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Incident at Heathrow

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Incident at Heathrow

Old 25th May 2013, 08:07
  #301 (permalink)  
NWT
 
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Funny coincidence that BA have been advertising recently for licensed engineers (full licence not A) Word from inside is that they are seriously short, and stretching the existing fully licensed qualified staff to the limit. Also hear the recruitment dozens of non experienced unqualified 'mechanics' has not been received to we'll by the CAA
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:10
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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F900

I can assure you that NoD is well aware of the geographical layouts of airports around the world even if he is a FEW these days.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:21
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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Unless we develop a special MEL type document for each airport / approach specifiying minimum required equipment
F900 - can I suggest you sit back and re-read my post - then I think you will see we are in violent agreement about:
Completely impractical
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:23
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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NWT

That seems to tie up with what I said
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:27
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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The Airbus flight safety magazine, Safety First carried an article in the July 2012 edition entitled "Preventing Fan Cowl Door Loss".

http://www.ukfsc.co.uk/files/Safety%...uly%202012.pdf

It mentions that there are more instances on the A320 than the wide body Airbus types, probably due to the low level of the cowling latches meaning thay are missed. It also empahsises the importance of checking the latches during the crew walk around check.

An article which will soon be required reading in BA I think!
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:28
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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F900 Ex (and many others)

A post typical of this website, where you have not understood what is being said and use that wall butting nonsense.
I have a look at the site occasionally to see if anyone has brought up some interesting points, or perhaps a healthy debate of the FACTS, but you learn far more about the personalities than the facts. I realise the words " Rumour" and "professional" are not exactly compatible but the lack of "IMHO" on this site is staggering. By all means speculate, but it's the pontificate that is so off putting.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:31
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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Of course it is entirely true that built-up areas cannot be avoided around LHR given that it is hemmed in on all sides, but the industry cannot ignore the potential consequences of relegating this aspect of safety to the point of a quick decision in the event of an emergency.

I think you are right NoD - a worst case scenario would strongly increase political pressure for Boris island to the point that LHR would be history. Indeed this may yet result from this incident if the AAIB blames BA procedures and questions the return to LHR from a public safety perspective - BA's case for a third runway will be seriously undermined. Such a situation would call into question the whole way maintenance is managed and carried out, which would mean very difficult questions for the CAA, BA and individuals managing and doing the work.

Over-worked, under-staffed and under-qualified maintenance staff suggests under-paid maintenace staff. But none of that can in any way excuse not knowing how to, or worse forgetting to, fasten the cowls to the engine. And it is entirely legitimate to ask why it was not picked up in pre-flight checks, if only to ensure changes make such an invent less likely.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:38
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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I read the airbus flight safety magazine article (PDF) an in this magazine the latches are RED. So more easily visible.
In the youtube video a few pages back, the latches are identical, but GREY (metal) so less easily visible.
What color were they in this case?
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:39
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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Over-worked, under-staffed and under-qualified maintenance staff suggests under-paid maintenace staff. But none of that can in any way excuse not knowing how to, or worse forgetting to, fasten the cowls to the engine.
Excuse, No.

Reasons, Yes.

All of the criteria quoted above have been common factors in many accidents and incidents. That is why millions have been spent on Human Factors training and it is also part of the CAA Maint Licence syllabus.

Unfortunately, some employers choose to pay lip service to it.

Last edited by TURIN; 25th May 2013 at 08:40.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:47
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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It mentions that there are more instances on the A320 than the wide body Airbus types, probably due to the low level of the cowling latches meaning thay are missed. It also emphasises the importance of checking the latches during the crew walk around check.
Interesting contrast between the recommendation in the Airbus Safety Magazine:

Latches on open doors should always be left in a “not engaged” position, which means that they will hang down when the doors are closed and not latched (fig.2) . This ensures easy identification of an unlatched door condition
and the comment by the Canadian TSB in the report on the Skyservice A320 cowl door separation:

After opening the latches and disengaging the hooks from the eyebolts, the normal practice is to re-close the latches to prevent the hooks from protruding and misaligning with the eyebolts when the door is subsequently closed;
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:51
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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Given the inevitable slight confusion on the flight deck as events unfolded, I guess Luton was ruled out due to the less-than-ideal r/w length and the possibility of one or both TR maybe being inoperable. I do however wonder why STN - with its v long r/w, was not chosen.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:55
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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Why not choose STN? You've got problems with potentially both engines and you're downwind at your familiar homebase. You can't just drop into an unfamiliar base without getting charts, plates, performance and briefings. On the other hand, an approach into LHR is a non-event for BA airbus pilots.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:57
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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F900 Ex

Armchair? Yes, till 12, then off to LHR to run an LPC thanks
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:01
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder if this may change BA ETOPS engineering procedures? I believe that I am correct in saying that the same engineer checks both engines.
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:02
  #315 (permalink)  
 
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RMT boy

As TURIN says excuse NO reason YES !

I think you should try to think how you would cope at the B1 guy who has six or seven aircraft to ramp check, your help ranges from the guy just out of his appreniceship who is smart but inexperienced to the semi-skilled mechanic. It is the early hours of the morning when you circadian rythem is at its low, add to this its pi**ing with rain. The management are on your back needing all your aircraft serviceable, you are chasing spare parts and you are unable to get around the airport because you and three other B1 guys have one van between you.

Now do you get the line maintenance picture ?
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:18
  #316 (permalink)  
 
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I fully appreciate that, but the two gentlemen up the front were potentially the proud owners of a 75t glider. I would have thought that the nearest strip of concrete would have been the best. However, I am SLF - and a midnight man at that - so I bow to the professionals knowledge.
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:27
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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Well, at last some good contributions amongst all the bull!

Post #295 from AandC is well worth a read, as are some subsequent contributions from folks such as NigelonDraft who clearly knows his onions!

This incident will have been a case of all the holes in the Swiss cheese lining up. Or put another way, many of the contributing factors will be present on many days, but only rarely will they ALL be. I believe it has also been termed the 'accident chain'? No big single event caused this incident, but that is overwhelmingly also true in most. Any errors are relatively small, and all well understood, which is why we attempt to 'trap' them by having procedures to combat those pesky fallible humans that we ALL ARE!!!!

Somebody earlier said they wouldn't like to be the people most closely involved in this, as 'BA will come down hard'! In my personal experience you could not be more wrong! BA are an extremely mature and enlightened airline. The only time they would play hard ball is where they find wreckless negligence. I have seen absolutely no suggestion of that here, nor do I expect to.

Again in my personal experience, there will be a tendency for those most closely involved to beat themselves up. To them I say, don't. Even those pompous gobby idiots on here are only human.

An absolutely top job was done in the air. Of that all professionals can agree! Made me very proud to be fortunate enough to be doing this job.

Thank you.

Last edited by 4468; 25th May 2013 at 16:56.
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:28
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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Well said that man.
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:29
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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<<I understood that LHR ATC have a standard pro forma that they read out to aircraft in distress notifying/asking them of the risks of overflying built-up areas?>>

Would someone from ATC confirm this please? The only arrangement I am aware of is that in the case of a major problem involving an aircraft, e.g. something which may prevent it from landing and leaving the runway, ATC maybe asked to relay a message from the airport authority asking the captain to consider diverting to a less busy airfield. Of course, the captain has the final decision.
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Old 25th May 2013, 09:43
  #320 (permalink)  
 
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RTM Boy
Of course it is entirely true that built-up areas cannot be avoided around LHR given that it is hemmed in on all sides, but the industry cannot ignore the potential consequences of relegating this aspect of safety to the point of a quick decision in the event of an emergency.

I think you are right NoD - a worst case scenario would strongly increase political pressure for Boris island to the point that LHR would be history. Indeed this may yet result from this incident if the AAIB blames BA procedures and questions the return to LHR from a public safety perspective - BA's case for a third runway will be seriously undermined. Such a situation would call into question the whole way maintenance is managed and carried out, which would mean very difficult questions for the CAA, BA and individuals managing and doing the work.
NoD and you have made valid points.

ATC handling an aircraft in emergency - even local ATC who know where urban areas are - will NOT reroute an aircraft recovering with an emergency as if they do so and the aircraft for whatever reason lands short it will be "their fault" for extending the aircraft track. There will have been a lot of work going on in the background making sure nobody got in the way of the emergency aircraft and that everyone involved or who 'needed to know' was aware of the problem(s). It would appear that from the declaration of the emergency to the safe landing and evacuation of the aircraft everyone successfully did as they should.

Inventing new low-risk procedures for those on the ground is NOT something for the flight-deck or the control room in an emergency; if they are necessary such procedures have to be developed, tested, simulated and briefed before flight and are only appropriate if the captain considers they are safe in a particular situation.

However, as NoD points out - doing as you should in aviation terms may not be politically acceptable. I have no doubt that there are going to be many hypothetical questions posed in the next few weeks thanks to video of an aircraft 'trailing smoke' over the centre of London. It is obvious that further development of Heathrow in many respects is hanging by a thread. Had this aircraft crashed at 6 miles finals all the logic of the arguments on this thread would be eclipsed by the political fall out and all the justifications for the return back to Heathrow - however valid - would be disregarded. Indeed there would also be impact worldwide on acceptance of airports like LGA where normal patterns are directly over major cities.

I do think the likelihood of the Heathrow 3rd runway must now be in increasing doubt.

Last edited by Ian W; 25th May 2013 at 09:46.
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