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A350 engine shutdown incidents linked to cockpit drink spills

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A350 engine shutdown incidents linked to cockpit drink spills

Old 26th Jan 2020, 09:23
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As non professional aviator I always wondered if it was a good idea to have such vital switches where people climb over, meal trays are intermediatly stored and sometimes piles of paper and other statioary reside. Although logically related to the throttles my choice would have been overhead.
Also wonder why they do not have a safety flip cap. You could make these easily spash proof, I suppose.

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Old 26th Jan 2020, 09:28
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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How about some cover on your coffee mug?
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Old 26th Jan 2020, 10:04
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Twitter
...... cabin crew were trained to pass drinks around the outside of pilots but even there, there were electrical and electronic items to be avoided.

Well surely that's just airmanship. When was the passing of liquids over the pedestal ever considered ok? The outcome is predictable, not specifically but certainly in terms of the likelyhood of some failure or another. And that failure might not manifest itself immediately but rather on a subsequent flight! Although I cannot for the life of me begin to understand how that might cause an uncommanded engine shutdown! I mean spill accidents have and will always happen and CAT is always there to get you at the most inopportune moment. I would think that manufacturers are well aware that pedestals have taken plenty of 'drinks' over the course of aviation even including condensation dripping through from overhead panels during decent. (C-130). So no. I struggle to believe a late design aircraft such as the A350, have allowed propulsion systems to be adversely and seriously affected by the ingress of liquid in an area which it is most likely to happen. Myth confirmed , plausible or busted? I'm saying busted!

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Old 30th Jan 2020, 15:53
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A350 engine shutdown incidents linked to cockpit drink spills

As reported in an earlier closed thread.

From FlightGlobal:

A350 engine shutdown incidents linked to cockpit drink spills

By David Kaminski-Morrow

29 January 2020

Airbus and Rolls-Royce are investigating two incidents in which A350s experienced uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown after drinks were spilled on controls situated on the cockpit centre pedestal.

FlightGlobal understands that the airframer is to discuss the matter with operators on 30 January, and will issue a transmission on recommended practices for handling beverages on the flightdeck.

One of the incidents involved a Delta Air Lines A350-900 en route to Seoul on 21 January, which diverted to Fairbanks after its right-hand Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine shut down, while a similar event occurred to another carrier in November last year.

Some 15 min before the Delta shutdown, FlightGlobal has learned, a drink was spilled on the centre pedestal between the two pilot seats, primarily on the integrated control panel for engine-start and electronic centralised aircraft monitor functions (above).

The right-hand engine shut down and the crew attempted a restart, which was unsuccessful, and the crew chose to divert, subsequently landing safely in Alaska.

Flight-recorder analysis showed the electronic engine control had commanded closure of a high-pressure shut-off valve after inconsistent output from the integrated control panel.

The previous incident, on 9 November 2019, occurred about 1h after tea was spilled on the centre pedestal, FlightGlobal understands.

This also involved the in-flight shutdown of the right-hand Trent XWB engine, and while restart was attempted the powerplant would not remain operational for any length of time.

The aircraft diverted, landing safely, and the engines could be restarted once the twinjet was on the ground. Flight-recorder analysis indicated a high-pressure shut-off valve closure command.

While the identity of this carrier has not been specified, one of South Korean carrier Asiana’s A350-900s, operating between Seoul and Singapore, diverted to Manila on 9 November last year.

One of Delta’s A350s diverted to Fairbanks after an uncommanded engine shutdown

In both incidents the aircraft underwent replacement of systems including the integrated control panel and electronic engine control. Relevant components from both aircraft have undergone examination.

Airbus is probing the events in co-operation with suppliers Rolls-Royce and Leonardo. A350 operators have been advised that both incidents involved “liquid spillage” on the centre pedestal but the root causes of the in-flight shutdowns are still under investigation.

UK investigators probed an incident last February during which a Thomas Cook Airlines Airbus A330-200 was forced to divert to Shannon after a coffee spillage in the cockpit led to significant radio communication problems.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 19:18
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Originally Posted by TwoOneFour
Link.....?
https://www.flightglobal.com/safety/...136434.article
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 19:27
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One would think that such sensitive consoles would be be like our PC keyboards when we LOL coffee all over them?
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 21:14
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This is an aircraft problem and as such should be addressed under continued airworthiness actions, not necessarily crew actions. Until such time that the airworthiness actions are addressed (shielding,, redundancy, etc.) It's up to the pilots to decide if restrictions on their part might allow continued operation.

I trust that as such, an AD will be issued shortly.

I've been through this before, among all things a maned Deep Submersible and not even an aircraft
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 22:07
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What is in the 350s engine control sys that activate the high pressure vlv with presence of fluid while the rest of the type are not? Becos it seems like spilling of drinks are common in the cockpit. Or other airbus n Boeing cup holder is not above the EEC?
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 02:02
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These days it ought to be possible to start an engine with a mouse cursor in addition to the primary control. CBs can be popped and closed this way, so why not?
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 09:17
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I would have thought that in the design phase of the centre consol the possibility of drink spillage would have been addressed.

There was an Airbus memo for flight crew years ago about flight deck tidyness.

I had dealings with a man from Bendix many years ago who was involved with the DH Comet auto pilot flight trials. He said there was a big problem with condensation in the cockpit and water would drip onto the control yoke such that the pilot would get an electric shock from the autopilot disconnect switch. (120 volt DC I think)
This was solved by rolling a condom over the horn of the control yoke.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 11:32
  #51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Nil by mouth
One would think that such sensitive consoles would be be like our PC keyboards when we LOL coffee all over them?
Thinkpads have had spill resistant keyboards from the get go. They funnel the liquids past the mainboard and drain out of the bottom case.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 14:31
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Be a shame if a spillage caused both to shut down. Something to be said for cables and pulleys.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 15:38
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Originally Posted by dixi188
I would have thought that in the design phase of the centre consol the possibility of drink spillage would have been addressed.

There was an Airbus memo for flight crew years ago about flight deck tidyness.

I had dealings with a man from Bendix many years ago who was involved with the DH Comet auto pilot flight trials. He said there was a big problem with condensation in the cockpit and water would drip onto the control yoke such that the pilot would get an electric shock from the autopilot disconnect switch. (120 volt DC I think)
This was solved by rolling a condom over the horn of the control yoke.
Nice to know that the Comet disconnect was directly in the power line - not via a relay or, Heaven forbid, software. Worth sacrificing a condom for...

Edited, believe it or not due to ios correcting condom to condominium - which must be a metal one
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 18:09
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A vulnerability of the throttle lever to coffee spill would be a perfect case of SPoF for both engines.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 22:42
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Originally Posted by fgrieu
A vulnerability of the throttle lever to coffee spill would be a perfect case of SPoF for both engines.
When I saw ETOPS and liquid vulnerability in the same thread I was going to ask, as a passenger, whether this would be a problem. Wrecking a computer by spilling a drink is one thing (though many laptops are designed to be at least spill resistant), stopping an engine is another. And although I am sure pilots are trained against this, it's still a highly predictable event.
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Old 2nd Feb 2020, 03:47
  #56 (permalink)  
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Gotcha's getcha when you least expect them.

Such was my young technical mind that I'd worked out the wires to my microphone suffered more stress by the boom being raised. From then on I hinged it out. Hot soup arrives. Carefully handed over and all okay until I look forward. Didn't splash the radios but hooked the soup into my nether-regions. Most fluid in the cockpit was an inspired bitter lemon fire drill I carried out.
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Old 2nd Feb 2020, 09:55
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo
This is an aircraft problem and as such should be addressed under continued airworthiness actions, not necessarily crew actions. Until such time that the airworthiness actions are addressed (shielding,, redundancy, etc.) It's up to the pilots to decide if restrictions on their part might allow continued operation.
Well you could just ban anything spillable in the cockpit . . .

Yet again it would be interesting to see the system safety analysis . . . i can't see how it could be justifiable to claim that this was not a predictable failure mode, or that there is any credible mitigation . . . one day it'll be both engines and another 250 innocents losing their lives . . .
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Old 2nd Feb 2020, 11:53
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Originally Posted by fergusd
Well you could just ban anything spillable in the cockpit . . .

Yet again it would be interesting to see the system safety analysis . . . i can't see how it could be justifiable to claim that this was not a predictable failure mode, or that there is any credible mitigation . . . one day it'll be both engines and another 250 innocents losing their lives . . .
The problem with the ban fix is that the error-miss rate would be too high over a million flights (might work for a couple of months)

L bet the system safety analysis has a redundancy in it called pilot re-action (just like a Max) but without any kind of proving experience in flight testing especially when the spill and the engine events might be well separated in time.
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Old 2nd Feb 2020, 12:35
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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If both engines can be taken out by the same spilled cup of coffee, ETOPS certification is not worth much.

This thread started as a joke or hoax, it turns out it is a deadly serious indication that single holes in the swiss cheese have appeared and an airframe may be lost if just two holes line up.

coffee takes out L
coffee takes out R
coffee takes out L+R

Does any heroic Chuck Yeager here fancy his chances 300 miles out from land with no engines?

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Old 3rd Feb 2020, 02:35
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Does any heroic Chuck Yeager here fancy his chances 300 miles out from land with no engines
A few jets have been successfully ditched as we well know, but how you fare at night with a gale blowing and/or low ceilings is problematical. At least in the piston days a ditching heading was provided as part of the brief, not today I'd imagine.
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