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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

Old 11th Sep 2010, 16:58
  #481 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Intruder
You cannot generalize about cargo margins. Some cargo carriers -- including UPS and FedEx -- are (and have been) wildly profitable, even while many passenger carriers have suffered huge losses.
Fair point, though in mitigation I'd say that you've picked two of the most profitable cargo operators - I'm sure there are several pax operations operating at a profit, despite several of the big former state carriers having had trouble recently.

...so a 3rd pilot would make no difference without a significant change in policy, training, and equipment.
Which was the point I was trying to make (please excuse me if it was poorly worded) - in short, would the costs involved in changing the policy, training and equipment cut the profit margins significantly, or tip smaller operators into loss-making?
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 21:15
  #482 (permalink)  
 
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Going from a 727 to a 767 meant isolating electrical smoke was no longer possible. The pilots didn't have the time to deal with what the FE did. The checklist was simplified to basically land at the nearest suitable airport and let it burn. The day I had electrical smoke in the whole aircraft I shut some non essential busses off immediately then did our simplified checklist. Wish we had an FE that day. It will really get interesting when they get down to one pilot operations.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 22:31
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I still think the problem needs to resolved on the ground rather than in the air...having a third crew member may have helped...but if it turns out to be a cargo fire (let's face it that is the main bet) then it is a situation that no crew can be expected to return safely without some element of luck....and luck should NOT be a criterion!
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 00:32
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Luck was probably all they could hope for in their case. If they had time to configure for an autoland and braking they might have had a chance. You have to see to set that up. If they were asking controllers to tell them their heading and altitude they had no chance at all.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 01:31
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P51Guy
If they were asking controllers to tell them their heading and altitude they had no chance at all.
Particularly if the radio transmitters they were tuned to were in Bahrain.
Relay might help for a while but at some point it would break down.

Unbelievable that the certification standards do not provide for positive smoke evacuation from the cockpit in large passenger carrying aircraft. I am certain that the engineers can design a solution. But first they have to be given the task. ("Engineers" as in the guys who design the things in the first place-not FEs)
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 07:08
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I think you have hit the nail on the head.

As SLF even in a provincial Philippine airport we are scanned and searched.

Some major container ports do scanning, so why not do it to airfreight.

An X-ray combined with AWB could very easily discover (some probably not all) incorrectly labelled freight, particularly I suspect, lithium batteries and containers with unlisted liquids therein.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 07:20
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The DC9 QRH had pages of procedures to isolate this or that, consuming considerable time. The Unwritten Procedure was Emer Power On, generators Off, Land.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 07:40
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Machinbird

Particularly if the radio transmitters they were tuned to were in Bahrain. Relay might help for a while but at some point it would break down.
Good point, based on that though does Dubai or Emirates ACC have emergency dial up radios or similar that they could have tuned to pick up the relay with local radios??? Friends airborne that were involved in the relays said there was a lot of R/T and how up to date the info was by the time it was issued is another problem I guess.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 07:54
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Coming back to the possible cause of the fire. Somewhere it was said smoke detectors in the fwd hold were activated. This doesn't necessarily mean the fire has started there.

Anyhowe, where are the crew oxy bottles located on 744?
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 08:59
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A lot of focus on how to deal with a fire, and there is nothing wrong with that, but the focus should be on preventing a fire in the first place.
To start with, maybe shipment of some types of batteries should never be allowed on board any aircraft?
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 09:54
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This may not be appropriate in this particular case but it has a general relevance. I was a TRE on the same type to which JW411 refers (4 eng, 2 gen, 1 APU,1 batt) when the manufacturer decided to remove the Ďsmoke removal drillí. This was done, probably in fear of possible litigation in the aftermath of the Swiss Air MD11 accident. IIRC the MD11 crew were preoccupied with the checklist and made no attempt to land a.s.a.p. at an airport about 7 minutes away and crashed about 20 minutes after smoke was detected on the flight deck.

Like JW411 I too retained the relevant 2 pages of the FRCs, just in case. I had previously sim trained crews in the use of that checklist on many occasions and always advocated landing a.s.a.p. whilst actioning the checklist. The workload was high (hence the training) and communication with oxygen masks on was difficult (hence the training) but with this training the whole procedure (in the worst/longest case) could be completed by an average crew in 9 minutes. If lucky and the first electrical isolation worked, the whole procedure took about 3 minutes to a smoke-free cockpit.

IMHO, removing that checklist was criminal. How dare the manufacturers of a medium range public transport aircraft that spends a good deal of its operating time more than 20 minutes away from the nearest suitable airport suggest that itís OK for the crew to sit in a shower of molten metal and plastic rain whilst they land a.s.a.p.? I suggest that the litigiously minded morons who make these changes consult with those at the waterfront first.

rts
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 13:55
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I do not understand the mentality of the QRH deletion mentioned by rodthesod & JW411. Post-accident, the plaintiff's lawyers will subpoena ALL PRIOR REVISIONS of applicable manuals to look for such discontinuities.

Those revisions based on solid technical grounds will be looked upon in a positive light; those which appear to be CYA, not so much.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 15:02
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SNS3Guppy
Nobody is going to re-engineer the B747. It doesn't need to be done. There are other ways to address the matter.
With all respect due your experience in type and in structural fire fighting:
  • Be careful your mindset does not become part of the problem. Preventing fires is important, Retarding fires is important, Controlling internal heat build up is important, but there will be more fires aboard aircraft, of that you can be sure.
  • You might be surprised what kind of prompt re-engineering of the airflow in the cockpit can be done quite simply with a few meters of linear shaped charge. The closer we get to an open cockpit, the better in a heavy smoke situation. (Might need your long underwear though)
The B744 in question wasn't carrying passengers; it was carrying cargo. Between hazmat and the amount of cargo being carried, there's a lot more potential and capability for a fire, as well as a lot more packaged fuel.
Agreed that cargo aircraft have considerably more potential fuel onboard. We have also lost passenger aircraft to smoke so the problem is not unique to cargo aircraft. Almost all cargo aircraft started on the drawing board as passenger aircraft. If the smoke removal system can't handle the job in real life, the design standards are out of whack. We can either put bandaids on the problem or we can put solutions into effect. A blinded crew is a disabled crew. It is time to get serious about smoke removal.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 17:18
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To start with, maybe shipment of some types of batteries should never be allowed on board any aircraft?
The problem often isn't what's allowed and what's not allowed, it's what people stuff into the boxes undeclared that can be the big problem.

I work in UPS' ground operations in Louisville (I load the planes that you guys fly) and you'd be amazed what people ship without thinking. Kids going off to college and getting their first apartment? Let's send them cleaning supplies! How about Lysol, various aerosols, alcohol? And she looooooves candles so let's send her some along with a box of matches. And while we're at it, let's send her a new battery for her laptop and wrap it all up in some nice warm blankets.

I kid you not, that was all in a box that was recently discovered because it was leaking and soaked through. Apparently the lid on the Lysol bottle wasn't tightened down and the contents spilled out. And these people didn't know any better so they didn't declare any HAZMATs.

In the thirteen years I've been at UPS I've seen all kinds of things fall or leak out of boxes. Salvaged batteries just dumped loose into a carton and taped shut. Household cleaners out the wazoo. Even snakes on occasion.

Short of opening each package I don't know how you would eliminate unauthorized HAZMATs on an aircraft. And on the night sort in Louisville we'll run a million packages or more on a nightly basis, in about four hours. Tough task for anyone.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 19:25
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Thank you RustyNuts for your post Ö and welcome to the community here
I'm new to Cargo air transportation business but being trained on Dangerous Goods transportation and having an idea how all cargo things organized Iím not any longer in doubt what to do with a first sign of Cargo Fire Warning, even having multimillion airplane to operate.
Iím new on 744 as well, and did a thorough reading through the systems description involved in this sad accident. I can say that I have found nothing that contravenes the logic in systems operation and procedures to follow through. FIRE CARGO FWD C/L constructed to make flight deck isolated out of the smoke coming from underneath and Boeing says Ö plan to land at the nearest suitable airport. For me it sounds now like Ö go and land ASAP even you donít have one.
Iím waiting for the report released by investigation folks, indeed, to analyze the whole situation and make that made not just on rumors and reporters news but on CVR and FDR data.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 20:17
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I wonder how long those containers, sitting in +45c ramp conditions, probably under the sun as well, were waiting to be loaded on that flight?

Anyone care to guess?
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 21:27
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Nobody is going to re-engineer the B747. It doesn't need to be done. There are other ways to address the matter.
The 747-440F doesn't need to be re-engineered, it just needs to be re-crewed.

The 3rd crew can be a steward/loadmaster/firefighter whatever tasks one chooses to heap on them - all it takes is money.

As I've already remarked, there is no way I would send one member of a 2 crew aircraft back off the flight deck in a high-stress, emergency situation- what if he didn't come back. Casually strolling back to the toilet, or galley, in stable cruise, is not the same thing.

Don't forget that the RAF went through a period when a Navigator could be CAPTAIN of the aircraft.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 22:28
  #498 (permalink)  
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Ex-Speedbird is right...

As for Rusty, well welcome to the PPRuNe...aside from that, I've done the sort (from the left seat, so to speak) in Louisville once or twice, but more times than I care to count in DAY...

You have my utmost respect as yours is a thankless job, mainly for the reasons you list...

And you are right, there is nothing you, as a ground CREW, or I as a Flight CREW can do about it unless someone looks into each of the 1,000,000 packeges each night...

For some of those who find that number unbelievable, I'm sure many of those packages are "envelopes"...i.e.-overnight letters...

None the less, the situation remains the same...Night Freight is what it is, and pilots accept it as such...

Unless you as a trusted "Ground CREW" deliberetly load some spooky stuff on my A/C, I'm behind you 100%
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 22:42
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After reading RustyNuts answer, I'm afraid to ask the obvious question; Don't you screen all cargo?
If not, we have the worlds largest security hole flying over our heads.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 23:54
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Don't you screen all cargo ?
come on ! we all know how effective - and therefore infuriating - the present passenger screening is, and the bored operatives are in the public eye, just imagine how dedicated the boneheads would be in an almost deserted freight shed on a wet night !

There are sensible precautions in place now, but nothing is 100%.

This discussion is about how to deal with the odd hazardous cargo that does slip through, deliberately, or accidentally, placed on board, or other emergencies that migth benefit from another pair of hands or eyes, which at the end of the day might be the cheapest option ?
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