BEA Official Press Release – FAB Nota 34 & 35 – Radio Chatter
BEA Press release 12 June 2009 (Website should say: June 17, 2009) (These people scare me!)
A330-200, registered F-GZCP
During the third Press Conference that was held on 17 June on the progress of the investigation into the accident to flight AF 447, the BEA presented the sea search operations that are under way. It contains a map of the locations of the airplane debris, including the fin, that were recovered from the surface of the sea. This debris field corresponds to a relatively small area with a drift towards the north.
A targeted undersea search area has been established based on the position of the parts recovered – more than four hundred items have been referenced – and on the flight path of the airplane reconstituted from data transmitted by the ACARS. Exploration began on Wednesday 11 June with an increase in the means deployed until 16 June 2009.
During this press conference, the few validated facts available at this time were set out and detailed:
* The airplane was in cruise at flight level 350 (about 10,500 metres).
* No messages indicating problems were received on the air traffic control radio frequencies.
* Close to the planned route of the airplane above the Atlantic there were significant convective cells characteristic of the equatorial regions;
* The last position message from the airplane was broadcast by the ACARS automatic system at 2 h 10 UTC.
* Between 2 h 10 and 2 h 14 UTC, 24 maintenance messages were transmitted by the ACARS, including 14 between 2 h 10 and 2 h 11.
* Analysis of these messages shows inconsistencies between the various speeds measured. Most of the messages appear to result from these inconsistencies; they correspond to the loss of several flight assistance systems.
* 49 bodies were recovered between 6 and 11 June 2009.
Comment on the above BEA Release:
Can only mean one thing : an ACARS automatic transmission of the aircraft position. And when compared to the published “Reconstituted flight path” map, it is logical to assume that the flight was transmitting its position every ten minutes. The corollary is that the “last position report” plotted on the Brazilian maps is the 0210Z position and not the one at 0214Z .
Resgate de Corpos do navio da Marinha /
FORÇA AÉREA BRASILEIRA
18/06/2009 – 17h59 FAB Nota 35 – 18.06.09 (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)
INFORMAÇÕES SOBRE AS BUSCAS DO VOO 447 DA AIR FRANCE
The Brazilian Navy Command and Aeronautical Command report this Thursday, 18th June, only wreckage were seen and collected. The weather did not commit to the searches.
Since yesterday, day 17, a part of Operation Fokker F-27 aircraft of the Spanish Air Force. Directed by the Center for Coordination of searches from DAKAR, this aircraft has carried out search missions near the area of concentration of debris.
On the morning of day 19, Corbeta Caboclo will reach the port of Recife, bringing a significant amount of debris and luggage. All this material will be available to the Bureau d’Investigations et D’Analysis of I’Aviation Pour la Securite Civile (BEA).
The landing ship Rio de Janeiro at dock, which yesterday received two helicopters (UH-14 Super Puma and UH-12 Squirrel) should reach the area to search on 20.
From tomorrow, 19th, [briefing] notes will be disclosed at 18h with the details of the work throughout the day. If you need new [press credentials], register by means of email addresses.
The “organs” of the press interested in registering for the arrival of Corbeta Caboclo, at the Port of Recife, should register via the following email address: imprensa.fab @ gmail.com (Command of the Air / Brazilian Navy).
CENTRO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL DA MARINHA
CENTRO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL DA AERONÁUTICA
18/06/2009 – 11h17 Press Release – English (Nota 34)(English Corrected)(Emphasis mine)
INFORMATION ON THE SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447
The Brazilian Navy Command and Aeronautical Command inform that this Wednesday, June 17th, the Amphibious Assault ship Mistral, of the French Navy, retrieved remains sighted in the search area. Wreckage and luggage are also being retrieved from the region.
This afternoon, at 14:30 (Brasilia local time) a C-130 Hercules aircraft landed in Recife (PE) carrying the six bodies that were in Fernando de Noronha, and were delivered to the Legal Medical Institute, in order that the identification task be concluded.
The Corvette Caboclo, is carrying a significant quantity of wreckage and baggage on board and is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Recife on the 19th of June, where it will transfer to the representatives of the French Investigation Committee (BEA) all the [wreckage] material.
CENTRO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL DA MARINHA
CENTRO DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL DA AERONÁUTICA
ON-LINE AVIATION CHATTER /
MSG BOARDS / DISCUSSIONS
You never know what you may hear on the radio! Below are the most recent on-line aviation chatter and message board discussions. Please understand the below are only chatter/discussions among aviation professionals world-wide and should not be considered fact until all official information is released by Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Disinformation (BEA).
Comment/Question: I am only trying to say that when we face a complex problem or situation, we need to be open minded an explore all the possibilities that could have a rational explanation, before to jump to a conclusive sentence.
This is what some of us who have remained in the discussion did. We resisted the temptation to jump to conclusions. Others have ranted on and on about the attitudes of those who did not jump to conclusions… someone appears to have been banned because of it too! For me, systematically going through the evidence to systematically address various theories, isn’t easy either. We’re also doing it for keeping the discussions going.
To be honest, after the time spent filtering through all the theories put forward based on the evidence, and addressing and explaining what other theories can make sense or not based on the evidence, defending objectivity against those who’d rather jump to conclusion without any systematic thinking, etc etc, I find it quite disappointing to still see comments such as “I guess if we don’t agree to what you say, we’ll be shot down by the high-and-mighty respected users”…
Comment/Question: Or is this a direct result of the plane going systems going into ALT LAW due to a hypothetical pitot problem with all three tubes?
Do not need all 3 to go before ALT LAW, all you need is ADRs to disagree.
Comment/Question: In other works, does a malfunctioning of all three pitot tubes cause disengagement of all automatic flight systems?
Yes it would, but so could a single failure, e.g. if pitot 1 was blocked, which in turn gave ADR 1 false pressure information, ADR 1 could pick that up as a failure. The ADR would pass the failure to the DMC which would then fail the speed tape on the CAPT PFD. If A/P 1 was engaged, thus getting speed data from ADR 1, and the speed output failed, the A/P and A/THR would trip off as one of the normal engagement conditions for them is no longer valid.
This sounds dramatic, but it is not difficult to hand fly the aircraft, or you could engage A/P 2 to get speed data off the F/O PFD. The ECAM would direct the air data on the CAPT PFD in such a case to switch from ADR 1 to ADR 3, and everything would be operative again on both sides.
Comment/Question: Target Pitch Target N1%… once they’ve established they can start sorting it out, they’ll pull out a target pitch target N1% table to see which one corresponds to their weight and altitude to give a reasonably level flight.
Also have the “bird” or flight path vector which you can turn on, if you sit the bird on the horizon, the aircraft will remain level.
Comment/Question: A/T OFF in the ACARS would be because it was not triggered by direct human intervention (pressing the A/T button to switch it off)
As pointed out above, one can also trigger that message by not disengaging them correctly, such as turning them off from the glare shield.
As we have mentioned before, you need power on the AC-1 bus for those messages to be transmitted, if the aircraft did break up in flight as he suggested, I fail to see how AC-1 would have power, and how the SATCOM antenna would be pointing remotely in the correct attitude for transmission.
Comment/Question: Then there’s a bulkhead with CIDS on it. L2 area?
To me it looks more like one of the displays that is on the bulkhead used for the safety video before flight, and flight progress later.
Comment/Question: OTOH it would be very difficult to model things in detail (several densities, forces, etc..). Maybe the only way to know would be through experience, but are there enough data available? I suppose new planes aren’t crash-ditched just to see how they break apart?
It is possible to model such a collision effectively using software like MSC/DYNA. Spoilers are designed so that aerodynamic forces keep the flat, and the hydraulics apply pressure in one direction. I do not think they would be designed to remain flat with a high g deceleration.
Comment/Question: All of the people were killed had multiple breaks to their arms, legs and hip structures. This could come from being ejected from a fast moving airliner at high altitude.
Or it could represent the number of people not wearing seats belts, would not be the first time people have not put their belts on when indicted to do so form the cockpit.
Comment/Question: One of the many possibilities that I believe cannot be ruled out, but one that I have not seen mentioned, is an instantaneous, total failure of the windshield at 35,000 feet, mach 0.8, which would have immediately disabled the crew and led to loss of control of the aircraft, leading to a subsequent mid-air breakup. Is this something that the investigators have considered?
I doubt that was the case, would have had a failure message for the window heater, and the rapid decompression.
The size of a cockpit window is not that much larger than the combined area of the outflow valves (they are about the size of a cabin window each), so cabin pressure in my view would not change that rapidly.
Also we know from the BA BAC 1-11 flight that had such a failure, that is entirely survivable by the whole crew. The window on the BAC 1-11 was fixed from the outside, unlike the A330.
Comment/Question: How easy/difficult it is to fly with roll direct with no airspeed… in turbulence.
Actually not that difficult. A common mistake made is pilots will chase either altitude or airspeed, the correct technique is to maintain the proper attitude and thrust setting and accept changes in speed/altitude.
Comment/Question: This sounds dramatic, but it is not difficult to hand fly the aircraft, or you could engage A/P 2 to get speed data off the F/O PFD. The ECAM would direct the air data on the CAPT PFD in such a case to switch from ADR 1 to ADR 3, and everything would be operative again on both sides.
I need to go back to the data again, what is known is that in the end, we have a failure associated to ADRs 1,2 and 3… but whether 3 of them occured at the same time, given the ISIS flag came at 0212… it points towards progressive rather than simultaneous.
My speculation analysis of Transition A and Phase 2 of the accident calls for a revision! Smile
Comment/Question: To me it looks more like one of the displays that is on the bulkhead used for the safety video before flight, and flight progress later.
Yes, possibly Y/J center partition.
Comment/Question: Actually not that difficult. A common mistake made is pilots will chase either altitude or airspeed, the correct technique is to maintain the proper attitude and thrust setting and accept changes in speed/altitude.
This has bugged my mind… maintaining pitch and wings level has only 2 things to look at… but chasing altitude has 3… of which 2 are related.
If the handling pilot chased altitude… This kind of mistake is common to all types of aircraft in an unreliable speed situation… What you’ve said, could close another gap in my mind… Thanks…
Comment/Question: This TCAS fault is the result of ADR 1,2,3 faults.
Could be just ADR 1, that would be the air data source for transponder 1.
Shoot ! I didn’t check that one !
You and me are suffering from reading the FCOMs too much! Smile
TCAS depends on inputs from ADIRU 1 for Attitude & Heading… ATC1 requires altitude from ADIRU 1 and 3… however, sometimes we forget that there are components and subcomponents supplying data to ADIRUs whose data will be forwarded to the ATC1.
A failure upstream (such as ADM) will generate the fault reports to systems downstream. It doesn’t mean total fault/failure, but a report generated nonetheless… am I correct?
I did have a mental picture of the linkage in my mind earlier but forgot to do a tracing… *silly me!*
Comment/Question: Out of curiosity, apart from the panel switch and moving the levers to somewhere between Climb and Idle (which would keep A/T but limit the maximum thrust?), is there another way to disengage A/T?
The A/T button on the FCU panel should bever be used for disconnecting the autothrust. It is always disconnected by pressing the Instinctive Disconnect Buttons on the thrust levers themselves. Moving the levers out of the climb detent won’t disengage the autothrust immediately. The TLA’s on the N1 display will move to corrospond with the lever position and “LVR CLB” will flash on the FMA.
Comment/Question: Also out of curiosity, in an exceptional situation like this, where you want full Climb thrust immediately, would using the A/T switch on the panel be a reasonable thing to do, given that the thrust levers are already at Climb?
If you wanted full climb thrust, disconnecting the autothrust with the levers in the CLB detent will give it to you. But again, not by using the button on the FCU panel.
Comment/Question: The following simulator scenario was conducted several times and the results at the end of each scenario produced consistent findings.
In an A330 simulator at FL 350 with a gross weight of 210 tonnes in ISA+10, with icing selected, the aircraft approaches a thunderstorm with a high intensity of turbulence. Due to the extreme turbulence, the autopilot disengages. Shortly thereafter a malfunction is selected to block both captain’s and first officer’s pitot tubes to replicate extreme ice formation.
The airplane reverts to alternate law with protection lost. There is a speed flag on both the Captain’s and FO’s PFD. The severe turbulence activates repeated stall warnings. Manual thrust is being used at this time. The speed on the standby altimeter is reading 240kts or thereabouts with MACH .72. From the GPS the ground speed is 350 kts or thereabouts. It is very difficult to read the instruments and ECAM warnings.
Updrafts take the aircraft up to FL 370 and produces a negative G of .2. The aircraft then enters severe downdrafts and the rate of descent averages more than 19,000 fpm. The instinctive reaction is to pull on the stick to arrest the rate of descent. The aircraft shakes and buffets violently. The G force on the SD reads +5 but the instructor’s panel shows +8. The aircraft breaks up in flight around 20,000 ft.
After several attempts at this with all results being equal one could not see AF447 sending out any distress signals if this is what happened to them. Applying an unreliable airspeed memory item would have proven to be very difficult because of the violent shaking and opening a QRH for an ADR check procedure even less likely.
Comment/Question: It was an advisory message saying that the cabin rate of climb / descent was over 1800 ft/min.
Which could be linked back again to an air data problem, as the cabin pressure controller (CPC) needs to know the aircraft’s altitude. One can simply switch over to the other CPC to pick up anther air data source, or manually control the outflow valves on the overhead panel.
Comment/Question: [Ref Above BEA Press Release] Can only mean one thing : an ACARS automatic transmission of the aircraft position. And when compared to the published “Reconstituted flight path” map, it is logical to assume that the flight was transmitting its position every ten minutes. The corollary is that the “last position report” plotted on the Brazilian maps is the 0210Z position and not the one at 0214Z .
I mentioned in one of the earlier threads that it was of my understanding that the aircraft was logged on with ATC datalink, the position reports via datalink would be passing every waypoint, and at least once every 3 minutes. The “10 minute” markers in that picture I think was done with some position report filtering. It appears to show almost constant ground speed which I find usual.
Comment/Question: I went through a few different possibilities in one of our simulators a couple of days after the accident, I was not able to get the same sequence of CMC/ACARS messages.
Until we get the FDR data, the actual flight profile remains unknown. The scenario listed is just pushing a simulator beyond what they are designed to do and does not produce the CMC/ARACS messages received.
The simulator weather models are not that realistic (they are someones idea of what thunderstorm is like represented in software), they are designed mainly for windshear training training at low altitude, not measuring the aircraft’s aerodynamic response at cruise altitude.
Comment/Question: The last position message from the airplane was broadcast by the ACARS automatic system at 2 h 10 UTC.
OK, that’ll bring the “LACRS”: position to 0210, that means the original speed counts… but I’ll do a recalc…
Comment/Question: “Essentially, it fell from the sky like a stone with no forward flight.” “The vertical fin separated from the airframe while on cruise” and so on. That’s it? Investigations about so complex accidents are so simple? Should I believe that we are in 2009 and the airways travel industry cannot bear a storm or bad weather?
I’m relieved that you understand the complexities around an accident. Each is unique, and each most possible scenario has adequate factual background before it is published. Unfortunately, we are not in that position. Each accident is a failure of at least one or more things.
The safety systems put in place in the equipment and in the humans sitting in the flightdeck through training etc, does not cover all possibilities (yes, no one trains for the aircraft being abducted by an alien mothership), there are limits to what we can train people for, and what we can design systems for… those are the certification thresholds, and problems likely to occur, and some rare ones… but, VERY RARE (ie: extremely unlikely in the remotest sense) mishaps are not trained for, nor are they guidelined. If so, the training manuals and Quick Reference Handbooks crew has to carry will probably the whole of the aircraft’s cargo hold!
Planes WILL continue to fall out of the skies on a rare and irregular basis! We cannot prevent that! The only thing we can feasibly do is to reduce that rare and irregular occurence further.
Comment/Question: The case of this accident, shows that all pitots being iced is covered as a possible occurence (in terms of icing beyond certification requirements)…
Pilots are trained not to fly into known severe icing, due to risk of the icing exceeding certification requirements. HOWEVER, weather, is not a precise science, and others said, one has to rely on training, and experience to gain a sharp skill to consistently stay out of weather problems, whilst continuing the good intention of carrying the passengers from A to B in a timely and safe manner.
LuckyBogey Still Has Tickets!