ual747den
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Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:22 am

The other thread is already at about 200 posts so I will start a new one where people can add additional information about the crash.

The last report I herd on FOX NEWS said that the F16 pilot could see that oxygen masks had dropped and pax did have them on but appeared to be dead. Could the masks have not been getting oxygen? Where does that oxygen come from, are there special tanks or is it from outside air?
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garpd
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:27 am

There are reports that the 737 was out of contact for 40 or so minutes.
The normal oxygen supply to the masks is circa 12 minutes.

It could be that the masks worked fine, but with an incapacitated flightcrew unable to descend to 10 thousand feet or thereabouts, the pax probably ran out of oxygen.

Wild speculation, but adding a little balance to all the "could this have failed?" or "That didn't work" speculation.
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jush
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:27 am

Thanks for that dude. My Computer went mad while loading the other one...
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legacy135
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:33 am

Quoting UAL747DEN (Thread starter):
The last report I herd on FOX NEWS said that the F16 pilot could see that oxygen masks had dropped and pax did have them on but appeared to be dead. Could the masks have not been getting oxygen? Where does that oxygen come from, are there special tanks or is it from outside air?

Passenger Oxygen normally comes from an oxygen generator. This is a chemical oxygen candle, that supplies oxygen for about 15 minutes once the chemical reaction gets initiated. The passenger initiates himself by "pulling the mask down" as by doing this a pin will be released and the flow will start. This is also why they always show on a safety demo to "pull firmly down".

Pilots oxygen comes from a installed bottle somewhere around the cockpit. The crew gots "full face masks" which do deliver oxygen under pressure. This system will last longer. As it's under pressure, the crew may also use it if there is for example smoke in the cockpit as the oxygen will clean out the mask.

Crew masks are "quick donning type". By pulling them towards the face, the straps are inflated and the crew can only swap them over the head. By releasing the mask, straps will deflate and the mask will firmly hold on the head.

The crews system is under pressure. Therefore, if an overpressure exists, this system can completely deflate, to prevent an explosion. This can happen for example in hot environment. The crew needs therefore to check before the flight that the system is filled and enough oxygen available. Departing with an empty system can be fatal.

The "third" system are the portable oxygen bottles. They are either used as working oxygen for the cabin crew or may be used also for medical purposes, if a passenger has a need for oxygen.
 
MGB80
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:37 am

The flight crew get their oxygen from their own oxygen tank. It is a 115 cu ft tank with minimum 1000 psi.
As for the passengers they have their own supply. It is either their own tank or oxygen generators (canisters in the overhead that chemically make oxygen).
The crew and passengers always have totally independent supplies. The passenger masks drop automatically when the cabin pressure drops to a certain level.
The crew must monitor the system to see if the cabin pressure is within limits. If the crew was not monitoring it then they could be overcome quite quickly ( as in the Payne Stewart accident) My guess is that the crew was incapacitated and the passengers were on oxygen when the plane crashed.
 
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American 767
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:44 am

Quoting UAL747DEN (Thread starter):
Where does that oxygen come from, are there special tanks or is it from outside air?

I believe there are bottles containing O2 supply should there be a loss of cabin pressure, but when everything works fine the pressurized air comes from either the APU located on the rear of the aircraft or the compressors on each engine.

That particular 737 already encountered pressurization problems on previous flights. It can take as little as 4 minutes to bring an airliner from more than 30000ft down to 10/12000ft. I am convinced the cockpit crew didn't respond quickly enough to bring the plane down to a safe altitude, that's another contributing factor I can think of because a loss of cabin pressure isn't a sole reason for a disaster like flight 522.

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garpd
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:47 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
I am convinced the cockpit crew didn't respond quickly enough to bring the plane down to a safe altitude

How on earth can you say that. Have you located and analysed the recorders data already? The fires are hardly out yet, but you are judging already?
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OPNLguy
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:51 am

Quoting UAL747DEN (Thread starter):
The last report I herd on FOX NEWS said that the F16 pilot could see that oxygen masks had dropped and pax did have them on but appeared to be dead. Could the masks have not been getting oxygen? Where does that oxygen come from, are there special tanks or is it from outside air?

There are two separate oxygen systems on the 737-300:

1- Crew oxygen. Masks don't drop down like they do in the cabin--they're hanging (within easy reach) over the shoulders of the respective shoulders of the pilots. (Left for the captain, right for the F/O.) Supply is from an oxygen bottle, and the duration of it is a long time (hours, not minutes.)

2- Passenger oxygen. Masks drop automatically when the cabin altitude exceeds 14,000 feet. Source of the oxygen is a chemical generator in the overhead passenger service unit (PSU). Duration of this passenger oxygen supply is rather short when compared with the crews, i.e. minutes, like 10-20 (can't remenber the exact figure.) The design rationale was that you needed enough passenger oxygen to sustain life during the time between decompression and prompt emergency descent down to 10,000-14,000 feet where the air has enough oxygen to breath. Passenger oxygen was never intended to be for long duration sustenace.

Based on additional information I've read in various places including pprune, it seems clear to me that the main problem wasn't that the airplane had a decompression, per se. Those happen once in awhile, and aircraft systems, procedures, and crew training routinely turn those into minor events in the big scheme of things. Since the pilots were apparently totally incapacitated before the passengers were, that to me points to some sort of problem with their oxygen supply.

But what? Was the crew bottle serviced with the wrong gas? (Nitrogen? Oxygen that contained water or impurities (like hospital oxygen or welders oxygen) versus the moisture-free aviators breathing oxygen? (Moisture would freeze at altitude). Was the valve on the crew bottle turned on?

Whatever the cause of the crew's inability to get oxygen, once they were incapacitated, the passengers (breathing their limited supply of oxygen) were just along for the ride, at least until they too succumbed. Might well explain why some passnger bodies were found with their oygen masks still on.

Once message I saw on pprune: (NOT my words...)

To further add to the speculation, this accident brings to mind an incident that took place during my B737 classic conversion. One of my colleagues had noticed a lack of oxygen pressure on the preflight flight deck oxygen mask checks. But only because he performed a very thorough oxygen check. The trainer he had been flying with had not picked up on it. This was due to the crew oxygen valve having be shut off the previous evening (Valve down on the F/O's side on the B737 classic) and the residual pressure in the line creating the impression of a properly working oxygen system.

Several operators used to have procedures to shut the supply off over night to prevent leakage. It would be very easy to miss, especially as this would be completely different from the setup on the B737 NG which has the crew oxygen control valve in a more remote position.

I suspect that a problem with the pressurization control panel, the outflow valve, or the packs during the departure was compounded by the crews inability to use their oxygen masks.

The result would be the autopilot climbing to the last assigned altitude and venturing on with an unconcious crew on LNAV until it ran out of fuel.

The situation would be very similar to that which occured to the business jet that crashed carrying a golfer in the US a few years ago.


We'll see what the official investigation reveals....
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trident2e
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:51 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
I am convinced the cockpit crew didn't respond quickly enough to bring the plane down to a safe altitude,

Then you are a complete fool.

Quoting GARPD (Reply 6):
How on earth can you say that. Have you located and analysed the recorders data already? The fires are hardly out yet, but you are judging already?

Exactly.
 
semsem
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:55 am

This happened a few years ago in the USA on a corporate jet. What I understand the whole thing happens so quickly that there is no time to respond and everybody just goes unconsious.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:04 am

>> What I understand the whole thing happens so quickly that there is no time to respond and everybody just goes unconsious.

That isn't completly true. The typical human being has about 30 seconds of useable time in which to don an air-mask before their motor skills and consciousness degrade rapidly. That isn't much time, but a trained cabin crew can do it easily.

If the F-16 escort is correct in that the crew did appear to have masked doned, it would appear to be a failure of the mask/O2 system.
 
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:06 am

Garpd and Trident, I would suggest you two be a little more humble towards American767, as what he is suggesting is being presented as mere speculation, and not only that, it has happened before, so it's hardly an unlikely scenario. Crews are constantly being trained to react quickly to a decompression as the reaction time is literally SECONDS. We still don't even know if it was a decompression or not, but based on a passenger saying it was freezing in the cabin it seems likely.
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American 767
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:06 am

Quoting Trident2e (Reply 8):
Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
I am convinced the cockpit crew didn't respond quickly enough to bring the plane down to a safe altitude,

Then you are a complete fool.

Quoting GARPD (Reply 6):
How on earth can you say that. Have you located and analyzed the recorders data already? The fires are hardly out yet, but you are judging already?

Exactly.

OK. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that. I'm just trying to understand how it happened. Maybe I should have said: I'm wondering if...instead of I'm convinced. My apologies. I know the black boxes have not been analyzed yet.

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garpd
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:08 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 12):
OK. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that. I'm just trying to understand how it happened. Maybe I should have said: I'm wondering if...instead of I'm convinced. My apologies. I know the black boxes have not been analyzed yet.

Ah, thats much more clear  Smile

At first it seemed you were charging a definate cause.
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Mexicana757
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:18 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 12):

You dont have to say sorry to anyone if your speculating of what might have happened on that aircraft. Others have been doing this too. You don't need to apologize to Trident or GARPD.

I was the last person post in the other thread. And I asked if this airplane was it either the 737-300 or 800? Because everyone seems to say it was an 300 and then someone else says it was the 800.
 
MGB80
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:32 am

According to Helios' schedule - Flight 522 it is supposed to be a 737-300....not sure if they substituted equipment though.
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glidepath73
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:39 am

I'm just shocked and paralyzed here...
Saw it just a few minutes ago in the news. That's a really, really bad horrible accident. I'm so sorry for all the people on board and their families.
How is it possible that the a/c cooled down so fast? There have been other incident's with lost of cabin pressure. But they could land safely after a fast descent.
I love flying, it's a passion for me. The 737 is a brilliant a/c. But this scares me really...
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Beaucaire
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:40 am

Many of the bodies found next to the crashed plane have been deep-frozen...
This has been revealed by the rescue-teams to greek media.So the indication of a major default involving the air-condition/pressurization units seem clearly confirmed.
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alberchico
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:41 am

Quoting Glidepath73 (Reply 16):
The 737 is a brilliant a/c. But this scares me really...

Is this the first 737 crash because of cabin pressure failure ?
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fraport
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:47 am

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 17):
Many of the bodies found next to the crashed plane have been deep-frozen...

Yes, DER SPIEGEL reports the same. A guy from Air Transport Intelligence said that there must have been no circulation of air in the cabin for quite a long time.

[Edited 2005-08-14 21:48:53]
 
skyhigh777
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:48 am

What I don't understand is if the plane was flying on cruise altitude of 34,000 feet like some have said, how did it descend to hit a mountain...did it run out of fuel? If it crashed 40km north of Athens, I am sure that there was still plenty of fuel on reserve as many airplanes have in case of emergencies...had it already started it's descent into athens?
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backfire
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:59 am

If the alleged text-message - which speaks of a cold cabin and blue faces - is accurate, it points to a potential common problem.

Bleed air provides both heating for the cabin AND pressurisation.

Since both the heating and pressurisation apparently failed, I'd be looking very closely at the bleed air system.
 
MGB80
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:00 am

Quoting Alberchico (Reply 18):
Is this the first 737 crash because of cabin pressure failure ?

The accident is clearly not a result of cabin pressure failure alone. I'm sure once the cause is found a lot of things willl be a contributing factor.

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 20):
What I don't understand is if the plane was flying on cruise altitude of 34,000 feet like some have said, how did it descend to hit a mountain

If the F/O was slumped over as reported, he could have bumped the control column and disconnected the autopilot ( Eastern Everglades accident.)
 
LN-KGL
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:32 am

Could it be that the new cockpit safety door has cost 121 lives?

Let us speculate a bit based on facts and "facts":
1. Standard operating procedure says the remaining crew in cockpit has to put on the oxygen mask when the other leaves the cockpit (the F16 crew saw only one in the cockpit and he had the oxygen mask on).
2. The same SOP says the remaining pilot has to lock the cockpit safety door during flight (the only lock switches are inside the cockpit).
3. A rapid decompression happens as the second pilot is on the toilet.
4. The oxygen system in cockpit fails (remote oxygen bottle valve has been left in closed position after the over night parking) and the pilot in the cockpit get unconscious.
5. The returning pilot can't get access to the cockpit since he is locked out of the cockpit (still conscious since he can lend a yellow oxygen cups in the cabin, but can't open the cockpit door - switches can only be operated from inside the cockpit).
6. The pilot in the cabin also looses consciousness in front of the rest of passengers/cabin crew (the alleged SMS tells the pilot is blue and dead).

Could this be it?
 
ZakHH
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:36 am

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 20):
how did it descend to hit a mountain...did it run out of fuel?

It was reported that the a/c has circled over the area for some time. Scheduled arrival at Athens was at 10:45, the crash was at 12:20 local time. So obviously, yes, they ran out of fuel.
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garpd
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:40 am

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 24):
It was reported that the a/c has circled over the area for some time. Scheduled arrival at Athens was at 10:45, the crash was at 12:20 local time. So obviously, yes, they ran out of fuel.

Tragically it would seem the autopilot circled the last waypoint entered into the FMS.
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LN-KGL
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:41 am

GARPD - what about the combination of lack of oxygen (for the returning pilot) and clear thoughts?

[Edited 2005-08-14 22:46:05]
 
by738
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:42 am

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 17):
Many of the bodies found next to the crashed plane have been deep-frozen...
This has been revealed by the rescue-teams to greek media.So the indication of a major default involving the air-condition/pressurization units seem clearly confirmed.

Presumably the passengers found in " deep freeze" were frozen as a result of -40dc temperatures outside during decompression rather than due to an airconditioning fault.

[Edited 2005-08-14 22:43:38]
 
as739x
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:44 am

So the big question seems to me now that if the crew had put on the mask, why did they not decend? What it to late?

My heart goes to the family and friends of all.

ASSFO
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garpd
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:50 am

Quoting LN-KGL (Reply 27):
GARPD - what about the combination of lack of oxygen (for the returning pilot) and clear thoughts?

That indeed could be a possibility.
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JETPILOT
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:05 am

Lots of crewmembers don't properly preflight their masks. They don't like putting their face where everyone else does without a decontaminating mask wipe which not all airlines supply. I have a handful in my bag, and I always hand them out before each flight to make sure no one has an excuse to not preflight their mask.

The oxygen valve on the bottle is a maintenance item. Not a crew item. The crew responsibility is only to chech their masks, and the bottle pressure by guage in the cockpit.

Unfortunately not everyone does this.

Respect
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backfire
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:13 am

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 24):
So obviously, yes, they ran out of fuel.

It's not obvious at all. Or have you seen the FDR data?

The latest reports indicate that passengers were in the cockpit wrestling with the controls. What if they'd managed to knock it out of cruising altitude?
 
DeC
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:17 am

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here. I am from Larnaca, CYPRUS, the city from where the airplane that crashed - took off, heading to Athens, GREECE and then to Prague, Czech Republic.

I’ve been regularly reading and generally following the website for many years but this tragic accident today was my stimulus into finally joining. I really appreciate all your expert comments here (especially from the Pilots of the club) and it’s always a pleasure to read the forums, apart from some cases where people are unreasonably aggressive and offensive to each other – but that’s another issue anyway.

I wanted to express my deep condolences to the families of the passengers it’s been a very sad and tragic event for us all in Cyprus. Being a small country of tight community structure, all this bad feeling feels very common for all of us. It’s in fact very possible that I know some people myself as well, who were in the plane, but since the official passengers’ list from HELIOS AIRWAYS has only been announced to the relatives so far and it hasn’t gone public yet, I wouldn’t know for now. It’s been chaos in our country today, since the first seconds of the accident’s announcement ‘cause it’s actually the first time a so terrible crash happens to a Cypriot Airline.

I too, have flown into that aircraft, the very 5B-DBY, in Christmas 2004 in a route from SKG to LCA/LCLK and It was a very smooth and pleasant flight in a beautiful plane with all-leather, blue seats. You can understand my additional shock when i heard about it. What’s interesting though is this report here http://www.aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20050814-0, specifically quoting:

Quote:
Reportedly the same Boeing 737, 5B-DBY, suffered a loss of cabin pressure on December 20, 2004 during a flight from Warsaw to Larnaca. Three passengers needed medical treatment after landing in Larnaca.

I can tell you that this Is true indeed as I remember hearing it in the news as well, and in our Media here in CYPRUS there have been several reports from ex-passengers of the airline that the same problem occurred again in March 2005 with the same airplane.

Additionally, I wanted to ask the pilots of the forum – noting of course that we are only speculating , having a healthy discussion and that I am not in the aviation area in any way – if this below is a possible scenario:


  • The aircraft suffers from decompression at FL340 and oxygen masks drop immediately, in the cabin.
  • There’s a problem with the oxygen flow in the cockpit, so the captain who realizes that, when seeing the co-pilot wearing his and having difficulties at first - fainted after that, rushes to the back of the aircraft to bring in the spare oxygen bottles.
  • He doesn’t make it there because the approximate limit of 15 seconds without sufficient oxygen that a human can handle in that FL has been reached and he faints as well, in the cabin area (that’s why a passenger is said to have reported in an sms to a relative of his that he saw the pilot blue-faced and unconscious * If I remember right and IF that’s accurate ‘cause we all know that a GSM device (and I underline that) cannot send a message from that height, as the signal from the phone first reaches the nearest ground station – if available which in this case and FL, it probably wasn’t – which then sends it to the relevant satellite)
  • Passengers wear their masks which can keep them for up to 15-20 minutes, from what I gather off what you already said here, but without anyone on the controls to lower the plane below (aprox-correct me if I am wrong) 7000 feet so that everyone breathes well again since we have a normal atmospheric pressure and almost normal temp.
  • The airplane continues on the programmed course, through the auto-pilot that remained on, and in the meantime temperature drops radically, matching the outside one of (about) -50 C to -56 C and everybody freezes.
  • The aircraft reportedly flies uncontrolled for a [i]total[i/] of 1 and a half hours – as reported - with the escort of Hellenic AirForce F-16 fighters who said all this about the captain being absent from the cockpit and the co-pilot being unconscious, along with reports that they saw the dropped masks but not any movement in the inside of the aircraft whatsoever.
  • Plane reached GRAMMATIKOS, GREECE (do a ‘Grammatikos, GREECE’ search in the ‘FLY TO’ tag in GOOGLE EARTH to see more of the location) (near ‘ATH/LGAV ‘where it was supposed to land) and started circling ‘till it finally crashed in the deep ravine.


Is this possible? Also another couple of questions for this kind of aircraft:

- From where do the flight attendants breathe oxygen in this kind of cabin decompression? Is it from the same system/source with the passengers and the masks (e.g. could they be masks over their jump-seats or something?) or is it from hand-held bottles with a mask attached, just like the ones kept in the back of the airplanes in the over-head drawers?
- The Pilots in the cockpit breathe in from a different source than the passengers? I know they have to manually put on masks that are in their left and right side (for the captain and co-pilot respectively) in order to breath in but from where does their oxygen come?
- What does it happen when the autopilot reaches its programmed location and there’s nobody to disconnect and manually take on the control of the aircraft or enter new data in it in order to continue? Does it circle over the given location like it happened today?

Thanks in advance.

[Edited 2005-08-14 23:28:47]
DEC
 
vfw614
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:18 am

German media report the following:

- as already mentioned here, the aircraft "circled" for a considerable length of time (approx. 90 minutes) before crashing.

- a Helios engineer allegedly resigned after he had filed his concerns about the aircraft's safety two or three times but was not heard by management. That's at least what a German TV station says citing local sources.

- the F16 crews allegedly saw two people trying to get control of the aircraft during their second fly-past. So at what altitude did the aircraft circle ? They cannot have tried this without oxygen at FL340. OTOH, difficult to imagine that while most passengers were frozen because of exposure to a high altitude, others should have been able to try to regain control.
 
skyhigh777
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:19 am

I didn't find it to be very obvious either, since none of the news reports confirmed it running out of fuel. Some have begun to think the fighter jets shot it down, although I think that is a false rumor. It just seems strange that if a plane is at cruising altitude it would hit a mountain without descending...I guess maybe something happened with the autopilot controls but maybe it is way too soon to determine anything.
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richm
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:22 am

On BBC news, they said that the fighter pilots reported that they could see what looked like 2 passengers inside the cockpit trying to control the aircraft.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:29 am

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 20):
What I don't understand is if the plane was flying on cruise altitude of 34,000 feet like some have said, how did it descend to hit a mountain...

Presumably their FMC would have had their entire route pre-programmed.

Now, you can't automate the entire process. There is some input required on the part of the pilot. I'm not even sure if an FMC can be programmed to execute descents *without* pilot input - maybe somebody else can help me out here. I know generally that pilots still have to enter the altitude to which they're cleared separately, as it's given to them by the controllers. But I do know that you can enter your entire route including altitudes, and the FMC will compute a "straight-line" descent for you - maybe there is a mode where it will perform them without further input, and maybe that's the default mode that some airlines (or pilots) use. I don't know enough about the 737's FMC to know for sure but I'd be curious to hear from someone who does.

Several news sources are now reporting, though, that there were two other people seen inside the cockpit apparently trying to take control. To me, this opens up a *huge* number of additional questions. First, were they responsible - even inadvertantly - for the descent and eventual crash? (In other words, did they turn off the auto-pilot, or program a descent into a mountain into it?) Second, how did they apparently stay conscious while everybody else was either unconscious or dead? (Or did they regain consciousness after the plane descended below 14,000 feet, suggesting many others might still have been alive?) And who were these people, and how did they get into the cockpit?

These are all important questions, if this news is true.

I can't think of another plane crash similar to this one. (Ok, Payne Stewart's plane, but that's not supposed to be able to happen in an airliner, and anyway there was nobody still awake trying to take control in that crash.)
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FLAIRPORT
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:31 am

Quoting Backfire (Reply 21):
Since both the heating and pressurisation apparently failed, I'd be looking very closely at the bleed air system.

Question here, if just the heating failed, would they have been able to survive? Sounds like most people knew what was in store for them from the start here.

Quoting LN-KGL (Reply 23):
Could it be that the new cockpit safety door has cost 121 lives?

Not in Cyprus, I don't think they have the new doors. However, this is something that needs to be looked at here in America.
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
airxliban
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:31 am

I would also like to express my condolences to the families of those who perished in this air tragedy.

Honeywell makes the Air Cycle Machine for the 737 in Torrance, California at a manufacturing site that I used to work at up until 5th August of this year. Does anyone know enough about the technical aspects of what happened to suggest that the Air Cycle Machine could have failed?
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milan320
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:34 am

Quoting DeC (Reply 33):
If I remember right and IF that’s accurate ‘cause we all know that a GSM device (and I underline that) cannot send a message from that height, as the signal from the phone first reaches the nearest ground station – if available which in this case and FL, it probably wasn’t – which then sends it to the relevant satellite)

Typical range of a GSM BTS/RBS (Base Station Transceiver) is 32km
GSM in Aircraft is a new feature that uses Abis over Satellite. Normal GSM phones do not use any satellite transmission UNLESS the plane is equipped with a GSM in Aircraft RBS/BTS (which would then use Abis over Satellite).
Cruise ships and ferries have this technology in use already. For planes, it's a long time in coming. Airbus/Boeing and others are currently working on this technology.
/Milan320
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comorin
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:34 am

Quoting DeC (Reply 33):

An excellent first post!    You have clearly summed up all the discussions and have come up with a really good hypothesis. Look forward to seeing your future posts!

I do feel very sorry for all the families in Cyprus and wish them all strength. I had visited Nicosia a few years ago, and would like to call - are businesses open tomorrow?

[Edited 2005-08-14 23:39:37]
 
DeC
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:35 am

This topic grows rapidly. When I was writing my first post on the matter, I was still at the previous topic about the crash and some of my questions were answered by other people on this one while i was typing them. Thanks.

I still want to ask: for how long are the portable oxygen bottles supposed to last?
DEC
 
DeC
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:41 am

Quoting LN-KGL (Reply 23):

If the F/O was slumped over as reported, he could have bumped the control column and disconnected the autopilot ( Eastern Everglades accident.)

That's what i thought as well. Or maybe a chain of failures that followed the primal cause, led to the disconnection of the auto pilot (i.e. a short-circuit or something).
DEC
 
tundra767
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:44 am

The Portable Oxygen Bottles the cabin crew would have used would last about 18-20 minutes. This is according to my FA manual.
 
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alberchico
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:45 am

This seems similar to the Lear35 crash that killed a famous golfer a few yeas ago. Is it possible that this could be the result of airline maintanence negligence ?
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LN-KGL
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:48 am

Quoting FLAIRPORT (Reply 38):
Not in Cyprus, I don't think they have the new doors. However, this is something that needs to be looked at here in America.

The aircraft has been at dba (formerly known as Deutsche BA) up to 31 March 2004 as a full C-check was performed on the aircraft at Berlin-Schönefeld SXF before delivery to Helios on 16 April 2004. Since it has been used in Germany a safety cockpit door has definitely been installed.
 
DeC
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:54 am

Quoting DeC (Reply 42):
I do feel very sorry for all the families in Cyprus and wish them all strength. I had visited Nicosia a few years ago, and would like to call - are businesses open tomorrow?

Where do you want to call to? Well, it's a big Christian celebration tomorrow here in Cyprus, and taking into account that our Government has declared a 3-day mourning period, starting from tomorrow morning, i am sure that (at least) tomorrow everything will be closed.
DEC
 
backfire
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:55 am

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 24):
So obviously, yes, they ran out of fuel.

So I guess it was the passengers' luggage which was burning so fiercely that it took a couple of airborne firebombers to put the flames out...?



From the $0.02 school of crash investigation: Bleed air problem causes pressurisation and aircon snag. Captain reports the situation to ATC, then goes back into the cabin to investigate, leaving the co-pilot flying.

Situation deteriorates. Masks drop, captain gets caught out, co-pilot doesn't reach his oxygen for reasons unexplained.

Can't imagine the cockpit oxygen system failing separately and it doesn't seem realistic that the captain would have left the cockpit in such an emergency.

Since bleed air provides both cabin air heat and pressurisation, the cabin temperature drops at the same time as the oxygen thins out - passengers then report a 'freezing' cabin as well as a de-oxygenated pilot.

Aircraft continues cruising but passengers are unaware for a while that the co-pilot is incapacitated, until their own oxygen begins to run down.

It seems unlikely that a long-unconscious co-pilot suddenly knocks the jet out of the cruise after 45 minutes, so...perhaps the 737 runs out of fuel (seems unlikely - what was burning on the ground?)...or a couple of well-meaning passengers, realising the crew is sparko, attempt to rescue the jet and instead drive it into the ground.

All pure speculation, admittedly.
 
DeC
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:00 am

Quoting Comorin (Reply 41):
Typical range of a GSM BTS/RBS (Base Station Transceiver) is 32km
GSM in Aircraft is a new feature that uses Abis over Satellite. Normal GSM phones do not use any satellite transmission UNLESS the plane is equipped with a GSM in Aircraft RBS/BTS (which would then use Abis over Satellite).
Cruise ships and ferries have this technology in use already. For planes, it's a long time in coming. Airbus/Boeing and others are currently working on this technology.
/Milan320

I am aware that we are going off-topic here and i apologize for this. Although i feel that many people would be interested in this one, what does this mean? I don’t have as much knowledge as you appear to have on the subject, about mobile telephony and all so please explain. From what I know, if you send an sms from a GSM mobile phone when being off –range and off-signal it can’t be sent automatically when It gets in range unless you re-send it manually, when signal is regained. Plus, airplanes from what I know, have systems that isolate and cut-off the signal from GSM phones so they don’t operate anyway. Unless he was carrying a satellite phone It seems impossible to me that such an SMS was sent out. And how did he manage to send the sms if everyone was (probably) unconscious?
DEC
 
by738
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RE: Helios 737 Cntd. -New Information-

Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:02 am

Quoting LN-KGL (Reply 46):
The aircraft has been at dba (formerly known as Deutsche BA) up to 31 March 2004

So it was definitley the 737-300 and not 737-800 ?

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