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Discussion in 'Current Events' started by justperry, Dec 28, 2014.
Another airplane lost above open waters.
First one for AirAsia.
Flight from Surabaya to Singapore.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 Missing
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 bound for Singapore from Surabaya reported missing 06:17 WIB 28 December 2014. The craft lost contact when traveling above the Java Sea (waypoint TAVIP, source: Airliners.net) at 32,000ft. 155 passengers + 7 crew onboard.
This was was in an area of heavy storms and lightening, so maybe it's not that mysterious. Could be another Air France-type incident.
I've been there plenty of times, south east Asia can be a spooky area.
I still remember my flight from Bandung (BDG) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) about 1 ½ years ago, lots of turbulence, then my connecting flight got even worse, extreme turbulence for the first 3 hours, this was from KL to Amsterdam, above the Andaman sea and Bay of Bengal in between South East Asia and India.
Does anyone know if the search has been resumed?
Yes it has.
So if this plane climbed to get above the clouds and a bad storm. Could a down burst have taken them out? Wouldn't air traffic control see this storm on radar and move planes around it?
Most commercial airlines these days should have equipment on board to see bad weather, that's why the pilot requested to climb to 38.000 feet.
But, some of those storms do reach far higher than commercial airplanes can fly, so mostly they just fly around them.
As I said in one of my earlier posts, I've flown a lot in that area, also many times with AirAsia, it can be spooky out there, very rough flights once in a while.
Heavy turbulence is fairly common in this area, especially around this times of the year, when it's the wet (monsoon) season.
The USS Sampson, a destroyer, will join the search for the missing plane.
I'm surprised they tried to fly over it and not around it. The storm was 50,000 feet high and the plane was only approved to fly in the high 3x,000 feet range due to limitations of the aircraft. From the news, they said the storm was severe - but I guess the pilot risked it or wasn't aware of the severity.
On a related note, at least the Virgin plan had a safe landing (had landing gear trouble)
Here's an excellent article on Air France 447. It does sound as though some of the same conditions were in effect.
AirAsia QZ8501: 'Six bodies' found in missing plane search
Govt confirms debris from AirAsia
Seems like "they" knew more!
Airbuses, alas most airliners don't like flying through thunderstorms, although at this point a bomb can't be dismissed as a possibility. In the Air France case, there was a thunderstorm, a known pitot static engineering issue in combination with possible pilot error. That engineering issue was supposed to have been corrected. The black boxes will answer much.
A second American ship is being ready to join in the recover mission. It is the USS Forth Worth and should leave Singapore in a day or two.
As a pilot myself, I can only guess the airplane was most likely being flown too slowly to maintain lift, probably due to airspeed indication inaccuracies as a result of the airspeed-measuring tubes and/or static ports suffering from blockages.
Officials suspect the pilots attempted a steep climb and the plane's airspeed may have been problem, but can not say definitively until the black boxes are recovered.
So, basically Air France 447?
It's sounding like it.
Black boxes will tell a lot. My understanding of the pitot-static system is that besides being heated they are designed to remain functional in heavy icing. However, as always from the beginning of flying, the key to flying in a thunderstorm is to maintain a level attitude (not altitude), and a normal power setting. Don't be chasing airspeed high or low, which really applies if your pitot system has iced over and it shows you over speeding. If you attitude is level and power set at a normal cruise setting, the plane will still fly. The caveat would be if the wings come off or if the engines flame out. But the way modern airliners are built, I feel the former is unlikely, but engines have been known to flame out in thunderstorms. Even if the main instruments tumble, the airbus is equipped with an old fashioned standby mechanical gyro which should provide this info.
Could have been anything, really. But it was most likely pilot error. These planes are built like tanks with several backup redundancy systems and can even fly on 1 engine no problem. Besides, it's also engineered to prevent the pilots from messing around with the plane, so it's a rarity when these accidents end up happening.
I'm still confused.
Why was there no mayday call ?
In an emergency, the crew's #1 priority is flying the plane.
I understand that but some people were found with life jackets on. This implies time make a mayday call.
In this kind of situation can the head steward make that call ?
Please excuse my ignorance because I don't fly.
I'd imagine the flight attendants would all be busy ensuring that everyone was prepared.
Five attendants to prepare to 155 freaking out passengers... Seems like they'd have less time than the folks on the flight deck.