Archive for the ‘Air Safety’ Category
Here is a rather comprehensive analysis of the weather prevailing at around the time that AFR447 disappeared.
The analyst may have ‘grave doubts’ as to the power of thunderstorms in the ITCZ to bring down an A330. I doubt that my colleagues do – I certainly don’t. What technical factors complicated a recovery may take some time to divine but it does sound as though were are some. Airbus can be tight lipped as can Boeing but that shouldn’t surprise us, answers will be tough to get and speculation (like this) isn’t helpful. Still, we are creatures who cannot help but wonder and search for the truth.
I had a short encounter in that very region some ten years ago on the 747-400. We left our track to avoid a line (across our track) deviating over 100 nms before penetrating the line between two cells. It was a suckers gap, on the ‘other side’ of the cells was a valley with no immediate opening – nowhere to go. During our ‘exit’ we clipped the top of a very large cell. We didn’t do that again in a hurry, funnily enough I haven’t done it since.
Amendment – this was not a lightning strike but a fire on the ground during prep for flight.
Info courtecy of our readers. Thanks!
[amended]A lightning strike generally makes a slap or a bang when it hits. …..[/amended]
What an awful accident in Narita. 2150 GMT on Sunday the Fedex MD11 landing in strong winds bounced off the nose-wheel, rolled to the left – struck the port wing and immediately caught fire. It then continued rolling to the inverted, slid to a halt and burnt out. Both pilots died in the accident.
The BBC cover the crash particularly well here with video of the event and the aftermath.
Truly awful…. a graphic illustration that when it goes wrong, it can go wrong really fast.
This one has been reported all over the place as it is ‘little’ spectacular. I include it here just in case you missed it elsewhere.
Whatever your views on pilot fatigue, you must concede that these guys were wide awake when they eventually cleared the runway – so were their passengers.
More from The Aeroplane Blog
Pilots are expensive, some are very expensive. The temptation to use assets such as these to the limit of their capacity for work must be irresistible for companies looking for ever greater productivity to enhance their bottom line. What interests me and others, my mates to be frank, is where exactly does the line lie between sensible utilization and flagrant disregard for the welfare of the individuals being exploited. A powerful word and not one I use at the extreme of its meaning, but exploiting assetts has become a bit of a fine art… here and there.
Another one from a friend on the internet. I just couldn’t resist posting this story, when I compare Bill’s quiet day at the office with ours he leaves me full of admiration for the test pilots role. See what you think…
By Bill Weaver
Chief Test Pilot, Lockheed
Among professional aviators, there’s a well-worn saying: Flying is simply hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror. But I don’t recall too many periods of boredom during my 30-year career with Lockheed, most of which was spent as a test pilot. By far, the most memorable flight occurred on Jan. 25, 1966.
Jim Zwayer, a Lockheed flight-test specialist, and I were evaluating systems on an SR-71 Blackbird test from Edwards. We also were investigating procedures designed to reduce trim drag and improve high-Mach cruise performance The latter involved flying with the center-of-gravity (CG) located further aft than normal, reducing the Blackbird’s longitudinal stability.
We took off from Edwards at 11:20 a.m. and completed the mission’s first leg without incident. After refueling from a KC-135 tanker, we turned eastbound, accelerated to a Mach 3.2 cruise speed and climbed to 78,000 ft., our initial cruise-climb altitude.
Three of my colleagues were presented with an interesting situation yesterday after a long night out of bed on the way home from Beijing. It seems that they had a double engine failure on short finals, some reports say at around 6oo’ which would be two mile final. !0 seconds earlier with the engine failures and the story would have been very different by all accounts.
The AAIB are hard at work having debriefed the crew, they should produce preliminary findings before too long and a full report after the usual interval. ANY speculation before then is both unhelpful and frankly pointless.
I have had a quick rail at the press before now for their irresponsible treatment of aeronautical pieces in their newspapers and lamented the lack of the good old fashioned ‘Air Correspondent’. Never before though have we seen drivel churned out with such alacrity in both the printed media and on the TV.
Congratulations to Captain Peter Birkilll and his crew for an exceptional job well done. That much we are aware of.
I hope they enjoyed their quiet beers and a large curry in London after the snooze and the debrief.
AAIB Initial Report here.