Author Topic: Three dead after a Boeing 767 Atlas Air cargo jet operating for Amazon Prime Air plunges into a bay  (Read 1258 times)

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Offline Right_in_Virginia

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Three dead after a Boeing 767 Atlas Air cargo jet operating for Amazon Prime Air plunges into a bay on landing approach to Houston
Daily Mail/UK, Feb 23, 2019


•A cargo jet crashed into Trinity Bay in Anahuac, Texas on approach to Houston
•Atlas Air Flight 3591 was on route to Houston's George Bush International Airport from Miami when it went down
•The twin engine Boeing 767 was reportedly flying for Amazon Prime Air
•The FAA says it was indicated that three people were on board the flight
•There are no survivors in the crash, as per the Chambers County Sheriff's Office
•The FAA lost radar and radio contact with the flight approximately 30 miles southeast of George Bush Intercontinental Airport
•The last transmission sent to the aircraft warned of heavy rain near the airport
•Searchers have located the submerged aircraft 


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6737937/Atlas-Air-cargo-jet-operating-Amazon-Prime-Air-reportedly-crashed-approach-Houston-Texas.html
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Offline Right_in_Virginia

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Online Elderberry

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THE FINAL MOMENTS OF ATLAS AIR FLIGHT 3591

https://montgomerycountypolicereporter.com/the-final-moments-of-atlas-air-flight-3591/

Atlas Air left Miami just after 10:30 am Houston Time, Saturday morning bound for Bush Airport in Houston. At approximately 12:53 pm Houston Approach lost contact with the aircraft. The plane had 3 crew members on board. The aircraft was leased to Amazon Prime. Several witnesses say they heard the engine surging as it came in nose first to Trinity Bay in Chambers County. There is very little fuel on the water surface and the plane is almost disintegrated. There was no fire. Debris, many small packages can be seen floating on the surface of the water. The Chambers County Sheriff said DPS dive teams are en route to the scene. In addition, the US Coast Guard was on the scene as is Texas Parks and Wildlife. Montgomery County Precinct 1 Dive Team was also put on standby. The Sheriff said recovery could be weeks as the water goes from nothing to five-feet and is mostly marsh popular with duck hunters.
While the exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined, weather may have played a role in the fatal crash, says weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Belles.

“The plane was flying through the very southern end of Winter Storm Quiana,” said Belles. “The plane may have hit turbulence and/or showers along Quiana’s cold front, which was passing through the Houston metro area at the time. The plane would have gone from southwest or south winds before the front to a headwind as it punched through the cold front, which would have resulted in the slowing of the plane regardless of whether or not turbulence was involved.
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Offline rustynail

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'Winter Storm Quiana'?   What a stupid thing naming weather.
RIP brave crew.

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Birds, storm or plane failure ??
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Some people in the area say they heard lightening.
But until the investigation, we won't know if it was lightening they heard or the sound of the plane hitting the water.
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Offline Smokin Joe

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Birds, storm or plane failure ??
If the engine was surging, it was ingesting too much water. The cure is counterintuitive, a reduction in power allows the engine to produce thrust again, albeit at a reduced level.

Increasing power causes a pressure buildup inside the engine between the fans that causes the engine to surge, then fail.

 http://icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS2000/PAPERS/RESERVED/ICA0524.PDF
Quote
Summary
The behaviour of the aircraft gas turbine engine changes,  due  to  water  ingestion  by  the  engine.This  paper  examines  the  origin  and  characteristics of these changes. It can be stated, that while the  ingestion  of  water  in  vapour  phase  hardly modifies, the increase of water content in liquid phase  shifts  operating  line  both  in  steady  and transient  duties  to  surge  line.  In  case  of  acceleration  or  power  increase  of  the  engine  the  ingestion of water may cause the flame out of the combustion chamber

The causes will likely be ruled a combination of weather conditions and pilot error.
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Sheriff: 'I don't believe anyone could survive' cargo plane's nose dive into Trinity Bay

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/article/FAA-Cargo-plane-crashed-in-Trinity-By-in-13639542.php?

Quote
"Knowing what I saw, I don't believe anyone could have survived it," he said, noting witnesses described the plane crashing into the water around 12:40 p.m. A half-mile-wide debris field filled the shallow bay Saturday afternoon as seven police agencies, lead by the U.S. Coast Guard and initially assisted by civilians in jon boats, searched for signs of the crew. Human remains were found, but authorities didn't provide details on the victims.

The aluminum and steel aircraft disintegrated on impact; the sheriff said the largest piece police have recovered is 50 feet long. He described the scene as "total devastation."

Douglas Moss, a retired 767 pilot who now works as an aviation consultant in Nevada, said the data show a normal flight pattern until the aircraft neared Houston. At 12:38 p.m., the aircraft descended 11,750 feet in about 30 seconds.

"Below 7,000 feet, the rate of descent reaches an absurdly high level," Moss said.

The Federal Aviation Administration lost radar and radio contact with the plane when it was about 30 miles southeast of Bush, the agency said. Some witnesses reported hearing the aircraft's engines sputtering, while others reported hearing a sound resembling a thunderclap, Hawthorne said. It crashed into the bay shortly before 12:45 p.m., according to the FAA.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in Washington Sunday evening that the aircraft appeared to be making a normal descent that suddenly accelerated until the plane hit the water.

Moss said NTSB investigators will ultimately determine what caused the loss of Atlas Air 3591. But since the aircraft appeared to behave normally until it reached low altitudes, he said, cabin depressurization is unlikely to have been a factor in the crash. Hawthorne said the weather likewise was an unlikely culprit.

More at link
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Body recovered after Boeing 767 cargo plane's nose dive into Trinity Bay

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/article/FAA-Cargo-plane-crashed-in-Trinity-By-in-13639542.php

Quote
One body has been recovered after a Boeing 767 cargo plane nose-dived into the Trinity Bay with three aboard, authorities said.

Recovery efforts continue at the site near Anahuac where the jetliner contracted by Amazon crashed Saturday afternoon with three crew members aboard.

Authorities have not confirmed any identities yet. Friends, family and coworkers mourning the crew on social media Sunday identified the three men on board as Capt. Sean Archuleta, Capt. Ricky Blakely; and First Officer Conrad Jules Aska.

Hawthorne is urging anyone who witnessed the crash or recorded it to contact his office.

The sheriff said police would continue to search through the night and characterized it as a recovery effort.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the flight crew, their families and friends along with the entire team at Atlas Air during this terrible tragedy. We appreciate the first responders who worked urgently to provide support.

Chambers County sheriff's deputies and FAA investigators responded to the scene, along with personnel from multiple other agencies. The Harris County Sheriff's Office sent deputies to help with rescue efforts, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

The Houston Police Department dispatched officers from its marine unit to help the U.S. Coast Guard respond to the scene, according to an HPD tweet. Asst. Chief Larry Satterwhite, who oversees the department's Homeland Security Command, was on scene.

More at link above.
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Online Elderberry

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Sheriff: 2 bodies recovered, searching for 3rd


https://www.wacotrib.com/news/ap_nation/the-latest-sheriff-bodies-recovered-searching-for-rd/article_a766b44b-d9f5-5a09-a3b1-219dd4a80d76.html

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ANAHUAC, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the crash of a Boeing 767 jet freighter into Trinity Bay in Texas (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A southeast Texas sheriff says a second body has been recovered from the site where a Boeing 767 cargo plane crashed and the search is ongoing for the third.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne gave the update at a Sunday afternoon press conference with officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI. Hawthorne says crews remain in an active recovery mode at Trinity Bay, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Houston.

Atlas Air earlier said it had confirmed all three people aboard the plane died.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt says security video from a jail about a mile away showed the plane heading toward the ground nose first. Sumwalt also says no distress call was given before the wreck.

The FBI asked that anyone with debris on their property contact authorities.
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Offline Smokin Joe

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If the engine was surging, it was ingesting too much water. The cure is counterintuitive, a reduction in power allows the engine to produce thrust again, albeit at a reduced level.

Increasing power causes a pressure buildup inside the engine between the fans that causes the engine to surge, then fail.

 http://icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS2000/PAPERS/RESERVED/ICA0524.PDF
The causes will likely be ruled a combination of weather conditions and pilot error.
When there is loss of power to the engines, The APU must be deployed. The plane (iirc) is without electrical power, including to the instruments (artificial horizon, etc) for approximately 2 minutes. Long enough in a heavy storm for the crew to become disoriented without a visual reference.

We'll see what the black boxes say.  I could be wrong.

Prayers up for the deceased and their families/friends.
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Online Elderberry

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Searchers Find Human Remains Believed To Be Third Victim Of Plane Crash In Anahuac

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2019/02/26/323410/searchers-find-human-remains-believed-to-be-third-fatal-victim-of-plane-crash-in-anahuac/

Quote
The mud and the depth of the water where the plane crashed are making the search operations difficult, including the search for the black box.

A cadaver dog that’s part of the team searching the site where a cargo jet crashed on Saturday has found human remains that authorities believe are those of a third victim. The accident happened in Trinity Bay, in the Anahuac area, about 60 miles east of Houston.

Emergency workers recovered two bodies over the weekend and sent them to a medical examiner’s office for autopsies.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said during a press conference on Tuesday the partial remains were found at approximately 2 p.m. Hawthorne emphasized the body hasn’t been found yet but added authorities may be closer to recovering it after Tuesday’s discovery. “We will not stop looking for the third body until we have that third body recovered,” Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne said the size of the debris field is about three quarters of a mile long and the crews deployed by the National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) have already identified the four corners, as the agency calls them, of the site where the airplane crashed. An FBI evidence recovery team is also on site.

More at link.
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Offline Smokin Joe

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For those wondering how a dog helped in a water recovery:


SOme spots out in tidal mudflats can be pretty sloppy. Something could get slammed right out of sight pretty easy. Not a duty I envy anyone, including the dog.
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Online Elderberry

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SOme spots out in tidal mudflats can be pretty sloppy. Something could get slammed right out of sight pretty easy. Not a duty I envy anyone, including the dog.
We were out flounder gigging when a North wind had blown all the water out. We were walking toward the water's edge, when in the next step we went in to our waist in the goo. We had to just lay down and worm our way out back to firmer ground.
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Offline catfish1957

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Some people in the area say they heard lightening.
But until the investigation, we won't know if it was lightening they heard or the sound of the plane hitting the water.

The crash site is about 40 miles from my location.  At about the time of the crash there was a small line of thunderstomes with hail going through the area.  A lot of time when there is hail, there is  strong up/down drafts.  Not sure this was the cause, but i wouldn't be surprised.
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Offline Smokin Joe

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The crash site is about 40 miles from my location.  At about the time of the crash there was a small line of thunderstomes with hail going through the area.  A lot of time when there is hail, there is  strong up/down drafts.  Not sure this was the cause, but i wouldn't be surprised.
Could be part of it, sure. Hail, if large enough can damage the blades in the turbines, and if conditions are right, the vents between the turbines can ice over. If this happens when the engine is ingesting large amounts of water, pressure builds up between the two sets of turbine blades, and causes the engine to surge, power wise. Adding throttle (attempting to power up) causes the pressure to build to the point of flame out, even though that would be the instinctive thing to do.
If both engines flame out, the Auxiliary Power Unit must be deployed to keep the instruments functioning, and there is a two minute (roughly) delay from deployment to power up. In zero visibility conditions in a storm without visual horizon references, disorientation (especially with up/down drafts and turbulence) can cause the pilots to put the plane in an unrecoverable dive, which fits the pattern here. This is just educated speculation, only one set of possible factors, and I await the NTSB report.
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Offline Smokin Joe

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We were out flounder gigging when a North wind had blown all the water out. We were walking toward the water's edge, when in the next step we went in to our waist in the goo. We had to just lay down and worm our way out back to firmer ground.
When I was 12, I was walking across a salt marsh to a deer stand. Had I not been carrying my shotgun (we hunted with rifled slugs there) at port arms, It would not have caught on the sides of the hole I stepped in, covered over with flattened marsh grass. I went in to my armpits, never felt bottom, and used the shotgun to pull myself out...

A five point buck literally jumped over the deer stand I should have been in, but by then, I was back out by the Jeep, very wet, cold, aromatic, and miserable. (Then I heard about the buck).. :shrug:

I am just glad to be here today.

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And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. Nehemiah 4:14 (KJV)

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Online thackney

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We were out flounder gigging when a North wind had blown all the water out. We were walking toward the water's edge, when in the next step we went in to our waist in the goo. We had to just lay down and worm our way out back to firmer ground.

Sounds like my pastures about now.
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Offline SZonian

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Engine failure does not equal a "nose dive"....Sullenberger and the "miracle on the Hudson"?

Either the loss of a control surface, complete loss of control or intent is probably most likely here.
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Offline catfish1957

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Engine failure does not equal a "nose dive"....Sullenberger and the "miracle on the Hudson"?

Either the loss of a control surface, complete loss of control or intent is probably most likely here.

I mentioned earlier that we were having hail producing storms (line of storms) during the crash.  You are leaning that it probably isn't weather related?
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Offline Bigun

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Engine failure does not equal a "nose dive"....Sullenberger and the "miracle on the Hudson"?

Either the loss of a control surface, complete loss of control or intent is probably most likely here.

I entirely agree!  I have had the advantage of seeing a couple of very poor and short cell phone videos that would support that.

Offline Smokin Joe

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Engine failure does not equal a "nose dive"....Sullenberger and the "miracle on the Hudson"?

Either the loss of a control surface, complete loss of control or intent is probably most likely here.
No it doesn't. But loss of instrumentation in a storm might.

Sullenberger did great, in daylight, no storm (bird strikes). Unfortunately, Sully (who had also run ditching scenarios in a simulator, iirc) was the only one who pulled it off, and an exception.

It's all speculation until someone pulls up the black box data.

(Edited to clarify that it was not unfortunate Sully ditched successfully, only unfortunate more flights had not had similar good outcomes.)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 03:26:51 PM by Smokin Joe »
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And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. Nehemiah 4:14 (KJV)

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Offline Bigun

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No it doesn't. But loss of instrumentation in a storm might.

Sullenberger did great, in daylight, no storm (bird strikes). Unfortunately, Sully (who had also run ditching scenarios in a simulator, iirc) was the one who pulled it off, and an exception.

It's all speculation until someone pulls up the black box data.

That's true!  There have been cases where a disgruntled employee shot the pilot and co-pilot dead and pushed the flight controls over. 

We won't know what happened until we see and hear the actual evidence.

Offline SZonian

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No it doesn't.
Sullenberger did great, in daylight, no storm (bird strikes). Unfortunately, Sully (who had also run ditching scenarios in a simulator, iirc) was the only one who pulled it off, and an exception.

It's all speculation until someone pulls up the black box data.

(Edited to clarify that it was not unfortunate Sully ditched successfully, only unfortunate more flights had not had similar good outcomes.)
"But loss of instrumentation in a storm might."  True, the Airbus flight out of South America a number of years back bears that out.

What I'm saying is that most aircraft have some kind of glide slope (except helos) and even with engine loss, the APU should provide power and backup emergency hydraulics to control the aircraft. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider 

Nose diving in just brings us to other possible scenarios.

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