Post-AF 447 I’m Scared. I’m Sorry!

I know how safe air travel is. But after the Qantas incident, the Air France 447 crash and now this, I’m just not happy at the thought of flying by Airbus anymore:

Last night the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that within the last five weeks two Airbus A330 airliners have had critical episodes involving speed sensors – the same kind of emergency that is at the heart of the investigation into the loss of Air France Flight 447.

The first episode involved a TAM airlines flight from Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 21. The language of the NTSB notice describing this is unusually stark: [The airplane] “experienced a loss of primary speed and altitude information while in cruise flight. Initial reports indicate that the flight crew noted an abrupt drop in indicated outside air temperature, followed by the loss of the Air Data Reference System and disconnections of the autopilot and autothrust, along with the loss of speed and altitude information. The flight crew used backup instruments and primary data was restored in about 5 minutes. The flight landed with no further incident and there were no injuries or damage.”

The common factor remains pitot tube faults, causing the fly-by-wire computer to disengage the autopilot and give up flying the plane. Under calm flying conditions it seems pilots can regain control of the aircraft (albeit with difficulty) – in the middle of a storm the fault appears to lead to catastrophe.

Someone convince me I’m worrying over nothing, please.

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7 responses to “Post-AF 447 I’m Scared. I’m Sorry!

  1. Boeing! all the way

  2. Fine but they’ve just admitted they’re delaying the Dreamliner because it’s structurally unstable!

    A good, old fashioned, steel, manually controlled 747 though…

  3. well they haven’t released yet, so that’s cool, personally I’m suspicious of the long term viability of carbon fiber sheets for aircraft wings, so many layers and each of them a weak point.

  4. One key factor that everyoen seems to be avoiding is simply this – avoid any kind of stormy weather. Fly around conditions that stress planes and pilots. Sure it makes delays and costs more in fuel but why fly through weather crap (bumpy ride, passenger stress, pilot stress, plane stress) when a little more motoring could provide a smoother path.

    No reason the AF447 ship should be sailing through violent and stormy weather during any part fo the trip. Just a 45 minutes detour and they would have landed safe and sound (and without experiencing a violent ride) in Paris. on June 1 as planned.

    The best plane in the world is no match for weather so why tempt fate just fly around the crap and be safe.

    Pretty simple I think. Anyone else?

  5. Oh I would tend to agree with you, but we’ve had it established many times with a number of carriers that they’re prepared to risk it in the name of profit. They believe they’ll lose profitability through greater fuel expenditure, and get fines from delays by flying around weather – so they go through it. This didn’t used to be the way and that’s something which used to give me more confidence.

  6. The same day this crash happened Air France called off the search for the black boxes. They will never officially know what happened, but we know the TRUTH, Do you know the people that were on Air France???? Look it up. Big industry people one of which is from texas oil, and two people who’s names were on the no fly list (CIA Kamakazi)?
    This is a set up. How can one girl that can’t swim survive??? LSD, a flight simulator and being thrown in the ocean after the crash thats how.
    The US took out this plane. WE HAVE HAARP look it up!!
    We have Raytheons Directed Energy Weapons which killed no fewer then 5 honest people :
    John F. Kennedy JR – Jul 16 1999
    Mel Carnahan – Oct 17 2000
    Paul Wellstone – Oct 25 2002
    Michael Connell – Dec 19 2008
    Beverly Eckert – Feb 12 2009
    to name a few.
    All of these planes were found a few miles off coarse with no survivors
    1 of 5 black boxes (the 1 has not been released)
    No Distress Call Or Mayday (mayday = pilot 101)
    All of these people had the same enemy.

    Public Enemies: Johnny Depp knows what’s happening.
    DO YOU?

  7. Airbus has announced that there was no structural failure and that the plane did not break up in the air. But the vertical stabiliser was found thirty miles from the debris field.

    It is the third known separation in flight of the vertical stabiliser. Air-Transat out of Veradero Beach, Cuba in 2005, American Airlines out of La Guardia in 2007 and now Air France in mid-Atlantic 2009.

    I really wonder what further useful information the ‘Black Box will give us.The ACARS transmissions direct to Air France maintenance in Paris were quite detailed.

    What to do? Put the airlines flying these aircraft out of business with the cost of modifications (at the very least remove carbon fibre fastners connecting the actuators to the control surfaces. Institute ultra-sound in the structural checks instead of ‘tapping’? Terminate manufacture of the airplanes as now produced with the loss of employment in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK?

    It is a mess.

    David Finch

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