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(CNN)   Why did Air France flight 447 plunge into the ocean? I know. It was the Brazilian pilots. Way too many   (cnn.com) divider line 268
    More: Followup, Air France, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A330, special agent in charge, air accidents, flight recorders, flights, Senegal  
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13827 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jul 2012 at 11:41 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-05 10:18:08 AM
CNN sucks

Also, Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.
 
2012-07-05 10:49:01 AM

Charlie Freak: CNN sucks

Also, Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.


Does your dad work for Boeing or something?
 
2012-07-05 11:44:21 AM

Charlie Freak: CNN sucks

Also, Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.


Oh, and don't use those rudder pedals too aggressively or the vertical tail will snap off.
 
2012-07-05 11:44:32 AM
too bad there wasn't a landing strip.
 
2012-07-05 11:47:13 AM
For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would
 
2012-07-05 11:48:12 AM

ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would


It puts France's national airline into the position of trying to blame a French-built European jet and vice versa.
 
2012-07-05 11:48:58 AM
Pretty sure the pilots were French.

/I know, subby make joke.
//Subby still sucks.
 
2012-07-05 11:49:32 AM
Airbus. That's all you need to know.
 
2012-07-05 11:50:29 AM

Charlie Freak: CNN sucks

Also, Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.


Wow, that is an irresponsible post.
 
2012-07-05 11:50:52 AM
Brazilian Pancake?

//that is all
 
2012-07-05 11:52:06 AM

b2theory: Charlie Freak: CNN sucks

Also, Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.

Wow, that is an irresponsible post.


It's a meme.
 
2012-07-05 11:52:29 AM
Scary that the joysticks are asynchronous, i.e. pilot and co-pilot can move them in different directions and not know what the other is doing - now there's a rotten design.

/headline sucks like an atomic-powered vacuum cleaner.
 
2012-07-05 11:53:36 AM
Perhaps one of the pilots farted in the general direction of the pitot?
 
2012-07-05 11:54:09 AM

JohnAnnArbor: ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would

It puts France's national airline into the position of trying to blame a French-built European jet and vice versa.


Easier to throw the pilots under the bus and get AF to sort out their training than it is to declare one of the biggest, modern modern airliners in the world unsafe.

But the crew does sound pretty incompetent. How do you not notice a stall warning screaming at you for a full minute? I like how the report talks about "startle factors" and "loss of cognitive control" and polite ways of saying "full on batshiatting panic"
 
2012-07-05 11:54:42 AM
When the headline is a question, the answer is always no.
 
2012-07-05 11:55:22 AM
What's with the bolded questions every five paragraphs? Do we really need to be reminded every five minutes what we're reading and why we're reading it?
 
2012-07-05 11:56:04 AM
Popular Mechanics did a nice annotation of the cockpit voice recorder transcript. Emotionally, it's kind of hard to read because it's just so tragic and appalling how they persisted in unwittingly killing themselves. You want them to realize what they're doing and fix it, despite knowing how it's going to end.
 
2012-07-05 11:57:45 AM

ElPresidente: Scary that the joysticks are asynchronous, i.e. pilot and co-pilot can move them in different directions and not know what the other is doing - now there's a rotten design.

/headline sucks like an atomic-powered vacuum cleaner.


According to Popular Mechanic's analysis of the in-flight recordings, it was a combination of that, and the fact that the copilot was panicking and probably pulling back on the stick the whole time, that put them in the situation. And apparently the captain left to take a nap minutes before they hit the storm, and didn't return until it was too late to recover from the stall.
 
2012-07-05 11:57:57 AM

ThunderChild: JohnAnnArbor: ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would

It puts France's national airline into the position of trying to blame a French-built European jet and vice versa.

Easier to throw the pilots under the bus and get AF to sort out their training than it is to declare one of the biggest, modern modern airliners in the world unsafe.

But the crew does sound pretty incompetent. How do you not notice a stall warning screaming at you for a full minute? I like how the report talks about "startle factors" and "loss of cognitive control" and polite ways of saying "full on batshiatting panic"


I'm amazed they wouldn't have felt the continuing descent. It sounds like the plane said "I can't figure this crap coming into my sensors out, you putzes fly this thing", which said putzes, being used to the plane doing the work, found themselves pants-shiattingly unable to do.

comp.risks is furiously fapping right now.
 
2012-07-05 11:59:56 AM
3.bp.blogspot.com

We've launched more failed pilots than the French Air Force (high fives)
 
2012-07-05 12:01:05 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Popular Mechanics did a nice annotation of the cockpit voice recorder transcript. Emotionally, it's kind of hard to read because it's just so tragic and appalling how they persisted in unwittingly killing themselves. You want them to realize what they're doing and fix it, despite knowing how it's going to end.


Argh, beat me by a mile.
 
2012-07-05 12:01:22 PM

Fish in a Barrel: It's a meme.


If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.

If it's not Canadair, I Canadon't.

If it's not Embraer, I'm not embarking.

If it's not Cessna, I'm Cesseding.
 
2012-07-05 12:01:44 PM

ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would


A French accident report goes easy on Airbus? Stop the presses!

Airbus treatment of the autopilot development and ergonomics, and the way they blame the pilots instead of saying "oops, didn't think of that" is nothing short of obnoxious and arrogant.

In this case, warnings sounded not only when the pilots were giving inputs that caused the stall, but also when they were coming out of the stall. At night, with no visual reference, inconsistent speed indications, and a system programmed to yell at the pilots when they try to pull (actually push) out of the stall, I don't know how the pilots have gotten as much blame as they have - except to protect a nationalized industry.
 
2012-07-05 12:02:00 PM
So basically, the aircraft started to misbehave, and the French pilots just surrendered?

/am I doing it right?
 
2012-07-05 12:03:27 PM
Whenever I'm flying and the plane dips and gives me that "HOLY shiat WE'RE FALLING" feeling for even 1 second, I just about lose my shiat. I can't imagine falling for 3.5 minutes. farking horrific.
 
2012-07-05 12:06:29 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2012-07-05 12:08:44 PM

ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would


True the pilots failed to react...TO BOTH AIRSPEED INDICATOR SYSTEMS FAILING.

Nice redundancy there Airbus. .
 
2012-07-05 12:10:12 PM

ThunderChild: JohnAnnArbor: ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would

It puts France's national airline into the position of trying to blame a French-built European jet and vice versa.

Easier to throw the pilots under the bus and get AF to sort out their training than it is to declare one of the biggest, modern modern airliners in the world unsafe.

But the crew does sound pretty incompetent. How do you not notice a stall warning screaming at you for a full minute? I like how the report talks about "startle factors" and "loss of cognitive control" and polite ways of saying "full on batshiatting panic"


If you really understood what happened, you would know the horn was going on and off. The computer logic was written poorly, so that there were times that the stall(angle of attack) got worse and the horn stopped - indicating things were better. Then there were times that the stall was getting to a lower angle of attack and the horn came back on, falsely indicating that the right actions from the pilot were making things worse.

These are exactly opposite indications, and with full darkness outside, inconsistent speed readings, and a horn going off at the wrong times, it's easy to see how they might be confused.
 
2012-07-05 12:11:59 PM

lohphat: ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would

True the pilots failed to react...TO BOTH AIRSPEED INDICATOR SYSTEMS FAILING.

Nice redundancy there Airbus. .


People flew airplanes long before airspeed indicators were invented you know...
 
2012-07-05 12:12:10 PM

12349876: Fish in a Barrel: It's a meme.

If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.

If it's not Canadair, I Canadon't.

If it's not Embraer, I'm not embarking.

If it's not Cessna, I'm Cesseding.


If it's not a PBY, get another PBR

If it's not Stinson, I'm sitting, son

/got nuthin'
//twice
 
2012-07-05 12:13:57 PM

lohphat: ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

snip. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on.snip .


Sounds like some places I've worked and therefore the most likely.
 
2012-07-05 12:14:05 PM

ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would


I have a feeling Air France is going to be getting sued out the ass
 
2012-07-05 12:17:10 PM

Bigjohn3592: These are exactly opposite indications, and with full darkness outside, inconsistent speed readings, and a horn going off at the wrong times, it's easy to see how they might be confused.


No, no , no! It was because it was a Scarebus!!! You literally can not walk down the street in any city in the world with out having to step over parts of yet another Scarebus that has fallen out of the sky. Scarebus has actually caused that population of the world to decrease due to the number of people they have killed.
 
2012-07-05 12:18:01 PM

ThunderChild: But the crew does sound pretty incompetent. How do you not notice a stall warning screaming at you for a full minute? I like how the report talks about "startle factors" and "loss of cognitive control" and polite ways of saying "full on batshiatting panic"


The experienced pilots knew about the stall and were trying to figure out what the hell was going on. The problem was the inexperienced pilot being a moron and the experienced ones not being able to get enough information to figure out what was causing the problem.

Basically, the plane started to stall out during all the chaos/stupidity of the autopilot problem, and the least experienced pilot was pulling full back on the stick to try to get altitude...something that only aggravates the stall (the optimal move would have been to dive a bit and get some airspeed going again). The range of stick movement on the Airbus is also much smaller than the traditional Boeing design - it's about a foot of full range - and pulling back wouldn't have driven a massive steering wheel into your chest. The experienced pilots had almost no way of knowing that the inexperienced guy was pulling full back other than deducing it from the effects, and they were likely focused on running through every mechanical possibility to cause a stall rather than seeing if someone was being a total moron.

There was a lot of hurdurr throughout the cockpit, but the crash itself could have been averted by not going balls-out fly by wire (or, perhaps more importantly, by not putting a moron behind the stick). Airbus does push extremely hard for automation in their planes and apparently Air France bought into it to the extent that stall handling wasn't part of their training.
 
2012-07-05 12:18:27 PM
The Air Chance foulup was pretty simple: They hit turbulence, the pilot put the nose uip 15 degrees, which at 38,000 feet was enough to stall the plane, and he kept the nose up all the way down.

Mechanical malfunctions may have added to it but it was human stupidity all the way.
 
2012-07-05 12:18:40 PM

mcreadyblue: People flew airplanes long before airspeed indicators were invented you know...


Since they were patented in 1906, then yes, people were flying for years before they were invented. Six years, actually. But they didn't fly much at night during those six years.

And it was actually invented in 1732, and still uses the name of its inventor.
 
2012-07-05 12:20:23 PM

Bigjohn3592: ThunderChild: JohnAnnArbor: ThunderChild: For anyone who's interested here's the full report

The conclusions are quite interesting. Basically, they seem to say this was a (relatively) minor incident that was turned into a disaster by the complete failure of the crew to figure out what was going on. It points out some flaws with the plane, but it's nowhere near as critical of Airbus as some thought it would

It puts France's national airline into the position of trying to blame a French-built European jet and vice versa.

Easier to throw the pilots under the bus and get AF to sort out their training than it is to declare one of the biggest, modern modern airliners in the world unsafe.

But the crew does sound pretty incompetent. How do you not notice a stall warning screaming at you for a full minute? I like how the report talks about "startle factors" and "loss of cognitive control" and polite ways of saying "full on batshiatting panic"

If you really understood what happened, you would know the horn was going on and off. The computer logic was written poorly, so that there were times that the stall(angle of attack) got worse and the horn stopped - indicating things were better. Then there were times that the stall was getting to a lower angle of attack and the horn came back on, falsely indicating that the right actions from the pilot were making things worse.

These are exactly opposite indications, and with full darkness outside, inconsistent speed readings, and a horn going off at the wrong times, it's easy to see how they might be confused.


Actually, the critical technological flaw seems to be the asynchronous inputs, with no indication that either there's a Big Effing Display showing who is doing what to which stick, or that if there is anyone thought to look. Clearing that flaw alone would have allowed the more experienced crew to realize the new guy was doing something extremely wrong the whole time.

The least experienced pilot seemed to forget his training about stall warnings, then forgot where his hand was and what it was doing, then failed to make way for the more experienced crew when things really went to shiat.

Technological lack of foresight and human panic combined to send that plane into the drink. Change any of several factors, and AF447 makes it to France.
 
2012-07-05 12:20:27 PM

KellyX: I have a feeling Air France is going to be getting sued out the ass


I bet the thought of getting the kind of protection Carnival has from getting sued into bankruptcy after Captain Lookatme flipped his ship gives airlines a little stiffy.
 
2012-07-05 12:21:03 PM

midigod: Since they were patented in 1906, then yes, people were flying for years before they were invented. Six years, actually. But they didn't fly much at night during those six years.


To be fair, during those six years they just put some rulers on the ground and timed it with a stopwatch.
 
2012-07-05 12:21:32 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Popular Mechanics did a nice annotation of the cockpit voice recorder transcript. Emotionally, it's kind of hard to read because it's just so tragic and appalling how they persisted in unwittingly killing themselves. You want them to realize what they're doing and fix it, despite knowing how it's going to end.


Thank you for posting that. Truly a nightmare. Worse still, it seems like all the passengers would have had to be terrified, too.

Question for Fark pilots: It seems weird that a plane can't climb if it's "too warm," doesn't it? Of course, everything I know about flying, I learned from Top Gun....

Also, just from a UI perspective, it seems like all the displays should change *dramatically* (like, white on red or something) if the plane says, "eh, fark it" and dumps to "alternate law" mode, eh?
 
2012-07-05 12:22:14 PM
I'm not anti-Airbus; they have a safety record roughly comparable to Boeing (although, anecdotally, it seems Boeing's 737NG fatal crashes have all been in developing countries with statistically poorer ATC or operated by airlines with known safety/maintenance issues, while the A319/320/321 fatal crashes have also occurred in first-world countries with good ATC and airlines with known-good safety and maintenance records).

What I don't get is this:

How can one pilot be unaware of the position of the control stick of the other pilot? That seems silly to not provide some sort of feedback on the stick.

What's sillier is that, apparently, Airbus planes will "average" the inputs of both control sticks - so if one pilot is pulling back on the stick and the other is pushing forward, the plane neither ascends nor descends. I would think that if the computer were getting wildly different inputs from both pilots, it would sound an alarm and, optionally, disengage one or the other stick - say, favor the left stick or something. Why would you think that averaging two wildly different inputs is a good idea?
 
2012-07-05 12:23:17 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Popular Mechanics did a nice annotation of the cockpit voice recorder transcript. Emotionally, it's kind of hard to read because it's just so tragic and appalling how they persisted in unwittingly killing themselves. You want them to realize what they're doing and fix it, despite knowing how it's going to end.


Error chain, It almost always is. Break the link and there is no crash - something (breaking the link) that happens every day.

Error chain (and type of error):
Entering area of heavy convective activity (natural)
Not diverting sooner because radar was in wrong mode (human)
Poorly-designed pitot tubes iced up (mechanical/natural)
Not cross-checking erroneous airspeed readings (human)
Inexperienced pilot flies very poorly after alternate law went into effect (human)
Poor Crew Resource Management in diagnosing, troubleshooting the problem (as well as flying the damn plane) (human)

This is mostly a human-error accident, but you can throw another, vague systemic human-factors issue in there, too, as the Airbii have asynchronous controllers - one pilot has no idea what the other is inputting in the controls.
 
2012-07-05 12:24:08 PM
Also terrifying and sad: Everyone who has tried the scenario in a simulator has been fine? Wow. Think of the shame in which his family must live. Just terrible all around.
 
2012-07-05 12:25:36 PM
The most terrifying thing I've heard about the new Airbusses is that they have no feedback on the control stick. Yeah, most of the time it makes no difference, I get it, but seriously? This thing doesn't have the technology that most gamers had 10 years ago for $50? Obviously you wouldn't use a gaming stick, but surely for $50,000 you could add a robust pro stick with force feedback to the bill of materials, profit and insurance included. This just smells of suits in a boardroom who haven't flown in years deciding it isn't worth it.

Well I use Mac/Linux...: I can't imagine falling for 3.5 minutes. farking horrific.


I could handle falling for 3.5 minutes. What I would really hate is the plane hitting the water, my aorta along with a few bones snapping, and as my brain loses consciousness seeing ocean water pouring in while the lights flickered. That part would totally suck.
 
2012-07-05 12:26:50 PM

PlatinumDragon: Actually, the critical technological flaw seems to be the asynchronous inputs, with no indication that either there's a Big Effing Display showing who is doing what to which stick, or that if there is anyone thought to look.


I think that this is truly the root of the problem. In a 747 the captain is going to walk in to the cockpit, see the yoke all the way back in the co-pilot's lap and say "WTF are you doing?"

Does anyone know how much feedback there is on one of those little side stick controllers?
 
2012-07-05 12:30:09 PM

NightOwl2255: Scarebus has actually caused that population of the world to decrease due to the number of people they have killed.


Well, this is actually true for all aircraft companies who have had accidents, even with test pilots. Or even if they didn't have accidents, because flying is so much fun the pilots probably have less sex.
 
2012-07-05 12:31:07 PM

SFSailor: Fish in a Barrel: Popular Mechanics did a nice annotation of the cockpit voice recorder transcript. Emotionally, it's kind of hard to read because it's just so tragic and appalling how they persisted in unwittingly killing themselves. You want them to realize what they're doing and fix it, despite knowing how it's going to end.

Thank you for posting that. Truly a nightmare. Worse still, it seems like all the passengers would have had to be terrified, too.

Question for Fark pilots: It seems weird that a plane can't climb if it's "too warm," doesn't it? Of course, everything I know about flying, I learned from Top Gun....

Also, just from a UI perspective, it seems like all the displays should change *dramatically* (like, white on red or something) if the plane says, "eh, fark it" and dumps to "alternate law" mode, eh?


Warm air is less dense, meaning less lift from the wings and less thrust from the engines. At high altitude and high gross weight, that can be a limiting factor.
 
2012-07-05 12:33:07 PM

Lord Dimwit: What's sillier is that, apparently, Airbus planes will "average" the inputs of both control sticks - so if one pilot is pulling back on the stick and the other is pushing forward, the plane neither ascends nor descends. I would think that if the computer were getting wildly different inputs from both pilots, it would sound an alarm and, optionally, disengage one or the other stick - say, favor the left stick or something.


For small differences, averaging makes sense. Beyond a small threshold, though, there should definitely be some sort of cue indicating widely divergent inputs. If the aircraft is getting inputs that aren't reconcilable, that's a definite indication that something is wrong.
 
2012-07-05 12:34:52 PM
As someone going to take an international flight in a few days all I want to know is was everyone dead on impact? Or did you get to sit there sinking in the water struggling to get out of your seat while a few tons of broken aluminum are dragging you to the oceans depths. And IF you did survive you got to float for as long as possible before your muscles fatigued and you died gasping for air under water.
 
2012-07-05 12:39:55 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Lord Dimwit: What's sillier is that, apparently, Airbus planes will "average" the inputs of both control sticks - so if one pilot is pulling back on the stick and the other is pushing forward, the plane neither ascends nor descends. I would think that if the computer were getting wildly different inputs from both pilots, it would sound an alarm and, optionally, disengage one or the other stick - say, favor the left stick or something.

For small differences, averaging makes sense. Beyond a small threshold, though, there should definitely be some sort of cue indicating widely divergent inputs. If the aircraft is getting inputs that aren't reconcilable, that's a definite indication that something is wrong.


Right, for small inputs it makes sense, but in a situation like this flight...yeah, that's a stupid design decision. Basically, stupid design decisions in the Airbus fly-by-wire system:

* Alternate law isn't clearly and continuously indicated
* No force feedback or other indication of the other pilot's control stick's position
* Averaging the two pilots' sticks' inputs when they are wildly different
 
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