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Airspeed systems(Airbus 330) failed on several U.S. flights

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:50 PM
Original message
Airspeed systems(Airbus 330) failed on several U.S. flights
Source: MSNBC/AP

WASHINGTON - On at least a dozen recent flights by U.S. jetliners, malfunctioning equipment made it impossible for pilots to know how fast they were flying, federal investigators have discovered. A similar breakdown is believed to have played a role in the Air France crash into the Atlantic that killed all 228 people aboard in June.

The discovery suggests the equipment problems are more widespread than previously believed. And it gives new urgency to airlines already scrambling to replace air sensors and figure out how the errors went undetected despite safety systems.

The equipment failures, all involving Northwest Airlines Airbus A330s, were brief and were noticed only after safety officials began investigating the Air France crash on a Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight and two other recent in-flight malfunctions. The failures were described by people familiar with the investigation who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

------

Like the fatal Air France flight, the newly discovered Northwest incidents and the two other malfunctions under investigation all involved planes with sensors made by the European electronics giant Thales Corp. The Air France crash called into question the reliability of the sensors and touched off a rush to replace them.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32333026/ns/travel-news /
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Don't fly on these Euro Mickey Mouse planes
If you value your life.
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VPStoltz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The problem is, only Southwest has a completely Boeing dedicated fleet.
All the other major carriers have a mish mosh of planes from all over the place.
I fly to the Midwest several times a year and can't remember the last time I did a RT on all Boeing equipment.
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3waygeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I fly quite a bit on Delta & AirTran
out of Atlanta and have never been on an Airbus. AirTran is, AFAIK, all Boeing 717 and 737.
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VPStoltz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. I was just on a Delta Airbus and MD-90 (which I believe is maintain by Boeing now).
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merwin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Boeing is going fly-by-wire as well in their new planes.
Unless they make a drastic change in how things work, I suspect they're going to have some of the same issues.

On another note, I suspect that the pilots noticed these failures and were told not to report it.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Was this a fly-by-wire issue?
I think that all planes use this type of sensor (pitot tubes).
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merwin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I would assume the sensor is converted into digital and reported back to the instruments.
I was making an assumption that the issue was with the computerized part of the piece that interprets the sensor data.
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MajorChode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. That sounds like a poor assumption
From what I read of the article, it sounded more like an icing problem.

But at any rate, it's much to early to make any such assumptions. Even the AP article goes way too far out on a limb in the assumptions category. The statement, "malfunctioning equipment made it impossible for pilots to know how fast they were flying" doesn't pass the sniff test and neither does, "A similar breakdown is believed to have played a role in the Air France crash into the Atlantic that killed all 228 people aboard in June." Believed by whom? The AP? Right.

Instrument failures are part of the training routine for all pilots from the drivers of 2 seat Piper Cubs all the way up to the crews of the Airbus A380. The failure of a single system should never spell disaster for any flight.
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. delta
had an all boeing fleet for a long time
Northwest has A-320 and A-330 and A-319
American only has the A-300
United has the A-320 and A-319
Frontier has all A-320/319
Continental has all Boeing
Alaska has all Boeing
:hi:

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inwiththenew Donating Member (163 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. They've actually had McDonnell Douglas as well
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 08:41 PM by inwiththenew
MD-80 Series and some MD-90's but I think that Boeing owns McDonnell Douglas now so only a minor nitpick.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
17. Continental doesn't do Airbus. For a reason. nt
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. better boycott them too - their 737 engines are made in Villaroche FRANCE!
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:15 PM by Sen. Walter Sobchak
I never see more fucking idiocy on the internet when Americans want to get patriotic about airplanes.

The equipment being investigated in the Air France crash was made in California.

And how 'bout that 787!
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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Could a lamer comment have been made on this thread?
Would have taken some doing.
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Tartiflette Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
18. Airbus and Boeing planes have comparable safety records
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. Now boarding from a field in Holland, your Boeing awaits...


Suspected Cause: Faulty Altimeter

Better stay of those crappy shitty American trailer park planes eh?

Very few airplane crashes have ANYTHING to do with the type of aircraft involved. There has not been an airliner built anywhere on earth in the last 50 years that had anything but an exceptional safety record.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. why are people unrecommending a thread like this?
:wtf:
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. They don't want the truth about Euro planes getting out
n/t
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MajorChode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
23. So other than xenophobia, what is this "truth" you reference?
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. because the comments are freeperish bullshit
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. "who spoke only on condition of anonymity ..."
Guess we'll just have to consider the source.

:eyes:
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. pitot tubes? maybe a software issue?
I'm not sure how this affected the Air France crash since the plane reportedly broke up in the air (unless of course it was going WAY too fast)

If this is true, and Airbus knowingly tried to suppress/ignore it, God help them...
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Every plane has pitot tubes, but they treat them differently.
Airbus? Not so great.

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