Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom (10 July 2018)

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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by Romeo E.T. » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:14 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:34 pm
The main criticism of the crew is around why they did not go through the fire drill. My guess is that they desperately needed power and their judgement was that they would keep that engine running as long as it was producing power. The fire drill requires shutting the engine down before using the extinguishers.

jim
In my opinion

1) If this the 1950's 1960's commercial operation, with normal 2 crew operations, the decision is clear...shutdown/feather/fight the fire.

2) However because there was a "SUPPOSED" engine specialist on board, who was going to do whatever was necessary to save/look after/ "baby" the engines, the CRM duties were disregarded and "non specified" duties were left in the hands of a "specialist", thus clouding the whole issue, and causing untold handling issues further down the line. not to mention decision making process
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by Spoke Eagle » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:28 pm

Hi Bront, I was one to call them heros for not trying to make the runway over the urban sprawl.
Presuming the operation involved you would not even consider non legal compliance nor possible CRM errors.
I think their minds were on a last jolly before the serious flight and the demons came out and bit them.
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:52 pm

Bront wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 am
Some of you guys are unbelievable. Firstly a bunch of you proclaimed them hero's before we knew anything. And now that it has been revealed that they made numerous errors, weren't even legal and shouldn't have taken off, you make excuses about peer pressure and it's just paperwork so not relevant. And Jim, the leader of the chickens club being the worst, surely this was a case to chicken out before taking to the air.

I've rarely seen more holes in the swiss cheese line up. This accident really defies logic to me. Sure I can understand letting a few things slip to get the job done but taking off with dodgy controls, auto feather possibly not working and an indication of low power on one engine is just crazy and then to have dawdled around flying a large circuit with a burning engine, without an attempt to fight the fire or shut down the engine or to get back on the ground asap is just criminal to me.
Having flown these big birds before, not necessarily a Convair, I stick with my assessment that these guys did well to not have many more casualties, both in the aircraft and on the ground. These old birds become a handful when things go wrong, and in this case plenty was going wrong. Not having all the paperwork correct is definitely extremely naughty but this did not cause the failures. Had the paperwork been correct, and I guess we all assumed it was, the outcome would have been the same.
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by Peregrine » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:25 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:20 am
Bront wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 am
...and then to have dawdled around flying a large circuit with a burning engine, without an attempt to fight the fire or shut down the engine or to get back on the ground asap is just criminal to me.
So tell us, Bront, do you have some inside information about what was going on in that cockpit? Do you think those guys either didn't know what they were doing - or were just enjoying the ride while the aircraft was burning around them? And if the burning engine was still delivering power - would you have shut it down? Tell us how you would have handled the situation and saved the day?

There are two things going on here:

1. Should they have taken off? If the info we have so far is correct - then the answer wold be a pretty emphatic NO.

2. Having got into the air - is any one of us in a position to criticise the actions and decisions of the crew?

Oops! Double transmission with JK

jim
Jim and JK, you are overly harsh on blokes like Bront.

In his way, he was raising a very valid point - why did the crew not fight the fire? The actions required to be performed in the event of an engine fire are clearly stated in the AFM. There are no options like "If required for terrain clearance, fighting the fire may be delayed by 5 minutes". So, Jim, to answer your question: "is any one of us in a position to criticize the actions and decisions of the crew?", yes, I am, and Bront has done so too. The should have, were required to, fight the fire as per the AFM procedures. No point in beating about the bush, that is what they were required to do. They second-guessed the manufacturer's instructions for whatever reason. The manufacturer most likely knows the possible effects of an engine fire on other systems, in this case possible the aileron controls and the feathering system. And before you again get defensive of the crew, remember that they had, prior to flight, made a number of unforgivable decisions, effectively forfeiting any "benefit of the doubt" considerations regarding their in-flight decisions.

Having got that out of the way, one can speculate about why they did not carry out the fire drill once airborne:

Perhaps, despite the information apparently conveyed to them by the LAME's assistant, they did not accept that the engine was on fire. Was the fire detection system inoperative? Was it checked before flight? Why did the crew not question the assistant? If the detection system was unserviceable, why did they commit to take-off? If they did this, it is unforgivable. If it was showing a fire and they ignored it, that is unforgivable.

Why did they not feather the engine and fight the fire? Perhaps they knew that flight was not sustainable on a single engine? This they should have known prior to take-off, and should have made plans to land straight ahead for example. If the two preceding statements are correct, why did they try to complete a circuit with a burning engine instead of landing ahead? The answers to these do not show up the crew in a good light at all.

So, Jim and JK, don't belittle blokes like Bront, by asking him what he would have done to save the day. Give him the benefit of your vast experience and tell him what you would have done. The crew have already, by Jim's admission implicated themselves by their poor decisions prior to take-off, so there is no need to protect them. This is a learning forum. Tell us what would have led you to delay fighting the engine fire, tell us about what we should be thinking of landing options with marginal single engine performance, tell us about the need for proper planning, crew coordination and so on....
Last edited by Peregrine on Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by HJK 414 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Peregrine wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:25 pm


Jim and JK, you are overly harsh on blokes like Bront.
Perigrine,

Criticism noted and accepted.

I can fill another half page on why I think it went wrong - but you are correct, as usual - there are many points of view - none more valid than the other .......


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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by jimdavis » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:00 pm

Peregrine wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:25 pm
Jim and JK, you are overly harsh on blokes like Bront.

In his way, he was raising a very valid point - why did the crew not fight the fire? The actions required to be performed in the event of an engine fire are clearly stated in the AFM. There are no options like "If required for terrain clearance, fighting the fire may be delayed by 5 minutes". So, Jim, to answer your question: "is any one of us in a position to criticize the actions and decisions of the crew?", yes, I am, and Bront has done so too. The should have, were required to, fight the fire as per the AFM procedures. No point in beating about the bush, that is what they were required to do. They second-guessed the manufacturer's instructions for whatever reason. The manufacturer most likely knows the possible effects of an engine fire on other systems, in this case possible the aileron controls and the feathering system. And before you again get defensive of the crew, remember that they had, prior to flight, made a number of unforgivable decisions, effectively forfeiting any "benefit of the doubt" considerations regarding their in-flight decisions.

Having got that out of the way, one can speculate about why they did not carry out the fire drill once airborne:

Perhaps, despite the information apparently conveyed to them by the LAME's assistant, they did not accept that the engine was on fire. Was the fire detection system inoperative? Was it checked before flight? Why did the crew not question the assistant? If the detection system was unserviceable, why did they commit to take-off? If they did this, it is unforgivable. If it was showing a fire and they ignored it, that is unforgivable.

Why did they not feather the engine and fight the fire? Perhaps they knew that flight was not sustainable on a single engine? This they should have known prior to take-off, and should have made plans to land straight ahead for example. If the two preceding statements are correct, why did they try to complete a circuit with a burning engine instead of landing ahead? The answers to these do not show up the crew in a good light at all.

So, Jim and JK, don't belittle blokes like Bront, ask him instead what he would have done to save the day. Give him the benefit of your vast experience and tell him what you would have done. The crew have already, by Jim's admission implicated themselves by their poor decisions prior to take-off, so there is no need to protect them. This is a learning forum. Tell us what would have led you to delay fighting the engine fire, tell us about what we should be thinking of landing options with marginal single engine performance, tell us about the need for proper planning, crew coordination and so on....
Peregrine, I am not going to make this a protracted discussion because neither you nor I nor Bront was in the cockpit. We don't know what influenced the crew to decide at that point that they would rather have fire and power, than neither.

We don't know exactly what lay ahead within the descent arc without power. We don't know what all the gauges and warning lights were saying, we don't know what the aeroplane felt like in their hands, or sounded like or smelt like or vibrated like. It's possible that the vibration felt like the onset of a stall shudder. We simply don't know what influenced their decision to chose power.

It's easy to sit in our arm chairs and point fingers. Perhaps we would not feel quite so comfortable sitting across a desk from these two pilots and wagging one's finger at them.

In my opinion they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Be very sure that whatever they did in those few minutes, they believed it was the best they could do to save their own lives.

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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by Peregrine » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:10 pm

No need for a protracted discussion Jim. You miss the point.
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by stefanlfouche » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:56 pm

Peregrine wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:36 am
stefanlfouche wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:02 am
AMSL- AT mean sea Level.... AGL- AT ground level....... =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

#confused
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by jimdavis » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:00 pm

Peregrine wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:10 pm
No need for a protracted discussion Jim. You miss the point.
Please make it clear then. What is the point I have missed? That the crew deliberately elected not to follow the manufacturer's procedure for dealing with an engine fire? I did actually get that point, and address it.

Actually I suspect there were a number of issues, including Schultzie's point that CRM possibly went to hell due to the interference of the engineer.

I think that my point is clear - I do not want to be numbered amongst those howling for blood, without any knowledge of what was going on in that cockpit.

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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by liaan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:06 pm

Peregrine wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:25 pm
jimdavis wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:20 am
Bront wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 am
...and then to have dawdled around flying a large circuit with a burning engine, without an attempt to fight the fire or shut down the engine or to get back on the ground asap is just criminal to me.
So tell us, Bront, do you have some inside information about what was going on in that cockpit? Do you think those guys either didn't know what they were doing - or were just enjoying the ride while the aircraft was burning around them? And if the burning engine was still delivering power - would you have shut it down? Tell us how you would have handled the situation and saved the day?

There are two things going on here:

1. Should they have taken off? If the info we have so far is correct - then the answer wold be a pretty emphatic NO.

2. Having got into the air - is any one of us in a position to criticise the actions and decisions of the crew?

Oops! Double transmission with JK

jim
Jim and JK, you are overly harsh on blokes like Bront.

In his way, he was raising a very valid point - why did the crew not fight the fire? The actions required to be performed in the event of an engine fire are clearly stated in the AFM. There are no options like "If required for terrain clearance, fighting the fire may be delayed by 5 minutes". So, Jim, to answer your question: "is any one of us in a position to criticize the actions and decisions of the crew?", yes, I am, and Bront has done so too. The should have, were required to, fight the fire as per the AFM procedures. No point in beating about the bush, that is what they were required to do. They second-guessed the manufacturer's instructions for whatever reason. The manufacturer most likely knows the possible effects of an engine fire on other systems, in this case possible the aileron controls and the feathering system. And before you again get defensive of the crew, remember that they had, prior to flight, made a number of unforgivable decisions, effectively forfeiting any "benefit of the doubt" considerations regarding their in-flight decisions.

Having got that out of the way, one can speculate about why they did not carry out the fire drill once airborne:

Perhaps, despite the information apparently conveyed to them by the LAME's assistant, they did not accept that the engine was on fire. Was the fire detection system inoperative? Was it checked before flight? Why did the crew not question the assistant? If the detection system was unserviceable, why did they commit to take-off? If they did this, it is unforgivable. If it was showing a fire and they ignored it, that is unforgivable.

Why did they not feather the engine and fight the fire? Perhaps they knew that flight was not sustainable on a single engine? This they should have known prior to take-off, and should have made plans to land straight ahead for example. If the two preceding statements are correct, why did they try to complete a circuit with a burning engine instead of landing ahead? The answers to these do not show up the crew in a good light at all.

So, Jim and JK, don't belittle blokes like Bront, by asking him what he would have done to save the day. Give him the benefit of your vast experience and tell him what you would have done. The crew have already, by Jim's admission implicated themselves by their poor decisions prior to take-off, so there is no need to protect them. This is a learning forum. Tell us what would have led you to delay fighting the engine fire, tell us about what we should be thinking of landing options with marginal single engine performance, tell us about the need for proper planning, crew coordination and so on....
Light and audible fire alarm was triggered

1.1.16 The Aircraft continued with the left engine on fire throughout the flight and during the accident sequence. The cockpit GOPRO recording also shows that the left engine RPM gauge was fluctuating and that later the left engine fire master caution light was illuminating and an audible warning sound was heard. The GOPRO recording also shows the control wheel deflected to the right and the captain indicating that they had lost aileron, and requesting rudder input from the FO. It should also be noted that during taxi, take-off and flight, until moments before the crash, one of the passengers was seen standing in the cockpit area behind the LAME.
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by Peregrine » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:20 pm

Thanks for that reminder liaan. So, regarding knowing what was going on in the cockpit, we know that the fire warning light and audible warning sound were activated but were ignored......
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by southside » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:39 pm

Not knowing all the specs of the aircraft, IMHO, if one of my engines are on fire just after takeoff but still producing power, I'm not shutting it down. I would use the power it is generating to get me around the circuit or as far as possible until it loses power at which point feather and switch off the fuel. I'm thinking in terms of a light piston twin that will not perform on one engine in JHB. I would imagine one could get a light twin around the circuit pretty smartly and land hence me using the power available. Obviously I was not there and this was not a light twin. I am not criticising nor defending the crew...just my personal opinion if I found myselfor in a similar position
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by apollo11 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:56 pm

An interesting report, good reading for interest, if somebody already posted this my apologies...

https://www.ntsb.gov/about/employment/_ ... 117&akey=1

This crew had no audible fire alarm or indication, but did have some backfiring on the ground during the run up, but what I found interesting is also left aileron problem, and the captains initial reluctance (understandable as he had no alarms or indications and he wanted to keep that power for as long as possible to make the return (wonder if that fire warning bulb was also U/S) to shut down the left engine despite being told by the tower and an another observer pilot that the engine was burning up, only when co-pilot confirmed visually did they shutdown and attempt an extinguish, which did not put the fire out. they managed to land and walk away with substantial damage to the aircraft as they had no brakes... but it appears they were light and they were pretty much at sea level in the morning... so they had a pretty low DA condition.

I'm wondering (Wonderboom) if no.2 was producing optimal power as they could not maintain - or the load they had and DA would simply not allow.

Anybody have some performance graphs on the single engine performance of this kite?
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by CMW » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:18 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:00 pm
We don't know exactly what lay ahead within the descent arc without power. We don't know what all the gauges and warning lights were saying, we don't know what the aeroplane felt like in their hands, or sounded like or smelt like or vibrated like. It's possible that the vibration felt like the onset of a stall shudder. We simply don't know what influenced their decision to chose power.

It's easy to sit in our arm chairs and point fingers. Perhaps we would not feel quite so comfortable sitting across a desk from these two pilots and wagging one's finger at them.

In my opinion they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Be very sure that whatever they did in those few minutes, they believed it was the best they could do to save their own lives.
I empathise with the above, but would the gist of it not be true for every accident that gets discussed on this forum?
jimdavis wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:00 pm
Actually I suspect there were a number of issues, including Schultzie's point that CRM possibly went to hell due to the interference of the engineer.

I think that my point is clear - I do not want to be numbered amongst those howling for blood, without any knowledge of what was going on in that cockpit.
How does the responsibility hierarchy work in a multi-crew cockpit? I'm hoping it's just your wording that is a little unfortunate, but this reads as if you're implying that the engineer is somehow more culpable than the pilots? The way I interpret the speculation is that the entire crew may not have adapted well to having an extra crew member up front. Not sure it's fair to infer that the engineer was 'interfering'?

From the evidence available so far it seems clear that a sequence of 'unexpected' decisions were made. Call them mistakes if you wish. I'm sure we would all agree that everyone makes questionable decisions, but that no one makes mistakes on purpose. Just as everyone does the best they can to save their lives and those of their passengers once it is clear that they are in real trouble. After that, Lady Luck seems to play at least as big a role as skill and experience. This accident could very easily have had a very different outcome with exactly the same actions from the flight crew. Perhaps a meter or two to one side when they hit the building and they might have ended up in a fireball. Or they might have done everything by the book yet ended up with no survivors. Or Lady Luck could have smiled and they might have made it to the runway and this discussion would be a very different one.

To debate whether the pilots were hero's or zero's seems to miss the point of this forum. They did what they did, and we need to learn both the good and the bad from that. For whatever reason the injury and loss of life was both far less, and far more, than it could have been. So we are no doubt all immensely grateful and deeply saddened at the same time. What we need to be careful of is to (unintentionally?) imply that 'loss of life' = 'bad pilots' and 'preservation of life' = 'good pilots'. Life is just not that deterministic and it seems unfair to those also made questionable decisions yet who died while also doing their utmost to stay alive.

I have learned a lot from the speculation in this forum, but it seems to me that, if we are to speculate, we need to accept that none of us can be truly objective or unemotional in our speculation. Which means that what we believe to be 'objective' in one discussion, we may find insensitive or even offensive in another discussion.
Last edited by CMW on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Convair Radial Crash at Wonderboom - 10 July 2018

Unread post by jimdavis » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:32 pm

CMW I applaud your balanced and sensible post. What a pity your profile tells me nothing about you - I think we could enjoy a quiet ale together :D

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