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Thread: Air France plane missing?

  1. #2901
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    Quote Originally Posted by EconomyClass View Post
    http://alturl.com/x3d3

    As for the 737 statistics, what did Benjamin Disraeli say again?

    How about a statistics manual dropped at every site of an oceanic disaster just as a symbolic gesture that you who died here may be dead, but you took the safest mode of transport to get where you are today.
    Quite an indictment of AF franc pinching if true (not that other currencies are not also strenuously pinched), Economy. But your last sentence is eminently quotable.

  2. #2902
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EconomyClass View Post
    And those Dreamliners, of which 800 are on order will be followed by a slightly larger capacity Airbus family, the A350s, which is also designed around the latest iteration of the concept of pilots managing computerised flight systems which the European consortium pioneered more than any other manufacturer with its A320 single aisle family which has now been in service for 20 years.
    I think we also need to focus on the management of cascading relative clauses and unreliable punctuation. Blogs and FBW have democratized professions that used to require a much greater command of specialized skills.

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    Default Aviation Executives Job Histories

    Thinking more about this AF pilot who allegedly said AF pilots were being pressured to follow flight plans or else, I'm wondering about something. If you had an airline executive who got there by years of actual airliner piloting, would they actually pressure company pilots that way? Or does that take a guy with an MBA or perhaps promoted from a bean-counter job. I don't know the statistics of the executive ranks in airline companies, but just from reading business news, I'm inclined to accept the possibility of airline policies being set by those with no history as pilots. After all, these are publicly held companies, and boards of directors draw from companies with no pilots at all. So why couldn't they have an increased number of non-aviation people running them? These would be people who know the manipulation of stock prices but not flight management systems. The fact is that crashes are a near-certain death sentence for pilots, so even if there is pressure, the pressure to stay alive is countervailing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I think that's pretty unrelated. Let's not turn this into a scarebus forum again.
    That was not my idea - my thoughts were more or less exactly along Lightmans lanes - I didn't even want to bash FBW, which I' sure has helped to avoid many fatal accidents by now. I simply wanted to point out that *if* (or better: *when*) the CAA (computer-aided aviation) finally fails, it can easily overwhelm pilots and that may well have happend in the case of AF447.

    m.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default What's Involved:

    So exactly how difficult is it to replace a few pitot tubes? Some posters on this forum have claimed that it is a difficult and expensive procedure, and therefore, despite 35 reported incidents of unreliable airspeed data possibly related to the Thales -AA pitot tube, it should not be mandated until more is known about the cause of AF447. I have persistently disagreed with them, and this is why:

    This is copied directly from the Airbus Service Bulletin:

    MANPOWER
    The manpower estimates given in this Service Bulletin are based on the direct labor cost to do the work. These estimates assume that the work will be done by experienced personnel, and may need to be revised upwards to suit operator’s circumstances. The estimates do not include the time to prepare, plan or inspect the work. Manufacture and procurement of parts and tools, drying times for paints, sealants, etc, and general administration work are also not included.

    Config. 01
    Get access 0.5
    Replacement of the three Pitot probes 1.0
    Test 0.5
    Close-up 0.5
    TOTAL MANHOURS 2.5
    ELAPSED TIME (HOURS) 2.5
    To do it right, only two and a half manhours, give or take. As for cost, the SB indicates that the price of the parts must be negotiated with Thales. Was Thales driving a hard bargain? Well, if they were, they've learned a hard lesson, because they just lost a prime customer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    .....To do it right, only two and a half manhours, give or take.
    How DO you get this info Evan? Kudos. So take it times ten for the red tape tax and it's still a bargain. I can't imagine the pitots are cheap but compared to losing an entire aircraft it is a pittance. At least change two of them. Goodriches would be more $ and time--config etc. Still, for all the uproar it would be cheap. AF has probably spent more on PR than it would cost. You could even count changeouts as PR, if PR was what one loved best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Some posters on this forum have claimed that .... it should not be mandated until more is known about the cause of AF447.
    The people that make that argument are making a ridiculous argument. Whether or not they realize it; it is an inept insane position. The thing is it looks like it is likely that the black boxes are not going to be recovered; so it's quite likely that were not going to have an exact cause; instead the findings are likely to be widespread and largely speculative. So I think it's ridiculous to have a position that we know we likely won't have an answer but refuse to take preventative actions that might reduce risk and help diagnose possible problems.

    I would suggest replacing the pitot tubes (with the pitot tubes that are thought to be improved and superior) on 50% of all the class of aircraft and keep statistics and compare the two groups over a period of time and see if there is a significant difference. If a significant difference shows up; then we have a possible statistical diagnoses. The problem with my suggestion is the lawyers probably wouldn't like it; they probably think it is a liability trap if it is found that the newer probes are better and if there is a loss of life that possibly could be traced to the pitot tubes during the statistical test phase. So were likely to have politically correct paranoid litagative paralysis (indecisiveness; that is likely to put more lives at risk).


    Lately there doesn't seem to be much new information coming to surface in the public; so I feel almost like we are beating a dead horse because of the limited information.


    Because the limited information were not making much ground on the discussion; though some of the discussion is thought-provoking and educational and informative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    So exactly how difficult is it to replace a few pitot tubes? Some posters on this forum have claimed that it is a difficult and expensive procedure, and therefore, despite 35 reported incidents of unreliable airspeed data possibly related to the Thales -AA pitot tube, it should not be mandated until more is known about the cause of AF447. I have persistently disagreed with them, and this is why:

    This is copied directly from the Airbus Service Bulletin:



    To do it right, only two and a half manhours, give or take. As for cost, the SB indicates that the price of the parts must be negotiated with Thales. Was Thales driving a hard bargain? Well, if they were, they've learned a hard lesson, because they just lost a prime customer.
    Ever done a Pitot replacement/static check??? I've seen planes in the hangar for static checks for up to 16 hours. Chasing leaks sucks. Yes you can have small leaks, and still have a perfectly operating system but won't pass a leak check. As a Maintenance Controler I'd try everything to keep from busting open a pitot static system to prevent the heartache that most likely sat on the otherside. And if we opened the Co-Pilot side it was a check flight because how that side of the system was tied into the INS. Not sure how an A330 system is set-up for Navigation systems, and weather or not a check flight is needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATFS_Crash View Post
    The people that make that argument are making a ridiculous argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Some posters on this forum have claimed that it is a difficult and expensive procedure,

    Yes it was a waste of time and money... They changed out the pitots and apparently the problem is STILL THERE!!!!!!!!!!!! So what did changing them to the -BA do? NOTHING but WASTE TIME AND MONEY... It has been said MANY times before... The reason the A320's -AA were changed out for problems during TAKE-OFF & LANDING phase of flight. NOT Cruise, which seems to be the problem of the A330/A340. Plus all the issues with the A330/A340's also have appranantly have had ADIRU failures. I'm Thinking this is the problem... Not the lame ass Pitot tubes. Don't matter if say QF72 and AF447 had differnt ADIRU's installed, Software is probably pretty damn close to the same if not the same.
    -Not an Airbus or Boeing guy here.
    -20 year veteran on the USN Lockheed P-3 Orion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P3_Super_Bee View Post
    Yes it was a waste of time and money... They changed out the pitots and apparently the problem is STILL THERE!!!!!!!!!!!! So what did changing them to the -BA do? NOTHING but WASTE TIME AND MONEY... It has been said MANY times before... The reason the A320's -AA were changed out for problems during TAKE-OFF & LANDING phase of flight. NOT Cruise, which seems to be the problem of the A330/A340. Plus all the issues with the A330/A340's also have appranantly have had ADIRU failures. I'm Thinking this is the problem... Not the lame ass Pitot tubes. Don't matter if say QF72 and AF447 had differnt ADIRU's installed, Software is probably pretty damn close to the same if not the same.
    I would tend to disagree that it was a waste of time and money. Lawyers and managers don't like to hear this but we often don't know what the answers are so sometimes we have to guess and have a statistical trial. Sometimes the best thing that can be done is to narrow down the possibilities and to replace things in a trial and error as part of diagnosis. Typically the first thing that is replaced is either the most probable or the cheapest suspect component. I think there was a trial and error with the pitot tubes. I seem to remember that someone was suggesting that there was a higher rate of failures by a particular manufacturer of pitot tubes; I'm thinking that perhaps that is still a possibility.

    However you make a very good argument about the possibility of an ADIRU problem. You have made me rethink my post and it probably was too narrow minded and brash; I'm too lazy to change the post but I admit my possible overstatement.

  10. #2910
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFS_Crash View Post
    The thing is it looks like it is likely that the black boxes are not going to be recovered; so it's quite likely that were not going to have an exact cause; instead the findings are likely to be widespread and largely speculative.
    Maybe not: "Airbus Industries have decided to invest up to 20 million Euros (US$ 27.8 million) into the search for the black boxes of the crashed Air France Airbus, the company announced on Friday (Jul 31st). This will ensure at minimum an additional three months of search for the missing recorders. Airbus said, that they want to definitely know what happened."

    (From Aviation Herald)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Fear_of_Flying View Post
    Maybe not: "Airbus Industries have decided to invest up to 20 million Euros (US$ 27.8 million) into the search for the black boxes of the crashed Air France Airbus, the company announced on Friday (Jul 31st). This will ensure at minimum an additional three months of search for the missing recorders. Airbus said, that they want to definitely know what happened."

    (From Aviation Herald)

    x 2. Wasn't it Honeywell that was boasting that they had never failed to recover one of their boxes? I'd say there's still a good chance they will be recovered - it will just take time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P3_Super_Bee View Post
    Plus all the issues with the A330/A340's also have appranantly have had ADIRU failures. I'm Thinking this is the problem... Not the lame ass Pitot tubes. Don't matter if say QF72 and AF447 had differnt ADIRU's installed, Software is probably pretty damn close to the same if not the same.
    Agreed. BUT, what caused the ADIRU's to have the hissy fit? In the case of the Qantas aircraft, that was in fine weather, so lightning could be ruled out as a common source. If it wasn't a serious disagreement in one of the data inputs (pitot readings) that threw them offline what could have done this?

  13. #2913
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    Quote Originally Posted by P3_Super_Bee View Post
    Plus all the issues with the A330/A340's also have appranantly have had ADIRU failures. I'm Thinking this is the problem... Not the lame ass Pitot tubes. Don't matter if say QF72 and AF447 had differnt ADIRU's installed, Software is probably pretty damn close to the same if not the same.
    The evidence doesn't support that. Qantas 72 experienced an IR fault, an erroneous AoA input, not an ADR air data fault. The fault at the onset was NAV IR1 FAULT.

    AF447 doesn't report an IR fault until 2:13 (occurring during the 2:11 window), well into the sequence of failures:

    .1/FLR/FR0906010211 34123406IR2 1,EFCS1X,IR1,IR3,,,,ADIRU2 (1FP2),HARD

    ADIRU2 (1FP2) (2 h 11)
    ATA: 341234
    Source: IR2
    Identifiers: *EFCS1, IR1, IR3
    Class 1, HARD

    This is most likely due to cascading failures. It is not an initiating factor. It comes after the pitot disagree message, which occurs in the 2:10 window:

    - .1/FLR/FR0906010210 34111506EFCS2 1,EFCS1,AFS,,,,,PROBE-PITOT 1X2 / 2X3 / 1X3 (9DA),HARD

    ATA: 341115
    Source: EFCS2
    Identifiers: EFCS1, AFS
    Class 1, HARD

    Neither of the Qantas flights received this message.

    EASA issued the AD 2009-0012-E in January to address the fact that the faulty ADIRU could not be positively deactivated by the pushbutton, and might still be providing erroneous AoA data to other systems despite the illumination of the OFF light, and that the IR rotary switch needs to be selected to off as well. This is where the problem lurks in the Airbus system design, the thing Leightman is referring to, where the systems may be impeding the pilots ability to take the plane off-line and fly manually, that they might make things more difficult and confusing for pilots.

  14. #2914
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    Quote Originally Posted by P3_Super_Bee View Post
    It has been said MANY times before... The reason the A320's -AA were changed out for problems during TAKE-OFF & LANDING phase of flight. NOT Cruise, which seems to be the problem of the A330/A340.
    Air France NT 34-029, dated August 20, 2008 (issued in French and English):

    DESCRIPTION
    The purpose of this NT is to gather information in order confirm the involvement of pitot probes in case of "Nav IAS discrepancy".
    At the time of creation of the NT, a case on THT and six cases on A340 AFR have been reported. Investigations conducted on Airbus family aircraft showed that most of airspeed discrepancy events were due to Pitot water ingress and to probe draining holes obstructed by external particles. Another hypothesis is in study on a possible saturation of pitots by crystallized ice in high flight level. In particular flight condition, a speed discrepancy between system 1 and 2 or total loss of airspeed indications could appear with auto pilot disengagement, auto thr off, etc.

    Associated warning
    -F/CTL ALTN LAW
    -WINDSHEAR DETECT FAULT
    -NAV IAS DISCREPANCY
    -AUTO FLT AP OFF
    -AUTO FLT A/THR OFF

    These characteristics warning appeared simultaneously, the auto pilot disengagement occur when system 1 and 2 lose their information.

    CORRECTIVE ACTION
    A new standard of pitot probe is available PN: Cl6l95BA. The installation of this PN is in progress by attrition on the fleet.
    The new pitot probe corrects the problems with enhanced water trap and relocated drain holes.

    (Notice: it does not specifically claim to correct the problems with ice crystal saturation. This is the ambiguous area.)

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    Great posts at 3:36 and 5:51 Evan.

    "EASA issued the AD 2009-0012-E in January to address the fact that the faulty ADIRU could not be positively deactivated by the pushbutton, and might still be providing erroneous AoA data to other systems despite the illumination of the OFF light, and that the IR rotary switch needs to be selected to off as well."

    Not even being able to easily turn the thing off doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

  16. #2916
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leightman View Post
    Great posts at 3:36 and 5:51 Evan.

    "EASA issued the AD 2009-0012-E in January to address the fact that the faulty ADIRU could not be positively deactivated by the pushbutton, and might still be providing erroneous AoA data to other systems despite the illumination of the OFF light, and that the IR rotary switch needs to be selected to off as well."

    Not even being able to easily turn the thing off doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.
    Basically, you just have to keep pulling breakers until it can't sing the daisy song anymore.

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    Come on Evan,

    That was two very good posts in a row... no need for the sensationalist stuff.

    You do not have to touch the breakers. Selecting two swtiches in accordance with a new checklist is not excessively difficult.

    I'd also be a little careful assuming the order and timing of the messages received in the AF case.

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    New evidence has ceased to appear. Unless more wreckage is found--and I think there's not an unreasonable chance of that--we may be stuck until another report is issued. Even if they find wreckage, it will be easier to keep a cork on what gets out. Do investigation plans include any other interim reports prior to a final report? Do we look forward to a very long period of no information and then a final report?

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    The delay in recovering the data recorder is time during which other crashes could well occur due to the lack of knowledge of the cause of this plane's failure. I've heard of black boxes found years later. But will people just have to avoid this plane model till whenever that is?

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    RE: Pitot tubes & angle of attack sensors

    Above are both items that have been possibly (allegedly?) linked to recent crashes/incidents, including AF447.

    I know some people at one of the main manufacturers of the above, so, I'm not telling you which one, but suffice it to say, there has been a great deal of swapping of parts at another aircraft manufacturer recently (other than Airbus). And there aren't enough spare parts available to do the swapping out.

    They parts are costly per piece, not to mention the cost/time involved in moving them around the world quickly, and they aren't being manufactured quickly enough for the demand right now, in either case.

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