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Dude~
10th Jun 2004, 21:44
Thursday 10th June at 2105 a British Airways 777 landed back at LHR after a 40 minute flight following a take off with smoke coming from undercarriage. Plane was met on taxiway by emergency services with slightly smoking brakes despite using reverse thrust and after a few minutes taxied slowly back to T4.

Mark Lewis
10th Jun 2004, 21:53
Similar undercarriage problems with one of the MXP A320s today too...

Airline Tycoon
10th Jun 2004, 22:43
B772-BAW153-EGLL-FVHA

Aircraft departed approx 2015L with what appeared to be a thick "smoke" trail. Pilot reported no abnormal indications and elected to continue the SID. Many pilots on the ground reported the trail and a strong smell of fuel. Gatwick tower also reoprted the trail as did pilots in the air.

2025L Pilot still with no abnormal indications elected to return to EGLL after dumping fuel.

2110L aircraft lands 27L and was met by the Fire Service. Fire Service report possible smoke from main gear. Closer inspection shows small amount of smoke/vapour from 1 oleo. Pilot still with no abnormal indication was informed by Fire Service that they had recieved multiple calls from the public ref the "smoke". Aircraft then taxied to stand.

Full Emergency Over

Nineiron
10th Jun 2004, 22:53
Oleo's don't produce smoke and vapour?
Where did the airborne smoke trail and the smell of fuel come from?

opsjockey
10th Jun 2004, 23:07
Why would Gatwick tower report the smoke trail if the a/c departed from EGLL....?

Airline Tycoon
10th Jun 2004, 23:24
Nineiron : only quoting the fire service

opsjockey: aircraft was vectored near gatwick, with clear skies, they were asked to observe.

Ranger 1
10th Jun 2004, 23:30
Nothing too unusual from a bit of smoke coming from the brakes after landing with an aircraft fitted with Carbon brakes. Seen it loads of times especially A320's without brake cooling fans.
I would expect it from a return after a fuel dump as the Crew would probably get it down to around the safe Max landing weight & return ASAP, so perhaps a touch more wheel braking than usual.:)

overstress
11th Jun 2004, 01:19
if it was dumping perhaps some people observed the trail of fuel vapour and put the cart before the horse...

Ranger 1
11th Jun 2004, 02:13
Quite possible & Smelt the JET A-1 as mentioned, Overstress :)

toon
11th Jun 2004, 07:00
mmmmm, not unusual to smell fuel behind a jet when the wind is blowing in the right direction on the runway, but since he wouldn,t have started dumping fuel there I doubt the significance of this, what went wrong is not as important to me as how he delt with it once it had.

Anyone know if he left the gear down when told of the smoke ?

southern duel
11th Jun 2004, 07:08
Well Done Airline Tycoon for some factual info on the B777 returning into Heathrow last night.

Just a few more points.

the aircraft was seen to get airborne with smoke from the location of the left main gear. This which was darker then the normal fuel colour when associated with venting. This was visible for about 10 to 15 mins as the aircraft flew south.

A runway inspection confirmed the extreme smell of fuel although no residue fuel was present on the surface apart from at SB1 where the aircraft was waiting prior to departure.

Reports were arriving all the time , not only from staff and flight crews at Heathrow but members of the public and although the flight crew initially had no abnormal indications BA were concerned enough to return the aircraft. After a short amount of time dumping fuel the aircraft returned on a Full emergency. A small amount of smoke was seen from the left main gear on vacating the runway but this was down to fuel contamination of the brakes.
Once on stand the undercarriage doors were lowered and the left side was totally smothered in fuel. Further investigations were taking place as initially the leak could not be found.

Intersting point of note . What would have happened if this had been in darkness ?? There would have not been any visible sightings from the ground !!!



:ok:

Nineiron
11th Jun 2004, 07:47
A fuel leak on to a hot brake and the gear retracted after take off. Tell me this isn't happenning, this is serious stuff.

BOAC
11th Jun 2004, 08:00
Nineiron - you are in danger of taking this thread off into yet another Pprune jungle where wild and unsubstantiated comments will degrade the value of a 'news item'.

Three assumptions you (appear) to be making/hinting at:-

1) The gear was retracted after take-off - do you KNOW that?

2) The crew knew about the smoke/???/fuel leak at the point where gear is normally retracted - ditto ditto!

3) The cause was a fuel leak - ditto ditto ditto

Can I plead for a little more FACT and less SUPPOSITION from all?

Cejkovice
11th Jun 2004, 08:01
Boeing aircraft are all fitted with fire detectors within the landing gear bay so that if there is a fire (most likely hydraulic fluid spill on hot brake) then the captain can lower the gear.

So in this case the crew should have been alerted to the problem even if it was night

normal_nigel
11th Jun 2004, 08:12
And two weeks off and counselling for the darlings down the back

NN

Diesel
11th Jun 2004, 09:15
I was landing on 27R as this aircraft climbed away from 27l. It had a very clear trail of what looked rather like smoke from the left side of the aircraft. The FO commented that it looked as if they were on fire...

Perhaps 30 secoonds after it was airborne there were reports on the ground from other aircraft of a strong smell of fuel. It seems likely the gear would be up as without any indications the crew would have retracted the gear normally after getting airborne. As someone has said a fire would have led to the gear being dropped again.

Looked dramatic but by the sound of things was not. Happily...

Regards

D

Dude~
11th Jun 2004, 09:44
I can confirm that the gear was retracted as normal after take off as I watched it depart from where I was working.

It was not possible to tell precisely where smoke was coming from or whether it was leaking fuel or not. I did notice the disc brakes glowing red during the roll out though!

Cejkovice
11th Jun 2004, 10:30
When you say the discs were glowing red was it just one brake or more?

If there was a dragging brake before take off you'd have thought the crew would have had visibility of this (brake hotter than the others) on the brake temperature page.

I'm thinking that this whole issue was likely fuel on hot brakes after taxi-out rather than a dragging brake, as I'm sure the crew would not have begun take-off if they suspected a brake(s) to be dragging

cheeryguy
11th Jun 2004, 10:54
nigel......don't think there was any need for a comment like that!

normal_nigel
11th Jun 2004, 11:07
Cheery

I'll decide what comments I'll make thank you very much.

Oh and its true. They milk it for all its worth to get maximum time off. Its a fact of life in BA.

NN

gas path
11th Jun 2004, 15:38
It was NOT a fire or overheat of any description.
It was NOT an undercarriage fault of any description.
It WAS a fuel leak from the CWT.
The aircraft is serviceable and due to fly today!

11th Jun 2004, 16:00
I witnessed the above event whilst driving around the perry track on my way home. I called the tower to advise what i had seen.

It was difficult to ascertain whether it was vapour or smoke but it seemed to be coming from the centreline of the aircraft and not an engine.
The gear was raised at the normal time and the aircraft seem to continue with a MID or SAM SID (which led me to believe it had not been noticed).

LHR tower advised me that they were aware of the situation.

All initial actions were indicative of the crew not being aware of the situation.

oiseau2
11th Jun 2004, 16:25
If there was a dragging brake before take off you'd have thought the crew would have had visibility of this (brake hotter than the others) on the brake temperature page.
The gear page is not displayed for T/O, a taxi from T4 to 27L is very short and I would not expect the brakes to get very hot in that short a distance. The Eicas caution comes up around 5 units (I think) which is equivalent to an RTO at 120 knots at max weight, so probably unlikely to come up during a T/O.

maxy101
11th Jun 2004, 21:56
[email protected] ...Generally in BA we brief that we will fly the SID while we deal with any emergency...that way it reduces the number of balls in the air at any one time.... Makes sense to me.

12th Jun 2004, 00:34
maxy101

Quite agree, just be sure the performance calculations are based on the sid and not in accordance with perf A. We now have SOP of straight ahead to 1500 agl as that is what is guaranteed through our perf calculations (assuming a perf related failure of course- which it would seem this was not).

cheers

frangatang
12th Jun 2004, 04:55
Would the cabin crew have been given a back to back payment
plus an unpopular destination payment(who wants to go to
LHR as a destination).

ETOPS
12th Jun 2004, 09:29
Just to put this to bed - I have just flown the aircraft in question ('MME) and all the details of the fault and rectification were in the tech log. It is now fully servicable and from what I have read the incident appears to have been handled well.

If we want to use up a bit more bandwidth picking over the bones then fine -but with luck this "Airdisaster that never was" can slowly fade................

DarkStar
12th Jun 2004, 17:08
ETOPS - thanks for the update and tidying up the loose ends.

But what about the poor Cabin Crew involved, I hope they did get counselling upon arrival and were not expected to operate for at least 28 days!:hmm:

hobie
13th Jun 2004, 09:48
surely any distress caused to Cabin Crew during Emergency procedures, is fully analyzed and understood, and procedures in place that command the support of everyone involved?

"And two weeks off and counselling for the darlings down the back"


"But what about the poor Cabin Crew involved, I hope they did get counselling upon arrival and were not expected to operate for at least 28 days!"

these remarks seem a little harsh?

NigelOnDraft
13th Jun 2004, 10:10
surely any distress caused to Cabin Crew during Emergency procedures, is fully analyzed and understood, and procedures in place that command the support of everyone involved? Depends whether an RTO ~80K for 1 cockpit indication, and return to stand, or an uneventful Go-Around, count as "Emergency Procedures".

To a few of our Senior CC, and their Management, they seem to. After the above events the CC have stated they were "distressed" and needed time to recover, and all sent home for a few days.

I must stress, only a few, and invariably led by one or 2 "ringleaders", and backed up 100% by a weak and over PC management. The FC of course are only asked "will you run out of discretion by the time we re-crew the sector?". Oh and of course the passengers, who have a genuine cause to feel a little stressed are the losers...

NoD

hobie
13th Jun 2004, 10:29
thanks for that NoD ...... there's obviously some "background" that I wasn't familiar with

cheers .....

woodpecker
14th Jun 2004, 23:05
dungfunnel,

You will have to explain that post!

phoenix son
16th Jun 2004, 10:25
Hope you offered to buy her a drink first???
Fingers crossed it's not a hard landing:eek: (Won't even mention the wind component - Oops, I just did)

PHX

HOVIS
16th Jun 2004, 18:41
If we want to use up a bit more bandwidth picking over the bones then fine -but with luck this "Airdisaster that never was" can slowly fade................

It won't be fading away to the BAMC boys n girls who missed an inspection after maintenance will it?

This could have been very, very dramatic if the brakes had been hot!
The poster who said he saw the brakes glowing red hot is mistaken.

There for the grace of...............:hmm:

eng1170
18th Jun 2004, 12:14
Some very poor taste comments from "professional's"!!

And you'll all never have made a mistake?

I'm not sticking up for anyone here, I am fortunate to know more fact than fiction, and this is a very serious incident that as far as I know is still under investigation.

We should all be reminded by this that vigilance throughout any airline op's, crew, eng etc must be maintained to stop things like this happening in the first place....Yes?

Keep to the facts, and cut out the "disaster" B.S, try and learn from these incidents instead, then hopefully they'll never happen and if they do, everyone takes note and it doesn't happen again.

Eng :ok:

Cap 56
20th Jun 2004, 13:25
Dude~

Plane was met on taxiway by emergency services with slightly smoking brakes despite using reverse thrust and after a few minutes taxied slowly back to T4.

Good performance of the crew and all supporting systems.

This incident just shows that not everything is covered by EICAS annunciated checklist do exist.

If Iemember correctly, a B777 landed last year in Danang with a fuel leak.

Crew suspected brake and possibly some other problems and decelerated basically on reverse only, good show.

moo
21st Jun 2004, 14:44
certainly not fading here at BAMC I can tell you...

calltheball
30th Jul 2004, 10:10
BA 777 incident at LHR?

Just reported on BBC news that a triple seven departing LHR was seen to have 'smoke' trailing it on departure -associated with a strong smell of Jet A1. Pilots decided a fuel leak was occurring and returned to LHR after dumping 900,000 kgs (?!) (now corrected to 90,000kgs) of fuel. Fuel panel hatch (their description) found loose with securing screws found in attached plastic bag.

When was this?

(edited to acknowledge correction in reporting)

Big Tudor
30th Jul 2004, 10:13
I would say 900 tonnes of fuel was a sign of someone not doing their homework properly. :hmm:

amanoffewwords
30th Jul 2004, 10:38
Happened in June, BBC was referring to AAIB report from a couple of days ago

AAIB Special bulletin (http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_avsafety/documents/page/dft_avsafety_030051.hcsp)

Unwell_Raptor
30th Jul 2004, 11:26
Nobody hurt, but nearly 100 tonnes of fuel into the sea.

As a layman, reading the report, it just confirms how fiendishly complicated these aircraft are, and how many things there are to go wrong. The fact that they rarely do is a tribute to the engineers.

eal401
30th Jul 2004, 11:47
The fuel quantity figure has been corrected. Some must have had a word.

wrenchbender
30th Jul 2004, 20:56
As a layman, reading the report, it just confirms how fiendishly complicated these aircraft are, and how many things there are to go wrong. The fact that they rarely do is a tribute to the engineers.


Yes, they are fiendishly complex, but as an Engineer, I am embarrassed that some poor sod forgot to secure a panel in the fuel cell, and left the screws hanging there in a parts bag! We are paid to ensure things like this do not happen. This easily could have had a horrible ending.

Noah Zark.
30th Jul 2004, 21:25
Sad to say that the Televisual media was getting into "Aircrash" mode when reporting this. An on-the-spot reporter (outside the railings at H/row) was spouting the "facts", and ended his report by saying that "this kind of thing" (the hole in the tank leaking fuel) was exactly what caused the Paris Concorde crash.
Innacurate, irresponsible reporting IMHO.

BEagle
30th Jul 2004, 21:26
A couple of queries:

1. With a reported serious fuel leak, why burn down to MLW? is this not a case for an overweight landing?

2. Why taxy the aircraft to the stand after landing following a serious fuel leak?

Basil
30th Jul 2004, 21:43
They didn't BURN down to MLW, they dumped. With sufficient fuel to continue flight it's what I'd have done. Could there have been a fire and centre tank explosion? - possibly but unlikely. Heavyweight landing = hot brakes.
No leakage reported by Fire and Rescue Service who presumably accompanied the aircraft and stood by.
Sounds to me like a number of command decisions were made - that's what we're paid for.
No one hurt - rejoice!

West Coast
31st Jul 2004, 04:34
Beatin to it, overweight landing increases the chances of toasting the brakes.

TURIN
31st Jul 2004, 21:46
Noah, The quote referring to the Concorde incident was exactly the same as given by a senior BA quality manager at a management briefing just after the event.:hmm:

As has been said in a previous post, There for the grace of......etc.

NigelOnDraft
31st Jul 2004, 21:47
1. With a reported serious fuel leak, why burn down to MLW? is this not a case for an overweight landing? By the time the crew were aware of the fuel leak:
1. Quite a lot of time had passed...
2. A lot of fuel had leaked...

If the doomsday scenario had not yet occurred (i.e. ignition) I would have thought "stabilise" the situation and not rush into anything. A hastily arranged return and congfiguration could have provided that ignition source.

I'm pretty sure the AAIB report said the crew had diagnosed a CFT leak, so dumping presumably emptied that tank and elimated the bulk of the problem. Sounds well handled by my book... well, the flying side of it anyway <G>

Further to above... roughly what I said. With approximately 4,000 kg of fuel remaining in the centre tank, an ILS approach was made to Runway 27L. There were no reports of any fuel leaking during the approach and the landing was made with minimum braking in order to keep the brake units as cool as possible. The Airfield Fire and Rescue Service met the aircraft and reported some vapour emanating from the left main landing gear wheel unit but no apparent fuel leaks. As a precaution, the left engine was shutdown and the aircraft was taxied back to a stand where the passengers were disembarked normally I think taxiing in after an inspection and fire service in attendance and no signs of leak anymore after dumping seems a good team effort...

NoD

Cap 56
2nd Aug 2004, 16:04
1. With a fuel leak I would not quickly decide if I would go and dump some more.
2. An overweight landing is basically not a problem if it does not combine adversely with braking and/or flight control problems.
3. As far as I know; if the dumping system is U/S itís not a no-go.
4. Landing a B 777 at MTOW on a 3000 m runway will not cause any serious braking problems if you do it in an intelligent way i.e. make use of max reversers and use the whole runway to decelerate.

320DRIVER
2nd Aug 2004, 17:02
I believe Airbus says no reverse after landing if fuel leak suspected.. different than Boeing?

woodpecker
2nd Aug 2004, 17:12
Interesting thoughts CAP 56.

Lets assume you are the commander, with the fuel leaking during the initial climb you level off at 4000 feet.

You keep the speed back to Vref 80 and as you know the attitude will be about 1 degree nose up so the fuel stops leaking.

Without any further action you return for an overweight landing.

During the flare the attitude is such that the fuel is now gushing out again, all around the u/c bay.

You select reverse and keep it in until very low speed. You remember (too late) the layout of the reversers and fuel soaked gear bay (very close)... its the last thing you ever do.

This commander however, not knowing what the problem was, apart from visual reports of a fuel leak (and reducing centre tank contents) decided to dump down to MLW and return.

I would have done the same, as would many other type rated 777 commanders.

Cap 56
2nd Aug 2004, 19:10
Woodpecker

I was merely thinking while writing, but you are right, itís not a clear cut case as long as you do not know where the leak is.

If the leak was know to be in the centre tank then, provided enough fuel was carried in the wing, I agree that emptying the centre was a good idea.

I do not have the figures but irrespective of MLW I would then probably have landed with full wings, to cope with the fact that I may have gotten it wrong on the exact location of the leak, if that brings me over the MLW so be it. I would be looking for a good compromise that is defendable.

I would then be left with 3000 m to land, thinking that a hot brake is worse than the use of the rev and assuming the worst case scenario of the leak still being there.

Basically that would mean an average deceleration of 1 m/s*s a very low value that you can get from the rev only with only a little braking. Not many people look at the deceleration/acceleration indicator.

1. (a=v*v/2*d) using 160 kts and 3000 m a= 1 m/s*s
2. example: arrow indicates + 20 kts over next 10 sec = 2 kt/1 s*s = 1 m/s*s = +/- 1.5 cm arrow

I am not aware of a limitation/caution on the use of rev in this case (QRH ?)

So the question really is? What do I consider the most important?

I think that any reasoning that is reasonably defendable is therefore acceptable. There is no absolute yes or no.

Interesting issue and good exchange of ideas.

Thanks.

PS: I really do not know about reversers and fuel leak combining adversely. Surely the fuel will be dispersed by the rev BEFORE it can enter the engine. If it does do so, the concentration will be quite low. But I must say I really do not know and am interested in why Airbus came up with the idea to caution doing so. Surely, Boeing must have thought about this after so many years of building these aircraft?

Ranger One
2nd Aug 2004, 21:43
woodpecker:

You select reverse and keep it in until very low speed. You remember (too late) the layout of the reversers and fuel soaked gear bay (very close)... its the last thing you ever do.

Interesting thread... I'm surprised reverser use should be quite so deprecated; I was under the impression that (on modern big fans at least) reversers used only 'cold' (relatively) fan air, not the hot core gas stream.

Certainly that's the case on all fans I'm aware of; if I had a 'fuel soaked gear bay' I suspect I'd choose cold air over very hot brakes!

What do the books say?

R1

woodpecker
2nd Aug 2004, 22:08
Quite right, the "big fans" only use the "cold" air in the reverse mode but the exhaust (at 600C) from the core is still coming out ther back!

My point is that it only takes one spark ( or contact with this core stream) to set the whole lot off. The effect of the reversers at slow speed is to pick up everything (including in this case whatever was around the leak area) and deflect it forwards.

If you look at the 777 fire at Denver (on the ground) it was not initially direct contact between the leaking fuel connection and the engine exhaust cone but fuel vapour which then spread to the leak.

Back to the topic, they did a good job, any comments should be directed to those involved some fifty odd sectors earlier.

Cap 56
2nd Aug 2004, 22:56
Woodpecker

If you have a fuel leak there are two issues to look at:

1. It comes somewhere downstream of the spar shut of valve
2. it does not

In case 1 you shut down the # and the story ends in a (n-1) approach, in case 2 you use as much fuel as possible from the leaking tank respecting the unbalance limits. If itís the center tank you may consider dumping it if you think itís a safer option.

Respecting these limits, requires you to know what the limiting factors are. On most jets this is a one engine configuration with high flap setting limiting the moment produced by the ailerons to counter the roll induced.

If the tank leaks you better get on the ground quickly. To avoid any complications you do not want to have any hot spots, read hot brakes and therefore will try to avoid overheating the brakes using the max reverse allowed.

Until now I have no information that this is unacceptable and I do not expect that it will pop up.

I will however inform myself on the flash temperatures of the fuel used however from my ATLP courses I recall from memory that itís not such a big problem under normal pressures and temperatures.

What I do remember very clearly is that my teacher who had a Masters in this stuff told us that you could throw a match in this kind of fuel without any problem. Needless to say that we were all surprised.

So in this case you land, use rev till 100 kts, then brakes and shut down the engines while you are on the APU. I know this last paragraph has a touch of hindsight and I would probably not have gone that far in my analysis but what is the problem if the fire brigade is standing next to you and your aircraft is cold.

woodpecker
3rd Aug 2004, 16:15
I'm a bit concerned what engine you are going to shut down with a leak from the centre tank!

Cap 56
3rd Aug 2004, 22:57
Woodpecker,

I was merely refering to the philosophy of the QRH in case of fuel leak.

Of course, in case of a fuel leak in the centre tank the QRH would not lead you into shutting down an engine and nor did I make any such statement.

Cheers

Patty O'Doors
13th Aug 2004, 21:37
May I ask whether this area in the Main Gear compartment is accessible for checking, and indeed is it a requirement to check it for damage at all during post/pre-flights.

According to the AIB report on G-YMME it had flown 53 sectors with this panel off and had only leaked because 43.000Kg of fuel had been put in, enough to leak during climb out.

After any tank work I always used to completely fill the tank in question for leak checking, but that was in the military and the tanks were only 9000Lbs max. This tank I believe can hold 80-90,000kgs

Thanks

Jet II
14th Aug 2004, 07:11
You can only see this area of the gear bay with the door open - not something that is usually done unless there is specific maintenance that needs to access that area.

Part of the problem with this incident was that the removal of the panel was unrecorded - hence there was nothing in the paperork to tell the engineers who did the leak check on the lower access panels that any other panels had been taken off.

PFD
14th Aug 2004, 09:32
Maybe they should think about including this area in pre-flight inspections, just a thought. I suppose it depends on how easily the gear door can be lowered.

Having read the report and looking at the cause, had a fire started it would have been uncontrollable, and I don't think anyone would have made it back, frightening really.

M.Mouse
14th Aug 2004, 09:35
had a fire started it would have been uncontrollable, and I don't think anyone would have made it back

Superb scientific analysis.

TURIN
14th Aug 2004, 17:14
Maybe they should think about including this area in pre-flight inspections, just a thought. I suppose it depends on how easily the gear door can be lowered.

Curiously enough, the A330, a similar size a/c for those not of an anorak disposition, does include a 'doors open inspection' (at least on an etops check.)

It is possible that it is an airline requirement not a AMS one, I am not sure.

PFD
15th Aug 2004, 13:07
Superb scientific analysis.

M.Mouse thank you for your support, maybe we could arrange for you to carry out the experiment where you sit on a hot brake unit and start a fire and then we heat the adjacent open fuel tank to see if the fire goes out :rolleyes:

Flap40
25th Nov 2004, 20:04
Photo of the aircraft has now appeared on airliners.net at

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/718331/M/