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BA 777 on fire in Las Vegas

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BA 777 on fire in Las Vegas

Old 9th Sep 2015, 15:13
  #181 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EGMH
Posts: 207
"Some of those who were not trained (ie the pax) acted irrationally because of selfishness or lack of awareness. My conclusion - the bags issue is an industry problem and training/education is the only answer."

I would think that given the difficulty inherent in trying to educate those either potentially, or actually, in an emergency situation to act responsibly and according to regulation, the only answer to this dilemma is to seriously restrict the amount of baggage that can be taken into the cabin to begin with.


This would be enforceable on the ground prior to departure; it may cause some issues and arguments but they will be contained away from the A/C.


It would be reasonable to allow folks access to their medication, and devices en route - phones, laptops and so on - and indeed pragmatic in terms of items with batteries which are liable to catch fire from time to time, and better in the cabin than in the hold - but the size of bags could be limited to a laptop carrier or small backpack, which could be stored under the seat and carried easily on ones person.


Overhead lockers would be slightly defunct if no one was allowed to use them for baggage, but in a situation like this, it would cut out one of the potential threats to fast evacuation.


Simply put: if the baggage isn't there, people won't be trying to access it, or indeed have to waste time trying to prevent others from accessing theirs.
susier is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2015, 15:16
  #182 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 75
@ tourist. I disagree. Endangering life is exactly that. I would dearly love the Federal Authorities to go and arrest those who are sitting there in their hotel room with their carry-on luggage in their possession. In fact, the airport authorities could have easily separated those with their luggage as they arrived at the terminal building.

All this talk of minor inconveniences because people have not got their passport vs a few fellow passengers being burned alive is frankly very depressing and indicates a lack of humanity by those suggesting otherwise.

Leave luggage behind. Period.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 15:20
  #183 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: US
Age: 62
Posts: 411
I am surprised at the number of posts that feel the crew reaction was slow. I suspect most if not all those posts are not from professional pilots. There is a lot to do in the cockpit in this type of situation. Their overall response time was as quick as I can possibly imagine. At first glance everything about this incident appears to be textbook perfect. The last thing in the world you want to do is rush. It's been shown over and over that knee jerk reactions lead to very bad situations. The timing, communications, exits used and outcome were all perfect.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 15:26
  #184 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mid-central South of England
Posts: 179
90 Kt Taxi?

BA were reporting that the aircraft was taxiing at 90 Kts? Obviously a take off roll abort at 90 Kts fits the description better.
Well done the Gatwick crew who ensured the safety of the passengers and acted so professionally. Hope their company appreciate it since their bit is what is seen more by the passengers than anything else. Shame they seem to be in line for pay and condition cuts and have new contract forced on them....

And the decision to throw passengers and crew down slides will always result in some injuries, that there were so few can only be seen as a good thing.

BZ all round.....
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 15:30
  #185 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: New Forest
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Reply to #152

Listening to the ATC tape, there does appear to be a time-gap between the Speedbird stopping message, and the Mayday fire services requested message.
Did the flight crew not realise that a fire was (or was likely to have) started?
ATC appear to have despatched fire services anyway, but given this delay, and the damage already occuring to the fueselage/cabin, we're looking at few seconds before catastrophe, it seems.

In no way am I critical, but I'm just interested in this gap between announcing stop, and calling for fire service.
Hopefully the following might explain the gap, which I thought appears to infer a controlled and prompt actions from the flight deck.

BA SOP's :- After STOP called and being achieved, PNH might well advise TWR of intentions.
Capt continues (else resumes) as PH and when safely stopped (if circumstances & brain functions allow : stop close to a taxiway for easy access of emergency vehicles; if RWY width & surroundings appropriate, nose into side of fault if headwind; away if tailwind).
Capt calls "Identify the Failure".
FO presumably called "Engine Fire Left"; fault confirmed between both.
Capt calls for "Fire Engine Left Memory Items".
FO identifies the appropriate switch, monitored and confirmed by Capt before actioning each switch.
Autothrottle Arm Switch ... Off
Thrust Lever Left ... Closed
Fuel Control Switch Left ... Cutoff
Engine Fire Switch Left ... Pull
If Fire Eng message remains -
Engine Fire Switch Left ... Rotate to stop & hold 1 sec
If Fire Eng message still displayed after 30 secs -
Engine Fire Switch Left Rotate to other bottle
Remember, neither pilot can see anything more than part of the wing tip on his side even when pressing ones cheek against the cockpit window.
Capt must rely on significant information from ATC and/or cabin crew.
BA Cabin Crew are authorized under certain 'catastrophic' circumstances to contact the flight crew directly rather than going through the Cabin Service Director/Purser.

(Health Warning : author of above was a 35 year career with BA ending up as Capt 777 for his last 9 years before retiring over 5 years ago)

Last edited by Whip; 9th Sep 2015 at 15:44.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 15:42
  #186 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Durham
Age: 58
Posts: 182
I like BA as it still does show considerable professionalism from its staff. I usually fly BA and will continue to do so. The Las Vegas incident reinforces my choice to take BA.

I study major incidents as my role is to risk manage/ensure safety in hospitals. This incident gave me the shivers as it was so similar to the Manchester air disaster. I am amazed that there were only very minor injuries. The crew did exceptionally well that no one died. All credit too to the emergency services on the ground. No one will think of this incident in a month or two. That is a good thing.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:09
  #187 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18
Hopefully the following might explain the gap, which I thought appears to infer a controlled and prompt actions from the flight deck.

BA SOP's :- After STOP called and being achieved, PNH might well advise TWR of intentions.
Capt continues (else resumes) as PH and when safely stopped (if circumstances & brain functions allow : stop close to a taxiway for easy access of emergency vehicles; if RWY width & surroundings appropriate, nose into side of fault if headwind; away if tailwind).
Capt calls "Identify the Failure".
FO presumably called "Engine Fire Left"; fault confirmed between both.
Capt calls for "Fire Engine Left Memory Items".
FO identifies the appropriate switch, monitored and confirmed by Capt before actioning each switch.
Quote:
Autothrottle Arm Switch ... Off
Thrust Lever Left ... Closed
Fuel Control Switch Left ... Cutoff
Engine Fire Switch Left ... Pull
If Fire Eng message remains -
Engine Fire Switch Left ... Rotate to stop & hold 1 sec
If Fire Eng message still displayed after 30 secs -
Engine Fire Switch Left Rotate to other bottle
Remember, neither pilot can see anything more than part of the wing tip on his side even when pressing ones cheek against the cockpit window.
Capt must rely on significant information from ATC and/or cabin crew.
BA Cabin Crew are authorized under certain 'catastrophic' circumstances to contact the flight crew directly rather than going through the Cabin Service Director/Purser.

(Health Warning : author of above was a 35 year career with BA ending up as Capt 777 for his last 9 years before retiring over 5 years ago)
Great job by the BA flight crew. Some people who are not pilots forget there are critical checklists to perform even in a time sensitive situation. The BA crew worked together and the result was no fatalities. I think flight crews have learned a lot since Manchester and it showed.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:13
  #188 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,398
I visited the US a few years back - Edinburgh - New York - Pittsburgh - Dallas (I think) - Las Vegas - New York - Edinburgh.


I was astonished how much carry on luggage people had, until I was told by my friends in Pittsburgh that bags were very frequently lost or had stuff stolen from them. I started taking my valuables in the cabin, had to buy an extra bag for them.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:29
  #189 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Home
Posts: 3,400
If the concern is that people who took their hand baggage slowed others behind them, perhaps we should ban all things that delay quick evacuation.

Fat people.
Old people.
High heels.
Unsuitable clothing.
Children.
Disabled people.
Pregnant people.

All these delay evacuation....

Some of them are even personal choice....
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:34
  #190 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,567
Can't believe the crew grabbed their hats!
I believe it might be a recommendation (crowd control, co-ordination, help safety service folks to recognise who is crew...etc..)
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:42
  #191 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Manchester
Posts: 1,106
Baggage Policies

Just another thought for those criticising pax who take large amounts of luggage into the cabin. Many airlines now charge an additional fee - often substantial - for checking luggage into the hold. This system is rapidly educating customers to take as much as possible into the cabin with them free of charge. We increasingly see this as standard behaviour on all flights, regardless of the baggage policies offered by individual carriers.

If the industry is enthusiastically encouraging pax to keep luggage with them - reinforced by financial penalty for checking-in hold luggage - we cannot then complain when they take their full permitted quota into the cabin with them.

The industry must take the lead on this. It is a problem induced by the policies of airlines themselves, not customers. We can't blame a regular family for avoiding the expense of discretionary hold baggage charges. They WILL bring maximum cabin baggage instead if they can. It is just common sense.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:50
  #192 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 157
The decision to open a door is left to the cabin crew member at that door. They look out, assess for danger and then decide. The crew member at L2 made a very good decision. To L1 and L4 it presumably looked clear, because it was.

Wallets, phones, passports are easily replaced. Hats on the other hand, are like rocking horse [email protected] Grap that, but throw your license on the fire, that should give you a nice long break.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:52
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Posts: 5,567
Mickj3

I merely expressed my surprise that deploying the port escape chutes was delivering the escaping passengers into what could be (in this scenario) a danger area. I am well aware that the pilot cannot see the engine from the cockpit and was perhaps unaware of the extent/seriousness of the fire.
The captain will have ordered the evacuation (Evac alarm and/or by PA, preferably both) and also possibly highlighted in the PA that there was a hazard on the left of the aircraft (in this case). As others have pointed out it is then down to the individual crew member at each door to assess for hazards outside their own exit before deciding whether to open their door or keep it closed and redirect passengers to an available exit. That looks like what happen here since 2L and possibly others don't appear to have been used. Given the location of the fire and the hull length of a 777 I can see no reason at all why the attendants shouldn't have used the forward and aft doors on the left (1 Left and 4 Left in this case).

Hope that helps and reduces the element of surprise.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 16:56
  #194 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,519
The industry must take the lead on this. It is a problem induced by the policies of airlines themselves, not customers. We can't blame a regular family for avoiding the expense of discretionary hold baggage charges. They WILL bring maximum cabin baggage instead if they can. It is just common sense.

Nice to see an intelligent post. The industry should have stamped on this marketing ploy (creating headline prices based on over more creative upselling policies) as soon as it appeared. It is human nature to reduce cost if it is possible - even wealthy people do this by deeply ingrained habit. It is also human nature to protect ones important belongings and finally it is human nature to act irrationally under extreme stress.

If the industry wants an increased safety margin where baggage is concerned the answer is 100% in its own hands.

Set a common standard for carry on baggage and enforce industry wide. The rest goes in the hold. Airlines can price it however they want, but not alter the standards. I'm sure there will be someone along to say it's not possible...but frankly it really is that simple.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:02
  #195 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pacific Rim
Posts: 54
Congratulations to all the professionals involved for a job very well done.

B777 continues to show how well it is designed by nearly all the occupants walking out of accidents that looked very bad. [email protected], [email protected] and now this.

On the subject of keeping vital items with you, I wear a travel vest whenever I travel now.
Not sure whether I am allowed to post commercial links here but here goes:
SCOTTeVEST | Travel Clothing for Men & Women

Even after a year of using it, I am still discovering additional pockets. I carry my PP/travel documents, book, money, phone, full size tablet, cables for charging, headphones, water bottle and snacks in it. Gets heavy sometimes but saves me from carrying those in a separate bag.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:03
  #196 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Between Foxrock and a hard place
Posts: 86
Chutes/50%

@A340Yumyum:-

In fairness to Mickj3, the aircraft is certified to deplane a full load of pax & crew through half the number of doors installed within 90 secs.

This plane was half full. There were periods on the video where the air around 1L and 4L was completely clear so that's probably why the cabin crew at those doors opened them.

With the benefit of hindsight, there wasn't so much of a need.

Well done to the crew.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:05
  #197 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: blue earth
Posts: 208
Aircraft Ground Maneuvering Camera

A feature unique to the 777-300ER and 777-300 flight deck is the Ground Maneuver Camera System (GMCS), designed to assist the pilot in ground maneuvering of the 777-300 with camera views of the nose gear and main gear areas. The cameras are on the leading edge of the left and right horizontal stabilizers and the underside of the fuselage and are used during ground maneuvering. The images are displayed at the Multi-Functional Display positions in the flight deck in a three-way split format.


What a shame it not fitted to the 777-200, it would have given the crew a better situation awareness.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:08
  #198 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
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Too many pax will totally ignore them
Whilst paxing on a Flybe Q400 a couple of weeks ago, I was heartened to see a couple of chaps (suited, middle-aged), who were carrying on their conversation during the (recorded) safety briefing, being asked firmly but politely to stop talking and pay attention by the CC. Great to see.

What wasn't so great was that as soon as she turned and walked back down the aisle, they carried on I was half-minded to tell them to shut up myself.

Great job today by all the professionals involved. People taking their bags with them...waste of oxygen.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:08
  #199 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 730
aox, that concern about suits from inconvenienced pax is ridiculous. Any person carrying baggage on an evac should be prosescuted at the very least for endangering the other pax and crew and for refusing cabin crew safety orders. Both charges, if I'm not mistaken, can carry a two year sentence. There may be other charges that could also be brought. So, let's start criminalising these pieces of human filth that deliberately endanger everyone else, and do it publicly and loudly so that everyone else learns to leave their stuff behind. Massive fines (to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars each) or a minimum of three years custodial sentence might start people thinking. Any evacuee with a bag in an accident where any other occupant fails to evacuate in time should be charged with murder.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:09
  #200 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Get to the front of the queue

My friend James, who was sitting behind me, says he had a moment of calm once we were still.

There was confusion. Some people to our left stood up and ran to the front, while a flight attendant told everyone to be calm and stay seated. Most people listened. Not everyone did. We stayed where we were. We on the right side of the plane had no way of knowing that the left engine was on fire.

I remember sitting still and assuming everything would be OK and we would have another go at taking off once we were given the all clear. The message from a nearby flight attendant was still to stay calm. One of her colleagues was reassuring people, saying everything was fine. The lines of communication probably could have been better.

We looked out the window and for the first time saw smoke near the wing. We could smell it. It was like burning rubber bitter and deeply unpleasant and it was time to panic.
British Airways fire: 'We saw the smoke. The smell was bitter. It was time to panic' | US news | The Guardian

I have heard before that most people just sit there for several precious seconds before the group panic takes over.
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