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Pilot errors outlined in 2009 Air France crash
AP via Yahoo! News ^ | 29 July 2011 | ANGELA CHARLTON, ELAINE GANLEY

Posted on 07/29/2011 10:38:19 AM PDT by magellan

The crew piloting a doomed Air France jet over the Atlantic did not realize the plane was in a stall, were insufficiently trained in flying manually, and never informed the passengers that anything was wrong before they plunged into the sea, according to new findings released Friday.

Based on newly discovered cockpit recordings from the 2009 crash, the French air accident investigation agency is recommending mandatory training for all pilots to help them fly planes manually and handle a high-altitude stall.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: a330; airbus; airfrance
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1 posted on 07/29/2011 10:38:24 AM PDT by magellan
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To: magellan

>>...recommending mandatory training for all pilots to help them fly planes manually...<<

If ever I had a “WTF” moment, this would be it.


2 posted on 07/29/2011 10:41:30 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: magellan

As an ex instructor/fighter type, I find it unbelievable that ANY pilot would get themselves into this situation.

When airspeed indicator malfunctions are suspected, one always reverts to pitch and power control.

The French produce as quality a pilot as anyone - so what went wrong here?


3 posted on 07/29/2011 10:42:12 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: magellan

Pilots are trained to ignore their senses and to pay attention to their instruments and what happened here was that the instruments FAILED. Air France, Airbus, and the French government are trying to pass this off as pilot error instead of dealing with the fact that their airplanes are not safe and that their instruments on those planes cannot be trusted.


4 posted on 07/29/2011 10:43:59 AM PDT by MeganC (Are you better off than you were four years ago?)
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To: magellan
Just as I called it back in May...

HF calls it extreme pilot error back in May based on preliminary data!

HF

5 posted on 07/29/2011 10:44:43 AM PDT by holden
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To: magellan

“were insufficiently trained in flying manually”

So whose fault is that?
Not the pilots.


6 posted on 07/29/2011 10:45:44 AM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: SkyDancer

Ping to something that will make you look twice, maybe even three times.


7 posted on 07/29/2011 10:46:59 AM PDT by wastedyears (SEAL SIX makes me proud to have been playing SOCOM since 2003.)
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To: magellan

Pilot error my ass. Flying by wire and the closest thing to reality is bum instrument readings. Design flaw all the way. By the time it was decided to disregard instruments and fly by the seat of their pants by nosing the plane down to gain airspeed and foil over the wings again they were to low and into the drink they went.

Captain took a long enough time to wake from his nap and make his way back to the cabin, what’s up with that?


8 posted on 07/29/2011 10:47:32 AM PDT by Razzz42
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To: magellan
That one is really hard to believe. Lights flashing, altimeter unwinding like its broke, rate gage pegged at down, and we don't have a problem?
9 posted on 07/29/2011 10:48:02 AM PDT by ANGGAPO (Layte Gulf Beach Club)
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To: magellan

Were the names of the pilots ever published? This reads like catastrophic pilot error and only eclipsed by deliberate sabotage.


10 posted on 07/29/2011 10:49:14 AM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: magellan

The Airbus reflects the Euro-mentality of elite central planning. In this case, the central planner is embodied in the flight control computers, where the pilot doesn’t manipulate flight controls directly. Instead, his control inputs are mere suggestions to the computer which exercises veto power over any control input that it considers will cause it to violate the design envelope.

Tellingly, when the computer is in charge, that condition is called “normal law”. When the pilots take the extraordinary steps to override the computer’s nanny, that is called “alternate law.” I kid you not.

Do not these names reflect a certain world view and mindset?


11 posted on 07/29/2011 10:50:01 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: RobRoy

In other words, Airbus has a bad history of over-reliance on autopilot. I’d like to know what the pilot was looking at while the stall alarm was blaring.


12 posted on 07/29/2011 10:50:31 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: magellan

“...never informed the passengers that anything was wrong before they plunged into the sea ...”

Oh yeah that would be such help , this is your captain speaking we are all panicing here but enjoy the peanuts


13 posted on 07/29/2011 10:51:57 AM PDT by Flavius (What hopes for victory, Gaius Crastinus? What grounds for encouragement ?)
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To: magellan
Did not recognize they were in a stall????This is amazing. Stall recognition and recovery is learned when you first solo before receiving your private pilot license. As one transitions to other aircraft stall recognition and recovery is always practiced. This truly is a WTF moment.
14 posted on 07/29/2011 10:53:20 AM PDT by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: magellan

Reading through the article, and the Airbus history, my bet is that the pilots were fighting the Airbus computer. And the Airbus did not even whisper, “what are you doing Dave?”


15 posted on 07/29/2011 10:53:41 AM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: holden

A lot of us called it when it happen. Some people wanted to blame Airbus and some wanted to blame terrorist.


16 posted on 07/29/2011 10:54:56 AM PDT by Perdogg (0bama got 0sama?? Really, was 0sama on the golf course?)
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To: theBuckwheat

Please allow me to add that as an airplane driver since 1969, what kind of professional and regulatory environment do we have when the pilot cannot have enough basic information to keep an aircraft flying no matter what else failed?

A simple Garmin 396 VFR GPS would have given the pilot enough independent information that he could have validated his failing million dollar flight deck.

But as I previously posted, elites are smarter than the rest of us.


17 posted on 07/29/2011 10:55:12 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: Da Coyote

IIRC, the pitot-static system failed due to icing. The computer saw a speed mismatch and shut down.

With a plugged pitot port, the static was still open, and caused the altimeter to show a climb.

The (relatively low time ) flight crew raised the nose and reduced power settings. Plane started to descend, but altimeter and ROC indicators indicated it was still climbing. Further reduction in power.....etc....till splash. Went into a falling leaf deep stall.

The AF pilots are trained that the computer can take care of everything. They aren’t taught analog flying (like when you should break the glass on one of your instruments).

It has been about 6 months since seeing this stuff in detail, but basically the flight crew were flying by erroneous flight instruments when they should have set power and pitch at the settings called for in the manual when computer and AS indicators are lost, a known problem in this aircraft.


18 posted on 07/29/2011 10:55:12 AM PDT by wrench
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To: RobRoy

Rule #1 is to keep the plane flying. If the Airbus crew was so used to letting all of the computers do the actual ‘work’, and didn’t have enough experience manually flying the plane, then this was just an accident waiting to happen. AF crew flying into the trees at an airshow also comes to mind.


19 posted on 07/29/2011 10:56:01 AM PDT by JPG (Yes she can!)
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To: mosaicwolf

Yep.

Translation into plane English:

Our software killed everybody, blame the pilots as they are not here to defend themselves.


20 posted on 07/29/2011 10:57:04 AM PDT by null and void (Day 919. When your only tools are a Hammer & Sickle, everything looks like a Capitalist...)
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To: Flavius

Struck me the same way.

“Okay passengers, you might want to take that last sip of Fresca....”

Actually, its gallows humor- mea culpa.

I believe there was a post under the article or in the article where some one was glad that their loved ones did not have to be tirtured knowing they were on the 3.5 minute glide to the scene of impact.


21 posted on 07/29/2011 10:57:55 AM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: magellan

Airbus, contrary to popular belief, is not a bad airframe. That -330 and -340 series are so automatic with back up and independent instruments that it is hard to fathom what happened here. At the same time French pilots are as good as any around. I don’t know what to think..


22 posted on 07/29/2011 10:58:35 AM PDT by cardinal4 (Sauron/Sarumon 2012; it couldn't be any worse..)
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To: theBuckwheat

According to my co-workers that have been there, that’s the European mentality for nearly everything. In most career fields, they get worked like a dog for the first 10-15 years. Then when they’ve “made it”, they spend the rest of their careers being paid six figures to walk around and point. Fringe benefits include 2 hour lunches, 8 weeks vacation a year, and staff meetings that are actually glorified coffee breaks.


23 posted on 07/29/2011 10:59:38 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: magellan
Airbus 330 center console

Are not the instrument cluster in the top right Backup analog instruments ????

24 posted on 07/29/2011 10:59:46 AM PDT by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Voter62vb

“what are you doing Dave?”

“Dave’s not here.”


25 posted on 07/29/2011 10:59:59 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Flavius

“...never informed the passengers that anything was wrong before they plunged into the sea ...”

Reminds me of the old Luftanza joke. 747 flying over atlantic loses power...Pilot comes on speaker: Auctung, this is your Pilot Speaking...plane has lost power and we have to ditch...pilot out. A few minutes later, Pilot comes on speaker again...Actung, this is your pilot speaking, we are preparing for water landing, prepare for rough landing. Plane lands in Atlantic, perfect landing, plane is afloat but beginning to sink. Pilot comes on speaker again...Actung, I, your pilot, has made a wonderful correct landing in the Atlantic. I invite you to swim with me out to the life rafts....to those who cannot swim, THANK YOU FOR FLYING LUFTANZA.


26 posted on 07/29/2011 11:00:31 AM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: Da Coyote
I no longer am an instructor. When I was an instructor I would put the aircraft in unusual attitudes and speeds (all within the envelope). This was done at altitude. I emphasized that they must always “fly the plane.”

I would also do this to them while flying simulated IFR. At a high angle of attack the artificial horizon would topple and they would have to fly it with nothing except rate of turn and air speed. You must always “fly the plane.”

Question: Does the Airbus have mechanical instruments as their backup inturmentation or is the whole damn think connected to the computers?

27 posted on 07/29/2011 11:00:56 AM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: Da Coyote

.........with all due respect sir, obviously the French DO NOT produce quality pilots..............one night a couple years back these guys/gals flew this plane into the Atlantic and killed 228 folks............that is one undeniable fact!

Now comes this report saying they did not know what the hell they were doing, “THE PILOT” was on a break and there was no warning to passengers. Given this set of facts, and assuming they are accurate, these guys/gals were poorly trained............or poorly motivated..........or poorly something.............!

Let’s at least hold our pilots accountable, since we don’t anybody else in this PC world so my kids and yours are safe when they get on one of these things..................

I guess it should also be noted, in the interest of accuracy and fairness to the pilots, that this report also names Air Bus parts as culprits..........don’t know why this is not surprising!!!!! But, a pilot friend of mine agrees with you and simply says “there is no excuse for not being able to fly your airplane manually or for apparently being oblivious to the fact your nose is aimed for sharksville”................these guys/gals, according to this article, lacked this skill set due to no training...........


28 posted on 07/29/2011 11:03:50 AM PDT by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: magellan

Sounds like equipment malfunction. However, not being a pilot I still have to ask were there no visual cues? Did the storm block the flight crew from seeing the plane was falling?


29 posted on 07/29/2011 11:05:56 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Second thought. The action of the stall-warning system bothers me. Don't sound like ice.
30 posted on 07/29/2011 11:06:17 AM PDT by ANGGAPO (Layte Gulf Beach Club)
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To: theBuckwheat

I don’t trust socialists to create anything more complicated than a cigar.


31 posted on 07/29/2011 11:07:00 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: wrench

“With a plugged pitot port, the static was still open, and caused the altimeter to show a climb.”

Altimeters don’t use the pitot. Airspeed indicators do.


32 posted on 07/29/2011 11:07:34 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
“Did the storm block the flight crew from seeing the plane was falling?”

Being over water is very disorienting for a pilot even during the day. And I think this happened at night?

33 posted on 07/29/2011 11:09:33 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: Darksheare

“So whose fault is that?
Not the pilots.”

Pilots have a significant degree of input into what they are trained. I blame the pilots as they forgot basic flight training. It doesn’t take advanced training to know how to deal with a faulty airspeed indicator.


34 posted on 07/29/2011 11:09:33 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: ANGGAPO

“altimeter unwinding like its broke, rate gage pegged at down, and we don’t have a problem? “

Bingo. Not to mention they were pitched way up all the way down to the water.


35 posted on 07/29/2011 11:10:32 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: CodeToad

Whoever passed them to flight status is to blame.


36 posted on 07/29/2011 11:11:15 AM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: cardinal4

“At the same time French pilots are as good as any around.”

aue contrare mi amigo,
the end results indicate something completely different.
If those pilots were “as good as any around” then the plane would not have smacked into the Atlantic.


37 posted on 07/29/2011 11:12:17 AM PDT by 9422WMR (FOBO GTFO 2012)
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To: Da Coyote

“The French produce as quality a pilot as anyone - so what went wrong here?”

Well that’s a scary thought. Those pilots flew a perfectly flyable airplane into the water and killed everyone. I sure hope other pilots are better than that.


38 posted on 07/29/2011 11:13:27 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: CodeToad

Altimeter is plugged into the static system


39 posted on 07/29/2011 11:14:04 AM PDT by wrench
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To: CodeToad

I picture the plane slightly nose up and pitching wing tip to wing, in that position and falling the whole time.


40 posted on 07/29/2011 11:14:50 AM PDT by Razzz42
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To: mosaicwolf

My instructor put my plane into a power off stall first lesson I ever had. Almost caused me to quit taking flying lessons altogether, I was so scared.

Every lesson afterwards we practiced stalls, and later on he added power on stalls and those I hated even more. I have done more stalls than I care to remember, but I learned to keep flying the plane. This may sound ignorant but doesn’t Airbus have a stall warning blare?


41 posted on 07/29/2011 11:15:16 AM PDT by bergmeid (FUBO)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

“Dave’s not here.”

Awesome.


42 posted on 07/29/2011 11:15:21 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: Da Coyote
When airspeed indicator malfunctions are suspected, one always reverts to pitch and power control.

The French produce as quality a pilot as anyone - so what went wrong here?

It appears it's not so easy when your airspeed indicator goes away and you have to guess at the proper throttle setting and angle of attack.

Here's a little story about a Northwest Airlines crew who dealt with a similar situation and lived to tell about it. Posted by Orval Fairbairn not long after the crash:

I just got this email from a retired airline pilot:

From a retired NWA buddy of mine

This from Brent Stratton, a friend and NWA pilot I flew the B-757 with
out of our Tokyo base.........Now obviously on the A-330  

Well, I'm sure you have all heard of the Air France accident. I fly the
same plane, the A330.

      Yesterday while coming up from Hong Kong to Tokyo, a 1700nm 4hr.
flight, we experienced the same problems Air France had while flying
thru bad weather.
I have a link to the failures that occurred on AF 447. My list is almost
the same.
http://www.eurocockpit.com/images/acars447.php
            
      The problem I suspect is the pitot tubes ice over and you loose
your airspeed indication along with the auto pilot, auto throttles and
rudder limit protection. The rudder limit protection keeps you from over
stressing the rudder at high speed.
      
      Synopsis;
Tuesday 23, 2009 10am enroute HKG to NRT. Entering Nara Japan airspace.

      FL390 mostly clear with occasional isolated areas of rain, clouds
tops about FL410.
Outside air temperature was -50C TAT -21C (your not supposed to get
liquid water at these temps). We did.

      As we were following other aircraft along our route. We approached
a large area of rain below us. Tilting the weather radar down we could
see the heavy rain below, displayed in red. At our altitude the radar
indicated green or light precipitation, most likely ice crystals we
thought.

      Entering the cloud tops we experienced just light to moderate
turbulence. (The winds were around 30kts at altitude.) After about 15
sec. we encountered moderate rain. We thought it odd to have rain
streaming up the windshield at this altitude and the sound of the plane
getting pelted like an aluminum garage door. It got very warm and humid
in the cockpit all of a sudden.
Five seconds later the Captains, First Officers, and standby airspeed
indicators rolled back to 60kts. The auto pilot and auto throttles
disengaged. The Master Warning and Master Caution flashed, and the
sounds of chirps and clicks letting us know these things were happening.
      Jerry Staab, the Capt. hand flew the plane on the shortest vector
out of the rain. The airspeed indicators briefly came back but failed
again. The failure lasted for THREE minutes. We flew the recommended
83%N1 power setting. When the airspeed indicators came back. we were
within 5 knots of our desired speed. Everything returned to normal
except for the computer logic controlling the plane. (We were in
alternate law for the rest of the flight.)  

      We had good conditions for the failure; daylight, we were rested,
relatively small area, and light turbulence. I think it could have been
much worse. Jerry did a great job fly and staying cool. We did our
procedures called dispatch and maintenance on the SAT COM and landed in
Narita. That's it.


43 posted on 07/29/2011 11:15:48 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Da Coyote
When airspeed indicator malfunctions are suspected, one always reverts to pitch and power control.

They had a backup airspeed indicator and altimeter that were working. The bottom line is that nobody in the cockpit knew how to fly the airplane without a computer. When the transcripts came out, it was obvious.

The French produce as quality a pilot as anyone - so what went wrong here?

From what I've read, European airlines have no reservations about hiring a pilot with no experience, and the pilot who flew the aircraft into the ocean was one of those people.

44 posted on 07/29/2011 11:16:34 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Perdogg
You had the data when it happened?   That was good!   Kudos!

HF

45 posted on 07/29/2011 11:16:41 AM PDT by holden
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

“were there no visual cues? Did the storm block the flight crew from seeing the plane was falling?”

Most likely there was nothing to see outside, however, there were plenty of instruments inside to tell them they were descending, had a nose up attitude, and needed to pitch down and power up. There are backup instruments plus several sets of redundant primary instruments.


46 posted on 07/29/2011 11:17:06 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: magellan
The BEA says neither of the co-pilots at the controls had received recent training for manual aircraft handling, or had any high-altitude schooling in case of unreliable air speed readings.

And they were flying 200 passengers trans-Atlantic?

That's nuts!

47 posted on 07/29/2011 11:20:40 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: Voter62vb
HAL: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

SPLASH!

48 posted on 07/29/2011 11:21:49 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: magellan

Was there no sensation of ‘falling’ during those 4+ minutes? Even a fast controlled descent feels a bit like falling and also the ears ‘pop.’


49 posted on 07/29/2011 11:28:45 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
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To: Da Coyote

Do these aircraft have mechnical guages,even as a backup? I’m thinking They may have had elect issues and the digital went down


50 posted on 07/29/2011 11:33:44 AM PDT by 101voodoo
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