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AAIB initial report out on BA B777 crash at LHR

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AAIB initial report out on BA B777 crash at LHR

Old 20th Jan 2008, 09:53
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I do hope, when the fog of accusations has lifted, probably when the AAIB make their conclusions public, that the Blame Culture nerds do not crucify the crew for one small thing that most 777 pilots might have missed under similar circumstances and that if the crew have been proved to have taken the correct decisions then some large apologies will be posted here! And flying in a 777 can continue without any nagging doubts during the final phase of the flight!

Nothing to do with flying is 100% safe - ever!

"Never tell me the odds!" Han Solo The Empire Strikes Back
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 10:05
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that's great WZ, when we have time we're glad to prepare the cabin, shout brace at the appropriate time and initiate and evacuation jsut like it all neatly happens in the sim.

In real life when you have seconds to analyze, fly and try and fix whatever has gone wrong before you hit the ground we instinctively try and process everything that's happening and save the aircraft or at least mitigate the damage. We'll do a PA if we have the time, in this case they didn't so it wasn't done. The cabin crew then reacted as they were trained to do and did an excellent job in getting the pax out in a controlled manner.

tell you what, next time you do a recurrent tell your instructor to give you the same situation on a random approach when you aren't expecting it and see how much time you have to do a PA. Then try and imagine you had no idea it was about to occur and you'd just done a 12hr flight from china and were about to land and see if you'd still think there was time for a PA after you figured out what the hell was going on.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 10:14
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Electronics...

Just a note .
We all love our very useful electronics, including the web, car ABS, ESP etc...a lot of new cars are now built with "drive by wire" systems, e.g. the accelerator pedal communicates with the fuel injectors through wires rather than mechanically as it used to be.
Electric signals are sent.
...Result: more and more car-mechanics around the world have to assist clients with cars which do not respond to manual inputs as they should, either due to software failure or ECU hardware malfunction. "You push the accelerator but nothing happens...engine stays idle". The software overrides the manual input of the driver. It happens every day. I am talking about cars, including very expensive ones.

What I am trying to say is that rather than focusing on why the massive 777 engines did not both respond to AT and manual input (FBW), there is a high chance that the Inspectors will have to focus instead on why the software decided that more power was not needed, the glitch might be in here!
If indeed they had fuel which was not contaminated in any way, our beloved software (possibly) decided (again!) to override the manual and AP input from the throttle.
It has happened before, but never 30 secs before touchdown.
This was the 1st time.

The fact that this incident happened in the last 30 secs of a 12hr uneventful flight still points in the fuel direction first, second in a software glitch.
I am quite confident that the 2 RR engines have no responsibility in this case, they have done too well in the previous 12 hours. Fuel?...or software (outside the engine)?...the request for more fuel did not even get close to the 2 RR. I think the request for fuel stopped pretty early along the line of wires...

I think pilotless-flights projects will be put on hold for a while.

Just a thought.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 10:19
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Fair point tbalx. I was just re-emphasising the importance of a brace command from the flight deck, IF there is time, not criticising anyone.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 10:42
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Can we just stop speculating on whether a MAYDAY was called, or who called for evac. For those who haven't heard the R/T, either at the time or on tape, the transcript will tell you.

Superpilot.....there were a/c holding short of 27L, at S3.

However, we would very rarely hold at N1/N2E/N2W to cross southbound at the threshold when landing 27L. This would mean infringing the ILS critical area, which would fluctuate the GP signal badly. We would only do that when weather conditions were CAVOK and inbound a/c were happy to continue visually. I've seen it done maybe fifteen times in ten years.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 10:52
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I did my best to browse the whole dissusion - so - sorry if I missed - any other comment on fuel contamination (rather than the one done by ILS27L)...

Software/hardware problem seems like suspect number one, but what do you think about really bad case of fuel contamination? I am trying to search data bases to find past cases. Any help on cases? Any engeener's comment on that?
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:04
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Is the aircraft back on her "feet" yet as I read they were suppost to lift her today?
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:05
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If you really want to know whether the software or hardware was at fault look at the FAA website to see if they have issued any Emergency AD's. When the MAS 777 had an ADIRU fault off the coast of Western Australia in 2005 an Emergency AD was issued within a few days. That incident was caused by software and hardware faults.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:06
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Mrokowski

Fuel contamination would not likely manifest itself on both engines at exactly the same time, also you would expect other a/c refuelled at the same port to be showing contamination...
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:08
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The BA Recovery team are lifting the aircraft today with jacks and four cranes. They will then put three motorised platforms under the aircraft to drive it to the maintenance base, about 500m away.
It will go in one piece.
Should be out of the way tonight.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:10
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Just wondering (if it was due fuel contam.) wouldn't other aircraft have been affected accordingly? I can't see it being this, surely it would've shown up earlier, not just in the last phase of flight? Also, just out of curiousity, would the crew have had time to call "Brace, brace" during all the commotion?
What a brilliant piece of operating on behalf of the aircrew though, absolutely amazing sitution to have been in with speed dropping off all the time whilst watching the ground getting closer by the second. My hat is off to you guys.
LJ.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:11
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Flaps 20

heard last night from a source that the flaps had been selected to 20.
fuel waxing being considered as the most likely cause at moment
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:12
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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No throttle response at 600'

In reply to Flintstone (see below) I did of course mean the latter. If this scenario is unique it might suggest that identifying the exact cause may not be a simple matter.

Do you mean is the requirement for thrust at this point in the approach "unique"? No.

If you mean 'Is it unique for the thrust not to be supplied when needed?'. Probably. I've not heard of any other crashes matching this scenario.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:16
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but there has been a number of dual engine flameouts on Airbus 330's? I know Qatar Airways suffered one not to long ago. Ice related?

Anyways, there was an ice warning out in London FIR the same day BA 038 hit the ground. Not that I think this was the cause, but worth mentioning.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:19
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NoD
As far as I remember the 330/340 is Normal law in pitch to 100RA then direct stick to elevator with no protections including Alpha Floor. Lateral is normal until the ground.
cheers B
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:20
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nukem365
...fuel waxing being considered as the most likely cause at moment
A thoughtful comment at last!
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:22
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NoD,

I think you're on about what is annunciated in the FMA's and I've disposed of my airbus manuals so an unable to give you a reference. However IIRC some background logic changes at 30R, part of that is the Alpha floor protection being inhibited which you've already alluded to. As part of that process there ceases to be any stall protection at all thus the flight crew can command as much up elevator as they want. I understood the logic being that a stall onto the main gear from below 30R is more desirable than planting it on the nosegear.

I could be wrong, it's been a while but that's how I remember it.....

LD
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:24
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And the airtemp over UK at the time was some of the coldest I've ever experienced with OAT at higher levels down to -70 degrees celcius.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:31
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nukem365

Thank you!
I wait for more on this when available. Maybe there is a big lesson coming in -on, let's say, QA side of GH ops...
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:31
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Waxing

Question for the experts: is fuel waxing a common occurrence in aviation, and if so, under what circumstances?
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