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

Date:         25 Aug 98 00:53:20 
Organization: Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
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kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) wrote:
> >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 remember seeing somewhere (Flight Int'l? AWST?) a transcript of the CVR
which did suggest that, at the very least, the pilots were quite complacent
about the possibility of obstructions to their flight path. Since I don't
subscribe to either of these quite expensive mags and read them in the
library, however, I cannot at this point check my recollection. Anyone?

> >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.

That's certainly correct. The pilot HAS consistently blamed the aircraft.
Whether he is correct in doing so is another matter. I can certainly imagine
that when you've suddenly realized that trees are in your path and pushed the
throttles to max power that it'll seem like forever as the engines spool up
and you begin climbing. That subjective perception, however, need not imply
any actual problem. It's certainly not a secret that jets take time to spool
up. That A320 was flying just off the ground, nose up, with neither potential
nor kinetic energy. That's asking for trouble.

Stefano Pagiola
All opinions are my own.
Visit Smiliner: The BAe 146/Avro RJ site at