NOVA documentary on AF447

Discussion in 'Flying Blue | Air France, KLM/Partners' started by JasonH, Feb 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. JasonH
    Original Member

    JasonH Silver Member

    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    406
    Status Points:
    475
    Bob Smolinsky likes this.
  2. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I thought the Nova depiction was at best superficial. Captain Dave, on the other hand, is a real pilot. Every word from Captain Dave is reflecting reality, not theory. Supercooled water is as Nova depicts it, but Nova forgot to say that when supercooled water hits every deicing system may be inadequate to deal with airframe and engine ice, not to mention pilot tubes. Simulators are wonderful things but they are limited in unusual attitudes and unusual attitudes are about all you have in level 3 or more.

    I followed a radar shadow into a large cell at 41,000 feet myself and lived. I lost an engine, accumulated airframe ice, and began to descend because I had no choice. All the ice dissipated and the violence diminished so I managed to restart the dead engine at about 20,000 feet. It is a long story, but the fact is it was all my fault. I could have deviated when I saw the first signs. At 41,000 feet clouds are never nice. It was daytime, something the AF pilots did not have.
    I could not even have imagined a checklist because nothing in the cockpit was findable. Captain Dave describes such events. Most experienced pilots have escaped from such things.My incident happened while I was crossing the Atlantic between Iceland and Scotland and I was so high to avoid being in the designated Atlantic routes so I could fly direct to my destination. I should have known better. The truth is: "But for the grace of God, there go I".

    IMHO the solutions for such events are several, but none are technological challenges today:
    1) Crew should communicate in remote areas using modern satellite technology, NOT HF RADIO's. I know I shouted, but to use HF radios is to abandon any help pilots might have as they drone on for hours with nobody answering calls. I hated being in that situation, and there's no excuse for it.
    2) Satellite weather data is readily available that can help reduce the risk of radar shadows. Electrical detection, Doppler and other technologies also can help. Adopting these will cost money so airlines are resisting, but they can make flying safer and more comfortable, and reduce maintenance inspections due to possible overstresses.
    3) Serious unusual attitude training (i.e. aerobatics) should be mandatory for all ATP's. You cannot do that in an airliner.
     
    JasonH likes this.
  3. JasonH
    Original Member

    JasonH Silver Member

    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    406
    Status Points:
    475
    I do agree with your assessment. I've read Captain Dave's blog for a long time and I fully take his view over that of Nova. However, at least Nova wasn't sensationalist drivel like what Frontline was putting out after the CO crash in Buffalo. It is amazing how many of what we think to be high tech areas are operating with geriatric technology. If I told you what is operating more radio and TV stations in the US you wouldn't believe they are still able to broadcast.

    I fully understand the effects of weather on an aircraft. Not only am I a frequent flier, but I have a (some say unnatural) interest in aviation and I also have 2 friends flying choppers for the Coast Guard and lost one friend when the rotor shaft went on his Jayhawk in bad weather of the WA coast. I hope for the sake of the blame some are laying on the crew that they find the data recorders, but in reality I think we will be talking about this crash for a long time to come.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  4. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Helicopters are their own special case. Slightly OT soon after I got my freshly minted Private helicopter license I took my brand new spouse for a ride to fly over the area where we wer considering buying a house. As we were leaving to return to the airport I climbed to have a better view of the LA basin and the engine promptly quit. In autorotation I tried to restart but could not. I autorotated right onto the home airport, LGB, because I luckily had enough altitude. Emergency vehicle met us, but no harm came to the helicopter or us. The helicopter had blown a connecting rod.

    The Coast Guard flyers have my utmost respect. They run enormous risks rescuing people from their own mistakes. The examiner for my Commercial helicopter rating was the then-head of the NYC Police helicopter fleet. Police flyers and EMS ones jon the Coast Guard ones in my pantheon of flying heroic people.
     

Share This Page