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No Crash For New Airplanes  
User currently offlineDC10 From Canada, joined Apr 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2176 times:

Hi, I made a constatation yesterday:
The "newer" airplanes (A330/A340/B777) fly for about 5 years, and none of them is involved in a fatal accident (except the A330, but it was on a test flight, and not in regular operation with pax; BTW do you have any info about this crash?):
Is it a "good score", or is it always the case for newer airplane (ie a period of 4/5 years before the first accident occurs)
I think that it shows a real improvment in quality for both manufacturer Boeing & Airbus
Thanks for any comments!
DC10


21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10645 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2094 times:

The improvements are indeed impressive, especially when you know that more than 550 of these new widebodies are around.
But lets not forget the 11 year old B747-400 here. Around 500 of them are flying. Two have been damaged beyond economical repair in severe storms with aquaplaning (no fatalities), so nobody can blame the aircraft type. No 747-400 ever really "crashed". Every B777 or A340 would have been lost in the same circumstances.
The MD-11 of the same age seems to far less trustworthy, 2 of the less than 200 built crashed, 3 were lost during landing accidents worse than the 747s.

But one must also remember that the very first Jumbo that crashed, D-ABYB of Lufthansa in 1974, was already 4 years old when it happened. At that time ca. 250 747´s were already flying, around the same number as TripleSevens now. The more planes are around, the more likely one faces something nobody would ever wish.


User currently offlineXQF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2089 times:

Good points! I count 3 for MD11 crashes......Swissair off Halifax, Mandarin Airlines at Hong Kong and Korean Air Cargo in the UK.

I think one of best safety records would have to be the 767 considering its been flying since 83/84.......i can only think of the Lauda Air crash out of BKK. Others like the Ethiopian Airlines hijack and crash off the Comoros Is, the TACA overrun and the Air Canada emergency landing cause it ran out of fuel werent any fault of Boeing or the 767 design. And the Egyptair off New York is cause unknown still.

So i think the 767 is the safest aircraft around, any objections? comments? corrections?

Cheers!


User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1963 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2056 times:

Thanks, XQF, for recognizing the safety of my favorite aircraft, the 767.

I do think the safety records of the A330, A340, 747-400, and 777 are impressive.

Although a few A300 and A310 have crashed, were any attibutable to the design or ease of control?

As a general point: I am dismayed by much of the press coverage (at least in the US) of air disasters, where writers or editors masquerade as aviation experts and make generalizations questioning the airline and/or aircraft type involved when neither has proven to be at fault.



The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8051 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2041 times:

BTW, the MD11 has not crashed three times, it has crashed five times. Swissair, Mandarin, Korean Air, yes. But don't forget the FedEx MD11 that flipped over during the flare at Newark and crashed upside down, or the FedEx MD11 that overran on landing at Something [Sorbic?] Bay, Philippines. Have I forgotten anything?


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10645 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2020 times:

I mentioned these 3 under landing accidents, very serious ones though.

User currently offlineAirbus A3XX From Australia, joined May 1999, 507 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (14 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

Isn't the Boeing 747-400 of China Airlines that ran off the runway in Kai Tak HKG can't be repaired?

User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10645 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (14 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2000 times:

Yes, it wasn´t repaired, but the CA 747-400 didn´t crash. Crashing means (total) destruction. This plane partly submerged in the water was mainly a hazard to airtraffic at Kai Tak, so they had to blow off the tail. They just hadn´t the time for fast salvage that would have saved the aircraft.

As far as I know the damage to the Korean Air 744 (HL7496) in ´98 was actually worse.


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1989 times:

The A330 training crash can be attributed to a bug in the autopilot software. The aircraft was practising stalls at 5000 feet and decided to lower the ceiling to 2000 feet on the final run. Unfortunately, the aircraft went in to stall mode at the exact same time that the autopilot locked in the new altitude which caused the autopilot to erroneously prioritize angle of attack over airspeed. The airplane went into a nose up stall, which was fatal at the low altitude and wound up hitting the ground in a flat spin.

User currently offline747Ordie From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1984 times:

Does any footage of the a330 crash exist that one might be able to examine/download?

User currently offlineTupolev154B2 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1332 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (14 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1977 times:

Wouldn't it be hard to salvage a 747-400 anyway?

User currently offlineAirbus A3XX From Australia, joined May 1999, 507 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (14 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1975 times:

Isn't the Boeing 747-400 of China Airlines that ran off the runway in Kai Tak HKG can't be repaired?

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (14 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1974 times:

What about the 757? The only crash I remember reading about it is the time a hijacked 737 ran into it at the airport.

User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11208 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (14 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1964 times:

If I recall correctly, there have been only 2 crashes of 757s in its history. One was when the AA crew had a CFIT, and the other was attributed to a charter carrier leaving the Dominican Republic with taped over pitot tubes, IIRC. Neither was the fault of the plane, however, some have argued that had the AA jet been a 320 series jet, it would have been better at getting out of the jam the crew found themselves in.


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User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8051 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (14 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1951 times:

It's true that new designs are incredibly safe - no Airbus has ever come down due to a mechanical cause, only a few pilot errors in the early days of the A320. The 767 was unlucky with the faulty reverse thrust software which killed all those people in Thailand. No A330, A340 or 777 has been involved in any kind of accident at all. Not sure what to make of the 737 in light of the rudder problems, however there are so many billion flight hours on the 737 that other types have a lot more accident free hours to fly before they match it.

D L X, there was an AeroPeru 757-200 lost after takeoff from Lima. The ground crew left tape over the pitot heads when they washed the aircraft, and incredibly, no-one spotted it (even on the walkaround). They took off and it was within seconds of liftoff that they realised they had almost no cockpit instrument that worked. They flew in pitch blackness, climbing and descending randomly with the frightened pilots trying to get accurate altitude readings from ATC, while a 707 freighter was launched with the intention of making a midair rendezvous to guide them back in. Unfortunately, the 757 descended to sea level and bounced on the water a few times before rolling upside down and crashing with the loss of all onboard.

I know it sounds similar but the Birginair Dominican crash was a different event, caused by one faulty airspeed indicator, the captains. This was every instrument on both panels, nearly. It is a very little known accident, but for me it is at least as harrowing as JAL123 or UA232. You should see the CVR transcript.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineZartan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1933 times:

Reading over these comments, I'm struck by how truly unbelievable these records really are. It's quite a testament to Airbus and Boeing (not the mention the airlines and ATC) how safe air travel really is. I mean, you read the statistics on how many million people fly per accident, but when you think about a type of plane like the 777 flying for years and years with NO accidents, that's really unbelievable.

If only everything in life were that reliable. Then again, few things in life cost as much as a 777, or hold hundreds of people at 38,000 feet.

Interesting thread.


User currently offlineC172sb From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

It's not the planes but the two or three guys sitting up front that do must of the crashing.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8051 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (14 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1916 times:

C172sb is right, unfortunately. BTW, the US scheduled airlines didn't kill a single pax last year, first time it's ever happened (this includes every little puddlejumping Part 145 carrier...or is it 121 for the commuters? No, it's 145). Can't remember how many billion (yes) pax it was but a stunning achievement. It just gets better every year. Within the decade the US will have had a two year accident free stretch, maybe even three if everyone keeps their shit together.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8051 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (14 years 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

My final thought on this thread is about the MD11 - not only have there been the two FedEx writeoffs (the one I couldn't remember was at SUBIC BAY in the Philippines), the Mandarin at Chap Lep Kok, the Korean Air over Shanghai and of course SR111, but China Eastern have had two serious events with the aircraft.

Someone on here said that the CI 747-400 that overran at Kai Tak didn't qualify as a CRASH, because the aircraft was only written off after the Kai Tak authorities had to dynamite the tail fin because they needed the runway open (wonder who had to make that decision). But I would also say that a repairable aircraft is secondary to a human life: a mechanical failure on a China Eastern MD11 caused the leading edge slats to extend in the cruise resulted in such a violent pitch up that one of the passengers died. Also one of their planes suffered the collapse of one of the main gear on touchdown, which didn't result in any fatalities but I bet the aircraft was in a right state at the end of it's pirouette across the tarmac.

My hat goes off to the 747-400, what an incredibly dependable, safe and gorgeous machine. Hey now!



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineCstarU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (14 years 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1910 times:

Here's an article by Peter Ladkin on the A330 crash:

"...The A330 preliminary accident report singles out lack of pitch protection with the autopilot in ALT* mode as a determining factor.
According to the report by Casamayou in Air et Cosmos 1480 (11-16 July), the copilot rotated to 28deg to hold 150kts of speed (the airplane actually went to 29deg), and the autopilot was engaged by Warner, who also retarded the left engine and cut the left hydraulic pump to simulate an engine failure: `As planned, the pitch of the aircraft started to diminish and passed from 29deg to 25deg, the [pitch] limit authorised by the [flight] envelope protection system FMGES (flight management guidance and envelope system).'
It is presumed that the pilots were expecting that the autopilot was to remain in SRS mode (`Speed Reference System') under which there is automatic pitch protection. However, because the altitude was set too low (2000ft) in the flight director (FCU), the autopilot reverted almost immediately to ALT* mode, under which there is no pitch protection. However, it was non-obvious for the pilots to know they were in ALT* mode since it wasn't displayed on the PFD under those flight conditions - mode info disappears from the PFD at 25deg, **the same point to which pitch is protected by the FMGES**.
The preliminary report noted the lack of PFD display of mode as a contributing factor, but not a cause. Bernard Ziegler, technical director of Airbus, singled out in interviews the action of achieving 25deg of pitch as one of his main contributing factors, also the specific figure of 25deg, a `particularly high pitch angle' is found in Flight International, 17-23 Aug 1994, p4]. (The other two factors mentioned in the Speigel interview were the 2000ft altitude setting and that the pilots waited too long to recover.)
However, if you want to test pitch protection it follows you have to put the airplane into more than 25deg of pitch, which is what the pilots did. But this is a flight condition such that you can't tell on the PFD what AP mode you're in, and hence whether pitch is actually protected! This info might be available, but it is not displayed on the PFD.
Contributory factors that were also noted by the report: the full-aft center of gravity, and the TOGA thrust on the engines. However, the airplane may be legally loaded to full-aft CG, and if a go-around is needed on an automatic landing, that's what TOGA thrust is for. TOGA conditions are statistically the most likely conditions under which there is an engine failure.
All of the above is a matter of record, or of common knowledge. I'd like to add a few comments and questions of my own.
Firstly, the report implies that autopilot mode confusion played a role in the late reaction of the pilots to the flight condition. They were expecting SRS mode and got ALT* (for whatever reason) - they were expecting pitch protection when there was none - they were waiting for something that wouldn't happen, and they couldn't tell from the PFD. Pete Mellor, in his article `CAD: Computer Aided Disaster' and Robert Dorsett have noted that mode- or control-law-confusion seems to have played a role in many of the A320 accidents as well.
Secondly, this airplane was loaded to within legal limits and was using thrust appropriate to a go-around situation. There are US airports at which commercial flights take place at which the missed-approach procedure requires one to climb-and-maintain altitudes in the region of 2000ft. So, one might consider the possibility that these three of the identified `causes' of the accident were plausible, although maybe unusual, operating conditions. The airplane was pitched up by the copilot to 28 deg, in order (I would surmise) to activate the automatic pitch protection mechanism, under conditions of engine failure. Under these conditions, under autopilot control, the airplane flew itself into an flight condition from which an experienced test pilot was unable to recover in time. I wonder why more attention is not paid to this feature of the accident?
The trim setting was singled out as a cause, but the report also says that the accelerated rotation caused by this was controlled by the copilot, so I don't see how it figures as a cause, unless it was seen as one-task-too-many.
For comparison and discussion in RISKS, I'd like to mention a possible point of view different from that provided by Airbus [Ziegler interviews, Der Speigel 15.8.94, and Flight International, 17-23 Aug 1994, p4]. Namely: if the airplane had not crashed, seven more people would be alive -but we also wouldn't have known that an A330 with full aft CofG is unable to fly itself out of an engine-out-during-go-around situation if the altitude-select on the AP is set at or near 2000ft and the pitch is slightly above its 25deg limit of protection.
Is this computer-related? I'm sure the A330 software will be changed. If only because the Commission of Inquiry recommended it."

Some comments on the A330 accident: Computer-Related Incidents with Commercial Aircrafts, Peter Ladkin (University of Bielefeld, 1994).


User currently offlineTrvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (14 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

What type of a/c was involved the Korean Air Flt. 801 crash in Guam? I thought it was a 747, but I don't know which version. Thanks.

Aaron G.


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8051 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (14 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1886 times:

Excellent report, CstarU. Thanks a lot for illuminating this lesser-known crash and it's complex causes.

BTW, it is generally accepted wisdom among pilots that you do not attempt a go-around during an engine out approach unless things are seriously not right. Decision height is wherever you start the approach. Not to say that single-engine go-around parameters shouldn't be researched - of couse they should - but I would wager that never in all the hours the A330 will ever fly, not one will ever do a single engine go-around. A 767 will roll inverted under certain circumstances during a single engine coupled-autopilot approach while intercepting the localiser, anyone know that?

KE801 was a 747-300, the only one to have been involved in a fatal accident to my knowledge.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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