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-   -   AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1 (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/466259-af447-final-crew-conversation-thread-no-1-a.html)

Loose rivets 14th Oct 2011 10:54

w v t I was being checked by a very experienced Viscount captain, when we suddenly got a crazy airspeed indication. His reaction was to pitch down so hard passengers touched the ceiling. Hard-wired brains can be as dangerous as badly written software.

BOAC. I'm not at all sure about that. Getting into the minds of aircrew is something not really covered by ordinary training and so-called CRM. Trying to feel what they felt, and then understand why they didn't react in the way we'd expect, is a vital part of learning. It may well not alter the facts, but will hopefully aid enlightenment.

Huck 14th Oct 2011 11:16

We do practice erroneous air data indications.

The solution is to manage the triangle of Pitch / Power / Airspeed. Power can be obtained by charts in the QRH. Or you can just set it somewhere in the middle.

But I have found, the best solution to unreliable indications is to use the flight path vector. Just put it on the horizon, set a normal power setting and you're golden. When it is time for the approach just put it 3 degrees below the horizon. No idea why this isn't taught.

BOAC 14th Oct 2011 12:03

Originally Posted by LR
Getting into the minds of aircrew

- there's no need for 'psychology' here - it is plain as the nose on your face that at 4000' the Captain had not absorbed from the clues that they were fully stalled. THAT is the area of concern I am expressing here.

Huck - without trawling through the immense quantity of pages on all the threads, are you sure the FPV was available and visible? No-one should have to rely on a computer generated FPV symbol in order to fly an aircraft with working 3 x attitude indications.

rudderrudderrat 14th Oct 2011 13:26


I cannot believe the software was designed to REVERSE aileron response OR apply rudder in a fully stalled condition? I would have expected the 'managed' response (if there was one) to worsen the wing drop.
You are correct. There is no software control reversal.

Once the wing was stalled, any aileron deflection downwards would have increased drag and yawed the aircraft, causing a roll the wrong way (due sweep). Fortunately the secondary effect of dihedral levelled the wings.

Gums explained it from his experience in Viper days.

are you sure the FPV was available and visible?
When the FPV (Bird) was turned on, the 10,000 ft/min rate of descent probably caused it to be out of view below the visible part of the PFD.

The training philosophy of manual flying on the AB is either with the FDs on or FDs off & Bird on. There is very little exposure to basic raw data flying - because it's expected to have both of those aids available.

I agree with your final comment and I hope it will be a recommendation to practice basic flying skills again (without the use of FD or Bird) - like it used to be in the old days.

punkalouver 14th Oct 2011 15:04

Can someone post the entire transcript please.

oldchina 14th Oct 2011 15:07

Only the BEA has the entire transcript.

punkalouver 14th Oct 2011 15:17

Not anymore it would seem.

Diamond Bob 14th Oct 2011 15:25

What did the other crews do when their pitots were blocked? Supposedly this occurred 32 times on A330s and A340s before AF 447, but I've never seen any accounts as to how this was handled in those situations.

Northbeach 14th Oct 2011 15:42

Wishful thinking.................

Can someone post the entire transcript please.
No, not for years-decades maybe. "Entire transcript" maybe never.

The lawyers prevent that, (accident investigation protocol, past practice and "agreements", all the usual important sounding terms, that tell most of the rest of us to get lost) 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 have no inside knowledge or opinion regarding AF447. As far as I am concerned Airbus makes a wonderful airplane and AF pilots are among the best in the world.

If one controls the information one can control or greatly influence the decision or opinion held by others. Few entities want the TRUTH, most want a favorable outcome (from their prospective); after all so much is at risk. The TRUTH can be embarrassing, painful, awkward and horrendously expensive. (This is not the position I advocate, just my "take" on how the world of business, commerce, religion and politics works.)

The accident investigation will run its course over time. The professional pilot community will have to learn what we can from it. Is it a perfect system; no far from it. From a transparency and a honest effort to learn perspective, what we have in aviation is probably better than what is available in many other industries .

No; none of us here on PPRuNe are going to get the entire transcript released for our reading, entertainment and pontification benefit.

DozyWannabe 14th Oct 2011 15:52

Read the other thread guys - this is *not* the complete transcript. The BEA transcript contains the flight-relevant conversation on the CVR only. This publication apparently adds some non-relevant words (for the sake of sensationalism) and actually leaves out some of the flight-relevant conversation, the better to push the side of the story being argued.

Come on, this is a Daily Mail article - sensationalism at the expense of accuracy is their stock-in-trade.

ATC Watcher 14th Oct 2011 16:12

Northbeach. While I do not disagree with you on your brillant analysis of the world we live in , there is a new factor coming in : the small black thing everyone now carries in his pocket that can not only take photos , but also record anything discretely and e-mail it to the outside in seconds. That is changing drastically the picture and keeping somethiing confidential today is becoming a serious challenge.

On this perticular topic a few days ago, a book ( in French ) by JP Otelli ( a well known French Aviation author) has released the (almost) AF447 full CVR . I suspect the UK article linked in this thread is based on that book.
The transcript in the book has also the audio warnings added, and that is interesting.

One Outsider 14th Oct 2011 16:20

Once a CVR was a tool for investigators. Now it is a source for entertainment and pandering to rubberneckers.

It stinks.

Mr Optimistic 14th Oct 2011 16:46

Anyone know how this sort of information stands with respect to the Freedom of Information act and its kin ?

jackharr 14th Oct 2011 16:53

I am sure this has been covered before but itís been a very long thread (threads).

Had the deep stall been recognised at say 30,000 feet, was recovery possible? Or was the situation akin to the BAC 1-11 deep stall crash or the Gloster Javelin fighter when recovery was just not possible from a stall?


DozyWannabe 14th Oct 2011 17:01

Originally Posted by Burnswannabe (Post 6749877)
If the throttles are back and you are losing height then who cares if the system says pull up, it is nose forward and power on time Ö..

With the important caveat that in jets with a podded and wing-mounted engine design, increasing thrust will cause a pitch-up that must be monitored and corrected if necessary.

I know that I speak from a legacy viewpoint but the current fear that manual flying skills will atrophy as systems take more of a role appears to be valid.
What bothers me is that this was not the intent of the designers, but something that has been assumed by airline management over the last 20 years.

Perhaps we need, as an industry and as a fraternity, to invest more in operator input at the design stage. Perhaps all pilots under training should make themselves available for 2 weeks of simulator testing at industry expense, not for the benefits of the pilots but for the benefit of the designers, let them see what an inexperienced pilot will do, not a 20,000 hr test pilot would.
Both Airbus and Boeing did just that when they developed their more recent ranges - contrary to what appears to be received wisdom, the A320 was not developed in a vacuum with management and engineers making all the decisions. The problem here is that the PF in this case appears to have done something that would be anathema to any pilot that had undergone stall training, which was to pull up and hold the stick back both prior and during the stall warning.

@jackharr - No one is willing to state it definitively, but the consensus on the threads seems to be that all the crew had to do at 30,000 feet was push the stick forward and recovery was in all likelihood possible.

Mr Optimistic 14th Oct 2011 17:08

Jack, yes it has been on the other thread. Helluva job finding it though. Opinions differed, some , I think, optimistic to 10k feet. Others doubtful through 30.

Clandestino 14th Oct 2011 19:32

Is mr. Otelli's latest book available in hardcover? :hmm:

Ashling 14th Oct 2011 19:58

Remember they were in alternate law so roll was in "Direct Law" therefore no aircraft induced correction of wing drop.

The crew failed to recover the aircraft because they failed to diagnose why they were out of control. They died not knowing what had gone wrong. To me its surreal that they could not recognise the stall but it would seem that the situation was beyond their training, experience and competence. How could they be allowed to be in command of a commercial jet in that environment when they didn't possess the skills required to cope when it all went wrong?

Automation has allowed corners to be cut in pilot experience, training and supervision. The more sophisticated the automation the more streamlined the training becomes. The crew may well be found culpable but they were products of a system and it is that system that is at fault every bit as much if not more than the crew.

Lonewolf_50 14th Oct 2011 20:20

Robert: 'Damn it! Weíre going to crash. It canít be true!'
Bonin: 'But whatís happening?!'
If those are indeed the last two things spoken in the cockpit, Bonin's frustrated question needs to be trace back to its root cause. Until that is done, thoroughly, this crash teaches the industry nothing.
(Besides the already known axiom that pitch and power results in performance ... which the industry would hopefully already know.)

DC-ATE 14th Oct 2011 20:33

Had the deep stall been recognised at say 30,000 feet, was recovery possible?
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.

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