Accident report Air France A330 flight 358 YYZ ( 2005 ) landing during thunderstorm

wwillson

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I'm impressed with the thoroughness of the report.

Would it be fair to say that in this case the auto throttles contributed to the accident?

I think it's a major oversight for an airline to not require landing distance calculations when their is lowered braking effectiveness. How could this happen?

The human factor also contributed to this accident. Landing into a known thunderstorm and not going around when the approach and landing are clearly not going well. At what point in the approach/landing can you no longer go around?
 

Astro14

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From the report, "aircraft touched down about 3800 feet down the runway, reverse thrust was selected about 12.8 seconds after landing, and full reverse was selected 16.4 seconds after touchdown."

That is pilot error. Landed long. Slow to select reverse. Hard to stop when you land with almost half of the runway behind you.
 

Astro14

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I'm impressed with the thoroughness of the report.

Would it be fair to say that in this case the auto throttles contributed to the accident?

I think it's a major oversight for an airline to not require landing distance calculations when their is lowered braking effectiveness. How could this happen?

The human factor also contributed to this accident. Landing into a known thunderstorm and not going around when the approach and landing are clearly not going well. At what point in the approach/landing can you no longer go around?
Once reverse is selected, you can no longer go around. But if you're in the flare, and the landing is going to be outside the touchdown zone, you are not only able to go around, but you are required to go around.
 

lurker

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I'm impressed with the thoroughness of the report.

Would it be fair to say that in this case the auto throttles contributed to the accident?

I think it's a major oversight for an airline to not require landing distance calculations when their is lowered braking effectiveness. How could this happen?

The human factor also contributed to this accident. Landing into a known thunderstorm and not going around when the approach and landing are clearly not going well. At what point in the approach/landing can you no longer go around?
Airbus recommends not disconnecting the auto thrust below 1000 ( to get a good feel ) and says most times the auto thrust is more accurate than pilots , particularly if windy.

I would NEVER take the auto thrust off in weather conditions like that and I don’t know why the Captain let the FO do it ( if it was even briefed prior ).

Keeping the autopilot on until the lowest height ( 80 feet when no auto land on the Airbus ) would have made life a lot easier.

They made the correct call to select medium ( highest setting for landing ) auto brake after they heard the plane ahead reported “ poor braking “ until 60 knots ( thats as bad as it gets ) but they never thought it might be a good idea to find out how much runway they actually need to land under poor braking.

This accident , along with a few Southwest runway excursions ( not picking on them, just pointing out ) , pressured ( FAA, Transport Canada , etc ) airlines to change ( stabilized approaches, calculate every landing distance , add a 15% safety margin, etc ).
 

lurker

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That makes sense. Does the TOGA retract the speed brakes automatically?

These pilots could have and should have gone around.
Yes. But when you bring the thrust levers out of TOGA back to climb, the speed brakes will deploy again.
 

lurker

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Reverse thrust does NOT make a big difference on the Airbus , even if wet ( less than 3 mm ). It makes huge difference when standing water ( more than 0.13 inches to 1/2 inch max ) or moderate to heavy rain.
 

wwillson

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When does auto thrust disconnect on landing?

I was impressed in the 767 SIM how much work load reduction the automation, including auto thrust removes from the pilot flying. It was my first experience with a real autopilot and I like it!
 

wwillson

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Yes. But when you bring the thrust levers out of TOGA back to climb, the speed brakes will deploy again.
They will deploy when you reduce thrust to climb, unless you disarm them? That seems counter intuitive. Why would it be this way?
 

lurker

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When does auto thrust disconnect on landing?

I was impressed in the 767 SIM how much work load reduction the automation, including auto thrust removes from the pilot flying. It was my first experience with a real autopilot and I like it!
On the Airbus you keep it on the whole way down to landing.

It will control airspeed until you retard both thrust levers to idle during the flare and speed control no longer matters.

If you do a low energy go around ( aka below 50 feet or in the flare/floating, thrust at idle, speed decaying,) , you would have to reengage the auto thrust.
 

lurker

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They will deploy when you reduce thrust to climb, unless you disarm them? That seems counter intuitive. Why would it be this way?
It’s not a perfect design and Airbus was mainly concerned about ( 757 accident South America ) pilots reacting to a GPWS “ terrain, terrain pull up, pull up” warning.

Pilots often descend with the speed brakes out ( like the crew of that B757 that hit the mountain ) and might forget to stow/retract them when getting startled by a GPWS warning.

Part of the GPWS memory procedure is to ensure they are retracted after selecting TOGA during a GPWS warning.

If you forget to stow them when power is well above idle , amber “ speed brakes” light Flashes.

As a rule, I never take my hand off the speed brake lever until I no longer need them and are stowed.

One bad habit I see is pilots using them but not keeping their hand on them until stowed.

A B757 hit the tail in YYZ after deploying them following a tight visual approach which would not have been possible without them. They forgot to stow them and landed with a very high attitude.
 
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wwillson

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I would NEVER take the auto thrust off in weather conditions like that and I don’t know why the Captain let the FO do it ( if it was even briefed prior ).
Are you required to completely hand fly the airplane in the SIM? Or, are you allowed to use the automation like you would in the real world?
 

lurker

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So why not just do an auto land when the weather is bad like with Air France 358 to make life easier?

well, not sure what AF procedures say but we are not allowed to do an auto land unless the ILS serves at Cat 2 or 3 runway even if not flying a Cat 2 or 3 approach.

24L is only a Cat 1 runway.

AF should have at least requested the longest parallel runway ( far out ) in the event of heavy rain in the area causing poor braking.
 

lurker

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Are you required to completely hand fly the airplane in the SIM? Or, are you allowed to use the automation like you would in the real world?
We can manually fly but its not encouraged ( in the sim , emergencies ).

All Cat 2/3 approaches are flown with the AP on and use Autoland ( can manual land cat 2 but not preferred ).
 
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Astro14

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We were required to hand fly the A-320 in training, including one approach using power, rudders and the trim wheel only. No stick inputs at all.

The Airbus auto flight system is good.

Boeing requires an autoland below Cat I minimums. Our Airbus operating manual requires auto land below Cat I weather.

But in a thunderstorm, I wouldn’t be doing an autoland.

The auto land wind limits might be exceeded and the gusts are unpredictable. I would use the automation as much as possible, but this kind of stormy night is best handled by an experienced pilot.
 
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lurker

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NTSB accident report “ During the flare, the aircraft travelled through an area of heavy rain, and visual contact with the runway environment was significantly reduced. There were numerous lightning strikes occurring, particularly at the far end of the runway”.

A320 Auto Land limits are ( need to see at least Cat 2 on cockpit FMA ) certified for wet runways with max winds of 30 HW and 20 CW.

If the winds exceed that , manual landing only.

As a rule , I would most definitely agree to always land manually in any dynamic weather like AF 358 faced to avoid a situation where the AP limits are exceeded.

Auto lands are really meant for low visibility situations like fog, not landings in thunderstorms,

My comments about auto land have more to do with ( benefit of hindsight ) that particular flight given the winds never exceeded the limits ( plane has wind display in cockpit even though tower wasn’t able to provide winds due to lightening hitting the tower wind system ) and it being obvious ( yes, they did a GA briefing but they had their minds set on landing due to the storm being on missed Approach as well ...they never asked for amended missed approach instructions I notice ) they were not going to do a GA.

The biggest problem they faced ( along with not calculating the poor braking landing distance, not applying reverse ASAP, taking the auto thrust off , taking the AP too early ) was flaring ( plus now with a slight TW ) while encountering heavy rain and being unable to see the runway well enough to land.

Had they done an auto land , it’s highly unlikely they would have gone off the end of the runway, even being late with reverse thrust. Winds never exceeded the AP limits.

Yes, I am sitting in my chair at home with the luxury of hindsight ( and my wife looking at me not getting chores done lol ) but it seemed apparent to me they were never going to do a GA and it’s a very real risk to expect heavy downpours in the final stages of landing in a thunderstorm ( Flare even ) making it very hard to see enough visually to land without risking using up too much runway flaring high.

The accident report indicated the aircraft radar showed lightening ( aka severe turb ) near the end of the runway.

No alternative missed approach instructions and lightening on the missed approach, they were committed to landing.

Forgot …..Auto land uses more runway but it would have prevented them flaring high and touching down 3800 feet down the runway.

Just saying what I would have done in their situation considering they were going to do the Approach and land ( which they should not have done ) anyways.
 
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I'm impressed with the thoroughness of the report.

Would it be fair to say that in this case the auto throttles contributed to the accident?

I think it's a major oversight for an airline to not require landing distance calculations when their is lowered braking effectiveness. How could this happen?

The human factor also contributed to this accident. Landing into a known thunderstorm and not going around when the approach and landing are clearly not going well. At what point in the approach/landing can you no longer go around?
There is a chart that pilots are supposed to use when rain is accumulating on the runway. It's to show how much further the stopping distance is needed.
 

lurker

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There is a chart that pilots are supposed to use when rain is accumulating on the runway. It's to show how much further the stopping distance is needed.
When dealing with rain only ( if it’s winter, snow, we enter the actual runway contamination e.g 30% wet snow etc ) , we either enter code 5 ( wet ….no more than 3 mm depth ) or code 2 ( more than 3mm to a max of 1/2 inch ).

we enter these codes into the ACARS computer and it tells us how much runway we need ( also put in weight, temp , brake setting , how much reverse plan on using, flap setting ).

Thats how we do it on the Airbus at my airline.

Airbus rule of thumb …..landing weight divided by two plus 1500 = how many feet need to land ( A320 ). Add an extra 15% for safety. Medium AB distance.

if wet , add 600 feet.

if heavy rain , add 2500.

e.g LW 60,000 kilograms. Need 4500 feet plus add 15% = 5175 ( medium auto brake distance )
 
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