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LH 747 Enroute FRA-JFK Goes Tec And Returns To FRA  
User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1006 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 13072 times:

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,650103,00.html

http://www.wfmj.com/Global/story.asp?S=11161157


- one engine lost oil over Greenland while enroute from FRA to JFK
- they returned to FRA
- pax took another plane
- NBC reporter thought the pilots voice was tense  


I thought that it must be quite inconvenient for pax that they returned halfway. I guess they could have fixed the engine at JFK too. It would have made me angry if I had been on board.

[Edited 2009-09-19 14:36:58]

[Edited 2009-09-19 14:37:47]

50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15713 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 13025 times:



Quoting Rabenschlag (Thread starter):
I guess they could have fixed the engine at JFK too.

Perhaps, but LH, of course, has better facilities in FRA. And remember all of the flak that BA caught for flying a 3 engined 747 across the pond? They could have returned to somewhere closer, like SNN, but then the pax would have had a long wait for a replacement plane. Just one of those things I guess...

Quoting Rabenschlag (Thread starter):
- NBC reporter thought the pilots voice was tense

Great scientific analysis.  Yeah sure  banghead 



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 13017 times:



Quoting Rabenschlag (Thread starter):
NBC reporter thought the pilots voice was tense

Idiot.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
BA caught for flying a 3 engined 747 across the pond?

Across most of the continental US AND the Pond, as I recall... for which I give them flak as well- keep your dead birds out of my country!  Smile


User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1006 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12965 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Perhaps, but LH, of course, has better facilities in FRA. And remember all of the flak that BA caught for flying a 3 engined 747 across the pond? They could have returned to somewhere closer, like SNN, but then the pax would have had a long wait for a replacement plane. Just one of those things I guess...

I agree. But given that they were apparently halfway between JFK and FRA, going back to FRA was neither the safest option for pax - that would have been Thule perhaps  Smile - and JFK would just have been as safe as FRA; Nor was is the most convenient option for pax - that would have been JFK.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15713 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12920 times:



Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 3):
that would have been Thule perhaps

Everybody loves being stranded in Greenland.  Smile

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 3):
Nor was is the most convenient option for pax - that would have been JFK.

My guess is that ease of repair was probably the deciding factor here since they were roughly equidistant. The inconvenience to the passengers probably cost the airline less than either tracking down parts and getting mechanics in NYC or doing a three engine ferry back to Europe.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineN104UA From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 902 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12896 times:

The reason he went back to FRA was because if it was something major, ie like engine replacement, it would be a whole lot easier in FRA instead of having to ship mechanics and parts into FRA


"Learn the rules, so you know how to break them properly." -H.H. The Dalai Lama
User currently offlineDTWLAX From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12869 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Perhaps, but LH, of course, has better facilities in FRA. And remember all of the flak that BA caught for flying a 3 engined 747 across the pond?

FRA may have better facilities. But is the safety and convenience of passengers more important or better maintenance facilities? They were halfway across the pond, it would not have mattered if they had flown to JFK.

I do not know the story about the BA747, but if an engine goes down halfway over the pond, it would have made more sense to fly to the JFK instead of the origin, LH would still have to fly over the pond to get to FRA.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7042 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12805 times:



Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 6):
They were halfway across the pond, it would not have mattered if they had flown to JFK.

Since safety was not an issue obviously the most important thing was the ease and convienence of the repairs, the pax have already paid their fares so there is no extra collection to be made from them, there are however, more cost if you fly into JFK. Cheaper to return home where spare engines exist, mehcanics are already paid and waiting for work, the only cost is fuel. Regardless of the delay, the pax will usually return, so no big deal  Smile


User currently offlineFlyglobal From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 571 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12798 times:

and another plane for replacement. I guess that in such a case like a 4 holer 747, A340, A380 where no ETOPS rules are existing, the decision is made by the ground team in Frankfurt.

Go back is the easiest overall I guess. LH has 30 747's frequently coming back to the home base and 1 of the 30 planes is always foreseen for unexpected plane changes.

regards

Flyglobal


User currently offlineLHUSA From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12785 times:



Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 6):

I do not know the story about the BA747, but if an engine goes down halfway over the pond, it would have made more sense to fly to the JFK instead of the origin, LH would still have to fly over the pond to get to FRA.

If they continued to JFK the return flight to FRA would most likely have been canceled, stranding many pax in NY and leaving LH with the cost of hotels, etc. Bringing the plane back to FRA makes the most sense if the pax are not in immediate danger. They likely had a plane ready and waiting for them once they landed due to the time it took to fly back to FRA.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15713 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12776 times:



Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 6):
But is the safety and convenience of passengers more important or better maintenance facilities?

I think that the prioities would go safety first followed by cost to the airline.

So the engine loses oil and is shut down. The pilots satisfy themselves that the problem is relatively minor and will not occur with the other engines. They have three more to fly on so the safety of the flight is not in jeopardy.

Which brings us to costs. Is it cheaper to take everybody back to FRA and get a replacement plane to take these (probably somewhat angry) people to JFK but save the costs of a three engine ferry or having to get appropriate parts, people, and a hangar and be able to do the repairs in FRA versus going on to JFK and having a more expensive repair? Apparently the answer was yes so they went back to FRA.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineFlyglobal From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 571 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12697 times:

Not sure how smart they where, but depending on the load factors, they may have upgraded some passengers to first (fill there - they have 16 places in Fist on the 747) and also may have filled the remaining business seats and so diluted the economy a bit.

Another smart compensation would be to load a better, or even a business class meal for all passengers next to mileage compensation - double miles for double flights (smart?) to get the anger somehow down.

This may not help to give some additional vouchers, but should be ok

regards

Flyglobal


User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12596 times:

Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 6):
But is the safety and convenience of passengers more important or better maintenance facilities? They were halfway across the pond, it would not have mattered if they had flown to JFK.

I disagree 100%. If the airlplane was at or very close to the "halfway mark", returning to Europe makes more sense because the aircraft will be moving with the winds instead of against them.

[Edited 2009-09-19 16:01:40]


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineB595 From UK - Scotland, joined Mar 2009, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12527 times:

Here's a question for trans-Atlantic pilots or someone from ATC...

There's a lot of traffic crossing the North Atlantic and there's no radar coverage. So how does a flight like this LH 747 execute a ~180-degree turn/course reversal without messing up everyone's traffic separation? Must be a pain in the  butthead  to coordinate.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15713 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12502 times:



Quoting B595 (Reply 13):
So how does a flight like this LH 747 execute a ~180-degree turn/course reversal without messing up everyone's traffic separation?

I think that the standard procedure for NATS if there is a problem is to make a 90 degree turn and fly perpendicular while sending a message to the controller.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineB595 From UK - Scotland, joined Mar 2009, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12487 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
I think that the standard procedure for NATS if there is a problem is to make a 90 degree turn and fly perpendicular while sending a message to the controller.

Ok, that would make sense. It buys them some time to coordinate with ATC and other aircraft.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24786 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 12447 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 12):
Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 6):
But is the safety and convenience of passengers more important or better maintenance facilities? They were halfway across the pond, it would not have mattered if they had flown to JFK.

I disagree 100%. If the airplane was at or very close to the "halfway mark", returning to Europe makes more sense because the aircraft will be moving with the winds instead of against them.

In addition to that, weather could also be a factor. About 2 weeks ago a BA 744 en route LHR-IAD diverted to the island of Terceira (TER) in the Azores due to electrical issues, although it was closer to YYT or YQX in Canada when they made the decision to divert. However, diverting to YYT/YQX would have meant descending through severe weather so they decided to turn back to the Azores which was the next closest option. The 300 or so passengers finally arrived IAD about 32 hours late, after another BA 744 was sent the next day to pick them up.

Photo of the replacement 744 arriving at TER below, with the diverted one in the background.

http://azoresairphotos.com/fotos/small/5774.jpg

[Edited 2009-09-19 16:35:45]

User currently offlineULMFlyer From Brazil, joined Sep 2006, 475 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 12202 times:

The reporter twitted "almost over Greenland," so definitely less than half way. Plus the jetstream, it was an easy decision, I suppose.

And regarding inconveniencing pax, I'm sure they were glad they weren't in a 777, otherwise they'd have diverted to KEF, wouldn't they? FRA would have given pax more options, I guess.



Let's go Pens!
User currently offline7673mech From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 707 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11944 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

There are many factors that went into this ... why speculate if it was correct?
Lufthansa did what it needed to do in terms of:
1. Safety.
2. Maintenance.
3. Aircraft routing. (Believe it or not you can not just substitute one 747 for another without looking at down line MX and operational needs).
4.Pax comfort.
5.$$$


User currently offlineDairy From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11871 times:

Quoting 7673mech (Reply 18):
1. Safety.
2. Maintenance.
3. Aircraft routing. (Believe it or not you can not just substitute one 747 for another without looking at down line MX and operational needs).
4.Pax comfort.
5.$$$

100% agree, and why continue to JFK if the route near greenland back to FRA is less distance than to JFK?

Involved aircraft was D-ABVX, passengers then continued to JFK on D-ABVW

[Edited 2009-09-19 18:13:05]


A318/A319/A320/A321 AB3/A306/A310/A333/A343/A346 732/733/735/736/744/752/763/764/772/773 DH3 F70 F100 CR2 CR1 CR7 ATR42
User currently offlineUsafret From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11421 times:

Go back to FRA, upgrade to the max, put on nice meal in coach, coordinate messages to waiting families, give them double FFMs, free liquour also. I'd rather be safe..... but having said that, .KEF is a big enough airport though as I was stationed there in the l990s. Nice terminal, but closet hotels are 30 minutes away in Rekjavik if they have space!

User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4357 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11030 times:

There was never a safety issue. A one engine shutdown on the 747 is not even considered an emergency. Continuing on to JFK or turning back were really options as safe as each other.


With all of the ridiculous hysteria surrounding the BA flight that continued to LHR on 3 engines that may have been a factor as well in deciding not to bring the Aircraft into the States although I agree that ease of maintenance was probably the main reason.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9144 posts, RR: 29
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9709 times:

What's the big deal here? Happened to me some years ago. Flying FRA-ATL in a 340 we had to return 90 minutes in flight. I actually noticed that the sun all of a sudden was on the other side when the captain caqm e on the PA telling us that he had just turned and was heading back because one of the four engines did not work properly. We landed 3 hours after we left, switched to another 340 which was freshly catered, had a grumpy stand-by crew already there, who obviously wanted to spend their day other than going to ATL and we arrived almost 5 hours late.

The only invonvenience was that I had to go another 4 hours by car to SAV at night after a long day. I managed that as well.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineMUCFLYER From Germany, joined May 2004, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8691 times:

don't forget...
- even on a 4 engine aircraft, shutting down an engine (or leaving on idle) means you can't reach your calculated cruising altitude which means you will burn much more fuel than expected!
- this could result in an inflight diversion to Gander, best way Boston.
- How was the actual weather situation in Greenland and Newfoundland?
- it isn't funny to land an handicapted aircraft into Sondrestrom i.e.
- loosing another one you get a full emergency
- the decision always rest with the pilot in command and i assume they had good arguments to act as they act yesterday...

[Edited 2009-09-20 04:24:31]

User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7042 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days ago) and read 8600 times:



Quoting MUCFLYER (Reply 23):
- the decision always rest with the pilot in command and i assume they had good arguments to act as they act yesterday...

Agree with everything else you said except this.


25 Buslover : @part13del: Wheather you believe or not: With LH Operations control suggest, the crew decides! This is differently handled at other airlines, LH howev
26 747classic : This is an example of how an engine failure of a quad is handled. No emergency is declared, it's not a twin. I think not many people are aware of the
27 AirNZ : Sorry, but are you suggesting LH was putting passengers at risk by your determination that "FRA was neither the safest option for pax"? Can you pleas
28 NA : A journalist thought so. Enough said.
29 Rabenschlag : No, I was not suggesting that LH was putting pasengers at measurable risk. What I wanted to say is that - if they were near halfway and over Greenlan
30 Par13del : And this entire discussion highlights the difference of twins versus 4 holers, if a twin the nearest airport was the key, this thread would probably
31 Farzan : So you mean that there was no stranded passengers in JFK when returning to FRA? If halfway across the pond and going back, we are talking minimum 10-
32 Flyglobal : They may have offered the waiting passengers in JFK either to accommodate in hotels or offer alternative connections with *A or other partners. Not s
33 Flyinghigh09 : hey my friend, please don't take this the wrong way, but I find it highly unlikely that you're in a position to judge whether safety is at the center
34 MUCFLYER : to clarify some facts, which may led to the given decision... - it wasn't primarily a safety issue at all - reason for the inflight shutdown of engine
35 Par13del : Taking no offense my friend, this is an open forum, but in your expert opinion, if it was a twin or even if the rules mandated that the a/c divert to
36 WILCO737 : According to Boeings Flight Crew Training Manual and other published manuals: It is safe to continue on 3 engines if you have the required fuel on bo
37 UAL747DEN : I'm afraid these things are just not possible. The flight had to return and the pax were put on the next available flight which turned out to be a re
38 Par13del : Be careful quoting facts from a manual if you are not a Boeing employee, you might be accused of what you first mentioned You are simply confirming w
39 AirCatalonia : As a passenger I think I would prefer to wait for the replacement in Greenland or Iceland rather than going all the way back to Europe, even if it wil
40 WILCO737 : I am no Boeing employee but I am flying Boeing airplanes. At least I flew a Boeing and currently flying a McDonnell Douglas which is Boeing now. And
41 MUCFLYER : Yes and No! Yes, off course they consider all the informations and may discuss with operations control in FRA for best decision finding. No, because
42 BMI727 : I agree. It would appear that the crew satisfied themselves that the aircraft was in no immediate danger and that they had no reason to believe that
43 Lufthansi : Just wanted to throw in some info/ thoughts here. I've been on that plane today when it was in the hangar. And I've been told that a lot of passengers
44 INNflyer : Could a 747 land (and take off again) in Greenland? I know that SAS flies to Kangerlussaq with an A 330, but a 747 is much bigger?!
45 WILCO737 : Much bigger, a lot more power. And if in doubt, then just ferry her out there with only fuel on board. It depends on the airport where it landed. The
46 Borism : from Wikipedia: Well, I might be wrong, but I don't think you'd want to go to anywhere else other than SFJ in Greenland with anything bigger than B75
47 WILCO737 : What options do you have? Landing on 1800m runway and maybe risking an overrun or ditching into the ocean? Or not even making that, as we have seen v
48 Post contains links Viscount724 : It's very unlikely that a transatlantic flight between FRA and the east coast of North America would be as far north as Greenland. Note today's westb
49 FRACO7X : For sure the flight crews first intention was safety. Having ensured that both options would have been safe, either to continue to JFK or to return to
50 747classic : I agree fully with both remarks. It's one of the advantages of flying a quad over the Atlantic ocean, that you are in a position to choose your most
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