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BA056 JNB-LHR Incident.

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BA056 JNB-LHR Incident.

Old 14th May 2009, 13:25
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As an old B744 driver I say well done to the crew involved, forget about all the bullsh*t ,you kept the aeroplane flying ,no one was hurt, that is what aviation is all about WELL DONE
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Old 14th May 2009, 13:56
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Thank God the crew were experienced enough to take corrective action. How many Third World crews would have been able to do the same or ended up splattered all over the airfield perimeter?
Not a very PC statement to make but I find myself agreeing with you. Thatīs why I choose very carefully who I fly with. Itīs not by any means a 100% guarantee of course, but it does improve the odds by a few percentages.
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Old 14th May 2009, 15:41
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I'm asking this as a PPL and therefore as a non-B744 driver, but would the fact that the takeoff was after sunset have made it better or worse for the crew.

Obviously it was slightly less "hot" (but still high), but is it easier to run through options available only 12 - 40 ft off the ground during the day, or at night.

Are the instruments/warning lights clearer? Does it help seeing the ground in daylight, or is it all pretty moot in the timeframe they had to react?
After sunset usually the temperature will have dropped a little but whatever the temperature the performance calculations will have been based on that temperature.

In my experience at the stage it happened the pilot flying would or should have acted instinctively at the occurrence of the stick shake i.e. reduce the angle of attack as much as was possible at such low altitude simultaneously selecting full power, assuming any more was available.

Day or night the instrumentation and cockpit illumination is adjusted to a level to suit the conditions. They are clear and easy to read day or night for that reason.

There are no warning lights as such on the B747-400 except for the Master Warning/Caution light on the glare shield which illuminates when the level of EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System) warning message warrants it.

A reverser unlocked will normally be indicated by an amber 'REV' in an amber box above the relevant engine EPR (Engine Pressure Ratio) indicator and an EICAS message 'ENG REVERSER' will be displayed if a fault is detected. In the incident concerned I have no idea what the systems were doing nor which message(s) or warnings, if any, were triggered.

After rotation the handling pilot is flying by reference to instruments even having reduced the AoA I doubt looking out the window would have been much help but that is only my opinion.

Doesn't it worry you? All you professional guys out there - doesn't a story like this worry the hell, out of you (and the pax sitting behind you)?
You've done all the calculations, correctly set the aircraft up ready for takeoff according to weight, altitude, weather conditions etc. Are you not completely in control during the critical 2-3 minutes that follow?
When I push the throttle forward in my C152 and commit to takeoff I expect to be in total control for every aspect of the flight thereafter including an EFTO.
This story suggests that a computer (a machine of questionable integrity programmed by a nerd who might or might not have been having a bad day) decides that a major mechanical malfunction has taken place (when it hadn't) then retracts essential lift devices at the very moment they are needed most and all of this happens between 12 and 40 feet above ground.
Factually incorrect. For whatever reason the aircraft sensed that a reverser(s) was or was about to be deployed and retracted some of the LE devices as per design. The cause was a fault somewhere not the rather glib assertion that an individual having a bad day during the design phase made a mistake many years ago.

Whatever happened to PIC?
He is alive and well. He may or may not have been the handling pilot.

Thank God the crew were experienced enough to take corrective action. How many Third World crews would have been able to do the same or ended up splattered all over the airfield perimeter?
Assuming a Third World crew, as you so condescendingly refer to them, had legitimately qualified for their positions and had had the benefit of the level of thorough training many of us enjoy I am sure they would have been just as successful as us superior First World pilots.

The difference and problem is that nepotism and bribery too often influences the selection criteria and training standards are poor in far to many airlines run by bankrupt and corrupt countries.
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:13
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After rotation the handling pilot is flying by reference to instruments even having reduced the AoA I doubt looking out the window would have been much help but that is only my opinion.
A question - if you're at 35ft, flying by instruments, is the PNF looking out of the window for obstacles? I appreciate that anything but a straight line is going to be problematic at that altitude. Obviously the problem manifested itself when there was still runway in front, but there wouldn't have been much time to react, get the engines spooled up and gain a bit more altitude. (I know it's several seconds from idle to decent power, what is it from typical flex t/o power to TOGA?)
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:48
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A question - if you're at 35ft, flying by instruments, is the PNF looking out of the window for obstacles?
I very much doubt it. More likely looking in trying to work out WTF is happening.

Obviously the problem manifested itself when there was still runway in front,
In my experience not very much. You are often into the last 900m of runway at JNB when you rotate, with a ground speed in excess of 180kts.

I know it's several seconds from idle to decent power, what is it from typical flex t/o power to TOGA?
If there is any derate at JNB it's usually pretty small. I'd be surprised if it took more than 5 secs to go from derate to max power.
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Old 14th May 2009, 17:07
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Thank God the crew were experienced enough to take corrective action. How many Third World crews would have been able to do the same or ended up splattered all over the airfield perimeter?
Bit of a jump in the logic there don't you think?

You rightly praise the sufficiently experienced crew for pulling themselves out of a hole.

Then you ask how many Third-World crews might have managed the same.

I'm not sure where the third world bit comes in, unless you equate it with inexperience?
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Old 14th May 2009, 17:21
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Doesn't it worry you

Xeque
Are you not completely in control during the critical 2-3 minutes that follow?
A more rational answer to your query is yes. Yes, it is worrying for the simple reason that this appears to be another one of these things that was either completely unforseen at design stage or more probably, the likliehood of such an occurrence was deemed to be so remote as to not require any additional protection against.

If you look carefully at what happened here, there were two simultaneous and erroneous indications of thrust reverser deployment. I will leave it to the designers and mathematicians to give the odds on that happening. But happen it did (based on these "reports" so far) but according to an earlier explanation it also required the a/c to be "on ground" though air/ground sensors, so further reducing the chances of this event. So it looks like all things conspired in the worst possible sense against this crew but they have managed wonderfully to rescue a dire unforseen event.

It is a fact of aviation life that all professionals strive to do everything within their power to do things correctly and properly for every flight but that there will always be something new to catch one out. It has always amazed me how some very old aircraft types still have bulletins, both technical and operational, being issued donkeys years after all glitches should have been ironed out.(I am not talking about wear and tear here)

I could go on an tell the tale of a B737-200 where all flight and ground spoilers (was 8 or 10?) deployed inflight when the speedbrake was selected. Only flight spoilers (4 off) should have deployed and it was "impossible" by design for the ground spoilers to so do. Yet they did and at relatively low height. That was over 30 years ago but I will never forget that Captain's face during the debrief. But I won't bore you with that story now.
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Old 14th May 2009, 17:59
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I'm not sure where the third world bit comes in, unless you equate it with inexperience?
Not so much inexperience but training, culture, training, discipline, training, training, and training!
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Old 14th May 2009, 22:17
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spurious fault

In several posts it has been noted that the t/rev EICAS indications were spurious. If that is in fact the case why did the l/e devices retract?

Well done to the crew however I'd like to see the report before the word spurious becomes the norm like on the Airbus

Brgds
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Old 15th May 2009, 00:02
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Plainly the reversers did not deploy. They either unlocked or the system sensed they were unlocked when they weren't.

The leading edge slats did what they are designed to do when reversers are unlocked. In other words the LE salts behaved correctly for the sensed condition, actual or otherwise.
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Old 15th May 2009, 08:58
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Plainly the reversers did not deploy. They either unlocked or the system sensed they were unlocked when they weren't.
There is a prox sensor on the lock, and another at the top left of the cowl. If either is 'far' then the amber REV will come on. It is extremley unlikely that the reverser unlocked. Most probable is that the cowl closed sensor went to 'far'. I have had this happen when a flex drive sheared between the motor and the number 1 gearbox. The reverser doesn't move, but the top left corner of the cowl flexes just enough to bring on the REV indication. Unfortunately at present on a B744 this gives a signal to the inboard l/edge flaps. I expect a mod to come out to need the unlocked sensor to indicate 'far' as well.
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Old 15th May 2009, 13:43
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Thanks, Swedish Steve, for that concise description of system indication.
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Old 15th May 2009, 15:25
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Avman, et al:

I am just a lurker on this side of the forum.But going by your statements,the crew at Buffalo,NY was inexperienced, and had inadequate training. So does that make the US a backward Third World culture with folks who can bribe their way to a pilot's seat?
Not taking anything away from the BA crew, but it is sometimes sickening to watch my associates from the First World, strut around like those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.
Going back to lurking now.
Alt3
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Old 15th May 2009, 20:17
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I had a similar not so dramatic incident with on a Air China flight out of PEK in a 744 three years ago. As a pax. Plane was already accelerating pretty much, when it made an abort. Pretty hefty and impressive.
You could imagine that there was no decent info why and what. After the runway was cleared and a/c parked, we waited and I noticed mx in and out and on one of the engines. Found one of the pilots and he explained in english, that the Amber light came just after the acceleration. Great they could abort.
Of course, sensor issue, rev locked and after the usual paperwork back to runway.
Great work, but nobody except me knew really what it was. This is China. And a very new 744.
Danny
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Old 15th May 2009, 23:11
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Thor,

The action taken by the crew was successful. You have the result and you can try to simulate other actions to try to prove if, or if not, the actions taken were optimal.

Given the exact same circumstances, follow exactly what the crew did. We know that it works. Who knows if leaving the gear down would be safer? What would you do? If you were unlucky enough to be in the exact same position, would you back simulation or an actual event?
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Old 16th May 2009, 02:04
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Great job by the BA pilots.........enjoy the time off.

As for Danimal's account; sadly, there were no " fans " to crow loud and clear about the great job the Air China crew did!

The BA cre sure have die hard fans like wobbly and ilk.
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Old 16th May 2009, 05:38
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Well done BA crew,

I find it very disturbing that we dare to judge the BA crew and their actions in avoiding a disaster from the comfort of our home having all the time in the world to micro-analyze.
They reacted according to their natural instinct increase thrust and clean up. Whether it was the most optimum reaction or not, who are we to judge?

Fact is, they saved the day with very little time on their hand. I know the feeling of going down a long runway at night on a quad with a lot of heavy metal behind you, there really is not much time to think of every possible outcome to a situation or what might be the best way to sort a problem. All you can do is, fly the plane and use airmanship.
That's what they did. That's what so many crews all over the world do every day, in every country (third world or not). The fact that we don't make the news headlines everyday just proves it.
Once again very well done BA!
My utmost respect for the crew!
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Old 16th May 2009, 05:58
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No question this crew did a brilliant job (gear retraction notwithstanding)


No one seems to be questioning Boeings design logic here however. I understand the reasons for the auto slat retraction on landing with reverse thrust activation.


What I dont understand is why this system does not lock out above say 100 knots.


No matter what your engines are doing none of us want our slats auto retracting as we are approaching or are after rotation speed.


Seems an easy fix ?
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Old 16th May 2009, 06:14
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What I dont understand is why this system does not lock out above say 100 knots.
Because you will be landing and selecting reverse above 100kts, so therefore the LE will need to retract as per the design.

Better to lock out with the fwd thrust levers in the take off range.
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Old 16th May 2009, 09:19
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How long did it actually take??

Quick question...

At such a low altitude... stick shaker going...
Gear up is selected. How long does it actually take from Gear up select to actual gear up?
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