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Recordings Reveal Final Moments Of Air France 447

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PARIS, France -- French investigators say flight recorders from an Air France plane that crashed nearly two years ago show that the captain only arrived in the cockpit after the plane had begun its fateful 3 1/2-minute descent. This article contains full details of the descent. ( Mais...

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FedExCargoPilot 0
i still don't understand why this all happened what was behind all these events, was it the thunderstorm that froze the pitot tubes and wind shear that caused a drop in airspeed or loss of instruments? unless i missed something, this was not stated in the article and that i think there was more to it than the crew's reactions.
chalet 0
Still I don't get it, the recordings made of the various parameters (altitude, attitude, speed, angles, etc.) are telling the story loud and clear yet the pilots did not know what was going on because the instruments on the panel went beserk. The people who manufactured the FDR should consider really seriously how the signals feeding information into their recorders can be also sent to the pilots control panel in a situation like this.
Joe Raio 0
Hopefully as they release more details and more research they will be able to determine how this happened. It really seems like a "perfect storm" of problems. The bad weather, instruments not reading correctly, and then the pressure of the situation itself.
chris trahan 0
I fly a simple Piper Arrow with autopilot but no altitude hold. I understand that if pitch and power are left as is, and the wings are level, the airplane is very unlikely to stall. The airplane may climb or descend with updrafts or downdrafts, but if you leave pitch and power alone you'll be OK. You've got an attitude indicator or similar instrument to let you keep track of aircraft attitude, independent of any systems which rely on the pitot static system. If I haven't changed pitch or power and the airspeed indicator suddenly gives a crazy reading, I should suspect it is in error unless I see a corresponding change on the attitude reference system. I have a hard time understanding how these professional pilots lost control of this airplane.
mike lawrence 0
The dynamics of a passenger jet and a Piper are very different. So is the training. For example, you are trained to push over and throttle up during a stall. Airline pilots are trained to maintain current pitch and throttle up. (Hence the throttles set at TOGA, with is almost max.) Even so, I doubt an experienced airline pilot would hold his bird in a flat stall all the way to the deck. My money says the flight control computer got confused and was not translating pilot input as intended. This has happened before with the airbus. The plane outsmarts the pilot and kills everybody.

Boeing anyone?
dadalope 0
Careful, Mike. it said that just below 10,000 ft altitude, suddenly both sidesticks were yanked. That tells me (a) both pilots suddenly decided that urgent action was needed, and (b) before that they didn't think so. To me that suggests they could not tell from their panel what was happening from FL380 to FL100, but then they (broke out of the clouds and?) suddenly saw the attitude and rate of descent. Furthermore, the report says it went to "alternate law" at 2:10:05 and "Autopilot and auto-thrust remained disengaged for the rest of the flight."
There's a lot I find shocking in this report, and it's tempting to pass judgment, but we should all remember that this is preliminary. It's certainly not justified to bring in a new hypothesis about the computer.
indy2001 0
I know from my instrument flight training that the body's senses are not reliable in many cases, but it is so difficult to understand how a deck angle of 35º or more isn't recognized by 3 experienced pilots. Just by coming forward from his rest to the cockpit, you would think the captain would have sensed how much he was climbing.

BTW, I had a chance to hear Capt. Sullenberger's talk at Purdue University recently. With his experience and background (a Master's Degree in industrial psychology from Purdue), I hope Airbus uses his expertise. Sullenberger has written that his arcane field of industrial psychology/human factors is "a discipline focused on designing machines that take into account human abilities as well as human limitations. How do humans act and react? What can humans do and what can't they do? How should machines be designed so people can use them more effectively?” Sounds like something Airbus could use right now, doesn't it?
dadalope 0
"Human factors" means designing machines to make effective use of human strengths and tendencies, and to make it easy for humans to make correct decisions. I do think that one of the conclusions from AF 447 will be recommended improvements in th Airbus avionics and software specifically to address issues in human factors. 
The sensation of attitude is not so simple. The only available reference in the passenger compartment is the combination of gravity and aerodynamic forces. Since the AoA was 35 deg and the attitude was 16 deg up, it's possible that the combined force was almost perpendicular to the floor. In fact, I expect that to be analyzed fully in the investigation. I'm picturing it falling like a leaf. If so, then the "climb" up the aisle would not have felt uphill at all, and the instruments would be the only indication it was not in level flight - the instruments which had abandoned them several times just before then. 
Paul Claxon 0
They were mushing !


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