anthonyspider
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Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:36 pm

"Qantas boss Geoff Dixon has denied a cover-up by the airline after a report that a packed passenger jet flew with a huge hole torn in its side."

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=175879
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:44 pm

VH-OJC, can tell you that it took 8 days for the plane to arrive back in Sydney.
 
ZKNBX
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:50 pm

That doesn't answer the Q Did it leave SIN and fly to FRA with a hole... or didn't it? And how did it ferry back to SYD?
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:53 pm

Quoting ZKNBX (Reply 2):
That doesn't answer the Q Did it leave SIN and fly to FRA with a hole... or didn't it? And how did it ferry back to SYD?

read the artcile properly..

"Perth businessman Karl Dunbar said he could have crawled through the hole, which was the size of two refrigerators, that he saw in the jet at Frankfurt."

yes it did fly to Frankfurt. flew home 8 days later.

whats of interest is the ATSB has no investigation report at all regarding the matter...

[Edited 2007-01-09 11:57:17]
 
ikramerica
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:01 pm

Are there cameras all over the jet showing in the cockpit? If not, and the pilots couldn't tell there was a tear in the fuselage near the gear, what are they supposed to do? They landed, the hole was discovered, and the jet didn't fly again.

The whole story seems to hinge on a Perth businessman who claims QF is covering something up. This man is who and why does that statement mean anything?
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Tristarsteve
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:10 pm

Sounds like a non story to me.
If a tyre lost its tread on take off, and damaged the fibreglass wing body fairing, there could easily be no indication to the crew, and no safety implications. There would be a slight fuel consumption increase, but thats about it. The damage would like really bad, but not damgerous.
It would take time to fix as no one holds spare fairings, it would come from Seattle and it is huge. Would need a freighter to carry it.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:13 pm

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 5):
Sounds like a non story to me.

Exactly. So is it a cover up that QF didn't call the media and say: "look at our plane. put it on the news and don't explain that to the public that it was cosmetic damage, albeit it nasty looking cosmetic damage."

What business pursues the press for negative press? Only a TV station would think that was the right course of action...
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PanHAM
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:14 pm

What mnakes me wonder is how that Perth businessman detected that hole in the aircraft. The flight arrives here between 5 and 6 am and passengers usually disembark through a jetway at T2.
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QANTAS077
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:02 pm

ahhh...it did occur and the plane did sit on the ground in Frankfurt for 8 days or so being repaired.

http://www.vpmag.com/yssy/viewtopic....hp?t=15524&highlight=qf6+frankfurt
 
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zeke
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:16 pm

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 5):

If a tyre lost its tread on take off, and damaged the fibreglass wing body fairing, there could easily be no indication to the crew, and no safety implications. There would be a slight fuel consumption increase, but thats about it.

On a pprune thread at the time this was posted :

Quote:
Apparently a Qantas -400 suffered a tyre failure during the take-off roll at Singapore on the 9th MAR. Cabin crew noticed the vibration & loud "bang" prior to rotation. 15mins after the event the cabin crew managed to notify the cockpit crew. S/O dispatched to the offending area. No further follow-up action sought from the Skipper. Aircarft continues to Frankfurt. Half way into flight, hydraulic leak detected. Aircraft lands with blown tyre. Damage to Port Leading, Trailing edge and aircraft fueslage. One 3m gash(As big as 2 Fridges)to the fueslage with some ribs missing. Aircraft was swiftly moved to a remote bay. Just wondering, was this well handled?



That photo popped up on pprune when this happened on a previous event.
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CroCop
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:00 pm

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 3):
whats of interest is the ATSB has no investigation report at all regarding the matter...

Why would they care? If it doesn't involve US aviation does it matter to the ATSB?
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jasond
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:11 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 4):
The whole story seems to hinge on a Perth businessman

Why would he make it up?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 9):
On a pprune thread at the time this was posted :

Quote:
Apparently a Qantas -400 suffered a tyre failure during the take-off roll at Singapore on the 9th MAR. Cabin crew noticed the vibration & loud "bang" prior to rotation. 15mins after the event the cabin crew managed to notify the cockpit crew. S/O dispatched to the offending area. No further follow-up action sought from the Skipper. Aircarft continues to Frankfurt. Half way into flight, hydraulic leak detected. Aircraft lands with blown tyre. Damage to Port Leading, Trailing edge and aircraft fueslage. One 3m gash(As big as 2 Fridges)to the fueslage with some ribs missing. Aircraft was swiftly moved to a remote bay. Just wondering, was this well handled?

Was it a cover up because it occurred, no. Was it a cover up because the aircraft continued to FRA after something was up immediately departing SIN and at least some crew were evidently aware that something was amiss yet the aircraft didn't do the prudent thing and return to SIN, potentially yes. If this is true, surely some embarrassment for QF of the way this was handled in my view.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:35 pm

Quoting CroCop (Reply 10):
Why would they care? If it doesn't involve US aviation does it matter to the ATSB?

ATSB = Australian Transport Safety Bureau, and of course, QF is an Austrailian airlne, so they do care.
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jfk777
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:53 pm

Why would Qantas risk its vaulted reputation on operating a 13 hour flight over many third world countries with inferior facilities at those in Singapore Changi. Returning seemed the prudent thing to do, having to land in Pakistan or Russia seems a highly unappetizing prospect.
 
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United787
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:55 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 7):
What mnakes me wonder is how that Perth businessman detected that hole in the aircraft. The flight arrives here between 5 and 6 am and passengers usually disembark through a jetway at T2.

I bet that he, as well as most of the passengers, heard the bang and wondered what it was. Upon landing and de-planing, maybe there was a little suspicious buzz over the newly discovered damage that caught his attention so maybe he made an effort to find a window to see the plane for himself. I know it is often difficult to get a view of the plane at many airports...

Quoting Zeke (Reply 9):
Half way into flight, hydraulic leak detected.

Not being a pilot, I am not sure at what decibel level a "loud bang" warrants turning the aircraft around but certainally a hydraulic leak should be reason to land the plane, am I wrong? I am surprised they continued to FRA?
 
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litz
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:46 am

Remember, a "bang!" is not unnecessarily a bad thing ... yes it's a cause for concern. But when you're airborne, you can't get out and do a walkaround - you have to rely on your instrumentation.

If the instrumentation doesn't say something's broke, you have no way to know if something's broke.

Apparently, it wasn't until the hydraulic leak was detected that they realized something was wrong. The procedures for dealing with a hydraulic leak may well say you can keep going, apparently in this case as far as the original destination.

It costs $$$ to stop short, after all ... so if you can safely keep going , there's no reason not to. Provided doing so is within procedures, regulations, etc.

Now, mind you, had they turned the flight around and sent it back to Australia with the hole unfixed, that would be a different story.

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Gr8Circle
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:04 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 13):
Why would Qantas risk its vaulted reputation on operating a 13 hour flight over many third world countries with inferior facilities at those in Singapore Changi. Returning seemed the prudent thing to do, having to land in Pakistan or Russia seems a highly unappetizing prospect.

And why do you think that so-called Third World countries, more respectfully referred to as 'Developing countries' do not have the facilities to repair an aircraft? And how would it affect QF's "vaulted" reputation to land there in an emergency...? Don't really understand what you are trying to say.....

[Edited 2007-01-09 18:06:25]

[Edited 2007-01-09 18:07:12]
 
PanHAM
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:23 am

Quoting United787 (Reply 14):
I bet that he, as well as most of the passengers, heard the bang and wondered what it was. Upon landing and de-planing, maybe there was a little suspicious buzz over the newly discovered damage that caught his attention so maybe he made an effort to find a window to see the plane for himself. I know it is often difficult to get a view of the plane at many airports

That is what I meant, if the flight had a gate position (and I've been on QF 5 several times myaself and always deplaned through a jetway, he could not have seen the damage,

Different story if it was an remote stand and passenegers were bused to the terminal.
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Zkpilot
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:33 am

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 16):
And why do you think that so-called Third World countries, more respectfully referred to as 'Developing countries' do not have the facilities to repair an aircraft? And how would it affect QF's "vaulted" reputation to land there in an emergency...? Don't really understand what you are trying to say.....

have you seen accident rates in 'developing countries' compared to 'developed countries'? Sure a lot of them are due to ATC/pilots, but a lot of them are due to planes breaking in one way or another/faults etc... Some 'developing countries' have good work practices regarding aircraft mx... many do not!
As for landing in these countries, whilst safety is the highest priority, there is also the issue of what to do with the pax... no visas, hotels, transport, no arranged ground handling, refueling, let alone organising a repairer. They don't know how long they will be there, would take a long time to get a replacement aircraft and crew up there. If the crew don't know that its reasonably serious then the logical course of action is to either continue on or turn back, not to put down in some Third World Country/'Developing Country'
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BA787
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:55 am

Sounds to me like everything was done by the book. Just some idiotic business man looking for a story and possibly a little cash. Daft tw**
 
ikramerica
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:36 am

Quoting Jasond (Reply 11):
Why would he make it up?

Not that he made up the incident.

That he is an authority on what is being "covered up" and such.

HE'S the person who said it was "two refrigerators" and he is not an expert. Eye witnesses who are irate like to exaggerate for effect.

Sounds like they did the procedure correctly. They heard a noise, they checked all systems, they visually inspected from the inside, they monitored things during flight, they found a leak and determined it would not threaten the mission, and when they landed, they took the jet out of service.

I guess the only thing they could have done differently was to circle the airport and have a ground personal with binocculars and do a visual inspection, but that may be hard on a heavily loaded 744.
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QantasA380
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:32 am

Quoting Jasond (Reply 11):
Was it a cover up because it occurred, no. Was it a cover up because the aircraft continued to FRA after something was up immediately departing SIN and at least some crew were evidently aware that something was amiss yet the aircraft didn't do the prudent thing and return to SIN, potentially yes. If this is true, surely some embarrassment for QF of the way this was handled in my view.

Just because the cabin crew hear a "loud bang" on take-off, that doesn't mean that an aircraft needs to return to origin for a forced landing. If the cabin crew tell the flight crew, but the flight crew have no warnings, cautions or other indication of an actual problem with the aircraft, why would they turn it around??

As for the hydraulic leak, just because the media says it was "half way into the flight" doesn't mean it was exactly half way - if it was even 100nm on the German side of half way when they noticed the leak, then the sensible thing is to look for an alternate airport ahead of the aircraft. Given the area where halfway on QF5B falls, the nearest appropriate alternate would be either way north of track in Russia, or in the very East of Europe, in which case why not fly the extra hour to your intended destination if it won't harm the aircraft or anyone on board?? At least then you have your airline's own people to take care of things, your passengers get where they want to be, you don't stuff up the crew schedules, you have other airlines with the technical expertise to work on your aircraft, etc.

As far as I'm concerned, they did everything by the book - they conducted their own investigation, and they notified the relevant authorities. So what if they didn't immediately notify the media, where is it written that an airline must notify the media of all incidents?
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ANITIX87
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:41 am

Quoting CroCop (Reply 10):
Why would they care? If it doesn't involve US aviation does it matter to the ATSB?

The United States' safety board is the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). The ATSB is the Australian Transportation Safety Board.

How could a hole that big only result in a small enough increse in fuel consumption that the aircraft made it all the way to FRA from SIN? It seems like the drag from that would be significant, and I'd imagine, though I admittedly don't know much about this, that the sheer speed and force of the wind would be a risk of more metal skin ripping off, no?

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ikramerica
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:45 am

Quoting QantasA380 (Reply 21):
So what if they didn't immediately notify the media, where is it written that an airline must notify the media of all incidents?

Exactly. Media calls everything a cover up if they weren't contacted. I asked before, what smart business contacts the media about a non-event just to foment bad press due to poor or sensationalist reporting?

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 22):
How could a hole that big only result in a small enough increse in fuel consumption that the aircraft made it all the way to FRA from SIN?

Again, the passenger is the one who said it was that big...
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QANTAS077
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:26 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):
Exactly. Media calls everything a cover up if they weren't contacted. I asked before, what smart business contacts the media about a non-event just to foment bad press due to poor or sensationalist reporting?

i think you'll find the anomaly is that the ATSB has NOT investigated the matter in a satisfactory manner, they have no incident report/findings of any nature into the matter, that seems rather strange considering the plane sat at Frankfurt for 8 days being repaired. this type of occurence would see a report on the ATSB site.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:36 am

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 24):
this type of occurence would see a report on the ATSB site.

when dealing with government agencies, my first thought is a paperwork snafu, not a coverup.

it may well turn out to be one, but let's let the dust settle first.
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RedChili
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:07 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 13):
having to land in Pakistan or Russia seems a highly unappetizing prospect.

I really don't understand why they should make a detour to Russia since the flight passes over countries where a 747 is much more common.

Quoting BA787 (Reply 19):
Just some idiotic business man looking for a story and possibly a little cash

How do you know that he was "idiotic" and not "afraid"? How would you feel if you heard a bang in your airplane, and your flight crew would decide to keep flying for 13 hours without knowing the cause of the bang?

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):
Again, the passenger is the one who said it was that big...

In the pprune thread mentioned by Zeke in reply 9, there's a guy who states:

Quote:
I saw the damage on its return to syd and it was significantly larger hole that resulted in approx 5-6 wing to body fairings replaced in syd(basically all those fairings in that photo were rooted) . This is in addition to a T/E flap torque tube and a couple of gear doors and brake lines that were replaced in FRA.
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QANTAS077
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:21 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 25):
it may well turn out to be one, but let's let the dust settle first.

the dust settled 10 months ago...how long do they need to start an investigation?
 
ikramerica
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:30 am

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 27):
the dust settled 10 months ago...how long do they need to start an investigation?

did it? the media is saying there's a cover up. I said my first instinct is that it's a paperwork snafu, and since this part of the story is just now coming out, the dust hasn't settled on what actually happened and whether it may very well be a paperwork snafu.

I've worked with two many government agencies in construction to jump to the immediate conclusion that if they can't find the record of something, someone's done something illegal...
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gearup
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:01 am

Sounds like a storm in a tea cup. This does happen from time to time although it is rare. The number of airframe losses due to failed tyres is very small although one high profile event can colour the media's attitude. I am thinking here of the unfortunate loss of the AF Concorde. This perticular event just proves to me how tough the 747 is.

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Gr8Circle
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:19 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 18):
have you seen accident rates in 'developing countries' compared to 'developed countries'? Sure a lot of them are due to ATC/pilots, but a lot of them are due to planes breaking in one way or another/faults etc... Some 'developing countries' have good work practices regarding aircraft mx... many do not!
As for landing in these countries, whilst safety is the highest priority, there is also the issue of what to do with the pax... no visas, hotels, transport, no arranged ground handling, refueling, let alone organising a repairer. They don't know how long they will be there, would take a long time to get a replacement aircraft and crew up there. If the crew don't know that its reasonably serious then the logical course of action is to either continue on or turn back, not to put down in some Third World Country/'Developing Country'

I'm sorry, but in an emergency, the pilot would not sit thinking about the repurcussions of landng in a developing country v/s a developed country, or what sort of hotels or transport is available, etc. The important thing is to get the aircraft down at the nearest available emergency airport, which would already have been planned for...
 
Electech6299
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:31 am

Quoting Litz (Reply 15):
If the instrumentation doesn't say something's broke, you have no way to know if something's broke.

Not to mention quite a few ways of seeing what's NOT broke, which is rather more significant...

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 27):
the dust settled 10 months ago...how long do they need to start an investigation?

Where is your inside information that the ATSB never started an investigation? The absence of a listing on a website is not conclusive. First, show me the requirements of exactly what circumstances demand an ATSB investigation. Second, if such an investigation was warranted (in your opinion), provide me with documented proof (or at least a quote from someone with such proof) that the investigation never took place. Finally, find me some support for the claim that the lack of investigation was "covered up" by the ATSB and/or the airline.

If you can't provide those three basic things, stop blowing smoke.

Quoting RedChili (Reply 26):
In the pprune thread mentioned by Zeke in reply 9, there's a guy who states:
Quote:
I saw the damage on its return to syd and it was significantly larger hole that resulted in approx 5-6 wing to body fairings replaced in syd(basically all those fairings in that photo were rooted) . This is in addition to a T/E flap torque tube and a couple of gear doors and brake lines that were replaced in FRA.

So it was ferried back to SYD without the fairing repaired? Obviously not a significant flight risk, if that's the case.
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jasond
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:53 am

Quoting QantasA380 (Reply 21):
Just because the cabin crew hear a "loud bang" on take-off, that doesn't mean that an aircraft needs to return to origin for a forced landing. If the cabin crew tell the flight crew, but the flight crew have no warnings, cautions or other indication of an actual problem with the aircraft, why would they turn it around??

If my car made a loud bang when leaving the driveway I would be returning it to the driveaway as soon as possible, warnings or not. At the end of the day anything abnormal about the flight that early on should have prompted a return to their origin. Had they done that, we wouldn't be discussing it in this forum. It isn't the fact that damage was caused that is the issue here, it is because the decision to continue to FRA was questionable and reflects badly on QF reputation.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 20):
Not that he made up the incident.

That he is an authority on what is being "covered up" and such.

Fair enough  Smile
 
NAV20
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:27 am

Quoting Jasond (Reply 32):
At the end of the day anything abnormal about the flight that early on should have prompted a return to their origin. Had they done that, we wouldn't be discussing it in this forum.

We very possibly would have been, Jasond, under a heading like, "Qantas Pilot Panics - Delays Passengers For No Reason." Probably kicked off with a press report of the very same disgruntled passenger saying how fed up he was about the flight turning round and landing back for no reason....

There was simply no evidence suggesting that anything was seriously wrong. No variation in cabin pressure, no vibration, no change in aircraft performance, no evidence of damage from an internal inspection; only a report that flight attendants had heard a bang 15 minutes previously.

The pilot made the decision to continue, while monitoring the situation. As others have said, if any evidence of trouble developed along the way, there were alternates available. It turned out to be the right decision.

Nor did the incident require more than the most cursory investigation. A tyre-burst is a tyre-burst, it caused only superficial damage, and there were no injuries. There were therefore no safety considerations requiring investigation.

[Edited 2007-01-10 01:47:21]
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QANTAS077
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:35 am

Quoting Electech6299 (Reply 31):
Where is your inside information that the ATSB never started an investigation? The absence of a listing on a website is not conclusive. First, show me the requirements of exactly what circumstances demand an ATSB investigation. Second, if such an investigation was warranted (in your opinion), provide me with documented proof (or at least a quote from someone with such proof) that the investigation never took place. Finally, find me some support for the claim that the lack of investigation was "covered up" by the ATSB and/or the airline.

If you can't provide those three basic things, stop blowing smoke.

do you see me saying coverup? the ATSB investigate far less significant aviation issues in this country, just find it suprising that NOTHING has come of this incident.

go back and read the article in the first post...the ATSB didn't investigate or issue a report.

http://www.atsb.gov.au/aviation/notification/reporting/index.aspx

if something is reported to them it's fairly safe to conclude that they'll release some finding into the matter..bit hard to do that if they didn't investigate in the first place.
 
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jetmech
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:07 am

Quoting United787 (Reply 14):
but certainally a hydraulic leak should be reason to land the plane, am I wrong? I am surprised they continued to FRA?



Quoting Litz (Reply 15):
The procedures for dealing with a hydraulic leak may well say you can keep going, apparently in this case as far as the original destination.

The 747 has four independent hydraulic systems, so a leak in any one of them would not really be an emergency. If you lost two systems, the aircraft would still be controllable, but you would probably be looking to divert to the nearest suitable airport.

All four hydraulic systems power the primary flight controls on the 744 (rudder, aileron, elevator), so the loss of one system is no big deal. The primary control surfaces are each made of two sections. In other words, there is upper and lower rudder panels, inboard and outboard elevators on each side of the tailplane, and inboard (high speed) and outboard (low speed) ailerons on each wing. IIRC, each of these individual primary flight control surfaces is powered by two hydraulic systems except the outboard elevators.

I seem to remember that a Pan Am 747 had a landing mishap during the early days of 747 operations. This caused the loss of three hydraulic systems. IIRC, the flight controls on a 744 are powered as such (I'm stretching the memory here so please add any corrections);

  • Upper rudder 1+3
  • Lower rudder 2+4
  • L/H O/B elevator 1
  • L/H I/B elevator 1+2
  • R/H I/B elevator 3+4
  • R/H O/B elevator 4
  • L/H O/B aileron 1+2
  • L/H I/B aileron 1+3
  • R/H I/B aileron 2+4
  • R/H O/B aileron 3+4
  • I/B T/E flaps 1 + electric backup
  • O/B T/E flaps 4 + electric backup
  • Spoilers (left to right) 3,2,2,3,4,4,4,4,3,2,2,3
  • L/E flaps (slats) pneumatic + electric backup.


      Say for example you lost systems 2, 3 and 4 on the 744, and were left only with system 1, you would still have full power to the L/H O/B elevator, half power to the L/H I/B elevator, half power to both of the L/H wing ailerons, half power to the upper rudder and full power to the I/B flaps, a very dicey proposition but enough to get you back on the ground.

      Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 22):
      that the sheer speed and force of the wind would be a risk of more metal skin ripping off, no?

      The lower wing to body fairing panels are made of fibreglass, and are attached to a metal skeletal structure. This skeletal structure is attached at various points to fuselage structure. I would say that the wind force would probably rip the fibreglass panels off the skeleton structure before any damage occurred to the fuselage skin.

      Quoting Jasond (Reply 32):
      If my car made a loud bang when leaving the driveway I would be returning it to the driveaway as soon as possible, warnings or not. At the end of the day anything abnormal about the flight that early on should have prompted a return to their origin. Had they done that, we wouldn't be discussing it in this forum. It isn't the fact that damage was caused that is the issue here, it is because the decision to continue to FRA was questionable and reflects badly on QF reputation.

      It seems that the crew knew they would have to deal with a blown tyre on landing whether they returned to SIN or FRA, so in the absence of any other anomalies, why return to SIN?

      Regards, JetMech
JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair :shock: .
 
rwylie77
Posts: 322
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:12 am

I think this is much less of a drama than BA continuing their 744 back to LHR after losing an engine...
 
Electech6299
Posts: 606
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:13 am

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 34):
if something is reported to them it's fairly safe to conclude that they'll release some finding into the matter..bit hard to do that if they didn't investigate in the first place.

That would not be a safe assumption. See this link:
http://www.atsb.gov.au/aviation/procedures.aspx

Quote:
In categorising aviation transport safety matters and selecting which of those the ATSB should investigate, the decision-makers must consider:

The potential safety value that may be gained by conducting an investigation
On board fatalities and/or serious passenger injuries, and provision of support to state coroners
The public profile of the occurrence
The extent of resources available and projected to be available and, in the event of conflicting priorities,
Any risks associated with not investigating
The requirement under s21(2) of the TSI Act for the Executive Director to publish reasons (justification) for discontinuing an investigation where an investigation has already commenced.

This was a non-event, not worth an investigation. And once again, even if they did do an investigation, are they required to post their findings on the website? No.

Perhaps the topic should be "Seven covers up the investigation into the Qantas 744 tyre burst!" Seven has utterly failed to report on the facts, but in an av forum with industry insiders we *should* know better than to side with the news without anything else supporting the claim.

edit: link

[Edited 2007-01-10 02:16:57]
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
jbernie
Posts: 206
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:50 am

First post so go easy  Smile

Something to think about before being too critical of Qantas and the ATSB is the source of the report. To be fair I haven't lived in Australia for 7 years now, but for the 24 years before that I did.

From the ninemsn link provided, it sites Channel 7 as the source. I can't say Channel 7 is what we could regard as the best source for investigative journalism. Like alot of major networks they do tend to go for the sensational aspect of the story, the bigger the headline the better the ratings. Nothing better than a major company putting the lives of 400 people at risk by flying a damaged plane for 13 hours to get an extra boost in the ratings.

Could one of our Australian residents confirm if this was 7 news or was it their today/tonight current affairs show? Also was it a local report (one city only) or put on their national shows? Given the low level of media drama so far it appears to have been a local report, that or no one watches Channel 7 anymore?  Smile

As to our businessman, obviously he isn't wanting to have his reputation shot to pieces, he described what he saw, but show two people the same thing and you can have two different responses. I would be concerned myself if i just got off that plane and saw a big gash. Though something the size of 2 refridgerators and big enough to crawl in seems to be conflicting.

I won't say the journalist got him to agree to say something to boost the drama/outrage, but two fridges, I could drive my car through something that big if the whole is made the right way. A better report would have stated a more realistic set of dimensions. To be honest, I was thinking a heft chunck of fusalage had come off, but then saying you can only crawl in? Mini bar fridges maybe?

Obviously better to be safe than sorry but I'm sure Qantas is not exactly wanting to try and ruin their safety record but losing a 747 midflight. And as previously stated by others, just because the media wasn't informed doesn't mean there was a cover up. Lots of things happen in Aviation every day (as we see here) but how much of it ever really ranks as major news?
 
david27
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:54 am

Sounds like a storm in a tea cup.
 
Electech6299
Posts: 606
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:13 am

RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:08 am

Quoting Gearup (Reply 29):
Sounds like a storm in a tea cup.



Quoting David27 (Reply 39):
Sounds like a storm in a tea cup.

Sounds like a storm in a tea cup.

Is there an echo in here?  Wink
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
QantasA380
Posts: 208
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:32 am

Quoting JetMech (Reply 35):
Quoting Jasond (Reply 32):
If my car made a loud bang when leaving the driveway I would be returning it to the driveaway as soon as possible, warnings or not. At the end of the day anything abnormal about the flight that early on should have prompted a return to their origin. Had they done that, we wouldn't be discussing it in this forum. It isn't the fact that damage was caused that is the issue here, it is because the decision to continue to FRA was questionable and reflects badly on QF reputation.

It seems that the crew knew they would have to deal with a blown tyre on landing whether they returned to SIN or FRA, so in the absence of any other anomalies, why return to SIN?

Exactly!! Your car is far less capable than a 747 of telling you that the bang means there is definitely something wrong. The loud bang could have been anything, like some baggage shifting in an overhead locker, or something moving in a galley. If there is no abnormality with the way the aircraft handles and no indication of a problem with an engine or anything else, why would the crew elect to spend hours burning off fuel to return to origin, only to spend even more hours on the ground and then refuelling.

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 30):
I'm sorry, but in an emergency, the pilot would not sit thinking about the repurcussions of landng in a developing country v/s a developed country, or what sort of hotels or transport is available, etc. The important thing is to get the aircraft down at the nearest available emergency airport, which would already have been planned for...

Yeah, it would already have been planned, and it would be in Europe, not one of the 'developing countries' along the way. Qantas would not possess diplomatic clearances to land in those countries, and nor would most of the people on the aircraft (including the crew)...
Virgin Blue - what colour's RED????
 
jasond
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:33 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 33):
Nor did the incident require more than the most cursory investigation. A tyre-burst is a tyre-burst, it caused only superficial damage, and there were no injuries. There were therefore no safety considerations requiring investigation.

And that is a fair comment but that is fairly easy to say in hindsight (being the wonderful thing that it is). To play devil's advocate here though for a second if a member of the cabin crew had heard a 'loud bang' would other passengers have heard it too? Would a seasoned traveller well used to normal operations find it unusual? Would have they brought it to the attention of the crew? Did the flight crew make an announcement at anytime during the flight etc etc. In the interests of balance I will concede that it is well known that tyres on large aircraft such as the 747 burst all the time and in many cases it goes unnoticed until arrival. In a small number of these cases debris from the burst tyre might hit the fuselage. The degree of noise 'heard' from this I would assume relates in part to the both impact force applied and the location of the impact regardless of how much physical damage is inferred by the crew, warning indicators or otherwise. I still stand by my original comment that anything abnormal about the flight during the take-off phase where the cause was unknown or in doubt then this should have prompted a precautionary and prudent return to the point of departure. The media reporting of whatever the action taken was is a separate issue because as we know, they are ill-informed and they consistently get it wrong.

Quoting JetMech (Reply 35):
It seems that the crew knew they would have to deal with a blown tyre on landing whether they returned to SIN or FRA, so in the absence of any other anomalies, why return to SIN?

I guess the issue would then be in making that decision comes down to whether the crew inferred physical damage to the fuselage from the 'loud bang' that was heard. It's a borderline call, I concede. For mine, that may be the core of this issue i.e. the decision that was made by the crew at the instant. History has shown a favourable outcome, the next one may not be.

Respect to you both  

A couple of other points just occured to me as well. Firstly there has been a few references in this discussion about the assumed desire by the operating crew to perhaps not return to SIN for the want of not burning extra fuel, inconveniancing pax and affecting timetables etc. Respectfully I would suggest that adding commercial criteria to a decision making process that potentially affects safety perhaps would be undesirable.  Wink

Secondly if there was any doubt could a visual fly-by at SIN be conducted (not sure of the practicality of this in truth). If in the event that physical damage was sighted by ATC you would assume that the crew would then return in this circumstance.

[Edited 2007-01-10 04:01:48]
 
Gammagirl
Posts: 33
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:42 pm

Quoting Jbernie (Reply 38):
Could one of our Australian residents confirm if this was 7 news or was it their today/tonight current affairs show? Also was it a local report (one city only) or put on their national shows? Given the low level of media drama so far it appears to have been a local report, that or no one watches Channel 7 anymore?

From what I recall, it was a 'seven exclusive' run as the first story on the evening news and went for a couple of minutes,It also included comments critical of Qantas (and the authorities) from Dick Smith, the ex -CASA boss (I think). Don't know if it went out anywhere other than Sydney.

My question, as an interested outsider, is would a gash like that have increased the possibility of some sort of explosive decompression, or is the outer skin irrelevant to pressurisation?
 
mohavewolfpup
Posts: 129
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:44 pm

Quoting Jbernie (Reply 38):
Given the low level of media drama so far it appears to have been a local report, that or no one watches Channel 7 anymore?

there was the incident a while back involving the jetblue? craft I believe it was with the front wheel that had failed and was turned side ways.

I watched a report from nbc? I believe it was or fox, can't remember which.

eitherway, they had some "experts" (oh lord) on there with a map of the airport, and a DC9 or DC10 plane model (forgot which one)

their expert analysis of the situation? one of them took the model, propped the map up so the camera could see it, and then tried "landing" the model on the satellite? photo of the airport.

"wow, I hope the plane can land, that airport runway looks small" was basically what they said. I wish I could remember the exact quote/context, but god was it horrible.

they had concern that because the runway was small (according to a aerial photo or a satellite photo) the plane couldn't land! someone forgot to tell them "not to scale" :p

I think that incident happened 2 years ago, so I doubt the video footage of that team of media morons is still online for download somewhere.
 
Electech6299
Posts: 606
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:09 pm

Quoting Gammagirl (Reply 43):
My question, as an interested outsider, is would a gash like that have increased the possibility of some sort of explosive decompression, or is the outer skin irrelevant to pressurisation?

My understanding (pls correct me if I'm wrong) is that the damage occurred to the fairings (shaped fiberglass trim) along the connection between the wing and the fuselage, and not the fuselage (or "skin") itself.

Damage to the aluminum hull from a shredded tire would certainly raise the risk of explosive decompression, but I believe the hull in this area is reinforced just for this reason.

Hope this helps
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
TheJoe
Posts: 60
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:10 pm

Quoting Gammagirl (Reply 43):
My question, as an interested outsider, is would a gash like that have increased the possibility of some sort of explosive decompression, or is the outer skin irrelevant to pressurisation?

As JetMech said, the damaged part of the aircraft was only an aerodynamic fairing made of fibre glass. The panels are only really designed to deal with aerodynamic loads and are not highly stressed. Panels such as these are attached in such a way that if the were torn from the aircraft, the fasteners holding the panels or supporting structure would fail before the mounting structure or brackets actually attached to the skin. This significantly reduces the chance of explosive decompression because the aluminium stressed skin - the actual pressurised structure would remain safe and the damaged structure would just tear away from the aircraft. Imagine the pressure vessel as a giant can of coke with reinforcing frames, longerons and stringers on the inside. All the rest of the shape is provided mainly by composite fairings, none of which carry the primary flight loads of the aircraft.
 
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zeke
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:49 pm

The ATSB just released a media release about this incident http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2007/release/2007_1.aspx
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
jasond
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RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:11 pm

Fair use extract:

"After further review of the circumstances of the tyre burst, the ATSB agrees with the Singapore authorities that a major investigation would not contribute to future safety in a manner that would be likely to lead to an improvement in 747 or tyre design, manufacture or operations. "

It talks of no benefit to be gained from an investigation that would improve safety due to physical design. Interestingly it does not mention human factor improvements that could be made (if any). i.e the crew's reponse and action taken when initial noise was heard on take-off that led to the decision to continue to FRA rather than return to SIN. I can only assume that everyone was satisfied with the crew response in this incident. i.e no cover up
 
monteycarlos
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:16 pm

RE: Qantas Denies Cover-up Over Damaged Jet

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:18 pm

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 5):
If a tyre lost its tread on take off, and damaged the fibreglass wing body fairing, there could easily be no indication to the crew, and no safety implications.

Except for an EICAS warning showing a blown tire, or a tyre pressure of "0".

Quoting QantasA380 (Reply 21):
Just because the cabin crew hear a "loud bang" on take-off, that doesn't mean that an aircraft needs to return to origin for a forced landing.

I would expect that any of the cabin/flight crew I roster would consider it prudent for a return to originating port. Loud bangs are not common in flight or upon takeoff or landing, despite what any of you think.

Quoting Electech6299 (Reply 31):
Obviously not a significant flight risk, if that's the case.

Significant depressurisation risk though.
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...