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UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

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UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

Old 15th Aug 2013, 21:27
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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In reply to RCav8or...

TCAS as nothing to do in avoiding a crash. It is merely a traffic avoidance system and not a ground or terrain avoidance system.

You probably meant to ask about the EGWPS and yes perhaps that will come out in the report that the system did indeed warn the pilots but we will have to wait for the NTSB report.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 21:36
  #162 (permalink)  
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Lonewolf_50

Yes, it will be interesting, for sure.

Although it is still done, dive-level-off-dive is a proven higher risk than continuous descent for flying non-precision approaches. So anything that reasonably reduces the need for the technique enhances flight safety. The method described for finding the timing to the MAP and the necessary rate of descent from the Outer Marker, (now the FAF) was one we used on the DC9 almost fourty years ago now but we used the front of the Jepp CR2 computer to do it, with essentially the same results. It's not as good as using FPA and FMCs capable of generating and flying pseudo (electronic) glide paths but better than dive & drive.

I haven't examined the approach plate carefully yet.

I understand that in Canada where a GNSS approach is executed that the highest non-precision minima is employed. This is unconfirmed and may be company-specific - don't know. It certainly wouldn't be CAT I limits though.

For the person who asked why "the TCAS" didn't warn them of an impending collision with the ground, first of all TCAS warns of mid-air collision threats; it's EGPWS that warns of ground proximity. Second, the following generic (not representing any specific system), chart regarding the particular EGPWS mode referenced shows why a terrain warning might not have been issued from the system. Whether it was or not and what responses occurred remains to be determined from the now-recovered recorders.

(re EGPWS, thanks Jet Jockey...posted without refreshing)




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Last edited by PJ2; 15th Aug 2013 at 21:39. Reason: commment to Jet Jockey
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 21:56
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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I would think it would be impossible to nod off while approaching a 7000' runway at night in a widebody, no ILS, hilly terrain, etc....
Dozed off doesn't sound good, but it happens, all the time, to responsible drivers on the road, so it could happen to a responsible pilot in the air. Of course, he may not have dozed off. The pilot flying might just started to wake his colleague as he lined up the plane, but had a heart attack, stroke, seizure, or some other incapacitating health issue.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:15
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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It is very difficult to tell from the few photographs available and the remaining surfaces have been damaged and displaced but the config looks like 15/20 to me. Normal config for landing is 30/40. There is little left of the surfaces to base this on but the lever position in the cockpit and the info from the data recorders will give the exact positions.
Positions are slat/flap positions but do not reflect the exact rigging angles.

Last edited by tubby linton; 15th Aug 2013 at 22:31.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:42
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Hey guys, not a pilot, but I'm a resident of Birmingham and thought I'd throw in some details. The NTSB news conference was just on and they said that the engines had evidence of ingesting trees and dirt and there was no evidence of a pre-impact fire in the engines.

Also, if you watch the video on this CNN article, they show a piece of wreckage in the yard of the house at the end of the field where they clipped the trees. It's a pretty substantial piece of aluminum, so it looks like they were pretty deep in the trees when they clipped them. UPS plane crash: Data recorders recovered - CNN.com

Anyway, I'm not nearly close enough to qualified to opine on what happened, but I find this discussion immensely interesting and as someone who has flown in and out of Birmingham a lot (always been RWY 24, I've never had a flight land on 18) I'm really interested in knowing if airport factors were involved here.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:08
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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I would think it would be impossible to nod off while approaching a 7000' runway at night in a widebody, no ILS, hilly terrain, etc....
I agree. Although we've yet to hear of their duty day, at most their reaction time might have been affected.

Flying all-nighters into MEX (arrive 0000L, sit for 4 hours - depart 0400L four nights in a row) by the end of the month I felt like I had toothpicks holding my eyes open. But to actually fall asleep on the approach? - Hardly.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:12
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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Dozed off doesn't sound good, but it happens, all the time, to responsible drivers on the road, so it could happen to a responsible pilot in the air. Of course, he may not have dozed off. The pilot flying might just started to wake his colleague as he lined up the plane, but had a heart attack, stroke, seizure, or some other incapacitating health issue.
You been watching a lot of movies or something?
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:12
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Coagie, from your posts on this thread, I gather that you aren't a professional pilot. Though fatigue can be an issue, I seriously doubt the pilots were both sleeping on final approach -- or that either pilot was -- and it is an insult to their families and to real pilots to suggest they were (while citing zero evidence to support your wild speculation).

If I'm wrong, I will be the first to admit it -- but I don't expect that will be the case.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:17
  #169 (permalink)  
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Sorry Bugg, you're probably on Prune to keep away from her!
Crikey!! You probably are my wife! Honey, I told you not to post here, you're embarrassing me...

I'm going to guess that exhaustion and fatigue, combined with a likely complacency that comes with operating into very familiar airports, will be designated as contributory, although I as well, await the results of the investigation to confirm that.

As a long time freight animal on the MD-11 conducting difficult approaches in bad weather after long and lonely stretches in the dark over the Pacific, I can only quote Huck, I think it was, who some time ago posted this on the FedEx Narita disaster, he was speaking of the long duty days on the extreme backside of the body clock, eloquently put;

"You're just hanging in the straps, waiting for the pain to stop..."
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:53
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Five Hour Energy is the perfect antidote to "hanging in the straps" when there is no other viable solution.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:53
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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U.S. TV news shows NTSB investigators recovering the CVR and FDR from the burned out tail section. The devices look seriously fire damaged, I hope they can recover useful data.

Last edited by JimNtexas; 15th Aug 2013 at 23:54.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 23:56
  #172 (permalink)  
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Ntsb says no evidence of engine failure or fire

NTSB: No engine failure in fatal UPS plane crash - Houston Chronicle

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Federal officials have found no evidence of a pre-crash fire or engine failure aboard a UPS plane that went down in Alabama, killing two pilots.
National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt says the plane was trying to land on the Birmingham airport's shorter runway early Wednesday because the longer one was closed for maintenance.
Sumwalt also said at a news conference Thursday that investigators expect to be able to recover good data from two flight recorders taken from the wreckage earlier in the day.
The plane slammed into a hillside just short of the runway.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 00:23
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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The plane slammed into a hillside just short of the runway.
The media are at it again. That is so misleading.

It crashed into slightly rising terrain well below MDA and about .8 miles prior to the threshold.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 00:27
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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and as someone who has flown in and out of Birmingham a lot (always been RWY 24, I've never had a flight land on 18)
This, plus the fact that quite a few people have said that they struggled to find any Flightaware data for approach and landings to RWY 18 suggests that this is a rarely used runway at this airport.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 00:57
  #175 (permalink)  
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This, plus the fact that quite a few people have said that they struggled to find any Flightaware data for approach and landings to RWY 18 suggests that this is a rarely used runway at this airport. 15th Aug 2013 16:23
Well, the real data is right on the runway...compare the rubber deposits for both runways...
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 01:09
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Enjoyment and Cultural Issues

I want to thank everyone for upgrading the double name world of the southern US to Harold and Maude single name status. Honest the witnesses were Billie Jo or Billie Bob and Charlene Marie who's native language is Appalachian American.. Measurements are in Stones Throw and Fer Piece. As in a Whoop an a Holler and a Good Stones Throw or other variations.
We of Appalachian American areas apologize for our unwritten language and its effects on understanding.
Yet we do know the difference between Yall and All Yall.

Believe the Black Boxes. They are the right color this time.

I had to listen to Louisville news saying the Airbus was one of 53 made in the US....
for a whole day. Sadly what ever it is that is wrong has spread to information everywhere. continue your struggles to understand this one in peace and safety.

Last edited by gleaf; 16th Aug 2013 at 01:10.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 02:02
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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Possible Scenario?

I have never operated into BHM or on an A300-600, but in my mind the following might be a possible explanation for what happened.

The crew elects to do a GPS approach onto RW18. It is a long evening and both crew members are tired, so instead of using the GPS approach charts take out the LOC charts for RW18 by mistake.

As can be seen on the AVhelard website:
Crash: UPS A306 at Birmingham on Aug 14th 2013, contacted trees and touched down outside airport

There is a 1.3nm offset between the distance to the threshold depending which chart you are using. If the VNAV equivalent on the A300-600 is as poor as some older aircraft I have flown, then they elect to fly the vertical profile in the equivalent of V/S. During the whole approach they are low by the equivalent of 1.3nm. The crew think they are doing fine when they break cloud and they can see the runway lights ahead as well as a few sporadic lights around. The only thing that does not look right are the four reds on the PAPI's. However their calculations show them to be right on profile and the black hole effect makes them feel like they are on profile. They continue the approach in spite of the uneasy feelings they have about the PAPI's. While they discuss what is wrong with the airport systems they are unable to see the dangers that lurk around them. Before they can do anything else they have hit some trees/powerlines and it's game over.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 02:06
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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gleaf,

Very well, however I happen to know that all 50 or so Airbus models made in the US were all manufactured in the same factory that produced the world's first french fry.

Trying to get y'all up to speed so you become enlightened like our media.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 02:16
  #179 (permalink)  
 
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When was the last time the Birmingham tower heard from them? Trying to figure out why they wouldn't radio the tower, problem or not. Could there have been an electrical failure? The plane was going fast, the flaps weren't lowered for landing. It's like it started the approach in control, but control was lost, and it was already aimed at the airport.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 02:28
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Original quote by Coagie: the flaps weren't lowered for landing.
And how do we know this???
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