View Full Version : An expensive wiper blade.

Foreign Worker
16th Aug 2003, 15:17
Following is a Japan Air Lines 747 crew report.

"We saw the captain-side wiper blade bending upward about 10 minutes after takeoff from NRT. Rain was forecast at YVR at our ETA. After consulting the Flight Operations Center and the Maintenance Operations Center, we decided to return to NRT though we had to dump 48,000 lbs of fuel.

The blade in question had replaced the old one that stopped working after riding over the stopper while the aircraft was approaching NRT on the previous leg."

16th Aug 2003, 17:49
...hhoooooohhhhhhh nooooooooohhhhhhhhhh...

Kalium Chloride
16th Aug 2003, 17:59
Reminds me of a birdstrike story involving a (US?) regional turboprop.

Bird hits window mid-flight. Wiper blade snaps off. Blade hits spinning prop, damaging it. Bits of the wiper ricochet off the prop into the fuselage, puncturing both the fuselage and the leg of the passenger on the inside.


Anthony Carn
16th Aug 2003, 18:08
Just a quick (I repeat, quick) stab in the dark at a work-around for the fun of it. Open to correction/discussion/ridicule.

I assume it was'nt sufficiently autoland capable (no need for a clear screen if it was ?) and the F/O was a moron and could'nt be trusted to ......taxy, basically ? Heck, forget that - best not to use wipers at all for fear of scratching the screen with the bent one - simply have a tug ready to tow it to stand !

I don't have manuals to hand, but they're not 747 anyway. Are wipers needed for full bells and whistles autoland ?

Obviously pick diversions with no rain forecast.

Hey, at least I'm contributing ! :rolleyes:;)

16th Aug 2003, 18:16
Can i Ask a bumb Question? What happens to 40,000lb of jet fuel when its dumped? where's it go...dose it destroy trees or grass...?????:8

16th Aug 2003, 19:09
Penash...If dumped (correctly) at altitude, and with the speed being typically around 220kts...it (in theory) evaporates/disperses.

Then again, I wouldn't wanna be under a dumping 747 if he did it low and slow in an emergency situation.

16th Aug 2003, 20:27
From my co ops manual

Autoland Checklist

Windshield Wipers(Cat 3b)........... Serviceable

(Both wipers are not known to be unserviceable)

(Caution......... Do not operate windshield wipers on a dry windshield)

Hogg :ok:

16th Aug 2003, 20:51
Cmon Hogg, there is a pretty big difference between rain being "forecast" at destination, and needing to carry out a 3b!

They are strange cattle them Japs (married to one)

Anthony Carn
16th Aug 2003, 21:13
In my previous post I suggested sticking to full autoland rules/MEL in order to be bullet proof in terms of any comeback from management/authorities.

Plus, even more importantly, you'd be guaranteed to be safe - belts, braces and safety pins.

I have another cunning plan :

If my first scheme was'nt possible, could they not have at least burnt to Max Landing Weight and stopped off at a non-rainy airfield close (or even not so close - better than dumping) to the original route for a new blade. They must be fairly easy to obtain (the blade, not the airfield).

(I've no idea where the airfields mentioned are, so maybe that's not practicable).

Kaptin M
16th Aug 2003, 21:44
"The blade in question had replaced the old one that stopped working..while the aircraft was approaching NRT on the previous leg."
Thus we can assume it was raining on the previous sector.

During turnaround apparently the faulty blade was replaced - one would assume that the problem was entered in the Tech Log and subsequently cleared, and that the crew then checked the repair.
Therefore wipers serviceable again.

"We saw the captain-side wiper blade bending upward about 10 minutes after takeoff from NRT."
So was it raining on departure Narita, such that the wipers were used for take-off, causing the problem to recur?
If so, why was it okay to land back at NRT in the rain, but not proceed to Vancouver where rain was forecast?

Is YVR Cat iii certified?

The wipers on the Capt's and F/O's side, on the 747, are operated by 2 independent motors (one for each side), so there should be a CB for each motor, meaning the Capt's side could have been isolated leaving the F/O's side serviceable.

But hey, money is NO PROBLEM for JAL. Nothing is ever repaired - it's replaced!

16th Aug 2003, 23:27
How 'bout some Rain-X? (http://www.rainx.com/product_pages/auto_tables/auto_images/windshield_wax.jpg)

17th Aug 2003, 01:51
YVR is cat III (but not IIIB I think - it's been a while). As for diverting/stopping enroute, not really a non-emergency option as there is nowhere that isn't a long way off course. And if it's raining at YVR it's likely raining anywhere else close by. Not that there are a lot of alternatives, could overfly to YYC I suppose but obviously the flight was not planned for that.

Right decision I think, but a bl00dy expensive wiper blade for sure.

17th Aug 2003, 05:15
Reminds me of the porr bu99er who took off in his Cessna, and was alarmed to hear and feel a heavy vibration through the airframe - decided that the donk was packing up and landed straight ahead, into a rough field, which extensively damaged the aircraft, although he was fortunately uninjured.....

...on exiting the now written-off aircraft, he found that his seat harness was shut in the door and the belt had been banging on the fuselage side..... :uhoh:

18th Aug 2003, 00:34
Divert? You'd have to make sure that the airfield had a Halfords close by to get the replacement from :D