View Full Version : Continental Triple computer failure

31st Jul 2001, 18:40
Flying the night Atlantic Sat 28 July overheard on 123.45 Continental 40 and 44 talking about losing three computers, one said that they had been scanned by something and were frantically trying to re boot the conputers, it went quiet for a while then they spoke again, one of them seemed to have got them back the other one had got one back, at this stage we were going out of range, never heard anything more. Paxing back on Continental asked the ground crew if they could tell me what went wrong, no answers mind you they were 767 guys. Can anyone over there shed any light on this as triple computer failures on two Continental jets at the same time seems a little scarry to me. And no FE to buy drinks either, bring back the 3 crew jet!!!!

The Guvnor
31st Jul 2001, 19:12
Yep, Fergi ... things get awfully quiet when the systems power down in those new-fangled jets! Just ask those MP guys that lost all their systems a few years back from MCO and had to divert...

On the other hand, at least the Boeings have direct control linkages. With the Airbuses, you've got one of those funny little Nintendo joystick thingies ... which is connected to a computer!

Now, when those systems fail, you're stuffed!

I'll take an (old, but extremely reliable) L1011 any day!!

BTW, happy birthday ... have one for me! :D :D :D

Mr Benn
31st Jul 2001, 20:18
Hmmm, and there was me thinking that Boeing had made this jet called a 777 that was fly-by-wire.... SILLY ME!!

31st Jul 2001, 22:19
.......and not forgetting of course the ease of operating an aileron by 'direct linkage' at M.80.

The Guvnor
31st Jul 2001, 22:25
Mr Benn - strange you should mention FBW 777s ... as it appears that that is what the aircraft was!

52049er of course a direct contol linkage wouldn't work at those speeds :rolleyes: but it's nicer if the linkage is actually with an actuator rather than a computer ... especially if it freezes as often as mine does! :D :D :D

1st Aug 2001, 01:06
<52049er, being a wily trout, lets that bit of bait float away....>


1st Aug 2001, 10:22
Seems to me that "direct control linkage" worked really swell on the B707 airerons at M.80 (even worked at .84) assisted just a little by balance panels (another little clever Boeing design).

1st Aug 2001, 10:47
Just imagine how much fun it would be to find all the screens saying 'A fatal error has occurred, please run Scandisk' on a dark wet night in an all-computer jet!

Understand that the multi-programmer multi-source Airbus computer system is designed to prevent any single software glitch causing them to display the 'Game Over' caption!!

1st Aug 2001, 12:58
Being fair, guvnot, the phrase 'this aircraft does that...' appeared on the CX L1011s long before the airbus/boeing fbw were even thought of! :D

1st Aug 2001, 18:57
Apart from you all having a go at the Guv no real answers to the original question. If it is possible for something to disrupt the computers on these aircraft perhaps it might be nice to know and avoid the Halifax area like the plague if flying in one of these jets, it would sureas hell worry me if I was flying in one. There must be a Continental PPruner out ther somewhere who can answer the question sooner rather than later or is this going to be another great American cover up!!!!!! The answer my friends is blowing in the wind, cos that will probably be the only noise.
Look forward to an answer from our American friends,

1st Aug 2001, 19:10
Ummm...this wouldn't be the fergi who just happens to be the CFE designate for the GVA (Guvnors Virtual Airline) would it? Not really any bias around....


1st Aug 2001, 19:19
I am the same person indeed, I am asking a question that could affect even you SS. One day they may even let you lose on a J and you will be flying in that part of the world and it may just have an effect on you. Never mind that I may have something to do with helping the Guv something I have never hidden I posted a valid question which you appear to have hijacked if you dont have an answer to my question kindly refrain from answering with non associated replies. Any further questions will be answered when I return to wooty B at the end of the month if you are interested in facts.

The Guvnor
1st Aug 2001, 19:51
Ummm, Fergi chill, man ... no one was having a go at me! :D :D :D

It would however be interesting to know if there is indeed any mysterious RF going on out there ... that was one of the theories for the loss of TWA 800, remember??

gas path
1st Aug 2001, 20:13
Blimey do you mean to say all those HIRF checks are a total waste of time?? :confused:

BTW... HIRF High Intensity Radiated Field....
before anyone asks.
Anyway everyone is presuming it's a Primary Flight Computor failure.
Oh! and the triple 7 'direct' linkage isn't connected to an aileron just spoilers (4 and 11) ;)

2nd Aug 2001, 06:40
.......unlike on an A320 where the only thing between the pilot and an aileron is a mis-wired Cannon plug.
PS: Always be nice to your co-pilot as some day he may be your chief pilot.....or may actually save your butt. :eek:

2nd Aug 2001, 07:40
3 computer failures in a 767...it will get quiet...'coz the two morons in front will have to stop telling lies about their sex life, and start navigating the good old fashioned way...yup uhhumm

2nd Aug 2001, 08:43

It seems that few are taking this seriously but, if you're that worried, why don't you file a mandatory occurence report with the FAA? If it was me that heard the transmissions, I would...

As to fly by wire, any pilot who thinks that big jet control columns are in any way directly connected to the surfaces had better get down the hangar for a visit one day. A quick look under the skin might give you a few surprises. Not all computers are electronic you know. The DC10 would be a really good starting place if you can find one.

B707 servo tabs did indeed provide power assist, but were not immune to cross connection. I recall doing autopilot checks in Big Airline's east wing one night when we "fairies" found the ailerons cross connected. That's at the end of a major check and after duplicate inspections had been done! A colleague found the same on a Viscount (which, for the benefit of 411, predates the 707 by a few years! Boeing invention indeed! :p) in exactly the same circumstances. In both these cases, had avionics people not found the fault the first the crews would have known about it was when they made their first turn after take-off.

Through difficulties to the cinema

2nd Aug 2001, 15:03
Blacksheep, do understand correctly from your post that the B707 did not have hydraulic powered ailerons? Is this correct, more info please. Thanks :cool:

2nd Aug 2001, 18:49
Blacksheep is quite correct, the B707 only has hydraulic power assist for the rudder.
Two ailerons on each wing, inboard and outboard.
With flaps extended, all ailerons move.
Flaps retracted, only the inboard ailerons are active.
I spent 10 years in this fine machine and found that (early models especially) it required careful attention to be flown correctly, ie: TRIM.


The balance panels on the B707 are not servo-tabs in the traditional sense, as they are not mounted on the aileron directly but on the lower aft portion of the wing. So far as I know, this arrangement was not used on any other civil jet aircraft.

[ 02 August 2001: Message edited by: 411A ]

2nd Aug 2001, 21:12
Still no answers to the question, come on you Continental guys!!!!!! Black sheep thats one way to go but dont want to drop anyone in the dwang!!!!!!!!
The truth is out there,seek and ye shall find, by hook or by crook. The sun is shining here and the L1011 is still flying the North Atlantic.
Thats all folks look forward to a genuine reply.

John Farley
2nd Aug 2001, 23:29
Would't be the first windup on 123.45 would it?

3rd Aug 2001, 02:18
Of course the "bus" have direct linkage to the trim and rudder.

Always a fight betweens the Boeings and the busses. Amazing.