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Incident at Heathrow

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Incident at Heathrow

Old 24th May 2013, 21:27
  #241 (permalink)  
 
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Nowhere in my thinking do I take my customers for a ride around the Southern English countryside, and then return to base.
Really? Airborne for 26 mins. Flew the SID. Straight to LAM. Quick 180 and then a straight in return. 20000hrs you may have. However, aircraft have been lost despite only having minor technical problems due to undue rushing and panic. I'd have to agree with the rhetoric comment from Flap 80 above.
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Old 24th May 2013, 21:28
  #242 (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.
Not everywhere.

'ETOPS Maintained' requires different persons or different methods (EG hand pump or gravity fill) on each engine. Some operators/regulators require separate signatures in the log, others pay lip service to 'best practice'.

If UK registered A320s or B737s requires a duplicate inspection after oil servicing then I am seriously out of compliance.

One photo showed a slide coming down from the back of the port wing. Having recently been on a BA safety training course, I didn't think such a slide existed?

And was it really wise to use those overwing exits when the engines were in such a state? Even if neither was on fire after landing, would the mess of hot exposed metal in the presence of fuel not be a potential fire risk?
Erm, what hot exposed metal? The fan cowl covers the accessories on the fan case. They don't get that hot.
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Old 24th May 2013, 21:41
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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Erm, what hot exposed metal? The fan cowl covers the accessories on the fan case. They don't get that hot.
Thanks, I didn't know that. As a passenger sat in my favourite seat, I don't think I'd have taken the risk - I'd be worried about hot engine / sparks / uncontained fuel vapour. Not being an engineer, seems reasonable to me!
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Old 24th May 2013, 21:44
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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What odd comments here....

I work with the airbus every day, there is not jettison system and never will be, with the fan cowls gone they have likely damaged the engine ( as they did for the right one given the fuel or hydraulic trail ) you land ASAP, with the cowls gone the fire bottles are useless and there is a very good chance they have damaged something departing the engine.

Spare a thought please as there will be one or more guys in engineering feeling very sick tonight..
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Old 24th May 2013, 21:51
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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I think we really have to wait for the investigation on this one.

Note the following points from the report kindly posted by WhyByFlier (#203)
  1. Eighty per cent of the Airbus latches inspected were found to be below the manufacturer's specified minimum latch tension.
  2. Retention springs were observed to be broken or missing on several latch assemblies.
  3. In some installations, the handle latch pins were found broken. This appeared to be due to improper assembly and installation.
So the groundcrew and aircrew may have carried out their checks competently.


I've had a intake panel come loose shortly after takeoff - flapping around like crazy but fortunately didn't detach.

Flew min. speed, had the benefit of a visual inspection from a certain England rugby player (thanks mate!) I was due to play with, and landed back at base (nearest) in about 7 mins.
Turned out to be worn engagement catches - not my or the groundcrew's fault. Everything looked secured but wasn't. I think the servicing schedule was changed to minimise the opening of that panel, which the designers had not intended to be opened that often.

p.s. Land ASAP needs to be balanced with Know Your Aircraft. I have done quite enough sim.instruction, and a real accident investigation caused by 'rushing it', to know that you are better off sometimes knowing the drills are complete than chucking the aircraft down on the nearest piece of concrete. I vote we give the crew the benefit of the doubt on the Stansted/LHR decision.

Last edited by Fox3WheresMyBanana; 24th May 2013 at 21:58.
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Old 24th May 2013, 21:55
  #246 (permalink)  
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Some operators/regulators require separate signatures in the log, others pay lip service to 'best practice'.
Spare a thought please as there will be one or more guys in engineering feeling very sick tonight..
I would suggest best practice starts with a good pre-flight and post flight inspection by the person signing the tech log prior to flight !

That's the managements and lawyers get out clause 1

Last edited by F900 Ex; 24th May 2013 at 21:59.
 
Old 24th May 2013, 22:01
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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Fox

All due respect but this is not a tension issue with both engines that kind of coincidence just doesn't happen they were not latched ( sadly to have to say being a serving engineer )

The v2500 fan cowl issue is well known to us all and various modifications have been done to alleviate it, the real big issue with the v2500 is if you latch the pawl back to the latch after you open it then it hangs by gravity horizontal giving the impression of being engaged or latched, other engines would obviously hang down at that point,the only way to check and you can is to go and try pulling the cowl open.

Will be interesting but as my last post there will be guys worried sick tonight that worked on that airbus last night.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:05
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Well, Prune is no longer - has it ever been? - a professional pilot network so can we complain when every MS and his dog think they can fly a swept wing jet? Most of them think the 'swept wing' makes it more 'streamlined'.
I would seriously counsel journos against taking anything on here seriously. Don't do it guys. The airline will sue you. Well, I would if I were an airline CEO.
If you want professional guidance, employ someone like me, who has driven trucks, buses, ships, aeroplanes (mil & civil inc BIG, foreign, dodgy etc), but, of course, you won't find many with that sort of background. If you want to pay a lot, I may be available, but it will be on a 'work from pooter anywhere in the world' basis.
My advice would be from top rate contacts whom I would pay - at your expense. Accuracy and professional advice does not come cheap.
You will not find it on PPRuNe.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:06
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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Rimmer Thanks for that.
Well, there were quite enough panels on assorted HM aircraft that benefitted from a quick 'slap' to determine integrity. Would that help here?

Mind you, I remember hearing the following on the ground radio in the sign in/out hut.
Instie in cockpit: "TVTab 2 is out of focus"
Desk Sarge: "Give it a tap. How's it now?"
Instie:"Back in focus!......but I bust the screen"

Last edited by Fox3WheresMyBanana; 24th May 2013 at 22:06.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:11
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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I would suggest best practice starts with a good pre-flight and post flight inspection by the person signing the tech log prior to flight !

That's the managements and lawyers get out clause 1
My comment refers to the requirements of the regulators. Best practice is to ensure that if it is a requirement to have different persons carrying out similar tasks (such as engine oil servicing or checking that the fan cowls are latched) then make it mandatory to certify the tech log as such.

Some operators just put it in the small print as a 'nice to do'.

I have to agree with Rimmer (I never thought I would say that again). Some very worried people around LHR tonight. There for the grace of...etc.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:11
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Could be possible that crew were not aware BOTH sets of cowls were gone and treated it as single engine failure. Only the damage from one engine would have shown up in cockpit, doubt ATC saw both sets of cowls gone. Reports from cabin could have been linked to damaged (known about) engine only.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:11
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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Land ASAP needs to be balanced with Know Your Aircraft. . . . . knowing the drills are complete than chucking the aircraft down on the nearest piece of concrete. I vote we give the crew the benefit of the doubt on the Stansted/LHR decision.
WTF's the applaud thingy? Perhaps that's a different website - anyway
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:18
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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Cheerful!

Jackharr :- Quote, "It’s not a matter of IF but WHEN something major occurs at/near Heathrow.........or over London.

And the “wise men” (except of course Boris & Co) want to rule out an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Is it being so cheerful that keeps you going through the day?

As a reasonably frequent flyer I use Heathrow, I do not want to travel to Southend to catch a flight from London - neither do the majority of passengers wanting to arrive in LONDON.

You might also realise that Bumbling Boris, the Lord Mayor of LONDON, does not have his offices in the Thames estuary, probably for a good reason!
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:23
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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The choice to return to Heathrow with cowls flapping was a decision best made by the aircrew who could ascertain what power was still available and what systems were working. Any other suitable nearby airport is just as likely to be surrounded by heavily populated areas.

As for diverting to Stansted, they needed that place later in the day for the PIA diversion from Manchester.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:25
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Rimmer, I personally have no doubts now on what happened, tricky and misleading design indeed. Hopefully this will be a lesson and V2500 cowl latch will be redesigned as too easy to miss. It can't be a coincidence. Very clear, thanks so much.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:39
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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I think the most important factor here is not who did or didn’t do what or who was operating the aircraft. The fact is that Airbus designed this cowling latching system which quite plainly:

1. Could cause catastrophic damage to an airliner

2. appears to be not suitable for purpose judging by the number of recorded incidents and now highlighted by this major one because it’s BA

Once established that the design was not good enough a redesign should have been demanded rather than placing the responsibility on humans always doing the right thing which they are never always going to do.

I think this is as serious as the DC10 cargo door. If someone doesn’t check that the cowls are locked and they’re not then the a/c and its pax and crew are in serious jeopardy.

It is perfectly obvious that this could happen again, anytime, to any airline operating this aircraft type.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:50
  #257 (permalink)  
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Happened at our outfit:



Aircraft brought into service on short notice, preflighted by the crew, but maintenance turned the latches flat to avoid hitting themselves, the cowling lays tightly against the engine, impossible to notice unless you check for a small gap underneath the engine.

Last edited by Dream Land; 24th May 2013 at 22:52.
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Old 24th May 2013, 23:00
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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impossible to notice unless you check for a small gap underneath the engine.
So....check for a small gap underneath the engine.

I don't wish to sound flippant, but this seems to be a major recurring problem which is widely known about. I don't think I flew an aircraft that didn't have at least one of these. Doesn't matter what the procedures say; get dirty, check it.
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Old 24th May 2013, 23:10
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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V2500 Cowl Latch

V2500 COWL LATCH, just Google it and then you find many incidents, exactly the same as today. Rather than blaming an engineer or a Team of them Airbus should have never allowed a mechanism of this type, the tricky part is that the cowl looks safely latched even when still unlocked whilst other engine cowls clearly look open/unlatched when not locked, clearly a misleading design in my opinion, therefore it will happen again as we cannot rule out human factor on such a simple task which should be clearly visible to all, unacceptable design here. Are we also expecting pilots to pull the handle then to check all latches? Crazy approach indeed. Let's be quick Airbus and fix this design once and for all. We cant carry on being so lucky and this type of incident is totally avoidable, new design and warning sensors.
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Old 24th May 2013, 23:12
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Common Sense & Airmanship.

So far we appear to have a Toulouse product with a questionable design of cowling latches and possibly a maintenance organisation which, because it was not ordered to, ignores the lessons inherent in recommendation 4.4 of the UK AAIB investigation into G-OBMM.

Does it have to be made compulsory by regulators for engineering departments to do something sensible like NOT affecting the airworthiness of 2/2 powerplant in the same procedure?

A major UK operator was pushing 737s onto the line, post DUAL MCD checks and the Daily being signed up on the same page by the same authorised signatory, in the early 2000s and no one seemed to see it as cause for concern!

When will we ever learn from the mistakes of the day before yesterday? Or has commercial pressure to wrap double engine inspections into the same event been assessed as a statistically acceptable risk?

I have every sympathy for the unfortunate line engineers who may have to carry the can for this whilst those higher in the food chain who set the policy slink unseen around their ivory towers. It will take a brave inquiry to hang them out to dry!
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