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FAA to conclude 2 engines as safe as 3 or 4

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FAA to conclude 2 engines as safe as 3 or 4

Old 8th Jun 2006, 15:20
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hand solo

you obviously care about aviation and I appreciate that.

my entire point is that economics are taking too much priority in modern aviation...

consider the outsourcing of MX, without adequate oversight.

consider the concepts of "tankering" fuel or reducing fuel to minimums

consider the increasing scheduling situations which is leading to more fatigue among air crews

and even the emotional distress that aircrews and mechanics are under here in the US for taking 50% pay cuts and 75% cuts to pensions.


Obviously the BA crew took every precaution in making the flight on 3. Altering the route to a 2 engine etops route, and all.


But, if economics were completely out of the loop, would they have gone to LAX, or even SFO, DIA, ORD, or JFK before going across the pond?


In america we had a crash at CLT of a small Beech 1900, part of the problem was out of date weight tables ( not too many americans are still under 200 pounds with carry on luggage) AND outsourced MX by a mechanic who didn't rig the elevator cable correctly.

Economics are a factor to professional flight crews, BUT the Bean COUNTERS have made it too much of a factor. Pilots must stand up to the bean counters.

over to you

jon
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Old 8th Jun 2006, 15:33
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Jon - I genuinely believe that if economics were taken out of the picture the crew would still have considered continuing. Perhaps they would not be ecstatic about it because it involves a lot more work and nobody likes that. However we are all professionals up there and if something is safe and achievable within the regulations then electing not to do it because it involves more personal hard work tends to go against the grain.
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Old 8th Jun 2006, 19:41
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as pilots must consider safety and economics, so too must they consider the media treatment of their actions.

from today's Edinburgh Evening news, UK.

--------------------------------------------


Jumbo crew in emergency 'not trained'

BRITISH Airways pilots who carried on with a jumbo jet flight across the Atlantic despite an engine failure were not properly trained, according to an accident report.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the pilots did not have sufficient knowledge of their plane's minimum fuel requirements.

The crew had to shut down an engine of their Boeing 747 after flames were seem coming out of it after take-off at Los Angeles. The pilots chose to carry on to London but, in the end, declared an emergency and diverted to Manchester.
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Old 8th Jun 2006, 20:51
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mike

I agree that the media can pick and choose and sometimes distort...when I read the report I came away with:

Authorities need to review regulations concerning this situation and make it clear what needs to be done.

Some problems with fdr

Problems in training crew for this situation with regards to the fuel system

better monitoring of the engine bearing wear.

But, as the article is what it is, it does reference the fuel problem which did cause a diversion...and if you are unsure of your fuel and you have a good airport in range, you should probably go there.
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Old 8th Jun 2006, 20:56
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I know its not related to the BAA 744 3 eginge saga and I am a mere SLF!

How many places are there in the world that are 5 plus hours away from the nearest safe place to land?
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Old 8th Jun 2006, 21:13
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Off thread, perhaps, but the argument about 3/4 engines is a moot point in the case of the BA continuing across the pond having had a fire, albeit extinguished. The problem I have is how did the flight deck crew know what damage had occurred? As I see it they launched off across the water knowing that further problems could arise with possibly catastrophic results, but they did it all the same. I know that I will never fly long haul with BA unless someone can convince me that what they did was fully and unequivocably justified. I may be talking out of my arse but I look forward to being given an explanation as to why they did not just land back on. I'm sure that all you experts out there will put me straight. Moderators; moderate me if you see fit, I'm just saying what I think.
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Old 8th Jun 2006, 22:01
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Smudger.

Think word 9 on line 6 was about right in your last post.

Lots of info about said flt, we can talk about this till the cows come home.

May be the FAA will change the rules to say, whenever any faults occours on any aeroplane it will land ASAP, but 777 or 787 can fly on for another 3 or 4 hours because they use an ETOPS rule that is OK because the 767 made those rules the norm.

Interesting times ahead me thinks....???
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 07:04
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Jon you quote a typical headline / content from a newspaper(!) above. It is clearly a misleading quote if you read the original materials. While this was immediately pointed out, nothing you say is going to change.

You have mounted a hobby horse and you are riding it to death. When you are on that hobby horse you come across a lot more like a media pundit, generating controversy, commenting on minimal information, adding instant (un)wisdom, etc. than you come across as an airline pilot.

I know that this perspective has been advanced to you before to no avail. But it bears repeating when I see someone like you quoting the "Edinburgh Evening News" in your support (the distortion being pointed out immedately by the following poster). If you showed a bit more familiarity with B744 certification .... less signs of equating all 4 engined aircraft .. and a host of other technical subjects your credibility might be higher.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 09:05
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Question Can someone explain ETOPS for the rest of us?

I mean the rest of us that are not pilots or directly connected with the commercial aircraft industry.

I understand the basics of it where you are not allowed to fly any route carrying passengers when that flight path will take you anywhere outside the area where you can get back if an engine quits. Seems reasonable to me.

It looks to me like the whole ETOPS strategy is an engine reliability issue. (engine and engine related support issue)

However as SLFStuckInTheBack asked "How many places are there in the world that are 5 plus hours away from the nearest safe place to land?" I looked at a map and find it hard to believe there are many routes commercial airliners fly 11 hours without any place to land that is within a couple of hours from whenever an engine quit.

Basically, my question is, Does an ETOPS certification mean that an aircraft is allowed to carry passengers only on a route that never exceeds the time it is ETOPS certified for to land at the nearest suitable runway after an engine fails , or does it mean that an ETOPS certified aircraft can head towards and land at a runway that it can safely reach within the time it is certified for?

Yes I know this overlaps another thread but can anyone enlighten me as to what the rule on ETOPS is. "Lose an engine, land at the nearest" or "lose an engine, land within the certified time"
 
Old 9th Jun 2006, 10:52
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very interested
It looks to me like the whole ETOPS strategy is an engine reliability issue.
Actually, it's an economic one! Engine power and reliability have improved to the point where the probabilty of failure now means you can fly further on two. That is cheaper to buy and operate. Everything is aimed at that point.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 13:42
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"I have a friend who flys 744 for major airline in the Far East(no names please, but they speak english)."

I think I qualify for all but friend and having been on 744 in excess of 13yrs I have to AGAIN say that the BA crew worked through their problems and took the appropriate actions.

very_interested,
Etops requires in the event of an engine failure landing at the nearest suitable airport.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 13:47
  #52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Smudger
Off thread, perhaps, but the argument about 3/4 engines is a moot point in the case of the BA continuing across the pond having had a fire, albeit extinguished. The problem I have is how did the flight deck crew know what damage had occurred? As I see it they launched off across the water knowing that further problems could arise with possibly catastrophic results, but they did it all the same.
From what you say, I suspect that you may (like me) be SLF. I'd strongly recommend reading the whole of the report (about 1.1 MB PDF). It's not long, and it shouldn't take more than an hour or so even if you're starting with no technical knowledge and you absorb all of the detail that's there. (I know the experts here could probably read and digest the whole thing in 15 minutes!)

The report deals with all the things that the crew investigated and considered before deciding that they didn't have to go straight back to LAX. (As the report says, a surge is not a particularly damaging event.) They did not immediately then "launch across the water". They continued across the continent, watching the aircraft carefully all the way - and there were plenty of diversion airfields along there if anything did crop up to suggest damage. They then re-evaluated the situation before beginning the oceanic crossing, to decide whether continuation was warranted.

So it wasn't either a hasty decision to continue, nor was it a once-and-for-all decision to either go or stop. I'm personally pleased to see that the AAIB finds no fault with the decision to continue.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 14:13
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I am terribly confused about the intermixing of threads regarding Etops, 2 vs 4 engines and the BA over the water discussion.

I would be happy to contribute qualified understanding of the risks and technical ussues on either of these subjects separately in their own dedicated threads,

But I now defer until the intermixing of the discussion sorts itself out and once again everybody gets it off their chest.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 19:43
  #54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SLFStuckInTheBack
I know its not related to the BAA 744 3 eginge saga and I am a mere SLF!
How many places are there in the world that are 5 plus hours away from the nearest safe place to land?
See this link. http://gc.kls2.com/ It is to an extremely useful site that computes distances between airports and allows you to display world maps that show roughly what portions of the globe are impermissible for flight at various levels of ETOPS. In addition, if you click on the ETOPS Rule-Time text, you are linked to a very useful layman's description of ETOPS restrictions.
Originally Posted by very_interested
Does an ETOPS certification mean that an aircraft is allowed to carry passengers only on a route that never exceeds the time it is ETOPS certified for to land at the nearest suitable runway after an engine fails , or does it mean that an ETOPS certified aircraft can head towards and land at a runway that it can safely reach within the time it is certified for?
Yes I know this overlaps another thread but can anyone enlighten me as to what the rule on ETOPS is. "Lose an engine, land at the nearest" or "lose an engine, land within the certified time"
I believe the ETOPS requirement is that you must land at the nearest suitable airport once a triggering failure occurs. You are not permitted to overfly a suitable airport and continue to another airport that just happens to be reachable within the ETOPS time limit. But I defer to more knowledgable parties on this issue.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 20:56
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SeenItAll

Thank you for that link. I was right in my guess that 330 minutes means nigh on everywhere (other than Antarctica) is included.

On a previous thread (yes that one about the BA 744) some posters made comments that just because it something is possible and within SOPs etc. should it be allowed. I can see both sides of the argument - but (my background is in mathematics/computing) statistically the risk of the second engine failing will increase the longer an aircraft has to fly. The decision the FAA is making is that risk is small enough to take the chance - but the risk will have got bigger.

While most passengers will not care and are driven by cheaper fares, I will continue to pay extra to fly my family and I on airlines that use 747's or 340's. The risk of losing 3 engines in 5 hours is much smaller - and when it comes to my family - then that is worth any extra.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 21:33
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I trust you also avoid driving your own automobile whenever you can, eschew skiing, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and the kitchen in your own home.

It's amazing to me that some people cannot evaluate comparitive risks when they are staring them in the face.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 22:11
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Barit1,

As I get older I have gotten more conservative when it comes to risk. So hope you do not find it too amazing but... I drive a BIG Volvo - out of choice - and have not been on a motorcycle for 30 years. I tend to avoid the kitchen when ever possible as I can mess up boiling eggs (only last week I had one explode - I was finding bits of egg all over the place for days!!!!)

When it comes to "evaluate comparitive risks". The people who are best at that are the actuaries along with the accountants and lawyer. They weigh out the risk of the accident happening versus any cost of likely payouts Ė thatís business. I seem to remember an automobile with a serious design fault (exploding gas tank when involved in an accident). The manufacture felt it was cheaper to settle any legal costs than recall and fix the vehicle in question. I donít think I would sell my Volvo for one of those Ė although the risk of something bad happenings is also very small.

Am I wrong in thinking that flying on just one engine for an extra 60+ minutes would not increase the risk just a little? It might be very very small - but there must be an increase!

Taking economics out of the equation - would I prefer to be on a flight with my family - on a 744 that suffers an engine failure 180 minutes from the nearest safe landing or a 777? Although both would be perfectly safe - my preference is for the 744, because I feel (and it may be irrational) that it is safer. At the moment I have the choice - and exercise it in favour of BA and Virgin. In 20 years time I might not be so lucky - so I shall enjoy it while I can.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 22:17
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SLFStuckInTheBack: My background is also in mathematics/statistics/economics. One's probability of dying from any cause over a year is 6.37 per 1000 for persons between 45 and 54 years of age. Mortality in modern passenger flight is about 1 in 5 million. Thus you are about 31850 times more likely to die from some other cause over the year than a flight accident. Even if you fly 100 times a year, your likelihood of dying from other causes is 318.5 times as large as in a plane crash.

I, for one, don't give the choice of Boeing vs. Airbus, 2 engines vs. 4 engines a second thought from a safety concern when flying. As barit1 points out, so many other things are much more risky.
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Old 10th Jun 2006, 18:09
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An excellent blog on public policy and relative risk. Well thought out, methinks.
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Old 11th Jun 2006, 06:06
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Talking

Ok if the FAA aprove of 330 min ETOPS how long will it be before thay aprove the construction of 240 min singel engin short hall AC?
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