Posts Tagged “af447”
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN body with representation from 191 countries, last week came up with a recommendation for tracking of commercial aircraft once every 15 minutes in the wake of Malaysian 370, Air France 447 and other incidents in which aircraft have been lost at sea. With a report every 15 minutes, an aircraft cruising at a normal speed of 470 knots would be between 0 and 117 nautical miles from the last reporting point, depending on timing. This would narrow the potential search area for aircraft, which in the case of MH370, includes thousands of square miles of ocean, with little hope that the aircraft will ever be found.
The guidelines from ICAO would be scheduled to be implemented in November 2016, and these recommendations are typically adopted by member countries regulatory agencies, including the FAA, after approval. (more…)
NASA sent a spacecraft to Mars in 2003 with a rover vehicle to explore the surface of the planet. The Mars rover called Spirit regularly talks to NASA providing real-time data: “Communications with Earth are in X-band via the high gain directional dish antenna and the low gain omni-directional antenna. Communications with orbiting spacecraft are through the UHF antenna. The onboard computer has 128Mb RAM. An inertial measurement unit provides 3-axis information on position.”
David Kaminski-Morrow, Air Transport Editor at FlightGlobal, published two interesting stories on the AF447 aftermath which now is best described as the acrimonious phase. Now its pilots and airline vs. Airbus. On a visit to Airbus last year we were told the company felt that, regardless of what the investigation found out, Airbus was compelled to pay for the continued search for the black boxes. They felt they simply have to know what happened – if there is something to fix, they need to know what it is. The black boxes were found, data recovered and analyzed. Here we are now, as David explains, we know what happened. But why did it happen?
BEA investigators blame human error for the Air France crash in June 2009. They said the junior pilots were not properly trained to deal with an emergency while their Captain was on a rest break. Their summary findings can be found here. La version complète est disponible uniquement en français à partir d’aujourd’hui.
According to the findings of an initial inquiry, the pilots were unable to bring the A330 under control in a tropical thunderstorm. When their captain returned they were in too much of a panic to even tell him what the problem was. Analysis of two black box recorders unveiled a malfunction of airspeed sensors, most likely due to them freezing up. But according to France’s BEA air accident unit the situation was “salvageable”. Readers may remember this was the opinion shared with us by an A330 training captain in May.
As one would expect, these findings were immediately rejected by Air France. Air France and Airbus now face manslaughter charges. This news compounds threats of strikes by pilots and cabin crew, which are unrelated to the AF447 findings.
[Update – Podcast with an A330 type rating instructor discussing the BEA AF447 information]
Update: MSNBC has a three minute video with two former NTSB investigators discussing the accident.
Citing inaccuracies and errors in media reports on the crash of AF447 off the coast of Brazil, the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’aviation civile in charge of the investigation released a note on the crash this afternoon. (more…)