Category: Weather


 

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AirAsia Plane Often Experiences Trouble, Former Pilot Says

“Former Garuda Indonesia pilot Capt. Shadrach M. Nababan, said -based on its logbook data – that the Airbus A320-200 serving AirAsia flight QZ8501 had experienced problems as much as nine times on its auto rudder trim limiter flight control in 2014.

Three days before crashing on December 25, 2014, flight QZ8501 experienced a ‘return to apron’ twice, according to Shadrach…”

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Q: Regarding the continuous left turn, and reversion to alternate law, there were reports a number of years ago of FAC (flight augmentation computer) faults on A320s resulting in “runaway” rudder trim. From Youtube (not “runaway”, but … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT0NJiRFA1s My understanding is that FAC failure will also result in a reversion to Alternate2, with a number of protections being lost.

A: You got something there… Ironically a local media called me today and asked about MELs related to:

AUTO FLT RUD TRV LIM (and 2)

ELAC 1 FAULT

Rudder travel limiter 2 fault identification and MEL Cat C allowances

AUTO FLT RUD TRV LIM SYS

FAC 2 FAULT

This… they said was from the aircraft’s write up…

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Q: “Safety Recommendation 2010-092 It is recommended that Airbus alert all operators of A320-series aircraft of the possibility that an electrical power generation system fault may not be clearly annunciated on the ECAM, and may lead to uncommanded rudder trim operation.”,

A: Uncommanded rudder command or rudder trim is being suspected.

QRH Update

excerpt – from an AAIB reported incident on an A321 (pdf)

Q: A dual FAC failure seems to me one factor that could explain the event after the climb as it seems that the aircraft kept structural integrity all the way to the impact. Another problem is that with both FACs failed, the flight control laws revert to ALT w/o protections. It’s not – obviously – the explanation. It just shows how drastic and how complicated the chain of events could have been on this accident. Anyway, the failure(s) must have been severe, given how redundant the systems are on a modern jet. It’s one of the reasons I’d like to know whether the engines were running after / during the climb.

A: Dual FAC fail or fault could have caused reversion to ALTN NO PROT… Even Yaw Damper failure could have caused the above. If it’s an FAC 2 fault only, I wouldn’t suspect Yaw Damper failure… But ELAC2, and FAC2 swap (with another aircraft) and the write ups… does raise my eyebrow…

Q: I thought that even ALT2 had some protections left, but I’m always happy to learn.

A: A320 has a different albeit similar reversion chain… Dual FAC fail, Dual HYD (Green & Yellow) fail, Yaw Damper Failure = Pitch ALT (REDUCED PROT), ROLL DIRECT, YAW MECHANICAL

ALT NO PROT (ALTN 2) in A330 would translate in A320 to…

Pitch: ALT NO PROT

Roll: DIRECT

Yaw: ALT

This requires:

Double ADR Fail (with 1 fail not through self detection of VCAS or M disagree)

Triple ADR Fail

Double SFCC Fail

Double HYD fail (Green & Blue)

This is not what we seem to be looking at ALT RED PROT not ALT NO PROT.

Q: What we call * ELEC EMER CONFIG (on BAT) * is no joke and at 60 kt indicated, I honestly doubt the RAT would deliver anything.

A: Let’s just assume for the moment that the engines are running to the very end… 😉 *hint hint*

mandala499@a.net (Wed 21 Jan 2015)

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Q: I believe Mandala499 has pondered an inflight breakup.

A: Pondered only… leaks from within currently indicate recordings were all the way to water impact… this effectively rules out inflight breakup involving separation of the rear fuselage. The photos of the wreck, all seem to indicate a nose high water impact with left bank… but this will have to be confirmed by the FDR.

Q: How can the cockpit and the rest of the fuselage come to rest so far apart on only 100 feet deep water? After separaion they both fill with water in seconds and fall to the bottom.

A: If it was a flat attitude, it’s difficult… but a nose high altitude can make this possible it seems…

The media mayhem have stopped for me for the past 2 days providing much needed relief, rest, and time to look at the information gathered.

There is now a debate within the stakeholders on whether or not to look for the FOQA data (which includes the ECAM messages, which on this aircraft, is (according to sources in the airline) not recorded in the FDR. The FOQA data would be stored in the FDIMU in the avionics bay in a CF card… I am told the CF data, if treated the same way as the FDR from site-retrieval to the lab, would have a high possibility of having the data intact.

Let’s see how things will pan out over the next few days…

Mandala499@a.net

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AirAsia fuselage to be lifted to surface after divers foiled

“An Indonesian search official said Friday that the crashed AirAsia jet’s fuselage will be lifted to the surface after sea conditions again prevented divers from examining the large chunk of wreckage.

National Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo said that rescue teams discovered more wreckage despite the strong current and poor visibility.

“Apart from the fuselage, we found what we suspected as the aircraft’s cockpit and also an engine,” he said. “We also found what seems to be a passenger seat in which we thought there still bodies tied on it.”

He did not specify whether or not the seat was inside the fuselage section that sits on the seabed at a depth of 28 meters (92 feet). The 30-meter-long (100-foot-long) part of the plane body with a wing attached was sighted Wednesday.

Rescuers believe that many of the bodies are still inside the main fuselage.

Soelistyo said the failure of the underwater examination of the wreckage left no option but to lift the fuselage, either by using floating balloons as the tail part was lifted early this week, or using cranes from tugboats. He did not say when the operation would start.

He added that one victim’s body was recovered on Friday, raising the total to 51…

..Earlier Friday, chief of operation of the agency, Suryadi Bambang Supriyadi said the wreckage that appears to be the cockpit was located by sonar imagery about 500 meters (yards) from the fuselage and partly embedded in the mud.”

underswterairsi1501e

Fuselage found

Just spoken over the phone with the Commander Task Group for underwater search operations on board the MV Swift Rescue, SLTC Chow Khim Chong. He described to me how their sonar first detected the wreckage about 2km from where the tail was found earlier. They then sent the remotely operated vehicle to have visual confirmation before informing BASARNAS, the Indonesian search authority. The wreckage with wings was about 26m long. I asked Khim Chong to convey my thanks and appreciation to his crew. I’m sure Singaporeans are proud of them for their hard work. Attaching an audio-clip of the phone call.

– Ng Eng Hen

 

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“Reports from the field are trickling in… There is means to guarantee that the following make sense or accurate. This is a speculation warning.

From the description I am getting it appears that the horizontal stabilizer had separated from the rear fuselage, which separated from the rest of the aircraft, at around FL220 (where the recorded ADSB altitude is only GEO alt, and no more barometric).

From the description of the SAR team, it is unclear if the FDR was found on the sea floor below the horizontal stabilizer or the aircraft wing. 1 FA found strapped to his seat, indicates that those onboard were anticipating something.

The above may be obvious to some already, and this news from ‘inside’… gets me baffled once more…

Still a great deal of obfuscation going on and it seems to me that one of the most important things still unfound in this accident is absolute truth. The obfuscation by the SAR team isn’t helping. They, and the military brass seems to be seeking glory with every single discovery. Thankfully, they are not the ones doing the investigation, and sources from inside the search team has indicated that the locations reported are so far accurate.

Q: If that’s what happened I guess this wasn’t just a simple stall like AF447 as in that kind of a flight condition there shouldn’t be high enough forces to damage the aircraft so badly…

A: Well, -20000fpm, and the last recorded valid barometric info (I just received the info) on the ADS-B, was at FL235, with -15,681.25fpm, at the beginning of a tight left turn. Seems that the load factor protection of the FBW had failed… the question is, what caused the failure.

… I have seen the data and there was a wide left 180 (with a stall in the middle) followed by… a tight left orbit before the data stopped…

 Q: Does this normally degrade with degraded flight control law (normal to alternate to etc.) or is it supposed to always be present?

A: If it goes to ALT with reduced protection (load factor protection available), the icing argument, makes sense, but doesn’t explain the breakup… If it goes to ALT with reduced protection then go into an upset, this needs opening the books (which I can’t do effectively at the moment).

Mandala449@a.net

 

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“Divers have retrieved the cockpit voice recorder of crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501, according to reports…”

3news.co.nz

The flight data recorder of AirAsia QZ8501 is seen in a carrying case onboard Indonesian navy vessel KRI Banda Aceh, in the Java Sea

“…Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, says the flight data recorder was brought to the surface by four divers early Monday morning. He says the search continues for the cockpit voice recorder…”

abcnews/ap

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“Cockpit voice recorder located 20m from flight data recorder, says official”

Channel NewsAsia

Update – 11 January 2015

“…Forty-eight bodies have been retrieved so far. Search teams believe most of the remains may still be inside the fuselage of the plane, which has yet to be found…”

BBC

Potongan bagian ekor pesawat AirAsia QZ8501 ditarik ke atas kapal Crest Onyx, setelah berhasil diangkat dari dasar laut dengan menggunakan "floating bag" oleh tim penyelam gabungan TNI AL, di perairan Laut Jawa, Sabtu (10/1).

“THREE ships equipped with ping detectors received pings from the same location,” said Ridwan Djamaluddin, from the Agency for the Application of Technology, whose ship was involved in the search.

He said the ping came from a location about one to four kilometres from where the aircraft’s broken tail section was retrieved on Saturday. “We are confident it’s from the black box,” he said, referring to the voice cockpit recorder and the flight data recorder…”

news.com.au

Indonesia Plane

“If one assumed that the aircraft pancaked, or even broke up attempting to ditch, you would expect that the remainder of the aircraft, particularly all the concentrated mass components, ie, the dense and heavy bits, like engines, apu, mlgs, nlg, and if they separated from their mounting trays, the cvr, fdr etc, and the other larger major components like ths, outboard wing panels, and centre section, would be, indeed must be, immediately proximate, regardless of currents.  So far, that does not seem to be the case.

There is no evidence, at this stage, of any other major component wreckage, anywhere, let alone anywhere near the location of the tail. It has been reported that a suspected pinger is over a mile away.

The reported condition of the recovered bodys (at this stage less than one third) suggests relatively low “g” conditions. The leaked mode “s” data showed high rod at much below cruise level.

Taken together therefore, these observations suggest strongly to me, the high probability of an in flight breakup, not a whole aircraft experiencing surface induced structural disruption.

My viewing of the recovered upper empenage and fin, and lower rudder, suggests to me, that the ths, and it’s mounting structure (including apu mounting structure and apu) most likely separated from the upper empenage by downward bending with pitch down torsion.

If that is the case, it would have taken tremendous downward ths loading of the support structure to do that, which suggests to me, probable breakup during pull-up, attempting recovery from a significantly pitch down attitude, at high speed (high dynamic pressure), probably at a relatively low altitude, ie, between FL200 – FL100.

Under such conditions, if the ths separated first, with the aircraft otherwise still “whole at that instant”, the remainder of the aircraft would immediately, and violently, “tumble in the pitch down direction”, with high angular velocity. The weakened empenage would “immediately” tear off, and the remaining fuselage aft of the wing, and the fuselage forward of the wing, would then both rapidly separate from the wingbox, probably before the pitch axis had even passed through the vertical. In the same timeframe, the pylons would fail, the engines would separate, and the outboard wing sections would fail in downward bending and torsion overload, and separate, probably at or just outboard of the pylons.

The schredded wreckage would then descend. If that be the case, the greater the altitude of the breakup, the greater the dimensions of the resulting debris field. The foreward section of the fuselage, and the remaining aft section of the fuselage, may have remained relatively intact, and may still contain most of the occupants.”

ventus45@pprune

Pressure-Bulkhead shared by ventus45@pprune

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AirAsia Update – 7 Jan 2015

AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 UPDATE (as of 7th January 2015 8:00 PM (GMT+7)
SURABAYA, 7 JANUARY 2015 – The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia today confirmed that the SAR team retrieved a visual confirmation of the tail part of QZ 8501’s aircraft. The visual confirmation was made following underwater documentation of the aircraft’s tail and small wreckage, which showed the plane’s registration number (PK-AXC), captured by the SAR team’s sea divers.

The tail part was found in the additional focus search area (approx. 30 kms from the primary focus area). The SAR operation is still underway as the weather is reported to be clear with good underwater visibility for the divers to continue observation.

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer AirAsia Indonesia commented, “We would like to extend our appreciation to all authorities and personnel that has been involved in the SAR operation. Today is the eleventh day and the latest finding is indeed an breakthrough for all of us who have been anxiously waiting for further development on the SAR operation.” Following the latest finding, BASARNAS confirmed that the later SAR operation will be focused in this area to see if there are any trapped remains that must be recovered as well as the continued search for the black box.

Earlier today, Indonesian Navy Commander of the KRI Bung Tomo-357, Lieutenant Colonel Ashari Alamsyah officially handed over the debris and passengers belongings of QZ 8501’s flight that were found in the search area to the Deputy Commander of Indonesian Naval Aviation Unit, Colonel Yuwono at SAR Operation center in Juanda International Airport. As for the next phase, debris will be transferred to Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) for further investigation.

This morning, BASARNAS also confirmed to have recovered one more remain from the search area. The remain is still in Pangkalan Bun, waiting to be transported to Surabaya for further identification process. Meanwhile, the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they have identified 8 more remains of QZ 8501 passengers as: Ratri Sri Andriani (female),Rudy Soetjipto (male), Jou Christine Yuanita (female), Soetikno Sia (male), Ruth Natalia Made Puspita Sari (female), Nico Giovani (male), Indahju Liangsih (female), Stephanie Yulianto (female). AirAsia Indonesia officially handed over the remains to the respective families at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya this afternoon.

To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered a total of 40 remains of which 24 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 16 remains are still being identified.

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AirAsia flight QZ8501: Tail of plane found, Indonesia’s search and rescue chief says

Search teams looking for underwater wreckage from crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 have located the tail of the aircraft, the section where the crucial black box flight recorders are housed, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency chief says.

Bambang Soelistyo, the chief of Basarnas, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told reporters in Jakarta recovery teams found the tail of the plane in the Java Sea.

“We have successfully obtained part of the plane that has been our target. The tail portion has been confirmed found,” he said.

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AirAsia Update – 6 Jan 2015

“…This evening, BASARNAS also confirmed to recover two more remains from the focused search area. The two remains are still in Pangkalan Bun, waiting to be transported to Surabaya for further identification process.

Meanwhile, the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they have identified 3 more remains of QZ 8501 passengers as: Indra Yulianto (male), Hindarto Halim (male), Jou Brian Youvito (male). AirAsia Indonesia officially handed over the remains to the respective families at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya this afternoon.

To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered a total of 39 remains of which 16 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 23 remains are still being identified…”

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4 large objects detected in AirAsia wreckage hunt

The Jakarta Post

Indonesian officials said Saturday that they were confident wreckage of AirAsia Flight 8501 had been located after sonar equipment detected four massive objects on the ocean floor.

The biggest piece, measuring 18 meters (59 feet) long and 5.4 meters (18 feet) wide, appeared to be part of the jet’s body, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

Though strong currents and big surf have prevented divers from entering waters to get a visual of the suspected fuselage, officials are hopeful they will find many of the passengers and crew inside, still strapped in their seats…

The objects on the seafloor were discovered Friday and Saturday, and an Indonesian Geological Survey vessel was used to assess their dimensions, Soelistyo said.

In addition to what appeared to be a significant part of the plane’s body, chunks of debris found in the target search area measured up to 12 meters (39 feet) long.

Other suspected plane parts were seen scattered on beaches during an aerial survey, Soelistyo said…

Strong currents and towering waves as high as 4 meters (13 feet) have slowed recovery efforts, scattering bodies and debris in all directions. The discoveries so far include an emergency exit door and slide, as well as a backpack with food and a camera inside.

As part of the investigation into the crash, autopsies will be carried out on some of the bodies, including the pilot and co-pilot, whose remains have not yet been recovered, said Budiyono, who heads East Java’s Disaster Victim Identification unit and, like many Indonesians, uses only one name…

  2 Additional Large Objects Found by USS Fort Worth

202728_david1Object 6 has dimensions of 17 x 4 meters at a depth of 93 feet with 03-54.9667 S 110-32.0969’E.

 

202739_david2Object 7 measuring 14 x 4.6 meters at a depth equal to the coordinates 03-55.5672’S 110-34.1255’E.

 

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Internet Chatter

Q: The news is stating 4 large pieces of the plane have been identified/found/located, are these very close to each other?

A: 3 within 30-50 meters of each other and 1 within 300-400m of the other, that is what I heard or misheard on the press conference 18 hours ago or so.

 Q: Several threads ago you gave information which was transmitted from the aircraft. Has this data been able to be validated by cross referencing with other data which either qualifies the data as good or suggests it is maybe questionable?

A: I cross checked this with someone involved in the wreckage search, and the position “made sense” after allowing for debris drift. I have since obtained more on the so-called Mode-S transmissions from the aircraft, and trust me, it is NOT a pretty picture. Honestly, it makes AF447 look like a doddle.

Mandala488@a.net

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Q: The AD did not concern a “computer glitch,” but rather an issue with frozen AoA vanes which, under the right conditions, can cause Alpha Prot to activate and the flight control system to therefore command nose-down pitch rates.

A: People I believe are incorrectly referring to this Red OEB as they are looking for anything to quickly solve the cause. The OEB deals with the situation where the AoA probs which are an input to the flight control computers are frozen at an angle of attack, and the aircraft mach number is increased. This should not be an issue in the cruise when mach is relatively stable.

What the flight control computers see is a higher angle of attack on two or more probes which is normal for lower speeds, however as they aircraft accelerates the AoA should decrease. By having two or more of them them frozen (unable to rotate), AoA remains unchanged for the speed, so the flight control system will lower the nose to reduce the AoA. If it is the case of a single one being frozen, the aircraft will vote the incorrect one out, this problem only occurs when there are multiple incorrect inputs.

 Q: implies a very definite nose-down attitude.

A: No it does not.

 Q: Forgive my ignorance, but just how out of the ordinary is this?

A: Depends on the level they are at, it is not uncommon to have -60 deg C in cruise in the tropics, if they are looking at cloud tops of a mature CB, it can reach the best part of 20-30,000 above normal cruising altitudes in the tropics. The tropopause is up around 55,000 ft at the moment in the area, which is normal this time of year.

 Q: The general area of the main wreckage relative to floating debris varies not just with time (currents) but also depends highly on what exactly happened to the plane in the first place.

A: The parts of the cabin that have been recovered in my view show signs of vertical deceleration.

zeke@a.net

150841

LB Note:  As best I can determine, Air Asia did not have Airbus ACARS maintenance subscription nor on-line engine monitoring.

track

When avoiding CBs ahead you can ask for a clearance in many different ways.

– You can ask for a new specific heading: “Callsign requesting left/right turn heading xxx due to weather” You have to ask again when a further deviation is required.

– You can ask for a clearance to proceed offtrack: ” Callsign requesting up to 30NM right/left of track due to weather” This request allows you to basically to use headings on your own as long as you stay within the mileage which was granted.

In most parts of the world it is way easier to obtain a lateral deviation clearance than a vertical. Vertical separation is almost everywhere 1000′ and the limiting factor.

Lateral separation is around 5NM in terminal areas up to 100NM or more in remote areas. Take a look on flightradar and skyvector to get am impression of airway density in different parts of the world.

QZ8501 was filed on airway M635. The next airway towards the southwest is airway L511. It is more that 70NM southwest of M635. This enables the controller to use the airspace between the airways for traffic avoiding CBs…

Safety is first!

… Bravery… Being a pilot does not require bravery. But people are different. Sometimes I observe other traffic (on the nav display) which is very close to a build up. They are in a position where I would not want to be. Are they brave? I don’t know. They might be less sensitive to CBs than I am. But I really don’t like build ups that much.

The pressure on pilots might be different, depending on where you work.  This was on CB cluster we were deviating around. And it looks like that we did not received a clearance for that (Africa).

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 Q: Thanks again for your contributions. What are the circumstances under which you will climb to better see what you are trying to fly around?

A: This depends on lots of factors: Day, Night, Moonlight or not, what type of cloud am I in, tropopause height, relative position to build ups (if any), wind direction, … But in the end I don’t have to see anything, because the weather radar is a pretty good tool to avoid the dangerous stuff.

Q: Will the weather radar display hail that gets kicked out of the tops and can come down well away from the storm center?

A: You need to know the structure of a cumulonimbus cloud to identify dangerous areas. The reflectivity of precipitation depends on droplet type (rain, wet hail, dry hail, ice crystals). So you need a combination of weather radar display and knowledge to identify hail areas.

It is better not to fly in the areas where the hail will come down obviously. The hail itself will not be kicked out of the tops, but it will be in the cloud, next to the cloud and below the anvil. During cruise, the part under the anvil is the one you want to avoid because here you will find hail furthest from the cloud. You do not want to fly too close to the CB anyway.

Here is an open document, which contains some nice images, drawings and weather radar information:

http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/medi…afetyLib_-FLT_OPS-ADV_WX-SEQ07.pdf

michi@a.net

sigwx

Indonesia Air Asia 8501: A Meteorological Analysis

“To summarise, the flight was in a northwesterly heading and probably climbing from FL320 to its cleared level of FL340. The crew had already initiated a deviation to the left of bad weather just before the accident, and meteorological data show some vigorous convection – and therefore moderate to severe turbulence – in the immediate vicinity. At least two other flights also appear to have taken a (wider) deviation. Upper air observations and model data suggest that icing conditions were also possible. Radar data show that the aircraft’s groundspeed was unusually slow for the conditions observed.”

Fergal Tierney

B6yuQijCAAEaLL7

The transponder today is no longer a simple device, it is a complicated transmitted connected to numerous systems designed to provide different levels of data to ATC and other aircraft.

In its most simple mode, the transponder will return a ping to a radar without any altitude information, and the time of flight and azimuth of the ping is used to generate an arc of that distance from zero ft at maximum distance to directly above the radar head where the aircraft must be. Next to useless as the height of the aircraft is needed to establish where the aircraft is on that arc.

The error with this position information is the similar to position errors with a VOR, the airways need to be calibrated to account for position errors. Calibration is needed to establish the ground station and site effect error, the can be as much as 2 degrees which at 200 nm from the radar head can mean a position error of around 7 nm.

Mode C is taken from the aircraft air data system, if the air data system is compromised, eg probes or ports blocked, the transmitted encoded altitude can be in error.

Globally the datalink standard ADS-B out uses is the 1090 MHz Mode S Extended Squitter (1090 ES) (some regional areas also use VHF Data Link Mode 4 (VDL-4) and Universal Access Transceiver (UAT)). ATC has two types of ADS-B, ADS-B RAD : ADS-B for Radar Airspace and ADS-B NRA : ADS-B for Non Radar Airspace. Data for the ADS-B out comes from a different system again, it comes from the navigation system, the system will normally provide 8 labels to the transponder from the GPS, GNSS Altitude (Msl) Feet, GNSS Latitude Degrees, GNSS Longitude Degrees, GNSS Ground Speed Knots, Vertical Figure Of Merit Feet, Vertical Velocity Feet/Min, EPU Estimate Position Uncertainty/ (ANP), Actual Navigation Performance, Horizontal Figure Of Merit, GNSS Height Feet. It can take up to two seconds for each ADS-B out packet to be sent, and for Routine Surveillance or Navigation the ATC equipment will process 95% of the ADS-B data within 22.5 seconds, and 99.996% within 45 seconds.

Bottom line, with the delay in generating and transmitting the ADS-B packets, you need to be aware of the limits of the different pieces of information, what their source is, and what the errors are in each system before drawing conclusions.

Also need to keep in mind is you are looking at SSR data, the altitude information is from the air data system on the aircraft, if its ADS-B, the altitude information is from the GPS/NAV system.

The radar screen image provided in a previous thread showed the aircraft as an open circle, that means the data source was SSR, ADS-B derived positions, aircraft are displayed differently (like a fly by waypoint symbol tilted by 45 deg).

zeke@a.net

AirAsia flight QZ8501: Crucial black boxes may not be found with wreckage after plane ‘split or cracked’ during crash

Independent – Adam Withnall

Five large objects have been found at the bottom of the Java Sea about 90 nautical miles off the coast of Borneo, and experts believe them to be parts of the Airbus A320-200 that plunged into the sea on route from Surabaya to Singapore last Sunday.

At about 18 metres (59 feet) long, the largest piece suspected to be the fuselage of the plane – but bad weather and strong currents have prevented searchers from making the relatively shallow 30-metre dive to verify this.

Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, said the focus now was to reach that fuselage, where many bodies could still be strapped in to seats. “Our priority is to dive in the location we suspect parts of the plane to be,” he said.

But Soelistyo said none of the ships searching the area have detected any “pings” – locator signals sent out by black boxes in the event of a crash…

Air Force Lt Col Johnson Supriyadi, a search and rescue official co-ordinating the operation, said it now looked like the boxes, located in the tail of the plane, had broken away from the rest of the wreckage.

“Based on the finding of pieces of debris it looks like the body of the aircraft split or cracked and was separated from its tail,” he said…

Bill-Holland-map

AirAsia Tail Location Mystery: Solved?

-03° 38′ 39″ 109° 43′ 43″ (degrees minutes seconds)
This is about 2.5nm South East of the last SSR/ADS-B location (Google Maps measures 3.03 statute miles = 2.63nm)

In my screen grab [above]:
– the lower yellow start marke the tail section (and the blue annotation is the distance from the purple star)
– the purple circle is the last lat/lon from the SSR (ADS-B),
– the purple star is the approx location from the primary radar image.
– The red box is supposed to be “Most Probable Area 2″,
– the black tilted rectangular outline is the left (Western) section of the “Underwater Search Area”.
– The yellow diagonal line is Route M635 between TAVIP to RAFIS.
– The black diagonal line is the FR24 estimated flight path (the inverted teardrops are individual extrapolations from FR24 after the last valid ADS-B data data they received)

[ignore the white square, the blue square, the Northern yellow star, and the green diagonal line]

Bill Holland

 

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The photo of inside tells the most: it is taken inside aft fuselage looking from front towards the tail end and considering that light comes from the top of photo, I believe camera was held reasonably level. Therefore, this part of tail section probably rests leaning on vertical stabiliser with its right side on the bottom (left side exposed – photographed) Right half of horizontal stabiliser pushed into the mud or is (partially) broken away-fuselage rests half inverted to the right side-approx. 130 deg. from normal. Interior shows parts of THS mechanism, that moves-trims horizontal stabiliser via jackscrew. It appears it is in extreme position ANU, (leading edge to the bottom) but cannot say for sure as mechanism looks broken and fuselage skin severely distorted. Am surprised that CVR / DFDR were not found, as they are installed very close to position, from where the photo was taken. I assume that part of the fuselage is not in the same piece with the structure photographed.

hoistop@pprune.org

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1420905410QzjKDF

AD No.: 2014-0266-E – Date: 09 December 2014

An occurrence was reported where an Airbus A321 aeroplane encountered a blockage of two Angle Of Attack (AOA) probes during climb, leading to activation of the Alpha Protection (Alpha Prot) while the Mach number increased. The flight crew managed to regain full control and the flight landed uneventfully.

When Alpha Prot is activated due to blocked AOA probes, the flight control laws order a continuous nose down pitch rate that, in a worst case scenario, cannot be stopped with backward sidestick inputs, even in the full backward position. If the Mach number increases during a nose down order, the AOA value of the Alpha Prot will continue to decrease. As a result, the flight control laws will continue to order a nose down pitch rate, even if the speed is above minimum selectable speed, known as VLS.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of control of the aeroplane. To address this unsafe condition, Airbus have developed a specific Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) procedure, which has been published in AFM Temporary Revision (TR) N° 502. For the reasons described above, this AD requires amendment of the applicable AFM.

AFM Procedure20141209EASAAD20140266E (PDF)

 

AIRBUS A320 (PDF) Materials

A320_Front_Panel

A320-Overhead_Panel

A320-Pedestal_Panel

Smiths_Thales_A_1_0_1_FM_Pilot_Guide

Abnormal_procedures_

STALL_RECOVERY

NORMAL_LAW_PROTECTIONS

A320-Unreliable_Speed_Indication

A319-320-321-Ice_and_Rain_Protection

A320-Dual_ADR_Fault

A319-320-321_FMGS

FPV

A_0_Limitations

A319-320-321_Limitations

FCTM_A318_to_A321

A320-Ground_Speed_Mini_Function

New_VAPP_procedures

**Disclaimer:  The Smartcockpit PDF files are for training purposes only and may be obsolete.**

Indonesia Plane

;(

awq8501-2332z

“Based on the available data and a close correlation of thunderstorm activity at the last received location, it appears that weather was a factor, or was a compounding factor. The most likely hazard, if weather was a factor, appears to be icing. This is only an assessment of best available meteorological information, and is not a final determination on the cause of the incident.”

Tim Vasquez / Weather Graphics

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Aircraft was seen on radar at FL363 and 353kts ground speed… later on, mode-S data showed it was at FL240 at -11000fpm and just over 60kts ground speed.

The climb rates of over 6000fpm and even up to 9000fpm were recorded on the Mode-S. Sources also said that at times the aircraft exceeded -24000fpm (yes, 3 zeroes)…

The other thing is that the climb, peak, descend and disintegration/disappearance (ie: FL320 to FL360 over, to FL240 where it disappeared) took just under 1 minute and 10 seconds or so.

Aircraft turned left throughout the drama, except for the end where it tracked east varying plus minus 5 degrees… through the very fast descent rates prior to disappearance.

Now, AF447 had peaks of +9500, and -16500fpm… this -24000fpm baffles me at the moment…

The slow ground speed is the confusing part. Flat spin or a nose up fall should still result in higher ground speed even at those descent rates.
Current suspicions are:
1. an AF447 style accident with higher nose up angle (which makes little sense in terms of pilot action)
2. loss of control due to one reason or another.
3. Structural failure of some sort.

mandala499@a.net

awq8501-2332visSatellite Visible 8 minutes after QZ8501 crossing. 

Thunderclouds were in their majority behind the aircraft.

airasia-area-altitudes-graphic

Debris, bodies from QZ8501 found in waters off Kalimantan

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta – Hans Nicholas Jong

After two days of fruitless effort, the search and rescue operation discovered on Tuesday debris and bodies from AirAsia flight QZ8501 in the Karimata Strait, the waters that separate Belitung Island and Kalimantan.

The first discovery was made in the afternoon when a C-295 transport aircraft discovered floating debris in the strait.

Shortly after, an Air Force Hercules C-130 found an object casting a shadow in the ocean, thought to resemble an airplane.

Rescue workers on the aircraft also found three bodies thought to be victims of the crash at 1:25 p.m., while the Indonesian Navy warship, KRI Bung Tomo, discovered an emergency exit door at 1:50 p.m.

All of the discoveries were made within sector V, one of 13 sectors in the search and rescue area, measuring 150-by-200-square nautical miles.

“Now we are focusing our recovery process in sector V,” National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) chief Air Chief Marshall Henry Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference at his office in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.

As night fell on the strait, Basarnas had recovered three bodies, he said.

“They are on KRI Bung Tomo. Two are female and one is male. They were recovered at 5:50 p.m.,” Bambang said.

Basarnas decided to halt the recovery operation after finding the three bodies because the tide was rising.

“When the tide recedes tonight, we can continue the recovery using lights from the ships. But now the tide is still 3 meters high,” said Bambang.

Basarnas also retrieved some items from the aircraft, including an aspirator assembly, a small blue suitcase and a reservoir slide craft.

AirAsia had confirmed the aspirator assembly and the reservoir slide craft belonged to the airplane, according to Bambang.

Basarnas is being assisted in the search and rescue operation by the Indonesian Navy.

“In the vicinity of the debris, we have KRI Yos Sudarso, KRI Bung Tomo, Basarnas ship KN 224. Later tonight, other ships will arrive, including KRI Banda Aceh, three Singaporean ships, KRI Pulau Romang and KRI Pulau Rengat,” Bambang said.

Also expected to join the rescue operation are sonar-equipped ships from the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Indonesian Survey Association (ASI).

Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reported that 40 bodies had been recovered from the sea. The news agency quoted Col. Manahan Simorangkir, a spokesman for the Navy for the report.

The misreporting prompted Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Moeldoko to issue a statement saying that all information regarding the rescue operation would come from Basarnas, which was in charge of the whole search and rescue operation.

Moeldoko also stated that all military assets, including ships delivering logistics such as fuel, would be under Basarnas.

“We will deploy helicopters to take the bodies [from the sea to the ships],” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Moeldoko said that the Navy also had 47 divers, 11 of whom had been deployed on Tuesday to help Basarnas’ 10 divers.

The bodies and jet wreckage, once they could be retrieved, would be transported to Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan.

“There, we have prepared coffins. Then the bodies will be transported on Hercules aircraft to Surabaya. […] The bodies will be identified there and returned to their families,” Moeldoko said.

In Surabaya, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the recovery operation would solely be focused on retrieving the bodies.

“I have given orders to focus on the recovery of both passengers and crew. Right now, just focus on the recovery,” Jokowi said in a press briefing at Juanda International Airport.

1420093154301

“There is a recent development however that relates to Airbus A320 series aircraft. A December 10, 2014, Airworthiness Directive (AD 2014-25-51) describes how control of the aircraft could be lost in flight as a consequence of icing of the angle-of-attack probes and an interaction with the airplane’s stall protection function.

Those probes act like small weather vanes on the side of the aircraft and measure the angle at which the airplane moves through the air — the angle of attack. If the angle is too high the air can no longer flow smoothly around the wings, resulting in an aerodynamic stall. The acceptable range of angles of attack is fairly small, and gets considerably smaller at higher speeds, such as cruise speed.”

Simply put, depending on the position of the angle-of-attack probes when freezing occurs and the subsequent speed of the aircraft, the system may be fooled into thinking that the aircraft is approaching a stalled condition — even when it isn’t. In response, the airplane’s stall protections pitch the aircraft’s nose down to recover. This erroneous pitch down cannot be overridden by the pilots unless an emergency procedure in the Airworthiness Directive is followed. All pilots flying this model airplane should be aware of this.”

“The procedure instructs the pilots to shut down two of the three air data computers to render the usual stall protection inoperative and allow recovery of the aircraft…”

Bill Palmer, Airbus A330 captain, author of “Understanding Air France 447

1lw0wW2

UPDATES

First passenger identified, seat 23B, according to this list. No doors have been recovered as yet. They mentioned doors and emergency exits, but these turned out to be escape slides.  The slides have been identified as from both rear exists and they were not inflated.
“In total we have recovered 30 bodies; 10 bodies have been flown to Surabaya [East Java], four are in Pangakalan Bun, seven are on [naval vessel] KRI Bung Tomo, one on [Malaysian naval vessel] KD Pahang and eight bodies are in Surabaya,” Bambang told the press on Friday evening at Basarnas headquarters in Central Jakarta.
“We have also recovered debris from the plane, but I won’t go into detail.” The team also detected the presence of aviation turbine fuel (avtur) in the search area. He said the joint Search and Rescue (SAR) team was being challenged by bad weather in the operation, such as strong winds and high waves.
 5:36 PM EST – 2 Jan 15 Michael Bachelard (@mbachelard) - Twitter 2015-01-02 22-43-09

JAKARTA: Two big objects were found in the search for Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 on Saturday, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency chief said.

The two objects are about 30m under water and located near an oil slick spotted Friday, said Basarnas chief Bambang Sulistyo.

The first object measured 9.4 meters by 4.8 meters by 0.4 meters (30 feet by 15 feet by 1.3 feet), while the second is 7.2 meters by 0.5 meters (24 feet by 1.6 feet), he said.

“With the discovery of an oil spill and two big parts of the aircraft, I can assure you these are the parts of the AirAsia plane we have been looking for,” he said.

“We are lowering a ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) underwater to get an actual picture of the objects detected on the sea floor. All are at the depth of 30m,” Soelistyo said, adding that a strong current was making it difficult to operate the ROV.

Three vessels sent out to a sea area where the oil slick was spotted located the “two objects…that are close to each other,” said Soelistyo.

1420091641226

“…As you can see, the lines are well correlated until the final squawk, where the reported airspeed is 469 kts and the average ground track speed is calculated at 264 kts.

This points strongly to Pitot tube icing, and the aircraft stalling as it attempted to climb.

I have uploaded the raw data here: Google Drive…”

Dave@SkyVector

B577yBaCMAEhoLC

Interesting Internet Chatter

Q: I noticed all the cargo was in bay #3 near the wings. Any chance of a sudden shift in CoG owing to a failure in the nets caused by heavy turbulence resulting in a loss of control? Similar to US 5481?

A: I had the same thought, but the numbers don’t bear this out. The 1.3 tonnes of baggage could move at most 8 meters aft, shifting the CG of the 60+ tonne aircraft by about 1/6 of a meter, a tiny amount that is well within the range of acceptable trim. It would certainly not result in a rocket climb.

 

Q: Does the 6k-9k fpm ascent rate work against the on-board-explosive theory? I have a hard time seeing how an explosion would be followed by a climb rate 3-4x greater than can be commanded.

A: Please think for just a minute of the balance of an airplane

– Forward of CoG : the cockpit / the front cabin / the equipment bay / the forward cargo hold / the engines and part of the fuel.

– Aft of CoG : the aft cabin / the aft cargo hold (s) / the tailplane and fin / the APU. The tailplane has generally an upward moment ( hence a nose-down effect ) to balance the wing lift in flight.

Hence the loss of the tailplane can be associated with a pitch up moment.

 

Q: If I read Pihero’s explanation about weight distribution right, CoG would move backward leading to a nose up attitude. Since the wings certainly provide much more lift than the stabilizers

A: Normally the horizontal stabilizer will produce downforce, not lift. More precisely, lift in the downwards direction.

 

Q: That requires a downward force on the tail, and would result in a nose down motion if the tail is los

A: You are of course very right. Typical brainfart for thinking too fast. On modern airplanes, we can move the CoG far enough for the tailplane to generate lift (a la A330, for instance ) Not generalised and not on the 320.

 

Mandala499’s above post depicts an altogether different scenario : fast climb to 36 000 ft +, followed by a rapid – very rapid descent, a continuous heading variation to the left.

FWIW, LTC8K6 had already given the climb rate : 8600 ft/min a long time ago.

Mandala499 goes on saying that the whole SSR event lasted 1 minute and 10 sec, descent rates reaching 24 000 ft/min.

We can now derive that :

FL 320 to FL 360 = 4300 ft in less than 30 sec –> vertical speed of 8600 ft/min

time left from 36 300 ft to 24 000 ft = 40 sec –> 12 300 ft in 40 sec –> vertical speed 18 450 ft/min average, or 182 kt

Recorded ground speed : 60 kt says Mandala499. That means, the fall was on a trajectory just 20° from the vertical.

182 kt is not terminal velocity, so it’s not a dive… more a falling leaf-type of situation… which means a major structural damage : wing (left wing probably) and flight controls.

Therefore there are two probable causes left:

1/- A freaky, violent encounter with a monster updraft which is not backed by study of the ITCZ weather in the zone at the time of the accident…

2/- An explosion / sudden violent fire… We might well be seeing the effects of a bomb here.

post-224939-14198257603705

LB ;(

Anti Communist song. Myrtle Eleanor Cooper (December 24, 1913–February 8, 1999) and Scott Greene Wiseman (November 8, 1908–January 31, 1981), known professionally as Lulu Belle and Scotty, were one of the major country music acts of the 1930s and 1940s, dubbed The Sweethearts of Country Music.

Cooper was born in Boone, North Carolina; Wiseman was from Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Lulu Belle and Scotty enjoyed enormous national popularity thanks to their regular appearances on National Barn Dance on WLS-AM in Chicago, a rival to WSM-AM’s Grand Ole Opry. Barn Dance enjoyed a large radio audience in the 1930s and early 1940s with some 20 million Americans regularly tuning in.

The duo married on December 13, 1934, one year after Wiseman became a regular on Barn Dance (Cooper had been a solo performer there since 1932). The duo is best known for their self-penned classic “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”, which became one of the first country songs to attract major attention in pop circles and was recorded by many artists in both genres. Cooper was the somewhat dominant half of the duo with a comic persona as a wisecracking country girl. Her most famous novelty number was “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor On The Bedpost”. In 1938, she was named Favorite Female Radio Star by the readers of Radio Guide magazine, an unusual recognition for a country performer.

Lulu Belle and Scotty recorded for record labels including Vocalion Records, Columbia Records, Bluebird Records; and Starday Records, in their final sessions during the 1960s reprising their old hits. They were among the first country music stars to venture into feature motion pictures, appearing in such films as Shine on Harvest Moon (1938), County Fair (1941) and The National Barn Dance (1944).

The couple retired from show business in 1958, excepting occasional appearances, going on to new careers in teaching (Wiseman) and politics (Cooper). Cooper served two terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives as the Democratic representative for three counties. In 1977, she gave a memorable speech in which she revealed that she had been raped on the country music circuit.[2]

Wiseman was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971. After his death in 1981 from a heart attack in Gainesville, Florida, Cooper married Ernest Stamey in 1983; and in 1985 recorded her first album in 20 years for a small traditional music label.

Strongest quake to hit Virginia since 1897

Barrow Endangered by Proposed Georgia Map

Roll Call – By Joshua Miller

A proposed Georgia redistricting map released Monday would add a new Republican-leaning Congressional district in the northeastern part of the state, shift the districts of many incumbents and likely keep GOP Members safe, while shoring up freshman Rep. Austin Scott (R). The plan, offered by the Republican-controlled Legislature, also significantly endangers Rep. John Barrow (D).

If, as expected, the draft map or something similar ends up being signed into law by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, it appears likely the Georgia House delegation in January 2013 would include 10 Republicans and four Democrats. The current breakdown is eight Republicans and five Democrats.

“It’s obvious that they moved this map around to get rid of John Barrow. There’s no question about that,” Georgia Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon told Roll Call. “That district is going to be very tough for John.”

Republicans drew Barrow’s home and political base in Savannah out of his 12th district but added in the Republican-leaning suburbs of the city Augusta. The end result is a district that is substantially more Republican.

Republicans in the state tell Roll Call that a likely contender to challenge Barrow in his more competitive district is state Rep. Lee Anderson (R)…

😉

AF 447: Air France points the finger at Airbus and Thales

Le Figaro (FR)(English Translation)

A year and a half after the disaster of Flight 447 from Rio to Paris, France announced Thursday a new research phase of the wreckage of the flight from Paris to Rio, which crashed at sea with 228 victims.

A year and a half after the catastrophe of flight AF 447 Rio-Paris, France announced Thursday a new research phase of the wreck, while a report issued by Air France to justice is indirectly involved Airbus and Thales, a manufacturer of defective speed sensors. “The fourth phase of research at sea should begin in February 2011, according to a statement from the Ministry of Transport. “This campaign will involve locating the best equipment now available,” assured the new Secretary of State for Transport Thierry Mariani Monday  receiving the French associations of families of the victims.

The Airbus A330 of the French company crashed at sea on June 1, 2009 with 228 people on board, none of whom survived. Only 3% of the aircraft and fifty bodies have been recovered. Black boxes, recording flight parameters and pilot conversations that would explain the origin of the disaster remained unavailable until now in spite of three phases of research that ended last May 24.

Some 20 million euros have been spent in large part by the manufacturer Airbus and Air France. No amount has been provided for this fourth phase, but Air France and Airbus have told AFP they would attend. “It is absolutely essential to find the black boxes,” says the manufacturer. “We are very happy and satisfied (…) it was not easy,” said Jean-Baptiste Audousset Thursday, president of an association of families of the victims, “Mutual Aid and Solidarity AF 447.” He added that the association would ensure that the defined search area “is close to that which the association has planned after a long work,” referring to the mistakes made in previous phases.

The failure of sensors measuring speed pitot, manufactured by the French group Thales, has played a role in the accident, according to preliminary findings of the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA), responsible for technical investigations, for which, however, that failure can not alone explain the disaster .

Air France clears its crew

In addition, Air France has made “recently” a justice of memorandum on the accident in which the company considers itself blameless while pointing the finger at Airbus and Thales. “No breach of the regulations shall be issued against Air France,” concludes the document which AFP has obtained a copy. “The age analysis shows that Air France has continued to be proactive to try to remedy the malfunctions related to pitot probes events, occurring before the accident, the report said. “Airbus and Thales have considered these events as minor and inconsequential potentially catastrophic,” he notes, however, while conceding that “it is impossible to establish with certainty a causal link between the malfunction of the probes Pitot and the accident. “

Air France also clears the crew, considering that the preparation and monitoring of the flight could not be questioned. “We can not comment on the document handed to the judge: we do not know the exact content. We believe that the best way to solve this tragic accident is to make every effort to try to locate the wreckage and the black boxes, “said a spokesman for Airbus.

A source close to the manufacturer, however, stressed that Air France Airbus has certainly questioned about the cause of these dysfunctions observed from May 2008 on the A330 and A340 of the company. But she added that Air France did not issue any request to replace the probes Thales by Goodrich, ‘for reasons of harmonization of maintenance of its fleet. “


Related Previous Posts:

Air France Flight 447: Unsuccessful Searches And Pitot Maintenance (UPDATED) Black Boxes NOT Located?

Air France Flight 447:BEA Interim Report No. 2

Air France Flight 447: For Their Honor…

AF Flight 447: BEA/Airbus Require Special Pilot Training For High Altitude System Failure

Air France Flt 447 Black Boxes Are Not Found: Êtes-vous surpris? Are You Surprised?

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 !)

Justified Anger At Air France/BEA/EASA/DGAC

Time Out For AF Flight 447 Investigation: July In Paris (Fashion Week / National Holiday)

Air France Flight 447: The Paris “Show” Continues

Pitots: Are European Business Interest More Important Than Safe Air Travel?

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

FAB Response To BEA: Listen To The Recording That We Gave To You!

BEA Interim Report: ACARS Messages

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

Air France Flight 447: BEA Press Conf Does Not Mention Mysterious Water Leak?

Airbus/BEA: Pointing Their Finger At The Big Cloud In The Sky

AF Flight 447 – ACARS Messages Decoded

Air France Flight 447: Sunday In Paris Before The Storm…

Air France Flight 447: FAB SAR Missions End – French Navy Captures Signal

AF Flight 447: NTSB Investigating Two Recent Incidents Involving Pitots

AF Flight 447: Brazilian Intelligence Agency Still Does Not Rule Out Terrorism

Air France Airbus 330 – Unreliable Airspeed Problems Since 2006

Flight 447 Search For Black Boxes: French Sub Hears “Faint’ Signal

Air France Airbus A332 (F-GZCP) ACARS Messages – Past Three Months

Flight 447: Blue Ice

Was Air France Flight 447 Disaster Caused By Leaking Toilet!

end

Chilean President: Looting, Lawlessness Will Not be Tolerated

Earlier Tuesday, President Bachelet told reporters that looting and lawlessness will not be tolerated.  She has instructed troops to act with what she called the “severity” necessary to prevent crime.

President Bachelet – VOA News

Hillary Clinton: “The Chilean people have shown enormous courage”

“The devastating earthquake has caused so much damage throughout the Chilean territory. We must remember that it was an earthquake with a force 800 times greater than that razed Hatití. You (Bachelet) has demonstrated great leadership, it has also its government, and surely we must pay tribute to the strength of the Chilean people has shown enormous courage in this situation.”

Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton  latercera.com


‘The sea was 30 metres high. Everybody ran’

London Times – Dom Phillips, Constitución

When the earthquake struck the dirt-poor coastal town of Constitución, José Carrasco was sleeping in the cab of his truck by the beach.

“It was really strong, shaking,” he said. Forty-five minutes later he saw the first tsunami wave coming towards him. “The sea came and covered everything. It was 30 metres high. There were two waves. When we saw the sea coming in, everybody ran. I climbed up the hill.”

The smell of death hung yesterday over this fishing town, battered not just by the earthquake but by the tsunami that came in its wake and claimed hundreds of lives. Much of it lay in ruins. Debris from the waves covered the beach and the tiny port. Mr Carrasco’s blue truck was a tangle of bent metal, surrounded by the remains of battered cars, their windows shattered.

A yellow food stall was stuck on top of the shell of a van on a pile of broken timber. Electricity pylons were wrapped around giant palm trees torn from their roots. Bulldozers had begun shoving the debris — piles of broken metal, bits of cars, trucks, railings, wood and palm fronds. Constitución now resembles a giant scrapyard.

Ronald Bosselaar, 47, was clutching a faded old photo of himself — showing a young man with two friends making music together. It is all he has left. “My house was completely destroyed. For two days I’ve been on the street, I haven’t eaten,” he said.

Further along the shore a 200-metre row of wooden houses, a small restaurant and a disco had been reduced to a pile of broken lumber. Lampposts had been snapped off their base and tossed aside by the waves. A mattress was draped over a branch ten metres up a tree. On a hill a Chilean flag hung mournfully above the remains of a concrete building.

Carolina Olivares, 21, showed how the waves shattered windows in the concrete-floored house she shares with her family, 30 metres above the sea. “It was terrible,” she said. “I saw the sea coming and I ran.” Houses have been reduced to rubble on every street in the town centre. People in dirty clothes wander aimlessly or loiter on corners, carrying their possessions in plastic bags or crates.

Soldiers were directing the traffic. At the police headquarters two looters were dragged in by officers. The atmosphere became tense.

The looters left sullenly as police shouted, shoved and searched their bags. “There was looting here on Saturday,” Alex Vergara, an officer, said. “We came and took people out. We arrested 12 looters.”

On the other side of the street a grille had been opened at the Mayorista supermarket, and even as one store was being cleared of looters, another was being sneakily invaded…



Chile and Haiti: A Tale of Two Earthquakes

TIME – By Tim Padgett

The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Chile early on Feb. 27 was 500 times stronger than the 7.0 quake that killed an estimated 200,000 Haitians last month. And yet the number of casualties in Chile appears to be exponentially smaller, with the official death toll still in the hundreds. Far fewer people were rendered homeless than in Haiti, and much of the telephone service in Santiago and parts of central Chile had been restored within five hours.

Comparisons between the two countries will no doubt be much discussed when the U.N. hosts a conference in New York City on March 31 to hash out how best to help Haiti rebuild. Donor governments already know why there was so much less destruction in Chile: it’s because the government there forces builders to adhere to rigorous codes, while Haiti’s incorrigible corruption and carelessness left such regulation all but nonexistent.

On the global corruption index put out by Transparency International, a Berlin-based nonprofit that lists countries from the least to most corrupt, Chile ranks 25th and Haiti 168th. And while Chilean President Michelle Bachelet hit the streets on Saturday reassuring citizens about her government’s earthquake response, Haitian President René Préval has been seemingly AWOL for weeks.

Both Chile and Haiti sit atop large, volatile fault lines. In recent decades, Chile has mandated earthquake-proofing for new structures, requiring that materials like rubber and features like counterweights be built into the architectural designs to allow buildings to bend and sway rather than break during temblors.

Haiti, by contrast, lets its buildings rise with little if any input from engineers and plenty of bribes to so-called government inspectors. Structures have scant reinforcement and are often set on weak foundations. That’s why 13 of 15 federal ministry buildings pancaked in the Jan. 12 earthquake — and why, in 2008, 91 students and teachers died when their school in a Port-au-Prince suburb collapsed. The school’s owner was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after admitting he barely even used mortar to hold its concrete blocks together…



PAGER – M 8.8 – OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE

Alert Version: 7Saturday, February 27th, 2010 at 06:34:14
UTCLocation: 35.8° S, 72.7° W
Depth: 35km
Event Id: US2010TFAN
Created: 14 hours, 10 minutes after earthquake.
Shaking Intensity
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. On May 22, 1960 (UTC), a magnitude 9.5 earthquake 273 km South of this one struck Valdivia, Chile, with estimated population exposures of 230,000 at intensity VIII and 216,000 at intensity IX , resulting in a reported 3263 deaths from the earthquake and tsunami. Recent earthquakes in this area have caused tsunamis, landslides, and liquefaction that may have contributed to losses.
Population Exposure
Population per ~1 sq. km. from LandScan

Exposure Summary

Estimated Population Exposed to Earthquake Shaking

Est. Modified Mercalli Intensity Est. Population Exposure Perceived Shaking Potential Structure Damage
Resistant Vulnerable
X 0 Extreme V. Heavy V. Heavy
IX 0 Violent Heavy V. Heavy
VIII 5,480k Severe Moderate/Heavy Heavy
VII 7,285k Very Strong Moderate Moderate/Heavy
VI 751k* Strong Light Moderate
V 2,721k* Moderate V. Light Light
IV 1,218k* Light none none
II-III 400* Weak none none
I –* Not Felt none none
*Estimated exposure only includes population within calculated shake map area

Selected Cities Exposed

MMI City Pop.
VIII Talcahuano 253k
VIII Arauco 25k
VIII Lota 50k
VIII Chiguayante 83k
VIII Canete 20k
VIII San Antonio 86k
VII Talca 197k
VII Concepcion 215k
VII Rancagua 213k
VII Santiago 4,837k
VII Temuco 238k


Hungry, angry Chileans set fire to shops

Looters pillaged shops, homes and even attacked a fire station in the burning Chilean city of Concepcion, as rescuers try to find quake survivors.

Police fired tear gas to try to disperse an angry crowd that set fire to the Bigger supermarket after they were prevented from entering.

Black smoke billowed out over the ruins of Concepcion, one of the cities worst hit by Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude quake, which has killed more than 720 people.

“It’s full, they have water, food, diapers, but the police won’t let us go inside,” complained one man standing next to the supermarket after a curfew was extended on Monday in a bid to stop theft and violence.

“It would be fine if they distributed things, or at least sold them to us,” grumbled Carmen Norin, 42.

The building’s roof collapsed in the fire, injuring a volunteer firefighter in the city of about 600,000, some 500km south of Santiago. One person who emerged screaming, covered in flames, was rescued by the firefighters.

Another store was also set ablaze while other groups climbed atop buses or looted abandoned houses.

“Here, people are even looting fire stations,” sighed Conception fire department chief Jaime Jara.

“We understand that people need to eat, but looting hospitals and clinics… How can we serve our people?” he said.

One person was shot and killed and at least 160 were arrested for violating the first curfew imposed in Chile since the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in 1990.

Hundreds of troops were deployed to Concepcion alongside police as part of President Michelle Bachelet’s deployment of 7,000 soldiers to the quake zone.

People raked through the ruins of supermarkets, taking everything they could find.

“If they have basic foods, milk, flour, water, diapers for babies, the order is to not arrest them,” said Carlos Huerino, a police inspector. “But if they have a television, they’ll arrest them.”

Bachelet declared a state of emergency on Sunday and Concepcion was placed under a curfew that was extended from 8pm on Monday until noon on Tuesday in a bid to restore order.

“Where they looted yesterday, there is nothing left. They took everything in the supermarkets and the pharmacies,” said a 55-year-old cashier who declined to give her name.

At a dairy market, a man threw containers of milk from a balcony to people below while others made off with sacks of flour.

But the crowd scattered as a truck mounted with a water cannon pulled up along with an armoured car and two buses carrying some 30 police in riot gear and brandishing truncheons.

The first troops to arrive were generally welcomed by residents desperate for a return to normalcy.

Amid the looting, rescue teams on Monday night focused on the disaster area around a 14-storey Concepcion apartment building that crumpled to the ground in the quake.

With other residents still trapped, a father emerged alive from the rubble of the building with his wife and two children and told of the “indescribable” feeling of falling six floors and escaping unscathed.

“We just had our children in our arms and we fell. It’s indescribable. I said ‘God, help us!'” said Alex Tapia, an Ecuadoran sailor renting an apartment with his wife Rosa Maria.

After the shaking stopped, the family were buried in the dark. They clawed a tiny hole in a wall and Tapia shepherded his family through the mangled apartment basement to a larger opening and to freedom.


Related Links:

WSJ: How Milton Friedman Saved Chile

VOA News: Chile Battles Lawlessness, Desperation After Massive Earthquake

Breitbart: Tsunami swept away fleeing bus full of retirees

Daily Mail (UK): Pictured: Body of looter left dying by side of the road after being hit by car in aftermath of Chile earthquake

WSJ: Strong Aftershocks Hit Chile


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