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AF447 - New Interim Report By BEA  
User currently offlineBreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1914 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9427 times:

BEA announces that a second interim report will be published on Dec. 17th:
http://www.bea.aero/en/enquetes/flig...447/pressrelease07december2009.php
BEA also indicates that the event experienced by AF445 on Nov. 29th will be used to try and understand AF447:
http://www.bea.aero/en/enquetes/flight.af.447/info07december2009.php

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1583 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8851 times:

Thanks for pointing this out Breiz

"The BEA has launched an investigation into the event that occurred during flight AF 445 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, during the night of 29 November 2009, to the A330-203 operated by Air France. An analysis of this event is likely to throw some additional light on the accident on 1st June 2009 between Rio de Janeiro and Paris to the A330-203, flight AF 447."

I know I shouldn't be smartass-ic but that's exactly what Lightsaber and I believed could happen in another thread
AF445: Mayday Call Due To Severe Turbulence

But now that it's the BEA who indeed takes the decision of doing crossdata analysis, I guess it will be seen as "right" and all rosy  Yeah sure



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8172 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Search for CVR & FDR will resume next year:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8410375.stm



Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
User currently offlineBreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1914 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7549 times:

ZANL188, you beat me to it. Are you not sleeping in the States?
Of interest to specialists, it looks like that the Woods Hole Institute is the front runner to supply deep water search equipment, according to the French press.


User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7126 times:



Quoting Breiz (Thread starter):
BEA announces that a second interim report will be published on Dec. 17th:

And here it is:

http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp...90601e2.en/pdf/f-cp090601e2.en.pdf

On p13/14 there are diagrams showing the position of the recovered parts. As you can see they are from all over the plane, no dominant section.

- Lifejackets were not used

- Oxygen masks had not deployed

"The observations made on the debris (toilet doors, partitions, galleys, cabin crew rest module, spoiler, aileron, vertical stabiliser) evidenced high rates of compression resulting from a high rate of descent at the time of impact with the water. This high rate of compression can be seen all over the aircraft and symmetrically on the right- and left-hand sides.

High levels of loading would be required to cause the damage observed forward of the vertical stabiliser (compression failure of the forward attachment). These observations are not compatible with a separation of the aft part of the fuselage in flight."


About the rudder:

"The vertical load pick-up arm in the rudder’s hinge axis (arm 36 g) broke at the level of the attachment lug on the rudder side. The size of this arm is calculated to withstand a maximum load of 120,000 N, corresponding to a relative acceleration of 36 g of the rudder in relation to the vertical stabilizer.

Shear cracks, along a top-down axis, can also be seen on the rudder hinge arm attachment fittings close to arm 36 g. These observations indicate that the vertical stabiliser was subjected to a load greater than 120,000 N in the rudder’s hinge axis.

The RTLU was found in its place in the fin and disassembled. An examination was performed at the manufacturer’s and showed that it would allow travel of the rudder measured as 7.9° +/- 0.1°. As an example, at FL350, this travel is obtained for Mach 0.8 +/- 0.004, corresponding to a CAS of 272 +/- 2 kt."


And:

"The observations made on the vertical stabiliser are not consistent with a failure due to lateral loads in flight."

"From these observations it can be deduced that:
 The aircraft was probably intact on impact.
 The aircraft struck the surface of the water with a positive attitude, a low bank and a high rate of descent.
 There was no depressurisation."


And more discussion on the pitot tubes, it'd be interesting to see any similarities with the discussions here, by Mandala and Pihero et al, but I'll leave it up to them to comment.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineNA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10654 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7101 times:

And again its pointed out that the airplanes flying ahead and behind AF447 altered their course, while AF447 didnt.

User currently offlineJSquared From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7027 times:



Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 4):
These observations indicate that the vertical stabiliser was subjected to a load greater than 120,000 N in the rudder’s hinge axis.

It's been a few years too many since I had college physics... has anybody translated this into approximately how fast the plane was falling when it hit the water?


User currently offlineLoalq From Switzerland, joined Jan 2007, 219 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7015 times:

I have my fingers crossed for the next search mission. This needs to be properly explained...

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 4):
The aircraft struck the surface of the water with a positive attitude, a low bank and a high rate of descent.

Also mentions that the a/c was on an upwards pitch, the flaps were not deployed and there are strong indications that F/As were not strapped to their seats.



"...this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped."
User currently offlineAirbusA370 From Germany, joined Dec 2008, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6996 times:



Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 4):
High levels of loading would be required to cause the damage observed forward of the vertical stabiliser (compression failure of the forward attachment). These observations are not compatible with a separation of the aft part of the fuselage in flight."

So much for the 20+ forum threads discussing that the vertical stabiliser must have fallen off in flight and that airbus CFRP fins are generally unsafe  boggled 


User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1583 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6948 times:



Quoting NA (Reply 5):
And again its pointed out that the airplanes flying ahead and behind AF447 altered their course, while AF447 didnt.

Maybe for the same reasons DL pilots to MSP missed their approach : they were maybe caught in a heated discussion...or sleeping



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User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6585 times:



Quoting JSquared (Reply 6):
It's been a few years too many since I had college physics... has anybody translated this into approximately how fast the plane was falling when it hit the wate

Well, it says the peak acceleration was greater than 36g - but since we don't know what the function of that acceleration over time was, we cannot calculate the speed. For that we will need the black boxes...

By the way, peak accelerations can vary a lot across the airframe. Since the part taking the hit first will absorb some energy through deformation, the acceleration elsewhere can be less. The tailfin is on top, so it may very well be that acceleration on the plane's belly were much higher.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineAffirmative From France, joined Jul 2009, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6159 times:

Reading through this new report really only adds to the mystery. Some points.

• F/As were not in their seats
• Oxygen masks not deployed
• Captains body found
• Plane hit the water with a positive attitude and a high rate of decent

Even though it's virtually unthinkable and extremely unlikely. Could it be that the planes incapacitation and faulty systems together with the horrendous weather made the pilots unaware that they were actually loosing altitude fast? If the pitot tubes were not working and thus not providing the IRs with reliable information regarding altitude and/or speed could they be thinking that they were just flying along while still loosing altitude?

With the stated points above I'm wondering if the captain and/or the F/As were aware of what was happening, or even if the pilots were aware of what was going on..



I love the smell of Jet-A1 in the morning...
User currently offlineAirlineCritic From Finland, joined Mar 2009, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5983 times:



Quoting Affirmative (Reply 11):
Reading through this new report really only adds to the mystery. Some points.

• F/As were not in their seats
• Oxygen masks not deployed
• Captains body found
• Plane hit the water with a positive attitude and a high rate of decent

...

With the stated points above I'm wondering if the captain and/or the F/As were aware of what was happening, or even if the pilots were aware of what was going on..

It is very intriguing. Life jackets not donned, F/As not in seats. What happened? Was it because no one realized they were falling? This didn't even occur to us back when the big threads were discussing possible causes. But there are unexplained mysteries. Why would the plane stop sending data? Or had it already hit the water? Don't the pilots see their altitude from a number of sources, including GPS?

Is it possible that the forces acting on the plane were too big for the F/As to move to their seats, or for anyone to employ life jackets? But I can't figure out how the plane would do this and still end up going straight and not sideways when it hit the water.

Or is it possible that everyone was already incapacitated for some reason. Does the oxygen system deploy automatically, or do you need pilot intervention?


User currently offlineDiscoverCSG From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5882 times:

So, it looks like we're now looking at:

Quoting Varig md-11 (Reply 9):
Maybe for the same reasons DL pilots to MSP missed their approach : they were maybe caught in a heated discussion...or sleeping

The NW188 theory... or,

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 12):
Was it because no one realized they were falling?

The EA401 theory ... or,

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 12):
Or is it possible that everyone was already incapacitated for some reason.

The Payne Stewart theory.

Intriguing.


User currently offlineComeAndGo From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5627 times:



Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 12):
t is very intriguing. Life jackets not donned, F/As not in seats. What happened? Was it because no one realized they were falling? This didn't even occur to us back when the big threads were discussing possible causes.

The possibility of stalling the aircraft was discussed. The first interim report suggested possible pilot error with only the copilot in the cockpit. The captain is resting, the first officer is in the cabin to asses a probable passenger or flight attendant turbulence related injury, the copilot is left alone to face a sudden flight system brake down. Remember that the aircraft had just cleared the storm system and was now flying in smooth air.


User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1583 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5595 times:



Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 12):
What happened? Was it because no one realized they were falling?

Very intriguing and I thought exactly the same.
I had the horrible impression while reading report extracts that life might have been going on as usual in the cabin and the cockpit while the plane was loosing altitude with nobody aware of it.

Considering the computer was blinded/incapacitated by lame pitots...I am no pilot but it doesn't sound so silly



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User currently offlineULMFlyer From Brazil, joined Sep 2006, 475 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5316 times:



Quoting Affirmative (Reply 11):
• F/As were not in their seats

No, that's not what the report says. It says that 3 out of 11 F/A seats were found unused. Since there were 9 F/As on board, you could make the case that one of them wasn't strapped in. However, he or she could have been resting in the LDMCR.

Quoting Affirmative (Reply 11):
If the pitot tubes were not working and thus not providing the IRs with reliable information regarding altitude and/or speed could they be thinking that they were just flying along while still loosing altitude?

Very unlikely in my view. I didn't see anything in the reports suggesting problems with the static pressure ports that could have affected altitude information. Moreover, they had GPS altitude as a back up, something mentioned in their Unreliable Airspeed training booklet.

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 12):
Don't the pilots see their altitude from a number of sources, including GPS?

Yes, see above. Furthermore, the report notes, there are no messages suggesting loss of attitude indicators and it appears that they hit the water nose high. I just don't see how they could lose 35,000 ft without noticing that there was something very wrong.

Quoting DiscoverCSG (Reply 13):
The NW188 theory.

In the middle of a bad thunderstorm? You can't be serious.

Quoting DiscoverCSG (Reply 13):
The Payne Stewart theory

No. Cabin hit the water in one piece without oxygen masks deploying.

Quoting ComeAndGo (Reply 14):
The first interim report suggested possible pilot error with only the copilot in the cockpit. The captain is resting, the first officer is in the cabin to asses a probable passenger or flight attendant turbulence related injury, the copilot is left alone to face a sudden flight system brake down.

There's no such statement in either report. The actual quote in both reports is "From the current state of the information gathered, it is not possible to determine the composition of the flight crew on duty at the time of the event." Please don't make things up.

While it's possible that the captain was in the lavatory or in the cabin and didn't have time to strap in (his body was the only one of the flight crew recovered), it's also true that the flight crew rest station on this A332 is right behind the cockpit. So, he wouldn't be resting in the cabin, making it easier for him to rapidly assess the situation. In any case, I seriously doubt he'd be walking around the cabin right at the time they're about to cross the ITCZ in stormy conditions. Furthermore, according to AF SOPs, at least the junior F/O wouldn't have been left alone in the controls, as he didn't have an ATPL. If the captain was resting, the senior F/O had to be on duty.

Quoting ComeAndGo (Reply 14):
Remember that the aircraft had just cleared the storm system and was now flying in smooth air.

This is also not true. Where are you getting your information? Their last position report by FMS at 2h10 and when the ACARS msgs start put them in the thick of the storm. While their next waypoint (TASIL) seemed to be clear of the worst, it doesn't appear they made it that far, as most of the debris was recovered between the last known position and TASIL.

C'mon guys. Let's try to keep things accurate and objective. Otherwise the fellows who could really make a contribution to the thread (Pihero, Zeke, Maddala, Pilotaydin) won't even bother.



Let's go Pens!
User currently offlineAirlineCritic From Finland, joined Mar 2009, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5116 times:



Quoting ULMFlyer (Reply 16):
No, that's not what the report says. It says that 3 out of 11 F/A seats were found unused. Since there were 9 F/As on board, you could make the case that one of them wasn't strapped in. However, he or she could have been resting in the LDMCR.

True, but you can also look at it this way: you found 3 out of 11 seats, and no one was in them. It is possible that they happened to find exactly those seats that were unused, and even then you have to assume one F/A was somewhere else. But how likely is it that you happened to find only the unused seats? The odds are that you would have found one of the occupied seats. I think it is more likely that the F/As were not in their seats...


User currently offlineJimbobjoe From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 653 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5107 times:



Quoting ULMFlyer (Reply 16):
I just don't see how they could lose 35,000 ft without noticing that there was something very wrong.

I'm glad you mentioned that. I was trying to work that out.

EA 401 crashed after descending what...2000 ft? I seem to recall it was a relatively small number.


User currently offlineULMFlyer From Brazil, joined Sep 2006, 475 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5024 times:



Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 17):
I think it is more likely that the F/As were not in their seats...

I can't argue with your assessment at all, especially without knowing how AF distributes their F/As in the cabin and how it schedules their rest periods in the LDMCR. Two seats were from door 1L and one from 2R, thus with J cabin between them. You may very well be correct that it would be unlikely that no F/A serving the J cabin would find his or her way to one of these seats. I just wanted to make sure everybody was on the same page regarding this issue.

Quoting Jimbobjoe (Reply 18):
I'm glad you mentioned that. I was trying to work that out.

This is pure speculation on my part and I'd be happy to revise it if some of the pros disagree or more information becomes available. But I'd guess that they hit the water while trying and almost succeeding to recover from a dive, hence the high AoA and descent rate (similar to the Thunderbird crash during the Split-S at Mountain Home AFB, ID). Now you may ask how they got into a dive and I have no obvious answer, since we know little besides the fact that the A/P disconnected. But the BEA also mentions in the second report that a (false) stall warning was triggered in 9 out of the 13 previous unreliable/loss of speed incidents on A330/A340, and this may prove to be relevant for AF447 as well.

Cheerio.



Let's go Pens!
User currently offlineAffirmative From France, joined Jul 2009, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4939 times:



Quoting ULMFlyer (Reply 19):
This is pure speculation on my part and I'd be happy to revise it if some of the pros disagree or more information becomes available. But I'd guess that they hit the water while trying and almost succeeding to recover from a dive, hence the high AoA and descent rate (similar to the Thunderbird crash during the Split-S at Mountain Home AFB, ID). Now you may ask how they got into a dive and I have no obvious answer, since we know little besides the fact that the A/P disconnected. But the BEA also mentions in the second report that a (false) stall warning was triggered in 9 out of the 13 previous unreliable/loss of speed incidents on A330/A340, and this may prove to be relevant for AF447 as well.

Well.. I have thought about this scenario aswell but there are some points that negates this theory. If the airplane would have been in a crash dive or emergency decent there would have been an ACARS message about this aswell if I remember correctly from the answer I got when I had the same theory in one of the 20 odd crash threads.

If considering that a rapid descent, I'm not sure about the number but there was a number quoted as being abnormal and thus giving a flag/warning, didn't produce an ACARS message because of the fact that the pitot-static system being incapacitated we are really bordering the same ideas. Of course, there's GPS readouts of the altitude but when you have several different sources giving you information that you know is faulty and one source that could be correct (GPS in this case, assuming it was operational) what do you trust? We have no information regarding the Pitot/static system and it's serviceability but we know that the computers have deemed the information unreliable and thus ignoring it. In this situation the pilots only have pitch and thrust to control the plane and unreliable altitude information.. This leads me to believe that there might be, however unlikely, a chance that the pilots thought they were clearing the storm when they were in fact falling like a stone in a level or slightly nose up pitch attitude.. Just because the fact that the instruments were deemed unreliable..

It's just a theory that I have given the very little knowledge I have in the matter..



I love the smell of Jet-A1 in the morning...
User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4892 times:



Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 17):
It is possible that they happened to find exactly those seats that were unused, and even then you have to assume one F/A was somewhere else. But how likely is it that you happened to find only the unused seats?

actually not that unlikely, given that a seat with a body strapped to it will have completely different floating characteristics than an empty one....

Apart from that I must confess I find the "they fell without noticing" theory highly unlikely... the report mentions they hit the water surface with a vertical acceleration of at least 36 g, i.e. at high vertical speed. I can't imagine they fell like a brick without noticing it. Even if they had nothing else, their stomach should have been instrument enough to determine they were almost in a free fall....



300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
User currently offlineAirbusA370 From Germany, joined Dec 2008, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4797 times:

An acceleration of 36g at a distance of 5m (fuselage height) would result in a vertical speed component of 60m/s (216km/h).

Considering that the horizontal speed component might be around 800km/h, this doesn't sound like a free fall to me, more like a "gliding" down to the surface...


User currently offlinePink77W From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4566 times:

didn't a plane in Russia decend almost all the way to the ground
Before the pilots realized what was going on, but it was too late
163 died I believe.


User currently offlineJambrain From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 251 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4432 times:



Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 10):
Well, it says the peak acceleration was greater than 36g



Quoting AirbusA370 (Reply 22):
An acceleration of 36g at a distance of 5m (fuselage height) would result in a vertical speed component of 60m/s (216km/h).

I don't think it says that at all, you are refering to a section that describes an arm part number 36G not the measured acceleration.

Quote:
rudder’s hinge axis (arm 36 g)



Quote:
The size of this arm is calculated to withstand a maximum load of 120,000 N,
corresponding to a relative acceleration of 36 g of the rudder in relation to the
vertical stabilizer.

This is confusing but I read this as saying there was a relative acceleration of part number 36 g in relation to the stabilizer. There were no accelerometers recording g's that have been recovered.



Jambrain
25 PITingres : The report reads: "The size of this arm is calculated to withstand a maximum load of 120,000 N, corresponding to a relative acceleration of 36 g of th
26 ULMFlyer : Well, there is the "Cabin Vertical Speed" ACARS msg at 2h14, i.e., the last msg to be received, that gets little attention in both reports. Assuming
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