For those of you on Netflix streaming….
I started watching this about airline disasters (the causes)
To show you no detail is too insignificant – they were profiling a Turkish 757 in 1996 taking German tourists back from Santa Domingo.
The plane sat for 3 weeks there before flying – with the crew remaining there (waiting for business I guess).
On takeoff, a rainy night, at 80 kts the captain tells the first officer that his airspeed indicator isn’t working.
The captain decides to proceed having the First Officer calling out the decision speeds on his airspeed indicator.
5 minutes out – at 7,000 feet – they engage the autopilot and the “fun” starts (reminding me of Air France 447).
Plane is going into a steep pitch and while the FO is telling the captain to lower the nose, the captain isn’t listening.
It stalled and crashed into the ocean.
The ultimate cause?
At the time, the autopilot was using the left seat (captain’s) pitot tube (that takes the air outside and gives the airspeed) , and because it was getting false information, threw the plane into the high pitch. After this accident Boeing modified the planes to allow pitot tube selection for the auto pilot.
And why was the pitot tube blocked?
The NTSB ultimately determined that while the plane sat for 3 weeks, some wasps made a nest in the pitot tube.
By law the FAA mandates that any plane on the ground for an extended time should have a pitot cover. In interviews with the ground crew, they all stated that they had no pitot tube covers.
So 189 people were killed because of…some wasps.
And why didn’t the pilot abort the flight at 80 knts when he could have? They speculated “get home itis” after being there 3 weeks.
They also speculated that while the F.O. was advising the captain to lower the nose, culturally he was afraid to take the yoke.
No detail is too small…..