UPDATED LINK: (AP): Air France warns pilots as crash probe continues

Air France MEMO: “Enough Scandals and False Debates about Flight Security!”

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Yesterday, Paul-Emic, a conservative French Blogger (Politique, émois et moi) alerted our readers on the below Journal du Dimanche (JDD) articles that were causing quite an stir from Paris to Rio. I have attempted to translate from French to English each of the articles.  Please remember Pilots are called “Drivers” in the translation.

I have also included a You Tube video for a F14 “Flat Spin” to illustrate a “Flat Spin”.  I seriously doubt the FO as well as most pilots would have been able to pull out of a flat spin.  The best way to get out of a flat spin, is to not get in one in the first place!

Readers of this blog site are familiar with most of the below issues and know I usually don’t like to speculate nor assist the lawyers or sell Sunday newspapers.  Personally, I don’t understand why the final autopsy reports have not been released…

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English Version

Where we talk of the AF 447 Paris Rio

In its edition today, the Journal du Dimanche published an interview with the president of the union of pilots of Air France, which publishes a report that clearly cause icing pitot tubes, assuming that we had moved quickly as soon as it was apparent that this was the only plausible hypothesis.

All the work of disinformation BEA, Air France to a lesser extent Airbus with the active complicity of government power will now be laid flat. And that can not come more mixed families at this travesty of the truth to protect the interests of some, some of them are deciding to make a complaint.

dimanche 4 octobre 2009


Original Version

Où l’on reparle de l’AF 447 Rio Paris

Dans son édition d’aujourd’hui, le Journal du Dimanche publie une interview du président du syndicat des pilotes d’Air France qui publie un rapport mettant clairement en cause le givrage des tubes pitots, hypothèse à laquelle nous nous étions rallié rapidement dès qu’il était apparu que c’était la seule hypothèse vraisemblable.

Tout le travail de désinformation du BEA, d’Air France dans une moindre mesure d’Airbus avec la complicité active du gouvernement, va pouvoir désormais être mis à plat. Et que l’on ne vienne plus mêler les familles à ce travestissement de la vérité pour protéger les intérêts de certains, certaines de celles-ci viennent de se décider à porter plainte.

Publié par Paul-Emic à l’adresse 10/04/2009 09:06:00 AM



Justice | October 3, 2009 | Updated October 4, 2009

AF447: “Pour l”honneur des pilotes” “For the pilots honor”

Gerard Arnoux is captain on the A320. He chairs the Union of Air France pilots (SPAF), which plaintiffs in the investigation into the crash of flight AF 447. With a colleague, Henri-Marnet Cornus, he wrote a report based on forty-seven official documents. Their findings shed a new light on the factors that have led to this tragedy. These items will be delivered to the judge this week. Gerard Arnoux JDD.

Why did you conduct your own investigation?
To wring the neck of the argument that without the black boxes we do not know what happened and that we should forget our dead at the bottom of the ocean. This version is peddled by the main protagonists (Air France, Airbus and government authority). If the drivers are guilty, the criminal action is extinguished. But our survey shows that one can determine with reasonable certainty from the facts established that led to this tragedy.

What causes the crash?
But it is an undeniable truth that we must hammer relentlessly: no failure of the pitot probes, there was no accident. These tubes that measure speed are designed on the basis of outdated certification standards that do not take into account the icing at high altitude. Not surprisingly, incidents of accident precursors occurred regularly since the early 1990s with a peak in 2008, including at Air France.

The Office of Investigations and Analysis (BEA) said however that the probes are not the cause of the crash …
The BEA seeks to minimize the role played by the Pitot because he has not conducted investigations that laws and regulations imposed upon him to do since at least the alarm fired by his German counterpart in 1999, and in any event since the events of 2008. These are exactly the same faults recorded in FY 447, with the same sequence of failures and the same alarms. It is indeed serious incidents involving multiple failures that seriously affect the operation of the aircraft. This failure is also described as dangerous by the EFSA (European Agency for Aviation Safety) and may be the cause of crashes by Thales, the manufacturer of the probes.

As a union, do not you try to clear the pilots?
We have the right to think, but agree that our colleagues would make handy scapegoats, while our survey shows they are also victims, with their unfortunate passengers, a whole system fails. The International Civil Aviation said that “latent unsafe conditions may have been present in the system before an accident and are usually created by policy makers, regulators and others are very distant in time the accident. The crash of flight AF 447 is in this case a genuine case study.

“There is the salvation of our company”

Who is responsible?
All actors have underestimated the problem of the probes. It is a collective failure and total failure of the process of feedback. DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) and EASA had the statutory obligation to treat these incidents according to established procedures, they did not. They have not changed the standards for certification that they knew, however inadequate. Despite the problems identified in 2002 by Airbus on the probe Thales SA, the manufacturer has asked the crew A330/340 to grapple with this threat for seven years. The pilots had never been trained in the simulator corresponding emergency maneuvers at high altitudes. Finally, in spite of nine incidents between May 2008 and March 2009, Air France did not put enough pressure on Airbus, which was needed. This is particularly regrettable that the investigation conducted by Airbus after the crash to all operators showed that the probe Goodrich in use since 1996 would certainly have prevented this accident. Victims’ families will enjoy!

How do you rate the security policy of Air France?
It exists within Air France of men and women of experience and quality that know their stuff. However, our performance in safety are not up to the world’s leading airline. We acquired the intimate conviction that it is a system that is involved. Obsessed with cost cutting, management did not understand that security is a productive investment and manage aircraft operations as an ordinary product marketing. It is then fundamental reform aircraft operations with the help of representatives of the pilot and any truly independent external audit. Otherwise, it is feared that the same causes do not reproduce the same effects. There is the salvation of our company.

What do you think of the judicial investigation?
The judge thinks that the lack of black boxes does not prevent the manifestation of truth, which is to honor and confirms our analysis. However, as plaintiff, we question the independence of legal experts appointed. One has made thirty-five year career with Air France and it will be hard to believe he does not hear the “voice of his master.” A second worked at Airbus, a third to the DGAC, and the last two drivers are still inspectors to the DGAC. In other words, all players could be implicated in this case. That’s wrong!


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Justice | October 4, 2009

AF447: The report accuses

The A330, which assured the June 1st flight AF 447 Paris-Rio cruising at 10,700 feet in the intertropical convergence zone, its clusters of cumulonimbus clouds, turbulence and its ice crystals. It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 2 h 14 *. The investigation report of the pilot Gerard and Henry Arnoux Marnet-Cornus, based on forty-seven documents official, sheds new light on the factors that have led to this tragedy. These items will be delivered to the judge this week.

Probes standards “obsolete”
First observation, the report said, the American aviation authorities and European knew for fourteen years as the criteria for certification of Pitot probes are “inappropriate”. They date criteria in effect … 1947! “A time when the aircraft crossed much lower and did not face the icing at high altitude,” say the two pilots. Following a series of incidents on the Rosemount probes of its A330, Airbus noted in December 1995 that the weather of the tropics “would exceed” the resistance criteria provided for the probes. Authorities of Civil Aviation (DGAC France, FAA in the U.S.) have read and approved this bill. In 2001, the DGCA has approved the “qualification criteria more stringent” proposed by the manufacturer Airbus. “We took into account these additional elements for the new aircraft like the A380,” said the DGAC JDD. But the international standard has not changed.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in charge of certification since 2003, acknowledged at a 2007 conference that the standard is “obsolete” and “must be brought up to date” because it “is not account “the” heavy rain “and” crystal ice “. EFSA launches while the first phase of consultation with manufacturers, which was restarted after the crash. “Changing the certification is a lengthy process requiring formal proof,” says a spokesman.

A problem diagnosed in 2002
Airbus has diagnosed the fault of the Rosemount probe in 1995. It will be prohibited by the DGAC in 2001. Companies have a choice between two probes: one from the U.S. Goodrich, advised by Airbus in 1996, and the Pitot AA launched two years later by the French Thales (formerly Sextant). This model was equipped with the A330 flight AF 447. “Airbus has identified problems with the AA probe since 2002, ensuring the two pilots in their report, pointing to a lack of” architecture “. They are based on a memorandum in July 2002 in which Airbus noted incidents where heavy rain on the A320. “This has nothing to do with the incidents of icing that occur later on the A330,” retorted one at the headquarters of the manufacturer. In September 2007, after finding “a few” incidents on the A330 and A340, Airbus is proposing to install on their aircraft’s pitot BA Thales, more resistant to frost and rain.

EFSA does not make this mandatory update. Immediately after the crash of the AF 447, request EASA to Airbus investigation into incidents of Pitot probes from the companies. The manufacturer claims that the model Pitot Goodrich, launched in 1996, is better than both models Thales. On August 10, EASA prohibits AA probe and imposes mandatory introduction of two probes on three Goodrich. “Why not have done before?” Regrets the ratio of the two pilots. “This is just a precautionary measure. We conducted tests and probes Goodrich and Thales have obtained the same results,” replied the EASA.

Air France Maintenance procedures for Air France
Airbus has recommended in 2007 to install new sensors BA. Air France chose not to equip its A330 and A340, the aircraft does “not know of incidents.” The first occurred in May 2008, however, followed by four others, sometimes serious (one pilot sent a distress message) in July-August. Alerted, Airbus confirms the shortcomings of the AA probe in mid-August. Air France will issue an AD to alert its pilots November 16, three months later. A “corrective action” is implemented in a memo dated August 20 Revised September 16. This document explains that the Pitot BA “correct [the] problems of indications [erroneous speed].” The new sensor is installed “on failure”, that is to say, after finding a failure. ” “This desire to maintain healing is contrary to good practices in aviation,” complained the two pilots in their report.

They write that this technical note was still in force on the evening of the crash of the AF 447: “Upon receipt of failure messages, and then as maintenance Air France ignored the loss of the aircraft, a team had been called to the small morning to troubleshoot the equipment upon arrival at Roissy. “Air France declined to respond on this point, but has published his story on his website **. The company said that Airbus had assured him during eight months that the probe BA did not resolve the problems of icing at high altitude, before catching herself April 15, 2009. Air France decided to change all the probes. She received the first models May 26, six days before the crash. The company will accelerate the replacement of pitot June 9 under pressure from the pilots.

Air Caribbean yours
Air Caribbean reacted faster and stronger than the French company. Late August and early September 2008, two A330 Air Caribbean are victims of a pitot icing AA. Air Caraibes Airbus contacts and exchange all probes in late September. A month later, executives of Air Caribbean travel to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse to explain “the difficulty encountered by the crew for a rapid implementation and effective” instructions for emergency steering. Air Caribbean sends the DGAC a thirteen-page report detailing the incidents and his exchange with Airbus.

The silence of the authorities
Agencies European and U.S. aviation authorities have been informed by Airbus in 1996 as the certification standards of the probes were obsolete. They also acknowledged in writing that the failure of a Pitot tube is an incident “at least serious” or capable of bringing down aircraft. In France, the DGAC and the Office of Investigations and Analysis (BEA) has received eleven reports of incidents sent by Air France and Air Caribbean between May 2008 and March 2009. The ratio of the two pilots sorry they did not investigate or respond. Gerard and Henry Arnoux Marnet-Cornus cite as examples the authority of the Canadian civil aviation, which was imposed in June 2008 cleaning probes more frequently due to incidents on Bombardier aircraft. ” “We’ve done our Travis L”, provides the DGAC. The agency warned in September 2008 its European counterpart. The EASA is March 30, 2009 that no safety concerns justify mandating the replacement of pitot probes AA. It will ban these probes five months later.

Steering instructions to review
The crew of Flight AF 447 could he save the plane? The pilots of Air France had never been trained in the simulator to handle the situation. When a serious incident occurs, pilots should immediately implement the memory of “emergency maneuver” appropriate. However, the procedure defined by Airbus is “at best confusing and at worst dangerous,” said driver Henri Marnet-Cornus.

In the case of blocking probes, the emergency maneuver is to greatly increase the pressure reactors. At high altitude, it creates a “high risk of dropping out”, that is to say, been dropped because of speeding, the report says. Air France seems to agree. Four days after the crash, it asked its pilots not to apply the emergency maneuver, that is to say, to disobey the orders contained in the official manual of Airbus. Three thousand of them will receive a special session in the simulator by the end of the year.

This is not the only danger. When the sensors fail, false alarms can cause stalling. Airbus said that pilots must imperatively respect and respond by pushing the reactor bottom. At high altitude, the “stall insured,” the report said. Air Caribbean said its pilots had “reacted” and disobeying orders. Before concluding: “[Airbus engineers] have agreed to the admissibility of our remarks and then to reflect a change in the checklists. To be continued …” So far they have not been changed. ” “These procedures were developed by Airbus and certified by the authorities. Regarding the A330 and the A340, they are in force for sixteen years on over 1,000 aircraft in service today and 120 airlines,” replied Airbus.

Weather data missing
The pilots of flight AF 447 have they ventured into a cluster of cumulonimbus clouds? If yes, why? Gerard and Henry Arnoux Marnet-Cornus advance a hypothesis: the crew did not have adequate weather information. The only map provided systematically by Air France is the weather forecast produced twenty-four hours in advance, which does not indicate the precise position of cloudy areas. In the case of the AF 447, the map showed that the route chosen was not a problem.

For cons, the satellite map taken May 31 to 20 hours, when the crew was preparing the flight, shows a large mass of clouds in the area where the plane is engulfed six hours later. He still has swelled to 0 hours. “It should give the crew all means to avoid returning to such a zone,” they write. An alternative route, which passes to the north (green), seemed clearer. Both drivers complain that the Control Center Operations (CCO) Air France has not given this information in his message last 0:31. “The route chosen to stage the pre-flight” followed all the principles and procedures, writes Air France on its website, adding that “some crews to other airlines had also chosen the same route.


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Justice | October 3, 2009 | Updated October 4, 2009

AF447: “The crash of Paris-Rio was avoidable”

This is one conclusion of an inquiry report, submitted this week to justice, carried out by two experienced pilots. They involve a cascade of responsibilities.

New evidence in the criminal investigation into the crash of flight AF 447. Four months after the crash of the Air France A330 that has killed 228 people, the Union of Air France pilots (SPAF), which has brought civil actions, will deliver in the coming days , investigating judges in Paris Sylvie and Yann Zimmermann Daurelle a full report. This document, which the JDD had exclusive access, is the result of the investigation conducted by two drivers: Gerard Arnoux, commander of A320 and president of SPAF, and Henri-Marnet Cornus, captain on the A330 at retirement.

The report challenges the official Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA). They say it is the failure of the Pitot probes to measure speed that is causing the crash. They denounce, supporting documents, a series of “negligence” without which the accident “would probably have been avoided.” And blame, to varying degrees, Airbus, Air France and the authorities – BEA, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – bring everyone to their level, share responsibility in the disaster.

Both drivers are not experienced in their first attempt. They have already investigated independently of each other on a dozen accidents (Spanair, Quiberon, Phuket, etc..). They become friends in November 2008 during a symposium held in Martinique by the association of families of victims of the crash of the West Caribbean (152 deaths in 2005). Today, they work “for air safety and the memory of their fallen colleagues. “The BEA refuses to adopt the modern analytical techniques, accuses Henry Marnet-Cornus. He always prefers what happens in the cockpit at the expense of other factors.”

Economies “at the expense of safety”

Former fighter pilot, Henri-Marnet Cornus, 60, has made a career in small companies finally captain at Air Liberté. Founder of the Safety First, he graduated in September 2002 for exposing serious security breaches within the company. He wrote two books investigations with the journalist François Nénin ** denouncing the “companies that save on everything at the expense of safety” and the failure of authorities to control them.

Gerard Arnoux, 58, began his career as a bush pilot in Congo, from thirteen years in Africa before returning home Air Inter before its merger with Air France. He joined the investigation and trial of the crash of Mont Sainte-Odile (87 dead in A320 Air Inter in 1992), in which his union had claimed damages. In court, he faces his future boss Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, then Director General of Civil Aviation. All the defendants were finally acquitted last month after seventeen years of proceedings. It will also tomorrow at the preliminary hearing the trial of the crash of Concorde, where he is, again, plaintiff.

Gerard and Henry Arnoux Marnet-Cornus armed with patience. The case of flight AF 447 will be long and difficult. The battle of experts has just begun.

(*)Eight slide summarizing their work are available on http://henrimarnetcornus.20minutes-blogs.fr and www.spaf.aero.fr

(**) Aviation, record black and plane crashes, what you seek, Private editions.


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Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Disinformation (BEA): Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

Air France Flight 447: French Investigators Piece Together Wreckage

Air France Flight 447: The Answer My Friend, Is Blowin In The Wind! (La réponse mon ami, est Blowin dans le vent !)

Air France Flight 447: The Paris “Show” Continues

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Air France Flight 447: En Ligne De Vol (Normal Attitude – Wing Level)

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BEA Interim Report: ACARS Messages

BEA Interim Report For Air France Flight 447 (RIO-Paris)

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Added: Related Previous Posts & Air France Memo Link via AP- end

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