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N328KF
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CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:26 am

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.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
anxebla
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s

Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:30 am

Thanks for this news, N328
Do you have any link about it?
AIRBUS 320 The world's most advanced single-aisle aircraft
 
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N328KF
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s

Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:32 am

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.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
ktachiya
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:18 am

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
 
Oceanic
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:26 am

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
 
henpol747
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:30 am

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

Vive la France! ¡Viva México!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:33 am

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...
 
bkkair
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:37 am

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]
 
henpol747
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:41 am

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!
 
PyroGX41487
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:10 am

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.
 
scotron11
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:12 am

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.
 
N754PR
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:21 am

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.

Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
hmmmm...
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:00 am

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
 
gigneil
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:19 am

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

N
 
777ER
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:30 am

Hope no one was injured when the car was hit.
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Ken777
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:42 am

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 . . .
 
N754PR
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:38 pm

Just to let you know B-HNI is back in service now.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
Udo
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:51 pm

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


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
musapapaya
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:54 pm

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.
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Cathay Pacific
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:29 pm

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
 
BOEING747400
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:05 pm

Doesn't that imply that other airlines should also check their 773s for engine duct problems too?
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:04 pm

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.
 
N79969
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:44 pm

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
 
oxygen
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:56 pm

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.



 
trex8
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:04 pm

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.
 
Udo
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:04 pm

I know about the A330 groundings. But those where engine related ONLY.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
na
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:12 pm

"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 would ask for a Rolls-Royce, of cause...
 
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glideslope
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:14 pm

"I know about the A330 groundings. But those where engine related ONLY.


Regards
Udo"


Only engine related! Thanks for the update!!!! :O
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
Udo
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:25 pm

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
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
N79969
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:35 pm

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 with a gearbox design resulting multiple in-flight shutdowns but that Boeing cannot resolve a part installation problem that seems peculiar to 4 airplanes in the fleet of a solitary 773 operator.

As far as I know JAL, ANA, Emirates, Korean, Thai, Air France, or Sinapore have not had similar problems with B773/773ER engine hardward falling off in-flight.
 
QF744ER
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:41 pm

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 only returned to LHR as that's where spare parts for RR engines are kept as well as being the most convenient location in order to facilitate getting pax to HKG.

Some of the members who have been involved in CX/Aviation for many years might recall way back in the early 1990's a CX 744 climbing out late one night from HKG to a European destination had it's number 4 engine explode and I literally mean blow-apart and I'm not using that term loosely. I'm 99.9% sure it was VR-HOX involved. I can't recall the exact problem with the engine.

From what I read on other boards CX pushes their 744 fleet very hard and I guess it's the same for the 777's.

I have to assume the CX 773 in BKK was B-HNI, but does anyone know which a/c were involved in the LHR and LAX incidents of recent??

rgds

Tom/PERTH
 
Udo
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:44 pm

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 Airbus engineers being involved in the issue.
This time, Boeing is involved in the B773 groundings. I have made no other conclusions than that! There's still not enough information to go further.



Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
trex8
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RE: CX Grounds Four 777-300s Due To Trent Issues

Fri Dec 10, 2004 2:05 am

its quite possible Boeing had a change in suppliers (or suppliers manufacturing technique) for the nacelle duct part in question which is why only some Trent powered 773s are affected.

I was involved in some "discussion" with an analagous situation where Pratt had a new supplier for an accessory on a F100 engine and as part of their QA, they pulled the part after assembly of the whole engine for testing. So only certain engines were affected as it was very specific to a certain supplier. Unfortunately it was misinstalled after being tested and the engine eventually failed causing the loss of a F16.

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