AA7573E
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BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:38 pm

BA took a beating today on the front page of the Personal Journal section of the US edition of the WSJ. Specifically, aviation experts tore them up for their ill advised decision to fly across the pond from LAX last week when one of their 747s lost an engine on takeoff. Apparently the aircraft circled Santa Monica Bay for 20 minutes communicating with London on the issue, and decided that the flight should go on.

Odd that this decision to continue the journey was made days after the EU passed new legislation providing substantial compensation for PAX delays on flights originating or ending in an EU city. FAA is collaborating with EU authorities and investigating the rationale, and eventual decision to make the flight.

I know all the flight sim pilots out here think it is more than ok to cross the pond on three engines, but take a read of the article. Some of the most respected 747 pilots in the industry, with more stick time than most 747 crews combined, agree that the decision made by BA was ill informed, and in general a poor one.



Article from WSJ
Passengers heard the pops, and people on the ground saw sparks flying out from beneath the wing. A British Airways 747 had an engine fail during takeoff in Los Angeles 10 days ago.

But instead of returning to the airport to land, Flight 268 continued on across the U.S, up near the North Pole, across the Atlantic -- all the way to England.

The flight, with 351 passengers on board, didn't quite make it to London, its scheduled destination. It eventually made an emergency landing in Manchester, England, setting off a controversy over the risk of flying 10 hours with a dead engine hanging under the wing.

The Feb. 19 British Airways incident came just two days after the European Union began making airlines compensate passengers for delays. In the aftermath, the British Air Line Pilots' Association, the union representing British Airways pilots, issued a statement warning the industry that the new regulation could pressure pilots to take more risks to save money.


British Airways flew a 747 to the U.K. after one of its four engines died on takeoff from Los Angeles.


In addition, airline regulators, pilots and safety experts are raising questions about the crew's decision to fly such a long distance after an engine failure, since it narrows the safety margin in the unlikely event that something else goes wrong with the plane.

Engine failures on jet aircraft occur only infrequently, and pilots are trained to handle them. Jet aircraft are designed to climb and cruise after losing one engine, and the four-engine Boeing 747 can fly on just two engines (though at lower altitude, and with some strain).

British Airways says the plane was safe flying on three of its four engines. The airline also says it has flown 747s with just three engines before -- once in April 2003, for instance, on the same Los Angeles-London route. "Had there been any kind of question on safety, they would have turned back to Los Angeles or gone to another U.S. airport," says British Airways spokesman John Lampl.

For U.S. airlines, Federal Aviation Administration regulations require commercial carriers to land at the nearest suitable airport after an engine failure. However, British Air and safety experts say that British regulations don't. In the complex world of aviation law, which is governed by bilateral treaties and international agreements, the bottom line is that the FAA doesn't have jurisdiction over a British crew in this instance.

Yesterday, an FAA spokeswoman said the agency has "concerns" about the flight and is going to contact regulators in the U.K. to discuss the incident.

Turning around a plane and landing it immediately can be an expensive proposition. First, there is the cost of dumping tons of expensive jet fuel (planes have difficulty landing with full tanks), and the likely additional cost of putting up the passengers in hotels. In addition, under last month's new EU rules on passenger compensation, British Airways would have also had to pay travelers €210,600, or about $280,000 -- €600 apiece -- if they got to London's Heathrow Airport more than five hours late.

Mr. Lampl of British Airways said any suggestion that the plane continued because of financial pressure from the new EU rules is "total rubbish." The issue "most likely was never discussed with the crew," he said. British Air hasn't released the names of crew members.

Many aviation experts say most pilots won't take undue risks to keep costs down -- after all, their own lives are at stake, as well as those of hundreds of passengers. While economics can factor into airline decisions, "I don't think the crew would take a risk they thought was unacceptable solely for money," said Bernard Loeb, a former top investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

However, he criticizes British Air's decision to fly on to the U.K. with the disabled engine. "I don't think it was an appropriate decision at all. There are a lot of events that could have occurred that would have created a major problem."

Flight 268 took off just after 9:24 p.m. from Los Angeles, according to a track of the flight recorded by the airport. The inboard engine on the left side of the airplane experienced an unusual power surge at takeoff, and Los Angeles officials said residents near the airport reported seeing sparks and hearing "popping of engines."

The Boeing 747-400 headed southwest over Santa Monica Bay, climbed to 5,000 feet and circled for more than 20 minutes while the crew diagnosed the problem and communicated with British Airways operations center in London. After deciding the flight could get to London on three engines, the jet headed to the U.K.

Passengers heard two loud pops as the plane took off, one passenger told the Times of London, which wrote about the incident on Friday. The captain announced that the plane had lost an engine and the crew was considering whether to continue to the U.K.

One former pilot questions the decision to proceed with an ailing airplane. "Continuing on after an engine failure on takeoff is nuts," says Barry Schiff, a retired 747 captain with Trans World Airlines who has written books on proper flying procedures and has received a congressional commendation for his work in aviation safety.

Unable to climb as high as planned, the plane flew at a lower altitude across the Atlantic, increasing drag. That increases fuel burn. In addition, with two engines on one side of the plane but only one on the other, the plane's rudder had to be used to keep the aircraft flying straight. That increases drag as well.

While crews are trained for all of these contingencies -- 747 pilots have special charts detailing three-engine performance -- they didn't get as much tail wind as they had expected at the lower altitude, British Air said. That made the emergency landing in Manchester necessary. Mr. Lampl said he didn't know if the airline would still end up paying penalties because of the diversion to Manchester.

Compared with the majority of planes flying across the Atlantic today, the 747 has more redundancy than most. That's because most trans-Atlantic aircraft these days have two engines, compared with the four engines on a 747. Stuart Matthews, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit aviation-safety group, says he's been on a 747 that had to shut down an engine while cruising, and it continued on to its destination rather than diverting to the nearest airport. "Lots of aircraft fly across the Atlantic with fewer than three engines," he said.

But he, too, said he was surprised at the decision to continue the flight when one engine was lost so early in the trip. Flying more than 5,000 miles is a long way to go without all your engines.




[Edited 2005-03-01 13:44:19]
See you up front!
 
ozglobal
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:54 pm

If it proves to have been an objectively imprudent decision, influenced in an unseemly manner by commercial interest, then BA are compromising their key differentiator: Quality, beit safety, client service or the sum of these.

If this is the case, let this be a wake-up call to them.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
DoorsToManual
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:00 pm

Perhaps the new EU legislation had nothing to do with the decision? On at least 2 separate occasions following engine shut-down shortly after take-off from EZE (Buenos Aires), BA has elected to continue 744 flights across the Atlantic.

From what I have read of the incident from internal sources (I work for BA), the safety of the aircraft and its pax was never compromised. I also understand that the 747 is designed to, and capable of flying on 3 engines when the correct procedures are followed (which they were, according to an internal memo).

Since this is not the first time a BA 744 crew has elected to fly across the Atlantic with 3 engines, and since everything I have heard and read whilst at work indicated all normal prodecures were adhered to, I would hazard a guess that the press are engaging in speculation (and at the same time trying to sell themselves). I don't think EU legislation was really a relevant factor here (except for the press of course).

The real point here is not whether the Captain's decision was a safe one (it was), but whether it was the most prudent, taking the passengers' possible reaction into account.

Bear in mind the press are experts at misquoting...

[Edited 2005-03-01 14:03:36]
 
juventus
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:03 pm

I don't mean to turn this into a political issue, but it was a very poor decision. If a UA or NW 747 crew would have done such a thing, they would be in deep S*****.
 
N79969
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:09 pm

I think the fact that they had to make an emergency landing after all because of fuel really is the most damning evidence against their ill-advised decision.

Given that BA basically flew the entire flight on 3 engines, why don't they go ahead ask for a revision to the MMEL to make the 4th operating engine a deferrable mx item?
 
JGPH1A
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:12 pm

You'd think that a respected paper like the Wall Street journal would at least get the airline in question's name right. It's British Airways !!
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AA7573E
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:12 pm

Bear in mind the press are experts at misquoting...

What are the press experts mis-quoting?

Furthermore, the experts are not members of the press, they are pilots, and airline safety officials who have nothing to do with the Wall Street Journal. I'm not 100% convinced that BA dropped the ball on this one, but it would certainly seem that the preponderance of evidence suggests that they should have turned back. If it was a perfectly safe decision, they should have been able to make it all the way to LHR, and not divert to Manchester.
See you up front!
 
carduelis
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:16 pm

This has been disccused at length on two previous threads.

The first, soon after the event, but the second, and only when the London Times picked it up six days after, mentioning the irrelevant 'financial implications'!

The WSJ can have it's opinions, but, bearing in mind it has taken them ten days to report it with their 'expert' critics 'bashing BA' they can only be considered as being rather tardy, not only in their reporting, but also in their so called 'facts'!

As usual, if you want to believe the press, then do so, but I can assure you that any decisions taken were made in the interests of not only safety, but also for passenger convenience!

The BA pilots spoke directly to London Control at Compass Centre and took the decision to continue. Personally, I feel, hardly an emergency, as Manchester is on the route taken by LAX LHR. I've flown it many times.

The first thread died pretty quickly, but the second one went on to over 100 responses. If you're interested, try a search, and if you can, then forward the info to the WSJ, so that their 'experts' might learn something!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
N79969
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:16 pm

Quoting AA7573E (reply 6):
If it was a perfectly safe decision, they should have been able to make it all the way to LHR, and not divert to Manchester.


This is exactly what I am getting at.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:26 pm

Quoting Juventus (reply 3):
I don't mean to turn this into a political issue, but it was a very poor decision. If a UA or NW 747 crew would have done such a thing, they would be in deep S*****.


The captain's decision was well with the FARS. The article is incorrect in it's statement of what the FARS require of a 3/4 engine aircraft. If a NW/UA crew made the same decision, they would NOT be in ****!

Under the FARS and JARS a 3-4 engine can fly to it's destination in the event of an engine failure. (Assuming fuel reserves/wx requirements are met). The problem in this situation was the fuel burn was higher than planned. That is what caused the divert.

If this aircraft had not had an engine failure and was unable to get it's planned altitude or encountered unexpected headwinds, then it would have been in the same situation.

The simple fact was the crew/captain made the decision based on inputs from dispatch (who had the latest winds aloft).

Please don't interpret my comments as condoning the captain's decision. I wasn't there, I don't know how much extra fuel they had. But, I will argue the WSJ is incorrect.
Fly fast, live slow
 
AMSSpotter
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:34 pm

Even if it is not against the rules to continue the flight, I would have felt more safe if they had just returned to LAX or had landed in LAS.

To me it seems that even the most skilled pilot can not determine what exactly was wrong with engine 2 from within the cockpit. How then could they or ground maintenance come to the conclusion that it was absolutely safe to continue to LHR and that passenger safety has never been compromized(?)

According to Flight magazine, the exact problem with the troubled eninge has yet to be determined...
 
PhilSquares
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:38 pm

Again, I wasn't there, but if the engine is shutdown, then the only thing wrong is it's windmilling.

It's certainly not the same situation as a fire or overheat.
Fly fast, live slow
 
skidmarks
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:45 pm

As far as I can see this is another example of "BA" bashing.

While I am not a particular fan of the company, their procedures and safety systems are second to none. Certainly better than many other airlines. If the decision was made to proceed with the flight (in an American built aeroplane!) I would suggest that it was the correct decision.

Too many people think they know how to run an airline better than the airline itself and could do well to climb off their soapbox and take stock of their own infallibilities.

Personally I get fed up with those people across the pond having a go at BA, who are managing to keep their head above water without any Chapter 11 help or government interference. They may not be the best company to work for but they are one of the best at what they do.

Incidentally, I work for BACX, a subsidiary of BA and have no particular love for them. They are reducing manpower and keeping us in a state of flux regarding our jobs and future. But I don't go around slanging off everything they do.

Andy
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
N79969
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:49 pm

Philsquares,

I do not think this is a question of legal versus illegality but of sound airmanship/judgment.

You are a 744 pilot, correct?

Would you elect to continue if you experienced an engine loss immediately after takeoff and you had 10 (make it about 11) hours of flight time ahead of you including overflight of remote areas?

From the left seat perspective, what is the thought process that goes into this decision? Is it simply a matter of having enough gas to make it across and favorable forecasts of winds aloft etc?

I am sure UA and NW would get it from both barrels as well if they tried it. No question.

Stronger than encountered headwinds and not getting the ideal altitude are things that airlines cannot plan for and they should not be penalized.
 
gkirk
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:50 pm

Got to love the armchair pilots  Big thumbs up
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
PhilSquares
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:55 pm

Actually, it sounds more like muck raking journalism to me. Perhaps bad judgement there.

Again, as I stated in my first post, I wasn't there. I don't have access to the information the captain/crew did. Again, the same comments would have been launched if the flight diverted due to unexpected headwinds or less than planned altitude.

That is just what happened on this flight. What I would or would not have done is really irrelevant. The crew did absolutely nothing illegal and I don't know what info they had or didn't have so I can't comment on their airmanship or judgement. I can comment on the lack of research in the WSJ report. It is factually wrong.

The simple solution is one the FAA has proposed; and that is to implement ETOPS for all aircraft. Then the ground rules change and the aircraft would have to land short of it's destination.

Sounds to me like Dispatch/MX and OPS knew the JARS/FARS and took advantage of them. Same thing happens every day with US ops. Just take a look at the redispatch flight plan system.

I do agree you have to love all the experts(?) here!

[Edited 2005-03-01 14:57:25]
Fly fast, live slow
 
JGPH1A
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:55 pm

What was the reason given for diverting the flight to MAN ?
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
gkirk
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:59 pm

JGPH1A,
The passengers wanted to go shopping at the Trafford Centre...
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:08 pm

Quoting Gkirk (reply 17):
The passengers wanted to go shopping at the Trafford Centre...


Aahh - the Rain Forest Café. I understand completely !
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
AMSSpotter
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:18 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (reply 16):
What was the reason given for diverting the flight to MAN


Due to the BA-crew's desired flight-level being unavailable, they had to fly at a slightly lower altitude. This caused a higher fuelburn, resulting in the diversion to MAN (source: Flight Mag.).
 
Spike
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:25 pm

Manchester is where the skallys keep the engines hidden. And they've got some good gear to go with it. I'd go with the pilot's decision on this one...
 
JGPH1A
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:31 pm

Quoting Spike (reply 20):
Manchester is where the skallys keep the engines hidden


Those skallies - look what they did the aircraft. This pic was taken 20 minutes after it landed. They even nicked the paint !


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages



 Laugh out loud
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AA7573E
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:24 am

Beyond the increased fuel burn due to the lowe altitude, the rudder had to be employed throughout the entire flight to keep the plane flying straight (2 engines on one side, one on the other), further increasing drag and fuel consumption - which in the end would seem to this observer to increase the overall cost of operating the flight, and make one wonder even more as to why they did not return to LAX to have the problem fixed.
See you up front!
 
hardiwv
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:05 am

Quoting DoorsToManual (reply 2):
On at least 2 separate occasions following engine shut-down shortly after take-off from EZE (Buenos Aires), BA has elected to continue 744 flights across the Atlantic.


Incorrect, the plane has a stop-over in GRU before continuing to LHR.
 
Spike
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:21 am

Well you wouldn't want to land in the jungle would you? Best keep going on three what ho!
 
Ready4Pushback
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:58 am

Quoting Carduelis (reply 7):
As usual, if you want to believe the press, then do so, but I can assure you that any decisions taken were made in the interests of not only safety, but also for passenger convenience!

Absolutely - at the end of the day, if I was on that flight, and it returned to LAX, I would have been pretty pissed off to find that we could have continued safely. Whether or not the passengers admitted it, I bet they were pretty pleased they weren't over-nighted in LAX while the problem was sorted. If they did complain, they were probably just after some compensation, just like the WSJ is only trying to sell papers, and like any newspaper, it will be pretty much prepared to say whatever it needs to do that.

Quoting Skidmarks (reply 12):
Personally I get fed up with those people across the pond having a go at BA, who are managing to keep their head above water without any Chapter 11 help or government interference. They may not be the best company to work for but they are one of the best at what they do.

Totally agree with this 100%!
 
jc2354
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:19 am

Did the passengers know what was happening?
If not now, then when?
 
col
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:09 am

Only mistake the Captain made was not asking the pax to vote:
1) Do you want us to dump fuel for a few hours, return to LAX, spend a couple of hours being greeted by those happy customs people, wait a little longer for your bags, line up at BA for Hotel voucher, wait for cab to hotel, stay overnight. Come back tomorrow, line up to check in, spend a couple of hours going through customs/security, line up to get on board the plane again, then spend 10/11 hours over to LHR.
2) Go to LHR now, with the option that we might have to divert into MAN if fuel gets low, but you'll be in London only a few hours late.

Tough call - not, hell I'd go with one engine rather than use LAX Internationally!

Nothing was done illegally, all the correct people were involved with this decision process, people whom know more about this than you or I, so can we move on?
 
AA7573E
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:34 am

Hey Col. You can move on, if you like, as you are not required to read or participate in this thread.

I don't see a single reason why the PAX or crew would of had to clear customs if the plane returned to LAX, since none of the PAX or crew had been in a foreign country as the plane left from a US airport and returned to a US airport. If you mean immigration, they would likely not have to clear that either, as there is nowhere for them to immigrate from, again, having not left the US.

Checking in for a flight from LAX to LHR does not require that you go through customs, when is the last time you flew internationally? The PAX would have to be provided accommodations, and yes that would take some time. However, odds on bet would be the majority of PAX asked would rather spend the night in LA, rather than fly for 10 hours to an Manchester, and then deal with the hassle of immigration, customs, re booking connections, or making their way back home.

Again, if they had the calculations right, and it was indeed a safe move to fly to LHR on three engines, they should not of needed to divert to MAN, yet they did. Good thing they did not get the calculations more wrong, and hit critical fuel levels closer to the middle of nowhere. This would be an entirely different thread had that occurred, and I think that is the point of the article, and most of the participants in this thread that agree with the article.
See you up front!
 
travelin man
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:39 am

It's now hit the Los Angeles Times (from today's paper):

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...0,1554462.story?coll=la-home-local

British Airways jumbo jet lost power in an engine on takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport last month, but the pilot elected not to make an emergency landing for repairs, deciding instead to continue the 5,400-mile, transatlantic flight to London on the remaining three engines, officials said Monday.

Because of unfavorable winds and inefficiencies resulting from the engine loss, the Boeing 747-400 burned more fuel than anticipated, and the pilot was forced to cut the nonstop flight short and land in Manchester, England, the airline said.

The incident occurred three days after the European Union required European-based carriers to compensate passengers whose flights were delayed.

But Diane Fung, a spokeswoman for British Airways, said the pilot's decision had nothing to do with that requirement.

"We would never compromise the safety of our passengers," she said. "The plane is certified to fly on three engines. It is perfectly safe to do so. The pilots are trained for such situations."

Aviation officials in England and the United States are looking into the incident, and two retired jumbo-jet pilots now serving as air safety consultants said they were amazed at the decision to continue the flight.

"It's not impossible for him to make it, but he'd be a fool to try it," said Barry Schiff, a former TWA pilot. "That decision just doesn't make any sense."

Mel Heflinger, who used to fly 747s for United Airlines, said, "I think he really stretched his luck to try to make the whole trip on three engines."

"We are concerned," said Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration. She said officials were determining whether any federal regulations were violated.

Robin Hayes, British Airways' executive vice president for operations in the United States, said the incident was not unprecedented. He said a British Airways 747 lost an engine after takeoff from Los Angeles two years ago and continued on to London's Heathrow Airport without further problems.

Fung said the latest incident began as British Airways' Flight 268 lifted off from LAX at 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 20. It carried 351 passengers.

"Right after rotation, there was an engine surge, like a backfire," Hayes said.

Air traffic controllers at the airport tower saw sparks flying from the crippled engine and heard popping noises.

Checking his instruments, the pilot, whose name has not been released, decided to shut down the affected inboard engine on the left wing, Hayes said.

Heflinger said the plane was quite capable of climbing out on three engines.

The pilot flew two 20-mile circles in a holding pattern over Santa Monica Bay, talking by radio with British Airways' flight technical team and operations control team in London.

"It was sort of a mini-conference," Hayes said. "But the final decision was up to the pilot."

Instead of choosing to dump fuel and return to LAX to repair or replace the crippled engine — a delay that officials say could have held up the flight for five hours or more — the pilot continued to England. Hayes said the passengers were told about the situation and the decision.

European Union regulations that went into effect Feb. 17 require airlines to pay each passenger up to $523 for delays of more than four hours on flights longer than 2,215 miles.

The pilot and the airline officials in London "wouldn't even have discussed that," Hayes said. "The procedure [continuing a flight on three engines] is within our normal operating protocols."

He said the airline had continued long flights with an engine out on several occasions.

"Normally, pilots are not that interested in what the bean counters are thinking about back home," said Peter Garrison, a pilot and contributing editor to Flying magazine. "The basic rule is that the captain has final authority over what the flight does. But I don't think most pilots would have undertaken such a bizarre-sounding flight, partly just because it sounds kind of dangerous. Sooner or later, someone is going to find out, and that's just bad PR."

Schiff said a 747 flying on three engines would reduce the margin of safety. "You can't go as high and you can't go as fast," he said. "The airplane doesn't perform as it was designed."

Flying lower, a 747 consumes more fuel. And because one engine is out, the plane crabs slightly, forcing the pilot to correct with deflection of the rudder — the large, hinged slab on the vertical part of the tail. Rudder deflection creates drag, further increasing fuel consumption.

On Flight 268, these fuel-consumption problems were exacerbated by tail winds weaker than anticipated. It eventually became clear that the plane could not make it to Heathrow.

"There were several alternative landing fields," Hayes said. "The pilot chose Manchester" — 163 miles from London.

He said the pilot made a routine landing with enough fuel on board to satisfy international safety regulations.


In my opinion it may not have been "dangerous", but it was certainly bad PR. Yes, the B744 can fly on 3 engines. But "can" is different than "should". Going 5,000+ miles with a full load of passengers? I am not sure of that. And it seems that going over the North Pole and an ocean creates a greater risk when there is a question of fuel consumption.
 
DoorsToManual
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:42 am

Quoting Hardiwv (reply 23):
Incorrect, the plane has a stop-over in GRU before continuing to LHR.


Incorrect, there was no such stop 5 years ago.
 
kellmark
Posts: 542
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:43 am

No we can't.

It is ludicrous to go 10 hours or more with an engine out especially across an oceanic area , in the winter and at night. It was NOT the safest course of action. It was the one with the most risk.

This is NOT legal at a US carrier. There is a specific FAR (121.565) which prohibits this. Also the US has a joint responsibility dispatch/operational control system that would prevented this from happening by not giving the crew a release to continue. The Europeans do not have these safeguards. In Europe it is perfectly legal to continue on forever with an engine out on a 4 engine aircraft and it is done commonly by European carriers. That is exactly the problem.
 
carduelis
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 8:24 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:48 am

As usual, more journalistic claptrap! They've just woken up to reporting an event that took place TEN days ago, and then plagiarize stories from other equally misinformed newspapers!

BA took the correct decision! There was never any danger to passengers!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
travelin man
Posts: 3198
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:57 am

You have several very experienced pilots saying that the decision was NOT correct. BA supporters are looking at this as "BA Bashing", when I think this would have been the reaction for ANY airline that chose to do the same thing. Quit taking it personally.
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1406
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:13 am

well, it may have been safe, but if I were on that flight I would have wanted them to return to LAX. Thank you very much!
 
antares
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:47 am

Can any of the pilots reading this thread tell me much trouble this flight would have been in had one of the three remaining engines failed, say over Greenland, or even if doing a precision approach in poor weather to an airport.

I am told that in the late 80s when BA may have had different standards a Concorde service from JFK was told that because of impending fog at LHR he should land at an alternate in Ireland. Instead he continued to London and was sacked on the spot.

If that anecdote is true, can we assume said Concorde captain would today be considered a company hero for the inconvenience and cost saved to the passengers and airline?
 
codeshare
Posts: 1689
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:23 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:52 am

How come the whole thing happened in LAX, again? That's strange...
How much A is there is Airliners Net ? 0 or nothing ?
 
DoorsToManual
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:02 am

Antares, as part of the factors that were taken into consideration when deciding to continue or to return or divert, the crew took into account mimimum safe altitudes along the entire route, as well as expected fuel burn and minimum flying altitude on 2 engines.

This information I gathered from reading pprune.

With regards to your Concorde story, I've never heard of it, and to be honest I think it's a red herring.
 
antares
Posts: 1367
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RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:27 am

Doors toManual,

Thanks for the info. The Captain concerned on the Concorde incident as told to me may have been named Bristow and was at one time the 'face' of BA in advertising. He disappeared overnight because of the alleged incident.

Then again red, dead or badly smelling herrings are not unknown in any industry.

I must admit that the decision to go so far over water on only three engines is disconcerting reading to mere customers.

Maybe the North Atlantic is a tame pond with warm, pleasant waters, but it seems rather unprofessional to those of us led to believe reputable airlines don't take chances.

This sounds to me more like a press-on-regardless attitude, the results of which have killed thousands of air travellers in China, Asia and regions where flight standards took a long time to instill into the flight culture of new airlines.
 
JDD1
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:31 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:33 am

I would much rather fly over the Atlantic on three engines than over the North Pole on two.
 
PDXFlyer
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:12 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:47 am

I don't see the WSJ as bashing anyone. They simply took time to get interviews with actual 747 pilots who know something on the subject.

Rather than bashing them for doing so, you would think the folks in this thread would notice they tried not to do idle media speculation on the topic and went to find out from those who know.
 
DAYflyer
Posts: 3546
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:35 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:01 am

I dont see what all the hubub is about. It flew on 3 engines. So what?

Now if it were a 767 or 777 I would call that nuts.
One Nation Under God
 
antares
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:56 am

DoorsToManual,

A few more questions since you were kind enough to answer my earlier query.

What would be the sustainable two engined altitude of the 747 in question once it was halfway across the Atlantic?

Had the same problem that caused the first engine shutdown then 'bitten' the crew and caused another shut-down while out over Greenland or the North Atlantic, would the increased fuel burn have forced a landing at the nearest available airport, presumably in Greenland or Iceland?

It seems to me that whether or not the pilots flew within the rules (and obviously with BA's operational approval) they must have been gambling that the unknown cause of the first engine failure would not subsequently affect any more of the engines.

Isn't this a pointer to an airline with a safety culture crisis?

Antares
 
lnglive1011yyz
Posts: 1502
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:23 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:10 am

I know what I'm about to say is going to spark a bitter debate, but I think it needs to be said (if it hasn't been said already).

The 747 has 4 engines. The 747 was designed with the capabilities to fly on 2 engines should the need arise. What would be the statistical #'s on the chances of it loosing an additional engine and/or more than 1 additional engine?

I'm sure after a discussion with London, they ascertained that the remaining engines were operating within operating specifications, and they elected to continue on flying.

They had ample time and ample chances to divert before making the big trek over the arctic/pond (Not familiar with the route, so I am not sure which way it went), should have anything occurrred.

Now, that being said, had I been on that plane, I am almost certain I would have asked for hte nearest parachute, stiff drink and demanded that the plane land.

People are paid and given the responsibilities to make these decisions. I'm sure the pilots wouldn't have put themselves in harms way either folks.

1011yyz
Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
 
DCAYOW
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:24 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:23 am

Maybe middle course would have been best - don't waste fuel and piss off environmentalists by dumping fuel off Santa Monica.

Continue flight direct to JFK, YUL, YYZ, IAD or BOS and check engine there. They would have had plenty of diversionary airports on the way.

If they had gotten to JFK by 0600 (not improbable leaving at 2130) they would have caught the daylight flights to LHR on BA/AA and probably would have been within the 5 hours delay provision.

That of course if BA/AA were able to accomodate on the daylight flights.
Retorne ao céu...
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:30 am

>>>Also the US has a joint responsibility dispatch/operational control system that would prevented this from happening by not giving the crew a release to continue. The Europeans do not have these safeguards. In Europe it is perfectly legal to continue on forever with an engine out on a 4 engine aircraft and it is done commonly by European carriers. That is exactly the problem.

Absolutely...

At least he didn't have a gear stuck down (instead of a bum engine) and try to press on... We know what -that- results in...  Big grin


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Tomys
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:25 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:49 am

Quoting Jdd1 (reply 39):
I would much rather fly over the Atlantic on three engines than over the North Pole on two.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter, does it?  Smile

Just a question, do I have, as passenger, any possibility to express my concern after announcement and to 'refuse' to continue?  Smile
 
Kangar
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:37 am

It would be interesting to hear Boeing's views on this. Too much hysteria gets generated by the self appointed experts out there, and not enough research into the facts. Aircraft on a full complement of engines have on occasion had to land for fuel reasons before, where's the Hoopla about that? If this 747 had gone on to Heathrow without stopping, chances there would not have been a word about it. I'm not saying that's a good thing or not, but those are the facts.
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:51 am

I beg to differ with the statments that indicate that under the FARS the aircraft could not have continued. That is wrong. Under the FARS a 3/4 engine can continue to it's destination, as long as the applicable fuel reserve requirements can be met. However, a 2 engine aircraft after an engine failure does have to land at the nearest suitable airport in terms of time.

There is no requirement to land a 3/4 engine short of it's destination after an engine failure. Please note, I am not talking about an engine fire. That is a completely different situation.

FAR 121.165 reads as follows(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, whenever an engine of an airplane fails or whenever the rotation of an engine is stopped to prevent possible damage, the pilot in command shall land the airplane at the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, at which a safe landing can be made.

(b) If not more than one engine of an airplane that has three or more engines fails or its rotation is stopped, the pilot in command may proceed to an airport that he selects if, after considering the following, he decides that proceeding to that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport
Fly fast, live slow
 
kalakaua
Posts: 1430
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:23 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:03 am

By the way, about Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, or Forbes, etc.... (those "business" media establishments), you might want to spell things out in the clear, because I thought you were talking about Boeing for a moment. BA is Boeing's ticker symbol, so I associated WSJ-->Business-->BA-->ticker symbol-->for Boeing. I thought I'd let you know, because I'm a shareholder. Thanks!
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.

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