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Air Asia Java Sea Crash is another airbus rudder problem


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Airbus and Air Asia have announced that flight 8501 to From Surabaya to Singapore crashed due to another airbus rudder problem. 


The system that regulates the plane's rudder movement kept malfunctioning because of a cracked solder joint. Aircraft maintenance records found it had malfunctioned 23 times in the year before the crash, and the interval between those incidents became shorter in the three months prior to the crash, Indonesia's National Transport Safety Committee said in a report.
"Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft ...causing the aircraft to depart from the normal flight envelope and enter a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover," the report said.
In other words, "it's a series of technical failures, but it's the pilot response that leads to the plane crashing,"
What bullshit. Airbus has become a death trap coverup in concern to the rudder and tail. Typical to blame the pilots. 
American Airlines Flight 587 out of JFK had its tail rip off and crash after encountering turbulence from another plane in front of it. 
Air Transat Flight 961 was a flight from Varadero, Cuba to Quebec City, Canada on March 6, 2005. The aircraft experienced a structural failure in which the rudder detached in flight.
In addition to the 3 rudder incidents, two Qantas Airlines Airbus 330s experienced uncommanded pitches nose-downward.Nine months before that, in January 2008, an Air Canada Airbus 319 also "experienced a sudden upset when it rolled uncommanded 36 degrees right and then 57 degrees left and pitched nose-down," according to a report on file at the NTSB.
Flight 961 managed to land.
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OK, the "rudder problem" is not what brought down the Airbus.  The cracked solder joint was creating a warning on the ECAM ( Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) and giving the crew an instruction to resolve the problem.  However, once the problem was resolved it would create another ECAM alert, making the crew do the procedure over.


The Captain was becoming annoyed at this, got up out of his seat and decided he would "fix" the problem himself. However, he did not use the QRH (Quick Reference Handbook) which has procedures for the crew to follow, because there was no such procedure in the book.  IOW's, it was not a resolvable problem the crew could fix inflight.  The Captain began pulling circuit breakers causing a loss of both FAC's (Flight Augmentation Computers) which took out the autopilots and degraded the aircraft to alternate law conditions.  The First Officer was flying, the aircraft was in severe weather conditions and a loss of control happened.


When the Captain got up to "fix" the problem, at the moment he pulled those breakers he became a test pilot, at the worst possible time.  This crash is directly related to the flight crew and their misactions.  They simply took a non problem and turned it into a tragedy.


BTW, the Rudder Travel Limiter Unit had failed many times before this day.  Being an intermittent problem Air Asia chose to continue operations rather than replace the unit.


And your examples above of the various Airbus incidents, none of them are related, and none of those suffered the same failures of the Air Asia Airbus.



The NTSC analysed: "Between 2301 UTC to 2313 UTC the FDR and CVR recordings indicated three Rudder Travel Limiter Unit failures occurred and triggered the chime and master caution, followed by PIC actions to ECAM actions to reset FAC 1 and 2 push-buttons on the overhead panel to OFF then to ON. Thereafter both of Rudder Travel Limiter Units returned to function normally. At 2315:36 UTC, the fourth failure on both Rudder Travel Limiter Units and triggered ECAM message “AUTO FLT RUD TRV LIM SYS” and triggered the chime and master caution light. At 2316:29 UTC, the FDR recorded parameters which indicate that FAC 1 was de-energized leading to the ECAM FAC 1 FAULT message associated with the 5th master caution. 17 seconds later the FDR recorded parameters indicate that FAC 2 was also de-energized leading to the FAC 1+2 FAULT message associated with the 6th master caution. The FAC 1+2 FAULT was followed by rudder deflected 2° to the left, the aircraft flight control status reverted from Normal Law to Alternate Law and the Auto Pilot (A/P) and the Auto thrust (A/THR) disengaged. As consequence, the pilot should fly the aircraft manually. The fault on FACs was associated with electrical interruption due to loss of 26VAC and 28VDC. Refer to the information provided by Airbus, when the loss of 26VAC was detected by the FAC, the FAC logic associated to the computation time and rudder movement inertia created a Rudder movement of about 2°. As both FAC were disengaged this rudder movement was not automatically compensated. The FDR recorded that when FAC 1 was de-energized, the rudder deflected of about 0.6° at this time the FAC 2 took over the function of FAC 1 and the auto-pilot was still engaged. The FDR also showed the deflection of aileron to compensate the aerodynamic roll caused by rudder deflection hence the FDR did not record any heading change. The FDR did not record re-engagement of the FAC 1. Seventeen seconds after the FAC 1 being de-energized, the FDR recorded that the FAC 2 was also de-energized leading to the FAC 1+2 FAULT message. As a consequence the A/P and A/THR disengaged, flight control law reverted from Normal Law to Alternate Law, and the rudder deflected 2° to the left causing the aircraft rolled to the left with rate of 6°/second. After the auto pilot disengaged the pilot had to fly the aircraft manually. However when the aircraft rolled, neither pilots input the side stick to counter the aircraft roll until nine seconds later thereby the aircraft rolled left up to 54°. The investigation concluded that the un-commanded roll was caused by the rudder deflection, the autopilot disengaged and no pilot input for nine seconds."

The NTSC analysed that there initially there had been responses to the upset on the right hand side stick only, later followed by responses on the left side stick and wrote: "The first left side stick input was at 2317:03 UTC for 2 seconds, then 15 seconds later another input for 2 seconds, and at 2317:29 continued in dual input until the end of the recording. The sidestick priority logic, when one pilot operates the sidestick, it will send the control signals to the computers. When both pilots move both sidesticks simultaneously in the same or opposite direction and neither takes priority, the system adds the signals algebraically. When this occurred, the two green Side Stick Priority lights are ON and followed by “DUAL INPUT” voice message activation. If this occurred, the PF or depending on the PIC instruction, should stop provides input on the sidestick or a pilot should stop the „dual input‟ by pressing the priority pushbutton for 40 seconds or more to latch the priority condition. The FDR did not record neither pilots pressed such button for more than 40 seconds. The CVR did not record “DUAL INPUT” voice message as it was supressed by “STALL” voice warning. The FDR recorded at 2317:15 UTC the aircraft pitch reached 24° up. The PIC commanded „pull down...pull down‟ and at 2317:17 UTC the FDR recorded second Stall Warning. Following the command „pull down...pull down‟ the FDR recorded the SIC side stick backward input increased. The aircraft pitch and AOA were increasing. The average of the side stick inputs recorded on the FDR since the A/P and A/THR disengaged until the aircraft encountered the second stall warning indicated that the SIC was pulling almost full back input while the PIC was slightly pushing nose-down. The sum of both side stick inputs commanded nose up pitch. The pitch up input resulted in the AOA reaching a maximum of 48° which was beyond the flight director envelope and the flight director would have been disappeared from the PFD. The pilot would no longer have guidance from the flight director. The pilot training for stall was intended to introduce the indications of approach to stall condition and recover it. While the aircraft system designed to prevent the stall by providing early warning. The pilot training and the aircraft system were intended to avoid stall. The condition of AOA 40° as recorded on the FDR was beyond any airline pilot training competency as they never been trained or experienced. The degraded SIC performance and ambiguous command of the PIC may have decreased the SIC‟s situational awareness. Consequently, the SIC did not react appropriately in this complex emergency situation. This resulted in an aircraft upset from which recovery was beyond the procedures and philosophy of training that was provided to flight crew and the increasing difficulty of aircraft handling as the result of the rudder deflection which provided roll tendency."

With respect to maintenance activities the NTSC analysed: "Based on PK-AXC 1 Year report, 23 occurrences related with the RTLU problem were recorded since January 2014. The line maintenance personnel performed similar action by resetting the FAC and doing the AFS Operational test which resulted satisfactory and the problem was considered close. Any repeating defect was treated as a new defect. Refer to the CMM chapter 5.3 Defect & Repetitive Defect stated : A defect is deemed to be repetitive when it has been reported more than once in 7 flight sectors or 3 days where 3 rectification attempts have not positively cleared the defects. Evaluation of MR1 data December 2014 found 10 pilot reports related to RTLU occurred on 1, 12, 14, 19, 21, 24, 25 (two cases), 26 and 27 December 2014. On 19 December 2014, the repetitive RTLU problem was inserted to MR2. Repetitions of the problem were not classified as repetitive problem as the rectification by AFS test were resulted satisfactory and the problems were considered solved. Actually the rectification by AFS test did not completely solve the problem. ... The company did not clearly state the policy of recording defect handling captured by the CFDS system or printed PFR and mainly based on MR1. It resulted in the line maintenance personnel did not aware of similar problem and repeat similar maintenance action, and also the problem was not recorded as a repetitive problem. None of the issues reported was identified as meeting the repetitive defect definition which would have triggered maintenance actions under the CMM requirements."

Edited by CaptRonn
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What bullshit. Airbus has become a death trap coverup in concern to the rudder and tail.


Seems you forgot about the Boeing B737 rudder problems:


On March 3, 1991,United Airlines Flt 535, a 737-200, crashed in Colorado Springs, CO, killing 25 people.


On September 8, 1994,USAir Flt 427, a 737-300, crashed near Pittsburgh, PA, killing 132 people.


On June 6, 1992,COPA Flt 201, a 737-200 Advanced, flipped and crashed into the jungle, killing 47 people. Investigators believed that the airplane experienced a rudder malfunction.


On March 8, 1994, Sahara Airlines that had 3 trainee and one supervising pilots on board crashed after performing a touch and go landing at New Delhi Airport, and slammed into a Russian jet. The four pilots were killed, as were five ground workers. Although the repairs done to the PCU were not with authorized parts, the incident is still thought to be in part due to the plane's rudder reversing both right and left.


On April 11, 1994, Continental Airlines pilot Ray Miller reported his aircraft rolled violently to the right; it landed safely.


On June 9, 1996, Eastwinds Airline Flt 517 experienced two episodes of rudder reversal (which spontaneously resolved) while on approach to land. This incident occurred during the course of the investigation of Flight 427, and, as Flight 517 had landed safely, the NTSB, now being able to perform tests on a plane that had experienced similar problems to the accident aircraft, but had landed safely, discovered that the PCU's dual servo valve could jam and deflect the rudder in the opposite direction of the pilots' input, due to thermal shock caused when cold PCUs are injected with hot hydraulic fluid. As a result of this finding, the FAA ordered that the servo valves be replaced and new training protocol for pilots to handle unexpected movement of flight controls.


On February 23, 1999,Metrojet Flt 2710, a 737-200, experienced a slow deflection of the rudder to its blowdown limit while flying at 33,000 feet above Maryland.

Edited by CaptRonn
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