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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, 17:17
  #201 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
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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.
Not sure in what way at that stage of the game (stopped, before the evac) the communications could have been better...I wonder what the writer of the piece suggests?
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:24
  #202 (permalink)  
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Anyway, you can see from the picture in post 123 that the aircraft is partially off the paved surface and from the FR24 data released, it seems to have stopped at approx 40 degree to the centreline. That's no criticism of the crew by the way; they did a magnificent job of stopping and getting everyone out.
Standard procedure at BA is to turn the aircraft downwind so the flames are blown away from the aircraft if at all possible.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:24
  #203 (permalink)  
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No one seems to have yet noted that the starboard engine was not shut down at the time the evacuation began. The engine exhaust can be seen to be blowing smoke behind the plane in those videos that are taken from the port side.

In one video that is taken from the starboard side of the plane (which can be seen on the Daily Mail's website - sorry about that) the R4 escape slide can be seen to be deployed after 30 seconds or so, but can be seen to flail around in the exhaust coming from the starboard engine.

Also, the R3 escape slide can be seen to twisted towards the tail of the plane in this photo, most probably by engine exhaust but possibly also by water pressure from fire hoses. No one can be seen to escape from R4 or R3 in the Daily Mail video, which is unusual given that the cabin crew would normally direct passengers to an escape on a slide on the opposite side of an active fire.

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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:30
  #204 (permalink)  
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It might have been shut down, but these are huge engines and have a lot of inertia, so take a while to stop turning and producing residual thrust.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:32
  #205 (permalink)  
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Given the amount of cabin baggage likely on the floor and under seats (because all the overhead lockers are full of piano sized suitcases) it may expedite getting out of your seat to take the junk on the floor with you.

I am a regular passenger on BA, and BA (specifically) need to start applying their own carry on baggage rules to those that fly BA . . .

But it's time to give the 'all PAX are idiots' broken record a rest, 'all flight crew are incompetents and/or mass murderers' is just as imbecilic . . . despite the fact that your kirk has intentionally murdered multiple plane loads of people and killed many more by being unable to do your job and fly the plane properly or opening the doors into a smoke and flame filled environment . . . while PAX offloading baggage in ground evacuations has NOT killed even a small percentage of that number of people . . . perhaps think about that before blaming everybody else . . . as usual . . .
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:33
  #206 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Well done to the crew makes me proud to be British and Mrs Angry is ex BA Cabin Crew.
Punters have been very complimentary about the Cabin crew and how they moved them away from an exit that was unusable.
By the sounds of it the Commanders last flight as retirement was imminent.
I salute you
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:38
  #207 (permalink)  
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Fair comment McGinty. However, as a previous poster mentioned, BA FAs are empowered to begin an evacuation if the situation is catastrophic (and ac stationary), so it is possible they the FA at 3R took it upon themselves to initiate the evacuation as the crew were going through the short situational analysis on the flight deck.

On the ATC tape you can clearly hear the evacuation alarm in the background when the crew tell ATC that they are evacuating. This is the final item of the evacuation checklist, so the Fuel Cutoff Switches and Fire Switches are already off, and the engines would start winding down.

It is just a matter of the exact timing of when those two things occurred and whether there was an overlap. All will be revealed by the NTSB in due course. We all indulge in a little monday morning quarter-backing at times like this. The main thing is that the end result was excellent, and we all look forward to learning something from it.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:47
  #208 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by Aluminium shuffler
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.
Let's be clear. I'm not proposing something, but pointing out potential difficulties and drawbacks in prosecuting all.

If there has been any aggression and abuse from people refusing to comply when requested, then of course the airline has discretion to ban and/or prosecute, but if all went smoothly without any counter-instruction from staff then trying to prosecute all might be over the top.

That doesn't mean I'm condoning them.

Last edited by aox; 9th Sep 2015 at 18:02.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 17:51
  #209 (permalink)  
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Fifth hull loss on an otherwise very safe and reliable aircraft. 2x MAS, 1x Egypt Air and previous BA.
Er... overlooking OZ214 in SFO aren't we? or are you speaking of this particular subtype only?
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:01
  #210 (permalink)  
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Identifying location and severity of fire!?

Criticism of the flight crew and cabin staff is probably premature. In such circumstances it may not be certain, at the time that evacuation is ordered, either the location or severity of a fire. This is particularly true when the aircraft is engulfed in smoke. The timeline of the decisions needs to be considered, but it all seems to have been appropriate and effective under the circumstances.

From reports, it seems that the cabin staff properly evaluated the situation once the escape doors were open (if not before) and directed the passengers accordingly. This was not a drill. No doubt there may have been areas that could have been handled better and that will be investigated.

The priority was to remove the passengers expeditiously. The situation could have become very ugly, very quickly. Fortunately, the timely and effective response of the fire services averted a catastrophe, together with the prompt effective action of all others involved.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:08
  #211 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Hopefully I haven't overlooked a post regarding this but if so, here it is again. The manufacturer's requirements for blade (or IBR) containment. Being an old fart, I seem to recall in the distant past (20 years or so) that engines from that era had a half blade requirement.

Federal Aviation Regulation Sec. 33.94 - Blade containment and rotor unbalance tests.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:18
  #212 (permalink)  
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I thought that a MayDay call imposed radio silence on everyone else.
Maybe I'm old fashioned........
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:25
  #213 (permalink)  
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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.
I think there is a pretty broad consensus that passengers evacuating with hand luggage is a safety issue. I certainly share that view. Still though...

You cannot legislate against the "fight or flight" physiological and psychological response which causes irrational reactions in some people, particularly those who are not trained in procedures for handling an emergency. You can prosecute people, but a decent defense attorney should have no problem in presenting the defendant as a persecuted victim who acted out of panic rather than malice in a life-threatening situation. I suspect the rate of convictions would be rather low. In this case, where the evacuation was a success, the rate of convictions would be exactly zero.

For trained crew, they know that an evacuation is not ordered lightly and that it is done only when the failure to do so presents a serious threat to lives on board. People in the industry know the dangers of rapid fire propagation in cabins and the rapidity with which a seemingly benign situation can become lethal. I doubt that your average passenger has the slightest awareness of any of this, and that is in part a function of the industry itself downplaying the risks of air travel and diluting what should be clear safety briefings with an attempt to be entertaining rather than stating clearly that an ordered evacuation is an emergency in which a few seconds may be the difference between life and death. And that level of clarity may have the unintended consequence of creating panic.

If you want to remove the problem of large bags being hauled off in evacuations, prevent it in the first place by investing in quicker baggage delivery systems and by removing the financial penalty for checking large bags. Of course, expect resistance from the bean counters at airlines who have become addicted to the income stream from baggage fees.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:38
  #214 (permalink)  
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"I thought that a MayDay call imposed radio silence on everyone else.
Maybe I'm old fashioned......."

I believe we are hearing two frequencies at once on that recording - so other then acknowledgments to go around or change frequency, there were no calls from other aircraft after the Mayday was declared.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:53
  #215 (permalink)  
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PAX carrying stuff from planes

All this talk about prosecuting passengers who in the panic of evacuating a damaged plane grab their carry-ons is ... rubbish.

Does anybody here really, honestly, believe that it'll do anything good? (Besides the legalese - at least in Denmark you'll have to establish some sort of intent to do harm or at the very least gross negligence on behalf of the passenger in order to take the case to court - and in all honesty: How is that going to be done under the given circumstances?)

I'm not a pilot but I have been deployed as a soldier and as a soldier you train, you train, you train. Someone said it upthread: Train hard, fight easy. Or train as you fight, fight as you train.

But PAX don't train for an evacuation. Best they'll listen to the safety instructions, read the safety folder, find the nearest exit and try to remember. But they haven't done the drill in a dark cabin, half filled with smoke, flames engulfing the fuselage and people screaming and panicking to add to the stress.

Soldiers don't know how they'll react in an actual combat situation until they see combat. Luckily I haven't been there myself. An aircraft crew won't know how it'll react to an actual emergency before it's seen one. But: The more you train, the harder you train, the better you'll perform if the shit hits the fan - this crew seems to have done an outstanding job and cudos to the crew and BA for that.

The point is: Training. Crews do, PAX don't. Accept this as a fact and then strive to improve the briefings, the information given when purchasing tickets, when orders are given to evacuate. Perhaps reduce the amount and size of carry-ons. Whatever. But do not think that merely prosecuting some dude will have PAX all over the world rationally thinking - in a situation of emergency, of panic - that "Oh noes, I better not take that carry-on with me, 'cause then I'll get prosecuted". Just doesn't work that way.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:53
  #216 (permalink)  
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I cannot imagine, and don't even want to, the awful prospect of being confined in a busy, smoke-filled aircraft cabin desperately trying to get out. It must be the stuff of nightmares and it is to the eternal credit of the crew and all concerned that there were no fatalities. As regards those carrying-off, they're lucky they weren't set upon by other irate passengers.

I can, however, offer an insight of what it is like to be evacuated by lifeboat from a large ship on fire. I was watching a film in the ship's cinema with many others when it suddenly filled with smoke, alarms and sirens sounded and we were handed life-jackets and told in no uncertain manner to evacuate to the boat deck. There we were directed into lifeboats and lowered into the black water. Luckily it was calm, but I have never forgotten the experience. Terrifying. That all happened for real without any warning at a big French maritime museum (St Nazaire) and was part of the standard museum tour which was centred in the old German U-boat pens. Unforgetable.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 18:57
  #217 (permalink)  
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I think there is a pretty broad consensus that passengers evacuating with hand luggage is a safety issue. I certainly share that view. Still though...
As a paying passenger I don't want to hear arguments that I am the issue.

Fix the damn machine

so I don't become a burden
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 19:05
  #218 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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As a paying passenger I don't want to hear arguments that I am the issue.

Fix the damn machine

so I don't become a burden
Wow. What a reply!

You better stay off trains, boats and out of cars and busses too.

In fact don't go near trucks or tractors either.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 19:07
  #219 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
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As a paying passenger I don't want to hear arguments that I am the issue.

Fix the damn machine

so I don't become a burden
Perhaps YOU aren't "the issue"?

But after the crew do a totally professional job trying to get the newspaper readers and magazine rustlers out the burning aircraft, wouldn't it be a shame if YOU were the one to get stuck behind a pile of bodies in an aisle or emergency exit because some other selfish .... couldn't possibly be parted from their wheelie bag?

You got family? Wonder what their take would be on those denying your exit??

Just a thought?

Last edited by 4468; 9th Sep 2015 at 20:00.
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Old 9th Sep 2015, 19:34
  #220 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Posts: 602
As a paying passenger I don't want to hear arguments that I am the issue.

Fix the damn machine

so I don't become a burden
You (fare paying passenger) are not the issue, and the machine does not require fixing. Your bahaviour could be an issue, unless you follow the crew instructions exactly!

Or, hire your own personal aircraft, which perhaps can be flown to your convenience!
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