tv Why Planes Crash MSNBC August 23, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
second chance, but there's a price to that. an airbus 330 enters thunderstorms six miles above the atlantic and vanishes into the night. >> did it start with a lightning strike? >> a boeing 737 shatters as it slams down short of the runway. g forces tear at an out of control boeing 747 nosediving toward the pacific. everybody is faced with bull pack. >> there is no way we are going to survive this. >> when pilots are too rely yant on automation, the results can be catastrophic.
from brazil. the airbus 330 carrying 228 passengers and crew is scheduled to arrive the next morning in paris, france. planes flying this ruth try verse an enormous distance across the atlantic ocean. >> there is a point where during this flight, radar coverage is non-exist tablet. and it's incumbent upon the pilots to perform at certain check points. >> about three hours into the flight the pilots check in. the last verbal contact made by flight 447. the plane hits turbulence. here, winds from the northern and southern hemispheres coal lid and can produce severe storms.
about 30 minutes later, the flight is expected to show up in air space but the crew doesn't check in with the air traffic controllers. an aerial search team is deployed and go to the plane's last known position. >> this plane on top of the water somewhere, are people alive? >> but by early afternoon, officials with air france and the french government presume that the airplane is lost to the s sea. >> we lost an aircraft with 222 people on board. >> if there is any doubt about flight 447, grim discoveries confirm it. bodies boarding and small pieces of a plane are found floating on the surface of the ocean.
the next day, the first major piece of wreckage is found. the vertical stabilizer but there are still more questions than answers about what downed the airbus 330. >> evidence of an inflight breakup. >> did it start with a lightning strike? >> investigators need to locate the main fuselage and the flight recorders. these brightly colored orange devices known as black boxes are equipped with water activated locater beacons of pingers that remain active for 30 days. >> this is what you are looking for. in the middle of the atlantic ocean. >> but 30 days come and go and the flight recorders haven't been found. without the information they contain, the investigation into the cause of the crash is at a standstill. after nearly a search of searching under water, french
investigatiors turn to the worl leaders in ocean investigation help. for the scientists there, this isn't the first time they searched the bottom of the atlantic for an ill-faded passenger vessel. >> we're the people that found the titanic and due to collaboration with the french and here we are again. in many ways, it is history repeating itself. >> but trying to find air france 447 will be daunting. the plane is believed to be lost in one of the most mysterious and hard to reach places on earth. >> right not middle of the ocean is a mountain range, the greatest mountain range on earth called the mid ocean ridge 50,000 miles long and winds around the earth like the seams of a baseball mostly unexplored but dramatic. >> there, the average depth of the ocean stretches for two miles. >> if you're looking for the
black boxes, it's a kin to looking for something the size of a shoe box in the rocky mountains with a flashlight like finding a needle in a haystack but first you got to mind the haystack. >> the search area was a 40 mile radius circle and that's a big area. draw that circle in the middle of new england, massachusetts, vermont, kentucky. >> we needed to narrow that down and what we asked the modelers to do, the people that understood wind and waves is get us in the right haystack and we'll take it from there. >> the team launches three under water vehicles to comb the ocean floor. >> looking at the 6,000 vehicle now and one of our primary sensors is sonar. we will swim almost ten mile ms.
in one direction and the vehicle every second will be sending out a ping and tie those pings together and we get a good map of what is on the sea floor. >> in a heart beat you could misa plane on the bottom less than a minute worth of data. >> after finishing a month-long expedition under sea. the team is empty-handed. >> we're confident given enough time and resources that we would find the plane. >> nearly a year later, and with a new haystack identified they sent out for the second expedition within the first week, a promising lead. they find something on sonar, two and a half miles down. >> a smudge on the sea floor that didn't look like it belonged there. it's about 200 meters wide, 600 meters long. >> we got the vehicles back on board. we reprogrammed to go back to
that site and used our cameras to take pictures over the site. >> there was no doubt when those first images came back that that was the aircraft. there were the landing gear, the engines and other bits of the aircraft. there were bodies still in the sea floor, which was not something we were prepared for. it's not something that we thought could ever happen that years after words there would be human remains on the sea floor. the whole emotional part of this expedition just brought us to a place that we had never been to before. >> 104 bodies are recovered along with the wreckage. a few weeks later and nearly two years since the crash. french investigators locate what they have been desperately hoping to find, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. coming up, will the
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the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. air france 447 disappears outside the reach of radar. no witnesses, no mayday. it takes nearly two years for the wreckage to be found at the bottom of the ocean. after downloading the information on the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, investigators begin to unravel just what happened on board the airbus 330. >> 447 was in normal cruise. o auto pilot engaged. >> about three and a half hours into the flight, the captain leaves the cockpit to take a break, trading places with one of the two co-pilots.
the plane is experiencing light turbulence as it flies through the inner tropical zone. here warm, humid air rises, cools and condenses into large cloud formations. they encountered a weather system that blossomed up. so now the pilots use weather radar to try and pick their way through these dynamic weather systems. >> still, nothing out ordinary for this time of the year but what the pilots could not know is that ice is building up inside critical sensors called the pito tubes. >> it is a long utilized well-established device to measure air speed and then the a 330 they are located below the flight deck. they can be susceptible to icing and as a result, they are heated.
>> but the icing is overwhelming the heating capability and the tub tubes. >> in a highly automated airplane, if you ice over the tube you no longer have that ram air pressure, which all of these computers are dependant upon. >> with no valid air speed to work with, the auto pilot and other automated systems disconnect. the co-pilots must manually fly the plane without the ability to monitor their air speed. >> the big thing is to not make any major changes with the airplane. in all likelihood it's going to recover shortly. if you start making large inputs, things can get worse. >> with the captain still away from the flight deck, the co-pilot in the right seat, the youngest and least experienced on the crew attempts to level the plane that's being jostled by turbulence, but he over corrects on the side stick controller, pitching the airplane up at a steep angle.
>> those inputs were massive both in magnitude and in duration. >> the airplane is going to react more violently than at lower altitude or with the automation. >> the stability is decreasing, they are approaching a stall. >> the stall warning sounds twice in the cockpit. >> stall, stall. >> the air speed indications have been invalid for less than 30 seconds and now they are coming back online. but in that time, the flight has destabilized and the aircraft is rapidly climbing at 7,000 feet per minute. >> things get confusing quickly because you look at the air speed i have, but yeah, you have air speed but you have no left. >> air flow over the wing is ultimately critical for generating lift and supporting the weight of the airplane. so you can pitch the nose of the airplane up but the airplane will fall out of the sky because the wings are incapable of
generating enough lift. the pilot wasn't monitoring altitude, really didn't know he was at 38,000 feet. as the airplane reached the maximum altitude, it can't climb any higher. >> if they stall it, there is not a lot of air to work with. >> the wings lose lift and the airplane stalls. it begins to free fall descending steeply at 10,000 feet per minute, but there is confusion in the cockpit. the pilots don't realize that the plane has stalled. >> lowering the nose is the appropriate and only appropriate action that a pilot must take. reattachment of air flows over the wing if the wing produces lift and fly out of the stalled condition. >> but the copilot in the right seat does the opposite continuing to pull up. >> this is the last thing that you would want to do. this is very counter to the training received, why this occurred, it's one of the great mysteries of 447.
>> the copilots have been trying to reach the captain. it takes 90 seconds before he returns to the flight deck. >> they didn't brief the captain and tell him this is what is happening and we don't have control of the airplane. they lacked then the capability of that entire team to problem solve it together. >> the captain also fails to recognize that the plane is in a stall. it has been plummeting for nearly three minutes. >> in a normal condition where the airplane was inadvertently stalled, recovery should be easily obtained within 10 to 15 seconds. so the idea of three minutes in a stalled condition is extremely long. >> in the final minute, the cockpit voice recorder may reveal the captain realizing the copilot has been pitching up causing the plane to stall but i've been at max nose up for awhile, no, no, no, don't climb. >> in aircraft with a
controller, you may not notice the slight motion, doesn't take a lot. it is possible that you can have a full aft stick input and the other crew members don't notice it. >> the airplane is only seconds from hitting the ocean. >> the passengers really probably didn't understand what the gravity of the situation was. they only knew possibly that they were entering an area of turbulence. >> air france 447 smashes down belly first into the atlantic killing everyone on board. autopsies of the victims reveal compression fractures of the spinal column and pelvis. injuries combatble with a seated person hitting the surface of the water at high vertical speeds. it's still unclear whether pilots did not recognize that the plane had stalled. despite the useable stall warning that sounded for 54 seconds. >> it may have been that it became a nuisance warning
because they had heard it intermittently before. they didn't know if it was valid or not and decided to disregard it but we'll never know. they never discussed it. >> the official french investigative report states that a phenomenon called the startle effect may have played a role. >> it's similar to walking into a room that's dark and somebody jumping out and saying boo, it's that instantaneous scare, if you will, okay, the auto pilot is off. why is it off? do i need to do and you have to process this information in a compressed timeline. >> human beings, when they are very, very, very focused on one task, things will drop out. oral inputs are one of the first to go. so this is consistent with this buy l pilot not hearing the stall warning. >> prior to the crash of 447, airbus and air france recognized
the potential problems with pito tubes freezing over and begun modifications just two days prior to the accident. the official report maintains that improving pilot training including exercises dedicated to manually aircraft handling is the key lesson of flight 447. >> you had professional pilots that had gone through professional pilot training but none of these pilots had ever been trained to fly the airplane manually at high altitude with these levels of sensitivity. coming up, an out of control passenger jet plummets towards the ocean. >> the confusion on the flight deck on that airplane was extreme. a new season brings a new look. a chance to try something different. this summer, challenge your preconceptions and experience a cadillac for yourself.
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no sixth grader's ever sat with but your jansport backpack is permission to park it wherever you please. hey. that's that new gear feeling. this week, these folders just one cent. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great. a boeing 747 is in a nosedive toward the ocean. the plane is on the verge of being ripped apart.
february 19th, 1985. china airlines flight 006 is cruising at 41,000 feet above the pacific ocean. 274 passengers and crew are on board traveling from taiwan to los angeles. >> it was my birthday and my friend told them that, you know, his birthday so let's have, celebrate up in the air and so that's what we do and we just kept drinking. the plane, champagne singing happy birthday. >> ten hours into the journey, the crew notice as sudden loss of trust in the 747's number four engine. >> the normal procedure is if you lose an engine you have to come down. >> the crew must descend to 30,000 feet where the air is
denser so they can try to restart the engine. instead, the captain asks the flight engineer to restart engine number four while they are still at 41,000 feet. the restart attempt fails and the continued loss of thrust slows the airport down. >> if you have the failure of one engine, you have an unbalanced power and the airplane will tend to want to roll toward the failed engine because there is more power being produced on the other wing. >> the airplane is rolling to the right toward engine four. >> the first corrective action is to apply rutter to balance it. switch the auto pilot off, make the corrections and re-engage the auto pilot. >> the auto pilot doesn't use the rutter, it uses the flaps on the ends of the wings so it tries to roll the airplane to the opposite direction, in this
case to the left. >> but it is not enough to correct the roll, the captain is preoccupied with the problem in engine four and continues to keep the auto pilot engaged. >> it's similar to your car. you can only turn your steering wheel so much and you come to a stop. that's what happens in an airplane. the auto pilot can only roll them in so much and comes to a stop and says i can't do this anymore because i can't move them anymore, you need to do something else to stop this roll. >> it's been more than 3:30 minutes. the captain disengages auto pilot. the crew knows the plane is banking right but they don't realize just how much it is already rolled. >> when they disconnect the auto pilot, they were already in a very difficult flying situation that they needed to correct immediately. >> the confusion on the flight deck on that airplane was extreme.
they were in clouds so they didn't have a way to look out and see a natural horizon. they were depending on the instruments. >> in that particular instance, the pilots would have been looking at adi, the artificial horrible risen that shows the level of the wings compared to the horizon. when the crew, the captain looked at his adi and saw an altitude on the indicator that was not what he expected, he thought the instrument failed. >> so when they decided not to believe the instruments, they are left with any ability to tell which way up they were. there was nothing wrong with the instruments. the instruments were showing correctly what the airplane was doing. >> the airplane rolled more than 60 degrees to the right. the nose pitches down and the plane enters a nosedive. >> i just heard a very loud noise from the airplane so due to our training and my instinct,
i immediately back down and grab the nearest chair arm. >> the airplane with the nose down in a roll essentially went through a complete 360 degree turn descending through the clouds at about 20,000 feet per minute. >> eventually the airplane is almost vertical as it descends very rapidly and at very, very high speeds toward the pacific. coming up. >> their over speed a lot, this is a condition you can actually physically pull an airplane apart. no sixth grader's ever sat with the eighth grade girls. but your jansport backpack is permission to park it wherever you please. hey. that's that new gear feeling. this week, these folders just one cent.
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the biggest honor on monday when they meet one on one with the president. the men tackled gunmen saturday as he opened fire on a train bound for paris. now back to our msnbc special. clhina airlines 006 is crossing the pacific causing the airplane to roll to the right. they fail to disengage the auto pilot and straighten out the plane. when they finally disengage it, the airplane is in a dangerous position having rolled much more than the crew realizes. the boeing 747 begins plummeting toward the ocean.
angie wang just finished serving breast fast to the customers. >> suddenly i feel my leg sos hea so heavy. i feel like i'm about to be thrown to the ceiling. >> all the people who were serving us, they were just rolling down the isle. all the trey, the noodles, cup, everything was just flying through to the front of the plane. i thought we're gone. there is no way we're going to survive this. >> in just 30 seconds, the plane has fallen more than 10,000 feet. >> their over speed a lot. this is a condition you can actually physically pull an airplane apart. >> for the pilot, he had to get himself oriented what was the airplane doing? it right side up. upside down? >> the g force is bearing down on the passengers and crew are
enormous exceeding five times the force of gravity. this means that a 200-pound person would feel like 1,000 pounds. >> you didn't know if your brain would explode or what. everybody face was kind of pulled back like stretched. >> you couldn't open your mouth. you couldn't move your arms. you couldn't move anything. there was complete silence because you can't even make a sound. >> when they were trying to figure out what was going on, the crew found themselves with their faces pressed down onto the control column because the g forces were so strong. ♪ ♪ >> the forces of the airplane and g load are so powerful that the doors covering parts of the main landing gear are ripped off. >> big boom. i thought the plane just blew up, you know. and i open my eyes, i'm still here. i'm still falling. >> at the back of the airplane, the tips of the horizontal
stabilizer separate from the tail. >> they have fallen another 20,000 feet in less than two minutes. the airplane breaks through the cloud layer and by chance, it's oriented right side up. >> now they had a natural horizon to look with. they could look out the windshield and see which way was up, down, and wings level. >> but there is only 11,000 feet left between the airplane and the ocean. >> i could see the water, the waves break, it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger and you have a magnifying glass. >> i just scream from my mind. i say god help me. >> the crew pulls up hard on the control column and using the horizon try to level out the airplane. but they are still losing altitude. >> it felt like forever but then it just stopped.
>> right after i call god, the sound disappear and the pressure drop down. >> finally after falling more than 30,000 feet in less than two and a half minutes, the nose begins to pitch up and the airplane levels out at 9,500 feet. >> the captain used very artful flying to recover the aircraft from the bad situation. unfortunately, it was that same pilot who put the airplane in that bad situation. >> flight 006 is no long near a nosedive but they are not out of danger. the crew realizes with drag from the landing gear, they won't have enough fuel to make it to los angeles. instead, they will try to make it to san francisco. >> they didn't know how much damage was done, certainly in the back of their mind is are the flight controls going to work on approach into san
francisco? questions like that which would unfold as they got closer. >> i really want to make it. still hour and a half away. that's a long way to go. >> now at a lower altitude with denser air, the crew is able to restart engine four. inside the cabin, the g forces have taken a toll on the passengers. many have sustained injuries. >> my back went out as a result of being pushed inside of a plane. >> people was just throwing up or going to the bathroom in their cloths and their seat. you know, a horrible smell. >> the crew prepares to make an approach into san francisco international airport but the airplane is damaged and the crew doesn't know if it's capable of landing safely. >> the people on top of the tower with binoculars all checking the landing gear. if anything was missing or anything is broken.
>> and i looked out the window and the ambulances and fire trucks and everything on each side of the landing strip. >> it touches down on the runway and the landing gear holds the massive weight of the boeing 74 747. >> i was excited. i'm still alive, you know, especially on my birthday, you know. when we got out the plane, that's when i look up and the stabilizer were gone about ten feet of each side wire hanging, big hole underneath the landing gear. >> the plane's wings are also bent up two inches from the aerodynamic forces. >> they are very fortunate that the airplane was so well built, so well designed that even during this extreme maneuver, the airplane stayed together. >> when we met captain he just told us you barely escaped dying. >> i was in a fog of just being
grateful that i'm here, have another opportunity and i hugged my kids and my wife. >> if the crew hadn't recovered flight 006 from the nosedive they would have collided with the ocean in 30 seconds. >> the captain, he's fortunate that he had 30 plus thousand feet to recover this high-speed dive because had this happened at 20,000 feet, he may not have had enough altitude before the aircraft struck to effect the full recovery. >> the ntsb investigation determines that the captain's decision making abilities could have been impaired by boredom and fatigue. >> jet lag pilots go through time zones and sleep patterns disrupted and studies that equate to a blood-alcohol level with i'm parament.
with a fatigued pilot you're going to have a performance degradation. the question is not if but the question is in severity. >> investigators believe despite engine number four, the cause of the accident was the captain's pre preok pax. his failure to monster flight instruments and his own reliance on the auto pilot. >> on a four-engine aircraft with the loss of one engine, that is not a catastrophic event or even an emergency event if it is controlled properly and it is handled by all the crew members. automation is a great tool for pilots but then it reaches its limit like anything else. now it's up to you, the human to fix this problem. coming up. >> i saw it drop like a brick falling out of the sky. >> landing through fog, 737 slams down short of the runway. >> i was like i have no idea what happened but there is something wrong and i need to
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february 25th, 2009. 135 passengers and crew are on board turkish airlines flight 151 traveling from istanbul to amsterdam. sisters are seated in an emergency exit row. >> when they said that we are approaching an stwe woke up. >> i saw the ground coming towards us very fast. and i said wow and looked at her and thought this is weird. i never feel this in an
airplane. >> an airplane is less than a mile from the runway when suddenly disaster. >> like we were hanging in the air and then we dropped. and everything was shaking and shaking. >> just out of the corner of my eye i saw it drop like a brick falling out of the sky. >> the airplane crashes down into a field tail first. he is driving nearby when he witnesses the catastrophe. >> stopped the car, came over the highway and down the side here across the water into the field over there behind us where the plane was. i saw one man lying on the ground who had passed away and had a towel over his head. business class had been crushed together so the seats sort of went downwards into that mangled area. >> from a crash dynamic
standpoint a soft field is very difficult. the aircraft stops a lot quicker than a hard field. when the aircraft impacted the ground, it broke into several pieces. the tail broke off and went at an angle. the cockpit broke off both in a lateral stand point but had a lot of impact damage from the floor and below. >> the way in which the plane drops from the sky fuels early speculation that a weather phenomenon called a microburst may be to blame. >> a microburst is a condition usually created by thunderstorms where you have a column of air that rushes downward and it can be very, very intense. it has in the past shoved airplanes literally into the ground. vipsbili visibility was restricted in fog which is not uncommon in the lowcountries but there were no
thunderstorms so the conditions necessary for a microburst didn't exist. >> inside the cabin, many of the passengers don't yet comprehend what's happened. >> i didn't realize that there was a serious accident. i thought that the pilots had made very hard landing. there was silence for 20 seconds to a minute then a lot of noise. all the screaming people, a lot of pain. it was terrible to hear that. >> videos uploaded to the internet capture the aftermath. >> i sat in my chair waiting for the sign that we can take our seat belts off and get out. so i waited and waited but i stared in front of me. i don't know if it was like a shock. >> i looked up. i looked around me and it was
very dusty and it smelled as if you left the iron on for quite a long time so it was sort of burning smell. and i was like i have no idea what happened but there is something wrong and we need to get out. i looked at my right side and i saw her staring in front of her so i looked at her and shock her and said wake up, wake up, something happened we need to get out and she looked at me and i said open the door. >> she was trying to get the door but had her seat belt on so she was struggling to get up and i didn't understand. she had this panic in her voice. but i thought, okay, something is wrong because she's acting very weird. she knows things that i don't know and she screamed again what is wrong with you? stand up, get out. get out. >> disoriented, the sisters and other passengers climb through the emergency exit onto the wing of the airplane. >> i stood on the wing and when
i stod uod up i felt pain in my belly. i thought what is this? i was just grabbing my hand because i had an injury that was underneath my clothes but i said i don't dare to look. as we were walking down the wing and the moment we had to jump, we were like oh my god, this is quite high. we jumped and then i said to her we need to go. we need to run because if something happens, if it explodes we need to run and be safe. she said run, run, can you run? i said -- i talked strange. i noticed myself talking like this that i couldn't breathe. i said yes, i can run. and she said then run. coming up. >> so she said you know what? i'm going back. i said what? no, no. >> investigators uncover the dangerous chain of events that lead to disaster. discover card hey! so i'm looking at my bill and my fico credit score's on here. yeah! we give you your fico credit score. for free!
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turkish airlines flight 1951 is approaching the airplane when suddenly it smashes down into the field below. videos uploaded to the internet capture the devastation. after evacuating the airplane, sisters are gripped by shock. >> my sister said we need to call our relatives. i said where is the phone? in the airplane. so she said you know what? i'm going back. i said what? no, no, no and i couldn't speak and i thought how stupid can she be? we still smell kerosene, there could be fire. she's going back in the airplane. >> i got there on the wing and walked slowly towards the emergency exit. i got in again and i looked around and i was going into the cabins to get all my stuff and then i heard a voice, again, and i looked at her and she was
standing on the wing and she said, i have all our stuff, all our stuff. and i thought she's really gone crazy. >> i think i was in kind of a shock because i was saying things that didn't make any sense if somebody would ask me hey, if an airplane crashed would you go back? of course not. i did something that i shouldn't have done. >> the sisters are treated for minor cuts and bruises. nine people are killed and nearly every one on board suffers injuries, many are serious. >> all three flight crew members were fatally injured, the five passengers were all in the forward part of the aircraft in the first class section. there was one other fatality of a flight attendant in the aft part of the aircraft where it broke apart. most of the injuries were either broken legs or broken backs and the surprising thing is that the people with broken backs could
walk out of the plane but then could no longer walk after the first sort of shock wore off. >> the plane is destroyed but the scattered pieces give investigators the first clues as to what happened. >> the engines were actually forward of the main wreckage so they had traveled further than the rest of the wreckage. to us, it could indicate that the engines were producing power. >> the engines appear to have been functioning but not much else is known. trying to decipher what did happen, investigators locate the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. when they download the critical information, it reveals a dangerous chain of events on board turkish airlines. >> as the aircraft was coming in, air traffic control positioned the aircraft in a manner that caused them to be high so once they did that it required them to do a steep rate
of descent. >> they were faster than they should have been. they were a little higher than they should have been. air traffic control turned the airplane in close to the runway so they were descending quickly and extended the landing gear and configured the airplane to land knowing they needed to slow down. >> but an indicator called the radio measurement to measure above the ground malfunctioned. it is showing that the plane is on the ground when it's actually still 2,000 feet in the air. the crew recognizes the problem but what they don't realize is that the faulty reading will have a dangerous effect on the auto throttle system. this controls the speed of the airplane by adjusting engine trust. >> the radar was telling the throttle to be at idle. the pilot expected it but only for the descent. this is the beginning of an am
big gas situation. the airplane starts to slow down. the power does not come up as the pilot expected it to because the auto throttle system thinks its on the ground. the airplane continues to slow. >> another problem, the plane is nearing the runway but the crew isn't finished prepping for landing. >> they didn't have the final flap selections made and still running the before landing checklist. consequently, the go around was required by their operations manuel yet they didn't do that. >> so all those things that they were doing at that time was taking them away from actually monitoring the air speed and altitude. >> inside the cockpit, the stick shaker warning activates telling the pilots that the airplane is about to stall. >> i think the stick shaker caught them by surprise. the training first officer did exactly what he was trained to do, push the power up, lower the nose but the captain understandably said i don't know
what is going on here, i want control of the airplane because i've got so much more experience. neither the training first officer nor the first captain disengaged. the result of not following that disengagement is the auto throttle system drove back to idle. >> with no thrust to the engine, the airplane is losing too much air speed and takes nine seconds from a stick shaker warning for the captain to realize that the throttles are in idle. when he does, he pushes them to full trust but it's too late. >> by the time they realized what was occurring, the airplane went into an aerodynamic stalled condition and fell out of the sky a mile short of the airplane. >> the plane shatters on impact into three pieces. the accident leads to significant changes in the industry. >> a recommendation was made to improve the reliability of the
radio altimiter system. boeing had been working to fix the system but put extra emphasis on finding out what was wrong with the system to ensure that that would give reliable data. >> one of the lessons learned was need to switch off automated systems during stall recoveries. certainly for the 737s that stall recovery needs to be no auto pilot and no auto throttle. >> unfortunately, we've gained a lot of reliance on the automation to keep us out of trouble and have an expectation as long as the automation is engaged, it will fly the airplane safely. well, you know like anything else, a system can fail and instrument can fail.