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Qantas 744 Depressurisation

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Qantas 744 Depressurisation

Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:02
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But the BBC do it well:

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Hole forces Qantas plane to land
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:07
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GAZBERT thank you for your close up pic it has given me more detail and am able to offer another theory on what might have happened and possibly the cause.

That fairing is notorious for being damaged by catering trucks, as it is adjacent to the galley door 2 right. Supposing the fairing was holed on its last transit and went undetected or a pre-existing hole re-opened. If the hole eroded in the air flow and opened up to a size that eventually blew the fairing off ( crew report of a door problem prior to event) then as the remnants of the fairing support structure twisted and turned in the airflow, a weakening of the pressurized skin eventually gave way causing the decompression.

I think an oxygen bottle may have fallen away but not because of its own failure, and the material coming out of the hole might only be the side wall lining and insulation blankets( heavy canvas covers)

Just another theory.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:18
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Any cred to potential burn marks adjacent the oxy/fire bottle access pnl?

Looks like the sparkies have a bit of work to do too.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:19
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My favourtie report so far has to be from The TimesAir passengers' mid-flight terror as hole is blown in Qantas 747 fuselage - Times Online

Quote "Mrs Manchester claimed that 20 minutes after the plane first took off from Heathrow, she heard a loud bang near the faulty door. "You have to wonder if that explosion could have caused the second one," she said."
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:20
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In the BBC interview, the young lady passenger states that the Captain spoke to the passengers immediately after landing - I assume pre-disembarking. He stated that 'there was a hole in the fuselage' (or words to that effect).
My question is - prior to landing would someone have been able to gain access to the forward baggage hold to ascertain the damage?
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:20
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Folks.

We have neither the time nor inclination to police this thread which is making repeated attempts to plunge (see what I did there?) to a level akin to that of the worst journalism. The easiest course for us is to issue thread bans to prevent people from dragging it off topic. Harsh but effective.

By all means have a caption competition but please have it in JB where it belongs. Not here where it will be picked up by the media, published and then slated by those of you who fed the journalists in the first place.

Your co-operation is assured.

Thanks

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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:20
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qantas

I think you have a pic is there any chance you could send it to me on email?

Last edited by Rob White; 25th Jul 2008 at 14:18.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:22
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IS this not similar to an incident which occurred to a United 747 in the 80's? My mind is funny on it, but I recall a blowout or something of the main cargo door.
Yeah - that was to do with faulty locks on a door. That was my immediate thought when I heard this. But looking at the damage, I noticed the same cargo door is several feet away.

So I even checked close ups of the 744 to see if there was a door here and there wasn't. It's a strange case.

From what people on here and other sites are saying I do think something either exploded (not the O2 bottles) - perhaps cargo, or a loose container hit the skin from the inside (with great force), causing the hole, and loss of the section.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:24
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If an oxy bottle fell away, then they're lucky they got down to 10,000ft as quickly as they did. iirc taking one bottle out would vent the entire system to the atmosphere.


Interesting theory, Vortsa, you're probably right there - though I can't remember exactly how much structure there is between that wing-to-body panel and the skin under it. It's certainly plausable.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:25
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Xeque. Not likely from anyone inside (its nothing like what Hollywood portrays down there!). It could have been reported to him by the tower on landing though.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:25
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On the subject of journalists...

Channel Nine here in Australia (yes, yes, I know that "Channel Nine" and "Professional Journalism" are not phrases that are often seen together) said:

"After the explosion the plane did a slow descent from cruising altitude and then levelled at 25,000ft where the cabin pressure equalised."

That would have been interesting. Time of useful consciousness of around 5 minutes and death in about 30 minutes.

I suppose it would have saved Q some hotel bills.

I understand that journalists might not know how to fly a plane, but the effects of hypoxia have been known for more than a century and it's not too hard to check on what the SOP is for any pressurised aircraft if there's a sudden loss of cabin pressure.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:29
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Thanks Buster - I thought that might be the case.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:31
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could this panel have been damaged by a hi-lo, or even a catering truck. from my experience, hi-lo's are a safe distance away from the part missing, unless its a 742 or 74SP. it could have had a knock at some point, and weakened over time. the catering trucks use the R2 door, never know, delayed flight, no banksman....it happens
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:31
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The fuselage frames are missing.

Above the red bag is a stub of a fuselage frame.

May not be an explosion in the container, the baggage would have been ripped to shreds.

Doesn't appear to be any pieces of cargo container stuck in the hole either.

The Fuse frame in the centre of the hole is missing way up towards the cabin floor and can't see the bottom stub?

Could it have been damaged when loading the cans?

It would not be found until the next cargo compartment inspection.

Last edited by idydir; 25th Jul 2008 at 12:14.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:34
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Buster: Actually you can get to the forward cargo via a hatch in the first class zone and the avionics bay. But there's carpet covering the hatch, and there would've been cans in the way in the forward cargo.


So yeah, they wouldn't have gone down there in flight.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:34
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Very interesting to see the luggage "escape" the baggage bin.

As to the theory of the AKE/C "exploding" due to the rapid pressure change, very unlikely. Bins aren't designed as pressure vessels. If you've ever seen one, they have a "curtain" on the front, this would be the failure point, and I can't really see it failing in an explosive manner.

I'm not one to speculate, but I wonder if the origin of the problem began in that bin ? Shouldn't be too difficult to tell as it's there to be examined.

Also looking at the close-up picture, has the cargo floor collapsed ?? Seems like the bags are very low in the hole, or is that a visual effect of them being outside of the hold and in the fairing ?
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:35
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The loss of the wing-to-body fiberglass fairing is significant, but not compared to the hole in the aluminium skin underneath. Damage by catering trucks is not going to precipitate the type of damage shown here.

A rapid decompression through the hole in the aluminium skin probably blew out the wing to body fairing.

The composite material panels shown here are not designed to retain cabin pressure (it's not a 787).

Please put to rest theories about gas cylinders in passengers bags.... Cylinders big enough to cause this sort of damage would easily be seen by x-ray screening.

I'm putting my money on corrosion (it's the area below the galley) and pressurisation forces. Corrosion inspection oversight?

Note that a lot of panels in the cabin would have popped open as they were designed to do to prevent floors/ceilings collapsing from decompression forces.

Rgds.
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:40
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Thalass. Yes indeedy. Nothing funnier than watching the FCL punters do their Lemur impressions when an engineer emerges from there!

TOWTEAMBASE. That fairing is just a cover to assist airflow off the fuselage to the wing (learned that in my Corn Flakes Engineering Degree). An impact there, whilst not desirable, would have to be very deep to penetrate the pressurised skin.

Plenty of speculative points but one thing is certain. Boeing build some tough aircraft!
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:43
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the baggage can come loose during flight, if the holds are not full, then there would be plenty of room for the decompression to suck out the baggage from the curtain. they are only held closed by velcro straps, and thats if they are actualy working. And having dealings with QF, they check,check and check again as far as ground handling goes, so very unlikely that any DGR made its way onboard
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 11:43
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The loss of the wing-to-body fiberglass fairing is significant, but not compared to the hole in the aluminium skin underneath. Damage by catering trucks is not going to precipitate the type of damage shown here.

A rapid decompression through the hole in the aluminium skin probably blew out the wing to body fairing.

The composite material panels shown here are not designed to retain cabin pressure (it's not a 787).

Please put to rest theories about gas cylinders in passengers bags.... Cylinders big enough to cause this sort of damage would easily be seen by x-ray screening.

I'm putting my money on corrosion (it's the area below the galley) and pressurisation forces. Corrosion inspection oversight?

Note that a lot of panels in the cabin would have popped open as they were designed to do to prevent floors/ceilings collapsing from decompression forces.

Rgds.
NSEU
Agree with most of that, but would a skin failure cause the baggage bins to fail as well ?

I'm not sure about that, I'm of the opinion that something has gone internally.
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