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Probe shows Madrid plane didn't deploy wing flaps

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Probe shows Madrid plane didn't deploy wing flaps

Old 09-16-2008, 09:29 AM
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Post Probe shows Madrid plane didn't deploy wing flaps

[QUOTE]
DANIEL WOOLLS
Associated Press
September 16, 2008 at 6:51 AM EDT


MADRID — Spanish investigators probing last month's plane crash in Madrid that killed 154 people say the wing flaps did not deploy during takeoff, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday.
But the pilots were unaware of this because a cockpit alarm did not go off, the report said.

The investigators did not say, however, that this caused the crash and offered no hypothesis as to what may have triggered Spain's worst air disaster in 25 years.

Some of the 18 survivors have said the Spanair plane struggled to gain speed and altitude during takeoff. The aircraft crashed tail-first, bounced three times as it skidded through a grassy area near the runway, then largely disintegrated and burned after coming to a halt at the edge of a stream.

The findings were based on data from the MD-82's flight data and cockpit voice recorders and contained in a preliminary report on the Aug. 20 crash.

The report was carried in Spanish media, and Spanair confirmed it had been distributed to the government and the plane's manufacturers. The investigators work for the civil aviation department of Spain's Development Ministry.

The report said McDonnell Douglas recommended after a deadly MD-82 crash in 1987 in Detroit that airlines operating such planes check their take-off warning system before each flight.

The system is supposed to warn pilots if planes trying to get off the ground are not in fact properly configured for takeoff.

But Spanair's policy is to check the system before a plane's first flight of the day and during stopovers, but in the latter case only if an entirely new cockpit crew takes over for the continuing leg, the report said.
If one member of the cockpit crew stays on for this leg, Spanair does not carry out such checks and this was the case of the plane that crashed, the investigators said. The flight originated in Barcelona, stopped off in Madrid and was to go on to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, and the pilot and co-pilot were not relieved.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:47 PM
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Yes, because the plane can only break when the pilots are changed...I guess this aircraft didn't get that memo.
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaceman Spliff View Post
Yes, because the plane can only break when the pilots are changed...I guess this aircraft didn't get that memo.
Not to flame... but do you run a full acceptance or first flight check before every flight?

This sounds like something that would be checked first flight of the day and at crew changes. It doesn't sound out of the ordinary to me.

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:11 PM
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Well, when McDonnell Douglas specifically directed operators of the MD-82 to check the warning before every flight...NOT once a day...
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGreatChecko View Post
Not to flame... but do you run a full acceptance or first flight check before every flight?

This sounds like something that would be checked first flight of the day and at crew changes. It doesn't sound out of the ordinary to me.

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Not checking the takeoff warning horn before... takeoff doesn't sound unusual? It's a simple press of a button that sounds an alarm if the aircraft isn't configured! This takes about 1 second to do.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:26 PM
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Forget about the warning system! What about checking the position of the flaps during the before takeoff checklist?
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by The Dude Abides View Post
Not checking the takeoff warning horn before... takeoff doesn't sound unusual? It's a simple press of a button that sounds an alarm if the aircraft isn't configured! This takes about 1 second to do.
There are plenty of things that could be checked every flight, but aren't because SOP doesn't call for it. Their's didn't.

I mean, most checks just require pressing one button. We don't check the cockpit lights, run the fire tests, or check the gear horn prior to every takeoff. Could we? Sure, but its not in the procedures...

Do you seriously run every daily check prior to every flight?

Originally Posted by Spaceman Spliff View Post
Well, when McDonnell Douglas specifically directed operators of the MD-82 to check the warning before every flight...NOT once a day...
That's a completely different story then...

Your first post makes it sound like the pilots were derelict in their duties, when in fact it was whoever wrote and approved the procedures. That's something that's tough to discern from a sarcastic remark.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:18 PM
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[quote=TheGreatChecko;462902]There are plenty of things that could be checked every flight, but aren't because SOP doesn't call for it. Their's didn't.

I mean, most checks just require pressing one button. We don't check the cockpit lights, run the fire tests, or check the gear horn prior to every takeoff. Could we? Sure, but its not in the procedures...

Do you seriously run every daily check prior to every flight?
quote]
I see what you're saying, but I don't think a procedure to verify takeoff configuration exactly falls under the category of a daily check. It just seems silly to me that SOP is to perform this once a day? It's purpose is to verify configuration for takeoff, not functionality of a system.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:36 PM
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Verifying that the takeoff config warning is actually working as part of the cockpit preflight for every flight and performing a takeoff config check before every takeoff is what McDonnell Douglas recommended after Northwest 255. (16 August 1987)

1) As part of the cockpit preflight, check that the takeoff configuration warning will actually work with the aircraft not configured for takeoff - ie move thrust levers forward at the gate with engines off and btchn betty will yell at you.
2) Part of the taxi or before take off check, when properly configured for takeoff, move thrust levers forward out of idle and back, and you shouldn't hear a thing.

So if the takeoff config warning didn't test correctly or for some reason did, but then failed, no warning would be annunciated with an aircraft in an incorrect takeoff configuration. However, flaps/slats setting can still be visually verified by looking at the setting on the thrust lever quadrant and the indicator lights near the engine displays. If the takeoff config warning annunciator is working and takeoff power was set without proper flap setting, the crew would hear it.

Cycle Pilot hit the nail on the head IMO. Gotta visually check flap position.

Those of you that fly the maddog know that if she were a person, she'd be a smart toddler. You have to double check whether of not she's done what you want done - all the time.

Last edited by RickJames; 09-16-2008 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:36 PM
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Video of the crash. Looks like a nasty way to go. RIP
Video: Así fue el accidente de Barajas : Vídeos en ELPAÍS.com
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