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ANA pilot in dive clueless 17 seconds

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The All Nippon Airways Co. copilot responsible for nearly inverting a Boeing 737 and sending it into a steep dive last September wasn't aware of the blunder for about 17 seconds, an interim report on the incident says. (www.japantimes.co.jp) עוד...

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unclebigpete
Peter Douglas 2
Are there any 737 pilots on here who can explain this a bit better please? Several parts of this story confuse me:
- first, did the co-pilot have to leave his seat to open the door?
- secondly, wouldn't it be normal to put the autopilot on during that cruise part of the flight?
- thirdly, if it rolled for 17 seconds before he noticed, and I assume the co-pilot corrected thatfirst roll, but then '...after easing his grip ...' it all started again, and rolled 131.7 degrees. My point here is that if he didn't notice the first instance of this, how long would it have taken to get to the almost inverted state at the extreme?
The way the story reads, the Pilot was returning to the cockpit, and surely he would have noticed the orientation of the aircraft.
JetMech24
JetMech24 2
I can answer the first question, no, he would not have to have left the seat to open the door, the door lock sits right next to him on the center control stand, just one button push is all it takes. The others I don't know since I'm not a pilot.
zowen11
zowen11 1
Yes. It would be normal to use the autopilot during cruise. I believe the autopilot (which automatically adjusts trim to fly the aircraft) would have disengaged when the first officer manually overrode the trim controls. I do not know the answer to the third question, as the article is slightly unclear.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Those 2 buttons are side by side so he wouldn't have had to leave his seat. This thing went over 100 comments last fall when it happened. Most everyone agreed with it simply being a bad mistake. What nobody understood was why a 17 second roll was not recognized either by that PF or the Captain as he reentered the cockpit and nobody even offered a thought as to why it may have happened again. We weren't there and there is a whole lot more to this story than is being told.
zowen11
zowen11 1
Perhaps it was during a phase when the pilots were particularly sluggish. In Aeroflot Flight 593, the pilots did not realize the uncommanded banking quickly enough. In Air France Flight 447, the pilots did not realize the unacceptable changes in pitch in a timely manner, either.
spatr
spatr 1
The cockpit door unlock on the newer moder 737s is a knob, not a switch and it's located near but not adjacent to, the rudder trim knob.

If the FO (not co-pilot!) kept clicking the trim knob trying to unlock the door he could have acheived a significant rudder deflection before the A/P kicked off. As United, USAir, and Eastwind know, full deflection of a rudder can roll a jet in a matter of seconds. I have watched guys roll the T-1 (Beechjet) using only the rudder, since it has no ailerons. Air China or China Airlines, can't remember which, rolled a 747 when they lost 1 engine and the A/P kept trimming to counteract the yaw. Practicing V1 cuts produces the same effect, you trim the rudder for the loss of the engine, but you need to untrim as the plane accelerates when level or you get a huge rolling moment.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is....the rudder is the most powerful of the flight controls. That is why we have yaw dampers, rudder limiters, rudder assist, etc. on transport category aircraft.

As for what happened with ANA, I don't know, I wasn't there. I will say that with the preliminary info, someone probably screwed up. Thankfully they didn't lose the plane and kill anyone.

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