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Air France rejected T/O in Lagos

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Air France rejected T/O in Lagos

Old 29th Jan 2010, 02:47
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I realise this AF incident was a different kettle of fish but, FDR, I don't really think we've got to the point where we have to reject a take off just because the autothrottles dont engage.



During take off a few years ago on a 767-400 our AT'S did not engage (AT was armed) so we manually set the thrust and carried on, no big fuss.



This sort of coordination was done for many, many years on more 'primitive' Aircraft. Granted it's easier with an FE and i'd be happy to have them around still as well, even so..



In our case we never regained use of the AT'S (faulty thrust computer) so we set our own power from LAX-HNL, a non event.




Having flown several 'Jurassic Jets' for many years I always considered Autothrottles to be a (very nice) luxury.



Unless there were other failures I would make the same decision today.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 03:35
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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During take off a few years ago on a 767-400 our AT'S did not engage (AT was armed) so we manually set the thrust and carried on, no big fuss.
One clue that the flaps on a modern Boeing are not at a takeoff setting is that the autothrottles will not engage. I'd sure take a good look for something out of place before continuing. Of course, you should get a config warning if you continue to push up the throttles (or thrust levers or whatever they are called these days). And, nowadays, the feds seem to want you to taxi back to the end of the line, get a deferral number from maintenance and refer to the MEL if you go with any system inop even if you know a reset will cure the problem (e.g. yaw damper inop). Some of this seems to depend on the POI and the times.

Also, with the thrust management computer inop, nuisance exceedance reports will be put on the QAR tape, I speak from experience. Engine indications will turn amber if you exceed max continuous on takeoff even though it is not a limitation in the first five minutes of the flight.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 04:16
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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My opinion....

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that I agree wholeheartedly with 411A. Having been a flight engineer, myself, I was able to sit back and look, from a distance...if you will....and see the forest for the trees. A respectful callout to the guys up front would bring to their attention something that wasn't quite right.

A similar situation exists in the simulator. The sim instructor gets to see (and take in) a lot more of what is going on....because he (she) is sitting back and observing the whole picture.

A good flight engineer is worth his weight in gold. (The same can be said for a good first officer, by the way.)

Today's planes are designed with automation that eliminates the need for the flight engineer. But, I'd much rather have a good flight engineer, instead of all this automation.

My opinion only....


Fly safe,


PantLoad
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 04:44
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Points worth considering AB but no other malfunctions / abnormalities were present.


The flaps were down already and had been checked !



It was a very simple issue to address manually, no exceedances were made on any engine limits as we carefully monitored the power (just like we used to do on older Aircraft)


Doubtless a QAR record was kept, thats good. After writing up the incident in detail in the maintenance log and with our flight operations department our actions were never questioned by anyone in Flt Ops management, maintenance or the FAA.


Not sure if you realise the Aircraft can be dispatched with autothrottles inop.
Everything else works very well thank you.



I am curious to know what else you would reject for.

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Old 29th Jan 2010, 04:59
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I was a passenger on this flight,this would explain why it took so long for the thrust to kick in,until deep in the runway say 1500ft.

Will be a good topic for CRM today!!!

The stop over in lagos was scheduled about two hours.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 05:14
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Not sure if you realise the Aircraft can be dispatched with autothrottles inop.
Gee, I didn't know that! Really? Wow...

Anyway, the feds are big on deferrals, paperwork and decision matrices these days from what I can see.

I am curious to know what else you would reject for.
Prior to 80 knots, which is when you would discover that the autothrottles would not engage, we are trained to reject for system failures (along with a laundry list of other things like unusual vibration, master caution and the usual engine fire or failure). It may be different where you work, like I said, some of this depends on the POI and the latest thinking.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 05:27
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RTO Reasons....

I realise this AF incident was a different kettle of fish but, FDR, I don't really think we've got to the point where we have to reject a take off just because the autothrottles dont engage.
Until 12 months ago, an open flight deck window was not cause for a low speed RTO (<80KIAS), now it is. The conditions that determine a RTO at low speed is well stated in the Boeing QRH NNCL.

Off hand I can think of 4 events where the ATR didn't engage, and a flapless takeoff ensued, which resulted in fatalities: DC-9, MD80, B737 x 2. I know of numerous cases where the ATR didn't engage on B744's, and after messing about finally the crew manually set thrust, to find the next warning was CONFIGURATION-FLAPS. In 2 cases the crews set the flaps on the roll.... neat trick- low drag takeoffs.....

Setting the thrust back to idle and pondering what is going on, and ensuring that the procedures and checklists have been followed, seems a fairly low rent/low stress solution, as the thrust is normally set from stable (various engines various values) around 10-20Kts GS... this is a fairly low energy state.

The FCTM does allow manual thrust setting, no question, however the crew fault finding and changing switches without adhering to standard crew actions and callouts as characterised in the Introduction to the Boeing QRH is going to be hard to justify in the light of an erroneous selection being made on the fly, or following an ad-hoc procedure.

Systems wise, program safety is not predicated on the best pilots and operators, it is based on the lowest levels of each on a bad day.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 05:29
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Thumbs up

fdr....

The oversight of the ATR switch in the preflight check, where it is listed in the POM, Ch5.3 needs also to be assessed in the light of duty time/fatigue/etc before lining up the messenger against a suitably pockmarked wall.
Excellent call!
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 05:30
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The FCTM does allow manual thrust setting, no question, however the crew fault finding and changing switches without adhering to standard crew actions and callouts as characterised in the Introduction to the Boeing QRH is going to be hard to justify in the light of an erroneous selection being made on the fly, or following an ad-hoc procedure.
Yep, like I said...
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 10:55
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What is the PM doing, Im sure, "outside" when he is suppose to be monitoring PFD's, ND's, Eng Inst, etc?
Maybe looking for guided missiles, crap on the runway, kangaroos, stray lions or starving locals looking for road kill
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 11:37
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Maybe looking for guided missiles, crap on the runway, kangaroos, stray lions or starving locals looking for road kill
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Sorry matey, no Roos here. The only wild animals here are corrupt politicians. Sorry I digress
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 14:44
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Quote
"So why were the autothrottle arm switches off? There is no reason to turn them off and particularly as the aircraft was on a transit stop anyway."

To my knowledge, A/T are set off during taxi out because AF decided that if you mistakenly press the switch on the trust lever, you will get the take off thrust on the taxiway which was considered more dangerous than forgetting the A/T. It seems that they are wrong but SOP may have changed and I havení been flying this aircraft since 2003
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 14:59
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I am with you guys who go the FE route, I still fly with the voice activated, hairy hand actuated throttle set up, will miss it when we finally move to something clever.
I do not fly these modern aircraft, but am still pretty alarmed that this situation occured, some lucky people there by all accounts.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 16:48
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I am with you guys who go the FE route, I still fly with the voice activated, hairy hand actuated throttle set up, will miss it when we finally move to something clever.
I do not fly these modern aircraft, but am still pretty alarmed that this situation occured, some lucky people there by all accounts.
No one doubts the skill and usefulness of a Flighte Engineer but there is no job for a flight engineer on a modern two crew aircraft. I remember positioning from Melbourne to Perth in 1990 on an Australian Airlines B767. Out of courtesy I went on to the flight deck to say hello. I was amazed to find a flight engineer sitting in front of a small panel where some of the overhead panel had been relocated. He also had a secondary EICAS screen. He appeared bored out of his mind and, frankly, was superfluous to requirements.

What we have in this incident, if our understanding is correct, is poor adherence to checklists, poor SOPs and poor airmanship leading to a very serious error. Employing a flight engineer to cover for a pilot's apparent lack of training or airmanship would seem OTT.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 17:07
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Connecting the lack of autothrottle engagement to lack of flap extension is reasonable.



Just as reasonable as manually setting thrust after checking all else is well.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 20:17
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Not Australian airlines, this would have been Ansett.

To my knowledge, A/T are set off during taxi out because AF decided that if you mistakenly press the switch on the trust lever, you will get the take off thrust on the taxiway which was considered more dangerous than forgetting the A/T. It seems that they are wrong but SOP may have changed and I havení been flying this aircraft since 2003
This dates back to the 744 early days many many moons ago. It happened to the then Ops chief who, by mistake, activated the palm switch on a taxiway. It was a close one.
It was decided the switch was to be off before take off and to be switched on when approaching the runway.
Today, it is to be switched on before start up and switched off after landing.
On a 2 legs trip.................that's where the hole in the cheese is.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 21:09
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Not Australian airlines, this would have been Ansett.
If Ansett flew white B767s with Australian in blue letters written on the side you are quite correct.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 22:04
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On a 2 legs trip.................that's where the hole in the cheese is.
Why ? Are they keeping the engines running during the stop-over ?
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 23:38
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Hi 'M.Mouse' and 'Me Myself',

I was flying with Australian Airlines back in those days, and believe me, Australian did not have ANY B767s at all,

further, Ansett were the ONLY B767s in the world that had the FE mod (an ex-RAAF friend of mine used to fly 'em).

Ya shoulda been in a '72, they were the greatest, and that's the way I'll always remember it!

(Both airlines had them!)

The mob I'm in now (B737NGs), recently changed their procedures to get the A/T armed only when approaching the departure runway, simply for safety reasons, due the likelyhood of accidental TOGA actuation!

Digression complete!

Cheers...FD
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 04:55
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I have to eat humble pie and stand corrected then. Thanks for the information (both of you).
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