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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:32 am


I apologize for my terse judgement. Good CRM would have required me to discuss your arguments instead of disregarding them off-hand.
Because that's what CRM is about, not a set of procedures but a mindset, designed to prevent antagonistic behaviour, then misunderstandings, instead promoting a positive exchange of views. I am guilty of having established "a very steep gradient of authority" which wasn't warranted.

That said, I find it very difficult - and that from culture,observation, experience- to point a finger at a fellow pilot and say :"Guilty". And in most countries, the aim of an accident investigation is not to put the blame on anyone, but identify the fields on which we, as professionals can bring an improvement.( I know the french system where the judicial intervenes right at the beginning cannot be more wrong).

On several of my posts, I've tried to qualify a set of events trying to point at the difficulty of having,with hindsight and comfort, to expand two or three seconds of a flight during which all hell broke lose and pilots were suddenly precipitated from a rather comfy situation into a dire whirlpool of events that eventually go beyond his abilities. The questions I asked on my previous post (reply 25) are still valid and should be considered.

My father, who used to fly for the Air Force used to quote a saying :
" Flying is made of months of routine boredom interspersed with seconds of abject terror."
Dismissing the obvious exageration, that saying is still valid in our days.

Like most pilots of my generation, I consider myself very lucky : I escaped all of my instants of sheer terror. I still have bad dreams about some of them as for some time I'd kept my guardian angel very busy...
Am I a good pilot ? Yes, among the best. If I didn't think so, I have no reason to be in a cockpit. I've just seen a few humbling instances which keep me honest about my real abilities.

The rest is bullshit.

Good luck on your career.

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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:53 pm

Quoting FlyMeToTheMoon (Thread starter):
There appears to have been a disagreement (lack of communication?) between the copilot - performing the landing - and the captain responsible (among others) for the charge of radio communications with the tower.

According to a statement on 09.20.2005 from Réal Levasseur, one of people in charge of the Canadian investigation team, there was no disagreement between the Captain and the co-pilot.
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:52 am

It can take 12 seconds in an autoland from 50 ft to touchdown, normally its less than 8, however statistically the upper end is 12 seconds.

It was a manual landing, not an autoland, autobrake was not used.

The runway was downhill, often leads to a slightly longer flare.

Gust fronts from thunderstorms can be in excess of 10nm from the thunderstorm cell.

For each 10 knots of tailwind on the 340, you get an additional 23% increase in landing distance. Reverse thrust on 4 engines only reduces landing distance by 8%. Wet runway at 200t would increase the distance again by about 4-500m.

Crossing the threshold, the tailwind component was 18 kt, reduced to 5 kts at touchdown.

The tail wind, wet runway, downslope, and poor braking surface will account for the overrun.


TO : ALL A300/A310/A300-600/A319/A320/A321/A330/A340/A318/A340-500/A340-600 OPERATORS



OUR REF.: AF358 AIT 3 DATED 17th August 2005

- AF358 AIT 1
- AF358 AIT 2

The preliminary analysis of the DFDR data indicates the following sequence of events:

The short final and landing were performed manually with the autopilot (AP) and autothrust (ATHR) disconnected at about 300 feet AGL. The aircraft was in configuration FULL with auto-brake selected to MED.

There was a right variable crosswind of about 20 kts and a tailwind component during the final stage of the approach.

At the time of touchdown, the airspeed was 143 kts and the ground speed 148 kts. Visibility was reported to be 0.5 to 0.25 NM in heavy rain.

The touchdown zone is located approximately 4000 feet from the threshold of the 9000-foot runway.

Following the MLG touchdown, the ground spoilers normally extended.

Soon after touchdown, the autobrake was overridden upon pilot maximum brake pedal inputs which were kept to the end.

Consistent with the tyre marks left on the runway, the DFDR confirms that brake pressure was normally applied to the brakes and that the antiskid function operated normally.

Upon activation, the 4 engines thrust reversers fully deployed and remained in this position until the aircraft came to a stop.

At the end of the runway the aircraft ground speed was 79 kts.

Based on the preliminary DFDR analysis and consistent with on-site observations:

- the braking performances are consistent with a contaminated runway condition in line with heavy rain conditions.
- there is no indication that any aircraft systems or engine anomalies existed at the time of the accident.

The detailed investigation work will continue under the leadership of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

At this stage of the investigation, Airbus has no specific recommendations to give to operators.

When appropriate and upon Canadian TSB approval, additional information about this event will be issued through the normal Airbus to Operators communication channels.

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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:47 am

Quoting Aa87 (Reply 30):

Re: Air Florida 90, I heard one theory is that FO was ex-military, so very reluctant to challenge the captain. This also brings to mind Swissair 111, apparently FO wanted to land immediately, it was the Captain who -- maybe understandably at the time -- insisted on following procedure by going back out to sea to dump fuel.

Hold on now.

While there are certainly such cases, the accident report concluded after extensive analysis that the flight likely could not have landed before the fire led to a loss of control.

Excerpts from the report:

"3.3 Other Findings"

"The pilots made a timely decision to divert to the Halifax International Airport. Based on the limited cues available, they believed that although a diversion was necessary, the threat to the aircraft was not sufficient to warrant the declaration of an emergency or to initiate an emergency descent profile."

"The flight crew were trained to dump fuel without restrictions and to land the aircraft in an overweight condition in an emergency situation, if required."

and most importantly, #5
"From any point along the Swissair Flight 111 flight path after the initial odour in the cockpit, the time required to complete an approach and landing to the Halifax International Airport would have exceeded the time available before the fire-related conditions in the aircraft cockpit would have precluded a safe landing"

link to the report:

There was a lot of speculation at the time (and since, apparently) that the loss of the plane and passengers was caused by the pilot's insistence on dumpting fuel. This is a good reminder that we should NOT assess blame until all facts are known and the report is in.

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