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Incident at Heathrow

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Incident at Heathrow

Old 24th May 2013, 16:32
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Timing is everything

ILS27LEFT
Great minds think alike! Or someones going to come with a really good reason why they can't fit unlocked sensors!
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:33
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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You don't need to be down on your knees, there's a ruddy great indicator you can see if they're not latched. Just bend over and have a look.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:46
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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Any news if the cowls have been found yet? Typically they come off on rotation or shortly after take off if not all the latches are done up.

As for looking on a walkround, it's easily missed if one latch is done up and not the rest.

Airbus really need to concentrate on either a secondary locking system or some sort of indicator that is visible at eye level. The numbers of cowl loss alone shows this is a problem that needs to be engineered out to prevent it happening again.

Procedures and paperwork wont do it unless they are rigidly followed and still allow for human error.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:46
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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BA policy

Blame down the line but no senior management accountability. Tell as little of the truth publicly as possible.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:53
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Agaricus Bisporus wrote: "I'd be interested to a hear credible theory on how unlatched cowls might cause engine failure and fire...
Perhaps those proposing this scenario could suggest a feasible way?"

How about the metal engine cowls becoming detached in the airflow and impacting at high velocity against pipes carrying fuel and oil, not to mention cutting through live wires?
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:58
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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Manual Unlocked Indicators

You don't need to be down on your knees, there's a ruddy great indicator you can see if they're not latched. Just bend over and have a look.
True, but it seems that this check is somehow being missed, by pilots and personnel who have either closed the cowlings or those who are near them during engine start and see off.

We had manual wing unlocked indicators on the top of Phantom FGR2 wings. It wasn't even necessary to bend down to see them, at about eye height all you had to do was look across the top of the wing.
We lost an aircraft on take off when the wings folded. Pre flight groundcrew checks missed the ruddy great indicators. Pre flight aircrew walk round missed the ruddy great indicators. Start crew missed the ruddy great indicators even though they had to walk round running their fingers along the top of the wings feeling for boundry layer air within inches of the ruddy great things.
A cockpit warning caption would have saved us the loss an aircraft (assuming the crew didn't ignore it of course!)
They got out by the way, it could have been a lot worse. My point is that we often see what we want to see and don't see what we should.
There seems to be a problem with the current system, perhaps it should be revised.

Cost benefit of an electronic warning system? mmmmmmm
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:00
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Of course, these points all seem to be counted not significant for the substantial number of following aircraft which had to be subsequently diverted to Stansted, without seemingly any of the concerns above.

It would also have avoided the gross interruption to BA's business for the rest of the day.
At the risk of being flippant, not only would a diversion to Stansted have "avoided the gross interruption to BA's business for the rest of the day," it would also have had the (possibly salutary to BA) effect of mucking up the operations of competitors Easy and Ryanair for the rest of the day.

I'll get my coat now ...
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:05
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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And, would have beaten PIA B777, by a wide margin!
The anoraks would have been orgasmic!
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:06
  #189 (permalink)  
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Watching the BBC News at lunchtime, and the fearless reporter duly informed the world that, regarding aircraft safety, they can fly, land and.....take off.... on one engine.

True, if the aircraft has one engine that is. A minor detail I suppose.

And since when, or with which operator, has a duplicate inspection been required after routine oil replenishment?.

Back to the sensible comments.... and the pure speculation, always ans interesting combination after any incident.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:13
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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I'd be interested to a hear credible theory on how unlatched cowls might cause engine failure and fire...
Not quite as far-fetched as it sounds - that's more or less what happened to a Canadian A320 in 2000, though fortunately only to one of the engines on that occasion.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:16
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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Imagine if this had been a 787...
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:27
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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German tabloid Bild has this photo I hadn't seen before.
Bigger version here.

The caption translates as:

"Engine on fire - emergency landing!"
"The Airbus shortly after take-off from Heathrow flames can clearly be seen shooting out of the engine"

I'm only SLF, so what do I know, but I can't see any flames, just smoke. Do they mean the landing lights?
And the photo must have been taken shortly before landing.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:30
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Krystal, a duplicate inspection is indeed routine if oil has been replenished on more than one engine. Which is most days.
Oil caps have been left off engines before.
A duplicate inspection is required after any fan cowl disturbance on an Airbus narrowbody. At least in my company and I guess in most others. Multiple previous incidents being the reason.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:30
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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I have seen one maintenance organisation that does have duplicate inspections on oil tank filler caps..

Maintenance error in BA.. Let us see if a Just Culture does exist.

Last edited by Alber Ratman; 24th May 2013 at 17:32.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:35
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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If the ATC did advice the crew of a visual along the lines "LH engine cowl missing" then, as that engines fire protection would be invalid, the crew might have elected to shut it down, unaware that the RH engine would soon suffer a similar cowl loss!
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:42
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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Passenger interviewed on the BBC News at six said that he saw an engine cowl start "flapping" as the aircraft gathered speed on take-off.

EGCA
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:49
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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If the ATC did advice the crew of a visual along the lines "LH engine cowl missing" then, as that engines fire protection would be invalid, the crew might have elected to shut it down
Is this a published procedure? I'm not sure any crew would shut an engine down on a 4 engine aircraft, let alone a twin, for lack of fire protection? Not sure you'd even divert? Willing to be corrected...
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:50
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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The fan cowls are an un pressurised area , so no warning system is deemed necessary , maybe not from now on
A fairly simple modification to add a warning input from new prox sensors on the cowls
Both engine fan cowls unlatched is the most obvious cause , it must have been done pre flight - many reasons exist for gaining access to both engines , but on a turn round is unusual
A lack of manpower at a previous nightstop , and not enough hours left for a routine inspection often creates turnround/ transit maintenance
Easy to miss latches hanging down if under time pressure , the crew are time limited to make departures, the pushback crew are no longer engineers or mechanics , they used to be , and part of the pushback is to check for loose panels, fuel leaks etc - used to be part of pushback
Too much clock chasing and cost reduction ,this is the result , some operators have duplicate inspections on fan cowls , others do not .
It would be interesting to see the tech log entry for opening the fan cowls .......
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:51
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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At the bottom is a nice photo showing how the cowl latches will look in various open, closed and locked positions.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada - Aviation Investigation Report A00O0199

Last edited by WhyByFlier; 24th May 2013 at 17:51.
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Old 24th May 2013, 18:00
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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NOD - Another very good point. The ABN section has loss of fire warning/protection as a crew awareness only item so no DIV or shutdown would be necessary or wise.

Boeingchap - A latch sensor would be a 'simple modification'. You're knowledge of the A319 design must be extensive to know that there is already a spare wiring set there to carry the data and electrically supply such a system without a very expensive rewire through the engine, into the pylon and then onto the avionics bay to connect to the SDAC. I assume you know that this is all in place/easy to install or do you not have a clue what you're talking about.
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