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EY A332 Lands Without Any Airspeed Indication  
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 19885 times:

I 'am curious about this incident, and I have a couple of questions for our "bus drivers" and experts here in the site.
What could be the cause of this failure ? Pitot tubes clogging ala AF447 ? Computer glitch ?
And what says the SOP about this ? Always continue the approach / landing with pitch and power inputs ? Or are occasions where a missed approach / Go Around is the rule to follow ?



http://www.avherald.com/h?article=45ced9e2&opt=0

Thanks in advance !!

Rgds.
G.


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWisdom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 19736 times:

My input: if you're stable, you continue and land, although you add a bit of airspeed/thrust just to play safe.
Your DME can provide you with ground speed indication and you can continue to use that with surface wind information from the tower to avoid that you lose all speed awareness.

If you go around and can't restore the airspeed indication, your next approach is more likely to be much less table and more risky.

This is a very serious incident.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 19338 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
What could be the cause of this failure ? Pitot tubes clogging ala AF447 ? Computer glitch ?

The article is probably not completely accurate about the loss of data.

What probably occured is an airspeed disagree message - when one or more pitot tubes or static ports did not provide data. The system is designed to say "I have a disagreement between the airspeed from one of the ADR systems and the other two or all three disagree / are unreliable. You are the human - you make the decisions."

That's how all modern glass cockpit aircraft work - not an A or B issue.

As to what happened - that time of year, that location - I'm guessing localized icing. It can cause a short term ADR Disagree message - and return to reliable air speed information after a few seconds to a minute like AF447 did.

I would also expect A330 crews, and most other glass cockpit crews in other aircraft, have been a bit focused on UAS - Unrealiable Air Speed - procedures in the past couple years.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9798 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 19292 times:

Interesting that after the airplane had diverted to MUC, they got the airspeed problem into arrival into FRA. The crew must have been exhausted by that point.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6915 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 19207 times:

Did they forget to turn pitot heat on ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMd88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1337 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 19066 times:

Sounds serious. There are some additional sources of airspeed: ground speed readout, INS gs readout, and ATC ground speed readout.

User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5154 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 19035 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 4):
Did they forget to turn pitot heat on ?

They are always ON. On the ground with an engine running, in the air always, or manually selected out of the AUTO position to the ON position. Barring any failures, you can not turn pitot heat off.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5154 posts, RR: 43
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 19019 times:

I wonder if it was the "indication" that was lost, or the actual airspeed information? Was the autothrust still working?

If it was just the indication lost, then with the autothrust engaged, the aircraft will fly at the Vapp selected in the FMS.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 19005 times:

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 1):
My input: if you're stable, you continue and land, although you add a bit of airspeed/thrust just to play safe.

I think that is the best decision too ( although not ideal in gusty winds, but certainly we don't know IF there were any wind when this happened... Somebody with the METARs for FRA at the time of this incident ?? )



Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
The article is probably not completely accurate about the loss of data.

Definitely not a complete description of what the crew saw on their screens, but if they lost the three indicators ( according the article ) that seems to be a little more problematic than "just" an "AIRSPEED DISAGREE" label in the screens, which ( I understand ) can appear when only one or two indicators fail. The article says they "lost" the three indications ( left, right and Standby ). If I'm on Approach ( with a VApp of, lets say, 148 knots ) and suddenly I have two indicators with unreliable airspeed but I still have one indicator with a "logic speed" ( 148 knots or close ), I will be more happy than having the three indicators failing !!


Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
As to what happened - that time of year, that location - I'm guessing localized icing. It can cause a short term ADR Disagree message - and return to reliable air speed information after a few seconds to a minute like AF447 did.

By the article I understand that they landed about two minutes after the failure and without any airspeed indication...but yes, I know, the article is only a ( very short ) description of a much more complex situation.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 3):
The crew must have been exhausted by that point.

Well, 162 nm is not a long time of flying to add, but certainly the diversion and all the changes involved are a load of extra work for the crew...but hey, I guess this things are part of the fun of being a long haul airline pilot !!      


Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18955 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 7):
If it was just the indication lost, then with the autothrust engaged, the aircraft will fly at the Vapp selected in the FMS

How can this "total loss of airspeed indication" affect the Autopilot / Autoland functions ? Are this enough to cause a "degradation" of the flight mode ( I remember the AF plane going to ALTERNATE LAW after loss of data ? )


Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3257 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18911 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 6):
Quoting Aesma (Reply 4):
Did they forget to turn pitot heat on ?

They are always ON. On the ground with an engine running, in the air always, or manually selected out of the AUTO position to the ON position. Barring any failures, you can not turn pitot heat off.

On Boeing airplanes (at least the newer models that I'm familiar with) Pitot heat is automatic as the other poster indicated. You can turn it off by pulling the circuit breakers, but of course there's no reason to do so. However, if Pitot Heat is off or fails, the Air Data system will invalidate the input and put up an EICAS message. This is designed so the Air Data Computer wouldn't just be using bad pitot inputs due to icing and calculating an erroneous airspeed.

I'm assuming all manufacturers have robust Unreliable Airspeed checklists and charts and the crews used it.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18886 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 7):
Was the autothrust still working?

If the aircraft lost airspeed data, it would have shutoff the autopilot and autothrottle. It would have gone into an alternate law.


User currently offlines5daw From Slovenia, joined May 2011, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18801 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 8):
if they lost the three indicators ( according the article ) that seems to be a little more problematic than "just" an "AIRSPEED DISAGREE" label in the screens

Holy .... remember AF447 CVR?

-We’ve lost the the the speeds so...
-I have no more displays

???

[Edited 2013-01-29 15:35:25]

User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5154 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18772 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 11):
If the aircraft lost airspeed data, it would have shutoff the autopilot and autothrottle. It would have gone into an alternate law.

That is what I am wondering. If the data is actually lost, then yes, what you suggest would occur. However, if the data is not lost, just not displayed ... I wonder what would occur.

As I really cant imagine what could cause the loss of airspeed data from three sources at exactly the same time.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21580 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18419 times:

Ground the A330 until the system is "proven safe." Isn't that how things work now?

Quoting s5daw (Reply 12):
Holy .... remember AF447 CVR?

-We’ve lost the the the speeds so...
-I have no more displays

Seriously though, this is similar to what happened on AF447, but there the pilots panicked and didn't communicate properly. Sounds as if this crew did everything right or close to right.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18332 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 14):
Seriously though, this is similar to what happened on AF447, but there the pilots panicked and didn't communicate properly. Sounds as if this crew did everything right or close to right.

I don't want to play Devil's Advocate, but the AF crew was in a situation with basically zero external reference... Unless this EY crew was landing with a very adverse visibility condition, I think there is a big chance of a good visual reference for them, and probably that helps a little....

Rgds.,
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlinepacksonflight From Iceland, joined Jan 2010, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18281 times:

It is not a problem to fly airliner like that with out any airspeed indication. The problem pilots face when one or more airspeed indicators, fail is what instrument to trust and what not to trust, and on top of that things can go very wrong very quickly if this is not done properly.

The proper way to continue in a situation like that is to relay only on pitch and power, That is, If a given power setting and pitch angle is maintained, the result is certain speed.
Aircrafts have a kind of emergency handbook with a reference table where the pilot can obtain this info for all faces of flight. In fact any good pilot memorises the basics of this table not to end up in a situation like the unfortunate AF447

This is not very accurate method, but enough to keep the aircraft safe.


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2430 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 17961 times:

If it was just the display that went out, then couldn't have they landed on autothrottles and then switched them off when the wheels touch to reverse thrust on landing?


Go coogs! \n//
User currently offline3rdGen From Bahrain, joined Jul 2011, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 17385 times:

If its a newer bus then they would have had the Back-up Speed Scale (BUSS) which gives a band with no numbers just colours, representing safe and unsafe zones of the flight envelope, its based off the angle of attack data.

For them to have continued the approach is seriously dangerous and not as easy as saying that I would just play with thrust look at the GS on the ND and have a go. This isn't flight sim.

If the BUSS was available then it would be a lot safer for them to go around, trouble shoot and then have another go on the basis of an authorized procedure. Pilots cannot just be improvising on the job, which is what I hear a lot of people recommend.

Quote:

If it was just the display that went out, then couldn't have they landed on autothrottles and then switched them off when the wheels touch to reverse thrust on landing?

No it was only the speed data that disappeared. The displays were fine, the chance of 4 of the DU's and the standby instruments all disappearing at the same time is very remote, the units are powered off of different sources with the ability to switch between PFD and ND on the pilots' DUs.

This is certainly a very very strange occurrence. I cannot imagine what would cause all airspeed data to be lost, especially since there are various sources from where the air data is measured and they are all supposed to segregated right from the source to the output. The culprit would have to be something that all three share in common, but I can't figure out what that would be?

[Edited 2013-01-29 19:31:06]

User currently offlinegihanjaya380 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 16247 times:

This is a very serious problem. And these pilots landed the aircraft using proper procedures, whatever it maybe. Great pilots for sure.

The AF447 was in a different condition and night without any visual references.

Anyone know the MATA data at the time of the incident? According to the article the aircraft was diverted to Munich due to weather. I do not believe there was extreme liquid ice on the approach. It had to be something else.

Glad to see this aircraft landed safely.

Gihan


User currently offlinedynamo12 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14780 times:

Quoting gihanjaya380 (Reply 19):
The AF447 was in a different condition and night without any visual references.

To be very clear the AF447 was at 30,000+ feet in a stable cruise configuration.

This plane was much lower to the ground and needed to go through some changes in speed / thrust / configuration to finish the landing safely. I've got to imagine groundspeed etc was known as were prevailing winds at airport to help give a sense of things. If they landed by "hand " with no airspeed indications still very impressive and a bravo.

Looking forward to hearing more details though.


User currently offlineLH526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2381 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13553 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Not trying to sound amateurish here ... but isn't the GPS able to provide a more or less accurate GS indication? Take into account the wind and you might get a good TAS readout.


Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2520 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 12086 times:

Quoting LH526 (Reply 21):
Not trying to sound amateurish here ... but isn't the GPS able to provide a more or less accurate GS indication? Take into account the wind and you might get a good TAS readout.

The GPS gives you the GS, yes, and an it's accurate.

When you have much time and fuel to kill and you're in cruise anyway, you can figure out wind speed by flying a straight GPS course and noting how much yaw you have to apply... but that's an academic question.  


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlinenicoeddf From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1109 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11671 times:

Ok, lets take the drama out of this, please.

A fully configured A/C on the glide slope 2 miles out loses airspeed indication - just fly it to the runway. A few knots more or less are well within the safety envelope between stall speed and Vapp...


User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11554 times:

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 23):
Ok, lets take the drama out of this, please.

A fully configured A/C on the glide slope 2 miles out loses airspeed indication - just fly it to the runway. A few knots more or less are well within the safety envelope between stall speed and Vapp...

I wouldn't say that without knowing the weather conditions when this incident happened... a sudden gust of tail wind can kill a good portion of your airspeed, and that is something very dangerous when you are in a low energy state on the final approach ( at least is dangerous when you don't see that airspeed loss in your screen because the indicator failed ).

Rgds.
G.

[Edited 2013-01-30 03:15:30]


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
25 faro : If it's sudden, pretty fair chance you'll feel it in the seat of your pants...IMHO the danger would arise if the airspeed changes more sublty. Faro
26 s5daw : Well, we should not discard it as nothing serious either. If all the 3 indications went out (which by itself is mind-blowing AND might indicate a big
27 faro : I may be wrong but I recall something to the effect that there was only 1 or 2 graphics display generators (feeding off the individual air data compu
28 Gonzalo : Point taken. My problem with the "this is not a big deal" position of nicoeddf is, regardless the cause ( a subtly change of wind direction, a windsh
29 nicoeddf : I know the weather conditions - the A/C landed right in front of my window. And... ...while I concur with this, 2 miles out, fully configured, as I e
30 Post contains images CamiloA380 : Radome damage... air probe failure...obstruction. Check FCOM III see 3.02.34 p18. They are in your link. I don't get whether you mean the loss of the
31 tdscanuck : Less dangerous than going around...you're set up, stable, and headed for the runway. If you go-around you're going to have successfully execute the g
32 aaexecplat : If I read this article correctly, the crew didn't lose all airspeed indicators...they just thought that they were invalid. The reading of the flight d
33 PlanesNTrains : This is somewhat similar to what happened with the TK 738 in Amsterdam, right? Only, with a different outcome of course. In any event, they are train
34 bueb0g : No... On the TK738, one of the radio altimeters had a fault and showed that the a/c was on the ground, so the autothrottle retarded back to idle, and
35 longhauler : I think what a lot of people forget is that these are all just airplanes. Advanced yes, but still just basically airplanes. Two miles on final, config
36 tdscanuck : Not really. TK1951 had a faulty radio altimeter, which caused the autothrottles to pull back to idle (the airplane mistakenly thought it should be fl
37 flyingturtle : TK378 happened because the radio altimeter read back "landed", and the autothrust permantently retarded the thrust levers. A/T and A/P were working t
38 3rdGen : This is an Airbus A330, you won't feel things like you would in a Cessna. I'm not saying its not possible but then there's more chance that you won't
39 Pihero : It is obvious that few peopple have read the AvHerald article , in particular this : " The BFU was notified about the loss of all three airspeed indic
40 longhauler : I would tend to disagree. I can't even imagine a go-around without airspeed. The loss of airspeed drill says 15 degrees nose up and set TOGA thrust.
41 rfields5421 : Yes. Pitch and power are memory items for pilots in those aircraft. And yes, after AF447 - training is much more focused on the possibility of a UAS
42 Wisdom : To tell you the truth, I've been in such a situation on a single-engine aircraft. Regardless of being trained for pitch and thrust settings it's scary
43 bueb0g : While this is what it says now, that is a recent addition. Originally it stated only that "all three airspeed indications were lost" with no elaborat
44 Pihero : Didn't know that. Thanks
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