View Full Version : No Prosecution for BA from FAA

10th Aug 2006, 18:01
The results of the BA 3 engine flight from LAX
BA avoids prosecution for engine failure flight
By David Millward, Transport Correspondent
(Filed: 10/08/2006)
British Airways has avoided prosecution by the American authorities for flying a jumbo jet across the United States and the Atlantic after an engine failed.
The carrier was facing the threat of action by the Federal Aviation Administration, including a $25,000 (13,000) fine after being accused of operating a plane when it was not fully airworthy.
This followed an incident in February 2005 when one of the Boeing 747's four engines failed shortly after take-off from Los Angeles. Instead of returning to LA, the pilot carried on, making an emergency landing at Manchester 11 hours later.
It emerged yesterday that the FAA decided not to proceed against BA following discussions with both the airline and the Civil Aviation Authority in Britain. The CAA backed BA and insisted the plane was airworthy. It also questioned the FAA's rights under international law to act against a foreign-registered airline. However the FAA said it had been given assurances by BA that the airline had "changed its procedures" for operating a four-engine aircraft when one has failed.
BA said yesterday the guidance its air controllers would offer a pilot in the event of a similar incident had changed. Now, a spokesman said, it was more likely that the pilot would be told to turn back or land at another airport en route.
A spokesman said: "We are pleased that the US Department of Transportation is taking no further action against British Airways. We have always maintained that we operated this aircraft in strict accordance with the CAA's regulations."

13th Aug 2006, 19:27
FAA? Berks!:p

13th Aug 2006, 20:10
An entirely reasonable result.

No silly court cases where only fat-cat lawyers will benefit, but ba stating that more conservative procedures and guidance are now in place to reduce the risks to the aircraft and occupants should something similar happen again.

And MrB - I hope that you will still be able to make your own mind up when you become a captain (as we taught you to), rather than having to ask Mummy for 'air controllers' to tell you to 'turn back or land at another airport en route'.......

Two's in
13th Aug 2006, 20:16
An impeccable (as always) analysis of the "incident" by the AAIB here. Shame that the facts do detract somewhat from the media coverage.


13th Aug 2006, 20:18
Indeed, an entirely reasonable result.

Vis a vis the reference that BAW has changed elements of procedure for flight continuation after engine failure - does anyone know if the incident to which BEagle refers was the direct cause of the change ?

13th Aug 2006, 21:18
the ONLY sensible decision for the Captain is to request and immediate landing back at point of departure; especially since he had only just taken off!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's like deja vu all over again......

CarltonBrowne the FO
13th Aug 2006, 21:27
MercenaryAli is showing his ignorance here. Why add to the risks inherent in an engine-out approach (with the assumed engine-out go-round) by attempting it at MTOW? Never having flown a 747 (or any other Boeing) I don't know how close to MTOW this aircraft would have been, or the difference between MTOW and MLW; however, I suspect that to reach MLW a significant amount of fuel would have to be either dumped or burned off. If you have fuel to spare, and no immediate risk (even if a second engine fails), why not use it to continue towards destination?
At the very least, the decision to cross the continental USA seems sensible- use that fuel to take the pax closer to their destination, reduce the risk involved in the approach, and give the company time to prepare engineering support at a suitable airfield. Should any further problem have occurred, there would have been a multitude of potential diversion airfields available within a very short distance of track.
The decision to cross the Atlantic is more of a surprise to me. However, as BA probably has more experience of operating the 747-400 than any other operator in the world, I do not feel qualified to judge that decision- especially as in this case, by the time the aircraft reached the eastern seaboard of the USA, any further incident can be considered extremely unlikely.

13th Aug 2006, 21:38
Can everybody PLEASE read the whole of this thread (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=220109)before posting?:ugh: :ugh:

13th Aug 2006, 21:53
Also read ICAO Safety Mgmt Manual (www.icao.int/fsix/_Library/SMM-9859_1ed_en.pdf); Chapter 1. Concept of Safety, and Chapter 4 Understanding Safety / Concept of risk.

Carnage Matey!
13th Aug 2006, 21:57
Typical TOW from LAX would be 350T, MTOW is 396T, MLW is 285T so you'd be looking at at least 30 mins of fuel dumping to get down to MLW. Northern Canada and the Atlantic are rather flat. The only significant terrain en route is over Greenland where the MSAs are of the order of 17000 ft. By the time the aicraft reached Greenland from LA it would be at a gross weight of around 300T. Even at temperatures of ISA +20 (which you ain't gonna get over Greenland) the the 2 engine driftdown altitude is 21000ft. Once the terrain is no longer critical the Long Range Cruise altitude is around 19000ft and LRC speed is a healthy M0.68. Stacks of spare performance.

13th Aug 2006, 22:11
Common sense prevailed.

13th Aug 2006, 23:56
See also:


(CAA Factor)

14th Aug 2006, 00:33
MercenaryAli: The main reason that frustration is being expressed is that we have been over all of this ground already, at least twice - that is, there have been at least two very long threads about it. Everything that there is to say on either side has been said many times over in those threads.

This present thread is a useful place for discussion about the FAA's action and its demise, but it isn't a very good place to try to start yet another discussion about the merits or otherwise of what the crew did.

You've got the link to one of the other long threads, which would be a better place to revive that discussion if you'd like to do that. But please let's not have yet another repeat here.

Waka Rider
14th Aug 2006, 05:20
You'll find me rude too Ali get back in your cave mate!!! So you now think your "bigger" than the FAA.

Pleased with decision by the Feds. It would be pointless to fine BA for this incident and could open up a very expensive court case for both parties with very little to gain on either side

14th Aug 2006, 05:35
There is no point in going over the facts of the original incident yet again.

I would summarise the whole thing by saying that the decision to continue was judged not to be illegal, but was viewed by many as imprudent.

New guidelines are, it seems, now in place and that has satisfied the FAA. It is hence unlikely that there would be a repeat of the original incident.

A sensible outcome for all concerned.

Carnage Matey!
14th Aug 2006, 06:45
BUT my step-father happens to be a very long serving (retired) BA Training Captain on the 747 and this post was made after several long discussions with him

Then he should be familiar with BAs long standing flight continuation policy, which was approved by the CAA during his time and still is.

As a direct result of continuing the flight with one engine out an emergency had to be declared en route and an unscheduled landing made at EGCC.

Please read either the previous thread or the AAIB report in order to understand why your statement above is incorrect.

the crew expected a landing back at Los Angeles International Airport. In anticipation of such, they headed out over the water to dump fuel.

The final investigation report reveals the above quote to be completely untrue.

14th Aug 2006, 07:00
If I can pick up on the reference from 212Man, this is a copy of the only recommedation that refers to the action of the airline and crew. This is dated 11th August and is still open. The inference is that the FAA have backed down and there is an effort to get a consistent view between the CAA and FAA.

Recommendation 2006-18
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.
CAA Response
The CAA accepts this Recommendation. The CAA will engage with the Federal Aviation Administration and other
relevant agencies and review current policy on public transport flight continuation following an engine shutdown inflight.
Appropriate guidance to operators will be provided as part of the review.
CAA Status - Open

And Beagle, there is nothing in any published investigation to back up the claims that you make.

14th Aug 2006, 08:14

Beagle said: New guidelines are, it seems, now in place and that has satisfied the FAA.
Beagle made no mention of a.... published investigation
New guidlines are indeed in place. Well they are in BA.

14th Aug 2006, 09:52
BA has not changed its view in this one at all.Provided the eng failure has been sorted out and after discussions with big brother,during which time you would be continuing onwards anyway,they would expect you to continue towards destination.For the bright spark that said the lax flight headed out to sea to dump fuel,how do you think they took off...you fly out to sea anyway and eventually turn back inland.

14th Aug 2006, 10:17
Mercenary Ali.Your profile says you hold an ATPL. From what you post, it appears you & I would have some interesting discussions about CRM in the unlikely event we were to fly together!

I'm glad that my BA colleagues (generally) do not hold such blinkered views.

PS my Dad's not a pilot :hmm:

14th Aug 2006, 16:05
... and BA should be fined for operating an unairworthy airplane.

Just wondering at what point it became unairworthy? It made it to the UK and only pulled into Manchester as alt reserves wouldn't have been legal by Heathrow (ie. could have actually made it to EGLL), didn't it?

I thought Joe Sutter et al designed it with four big donks to make sure it kept flying (ie. remained 'airworthy') with one out, no?

ATEOTD what ever we think, the authorities concerned have spoken and no fine is to be levied. Maybe the good bit in all this is that they spoke to each other, discussed the issue and came to a common conclusion. Let's all leave it at that :ok: .

15th Aug 2006, 03:54
If you follow the FAA's position to its logical conclusion, they'd end up fining themselves for certifying the a/c that way in the first place ....:rolleyes:

A la Fawlty : "Who's a naughty boy, then?" spank spank

How embarrassing, and shows how little 4-eng long-haul experience there is left in the FAA.

Ignition Override
15th Aug 2006, 06:04
Although many at the FAA have flown some heavy 4-engine turbofan aircraft, there has been a bit of confusion about how to conduct at least one random training or checking event over the years.

Several sources years ago described a totally unnecessary tragedy, involving a DC-8 during takeoff from New Orleans (MSY)-during the 1970s? There was some sort of training or check flight involving the plane which had only crewmembers and a Line FAA Inspector.

Sometime during or just after rotating to the takeoff pitch attitude, the FAA Inspector jerked back 2 throttles to idle, or cut off 2 fuel control levers! Here is the problem: the sudden simulated emergency was not discussed with any crewmembers, and both throttles were reportedly on the same side and the plane was below its 2-engine Vmc!

As they yawed and rolled over towards their deaths, maybe fumbling to shove both throttles forward, one pilot or maybe the FE :cool: had the presence of mind to turn to the FAA Inspector and say (from the CVR) "You dumb$h*t"!

Might this apparently isolated tragedy have been the tip of the iceberg regarding the level of standardization with the FAA towards understanding how to train or check out pilots on a 4-engine aircraft?