View Full Version : UAL Flt 842 17th March ETOPS Diversion

18th Mar 2003, 15:45
UAL flt 842 (777) diversion into Kona Hawaii yesterday (17 Mar) during Auckland -LAX.

Believed to have been 192 mins on one engine.

Anybody have any details of the eng failure mode? Known/unknown failure mode etc?

18th Mar 2003, 16:00
Interesting to learn of the state of the lavatories on arrival at Hawaii ...............

18th Mar 2003, 16:47
If it'd happened a week or so later, they could have had it as the grand finale to the route.

18th Mar 2003, 17:15
#3 bearing failure on #2 P&W

Lost all the oil (pressures down and temps into the red) so shut it down. Pax not told until top of drop Kona.

18th Mar 2003, 19:32
So why did they not tell the passengers until they were at TOD into Kona that they had lost an engine? Surely all of our passengers nowadays are fully aware of the fact that they are mostly floating around above the world's oceans on just two engines to start with? They would simply have ordered another gin and tonic and re-set their watches!

I am sure they would have been more than happy and reassured to know that just one of Mr Pratt & Whitney's products was keeping their feet dry and would hopefully continue to do so for the next 3 hours or so.

I am bloody grateful that I gave up this sort of crap when I was on the DC-10.

Buster Hyman
19th Mar 2003, 01:07
Gee that's a long way on one donk.

I recently spoke to an engineer that looked after the EK 777 that blew it's donk at Tulla a few years back. He told me something that I'd not heard before. Apart from his personal misgivings about the aircrafts concept, this particular incident was one of concern due to the fact that bits of shrapnel had exited the blown engine, bounced off of the runway & impacted the opposite engine!!:eek:

19th Mar 2003, 01:53
Last year I attended a presentation by RR and Boeing at which it was stated that they would be prepared tp hypothetically approve 420 min ETOPS. (The search continues for the route requiring this dispensation.)
The cruise is particularly benign to the engines statisticallly, and after all ETOPS is about statistics.
Currently, my company operates to 207 mins.

19th Mar 2003, 04:23
…bits of shrapnel had exited the blown engine, bounced off of the runway & impacted the opposite engine!! (My boldface, Buster’s ‘shock! horror!’ exclamation marks).

I think you’d agree, Buster, that shrapnel bouncing off a runway is unlikely to be a problem if the aircraft is in the ETOPS sector of its flight. The aircraft is also going to be at 480kts rather than 10kts, (as the EK was when its engine self-destructed at Tulla), so any shrapnel that does escape will be doing well to make it across to the other engine. The engine’s also at stable RPM, and not winding up to max power, (when things normally go wrong catastrophically with a jet engine).

I’m not so stupid to say that my sphincter wouldn’t be seriously in pout mode during 192 minutes on one donk across all that blue. (I agree, Buster, that it’s “a long way on one donk”). However, it would be considerably tighter during 60 minutes – or even 20 minutes – after a cargo fire warning or a fire in the cabin, which can happen on any aircraft with any number of engines.

19th Mar 2003, 05:04
What possible reason would there be to tell the passengers ? :confused:
It's not as if they could do anything except be unnecessarily worried (= lawsuit for 'distress') or panic (worst case scenario). They need to know at ToD because they weren't expecting a landing for several hours, but not before surely.

19th Mar 2003, 09:07
Ah the DC10.

Now there is an aeroplane with a safety record!

(Or the MD11 = More D...h 2)

BTW, and purely out of idle curiosity. When was the last time one of these dangerous twins, ditched in the 'drink' due to a technical malfunction in the cruise?

I can think of at least three, 3 or 4 engined aircraft!

Oh dear, this thread is starting to get a terribly familiar ring to it!

Buster Hyman
19th Mar 2003, 11:08
Yes Wiley, it'd need a lot of kinetic energy to bounce off a runway at 35000ft!!!:}

Not entirely relevant to the thread I know, it was just the engineers misgivings about such a large aircraft with the ability to have a full engine loss on the TO roll, that this thread reminded me of. But full credit to the engineers at Boeing & naturally, the crew, to get it home again.

As for telling the pax, damned if you do, damned if you don't! I immediately thought of the JAL 747 that lost it's tail & flew for approx 30mins until hitting a mountain. The pax knew & were able to write messages to their loved ones, but Gee-Zuz, what a hell of a way to spend 30mins!:(

19th Mar 2003, 12:51
...lots of intelligent remarks, but surprisingly alarming things can happen even well above 10kt. I doubt that many of us would intuitively have expected the following to have resulted from an uncontained number one on a trijet...

DC-10's three engines damaged by take-off uncontained failure
Chris Kjelgaard, Washington DC (11May00, 20:51 GMT, 928 words)

A McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 operated by Continental Airlines experienced an uncontained engine failure that damaged all three of the aircraft's engines and caused substantial damage to the airframe and landing gear, while the DC-10 was taking off from Newark Airport on 25 April.

According to the preliminary report issued by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), none of the three pilots, 11 flight attendants and 220 passengers on board was injured in the take-off incident, which led the DC-10's pilots to complete the take-off but return to Newark for an emergency landing.

The aircraft involved in the incident was registered N39081 and according to Airclaims' CASE database is a DC-10-30 built in 1973 for Alitalia but operated by a host of airlines since 1983.

Operators have included Aeromexico; Skyjet; Okada Air; Aerocancun; Excalibur Airways; Caledonian Airways; VIASA; and TAESA. However, many of these carriers wet-leased the aircraft from Skyjet, which operated the aircraft from April 1995 until March 1997.

Owned by the CIT Group, the aircraft had begun its take-off roll in visual meteorological conditions at 19:42 local time on 25 April when the DC-10's number one engine suffered an uncontained engine failure at take-off decision speed (V1).

Scheduled to operate Continental's Flight CO60 to Brussels, the DC-10 had experienced normal engine start-up and taxi operations for the flight, the captain briefing the flightdeck crew during the taxi on procedures in case of engine failures and non-rejected take-off situations.

The NTSB report says the captain lined the DC-10 up on Newark's runway 04L and then applied take-off power slowly and smoothly.

However, quoting from flight crew reports, the NTSB report says that the crew heard a loud explosion at V1. At the same time a white 'engine fail' warning light illuminated in front of the captain and the N1 (fan blade revolutions) measurement for the number 1 engine dropped by 30%.

At that point the measurements from the aircraft's number 2 and number 3 engines appeared to be at their normal take-off settings and the captain continued the take-off. However, after raising the landing gear a red, left main landing gear warning light illuminated on the front panel.

The DC-10 turned to a heading of 010° and continued to climb slowly to 3,000ft. During the climb an airframe vibration developed and the crew started to trouble-shoot the problem after the aircraft levelled off, finding that when they reduced the throttle for the number 3 engine to produce an N1 reading of about 25% the vibration disappeared.

The crew kept both the number 1 and number 3 engines at N1 settings of about 25% for the remainder of the flight, dumping about 41,000kg (90,000lb) of fuel to allow an emergency landing at Newark.

During the vectoring for the return to Newark they ran checklists for conditions of one engine inoperative and two engines inoperative, preparing data cards for both situations.

The captain flew the ILS glideslope down to a full-stop landing on runway 04R, the aircraft's ACARS unit recording it landing safely at 20:16.

However, after the stop the brakes would not release so the crew shut the DC-10's engines down on the runway and passengers and crew were disembarked through the main doors, the aircraft later being towed to a ramp.

The NTSB report quotes the captain of the aircraft as saying that the skilled use of cockpit crew resource management by both the flightcrew and the cabin crew was a major factor in the successful handling of the emergency.

Later examination of the DC-10 revealed that all three engines were damaged.

The low-pressure turbine case of the number 1 engine was breached in the vicinity of the second-stage nozzles, the breach extending from approximately the 3 o'clock to the 9 o'clock position and about the width of the second-stage nozzle segments. All of the segments were missing from the engine, each segment consisting of six nozzle blades.

Nine of the 16 nozzle segments were recovered intact and additional portions of segments were found to produce a total recovery of about 85% of the nozzle blades.

The majority of the nozzle material was found on the departure runway but one segment was found in the DC-10's left main landing gear wheel well.

One of the eight anti-rotation nozzle locks was recovered, with its threaded stud sheared from the plate and the engagement tangs exhibiting wear and damage.

The number 1 engine's first-stage low-pressure turbine blades had minor trailing edge airfoil damage, while the second-stage low-pressure turbine blades showed circumferential rub marks on the inner platform leading edge and on the airfoils near the blade root.

Two fan blades in the number 2 engine exhibited leading edge damage, while all fan blades in the number 3 engine had leading edge damage consisting of tears, rips and material loss.

Pieces of fan blade and material similar to that of the second-stage nozzles from the number one engine were found imbedded in the engine inlet acoustic panels.

The front inboard tire of the left main landing gear was ruptured and the front outboard tire exhibited tread separation but remained inflated.

Inspection of the aircraft revealed impact marks on the outboard side of the left - number 1 - engine pylon; the left wing outboard flap; the underside of the fuselage; the left main landing gear access door; the left side of the fuselage aft of the left wing; and a right-wing panel outboard of the flap actuator housing.

The number 1 engine had had upgraded nozzle locks installed in 1997, as called for in the manufacturer's service bulletin number 721082.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

19th Mar 2003, 16:25
Buster, if you're obviously in trouble (JL 747 or the BA one that flamed out in the ash cloud) then the pax have a right to know. Shutting one down under ETOPS is not 'trouble' - that's what ETOPS is all about. Had I been in the 777's cabin, I would have thought it unusual to reduce speed in the cruise but not something to be concerned about. Suspect 99% of the pax didn't even notice.

19th Mar 2003, 17:21
Blaireau---was that 420 mins or 240 mins. I can't think of a segment/sector that requires that length of time away from alternate.

chimbu warrior
19th Mar 2003, 22:24
BIK 116.8 thanks for the GC track (great link by the way), but looking at it got me thinking that if they were 192 minutes on one mill at the sort of speed suggested, then maybe they were actually closer to Pago Pago (NSTU) or Faleolo (NSFA) when this problem occurred. Of course I have no idea what the weather might have been like in those places, but did they really divert to the NEAREST adequate airport, or rather the nearest US airport?

20th Mar 2003, 00:14
If United fly user prefered tracks as does Qantas, there is every chance that the resulting flight plan bears absolutely no resemblance to a great circle. Some of the tracks YSSY - KLAX I've seen can go over Noumea (NWWW) and Hilo (PHTO), while others are almost in the circuit at Raratonga (NCRG) and way west of Pago Pago (NSTU).
Remember, it's min fuel the flight plan looks for, not min distance.

20th Mar 2003, 11:43
So the flight plan looks for minimum fuel...........
I would not have thought that fuel reserves were of the essence with only one engine running ............?

20th Mar 2003, 14:01
He's talking about the pre-departure flight plan, not post-failure diversion routing. At that point it's got to be min ETE I suspect.

For what it's worth from a lowly GA driver, I concur with their decision to delay notification of the pax to TOD. Better 3 more hrs of sleep rather than 3 hrs of panic (for no good reason). Although I'm sure that would have generated some hefty air-phone bills in the meantime!

20th Mar 2003, 16:10
All that crap talk about ETOPS, alternates .......

When an real "pro" in non-ETOPS approved A320, switches-off one of the "propellers" and continues to Destination, which is just about 2 hours away, and "pockets" extra leave for a heroic deed, we call it ...........what?