Missing Malaysian Aircraft – is it possible…

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  • Missing Malaysian Aircraft – is it possible…
  • andyl
    Member

    Was AF 447 entirely pilot error? I seem to remember blocked pitot probes and incorrect airspeed readings being at least a contributing factor?

    yes, astoundingly basic pilot error. Okay they were initially confused by the air speed errors but pulling up when your stall warning is going off and the two pilots not communicating at all, the co-pilots were basically unfit to fly that aircraft properly. Unforgivable that they took so many people with them (particularly the guy in the right seat).

    pondo
    Member

    Perfectly functioning apart from the pitot tubes. The pilots hadn’t been trained on how to deal with that. The dead pilots made ideal scapegoats but the problem lay with the plane makers and the airline IMO

    The instruments were showing that they were losing altitude rapidly, and one of the pilots sat there with his stick back the whole time and didn’t tell anyone else he was making that input. Yep, pitot tube was an issue, but they still flew an otherwise airworthy plane into the sea scratching their heads at why the instruments were telling them they were dropping.

    LHS
    Member

    Air France 447 was completly out of comms range though if I recall correctly, Malaysian MH370 was in comms range, so why silence?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Perfectly functioning apart from the pitot tubes. The pilots hadn’t been trained on how to deal with that. The dead pilots made ideal scapegoats but the problem lay with the plane makers and the airline IMO.

    Except the pitot tubes worked fine for the majority of the incident, giving the pilots plenty of time to fly a perfectly functioning plane in a sensible manner. For sure there were various issues which made pilot error a bigger issue than it should have been (most notably the lack of mechanical linkage between the sticks, meaning that nobody was aware until far too late that the co-pilot had the stick hard back), but fundamentally the co-pilot’s actions were incomprehensible given the ready availability of information on what was actually happening. Oh and the pilots were trained in how to deal with that, but one of them did completely the wrong thing.

    clubber
    Member

    the co-pilots were basically unfit to fly that aircraft properly.

    That does seem correct. Was that their fault though? It seems to me that their training and or ongoing familiarisation with the way that the aircraft works (eg the alternate law allow a plane to stall) was lacking. It’s easy to blame the pilots and I still read it and struggle to understand how they missed such a simple thing as constantly pulling back but that says to me that it’s not as simple as it sounds.

    Edukator
    Member

    The stall warnings stopped. Are you guys blaming the pilots reading stuff from before the black boxes were found in 2011?

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    There was a documentary on Air France 447 only last week. Well worth watch

    Chaos in the cockpit

    It was a glaring pilot error, basically. Schoolboy stuff. The pilot stalled the plane, all the instruments were telling him he’d stalled the plane. He ignored them, and the plane dropped into the sea

    The link I posted has the full transcript of the black box recordings.

    The pitot tubes were out for a minute or so. Then:

    The Airbus’s stall alarm is designed to be impossible to ignore. Yet for the duration of the flight, none of the pilots will mention it, or acknowledge the possibility that the plane has indeed stalled—even though the word “Stall!” will blare through the cockpit 75 times. Throughout, Bonin will keep pulling back on the stick, the exact opposite of what he must do to recover from the stall.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Air France 447 was completly out of comms range though if I recall correctly

    No such thing. Aircraft have HF radio which provides global coverage – the reason no distress call was received is because they didn’t make one.

    allthepies
    Member

    wrote:

    Air France 447 was completly out of comms range though if I recall correctly, Malaysian MH370 was in comms range, so why silence?

    Air France were having comms problems apparently rather than being out of range.

    777’s have multiple radios (3 I believe) on different bands + a satellite phone.

    pondo
    Member

    The stall warnings stopped. Are you guys blaming the pilots reading stuff from before the black boxes were found in 2011?

    I thought the stall warning stopped because the plane went into alternate law because the computer went “you’re, like, 30 degrees nose-up at 40 000 feet doing 160 knots*? Something’s not right here.”

    EDIT – Furthermore, I understand that every time the nose dropped to something approaching a flyable angle, the stall warning started again until matey-boy in the righthand seat yanked it back up again.

    clubber
    Member

    He ignored them, and the plane dropped into the sea

    So either he willfully went against everything that any pilot even at the lowest levels knows (you don’t pull back while in a stall) or there’s more to it.

    I would suggest that the issue I mentioned above where the pilots didn’t understand that alternate law meant that the plane would let them do things outside the correct envelope is likely the root cause.

    The stall warnings were largely continuous other than the brief moments when they did regain control.

    jimster01
    Member

    Wouldn’t mind betting Putin had something to do with it, just to detract world attention from the Ukraine for a couple of days.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The stall warnings stopped. Are you guys blaming the pilots reading stuff from before the black boxes were found in 2011?

    The stall warnings stopped because they’d flown the aircraft into such a deep stall that the computer no longer trusted the information. Plenty of time to correct when the stall warning first went off – I’m not a professional airline pilot, but I’d think my first instinct when a stall warning sounds would be to check the airspeed and rate of ascent and push the stick forwards a bit, none of which seem to have happened. I note that all problems with the pitots were over by the time it stalled. I’m not even really sure you can blame it on lack of training, it was such a basic error – I’m assuming they did at least receive a significant amount of training on what a stall is, why and how to avoid it.

    Oh, and all based on information from the black boxes – before those became available I think it was assumed there was a more fundamental technical problem.

    I would suggest that the issue I mentioned above where the pilots didn’t understand that alternate law meant that the plane would let them do things outside the correct envelope is likely the root cause.

    You’re probably right about that as a cause, but it doesn’t detract from it being a pilot error – no excuse.

    clubber
    Member

    it was such a basic error

    Again, yes, it is which suggests that it’s not as simple as it looks.

    Bear in mind that these guys do a large amount of training, what explanation could there be for such a basic mistake?

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Its worth watching that documentary clubber. Its really interesting. It seems incomprehensible that 3 experienced pilots would sit scratching their heads, while allowing that to happen. All the time with the plane telling them what the problem was. But that appears to be exactly what happened.

    They also ignored procedures regarding handing over the aircrafts controls, so one pilot was pulling the stick up to climb the whole time, while the others thought they had control, and were unaware he was doing it

    clubber
    Member

    Yeah, it’s a complete mess, no doubt and I guess that really it’s the lack of procedures that would have stopped it happening at several points that’s the issue I guess. It’d be interesting/scary to know how consistently procedures are followed though, particularly in non-normal scenarios.

    tomkerton
    Member

    It’s fun, simple and easy to blame the pilot. It saves the documentary channels from having to go into too much detail because everyone understands ‘pilot error’. And It gets everyone else off they hook, the manufacturer, the authority and he company.

    It’s not that simple. The FO in question didn’t go to work to crash the aircraft. Multiple issues combined over many years to culminate in the AF disaster. It is naive and simplistic to say it was ‘matey-boy what yanked it into a stall’.

    I am not saying that there were not mistakes made on that flight deck, there were plenty especially in the route choice through the thunderstorms and then the initial diagnosis of the issue. It’s hard to think straight when you’re in the tops of thunderstorms in the ITCZ – I’ve been there! But it’s so much much more complicated than that. The manufacturer and the training department of the airline are equally culpable in my opinion.

    Rest assured that those of us who fly an Airbus have learnt from this tragic incident.

    pondo
    Member

    Again, yes, it is which suggests that it’s not as simple as it looks.

    There is a lot to that, I think – might seem pretty obvious from here, but we are all benefiting from a massive amount of hindsight.

    Edukator
    Member

    Your edit has the crux of it, Pondo. The stall warning came on when the the pilot did the right thing and went off when he did the wrong thing.

    The pilots lost speed information, found themselves on manual and with contradictory information. Critcally, even though Air France was aware the problems with the pitot tubes and spurious computer messages they had not retrained all the pilots to cope with the situation.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The suggestion seems to be that they were ignoring the instruments as they didn’t trust them (despite them all working perfectly by the time things went wrong) and trying to fly by the seat of their pants – or at least that is the case for one of them, who seems to have been totally confused. Not only that, but he didn’t tell anybody what he was doing and ignored instructions. Would have been interesting to have carried out a tox test on him…

    The stall warning came on when the the pilot did the right thing and went off when he did the wrong thing.

    Only after the situation had been happening for some time – the warning went off because the plane went into an even deeper stall. Had the stick been pushed forwards when the alarm first sounded (at which point the aircraft hadn’t actually stalled yet), which seems like the obvious thing to do in pretty much any circumstances, there would have been no problem.

    …actually checking the transcript again, the stall warning first went off because they did the right thing, and went back on again when he did the wrong thing again.

    we are all benefiting from a massive amount of hindsight.

    I’m benefiting from basic knowledge of flight. When the stall warning sounds, the instruments show that your airspeed is low and falling and your altitude is high and rising, you push the stick forwards. As much as you might distrust the instruments, surely you give them a chance of being right first?

    soobalias
    Member

    if you dont know what you are talking about, talk about something you do?

    What happened to the Vietnam Navy report of debris, or the early sightings of two large oil slicks?

    be it malfunction or terrorism, its under water somewhere.

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Subscriber

    Just read that article about AF. Clearly Pilot error, not helped by bad weather…thunderstorm. No reported bad weather this time I think?

    It’s fun, simple and easy to blame the pilot. It saves the documentary channels from having to go into too much detail because everyone understands ‘pilot error’. And It gets everyone else off they hook, the manufacturer, the authority and he company.

    It’s not that simple. The FO in question didn’t go to work to crash the aircraft. Multiple issues combined over many years to culminate in the AF disaster. It is naive and simplistic to say it was ‘matey-boy what yanked it into a stall’.

    Absolutely.

    However, AF447 does serve to illustrate that human behaviours are generally a factor in air disasters. Rather than wings falling off, terrorists or alien abduction.

    pondo
    Member

    I’m benefiting from basic knowledge of flight. When the stall warning sounds, the instruments show that your airspeed is low and falling and your altitude is high and rising, you push the stick forwards. As much as you might distrust the instruments, surely you give them a chance of being right first?

    Sitting here and now, I would and you would – but some chap sitting in that right hand chair who has vastly more experience and training and knowledge than me, he didn’t. So when you look at the bare bones, yeah it’s easy to say that guy screwed up on the simplest of things, but if he was an idiot, or didn’t know what he was doing, he wouldn’t have been sitting where he was at the time. Something made him do what he did.

    jambalaya
    Member

    OP in theory it’sossibke but the hijackers would have to turn off the tracking systems on the plane and I’m not sure that’s even possible.

    The Vietnamese didn’t reprt debris just oil on the water and that could have come from anywhere most liley a ship focusing tanks.

    The aircraft manufacturers always spin events after such crashes to shift blame/speculation onto pilots etc and away from their product the aircraft.

    Sad times for the relatives not having confirmation but it seems inevitable the plane has crashed into the sea.

    Edukator
    Member

    Would have been interesting to have carried out a tox test on him…

    Negative no doubt.

    However if he’d been able to benefit from the experience of two other Air France pilots who’d come close to disaster in similar circumstances he’d have known what to do even if he were having difficulty walking straight.

    Klunk
    Member

    Rest assured that those of us who fly an Airbus have learnt from this tragic incident.

    I can imagine it’s a frequent test scenario on the simulator.

    tomkerton
    Member

    Klunk – yes exactly

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    However if he’d been able to benefit from the experience of two other Air France pilots who’d come close to disaster in similar circumstances he’d have known what to do even if he were having difficulty walking straight.

    Let me guess – push the stick forwards?

    Malaysian MH370 was in comms range, so why silence?

    I forget the figures but there was a survey of pilots where a percentage admitted to falling asleep mid-flight, and within that there was a number who reported having woken up mid-flight to find their colleague also asleep.

    Edit – infact I’ve found it – half admit to falling asleep, a third of those being asleep while their co-pilot was also asleep

    The pilots can only report what they are aware of, but its also not inconceivable that whatever problem caused the plane to loose control also could have caused a loss of communication

    andyl
    Member

    Re the AF plane, yes absolutely a whole series of errors from the aircraft programming which isn’t perfect, training from the manufacturer and training from the airline which had holes, weather related problems, lack of adequate rest etc etc. Ultimately every problem apart from the weather is due to humans and they all stack up.

    But what I got from my own interpretation of the black box data and CVR (ignoring any documentaries etc) is that ultimately if the pilots had gone back to basic flight training and communicated they could have recovered that aircraft and what should have been a very quick and recoverable event was turned into a completely hopeless situation.

    It is of course very easy for us to say that from the safety of our armchairs looking at all the evidence and it is is also hard to stay emotionally detached from making harsh comments in the face of such a glaring error when you think about the poor souls that lost their lives in such a stupid way.

    I know it’s unlikely but this could be an extra terrestrial grab.

    Nobody can say it’s not possible.

    Duffer
    Member

    I know it’s unlikely but this could be an extra terrestrial grab.

    Nobody can say it’s not possible.

    It’s not possible.

    I’d also suggest it’s unlikely to have been the actions of some kind of terrorist organisation. Firstly, as the culprits would have claimed responsibility for it very soon after the event. Secondly as they’d have done it in such a way to generate media coverage for their cause (ie. not out at sea, where no one can see it).

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    I reckon it’s been hijacked, shot down by China perhaps? With the last known position being shifter somewhat, just like on that Bond film so that nobody would know it was shot down.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    It may never have taken off in the first place and may be some kind of massive insurance scam. Whilst we’re all speculating, right? 😉

    mashiehood
    Member

    200+ people missing and the folk on here are winking and smiling! well done.

    boltonjon
    Member

    My money is on the aircraft being highjacked, all comms turned of, then the aircraft dived down to 100ft of so – under the radar and then flown to a disused airbase – which would easily take a B777

    My money is on the Chinese – look what some lunatics with the knives done last week, butchering 30 odd people in a city centre

    That or there is going to be one strange Malayan/Chinese version of Lost with a token European couple who can’t conceive

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    I’m afraid mashiehood that even when catastrophic disasters occur involving massive loss of life, life does go on and sometimes without even the slightest acknowledgement of an incident if there is no personal involvement. At least the incident has been acknowledged here and is being discussed albeit with a few light-hearted throwaways.

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Subscriber

    I’d also suggest it’s unlikely to have been the actions of some kind of terrorist organisation. Firstly, as the culprits would have claimed responsibility for it very soon after the event.

    No one claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks for several months, nor did the hijackers leave any note whatsoever explaining their actions.

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