UAL744

AF447 anniversary today

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Hello again, this year marks the 10th anniversary of another high profile crash. 10 years ago this coming Saturday, Air France flight 447, an Airbus A330, on what was supposed to be a routine overnight transatlantic flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France crashed into the North Atlantic barely 3 hours after leaving Brazil.

 The data recovered from both black boxes 3 years after the crash would send shockwaves through the commercial aviation industry and shock pilots the world over, both recreational and commercial.

After having the autopilot disconnect from having the pitot probes plugged with ice, 32 year old primary first officer Pierre Bonin, who was flying the plane with the relief first officer was struggling to comprehend what was happening. Inexplicably and without the relief first officer knowing, Bonin pulled back on the side stick and kept it there until the airliner slammed into the ocean, a decision that left experienced pilots and aspiring pilots around the world shocked, and one that 10 years later is still impossible to comprehend or understand. Now bleeding precious airspeed, the Airbus A330 kept climbing and climbing until having bled airspeed to the point where the stall warning sounded and the airliner started falling to the ocean and at over 10000 feet per minute.

Even with the plane falling, Bonin kept the side stick up and still couldn't understand what was happening. With the plane now just 10,000 feet over the ocean, the captain reenters the cockpit and asked what was happening. Finally, Bonin reveals that he had the side stick up the entire time. Instantly realizing what was happening, the captain demanded that Bonin give him the controls, but it was too late, seconds later, the Airbus A330 slammed into the ocean, killing everyone onboard instantly. 

But with all the after effects of the crash, one can only hope that the changes implemented after the crash, and the release of the accident report, this accident won't happen again! RIP to all onboard.

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8 hours ago, UAL744 said:

Hello again, this year marks the 10th anniversary of another high profile crash. 10 years ago this coming Saturday, Air France flight 447, an Airbus A330, on what was supposed to be a routine overnight transatlantic flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France crashed into the North Atlantic barely 3 hours after leaving Brazil.

 

An important one to remember. Lets hope it doesn't happen again. RIP.

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Let's keep our fingers crossed, let's hope the industry actually learned something from this...

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At the time of the AF 447 crash, there was a young French woman who worked in our office in London whose sister had been on the flight. She never recovered from her grief at the lost of her sister in this terrible crash, constantly imagining the terror that her sister and the other passengers must have felt as the plane came out of the sky. She couldn't stop thinking about it. She eventually resigned and went home to France to live with her family.

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If you see your French colleague again, tell her I'm so sorry for her loss. But like I said before, let's hope the lessons from this accident do not go unheeded, and we don't have other grieving family members suffering yet even more heartache and pain!

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25 minutes ago, AviatorMan said:

At the time of the AF 447 crash, there was a young French woman who worked in our office in London whose sister had been on the flight. She never recovered from her grief at the lost of her sister in this terrible crash, constantly imagining the terror that her sister and the other passengers must have felt as the plane came out of the sky. She couldn't stop thinking about it. She eventually resigned and went home to France to live with her family.

My condolences to your colleague.

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Even 10 years on I can only imagine what it must've been like on that plane, it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it...

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Came down to the lack of proper training in the end. No CRM between the junior pilots, so no-one really knew who was flying the plane. This situation should never have happened. 3 Irish doctors lost their lives in that accident.

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Yes, the more I looked into the details and the circumstances surrounding the crash, the more I saw a clear cut case of either ineffective or nonexistent CRM, another reason why this crash should never have happened. This was one crash that was avoidable, preventable and unfortunately is repeatable unless we learn how it happened so we don't have a recurrence and again, more heartache and pain.

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Even though there's a high degree of automation in today's modern airliners, tragedies like this give argument for the need to have pilots instead of system managers. There comes a time when just following a magenta line is not the best option. Fly the aeroplane... if that requires more stick and rudder time then so be it.

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And here's another lesson of Air France 447, no amount of automation can ever, and I mean EVER, replace the stick and rudder skills that you learn as a private pilot, and that's another aspect of being human. Another important lesson is that regardless of the situation, your first and foremost priority is to fly the airplane! Don't let the airplane fly you, you fly the airplane, and get it under control! If you don't do that, you will only aggravate the situation you're in. 

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Air France 447 is also one reason to remember that human being performance is not very good at night (during 1-2 AM or 01:00-02:00).

For example:

1986 - Chernobyl disaster at 01:23

1994 - sinking of cruise ferry MS Estonia at 01:50

2009- AF447 at 02:10.

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Well, it's happening. 10 years ago today, Air France 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Brazil after flying into a mid ocean thunderstorm and having the primary first officer stalled the airliner.

32 year old Pierre Bonin's decision to pull back on the side stick, and keep it there until the airliner slammed into the ocean, a decision that was then, and still is now, nothing short of unspeakable, still confounds not just A330 pilots but pilots of all planes, both Boeing and Airbus. Even Sully, who is known for the Miracle on the Hudson and having flown another Airbus plane, the A320 was shocked, and even he couldn't understand Bonin's decision. A few pilots were shocked beyond words and their shock is completely understandable, I was shocked as well.

Pilots around the world all agree that this crash should not have happened, it was a preventable accident on so many levels but it could happen again unless the industry actually listens to the people lobbying for the implementation of the recommendations outlined by the accident report. I like all today send our condolences to the families of the victims, may they Rest In Peace, and I, like many, have sincere hopes that this crash never happens again, ever!

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, UAL744 said:

...decision to pull back on the side stick, and keep it there until the airliner slammed into the ocean, a decision that was then, and still is now, nothing short of unspeakable, still confounds not just A330 pilots but pilots of all planes, both Boeing and Airbus.

Pilots around the world all agree that this crash should not have happened, it was a preventable accident on so many levels...

I wrote this, then edited it, then decided not to post it, as I don't usually comment on political, religious or controversial subjects. Then I changed my mind and decided to anyway.

Don't take this personally it's just I find the way the original post is written is in very poor taste and trying to stir up emotion. Shock, shock, shock, unspeakable horror when what we should be doing if anything this remembering with dignity.

Naming him is not necessary. Why not name the other flight crew members who were equally culpable in failing to work out what was happening? Saying he decided to pull back and do nothing else is incorrect and makes it sound like it was on purpose - a la Germanwings. The official reports refer to the crew making decisions as they were discussed as a crew. It was not just someone pulling back in a sidestick with no thought that caused this accident. That is a tabloid media view.

Not just pilots - everyone - agrees it shouldn't have happened. But that doesn't make it any different from any other accident including a lot more recent ones.

Even Sully - he's not some sort of sky god, he did something as part of a crew that most trained pilots could and would do and even then they missed some things and made some incorrect decisions due to pressure and workload (I'm not Sully bashing here! Just pointing out that he isn't particularly special as a pilot or airbus authority).

Lastly, it does not still confound pilots of all aircraft. While exact thought processes are for obvious reasons unknown it is well understood what was going on and the reasons why certain decisions were made. All this was in the official report and recommendations and lessons have been learnt.

There were lots of contradictory indications that lead the crew to believe that all instruments were inconsistent and could not be trusted. Add the autopilot disconnecting and the switch to alternate law. Add the noise, darkness and startle effect to this. Then the confusing fact that the stall warning stopped sounding but every time they released pressure and lowered the nose an alarm started and then by pulling back it stopped leading them to believe that the alarm was overspeed and not stall. All this shows why it took them so long to identify what was happening too late to recover.

Don't take this personally as remembering what happened is noble, but trotting out tabloid style often repeated phrases is not the right way to remember what happened.

Chris

Edited by tutmeister
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Ongoing discussion in this thread...

Should they be merged?

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I'm glad you decided to make the post Chris. It needed to be said..............Doug

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Two topics with the same subject merged.

 

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On 6/2/2019 at 1:32 PM, W2DR said:

I'm glad you decided to make the post Chris. It needed to be said..............Doug

+1

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All three pilots failed in their own unique way.

RIP.

Cheers,

 

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