curlyheadboy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:25 am

First evidence from the investigation:

Both ATR and the Italian Safety Board (ANSV) agree that at least one atr42 fuel indicator was mounted on the crashed aircraft (which was a 72), causing wrong fuel reading and leading to fuel exhaustion.  Wow!

The aircraft ditched at sea off the coast of Sicily after both engines failed, 16 casualties.

This seems a gross mistake to me! How could such a thing happen???  Confused
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
dogfighter2111
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:30 am

Bad maintenance. Things go wrong with aircraft a lot. I was watching a TV program and they said that there is hardly ever 100% of the aircraft functioning properly when in flight. Basically, what i am trying to say is that this was one of those times when a mandatory part is required to function properly.

Thanks
Mike
 
aogdesk
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:43 am

And as in any incident or accident, investigators will conclude that not a single point of failure (fuel indicator) but a series of discrete failures and events led to the crash.
 
apathoid
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:55 am

Source please.


Mindless filler...mindless filler...mindless filler...
 
OPNLguy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:10 am

Quoting Apathoid (Reply 3):
Source please.

http://www.ansa.it/main/notizie/fdg/...2220212018/200509062220212018.html

In Italian... (Use babelfish.com to translate)

Apparently, an ATR-72 part, andnot an ATR-42 part was installed the night before in Tunis.
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m404
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:40 am

Aside from the size difference in acft can anyone specify the differance in indictors? Was this the fuel totalizer that shows just that, the total on board or a fuel tank gauge?
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OPNLguy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:04 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 4):
Apparently, an ATR-72 part, and not an ATR-42 part was installed the night before in Tunis.

My not-so-high-speed fingers managed to mangle that: should have been:

"Apparently, an ATR-42 part, and not an ATR-72 part was installed the night before in Tunis."
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
EZEIZA
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:37 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 6):
"Apparently, an ATR-42 part, and not an ATR-72 part was installed the night before in Tunis."

This is terrible! It seems like one of the most avoidable accidents I've heard of. One thing is to have a malfunction of any sort, that happens, and always will, but something so basic as this should just not happen...  mad 
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PPVRA
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:05 am

Shouldn't the ground crew have noticed the low amount of fuel? Maybe the "cheap" gas bill?
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
EMBQA
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:19 am

Sounds more like a fuel probe issue and not a gauge. The gauge only shows what the probe tells it. If you miss calabrate or install the wrong probe in the wrong location it will give you false readings.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
stirling
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:58 am

I tend to agree with EMBQA.
But it only opens up more questions....

The probe sends to the gauge the fuel level as a mV. (let's just say it does)

So let's just say this probe sends to the gauge the following values:

-42 FULL = 4mV = 40 gallons
-72 FULL = 4mV = 80 gallons

So in this example, hypothetically, if the guage in -42 cockpit was receiving 4mV from the sensor, it would indicate Full, when in fact, it was only half full.
Either because they had a -72 sensor, or the sensor was faulty, maybe it was picking up an overload current?
But wouldn't that have tripped the breakers?

It's not this simple in reality, I just tried to illustrate how different parts from seemingly similar aircraft can mess things up.

Questions.

Did not the re-fueling crew notice? Or did they just stop fueling when the FO waved them since as far as he was concerned his instruments showed full?

Does Turinter operate both ATR 42 and 72?

Who does their maintenence? Was it done in Italy? When was it last done? Because if it has been awhile...it would have shown up on it's very first flight after leaving the shed; would it not? It had to have made it from Tunis, so did they bring fuel with them so they wouldn't need to gas up in Italy...this maybe makes sense.

How did one odd-ball part get into the supply chain?

Are the investigators certain it was a wrong part?


Still Many Questions left unanswered
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rojo
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:16 pm

Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 7):
This is terrible! It seems like one of the most avoidable accidents I've heard of. One thing is to have a malfunction of any sort, that happens, and always will, but something so basic as this should just not happen...

I will give the number one spot of avoidable accidents to Aeroperu's B757 crash in the Atlantic Ocean back in 1996. Someone forgot to take the masking tape from the static ports after the aircraft was washed and polished and therefore caused wrong readings in the instruments and the death of 70 people...

More attention to detail!!!
 
F27XXX
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:41 pm

where was it flying frm/to?
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curlyheadboy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:51 pm

Quoting F27XXX (Reply 12):
where was it flying frm/to?

Was routing Bari Palese , BRI (Italy) - Djerba, DJE (Tunisia).

Quoting Stirling (Reply 10):
The probe sends to the gauge the fuel level as a mV. (let's just say it does)

So let's just say this probe sends to the gauge the following values:

-42 FULL = 4mV = 40 gallons
-72 FULL = 4mV = 80 gallons

So in this example, hypothetically, if the guage in -42 cockpit was receiving 4mV from the sensor, it would indicate Full, when in fact, it was only half full.
Either because they had a -72 sensor, or the sensor was faulty, maybe it was picking up an overload current?
But wouldn't that have tripped the breakers?

That's what happened, apparently. Anyway i agree the wrongly installed device was probably the probe and not the indicator itself.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 10):
Are the investigators certain it was a wrong part?

They first investigated the fuel system, since it appeared that the aircraft was out of fuel when it ditched (Wings floating easily, no fuel tracks in the water) and they immediately noticed that the part number of the device (media say the indicator but, again, it was probably the probe) was wrong (an Atr42 part).

Also, the part was substituted the day before because it was malfunctioning.

The pilot (who survived) says he made some unplanned refuelling prior to takeoff, so it appears he was pretty sure he had enough fuel.

Maintenance was performed in Tunisia, Tuninter operates both ATR42 and 72 AFAIK.

[Edited 2005-09-07 11:58:31]
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Orion737
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:59 pm

Did the first officer or a member of the cabin crew survive? Was the ATR72 bcarrying 2 cabin staff members? Are all the surviving passengers recovering well?
 
curlyheadboy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:06 pm

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 14):
Did the first officer or a member of the cabin crew survive? Was the ATR72 bcarrying 2 cabin staff members? Are all the surviving passengers recovering well?

Both pilots survived with minor injuries, the surviving passengers are also out of the hospital and recovering well. Sadly both cabin crew members died.
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Shenzhen
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:08 pm

This is quite strange, as the fueler would have been infrormed to upload X amount of fuel, and if that amount wasn't uploaded, the discrepancy should have been noted (if the airplane refuel system had an automatic shutoff), as they also use their own guages as a cross check.

Generally speaking of course.. as each airport in every country is different.
 
curlyheadboy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:12 pm

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 16):
This is quite strange, as the fueler would have been infrormed to upload X amount of fuel, and if that amount wasn't uploaded, the discrepancy should have been noted

This is very true, and i'm sure the refuelling staff in BRI will soon have some headache.

Nevertheless this already happened, IIRC the famous "Gimli Glider" incident was caused by wrong refuelling...
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
BestWestern
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:47 pm

Very similar issue in Ireland in 2003 on an ATR42 - Fuel exhaustion due to faulty gague leading to the shut down of one engine in flight.

The Irish avation authority had quite a detailed report here http://www.aaiu.ie/AAIUviewitem.asp?id=6875&lang=ENG&loc=1652


"The aircraft was in the cruise, routing from Luton Airport (EGGW) in the UK, to Galway (EICM), when the RH engine spooled down and stopped. The crew made a PAN call to Shannon ATC. They initially considered diverting to Dublin (EIDW) or Belfast (EGAA) but these were closed due to fog. They then decided to divert to Shannon (EINN) and landed there safely on one engine. The Investigation subsequently found that the RH engine stopped because the fuel tank feeding this engine was empty. The Investigation makes six Safety Recommendations.
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AR1300
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:56 pm

Quoting F27XXX (Reply 12):
where was it flying frm/to?



Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 13):
Was routing Bari Palese , BRI (Italy) - Djerba, DJE (Tunisia).

I think he meant the Aeroperu 757.
Aeroperu 603 was coming from SCL, making a stop over in LIM on the route to LAX.The plane fell on the Pacific Ocean,as the crew fighted to fly the plane blinfolded due to the aformentioned ground staff error.

Mike
You are now free to move about the cabin
 
greasespot
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:02 pm

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 13):
Anyway i agree the wrongly installed device was probably the probe and not the indicator itself.

Um The article says Gauge not probe, so I am wondering how someone who is not connected to tuniter air or the investigation can make such a statment that it was a probe and not a gauge.

They said the wrong gauge was installed the night before which would be easy to determine as the Maintenance release tag would indicate the PN of the gauge and would be in the A/C records. If it was the probe it would have cause a problem before this. Now it has been a while since I worked on an ATR but a fuel probe replacement is not an overnight maintenance item. If they changed this the AC would have been down longer than overnight.

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
backfire
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:28 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 18):
Very similar issue in Ireland in 2003 on an ATR42 - Fuel exhaustion due to faulty gague leading to the shut down of one engine in flight.

That's not actually true. The captain of that aircraft screwed up the refuelling because he didn't know how to operate the manual fuelling system on the ATR, and dumped the entire fuel uplift into one wing.

The aircraft had plenty of fuel on board, just all in one wing tank rather than equally shared between the two.

The faulty fuel gauge was simply a red herring. The crew knew about the fault - the issue was that the functioning fuel gauge was subsequently assumed to be faulty as well, because it showed zero fuel in one of the wing tanks, when in fact it was reading correctly.
 
Cure
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:41 pm

I read on Repubblica of Aug 8 2005, page 5 (www.repubblica.it, though I can't find it right now), that the aircraft left Tunis saturday, empty and full of fuel, at 12:05pm, came to BRI (Bari) at 2:05pm, underwent a routine-technical inspection made by the crew and rampers for 20 min, and took off as loaded- UG1151 at 2:35pm to DJE. Documents showed a small refill of kg 240 of fuel ordered by the captain in Bari, "since the plane was already almost full".
When I first read the article this question already came to my mind: wich is the fuel consumption of an empty ATR72 (cockpit and cabin crew of 3) on the leg DJE-BRI?
From my ignorant point of view just 240 kg of fuel consumption is not imaginable on such a leg, wich leads my thoughts to a suspect of bad interpretation of the captain (beside malfunctioning gauges...)

Can anyone add informations and know-how?...

thanks
 
DAYflyer
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:44 pm

I would hate to be the mechanic who worked on that bird! Can you immagine how terrible it would feel to know you caused the deaths of so many people?
One Nation Under God
 
curlyheadboy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:59 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 22):
From my ignorant point of view just 240 kg of fuel consumption is not imaginable on such a leg, wich leads my thoughts to a suspect of bad interpretation of the captain (beside malfunctioning gauges...)

It appears that those 240kg were extra fuel (maybe some strong headwind was expected on route) added. Of course there must have been some bad interpretation, but this was likely caused by wrong instrument reading.

The chain of events looks like this:

-Mechs mounted an Atr42 fuel gauge on a -72
-Both cockpit and ground crews didn't identify or underestimated the problem
-Aircraft took off with less fuel than necesary
-Engines flamed out enroute

[Edited 2005-09-07 16:02:48]
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
1aMLA
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:02 am

I flew on Tuniters ATR's for years and started to recongize most of the cabin crew, so it's sad that a couple of them are dead now, it's very sad.

I wonder how long it glided for before it was too late, very sad all this, hope something positive comes out of the findings.

rip to all that perished.
pull up, pull up, pull up
 
AIR MALTA
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:29 am

Tuninter is now banned from flying over Italy... Very sad news!!!

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L07592551.htm

That is the begininng of the end of Tuninter Sad
Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
 
stirling
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:26 am

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 24):
The chain of events looks like this:

-Mechs mounted an Atr42 fuel gauge on a -72
-Both cockpit and ground crews didn't identify or underestimated the problem
-Aircraft took off with less fuel than necesary
-Engines flamed out enroute

Very important observation...
Usually, in cases like this, it isn't just one event that leads to tragic consequences, but rather an interconnected chain of mistakes and miscues which leads to the final result.

In my earlier post, I wrote with the assumption that the aircraft in question was a -42, when I just realized it was an -72.
Big difference it makes to my hypothesis.
The -42 gauge most likely requires less mV to indicate a full condition than a -72 gauge....
Unfortunately, this coupled with other mistakes in the chain proved fatal.

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 23):
I would hate to be the mechanic who worked on that bird!

Yes he must have a heavy heart swimming in remorse right now.
However, I don't feel he should be forced to shoulder all the blame....everyone else involved in the dispatch process can share in the responsibility.
It's the reason for the monotny of checks and double-checks (and triple checks)...they may be a pain....but by God, they're in place for a reason!

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 24):
It appears that those 240kg were extra fuel (maybe some strong headwind was expected on route) added. Of course there must have been some bad interpretation, but this was likely caused by wrong instrument reading.

If the gauge was off by half....(it's around ~750kM), those 240kG was only around a third of the fuel required; my decades-old notes indicate 600kG/1000kM. Very basic figures....many variables indicate actual burn. (Or as they say in commercials, "Your mileage may vary")
The pilot thought he was adding reserves in case of a diversion, when in fact, the tanks were probably dry to begin with.

I am surprised the connectors on the gauges are the same.
Having personally worked on many an aircraft, I find it odd that ATR parts can be so easily interchanged, especially with something as critical as fuel gauge.

Operators need to take immediate steps to make the chances of this happening again next to impossible...either by inserting a pin block (No idea what the ATR instrument connectors look like; my experience is in military aircraft), or by painting a big blue stripe around the can, or something!....but in the end, the best solution is to prevent these mistakes from before they happen.
Sorry for rambling....

p.s. Anyone know what the connector is like? Multi-pin connector? Hard wired?

[Edited 2005-09-07 19:30:33]
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Okie
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:44 am

My observation is that the probe output is calibrated for its length with scaling done at the gauge.

In a hypothetical situation that for instance with full tanks probe would send a full signal to gauge but the scaling would be off.

42 full signal would say read 800kg and at half full would read 400kg the gauge scale would be 0-800kg.
72 full signal would say read 1200kg and at half full would read 600kg the gauge scale would be 0-1200kg.

My guess is that the pilot noticed something amiss when he had differently scaled gauge than he was used to seeing and questioned the situation and added an additional up lift of fuel because of he felt something was amiss after his original upload of fuel. He just under estimated how much amiss. I just wonder if there was any dialogue between Mx and the Captain/FO about the gauge.

Okie
 
curlyheadboy
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:06 am

Stirling, Okie: Thanks for your professional observations, even though we're speculating I have the feeling that the final findings will be very close to what you stated in your posts.
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
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Francoflier
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Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:50 am

Wait a sec...

It seems that only one fuel indicator (or gauge) was not rightfully installed. OK.

What about the other one? I don't know the ATR, but like all other a/c of this category, it probably has independent fuel systems with independent indicating systems, one for each side, hasn't it?

If the A/C was fueled properly, each wing had enough fuel for its associated engine for the whole flight. So one of the indication was erroneous and the associated engine flamed out. What about the other side? Unless extensive crossfeed was made during the flight to try to even out the levels, they should have been able to keep one running...

It was my understanding that both engines flamed out practically one after the other...

What am I not understanding?
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curlyheadboy
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:15 am

Francoflier,

This is still not clear, we're in the first phase of the investigation. Some say one wrong fuel indicator was installed, others say both.

Very important evidence will be obtained from the CVR and FDR that have been recovered from the wreck, even though, after both engines failed, the recorders are likely to have stopped recording data.
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
HT1000
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:02 am

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 31):
Very important evidence will be obtained from the CVR and FDR that have been recovered from the wreck, even though, after both engines failed, the recorders are likely to have stopped recording data.

FDAU and DFDR are supplied by batteries in case of both DC GEN loss.
Few Were Born With It. Even Fewer Know What To Do With It.
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:19 am

Quoting HT1000 (Reply 32):
FDAU and DFDR are supplied by batteries in case of both DC GEN loss.

Who knows better than you? I stand corrected  Wink

BTW, what's your thought on this accident, since you fly this type?
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
stirling
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:42 am

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 31):
This is still not clear, we're in the first phase of the investigation. Some say one wrong fuel indicator was installed, others say both.

Good point.
There isn't a single gauge measuring the total fuel load, but rather; each tank has it's own gauge, like a lorrie, (semi/long-haul truck....whatever you want to call it)

So....were both gauges swapped out incorrectly?
What was the ORIGINAL write-up?

Quoting Francoflier (Reply 30):
What am I not understanding?

It's not just you...I think we are all a little perplexed.

Quoting Okie (Reply 28):
My observation is that the probe output is calibrated for its length with scaling done at the gauge.

Kind of like a potentiometer...but instead of a user defined input (Like a knob controling volume on a stereo receiver), the fuel level is mechanically controlled by whatever means ATR uses to measure fuel load.
This data is scaled like you say, or converted into a voltage, which in turn is represented by a needle or digital display.

How old was this bird?
Any interviews yet by the investigating authorities of the surviving crew?
It would add clarification to the following concerns:

Quoting Francoflier (Reply 30):
If the A/C was fueled properly, each wing had enough fuel for its associated engine for the whole flight. So one of the indication was erroneous and the associated engine flamed out. What about the other side? Unless extensive crossfeed was made during the flight to try to even out the levels, they should have been able to keep one running...

I would agree. But I might add, the crew must have been very confused, and when instruments they take for granted to be correct are in fact off, it sets off a chain of events that, like in this case, have fatal results.
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Celticmanx
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:18 am

The ATR's have two digital fuel gauges for each tank: one on the cockpit and the other one in the refuelling control panel in the RH side of the plane.
Normal operations are that once the airplane is going to be refueled, the amount to be carried is set in the refueling control panel in terms of weight. I don't know how tuninter works on each crew chores. But large companies tends to have a Dispatcher who decides how much fuel is needed for the routes and they tell to the mechanic to refuel to that XXXX amount. Some companies train their pilots to do the Weight and balance and the whole dispatch of the airplane in order to save a few extra $$$. In any case the order is given to the mechanic to refill the airplane. the mechanic goes to the refueling control panel and set the weight (either in pounds or Kilos) of fuel to have for Takeoff and the system itself balance the fuel metered by a single point between both tanks. Usually the First officer or the Captain monitors the refuel process.
Now The ATR technique says that the digital gauges are the main basis to calculate fuel on board and it can only be considered unreliable if there is a discrepancy between both digital counters. Therefore a cabin crew is to be monitoring the fuel during refill and cross check the quantity during the "Before Start checklist" or so called "Final Cockpit Preparation checklist". In case there is a mismatch between both values there are 2 magnetics fuel levers in each wings and the manual contains tables to measure that level in Gallons, liters, pounds and Kilograms.
Additionally, if the fuel level falls from 352 lbs you will have a warning within the cockpit and the fuel pumps will turn on automatically.

The fact that the fuel system had a different part installed and the fact that the crew did not realize about an inminet flameout without a warning and did not prepare well before it happens because apparently everything was running normal and inadvertently they had a flameout net to the other. That was nothing but a maintenance error.

Just my thoughts

Manx
 
HT1000
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:35 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 34):
How old was this bird?

According to JP Airline-Fleets the aircraft was
TS-LBB
ATR 72-202
MSN 258
Built in 1992
Delivered in March 1992

As far as you know which quantity of fuel you have before departure and what you have already burnt according to FF and FU indicators you can have a good idea of what you have into the wings without reading fuel gauges.

When refueling with that plane , you select the total fuel quantity desired on the refuel panel located on the right hand side near the landing gear. When the refueling is complete , the valves shut off automatically .

So you can check that the fuel added = fuel desired - fuel remaining

Even if gauges were over estimating fuel on board , someone would have notice something , no ?
Few Were Born With It. Even Fewer Know What To Do With It.
 
Celticmanx
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:51 am

How much fuel did they really have before the return flight if the amount showed in the gauge was not the actual one? That was the second step of a numerous events on the chain.
5 probes are placed in each tank and are ellectrically connected to the cockpit fuel quantity indicator. If initially the amount of fuel metered was not the actual fuel onboard, it was pointless to consider FU on the trip. Because the could really have more or less. Unfortunately for them they had less.
I agree with most of the peoples thinking that it was a problem of actual quantity given by the probes due to an inappropiate system installed.

Manx
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:04 pm

This clarifies some of the questions we were asking ourselves, have a read if you're interested.

http://www.ansv.it/En/Detail.asp?ID=524
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TS-IOR
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:08 am

Is it official and effective that Tuninter is now banned from the Italian airspace ? A nightmare for any Tunisian airline to be banned from the adjacent airspace !!!

TS-LBC is now grounded and getting maintained after having had a ground incident with a vehicule. UG leased a Swiss aircraft to fill the gap.
 
Okie
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:09 am

The wing tanks of the ATR-72 and ATR-42 differ in terms of max fuel capacity and shape; as a consequence the FQIs for the ATR-72 and for the ATR-42 are not interchangeable because they utilize different algorithms to process the input capacitance signals coming from the tank sensors.
Nevertheless the FQIs for the ATR-72 and ATR-42 have the same dimensions and installation interface; this means that an FQI for the ATR-42 could erroneously be installed on a ATR-72 model and viceversa. The only visible difference between the two FQI is the indication of the max fuel quantity (weight) per tank.

Thanks for the link CURLYHEADBOY

It appears that the pilots were questioning the numbers they were getting therefore the additional uplift of fuel.

I am not sure about aircraft parts but I know in the industrial end many times an original part say #123 with time and upgrades changes to part #567 instead of #123-rev B and without going back to the latest data which sometimes takes weeks or months to get to parts manuals the Mx people get lax about double checking constantly changing part numbers or get frustrated when they have the correct part in hand and the new numbers are not in the manual.

Okie
 
AIR MALTA
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:22 pm

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 39):
Is it official and effective that Tuninter is now banned from the Italian airspace ? A nightmare for any Tunisian airline to be banned from the adjacent airspace !!!

Yes it is unfortunately official... It is a nightmare for an airline for which Italy makes for 60% of its operation... All flights are now operated by Tunisair or Karthago...
Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:46 pm

The mechanicer that may had made the mistake would face tough pursues. Such a mess reaches the interest of the highest Tunisian administration, the presidency !!!
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:06 pm

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Thread starter):
at least one atr42 fuel indicator was mounted on the crashed aircraft (which was a 72), causing wrong fuel reading and leading to fuel exhaustion

if true, whomever caused this has to be prosecuted for multiple killing by negligence

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 26):
Tuninter is now banned from flying over Italy... Very sad news!!!
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/news...1.htm

not only bad news, but also a display of arrogance. Behaving as if such things only happened on Tunisian airplanes

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 42):
The mechanicer that may had made the mistake would face tough pursues. Such a mess reaches the interest of the highest Tunisian administration, the presidency

As much as I like your country I would NEVER desire to have your president against me ever ! When in your country I have seen him sufficiently often on TV to imagine how he will take such things !
 
backfire
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:26 pm

Ultimately this aircraft didn't crash because the fuel gauge was reading incorrectly. It crashed because there was no fuel left in the tanks.

An aircraft isn't flown the way you drive a car - you don't refill the tanks when the needle points to 'empty'.

The pilots should have known roughly how much fuel would be required for each sector - regardless of the fuel-gauge reading - and therefore should have uplifted sufficient fuel for the journey.

So the question becomes this: Did the pilots know how much fuel was required? If not, why not? And if so, why wasn't it uplifted?
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:47 pm

The indicators had been installed the day before the accident, and before the journey to Bari, the aircraft should have made a TUN-DJE domestic flight and maybe another rotation before being dispatched to Italy. Why the problem wasn't signaled, or didin't occur on these first flights ?
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Wrong Fuel Indicator Caused Tuninter ATR 72 Crash

Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:56 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 43):
not only bad news, but also a display of arrogance. Behaving as if such things only happened on Tunisian airplanes

They didn't ban all Tunisian aircrafts, just Tuninter. If an airline suffers a crash and there is some first evidence indicating that poor maintenance could be the cause, then a temporary ban is a precautionary measure. When Tuninter will meet the safety requirements, they'll be allowed to fly in and over Italy again.

Flash Air suffered the same ban after they crashed in HESH.
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...

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