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Plane ‘carrying football team from Brazil’ crashes in Colombia.

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  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
    I mean, this was not a slight honest mistake. There was a will to operate in a reckless way. This company, its pilot included, and of curse the pilot who was also the owner of the company, must have been operating with a terrible culture for a long, long time.
    Absolutely. And this is the new norm of twisted business ethics in many industries, large and small. If you can get away with it, and it makes money, it is immoral not to do it. That is why regulation is so vital and it is so vital to keep the regulators empowered, trustworthy and completely in the game. Somebody signed off on this flight plan and the ones before it. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching (that last 'ka-ching' is the prison cell door closing behind them).

    Leave a comment:


  • Gabriel
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    As I suspected.
    "Suspected" is a huge understatement. There is no way that a good pilot at a good company one day wakes up and decides to do a flight not only with less fuel that required, but with barely enough fuel for the trip (forget about the 10% contingency, the alternate, and the final reserve).

    And also there is no way that flying with less fuel than required was the only violation they used to do. Required maintenance not done, MEL violations, no adherence to sterile cockpit or stabilized approaches, not being strict with the checklists, continuing the approach below minimums... Several of these things and other must have been common.

    I mean, this was not a slight honest mistake. There was a will to operate in a reckless way. This company, its pilot included, and of curse the pilot who was also the owner of the company, must have been operating with a terrible culture for a long, long time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
    http://www.clarin.com/deportes/selec...700230012.html
    (In Spansih)

    Google translate of a fragment (slightly edited by me):

    It was not the first time that LaMia used a bold criteria. It is recorded that the airline flew twice with this plane beyond its endurance of 4 hours and 22 minutes before the tragic accident, with trips between Cochabamba and Medellin (4 hours and 27 minutes) and Medellín and Santa Cruz (4 hours and 32 minutes). The last flight, which took the lives of 71 people, lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes.
    As I suspected.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gabriel
    replied
    http://www.clarin.com/deportes/selec...700230012.html
    (In Spansih)

    Google translate of a fragment (slightly edited by me):

    It was not the first time that LaMia used a bold criteria. It is recorded that the airline flew twice with this plane beyond its endurance of 4 hours and 22 minutes before the tragic accident, with trips between Cochabamba and Medellin (4 hours and 27 minutes) and Medellín and Santa Cruz (4 hours and 32 minutes). The last flight, which took the lives of 71 people, lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gabriel
    replied
    Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    However, It come with a very expensive overweight landing inspection.
    I know. Gabriel some slots above: "... they are all certified to land with more than the MLW, up to the MTOW (a special post-heavy-landing inspection may apply, though)".

    Regarding the "very expensive" part. Not always. Sometimes it may involve reading out the QAR, look up for certain parameters at touchdown (like wight, vertical speed and vertical acceleration) and if these numbers are within a certain range, then you can check the box "overweight maintenance inspection completed".

    Unless you were to have an AIRFRAME fire, it is not advisable.
    Well, not in a 747, but in a twin, being overweight is no excuse to delay the landing at the closest airport in case of loosing an engine (and most twins don't have fuel jettisoning system). A critical medical condition that requires immediate medical attention to save someone's life could be a good reason too (that life will be more valuable that the cost of the inspection). Basically, anything that requires landing ASAP would be a good reason. Even if sometimes expensive, overweight landings are not a significant safety concern (although the risks are slightly higher than in a normal landing).

    As a curious note, for any given vertical speed, a good part of the plane will be subject to higher stress when landing light than when landing heavy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dispatch Dog
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    I think someone on here (Dispatch Dog??) mentioned that the RJ85 fuel gauges can be a bit unreliable, but that won't cause you to crash like this. Heres why: each engine has its own feed tank. The main fuel tanks constantly supply the feed tanks for each engine. When that stops happening and the feed tanks drop below a certain level, the pilots will get a FEED TANK LOW warning light. There is a procedure for this in the QRH. If the light continues on after the first steps, you must LAND IMMEDIATELY. At this point this is ample fuel in the feed tanks to divert to an airport within 30 mins flying time, and even to go-around once. So, no gauge necessary. When you get the light, it's time to land.

    ANother example: the A320 that caused the LAMIA flight to go into a holding pattern apparently had a bad fuel reading. The crew took it seriously, declared emergency and landed ASAP. Turned out they had no fuel leak, just a bad reading. But that's how it's done.

    Vectors are just instructions from ATC guiding you (vectoring you) along the appraoch, ex: "turn left heading 350, maintain 2,000 feet", as opposed to using internal navigation. The vectors on the ATC recording here didn't seem righ to me, but in any case, when she heard the altitude, without power, she must have known they were done for.
    Not just the RJ but any/every fuel gauge. We are yet to design an accurate one, but as you mention, there are plenty of status warning systems and devices.

    As fuel density varies all the time ( I seem to remember 0.833 as our notional density) even the fuel loaded by KG will produce a different volume so in theory, every time you brim the tanks you will have a slightly different loadsheet stated figure... if that makes sense. The gauges are a guide at best. Good procedures based on statistical performance and discipline are the best way.


    Unpaid bills? For me that is the big red flag. Along with this billowing smoke from the gun, from experience I would expect to see a whole array of rules and regs that will have been stretched, then broken, then horribly abused until something like this happened.

    When companies are struggling for survival, they can no longer be trusted to maintain reasonable levels of compliance... even the majors. Hell, even companies that are doing well can have pockets of the operation where greed overrides safety. I could name an ops manager that cut corners simply to impress his bosses and get promoted (I think I used the expression "standing on our balls to peek into the boardroom".

    Jail is the right place for these people.

    Leave a comment:


  • BoeingBobby
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    Out of curiousity, how expensive is that inspection? I figure if you get off the runway at 875,000lb MTOW and need to dump 222,500lbs to get to MLW, you are dumping $45,000-60,000 of fuel (depending on the price of fuel), not to mention the fuel you are burning off while doing it. I'm assuming the a/c will be out of service anyway for the reason that caused you to return (i.e. an engine swap. etc.). And of course, I'm assuming that the overweight landing didn't itself cause any expensive repairs.

    Not arguing against fuel dumping, just wondering what the actual economics are.
    Way above my pay grade. They just pay me to fly them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    However, It come with a very expensive overweight landing inspection. Unless you were to have an AIRFRAME fire, it is not advisable.
    Out of curiousity, how expensive is that inspection? I figure if you get off the runway at 875,000lb MTOW and need to dump 222,500lbs to get to MLW, you are dumping $45,000-60,000 of fuel (depending on the price of fuel), not to mention the fuel you are burning off while doing it. I'm assuming the a/c will be out of service anyway for the reason that caused you to return (i.e. an engine swap. etc.). And of course, I'm assuming that the overweight landing didn't itself cause any expensive repairs.

    Not arguing against fuel dumping, just wondering what the actual economics are.

    Leave a comment:


  • BoeingBobby
    replied
    Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
    Yes it can. It is designed and certified to do so.
    However, It come with a very expensive overweight landing inspection. Unless you were to have an AIRFRAME fire, it is not advisable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by Highkeas View Post
    The AP adds that, according to Ferreira, the “aviation officials who signed off on” the LaMia jet’s “irregular flight plan would be prosecuted.”
    Now we're getting somewhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • Highkeas
    replied
    From today's AIAA newsletter:

    Bolivian Defense Minister: Owners Of Crashed Jet Left Trail Of Unpaid Debts.
    The AP (12/5) reports that Bolivian Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira said Monday that LaMia airlines – owners of the jet involved in last week’s crash – refused to pay hangar fees, which “forced Bolivia’s air force to seize two planes and briefly jail one of the company’s” executives. The AP reports that the airline has been suspended due to its involvement in last week’s crash and its “trail of unpaid bills.” The AP adds that, according to Ferreira, the “aviation officials who signed off on” the LaMia jet’s “irregular flight plan would be prosecuted.”

    Leave a comment:


  • Gabriel
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    I uh-ohed BoeingBobby for this one...

    Can't a fully fueled 747 at MTOW always land safely at a reduced vertical speed?
    Yes it can. It is designed and certified to do so.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by obmot View Post
    Happy hump day everyone. I've few questions - with the caveat again I'm an 'enthusiast' only not a pilot or expert of any sort hence what might be deemed 'stupid' questions...

    First, how in an a/c like this is fuel status known - i.e. what is the 'fuel gauge' (a dial? a weight readout?). And how precise is the 'gauge' whatever its form? By analogy, I once owned a Ford Mustang 5.0. Despite being a gas gobbler, the gauge could go to "E" and I knew I had at least a good 50 miles left - and the needle would be very visibly 'below E' when it was really empty. And several other cars we owned were largely the same though the Mustang was the clear leader vis a vis untrue 'E'. Well my next car was a Jetta, being in city and wanting a better gas cost. Well not long after buying it, I was tootling around town and it the needle was on 'E' and I said to myself 'meh, I'll get gas tomorrow' as could easily be done on the Mustang. Well, when Germans say 'E' I learned they MEAN E....because not 10 minutes later whiles going thru an intersection it died on me - saved only by the sheer luck a gas station was on the corner and I coasted into the pump and filled up. So, are aircraft fuel 'gauges' more like my Mustang or the Jetta?

    Second, and pardon my ignorance I just havent really 'grasped' it yet despite trying...when the captain (and others) say 'give me vectors for the runway (airport)' what is s/he meaning, I know what a vector is vis a vis math/geometry/medicine etc. but what info (number?) is being asked for and how does s/he use it? I ask because (and oh god I know this sounds idiotic) but doesn't the captain know where the airport is / have GPS etc.

    Anyway RIP to those lost. Though seemingly the captains fault here for fuel (mis)mismanagement, and failure to declare emergency/notify ATC etc., nonetheless reading the communication b/w him and ATC and 'hearing' (such as it is) the very very quick change from 'anxious inquiries' to 'frantic despair' is really wrenching...I can almost sense in 'his voice' (again written not heard) the very quick realization that he winged it, and it didnt work out this time, and he'd really really effed up bigtime and was in a world of trouble. That's not in any way to lessen his responsibility or be 'soft' on him, it's just saying I sense that realization and its wrenching nature when I read it.

    Anyway thanks for all these great comments the information as always is terribly helpful to us non-experts/pilots.
    I think someone on here (Dispatch Dog??) mentioned that the RJ85 fuel gauges can be a bit unreliable, but that won't cause you to crash like this. Heres why: each engine has its own feed tank. The main fuel tanks constantly supply the feed tanks for each engine. When that stops happening and the feed tanks drop below a certain level, the pilots will get a FEED TANK LOW warning light. There is a procedure for this in the QRH. If the light continues on after the first steps, you must LAND IMMEDIATELY. At this point this is ample fuel in the feed tanks to divert to an airport within 30 mins flying time, and even to go-around once. So, no gauge necessary. When you get the light, it's time to land.

    ANother example: the A320 that caused the LAMIA flight to go into a holding pattern apparently had a bad fuel reading. The crew took it seriously, declared emergency and landed ASAP. Turned out they had no fuel leak, just a bad reading. But that's how it's done.

    Vectors are just instructions from ATC guiding you (vectoring you) along the appraoch, ex: "turn left heading 350, maintain 2,000 feet", as opposed to using internal navigation. The vectors on the ATC recording here didn't seem righ to me, but in any case, when she heard the altitude, without power, she must have known they were done for.

    Leave a comment:


  • obmot
    replied
    Happy hump day everyone. I've few questions - with the caveat again I'm an 'enthusiast' only not a pilot or expert of any sort hence what might be deemed 'stupid' questions...

    First, how in an a/c like this is fuel status known - i.e. what is the 'fuel gauge' (a dial? a weight readout?). And how precise is the 'gauge' whatever its form? By analogy, I once owned a Ford Mustang 5.0. Despite being a gas gobbler, the gauge could go to "E" and I knew I had at least a good 50 miles left - and the needle would be very visibly 'below E' when it was really empty. And several other cars we owned were largely the same though the Mustang was the clear leader vis a vis untrue 'E'. Well my next car was a Jetta, being in city and wanting a better gas cost. Well not long after buying it, I was tootling around town and it the needle was on 'E' and I said to myself 'meh, I'll get gas tomorrow' as could easily be done on the Mustang. Well, when Germans say 'E' I learned they MEAN E....because not 10 minutes later whiles going thru an intersection it died on me - saved only by the sheer luck a gas station was on the corner and I coasted into the pump and filled up. So, are aircraft fuel 'gauges' more like my Mustang or the Jetta?

    Second, and pardon my ignorance I just havent really 'grasped' it yet despite trying...when the captain (and others) say 'give me vectors for the runway (airport)' what is s/he meaning, I know what a vector is vis a vis math/geometry/medicine etc. but what info (number?) is being asked for and how does s/he use it? I ask because (and oh god I know this sounds idiotic) but doesn't the captain know where the airport is / have GPS etc.

    Anyway RIP to those lost. Though seemingly the captains fault here for fuel (mis)mismanagement, and failure to declare emergency/notify ATC etc., nonetheless reading the communication b/w him and ATC and 'hearing' (such as it is) the very very quick change from 'anxious inquiries' to 'frantic despair' is really wrenching...I can almost sense in 'his voice' (again written not heard) the very quick realization that he winged it, and it didnt work out this time, and he'd really really effed up bigtime and was in a world of trouble. That's not in any way to lessen his responsibility or be 'soft' on him, it's just saying I sense that realization and its wrenching nature when I read it.

    Anyway thanks for all these great comments the information as always is terribly helpful to us non-experts/pilots.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    I uh-ohed BoeingBobby for this one...

    Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    And Gabriel, More often than not in the 747 we take off with more fuel than we can land with...
    Can't a fully fueled 747 at MTOW always land safely at a reduced vertical speed?

    Leave a comment:

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