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Flight 447 'Black Box' Decoded
The Washington Post ^ | 05/27/2011 | Sarah Anne Hughes

Posted on 05/27/2011 6:34:47 PM PDT by Greysard

"Black box recordings from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean two years ago, revealed new details about the plane’s final moments. But the report did not assign blame or give an explanation for the crash, which killed all 228 people aboard."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Science; Travel; Weather
KEYWORDS: af447; airbus; airdisaster; airfrance; crash; piloterror; pitottube; pitottubes
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There is also a linked PDF report (in English) that is short and informative. Probably pilots here will be able to understand what happened. I'm not a pilot, myself, but from what I read it appears that the co-pilots of the AF447 failed to recognize the stall and flew the vehicle into the ocean.
1 posted on 05/27/2011 6:34:50 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Greysard

Plastic planes flown by computers (w/ French software) are too advanced for me.


2 posted on 05/27/2011 6:39:04 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Greysard
It appears that the pilots were so overwhelmed by turbulence, buzzers, warnings and whistles, that they allowed the airspeed to bleed off and went into a fatal stall. They forgot Rule #1, Keep The Plane Flying.
3 posted on 05/27/2011 6:46:49 PM PDT by JPG (Bibi 1, O'Hamas 0.)
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To: Greysard

They found the black box???


4 posted on 05/27/2011 6:47:48 PM PDT by SilvieWaldorfMD
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To: SilvieWaldorfMD

An orange painted box called a black box by our government. Go figure.


5 posted on 05/27/2011 6:49:46 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (Read: Ecclesiastes 10:2. The Bible tells you RIGHT is right and left is wrong.)
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To: SirKit

Air France crash ping!


6 posted on 05/27/2011 6:50:02 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Greysard

BS


7 posted on 05/27/2011 6:51:10 PM PDT by maggief
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To: Paladin2

Airbus? No fly.


8 posted on 05/27/2011 6:51:19 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: Greysard

As the fellow who posted the “WHY” thread axed, why don’t they make entire airplanes out of the indestructible material that the black boxes are made of?


9 posted on 05/27/2011 6:51:34 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: RetiredArmy

“An orange painted box called a black box by our government.”

That’s racist. :-)


10 posted on 05/27/2011 6:52:38 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Revolting cat!
why don’t they make entire airplanes out of the indestructible material that the black boxes are made of?

First, they aren't indestructible.

Second, the plane would be so heavy it couldn't leave the ground.

Look at Obama's BEASTMOBILE. It couldn't even clear a small ramp.

11 posted on 05/27/2011 6:56:31 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Revolting cat!
Estimated G forces when the plane pancaked into the ocean, 36 (thirty six)!! No human could survive that.
12 posted on 05/27/2011 6:56:41 PM PDT by JPG (Bibi 1, O'Hamas 0.)
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To: Kackikat

I go on them but feel nervous since the tail separated from one leaving JFK.


13 posted on 05/27/2011 6:57:57 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: UCANSEE2

Oh, geez, no, really?


14 posted on 05/27/2011 6:59:07 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: SilvieWaldorfMD
They found the black box???

Yes, a month ago. Look there for photos, they are copyrighted and I am not linking them here as images.

Wikipedia has more about this recent recovery:

The BEA announced that on 26 April, after a 12-hour dive by the Remora 6000, the flight data recorder chassis had been found, although without the crash-survivable memory unit, which is the actual data storage medium. On 1 May the memory unit was found and lifted on board the Île de Sein by the ROV.

Upon examination the recorders were found to be in good shape, and here is the data from them (just the quick facts, for the moment.) The next step is to simulate likely scenarios until the replay matches what really happened. Only the airspeed is suspect, other instruments were OK all along, so this should be very much doable.

15 posted on 05/27/2011 7:01:17 PM PDT by Greysard
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Greysard

“the report did not assign blame”

That would just be counterproductive... Everyone knows that assigning blame can do terrible things to your psyche. Gotta make these pilots feel good about themselves. Afterall, they only killed several hundred.


17 posted on 05/27/2011 7:03:10 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: JPG

From an article I read earlier today, the Captain had left the cockpit to catch some zzzs before it was time for him to land the plane (All within protocol). The most experienced pilot was not in control when things started to go down hill, not that may have mattered. Who knows?


18 posted on 05/27/2011 7:03:42 PM PDT by doc1019 (Palin/Bachmann, unbeatable.)
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To: Bockscar

an Obama voter too no doubt...(sorry)


19 posted on 05/27/2011 7:04:20 PM PDT by Outlaw Woman ("...; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,... "Hosea 4:6)
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To: RetiredArmy

“An orange painted box called a black box by our government.”

No wonder it took them so long to find it. They were looking for the wrong color:

“Captain Nemo.... I see an orange box there on the sea floor.”

“Nah... We’re looking for a black one.”


20 posted on 05/27/2011 7:06:22 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Greysard

“it appears that the co-pilots of the AF447 failed to recognize the stall and flew the vehicle into the ocean.
_____________________________________

Well, in a stall, they did not fly the plane into the ocean.
It fell into the ocean.
What I do not understand is why they ignored the stall, instead of pushing the stick forward to regain airspeed.


21 posted on 05/27/2011 7:07:00 PM PDT by AlexW (Proud eligibility skeptic)
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To: Revolting cat!

Really, honest to gosh.

Play dumb again, and ask me what caused the crash. No... wait. It should be my turn.

I’ll play dumb and ask.

What caused the crash?


22 posted on 05/27/2011 7:11:05 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Bockscar

On the other hand, a cement boat will float. And it won’t burn.


23 posted on 05/27/2011 7:12:50 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: UCANSEE2

The WHY thread was a joke, as was my copy of one of its questions, capiche?

Anyway, do you believe it was the pilots error, or bugs in the software? (There is no software without bugs, though I admit, I’ve attempted to write it myself.)


24 posted on 05/27/2011 7:13:13 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: JPG

So it had a trajectory much like a child trying to throw a bowling ball?


25 posted on 05/27/2011 7:14:02 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Greysard

Stall warning sounds, ADI shows 14* nose up, crew trims stab more nose up and places engines at idle ... brainless


27 posted on 05/27/2011 7:15:43 PM PDT by Java4Jay
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To: doc1019
The most experienced pilot was not in control when things started to go down hill, not that may have mattered. Who knows?

Two heads/ears/eyes/sets of hands are usually better than one.

28 posted on 05/27/2011 7:15:53 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Paladin2
There is also a linked PDF report (in English) that is short and informative.

Amazing. It's as if nobody in the cockpit knew how to manually fly the aircraft.

29 posted on 05/27/2011 7:17:26 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Greysard

my hubby is a pilot-he has a theory about this. He referenced a “pito” sensor. Possibly malfunctioned. If it malfunctioned it would give the pilots a false airspeed indication without necessarily giving a fault indication. Its the same as if you are driving down the interstate and your speedometer malfunctions. Except in a plane you can’t tell how fast you are going. He thinks that the plane was going slower than what they thought and consequently stalled because the computer on the plane “thought” it was going faster than it was. And it continued to go slower and slower until the stall warning was activated and then the autopilot is deactivated. Consequently, now the pilots find themselves in a stall with airspeed indications that are inaccurate. He also mentioned that it would be in France’s best interest to not cast blame on the plane itself since they have a financial interest in it’s success. Sooooo, blame the pilot. Always, especially if the pilot is already dead, blame the pilot.
Just his two cents worth......


31 posted on 05/27/2011 7:18:13 PM PDT by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son..........)
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To: UCANSEE2
Two heads/ears/eyes/sets of hands are usually better than one.

The crew included two co-pilots and one captain. Both chairs were occupied by co-pilots; the captain, when he awoke and came to the cockpit, just stood behind them, as I understand.

32 posted on 05/27/2011 7:19:46 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Greysard

Static sourses telling crew the ship is falling.. -10k’ fpm vertical speed and altimeter in death spin but hey, lets not notice.


33 posted on 05/27/2011 7:19:47 PM PDT by Java4Jay
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To: RetiredArmy

“An orange painted box called a black box by our government. Go figure”
_________________________________

Probably because, if they have to find and open the box, it is
going to be a very BLACK event, and day.


34 posted on 05/27/2011 7:22:59 PM PDT by AlexW (Proud eligibility skeptic)
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To: Revolting cat!
The WHY thread was a joke, as was my copy of one of its questions, capiche?

Si certo. It is why I tried to joke back. Sorry it was so lame. (see my tagline)

Anyway, do you believe it was the pilots error, or bugs in the software?

I don't think I have enough information to make a skilled assessment.

My partially informed opinion is that it was a combination of many, many factors.

This was not a crash with a single attributable cause. One of the most important factors, to me, would be whether there was one or both crew in the cockpit. In a situation like this, it might require both to have dealt with the chaos and confusion.

35 posted on 05/27/2011 7:23:15 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: UCANSEE2
It fell 38,000 feet in about 4 minutes, so, yeah, pretty much.
36 posted on 05/27/2011 7:25:23 PM PDT by JPG (Bibi 1, O'Hamas 0.)
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To: UCANSEE2

Only if one of them has enough command status to take control of the overall situation. Of course, that might have been part of the problem ... until the black box information is released to the public this will be a mystery. And even with the deciphering of the black box information, we may never know.


37 posted on 05/27/2011 7:26:01 PM PDT by doc1019 (Palin/Bachmann, unbeatable.)
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To: UCANSEE2

Always remember, first officers are just as qualified to fly the plane as the captain. The first officer (or were there two first officers?) were in the cockpit-they have to be “type rated” in the plane just as the captain. He just doesn’t have “the label” as captain. Just something to consider.....


38 posted on 05/27/2011 7:28:32 PM PDT by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son..........)
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To: murrie

Here is an example a little easier to relate to.

And... btw, it’s spelled ‘pitot tube’.

Remember that show where people do crazy stunts? They would have a person be blindfolded and drive, with a passenger giving them instructions on how to drive. The object was to drive the car up onto the ramp of a trailer, that was being pulled along at an even speed.

Now imagine that you blindfold the passenger.

That is why being up at high altitude, in the dark, and having your gauges go funky is like.


39 posted on 05/27/2011 7:30:09 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: AlexW
Well, in a stall, they did not fly the plane into the ocean. It fell into the ocean

That was the early theory, last year. The latest data shows a controlled descent. The airplane was pointed nose up, at a very high pitch (35 degrees?) and as result only a fraction of the engines' power was used to generate forward motion (that creates lift.) Most of the power was used to hold the airplane in the air, like a rocket... and you can do it only in a powerful military airplane, and only for very short time.

So the airliner was on a controlled (though unwanted) descent right to the moment it touched water. The next report, with more data and probably with simulations, is expected in July.

What I do not understand is why they ignored the stall, instead of pushing the stick forward to regain airspeed.

The stall warning system malfunctioned because of wrong airspeed. There were two warnings, but I have no idea which of them were true and which weren't. This is something only the investigators can tell.

40 posted on 05/27/2011 7:30:55 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Greysard
The crew included two co-pilots and one captain. Both chairs were occupied by co-pilots; the captain, when he awoke and came to the cockpit, just stood behind them, as I understand.

Thank you for that information.

Now I know more, yet understand less. Funny how that works sometimes.

41 posted on 05/27/2011 7:32:35 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: murrie

“He thinks that the plane was going slower than what they thought”
________________________________________

I am would think the plane had at least two pito tubes, which are heated to prevent ice.
If ice blocked them, it should indicate a slower then actual speed.
Someone can correct me if I am wrong.


42 posted on 05/27/2011 7:32:54 PM PDT by AlexW (Proud eligibility skeptic)
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To: UCANSEE2

Thanks UCANSEE2. My hubby is sitting here with me... I was dictating his conversation. I’m always a little suspicious of these “final assessments on how and why planes crash. They always seem to blame the pilot. And the pilot is dead-no way to get his perspective on the situation. Just a little to convenient it seems like.....


43 posted on 05/27/2011 7:36:05 PM PDT by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son..........)
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To: AlexW

Hey Alex-my hubby said the plane had 3 pito tubes. Hmm. He jokingly said they were prolly all made by the same manufacturer and that it was prolly “a French thing”. Sorry. Bad humor.....


44 posted on 05/27/2011 7:38:32 PM PDT by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son..........)
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To: Greysard
from what I read it appears that the co-pilots of the AF447 failed to recognize the stall

I'm not a pilot either, but you would think that one of the pilots would have noticed the altimeter rapidly decreasing. That coupled with the fact that the stall warning had already sounded should have given them a clue.

Final vertical speed = -10912 ft/min = -124 MPH. Perhaps some of the passengers could have been alive for a while.

45 posted on 05/27/2011 7:39:43 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: SilvieWaldorfMD; murrie
Black box of doomed Rio-Paris Air France flight recovered, say investigators

Air France crash victims 'must not be recovered'

Flight AF 447 on 1st June 2009 - 16 May 2011 briefing

Air France jet crashed nose-up after 4 minute ordeal

46 posted on 05/27/2011 7:40:04 PM PDT by raygun
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To: JPG

I can’t imagine the horror of falling from 38,000 ft in the sky into the ocean all in 3 minutes 30 seconds.


47 posted on 05/27/2011 7:40:55 PM PDT by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: Bockscar

I’m sure a 747 with cement a foot thick would not fly, but I do believe you could make a plane out of cement, and it could fly.

Not that I would want to be the test pilot.


48 posted on 05/27/2011 7:41:46 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: AlexW
I am would think the plane had at least two pitot tubes, which are heated to prevent ice.

FAA requires heated pitot tubes:

On 3 September 2009, the American FAA issued a final Airworthiness Directive, which requires the pitot probes manufactured by Thales Avionics, which were installed on the A330 and A340 aircraft, to be replaced with heated pitot tubes manufactured by Goodrich Sensors.

However Airbus installed non-heated pitot tubes from day one; this led to a bunch of problems just like this one, only in those cases the pilots managed to recover. This time they didn't.

Airbus "recommended" to upgrade the pitot tubes, but this was not a requirement. Air France decided to sit on this:

On 6 June 2009, Arslanian [the head of the BEA] said that Air France had not replaced pitot probes as Airbus recommended on F-GZCP, saying that "it does not mean that without replacing the probes that the A330 was dangerous."

The AF447 had the non-heated sensors, all three of which probably froze solid in seconds. The auto{everything} instantly failed, and pilots were forced to take control.

49 posted on 05/27/2011 7:44:50 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: JPG

humans can easily survive 36gs. many were probably killed by injuries caused by parts of the plane and the rest by drowning.


50 posted on 05/27/2011 7:45:11 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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