by SDFlyer; 24th Dec 2011 at 17:02.
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 12:01
  #928 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know if it has been discussed but could someone tell me what kind of seat-of-the-pants sensation the pilots were experiencing with a 10,000fpm descent? Were they in a "steady-state" of some kind with no sensations?

I know this is probably a matter of physics.

Furthermore, it would seem that there was very little wind noise on the flight deck given the lack of forward speed. Another vital clue missed?
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 16:21
  #929 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by maajam
what kind of seat-of-the-pants sensation the pilots were experiencing with a 10,000fpm descent? Were they in a "steady-state" of some kind with no sensations?

...it would seem that there was very little wind noise on the flight deck given the lack of forward speed.
Once stabilized in the 10,000 fpm descent, they were experiencing ~1 g. Since the aircraft was generating much less lift with the wings and much more drag with the fuselage (a form of lift since their velocity vector was pointed very downward) the direction of the 1 g would be biased off toward the direction of any bank, but because the aircraft was still generating some lift with the wings, the 1 g vector did not point to the center of the earth. So 60 degrees of bank may have felt like ~25 degrees of lean.

There was a leaked statement regarding noise level in the cockpit. Apparently the airflow around the cockpit was very tubulent and generated significant airstream noise. Probably the genesis of PF's comment about having some "crazy speed".
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 20:21
  #930 (permalink)  
 
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very interesting. So after an initial sense of falling (after they reached their crazy 7,000fpm climb to FL375 and then dropped at -10,00fpm) with the inflexion attributed perhaps to turbulence, I take it to mean that there were no sensations?

And the captain could walk back from his rest bunk and into the cockpit while all this was going on?

Pretty incredible.
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 20:49
  #931 (permalink)  
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maajam

I take it to mean that there were no sensations?
I think you have that a touch wrong.

The 7000 ft/min climb followed by a 10,000 ft/min descent, plus turbulence, would have had me out of the bunk like a shot.

Of course once established in the 1g environment of a 10.000 ft/min descent I would easily walk to the flight deck.

Then I would try to understand what was happening - not easy having just woken up with probably less than 2 mins to impact (correct me if I am wrong).
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 22:12
  #932 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting post. If you look at the FDR output, any conscious pilot would surely have been aware of the remarkable accelerations associated with the zoom climb and initial descent. If the Captain was awake you would hope he would have taken this awareness with him into the cockpit.

If he was indeed aware, it's a great pity a certain explanation didn't occur to him (or so it seems from the CVR) - at least to the extent of making specific inquiries and taking the obvious actions to save the ship if necessary. The generous interpretation is that he was utterly naive about events preceding his entry into the cockpit. What if anything do we know about his state of consciousness at climb initiation?

Last edited by SDFlyer; 26th Dec 2011 at 16:28.
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 22:47
  #933 (permalink)  
 
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Then I would try to understand what was happening - not easy having just woken up with probably less than 2 mins to impact (correct me if I am wrong).
Indeed you can be wrong
He never woken up as he certainly never hit his bunk and sleep
He had aboard his girlfriend and be sure (it is a human behavior) he paid visit to here after retiring from the flight deck.
Just to check the time gap between captain live and return to flight deck (it's in the preliminary report Nį3 of BEA)
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 23:15
  #934 (permalink)  
 
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I think if he had been capt. for as long as he had been, sensations of climb and turbulence don't disturb you. Not even the sensation of descent -- it seems.

Didn't the pilot's keep asking where he was and whether he was coming or not?!
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 02:16
  #935 (permalink)  
 
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maajam wrote:
I think if he had been capt. for as long as he had been, sensations of climb and turbulence don't disturb you. Not even the sensation of descent -- it seems.
Ummmm.............
Because the airplane was at an assigned FL level that was limited by the air temp, the Captain had every right to expect the plane to stay at that level. And this was not a gentle adjustment, it was a "zoom climb."

If, as was just posted, he was in the cabin visiting with his girlfriend (first time I have read that), then it's obvious that he would not have heard the flight deck's summons in the rest area. Therefore, I can speculate that he most certainly did return to the FD because of the bottom dropping out.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 02:27
  #936 (permalink)  
 
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Since at terminal velocity they felt ~1g, can the NU attitude have given them the sensation of acceleration? If it did, they totally disregarded what the instruments were telling them or the displays must have been faulty.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 06:30
  #937 (permalink)  

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"....the displays must have been faulty."

May I suggest that faulty or not, by the time the stall was established the displays were so covered with multicoloured scrolling, flashing and changing alert-messages that it was hard to decipher anything at all, let alone the attitude indicator?

The independent sidesticks (fine for normal flight) were the last nail in the coffin.

???
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 10:01
  #938 (permalink)  
 
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Doesn't the A330 EADI have those red "chevrons" (if that is the correct word) pointing the way to lower/raise the nose?
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 14:56
  #939 (permalink)  
 
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Mac the Knife

the displays were so covered with multicoloured scrolling, flashing and changing alert-messages that it was hard to decipher anything at all, let alone the attitude indicator?
Sorry, but wrong the "attitude indicator" would still be fully visible, there are some messages on the PFD, but not scrolling ECAM's.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 15:50
  #940 (permalink)  
 
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Originally posted by BOAC :
I thought PNF was 'Relief Captain'? To save me looking back, GC- you are saying PF(RHS) was ?
I thought this issue had been cleared long time ago.

In june 2009(*), AF's SOP specified that the FO flying from the right seat was PF AND "relief captain" during captain's rest.

Unfortunately, you do not get a copy/translation of this part of AF OPS manual in BEA's report.

You can see from the CVR extract that the captain asked Bonin if he had an ATPL licence to confirm that this FO was qualified to do the job (PF + "relief captain" from the right seat) as per SOPs.

BEA has done a great job, so far, except for two misleading comments :
Note: The investigation has not made it possible to determine any task-sharing by the Captain at the time of flight preparation.
For one very good reason : it is impossible to determine any kind of rigid "task-sharing" in the briefing room prior to departure.
Any pilot knows that.

Worse :
The Captainís departure was made without him leaving any clear operational instructions, in particular on the role of each of the two copilots. The absence of any formalised working framework for a crew made up of two copilots may have led to the non-optimal task-sharing observed between them.
The two FOs did not need any "instruction" since "the role of each of the two copilots" is (was) clearly specified in the company's SOP and NO exception is (was) possible. In june 2009(*), FOs were NOT trained to fly from the left seat and WERE trained to perform all "captain" duties from the right seat.

Hence, IMHO, the reluctance of the PNF to take over the controls from his "captain".

(*) : all this has been changed in the aftermath of the crash.
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