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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Instrument Approaches (121 comments)

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  •  Too early to say what happened (4+ / 0-)
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    Otteray Scribe, ER Doc, lazybum, ban nock

    Given the number of crash survivors, including the crew, and the recovery of the flight data recorders, this one should be a little easier to figure out. My understanding is that there is seldom any single thing that causes a crash - usually there are a number of factors. Crew fatigue? Mechanical failure? Instrument failure? Pilot error? Weather? A bird strike? So many things to sort out.

    In this case, I'm wondering how useful it would be to have some kind of video recording system in place on the active runway picking up take offs and landings. Synchronized with radio traffic, and maybe wind/weather info, the records would help sort things out in an event like this. Would it be cost-effective in view of how seldom something like this happens? I don't know; it would depend on how elaborate the system was, and how hard to deploy.

    DVRs aren't all that expensive. If nothing else, it might be of interest to flight crews who want to review their performance - and maybe it could work like those amusement park rides where you can buy a picture afterwards...

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:12:33 PM PDT

    •  That's what I was thinking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, ER Doc

      It doesn't seem like it would be that expensive to have an automatic camera system taking video of all takeoffs and landings and saving the video of each for a week or so.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:43:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They do have some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      The airports put them in for security -- to notice if someone unauthorized is driving around the runways, for example. The NTSB head said they have had good footage on some other accidents, and hope there may be some for this one. Here, of course, there are also 100s of bystander videos.

      In this case, the crowdsourcing over the past 36 hours has made it relatively clear what happened, in terms of where the plane was, where it hit, etc. What will take a while to sort out is why.

      •  Latest from NTSB is that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomFromNJ, Mr Robert, ER Doc

        The pilots were preparing to abort their approach and were increasing power roughly ten seconds before the crash. This suggests they had become aware that something was not right with their approach to the runway.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:01:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The thing I noticed that hasn't been discussed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Compost On The Weeds

      Is that witnesses have reported seeing the aircraft 'swaying' from side to side as it was on approach - I've seen airplanes do that in a strong wind, but there was no wind in this case. Does that sound like a possible 'fly by wire' control problem?

      "Use the Force, Harry!" - Gandalf

      by Fordmandalay on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:09:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or an incipient stall, or... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert, sawgrass727, ban nock

        It will take time for the NTSB to sort through all the data they have on this.

        It doesn't even have to be a fly by wire control problem - if the sensors that supply information to the pilots and the aircraft systems are not working right, that can do it too.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:34:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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