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AF447 pilot: 'Damn it, we're going to crash'New extracts from the cockpit voice recorder reveal that three seconds before impact, one of the crew exclaimed: "Damn it, we're going to crash, this can't be true!" (www.cnn.com) More...
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It's easy to second guess..I had a gyro failure turning base to final on the ILS at Toronto. Single pilot and no back up gyro. Controller calmly said, "can you make standard rate turns?". Yes. "Continue your left turn, this will be a no gyro approach, you need not acknowledge further instructions". Continued one 360 back onto the ILS and straight in to the runway. Awesome controller made us both look good. The 447 guys had no one to ask for some help. Fate is Hunter has a long list of good pilots with "wings forever folded". There but for...........
Obviosly these are complicated platforms of a much larger scale that our smaller general aviation aircraft. Still basic skills and experience will contribute to more sucessful outcomes in these extreme and stressful situations. I see these ads for excellerated regional jet qualifications and wonder if the experience factor is being downplayed. This in conjunction with more computer centric systems seems to be driving the increased occurance of high profile accidents. Case in point: didn't the computer shut down the engines when the Airbus sucked up the birds and eventually had to be ditched in the Hudson? Computers are helpful tools but they cannot process multiple information inputs, make judgements, and initiate actions as well as a trained and experienced human being. In my opinion we all, as pilots, need tohave he ability to "go manual" and solve the problem.
Kendall: I am a thinkin' that the bird ingestion itself was what shut down the engines. That being said, I am glad I am in semi-retirement now and don't have to be forced typed on an Airbus. Any system that will lock a pilot out of the loop, regardless of the reason, doesn't need to be in the air. I have voiced this many times, BUT, the AB system will not let a pilot exceed a flight envelope to any degree, without reprogramming. #1. In the event of an upset of some type, you may not have that time, AND #2.That little bit of momentary excess may be just what you need sometime to pull your tail out of a crack. Solly Cholly, not for me.
All you had to do was push the nose down to gain speed THEN pull back on the stick and climb again or as "Attempt #2". Sad that a 14 year old knows that but these pilots that are trained for AF didn't.
I have had a pitot failure at 37,000 feet at night in IMC. The airspeed slowly rolled all the way to zero. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen. We began a descent to ensure airflow over the wings and began flying by the backup instruments. I wasn't sure how I would react to something like this until it happened. Things happen so quickly, it would make your head spin. These guys got overwhelmed and reacted too late to correct it. A stall at that altitude takes nearly 10 percent pitch down to recover. The engines don't produce enough power to recover alone. It is difficult to force yourself into that kind of attitude when not practiced. Please learn something from these guys and don't play arm-chair quarterback. It is unfornate their training did not include high altitude stall recovery. It is some of the best training I ever have had. You don't now what it will be like until it happens and your mind starts racing. Train for it, don't pretend you know what it is going to be like.
John I keep harping about everybody missing the point here as you have so aptly put it. These guys were overwhelmed by all the bells & whistles in the cockpit and didn't have enough training for instinct to take over.
You have got it right. Without being in the element it is hard to understand what they were going through.