BaliMorris
Topic Author
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 am

The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 3:21 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © TriplET



As mentioned in this post, I just came across the shocking details of Saudia 163 in which 301 sadly perished in August 1980. If you've not heard of this before, you'll be dumbfounded at the complete incompetence that was apparently displayed by the flight crew of this aircraft.

Details can be found at http://www.airdisaster.com/special/special-sa163.shtml

This report makes it sound as though the first and second officers were basically just along for the ride, with no capacity to actually fly the aircraft. It seems hard to believe that as recently as 1980, with the field of commercial aviation being as a mature as it was by that time, that a major international airline such as Saudia could have put the lives of it's passengers in the hands of such an unprepared flight crew. Has anyone got any further information on this incident to either corroborate or contest the details mentioned in this report?

In regards to the second officer being dyslexic, how was that determined? Was it a case of people who had known him remembering him after his death and realising that they'd never actually heard him read out loud, or was it commonly known while he was still flying that he suffered from dyslexia?
 
saturn5
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:49 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 5:19 am

Thanks for reminding about this accident but I am afraid it is not the first or last accident where so many lives were lost due to crew incompetence. Another accident from the very recent history that could compete for the infamous distinction of crew's utmost incompotence was the 737 Helios Air.
 
Pihero
Posts: 4196
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:11 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 6:38 am

One should be very careful with AirDis as their need for sensationalism often takes over the objectivity needed for air safety.
This link should give you more info on that accident and the CVR read-out.
-It is patent that the captain utterly failed to manage the emergency (in fact he never saw an urgency in this flight) .
-The aicraft was bound for Jeddah, at sea level, and considering the flight crew never changed the altitude setting, when they started descending back to Riyadh, the cabin controller planned for a zero cabin altitude. Thus, the interior of the aircraft was over-pressurized for Riyadh. To complicate an already desperate situation, the outflow valves' control motor was burnt-out by the fire at the end of the descent, keeping the cabin pressure too high, which prevented the doors from opening.
-The flight engineer was actually a former captain in saudi Arabia. Lost his licence when during one med check, a physician discovered his dislexia. Managed to climb back into cockpits with a flight engineer rating and was thence hired by Saudia.

Quoting Saturn5 (Reply 1):
Thanks for reminding about this accident but I am afraid it is not the first or last accident where so many lives were lost due to crew incompetence.

That's why we have to work harder to improve this sad record.

Regards.
Contrail designer
 
nrcnyc
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:50 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 1:14 pm

Is dyslexia really that big of a problem for a pilot?
 
FlightShadow
Posts: 1060
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:43 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 1:41 pm

Quoting Nrcnyc (Reply 3):
Is dyslexia really that big of a problem for a pilot?

Well if there's a difference between taxiways Charlie Alpha and Alpha Charlie, or Runways 32 and 23...I'd say it is
"When the tide goes out, you can tell who was skinnydipping."
 
BaliMorris
Topic Author
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 1:44 pm

Thanks for the info. The article I cited didn't mention anything about the high cabin pressure preventing the doors from being opened. If that's the case, at least it offers some explanation as to why the aircraft wasn't immediately evacuated upon landing. Still, it seems unfathomable that the aircraft landed and came to a stop with everyone aboard apparently alive, yet noone survived the ensuing fire. It's a failure on so many levels. Obviously there were mistakes made by the flight crew. Not much is said about the cabing crew or the passengers themselves who apparently started fighting while the aircraft was still in flight according to the CVR. Surely the emergency ground crews should have managed to break into the cabin sooner. The whole thing just seems like such a badly botched situation.

As for the second officer's dyslexia, it seems to have been mentioned as somewhat of an aside insofar as it's relavence to this situation, but I think that it would definitely be a problem for a pilot in that reading skills are necessary for comprehending instrumentation, maps etc... I don't think I understand the logic of stripping the guy of his pilot's license due to his dyslexia but then rehiring him as a flight engineer. If anything, dyslexia seems like it would be more of a hinderance to a flight engineer.
 
rolfen
Posts: 1539
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:03 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 2:54 pm

Yeah I know, it's incredible.
This captain should be jailed for criminal negligence.
rolf
 
MaxQ2351
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:41 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 3:23 pm

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 6):
This captain should be jailed for criminal negligence.

Call me ignorant, but haven't they beheaded people in Saudia Arabia for lesser things??

-Max
The 777-200LR......2 engines 4 longer haul
 
NAV20
Posts: 8453
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:25 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 3:48 pm

Quoting BaliMorris (Thread starter):
It seems hard to believe that as recently as 1980, with the field of commercial aviation being as a mature as it was by that time, that a major international airline such as Saudia could have put the lives of it's passengers in the hands of such an unprepared flight crew.

I'm afraid that it didn't stop in 1980, BaliMorris. This CVR transcript is from 1994. It's quite clear that the Captain was giving the First Officer (much-needed) basic flying lessons.....

http://www.planecrashinfo.com/cvr940426.htm
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
NASBWI
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:12 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 4:08 pm

I remember watching a video documentary about that fateful flight, but I don't seem to remember anything about the cabin pressure. What I did remember was that the flight attendants didn't open the doors because the engines were still running. The emergency crews on the ground tried to signal for the engines to be cut, but there was no response (I believe that by this time the flight crew was already either incapacitated or dead). But the pressurization of the cabin itself is only part of the problem - there were a lot of factors to be considered, like the lengthy roll-out after landing, the subsequent taxiing of the aircraft, the intensity of the fire to begin with, etc. I do have a question about the doors being pressurized though; in past incidents where doors were opened with different air pressures, didn't they open regardless? (albeit with tragic results i.e. flight attendants being sucked out of the door to the ground). Wouldn't the same result have happened?
Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
 
FlyDeltaJets
Posts: 1631
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:24 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 5:07 pm

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 6):
Yeah I know, it's incredible.
This captain should be jailed for criminal negligence.

I thought (if I read correctly) everyone perished
The only valid opinions are those based in facts
 
ThirtyEcho
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 5:19 pm

Sounds like some hoo-hah is involved here. The very first pressurized aircraft that I ever flew (a very long time ago) had a squat switch on the nose gear that, when depressed, opened the pressurization outflow valve to equalize the cabin with ambient air pressure.

You're telling me that Lockheed was so derelict as to not be aware of the potential problem and to not install this or a similar safeguard on the L1011?
 
cessnalady
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:12 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 5:41 pm

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 11):
Sounds like some hoo-hah is involved here.

<< hoo-hah ?>> Do you mind explaining what this idiomatic expression is meant to convey?

Marie
 
Pihero
Posts: 4196
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:11 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 5:50 pm

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 11):
The very first pressurized aircraft that I ever flew (a very long time ago) had a squat switch on the nose gear that, when depressed, opened the pressurization outflow valve to equalize the cabin with ambient air pressure.

You're telling me that Lockheed was so derelict as to not be aware of the potential problem and to not install this or a similar safeguard on the L1011?

ThirtyEcho,the Tristar was the most advanced aircraft of its day, and still has features that no-one has been able to reproduce. The outflow valve motor was burnt-out.
For those who don't understand the cabin-still-pressurised item, supposing a pressure differential of .5 psi, the L-1011 doors being roughly 7 ft by 3, the force on that door will be 1512 lbs pushing it against its stops. No one would be strong enough to open it, certainly not the weak motor that first retract the door from its stops before pulling it upwards.
Overpressure blow-out valves were installed later on all aircraft with a reduced setting.

Quoting BaliMorris (Reply 5):
As for the second officer's dyslexia, it seems to have been mentioned as somewhat of an aside insofar as its relevence to this situation

The F/E's dyslexia was very much at the center of this accident : Remember the first smoke alarm they had in the flight deck : He never found the relevant check-list in his QRH. Saying "No problem" wasn't solving the urgency.
The warning stopped because the fire had then destroyed the sensors. He then relaxed thinking the problem over when in fact the situation had at that moment become desperate.

Quoting NASBWI (Reply 9):
there were a lot of factors to be considered, like the lengthy roll-out after landing, the subsequent taxiing of the aircraft, the intensity of the fire to begin with, etc

All the factors you cite are relevant.
I'm afraid you can put them all under one heading :"Bad emergency management".
Contrail designer
 
joffie
Posts: 814
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:45 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 6:41 pm

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 6):
This captain should be jailed for criminal negligence.

He died. How can he be jailed. Have you bothered to look at the accident report?
 
A320ajm
Posts: 587
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 11:57 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 7:26 pm

How the hell can you have a dyslexic pilot?
I think that that is endangering the lives of the passengers!!!!
If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
 
TheSorcerer
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 3:35 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 8:28 pm

Quoting BaliMorris (Thread starter):
This report makes it sound as though the first and second officers were basically just along for the ride, with no capacity to actually fly the aircraft. It seems hard to believe that as recently as 1980, with the field of commercial aviation being as a mature as it was by that time,

When my dad was still working in Egypt in the 80s, Egypt Air sent pilots to DUB to get trained by Aer Lingus, the funny thing was they didn't need to sit the final test to get their licenses. So the pilots flying out to oil rigs in the desert didn't even have a license. On one occasion my dad and an english guy were getting flown out to a platform and my dad and the english guy fell asleep, when my dad woke up the two pilots were asleep as well.

Dominic
ALITALIA,All Landings In Torino, All Luggage In Athens ;)
 
ardian
Posts: 498
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2000 3:15 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 8:57 pm

Damn what a horrible way to die! As a passenger you think you've landed safely but then again you can't leave the plane...
 
rootsair
Posts: 4012
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:25 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Sun May 28, 2006 9:01 pm

Quoting BaliMorris (Thread starter):
In regards to the second officer being dyslexic, how was that determined?

The recordings on the black box and testimonies culd have determined that
A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
 
ANNOYEDFA
Posts: 441
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:16 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 2:16 am

I will never forget watching the video about this flight in training. The Captain was busy singing while the F/O had what seemed to be no flight training then we had the dyslexic F/E and the fact that women have no say over anything when asked about a emergency evac she was basically ignored. Pathetic...
"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
 
HBJZA
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:23 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 3:09 am

I think there is one thing forgotten about this accident : There are 2 minutes band of the black box missing and strangely the same 2 minutes bands are missing in the ATC "black box" ?? You should've heard that during these exact 2 minutes the airplane of the king of Saudi Arabia took off. The flight crew was told to leave the runway instead of evacuating there !!!!! Easy to blame the crew when the governement is involved......
 
Pihero
Posts: 4196
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:11 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 3:58 am

Quoting HBJZA (Reply 20):
Easy to blame the crew when the governement is involved......

Another conspiracy theory...I studied that particular incident at length and I never found anything that could back that idea. If anything, an interuption of an emergency check-list would accrue the urgency of an immediate evacuation, which didn't show at all in the subsequent exchanges between the tower and the captain.
As an aside, both the Saudi government and the management were at fault for promoting to command nationals with less than adequate experience and abilities, just for nationalistic reasons.
That accident became the subject of hundreds of studies of human factors. One of the conclusions, shared by all flight safety officers I know, was that the reunion in the same cockpit of three so un-matched individuals was unlikely to happen . They never functioned as a crew and worse, each one brought the worst out of the others...
As the total disregard of the senior FA by the Captain...it shows a lot on attutudes and prejudice...'Nuff said on this subject.
Contrail designer
 
hmmmm...
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:32 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 11:07 am

Saudia Arabia. That was the place where they forced those 15 school girls back into a burning building to their deaths because they weren't properly "covered up" in accordance with Sharia law. The religious police, the Muttawa, sent them back in and kept the firemen at bay.

Maybe the female passengers weren't properly dressed. Don't laugh.
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
NASBWI
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:12 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 2:43 pm

Quoting Hmmmm... (Reply 22):
Maybe the female passengers weren't properly dressed. Don't laugh.

What's laughable is the seriousness with which you presented that theory. Just to ponder that for a second, if that *was* the case, then wouldn't the said female passengers have been forbidden to leave the house to get to the airport? Much less board the aircraft, whose flight originated in Saudi Arabia.
Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
 
Neverest
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 3:29 pm

Hmmmm has a point. It is always noticed that Saudi ladies take off their abayas (black head to foot covering) as soon as the plane takesof to enjoy their airborn freedom, out of reach of the local morals police or mutawas. So presumably that was the case, even if a bit far fetched under the circumstances.
 
cricket
Posts: 2068
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:23 pm

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 4:19 pm

Quoting NASBWI (Reply 23):
What's laughable is the seriousness with which you presented that theory. Just to ponder that for a second, if that *was* the case, then wouldn't the said female passengers have been forbidden to leave the house to get to the airport? Much less board the aircraft, whose flight originated in Saudi Arabia.

I'ld back him up on the school incident, but the callousness with which the SV crew treated the incident was shocking. Maybe the plane was full of non-Saudi's and they didn't care. That happens in Saudi a lot..
Check out this blog for theinsanity that goes on in that country http://muttawa.blogspot.com/
A300B2/B4/6R, A313, A319/320/321, A333, A343, A388, 737-2/3/4/7/8/9, 747-3/4, 772/2E/2L/3, E170/190, F70, CR2/7, 146-3,
 
Pihero
Posts: 4196
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:11 am

RE: The Shocking Details Of Saudia 163

Mon May 29, 2006 7:08 pm

People !
Could we remain on the subject, please ?
Contrail designer