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-   -   UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/521370-ups-cargo-crash-near-birmingham-al.html)

Murexway 16th Aug 2013 23:32


Sixteen seconds before the end of the recording, the pilots received the first of two "sink rate" warnings.

Nine seconds prior to the end, there are "sounds that are consistent with impact"
Wow, only seven seconds.....

-JC- 17th Aug 2013 00:29

Murexway,


You obviously haven't read all the posts. I previously expressed my opinion that a BHM RNY 18 approach ... should not result in catastrophe.
That assumes the obstruction clearance analysis was done correctly and the certification requirements were actually met for this approach ? Can you verify that ?

IF the Google Earth elevation data is accurate, then flying this approach on a 3.20 degree PAPI WILL take you to within 55 feet of terrain at just over 1/2 mile from the runway when you are 255 feet above threshold elevation.

If in your "opinion" you think that this is an acceptable risk to take in a large widebody aircraft, flying at 170 knots, 55 feet over terrain 1/2 mile final, in total darkness, then so be it. Apparently the FAA agrees with you (assuming they didn't screw up when they certified it), in which case I say you are both nuts.

Now maybe the Google elevation data is in error, or I've made a calculation error (I doubt it), then by all means please correct my data. But don't tell me it's your "opinion" that just because the FAA says it's safe means that it really is.

And yes I have read every post in this thread. Have you ?

JimField 17th Aug 2013 00:40

@ A Squared


I don't have time to explain all the defects in your "analysis", but as one example out of many:

It's pretty obvious that the data for the last position is grossly in error, right? ...
If you had bothered to thoroughly read the article you're so roundly condemning, before casting aspersions and pointing fingers, you would have realized that all of the "defects" you mention in your last post are explained in clear and plain English in that article.

In the coming days the FDR should clear things up. Hopefully the NTSB will give us a taste of the FDR data, as they did with Asiana 214, or at least make statements hinting at the probable causes of the accident.

aterpster 17th Aug 2013 00:48

JC:


That assumes the obstruction clearance analysis was done correctly and the certification requirements were actually met for this approach ? Can you verify that ?

IF the Google Earth elevation data is accurate, then flying this approach on a 3.20 degree PAPI WILL take you to within 55 feet of terrain at just over 1/2 mile from the runway when you are 255 feet above threshold elevation.

If in your "opinion" you think that this is an acceptable risk to take in a large widebody aircraft, flying at 170 knots, 55 feet over terrain 1/2 mile final, in total darkness, then so be it. Apparently the FAA agrees with you (assuming they didn't screw up when they certified it), in which case I say you are both nuts.

Now maybe the Google elevation data is in error, or I've made a calculation error (I doubt it), then by all means please correct my data. But don't tell me it's your "opinion" that just because the FAA says it's safe means that it really is.
There is indeed high terrain but it is not on centerline and just outside the PAPI 15 degree splay. That is why the PAPI is required at night. A professional flight crew should know that a VGSI is only good to 4 miles and within a 15 degree splay.

I assess FAA approach procedures all the time. Significant mistakes are very rare at a major airport like this one.

The U.S. VGSI criteria require a 1 degree obstacle clearance plane, which starts at approximately 1,000 feet from the approach end of the runway and crosses the threshold at the TCH. Thus, that is almost 50 feet of obstacle clearance at the threshold.

Where they apparently first hit the threes they were almost 200 feet below the PAPI vertical on slope.

If the FAA made any mistake in the design of the final segment of the two Runway 18 approaches and/or the alignment of the PAPI, it will come out in the NTSB's report. That approach is presently being reviewed with an electron microscope, so to speak, by the NTSB.

A Squared 17th Aug 2013 01:10


If you had bothered to thoroughly read the article you're so roundly condemning, before casting aspersions and pointing fingers, you would have realized that all of the "defects" you mention in your last post are explained in clear and plain English in that article.
Right, actually I did read your silly article. Including your "explanation". to wit:

However, we chose to keep the groundspeed of the FlightAware end-point because doing so does not affect our analysis.
Not an explaation at all, just "we're keeping it even though it's wrong".

Then your "analysis" says

UPS1354 apparently collided with terrain while flying at 191 knots,
Even though you have no sound basis for making that claim, given that the 191 knots is lifted from a clearly defective data record.

-JC- 17th Aug 2013 01:15


There is indeed high terrain but it is not on centerline and just outside the PAPI 15 degree splay.
That terrain I see on Google Earth rising to 844 feet asl is offset 5 degrees from the final approach course (measured from the center of the theshold).

PJ2 17th Aug 2013 01:17


Should the people who want to know what happened to UPS 1354 throw away all other data sources too?

Are you saying that all FlightAware data is useless and cannot be trusted?
If I may offer a respectful thought - these two statements are just rhetoric.

My question to you is, why and upon what basis is this amateur sleuthing work defendable? What is the motivation behind the work when we know that in time, the recorders may tell us what occurred.

The only motivation that is reasonable to consider is that someone just wants to be first, and that is about ego and prestige, not about finding out, and frankly that insults the crew's memory and those who do this work.

That this data may coincide with later findings is beside the point. Dressing up and masquerading Flight Aware data as "what happened" is misleading because the basis upon which the data is created and displayed is not proven as an investigative tool with high and reliable accuracy.

If you want to present an argument for your particular data sources such that the argument garners the respect due such arguments because they are based technical specifics, you might begin by describing/demonstrating the accuracy and robustness of your data sources further based upon your knowledge of flight data analysis.

There are a good number of people here who know their stuff and can argue the details about accident investigation, flight data, human factors as well as terminal and approach chart design. If you wish to convince, be specific about why Flightaware isn't just a consumer-interest entertainment website and can stand beside the recorders as a valid source of aircraft data.

PJ2

Murexway 17th Aug 2013 02:13


That assumes the obstruction clearance analysis was done correctly and the certification requirements were actually met for this approach ? Can you verify that ?
Yes


IF the Google Earth elevation data is accurate, then flying this approach on a 3.20 degree PAPI WILL take you to within 55 feet of terrain at just over 1/2 mile from the runway when you are 255 feet above threshold elevation.
Real pilots don't rely on Google Earth.


If in your "opinion" you think that this is an acceptable risk to take in a large widebody aircraft, flying at 170 knots, 55 feet over terrain 1/2 mile final, in total darkness, then so be it. Apparently the FAA agrees with you (assuming they didn't screw up when they certified it), in which case I say you are both nuts.
These are not my figures - they're yours.


Now maybe the Google elevation data is in error, or I've made a calculation error (I doubt it), then by all means please correct my data. But don't tell me it's your "opinion" that just because the FAA says it's safe means that it really is.
Nothing in life is totally safe, including aviation.


And yes I have read every post in this thread. Have you ?
Yes

Now I have a question for you. Are you a professional pilot, type-rated in any commercial jet aircraft?

aterpster 17th Aug 2013 02:18

JC


That terrain I see on Google Earth rising to 844 feet asl is offset 5 degrees from the final approach course (measured from the center of the theshold).
Fortunately, the FAA doesn't design the critical final approach segment using Google Earth.:)

SloppyJoe 17th Aug 2013 02:19

Agree 100% with PJ2s post.


Sooeet nailed the Asiana 214 final approach profile days before the NTSB released several data points of FDR data for the last 3 nm of the approach.
Says it all really. Your a sick individual who I expect felt happiness when this most recent accident happened as you could have the chance once again to beat the NTSB. People have died, families have been destroyed, stop being a :mad: idiot.

Any number of us could guess what happened and come up with the right answer but what is the point, we will have the facts soon enough.

The funny thing is you claim to be right but a lot of the stuff on your post is based on what people here have said and all of your mistakes, that show a total lack of aviation understanding, are removed once spotted here. Its pathetic and not even your own conclusions or knowledge based reasoning, just what you can pick up from here. Sad, sad individual.

Murexway 17th Aug 2013 02:26


If I may offer a respectful thought - these two statements are just rhetoric.

My question to you is, why and upon what basis is this amateur sleuthing work defendable? What is the motivation behind the work when we know that in time, the recorders may tell us what occurred.

The only motivation that is reasonable to consider is that someone just wants to be first, and that is about ego and prestige, not about finding out, and frankly that insults the crew's memory and those who do this work.

That this data may coincide with later findings is beside the point. Dressing up and masquerading Flight Aware data as "what happened" is misleading because the basis upon which the data is created and displayed is not proven as an investigative tool with high and reliable accuracy.

If you want to present an argument for your particular data sources such that the argument garners the respect due such arguments because they are based technical specifics, you might begin by describing/demonstrating the accuracy and robustness of your data sources further based upon your knowledge of flight data analysis.

There are a good number of people here who know their stuff and can argue the details about accident investigation, flight data, human factors as well as terminal and approach chart design. If you wish to convince, be specific about why Flightaware isn't just a consumer-interest entertainment website and can stand beside the recorders as a valid source of aircraft data.

PJ2
I wholeheartedly concur. All of this internet, aviation enthusiast, Google Earth, FlightAware info is total baloney when it comes to professional accident investigation. Bash the NTSB all you want, but they're not running around using Google Earth on their "smart"phones and making stupid, uninformed posts on rumor websites.

prayingmantis 17th Aug 2013 02:39

Cockpit integrity
 
Just my two cents worth so please don't jump down my throat on this one...

I'm surprised at how intact the cockpit looks, including the windows, and yet I realize that the two pilots unfortunately lost their lives.

The crash almost looks completely survivable based upon the integrity of the cockpit, at least with the pictures released so far.

I make these observations as a lowly pathologist, but still.... I've seen my share of blunt force trauma injuries and this one perplexes me. Of course, I've seen forces much less kill people, so you never can tell. It will be interesting to read the medical/pathological/survivability information that's released in this case from the NTSB.

Thanks for listening!

JimField 17th Aug 2013 02:45

@ PJ2

Thank you for your civil and thoughtful post. Very refreshing in the aftermath of the violent verbal assaults on a newb by some PPrune members.

It is comforting to know that people like you exist in the commercial pilot community, and that hopefully people like you constitute a majority of that community, rather than a majority of knee-jerk reactionaries, as some other members of PPrune have proven themselves to be.

My concern and approach are those of a layman: are there serious systemic problems with commercial aviation, for example poor flight crew training, overworked flight crews, frequent day/night shift rotations that affect the normal sleep cycles of flight crew, etc., that may underlie or be causal to the rash of recent fatal accidents involving large airplanes?

I'm sure you agree that these issues go well beyond the community of ATP rated pilots, and affect all of the flying public, as well as the people on the ground, for example the residents of Birmingham Alabama who live in close proximity to BHM.

And as in many close-knit work communities, is there a reluctance on the part of insiders to speak the truth within the community, let alone in public, about these issues, for fear of reprisals such as demotions, pay cuts, lay-offs, etc.?

Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.

DH_call 17th Aug 2013 02:48

JimField:

Are you saying that all FlightAware data is useless and cannot be trusted?
If this was sarcasm I'm laughing with you, if not then I'm laughing at you.

SLFinAZ 17th Aug 2013 03:05

I'm somewhat amazed that 3 seconds go by after the sink rate warning with one of the crew then saying runway in sight....if it was a dive and drive wouldn't they intend to be level at MDA? If it was some sort of stabilized approach wouldn't that have been a clear signal the approach had gone unstable and an immediate go around was called for....???

Sadly seems like another clear case of pilot error...

mixduptransistor 17th Aug 2013 04:07

Also from the news conference today, the FAA planned to do a flight test of the ILS equipment and the PAPI lights today but were unable to due to weather. Several questions were asked about the serviceability of these systems, specifically the PAPI lights and the NTSB did not have answers.

Coagie 17th Aug 2013 04:31

I was born and raised in the deep south. My mother is from central Alabama (you don't have to tell anybody... I know what you're thinking "That explains a lot!"). Anyway, a 100 foot+ pine tree is not only, not unusual, it's the norm! 55 feet of altitude is usually described in two words ...too late!

olasek 17th Aug 2013 04:33


If the FAA made any mistake in the design of the final segment of the two Runway 18 approaches and/or the alignment of the PAPI, it will come out in the NTSB's report.
Again you are harping at this point ad nauseam already ...
This approach brings you to 1200 ft about 1 mile from the runway (in the worst weather), then you transition to your regular VFR flying. PAPI lights should by then be fully visible and as long you don't loose them or make sure at least on of them remain white you should be OK. Nobody can guarantee you terrain clearance when all lights turn red. If you count on a "mistake" in the design of this approach - I think you will be grossly disappointed. So yes, wait for NTSB report but the odds that NTSB will find fault with the approach itself are miniscule, it would be first in like 50 years. This approach had plenty of safety buffer that could have been flown by a competent crew in a partially disabled aircraft (say with one engine inop).


Fortunately, the FAA doesn't design the critical final approach segment using Google Ear
Valid point, and they actually thoroughly flight-test every approach (not using armchair pilot playing Microsoft Flight Simulator) instead of sitting in an armchair with a calculator doing some trigonometry...:}

Capn Bloggs 17th Aug 2013 05:12


Originally Posted by olasek
Again you are harping at this point ad nauseam already ...
This approach brings you to 1200 ft about 1 mile from the runway (in the worst weather), then you transition to your regular VFR flying. PAPI lights should by then be fully visible

I hope not. With a threshold elevation of 644ft, that'd put you around 250ft above the desired profile, as your Garmin 1000 would show you. 8 whites on the PAPI, anyone?


Originally Posted by olasek
instead of sitting in an armchair with a calculator doing some trigonometry...

Actually, that's probably exactly what the FAA does, or similar, when designing it.

ironbutt57 17th Aug 2013 05:20

it would be first in like 50 years.

Oddly enough several years ago they did find fault with a non precision approach involving a light aircraft under very similar circumstances..in upstate New York I think


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