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Crash Documentary

Crash documentaries. Peru 1996.

In October 1996, the passenger airliner lost control, deviated from the course and fell into the Pacific Ocean. No one could understand why this happened. The solution was in the black boxes of the aircraft. Soon, investigators will discover that a simple human error has caused a whole chain of events, which as a result led to the tragedy. Crash Documentary See below for the site

2 October 1996 of the year. At the International Airport. Jorge Chávez in Lima (Peru) Aeroperu’s 603 flight was preparing to fly to Santiago, Chile. It was Boeing 757 - Reliable and safe aircraft. 603 Reis performed two excellent pilot. Captain Eric Schreiber and co-pilot David Fernandez. On board were 61 9 passengers and crew members. Most of these Chileans, who were returning home.

The pre-flight check was completed, and the co-pilot requested dispatch service. Having received permission to take off, they pushed their Boeing 757 onto the runway. Boeing 757 belonged to a new generation of aircraft, the flights of which were controlled by a computer. Pilots were taught to rely on a central data system designed to reduce mechanical and human errors. The take-off was excellent. However, when the plane left the ground, the pilots received a very strange signal. Although they flew, the altimeters did not show the height of the aircraft. They simply stood still. Then another very important device went out of order - the speed indicator. The lights of the city were left behind, and the plane flew over the Pacific Ocean without vital appliances. Essentially - it was fly blind.

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Lima controllers maintained contact with the aircraft and noted its course. Suddenly an alarm sounded. According to the on-board computer, something was wrong with the steering wheel.

Expert: When the alarm is flashing yellow light and is accompanied by an audible signal. The problem was in the ratio of the steering. This system should reduce the steering ratio, when the aircraft greatly increases the speed of flight. Since the system has received incorrect information from the faulty on-board computer, it triggers an alarm.

After a few seconds, the altimeters came to life, and the altitude readings returned to normal. The pilots tried to turn on the autopilot. This would give them time to analyze the situation. To enable the autopilot, identical data from two of the three on-board computers of the aircraft were needed. However, the readings of the instruments of the captain and co-pilot were so different that the autopilot did not turn on. No sooner did the pilots focus, as again sounded the alarm. Microcomputer reported a strong roll of the aircraft. But the pilots did not feel it. The plane was flying quite normal.

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Expert: Aircraft stabilization system allows you to align the bank. It changes the angle of the horizontal stabilizer in the tail. But due to incorrect speed readings, it was a false alarm. The device made a mistake.

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Despite conflicting warnings, and the autopilot disconnected, the aircraft was controlled. The captain could spend hours keeping the plane at a height, but he decided to sit down. The plane was already in 60 kilometers from Lima, and the pilots hoped that the traffic controllers would help them to sit alive. They wanted to find their way back to the airport using a transmitter included in the instrument landing system. This system gave information about the course, and the height data was transmitted through the aircraft’s transponder.

Expert: the plane was under control, but it was important to find out what the problem is. Some time later, sitting in a chair clear, sunny day, it is easy to talk about it. However, on a dark night, when the instruments in the cockpit of whistling and squeaking in different ways, it was very difficult to analyze conflicting information.

Since the pilots themselves could not accurately determine the altitude and speed of flight, they asked the dispatcher to guide them. The crew regularly requested from the dispatcher the data they need. The computer of the air traffic control center could calculate the speed by measuring the movement of the aircraft relative to the ground. But neither the pilots nor the manager did not know that the height, which is displayed on the screen of the dispatch service was incorrect. It was issued out of service on-board computer of the aircraft.

Expert: The manager tried to help the pilots, but his height data were false. He received this information from the altimeter of the aircraft, and it worked wrong.

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An investigation later revealed that the plane was down, while the altimeter showed the pilots almost constant height in meters 3000. Passengers were completely unaware of what was happening in the cockpit. At this time, the co-pilot was trying to find some explanation for the alarm signals. However, in any directory not talking about those strange failures technology with which they are faced.

The Flight Control Center continued to conduct 603 flight back to the airport. However, having incorrect altitude information, they did not know that the plane was going down.

Expert: One can imagine the state of the pilots. They flew without knowing his true speed. They tried to control the plane and changed the height, which naturally changed the readings. However, information has always remained incorrect.

The pilots made inhuman efforts to save the plane and the people. They are very tired of the confusion and incessant alarms. The crew had to rely on their own intuition, because the indicators of the instruments were very contradictory.

Expert: They got a warning that the plane was losing speed. This meant that the plane fell from the sky. At the same time it sounded a warning that the speed is exceeded. Nothing can be understood. You either fall, or you have exceeded the speed. Such issues have never arisen.

Given this confusion, the pilots asked the dispatcher about whether there was a number of aircraft that could bring them to the airport.

Unfortunately, in this struggle of people and machines won Boeing 757. Pilots have had no idea where they were and at what altitude flying. Meanwhile, their height is only 300 meters above sea level. Dispatching also assured the pilots that they were at a safe height in meters 3000.

The pilots abandoned the attempt to land the plane. Their only hope was another plane that could carry them back. In such an abnormal situation, only another aircraft could save those in distress. He would lead and show direction. Only in this way it was possible to get out of a critical situation. But the board 603 did not wait for the conductor. Suddenly, the pilots heard the worst warning - a signal of approaching land. It meant the risk of colliding with the ground. At the request of the captain, the dispatcher said that they were at a height of 1500 meters.

Expert: There was no way to inspect. In the cockpit while buzzing 7 or 8 different alarms. They could not be shut down. All the buzzing and ringing.

Despite the many false signals, that signal was correct. But the pilots received so many erroneous warnings that they did not pay attention to the signal that the earth was approaching. Suddenly they realized the terrible truth. The plane struck a wing in the water. 20 seconds pilots fought for altitude. Despite all their efforts, the plane, once again hitting the water with its wing, turned over and crashed into the water with terrible force.

The next morning, everyone learned about the crash. There was little information. It was known that the plane fell into the Pacific Ocean. Commission to investigate the crash flew to the crash site. It immediately became clear that surviving was not.

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Investigators needed to find “black boxes” to determine the cause of the disaster. They also sought assistance from the National Transport Safety Committee (NTSB). NTSB - is the leading organization for investigating the causes of disasters. The joint commission was lucky to quickly find the “black boxes”. In turn, the American sailors provided the necessary underwater equipment for investigating the crash site and detecting debris.

Investigator: Investigating the wreckage of the aircraft, which were scattered around 21 a kilometer long and 2,5 wide, I came to the conclusion that the plane fell apart when it hit the water. This was confirmed by a fairly dense content of debris on the surface of the water. It was quite obvious that the speed at hitting the water was very high.

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Black boxes were sent to Washington for study. The recording of votes from the cockpit could give the investigators the necessary information. It immediately became clear that the pilots had problems with determining the height and speed. The height and speed of the aircraft were determined by a special system that measured the air pressure using sensors and provided data to the pilots. If these sensors were blocked, the onboard computer of the aircraft would give false warning signals. But why were these sensors blocked? To answer this question, special underwater robots were used.

The investigators were simply stunned when they discovered that the sensors on the side of the captain were sealed with protective adhesive tape. Before leaving the technical staff cleaned the aircraft. In order not to spoil the sensors working airport sealed them with tape. It was standard procedure. However, he forgot to take it off! This small oversight has led to disastrous consequences.

Investigator: The tape is not removed. And when the plane took off, taped sensors were unable to detect. Devices are not determined nor height, nor the speed of flight. The plane rose higher, resulting in a completely abnormal readings.

The inspector who was supposed to check the work of the technical staff did not. He was simply not there that night, he was sick. The work of the inspector was performed by an ordinary mechanic who did not see anything suspicious. The captain also conducted preflight training, but he found nothing.

Investigator: A small piece of tape was the cause of the accident. But the tape had to be blamed, and the people who used it not where needed.

8 months before the 603 crash, a similar tragedy happened to another Boeing aircraft. Then research showed that one of the sensors was blocked. In such cases, special bulletins are issued immediately, which indicate how to avoid a repetition of the tragedy. However, recommendations did not get to "Aeroperu".

As for the 603 flight, it should be noted that night turned out to be an enemy for pilots. They were in an extremely difficult situation. It was very difficult to fly a plane and analyze such a difficult situation.

When the investigators knew the answers to all the questions about the death of the plane, the trial began. Lawyers for the relatives of the victims have accused the company Boeing that they produced aircraft with their risk. This risk consisted in the fact that during the cleaning it was necessary to close the sensors with some material. And if at the end of the cleaning it was not removed - the plane fell. In turn, Boeing blamed the airline for the crash. It was the worker who sealed the sensors, although there was written a clear indication and warning about this. Boeing also accused Captain Schreiber, because it was he who conducted the preflight inspection.

Expert: In fact, the captain had no chance to notice the sealed sensors. One of the reasons was that they were very high. Somewhere at an altitude of 4,5-5 meters above the ground. At night, in the light of lanterns, they are very difficult to distinguish. In addition, the sensors were sealed with a silver tape, which should not have been used at all. It was absolutely impossible to notice against the background of the aircraft fuselage.

The worker who sealed the sensors was jailed for negligence, causing death. The judge decided that it was he who was guilty of what had happened. In addition, the investigators determined that the pilots were not acting quite correctly. They shouldn't have taken any action, let alone tried to sit down. They could fly at a given course and wait for help from another plane.

In 1999, the families of the victims received compensation for 1 million dollars. Boeing has increased the requirements for special sensor plugs. Since then, there has been no such situation with the 603 "Aeroperu".

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