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 Assunto da Mensagem: Air India B777-200LR incident
MensagemEnviado: quinta nov 04, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Registado: quinta jan 29, 2009 7:40 pm
Mensagens: 177
Localização: Rio Tinto
Caros colegas

Recebi este report de um incidente que aconteceu após descolagem.
A informação não está verificada como verdadeira assim como não está como falsa. O que posso dizer é que infelizmente este tipo de CRM ainda existe em muito boas companhias por aí espalhadas. Fica então o report que não é mais que uma denuncia:

I am writing this for two reasons:

1. To absolve myself of the professional duty to report an Incident. I feel it will do much more good to send this to you all than send it to Air India Management. They will just deny that it ever happened, accuse me of somehow exaggerating the event, or fire me for my insolence in bringing it up at all.

2. I also fear for my safety in country. Jail in India? Hospitalization? I don’t think so!

Recent Air India B777-200LR Flight, DEL - JFK.

It was late at night. 0025L. I was Second in Command (P-2: expats are never in command if there is an Indian commander present). We were very heavy weight and the temperature was hot. No Assumed Temperature thrust reduction was used and we requested RWY 29 for departure to avail ourselves of the extra ground run.

Takeoff was normal except for the fact that our lift-off speed was well above V2 and we had a low altitude “hold down” of 1,700’ (not even 1000’ above the airport elevation of 777 feet). The aircraft climbed rapidly as the nose was pulled to a higher than normal attitude to bleed off the extra airspeed and the autopilot was engaged rapidly after takeoff at approximately 200’ AGL.

The aircraft automation captured the altitude set in the Altitude Window immediately and started the automatic level off maneuver. Since the throttles were at a high power setting (no Assumed Temperature setting) and since the flaps were still set at 15 from takeoff, the aircraft Autothrottles retarded the engine power to idle to protect against flap overspeed (I think it was trying to limit the speed to below 230 knots).

At the same time that the throttles were retarding to idle, Air Traffic Control (ATC) directed a large left hand turn followed shortly thereafter with a separate radio call directing us to climb to 2800’ (only a 1,100’ foot change in altitude). The First Officer was preoccupied with the radio calls and missed the next crucial event.

Just prior to beginning the turn the Captain disconnected the Autothrottles because he didn’t know why they had reduced the thrust to idle. He thought they were malfuntioning. He then commenced the turn with the Heading Select knob as directed by ATC and forgot about the throttles being at idle. The airspeed continued to bleed off.

When the next altitude change was given by ATC, it was dialled in by the First Officer (while the aircraft was in a turn) even though the autopilot was engaged and this Mode Control Panel (MCP) change should have been executed by the Captain (the Pilot Flying). At this point I am not sure if Flt Level Change was selected or if it was still in VNAV, but the aircraft began a climb while still in the turn.

I was preoccupied with watching the airspeed which was rapidly decreasing. I was sitting in the left jump seat (located just between the Captain and First Officer) and started announcing loudly “Airspeed!”, “Airspeed!” as the speed decreased below 200 knots. When there was no appropriate response and as the airspeed decreased below V2 I yelled as loud as I could “Lower the Nose!” “Maximum Power!”, “Maximum Power!” I undid my seat belt and was leaning forward to push the throttles to the firewall when the Commander beat me to it and fire-walled the throttles as he disconnected the autopilot and lowered the nose of the aircraft. The First Officer had placed her hand behind the throttles as they were moved forward but did not touch them. TOGA was NOT pushed. We were at V2 minus 15 knots and the stick shaker had activated along with stall buffet onset by the time the engines spooled.

We were in an undeveloped, (but rapidly developing) heavyweight takeoff stall. Had it been one more nanosecond, we would have been way too far behind the power curve to recover. There was no altitude to exchange for airspeed. The aircraft’s 110,000 lb. thrust engines spooled to full power and thankfully we accelerated (slowly at first) to a safe airspeed.

The flaps were oversped during the recovery (since there was no Autothrottle protection). The flaps were retracted by the Captain during the recovery (NOT by the First Officer). The First Officer called for “Autothrottles” and they were reengaged. The throttles went from maximum thrust to climb power as expected. Another altitude change was given and we continued the climb to cruise altitude in VNAV.

Some lessons:

a. Brief a low altitude hold down and how you are going to accomplish it - especially if you have a new First Officer in the right seat. Low altitude hold-downs are often screwed up. This was almost fatal! I like to hand fly hold-downs and let the First Officer use the airspeed bug for acceleration. That means the First Officer has to be able to operate the MCP along with the radios.

b. ‘Autopilot – ON’ with ‘Auto Throttles – OFF’ = bad Juju!

c. Autopilot ON at 200’ AGL after EVERY takeoff on EVERY flight = no pilot proficiency.

d. First Officer changing the Altitude Window or any other item on the MCP when the autopilot is on and changes are supposed to be Pilot Flying responsibility = more bad Juju.

e. Once this crew was out of their normal ‘habit pattern’ they were lost as to what to do about regaining control of the aircraft. MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL

f. Air India needs more experienced ex-pats to avoid future fatalities.

The dilemma:

a. I told the Commander it was his obligation to report the event. He almost killed 300 people. What is my obligation to report this? If I report, I am fired for sure – or found dead in my hotel room in Delhi. I am sure he is politically well connected.

b. I think the ‘voice recorder’ data is gone. It was a 15+ hour flight. I don’t know how long the flight recorder data stays in the system. It would have the most information regarding this event.

c. I do not know if the aircraft reports the event automatically by ACARS or other means.

Forte Abraço

Ricardo Ferreira
Sócio Nr. 203

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