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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

Old 21st Apr 2010, 10:46
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Infrequent. You're a satellite interpretation/atmospheric dispersion expert now are you? And what does volcanic ash look like on a satellite image? Excellent. Then no doubt you know the Eurocontrol charts are based on data provided by the Met Office. (Under ICAO the MO are the ONLY body allowed to produce VAAC charts….but no doubt you knew that).
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 10:55
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Let the Great Experiment begin...

Further:
"In addition, the CAA’s Revised Airspace Guidance requires airlines to:
· conduct their own risk assessment and develop operational procedures to address any remaining risks;
· put in place an intensive maintenance ash damage inspection before and after each flight; and
· report any ash related incidents to a reporting scheme run by the CAA."

Anyone has info on these?
Specs, instructions, instrumentation for inspections...?
Location of reports or CAA reporting scheme...?
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:00
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how can these SOPs be up and running already so that all these flights were able to go- I do not understand this, it takes the company I work for weeks/months to get a gobal one of these signed off!!! These companies have got them in place in one night shift! How can their maintance teams been able to buy into/ contribute to these as some of it will depend on them?
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:02
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Phalken Post/pre Flt Volcanic Ash Inspections

Initially, the God given Mk 1 Eyeball - like we have been using for years!!!

Mind you, It might have to be Licensed for Volcanic Ash Inspections
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:10
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Interesting ...

Anyone care to comment as to why this, frankly quite interesting and useful page appeared and then rather quickly disappeared from the VAAC website?

Met Office: Icelandic volcano - Ash concentration charts
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:10
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Let the Great Experiment begin...

As any coal-miner will tell you: silicosis is diagnosed only after your lungs are bleeding, when you have already begun to cough and splutter, and loose your breath until your legs give way...
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:15
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put in place an intensive maintenance ash damage inspection before and after each flight
So how long does this take?
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:19
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Metoffice response to CAA

Met Office: Icelandic volcano eruption

Read into their response what you will
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:19
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One would imagine longer than a 30 minute turnaround allows.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:19
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Someone was asking for mass-flow numbers earlier on. RR's Web site gives an intake mass-flow for the RB211-535E4B (I picked an engine arbitrarily) of 1,177lb/sec or 533.87kg/sec.

Based on the figure of 0.3 milligrams per m3 given for Stranraer, at an air density of 1.2kg/m3 at sea level (obviously we're not interested in sea level, but at least it's wrong in a known way - the ash measurement is a sea-level one and I guess RR's figures are test-stand measurements, so it's consistent) that would be 444m3 of air a second and 0.133g of ash a second - 478g of ash per engine-hour.

(Although, the -535 is a very high bypass turbofan, so perhaps we need the core mass flow...)
Now, scientists and engineers have agreed a threshold concentration for ash of 0.002g per cubic metre of air. At or below this concentration, there is no damage to the engine.
BBC News - Was the flight ban necessary?

Thats a pretty high level.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:21
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Germany is back to unrestricted air traffic since noontime today. IFR anywhere possible again in Deutschland.

German language source based on DFS statement:
DFS: Deutscher Luftraum wieder uneingeschränkt nutzbar - FLUG REVUE
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:29
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Let the Great Experiment begin...

Quote:
Now, scientists and engineers have agreed a threshold concentration for ash of 0.002g per cubic metre of air. At or below this concentration, there is no damage to the engine.
But this is a TV news report. How are measures taken?

What time scaling: 15 min? hourly? 8 or 24 hours? ...like terrestrial air pollution?

Where are the specs?

"Considering that a commercial aircraft will travel about 150 km (80 M) in 10 minutes and that volcanic ash can rise to flight levels commonly used by turbine-engine aeroplanes in half that time, timely response to reports of volcanic ash is essential."

from ICAO EUR/NAT OFFICE (Paris): Volcanic Ash Contingency Plan EUR Region (Second Edition September 2009) Page 3
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:37
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RR et al

My take is ICAO have been trying to tackle this issue for years on 2 fronts - (1) where is ash and provide warning for it (VAAC) and (2) what is the engine susceptibility level.

They got nowhere on (2) and then set a susceptibility threshold of 0 which the CAA, and NATS adopted to the letter. One particle in the whole airspace means close it!

It seems one of the culprits for this fiasco over the years is the engine manufacturers not supporting efforts on volcanos - plus the head of ICAO, CAA and BA not persuading them to. I don't understand how in PPRUNE and the wider press, RR et al have so far got away scott free.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:40
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"Considering that a commercial aircraft will travel about 150 km (80 M) in 10 minutes and that volcanic ash can rise to flight levels commonly used by turbine-engine aeroplanes in half that time, timely response to reports of volcanic ash is essential."
6000 fpm? maybe from the centre of the volcanic eruption but who will be flying over that?

If not that from what level are they talking about and where......
all this scientific detail is amazing.

Pace
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:40
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Per the AMM chapter 5 it will be progressive. Initial inpsection includes evidence of windshield crazing, paint erosion, erosion of pitot tubes, TAT probes, AOA sensors, engine inlets etc, smells in air conditioning etc If findings found during this process then you move on to engine boroscopes etc etc. each manufacturer's AMM will be different but thats a very basic explanation.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 11:54
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Volcanic dust encounter

Re: Airvanman's post:

"Thomas Cook TCX952P registration G-JMCF (Boeing 757-28A) just made a u-turn to Manchester, it was out over the North Sea off Nofolk/Suffolk, it reported to London and Manchester Control it had an engine bleed problem after an 'intense smell of volcanic ash in the cabin during the climb between FL160 and FL200."

FYI here is a partial transcript of what went on:

"For information we got the smell of the ash from about 16,000 feet in the climb, it stayed with us even when we were well above FL200. We had no smell at all on the way down and we're passing 14..."

ATC: "so between 160 to 200?"

"Difficult to say when it stopped in the climb because we still have the smell in here, and it took a while to clear. There are still traces of the smell but it was quite intense in the climb..."

(Later)

"Negative emergency, no special handling, everything is normal, its just that we have lost one of our engine bleeds, possibly through a contaminated valve."

Comments please?
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:13
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Re: RR et al

People have been assigning some blame to the engine manufacturers. On here certainly if not in the mainstream media.

As a side note, this is an interesting article covering possible future directions for the manufacturers:
The Great Debate UK Debate Archive Impact of the volcano disruption on the airlines | The Great Debate |
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:13
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Let the Great Experiment begin...

The simple fact is that a 20+ year-old, worldwide safety regime was overthrown at a 2 hour meeting packed with British politicians and airline executives.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:15
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risk management

Long time 'lurker' - felt compelled to chime in..

Hello to all... I'm not a pilot, aircraft engineer or vulcanologist.

orig. post didn't turn up for some reason so here goes again:

Thoughts go out to stranded travelers and those impacted by the current ash situation.

The dynamics of the debate and the political, business and management pressures on the one hand versus the aircraft engine designers on the other (saying 0 tolerance for ash) is reminiscent to me of events surrounding the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. I think there are some lessons to be considered there.


Space Shuttle Challenger disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Use as case study

The Challenger accident has frequently been used as a case study in the study of subjects such as engineering safety, the ethics of whistle-blowing, communications, group decision-making, and the dangers of groupthink. It is part of the required readings for engineers seeking a professional license in Canada[52] and other countries. Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who had warned about the effect of cold weather on the O-rings, left his job at Morton Thiokol and became a speaker on workplace ethics.[53] He argues that the caucus called by Morton Thiokol managers, which resulted in a recommendation to launch, "constituted the unethical decision-making forum resulting from intense customer intimidation."[54] For his honesty and integrity leading up to and directly following the shuttle disaster, Roger Boisjoly was awarded the Prize for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many colleges and universities have also used the accident in classes on the ethics of engineering.[55][56]
Information designer Edward Tufte has used the Challenger accident as an example of the problems that can occur from the lack of clarity in the presentation of information. He argues that if Morton Thiokol engineers had more clearly presented the data that they had on the relationship between low temperatures and burn-through in the solid rocket booster joints, they might have succeeded in persuading NASA managers to cancel the launch.[57] Tufte has also argued that poor presentation of information may have affected NASA decisions during the last flight of Columbia.

The Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, also known as the Rogers Commission (after its chairman), was formed to investigate the disaster. The commission members were Chairman William P. Rogers, Vice Chairman Neil Armstrong, David Acheson, Eugene Covert, Richard Feynman, Robert Hotz, Donald Kutyna, Sally Ride, Robert Rummel, Joseph Sutter, Arthur Walker, Albert Wheelon, and Chuck Yeager. The commission worked for several months and published a report of its findings. It found that the Challenger accident was caused by a failure in the O-rings sealing a joint on the right solid rocket booster, which allowed pressurized hot gases and eventually flame to "blow by" the O-ring and make contact with the adjacent external tank, causing structural failure. The failure of the O-rings was attributed to a faulty design, whose performance could be too easily compromised by factors including the low temperature on the day of launch.[34]
More broadly, the report also considered the contributing causes of the accident. Most salient was the failure of both NASA and Morton Thiokol to respond adequately to the danger posed by the deficient joint design. However, rather than redesigning the joint, they came to define the problem as an acceptable flight risk. The report found that managers at Marshall had known about the flawed design since 1977, but never discussed the problem outside their reporting channels with Thiokol--a flagrant violation of NASA regulations. Even when it became more apparent how serious the flaw was, no one at Marshall considered grounding the shuttles until a fix could be implemented. On the contrary, Marshall managers went as far as to issue and waive six launch constraints related to the O-rings.[35] The report also strongly criticized the decision making process that led to the launch of Challenger, saying that it was seriously flawed.[36]
...failures in communication... resulted in a decision to launch 51-L based on incomplete and sometimes misleading information, a conflict between engineering data and management judgments, and a NASA management structure that permitted internal flight safety problems to bypass key Shuttle managers.[37] One of the commission's most well-known members was theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. During a televised hearing, he famously demonstrated how the O-rings became less resilient and subject to seal failures at ice-cold temperatures by immersing a sample of the material in a glass of ice water. He was so critical of flaws in NASA's "safety culture" that he threatened to remove his name from the report unless it included his personal observations on the reliability of the shuttle, which appeared as Appendix F.[38] In the appendix, he argued that the estimates of reliability offered by NASA management were wildly unrealistic, differing as much as a thousandfold from the estimates of working engineers. "For a successful technology," he concluded, "reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:15
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This was the biggest farce in our company´s history! I completetly lost faith in our management and political leadership in the last couple of days.

No one seems to have the slightest understanding of what safety in aviation means. Stick to known procedures for example, or at least brief unusual procedures thoroughly. How on earth can someone in his right mind consider it safe if a passenger jet goes VFR through airspace E at 1200ft AGL 20 miles away from the field trying to find his way towards the runway while trying to seperate itself from small Cessnas and to establish a sequence to other big jets doing the same??
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