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787 E/E Hatch

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787 E/E Hatch

Old 11th Oct 2013, 04:56
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787 E/E Hatch

I see that the new dreamliner may have a mechanism fitted to secure the electronics hatch in flight that requires special tools to access from the passenger compartment... unlike earlier aircraft this seems new..

Without revealing exactly how it works ( for obvious reasons) can anyone ( LAME etc) at QF or JQ shed any light on why it was fitted , when etc and in general how it operates.. And what precipitated doing this in the first place?

looking over the type approvals there is not much in this area... Other than interference with aircraft data systems externally..

Any help appreciated!
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Old 11th Oct 2013, 08:42
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It's locked and secured down. No need for a driver to go down there...they wouldn't have a clue anyway!
A future batch of a/c may not even have a hatch installed.
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Old 11th Oct 2013, 17:32
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gas path,

As a retired driver I won't rise to that comment!

In the early days on the A320, we could get down into what was generally referred to as the electronics bay. It's behind the nose L/G bay, and containsthe majority of the computers, including most of the FBW computers, the ADIRSs and the FMGCs. (The other bay, containing the NiCd batteries, was never accessible from the cabin, and is forward of the nose L/G bay).

One good thing was that we could use it as an exit from the a/c in the absence of ground crew, if airstairs were not available. (Once had to do something similar at Khartoum via "Lower 41" on a B707 freighter, which didn't have airstairs.) Also, although I would never have tried re-racking a computer, I can imagine circumstances where I might have done so under instruction/liaison with maintenance control. There was an ACP down there for comms, IIRC.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 15th Oct 2013 at 10:28. Reason: Ref. to Lower 41 added.
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Old 11th Oct 2013, 21:54
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The hatch from the cabin to the MEC on our aircraft has been screwed shut now for a few years. The pilots know how to open it. It is to stop a passenger getting in there.
But now we have been told not to use the hatch at all after a cabin crew fell down an open hatch and landed on the engineer! All access to the MEC will be via the outside door.

I cannot think of any reason for a pilot to enter the MEC on an A320. I work on A320 every day on the line as an engineer, and enter the MEC once every six months. We do not rerack computors today. We cycle CBs.
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Old 11th Oct 2013, 22:07
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Swedish Steve,

On my former airline, at least, it's not possible nowadays anyway. Note that I was talking about the EARLY days (mid-1988), when we and the engineers were low on the learning curve. I doubt you were involved with A320s in those days? And yes, we had to do a lot of cycling of CBs, both on the ground and in the air...
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 04:31
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Boeing specific

Guys , thanks for responses.

I am after info on the Boeing specifically as the airbus hatch is within the flight deck ...on the Boeing it is in the pax cabin ...

My reasons for asking is to get an idea of why / how / what precipitated operators to install some sprt of lock and how they did this given airworthy authorities normally have to approve modifications if they involve any physical changes to the aircraft as delivered...

I had designed certain fixes to this myself and now find that others may have used my ideas ... Which is fine as yet I dont have any patent protection , but might have precedence on the ideas down the track... Without knowing how various folks have done it I am guessing.. That is why I am after info ... Its a bit like the guy that designed the intermittent wiper .. Ford took it on as their own ( ie stole the idea) and he took years to get them to admit they had pinched it... Not that I thinkI have anything like that... Just researching..
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 09:47
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As gaspath intimates its locked by a "traditional method" no giant leap of technology involved.
Woodja i am not sure if its a customer option but it is certainly a Boeing spec hatch and not an operator mod !! Dont know if that helps you.
Reasons for implementation have already been alluded too ,take your pick most are valid.
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Old 13th Oct 2013, 22:13
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Its bolted shut from the underside. You need a spanner and access from the outside of the a/c to get at it. Security from pax interference and to stop pax/cabin crew from falling down the hole during those last minute fixes.
No big secret, just common sense.


To be honest it's a pain in the rump.
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Old 15th Oct 2013, 10:12
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Quote from TURIN:
Its bolted shut from the underside. You need a spanner and access from the outside of the a/c to get at it. Security from pax interference and to stop pax/cabin crew from falling down the hole during those last minute fixes.
...To be honest it's a pain in the rump.

I bet it is. Climbing out of the bottom hatch, walking all the way round, and then up the steps - just to get to the cockpit. Time and motion...

The simplistic explanation is that our perception of passenger interference changed completely on 11SEP2001 (which it certainly did...). But you may remember that all the electronics bay hatches on A320 family a/c had been carpeted over some years earlier on the airline I worked for. I suspect some passenger or cabin-crew member had tripped on the corner of the velcro-fixed carpet insert. In any case, it was cheaper.
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Old 16th Oct 2013, 01:25
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Aircraft Clarification

Turin, do you,refer to an Airbus or a Boeing in your email??

My original question related to Boeing...

airbus hatch locking is not necessary as its behind the .flt deck on at least a wide body...

Boeing on the other hand is out in the cabin...

the need to lock this hatch was not precipitated at all by 9/11.. In fact id it had been Boeing would have fitted it to all its aircraft if regulated by TSA/ FAA... Which they do not...

so my question is ... Who decided this was a good idea and if one operator thought it was, why didnt they all think so??

you only have to you tube search B777 E/E Hatch Research to see what I mean..
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Old 16th Oct 2013, 08:03
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you only have to you tube search B777 E/E Hatch Research to see what I mean.
That doesn't come up with anything remotely relevant. A URL would help.
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Old 16th Oct 2013, 10:21
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Turin, do you,refer to an Airbus or a Boeing in your email??
Yes, Boeing.
As you say the widebody Airbus has the hatch in the flt deck. I had completely forgotten that the A320 ever had a hatch at all.


the need to lock this hatch was not precipitated at all by 9/11.. In fact id it had been Boeing would have fitted it to all its aircraft if regulated by TSA/ FAA... Which they do not...

so my question is ... Who decided this was a good idea and if one operator thought it was, why didnt they all think so??
AFAIK it's airline specific. Not mandated by FAA etc. I think it also depends how often your airline loads passengers at D1L. In my experience D2L is the preferred option when only one airbridge is available. It's a matter of risk, there have been several incidents quite recently of pax and crew falling down the hatch injuring themselves and the poor unsuspecting engineer below.

The age of litigation.
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