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

  1. #41
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Correct.

    The difference is that, in some instances humans have had decent, safe plans crumble away...
    Unless this was a multi-leg or RIF flight plan, I don't see how it could possible fit that description (actually RIF isn't even a safe consideration here since it only involves the reserve fuel).

    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE
    And, sadly, it's also no excuse that it was the gal's first ever commercial fight being a reason for her not to speak up OR be ignored (if either of those happened).
    The CVR transcript will be interesting. Maybe she didn't even notice.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    BTW, this is what I got on fuelplanner.com:
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Is this "fixed" as we like to say?
    The details are not clear yet. Apparently the dispatcher and captain insisted and it was finally accepted as presented.

    I look forward to some CVR analysis of 1) In-route fuel and range discussions and if there are errors and 2) The CRM environment for agreements / disagreements and intangible 'power gradient' problems.
    Unfortunately the CVR holds only the last 30 minutes (I don't think that this plane will have the new 2-hours ones), which would cover perhaps just 15 minutes before starting the hold.

    A lot of valuable information will be found there for sure, but I am very curious (and remain so) about the conversations in the middle of the flight. They must have noticed and discussed fuel long before arrivel, since it was so evident that they were super (and illegally) tight.

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  4. #44
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Is it possible that they filed a re-clearance-in-flight plan and then opted to skip the technical stop? AFAIK that would be a legal situation at take-off (becoming illegal when they skipped the stopover).
    From what I read, it doesn't look like it was a RIF plan, but the information is not clear yet.

    I don't know the rules of the RIF. It sounds reasonable in a case like Air France, where they they were counting on not using all of the 10% trip fuel reserve (which was a lot of fuel since it was a long flight) what would leave them with enough fuel for their final destination + fly to alternate + 30 minutes final reserve.

    In this case the 10% would not have been that much, just less than 30 minutes (the planned flight time was 4:20), so even if they had that 20% in the tanks (that they didn't) and they used zero of it, that would be not enough to make up for the 30 minutes final reserve, and we didn't even mention the fuel needed to divert to the alternate yet.

    So, I don't know if a RIF would have been legal or not, but it would have made no sense in this case since the sure ending (if complying with it) would have been landing in the panned fuel stop.

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  5. #45
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjwk View Post
    According to avherald, the company's air operator's certificate has been revoked with immediate effect.
    They should have done it one day before the crash, not one day after.

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  6. #46
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    From what I read, it doesn't look like it was a RIF plan, but the information is not clear yet.

    I don't know the rules of the RIF. It sounds reasonable in a case like Air France, where they they were counting on not using all of the 10% trip fuel reserve (which was a lot of fuel since it was a long flight) what would leave them with enough fuel for their final destination + fly to alternate + 30 minutes final reserve.

    In this case the 10% would not have been that much, just less than 30 minutes (the planned flight time was 4:20), so even if they had that 20% in the tanks (that they didn't) and they used zero of it, that would be not enough to make up for the 30 minutes final reserve, and we didn't even mention the fuel needed to divert to the alternate yet.

    So, I don't know if a RIF would have been legal or not, but it would have made no sense in this case since the sure ending (if complying with it) would have been landing in the panned fuel stop.
    Can't confirm that this is authentic but...

    This is apparently the flight plan. EET is exactly the same as endurance (?!!). No RIF.

    What is also puzzling is that endurance is 4hr 22mins but by my calculations (if they left the runway at 18:18L) the actual endurance was something around 3hrs 38mins. Wish I could find the fuel order. I wonder if there was a significant taxi delay at departure.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    1. Unless this was a multi-leg or RIF flight plan, I don't see how it could possible fit that description (actually RIF isn't even a safe consideration here since it only involves the reserve fuel)....2. Maybe she didn't even notice.
    1. Maybe (I want to keep stressing Maybe) the forecast winds aloft were favorable. 100 extra knots happens and would certainly help give them a decent reserve.

    2. I also hope you are wrong there, but recognize I could lose a beer and eat crow. I don't care how green you are, if you have a pilot's license, awareness of the fuel status is one of those fundamental basics that's applicable to J-3 Cubs to 787's and Airbii inbetween.
    Les rčgles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Plot thickens...

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    Brazil's O Globo reported that because of a delayed departure, a refuelling stop in Cobija - on the border between Brazil and Bolivia - was abandoned because the airport did not operate at night.
    Was that 'delayed gate departure' or 'delayed in the queue with engines burning off taxi fuel'? And why are we talking about refuelling stops when there was nothing about that in the flight plan?

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    the route was almost exactly the same as the published range for the ac. i dont care what kind of winds you expect. if the pilot hadn't killed himself, i'd be advocating for his slow and painful execution.

    on another note, how is it that flight plans aren't checked by independent authorities?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
    the route was almost exactly the same as the published range for the ac. i dont care what kind of winds you expect. if the pilot hadn't killed himself, i'd be advocating for his slow and painful execution.

    on another note, how is it that flight plans aren't checked by independent authorities?
    The dispatcher is supposed to be the 'independent' authority. Used to be in my early days, but even with SQ, there was a pressure to avoid the optional fuel stop on marginal flights without offloading cargo or pax.
    About 15% of SQ flights LHR-SIN were marginal and every kg of under-load was used to top the tanks before push back.

    What I never did in 5000 dispatched flights was sign a loadsheet over to the pilots with anything like Evan posted on his fuel planner. We obviously had to operate at the margins but we did not bite into the safety margins. Even if the pilot requested that we increase the taxi fuel to overcome 100kgs overload, we opted to offload some cargo and re-trim, much to the disgust of the station manager.

    I left LHR just as centralised load planning was becoming the norm and management attitudes were tending towards the " aircraft are so safe that we don't really need to trim and check" phase.

    I have no idea what the operational organisation of this company was or any of the specifics of this flight, but I would wager that there are a lot of companies, large and small, that regularly operate outside of the limits of legal dispatch relying on the superior design of aircraft and the talents of pilots to get home.

    Speak to any BA engineer at T3 LHR in the 90s and he would tell you scary stories of Asian 744s arriving on stand with less than 5 minutes fuel remaining. I think it hit the fan on a Malaysian flight once, but they were largely unreported.

    I can almost picture the scene: Pilots ready to push and waiting for the loadsheet... dispatcher says that range, payload and fuel are marginal... pilots/dispatcher agree a 'fudge' to produce loadsheet (because the dispatcher wants to get home or has another flight scheduled)... pilots (or in this case THE pilot and poor inexperienced spectator) convince themselves that they'll make it as long as it all goes well... ground delays push the margins and they still convince themselves its ok, probably because they've done it before... anyway, these aircraft have huge safety margins... fuel gauges are notoriously inaccurate so there's probably loads more fuel than they are showing... we're so close, we will surley make it, but don't let anyone know how far over the limits we are...

    I kinda know about this crap having landed a C152 at Stevenson Al after a 300m x-country having used most of my 'unusable' fuel (by side slipping left and right for the final 40 miles). The list of errors, inexperience, bad judgement and over-confidence is familiar to the 19 year old fresh PPL I was in those days (1981).

    I learned the lesson then, but have dispatched more than a few flights with serious concerns over the judgment and over confidence of some pilots along with the company culture of "we can't afford to follow all the regulations all the time... the authorities are well aware of this... just do it".

    The consequence of killing so many people is obviously not enough of a threat to many people in the industry and regulation oversight is getting more relevant today. I'm waiting for an Easyjet or Ryanair flight to come down one day, based on an ATC friend's accounts of the number of times they refuse an instruction due to fuel constraints.

    These are avoidable accidents, but I would really like to know how often companies and individuals are taking avoidable risks.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispatch Dog View Post
    The dispatcher is supposed to be the 'independent' authority. Used to be in my early days, but even with SQ, there was a pressure to avoid the optional fuel stop on marginal flights without offloading cargo or pax.
    About 15% of SQ flights LHR-SIN were marginal and every kg of under-load was used to top the tanks before push back.

    What I never did in 5000 dispatched flights was sign a loadsheet over to the pilots with anything like Evan posted on his fuel planner. We obviously had to operate at the margins but we did not bite into the safety margins. Even if the pilot requested that we increase the taxi fuel to overcome 100kgs overload, we opted to offload some cargo and re-trim, much to the disgust of the station manager.

    I left LHR just as centralised load planning was becoming the norm and management attitudes were tending towards the " aircraft are so safe that we don't really need to trim and check" phase.

    I have no idea what the operational organisation of this company was or any of the specifics of this flight, but I would wager that there are a lot of companies, large and small, that regularly operate outside of the limits of legal dispatch relying on the superior design of aircraft and the talents of pilots to get home.

    Speak to any BA engineer at T3 LHR in the 90s and he would tell you scary stories of Asian 744s arriving on stand with less than 5 minutes fuel remaining. I think it hit the fan on a Malaysian flight once, but they were largely unreported.

    I can almost picture the scene: Pilots ready to push and waiting for the loadsheet... dispatcher says that range, payload and fuel are marginal... pilots/dispatcher agree a 'fudge' to produce loadsheet (because the dispatcher wants to get home or has another flight scheduled)... pilots (or in this case THE pilot and poor inexperienced spectator) convince themselves that they'll make it as long as it all goes well... ground delays push the margins and they still convince themselves its ok, probably because they've done it before... anyway, these aircraft have huge safety margins... fuel gauges are notoriously inaccurate so there's probably loads more fuel than they are showing... we're so close, we will surley make it, but don't let anyone know how far over the limits we are...

    I kinda know about this crap having landed a C152 at Stevenson Al after a 300m x-country having used most of my 'unusable' fuel (by side slipping left and right for the final 40 miles). The list of errors, inexperience, bad judgement and over-confidence is familiar to the 19 year old fresh PPL I was in those days (1981).

    I learned the lesson then, but have dispatched more than a few flights with serious concerns over the judgment and over confidence of some pilots along with the company culture of "we can't afford to follow all the regulations all the time... the authorities are well aware of this... just do it".

    The consequence of killing so many people is obviously not enough of a threat to many people in the industry and regulation oversight is getting more relevant today. I'm waiting for an Easyjet or Ryanair flight to come down one day, based on an ATC friend's accounts of the number of times they refuse an instruction due to fuel constraints.

    These are avoidable accidents, but I would really like to know how often companies and individuals are taking avoidable risks.
    It seems that we need a more inevitable deterrent than "maybe we won't make it". Why aren't ground crews required to log fuel-remaining after each flight?

  12. #52
    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    More info and photos added to the avherald article.
    This one particularly called my attention:

    Emergency services reported the aircraft did not catch fire increasing the chances of survivors.
    The head of investigation stated: "No existe evidencia de combustible en la aeronave" (there is no evidence of fuel in the aircraft).


    This was a rumor last night reported by some media. Now it looks more official and likely to be a direct link with the cause of the crash.
    Yes. This is what also 'arrived' here, on German Television: No evidence of fuel in the Jumbolino. Somehow it is hard for me to see that an aircraft with
    four engines (!)
    crashed due to --- absence of fuel?!?!

    Almost every day I learn something new... An Avro RJ85 is not comparable with an Airbus A318, although both jets are approx 30 metres long (100 feet).
    RJ85 range: not more than 1,570 nmi.
    A318 range: 3,100 nmi.

    The distance?
    departure: Guarulhos. no further explanation needed.
    1st fuel stop: SLVR
    2nd fuel stop: cancelled!
    arr: Medellín, Colombia.

    distance between Guarulhos and Medellín: clearly more than 2470 nmi.

    So, why did they use an aircraft that technically is not able to fly the route nonstop?!
    LH also has a intercontinental history, the Hamburg - Düsseldorf - Shannon - NYC route, open since June 1st, 1955.
    A/C type: Lockheed Super Constellation.
    The operator on the DUS - NYC route, on the DUS - BKK route, and on the shiny new DUS - LAS nonstop route? EW, one of the dearest LH daughters .

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. A whole decade here on this platform.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    It seems that we need a more inevitable deterrent than "maybe we won't make it". Why aren't ground crews required to log fuel-remaining after each flight?
    Hm. I just try to imagine, I were an ATC at EDDL. Would I try to find out, if ALL aircraft that took off here this Saturday are
    technically able to reach their destination?

    Probably not. I'd say an ATC trusts the airline, who should be able to guarantee that
    a) the aircraft can do the distance nonstop
    OR, if that is not the case
    b) they always have enough fuel on board.

    And as far as I can think back, at DUS we've never been disappointed, although the distances are similar or even bigger. DL-B763ER? Always has enough fuel for DUS.
    The ATC trusts the airline, I'd say, and I am not an ATC.

    That was not a problem in international aviation, until November 28th.
    LH also has a intercontinental history, the Hamburg - Düsseldorf - Shannon - NYC route, open since June 1st, 1955.
    A/C type: Lockheed Super Constellation.
    The operator on the DUS - NYC route, on the DUS - BKK route, and on the shiny new DUS - LAS nonstop route? EW, one of the dearest LH daughters .

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. A whole decade here on this platform.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
    the route was almost exactly the same as the published range for the ac. i dont care what kind of winds you expect. if the pilot hadn't killed himself, i'd be advocating for his slow and painful execution.

    on another note, how is it that flight plans aren't checked by independent authorities?
    Evan also had an idea. But you as a passenger, I assume that you n me trust the airline. You pay the airline so that they provide an aircraft that is able to fly the route nonstop, or, if that is not the case, there is always enough fuel on board. And you're right.

    It may sound harsh, but would you dare to fly Dusseldorf - Fiumicino in a Cessna 152? Even if you dared, you certainly wouldn't assume that you could fly the distance without 1 fuel stop!
    DUS - FCO: clearly more than 612 nautical miles.
    C152 range: not much more than 400 nautical miles.

    So, I'd bet you would expect one or even two fuel stops. And why would you take the C152 if some feet above, an Airbus does it nonstop?

    As Evan, I see no clear excuse for what happened last Monday.

    PS: What has been transmitted to German television so far? A whole soccer team tried to fly from Guarulhos to Medellín, and - for whatever reasons -
    they tried to avoid a 1 stop flight with Avianca, who, as seen from here, at least theoretically serve Guarulhos and Medellín, with 1 stop at El Dorado.

    Clearly more than 2470 nmi. That's a distance for which I'd call an intercontinental airline, e.g. Avianca.

    In contrast to some German sources (or who mentions something like that, in German?), I don't see a parallel to AV 052. In 1990, the B707 was technically able to fly the route nonstop.

    In 2016, the Jumbolino, or Avro RJ 85 short-haul jet,

    as operated by CityLine until 2012 (concerning 'Flight length', en wiki needs the word 'a former CityLine RJ 85', so, if someone has access..)

    was not and will never be technically able to fly more than 1598 nautical miles (more than 2959 km), which is only my rough guess after I took out my ruler: SLVR to Medellín nonstop on a straight line, which, and that's not a secret, is not really a known IFR procedure.

    It is official, that the jet had to fly circles in a waiting position. In en wiki, the Jumbolino range is described with 1570 nautical miles as the absolute maximum. But even my rough guess, without J-airways and hold, exceed that absolute maximum by 30 nautical miles.

    And that's why I stay with my opinion, that's a mistake that would've been avoidable, e.g. by using a regular commercial 1 stop flight via El Dorado. The soccer team tried to fly to Colombia, so who do you ask?
    If I tried to fly to Colombia, I'd ask Avianca, or an international airline that is almost as good as the domestic one at El Dorado...

    It is a fatal accident that does not leave me cold. No one in the Brazilian soccer team was older than me.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 12-04-2016 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Why not Experienced airlines?
    LH also has a intercontinental history, the Hamburg - Düsseldorf - Shannon - NYC route, open since June 1st, 1955.
    A/C type: Lockheed Super Constellation.
    The operator on the DUS - NYC route, on the DUS - BKK route, and on the shiny new DUS - LAS nonstop route? EW, one of the dearest LH daughters .

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. A whole decade here on this platform.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    So to summarize: a plane that wasn't carrying sufficient fuel crashed due to fuel exhaustion and killed a bunch of people because it was delayed so another flight which also didn't have sufficient fuel could have an expedited landing?

    Wow.
    The A320 had sufficient fuel. They were at FL360 enroute to San Andres Island and got a suspicious fuel indication, causing them to divert to Medellin. After landing it was established that they had sufficient fuel to reach their planned destination with the proper reserves. No foul there.

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    Logging the fuel remaining does not necessarily mean that senior managers or authorities get to see this unless someone blows the whistle. I've been out of the game too long so I don't know exactly what the current regs or oversight is is but it is a feature in most QAR systems and part of most flight ops statistical analysis who constantly look at performance.

    We currently rely largely on the integrity of airlines and individuals to report 'near misses'. Self regulation has worked to bring us to this level of safety and reliability but we do need a more intrusive and independent scrutiny.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispatch Dog View Post
    Logging the fuel remaining does not necessarily mean that senior managers or authorities get to see this unless someone blows the whistle. I've been out of the game too long so I don't know exactly what the current regs or oversight is is but it is a feature in most QAR systems and part of most flight ops statistical analysis who constantly look at performance.

    We currently rely largely on the integrity of airlines and individuals to report 'near misses'. Self regulation has worked to bring us to this level of safety and reliability but we do need a more intrusive and independent scrutiny.
    A FOQuA system should be able to deal with this without being intrusive. It still depends on the airline management though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    A FOQuA system should be able to deal with this without being intrusive. It still depends on the airline management though.
    Agree regarding major and established ops, as long as they are profitable. The danger comes when budgets and accountants dictate levels of operational reg compliance. Though with low cost carrier 'skinny' ops, greed can be as influential as the threat of bankruptcy.

    But we regularly see relatively new small operators like these killing people. Even when you bring in experienced op crew, the management culture of strict reg compliance can be an elusive and evaded priority.

    Bend the rules, and you negate decades of devoted hard work and the lessons learnt in countless lives lost

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    A FOQuA system should be able to deal with this without being intrusive. It still depends on the airline management though.
    It seems like it would be feasible given current technology to link this information to a mandatory database that could trigger red flags for a low fuel quantity and refer it to authorities for further investigation. The entire thing could be automated with fuel-remaining compared to type and perhaps TOW. It's a connect the dots exercise. It could at least work as a deterrent. Obviously, there's a problem out there we can't continue to ignore and with aviation growing, the world's aviation authorites need to take progressive action to deter these illegal operations.

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    We're on the same page.

    To nitpik: in reality all companies stretch the rules as an exercise of efficiency. Complete technical legality is often unattainable and I accept that with professional integrity it can be sufficiently safe to do so, but there are some inherently dangerous and obviously deadly corners being cut by some. It can often be a fine line and I just don't trust every operator to draw their own line.

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