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Air Transat A330 Fuel Leak  
User currently offlineYEG 757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 9 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3468 times:

Canadian news media report today that the fuel starvation that forced an Air Transat A330 to make a dead-stick landing may be attributable to a cracked fuel pipe in the No.2 RR engine. The right-hand engine was replaced recently, and an inspection after the forced landing has disclosed that not enough space existed between the fuel pipe and a hydraulic pipe in the engine. If the two pipes rub together, cracks in the fuel pipe can result. This in turn may have been the cause of the fuel starvation.

RR had earlier issued a Service Bulletin to address this situation, but the SB had apparently been only "partially" applied to the Air Transat A330 No.2 engine.

The subtle finger-pointing has begun, with Air Transat and RR / Airbus each staking positions in the media to manage public opinion to their own benefit.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (14 years 9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3376 times:

Yep, that's about right.....inspection SB due in the nxt 24 hrs from what I understand....

User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6812 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (14 years 9 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3346 times:

I don't under stand why they couldn't shut off the crossfeeds, and at least prevent the fuel from the left hand side of the aircraft from leaking away as well.

I am not familiar with the A330 fuel system, but surely this whole thing could have been prevented by the flight crew?

User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (14 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3306 times:

NBC aired a news conference with the crew. Apparently, one of the engine shut down, followed by the other one a few moments later. One of the flight attendants said the cabin grew silent and people prepared for anything, including a ditch. However, it seemed like everyone, including the passengers, remained fairly calm despite unfavorable circumstances.

User currently offlineSharpnfuzzy From Canada, joined Jun 2001, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

Yeah I heard this too. Have totally ruled out the 'uncommanded and uncontrolable fuel dump' cause that i heard earlier?.... And this cause raises more interesting questions... like how severe was the leak form the No. 2 engine, so that they couldn't stop it in time to save fuel. The fuel dump made more sense to me at first... it was sudden, shut down both engines, and couldn't be stopped.... i just hope they get to the bottom of this.... and quickly

User currently offlineYEG 757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3269 times:

Cx flyboy:

That's the question being asked today.

Thre is now speculation (with emphasis on that word) that perhaps the crew misdiagnosed the fuel leak, and instead of shutting down the No.2 engine and valves leading to it, they instead crossfed fuel from the left wing to the right where the leak was occurring. That might explain the rapid total fuel loss in such a short period of time.

It's interesting to note that in the press conference with the flight crew that occurred in Canada several days ago, the crew said very little when questioned about the steps they had taken on the flight deck when they first began to be aware that they were losing fuel. All they said was that they had handled the situation in accordance with their checklists.

User currently offlineHerrwosch From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3240 times:

sure, an unintended uncontrollable fuel dump caused by the bad mannered flight computers that so often took control from pilots almost causing crashes would have been a much more stimulatings scenario for the politics that make this forum so lively.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21652 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (14 years 9 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3233 times:

I would like to know where exactly in the fuel supply system the fuel flow sensors are.

Is it possible that the crew didn´t recognize the loss of fuel because it occurred before the flow sensor, which still indicated a normal consumption level?

Would the loss of the total amount in the tanks still be obvious or is the remaining amount calculated from the initial amount and the flow over time?
In that case, a leak in a fuel line before the flow sensors would more or less be undetectable.

User currently offlineLBA From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 9 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3231 times:

Sharpnfuzzy - From what I've read it appears the leak didn't cause the plane to lose all it's fuel. As the fuel was escaping there was insufficient fuel flow to the engines causing them to fail. Imagine putting a hole in a hosepipe and the resultant loss in pressure.

User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (14 years 9 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3226 times:

It has been mentioned that the pilots made an absolute tits of it after the leak was discovered, and pumped all the fuel into the emptying tank.....its makes sense in a way.....it's confirmed that the leak was due to interference between the fuel and hydraulic lines due to a partially embodied SB, now the focus is on the pilots as to why ALL the fuel managed to escape.....

User currently offlineYYZ-Barry From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 9 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

For those interested, a complete audio version of the Air Transat news conference can be found at the following link:


It is in both French and English, with the majority of crew comments repeated in both languages.

User currently offlineConti From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 9 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3180 times:

I read today in a Montreal newspaper (La presse) that the captain Robert Piche was sent to 21 months in jail back in the 80's for marijuana traffic. Interesting.

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