Air France AF447 crash into the Atlantic: Airbus A330 aircraft parts found

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earthman
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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by earthman » 24 Jul 2011, 23:04

It's probably just really difficult to get such a smart system certified for civilian flight operations.

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by sn26567 » 25 Jul 2011, 13:22

France's BEA says that the AF447 final report will be published on Friday.
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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by Passenger » 25 Jul 2011, 21:46

sn26567 wrote:France's BEA says that the AF447 final report will be published on Friday.
Indeed:
http://www.bea.aero/en/enquetes/flight. ... 011.en.php

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Re: AF 447 crash : High-Altitude Upset Recovery

Post by DC3 Fan » 29 Jul 2011, 01:44

An excellent article on High-Altitude Upset Recovery from Aviation Week:

http://tinyurl.com/42pfggn

I found the discussion of high altitude versus low altitude aerodynamics especially interesting. Lack of control feedback in fly-by-wire aircraft is another factor discussed.

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by airazurxtror » 29 Jul 2011, 11:14

BEA official text to be published this afternoon.
A (alleged) summary already in a French newspaper :

http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france ... uipage.php

"This scenario raises the question of the level of the crew, says one expert. Either it was a bad crew and we need to understand how this could be possible for Air France - or its level was standard for a crew of the company and so it is the training and recruitment that will be questioned ".


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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by Comet » 29 Jul 2011, 18:15

earthman wrote: What we need is better flight computers.
No, what we need are pilots who are capable of flying an aircraft without relying on computers and who know how to recover from a stall if it happens!
Sabena and Sobelair - gone but never forgotten.
Louise

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by sn26567 » 30 Jul 2011, 10:28

Air France’s reaction to the publication of the BEA’s third intermediate report

In its third intermediate report, the French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) has just presented the exact circumstances of the AF 447 Rio/Paris accident on 1 June 2009.

It sheds further light on this tragedy that has deeply affected Air France and the entire air transport community. Air France wishes to pay tribute to the memory of the passengers and crew who lost their lives and extends its most sincere thoughts to their families.

From the flight recorder data, it has been established that the combination of multiple improbable factors led to the disaster in less than four minutes: the icing of the Pitot probes was the initial event that led to the disconnection of the autopilot, the loss of associated piloting control protections and considerable roll movements. After the manoeuvres carried out by the crew in deteriorated and destabilizing piloting conditions, the aircraft stalled at high altitude, could not be recovered and struck the surface of the Atlantic Ocean at high speed. It should be noted that the misleading stopping and starting of the stall warning alarm, contradicting the actual state of the aircraft, greatly contributed to the crew’s difficulty in analyzing the situation.

During this time, the crew, comprising both First Officers and the Captain, showed an unfailing professional attitude, remaining committed to their task to the very end. Air France pays tribute to the courage and determination they showed in such extreme conditions.

At this stage, there is no reason to question the crew’s technical skills.

Work will now continue to understand the causes and the various technical and human factors that contributed to the events leading to this disaster. It is important to understand whether the technical environment, systems and alarms hindered the crew’s understanding of the situation.

The BEA has also issued various recommendations for the European authorities in charge of air safety that Air France has already implemented or will implement as soon as possible. In addition to the elements that will be brought to light by the BEA’s final report and the work of the legal inquiry, we know that the measures already taken have considerably improved the safety of air transport, which is the most important aspect for the air transport industry. These measures prevent such an accident happening again.

Air France press release, Friday 29 July 2011
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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by Crosswind » 30 Jul 2011, 11:29

There is no reasons to question the crew technicall skills?

:D

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by airazurxtror » 30 Jul 2011, 17:00

During this time, the crew, comprising both First Officers and the Captain, showed an unfailing professional attitude, remaining committed to their task to the very end.

Yes, but :

L’inquiétude née de l’absence
du commandant de bord dans le cockpit montre que les deux copilotes n’avaient pas la
capacité de résoudre cette situation d’urgence. Ceci peut s’expliquer à la fois par l’absence
de formation adaptée et le manque de pratique de prise de décision des deux copilotes. De
nombreux événements ont eu une issue favorable du fait de la présence du commandant de
bord dont la formation et l’expérience ont permis une analyse plus solide et des réactions
plus sereines à la situation.

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by earthman » 01 Aug 2011, 10:21

Comet wrote:
earthman wrote: What we need is better flight computers.
No, what we need are pilots who are capable of flying an aircraft without relying on computers and who know how to recover from a stall if it happens!
I fail to see how one excludes the other. Fact is that the crew didn't seem to be capable (trained) enough. Fact is also that the computers didn't do much to help the situation, on the contrary.

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by earthman » 01 Aug 2011, 10:28

airazurxtror wrote:During this time, the crew, comprising both First Officers and the Captain, showed an unfailing professional attitude, remaining committed to their task to the very end.

Yes, but :
bunch of french
Please don't post French in an English forum. Or at least provide a google translation so we can (try to) figure out what it means (in this case the translation is actually pretty good):
Google Translate wrote:The concern arose from the absence of captain in the cockpit shows that the two co-pilots lacked the capacity to address this emergency. This can be explained both by the lack of adequate training and lack of decision-making practice of the two co-pilots. Many events have had a favorable outcome due to the presence of the captain whose training and experience have enabled a more robust and more serene reactions to the situation.

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by andorra-airport » 03 Aug 2011, 18:34

France's pilots union suspended its cooperation with an inquiry into the 2009 crash of an Air France flight in protest at what it said was the authorities' decision to ignore problems with the plane's stall alarm and emphasise instead pilot errors.

The SNPL airline pilots' union said it would play no further part in the investigation until the BEA air accident investigation agency explained its decision to drop from an interim report last week a recommendation concerning the Airbus A330's stall alarm.

The BEA said last week the pilots of the Air France flight from Rio to Paris, which crashed into the Atlantic off the coast of Brazil killing all 228 people onboard, failed to respond to repeated stall warnings and outlined actions that appeared to defy the textbook response to an aerodynamic stall.

Its 10 recommendations included better training for pilots to fly aircraft manually, particularly at high altitudes.

"Why ignore in the official report the recommendation on the stall alarm? Were other significant modifications made to the report?" the SNPL said in a statement, noting that BEA's reputation had been "seriously shaken".

Following reports in the French press on Wednesday, the BEA acknowledged it had removed a recommendation on the stall alarm from its report because investigations on the subject did not appear exhaustive.

A BEA spokesperson said the issue would be studied by a working group ahead of a final report due this year.

An association for families of the victims of the crash also said the recommendation's removal had undermined the credibility of the investigation and it called for its immediate publication.

According to information from the black box flight recorder, the plane's stall alarm sounded 11 times during its four-minute plunge from 38,000 feet.

The recording shows the crew were unable to determine from their instruments if the plane was gaining or losing altitude, but at no point did they discuss the stall warnings.

In a statement after the BEA report last week, Air France said there was no evidence its pilots lacked training and argued that confusing signals from the stall alarm had complicated their task in working out what was happening.

Pilots have complained of a stall warning "trap" due to a design feature under which the computers stop calculating the stall once the speed drops below 60 knots, well below normal.

The alarm comes back on when the speed picks up above the threshold, which is the opposite of what unions say pilots would expect. Airbus declined to comment but planemaker officials say the 60-knot threshold falls below any speed that could have been imagined for such a large jet or anything tried by test pilots.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... ation-with

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by earthman » 04 Aug 2011, 01:47

Was the plane actually flying that slow?

In any case, this seems just silly, 60 knots is way below the plane's stall speed so it would seem logical to sound the stall warning at this point no matter what. "That's not a bug, that's a feature!" Right.

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Re: Air France 447 Flight Data Recorder located, but..

Post by sn26567 » 06 Sep 2011, 23:51

A similar incident happened in July with an Air France Airbus A343, but was only reported today, 6 September. As reported in The Aviation Herald:

Incident: Air France A343 near Guadeloupe on Jul 22nd 2011, rapid climb and approach to stall in upset

An Air France Airbus A340-300, registration F-GLZU performing flight AF-471 (dep Jul 21st) from Caracas (Venezuela) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France), was enroute at FL350 about 145nm northeast of Point A Pitre (Guadeloupe) in night and instrument meteorological conditions at around 01:11Z (Jul 22nd) when the crew received an overspeed alert, the autopilot disconnected, the crew observed the indicated airspeeds had increased to 0.88 mach (MMO 0.86 mach) and 304 knots, the aircraft gradually increased its pitch attitude to 11 degrees and climbed with up to 5000 feet/minute up to FL380, reaching FL380 at 0.66 mach/ 205 KIAS - stall speed was computed at 202 KIAS - before the pitch attitude decreased again and the aircraft returned to normal flight parameters. The flight was continued to Paris, the aircraft reached Europe at FL380 and landed safely in Paris about 7.5 hours after the upset. No injuries occurred.

The French BEA confirmed an investigation into the described incident was opened on July 26th after receiving notification from Air France.

An internal write up released by Le Figaro on Sep 6th reports, that the upset lasted for about 2 minutes with the highest intensity during the first 30 seconds, during the upset the aircraft encountered vertical accelerations between +0.5G and +1.7G. The upset occurred in an area where weather forecasts/reports suggested no turbulence. The write up annotated, that a PA call by flight crew to cabin: "Cabin crew, be seated immediately, severe turbulence" helped to avoid injuries in the cabin.
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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by EBKT » 08 Sep 2011, 12:05

Interesting article below that reports difficulties of an Air France flight from Caracas to CDG in July.
Flight "almost crashed" as well after the automatic pilot could not controll the plane through a zone of heavy turbulence. Herafter the plane lost drastically height. The pilots achieved to take over the full control of the plane, which lost speed when it was climbing again. The 375 passengers remained safely except of 2 crew members who were lightly injured.
There are a lot of simularities with the crash of the AF447.
The article states if this was a coincidence and questions itself if there is really something "wrong" with the automatic pilot of Airbus...?

http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/1901/reisnieuw ... loot.dhtml

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by sn26567 » 08 Sep 2011, 12:20

This is exactly what I reported earlier in another topic, which I have just merged with this one to avoid duplications. See previous message.
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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by EBKT » 08 Sep 2011, 13:08

sn26567 wrote:This is exactly what I reported earlier in another topic, which I have just merged with this one to avoid duplications. See previous message.
OK, absolutely right :oops:

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by airazurxtror » 20 Oct 2011, 12:16

A book has just been published, where one can read the full recorded cockpit conversations during the last four and a half minutes of flight AF447 :
Jean-Pierre Otelli : Erreurs de pilotage 5 - Editions Altipresse, Levallois-Perret, octobre 2011 (286 pp).
The French pilots unions are furious and are to lodge a complaint against the author.
http://www.air-journal.fr/2011-10-19-cr ... 37758.html
The book is on sale in Belgium, for instance at Filigrane in Brussels (cover price 25,75 euros).

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Re: AF 447 crash : aircraft parts found

Post by airazurxtror » 10 Jun 2012, 20:32

Why did the captain take so long to come back into the cockpit when the two pilots requested his help ?
An hypothesis, rather far-fetched, but anyway here it is :

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2 ... n-trouble/

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