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jondc9
21st May 2006, 17:05
Does anyone know the results of the recent FAA hearing on the 3 engine 747 trip from LAX to England?

j

lomapaseo
21st May 2006, 19:48
Perhaps If I might rephrase a similar question to see if anybody out there has heard.

Has anybody heard the status/outcome of the FAA hearing for BA to plead their case on the 3 engine B747 flight. If yes could you share the status.

I would appreciate hearing from the informed.

please...pretty please with brown sugar on top:O

Boy
21st May 2006, 20:14
O.K., since nobody else will - and especially because of the exceedingly polite request by iomapaseo. Apparently somebody has been found guilty of something in a secret meeting. However, for security reasons (to do with the war on something or other) they are only going to tell selected people on a "need to know basis". Excessive efforts to discuss the subject will be identified by the NSA using something called "neo-stocastic inductive inferential analysis" and boy will you be in trouble if they track you down using this painful technique.

In any case, is it not a fact that what happened will be irrelevant to the debate here? - so it hardly matters what happened. We will all start up again just where we finished up ... reheat our previous arguments and "keep on truckin" .... right? Why let the issue be confused by facts or, even worse, let them get in the way of a good rant?

Taildragger67
21st May 2006, 21:20
Now at the risk of getting flamed here,

It seemed to me like a reasonable question to ask, given that, whilst apparently complying with the rules of its regulator, an airline chose to press on with one out; meanwhile, a regulator of the country from which the flight took off and then overflew has taken a different view.

Just like asking the outcome of an incident/accident report, the outcome of such hearings might be of interest to a few people, from 747 captains to students on C152s - and so include "BAe146 drivers" as well - especially as they are four-engined and so it might actually be of operational interest to a pilot of said type. So in answer to an earlier question, they GAF.

Rainboe
21st May 2006, 22:09
I think we would all be interested in what the FAA deliberates. It will be interesting to see if their stance has changed at all from previous established procedure for what is probably all 747-400 operators. We could start listing the flight continuation history of operators American, Australian, British and others and wonder at what may make the FAA conclude that nowadays with ever more reliable engines on aeroplanes (so reliable that twins may fly clean across the Pacific even), it is suddenly no longer acceptable practice (if that is what they deem).....and why would that be. And we may wonder how the FAA's own rules (which were not contravened) should suddenly not apply when it choses for them not to in a case like this particular one. A very bizarre case indeed.

I rather think the loudmouth FAA spokesperson who shot off an aggressive FAA response (from the hip) immediately after the alleged 'incident' rather pushed the FAA into a corner. I think the FAA will have some explaining to do when its own rules were not contravened in this 'case'.

barit1
21st May 2006, 22:40
I know the subject is being thrashed to death, but a question occurred to me:

What if this had been JL or CX westbound? If they elected to continue (no probs with obstacles...) what would FAA do?

FWIW, a SR DC-10 had a similar hiccup out of KHI 28 years ago, and the Capt. considered it safer to press on up the Gulf than to fly an OEI approach at KHI at 2AM local. He finally landed at ATH after daybreak. Although the Swiss authorities quizzed him thoroughly, in the end they found no fault with his decisions.

742
22nd May 2006, 03:07
I rather think the loudmouth FAA spokesperson who shot off an aggressive FAA response (from the hip) immediately after the alleged 'incident' rather pushed the FAA into a corner. I think the FAA will have some explaining to do when its own rules were not contravened in this 'case'.

I offer up this thought, as both a 747 driver and one who has had the (mis)fortune of working closely with the feds for a period of time.

This whole episode no doubt initially entered the FAA bureaucracy as a mechanical failure. Within the FAA the maintenance and flight operations sides don't like each other and don't work well together. My bet is that some maintenance inspector decided to hang some pilots, ran this up into region where it hit the desk of some fed lawyer who knows nothing about long haul heavy jet operations andÖ.here we are. Unfortunately the ETOPS mental state is now dominate, and the number of people in power who understand 3 or 4 engine operations are few and far between.

IMO

galaxy flyer
22nd May 2006, 03:21
While I support the decision to continue the BA flight, there was an interesting article (by SLF) about an engine loss over the Atlantic on Air France (PAR-JFK). Captain's decision was to divert into St. John's NF. AF was unable to move the passengers until the next morning. The writer thanked the Captain over breakfast at the hotel. Certainly, the opposite extreme.

I find it silly to treat 4-engine ops just like ETOPS.

GF

20driver
22nd May 2006, 03:35
I saw that in the WSJ and was very curious. Some of it does not ring true
First - why would an A340 - Paris-JFK have to dump fuel to land at St Johns -surely they would have being under the max landing weight. They must have being airborne for close to 5 hours with maybe 1.5 to go.
The second is why the brace stuff - running on 3 of 4 really is not that dramatic.
Something about the whole thing sounds fishy. Two parts ring true. The captain saying it he had never experinced an engine failure in XX years and second the hopitality on the rock.
Anyone have any more info?
20driver

7FF
22nd May 2006, 03:39
>What if this had been JL or CX westbound? If they >elected to continue (no probs with obstacles...) what >would FAA do?

It happened last year whilst in US airspace on the way to Asia. The a/c also stopped on the way as there was insufficient fuel to make the destination.
Nothing heard from the FAA.
Low profile, need to know, less for them to worry about.
:D

lomapaseo
22nd May 2006, 13:57
I take it then that nobody who is willing to talk knows the answer to the question that initiated this anticipatedly short thread. :rolleyes:

Rainboe
22nd May 2006, 14:10
I don't think anyone was aware that a hearing was actually scheduled. I don't know if it actually took place. If it did take place, then I assume if one was interested in the opinions of the FAA, then it would be easy to find their adjudication on the net. So, did a hearing actually take place? Who 'heard' it- or was it a thrilling self-judgement of the FAA opinionating itself over a flight that followed the FAA's own rules? The suspense is killing (not).

sky9
22nd May 2006, 14:56
Interestingly the FAA is having a
"2006 Conference on Risk Analysis and Safety Performance in Aviation" in September 2006.
(http://aar400.tc.faa.gov/FlightSafety/agenda.htm )

One of the talks on the second day is "Risk Analysis in Operational Environment" when "Andrew Rose - British Airways giving brief talk"

That might clear something up.

Rainboe
22nd May 2006, 19:25
So I don't think there was any such hearing.......in which case what the hell was this thread about then?

upsfr8rcaptain
23rd May 2006, 01:57
Does anyone know the results of the recent FAA hearing on the 3 engine 747 trip from LAX to England?

j

11/4: British Airways is appealing a fine of US$ 25,000 imposed by the American Federal Aviation Authorities (FAA) regarding an incident on a Los Angeles-London flight in February 2005. Engine nr 2 of the Boeing 747-400 developed problems after taking off from LAX. The pilots shut the engine down and, after consulting with the maintenance and operations departments in the UK, decided to continue the flight across the Atlantic. The FAA claims that the aircraft was not airworthy and British Airways breached safety rules.

Piece of cake! Cheers:D

bermondseya
23rd May 2006, 02:35
Does anyone know the results of the recent FAA hearing on the 3 engine 747 trip from LAX to England?
jThe hearing was due to happen on 16th May. BA requested another 90 day extension, the FAA didn\'t mind, and the judge granted it. So everybody keep their powder dry and come back on August 15th and tell us what we already know you think about it.

Boy
23rd May 2006, 08:13
Now ... there we go .... they go and cancel the hearing, robbing us of he opportunity for an argument .... and we still find an excuse for argument / name calling! Well done gents.

Maybe we should just have the post-hearing argument now and get it over and done with by re-heating all the old arguments once again? As I said earlier, the facts and making a reasonable effort to understand the different points of view don't seem to be of much relevance anyway.

Rainboe
23rd May 2006, 09:20
Suggest suspend further discussion whilst the suits argue it out- there is nothing new and it has all been done to death!

lomapaseo
23rd May 2006, 13:18
The hearing was due to happen on 16th May. BA requested another 90 day extension, the FAA didn\'t mind, and the judge granted it. So everybody keep their powder dry and come back on August 15th and tell us what we already know you think about it.


Thanks for that.

I guess there is only one out of ten quality posts on this subject :)

Rainboe
23rd May 2006, 15:04
We're still waiting for it.

AIMS by IBM
23rd May 2006, 15:07
Trying to induce some ETOPS issues into this INCIDENT is ignoring the reality of what has happened and very childish to say the least.

BA should (as Airbus states themselves) should have taken the safest course of action and that is certainly NOT what they did.

The Nr Fairy
8th Jun 2006, 05:44
The AAIB have issued a report into this incident. The actual report is available online as a PDF here (http://www.aaib.dft.gov.uk/cms_resources/Boeing%20747-436,%20G-BNLG%2006-06.pdf).
The abstract reads:
Immediately after the aircraft took off on a night flight from Los Angeles to London, a banging sound was heard and passengers and ATC reported seeing flames from the No 2 engine. The symptoms and resultant turbine over-temperature were consistent with an engine surge; the crew completed the appropriate checklist, which led to the engine being shut down. After assessing the situation, and in accordance with approved policy, the commander decided to continue the flight as planned rather than jettison fuel and return to Los Angeles. Having reached the east coast of the USA with no indications of further abnormality and with adequate predicted arrival fuel, the crew decided to continue to the UK. The winds and available flight levels were subsequently less favourable than anticipated and, nearing the UK, the crew decided to divert to Manchester in order to maintain the required arrival fuel reserve. In the latter stages of the flight the crew encountered difficulties in balancing the fuel quantities in the four main tanks, became concerned that the contents of one tank might be unusable and declared an emergency in accordance with the operatorís procedures. The aircraft landed with low contents in both outboard main tanks, although the total fuel quantity was in excess of the planned reserve. The fuel system, in the configuration selected, should have continued to feed the operating engines until all tanks emptied. The investigation determined that the engine surge had been due to excessive wear to the high-pressure compressor casing and, with the standard of fuel controller software installed, this resulted in turbine over-temperature damage. There was no evidence of fuel system malfunction and it was possible to maintain fuel tank quantities in balance by the selective use of fuel pumps. The evidence suggested that the operator should ensure that flight crews are provided with relevant instruction on 3-engined fuel handling during initial and recurrent training, and that the regulators should review the policy on flight continuation for public transport aircraft operations, following an in-flight shutdown of an engine, in order to provide greater clarity to the operators. Eight recommendations are made, 6 of which relate to flight data recorders.

patkinson
8th Jun 2006, 06:00
Are BA crews are on performance related pay !!

The Nr Fairy
8th Jun 2006, 07:26
Yes - three quarters.

sky9
8th Jun 2006, 07:59
Safety Recommendation 2006-018
"It is recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority and
the Federal Aviation Administration, in conjunction with
other relevant agencies, should review the policy on flight
continuation for public transport aircraft operations,
following an in-flight shutdown of an engine, in order to
provide clear guidance to the operators."

Summed up as the CAA and FAA should get their act together and the crew acted in a safe mannner.

What a lot of twaddle has been written in this subject on this and previous threads.

patkinson
9th Jun 2006, 08:13
There are specific procedures in place for three engine ferry flights. No pax being an obvious factor . Also In addition there is common sense as to whether or not a flight is continued, mainly dependant of course where the a/c is in relation to its point of no return and the nearest diversion airport. That being an obvious fact it is surprising that an operator can elect to bend and remain within the rules to continue the major portion of a flight with an engine out!
There must be a place on the carpet in CAA for BA this one!!

Phil Squares
9th Jun 2006, 08:27
There are specific procedures in place for three engine ferry flights. No pax being an obvious factor . Also In addition there is common sense as to whether or not a flight is continued, mainly dependant of course where the a/c is in relation to its point of no return and the nearest diversion airport. That being an obvious fact it is surprising that an operator can elect to bend and remain within the rules to continue the major portion of a flight with an engine out!
There must be a place on the carpet in CAA for BA this one!!

No bending required at all!!! The option to continue is well within the PIC's options under the CAA/FAA regs.

Suggest you review the facts and applicable regs....:ok:

old,not bold
9th Jun 2006, 09:44
The following is an extract from a summary of press articles circulated by IACA yesterday

Report: Pilots' training deficient
British Airways pilots who carried on with a jumbo jet flight right across the Atlantic despite an engine failure, were not sufficiently knowledgeable about how the fuel system worked with only three engines operating, an accident report has said. The crew on the four-engined London-bound Boeing 747, which was carrying 352 passengers, had to shut down an engine after flames were seen coming from it immediately after take off from Los Angeles. The pilots decided not to return to Los Angeles but to carry on to London but, in the end, declared an emergency and diverted to Manchester, where the plane landed safely, a report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said. The report said that in the latter stages of the February 2005 flight, the crew encountered difficulties in balancing the fuel quantities in the four main tanks. The AAIB said the crew became concerned that the contents of one tank might be unusable.

Those of us who have argued in pprune -and been soundly whacked around the head for doing so - that there's only one thing to do when an engine fails, and that is to land as soon as safely practicable, because human failings can always upset the statistics, might take some comfort from the fact that we are not alone. If the crew did not understand the fuel system, what else did they not understand?

And now to standby mode, to wait for the guys with computers telling me I just don't understand the B744 and should keep quiet. Well, maybe. I just know that there's only one place I want to be in an aircraft where something has gone seriously wrong, and that's on the ground, because the next thing to go wrong, probably through unpredictable and unpredicted human error, may kill me. The one after that certainly will.

Trip to Kegworth, anyone?

GGV
9th Jun 2006, 10:08
If the crew did not understand the fuel system, what else did they not understand? Old,not bold do you consider this to be a fair and balanced reflection of what was contained in the AAIB report?

Trip to Kegworth, anyone? And do you consider this a reasonable comment to make? Presumably yes.

Globaliser
9th Jun 2006, 13:56
I just know that there's only one place I want to be in an aircraft where something has gone seriously wrong, and that's on the ground, because the next thing to go wrong, probably through unpredictable and unpredicted human error, may kill me.It would be a pity if you were hurt because of a problem with an attempt at a high or overweight landing on a wet runway in a dark night in indifferent weather at the origin airfield, that took place because you chose to go back rather than continue in an aircraft that was safe for continued flight.

And that, it seems to this layman, is just one possibility of many.

Irish Steve
9th Jun 2006, 22:43
Looking at the report, it seems well balanced, and covers all the avenues that were discussed here at great length.

To me, the significant aspect of the report is that the bottom line recommendations about a previously unreported fault on the FDR have generated a ratio of 3 to 1 recommendations in comparison to the reported incident.

In other words, so that there's no confusion, it seems to me that the people responsible for producing the report were a lot more concerned about the FDR failure than they were about the engine failure and the subseqeuent continued operation of the flight. That should tell us something.

Maybe at last, this thread will now be allowed to quietly subside back into the background noise.

One set of statistics may be worth quoting


The engine manufacturer provided statistics showing
that, from 1989 to May 2005, there had been 389 surge
events from all causes for the RB211 524G2 and 524G2‑T
engines. The worldwide fleet size was 603 with a
total engine operating time of 26.4 x 106 hours. Of the
389 surge events, 57 resulted in an abandoned takeoff
and 65 resulted in an IFSD; of these 54 were subsequently
removed due to damage. The manufacturer considered
that prolonged windmilling may have caused additional
damage in two of the cases, both LP compressor fan
blade failures, but in both cases a diversion had been
carried out due to significant vibration.


26.4 x 10 to the 6th Hours. That's a LOT of hours, and in all of that time, only 2 engines have received additional damage, and in both cases, there were indications of significant vibration, so an appropriate response was made. When the cold light of day facts are reviewed in the way that this report does it, I suggest that there was no case here to be getting excited about in the first place, and as has been suggested, if they'd got to LHR without the "drama" of the diversion and Mayday, this "incident" would not have even got a mention, let alone the hysteria it provoked at the time.

SIDSTAR
10th Jun 2006, 04:40
"Why do you always fly on 4-engined aircraft, sire?"

"Cos they don't make any 5-engined ones young man."

Overall, as Willie the Shake once said, 'much ado about nothing.' Perfectly logical decision, within the rules, end of story IMHO.

Rainboe
10th Jun 2006, 09:39
Quite right. It's all been said here, many, many times- any other comments are just repeating what has been said over and over again.
If the regulatory authorities would come to some sort of concensus and give positive guidelines, should they decide to change current procedures, well, the aviation world is all ears. However, procedures and rules were followed in this case and in the many other cases of US, European, Far East and Australian operators who have followed a flight continuation policy in the past, and still do provided the circumstances are right, as in this case. FAA regulations were not breached. If the FAA, in conjunction with other regulatory authorities wants to change the current rules, it will be done, but that is as long as the FAA recognises it can no longer impose its own rule changes on the rest of the world. The FAA just doesn't carry that much grunt outside the USA anymore, and frankly, with some of its recent deliberations and statements, quite rightly.
Only trouble is, the biggest current hazard in aviation is Jon9dc's feeling of 'what is right'. Somehow we have to get over that!

HotDog
10th Jun 2006, 14:05
In the latter stages of the flight the crew encountered difficulties in balancing the fuel quantities in the four main tanks, became concerned that the contents of one tank might be unusable and declared an emergency in accordance with the operatorís procedures. The aircraft landed with low contents in both outboard main tanks, although the total fuel quantity was in excess of the planned reserve. The fuel system, in the configuration selected, should have continued to feed the operating engines until all tanks emptied.
So much for replacing the Flight Engineer with computers!:sad:

BusyB
10th Jun 2006, 20:46
Hotdog,

miaeow, naughty naughty, I don't want to post FE stories!!:)