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Vintage JU-52 aircraft crashes in Swiss Alps

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  • Evan: Relax back pressure to stay on the edge of the stall and use the rudders to prevent over banking. After the turn aim toward the ground that is falling into the valley, and don't fly up the middle of the valley, give yourself room for that 180.

    My opinion, we all have one.

    Back in my past I lived on the north side of the Olympic mountains in the Northwest part or Washington State, U.S. I flew a twin Cessna 402 back and forth to Seattle. The winds across the 5000ft mountains would occasionally reach near 100mph, hence the ski area above my hometown called " Hurricane Ridge". On my daily trips I always started out checking the winds aloft forecast. When the winds were high I would leave my airport and fly at 1000ft right up in the lee of the mountains staying out of the wind roaring across the mountains and then falling down to the ocean. In the summer sitting in a high pressure area with not winds aloft I would take a shortcut across the mountains at a 1000ft agl to give my passengers a nice view of the mountains.

    I my career as a Chief Pilot flying DC-8's, 9's and the 747 I've hired lots of former military pilots as well as those working their way up thru the commuters. I've seen good and bad on both sides.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Evan View Post

      Specifically, BoeingBobby, your altitude is 125m at the onset of stall. At the onset of stall you were already in a negative flight path angle. At stall entry you are in an increasing left-hand turn, which continues to increase despite significant right aileron.

      And you're going to fly out of that? I'd really like to learn how that is done.
      If it makes you feel better- dropping Bobby or Kent or ATL in the cockpit AT THE MOMENT OF STALL might not have turned out much better...

      But a minute? earlier the power would be full, the airspeed would be healthy and the turn would be executed before they were hemmed in...

      But I guess I that’s because they aren’t ex military.

      FOOTNOTE: I do not see those three drilling the plane into the ground with the former scenario.
      Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ATLcrew View Post

        125m is almost 400'. Might be enough to at least get enough airspeed to crash the thing under control.
        Bearing in mind that 125agl is the altitude at that moment, but your flight path is still in the direction of a rapidly rising ridge. Turning off that flightpath goes without saying, and if a stall occurs while in a descending turn, the low wing is going to stall first, correct? So with rudder and little, if any, aileron authority you must regain airspeed to exit the spin/stall and regain level flight in what was 125m altitude but is now 90m or 30m or whatever it becomes before your control inputs have any effect. I don't see much chance of that.

        But 3WE is right about one thing. You just don't ever want to get to this place, which I think is quite avoidable if safety is a thing at all.

        This is the thing I'm getting at with certain ex-military pilots and also poorly trained or vetted non-military pilots: risk aversion vs task completion. These pilots were determined to get over that ridge and willing to take that risk. If your mission is to get over a ridge with critical cargo to resupply a battalion behind enemy lines, 'it's risky' may not be a legitimate reason to abort that mission. I think that mentality might stick within certain pilots.

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        • The writeup is quite specific about this. The pilots made several errors that contributed to their final demise. I agree with Gabriel, had they been aware of the descent -- which they speculate they were not -- then they would have powered up instead of lowering the engines to even out thrust. They also lost airspeed and the report clearly notes, they did not have any reserve energy left. The situation was compounded by the angle of attack which was also affected by the COG.

          All of these combined to produce a situation from which there was no escape even though they knew how to deal with the stall and reacted correctly.

          If they had noticed they were descending, they could have increased thrust and raised their airspeed, and not left themselves with such a high angle of attack which caused the stall the minute the wind shifted on them.

          If they had realized earlier they were in a risky situation and wouldn't make the pass, they might have been able to control crash into the terrain before they lost control of the aircraft.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Schwartz View Post
            I agree with Gabriel, had they been aware of the descent -- which they speculate they were not -- then they would have powered up instead of lowering the engines to even out thrust. They also lost airspeed and the report clearly notes, they did not have any reserve energy left.
            [...]
            If they had noticed they were descending, they could have increased thrust and raised their airspeed, and not left themselves with such a high angle of attack which caused the stall the minute the wind shifted on them.

            If they had realized earlier they were in a risky situation and wouldn't make the pass, they might have been able to control crash into the terrain before they lost control of the aircraft.
            Hm. I also sometimes agree with Gabriel. But in this very special case we talk about an aircraft which by the day when it happened, August 4th 2018, was almost 80 years old (!) .
            Never in my whole life did I sit in such an old device, neither car, truck, mopped (you rather say motorbike as I assume) nor helicopter, boat, ship,
            or, definitely not, in a 80 year old propeller aircraft. Built in the year 1939.

            I don't know yet which was the oldest vehicule which Gabriel has ever used in his whole life.

            But I know where the Flight Captain of that Junkers JU-52 came from, technically speaking. Born 1956, he was an active pilot on the a/c types Swiss Airbus A330 and Swiss Airbus A340. He died upon impact, as everybody else on board of that JU-52.

            So. How easy is it for an experienced Flight Captain on the long haul, a/c type a post-modern A330, to switch to an eighty year old tripropeller without turbo, and without pressurization.

            they did not have any reserve energy left.
            Yes. That's what I also assume. Only a few days ago I published one or two pictures of me and my fsx simulator at KASE Aspen Colorado airport. I used a Beech B58, also without pressurization, but with 2x300 hp for not more than six seats on board, the two pilot seats already included. So, at least 100 hp for one seat, and only if the B58 is packed.

            Only with two pilots on board, you have 300 hp per person on board a B58. I don't know if a Junkers JU-52 is so strong.

            had they been aware of the descent
            -- What you say, that definitely reminds me of the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter who crashed in heavy winter fog, January 2020. A man who is younger than me, Mr Kobe Bryant, came to death in that helicopter.

            Back on topic. The summary for the accident of the HB-HOT is, taken February 3rd 2021 from de wikipedia:
            Fehlentscheidung der Piloten (zu tiefes Einfliegen in einen Talkessel ohne sichere Umkehrmöglichkeit)

            In English. Error of the JU-52 Flight Captain and his F/O (born 1955) . Too low to terrain in a high alpine valley with the loss of a safe return from that valley.

            My conclusion today? - Not each and every aircraft is strong enough to climb the highest mountains on Earth. Especially not when we talk about a packed 80 year old (!) propeller, 20 souls on board, in high alpine scenery.

            A few days after it happened, I thought by myself, I'd rather taken a Beech B350 Super King Air for that flight, who is good enough for FL350 with pressurization, with 11 passenger seats plus 2 pilot seats.
            You can say, after it happened we always know more. But I know the Swiss Alps, I've been there more than once. These mountains can be dangerous.

            Would a safe Beech B350 have been too small/too expensive for the amount of tickets which they had sold?

            Greed is one of the seven deadly sins...

            The German long haul is alive, since more than 60 years.
            The Gold Member in the 747 club, 50 years since the first LH 747.
            And constantly advanced, 744 and 748 /w upper and lower EICAS.
            Aviation enthusiast, since more than 35 years with home airport EDDL.

            Comment


            • In a Junkers Ju-52 you will almost never ever on Earth have a power of 300 hp per seat!

              It didn't give me a rest, so I searched for the engines in a Ju-52. Three nine cylinder 27,7 liter (!) radial engines, with 725 hp each @ 2050 rotations per minute (U/min). That sounds mighty.

              But. 3 x 725 hp = 2175 hp. You don't get more in a Junkers Ju-52. Especially not when 20 souls are on board.

              2175 divided by 20, and you end with a power of definitely not more than 108,75 hp per seat. Not much more than in a VW Käfer.

              Back to the 300 hp per seat, which I know from the Beech B58.
              You can reach such a number also in a Ju-52. But with two pilots plus one experienced female flight attendant only,

              when you reduce the number of passengers from 17 to 4 (!).

              4 passengers plus 3 crew, so, 7 on board.

              2175 : 7 = 310 hp per seat.

              So, had that Ju-52 suffered from overload? For demanding flight tasks, you never allow zero empty seats in your aircraft. But that's a calculation which I learned when I bought Randazzo's LH-B744 simulator. For SFO you better leave 5 or 10 seats empty in a B744.

              And if only because it feels better to have a little reserve energy with you.
              The German long haul is alive, since more than 60 years.
              The Gold Member in the 747 club, 50 years since the first LH 747.
              And constantly advanced, 744 and 748 /w upper and lower EICAS.
              Aviation enthusiast, since more than 35 years with home airport EDDL.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by LH-B744 View Post
                In a Junkers Ju-52 you will almost never ever on Earth have a power of 300 hp per seat!

                It didn't give me a rest, so I searched for the engines in a Ju-52. Three nine cylinder 27,7 liter (!) radial engines, with 725 hp each @ 2050 rotations per minute (U/min). That sounds mighty.

                But. 3 x 725 hp = 2175 hp. You don't get more in a Junkers Ju-52. Especially not when 20 souls are on board.

                2175 divided by 20, and you end with a power of definitely not more than 108,75 hp per seat. Not much more than in a VW Käfer.

                Back to the 300 hp per seat, which I know from the Beech B58.
                You can reach such a number also in a Ju-52. But with two pilots plus one experienced female flight attendant only,

                when you reduce the number of passengers from 17 to 4 (!).

                4 passengers plus 3 crew, so, 7 on board.

                2175 : 7 = 310 hp per seat.

                So, had that Ju-52 suffered from overload? For demanding flight tasks, you never allow zero empty seats in your aircraft. But that's a calculation which I learned when I bought Randazzo's LH-B744 simulator. For SFO you better leave 5 or 10 seats empty in a B744.

                And if only because it feels better to have a little reserve energy with you.
                The fact that you think that 10 pax in a 74 makes a difference!
                I knew you wouldn't let us down!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

                  The fact that you think that 10 pax in a 74 makes a difference!
                  I knew you wouldn't let us down!
                  Well. Bob. I don't think that really 10 pax in a 747 make a difference. But first of all I had to translate your forum entry into decent aviation English.
                  10 pax in a 74
                  Ahm? Ok, now I understand that you only forgot a 7, or a 8, or a 4, that depends on the 747 version we talk about. I can only talk about Randazzos LH-B744 simulator. As far as I know his
                  747-400, 10 pax wouldn't really make a difference, at least not for EDDF-KIAD .

                  But in an eighty year old tripropeller, it is imho a difference if you have 20 souls on board, or only 7 .

                  IAD is the East Coast. That should really be no problem, also with a packed B744. For my favorite airline that would mean, 371 passengers on board, plus crew.

                  I mentioned SFO, i.e. EDDF-KSFO. Which imho is a different topic. West Coast. I have used the B744 simulator also for that route, but as far as I can remember, not yet without one seat empty.
                  Rhein/Main - SFO is a good idea again, especially with the weather forecast for this weekend, without one seat empty.

                  I have just returned home, not an hour ago, with light snowfall and the streets are already slippery.

                  PS: You can be nice if you really try, can you. As long as we talk about the B744, I could guarantee that I wouldn't let down one soul of the 371 pax on board, plus crew. A different topic is the Junkers Ju-52.
                  Since when this Ju-52 accident happened, I still don't know if I could give you the same guarantee in an eighty year old tripropeller, which does not regularly show up for maintenance by Lufthansa Technik.
                  Last edited by LH-B744; 2021-02-06, 23:43. Reason: I take it as a compliment.
                  The German long haul is alive, since more than 60 years.
                  The Gold Member in the 747 club, 50 years since the first LH 747.
                  And constantly advanced, 744 and 748 /w upper and lower EICAS.
                  Aviation enthusiast, since more than 35 years with home airport EDDL.

                  Comment

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