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Incident at Heathrow

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Incident at Heathrow

Old 3rd Jun 2013, 05:33
  #841 (permalink)  
 
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from gazumped:
Crew do dumb things with perfectly serviceable aircraft, ie Lionair, AF447 Air India Express, need I go on.
dumb things like leaving two fan cowls unlatched?

gazumped again:
A simple OEI approach in VMC (slightly complicated by a previous engine fire, ) is a bit of a yawn, it's what we all train for every six months.
obviously not as much of a yawn as the walkaround.

Please - less arrogance here. The pre-flight inspection may not be as glamorous but it remains as important. Prevention remains better than cure.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 05:45
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Uplinker

That's the most sensible posting on the whole thread

How many times do crews screw it up in the sim when they rush an approach under pressure. Learning from the numerous mistakes made by pilots that went before us, it is drummed into us that unless a wing is in imminent danger of falling off or the cabin is full of choking smoke, there really is no good reason to throw an aircraft onto the first available piece of Tarmac.

Well done to the crew

Last edited by Megaton; 3rd Jun 2013 at 05:59.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 07:57
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What was the urgency?
No idea but maybe a combination of the issues you mention and the "significant fuel leak", which the report states they were aware of, was enough for them to have some "urgency"... FWIW The report says after the loss of yellow Hydraulics, they declared a PAN. This was all before the fire. As a PPL I knew a definition of PAN, maybe its different for better pilots. After the fire... they declared a MAYDAY.

do they have steps for an A319?
With a significant fuel leak, maybe the crew weren't expecting to be using any steps.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 08:35
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A very good job !

Just how much uninformed rubbish can this forum generate ?

The bottom line is the crew got the aircraft on the ground and no one was hurt.

Objective achieved !!!!!!

In my veiw ( as a 737 & A320 type rating holder & former holder of CRS maintenance approval on the A320) the guys did a good job and as well as could be expected with the information that was unfolding to them over the time of the problem.

The pre-flight could have picked up the problem but, the system is not encouraging pilots to give more than a quick glance around the outside, in the UK you can't have any form of personal tooling and so my very usefull screwdriver is unavailable to me thanks to the security system.

I have to ask the Monday morning quarterbacks what do you expect the crew to consider when they have a problem? As far as I can see the guys acted correctly when in a high workload situation with the information that they had avalable as events unfolded.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 09:34
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I agree, congratulations to the crew on getting everyone home.
All you guys giving them a hard time for the walk around are hopefully retired or PPL's who don't understand the pace and pressure that the esteemed leaders have created. For all you know the walk around was done 45 minutes prior to push back and the cowls were fully open with Engineers working on the engines.
If that turns out to be the case what do you say then?
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 09:34
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After ten days and nearly 850 posts I'd have expected this thread to have come to its natural conclusion, but the anonymous "we know it all" brigade keep it going round in circles.
I can easily see why some of them have "forum names" that hide their true identity whereas I and a few others prefer to write in our own names to give what we write some accountability.
"Uplinker" and "Gazumped" have posted some commonsense (most recently at 3 a.m. today UK time) and I assume they have professional reasons for posting under aliasses so I'm not getting at them or some of the others whose "forum name" hides a straight and level mind!

Last edited by Allan Lupton; 3rd Jun 2013 at 09:36.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 10:06
  #847 (permalink)  

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gazumped:
You see if the captain is very very selfish about these situations and concentrates on saving his own ass, you will generally find most of the passengers follow closely behind, and everyone on the ground have no idea about what is happening, much like you Garpal!
Bonzer post! Wiping coffee off keyboard as I type
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 10:21
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Allan Lipton

I post anonymously because I choose to, however I take my hat off to for using your own name. It does give your posts extra weight. 3.00 am London time is wide awake time in Australia!
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 11:10
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first ever post and not an expert but I do have a question re risk management and the perception of the correct decision. Several posters have claimed that the pilots made the correct decision based on the fact that the outcome was a good one. In terms of managing the risk, is it right to judge if the decision was correct based on the outcome? This may seem intuitive but it may have been that they were extremely lucky. Not to dumb the post down but trying clumsily to explain my thoughts: if I gamble 100 on roulette and win 360, it is a correct decision but in hindsight. If I knew in advance that there were safer investments, at the time, it may have been the wrong decision based on what I knew. So, in theory, a particular decision making process may be wrong in that it places the aircraft at a higher risk. If the outcome is a good one, does it make the original decision correct? I hope there are some experts on risk management on the forum who can explain this better than me.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 12:08
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Jet aircraft have triple, and sometimes quadruple redundancy with most systems, when a fault occurs you follow the QRH ( quick reference handbook) complete the required procedures, secure the aircraft, and if it is a relatively serious event, land at the nearest SUITABLE airport. Suitable, taking into account, distance, weather, approach aids, ground support, ATC, familiararity, severity of the occurrence, etc. The captain in making the decision ( in consultation with his F/O) decides on a course of action, and carries it out. Given that the aircraft can stay airborne for say 5 minutes, it is a reasonable assumption that it will stay airborne for 55 minutes, so there is no need to rush. The only reason to rush is if you have a fire on board that you cannot positively confirm is extinguished.
This particular aircraft, though suffering significant damage, still had many redundant systems available to it and could have diverted to a wide array of airfields. The captain made a decision based on the best information available to him.
Does all that make some sense ?
Cheers gazumped
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 12:08
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Originally Posted by framer
I agree, congratulations to the crew on getting everyone home.
All you guys giving them a hard time for the walk around are hopefully retired or PPL's who don't understand the pace and pressure that the esteemed leaders have created. For all you know the walk around was done 45 minutes prior to push back and the cowls were fully open with Engineers working on the engines.
If that turns out to be the case what do you say then?
I say aircrew should act neither like sheep nor lemmings. Nor conversely should they behave as immovable objects, save for when insisting on standards. Some clearly need to get out more.

Commercial Pilots are paid to use the privileges of their civil licences to conduct public transport operations safely, not just to prostitute themselves up front in their chosen cigar tube, reluctantly or otherwise, as small-time Commercial Warriors about whom no beancounter actually gives a damn.

MBWA is a pnemonic from management training going back a few decades also much neglected in other industries now too.

It's going to be your aircraft when doors are closed. If you've been planted in your seat 45 minutes since you last had a look outside then manage the bloody thing by getting out and looking at it whilst you still have the chance so you know no other bugger fiddles with it again before you depart. If you don't know that the ground crew talking to you on pushback or their mate giving you the thumbs up and wave have done their own dligent external check on your aircraft too, and are competent to do it, then why are you leaving the apron? ... because everyone else does without a second thought ... or because it isn't clear anymore who is supposed to do what ??

If you think the beancounters are endangering safe operations by pressuring you or anyone else to take shortcuts then CHIRP or scream blue murder or both. Sometimes you have to risk your job to make it plain what isn't right. That's life. If you are not up to it then find another job where it is less of a risk to people in your care when you kowtow to beancounters.

We don't count on pilots for amazing cheap fares, or for marvelous fire-eating or sword-swallowing feats of recovery. We count on them to stamp their standards on everything and make operations safe and uneventful.

Rant off.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 12:31
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Alsoa low pax but I have bene interested in the 'debate' if thats not too grand a word over the why return to LHR issue.
More recent posts point out that the fire , potentially the greatest hazard , did not start until already established or close to finals and at that point Brize is miles away and STN behind you.

When the probelms started however I would have thought that the crews decsion to continue at least initially on the SID was very sensible, it takes them towards LTN or STN if things go pear shaped in a hurry but more importantly they are in protected airspace and so do not need all sorts of vectors etc from atc to avoid traffic in what seems to be an extremely busy bit of airspace.

Overall it gave me s a regualr passenger agenerally good feeling about BA as the crew seemed to have adapted toa difficult situation ina very calculated way and I felt the outcome reflected very well on BA flight crew ( leaving aside the issue of whether they could or should have seen unlatched cowl doors) ,. Perhaps not so good on the maintenance organsiation but even then there seem to be questions asked about whether a decade of cut backs have perhaps gone too far.
One thing does seem a real issue though is that with aparently 30plus instances of cowl doors falling off or being unsafe after getting the responsible contractor AB or IAE really does need a better method of latching
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 12:32
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I don't think pilots can be accused of being lemmings, or anything like that.

Will relate a story that I know about, that occurred several years ago.
The captain was delaying boarding for his own ( justifiable) reasons, the CEO just happened to be at the airport, and intervened and basically ordered the captain to commence boarding the passengers immediately. The captain after some fairly heated exchanges, eventually took off his epaulettes and gave them to the CEO, and said " you better work out how much fuel you want and start briefing the SID... Because I'm not flying that aircraft!" Guess what, the passengers didn't start boarding and there was a significant delay finding another captain at short notice.
Most captains worth their salt would decline to be influenced operationally by any CEO, or any other non qualified person. That would not fit the definition a " lemming"
We have a very responsible job, which we don't take lightly, the " buck stops here" applies very much to the captains role. We, as a crew end up capturing the vast majority errors before that have an operational effect, and we, generally manage the few errors that get through fairly well. This was one case in point, the error got through the engineering system, and the walk around, but in the end it was managed pretty well.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 12:51
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Originally Posted by gazumped View Post
The only reason to rush is if you have a fire on board that you cannot positively confirm is extinguished.
It seems to me that's exactly what they had.

However, they may not have realised that until on final. In the absence of fire, calling a PAN & following the SID & QRH is entirely justified. Once they were aware of the uncontained fire, they called MAYDAY & landed immediately at LHR, which was by then the nearest suitable runway. I don't see how the crew could have acted differently without the benefit of hindsight.

But if as has been posted here they were dealing with an engine fire, the cowlings gone, a significant fuel leak, both fire bottles blown and all containment options exhausted, I'd say there was just one hole left in the cheese & all concerned were fortunate that on this occasion it didn't line up.

Last edited by Sillert,V.I.; 3rd Jun 2013 at 12:56.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 13:06
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Originally Posted by Sillert,V. I.
But if as has been posted here they were dealing with an engine fire, the cowlings gone, a significant fuel leak, both fire bottles blown and all containment options exhausted,
- can you link to that post please?
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 13:12
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Originally Posted by BOAC View Post
- can you link to that post please?
It's my best recollection of the key facts taken from a number of different posts.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 13:14
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During the approach to land, an external fire developed on the
right engine. An engine fire warning on the flight deck prompted the crew to
declare a MAYDAY. Although both engine fire extinguisher bottles were
discharged and the right engine was shut down, the fire was not completely extinguished. The left engine continued to
perform normally throughout the flight.

That will be in the AAIB report here.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 13:17
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I'd say there was just one hole left in the cheese & all concerned were fortunate that on this occasion it didn't line up.
I'd say there was just one hole left in the cheese & all concerned were fortunate that the pilots did everything necessary to ensure, on this occasion, it didn't line up.

Well done them!! Exemplary stuff.

Last edited by 4468; 3rd Jun 2013 at 13:21.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 13:21
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It would seem that anyone with apparent extensive jet time is totally behind the crew actions, once airborne. The dissenters appear to be generally an eclectic bunch of PPL's SLF, or wannabe's.

Can anyone with industry experience honestly level genuine criticism at the crews actions(one airborne, of course)?
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 13:33
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gazumped: once airborne, they clearly did a magnificent job and deserve much credit for it.

As SLF who hasn't much of a clue how these things are done, I'm still - even after all the posts on this thread - none the wiser as to whether checking the cowl latches is a standard part of the pilot's walk round.
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