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rigo
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What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:22 am

A number of high-profile commercial airliner programs have been beleaguered with early accidents that gave them a sinister reputation they never managed to shake off. The Tu-144 crash at Le Bourget essentially killed any chances it may have had to be sold to Western customers. The DC-10 accidents earned it the unflattering nickname "Daily Crash 10" and, effectively, spelled the beginning of the end of Douglas / MD&D. More recently, of course, the two 737MAX crashes not only put the program under the media microscope, but plunged Boeing itself into the worst crisis of the company's history.

But then, there is the A320. It had its own "Tu-144" moment at the Habsheim airshow - with passengers on board! - and the investigation concluded that the captain didn't sufficiently understand the FBW system. Not long after that, both Indian Airlines 605 and Air Inter 148 were blamed on it being confusing to pilots. I was a little boy at that time and we lived in France for some time, but as a little aviation buff I remember that people definitely started to worry about the touted technological marvel and many talked about making sure that they booked 737 flights rather than A320. There have even been anecdotal stories (whether true or not) that Airbus engineers themselves tried to avoid flying on the A320.

And yet today, everything is forgotten and forgiven, the A320 sells like crazy and millions of people worldwide fly on it without a second thought. So the question is, what did Airbus do to salvage its aircraft's reputation (not counting the various well known conspiracy theories about swapping black boxes etc...)? Is there a lesson in this that could apply to the 737MAX too?
Last edited by atcsundevil on Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited title for clarity
 
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zeke
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:39 am

I don’t think there is much substance to your post.

If you flew Habsheim in a 737 the outcome would have been the same or worse. Airliners are simply not designed to be flown that low at idle thrust, the aircraft did exactly what the crew asked of it. They ignored the minimum altitude they were permitted for the fly past.

Both the Indian Airlines Flight 605 and Air Inter 148 Resulted from incorrect autopilot mode usage by the pilots. The aircraft did exactly what the crew commanded them to do. What the industry has done in introduced stabilized approach criteria which is supposed to catch these incorrect modes at higher levels either 1000 or 500 ft, however we still see similar accidents today.
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32andBelow
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:45 am

The biggest thing is that neither Boeing or airbus could ever fill the narrow body demand on their own. That’s why years ago American did a huge split order to get delivery slots.
 
Antarius
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:57 am

zeke wrote:
I don’t think there is much substance to your post.

If you flew Habsheim in a 737 the outcome would have been the same or worse. Airliners are simply not designed to be flown that low at idle thrust, the aircraft did exactly what the crew asked of it. They ignored the minimum altitude they were permitted for the fly past.

Both the Indian Airlines Flight 605 and Air Inter 148 Resulted from incorrect autopilot mode usage by the pilots. The aircraft did exactly what the crew commanded them to do. What the industry has done in introduced stabilized approach criteria which is supposed to catch these incorrect modes at higher levels either 1000 or 500 ft, however we still see similar accidents today.


The DC 10 instances were caused by operator error too.

The question that the OP is trying to pose, IMO, is not about the incidents themselves, but the perception of them.
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:15 am

rigo wrote:
The Tu-144 crash at Le Bourget essentially killed any chances it may have had to be sold to Western customers.
Western customers weren't buying Concorde, so what chance did the Tu-144 really have?
The Le Bourget disaster combined with a second crash is what killed the Tu-144.
Wikipedia wrote:
The Tu-144 was introduced into passenger service with Aeroflot between Moscow and Almaty on 26 December 1975, but withdrawn less than three years later after a second Tu-144 crashed. The Tu-144 remained in commercial service as a cargo aircraft until cancellation of the Tu-144 program in 1983.


The DC-10 accidents earned it the unflattering nickname "Daily Crash 10" and, effectively, spelled the beginning of the end of Douglas / MD&D.
I believe other factors may have come into play too, but I'll let others argue that case.

More recently, of course, the two 737MAX crashes ......
Definitely no comment!

But then, there is the A320. It had its own "Tu-144" moment at the Habsheim airshow - with passengers on board! - and the investigation concluded that the captain didn't sufficiently understand the FBW system. Not long after that, both Indian Airlines 605 and Air Inter 148 were blamed on it being confusing to pilots. I was a little boy at that time and we lived in France for some time, but as a little aviation buff I remember that people definitely started to worry about the touted technological marvel and many talked about making sure that they booked 737 flights rather than A320.
I suspect you are speaking with the benefit (or hindrance) of hindsight (a common problem here on A.net)
Firstly; there were so few A320s in service in those early years, it was against the odds to catch a flight on one.

Secondly; people might possibly have talked about avoiding the A320, but they wouldn't have "made sure they booked 737 flights". In 1988 they also had the choice of DC-9 & MD-80, Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Boeing 757, Caravelle, BAC-1-11, plus some widebodies regularly used on short haul services in those days (A300, A310, L-1011), and that's not counting the Russian types. I may have missed some others, but you can see it was much more than a simple two horse race.

(Obviously I'm not suggesting that all these types are direct equivalents to the A320, just that when you booked a short-haul flight, you could end up on almost anything. And the internet wasn't there to feed you information either)


And yet today, everything is forgotten and forgiven, the A320 sells like crazy and millions of people worldwide fly on it without a second thought. So the question is, what did Airbus do to salvage its aircraft's reputation

Taking Habsheim alone; it is something of a plus that 133 out of 136 survived a bona-fide crash (i.e. not a simple runway excursion)
The next decade saw just four A320 crashes, two of which resulted in minimal deaths.
During the same period, there were 22 incidents involving 737s with plenty of casualties. Twenty-two!
With just four crashes, one might well argue that the 1990's were a particularly good decade for the A320!

Before we descend into an argument about how many more 737s were in service, please note that the public would be influenced by how often a plane type appeared in the news, and year-on-year the Boeing 737 appeared far more often than any other type The general public isn't necessarily interested in boring facts such as crashes per million flying hours!

Airbus really didn't have to do anything to salvage it's aircraft's reputation.
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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zeke
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:21 am

Antarius wrote:

The DC 10 instances were caused by operator error too.



Cargo door departing from aircraft
Engine departing from aircraft
Engine failure resulting in total hydraulic loss

I wouldn't cite any of those as being operator error, if anything the hydraulic loss is marvel of crew coordination.
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Antarius
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:35 am

zeke wrote:
Antarius wrote:

The DC 10 instances were caused by operator error too.



Cargo door departing from aircraft
Engine departing from aircraft
Engine failure resulting in total hydraulic loss

I wouldn't cite any of those as being operator error, if anything the hydraulic loss is marvel of crew coordination.


Cargo door not closed properly by ground personnel

Engine was not removed properly by American in violation of the recommended process

Failure by United maintenance to find an engine crack

--
None of them were pilot error, but they were definitely operator error. See the NTSB investigations.
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:40 am

May I remind you to provide links to your sources when presenting facts? Thanks.
 
cedarjet
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:09 pm

Antarius wrote:
zeke wrote:
Antarius wrote:

The DC 10 instances were caused by operator error too.
Cargo door not closed properly by ground personnel
Engine was not removed properly by American in violation of the recommended process
Failure by United maintenance to find an engine crack
--
None of them were pilot error, but they were definitely operator error. See the NTSB investigations.

Incredible post! The fault with the door had already happened to an American Airlines DC-10, was that ground personnel to blame once again? and this may be news to you but aircraft doors are not supposed to open in flight, nor, when they do open, the passenger cabin floor not supposed to collapse cutting all the control cables and rendering the aeroplane unplayable. As for the engine mount failure, in such an event, the cockpit is not supposed to lose all stall warning protections, nor are the slats supposed to retract asymmetrically. And an uncontained engine failure is not supposed to shoot shrapnel into the rear structure, cutting all control lines and once again rendering the aeroplane unflyable.
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mxaxai
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:20 pm

rigo wrote:
So the question is, what did Airbus do to salvage its aircraft's reputation (not counting the various well known conspiracy theories about swapping black boxes etc...)? Is there a lesson in this that could apply to the 737MAX too?

- Airbus made changes to pilot training, cockpit interfaces and control laws relatively quickly. That prevented further similar crashes.

- The early crashes were all CFIT of some sort; there was nothing wrong with the aircraft per se but with the way it was operated. Whereas the 737MAX crashes were caused by a technical failure, as were the DC-10 crashes. The public knows that pilots can make mistakes but it's not something systematic that affects every flight (of course there is a certain risk for both pilot error and technical failure on any flight but humans are much more forgiving with regards to human error than technical failure. For example, compare the news of a Tesla crash vs. the dozens of regular fatal car crashes every day).

- There were many more high-profile crashes in that period that overshadowed the A320. 1988 saw the shoot-down of IR655, the bombing of PA103 and the Ramstein air show disaster. In 1989, at least two 737 crashed, one of which was the Kegworth crash, as well as the bombing of UTA 772 (a DC-10) and the crash of UA232 happened. 1990, the outbreak of the first Gulf War. 1991 had a rudder-hard-over 737 crash, Lauda Air 004 and others. Virtually every year saw multiple fatal crashes in the USA alone. Safety has improved significantly since the early '90s.

- In the early 90's, there were very few A320, and especially few in the USA. Passengers would be much more familiar with the various 727, 737, DC-9 and MD-80 on short-haul flights.
 
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:29 pm

rigo wrote:
A number of high-profile commercial airliner programs have been beleaguered with early accidents that gave them a sinister reputation they never managed to shake off. The Tu-144 crash at Le Bourget essentially killed any chances it may have had to be sold to Western customers. The DC-10 accidents earned it the unflattering nickname "Daily Crash 10" and, effectively, spelled the beginning of the end of Douglas / MD&D. More recently, of course, the two 737MAX crashes not only put the program under the media microscope, but plunged Boeing itself into the worst crisis of the company's history.

But then, there is the A320. It had its own "Tu-144" moment at the Habsheim airshow - with passengers on board! - and the investigation concluded that the captain didn't sufficiently understand the FBW system. Not long after that, both Indian Airlines 605 and Air Inter 148 were blamed on it being confusing to pilots. I was a little boy at that time and we lived in France for some time, but as a little aviation buff I remember that people definitely started to worry about the touted technological marvel and many talked about making sure that they booked 737 flights rather than A320. There have even been anecdotal stories (whether true or not) that Airbus engineers themselves tried to avoid flying on the A320.

And yet today, everything is forgotten and forgiven, the A320 sells like crazy and millions of people worldwide fly on it without a second thought. So the question is, what did Airbus do to salvage its aircraft's reputation (not counting the various well known conspiracy theories about swapping black boxes etc...)? Is there a lesson in this that could apply to the 737MAX too?


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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:38 pm

The A320 had enough about it to win a lot of important orders, and it was very aggressively marketed. It was a very good replacement for a lot of older 737s and/or 727s, which gave it a good market, and by the time it was building up steam it had mostly had difficulties ironed out, and it was probably still safer than most of the airliners it was replacing/competing with in the time period.
 
aw70
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:23 pm

rigo wrote:
The Tu-144 crash at Le Bourget essentially killed any chances it may have had to be sold to Western customers.


At the time, the Tu-144 was "an aircraft too far" for the Soviet aerospace industry: it had been developed too far ahead of their actual reliable technological base, and contained too many unproven and problematic technologies. Which is why even Aeroflot canned their frames after minimal service. Essentially, to get the Tu-144 to a degree of reliability and safety comparable to other airliners of the day, they would have had to re-work most of it. One killer problem was that the technologies used to manufacture the hull structure caused unforeseen metallurgical issues that severely limited airframe life: and the only way around that would have been a total structural re-design.

Given these essentially unfixable problems, the crash at Le Bourget actually had a minimal impact on whether the Tu-144 would be a success or not. The crash was a PR disaster in the West, but that was about it. The Soviets had a command economy which would have kept the programme alive, if there had been any point in doing so. But even the Soviets eventually saw that throwing good money after bad would have been a waste in this case.

Pity, as the plane itself looks wicked. I highly recommend visiting Sinsheim, where one surviving frame sits next to a Concorde. The Russian brute arguably looks a lot meaner than the comparatively civilised Anglo-French bird.
 
Lootess
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:21 pm

Flyover at 9m with gear down at Habsheim, along with pilots using a visual, and not being familiar with a forest at the end of runway 34R. Yes, lets blame the A320 for them being too low and too slow. The only thing that needed saving was the captain's complacency.
Last edited by Lootess on Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Alias1024
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:32 pm

mxaxai wrote:
- The early crashes were all CFIT of some sort; there was nothing wrong with the aircraft per se but with the way it was operated. Whereas the 737MAX crashes were caused by a technical failure, as were the DC-10 crashes.


I think this hits the nail on the head. The image in the public’s mind of the MAX is pilots desperately fighting with an uncontrollable airplane trying to nosedive. The image in everyone’s mind of the DC-10 after May 1979 was AA 191 rolled 90 degrees, missing an engine, totally out of control and moments from impact. That picture was shocking and horrifying for anyone that saw it.

As bad as Habsheim could have been for the A320, with a video being readily available, nearly everyone survived and the aircraft didn’t look out of control. The idea that the pilots simply misjudged things was readily believable to the general public.
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Lootess
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:49 pm

Alias1024 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
- The early crashes were all CFIT of some sort; there was nothing wrong with the aircraft per se but with the way it was operated. Whereas the 737MAX crashes were caused by a technical failure, as were the DC-10 crashes.


I think this hits the nail on the head. The image in the public’s mind of the MAX is pilots desperately fighting with an uncontrollable airplane trying to nosedive. The image in everyone’s mind of the DC-10 after May 1979 was AA 191 rolled 90 degrees, missing an engine, totally out of control and moments from impact. That picture was shocking and horrifying for anyone that saw it.

As bad as Habsheim could have been for the A320, with a video being readily available, nearly everyone survived and the aircraft didn’t look out of control. The idea that the pilots simply misjudged things was readily believable to the general public.


Coupled with better aviation journalism nowadays many that aren't flying enthusiasts actually know what MCAS is. It's very easy to explain the difference between NG and a MAX.
 
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:14 pm

cedarjet wrote:
Antarius wrote:
zeke wrote:

Incredible post! The fault with the door had already happened to an American Airlines DC-10, was that ground personnel to blame once again? and this may be news to you but aircraft doors are not supposed to open in flight, nor, when they do open, the passenger cabin floor not supposed to collapse cutting all the control cables and rendering the aeroplane unplayable. As for the engine mount failure, in such an event, the cockpit is not supposed to lose all stall warning protections, nor are the slats supposed to retract asymmetrically. And an uncontained engine failure is not supposed to shoot shrapnel into the rear structure, cutting all control lines and once again rendering the aeroplane unflyable.


Actually, yes it was. AA96 was cargo door was forced shut with a knee.

https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Acc ... AR7302.pdf
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strfyr51
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:22 pm

cedarjet wrote:
Antarius wrote:
zeke wrote:

Incredible post! The fault with the door had already happened to an American Airlines DC-10, was that ground personnel to blame once again? and this may be news to you but aircraft doors are not supposed to open in flight, nor, when they do open, the passenger cabin floor not supposed to collapse cutting all the control cables and rendering the aeroplane unplayable. As for the engine mount failure, in such an event, the cockpit is not supposed to lose all stall warning protections, nor are the slats supposed to retract asymmetrically. And an uncontained engine failure is not supposed to shoot shrapnel into the rear structure, cutting all control lines and once again rendering the aeroplane unflyable.

Not to nitpick But wasn't that fwd cargo door a United 747-122 out of Hawaii?
 
strfyr51
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:33 pm

the A320 was built to outrange both the 737-300 -400 and -500. And the A319? Outranged all 3. It wasn't until the NG airplanes that Boeing did it right But by then? they'd gotten cocky and forgotten what made them famous. But? I would doubt they make make that mistake again. But you can have a basket of "Attaboys" and it's all negated by one "Aw-shit". And Boeing has had theirs. Now? Whatever Boeing does?? will be straight up against whatever Airbus does as well. So Boeing will have to do something Spectacular to replace the 737 fiasco.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:33 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Incredible post! The fault with the door had already happened to an American Airlines DC-10, was that ground personnel to blame once again? and this may be news to you but aircraft doors are not supposed to open in flight, nor, when they do open, the passenger cabin floor not supposed to collapse cutting all the control cables and rendering the aeroplane unplayable. As for the engine mount failure, in such an event, the cockpit is not supposed to lose all stall warning protections, nor are the slats supposed to retract asymmetrically. And an uncontained engine failure is not supposed to shoot shrapnel into the rear structure, cutting all control lines and once again rendering the aeroplane unflyable.

Not to nitpick But wasn't that fwd cargo door a United 747-122 out of Hawaii?

I think so too flight 811 off the top of my head lost its forward door. From what I’ve read of the DC-10 incidents it was the rear cargo door because it caused the rear floor to collapse from the pressure disparity and lack of vents.
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FGITD
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:09 pm

TheWorm123 wrote:
Not to nitpick But wasn't that fwd cargo door a United 747-122 out of Hawaii?



UA811 was indeed the fwd door. Interesting case as well in that the NTSB initially found it to be operator error, which given the evidence they had at the time was reasonable. More cases occurred with 747s, and the discovery of the door itself led to them reopening the investigation and finding that there was in fact a technical flaw that could lead to the door spontaneously opening.

The DC10 doors I believe were the bulk cargo doors in the aft left side. Given that the problems occurred due to operators forcing them shut manually, that makes more sense. Pretty hard to force a main cargo door shut with your knee.

I've always used those accidents as a reference when new rampers work flights with me. Boeing/Airbus spend billions to develop, and airlines spend millions to buy these aircraft; therefore odds are they did not design parts to be manually forced shut.

...except the door control panel for fwd door on 777s. I've yet to see one that actually closes as it should.
 
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:21 pm

What saved the A320 was that it was a good airplane. It offered a good combination of payload and range and efficiency. Once its "gotchas" were understood, it's gone on to a very successful career.

Guess what, the same is true for DC-10. One recently retired after 48 years of service ( ref: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/ ... 616601002/ ). L-1011 was a more technically advanced aircraft with a better safety record but its smaller wing meant it wasn't as attractive in terms of payload/range so it got parked while DC-10s flew on.

Same is true for MAX. It offers the payload, range and efficiency its operators want. It's "gotchas" are being ironed out and it'll fly for decades to come.
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TheWorm123
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Re: What saved the A320?

Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:34 pm

FGITD wrote:
TheWorm123 wrote:
Not to nitpick But wasn't that fwd cargo door a United 747-122 out of Hawaii?



UA811 was indeed the fwd door. Interesting case as well in that the NTSB initially found it to be operator error, which given the evidence they had at the time was reasonable. More cases occurred with 747s, and the discovery of the door itself led to them reopening the investigation and finding that there was in fact a technical flaw that could lead to the door spontaneously opening.

The DC10 doors I believe were the bulk cargo doors in the aft left side. Given that the problems occurred due to operators forcing them shut manually, that makes more sense. Pretty hard to force a main cargo door shut with your knee.

I've always used those accidents as a reference when new rampers work flights with me. Boeing/Airbus spend billions to develop, and airlines spend millions to buy these aircraft; therefore odds are they did not design parts to be manually forced shut.

...except the door control panel for fwd door on 777s. I've yet to see one that actually closes as it should.

Using those accidents as references for your new staff is probably the very best thing you can do, unfortunately everyone clued up in this industry knows that lessons are sadly only learnt in the blood of others and never allowing them to be forgotten is key, crazy to think they were nearly 50 years ago.
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BawliBooch
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:56 am

Many differences between A320/Habsheim and the 737Max screwup.

None of the initial A320 crashes (Air France, Indian Airlines, Air Inter) were flaws with the aircraft itself. The aircraft did exactly what it was designed to do! Even then, after the crashes, Airbus and Regulatory authorities worked together QUICKLY to work on easing the transition training from older generation jets to the new FBW system.

The 737MAX had serious flaw(s) which resulted in 2 crashes with 100's of fatalities. The FAA's go-easy approach with Boeing was certainly a contributory factor and that did not help. The whole system collapses if institutional checks and balances fail to do their job. Both Boeing and FAA clearly didnt get this memo!

One more thing that works against Boeing and FAA today - The internet is all the more pervasive today than it was in 1989! It is hard to keep anything under wraps in this Social Media age. If there is another unfortunate crash with/without loss of lives, it will be a tragic finito for the 737 program and the US Govt will have to bailout Boeing.

Finally, If Boeing and the FAA had managed to solve the issues and get the 737MAX flying within a few weeks, then all this would have been history! But Boeing has stretched this tragedy out for over a year now and with every passing week, their room for maneuver is reduced further.

The return of the 737MAX to passenger service is not going to be easy now and the damage to the brand and to the FAA is done!
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SteelChair
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:07 pm

Time. Time saved the A320. The aviation world eventually came to the realization the full FBW was the way to go. Unfortunately, Boeing clung to the past, the pilot centric aviation culture. That culture never acknowledges how many things on the airplanes are being done automatically already, nor the trend away from human control. Its far easier to place your confidence in humans (hopefully at least decently good looking in an airline uniform) sitting proudly in the pointy end. Who doesn't cast at least a sideways glance into the cockpit upon entering a narrowbody? I was once on a flight which made a landing in LAX when it was very foggy, and I told the person sitting beside me: "This airplane just landed itself." He simply refused to believe me.
 
Lootess
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:14 pm

You can also look at the AF447 A330 crash as another example of how the popular widebody wasn't at-fault and how the outcome didn't put a dent to the excellent reputation the aircraft or Airbus has, it had a perfect record. Fly-by-wire came under attack again in some regard because of the frozen pitot tubes, but the investigation put emphasis that pilots should be able to manually fly a fly-by-wire plane regardless.

Now had the FO in the left seat that said they were taking the controls hit the override button on the joystick, the constant nose-up FO in the right seat input's incorrect input would have been voided, and we'd be talking a different story today.
 
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:11 pm

Lootess wrote:
Now had the FO in the left seat that said they were taking the controls hit the override button on the joystick, the constant nose-up FO in the right seat input's incorrect input would have been voided, and we'd be talking a different story today.


If the captain hadn't been entertaining his mistress all night, or the FO had simply let go the sidestick.. a tragedy.
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zeke
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:53 pm

Lootess wrote:
You can also look at the AF447 A330 crash as another example of how the popular widebody wasn't at-fault and how the outcome didn't put a dent to the excellent reputation the aircraft or Airbus has, it had a perfect record. Fly-by-wire came under attack again in some regard because of the frozen pitot tubes, but the investigation put emphasis that pilots should be able to manually fly a fly-by-wire plane regardless.

Now had the FO in the left seat that said they were taking the controls hit the override button on the joystick, the constant nose-up FO in the right seat input's incorrect input would have been voided, and we'd be talking a different story today.


Gross mishandling of any aircraft does not tend to turn out well, many people blamed the control setup on the Airbus as being the cause. Then we recently saw the Atlas Air Flight 3591 where fully interconnected flight controls and moving thrust levers did not stop a competent crew from getting disoriented in a rapidly changing situation of their own doing. You put any airliner near maximum altitude and then apply full back stitch and maximum thrust, hold it causing a jet upset, it will not result in a good outcome.
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SteelChair
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:59 pm

zeke wrote:
Lootess wrote:
You can also look at the AF447 A330 crash as another example of how the popular widebody wasn't at-fault and how the outcome didn't put a dent to the excellent reputation the aircraft or Airbus has, it had a perfect record. Fly-by-wire came under attack again in some regard because of the frozen pitot tubes, but the investigation put emphasis that pilots should be able to manually fly a fly-by-wire plane regardless.

Now had the FO in the left seat that said they were taking the controls hit the override button on the joystick, the constant nose-up FO in the right seat input's incorrect input would have been voided, and we'd be talking a different story today.


Gross mishandling of any aircraft does not tend to turn out well, many people blamed the control setup on the Airbus as being the cause. Then we recently saw the Atlas Air Flight 3591 where fully interconnected flight controls and moving thrust levers did not stop a competent crew from getting disoriented in a rapidly changing situation of their own doing. You put any airliner near maximum altitude and then apply full back stitch and maximum thrust, hold it causing a jet upset, it will not result in a good outcome.


Competent crew? Have you read any of the accident reports? They suggest that this crew was very weak, most importantly the PF.
 
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Revelation
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:24 pm

zeke wrote:
Lootess wrote:
You can also look at the AF447 A330 crash as another example of how the popular widebody wasn't at-fault and how the outcome didn't put a dent to the excellent reputation the aircraft or Airbus has, it had a perfect record. Fly-by-wire came under attack again in some regard because of the frozen pitot tubes, but the investigation put emphasis that pilots should be able to manually fly a fly-by-wire plane regardless.

Now had the FO in the left seat that said they were taking the controls hit the override button on the joystick, the constant nose-up FO in the right seat input's incorrect input would have been voided, and we'd be talking a different story today.

Gross mishandling of any aircraft does not tend to turn out well, many people blamed the control setup on the Airbus as being the cause. Then we recently saw the Atlas Air Flight 3591 where fully interconnected flight controls and moving thrust levers did not stop a competent crew from getting disoriented in a rapidly changing situation of their own doing. You put any airliner near maximum altitude and then apply full back stitch and maximum thrust, hold it causing a jet upset, it will not result in a good outcome.

Or you can wreck a perfectly good A320 by touching down after ignoring the gear warnings while you try to salvage an unstable approach, as shown in PK8303.
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zeke
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:25 pm

SteelChair wrote:
Competent crew? Have you read any of the accident reports? They suggest that this crew was very weak, most importantly the PF.


It is not unusual for humans to have a hurdle during their training, to have some additional training, and then to be declared competent. Anyone with a teaching background will have studied this. Both crew were declared competent, they were not put online without first meeting the required standard. ANY suggestion to the contrary is a very dangerous allegation to make at the check airman and operator who passed them.

Airliners are not designed to be flown only by test pilots, they are designed to be flown by competent pilots, even at the start or end of their careers, in the middle of the night, and in less than perfect conditions. In both the Air France and Atlas Air events, the crews control inputs turned relatively benign situations into an unrecoverable ones.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:46 pm

I think at the time airline accidents were pretty common with all types, so the A320 didn't particularly stand out.
 
Max Q
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:00 pm

zeke wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Competent crew? Have you read any of the accident reports? They suggest that this crew was very weak, most importantly the PF.


It is not unusual for humans to have a hurdle during their training, to have some additional training, and then to be declared competent. Anyone with a teaching background will have studied this. Both crew were declared competent, they were not put online without first meeting the required standard. ANY suggestion to the contrary is a very dangerous allegation to make at the check airman and operator who passed them.

Airliners are not designed to be flown only by test pilots, they are designed to be flown by competent pilots, even at the start or end of their careers, in the middle of the night, and in less than perfect conditions. In both the Air France and Atlas Air events, the crews control inputs turned relatively benign situations into an unrecoverable ones.



The Atlas FO’s reaction to a really innocuous mistake ( triggering the go around button) was so incredibly extreme and inappropriate it’s obvious he was not competent

I’ve never seen anyone do that on the 757/ 67 but it takes less than a second to disconnect the autothrottles, problem over


He had a history of overreacting to problems in the simulator, a history that wasn’t completely known to Atlas


He had no business being in that seat
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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zeke
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:08 pm

Max Q wrote:
The Atlas FO’s reaction to a really innocuous mistake ( triggering the go around button) was so incredibly extreme and inappropriate it’s obvious he was not competent

I’ve never seen anyone do that on the 757/ 67 but it takes less than a second to disconnect the autothrottles, problem over


I have actually been aware of this issue for some time, it happens more often than you may think. Even BA has had some very close calls with senior captains transition from the 747 to 767 vv as the location of the A/T disconnect and G/A are in opposite locations on the two aircraft.
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bigb
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:25 pm

SteelChair wrote:
Time. Time saved the A320. The aviation world eventually came to the realization the full FBW was the way to go. Unfortunately, Boeing clung to the past, the pilot centric aviation culture. That culture never acknowledges how many things on the airplanes are being done automatically already, nor the trend away from human control. Its far easier to place your confidence in humans (hopefully at least decently good looking in an airline uniform) sitting proudly in the pointy end. Who doesn't cast at least a sideways glance into the cockpit upon entering a narrowbody? I was once on a flight which made a landing in LAX when it was very foggy, and I told the person sitting beside me: "This airplane just landed itself." He simply refused to believe me.


Lol, I hope you are being sarcastic.
 
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keesje
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:34 pm

- Open objective cooperation and responds to the crash investigation
- Flight envelope protection
- A 220 seat versions
- Cargo container / pallet options
- Engine choice on 2 higher bypass engine types
- Spacier cabin and cockpit
- 16G cabin compliance
- Cockpit commonality with A330/A340
- Quieter cockpit and cabin
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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spinotter
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:04 pm

zeke wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Competent crew? Have you read any of the accident reports? They suggest that this crew was very weak, most importantly the PF.


It is not unusual for humans to have a hurdle during their training, to have some additional training, and then to be declared competent. Anyone with a teaching background will have studied this. Both crew were declared competent, they were not put online without first meeting the required standard. ANY suggestion to the contrary is a very dangerous allegation to make at the check airman and operator who passed them.

Airliners are not designed to be flown only by test pilots, they are designed to be flown by competent pilots, even at the start or end of their careers, in the middle of the night, and in less than perfect conditions. In both the Air France and Atlas Air events, the crews control inputs turned relatively benign situations into an unrecoverable ones.


The French crew of AF447 had no idea what was happening or what was needed to solve the problem. Their union moaned when the cockpit voice recording was released, because it painted them in such a bad light.

[url]
https://www.tailstrike.com/010609.html
[/url]
 
SteelChair
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:57 pm

keesje wrote:
- Open objective cooperation and responds to the crash investigation
- Flight envelope protection
- A 220 seat versions
- Cargo container / pallet options
- Engine choice on 2 higher bypass engine types
- Spacier cabin and cockpit
- 16G cabin compliance
- Cockpit commonality with A330/A340
- Quieter cockpit and cabin


That's a great list. Several of those items come as a result of the fact that the A320 is sized slightly larger than the 737. Airbus sozed the A320 perfectly.

And the cockpit commonality is greatly enhanced by the FBW/sidestick, which originally got so much bad press from the "pilot must be in control crowd." Ironic.
 
Lootess
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:50 am

SteelChair wrote:
keesje wrote:
- Open objective cooperation and responds to the crash investigation
- Flight envelope protection
- A 220 seat versions
- Cargo container / pallet options
- Engine choice on 2 higher bypass engine types
- Spacier cabin and cockpit
- 16G cabin compliance
- Cockpit commonality with A330/A340
- Quieter cockpit and cabin


That's a great list. Several of those items come as a result of the fact that the A320 is sized slightly larger than the 737. Airbus sozed the A320 perfectly.

And the cockpit commonality is greatly enhanced by the FBW/sidestick, which originally got so much bad press from the "pilot must be in control crowd." Ironic.


Yes, ironic in a sense that when AF447 was forced in Alternate Law mode where they had full angle envelope control, they managed to screw it up. Like they actually needed the stall and high angle of attack protection of Normal Law.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:51 am

What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Only 2 words: John Leahy.
 
catiii
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:33 am

zeke wrote:
Max Q wrote:
The Atlas FO’s reaction to a really innocuous mistake ( triggering the go around button) was so incredibly extreme and inappropriate it’s obvious he was not competent

I’ve never seen anyone do that on the 757/ 67 but it takes less than a second to disconnect the autothrottles, problem over


I have actually been aware of this issue for some time, it happens more often than you may think. Even BA has had some very close calls with senior captains transition from the 747 to 767 vv as the location of the A/T disconnect and G/A are in opposite locations on the two aircraft.


Except this wasn’t an inadvertent TOGA because he didn’t know the location. His watch or wrist hit it when he was holding the speed brake. And not for nothing to quote the NTSB “the first officer’s aptitude-related deficiencies and maladaptive stress response“ to a “ typically benign” event led to the crash. Also the “first officer’s repeated uses of incomplete and inaccurate information about his employment history on resumes and applications were deliberate attempts to conceal his history of performance deficiencies and deprived Atlas Air and at least one other former employer of the opportunity to fully evaluate his aptitude and competency as a pilot.”

But yeah, it was a competent crew.
 
rbavfan
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Re: What saved the A320?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:28 am

Antarius wrote:
zeke wrote:
I don’t think there is much substance to your post.

If you flew Habsheim in a 737 the outcome would have been the same or worse. Airliners are simply not designed to be flown that low at idle thrust, the aircraft did exactly what the crew asked of it. They ignored the minimum altitude they were permitted for the fly past.

Both the Indian Airlines Flight 605 and Air Inter 148 Resulted from incorrect autopilot mode usage by the pilots. The aircraft did exactly what the crew commanded them to do. What the industry has done in introduced stabilized approach criteria which is supposed to catch these incorrect modes at higher levels either 1000 or 500 ft, however we still see similar accidents today.


The DC 10 instances were caused by operator error too.

The question that the OP is trying to pose, IMO, is not about the incidents themselves, but the perception of them.


Sorry no. The cargo door blowing out due to faulty latch design was known from other accidents before the Turkish flight crashed due to it blowing out at higher altitude and collapsing the floor. It was not the only design flaw that killed passengers. See UA flight with all the hydraulic lines being so close to each ther that it took out the controls.

Hers a fun read if you have lots of caffeine. https://books.google.com/books/about/Ov ... oQAAAAIAAJ
Last edited by rbavfan on Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
rbavfan
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Re: What saved the A320?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:39 am

zeke wrote:
Antarius wrote:

The DC 10 instances were caused by operator error too.



Cargo door departing from aircraft
Engine departing from aircraft
Engine failure resulting in total hydraulic loss

I wouldn't cite any of those as being operator error, if anything the hydraulic loss is marvel of crew coordination.


The only one I would partly dispute is the engine off in Chicago. MDC got out of it on e technicality. AA & UA had been removing engines for maintenance with the pylon attached. MDC's spec was to remove the engine from the pylon & then remove the pylon from the wing. This took more time. But most of us around back then knew that the pins should have held up either way. If it was not a cheap shot to get out of trouble then why did they redesign the pins? After all MDC claimed if the engines were removed properly it would not happen. So why redesign?
 
n729pa
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:54 am

Don't forget within 18 months a second A320 of Indian Airlines crashed in Bangalore too.

Plus over a four month period over late 1965/early 1966, there were four B727 crashes, quite early into their operational lives but as we all know they went on to provide decades of sterling work. The A320 recovered from these early accidents too.

A good plane and design will come through these things. A bad one won't.
 
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keesje
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:39 am

SteelChair wrote:
keesje wrote:
- Open objective cooperation and responds to the crash investigation
- Flight envelope protection
- A 220 seat versions
- Cargo container / pallet options
- Engine choice on 2 higher bypass engine types
- Spacier cabin and cockpit
- 16G cabin compliance
- Cockpit commonality with A330/A340
- Quieter cockpit and cabin


That's a great list. Several of those items come as a result of the fact that the A320 is sized slightly larger than the 737. Airbus sozed the A320 perfectly.

And the cockpit commonality is greatly enhanced by the FBW/sidestick, which originally got so much bad press from the "pilot must be in control crowd." Ironic.


I think that list should have made Boeing move on 10 years ago. But short term profitability & the 787 development drama made Boeing think again. Congress streamlined FAA to have another express lane 737 (& 777) upgrade, Boeing sniffed the CSeries and now they are where they are. Hopefully Airbus doesn't end up with one A320 upgrade too much in the end. Probably EU legislation will force Airbus to come up with something much cleaner.. I think in the west we are increasingly seeing stronger government involvement, because populations want so.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
rbavfan
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Re: What saved the A320?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:40 am

strfyr51 wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Incredible post! The fault with the door had already happened to an American Airlines DC-10, was that ground personnel to blame once again? and this may be news to you but aircraft doors are not supposed to open in flight, nor, when they do open, the passenger cabin floor not supposed to collapse cutting all the control cables and rendering the aeroplane unplayable. As for the engine mount failure, in such an event, the cockpit is not supposed to lose all stall warning protections, nor are the slats supposed to retract asymmetrically. And an uncontained engine failure is not supposed to shoot shrapnel into the rear structure, cutting all control lines and once again rendering the aeroplane unflyable.

Not to nitpick But wasn't that fwd cargo door a United 747-122 out of Hawaii?



The UA 747 was structural fatigue. If I remember there was strengthening done to the fwd sections of 747's after that.
 
rbavfan
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:05 am

keesje wrote:
- Open objective cooperation and responds to the crash investigation
- Flight envelope protection
- A 220 seat versions
- Cargo container / pallet options
- Engine choice on 2 higher bypass engine types
- Spacier cabin and cockpit
- 16G cabin compliance
- Cockpit commonality with A330/A340
- Quieter cockpit and cabin



What is this in reference to ?
 
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keesje
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:23 am

rbavfan wrote:
keesje wrote:
- Open objective cooperation and responds to the crash investigation
- Flight envelope protection
- A 220 seat versions
- Cargo container / pallet options
- Engine choice on 2 higher bypass engine types
- Spacier cabin and cockpit
- 16G cabin compliance
- Cockpit commonality with A330/A340
- Quieter cockpit and cabin



What is this in reference to ?


Of course the situation, alternatives in the late eighties: Boeing 737, MD80 family, Tu-154.

If Airbus had dismissed any preliminary conclusions ("wait for the official crash investigating report" expected in 8-12 months), meanwhile pointing out AF's safety track record, hinting pilots might have not followed procedures, paying families to sign a NDA, authorities and public would have been more harsh on Airbus, specially because there were 3 fatalities.
Last edited by keesje on Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
PANAMsterdam
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:28 am

spinotter wrote:
zeke wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Competent crew? Have you read any of the accident reports? They suggest that this crew was very weak, most importantly the PF.


The French crew of AF447 had no idea what was happening or what was needed to solve the problem. Their union moaned when the cockpit voice recording was released, because it painted them in such a bad light.

[url]
https://www.tailstrike.com/010609.html
[/url]


Well, AF447 was an entirely preventable accident. But if a crew doesn't recognize a stall after the A330 exclaimed

"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"
"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"

58 times

then perhaps it's not the airplanes fault, but the crew's.
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zeke
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Re: What saved the A320 program after the Habsheim airshow crash?

Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:06 pm

PANAMsterdam wrote:
Well, AF447 was an entirely preventable accident. But if a crew doesn't recognize a stall after the A330 exclaimed

"STALL STALL" "STALL STALL"

58 times

then perhaps it's not the airplanes fault, but the crew's.


I think it was more than 70 times, humans suffer from sensory overload and attention tunneling in stressful situations, in all likelihood they heard them however they were overloaded to the point they could not process them. The first human sense that disappears when overloaded is hearing, one observes this in the simulator during simulated emergencies.

The 50 seconds from after the autopilot disconnected to when the stall warning started is where I think the crew became overloaded with information to the point they had had attention tunneling.

Some of the simplest things can distract crews to crash a perfectly good aircraft, for example the Eastern Airlines L-1011 that crashed because everyone's attention was directed at a $1 blown light globe.
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