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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

Old 7th Sep 2010, 11:53
  #341 (permalink)  
 
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HUD for smoke in cockpit

I don't agree with a number of posts dismissing HUD under smoke in cockpit conditions. The HUD equipped aircraft that I fly was tested with a smoke generator in the cockpit generating so much smoke that the test pilot could not see his hand in front of his face. He could still read the HUD.

I suspect that this possibly has something to do with the frequency of the light projected. The HUD projector is not like a normal projector. If you put a sheet of white paper onto the combiner at night there will be no image displayed on the sheet. I'm guessing that the light is not dispersed all that much by the smoke and still gets to the combiner.

I advise other pilots that the HUD will still provide a reliable source of reference provided oxygen and eye protection are properly worn. Seeing out the front is another issue.

If anyone has evidence to the contrary I would like to hear it before I find out the hard way!
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 12:33
  #342 (permalink)  
 
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PJ2:
Deregulation promised passengers, industry leaders and employees alike that aviation could be done cheaply. It cannot.
Are you telling me that safety statistics today are WORSE than during the Carter administration?

Don't get me wrong - I am not overlooking the very real tragedies discussed on this board, and surely there are significant improvements to be had. But to blame it all on deregulation seems to miss the target.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 12:44
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Beez51

I don't agree with a number of posts dismissing HUD under smoke in cockpit conditions. The HUD equipped aircraft that I fly was tested with a smoke generator in the cockpit generating so much smoke that the test pilot could not see his hand in front of his face. He could still read the HUD.

I suspect that this possibly has something to do with the frequency of the light projected. The HUD projector is not like a normal projector. If you put a sheet of white paper onto the combiner at night there will be no image displayed on the sheet. I'm guessing that the light is not dispersed all that much by the smoke and still gets to the combiner
Where is the projector on your type Beez? Ours is above and behind our head. If we go much further forward than normal the image ends up on the back of our head instead of on the combiner.

I'll have to look into whether the light frequency of the projected image can penetrate smoke.

On further thought, we would have to choose between the HUD or EVAS. The HUD combiner would prevent EVAS from properly inflating. I would choose EVAS because I know it works.
Best,
GC

Last edited by Gulfcapt; 7th Sep 2010 at 12:51. Reason: Further thought...
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 12:53
  #344 (permalink)  
 
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Wouldn't a HUD display work built into a smoke hood..??
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 12:53
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Interesting to note that the checklist only calls for the 'smoke evacuation handle' to be pulled when the smoke is severe and source considered to be from the flight deck. I doubt the cord from the Eros mask would allow you to reach it. Leaving your seat to reach the handle at the back of the overhead might be the last thing you do. Very nasty situation, I cannot feel anything but sympathy for these guys and I hope we find out the cause.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 17:02
  #346 (permalink)  
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barit2;
Are you telling me that safety statistics today are WORSE than during the Carter administration?
No, and that's not what I said. I said fatal accident rates have leveled off. Some may call that "worse" because the expectation was and is that the downward trend would continue. I think it is important to look beyond a graph, at the nature of accidents.
But to blame it all on deregulation seems to miss the target
Well, that assumes there is "the" target and of course there isn't just one, there are many such "targets". It's not a trivial, "semantic" point. I am not "blaming it all on deregulation", I am exploring original sources and looking for patterns. Like I stated, it is too complicated a discussion for thread material but it follows on what many here have sensed and stated.

I sensed the idea might be misunderstood within this context so I probably should delete the post. But to focus on single cause/single target can, I think, miss ways of solving the problem, which is, as stated, Loss of Control and CFIT which has antecedents far beyond the cockpit as well as ground services.

Ex Cargo Clown opened what I thought was an interesting and valid assessment of the overall state of our industry - traditional expertise and experience is leaving the industry, and parsimony mistaken for "responsible economic behaviours" is coming home to roost in unexpected ways which have yet to be recognized and dealt with. Safety systems are not like PFM boxes which one plugs in to fix a problem, (no slight intended; I know you know this...). I acknowledged that such a rabbit trail was a long way from the thread's topic, which was intended as a signal asking for forebearance while the discussion unfolded.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
PJ2
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 17:25
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The smoke evacuation handle can be reached from the pilot seat without even having to loosen one's seatbelt.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 17:43
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PJ2:

No argument here. As I said - there are still significant improvements to be made. And I agree completely about the loss of experience and expertise as senior folks retire.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 18:15
  #349 (permalink)  
 
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JW411,

excellent post, thanks a lot.

Sometimes things turn weird. We have you doing smoke drills while a crew struggles to survive and fails. And we have the UPS crew doing the same struggle again and fail exactly 12 years to the day of Swissair 111.

Fire is the single most dangerous thing on the flight decks, starting with a Piper Cub up to the lagrest jets and, even worse, spaceflight. If I recall right, they had one of these in MIR and it was a very close shave indeed.

I was working for Swissair at the time that 111 happened, knew two of the crew on and off. It was then and still is one of the accidents that had a profound impact on my own perception of what the real issues on such flights are. All of these flights did happen in the vicinity of airports, none of them ever did at 30W, as you mention. Even to people who are restricted to armchairflying today it is clear that a situation like that will render all sort of EROPS/STOPS whatever planning methods totally absurd. We can't plan for this contingency or there won't be any long haul flights and not a lot of shorthaul ones either. At 30 West, all you can really do is consider ditching in this situation and does anyone want to contemplate that?

Before SR111, the company lost another aircraft to fire. Swissair 330 was a Convair Coronado going to TLV out of ZRH with a bomb on board. The bomb went off and started to set the airplane ablaze. They did try an in flight return but never managed to land. They hit the ground a few hundred yards from a nuclear research facility. It was not a few weeks ago, when they gave a documentary of this on TV, playing back some of the radio tapes. Words that are in my memory from the report and which I heard spoken for the first time. The Captain, realizing he will crash, saying good bye on the radio. Lost some sleep after that recording, I admit freely.

Then the Munich near accident with the Swissair MD80 discussed in this thread earlier. Then SR111.

I remember that after SR111 happened and the circumstances emerged, a lot of planes landed as precautions for too well done "Chicken a la King" or after flying through residue of a forest fire. Heck, they are all alive and I understand them!


Sorry, this got longer than I thought it would, and more open too. But I reckon, seeing that it happened again, and won't be the last time I fear, we are all in one boat so to speak on this.

Last edited by AN2 Driver; 7th Sep 2010 at 19:38.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 18:18
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Perhaps somewhat now redundant, the following info was relayed to me from a friend.

. . . . Gulf Air Pilot
I had the misfortune of hearing the whole chain of events while we
were going from Kuwait to Abu Dhabi. As time goes by and more
information is gathered and released, the picture will become clearer.

We were in Bahraini airspace when we heard the mayday of a "Fire on
the 'Deck'" and an immediate descent to 10,000'. The captain requested
vectors back to Dubai immediately. As the moments passed the whole
cockpit filled with smoke and the CA indicated he could not see any
instruments at all. With no visual reference and all instruments
unreadable as well as difficulty relaying messages and getting
information (reentered UAE FIR but was still talking to BAH 'cause he
couldn't change frequencies). Altitudes, headings etc had to be
relayed from UAE to BAH to airborne aircraft to UPS and back again (A
MESS to say the least). Wound up straight in for 12L at DXB at 10
miles and 7,000'. Couldn't circle because he couldn't see anything.
Turned south of the airport -blind- the whole while altitudes are
being read to him. It was of no use. The aircraft crashed into a
fairly unpopulated area (thankful for that at least). Words can't
express the whole situation adequately.

. . . . Speed Bird Capt
En route to Iraq, I heard pretty much everything from when they
declared their emergency overhead Bahrain due smoke in the flightdeck,
through their descent and pleas for altitude readouts because they
couldn't see their instruments, or change frequency, to hearing ATC
shout "climb immediately" and then calmly say "loss of radar
contact"...
To hear the initial panic and plain fear during their transmissions
(in real time as opposed to a DVR playback on a documentary) has been
the most chilling event in my 25 years of flying.
My heart is with their families.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 18:58
  #351 (permalink)  
 
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If you squint a bit you might be able to read it. Add some smoke and it isn't so easy.

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Old 7th Sep 2010, 19:03
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That makes me plain old red-dog mad - because this problem should have a g-d- solution!! There is no g-d- reason for a new airplane to burst into flames in mid-flight!!!

-drl
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 19:18
  #353 (permalink)  
 
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L38
My heart goes out to you, sir.

With a little co-ordination, Bahrein could have changed all traffic to a secondary freq, allowing Dubai to use the Bahrein freq as a discrete. Also, part of the emergency procedure should be to declare a Mayday in the first place, then prefix your callsign on each subsequent transmission with the word "Mayday." That alerts traffic joining the freq that there is a dire emergency in progress. It works - I once had to use it, in China, of all places. The American phraseology of "declaring an emergency" is just not so explicit.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 19:37
  #354 (permalink)  
 
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Shepherd

Was there any aircraft that could have been a shepherd to the 744?, Would it have helped?.

Many years ago I was making an approach to when we heard an aircraft in trouble, He had lost his AH. We broke off our approach to try and help the guy.

If the wx was fine, would a wingman have been able to help?

Is it something we can bear in mind?
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 19:51
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Neptunus Rex
With a little co-ordination, Bahrein could have changed all traffic to a secondary freq, allowing Dubai to use the Bahrein freq as a discrete.
1. What makes you think ATC units can select the frequencies of other ATC units? We certainly can't in Bahrain (note the spelling).
2. What makes you think there wasn't more than a "little co-ordination" going on during this sad event?
3. What makes you think that all non-necessary traffic wasn't switched to a secondary freq, but, as is common, every man and their dog listens in on box 2 anyway?

Give us a little credit.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 20:05
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icemanalgeria
Was there any aircraft that could have been a shepherd to the 744?, Would it have helped?.
Yes, and probably. However, it would require a re-think of current procedures, which usually call for getting everyone out of the way so that the emergency a/c has a clear run to do whatever he needs to. Given the rapid rate that this situation escalated at, re-running it with the benefit of hindsight might offer a number of alternative outcomes. Certainly a useful suggestion. Might come under the "give every assistance" grab-all, but proper guidance would need to be forthcoming.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 20:41
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Sad, sad story...

Do you remember the story of the Togo presidential B707 that made an emergency landing in Niamey? Hold 1 was on fire and the flight deck quickly got filled with smoke. The commander managed to land the plane by sticking his head out of the side window. Unfortunately I was unable to find any official report.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 20:44
  #358 (permalink)  
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Checklists

Add some smoke and it isn't so easy-Blu Up
One recent smoke in cockpit event had started at 4000' on approach. Cockpit filled up rapidly enough that by the time we had donned EROS masks, the poor FO could not read the ECL at all which was a surprise. eventually he actuated the switches for the recirc and packs immediately above his head which he could still see, on the commands I gave by memory (the Air Con Smoke/Elect Smoke checklists are long passed to non recall...). Near landing, smoke was starting to be dissipated.

Point is, that a prior operator I had worked in took on board some of SR111 findings and did for a short period practice smoke/fore with masks/hoods with degraded optics. It gave a lasting impression of the problem of vision. It is not a panacea, highlighting that some unit such as clearview was needed in order to see the instruments and the cockpit window, but no one invested in that. Same operator had previously had a elec fire checklist that would take almost 20 minutes to work through... which did after some adverse feedback get shortened so that the major power services could get removed faster. It was a checklist for fault finding instead of survival.

The last smoke in cabin I had raised a further learning point, where I asked for the commencement of checklists immediately while initiating an immediate descent with ATC to a close airport. FO being well versed in current "CRM" suggests instead we should chat to Ops Control and Maint Control.... the response was rather direct. Later on, the FO who was otherwise well qualified had not heard of SR111, or read any of the available reports on survival time with onboard smoke/fire.

On board fires remain one of the most critical failures IMHO, that we have to cope with, and the checklists and equipment to cope with the events remain rudimentary, and generally not installed in the aircraft anyway. We spend more on napkins for first class than fire safety.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 21:05
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"Funny" to read how everybody agrees on the need to land ASAP if you have a fire or smoke situation.
Some years ago we debated the Emirates 777 captain's decision to enter the hold over Chennai (Madras) after he got a cargo fire warning. Back then he got a lot of backing from some of the PPRUNE pilots on his decision. The warning was real and an emergency landing was only done after the fire warning started a second time (the first warning went out after they did the cargo fire drill).
Evaluating a cargo fire warning is always a bad idea.

Sorry for the slight tread drift, but the outcome of the situation seems to dictate how we feel about the course of action.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 21:33
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Some 4 or 5 years ago a canuck skipper on a koreanair B777 flight flew to destination cyvr after getting an cargo fire warning in mid pacific. Instead of diverting ASAP to the nearest alternate, the crew troubleshoot with maintenance control as well as cabin crew checking the cargo compartment temperature " by feel "( through touching cabin floorboards and walls of the lower crew rest compartment! ). How innovative and resourceful. As it turned out to be a false warning, they were safe and sound in yvr expecting accolades to be heaped on them. However, the medals didn't materialise.... Boeing thought otherwise, stating categorically that all cargo fire warning must be dealt with seriously a genuine without time wasted in troubleshooting.
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