Habsheim accident (was: Re: Airbus Safer?)

Date:         23 Aug 98 14:33:45 
From:         Frank Muenker <frank@living-source.com.nospam>
Organization: Nacamar Group Plc.
References:   1 2 3 4
Followups:    1 2
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tlm@delphi.com schrieb in Nachricht ...
>Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.COM> writes:
>>>Or the airshow crash of an A-320 whose computers would not allow the
>>>pilot to perfofm a go-around because the airplane was in landing
>>That would be the Habsheim crash on June 26, 1988, but there has never
>>been any clear evidence of the crash being the result of anything other
>>than the pilots putting the plane into a predicament they couldn't get
>>it out of.  There are, however, a lot of inconsistencies between what
>>the DGAC report on this crash says and various witness accounts and
>>third-party analyses.  Still, there's not sufficient basis for your
>There was an article in AW&ST a few months ago discussing the possibility
>that the inflight data recorder was switched after the crash. This
>conclusion was reached based on the pattern of strips on the casings of
>the recorder that was supposed to be in place, and the one actually found
>(or planted).

there are basically 2 things to mention about this accident:
1. It was the probably most stupid and most careless thing somebody ever
did in the history of aviation.
2. When a brand new aircraft crashes during an air show, it's the probably
worst thing that can happen to an aircraft manufacturer. Therefore they
tried everything to blame the pilots and take the fault away from the

What they did was to fly an A320 over a field in front of the spectators at
about 30ft altitude with minimum speed, minimum thrust and nose way up. The
situation where you are very close to a stall. The computer was flying and
everything was just fine, BUT: What the pilot forgot was to check the
terrain on the map. There were 60 ft trees ahead and since they were flying
nose up he didn't see them on time. And when he saw the trees he performed a
go-around but it was too late and they crashed into the trees. Hard to
believe but true.
The other unbelievable thing was that they took passengers (!!!) on this
trip. They made a tombola and the *winners* got a ride on this flight. What
a test pilot does is one thing but taking passengers on a flight where you
intentionally go to the limits of an aircraft is something completely

For point 2: The Airbus executives denied at any time that they told the
pilot to perform this stunt, while the pilot said they did.
But at the end they sacrificed the pilot who eventually went into jail. I
don't doubt that they removed the flight recorder, just in case. But the
pilot always said the aircraft was fine and that it was just too late for
the go-around. And he really didn't have any reason to *protect* airbus
after everything that happened.