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VH-LBY Skippers C-441

Old 17th May 2018, 22:12
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Yes - it's a heck of a growth. Only what I hear third-hand about this incident. Not directly corroborated, so is it's still rumour until we see the report. Apparently an isolated fungal incident, and therefore rather unexpected, but given the severity of the outcome (total power loss) I'm sure there'll be some additional checks recommended by ATSB for Jet-A1 aircraft in the tropics.
So this enormous growth of mycelium was diagnosed as the problem out on the highway, then ‘dealt with’ on site, thus rendering it safe to kick the tyres and light the fires and take off. And the fuel uplift and usage records never suggested a disparity between actual and indicated.

What’s that technical term? I know: Bollocks!
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Old 18th May 2018, 03:22
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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AbsoluteFokker, would that not have made this a Fuel Starvation Event rather than a Fuel Exhaustion Event? Only way I could still see it being Exhaustion is if the Fuel onboard is then considered not usable due to the Fungal Growth but if the Fungal Growth fouled up the fuel intakes or some such it would then be Starvation, putting that particular one down low on my own list of possibilities, also wouldn't explain why a Pilot got the boot unless there is something more to that part we don't know which is always highly likely!
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Old 18th May 2018, 03:46
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
So this enormous growth of mycelium was diagnosed as the problem out on the highway, then ‘dealt with’ on site, thus rendering it safe to kick the tyres and light the fires and take off. And the fuel uplift and usage records never suggested a disparity between actual and indicated.

What’s that technical term? I know: Bollocks!
Cladosporium Resinae comes to mind.
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Old 18th May 2018, 06:13
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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That’d be it: Kerosene fungus.

Easily fixed by the roadside and good to go in no time!

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Old 18th May 2018, 11:43
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know any of the individuals so I am speculating.

Perhaps pilot got the boot because he ignored earlier warning signs. (e.g. "fuel warning light XXX illuminated" - "don't worry about that mate, it always does that for the first 5 minutes"). Sacking such a pilot prior to investigation outcomes is just an exercise in prudence in public relations for any company. Same happens in every company and industry worldwide. It's a "you can see we made immediate changes, someone was sacked, justice was done etc." More cynical people may make alternate judgements!

So, if it is fungal, what is actually involved in rectification for flight?

What lessons can we learn as pilots to prevent this?

For those playing at home re fuel exhaustion vs fuel starvation: If lots of volume taken up by previously undetected foreign-volume-consuming-substances, how would you detect your tank actually has less usable capacity? Would you expect any crew on any given (short-haul) leg to figure this out?

Last edited by AbsoluteFokker; 18th May 2018 at 12:00.
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Old 18th May 2018, 11:59
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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What lessons can we learn as pilots to prevent this
Ahh, don’t skimp on fuel?
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:13
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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So if your usable fuel was far significantly lower than you expected, how would you respond?

I know from my own near fuel exhaustion events (one, an error of not swapping tanks, the other due to unexpected low-level flight due weather, then headwinds, then unusable landing sight, then more headwinds, then crazy cross-winds) I am now very conservative in this respect.

However, if I "filled to full" but my actual usable was "full less X" where X is significant, that would be a serious WTF event.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:23
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AbsoluteFokker View Post
So if your usable fuel was far significantly lower than you expected, how would you respond?
I know the answer to this one: Conduct a forced landing when the motion lotion runs out.

The questions de jour are:

(1) Why was your usable fuel “far significantly lower than you expected”; and

(2) Why didn’t you know about it.
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Old 18th May 2018, 13:50
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Yep - all interesting questions after the event. Let's see what they say - maybe my info on the event is wrong too, but, as pilots, we need to understand that theoretically usable fuel isn't necessarily available.

I guess this is where fuel tank calibration helps, but significant blockages of fuel flow also need to be incorporated.

Perhaps fuel tank calibration needs be aligned with fuel flow. i.e. what comes from a fuel drain over X hours doesn't mean anything.
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Old 19th May 2018, 01:12
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Fungal growth?

In both tanks at the same growth rate, to cause engines to stop at basically the same time!

Now that would call for some very time consuming road side maintenance on the independent fuel systems.

Such as.

Fuel tank inspection (all wing panels).
All growth removed.
All filters replaced/cleaned.
Again after engine ground runs.
Entire fuel system cleaned.
Possibly even FCU change.
Compulsory placard of some sort and
A bunch of paperwork.
A known quantity of fuel will need to be uploaded after inspections and ground runs, but prior to flight.

Unless this procedure is in the MM the actual maintenance/inspections will be given by CAsA or an Approved Person.

Questions - When the first engine surged why was it shut down?
Why no mention of fuel cross feed and attempted restart first?
Was it the same pilot that flew the aircraft out, as the one that landed it? (Company policy considerations also).

The 441 on one engine is not a slug, so there is time to trouble shoot or follow procedures.

Fuel calibrations are pretty regular and the system from memory pretty accurate and reliable, reweigh of the aircraft also a task to pick up on irregularity (such growth would need to be a fair size and weight), normal filter maintenance would also have signs of contamination.
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Old 19th May 2018, 05:06
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps pilot got the boot because he ignored earlier warning signs. (e.g. "fuel warning light XXX illuminated" - "don't worry about that mate, it always does that for the first 5 minutes"). Sacking such a pilot prior to investigation outcomes is just an exercise in prudence in public relations for any company. Same happens in every company and industry worldwide. It's a "you can see we made immediate changes, someone was sacked, justice was done etc." More cynical people may make alternate judgements!
I'm one of your cynical people AF. When a company is so quick to sack someone following an event the suspicion of what they are trying to cover up arises, for me at least. If someone habitually flouts standards the company should know about it, and address it. If they don't know it indicates a serious flaw in oversight by management. Either way its a corporate failure. If its a one off by a previously reliable employee you find out the why and address that. Bristow helicopters had a one off event in WA and sacking the crew, both of whom had impeccable records previously, was the corporate solution. Court case arose for unfair dismissal, which the crew won, and at least one of the crew resumed employment, not sure of the other. Lloyd Helicopters had a similar case in WA where sacking the captain was the solution, even though the report details the lack of training was a significant cause. he too won an unfair dismissal case. The fact that he won is still to this day a canker in the side of some who were in management at the time, they blame him as being the sole cause of the accident. The company had decided sending crews to the US for simulator training was not commercially viable. So much for learning, if you think training is expensive try having an accident. Views have since changed in some areas of GA from those evident in this 17 year old accident.

Lloyds https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24790/199100020.pdf

Bristow https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24791/199100126.pdf

Will be an interesting report, particularly as the pilot in this Skippers incident was so readily snapped up by another employer. Innocent until proven guilty.

There is a tale in the corporate world where an individual cost the company a bucket load of money because of an errant decision. A flunky sidled up to the company owner at a function and commented, "Well, that's him for the chop then". Owner replied, "What, after all the money I just spent on his education".
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Old 19th May 2018, 08:17
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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If the pilot is in fact "innocent" and was sacked, then they can make a complaint via the Human Rights Commission and they will make a ruling, not to mention the fair work commission.
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Old 19th May 2018, 09:49
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Guessing they wouldn't do that till after the investigation though Squawk7700?
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Old 19th May 2018, 10:13
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Yes indeed.

But the investigation you speak of would be a CASA one (if there was to be one) and not the ATSB report. I don't recall charges being laid against anyone after the release of an ATSB report.

With these types of things you probably wouldn't be wanting your job back you'd think so that really only leaves limited outcomes.
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Old 19th May 2018, 11:12
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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Like all of us, you do occasionally speak complete rubbish Squawk.

What, precisely, would be the claim made in the Human Rights Commission by a pilot unfairly dismissed after a forced landing? Your nomination of the Fair Work Commission was a little closer to the mark.

And you do recall that the content of the latest attempt by the ATSB to credibly investigate the ditching of NGA was used by CASA to justify the continued administrative torture of Dom James?
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Old 19th May 2018, 13:32
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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I was just referring to an Unfair Dismissal Case with the FWC, wouldn't really get far claiming unfair dismissal until ATSB had completed the investigation and you had something to show a court that experts said it wasn't your fault.

But once again, we don't know what this Pilot was actually fired for, this incident may have been the proverbial straw that broke the camels back or perhaps he had some choice words for someone in the aftermath that were unwarranted? Perhaps he released the video for whatever reason and breached their Social Media Policies? would be interesting to find out.
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Old 19th May 2018, 14:12
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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As has been mentioned previously the pilot is gainfully employed elsewhere, so probably no reason to fight it.
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