Arrow Air Flight 1285


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CD, the link is under the "Investigations" tab in the site to which seeker provided the link. Links to the Majority Report, the Minority Report, the UCT's Report and Jamie Sanford's college paper on the accident. Sanford is the creator of the "Gander: the Untold Story" website.

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do8.jpg Perhaps someone could explain to me how a t/o crash caused by icing results with that? It looks pretty clear to me the broken edges of all that have not been burned by any post crash fire... s

Please do us a favour as you pursue your flying career, especially in the cockpit. Have a much more open mind to alternatives, particularly when they are put forward by people who have more experience

There you go... As soon as someone invokes the term, "conspiracy theory", suddenly reasoned debate is stifled. Never mind the legitimate questions left unanswered... Never mind what actual evidence (w

The first 2 paragraphs bring to mind an Air Florida Crash in the Patomic River in Washing DC. Aircraft was contaminated by ice and engines were producing too little power. Thats just the introduction that opens a similarity to icing as a factor. I will continue reading.

I have been on training so not around much.

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do8.jpgdo8.jpg

Perhaps someone could explain to me how a t/o crash caused by icing results with that?

It looks pretty clear to me the broken edges of all that have not been burned by any post crash fire... so how does that burning from the window come about, if not by pre-crash fire?

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Context is crucial for any photo. We don't know what context we are looking at when viewing this piece. Is this how it laid in situ at the accident site? Has it been moved? How many times? We only see one side of the piece, what does the other side look like? The soot seeming to come out from the window shows no airstream marks; there are soot marks on 3 maybe 4 of the 4 sides. Where was this piece located on the aircraft?

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I am undecided on the cause. Much of the minority report seems to be based on second hand and third hand "evidence" and hearsay. I realize that much of the physical evidence was not made available to them after the initial investigation was concluded but the minority report still seems to be weak in its argument at best. Some of the arguments even seem, to me, to contradict each other.

There are only a couple of reasons an aircraft wont climb, Lack of lift and lack of power. The aircraft "should" have been able to climb with the number 4 engine out or at reduced power if the other 3 were developing power. The weight issue seems relavent as there have been 2 accidents since where the standard weight issue came into question and were in fact changed due to the accident on Pelee island. The average travelling soldier does not weigh in at 170lbs as the standard weight reflected at the time. in fact the average regular MALE passenger is now 180lbs and when mixed with females passengers the overall average is reduced. This was an all male passenger load and each one with an equipment load that would bring their average weight to closer to 210lbs each. This is a significant increase in the pax weight over a "normal" flight. This too may have been an issue and was included in the first report. Couple that with the possibility of clear ice on the wing of the aircraft, and there doesn't need to be alot to degrade lift, and the recipe for disaster is there.

So a heavier than "normal" pax load coupled with a #4 engine operating at reduced power could equate to a lack of climb and subsequent crash WITHOUT needing a cabin fire.

The plane Exploded on impact so some of that damage could very well resemble damage by explosive device.

While I have always accepted the first report as factual I could be swayed the the other way if proof was more compelling to the argument.

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Context is crucial for any photo. We don't know what context we are looking at when viewing this piece. Is this how it laid in situ at the accident site? Has it been moved? How many times? We only see one side of the piece, what does the other side look like? The soot seeming to come out from the window shows no airstream marks; there are soot marks on 3 maybe 4 of the 4 sides. Where was this piece located on the aircraft?

Truth.... Context is everything.... Well, here's the other side: do9.jpg

Personally, when I look at the exterior of this section of fuselage, I do indeed see a spread of the soot that appears to extend aabout 5 to 6 inches from the upper right corner of the window opening, and appears to me to be most obviously flowing aft (to the right) from the window edge... the fwd edge (on the left) seems to me to have the thinnest area of soot trace.

Judging by the picture posted above by CD, this would be left side of the aircraft, 6th window aft of L1 (accepting the section of lettering in the piece to be the "O" and a fragment of the previous "R" in "ARROW"

Further, the lack of burnt material on the interior side of this fragment would tell this uneducated grunt that the soot exhibited on the exterior was not due to any post crash fire.

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Interesting there is no residue of the cabin window itself, if it were to have been a post crash fire.

A guy I flew with always maintained that a simple error of selecting flaps up instead of gear up caused the crash.

From the minority report:

The majority concluded that the Arrow Air DC-8's flaps were extended to the expected 18-degree takeoff position even though the wreckage yielded inconclusive and contradictory evidence.

The piston in one of the six recovered flap actuators left a clear imprint corresponding to 25-degree extension. Another had two imprints corresponding to 17- and to 32-degree extension. The remaining four actuators with less clear indications were initially assessed as corresponding to 23, 27, 40, and 43 degrees. Eight of 10 flap track pairs were recovered. Most tracks showed multiple imprints corresponding to a range of settings from 3 to 50 degrees. The flap position indicator read 38 degrees.

All three flap lockout cylinders were recovered, although in severely damaged condition. Two suggested that the naps were fully extended, while the third suggested a settling near mid-range. These findings could be explained by two simultaneous hydraulic line failures. The majority found this explanation improbable and attributed the contradictory indications to post-impact damage.

To us, this contradictory evidence does not support a determination of a pre-impact flap position of 18 degrees. We are less ready than the majority to rule out improbable multiple failures in such a complex accident.

Multiple failures are also suggested by the landing gear which remained extended. The captain, an experienced instructor/pilot, would have reacted to declining airspeed after take-off by calling for full power and raising the gear. Disintegration of the cockpit area precluded determination of the position of the landing gear lever. But, if the crew did attempt to raise the gear, the extended landing gear could signal another apparently independent failure.

We believe it unlikely that the contradictory evidence about flaps, spoilers, EPR gauges, N1 tachometers, and other systems can let explained separately through unrelated hypotheses. To us, the extent of the contradictory evidence suggests simultaneous multiple system failures due to a common cause.

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An investigator once said that you never hang your hat on one thing; try for at least three. For flaps you could check cockpit lever position, FDR parameter, flap actuator, witness marks on surrounding flap track structure and witness accounts, to name a few. Approaching the argument for in-flight vs post impact fire should be approached the same way. One photo of a piece of wreckage is a good start but more supporting info would/should be required.

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"One photo of a piece of wreckage is a good start but more supporting info would/should be required"

But, not possible when someone has made a decision to hastily destroy or otherwise make the 'supporting' evidence unavailable?

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I was seconded to the CASB from Air Canada at the time of the accident. This was a very controversial accident. This accident perhaps could have been classified as "Undetermined" given the fact that icing is most often "fleeing evidence" as it disappears especially in this case where there was a fire and it was difficult to prove the cause of the explosion/fire. There was certainly a concern over the weight of the aircraft as well. However given the personalities involved in the investigation and the make-up of the Board this was not the case. As a result of this accident and the conduct of the Board the government decided to scrap the CASB and replace it with the TSBC.

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I was seconded to the CASB from Air Canada at the time of the accident. This was a very controversial accident. This accident perhaps could have been classified as "Undetermined" given the fact that icing is most often "fleeing evidence" as it disappears especially in this case where there was a fire and it was difficult to prove the cause of the explosion/fire. There was certainly a concern over the weight of the aircraft as well. However given the personalities involved in the investigation and the make-up of the Board this was not the case. As a result of this accident and the conduct of the Board the government decided to scrap the CASB and replace it with the TSBC.

It's interesting to hear from someone who was on the inside. Can you expand on how the personalities might have affected the final decision?

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You're certainly entitled to your own opinion and I won't argue with you about it but have you read the minority report? I find it hard to reconcile all the discrepancies.

I read the minority report. In lieu of other reports I've read about other accidents around the world, the minority report on Arrow Air 1285 holds less water than a broken strainer and has me wondering if the dissenters really know what they're talking about.

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I read the minority report. In lieu of other reports I've read about other accidents around the world, the minority report on Arrow Air 1285 holds less water than a broken strainer and has me wondering if the dissenters really know what they're talking about.

Why are you bringing this up? Les Filotas was/is highly respected in the accident investigation world. In the sense of the expression "where there's smoke, there's fire," TC's oversight of accident investigation was called into question. His dissention ended the life of the TC lead accident investigation philosophy giving us the independent TSB of today.

Having said that, I am suspicious of their findings in the 7F YRB crash of a 737.

(Topic for another thread...)

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Why are you bringing this up? Les Filotas was/is highly respected in the accident investigation world. In the sense of the expression "where there's smoke, there's fire," TC's oversight of accident investigation was called into question. His dissention ended the life of the TC lead accident investigation philosophy giving us the independent TSB of today.

Having said that, I am suspicious of their findings in the 7F YRB crash of a 737.

(Topic for another thread...)

The way the minority report is written (as well as Filotas's book, which I also read), you'd think that the only airplane accident they've even heard of was Arrow Air Flight 1285.

I assume you're talking about First Air Flight 6560?

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Moon the Loon: I think he is bringing this up as we are seeing another reincarnation of a person who has been in and out of this forum many times in the past. :biggrin2:

Malcolm:

So as comet Catalina approaches Alkaid then on to Mizar, you make such reference?

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/comet-catalina-sails-into-northern-skies111120151111/

Such science exists? (Favourite [similar] quote from The Day The Earth Stood Still)

:whistling:

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I read the minority report. In lieu of other reports I've read about other accidents around the world, the minority report on Arrow Air 1285 holds less water than a broken strainer and has me wondering if the dissenters really know what they're talking about.

OK, so how do you reconcile the discrepancies?

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OK, so how do you reconcile the discrepancies?

The minority report hinges entirely on the following assumptions being true:

1.) The fact that nobody saw ice on the wings meant that there was no ice on the wings.

2.) The fact that a terrorist group claimed responsibility for the accident meant they had a hand in its taking place.

3.) The fact that there was so much damage to the aircraft despite the plane having just taken off meant that the structural integrity of the aircraft was compromised before impact.

4.) The fact that several bodies had combustion products inside their bodies meant that they were exposed to fire before the plane hit the ground.

5.) The fact that witnesses saw the plane on fire before impact meant that something exploded on the plane before impact.

6.) The fact that there were outward indentations in the aircraft skin meant that something exploded on the plane before impact.

7.) The fact that so many people involved were highly experienced in their roles meant that they were 111% right in their judgments and perceptions.

Each of those arguments has its own problem, among other counterarguments:

1.) There is a such thing as clear ice, and that can only be detected by feel, not by sight. Unless someone were to actually physically stand on top of the wing and feel the wing for ice, they're not going to be able to cover all of the wing surface in search of clear ice. The crash of Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 demonstrates exactly that.

2.) The fact that somebody says something proves nothing if you don't prove it yourself. Tests for explosive chemicals showed no evidence of a bomb on board the plane.

3.) The minority report does pretty much nothing in the way of explaining how impact with the ground could not have caused the movement of flaps, reversers, or anything else on the plane. And many takeoff accidents before and after Arrow Air 1285 have left a severely fragmented airplane and no survivors (or almost no survivors). These include American Airlines Flight 191, KLM Flight 4805 (Tenerife), Northwest Airlines Flight 255, Air France Flight 4590 (Concorde), Air Midwest Express Flight 5481, and Comair Flight 5191. Crashes in wooded areas are bound to cause extreme damage to an aircraft, so it's to be expected that any takeoff accident in a wooded area will have a badly wrecked airplane with very few if any survivors.

4.) Bodies being ripped apart are just as susceptible to reception of combustion products as a living person breathing combustion products. On top of all that, the time between when the landing gear left the runway and the time the plane hit the ground wasn't even 30 seconds, nowhere near the time it'd take for even an explosive fire to generate the amount of smoke found in the toxicology tests.

5.) Witnesses are bound to have erroneous perceptions of an event and should only be relied on in the absence of hard evidence; the location of a fire by itself is not enough to explain where or how it started. The clipped trees spelled out the position of the plane, which was in a greatly stalled profile. The engines showed they were working when the plane struck the trees, but because of the stall, weren't getting enough air and suffered compressor stall, creating the fire seen by witnesses.

6.) The indentations have noticeable parts that would be missing if flattened out. If that damage had been caused by an in-flight explosion, something would've been thrown off the plane and landed somewhere between the runway and the point of impact. Nothing was found in that region, meaning nothing departed the plane before it hit the trees. The plane's impact with the ground would've easily driven anything through the aircraft structure to create those holes.

7.) Even the best of the best are vulnerable to mistakes, and there's a long list of accidents to show for it. Authority and/or expertise on its own has no bearing on the validity of any kind of information.

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Don't feed.

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