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kitplane01
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:56 am

zeke wrote:

awthompson wrote:
Mr. Gryder put out a different video a couple of days after the crash, stating that from the outset he had great difficulty thinking of any scenario that would put a B738 in such a dive profile and bring it down in such a short space of time, besides pilot deliberate action.


Lots of outcomes could have resulted in this.



I'm interested. What scenario:
- Has the altitude profile of huge-decent, slight climb, then steep crash
- Keep the airframe crash to a single impact site
- And keeps the pilots from radioing for help

I'm totally aware of "first aviate, then communicate". But they had lots of time to declare an emergency. Even just pushing the button and saying "Mayday Mayday China Eastern 5735 going down " would have sped rescue efforts. Seriously, in flight training the protocol was "aviate, then communicate" not "aviate, don't communicate".

They had minutes knowing something was wrong .. and not a single radio call. That seems very important to me.

I'm not asking you to tell me for sure what happened, but just offer a reasonable scenario that meets the three items above.
 
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zeke
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:26 am

kitplane01 wrote:
But they had lots of time to declare an emergency. Even just pushing the button and saying "Mayday Mayday China Eastern 5735 going down " would have sped rescue efforts.


Who said they didn’t ?

Be like trying to aide the rescue a grasshopper that hit a windshield at 70 mph.

kitplane01 wrote:
Seriously, in flight training the protocol was "aviate, then communicate" not "aviate, don't communicate".


Yeah I do t think so, this wasn’t a C172.

kitplane01 wrote:
They had minutes knowing something was wrong .. and not a single radio call. That seems very important to me.


You are obviously under the misguided belief that ATC actually control aircraft.
 
OldB747Driver
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 2:40 am

kitplane01 wrote:
I'm interested. What scenario:
- Has the altitude profile of huge-decent, slight climb, then steep crash
- Keep the airframe crash to a single impact site
- And keeps the pilots from radioing for help

Among the 18 previous pages of this thread (on my browser, anyhow), I'm gonna guess there have been some theories posited.
BTW, the entire airframe was not in a "single" impact site, and...
...when you're up to your a** in alligators, it's hard to remember you came to drain the swamp (among other possibilities, like loss of electrical power, etc.)
 
wjcandee
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:06 am

zeke wrote:
I keep having to repeat myself over and over aging, so many people post the same articles and ask the same questions, it is obvious people just dump information onto this thread.


Absolutely. I don't think we're going to get much more until the CVR/FDR are read out. Which they will be.

There will be much talk about pilot suicide until that info comes out. Then, as with Giant 3591, everybody who was POSITIVE that it was suicide will go back in their holes until the next accident.

Now that we're at the point that people are posting that it would have helped if the crew said "We're going down" on the radio, I'm out. Until new real evidence comes along.
 
moa999
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:10 am

wjcandee wrote:
Now that we're at the point that people are posting that it would have helped if the crew said "We're going down" on the radio, I'm out. Until new real evidence comes along.


Which as anyone who has any involvement with aircraft knows is complete bunk.

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
In that order.
 
889091
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:44 am

Malaysia Airlines' incident a few weeks ago, also a 738. Similarities?

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-as ... nes-flight

"Based on initial reports extracted from the flight data recorder (FDR), it was determined that a technical issue occurred during flight due to a malfunction of the pitot-static system," said CAAM chief executive Captain Chester Voo.
 
32andBelow
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:48 am

889091 wrote:
Malaysia Airlines' incident a few weeks ago, also a 738. Similarities?

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-as ... nes-flight

"Based on initial reports extracted from the flight data recorder (FDR), it was determined that a technical issue occurred during flight due to a malfunction of the pitot-static system," said CAAM chief executive Captain Chester Voo.

Left the covers on?
 
hitower3
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:52 am

889091 wrote:
Malaysia Airlines' incident a few weeks ago, also a 738. Similarities?

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-as ... nes-flight

"Based on initial reports extracted from the flight data recorder (FDR), it was determined that a technical issue occurred during flight due to a malfunction of the pitot-static system," said CAAM chief executive Captain Chester Voo.


Dear 889091,

I don't see any similarities between these two incidents.
If the pitot covers are on, the airspeed and altitude readings from that source will be way off, which is immediately noticeable in the flight deck. This would cause the pilots to declare emergency right after becoming airborne and aiming at returning to the point of departure ASAP.
The China Eastern plane flew a while at cruise altitude without any apparent issues.

So far, my take is that this aircraft was perfectly fine for the first portion of the flight. Then "something" significant and abrupt happened to cause it to exit the safe flight envelope. I hope we will soon know what this "something" is.

Hendric
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 2:18 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
I'm totally aware of "first aviate, then communicate". But they had lots of time to declare an emergency. Even just pushing the button and saying "Mayday Mayday China Eastern 5735 going down " would have sped rescue efforts. Seriously, in flight training the protocol was "aviate, then communicate" not "aviate, don't communicate".

I don't think you've ever been in a terrifying, out of control situation in the cockpit before. I hope you never are.

No radio calls can mean a lot of things, INCLUDING them being physically and technically able to, but being too preoccupied to do so.

(I can think of several examples, I mean just look at the GOL 737 midair... no radio calls when you're trying to get a spiraling 737 under control)
 
OMP777X
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:05 pm

32andBelow wrote:
889091 wrote:
Malaysia Airlines' incident a few weeks ago, also a 738. Similarities?

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-as ... nes-flight

"Based on initial reports extracted from the flight data recorder (FDR), it was determined that a technical issue occurred during flight due to a malfunction of the pitot-static system," said CAAM chief executive Captain Chester Voo.

Left the covers on?

The Malaysian 737 didn't have the covers left on the pitot tubes. It was a malfunction of the pitot-static system. A report was released in March about a Malaysian A330 that was flown in 2018 which had taken off with the pitot covers left on, but that wasn't the case with this 737.

https://simpleflying.com/malaysia-airli ... ive-cause/
 
TokyoImperialPa
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:40 pm

DeltaMD90 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I'm totally aware of "first aviate, then communicate". But they had lots of time to declare an emergency. Even just pushing the button and saying "Mayday Mayday China Eastern 5735 going down " would have sped rescue efforts. Seriously, in flight training the protocol was "aviate, then communicate" not "aviate, don't communicate".

I don't think you've ever been in a terrifying, out of control situation in the cockpit before. I hope you never are.

No radio calls can mean a lot of things, INCLUDING them being physically and technically able to, but being too preoccupied to do so.

(I can think of several examples, I mean just look at the GOL 737 midair... no radio calls when you're trying to get a spiraling 737 under control)


I also think that in this particular situation the G Forces would have been out of control.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:53 pm

DeltaMD90 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I'm totally aware of "first aviate, then communicate". But they had lots of time to declare an emergency. Even just pushing the button and saying "Mayday Mayday China Eastern 5735 going down " would have sped rescue efforts. Seriously, in flight training the protocol was "aviate, then communicate" not "aviate, don't communicate".

I don't think you've ever been in a terrifying, out of control situation in the cockpit before. I hope you never are.

No radio calls can mean a lot of things, INCLUDING them being physically and technically able to, but being too preoccupied to do so.

(I can think of several examples, I mean just look at the GOL 737 midair... no radio calls when you're trying to get a spiraling 737 under control)


That's helpful. Are there other instances of airliner pilots having minutes-or-more to radio, and not doing so?
 
jondough
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:55 pm

889091 wrote:
Malaysia Airlines' incident a few weeks ago, also a 738. Similarities?

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-as ... nes-flight

"Based on initial reports extracted from the flight data recorder (FDR), it was determined that a technical issue occurred during flight due to a malfunction of the pitot-static system," said CAAM chief executive Captain Chester Voo.


How on Earth it can still cause these kind of accidents? Pilots should have been already trained to deal with pitot malfunctions.
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:19 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
DeltaMD90 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I'm totally aware of "first aviate, then communicate". But they had lots of time to declare an emergency. Even just pushing the button and saying "Mayday Mayday China Eastern 5735 going down " would have sped rescue efforts. Seriously, in flight training the protocol was "aviate, then communicate" not "aviate, don't communicate".

I don't think you've ever been in a terrifying, out of control situation in the cockpit before. I hope you never are.

No radio calls can mean a lot of things, INCLUDING them being physically and technically able to, but being too preoccupied to do so.

(I can think of several examples, I mean just look at the GOL 737 midair... no radio calls when you're trying to get a spiraling 737 under control)


That's helpful. Are there other instances of airliner pilots having minutes-or-more to radio, and not doing so?

Aeroflot 593 involved several minutes of out of control flight. Pretty sure no radio calls (admittedly, the kid was in the seat for part of it but not the entire ordeal).

AirAsia 8501, also sturggling for control as they plunged from altitude. Also pretty sure (but not 100% sure) they didn't make any radio calls.

Air France 447, stall from altitude. They were in oceanic airspace where comms are much different, so probably not the best example.

These are just off the top of my head, I'm sure I can think of more. I can think of a lot more than were not quite "minutes" long but demonstrate the same thing. Notice these involve controllability issues... When you're disoriented and fighting for your life, comms can absolutely wait until things are stabilized (and if they never get stabilized, then you won't hear a thing).

A couple examples of controllability issues where you did have ATC comms are United 232 and Alaska 261. But in there cases, they talked when things were relatively under control. Notice when Alaska 261 lost control again, you didn't hear anything else from the pilots
 
Opus99
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:21 pm

Leeham reporting that 737 crash leaning towards pilot suicide. I do not have the full access to the article but another point you can add if you like

https://leehamnews.com/2022/04/11/airbu ... widebodies

- China Eastern crash cause appears trending toward pilot suicide.
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:24 pm

Pilot Suicide? If that’s the case the information that gets released will be very interesting.
 
hpff
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Mon Apr 11, 2022 11:10 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
Pilot Suicide? If that’s the case the information that gets released will be very interesting.


The CAAC came out against that rumour in government press: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259004.shtml
 
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N776AU
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 12:22 am

hpff wrote:
ikolkyo wrote:
Pilot Suicide? If that’s the case the information that gets released will be very interesting.


The CAAC came out against that rumour in government press: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259004.shtml

I’ll take “Things That Aren’t The Slightest Bit Surprising” for $200, Alex.
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 1:00 am

hpff wrote:
ikolkyo wrote:
Pilot Suicide? If that’s the case the information that gets released will be very interesting.


The CAAC came out against that rumour in government press: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259004.shtml


Yeah that doesn't really mean much to me, there have been many times things leak out early on only to be confirmed by investigators after an earlier denial. Just gonna have to wait and see what these guys say happened.
 
randomdude83
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 1:14 am

Does anyone know when the Pilot suicide story/tip leaked?

Just curios if this info was suggested before the Black Boxes were decoded or not.

Yes I understand it hasn't been proven yet but just basic question on the above.
 
wjcandee
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 1:35 am

It's not going to be pilot suicide based on anything we've seen/heard so far. If the guy left a note and they found it, then yeah. If the black boxes reveal this, then yeah.

Otherwise, it's a lazy, lazy, lazy theory, promulgated by those without enough imagination to discern the actual sequence of failures, by human and/or machine, that caused this. Just like with Giant 3591, Air France, etc. Maybe the brain doesn't want to believe that people can screw up as badly as those crews did, so it MUST be intentional.

And you know what? I'm TIRED of people calling these incidents "pilot suicide". It isn't. It's MURDER by the pilot. Murder of his co-workers. Murder of his passengers. It's the ultimate betrayal of the passengers who entrusted him with their lives. I don't care if he was sad. I don't care if he was mad at his employers. Taking out hundreds of innocents is the most narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-important, a-holish act any pilot could ever do. It forever labels him a piece of crap unworthy of the bottom of my shoes. Because he was "sad" and "mad". Screw him. Burn in Hell, idiot.

At this point, let's wait and see what actually happened.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 1:43 am

Unfortunately there are many possibilities for what happened, and while several theories are interesting to discuss, nothing is confirmed until actual information from the recorders is released. We just have to wait. Please don’t post your favorite theory as the certain thing.
 
BEG2IAH
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 5:52 am

I've seen this "there are many possibilities" mentioned multiple times but what are they? I'm still in the suicide theory gang because I don't understand what else can cause near vertical dive? Horizontal stabilizers were apparently attached, wings for the most part, at least one engine, main body looked intact, there was no MCAS obviously... Which failed control surface can push the nose down like what we saw in the final video? If it was let's say something about stuck horizontal stabilizers or trim-induced glitch, wouldn't the aircraft continue its salto mortale and eventually invert? In other words, it would go from cruising 0 degree AOA (give or take) to -70, -90 (straight down), -100, -120, -180 (flat on its back) if there was enough space before it hit the ground? This is an honest question of a complete amateur. Thanks for any insight...
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 6:47 am

BEG2IAH wrote:
I've seen this "there are many possibilities" mentioned multiple times but what are they? I'm still in the suicide theory gang because I don't understand what else can cause near vertical dive? Horizontal stabilizers were apparently attached, wings for the most part, at least one engine, main body looked intact, there was no MCAS obviously... Which failed control surface can push the nose down like what we saw in the final video? If it was let's say something about stuck horizontal stabilizers or trim-induced glitch, wouldn't the aircraft continue its salto mortale and eventually invert? In other words, it would go from cruising 0 degree AOA (give or take) to -70, -90 (straight down), -100, -120, -180 (flat on its back) if there was enough space before it hit the ground? This is an honest question of a complete amateur. Thanks for any insight...

Without more complete data it's impossible to say. You could have the most knowledgeable people on the planet look at the little data we have and be completely lost. People here trying to measure precise airspeed, angles of dive, Gs, etc can only give a very very rough estimation of what happened. Way too much margin of error.

Pilot suicide may be what happened, but there are dozens of other things that could have happened. Could be a bunch of things we can think of, could be a bunch of things we CAN'T think of at the moment. Thinking of five possibilities and eliminating four to come up with a conclusion is not how any of this (or science) works.

Why be in any camp? What's wrong with saying "I don't know what happened" and leave it at that?

For all we know, if could be like several other accidents. Minor malfunction or pure human error leading to disorientation and an unrecoverable dive.

It's not a video game, you can easily put an airliner in an unrecoverable situation within mere seconds with plenty of altitude and time before the actual crash.
 
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ADent
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 8:14 am

Nacelle could come off and damage elevator - would expect nacelle debris.

Engine uncontained failure. Could damage control services. Or control cables. Not much debris.

I don’t think we will know much until recordings are retrieved.
 
wjcandee
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 12:25 pm

DeltaMD90 wrote:
Pilot suicide may be what happened, but there are dozens of other things that could have happened. Could be a bunch of things we can think of, could be a bunch of things we CAN'T think of at the moment. Thinking of five possibilities and eliminating four to come up with a conclusion is not how any of this (or science) works.

Why be in any camp? What's wrong with saying "I don't know what happened" and leave it at that?

For all we know, if could be like several other accidents. Minor malfunction or pure human error leading to disorientation and an unrecoverable dive.

It's not a video game, you can easily put an airliner in an unrecoverable situation within mere seconds with plenty of altitude and time before the actual crash.


Right. Right. And Right. It's as if we have already forgotten about the recent 737 accident at CGK. Perfectly-flyable aircraft. Wounded, but flyable.

And let's start calling it "Murder By Pilot". Because that's what it is if that's what it is. It takes an extraordinary ego to kill 200+ people when there are infinite ways to kill just yourself.
 
BEG2IAH
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 1:13 pm

DeltaMD90 wrote:
Why be in any camp? What's wrong with saying "I don't know what happened" and leave it at that?


DeltaMD90, thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree with the above.
 
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zeke
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 1:17 pm

DeltaMD90

Here here, well said.
 
Exeiowa
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:10 pm

I have noticed on here that when one of these incidents occur there is normally a few people with actual knowledge who get close to what occurred from the limited amount of initially available information. You have to filter out the less reliable suggestions but generally when you look back someone had an idea of what fit the data. This time I have not really seen any technical explanation that accounts for the facts.
 
meh130
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:37 pm

BEG2IAH wrote:
Which failed control surface can push the nose down like what we saw in the final video?


Runaway nose-down trim. The pilot reaction would be to pull back, but the pilots correction might only be enough to prevent a nose-down outside loop, and instead only pull the plane back to a nose-down vertical. This would be similar to the MAX MCAS caused crashes, or the Alaska 261 MD-83 crash, but not caused by MCAS, but perhaps caused by some other failure.
 
awthompson
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 3:03 pm

wjcandee - When the crucial CVR content is revealed, you could of course be right about some unthought of / unscripted incident as happened with Giant 3591. That possibility certainly remains on the table. Consider how many times in recent years we have been discussing aircraft crashes on this forum in advance of release of crucial evidence where wild scenarios have been suggested, such as engine explosion, debris taking out tail plane, tail fin or other component separating, jammed control / control surface(s), extreme weather phenomenon causing structural failure etc etc. Those very extreme airframe related scenarios are hardly ever found to be the cause nowadays, especially on mature aircraft such as the B737. It's more often than not crew finding themselves dealing with an unusual attitude upset, usually caused initially by something relatively benign, then failing to recover ie. Air France 447, Ethiopian 409, Tatarstan 363, Air Asia 8501, Fly Dubai 981, Giant 3591, Sriwijaya 182 etc etc. (Four of those were B737 variants).

Rather than refer directly to pilot in the suicide scenario, its better then to use the more general term 'deliberate action'.

If this crash we're discussing turns out to be deliberate action by a certain pilot, it will of course be much more than pilot suicide, of course it will be mass murder etc etc. You have asked why a pilot would commit suicide and kill so many others in the process. This has certainly happened before more than once, and unfortunately with more regularity in recent times. It invariably involves an element of revenge, a much wider intent than merely killing themselves.
 
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litz
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 3:06 pm

wjcandee wrote:
And you know what? I'm TIRED of people calling these incidents "pilot suicide". It isn't. It's MURDER by the pilot. Murder of his co-workers. Murder of his passengers. It's the ultimate betrayal of the passengers who entrusted him with their lives. I don't care if he was sad. I don't care if he was mad at his employers. Taking out hundreds of innocents is the most narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-important, a-holish act any pilot could ever do. It forever labels him a piece of crap unworthy of the bottom of my shoes. Because he was "sad" and "mad". Screw him. Burn in Hell, idiot.

At this point, let's wait and see what actually happened.


I will put my two cents in here. With the caveat that my experience in "moving large numbers of human beings" involves steel wheels, and rails, not shiny aluminum and wings.

When you are in charge of a "piece of mass transportation" ... all of those people have entrusted you with their care, safety, and lives.

When you are a Captain, a Conductor, or whatever ... that is YOUR responsibility. To safely deliver your charges to their destination, safe whole, intact, and hopefully on time.

It is a heady trust and responsibility. And frankly, unless you've done it, you cannot understand it.

A betrayal of that trust, e.g. a "pilot suicide" ... yeah, that really needs to be classified as a mass murder. Because that's what it is.

To that end ... let's be careful with how, where, and who we label with such an accusation. It's a strong one.
 
OldB747Driver
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 3:39 pm

Amen to that, @litz.

Oddly enough, today, a notorious non-fatal incident which occurred in April, 1979 was brought to my attention; they lost ~34,000 ft in 63 seconds. Evidently there is a "Smithsonian Channel" episode dedicated to the topic but for the masses here is the wikipedia entry along with a link to the official NTSB report in the usual links section.

For the "what could cause such a quick descent besides intentional behavior" crowd, well, here is but *ONE* example of non-intentional loss of significant amounts of altitude, which is just another way of restating that under the conditions that modern jets fly, things can happen very, very quickly and are not always what is expected.
 
slvrblt
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 4:17 pm

OldB747Driver wrote:
Amen to that, @litz.

Oddly enough, today, a notorious non-fatal incident which occurred in April, 1979 was brought to my attention; they lost ~34,000 ft in 63 seconds. Evidently there is a "Smithsonian Channel" episode dedicated to the topic but for the masses here is the wikipedia entry along with a link to the official NTSB report in the usual links section.

For the "what could cause such a quick descent besides intentional behavior" crowd, well, here is but *ONE* example of non-intentional loss of significant amounts of altitude, which is just another way of restating that under the conditions that modern jets fly, things can happen very, very quickly and are not always what is expected.


That's so weird, 747Driver, I was reviewing about that very incident before coming on here, I had just started my airline career that year and remembered when it happened. Yes, there is a similarity to China Eastern, but this one wasn't a suicide attempt and the plane didn't crash, she held together although it got lots of damage from the dive. God....a 34k foot drop in.......seconds. (Those 727's were something else). Anyway, this was non-suicidal pilots playing with flap settings that they shouldn't have, but what some of them seemed to do in those days to 'help' aircraft performance at altitude. As many here have said, just shows things can unexpectedly go awfully, awfully wrong.
 
winnabago
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 7:16 pm

slvrblt wrote:
OldB747Driver wrote:
Amen to that, @litz.

Oddly enough, today, a notorious non-fatal incident which occurred in April, 1979 was brought to my attention; they lost ~34,000 ft in 63 seconds. Evidently there is a "Smithsonian Channel" episode dedicated to the topic but for the masses here is the wikipedia entry along with a link to the official NTSB report in the usual links section.

For the "what could cause such a quick descent besides intentional behavior" crowd, well, here is but *ONE* example of non-intentional loss of significant amounts of altitude, which is just another way of restating that under the conditions that modern jets fly, things can happen very, very quickly and are not always what is expected.


That's so weird, 747Driver, I was reviewing about that very incident before coming on here, I had just started my airline career that year and remembered when it happened. Yes, there is a similarity to China Eastern, but this one wasn't a suicide attempt and the plane didn't crash, she held together although it got lots of damage from the dive. God....a 34k foot drop in.......seconds. (Those 727's were something else). Anyway, this was non-suicidal pilots playing with flap settings that they shouldn't have, but what some of them seemed to do in those days to 'help' aircraft performance at altitude. As many here have said, just shows things can unexpectedly go awfully, awfully wrong.


I just finished the book about this 1979 incident on TWA 841 and this flight's charismatic pilot "Hoot" Gibson. The crew denied to this day that they were using 2 degrees of flaps at cruise (a scenario which would have involved the flight engineer not being aware of the fact and accidentally resetting the slats breaker, which started the incident) and the author presents his take which has the benefit of some of the later 737 hardover incidents, and it seems to him like a rudder or yaw damper issue was more likely. The flight became controllable only after primary hydraulics blew out as the main gear ripped out of the bay, and presumably allowed secondary control of the yaw arresting system. They didn't come to this conclusion at the time but in retrospect it fits the evidence.

Book is called Scapegoat by Emilio Corsetti, and is a lengthy read that includes the subsequent 15 years of investigation and litigation. The NTSB (in its early days) went through a lot to point the finger at the pilot, who had a checkered past and probably wasn't the model 727 captain. They claimed that the CVR was deliberately erased, among other things.
 
chracatoa
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:48 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 7:25 pm

If it (1) was indeed pilot suicide (which I find it doubtful), and (2) assuming China already has a rough idea that was the case, why is the 737-800 fleet still grounded?
 
OldB747Driver
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:40 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Tue Apr 12, 2022 8:30 pm

If you finished the book, you probably should read the NTSB report directly - it can be a bit technical, but they went to lengths to illustrate that the problem slat didn't get there on it's own. They were able to reasonably reproduce the FDR flight profile by creating the conditions that they ultimately settled on.

I don't have B727 experience, but that they climbed at 0.80M from FL350 to FL390 in less than 4 minutes certainly raised an eyebrow (>1000 fpm?). That the CA had a reputation for routinely erasing the CVR on the ground is another big red flag in my experience.

Rather than digress, however, I do mean to say that plummeting flight paths do not imply intentionality, although they do seem to imply the crew had some contribution, whether they thought their actions were benign or not, as well as how timely their actions were.
 
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zeke
Posts: 17261
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 12:57 am

OldB747Driver wrote:
Amen to that, @litz.

Oddly enough, today, a notorious non-fatal incident which occurred in April, 1979 was brought to my attention; they lost ~34,000 ft in 63 seconds. Evidently there is a "Smithsonian Channel" episode dedicated to the topic but for the masses here is the wikipedia entry along with a link to the official NTSB report in the usual links section.

For the "what could cause such a quick descent besides intentional behavior" crowd, well, here is but *ONE* example of non-intentional loss of significant amounts of altitude, which is just another way of restating that under the conditions that modern jets fly, things can happen very, very quickly and are not always what is expected.


Many in flight upsets can have very large changes to trajectory in a short timeframe, this event could have occurred with an initial thrust asymmetry, eg @TOD selecting a lower level, autothrottle only bringing one throttle back (port side), autopilot tries to trim until it gets to the limit, disengages and then into a rapid upset.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11642
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:36 am

Any thoughts on why this is taking such a long time ? There have been no rumours or leaks from either the PRC or US sides from what I have read.
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:41 am

SInGAPORE_AIR wrote:
Any thoughts on why this is taking such a long time ? There have been no rumours or leaks from either the PRC or US sides from what I have read.

Please provide us with an aviation disaster investigation that was concluded in such a short time.

This is NOT a long time, not even close.
 
planecane
Posts: 1895
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:22 am

SInGAPORE_AIR wrote:
Any thoughts on why this is taking such a long time ? There have been no rumours or leaks from either the PRC or US sides from what I have read.

I imagine that the process to read damaged flight recorders is delicate and takes many days of very careful work.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:06 am

DeltaMD90 wrote:
SInGAPORE_AIR wrote:
Any thoughts on why this is taking such a long time ? There have been no rumours or leaks from either the PRC or US sides from what I have read.

Please provide us with an aviation disaster investigation that was concluded in such a short time.

This is NOT a long time, not even close.


This.

To do this properly will take time. The worst thing would be to rush this and leave questions unanswered. We watch the process closely to make sure it's done properly. Not apply pressure to rush it.
 
TC957
Posts: 4373
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 1:12 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:00 am

Please correct me here if I'm wrong, but surely any aircraft loosing altitude that fast and at that near vertical angle would have to be forced down, otherwise from a cruise altitude and speed a 738 would glide for quite a way first if all power was lost ?
 
flybucky
Posts: 454
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:09 am

Boeing757100 wrote:
In other words, if the first part of the dive was intentional, then the other guys try to take over control from the "perpetrator", but end up overstressing certain control surfaces, which in turn causes the rest of the dive? That seems pretty plausible but I'm sure someone else will interpret it in a different way.

Intentional action isn't the only explanation for the first part. There have been many other incidents where a plane quickly went into a steep dive unintentionally. Sometimes the autopilot becomes disengaged, or a button accidentally was pushed, and by the time the pilot notices, they are disoriented and things go downhill from there.
 
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vegas005
Posts: 322
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Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 10:31 am

The black boxes have been looked at for weeks now .. I have to suspect they know what happened and are not about to tell us.
 
planecane
Posts: 1895
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 11:19 am

vegas005 wrote:
The black boxes have been looked at for weeks now .. I have to suspect they know what happened and are not about to tell us.

See above. They sent at least one recorder to the NTSB for help in getting the data since there was damage to the memory chip board. A process like this must be done carefully so that the data isn't lost forever. It isn't like plugging your phone into a USB cable and downloading to a laptop.
 
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vegas005
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 am

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 12:58 pm

planecane wrote:
vegas005 wrote:
The black boxes have been looked at for weeks now .. I have to suspect they know what happened and are not about to tell us.

See above. They sent at least one recorder to the NTSB for help in getting the data since there was damage to the memory chip board. A process like this must be done carefully so that the data isn't lost forever. It isn't like plugging your phone into a USB cable and downloading to a laptop.


This is raw data that will be converted to a useable format. They know quickly if it can be done or not.
 
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scbriml
Posts: 20848
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:53 pm

vegas005 wrote:
The black boxes have been looked at for weeks now .. I have to suspect they know what happened and are not about to tell us.


The NTSB received the damaged CVR exactly one week ago today.
 
ALTF4
Posts: 1256
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:01 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:57 pm

vegas005 wrote:
planecane wrote:
vegas005 wrote:
The black boxes have been looked at for weeks now .. I have to suspect they know what happened and are not about to tell us.

See above. They sent at least one recorder to the NTSB for help in getting the data since there was damage to the memory chip board. A process like this must be done carefully so that the data isn't lost forever. It isn't like plugging your phone into a USB cable and downloading to a laptop.


This is raw data that will be converted to a useable format. They know quickly if it can be done or not.


That's very different than what you said two posts above. They know quickly if it can be done or not - great! If true, why would they owe you an update on that? Two posts above you're insinuating that they are hiding something by not talking about it now.

If they come out early with findings, won't you and everybody else on this thread be upset at the lack of detail or critical analysis done?

Give it time.
 
blockski
Posts: 850
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Re: China Eastern 737-800 crashes in Guangxi, southern China

Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:06 pm

SInGAPORE_AIR wrote:
Any thoughts on why this is taking such a long time ? There have been no rumours or leaks from either the PRC or US sides from what I have read.


1. It's not taking a long time at all. These investigations are always slow.

2. Why would you expect rumors or leaks from the investigation? There's no incentive for the investigators to leak anything. I can't speak for the Chinese authorities, but that's not how the NTSB operates - not to mention the treaty rules governing an investigation like this.

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