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BA 777 on fire in Las Vegas

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BA 777 on fire in Las Vegas

Old 12th Sep 2015, 19:35
  #421 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
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The photo I've seen (not published elsewhere and I wont post as its not mine) was taken on the aft inbd side and shows all the px relief doors open and C duct material blown outwards consistent with an explosion/high velocity exit of high energy matter for the non daily mail readers... Very reminiscent of that AA 767 that lost hpt1 on eng runs.
Outstanding job by all concerned.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 19:53
  #422 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Regarding having important items about your person, a typical piece of non-joined-up aviation procedure is that if you present yourself at security with the relevant items (passport, wallet with CCs, etc) in your pockets, at a number of stations, although not all (so it's not legislation) they will insist you take these off your person, and put them in your laptop bag, which is of course going up in the rack. We know about keys and phones but some places want all this off you as well. Dublin is particularly zealous in requiring this, there are many others. Now often I transfer them all back afterwards, but also can find the first time I need them that they have done the journey up in the rack.

Given the media reports of the subsequent treatment of the passengers from the accident flight at the hotel they were taken to in Las Vegas, which was, simplistically, no credit card = no service, no refreshments, no phone calls, nothing (a typical USA reaction to someone without a credit card, and probably also a standard Las Vegas reaction to anyone who has the temerity to check in without tipping the desk clerk US$20), let alone how you might anticipate be treated at immigration the next day on arrival with no passport, and given the eternity it takes bureaucracy nowadays to reissue passports, you can understand more why people would want these items with them.

Last edited by WHBM; 12th Sep 2015 at 20:07.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 19:55
  #423 (permalink)  
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DevX, midday in the Nevada desert you suggest the surface temperature would not be 110F in the sun, which it would have been seconds before the aircraft cast its shadow. I think it is very possible. Surface temperature of runways in those conditions are often a lot higher than air temperature, often 50-60C, roughly 120-140F. At the time of the accident the air temperature was 39C, that is already 102F in the shade. The actual flash point of Jet-A fuel is 100F/38C.

Last edited by Ka-2b Pilot; 12th Sep 2015 at 21:04. Reason: To add temperature recorded around the time of the accident. Again to add the correct flash point for Jet-A type fuel.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 21:07
  #424 (permalink)  
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Story of a past crash - and guess what - the expensive laptop in the hand baggage left on the aircraft goes 'missing'
Well...now what a surprise... who'd have guessed it.
The Crash Landing of Southwest 345 | Nick Bradbury
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 21:08
  #425 (permalink)  
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Mzguilty. Thank you for your reply. I am not arguing with anything you say, nor decrying the good job evidently done in this case. I am listening to what people say but I think others are not listening to me! Point I was trying to make is that it is all very well for us all to agree that the passengers acted selfishly in carrying their luggage, and acted clearly in contravention of instructions, nevertheless a hero went down the slide with a wheelie. Point is, should his action cause harm to another passenger, wouldn't that passenger have a complaint against the operator? Being incapacitated at the bottom of the slide could be a serious issue during a full evacuation.

If the instructions are clear but the staff member at the exit allowed contravention, then I reckon there is the risk of a claim.

So, yes, letting the guy go may well be for the greater good but you now have to argue in law against a passenger who was hurt in consequence of your actions.

Ultimate answer in my view is to shrink the overheads and restrict carry on but guess what, the safety is paramount mantra seems to stumble here against the convenience of passengers.

I hope they find the guy with the wheelie and make him eat it.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 03:02
  #426 (permalink)  
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No_Fly_Zone wrote.

The pix of this event suggest that opening L2 likely would have caused far more serious problems. That much I'm sure about.
What I do not know is how cabin crew monitors the Over-Wing exits in a similar event. In this case, popping the first Left Over-Wing hatch would have been almost as bad as opening L2. They do not have sufficient staff to monitor the Over-Wing pop (in or out) hatches and I do not know how they control their use. Does anyone out there know?

I know at our Airline, the flight attendants come back and give the overwing exit row passengers a quick briefing on how to open this exit, and (sometimes ) advise them to check for fire first. Often it seems these passengers are just happy to find themselves with the extra leg room, and don't even listen to the briefing. Many seem to me to be incapable of opening/lifting the exit window, but F/As are reluctant to pull someone from one of these exit rows and find them another seat. .Some airlines even offer these rows to passengers for an upgrade price for more legroom.
In my opinion these rows should be offered to deadheading/retired crew first, who have trained in a smoke filled sim to pull the handle down, and throw the overwing exit out of the way. As I have, in mixed crew training with Flight Attendants. These are plug type doors, so you must pull the window exit in, which is counter intuitive.

Another safety issue that bothers me. I often find myself sitting far from the overwing exit rows, while untrained passengers sit there, possibly unable to open the over-wing exit in an emergency..
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 03:23
  #427 (permalink)  
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HP Disk failures at power

Just an observation from this thread, as all the cited disk failures have been in GE manufactured engines. Do the other manufacturers have a similar failure rate? or is this a peculiarity of GE's design and manufacturing processes that make their engines vulnerable to these types of failures?
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 04:37
  #428 (permalink)  
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Just an observation from this thread, as all the cited disk failures have been in GE manufactured engines. Do the other manufacturers have a similar failure rate? or is this a peculiarity of GE's design and manufacturing processes that make their engines vulnerable to these types of failures?
Nothing statistically unique per hour flown when you include all fleets

Hopefully the problems are unique so all don't make the same mistakes.

I suspect the actual causal chain in this one relative to the fire will be unique.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 05:14
  #429 (permalink)  
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Another safety issue that bothers me. I often find myself sitting far from the overwing exit rows, while untrained passengers sit there, possibly unable to open the over-wing exit in an emergency..
Whilst I do not dispute what you state, if this really is an issue, then it's a regulatory matter, not an operational matter.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 05:35
  #430 (permalink)  
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I'm well aware of the flash point of kero Ka-2b, but that's not to say that it's guaranteed to combust every time at that point. In my personal experience of engine failures conditions have to be ideal otherwise it's it's more likely that a flash over won't take place, therefore I still don't hold with your original theory.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 09:04
  #431 (permalink)  
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I half expected someone to produce a camping gaz & wok for mid-flight meal.
You joke but I have had it happen on a flight where I was operating as the First Officer.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 17:41
  #432 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Retired DC9 driver
. . . overwing exit row passengers . . .
In my opinion these rows should be offered to deadheading/retired crew first
Over thirty years ago, being a frequent long haul flier in the defence industry ,ex military and married at the time to an ex-BA stewardess, I suggested a similar type of scheme .
The idea was for fit, regular, passengers from suitable backgrounds in industry to undergo a short course of airline ( e.g. B.A.) cabin training, including some "friend in the cabin" aspects for some situations, as well as being able to bodily assist in cabin evacuation.
Such individuals would be listed and identified on booking and discreetly seated by an exit, with the cabin crew being made aware of the fact during crew brief.
A poll of B.A. flight deck crew met with an enthusiastic response - provided said selected individuals abstained from alcohol during flight. Through my company into SBAC, there was a positive feedback with other companies expressing willingness to fund their participants through any such training.
Unfortunately B.A. , via a signed letter from Colin Marshall, thought such a scheme unnecessary since the airline had the fullest confidence in its current procedures - a near identical letter coming back from BALPA.
Funnily enough ,some time later on a B.A.TriStar flight back from New Delhi in rough weather, the cabin crew were very supportive of my volunteering to clamber around the cabin strapping in confused and frightened Indian passengers.
As a P.S. I do believe that it was then a policy, in some airlines at least, to preferentially seat passengers of a particular profile on certain flights, by escape exits in any event.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 18:51
  #433 (permalink)  
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Another safety issue that bothers me. I often find myself sitting far from the overwing exit rows, while untrained passengers sit there, possibly unable to open the over-wing exit in an emergency

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Old 13th Sep 2015, 20:40
  #434 (permalink)  
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Some interesting posts and links here, some accurate, others not so much.
As one who was there, I'd like to share some aspects.

This was a low-speed/low-energy RTO, around 80kts IAS. Apparently, no prior warning or abnormal indication, just two "booms" followed by an immediate engine fire indication with both bottles fired, followed by the evac.

The aircraft was departing on RWY 7L from A8 intersection, which is standard for that airport configuration and for aircraft less than MGTOW, which this flight was (170 SOB).

When it came to a final stop, it was just west of A6, remaining on the RWY, left of center line and tire marks clearly visible as it decelerated. No tires blown; just one slightly deflated. No brake fire.

The main reason why the emergency services got there so quick and put out the fire in under two minutes was the location of the aircraft. It was immediately due south of the fire station crossing one, parallel taxiway, TWY B. Took about a minute to get there whereas the FAA-mandated response time is 3 minutes for the first fire truck to reach the mid-point of the emergency runway. It was less than half that time, so some luck also involved here.

Six out of a total of eight slides/doors were activated. The two NOT activated were L2 and L3 - for obvious reasons. The evacuation, when it was initiated was very quick, majority of injuries coming as a result of evacuating which seems to be common in incidents like this. The aircraft has NO over wing exits (windows).

ATC did not have to notify nor did the crew ask if there was fire or smoke - it was pretty obvious by everyone after a few moments and the fire trucks and other first responders were ALREADY on the way before any crash alarms sounded. Again, the fire station is in close proximity to that runway location, the visual impact unmistakeable, and the crew had fired both bottles with the engine fire handle still lit (hence the evacuation command).

Damage to the aircraft was concentrated to the #1 engine cowling, especially on the inboard side and underneath (Mainly smoke and fire damage), inboard leading edge of that wing, along the fuselage and some four to five windows scorched. Some of the fire went under and around and there is smoke/fire damage on the opposite side, although less intensive as you would expect from the source. Difficult to ascertain any evidence of penetration of the cowling. However, plenty of bent metal parts and pieces hanging down, still attached, again on the inboard part.

The debris field behind the aircraft depicted several engine parts including pieces of cowling, compressor or turbine blades or parts thereof, flanges, metal collars and small bolts.

Whatever the ultimate cause, the preliminary NTSB report, evidence at the scene and research of previous accidents with similar characteristics, all seem to point to a catastrophic failure of either compressor or turbine parts inside the #1 engine. As for the subsequent fire, my best guess is rupture of some fuel lines, a gearbox or the oil/fuel cooler. It is my understanding that no fuel tank was breached.

Investigation and engine tear down continuing with NTSB, AAIB, BA, GE, Boeing and FAA FSDO working in unison all week and likely in to next week also.

Lives were definitely saved, no question. Kudos to the crew, LAS ARFF and rescue units, ATCT and all the other agencies involved. It's not every day or even every year that you have an incident like this and everyone acted professionally and quickly, with the sole exception of a few passengers! Frankly, that part was not noticed in the immediate aftermath as there was a lot going on and the vast majority had already exited by then and well away from the aircraft.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 21:26
  #435 (permalink)  
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Great post, thanks for the detail.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 21:36
  #436 (permalink)  
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Thanks, suninmyeyes......it sure was surreal watching it happen but our respective autopilots ( pun intended!) kicked in and we did what we are trained and expected to do. So glad it was a good outcome and I'm sure it will be fully followed up in what we can all learn from it and do differently next time.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 21:45
  #437 (permalink)  
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I know that if I were to reject a takeoff, having informed ATC I was stopping I would be very grateful for any immediate feedback from ATC as to whether they could see any smoke, flames, inferno etc. Fortunately in the absence of any ATC info there was an extra flight crew member on hand to go back and see what the passengers and cabin crew could see.

At 00:54 - Stopping message from BA2276 which crosses with ATC who have obviously seen what is going on and are already telling a Delta to go around. The DAL requires confirmation of go round instructions as the transmission is garbled by the cross with the stop message

At 01:09 - ATC transmission saying fire services on the way stepped on by BA 2276 reporting a fire and requesting fire services

01:17 - ATC confirm RFFS on the way

01:53 - aircraft reports evacuation.

02:01 - someone (RFFS?) cleared all the way down 7 Left

Last edited by Suzeman; 13th Sep 2015 at 22:27.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 00:10
  #438 (permalink)  
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A little more info to help explain.......and I've listened to the tapes, spoken to the ATCT supervisor on duty and was part of the "action" on the day.

First, and as you can imagine, the controller was VERY busy and kept her cool with at least two go-arounds in quick succession and a major incident developing. Also, being a dynamic situation, there is the inevitable stepping on transmissions.

By the time anyone could get a word in edgewise, both controller and pilots KNEW there was a fire, no question. Therefore, there was little point in taking up valuable R/T time with the obvious. In fact, the pilots did eventually call for fire services and the controller confirmed on the way. You are not going to get a picture perfect or textbook response every time to an emergency situation. They both did exceptional, in my opinion.

Cannot say for sure what the third pilot was saying/doing in the cabin prior to evacuation but in any event, one uses CRM (Crew Resource Management or whatever your airline calls it). An extra set of eyes and comms is always good.

The evacuation command would come at the end of the engine fire checklist, once it's established the fire is not out. That's why there's a "longish " gap.

The sequence of actions in any abnormal situation during the start of the takeoff roll is:

1. Stop aircraft.
2. Assess the situation.
3. Do the necessary drills per the checklist and verify all complete.
4. Make the evac decision - if required.
5. Make the PA call.
And get out using nearest exit........

Hopefully, this explains any or all gaps in R/T and what some have described as a long time to evacuate the aircraft. The crew were also VERY busy!

The almost indecipherable transmission near the end is the airport operations vehicle requesting approval to enter the runway. Like police and other emergency services vehicles, they all have vehicle call signs, big numbers on the side and roof and a full iComm radio set up with ATC and aircraft plus a lot more!
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 08:25
  #439 (permalink)  
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I haven't read this entire thread, but if what alexb757 says is correct, then I'm staggered. Are there REALLY people suggesting that 60 secs is a 'long' time, to bring a 300 tonne jet, from 100mph to an unexpected stop, run methodically through the Fire Eng checklist. (to give the extinguishant a chance!) whilst running in parallel a continuous situational assessment. Before carefully and methodically reading through the Evacuation Checklist, and finally commanding an evacuation!

60 seconds to methodically, AND ACCURATELY run through that lot, seems remarkably swift to me. That's why there are so many professionals here, who believe the actions of the crew in an exceptional situation, saved many lives.

As was once said to me. Pilots (and in this case, crew too) don't get paid for what they do. They get paid for what they CAN do! And these most definitely drew heavily on their bank of experience and top quality training!

Well done all.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 08:49
  #440 (permalink)  
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they never mention bags being left on evacuation.
Well, they mention "all belongings" but people tend to interprete things differently these days... If they do not say "bags" explicitly, bags are fine. It is like (no)smoking and e-cigarettes...

Do the other manufacturers have a similar failure rate? or is this a peculiarity of GE's design and manufacturing processes that make their engines vulnerable to these types of failures?
Basically the rate of uncontained failures is about the same, but as numbers are low, statistics are not very mature. Of course there are subtle differences, if you split your compressor in 3 (LP, IP, HP) each of them is smaller and hence stiffer, so critical speed (resonance of bending and rotation) or margin to critical speed is higher, hence more tolerance for cracks or manufacturing flaws. On the other hand your lubrication system gets more complicated if you have 3 spools, so that creates additional failure cases.
Compared to 50 years ago, jet engines are incredibly reliable.
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