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Incident at Heathrow

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Incident at Heathrow

Old 5th Jun 2013, 17:19
  #961 (permalink)  
 
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I'm afraid I disagree with Mr Leahy.


(John Leahy, the chief operating officer of Airbus, said that the number of incidents was small and the company had no plans at the present time to review the engine latches. "You just have to follow appropriate maintenance. People have to be careful.

"Every two seconds a [A320 family Airbus] plane is taking off or landing.")

The safety of the aircraft seems to depend upon a task which appears to be troublesome and difficult in certain circumstances, and which is definitely subject to human frailty.

Hence the latching system design is not fit for purpose and should be redesigned even if this leads to expenditure,

Mr Leahy should be rolling his sleeves up and fixing the problem.

The fact that an Airbus takes off every two seconds or whatever merely emphasises the need for action before the numbers game catches up again.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 17:37
  #962 (permalink)  
 
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CAAAD

There is nothing wrong with the cowling latches on the A320 and it has a good safety record, to the best of my knowlage no properly secured cowl has ever departed the aircraft.

So lets start looking for the underlying reasons for the failure to secure these cowls and not rush to mandate another expensive mechanical system to solve this problem.

Your solution to the problem will only secure A320 cowls, a look into the underlying problems will improve the whole maintenance system and is likely to also identify other issues that are not related to A320 cowls.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 18:00
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Correct A and C the method of latching the fan cowls on this aircraft is no different than any other engine whether that be a RR GE PW or a CFM they all employ virtually identical methods.
The only difference is some aircraft have a lot more ground clearance which makes seeing a latch that is unlocked far easier during a walk round
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 18:05
  #964 (permalink)  
 
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Like many things in our lives the guarantee on a product is not good unless used as directed in the Manf specifications.

OK, history has told us that the manf. specifications were not clear enough or easy to comply. Thus the Manf. updated his info with a later SB.

I'm waiting for the AAIB to tell me if it was complied with, if not, why not?
about this. Resurrecting old history, pre-service Bulletin, is not appropriate to these questions.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 18:44
  #965 (permalink)  
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I feel that once the full report is issued,we may see a lot of references to "Human Factors" in future case studies of this incident.Let us wait and see the full facts in the report.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 19:33
  #966 (permalink)  
 
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gatbusdriver

None of those items are part of the pre-flight external check of the aircraft. The fan cowl door latches are.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 19:35
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CFM56 on 737?

Originally Posted by walterthesofty
The only difference is some aircraft have a lot more ground clearance which makes seeing a latch that is unlocked far easier during a walk round
That raises an interesting question. The enormous fleet of CFM56-equipped 737s represents an awful lot of low ground clearance engines operated by a really diverse set of operators. Do we have any information of the rate of cowl-loss per cycle on 737 Classic plus NG fleets vs. IAE-equipped A320-series aircraft? If it is far lower, then perhaps there is a difference in design or procedure worth thinking about.

And within the A320-series aircraft, is there a substantial difference in rate of this problem on the CFM56 vs. the IAE2500-engined portions of the fleet?

I'm genuinely curious, and not trying to engage in A vs. B or IAE vs. GE/Snecma contest.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 19:46
  #968 (permalink)  
 
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The cowl on the B737 NG hangs open in such a way as to be blindingly obvious.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 20:03
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So the answer for future Fan cowl designs is Not to have them the same size. One cowling slightly larger than the other will cause it to show as unlatched when not latched, if you see what I mean.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 21:45
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@Lonewolf. No need to apologise for what you write, you write well. It's just that you can't read.

[Ornis #900] "The crew made a judgement and they were right." I suggested that competing interests (passengers V inhabitants) explained the divergence of opinions on this.

[Ornis#941] "Speaking as an airline passenger, I don't expect pilots to check engineers have locked latches. I expect engineers to do that." The comment that put the cat amongst the pigeons: "On the other hand, I do not accept pilots may demand to fly a damaged aircraft over large populations. Whatever some claim, it is a compromise and the people on the ground have a say."

The opposing view is that any pilot in any circumstance can demand to fly into Heathrow. That is absurd. It is not I guilty of strawmen arguments and psychological splitting.

The fact is there might be other suitable aerodromes. Luton certainly presents a shorter trip than an orbit around the M25. I wouldn't presume to opine on suitability.

I guess the point I struggled to make is, can we be assured someone has thought about what is best should this happen again?

[Lonewolf #943] "Secondly, they have to fly over a populated area any time they want to get to that airport, damaged or not." Tautology.

[Beazlebub #961] "No. It is because there are so rarely severely damaged aircraft." Exactly my point. [Ornis #949] "Happily severely damaged aircraft don't request or demand to overfly London or other conurbations regularly. Because, I suggest, it would not be acceptable." We get away with it because it is rare. Getting away with it does not make it best practice.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 22:21
  #971 (permalink)  
 
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And within the A320-series aircraft, is there a substantial difference in rate of this problem on the CFM56 vs. the IAE2500-engined portions of the fleet?
Yes, 80% (possibly more) of the occurrences to date have involved V2500-powered aircraft.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 22:40
  #972 (permalink)  
 
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I can't believe the length of this thread.
It's simple.
The last guy to do maintenance and the pilot who did the walk round both failed to do their jobs properly.

It's as simple as that.

Aircraft take off with panels not closed or gear pins still in. It happens. Because individuals fail to do their job.

You can try to push the responsibility wherever you like but the fact remains.

I once left the pitot heaters on and melted the covers onto the probes. It was my fault, nobody else. The procedure was sound. I failed in my duty.

Live with it!
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 23:09
  #973 (permalink)  
 
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FE Hoppy:
You have perhaps described WHAT may have happened.

Can we reasonably presume that all the individuals concerned would have started that day with the intention of doing the best job they could? The most professional they could be. Exactly the same as many of us?

The generally accepted point of investigation is to attempt to explain WHY things happen to (or are omitted by) reasonably conscienscous people, so that we can prevent similar things happening again.

At least this way we don't ALL have to make EVERY mistake, in order to increase our experience. We can learn from others who are probably very, very similar to ourselves!

(To be fair this type of incident HAS happened numerous times before, so it seems, so far, we haven't learned enough !! - Maybe this time eh?)

Nobody here has the foggiest AUTHORATITVE idea WHY this incident occurred, nor WILL any of us until the full story is known.

Is there anything else to say until the report is published?

Last edited by 4468; 5th Jun 2013 at 23:21.
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 02:16
  #974 (permalink)  
 
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Only one thing is certain: people "forget". It's often when something disrupts the plan. At a South Island air show the fuel truck arrived and my "copilot" loosened the flush-fitting caps. The driver suddenly departed saying he would be back. The day finished and we were anxious to leave promptly. We had just enough fuel. Flew across Cook Strait for half an hour and landed after another hour and half.

At the pumps found the fuel caps hanging by the earth wire, banging on the flaps. We won't make that mistake again. Either remove the caps entirely or leave them tight: that is our rule.

Here's the thing. If we know there is a problem then smart trained people deal with it better. If we don't recognise a problem then we all stuff up equally badly.

Perhaps it takes an engine fire to reinforce exhortations: check the latches, prop the cowl open or leave it locked. If it were me now, I would tie something to the cowl, a flag or even myself. I know how easy it is to "forget" something "unforgettable".
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 02:37
  #975 (permalink)  
 
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Why all the talk of getting on the knees to properly check the cowls?
Whilst I fly with CFM engines, the height is the same and it is perfectly easy to crouch down and have a good look to check that the latches are secure - it isn't like we need to lie on the ground!

As a commuter I seem to watch more then my fair share of walk arounds, and some of them are frankly appalling and that is from all ranks..
I am sure I am not the only one who has seen someone miss more than half the plane or the "walk around but not looking at anything" type.
I've seen this so many times recently.

We need to start pulling our fingers out and realising this is what we are paid for, this isn't just a stretch of legs, this is a safety check before departure.

Last edited by EcamSurprise; 6th Jun 2013 at 02:38.
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 07:05
  #976 (permalink)  
 
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The last guy to do maintenance and the pilot who did the walk round both failed to do their jobs properly.

It's as simple as that.
Maybe, but in the interests of it not happening to me or anyone else here I'd like to know in depth what happened that morning before the walkround.

In the crew's case I'd be asking if there was any hassle over the crew bus to T5 running on time? When they got to T5 did they struggle to find a serviceable PC, printer and/or stapler (that's a long story that I suspect will prompt a few from the likes of NOD.) Was it possible the queue for crew screening was backed up well into crew report ( again). All this might have been against a background of subtle but publicy displayed management demands that the first wave should depart on time.

Not excusing the fact that the latches may have been missed, and that the walkround was the last line of defence, but I'd rather not string my colleagues up quite yet..

Last edited by wiggy; 6th Jun 2013 at 09:06.
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 07:39
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Wiggy I doubt that any problems at security, the car park or delayed buses will feature in any outcome if it will be easier for BA to pin blame on something/somebody else. BA management has a long history of taking the path of least resistance, even if it means breaking the law in some cases.
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 09:04
  #978 (permalink)  
 
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hunterboy,

If I may borrow a phrase from elsewhere:

"You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment"
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 09:06
  #979 (permalink)  
 
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Silverstrata Quote:- "Easy, you build a new London Gateway airport in the Thames estuary."
Even a Tom Tom or Garmin GPS with an out of date database will tell you that the Thames estuary is nowhere near London - which is where passengers wanting to go to London want to go!
I think you will find that:

a. Many LHR passengers are interlining, and don't want to go to London.
b. The journey Thames to London on a high-speed train would be quicker than the Paddington Express (and much faster than the tube-link).

See this thread:
http://www.pprune.org/airlines-airpo...rt-london.html
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Old 6th Jun 2013, 10:42
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