EconoBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:10 am

Trident Crash

Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:30 am

A de Havilland Trident crashed in the seventies as it climbed from LHR (I think), killing all on board. The crash was caused by the plane entering a deep stall, however, the Trident was fitted with devices (droops?) to help prevent deep stalls occurring (as, presumably, are other planes with a T-tail like the 727). The crash was eventually attributed to pilot error, which was not challenged by the co-pilot, probably because he was intimidated by the Captain. What was the error that caused the crash, and have there been other incidents where a co-pilot failed to challenge the actions of the captain (other than the crash on Tenerife)?
 
GDB
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RE: Trident Crash

Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:04 am

 
EconoBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 152
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RE: Trident Crash

Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:33 am

Thanks GDB. The link article made sobering reading.
 
XXXX10
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RE: Trident Crash

Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:35 am

I have read various books on the subject, one in particular called black box states that:

On the Air Florida 737 that went into the Potomac river that the first officer had doubts about the take off performance but didn't say anything

Also on the KLM 747 that colatitudes in tenerife that the first officer didn't believe that the aircraft was cleared for take-off but didn't say anything to challenge his captain.

Of course I realize that each of these may be just be one interpretation of the evidence and that you can't ask the dead crew member what he or she was thinking.
 
saintsman
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:34 am

RE: Trident Crash

Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:24 am

I wonder if the co-pilots didn't say anything because they thought that if the captain thought it was okay then they must be wrong.

How many times have you not said anything in case it made you look foolish?

Better foolish than dead eh?
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Trident Crash

Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:54 am

Don't forget that all these crashes were back in the 70's and 80's.

Since then alot more has been done to improve things in the cockpit to ensure that F/o's speak up if they think the Captain is in the wrong.

IIRC the F/O can even take command of the a/c if they think the Captain is making a gross error that could endanger the a/c. They have to make a call to ATC saying that they are taking over command or something like that. Maybe some of the Flight Crew on here can confirm that.

 Smile

"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
411A
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RE: Trident Crash

Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:18 am

Unfortunately, the Trident series of aircraft, altho very advanced for their time (especially automatic landing...the first jet transport to do so) had a very big flaw...the 'droops' could be retracted independantly of the flaps.
This is not possible with American designs...Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Trident Crash

Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:24 pm

Gee, you just had to make the "this is not possible with American designs" comment.

It was a flaw, but with modern CRM, cross-checking and a less irate pilot who wasn't having a heartattack, the accident would not have happened, independent lever or no. Also, a better trained F/O would have noticed the speed decrease.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Guest

RE: Trident Crash

Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:34 pm

The G-ARPI accident was due to a combination of pilot incapacitation and, in these days, lack of CRM. Ever since the mid-1970s, training scenarios in simulator of pilot incapacitation are part of simulator training, and CRM is all a part of any training program since early 1980 with most airlines.
xxx
CRM was initiated with much support from BALPA, British Airways and, in the USA. with the efforts of United Airlines initially.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
411A
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RE: Trident Crash

Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:00 am

Hmmm,
Seems I touched a nerve with you, Starlionblue.
In reality of course, is just happens that Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed are indeed American companies...and Hawker Siddely (manufacturer of the HS121 Trident) was not.

Gee, what a surprise.

But hey, don't let this simple fact get you down.

Remember, the first widebody jet airliner certified to CATIIIC was the Lockheed TriStar, and Lockheed hired some of the guys from the original Trident/Smiths team to design the autopilot...and with good reason, it worked GOOD.
American companies, in the days when the Trident was designed, had really no need for autoland capability, so they never bothered.
The Brits OTOH, took on the task, and did it very well indeed.

By the way, the FIRST aircraft with complete autoland capability was another British design, the Shorts SC3 Belfast.
With, oddly enough, the same Smiths autopilot as the Trident.

[Edited 2004-03-24 16:09:12]
 
EconoBoy
Topic Author
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RE: Trident Crash

Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:39 am

Good posts, 411A.

I wondered how procedures had advanced regarding the F/O's role. Leezyjet says that an F/O can take over if he thinks the Captain is in the wrong, but is that easy, especially if the Captain thinks he is right, or is too arrogant or offended to hand over to the F/O?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Trident Crash

Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:15 am

411A. Sorry about that, I reacted too strongly. It was just the way you said it. And I'm not even British. I'm just stuck on this island for another 2 months!

Anyway IMHO there is nothing wrong with Brit engineering, but in the 40s, 50s and 60s it was hampered by conflicting and changing requirements, more often than not leading to underwhelming sales, and finally to the untimely demise of the UK airframer industry as an independent entity.

Same on the military side. I have just finished reading the histories here http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/contents.html and there is some pretty weird behavior from the Royal Navy and Air Force when it comes to procurement. Great reading though.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
backfire
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RE: Trident Crash

Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:35 am

I wonder if the co-pilots didn't say anything because they thought that if the captain thought it was okay then they must be wrong.


It's still happening today - it's believed that the co-pilot on the Korean Air 747 cargo flight which came down at London Stansted was too intimidated by the skipper to point out problems with the aircraft's attitude.
 
Guest

RE: Trident Crash

Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:57 pm

Backfire:
xxx
The Oriental Culture is difficult to adapt to the flight crew CRM environment. I have a high respect for that culture, which is largely based on respect of others, this especially with rank, unfortunately, even in 2004, that wall remains with Japanese, Korean or Chinese air carriers.
xxx
With the end of PanAm, many of us went overseas for jobs, I had a few friends who ended up flying for Japanese or Korean airlines... Some had really a tough time adapting to that social culture, starting even in training.
xxx
One illustration of that problem. A friend of mine was a 747 captain, and got assigned to his first flight as captain from NRT to LAX and back, two days later. Since he lived in Los Angeles, he went home, and joined the crew at the hotel, for pick-up to the airport, his two other cockpit crewmembers, and some 14 or 15 flight attendants.
xxx
Captain always walks in front - a form of respect... everyone follows. He did not know where the "operations" office was, for his airline in the LAX terminal, so he entered a few doors - wrong way - (entire crew following him respectfully), tried another few doors, still followed by the respectful crew. Finally he asked the ticket agents for his way.
xxx
None of his crewmembers would have dared to say "It is that way, captain"... to their culture, this would have been considered insulting to a captain. With the way I am, I would not last a week with such respectful crew. If I am wrong, please tell me...
xxx
In my early days of airline flying, there was still a bit of that type of behaviour left with captains and their crewmembers. I had some captains tell me to shut-up or sit on my hands... but in the 1970s... that changed a lot, thanks maybe to CRM... and retirement of some senior captains, who were captains with PanAm since the days of the DC-4s...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
SonicKidatBWI
Posts: 154
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RE: Trident Crash

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:12 am

Like other people have already commented, the crash of the Trident was caused by the premature retraction of the aircrafts "droops", which are leading edge devices similar to "slats". The retraction of the droops (which was thought to be the result of the captains orders who might have been incapacitated due to suffering a brain hemorrhage) caused the plane to stall and it entered an unrecoverable, tail-down nearly vertical decent. The plane slammed into an open field adjacent to a major thoroughfare, killing all passengers.
 
KALB
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2000 12:33 pm

RE: Trident Crash

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:54 am

My family lost a very good friend on that flight. It was heading to Brussels...our next door neighbor was a passenger. I still remember it quite well.

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