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Kip Powick

Cargo jet with 3 aboard crashes in Texas

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8 minutes ago, Fido said:

and that the 'boards' are not bent or warped

and of course locks are installed to prevent movement fwd and aft when there are empty positions.

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The big overnight cargo operators such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc all use their own ground handlers at most of their bases. I would be interested to know who Atlas/Prime uses in MIA for their ground handling. 

I lost two friends years ago at YYZ when their overloaded and poorly secured shipment of Ford Taurus auto parts shifted as they approached 6L. Neither pilot assisted with loading the DC3 and Ford had increased the weight of the car part being shipped but hadn’t updated the paperwork to reflect the higher weight. As they configured for landing the load shifted stalling the aircraft. 

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11 hours ago, blues deville said:

Container movement shifting the CofG forward during descent is now being discussed as a potential cause. Always a concern with empty positions or gaps on a main deck cargo hold. Must ensure each roller is locked. 

05BA0265-F18F-40C8-AFB1-4A137CF1A24D.png

Once upon a time it was a standard practice to put an empty pallet in an empty position.  This forced you to ensure all of the locks were up.  Different time different operator.

 

Edited by boestar
said down when I meant up

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19 minutes ago, blues deville said:

I lost two friends years ago at YYZ when their overloaded and poorly secured shipment of Ford Taurus auto parts shifted as they approached 6L. Neither pilot assisted with loading the DC3 and Ford had increased the weight of the car part being shipped but hadn’t updated the paperwork to reflect the higher weight. As they configured for landing the load shifted stalling the aircraft. 

If any pilot actually took a minute to think about how much trust they place in others to do their job properly there'd be no airplanes flying anywhere, ever.  I have also lost several friends to the failure of others to do their job correctly - skilled and conscientious pilots gone through no fault of their own.  Well, I guess it's not just aviation; we trust the other cars on the highway to not cross the centerline, we trust the doctor to prescribe the correct dose and we trust the AME to latch the oil-filler cap.

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There is a LOOOONG chain with lots of links to get a plane from point A to point B.  Responsibility changes hands frequently.  Any single link failure can be catastrophic.

We place out lives in the hands of dozens of individuals daily

 

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The CVR will certainly help provide some answers.

Perhaps the moderate turbulence (as reported in the same area by a different aircraft) was enough to dislodge an improperly secured load. Totally spitballing here, but it's certainly a plausible explanation.

Holes lining up on the slices of swiss cheese... 😕

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Hi T9... 😉

On the DC8 freighter, (flew it from 1980 to 1984), the standard procedure was to load empty pallets in between the full ones such that there were no empty spaces. That ensured all locks were up and prevented a full pallet from moving.

What would cause the pitch to rapidly change to such a steep nose-down attitude?

Edited by Don Hudson

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Evening Don,

I'll admit it - I know absolutely nothing about freight flying. So my proposed answer as written above might be a bit naïve. 😉 But this stuff happens - remember that 747 pitch-up on takeoff out of Afghanistan in 2013?

The only other scenario that fits (at least in my brain) is some kind of mechanical failure involving the stabilizer / elevator.

T9

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9 hours ago, Don Hudson said:

Hi TN... 😉

On the DC8 freighter, (flew it from 1980 to 1984), the standard procedure was to load empty pallets in between the full ones such that there were no empty spaces. That ensured all locks were up and prevented a full pallet from moving.

What would cause the pitch to rapidly change to such a steep nose-down attitude?

Saturday departure? Junior ground crew/new staff at MIA working the weekend shift and perhaps a critical tie-down or lock is missed? 

Edited by blues deville

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There is a brief security camera video of the last few seconds on YouTube. Cannot vouch for authenticity but seems to match weather and ADSB data for flight profile.

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PICTURES: NTSB completes Atlas Air cockpit voice recorder review

  • 05 March, 2019
  • SOURCE: Flight Dashboard
  • BY: Tom Risen
  • Washington DC

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has completed an initial review of the cockpit voice recorder from the Atlas Air Boeing 767-300ER Freighter that crashed southeast of Houston on 23 February, and will analyse the flight data recorder that was recovered on 3 March.

The agency says that “crew communications consistent with a loss control of the aircraft” began 18s prior to the end of the cockpit voice recording, which is 2h long. The audio is poor during certain parts including leading up to the crash in Trinity Bay. Engineers filtered the audio to determine some of what the flight crew said to each other during hard to follow discussions. Air traffic controllers were providing the crew radar vectors for the runway 26L approach into Houston Intercontinental airport.

On 3 March, an NTSB team fished the flight data recorder out of Trinity Bay and the device arrived at the agency's lab in Washington DC that day. Investigators on 4 March disassembled the memory module from the flight data recorder, cleaned it and downloaded the data on 4 March. Flight data recorders capture information about an aircraft from numerous flights before they are overwritten, so investigators will sift among 17 flights for data about the performance of the 767 including its engines and flight controls.

The NTSB says it expects to issue an investigate update "in a few days", after investigators verify and validate the data.

NTSB

The Atlas 767F was operating flight 3591, an Amazon Prime Air-branded flight from Miami to Houston Intercontinental airport. Three people died in the crash: captain Ricky Blakely, first officer Conrad Jules Aska and Mesa Airlines pilot Sean Archuleta.

This story has been updated with new information from the NTSB

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On 3/3/2019 at 4:47 AM, blues deville said:

Saturday departure? Junior ground crew/new staff at MIA working the weekend shift and perhaps a critical tie-down or lock is missed?  

My gosh I hope not.

I don't think a load-shift of light packages would cause such a rapid pitch change. This feels like a flight control issue; - horizontal stabilizer jack screw?

Edited by Don Hudson

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A nice gesture by United Airlines. 

Quote

Just before the tragic accident that took his life, Captain Archuleta (who was riding in the jumpseat of Atlas 3591) had been hired by United Airlines (UAL) and had already been assigned his class date – he was on his way to the majors! This is a celebratory event that we all look forward to as we move through the life of aviation, and it was not different for the Archuleta family. However, fate took away their moment and left a PW sister behind with her young children to figure out how to face another day without her Captain.

In a gesture of kindness, respect, and utmost class, United Airlines is doing something incredible. During Sean’s Indoc class on March 12th, they will leave his seat vacant in memory of the great loss that rocked the aviation world and the hole that is left in all of our hearts. What an incredibly honorable and classy gesture!

Furthermore, they presented his widow with UAL wings and epaulets.

https://thepilotwifelife.com/united-airlines-presents-flight-3591-widow-with-wings-and-epaulets-leaves-indoc-seat-vacant/

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14 hours ago, Don Hudson said:

My gosh I hope not.

I don't think a load-shift of light packages would cause such a rapid pitch change. This feels like a flight control issue; - horizontal stabilizer jack screw?

I hope not as well but I don’t think it can be ruled out completely. Three recent cargo flight accidents have been the result of fires or a shift in the load. Asiana, UPS and National. All well maintained 747-400’s.

Atlas Air has stated this 767 was up to date with all AD’s related to the elevator controls.

Having the CVR and FDR will hopefully assist with determining the cause of this accident. 

Edited by blues deville
National vs. Altas

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4 hours ago, blues deville said:

I hope not as well but I don’t think it can be ruled out completely. Three recent cargo flight accidents have been the result of fires or a shift in the load. Asiana, UPS and Atlas. All went maintained 747-400’s.

It sounds like the NTSB will be releasing something preliminary in the next few days.

I am no expert in statistics for sure!, but to me the data points, (past cargo aircraft accidents) point to possibilities, but not probabilities. They are too few in occurrence to draw meaningful conclusions except perhaps the human factors aspect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_accidents_to_commercial_cargo_aircraft

Summary of cargo aircraft accidents, past 19 years:

Mechanical/engine.....3
Cargo fire.....................1
Cargo shift...................1
Collision/CFIT..............2
Human/pilot error.......6
Act of war....................1

Details:

2000

16 February
Emery Worldwide Flight 17, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F crashes into an automobile salvage yard shortly after taking off from Sacramento Mather Airport on a flight to Dayton, Ohio, killing all 3 crew members on board. The cause of the crash was a disconnection of the right elevator control tab.

2002

1 July
DHL Flight 611, a Boeing 757-200F, collided in mid-air with a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 over Überlingen, Germany, killing the two pilots in the DHL plane and all 69 people in the Bashkirian Airlines plane.

2004

14 October
MK Airlines Flight 1602, a Boeing 747-200F, crashed on takeoff from Halifax Stanfield International Airport due to pilot error, killing the seven crew.

2009

23 March
FedEx Express Flight 80, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, crashed on landing at Narita International Airport due to pilot error, killing the two pilots.
21 October
Azza Transport Flight 2241, a Boeing 707-330C, crashed on takeoff from Sharjah International Airport due to loss of control caused by crew errors, killing the six crew.
28 November
Avient Aviation Flight 324, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, crash on takeoff from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, killing three of the seven crew.

2010

13 April
AeroUnion Flight 302, a Airbus A300B4-200F, crashed in Monterrey while attempting to land in poor weather, killing the five crew members and two people on the ground.
3 September
UPS Airlines Flight 6, a Boeing 747-400F, crashed near Dubai while attempting to land after the crew reported a cargo fire, killing the two pilots.
28 November
Sun Way Flight 4412, an Ilyushin Il-76TD, crashed at Karachi, Pakistan while attempting an emergency landing after an engine caught fire, killing the eight crew on board and four on the ground.

2011

6 July
A Silk Way Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 crashed near Bagram Air Base, killing the nine crew; the aircraft was probably shot down.
28 July
Asiana Airlines Flight 991, a Boeing 747-400F, crashed off Jeju Island, South Korea after the crew reported a fire in the cargo compartment, killing the two pilots.
9 August
An Avis Amur Antonov An-12 crashed at Omsukchan, Russia due to loss of control following an engine fire, killing all 11 passengers and crew on board.

2013

29 April
National Airlines Flight 102, a Boeing 747-400BCF, stalled and crashed just after takeoff from Bagram Airfield, after the cargo broke loose, killing the seven crew.
14 August
UPS Airlines Flight 1354, an Airbus A300F4-600R, crashed short of the runway at Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport, killing the two pilots.

2019

23 February
Atlas Air Flight 3591, an Boeing 767-300BCF, crashed near George Bush Intercontinental Airport, all 3 crew were killed.
Edited by Don Hudson

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Interesting to note that Human/pilot error is the highest stat over the last 19 years. Still the weakest link. 

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2 minutes ago, blues deville said:

Interesting to note that Human/pilot error is the highest stat over the last 19 years. Still the weakest link. 

That's the problem with blunt categories...as always, it's more complicated than "pilot error", 😉

I put the UPS A300-600 Birmingham accident in the CFIT category, but it could very well be in the human factors category due to the "crew fatigue" finding. It could also be under "organizational" factors and scheduling.

The actual, physical outcome and what we see is often how we categorize these things and most of the time it seems correct. The aircraft hit trees a mile or so from the threshold and ended up hitting the sloping up to the runway. Why, on a non-precision, did they bust two altitudes with no call? Those that have flown freight operations at some point in their career know when beginning at 0100hrs EST, that on leg four at 0600hrs PST that it's eyeballs and shoelaces on the approach and there, for the grace of, etc. The sad ones are cargo fires & shifts, but there are only two of the 14 since 2000.

The loss of the Fedex MD11 at Narita was categorized as "pilot error" and while the argument can & has been made, the MD11 is reputed to have "special needs" in terms of a handling technique during the flare. Our overarching rule is, if the flare turns out badly, go around. It has been argued that this crew could/should have, but here we are...is it design or the pilot? Such are the problems of categorizing and the potential for the masking of underlying causes.

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MK Airlines at YHZ was also a fatigue accident. That crew had been on duty for close to 24 hours.

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Thanks J.O., I do remember that now. And this goes to categorization again - yes, "pilot error", in the incorrectly entered data that yielded the wrong power setting, but as we know and have fought for in Canada literally for 60 years in terms of our own responses to fatigue, really an organizational or regulatory accident.

Here is the link to the original FAA AD regarding the B767 HS jackscrew: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2008/03/12/E8-4677/airworthiness-directives-boeing-model-767-airplanes

 

Edited by Don Hudson

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Link to article with video released by NTSB. It may be difficult to watch.

Weather has been mentioned as a possible factor and the video does show a dark cloudy sky. 

https://m.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/New-video-shows-Atlas-Air-plane-crash-into-13668603.php#next

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7 hours ago, blues deville said:

Link to article with video released by NTSB. It may be difficult to watch.

 

Yeah, you're right, hard to watch.  😟

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Over on another aviation forum someone associated with the maintenance of these Altas 767’s has posted....”Reference my earlier post, this aircraft was in full compliance with all applicable ADs.”

Still not ruling out an elevator problem but all new or well maintained aircraft can have any kind of system failure although to lose complete control as with this 767 there had to have been some very abnormal event. 

I haven’t been able find the audio but there is some mention of the word “Pull” or a GPWS warming  being heard in a short transmission recorded by Houston ATC. Does anyone have a link to that audio recording?

Edited by blues deville

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