What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Sam I Am, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Pretty good read.


    For more than two years, the disappearance of Air France Flight 447 over the mid-Atlantic in the early hours of June 1, 2009, remained one of aviation's great mysteries. How could a technologically state-of-the art airliner simply vanish?

    With the wreckage and flight-data recorders lost beneath 2 miles of ocean, experts were forced to speculate using the only data available: a cryptic set of communications beamed automatically from the aircraft to the airline's maintenance center in France. As PM found in our cover story about the crash, published two years ago this month, the data implied that the plane had fallen afoul of a technical problem—the icing up of air-speed sensors—which in conjunction with severe weather led to a complex "error chain" that ended in a crash and the loss of 228 lives.

    Read more: Air France 447 Flight-Data Recorder Transcript - What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447 - Popular Mechanics
  2. Duane

    Duane Well-Known Member

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    PBS (maybe Nova) had a program on this that was really interesting.
  3. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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  4. realtick

    realtick Benched

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    I watched the same program. Good stuff.
  5. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Holy cow Bonin screwed them the whole way
  6. DMOB

    DMOB Member

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    Couldn't imagine what they all went through.
  7. Phoenix

    Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating read. And you nailed it...Bonin doomed them.
  8. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Nods, the other guy even told him to stop ascending, yet he couldn't help himself and 220+ people died because of it.
  9. 1fisher

    1fisher Well-Known Member

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    That was some intense reading. I can't imagine being on that plane!
  10. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Holy moly.
  11. realtick

    realtick Benched

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    Wow, just read the transcript now. Unbelievably scary. They effectively pancaked into the ocean.
  12. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that possibility will always exist due to the inclusion of the human element. Failure is a part of life. The possibility of overcoming adversity also exists because of the inclusion of the human element. The right crew could have overcome this situation. Part of the human element is also learning from these types of incidents.
  13. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Little good that learning did them.
  14. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure what you mean. How can they possibly learn from their own fatal mistakes?

    Other pilots will be able to learn from their mistakes. That matters. That is why it is critical to find out why the wreck occurred, so you can take that information and use it for the future.
  15. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    I was just stating the obvious.

    Although they did actually learn from it. (Bonin anyhow, the others knew better) It was made abundantly clear to him about 2000 feet above sea level. :/ Too little too late. (which was the point I was making)

    The fact that the yokes aren't locked together like on Boeing aircraft is just another reason to not buy Airbus.

    Like they say, if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going! :laugh2: Not really true in my case, but I definitely prefer to fly Boeing than Airbus.
  16. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    I have an older brother who flew B-52s and refueling panes for SAC. I gave him the link, and these are his random thoughts.

    Bro: Night and a weird situation can screw up even really good pilots ..the lack of visual cues compounding everything, but Bonin was an idiot and our friend Robert a bigger idiot for not taking command. He had the time and the seat and should have told Bonin to put his hands where he could see 'em. Yet, even in the daytime it can take come gumption to dump the nose to get your airspeed back. The head pilot clearly picked up on it. That's life, or the end of it.

    bbgun: I know their air speed readings were ****ed for awhile, but the altimeter was still working, so they had to know how much altitude they were working with in terms of diving. Also, as the commenters pointed out, that "asynchronous controls" feature seems bizarre. How can two people independently fly a plane? And how does the plane know whose commands to follow?

    Bro: They (or at least Robert) recognized the altitude issue but for some reason, despite knowing Bonin was out of it, didn't take control. Bonin might have had severe spatial disorientation which happens often at night (see JKF Jr crash). Another reason Robert should have just taken the controls.

    When the yokes are connected, and if you think about it, if for some reason both pilots were trying to move the controls you'd get the average anyway (or strongest!).

    Bonin was out of it or paniced or something and Robert let him fly. I took a small go go jet away from an instructor while climbing out in clouds once. He had no idea what was really happening vs. what his brain was telling him. It happens.

    : You'd think the Captain would have stayed in his seat long enough to get them safely past the encroaching storm. By the time he returned, it was all over. I wonder if the passengers knew they were in serious trouble.

    Bro: I think the article noted that their preflight study didn't cause them any alarm, re: weather. Plus, the other pilots, despite the ending, weren't newbies by any means.

    They also noted the normal alternate law thing in the 'bus. Could be that Bonin forgot that when the autopilot kicked off and the sign said "alternate" that pulling back on stick and advancing thrust wouldn't do anything other than make the plane go higher (in normal I think the computers put the plane back in a safe envelope again). But again our Bonin friend should have, if not seeing alternate, at least noted that plane was soaring upward. So he was worthless .. which takes us back to good ol' Rob.

    As for the captain, it's amazing what you see from the jumpseat by just watching that you don't see when you're sitting.
  17. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    I can see some doofuses now saying that only computers should fly plains; no humans because they can screw up. Fact is that many times it is human ingenuity or instinct or whatever that gets the planes down safely. Computers cannot feel or think outside of their electronic box.
  18. Cythim

    Cythim Benched

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    Your brother has it mostly right, Bonin had no idea what was actually going on with the aircraft and Robert should have taken control. The problem here is Robert had no idea what was actually going on with the aircraft either. When he briefly took control from Bonin he was still yanking back on the stick the same as Bonin did. It took the captain coming out to tell them what to do, but by that time it was too late.
  19. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    How far technology has taken the ability for airplanes to fly themselves is unbelievable. They can literally make human pilots a complete after thought. Not saying we should go to that extreme but it is possible.
  20. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I would have to put this on the Capt of this aircraft. Clearly Bonin did not have the experiance to handle the situation.

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