Discussion in 'Off Topic Discussion' started by Creasy Bear, Dec 8, 2011.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. This is just bananas.
Disorientation in flight is a killer. I remember sitting in on an IFR flying lesson in a Cessna once, and they put sun visors on the windows so the pilot has to use his instruments. At one point the instructor realized the pilot fucked up, and he pulled the sun visor away to reveal that we were pointed straight down at the ground. Neither the pilot or me had any clue that was happening. You can completely lose your sense of spatial perception. It was fucking scary.
I would hate to fly a commercial airliner. Their thrust to weight ratio is so minuscule that if it even hints at a stall all you can do is dive to gain speed.
Yeah I'll just stick to xplane.
Good against remotes is one thing. Good against a living? That's something else
Yeah, they use those too (it's a long curving visor that lets you see the instruments but not out the window), but in the one I was in, the guy just used one of those elastic visor things you put over your windshield on a hot day.
EDIT: Here's one:
That's fucked up.
There's a great episode of Nova on this. Pretty sure I watched it on Netflix streaming. I now know what pitot tubes are and how important they are to air travel.
edited to add: http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70148706
Yup. Pitot tube problems cause some horrific air crashes. Any pilot with half a brain checks those pitot-static ports 8 fucking times before takeoff. I remember one air crash where a mechanic covered up the pitot-static ports with duct tape during repairs or whatever, but he used silver duct tape to improvise, and didn't remove it. On inspection, you look for the bright red thing hanging from it and if you don't see, many times you assume the port is open, especially when the duct tape is the same color as the fuselage. Oopsie.
Actually, that bright silver tape is pretty typical for use in aviation. We used it all the time to cover static ports when checking the pitot-static system (what tells the plane it's altitude and air speed). One port was hooked into the test system, the other sealed with tape. It was a big fucking deal when I was trained on it to make damn sure that tape was completely removed after the test.
What kind of aircraft did you work on? I remember this incident involving a big passenger jet, so the pilot's pre-flight inspections are done from the ground with a flashlight, so you can miss them pretty easily. I think in those cases they use something brightly colored as opposed to silver, but I can't remember exactly. I saw that thing a while ago. My dad got a pilot's license and I was right there with him learning a ton about aviation, and we became huge fans of those air crash investigation shows. NTSB investigators are the shit. That is some real life CSI they pull sometimes.
Relatively small, single-engine. A lot of our preflights were done in near darkness, so the shiny tape actually wasn't always a bad thing when you're checking a bird out with a flashlight.
Here's the funny thing - even if one port is sealed on the pitot-static, it shouldn't disable the entire system. Our small bird had 2 pitot tubes and 2 static ports. One of each could be inop and you would still get readings, they would just be less accurate. It wasn't something we willing let a plane fly with, but if one became blocked or failed mid-flight, it wasn't catastrophic, as long as the pilots had their shit together.
I have too much anxiety to be doing something like that. I'd be constantly worried that I missed something.
Institutional paranoia, and having someone else (or several of them) back checking your work are pretty standard. I wasn't working on commercial aviation, so things were a little different for us. Plus, I mainly worked on non-critical components, so my biggest risk was getting my ass chewed, not getting a crew killed.
The one you're referring to, Aeroperu 603, was one of those examples of why you need to Bobo-level-idiot proof everything. The air carrier I'm with has used colored, textured, pain/dirt resistant masking tape for decades, and it's a shame that they were using something that blended right in - honestly I can definitely see why the captain had not noticed it.
Earlier that year, there was also Birgenair 301, which suffered a similar fate due to both pitot tubes being clogged. In that case, it was due to the fact that the plane was sitting unused for 21 days and some dipshit didn't put covers on the pitots. Some wasps built a nest in them, and the 757 went into the drink shortly after takeoff
Yup, that's the one. Thanks for the info. Now it's all coming back to me. That thing was like a nightmare. They were getting contradictory warnings in the cockpit and they couldn't figure out where they were, or how high or fast they were. Horrifying.
What really happened aboard air france 447...fez?
Yep. We were practically religious about the port covers. Some of them had to wait for the appropriate part to cool (air intake for the engine, pitot tubes, AOA probes) before the covers went on. The rest went on as soon as the bird was shut down and we knew it wasn't flying for at least a day.
just one of the reasons i dont fuck with planes, i have enough trouble remembering to put all the bolts back into a car.