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12 Years and 99 Deaths Ago, TAM Airlines flight 402 Was Lost But Not Forgotten

12 Years and 99 Deaths Ago, TAM Airlines flight 402 Was Lost But Not Forgotten

Friday, October 31 2008

It has been 12 years since 99 people died in the Tam Congonhas Fokker-100 accident.

On October 31 1996. TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 402 set off for Rio De Janeiro and fell to earth minutes after take-off from Congonhas airport, spreading destruction on two building and seven houses, killing 99 people: 90 passengers, six members of the crew and three people on the street.

Inquiries of TAM and Fokker, (the company who manufactured the airplane) concluded that a malfunctioning relay caused he opening of the right reverser. In December 1997, the Aeronautics Report found TAM guilty and made Fokker responsible for imperfections in the airplane.

According to the Center of Inquiry and Prevention of Air Accidents (Cenipa) Report, during take-off, the reverser of the right engine of the Fokker-100 opened, and without any alarm, was set in motion, catching by surprise a crew in the command cabin that never was trained for this situation.

The report disclosed that on 28 of June 1995, the Fokker sent a letter claiming it was not necessary to train pilots for this type of emergency because it was impossible for the Fokker reverser to open during take-off.

The report says that a system changed altered the probability of imperfection in the system to one in ten million from one in a million.

One another factor helped to knock down the airplane: the contacts of a relay (controlling of electric circuits) that should have set in motion the alarm system. This relay, according to Douglas colonel Axe, head of the Cenipa, was found 13 days after the accident.

The human error that was the consequence of these other two situations: the lack of information on pane, caused by the burnt relay, and the lack of training for the situation by the manufacturer of the aircraft. According to report, the pilots had not followed basic recommendations.

According to colonel Axe, the pilots could have gained time if they had allowed the airplane to go up to stabilize, without “forcing the engine in pane because of the reverse.”

The Cenipa said that the only acknowledgment that the pilots had of the opening of the reverser was the brusque jib of the manual acceleration of the aircraft, then later when the airplane left the soil, the landing gear.

A computer animation showed how the pilots acted in a desperate attempt to discover what was occurring.

The tragedy timeline:

8h26m: The control tower authorizes the airplane to take off.

29 seconds: The airplane runs about 90 kilometers per minute in the track.

55 seconds: The airplane raises in flight. The reverse of right turbine opens and closes for the first time, without the pilot perceiving it. Manete of the one I lock stops backwards and the pilot speeds up the turbine manually.

70 seconds: The reverser opens for the third time and it does not close.

74 seconds: The Fokker stick starts to tremble and the airplane loses height.

79 seconds: The Fokker inclines to the right, the wing striking a three story building . The airplane blows up. Ninety and nine people die.

8h27m.

Postado for Jorge Tadeu Da Silva
Apologies for any errors in translation

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