Mr Spaceman
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A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:09 am

Hi Guys.

As you can see, the A340-642 in the 2 photos below experienced several blown tires after the pilots aborted the takeoff because of an open cockpit window warning ... as mentioned by the photographer.


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Photo © José Ramón Valero - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © José Ramón Valero - Iberian Spotters



My questions are .....

When an airliner has a cockpit window opened while taxiing, how are the pilots warned? Is there a visual and/or audio warning for the pilots that happens as long as the window is open?

Are cockpit windows part of the pre-takeoff checklist for airliners? (dumb question!  Laugh out loud).

Obviously I don't know what happened in the cockpit of that A340, but I suspect the pilots suddenly got an open window warning at some point during their takeoff roll and therefore aborted the takeoff.

I doubt very much that cockpit windows in airliners can become unlocked, unlatched, and pop open very easily, thus this A340's incident is probably quite a fluke. Perhaps the warning itself was false.

Has an open window warning ever suddenly happened to any of you pilots out there?

Finally, if the warning happened shortly after takeoff, and the window did actually open, would the the 200 knots or so blast of air into the cockpit make it hard for the pilots to close the window & lock it?


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Photo © Willem Honders
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Photo © Johan Kellerman



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Photo © Kevin Murphy
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Photo © Pedro Becken - Porto Spotter



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Photo © Alexander Gill
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Photo © Tom Mousel - Luxembourg Aviation Photography



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Photo © Emmanuel Perez - Luxembourg Aviation Photography
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Photo © Joakim Ewenson



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Photo © Bo Kim



Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
SlamClick
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:45 am

Wow! Rejecting a takeoff is a really serious decision. It is probably the most dangerous thing most pilots will ever do during their careers. Personally, I think if I'd gotten myself into that position by carelessness here's what I'd do.

Command the non-flying pilot to set the pressurization controller to MANUAL and the outflow valve to FULL OPEN to avoid pressurizing the cabin. Then try to close the window while leveling off at a lower altitude. If successful, re-set the pressure controller, continue on my way and call the chief pilot (and maybe the union) at the next stop. Oh, and I'd have the non-flying pilot check for a checklist or procedure.

Yes there is a warning on all jetliners for the cockpit windows.

IT GETS REALLY LOUD!!!!!

This thread struck me because the last thing I do when I'm cleared for takeoff is tap the window handle. One captain said to me: "There must be a story behind that." There is, but for another time.

All modern jetliners can be flown, unpressurized, with the sliding cockpit window open. I have done it in a DC-9. It is incredibly loud but there is not the tiniest breeze in the cockpit, even at 250 knots. Don't try to stick your hand out the window! What I am getting at is that it is not an emergency.

Fuse plugs blowing are not necessarily emegencies either, but wheel and brake fires, well, now it is getting bad. Emergency evacs - bad thing.


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SATL382G
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:38 am

While learning unusual attitude recoveries with my instructor years ago I had my door on a 152 come open. I had the hood on and was face down when it happened. I pulled my hood off and grabbed the door. Only time I saw my instructor less than confident.

When I closed the door I was looking pretty much straight down, so yeah I did a shorts/seatbelt check when we got down.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:14 am

Hi guys.

>> SlamClick, Thanks for your reply. I didn't think that a cockpit window suddenly opening during takeoff would warrant an "emergency" situation, so to learn from you that it really isn't (at those airspeeds anyways), makes me wonder why the Captain of that A340 decided to abort the takeoff instead of handling the open window as an inflight problem.

Perhaps the Captain's 20/20 hindsight had him/her wishing they had done otherwise. As you said, rejecting a takeoff is a really serious decision. The outcome could go very wrong.

It's neat to learn that the the last thing you do when cleared for takeoff is tap the window handle. Hopefully, you'll let us know what the story is behind that tradition some day.

>> SATL382G, Thanks for your reply. HaHaHa, nothing like a surprise skydiving lesson! Thank God your seatbelt was secured. I'm a husky guy, so everytime I flew dual in a C-150, I'd find it funny how my right shoulder would be rubbing against my instructor's left shoulder, while my left shoulder would be leaning against the left door.

It's a pretty tight fit inside those little aircraft. I'm surprised that I never had my door pop open.....especially during spin training.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
pilotaydin
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:02 am

this might be irrelevant, but at my old workplace, we were pretty serious about checklists, and we would have our own additions onto Cessna's....and it was Windows and doors locked and secured...and we would give it a push and a punch in the window to make sure it wasnt loose.

Now an open window is nothing but noise in a little cessna...however when we had student pilots with very few hours doing their first takes offs.....it would scare them and distract them, if the window popped open...and they would get distracted trying to close it instead of staying focused.....

just my 2 cents..

obviously the airline environment is a new set of rules/laws  Smile
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
SATL382G
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:15 am

It's a pretty tight fit inside those little aircraft. I'm surprised that I never had my door pop open.....especially during spin training.

I had the door pop once AND the seat runaway on another occasion. Seat & Door security check were added to my personal pre-takeoff checklist.

The door was amusing, but the seat could have been a bad day....
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
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CCA
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:13 am

I've flown with an S/O who was sitting on the J/S at the time on a flight where the Captains window (A340) opened during takeoff, the take off was continued as the window has a open limit of 230kts so he just helped the Captain close it once the A/P was in and climbing safely away. It scared the s%*t out of the crew as it flew open somewhere near V1 due to the previous crew/engineer not closing it properly.

I've been sitting behind the F/O (A340) during the takeoff roll when we could hear air leaking from his window during the take off roll fortunately he closed it properly on the roll.

There is no warning that a window is not closed properly.

Rgds CCA

[Edited 2005-02-01 00:16:41]
P1 in A330, A340, A346, B742, B744, B748.
 
IFIXCF6
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:59 am

I guess there is a reason for 767/757 placards in the (open) window frame, "WINDOW NOT CLOSED".

Regards,

Mike
 
bio15
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:18 am

CCA, are you referring to the A340 specifically when you say there is no warning?
---

Slamclick, if it's not much trouble, which aircraft do you fly?


Alfredo
 
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CCA
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:12 pm

None on the 330/340 and I'd say none on the 320s as well. Not sure about 777, 717s etc but I think like most A/C just check it's closed during the checklist.

WINDOW/DOORS............................CHKD CLSD

I always push the handle and have once felt it close properly.

CCA
P1 in A330, A340, A346, B742, B744, B748.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:52 pm

On the B737s No indication for Windows [Sliding] locked.But there is a Check list call out to chk the same prior to Engine Start.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
air2gxs
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:42 pm

As far as I know there is no requirement, and I could find none in the FAR's, for any kind of indication system in the cockpit for an open window in the cockpit. I believe the only indications available are visual and tactile.

IFIXCF6, back when I worked for DAL, my first day on the job at LGA I walked a B757 off with another mechanic and he was pointing things out to me. He mentioned he lost a substantial amount of respect for Boeing and its engineers when they included the "WINDOW NOT CLOSED" placard.
 
SlamClick
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:03 am

Bio15 I retired a couple of months ago but during my airline career I flew:

DC-3
E-110*
DC-9
BAe-146*
B-737 (CFM)*
A-330
B-767
B-757
A-320

* No type rating in these aircraft. It was not required on the E-110 at the time.

I also instructed in B-727 and B-737. All of this represents six airlines and a freight hauler some of which are still in business.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
bio15
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:11 am

Slamclick, thanks for responding. I'm sorry for being so picky, but you mentioned the following:
Yes there is a warning on all jetliners for the cockpit windows.

CCA responded to my question about which aircraft was he referring to when he said they didn't have the warning, and he responded the following:
None on the 330/340 and I'd say none on the 320s as well

---
I'm not intending to create controversy  Smile But what's the truth here? I am more interested in the description of the warning itself, how it is indicated to the pilots, which configuration specifically would trigger the alarm, does it vary from aircraft to aircraft...?

Thanks again, excuse me for so much questions
Alfredo
 
SlamClick
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:59 am

Ahh, I understand.

When I said there was a warning, I was not referring to a printed or engraved placard. I was referring to the noise!

"It gets really loud!"

Meaning that if the window was full open you'd hear it. If it popped open due to dynamic airload during the roll, there is no such warning.

Guess a  Smile was in order.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
EconoBoy
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:14 am

It seems that as the result of carelessness, the Captain of that Plane cost his company a lot of money (busted tyres and passengers having to be put on other flights etc). Is it likely to lead to disciplinary procedures, or just be written off by the airline?
 
bio15
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:06 am

OK, now I see, I should have read more thoroughly. It's amazing that an open window doesn't mean wind blowing in the cockpit, yet it sounds logical since there's no path inside the cockpit for the air to exit. I assume the pressure must get high though.

Thanks again Slamclick

Alfredo
 
SlamClick
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:15 am

Actually Bio15 it is that way by design. It is sometimes called a clearview window and it must be capable of being opened in flight to permit a landing if the windshield is covered with ice that cannot be removed or more likely, abraded by a volcanic ash encounter.

Bad thing is, many pilots don't know about that feature.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Yikes!
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:07 am

Rejecting a takeoff in a large jetliner is a major decision. Hence the briefing item at many major airlines: "Above 80 knots, I willl reject only for an engine failure, any fire, an obstructed runway or a controllability issue". Included in the controllability issue are multifple blown tires - a phenomenon very difficult to determine.

The incident at the head of this thread is one to make one think twice about abandoning a takeoff for less than really, REALLY serious reasons.
 
pilotpip
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:53 pm

I think the stories above bring up a good point. When something like this happens, FLY THE PLANE. With the exception of a couple models, the aircraft isn't going to fall out of the sky because a window is open. Just make sure somebody is flying the plane first and foremost.

This is a serious issue with any of the Socata aircraft. The gullwing doors have a tendency to rip off and on their way take out the horizontal stabilizer because of the airflow around the aircraft. My instructor had an incidnent last year where the door on the left side blew open, in actual with temps around 40 degrees. His student couldn't close it and held it down. In the process he nearly got frostbite.
DMI
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:21 pm

Slamclick.....Is the "clear view" feature you described a part of the B737s also.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
XXXX10
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:25 pm

Is it possible that the pilot aborted because he did not know the window had opened but just heard an unusual noise.

He might have thought it was FOD or a bird strike and decided to abort while he could.

I imagine it would be the duty of the non handling pilot to announce 'window open' or something like that and then the pilot would say either 'stop' or 'continuing'

I'd argue that with hindsight he did OK as everyone walked away.

Just my $0.02
 
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longhauler
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:59 pm

There is no warning for an open cockpit window on the A330/340, (or the 320 series for that matter) other than the noise mentioned above. In fact, I can't recall any warning for the cockpit window in any jet transport aircraft I have flown. (A320, A330/340, B727, B737, DC-9, DC-8)

There is however, a visual warning if the window is not closed/seated properly. The handle would not display the red "locked" ring.

Like SlamClick above, I have always viewed that with a grain of salt, and tug on the handle before every takeoff.

But, imagine the shock/noise if the damned thing open during takeoff, especially during a critical time when pilots are "spring loaded" to react. You can't really blame the pilots for reacting if the wheels were falling off the cart in a big way!

Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
musang
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:54 pm

Boeing produced a short video to show that a suddenly opening Captain's DV window at rotate is a non event (apart from the shock). Your training Dept. may have it.

The film from inside the cockpit showed the Jepp. charts on the captain's control wheel clip wafting gently in the breeze; it doesn't, as mentioned above, become a hurricane in there.

Their philosophy is of course to complete the take off, level out later and close the window when everything else is under control.

Regards - Musang
 
SlamClick
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:32 am

Quoting HAWK21M (reply 20):
Is the "clear view" feature you described a part of the B737s also.


Yes it is. US FAR 25 sets the standards for all US built transport category aircraft. While Airbus is built under European regs, it is compliant with Part 25. The "clearview" requirement is FAR 25.775 (b)(2) which reads in part:

The first pilot must have -
(i) A window that is openable under the conditions prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) [precipitation] of this section when the cabin is not pressurized, provides the view specified in that paragraph and gives sufficient protection from the elements against impairment of the pilot's vision.


The docket date of this regulation is 1964, well before the granting of the 737 type certificate.

It makes reference to "hail damage" but that was before we'd had any jets with volcanic ash encounters, hail was considered the big threat. It also allows for an alternative method of accomplishing this goal, but I can't think of any examples or even any ideas that would make us able to see through an abraded windshield.

There is also a precedent of making parts of Part 25 retroactive and applicable to earlier type certificates.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
gg190
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:26 am

Quoting Mr Spaceman (reply 0):
I doubt very much that cockpit windows in airliners can become unlocked, unlatched, and pop open very easily, thus this A340's incident is probably quite a fluke. Perhaps the warning itself was false.


There was a program one a few weeks ago, about a BAC 1-11, where the front windscreen popped out at 17'000 feet.

Because of the altitude and speed of the aircraft the pilot was sucked out through the window and pinned back against the top of the fuselage. At this point he's still concious. To make things worse his feet were caught on the flight yoke, pulling it forwards and sending the aircraft into a steep dive. Eventually a steward pulled his feet off the controls and held onto him until the aircraft landed.

So an open window at altitude can be pretty serious!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:40 am

Quoting SlamClick (reply 24):
The first pilot must have -
(i) A window that is openable under the conditions prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) [precipitation] of this section when the cabin is not pressurized, provides the view specified in that paragraph and gives sufficient protection from the elements against impairment of the pilot's vision.


Interesting.
Would Anyone consider a #2 Window opened for a B737 landing.Has it been done before.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
amtrosie
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:28 am

SlamClick:
interesting. I have referred to the CV window for years and never knew "why and wherefore". I guess a trip through the FAR's would be in order, although sleep has not been a problem lately. I appreciate your input.
 
jetstar
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:49 am

On the JetStar, this window was known as the DV window.

Opening the DV window was listed in the flight manual for removal of smoke from the cockpit.

If I remember correctly the procedure was to descend to below 10,000 feet, reduce speed to 200 knots or less and depressurize before opening the DV window.

On the JetStar the pressurization system was controlled pneumatically, there was no electrical control of the pressurization. It was standard procedure before starting the engines to open one DV window, usually on the FO side. Once the engines were running, the FO would then slowly close the window to allow the cabin to pressurize. This was done to prevent the cabin from pressurizing to fast while on the ground. Archaic but it worked.
 
2H4
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:59 am

Quoting Jetstar (reply 28):
It was standard procedure before starting the engines to open one DV window, usually on the FO side. Once the engines were running, the FO would then slowly close the window to allow the cabin to pressurize.



Boy, that would be fun on a sub-zero winter day, with snow blowing into the cockpit...


2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
FltMech9
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:14 am

On the DC-9/MD-80 you can open the pilots or co-pilots sliding window, manually close the outflow valve and have both A/C packs running. This will give you a nice cool breeze thru the open cockpit door. Seen that mainly used on warm summer days with long taxi times. Of course you set the outflow valve back to auto and close the window prior to take off. I'm sure it's probably not a written proceedure in the manual or check list.

FltMech9
 
jetstar
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RE: A340 Cockpit Window Opened At Takeoff?

Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:36 pm

The rear part of the DV window on the JetStar tilted in and then it slid back on a track. We only needed to crack open the window, not totally open it.

On rainy days to prevent water from coming in and leaking onto the audio panel with the window cracked open, we would crack open the window during engine start and then the flow of air out through the window would prevent the water from dripping into the airplane and then we would close the window as soon as possible, other times we would close the window during taxi out to the runway.

There was no open window warning system on the airplane, but it was on the taxi checklist to close the window. Because the engine noise was annoying, we usually closed the window as soon as we started to taxi out and the checklist item was more of a double check to make sure the window was closed.

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