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Pilot error in fatal Air France crash


No105_Archie
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From the CBC

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/07/29/air-france-crash-report.html?ref=rss

If this is true it's frightening and very sad. The jet apparently was in a nose up attitude while it fell from the sky. Other than flight sims, I'm no pilot ...but when stalling the usual plan is to put the nose down and gain some airspeed isn't it ?

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Tragic on many levels.

Can the flight recorder data be used to create a simulation in Flightsim X? Stans?

Does seem that the co-pilots tried to fly the instruments rather than the plane. When you have one speed indicator pinned at max, and the other one at normal or below normal speed, neither should be trusted. They say the plane fell like a leaf, so they may not have gotten any gravitational cues after the initial stall. It was dark and in a thunderstorm, too, so no visual cues were available that they were falling.

Regardless, too many conflicting instruments, and darkness, often lead to bad outcomes.

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You know, that sounds like the notorious "Deep Stall" of "Falcon4" fame. The aircraft drops out of the sky at terminal velocity but the fly-by-wire keeps the aircraft in a level attitude. The only way out of it is to disable the FBW then rock the aircraft back and forth with the throttles until she topples into a nose-down attitude.

Though the fact that the crew weren't panicking doesn't compute.

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After reading both articles - the one from May in Popular Mechanics and the other CBC from today, the pilots didn't follow proper protocols and then disobeyed SOP. All because they were focused on the speed. Why did they forget about all the other safety systems to provide data and other information?

BTW - this is the second airline accident I can remember where pilots so focused on speed they essentially forgot their brains and flew the plane into the water. I think it was a Brazilian airline that aircrew forgot to remove the pidot tubes protective covers before takeoff - it was at night as well. It was a Discovery Show called Airline Disasters.

Either way, as a pilot - are not SOP's written as a best practice from experiences - both good and bad? Why didn't they go through their checklists for this kind of emergency? When do you start to think - gee, the speedo is showing max speed - nothing has changed - that's weird isn't it co-pilot? Our stall horn has gone off - better get the Captain.

But they did neither.

We start the whole Swiss-Cheese effect . All the safety breaches line up to create a disaster. Very said irregardless who is responsible. :(

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You are in a stall, you don't point the nose up. I agree with Fork, the copilot erred. Very interesting that the copilot was in charge of the aircraft for almost all of the event. Where was the PIC (pilot in command)? The airspeed indicator has a known problem, but at the end of the day, I think it did come down to having inexperienced crewmen making poor decisions at the controls.

As for recreating the incident in FSX, hard to tell. FSX is good, but it does not model weather and stalls faithfully. It would require recreating the exact weather conditions and having an A330 with a faithful flight model. I'm not the one to attempt such a thing, the biggest thing I've flown in FSX is a Beechcraft 1900C and most of my sim time is in a B300 King Air or smaller aircraft.

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As for recreating the incident in FSX, hard to tell. FSX is good, but it does not model weather and stalls faithfully. It would require recreating the exact weather conditions and having an A330 with a faithful flight model. I'm not the one to attempt such a thing, the biggest thing I've flown in FSX is a Beechcraft 1900C and most of my sim time is in a B300 King Air or smaller aircraft.

I'll try the A330 tonight and have the speedo fail and try to recover based on the facts - at night - in a thunder storm. Should prove to be interesting but here is what I need to re-create:

- a long week

- flying in the middle of the night

- flying in a thunderstorm

- Airbus's wonky fly-by-wire FLC that has shown to cause issues itself (everyone remember the first flight - and the fact the plane itself flew into trees?)

- faulty pitot tube heaters

- a hot french stewardess giving the captain a back-rub in the galley (just sayin it might of happened)

A lot of safety holes that if you line them up and something goes wrong, we have a perfect mix for trouble. I think I'll have the speedometer fail during the flight on autopilot and see how I react. I wish it could give faulty info rather than just fail (in FSX - turn off).

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I watched a TV show on I think it was Discovery Channel or something similar. They hired a guy that was the lead investigator on the Paris-bound TWA Flight 800 Boeing 747 that blew up after taking off from JFK back in July 1996. His conclusions were that the faulty tube heaters, that the radar picked up a thunderstorm in their path, but it didn't pick up the even more severe storm behind the first one, as the radar could only pick up the first one. Otherwise, the pilots would have altered their course and gone around both storms. But he said that lack of training for the crew caused the disaster. Because of the Airbus's use of the fly by wire and just a joystick, the pilots didn't have near the training, because the damn system basically flies the plane itself, and the crews just were not getting the training by simulators for this type of emergency situation. The show also mentioned that Airbus knew there was a problem with the tube heaters, as there had been numerous reports to them from Air France on issues with the tube heaters, especially in storm situations with icing.

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