Air France Flight 447: loss clearly Airb

Msg # 2196 of 2202 on RelayNet Aviation discussion
Time: Tuesday, 3-26-13, 10:51
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Air France Flight 447 (abbreviated AF447) was a scheduled commercial
flight from Gale=E3o International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to
Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France. On 1 June
2009, the Airbus A330-203 airliner serving the flight crashed into the
Atlantic Ocean, killing all 216 passengers and 12 aircrew.

It took two years to find the black box flight data recorder.

Essentially what happened is this:  the aircraft flew into a storm.
Poorly designed and tested pitot-static tubes that provide air speed
data (Properly called Prandl tubes iced over and as a result the fancy
fly by wire system disconnected most of its functions and
protections.   With the auto pilot disconnected and no air speed data
and the aircraft at coffin corner (just below the speed of sound and
just above stall speed) the aircraft were unable to fly the aircraft.

The tragedy, apart from the atrocious air speed indicators was that
there were 4 redundant angle of attack instruments on the side of the
fuselage.   The idiocy of Airbus is this: the angle of attack is not
displayed in the cockpit.

In a July 2011 article in Aviation Week, retired airline captain,
aviation safety expert and accident investigator C. B. "Sully"
Sullenberger was quoted as saying the crash was a "seminal accident."
"We need to look at it from a systems approach, a human/technology
system that has to work together. This involves aircraft design and
certification, training and human factors. If you look at the human
factors alone, then you're missing half or two-thirds of the total
system failure ..."
Sullenberger suggested that pilots would be able to better handle
upsets of this type if they had an indication of the wing's angle of
attack (AoA). "We have to infer angle of attack indirectly by
referencing speed. That makes stall recognition and recovery that much
more difficult. For more than half a century, we've had the capability
to display AoA (in the cockpits of most jet transports), one of the
most critical parameters, yet we choose not to do it."[212]
In the Final Report (Section 4.2.2 - page 205) [9] the BEA recommends
that EASA and the FAA evaluate the relevance of requiring the presence
of an angle of attack indicator directly accessible to pilots on board

Blaming the crew or crew training is idiocy.  The instruments were
inadequate for safe operation of such a control system.

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