Folha Online- Caboclo Corbeta Arrival

Dragon Air Mishap – FAB Nota 36




Military sight of the wreckage and collect only Airbus this Friday

19/06/2009 – 18h18 da Folha Online (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

Regarding the criticism received by the airline on the lack of information to relatives, Gourgeon said that the whole company is involved from the beginning and that “all means are enabled to be in contact with families and people close to the victims.” In each country we have a representative to the 32 different nationalities involved, “said the head of Air France-KLM, saying that” there is no limit on resources. “

On Wednesday (17), the courts granted the first Rio compensation to the family of the passenger Walter Carrilho Nascimento Junior, 42. The relatives of the victim should receive in the next 30 days an amount equal to 30 minimum wages, paid by Air France.



19/06/2009 – 16h00 da Folha Online (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

Specializes in the SP identification by DNA helps in the recognition of victims of Airbus

According to SSP (Department of Public Safety), the expert criminal Lekiche Cristina Gonzalez was sent to Brasilia to assist the work of identification. The expert has ten years experience in the recognition by the DNA. Gonzalez worked in the identification of 195 of 199 bodies of the accident with the TAM Airbus, in July 2007.

The SPTC (Superintendent of Police Technical and Scientific) from São Paulo also made available eight professionals in the sector of anthropology to help identify the bodies if necessary.

The bodies rescued by the Navy from the ocean are brought to Recife, where they pass through a preliminary work of identification. The Secretary of Social Defense of Pernambuco set up a task force to try to expedite the work of identifying victims. A crisis plan was developed based on three different scenarios, assembled from the hypothetical number of bodies recovered. So far 50 have been removed from the sea.





Agency out now exchange of sensors due to flight speed 447

19/06/2009 – 13h42 da France Presse, em Berlim da Folha Online (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EFSA) said Friday that it does not yet have sufficient evidence to require the mandatory replacement of external sensors that measure the speed of aircraft, pitots. There is a suspicion that the malfunctioning of these devices have taken the Air-bus A330 from Air France – which made the plane flight 447, a fall in the Atlantic Ocean between the Rio and Paris on May 31 this year with 228 people on board .

“Waiting for results of additional investigations into the accident, we continue with our technical evaluation, which is not justified at present, a specific measure in this case” as a general replacement of the sensors “Pitot”, reported the Agence France Presse said the spokesperson of the agency, responsible for certification of aircraft in Europe.

He noted that there is still no conclusion about which until now has not been established that the malfunction of the probe measures the speed of equipping the Airbus has actually caused the accident. On Wednesday, the French Commission of Investigation (BEA) gave a warning “for building explanations and scenarios” around the accident that left 447 of the AF 228 dead.

Asked about the cases mentioned in the press – especially those that suggest that the Pitot probes, which measure the speed in flight, could have caused the disaster – the director of BEA, Paul-Louis Arslanian, said:

“For now, we can not say, and nobody can say what happened. “Nevertheless, Air France had to accelerate the replacement of its Pitot probes in its Airbus A330 and A340 models, pressed by the pilots and after several incidents in 2008 related to failures in these devices.

According to notes sent by the military responsible for operations, the amount of material is significant and will be available to the French Commission of Investigation (BEA), French government agency responsible for investigation of the accident.

Second note sent by the Brazilian military, the weather conditions in the region of search and rescue is bad. The forecast is worse during the day.






French association of victims of the accident flight 447 and contact with Brazilian

19/06/2009 – 13h53 da Agência Brasil (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

Established in France less than a week ago, the Association for Truth and the Protection of Victims Right now comprises 45 families of passengers – most French – from the Air France flight 447 and want to aggregate the largest possible number of relatives of victims, including Brazil, to increase the power demand of the group.

Like many relatives of victims in Paris, Pearl also complains of lack of support from Air France. She reports that has been made, last Tuesday by a person asking if the company was well. “But information, even, we are nothing,” said the woman, seeking information on the identification of bodies and personal objects found so far, for example.

We rely more on the Brazilian government, which has been more open and spent more, perhaps just by being less involved in the situation,” he said.

In Brazil, Sandra Assali, the Abrapavaa (Brazilian Association of Relatives and Friends of Victims of Air Accidents), claims to have received many contacts from relatives of the passengers of flight 447 in recent days. A meeting with at least 25 families are scheduled for Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. The French put an email address available to Brazilian families of victims:




Many readers have found extremely interesting the reading of the DragonAir accident as the situation and conditions described illuminate what might have been similar conditions for AF447. Note the comments by the investigators:

“It was also noted that during the initial period of the turbulence encounter, when the Autopilot was disconnected, the elevator angle changed momentarily from 0º to 7.4º

without any input from the pilots. The aircraft manufacturer was requested to verify that this change in elevator angle was normal.”

In another part of the report it quoted a response from Airbus saying that the 7.4 degree deflection was within the proper range of functioning. As a pilot, albeit single enging land, I would find being faced with that much uncommanded pitch change in an already hairy situation to be more than a little disconcerting.

However, what was really cogent to the AF447 incident was the amount of time the Dragonair investigators spent discussing the improper use by the crew of the advanced weather radar/shear warning system. I had not realized how much difference there was between the older, parabolic dish radars and the newer flat panel slotted arrays. The new ones have 15 times less penatrating power than the older ones and a very narrow, only 3 degrees wide, pencil beam with no side lobes.

According to the radar manual pilots are required to make frequent adjustments to the tilt angle and range controls in order to spot weather conditions changing as the distance closes with the aircraft approaching.

Quote From The Report:

It was highly probable that the weather radar was operated in such a way that it did not achieve optimum detection and indication of the position and intensity of the weather in the vicinity of the aircraft.  As a result, the deviation around weather was not initiated early enough, nor was the deviation large enough to avoid the weather.

The flight crew had not been provided with sufficient technical and guidance information nor were they adequately trained to operate the Honeywell RDR-4B Weather Radar for weather avoidance.

Report on the accident to Airbus A330-342 B-HYA (pdf)

Within the Manila Flight Information Region on 18 July 2003Weather radar detects droplets of precipitation. The strength of the return depends on the size, composition and amount of droplets.Water particles are almost five times more radar reflective than ice particles of the same size.

Weather radar is therefore effective in detecting rainfall and wet hail but not effective in detecting the upper level of a storm cell where most moisture exists in a dry,frozen state, i.e. in the forms of snow, ice crystals and hail. To determine the positions of storm cells, the antenna tilt angle should be adjusted to scan the icing level, where reflective water-covered ice/hail would be abundant. Above the icing level, ice crystal shave minimal radar reflectivity.

Although convective activities and turbulence exist at these levels, they do not show up readily on radar. To keep track of weather in the vicinity of the flight path,the antenna tilt angle should be frequently adjusted to scan the most reflective area in the icing level band.


3.1. Findings

3.1.1. The pilots were properly licensed and qualified to operate the flight. There was no evidence suggesting any pre-existing medical or behavioural conditions that might have adversely affected the flight crew’s performance during the flight. (Ref. Para.

3.1.2. Loading for the flight was within authorized weight limits, and the aircraft was operating within prescribed centre of gravity limits. (Ref. Para. 1.6.3)

3.1.3. The weather in the vicinity of NOBEN where the severe turbulence was encountered was affected by the presence of a tropical depression situated at approximately 160 NM east-southeast of the aircraft position, with isolated and embedded CB extending up to FL 450. (Ref. Para.

3.1.4. The meteorological information provided to the flight crew prior to departure from Kota Kinabalu sufficiently covered the flight. (Ref. Para. 1.7.3)

3.1.5. For the purpose of training, the company procedures in FCOM 3 on the use of weather radar are not sufficiently clear in its description of the recommended technique for operating the radar for weather avoidance. (Ref. Para. 2.3.6)

3.1.6. The aircraft inadvertently flew into an area of turbulent weather caused by strong convective activity associated with a tropical depression. (Ref: Para. 2.3.7)

3.1.7. While deviating to the right of track, the aircraft encountered severe turbulence at FL 410 at 14 NM north-northeast of NOBEN. (Ref. Para. 2.3.8)

3.1.8. It was highly probable that the way in which the weather radar was operated precluded optimum detection and indication of the position and intensity of the weather in the vicinity of the aircraft. As a result, the deviation around weather was not initiated early enough, nor was the deviation large enough to avoid the weather. (Ref. Para. 2.3.8)

3.1.9. The flight crew had not been provided with sufficient technical and guidance information, nor was there clear evidence that they were adequately trained to operate the Honeywell RDR-4B Weather Radar. (Ref. Para.

3.1.10. The cabin crew were qualified and adequately trained to handle the unusual situation after the accident. The cabin crew functioned effectively as a team in a demanding situation. The CP demonstrated competence and professionalism in cabin resource management to ensure that the injured were attended to. (Ref. Para. 2.7) 3.1.11.

The operator runs separate CRM courses for flight crew and cabin crew. Annual CRM recurrent training is provided only to cabin crew but not to flight crew. (Ref. Para. 2.8.5)

3.1.12. The FSBS were selected ON before the turbulence encounter. (Ref. Para. 2.9.2)

3.1.13. Handling of the flight by Manila and Hong Kong ATC was in order. Emergency units were alerted in a timely manner and adequate resources were provided to transport the injured persons to hospitals. (Ref. Para. 2.10.3)

3.1.14. No data could be retrieved from the QAR concerning the flight from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu and return. (Ref. Para. 2.11.2) 3.1.15.

After parking, the “Push to Erase” button on the CVR was operated. This contravenes the company’s instruction with regard to preservation of flight records. (Ref. Para. 2.12.1 & Para 2.12.2)

3.1.16. The aircraft behaved normally during the period of severe turbulence encounter with no system anomaly found. (Ref. Para. 2.13)

3.2. Cause

3.2.1. The aircraft encountered severe turbulence as it flew into an area of turbulent weather caused by strong convective activity associated with a tropical depression. (Ref: Para. 2.3.7)

3.3. Contributing Factors

3.3.1. It was highly probable that the weather radar was operated in such a way that it did not achieve optimum detection and indication of the position and intensity of the weather in the vicinity of the aircraft. As a result, the deviation around weather was not initiated early enough, nor was the deviation large enough to avoid the weather. (Ref: Para. 2.3.8)

3.3.2. The flight crew had not been provided with sufficient technical and guidance information nor were they adequately trained to operate the Honeywell RDR-4B Weather Radar for weather avoidance. (Ref: Para.


4.1.It is recommended that the operator should review and augment the relevant parts of the A330 FCOM 3 and FCOM 8 to provide more details on the technique in the operation of weather radar. (Ref. Para. &

4.2.It is recommended that the operator should strengthen the training of flight crew on the use of weather radar for weather avoidance. (Ref. Para.

4.3.It is recommended that the regulatory authority should consider stepping up regulatory oversight on the training standards of operators with a view to ensuring a more comprehensive coverage of weather radar operation and weather avoidance procedures for flight crew. (Ref. Para.

4.4.It is recommended that the operator should review its CRM training program so as to conform to the CAD 360 requirements. (Ref. Para. 2.8.5)

4.5.It is recommended that the operator should consider issuing additional instructions to flight crew and maintenance staff with regard to the need for preserving the integrity of DFDR and CVR data, or alternatively, to incorporate the instruction into FCOM 8. (Ref. Para. 2.12.2)








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 BEA.

****Contains speculative analysis****

Comment/Question: Anyway, has confirmed a hunch : that a lot of the now-identified parts belong to the front part of the airplane and they got detached with relatively medium forces – because their structure is basically whole – and they could only have been separated from the rest of the cabin through a big hole. Theories, please !

Yes, after looking up at Seat Guru, and the picture of the galley, it is certain that it is one of the Business Class Galleys. It is unclear if they found 2 or one galleys. The picture of a galley with it’s back towards the air, points towards the Front Right Business Class galley, but the others seems to point towards either the center galley in between L/R1, and the one inbetween L/R2.

Continuing on my previous speculative breakup analysis…

After the separation from the front end of the wing section, the front fuselage would be free falling and will not be subject to aerodynamic twisting forces (unlike the tail, which has control surfaces). I find it unlikely that the galley is subject to direct water impact. The fuselage water impact speed is likely to be lower than the aircraft dive-speed.

The problem is, the front cabin crew seats. There are a few possibilities on it coming to float. It really depends on the water impact. One possibility looming in my head is a split between the front fuselage and the cabin section causing the cabin crew wall and partition to come detached. That and the front galley appar require a >45 to horizontal (roll axis) water impact (absorption kind with lower deck crumpling). Whether it is a center or right galley, a 120 degree from horizontal along the roll axis is likely to be able to produce such a result. The cabin crew seat and the wall above does have fracture lines, I am not good at impact analysis… but my guess would be the fracture be produced by a shockwave perpendicular to the fracture line (a 120 deg from level on roll axis), or a crumple fracture (210deg from level). (Angles may not be accurate, I have not made any measurements based on the photos).

The question is, how did the split come about?

The Partition with the LCD display needs more work on before I can come up with a speculative likelihood. It appears to have suffered from multiple forces during or before separation (and aftward force or vertical crushing leading to split and separation from floor mounting). If it was an aftward force, it would mean a near simultaneous split of the fuselage front and aft of the wing. Ram air could enter the cabin, causing the punch like curvature. The split would be roughly between where L/R2 and the partition.

If this was a partition in front of row29, then a simple split of the fuselage between the wing and door L/R3, can explain the result.

Bear in mind, the above is extremely speculative.


Comment/Question:  Allow me to join the speculation. I think you may be over-analyzing this particular aspect. Catastrophic rupture of a pressurized fuselage (especially for such a voluminous widebody aircraft) releases an enormous amount of energy and quite possibly blew things apart well before water impact. That might explain the recovery of relatively large and fragile structures with a low ballistic coefficient (high area, low mass); given what we’ve seen, I doubt anything as large as the front fuselage came down in one piece.

The rupture, due to excess speed of aircraft, starting the rupture, and producing these results, is it possible in your opinion? To me it looks like so, but I need a second (and more) opinion… because I tend to think this happened in between high and low alts…


Comment/Question: When the human senses don’t agree with what the instruments are saying, the instruments are usually right – just look at the number of accidents caused by spatial disorientation. Unless one of the pros can tell us otherwise, I don’t see how any crew could be expected to instantly recognise that, in such a rare case as this, the instruments are wrong. I can easily picture an experienced crew seeing the speed decay and hesitating while they work out what’s happening.

The flags on the PFDs… Indicating failure in airspeed data. This doesn’t seem to the a case of instruments being wrong, but the failure to display the data… Flags… not “is this information is correct or not” but more of a “what the? flag? I have no airspeed?” This should prompt the crew to carry out the unreliable airspeed procedure. Now where what you’re saying and what I’m saying matches is… if they get a stall warning, would that be an actual stall or a false stall warning? This difficulty to decide whether it’s a real stall or not, can be further consolidated by as what you say seeing the speed decay and hesitating while they work out what’s happening prior to the airspeed data failure… because they could be wondering “what was my real speed just now?” whilst getting the a stall warning. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation because I would probably be saturated in thinking is that a real stall or not?








Resgate de Corpos do navio da Marinha /


19/06/2009 – 17h55 FAB Nota 36 – 19.06.09 (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)


The Brazilian Navy and Air Force Command report that, in this Friday, June 19, were seen and collected only wreck the AFR 447.

The Caboclo Corbeta berthed today at 9:15 a.m. in the Port of Recife bringing significant amount of debris, and belongings of passengers of Air Bus.  This material was delivered to the team responsible for investigating the causes of accidents (BEA).

15h, a meeting took place in the Third Integrated Center for Air Defense and Air Traffic Control (CINDACTA III) between the various bodies involved in the military operation in order to gauge the logistical means that are necessary for the continuity of actions and air marine search and rescue, due to the distance to date, and the estimated date for closure of the operation.

Participated in the event the Vice-Admiral Edison Lawrence Mariath Dantas, commander of the 3rd Naval District, Major Air Brigadier Louis Jackson Josu Costa, Commander of the Second Regional Air Command, the Cel Av Luis Gonzaga Ferreira Leon, Commander of CINDACTA III and advisors .

There are no changes in the amount of air and naval facilities, as well as effective military mobilized for the operation, which continues as planned.