Airbus may be forced to ground A-330 and A-340 fleet

Posted on 01. Jul, 2009 by in Featured

According to the London Times, Airbus Industries may be asked to ground its entire A-330 and A-340 fleet tomorrow by the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) accident bureau. The first question that should be asked of the EASA is why it took 36 incidents before this action occurred. One previous incident injured almost 300 passengers and crew. Why wasn’t the fleet grounded after the original out of control incident of Qantas Flight 72, especially after the procedures designed to prevent loss of control failed?

And let’s be clear; a failed airspeed indication does not cause the tail to separate from the aircraft. Otherwise we would have lost a North West (Delta) and TAM flight last week. Both experienced simular failures as Air France 447. Qantas Flight 72’s loss of control was caused by erroneous angle of attack indications according to the ATSB; no mention of the pitot system. I see one common denominator, a single point of failure in each of the incidents that I am familiar with; it is the ADIRU #1 (Air Data Inertial Reference Unit). It provides attitude, airspeed, angle of attack and other parameters to the flight instruments and fly by wire flight control system. It is supposed to defer to ADIRU #2 and #3 when it is not in agreement, and then remove itself from the system; instead it overrides the other two, and then via the fly by wire flight control system puts the aircraft into extremis.

In my opinion there is more to this than the pitot system; otherwise they would be grounding only aircraft that have not changed them out. Hard questions will be asked in the morning.

No Responses to “Airbus may be forced to ground A-330 and A-340 fleet”

  1. Rick 2 July 2009 at 07:14 #

    It really is hard for me to understand why the FAA is not taking a more assertive stance here. After all, these airplanes have a considerable presence in US flagged fleets. I’m wondering why we’re not hearing from them more….??

  2. Rick 2 July 2009 at 07:44 #

    MSNBC is now reporting French authorities today claiming the AF447 did not break up in flight but rather fell vertically into the sea. I’m wondering how would that square with wreckage scattered 50 miles apart. Will be interesting to hear how they reached this conclusion.

  3. Chip 2 July 2009 at 08:27 #

    I began to scratch my head when it took France 10 days to get a nuclear powered submarine on station, to find the black boxes.

    I do not know what the relation is to the FAA. I think they react to the manufacturers recomendations when there is no definitive evidence, no black boxes, no definative evidence.

    To say the aircraft went down vertically defies the evidence, especially since the black boxes have not been found.

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