Re: A310 crash - details wanted

Date:         28 Aug 97 15:40:36 
From:         "Gerard van Es" <vanes@nlr.nl>
Organization: The National Aerospace Laboratory NLR
References:   1
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igloo <iceboy@arcticmail.com> wrote in article
<airliners.1997.1903@ohare.Chicago.COM>...
> Finding it difficult to locate substantive details on the loss of an
> A310-304 hull belonging to Russian International Airways, all
> I can locate is the following:
>
> 22 March 1994; Russian International Airways A310; near Novokuznetsk,
> Russia: Lost control and crashed after the captain had allowed at
> least one child to manipulate the flight controls. All 12 crew and 63
> passengers were killed

>From our airsafety databases I obtained the following:

Contact was lost with the aircraft while it was enroute from Moscow to Hong
Kong and it was later found to have crashed in a remote area of Kemeroskoi.
The accident happened in darkness (0130 local) about four hours after
take-off. There was no distress call. Prior to the accident the aircraft
had been in cruising flight at  10,100m with the autopilot engaged. The
last radio contact a few minutes before the crash, had been a routine
position report with no indications of any difficulties. The departure from
controlled flight apparently began when the aircraft entered a right bank
with a 2.5deg. per second rate of roll. This rate of roll continued for 25
sec.,  at least initially, without being noticed by the crew. As the angle
of bank exceeded 60deg., engine thrust began to increase, commanded by the
auto throttle in an attempt by the autopilot to maintain the aircraft's
assigned altitude. The bank continued, eventually reaching almost 90deg.
During attempts to recover control of the aircraft it pitched up steeply
experiencing high accelerations, up to +4.8g. The aircraft stalled and
entered a spin.  As the aircraft approached the Novokuznetsk reporting
point, the captain's daughter entered the cockpit.  A few minutes  later
the captain vacated the left hand flight crew seat, and allowed his
daughter to take his place.  He then briefly demonstrated some of the
features of the autopilot, using the HDG/S and NAV submodes to alter the
aircraft's heading, first to the left and then back to the right onto the
correct heading.  These manoeuvres were carried out without any noticeable
force being applied to the control wheel.  Shortly after this the captain's
son took his sisters place in the left seat.  It would appear that the
captain then intended to demonstrate the same manoeuvre but at this point
his son asked if he could turn the control wheel.  His father gave
permission and his son then turned the wheel slightly, applying a force of
between 8 and 10kg., and held it in that position for a few seconds, before
returning the wheel to the approximate neutral position again.  The captain
then repeated the demonstration he had given his daughter, ending by using
the autopilot's NAV submode to bring the aircraft back  on course.
Unfortunately, as the autopilot attempted to level the aircraft on its
programmed heading it came into conflict with inputs from the control wheel
which was 'blocked' in a neutral position.  The forces acting on the
control wheels gradually increased over a period of about 10 sec., reaching
a maximum of about 12 to  13kg.  At that point the torque limiter activated
and disconnected the autopilot servo from the aileron control linkage
although the autopilot remained engaged.  This was not noticed by the crew.
 After the autopilot servo  was disconnected, the right bank gradually
increased, reaching 45 deg. after 21sec.  At this point the autopilot was
no longer able to maintain altitude and the aircraft began to descend.
After a further 3 sec., with the aircraft now in more than a 50 deg. bank,
buffeting began.  The buffeting immediately alerted the captain to the
problem and he directed the co-pilot to 'hold the control wheel'.  However,
as the right flight crew seat was apparently in its fully back position, it
took the co-pilot 2 to 3 sec. to reach forward to the wheel and move it.
The co-pilot then attempted  to recover the situation but, apparently due
to the extreme attitude the aircraft had reached, the lack of external
reference, possible spatial disorientation and the fact that there was a
delay in disconnecting the autopilot and auto throttle, he and the captain
who had now managed to regain his seat were not successful and the aircraft
impacted the ground 2 min and 6 sec. later.

GW