The real reason why aircraft have crashed

What your instructor never taught you. Continuing your education and learning from others. Flight safety topics and accident/incident discussions.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Thermalator
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1334
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: The real reason why the De Havilland Comet crashed

Unread post by Thermalator » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:27 pm

Nice story

2 other accidents that have quite different minority opinions or differences to the discovery air-crash investigation series are IMHO

The AF Concorde - more pilot error & AF maintenance than is apparent in popular media

The TU-144 Konkordski - The bunt manoever caused 4 engine compressor stall, (RR Olympus would do same) forcing the pilot to attempt a windmill restart from 3000ft, no surprise he failed but the Russians were embarrassed that it broke up < 5G designed for.
info junkie
User avatar
kudu177
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1695
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:57 pm
Closest Airfield: Rand
Location: Jo'burg

Re: The real reason why the De Havilland Comet crashed

Unread post by kudu177 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 pm

Thermalator wrote:Nice story

2 other accidents that have quite different minority opinions or differences to the discovery air-crash investigation series are IMHO

The AF Concorde - more pilot error & AF maintenance than is apparent in popular media.
Ja, I read an excellent feature about the AF Concorde disaster.

SELF EDIT. Links below
Last edited by kudu177 on Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Nav is a good life lesson: pick a point on the horizon and go there
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 14336
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness

Re: The real reason why the De Havilland Comet crashed

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:28 pm

kudu177 wrote:
Thermalator wrote:Nice story

2 other accidents that have quite different minority opinions or differences to the discovery air-crash investigation series are IMHO

The AF Concorde - more pilot error & AF maintenance than is apparent in popular media.
Ja, I read an excellent feature about the AF Concorde disaster — an excellent rebuttal to the perceived “wisdom” of the accident being caused by FOD off the previously departing Continental Airlines heavy.

The reporters dug deep and uncovered breathtaking negligence in the crash aircraft’s main gear maintenance. The aircraft veered slightly off the runway during the takeoff roll, smacked into a runway light and staggered into the air too soon.

I will find the story - think it was in the UK’s Observer.
Geee! Kudu - I would be very interested to read that if you can find it.

Jim
"SO OTHERS MAY LIVE - Flying Accidents Analysed". This book will be available soon. It asks: "Can Smart Pilots See Accidents Coming - And Avoid Them?" Get this and other Jim Davis books on Kindle at: http://www.jimdavis.co.za
User avatar
kudu177
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1695
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:57 pm
Closest Airfield: Rand
Location: Jo'burg

Re: The real reason why the De Havilland Comet crashed

Unread post by kudu177 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:33 pm

jimdavis wrote:
kudu177 wrote:
Thermalator wrote:Nice story

2 other accidents that have quite different minority opinions or differences to the discovery air-crash investigation series are IMHO

The AF Concorde - more pilot error & AF maintenance than is apparent in popular media.
Ja, I read an excellent feature about the AF Concorde disaster — a rebuttal to the perceived “wisdom” of the accident being caused by FOD off the previously departing Continental Airlines heavy.

The reporter uncovered breathtaking negligence in the crash aircraft’s main gear maintenance. The aircraft veered slightly off the runway during the takeoff roll, smacked into a runway light (ingesting broken glass from the light) and staggered into the air too soon, six tonnes over gross due to overloading and a tailwind.

I will find the story - think it was in the UK’s Observer.
Geee! Kudu - I would be very interested to read that if you can find it.

Jim
Jim, here.

http://www.askthepilot.com/untold-concorde-story/

Can’t find a working link to David Rose’s original story. But it was definitely in The Observer and (I think) also had details of the attempt to lay the blame for the crash on a hapless technician working for Continental.

According Rose’s story, discipline seems to have evaporated on the Concorde flight deck with the FE shutting down “the ailing number 2 engine” without telling the pilots.
Nav is a good life lesson: pick a point on the horizon and go there
User avatar
Thermalator
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1334
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: The real reason why the De Havilland Comet crashed

Unread post by Thermalator » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:21 pm

info junkie
User avatar
Christopher
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3640
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Gloucester (The Perfect Storm), Mass.

Re: The real reason why the De Havilland Comet crashed

Unread post by Christopher » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:34 pm

kudu and Thermalator, thank you both for posting these fascinating stories -- great journalism from David Rose and the vivid interview with John Hutchinson. They represent, perhaps, <the> most interesting and compelling reportage I have ever read/seen on the subject of an aviation accident -- and sad, too, when one realizes how avoidable the whole thing was!

I know this thread has gone from Comet to Concorde; but I hope we can live with that...this was the first nail in poor Concorde's coffin, wasn't it? After reinforcing that belly-section/area with kevlar, the aircraft went back into service and, as everyone may remember, a fleet management committee was formed by British Airways, comprising active aircrew and others, and the aircraft went on to <make money> for BA, mainly on charter flights. I suspect, therefore, that the whole thing about rising operational costs may have been a red herring? I bet Concorde could have operated successfully for plenty more years...
Christopher Godfrey (always missing aviation!)
User avatar
MadMacs
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1840
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:41 pm
Closest Airfield: GRJ
Location: On my bed

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by MadMacs » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:53 pm

Interesting posts. I have changed the topic heading so that we may add other aircraft crashes where the outcome might differ from the official reports.

As far as the spacer being missing is concerned, I don't think it would have made any difference to the outcome. I will study the links posted but when I originally saw this accident, I thought that one of the engines had let go due to FOD. Also the 'flighty' is supposed to have shut down #2 engine prematurely and this might have caused the veering to the left and consequent crash.
Last edited by MadMacs on Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Hey Referee, you should open up a caravan park because the opposition are camping on the offside line!”
User avatar
Chalkie
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1178
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:19 am
Closest Airfield: FAPX
Location: In RV Eden.

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by Chalkie » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:05 pm

MadMacs wrote: Also the 'flighty' is supposed to have shut down #2 engine prematurely and this might have caused the veering to the right and consequent crash.
Think about that. Shut down No2 and the yaw will be to the left.

The missing spacer allowed bushes / a bush, to migrate which allowed the axle to move which caused a veer to the left. Whatever the FEO did, the end result would have been the same. The fire would have weakened the wing structure and a land-back would most likely have been impossible. RIP all.
Rule #2 Hurry up Slowly.
Cynic: One who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
User avatar
MadMacs
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1840
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:41 pm
Closest Airfield: GRJ
Location: On my bed

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by MadMacs » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:17 pm

Chalkie wrote:
MadMacs wrote: Also the 'flighty' is supposed to have shut down #2 engine prematurely and this might have caused the veering to the right and consequent crash.
Think about that. Shut down No2 and the yaw will be to the left.

The missing spacer allowed bushes / a bush, to migrate which allowed the axle to move which caused a veer to the left. Whatever the FEO did, the end result would have been the same. The fire would have weakened the wing structure and a land-back would most likely have been impossible. RIP all.
Sorry, my other right :oops: I was looking at a head on photo 8-[

I'm still looking into the spacer story, if it is anything like a 747 then that spacer only affects one wheel - it essentially seems to allow the main nut to tighten the wheel bearing and would have probably only felt like shimmy, especially with what, 150 tons on it, the tyre would have probably deflated if the sideways movement was excessive. Looking at the engine damage report, it appears that #1 had FOD ingestion and lost power, so the flighty cutting #2 would have caused severe yaw to the left. In fact it appears that there was opposite rudder in the initial take off run.
“Hey Referee, you should open up a caravan park because the opposition are camping on the offside line!”
User avatar
Christopher
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3640
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Gloucester (The Perfect Storm), Mass.

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by Christopher » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:20 am

Macs, re this remark: <... the 'flighty' is supposed to have shut down #2 engine prematurely and this might have caused the veering to the left and consequent crash> -- I don't think you are right in dismissing this viewpoint: remember that somewhere in that report it was related that many of the aircrew told of experiencing a shut-down during TO in the simulator and they <all> said the same thing: easy to handle, with very little rudder displacement! Those engines are not far outboard at all, are they? And remember, too, Captain Hutchinson saying that the engine shut down (prematurely) was <still generating power>: it was <hot>, yes; but it was working...

I am inclined to accept the entire story about the missing spacer and believe the implications regarding a skidding manoevre to the left-hand hard shoulder...you don't like it, as implied...?
Christopher Godfrey (always missing aviation!)
User avatar
MadMacs
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1840
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:41 pm
Closest Airfield: GRJ
Location: On my bed

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by MadMacs » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:41 am

Christopher wrote:Macs, re this remark: <... the 'flighty' is supposed to have shut down #2 engine prematurely and this might have caused the veering to the left and consequent crash> -- I don't think you are right in dismissing this viewpoint: remember that somewhere in that report it was related that many of the aircrew told of experiencing a shut-down during TO in the simulator and they <all> said the same thing: easy to handle, with very little rudder displacement! Those engines are not far outboard at all, are they? And remember, too, Captain Hutchinson saying that the engine shut down (prematurely) was <still generating power>: it was <hot>, yes; but it was working...

I am inclined to accept the entire story about the missing spacer and believe the implications regarding a skidding manoevre to the left-hand hard shoulder...you don't like it, as implied...?
Look it was a combination of errors that caused that crash and to me they were: overweight, CofG too far aft, tailwind and loss of power. Would that spacer have caused the plane to deviate, I doubt it, not with all that power. Iv'e seen an A300 drag it's wheels with the park brake set with take off power on both engines. The tyre resistance is too low to to have any effect, remembering that the right hand gear was tracking straight with more tyre contact on the ground (#2 tyre had burst). That's just my two cents worth :D

Both #1 and #2 engines surged, causing massive power loss on that side and this was confirmed by ground engineers on the ramp. As Capt Hutchinson mentioned, the after burners were active and shutting down that engine caused 25% power loss and with #1 surging as well, I'd say that is what caused the aircraft to veer left. There is a photo of the tyre tracks showing that only the #2 wheel had deflated. In the photo below I would say that the plane veered left after rotation:

Image

I would love to see a timeline showing the aircraft's position along the runway as each event unfolded.

Image

Image
Last edited by MadMacs on Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Hey Referee, you should open up a caravan park because the opposition are camping on the offside line!”
User avatar
MadMacs
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1840
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:41 pm
Closest Airfield: GRJ
Location: On my bed

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by MadMacs » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 am

Does anyone know what the FEO's callout of 'four greens' meant?

I found this:

Image

1. 14 h 42 min 54 s, FO "one hundred knots".

#1 eng N1=94.10
#2 eng N1=93.96
Rudder bar: - 0.6° (right)

2. 14 h 43 min 03 s, FO "V1".
3. 14 h 43 min 13 s, message from the controller informing them of flames at the rear, read back by the FO.

#1 eng N1=86.95 (first surge)
#2 eng N1=48.69
Rudder bar: - 6.4 (right)

4. 14 h 43 min 22 s, fire alarm

#1 eng N1=50.77
#2 eng N1=57.07
Rudder bar: - 16.4 (right)

5. 14 h 43 min 30 s, Captain "Gear on retract".Over the following eight seconds, the crew mentioned the landing gear several times.
6. 14 h 43 min 56 s, FO "the gear isn't retracting".
7 14 h 44 min 14 s, FO "Le Bourget Le Bourget"then a few seconds later 8 "negative we're trying for Le Bourget".

https://www.bea.aero/docspa/2000/f-sc00 ... 0725pa.htm
“Hey Referee, you should open up a caravan park because the opposition are camping on the offside line!”
User avatar
Christopher
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3640
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Gloucester (The Perfect Storm), Mass.

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by Christopher » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:27 am

Oh, my word! You did find lots additional gen, didn't you, Macs? Good work! Thanks for all the input.
Christopher Godfrey (always missing aviation!)
User avatar
kudu177
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1695
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:57 pm
Closest Airfield: Rand
Location: Jo'burg

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by kudu177 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:04 am

Christopher wrote:Oh, my word! You did find lots additional gen, didn't you, Macs? Good work! Thanks for all the input.
Indeed.

Of note: the FO had about 2300 hours more on Concorde than the captain (who had a little over 300 hours), and was also a Concorde instructor. Also both did CRM courses in 1994.
Nav is a good life lesson: pick a point on the horizon and go there
User avatar
Thermalator
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1334
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: The real reason why aircraft have crashed

Unread post by Thermalator » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 am

MadMacs wrote:Does anyone know what the FEO's callout of 'four greens' meant?
Four Greens is 4 Afterburners lit, on lighter load take offs they can accept 1 fail (was quite common)
info junkie

Return to “Academy & Flight Safety”