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China Eastern Airlines B738 crashes in southern China


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Somewhat along the same lines, at what point would one lose consciousness in a rapid and uncontrolled dive of 20,000 feet? If the aircraft levelled out at 9000, one assumes an element of control, however brief; that is at least one occupant of the cockpit was conscious.

Again admittedly from a position of ignorance, I share the doubt regarding that brief pause in descent.

However, I would expect an attempt to resume flight if crew was conscious and as stated, that effort would surely result in separation of the wings.

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1 hour ago, UpperDeck said:

Somewhat along the same lines, at what point would one lose consciousness in a rapid and uncontrolled dive of 20,000 feet?

I've been "vertical" for thousands of feet in both a climb and decsent with no adverse physiological effects. Can't see any reason for loss of consciousness unless trapped gas caused serious enough pain. But it apppears from the available data that this accident sequence began well before that would have been of any consequence.

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51 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

Somewhat along the same lines, at what point would one lose consciousness in a rapid and uncontrolled dive of 20,000 feet? If the aircraft levelled out at 9000, one assumes an element of control, however brief; that is at least one occupant of the cockpit was conscious.

Again admittedly from a position of ignorance, I share the doubt regarding that brief pause in descent.

However, I would expect an attempt to resume flight if crew was conscious and as stated, that effort would surely result in separation of the wings.

If they  experienced explosive decompression  they would still have time to put on an O2 mask and physically recover themselves, that is a drill all pilots practice. Now if the cockpit was blown off the aircraft .........well we all know how that ends..If the tail blew off, they might recover consciousness but have no control of the aircraft's attitude. In this case, based on the video alone, it would appear that the cockpit and possibly the tail were still on the aircraft.

The  question is.......why was the aircraft vertical  for such a long time and to answer your question about one being able to pull out of the dive.......I don't think the greatest pilot in the world could recover from a nose down vertical dive , at the graphed altitude  as seen in the video, the speed would be extremely excessive and no one could ever exert enough pressure on the CC to pull out of that dive. 

Another facet that will be interesting is whether the Speed Brakes were extended or retracted.

Hopefully the black boxes tell the story and if the two recorders were OFF prior to the start of the dive.........then the investigators  have another avenue to explore.

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  • 2 weeks later...

read the article of the Supersonic DC-8.  They put the aircraft into a controlled dive with the trim set full nose up and held the aircraft in the dive to achieve speed in excess of Mach 1.  it took 15000 feet to recover the dive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess it is just me, but it seems to be a very long time between finding the CVR, sending it for repairs, and actually being advised of any  content....

.I guess a conspiracy theory could be,....... the Chinese are reluctant to release anything that might make any Chinese airline look bad.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Flight data from China Eastern jet points to intentional nosedive - WSJ | Reuters

May 17 (Reuters) - Flight data from a black box recovered from a China Eastern (600115.SS) jet that crashed earlier this year indicates someone in the cockpit intentionally crashed the jet, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with U.S. officials' preliminary assessment.

The company and the National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Hong Kong (CNN)Black box data recovered from a China Eastern flight that crashed in March suggests someone in the cockpit intentionally downed the plane, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a preliminary assessment from United States officials.

The Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it nosedived from 29,000 feet mid air into the mountains, killing all 132 passengers and crew on board. It was China's deadliest air disaster in decades.
Information extracted from the plane's damaged flight-data recorder shows human input orders to the controls sent the plane into its deadly dive, according to the Journal, citing people familiar with the probe.
"The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit," the Journal quoted a person who is familiar with American officials' preliminary assessment as saying.
The plane's flight-data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered from the crash and sent to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington DC for analysis, Chinese state media earlier.
American officials involved in the investigation are focusing on the actions of a pilot, the Journal reported, adding that it is also possible that someone else on the plane could have broken into the cockpit and deliberately caused the crash.
 
Chinese investigators have not revealed any mechanical or technical problems with the aircraft that could have caused the crash and might require further action across the industry -- as is typical in such events -- a fact American officials believe lends credibility to their assessment, the journal reported.
CNN has reached out to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and China Eastern Airlines for comment.
In a statement to the Journal, China Eastern said no evidence has emerged that could determine whether or not there were problems with the aircraft involved in the accident. The airline told the Journal that the pilots' health and family conditions were good, and added that their financial status was also in good shape.
"Any unofficial speculation may interfere with the accident investigation and affect the real progress of the global air transport industry," the airline told the Journal.
On Wednesday, China's state-run newspaper the Global Times cited a statement from the CAAC, which said it had reached out to the NTSB investigators who denied "releasing information on the investigation to any media outlets."
According to the Global Times, the CAAC said the investigation is ongoing in a "scientific and rigorous" manner, and pledged to release "timely and accurate" updates.
 
In a summary of its preliminary report released on April 20, the CAAC said the two black boxes were "severely damaged" and "the data restoration and analysis work is still in progress."
The report said the flight crew and maintenance personnel "met the relevant standards" and there were no items on board that had been declared as dangerous goods, nor were there any forecasts of dangerous weather.
Before the plane deviated from the cruising altitude, the radio communications between the crew and the air traffic control department did not show any abnormality, according to the report.
Rumors about a copilot intentionally crashing the plane had circulated widely on China's internet by early April, with some pointing to the CAAC's remarks on the mental health of aviation staff following the crash.
At a meeting on aviation safety on April 6, CAAC director Feng Zhenglin urged Communist Party officials at all levels to "stabilize the thoughts of their teams, make utmost efforts to solve employees' problems in their work, life and study, and ensure their physical and mental health."
"In particular, officials should do their best in the ideological work of pilots to lay a solid foundation for the front line to operate safely," Feng said.
The speculations about pilot suicide causing the crash have previously prompted the CAAC to issue a denial. "These rumors...have seriously misled the public and interfered with the investigation of the accident," Wu Shijie, a CAAC official, told a press conference on April 11, adding that police were carrying out investigations to hold the rumor mongers responsible.

 

 
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Your Pilot May Have Had Suicidal Thoughts. And That’s OK

Intentional crashes highlight the need for better mental-health protections in a high-stress job

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Fri May 20, 2022- Bloomberg News
By David Fickling and Tim Culpan

Quote

“Pilots have this reluctance toward reporting their mental health. It’s not easy to become a pilot. They do a lot to achieve success, and to carry out an action that may very well jeopardize their medical is a risk they’re not prepared to take.”

How would you feel about getting on a flight knowing that the pilot had been having suicidal thoughts? If you’re a regular passenger, you’ve probably already done it.

Few things in aviation evoke greater horror than the prospect of a pilot who deliberately drives a plane into the ground. That’s what happened, notoriously, with Germanwings Flight 9525 in 2015, when 150 were killed after the first officer locked the captain out of the cockpit and steered the plane into an Alpine mountain. 

It’s such an alarming prospect that some suspected pilot suicides remain hotly disputed, as with the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 soon after departure from New York in 1999. Intentional crashing is among the theories posited for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014, though no conclusion has been made. Now that possibility hangs over the fate of China Eastern Airlines Corp. Flight 5735, which may have had its controls pushed into a deliberate nosedive ahead of its crash on March 21, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

For all the understandable alarm that such incidents attract, the solution is almost certainly to be more open about mental health, not more restrictive. Of roughly a billion commercial aircraft trips carried out since the 1970s, pilot suicide has only been suggested in eight crashes. The far greater risk is that the culture of aviation is preventing pilots from being honest about their state of mind and thus allowing depression and other disorders to fester without sufferers seeking the treatment they need.

Commercial pilots are among the few professionals who must pass medical tests, typically taken annually, to certify their ongoing fitness for work. They’ll include physical checks of eyesight and hearing, as well as asking if pilots have experienced mental health issues or seen a psychologist.

“Pilots have this reluctance toward reporting” their mental health, says Corrie Ackland, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales who’s studying the issue. “It’s not easy to become a pilot. They do a lot to achieve success, and to carry out an action that may very well jeopardize their medical is a risk they’re not prepared to take.”

It’s not hard to see the problem with this setup. Ideally, pilots having mental health issues should be seeking out help and declaring it to their employer — but they’re far less likely to do so if it might end their careers. Even more intrusive ways of checking someone’s mental state are easy to hack. Those wanting to conceal depression will know that when asked: “In the past two weeks, how often have you felt little pleasure in doing things?” the answer to give is: “Not at all.” 

Compare anonymous surveys of aviators to ones where their identities are disclosed, and it’s clear that a taboo is fully in place. One self-reported questionnaire conducted by New Zealand pilots while renewing their medical certificates found that just 1.9% suffered from depression, levels far lower than those reported among the general population. An anonymous survey of 1,848 pilots conducted in the wake of the Germanwings crash, however, found 12.6% suffered from depression and 4.1% had experienced suicidal thoughts within the past two weeks. While that might sound worryingly high, it’s pretty much in line with levels in the general population and, in particular, high-stress occupations.

It’s hardly surprising that pilots suffer from mental health problems. Separation from family and non-work social networks, disrupted sleep, and irregular work hours all come with the territory. Add to the mix a reluctance to seek help, and it’s remarkable rates of depression aren’t even higher.

Exacerbating the problem is the sheer stress of the job itself. Most flights occur without incident, but that’s because pilots need to be meticulous in following procedures while having the mental flexibility to troubleshoot in real time. Even then, increasingly sophisticated systems make the job harder because the machines they fly are more complex and difficult to understand.

In his book “No Man’s Land,” Captain Kevin Sullivan details the numerous computer failures he had to wrestle with when Qantas Flight 72 plunged towards the earth over Western Australia in 2008. The second part of the book outlines the aftermath — the severe mental trauma he faced after landing his stricken aircraft. The former U.S. naval pilot ended up retiring from commercial aviation as a result. 

Few pilots face events as dramatic as QF72, but strict deadlines, tight budgets and job insecurity amplify the impact of even minor incidents. Most don’t write a book about their experience or get the level of peer or corporate support Sullivan received.

Airlines are understandably paranoid about all aspects of safety, including mental health. The problem is, the current stigma around addressing the topic clearly isn’t serving those ends. The pilot who crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 had a history of depression that was known to the airline, but didn’t proactively disclose a serious deterioration in his mental condition four months before the crash — something the accident report attributed in part to his fear of losing his license. 

A simple solution may be to do more to promote indefinite leave, and even retirement or temporary redeployment to ground duties for pilots facing mental health issues. Solid guarantees by airlines that a self-report won't end an aviator’s career in the skies would encourage sufferers to find the help they need.

The medical profession itself may have useful lessons, having pushed back against laws requiring mandatory reporting of mental health issues to regulators so that such action is only taken in the rare cases where patients might be at risk. That suggests a far more honest approach to the problem, and one that will minimize the risk that pilots see the best solution as trying to conceal and repress their true state of mind. 

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I guess those of us who were born when the earth was cooling , got through school, took up flying  for decades, and never heard the word "depression" in the present context were pretty lucky.

I had come off jets and was on the Cosmo, (CV580), in Trenton and was not fully aware that when you retarded the thrust levers prior to flaring you had 16 speed brakes out on the wings so my first "arrival" was rather hard. 

I tried to make light of it by saying  "  that must have left a small "depression" on the runway " to which my instructor replied, "more than  likely a crater".

 

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2 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

I guess those of us who were born when the earth was cooling , got through school, took up flying  for decades, and never heard the word "depression" in the present context were pretty lucky.

I had come off jets and was on the Cosmo, (CV580), in Trenton and was not fully aware that when you retarded the thrust levers prior to flaring you had 16 speed brakes out on the wings so my first "arrival" was rather hard. 

I tried to make light of it by saying  "  that must have left a small "depression" on the runway " to which my instructor replied, "more than  likely a crater".

 

On the other side of the coin, Kip, was my first landing on the line with the 757. I had done a decent job getting us down to about 50 feet on the approach where "landing was assured" and, at 1.3 Vs+5, closed the thrust levers. I can still hear my CCP's voice screaming in my ears. Thankfully after that, I was a quick study and survived 10 more years of heavy jet ops.

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5 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

I guess those of us who were born when the earth was cooling , got through school, took up flying  for decades, and never heard the word "depression" in the present context were pretty lucky.

I had come off jets and was on the Cosmo, (CV580), in Trenton and was not fully aware that when you retarded the thrust levers prior to flaring you had 16 speed brakes out on the wings so my first "arrival" was rather hard. 

I tried to make light of it by saying  "  that must have left a small "depression" on the runway " to which my instructor replied, "more than  likely a crater".

 

Sounds very similar to my first landing on the mighty Metro. I think the divots can still be found on the button of 36 in YWG. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2022 at 8:25 PM, Moon The Loon said:

On the other side of the coin, Kip, was my first landing on the line with the 757. I had done a decent job getting us down to about 50 feet on the approach where "landing was assured" and, at 1.3 Vs+5, closed the thrust levers. I can still hear my CCP's voice screaming in my ears. Thankfully after that, I was a quick study and survived 10 more years of heavy jet ops.

Clearly you didn’t read the manual closely before that first flight. Boeing says to retard the thrust levers to reach idle at touchdown. Airbus, on the other hand, just starts yelling “retard” at the appropriate time.

Edited by Rich Pulman
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On 5/21/2022 at 2:29 PM, Kip Powick said:

I had come off jets and was on the Cosmo, (CV580), in Trenton and was not fully aware that when you retarded the thrust levers prior to flaring you had 16 speed brakes out on the wings so my first "arrival" was rather hard. 

 

 

Was that the four-engined version of the Cosmo?

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On 5/22/2022 at 12:06 AM, Rich Pulman said:

Clearly you didn’t read the manual closely before that first flight. Boeing says to retard the thrust levers to reach idle at touchdown. Airbus, on the other hand, just starts yelling “retard” at the appropriate time.

Wasn't that I didn't read the manual - it was information overload during that time and that tiny little detail slipped through the cracks!

 

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11 hours ago, Moon The Loon said:

Wasn't that I didn't read the manual - it was information overload during that time and that tiny little detail slipped through the cracks!

I hate it when that happens! 😄

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Descending into LSZH at red line 246 indicated (?) in a Metro III the trim went full nose up. Landed safely, however, when company investigated Fairchild said it didn't happen - later it also happened to Thunder Airlines!   

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3 hours ago, Falken said:

Descending into LSZH at red line 246 indicated (?) in a Metro III the trim went full nose up. Landed safely, however, when company investigated Fairchild said it didn't happen - later it also happened to Thunder Airlines!   

Thunder Airlines?  I thought it was Bearskin.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Seeker said:

Thunder Airlines?  I thought it was Bearskin.

Thunder Air - Serving Thunder Bay, Timmins and Northern ...

 
Thunder Airlines operates scheduled flights seven days a week in Northern Ontario along the James Bay coast. Timmins, Moosonee, Fort Albany, Kashechewan and .
 

I think Perimeter Airlines used the Metro

Edited by Kip Powick
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10 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

 

I think Perimeter Airlines used the Metro

Both Perimeter and Bearskin operated Metros.  Bearskin got their first sometime around 1993 and, in fact, is the only aircraft left in their fleet.

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