Re: FYI, B757 crash at Bermuda.

From:         "Rudi Vavra" <>
Organization: Goodfox Pty. Ltd.
Date:         22 Jul 96 01:53:11 
References:   1 2 3 4 5
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John N. Cothran wrote:

> As an engineer in the flight simulation industry with over 15 years
> designing the math models used for flight training simulators for
> several aircraft, including both the B757 and B767, I concur that
> the aircraft's response in a stall would most likely be as you
> mentioned.  The major problem in this incident seems to me to be the
> inability of the pilots to make the correct choice based on the
> information available to them at the time, and, let's face it, we
> may never know exactly what that was.  As a pilot myself, I think
> this incident serves best as a reminder of what can happen when we
> as pilots forget to observe EVERY piece of data available to us, not
> the least of which is the "seat of the pants" data we get simply by
> having our asses strapped to the hardware.

Yes, but the "seat of the pants" data can be misleading in IMC, and
most (if not all) pilots are taught to trust their instruments before
their other senses. Spatial disorientation occurs much more
frequently than instrument failure. True, the pilots should identify
the failed instrument and act accordingly, but it (obviously) isn't
as easy as it sounds.

> Let us not forget that
> even the best of modern avionics and flight management systems
> available to us today are not and never will be a substitute for
> plain old smarts.

Again, as far as I understand, they were flying at night in IMC.
Plain old "smarts" obviously weren't enough. Otherwise they'd still
be with us. The repeat occurrence of this type of accident (although
rare in the airline industry) is proof of the fact that our "senses"
are not good enough to deal with this kind of situation EVERY time.
Only good (and frequent) training on how to recognise and react to
instrument failure in a REAL emergency will improve the pilots'
chances to react correctly in such emergencies. Most accidents show
that the crew react EXACTLY as trained in an emergency. The
investigation will probably show why their reaction was
inappropriate in this case, and recommend some changes in training.


Rudi Vavra <>
(Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines)
<<The beatings will continue until morale improves.>>