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FlyMeToTheMoon
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AF Toronto Accident Details

Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:54 pm

Source AFP. Text in French to follow. To bottom line is that 12 seconds elapsed between touchdown and deployment of the thrust reverses. During this time only brakes were applied, which are less efficient on a compromised runway. 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.

My question - is this going to end up being mostly a pilot error exacerbated by miserable weather? If so the cabin crew performed great while the cockpit crew... well....


"Le Figaro révèle jeudi que douze longues secondes se sont écoulées entre le toucher des roues du train principal et la mise en oeuvre de l'inversion de poussée de l'Airbus A340 d'Air France sorti de piste le 2 août à Toronto.

"Ces douze secondes, délai que les spécialistes jugent excessif, apparaissent dans une des boîtes noires analysées par les enquêteurs canadiens avec le concours du BEA français et d'Airbus", rapporte le quotidien qui ne cite pas ses sources.

"Au début, seuls les freins des roues, moins efficaces sur une piste détrempée - comme c'était le cas avec les trombes d'eau qui s'abattaient ce jour-là sur la métropole canadienne - ont été actionnés. A la vitesse de 120 noeuds (220 km/h), pas moins de 700 mètres ont été parcourus sans le freinage maximal", précise le Figaro.

"Autre élément aggravant, les conditions communiquées par la tour de contrôle donnaient du vent de trois quarts modéré (11 noeuds) alors que la boîte noire de l'Airbus indique 23 noeuds de travers au toucher des roues", ajoute le journal.

Selon le Figaro, "il est vraisemblable que le copilote, aux commandes pour cet atterrissage, et le commandant de bord, alors chargé des liaisons radio et de la gestion des systèmes, aient eu un désaccord".

Le journal annonce que la publication des enregistrements du CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) est prévue le 4 octobre, et "montrera si cela a bien été le cas".

L'Airbus d'Air France est sorti de la piste à une vitesse de quelque 150 km/h, pour finir sa course dans un fossé 200 m plus loin, avant de prendre feu.

L'évacuation a pu se dérouler très rapidement et aucun des 309 passagers et membres d'équipage n'a perdu la vie dans l'accident."
 
SNBru
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:02 am

Quoting FlyMeToTheMoon (Thread starter):
is this going to end up being mostly a pilot error

Isn't most of the accidents cause by human error?

I understand what you try to say though. It really seemed to be a pilot mistake. What about the position were the aircraft touched te ground. I thought that an aircraft should be able to brake at all times without use of thrust reversers.
 
miguelss
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:42 am

Unfortunately, almost 99.99% of aviation accidents are human errors, if not, read NTSB reports.

It is known, that almost 70% of those errors are mechanics-on-ground produced, for not to follow manufacturers and procedures manual.

Countless accidents for reasons as pitot covered, wrong placement of knobs, bad fuel calculations, etc, etc, obviously, not pilot errors only.
 
RAMPRAT980
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:49 am

Is AF accepting responsibility for this accident or are they blaming the weather man in the tower at YYZ.
 
FlySSC
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:31 am

The final report of the accident will NOT point out one single responsibility for this accident.
The media and most of the people, including on this forum, will.

Apparently, the Crew of AF358 "lost" 12 seconds in deciding if they should "go-around" (co-pilot wish) or continue the landing (Captain's final decision).

Can anybody say this is THE cause of the crash ?

The Weather conditions reported to the crew right before landing were wrong.
The wind speed and windshear detectors were found out of service because of the thunderstorm.
ATC reported "clam wind 11 knots, 3/4 face." according to "le Figaro"
FDR reveals that it was actually "side wind 23 knots" ...
How did this affect pilot's decision to land and/or to go-around or not ?

The gully/ravine did not contribute directly to the accident itself, but did contribute to the loss of the aircraft ?

The investigation says also that the plane was evacuated in 75 seconds.
The Crew opened only 4 of the 8 doors. The 4 others being inoperative because of the fire.
3 escape slides out of 4 deployed correctly but 2 of them burst just a few seconds after because of debris/pieces of wood next to the plane.

The Captain of flight AF358 will never fly again.
The Co-Pilot, a former AF's Flight Attendant, will fly again by the end of this month.

http://www.lefigaro.fr./france/20050915.FIG0005.html?154854

[Edited 2005-09-15 18:33:24]
 
GLA MD11
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:43 am

I have read the report and I have a question:

When the co-pilot is in command and performing the landing, doesn't he have the full decision power, or at least a stronger voice than the Captain? It seems weird that the co-pilot landed the plane and his decision to go-around was overruled by the Captain.
 
frequentflyer
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:54 am

I will be curious to see whether CRM was respected in this case.

Those guys were far beyond the glidescope anyhow.

While there is a number of contributing factors to the crash, the responsibility will have to be clearly identified however.

PF is in hot waters it seems.

Thank God the Cabin crew did awesome.
 
airbazar
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:02 am

Quoting Frequentflyer (Reply 6):
While there is a number of contributing factors to the crash, the responsibility will have to be clearly identified however.

It already has. The captain will never fly again. That's a subtle way of saying the captain was the source of the problem.
 
stealthpilot
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:07 am

Quoting GLA+MD11" class=quote target=_blank>GLA MD11 (Reply 5):
When the co-pilot is in command and performing the landing, doesn't he have the full decision power, or at least a stronger voice than the Captain?

GLA MD11-
The captain is always the final authority on matters concerning flying and the aircraft. Agreed, the co pilot is landing and has physical control, but if the captain makes a call, well he has the veto power.

The copilot wanted to go around and that was rejected by the pilot? Any of these links available in English?

-Nikhil
 
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Francoflier
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:10 am

Quoting FlyMeToTheMoon (Thread starter):
My question - is this going to end up being mostly a pilot error exacerbated by miserable weather? If so the cabin crew performed great while the cockpit crew... well....

You betcha!

Not the first case of an omniscient captain who overrules anything the F/O has to say just because he is less experienced than him, SO he can't be right...

Or it is another case of the (all too common, unfortunately) 'Goaroundophobia'...
 
Gnomon
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:28 am

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 7):
It already has. The captain will never fly again. That's a subtle way of saying the captain was the source of the problem.

In all fairness to the captain, the article linked above from le Figaro only indicates that the captain suffered vertebral injuries and was within three years of retirement at the time of the accident. It implies that those injuries, so close to his retirement, would make it impractical or unwise for him to recover fully and fly again. Nothing in the article suggests that AF has taken any action against the captain at this point.

In fact, for it to do so prior to the conclusion of the accident investigation would essentially be tantamount to an admission of liability, which wouldn't play well for the company in any of the inevitable lawsuits.
 
FlySSC
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:33 am

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 7):
The captain will never fly again. That's a subtle way of saying the captain was the source of the problem.

The Captain will not fly again because he was badly injured at his backbone ... and is three years far from retirement.
Not because he is supposed to be the "source" of the problem.

By the way, Airbus said that the plane is not to blame in the crash which seems to be true... but they will have to explain why the Captain's seat was teared off (and crashed him on the board and the windshield) in such a "small" shock while it is supposed to resist a much bigger impact.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:05 am

What a sad way to end a long flying career though....
 
HiFi
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:55 am

Quoting SNBru (Reply 1):
I thought that an aircraft should be able to brake at all times without use of thrust reversers.

It usually is. But contaminated runways are an entirely different matter... How can brakes work if the wheels are not properly in contact with the ground?? Thrust reversers make the difference.
 
GLA MD11
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:27 am

Stealthpilot, thank you for your reply.

There were some corrections in tonight evening news (France2):

The plane landed 1500m down the runway (we already "knew" that).

It took the plane 12 seconds to start slowing down (ie 700m), which include the 4 seconds to get the front gear on the ground, 4 seconds hesitating (or else? - mechanical problem?) and 4 seconds for trust-reversers to actually start having an effect on the speed of the plane.

The source assumes that these 4 seconds were due to this hesitation between the pilot and the co-pilot, although both of them deny it (the CVR will tell).

The report does not say that the human error is the major cause of the accident, it just adds it to a series of factors (wet runway, false indication of wind force due to an equipment hit by thunder, wind gusts, lack of visibility, etc).
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:33 am

If your the FO, and you are flying, and you think you should go around, then GO AROUND! Announce it and do it. Let the Captain yell at you if he wants, but the decision will have been made.
 
MarshalN
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:50 am

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 15):
If your the FO, and you are flying, and you think you should go around, then GO AROUND! Announce it and do it. Let the Captain yell at you if he wants, but the decision will have been made.

But wouldn't that jeopardize your career?
 
HT1000
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:55 am

It reminds me the AF 744 F-GITA that drifted from the runway and ended in the water on the coral reef in 1993 in Tahiti . They landed far from the TDZ and engine number 1 went full power during reverse engagement .

Bad CRM and wrong assessment of the situation by the crew appears as in 1993 to be a major fact in this accident .

HT1000.
 
AMSSFO
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:07 am

Quoting Stealthpilot (Reply 8):
Any of these links available in English?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl....wcrash0915/BNStory/International/
http://www.cbcunlocked.com/artman/publish/article_230.shtml

Or translate the Figaro article here: http://translation.langenberg.com/
Quote:
It is probable that the copilot, with the orders for this landing, and the commander, then in charge with the radio connections and the management of the systems, had a dissension.
end quote
So the article seems to make its own conclusion....

Another quote:
the crew had agreed to take the "short" track 24L of 2 743 m instead of the 24R of 3 353 Mr. Cela arranged the air control of the airport anxious to run out a maximum of traffic. And that also corresponded to the procedures of Air France which recommends the tracks equipped with THEY (Instrument Landing System) - a device of precise landing to the instruments. However it THEY of the track 24R had been just destroyed by the lightning,
end quote
Apologies for the bad translation, but THEY obviously means ILS. So, besides the wind speed and the windshear detectors, the ILS seems to have been out of function as well.
 
legacy135
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:51 am

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 4):
Can anybody say this is THE cause of the crash ?

Before a crash we can always see an error chain. One error normally is not enough. But there is also a "key element" finally resulting in the disaster. So it might not be THE cause but THE key element.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 4):
The Weather conditions reported to the crew right before landing were wrong.
The wind speed and windshear detectors were found out of service because of the thunderstorm.
ATC reported "clam wind 11 knots, 3/4 face." according to "le Figaro"
FDR reveals that it was actually "side wind 23 knots" ...
How did this affect pilot's decision to land and/or to go-around or not ?

This is probably true and all are respectable arguments making the pilots work difficult. But where the plane lands is the full and ONLY responsibility of the pilots. According most SOP's a big airliner should be landed between 300 and 600 meters from the beginning of the runway. If this is not going to happen they MUST do a go around. In the case here it looks as this did not happen this way.
So the unfunctional equipment and the wrong indications to the crew are factors working against the crew and are for sure parts of the error chain, but they are not the cause. It looks like the cause being a long landing.
 
TaromA380
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:05 am

Why are they waiting till October to analyse the CVR ???

It's sooooo weird.
 
MD11LuxuryLinr
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:18 am

Quoting Miguelss (Reply 2):
almost 99.99% of aviation accidents are human errors

That number is a bit too high. I would say more than 7 or 8 out of 10, especially in this day and age of remarkable aircraft, but not almost 100%.
 
aa757first
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:26 am

Quoting MarshalN (Reply 16):

But wouldn't that jeopardize your career?

Well better than jeopardizing your life, isn't it?

A similar thing happened with Air Florida 90. The plane crashed due to icing, and it is believed that the First Officer knew something was wrong before take-off as he flew small planes in Alaska for quite a while. He, however, did not communicate this to the Captain, who was used to flying intra-Florida routes.

AAndrew
 
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EZEIZA
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:51 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 22):
Well better than jeopardizing your life, isn't it?

Yes, but maybe the FO did not believe it was THAT risky. He probably just thought that he would have acted in a different way, but that the Captain knew what he was doing and therefore felt safe when the final decision was taken
 
AMSSFO
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:05 am

Quoting TaromA380 (Reply 20):
Why are they waiting till October to analyse the CVR ???

It's sooooo weird.

It's not weird at all...Read and think before you post. They plan to PUBLISH the CVR transcript then. They are analysing it right now.
all according to Le Figaro without mentioning its sources...
 
Pihero
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:40 am

Folks,
This is a quick translation of the Figaro article :
"le Figaro reveals that 12 long seconds elapsed between the main landing gear touch-down and the operating of the Thrust reversers...
These 12 seconds, which the specialists consider excessive, appeared in one of the black boxes that are been analysed by the canadian investigators with the participation of the french BEA (Accident investigation bureau ) and Airbus (representatives).
First, only wheel brakes were applied (they are less efficient on a wet runway as it was the case that day with torrential rain over the Canadian metropolis.
At a sppeed of 120 kt, no less than 700 meters had been used by the aircraft without the maximum braking (here I presume they mean "deceleration" iso "braking").
Another aggravating element seems to be the conditions communicated by the tower :instead of a moderate 11 kt mostly headwind, the black box recorded a 23 kt crosswind at wheels touch-down.
It is likely that the co-pilot- who was at the controls, and the captain, then in charge of R/T and systems management, had a disagreement.
The newspaper announces that the CVR read-out is expected on October 4th and will show whether that was the case..
The AF Airbus left the runway at a speed of some 150 km/h to end its course in a ditch before bursting into flames..."

Quoting TaromA380 (Reply 20):
Why are they waiting till October to analyse the CVR ???

It's sooooo weird.

The CVR has been decoded long time ago. As usual in an accident investigation, they won't release it until they are sure/agreed on its contents.

Quoting HT1000 (Reply 17):
It reminds me the AF 744 F-GITA that drifted from the runway and ended in the water on the coral reef in 1993 in Tahiti . They landed far from the TDZ and engine number 1 went full power during reverse engagement .

Bad CRM and wrong assessment of the situation by the crew appears as in 1993 to be a major fact in this accident .

And your experience of course allows you to pass such a harsh judgement based on facts,hey ?

Quoting Gnomon (Reply 10):
In all fairness to the captain, the article linked above from le Figaro only indicates that the captain suffered vertebral injuries and was within three years of retirement at the time of the accident. It implies that those injuries, so close to his retirement, would make it impractical or unwise for him to recover fully and fly again. Nothing in the article suggests that AF has taken any action against the captain at this point.

In fact, his injuries aside,the psychological damage is immense.

Quoting Francoflier (Reply 9):
ot the first case of an omniscient captain who overrules anything the F/O has to say just because he is less experienced than him, SO he can't be right...

See above question to HT1000.

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 19):
According most SOP's a big airliner should be landed between 300 and 600 meters from the beginning of the runway

Assuming that one identifies correctly a touch-down-zone overfly and correctly assesses a visual estimation of the remaining runway left, I fully agree with you.

Regards to all.
 
Slarty
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:52 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 25):
It is likely that the co-pilot- who was at the controls, and the captain, then in charge of R/T and systems management, had a disagreement.

Good lord! Don't these automated systems allow *one* person to make the ultimate decision? Having input/advice from sub-crew is nice, but when you can screw one another with opposite input, this has to be a policy/training issue?
 
SNATH
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:12 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 25):
It is likely that the co-pilot- who was at the controls, and the captain, then in charge of R/T and systems management, had a disagreement.

Hey guys,

Can anyone please tell me what was it that they disagreed about? Whether to use thrust reversers? Whether to go-around? Something else? I'm sorry, I don't get it...

Tony
 
lorm
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:20 am

Quoting Slarty (Reply 26):

Good lord! Don't these automated systems allow *one* person to make the ultimate decision? Having input/advice from sub-crew is nice, but when you can screw one another with opposite input, this has to be a policy/training issue?

The pilot flying can be overridden. Airbus A320, A330, A340 aircraft are equipped with 2 sidestick priority buttons. One for each pilot, located under the CHRONO button on the glareshield, next to the altimeter setting dials. Pressing the button will give priority to the respective sidestick. Wonder if the FDR recorded any button use by either pilots.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tomás Coelho -
AirTeamImages



Edit: Note each sidestick is not interlinked backdriven like Boeing aircraft. When a sidestick is being used the other will not move in unison which can make it difficult for each crew member to know what the other is doing.

-LorM

[Edited 2005-09-16 02:31:56]
 
wukka
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:41 am

Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 23):
Yes, but maybe the FO did not believe it was THAT risky. He probably just thought that he would have acted in a different way, but that the Captain knew what he was doing and therefore felt safe when the final decision was taken

And this exonerates who? What is your point? This guy was at the helm with the pax load on his watch. Now he *apparently* requested to go-around to cappy, cappy said, "no", and he risked his own life as well as everyone on board trying to put the bird down in conditions that he wasn't comfortable with.

Poor FO.  Sad

Looking forward to the actual CVR transcripts.
 
aa87
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:48 am

Certainly seems CRM was a factor here, among several others. I am surprised to learn that even when FO is the flying pilot, captain has authority to direct him to continue an approach or landing that former is not comfortable with. Is that accurate ? I know the captain is ultimate authority over the ship, but there are flying and non-flying roles for a reason. I easily see the wisdom of a captain telling the flying FO to go around, but not continuing an approach when FO has qualms. I knew an airline FO who had that exact situation, he wanted to break off while descending b/c of severe turbulence and low ceiling, captain repeatedly told him to keep going, but last minute captain yelled "go around". They were fine but sounded pretty hairy and this FO said it shook him up a bit. I think either pilot should be able to veto and default to the safer option in situations like that, no matter who's flying. Realize that disrupts concept of captain as final authority, but the captains judgment is not always superior. Perhaps FO should have authority to sound the retreat in any situation ?

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.
 
RobertS975
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:57 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 22):
A similar thing happened with Air Florida 90. The plane crashed due to icing, and it is believed that the First Officer knew something was wrong before take-off as he flew small planes in Alaska for quite a while. He, however, did not communicate this to the Captain, who was used to flying intra-Florida routes.

The Air Florida 737 crash into the Potomac was actually not due to wing ice and snow contamination, but improper takeoff power set due to icing on the probes in front of the engine. They thought that had max TO power but really did not. The plane could have been saved if either pilot simply pushed the throttles forward for max available power.
 
countrydude39
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:11 am

Hello everyone, although i have loved aviation for a long time, im new to airliners.net. so i hope its ok to ask a question? Does the term "go around" mean to abort the landing and get airborne again and "go around" and come in on another approch? thanks for any help. john
 
SNATH
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:18 am

John,

Welcome to a.net!!!

Yes, go-around is what you described.

Tony
 
QantasHeavy
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:59 am

Conflicts between the Cpt adn FO on final in the weather has bent up many an airframe. AA DC-10 at DFW and QF 744 at BKK (both no serious injuries, but over-ran the runway and plowed dirt) were both cases of "my airplane" by the Captain when the FO wanted to go around. The CRM breakdown in the cockpit on the Mandarin MD-11 landing in HKG in a typhoon result in an approach that flipped the plane upside down. The list goes on and on.

Thunderstorms love to lure pilots who think they can handle it... just so mother nature can prove she can be a real bitch.

It sounds like this was a chain of weather and equipment (airport sensors) creating a situation ripe for disater. But in the final analysis, the flight crew is responsible for their judgement and actions, if they had the right information.

Landing airplanes in and around thunderstorms is a serious hazard; airports and flight crews need to process the right information and make safe decisions. As easy as that sounds, planes continue to fly into hazardous situations and assuming risks.

Still one question... why did the spoilers not deploy??? They were down and locked in the photos of the incident, and I would not see them retracting clean on impact with the revine. To me that makes me wonder if they were planning to go-around.

Don't see this one as being an Airbus technical issue that caused the incident (however, those seats sound like a componding problem). I think AF is a fine airline, and sometimes good pilots get into bad situations and, because they are human, can make mistakes. I am sure the flight crew was highly skilled and certainly did not want to wreck their plane.

Nonetheless, the consequences over their (or one of their) decision to land will ultimately probably sit with them.
 
coa747
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:55 am

Saying this accident was just pilot error is a very big stretch. No accident is caused by a single factor or event. Many situational factors combine to lead to the accident. The delayed deployment of the thrust reversers may just be the proximate event in this accident. The weather was very bad at the time and the question seems to be was it too bad to attempt a landing. If so why did the crew continue the approach. If the weather was within limits it is possible that a sudden change in weather put them into a difficult situation. Remember we are talking about seconds here to make a decision to go hard on the brakes or TOGA. I can't even imagine the stress level in that cockpit.

RobertS975 you are not entirely correct about the Air Florida crash. While the false EPR indication due to the engine anti-ice system being off did mean that full takeoff power was not used. The icing of the wing leading edge and upper span had a very detrimental effect by increasing the stall speed and causing the aircraft to pitch up to a higher angle of attack at rotation. Once the aircraft left ground effect it steadily lost speed and the stick shaker activated immediatley after liftoff. The investigators also concluded that the altitude margin and time only bearly allowed for an escape maneouver if the throttles had been firewalled and the nose lowered. The margin was so thin that there was not agreement as to if it could have been completed succesfully.

[Edited 2005-09-16 05:12:43]
 
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EZEIZA
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:06 pm

Quoting Wukka (Reply 29):
What is your point? This guy was at the helm with the pax load on his watch. Now he *apparently* requested to go-around to cappy, cappy said, "no", and he risked his own life as well as everyone on board trying to put the bird down in conditions that he wasn't comfortable with.

My point is that the FO possibly did not think it was a risk for his own life. Of course, I don't know the guy so I'm just speculating  Smile
In any case, I really don't understand why the FO is allowed to land, but does not have the authority to have the final call, and if he does not obey Captain's orders they put their careers at risk.
If the Captain believes the FO has the excperiece to land a 340, especially in that weather, then the Captain should let the FO have the final call
 
eddieho
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:32 pm

According to one of the Air France reps I talked to after the crash (I was in the crash), the seat of the pilot actually lifted off the floor while he was strapped in his seat, hitting his head hard against the controls above.

After reading this article the 12 second theory sounds quite right to what I experienced... the plane sort of touched the ground but didnt do "much" in terms of slowing down. All I remember is people were clapping, the lady sitting next to me was saying how well the landing was performed, then all hell broke loose.
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5335
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:41 pm

Quoting QantasHeavy (Reply 34):
Still one question... why did the spoilers not deploy???

The spoilers DID deployed.
It was already confirmed just a few days after the accident by the investigators.

Quoting SNATH (Reply 27):
Can anyone please tell me what was it that they disagreed about?

Co-pilot, who was performing the landing, wanted to go-around right after they touched the ground.
The Captain did not want ( according to "Le Figaro ...).
It explains these few seconds "lost" before they used the thrust reversers : after the reversers are on, it is impossible to make a go-around as you don't have, physically, enough time.
 
Geo772
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:40 pm

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:38 pm

Quoting Gnomon (Reply 10):
Not the first case of an omniscient captain who overrules anything the F/O has to say just because he is less experienced than him, SO he can't be right..

The Trident that crashed into Staines is one example where an overpowering and very senior captain 'knows best' and is not corrected by the F/O.

Quoting GLA MD11 (Reply 14):
Quoting SNBru (Reply 1):
I thought that an aircraft should be able to brake at all times without use of thrust reversers.

It usually is. But contaminated runways are an entirely different matter... How can brakes work if the wheels are not properly in contact with the ground?? Thrust reversers make the difference.

Quite true, however one must also consider that they landed quite some distance down the runway. The brakes might well have been enough had this not been the case.

Overall the way I see this is that:

Very poor weather conditions at Totonto which were not properly communicated between the ground and the air.

Had the crew known how bad the surface conditions were they might have held for a while or diverted.

A decision to land even after missing the threshold by quite some distance was clearly the wrong call. However hindsight is a glorious thing. CRM is definately worth looking at here.

It should have been an all or nothing when they finally touched down
rather than wait to deploy the reversers. Max Auto braking and max reverse would have been more appropriate for the conditions.

However the subsequent evacuation showed some real professionalism from the cabin crew and they should be duly credited for this action.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20867
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:22 pm

Quoting GLA MD11 (Reply 5):
When the co-pilot is in command and performing the landing, doesn't he have the full decision power, or at least a stronger voice than the Captain? It seems weird that the co-pilot landed the plane and his decision to go-around was overruled by the Captain.



Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 15):
If your the FO, and you are flying, and you think you should go around, then GO AROUND! Announce it and do it. Let the Captain yell at you if he wants, but the decision will have been made.

The Captain always is the final authority, with some exceptoins. For example, if either pilot calls go around, regardless of pilot flying, the pilot flying MUST perform a go around.

Quoting HiFi (Reply 13):
Quoting SNBru (Reply 1):
I thought that an aircraft should be able to brake at all times without use of thrust reversers.

It usually is. But contaminated runways are an entirely different matter... How can brakes work if the wheels are not properly in contact with the ground?? Thrust reversers make the difference.

Exactly. In most cases thrust reversers (or as CNN called them, "reverse thrusters". What is it, the Starship Enterprise?) are not factored in. In SOME wet runway cases they are.
 
mika
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RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:04 pm

Quoting Aa87 (Reply 30):
Certainly seems CRM was a factor here, among several others. I am surprised to learn that even when FO is the flying pilot, captain has authority to direct him to continue an approach or landing that former is not comfortable with. Is that accurate ? I know the captain is ultimate authority over the ship, but there are flying and non-flying roles for a reason. I easily see the wisdom of a captain telling the flying FO to go around, but not continuing an approach when FO has qualms. I knew an airline FO who had that exact situation, he wanted to break off while descending b/c of severe turbulence and low ceiling, captain repeatedly told him to keep going, but last minute captain yelled "go around". They were fine but sounded pretty hairy and this FO said it shook him up a bit. I think either pilot should be able to veto and default to the safer option in situations like that, no matter who's flying. Realize that disrupts concept of captain as final authority, but the captains judgment is not always superior. Perhaps FO should have authority to sound the retreat in any situation ?

In my eyes this is largely what the captain is payed for, the ultimate responsability of the aircraft. Hence if a FO can take the same responsability (even if just during a landing) he should be paid likewise.

This is why captains get paid so much more than FO's, because of the responsability they hold.

Just my 0.02$
 
ahdharia
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 1:21 am

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:09 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 40):
If your the FO, and you are flying, and you think you should go around, then GO AROUND! Announce it and do it. Let the Captain yell at you if he wants, but the decision will have been made.

The Captain always is the final authority, with some exceptoins. For example, if either pilot calls go around, regardless of pilot flying, the pilot flying MUST perform a go around.

That is what I understand as well. In the communication between Pilot and FO, once a Go-Around is announced, a Go-Around is performed, and both pilots must perform that go-around despite if one did not agree.
 
pecevanne
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:54 am

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:50 pm

Side sticks priority buttons (red ones) are located in the side stick and not next to the chrono push buttons.
The light that announce that the priority button has been used is located in the glareshield next of the chrono button.(with a green or red light and the sound of "priority right or priority left" )
 
Gnomon
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:07 pm

Quoting Geo772 (Reply 39):
Quoting Gnomon (Reply 10):
Not the first case of an omniscient captain who overrules anything the F/O has to say just because he is less experienced than him, SO he can't be right..

The Trident that crashed into Staines is one example where an overpowering and very senior captain 'knows best' and is not corrected by the F/O.

Geo772 --

I think the above quote is an html glitch, but for the record, I didn't write what you quoted above. (Another user did.)
 
D5DBY
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:38 am

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:09 pm

did they land with help from the ILS system? if so....did they do a "Manual-ILS" landing....or a "Autopilot-ILS" landing??

did i get this right...i dont know what the source is(probably nobody does..lol)

Did they decided to land on the 24L instead of the longer 24R because the ILS system on the longer 24R was out of function because of the powerful thunderstorm?

and there is no way they landed without "manual or auto-ILS"?

the report didn't say anything about this....or i didn´t understand that translation......lol
 
justplanecrazy
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:26 pm

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:47 pm

Quoting Ahdharia (Reply 42):

Yes that's also how i understood it.If the Captain is PF and wants to land but the FO wants to go around then the captain must initiate a go around wether he wants to or not.
Common sense if one of the pilots thinks it will be unsafe to land ,even if he is the least experienced of the pilots.
 
CORULEZ05
Posts: 1250
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:39 am

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:33 am

I said before and I'll say it again....this was clearly pilot error. Of course weather had something to do with it but the flight crew made the decision to go ahead and land in terrible conditions with not enough runway to come to complete stop. As for the disagreement between the captain and F/O.....if the F/O was in control, shouldn't HE be the one who makes all that calls?? ie whether a go-around should be initiated? When the F/O is landing the plane, he should ultimately make ANY decision regarding the landing....that is the whole purpose of having ONE person land the plane. I can see how the captain wanted to make a decision (and did) because he is "the boss" BUT F/O had controls and therefore, he was in charge of the plane....NOT the captain. Perhaps, if the F/O would of done what he wanted (the go-around) this wouldn't of happened.....but that's a big "IF"
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 5947
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:41 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 25):
And your experience of course allows you to pass such a harsh judgement based on facts,hey ?

Il faut arreter de chercher midi a 14 heures...

I am no big airline captain, but I know that if I am a heavy jet pilot landing on a less than 3000 meters wet runway with quartering tailwind, and I have overflown more than half of that runway already, a decision to go around SHOULD be floating somewhere in my head, even before touchdown...
Just because I think that I might be able to stop the aircraft within the remaining distance doesn't mean that I shoould try and land it.

It's no news to anyone that doubt should never exist in a crewmember's mind, let alone 12 seconds of it! You know your situation, and you know what the safe thing to do is. I know Go around is not an appreciated action amongst pilots because of the time loss and the hurt ego, but in many cases, it is the safe thing to do.

I don't know s#!} about the A340, AF's CRM procedure, Toronto's airport, and even less about the actual weather conditions the day of the accident. I don't care about the flaming or whatever will be said but nobody here or at the BEA or anywhere will get it out of my head that at the end of the day, it IS a 100% pilot error.

The accident investigation report will as usual embed it amongst a lot of aggravating factors, weather, ATC, whatever, but it doesn't matter to me, they don't make the pilot responsible to relieve him of that responsability as soon as the conditions get a little tricky.

And I am not saying that I would have behaved any differently than him in the same situation, hell I might have crashed even harder, I don't know.
 
AMSSFO
Posts: 912
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:42 am

RE: AF Toronto Accident Details

Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:21 am

Quoting Francoflier (Reply 48):
nobody here or at the BEA or anywhere will get it out of my head that at the end of the day, it IS a 100% pilot error.

You're clearly one of the persons that prefers to pinpoint one single cause for an accident. Well, that's never the case, as many people have pointed out here. So, think again!

We all have to realise that this whole thread (and all our theories) are based upon one article in Le Figaro, that does NOT state it sources!
From other sources (see quote below) it seems that there was only a 4 second delay (not the whole 12 seconds) possibly attributable to a POSSIBLE disagreement between F/O and captain.
It is not all clear form the article whether there was a disagreement or not. It seems that that is a conclusion made by the journalist.

Quoting GLA MD11 (Reply 14):
There were some corrections in tonight evening news (France2):
It took the plane 12 seconds to start slowing down (ie 700m), which include the 4 seconds to get the front gear on the ground, 4 seconds hesitating (or else? - mechanical problem?) and 4 seconds for trust-reversers to actually start having an effect on the speed of the plane.
The source assumes that these 4 seconds were due to this hesitation between the pilot and the co-pilot, although both of them deny it (the CVR will tell).

and translated quote from the Figaro article:

Quote:

It is probable that the co-pilot- who was at the controls, and the captain, then in charge of the radio connections and the management of the systems, had a disagreement.
end quote

It's still not explained why the pilots landed long and whether they realised that. They landed on 24L iso of 24R because the ILS of 24R did not work anymore; nothing is said about the ILS of 24L. Did it work properly?

Alternatively, were the pilots surprised that it took so long before touchdown and does this explain why it took 4 seconds before thrust reversers were employed?

We have to wait for the publication of the actual CVR transcripts.

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