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Another airliner missing

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JamesG

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I think it was pretty obvious that he couldn't maintain altitude much less climb out. Remember he was 5 miles downrange, not at the end of the runway. If he'd tried to keep it horizontal with rudder he would have been flat slipping and bled even more airspeed than "letting" it roll. AND he would probably have missed the river.
 

BBerson

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I think the plane should climb on one engine.
The nose up angle looked excessive long before the stall. He was quite high, about 200 feet on the video.
I wish I could find that video that showed the mush about 1/2 mile before the tip stall.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I heard a pilot on the radio say he should have held full right rudder and neutral aileron
With the operating engine developing takeoff power, it would have taken nearly full right rudder to counteract the yawing moment. With adequate rudder deflection, no roll input would be required. The ATR, (like many large turboprops), has ailerons and spoilerons for roll control. Obviously, when maximum lift performance from the wing is required, you don't want the spoilerons out in the breeze so applying roll control to counter an engine out is the wrong input. Also to get maximum climb performance from the wing, it has to be level. That's a private pilot lesson, when maximum climb performance is required, don't turn.

What should have happened at engine failure was apply appropriate rudder, climb at Vmc+ then at a safe altitude, climb at final takeoff speed and run checklist. Non-event.

The pilot's did not heroically ditch the plane to save lives on the ground, they were likely kicking and screaming just like the passengers.
 

JamesG

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I think the plane should climb on one engine.
The nose up angle looked excessive long before the stall. He was quite high, about 200 feet on the video.
I wish I could find that video that showed the mush about 1/2 mile before the tip stall.
That ATR didn't feel like flying on one engine that day. IDK if it was because it was heavy, or both engines were out, but the truth is that the plane was at the end of its terminal glide slope. The mush was him avoiding the highrise building. If he had prevented the stall, most likely all those street light poles would have clipped the wings and it would have come down on land, which means fire and a much larger body count. Sometimes you can't win and you have to make the best of the soup sandwich you are handed.
 

DangerZone

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That's all a nice thought but more likely the pilots had no idea what was underneath them and they were certainly not in control of the airplane as it followed the laws of aerodynamics and physics.
Just because he knew exactly what was underneath them he saved the lives of people on board with the knife edge maneouver. Had he made a classic water ditch then the airplane would bounce off the water surface and hit the steep river bank and inhabited areas behind, probably killing everyone inside and possibly others in the area. The maneouver of the pilot (whether deliberate or accidental) allowed the airplane to stick to the water instead, just like a RESA (runway end surface area) would to an airplane too fast after the stopway. Pretty noble of the pilot, he sacrificed his own life for the life of innocent people on board and those in the densely populated area around. Look at the buildings everywhere around and think about that before making asumptions the pilot did not do his best. Hitting those buildings just after the crash site might result in hundreds of others dying. The airplane had to be stopped fast, and that's what the pilot did. With engines on fire and no thrust, doing that with an ATR is quite impressive.

crash3.jpg

If the Keelung river were the size of the Hudson, we might have had another Sully ditching on water and saving everyone. But since this river part is quite smaller, shorter and narrower than the Hudson, we must admit that the pilot really did his best to reduce the number of casualties to a minimum. Sure, there is always a chance such an event was pure luck but I somehow have a feeling the pilot has done a great job at preventing more casualties.
 

Jay Kempf

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It wasn't pure luck it was pure bad luck. Completely avoidable. The knife edge was not on purpose. If he was under control he could have turned down the river and ditched.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Just because he knew exactly what was underneath them he saved the lives of people on board with the knife edge maneouver.
The knife edge was unintentional. The plane was out of control. It was sheer luck that it crashed where it crashed.

Had the pilot's been skilled, they would have flown the airplane back to the airport on one engine, landed and saved the lives of everyone on board.


Also, not following your arithmetic. The pilots (2) were willing to sacrifice their lives and the lives of 58 passengers to save ~half dozen on the ground? You think they were doing the math in their head as they were making this decision?

Also, you have read the stories? There was no pre or post impact fire and only one engine failed.
 

DangerZone

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The knife edge was unintentional. The plane was out of control. It was sheer luck that it crashed where it crashed.

Had the pilot's been skilled, they would have flown the airplane back to the airport on one engine, landed and saved the lives of everyone on board.


Also, not following your arithmetic. The pilots (2) were willing to sacrifice their lives and the lives of 58 passengers to save ~half dozen on the ground? You think they were doing the math in their head as they were making this decision?

Also, you have read the stories? There was no pre or post impact fire and only one engine failed.
No, I haven't read the stories so please fill in the details I might be missing. By the looks at the cam recordings, the turboprops seem to be feathered and it would surprise me that any feathered prop could get the airplane back to the airport. Yet if both engines fail every pilot would feather the props to have a decent glide ratio, otherwise the props would produce massive drag. In other words, I agree with you that every skilled pilot would get the ATR back to the airport IF one engine was fully operational. However, the outcome makes me doubt that the other engine was much better than the engine on fire.

Yes, I believe pilots are rational and think about the best possible outcome. In this case, the Keelung river seemed like a better choice than the skyscrapers and buildings around. They opted for the least harmful scenario, and the Keelung river provides more chances of survival than the surrounding areas if both engines are out. If only one engine were out and with the other prop feathered, they would most probably get the airplane back to the airport because they are trained to do that. The ATR has enough power and a better response than jet engines but after the initial climb to 1350ft on only one engine would they have enough height to clear most obstacles in the area and get back to the airport?

In other words, what would you recommend they should have done at 1350ft with both engines out? In a climb at around 1000ft, one engine out, climb to 1350ft with the other when this one fails too. Would you make a turn to the airport losing altitude or continue straight looking for the best place to ditch the aircraft..?

http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/MobileSwitcher/v2/images/519-1423076501526276381.png


Edit: I just googlemapped the airport in question, it seems they were 3km out at 1350ft when the aircraft abruptly stopped climing (a very likely indication of both engines out) and the airport elevation is around 50ft. This means 1300ft to turn around 180 degrees, set the proper glide path and then glide for 3km at an altitude of less than 1000ft (losses of the turn). I'm just curious would it be possible to reach the end of runway with this new model of the ATR..?
 
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oriol

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Let s hope that the recovering of the black boxes will allow to have a better picture of what happened exactly.


Oriol
 

BJC

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Let s hope that the recovering of the black boxes will allow to have a better picture of what happened exactly.


Oriol
Yes, lets hope so, and lets not praise or critize the pilots until we actually have hard data about what happened and what the pilots did.


BJC
 

Aesquire

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All I can say is that initial media reports can be completely wrong.

Oddly the reverse can be true in some cases after the minions and official types have already made guesses based on incomplete data and cya. ( "we know the x700 series to never (whatever) so it must be (usually pilot error) so it ain't our fault" )

So I'll wait...and wonder for a bit.

Questions......
If one engine was out could they have climbed? With the good engine at what power? With the bad engine feathered? Windmilling?

I will say that was a heck of a crash.. skill luck or other.
 

Jay Kempf

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No, I haven't read the stories so please fill in the details I might be missing. By the looks at the cam recordings, the turboprops seem to be feathered and it would surprise me that any feathered prop could get the airplane back to the airport. Yet if both engines fail every pilot would feather the props to have a decent glide ratio, otherwise the props would produce massive drag. In other words, I agree with you that every skilled pilot would get the ATR back to the airport IF one engine was fully operational. However, the outcome makes me doubt that the other engine was much better than the engine on fire.

Yes, I believe pilots are rational and think about the best possible outcome. In this case, the Keelung river seemed like a better choice than the skyscrapers and buildings around. They opted for the least harmful scenario, and the Keelung river provides more chances of survival than the surrounding areas if both engines are out. If only one engine were out and with the other prop feathered, they would most probably get the airplane back to the airport because they are trained to do that. The ATR has enough power and a better response than jet engines but after the initial climb to 1350ft on only one engine would they have enough height to clear most obstacles in the area and get back to the airport?

In other words, what would you recommend they should have done at 1350ft with both engines out? In a climb at around 1000ft, one engine out, climb to 1350ft with the other when this one fails too. Would you make a turn to the airport losing altitude or continue straight looking for the best place to ditch the aircraft..?

http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/MobileSwitcher/v2/images/519-1423076501526276381.png


Edit: I just googlemapped the airport in question, it seems they were 3km out at 1350ft when the aircraft abruptly stopped climing (a very likely indication of both engines out) and the airport elevation is around 50ft. This means 1300ft to turn around 180 degrees, set the proper glide path and then glide for 3km at an altitude of less than 1000ft (losses of the turn). I'm just curious would it be possible to reach the end of runway with this new model of the ATR..?
Not sure where you are getting both engines out at the time of crash?
 

mcrae0104

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I seriously hope someone has alerted the media to the wealth of expert opinions available here. :D
 

davidb

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Questions......
If one engine was out could they have climbed? With the good engine at what power? With the bad engine feathered? Windmilling?
The plane has auto feathering. With one engine out and feathered, it will climb even at max weight. If the bad engine fails to feather, it comes down regardless of weight. [I got that second hand from someone who has flown this type.]
 

bmcj

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Just because he knew exactly what was underneath them he saved the lives of people on board with the knife edge maneouver. Had he made a classic water ditch then the airplane would bounce off the water surface and hit the steep river bank and inhabited areas behind, probably killing everyone inside and possibly others in the area. The maneouver of the pilot (whether deliberate or accidental) allowed the airplane to stick to the water instead, just like a RESA (runway end surface area) would to an airplane too fast after the stopway. Pretty noble of the pilot, he sacrificed his own life for the life of innocent people on board and those in the densely populated area around. Look at the buildings everywhere around and think about that before making asumptions the pilot did not do his best. Hitting those buildings just after the crash site might result in hundreds of others dying. The airplane had to be stopped fast, and that's what the pilot did. With engines on fire and no thrust, doing that with an ATR is quite impressive.
I'm glad you were there with the pilot so that you could bring us the account of what really happened. ;)

You are correct that we cannot condemn the pilot at this stage. This could be poor piloting, good piloting in a bad situation but still out of control, or extraordinary piloting to the degree that you propose, but I have to side with Turk here. The flight path was typical of a loss of control. I think that attributing this to superhuman piloting skills and semi-sacrificial decision making is stretching reality a bit. Besides, we all know that I'm the only one cool and collected enough to take those sort of actions. :eek:
 

DangerZone

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Not sure where you are getting both engines out at the time of crash?
The video. Logic. Notice the feathered prop. Feathered props don't provide thrust. A windmilling/stuck prop would get the ATR down regardless of the other engine providing thrust. The ATR has auto feather. With only one engine out and the other feathered, this airplane climbs up (and gets back to the airport) without problems. Calculate 3km out at 1350ft, with one engine out and prop feathered, easy to get back. Yet the ATR crashed 1500m further down the same trajectory from altitude of 1350ft. Definitely not pilot error, any pilot would be able to land this airplane if one engine was still operational and the other one feathered.

I'm glad you were there with the pilot so that you could bring us the account of what really happened.


You are correct that we cannot condemn the pilot at this stage. This could be poor piloting, good piloting in a bad situation but still out of control, or extraordinary piloting to the degree that you propose, but I have to side with Turk here. The flight path was typical of a loss of control. I think that attributing this to superhuman piloting skills and semi-sacrificial decision making is stretching reality a bit. Besides, we all know that I'm the only one cool and collected enough to take those sort of actions. :eek:
This might be an exaggeration to call a trained pilot to have superhuman piloting skills. I call it common sense and respect the decision of the pilot to ditch in the Keelung rather than the highway in the densely populated area. The highway might have more probability of pilot + crew survival with more casualties from drivers/bystanders/passengers. Hitting the river nose first is almost certain death to the cockpit crew but higher chances for passenger survival. Most pilots are trained to understand those risks at their ATPL training. Today news reporters condamn the pilot for not flying well the moment a crash happens, yet in this case the pilots seem to have shown good decision making and a degree of self sacrifice. With emphasis on 'seem', at that altitude they had seconds to decide what to do with one engine on fire and the other one quitting soon after. If the other engine were operational, and the burning engine feathered, that ATR would climb up like a charm. I see where this is going and it is easier to mock that to try to understand. Thus I give up commenting on this event, time is valuable and I'll rather use it wiser. Feel free to continue if it is fun, all the best. ;)
 

Turd Ferguson

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Looks like the pilots had an engine failure, then shut down the good engine. :(

They "ditched" in the river because the plane stalled and it was no longer flyable.


On Feb 6th 2015 Taiwan's ASC reported that the investigation so far determined from flight data and cockpit voice recorders: the aircraft received takeoff clearance at 10:51Z, in the initial climb the aircraft was handed off to departure at 10:52:33Z. At 10:52:38Z at about 1200 feet MSL, 37 seconds after becoming airborne, a master warning activated related to the failure of the right hand engine, at 10:52:43Z the left hand engine was throttled back and at 10:53:00Z the crew began to discuss engine #1 had stalled. At 10:53:06Z the right hand engine (engine #2) auto-feathered. At 10:53:12Z a first stall warning occured and ceased at 10:53:18Z. At 10:53:19Z the crew discussed that engine #1 had already feathered, the fuel supply had already been cut to the engine and decided to attempt a restart of engine #1. Two seconds later another stall warning activated. At 10:53:34Z the crew radioed "Mayday! Mayday! Engine flame out!", multiple attempts to restart the engines followed to no avail. At 10:54:34Z a second master warning activated, 0.4 seconds later both recorders stopped recording.
 
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