Re: FYI, B757 crash at Bermuda.

From: (Larry Stone)
Organization: InterServe Communications, Inc.
Date:         27 Jun 96 12:42:08 
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1996.1052@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
(Ahmet M. Cakmakci) wrote:

>FYI, following is a press release from the Turkish Embassy in Washington

Right. It's from the Turkish Embassy, not the NTSB.

>Personally, I feel strongly that Birgenair should sue the German Goverment
>for the premature early negative press exposure.

Not so fast. See below.

>Washington, D.C., June 20, 1996 -- The U.S. National Transportation Safety
>Board has determined that the crash of Birgenair 757-200 after takeoff from
>the International Airport in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on February 6,
>1996, killing all 189 passengers and flightcrew, was the result of a
>mechanical deficiency. The Safety Board's findings run counter to the hasty
>conjectures first alleging that the inexperience of the Turkish airline's
>pilots contributed to the tragic accident.
>Information recovered from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data
>recorder indicates that the pitot static system aboard the accident flight,
>which is responsible for calculating airspeed, transmitted an erroneous
>airspeed indication. It is evident that the discrepancy in airspeed led to
>much of the confusion in the cockpit that preceded the accident.

I have not seen anything the NTSB has said but based on what I've heard
and know about flying as a light plane pilot, this press release sure
sounds like someone is trying to put some serious spin on this story.

Frankly, just because the airspeed indicator failed in some fashion does
not automatically exonerate the  crew. Identification of failed
instruments is a part of basic instrument training. Instruments will fail.
But instrument failure doesn't mean you just automatically crash - not if
the crew is doing its job. And flying, particularly in cruise, without a
working airspeed indicator is not difficult. If the power is right and the
plane is flying straight and level, then you know approximately what the
airspeed is.

I will be curious to see what the NTSB says in their final report but I
will be very surprised, given what appears to be known, if pilot failure
to identify the failed instrument and take appropriate action is not
listed as a major cause.

-- Larry Stone ---
   Belmont, CA, USA
   My opinions, not United's.