Re: Habsheim accident (was: Re: Airbus Safer?)

Date:         23 Aug 98 14:33:46 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>1. It was the probably most stupid and most careless thing somebody ever
>did in the history of aviation.

A lot of stupid and careless things have been done.  The Aeroflot
captain with his kids at the controls comes to mind.  I'm not sure
I'd give "top" honors to Habsheim, though it was pretty boneheaded.

>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.

I seriously doubt you can produce any evidence to substantiate this
theory.  The pilots waited too long to pull up, but to blame it on their
ignorance of the terrain is neither credible nor consistent with any of
the reports on the accident which I've encountered.

>I don't doubt that they removed the flight recorder, just in case.

Since the flight recorders contain critical information and they cannot
be decoded in the field, removing them is an obvious and standard move.
Substituting others for the ones which were in the crash is a decidedly
non-standard action.

>But the pilot always said the aircraft was fine and that it was just
>too late for the go-around.

Completely untrue.  Quite the contrary, the captain has consistently
said that the aircraft did *not* respond in accordance with his control
inputs.

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Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
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"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." - Andrew A. Rooney