A3 From Greece, joined Oct 2006, 262 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 17256 times:
SYNOPSIS IN ENGLISH
On 14 August 2005, a Boeing 737-300 aircraft, registration number 5B-DBY, operated by Helios Airways, departed Larnaca, Cyprus at 09:07 h for Prague, Czech Republic, via Athens, Hellas. The aircraft was cleared to climb to FL340 and to proceed direct to RDS VOR. As the aircraft climbed through 16 000 ft, the Captain contacted the company Operations Centre and reported a Take-off Configuration Warning and an Equipment Cooling system problem. Several communications between the Captain and the Operations Centre took place in the next eight minutes concerning the above problems and ended as the aircraft climbed through 28 900 ft. Thereafter, there was no response to radio calls to the aircraft. During the climb, at an aircraft altitude of 18 200 ft, the passenger oxygen masks deployed in the cabin. The aircraft leveled off at FL340 and continued on its programmed route.
At 10:21 h, the aircraft flew over the KEA VOR, then over the Athens International Airport, and subsequently entered the KEA VOR holding pattern at 10:38 h. At 11:24 h, during the sixth holding pattern, the Boeing 737 was intercepted by two F-16 aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force. One of the F-16 pilots observed the aircraft at close range and reported at 11:32 h that the Captain�s seat was vacant, the First Officer�s seat was occupied by someone who was slumped over the controls, the passenger oxygen masks were seen dangling and three motionless passengers were seen seated wearing oxygen masks in the cabin. No external damage or fire was noted and the aircraft was not responding to radio calls. At 11:49 h, he reported a person not wearing an oxygen mask entering the cockpit and occupying the Captain�s seat. The F-16 pilot tried to attract his attention without success. At 11:50 h, the left engine flamed out due to fuel depletion and the aircraft started descending. At 11:54 h, two MAYDAY messages were recorded on the CVR.
At 12:00 h, the right engine also flamed out at an altitude of approximately 7 100 ft. The aircraft continued descending rapidly and impacted hilly terrain at 12:03 h in the vicinity of Grammatiko village, Hellas, approximately 33 km northwest of the Athens International Airport. The 115 passengers and 6 crew members on board were fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed.
The Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board (AAIASB) of the Hellenic Ministry of Transport & Communications investigated the accident following ICAO practices and determined that the accident resulted from direct and latent causes.
The direct causes were:
* Non-recognition that the cabin pressurization mode selector was in the MAN (manual) position during the performance of the Preflight procedure, the Before Start checklist and the After Takeoff checklist.
* Non-identification of the warnings and the reasons for the activation of the warnings (Cabin Altitude Warning Horn, Passenger Oxygen Masks Deployment indication, Master Caution).
* Incapacitation of the flight crew due to hypoxia, resulting in the continuation of the flight via the flight management computer and the autopilot, depletion of the fuel and engine flameout, and the impact of the aircraft with the ground.
The latent causes were:
* Operators deficiencies in the organization, quality management, and safety culture.
* Regulatory Authority diachronic inadequate execution of its safety oversight responsibilities.
* Inadequate application of Crew Resource Management principles.
* Ineffectiveness of measures taken by the manufacturer in response to previous pressurization incidents in the particular type of aircraft.
The AAIASB further concluded that the following factors could have contributed to the accident: omission of returning the cabin pressurization mode selector to the AUTO position after non-scheduled maintenance on the aircraft; lack of cabin crew procedures (at an international level) to address events involving loss of pressurization and continuation of the climb despite passenger oxygen masks deployment; and ineffectiveness of international aviation authorities to enforce implementation of actions plans resulting from deficiencies documented in audits.
In the months following the accident, the AAIASB made seven interim safety recommendations: five recommendations to the National Transportation Safety Board and to the manufacturer, four of which already resulted in the implementation of corrective actions, one recommendation to the Cyprus Air Accident and Incident Investigation Board and the airlines based in Cyprus, for which corrective action had already been taken, and one recommendation to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA), which also resulted in the implementation of corrective action. In addition, the FAA in the United States issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) which informed flight crews about upcoming, improved procedures for pre-flight setup of the cabin pressurization system, as well as improved procedures for interpreting and responding to the Cabin Altitude Warning Horn and to the Takeoff or Landing Configuration Warning Horn.
The report also identifies a number of additional safety deficiencies pertaining to: maintenance procedures; pilot training, normal and emergency procedures; organizational issues of the Operator; organizational issues related to safety oversight of maintenance and flight operations by Cyprus DCA, EASA/JAA and ICAO; issues related to the aircraft manufacturer�s documentation for maintenance and flight operations; and issues related to handling by the International Authorities of precursor incident information so as to implement preventive measures in a timely manner. As a consequence of the above, in its Final Report the AAIASB promulgated an additional eleven safety recommendations, addressed to the Republic of Cyprus, EASA, JAA and ICAO.
In accordance with ICAO Annex 13, paragraph 6.3, copies of the Draft Final Report were sent on 18 May 2006 to the States that participated in the investigation, inviting their comments. The comments sent to the AAIASB by the relevant Authorities in Cyprus, the United Kingdom and the United States were taken into account in the Final Report.
Note: All the above times are local.
Don't spend your money on airlines that don't respect your business.
United787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 17185 times:
I find it shocking at how many fatal mistakes were made by the pilots. Why wouldn't they put their oxygen masks on?
I also find it scary at how many accident reports I read where the pilots can't figure out what a certain alarm is telling them. You would think that we have the technology to be have more specific alarms. Don't the newer planes have this type of technology? Where the computer actually tells you, "pull up" etc...
A3 From Greece, joined Oct 2006, 262 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 17138 times:
Quoting Milan320 (Reply 3): Does anyone know what were these "ineffective" measures that were taken by Boeing earlier? The report makes mention of them, but from I can see, doesn't cite them in detail.
Sorry, I could only find the summary,
Details of that problem are on the full report.
I Cant get until now the total 230 pages long report. .
When I have it , I¢ll put a link for download.
Don't spend your money on airlines that don't respect your business.
PolymerPlane From United States of America, joined May 2006, 991 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 17138 times:
Quoting A3 (Reply 1): lack of cabin crew procedures (at an international level) to address events involving loss of pressurization and continuation of the climb despite passenger oxygen masks deployment;
This strikes me most. The aircraft continued to climb even the oxygen masks were deployed. Logic tells me that if the oxygen masks deployed one should immediately descent to a safe altitude and asses the situation. I am not a pilot, so I do not know the actual procedure. Just an intuition.
Zeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 10012 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 16994 times:
Quoting A3 (Reply 7): It¢s officially published.
The comity¢s actions are very independent. There is not any need for approval.
In the press it said ...
"Tsolakis is expected to land at Larnaca airport at around 3.30pm, where he will meet with Communication and Works Minister Harris Thrassou at 4.30pm.
From there, the chief investigator will be driven to the Presidential Palace where he will present President Tassos Papadopoulos with copies of the document in English and Greek.
Cypriot Air Accident Investigating Committee Chairman Costas Orfanos is also expected to receive a copy of the report."
Everything that has been printed so far from my understanding has come from briefings to the press, not be release of the report, e.g...
"According to David Learmount, the Operations and Safety Editor of Flight International magazine who has been briefed on the final report, the switch had been set to manual because ground engineers were testing the airliner's seals after a reported leak"
This seems like a normal process, as the report has been prepared on behalf of the government.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2975 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 16822 times:
Quoting Milan320 (Reply 3): Does anyone know what were these "ineffective" measures that were taken by Boeing earlier?
Could it be the fact that the warning signal is the same as the take-off configuration warning, leading to confusion? It might seem obvious that when you get such a warning when flying, it is not for the take-off configuration. Falling oxygen masks would be obvious to anyone - if they weren't slightly incapacitated already. So to have to different warning sounds, unnecessary as it may seem, might actually just make the difference one day. It can't be that hard to implement...
But then again, they might be referring to something totally different. I am curious to read the report.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13466 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 16804 times:
At least we have a very good invesigation result of what and how went wrong in this tragedy. Most important from this final report are the recommendations, apparently already in place or in process to be placed soon by a number of parties to reduce the risk of a similar situation in the future.
One question I ask is this: shouldn't the Auto-pilot feature somehow go into a suspend mode when there is a pressurization problem, or at least make the aircraft descend altitude with signals to ATC, other aircraft, ground terrain to get to a level where the natural air pressurization is safe?
Wjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5559 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 16773 times:
This just confirms what was discussed on here months ago. Most importantly, several of the pilots who post on here had some not-too-flattering observations about the number of mistakes (apparently due to lack of training, airmanship and oversight) made by these pilots to get into this situation.
Katekebo From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 711 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 16340 times:
Quoting Litz (Reply 17): wouldn't there have been some sort of warning horn in the cockpit?
Yes, there is an audible alarm. As decribed above, the alarm sound is the same as wrong take-off configuration. Apparently, the manufacturer thought that it was OK to use the same sound for two different conditions as the pilot should discern the cause of the problem based on the flight phase. The take-off configuration alarm sounds as soon as throttle is advanced for take-off roll and flaps are not configured properly (there was a LAPA accident in Buenos Aires few years ago in which the pilots took off without flaps and the audible alarm can be heard clearly on the CVR). If the same alarm sounds at altitude it indicates cabin pressure problems. In both cases, it's almost unbelievable that the pilots did not act upon the alarm. Why in hell would pilots ignore an obvious alarm and continue with the take-off is beyond comprehension. In the Helios crash it's also hard to believe that the pilots could confuse the take-off configuration alarm with cabin pressure alarm during the climb phase.
CYatUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 812 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 16222 times:
Quoting Katekebo (Reply 18): If the same alarm sounds at altitude it indicates cabin pressure problems. In both cases, it's almost unbelievable that the pilots did not act upon the alarm. Why in hell would pilots ignore an obvious alarm and continue with the take-off is beyond comprehension. In the Helios crash it's also hard to believe that the pilots could confuse the take-off configuration alarm with cabin pressure alarm during the climb phase.
Nobody knows why the pilots did not react to this alarm.
The company (renamed aJet) have today announced that they do not accept the report and claim that there is no way that the pressurisation configuration could be left on manual since this would cause very unconfortable ear pain during take off. Also, they claim that even the system was left on manual, the valve should be closed hence again ear pain would be caused during take off. However, I am wondering why do they assume that the engineers who checked the aircraft during the previous night, left the valve at the closed position. Couldn't they leave it at manual and open?
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 16222 times:
Quoting A3 (Reply 19): The original full report in English in every detail !!
Pls Note that is a large (8.3Mb)Zipped PDF .
Anyone else having problems downloading it? I'm on cable @ 6.3 MBPS and the file shows a 2 hour + download @ a measly 400 kbps, but the download errors out after :30 to :45 seconds. Clicking on the downloaded file shows it to be corrupted and unusable...