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A321 explosion at Mogadishu

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A321 explosion at Mogadishu

Old 4th Feb 2016, 18:14
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
I think the pilot & crew deserve congrats - it sounds like a text book handling of a very non-standard occurrence

kept calm, got people away from the damage and landed in one piece

just goes to show good people aren't just with the big airlines......
Harry, I don't mean to disagree with what you wrote but one or two things occur to me over the reporting and appearance of this matter.

Firstly this kind of event is very much at the forefront of many air travellers minds and is thus exceptionally news-worthy. So it attracts vastly more publicity and emotion than would an event with almost identical characteristics, a simple pax window failure, a matter just as "non standard" but of far greater concern to the industry as a whole than mere poor security at Mog (well, what else would you expect?).

A minor (as it is at FL140) and unfixable decompression be it a popped out window or one blasted out) is hardly an event to tax a below average crew as there is virtually nothing anyone can do to affect matters; true, in the latter case everyone is more shocked by a bigger bang but after that, as long as the airframe is controllable, it's just an adrenaline fuelled unpressurised diversion with nothing particularly special to do. (no doubt someone will chirp up about smooth handling - that isn't special)
I doubt anything said or done by the cc would prevent or assist pax from getting themselves out of harm's way after a few seconds of Oh Christ! Oh sh!t! Oh dear!

The drama (very much media induced simply through our habitual exposure to it) of a situation can easily be misconstrued as related to the hazard and thus by implication (esp by the media) to the complexity/skill required in dealing with it. That isn't necessarily the case, and I submit certainly isn't here.

Daallo may well be a place to go looking for good people but experience also tells us that they don't exactly fit the profile you'd normally use if going to find them. They are, after all, firmly on the EU banned list and what can be read about them or their history on the internet doesn't inspire confidence.

However the pilots evidently did OK - just as they are expected to do - (cabin crew are an unknown at present I believe) and pats on the back are certainly appropriate but I don't think anything particularly deserving great accolades occurred, just an uneventful diversion after a pressurisation fault with an unusually dramatic cause. And some particularly bad security.

Last edited by Wageslave; 4th Feb 2016 at 18:39.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 19:00
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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the bomber is the person that was ejected. They also noted that the bomber was able to bypass a number the security measures as he arrived in a wheelchair.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/somali-jet-blast-may-have-been-caused-by-suicide-bomber-1454603775
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 19:05
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I've seen a couple reports (https://www.yahoo.com/travel/passeng...172542766.html) that the passenger "caught fire" before being sucked out of the airplane.

Since there was undoubtedly an explosion (and assuming the report that the passenger caught fire is accurate), it seems very odd that any sort of bomb would cause someone to catch fire - most explosives won't result in combustion of something that wasn't highly flammable.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 19:51
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Originally Posted by Wageslave View Post
However the pilots evidently did OK - just as they are expected to do - (cabin crew are an unknown at present I believe) and pats on the back are certainly appropriate but I don't think anything particularly deserving great accolades occurred, just an uneventful diversion after a pressurisation fault with an unusually dramatic cause. And some particularly bad security.
Right.

While evidence is incomplete it may be best to be somewhat open minded.

Will the BEA be on the case ?
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 19:59
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@ tdracer - Well, remember that the "shoe bomber" was caught and stopped because people noticed him trying to set fire to his shoe.

With IEDs, the methodology can be very - weird.

Additionally - obviously the explosion (and they can be very "firey" - see http://www.drum.army.mil/mountaineer.../explosion.jpg

....had to come before the aircraft was breached, and thus before anyone could be sucked out.

Combine those with the fact that shocking events can lead to "stop-action" memory - and witness accounts are memories of the event - and I just don't see a mystery.

Bang - flame - hole - suck - in short order.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 21:38
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"However the pilots evidently did OK - just as they are expected to do - (cabin crew are an unknown at present I believe) and pats on the back are certainly appropriate but I don't think anything particularly deserving great accolades occurred, just an uneventful diversion after a pressurisation fault with an unusually dramatic cause. And some particularly bad security."

Surely you don't mean that.... Since they're on a EU (or worldwide) ban list a bomb exploding on a passenger airline becomes "just an uneventful diversion"? Not in my book... (and merely a SLF)...
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 23:24
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A terror attack with a happy ending.

GF
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 02:15
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Saffi
It was reported that the CC managed the movement of SLF to the rear with consideration of the weight of each SLF so as to keep the C of G in range so I would say their cool heads and people skills were a very important part of the positive outcome.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 02:31
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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the bomber is the person that was ejected.
A suicide bomber would detonate it at cruise altitude. I read in a link above that the ejected person was a man about 60 years old, maybe someone else "helped" him with carry on.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 03:15
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Higher altitude effects ???

phoenix said
A suicide bomber would detonate it at cruise altitude.
groooan - and what difference would it have made except for some very uncomfortable passengers and possibly an injury nor two ? Why do you think a higher altitude with a higher delta p ( inside to outside ) would have done more structural damage ?
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 03:58
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Originally Posted by CONSO View Post
phoenix said

groooan - and what difference would it have made except for some very uncomfortable passengers and possibly an injury nor two ? Why do you think a higher altitude with a higher delta p ( inside to outside ) would have done more structural damage ?


Higher airspeed in the cruise vs quite early in the climb, plus lower ambient pressure could have contributed to a lot more damage, especially as it would likely result in explosive decompression with a massive differential rather than rapid decompression with a moderate delta.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 04:22
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Explosive decompression

" would likely result in explosive decompression with a massive differential"

Please explain what you mean by explosive ( not counting the bomb ).


IMO - A higher delta p would/may open a slightly larger hole to the nearest circumferential/stringer in the skin.

And you believe ??
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 04:25
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especially as it would likely result in explosive decompression with a massive differential rather than rapid decompression with a moderate delta.
Define "massive differential" in physics terms, not structural words
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 05:28
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At higher altitudes due to the greater pressure differential the airflow would be much higher through the same sized initial breach made by the bomb (reaching 'explosive' pressure expansion rates), possibly causing more secondary damage that could then be further propagated by the greater slipstream loads on exposed surfaces.


However I'm no expert, it could well be that the additional secondary loads would make little difference and we would see no more than current damage, most of which I'm sure was caused by the initial blast. There was the United 747 which had a cargo door failure that ripped a good part of the cabin wall open at cruise altitude, there was no visible further damage caused by secondary aerodynamic forces, and the aircraft landed fine just like this one.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 06:16
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.
.............And some particularly bad security."
bet he had to remove his belt and his shoes before boarding nevertheless.

Effective, 'ain't it ?
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 07:44
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Higher airspeed in the cruise vs quite early in the climb, plus lower ambient pressure could have contributed to a lot more damage, especially as it would likely result in explosive decompression with a massive differential rather than rapid decompression with a moderate delta.
Higher TRUE airspeed yes, indicated, no! For a Tas of around 450 kts we normally have an IAS of around 220 at fl 400.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 09:55
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Re comments about "a happy ending" or other references to the bomber being the victim (one of two victims actually, as another person, seated close to the explosion, is in hospital with serious burns):

There is a reasonable case to be made that the person nearest the bomb (the person ejected) did not know of the bomb. Enough said.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 10:11
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Somalia airport official's car bombed

No determination yet on whether this is related, but interesting coincidence.

Three killed in Somalia car bomb targeting airport official: police
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 11:21
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"Saffi
It was reported that the CC managed the movement of SLF to the rear with consideration of the weight of each SLF so as to keep the C of G in range so I would say their cool heads and people skills were a very important part of the positive outcome."

I was referring to the "uneventful diversion" part Crew did a great job, best possible outcome it seems.
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Old 5th Feb 2016, 11:40
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It seems that there are people here who appear not to know or understand what "explosive decompression" is. There bizarrely seems to be a view that it somehow is or results in an explosion or forced dynamic disintegration of the airframe. Quite how this sort of misunderstanding comes about is a bit of a puzzle.

Explosive decompression merely refers to the speed of a decompression. A small-ish hole like this one would not result in explosive decompression, the air would exit over a period of a second or few with a woosh. If a door blew out it might be all but instantaneous and thus deemed "explosive". This has no effect in itself on the airframe - the damage that caused it is the dangerous event.

Of course it is arguable that delta 8psi in the cruise might momentarily exacerbate the bomb damage while it exhausts but it would be tiny compared to the effects of slipstream.

Explosive decompression that results in differential pressure in places not designed to take it (one or two events have distorted the cabin floor resulting in jammed controls, for instance) can cause horrendous problems, but is still nothing to do with an explosion!

I'm chuckling at a mental picture of cabin crew coolly assessing the weight of each pax and directing them to particular zones while feeding the figures back to someone in the galley who is carefully preparing a dropline load-sheet and correcting errant pax positions. Still, it could have happened, I suppose. Probably weren't enough pax on board to have had much effect this time but it's a consideration for the future if everyone flees an event to one end of the aircraft.
I daresay it was more a case of "those at the front cried forward, and those at the rear cried back!"
(with apologies to McCaulay.)

btw, I'm not saying the cc didn't do a good job of keeping cool, I'm not sure we know or whether it affected the outcome.

Last edited by Wageslave; 5th Feb 2016 at 11:59.
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