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

Date:         25 Aug 98 00:53:21 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>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

True enough, but Asseline also claims that the elevators did exactly
the opposite of what he requested, and an analysis by a former British
accident investigator lends some credence to those claims.  There's an
interview with Bernard Ziegler (Airbus EVP) in the Equinox episode
in which Ziegler essentially argues that up is down and vice versa,
until irrefutably proven wrong.  Ziegler is single-handedly enough to
give any company a bad name, IMO.

With regard to the engines, there's the pair of "booms" heard by many
shortly before the crash.  I believe the DGAC report attributed these
to impact with the trees, but both the timing and the sounds were wrong.
There was speculation that they were compressor stalls -- the versions
of the CFM56 used on the A320 were having some problems at that time,
corresponding to conditions not unlike those just prior to the crash.
Jets do take time to spool up, but they take even longer if a couple of
stalls occur in the process.

Karl Swartz	|Home
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