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AA LAX Emergency Landing  
User currently offlineAirlinerho From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 9 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9864 times:

My AA flight 285 on April 17 experienced an emergency return to LAX. When we boarded the 757, the captain said, "I know it doesn't smell spring fresh back there, but maintenance tells us that once we start the engines, the air conditioning will clear the air and, if not, we will use a different aircraft." Well, after engine start and push back, it STILL did not smell spring fresh and we took off anyway. After about 20 minutes, smoke alarms started to go off, and the captain announced we would return to LAX, which we did.

When we landed, there was a line of emergency vehicles there to greet us (pic below). We were told that the aircraft would be taken out of service and we were issued a new 757 which took us to LIH.

Question is: is there a way to find out the circumstances under which the aircraft was taken out of service, i.e., if they knew something was wrong to begin with, why did they take off in the first place?

I posted earlier, but apparently didn't leave enough details, ergo this second thread. Sorry if repeats are annoying!


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11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2560 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9759 times:

In the real world of aircraft maintenance, there's often no clear-cut answer. Off the top of my head, they may have had some sort of oil leak either in the compressor section of the engine or in/around the A/C packs. In either case the oil can heat and smoke when subjected to the hot bleed air used in air conditioning/pressurization. Obviously, since the Captain mentioned something before the flight, they knew about it, and had tried to fix it. The maintenance crew felt they had a handle on the problem, and (as they often do), told the Captain to report if he had any continuing problems. You did, and the Captain decided to return.

So the answer to your question is, they thought they had fixed it, but couldn't be 100% sure until if flew. That often happens, and most of the time there's no problem. Airplanes are extraordinarily complex machines, and often problems are subtle and not easily recognized or fixed.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9582 times:

what would they have done if the flight had already been half-way between LAX and LIH? in that case would the passengers simply have to suffocate, or are there any other options? yes i'm being slightly sarcastic, but i think it's stupid that they took off knowing there was a problem.

User currently offlineVtdl From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9469 times:

It is surprising that they didn't test to make sure the problem is fixed before letting it takes off. After all, this big plane would have to take off to how many thousand feet, fly 20 minutes, and land. It is an unnecessary risk, isn't it?

BTW, did they dump fuel before the emergency landing?


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2560 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9256 times:



Quoting Jawed (Reply 2):
but i think it's stupid that they took off knowing there was a problem.

Did they know there was a problem? Of course not. If they did, they would have fixed it. Obviously they tried what they thought would work - that is what happens thousands of times a day across the world. Mechanics find a problem, fix it, and put the fix in the logbook. The Captain checks the logbook before every flight, and if he feels uncomfortable with what happened, he will look into it.

Quoting Vtdl (Reply 3):
It is surprising that they didn't test to make sure the problem is fixed before letting it takes off.

No, it isn't. As I said before, mechanics don't just let a plane go up and 'see what happens'. They fix the problem to the best of their abilities, then if something continues to go wrong, they search further. The only time a test flight is required is when work has been done to the flight control system or (sometimes) the landing gear. My guess is that in their minds, when they signed off the plane to make an ETOPS flight to Hawaii, they felt all the problems had been resolved - just as the Captain said in his briefing to the passengers. Remember, he wasn't telling them there was still a problem, rather that the remains of the (supposedly fixed) problem might cause an inconvenience, but no more.

Quoting Jawed (Reply 2):
what would they have done if the flight had already been half-way between LAX and LIH? in that case would the passengers simply have to suffocate, or are there any other options?

The reality of ETOPS flight is the yes, we do consider a problem like that happening at the worst possible moment. We carry enough fuel to descend at mid-flight to 10,000 feet, depressurize the plane & turn off the bleed air (so we don't suck in more fumes) and head to the nearest alternate airport. That is the heart of what the ETOPS rules are all about.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineAirlinerho From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8880 times:

So, is there a way for a civilian who happens to also have been a passenger on that flight to find out exactly what the problem was and why the decision was made to take the ac out of service?

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3471 posts, RR: 47
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8642 times:



Quoting Airlinerho (Reply 5):
So, is there a way for a civilian who happens to also have been a passenger on that flight to find out exactly what the problem was and why the decision was made to take the ac out of service?

Sure... read your original thread.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26422 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7220 times:



Quoting Vtdl (Reply 3):

BTW, did they dump fuel before the emergency landing?

No fuel dump on the 757.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBeau222 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6802 times:

Would LAX charged a landing fee on a plane returning like this one did.

User currently offlineIcelandair75W From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6167 times:

Yep.. landing fee's are charged no matter what if the field in question has a landing fee established.

User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5947 times:
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Quoting Icelandair75W (Reply 9):
Yep.. landing fee's are charged no matter what if the field in question has a landing fee established.

Even in the case of B6 292? Also, would AA have to pay an additional amount for the emergency services? How about B6, since they aren't a "regular customer?" Thanks for the answers!



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineMSYPI7185 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4960 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 10):
Even in the case of B6 292? Also, would AA have to pay an additional amount for the emergency services? How about B6, since they aren't a "regular customer?" Thanks for the answers!

Yes, B6 would have to pay the landing fee. AA I am not sure about.,,I doubt they would pay additional for the emergency services, as the emergency services are not just for aircraft related incidents. If AA would pay extra, IMO it would be the equivalent of the Fire Department charging you to come put out a fire at your home. Your taxes already pays for those services.

MD


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