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BA 744 Smoke in cockpit

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BA 744 Smoke in cockpit

Old 19th Aug 2004, 10:33
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Its a brave crew who continue a flight thinking that the smoke source has been identified and eliminated.A crew should never be criticized for landing asap even if turns out to be a damp squib.Dumping fuel must be considered if the perceived threat level is low.Its a judgement call.
In the case of swissair,it was calculated that not enough time existed for them to make an approach in any event.Their decision to accept intermediate level-offs to allow time for the cabin to be cleared,their decision to turn away from their one salvation(Halifax)in order to dump fuel,their preoccupation with the checklist and adherence to normal descent speeds were all clearly in error.But if no time was available for the other option in any case,then I understand why the TSB saw no reason to step on them unnecessarily.
Fifteen minutes,or whatever the time from smoke observation to loss of consciousness/control was,may have been sufficient if the perception of the threat as high had been immediate and an emergency descent had been carried out without delay for a straight-in at Halifax.Or maybe,as the TSB apparently calculated,it would have resulted in a loss of control on a 10 mile final,probably a worse fate.We will never know.
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Old 19th Aug 2004, 16:42
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One of the Candian TSB investigators was interviewed recently and he said SR111 did not have time in any event. He said that if they had made straight for Halifax they would have crashed on the city instead of the sea, regardless of the perils or otherwise of the o/weight landing.
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Old 19th Aug 2004, 16:57
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I did a simulator once that had this kind of scenario. I timed the moment we got the cargo fire warning till the moment we landed. From about 370 it took about 15 minutes to land. Ofcourse the sadistic instructor added other malfunctions and bad weather at the divertion airport (and a non-prec approach). I think the idea was to overwhelm us a bit.
This was an interesting 15 minutes. No time to do all the checklists, just pick and choose the ones you want/need.
I found it quite unsetteling to rush everything like that, basically throwing some of the cross-checking out the window, just to get the job done.
This brought me right back to the basics and just using the sop's as a guide. In this everyday procedural-type flying we do, it is easy get bogged down in some checklist and not see the big picture.

Yeas, I'll take an engine faillure over that any day!

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Old 20th Aug 2004, 05:28
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Is it possible to land a 744 under these conditions, full of fuel, Pax and cargo. Let's take a typical wx day at LHR, 5 minutes after Departure, the flightdeck starts to fill with visible smoke. No real time to dump. Can an about face be done and an overweight landing be successful???Just curious.
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Old 20th Aug 2004, 06:00
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OntarioTech,

Read my previous message and you will find your answer!


Mutt.
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Old 20th Aug 2004, 08:43
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the boeing 744 has a vref of 184 at max toff weight, and can take a max tailwind of 10 kts at that weight.
A flap 30, 10 tail landing at heathrow at max autobrakes and no reverse thrust at isa is +/- 7100 feet. Heathrow is +/- 12000 feet.
So thats no problem.

(as long as that antiskid works)
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Old 20th Aug 2004, 09:57
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Following on from Rananim's post, these chaps decided to get it on the ground pronto:

http://www.atsb.gov.au/aviation/occu...ail.cfm?ID=421

rather than risk it. Landing was overweight... would suggest that the answer to Ontariotech is 'yes'.

One suspects the crew in this instance may have had SR111 in the back of their minds & didn't want to take time dumping. Again, rather egg-on-face, etc.

Anyway, in both the BA instances, just glad everyone walked away... the definition of a successful flight, no?
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Old 20th Aug 2004, 16:59
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Might be worth checking the F30 limiting speed before spoiling your day.
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Old 20th Aug 2004, 17:39
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@frangible

Yes, you are correct. Fuel Dumping was not the issue for SR 111 desaster. I've pointed this out in a former post in the actual thread. Anyhow, some are still pointing theire fingers on that rumor.

regards
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Old 21st Aug 2004, 01:04
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How about dumping fuel over a populated area?When I worked at Toronto Airport, years ago, a KLM 744 was required to dump fuel, but it was only aloud to do this over Lake Ontario at or above 10000 feet. Are ther height requirements, and what's below the plane have anuthing to do with what's dumped and where it's dumped?
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 12:06
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Fuel Dumping was not the issue for SR 111 desaster
The fact that there was only one possible outcome for sr 111 does not mean that the crew's actions were copybook stuff,defeated only by a lack of time and cruel fate.Rather,their actions were indeed inappropiate but irrelevant to the pre-destined outcome.
The TSB cleared the crew and its a brave man who argues with such an excellent and thorough report.However,they were cleared based not on what they did or didnt do,but rather on the simple acknowledgement that their situation was hopeless.Luck simply ran out for them.
What we as pilots must take from this accident is quite clear;smoke,that is not immediately identifiable,can and will kill.Response must be immediate and extreme in nature.Land as soon as possible without regard to any of the usual considerations that make up the normal mindset.Its an abnormal situation and we need to develop a suitable mindset.
An overweight landing with no charts at an unfamiliar airfield and with no or a very rudimentary briefing poses no insurmountable problems to a competent crew.ATC will provide everything.The nearest airport,how much concrete,the localizer frequency,runway direction and elevation,and current weather.And thats all that is needed.
Time is your enemy and so the descent profile is critical.Nothing less than an emergency descent is acceptable(unless you're not near an airport and then of course you need a whole new mindset-checklist and fire-fighting become paramount).Checklist completion can still be accomplished in the " land asap " scenario
but never at the expense of the most expeditious landing possible.If the situation worsens after actioning checklist items,consider reversing those items.The cabin bus switch was selected OFF in the case of sr 111;this shut down the recirc fans,resulting in a reversal of airflow in the ceiling compartment,which exacerbated the heat build-up in the flt deck area.It is no coincidence that vital aircraft systems failed within one minute of the cabin bus switch being turned OFF.
In conclusion,the decision to dump fuel,the fussing over chart extraction and selection of 250 knots below 100(even if the FO didnt subsequently fly 250),were all indicative of an inappropiate mindset for the situation they faced.It wasnt responsible for the crash but it reminds us that when the chips are down,salvation more often than not lies in sound airmanship and the ability to intuit a situation rather than textbook SOP's.
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 12:38
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Amen!
I don't think it really matters if the situation was hopeless or not. They didn't know it if it was, and if they did, I am sure they wouldn't have lit their last cigarette and said "that's all folks".
I read the report, but I must have missed the thing about the recirc fans being off reversing the flow of cabin air.

Another thing: do you think it would have made a difference if they ditched the ac in the sea?
I know survival chances are slim at best in a cold ocean and I saw the footage of that 767(?) off the coast of africa, trying to ditch during a hijack. (didn't turn out that well)
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 12:47
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Rananim

Good points, and of course show why machines will never completely take over flying aircraft.

I for one will never fly as a passenger in an aircraft without a pilot!
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 13:49
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OASIS: re your DITCHING QUERY - What killed them eventually

new SR MD-11 STBY flt insts

Slide 1 of 7

Swissair MD-11 Modifications Plus Program

Slide 2 of 7 etc

Background of Swissair MD-11 Modifications Plus

This Swissair only mod program addressed smoke detection, reliable standby flight instruments and TV monitors in the cockpit for inspection of critical areas where wiring fires could develop undetected. It also re-routed whole wiring looms/wire bundles. In fact the number of significant MD-11 rewiring AD's and SB's and SIL's are almost in four figures now. AD's are certainly over three figures.

Consider also that the TSB strongly suspected that fan-shaped burn patterns were caused by pinholed high pressure crew oxygen lines burnt through by arcing - but couldn't prove it.

DITCHING??

Dark night & pointed away from land with significant cloud = Loss of Control when you've no usable flight instrumentation.....so ditching wasn't an option, not only because the overhead console was melting and dripping down upon them.

The main problem early identified by this IFALPA briefing was the loss of all flight instruments (including the STBY AI which hhad no integral power supply)
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 13:51
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hoofhearted

Surely on the 744 the heavyweight landing "data" is scheduled assuming F25, so the F30 limiting speeds aren't a factor? Flap load relief won't let the flaps run to F30 at the speeds you have to fly at high landing weights ( all this assumes we are still talking about the 744 of course).
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 15:53
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Yes, the 184 kts vref would put the 744 in the flap load relief area, so would have to be a f25 landing. You are right wiggy.

I agree the ditching option wouldn't be good either, especially with no AI. I wonder if they had any kind of horizon out there.
I wish I knew what was happening in those final moments. Still I remember training for inop-AI flying early in the IFR training. I wonder if I could still do it. Must remember to ask for it on my next sim.
Without the AI, I guess they'd only have compass, altimeter and airspeed and a torch... Speak about back to basics.
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Old 24th Aug 2004, 14:23
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an excellent Illustrated Review Analysis of the Swissair 111 Lessons Learnt

This is an excellent illustrated Review Analysis of the Swissair 111 Lessons Learnt

Right-click download this file as a zipped Word Document.

It's one megabyte in size.
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