Horror in the skies

This is a discussion on Horror in the skies within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I am horrified at the loss of life in the air yesterday. With all the latest gizmos and systems, how ...

  1. #1
    Much older and wiser Fountain's Avatar
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    Horror in the skies

    I am horrified at the loss of life in the air yesterday.

    With all the latest gizmos and systems, how the hell did two planes crash in empty/clear skies.

    As I understand the tcas on the boeing DID alert the pilots to evade, but sent them the wrong way!!!

    Not looking to place blame, but as this is a programming site, isnt aviation software supposed to be bulletproof? Any thoughts as to why the Boeing pilots got a collision warning and decided to descend-into the obstruction? Surely the TCAS system would have told them to CLIMB.....

    And I thought in the event of an emergency everyone is supposed to anchor RIGHT? Thus sorting the situation out.....

    Anyhow, it just seems to be one thing after another in the aviation industry-especially after September 11........

    Of course, in the UK we have a NEW ATC system--bulletproof may not be the best word for it......


    Any thoughts.......
    Such is life.

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    Registered User Mario's Avatar
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    >> As I understand the tcas on the boeing DID alert the pilots to evade, but sent them the wrong way!!!

    It seems the tower warned the Tupolev only 1 minute before impact (he was alone at his post, which already is a serious breach in security measures!). The 2 planes crashed 1 minute after on a diving course according to the tower logs. This seems to indicate that the tower warned only one of the planes (the Tupolev on this case) and did not go by the book... "plane 1 dive, plane 2 climb".

    My guess is this... the guy at the tower was either sleeping or unware of the danger on his screen. Most modern systems bleep 5 minutes before impact so I guess he was sleeping or taking a leak. When he finally realized the problem he rushed to the communicator and on a fast swedish accent warned the russian pilot in english to dive (see the language problem here). This explains why the russian pilot did not react at first... meanwhile the Boeing may have started getting red lights and alarm warnings all over and its pilots did what the book says them to do on collision courses... dive. This is also what the Tupolev did after he finally understood what the tower wanted him to do (his read lights were also berzerk, i'm sure)... just my guess.

    But in the end, it was 52 children. More important than finding who to blame was for the responsible for the european air space to reiterate his last statement "the European skies are still safe to travel" and say "clearly this cannot happen again!"

    Since he didn't reiterate, I say "F*** him!".
    Last edited by Mario; 07-02-2002 at 07:17 PM.
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    From what I have heard (which so far is a hypothesis), the Russian plane was alerted only a minute ahead of time. The Russian plane, control tower, and other plane, somehow got their signals crossed and the other plane decreased altitude as well trying to avoid the Russian plane. However, since the Russian plane was told to drop down as well, they both hit each other trying to avoid each other.

    The big question is why their signals were crossed and who is to blame.

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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    I believe it is to early to tell for certian what happened. There is a lot of conjecture, however, consider, (regardless of whether it was the right length of time or not), if the Russian plane was told to descend 51 seconds before the impact, why didn't it? 51 seconds is actually quite a long time - sit there for 51 seconds and find out.

    Second, there is some conjecture that the Tupelov was not fitted with the collision avoidance system, which is actually mandatory in European air space, if true, why was it therefore even there?

    The collision avoidance system on the 757 dived the plane, if it "saw" the other plane coming directly towards it, down is as good a choice as anything, how was it supposed to know that the other plane would start to dive shortly afterwards? Perhaps the TCAS systems onboard the planes should talk to each other and agree a strategy before doing something, (although that, of course, requires both planes to have a functioning TCAS).
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    Much older and wiser Fountain's Avatar
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    Ahem...TCAS systems are SUPPOSED to communicate with each other, then they decide and notify the pilots of the best solution.

    i.e the boeing's TCAS SHOULD have told it to CLIMB as the russians were already in descent.....

    Latest speculation is that the russians TCAS may have been switched off...............

    And they say things are straightforward....WTF was it switched off for (if it was!)
    Such is life.

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    Registered User Jet_Master's Avatar
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    Originally posted by adrianxw
    I believe it is to early to tell for certian what happened. There is a lot of conjecture, however, consider, (regardless of whether it was the right length of time or not), if the Russian plane was told to descend 51 seconds before the impact, why didn't it? 51 seconds is actually quite a long time - sit there for 51 seconds and find out.
    I dont think it would have much a diference if the Tupelov dived a few seconds earlier... since both planes were diving and there was not much time... Even if the Tupelov dived a few secs earlier, the collision would have been very hard (almost impossible) to avoid.
    Originally posted by adrianxw
    The collision avoidance system on the 757 dived the plane, if it "saw" the other plane coming directly towards it, down is as good a choice as anything, how was it supposed to know that the other plane would start to dive shortly afterwards?
    I agree with that. the fact that noone ever warned the boeing was the main factor in the collision. the boeing had a choice - up or down - both would only work if luck was with them. but, too bad. it was kind of a co-incidence; that's what i think.
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    Witch_King

    Allah will do some stuff and all will be okay. Yes, the world is a bad place, too many people if you ask me. For that reason alone, the strike on the world trade center wasn't a bad deal, right?

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    Dean, do us all a favor, GET A LIFE. Please, if the only thing you have to do with your time is make stupid comments to ........ off others, just leave.

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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> I dont think it would have much a diference if the Tupelov dived a few seconds earlier...

    Wouldn't it? Surely at the speed these things move, a few seconds could make a great deal of difference.
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    Much older and wiser Fountain's Avatar
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    I aint going to post this again............TCAS systems communicate with each other.....the boeings SHOULD have decided to go UP, as the TCAS on the russians would have known it was in descent.

    As stated apparently the russian TCAS MAY have been switched off. Now there's a smart move.

    AND troll get off my posts.


    And, if any1 had lights flashing, you are supposed to anchor right......thus missing each other....EVERY1 knows you turn RIGHT......kinda international thing isnt it?
    Such is life.

  11. #11
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>>
    And, if any1 had lights flashing, you are supposed to anchor right......thus missing each other....EVERY1 knows you turn RIGHT......kinda international thing isnt it?
    <<<

    If that is the case, why did the TCAS dive the Boeing rather than roll it right?
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    Much older and wiser Fountain's Avatar
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    If that is the case, why did the TCAS dive the Boeing rather than roll it right?


    JESUS!

    Read above!

    Turning RIGHT is the kinda old way to avoid crashes..if both turn RIGHT you miss each other..


    That is the MANUAL way

    TCAS systems dont do that......AS I SAID they TALK to each other and choose the best way...

    So...........So the boeings TCAS system wouldve talked to the russians and AS THE RUSSIANS were ALREADY descending, the correct TCAS decision wouldve been to CLIMB the Boeing........

    This is all conjecture, as the russinas TCAS may have been switched off
    Such is life.

  13. #13
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    I have read the above, and indeed still have questions on the subject, however, you seem to be incapable of dealing with them without shouting, so I won't bother.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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