Discussion:
Afriqiyah Airlines 8U 771 crash at Tripoli
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JF Mezei
2010-05-13 08:00:04 UTC
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http://www.afriqiyah.aero/news.html provides the press releases from the
airline.

The statements indicate that the flight had an accident "during landing
at Tripoli airport".

I have not seen any maps of where the crash occured. But the footage
shows just debris with the tail being the only identifiable structure.
This _appears_ to be some field outside of an airport.

When an airline states "during landing at XX airport", does this mean
anything in terms of how close to the airport the aircraft would be ?
(or what phase of landing it would be) ?

I am curious as to why a plane would appear to be so thoughroughly
destroyed if it was in a final approach at low altitude and speed.

Or are we getting selective images only (all media seem to be providing
the same footage from Lybian TV) ? There are pictures of unburned
seats, so if there was a fire, it would indicate that portions of
aircraft broke up and didn't burn.

Has anyone seen an overhead image of the wreck area relative to the runway ?
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JF Mezei
2010-05-13 12:43:00 UTC
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Found some info about location of crash:
##
Aviation experts said the almost brand new Airbus appeared to have hit
the ground several hundred metres short of the runway in visibility of 5
to 6 km (3-4 miles).

They said the airport approach lacked systems to provide crew with the
aircraft's distance and height from the runway, although it was too
early to say why it hit the ground and disintegrated, leaving only the
tailfin intact.
##

Does the above paragrah mean there was no ILS and this was a pure VFR
condition ?

I guess we'll have to wait for information on whether there were tire
marks on the groud or not. Of only a few hundred metres from runway, the
gears would have been deployed.

My fear is that they will find volcanic residue in the engines. Airlines
lobbied that it was safe to restart aviation, but if there were a cashed
partlty due to this, the politicians might become very strict about
closing airspace at the mere sign or a volcano.
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A Guy Called Tyketto
2010-05-14 06:38:12 UTC
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Post by JF Mezei
##
Aviation experts said the almost brand new Airbus appeared to have hit
the ground several hundred metres short of the runway in visibility of 5
to 6 km (3-4 miles).
METAR report for HLLT at the time of the incident:

HLLT 120350Z 30007KT 4000 DU SCT010 21/18 Q1008

AAW771 was supposed to land at 0410Z (GMT). Winds pretty much
calm, 3 -4 statute miles visibility, blowing dust, scattered clouds at
10,000ft MSL.
Post by JF Mezei
They said the airport approach lacked systems to provide crew with the
aircraft's distance and height from the runway, although it was too
early to say why it hit the ground and disintegrated, leaving only the
tailfin intact.
##
Does the above paragrah mean there was no ILS and this was a pure VFR
condition ?
This is correct. No ILS at HLLT. They do have a VOR and NDB at
the field. Keep in mind, that most medium to heavy traffic airports
here in the US have VORs nearby, if not at the field. VORs pretty much
give you a bearing from the facility. If the VOR is DME equipped, you
could also get distance. That doesn't get you any precision, either.
Where a full ILS (Glideslope and localizer) will get you distance and
altitude down to the exact runway (a precision approach), a VOR
approach can get you to the facility at any angle, leaving you to
navigate visually to the runway in question. If the VOR approach has
the runway number listed, it will get you to that runway, but not
exactly, like an ILS or LOC approach would.

VMC conditions require no less than 3 miles visibility and a
3000ft ceiling, IIRC. Anything less requires some sort of instrument
approach procedure (VOR approaches and NDB approaches qualify as such).
Post by JF Mezei
I guess we'll have to wait for information on whether there were tire
marks on the groud or not. Of only a few hundred metres from runway, the
gears would have been deployed.
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/A-loud-crash-then-bodies-everywhere-20100512

CNN and others are reporting that the A332 crashed 400m from
the nearest road, and parallel to runway, and landing with the wind (to
the east), which indicates they were approaching runway 9.
Post by JF Mezei
My fear is that they will find volcanic residue in the engines. Airlines
lobbied that it was safe to restart aviation, but if there were a cashed
partlty due to this, the politicians might become very strict about
closing airspace at the mere sign or a volcano.
Ash was not a factor in this. NPR newsbumps from half a day
prior indicated that the Ash from Iceland was affecting northern Italy
airspace, and headed towards Israel. AAW771 was coming from
Johanesburg.

On top of this, there was no fire, and no flameout of the
engines, which would be indicative of fuel starvation. On top of that,
the A332 rolled off the assembly line last September (8 months ago).
1600 hours logged during 420 cycles. For as big as it was, that flight
should have been VERY light, as it was stopping at HLLT in continuation
to Europe.

BL.
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JF Mezei
2010-05-14 10:05:03 UTC
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Post by A Guy Called Tyketto
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/A-loud-crash-then-bodies-everywhere-20100512
Looks like the debris is strewn over a larger area than that first image
could capture. It would be nice to get a "big picture" image of where
engines, wings , seats , luggage were found. They may be able to deduct
some order of destruction based on what was found where.

Interesting that the tail section ended up ahead of some debris. So it
would have travelled on momentum while other debris would have stopped.

Can anything be deduced from the fact there was no fire ?

If the plane was crabbing, and landed prematurely, would landing on sand
at a high angle result in such total destruction even at relatively slow
speed ?
Post by A Guy Called Tyketto
Ash was not a factor in this.
Perhaps not on that flight. But what if the plane had flown through the
cloud on previous flights ? Just imagine the repercussions it would have
on aviation wherever there is a volcano near busy flight routes.
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Miles Bader
2010-05-15 02:03:49 UTC
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Post by JF Mezei
Post by A Guy Called Tyketto
Ash was not a factor in this.
Perhaps not on that flight. But what if the plane had flown through the
cloud on previous flights ?
It flew in from South Africa, which is a long way away from Libya, and a
long way away from the Ash clouds; it seems a real stretch to think that
ash somehow screwed up the engines in the past, but then had no
noticeable effect over all that time and distance (and perhaps some
maintenance in SA).

-Miles
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