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BA 777 on fire in Las Vegas

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BA 777 on fire in Las Vegas

Old 14th Sep 2015, 11:05
  #441 (permalink)  
 
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Insurance question

Where a hull loss (as here) is caused by the direct failure of an engine (admittedly not proven in this case) would the engine manufacturer/maintenance organisation be liable for the loss?


Here it would appear that the flight deck crew did all they could to deal with the emergency and to mitigate the damage, the AFS got there as fast as might be reasonably expected but still the fire penetrated the fuselage and cause what is likely to be damage beyond economic repair.


I suspect that there will be claims (and counter claims) between BA and GE to sort this one out; does anyone know what happens in reality? In motor insurance there is a "knock for knock" approach does the same apply to aviation?


A curious MB.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 11:46
  #442 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks alexb757 for filling in a bit of background; in these situations there's always a lot going on that would not be obvious to people who weren't there. And as you say, in a dynamic situation there will inevitably be stepping on transmissions.

It looks to me to be a textbook example of how it should be done, so congratulations to crew, ATC, RFFS and other airport personnel.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 12:52
  #443 (permalink)  
 
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Excellent handling of a serious incident

Thanks so much for your posts alexb757.
Training and experience are absolutely essential during any crisis situation, but alone these two factors are rarely sufficient if we look back and carefully analyse past serious aviation incidents.
Common sense can be very helpful but it is especially the ability to remain as calm as possible during extreme "crisis" pressure that can make the difference in between success and failure, simply because our brain does not function properly in "panic mode", whatever the experience and training, if we panic our assessment capabilities are seriously deteriorated.
This incident has shown how important is to remain calm under pressure, this concept applies to all parties involved.
This skill is reinforced through training and experience but there is also an element of "having the right person in the right job", this is why we must urgently stop the greedy aviation trend to indefinitely reduce costs (lower salaries, longer hours, etc) because the end result will be catastrophic.

No doubts that the very complex response to this incident was fantastic: pilots, cabin crew, atc and fire services all did an incredible job.
This is different from the Hudson river where the hero was basically only one.
I have learnt again that we need well trained and experienced people in aviation, we cannot make the mistake on focusing only on pilots, ATC and firemen are also essential, as it is the cabin crew staff, e.g. too often CC are seen as simple "cabin service" employees when the reality is that they are absolutely essential to achieve a successful evacuation which means saving many lives through a very quick escape.
Evacuations do not happen very often, but they do happen indeed, next time could be any of us either as passengers or on duty, this incident could have killed many people if mishandled hence we must continue to reiterate how important it is to establish good working conditions in aviation because this simply means good safety
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 14:01
  #444 (permalink)  
aox
 
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Originally Posted by Madbob
Where a hull loss (as here) is caused by the direct failure of an engine (admittedly not proven in this case) would the engine manufacturer/maintenance organisation be liable for the loss?


Here it would appear that the flight deck crew did all they could to deal with the emergency and to mitigate the damage, the AFS got there as fast as might be reasonably expected but still the fire penetrated the fuselage and cause what is likely to be damage beyond economic repair.


I suspect that there will be claims (and counter claims) between BA and GE to sort this one out; does anyone know what happens in reality? In motor insurance there is a "knock for knock" approach does the same apply to aviation?


A curious MB.
I don't know. I assume it will be a matter of some complicated negotiation between the companies and their insurers, and depending on the investigation report, whether liability is incurred by negligence or not.

Whatever they end up doing with that aircraft, even just the loss of use can be expensive. While talking to a loss adjuster some years ago I said this must be small beer compared to what you are used to. He mentioned a catering truck had driven into a nose leg at Heathrow. 7 million.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 16:07
  #445 (permalink)  
 
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Gizmodo US just posted this article;

The FAA Warned Boeing About the Flaw That Caused a 777 to Explode in Las Vegas

Refering to this document;

https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...011-15-06.html

Detailing an AD published in 2011 reference HPCR 8-10 stage spool for cracks.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 16:18
  #446 (permalink)  

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How does this play out for ETOPS certification?
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 16:45
  #447 (permalink)  
 
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@lomapaseo (#421), I am still curious, although indeed the matter which is the subject of that AD may or may not be related to this incident. I assume, in case of a positive result, it has to be fixed right away before returning it to service. Perhaps also some more extensive inspection is triggered? So in fact it would not (should not) be possible to learn how fast the cracks develop, from these inspections alone. And therefore, I do not see how to measure the effectiveness of this AD alone.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 17:00
  #448 (permalink)  
 
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alexb757
Thank you for your excellent post, it is good to have some facts and expert opinion from someone who was there instead of endless speculation by so many non-professionals.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 17:44
  #449 (permalink)  
 
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PAX2908

I assume, in case of a positive result, it has to be fixed right away before returning it to service. Perhaps also some more extensive inspection is triggered? So in fact it would not (should not) be possible to learn how fast the cracks develop, from these inspections alone.
In general (not necessarily this one) That is what they do. These material have lots of tolerance to damage if inspected often enough. Some damage is always assumed (escapes from manufacturing inspections) and even with those you ought to make to even the longest overhaul interval one can imagine. However if the damage occurs in service (lots of reasons) than one needs some updated assessments of where and how much to redo it's life expectancy between specialized inspections.

In the end the expectations as approved by the regulator may not be 100% but they historically have done a very good job at preventing loss of aircraft when taken into context with the ruggedness of the aircraft to an engine failure.

So standby by for updated actions in this regard and hopefully some other aircraft type or engine model will not repeat these lessons learned.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 18:34
  #450 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sky9 View Post
How does this play out for ETOPS certification?
It shouldn't have any affect - the GE90 shutdown rate remains impressively low at 1 or 2 per million hours (which is much better than what's required for even 330 minute ETOPS).
Uncontained engine failures are always considered to be potentially catastrophic independent of any ETOPS considerations (recall the close call from the uncontained turbine burst on the Qantas A380, and it still had 3 engines running).
So the focus will be on what caused the uncontained failure, and how to prevent a future occurrence.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 21:16
  #451 (permalink)  

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alexb747:

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........
Not quite.

The evacuation checklist supercedes all others. If the crew are commencing, say, a Fire engine checklist and it becomes clear to the Capt that an evacuation is necessary, he will immediately ask for the Evacuation checklist, he will not wait for FO to finish the Fire engine checklist. The evacuation command stops all other checklists.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 22:04
  #452 (permalink)  
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Talking

Having retired from looking after 77s and 74s it is refreshing to read such a factual reply from Alexb757 .I too agree with the comment about the time lag he speaks of,this crew were merely going through that check list.What comes over in this whole incident is how everybody just did their job without panicking and in an ordered way. Every person involved should be thanked on this one.Hopefully in years to come,the footage will be used in training videos.....textbook. I am not going to voice an opinion on the hand baggage,there are enough comments here already.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 03:14
  #453 (permalink)  
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ETOPS

Doesn't count, failure before EEP.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 04:44
  #454 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by overstress View Post
alexb747:

Not quite.

The evacuation checklist supercedes all others. If the crew are commencing, say, a Fire engine checklist and it becomes clear to the Capt that an evacuation is necessary, he will immediately ask for the Evacuation checklist, he will not wait for FO to finish the Fire engine checklist. The evacuation command stops all other checklists.
Yes, you could be right here. It's over 5 years since my last flight and check ride, so I'm doing this from memory. Plus, I've worked for 5 different airlines on 6 different aircraft! All slightly different SOPs.

According to my old 757 Emergency Evacuation checklist, there are several conditional statements.

After the Parking Brake is set, it states IF evac MAY be necessary, when aircraft comes to a stop, announce "Remain seated, Flight Attendants prepare".

Then,

If evac IS Necessary:

All Fire Switches.......Override & Pull
All Fire Switches(if required).....Rotate
Rotate engine fire switches in opposite directions.
Announce: " EVACUATE"
Then goes in to supplementary info.

I was not in the cockpit, nor do I have intimate knowledge of BA procedures. So, I was only making an educated guess for those that have no idea about emergency checklists.

The question is, of course, at what stage did the crew realize they had a fire and that fire was NOT out and evacuation imminent. Only the CA/FOs can answer that.

I suspect now they may have started the Engine Fire Checklist and perhaps switched to the Emergency Evacuation one early on.

Perhaps a BA 777 pilot can offer further info on this.

I also notice that a lot of engine fire/severe damage/separation (but not all) checklists assume you are in flight and have the rider "land at nearest suitable airport".

Of course, this was on the ground, fire was initially there and likely for at least a minute, it was not confirmed it was out, therefore an evacuation was the right call.

Be interested in others, still flying, take. And/or check airmen/training captains.

I'm still learning and wish to know, although my wings are now hung up. Thanks.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 07:33
  #455 (permalink)  
 
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AD published in 2011

Given that the AD related to the 8-10 compressor stages was published in 2011, hasn't there been plenty of time in which to redesign and fit replacement parts to eliminate the problem across the fleet?

Sure, doing so would have been expensive. However, if this had turned into a fatal accident, avoidance of that expense might now look negligent.

This raises questions as to how long a known and potentially (and in this case very nearly) fatal defect should be allowed to persist regardless of the perceived likelihood.

Now that this has happened, it is also worth questioning whether the industry has its priorities right. GE/Boeing were not in favour of the FAA's inspection regime, presumably because of the cost and inconvenience to their customers. Four years down the line the expense could have been billions in fines and compensation had the BA crew not succeeded in conducting a textbook evacuation. This sounds like penny pinching on a large scale, and the consequences might have been the lives of passengers.

Writing as a passenger, that doesn't look great to me. What would have looked great was a proactive replacement program in excess of the FAA's requirement starting 4 years ago. Writing as an engineer it is yet another example of big businesses failing to acknowledge and act on "unlikely" risks with a catastrophic outcome merely for the sake of small amounts of short term money.

GE/Boeing have just had a lucky escape; they may well end up carrying the can for this one. Thanks to the BA crew the can isn't so big. If the NTSB finds that it was indeed the 8-10 compressor that failed then that won't exactly help GE/Boeing in their sales campaigns...
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 08:20
  #456 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
Doesn't count, failure before EEP.
Are you suggesting that the IFSD rates used to underpin ETOPS certification for a particular operator depend only on IFSDs that occur during the periods of ETOPs flight itself?
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 14:37
  #457 (permalink)  
 
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Despite what the planespotting websites say, G-VIIO has not been written off yet.

Damage isn't as bad as first thought, although not an official word it's likely to be repaired. Problem isn't the wingbox, as previously mentioned the fuel tank wasn't penetrated. Fuel leak source was engine #1. If wing spar isn't significantly damaged, a new engine, slats, composite panelling and a repaint etc will see her fly again.

According to the latest news. One 744 and 767 from our longhaul programmes will remain for an extra few years.
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 00:59
  #458 (permalink)  
 
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fix and sell to third world airline?

would anyone buy it?

What is frame number (asking for a friend)
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 01:22
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You would sell it for far less than you would spend getting it airworthy again. They have a large 772 fleet so take # 2, avionics, gear, brakes, apu, doors, hydraulics, rudder, spoilers, tabs, undamaged slats/flaps, panels, fuel lines, galleys, lavs etc out and use them for spares.

I know many of their 744s are self insured, not sure about the older triplers

Last edited by Una Due Tfc; 16th Sep 2015 at 02:00.
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Old 16th Sep 2015, 01:48
  #460 (permalink)  
 
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Up to the insurer, who have people employed to crunch the numbers in fix/write off cases. However the QANTAS B744 overrun in BKK was fixed even though it wasn't economic, in order to avoid the stigma of a hull loss.
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