zionstrat
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 3:26 am

Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Thu May 01, 2003 10:39 pm

Folks-
Old age has hit to the degree that I can't remember enough details to get decent results from a search, but I'm sure y'all will recall the twin engine fuel starvation event from a couple of summers ago, where a Canadian flight repeated the Gimli glider event with a safe landing- I never saw the final report on this and completely forgot about it- Anyone know how it resolved?
 
sudden
Posts: 3934
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 5:20 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Thu May 01, 2003 11:17 pm

Wasn't that "starvation" a pilot error, if my memory serves me just a little correct?

Aim for the sky.
Sudden
When in doubt, flat out!
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Thu May 01, 2003 11:23 pm

Starvation by pilot error and saving of the day by extreme pilot skill. Latter should never have been needed of course, but it doesn't change the fact that those pilots subsequently saved the lives of all on board by a most extraordinary demonstration of ability, with a pinch of luck to boot.

Considered it myself as we flew past the Azores last night on the way back to LGW... still maintain that I probably couldn't pull it off. Not like they did.
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
 
Guest

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Thu May 01, 2003 11:51 pm

“A superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgment to avoid situations requiring the use of his superior skills.”

Somehow, I think that this aeronautical saying is appropriate in this case. The guy was a good stick, but used poor judgement...

Hence his need to demonstrate his superior skills.

Lucky group of people.
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
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RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 12:06 am

Wasn't the cause of the problem a leak in the fuel pipes in one wing? And that, when one wing became empty quicker than the other, the pilots cross-fed fuel to the leaking wing?

How did it resolve? Safe landing, I seem to recall. I think I read somewhere that the pilot won a medal for it, or some other honour, due to his exceptional handling of the situation...
 
zionstrat
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 3:26 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 12:18 am

That's the one- Anyone remember carrier, ac type, date, flt# etc to look this up?
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 12:20 am

Wasn't it an A330 or 767 by Air Transat from Canada?


FB05
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
zionstrat
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 3:26 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 12:45 am

Thanks FB05- That's what I needed to do the search:

AirSafe.com
24 August 2001; Air Transat A330-200; near the Azores Islands, Portugal: The aircraft was cruising across the Atlantic at 39,000 feet (11,900 meters) on a flight from Toronto to Lisbon when the right engine lost power.

Don't see anything about resolution though-

Thanks all!
 
Rick767
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 1:19 am

Jetguy, that is bang on and certainly applies in this case. But humans are humans, mistakes are made, and no-one can deny that after the mistake the crew pulled off a remarkable feat.

Good job it was an A330 by all accounts, a 767 wouldn't have glided that far. From what I am told by friends who fly the 332, it glides 160nm from FL390 at idle with those massive low drag wings. The 763 would make about 120nm...  Wow!
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
 
avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-Atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 1:37 am

It was indeed an AirTransat A-330. It ran out of fuel due to an improperly completed service bulletin on the engine fuel feed plumbing. They only complied with parts of the bulletin which left a pipe upstream of the fuel flow transmitter chafing until it eventually began leaking.
Since it was upstream of the transmitter the pilots had no indication of excessive fuel flow on the engine. It was also downstream of a pump so fuel loss was pretty rapid.
The plane has automatic CG control via fuel transfer between the main tanks and the horiz stab. The pilots either didn't notice or didn't consider significant the fuel transferring from the stab back into the main tanks.
There was no warning indication of the fuel from the left wing transferring to the right wing to feed the #2 engine and keep the plane in balance.
The first warning the crew had of a major problem was when they got the low fuel warning. There was no way for them, in the dark, to determine where they had a leak. All they could do, pretty much, was to watch the fuel going away and learn new prayers when the #2 and then the #1 engines quit.

There's lots of opportunity for Monday morning quarterbacking on this one. (Why weren't they aware of the fuel state of the aircraft, etc?) Let's be grateful for good piloting skills and an excellent glide ratio.

They arrived over Lajes Field with 8000ft. to spare after a 37 minute glide. The grooves in the runway were almost exactly on the centerline. I'd say that's excellent piloting.
You all may judge the rest...
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 1:41 am

OOPS, Sorry
it was 17 minutes, stinking fat fingers...

http://news.airwise.com/stories/2001/09/999855861.html
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
ThirtyEcho
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 2:26 am

“A superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgment to avoid situations requiring the use of his superior skills.”

Right on, Jetguy. Ever noticed how relaxed Chuck Yeager always looked, and still looks? That includes two combat tours in the ETO, those murderous rocket "X" planes, you-name-it. That permanent sly grin and twinkling eyes seem to be saying, "I'm going so close to the edge of the envelope that you won't believe it but I'm not intentionally crossing it."
 
Guest

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 6:37 am

No one appreciates more than I, what that captain pulled off after he screwed up so royally. As a glider instructor, I can only say "WOW!" That being said, it appears to me that IF he had followed the SOPs, he probably would have never had the need to demonstrate his superior skill. Like I said, they are one very lucky group of people.
 
aloges
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RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 8:04 am

Let's just say the pilot broke the chain of events in a very respectable and professional way - it's rather arguable what exactly started that chain.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Sinlock
Posts: 1631
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:55 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Fri May 02, 2003 1:35 pm

This is the Prelim from the NTSB Web Site.

_________________________________________________________________


DCA01WA062
Air Transat Flight TS236, an Airbus 330-200, while cruising at FL 390 on a flight from Toronto Canada to Lisbon Portugal lost power on the right engine. The left engine subsequently lost power about 13 minutes later.

Both engines lost power as a result of fuel starvation. There had been a leak in the fuel system near the right engine, and an open crossfeed valve allowed fuel to be lost from both wing tanks. The aircraft was diverting toward Lajes military airfield in the Azores after the leak had been noticed by the crew about an hour prior to the engines shutting down.

After the engines shut down, the airplane glided to a landing at Lajes and stopped on the runway where 9 passengers suffered minor injuries during the emergency aircraft evacuation.

_________________________________________________________________


"The aircraft was diverting toward Lajes military airfield in the Azores after the leak had been noticed by the crew about an hour prior to the engines shutting down."
 
Accidentally
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Sat May 03, 2003 9:02 pm

That pilot actually has quite a skeleton in his closet. I can't recall ever hearing about it from the media, either.

PICHE, ROBERT ERNEST
GDC ID: 0000211494
Sorry, this offender's photo is not available
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
DOB: 11/05/1952
RACE: WHITE
GENDER: MALE
HEIGHT: 0'00''
WEIGHT: 000
EYE COLOR: UNKNOWN
HAIR COLOR: UNKNOWN
SCARS, MARKS, TATTOOS

INCARCERATION DETAILS
MAJOR OFFENSE: TRAF MARIJNA 101-2000 LB
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: COASTAL STATE PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: 04/08/1986
TENTATIVE PAROLE MONTH: /
ACTUAL RELEASE DATE: 03/20/1985
CURRENT STATUS: INACTIVE

KNOWN ALIASES
A.K.A. PICHE,ROBERT E L
A.K.A. PICHE,ROBERT JOSEPH ERNE
STATE OF GEORGIA - CURRENT SENTENCES
CASE NO: 164516
OFFENSE: NOT AVAILABLE
CONVICTION COUNTY: CONVERSION
CRIME COMMIT DATE: 06/21/1983
SENTENCE LENGTH: NOT AVAILABLE
CASE NO: 164516
OFFENSE: other misdemeanor
CONVICTION COUNTY: TATTNALL COUNTY
CRIME COMMIT DATE: N/A
SENTENCE LENGTH: NOT AVAILABLE
CASE NO: 164516
OFFENSE: TRAF MARIJNA 101-2000 LB
CONVICTION COUNTY: TATTNALL COUNTY
CRIME COMMIT DATE: N/A
SENTENCE LENGTH: 5 YEARS, 0 MONTHS, 0 DAYS
STATE OF GEORGIA - PRIOR SENTENCES
STATE OF GEORGIA - INCARCERATION HISTORY
INCARCERATION BEGIN INCARCERATION END
01/11/1984 03/20/1985
Indianapolis, IN
 
Sinlock
Posts: 1631
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:55 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Sun May 04, 2003 2:55 am

Am I reading this right that he only served 14 1/2 months for trafficking 101-2000lbs of pot?
 
covert
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:02 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Sun May 04, 2003 3:36 am

Marijuana is nothing, that amount of coke would get him 60 years. Didn't you know that under 100 lbs. is disorderly conduct and will get you at most one year of probation and a fine??
none
 
Accidentally
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Sun May 04, 2003 9:43 am

I certainly don't think it contributed to this incident, so I hope nobody is making that assumption.

I'm very surprised the American tv show Dateline never mentioned it in their big program.

He was caught with "Over 220 kilos" (485 lbs) in a Piper Aztec by himself.

"Piche was charged with marijuana trafficking, failing to stop when pursued by a police officer, and obstructing a police officer"

"The newspaper reported that Piche was imprisoned in June and July, 1983 and again from Nov. 17, 1983, to March 20, 1985."

"Piche was subsequently transferred to a prison outside Georgia until he received a conditional release on April 8, 1986, according to La Presse. Piche was on probation until November, 1993."
Indianapolis, IN
 
airplay
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Sun May 04, 2003 11:25 am

There is a book published in Quebec (French only) that makes this guy (Piche) to be a hero.

He says his time in prison helped to prepare him to handle the deadstick landing that saved everyone.

I wonder if being "Bubba's" girlfriend made him screw up so badly that he found himself in the middle of the ocean with no fuel....

In my opinion, this guy is no hero.
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 1:00 am

"I certainly don't think it contributed to this incident, so I hope nobody is making that assumption."

If you're referring to his criminal past, I would agree. But an airline would well advised to not hire pilots with such a criminal record. I certainly would object to being in an airplane with such a pilot, no matter how capable he is. I am sure there are plenty of capable but law-abiding pilots around.

And as far as his being considered a hero in Quebec, that doesn't surprise me. The FLQ mailbox bombers of the sixties were also heros in some quarters.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
ha763
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 8:01 am

But an airline would well advised to not hire pilots with such a criminal record.

At least in the US, anyone who has an access to the AOA has to go through at least a 10 year background check. Now you also have to get fingerprinted. If you have a felony conviction you will not be able to access the AOA and if you have AOA access and are convicted, you lose your AOA access. So, this pilot would not have been hired by any US airline.
 
covert
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:02 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 8:41 am


If you have a felony conviction you will not be able to access the AOA and if you have AOA access and are convicted, you lose your AOA access.


It wasn't a felony...
none
 
ha763
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 2:25 pm

Actually, I think I'm wrong on the felony part. I found some of the crimes that disqalify a person from getting unsupervised access to the AOA/SIDA on the ANC website.

-Distribution of, or intent to distribute a controlled substance
-Importation or manufacture of a controlled substance
-Possession of a controlled substance punishable by a
maximum of 1 yr or more

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/crimes.html

It only looks for convictions for the past 10 years, but I wonder what the effect the probabtion would have.
 
captaingomes
Posts: 6251
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 1:33 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 3:28 pm

I don't think pilots with criminal records are hired here in Canada. The fact is Piche was pardoned for his crime, so therefore he has a clean record.

On the date of this incident, I got a call at very early in the morning from my aunt in Portugal. "Did you hear about your parent's flight?" she said loudly? I of course panicked and asked what happened? "It had to stop in the Azores because of some problem and didn't make it to Lisbon." Well ... thanks for scaring the sh1t out of me! "You should choose a new line of work, you'd be better off working in an office." My parents were in Lisbon checking in to fly back on that A330 to Toronto. I am just thankful this didn't occur on the way back on a routing where it could have quite possibly not been close enough to make it to land.

Robert Piche was off work for quite a while, but returned. However he wasn't the same, and I heard there was another incident with Piche, but it was kept hush hush. My source didn't want to tell me any details either. There was another time that Piche was supposed to fly, but for some reason the f/o decided he wasn't going to fly with him due to something Piche did.

In the end, that flight seems to have haunted him and affected his ability to function properly. He is on long-term disability leave now, but on a positive side, he's working on a movie about the incident!
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 4:38 pm

I wonder what it is about Canada and "fuel starvation".

I must remember to carry a parachute the next time i fly to Canada!

-Roy
 
VC-10
Posts: 3546
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 6:46 pm

Since it was upstream of the transmitter the pilots had no indication of excessive fuel flow on the engine. It was also downstream of a pump so fuel loss was pretty rapid.
The plane has automatic CG control via fuel transfer between the main tanks and the horiz stab. The pilots either didn't notice or didn't consider significant the fuel transferring from the stab back into the main tanks.
There was no warning indication of the fuel from the left wing transferring to the right wing to feed the #2 engine and keep the plane in balance


Firstly I acknowledge I am being a member of the hindsight club.

1) What happened to their fuel used vs fuel remaining chks?

2) The 330/340 will not auto t/fers fuel between wings automatically. The auto t/fers are

a) Ctr to Inner (wing)

b) Outer (wing) to Inner

c) Aft Fuel transfer from Ctr or Inner to trim tank

d) Fwd t/fer from Trim to either Ctr or inners
 
Airplanedude
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 4:43 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 7:09 pm


AFAIK know the fuel starvation was due to unproper spare fuel pumps.
Some dude replaced fuel pumps for both engines (AFAIK) that were not the original ones, but "looked pretty uch the same". I also recall, that the installation of these fuel pumps required a little different fuel pipe routingm so that the fuel pipes were in a place where they were not supposed thus beeing kinda ruptured.

Rough memories though, may not be exact.

Cheers,

Airplanedude
 
rendezvous
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun May 20, 2001 9:14 pm

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 8:26 pm

Why was there an emergency evacuation? It's not like the plane was on fire.... I mean, there wasn't any fuel to cause a fire was there!
 
bobrayner
Posts: 2038
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:03 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Mon May 05, 2003 10:07 pm

Hindsight again?  Wink/being sarcastic

They didn't necessarily know that all the fuel had been aerosol'd across a strip of the Atlantic.

Imagine some of it swilling around in a couple of voids somewhere... that could make for a very nasty accident.
Cunning linguist
 
avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Tue May 06, 2003 1:23 am

Actually there were wheel fires caused by the lack of rubber in contact with the runway. Emergency evac was appropriate.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
covert
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:02 am

RE: Final Report On Mid-atlantic Airbus Glider?

Tue May 06, 2003 1:31 am

Ha763,

Well, that was more than ten years ago, how about that job now?
none

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