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MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sat Nov 13, 1999 8:57 am

The BBC reports this evening that BOTH engines on the 767 shut down/were shut down shortly after the autopilot disconnected/was disconnected (note I'm not sure, hence the passive voice). However, until the CVR is located - and the search has now resumed - the exact circumstances will not be known. However, an earlier report from the BOSTON GLOBE newspaper suggests that the crash "was not an accident".

(However, it has to be said that the report backing this up is decidedly circumstantial. One of the flight attendants is reported to have called his wife to say he knew something was going to happen to flight 990. He subsequently boarded the flight.)
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RE: MS990 - CNNi Report

Sat Nov 13, 1999 10:17 am

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Engines Shut Down

Sat Nov 13, 1999 11:25 am

Are we sure they weren't at flight idle? If it was, then that would be consistant with the pilots trying to arrest the sharp descent.

If they were truely shutdown, maybe it was because they needed to drastically end the descent quickly and they couldn't wait for the engines to spool down. Maybe panic set in and they shut down the engines because they weren't thinking clearly....

- Neil Harrison
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RE: Shut Down Or Lost?

Sat Nov 13, 1999 11:37 am

I assume engine power loss would not have caused the dive. Could the speed of the descent have caused the shut down of the engines? If there was sudden decompression to what altitude would they need to descend to equalize the pressure? Could they have descended intentionally because of decompression, but at too fast a rate, structurally damaging the aircraft which finally then lost part of the elevator or wing causing the final dive. Let's here some speculative theories.

Elevators In Opposite Positions

Sat Nov 13, 1999 11:54 am

i have also seen on the news that after the engines were deliberately shut down by someone in the cockpit the elevators were placed in opposite directions, does anyone know what this would do? would it slow down the aircraft which may have been the intention of shutting down the engines?
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RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sat Nov 13, 1999 12:16 pm

The start levers being putin the cutoff position clearly indicates someone was commiting suicide. No question about it.

The autopilot was disengasged manually with the plane being put into a dive. A struggle ensued, and the flight crew, or sane pilot attempted to climb the aircraft back to altitude. As the struggle continued the start levers were put in the cutoff position ending any chance of recovery.

Put the pieces together and that's what you have. It's a no brainer. This was a homicide.
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RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sat Nov 13, 1999 12:34 pm

The latest report has the engines being shut off after the plane recovered from its initial dive. Apparently that dive was fast but controlled.

I'm wondering about any legitimate reasons for shutting down the engines. Could the excessive speed of the dive have fouled them, causing both to flame out?

From the AP report:

{{{{{Preliminary information from the data recorder showed that the flight was normal until the autopilot was disengaged and the plane pitched sharply down in a controlled descent from 33,000 feet.

Hall said the plane plunged at a 40-degree angle, reaching a speed just short of the sound barrier. Part way through that descent a warning signal went on that ``indicates a potentially major problem with the airplane that the flight crew must attend to immediately.''

Hall said the possible causes for the warning include a loss of cabin pressure, the autopilot disconnecting, a fire, or the plane exceeding 86 percent of the speed of sound.

As the plane began to level off about 20 seconds later, the recorder offered evidence ``consistent with both engines shutting down,'' Hall said.}}}}}

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Picture This If You Will

Sat Nov 13, 1999 12:55 pm

Crazed hijacker bursts into the cockpit and demands to be flown to __________. Pilot refuses, F/A's come up to struggle with hijacker. Hijacker says "If I can't go to ________ then no one will!!!!!!" He obviously has read some manuals because he knows the control layout. As he struggles with the crew the Pilot disengages the autopilot in order to descend and return to a safe landing, or prepare for a water landing, or to be below the level of outside air so if the hijacker opens a door everyone won't be sucked out. Pilot knows he is in a desperate situation. Pilot begins an immediate, sharp but controlled descent because he knows he must get on the ground. Hijacker overpowers the co-Pilot, either knocking him out with his hands or he has a weapon. He then attacks and disables the pilot. Parts of the plane begin to break under the extreme stress of the high speed dive. He doesn't know how to fly a plane or land one but he knows he has to stop the plane from speeding down. he decides in a panic to shut off the engines. The plane is now riding the air currents of the gulf stream atlantic and it climbs slightly before more parts come apart - the Hijacker dies.

The flight attendant who called his wife in NY and said something was wrong before his flight - he knew of a plot because it was an inside job getting a weapon aboard. He probably knew of another crew member who helped get the hijacker's weapon aboard.

Who knows!!?? It could have happened. In this crash case the CVR is the most important piece.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sat Nov 13, 1999 6:17 pm

Sorry, I've just posted a thread on the same topic. It's weird I didn't see yours, Kaitak.
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Fight In Cockpit Unlikely

Sat Nov 13, 1999 10:30 pm

FDR shows the plane went into a steep decent while keeping the same compass heading until late in the crash sequence.

This makes a struggle in the cockpit unlikely. In a fight the steering column would probably have moved.
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Sat Nov 13, 1999 10:32 pm

You should work for FBI...

Ok, but we're still waiting for that CVR to be brought up. I'm suspicious that it's "deliberately" being held "in ocean", maybe to avoid jeopardizing JFK customs control... or else, who knows.

Although, I keep and open mind on other versions of the crash. I'd hate to think one of the FAs was involved into getting weapons or anything aboard... Or maybe, that phone call to wife and stuff is again a cover-up for higher instances, like govrnment agencies who took the plane off the air...
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RE: Bruce...

Sun Nov 14, 1999 2:46 am

Oh come on, people, we're getting into silly speculation here, i.e. conspiracy theories. EVERYONE's interest is served by getting that recorder asap. Confidence in the 767 will be severely shaken if it isn't and while the circumstances so far seem quite suspicious, the door isn't closed yet to some technical problem.
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RE: Bruce...

Sun Nov 14, 1999 3:13 am

Well, this is certainly one instance where the CVR will probably answer most of the mystery. I'm praying they will bring it up so it can ease people's fears about this fine jetliner.

It wouldn't be that hard to smuggle something aboard with a little inside help. Look at AA's situation in MIA where they had a well-organized ring packing drugs on the jets and they did it for a long time.

That phone call by an F/A, the 30 Egyptian Army officers aboard, and the engine shutdown by human intervention seems quite suspicious. Egypt and the middle east is still a very volatile part of the world.

I doubt the crew member suicide theory. Its a lot less messy to just blow your brains out.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
Ice Cream Man
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RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sun Nov 14, 1999 3:51 am

JETPILOT, as usual you are very outspoken and quick to jump to conclusions. And you should know better.

One thing nobody has touched on yet is the possibility that both master switches were put in the off position in order to restart the engines

It is possible that there was a double engine flameout at altitude or during the descent (for whatever reason) and that the crew put the master switches in the off position as per 'engine re-light in flight' checklist.

One thing is for sure, those master switches were put in the off position by a human hand. No way they can physically move across the detent by themselves.

Another interesting thing is the fact that the plane started a climb again, I believe something like 8000 feet. That's all fine and well, but with no engine power ? If so they must have traded all their (initially excessive) airspeed for altitude and ran out before they started descending again, either in a controlled or uncontrolled fashion.

The CVR should shed more light on what exactly went on.

RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sun Nov 14, 1999 4:48 am

i dont know....this whole things sounds fishy now. but, im not gonna jump to conclusions. remember TWA? everyone thought it was a terrorist act, but it clearly was not. i have to admit, i thought it was for a while. still, this is strange though.....
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RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sun Nov 14, 1999 7:56 am

Ice Cream Man - nice to see a voice of reason in this thread of a very sad incident. To your point about procedure. It is the same on the 757. Initially if there was a double flame out, the autopilot would disconnect amongst all the other bells and whistles until the APU was started and the RAT deployed. Pushing the nose down to maintain windmill speed close to VMO at that altitude, and 300 or greater below FL300 is consistent with what we've been told so far by the NTSB. Selecting both fuel control switches to off if there is no re-light is then the next action. But then thirty seconds later, those switches are to be turned back on.

There is too much we do not know/have not been told/information not available - for me or anybody else to be able to state categorically what happened. We are in a netherworld information wise, and may never get the full story.

Guess all we can hope for is that this was indeed an accident, and try to hold our blackest fears in abeyance until more facts are available.

Best Regards,

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Sun Nov 14, 1999 8:16 am

what causes a flameout at altitude? How common is it for BOTH engines to flame out? Does anyone know of a previous incident where there was a flameout and an accident?
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: MS990 - Both Engines Shut Down!

Sun Nov 14, 1999 3:21 pm

heres a scenerio for debate does anyone recall a couple of years ago an aeroflot a310 going down after the pilot allowed his son to sit at the controls and who promptly decided to try the lets see what happens when i push on the control column it may seem a little far fetched but perhaps the response of the other pilot in an attempt to slow the aircraft was to select engines of.
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Sun Nov 14, 1999 11:23 pm

Hmmmm... The plane ascended 8,000 ft to 24,000 ft after the initial plunge. Then, that having happened, how does that scenario take into account the second plunge from which they did not recover? Perhaps he let his other kid have a kick at the controls too?
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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RE: Flight Attendant's Call

Mon Nov 15, 1999 11:20 am

I've heard this rumor about the flight attendant calling someone and saying that something would happen--but what is the source of that piece of info, anyone know?

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