What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Anton, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Anton

    Anton Administrator Staff Member


  2. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Terrifying reading.

    I will be travelling to Thailand from Australia in November and that part of the world has some crazy weather.
    Hopefully i'll be flying Qantas and hopefully Qantas will still be employing Australian pilots to get me there and back home again safely.

    Sadly the way things are going Qantas management is he!! bent on driving down wages and conditions and salivating at at the idea of hiring air crews from third world countries, forcing Australian pilots to accept lower wages, working conditions and quality of training.
     
  3. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Pilots today are too engrossed in cockpit management of automated systems instead of actually flying the aircraft. Me thinks the worldwide airline industry could do a better job of training their pilots with regards to emergency action procedures.

    As a former military pilot I can easily state the following. Almost all pilot are "good sticks" meaning they know how to fly/handle the aircraft. What differentiates a good pilot from a bad pilot is not necessarily how they fly but HOW they diagnose and react to an inflight emergency. I'll never forget when my copilot froze on the controls when we lost an engine during an engine test procedure on a maintenance test flight to ensure engines were capable of producing maximum power. He just sat there while the rotor rpm on our helicopter bled off dangerously and didn't drop the collective pitch or attempt to bring the 2nd engine (running at idle) back up to speed.

    Air France 447 story is the reason why I'm a nervous flier as a passenger.
     
  4. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Having previously worked in the defense science organisation that was responsible for extending the life span of Australian F-111's and modifying the vortex plume from the leading edge extensions on first generation FA-18's, and also skeletal reassembly of crash reconstructions, i can say that knowledge of flight failure weighs upon my mind.

    Between pilot error/pilot fatigue, component and systems fatigue and air-frame fatigue and a reasonable knowledge of flight dynamics and how it can all go horribly wrong, i'm a very nervous flyer.
     
  5. Anton

    Anton Administrator Staff Member

    You think the copilots would at least understand that when there's a stall siren blaring constantly it's time to get the nose of the plane down.
     
  6. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Surely the pilots would have felt "that sinking elevator feeling" in their stomachs as they were dropping 10,000 feet per minute, and as you say, with a siren blaring it would have confirmed they were falling fast and to get the nose down...

    Imagine the horror of passengers strapped into their seats, knowing something very, very wrong was about to happen; knowing they had no input or control over the situation and knowing that it was only a matter of time with the strange whistle of wind noise over the stalled control surfaces.
     
  7. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Fabian, the pilots would have just felt the change in downward acceleration. Once the verticial descent speed became constant aka terminal velocity, the freefall would have not been noticeably felt by the pilot's bodies. No different than a car. We feel changes in speed (acceleration/deceleration) but once we reach a steady speed, our body's vestiubular system doesn't sense constant speed.
     
  8. birdmannn101

    birdmannn101 Member

    As a former airline pilot here is what I see happened. Bonin (the co-pilot in the right seat) said at 02:13:40 (Bonin) "But I've had the stick back the whole time!" Meanwhile Robert (in the left seat) is pushing his stick forward to try to recover by building up speed (which is the way out). The captain and Robert don't see Bonin holding the stick back and the plane crashes within 1 minute after Bonin makes his statement. The Airbuses are "fly by wire" not cable and as long as Bonin held the stick back and Robert pushed it forward they remained in a 10 degree nose pitch up condition till it pancaked in the ocean. One minute is not enough time to nose over and recover the aircraft.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2012
  9. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    So, in saying, can a case be made for the failings of the airbus "fly by wire" system. If Captain Robert had synchronously linked controls he would have been able to get a nose down attitude and recover the aircraft.

    Do Boeing aircraft have better pilot authority over the flight control systems?
     
  10. birdmannn101

    birdmannn101 Member

    Fly by Wire is the new age in British aircraft. Robert, who was just another senior co-pilot would have had to know Bolin was holding the stick back in order to take control of the aircraft and fly out of the stall condition. He didn't realize that till 1 minute before impact which was too late to recover. Those aircraft are flown by 5 computers. The first Airbus A320 was doing a "fly by" at the airport with the gear down. The aircraft understood "We are Landing because the gear is down" and landed into the tree tops killing people on board. Boeing is what I used to fly so I am partial to a cable flown aircraft.
     
  11. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    Being both a pilot and Air Traffic Controller (retired), the events are so sad, as they could of been averted.
     
  12. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    I'm not a fan of fly-by-wire technology but it is how planes are now built. I personally think side sticks and asynchronous flight controls are a bad idea since the pilot not on the controls cannot see or feel what flight control inputs the other pilot is making.

    I've never been a fan of flying Airbus as a passenger. Anybody else notice how Airbus aircraft seem to make more airframe noise then a boeing plane as in being built a little more flimsy?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  13. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Is it possible then that Boeing simply makes better aircraft than Airbus?
     
  14. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    I'd take a Boeing anyday......I'm a big fan Boeing and flew a Boeing Vertol 234 for many years.
     
  15. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Can it then be extrapolated from your answer that Airbus makes second rate equipment compared to Boeing and more lives would have been saved if everyone flew on Boeing platforms?
     
  16. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    IMO, if you're going to use fly-by-wire controls, there should be some form of tactile feedback in the controls between pilot/copilot. Even something as simple as a vibration in the sticks, if the difference between them is greater than a certain percentage while not flying in auto, would be very helpful...
    ***

    I JUST watched the science channel (or possibly nat-geo) re-release of the documentary on this flight a couple of days ago. It pretty much paralleled what the pop-mechanics article, except that, as it had been produced before the recorder was located, there was a lot more speculation. (but, their speculation was pretty much right on the target) They'd added a note at the end saying that the recorder had been located after initial production release, and that it had born out their speculation.)

    The one major difference between the documentary and the article, was that the documentary had a good theory as to as to why the crew didn't try to avoid the storm; NASA satellite imagery showed that there was a smaller storm located right on the flight path, between the main storm and the plane, and that the plane's weather radar would be able to see the second, major storm until it was too late to avoid it. Essentially, they would pop into the clear as they passed through the smaller storm, and THEN see the main storm ahead on the radar.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  17. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    FABIAN
    I feel they do, as a passenger I've flown Boeing equivalent to twice around the equator. Then again when in High School my dad worked for Pan Am, and on to National airlines after serving in the USN..
     
  18. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Well i'm sold - i'm making sure that i fly Boeing aircraft from now on!!!
     
  19. birdmannn101

    birdmannn101 Member

    Well, the old saying is, "If it Ain't Boeing, we Ain't Going." The noise you hear while the Airbus aircraft is taxing is coming from the "electrical" anti-skid system. Never heard of a Boeing having to land withe nose gear cocked 90 degrees like Jet Blue did. Never heard of the tail falling off a Boeing in flight, just Airbuses. Heck, one day they even plan to fly the aircraft without the pilot. I am sure they will keep one on the flight deck till this works out though.
     
  20. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    That's my new motto from now on (to management booking my flights): "If it Ain't Boeing, I Ain't Going."
     
Loading...