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CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues  
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 16935 times:

Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal:

HONG KONG (AP)--Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) said Wednesday it has suspended four of its 10 Boeing (BA) 777-300 jets after an engine part fell off one of them and smashed onto a car as the plane flew over Thailand last week.

[Edited 2004-12-08 16:32:59]


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 16833 times:

Thanks for this news, N328
Do you have any link about it?


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 16812 times:

Associated Press link:

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/041208/hong_kong_cathay_pacific_2.html

I edited the topic subject in order to more accurately reflect the problem.

[Edited 2004-12-08 16:33:26]


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1804 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16308 times:

Yikes!!

Which flights are not being flown right now then?

But not all of the 777-300's were suspended so its not an engine problem. But if it is a structural problem, then why keep the other six in the air?



Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
User currently onlineOceanic From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 141 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16268 times:

I guess it's possible they all had some sort of similar maintenance done recently? It would obviously have to be some isolated circumstance since they are all not grounded

User currently offlineHenpol747 From Mexico, joined Jun 2001, 588 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16245 times:

If it is the Trent, why only 4 grounded and still 6 in the air?




Vive la France! ¡Viva México!
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16230 times:

If it is the Trent, why only 4 grounded and still 6 in the air?

I believe the cause of the incident was CX own maintenance regime, and not a fault of all Trent powered 777s. CX knows which aircraft were also affected by the maintenance problems so they know which aircraft to take out of service.

This was how I read the situation from a different source...


User currently offlineBkkair From Thailand, joined Aug 2001, 409 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16209 times:

This was not an engine problem. It was a piece of the engine duct that fell off. CX has inspected all of their 777-300's after the Bangkok incident and found problems with the engine ducts on 4 of them, thus the temporary grounding.

As Boeing said, "this is a problem with the secondary structure, not the engine itself". Boeing is sending a team to sort this out. While early in the investigation, this is not a CX issue, but a Boeing issue.

This is not the first time this has happened. On 30Jun, a similar piece of engine duct fell off a CX 777-300 flying from Taipei to Hong Kong. It didn't make the press that time because it didn't hit anyone on it's way down as it did in Bangkok and may have fallen into the sea.

[Edited 2004-12-09 01:42:28]

User currently offlineHenpol747 From Mexico, joined Jun 2001, 588 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 16187 times:

2 separate events? I think this is really a serious issue! No wonders about why those 4 aircrafts were grounded!!!

Henpol747



Vive la France! ¡Viva México!
User currently offlinePyroGX41487 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 16104 times:

Well, if they bloody plane didn't fall from the sky, I think its not really THAT serious. I think its more an issue that CX doesn't get any law suits for these bits hitting people and things.

User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 16099 times:

Thanks Bkkair for clarifying. I think the title of the post is misleading as it makes folks think there is a problem with the engine "only", when in fact it doesn't seem to be an engine fault at all.

User currently offlineN754pr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 16075 times:

From the SCMP

"Cathay Pacific Airways owns 10 of the 777-300 planes. Six are back in service after inspection, and four others are still being examined and will be in service next week"

That explains why only 4 are out of service now.



User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2109 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 15985 times:

I would think that a piece of airplane falling off is THAT serious. It could kill somebody. A car was already hit. Passenger airplanes must not only prove that they not a threat to their passengers, but also that they are not a threat to the general public, including the airports, and other aircraft, over which they fly.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 15935 times:

Just to clarify, it is a duct issue on the engine only.

N


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12334 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 15899 times:
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Hope no one was injured when the car was hit.

User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8468 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 15796 times:

Fortunately the piece hit a parked car. Owner gets a new car from CX and/or Boeing in all probability - hope he or she pushes for a BMW . . .

User currently offlineN754pr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 14879 times:

Just to let you know B-HNI is back in service now.

User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14834 times:

Grounding four aircraft does not increase the chances of an upcoming B773ER order...


Regards
Udo


User currently offlineMusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1098 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14811 times:

it is not understandable that CX says the problem is with the engine, or its secondary structures etc.... how many 773s with Trent engines we have out there? why the accident only happens with CX? perhaps they are too unlucky, or perhaps their maintainance problem? i think they need to check their airplanes properly, if they cant do it, ask someone to do for them. i feel they are doing very bad recently, on board service not as good, FA are rude, aircrafts suck... do you guys still remember a LHR-HKG 774 flight went back to LHR FOUR hours in the flight due to an engine problem? where will the a/c be four hrs afte leaving LHR? y cant they land somewhere oin FRA, CDG or whatever? unbelievable.... i am very disappointed by them, although i am a native HK guy... fly something else, reliability is the most important element when choosing an airline.


Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlineCathay Pacific From Australia, joined May 2000, 1864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14694 times:

Don't forget CX is the launch customer for the RR powered 773 and their aircrafts are some of the earliest build and it's not unusual for problems to serface after some years.

do you guys still remember a LHR-HKG 774 flight went back to LHR FOUR hours in the flight due to an engine problem? where will the a/c be four hrs afte leaving LHR? y cant they land somewhere oin FRA, CDG or whatever? unbelievable.... i am very disappointed by them

obviously the captain assessed that it wasn't serious enough for him to land immediately. A 747 can still fly with 3 functioning engines! If he decided to land in Moscow (where they were close to at the time of the incident) there wouldn't be any CX reps there to take care of things and it would be very likely pax be pissed off. So by returning to LHR with 3x daily CX flts + BA and VS....as well as CX's rep (and maintenance)....accomadating those pax as well as repairing the aircraft would be much easier.




cathay pacific, now you're really flying
User currently offlineBOEING747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14150 times:

Doesn't that imply that other airlines should also check their 773s for engine duct problems too?

User currently offlineCX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6638 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 13368 times:

Musapapaya,

If you search the previous topic about the return to LHR, you will see the reasons why. In short, by returning to LHR, Cx could ensure many of the passengers could get onto CX254, BA027 and VS200 the same evening. Diverting to FRA or CDG would mean all passengers would have to wait, and even there there would be no guarantee of being able to fit those 350 passengers and the following day's passengers onto one single 744. By going back to LHR, some people could go home again, and also there would be 3 flights the following day also to help clear the passengers.
having a single engine failure on a 4-engine aircraft is not an urgent emergency and there is no need to divert. In fact, had they been further into the flight, they might have decided to continue to HKG. Also, the plane was about 2 hours into the flight, not 4 as you state.


User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 11371 times:

Udo,

You sure about that? Cathay Pacific grounded the entire A330 fleet in 1997 after 4 in-flight shutdowns within a short period of time. Not just a few. Since solving the problem they ordered additional A330.

http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRNews/FR970601.htm


User currently offlineOxygen From Hong Kong, joined Sep 1999, 675 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9870 times:

i think they need to check their airplanes properly, if they cant do it, ask someone to do for them.

Actually, it is HAECO that carries out the routine maintenance checks for them. (just for your information) By the way, HAECO is very famous for their high quality maintenance work.

I understand that it does seem at first sight to be CX's fault for not doing the maintenance checks properly. However, all maintenance tasks that affect the safety of the aircraft are not set out by the airline itself, but by the manufacturer and the government authorities.

In these tasks, the interval for which it has to be done (every 300 flights, 30 days etc) are specified, together with the detail procedures, tooling required etc.... airlines can only carry out the tasks more frequently than specified.

In general, an airline will not miss those checks because:

1. Failure to comply with the specified maintenance requirement (e.g. carrying out a check one day after it is due) would lead to the aircraft being grounded until the checks are done.
2. Letting this to happen for a few times would lead to the whole company's aircraft being grounded (by the government)

Cathay Pacific complies to all the standards set out by the manufacturer and the authorities (which is the international standard followed by all airlines) and sometimes even exceed the requirements. The Civil Aviation Department monitors the whole system closely. Does failure to comply with requirement happens? Yes, but very very rarely, like once every few years. But that's not intentional. Just an occasional mix up in the engineering department. CX treats these mistakes very seriously, and all such events have to be reported to the Civil Aviation Department.

So in conclusion- Cathay strictly follows the requirements that every airline follows. So if CX doesn't do the maintenance sufficiciently, so do all other airlines. And if such a thing happens, its not the airline's fault. Its the manufacuturer (i.e. Boeing or Rolls Royce in this case) who decides when the maintenance needs to be done.

So why are the problems with CX only? Well, first of all, its luck. Maintenance checks intervals are supposed to take care of most foreseeable problem that may occur. However, if you have learnt statistics, you will know that most things have a normal distribution, meaning that although a certain defect most probably occurs at a certain time (e.g. 5 years) there is still a slight chance that it happens long time before that. But is it possible to take care of that too? No. if you want the aircraft to have zero chance of a defect, then you have to do the checks every minute, and the aircraft won't be able to lift off the ground.

Second of all, its the utilization of the aircraft. Cathay's aircraft are very highly utilized when compared to most other airlines (this is where CX earns the money from). This high utilization is due to careful planning of flight and maintenance schedules. With higher utilization, there will be more wear and tear, and its of no surprise those problems will sooner. Bear in mind that these events haven't happend before, thus Boeing or Rolls Royce might not have forseen it, and therefore the maintenance interval that they specified would not be sufficiently frequent.

With these incidents, the problems surfaced, and then people will know that the original maintenance requirements are not enough and will set up new requirements. These things occurs some day, and someone has to be the guinea pig. If CX doesn't utilize their aircraft as much, then some other airlines might experience the problem first.

Therefore, its not strictly CX's fault that these things happened.





User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4869 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9504 times:
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The A330 Trent problem shortly after their deliveries had to do with an oil circulation problem which Rolls eventually found a fix for. I believe all trent 700s were affected, but CX was the initial operator and only a few others had been delivered at that point.

25 Udo : I know about the A330 groundings. But those where engine related ONLY. Regards Udo
26 Na : "Fortunately the piece hit a parked car. Owner gets a new car from CX and/or Boeing in all probability - hope he or she pushes for a BMW . . ." I woul
27 Glideslope : "I know about the A330 groundings. But those where engine related ONLY. Regards Udo" Only engine related! Thanks for the update!!!! :O
28 Udo : Indeed, the A330 groundings were only RR Trent related. RR sent their people out...this time, Boeing sent out people to Cathay's B773. Huh? Regards Ud
29 N79969 : Udo, If you knew about it, your post still does not make sense really. Basically you assume that Rolls Royce could resolve a fairly serious problem wi
30 QF744ER : Hi Folks, I've been following these recent CX incidents with great interest. I was under the impression that the recent CX 744 that returned to LHR on
31 Udo : I didn't say Boeing was not able to resolve the problem. What I said was that the A330 incidents seemed to be RR problems only - I haven't read about
32 Trex8 : its quite possible Boeing had a change in suppliers (or suppliers manufacturing technique) for the nacelle duct part in question which is why only som
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