A350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1101 posts, RR: 22 Posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6561 times:
Today five years ago the Flash Airlines flight 604 on a 737-300 crashed shortly after take-off from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, killing all 148 people on board. The intended destination was CDG after a short stop in CAI for a crew change. Most of the victims were french holidaymakers on their way back home.
There's a short documentation about the accident on aviation-safety.net and a very similar one on the Wikipedia Wikipedia. Basically as far as I understand, something happened when the Autopilot was engaged and it was immediately switched off again, then for whatever reason the aircraft began to bank. The crewed began to recover from the banking correctly but the aircraft had already lost too much height and crashed into the red sea.
To be honest, I don't completely understand the story, especially how it can happen that an aircraft just banks so strongly. Are there any more rumors / discussions / speculations out there?
LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6538 times:
Classic case of loss of spatial orientation by the pilots. To put it bluntly: they inadvertantly flew the a/c into the ground (water).
All the conditions are there: night, flying over water, maneuvering, and poor crew coordination. Without being able to see the ground, the brain can be easily tricked into thinking the body is experiencing something it's not. For example, a pilot can think the a/c is climbing rather rapidly, while in reality it's flying straight and level. Or, a pilot can be given the impression the a/c is banked in the opposite direction of what it really is, he/she then tries to correct the bank but just ends up increasing the bank angle.
This kind of crash has happened many times before, usually in developing countries (including the CIS and the middle east): the Gulf Air A320 in 2000, Armavia 2006, and has been a partial cause in a Tu-154 crash on approach in 2001, probably the Aeroflot Nord 735 crash a few months back, the Adam Air 737, the Aeroflot A310 in 1994 and many more...
SandroZRH From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6352 times:
Quoting A350 (Reply 2): However, I still fail to understand how spatial disorientation can happen when you have an artificial horizon and a F/O explicitly telling you your bank angle.
That's exactly what we're being taught, to trust your instruments, but its sometimes harder than it sounds. Often during low visibility or night conditions, the information from the AI conflicts with the senses of your body, and it can be tough not to follow your natural senses, but to trust your horizon, especially if your think you're actually making the situation worse, while in fact you're recovering the aircraft.
There are good books out there explaining the phenomenon of spatial disorientation, so if you're interested, it might be worth a read. It has indeed always been a problem, and it will always be, even though training efforts have been greatly increased to make flight crews aware of the dangers of spatial disorientation.
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4337 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6254 times:
I once flew in a Let-410 from San Pedro Sula to Belize with open cockpit doors, we were in the clouds all thru the flight and I noted the pilots pulled down some sort of roll curtain to cover their windows. Is this also so they concentrate on the instruments instead of looking for clues in the bright white blankety clouds outside?
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?