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China Airlines 747F damages two engines at ORD

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China Airlines 747F damages two engines at ORD

Old 30th Jan 2022, 15:43
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Originally Posted by punkalouver
My guess……..it was not the snow that was particularly slippery. I suspect that there was smooth ice that had formed at the gate at some point, perhaps very recently. Then snow fell on top of it. Meanwhile, the taxiways were mostly snow over pavement. Therefore, minimal issues while taxiing on a route with several turns leading to a false sense of security and the assumption that the parking area was the same.
I have to admit, I thought they were turning into the gate when this happened, not on a taxiway. It still could have been smooth ice under the snow as the aircraft does appear to slide sideways at the end. Taxi speed does appear to be an issue.
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 16:05
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Originally Posted by punkalouver
I have to admit, I thought they were turning into the gate when this happened, not on a taxiway. It still could have been smooth ice under the snow as the aircraft does appear to slide sideways at the end. Taxi speed does appear to be an issue.
I would not agree on taxi speed. Runways are usually predictable in frozen precipitation events. Taxiways and ramps are all over the place and can vary wildly at different points on a airport. I once watched a SWA 737 come into the ramp in Kansas City at a good clip. Taxiways were pretty good. Ramp was horrible. When he realized he had no braking he yanked both engines into reverse. Sadly one did not spool up right away and he did a beautiful almost 360 degree pirouette. Even the Russian judges gave him a 9! Speaking of Russians they once cleared ramps with a jet engine on a truck. The snow then refroze as pure ice. 3 knot taxi speed with fingers on the reversers at all times and they were needed.
Personally I use 5 knots on snow covered taxiways and creep into ramps.
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 16:50
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767
I would not agree on taxi speed. Runways are usually predictable in frozen precipitation events. Taxiways and ramps are all over the place and can vary wildly at different points on a airport. I once watched a SWA 737 come into the ramp in Kansas City at a good clip. Taxiways were pretty good. Ramp was horrible. When he realized he had no braking he yanked both engines into reverse. Sadly one did not spool up right away and he did a beautiful almost 360 degree pirouette. Even the Russian judges gave him a 9! Speaking of Russians they once cleared ramps with a jet engine on a truck. The snow then refroze as pure ice. 3 knot taxi speed with fingers on the reversers at all times and they were needed.
Personally I use 5 knots on snow covered taxiways and creep into ramps.
I think you are right. It appears from the video(although not sure if it was speeded up) that the taxi speed was too fast, which is what I was saying in my previous post. Especially with the modern digital groundspeed display, one should not hesitate to use 1 knot taxi speed in certain situations/locations if necessary.
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 18:06
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Crew screwed up big time!

I've taxied the 74 in that corner of the airport many times. The plane was obviously moving to fast. The conditions were poor, good time to call for a tug, lot cheaper than buy a replacement cowling etc.... One can see the wing tips from either seat, during initial upgrade training we used to demonstrate where the wing tip was. One crew member would walk out to the wing tip then forward to abeam the cockpit window. Not a perfect method but would give a new Captain an idea of where it was. Also with the wing sweep the wing tip arc grows in tight turns. With enough damage we just may have a three engine ferry flight to the bone yard.
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 20:00
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Sailvi767,
I have witnessed these trucks in action in Shermetyevo. The only problem was the Soviets (back then late 88/89) charged my crew to de-ice the jet AFTER we landed and were enroute to the Hotel! The US embassy official said it was the cost of doing business.
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 21:26
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British military aviators of a certain age will remember the Machine, Runway De-icing (MRD), which was in RAF service well into the 1980s. A pair of (I think) DH Derwents fitted with fishtail nozzles and mounted on a castoring structure, apparently from Harland and Wolfe. Typically issued at about 3 per airfield, come the winter, these were hitched to the front of a fuel bowser and were to be operated by Propulsion Technician NCOs (having the benefit of 15 minutes of instruction in early autumn), who occupied a plywood and perspex cabin between the 2 compressors intakes. A rudimentary intercom facilitated coordination between the operator and bowser driver.

The salient morsel of knowledge, I recall: "if the bowser starts moving backward, reduce thrust".
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 21:56
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The ones I saw operating in Russia had the MiG engines mounted on the back of a tow truck and manipulated via chains.
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 22:07
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That right-left turn from S3 to S2 is challenging in a 74 on a nice clear Sunday afternoon let alone at night with snow and ice.
Its also non-movement area with retarded local procedure of calling on a Unicom frequency and S2 for inbound and S1 for outbound.
Combine that with how well they take care of their ramp , think Mogadishu….with snow.
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 00:45
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Originally Posted by Chiefttp
Sailvi767,
I have witnessed these trucks in action in Shermetyevo. The only problem was the Soviets (back then late 88/89) charged my crew to de-ice the jet AFTER we landed and were enroute to the Hotel! The US embassy official said it was the cost of doing business.
That would be the trucks. I once diverted to Domodedovo Airport. They parked us on a taxiway. Once we got fueled which was a long negotiation we tried to startup and depart. The person on the headset would not let us start. We asked why and she said we must have a push. After another 30 minute wait a tug showed up. They pushed us back 3 feet and left. Billed the company 5000.00 for the push! Station manager said they would negotiate it down to a couple of hundred dollars.
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 04:30
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There’s another video doing the rounds and it’s from the yellow snow plow directly in front of the aircraft, looks like it possibly got collected down the right hand side of the aircraft towards the end from the first video.

Sadly he or she decides safety is more important than getting likes and the phone is put away hastily prior to being actually run over to take evasive action. (This is a joke obviously).
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 06:44
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Originally Posted by By George
The 747 is one of the few widebodies where you can see your wingtips from the cockpit window. In fact if you plonk your cheek on the glass you can see number one engine too. In a tight spot you can always use that secret look out the window technique. Coupled with slowing down there is no need to vacuum up half the airport.
I know of two pilots taxiing a 747-400, that were stopped short of the mark by the marsheller. They were pissed, because they both looked out the Capt's window and could clearly see there was nothing in their way. They couldn't understand why the marshaller stopped them early. After they got out of the aircraft, they decided to check their obstacle clearance, to show the marshaller he was wrong. When then got to the wingtip area, they could see they would have hit the object. The Capt was very experienced. Both Capt and FO were 100% sure they were safely clear of the object. In the -400, it is VERY difficult to tell how much room you have, and the 747-8 is worse.
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 06:51
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I taxied into ANC lately. The ramp had so much snow, it was all white. No taxiway markings, no lights, no nothing, just a lot of white. Ahead of us a good ways we could see some markings, which helped us stay on the center of the taxiway. We just had to go straight a ways, and then were turned in with marshaller help. If we had to make any turns, going a longer distance, guess we would have needed a tug. Not sure how bad the ORD ramp was at this time...could have been a factor...
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 09:58
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Back in the day the Lockheed L188 Electra had clearance lights that shone down vertically from the wingtip. It made it easy to see where the wingtip was going. Why don't modern aircraft have this?
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 10:19
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Most US cargo ramp areas are an absolute mess of containers, vehicles, inadequate markings and lighting, often with zero ATC control or co-ordination. I'm not saying any of that was to blame, but I'm surprised there aren't more incidents tbh.
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 15:57
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Originally Posted by atpcliff
I know of two pilots taxiing a 747-400, that were stopped short of the mark by the marsheller. They were pissed, because they both looked out the Capt's window and could clearly see there was nothing in their way. They couldn't understand why the marshaller stopped them early. After they got out of the aircraft, they decided to check their obstacle clearance, to show the marshaller he was wrong. When then got to the wingtip area, they could see they would have hit the object. The Capt was very experienced. Both Capt and FO were 100% sure they were safely clear of the object. In the -400, it is VERY difficult to tell how much room you have, and the 747-8 is worse.
There are ways to ensure you are aware of whether you have sufficient clearance such as for each wingtip and outside edge of main gear that require advance preparation.

While at a gate waiting for your freight delay one day, have a crew member, who has been properly briefed for this procedure, go out and stand at several locations, so that can you to take some pictures of him.

For example, the first location, which was briefed, is to stand in front of the aircraft so you can easily see him out your window but with him ensuring that he is always aligned with the left wingtip. Make sure your seat is adjusted so you are at the designed eye reference point(using the three reference balls).

Signal him to move forward or aft as required(with him always ensuring that he stays aligned with the wingtip).

When he reaches the location where your view of him is such that his image touches the aft edge of the main window, get him to stop and stay in position. He is now the obstacle that you can see would just barely strike the wingtip if he was tall enough.

Note his location for the memory banks(how far up from the base of the window). One can also put a camera where your eyes were located and take a picture.

The same can be done for the other wingtip and for gear or even outboard engines. Note: a gear leg position will be an intersection with the MCP panel.

One might forget these reference points when an obstacle situation arises, so you could print off the pictures you took and have them in your notes(if you carry such stuff) for the rare occasion where you are in a tight situation. Then you could stop, set the park brake, get your pictures out, ensure your seat adjustment places your eyes at the reference point and know if you would clear that object.

It may sound odd to take the time to do this but my company provided these pictures to us during our training, which I carried with me. Otherwise, you are just guessing if you will clear an obstacle. And we have had more than one wing tip strike....which is probably why they started providing pictures to us.

Last edited by punkalouver; 2nd Feb 2022 at 12:46.
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 17:08
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One possibly two new engines needed looks like
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 17:27
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I landed into GVA once in a blizzard just as the airfield surface de-icing had given up. managed to pick up the RET edge lights just enough to clear the runway but had to stop and ask for guidance for taxiing to stand as we couldn't make out enough of the markings. Not worth the risk. if it stops all movements then so be it.
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 18:59
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Originally Posted by anson harris
Most US cargo ramp areas are an absolute mess of containers, vehicles, inadequate markings and lighting, often with zero ATC control or co-ordination. I'm not saying any of that was to blame, but I'm surprised there aren't more incidents tbh.
Absolutely. Lost count on how many times we stopped taxi entering the cargo apron in JFK and just waiting and waiting. There were always "stranded" containers.
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Old 1st Feb 2022, 02:52
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All good points that are mentioned here, but all of them are assuming the operating pilots were properly rested and in possession of normal skills. It is known that China Airline's pilots have been submitted to very harsh FTL by the Taiwanese Aviation Authorities in the last 2 years. We all know the meaning of chronic fatigue! While we are all siting in our homes trying to understand what has happened the best is to imagine the last time we had a couple of drinks and we were not in good condition to drive our car, to imagine taxying a 747 in poor visibility with icy taxiways under the influence. I hear some colleagues stating they would slow down....chronic fatigue is a killer.
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Old 1st Feb 2022, 10:32
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Anyone who has taxied a 744 knows that the nose wheel will skid a lot in corners, even in very light damp conditions. If you’ve ever taxied an airplane, and it starts skidding on ice there isn’t a lot you can do. Selecting reverse, stamping on the breaks, or trying to power out of it isn’t assured to save you.

In these circumstances probably best to just get a follow me van and max speed less than 5kts. I hope the guys/gals keep their jobs.
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