AF's reaction to the final report on AF447

Discussion in 'Flying Blue | Air France, KLM/Partners' started by jrp2, Jul 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    "In this deteriorated aircraft cockpit environment, the crew, with the skills of one flight captain and two first officers, were committed to carrying out their task of piloting the aircraft to the very end. "

    What does that mean? That they weren't looking for parachutes? The press release seems to have been crafted by lawyers and marketing. I guess that's not unusual.
     
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  3. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Agreed. I guess you should show respect for those who lost their lives, but we saw some very poor airmanship from the to guys who were at the controls (and the controls were working for most of the drama). Don't get me wrong, it was a very difficult situation, but pulling back extensively on the yoke during a stall sounds crazy. And because the joysticks are not connected to each other, there's no way for the other pilots to know what the guy flying the plane is doing with the joystick. If it had been a Boeing, it would be visible what was going on with the yoke. The Captain immediately understand what was wrong after entering the cockpit and immediately said nonono don't pull back!, but it was already too late.
     
  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Actually in an Airbus in "Normal rules" recovery technique is to pull back all the way on the stick, which is visible to the PNF and the PF both. In "Alternate Rules" which this one was in because the pitot tubes were clogged, recovery technique is the conventional way, pushing forward. Clearly the PF panicked.
    The unsolved mystery is why the pilots did not follow the standard procedures which would have avoided the accident.
     
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  5. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I would have thought pilots of this kind of experience would know what conditions cause the plane to move from normal law to alternative law. Also, continuing to ignore the stall warning for that long was not a good idea either.
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    They are trained in recognizing that transition and also in the changes in procedures required. I am not type-rated in any Airbus, but I have had simulator training, and I have flown other Fly-By-Wire aircraft. Pilots sometimes do not pay enough attention to changing conditions, and when that happens the results can be catastrophic. These poor pilots were in the middle of the night, in the middle of the ocean, with convective activity and turbulence all around, plus what looked to them and their radar as a smallish storm actually had a monster behind it that they could not see on radar due to attenuation (basically a weak nearby storm can hide the presence of a larger on immediately behind the smaller one). So when they found the giant they panicked when the pitot tubes froze. People have made a big deal of the inadequacy of those pitot tubes but no regulation then or now includes testing pitot tubes to ensure that they can withstand these weather conditions. Pilots are trained in coping with the situation, but these poor people did not react correctly.

    It is easy to cast blame, and that has happened. As the old saw says "success has many parents but failure is an orphan". Unquestionably pilot error caused the accident. Unquestionably if the pitot tubes had not failed there would have been no event to permit that particular pilot error. Unquestionably, had the pilots been paying close attention they'd have realized other crews on their track were diverting. So people died.

    Air France has been castigated for poor pilot training and they've changed. Airbus has been castigated and they changed.

    That is as it always is in major air disasters regardless of what Airline what Aircraft manufacturer is involved. The air system and aircraft are far far safer than they were only a few years ago, but accidents can and do happen. I find it sad to see overreaction condemning an entire airplane or airline when such a thing happens, but applaud serious efforts to find out what causes every incident and accident and do everything possible to prevent them. That is genrrally just what happens.

    Checking the actual record every modern aircraft type has an excellent safety record. One accident can and does make a type look bad for a long time. If anybody recalls the famous accident when two fully laden 747's collided on a runway in Tenerife that single accident caused the 747, PanAm and KLM to seem dangerous for years after because two aircraft were destroyed and 583 people died. Moral: be very cautious when examining air accident statistics.

    Sorry about my verbosity.
     
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