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clickhappy
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BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:45 pm

Whats this all about?

Air traffic controllers monitoring a British Airways jumbo jet were stunned at the pilot's decision to try to "get as far as we can" after an engine caught fire on takeoff, a transcript of discussions between the plane and the control tower revealed.

The controllers in Los Angeles expected the four-engine Boeing 747 to turn around but, after taking advice from BA's operations base, the pilot carried on towards London. He told air traffic control: "We just decided we want to set off on our flight-plan route and get as far as we can."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/ba/story/0,,1880285,00.html
 
Leskova
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:52 pm

Sounds like the same incident talked about here: FAA Drops Its 3 Engine 744 Case Against BA (by Zeke Sep 24 2006 in Civil Aviation)
Smile - it confuses people!
 
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clickhappy
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:53 pm

weird that they would rehash an old story....pretty deceptive.
 
khobar
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:59 pm

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 2):
weird that they would rehash an old story....pretty deceptive.

Well, it is The Guardian. Any chance to stir the pot...
 
lincoln
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:00 pm

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 2):
weird that they would rehash an old story....pretty deceptive.

I'm making the assumption that the article published in the Wall Street Journal late last week is what's stirring everything back up.

In that article, references were made to tapes released by the FAA under a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request by the Wall Street Journal -- now that we are actually hearing the discussions, it's shedding new light on the controller's concerns.

Or at least that's my take.

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
Feroze
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:07 am

Lincoln,

I have just read the hard copy version of the article and it was indeed the WSJ obtaining the information that you mention that was the precursor for today's article in the G:

Quote:
But the transcript, obtained by the Wall Street Journal under US freedom of information laws, may reignite the controversy.

Feroze
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting Feroze (Reply 5):
Quote:
But the transcript, obtained by the Wall Street Journal under US freedom of information laws, may reignite the controversy.

I doubt it. The details were known by those concerned at the time.

See here, as well:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/156420
 
Feroze
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:48 am

Quoting David L (Reply 6):
Quoting Feroze (Reply 5):
Quote:
But the transcript, obtained by the Wall Street Journal under US freedom of information laws, may reignite the controversy.

I doubt it. The details were known by those concerned at the time.

I should have mentioned that I was quoting the Guardian article. I don't think the AAIB report transcripted the FAA ATC conversations, though I could be wrong.....I'm working and not able to read through it at the moment!

Regards,

Feroze
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:56 am

Quoting Feroze (Reply 7):
I should have mentioned that I was quoting the Guardian article.

That's why I included the word "quote".  Smile

Nevertheless, I don't think there's anything new here, other than that FAA is dropping the case and BA are changing their four-engine, engine-out procedures while flying in the US.
 
ThePRGuy
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:01 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 3):
Well, it is The Guardian. Any chance to stir the pot...

With many of their left wing headlines, one would assume they are a cheap tabloid. Saying that, at least it isn't the Daily Mail, they probably would have mentioned the same story but with a few more foreign/illegal immigrants and homosexuals involved
Thanks
PR
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A320ajm
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:51 am

I don't see what all the fuss about.
The BA Pilots obviously knew what they were doing and deemed it safe. If they had lost another engine then they could have used ETOPS (only joking lol)
Anyway, nobody was hurt and i think they did they right thing.
If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
 
DC8FanJet
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:52 am

Old news. The incident was completely within BA operating procedures and FAA doesn't have any regulatory say.
 
Lee
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:17 am

Its funny how this has only just surfaced in the media when it happened ages ago. Its like that Onur Air story that was posted her weeks ago, was only in the papers in the last few days.
 
aviateur
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:54 am

The Guardian story was probably picked up because the Wall Street Journal recently revisited the incident after the FAA (wisely) announced it was dropping its months-long inquest into the matter.

I wrote two articles about the BA 268 incident for Salon.com's "Ask the Pilot" column. The editors of Airliners will not allow me to link to any of my stories directly, but if you'd like to hear my opinions on the matter, please send me an email, either via the Airliners interface or directly.

PS

Aviateur@askthepilot.com
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:04 am

Quoting DC8FanJet (Reply 11):
The incident was completely within BA operating procedures

And Boeing's!
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:09 am

This is getting confusing. I'm going to suggest deletion so we can focus on the earlier thread:

Quoting Leskova (Reply 1):
Sounds like the same incident talked about here:
FAA Drops Its 3 Engine 744 Case Against BA (by Zeke Sep 24 2006 in Civil Aviation)

 Smile
 
Charliejag1
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:22 am

Good old BA and their huge stones.
 
Asturias
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:40 am

I really don't care if BA deems it safe or not to continue on 3 engines over the Atlantic. Fact remains that incidents are a chain of events and an engine-out is a chain in such an event.

It means only that I won't fly BA, won't recommend people to fly BA nor respect BA.

cheers

Asturias
Tonight we fly
 
steve6666
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:56 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 17):
It means only that I won't fly BA, won't recommend people to fly BA nor respect BA.

In that case, you are welcome to the vastly superior service on Iberia.

If I am going down, I will damn well do it in style. On BA, sipping champagne as we hurtle to our doom.
A306, A318, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A346, A388, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B73G, B738, B742, B744, B752, B753, B762, B763, B764, B772, B773, B77W, B787-8, BAe-146, Cessna Something, DC-10, E175, E195, ERJ145, MD-11, MD-80, PA Something
 
kaddyuk
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:28 am

Quoting Steve6666 (Reply 18):
If I am going down, I will damn well do it in style. On BA, sipping champagne as we hurtle to our doom.

Style... BA... In the same sentance? I dont think so...  stirthepot 

Quoting Asturias (Reply 17):
It means only that I won't fly BA, won't recommend people to fly BA nor respect BA

You'll be be wanting to knock off quite a number of carriers from your "Airlines I Will Fly" list then...
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
Asturias
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:29 am

Quoting Steve6666 (Reply 18):
In that case, you are welcome to the vastly superior service on Iberia.

They're only impolite to non-Iberians  goodvibes  (especially Brits and Italians)

cheers

Asturias
Tonight we fly
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 17):
I really don't care if BA deems it safe or not to continue on 3 engines over the Atlantic. Fact remains that incidents are a chain of events and an engine-out is a chain in such an event.

It means only that I won't fly BA, won't recommend people to fly BA nor respect BA.

Have you read any of the suggested links or did you read them but still think you know better than the professionals, including Boeing?
 
jfk777
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:47 am

BA judement on this was ... poor. If this had happened over Chicago at 33,000 feet or half way from New York to LHR where the plane could maintain altitude then they should have continued. I remember reading this in the Wall Street Journal in 2005 when it happened, the pilots circled Los Angeles for 20 figuring out if they should land at LAX, fly to the east coast or fly all the way to the UK, they flew to Manchester, UK. A very highly fueled 744 circling LAX on 3 engines hardly be able to climb to an optimal altitude is not my idea of a safe airplane ride. Virgin would have landed at LAX.
 
Pihero
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:11 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 22):
the pilots circled Los Angeles for 20 figuring out if they should land at LAX, fly to the east coast or fly all the way to the UK,

Most of the dicussion was about the windmilling engine which could be irreparably damaged if operated too long without proper lubrification.

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 22):
A very highly fueled 744 circling LAX on 3 engines hardly be able to climb to an optimal altitude is not my idea of a safe airplane ride

They never did circle LAX. And are you familiar with the climb capability of a 744 on three engines ?
Contrail designer
 
Asturias
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:14 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 19):
You'll be be wanting to knock off quite a number of carriers from your "Airlines I Will Fly" list then...

I have no problem with this.  Smile

Quoting David L (Reply 21):
Have you read any of the suggested links or did you read them but still think you know better than the professionals, including Boeing?

Of course, I've read every link and every post. know flying on three engines is safe.. However, if you lose an engine, then there may be something else wrong and it may take out more engines or do damage in a different way. Then you are flying on two engines and that isn't so safe any more.

If you're going to jam yourself in semantics, then yes, BA and Boing are right. Flying on three engines is safe.

It really comes down to statistics and the chain of events, though. I lost respect for BA when I heard that they pulled this stunt again. All of the airlines I fly with would turn back and land the plane immediately because there is nothing more important to them than passenger and crew safety.

Not this arrogant "oh odds are we'll probably make it". This sounds a lot like get-home-itis. A dangerous disease. A plane is not airworthy on three engines, so it should return to the nearest safe airport. Without hesitation. End of story.

Either way, this is my choice. I won't recommend the second-rate (safety-wise) airline British Airways again. They're not so awsome service-wise either. Passable I suppose.

cheers

Asturias
Tonight we fly
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:42 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
Not this arrogant "oh odds are we'll probably make it"

You clearly have not read the links. You're not even close.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
pulled this stunt

Translation: operated within the regulations and safety guidelines.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
Then you are flying on two engines and that isn't so safe any more.

On two engines you do what you'd do in a twin with one engine out - you'd divert.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
All of the airlines I fly with would turn back and land the plane immediately

And you know this... how?  sarcastic 

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
I won't recommend the second-rate (safety-wise) airline British Airways again.

And I hope they won't pay any attention to your second-rate knowledge of the matter. Do you seriously think you know better than professional pilots?
 
PlainSmart
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:58 am

Engines catch on fire all the time and get shut down.
 
aviateur
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:05 am

The engine didn't catch fire. It suffered a surge.

That's the nature of a jet engine: certain, comparatively innocuous malfunctions tend to manifest themselves rather vividly, including loud noises and dramatic tongues of flame.

I'm not saying BA's crew did the right thing, necessarily, but malfunctions like that of flight 268 are quite different from an engine *fire,* per se.

PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
Asturias
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:07 am

Oh dear, a knowitall.. ok..

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
You clearly have not read the links. You're not even close.

I read the links. Are you going to dispute that again?

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
Translation: operated within the regulations and safety guidelines.

Regulations are just that. The even differ between countries. Yet the planes are the same.

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
On two engines you do what you'd do in a twin with one engine out - you'd divert.

Yes of course that's what I indicated, but you are in the same situation power-wise on 3/4 engines as you are on a 1/2 engines.

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
And you know this... how?

Experience.

Quoting PlainSmart (Reply 26):
And I hope they won't pay any attention to your second-rate knowledge of the matter. Do you seriously think you know better than professional pilots?

Of course they will pay attention to my knowledge. It is quite correct.

cheers

Asturias
Tonight we fly
 
slashd0t
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:33 am

I think you guys are all nuts.. Obviously the pilots, BA and Boeing found it safe enough to continue, so, it was a highly educated decision which did not end in tragedy.. I don't think there are any Boeing engineers commenting here are there??? Think of the cost of taking an extreme measure like landing a perfectly safe aircraft operating within guidelines of the manufacturer. It all comes down to risk assessment and in this case there was little risk ..
/.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:35 am

The WSJ article was very well done. The Guardian article was a pickup of that article. It examines the controversy about the decision to continue on three engines, and went into the legality of such a move as well as addressing the common sense issues of not going.

This is not as cut and dry as many of you would believe. And it is debatable which country's rules applies, as addressed in the article. The US ultimately decided to drop charges against BA, mainly because the PM has been very supportive of the current US administration.

I give The WSJ credit for FOIAing the tower tapes.

I personally think it was a short sighted and dangerous move. If something were to have happened we would all be screaming to high heaven. Just because you can do something, legally, does not mean you should do it logically. Dangerous move.
 
LJDRVR
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:42 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 17):
I really don't care if BA deems it safe or not to continue on 3 engines over the Atlantic. Fact remains that incidents are a chain of events and an engine-out is a chain in such an event.

It means only that I won't fly BA, won't recommend people to fly BA nor respect BA.

My God, the arrogance of non-pilots who read a few articles, and believe that their intellect and limited, cursory knowledge of aviation somehow grants them more of an ability to determine what's safe and non-safe than those of us who put food on the table with stick and rudder.

I would happily put my children on BA any day. (And have!) So, that's my opinion and I've flown for three airlines, flight instructed, served in the Air Force, and worked as both an Airline Director of Safety and Safety Systems /Human Factors consultant. Kindly enlighten us as to your background or experience to where you are in the possession of anything resembling even rudimentary knowledge of what's safe and not.

Please, enlighten us.

[Edited 2006-09-26 04:01:47]
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:51 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 28):
I read the links. Are you going to dispute that again?

So, you've read all the links, ignored the documented facts completely and made something up. Show us all where you got this from:

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
Not this arrogant "oh odds are we'll probably make it".

I think you'll struggle.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 28):
Oh dear, a knowitall.. ok..

I'm agreeing with the views of several airline pilots with four engine, long-haul experience. You're disagreeing with them. And I'm the know-all?  sarcastic 

Quoting Asturias (Reply 28):
but you are in the same situation power-wise on 3/4 engines as you are on a 1/2 engines.

Erm... what happens to a twin on 1/2 engines when another one fails? It it not the same situation as 3/4 engines.

There are clearly some professionals who wouldn't have done the same thing while agreeing that there was nothing wrong with what the BA crew did. That's not what you're saying. You're saying you're saying they were wrong and you're going to spread it around.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 28):
Of course they will pay attention to my knowledge. It is quite correct.

Oh well, that'll save the entire airline industry a lot of headaches.  sarcastic 
 
halls120
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:06 am

Quoting David L (Reply 32):
There are clearly some professionals who wouldn't have done the same thing while agreeing that there was nothing wrong with what the BA crew did. That's not what you're saying. You're saying you're saying they were wrong and you're going to spread it around.

These three articles underscore your first point very nicely.

http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/...05/03/04/askthepilot126/index.html

http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/...05/03/11/askthepilot127/index.html

http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/...05/03/18/askthepilot128/index.html
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
wjcandee
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:17 am

Quoting LJDRVR (Reply 31):
and worked as both an Airline Director of Safety and Safety Systems /Human Factors consultant



And with that experience, it's your opinion that it's not even debateable whether crossing the Pond on 3 was the right move? The FAA believed that it was not, and that the exception for 4-engine airliners to the FAR "land at nearest suitable" rule (the exception being that you don't have to land if it is "just as safe" to continue) was flat-out, unquestionably violated by crossing the Pond on 3. They charged BA with operating an unairworthy aircraft. Had it been an American carrier there is no question that they would have been fined. The carrier might have appealed, but there is no question whatsoever that they would have been fined and the crew's tickets would have been in jeopardy.

So is it actually your position, as a past Director of Safety for an airline (?!) that if you were brought into the discussion between your airline's dispatcher and the crew, you would have advised them to continue? That's quite interesting.

IMHO, the issue here about whether "Boeing engineers" or "pilots" think that the decision was a "perfectly safe" one is basically irrelevant. The US regulatory authority determined that it absolutely was not an act that complied with the FARs. The only problem for the FAA was that Part 121 doesn't apply to BA in this circumstance, Part 129 does, and the applicable British rule apparently doesn't prohibit the practice.

The FAA dropped the case because they probably weren't going to win, and they brought it knowing that, but brought it to make a point. They secured a commitment that BA would in the future avoid such extended 3-engine operation (on flights to the US, at least) just as American carriers would have done. Upon securing that commitment, they settled their case. They made their point, and there was thus no point in continuing the matter.

[Edited 2006-09-26 04:22:56]
 
richie87
Posts: 61
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:20 am

It seems to me that BA receives an inordinate amount of attention in the press and HERE when they continue a flight with one engine out on one of their B744 aircraft. I don't think that necessarily indicative of some manner of maintenance issue... just the fact that they do operate a large fleet of the type and perhaps it's "good press", if you call that good. I for one am not terribly worried at ALL about BA and their flight and safety decisions. I'm going from SEA to LHR in January on a B777 and have no doubt that they would return "somewhere" if an engine on a twin was inoperative. On the B744 which I'm forwarding on to Cape Town and then on return from JNB... I don't think I'd waste any time or thought on the subject.

I'm under NO impression that an experienced airman ( or woman ) who ascends to the Captain rank of one of these aircraft would make imprudent flight decisions that could in any way compromise basic flight safety. IF there is one thing they might have little control over... it's the nasty world of litigation... and that should frighten anybody in the industry even more than an engine-out incident.
 
wjcandee
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:21 am

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 27):
The engine didn't catch fire. It suffered a surge.

Well, that's what the crew said at the time, but I'm not sure that that's all that happened. I thought that the AIG concluded that the "surge" fried the engine. It was severly damaged, removed from the aircraft, and sent out for overhaul. It wasn't just repaired. (And, of course, the replacement No. 2 on that same tail number quit 2 weeks later on another long-haul flight, and BA continued to London on 3.)
 
LJDRVR
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:08 am

RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:00 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 34):
So is it actually your position, as a past Director of Safety for an airline (?!) that if you were brought into the discussion between your airline's dispatcher and the crew, you would have advised them to continue? That's quite interesting



Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 34):
And with that experience, it's your opinion that it's not even debateable whether crossing the Pond on 3 was the right move?

Hmmm Counselor.....

You're doing some assuming there, William.

What I was positing is that armchair quarterbacks such as Asturias who make blanket statements regarding the airworthiness of an airline based on their lay-person's opinions are way out of line, and a source of constant amusement/frustration to those of us who actually do this stuff for a living.

With my background is a line pilot and yours as an attorney, we're going to be approaching this issue from slightly different angles. Regarding the incident in question, I would have dumped fuel down to MLW and put it back on the concrete. That's just my personal opinion, keeping in mind that although I have over-water experience, it was all twin-engined jet. Lear 35/55. We can debate the legality vs. safety aspect of this all day long, what I'll offer up as an illustration of why it wasn't the best idea, was their diversion short of LHR for fuel. This is probably one of those areas where there are a lot of shades of gray. BA had the procedure in the book. Can't say I agree with it, but I wasn't sitting in that seat, I'm not going to criticize the crew, and back to the original reason I posted on this thread, I would certainly put my family on BA any day of the week.

Do you practice aviation law?

[Edited 2006-09-26 05:04:38]

[Edited 2006-09-26 05:07:23]
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:15 pm

Quoting Richie87 (Reply 35):
I'm under NO impression that an experienced airman ( or woman ) who ascends to the Captain rank of one of these aircraft would make imprudent flight decisions that could in any way compromise basic flight safety.

Ascending to the rank of Captain doesn't automatically and in and of itself make someone impervious to making errors. Last time I looked, pilots were still human beings, and thus still situationally capable of making errors, just as mechanics, dispatchers, F/As and aircraft traffic controllers all are. Errors are one way that people learn, and obviously there are all kinds of errors as far as scope and severity. Not all errors result in an accident. Some do. Some decisions have immediate ramifications. Some don't.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Cessna057
Posts: 417
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:32 pm

Quoting Clickhappy (Thread starter):
The controllers in Los Angeles expected the four-engine Boeing 747 to turn around but, after taking advice from BA's operations base, the pilot carried on towards London. He told air traffic control: "We just decided we want to set off on our flight-plan route and get as far as we can."

That is not smart. If there is any emergency, then that plane should be grounded ASAP!
Hold it . . . Hold it . . . HOLD THE FREAKIN NOSE UP!!
 
LJDRVR
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:08 am

RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:47 pm

Quoting Cessna057 (Reply 39):
That is not smart. If there is any emergency, then that plane should be grounded ASAP!

A single engine failure on a four engine jet is not considered an emergency, it's considered an abnormal.
 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:12 pm

Quoting LJDRVR (Reply 31):
My God, the arrogance of non-pilots who read a few articles, and believe that their intellect and limited, cursory knowledge of aviation somehow grants them more of an ability to determine what's safe and non-safe than those of us who put food on the table with stick and rudder.

Well, I'm a pilot and don't agree with the decisions of this BA flight crew. While I won't "never fly them again," On this particular flight I dont like the decision making.

Quoting LJDRVR (Reply 40):
A single engine failure on a four engine jet is not considered an emergency, it's considered an abnormal.

The term "emergency" is relative to who is flying the a/c. Every pilot handles "abnormal" situations differently, some will continue the flight while some land quickly. Me, I consider losing an engine, regardless of how many are on the a/c, an emergency....but my opinion is probably biased because all my experience is in single engine Cessna's so losing an engine is a real emergency.
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wjcandee
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:15 pm

Quoting LJDRVR (Reply 37):
Can't say I agree with it, but I wasn't sitting in that seat, I'm not going to criticize the crew

Now that's entirely fair. Perhaps I was reading too much into your original post.

FWIW, Austrius actually made a post on another thread on this subject that I thought was quite balanced, to the point, and rational.

As I said on that thread, I think it's a fairly-debatable point about the wisdom of the decision, and one that brings forth strongly-held opinions on both sides.
 
baw716
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:04 pm

This is an old story and has been beaten to death on a.net.

The BA captain made a decision. We may not like the decision he made. He was legal as far as the JAA goes, and evidently, the FAA is not going to push the issue (probably being pushed to drop it as quid pro quo to get a new bilateral with the UK....which hasn't been done since when??).

So, let's move on to something new.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
gkirk
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:29 pm

So why was the 747 certified, if it couldn't flyon 3 engines?
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aerofede
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:32 pm

I believe from experience as an ATC and talks with airline pilot, that, even on twin engine aircraft, an engine failure is not considered an emergency unless it includes fire or anything degrading tha capacity of the airplane.
Anyway, every airline has its own procedures regarding engine failure and how to cope with it. Surely, on a twin engine, the pilots would rather land at the closest airport, while on 3- or 4-engined aircraft, some may elect to continue flying. If i remember the right thing, this BA flight had to declare emergency later on, because they did not have enough fuel left to reach LGW, and they diverted to Shannon, because fuel burn with only 3-engines is higher because tha a/c has to fly at lower levels and also slower.

A couple of years ago a SAA A346 departed from MXP and at about 1000ft AGL had an engine failure accompained by some loud bangs.
At a safe altitude, they just restarted the engine and went on to JNB.
 
kaddyuk
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:37 pm

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 41):
The term "emergency" is relative to who is flying the a/c. Every pilot handles "abnormal" situations differently, some will continue the flight while some land quickly. Me, I consider losing an engine, regardless of how many are on the a/c, an emergency....but my opinion is probably biased because all my experience is in single engine Cessna's so losing an engine is a real emergency.

If you look in the QRH onboard the aircraft, i belive that flying with an engine out is in the Abnormal Procedures section... NOT the Emergency Section...
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David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:54 pm

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 41):
Well, I'm a pilot and don't agree with the decisions of this BA flight crew. While I won't "never fly them again," On this particular flight I dont like the decision making.

But how much experience do you have in flying four engined airliners long haul?  Smile

Quoting Aerofede (Reply 45):
If i remember the right thing, this BA flight had to declare emergency later on, because they did not have enough fuel left to reach LGW, and they diverted to Shannon, because fuel burn with only 3-engines is higher because tha a/c has to fly at lower levels and also slower.

Kind of.  Smile

They diverted to MAN. They didn't forget to recalculate the fuel situation but the winds were less in their favour than forecast and the the engine-out procedures weren't quite right. It became clear at some point that they wouldn't have enough fuel to arrive at LHR with the requisite reserves for holding and remaining fuel. They decided to land at MAN with the requisite reserves for holding and remaining fuel.

Quoting David L (Reply 25):
Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
All of the airlines I fly with would turn back and land the plane immediately

And you know this... how?



Quoting Asturias (Reply 28):
Experience.

I'd love to know which airlines you fly that suffer in-flight shutdowns on four engined airliners often enough for you to have experienced it with each of them while routing from a non-preferred maintenance base towards a preferred maintenance base.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 42):
As I said on that thread, I think it's a fairly-debatable point about the wisdom of the decision, and one that brings forth strongly-held opinions on both sides.

Absolutely but there's a big difference between saying one wouldn't have done the same and saying BA's decision was "wrong" or dangerous and that there should be a campaign to brand BA as unsafe.
 
David L
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:31 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 33):
These three articles underscore your first point very nicely.

Indeed. There's some interesting stuff on that site. Thanks go to the author of said articles.  Smile
 
vv701
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RE: BA Pilot Flies Despite Fire On 747

Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:13 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 24):
All of the airlines I fly with would turn back and land the plane immediately because there is nothing more important to them than passenger and crew safety.

I am no expert, but would not landing the plane 'immediately' put the passengers at high risk? As I understand it this aircraft had taken off from LAX bound for LHR some 5,400 miles away. I therefore assume that with fuel reserves its weight would be way above the maximum landing weight for a 744.

Is my assumption correct? If so clearly the option to 'land the plane immediately' is the most dangerous of those available to a 744 captain with one engine out when the aircraft is close to being fully tanked up.

Again if my assumption is correct the most dangerous airlines to fly with are those that Asturias flies as they, he asserts without qualification, would definitely land immediately.

Again if my assumption is correct the initial safe options were for the pilot to circle the aircraft over southern California to bring the aircraft's weight down to a safe level for landing or to head off along the original flight plan route.

I can see little if any difference from a safety aspect in either of these options. Let us suppose this was the pilot's decision after his conversation with BA in London. So the next question is recognising that his aircraft could fly on two engines what are the relative safety risks after reassessing the condition of the aircraft of continuing the flight over the North Atlantic compared to putting down at ORD or some other mid-west or eastern seaboard airport?

One thing for sure is that if the pilot at any time put his passengers at risk he also put his own life at risk which is a strange decision for any professional airline pilot to do.

Earlier in this thread several people queried why the Guardian was reporting in September something that happened in February. If they had read the Guardian article they would have seen that the report was about the report of the UK investigation into the incident and not the incident itself.