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BA B777 Incident @ Heathrow (merged)

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BA B777 Incident @ Heathrow (merged)

Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:43
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Ian Shoesmith.

Do you seriously think that the aviation community is so unethical as to give you the names of the crew? Perhaps you should start by telling your print, internet, radio and tv people that aeroplanes have TWO pilots. If they stop refering to "the pilot", we would be a little less inclined to think that you guys are not just a bunch of braindead hacks.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:45
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Jason was a fraud


Some pissed-up aussie who thought it funny to call a UK TV station saying he was a passenger
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:46
  #83 (permalink)  
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I find it difficult to believe that you have the cheek to ask for the crew members names.

Back on thread - great that nobody was seriously hurt.

I believe the AAIB will have a prliminary report out in a relatively short time, so whilst we all will speculate as to the reasons, best we don't get too carried away with it.

Interesting time for Boeing Corp by the way when you consider that the 787 is yet further delayed, QF have had a very recent B.744 total AC elec failure, and today they experienced their first B.777 write-off.

I'm a great supporter of Boeing products, having flown them for for 30 years, so I'm not knocking them but just pointing out that it has recently been a difficult time for Boeing. I did fly busses for 2 years and will say no more.

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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:48
  #84 (permalink)  

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A birdstrike does not necessarily completely disable the engine. A rapidly decaying thrust indication may be all the info you get. As long as they couldn't maintain enough thrust to stay on the glideslope then they would have had a problem.

Anyway, it is purely speculation based upon observations and experience. Just one point of view from a fellow heavy metal pilot.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:49
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If this was a microburst/windshear and a warning was given by onboard systems then one presumes the crew would fly the escape maneuver - ie Max Thrust, Pitch Up to Stick Shake etc.

Maybe they were doing this when the aircraft hit the ground?
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:49
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wouldn't bird activity been reported at a busy airport?
Heathrow mount a bird control patrol, callsign 'Seagull' and most of the other Ops vehicles, including 'Checker' are equipped with bird control capability. The primary aim is to reduce as much as possible the bird activity on the aerodrome itself. Bird activity is usually only 'reported' i.e. broadcast on the ATIS is there are unusually high concentrations of birds on teh aerodrome that won't respond to dispersal. If this accident was the result of a multiple bird strike (and a catastrophic failure of this nature HAS been caused by birds in the past - a burnt-out DC10 at least) then the birds would have been struck somewhere out on the approach. When I was at Heathrow in the 80s, we used to patrol the reservoirs out to the West and South-West as well as rubbish tips nearby (as well as good old Perry Oaks, where T5 now stands). The aim was to at least understand where the concentration of birds was so that we could anticipate their likely flight paths over the aerodrome. The received wisdom is that the threat for an aircraft striking birds is greatest for departing a/c, where any power loss will be more catastrophic.

How far out should an aerodrome patrol to try and maintain a bird-free environment? It's difficult to imagine an effective bird patrol, up Hounslow High Street!

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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:49
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On another, not unrelated thread here on flight deck forums, regarding the bounced/baulked landing of the Iberia Airbus 320 at Bilbao recently, we have several accusatory, ignorant and puerile postings from the likes of lingasting, badboyraggamuffin and flap80, criticising the flying pilot for his lack of training, flying skills and poor airmanship.
Here we have an incident, cause unknown, involving a BA B777. I don't see any posts criticising the same qualities, or lack of, regarding the pilot flying in this instance.
Just how ignorant do you have to be before you rush into print about a perfectly capable Iberia pilot who flew his aircraft away from a potentially hazardous situation? Very, is the answer.
Just how educated or perhaps biased do you have to be before you rush to judgment regarding the pilot of the BA 777? Not very, is the answer.
The double standards and ignorance of some of the posters on this site never ceases to amaze me.
I do not profess to know, nor do I have the certainty to post an opinion on everything brought up on this site, unlike some of the more opinionated and ignorant posters on these forums.
However, I do know when an idiot posts something which is just plain stupid.
Before you post anything on this site, please put yourself in the position of the pilot concerned, carefully study the facts and the situation carefully and consider how you would have reacted in such circumstances. If you are unable to restrain yourself before rushing into print, try writing it on a plain sheet of paper and read it aloud to yourself. More often than not you will see that you have no idea what you are talking about.
Much the same as I feel now!! (you might opine)
Happy landings.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:51
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According to my information, vortex wake was very unlikely to be an issue, but a "total loss of power" was.

I have no idea what a total loss of power means in this situation as I am not a flyer, but this could relate to a whole raft of scenarios.

The chap (engineer) interviewed by the BBC who spoke to the crew after this incident seems to have the 'known fact's' spot on!
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:53
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A laymans observation

As I fall into the category of "one, who unburdened by knowledge, may speak freely on the subject"; I simply wish to point out what strikes me as extraordinary:

1. God BLESS those officers in the cockpit that controlled a potentially horrific crash into a safe landing, save for minor injuries.

2. And God BLESS the cabin crew for their remarkable evacuation with minimal injuries.

3. And to those engineers and craftsmen who designed and built that airplane, what an achievement indeed that their machine survived a horrific landing and remained remarkably structurally intact.

I cannot offer anything constructive, but I can express my amazement as a layman and long time passenger; and I may take great comfort in the future of aviation by the examples set today by the Pilots, Crew and Workers in your industry.

Well done to you all

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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:53
  #90 (permalink)  
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Angry Bloody Idiots

I'm so sick of the media and how much nonsense they report. I feel sorry for the poor viewer/reader who has to swallow the sh** they spew. In two reports the aircraft "overshot" the runway, and in another one a "wing had come off a 737!!" DHeads.

On the real subject, a fine job by the crew whatever happened. No-one lost, very well done.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:54
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A friend said he saw a brief mobile phone clip of the final apparoch but not the landing - any idea where I can find this as I've been lookin on the main news sites to no avail.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:56
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Well now the pilot flying can say that he made it off at the first exit in a 777at LHR!
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:57
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Speculation rife as per normal, with lots of "experts" chipping in their 2 penneth worth. Why not just wait to see what actually happened instead of the usual situation of everybody that has ever flown in a 777 suddenly becoming the authority.

Nobody killed, a few minor injuries, and they got it on the airport, so a good job done. That's all there is right now, move on people.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 22:58
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Perhaps, for once, the 'speculators' will refrain from 'informed comment' and simply maintain a dignified silence until the official outcome.
Very noble.

138 passengers, and who knows how many others, owe a great deal to the experience and professionalism of two people today....
Until the 'official outcome' as you put it, that's speculation (as opposed to dignified silence) though isn't it?
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 23:01
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I would think that windshear is not very likely. Sure, there was "some" wind, no really windshear-like conditions. And what's more, the B777 has a so-called Predictive Windshear System. (PWS) The system is always operational during approach, using the advanced weather radar on board. It is also operating, and scanning for windshear, even if the flight crew has switched off the WX radar.
It will display windshear in ahead on the navigation display, and announce: "caution, windshear ahead" or "go-around, windhear ahead" depending on the severity. And IMHO windshear will not cause a double flame-out.

Then: multiple bird-strike and a resulting double flame-out. Could be possible, but you would need to fly through a large flock of birds. And thereby hitting several other birds on other places such as the nose, windshield, leading edges etc. But I don't see any other places where these hypothetical birds have hit. So I would guess this wasn't the cause either.

Fuel: At the end of the flight the B777 uses its wing tanks only. typical fuel amount at the end of such a flight is 7 tons, i.e. 3500 kg per wing tank. (about 70 minutes endurance. 100 kg = 1 minute's worth at landing weight on the B777) Even if the fuel pumps are not operating, it will gravity-feed to the engines. "Bad" chinese fuel will not cause a flame-out, only degraded thrust, which would have been noticed looooong beforehand.

Onboard computer glitch? Resulting in a total blackout? Hey why not? I wouldn't know. I know nothing about computers. There are a lot of computers on board the B777. And some of them run on Windows! (the EFB)

This is going to be an interesting one. I hope they will find the cause.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 23:01
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If one loses both engines on a 777 and it takes about a minute to kick in the APU (someone told us that in an earlier post) then what power is available for the fly-by-wire controls in the interim? I ask because the PPL who was a witness on BBC TV during the afternoon spoke of a (quote) '45 degree bank to the left'. He didn't say if the aircraft was turning or whether it was still on the centreline with the port wing low. Would there be a few seconds when the aircraft was out of control until the APU began producing electrical power?
Other witnesses mentioned the aircraft porpoising. Trading speed for height would have that effect.
On TV the fire brigade looked as if they were still hosing down under the aircraft a long time after the incident took place - spilled fuel maybe?
Whatever - those guys, flight deck and cabin, did a magnificent job. Sleep well tonight - you've earned it
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 23:04
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One of the local television stations here in Los Angeles (KTLA) conducted a brief, live interview with a “British Airways spokesperson” this morning. I only wish I had thought to Tivo it to preserve the thing. A female newsie in the LA studio posed a question for the BA gentleman who was on the phone from the UK (and who appeared to have a US accent):

Newsie: “I understand that there are several airports around the world at which, I believe, airplanes are unable to land themselves, and at which the pilot actually has to land the airplane. Can you tell me, is Heathrow one of those airports?”

BA Spokesperson: (Apparently stunned) “I…ah… don’t really understand your question, but Heathrow does have an ILS. I don’t know what the conditions were during the landing though…”

Unbelievable. I’ve got to hand it to the BA guy though. He handled it much better than I would have.
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 23:04
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From the sun website:

"The plane narrowly missed Prime Minister Gordon Brown whose convoy was travelling on the airport’s perimeter road."

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Old 17th Jan 2008, 23:11
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I'm not speculating as to what caused this, but you have referred to CPU shutdowns causing the total power loss.

Has there ever been a reported total CPU shutdown experienced before that anyone knows of?
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Old 17th Jan 2008, 23:12
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"Small incident, not many hurt"

Perhaps as a quiet send-up of the more sensationalist media, the London-based weekly newspaper The Economist reported last night as the lead story on its web home page:
Hard landing at Heathrow
Small incident, not many hurt
IT IS a sight to make even a hardened flyer gulp. The pictures of a British Airways (BA) jet lying askew on its belly, wings crumpled in a sea of foam, will travel to the four corners of the world served by Britain’s leading carrier. Deep parallel gouges in the runway strip, the clear grassy area around the landing area, show that the plane only just made it onto the grounds of Heathrow, London's main airport and the world's busiest international one. Sections of landing gear strewn about prove that the jet passengers inbound from Beijing had a lucky escape when their Boeing 777 failed, by just a few short yards, to complete its journey on Thursday January 17th....
The report goes on to note that worldwide figures for air travel casualties last year were the lowest ever.

One occasionally finds pockets of sanity in this mad, mad world.
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