The aircraft suffered a deep stall in the third minute of its flight and crashed to the ground, narrowly missing a busy main road. The public inquiry principally blamed the captain for failing to maintain airspeed and configure the high-lift devices correctly. It also cited the captain's heart condition and the limited experience of the co-pilot, while noting an unspecified "technical problem" that the crew apparently resolved before take-off.
BALPA was also in an industrial dispute with BEA over pay and conditions. The dispute was controversial, those in favour being mainly younger pilots, and those against mostly older. A group of 22 BEA Trident co-pilots known as supervisory first officers (SFOs) were already on strike, citing their low status and high workload. To help train newly qualified co-pilots, SFOs were told to occupy only the third flight-deck seat of the Trident as a "P3", operating the aircraft's systems and helping the captain (known as "P1" on the BEA Trident fleet) and the co-pilot ("P2") who handled the aircraft. In other airlines and aircraft, the job of SFO/P3 was usually performed by flight engineers. As a result of being limited to the P3 role, BEA Trident SFOs/P3s were denied experience of aircraft handling, which led to loss of pay, which they resented. In addition, their status led to a regular anomaly: experienced SFO/P3s could only assist while less-experienced co-pilots actually flew the aircraft.
Tensions came to a head shortly before the accident. Three days earlier on 15 June, a captain complained that his inexperienced co-pilot "would be useless in an emergency". Upset, the co-pilot committed a serious error on departure from Heathrow, setting the flaps fully down instead of up. The mistake was noted and remedied by the SFO, who related the event to colleagues as an example of avoidable danger. This became known among BEA pilots as the "Dublin Incident".
An hour and a half before the departure of BE 548, its rostered captain, Stanley Key, a former Royal Air Force pilot who had served during World War II, was involved in a quarrel in the crew room at Heathrow's Queen's Building with a first officer named Flavell. The subject was the threatened strike, which Flavell supported and Key opposed. Both of Key's flight deck crew on BE 548 witnessed the altercation, and another bystander described Key's outburst as "the most violent argument he had ever heard". Shortly afterward Key apologised to Flavell, and the matter seemed closed. Key's anti-strike views had won enemies, and graffiti against him had appeared on the flight decks of BEA Tridents, including the incident aircraft, G-ARPI (Papa India).[nb 1] The graffiti on Papa India's flight engineers' desk was analysed by a handwriting expert to identify who had written it, but this could not be determined. The public inquiry found that none of the graffiti had been written by crew members on BE 548 on the day of the accident.
These systems were the subject of a comprehensive stall programme, involving some 3,500 stalls being performed by Hawker Siddeley before the matter was considered resolved by the Air Registration Board. The stall warning and recovery systems tended to over-react: of ten activations between the Trident entering service and June 1972, only half were genuine, although in the previous 6½ years there had been no false activations when an aircraft was in the air. When BEA Trident pilots were questioned informally by one captain, over half of the pilots said that they would disable the protection systems on activation rather than let them recover the aircraft to a safe attitude. Random checks carried out by the airline after the accident showed that this was not the case; 21 captains stated that they had witnessed their co-pilots react correctly to any stall warnings.
In December 1968, the captain of a Trident 1C departing Paris-Orly Airport for London tried to improve climb performance by retracting the flaps shortly after take-off. This was a non-standard procedure, and shortly afterward he also retracted the leading-edge droops. This configuration of high-lift devices at a low airspeed would have resulted in a deep stall, but the co-pilot noticed the error, increased airspeed and re-extended the droops, and the flight continued normally. The event became known as the "Paris Incident" or the "Orly Incident" among BEA staff.
The stall warning and stall recovery systems were at the centre of the inquiry, which examined in some detail their operation and why the flight crew might have over-ridden them. A three-way air pressure valve (part of the stall recovery system) was found to have been one sixth of a turn out of position, and the locking wire which secured it was missing. Calculations carried out by Hawker Siddeley determined that if the valve had been in this position during the flight then the reduction in engine power for the noise abatement procedure could have activated the warning light that indicated low air pressure in the system. The failure indications might have appeared just prior to take-off and could have accounted for the two-minute delay at the end of the runway. A captain who had flown Papa India on the morning of the accident flight noted no technical problems, and the public inquiry found that the position of the valve had no significant effect on the system.
One issue treated as secondary at the inquiry was the presence in the flight deck observer's seat of Captain Collins. The Lane report recommended greater caution in allowing off-duty flight crew members to occupy flight deck seats, and aired speculation that Collins might have been distracting his colleagues. The report noted that Collins' body was found to be holding a can of aerosol air freshener in its right hand. Sources close to the events of the time suggest that Collins played an altogether more positive role by attempting to lower the leading-edge devices in the final seconds of the flight; Eric Pritchard, a Trident captain who happened to be the first airman at the accident site, recalled that a fireman had stated that Collins was lying across the centre pedestal and noted himself that his earphones had fallen into the right-hand-side footwell of the flight deck, diagonally across from the observer's seat, as might be expected if he had attempted to intervene as a last resort.
She studied at St. Paul College, Pasig for grade school and Saint Pedro Poveda College for high school. She became the team captain for its high school girls' volleyball team. She also received the Athlete of the Year award for Volleyball during her graduation in Poveda.
Captain R E Gillman, a senior BEA captain and senior flight training captain on its Vanguard fleet provides his assessment of flying the Vickers VC10 during its airworthiness handling trials in an article originally published in 1964
Air France: The initial findings of the French air accident investigation agency, the BEA, based on a reading of the black boxes recovered from the ocean depths, found that the captain had been resting when the emergency began.
The flight recorders from an Air France plane that crashed nearly two years ago show that the captain only arrived in the cockpit after the plane had begun its fateful 3 1/2-minute descent, officials said Friday.
The initial findings of the French air accident investigation agency, the BEA, based on a reading of the black boxes recovered from the ocean depths, found that the captain had been resting when the emergency began.
"At the time of the event, the two co-pilots were seated in the cockpit and the captain was resting," a BEA statement says. The captain returned to the cockpit about 1 1/2 minutes after the autopilot disengaged at 2:10 a.m. and 5 seconds, Coordinated Universal Time, equivalent to GMT but more precise.
A montage of voices in the week's news, including: Bea Edwards of the Government Accountability Project; World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz; The Rev. Al Sharpton; Rutgers University President Richard McCormick; Essence Carson, captain, Rutgers University women's basketball team; North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper; Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann; Brooke Gibson, student, North Carolina Central University; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT); deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino; Salim Abdullah, member, Iraqi Parliament; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
But they argue that aviation authorities around the world need clearer rules, after Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and slammed Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountainside March 24, 2015. All 150 people aboard were killed.
But they argue that aviation authorities around the world need clearer rules, after Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and slammed Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountainside on March 24, 2015. All 150 people aboard were killed.
The captain was on a rest break when the warnings began. It's unclear why the co-pilot at the controls, flying manually in what became the final minutes of the flight, maintained a nose-up input _ contrary to the normal procedure to come out of an aerodynamic stall. Normally, the nose should be pointed slightly downward to regain lift in such a stall, often caused because the plane is traveling too slowly.
The captain arrived about a minute and a half after the autopilot disconnected, but seconds after he arrived, "all the recorded speeds became invalid and the stall warning stopped," the summary says. 2b1af7f3a8