Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Aviation Update


The fact they couldn't see the pilot in the cockpit in one of the still photos might mean he passed out at the controls. Perhaps the G forces pulled when the nose suddenly pitched upward (the elevator trim tab issue) caused him to blackout and he slumped forward, causing the plane to dive. That hasn't stopped conspiracies from cropping up including the name Ron Paul. No lie.

Here are some other mysterious crashes reported on here, causes as yet mostly undetermined..


Tensions are still running high:
The Airlines said the Ethiopian delegation traveled to Beirut on August 19, 2011 to join the Lebanese and American members of the investigation team to conduct the technical review.

“To the dismay of the Ethiopian delegation, none of the members except the head of the Lebanese delegation were present for the task,” the statement disclosed.
They seem to be saying the American delegation wasn't present. Strange business. According to the following report the Hizballah unrest over the Hariri murder charges have had a chilling effect on the investigation, not to mention...
The report also stated that the French Bureau of Investigations and Analysis for Civil Aviation’s Safety, working in cooperation with Boeing, was unable to recover a damaged segment on one of the retrieved five cockpit voice recorders. It was unclear how the CVR memory chip was found detached from the black box. It is also confusing how the important segments of the CVR were damaged. This has cast doubts on the investigation process.
Good luck to them.


Progress is not coming along much better in this one:
BEA director Jean-Paul Troadec on July 5 sent an unusually blunt letter to the head of the accident investigation complaining that the review has not made sufficient progress. He notes that a report has been compiled by local authorities, which was completed last month, but still has not been made public. He also notes that document appears to be mere findings of initial facts, which should have been issued within three months of the accident.

He criticizes the fact that data recorders have not been analyzed because of what he characterizes as baseless arguments, noting that France contributed €3 million to recover the so-called black boxes.
Much of the delay and obfuscation over all these cases could be primarily about liability. Unless it's something else.


NTSB has weighed in on this one with five recommendations, all involving use of oxygen masks. Nothing about lithium batteries, which seems to rule out nothing. The investigation continues.

Speaking of oxygen masks, one of the members of the Canadian investigation team who looked into the crash of Swissair 111 in 1998 believes the crash might be suspicious, contrary to the formal finding. From my reading of the relevant material it has always appeared likely that a fire started in the electrical system and took down the jet, just an accident.

But if he's looking for a crash conspiracy perhaps he should have considered Egypt Air 990 or one that occurred even further southwest.


Hard to find much about this crash on the net. With the turmoil in Libya, and French involvement in said turmoil, it's not surprising.


The CVR/FDR retrieval pretty much sealed the deal for most people--high altitude icing in traversing the large thunderstorm complex over the Atlantic leading to pitot tube freeze up and erroneous autopilot disengagement causing a stall. But another similar disengage event occurred in July of this year on a flight from Paris to Caracas(!) producing a similar loss of control. This time turbulence was blamed, which kind of removes the whole pitot tube issue as the sole cause.

None of which suggests foul play, as it's just as likely a design flaw or training issue. Actually, it more suggests that commercial aircraft need to avoid icing and turbulence whenever possible, and that trans-oceanic flights might are especially vulnerable and probably need improved weather detection as part of the solution. There seems to be little mention of this.

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