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Thread: Three Wizz Air A320's lose airspeed data on Feb 26th

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default Three Wizz Air A320's lose airspeed data on Feb 26th

    This should be interesting.

    Maintenance, I would guess... hopefully not masking tape this time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Member ATLcrew's Avatar
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    i get the sinking feeling it's all the same airplane.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    i get the sinking feeling it's all the same airplane.
    You got the wrong sinking feeling (and were lazy in the research)

    A Wizz Air Airbus A321-200, registration HA-LXP performing flight W6-4427 from Sofia (Bulgaria) to Tel Aviv (Israel) with 220 people on board, was climbing to FL230 out of Sofia when the crew requested to stop climb at 10,000 feet MSL, accepted a climb to 12,000 feet due to terrain and entered a hold. The crew subsequently declared PAN, PAN, PAN reporting unreliable airspeed. After checking weather conditions around the aircraft climbed to FL200 and diverted to Budapest (Hungary) for a safe landing on runway 31R about 105 minutes after departure from Sofia.

    A Wizz Air Airbus A321-200, registration HA-LXD performing flight W6-4351 from Sofia (Bulgaria) to Milan Bergamo (Italy) with 204 passengers, was climbing out of Sofia cleared to climb to FL280 when the crew requested to stop climb at FL180 due to some issue while continuing along their planned flight route. The crew subsequently reported they had unreliable airspeed indications. The crew decided to return to Sofia, declared PAN and descended the aircraft to 11,000 feet, but then decided to divert to Budapest (Hungary), climbed the aircraft to FL200 and landed safely on Budapest's runway 31R about 2 hours after departure.

    A Wizz Air Airbus A321-200, registration HA-LXL performing flight W6-4321 from Sofia (Bulgaria) to Beauvais (France), was accelerating for takeoff on Sofia's runway 09 when the crew rejected takeoff at 80 knots reporting unreliable airspeed indications. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.

    Source: avherald.com (same source than Evan's picture)

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Maybe Airbus should point a pipe into the wind and then run a tube to a pressure gauge on the upper left instrument panel and put a pressure gauge there? Maybe you could calibrate it to MPH or KPH? Put a heating coil out on the pipe and and a few more tweaks, and Airbus could offer RELIABLE airspeed indications. RAS...sounds like a nifty acronym and marketing feature.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Maybe Airbus should point a pipe into the wind and then run a tube to a pressure gauge on the upper left instrument panel and put a pressure gauge there? Maybe you could calibrate it to MPH or KPH? Put a heating coil out on the pipe and and a few more tweaks, and Airbus could offer RELIABLE airspeed indications. RAS...sounds like a nifty acronym and marketing feature.
    ...and Boeing. Don't forget Boeing:

    http://avherald.com/h?article=4b57f219&opt=0

    http://avherald.com/h?article=4b4f3b2b&opt=0

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    Member ATLcrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    You got the wrong sinking feeling (and were lazy in the research)
    Happens to the best of us. "Even to you, Sosa..." (bonus for getting that reference)

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    Happens to the best of us. "Even to you, Sosa..." (bonus for getting that reference)
    I can't decide between 2 Bill's: Shakespeare or Gates

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Noted.

    One of your links says that "the sensor" failed...

    Yes, definitely aligns with my smart-aleck-but-slightly-serious suggestion of removing electronical wizardry.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Why are airspeed issues still a thing?

    As a hobby programmer I could easily create a script that will calculate the time it took to traverse two GPS co-ordinates.

    Okay it's not perfect but should be a decent backup to the pitot tube system.

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    Asleep at the Yoke Vnav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nirwanda View Post
    As a hobby programmer I could easily create a script that will calculate the time it took to traverse two GPS co-ordinates.

    Okay it's not perfect but should be a decent backup to the pitot tube system.
    Because you're 'instrument' would give us a ground speed.......airplanes don't fly using groundspeed. (besides, I've already got a groundspeed readout)


    More importantly, I've got to fly on one of this airline's planes someday if for no other reason so that I can say "I just took a Wizz!"
    Parlour Talker Extraordinaire

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vnav View Post
    Because you're 'instrument' would give us a ground speed.......airplanes don't fly using groundspeed. (besides, I've already got a groundspeed readout)
    I get that, but as a backup it would surely at least give you a rought estimate what your airspeed is. I'm thinking about how it could have helped Aeroperu etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vnav View Post
    More importantly, I've got to fly on one of this airline's planes someday if for no other reason so that I can say "I just took a Wizz!"
    It works better if you say "I just took a Wizz from (insert name of a city) to (insert name of a different city)".
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nirwanda View Post
    I get that, but as a backup it would surely at least give you a rought estimate what your airspeed is. I'm thinking about how it could have helped Aeroperu etc.

    That difference can be quite significant. At high cruise levels the margin for error is not so great. Windshear adds another dimension to it. But it hardly matters, pilots don't need speed data to safely remain in level flight. They just need to not do something else, like climb or descend outside the safe envelope, or cause sudden upsets.

    The greatest danger unreliable airspeed poses is the confusion and disorientation it creates. Since autoflight systems cannot operate without airspeed data, pilots have to suddenly fly by hand with no time to mentally prepare, not so dangerous in itself but dangerous when your mind is confused and your judgment flawed.

    The only reliable solution to this problem is in training pilots to follow procedures designed to protect them (and you) during those moments between a sudden event and a fully regained situational awareness.

    Some pilots think they are above all that.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nirwanda View Post
    I get that, but as a backup it would surely at least give you a rought estimate what your airspeed is. I'm thinking about how it could have helped Aeroperu etc.
    Close to the ground, yes. Up there in the levels, no. Air density makes a huge (and I say huge) difference between the indicated airspeed or calibrated airspeed or equivalent airspeed, which is what the pilots need to fly the airplane, vs the true airspeed or the ground speed. How huge? Think 250 vs 400 kts.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Hey, Nirvana:

    What if you programmed your GPS to track actual speed vs distance on a takeoff roll and compared that to the needed speed versus diastance for pilots to check that they aren’t going to come up short and take out a fence, or something?

    It could even give warnings if things looked bad.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Hey, Nirvana:

    What if you programmed your GPS to track actual speed vs distance on a takeoff roll and compared that to the needed speed versus diastance for pilots to check that they aren’t going to come up short and take out a fence, or something?

    It could even give warnings if things looked bad.
    Hm. I know that this is not my first sentence here in this topic. Another one of my thoughts... at least if the both of us discuss, is it good that, oh let me be honest, it helped me a little bit since yesterday.

    Is it good that airlines, and even if we call them low cost airlines, are SO VERY much younger than the both of us? If these are international airlines who operate the same a/c type as
    the on duty LH CEO?!

    You talk about warnings inflight.

    And I can remember an international airline which grew very fast (too fast), younger than me, and they went bankrupt in August 2017. And I don't really like to see European airlines go bankrupt!
    You can believe me, originally I'm a LTU man. Düsseldorf Intl., 1955-2008.

    I only saw the signs early enough..

    PS: The TriStars, what did I learn, in the air since 1973... Those were the years. Three decades before a man thought that Wizz could be an airline.
    LT-Lockheed TriStar at my Home Airport.

    Today, we all know these abbreviations... B744, B744ER, B748, B748F. But a LT-TriStar is a LT-TriStar. A brilliant photo btw!
    Last edited by LH-B744; 03-08-2018 at 05:50 AM. Reason: For the future, LTU once was a quite good airline!
    LH also has a intercontinental history, the Hamburg - Düsseldorf - Shannon - NYC route, open since June 1st, 1955.
    A/C type: Lockheed Super Constellation.

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. Almost a decade here on this platform.

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    Senior Member BoeingBobby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LH-B744 View Post
    Hm. I know that this is not my first sentence here in this topic. Another one of my thoughts... at least if the both of us discuss, is it good that, oh let me be honest, it helped me a little bit since yesterday.

    Is it good that airlines, and even if we call them low cost airlines, are SO VERY much younger than the both of us? If these are international airlines who operate the same a/c type as
    the on duty LH CEO?!

    You talk about warnings inflight.

    And I can remember an international airline which grew very fast (too fast), younger than me, and they went bankrupt in August 2017. And I don't really like to see European airlines go bankrupt!
    You can believe me, originally I'm a LTU man. Düsseldorf Intl., 1955-2008.

    I only saw the signs early enough..

    PS: The TriStars, what did I learn, in the air since 1973... Those were the years. Three decades before a man thought that Wizz could be an airline.
    LT-Lockheed TriStar at my Home Airport.

    Today, we all know these abbreviations... B744, B744ER, B748, B748F. But a LT-TriStar is a LT-TriStar. A brilliant photo btw!


    Once again, does your post have anything to do with the topic?

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    AvHerald is reporting that all three a/c were parked on the apron for approx. six hours in "low temperatures and snow". Is there a SOP as to how long you can park an a/c in this kind of weather before flagging the probes? It seems to me that you would cover them if it's going to be there for more than a couple hours...

    It still shouldn't lead to probes freezing on/after takeoff if the a/c has been deiced and has had time for the lower-voltage probe ground heat to take effect.

    Unlike the An-148 that crashed outside Moscow last month, which—apparently—required the crew to turn on probe heat, the A320 probe heat is always on if at least one engine is running, either in AUTO or ON (MANUAL) mode.

    However, in AUTO mode the probes are NOT heated on the ground with both engines off. They must be manually selected ON for this to happen. I think in cold weather the probes should be manually selected ON if the plane is going to be shut down on the ramp for an extended period.

    If they neglected to do this and just rolled these planes down the runway five minutes after engine start, perhaps therein lies the problem.......

  19. #19
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ...perhaps therein lies the problem.......
    Therein lies the problem, but not_the scientific engineers who design these things to have snow crammed in them at 300 knots, and also designed the plane which needs to sit in cold weather for 6 hours and designed extensive operational checklists and procedures to assure you get the thing thawed out...

    Ironingly, just yesterday, I rode a CRJ-200 that sat overnight in snow and cold...Of course, we did not achieve a takeoff within 5 minutes, there was some extensive deicing involved. I also watched the deice crew spend minutes with repeated blasts to the pitot/static/AOA vane areas on a plane to our side...but that's a CRJ and not a AirGreyhound.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Therein lies the problem, but not_the scientific engineers who design these things to have snow crammed in them at 300 knots, and also designed the plane which needs to sit in cold weather for 6 hours and designed extensive operational checklists and procedures to assure you get the thing thawed out...
    Well they also designed them with some low-tech hardware to cover the pitots with when they need to sit in cold precip for 6 hours. They were hot at engine shutdown and they can't become frozen if there's nothing inside to freeze.

    Ironingly, just yesterday, I rode a CRJ-200 that sat overnight in snow and cold...Of course, we did not achieve a takeoff within 5 minutes, there was some extensive deicing involved. I also watched the deice crew spend minutes with repeated blasts to the pitot/static/AOA vane areas on a plane to our side...but that's a CRJ and not a AirGreyhound.
    I think the Greyhound factor might be a factor here.

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