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CFII
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Posted: 7/5/2012 8:21:43 AM EST
Damned the ice and pilot training. No surprise there.

A combination of faulty sensors and mistakes by inadequately trained pilots caused an Air France jet to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing all 228 people aboard in the airline's deadliest ever crash, French investigators said Thursday.
Investigators are urging better instruction for pilots on flying manually at high altitudes and stricter plane certification rules as a result of a three-year investigation into what happened to Flight 447.
Airbus, manufacturer of the A330 plane, said in a statement that it is working to improve speed sensors known as pilot tubes and making other efforts to avoid future such accidents. Air France stressed the equipment troubles and insisted the pilots "acted in line with the information provided by the cockpit instruments and systems. .... The reading of the various data did not enable them to apply the appropriate action."
But the Bureau for Investigations and Analysis' findings raised broader concerns about training for pilots worldwide flying high-tech planes when confronted with a high-altitude crisis.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/05/final-report-expected-on-france-brazil-plane-crash/?test=latestnews#ixzz1zlmkeGN7

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Sig_Prude
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Posted: 7/5/2012 8:27:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By CFII:
Damned the ice and pilot training. No surprise there.

A combination of faulty sensors and mistakes by inadequately trained pilots caused an Air France jet to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing all 228 people aboard in the airline's deadliest ever crash, French investigators said Thursday.
Investigators are urging better instruction for pilots on flying manually at high altitudes and stricter plane certification rules as a result of a three-year investigation into what happened to Flight 447.
Airbus, manufacturer of the A330 plane, said in a statement that it is working to improve speed sensors known as pilot tubes and making other efforts to avoid future such accidents. Air France stressed the equipment troubles and insisted the pilots "acted in line with the information provided by the cockpit instruments and systems. .... The reading of the various data did not enable them to apply the appropriate action."
But the Bureau for Investigations and Analysis' findings raised broader concerns about training for pilots worldwide flying high-tech planes when confronted with a high-altitude crisis.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/05/final-report-expected-on-france-brazil-plane-crash/?test=latestnews#ixzz1zlmkeGN7



Nothing new here. Good post though.

CFII
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Posted: 7/5/2012 8:28:45 AM EST
Nope, its not new. I guess the French finally made an "official ruling", though.
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danpass
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Posted: 7/5/2012 10:40:06 AM EST
did any of them have an aerobatic rating?

personally, if not required for Commerical/ATP certs, I think such a rating, along with a glider rating, should be required.
Max_Power
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Posted: 7/5/2012 11:56:18 AM EST
speed sensors known as pilot tubes


I'm no aviation expert, but shouldn't that be "pitot tube"?
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CSM
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Posted: 7/5/2012 12:00:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/5/2012 12:01:09 PM EST by CSM]
So, Airbus (and Bus operators) philosophy of having the computer in control and recommending flying and training for emergencies as such, is faulty?
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jmt1991
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Posted: 7/6/2012 1:43:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By Max_Power:
speed sensors known as pilot tubes


I'm no aviation expert, but shouldn't that be "pitot tube"?


That's what I thought too. Spell check probably changed it.
HawkeyeNFO
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Posted: 7/6/2012 2:46:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/6/2012 2:52:29 AM EST by HawkeyeNFO]
Full report and lots of other data can be found here:
http://www.bea.aero/en/enquetes/flight.af.447/rapport.final.en.php


The synopsis in the report (pg. 17) states:

The accident resulted from the following succession of events:
-Temporary inconsistency between the measured airspeeds, likely following the obstruction of the Pitot probes by ice crystals that led in particular to autopilot disconnection and a reconfiguration to alternate law,
-Inappropriate control inputs that destabilized the flight path,
-The crew not making the connection between the loss of indicated airspeeds and the appropriate procedure,
-The PNF’s late identification of the deviation in the flight path and insufficient correction by the PF,
-The crew not identifying the approach to stall, the lack of an immediate reaction on its part and exit from the flight envelope,
-The crew’s failure to diagnose of the stall situation and, consequently, the lack of any actions that would have made recovery possible.

That doesn't seem to match the statement from the Air France people.
a555
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Posted: 7/6/2012 4:55:33 AM EST
On my flight up to buy my own airplane, I was seated next a retired captain who was then a simulator instructor. I asked him about this specific incident and the crash in upstate NY. He mentioned that airliners don't stall like a light GA aircraft. I was left with the impression that rather than they don't really buffet and break, but instead go into a stable descent at thousands of feet per minute until impact.
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Posted: 7/6/2012 6:31:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By a555:
On my flight up to buy my own airplane, I was seated next a retired captain who was then a simulator instructor. I asked him about this specific incident and the crash in upstate NY. He mentioned that airliners don't stall like a light GA aircraft. I was left with the impression that rather than they don't really buffet and break, but instead go into a stable descent at thousands of feet per minute until impact.


But that it's perfectly reasonable to pull it into a 40deg nose high decent with full aft stick and never let go?
Sig_Prude
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Posted: 7/6/2012 6:36:20 AM EST
When airspeed indication is lost in the cockpit, 9 times out of 10, all hell breaks lose. It shouldn't, but it does. Having improper airspeed readings is VERY confusing for most pilots.
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Posted: 7/6/2012 7:23:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By Sig_Prude:
When airspeed indication is lost in the cockpit, 9 times out of 10, all hell breaks lose. It shouldn't, but it does. Having improper airspeed readings is VERY confusing for most pilots.

True, to an extent. I modern jet aircraft the air data computers will compare airspeed and altitude from different probes. If something is wrong with one it will tell you and manual/ automatic reversion takes place. A total loss of airspeed indication would be a nightmare, especially for a crappy pilot like myself.

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HawkeyeNFO
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Posted: 7/6/2012 7:47:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By Sig_Prude:
When airspeed indication is lost in the cockpit, 9 times out of 10, all hell breaks lose. It shouldn't, but it does. Having improper airspeed readings is VERY confusing for most pilots.


That's why there is a published emergency procedure for it, which by the way the pilots apparently did not follow.
Airbus "Unreliable speed indication" procedure
dmjung
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Posted: 7/6/2012 6:03:48 PM EST
I am not a pilot and know there's a difference between airspeed and groundspeed, but did/does the Airbus have a GPS that gives some kind of information? Assuming it was picking up satellites at the time... Just curious.

––David
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Posted: 7/6/2012 11:51:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/6/2012 11:51:40 PM EST by LaRue_Tactical]
Originally Posted By Sig_Prude:
When airspeed indication is lost in the cockpit, 9 times out of 10, all hell breaks lose. It shouldn't, but it does. Having improper airspeed readings is VERY confusing for most pilots.


It gets real quiet in the little planes ... "Hey, I'm barely flying."
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HawkeyeNFO
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Posted: 7/7/2012 1:01:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By dmjung:
I am not a pilot and know there's a difference between airspeed and groundspeed, but did/does the Airbus have a GPS that gives some kind of information? Assuming it was picking up satellites at the time... Just curious.

––David


Yes it does. If you look at the emergency procedure I linked to above, on the 3rd and 4th pages it recommends using the GPS as an alternate altitude and speed reference.
Sig_Prude
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Posted: 7/7/2012 1:42:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By LaRue_Tactical:
Originally Posted By Sig_Prude:
When airspeed indication is lost in the cockpit, 9 times out of 10, all hell breaks lose. It shouldn't, but it does. Having improper airspeed readings is VERY confusing for most pilots.


It gets real quiet in the little planes ... "Hey, I'm barely flying."


In a small aircraft, losing airspeed indication is not a really big deal, I agree.
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Posted: 7/7/2012 3:44:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By Sig_Prude:
Originally Posted By LaRue_Tactical:
Originally Posted By Sig_Prude:
When airspeed indication is lost in the cockpit, 9 times out of 10, all hell breaks lose. It shouldn't, but it does. Having improper airspeed readings is VERY confusing for most pilots.


It gets real quiet in the little planes ... "Hey, I'm barely flying."


In a small aircraft, losing airspeed indication is not a really big deal, I agree.


I thought it was smart to place a Pitot tube cover on my 182 during storage. Well after TO with it ON several times convinced me to forgo the cover. Fly attitude and engine instruments. This was in VFR although. Lifting off into a low overcast without airspeed inst, would be different.
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Posted: 7/7/2012 4:43:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By HawkeyeNFO:
Originally Posted By dmjung:
I am not a pilot and know there's a difference between airspeed and groundspeed, but did/does the Airbus have a GPS that gives some kind of information? Assuming it was picking up satellites at the time... Just curious.

––David


Yes it does. If you look at the emergency procedure I linked to above, on the 3rd and 4th pages it recommends using the GPS as an alternate altitude and speed reference.


Ok, being a software guy, seems like the Airbus "system" should/could have automatically switched to showing the gps info if the "normal" sensors appeared bogus and the gps had a satellite lock.
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Posted: 7/7/2012 6:23:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By underdogII:

Well after TO with it ON several times convinced me to forgo the cover.


It sounds like something that could use one of those huge red "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT" tags.
CFII
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Posted: 7/7/2012 6:28:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By dmjung:
Originally Posted By HawkeyeNFO:
Originally Posted By dmjung:
I am not a pilot and know there's a difference between airspeed and groundspeed, but did/does the Airbus have a GPS that gives some kind of information? Assuming it was picking up satellites at the time... Just curious.

––David


Yes it does. If you look at the emergency procedure I linked to above, on the 3rd and 4th pages it recommends using the GPS as an alternate altitude and speed reference.


Ok, being a software guy, seems like the Airbus "system" should/could have automatically switched to showing the gps info if the "normal" sensors appeared bogus and the gps had a satellite lock.


I believe the 787 will do this. I am sure it was a reactionary software change.
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DeltaAir423
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Posted: 7/15/2012 7:40:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By CFII:
Originally Posted By dmjung:
Originally Posted By HawkeyeNFO:
Originally Posted By dmjung:
I am not a pilot and know there's a difference between airspeed and groundspeed, but did/does the Airbus have a GPS that gives some kind of information? Assuming it was picking up satellites at the time... Just curious.

––David


Yes it does. If you look at the emergency procedure I linked to above, on the 3rd and 4th pages it recommends using the GPS as an alternate altitude and speed reference.


Ok, being a software guy, seems like the Airbus "system" should/could have automatically switched to showing the gps info if the "normal" sensors appeared bogus and the gps had a satellite lock.


I believe the 787 will do this. I am sure it was a reactionary software change.


Actually the 787 will do this, but it wasn't a reactionary software change, it is Boeing's attempt to move onto the next level of air data computing with GPS/inertial as the primary, and the air data being backup. GPS will provide ground speed, and the inertial will show the effect that the winds are having on the aircraft, where it will extrapolate the combined info to make an accurate airspeed and altitude indication. Data from the 787 in service will provide this, much like the 777 provided the in service testing for the uses of fiber optic data bussing.
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CFII
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Posted: 7/15/2012 7:41:53 PM EST
That's good to know. Its nice to see that Boeing is staying on the pointy end of technology.
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Posted: 7/15/2012 9:59:49 PM EST
Of course the question stands, will the FAA allow someone to even contemplate going to an airless air data system. If I recall correctly, it was a huge deal for the FAA to approve the 777 to be put in service with only one ADIRU. I guess the FAA finally relented when the SAARU was labeled as a "backup" ADIRU"
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ChiefPilot
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Posted: 7/16/2012 3:38:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By danpass:
did any of them have an aerobatic rating?

personally, if not required for Commerical/ATP certs, I think such a rating, along with a glider rating, should be required.


No such thing as an aerobatic rating.
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Posted: 7/16/2012 3:49:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/16/2012 4:16:42 AM EST by ElSupremo]
Airbus needs to install a jettisonable white handkerchief outside the pressure vessel with a red button on the cockpit overhead to deploy it when things turn to warm Hershey squirts. Otherwise the copilot has to depressurize the aircraft and open the cockpit window in order to wave his personal white hankie in officially surrender.

I have a good friend that flies a Falcon 50. I know it's an excellent airplane, but I just can't pass on the opportunity to give him a hard time about it. Did you know that you can buy a pink beret and white handkerchief on Amazon?
I ask him if Sim training includes tossing the white flag at minimums instead of executing the missed.
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