Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi crashes with 'no survivors' of 157 people aboard

Soldato
Joined
29 Mar 2011
Posts
4,908
But would not the ground early warning system kick in to warn the pilots ?

Edit (GPWS)
 
Commissario
Joined
17 Oct 2002
Posts
31,103
Location
Panting like a fiend
I like the idea of not being trained properly being the pilots fault.
Aye

IIRC most "pilot error's" turn out to be down to either the training, familiarisation, or company practices (including over working the pilots/not allowing enough down time).
Things like a minor change in the cockpit or performance of the aircraft that the pilot isn't trained on because it's a variant of the model they're used to, or their training has pushed that X cannot happen or Y is always right so when the pilot encounters a problem they may think they're doing the wrong thing and the autopilot etc is correct.

From what i remember pretty much every crash tends to have multiple points of failure, and usually if the pilot makes a serious mistake that "causes" the crash it's because other things have gone wrong as well, for example I can remember one crash where the pilot made a mistake that was pointed out by another member of the cockpit crew, but because the Pilot was a senior one the junior pilots concerns were ignored despite him actually being correct.

Or the time that the rudder actuator on one model could freeze up and once it started to work again it could be doing so in the opposite direction to what the controls were telling it to do, pilot error in that the pilots didn't recognise that in the seconds they had (it took the investigators about 4 crashes over 3 years), but equipment failure in that it performed in a completely different way to how it was intended to.
 
Last edited:
Commissario
Joined
17 Oct 2002
Posts
31,103
Location
Panting like a fiend
I read earlier that the MCAS system used to be over-ridden by manual inputs, but with the Max that changed. Now, the system has to be disabled before it stops interfering, but Boeing didn't initially update their manuals to mention this fact. That would have a significant impact on pilot reaction, surely?
That sounds worryingly like the old Airbus problem where IIRC the autopilot under certain specific conditions could not easily be overridden, or when it wasn't clear that the autopilot was still in partial control, or had disabled some of it's controls due to accidental input from the pilot (so pilot thinks the autopilot is doing X when it isn't, or the auto pilot is doing Y when the pilot thinks it's fully off).
 
Permabanned
Joined
13 Apr 2017
Posts
971
Location
scotland
From what i remember pretty much every crash tends to have multiple points of failure, and usually if the pilot makes a serious mistake that "causes" the crash it's because other things have gone wrong as well, for example I can remember one crash where the pilot made a mistake that was pointed out by another member of the cockpit crew, but because the Pilot was a senior one the junior pilots concerns were ignored despite him actually being correct.
.

Sounds like the 1977 Tenerife crash you're thinking of, the KLM captain, impatient to take off, started his take off run without getting permission from the tower
his junior co-pilot warned him that they should wait for final permission, but the Captain ignored him and the junior officer sadly didn't press it any further and the KLM plane ploughed into a taxiing Pan Am.

583 people died, worst single air crash ever, not even sure if the KLM plane left the ground.
 
Soldato
Joined
21 Oct 2002
Posts
14,595
Location
Wellington, NZ
Sounds like the 1977 Tenerife crash you're thinking of, the KLM captain, impatient to take off, started his take off run without getting permission from the tower
his junior co-pilot warned him that they should wait for final permission, but the Captain ignored him and the junior officer sadly didn't press it any further and the KLM plane ploughed into a taxiing Pan Am.

583 people died, worst single air crash ever, not even sure if the KLM plane left the ground.

The KLM 747 was within 100 m (330 ft) of the Pan Am and moving at approximately 140 knots (260 km/h; 160 mph) when it left the ground. Its nose landing gear cleared the Pan Am, but its left-side engines, lower fuselage, and main landing gear struck the upper right side of the Pan Am's fuselage,[9] ripping apart the center of the Pan Am jet almost directly above the wing. The right-side engines crashed through the Pan Am's upper deck immediately behind the cockpit.

:(
 
Don
Joined
7 Aug 2003
Posts
43,176
Location
Aberdeenshire
The KLM 747 was within 100 m (330 ft) of the Pan Am and moving at approximately 140 knots (260 km/h; 160 mph) when it left the ground. Its nose landing gear cleared the Pan Am, but its left-side engines, lower fuselage, and main landing gear struck the upper right side of the Pan Am's fuselage,[9] ripping apart the center of the Pan Am jet almost directly above the wing. The right-side engines crashed through the Pan Am's upper deck immediately behind the cockpit.

:(
I believe the specific crash he might be referring to is more recent, and involved an Asian crew where there was a culture of subordination between pilot and co-pilot. I seem to remember it might have been the crash where the jet landed short into a breakwater at the end of the runway (San Francisco maybe?).
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Apr 2007
Posts
11,826
As a side note - if you automate everything then 100% of all accidents will be down to the automation.

I don't know if pilots/flight crew have the same regulations as the rest of the aerospace world. But we have policies that day it's never a sole persons fault, no such thing as fault really. Human Factors, it would all come down to a procedure at fault.

Even with 100% autopilot you still have manufacturers, maintenance staff.

Take your falling asleep scenario, of I did that at work it would be picked up questioned why and resolved be that send me home or what ever.
At our place it is totally acceptable to phone in and say you're too tired. If it happens at work you nice to a job that is less effected by it.

Pilots definitely get a lot of stick at our place the amount of cockpit equipment we get back with coffee inside it is silly, snapped switches and that sort of thing.
 
Soldato
Joined
8 Jun 2013
Posts
4,098
So dont make a thread then. Because 99% if not 100% of those posting are just giving there opinion nothing more.

Bit ridiculous to be honest. But that's fine I'm happy with my comment and when the news comes out il either eat my words or tell you all to get ******.

You all make out the the airlines dont have an agenda in this.. hilarious.
explain to me this agenda please.
 
Soldato
Joined
2 Aug 2012
Posts
7,810
Boeing is expected to release a software patch to the system to deal with this issue, according to Reuters'

Just like new cars/software/whatever. Aircraft Manufacturers carry out 100's of thousands of hours of testing and simulations to ensure that systems are all working as designed.

And yet, once unleashed on the real world, with real people, all the bugs suddenly come flying out of the woodwork!

Unlike professional testers. real people are unpredictable and, no matter how rigid the training, are likley to behave in ways no designer can ever fully predict. It isn't just a case of making equipment idiot-proof, you have to make it proof against smart people too (And that is very much harder to achieve!). And the more sophisticated the machine the more utterly bizarre, incomprehensible and unimaginable ways there are for somebody to screw it up (And as I said, especially if you are dealing with smart people rather than the run of the mill!)

Mostly they are minor issues. But sometimes they can be catastrophic:/

I recall years ago, I think it was Mercedes, had this idea of having an emergency braking system, that would try to guess when a driver was attempting an emergency stop and apply maximum braking automatically until the vehicle came to a stop. This was deemed a "good idea" because it had been concluded that, even in emergencies, drivers would hesitate for a second or so before really hammering on the brakes and allowing the ABS etc systems do do their work.

It worked great during testing but in the real world resulted in drivers randomly emergency stopping without warning, particularly in urban areas.

The typical scenario was where somebody was looking for an unfamiliar address or a side road and would jab on the brakes a bit sharpish if they thought they were going to overshoot it. The Brake ECU would interpret this as an emergency stop and bring the car top a screeching halt.

During all the testing and development, nobody had actually thought of this one!

In aircraft there is this story... (And no, it isn't funny! Not at all! No really!)

http://www.grumpyoldsod.com/mohammedair.asp

But it illustrates nicely how the unpredictability of people can be the downfall of even the most carefully designed machine or system!
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Apr 2007
Posts
11,826
Just like new cars/software/whatever. Aircraft Manufacturers carry out 100's of thousands of hours of testing and simulations to ensure that systems are all working as designed.

And yet, once unleashed on the real world, with real people, all the bugs suddenly come flying out of the woodwork!

Unlike professional testers. real people are unpredictable and, no matter how rigid the training, are likley to behave in ways no designer can ever fully predict. It isn't just a case of making equipment idiot-proof, you have to make it proof against smart people too (And that is very much harder to achieve!). And the more sophisticated the machine the more utterly bizarre, incomprehensible and unimaginable ways there are for somebody to screw it up (And as I said, especially if you are dealing with smart people rather than the run of the mill!)

Mostly they are minor issues. But sometimes they can be catastrophic:/

I recall years ago, I think it was Mercedes, had this idea of having an emergency braking system, that would try to guess when a driver was attempting an emergency stop and apply maximum braking automatically until the vehicle came to a stop. This was deemed a "good idea" because it had been concluded that, even in emergencies, drivers would hesitate for a second or so before really hammering on the brakes and allowing the ABS etc systems do do their work.

It worked great during testing but in the real world resulted in drivers randomly emergency stopping without warning, particularly in urban areas.

The typical scenario was where somebody was looking for an unfamiliar address or a side road and would jab on the brakes a bit sharpish if they thought they were going to overshoot it. The Brake ECU would interpret this as an emergency stop and bring the car top a screeching halt.

During all the testing and development, nobody had actually thought of this one!

In aircraft there is this story... (And no, it isn't funny! Not at all! No really!)

http://www.grumpyoldsod.com/mohammedair.asp

But it illustrates nicely how the unpredictability of people can be the downfall of even the most carefully designed machine or system!

That story is part of Human Factors training. Loads of stories similar to that.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
21 Nov 2004
Posts
42,002
Reminds me of an air crash investigation - this one I think https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Airlines_Flight_140#History_of_the_flight

Technology/pilot/training conflict. A sad scenario in an era where so many mistakes have been learnt from and this should now be a rare occurrence on a brand new plane. I certainly wouldn't fancy flying on one of these currently.

Seems like more and more countries are banning it from their airspace. Crazy scenario for a Boeing plane, but I agree with those countries who have taken this move.

Or the time that the rudder actuator on one model could freeze up and once it started to work again it could be doing so in the opposite direction to what the controls were telling it to do, pilot error in that the pilots didn't recognise that in the seconds they had (it took the investigators about 4 crashes over 3 years), but equipment failure in that it performed in a completely different way to how it was intended to.

That one was crazy. A really interesting aircrash investigation.
 
Soldato
Joined
29 Jul 2011
Posts
15,349
Location
Near Northants / MK
Yep, the Civil Aviation Authority have banned the 737 MAX from operating in and around the UK. Alongside many other authorities, that's quite a step but expected none the less.
 
Associate
Joined
24 Oct 2013
Posts
213
Yep, the Civil Aviation Authority have banned the 737 MAX from operating in and around the UK. Alongside many other authorities, that's quite a step but expected none the less.

I would now expect the aircraft to be grounded worldwide shortly.
 
Soldato
Joined
29 Jul 2011
Posts
15,349
Location
Near Northants / MK
I would now expect the aircraft to be grounded worldwide shortly.

It kind of is... the FAA will not yet ban/ground it, they've said before that the plane is safe, therefore they would be contradicting themselves.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/major-u-s-airlines-also-fly-new-type-boeing-jet-n981771

They wont want to jump until it's potentially too late.

It's banned as per the below list, plus the UK

• all operators in Australia (per government order)
• all operators in China (per government order, 14 airlines affected)
• all operators in Indonesia (per government order, 2 airlines affected)
• all operators in Singapore (per government order, 1 airline affected)
• Aerolineas Argentinas (Argentina)
• Aeromexico (Mexico)
• Cayman Airways (Cayman Islands)
• Comair (South Africa)
• Eastar Jet (South Korea)
• Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
• GOL Linhas Aereas (Brazil)
• Jet Airways (India)
• MIAT Mongolian Airlines (Mongolia)
• Royal Air Maroc (Morocco)


I feel it's worth noting too, that Lion Air are apparently look to move away from the 737 MAX in favour of Airbus's A320 Neo
 
Caporegime
Joined
8 Jan 2004
Posts
30,171
Location
Rutland
Just like new cars/software/whatever. Aircraft Manufacturers carry out 100's of thousands of hours of testing and simulations to ensure that systems are all working as designed.

And yet, once unleashed on the real world, with real people, all the bugs suddenly come flying out of the woodwork!

Unlike professional testers. real people are unpredictable and, no matter how rigid the training, are likley to behave in ways no designer can ever fully predict. It isn't just a case of making equipment idiot-proof, you have to make it proof against smart people too (And that is very much harder to achieve!). And the more sophisticated the machine the more utterly bizarre, incomprehensible and unimaginable ways there are for somebody to screw it up (And as I said, especially if you are dealing with smart people rather than the run of the mill!)

Mostly they are minor issues. But sometimes they can be catastrophic:/

I recall years ago, I think it was Mercedes, had this idea of having an emergency braking system, that would try to guess when a driver was attempting an emergency stop and apply maximum braking automatically until the vehicle came to a stop. This was deemed a "good idea" because it had been concluded that, even in emergencies, drivers would hesitate for a second or so before really hammering on the brakes and allowing the ABS etc systems do do their work.

It worked great during testing but in the real world resulted in drivers randomly emergency stopping without warning, particularly in urban areas.

The typical scenario was where somebody was looking for an unfamiliar address or a side road and would jab on the brakes a bit sharpish if they thought they were going to overshoot it. The Brake ECU would interpret this as an emergency stop and bring the car top a screeching halt.

During all the testing and development, nobody had actually thought of this one!

In aircraft there is this story... (And no, it isn't funny! Not at all! No really!)

http://www.grumpyoldsod.com/mohammedair.asp

But it illustrates nicely how the unpredictability of people can be the downfall of even the most carefully designed machine or system!

Doesnt seem to be the whole story:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/etihad-a340-accident/
 
Caporegime
Joined
18 Mar 2008
Posts
29,831
To be fair, is there a feature creep in these new Boeing models for such a high failure rate?

I don’t see how the quality of pilots has just suddenly gone down.
 
Soldato
Joined
2 Aug 2012
Posts
7,810
Cut and paste job, doesnt seem to be the whole story:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/etihad-a340-accident/


Maybe, maybe not. I did wonder about this.

I do not really offer this as a "Firm" example of a proven catastrophic failure as a consequence of there always being a bigger idiot as such.(Otherwise I would have used a less opinionated one than the GOS :p)

Rather, Simply as a general example as to how even the most complex and well designed tech has the potential to be totally screwed up by somebody who manages to find a way round it! (And especially a smart person!)

:D
 
Top Bottom