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Gonzalo
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AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 1:18 pm

I know the EGPWS just did what was expected to do, I'm also aware that this incident didn't had a practical consequence for the aircarft and the people on board (who probably didn't had a clue about what happened except for the cockpit crew ), but still, I wonder how an AF crew, and the ATC monitoring this flight, were not aware of the aircraft turning towards a mountain, rendering the EGPWS the last barrier to avoid a tragedy.

http://avherald.com/h?article=4867f2bd&opt=0


Thoughts?

Rgds.

G.
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Polot
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 1:27 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
but still, I wonder how an AF crew, and the ATC monitoring this flight, were not aware of the aircraft turning towards a mountain, rendering the EGPWS the last barrier to avoid a tragedy.

Well it was at night (flight is scheduled to depart just before 9:00pm) and there was bad weather so the AF crew probably didn't even see the mountain, and apparently didn't do a good job familiarizing themselves with any high terrain in the area.
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 1:59 pm

Quoting polot (Reply 1):
Well it was at night (flight is scheduled to depart just before 9:00pm) and there was bad weather so the AF crew probably didn't even see the mountain

Of course, but one expects that an AF crew flying a Boeing 777 in a scheduled passenger flight will not depend on the advantages of VFR, and can conduct a safe flight under IFR, no matter where they are. Changes of course or heading occurs all the time and I'm curious about why this crew wasn't able to see where they were and where the aircraft was flying to ( you know, there is a saying in aviation, something like " don't put your aircraft in a place unless your mind was in that place 5 minutes ago", if someone remember the exact saying please correct me .  ).

Rgds.

G.
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frmrCapCadet
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 2:08 pm

With 37 people aboard!!!!! Any particular reason they are using a 772? This is 320/373 BJ territory.
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klemmi85
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 2:12 pm

They were still picking up pax on the way. Scary however. What is it with AF and their crews?
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LHRResident91
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 9:00 pm

I don't want to AF bash BUT there is clearly an issue here. Yes people make mistakes, but comparing to other like for like carriers, AF tend to have more "issues".

Maybe an investigation into AF's training and operating procedures could clarify a few things, or maybe it's just coincidental.....
 
b747400erf
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 9:17 pm

ATC is not reliable in Africa, you are really on your own. The crew should have had charts to make sure they were above any terrain though. Lucky they listened to the warning and did as required and nobody got hurt.
 
Max Q
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 9:54 pm

Another save by EGPWS.


Great technology, especially the enhanced version, the older type sometimes just didn't give you enough warning.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Western727
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 10:16 pm

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 3):
With 37 people aboard!!!!! Any particular reason they are using a 772? This is 320/373 BJ territory.

Well...the 320/737 carry roughly 125-175 pax, so 37 is more up the CRJ-200's alley.   
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tomcbaker
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 10:24 pm

I've flown in this area in the past. ATC is not reliable and the airport in question (Douala) is kind of the wild wild west. Reminds me of Kenya Airways Flight 507; a fairly new 738 that departed Douala a few years back without receiving takeoff clearance and then nose dived into a swamp a few minutes later due to SA/pilot disorientation not far from there.

The flight had a small passenger load because it was a connection and AF does a lot of flying in the Francophone countries there, including short connecting hops to pick up/drop off passengers.

Very surprised about this - AF pilots are excellent (notwithstanding the armchair quarterbacks online). Considering they were ~6000ft below MSA when the EPGWS went off, it was probably a combination of factors that led to near CFIT. It's a short leg (so high workload), the weather was bad, the pilots had their hands full and ATC likely didn't give them any warning or reminder about terrain after granting the deviation. It makes it easy to fly right into a mountain if you aren't reading the charts, where the MSA where this happened appears to have been FL150. It's happened before to US pilots (google the AA 757 crash in Cali, Colombia) and others from other airlines and countries. No need to make broad assumptions about how this reflects on AF.

[Edited 2015-05-20 15:28:43]

[Edited 2015-05-20 15:29:21]
Tom
 
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 11:06 pm

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 13):
Probably for the same reason plenty of people say something happened "in Europe" or "in America". There's nothing nefarious about it...

One thing I've always wondered about EGPWS - why does it tell pilots to "pull up" instead of "turn"? It seems like in many cases, it would be safer to just deviate or go back the way you came than to try to get over the top of a mountain directly in front of you (given the climb performance of most airliners). Looking at the map of this incident, it seems like the mountain was a single high peak in their way.


Because gaining altitude is a lot quicker than a 180 degree turn at 400+ knots groundspeed.... (think Radius).

Also when the EGPWS activates on the B777, the TERR function which shows the highest and lowest elevation of terrain within the current ND (navigation display) pilot selected selected ND range, will automatically pop up, giving the pilots an instant look at the surrounding and conflicting terrain.

Some operators require PF to have the WX radar on their ND and PNF to have TERR displayed on their ND for situation awareness. (or vice versa). At others it is optional.

Challenging environment to fly in, no doubt. In any case this looks like a classic loss of situation awareness, where EGPWS saved the day, as designed.

[Edited 2015-05-20 16:07:52]
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MD80Nut
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Wed May 20, 2015 11:29 pm

No doubt a serious incident, yet one in which "the system" worked as designed. The EGPWS worked detecting the threat and warning the pilots. Then the pilots' training took over and trusting their aircraft and instruments took the right action and prevented a disaster.

I could see some remedial training on flying in places with less than ideal navigation and ATC, though.

Cheers, Ralph
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vikkyvik
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 12:30 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 13):
One thing I've always wondered about EGPWS - why does it tell pilots to "pull up" instead of "turn"? It seems like in many cases, it would be safer to just deviate or go back the way you came than to try to get over the top of a mountain directly in front of you (given the climb performance of most airliners). Looking at the map of this incident, it seems like the mountain was a single high peak in their way.

Mountains are also quite often part of mountain ranges, so turning may not exactly solve the problem.

But yes, also, depending on speed, your turning radius can be quite large. And while airliners don't have fighter climb rates, they can generally do pretty well.

In this case, a climb from 9000 to 13000 feet, at landing weights, with very few passengers, was probably quite sporty.
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 3:53 am

Really 37 people on board a 777-200, what a money maker that one is.
 
rbavfan
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 4:19 am

They did not T-O from Douala, they T-O from Malabo on a flight to Douala. Everyone seems to be talking like the Douala ATC let them T-O and fly toward the mountain after leaving. Read the report please and post based on the facts.
 
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 4:34 am

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 18):
Really 37 people on board a 777-200, what a money maker that one is.

It's a tag-on flight. Those are always going to be pretty empty.

-Mir
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 4:53 am

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 18):
Really 37 people on board a 777-200, what a money maker that one is.

Ah, the old myth on A.net that a full flight means it's making money!  

Have you ever booked flights in Africa? An AF flight from Paris to a secondary destination in Africa, or even a short tag-on in Africa, can cost thousands of EUR in the cheapest fare. This is not your CRJ from LGA to RDU.

Soren   
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Plane Holland
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 5:24 am

Can we quit the stupid conversation about only 37 pax on a 777? I was once on a Varig 777 flight from AMS to CDG, only 5 onboard. The plane was full from CDG to Brazil though.
 
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 7:42 am

Unbelievable that Air France do this again and again and again. Concorde — overweight, tail wind, mods not complete, spacers needed on gear found the day after in a hangar, FE shuts down engine without telling anyone. Toronto — continue approach when even Air Canada are diverting, accept shortest runway, skipper allows very inexperienced FO to land, unstabilised approach, touchdown in second half of runway, no reverse thrust for eleven seconds after touchdown. AF447 — unreliable airspeed indication is enough for them to stall the plane and keep it stalled for the three minutes it took to get from cruise to crash. Tel Aviv — nearly stall an A320. Paris — get a 777 within a tiny distance of the ground on a go-around (Google these last two).

No other airline does this.
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AF1624
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 7:45 am

Quoting Plane Holland (Reply 22):

Although I agree with the background of what you're saying (low load on one leg doesn't necessarily equate to loss)... I think your example is badly chosen since Varig went bankrupt.
Cheers
 
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 8:53 am

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 3):
With 37 people aboard!!!!! Any particular reason they are using a 772? This is 320/373 BJ territory.
Quoting Western727 (Reply 10):
Well...the 320/737 carry roughly 125-175 pax, so 37 is more up the CRJ-200's alley.   
Quoting Beatyair (Reply 18):
Really 37 people on board a 777-200, what a money maker that one is.

To definitely get rid of the poor argument: AF is flying a B772 or B77W on the CDG-DLA-SSG-DLA-CDG run. As someone said, the incident occured on a tag-on between SSG (Malabo) and DLA (Douala) wich is a roughly 70nm hop.
And YES! This flight is actually making money, and load factors are quiet good.


To stick on the topic; yes it IS a serious incident. Night flight, very short leg, weather on the area (CBs that night), and poor (very poor!) ATC are contributive factors.
The first question that came to my mind is; if both pilots had their wx radar turned on (on both NDs, which is not what AF SOPs recommend, but still..) why the wx radar wouldn't detect any ground echoes? The answer could stand in the fact that those 77E are equipped with multiscan wx radars that suppress ground echoes. But I'm no specialist. Thoughts?
Again, a good job from the EGPWS...

Quoting LHRResident91 (Reply 6):

I don't want to AF bash BUT there is clearly an issue here. Yes people make mistakes, but comparing to other like for like carriers, AF tend to have more "issues".


Really? After reading your comment, while browsing AVHerald, I found these "issues" from some other very well known and recognized operators. Check this;

http://avherald.com/h?article=46d6e18c&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=47ce55d1&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=475207bb&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=476dea26&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=4868e523&opt=0
http://avherald.com/h?article=477bc818&opt=0

This could be interpreted as "human errors" in some way, but anyway. I tend to believe that in spite of what I found, these airlines remain amongst the most reliable airlines in the world and I'll fly with them any day soon. I don't blame you at all, but I'll blame our era, where "human error" has become the new moto for every new air incident/accident explanation. But it's not always been this way.

I recommend you this article, coming from a pilot who's trying to work on air safety from a different point of view. I found his look interesting and wanted to share it with you all. Maybe this could help some fellow a-netters (no offense) armchair pilots to consider a nowadays pilot's work differently.... Well, I hope actually.

Here's the link; http://www.safetydifferently.com/is-it-1947-yet/

Cheers,

D
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AirlineCritic
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 9:43 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 23):
Unbelievable that Air France do this again and again and again.

They are the first to crash Concorde, A320, A330, A340... there's a reason I don't board their A380 flights. Just joking of course. I'm certain they are safe. They are a big operator, and unlucky perhaps in some ways. Like with that spare part on runway when Concorde was taking off. But most other accidents have been crew issues.

Anyway, back to topic. It is a serious incident, indeed.
 
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 9:49 am

First A330 crash was a -300 test flight in Airbus livery, but interestingly the first A340 hull loss incident involved a parked Air France -200 that caught fire.

[Edited 2015-05-21 03:13:16]
 
tommy1808
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 10:00 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 23):
Tel Aviv — nearly stall an A320

afaik it was under speed, but not in any risk of stalling. However, it wasn't an example of good airmanship, but a good demonstration of protections.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 23):
get a 777 within a tiny distance of the ground on a go-around

which was so significant that it led to zero recommendations

Best regards
Thomas
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777way
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 10:15 am

Its like what Korean Air went through in the 90s.
 
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 10:28 am

Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 14):
Some operators require PF to have the WX radar on their ND and PNF to have TERR displayed on their ND for situation awareness.

That was my first thought. Most airlines's SOPs state that Terrain should always be shown on one of the NAV displays. Thus the crew should have been aware of the mountain long before the EGPWS warning.

Quoting tomcbaker (Reply 11):
AF pilots are excellent (notwithstanding the armchair quarterbacks online)
Quoting airproxx (Reply 25):
Really? After reading your comment, while browsing AVHerald, I found these "issues" from some other very well known and recognized operators.

Unfortunately we both know that loads of people in the civ av forums love Air France bashing. I'm surprised that noone has bothered to make a comment about the planes being dirty yet.  
Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 21):
Have you ever booked flights in Africa? An AF flight from Paris to a secondary destination in Africa, or even a short tag-on in Africa, can cost thousands of EUR in the cheapest fare.

Africa is usually quite high yielding.

[Edited 2015-05-21 03:58:26]
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JCS
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 11:42 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 31):
Unbelievable that Air France do this again and again and again

I completely agree

Quoting airproxx (Reply 25):
but I'll blame our era, where "human error" has become the new moto
Quoting airproxx (Reply 26):
Now this is poor biased bashing.
Quoting ZKOJQ (Reply 33):
we both know that loads of people in the civ av forums love Air France bashing


Dear friends,

This is NOT about AF bashing, this is about the serious suspicion that there are bit too many things going wrong to be just coincidences.

Personally I can't help keep thinking about a very old saying we have in The Netherlands: "met de Franse slag". Which means that French people have the tendency of doing things without using their full attention resulting in loose ends. It's even in a wikipedia article (Dutch only).

You seem to push away any bad signs and that is exactly what in aviation should NEVER happen. Good CRM can avoid this. And KL 1977 taught that to everybody in Holland.

[Edited 2015-05-21 04:48:23]

[Edited 2015-05-21 04:50:22]
 
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OA412
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 2:50 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 23):
Paris — get a 777 within a tiny distance of the ground on a go-around (Google these last two).

No other airline does this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiana_Airlines_Flight_214

Not to mention TK's various landing incidents.

[Edited 2015-05-21 07:53:16]
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tomcbaker
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 5:42 pm

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 19):

They did not T-O from Douala, they T-O from Malabo on a flight to Douala. Everyone seems to be talking like the Douala ATC let them T-O and fly toward the mountain after leaving. Read the report please and post based on the facts.

I don't know about anyone else here, but I wasn't implying or saying that the aircraft took off from Douala. I referenced Kenya 507 to illustrate ATC issues (the flight took off without ATC clearance; this is indicative of both airline procedural issues and ATC enforcement issues - a 738 would not take off without ATC clearance in most places without severe consequences) and a lack of SA on another commercial aircraft in the same area that actually did crash.

Since you brought it up though, the entire ATC system in Cameroon let them down in a way. I wasn't there and I don't know which frequency they were on, but after requesting and receiving the deviation around weather that put them on a direct course for a volcano (Mt. Cameroon), they received no warning from ATC regarding either terrain or the need to climb several thousand feet. FYI, I get you might not be a pilot in real life outside of these forums, but in most places ATC will actually either warn the flight or not grant their request if it puts them on a direct collision course with terrain. It's not unusual in equatorial Africa that this happened, but not having radar is not an excuse given that the ATC controller was aware of the flight's general location and the mountain there, just like it's no excuse that the pilots of this AF flight weren't reading the charts when they flew directly towards a volcano 6,000ft below MSA. I suggest you also read the reports because this is all fact.

Quoting airproxx (Reply 26):
Now this is poor biased bashing. Your post is of no value at all.
Quoting ZKOJQ (Reply 33):
Unfortunately we both know that loads of people in the civ av forums love Air France bashing. I'm surprised that noone has bothered to make a comment about the planes being dirty yet.  

  
Tom
 
LHRResident91
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 7:39 pm

Ahhh well. I'm sure we will be having the same arguments in the not too distant future...

[Edited 2015-05-21 12:39:38]
 
aviatorcraig
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 8:38 pm

Interestingly, although a very long time ago, Air France has met this mountain before...

Qoute from WP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_accidents_and_incidents

---
3 February 1951
A Douglas DC-4 (F-BBDO, named Ciel de Savoie) operating Air France's Douala, Cameroon, to Niamey, Niger, sector hit the 13,354 feet high Cameroon Mountain near Bouea, Cameroon, west of Douala, at a height of 8,500 feet (2,600 m). The aircraft was destroyed, killing all 29 occupants. The mountain was probably only partially visible from the flight deck due to the mist surrounding it. Although the pilot immediately turned to the left, the plane hit the steeply rising terrain with its left wing. The accident investigators concluded that the crew followed an inaccurate procedure and relied on imprecise navigation. The investigators furthermore determined that the crew did not check the draft [sic]. Moreover, they cited the crew's error of judgement and over-confidence when flying over the mountain mass as additional contributory factors.[42]
---

The airline's accident history does show a significant number of hull loses compared to other carriers of similar size. In the 1960s AF lost several 707s including in 1962, two accidents within 19 days of each other, both with large loss of life.

This is not AF bashing... I've flown on AF numerous times and of course it is still much safer than the drive to the airport but AF just seems to be one of those airlines (Turkish Airlines is another) that historically has had a raised accident rate compared to their peers.
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Kaiarahi
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 9:07 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 38):
In the 1960s AF lost several 707s

PanAm lost 4 in the 60s, 5 in the 70s (not counting bombings/hijackings). TWA lost 2 in the 60s, 4 in the 70s. AF lost 5 in the 60s, none in the 70s.

I don't think the finger-pointing is justified.
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Pihero
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 9:36 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 23):
Concorde — overweight, tail wind, mods not complete, spacers needed on gear found the day after in a hangar, FE shuts down engine without telling anyone.

-"Overweight" ? wrong
- "Tailwind" ? Wrong
- "mods not complete" ? Which ones ?
- "spacers needed on gear found the day after in a hangar" ? Not pertinent to the accident
- " FE shuts down engine without telling anyone" ? Totally untrue...
You need to read serious reports instead of the usual riubbish of the gutter press... Really.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 23):
Toronto — continue approach when even Air Canada are diverting, accept shortest runway,
, unstabilised approach, touchdown in second half of runway, no reverse thrust for eleven seconds after touchdown.

-" continue approach when even Air Canada are diverting" ? Rubbish the diversions were because of holding delays... There were airplanes in front and behind the flight.
- " accept shortest runway" : That was the only runway available.
- "skipper allows very inexperienced FO to land" : Re-rubbish :eight years in the airline and four on the type ( as much as the captain, btw) is hardly mark of a tyro.
- " touchdown in second half of runway, no reverse thrust for eleven seconds after touchdown" : There is nothing in your profile that would allow you any judgement... except of course bias and personal agenda.
.....
Excerpt of the official accident report : "... Had Runway 24L been designed with a RESA built to ICAO recommended practice, the FAA standard, or the FAA alternate means of compliance, the damage to the aircraft and injuries to
the passengers may have been reduced..."

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 31):
These were totally avoidable crashes and I am stating the facts

All accidents are totally avoidable, wiyth hindsight and armchair aviatoring. Nothing new here. {sarcastic=

Quoting JCS (Reply 34):
t a very old saying we have in The Netherlands: "met de Franse slag". Which means that French people have the tendency of doing things without using their full attention resulting in loose ends

So how do you explain all that science from this country, all its philosophers... it's certainly not about a "mill in old Amsterdam", is it ? (famous song by Ronnie Hilton you could listen to here

Quoting JCS (Reply 34):
This is NOT about AF bashing

Apparently it is.
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b747400erf
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Thu May 21, 2015 10:23 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 18):

No other airline does this.

No other western airline has a similar safety record? Is that a verifiable fact?
 
kl838
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Fri May 22, 2015 12:17 am

I find that the moment a single incident happens with an AF jet the whole forum starts to jump on the bashing train. Yet, when a similar thing happens to another airline no one even mentions it. Air France had 3 major accidents within the last fifteen years, but it is biased to say all of them were the airline's fault. I agree 447 highlighted the need for revised training with regards to automation and basic skills for pilots, but the Concorde and A343 incidents do not reveal any sort of issue with pilot training at Air France.

The Concorde would have taken off without incident were it not for the metal piece left behind on the runway, sure weight added to that effects, but the design of the fuel tanks were weak. The mods and recommendations occurred after the incident to my knowledge.

The A343 incident at Toronto was simply a late touch down due to weather. Many airlines have had this and runway overshoots happen to every single airline. Yet, I am surprised no one mentioned the efficiency of the crew that got everyone out in time that lead to no fatalities whatsoever.

With hundreds of flights everyday, there will be some incidents, and thats why the safety system is in place. To protect the aircraft and its passengers when the pilots (who are human too, not robots) slip up. Every pilot and every pilot in all airlines across the world will slip up, as it is human nature. So it is unfair to constantly blame Air France for these incidents, and that the airline has serious issues.
 
Viscount724
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RE: AF 772 Serious Incident In Africa

Fri May 22, 2015 12:51 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
Quoting Beatyair (Reply 18):
Really 37 people on board a 777-200, what a money maker that one is.

It's a tag-on flight. Those are always going to be pretty empty.

DLA-SSG is a 62 nm tag-on sector. As far as I know AF doesn't even have 5th freedom rights so all those passegers will be continuing to/from CDG or beyond, and many probably paying high J fares since Equatorial Guinea is a significant oil producer.

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