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UA 777 diverts to Midway with fire

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UA 777 diverts to Midway with fire

Old 14th Jul 2014, 13:46
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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The Basics Work

It seems to me that Wake and Midway are serving their currently intended purpose. Some questions raised about ATC and comm facilities, but I have to believe that the United (and other) pilots who fly the area have current details. ETOPS diversion strips do not need large hotels; just an open runway that can accept large aircraft. In this kind of situation the ONLY requirement is a safe landing and, if necessary an evacuation.
Of course smoke/fire are the largest threat for long hauls over water. (Loss of 50% of motive power is also important, but fire is remains a far more urgent threat. Boeing and others have proved extended flight with one engine, but fire control is a different subject...) I don't recall the distance when the threat was identified, but is it relevant? They landed safely and the closest 'suitable' and apparently without incident or injury. Since there were NO other options, I guess it was an easy choice. A safe landing equals safe PAX. What else matters? I too congratulate the flight crew, but again must believe that they train for these events, carry the necessary charts and airport information and are highly skilled pilots. My best guess is that after the necessary ten seconds of "Oh %uck," they played it by the numbers, re-aimed their airplane and began working the relevant check lists - and communicating with the Pacific control authorities and their company.
What we do not yet know is the CAUSE of the smoke/fire and resulting diversion. Since the vast majority of B777 flights are long-haul, very often over water and at times without a diversion runway close by, the engineers must identify - and correct whatever was this event's root cause. IMO, that is far more important than having piss-elegant facilities available for diverted PAX. Duh? In a similar situation, my only instant objective would be a safe return to earth; the rest of the details will work themselves out in time.
It is also fair to say that I'm no great fan of United's soft product and service. In this case and considering the distance and logistics involved, I think they made an excellent response, far better than some of the world's other 'Big Boys' would (or could?) have mounted. So, congratulations to the professional flight crew AND United's operations staff.
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Old 14th Jul 2014, 14:18
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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It is 1,135 great circle nautical miles from Honolulu Airport to Midway Airport.
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Old 14th Jul 2014, 14:42
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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the engineers must identify - and correct whatever was this event's root cause.
I eagerly await some data about this incident. As Midway does not have an extensive support/repair infrastructure, work will be done by Boeing's AOG people. And I suspect that the company will hold information close, to the extent allowed by reporting regulations. So I don't expect a lot of outside coverage and news.
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Old 14th Jul 2014, 20:57
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I think Boeing paid for widebody airstairs etc
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Old 14th Jul 2014, 21:56
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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bizjournals reports it was a fan

"A problem with the equipment supply cooling fan"

according to a report published on bizjournals

The report goes on to add that the aircraft has not only already been flown out of Midway to to San Francisco (United used to have a major maintenance base there--do they still?) but has subsequently returned to service.
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Old 15th Jul 2014, 19:23
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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This incident had an amazingly happy ending. One problem was that the air stairs were three feet too short for the 777 so people had to be helped up and down. Everybody seems to have gotten off and back on with the help of crew and local people. People and parts to recover the pland were flown in on a G-IV. There was no way to get bags off so mechanics had to work around them.

Last edited by Rick777; 16th Jul 2014 at 16:08.
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Old 16th Jul 2014, 00:55
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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One would think such a fan would be redundant and capable of auto-shut down with over-heat on an advanced ETOPS airplane.
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Old 16th Jul 2014, 06:50
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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It's capable of being turned off by the crew via the Equipment cooling Override push button on the overhead panel. Just needed the crew to identify the smoke was coming from the equipment centre...
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Old 17th Jul 2014, 11:09
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Fan on at cruise ?

Is this fan normally on at cruise altitude in the 777 ?
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Old 17th Jul 2014, 13:43
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Yes........
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