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UA497 Smoke, Emergency Landing and Evacuation

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UA497 Smoke, Emergency Landing and Evacuation

Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:47
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UA497 Smoke, Emergency Landing and Evacuation

KENNER, La. United Airlines flight 497 had to make an emergency landing at Armstrong International Airport this morning. Airport officials reported smoke in cockpit and immediately landed the plane around 7:20 this morning.

Once landed, passengers had to use emergency chutes for a safe exit from the plane. Some passengers are complaining about smoke inhalation. The flight was headed to San Francisco for a 7:07 am departure.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:02
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English has improved.

KENNER, La. (AP) A United Air Lines flight from New Orleans to San Francisco returned to the New Orleans airport within minutes of taking off Monday after rocking back and forth.

All 100 passengers and five crew members on Flight 497 were safe, airline spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said.

Copilot Ronald Lee Young told an Associated Press reporter aboard the Airbus 319 that he landed on backup systems, with minimal steering and braking ability, after the plane lost all electronics.

"When things start to go wrong, there's always a system ... we can go back to," he said.

He said the plane, heavy with fuel, ran off the runway and blew a tire.
Journo on board, so first hand.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:16
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A little more here

Flight ends in minutes, returns to La. airport - San Jose Mercury News
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 23:02
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From Sydney Morning Herald:

Airbus Overrun
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 01:25
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For those who have waaay too much time on their hands;

Liveatc's audio.

Roughly 11+30 into the recording.

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Old 5th Apr 2011, 02:23
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Having an emergency in the US is such a pleasure with ATC on your side. I departed a major airport in a very large Asian country recently (in the same type - A320) and asked for vectors back to the field due to a problem I won't go into here - and was told to maintain the SID which took me further away from the airport. Had to declare a PAN to get what I wanted.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 02:43
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Had to declare a PAN to get what I wanted.
That is what it is there for.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 05:49
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Approx 9 miles out
Ground crew "we need three minutes to clear (construction vehicles from) the runway"

Approx 7 miles
UA497 "lost all our instruments right now and we are gonna need just a PAR"

Approx 5 miles
UA497 "we've got the water we gonna stop here at about 600 feet"

Not an ordinary day at the office.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 11:57
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The freakin' bonger !

I've had a listen to the ATC recording (from skidbuggy's link), as well as a few others over time - Sully's Hudson River landing, the Thompson 767 bird ingestion video on Youtube, etc. I know you'd expect it, but nevertheless it's very comforting to see how hard the controllers try to help a plane in trouble.

Now, an SLF question that may be a bit off-topic.. In the background of the UA497 transmissions I could hear the alarm bonger sounding continually. I can imagine the tremendous pressure that a cockpit crew would be under in an emergency, and having that damn thing beeping away would drive up my stress level to breaking point. Is there any way to permanently silence that ? I'd take to it with the fire axe as the first thing on *my* checklist.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 15:44
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United Airlines A320 Emergency Landing

News from ABC & Live ATC
smoke in cockpit & loss of electrical power

United Airlines Pilots Declare Emergency - ABC News
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 15:47
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The Pucker Factor


UA 497: Clear for takeoff runway 19, thank for you very much.
UA 497: We need to vector back to the airport, we got a smoke issue with the airplane.
N.O. Approach: Turn right 030 (degrees) and maintain 4,000 (feet.)
UA 497: 030 4,000. And we'd like the longest runway please.
N.O. Approach: There are men and equipment on the runway - they're going to try to get them off now. Descend at pilot's discretion. Maintain 2,000.
UA 497: We are declaring an emergency and please roll equipment for our landing please.
N.O. Approach: We are unable for (runway) 10, can you take (runway) 19?
UA 497: ..no..
N.O. Approach: Roger, we are clearing the runway now.
Airport operations: How much time do we have?
New Orleans Tower: I'd say they are about 11 miles to the west.
Airport operations: Tower, we can start trying to pull them off, but I don't think we will get them all off in time.
N.O. Approach: United 497, Say souls on board and fuel remaining.
UA 497: 106 souls on board, fuel remaining 32,400 pounds.
N.O. Approach: They are still trying to get all the vehicles off the runway and 19 is still available if you like....
New Orleans Tower: ... working as fast as they can (unintelligible) There is a bunch of equipment on there they're tying to get off now.
UA 497: You need to clear it for us.
New Orleans Tower: I understand, sir. We're getting them off as fast as we can.
N.O. Approach: Turn right heading 140, main 2,000 ....cleared ILS runway 10 approach.
New Orleans Tower: Can you verify the vehicles are exiting?
Airport operations: We are attempting to get the vehicles off right now, I'm removing the cones also.
New Orleans Tower: OK, cause I haven't seen any of the vehicles move and the aircraft is ten to the northwest and they have to have runway 100.
N.O. Approach: United 497, Turn right heading 180.
UA 497: um.... We only have one... um ... (Alarms sounding in background.)
N.O. Approach: United 497 say again sir?
New Orleans Tower: We need three minutes to get the runway clear.
UA 497: (alarms blaring) We've lost all our instruments right now and we're going to need (directions)
N.O. Approach: United turn left heading, 20 degrees left
N.O. Approach: Just continue left turn, I'll tell you when to stop.
UA 497: (unintelligible) What vector are we from the airport?
N.O. Approach: Right now sir you are on the 330 degree heading from the airport. Northwest of the airport for runway 19er. If you continue on this present heading you'll set up on the shoreline for 19.
UA 497: Shoreline for 19.
N.O. Approach: I can set u up there or I can vector you, what'd you need?
UA 497: That's fine.
N.O. Approach: (unintelligible...)You got the water, right?
UA 497: Yeah, we got the water and we're going to stop here about 600 feet.
N.O. Approach: Roger that. The airport's currently at your 1 o'clock and five miles.
UA 497: 1 o'clock and five miles roger.
New Orleans Tower to fire crews: Fox-6, next arrival runway 19er is our aircraft. And the aircraft is approximately 3 miles northwest runway 19er.
N.O. Approach: If you start your right turn now I can set you up on final.
UA 497: Start turn on final.
New Orleans Tower to fire crews: The aircraft is over the shoreline around two miles out. You do have permission to proceed on to the runway after he lands.
N.O. Approach: Make a right turn. The airport is off to yoru right side,
N.O. Approach: 497, clear to land 19er. You'll be able to make it sir? Winds 180 at 16, gusts to 20, Clear to land. Runway 19er.
New Orleans Tower to fire trucks: Fox-5, this is our aircraft touvh ing down bow.
New Orleans Tower: Follow the aircraft down the runway.
New Orleans Tower: We're going to need runway 10 operational. Runway 19er is fouled at this time.
Fox-5: The aircraft is off the runway.
Reading this I thought of all the times that I was on inactive runways and also what I thought were inactive railroad lines. I was generally nervous only because I was dependant on somebody else to warn me what to do in an emergency.

I did have one emergency pop up where we were told to clear an inactive runway for an emergency air-turn-back. That was simply handled because my driver was part of the airport management and always had the tower on the frequency.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 17:06
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Makes one wonder if all non-aircraft runway operations should include a bulldozer among the equipment - to ensure the runway can be cleared on three minutes notice.

Shades of Airport. "In case of emergency, break trucks!"
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Old 6th Apr 2011, 08:03
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I have sim'd for fire warning more times than I care to remember and it has to be my worst nightmare.

BIG pat on the back for the crew
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Old 6th Apr 2011, 13:10
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Curious thing but thought I'd pass it along. It applies to Airbus but I can't say if it's the same for Boeings. In the aircraft (not the sim) the lenses on the O2 masks have a protective plastic film over them to protect against scratches when they're stowed in the box. It's easy to not notice them in the heat of the moment (sorry about the pun) but if you don't remove the film when putting your mask on, they can do a nice job of obscuing your vision in an already difficult situation.
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Old 6th Apr 2011, 13:39
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I believe this 'film' is there to degrade vision for sim purposes.
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Old 6th Apr 2011, 15:02
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that he landed on backup systems
If he lost all instrumentation:

UA 497: (alarms blaring) We've lost all our instruments right now and we're going to need (directions)
does this mean he was using mech backup or was he still using the FBW system for aircraft control?

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Old 6th Apr 2011, 15:44
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there is no mechanical back up for the Flight Control System. They are talking about flight instument failure I believe - not flight control system
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Old 6th Apr 2011, 16:02
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PAR capability?

I thought Precision Approach Radar disappeared from [most?] airports decades ago. Mis-remember?
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Old 6th Apr 2011, 16:28
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I thought Precision Approach Radar disappeared from [most?] airports decades ago. Mis-remember?
KMSY, unlike most airports, still has ASR approaches:

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Old 6th Apr 2011, 16:32
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@flyingflea: The A32x does indeed have mechanical backup in the event of total loss of the FBW system. It comprises the stab trim wheel for pitch and the rudder pedals for roll control.

The FBW system itself has Normal, Alternate 1, Alternate 2 and Direct Laws.

Given the smoke, assumed electrical fire, and loss of avionics, I wondered if the FBW had been adversely affected as well (thinking back to electrical generator problems on another flight where FBW was also affected by the fault leading seemingly to temporary loss of control).

It was more curiosity than anything else.

* Patiently awaits initial report *

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