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Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 8:49 am

3:08pm "Taipei Approach, Dynasty 611, airborne, passing sixteen hundred"

3:08pm "Dynasty 611, Taipei Approach, radar contact, climb and maintain flight level 260, cancel that, flight level 200"

3:16pm "Dynasty 611, Taipei Control, ident. Climb and maintain flight level 350. From Chali, direct Kadlo"

3:16pm "From Chali, direct Kadlo. Re-cleared flight level 350, Dynasty 611"


3:29pm "Dynasty 611, contact Taipei Control 128.7"

3:29pm "Dynasty 611, Control"

3:29pm "Dynasty 611, Taipei"

3:29:15 (in Mandarin) "Dynasty 611, Dynasty 611"

3:29:21 "Dynasty 611, how do you read?"

3:29:25 "Dynasty 611, Taipei"



RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 8:54 am

Yep. The pilot didn't contact with the ATC for about 12 minutes. And it crashed.
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 9:11 am

Was the 12 min break because there was nothing to say or was this after the major problem started ??
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 9:23 am

The pilot and crew probably had their hands full with the emergency and all
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 9:28 am

If they had a problem on board,would it be procedure to tell ATC straight away?
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 10:44 am

Is this transcript complete? It seems to be missing CI 611's acknowledgement of Taipei Approach's command to climb to FL200, and the handoff to Taipei control between 3:08 and 3:16.
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 11:01 am

Sometimes its impossible to tell ATC "straightaway when there is a problem. Pilots are human beings, and being human you can only do so many things at one time.

Now that in-flight decompression has been confirmed, and that the aircraft broke into 4 pieces, the pilots were probably trying to comprehend why wasn't the aircraft responding to control inputs, couple that with the analog dials on the 747-200 consoles - probably all indicating zero as the fuselage breaking apart could have severed hydraulic lines.

The decompression could also have very well yanked the cockpit door open thus increasing the noise in the cockpit, increasing the confusion. At 30000ft, explosive decompression could very well mean instant death for some. Plunging down to earth at unimaginable speed, the human cargo could already be dead from all the forces acting against them. G-forces could cause blood vessels to burst so the weaker ones, eg infants and young children would be the first ones to die - blood would collect in the eyeballs (terminology: redout) and the faces bloated because of all the bodily fluids rushing to the head. Not a pretty sight.

Now you know why there were no distress calls to ATC? In the midst of the confusion, 2 CX planes in the vicinity picked up distress signals from the strickened aircraft.

At the end of the day, of course its procedure to tell ATC everything. But looking at it from a human perspective, it is not possible sometimes because of several unforseen and collective circumstances.
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 12:25 pm

So what happened it just broke up into 4 pieces?
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RE: Last Words From CI611

Mon May 27, 2002 1:05 pm

Decompression causes many things to happen. In less severe cases, maybe only a few windows get blown off and the aircraft can still fly. In more deadly scenarios, maybe the integrity of the fuselage gets compromised. A section of the skin is torn, but its still holding on to the main body. But the force of the air gushing out from within forces the hole to enlarge, plus the a/c flying a 500kts pulls everything apart.

Eg, when the UA 747-200 in 1989 decompressed in mid air, the cargo door pulled along with it the side of the fuselage above it. An Aloha 737-200 had a small section of the forward roof section of the fuselage fail in flight but the small area of skin pulled along with it the entire roof structure of the first half of the aircraft as the area of failure rapidlly expanded!

Thus, probably somewhere on the CAL 747-200 failed. Say in the middle of the a/c, tearing the fuselage apart, one section leading to another. All this while, large sections of the fuselage hits the ver stab, maybe that failed as well. At 500kts, its not surprising even the intact parts of the fuselage not torn by the decompression, start to fail as well... Depending on how the event happened, some parts of the 747-200 might have been weakened and several essential points now take on more load than they were built to withstand (now we know there are 3 of these points), causing the aircraft to break into 4 main pieces in the air.

The Aloha 737's weak point was the belly area immediately forward where the leading edges of the wing meet the fuselage. After the roof and the sides was torn, there was only the belly connecting the stricken part to the rest of the aircraft. In fact, the strickened section was bent down by a few degrees. If the 737 was airborne any longer, the a/c would have broke into 2.

The UA case was different. The area of damage was smaller when compared relatively to the Aloha 737, hence, reacted better to the decompression.

All this can happen within a few seconds to a few minutes. The UA decompression happened so quickly that the Business Class passengers didn't even see their neighbours and the cabin walls get sucked away - it was BOOM and there it was, the gaping hole. The Aloha case, passengers saw a FA get sucked through the hole in the roof before the collapse of the entire structure. Thankfully all their seatbelts were still fastened.

Hence, it does not "just break apart", there is a chain of events leading to this.
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