View Full Version : Atlas Air 747 returns to airfield after engine fire.

3rd Jul 2006, 06:39
Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that on the afternoon (UTC+2) on july 2 an Atlas Air 747 freighter returned to the departure airfield Malmö Sturup (ESMS) after an engine fire. The destination was Charlotte, USA. Everything went well.

Link to story in Swedish: http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=147&a=556852&previousRenderType=6

Ignition Override
4th Jul 2006, 04:40
Would someone please translate the article into English?

Or at least what the flightcrew did and whether it was an actual fire or just a very hot "bleed air leak". Many turbine aircraft have fire detection loops which can detect only a very hot temperature {i.e. 600* Fahrenheit. A tail compartment overheat might sense either a normal temp on a very hot day and the signal overreacts;), or about 82* C., if it works correctly...sort of }. Did they only pull the throttle to idle power, or were they required, with the given indications, to shutdown the engine? Was there a second or third major system problem, which was not anticipated by the "engine fire (or nacelle overheat) checklist"?

Crew concept: Later, maybe we can find out how their crew coordination differed with that of the unfortunate crew on the C-5 Galaxy at Dover AFB, also one of the heaviest 4-engine turbofans in the world. Did the Atlas crew consist of 3 or only 2 pilots? If pilots were on a 2-pilot crew jumpseat, did the Captain or FO ask them to take a very active role? The 747-400 which had some surges and almost hit a hill departing SFO had 2 pilots watching and making important remarks from the jumpseats. Would Captains from various countries appreciate a few basic comments from observers, or would their pride and ego tempt them to disregard comments from (less or more experienced) FOs and FEs etc? My FO on a narrowbody trip told me that a former L-1011 Captain ("age 60 rule") who then flew as FE did not want to go check a wing for a suspected fuel leak-but the (ATA) L-1011 Captain ordered him to go check. Fuel was gushing from an engine pylon! The Flight Engineer became much more motivated and involved when he looked outside and saw the major leak over the middle of the Pacific Ocean...:uhoh:

Both of these planes might have been near their max. allowable takeoff weight for the structural, runway, climb or enroute limitations (or contingency fuel etc).

4th Jul 2006, 09:09
Sorry mate, should have done that initially. The info in the papers is rather sketchy, but a more localized newspaper writes something like this (http://sydsvenskan.se/skane/article169226.ece):

"The alarm of a suspected fire in one of the four engines came shortly after 1400, local time. This was shortly after the plane, a Boeing 747, had taken off from the airport (ESMS).
At 1430 the plane was dumping fuel in order to be able to turn back and make a safe landing at ESMS again.
- This is partly done for the risk of a fire, and partly to reduce the strain on the aircraft when landing, says Andreas Lundvall, acting Head of security at ESM to TT.
The aircraft had four people on board and was heading to USA."

The article in the original post has an airport official saying that "The pilots cut off the fuel feed, activated the fire extinguishers and requested to return to ESMS."

Hope that sheds at least some light on the issue. Again, this info is from airport officials and such. I haven´t looked for any info from Atlas.

4th Jul 2006, 19:23
It was a 747-200 with 2 Pilots and a Flight Engineer.

4th Jul 2006, 23:00

Good thoughts, however, j/s riders should be seen and not heard unless asked...

This is a lesson learned long ago with a BOAC 707 engine fire/failure (where the engine actually seperated from the wing as it was designed to do) coming out of LHR.

If memory serves correct, there was a senior "check" Captain deadheading on the j/s, the 2nd officer was the PF (as was common in those days) and when the bells and whistles went off, the "check" Captain gave bad advice (although well meant) to the operating crew which may have caused the Captain to make the decisions he did.

I'm all for CRM and "crew concept", but that applies to the guys who signed for the a/c.

If time permits, solicit advice from any qualifed source, ala Sioux City, but I wouldn't want any "guest" in my cockpit giving me ideas or suggestions without being asked for their opinion first...especially in the first minutes of a high stress situation....

I stand ready to be roasted here, but the cockpit is not a democracy, never has been, and never should be...

I've never met the man, but I bet 411 will agree with me on this...