Air Crash Investigation online. Little Rock. 1999 of
In spite of the latest planes and the excellent training of pilots, from airlines and their personnel is always a lot of problems. Tough competition forces them to work quickly and efficiently. Just this fact played a significant role in the tragedy of Flight 1420. For large companies, such as "American Airlines"Difficulty is even adherence to flight schedules. Their planes fly around the world, and on compliance with the flight schedule depends on the efficiency of the company. In this series, "the investigation of accidents online" deal proihodit in Little Rock.
Expert: The last time the competition is incredibly high. And all the dispatchers, pilots, the entire infrastructure of the last forces trying to earn a buck.
In addition to not compromised the already fragile schedule, accompanied by all forces. But another factor, no airline can not foresee. This weather. In the US southern states storm happen very often. They are not only the reason for the delay, but also a huge threat to passenger flights.
June 1 1999 years. Departure of the flight 1420 «American Airlines» delayed. Because of this, the pilots began to worry even before takeoff. The plane rigid schedule, and the co-pilot told the controller that they can break it. Alternatively, the plane will take off for an hour or have to cancel the flight. Also, pilots have reported worsening weather conditions in their destination.
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Expert: transferred to the airport a detailed weather forecast and storm warnings Before leaving Dallas weather service. Manager and captain watched reports and decided that they will have time to land the plane in Little Rock before there was a storm.
139 passengers would very much like home. But it soon became clear that the flight will fly 1420 race with the storm. Passengers were called in to land and asked them to rushed. With a delay of almost two hours the plane flew from Dallas. However, the pilots did not know that the storm had already walked to Little Rock. The co-pilot Michael Origeyl was a rookie. He has just recently finished training. Captain Buschmann, on the other hand, was a very experienced pilot.
As the plane approached the Little Rock airport, the pilots were calm. Airborne radar scanned the sky plot directly in front of the aircraft. They saw that the front and slightly to the left of the course of the aircraft - a large storm cloud. Pilots understand that you need to quickly rush this place.
Expert: Manager gave pilots the latest information. He said that between the two gap thunderclouds, and the plane could have time to slip through the clouds until two thunderstorms are not closed.
The plane began to descend into the lumen. His pilots did not understand that they should not compete with the storm in speed. Storm clouds have begun to link up. When the pilots contacted the manager in Little Rock, he told them about the bad weather. The aircraft will still continued to decline. Wind gusts reached 23 m / s - enough to rip shingles to roof. Wind represents a major threat to the plane and the pilots had to quickly decide it is safe to sit.
According to their calculations, the strength and direction of the wind allowed them to sit down. However, the manager told them about another problem - the wind shifts. This sudden change of wind on a small area of the sky. To cope with the changeable wind, pilots needed more time. They decided to go to the landing strip on the other side and sits against the wind. This is a prudent decision. But what would make such a setting, the pilots were forced to circle over the airport. In this they spent precious minutes 10. The situation was aggravated the fact that the radar located in the nose of the aircraft. This means that he does not see the storm clouds when the plane takes place on them. At that time, the storm intensified over the airport. Tension grew in the cockpit. The crew tried to make out the airport. They had to abandon the visual approach, and they have requested assistance in Little Rock for landing blind. This delayed them further. Around shining lightning and pouring rain.
Passenger: The plane was shaking so that I thought he would collapse in the air. I was sitting on pins and needles.
The plane started again approaches. Meanwhile, the visibility has fallen far below the minimum: only 480 m. By reducing just before the strip, the plane tossed from side to side. When planting, he had hit on the strip. At a speed of more than 160 km / h the plane reached the end of the runway, struck eight-meter embankment and brought down a steel bridge. His severed into several parts. Finally, he settled on the debris muddy banks of the river. Passengers tried to quickly leave the plane until it was in flames.
Passenger: I had a fractured shoulder blade, a dislocated shoulder, cracked ribs and so on. But I do not feel anything. It was only the desire to get out of there. I was not going there to die.
However, not everyone was able to survive. The crash killed passenger 10. Captain Bushman also perished when the cockpit crashed into a steel bridge.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was immediately informed about the incident. The following 18 months they explored the reasons that led to the tragedy.
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Expert: At first, we were just about what happened. We knew that the plane went off the runway and the pilots were not able to stop him. We were told that the plane broke when crashed into a steel bridge. However, we do not know the cause of the tragedy.
The first thing that interested the investigators why the pilots were unable to stop the aircraft? Analysis of the tracks on the runway showed that the pilots lost control once touched the ground. The aircraft did not go straight. He was thrown over the entire band. Thus, the large aircraft, which weighed more than 60 tons swept over the landing strip spontaneously. Investigators interviewed the surviving passengers, who provided very important information.
Investigator: We are particularly interested in the testimony of passengers, who sat next to the wings. They could look out and see Is brake spoilers graduated.
Spoilers - a large flaps which provide decreased lift of the wing. This is necessary to reduce the path length for the band. None of the passengers did not see that they were issued. By checking these data, the investigators turned to flight recorders. They confirmed that the spoilers really not released. Because of this, and there was a tragedy. No spoilers in the aircraft had no chance to stay within a band.
To find out why they are not released, investigators listened to voice recorders of the aircraft. They did not have noted that their pilots engaged. The pilots had not touched the handle is released spoilers. They made a fatal mistake.
Also, investigators wanted to know what role the crash played weather. Fully aware of the danger of whether the pilots.
Investigator: On this flight there were restrictions imposed by the company. They forbade sits on a wet runway crosswind greater 5 m / s.
Restrictions on cross-wind clearly been specified in the instructions. Pilots 1420 flight to land the plane in violation of all manuals. Approaching Little Rock, they could observe the storm, not only on the radar. Lightning, pouring rain and hail. At that time, experienced captain, the incident 10000 hours, had to turn to another airport or come back to Dallas. Fly blindly into the center of the storm was a suicide.
But not only the pilots deserved criticism. During the investigation, the whole policy of the company «American Airlines» was under attack. Scandal at the level of the entire airline industry. After months of investigation, investigators are increasingly ignorant of the circumstances of the tragedy. Who was to blame? The company «American Airlines» refused to recognize that their pilots deliberately decided to land in a violent storm. They prefer to blame the manager of Little Rock. It began a legal case. Lawyers «American Airlines» claimed that the flight crew 1420 not received all the weather reports. However, investigators from the NTSB was not convinced.
Investigator: It is unlikely that the pilots of the aircraft is not fully understood how dangerous the storm.
8 months later in Little Rock held a public hearing on the case of the crash of board 1420. The co-pilot testified. He said that in the last minutes of the flight the captain offered to abandon the landing and fly to another airport. However, after listening to the recording voice recorder, investigators were unable to confirm his words. Also on trial testified managing company «American Airlines». He said that his company's pilots are simply not allowed to fly in a thunderstorm. The investigators found the testimony insufficiently clear.
Investigator: This is too subjective a statement to the pilots. They need limits and boundaries. What to do in terms of wind, and what to do in a thunderstorm.
The further the investigation progresses, the clearer it became that the landing in a thunderstorm - a common phenomenon. Studies have shown that this pervasive problem. Staff at MIT a few weeks monitored planes flying from Dallas. Waiting storm, they were waiting for the reaction of pilots. Of the cases 2000 2 / 3 pilots flew straight into the storm and tried to land.
Investigator: I was struck by the data. With the latest equipment and seeing the seriousness of the situation, they still continued to risk their lives and the lives of passengers.
Also, studies have shown that the pilots, a loose schedule, risked more often. It became clear that Little Rock - is just the tip of the iceberg. Pilots of all airlines went to undue risk. Causes of the crash of Flight 1420 were found in Dallas. Investigators learned that often tired pilots want to reach your destination at any cost.
Investigator: Drivers often do not see alternatives. At the end of their long day. They are tired, and the airport directly beneath them. Why not try; suddenly get. Sometimes it all ends well. But sometimes they go too far and can not fix anything. This cause of the accident.
This behavior led to a series of fatal errors. At the end of their working day pilots of Flight 1420 ran a race with the storm. They also forgot to release spoilers, braking without which had not been effective. As a result of their mistakes took the lives of 11 people.
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