Re: External inspection

Date:         17 Jan 99 02:37:38 
From:         andyweir <>
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>     Considering this happened in the middle of the night during a
>departure out towards the sea, the crew did a pretty good job. They flew
>the airplane for a considerable time and were on their way back to the
>airport when they fell into the trap of believing the altitude the air
>traffic controller gave them. Of course this was just the altitude as
>reported by their transponder, which was also affected by the erroneous
>static pressure.

Absolutely. But read the CVR transcript for tragedy that affects us all.
You can see them gradually deducing what is wrong, realising that they have
no airspeed, altimeter, etc, etc. that they need help, that this and that
need to be done. But what makes that crash truly scary was that despite all
that, despite knowing the data and instruments were all up the Swanee, they
persistently kept trying to use the autopilot.

Everyone has safely put the cause down to the taping over the static ports
and one of the men responsible was convicted of negligent homicide. Fair
enough, but there were 27 minutes between declaring the emergency and the
impact with the water. I don't know enough to blame the pilots or not for
not knowing what data was supplied by the air data computer and what was
not, but if pilots are so conditioned to use the autopilot they cannot
abandon it and fly manually even in a screaming emergency, then we could
all be in big trouble.