upsmd11
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:13 am

There is a post in the Civil Aviation forum regarding aircraft people feel safe on and don't feel safe on. Someone commented about the A320 and the fly-by-wire design of it's controls.

After looking at the information on the Air France crash at the air show I wonder how did so many people survive this crash? The report says that only 3 of 136(?) perished. While any loss of life is a grim reality of the dangers of flight, this is amazing that the aircraft was totally destroyed and so many people lived.

Does anybody have any ideas on why this is the case? There was a huge fireball too -- usually fire kills people.

Thanks,
John
 
N777UA
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:06 pm

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 3:37 am

When the plane crashed, it was going very slowly & kinda settled into the woods, instead of slamming down, plus the fuselage stayed intact.
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:09 am

N777UA is correct. The fuselage stayed intact for at least a little while until it was destroyed by fire, although geeze....the video of the explosion was unreal, it's hard to believe the airplane could have survived that long. Also, I think a typical evacuation takes somewhere on the order of a minute or two--I'm sure there are some flight crews browsing the forums who would be able to tell you a lot better than I could.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:15 am

I believe it is an FAA / JAA requirement that any passenger aircraft must be able to be evacuated in full (i.e. at maximum capacity) within 90 seconds with half the emergency exits blocked. They do tests to prove it for any design.


Regards

Ikarus
 
aloges
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RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:37 am

I've seen numerous TV broadcasts that back Ikarus' point; and this requirement seems to be a true problem for Airbus engineers trying to meet it on the A380.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:38 am

I thought the chief problem on the A380 was the large number of upper deck doors and slides - which aren't terribly wind resistant on the 744, for example... I remember someone mentioning that the Singapore Airlines crash (admittedly in the middle of a hurricane) showed that passengers from the upper deck weren't able to deplane until they went downstairs - the wind just blew the slide to the side.

They better ensure they only use test subjects who aren't afraid of heights at all for those tests...  Big grin

Regards

Ikarus
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
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RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:22 pm

Plastic Airplanes bounce  Laugh out loud


Seriously though.

There used to be a saying amoung the bush pilots that if an airplane hit tail first it will be a survivable crash, if the plane hits nose first, it will be a deadly accident.

A lot of what makes a crash survivable has very little to do with the design of the aircraft but the circumstances of the crash. Slow speed and not hitting any trees nose one tends to help.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
LSTC
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:45 am

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:50 pm

The large fire ball in the famous video was due to the wings being sheared and the fuel spilling out. Fortunately for many of the people on board, that meant that much of the burning fuel was left behind the fuselage wreckage as it made its way through the forest.

Aircraft accidents that occur close to the ground at low speeds, in normal attitudes are typically very surviveable.

Those who say A-320s are less safe than corresponding non-FBW aircraft are addressing a gut feeling they have about technology that is false and they are ignoring the design data. You simply can't certify an aircraft that is inherently unsafe. If anything, the A320 was subject to higher standards than many "conventional" aircraft such as the 727/737/747/767 as it was certified to later more stringent standards.

 
Airbus_A340
Posts: 1439
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2000 8:41 pm

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sun Sep 07, 2003 4:28 am

I'm no expert, but perhaps the aircraft being a 320-100 without the centre fuel tank helped?

But then again since it was a flying display even if there was a centre fuel tank, it wouldn't have been filled as the wing tanks usually have to be full before filling the centre tank on the 320 Family.

It did appear the trees played a roll in cushioning the aircraft.

What I want to know is why was the aircraft full of passengers on a flying display?

Airbus_A340
People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
 
suspen
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:01 pm

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sun Sep 07, 2003 5:17 am

What I want to know is why was the aircraft full of passengers on a flying display?

It was full of members of the flying club at Mulhouse-Habsheim.
They "chartered" the display.
Tower: "Cessna xxxx, state your intentions", Cessna: "To become airline pilot"
 
Airbus_A340
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Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2000 8:41 pm

RE: How Did People Survive A320 Crash

Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:52 am

Suspen- thank you for that!  Smile
People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com

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