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Vintage JU-52 aircraft crashes in Swiss Alps

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  • BoeingBobby
    replied
    Alrighty then!

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  • LH-B744
    replied
    For a moment I forgot that here we are on board of one of the Best aviation platforms who I know. So what describes Lugano, better than 1000 words? Right, a jetphoto. Here it is.

    https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/8043934

    This seems to be a real B350. Seven windows on each side. I know that there are also smaller versions, B90 and so on. In the background, you see what the standard departure from the Lugano rwy 01 is all about. Behind that Beech twin-turbopropeller, that should be hdg 010.

    This is only the Southern end, the rather flat end (!) of the Swiss Alps. Definitely not the typcial scenery where you find weak single props, e.g. Cessna 152, Cessna 182, ...

    Did I mention what my feeling for the way down to Lugano told me, in the fsx simulator?


    - You better take 2 x 1,050 hp turbopropellers with you (in a Beech B350), these hills are definitely bigger than what I see here at Lohausen Intl.
    But I might repeat myself.
    Since it happened in 2018, I have never understood how an experienced jet pilot could have the idea to try to transport 20 people through the Swiss Alps in an eighty year old tri-propeller (which is the Ju-52) without turbo.

    Before 2018, if you had asked me, I had always said that the LH-B744 is my favourite aircraft to cross the Alps.

    Before 2018, I even did not know that someone uses simple piston engines like in the Ju-52 (or in the Cessna 152, with exactly 1 x 100 hp) to cross the Alps.
    The Ju-52, which originally was invented and designed for something as flat as
    the Norddeutsche Tiefebene (Dessau)!
    Last edited by LH-B744; 2020-07-31, 06:38. Reason: A real B350, if you ask me. I like it.

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  • LH-B744
    replied
    Another problem which I see is, no one on Earth has ever tried to fly the Original route again, in something like a Junkers Ju-52 simulator. 3WE, you know me, I am here since more than 11 years. And I have never ever, not since 1978, heard of something like a Junkers Ju-52 simulator!

    You own more years here in this forum. Have you ever heard of something like a Junkers Ju-52 simulator? I mean, together with Gabriel, I sometimes discuss the msfs 2020 simulator. But I'm almost sure that msfs 2020 does not either include a Junkers Ju-52, which survives a test flight under the eyes of Flight Captain R.S. Randazzo..

    I don't know if I had already published that idea before, but I at least have the Original route, only slightly altered, from Lugano to Basel instead of Locarno to Dübendorf, in fsx.

    Basel - Lugano is really not the same as Dübendorf - Locarno, especially not after I also changed the aircraft. As I mentioned, I do not own the Junkers Ju-52 for fsx. Thus, I use what I always use for short haul flights (up to 831 nautical miles, i.e. 1500 km) in fsx: the Beech Super King Air 350.

    Even the Lugano departure is interesting, after you've seen the Lugano airport arrival only once in a simulator. But once in the air, I plan to use the Original route (orginally in German, but I translate):
    Original departure: LSZL Locarno airfield.
    [changed to Lugano due to the take off run ahead which you need in a B350]

    Flightplan: scenic flight, nonstop, departure to the North, via Bellinzona, Lodrino, Biasca, Olivone,
    the Rheinwaldhorn at 3402 m (11,162 AMSL) on your right side,
    then to the East, proceed through the valley of the river Rhine, throught Obersaxen and further to Flims,
    then to the North again, direction Dübendorf.

    arrival: LSMD Dübendorf, that at least was planned..
    [changed to Basel-Mülhausen].

    That, even in a Beech B350, which is powerful enough to climb above the clouds which back then in 2018 theoretically had required you to use IFR above alt 11,000,
    is not an easy route, if you have only seen it once before, in a simulator, on your way to Lugano (originally Locarno).

    3WE, if you know a place where Gabriel could show you in a (professional) simulator the airport of Lugano and its standard departure procedure.. , I'd take the chance!

    Not without a reason, I have not started that flight in fsx until today.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 2020-07-31, 05:04. Reason: In English? No problem.

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  • LH-B744
    replied
    Originally posted by 3WE View Post

    I am Not_Gabe.

    I suspect something broke.

    Upon impact many things broke.

    Given no CVR and 400 channel FDR, I’m afraid it may not be possible to sort out what broke when.
    Obviously you are not Gabriel.

    He has not written 5000 forum entries since he's here in this forum.. Unbelievable. Sometimes I worry about him. He joined this forum eleven months before I did. And since then, he simply wrote 2,000 entries MORE than you? I mean, my next step is 1,500.
    And I confess, during that damn disease it is easier to write forum entries. But Gabriel seems to aim at the absolute jetphotos forum record, which is somewhere clearly above 10,000 right in this moment. The good thing is, you and me will be with him when that happens.

    Back on topic.

    Yes. Something broke. I also have discussed this topic offline, on various occasions. And, dependant on who you ask, some people say,

    why on EARTH would a Flight Captain (ex Swiss Airbus A340) who has gathered let's say 1000 flight hours on type Junkers JU-52 try air acrobatics?

    In an eighty year old tri-propeller without turbo, higher than alt 10,000 (and probably still climbing), with a VERY experienced F/O sitting next to you, a not less experienced female flight attendant on board, plus 17 passengers behind you.
    I have seen very very experienced Lufthansa Airbus A340 Flight Captains, who from time to time appear on youtube, even with their real name.

    I simply assume that, all people who once have seen a soccer stadium, fully occupied with 56,400 people (F95), are cured from even the attempt to try air acrobatics, if you as the one and only pilot are not alone on board!

    The summary of that fatal crash today still is unclear. You simply do not try something stupid, as a(n ex) Swiss A340 Flight Captain.

    But what happened then. No CVR, no FDR. I also have heard something through the grapevine. That eighty year old tri-propeller could have had a maintenance problem. Let's imagine, engine #1 (of three) fails, because something broke as you say. Thus, in a Junkers JU-52, then you only have thrust on the #2, which exactly sits in the middle, on the nose of the Ju-52, and on #3 (right wing).

    The result is, your aircraft could start a nosedive over portside, without that it ever touched a rock (or something else) before,
    exactly as eyewitnesses reported.

    But why couldn't you be able to rescue that aircraft, with 1000 flight hours on type Ju-52?! That still is very unclear.

    Leave a comment:


  • kent olsen
    replied
    Ok I wasn't aware that the Junker's had turbos. However those of you who are European probably all have experience around the Alps. Soo, here's another of my experiences. I was ferrying a DC-8-73 (CFM engines) from Calif to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. We were empty so were able to cruise at FL410. Crossing the Sierra Nevada Mtns everyone below us was reporting turbulence. All of a sudden and for about 2 minutes we experienced a mountain wave. I was just barely able to maintain altitude by reducing power to idle, as we rode the wave, and then Max power and then back to idle for nearly 2 minutes, and during this it was smooth as glass. So there are times when the wind can grab you and if you are not paying attention you are just along for the ride.

    Leave a comment:


  • KGEG
    replied
    I can't help but loathe the terrorist who attacked the intended airport destination for the doomed flights making them have to divert to Los Rodeos in the first place. So as with a lot of accidents and disasters a sick twist of fate altered the lives of and killed hundreds. I have often wondered if the terrorist group responsible were also happy it lead to the disaster because it did far more damage than the actual attack that closed the airport.

    But the twist of fate for the Ju-52 is very unclear outside of that it crashed. Because the sources I have read do say it should be able to operate as Evan says just over 19,000. Of course this doesn't mean that the plane is going to handle as well at 14,000 as it would 7,000 but that goes for every model of plane ever besides some exceptions where extreme altitude maneuvers are expected (such as the F-22 Raptor). But I don't doubt those fine German engineers and test pilots who pegged it for 19,000. So it probably is a case where maybe it did try a maneuver that was too extreme for being so high up, but then again I doubt this too, the only reason I could see this happening is if the pilots were already worried and spooked about hitting a mountain and tried to avoid impact but ultimately stalled being at a lower tolerance for stalling so high up, plus a lower amount of room to recover in the mountains. So having a ceiling of 19000 doesn't mean the performance at 14,000 or anything in between that and 19000 is still going to be ideal in a case of putting the plane into emergency avoidance maneuvers.

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  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by kent olsen View Post
    Flying around a 14,000ft?????? Many years ago I did a charter into Reno Nevada. When I went back to pick them up they were all intoxicated but having a good time. This was in Cessna 402. Well they started partying in this small twin. It started to to get a little carried away so I climbed up to 14,000ft or maybe a little higher and in short order they started calming down and dozing off. Now I had an oxygen bottle so I would take a snort every few minutes. As soon as they all calmed down and some dozed off I returned to 10,000.

    I'm guessing this Junkers didn't have oxygen and 14,000ft would be near it's max altitude so there would be little performance left if you caught a downdraft on the lee side of one of those mountains.
    This was an ex-Swiss military JU-52 that saw service until 1982. I believe it had the supercharged/fuel injected variants of the BMW 132. It should have been able to operate well above 14,000ft under the right conditions. I think the ceiling on the standard Ju-52 is around 19,000.

    Leave a comment:


  • kent olsen
    replied
    Flying around a 14,000ft?????? Many years ago I did a charter into Reno Nevada. When I went back to pick them up they were all intoxicated but having a good time. This was in Cessna 402. Well they started partying in this small twin. It started to to get a little carried away so I climbed up to 14,000ft or maybe a little higher and in short order they started calming down and dozing off. Now I had an oxygen bottle so I would take a snort every few minutes. As soon as they all calmed down and some dozed off I returned to 10,000.

    I'm guessing this Junkers didn't have oxygen and 14,000ft would be near it's max altitude so there would be little performance left if you caught a downdraft on the lee side of one of those mountains.

    Leave a comment:


  • BoeingBobby
    replied
    WHAT??

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  • 3WE
    replied
    Originally posted by LH-B744 View Post
    ***Hi Gabe.

    On board that Ju-52, nobody survived, 17 passengers plus 3 crew (2 pilots included), so 20 souls on board. And all souls dead on board.

    So, absolutely nobody is able to say, what happened before that Junkers Ju-52 began a nosedive screw over portside which ended in a vertical impact on the valley ground below Piz Segnas***.
    I am Not_Gabe.

    I suspect something broke.

    Upon impact many things broke.

    Given no CVR and 400 channel FDR, I’m afraid it may not be possible to sort out what broke when.

    Leave a comment:


  • LH-B744
    replied
    Hi Gabe.

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstur...s_Ju_52_HB-HOT

    This wikipedia source today (June 2020) still says, that the summary of that fatal crash is unclear. During the last 7 days here again was Los Rodeos 1977 on German TV, and Los Rodeos 1977 indeed has a clear advantage compared to hb-hot (August 2018_).
    At Los Rodeos, at least a few people on board the Clipper Victor, a Pan Am Boeing 747-121, survived, which included Pan Am 747 F/O Robert Bragg (1937-2017), who after Los Rodeos became a 747 Flight Captain.

    On board that Ju-52, nobody survived, 17 passengers plus 3 crew (2 pilots included), so 20 souls on board. And all souls dead on board.

    So, absolutely nobody is able to say, what happened before that Junkers Ju-52 began a nosedive screw over portside which ended in a vertical impact on the valley ground below Piz Segnas, all three piston engines ahead. As eyewitnesses on the ground report, the Ju-52 vanished from the sky without that it ever touched a mountain, the first contact with a rock was the vertical impact on the valley ground.

    Not only in Switzerland, since then people try to see in a simulator, what the experienced Flight Captain (ex Swiss A340) on board the Ju-52 had seen on that hot day in August 2018.

    I have altered that fatal crash a little bit, because I assume that MEA 16,000 in the middle of the Swiss Alps can be better fulfilled on board a Beech SuperKing Air 350 than on board an eigthy year old (!) piston engine propeller. Thus I altered LSMD Dübendorf to LFSB Basel Mülhausen, and I altered Locarno to Lugano, which should not be confused.

    The arrival at Lugano on board a BE350 is already interesting without Piz Segnas, which for the simulator I built in - as in August 2018 - for the return flight (to LFSB). Wish me luck,
    although, on board a turbopropeller with pressurization, that should work like a charm.

    PS: Of course I use almost the original Real Weather, which gives me +24°C (76°F) during the take off at Lugano.

    Leave a comment:


  • pegasus
    replied
    My flying experience is in gliders, a significant proportion in the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees. From what I can gather, the wind was gusting to 50 kph from the North and the track of the JU52 was directly into that wind. The topographical images suggest a high ridge running West To East. This combination provides the classical ingredients for the formation of a lee wave and a powerful turbulent downdraft immediately to the lee of the mountain ridge. Both phenomena can often be measured with strengths of more than 3 metres/sec. The Ju52 has a stalling speed of about 100kph and a climb rate at 3000metres of 4.2 metres/sec. One can envisage the situation as the aircraft approaches the ridge top and hits the sinking air, instead of climbing at a reassuring 4 m/sec the JU 52 is struggling to gain any altitude at all. In a glider, you would push the nose down, accelerating quickly and turn tightly reversing your course. If the JU52 pilot decided at the last, to reverse his course, he has to consider the loss of the 50kph headwind component as he turns. If he does not,again the classic component of a spin and loss of control.
    PS.I have witnessed in flying with pilots with limited mountain experience, a clear tendency as the unyielding mountain approaches, the unconscious urge to pull back on the stick. The complete opposite to the instruction which has been drummed into them. In mountain flying, in order to maintain control in turbulent air to always fly 15/20kph faster than usual.

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  • Gabriel
    replied
    Impressive investigative effort going on for this accident:

    http://avherald.com/h?article=4bbf2069&opt=0

    On Aug 2nd 2019 Switzerland's SUST released a Status Report reporting that the investigation succeeded in reconstructing the complete flight path of HB-HOT based on photos, videos taken by the passengers as well as by testimonies of witnesses on the ground. The SUST wrote:

    It is possible to reconstruct the entire history of the flight based on the various data storage devices, using the following high-precision method for the last minutes of the flight: The valley south-west of Piz Segnas was captured using a three-dimensional laser scan and combined with the three-dimensional terrain model from the Federal Office of Topography. A laser scan of a sister aircraft of HB-HOT was taken and a three-dimensional model of the aeroplane was created. This means that images of the accident aircraft taken from the ground during the flight can now be positioned and analysed with regard to the terrain. This model can also be used to evaluate images from inside the aircraft to determine the flight path. The existing still images and video material should make it possible to determine the positions of the accident aircraft in space, its attitude relative to the terrain and its speed relative to the ground for the critical phase of the accident flight.

    At the same time, the audio tracks from the existing video material will be analysed. Spectral analysis of the audio recordings may make it possible to determine the revolutions per minute of the engines and draw conclusions about the condition of the engines during the course of the accident. This work is ongoing, and the STSB is receiving support from the French safety investigation authority, the BEA.

    Furthermore, the mass of the aircraft and the position of the centre of gravity are being determined in order to determine their influence on flight performance.

    In order to reconstruct the flight characteristics and the aerodynamic parameters prevailing during the course of the accident (e.g. attitude and true airspeed), it is necessary to know the small-scale movements of the air masses in the valley south-west of Piz Segnas. For this purpose, the wind flows in this valley will be simulated using a sophisticated model, with the real wind and temperature data being incorporated as boundary values. In order to validate and quantify the regularity and extent of the effects calculated during this simulation, for several weeks this year, measurements will be conducted in the area of the accident. A traditional weather station will determine the wind, atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity on the ridge next to the Segnas Pass. A lidar system (Laser Detection and Ranging - a measuring system that emits laser pulses and evaluates the backscattered light from the atmosphere, in this case with regard to the Doppler Effect. In the present case, it is used for threedimensional measurement of wind above the site) will be used to record the three-dimensional flow conditions in the area of the flight path shortly before the beginning of the spiral-shaped flight path. The technical and logistical challenges mean that the success of these measurements cannot be guaranteed. In particular, for the measurements being helpful for explaining the accident of HB-HOT, weather conditions comparable to those on the day of the accident must occur during the midsummer measuring period.

    The SUST states in the status report that they estimate the release of the final report for the first quarter of year 2020 if everything continues according to plans.

    Leave a comment:


  • ATLcrew
    replied
    Originally posted by LH-B744 View Post
    I am not alway able to help you if you need the complete background of 176 posts within one topic, or, in case of the 'grounded 737 Max' topic, rather 1760 posts with one topic.

    The only thing which I can say today is, the HB-HOT crashed into the Swiss Alps, and today, almost 1 year after the fatal crash with 0 (zero) survivors and 20 dead humans, nobody has found out why all those people died.

    Status: Under investigation.

    The Flight Captain, who also died in the crash, was 62 years old, with 943 flight hours on type JU-52. Which in my eyes is more than enough so that you know a good cruise alt with MTOW. Even in a 747, the cruise alt with MTOW is clearly less than after certain flight hours during the same flight. The lighter you are the higher you fly.

    But the 62 year old Flight Captain knew that. 943 flight hours on type Ju-52. So, I do not assume that he underestimated the thin air, in alt 14,000 or higher. In an 80 years old aircraft with MTOW, without turbo, and without pressurization.

    Recently a Junior asked me, how does it come that take offs in a mile high take longer than e.g. here on EDDL. All engines need oxygen, and passengers need oxygen, flight captains need oxygen, when we need alt 14,000 or more, like in the Swiss Alps.

    I hope that the 62 year old Ju-52 flight captain did not overestimate himself or his passengers or his crew or his F/O, or his 80 year old airframe!

    I have to repeat. Rather Beech King Air 350 than Ju-52. Rather B744 than Ju-52. Not in General. But definitely if you like to take passengers up into the air, higher than
    alt 14,000, higher than
    alt 24,000!
    Noted.

    Leave a comment:


  • LH-B744
    replied
    Originally posted by ATLcrew View Post
    What?
    I am not alway able to help you if you need the complete background of 176 posts within one topic, or, in case of the 'grounded 737 Max' topic, rather 1760 posts with one topic.

    The only thing which I can say today is, the HB-HOT crashed into the Swiss Alps, and today, almost 1 year after the fatal crash with 0 (zero) survivors and 20 dead humans, nobody has found out why all those people died.

    Status: Under investigation.

    The Flight Captain, who also died in the crash, was 62 years old, with 943 flight hours on type JU-52. Which in my eyes is more than enough so that you know a good cruise alt with MTOW. Even in a 747, the cruise alt with MTOW is clearly less than after certain flight hours during the same flight. The lighter you are the higher you fly.

    But the 62 year old Flight Captain knew that. 943 flight hours on type Ju-52. So, I do not assume that he underestimated the thin air, in alt 14,000 or higher. In an 80 years old aircraft with MTOW, without turbo, and without pressurization.

    Recently a Junior asked me, how does it come that take offs in a mile high take longer than e.g. here on EDDL. All engines need oxygen, and passengers need oxygen, flight captains need oxygen, when we need alt 14,000 or more, like in the Swiss Alps.

    I hope that the 62 year old Ju-52 flight captain did not overestimate himself or his passengers or his crew or his F/O, or his 80 year old airframe!

    I have to repeat. Rather Beech King Air 350 than Ju-52. Rather B744 than Ju-52. Not in General. But definitely if you like to take passengers up into the air, higher than
    alt 14,000, higher than
    alt 24,000!

    Leave a comment:

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