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Incident at Heathrow

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Incident at Heathrow

Old 24th May 2013, 09:19
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I like the multiple references to "customers", particularly in the BA press release. Don't they carry people anymore
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:22
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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If it had just had maintenance on engine(s), verification checks are required by separate certifiers. I've seen cowlings also blown open by fire extinguishers too.
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:27
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Ouch

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Old 24th May 2013, 09:30
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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If it turns out that it's first flight of the day and a similar cowling issue on each side, one is reminded of G-OBMM, February 1995.

http://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/689.pdf

Edit to add: not in terms of being a boroscope, just in terms of similar work being done on both sides in the same session, and a simple mistake therefore being replicated on both sides.

Last edited by xyzzy; 24th May 2013 at 09:31.
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:32
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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The passenger who tweeted the picture above, @TBoneGallagher has just been interviewed on the BBC.

Quick notes: 8-9 minutes into flight, there was a loud popping sound. Looked to left window, left side engine cover blown off. Apparently the same happened on the right at the same sort of time.

Captain came on intercom, said they were aware, both engines were functioning normally, they were running tests.

About five minutes after that, loud sound, right engine clearly on fire, flames, smoke visible from cabin.

Plane banked to right, no more severely than normal LHR stacking, flew back to LHR.

The flight was no less smooth than normal.

Cabin crew very professional.
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:36
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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If it turns out that it's first flight of the day
The aircraft's previous flight was from Stavanger yesterday evening (BA747), landing at LHR 21:32 local time.
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:39
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Quick notes: 8-9 minutes into flight, there was a loud popping sound. Looked to left window, left side engine cover blown off. Apparently the same happened on the right at the same sort of time.
Airspeed related? - about the time you'd be accelerating above 250 kts?
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:41
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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cowling damage

The picture taken from inside by a passenger in flight of the No.1 engine right hand cowling shows only half a cowling, the honeycomb internal structure seems to be torn apart about halfway down.

The whole No.1 left hand cowling seems to be missing, what sort of bird did they hit? Must have been a big one!
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:42
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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It will be interestig to see what other damage has been caused to the airframe. If you google" A320 fan cowl separations" the reports often indicate some damage to the horizontal stab caused by the exiting cowl.
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:46
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Tracking info from planefinder.

Aircraft took off at about 0820, turned to the north east.

About 0825 just east of Potters Bar it turned east south east, altitude apparently c6,000.

Then turned west above Billericay at about 0830, apparently similar altitude.

And then back in to LHR, landing 0844.
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Old 24th May 2013, 09:53
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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there was a loud popping sound
Classic symptoms of engine surge/stall due to disrupted intake airflow after the cowlings detached.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:05
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Reminds me of an engine failure and emergency landing when I was flying from Newcastle to Gatwick approx 20 years ago. I am a humble passenger: all you professionals on here do such a great job. Sorry if this interrupts your techy chat about today - do carry. I just wanted to pay my own tribute to a very skilled and professional body of men and women.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:17
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I will only add why the media often mention the (lack of) terror incident thing.

When things are a bit more sensitive, some people would jump to conclusions wrongly (BA aircraft engine on fire, circs unknown, emerg. landing) so to immediately seek to rule out terror just "reassures" the more excitable members of Joe Public. And the cynic in me says the "not believed to be..." makes it easier to do a 180 degree turn should it even be thought to be terror orientated (writing generally, not about today's incident of course).

I hope that the senior executives of BA will be remembering to give the crew some deserved praise for making a successful emergency landing (even though it is "just doing their job" and something they've trained for). Some things still need recognition.

May I just ask a slightly diverting question more out of idle curiosity? After such an incident where there is absolutely no suggestion of it being due to the fault of the operating crew, would the crew still be "sidelined" from operational duty for a period of time to "get over" any stress/issues/etc or would they reasonably be rostered on to their next flights after the paperwork and meetings have been undertaken?
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:21
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Amazing job!

To pre-empt the outcome of the official investigation: Sully - move over. These guys did everything right. Just amazing!
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:24
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Given the reported time elapsed after takeoff and altitude when passengers noticed problems, it makes a birdstrike far less likely because at this time of year geese (it would need to be that size to create the kind of problems) are v unlikely to be moving about at the height and in the formation needed to damage both engines. It is just possible, but if so it's really a very freak event.

If media reports from passengers are correct more concerning is if port engine was shut down and starboard was alight, it's a wonder they got back to R27 at all. I'm glad I don't live in Hounslow.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:33
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Incident at Heathrow

Somebody somewhere must have a strange big blue thing in their back garden, any reports of large lumps falling from the sky ?
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:33
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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With both cowls missing from both engines, it looks like there's a strong possibilty that the fan cowls weren't latched properly/if at all.
I would think it highly unlikely that the engine fire bottles blew the cowls as only the right engine looked like it had a fire issue which 'could' have been caused by the cowl damaging fuel/oil lines as it depated that engine.
It will be interesting to see if the engines had maintenance caried out on them prior to this flight.
Obviously this is all purely speculation and my own views, but from the photos/footage I've seen it's an educated guess.

We'll have to wait for more information and investigtion to confirm or otherwise.

Either way, great job by the crew and all involved.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:35
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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With both cowls missing from both engines, it looks like there's a strong possibilty that the fan cowls weren't latched properly/if at all.
As was mentioned on Tw!tter, it's a well-known A320 problem.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:36
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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I remember my first line flight on an aircraft with IAE-V2500s, the training captain said to me on the walk around, 'always bend down and check the fan cowl latches are actually secured, they can easily be left unlatched and not noticed' or words to that effect.

I assume that is too simple an explanation.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:36
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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just reading this report about a previous A319 engine cowl separation and there do seem to be a lot of similarities to what has been described for the BA incident -> Airline Accident: Incident - July 13, 2004 - Atlanta, Ga. | Investigative Reporting Workshop

Could a cowl separation damage other engine components causing a fire though?
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