Katastory: Miraculous escape. Air France 2005. Toronto
Tuesday. 2 2005 year in August. The airport of Paris 296 passengers climbed aboard an aircraft company "Air France". It was a flight 358, who flew to Toronto.
Passenger: My daughter and I were alone. She sat in front of us, next to the wing of the plane.
At the time, the passengers took their seats, the crew began to prepare Airbus A340 to fly. The commander was 57 years Alan Rosa. He worked in the company «Air France» already 20 years. His assistant was Frederick Nou. The pilots decided that Captain Rosa took off in Paris, and his assistant Nou land in Toronto. Pilots often partitioned between an obligation to assistants recruited more experience.
Airplane Airbus A340 was one of the safest in the world. A few minutes before noon, Flight 358 soared into the sky over Paris. Flight from Paris to Toronto takes about 8 hours. The plane was coming to Canada, and it seemed that nothing unusual is not likely to occur.
Passenger: service company was great, the food - excellent. On board were a lot of students from France.
All of the flight was perfect weather. The sun shone brightly, and the sky floated white clouds. The autopilot did most of the work of pilots. The crew regularly received new reports about the weather. The new forecast report possible heavy clouds and thunderstorms in Toronto.
After a few hours at the international airport in Toronto the whole raging storm. Leaders declared combat readiness. The probability of a lightning strike was so high that the ground staff were forbidden to work on airplanes. On the approach to the destination, flight 358 began circling over the airport. The plane is delayed.
Passenger: I was very surprised when I heard the announcement commander that delayed planting.
Spare Airport aircraft was in Ottawa, a distance of 300 kilometers. The tanks were still enough fuel to fly there.
Expert: Normally, the pilot has to think about the economic side of the flight to the alternate airport. But, nevertheless, the final decision is not him. Pilot only offers its own version. After all, if you change course, then how to deliver passengers to their original destination?
Flight to Ottawa could turn into a nightmare in terms of logistics. At the same time, the crew could not endlessly circling in the air and wait for better weather. After a half hour delay was canceled, and the plane began to descend to carry out landing. However, the weather has not improved. Ruthless summer storm was in full swing. Gusts of wind and lightning rumbled over the airport. This created difficulties for arriving aircraft. Including for the flight 358. The pilots continued to decline right into the storm cloud. Before landing remained a matter of minutes, and the second pilot Nou tried to keep everything under control. Around it grew darker. The passengers seemed to be hundreds of lightning flashed around. Therefore, they are quite nervous.
Before liner company «Air France» two other aircraft had sat on the same runway on which the planned flight 358. The crew was ordered to fly to the left lane 24. This allowed them to land in the wind. 24 band was also near to the largest artery of the city, which has already gathered the evening traffic jams. Solving problems with the unpredictable wind around the band, the crew was preparing to land.
Passenger: Last moments before landing were terrible. Turbulence was very high. You could feel the crew fought the plane, trying to hold it parallel to the runway. My kids are scared to death.
Passenger: I'm even more cemented his belt. Everyone was waiting for a very hard landing.
In 16: 02 358 airplane flight managed to sit up. But as soon as he leveled at the band, all hell broke loose. The plane began to wobble much up and down. A few seconds after landing at a speed of 146 km / h, the airliner went down the runway.
Passenger: In the window I saw the red light of the flame. My daughter, who was sitting in front of us with horror turned to us. At that moment I thought that we all die. It was obvious that no one can survive it.
Finally, breaking the chassis, the plane stopped. All the passengers were scared to death. However, this was not the end. The salon has started to penetrate the smell of jet fuel. Besides, in a burning aircraft engine. Panic spread quickly. Everyone wanted to quickly get out of the burning plane. Flight attendants opened the doors and began evacuating people. But already in full fire raged around. In the cockpit Captain Rosa heavily injured. It happened when his chair tipped over on the floor under the impact.
Passenger: I pushed his family down the emergency stairwell. We ran past the debris as quickly as possible.
Rescuers were able to reach the burning plane in a minute after the crash. However, because of the threat of explosion, it was dangerous to come close. Also, the situation is complicated heavy downpour. Something was very difficult to see.
Rescuer: The rain did not stop. Large plumes of smoke enveloped the plane. You could see that some of the aircraft fell off. Some wheels lying on the roadside.
When passengers up the hill, away from the plane, there was an explosion. Soon the entire fuselage was engulfed in flames. Came to the rescue and rescue services began to extinguish the fire. Also, doctors began to inspect passengers.
Lifeguard: People were wet from the rain and dirty because of the rise of the hill. Some were crying and were overexcited. Other looks around for other passengers.
Footage of the accident immediately started to show on local TV channels. Thousands of cars were on the road nearby, and drivers observed a terrible picture of the burning plane. Motorists began to pick up victims, to take them to the airport. Once people began to arrive, airport workers struggled to count if all the passengers were able to escape from the burning plane. Finally, after several hours, passengers were able to see relatives who met them.
Passenger: We saw the son, who met us. It's an incredible feeling. We were so happy! It was a very touching moment, penetrating to the heart.
To search for and identification of all the passengers took time. However, late in the evening, «Air France» made an incredible statement. Surprisingly, all the passengers and crew of flight 358 managed to escape from the burning wreckage.
The next day on the plane were burning smell and the charred wreckage. Airliner Airbus A340 burned. Management of transportation safety in Canada immediately launched an investigation into the accident. Rain and lightning is actually very disturbed landing. Only if bad weather was the cause of the crash? The company «Air France» banned all members of the crew on board the flight 358, to communicate with the media.
Expert: The weather is very prevented. Countless lightning literally blinding pilots. In turn, the turbulence is too distracting. Because it was difficult to read your instruments.
Investigators determined that the crew did their best to control the situation in his cabin. But on the ground instruments to determine the strength of the wind on the runway have been damaged by lightning. Having broken ground equipment, pilots could only rely on the instruments in the cockpit.
Expert: Onboard instruments give information only about the actual wind direction and speed of the ship. The crew could not predict anything. They did not know what awaited them in front.
But the two aircraft landed on the same runway just a few minutes before the flight 358. The crews of the aircraft reported to terrestrial services on complex planting conditions. They talked about the wind on the runway in 20 nodes. 20 components - a strong wind, but such conditions are consistent with the technical possibilities for landing Airbus A340. After reviewing the testimony airport radar, experts restored the picture. When the flight 358 to land, strong rain squall moved on the runway. The strength of the wind reached 33 nodes. It was found that the crew of the crashed plane had to deal with much worse conditions than they expected.
Expert: 33 node - is demonstrably maximum headwind for aircraft Airbus A340 even if the dry runway.
Having studied in detail the vicinity of the airport, the experts found another strange feature. Technical requirements and weather conditions forced to use a monitoring service flights landing strip 24. It was the shortest runway at the airport. It is shorter than the others almost 650 meters. As a result, heavy rain, wind, lightning, and the fact that landing on the short strip, provided the flight crew problems 358.
Investigator: It was clear that the pilots did not fully embrace the information. Not understanding how threatening the situation was, they tried to sit up.
But even in difficult conditions and on a short runway, the crew was 3000 meters for landing his plane. That should be enough. To understand why this happens, the experts went deep into the past. In 1999 year to horror a similar incident occurred in Little Rock Arkansas. Then, in the fight against unpredictable weather, the aircraft company "American Airlines"I landed, getting off the runway. 11 people died. One of the investigators involved in the investigation of the accident.
Investigator: The first thing I thought, "I've seen it." The very first information about the crash "Air France"Strongly reminiscent of an American airliner crash in Little Rock.
During the investigation in 1999, the investigators found that the crew made a fatal mistake. They have not fulfilled all the established rules of action. In the event that the ground spoilers were not released. This significantly reduced braking efficiency. Spoilers - is just one of the tools by which the pilots put the plane. Also used spare engines thrust. They redirect the action of the engine during landing, and then the brake system stops it. All aircraft landing systems have been studied carefully by experts. They soon learned that the brakes were functioning properly, and spoilers have been completely released. About any technical fault could not out of the question.
So far, the investigation lasted, the French press has released a sensation. Newspaper «Le Figaro» published an article on the accident flight 358. It said that the replacement engine thrust to help brake the aircraft does not turn on until the aircraft was on the runway during the 12 seconds.
Expert: Captain Rosa confirmed in the paper. He explained this by the fact that the second pilot was tense and could hardly control the lateral movement of the aircraft. With this wind and at a rate much pressed his hand on the controls. This did not allow the captain to reach them. So spare traction motors were not neglect.
After this, the investigators made their report. In many ways it was similar to the version contained in «Le Figaro». Management of transportation safety in Canada found that while the engines were thrust into the position of readiness, it has not been fully utilized. In fact, it took 17 seconds to make them work at full capacity.
Expert: The delay was the problem, said the report. It is difficult to understand why it happened. I just know that usually, pilots try to use the engines as soon as possible to stop the aircraft.
Examination revealed a convoluted and other facts. When the flight 358 approached the runway, the aircraft was at an altitude twice more than necessary. When he landed, that was in the middle of the strip. This is one reason why the pilots were unable to stop the aircraft. From the moment the plane touched the ground, he was only 1500 meters.
Investigator: If replacement traction motors were running on time, it would accelerate the braking. Another thing is that the plane landed in the middle of the strip, and braking was too late.
Unfortunately, the case of a flight is not a single 358. In 2005 year around the world was 37 such incidents. Most importantly, the reasons for the accident were all very similar. Every time the weather conditions and the state of runways played a role.
Expert: We must take into account everything that happens around. There are many factors that can reduce the effectiveness of the braking of the aircraft. In some cases, the braking distance can easily be increased to 50%.
Now, to increase security at many airports are installed special devices. They are built at the end of runways and represent a barrier of rubble that quickly and safely slows the aircraft.
In conclusion I would like to point out the efficiency of the crew Flight 358. Just 90 seconds they managed to evacuate all passengers. Only in this way all survived.
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