Skip to comments.(AF 447) Recording Indicates Pilot Wasn't In Cockpit During Critical Phase
Posted on 05/23/2011 6:36:43 AM PDT by libh8er
What happened on board the Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic en route from Rio to Paris? According to information obtained by SPIEGEL from the analysis of flight recorder data, pilot Marc Dubois appears not to have been in the cockpit at the time the deadly accident started to unfold.
The fate of Air France Flight 447 was sealed in just four minutes. That short time span began with the first warning message on one of the Airbus A330 aircraft's monitors and ended with the plane crashing into the Atlantic between Brazil and Africa, killing all 228 people on board.
Since last week, investigators from France's BEA civil aviation safety bureau have been analyzing the flight data and voice recordings extracted from the cockpit of the Air France flight that crashed on June 1, 2009 while traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. What they have learned from the recordings seems to suggest both technical and human failure.
Sources close to the investigative team have revealed that the recordings indicate that Marc Dubois, the aircraft's 58-year-old pilot, was not in the cockpit at the time the trouble began. It is reportedly audible that Dubois rushed back into the cockpit. "He called instructions to the two co-pilots on how to save the aircraft," the source with inside knowledge of the investigation told SPIEGEL.
But their attempts to save the plane were ultimately in vain.
At the beginning of May, underwater robots were able to retrieve the flight recorders from the wreckage almost four kilometers (2.5 miles) below the surface of the Sargasso Sea. Two weekends ago, investigators succeeded in extracting data from the black boxes. Within 24 hours, reports were circulating suggesting that the crash seemed more likely the result of pilot error than a manufacturing flaw by Airbus.
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...
So his going to the bathroom caused the crash?
The Captain would have flown the first leg of the flight, and so he would have been taking his break in the crew rest area. Normal procedure.
Turbulence would have alerted him to trouble, and he would have then rushed back to duty.
So, nothing unusual in the article, although they try to make it sound bad.
My luck is every time I try to go to the bathroom my phone rings. Maybe the pilot's luck was worse than mine is.
I can only imagine that it was horrifying ride down to the ocean.
**IF** human error is the real cause, then it’s not just the left seat guy who was in error.
It’s easy to get complacent when you’re on autopilot and have experienced hundreds if not thousands of hours of prior trouble-free automated flight control, and those have encouraged you to be less than fully attentive and/or situationally aware.
The folks IN the cockpit likely had SECONDS to gain control of the aircraft after the autopilot said “I completely and absolutely give up in 50 different ways”.
Sadly it appears they did NOT take the right series of initial steps in the right time frame.
Yes, I know the facts are still a long way off, but ...
That's why they invented cellphones. But, they don't work on transoceanic flights.
In that Egypt Air crash the one guy left the cockpit and the other started the death chanting.. Hopefully not the case here. If so, we’ll get the transcripts though. Not anymore.
<< AF 447 PING >>
(No need to worry about direct testimony or pesky rebuttals).
pure conjecture and I’m not a pilot but I did stay at a Holiday Inn.
The tube on the outside of the plane iced over and the computer was receiving inaccurate air speed information.
The plane stalled and the pilots spent as much time fighting the computer as they did trying to recover from a stall.
Assuming they were at approximately 35,000 feet they would have had at least 4 minutes to recover from the stall before impacting the water. They should have been able to recover if the computer let them. Or perhaps they did recover and were too aggressive causing some kind of structural failure.
None of this yet explains how they came to be in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. Events leading up to the last 4 minutes are far more interesting in my book.
Classic ‘Q/coffin corner’ scenario as shown in that illustration.
Illustration lists @ 2:11 a possible “deep stall” but my understanding of a deep stall is that it peculiar to T-Tail designs - like the MD-80 and the B-727.
But my Vne is a mere 128KIAS and we never get close. Why waste the gas? (have to look at that placard again) .
Q corner puts the nose down, and deep stall keeps you nose up. .... on PowerPoint anyways; reality I have no clue. So I dunno. Never flown or trained to fly a swept wing fast mover.
Other flight crews in similar Airbus ships with the same failures DID recover from the condition. ALL involved loss of altitude, IIRC. this is not the first time it happened.
For whatever reasons, this crew did/could not recover the aircraft, likely from some sort of a stall condition with very limited attitude information available to them.
Again, I fly small, single engine slow-movers with that spinning thing out front. IT is VERY hard to lose control of a Champ, a Tri-Pacer, or a 152, or a 172, or a Rocket, etc etc
I’m guessing pitot tube de-icing might have come in handy.
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