loalq
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AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:59 pm

From abcnews.com:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headline...an-when-flight-447-was-in-trouble/

Odd suggestion being made here. And even if he was (we might never know for sure if this indeed delayed his return to the cockpit), his absence from the flight deck is not enough to justify the situation they got themselves into. His experience might have come in hand, but afaik none of them ever had a clue of what was going on.
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spacecadet
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:41 pm

Quoting loalq (Thread starter):
but afaik none of them ever had a clue of what was going on.

Dubois seemed to figure it out right before the crash, but the PF either was not listening to him (Dubois repeatedly said "no, don't climb!") or by then it was just too late. So the delay may have made a difference. Either corrective action wouldn't have been too late if he'd have arrived earlier, or he would have had more time to make the PF understand what was going on.

As for why he was delayed, I'm not sure if that matters or not... I don't know what the regs actually are for a captain on a scheduled break. I'm sure he's supposed to be available in the event of an emergency but is there any sort of time limit for how long it can take him to get back to the cockpit? I kinda doubt it. And I doubt it matters what he's doing on his break (although he's supposed to be napping... but that wouldn't have necessarily made his return to the cockpit any quicker).

Obviously it's preferable if the captain can be back in the cockpit within seconds of any emergency. But even if he's just napping, that's not always going to be possible. What if he's in a deep sleep? What if he's on the pot in the toilet? There could be any number of things that could delay a captain's return when he's on a break. You can't put someone on a break and then say "but you have to sit bolt upright and wide awake the entire time, just in case something happens." That's not a break and it doesn't satisfy the point of the break, which is to make sure the captain is rested during critical phases of flight.

So, my point is yes, maybe without the delay, things might have been different. But the reason for the delay I don't think matters much because it could have been any number of things, and I really don't think there's anything you can do about the possibility of that when somebody's on a scheduled break. The pilots in the cockpit have to know how to fly the plane.
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ZKCIF
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:47 pm

I believe theoretically all three pilots should have been and were competent enough to pilot the plane. If Mr. Dubois was too late, it is NOT a problem with HIM, it IS a problem with THE OTHER TWO and AIR FRANCE who hired and (under)trained them. For me, Mr. Dubois is not guilty of anything, I believbe he did his very best to be back as soon as possible and to understand what was happening
 
falkerker
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:11 pm

If Mr Dubois is on his break does it really matter what he is up to? I mean, even if it is as they suggest and he was having some good time with a crewmember, it only took him a minute or so to get to the flight deck.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 1):
What if he's in a deep sleep? What if he's on the pot in the toilet?

What if he was doing whatever he wanted to.

Just one (probably noob) question. If he figured out what was wrong, and the PF didn´t do what he should´ve (or what Mr Dubois was convinced he should) couldn´t Mr Dubois have seized control of the aircraft and corrected it himself? or were there 2 pilots (PF and PNF) besides Mr Dubois? (sorry if it is a really dumb question). If so (if he was the third pilot there) it is AF fault for having two guys who are evidently undertrained and not capable of handling the situation, not Mr Dubois´ fault for not being there. It was his break time and that is precisely what it´s meant to be, him "disconnecting" himself from the flight.
 
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yellowtail
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:22 pm

Quoting falkerker (Reply 3):
Just one (probably noob) question. If he figured out what was wrong, and the PF didn´t do what he should´ve (or what Mr Dubois was convinced he should) couldn´t Mr Dubois have seized control of the aircraft and corrected it himself? or were there 2 pilots (PF and PNF) besides Mr Dubois?

How would he seize control if he was not in either of the command seats.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
Maverick623
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:51 pm

Quoting ZKCIF (Reply 2):
I believe theoretically all three pilots should have been and were competent enough to pilot the plane.

This.

The crash was caused by a mistake that shouldn't have been made by even a solo-endorsed student pilot. Whatever (or whoever) the captain was doing is largely irrelevant.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
wjcandee
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:55 pm

The right move for the captain is to take his seat back from the guy who wasn't flying. That would have solved the problem here, especially if he had then installed the PF in seat two. The dimwit in the right seat apparently was holding the stick back regardless, but those two moves together would have stopped the stall.
 
PPVRA
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:05 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 5):
Whatever (or whoever) the captain was doing is largely irrelevant.

Yet, he is the captain and his two pilots were asking for his help. He has the responsibility to be there ASAP and not take "his time", and that means don't engage in unnecessary behavior that would make this difficult. If it's not a rule airlines have, it should be.

I do not wish to criticize him because I have no idea what actually happened in there. For all I know he could have been on the shitter and probably had no idea of the seriousness of the situation. . .
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
planejamie
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:11 am

How to recover from a stall is one of the earliest things you learn when learning to fly. You learn it hours before you go solo and basically point the nose forward, let the speed increase to above stall speed, roll the wings level then level off and set back up again. It's not rocket science, though in a panic situation I can see how a pilot would want to pull up as the nose dips either left/right and you lose altitude fast - it's instinct and my instructor said during my first stall (we actually stall the aircraft then recover it, but in a safe manner with checks beforehand) "you pulled back which everyone does their first time".

It still doesn't excuse an allegedly competent pilot from not being able to recover from a stall unless the A330's fly by wire systems were broken. Aside from that, I was under the impression that the Airbus aircraft were 'stall proof' with computers not allowing you to pitch up any further to reduce the airspeed (and one or two other features).

As for the captain, there was nothing he could do if someone was sat in his seat. Regardless of what he was doing on his break, he did what he could when he got there and if you think that he could have been in a crew rest bunk or something similar, it could have taken him 30 seconds to realise what was going on (if he couldn't see anything) and another 30 seconds to get there in any situation. He told the pilots flying not to pull up and I assume he didn't reach the controls in time.
 
vaus77w
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:28 am

Quoting planejamie (Reply 8):
I was under the impression that the Airbus aircraft were 'stall proof' with computers not allowing you to pitch up any further to reduce the airspeed (and one or two other features).

Normally yes, but because the pitot tubes had frozen up, the computers weren't getting airspeed data and thus the auto-pilot, auto-throttle and envelope protection all shut down, leaving the pilots in command.
 
wowpeter
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:12 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 5):
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 5):
This.

The crash was caused by a mistake that shouldn't have been made by even a solo-endorsed student pilot. Whatever (or whoever) the captain was doing is largely irrelevant.

That's a simplification of the situation... if any solo pilot can easily deal with this then I will ask you to book a A340 simulator (knowing what is going to happen) and try to recover yourself and see what happen... It is easier said than done... with all the alarms and confusion that happen at the heat of the moment... what never been pointed out is that by the time they get into the deep stall with the trim fully up, there is very little elevator control (in fact that is why even if they push the stick forward, the plane didn't pitch down enough)... they are sinking at over 10,000ft per minutes, they have less than 2.5 mins before impact... now just have a think... you need to sort out what happen (need to realize you need to push the stab trim forward to the down position, which is something we NEVER do in normal flight on the Airbus) and try to recover... to me it sound easier than done... I will bet the differ that any solo pilot can easily recover from this...
 
sciurusmdg
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:35 am

Quoting planejamie (Reply 8):
under the impression that the Airbus aircraft were 'stall proof'

Short answer, yes they are if they are in 'Normal Law´'. Due to malfunctioning inputs, the fly by wire systems diverted to 'Alternate Law', meaning that they allow the last line of defense, ie. the pilots, the ability to fly outside the normal flight parameters (flight envelope) in order to do whatever necessary to save the plane in an emergency.

This misconception actually highlights the problems onboard, and the failure of training of the AF cre... the second officer did not realize the plane had left its normal settings, and therefore was under the impression that the plane would not fly outside of this envelope... thereby stalling and ultimately crashing.
 
airxliban
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:50 am

Quoting loalq (Thread starter):
From abcnews.com:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headline...an-when-flight-447-was-in-trouble/

Odd suggestion being made here. And even if he was (we might never know for sure if this indeed delayed his return to the cockpit), his absence from the flight deck is not enough to justify the situation they got themselves into. His experience might have come in hand, but afaik none of them ever had a clue of what was going on.

This sounds like media sensationalism, once again. So what if Captain Dubois was travelling with an off duty flight attendant? Is the implication that she was with him in the crew rest and that he didn't come to the cockpit sooner for that reason? If she was off duty, she wouldn't have been allowed in the crew rest area anyway, and even if she was there, so what? The two men in the cockpit were fully qualified to fly the plane. That they responded incorrectly to a confusing situation is not something that Dubois could have anticipated.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 6):
The right move for the captain is to take his seat back from the guy who wasn't flying. That would have solved the problem here, especially if he had then installed the PF in seat two. The dimwit in the right seat apparently was holding the stick back regardless, but those two moves together would have stopped the stall.

Have a bit of the respect please. The dimwit that you are referring to is now dead, and was trying his best to recover from a bad situation. He wasn't trying to sabotage the plane. No doubt he made a mistake, but neither he nor the First Officer nor all the automation on the plane could in the final solution save the plane. Spare him the cheap insults.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 5):

The crash was caused by a mistake that shouldn't have been made by even a solo-endorsed student pilot. Whatever (or whoever) the captain was doing is largely irrelevant.

I'm pretty sure both FOs could have recovered from a stall at 2,500 feet in a Cessna 172, but this is a bit different, so I think your statement trivialises what they went through and what their overall level of competence is. Suffice to say that they should have followed the unreliable airspeed procedure.
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strangr
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 5):
the captain was doing is largely irrelevant.
Quoting loalq (Thread starter):
Odd suggestion being made here.

ahhh media, if they can not get the facts, they make the facts.

How can anyone know or even care about this. the fact is, a flight across an ocean, went missing after it pitot tubes froze over, causing the airspeed indications to be incorrect, which confused the pilots, another mistake and BAM! gone.

must have been a slow news day in the ABC media centre.

[Edited 2012-06-08 21:09:09]
 
sciurusmdg
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:12 am

Quoting Airxliban (Reply 12):
Have a bit of the respect please.

Here Here

Fully agree, people make mistakes, we all have. Its not like the poor guys at the front of the plane were doing anything but their best to fly the damn thing to the destination. However, I think that accusing Air France themselves of having poor training in high intensity situations and therefore culpable IS certainly a point to make (Another example of this would be AF358 in Toronto).
 
Mir
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:15 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 1):
You can't put someone on a break and then say "but you have to sit bolt upright and wide awake the entire time, just in case something happens." That's not a break and it doesn't satisfy the point of the break, which is to make sure the captain is rested during critical phases of flight.

   Ultimately, the people at the controls need to be able to respond appropriately.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 5):
The crash was caused by a mistake that shouldn't have been made by even a solo-endorsed student pilot.

That's a rather strong accusation to make, and one not backed up by the account of what happened. Put a solo-endorsed student pilot in IMC and fail their instruments, and you'd see some crazy stuff.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 7):
He has the responsibility to be there ASAP and not take "his time", and that means don't engage in unnecessary behavior that would make this difficult.

Did he "take his time"? He took "over a minute", but is that a realistic amount of time to get back to the cockpit after a break? We don't really know.

-Mir
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maxpower1954
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:17 am

If you guys want to gain some insight into what the AF 447 crew went through read this 1974 Northwest 727 accident report.
It's a near mirror image.



Top
 
maxpower1954
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:24 am

 
AR385
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:43 am

So the elephant in the room everyone is ignoring is the implicit suggestion that the Captain was having sex at the time. A new low for ABC for sure.

Really? Are they going forward with this? I suppose they are trying to generate momentum for July the 5th. I though FOX news was the one to avoid.

Such a dumb suggestion. If anybody can have sex in a crew bunk where this PROFESSIONALS try to have a semblance of rest then they must work for Cirque du Soleil, not an airline. Other than that, I cannot imagine a scenario where a 57 year old male, the highest position of the entire crew on board, would risk his career and reputation for a quickie on an A330, unless the rest of the crew were complicit, and that is totally unrealistic. Stereotyping ABC?

[Edited 2012-06-08 23:56:26]
 
mark777300
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:26 am

I have to say at this time that the issue lies more with pilot training as well as faulty equipment. The freezing of the pilot tubes caused the information recieved in the cockpit to be incorrect. This without a doubt added much confusion to the crew. Lets remember that the flight took place at night in a storm, well over the Atlantic. Instrument flying was critical, and if the computers were getting false information, this right here contributed most to the crash. The question does have to be made however of Air France's training (and maybe many other airlines) as to how to deal with scenarios like this one where we have a stall warning at cruising alttitude. I believe that it was on another post some weeks back that stated that another AF A332 was involved in a similar situation off of Venezuela last year where the aircraft gained considerable alttitude before the crew corrected it. Add in what happened at Toronto and you have some questions to ask. The media likes to play inspector all the time and add drama to the story, such as "pilot was with a lady crew member". Even if it was true, The other 2 crew members in the cockpit should have been able to fly the airplane regardless of whether the captain was on break or not. What if he becomes ill or passes away while in flight? it has happened before so it shouldn't be an issue here. The only thing I agreed with in the news report was that training should be changed to cope with the increase in automation up in the cockpit and increase awareness in this new type of environment. Focus should be on the responses of flight crew member during a very sudden change after hours of computer controlled flight.
 
sshd
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:34 am

This has appeared on Spanish media as well. When reading the newspaper article you can realise how much media love this kind of sensationalism. At the end of the article they explain briefly what caused the accident: "pitot tubes got broken"
 
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9MMPQ
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:49 am

I'd almost expected to read the Captain would be blamed for the crash over this woman but at least they shied away from going that far. While the article doesn't go that far i can't say i have a lot of respect for them using someone who died together with what really is nothing more than utter speculation.
I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences.
 
David L
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:49 am

Quoting strangr (Reply 13):
ahhh media, if they can not get the facts, they make the facts.

   There were no survivors to tell the tale and nothing that's been published by the BEA gives any clues where the Captain was or what he was doing when he was called.

Nothing to see here...
 
AAMDanny
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:00 am

I work ULH flights often, and sometimes a pilot gets break when they don't feel that tired, so sometimes they will pop to the galley, get something to eat, if the loads are light enough in J/F they sometimes even put the seat into bed mode and watch a movie, as long as they are 'resting' during there rest period. If there not going to be in the Pilots crew rest area, they always have to let the PIC know where they will be, and the Purser on duty.

He could had well been sat in F watching a movie, he could had been on the toilet, he may have had a stomach bug, he was coming out of a country foreign to him and had an upset stomach, something all crew like myself regularly get when travelling to countries foreign to our own.
 
ltbewr
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:53 am

I am appalled at this sensationalistic story in itself and coming from a USA source. Part of the problem is that is plays into a prejudicial stereotype about the French many Americans (and others) have - recall the recent alleged sexual charges as to Dominique Strauss-Kahn the former international banker and French politician with it's highly sensational coverage in the USA.
The crash of AF447 is one where no one factor can be proven, we can only make reasoned speculations based on the recovered FDR, CVR and other limited physical evidence as well as probabilities from investigations of other similar accidents. Because this was on a modern, technically sophisticated aircraft and shoudn't have happened, some will try to cling to any human action to blame, finding conspiracies where there are none.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:16 am

Quoting Airxliban (Reply 12):
This sounds like media sensationalism, once again. So what if Captain Dubois was travelling with an off duty flight attendant? Is the implication that she was with him in the crew rest and that he didn't come to the cockpit sooner for that reason?
Quoting strangr (Reply 13):

must have been a slow news day in the ABC media centre.
Quoting AR385 (Reply 18):
So the elephant in the room everyone is ignoring is the implicit suggestion that the Captain was having sex at the time. A new low for ABC for sure.
Quoting David L (Reply 22):
   There were no survivors to tell the tale and nothing that's been published by the BEA gives any clues where the Captain was or what he was doing when he was called.

Nothing to see here...
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 24):
I am appalled at this sensationalistic story in itself and coming from a USA source.

All of the above. Having traveled dozen's and dozen's of times with crew who had a partner on the trip with them, I can say that in my experience(15+ years) there is very little contact inflight. The crew member is 'working' while the off-duty crew member is treated as a pax.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:57 am

Yes, this is obviously a way for the press to come up with one of the few things that will not make people anxious when they read the news these days. To me, this is another example of "escapist journalism" whereby you take some gray detail out of past and make it intriguing so that people have something else to think about besides more serious problems. Do people really care whether the pilot was with his companion at the time? I fail to see what could have been going on besides the absolute mundane. Regarding the time it took for the pilot to reach the cockpit, I have a hunch that the fact a true emergency was going on may not have been communicated directly to the captain when he was called for. I believe people tend to downplay emergencies initially so as to appear "calm and collected"; it is possible there was not a sufficient sense of urgency created in time, but I suppose we will never know whether that was the case.
 
DrColenzo
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:59 pm

C'mon,

The journalist is just trying to drag out the story by adding some sensationalist details dragged up years after the actual events, which are now explained by technical analysis based upon the discovery of the flight recorder and not the random speculation of the early months when we had no details as to what happened.

Pretty shameful and disrespectful to the captain, to be honest and even if he was with the lady in question, so what? He made it to the cockpit within 60 seconds anyway and would have done so anyway, whether he was taking a nap or doing something else. Indeed, even if he turned up 30 seconds earlier, we can only speculate as to whether it would have made a difference.

Really, we now know what happened and it is time to let the Captain and all the others who died in AF447 just rest in peace.
 
fsnuffer
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:22 pm

Everyone here is saying that recovering from a stall is something every pilot learns from the very beginning. I believe that when every student pilot is first learning stall recovery it is in daylight, not in the middle of a thunder storm, and most importantly they had instruments they could trust. Not saying the AF pilots don't share a major part of the blame.
 
awthompson
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:22 pm

Quoting wowpeter (Reply 10):
That's a simplification of the situation... if any solo pilot can easily deal with this then I will ask you to book a A340 simulator (knowing what is going to happen) and try to recover yourself and see what happen... It is easier said than done... with all the alarms and confusion that happen at the heat of the moment... what never been pointed out is that by the time they get into the deep stall with the trim fully up, there is very little elevator control (in fact that is why even if they push the stick forward, the plane didn't pitch down enough)... they are sinking at over 10,000ft per minutes, they have less than 2.5 mins before impact... now just have a think... you need to sort out what happen (need to realize you need to push the stab trim forward to the down position, which is something we NEVER do in normal flight on the Airbus) and try to recover... to me it sound easier than done... I will bet the differ that any solo pilot can easily recover from this...

I have said before (my personal opinion) that 9 out of 10 random crews would not have gotten into the stall situation in the first place here.

Quoting Airxliban (Reply 12):
I'm pretty sure both FOs could have recovered from a stall at 2,500 feet in a Cessna 172, but this is a bit different, so I think your statement trivialises what they went through and what their overall level of competence is. Suffice to say that they should have followed the unreliable airspeed procedure.

Exactly. There are other examples of similar loss of pitot data in the cruise, where procedure was followed, and the said incidents did not even reach the media.
I have probably read more aviation related incident/accident reports than most people on this forum and with many of them, particularly involving crews on large international airlines flying wide bodies (eg. Lufthansa, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, even Qantas to name a few), I never cease to be very impressed with how crews handle very stressful, often confusing emergency situations, alarms going off etc. and still make fast accurate decisions thus avoiding disaster. In comparison, reading official documents thus far published on Air France 447, I cannot help feeling uncomfortable with what I read. I will certainly study the final report with intrigue when it is published (expected July 7th I believe).

PS/ When reading a recent report into the loss of airspeed data (on both commander's and standby flight instruments) on a British Airways Airbus A319, in IMC on final approach at LHR (could the flight phase have been any worse) I could not help being very impressed by the crew's handling of the situation by following the ‘unreliable speed indication procedure’ at such a critical phase of the flight and in IMC. You cannot tell me that the crew were under any less stress than AFR447. They certainly only had a fraction of the time to deal with the problem. They had to carry out a go around and climb to MSA in IMC purely on pitch and power, make a Mayday call, follow radar vectors (which they achieved very accurately), diagnose the problem, deal with it, then set up for a diversion to LTN. I could not help reflect back on AFR447 with puzzlement as to why that crew handled their situation so differently with such a contrasting outcome.

Does anyone else here think similarly to myself?
 
flyingturtle
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:27 pm

These allegations against M. Dubois have also appeared in a free tabloid newspaper.

But what puzzled me: They wrote that the BEA has published new results about the AF447 investigation.

Presumably to underline that these allegations were true. BEA hasn't reported anything new in the meantime – only that the final report will be out on July 5th.


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
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zkojq
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:20 pm

What a distasteful and disgusting piece of reporting - likely by a reporter who knows next to nothing about aviation (her twitter page suggests that her previous experience was covering the Amanda Knox trial vious airliners.net threads (such as this one http://bit.ly/K95zGI) state that the crew rest area of Air France's Airbus A330-200s is located in the hold, between doors 3L and 3R. The Airbus A330-200 has a cabin length of 45.00m (according to Airbus) and doors 3L and 3R appear (in this image of F-GZCP http://bit.ly/K99VNZ) to be 2/3 of the way towards the back. Therefore the approximate distance between the flight deck door and the top of the stairs that lead to the crew rest area is theoretically 0.66*45.00 = 29.7meters. We can add on another 4 meters so as to include the distance between the aisle and the stairs to the crew rest area and the distance between the aisle and the flight deck door. This gives a total distance between the entrance to the crew rest area and the flight deck door of 33.7meters.

How long should it theoretically take to reach the flight deck from the entrance to the crew rest area?
Wikipedia states that 'humans tend to walk at about 1.4 m/s'. 33.7/1.4 = 24.07 seconds. Bear in mind that during the captain's walk (or run, we don't know) to the flight deck, the nose of the aircraft is pitched up 13degrees which is going to slow him down, possibly to a significant degree. So, approximately 1/2 of the time taken to get to the flight deck is spent walking through the cabin and galleys.

The other 26 seconds could/would have been spent:
-Waking up. Will take a while if he has been in deep sleep.
-Putting on glasses/shoes/etc if they have been removed.
-Getting from the bed in the crew rest area, up the stairs to the crew rest area's entrance between doors 3L and 3R.
-Falling over and getting back up. As mentioned before the aircraft has its nose pitched up quite steeply at this time so there is a real possibility of falling over/loosing balance.
-Getting access to the flight deck. Was this door unlocked or open before he arrived?
-Many more.

In conclusion, taking 50 seconds to reach the flight deck from the crew rest area seems to be perfectly reasonable, given the available information. The article states that it took the captain more than a minute to reach the flight deck which is false. The allegation in article about a woman seems sensationalistic but above all, completely unfounded. I find it unreasonable to the point of being slanderous.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 24):
I am appalled at this sensationalistic story in itself and coming from a USA source. Part of the problem is that is plays into a prejudicial stereotype about the French many Americans (and others) have - recall the recent alleged sexual charges as to Dominique Strauss-Kahn the former international banker and French politician with it's highly sensational coverage in the USA.

  


Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 27):
The journalist is just trying to drag out the story by adding some sensationalist details dragged up years after the actual events, which are now explained by technical analysis based upon the discovery of the flight recorder and not the random speculation of the early months when we had no details as to what happened.

Pretty shameful and disrespectful to the captain, to be honest and even if he was with the lady in question, so what? He made it to the cockpit within 60 seconds anyway and would have done so anyway, whether he was taking a nap or doing something else. Indeed, even if he turned up 30 seconds earlier, we can only speculate as to whether it would have made a difference.

  

RIP to F-GZCP and all those who died upon her.
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longhauler
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:37 pm

This only re-enforces my feeling that the French are my heroes. If this gentleman can be enjoying the company of a companion in the Crew Bunk (no easy task, I'll tell you), then get to the cockpit in 60 seconds, he deserves a medal!

What someone does in the Crew Bunk during their allotted crew rest is their own business. Personally I read a book. I find actually "sleeping" is not what I need. What I like, is just "down time". But being one of "those Captains" if I hear or feel something funny, I wander up to the cockpit. If the aircraft were pitching and rolling, like this one was, I'd be more than just "wandering".

It is like when the Air France pilots had a bottle of wine with their meals! The press had a heyday with that ... I just thought, "good on them". If M. Dubois truly was able to be doing what the press accused in the last 5 minutes of his life ... "good on him".

In actuality, it appears that three professionals were presented with a scenario out of which a positive outcome was not likely.
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airtechy
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:21 pm

Perhaps it should be a requirement that the Captain carry a third overriding joystick that could be plugged into a USB port. Once plugged in the seated pilots would become passengers and he could control the airplane from the jump seat. It wouldn't add much more complexity to the already overly complex joystick setup. I'm sure Logitech would be happy to provide one.
 
DrColenzo
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:33 pm

Moving away from the Captain Dubois lady rumour.

Whilst the final reports into the crash of AF447 has not been released yet, if the crash is down to the actions of the first officer then that draws interesting parallels to the crash of American Airlines AA587 that crashed into Queens 11 years ago.

That accident was put down to the fixings of the vertical stabiliser shearing off as a consequence of excessive rudder use by the first officer, in line with AA training for wake turbulence but contrary to Airbus recommendations. AF447 demise was (allegedly) due to incorrect inputs by the first officer as a response to conflicting instrument readings.

Now, I am not suggesting that either the A300-600 or its evolutionary cousin the A330-200/300 are inherently unsafe nor dangerous in any conceivable way and I fly both on a regular basis (rather fly a 747 or 777, however). Also, I am not an airline pilot and despite some private flying when I was in the forces I could never claim to be as knowledgeable as a professional. However, as an academic that deals with contingency as part of what I teach and research, I am somewhat bemused that either situation could not be foreseen in some sense, particular when risk management and contingency is an active part of airline piot training, which is why Sullenberger did a pretty amazing job landing on the Hudson and the pilots of the United DC-10 in the 1989 Sioux City crash, aided by an off-duty instructor, improvised so well and managed to save many lives rather than go down with all hands.

Am I am being overly simplistic here or is there a wider issue that perhaps needs to be addressed?
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 34):
I am somewhat bemused that either situation could not be foreseen in some sense, particular when risk management and contingency is an active part of airline piot training

To start, I am no pilot as well (except for a couple of 100 hours on MSFS which of course doesn't count  ), but somehow I still cannot understand how a commercially rated pilot could have the stick shaker going for over 50 s and still be pulling on the stick as far as it goes. Something REALLY went awry on that flight...
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
David L
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:12 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 35):
I still cannot understand how a commercially rated pilot could have the stick shaker going for over 50 s and still be pulling on the stick as far as it goes.

No stick-shaker on the A330 but there is an aural "Stall... stall.." warning. The PF's inputs were generally nose up but he wasn't pulling on the stick as far as it goes.

There have been a lot of discussions on the technicalities of AF447. Here are some of the more recent ones:

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...type=all&starter=1&search_active=1
 
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
Did he "take his time"? He took "over a minute", but is that a realistic amount of time to get back to the cockpit after a break? We don't really know.

Like I said, I am not accusing anyone. Just saying that it does matter what the captain - or any crew member for that matter - are doing while flying, even if they are taking a break.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
mandala499
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:03 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 6):
The dimwit in the right seat apparently was holding the stick back regardless, but those two moves together would have stopped the stall.

Go and read the accident's interim report, go to the FDR plots and look at the stick inputs made by PF. I think you owe the dead "dimwit" an apology... From there, it is clear that the stick was not held back regardless. The FDR plot is fact, the narrative in the interim reports, needs to be read with caution!

Quoting planejamie (Reply 8):
It still doesn't excuse an allegedly competent pilot from not being able to recover from a stall unless the A330's fly by wire systems were broken. Aside from that, I was under the impression that the Airbus aircraft were 'stall proof' with computers not allowing you to pitch up any further to reduce the airspeed (and one or two other features).

They failed to promptly conduct the unreliable airspeed check procedure. The PF did react to the stall warning, but did not react the correct way (he seemed to have made his stick inputs chasing a 12.5 deg pitch (and yes, that included nose down commands) with TOGA, instead of reduce pitch with TOGA until the stall warning disappears. The question that needs to be asked is why did they fail to promptly do the unreliable airspeed check procedure, and why did the PF reacted to the stall warning incorrectly. Even if Capt. Dubois was having it off with whoever somewhere in the plane, those two questions remain.

Quoting David L (Reply 36):
No stick-shaker on the A330 but there is an aural "Stall... stall.." warning. The PF's inputs were generally nose up but he wasn't pulling on the stick as far as it goes.

There have been a lot of discussions on the technicalities of AF447. Here are some of the more recent ones:

Am glad someone with sense is here   

Quoting longhauler (Reply 32):
It is like when the Air France pilots had a bottle of wine with their meals! The press had a heyday with that ... I just thought, "good on them". If M. Dubois truly was able to be doing what the press accused in the last 5 minutes of his life ... "good on him".

And another person with sense is here!    And yes, I share your sentiment to the abovequoted!
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
Type-Rated
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:28 pm

People also have to realize that in smaller General Aviation aircraft you can fly the plane by the way it feels, "seat of your pants" if you will. But in large aircraft you can't do this. You have to fly it by "the numbers". If the numbers aren't there (frozen Pitot, no airspeed indications or unreliable airspeed indications) you only have aircraft attitude to use. And in IFR conditions, that's almost usesless.

In this accident the problem started in night IFR conditions. The pilot flying had no reference to the outside horizon. What made him pull up and raise the nose nobody will ever really know why.
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tdscanuck
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:52 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 39):
In this accident the problem started in night IFR conditions. The pilot flying had no reference to the outside horizon.

He didn't need one. He had a perfectly good, perfectly valid artificial horizon (and a standby artificial horizon) right in front of him. All the information needed to prevent or recover from the stall was staring the pilots right in the fact the entire time.

Tom.
 
rfields5421
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:10 am

Quoting wowpeter (Reply 10):
That's a simplification of the situation...

Yes, it is a simplification; however -

Quoting awthompson (Reply 29):
I have said before (my personal opinion) that 9 out of 10 random crews would not have gotten into the stall situation in the first place here.

The real statistic is that near three dozen screws experiencing the near identical situation - did survive, did land their aircraft safely without any serious problems. One crew did not.

One factor folks seem to way to ignore is that the BEA investigation found about three dozen incidents of UAS had occurred in A330, A340 and one in B777 aircraft. The other crews all brought their planes home safely.

These incidents most likely were not the sum total of UAS incidents at cruise altitude in normal cruise in that type of aircraft, because many airlines did not respond the BEA request for data.

Two of those incidents with Air Caraibes Alantique are particularly well documented.

Another item folks want to ignore is that the reason the A330 aircraft were farther down the list of replacing the Thales Pitot Probes is because the same probes were used on the A320 family of aircraft - with a much higher failure rate. Because those aircraft flew through icing conditions much more frequently than the larger jets.

UAS is something which happens to aircraft. It happens more frequently than most folks are aware. The number of incidents the BEA uncovered turned folks from discussing AF447 as a 'one in a million' set of circumstances to 'what did they do wrong the other crews did right'

Mandala's detailed data analysis shows it was likely failure to apply a correct memory item. Pilots are supposed to remember the pitch/ power for UAS. This pilot apparently chased 12.5 degrees nose up - which is correct for UAS at low altitude. It is not correct for UAS at cruise.

A further factor is the PNF - the most experienced pilot on the aircraft - much more experience in A330 than the Captain. That pilot completely failed in his duty - to troubleshoot the problem while the PF flies the plane.

The PNF should have run the UAS checklist out loud. The CVR has no indication of him calling out those items - which would have reminded the PF of the correct pitch/ power to fly for UAS at cruise altitude.
 
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RE: AF447: Was AF Captain With A Woman?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:24 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 32):
It is like when the Air France pilots had a bottle of wine with their meals! The press had a heyday with that ... I just thought, "good on them". If M. Dubois truly was able to be doing what the press accused in the last 5 minutes of his life ... "good on him".

   I think we can agree.   He was in a rest period.

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 34):
That accident was put down to the fixings of the vertical stabiliser shearing off as a consequence of excessive rudder use by the first officer, in line with AA training for wake turbulence but contrary to Airbus recommendations.

Then that first offer did as trained. I will not fault someone for doing as trained instead of doing 'well, you should do this.'

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 41):
Two of those incidents with Air Caraibes Alantique are particularly well documented.

That implies an airline with excellent training. Kudos to them.

Lightsaber
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