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Aesma
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:31 am

RIP to the victims.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 140):
The UAE is very, very image conscious

That can go both ways, towards a good investigation or towards a coverup.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Shmendr
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:31 am

Since the plane was manufactured in the US, NTSB may be invited to participated in the crash investigation. However, given that the crash occurred in Russia, it will be interesting to see whether the NTSB will be invited or, for political reasons, will not.

[Edited 2016-03-19 02:35:42]
 
Hywel
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:35 am

The passenger and crew manifest has been published in Russian news outlets now:

http://en.israel-today.ru/a-list-of-passengers-and-crew-members-of-the-plane-that-crashed-in-rostov-on-don.html

The crew:

Aristos Socrates (the commander of the crew, Greece)
Cruz Alejandro Alava
Caro, Javier Alejandro Curbelo
Maxim Audrus (Russia)
Alex Dominic Yoram Confait
Laura Patricia Delacruz
Goldus Nasirdinov
 
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notaxonrotax
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:35 am

Perhaps there are similarities with Turkish in Amsterdam.

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barney captain
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:35 am

This was mentioned in the comments on AVH -

Two hours of holding may have produced some ice accumulation that could have negatively affected aerodynamics during the GA.

With a surface temp/dp of 6/4, that puts the freezing level possibly somewhere near their holding alt. It's difficult to be sure with unstable air masses like they had, but it's certainly a possibility.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
D L X
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:36 am

Quoting LandSweetLand (Reply 146):
Daytime images starting to come in

Did it crash on the runway?
 
timboflier215
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:42 am

Quoting LandSweetLand (Reply 146):
Daytime images starting to come in

Admittedly hard to tell from just 2 photos, but the fact that it's broken up into such small pieces would support the nose dive video; hard to imagine a wing contact on touch down/ go around leading to the aircraft being pulverised like that.
 
Shmendr
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:43 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 155):
Did it crash on the runway?

Seemingly so. After an aborted landing / go-around attempt, it crashed into the runway. Based on the video, it looks like it nose-dove into the ground, coincidentally striking the runway.

[Edited 2016-03-19 02:44:37]

[Edited 2016-03-19 02:45:48]
 
rbavfan
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:47 am

Quoting KPDX (Reply 5):
Seemed to speed up on final approach before the crash...

He was too low. They now say he hit 800 foot from the runway. I can't understand why if the weather was that bad why he flew around 2 hours rather than an alternate airport.
 
Hywel
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:51 am

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 158):
I can't understand why if the weather was that bad why he flew around 2 hours rather than an alternate airport.

The decision must have come from flydubai HQ after radioing back to inform them of the weather. I doubt any pilot would want to hold for 2 hours, unless he was pressured into doing so by management.
 
Shmendr
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:58 am

Question,

What are the possible causes of the light on the aircraft visible in the video immediately before the impact?

The more times I have replayed the video, more it looks like a flame. Other possible reasons for the light? Simple landing lights?

Thanks everyone
 
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:59 am

Quoting Hywel (Reply 159):
The decision must have come from flydubai HQ after radioing back to inform them of the weather. I doubt any pilot would want to hold for 2 hours, unless he was pressured into doing so by management.

This is one of the many reasons Dispatchers are legally required in certain parts of the world.
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mila
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:00 am

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 156):

They must have stalled, otherwise why go straight down like it seams they did?
 
bjorn14
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:04 am

NRK is reporting 62 were on board. RIP.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
klwright69
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:06 am

Wow, those pictures are really shocking. It's not what you would expect in a landing accident. So many tiny pieces, no big pieces. Totally unsurviveable.

Regarding the link in post 152, there must be misinformation, the 7th passenger name seems to be an error. Where are the editors?

[Edited 2016-03-19 03:09:48]
 
nitepilot79
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:14 am

Quoting Shmendr (Reply 160):
The more times I have replayed the video, more it looks like a flame. Other possible reasons for the light? Simple landing lights?

Fwiw, I posted a guess a bit up the thread:

Quoting nitepilot79 (Reply 49):
And it seems like the weather at the time would have amplified the light from the nose gear landing lights, making it look like the aircraft was on fire before impact. Pure speculation, though...

R.I.P.  

And this:

Quoting nitepilot79 (Reply 57):
The "BR" (mist, for those who may not know) within the METAR would seem to corroborate any light amplification...

Quoting sierrakilo44 (Reply 17):
METAR: URRR 190130Z 24012G18MPS 4400 1700SW SHRA BKN013 BKN032CB OVC100 06/04 Q0997 R22/290046 TEMPO 25017G25MPS 1000 SHRA BR SCT003 BKN020CB RMK QFE740/0987
 
Redd
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:23 am

Quoting ual777 (Reply 70):
After looking at the CCTV footage again, I'm more and more thinking a go around leading to a stall.

Comparing the video and the Flightaware data (if accurate) I'd say it really looks like that is what has happened here. Especially if the reports of a tailstrike are true, that is clearly not seen in the video and must have happened before.
 
Hywel
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:27 am

Quoting Redd (Reply 166):
Comparing the video and the Flightaware data (if accurate) I'd say it really looks like that is what has happened here. Especially if the reports of a tailstrike are true, that is clearly not seen in the video and must have happened before.

If Avherald's report of a wing strike is true, then it could have occurred on touchdown, the pilots tried to go around, but the wing was damaged and a loss of lift caused it to stall.
 
dubaiamman243
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:29 am

more photos

The next airline CEO :crossfingers:
 
pilotaydin
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:07 am

Hello after a year and a bit of not posting. I had worked on the Amsterdam accident a while back with TK. I do know that having flown both the Airbus and the Boeing aircraft, I can safely say that there are more upset attitudes during a go around for boeing aircraft than you may imagine. If the aircraft is light the trim is positioned in such a way that the speed is low for the low weight, adding full thrust for a go around with a massive headwind can lead to enourmous pitch up attitude, especially in weather like this where the Autopilot is keen to disconnect...

my theory as an investigator and as a pilot is that the aircraft stalled out after a large pitch change, the crew tried to compensate but I believe she rolled to the side and came crashing down....there was another 737 at a Russian airport that had the same type of ending to its flight...

Checking flight radar we can see the speed drop as much as 107 knots during the approach...whether groundspeed or indicated this is very very low and makes me believe this is a classic case of low altitude stall followed by ground impact...

conditions suck i was in rostov last week...dark, windy, bad time of day stress filled operation....
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
pilotaydin
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:10 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatarstan_Airlines_Flight_363

I put my money on a situation like this....
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
klwright69
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:19 am

Well if other flights were diverting why didn't they just close the airport? It sounds like unsafe conditions.
 
pilotaydin
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:28 am

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 172):

There is no reason to close an airport unless something is unusable like a runway...some things are a legal issue and others are an issue of pilot skills and comfort...
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
zanl188
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:32 am

Quoting pilotaydin (Reply 169):

Good to see you back posting. I wish the circumstances were better.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
Koosi
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:35 am

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 164):
Regarding the link in post 152, there must be misinformation, the 7th passenger name seems to be an error. Where are the editors?

Yes, someone obviously used an online translator to transliterate the names and couldn't be bothered to check the accuracy. It's Yulia Bezglasnaya. The 8th name should be Sergey Bezglasny, not Sergey Mute.
 
dubaiamman243
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:40 am

In the press conference held by Flydubai, CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said that the Captain has more than 5700 flying hours and the F/O has more than 5500 flying hour. The aircraft, A6-EDN had its last C-check on 21 JAN.
The next airline CEO :crossfingers:
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:45 am

Quoting Hywel (Reply 152):
The passenger and crew manifest has been published in Russian news outlets now:

Is this for real?

Julia Is Dumb
Sergey Mute
Svitlana Of Tsehelska
 
pilotaydin
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:45 am

Quoting dubaiamman243 (Reply 176):

unfortunately flight time is never a direct indication of pilot experience or quality...in Amsterdam the captain had 17000 hours...  
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
Koosi
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:59 am

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 177):
Is this for real?

Julia Is Dumb
Sergey Mute
Svitlana Of Tsehelska

See reply 175. Svitlana Of Tsehelska should be Svetlana Shekhelskaya.

Quoting Koosi (Reply 175):
someone obviously used an online translator to transliterate the names and couldn't be bothered to check the accuracy. It's Yulia Bezglasnaya. The 8th name should be Sergey Bezglasny, not Sergey Mute.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:05 pm

Quoting pilotaydin (Reply 169):
my theory as an investigator and as a pilot is that the aircraft stalled out after a large pitch change, the crew tried to compensate but I believe she rolled to the side and came crashing down....there was another 737 at a Russian airport that had the same type of ending to its flight...

Glad to have you here again, pilotaydin! I also wish the the circumstances were better.

Nevertheless, something along the lines of what you suggest above is very potential reason for the crash.
 
Shmendr
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:29 pm

Quoting pilotaydin (Reply 169):
If the aircraft is light the trim is positioned in such a way that the speed is low for the low weight, adding full thrust for a go around with a massive headwind can lead to enourmous pitch up attitude, especially in weather like this where the Autopilot is keen to disconnect...

hi, Pilottaydin

Could you kindly explain what a pilot is supposed to do in the scenario you described above that is different than if there is no headwind or an aircraft is not light weight? Interested to know how light weight + strong headwind causes the autopilot to disconnect in a go-around situation, and what a pilot is supposed to do in anticipation of that happening.

would greatly appreciate
 
migair54
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:38 pm

Quoting Shmendr (Reply 181):
Could you kindly explain what a pilot is supposed to do in the scenario you described above that is different than if there is no headwind or an aircraft is not light weight? Interested to know how light weight + strong headwind causes the autopilot to disconnect in a go-around situation, and what a pilot is supposed to do in anticipation of that happening.

The autopilot always disengage in case of Go Around, I am not sure about the B737, but more than 15 degree pitch up should not be achieve, specially in case of WindShear, you need to get speed and get out of it as fast as possible, so keep the 10-15 pitch up and disregard the FD, keep the wings level and look for signs of getting out.

Quoting pilotaydin (Reply 169):

It is a very possible scenario, lot of power, low weight the FD will command to go pitch up a lot to get the speed however if you over command you can easily stall and monitoring the trend arrow in the speed is very important. I have seen similar situations in the simulator, not B737, but the situation could be similar, very easy to stall if you don't anticipate, and if you are tired it's easy to be a bit slower in reactions.
 
dubaiamman243
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:38 pm

here is another video https://twitter.com/AlghadNews/status/711168871793881088
The next airline CEO :crossfingers:
 
sandyb123
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:44 pm

Quoting dubaiamman243 (Reply 183):
here is another video https://twitter.com/AlghadNews/status/711168871793881088
http://twitter.com/AlghadNews/status/711168871793881088

Clickable link.

Is it me or is that aircraft on fire? It could be the poor quality video but the aircraft is 'illuminated' which is uncommon on approach at night.

R.I.P to all onboard.

Sandyb123
Member of the mile high club
 
migair54
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:45 pm

Quoting dubaiamman243 (Reply 183):
here is another video https://twitter.com/AlghadNews/status/711168871793881088

I don't know if it's the landing lights or something else, but it could seem like the plane is on fire even before crashing.

I always though why Airports don't have cameras covering the movement areas for investigations, not only crashes but any other incident, with so much traffic and investment a few cameras won't be a big burden in the budget.
 
trnswrld
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:57 pm

Based off information we have, Pilotaydin seems to have the most plausible situation. Its unbelievable though the amount of destruction shown on the runway. It looks as if this aircraft crashed from 37,000 feet, not a few hundred feet.
 
A346Dude
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:58 pm

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 172):
Well if other flights were diverting why didn't they just close the airport? It sounds like unsafe conditions.

Airports don't just close for bad weather, unless it is truly horrible (think hurricane or blizzard). You do not want airport duty managers, who may have 0 hours of flying experience, making the decision as to when the weather is "too bad". That determination must made by pilots based on their experience and aircraft limitations.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
wjcandee
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:09 pm

Do either of the Dubai-government-owned airlines (Emirates and FlyDubai), which are both headed in name by the same sheikh, use a US-style dispatcher system where the dispatcher can tell you to move on to an alternate?

It is hard to imagine this particular accident sequence happening at a US carrier, because of that system. Someone on the ground, without a honey waiting for him in Rostov, is supposed to evaluate the navaids (which were limited here), the weather, and other factors, and help the crew make a good decision.

It is more than disturbing to see the one Russian offiical blithely say the accident appeared to be caused by high winds, and then appear to find that a sufficient explanation. In 2016, aircraft don't just go down due to high winds. Maybe it's a cultural or language issue. The ministry's more comprehensive statement, which included the possibility of other factors, like pilot error, was a little more reassuring that perhaps they didn't think that this wasn't just something to shrug at.

Airmanship is of course a significant potential issue here: as with other accidents with modern aircraft that we can think of recently, sometimes the skill set of the crew in the highly-automated pointy end isn't up to wrangling through some tough conditions (such a visual landing at SFO on a calm, clear day).

And the ability for the crew to communicate with each other robustly in a single language might be implicated by their divergent nationalities, although I didn't see if the cpt and fo were from the same country.

[Edited 2016-03-19 06:14:32]
 
trnswrld
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:13 pm

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 184):
s it me or is that aircraft on fire? It could be the poor quality video but the aircraft is 'illuminated' which is uncommon on approach at night.

No the aircraft is not on fire. If it appears to be illuminated the perfect explanation to that is the fact that it's directly over a very brightly lit runway. Ever see how much light a runway makes at full intensity in low visibility? It's extremely bright.
 
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enilria
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:16 pm

Quoting migair54 (Reply 185):

Quoting dubaiamman243 (Reply 183):
here is another video https://twitter.com/AlghadNews/status/711168871793881088

I don't know if it's the landing lights or something else, but it could seem like the plane is on fire even before crashing.

I always though why Airports don't have cameras covering the movement areas for investigations, not only crashes but any other incident, with so much traffic and investment a few cameras won't be a big burden in the budget.

It is very common for witnesses to say the same thing about an accident, and in most cases it turns out to be false. I think in most cases it is either the aircraft lighting or more likely it is a flame from the engines that results from a stall or 100% throttle situation in an unconventional trajectory.
 
wjcandee
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:16 pm

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 187):
That determination must made by pilots based on their experience and aircraft limitations.

Or, even better, by pilots and trained dispatchers (the latter of whom are to be free of get-there-itis).
 
wjcandee
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:18 pm

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 186):
It looks as if this aircraft crashed from 37,000 feet, not a few hundred feet.

The kinetic forces at work from the descent speed shown in that video would be more than sufficient to produce that result.
 
pilotaydin
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:27 pm

Quoting Shmendr (Reply 181):
hi, Pilottaydin

Could you kindly explain what a pilot is supposed to do in the scenario you described above that is different than if there is no headwind or an aircraft is not light weight? Interested to know how light weight + strong headwind causes the autopilot to disconnect in a go-around situation, and what a pilot is supposed to do in anticipation of that happening.

would greatly appreciate

It will be my pleasure to try to explain. At low altitudes we fly with indicated airpseed. The autoflight system will order somewhere around 15 degrees of nose up pitch with the flight director and this will keep the aircraft within a safe speed (provided you have takeoff or go around power). When you are in a light aircraft the speed needed to fly the airplane is less (need less total lift) and so when the speed is lower, the aircraft must have a higher angle of attack and sometimes depending on the flight path a higher pitch attitude. With this situation if you have a higher than usual angle of attack for the very low weight, you are already close to the go around pitch attitude and angle of attack. When you add power during windy conditions your indicated speed is high already and increases fast, your angle of attack is also high due to the low weight, so the extra push you get from the high power low weight combo will increase your pitch attitude and speed drastically and quickly...so if you are not quick your aircraft may over rotate and overspeed!...now you may think well dont pilots train for this but let me tell you the HUMAM FACTORS.....

1. I have been flying to Rostov for 11 years now...i know the terrain the weather and the area...but this crew is new the airline is new and the route is new and putting it all together they may have been stuck about what to do and where to go if the alternate has similiar weather...

2. there is turbulence winsheer and rain....the cockpit window is being pounded by rain and snow/ice and making a noise, the night time conditions in cloud cause for the strobe and landing lights to illuminate inside the cockpit depending on the thickness of clouds, can cause vertigo and motion sickness and confusion...the wind is strong and inconsistent bumping the crews eyes and heads around causing distraction...

3. The crew already did a landing attempt and have been holding for 2 hours...it is almost 3-4 am in the morning the crew are tired and are probably low on awareness...

now combin all these with a difficult go around..and voila..accident...
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
A346Dude
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:28 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 191):
Or, even better, by pilots and trained dispatchers (the latter of whom are to be free of get-there-itis).

As a former dispatcher, I agree. However once the aircraft is enroute, the final decision whether or not to attempt an approach must be left solely to the PIC, with dispatcher input if requested.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:28 pm

Quoting dubaiamman243 (Reply 176):
A6-EDN had its last C-check on 21 JAN.

It's A6-FDN. The EDN is an EK 388.

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
NoTime
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:39 pm

Thoughts, prayers and peaceful vibes to the families of the victims.

It certainly looks like some sort of loss of control situation. The time spent holding and waiting for better weather could've certainly taken some kind of toll on these pilots. pilotaydin's reference to the Tatarstan crash seems likely.

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 186):
It looks as if this aircraft crashed from 37,000 feet, not a few hundred feet.

I know the data points aren't always completely accurate, but FR24 shows the aircraft reached almost 4,000 ft during its last go-around attempt, before crashing.
 
dubaiamman243
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:40 pm

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 195):

Oops! by mistake.
The next airline CEO :crossfingers:
 
dubaiamman243
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:44 pm

The timeline of events that happened before the crash.


The next airline CEO :crossfingers:
 
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SuseJ772
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:56 pm

Quoting pilotaydin (Reply 169):
my theory as an investigator and as a pilot is that the aircraft stalled out after a large pitch change, the crew tried to compensate but I believe she rolled to the side and came crashing down....there was another 737 at a Russian airport that had the same type of ending to its flight...

I would agree with this assesment.

I think if we had daylight video, it would have looked like a more extreme version of the FedEx 80 NRT crash. Only in this case, the weight was lower, the speed was higher, so the altitude after the first ground impact created a great "bounce" (not really a bounce). So it started to "fly again" only it lost too much speed and a really upset angle and pretty much crashed nose down on the second impact, possibly one wing before the other (also like FedEx 80).

FedEx 80 Crash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZvbPyt8n20

I this actually explains both the video footage and data pretty well.

Sad day.
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Starlionblue
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RE: FlyDubai 738 Crashes On Approach In Russia

Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:17 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 75):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 74):
Fuel starvation per se won't cause a stall. You'd have to completely ignore the speed trend. As mentioned above it's a rather gradual process. Plenty of time to react.

Of course but it no doubt would be a huge factor contributing to the crash. A crash isn't neessarily caused by one factor alone, but a combination of them. This also as a strong stench of human error.

The stench is indeed strong...

Quoting PDXflyer31 (Reply 78):
Hard to imagine this being anything other than crew error. RIP to all on board.

I agree this seems like a strong possibility at this point. However the phrase "pilot error" is a facade for myriad hidden complexities. Fatigue, get-there-itis, contract pressure, cockpit authority gradient and other factors can all contribute to good pilots making bad decisions.

Quoting Hywel (Reply 87):
The aircraft carried fuel for trip, contingency, alternate, final fuel reserve (30 minutes) and additional holding for about 2:30 hours, total fuel for an endurance of about 8.5 hours. The aircraft had been airborne until time of impact for 06:02 hours.

That's a lot of fuel for what is normally a 4 hour flight!

As mentioned, tankering seems to be a factor. Also more fuel tends to give a comfort factor to flight crew. Gives you options.

Quoting migair54 (Reply 182):
The autopilot always disengage in case of Go Around, I am not sure about the B737, but more than 15 degree pitch up should not be achieve, specially in case of WindShear, you need to get speed and get out of it as fast as possible, so keep the 10-15 pitch up and disregard the FD, keep the wings level and look for signs of getting out.

Autopilot stuff like this is rather type specific. Like you I don't know about the 737, but to give you a contrarian example on the 330 we'd keep the autopilot engaged in a go around if it was engaged at the point of making the decision. Maybe a 737 pilot can chime in on the actual GA procedure?
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