Tuesday, August 2, 2011

AF447, encore

The Bureau d'&EnquĂȘtes Accidentes has issued its very detailed report on AF447, in French. It is available here as a PDF.

Notable are excerpts from the Airbus 319/320 FCOM on stall recovery (p. 76): "PITCH ATTITUDE.....REDUCE", and Air France's A340 manual "ASSIETTE LONGITUDINALE.........REDUIT" (p. 64). There are exceptions when close to the ground, since reducing the pitch attitude is not an option.

Some of my comments here are still apt, so I will let the post stand, but I no longer believe that the crew did the right things. Sigh.

There is another lesson here: when the PIC left for his rest period, there was little or no discussion of the roles of the remaining pilots. Typically in a crew situation there is a pilot flying (PF) whose sole job is to keep the airplane on course and altitude, and a Pilot Not Flying (PNF) whose job is to run the radar, radios, navigation, etc. Many airline crews reiterate these roles every flight, and apparently Air France's training did not address the very common situation of the captain's rest period.

Everyone is in this situation during flight training. That's why your instructor is so insistent on the "I have the controls" "You have the controls" "I have the controls" dialog.

The CVR trasncript starts on p. 91 of the report. There are several "What's going on?" comments, and at least one "I don't have control of the airplane."

That's what people say when they stall.



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