NCO Club: Off Topic Discussions => The Aisles: Non-military News and Snippets => Topic started by: Rattler on 30 June 2009, 16:46:54

Title: Yemenia A310 down
Post by: Rattler on 30 June 2009, 16:46:54
Another sad day for aviation.. I am at a loss of words for the victims.

Here what´s known so far:

On the a/c:

A310 (so no FBW, before you all start comparing to AF 447).

a/c seems to be an A310-300 first delivered in 1990 and had been in service with Yemenia since October 1999. Manufacturer's serial number was 535 and it was registered as 70-ADJ.

It had 51,900 flight hours spread across 17,300 flights.

Powered by Pratt and Whitney engines PW4152.

Reuters reports that the plane was inspected in France in 2007, some faults were detected and since then it has not flown in France.

The French transport minister says Yemenia was not on a blacklist but was subject to stricter checks and was to be interviewed by the EU safety committee.

Yemen's transport minister says the plane thoroughly examined in May.

On the accident:

...crash location is '9.2 miles north of Comoros Island and 20 miles from the airport' (press release, take with grain of salt. R.)

One 5 yr old survivor found apparently.

Moroni is a notoriously difficult airfield to fly into, especially at night. The airport is at sea-level on the West side of a skinny island, with a 7700' mountain just to the southeast of it and a 3600' one to the northeast..

There is no published approach to Rwy 20, just an VOR/DME/ILS for 02.

Easy to get disoriented at night as there are very few ground lights, a true 'black-hole' with part of it being the volcano mentioned -snip- (R.)

Moroni is shiv!!!
It is a fighter approach on to the main Rw, around a 6000' mountain. With that wind - WS highly probable. The G/A is even worse (ignore the speculation, plz, WS is possible but not at all highly probable at that stage, lets oly talk facts. R.)

This isn't a place for the fainthearted.

I have seen many white faces after the first visit a night with a little WX to contend with.

Luckily no other traffic to contend with so ATC not a problem.

A serious black hole approach at night.

Glad not to be flying there anymore.

Indeed "interesting" terrain, esp at night: Approach charts here: (

-snip- while a 3 degree PAPI is installed on Rwy 02, Rwy 20 has no PAPI. Given the actual wind conditions, this circling with prescribed flight tracks calls for trouble during a night approach...
Wonder why they have chosen to put the PAPI on 02 ISOF 20 (R.)

Approach vid for Rwy 02 (NOTE they probably went in for Rwy 20), gives an idea of the surroundings you see on the maps: (

The published intrument charts mention: "Risk of turbulence on approach for RWY 02 and windshear on short final with winds from the South-East"

Wx (METAR airport around crash time): FMCH 292300Z 21025G35KT 9999 FEW020 25/16 Q1017 TEMPO 18015G30KT=

Don't know how to read a METAR? Read METAR FAQ ( (mentions gusts of 30kts)

(and for the time period):

The airport weather from 29-2200z till 30-0000z;

FMCH 292200Z 18022G33KT 9999 FEW020 24/17 Q1018 NOSIG=
FMCH 292300Z 21025G35KT 9999 FEW020 25/16 Q1017 TEMPO 18015G30KT=
FMCH 300000Z 21025G35KT 9999 FEW020 25/17 Q1016 TEMPO 19014KT=


Title: Re: Yemenia A310 down
Post by: Koen on 30 June 2009, 19:00:11
just got home and saw a's really giving us the impression that there's something wrong wirh Airbus....

got a client who today said she wasn't so happy she was leaving for the US with an Airbus...

Title: Re: Yemenia A310 down
Post by: Rattler on 30 June 2009, 23:11:49
nothing wrong with AirBus (pre 330), in this case it was (attention: Unfounded speculation coming up) most probably the Bus Drivers + the wx.

OTOH, on the AF 447 case, I have talked personally to some tech guys that are afraid to board one.

So am I, but also with the e.g. 777 (Boeing) and all the other super-computerized stuff, given that todays jockeys do nto een get trained to hand-glöy often (depending on airline).