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Is This Engine Damage Possible Inflight?  
User currently offlineTrent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 545 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 16735 times:

Is this from a real incident?

If so, would the aircraft be able to take off safely if that engine were not operational?
What kind of event would cause such damage? It seems much more serious than bird strike.

If the pic has been altered, what could cause this kind of damage on the ground?

Any idea of aircraft type?



original pic from failblog.org
This picture is 92 of 120 from viral photos gallery at news.com.au :
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/g...0,22613,5036296-5007115-92,00.html

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 16740 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is this from a real incident?

The picture is real, I don't remember the details, someone else here will, but it was widely discussed.


User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2515 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 16730 times:

Yeah, it's real and it's a FL 737 if I am not mistaken. Someone else could shed light on this.


Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently offlineDingDong From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 16677 times:

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is this from a real incident?

Yep, real. Airtran Flight 4 (A320) on July 13, 2004, shortly after it departed ATL for MCO. Returned to ATL. Uneventful landing.

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
If so, would the aircraft be able to take off safely if that engine were not operational?

The engine was working OK. The cover over a part of it was off, but the engine was still doing its magic. Think of it this way: if you shed your clothes in public, would your body still work?  Answer: yes, it would, even if it looks a bit embarrassing to the general public. No different from this particular situation.

[Edited 2009-05-15 05:34:22]


DingDong, honey, please answer the doorbell!
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3811 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 16653 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Any idea of aircraft type?

From a thread on another site

Quote:
On July 13, 2004, about 1200 eastern daylight time, an Airbus Industrie A320-233, N951LF, operated by Ryan International Airlines, Inc., as AirTran Airways Flight 4, returned for landing after a portion of the left engine cowling separated from the airplane

Same picture is in the above thread but much bigger.

LoneStarMike


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 16577 times:



Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
Is this from a real incident?

Yes.

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
If so, would the aircraft be able to take off safely if that engine were not operational?

Yes, assuming it was operational up to V1 (if it wasn't, the crew wouldn't try to takeoff at all).

Quoting Trent1000 (Thread starter):
What kind of event would cause such damage? It seems much more serious than bird strike.

They forgot to latch the cowls after maintenance.

Tom.


User currently offlineA10WARTHOG From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16215 times:

Part depart the aircraft all the time. Normally nothing as big as the whole engine cowl, but static wicks always come off and I have seen a number of oil access doors come off in flight.

User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1828 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16191 times:



Quoting DingDong (Reply 3):
The engine was working OK. The cover over a part of it was off, but the engine was still doing its magic. Think of it this way: if you shed your clothes in public, would your body still work? Answer: yes, it would, even if it looks a bit embarrassing to the general public. No different from this particular situation.

Your body isn't travelling 600mph. Are all the lines and harnesses designed to survive the airstream like that?



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineDingDong From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16133 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 7):
Your body isn't travelling 600mph. Are all the lines and harnesses designed to survive the airstream like that?

That's a fair point. Wink

But in this specific incident, the engine did continue to work correctly -- whether designed for it or not. Doesn't mean it's a great idea to operate in that manner -- return or divert would be appropriate in such cases, and was indeed done.



DingDong, honey, please answer the doorbell!
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16123 times:



Quoting A10WARTHOG (Reply 6):
Part depart the aircraft all the time.

As in "aircraft 99.95% departed"?  duck 


User currently offlineEmbajador3 From Spain, joined Aug 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16072 times:

That aircraft was an A320 leased to AirTran, wearing the complete AirTran livery.


Flying Together
User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1754 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16029 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Operated by Ryanair, wasn't it?

(the US one, not the European one)

- litz


User currently offlineLHRjc From Netherlands, joined Apr 2006, 1964 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15894 times:

That photo is on "the other site" with ID 364388 if you want to look it up.


"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15844 times:



Quoting LHRjc (Reply 12):
That photo is on "the other site" with ID 364388 if you want to look it up.



Quoting LHRjc (Reply 12):

It used to be on this site, too.... I'll see if I can dig it up.

I remember when it happened. It was a HUGE deal in the discussion forums.
It was just one negative incident, but it contributed to AirTran's overall hate of the A320 experiment, which purportedly had a terrible dispatch reliability. They ended up ordering 737s rather than 32X family aircraft. AND they canned Ryan Int'l.


User currently offlineC5LOAD From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15810 times:

It kinda looks like the gremlin from the Twilight Zone movie got a hold of the airplane.  biggrin 


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
User currently offlineEmbajador3 From Spain, joined Aug 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15742 times:



Quoting Litz (Reply 11):
Operated by Ryanair, wasn't it?

There is only Ryanair, the Irish airline. But, there's one Ryan International, from the USA.



Flying Together
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 15583 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 7):
Are all the lines and harnesses designed to survive the airstream like that?

I suspect that's probably a requirement, but all the lines and harnesses are definitely designed to survive the vibration g's due to a lost blade, which is going to be significantly higher than air loads.

Tom.


User currently offlineAdam42185 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14227 times:



Quoting C5LOAD (Reply 14):
It kinda looks like the gremlin from the Twilight Zone movie got a hold of the airplane.

Theres some.... Some... THING... on the wing!


User currently offlinePhoenix9 From Canada, joined Aug 2007, 2546 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14048 times:

I can only imagine the look on the face of the poor guy/girl sitting next to window when this happened. I bet they must have wanted some new pants right afterwards.


Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
User currently offline7673mech From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 707 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 13952 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 13):
I remember when it happened. It was a HUGE deal in the discussion forums.
It was just one negative incident, but it contributed to AirTran's overall hate of the A320 experiment, which purportedly had a terrible dispatch reliability. They ended up ordering 737s rather than 32X family aircraft. AND they canned Ryan Int'l.

This is not totally true ...

The use of Ryan International and the Airbus aircraft had nothing to do with the Air Tran ordering 737's. The 737's were already on order when Ryan was contracted. The reliability rate can very well lie with the operator as well as the airframe.

That being said - most operators with V2500 engines require a log book entry prior to dispatch due to the fact that the fan cowls look closed even when not latched. On other aircraft - the is a gap and it is obvious they are open.


User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3702 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 13679 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting 7673mech (Reply 19):
The use of Ryan International and the Airbus aircraft had nothing to do with the Air Tran ordering 737's. The 737's were already on order when Ryan was contracted. The reliability rate can very well lie with the operator as well as the airframe

The Ryan contract had already started when FL ordered the 737's. It was a few months into it that FL decided between the A319 and the 73G.



Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineABQopsHP From United States of America, joined May 2006, 848 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 12154 times:

Gee. I seem to recall this foto being passed around to all of us at HP a few years back. And that it was one of our a/c.....as it was told it happend over Kansas, then diverted to ICT. Cant get factual evidence on this anymore since I no longer work at HP/US, but im not so sure it was an a/c on lease to FL.
Ok everyone start flaming me....
JD CRPXE



A line is evidence that other people exist.
User currently offline7673mech From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 707 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 11806 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 20):

The Ryan contract had already started when FL ordered the 737's. It was a few months into it that FL decided between the A319 and the 73G.

They were one month into the contract. Hardly enough time to sway them either way was my point.


User currently offlineAirlineCritic From Finland, joined Mar 2009, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 11791 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 5):
They forgot to latch the cowls after maintenance.



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 13):
I remember when it happened. It was a HUGE deal in the discussion forums.
It was just one negative incident, but it contributed to AirTran's overall hate of the A320 experiment, which purportedly had a terrible dispatch reliability. They ended up ordering 737s rather than 32X family aircraft.

Yeah, clearly an appropriate response is to fault the aircraft...
 no 


User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10190 times:

The cause of the incident was the latches on the cowl doors and no "alert" mechanism for when they didn't lock.

The cause of the incident was a maintenance guy who basically just slammed the door shut. This is not an uncommon habit, and usually the latches work just fine and lock, but occasionally they don't. It was never an encouraged practice to do this, and people were supposed to get on their hands and knees to visually confirm the door was locked in place, but people get into bad habits easily, perhaps (and this is just speculation) as it is very rare for the latch to fail so people perhaps assume it always functions.

Anyways, in this particular event, the latch didn't lock into place, and when the aircraft reached a certain speed (cant remember if that was in the air or on the runway), the airflow got sufficient purchase on the doors to rip them open.

The upshot of this is that almost all cowl doors now have a spring system in them to open the door again if the latch is not locked, so even if people slam them shut there isn't a chance of the aircraft departing with cowls unlocked.


25 DingDong : No flaming, but highly unlikely. Reg was N951LF, and given its history, doesn't look like it ever was in HP's fleet.
26 Falstaff : You might be thinking of a HP CRJ. I remember seeing photos of a HP CRJ a few years ago that had a destroyed engine on it. I don't recall where the f
27 OPNLguy : For that matter, neither is the aircraft pictured. Yes, I know 500-600mph speeds are commonly given to passengers, but that reflects the aircraft's s
28 Post contains images 242 : You can see in this photo that the slat outboard of the engine sustained some damage when the outboard fan cowl departed.
29 Steinberger45 : This issue has happened more than you think. More back in the 90's when the buses were first being intergraited into the airlines. I remember some bod
30 Arffguy : This issue has happened numerous times. I thought I had heard UAL and AWA have had it so ABQopsHP may be correct.
31 AirTran717 : Being that I worked for FL at the time of the incident... Ryan had more mechanical issues in the first week of our contract than our own, whole compa
32 Post contains links VirginFlyer : Um, I think you may be under a mistaken impression here, although the point you make is still valid. TAS is the aircraft's speed relative to the air
33 Spacepope : That happened right over my house. Flight was from DEN-PHX, the engine came apart right over Pike's Peak.
34 OPNLguy : Perhap quoting me completely would help.. I intentionally left the HW/TW aspect out of the groundspeed issue so as to keep things simple and not over
35 Post contains links and images CitationJet : Agreed. Sometimes the entire engine comes off in flight. The 727 had a few incidences of the forward lavatory leaking and causing blue ice to break l
36 Post contains links OPNLguy : Actually, AA and NW were incidents #2 and #3, respectively--The original National Airlines had the first incident back on April 30, 1974. I wonder if
37 Remcor : It's a good thing that the cowling was designed properly: it ripped off in flight instead of not ripping off and acting like a giant air-brake on the
38 HAWK21M : Normally cowl latches are painted red/amber to help detection when unlatched. regds MEL.
39 VirginFlyer : Without wanting to labour what is really a minor issue, you said: While that is true for the IAS assuming we are at altitude, it is not true for TAS.
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