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48 hours @ Brum.

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48 hours @ Brum.

Old 8th Jan 2002, 15:21
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Post 48 hours @ Brum.

We all in the aviation community are upset about the tragic events last friday when Challenger N90AG crashed on take off at Birmingham.

However it is the chain of events that followed it that worries me.Can anybody in this forum tell me from an informed position why a large airport like BHX had to remain closed for 2 whole days?

I work for an airline that like many can not afford unnessasary disruption to its opertion at this delicate time financially,this event will cost us dear.

It should be remembered that the a/c was a private,non AOC operation and many people I know question why it had to have such a huge impact at the airport.Had a similar incident occured on the M25 then the road would have opened asap.

Therefore if the BBC T.V.news interview with Chief Inspector Ellie Bird of West Midlands Police is anything to go by I suspect that the yellow jacketed ,nanny state jobs worth's had a hand in the long closure.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 15:34
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Unhappy

Interesting how you compare BHX to the M25. I travel on the M25 regularly and can see no likeness whatsoever.

One thing I dont like is the mainstream news taking statements from the general travelling public in Brum just after the accident like "i'm really annoyed that we're going to be arriving in Malaga at midnight and then its a 3 hour transfer from there...". I dont care, there are five families out there that have lost loved ones and this blinkered view doesn't help anyone.

Sorry, I've probably warranted the closure of this thread with that rant... oh well...
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 15:35
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I too find it a little difficult to understand
quite why BHX was closed for so long. The accident
occured at lunchtime and clearly it would take a
finite amount of time to get an AAIB team to the
site which would probably coincide with nightfall.
Once the site was secure and made safe the team
would require sufficient time to assess the scene
and complete investigations before allowing the
debris to be taken to Farnborough and the airport
authorities given opportunity to tidy up and
begin operations. All this being said - quite why
this should take 48 hours is questionable.

The comparison to an RTA is unrealistic bearing
in mind the possible ramifications should the
AAIB come up with airframe/engine defects that
would require grounding of aircraft around the
world pending investigation. Remember also that
the police in the UK now have high-tech accident
investigation kit which is routinely at the site
of serious road accidents which leads to the same
complaints from motorists who would prefer the
vehicles to be pushed to the side of the road and
traffic flow re-established as used to be the norm.

Whatever the rights and wrongs - a balance has to
be drawn between accident investigation and clear
commercial pressures. I do believe that BHX was
slow to be open but at the end of the day better
safe than sorry and let us hope that the whole
process is not repeated for a long time.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 15:46
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Lightbulb

I suspect that the voice of the lawyer is being heard here. Because this accident has large potential implications for insurers, including those who insure the airport, the most painstaking investigation possible is a sensible precaution to take. Compared to the potential claim, the costs of two days closure are negligible.

[ 08 January 2002: Message edited by: Unwell_Raptor ]</p>
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 15:54
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Angry

I can't comment on the BHX closure, but this thread reminds me of a train derailment near Glasgow several years ago.

Several hundred pax were detained on the train for many hours afterwards. The police insisted that every passenger be interviewed, despite the fact that every account was the same. Pax were forbidden to disembark, regardless of grounds, and threatened with arrest if they tried. The driver, badly shaken, was also mistreated.

Police officers do a tough job and normally have my full support. But the responses to some incidents shows ignorance and bloody-mindedness born of poor accountability, especially in the higher ranks.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 16:39
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Red face

In the UK the Police will treat an accident as a scene of crime therefore I suspect they had a hand in the decision to keep BHX closed. There are always regular meetings between all the parties involved about re-opening following an accident. I would not have thought any one agency would make the decision in isolation.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 16:46
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How long was Milan closed after the SAS DC9 crashed?
 
Old 8th Jan 2002, 17:02
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Police have been known to treat air accidents as RTAs. I was once a witness to a mid air during a handicap air race. One aeroplane (182) lost a wing and fell to earth by the runway, the other (Mooney) circled to land. The Police were later seen on the runway with tape measures, and when giving my statement I was asked if either aeroplanes had sounded their horns (honest!).
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 17:59
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I asked a similar question on the "Questions" Forum on Saturday, and got one response!

If the wreckage is causing no obstruction to airport operations, there is no damage to the infrastructure which supports airport operations, and visibility is above minimum levels, should the airport be re-opened?

It would be interesting to know how long it took to re-open Los Rodeos in 1977, or Sioux City in 1989, where the incident was far more severe. And before anyone replies, I realise it was longer than 2 days.

No Comment, I guess that the press deliberately sought controversial comments from PAX along the lines that you report. From someone who was affected, I was told that the "lack of information" was not helpful. Apparently several "false dawns" came and went.

Beamer, isn't most of the AAIB work relating to possible aircraft defects carried out away from the scene? There must be a finite amount of information that can be gained from the accident site, re-inforced through the ability to photograph/video the scene.

BIK....,I think you will find that much of the delay to re-opening the rail line after either the Southall or Paddington disasters, was due to the sheer extent of the damage to the track and other infrastructure.

[ 08 January 2002: Message edited by: newswatcher ]</p>
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 18:45
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from what i understand, due to fog at the airport the assesment of what happened and removal of the aircraft was delayed as they could not see enough to ensure that the runway etc was definatly clear.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 20:07
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Arrow

Raptor, no! not a lawyer but somebody who cares about paying next months mortgage. The arse covering community in the UK will put you and me on the dole eventually. Airlines are business's not flying clubs. 2 day's is allmost 1% of the flying year. easy maths.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 22:57
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I am sure most people would agree that all investigations must be complete before the accident scene could be re-opened. However, I like a few others it seems, do wonder whether airports such as London Heathrow/Gatwick would have remained closed for 48 hours. I do not know the exact procedures to be adopted but as the aircraft wasn't actually on the runway wouldn't this have aided matters?

Sympathies to all involved.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 23:15
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newswatcher:
I flew into EWR 3 days after the FedEx MD11
flipped on landing (1998-ish). All the wreckage
had been cleared & they were busy repairing the
runway. Runway was reopened 2 days later,
I think.
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Old 8th Jan 2002, 23:46
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Exclamation

Aerial anarcho,
from what I understand, this aircraft was commercially operated by an AOC holder (Eppsaviation).Acc to their website they operate 4 KingAirs, 4 Lears and the now lost Chally.
This accident has to be checked out as a 747 crash should be... I guess, thats simply what the AAIB is doing and what takes some time.
And surely you wouldn´t like to have these guys running around close to an active runway, would you?
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 01:40
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So what if BHX was closed for 2 days, there were other airports open so I don't think it does represent 1% of the total flying time/capacity.

Having witnessed the accident and can see what remains of a fairly large plane (2 big bits being taken to pieces today)it doesn't seem unrealistic that collecting lots of bits of aircraft and other pieces took 2 days. In fact I think they did very well to do it in 3 days.

This crash which was not a pretty sight would have scattered lots of very small pieces over a wide area both in width and length which was better collected, swept up even, rather than ingested by any one of a number of jets the following week. Not to mention collected for evidence.

I think people whining over a 2 day closure ought to shut the **** up and be grateful the plane didn't hit the tower/ tower building and close it for 2 months.

Aerial Anarchist perhaps you work for an airline whose greedy owners / share holders might not got their 2nd home, upteenth holiday, car changed this year. Why don't you name your company and last years operating profit?
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 02:05
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I, like most, have the greatest respect for the AAIB, their work and understand the importance of a detailed investigation. However, I must confess I too wondered why it took so long to get BHX open again.

All we can reasonably ask of the investigation teams and the airport, is that they conduct as thorough investigation as is required in as short of time as possible and be conscious of the considerable commercial impact it has on other airport users. With that reassurance I don't think we can ask more of them.
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 02:23
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I know the answer..........Get them to build another runway. Simple. If LHR/LGW/MAN had the same incident it is very likely they would have opened earlier, can't blame that on BHX. I'm sure BHX could have done with it opening earlier for their own trading.
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 02:23
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Broken aircraft bits aren't the only things scattered around at aircraft crash sites and I understand that the very low visibility experienced just after the incident hampered certain searches. I don't want to be any more indelicate that this.

My condolences to all concerned.
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 02:28
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Broken aircraft bits aren't the only things scattered around at aircraft crash sites and I understand that the very low visibility experienced just after the incident hampered certain searches. I don't want to be any more indelicate that this.

My condolences to all concerned.
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Old 9th Jan 2002, 03:24
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Folks

Perhaps we can all just take time out on this subject now.

The AAIB will provide answers in due course...maybe then it will become clear why the apparent delay in wreckage clearance. Speculation and criticism do little to help.

Let's not forget the real victims in this tragedy...they can no longer argue, discuss or comment on anything.

Time to show some respect and let it lie.

But for the grace of God.

RIP.
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