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punkalouver
3rd Apr 2006, 02:31
You may not agree with the consequences of continuing on, but at least now you know the consequences.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/30/news/fly.php

Brian Abraham
3rd Apr 2006, 04:11
British Airways operated the aircraft in an unairworthy condition

Oh dear, I guess that means the end to three engine ferrying as well. Seems the answer is to have the relevent authority of every country the aircraft is to operate over put their stamp of approval on the ops manual and every other relevent bit of paper. :ugh:

Flight With One Engine Inoperative

From Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 121.565 (excerpts):

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, whenever an engine of an airplane fails or whenever the rotation of an engine is stopped to prevent possible damage, the pilot in command shall land the airplane at the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, at which a safe landing can be made.

(b) If not more than one engine of an airplane that has three or more engines fails or its rotation is stopped, the pilot in command may proceed to an airport that he selects if, after considering the following, he decides that proceeding to that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport

(1) The nature of the malfunction and the possible mechanical difficulties that may occur if flight is continued.

(2) The altitude, weight, and usable fuel at the time of engine stoppage.

(3) The weather conditions en route and at possible landing points.

(4) The air traffic congestion.

(5) The kind of terrain.

(6) His familiarity with the airport to be used.

(c) The pilot in command shall report each stoppage of engine rotation in flight to the appropriate ground radio station as soon as practicable and shall keep that station fully informed of the progress of the flight.

As SLF and not knowing 747 capabilities, on the basis of the above FAR seems they did OK to me. ie thumbs up

blueloo
3rd Apr 2006, 04:19
I believe a 3 engine ferry is done without passengers. As are many ferries due to technical reasons.

Might I suggest, given your comparison, that passengers are not included on such flights due to the reduced safety margins....... (or is that a little to simple?).......

Brian Abraham
3rd Apr 2006, 05:18
Its interesting the flak this incident attracts when an Asian carrier flew a revenue service with the fan of one badly damaged engine strapped down to prevent rotation. Seem to recall the comment it attracted was little more than "boy, look at this". What I allude to in the earlier post is if its considered safe to do a three engine ferry (following the proscribed limitations) then I would be more than happy to ride along.

Mike, re the part (b) it almost seems to be the glass half full argument. The previous threads showed the differing opinions among the drivers of the type in question, so its understandable the FAA could disagree with the decision made. Given the circumstances I'm just saying I would have been happy with either decision (go, no go).

spannerless
3rd Apr 2006, 06:23
Brian,

Yes I agree I've seen the photo's to that Asia carrier!

As you pointed out they did have the fan strapped down! with fri*****g Freight straps, the old mechanical latching type often seen holding down freight on the backs of lorries I kid you not!

I will try and find the photographs I have and shall we narrow it down? they were Chinese!

Even the Chinese authorities didn't support this little antic and the aircraft and the company were hauled over the coals!

No doubt they're all packing tea or tanning leather in one of the state prisons now!

However! this comment was a little contradictory!

As SLF and not knowing 747 capabilities, on the basis of the above FAR seems they did OK to me. ie thumbs up

if you read the extract you posted it says:

land as appropriate 'As soon as possible' at the nearest airport!

Not continue on across the Atlantic or any other pond for that matter!

As a fare paying passenger and 28 yrs in the industry I would be horrified if you guys weren't being a little more proffesional in your approach to emergencys and technical problems!

This is term'd as press on itus!

RRAAMJET
3rd Apr 2006, 06:43
Sorry, chaps, disagree here.

The FAA are wrong on this occasion. The BA crew did the right thing, all things considered - I totally agree with the decision to continue, including 'due regard' to the FAR's pertinent to this situation. I myself have been in this position on the '400 (sort of). It seems the FAA have become more familiar with ETOPS over time and forgotten about 4-eng ops....

Multiple en-route divs, legal fuel to continue, abnormality contained....what's the point in spending $150M if you don't use it the way it can be operated to full advantage?

Contraversial opinion, I know....incoming....:ooh:

sky9
3rd Apr 2006, 08:07
So the FAA claim that BA operating an unairworthy aircraft? At the same time they are allowing etops 777's to do in excess of 3hrs on one engine over the Pacific.
Come on FAA which is the most dangerous? Are you not in danger of making yourselves look extremely foolish?

pax britanica
3rd Apr 2006, 08:20
Raamjet and Sky 9 have a I point. Almost all US Carrier Long Haul is now 777/767 based-the exceptions being UA who still operate 744s across the Pacific and occasionally to Europe

On the other hand non US carriers LH BA QF KLM AF JAL KE CX VS operate fouir engined aircraft which if the general expert opion on this topic is to be belived do provide the extra redundancy to allow continued flight to destination or a convenient alternate. That would be something of a commercial disadvantage to AA CO DL UA who are almost entirely ETOPS.

So perhaps the FAA have forgotten about the reasons why for decades long range over water ops was with more than two engines and not that the FAA would ever favour US over foreign aviations interests.

blueloo
3rd Apr 2006, 09:12
This will open another can of worms but.......
A/C operating to ETOPS standards are designed to ETOPS standards (simple enough eh), what this means of course (and here you rely on statistics which can be manipulated anyway etc etc) is that a 767, 777 or others, have engines supposedly built/maintained/checked prior to each departure to a higher standard to reduce the likelihood of failure. In addition, we can assume that the engine failure case is the least likely scenario to cause an ETOPs a/c to divert, the aircraft has better fire suppression systems, more reliable electrical systems, hydraulics, extra preflight checks, and more stringent maintenance etc etc.

Now I am sure some expert can correct me on a few of those things, but essentially what it boils down to is that despite the mighty 747s having 4 donks, you should theoretically be safer on a twin designed to ETOPs standards because of the higher standards imposed, additional checking and redundancy. (The easy solution, build the 747 to the higher ETOPS Standards, and incoporate the appropriate maintanence and engineering and checking programs)

Of course the counter argument is you are safer because you have 4 donks, extra generators, and systems........


RRAAMJET - maybe it was a fairly acceptable decision to continue (I personally would have elected to return), I would hope, most crews would err on the side of caution. Its an expensive decision to make if it goes horribly wrong too. Aviation is pretty unforgiving, and you really need everything going in your favour.

Dr Illitout
3rd Apr 2006, 09:17
The "Asian carrier" did NOT fly with its engine strapped down wit "fri*****g Freight straps"!!!! The fan was gagged using the approved method from the maintenance manual. The freight straps were approved Gereral Electric parts, in fact if you look closley at the picture you can see the part numbers printed on them. This method is used on both the GE CF-6 and the PW JT-9.
This is an aviation urban myth and I'm amazed that "Snopes" has not bebunked it.

Rgds Dr I

WHBM
3rd Apr 2006, 09:40
I don't understand why this topic rolls on and on. 4-engined jets have operated across the Atlantic for decades, and SOPs have equally always been in place, and are known to all concerned. There must have been many engine failures before starting the transocean crossing in that time. Did they all turn back ? Was this BA flight the first one ever that carried on ?

LAX to Europe does not actually do too many hours over the ocean, it is probably one of the lesser ETOPS-demanding routes, not like a transpacific flight.

Airbrake
3rd Apr 2006, 09:45
This incident is not really about the letter of the law it's about the intent or spirit in which it should be applied.
Clearly a modern 4 engine aircraft is designed to be operated for extended periods of time on 3 motors when sound professionalism and good airmanship have been applied, and of course when commercial aspects have been considered.
However, I don't think it was ever intended that a aircraft could have an engine shut down before the flaps were up and then its flight continued for thousands of miles including an ocean crossing, regardless of how many alternates were on the route.
Just because an aircraft can do such a trip does not mean it should! If BA was to be honest with its self now I don't think they would make the same decision again should something similar occur in the future.

OVERTALK
3rd Apr 2006, 10:29
Not forgetting that BA thumbed its nose at FAA concerns by doing a 3eng long-haul with pax from Singapore to Heathrow the following week in the same airframe after the replacement engine also failed.
Not long after that we had all the revelations from the UKCAA about BA's maintenance shortcomings (and with plenty of evidence to back those assertions up).
Even without the EU directives on passenger compensation coloring the background, you have to wonder what they were trying to do? Alienate their customers and dispose of what reputation that BA had left for attention to flight safety.
The FAA action was well warranted and the fine was a distinct undershoot.

Basil
3rd Apr 2006, 10:42
Last time I looked, it was also Cathay Pacific policy to continue on three engines AFTER THE PILOT IN COMMAND HAD REVIEWED A LIST OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
Begs the question: Why do so many contributers think they know better than two major airlines whose attitude to safety is exemplary?

Airbrake
3rd Apr 2006, 10:57
Basil, the FAA thinks it knows better than BA on this occasion as well.

GlueBall
3rd Apr 2006, 10:58
Capt. Brian Abraham...not in any way attempting to strain your intellectual capacity further, ...but a three engine ferry flight [which includes a 3-engine takeoff] is a special operation that precludes the carriage not only of revenue pax, but it also precludes the carriage of non essential riders.
An en route engine failure cannot be compared with with an engine-out ferry operation :ooh:

TURIN
3rd Apr 2006, 11:10
Bluloo,

QUOTE
"Now I am sure some expert can correct me on a few of those things, but essentially what it boils down to is that despite the mighty 747s having 4 donks, you should theoretically be safer on a twin designed to ETOPs standards because of the higher standards imposed, additional checking and redundancy. (The easy solution, build the 747 to the higher ETOPS Standards, and incoporate the appropriate maintanence and engineering and checking programs)"

Have to disagree there.

There are some operators out there who's only extra requirement on an ETOPS sector PDI is to check the crew oxygen!

With others it requires extra checks on generators, hydraulics etc.

So you see, it has nothing to do with the a/c type but everything to do with the operator and it's NAA's requirements.:hmm: :suspect:

Basil
3rd Apr 2006, 11:13
Airbrake,
On the face of it and if Brian Abraham has accurately posted the FAR then it would appear that it is legal under FARs to complete the flight on three.
It is also the case that the airline's AOC is issued, not by the FAA but by the British CAA.
Clearly, a sovereign nation must have some say in what takes place in its national airspace but it appears odd to me that: a) BA should be fined over a matter of pilot in command judgement which did not even appear to contravene FARs, and b) the matter was not dealt with at ministerial level to decide how future similar occurences were to handled.

Strepsils
3rd Apr 2006, 11:21
Spannerless - Suggest you re-read the posted FAR regulations again, especially the part concerning aircraft with three or more engines, then review your comments. Land ASAP is for aircraft not covered by section (b).

Turin - The checks and requirements bluloo refers to are required to get an aircraft ETOPS certified, not the checks to be carried out before flight. It has everything to do with aircraft type.


(2) The altitude, weight, and usable fuel at the time of engine stoppage.

(3) The weather conditions en route and at possible landing points

I wonder if the FAA are looking at the fuel situation. If I remember correctly the aircraft div'd to MAN due to fuel, if the crew had made it clear early on that was their intention then there would have been no issue. The crew obviously thought they'd get to LHR only to find the burn/winds etc. weren't quite what they thought. Perhaps this is what the FAA is latching onto?

Danny
3rd Apr 2006, 14:29
Just to keep this interesting, I thought I'd dig out DingerX's interesting review (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1772727#post1772727) on the original thread by Mini Mums (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1757378#post1757378) where this incident first came to light, long before the media got hold of it, here on PPRuNe....just as an aside, I understand the bulk of the users of this board are located in the UK. I also see a lot of "hand-wringing" about "this is surely not the first time something like this has happened", and wonder as to why it happened to make the news this time.

Well, if you read through the whole thread, you'll see the initial notice of the event was by spotters with radios at Manchester. Then we had discussion from some people who had spoken with the cabin crew, and a few maintenance folks. Then the press caught wind of it.

As I thought about it, I realized that just about every emergency, non-emergency, fire drill, prang, go-around or similar event that occurs at MAN usually makes at least the Manchester papers and often before they do, you see it here on PPRuNe.

I understand that Manchester is the second-largest airport in the UK, boasting something on the order of 18 million passengers a year. Still, I decided to do a little study.

First, I grabbed a list of the 30 busiest airports in the world (http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500539_761552091_-1_1/World's_Busiest_Airports_by_Passenger_Traffic.html). Then I went over to the photo database at popular Planespotting site airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/search/index.main) and I tallied up the number of spotter photographs taken from each of the 30 airfields on the list, plus Manchester. The theory is:

1. Total Passengers are roughly an indicator of total movements.
2. Total Photographs taken indicate the number of amateur observers and the degree to which the airport is under observation.
3. From this, we can calculate a Spotter Quotient of (Photos/Million Movements). A high Spotter Quotient should indicate an airport where aircraft and aircrew behaviour is closely monitored by a band of net-savvy, anorak packing enthusiasts.

Here's my results:


Apt Pax Pho SQ
ATL 75.8 5210 69
ORD 66.5 2359 28
LHR 63.3 25110 397
HND 61.1 1727 28
LAX 56.2 16353 291
DFW 52.8 3203 61
FRA 48.5 23714 489
CDG 48.4 8698 180
AMS 40.7 24611 604
DEN 35.7 3619 101
PHX 35.5 6711 189
LAS 35.0 3005 85
MAD 33.9 4915 145
IAH 33.9 1965 58
HKG 33.9 9859 291
MSP 32.6 2551 78
DTW 32.5 664 20
BKK 32.2 2075 64
SFO 31.5 3447 109
MIA 30.0 11485 382
JFK 29.9 8062 269
LGW 29.6 6988 236
EWR 29.2 2725 93
SIN 29.0 4285 147
NRT 28.9 2049 70.9
PEK 27.2 4721 174
SEA 26.7 1492 56
MCO 26.7 2184 82
YYZ 25.9 7952 306
STL 25.6 839 33
and...down the list quite a bit:

MAN 18.3 17419 952

So, in terms of Spotter Quotient, Manchester is first in the world. Only one airport -- Amsterdam-- has more than half the SQ of MAN. In absolute terms, if we determine spotter community by the number of photos, then Manchester is fourth in the world -- with LHR, AMS and FRA in the 1, 2 and 3 slots.

There are more eyes on aircraft coming into and going out of Manchester than anywhere else in the world.

Since, in the case discussed in this thread, economics played a factor (as it does in every other case: why run an airline if not to make money?), and a significant part of economics is global news exposure, if, after having suffered an engine failure, the crew elected to proceed across the pond, with the full knowledge that adverse winds might put them in to MAN in an emergency, they acted very poorly indeed.

Had they landed at any other airport on their path, the odds of this event hitting the international press would have been greatly reduced.

...just something to think about when you're planning alternates.

Think about it if you have time and would prefer to keep it out of the media spotlight! :}

Consol
3rd Apr 2006, 15:02
Folks, you are missing the point. This is all politics with the US trying to get one over on the europeans. Listen up.
The FAA is proposing having ALL airliners incl. 4 engines comply with ETOPS procedures but also extending ETOPS to 4 hours to diversion. Oddly enough this would give an advantage to Boeing's mainly twin engine products (no one is buying 747s) and seem to work against Airbus's A340 + A380s. Ok I know they have 330s too.
Perhaps we should really be debating 4 hours over water/artic/whatever on one engine?

Doctor Cruces
3rd Apr 2006, 16:30
Console.

Well, fancy that!!
Nice to know I'm not the only cynic out here, even though I did bite my tongue (well typing finger) when someone mentioned the FAA thinking they know better etc!!!

Refreshing

Doc C:ok:

edited for spellingz

Globally
3rd Apr 2006, 16:38
The question is not whether I can make it to a particular destination on 3 engines, in the case of a 4-engine airplane. The question is can I make it on 2 engines? When one engine fails, you then plan for loss of the next engine.

captjns
3rd Apr 2006, 17:12
The crew was never alone without the proper support from Maintenance control and dispatch. I’m sure that the crew was continuously updated about the performance status requirement of their aircraft. Also, I can’t believe that British Airways would allow the flight to continue across the Atlantic without updating the Equal Time Point and the Point of Safe Return.

The FARs part 121.565(b) is quite clear on the issue about the captain’s decision authority, “The pilot in command may proceed to an airport that he selects if, after considering the following, he decides that proceeding to that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport.

After discussing and deliberating the information received from Maintenance Control and Dispatch it was mutually agreed by all parties concerned, the flight could continue safely to LHR. If anything… it was prudent of the captain land in Manchester rather then pressing on and having a real emergency on his hands.

Not knowing the route across the Atlantic taken but given drift-down distances on two engines, Gander – Keflivick – Shannon would not be a major stretch for the whale.

Austrian Simon
3rd Apr 2006, 17:16
I think, it's all about safety margins, risk management and responsibility towards paying passengers and people on ground.

After all, passengers are expecting, that their flight is conducted with the safety margins, that they can reasonably expect before takeoff, and which of course has been calculated into their ticket prices.

It is also clear, that even on a 4-engine aircraft the failure of one engine reduces the safety margin significantly and at the same time increases the risk.

What for example, had during the passage of the Atlantic the other engine on the very same wing failed as the initial one?

Flying her then becomes real hard work, and especially during configuration changes for landing loosing her is not just a remote chance anymore, even though without engines detaching (like the ELAL 747 in Amsterdam) such a landing is manageable.

If then however the only available diversion field has got turbulent crosswinds, no problem with 3 or 4 engines operating, but putting your aircraft on 2 engines beyond safety margins, then the receipe for disaster is made up ...

What I think, got forgotten so far in the arguments: a B747 on three engines has no greater (performance) margin than a twin engine airplane on one engine, at least by regulations, being required only to perform to a certain climb gradient in the case of one engine's failure. In other words: if the mimimum thrust needed to climb out with an engine out is 100%, a twin jet has 200% of that thrust with both engines operating, the B747 however only 133% of that thrust with all 4 engines operating, and with one engine out both have just 100% of the required thrust.

And isn't it true, that despite, of course, having more redundancy more engines is also more chance for failure, as each moving part has a certain risk of failure attached with it, the risks all summing up to a total risk?

Now, Lord may prevent this, you are down to two engines - perhaps even on just one side - and you might need to go-around for whatever reason, but are not able to outclimb the obstacles in your path anymore with your remaining 66% of minimum thrust needed ...

Regulations intend to provide sufficient safety margin, that in case of a single failure safe flight to the next suitable airport is still ensured and leaves sufficient reserves to deal even with a reasonably adverse weather. What happens in case of a second fault however, is not covered by regulations anymore, as basically all safety margins have been eaten up by the first failure. It is clear therefore, that the time of being without safety margins needs to be as short as possible. Expecting on the base of experience, that things fail very rarely, can very quickly turn into disaster - and it wouldn't be a first.

From a passengers point of view, continuing a journey after an engine failure beyond the closest suitable airport is not the safety standard, that has been paid for and that a passenger can therefore reasonably expect. It is putting paying passengers as well as people on the ground at an increased risk for unnecessarily long periods of time.

Simon
P.S.: note, that I did not even go into any of the additional circumstances like limited service ceiling, increased fuel burn, less available rudder travel for corrective action (gusts!) towards the operating engine(s) and other side effects, which do aggravate the scenario.

RatherBeFlying
3rd Apr 2006, 17:48
The FAA is proposing ... but also extending ETOPS to 4 hours to diversion.Looks like an ETOPS approval for the C-172 is not far away -- no more than 4 hours on one engine:}

skiesfull
3rd Apr 2006, 18:33
OVERTALK:
At what point during a SIN-LHR sector are the FAA involved in a JAA registered aircraft's performance and the decision-making of the crew with the advice from the airlines' operations staff?

Blueprint
4th Apr 2006, 05:49
Globally has I believe put his finger on the crux of the matter. If the a/c went into MAN with a PAN due low fuel state, then with a further engine failure beforehand it would have been in an even worse fuel state. A 747 burns significantly more fuel on 2 viz 3. So after crossing say Greenland & Iceland with a failure after that point, then the last portion of the flt onwards to the UK would have been very fuel marginal. That is where I believe the crew were unprofessional.

M.Mouse
4th Apr 2006, 06:22
And you don't think that BA procedures take a further engine failure into account?

Armchair pilots, don't you just love them.

missive
4th Apr 2006, 07:48
I see that the spotters are pontificating at length again. I'm sure BA will be delighted to be informed of the extra rudder required for gusts etc. Microsoft have got a lot to answer for.

issi noho
4th Apr 2006, 08:04
So exactly what are BA's procedures re in flight reanalysis?
Just how good is a night shift at Flight planning HQ. Does the fleet office keep a bod in the office ready to leap into action with the 3 Eng fuel flow tables.

I have no axe here but I assume this was crew driven, they must have set out across continental North America (with plenty of options) whilst considering fuel to continue to destination rather than Dump in the vicinity of incident. At some point BA planners, in accordance with BA procedures backed up the crews decision to continue, so when did they realise it wouldn't be LHR? why wasn't it planned for GLA? Since when did a diversion, (en route at that) fuel or otherwise constitute a heightened state of alert (PAN or MAYDAY). Find me an ops control dept which wouldn't prefer an a/c tech at home base than LAX.

Why the FAA would be upset about the flights progress this side of the pond is beyond me, but why the UK CAA haven't said more well I can only guess it must be legal and wise and why didn't we all think of it before.

If I were a gambling man, I would think the balance of probability says a senior BA Capt had been thinking about this very scenario for years and grinned widely at the opportunity to give it a go. Just a thought.

Brian Abraham
4th Apr 2006, 08:10
Glueball you dill, the point made was that they deemed with an engine out the aircraft was unairworthy ie could not carry out a ferry even. Basil I'm with you on your last post and with that I'll take the Martin Baker.

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 09:00
I see that the spotters are pontificating at length again. I'm sure BA will be delighted to be informed of the extra rudder required for gusts etc. Microsoft have got a lot to answer for.

It is interesting to note, that the only point you raise to joke about my post is the one about the reduced rudder travel for corrective action, where I put as a possible cause gusts into brackets. That shows, that the rest of my post hits the nail square on its head, so actually, I take your post as a compliment.

On the other hand I believe, you overlook an important point in your joke about that reduced rudder travel for corrective actions in gust - did I say, where this corrective action is needed? Are you just thinking of flight at height?

What do you do close to ground, for example at 150 AGL, in final approach, still on considerable engine power especially on a two engine scenario (with just #1+#2 or #3+#4 running), when it is about time to align (or to decide to perform a crab landing), and a gust hits you, causing quite some yaw to the airplane, without an option to throw the approach away because of the lack of thrust to climb away safely?

Quite clearly, you step into the rudder to keep the nose nailed where it belongs to, help with ailerons, and get her down.

The other chance, where rudder may be needed is, when a gust hits you that exceeds aileron authority to avoid roll. We could argue in that case, whether it would be needed to throw the approach away in such a scenario, and I would certainly tend to go-around in such a situation.

Again however, what are we talking about, what scenario are we currently in? We have lost two of four engines, a go-around is not an option because of insufficient available thrust to climb away safely.

So now, what do you do in that particular gust, if you don't touch your rudder? Crash? Or use the rudder as an additional margin beyond aileron authority that you have available to correct?

See the point, why the reduced rudder travel is becoming an issue in this scenario and is a valid argument?

Not everything, that somebody says whom you identify as being a spotter and just being trained by MS Flightsim (both of your points being wrong, by the way!) , is pure nonsense ...

Simon

sky9
4th Apr 2006, 09:03
Just take a look at Austrian Simon's profile before you even read his post. Professional Pilots Rumour Network?

Hotel Mode
4th Apr 2006, 09:15
Will those who've clearly never been anywhere near a 4 engine jet please stop pontificating. Do you think they just said "oh no we've lost an engine lets carry on and hope its ok"? The 3 engine and 2 engine fuel tables are in the flight deck, indeed if you knew anything of 747-400's you would know that the FMC has proper fuel and eta predictions with 1 engine out, the 2 engine tabels would then be used to determine 2 engine driftdown and critical points between SUITABLE alternates. As for Crosswinds, well funnily enough type rated pilots know the limits of their aircraft and would choose possible en route diversions with xwinds and other weather in mind.

And you can go around on 2 anyway just at a higher minima.

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 09:28
Just take a look at Austrian Simon's profile before you even read his post. Professional Pilots Rumour Network?

Once again interesting to see, that there is no factual argument, just an attempt to disregard arguments on personal grounds rather than their factual merits.

If my arguments were wrong, then quite obviously I expect they'd get torn apart by any aviation professional, with ease and without ever looking at the individual or its profile.

It is common sense and experience in life however, that one gets only personal (or tries to discredit the discussion partner), when he lacks arguments to counter what has been said.

Sometimes however such an attitude comes back to haunt the one, who just disregards others on personal grounds rather than thinking about arguments.

Simon

AlR
4th Apr 2006, 09:32
Three engine ferry with or without Pax over land with suitable Airports within a reasonable descent distance is very different than over water with greater distances between available landing fields. What if a second engine took a crap, on the same side.

This Civil Avaition, not a War effort. Don't want my Family riding on this chap's Aircraft.

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 09:49
Will those who've clearly never been anywhere near a 4 engine jet please stop pontificating. Do you think they just said "oh no we've lost an engine lets carry on and hope its ok"? The 3 engine and 2 engine fuel tables are in the flight deck, indeed if you knew anything of 747-400's you would know that the FMC has proper fuel and eta predictions with 1 engine out, the 2 engine tabels would then be used to determine 2 engine driftdown and critical points between SUITABLE alternates. As for Crosswinds, well funnily enough type rated pilots know the limits of their aircraft and would choose possible en route diversions with xwinds and other weather in mind.
And you can go around on 2 anyway just at a higher minima.

You'd be wrong, if you believe, I have not flown dual (and even triple) engine failures on B744 Full Flight Sims.

The 3 and 2 engine tables are there, of course, to allow you to continue as safe a flight as still possible to your diversion field. You just won't have a lift to get your passengers and yourself straight down to ground when an engine fails. Instead, you may need to cover quite some distance to get to your next suitable airfield indeed, so those tables are absolutely necessary for a lot of reasons.

The presence of those tables however does not indicate, that the loss of an engine has not increased the risks of flight and has not decreased your safety margins, and that you therefore can ignore the loss of one engine.

Yes, you can go around on two engines, you can climb away, however not at the climb gradient, to which obstacles may occur in your climb path by regulations. If you then happen to approach an airfield, where that climb gradient is required to outclimb obstacles in the go-around path ... I don't think, one can name that scenario "safe flight" though.

And fully agreed, an airline pilot will know the cross wind limits etc. of his aircraft, and will choose the airport accordingly - unless in an emergency, where he might be forced to take whatever he gets. Loosing a second engines overhead the Atlantic would most definitely put the aircraft into severe risk and leaves little options for diversion. And before you raise the argument, that the diversion fields have been selected on the base of weather forecast before you even take off: that is clear, however, weather forecasts have a tendency to not reflect the weather, that is present when you arrive.

Thanks BTW for presenting arguments rather than opinions und suspicions about my background.

Simon

keel beam
4th Apr 2006, 09:50
And isn't it true, that despite, of course, having more redundancy more engines is also more chance for failure, as each moving part has a certain risk of failure attached with it, the risks all summing up to a total risk?

I am in danger of being flippant here, but on that statement 0 Engines = nothing to go wrong.

Ref 4 hour ETOPs perhaps this should be another thread?

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 10:30
I am in danger of being flippant here, but on that statement 0 Engines = nothing to go wrong.

Don't overdo it, please. If there are no engines left on an airliner, a whole lot has already gone wrong (and there's a lot of systems going to fail as a result as well).

If we were talking gliders however: then it would indeed be extremely unlikely, that a glider suffers an engine failure. But that is not the theme here.

Simon

overstress
4th Apr 2006, 10:54
BA's flight continuation policy remains unchanged! The policy is manufacturer-approved. Issi Noho - assumptions are a dangerous thing in aviation - you 'assume' the decision was crew-led. You talk about a senior BA captain wanting to make up his own annex to the Flying Manual (FM). I can assure you he would have been facing an interview without coffee had he done so. The truth is, the policy is contained in a section of the FM and the decision will have been taken by the crew in conjunction with the best possible advice from the company, in real time. BA's procedures are approved by the CAA. The discussion should now take place between CAA & FAA.

Hotel Mode
4th Apr 2006, 11:03
And fully agreed, an airline pilot will know the cross wind limits etc. of his aircraft, and will choose the airport accordingly - unless in an emergency, where he might be forced to take whatever he gets. Loosing a second engines overhead the Atlantic would most definitely put the aircraft into severe risk and leaves little options for diversion. And before you raise the argument, that the diversion fields have been selected on the base of weather forecast before you even take off: that is clear, however, weather forecasts have a tendency to not reflect the weather, that is present when you arrive.

True, but they wouldnt have continued if the alternates weren't cast iron, it was summer and the weather was pretty benign, plus the LAX-LHR great circle is mostly over land, alternates are not as far away as you'd think, once past Winnepeg/Edmonton theres Churchill, Iqaluit, Goose, Sondestrom, Keflavik, indeed the longest stretch of water is probably Iceland - Scotland. We're not talking about a mid atlantic crossing here, in fact i would be surprised if it went out of maybe 90 mins for the whole flight.

The flight continuation policy is common to most JAA airlines, I would imagine there's a continued flight on 3 at least once a month by a European airline if not more often. BA's backup from Base is excellent, they are the most experienced 744 operator in the world.

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 11:30
The discussion should now take place between CAA & FAA.

Pretty much agreed, that's a sensible word indeed.

However, it is not just a matter of regulators, it is also a matter of passengers deciding, whether they feel comfortable with the procedure and feel comfortable with the airline, when the airline does not provide them with the safety margin passengers have paid for.

As such, it could become a financial matter to the airline, if they are perceived as taking unnecessary chances in the public.

Simon

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 11:45
it was summer and the weather was pretty benign

Didn't the flight in question take place on February 19th 2005?

Churchill, Iqaluit, Goose, Sondestrom, Keflavik, indeed the longest stretch of water is probably Iceland - Scotland.

No argument here, that there are plenty of airports around. But for example, I wouldn't fancy to go into Sondrestrom with two engines out ...

Simon

missive
4th Apr 2006, 12:19
Is this clown for real? Sonderstrom must be in his flight sim.

Danny
4th Apr 2006, 12:27
OK, time has come, once again, to issue a warning to our self appointed 'experts' who in fact have never, ever, flown a B744 and quite probably, never, ever, flown a commercial airliner, never mind a jet. One particular poster in particular seems hell bent on trying to teach those us who do fly heavy jets and the B744 in particular, how to suck eggs.

If you want to appear knowledgeable on these forums then do not try to tell us how to operate, fly and handle abnormal situations. Austrian Simon in particular seems fixated on trying to teach us how to handle a B744 in a cross-wind with two engines out on the same side. :rolleyes: Well, let me tell you AS, unless you are an experienced B744 pilot and I'm willing to wager that you aren't, please wind your neck in a notch or two as you are irritating the majority of us who do fly the B744.

Whilst there are differing opinions on what any of us who fly the B744 would have done under the same circumstances, I don't think any of us would deny that the B744 having a non-catastrophic engine failure at any stage after V1 is not quite the same as having the same problem in a twin engined aircraft. I have again looked through my QRH for the B744 and nowhere does it say land at the nearest suitable airport for an engine failure. Have you any idea of the redundancy available in a B744?

So, please stop wittering on about losing a second engine or climb gradients on two engines. As long as the aircraft still has three engines running it is certified for continued flight. Whether you would want to is another matter and as you will probably only ever be a passenger in one, you will have to rely on the professionalism of the crew and the back up they receive from their operations department, which in BA, is probably one of the best.

Experience of Microsoft Flight Simulator or even having been given a joyride once or twice in a real simulator does not confer on you any 'expertise' worthy of posting irritating pontifications on here. When you've at least qualified to fly a twin engined jet and have a bit of experience behind you, then you will be given the respect you deserve when you post your opinions about how to handle the situation on here. Qualify to fly the aircraft in question, the B744, then you will be listened to and your arguments will have the necessary weight of experience behind them. Until then, please refrain from posting your opinions based on a joyride in a sim.

Blueprint
4th Apr 2006, 12:30
I would like to point out to M. Mouse that I flew 747s for 18yrs. Having overflown Iceland on 3eng a further failure shortly after that point with about 900nm to Man would have led to a serious fuel shortage if that misfortune had occured. We know the a/c landed as it was with fuel low pressure lights illuminated in a critically low fuel state. The crew knowingly flew the a/c into such a situation, that is what the authorities are worried about.

AdrianShaftsworthy
4th Apr 2006, 12:42
Nice one Danny. About time someone wound his scrawny little neck in!!!!:)

Hotel Mode
4th Apr 2006, 13:03
Blueprint they had low fuel pressure on 2 pumps due to a slightly mismanaged crossfeed and at that stage in the approach declared a PAN, they actually landed with about 8t if my memory serves which is not critically low by any means. As for overflying iceland, well you turn back if its before the BIKF/EGCC crit point, you should know that. Anyway Glasgow and Prestwick are well before EGCC

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 13:12
As long as the aircraft still has three engines running it is certified for continued flight.

Quite obviously that depends which aviation authority you look at. It certainly looks like, that not all aviation authorities agree with that sentence, and even issue penalties for continuing this flight in question.

What will CAA say, should one flight, which continued past the next suitable airport on three engines, suffer another failure and - Lord beware - crash? Will they then say, that this was just fate and the scenario not foreseeable?

Simon

WHBM
4th Apr 2006, 13:31
Having overflown Iceland on 3eng a further failure shortly after that point with about 900nm to Man would have led to a serious fuel shortage if that misfortune had occured
Why do you think if they had a second failure "shortly after Iceland" they would not have gone back to Keflavik, as a twin would do, or go into Prestwick ?

navtopilot
4th Apr 2006, 13:55
Well said Danny. As a 400 Captain with 26000 hours and 8000+ on the 400 operating according to my companies SOP, under the circumstances experienced my the BA crew my action would have been same to continue to LHR.

Jerricho
4th Apr 2006, 14:01
Very interesting thread (again ;) ), although I do have one question.

Austrian Simon, do you actually fly 747s?

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 14:03
Is this clown for real? Sonderstrom must be in his flight sim.

What do make out of the minimum climb rates listed on the approach charts, for example LLZ/DME+MKR Runway 10, for the go-around, flying on just two engines?

Simon

TopBunk
4th Apr 2006, 14:30
Austrian Simon

OK, tell us what the procedures for flying a B747-400 2 engine out approach are.

Do you know? What is the commital height, what does that actually mean? What is the landing configuration, when do you configure? What sort of power settings would you use? If you had to, what is the go-around procedure and how does it differ from a 3 or 4 engines approach?

Demostrate (as Danny says) that you know and have carried out 2-engine approaches in a B744, and then you can question the decisions of a professional crew, until then by al means debate the cultural differences between the FAA and the CAA, but otherwise keep your own council.

RRAAMJET
4th Apr 2006, 14:35
I stand by my original posting, pages ago.....as Danny has pointed out, nowhere[I] in the '400 manual, that I recall, is land as soon as possible for 1-eng out.

I also am convinced that with with fewer and fewer 4-eng experienced pilots in th USA, especially in the FAA (mostly ex-mil, particularly Army choppers, in my experience of them), they are brainwashed into 2-eng op. mode. Indeed, the first thing USAF pilots get drilled into them in UPT is a parrot-fashion recital for 'stand-ups' on how to handle an emergency:
1 mantain aircraft control
2 analyse the situation
3 [I]land as soon as conditions permit
Here, I think is the crux of the situation - the FAA inspectors are stuck on phrase three.

Somebody posted earlier ' we're not in a war here'...true, and sound advice indeed. But, we are in a commercial business with slim economic margins; BA has given it's crews a magnificent tool that deserves to be operated to the significant advantages it confers over cheaper twins. We're not crossing at 45North in this example, and the abnormal is not time-critical. I'm pretty sure I'd carry on too. In fact, I have, once.....:cool:

Austrian Simon....oh deary me....it's like trying to lecture Spok about the finer points of comedy....'that's illogical, Captain'
1. Suggest you try flying your -400 sim with enough rudder applied to not need to use aileron - a simple glance down at the top of the yoke would tell you on the graded scale there if you have enough size-11 (oh-wait...the joystick you use has missiles and rear view up there...woops)
2. This will shock you...the -400 will go-around prior to flaps 20 for a 2-eng approach, indeed it will still go around from after that. It can, if you're very brave and know the difference between rudders and the flappy things out at the ends of the wings (they're locked-out at high speed BTW), in fact, climb out from gear retraction at heavy weight after t/o on 2. Hate to try it for real - you have to go to flaps 5 and fly right in the hockey stick, as I recall - sh1t scary out of HKG, but a great scan exercise....
3. I don't know of any Authority out there brave enough to overrule the manufacturer's manual and ban 3-engine continued flight...
4. Please don't let me ever land with you in a podded jet in a strong crosswind if aileron and roll-rates are primary in your mind...I've been scared-a-plenty with agricultural wing-warping at low altitude...the crosswind limit for 2-eng is a combination of available rudder deflection and level wings (a small amount of wing down is available, but I believe no credit on certification). The ailerons come into play primarily on roll-out. If you mash the yoke around, the 400 just shudders, as will the Captain.;)

Photon torpedo running....

Ricky Whizz
4th Apr 2006, 14:37
Austrian Simon,

What Topbunk is trying to tell you is that commit to landing with the B747 on 2 engines is GEAR DOWN.

That makes min climb rates for a go around rather irrelevant.

PS. I think that armchair quaterbacks should leave the professionals to do their job. I have no doubt that these guys proceeded after considering ALL the options and that they still had options open to them when they made the decision to go to Manchester.

Zero"G"
4th Apr 2006, 15:01
Minimum climb gradients are for "normal" operations.In a G/A,you will level out at 800/1000 agl,cleanup and,if feasable,comply with an emergency escape procedure published by the company(advising ATC)using the departure emergency policy published by each concerned airline for that specific runway(some on the airport analysis,some on special procedure manuals).All airports where heavy birds operate,there are these procedures,due to non-minimum climb gradients obtained and it takes you to MSA and dumping area combined for;
holding x resolving x crm'ing x preparing X deciding x returning.

3 engines on a 4 bird,2 engines on a 3 bird are considered an ABNORMAL situation.Decision to go/nogo lies entierly on crew/sop.

2 engines ferry flights on a Tri bird and 3 engines ferry on a quad bird are common.No PAX,special crew and clearance necessary.Saves the compan a bundle to bring it back to base for overhaul(eng change abroad at ramp)
witch would require hauling spare eng,crew and service(a million bucks).
These crews are certified by the company/manufacter/FAA/JAA/CAA and,special training is required for these operations.Not to mention a special procedure on the AFM,with at least 25/30 pages of maintanance requirements(yes,strapping the fan is part of it too...).
Been there,done that..Transatlantic and Inter Europe.
Regards

Danny
4th Apr 2006, 15:06
Ricky, not quite correct. The QRH has a note stating 'do not attempt a missed approach after landing gear is extended'. However, if you've trained on the B744, you will probably have tried the two engined go-around utilising the kinetic energy still available after gear extension. The QRH suggests gear down at glideslope intercept, which quite often is at around 2000'-3000'.

So, aside from Austrian Simons parallel universe, we could retract the gear and clean up to at least flap 1 whilst accelerating DOWN the glideslope to initiate a climb before reaching minimums. You have to be careful about how much thrust you apply so that it is commensurate with directional control. Ooh er! I bet they don't teach you that in MS Flight Sim! :rolleyes:

Based on Austrian Simons logic, I should never fly because if I lose one engine then I might lose another. I'd rather face that in a B744 than a twin, three hours from the nearest suitable airport.

Austrian Simon, please do us all a favour and refrain from your comments on here because they serve no purpose other than to irritate with no substance to provide any mitigation. The only issue here is whether the FAA are right or wrong to fine BA for continuing the flight instead of landing at the nearest suitable airport. In my book, as a B744 pilot, albeit, with nowhere nearly enough experience to make such a command decision, the BA captain did nothing illegal. Whilst I may not have reached the same conclusion and may have decided to continue as far east as was practical whilst my ops department set up a reroute to JFK or EWR, so that we could arrange onward transfers for our pax, I have no doubt that the BA crew involved weighed up all their options and continued on the basis that it was feasible. What happened later to cause the fuel problem is irrelevant to this case as it could have had the same effect if they'd not lost an engine and been kept below optimum levels and the winds were not as favourable as forecast.

BEagle
4th Apr 2006, 15:35
"Whilst I may not have reached the same conclusion and may have decided to continue as far east as was practical whilst my ops department set up a reroute to JFK or EWR, so that we could arrange onward transfers for our pax...."

In my humble view (and I don't claim to have flown a 744 - and most definitely not a Microsoft Flight Sim!), that would have been the most prudent option - although probably not the cheapest for the airline.

Just because 'you can' doesn't mean 'you should'.

TopBunk
4th Apr 2006, 16:07
In my humble view (and I don't claim to have flown a 744 - and most definitely not a Microsoft Flight Sim!), that would have been the most prudent option [..east coast...] - although probably not the cheapest for the airline.
Just because 'you can' doesn't mean 'you should'.

With respect Beagle, 'most prudent' does not always equate to 'correct'.

I would take the decision to continue as being the correct decision IF having considered all the factors, including of course enroute contingency planning of fuel and alternates it met my/company criteria. This may vary from day to day.

I would have to have a 'check mark' or 'tick' in all the boxes to continue, and the default would be that if that were that not the case, to proceed to a suitable enroute alternate. Remember time is not a factor here, as it takes about 5 hours from LAX to leaving mainland Canada. At all stages using the DODAR concept, there is the R=Review option or 'howgoesit', and decisions can be changed - that is exercising good CRM/command/decision making skills.

Diverting somewhere enroute is sometimes the 'easy' option, not the'correct' option. Making such decisions to continue are sometimes more difficult than that to divert and shows calm, rational thought and certainly not a reckless commitment to continue.

I applaud my colleagues:ok:

RRAAMJET
4th Apr 2006, 21:16
Mike - were the FAA invited to send a representative to that meeting, as they're the ones squawking the loudest? Has a copy been info'ed to them?
Just curious...

Top Bunk, absolutely correct. Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, etc must have all been fairly close abeam, ORD,BOS,JFK a little further. It's not press-on-itis, it's teamwork and confidence in a plan. By the time Montreal was passed, the plan must have looked solid. BA are not idiots.

And I can just imagine the tree-hugger headlines in California if BA had stayed off-shore and dumped fuel over their cute little sea-otters: "Nasty Colonials attempt to destroy precious marine habitat during jet near-disaster".
:hmm:

The FAA has more pressing problems here at home with the dismal state of service in the US carriers and lack of infrastructure investment...:mad:

Austrian Simon
4th Apr 2006, 21:23
TopBunk and Danny,

What is the commital height, what does that actually mean? What is the landing configuration, when do you configure?

ACH (asymmetric committal height): the height, from which a safe go-around is assured (or as the regulation says, below which the pilot SHOULD not attempt another approach), taking into account the time needed to accelerate the engine, retract gear and reduce flaps, the airplane type, gross weight, elevation of the airport, temperature, winds, obstacle clearance and qualification of pilot.

In reviewing the manuals I found the notice, that on a two engine approach landing is committed upon lowering the gear (and then found comments along the same line in messages here - thanks!).

That raises an interesting question however: What do you do, if the landing target is not assured for one or the other reason, when you get down to say 300 feet AGL?

Based on Austrian Simons logic, I should never fly because if I lose one engine then I might lose another.

Where did I say or imply that? My kernel argument is, that loosing an engine reduces safety margin and increases risk, which should be kept as short and as minimal as possible.

BTW, as you have mentioned that too: I did not say anywhere, that this crew did anything illegal. I have not mentioned the legal side at all in my postings so far. I argue from the point of risk management and safety margins and the paying customers' (those, who in the end pay the wages of pilots and all other employees of airlines) perceiption of safety issues.

The discussion so far has shown, that an approach on two engines leaves no safety margin whatsoever, if between lowering the gear and arriving on the runway a safe landing is prevented.

And that's exactly, what I said in all my postings today. A Go-Around is not an option in this scenario, neither performancewise because of the insufficient achievable climb gradient (as I said throughout the discussion) nor legally as I now learned from reviewing the manuals, so the go-around out of a two engine approach is not an option on any airport. That is actually worse than I believed earlier today.

My mistakes in this discussion, as it has unfolded, has been the language, which is not in line with regular pilot talk (of course! See below), the oversight of the legal ban of a go-around on the two engine approach, once the gear has been lowered, and too late a review of manuals.

So far the discussion could not change my view. If you will, despite being an European, I am with FAA on this one.

Now, I am software developer, developing mathematic models of air flow and aerodynamics of airplanes - as such I have flown a significant number of hours in full flight sims of various airplane types and have flown them all into their extremes to cross check predictions out of the modelling (so my "joyrides" were "workrides" in reality). Clearly, I do not know all the details of procedures, certainly not the legal side of them and certainly not by heart.

I'd rather face that in a B744 than a twin, three hours from the nearest suitable airport.

Me, too, no doubt about that. I just need to mention the Atlantic Glider ...

Simon

Egerton Flyer
4th Apr 2006, 21:30
Danny, I know that I will never take control of a 747 :ugh:
But I have to say, to continue to the point that you issue a mayday(yes they did) call on final, thinking that you did not have enough fuel to perform a go-around. In that situation you have no options, you have to land
I just think it may have been prudent to put it down before it got to that stage.
I know you guys get paid to make these decisions but I have to agree with B-Eagle on this one.:8
E.F.

L337
4th Apr 2006, 22:19
Just how many times does it have to be posted?

They had enough fuel.

They missunderstood the information presented to them.

They were not about to run out of fuel.

They had 8 tons on landing.

8 tons is close to an hours flying time.

They were NOT about to run out of fuel.

overstress
4th Apr 2006, 22:22
Egerton. I'm glad you and BEagle agree. Neither of you have flown the aircraft concerned. Blueprint (whose posting was erroneous and misleading) had flown Classics, I guess, and BEagle, I believe, the mighty '10. (BEagle: like it or not, if it happened again tomorrow, we'd probably do it again)

The 747 is designed to do it, the manufacturer approves it, the CAA certifies it, the operator trains it (and approved it in this case), the crew were happy with it on the day and the FAA have their collective heads up their @rses.

Now PLEASE can we save some bandwidth for the BA pension thread ;) ??

PS: Austrian Simon: if English is not your first language then congratulations on the standard of your postings. Most professional pilots are not software developers (NoD excepted :) ) and we would not dream of offering advice on a software developers forum. I can understand your interest in the subject, but with respect, your experience (as described by you) does not enable you to contribute anything meaningful to the B744 qualified pilots on here in this discussion. Welcome to PPRuNe!

L337
4th Apr 2006, 22:38
And that's exactly, what I said in all my postings today. A Go-Around is not an option in this scenario, neither performancewise because of the insufficient achievable climb gradient (as I said throughout the discussion) nor legally as I now learned from reviewing the manuals, so the go-around out of a two engine approach is not an option on any airport. That is actually worse than I believed earlier today.


I know I am wasting my breath but...

Before commencing the approach you make sure you have an assured landing. You are cleared to land before commencing the approach. In other words the runway is sterile. It is yours.

A go around from AFTER gear down is practiced in the simulator, and perfectly flyable. Indeed it is in the current BA check.

The B747-400 is certified to do it. Boeing have approved the procedure. It is part of the aircraft certification. How on earth is that illegal??

l337

Swedish Steve
4th Apr 2006, 22:42
Yes they had enough fuel but it was mostly in Nbr 2 tank.
I know I am a mere engineer, but I find the B744 fuel system complicated.
If you fly a B777 or A320 or B737, go look at the B744 fuel system. 8 tanks and 16 pumps and override pumps and transfer valves and point sensors etc. It would be complicated for an F/E let alone a pilot. However in NORMAL operations it works just fine. The pilots set it up at engine start and then leave it alone. During the cruise they get an EICAS message and turn off some switches. And the rest is automatic. However, with an engine out, you have to do things differently. You have to keep the aircraft balanced, and use up all the fuel in Nbr 2 tank before TOD. This may sound easy , but its not. They had fuel left in Nbr 2 tank, and the book says tank to engine on descent. So they landed with LHR fuel, but unusable. I hope the BA B744 manual explains how to do this better now.

By the way I have taken off in a Tristar on a 2 engine ferry flight and thought the lack of V1 was not very funny, especially as the F/E told me as we were taxying out for T/O!

idol detent
4th Apr 2006, 23:23
Blueloo wrote:

A/C operating to ETOPS standards are designed to ETOPS standards (simple enough eh), what this means of course (and here you rely on statistics which can be manipulated anyway etc etc) is that a 767, 777 or others, have engines supposedly built/maintained/checked prior to each departure to a higher standard to reduce the likelihood of failure

The reason we have those enhanced standards is precisely because they are inherently less safe than 3/4 eng a/c. And for your info.- the BA 767 engines are directly compatible with the 744 and vice-versa. Same motors, just that you've only got two to start with.





AS wrote:

That raises an interesting question however: What do you do, if the landing target is not assured for one or the other reason, when you get down to say 300 feet AGL?

That's why you make sure that rwy is yours & yours alone for the approach.:rolleyes:

My kernel argument is, that loosing an engine reduces safety margin and increases risk, which should be kept as short and as minimal as possible

You are applying twin-engine logic to a 4-eng a/c. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

The discussion so far has shown, that an approach on two engines leaves no safety margin whatsoever, if between lowering the gear and arriving on the runway a safe landing is prevented

You're still not listening. 2-eng is perfectly safe including G/A. Depending on weight, OAT etc a G/A from about 500' is achievable. It's been a while since I flew the a/c, but we used to practice just that - G/A after the commit point. If some moron decides to drive his van across a 'sterile' rwy with Mayday traffic at 1nm Final on 2 engines then he deserves to have his genes removed from the gene-pool.

Double engine failure and a rwy incursion at 300'. You're stretching the bounds of reality now AS.

Go-Around is not an option in this scenario, neither performancewise because of the insufficient achievable climb gradient (as I said throughout the discussion) nor legally as I now learned from reviewing the manuals, so the go-around out of a two engine approach is not an option on any airport

Hogwash.

Flying her then becomes real hard work...

No it is not. No more difficult than a single-engine apch on a twin.

AS, I don't mean to be sarcastic, but there is so much more you said earlier that is complete nonsense to those of us who earn a living flying these things. I just can't be bothered to respond to the rest.

A period of silence from you would now be most welcome.

Idol (12yrs 100/200 & 400). And unlike you, I'm no expert.

M.Mouse
4th Apr 2006, 23:28
Someone mentioned specially trained 3 engine ferry crews, in BA only one person on a ferry flight has any exceptional training and that is normally a training captain. An ordinary line FO, with no extra training, occupies the other seat.

That is BA's CAA approved procedure for a 3 engine ferry.

Ricky Whizz
5th Apr 2006, 00:00
Danny,

Yep, I am aware of the note, but was trying to keep it simple for our Simon. I have practised said procedure.

Cheers,

Ricky :ok:

blueloo
5th Apr 2006, 00:06
idol detent - you are forgetting so many other factors which are required for ETOPS certification. It is not just about the engines. It is about many systems. THe engines play a large part in the equation, and an engine failure from an ETOPS fleet aircraft can affect the ETOPS certification.



What this comes down to was, was this the safest course of action. The answer to that will be debated. Continue with and engine failed and have to declare a fuel emergency..... or dump fuel and land at MLW.

For my mind, Safety before schedule will remain my priority.

idol detent
5th Apr 2006, 00:39
THe engines play a large part in the equation, and an engine failure from an ETOPS fleet aircraft can affect the ETOPS certification

Quite. I was merely poining out that the BA767 and -400 engines are the same. They are not ETOPS 'special editions' as was implied in your post. ;)


For my mind, Safety before schedule will remain my priority

Likewise.

Having used all the resources available to them and considered the many factors that needed to be considered, the crew elected to continue on 3 engs. Nothing illegal and not un-safe to my mind. I would quite possibly have done the same. Why the FAA are up in arms is beyond me.

Rgds

Idol

Sky Wave
5th Apr 2006, 00:45
The safest option was not to leave the ground in the first place. Flying is not risk free. The only question is was a flight on 3 engines at an acceptable level of risk.

Nearly every 744 pilot on this forum seems to believe that the risk was at an acceptable level, why do the non 744 pilots find this so difficult to comprehend?

I am only wanabee, but the arguments put forward by the 744 pilots along with my respect for BA leaves me in no doubt that their decision was sound.

XL5
5th Apr 2006, 00:53
Requirements and considerations for three engine ferry don't apply in this case. Special training and crewing for the ferry scenario is necessary due to the abnormal takeoff procedures and handling characteristics encountered when initially setting off with only three out of four. In a nutshell, the difficult bit of getting airborne on three is tracking the runway as thrust is applied and correctly responding to the loss of a second engine. Quite tricky actually, with some of it going against the grain but all completely irrelevant in the case of an engine failing after a normal takeoff.

There's a set margin of safety, and this flight certainly cut into it, although whether the cut was deep enough to compromise that safety is obviously open to debate. When operating on three prepare for operating on two, and plan accordingly with a knowledge of the limitations and risk that the situation is going to impose. Suffice to say that it would seem as though commercial considerations entered into this particular go/no-go decision. Continuing wasn't actually unsafe because nothing went additionally wrong, but under the given the circumstances landing and calling it a day would undoubtedly have been safer. The FAA has a point - why roll the dice?

Flight Safety
5th Apr 2006, 01:26
So many replies to this thread, and only Strepsils has come close to getting it right. Again, the relevent part of FAR 121.565:

(b) If not more than one engine of an airplane that has three or more engines fails or its rotation is stopped, the pilot in command may proceed to an airport that he selects if, after considering the following, he decides that proceeding to that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport.

(2) The altitude, weight, and usable fuel at the time of engine stoppage.

Did the aircraft have the fuel to make the airport (Healthrow) that the PIC selected? No it did not, since an emergency was declared and a fuel diversion to Manchester was required, short of Heathrow.

Therefore was proceeding to the selected airport (Heathrow) as safe as landing at the nearest airport? No it was not, because the aircraft didn't have the fuel to make the selected airport (Heathrow).

One of the linked articles speculates that the crew might have had the fuel if they had not spent so much time over the Pacific near LAX. Maybe so, but this does not change the requirement that most of the flight has to be planned all over again (as required by FAR 121.565) before continuing the flight.

Was the crew in violation of FAR 121.565 when they turned the pointy end East towards Healthrow? Yes they were, because they did not meet the requirement of part (b)(2) of this regulation.

It really is that simple.

punkalouver
5th Apr 2006, 01:51
So many replies to this thread, and only Strepsils has come close to getting it right. Again, the relevent part of FAR 121.565:
Did the aircraft have the fuel to make the airport (Healthrow) that the PIC selected? No it did not, since an emergency was declared and a fuel diversion to Manchester was required, short of Heathrow.
Therefore was proceeding to the selected airport (Heathrow) as safe as landing at the nearest airport? No it was not, because the aircraft didn't have the fuel to make the selected airport (Heathrow).
One of the linked articles speculates that the crew might have had the fuel if they had not spent so much time over the Pacific near LAX. Maybe so, but this does not change the requirement that most of the flight has to be planned all over again (as required by FAR 121.565) before continuing the flight.
Was the crew in violation of FAR 121.565 when they turned the pointy end East towards Healthrow? Yes they were, because they did not meet the requirement of part (b)(2) of this regulation.
It really is that simple.

According to what I have read on this thread, they did meet the requirement of 121.565. People keep saying they had LHR fuel(and I assune alternate fuel). But from what swedish steve said, here on page 4, if I read it correctly, they mismanaged their fuel. Or perhaps there was a fuel pump malfunction, or something similar. Can anyone confirm.

beerdrinker
5th Apr 2006, 06:19
Just to reapeat what I said on the original thread. The FAA's original complaint was filed by an inexperienced FAA duty officer who has since been sat upon. The decision to continue the flight was made in accordance with the Company Ops manual which had been filed with and approved by the FAA so that they ,the FAA, could issue a Foriegn Carrier Certificate.

END OF STORY (again)

Ricky Whizz
5th Apr 2006, 06:38
Cheers Beerdrinker.

As suspected - look like the Septics are trying to back out in a face saving manner.

I agree with Mike J. Improving their 3rd world airports would be a good start - although I have to say that I love the simplicity of their departures.

L337
5th Apr 2006, 07:43
So they landed with LHR fuel, but unusable.

Utter rubbish.

The QRH on the day covered the senario they arrived at.

That is "All pumps on, all cross-feeds open"

Simple.

frangatang
5th Apr 2006, 08:18
It is also forgotten here that they would have had more fuel if ATC hadnt stuffed up their level across the atlantic. Only the other day a flight from the west coast to LHR was having fuel temp problems (too cold) and the only way they could getATC to understand was to declare a PAN and descend and go faster,otherwise they would have been left way up high. Oh , and l have recently returned from SFO in a 400 and l would have continued towards LHR depending on the engine failure.Note we say towards,there are plenty of places to go if things change.
And another thing,as a result of this incident,crews spent time on the next sim check going through odd fuel configurations ,something that has never been made clear reading the sketchy manuals.I wonder how many 400 operators have done the same thing.That part of the sim detail was excellent.

Marty-Party
5th Apr 2006, 08:24
Quite right L377, all fuel is available for use.

The only difference is the non-normal configuration of the pumps and cross feeds if any of the main tanks has less then 1T of fuel remaining.

I understand that the crew had doubts about whether the fuel in the main tank associated with the shutdown engine was usable or not. Since then, I believe all crew have received a briefing on how to use this fuel to run the live engines via cross-feeds earlier in the flight so that the tanks are approximately balanced on arrival. However, this is just to reduce any trim drag due to the imbalance and not any fuel feed issues.

All crew have also been shown in the simulator that the aircraft will run all 4 engines quite comfortably with a main tank empty if all main pumps are on and all cross-feeds open. This of course would apply on 3 engines as well.

Boeing designed the aircraft so that any engine can receive fuel from any combinations of main tanks making all fuel usable.

Stan Woolley
5th Apr 2006, 08:39
Mike
Quote
'I can think of far better targets for the FAA to be aiming at - O'Hare for example, with 3 very recent near-accidents to think about.......'

I would suggest that O'Hare has become that way by constantly pushing the boundaries of what is sensible, driven by commercial pressure.

Quote
'I think you will find that this crew did more safety-related planning & re-planning in one flight than most crews will do in a year (or more!)......'

Yet they still ended up landing after declaring an emergency.........

I didn't know airmanship was type specific?

I'd rather sit behind a Captain with BEAGLE's attitude than many others displayed on this thread, over-conservative possibly but isn't that what we're always told is right? If in doubt take the safe option? If there was no doubt that night why all the extra planning?

The fact that they ended up in some confusion about the fuel state of the A/C merely highlights the problem with putting yourself in situations you have not seen before, in an aircraft with degraded capability.

In my opinion it's clear that whatever thought processes went on among all those involved,safety was not top of their list!If they were dumping fuel the Captain had already decided to return to land - who or what changed his mind?The guys onboard have probably only ever had one engine failure and it has been the subject of newspaper articles, forum debate and criticism from the FAA. Good decision? Not for me.

L337
5th Apr 2006, 09:34
If they were dumping fuel the Captain had already decided to return to land - who or what changed his mind?

More rubbish.

At no stage, ever, has it been suggested, or did they, start dumping fuel.

L337

Stan Woolley
5th Apr 2006, 09:46
L337

Actually if you followed the link in the second post on this thread(by Mike Jenvey) it WAS suggested they were heading out to sea to dump fuel!!

Everything you disagree with is rubbish isn't it?:yuk:

L337
5th Apr 2006, 09:52
They headed out to sea. No mountains there. The safe option.

Actually if you read the two huge threads here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=164208) and here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=173143) you would get your facts correct.

To suggest they began to dump, and who or what changed his mind? is rubbish.

I don't disagree with you, It is a matter of fact. They did not begin to, or did they dump fuel.

If you write rubbish it is rubbish.

:yuk:

Stan Woolley
5th Apr 2006, 10:09
Hang on a minute.

You said..........'At no stage, ever, has it been suggested, or did they, start dumping fuel.

As I said in my earlier post it WAS suggested in the article in the link.I also said .........IF............they were dumping fuel.

You were wrong. Get over it!:{

Marty-Party
5th Apr 2006, 10:25
Bear in mind that once fuel jettison has started it will be dumping approx 2T of fuel per minute. Normal reserve and diversion fuel for somewhere like LHR in good weather may be around 7T - 8T. Add on a few tons of contingency fuel would mean they would normally arrive at LHR with about 11T. If they had commenced fuel jettison within 5 minutes they would not have enough fuel to make LHR!

I am sure they would not have commenced fuel jettison, cancelled it and then elected to continue to LHR.

cwatters
5th Apr 2006, 10:31
Forgive my ignorance but...

Could they be sure that "the fuel in the main tank associated with the shutdown engine" wasn't the cause of the shutdown?

the passenger
5th Apr 2006, 11:39
After having read this thread, as a passenger, I had to register on this forum because I know understand why so many people have a fear of flying and prefer to take trains or drive cars. Some of the real world pilots here have such a condescending, impertinent way of speaking and such an over-self-confidence that I would not like to have them as pilots on a flight I am on. I simply would not trust them to be safe pilots and I would not like to be a passenger on a British Airways flight ever again, that´ s for sure!
If this BA flight had to declare an emergency, this alone proves that safety was compromised by continuing the flight and I only would have hoped that BA would have been fined a much larger sum!
If pilots are such heroes and have no problems with "unusual situations" why do they switch off the wrong engine (British Midland, 1989), begin a takeoff without having the permission to do it (KLM, Tenerife, 1977), stall
airplanes (Birgenair, 1996/ Northwest Orient, 1974/BEA, 1972), fly until they run out of fuel (Avianca, 1990/Antillian Airlines, 1970), land with retracted landing gear(Contintental Airlines, 1996), forget to configure
flaps for departure (Northwest Airlines, 1987), land at the wrong airport or do other crazy things. The list is endless. Often an accident is initiated by a seemingly irrelevant incident.
In short: a little bit more caution and modesty would be much appreciated by the poor passengers. I don´t like pilots to play with MY life! I like cautious pilots who would rather return to the depature airport than try to save their company some money!

Hand Solo
5th Apr 2006, 11:52
Forgive my ignorance but...

Could they be sure that "the fuel in the main tank associated with the shutdown engine" wasn't the cause of the shutdown?

Given that all the fuels come from the same source and the fuel for engine two migt well be coming from tank 3 depending on the pump pressure then I would say they could be very confident the fuel wasn't the cause of the shutdown.

Some of the real world pilots here have such a condescending, impertinent way of speaking and such an over-self-confidence that I would not like to have them as pilots on a flight I am on.

Over-self-confidence? No, we simply are the only ones on here who are aware of the design, operation and capabilities of the 744 and don't suffer fools who understand none of those things but consider themselves somehow to be experts. Perhaps the important term was 'real world pilots', instead of the pretend pilots spouting garbage on here.


If this BA flight had to declare an emergency, this alone proves that safety was compromised by continuing the flight

Sadly thats total b*****s and merely serves to demonstrate your lack of understanding of jet aircraft or the rules of the air. Perhaps you are the kind of person who insists on a full run down of how your surgeon will perform an operation and make misguided suggestions as to how you think it should be done better? You are entitled to your opinion, but that doesn't mean it's in any way factually correct. Which it isn't.

the passenger
5th Apr 2006, 12:29
Sadly thats total b*****s and merely serves to demonstrate your lack of understanding of jet aircraft or the rules of the air.
I don´t NEED to understand jet aircrafts or the rules of the air. I simply don´t fly with you/your airline if I don´t trust you/your airline anymore.
Obviously declaring an emergency is just big fun for you.
You don´t have to be an expert to KNOW that it is safer to fly on an airplane with all 4 engines running than to be on one with one engine shut off (if it had been safer this way, Boeing certainly would have constructed the 747 in such a way that three engines are "real ones" and one is a dummy)! So there MUST be a decreased level of safety (even if this situation might still be considered to be "safe enough" by some authorities)!


Perhaps you are the kind of person who insists on a full run down of how your surgeon will perform an operation and make misguided suggestions as to how you think it should be done better? You are entitled to your opinion, but that doesn't mean it's in any way factually correct. Which it isn't.
You bet I select my surgeon VERY carefully! I certainly don´t want to become an EMERGENCY in the operating theatre either!

Ricky Whizz
5th Apr 2006, 12:44
Hey The Passenger,

The reason that some may sound condescending to you is that we are fed up to the back teeth with the press and passengers who think that they know something about flying second guessing our every move.

This is our profession. We take pride in doing it well. NOTHING that these guys did was unprofessional or unsafe. Some days you end up declaring an emergency - that's the way that flying is.

How about I come to your place of work and critique everything that you do - even though I may understand little of what you do.

Don't fly with us - you will not be missed.

the passenger
5th Apr 2006, 12:51
Hey The Passenger,

The reason that some may sound condescending to you is that we are fed up to the back teeth with the press and passengers who think that they know something about flying second guessing our every move.
If you read the press you will notice that other professions have the same "problems", too. It is called democracy!


This is our profession. We take pride in doing it well. NOTHING that these guys did was unprofessional or unsafe. Some days you end up declaring an emergency - that's the way that flying is.
And some days you obviously end up declaring an emergency that would not have been necessary if you had returned to the departure airport...
You have a strange point of view calling "flying a Boeing 747 thousands of miles in an 'unairworthy condition'" (according to U.S. government documents/International Herald Tribune) "professional" and "safe"!
So why was BA fined $25000 then - for flying "professional" and "safe"???



Don't fly with us - you will not be missed.

Your company will not be missed either.

arewenearlythereyet?
5th Apr 2006, 13:00
Oh dear, of dear. 'the passenger' doesn't like our attitudes when we treat them on this forum condescendingly. Well, what do you expect when you and others whose only real experience of our job is sitting down the back yet you feel it necessary to come on here and tell us how it should have been handled based solely on your very limited knowledge of what is involved.

Yes, we treat you like the fool you are on here because you spectacularly fail to understand the intricacies of our job. Spouting off a list of aircraft disasters by itself is not indicative of anything. Apart from the fact that we all learn from others mistakes, you would do well to put those disasters into the overall context of the actual number of flights, hours and aircraft worldwide and then look at the accident statistics.

Personally, none of us could really care less that you will not fly BA anymore or any other airline for than matter. If your IQ is so abysmally low to realise that it is statistically much safer to travel by air, especially with an airline like BA, then you deserve to put yourself at more risk by using less safe airlines. I think it's called natural selection and your living in the shallow end of the gene pool shows itself by your silly post on here.

No pilot discussing this incident on here is "playing with your life" and they certainly don't do so when on the job. If your ignorance fails to let you understand that then you'd better be prepared for your ego to severely battered on here. It's like lambs to the slaughter some days. On the one hand it fair game and a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. On the other it's cringingly painful to have to read the utter tripe that some opinionated nosey people write on here.

Ricky Whizz
5th Apr 2006, 13:26
The passenger (hopefully not for much longer).

The fine is a 'proposal' numbskull and it's being contested.

I hope that you take more care in reading any documents that relate to your work - as I am sure that you would expect us to.

The Newspaper is reporting (not commenting) and the FAA is fishing (for a way out of their own mistake).

Egerton Flyer
5th Apr 2006, 13:34
L337
Nowhere in my post did I say that they did not have enough fuel, but you
have to agree that the crew were treating the situation as such.
I have to say that your reaction to any criticism of the crew (even from people qualified to do so) is not very constructive or professional.
E.F.

barit1
5th Apr 2006, 13:38
...

Personally, none of us could really care less that you will not fly BA anymore or any other airline for than matter. If your IQ is so abysmally low to realise that it is statistically much safer to travel by air, especially with an airline like BA, then you deserve to put yourself at more risk by using less safe airlines...

Just what I was thinking :)

DozyWannabe
5th Apr 2006, 13:49
If pilots are such heroes and have no problems with "unusual situations"
That's not being said, but it can be argued that such situations are rigorously trained for.

why do they switch off the wrong engine (British Midland, 1989),
Because the cross-training provided from 737-300 to 737-400 at British Midland was not completely adequate (bleed air comes from the right engine on the 733, both engines on the 734 - pilots saw smoke in the cabin, deduced incorrectly it was the right engine that was malfunctioning...)

begin a takeoff without having the permission to do it (KLM, Tenerife, 1977)
Because of overly strict scheduling laws that sound good in theory, but often cause problems in practice

stall airplanes (Birgenair, 1996/ Northwest Orient, 1974/BEA, 1972),
Only one of these (the second) can be proven as pilot error - the first was a maintenance mistake, and the final one was due to incapacitation in the cockpit at a crucial stage of flight.

I like cautious pilots who would rather return to the depature airport than try to save their company some money!
Something tells me you're the kind of person who'd be the first to complain and demand compensation if you arrived at your destination 24+ hours late because of a minor fault with a quadruple-redundant system. As has been pointed out, most US carriers do the same route on 2 engines every day... I fail to see the excessive danger in doing it on 3.

J.

alemaobaiano
5th Apr 2006, 14:07
I was under the impression that this was a flight-deck forum called
Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots
Now I'm not a professional pilot and as such I have very little to contribute to this particular forum. As a very frequent flier and an amateur pilot I do like to have an idea of what's going on at the pointy end of the tube and for that reason I read many of the threads here, and whatever I may feel or think, I do not have the training or experience to question the decisions made by the crew. I would be less than impressed if a B744 captain questioned my professional decisions, and the same should hold true for the rest of us.
By all means have a discussion about this, but use the appropriate forum to do so.
ab

CR2
5th Apr 2006, 14:25
OK, time has come, once again, to issue a warning to our self appointed 'experts' who in fact have never, ever, flown a B744 and quite probably, never, ever, flown a commercial airliner, never mind a jet. One particular poster in particular seems hell bent on trying to teach those us who do fly heavy jets and the B744 in particular, how to suck eggs.

If you want to appear knowledgeable on these forums then do not try to tell us how to operate, fly and handle abnormal situations. Austrian Simon in particular seems fixated on trying to teach us how to handle a B744 in a cross-wind with two engines out on the same side. Well, let me tell you AS, unless you are an experienced B744 pilot and I'm willing to wager that you aren't, please wind your neck in a notch or two as you are irritating the majority of us who do fly the B744.

Whilst there are differing opinions on what any of us who fly the B744 would have done under the same circumstances, I don't think any of us would deny that the B744 having a non-catastrophic engine failure at any stage after V1 is not quite the same as having the same problem in a twin engined aircraft. I have again looked through my QRH for the B744 and nowhere does it say land at the nearest suitable airport for an engine failure. Have you any idea of the redundancy available in a B744?

So, please stop wittering on about losing a second engine or climb gradients on two engines. As long as the aircraft still has three engines running it is certified for continued flight. Whether you would want to is another matter and as you will probably only ever be a passenger in one, you will have to rely on the professionalism of the crew and the back up they receive from their operations department, which in BA, is probably one of the best.

Experience of Microsoft Flight Simulator or even having been given a joyride once or twice in a real simulator does not confer on you any 'expertise' worthy of posting irritating pontifications on here. When you've at least qualified to fly a twin engined jet and have a bit of experience behind you, then you will be given the respect you deserve when you post your opinions about how to handle the situation on here. Qualify to fly the aircraft in question, the B744, then you will be listened to and your arguments will have the necessary weight of experience behind them. Until then, please refrain from posting your opinions based on a joyride in a sim.

I think Danny's post from a couple of pages ago needs re-airing.

GearDown&Locked
5th Apr 2006, 14:29
[pedant mode on] ("Engines Running Or Passengers Swimming").

ETOPS - Engines Turning Or Passengers Swimming

You should use the "correct" terminology, as an expert in air travel you claim to be.:yuk:

[pedant mode stby]

GD&L

the passenger
5th Apr 2006, 14:31
Personally, none of us could really care less that you will not fly BA anymore or any other airline for than matter. If your IQ is so abysmally low to realise that it is statistically much safer to travel by air, especially with an airline like BA, then you deserve to put yourself at more risk by using less safe airlines. I think it's called natural selection and your living in the shallow end of the gene pool shows itself by your silly post on here.


Perhaps you should read this:

http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/Reports/probability.html

by Peter Ladkin, University of Bielefeld

GearDown&Locked
5th Apr 2006, 14:34
by Peter Ladkin, University of Bielefeld

Does he fly 747s too?

exvicar
5th Apr 2006, 14:35
Without soliciting another complete diatribe from the passenger, just wondering how you would feel if you had been a passenger on the longest ETOPS diversion. I believe it was 3 hours 6 minutes on one engine across the Pacific. For me, I'll take the 3 engined BA 747 everytime. Well done BA.

RogerIrrelevant69
5th Apr 2006, 14:39
alemaobaiano

Totally, completely, entirely agree. In same boat as you (CPL holder with rapidly decaying currency) and have read some serious drivel here from the Flight Sim community.

Jesus H Chr!st, stop arguing with the real pilots!

the passenger
5th Apr 2006, 14:44
Without soliciting another complete diatribe from the passenger, just wondering how you would feel if you had been a passenger on the longest ETOPS diversion. I believe it was 3 hours 6 minutes on one engine across the Pacific.
Very, very bad!

thomay
5th Apr 2006, 14:47
Nah, nah, would y’all please not respond in this heated manner to this agent provocateur? Who knows what kind of organization is behind him/her, or who else might be reading this thread and use it against aviation, now or later.

Not responding is not the right thing to do either, but when we respond, please just do it in the coolest possible manner (and references to IQ look/feel/sound, and are inappropriate) . He is only waiting for us to start fuming and then will continue to stoke the fire.

Some people just are afraid of flying. Period. To pilots, this is a fear we cannot bring ourselves to comprehend, but it is widespread in the public, in various degrees of severity. Of course, people like “the passenger” are not helping any with their irrational panicky ways of putting things, but that irrationality is a factor that we in the aviation industry have to cope with, no matter what.
Unfortunately, “we are professionals and we know what we are doing; and now let us do our job” (although true and the only way to do this and any business for that matter) is not helping those uncomfortable with flying. We have to take the those pax that are uncomfortable serious and make the best effort to put them at ease (which has nothing to do with sugarcoating/hiding facts), then go fly.

So please, as much as “the passenger” and others here get on your nerves, just keep a cool head and act/write accordingly. After all, that is what you do in the cockpit as well when the proverbial starts to hit the fan.

Dear “the passenger” (and this is a little bit off the original thread, but intended to broaden your horizon a bit): It is funny medical procedures came up on this thread. Let us compare the two fields of occupation for a bit.

Aviation: A long ago established principle (in a nut shell) says: The pilots voluntarily submit reports about incidents/observations/honest mistakes to a government body that is independent of the regulatory authorities. Purpose: Gathering of information that will help prevent further occurrences of the same nature and hence increasing safety. It is no accident that air travel in the western developed world is incredibly safe. Go look it up yourself, in the US this reporting system is called ASRS. Those reports are later published and talked about and hence increasing safety, once again.

Medicine: According to studies, there are anywhere from 40’000 to 80’000 deaths per year in US hospitals. What is happening here? Simple (and painted with a broad brush): Mistake is made, doctor gets sued, has to pay astronomical sums, is not going to submit a report from which everybody could learn (after all, if he admits an error his professional career is finished), mistake is made all over again, people die. Just about now the medical profession is looking for ways to fixing its appalling "safety" record and guess what, dear “the passenger“: an adaptation of our ASRS is one of the hot frontrunners for adoption by the health care system in the US.

Of course, dear “the passenger”, you also are a little bit irritated that I “diagnosed” your behavior as an irrational fear. But do a search on the number of “deaths by airline”, in the US and Europe (we know too that Africa is not the safest place to fly). Shockingly low, isn’t it? 80’000 deaths p/y in hospitals in the US alone, figures for Europe are not even available (maybe you can find them and give us the numbers). Yet a lot of people fear to go flying -- if that is not irrational, then what?

BTW, why don’t you please tell us whether you are affiliated with a news outlet/law firm/think tank/etc. Thanks. Another BTW: BA really is the most experienced and sophisticated operator of the B 742/3/4.

GearDown&Locked
5th Apr 2006, 14:51
well, I'll bite just once more.
Since when do you have to fly 747s to make statistical comparisons?
You're right, you don't. OTOH statistics are what they are, just numbers, and their meaning is completely different depending on who is viewing.

You can't question a 'profi' the way he's doing things; thats what they're trained to death for. Likewise you can't question a heart surgeon about the way he does his operations.

If you cannot understand this things your job must be really really really boring and does not involve any type of risk taking... sorry:bored:

GD&L

skiesfull
5th Apr 2006, 14:57
My observations for what it's worth as a 20 year "veteran" of the Boeing 747(all types) are as follows:-
The aircraft and crew were JAA licensed and BA operate within the USA as FAR compliant.
Given the same circumstances, I would also have continued to destination, unless my crew (inc. cabin crew) and passengers expressed serious concerns, having observed the effects of the engine surge. Indeed, I have on 2 occasions cotinued the flight in similar circumstances - legally and safely.
My criticism of the crew would be this:- they were either naive or inexperienced on this particular routing, to assume that they would achieve every optimum altitude for maximum fuel-efficiency as the flight would cross the Atlantic on a random track against the NA track system at that time of day, when a lower than desired flight level is more often than not,only available;-
and, their knowledge and management of the fuel system was deficient.
Other than that, the flight was completed safely, albeit to an alternate and I think that The Boeing Aircraft Co. may be seeking urgent clarification from the FAA regarding their new 4-engined B747-8 and it's operation following an in-flight engine shutdown. If the non-normal QRH is to have "land at nearest suitable airfield) added following completion of the engine shutdown checklist then Boeing and Airbus may as well abandon their 4-engine production lines!
P.s. one doesn't "loose" an engine, one "loses" an engine.
As for 2-engine go-arounds, it has been possible since the early days of the 747-100, just more exciting then!

d246
5th Apr 2006, 15:28
For Gawds sake put an end to this nonsence.

Danny
5th Apr 2006, 16:44
Done!

That's enough diversion from this topic. If you want to debate the pros and cons of heart surgery verus ETOPS and 3 engine performance on the B744 with a bit of MS Flight Sim expertise thrown in for good luck, feel free to start an appropriate thread in the Safety forum. The deleted posts have been reinstated there (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=220495). :rolleyes:

Jumbo Driver
5th Apr 2006, 21:00
[pedant mode on]
Quote:
("Engines Running Or Passengers Swimming").

ETOPS - Engines Turning Or Passengers Swimming
You should use the "correct" terminology, as an expert in air travel you claim to be.:yuk:
[pedant mode stby]
GD&L


My Pedant Mode ON

GearDown&Locked You raise an interesting point.

I think you will find that EROPS (Extended Range OPerationS) existed before ETOPS and that ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine OPerationS) is therefore merely a later "subset" of EROPS. Thus, in connection with a 744 operation (albeit on 3-engines), perhaps EROPS is correct, after all.

My Pedant Mode back to STBY

;)

overstress
6th Apr 2006, 00:50
I really am almost to the point of slapping my brow in frustration at the likes of 'the passenger'. I can understand the ignorance in this case, however, as even some fellow professionals who have flown 4-engined types don't seem to follow. Even when national flight safety committee 'clears' the incident, some still don't get it!

It's all the fault of the movies.

Globaliser
6th Apr 2006, 00:59
In short: a little bit more caution and modesty would be much appreciated by the poor passengers. I don´t like pilots to play with MY life! I like cautious pilots who would rather return to the depature airport than try to save their company some money!If you are just a passenger, like I am, then I have this question to ask of you:-Do you think that it is always safer to land the aircraft than to continue on three engines?I know virtually nothing about flying aircraft of any size, but one thing I have learned from reading the other very long thread on this topic is that the answer to that question is "no".

If you think the answer is "yes", may I please suggest that you learn a bit about flying from the experts here before revisiting your opinion. Otherwise it is, in fact, you who would be guilty of the arrogance which you currently ascribe to others.

XL5
6th Apr 2006, 01:20
It's all the fault of the movies says overstress.

I think there was a movie in the 70s along similar lines called Carry On Regardless. Sid James played the captain with Kenneth Williams as the CSD and Barbara Windsor as a rather coarse and vulgar trolley dolly whose top kept springing off as she threw the peanuts about. I could be mistaken though as my memory isn't what it once was.

Do you think that it is always safer to land the aircraft than to continue on three engines?asks Globaliser. What goes up eventually comes down, the three engine landing cannot be postponed indefinitely, the question is as to whether or not an ocean should have been crossed prior to making said inevitable landing. Not all would have made the same decision. But no harm done, and they all lived happily ever after.

stilton
6th Apr 2006, 05:55
I was travelling through the Hawaiian islands on holiday a few years ago, and, while connecting through the Kona airport on the Big island of Hawaii I noticed a United 777 on the apron with the cowling open on one of the engines.

Didn't think much about, it at the time I thought that, perhaps UA had direct flights there from the mainland.

It was only when I returned home some time later I discovered that Aircraft had just completed the longest single engine divert in the history of ETOPS operations.

Over three hours on one engine is, by any definition an uncomfortable experience, and in this case with absolutely no options.

In contrast, this crew and aircraft had numerous options, performance and redundancy remaining with real time engineering analysis and support to enhance their decision making.

This comes down to a philisophical difference in attitude towards 3 0r 4 engine aircraft in the states by the FAA unfortunately fueled by the media hysterics in their coverage of this 'near disaster'

As was mentioned earlier, twin operations are much more prevalent here, and the collective memory and knowledge of when 3 or 4 donks ruled the skies here seems to have died a sad death.

Comparing the 777 in the earlier incident to the magnificent 747 in the latter non incident I know which aircraft I would have preferred to be on.

BEagle
6th Apr 2006, 08:22
ETOPS is irrelevant in this debate.

It is quite reasonable for passengers to express their opinions, positive or negative, about travelling in a particular situation.

The 744 has excellent system redundancy. But after the loss of an engine on take-off, it has no further 'thrust redundancy' for a protracted flight to a destination some 4700 miles away.

It boils down to risk management. Whether passengers are prepared to accept the same level of managed risk on similar occasions to the one in question is a material consideration. For if they lose confidence and vote with their feet, there won't be any such similar incidents - because there won't be an airline.

Diversions are expensive. But nothing like as expensive as accidents.

exvicar
6th Apr 2006, 10:18
Surely it still has 'thrust redundancy', as many of those that fly the 747 have testified that it is more than capable of flying on two engines. If, and I am sure they did, the crew looked at 2 engine driftdown, terrain clearance and available enroute alternates, I still think the crew were well placed to bring the aircraft home. At the end of the day, passengers may vote with their feet but this aircraft was operated legally and with the full support of BAs operation & flight planning back up.

Passengers may be able to voice their opinion on ETOPS. I would still far rather be sitting on the ocean on a 4 engine aircraft that has lost one engine than a 2 engined aircraft that has lost one. Which has 'thrust redundancy' then?

Hope all well Beagle.

Hand Solo
6th Apr 2006, 10:41
The aircraft has plenty of 'thrust redundancy' after losing a single engine. Lose a second and it will still maintain 14000 feet. Lets not overlook (yet again) that there were countless diversion airfields all along the route in the event of a second failure.

exvicar
6th Apr 2006, 10:52
As stated. 747 on 3 engines has thrust redundancy, 777 on one engined hasn't!

L337
6th Apr 2006, 11:07
BEagle:

Yesterday I did a two engine go-around in the simulator. The 747-400 Simulator.
We began the approach at Max Landing Weight. 285,000kg.

Once TOGA was pressed, ie the Go-around commenced, we had a rate of climb in excess of 1200' per minute.
BEagle I am not too sure what you mean by "no thrust redundancy" we had plenty enough. More than that we then went on to do a circuit and land on one engine. Just for the fun of it.

I cannot say strongly enough to those of you that have flown older generation wide body triples, and the Classic. The -400 has huge amounts of power. As in Huuuuuge. The levels of redundancy in the -400 are immense. Just to give you an idea of power. At Gross weight out of Singapore. So around 395,000kg we still use reduced power for the takeoff. From memory 2 engine drift down at 340,000kg is around 20,000'.

Power we have lots of.

Diversions are expensive. But nothing like as expensive as accidents.
Firstly, of course you are correct. However, the risk management is the essence. The - 400 spends lots of time over some very bleak and barren bits of the world. It is often far far safer to continue on three, than to land into a poorly lit, badly maintained airport in the third world. Or 40kts in ice, and snow in Siberia. On metric altitudes trying to remember to use QFE. All on three engines. Clearly it is barking to land.

Then again if all your en-route alternates are CAVOK. The route planned gives you to nice long runways to divert to, if so needed. You have enough fuel. You are happy with the state of the aeroplane. Why not continue?

Too many people here seem to think that the -400 on three is about to crash. On two, death will be the certain.
Boeing built an amazing aeroplane. It is much, much more capable than you think.

idol detent
6th Apr 2006, 12:36
BEagle wrote..

It boils down to risk management. Whether passengers are prepared to accept the same level of managed risk on similar occasions to the one in question is a material consideration

But, (un)fortunately the pax don't get a say in the matter! That's the job of the crew (in consultation with engineering, operations and if necessary management pilots) who have undergone extensive training & checking along with a large dose of experience.

Heaven forbid the day we have to consult with the passengers during a 'problem' to see if they "are prepared to accept the same level of managed risk." We are NOT running a democracy up there. That's why they pay me the salary they do and trust me to make those difficult decisions.

A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

Idol

(And as L337 'proved' the thing will fly on one engine quite happily if you're light enough. Two engines is no big deal and three is a non-event (imho))

Rainboe
6th Apr 2006, 12:47
Very well put. I have refrained from involving in this thread because following the incident, I was heavily committed to explaining the circumstances in the original thread. It ran to about 50 pages! I got totally fed up explaining fully the same things over and over again to have some new armchair exert who once flew a flight sim interjecting for all he was worth about something he knew nothing about! So you start again, and have some other poster bring up the same points!

I put this to everybody: the pilots who actually fly the thing and have no intention whatsoever of hazarding their own lives and having their kids brought up without one parent are only too happy with the flight continuation policy! So am I, and even under extreme management pressure (which is not applied at all), if I felt the policy was not sound, I would not carry it out for anybody. But those very pilots who have been flying the aeroplane for umpteen years (like myself) fully agree with the policy because on such a 4 engined aeroplane, it is the safer option to continue. It is also far more environmentally friendly. The FAA sitting in its offices, for I suspect political reasons, may not agree with this policy. I can only point you to the fact that I suspect for political reasons, they have determined that it is perfectly acceptable to expose passengers on ETOPs flight across the Pacific to placing their survival hopes on one single engine for 3 hours (and more). I say one is acceptable, one is not. I know which I would be far happier on. So if anybody thinks the FAA is acting completely altuistically, I would say they are not examining the pressures on the FAA regarding B777 v B747 and B777 v A340.

overstress
6th Apr 2006, 13:01
an ocean should have been crossed

This is another old chestnut. Whoever wrote the above, please take a globe, find LAX, find LHR, get a bit of wool or string and lay it on the shortest distance between the 2. How much 'ocean' is there?

Overstress

Off to lie in a darkened room

PPRuNe Radar
6th Apr 2006, 13:21
Using some of the logic we see on this thread, I wonder how much the FAA will fine Evergreen for this incident ??

N481EV (http://tinyurl.com/q9z5z)

The aircraft lost an engine over the UK, yet the pilot decided to divert back to Ramstein in Germany instead of somewhere closer. This was cut short as the aircraft could not maintain altitude and had to divert in to LHR. (Seems to me that the principle is the same as that exercised by BA). Another 'fineable' offence perhaps is the pilot chose to fly to an airport and in airspace for which he had no charts :ooh: Not to mention taking his (unairworthy in the view of some posters here) aircraft over central London with a dangerous cargo onboard.

I suppose the saving grace is that there were no paying passengers on board to take a vote on the safety issues :p

Rainboe
6th Apr 2006, 13:25
The great pity is that even in this Forum, it is impossible for pilots to have a serious discussion because of all the non-experts sticking their noses in with desires to 'take votes on board'. One despairs. Maybe a Forum Section where it is continually warned ONLY PILOTS TO POST!

bullshot
6th Apr 2006, 14:22
Well, it's an open forum and everyone is entitled to their opinion - it is up to the reader to make a judgement as to the validity of each post.

There is a diversion (!?!) from the real issue here. I have no problem with the performance capabilities of the 744 on 3 engines. I have never flown a 744 but know it to be a very capable machine - as you chaps that do fly it tell us it is. I am familiar with the LAX - LHR routeings though and have no major problem with an extended 3 engine flight in this area. No major problem that is... I am not sure that I would have taken the same course of action but then I have rather a yellow streak!

But I think that some BA contributions avoid the main issue here. That is that, after all this superb BA planning and airmanship to get the kite home, a fuel situation was allowed to develop. There was an actual or perceived fuel shortage that concerned or confused the crew to such a degree that an emergency (was it a PAN or a MAYDAY I don't know) had to be declared and the A/C made an emergency diversion to MAN.

Now, I have no doubt that the crew did a good job under the circumstances, but why is it that some of you chaps will argue until the cows come home that this was a superb operation by the whole team. Christ, if this was a superb operation I would hate to be on one that went wrong!

Naturally, you guys can shoot me down as another armchair expert who knows nothing about the 744. But as someone so beautifully remarked earlier - airmanship is not type specific...

BS

Captain Airclues
6th Apr 2006, 15:27
bullshot

The fuel situation, and the reasons for the 'mayday' were covered in great detail on the previous thread, including diagrams of the fuel system. I suggest that you go to those threads and read it, rather than us have to repeat it here.

Airclues

bullshot
6th Apr 2006, 16:39
Airclues.

Great condescending reply!

I could add that a diagram of the 744 fuel system is totally irrelevent to my point but I guess it would be lost on you.

Some of you guys have attitudes so fixed in concrete that it's worrying.

BS

Hand Solo
6th Apr 2006, 17:19
For the hundredth time - a 'fuel situation' did not develop. The fuel was exactly as it should have been, it was a misunderstanding of the standpipe level and fuel pump pressures that led to the crew to believe, incorrectly, that some of their fuel was unusable. Having reached that incorrect conclusion they did no give themselves the luxury of time to pontificate at lenght that you have Bullshot. Given the circumstances they chose the safest option at that time which was to declare a Mayday and head straight for Manchester. If I believed I had that little fuel I would do the same. The only place this operation went wrong was the crews mistaken belief that they suddenly had 2 tonnes less fuel available than they thought.

BEagle
6th Apr 2006, 17:34
What I actually wrote was "But after the loss of an engine on take-off, it has no further 'thrust redundancy' for a protracted flight to a destination some 4700 miles away."

Note that last part - a protracted flight to a destination some 4700 miles away.

Of course you can fly 2-e go-arounds in the event of loss of thrust of another engine and subsequent diversion. But no matter how much faith you have in the management's decision making back in London, the decision to cross the Atlantic in such a situation, irrespective of system redundancy, is not the same as a decision to divert to the East Coast in slow time, and transferring the passengers to an onward flight.

As for passnegers considering risk management strategies, I'm not suggesting for one moment that there should be some form of onboard consultation! That's plain daft.

But if airline A gets a perceived reputation for pressing on for 5000 miles after an engine failure on take-off, whilst airline B declares that they aren't prepared to take such a risk, slight though some may consider it to be, that may influence the opinion of the passengers.

alf5071h
6th Apr 2006, 17:38
One of the hazards of free speech and the desire to help wanabees / self improvers in an open forum is that you often have to suffer some extreme and/or inaccurate views. These can and must be countered with strong moderation and accurate, professional responses; well done Danny et al, maintain the strong moderating stance.
We need to put professionalism back into Pprune. This forum is a valuable industry resource which has to endure the ravages of media – we have to educate them as much as ourselves, and as well, provide a well balanced public view. This requires professionals to lead by example with disciplined thought and communication – aspects of the day job, which hopefully the less informed or ill disciplined observer can learn from. After all, it is public perception that ultimately decides the fate of our industry, and if we do grossly mismanage our flights it is the members of the public that will form the jury.
As for the incident; the crew judged the situation on the information (including rules and procedures) available to them at that time.
[Definition: 8th grade comprehension] A judgement is a decision based on facts. Some facts are valid or true, some are not. To be valid, a judgment must be reasonable, but not necessarily the only decision. Many judgements are based on the same facts, but not all of them are valid.
Many posters are attempting to judge the incident, but not in the same time scale, nor with the same facts as the crew had. This behaviour is typically influenced by hindsight bias. Similarly the apportioning of ‘error’, a form of blame, can only be made after the incident has occurred. No crew sets out to deliberately make an error; yet in hindsight, human nature seeks error or blame as a means of achieving improvement.
The industry must celebrate the successes, irrespective of the apparent facts and circumstances. The crew made a decision, continually rechecked and evaluated options as the flight progressed and, when required, took another appropriate decision that maintained the required level of safety. These are the issues that should be highlighted; we require rational and well considered discussion to see how best these can be translated into ‘experience’ that all of us can retain and use if and when appropriate.
__________________
Unless specifically authorized everything else is forbidden.

Captain Airclues
6th Apr 2006, 18:28
bullshot

I fail to see how my post can be seen as condescending. Frustrated yes, condescending no.

On the previous two threads several 744 pilots went to great lengths and spent a great deal of time explaining exactly why the crew mistakenly thought that some of the fuel was unusable. The CAA issued a bulletin to all 744 operators pointing out the problems with fuel balancing with an inboard failure. We all learned valuable lessons from this incident. Nothing was covered up, and the errors were freely discussed on PPRuNe. However, because you cannot be bothered to trawl back through the previous threads, you want us to write it all out again. Sorry but the world has moved on, and I for one have better things to do with my time. My post simply suggested that you have a look at the previous threads and you will get all the answers that you require. What is condescending about that?

Airclues

Globaliser
6th Apr 2006, 19:23
What I actually wrote was "But after the loss of an engine on take-off, it has no further 'thrust redundancy' for a protracted flight to a destination some 4700 miles away."

Note that last part - a protracted flight to a destination some 4700 miles away.

Of course you can fly 2-e go-arounds in the event of loss of thrust of another engine and subsequent diversion. But no matter how much faith you have in the management's decision making back in London, the decision to cross the Atlantic in such a situation, irrespective of system redundancy, is not the same as a decision to divert to the East Coast in slow time, and transferring the passengers to an onward flight.I can understand this point of view if the position is that you have to make a once-and-for-all decision whether to return to origin, to divert to an alternate, or to continue to destination. But that is not the situation that this BA crew was in. They could continue, and still have the luxury of being able to change their minds if anything else went wrong later and then to take one of a significant number of alternative options.

Indeed, as it happens, they thought later on - much later on, when the already on other side of the Atlantic, IIRC - that something else had gone wrong, and so they availed themselves of one of those other options at that time.

[Sorry, pilots, for butting in to this, but the logical fallacy of the premise behind this argument just jumped out at me.]

idol detent
6th Apr 2006, 20:27
I digress, sorry, but,

BEagle wrote..

As for passnegers considering risk management strategies, I'm not suggesting for one moment that there should be some form of onboard consultation! That's plain daft.

You said it....

...here..

It boils down to risk management. Whether passengers are prepared to accept the same level of managed risk on similar occasions to the one in question is a material consideration

Or did you mean something else entirely? :rolleyes:

Idol

overstress
6th Apr 2006, 21:15
decision to cross the Atlantic in such a situation, irrespective of system redundancy, is not the same as a decision to divert to the East Coast in slow time,

BEagle. I've corrected you before and I've mentioned this time and again on this and the other threads. The 'Atlantic' and the 'East Coast' are not relevant on the LAX LHR route. Canada and Greenland, followed by Iceland. You are misleading many on here with this kind of stuff. Why would you want to cross the USA to the 'East Coast'?? Where on the route is the great stretch of 'Atlantic'??

All: please look at a globe.

BEagle
6th Apr 2006, 21:45
Idol, I was referring to the influence on the future choice of passengers as my last post made clear. Not to some in flight debate conducted at the time.

Overstress, I'm quite familiar with the routes in question, thank you. And yes, the great circle route from SFO to LHR crosses the Atlantic a long way north, via Hudson bay and Greenland (although the winds of the day and ATC restrictions will modify the theoretical great circle route, of course). And by the time various London managers had been consulted, there was probably insufficient fuel to plan a more southerly route, perhaps via St Johns, as that would have been about 400 miles further - although much closer to suitable en-route alternates.

SFO to East US, transfer pax to another flight. That's what I conclude would have been the best overall compromise.

Hand Solo
6th Apr 2006, 21:58
Are you really au fait with long range ops BEagle? The moment they left the stand at LAX there was insufficient fuel to plan a more southerly route via St Johns or indeed anywhere else. On the subject of which, why is St Johns considered more suitable than Keflavik? St Johns and Halifax are frequently in the mire at the time an LAX flight would pass them whilst Keflavik is wide open. If you are concerned about passenger inconvenience then you are misguided in your suggestion that the east coast of the USA would be more suitable as by the time the LAX flight got there all the BA flights would have left for London. Furthermore any such flight would still have incurred the wrath of the FAA, who are objecting to any 3 engined continuation policy.

There is some seriously muddled thinking in some of these posts with a hodge podge of phoney technical objections and confused concerns for passenger convenience, few of which bear and close scrutiny.

BEagle
6th Apr 2006, 22:12
Sorry - I was referring to St Johns as a coastal fix rather than an en-route alternate!

I am familiar with the routes, not with ba SOPs. Some of you find difficulty with plain English, I fear.

overstress
6th Apr 2006, 22:31
Overstress, I'm quite familiar with the routes in question, thank you.

Well I thought you would be as I know the military type you flew - so why confuse the MS sim types on here with talk of 'ocean crossings' ?

But your point that you're not familiar with BA SOPs - they are very different from your GASOs. If your 'operating authority' prefers you to bring the a/c home, and it's within the rules, you'd better have a good reason not to.

bullshot
6th Apr 2006, 23:21
For me the real point is why the crew felt it necessary to declare a mayday and did this indicate that safety was compromised.

In trying to reach destination the crew, for whatever reason, considered safety to have been so compromised, that they decided it prudent to declare an emergency in order to effect a safe landing. I am entirely with the crew on this one and have never criticised them in any way.

Now though, some of you guys argue that actually a mayday wasn't necessary - they had all the fuel they needed and that the flight was as safe as any other! You want us to investigate the entire fuel system of the 744 to make us agree with you. Well, the crew certainly didn't think so at the time otherwise they might well have done things differently. Perhaps, for example, like landing at GLA or some other suitable airfield without the need for a mayday.

No chaps - it's you I have a problem with (you know who you are), not the crew of this flight. Your aggressive defense of a system that, on this occasion, clearly failed, simply encourages others to ask questions that you can only answer by resorting to feigned exasperation or ridicule. 'How dare someone has the impudence to question the safety of a BA flight!'

On balance, I'm with the FAA on this one.

BS

Hand Solo
6th Apr 2006, 23:35
Sorry but theres some serious contradictions in that post Bullshot. You say you are completely with the crew and do not criticise them but imply that there is something wrong with BAs handling of the operation, yet that is completely at odds with the reality of the situation. The handling of the flight and all the associated flight planning was spot on right up until top of descent at which point a misunderstanding by the crew led them to declare an unnecessary mayday. If you want to start levelling criticism then I'm sorry to have to tell you this but the error made on the day was that of the crew, not the people on the ground. The fact that you think the crew should have landed at GLA shows that you simply haven't grasped what caused the mayday to be declared. AT NO STAGE PRIOR TO TOP OF DESCENT DID IT APPEAR THE CREW WOULD HAVE INSUFFICIENT FUEL TO MAKE THEIR CHOSEN DESTINATION WITH RESERVE FUEL INTACT. Is that clear enough for you?

Rainboe
7th Apr 2006, 00:04
It goes in circles, doesn't it. Head, wall, banging, against,....say the same thing again and again to the same people, and some other poster comes up with the same thing that has been rebutted 3 pages ago.

Folks, the flight continuation policy is correct (for a 747-400). It works well, and is perfectly safe. The events at the end of a flight were an automatic emergency alert, not an emergency call.....you have to understand the rules in aviation! Those events at the end were a separate issue, not a direct consequence of the original problem. Argue until the cows come home, the policy is correct, the CAA apparently agrees, the FAA has got other drums to bang as well and is definitely not to be trusted. The policy still applies in BA and is supported by the very people who follow it. Those people have the option to not follow it, but they do willingly! Does that not tell you something?

Captain Airclues
7th Apr 2006, 01:02
bullshot

Whether or not you agree with the continuation policy, the fuel on board was initially enough to make LHR. However, due to en-route circumstances the crew elected to divert. The logical choice of alternate was one with two runways, ie Manchester. The fuel remaining at MAN was predicted to be well above reserves. However, on final approach the crew thought that some of their fuel might be unuseable, and therefore in compliance with JAR rules, they declared an 'mayday'. The reasons for the confusion were explained at length in the previous thread. In aviation we are always learning, and this incident taught us all a great deal about fuel management (how many times have you seen an inboard engine failed on the simulator?). I apologise if you see this as condescending, it is not intended to be.

BEagle

Sorry to disappoint you but the forward bookings for the LHR-LAx route are well up for 2006 (PM me and I'll send you the figures). It would seem that the passengers are voting with their feet.

Airclues

BEagle
7th Apr 2006, 07:52
"Argue until the cows come home, the policy is correct, the CAA apparently agrees, the FAA has got other drums to bang as well and is definitely not to be trusted. The policy still applies in BA and is supported by the very people who follow it"

This would appear to bear out your comment, bullshot.

Why is the 'apparent agreement' of the CAA any more to be accepted than the view of the FAA which, it is being alleged, is 'definitely not to be trusted'?

The fact that there has been such a difference in views means that this is far from a cut and dried issue.

The redundancy of 747-400 systems is totally irrelevant to this issue; this was a 4-engined aeroplane which lost 25% of its available thrust on take-off. The issue at stake is whether, as a general concept, it is an acceptably low degree of risk to plan to fly the remaininder of the flight to the original destination with fare paying passengers on board over such a lengthy sector.

sky9
7th Apr 2006, 08:00
BEagle
Having read this thead and the previous, the answer is: Yes it is.
Surely what it comes down to is that there is no single answer as to what to do in the circumstances. What hacks me off is that there is always someone on this board who thinks that the crew did the wrong thing. Aviation isn't like that and that's what makes it interesting.

DOVES
7th Apr 2006, 08:48
Have YOU ever heard the word "HOMITIS" and its dreadfull consequences?
Think over it infallible aces!
Fly safe DOVE

Hand Solo
7th Apr 2006, 10:17
No, never heard the word HOMITIS, not sure it's even a word in this language. Perhaps you mean something like the phrase 'press-on-itis' which you would understand did not apply in this case if you had bothered to read the threads fully instead of just repeating previous points.

Why is the 'apparent agreement' of the CAA any more to be accepted than the view of the FAA which, it is being alleged, is 'definitely not to be trusted'?

The FAA have a mandate to promote the commercial interests of the American aviation industry, hence their lobbying for increasing ETOPS times whilst minimising the advantage of quads. Even the manufactureres don't trust the FAA. If you think the FAA are acting with complete impartiality in this matter then you are rather naive.

The redundancy of 747-400 systems is totally irrelevant to this issue; this was a 4-engined aeroplane which lost 25% of its available thrust on take-off

It normally loses 25% of its thrust at 1000ft when we go back to climb power or less. Are you familiar with the term Max Continous Thrust?

fly the remaininder of the flight to the original destination with fare paying passengers on board over such a lengthy sector.

Goodness me, why is it so difficult for you to understand? You make it sound like they were off to a remote desert island with nothing but ocean on the way. The crew had the option to turn it into a short a sector at any time. It was unnecessary to do so until the reached the far side of the atlantic.

exvicar
7th Apr 2006, 10:17
'HOMITIS'? Well, they didn't make it home! (It wasn't due to being on 3 engines). One aspect is that there were numerous enroute alternates. After departure the crew were not commited in making LHR on 3 engines. This was not an unsafe or illegal flight.

BEagle
7th Apr 2006, 14:19
Yet again you don't take the trouble to read things properly....

I wrote "25% of its available thrust". So the question of MCT on 4 is irrelevant in this context.

One hopes that you take the trouble to read your aircraft manuals rather more carefully.

Anyway, irrespective of airline, type of 4-engined aeroplane or particular incident, the question remains whether it is should be considered sufficiently safe to continue for 5000 miles after the loss of an engine on take-off, or whether regulation should be applied to limit the level of such risk to a lower level. For example, perhaps 'the flight may continue provided that the aeroplane shall remain within tbd minutes flight time of a suitable alternate aerodrome for the remainder of the flight' for circumstances such as the reported incident.

Now discuss tbd. I open with 60....

Incidentally, I agree that the incident in question was neither unsafe nor illegal. I contend that it was, however, imprudent.

Globaliser
7th Apr 2006, 14:41
Now discuss tbd. I open with 60....Funnily enough, I had a quick and very rough look at this last night. Now, I know that this shows a Great Circle route, which was probably not quite the exact route, I know that the scale is small, and I know that the site may not be wholly accurate - but this image (http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gcmap?PATH=lax-lhr&ETOPS=60) suggested that they might never have been much more than 60 minutes away from a diversion airfield, if at all.

Source: the Great Circle mapper (http://gc.kls2.com/)

BEagle
7th Apr 2006, 17:05
That mapper is a trifle optimistic if you aren't careful!

I used it to display 60 min @ 480 G/S from 744-capable aerodromes (even considering Goose and Narsasuaq). Getting to the East Coast as far north as Montreal/Halifax was no problem, but for the great circle track from LAX-LHR there are some considerable gaps with a 60 min-from-suitable-alternate limit.

Thus LAX to Montreal would be do-able with such a 60 min requirement, for example. And I think that perhaps that would be a reasonable, sensible compromise.

Hand Solo
7th Apr 2006, 17:13
I wrote "25% of its available thrust". So the question of MCT on 4 is irrelevant in this context.


I know what you wrote BEagle. The point I am trying to emphasise is that losing 25% of the available thrust on a 744 is virtually irrelevant. Its a meaningless statistic. The aircraft regularly takes off with max derate which is close to 75% of max thrust. With three engines it will climb to around FL310 at max weight. The aircraft can take off at 380T from an upsloping runway at 5000ft elevation and ISA +18. It has so much thrust that losing an engine is almost an insignificance bar the statistically highly improbable chance of a second unrelated failure (has anyone ever had one of these?).

Looking at that great circle map it would appear the aircraft can do the route within 60 minutes of an alternate anyway. Montreal is too far south from the actual route but if the aircraft crosses the US/Canada border at Winnipeg then there is Edmonton, Churchill and Iqualuit en route. The only time things might get tight is between Iqualuit and Sondestrom but that is no different to crossing the pond at a more southerly latitude where there'll be a crunch between St Johns and Sondestrom. Once within 60 minutes of Sondrestrom there's good coverage via Keflavik then Prestwick. I would also suggest that 60 minutes is far too conservative for an aircraft certified to fly indefinitely on three engines. Its still got 4 hydraulic systems, three generators and three engines, which is a damn site more than a 777 on one engine. Whilst the ETOPs kit might have a statistical probability of failure of one engine perhaps an order of magnitude smaller than the non-ETOPs engines, the probability of two independent failures on a 744 would be at least an order of magnitude smaller still. We allow ETOPS aircraft to fly 206 minutes from a suitable alternate but wish to restrict the 744 to 60 minutes when the chances of a double failure reducing its capability below that of a 777 on one are much smaller?

BEagle
7th Apr 2006, 18:10
Not sure that Iqaluit or Kangerlussuaq in the middle of a winter night on 2 engines would be a nice place to be.....

However, perhaps the main benefit of this thread is the scope for professional debate concerning an acceptable level of risk.

Sir Richard
7th Apr 2006, 18:55
Or on 1 engine for any of the ETOPS twins !

Bengerman
7th Apr 2006, 19:15
BEagle, so you think 60 minutes from an alternate should apply to a 4 engined aircraft with 1 shut down .............I suppose you think that 180 minutes on a 2 engine aircraft with 1 shut down is also prudent??

BEagle
7th Apr 2006, 20:39
ETOPS considerations are, as has been stated previously, not germane to this discussion.

Bellerophon
7th Apr 2006, 23:26
BEagle

...I agree that the incident in question was neither unsafe nor illegal...

A somewhat different view to the one you posted a year or so ago!

...To my mind they got away with it by the skin of their teeth...

...'halfway around the world' on 3 engines and a very tight fuel state anticipated on arrival? Many see that as just too chancy - I certainly do...

Good to see reason taking over from rant! ;)

Best regards

Bellerophon

DOVES
7th Apr 2006, 23:33
Would they have been instructed and proceeded towards the destination (admitted that there were a spare engine and a technical staff to replace it) if they were performing the LHR-LAX sector?
This is what I mean with "HOMITIS": a dangerous temptation to go back home at any cost.
Please fly safe!
DOVES

Rainboe
8th Apr 2006, 00:06
Yes we do fly safe- you will not find a safer airline or one with better training, believe me....and certainly not one in the world with more experience of worldwide longhaul heavy jet flying than BA. We actually know how to do it pretty well because nobody has done more since 1945.
If it was LHR-LAX when an engine failed, it would most probably have returned to LHR before PNR as that would be easiest for repair. After losing an engine over Caraffa, I returned to LHR- it is actually easier to do that and transfer a to another aeroplane than dump them at Rome or Athens at 2 am to hoe to get a flight on later that evening! But this is hypothetical- we are talking about LAX-LHR.

Hand Solo
8th Apr 2006, 00:06
Lets be quite clear that the crew were not instructed to go anywhere. BA do not instruct crews on where to go when an aircraft has a technical problem. They will inform crew what the best options are in terms of ground handling, technical support and alternative arrangements for passengers, but the decision on the ultimate destination for the aircraft rests solely with the flight crew. This is not some third world airline where the pilots are monkeys flying the plane who will unthinkingly do what the management tell them for fear of losing their jobs.

There was no 'HOMITIS' here. The crew spent the night assessing every en-route airfield for its availabilty and calculating and recalculating three engine fuel burn as well as two engine drift down altitude and cruise performance. At any stage of the process they could have diverted to an en-route alternate. At every stage of the process across the Atlantic the criteria for continuing were met.

Once (yet!) again, the 747 is approved by Boeing, the FAA and the CAA for flight on three engines. The CAA have no problems with the conduct of the flight. The mayday was a seperate issue which the entire UK 747 flight crew community have learned from. The plan was sound from the outset and the CAA agree with that. As the CAA, not the FAA, regulate UK flight operations the continuation policy will remain. The only thing that might change is that we'll have to avoid US airspace in order to avoid the FAA scoring cheap points trying to promote their own industry.

RRAAMJET
8th Apr 2006, 00:24
Winston Churchill once wrote of a Japanese Admiral (Kurita, after Leyte):
"...only those who have endured similar may judge him...". I think it applies to this particular flight....:hmm:

Back to the original article - the FAA fine for operating an aircraft in an unsafe manner becomes even more inexplicable when one considers
a. The aircraft had sufficient fuel for the flight as intended (even after departing the LAX area on 3)
b. Adequate terrain clearance could be maintained throughout
c. Suitable en-route alternates were available
d. The FAA originally certified the aircraft for just such a policy.:confused:

It leads me to a suspicion: I have heard through the grapevine that there has been concern expressed in Gov. circles here that there exists an in-balance of trade between US carriers and their foreign counterparts on bi-lateral routes, both in terms of pax numbers (390-ish on a -400 / 220-ish ETOPS twin) and in terms of yield (a function of pathetic service on US carriers and what you can charge for a premium passenger ie: if you have $5K to spend on a 1st class ticket and choice - who do you think that pax is going to chose? It ain't grumpy grannies...). The FAA certainly seem to have their knickers in a twist here.:E

Human Factor
8th Apr 2006, 00:45
Its still got 4 hydraulic systems, three generators and three engines, which is a damn site more than a 777 on one engine.

It's one engine more than a Triple on both!

Rainboe
8th Apr 2006, 10:17
....and the wheel goes around about the 20th time saying the same things over and over again to people who refuse to understand the whole point about safe and efficient longhaul 4 engine operations! Sometimes I think the best way is just to not say anything and let the storm subside before it reaches this never ending rotation of the same arguments from people who really don't know or understand the capabilities built in to the aircraft so this can be achieved safely! The voices of those who feel anything not absolutely perfect with the aeroplane is enough reason to 'land at nearest suitable airfield!' The whole point of our argument is that as long as you remain in a safe operation, the best thing is to get where repairs can be most expeditiously carried out and the pax most expeditiously carried to their destinations. That is why the 747 has all that redundancy and why it has 4 beautiful Rollers. Instead of examining the real operation causing concern ('excessive' ETOPS), they are throwing all their criticism in the wrong place.

You watch the discussions that come again- all the old stuff recycled!

BEagle
8th Apr 2006, 10:36
Take first the mote from thine own eye....

We'd moved on from the 'land asap' comments to a discussion concerning levels of risk which, though more restrictive than pure Perf A considerations, would perhaps be more appropriate to continued operation of a 4-engined non-specific airliner with fare-paying passengers on board following the loss of a single power unit.

I consider that 60 min flight time at 2-e speed/alt from en-route alternates (obviously with Wx better than 2-e minima applicable to type) should be the limit.

Thanks, by the way, for all the PMs in agreement with my comments.

Strepsils
8th Apr 2006, 10:47
I don't know the ins and outs of the FAA - Euro politics, but I'm confused by the constant reference to the FAA looking after their own industry. It was a Boeing involved after all. Are they hoping that BA will change the 744 fleet for 777's or something?:confused:

Bengerman
8th Apr 2006, 12:03
BEagle, stop being a pompous a*****e!

ETOPS are highly relevant in this discussion because they involve operating aircraft with many passengers all over the world under rules and regulations formulated by the same bodies and institutions as any other flight.

The questions to be answered are..........

Was the flight legal?

Was the flight safe?

Was the flight conducted in accordance with the manufacturers and operators SOP's?

What's your bloody problem??

TopBunk
8th Apr 2006, 12:25
I consider that 60 min flight time at 2-e speed/alt from en-route alternates (obviously with Wx better than 2-e minima applicable to type) should be the limit.

To follow your 'logic', then why shouldn't twin engined flights be planned at the 60 minutes/1-e speed/alt. ie traditional twin (non ETOPS) planning?

Your 'logic' if fundamentally flawed.:bored:

atakacs
8th Apr 2006, 13:07
Sorry to jump into the thread with a stupid question… but is the 4th engine really needed on the 747 ?

If 3 engine operation is deemed “safe enough” for regular passenger service by manufacturer, operator and CAA , if a 3 engine LAX-LHR flight is to be seen as a non event, then isn’t the 747 an inefficient design ?! :)

Ok, more seriously, as a regular BA customer (and tiny shareholder) I would rather see might flight diverted / cancelled than flying such a long route with one engine u/s, regardless of SOP. Exceeding minimal regulatory requirements is what I would expect from BA when speaking of safety matters.

Human Factor
8th Apr 2006, 13:18
...then isn’t the 747 an inefficient design ?!

When the original 747 was designed back in the '60s, if it hadn't had four engines it wouldn't have got off the ground. As time has gone on, engine technology has improved so if it were designed from scratch today, it would probably look like a 777-300. ;)

atakacs
8th Apr 2006, 13:44
When the original 747 was designed back in the '60s, if it hadn't had four engines it wouldn't have got off the ground. As time has gone on, engine technology has improved so if it were designed from scratch today, it would probably look like a 777-300. ;) Good point :)

wiggy
8th Apr 2006, 13:46
Well as a fellow shareholder (isn't it time this whole topic died..)

Returning to LAX would mean dumping perhaps 50 tonnes of very expensive aviation fuel, overnighting 300 plus pax in LAX hotels, rearranging onward connections, and either having to have the aircraft repaired at LAX (at what cost?) or three engine ferrying it back to the UK.....all of the above not good for the bottom line or your shares.

On the other hand (here we go again) having got airborne, and contained the problem the crew could reconsider their options: take advice from the Company ( Operations who know where the spare bits and crews are, engineering who can access telemetry from the aircraft), consider the en-route alternates, weather and terrain..and on the basis of all the above make a considered decision as to if and how to continue.

As someone who is both a shareholder and current on the 744, working on the basis of what I have heard of this incident, I would have continued towards the UK..the operation certainly "was safe enough" and the FAA are getting their proverbials in a twist here.

Finally the main threat to your precious shares doesn't come from the crews or the engineers - it's the other decision makers in the Company you need to worry about!

Hand Solo
8th Apr 2006, 13:59
I'm confused by the constant reference to the FAA looking after their own industry. It was a Boeing involved after all. Are they hoping that BA will change the 744 fleet for 777's or something

Nobody is buying 747-400s. Very few orders so far for the 747-800/900. Lots of orders for the 777. Lots of orders for A340s and A380s. See whats going on here? The FAA would like to eliminate any commercial advantage to operating a quad over a twin by extending ETOPS times and imposing onerous restrictions on quads. This skews the aircraft market in favour of Boeing. The FAA has a mandate to promote the airline industry.

AIMS by IBM
16th Apr 2006, 14:49
BA B747- 400 three engine promenade put in context by a non American nor Brit.


Civil aviation versus military:

Military aircraft are used to be deliberately exposed to dangerous situations and then try to get out of it unharmed. Civil aviation is about the transport of passengers and the very essence of its operation is to stay out of trouble at all times. This is the essential reason why they are designed with so much redundancy.

The probability law:

Many decisions are made based on probability calculations. ETOPS, AWO, autopilot architecture etcetera. All this to assure that in case of failures there remains enough redundancy to bring the ship safe on the ground. These redundacies are not there for commercial reasons but for Safety only.

Airliners are built for efficiency when all goes normal only.

Civil aviation is a commercial activity and has inherent commercial risks. Out of the thousands of flights every day, some flights are lost due to technical reasons.

This is something we have to accept. The build in redundancy is not to be used to cover commercial risk and that’s exactly how British Airways has used it.

Therefore, in its very essence this incident is not to be put in the context of twin versus four engine powered aircraft, this has nothing to do with it. A failed weather radar shortly after take off over Africa with the ITCZ ahead of you is the same kind of problem. The potential of serious trouble ahead is a fact.

Those that claim this is not so are missing the real meaning of what happened.

The MEL covers all that is needed to cover minor technical failures and that’s the bottom line as far as it’s commercial benefit is concerned, for whitch the MEL was not even designed.

Many lessons have been learned from errors and lost lives in the past. Are we are now throwing all that away for non relevant reasons?

Aircraft design has evolved in a way that they are easier to operate and reduced crew error has resulted from it, however this is no argument to reduce crew training or training culture.


It’s not because routine tasks have been delegated to hard and software that crews should no longer be required to handle their malfunctions since this is the prerequisite to proper monitoring the function of these systems in the first place. The way we used to fly the old stuff gives the exact mindset needed to do this.

We all know that if the flying skills that were needed to fly the old generation non glass Airliners are combined with today’s technology, the new kind of automation related errors that are emerging would not be allowed to develop beyond an acceptable level. We all know that what happened to the Virgin A 340 fuel problem would have been picked up by a crew that had the experience of flying the old B 747 or DC 10 with flight engineers.Situation awareness was more a fact in those times, today it's hidden in the bits and bytes of computers and crews that blindly trust those systems are waking up to reality when it's too late.

It does not matter if the FAA wins or not, its BA that was wrong and as such the UK CAA is no different than the Egyptian CAA.

Neither British Airways nor any other airline can be compared to the RAF and that’s why the FAA is right but they probably have chosen the wrong battlefield, basically because they do not think with a military strategy and that’s why they are right.

What we need is common sense and not heroes.

Remember Concord.

barit1
16th Apr 2006, 15:14
So what's your point?

Loosing
witch
looses,
Remember Concord.

I've seen DISTRACTING posts before, but I believe this takes first place.
I fail to see how MEL enters the picture; nor how BA failed to maintain a generous degree of redundancy right up to their parking the bird at MAN.

Hand Solo
16th Apr 2006, 15:27
We all know that what happened to the Virgin A 340 fuel problem would have been picked up by a crew that had the experience of flying the old B 747 or DC 10 with flight engineers.

Do we really? Well from what I know of the fuel problem speaking to Virgin A340 skippers it would appear that you are actually talking out of your behind. Pray tell, how would B747 Classic or DC10 experience, or indeed a flight engineer, have helped deduce that the indications on the ECAM fuel page were actually erroneous due to a second unannounced failure of a fuel management computer? Perhaps the flight engineer might have spent the flight interrogating the maintenance computer to determine the servicability of the fuel computers every hour?

Techman
16th Apr 2006, 16:29
AIMS by IBM, it is a lost cause mentioning Flight Engineers here. All it will accomplish is to bring the usual insecurities to the surface. As seen.

sky9
16th Apr 2006, 17:05
Before you get excited about "Aims by IBM" take a look at his profile.

stilton
16th Apr 2006, 17:38
'AIMS by IBM'

What a ridiculous and semi literate rant, 'Airliners are built for efficiency when all goes normal only'

Indeed, the levels of redundancy built into modern transports, particularly the 747 allow for continued flight in the event of a loss of significant systems, up to and including powerplants. (That is why they have four!)

'Built in redundancy not to be used to cover commercial risk' It is there to cover any risk that failures require.

'Loosing' as you call it your weather radar over Africa with the ITCZ in front of you is not even remotely close to the same situation this crew had.

ETOPS is extremely relevant, as has been said, the FAA in their wisdom have no problem allowing a twin engine aircraft to fly on one for over three hours.
But protest when a four engine aircraft continues on three despite being certified to do so by them.

Or perhaps I am confused remembering 'Concord'

AIMS by IBM
16th Apr 2006, 22:37
stilton wrote:

Indeed, the levels of redundancy built into modern transports, particularly the 747 allow for continued flight in the event of a loss of significant systems, up to and including powerplants. (That is why they have four!)

They have four because at the time they needed four to get them in the air since more powerfull engines were not available.

Optimum cruise is with four engines. That's a commercial argument and thats the reason of the design. They could easily have build it with less redundancy so it would be even more intersting commercially speaking (lesser weight) but they didn't do that for safety reasons.

That is why the redundancy is build in for safety and not commercial reasons. It's obvious but hard to acept if you do not want to see it that way.

Once one engine is out the remaining redundancy must be used to get the plane on the ground safely and not to continue for commercial arguments only this is the key argument against the continuance of the flight.

That and only that is the main reasoning when one has to answer the question of What is the safest course of action.

barit1
17th Apr 2006, 00:55
Actually, the customer required four because with the reliability level of 1960's engines, it was deemed unsafe to cross the pond on fewer. Bigger engines could have been built at that time (or shortly after) but no passenger wanted to trust fewer than four donks.

In fact there was something of a tempest over McD-D & Lockheed proposing trijets for overwater flights. Pan Am and BA were especially reluctant - the early sales of trijets were for transcontinental carriers. ETOPS? Don't make me laugh!

What has happened in the three-plus decades since then?

Performance trend monitoring and other on-wing diagnostics can detect an incipient failure well before the donk coughs. Engine time on wing has gone from a thousand hours to ten thousand or more. The statistics are in a new universe. A second unrelated engine failure in one flight happens at a rate measured in decades. In fact the "typical" flight crewperson will probably never experience a true engine failure in a career of professional flying.

To reiterate: an engine failure (sans fire warning) is not an emergency. When it happens, you survey the situation and make a decision. Then you follow through.

issi noho
17th Apr 2006, 01:06
Baritone

You raise a point I've wondered about, trend monitoring. Running the remaining 3 at MCT for XX hrs, does this mess up the the benefits, in maintenance terms, which you gained from a trend program?

And can you answer one more thing, at what point in the flight was it apparent that LHR was not an option?

Thanks

lomapaseo
17th Apr 2006, 01:53
............

Once one engine is out the remaining redundancy must be used to get the plane on the ground safely and not to continue for commercial arguments only this is the key argument against the continuance of the flight.

That and only that is the main reasoning when one has to answer the question of What is the safest course of action.


I agree that this is the issue and that decision has been placed in the captains hands. To me it is not black and white whether the decision making process was right or wrong. As has been mentioned before there is demonstrated historical risk to divert or turnback, while there is only implied risk to continued with some loss of redundancy.

I don't see that any lessons learned from a safety standpoint can be gleened from second guessing another choice. I'm quite satisfied that the captain did not make his decision hastily and did consult with others. To me the long and short of it, is that it's the captainjs decision and it should remain that way. There is no need to go to a rule book to sort this out.

barit1
17th Apr 2006, 02:42
Baritone
You raise a point I've wondered about, trend monitoring. Running the remaining 3 at MCT for XX hrs, does this mess up the the benefits, in maintenance terms, which you gained from a trend program?

From a design engineer's standpoint, the critical airfoils in an engine come up to temperature very quickly. The 5 minute (sometimes 10 minute) TO rating is an artificial one from the metallurgist's view. The limit is really the erosion that takes place over many hundreds or thousands of hours. So, running at MCT for 10 hours won't make the accountants happy, because it might shorten the on-wing time from 10000 hours to 9990 - but it's NOT a safety issue as long as the EGT/ITT/TIT limits are observed.


And can you answer one more thing, at what point in the flight was it apparent that LHR was not an option?
Thanks

Probably when they got an estimate of destination holding time from ATC. :ok:

barit1
17th Apr 2006, 03:10
Before someone from the "old school" jumps on me, let me point out that while the technology has played a great part in improving safety, there is a well-documented side effect, namely:

It's possible to Murphy-proof the daylights out a system, to the point that a minimally-trained operator (pilot???) can make it work pretty well 99.9% of the time. But if this becomes a way of life, then safety starts sliding downhill again - we see this in the third world.

Put in other terms, we start raising a new-and-improved generation of "Murphies". :eek:

(My corollary proposition: One pilot should always be over age 60!) :cool:

stilton
17th Apr 2006, 03:32
Well 'AIMS', those are just your personal opinions and have no basis in the rules under which the aircraft was certified.

These same rules state that continued flight is an option as long as it is considered 'as safe'

I contend that it certainly was, all performance parameters were met, and, as stated earlier the remaining redundancy was superior to the majority of modern jet transports (certified by the same FAA)

It seems quite the Irony that this only has become an issue in the US. If the flight had originated elsewhere the continuation would not have been an issue.

Indeed the same aircraft had an engine problem with a consequent shutdown a short time later on a SIN-LHR flight and continued, landing on three with no objection by any of the relevant civil aviation authorities.

We didn't always live in the world of twins and ETOPS, the redundancy enjoyed by 3 and 4 engine transports has been used in such a manner ever since they started service, and continued flight with one shutdown was never questioned, (unless there was good reason) there was not in this case.

Certainly, when the 747 first flew it needed 4 engines, and they were at the limits of their capability.

That is what makes the 744 such a superb and capable design, in that it combines the tremendous redundancy of Boeings conservative design with modern powerplants that provide a quantum leap in performance.

old,not bold
17th Apr 2006, 16:50
Barit 1, you've got the answer.

In fact, the over-60 doesn't even need to fly, he'll be far too decrepid for that.

He (or she, sorry Ma'am) just needs to be tied to the jump seat to mutter "Don't forget Murphy" every 15 minutes between start-up and shut down.

This is only temporary. In around 2020 he'll be replaced by the dog put on the flight deck to bite the systems monitor (ex-Pilot, perhaps? Reborn Flight Engineer?) if he/she tries to take control from the automatics.

When Murphy once stopped my Prentice engine in cloud over the Italian mountains (Naples - Brindisi) because both mags got damp, in his haste to leave with the only umbrella he dropped a card that said "Sooner or later someone will think that it's possible to Murphy-proof a system. That's the moment, Murph' ole boy, to go for it".

Congratulations on the point you were really making...exactly right!

AIMS by IBM
17th Apr 2006, 22:09
I can only repeat what I have stated before.

The available redundancy should not be used for commercial reasons.

The simple fact that these failures are very rare, means that it’s commercial impact is very low anyway and reinforces the argument.

I am sure that if you ask any CAA if the redundancy is there for commercial reasons they would say no, they would have no other choice.


There is no reason to start a technical discussion since the aforementioned principle makes it obsolete.

The FAA did what they had to do and as far as other CAA is concerned, they are controlled by politics so their opinion does not matter.

I could go flying half pissed but if nothing happens then I did nothing wrong seems to be the reasoning by those who get away with it. This is not good enough.

Hand Solo
17th Apr 2006, 22:59
I am sure that if you ask any CAA if the redundancy is there for commercial reasons they would say no, they would have no other choice.

So how would they defend the flight continuation policy which they approved? How would they justify their recent comments that they were satisfied with BAs conduct of the flight in question? I'm afraid you are wrong again. Give it up.

AIMS by IBM
18th Apr 2006, 06:22
Politics as always

Rainboe
18th Apr 2006, 11:19
And what sort of expert are you to make the statements you have as fact? And pray tell us how much experience you have in the industry? In other words- what do you know about it, and if you are an expert, why is your profile so bare?

BBT
18th Apr 2006, 23:51
Aims I was once on a B747 operated by a well known U.S. carrier which, over Greenland, en route to the West Coast had an engine failure. Interestingly, we did not divert to the nearest available airfield. Nor did we continue to the destination. Nope, we went ORD, which happens to be just what the captain told us - a "suitable" maintenance base for the operator in question. (I trust you will concede that this was quite a distance and that many suitable airfields were passed en route).

I did not then, nor do I now consider that the captain or operator did anything strange or unreasonable. However, it seems to me that this falls neatly into the area that you criticise thus: The available redundancy should not be used for commercial reasons.

It seems to me that - apart from the utterly circular nature of the dialogue of the deaf which this particular topic seems to generate - that there is a fundamental and fatal logical flaw at work in this type of argument. This is the one that people try to bring out when they start to talk about ETOPs and loss of an engine on a two engined aircraft - in order to make key points about redundancy and levels of safety.

While redundancy and reliability statistics suggest that flights of some time and distance can be achieved within acceptable safety levels on one engine, it is agreed that getting on the ground ASAP is essential. However, were you to add multiple levels of statistical and practical safety and redundancy as in the B747 some people, such as yourself, seem to think that the additional safety margins in the B747 should be ignored in any decision-making. Some even seem keen to consider the B747 on 3 engines to be equivalent - for decision-making purposes - to being on one engine in a twin-engined aircraft. A typical argument is that both are in a state of greater risk (which is a truism, but tells us nothing about comparative risk).

As many B747 pilots have repeatedly pointed out, those who make such arguments rarely show any grasp of either the decision-making process which this crew followed or the level of redundancy in the B747. To repeat, on three engines the B747 has greater redundancy than a twin jet. Dreaming up complex scenarios in which a second engine is lost, etc. is the next response ... which I will not go into, because it has been done to death already.

jondc9
19th Apr 2006, 00:24
hi

I liked AIM by IBM's idea about NOT using the redundency for commercial purposes.

Have any of you flown a 4 engine jet on 3 engines? I did a "3 engine ferry" of a BAE146 about 17 years ago. My first 3 weeks on the plane.

Taxied out for takeoff with 4 engines, set takeoff power, really odd sound, taxied back to gate, took passengers off, figured out which engine was "bad"...ferried from KSJC to KSAN ( can you guess the airline?).

So, there you go, everyone can be happy. The passengers can get off the plane and wait for a good one. The bean counters can be happy to get the plane to a major MX facility. The pilots can be happy...well maybe not everyone is happy.

I think the best way to fly anywhere is with all engines running "right". If they aren't running right go to some place safe darn soon. Take care of the passengers and then all you brave guys can do a "3 engine ferry" if you like.


While regulations would let you continue to destination...those regs were thought of in one sense...but GOOD sense would say, in this case, LAND AT THE SECOND BIGGEST CITY IN THE USA at a damn good airport and then worry about it, instead of flying for a dozen hours and STILL NOT GETTING to the destination.


all the best

jon

overstress
19th Apr 2006, 00:29
Hi jon

Problem is, the 'regs' say we can do it, so we do. End of chat.

BBT
19th Apr 2006, 00:45
.... then all you brave guys can do a "3 engine ferry" if you like. But it looks like you were not a brave guy. In fact it looks like you are saying that you did something that you thought then, and now, was unsafe. Which raises questions about other issues. Do you think that 3 engine ferry flights are unacceptable and that they should be banned?

When you say I liked AIM by IBM's idea about NOT using the redundency for commercial purposes. you may like the notion, but this is just words. If you operate an aircraft with an "allowable" defect, you are trading redundancy for commercial purposes (the "risk" is deemed acceptable). There are criteria for judging the risk to be acceptable, just as there are criteria for judging some risks to be unacceptable.

The attractive phrase "NOT using the redundancy for commercial purposes" applies to all such examples, but it brings no clarity whatsoever to the different safety issues and the different levels of risk that apply. Which was my point in my earlier post above.

jondc9
19th Apr 2006, 01:00
the concept of the forum lacks the punch of face to face conversation.

when I refer to "brave" I meant those who have never flown a 4 engine plane on 3 engines AND still make posts as if they had.

Was the 3 engine ferry I did unsafe? it was not one bit unsafe for the passengers we left at the gate.

And a lightly loaded BAe146 with just 2 pilots and proper fuel for a flight from KSJC to KSAN flys with complete lack of oomph for just about anything. I think we barely made FL180 and that seemed to take forever.

Read the manual someday and enjoy the special things you have to do.


AS to REGS aforementioned (up a couple of posts)...the regs even say I can loop the Golden Gate Bridge, if it is the only way I can save the plane(ultimate authority of the pilot in command)...( a heck of a lot of explaining if that were the case)



But you might remain correct on one concept...you can't regulate good sense!


end of chat

jon

barit1
19th Apr 2006, 02:07
Jon - my only question is - current practice is to have a ferry crew with current simulator trng for the 3-engine ferry. Sounds to me like that your experience was as a line crew. Isn't there a special AFM chapter for this?
(Special preflight inspections, restrictions, etc.)

(Mind you - I'm well aware that ferrying has NOTHING to do with this thread!)

jondc9
19th Apr 2006, 02:33
barit1:

you raise an excellent point...at that time ( mind you it was 17 years ago) pretty much everyone had been sim trained in 3 engine ferry on this type of plane...the ALF engine was not the most robust. (ALF= avco lycoming fan?)

Lots of special things to do, even drawing with a pencil certain power settings ON THE THROTTLE quadrant.

I recall the sim training and really flying it on 3 wasn't all that bad...losing another one especially on takeoff would have required considerable skill I think.

if you put the passengers safety and comfort first you probably won't do too badly.

all the best

jon

sailing
19th Apr 2006, 03:26
Leaving the pax behind for a 3 engine ferry means zero risk to the pax from that operation.
Flying over populated areas on 3 rather than 4 increases the risk to people on the ground. The risk is miniscule, but it exists.
The ferry is done to get the aeroplane fixed more cheaply than if everything had to be taken to the aircraft for it to be fixed on site. The risk is accepted for a commercial reason.
Risk is balanced against cost, and this happens every day, on every flight. It would be safer for all pax if they were given high energy 'space' food in little bags, rather than have the danger of trolleys, bottles, cutlery etc loose in turbulence. It would be far safer if all seats (OK, except flight crew!) faced backwards, but pax don't like it, so commercial pressure reduces safety. How about replacing the weight of on-board entertainment systems with airbags? I could go on.
Aviation is probably the most risk-assessed and regulated human activity, and if all this assessment and regulation means that it is deemed to be permissible for a particular 4 engined aircraft to proceed on 3 with an acceptable degree of safety, and if the bloke at the sharp end agrees with that, then what is the problem?
The flight is obviously not as 'safe' on 3 as on 4, but it is a minor and acceptable risk.

IMHO, the interesting topic to discuss is not the safety of this flight, it is why the FAA reacted the way it did.

jondc9
19th Apr 2006, 04:12
sailing:

Hi! I guess we should come up with something here. Risk Assesment...something like "its ok for your daughter to be on a 4 engine plane with one out" and safety is: "I think you should go back to LAX with MY DAUGHTER on the plane".


While I understand the concept of risk and all that jazz, consider: Recently FEDEX wanted to be able to defer the whiskey compass on their planes flying over the ocean.

happily, this was denied.

With all the modern gadgets would it be ok? sure! But why? Just to make someone a tiny bit richer?


The world of the bean counter has been encroaching into our profession a little bit too much. I have no calculus for this statement...just call it a hunch after 30 plus years as a pilot.

The same hunches have allowed me to spot missing rivets from 50 feet away. And spoilers that were so bowed that when measured were out of tolerance.


By the way, I flew for one airline that did have a few seats facing "backwards" and Mr. Unsafe at any speed ( ralphy naider) even complemented our airline for this.

Have you ever watched a plane crash into the ground? I've seen it 3 times. One stall spin after a brand new engine was installed into a bonanza. Another when a C152 piloted by a very inexperienced pilot came in so fast that he tore off the nose gear ( conveniently illustrating the warning I had just given aC177 pilot about wheelbarrowing!)


Lastly, I watched as the smoke came up from a DC9 crashing in a violent Microburst at KCLT.

Two of these crashes, I had time to say to those nearby that trouble was a coming!

Instead of using a bizarre calculus to rationalize risk, its time to speak up and get things SAFER not more commercial! But that's just a hunch.


oh well,

jon

sailing
19th Apr 2006, 05:13
Jon, I understand you want the best for your daughter, I'm sorry you had to watch those crashes (I pulled my best mates body out of one to try and get his pax out alive, but what has that to do with the discussion?), but that doesn't change the fact that safety is compromised for profit, and profit is reduced to gain safety. It is a balance, and always will be, and yes, we should be vigilant that the accountants do not override the safety experts.
Safety comes at a price, and obviously the experiment with rear facing seats you mentioned was too expensive in terms of lack of passenger approval, so was discontinued. Safety has suffered, but are you trying to change seat configuration now?
You obviously consider the 747 flight continuing on 3 was not an acceptable safety risk, yet your 3 engine ferry was OK, because no pax were involved. Are people on the ground who were put at (a tiny) risk worth less than those in the air?
In all these real and imaginary scenarios someone is making a decision on the risks involved, just as we all do when we decide what speed to drive down the highway.
It's interesting that you rate your risk assessment that that flight was unsafe, as more valid than the opinion of the world's aviation authorities who approve continuing flight on 3, and the opinion of the flight crew who were in possession of all the facts at the time.

May the number of your landings equal your takeoffs!:)
sailing.

Rwy in Sight
19th Apr 2006, 07:27
I am wondering what the situation would have been if the involved parties were the other way around (a US registered and operated airline flying from the UK to the US on 3 engines and CAA investigating the matter). The question covers the authorities as well as PPRuNeRs.

Also (this has been referred to before) what would have been the case if the aircraft involved was operated by the national airline of a country with a not so well regulated industry.

BTW I like the argument about having one dear on the aircraft.

AIMS by IBM
19th Apr 2006, 09:36
Back in the 90 ties we went to Boeing to discuss our SOP.

In the back of my mind was a non-augmented crew that had to deal with a failure after a long flight at a critical moment.

I said let’s keep it simple and conservative and look at the statistical failure rate of key components. In the end they liked the idea of not using the full redundancy capability in our SOP since it would happen only once in 10 years that we would throw away some revenue.

The regulations told use we could do certain things in one country and not so in another.

I tried to keep the box of Pandora of endless technical discussions, that can not be solved by regulations closed, until the commercial department find out what we were doing.

They wanted to sail too close to the shoreline and got caught.

My previous Airline had set more stringent criteria and sometimes our performance with the same aircraft as the competition was much lower and we left some payload behind.

Until the day that the unfortunate happened, we looked at out calculations and said: “Thank god that we did it that way, since we would NOT have been covered by the regulations in order to survive"

Surely in court we would have been able to defend ourselves, but that is not enough nor is it the issue.

Big Airlines are at a commercial war with each other but we are not soldiers.

Boeing actually liked the idea, some called it lateral thinking.

Also, Airbus made a statement in Flight International: “In case of an engine failure on a four engine Aircraft you take the safest course of action”

In the end it's all about money, lawers and politics.

Maybe we should look at Airline safety the other way around and put in the spotlight those that are conservative and give them a rating for it, that is what audits should be all about.

jondc9
19th Apr 2006, 12:47
sailing:

let us look at the 3/4 engine question another way. with my 3 engine ferry you indicate a slightly higher risk for innocents on the ground and you are right...so too the risk for the BA flight's innocents on the ground .


Now, "what if" the passengers on the BA 747 had been asked the question:

Shall we continue for a dozen hours with one engine out all the way to England or return right away to Los Angeles?


The question could have been further complicated by sub questions:

Shall we take a chance on weather condtions in England or land in known beautiful conditions in Los Angeles?

Shall we take a chance of putting you up in a hotel for the night in Los Angeles or the possibility of putting you up anyplace along the way, including smaller cities?

Will you trust your fine flight crew more while well rested to land shortly after takeoff or after a dozen hours in flight with added anxiety?



I would bet that the passengers would choose to go back to LAX.

They didn't get to vote on the actual flight...but speaking of profits how many passengers has BA lost from cautious passengers over this? I know I would no longer place BA in such high esteem when asked by non pilot passengers for an airline reccomendation.


You speak of aviation authorities making decisions. Consider the calculus on this one: In 1998 a large Newspaper in the USA had headlines about something called "Air Rage". Detailed information about weaknesses of cockpit doors were discussed on page one of this paper. Aviation authorities did nothing...fast forward to 9/11/01. If pilots had stayed behind hardened/locked doors on 9/11 how many people would have died?


I have dealt with FAA types including the deputy administrator and the Head of the FAA. I spoke the last time (before 9/11) with Jane Garvey and indicted the old thinking about security was a waste of time (among other safety items)

Profit vs safety?

The true cost of any decision may never be known. Why not drop Cat 1 decision height to 100 feet? That would save money, wouldn't it? Why not lower the flying hours required to hold an ATP to 500 hours?

Simply put, the decision to continue to England on 3 engines was not as safe as returning to LAX.

Simply put,imho our industry should put safety first.

And all airlines should hold the highest level of safety. Alas only reregulation would allow for this.


cheers

jon

Globaliser
19th Apr 2006, 13:25
They didn't get to vote on the actual flight...but speaking of profits how many passengers has BA lost from cautious passengers over this?Virtually none, I would venture to suggest. 99.99%+ of passengers booking to fly now will have forgotten about this incident already. It will resurface into public consciousness when the report is published, and it looks like there may be some other opportunity for this if there is ever a public fight over this CAA/FAA turf war. Only those who have a keen interest in the regulatory and operational aspects of this incident have it anywhere near the forefront of their minds.

Jumbo Driver
19th Apr 2006, 13:40
Now, "what if" the passengers on the BA 747 had been asked the question:
Shall we continue for a dozen hours with one engine out all the way to England or return right away to Los Angeles?

I am sorry jondc9 but what a load of nonsense! All this post demonstrates is that you can prove anything you like with a suitably loaded question. You don't visit your GP and then expect him to say "Well, you've got so-and-so, what do you think I should do for you?" You employ a professional to make a professional decision - and that is just what these aviators did.

It is interesting to see that most of the opposition to their decision to continue the flight to London seems to come from those who have either little or no experience of Long Range Operations in 4-engine jets. Within the group who have that experience, there may be some differences of opinion but we should remember that no-one except the crew themselves know all the facts. Most of the more alarmist conjecture about "what might have happened" has come from the least experienced and really serves this thread no useful or constructive purpose.

I have been in similar situations to this crew and, in the circustances as I understand them, I believe they were not unsafe to continue as they did. In my view, those that disagree with this Commander's professional decision to continue the flight need to support that disagreement with similar professional reasoning - not scaremongering - or, with respect, just keep quiet.

barit1
19th Apr 2006, 13:40
...Flying over populated areas on 3 rather than 4 increases the risk to people on the ground. The risk is miniscule, but it exists...

The flight is obviously not as 'safe' on 3 as on 4, but it is a minor and acceptable risk.

IMHO, the interesting topic to discuss is not the safety of this flight, it is why the FAA reacted the way it did.

The proper role of the regulatory agencies is NOT to eliminate risk (an absurdity!) NOR to bring it down to an irreducible minimum, but to specify a practical and acceptable level of safety, and the technical conditions that meet that goal. ETOPS requires a special inspection regimen, but it DOESN'T require fresh zero-time engines for every flight. :eek:

If the FAA or CAA were more stringent than what is commercially practical, we would have NO commercial aviation.

sky9
19th Apr 2006, 14:08
Aims
Back in the 90 ties we went to Boeing to discuss our SOP.

Now let me see according to your profile you were born in April 1975 so you must have been in your early 20's at the time.
Again according to your profile you have no Pilots Licence.
Should we really take your seriously? If so go and amend your profile (or stay on the MSFS).

Rananim
20th Apr 2006, 09:50
In the States,the Captain would have his ticket revoked.It amazes me that so many here have expressed support for the decision that this Captain took.
Electing to continue a 5000nm flight following a surge/stall IFSD can not be condoned under any circumstances.BA's denial that commercial considerations played any part is frankly a lie.

The regulation concerned does not support such a decision and anyone who believes that it does is purposely misconstruing the intent of the regulation to suit their commercial requirements.Regulators cant regulate for good common sense or sound judgement;they assume that an airline pilot has plenty of that to begin with.

Liam Gallagher
20th Apr 2006, 10:20
Rananim,

"In the States, the captain would have his ticket revoked.."

Very authoritative post. Who do you fly for and what is that airline's policy on 4-engined aircraft flying passed their nearest suitable div with an engine inop. Obviously, without such information your post is somewhat less authoritative and more bolleaux...... and this thread doesn't need anymore bolleaux...

Rainboe
20th Apr 2006, 10:47
Just a couple of years back, a detail we practised on this self same 747 model simulator was max weight take-off with engine failure after V1, followed by second engine failure (on same side) during flap retraction. No problem! The 747 handles it quite happily! What we had this day was a single benign engine failure during the climb- the 747 in fact happily steamed on its way, with plenty of capacity for a second failure in cruise, and even a third failure would have left capacity to get to a runway, though I imagine go-around capability might be a bit compromised!
JONDC9- I would believe your 'outrage' if I saw you making sensible criticism of flying a 777 across the Pacific wastes, and the infliction of entrusting 250 peoples lives to one engine, high power, for over three hours! Come on- don't be shy.....which aeroplane would you rather have been on?
As formerly one of the crew of this very aeroplane and airline, for 8 years on the 747-400, and 10 years on the 747-100/200 before that, with 8 years twin engine 737, for this crew on this aeroplane, I can say commercial considerations and company pressure (which were non-existent in this case) were zero factor. They carried out what they considered, and I fully agree with, was the safest and most expeditious course of action, exactly what I would have done, because the world's most experienced long haul airline has a flight continuation policy that all BA crew accept, for a 4 engined airliner with plenty of power, is safe. Fuel jettison and return is more hazardous than what took place, diverting a thousand miles off course to JFK would not have solved the problem. The philosophy with a twin is very different, and a lot of twin pilots cannot apparently get their heads around the difference. BA does not fly a twin over 3 hours of single engine time away from an airfield over the Pacific as the FAA is happy for United to do. If we want to talk about risk assessment, again, I know which aeroplane I would far rather be on

Jumbo Driver
20th Apr 2006, 13:05
In the States,the Captain would have his ticket revoked.It amazes me that so many here have expressed support for the decision that this Captain took.

The regulation concerned does not support such a decision and anyone who believes that it does is purposely misconstruing the intent of the regulation to suit their commercial requirements.



Rananim , would you like to substantiate your allegation that the decision was wrong by saying which Article, SOP, Regulation, FAA Part or Sub-Part you think has been violated and, if it is USA legislation, show that it applies to a foreign registered aircraft operating in US airspace?

This might help to support your allegation. However if you cannot do this I am afraid your post remains little more than uninformed bluster.

lomapaseo
20th Apr 2006, 14:47
In the States,the Captain would have his ticket revoked.It amazes me that so many here have expressed support for the decision that this Captain took.
Electing to continue a 5000nm flight following a surge/stall IFSD can not be condoned under any circumstances.BA's denial that commercial considerations played any part is frankly a lie.
The regulation concerned does not support such a decision and anyone who believes that it does is purposely misconstruing the intent of the regulation to suit their commercial requirements.Regulators cant regulate for good common sense or sound judgement;they assume that an airline pilot has plenty of that to begin with.


My read is that this is nothing more than unbased opinion without the benefit of fact.

What we need in this thread is a running summary or poll of for or against. That way we could clean up the remaining thread and reserve it for new facts.

wiggy
20th Apr 2006, 15:45
A "poll, for or against" no, no, no...............not unless the only people you are polling are current on the 744 - and yes I know some will say that smacks of arrogance and "the pilot knows best" . I'm past caring - this thread shoukd have been killed months ago.

Globaliser
20th Apr 2006, 19:05
I'm past caring - this thread shoukd have been killed months ago.Except that it only started on 3 April. It just provokes lots of deja vu.

Ex Cargo Clown
20th Apr 2006, 20:53
Why are there ridculous statements about being more/less safe. It's like being slightly pregnant. If you want to be more safe then don't takeoff at all in case the wings drop off at FL350.

FACT If the worse case scenario - second engine failure, had happened at the worst point, then the aircraft would still have been capable of landing safely.

Does it get any safer than that in this situation ????:rolleyes:

And just why are the FAA looking into this, outside their jurisdiction - Commercial pressure from Boeing to push twins...

Rainboe
20th Apr 2006, 21:59
Because......well some people need it spelled out in black and white. Let's see where we start......have you noticed how very few 747-400s are operated by US airlines? It was the US airlines that really pioneered twin ops across large expanses of water. Suddenly it became perfectly acceptable for twins to fly ETOPs all over.....but wait!......ETOPs started 'disadvantaging' US airlines against foreigners flying all those lovely big 747s into the States! The FAA, ever willing to look after US airlines interests (as all the aviation authorities obviously are keen to look after national interests) therefore has a vested interest that 747s now (remember Boeing are hardly selling any now, and none to US operators) have no advantage over 777s (which everybody wants) and 767s in over water ops. So, in the case of a single, uncomplicated engine failure, it is to US airlines interests if every jet, twin and 4 engined, has to obey the same silly rule- silly for a 747, but dead sensible for a 777 or 767, of scuttling for the nearest runway!

I'm still amazed at their nerve trying to fine BA for continuing with one engine out on a 747 when they have accepted that the United 777 can fly on one for 3 hours and 8 minutes to a diversion airfield. When politics sticks its nose into safety issues, we should then be concerned. Meanwhile, we know what is safe in an aeroplane that has this sort of redundancy built in, and the flight continuation policy remains unchanged, despite thunder from across the Atlantic that we are trying to gain 'an unfair advantage' because foreign airlines operate a aeroplane with more redundancy!

jondc9
22nd Apr 2006, 04:44
in recent posts much hsa been made about the FAA and two engine planes...let me tell you the FAA has a long way to go to actually have my respect.

have any of you looked at the airport at Midway Island? (not to be confused with Chicago Midway, though both are a tiny bit too small for my tastes).


Can you imagine flying a heavy 777 on one engine to Midway Island, at night and actually having a need for major crash fire rescue equipment and hospital?

Rotsa Ruck.


Would I rather cross a major ocean with 4 engines instead of 2? YES.


When are two engine planes better than 4 engine planes? Sometimes the power to weight ratio a takeoff is better in the twins and there might be a small edge in windshear/microburst recovery.

Why is the FAA picking on BA? Let me just put it this way, I don't know...but I do know that if you asked every passenger on that plane what makes more sense, flying to england with 25% of your engines dead or returning to LAX, I would wager that returning to LAX would be the winner amongst passengers.

I guess you can't regulate or teach good judgement (though one study suggested that it could be taught).

by the way, many fines are never paid and the FAA doesn't do squat.


I think this thread has run its course. Good luck to us all.

jon

Jumbo Driver
22nd Apr 2006, 07:37
...but I do know that if you asked every passenger on that plane what makes more sense, flying to england with 25% of your engines dead or returning to LAX, I would wager that returning to LAX would be the winner amongst passengers.

I guess you can't regulate or teach good judgement (though one study suggested that it could be taught).


jondc9, you are back again flogging the same point. What are you trying to say? With a loaded question you can get the answer you want? That the uninformed passenger should decide over the professional Long Range Commander?

Give us a break, jondc9. You, like so many others on this thread, have failed to offer sound professional reasoning why the flight should not have continued and, without such reasoned argument, I find the insinuation in your comment that "I guess you can't regulate or teach good judgement" particularly objectionable from a professionable point of view.

I do agree with you on one point - this thread has run its course.

AIMS by IBM
22nd Apr 2006, 11:21
Just immagine what a step forward it could be if the court would decide that "The redundancy can not be used for commercial reasons only"

What would happen to the industry?

Look at all the side effects it would have. Has it the potential to increase safety?

Clearly it would eliminate some operators that do not take maintenance seriously or do not have the funds to do so. Or their local CAA to have a decent oversight.

It would give just credit to those that are cautious and make it difficult to those that try to get away with anything. How many cases do we know where the error was clear but they got away with it.

The day BA does this with an A 380 you will see public opinion all over the place without asking for it.

Reality is not defined solely as "The opinion of one or more experts"

The question that the FAA and other CAA have to answer is simple:

"There are strict airworthiness certification rules the manufacturor has to meet when building an airliner. These criteria take care of the likelyhood of failures. The redundancy is there so the crew can stay in control.

Why did we not regulate the way this redundancy should be used in a way that removes differant interpretations?"

As a consequance it is now a matter of the courts and as such a matter of the general public that is reprsented by a judge. In essance this judge is now reprersenting the passengers that were on board of this flight.


The problem is NOT that the FAA wants to build a case to favour Boeing. The problem may be that the UK and the USA are civilised contries that have those systems build into their democracy. Should we not look at those that haven´t and use this oppurtunity?

In the context of one CAA pointing the finger to another:

Isn´t ICAO opening that door right now by publishing their audits publicaly in the near future.

What if we (Europe) would solve the Flight Time Duty time issue by just accepting the USA sytem and form one block by demanding carriers from outside this block to meet those rules if they want to have acces to that airspace?

ICAO can not do it by themselves nor can the United Nations on another level. Let´s use our strenght and make things better.

Liam Gallagher
22nd Apr 2006, 12:56
Quote
"...Just immagine (sic) what a step forward it could be if the court would decide that "The redundancy can not be used for commercial reasons only..""

Hey Mr Engineer, design me an aircraft than can fly on 2 engines, but is fitted with 4, so that if 1 fails we can recover the plane to a more suitable airfield and still have adequate redundancy. Hey Mr Airplane operator, shan't bother, some clown on pprune reckons it is an improvement that you cant use redundancy for commercial benefit. OK Mr Engineer give me a 2 engine aircraft with no redundancy, with no back up air, hydraulics and electrical...that'll save me a fortune....horrah G&T's all round.....

Nice thinking...how has Boeing and Airbus and BA and VS, CX, QF, NZ got it so wrong all these years.....

I note Rananin hasn't replied to my post of the 20th so I have taken the liberty of rewording his post of the same date....

"I don't fly the -400, nor am I familiar with the manner in which US carriers operate them, however I reckon that in the States, the Captain would have had his ticket pulled...blah..blah...unsubstantiated rhetoric...shallow comments blah....

Doncha just love folks who post a diatribe and then finish with "this thread has run its course".....if its run its course why are you posting???:yuk:

AIMS by IBM
22nd Apr 2006, 13:33
Quote
Hey Mr Engineer, design me an aircraft than can fly on 2 engines, but is fitted with 4, so that if 1 fails we can recover the plane to a more suitable airfield and still have adequate redundancy. Hey Mr Airplane operator, shan't bother, some clown on pprune reckons it is an improvement that you cant use redundancy for commercial benefit. OK Mr Engineer give me a 2 engine aircraft with no redundancy, with no back up air, hydraulics and electrical...that'll save me a fortune....horrah G&T's all round.....

Nice thinking...how has Boeing and Airbus and BA and VS, CX, QF, NZ got it so wrong all these years.....
:yuk:

I did not say that, the planes a fine as they are, that is not the issue.

I think I am only raising a hypothesis that may be usefull.

Would you fly a concord or A 380 across the pond if fuel allowed you to do so with 1 engine out. Both have 4 engines and enough redundancy I hope.

Hand Solo
22nd Apr 2006, 14:00
My word what utter drivel you post! A hypothesis that might be useful? To whom? All it would do is ground the entire air transport industry.

"Got two packs boss but one is U/S, MEL says we can go with the other".

"Not any more you can't. Redundancy is not to be used for commercial purposes"

And what is this nonsense about BA trying something with an A380? Do you think there will be any substantial difference between flying an A380 on 3 and a B747 on 3?

Such a ludicrous policy would not 'give credit to those who are cautious', it would give credit to those who operate twins over quads, which is the whole point of the FAAs machinations. The airlines who operate quads are already more cautious by having twice as many engines as the twins. Where's the credit for that?

Anyway how come you now include yourself in Europe? The UK FTLs are far superior to the USA ones which allow crew to be flogged for hours on end. Remember the Little Rock accident. If the USA want a standard block of FTLs then they are welcome to use our safer ones.

jondc9
22nd Apr 2006, 16:48
I wish the USA would adopt some of the UK's standards.

I wish every airline in the world was operated at the highest standards.

I wish every pilot, mechanic, f/a, dispatcher and the whole lot were protected by whistleblower legislation so that they could speak out without fear of losing their job.

AS to the person who objects to my views about asking the passengers vs. experienced aircraft commander etc:

What if the aircraft commander misjudged the reason for the engine failure?

Why did the aircraft commander's calculations miss being able to land at LHR?(and don't give me ATC...he could have declared an emergency)

How on earth would one be MORE well rested at the end of a transatlantic flight to cope with a 3 engine landing than at the start?


As everyone knows on this forum, transporting an engine to LAX (if they didn't already have one) is a relatively easy process by lashing it on to the wing of a 747.

Like the supreme court of the USA once said, (paraphrased) I can't define pornography, but I know what it is when I see it... so too good judgement in flying, I can't define it but I know when it is lacking... flying from LAX to LHR with one engine dead isn't good judgement.


j

Hand Solo
22nd Apr 2006, 17:04
If the aircraft commander misjudged the reason for the engine failure theres two co-pilots who can make their own decision. The crew woud not have continued without the agreement of all three pilots. Plus there's a whole load of engineers at the end of the satphone who can analyse the engine too. Flying a 747 is not a one man show.

Who said the aircraft commander missed being able to land at LHR? IIRC the intention was to go to MAN fairly early. You are obviously not familiar with re-clearance operations on long range flights. This is no different to a practice a 747 might use on 4 engines when tight on fuel. Not going to make London from Hong Kong? Plan on Helsinki. Think you'll make LHR when you get to HEL? Then plan on going to Copenhagen. Looking like you'll make LHR with reserve fuel? Then continue. If not then divert.The fact that they elected to go to MAN rather than LHR suggests rather better judgement than you give them credit for.

If you want to transport an extra engine to LAX then you don't just 'lash it on' and go. Have you any idea what fifth pod carriage does to fuel burn and range?

I'm afraid with every post you are just demonstrating the paucity of your knowledge not just of the 747-400 but also of long range operations and of the conduct of this particular flight. I'm afraid you are out of your depth on this one so please let it drop.

carbonfibre
22nd Apr 2006, 17:19
Im only a lowly fATPL and as far as I can see the aircraft commander made a decision, the safety was judged to have not been compromised and would assume that this was discussed with the F/O to the continuation of the flight.

One can only assume that all the relevant calculations were made, including divert inline with over the water flights and that minimums were carried to the destination. Also the MEL would have been consulted and probably there ops

Im sure the 747 could have diverted on 2 engines, I reguarly fly to US on twin jet ops (as a passenger) but the loss of 1 engine is a concern but not a panic as I am sure the eventuality was covered in there planning.

If that was done, what is the problem!!

Excuse me if it seems ignorant, I have read the posts start to end !!

Rainboe
22nd Apr 2006, 18:14
Not ignorant at all, and the experienced 747-400 pilots are equally as frustrated as you that all the distilled experience of longhaul ops by expert 4 engine flyers is being overriden by this American desire that any engine failure should cause a diversion (because it has to in a 777!). We have armchair experts here who apparently know better than the worlds most experienced longhaul airline (BA) in how to conduct safe long range ops under a range of failure/weather/fuel shortage scenarios. According to their logic, if a B52 lost an engine (out of it's eight!), it should land at the nearest airfield! Some people bring to this discussion the benefit of their extensive twin/trijet ops- even trijet ops are subtely different.

jondc9
22nd Apr 2006, 19:10
Dear hand solo:


I read your post with great interest. In fact you have proven to me that you have NEVER been in the cockpit of a commercial transport plane (well maybe the pilot let you look around for your birthday when you were small).

Just to make sure that I have not lost my mind, I've checked with 5 other airline transport pilots that I know, combined aviation experience about 120 YEARS. They all are persuaded that the decision to continue was based on MONEY! Yes, the almighty Pound Sterling.

More than one of these very experienced pilots has used the term , "WEAK SISTER" or "COMPANY MAN" to describe the PIC of said aircraft. Allowing the decision makers in a nice comfortable concrete structure thousands of miles away in England to analyze an engine.

PLEASE! (this is a popular expression of disbelief, roughly equivalent of GIVE ME A BREAK!)


YOUR own post indicates that YOU seem to place money as a very high decision making factor. Read your own quote about what 5th pod carriage does to fuel consumption and range. Only someone who places money first would write that.



You indicate that the two copilots made their own decision and that the plane would not have continued unless they all agreed.

You must be living in a fantasy world or don't have a clue about CRM or why it came into existence.

You indicate that I don't know about long haul operations. I have listed my flying experience elsewhere on this forum. Yours however seems to be lacking. I am fully aware of such concepts as re-releasing enroute as you have described.

So the crew knew early on that they wouldn't be going to London. Fine. Now you have to expose the passengers to all that fun English motor traffic to get them home.

The one pilot (actually more of an engineer, who has never made one penny as an airline pilot) I spoke with who agrees with the crew about continuing to England gave this logic.

"During WW2, B17's would have an engine shot out over Germany and they would continue back to England rather than land right away ( or should I say REICHT away) in BERLIN>"

Last time I checked, Los Angeles was a friendly place for British Pilots! Let me know if this has changed (gangs aside).

In the world of engineers everything is well thought out and goes as predicted. IF that were reality, Murphy would never have come up with his laws.

You must be an engineer Hand Solo. Perhaps using your mighty degree to analyze the flight characteristics of Golf Balls.

I recall a 3 engine L1011 losing all three engines due to a common maintenance defect. This EASTERN airlines plane managed a safe landing in MIAMI after restarting one engine which caught on fire crossing the threshold of the runway.

NO, this could never happen in a British Airways 747 could it?

Except a BA 747 did lose thrust on all 4 engines flying into a Volcanic cloud. It was the pilots that got them going again to a safe landing, not a bunch of engineers at the other end of a "satphone".

The decision to continue to England was based on MONEY and not the safety, comfort or well being of the passengers.

No, Mr. Solo, time for YOU TO GIVE THIS A REST.

regards

jon

PS. Don't think for a minute that I don't respect many British Pilots. D.P. Davies would probably have much to say on this subject were he still with us (please inform me if he still is, but his health was failing back in 1985)

jondc9
22nd Apr 2006, 19:15
rainboe:

interesting indeed about the B52 scenario...but even us non 747 jet pilots know that you don't land at the NEAREST airfield, you land at the nearest suitable airfield.

to me losing an engine in a B52 is worth recovering to a fine friendly airfield that could provide security and mx for the specialized stuff the B52 carries (read a nuclear bomb, etc).

as in my previous post, air force flying might dictate a course of action commercial flying might not.

Rainboe
22nd Apr 2006, 20:19
I can confirm that Hand Solo is not only a current very experienced BA pilot, but exceedingly ugly and has a way with the birds.

You just don't listen. We've told you again and again that there was no company pressure on the crew- if any single one of the 3 pilots up there was not happy with the decision, they would have diverted. I would have done exactly what they did- I was one of them for 8 years on the 747, and I was certainly no respecter of management (and it may surprise you I was volubly so), but the decision was sound, and hardly any BA pilot will disagree, and hang any management or commercial dictates. Money was irrelevant. It all went into a pot and a mixture of alternates, safety, passenger considerations, repairs gave a decision to continue as near London as possible as the most valid. That is what they are paid for. Believe it or not, we do not have the American Dispatcher system where the crews are told what to do inflight. On that aeroplane, the Captain takes responsibility. You may have flown 146s, but that is not '4 engine long range ops' as in 747, with its enormous range of weights. Your '5 pilots' probably know no better than the next man! What is their experience (no- I don't need you to tell me!)

We're saying the same things over and over because you regard yourself as knowing better, despite never having operated routes like LAX-LHR (that's a 'short' one- we do far longer.) The CAA is happy with the flight. It still followed FAA regulations. The FAA does not have a leg to stand on- their stupid fine will be fought in court. They have other axes to grind.

jondc9
22nd Apr 2006, 21:17
Rainboe:

So glad you are chiming in!

I am also glad you are all so experienced in long haul operations. It also seems great that the same plane had another engine problem just 3 weeks later.

British Airways must be quite proud.


As to the fine points of the regulations, you are correct. Fly anywhere you want on a 3 engine operating 747. all quite legal.

BUT it is situations like this that will someday give us the following regulations.

All 4 engine long haul jets that suffer failure of 25% of their powerplants that are within sight of a suitable airfield shall land at said airfield for repairs unless that airfield is under attack or unable to be used because of : earthquake, large mayonaise jars on the runway or any of the following reasons, see appendix A.


At one time I would have gladly given BA high praise and told passengers that it was one of the few foreign airlines that I had respect for.

Not now.

I am glad hand solo has his way with the birds, though his online name would indicate otherwise.


BA, direct descendent of BOAC, the airline that made history with the COMET, the Concorde and automatic landings with the Trident. The airline that should be looked up to for many reasons too numerous to mention...has lost my respect.


I wonder if you would have continued across the pond on a VC10 with one engine out? ;-)


But nimrods aside...


And if so many people were pleased with this situation, why is the FAA bothering with a case they are sure to lose? Even if they lose, perhaps the other pilots faced with this situation in the future will acti differently if only to avoid the bother this might cause again.

Jumbo Driver
22nd Apr 2006, 21:55
My my, what an Angry Young Man our jondc9 friend is becoming !!

... and so sarcastic ...

... and a bit short on facts, too - I don't recall that BOAC ever flew the Trident ... ?? Better ask one of the Few about that, I guess ... their lovely old Groundgripper ...

I also seem to recall that the VC10 (aka KTNC Mk1) was actually more economical on fuel on three engines, than four ... but never mind, I'm sure he doesn't want to be confused with the facts, as his mind is already made up ...

Thought for the day ... 'tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt ...

BOAC
22nd Apr 2006, 22:20
I don't recall that BOAC ever flew the Trident - I certainly never did.:eek:

Oh and which way DOES Hand Solo do it 'with the birds'?

unwiseowl
22nd Apr 2006, 22:23
Why do you people waste your time arguing with plane spotters? It's time pprune access was restricted to those with at least a PPL. Or maybe we should make more use of the BALPA forum!

Rainboe
22nd Apr 2006, 23:22
I am also glad you are all so experienced in long haul operations. It also seems great that the same plane had another engine problem just 3 weeks later.

British Airways must be quite proud.

Bit difficult to comment when you don't know the details, but the proximity of two failures like that leads to suspicion of a minor faulty installation problem. Why must BA be 'quite proud'? Airlines do occasionally have engine installation problems- didn't AA have a ORD crash with an engine that flew off with 'installation problems'? Should I have said AA must be 'quite proud'? What are you talking about man?

Yes a VC10 may have continued. As pointed out, it was more economical on three. We even had a periscope to stick out through the fuselage in front of the fin to inspect the engines. I recall it was great fun (and rather sobering) to look at the fin and tailplane waggling about during training dutch rolls (that used to reach 90 degrees- we were real men then!).

Sure BA may have 'lost your respect'. That's because you don't understand the problem and how to handle it in a plane like the Jumbo. Avoid them. They will not miss you. You still haven't answered the question- a 747 LAX-LHR on three, or a 777 across the Pacific on one for 3 hours 8 minutes.....which one cowboy? Is the second really acceptable? Ask the FAA why they are creating so much bluster on the first when they authorise the second.

jondc9
22nd Apr 2006, 23:40
oh jumbo driver

angry...how can you tell my emotional state without the use of the emoticon?

I feel sorry for the BA pilot in question and those of his defenders.

And if it was BEA and not BOAC flying the trident, I do apologize. They all became part of BA didn't they?

And the VC10 business. you guys just love to bring fuel efficiency and money into this don't you? What I meant and what others might infer was that since the engines are next to each other (2 on either side) that what caused one to quit might just cause the other to have problems.

I recall on dark and stormy night that a VC10 managed to lose all of its generators and that very worthwhile organization, the RAF had to come up and guide it to safety. How could they all quit????

Rainboe, you asked which I would prefer the 747 on 3 or the 777 on one. Of course the 747 on 3.

And if the 747 was 4000 miles from london or so, already over the ocean with no land nearby, sure go ahead and continue. If over Africa with thunderstorms at every airport, london here I come.


But, and perhaps this is the hard thing to get over. Your plane was minutes from a perfectly good airport.



Rainboe, yes the American Airlines DC10 was a heck of a crash. American has taken it on the chin about using a forklift to place the engine on the wing. And they were wrong and some 270 people died from it.


Funny how you guys don't mention that L1011 I mentioned before. All rolls royce engines on that one. simple "o" ring. ooops.


I wonder, if the Queen was on a BA 747 and they had lost the engine in the same way, if a landing at LAX or any of a number of airports in southern california would have been in order?

Yes, you are all "long haul" epxerts. And I hope your planes all fly safely without a glitch for the next 100 years.

And since you all seem to know British Airways so well, would you please post the answers to the following questions:

What caused the engine failure?

What caused the engine failure some 3 weeks later on the same plane?


How much will BA spend to defend their actions in any court proceedings that the FAA starts?


Didn't ''they'' say that the Titanic was unsinkable?

I still think BA should have gone back to LAX. Would you guys have made fun of the pilot in question if he had gone back to LAX?


jon

:-) all smiles!



And don't dare make this a bit about the USA vs. the UK. I have too much respect for the brave "FEW" who saved the world from hitler to ever say anything bad about England.

jondc9
23rd Apr 2006, 01:01
In case anyone missed this :

BA appeals US FAA fine for operating 747 in 'unworthy state' after engine shutdown


British Airways (BA) has appealed a US Federal Aviation Administration claim that the carrier operated an aircraft “in an unairworthy condition” when it allowed a captain to continue a Boeing 747-400 flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow after one of its four engines was shut down shortly after takeoff.

The two sides are scheduled to meet on May 16 in Washington, DC, when a US Department of Transportation (DoT) arbitration judge will hear the UK carrier’s defence against a January ruling that fines the airline $25,000 for the infraction.

BA says the airline believes it acted within US laws when it decided to allow a 19 February 2005 flight to continue its journey to London after Los Angeles air traffic control observed flames from the aircraft’s number two engine during take-off. The aircraft’s captain shutdown the engine and proceeded with the flight on three engines until declaring a fuel emergency and diverting to Manchester airport on the UK's northwest coast.

“British Airways operated the…aircraft with only three engines, bypassing numerous suitable alternate airfields in the USA and Canada before proceeding across the North Atlantic ocean,” says the FAA in its ruling.

“By reason of the above, British Airways operated an aircraft in the United States in an unairworthy condition,” the regulator adds.

Should the DoT judge rule against BA, the airline can then appeal the decision directly to FAA administrator Marion Blakey. A further appeal can then be made to US Court of Appeals.



==========

perhaps we should wait for May 16 to come and go before we continue this thread?

jon

Globaliser
23rd Apr 2006, 01:30
Just to make sure that I have not lost my mind, I've checked with 5 other airline transport pilots that I know, combined aviation experience about 120 YEARS. They all are persuaded that the decision to continue was based on MONEY! Yes, the almighty Pound Sterling.I am sure that you have many more hours experience flying four-engine jet airliners than I do.

But could you please do me this indulgence? Please can you tell us which airliner types those airline transport pilots fly?In case anyone missed this :
BA appeals US FAA fine for operating 747 in 'unworthy state' after engine shutdown
...
perhaps we should wait for May 16 to come and go before we continue this thread?Could you please identify for us - with a source reference - what is the legal issue in dispute between BA and the FAA?

PPRuNe Radar
23rd Apr 2006, 02:06
jondc9

Off topic, but not a precedent:

And don't dare make this a bit about the USA vs. the UK. I have too much respect for the brave "FEW" who saved the world from hitler to ever say anything bad about England.

When you talk about the few, please don't ever ever think it was all down to England.

Losses of the few were:

RAF and other commonwealth - 339
Fleet Air Arm - 9
Ozzies - 14
Kiwis - 11
Canucks - 20
Springboks - 9
Americans - 1
Poles - 29
Czechs - 8
Belgians - 6

The first 348 are not necessarily all English, trust me.

jondc9
23rd Apr 2006, 02:19
dear pprune:

thank you for pointing that out. the flavor of the thread was starting to get a little USA vs. UK. I just wanted to make sure that those of the UK were not thinking the battle was US vs UK...just a difference of opinions.

My respect for all of these brave pilots who held the line in the sky over GB.


To Globaliser. All of the people I mention have been or are currently captains for major airlines in the US. While our 4 engine planes are now gone, their views as pilots are still valid. Each one of these pilots has at least 12thousand flying hours. (except the one I mentioned who felt that going on was just fine...she has 1200 hours, but a degree from stanford).

One pilot was the lead flight engineer instructor on the 747 (not 400 of course).

Making safety judgements does not depend on the number of engines.

Also, the article is quite clear that the FAA believes BA was operating an unairworthy aircraft over US airspace. It is interesting to note that the plane 's crew later declared a fuel emergency.

If the plane was airworthy, it could have taken off again from MAN, right?

Who will be the final judge on this thread? May 16 shall start the judging.

jon

Danny
23rd Apr 2006, 02:38
jondc9, I feel I have to jump into the discussion at this stage because you have repeatedly been insinuating that your experience and knowledge of aviation somehow confers upon you the right to pontificate to those of us who actually have more experience than you on the B744. Now, I don't claim to have the same amount of experience on the type as someone like Rainboe or Hand Solo as I have only just completed my first year on the type, but I do have some experience of it, the systems, the rules and the kind of decisions that can be made by the crew in different abnormal scenarios. Also, I am not afraid of making my point anonymously so at least if I can vouch for some of the posters on this thread, I do know that they speak from experience and not solely theory as some on here do.

Why is the FAA picking on BA? Let me just put it this way, I don't know...but I do know that if you asked every passenger on that plane what makes more sense, flying to england with 25% of your engines dead or returning to LAX, I would wager that returning to LAX would be the winner amongst passengers.
Sadly, you once again show your status as a pontificator (as you admitted yourself that you sometimes offer your services as an expert commentator for live news feeds on aviation matters) and one who doesn't understand the old adage that 78.325% of all statistics are made up on the spot! If you'd actually read the original thread, there were some posts by an actual, real, live passenger on that flight right here on PPRuNe! The passenger actually poo pooed the press quotes about the panic and screaming of passengers on the flight and then went on to tell us all here that he was very happy that the crew decided to continue and that he would much prefer to continue towards his destination if the crew believed it was safe to do so as it would be so much more disruptive if they'd returned to LAX.

So, I'll give you statistic that isn't made up on the spot which once again shows us that your stats mean nothing and that your pontifications with no real substance behind them except that you are a pilot and have flown the QuadraPuff at some stage in your varied career... namely, that 100% of the passengers on the BA LAX-LHR flight under discussion that offered an opinion to those if us debating it here on PPRuNe actually preferred to continue on 3 engines towards their destination providing it was safe.

Sadly, your tone has changed over the weeks that I've been following this thread and now you actually try to offer us your great wisdom in all things flying but with much sarcasm and denigration. Well, from this B744 pilot who is not hiding behind a cloak of anonymity I'm afraid that your views and the attempts to try and persuade us that just because you think the crew did the wrong thing we should pay any more attention to you only proves that there are still a lot of people posting on here who have NO EXPERIENCE of the B744 or long haul ops who are incapable of just telling us how clever they are. You've made your point and I can respect that but to continually come on here and pontificate on this issue with no experience of actually having operated the aircraft or the kind of flying and routes being discussed just irritates those of who have done so and still do operate it.

OK, so you think they shouldn't have continued. Fine. Please stop trying to convince the rest of us that we should change our opinions. Many of us who do operate the B744 may not agree with their decision to continue but not a single one of us believes for a moment that they broke any rules. Every one of us would weigh up the options and then make a decision what to do. The various options have been discussed ad nauseam on here and every one of them had some validity, including the one to continue.

So, place your bets with your favourite bookie on who will eventually win the case, FAA or BA. My money is that it will run through at least two appeals and BA will come out on top. Just because some backroom FAA FIDO PPL examiner decided to make an anonymous statement to the media after this event, obviously someone just like jondc9 and the other 'experts' with no actual experience of the B744 or long range ops, probably no airline experience even, the FAA has to be seen making a stand on this. Well, if the many American pilots who post regularly on here don't have much regard for the FAA why do you think that the rest of us do after this petty fiasco and their stance on the issue.

As for the other debate on 'redundancy', yesterday, just after pushback, one of our 4 engine driven generators wouldn't come on line. We carried out the QRH and then referred to the MEL just to double check as we were still on the ground but 'officially' under our own power and decided to fly all the way from Las Vegas to London with only three generators. No doubt we have bruised the sensitivities of some 'experts' on here because if we'd eventually lost all 4 generators we'd have been putting everyones lives at risk. The B744 doesn't have a RAT or an APU that can be started in the air, unlike some ETOPS twins. Yes, commercial considerations were a part of the decision making process of whether to continue or go back to stand, go out of hours, put 450 pax up in hotels, wait for a replacement part or a fix. Three of us on the flight deck weighed up all the points, checked the manuals, spoke with an engineer and decided to continue. If any one of us wasn't happy then we wouldn't have gone, just like the crew of the BA flight.

So, please, make your point about whether you would have continued or not or whether you think the FAA are right or wrong and, based upon your experience of the B744 and long haul ops, those of us who do fly the type will form our own opinions of your points. Just don't try to convince us when we have already decided that your repeated efforts are little more than 'expertise' based on the fact that you have flown the 146 or that you have some airline experience on other types.

jondc9
23rd Apr 2006, 03:58
I will make it clear:


I would have returned to LAX.

I mentioned the BAE146 as a plane that has 4 engines that I have personally flown on 3 engines (see post on 3 engine ferry). This was to indicate operationaly knowledge of 4 engine aircraft.

I have never flown a 747 of any type. Nor have I indicated that I have.

AS to your judgement of losing a generator and going on to KLAS, you were within your rights under your MEL I am sure.

I would have gone back to the gate and gotten it fixed.


You must be quite afraid to have your procedures and knowledge challenged by someone.

You all seem to be so defensive about this operation. It makes one wonder if you are just worried about losing this one in the FAA battle ahead.


I have done mainly short haul stuff. Each of my hours in the air was followed by a landing. Perhaps after ten of your hours in the air you got one landing...does this make me a bigger expert on landings than you?


I have already indicated that under your regulations and rules you may have legally proceeded to England. I do think that the FAA has a point though and it will be up to the process to decide the outcome. Perhaps, as I mentioned, a new regulation will come up after this incident.

Also, if you feel that someone with about 12,000 hours, a captain for a major airline in the USA on another boeing aircraft does not have the right to offer his opinion, say so. my ticket includes cfiimeiatp.

Since your probably never flew the Vulcan bomber (neither did I) would you think it improper to weigh in on a crash of the Vulcan in a thunderstorm on one of its earliest flights? I think any aviator could weigh in just fine thank you.


I am happy to pontificate. My background allows me to. I imagine yours would too, but you don't.

A forum is just that. A place to speak.


Again, so you are not confused.

I think the BA 747 in question should have returned to LAX.

I think the judgement of the pilot was wrong.

While 4 engine planes have certain regulatory rights, good judgment has precluded additional regulations. Certainly if the FAA loses this one, I will look for a new regulation to be created. I may proffer it myself.


Being a 747 pilot for BA does not make you correct. NOT being a 747 pilot doesn't make me incorrect.


Still waiting for those answers to the questions I posted earlier...especially the one where the Queen of England is aboard a 747 in the same situation. (our own president cancelled a helicopter flight due to radio problems...in a pinch they could have used a cellphone I suppose)


And tell me, is it your normal operating procedure to count on declaring a low fuel emergency at the end of a flight that has started so badly?


pontificatingly yours,

jon

electricjetjock
23rd Apr 2006, 06:18
Jondc9

I think it is time you got off your soap box and had a lie down in a darkened room.:zzz:

Fine IF you had been the commander (and that would be a big IF) you would have landed at LAX, (how you would have done it though is not discussed and NO I do NOT want you to discuss it), the experts who fly it, mostly say they would have done what the crew did, so get over it.:bored:

Your "availability" for being an expert commentator says it all!!! You can be a jack of all trades and master of none as the sayin goes.:yuk:

In one of your previous posts, on another thread, did you state that you had flown over 100 types?

BusyB
23rd Apr 2006, 07:28
I've resisted the temptation until now but have finally had to comment.
I've been a commercial pilot since 1974, 4yrs Classic 13yrs 747-400 amongst shorthaul & mediumhaul. Having worked for BA for 15yrs I am confident to say that if the crew decided to continue with the info available it was the correct decision.

Monday morning quarterbacks really p**s me off!!!

Baywatcher
23rd Apr 2006, 08:11
Well said BusyB, I concurr with similar qualifications, but not BA!

AIMS by IBM
23rd Apr 2006, 08:40
We have had BA management working for us as DFO; safety officer etc....actually the whole management is from the UK and the only thing they have achieved is to drive the whole operations into plain illegalty.


The nature of this is only comming to the surface by bits and pieces since there is so much confidentiality in the reports.


I hope the FAA gives BA the full load.

To quote Gen Swarzkoff:" I do not know why the Brits lose so many Tornado´s there is no reason to go low level over the desert we are master of the sky anyway"

I truey think the UK CAA has far too many ex military in their ranks and that in this case, they lost commom sense.

I have said it before on this tread; there is a differance between civil and military operations and believe me I am not impressed by some Brit that claims that BA has any credibility...those days are long gone.

Baywatcher
23rd Apr 2006, 08:56
AIMS

Who cares about BA management as this really isn't the point.Just because you have taken on a "baddie" doesn't mean they are all tarred with the same brush.

Any long haul 747 pilot knows that if you lose an engine you can well continue according to the Flight manual / ops manual as it isn't an emergency! You make a decision at the time using certain perameters and decide to go on / or on route divert.

carbonfibre
23rd Apr 2006, 09:56
To quote Gen Swarzkoff:" I do not know why the Brits lose so many Tornado´s there is no reason to go low level over the desert we are master of the sky anyway"

Thats a low statement considering he was running the show!!!:* Besides anybody can launch an attack from miles away.

Its already been said, the crew made a decision and went with that all factors considered, commercial will always take a part in any decision making process, but maybe thats why a lot of US airlines went to bankruptcy protection.

Already said 2 engines with 3 hrs divert, no commercial decision there!!!!!!!!
System redundency down to 50% not 75% maybe that should be challenged by the FAA also!! or the airlines still to powerful there too.

We should accept the fact a decision was made , we might not like it but no regulations were broken, how they can win a case on that i dont know.

Liam Gallagher
23rd Apr 2006, 11:19
I will make it clear:
I have never flown a 747 of any type. Nor have I indicated that I have.
AS to your judgement of losing a generator and going on to KLAS, you were within your rights under your MEL I am sure.

I would have gone back to the gate and gotten it fixed.
jon

and then resigned the next day because it looked better on my CV than being fired.....because....

Eng don't have a spare IDG readily available and their initial best estimate is 6hours to locate, change and test the replacement IDG. Myself and the other pilots then leave the aircraft because we are out of hours. The other pilots, whilst supportive, let it be know they are happy to dispatch; I ignore them as I have 4 bars and they don't. Upon leaving the aircaft I notice the other pilots are on their mobile phones and involved in animated discussions. I worry not and smile politely to the traffic guy who has 381 people after his blood because they are not going to Vegas that night, thereby missing connections, meetings, births, deaths and weddings. Waking up the next morning to read the papers slagging off my airline because 381 people spent the night in the terminal because the 6 hour delay rolled gently into a 14 hour delay and a further 381 in Vegas have had their travel plans disrupted. Check my ansaphone, message cordially inviting me to explain to the Chief Pilot why I did not dispatch iaw the MEL and how I was unable to accept that Boeing can design, build and operate an aircraft for 35 years on studied, reasoned and govt sanctioned principles of redunancy and BA (and numerous other carriers) had operated said aircraft on those tested principles for the same; yet I somehow knew better. I explained to the now Chief Pilot that I only accept aircraft that are faultless and he suggested I work for someone else and wished me every success and said he looks forward to hearing which airline flies such aircraft......because as we all know there aint one!!