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ASA flight 529

chperplt

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Just read an outstanding book about the crash of ASA flight 529. The book was called 9 minutes and 20 seconds. It seemed very detailed about the accident and gives a nice background story on every person on the flight.

It mentions that the FO, Matt Warmerdam was back at ASA flying the RJ after being burned over a good majority of his body. WOW.. What an inspirational story.

If any of the ASA pilots on this board know him, tell him his story is a great one, and I wish him all the best!
 

Delta3

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I read that story in Reader's Digest a few months ago.

The entire flight crew did a great job.
 

Typhoon1244

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Delta3 said:
The entire flight crew did a great job.

I agree.

There's been a lot of talk in flight attendant ground schools about how the captain and F/O fell down on the job as far as keeping the F/A informed. Baloney! That airplane was basically out-of-control the moment the left engine uncorked. They didn't have time to do the checklist right, let alone have a chat with the F/A. That they got the airplane near the ground in something like a level attitude is impressive enough!

I'll tell you, it's very sobering to see your airplane in your company's colors mangled and burned that way. And my wife's name is Amy...just like Mrs. Warmerdam...gives me chills just thinking about it.
 

Typhoon1244

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Patmack18 said:
Which incident was this? Ran a search on the NTSB's website and couldn't come up with anything.
Pat

This was the ASA Brasilia at Carrolton, GA. One of the left prop blades disintegrated due to faulty construction and overhaul techniques (Hamilton Standard's fault, not ASA'a). The blade separated, and what was left of the prop tore the engine off it's mount and crammed it sideways against the leading edge of the wing.

They lost something like 10,000 feet before they started really getting it under control. The forced landing wasn't bad, bu they hit trees and rough terrain and the airplne burned. The captain burned up in an oxygen-fed fire. The same fire almost got Warmerdam, but the F/A, fire crews, and passengers everntually got him out.

I forget how many total fatalities there were.
 

ifly4food

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The AJC (that's the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for all you non-Atlantites) ran a series last year about the victims and survivirs of the crash, kind of a "where are they now" thing. They interviewed the survivors and asked them what it was like. It was scary, but interesting. It might still be up on their website if you search for "ASA 529".

Matt is indeed back and flying the line on the RJ. I am told he finished IOE in May. The Captain of 529 didn't die from the fire... but blunt head trauma. They say he hit his head on the handle that releases the DV side window. For those of you not aquainted with the Brasilia, it is a 2 inch metal handle that hangs down 4 inches from the top window track and is 3 inches from the window surface. Basically, it's right next to your head when you fly.
 

Huck

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Matt was 2 classes ahead of me back in 1995, but I didn't know him. I was flying a Brasilia that day. Take it from me - if something like that happens, call your wife and your parents quickly. Got my wife in time, but not my mother.

Robin Fech the F/A is my hero. After crawling out from under the galley, and with a broken collarbone, she helped the passengers get away from the fire, then returned and helped chop a hole in the f/o's DV window. I met her later - she's about 5 foot nothing and weighs like 90 pounds.

And the FDR showed that the captain was making aileron inputs even after the plane was in the tops of the pines. That field was about 1500' long, and he clipped the pines on the approach end to slow down more. The crew on that flight did their absolute best.
 

Cornelius

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Unfortunately, the early brassilia had to kill a lot of people, hence the name Brakillya. The early props had disimilar metal cores which caused fatigue cracks resulting in a blade failure. I think there was also a problem with the trasfer tube which routes oil to the prop hub but not in that ASA aircraft. Now the prop system has several protective features to prevent prop overspeed. Tragic story about ASA 529.
 

ifly4food

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Cornelius said:
Unfortunately, the early brassilia had to kill a lot of people, hence the name Brakillya. The early props had disimilar metal cores which caused fatigue cracks resulting in a blade failure. I think there was also a problem with the trasfer tube which routes oil to the prop hub but not in that ASA aircraft. Now the prop system has several protective features to prevent prop overspeed. Tragic story about ASA 529.

You're confusing this incident with the prop overspeeds that occured on the E120. In the prop overspeeds, it was determined that the prop governing system failed due to uneven wear between the shuttle valve and the transfer tube spindle. They were made of different metals of different hardnesses, and the stronger metal wore away the weak metal. This stripped the threads off the transfer tube, rendering it motionless and unable to control prop RPM. Supposedly Embraer fixed this, but then we just had another catastrophic prop overspeed last winter that was only survivable because of the heroics of the Captain. The cause still remains a mystery.

In the 529 incident, the titanium spar in the composite prop failed due to corosion. Hamilton-Standard was reconditioning the blades using steel wool and chlorine to clean the hollow interior of the spar. They were also using a metal hook to pull out the cork counterweights. Thes processes scored the interior of the spar, and the chlorine led to corosion and undetected cracks on the interior of the spar. This spar failed about 3" from the blade tip on the accident flight, creating a prop imbalance that literally ripped the engine off the wing (and half the wing itself) in a matter of seconds.
 

Cornelius

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Ifly4food, what overspeed incident happened last year, I don't think I heard of that one? My bad about the other post, I thought there were disimilar metals in the prop core too.
 

ifly4food

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There should be an NTSB report on it. Check their website.

It was a Brasilia, N505AS, going into Asheville, NC. I'm not sure exactly what month it was.
The whole thing was real hush-hush. Nobody from the company wants to talk about it, and even the captain of the flight hasn't heard anything else about it. Delta pretty much swept it under the rug. It really surprises me that our pilot group let them get away with this, but let's just say we have "other things" to worry about for now.

In that incident, they encountered an uncontrollable prop overspeed on approach into AVL. It occured at about 8000 feet about a mile outside the OM on a visual approach at night. The captain was the PF. The captain "elected" to land on the runway and showed remarkable skill in landing the airplane in one piece. The FO should also be commended for a speedy recognition of the problem and running of the immediate action items (though they didn't help). The prop hit 160% RPM before the shafts failed, and the airplane descended at about 3000FPM until that failure stopped the prop from turning. They were very lucky.
 

Huck

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Also on 529 - the taper bore was originally shot-peened after rebuild to smooth out any corkscrew scratches. This step was dropped for economy, and the FAA signed off on the change.

In the "dissimilar metals" of the Brunswick crash - originally these metals were coated so they had the same Rockwell hardness. this step was also dropped for economy - and the FAA signed off on the change there as well.

I just have to ask - 8000' one mile from the marker? Man, I miss those turboprop approaches! Maybe they were on a downwind....
 

ms6073

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ifly4food said:
There should be an NTSB report on it. Check their website.

It was a Brasilia, N505AS, going into Asheville, NC. I'm not sure exactly what month it was.
The whole thing was real hush-hush. Nobody from the company wants to talk about it, and even the captain of the flight hasn't heard anything else about it. Delta pretty much swept it under the rug. It really surprises me that our pilot group let them get away with this, but let's just say we have "other things" to worry about for now.

Although my search of the NTSB archives could hardly be considered conclusive, I guess the company 'really' did sweep this under the rug. I was unable to find any accident synopsis that was similar in nature to the events you described between 01/01/97 to present for all events in North Carolina much less the U.S.???
 

Typhoon1244

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The Brasilia has five features/systems designed to prevent a prop overspeed...all dependant on oil pressure. :confused:

My wife's maternal grandfather flew P-61 night-fighters in the Pacific during W.W. II. I was reading one of his books a while back, and I read that the first Black Widows suffered a lot of problems early on because their Hamilton Standard props were over-speeding.

See? The '120 is carrying on a sixty-year Ham-Stan tradition! :D
 

avbug

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Loss of the aircraft during most overspeed situations is pilot error. While The overspeed may not be pilot error, failure to contain the overspeed certainly can be. In any event, one can only make the best of a situation that hopefully he does not create.

I recall a C-119 crash some time ago, which occured on a training flight. An overspeed occured, and the crew fought to controll it, while losing altitude. After 1/2 hour of struggling with the airplane, they crashed. The scenario involved in this case an engine that was developing good power, but had a prop overspeed.

Power was pulled, airspeed lost, altitude lost, and the RPM brought under control. As the aircraft slowed and became hairy, power was added, altitude and airspeed gained (or maintained), and a cycle was formed.

What the crew failed to grasp was that the RPM of the propeller, whenever not under positive torque, was dependent on airspeed. Had they slowed the aircraft and then used available power on the engine, they could have returned and landed normally...instead of dying.

If the engine isn't driving the prop, then the slipstream is. Reducing the relative wind that's driving the prop will reduce the prop velocity. This seems somewhat counterintuitive, as it brings the airplane to a state of reduced lift and potential controllability, however, it's what must happen. (Much like pulling aft and pulling power off during a tailplane stall in ice).

In the event that the engine can be controlled by reducing to a very slow airspeed, then very often power can be added and used. If it can't be, then the engine should be shut down, feather or not.

The ham standard prop on the brasillia and other modern aircraft is nothing like the hydromatics found on the P-61, and virtually every other aircraft of it's era. However, the principle remains the same. Ham standard props are well designed, tough, and reliable. I've rested my life on them, earned a living from them, and have handled them in all states from flawless function to destroyed. I've worked on them, overhauled them, and think the world of them. Don't blame the prop...it's nothing more than a mechanical device. The key is what is done with it when something does go wrong.

In the case of 529, it would appear the crew did it right. Unfortunately, it's very possible to do everything right...and still lose.
 

Huck

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The Brasilia's a special case avbug. Read the report on the ASA Brunswick crash. It oversped on base-to-final at ~120 knots. The resulting torque roll threw them on their backs before they could try anything, much less slow down. The captain was the first American typed in the EMB120 and the head of the training department.

Ham Standard also blamed the crew, until Embraer actually recreated the torque tube failure on a test aircraft. From stable at 8000', it basically did a split S onto the runway - I believe the pilot (flying solo) was named Schittini.

The 14RF9 is a scimitar-shaped blade that acts like a pinwheel when the torque tube is cut. You're right, not comparable to older straight props.
 

aceshigh

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Hey Bean et al.,

If you want to get a copy of the book, check your local library. I did on a whim and was surprised to find that they had four copies of the book. I was also surprised to find a lot of the books mentioned on the thread about what everyone is reading, including Fate is the Hunter. Just a thought to save some $$$.

Aceshigh
 

demo

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ms6073 said:


Although my search of the NTSB archives could hardly be considered conclusive, I guess the company 'really' did sweep this under the rug. I was unable to find any accident synopsis that was similar in nature to the events you described between 01/01/97 to present for all events in North Carolina much less the U.S.???

It happened in '95... here's a link to the synopsis: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001207X04223&key=1
but the final report you have to order from them in hardcopy.
 
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