Accident: Flight 006. China Airlines. 1985 year.
February 19 1985 years. Plane «China Airlines» made flight over the Pacific Ocean in the direction of Los Angeles. At the height of 12000 meters, he raced to the destination. It was the first one in the morning and everyone was asleep. For aircraft, which was flying on autopilot, the crew watched on duty. Ho could not sleep Captain. Although his shift has not yet begun, he returned to the cabin. Some passengers did not sleep.
Passenger: I have had the longest day of birth. We drank champagne at altitudes 12000 meters.
Passenger: There was nothing unusual. It was everyday business flight.
The aircraft is already approaching the shores of California. After a five-hour break, the crew chief took his place in the cockpit. A few minutes after that Boeing 747 I got into a zone of turbulence. Its beginning to shake, so the captain asked the passengers to fasten the straps. Suddenly, the shaking began to bring more harm. The fourth engine slowed cravings. Onboard engineer began to accelerate it, but he did not react. A few minutes later the situation in the cabin is even worse. The fourth engine is completely stalled. For Captain Ho it was not a surprise. In the pre-flight briefing he had been warned that this engine is repaired before the flight. Therefore, the captain began to climb for three engines safe flight. However, it was impossible to climb. Just did not have enough traction. Realizing this, the crew contacted the control center in Oakland, and requested permission to fly at a lower altitude. While the crew was trying to start the engine, the plane began to slowly turn to the right because of the thrust imbalance. In order not to lose speed, the captain tried to tilt the nose of the plane down. But he could not. Boeing 747 increasingly turn to the right. The crew decided to switch to manual control. It did not help. The plane tilted even more, entered the cloud, and the pilots lost visual cues. After just a few minutes as the fourth refused engine, flight «China Airlines» lost speed and began to rock to fall down.
Passenger: People are bouncing like popcorn. From luggage compartment crashed. It was impossible to understand where the top and where the bottom. They could hear the crackling of the aircraft rivets.
006 Reis became completely unmanageable, and fell into the ocean. The crew was shocked by the strange behavior of the aircraft. The first, second and third motors also lost traction. But because of the fall, the aircraft's speed is only increased. The gravitational force was so great that the flight engineer going into the panel. Behind all this helplessly watched managers in Oakland. All their attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful. Ground staff only noticed a rapid decline in the height of the aircraft. Within seconds, the plane fell on 3000 meters. The forces of gravity simply wore down the crew.
Passenger: I closed my eyes. It seems as if the plane exploded in the air.
Finally pilot efforts were crowned with success, and a huge airliner gradually began to leave the peak. Because of this, the force of gravity shifts and people pinned to the floor, increasing their normal weight by five times. While the crew was fighting for control of the aircraft, he began to slow down. However, it is still falling. Onboard engineer desperately reaching for the ignition engines, but they did not respond. The plane went back into freefall.
Passenger: We seem to be on the ship with a broken control. We bore the cabin back and forth.
As soon as the plane in a spin sped to the ocean, its speed increases rapidly. The crew was busy and did not respond to the constant questions of dispatchers. Pressure from the dive start tearing chunks of skin and mechanical aircraft door. Less than a minute the plane fell on 6000 meters. Not seeing the horizon, Captain Ho did not know which way was up. The plane reached the speed of sound, but the pilots could not take him out of the corkscrew.
After uncontrolled fall into a thousand meters, the plane finally broke out of the clouds. The crew was 30 seconds before the plane is broken. At the height of 3000 meters, the first time in the fall, Captain Ho could use the horizon line to align the aircraft.
Passenger: The gravitational force was very large. We squeezed into the chair. My weight 91 kilos, so because of the gravity at the time I weighed almost a kilo 550.
It was a race against time, and the airplane started to win it. When the plane began to level off, the indicators relationship began to work normally. But more importantly, it earned three engines. The pilots tried to start the fourth engine, and this time he has earned in the normal mode. For the first few minutes the aircraft was controllable.
Expert: Pilots rescued the plane. They pulled him out of this acrobatic maneuver at an altitude of 3000 meters. It is a masterpiece of piloting.
Inside, passengers began to render first aid. Many of them were wounded and covered with blood. At this time the manager finally contacted the flight 006 and took it under control. Less than 10 minutes after the problems began everything was in order. The control of air transport pilots have to climb to a height of 9500 meters, but there are new problems. Chassis jammed in the extended position. Out of all the hydraulic fluid is drained, and the pilots were unable to raise them. Therefore they declared a state of emergency and asked for a direct route to San Francisco.
Manager: We have removed all the other planes out of the way. They did not have to wait for anyone. Flight 006 went straight to the gate.
Captain Ho was not only wounded on board. The aircraft was severely damaged. Devices in the tail of the aircraft, which were responsible for the flight altitude is not working. Without them, land the plane was very difficult.
Expert: The problem is that this is a very big plane, and he responds very slowly. Pilots had to keep cool.
To land the captain changed the engine power. The crew had no margin for error. A few minutes later, the plane touched the runway and stopped.
Passenger: It was a perfect landing! I thought that the pilot a hero. He saved our lives.
On the ground, you could see the extent of damage. From the tail of the plane pieces were broken, as if a tornado walked on it. They are torn or pressure at a dive, or when the door came off arrangements for a touchdown. It was a sobering sight. It became clear why the crew was so hard to land the plane. If the damage was slightly more than the pilots could not regain control of the aircraft. In 20 people had minor injuries. Only one needed hospitalization, but he was able to recover soon. Disaster was avoided. But what was the problem?
National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSB) launched an investigation on the same day. Voice recorder from the cockpit was removed and sent to Washington. But his self-recording device provided for every half hour. Therefore, listen to the recording at the time of the crash was not possible.
Investigator: We did our best, placing the material that was available to us.
Technical action during flight fixed device that records all of the data. But investigators are faced with a problem. The recorder has been subjected to unprecedented pressure during the dive. Also, disruptions in electricity led to Blank record. The rest of the information from the "black boxes" start retrieved painstaking manner. This is the beginning of the investigation very discouraging.
The pilots reported that before the fall of the plane was flying in turbulence. Could this cause damage to the engine of the fourth and subsequent dive? Weather maps showed that the turbulent air flows really were. But they were not strong enough to bring the engine failure. All engines were removed and subjected to stringent testing. Even after the terrible dive they were in working order. Over time, the investigators found that at a height of four meters 12000 engine performance is poor. The logbook also noted that with this engine problem occurred earlier. NTSB delved into the history of engine maintenance. A week later, the commission concluded that the engine does not need to be replaced. All repair work was carried out according to the instructions. The damaged engine was not the cause of the accident.
Expert: For aircraft with four engines lost thrust one of them is not dangerous. The aircraft is easily aligned, and it can fly farther.
Experts have noticed errors in the actions of the pilots. Is there a standard action in the event of failure of one engine. The crew did not follow them. They immediately tried to restart the engine, rather than decrease. The engine can be restarted only at the height of 9000 meters. Captain Ho did it on 12000 meters. At the same time, such an error could lead to an uncontrolled dive.
To find out, investigators began to question the pilots. Crew told: their AIN (device indicating the horizon) is out of order. The device is so implausible values showed that the pilots thought about his problem. But in fact, when the direction indicators were studied, it was found that they were in excellent condition. Investigators were even more puzzled when the crew said the three serviceable engine refused to start after the fall. In turn, these "black boxes," said the engines, with the exception of the fourth, worked properly. If the engine is actually refused, it would involve a lot of other problems. For example cockpit and cabin depressurization. However, this did not happen.
As a result, investigators were a lot of inconsistencies. Readings and pilots were different. Only months later, experts have begun to understand what has happened over the Pacific Ocean. They concluded that with the exception of a small valve in the fourth engine plane was in perfect order. This crew made a series of fatal errors which almost led to disaster.
Firstly, the flight engineer when you restart the motor air valve is left open. To the faulty engine starts, he had to shut it. As a result, the engine, which is already slow to start, do not earned.
Secondly, to prevent roll, the captain to be pressed on the wheel side. This would offset the imbalance thrust. Instead, the pilots continued to the plane on autopilot. Himself autopilot could not overcome this imbalance. Without the help of the wheel plane spins more and more.
Expert: It seems that the pilot forgot that the autopilot can not use the wheel. They believed that the autopilot controls the aircraft as well as people.
As it turned out, after the engine failure, Captain Ho has not disabled the autopilot and flew the plane. The crew focused on the problem with the engine and forget about management. This has led to disastrous consequences. Airplane more roll and was on the verge to go into a nosedive.
Investigators from the NTSB believed that Captain concentrated on display flight speed, but forgot about the position indicator. At that time he had already warned that the plane fills up on one side. Also during the fall pilots should trust his instruments. They did not see the horizon, but the devices are functioning properly.
When the plane was falling, it was made another critical mistake. In a panic, the fall flight engineer saw that all the engines lost thrust. However, he noticed that the captain himself did, to reduce the rate of fall.
Judge: If a flight engineer had not seen the captain reduced power, it is possible to understand why he was confused. He concluded that the reduction in power - a failure, rather than a deliberate act of the captain.
In a stressful situation, the crew restarted
running engines, thereby
denying the thrust plane.
After months of painstaking investigations, the investigators understand what happened aboard Flight 006. However, they did not understand why it happened. They were reviewed medical charts of the crew. But nothing was found. Aircraft operated trained, highly skilled crew. Why they made so many mistakes?
Expert: the first time the daily biorhythms were considered as a possible explanation of why a qualified crew did not notice such obvious things. In fact, the aircraft rolled over on his back until the pilot decides a problem with the engine stalled.
Although before the flight captain Ho rested 15 hours, the investigators looked at his schedule to that fateful night. During the six flights in six days, Captain Ho 18 crossed time zones! He was exhausted. This greatly affected the behavior of the captain. Because fatigue is not disconnected the autopilot for too long and made a rollover airliner.
After this incident, the principles of the autopilot was re-examined and made the appropriate adjustments in the instruction of pilots. And no matter what mistakes are not made the flight crew 006, they succeeded in his last job. They saved the plane and passengers!
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