Caravan Pilots

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Author:  MACWHO [ Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:14 pm ]

No one saw this coming...

The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court alleges that the Continental Connection Dash 8 that crashed Feb. 12 in a Buffalo suburb had inadequate deicing equipment and was flown by an improperly trained crew. The suit names Continental, Pinnacle Airlines, and Colgan Air, along with Bombardier -- all of which have declined comment. Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft operate in frequently cold parts of the world. But attorney (and pilot) Ronald Goldman, acting on behalf of the victim's family, told Fox news that the aircraft's deicing system "cannot guarantee the safety of passengers on a commercial flight." He concludes that the aircraft therefore "should never be flown in these kinds of conditions." The NTSB has not yet offered its own conclusions and a full investigation by the board could take more than a year. Goldman says his legal team will conduct its own investigation and is seeking wrongful death damages, along with monetary compensation for any pain and suffering endured in the flight's final moments.

Some 230 Bombardier Q400 aircraft operate the world over, according to a company spokesman, who also pointed out the aircraft is actively used in Norway and Quebec. The crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 killed all 49 passengers aboard the aircraft and one on the ground at it approached Buffalo at night in near-freezing temperatures with visible moisture in the air and light precipitation reported.

Author:  pdw [ Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "cold parts of the world"

"Norway and Quebec", ... much as they are as cold or colder, .... they don't have significant freshwater bodies to intensify winter systems / troughs same as here around the lower Great Lakes basin, nor the collection efficiencies (icing precip) and airflows that can pop up on account of these warm flat waters in the middle of what otherwise would be 100% continental climate.

Author:  MACWHO [ Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:37 am ]

Based on the video and the transcript, who do you all think is at fault?

The flightcrew? Not knowing how to fly in Icing
The Flightcrew? Not knowing how to react to a stick shaker
The Company? For hiring kids that do not know how to fly in icing
The Pilots? For not doing anything correct during the approach or reacting to the icing
The FAA?

Just asking for no reason...

Author:  hauler [ Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:54 am ]

They got the crew they paid for- A Captain that didn't even notice bleeding off 40K+ of airspeed in icing and a scared little girl that should have still been making VFR circuits in a 152 somewhere. Harsh, yeah, so was their impact.

Author:  MACWHO [ Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:33 pm ]

GREAT POINT; DIDN'T SHE ONLY MAKE LIKE 16,000 A YEAR? I remember reading that somewhere. If you look at the video it showed that the Power levers were at Flight Idle until roll upset, then she put the Flaps up with out the permission of the Captain which was a deadly mistake, took what little lift there was away.

This is like the Moscow accident in the van where the power levers were not advanced until Roll Upset. Too little, too late... I'm afraid.

Author:  pdw [ Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

See CTV weather commentary (11pm Toronto archived newscast) an hour after the accident; it gives the first clue of the weather anomaly.

Author:  pdw [ Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:42 am ]
Post subject: 

The excess dip in airspeed with all that ice was a short event.

Author:  pdw [ Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  everything went wrong within ten seconds

By the time of "flaps up" their iced airspeed recovery attempt is late, as is the stick-PUSHER.

Decline in headwind perked IAS bleedoff-rate at the most difficult time with ice, there delaying nearby glideslope entry by extra seconds and losing the airspeed expected of (what would have been) an earlier descent to the runway. Bursts of an intermittent headwind may also take blame. Reality is that any briskening bleed-rates with that ice-load each time will take IAS toward (a higher) stallspeed-range faster, in fact, sometimes many times faster than an ice-free airframe possibly could.

In just a very few seconds and with that developing low-tail-attitude, the increasing AOA produced HS flow-disruption and drew on the automatic nose-up yoke-trim. This enabled light-and-responsive yoke when AutoPilot switched itself off at yokeSHAKER's activation. ie ...The sudden 30% nose-up in the next second (see video), if at all, is definitely not entirely from a "pull-up" action.

Author:  pdw [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  delayed glideslope expectation in shear & with ice

The iced aircraft grew short on thrust unusually rapidly a moment before reaching descent-point onto 2300msl-glideslope while 'maintaining 2300msl'. Airspeed deficiency initiated the accident sequence right there, still 11 seconds from the "KLUMP" marker, calculated using data on the NTSB 3407 video, approach charts, and the local WX history.

The marker, at 2200msl, was 80ft lower and 1/2 NM ahead when low-airspeed occurred while trimming back up to 2300msl, after sink to 2260msl by about the middle of the aligning left turn to the glideslope. This shortage of power at "geardown" evaded notice, during the checklist and focus on radio (observation of NTSB 3407 video).

NTSB findings like "fatigue" and "distraction" affect perception for managing shear, a greater stallrisk when navigating with ice-elevated stallspeed.

Author:  pdw [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  slowing alert question

The headwind increase peaked airspeed at 200mph, prompting the pilot to reduce power twice as the groundspeed (GS) meanwhile slowed to 105kts; then the headwind let up suddenly and slowed airspeed at the alarming rate toward ice-elevated stallspeed.

How to tell 200mph (186kts) airspeed is artificially propped up by strong headwind's increase ?

Author:  tnsblyn [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:41 am ]

With an increase in AS @ a given power setting, one of these things must have happen:
1. The aircraft rate of decent has increased (nose down pitch);
2. You have acquired a headwind;
3. or both
If GS decreases, you have your answer,
In any case, reducing power is not an option unless in turbulence when Va is a problem.
Be careful out there.

Author:  pdw [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:32 am ]
Post subject: 

a sneaky type of shear ... that's all

Author:  pdw [ Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  ice-high stallspeed boosts shear's neg effect on IAS

This stall description has pertinent similarity to Ida Michigan Jan9/97 3300Agl approach-stall west of the west shore of Lake Erie.

It happened identical distance from shore (in comparison to KBUF) where that Ida aircraft sheared into strong 3000ft-agl windspeed fluctuation (similar airspeed decreaser) with similar ice accumulation at zero flap. This Decreased Performance Shear over Ida at the time is illustrated by the quote " 237 at 32 up here " , a pirep referenced from flight 3272 voicetape at 1553:15 on the official NTSB report's voice-tape transcript. This shows how much potential IAS-slowing a change in flight direction was facilitating once straightening out-of the descending/levelling left turn from 180 to 090M (downwind to baseleg).

The IDA plane was overtaken in landing sequence just prior by another aircraft whose crew radioed that pirep just half-a-minute ahead of this 1997 Ida accident sequence. Considering the delay to transmit a pirep, put the Ida plane right there where the shear-zone was located ... less than one minute behind and 1000ft lower than the pirep's reading location of these winds (' 237degrees Magnetic at 32kts ' ... was opposite direction to light winds on runway 03 at the airport just a few miles ahead).

Author:  pdw [ Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:57 am ]
Post subject:  fluctuating headwind with icecatch stallspeed

tnsblyn wrote:
In any case, reducing power is not an option ...
The NTSB Video animation of that Feb 12/09 approach in Buffalo clearly shows a power reduction/adjustment made in the greater headwind about thirty seconds before 'slow enough'.

Power-reduction "is not an option" where headwind is reducing over few hundred metres with ice. This type of shear with icecatch here is unexpected and (the shear-effect) too undefinable to forecast. The time going from 'slow enough' into 'too slow' is short; the serious 'slow airspeed' transpires faster and the 'too slow' predicament shows up between normal (airspeed) instrument-scan interval.

In this particular instance reductions are made when still in at strong headwind near the boundary of Mechanical turbulence (MECH); the 'intended slowdown' there becomes slightly prolonged and appears overpowered (NTSB Video). The 'powercut duration' then overstayed too-quickly for 'usual span of time expected' for reaching 'slow enough' ... as speed-loss influence of ice-texture liftlosses and their enlarged stallspeed values have aligned with that 'enhanced IAS-decay' of the 'relativewind weakening'. On acount of being with icecatch, the 'slow enough' arrives and is surpassed rapidly once that shearlike headwind-loss has kicked-in, thus helping to create where 'too slow' is recognized late.

RELATIVEWIND WEAKENING: Approaching lee of KBUF (1490AGL) moved into the MECH and weakening headwind of strong onshore flow. That prevailingwind is less at the airport environment after straining through the city's elevations (starting at the row of huge windmills positioned upwind at the windwhipped lakeshore within the ten-mile controlzone). The airport environment then registers that much-slower groundwindspeed, the reading supplied to approaching aircraft. Associated icecatch allows the headwindloss-effect of MECH-entry (brief withdrawal of relative wind ... like a negative gust ) to produce serious airspeed-decay at slowed/slowing approachspeeds.

The dip in relativewind hastens deceleration-rate toward the 'slowed state', but with ice the airspeed more abruptly and unexpectedly slows toward that higher stallspeed, an amount of heightened stallspeed which is reliably determined by texture and thickness of the icecatch. Light airspeed-shearing is seldom as precarious as this KBUF-scene matched with that ice. Relative-headwind fluctuations in fairweather on the contrary are always with stallspeed down at its standard/POH value, where the widest margin between stallspeed and the published approach airspeed can never pose that 'late recognition' problem in exactly such 'very short' time.

Evidence of ' shearlike effect ' (known to be exacerbated at "KBUF" by icecatch due the lengthy previous icing encounter) is the distinctly visible rise in pitch matched with a 40ft sink below ' maintained altitude ' about 10-15 seconds prior to the steep pitchup clearly highlighted in that NTSB Video.

Author:  pdw [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:09 pm ]

Wednesday March 23 2011:
I guess we'll see tonight on the discovery channel 42 at 10pm (EST) what really happened ...

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