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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:18
  #2181 (permalink)  
 
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So how long does this take? (put in place an intensive maintenance ash damage inspection before and after each flight)


Paraphrasing from a knowledgeable fella on another board

Assuming engine has cooled down a bit and there are no hiccups in doing the job
5 minutes to get the cowls opened,
3 minutes to get the boroscope plugs out,
5 minutes to get access to turn the N2 rotor through the gearbox,
10 to 30 minutes for inspection
X mins to send pics for analysis if there's an obvious issue/concern
30 -60 minutes to get the plugs back in and locked,
5 or ten to get the N2 drive pad access cover back on
Y minutes for a leak check (possible engine run rqd)
5 minutes to close the the cowls

Total time required = 63 + X + Y minutes
(varies per engine type)

Summary - you could expect an average of somewhere between 75 - 90 minutes
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:20
  #2182 (permalink)  
 
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Re: Let the great experiment begin

It's true but something had to be done, otherwise the situation would have gone on forever. And it wasn't just the UK - exactly the same thing obviously happened the previous day when Eurocontrol's ash map magically changed after pressure from the EU.

It's been quoted several times on here already, but I think it's important to bear in mind the warning that the ICAO themselves made about their own policy back in 2008:
"As remote sensing techniques improve, it is likely that the aggregate areas
where ash is sensed or inferred will increase, possibly leading to over-warning for ash and cost-blowouts for airlines."

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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:38
  #2183 (permalink)  
 
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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.
No, I think they just reinstated it. ie. "See and avoid"
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:40
  #2184 (permalink)  
 
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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?

There will be very few measurements, it will be based on the Met Office predictions which will now be taken as Gospel as they allow flights to precede.

The Met office provided the wrong answer, so the question has been changed.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:44
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According to news reports from Germany, it was the "right kind of ash" after all. It appears that the Eyjafjallaj÷kull ash consists of basalt, which only melts at 1,200░C, a temperature in the engines normally only reached during take-off. The ash of many other volcanoes (including Pinatubo, Mount St. Helens or volcanoes in the Andes) consists of andesite, which melts at below 1,000░C, a temperature in the engines reached much more frequently.

The abrasive properties of basalt appear to be the same as those of andesite though.

Ergebnisse des Messflugs: Vulkanasche schwebt in 3,5 bis 6 Kilometer H÷he - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Wissenschaft
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 12:53
  #2186 (permalink)  
 
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What did BA tell yesterday's pax?

Just curious to know what the pax on those 10 flights were told. That they were going to be guinea pigs on a test of the aircraft's response to ash? That diversions were likely if WW's bluff was called?

I wonder if anyone declined to travel on that basis.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:07
  #2187 (permalink)  
 
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Has anyone read the Daily Star's headlines today

Saw the headlines of the Comic The Daily Star which shows photo of a 747s engines all on fire as it flies through the volcanic ash cloud...... what it doesnt tell you is its a still from Air Crash Investigation off sky relating to the BA flight in the 80s c/o cpt Moody...... if thats not arse end scare mongering from journalists who should actually be washing the salad at Mcdonalds instead of scaring the general public... i dont know what is, the airlines have had enough of a battering from this and the downturn without them making s@*t like this up.... they should be hung drawn quartered and dipped in battery acid for a week and then forced to watch their relatives on Jeremy Kyle.... is that a bit harsh... rant over
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:10
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Just curious to know what the pax on those 10 flights were told.
Probably that they would be landing at Heathrow.

LHR was previously forecast to be open by 19.00BST as part of the phased opening starting at 07.00 in the north. Notice that the BA flights started to arrive in time for that 19.00 opening - BA124 being the first to show up crossing the Dutch coast at about 18.45.

By the time it was announced that the planned re-opening wasn't going to happen, all BA's were en-route.

Who can blame them for continuing hoping for things to change.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:11
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Re: Has anyone read the Daily Star's headlines today

According to the Guardian, they had to remove these newspapers from shops in Gatwick and Manchester airports to avoid panicked passengers.

Pretty irresponsible stuff from the editor.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:18
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BA inbound

Pax inbound on BA longhaul last night asked to sign a waiver, I understand, saying that they understood they might be diverted away from LHR...
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:24
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Similarities

Similarities between the leadup to the Challenger disaster & the current flying through ash situation I think lie in the element of powerful political, management, public & economic forces wanting to get 'the bird in the air' versus the quiet voice of those involved with the engineering side saying its not wise.

In the case of the shuttle, engineers were warning 'do not launch, safety cannot be guaranteed under these conditions' yet the concerns were ignored. In this current ash debate, powerful voices from the airline industry and politics monopolize the discussion, particularily in the media - whereas those who have expert, detailled knowledge of airplane engines and ash, namely the engineers who design and manufacture jet engines, are less heard (their message: ' ash & jet engines don't mix'). Yet, it appears the public & those in authority to make decisions are hardly hearing the voice of the true experts on the subject during this crisis.

Uncharted territory...

I'm hoping that existing protocols, wind, luck & maintenance regimes will help avoid any potential catastrophic outcomes. Just imagine what an ash-related accident would do to the industry (!)...
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:26
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Let the Great Experiment begin...

It's true but something had to be done, otherwise the situation would have gone on forever.
The point is: Where is the science? Before or after this decision?
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:34
  #2193 (permalink)  
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Lord Adonis stated on 'The world at One' today that there had been an over reaction to the Ash event by the authorities concerned.

Fancy that.

I'm no expert, but it seems me that only an idiot would knowingly fly into the plume found above a volcano.

However, low levels (too low to see at all from air or ground) must have been encountered countless times over the years with no one any the wiser, and no problems reported, given that there are plenty active volcanoes all over the world.

Given that any problems to be caused by ash from Iceland are plainly going to be tiny compared to flying in the plume, why not simply fly on and see if any problems occur- likely none will.

I guess we are now in that situation.

Definately, as many on here have said and now had confirmed by the gummint no less, a gross over reaction.
 
Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:35
  #2194 (permalink)  
 
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I counted them all out

Whilst there will be diverse opinions about the events of last night, the fact remains that BA had a number of Speedbirds inbound to LHR and LGW and whatever was going on in COBRA, with some still in holds long after they could have diverted a decision was made to act. Note - DECISION. Whilst it's easy from the armchair to "fly the plan" sometimes someone needs to step up and take a tough decision.

If WW did indeed bring pressure to bear to get UK FIR's open then I stand by him. After some days of little clear directive other than what some could describe as health and safety syndrome, the fact is that UK airspace cannot be closed for business indefintely without someone or body standing up to be counted. If WW did that then good on him.

Safety first yes. But, it takes more courage to stand up and make the call than be part of a group erring on caution no matter what.

BA got the planes in. The skies are open and I hope lessons are learned from this so that mother nature cannot be the only one deciding on how we go about our lives.

Whatever the context and final outcome, good job to the crews who brought their birds in. Not everyone may agree that BA is still the 'worlds favourite airline' but I for one would say that they are the 'worlds most determined airline'. We sometimes need people to take tough decisions, and I for one prefer a world with them than without.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:45
  #2195 (permalink)  
 
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Lufthansa Engine Damage ?

Well this is a rumour network, so here goes.

Flew into YYZ from FRA yesterday on LH. Talking to some of the AC staff in YYZ, it seems that LH operated the same flight, A340-600, a day earlier albeit at a later departure time. During the turn round inspection "ash damage" was found in the engines. Aeroplane towed to maintenance area.

Any one able to confirm / deny this.

I must admit that I was alittle suprised at out routing yesterday, FRA- London - South Wales, to 55N for the crossing, I was expecting to be further South.

We were told that the highest reported ash had been FL350, so we went at FL360!!

ex-egll
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:46
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Lord Adonis stated on 'The world at One' today that there had been an over reaction to the Ash event by the authorities concerned.
Reaction was based on long-standing international safety proceedures, and especially on manufacturers' (both engine and body) zero-tolerance of volcanic ash. They have (apparantly) revised this tolerance upward by 10x, but as any child knows 10x0=0!

It begs the question: why did Adonis not make this change before? But we know from this morning's Guardian that airlines have opposed revision for their own legal/economic advantage.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 13:47
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Mr. O'Leary was on RTE news saying that he thought it was fair enough that airspace was closed for a day or two last week while assessments were made of whether it was safe to fly on not. He did not think it justified that it has taken seven days to come to a conclusion on that.

It does not take huge bravery to close airspace, but having closed it, it takes huge bravery to reopen it.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 14:09
  #2198 (permalink)  

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Jet engine failure modes with ash ingestion

Understanding why a jet engine should flame out when heavy concentrations of ash go in the front end (compressor and combustion chambers) is just common sense. We also know from experience of this that it is possible to glide down for 15 mins into some cleaner air where the engines can be restarted.

However, there is another failure mode which is much more of a problem and potentially terminal for the engine.

If very fine material that the compressor and combustion stages can happily swallow enters the engine, the risk is to the turbine which in normal operation must be cooled. This risk arises because the airflow past the turbine is sometimes several hundred degrees above the melting point of the turbine material. The cooling air exits through a myriad of small holes in the surface of the blade ensuring that the blades are encased in a cocoon of cool air.

Clearly quite small particles could affect this cooling flow but even worse, depending on the composition of the particles, the temperature can cause some of the particles to change their nature and form a glass like material that can build up in and on the blades. In the worst case such a process, when the engine is running normally, could destroy the turbine in a minute or so.

Apologies to all those who understand these matters.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 14:12
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Time to buy stock in engine manufacturers/re-builders methinks.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 14:31
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