N600RR
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UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:59 am


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After having suffered engine damage due to a bird strike on take-off from SYD, UA ship N175UA returned to SFO operating as a 3 engine ferry flight. See links below for discussion and other pics.

First Report Thread

Follow-Up Thread w/pics

What sort of preparation, maintenance, etc. would have been done to secure the inoperable engine for the ferry flight in order to prevent further damage to it, or damage to the aircraft?

For example, would anything have been done to prevent windmilling, since damage seems to have been to several fan blades and the inlet cowling? Is there a special locking mechanism already in place? Would the inlet have been covered?

Additionally, would there have been any special precautions taken as to the other 3 engines, or to the aircraft itself, before departure? During the flight?

Would there have been any special crew requirements or concerns? Or would this be just another day at the office?

Thanks in advance!

    

[Edited 2006-06-06 04:07:41]
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ua777222
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:19 pm

Quoting N600RR (Thread starter):
For example, would anything have been done to prevent windmilling, since damage seems to have been to several fan blades and the inlet cowling? Is there a special locking mechanism already in place? Would the inlet have been covered?

Additionally, would there have been any special precautions taken as to the other 3 engines, or to the aircraft itself, before departure? During the flight?

Would there have been any special crew requirements or concerns? Or would this be just another day at the office?

I'm new to this forum so I would hope that my input would be taken as just that;

I don't think they would cover anything as it would require drag. I don't think locking anything would be neccessary for the blades as again a still object would just generate more drag. I don't think the blades would move at a speed that is fast enough to be of any concern during the flight.

I would think that outside of some really hard left rudder, maybe different route planning, and a little more caution, that the flight would be normal. N175UA's sister ship 174 suffered an engine failure and diverted to ATL. The departure is pictured below. A three engine departure too.


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Thanks!

Matt
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rendezvous
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:35 pm

No that doesn't seem correct.

On a light aircraft a stopped propeller gives you less drag than a windmilling propeller. Also, when Qantas ferries the RB211 underwing on their 747-400's, they lock parts of it etc before they fly.

Besides, you don't really want a damaged engine and fan rattling away across the middle of the Pacific with limted places to stop if need be do you?
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:53 pm

Quoting N600RR (Thread starter):
What sort of preparation, maintenance, etc. would have been done to secure the inoperable engine for the ferry flight in order to prevent further damage to it, or damage to the aircraft?

For example, would anything have been done to prevent windmilling, since damage seems to have been to several fan blades and the inlet cowling? Is there a special locking mechanism already in place? Would the inlet have been covered?

The inop engine would have its N1 blades locked in place to prevent windmilling. Without oil pressure, an engine can be damaged internally from excessive windmilling.

I'm not sure if this procedure applies to a 3 engine ferry, but on three engined aircraft, when ferrying on two engines, those engines must have a borescope inspection completed on them before the aircraft can fly.
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kaddyuk
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:19 pm

Quoting UA777222 (Reply 1):
I don't think they would cover anything as it would require drag. I don't think locking anything would be neccessary for the blades as again a still object would just generate more drag. I don't think the blades would move at a speed that is fast enough to be of any concern during the flight.

The blades are locked out to stop windmilling as DC-10tech has said, the oil system in a jet engine is pressurised and with no pressure, you have no oil... this can damage the engine (Which is why there is more to a mid-air shutdown than most people think...)

Expect a longer than normal flight time and due to this, expect to burn way more fuel than normal (if memory serves me correctly, in the region of about 20-25% more fuel & flight time)

You wont be able to climb as high and you wont be able to fly as fast.

On the takeoff roll, you will throttle up the mirrored good engines (if #3 is out, throttle up 1 and 4 first) bringing #2 up as you advance down the runway (Untill the rudder kicks in).

There is alot of preperation work to be done and you have to get permission from all the countries you overfly before you can leave...
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Stealthz
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:25 pm

Not sure all my detail is correct but this is what I beleive happened in this case.
After a day or so of inspections of the A/C in question UA conducted some taxi tests to determine, I beleive, the level of vibration of the damaged engine. After that I had heard the fan was removed before the ferry flight.
QF did this with a "5th engine" ferry to SIN recently as well as placing a cover over the core section to further protect it.

The A/C was ferried to SFO by a Test/Maint flight crew.

Cheers
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Tristarsteve
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:24 pm

Quoting DC-10Tech (Reply 3):
The inop engine would have its N1 blades locked in place to prevent windmilling

How do you do that?
I have always removed the fan blades and placed a blank over the intake to the core engine. This on RB211 on Tristar and B747.

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 4):
Expect a longer than normal flight time and due to this, expect to burn way more fuel than normal (if memory serves me correctly, in the region of about 20-25% more fuel & flight time)

I dont agree with the increased burn. The problem with an engine out ferry flight is that on departure you are severly restricted in MTOW due to having to calculate a V1 speed when the second engine fails. This restricts a B744 to around a 6 hour flight.
On the Tristar you could not get a V1! The fuel was restricted to about 18tons on a -22b and 25tons on a -524 engined aircraft. The lack of V1 meant that if another engine failed on rotation, then the aircraft could not climb! Bit scary sitting on the flight deck knowing that the 5 of you were relying on my boroscope checks of the good engine!
 
avioniker
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:58 pm

Depending on the engine the fan blades may be removed or secured. To secure the fan there is a kit (which may be locally assembled from appropriate parts) that resembles straps that are a cross between tie-downs and seat belts. The straps are secured in such a way as to prevent rotation of the fan. There is also an intake plug/fairing available but the drag saving and frequency of use don't justify the cost. We rented one once and it took two days to get it and cost a fortune. the only reason we used it was one of the overflight countries wouldn't allow us to pass over with the fan tied down and we didn't want the Turbine Shaft spinning.
The other three ferrys I've been involved with, we secured the fan on the JT9 with the straps and went home for a new engine.
The burn was higher, by the way (but then again we were in a hurry).
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PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:37 pm

After doing a significant number of engine out ferries, here's what happens.

1) The aircraft's remaining engines are boroscoped, the engine oil filters are removed and checked.

2) The inop engine has the fan blades removed and a plug inserted, or the fan blades are immobilized by use of several different approved methods. Normally, the fan blades will be removed and a plywood plug bolted to the fan hub.

3) The aircraft manufacturer and applicable aviation authorities, in this case FAA since it's an N registered aircraft will authorize a ferry flight with very specific restrictions on the required crew.

4) On the 744, your weights are so low, performance is predicated on losing a second engine, that you can generally climb to the mid 300's.

Ironically, the fuel burn on 3 engines is just about the same as it is on 4. The windmilling engine produces more drag than the plugged engine.

Any questions???
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gordonsmall
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operatio

Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:51 pm

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 8):
Any questions???

Just one.  Wink

What's the procedure for getting the wing 'clean' on the climbout?

I can't imagine the 747 is going to cope well losing a second engine (especially two on the same side) with the flaps hanging out, but at relatively light weights I expect it would cope fairly admirably with a clean wing and a decent airspeed.

Do you level off early (500ft?) and clean up, or is it a standard take-off/initial climb routine?

Gordon.
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PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:04 pm

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 9):
What's the procedure for getting the wing 'clean' on the climbout?

I can't imagine the 747 is going to cope well losing a second engine (especially two on the same side) with the flaps hanging out, but at relatively light weights I expect it would cope fairly admirably with a clean wing and a decent airspeed

Takeoff is at 10 flaps, so the loss of another engine isn't a big deal. At 1000' the clean-up process begins. However, on the 727, it was a different story. You started cleaning up as soon as you were airborne and accelerating. Even at the lightest weights, you didn't have a whole lot of extra power.
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HKGKaiTak
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:57 am

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 5):
The A/C was ferried to SFO by a Test/Maint flight crew.

What routing did they use and was this a direct flight? From the other replies here it seems to me like it's not possible for them to put the fuel they need to go the distance with just 3 engines? Or did I interpret wrongly?

Ta.
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Starlionblue
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:55 am

Quoting Rendezvous (Reply 2):
On a light aircraft a stopped propeller gives you less drag than a windmilling propeller.

Yes but can't you feather those props? Feathering is a low drag config. You can't feather a fan in a turbofan.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
KLM685
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:02 pm

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 4):
There is alot of preperation work to be done and you have to get permission from all the countries you overfly before you can leave...

So in this case, the famous BA that had an engine failure at take off from LAX and decided to continue to London, wouldn't the authorities have not given them permission to overfly their countries with a 3 engined aircraft?
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n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:59 am

BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight is proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls rather than the normal crew.

One time several years ago, Air China had an engine failure (no obvious outward signs) on their 747 inbound to SFO. They didn't say anything and then tried to leave on 3. Apparently someone noticed as it tried to leave after pushback, and that someone called the tower. The tower denied them takeoff clearance. So yes, they were denied permission to overfly the USA.  Wink

Chris
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PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:34 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

NO....

Completely different situation. The BA flight experienced the engine surge after V1. A 3 engine ferry is done with the knowledge you will make a 3 engine takeoff.
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n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operatio

Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:14 pm

Hmm, don't know why you wrote what you did:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 15):
Completely different situation. The BA flight experienced the engine surge after V1. A 3 engine ferry is done with the knowledge you will make a 3 engine takeoff.

Where did I say that the BA thing was a ferry flight? I only asked if what KLM685 said had occured was an otherwise normal scheduled flight with pax, and that was a rhetorical question anyways, as I knew the answer:

Quoting KLM685 (Reply 13):
So in this case, the famous BA that had an engine failure at take off from LAX and decided to continue to London, wouldn't the authorities have not given them permission to overfly their countries with a 3 engined aircraft?

He didn't call it a ferry flight either. I know they didn't intentionally take off with three, and that a failure occured en-route. Then I wrote:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight...

So apparently I already made the point that the BA debacle wasn't a ferry flight, and pointed out the differences between what BA did and an actual ferry flight. But if I wasn't clear enough, I apologize.

Chris
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A350
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:24 pm

But after all, it's a big advantage of a quad that you can just ferry it home after such an engine damage. Bringing a twin home seems to consume far more money and time since you have to bring the spare engine, the tools and the staff to the stranded a/c.

A350
 
PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:01 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight is proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls rather than the normal crew.

Seems to me right there! As most countries are ICAO members, there is no approval required by every country that's going to be overflown. The three engine ferry is done within the MM of the airline manual. However, if there are political considertations that require an overflight permit that's a different story. But in the case of the BA LAX-LHR flight the flight was flown within the confines of the FAR and CAAS regulations and there was nothing any agency could have done.

With reference to the Air China at SFO, a reference would be good, ohterwise I find a little hard to beleive.
Fly fast, live slow
 
n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:00 am

PhilSquares, still don't know what the hell you're talking about, so I am going to drop the subject right here.

As for any reference to the Air China incident, you'll have to take my word for it, as www.airchina-really-did-this.net doesn't exist yet, and it wasn't a publicized event, as they didn't get "caught" in the true sense of the word. But if you have no experience in dealing with them, then I can understand if you find it hard to believe. Those that have dealt with them, especially 15+ or so years ago, will know it's not that hard to believe. I was working there when it happened, worked with the guy (that called the tower) for several years, and there probably was some sort of documentation somewhere way back when it happened. I'm sure there is for the engine change UA performed on that aircraft, after it sat for two days, waiting for a new engine to be flown in on another Air China 747 combi, and a record of the pushback, and receipt and offload after the so-called failed engine start (although none of that proves that they knew about the engine failure beforehand, and only proves that an engine failed). Whether one could actually find any of that paperwork is another story. As far as the FAA is concerned, the pilots said they couldn't get that engine started, and were trying to as they continued their taxi to the runway, rather than the truth, so what really happened was swept under the carpet anyways, and will "go to the grave" with any of the individuals involved.

Now, if a respected carrier like BA had an engine failure during takeoff of a 10+ hour flight and decided to continue on 3 for what amounts to the entire distance, is it such a stretch that a what-was-then barely ex-communist airline might try the takeoff with 3?

Chris
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David L
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:39 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 19):
PhilSquares, still don't know what the hell you're talking about,

PhilSquares, count to 10! I know what you're talking about and I'm sure plenty of others do.  Smile

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight is proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls rather than the normal crew.

There's a very strong implication there that the difference is that the BA crew were wrong not to have "proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls".

Maybe that's not what you meant but...

Quoting N8076U (Reply 16):
the BA debacle

Hmm...
 
PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:03 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 19):
Now, if a respected carrier like BA had an engine failure during takeoff of a 10+ hour flight and decided to continue on 3 for what amounts to the entire distance, is it such a stretch that a what-was-then barely ex-communist airline might try the takeoff with 3?

Perhaps you can point out just what CAA reg was not complied with, or maybe even a FAR that wasn't complied with? THERE IS NO MANDATE FOR 3/4 ENGINES TO LAND AT THE NEAREST AIRPORT AFTER AN ENGINE FAILURE.

As far as Air China, personally, I think it's crap. Let's think about this for a minute. Where was the aircraft going? PEK perhaps, I can assure the three engine takeoff performance (which is based on losing another engine) wouldn't be sufficient to allow the fuel/payload required to be loaded on the aircraft. In addition, 15 years ago, as you say, there would have been enough of "oversight" on a daily basis so I doubt that event even took place.
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qfflyer
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:49 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 19):
PhilSquares, still don't know what the hell you're talking about, so I am going to drop the subject right here.

May I suggest you look at previous posts from Philsquares, and do some research before you make comments like this. Furthermore I for one would like to know on what basis you can say this. We know what Philsquares does, would you like to inform us what you do that makes you more of an authority than him?

Cheers
 
n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:06 pm

I'm sorry for being rude in the wording of any of my previous statements, especially to you, PhilSquares.

Perhaps I misunderstood something along the way, as it seems the point I was trying to make was taken in the wrong way. I'm just here to learn things I don't know, discuss aviation and to share any knowledge I may have on the subject, and I just tried to "add" to the discussion, like everybody else on here. And if anything I wrote was worded poorly, making it seem like I was stating fact rather than my opinion, I apologize for that as well.

As for the Air China thing, forget I even mentioned it.

Chris
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n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:48 pm

Gentlemen, let's start off fresh, shall we? I would like to keep this thread positive, and I'd like to learn something from it.

Just so we're all on the same page, I have a couple questions and a couple comments.

Do you agree that a foreign carrier, like BA flying out of LAX or Air China flying out of SFO, has to conform to FAA/FAR rules in order to be allowed to fly into or out of the USA? And a U.S. carrier like UA has to conform to JAR rules if they fly to Japan? This is what I understood to be the way it works.

Even though the above may be true, I will agree that the FAA or FARs do not specifically forbid the operation of a 747 on 3 engines, or 2 or 1 for that matter. Yes, each airline has specific procedures for how to carry out a 3 engine ferry flight. And I assume also a scheduled flight that loses and engine. I also don't know if the airline needs to make special arrangements to overfly any country with one engine down.

Now, I would assume that BA has some sort of procedure that is to be followed, should there be an engine failure on a 747, after v1. What is that procedure? Apparently, the captain has full authority to do as he sees fit, but I would hope that there would be a directive requiring returning to the most convenient airfield, so long as the mid-way "point of no return" had not been reached and as long as the safety of the aircraft wasn't in question. So is there nothing like this in BA's procedures? It seems that the safety of the hundreds of lives on board would be the primary concern. Going back to LAX seems to me to be the safer alternative than soldiering on all the way to LHR. Does this sound reasonable?

I didn't mean to bash BA in general, as I think they are a world class airline, and wouldn't hesitate to ever fly on them again. I just think the crew of that particular flight used poor judgement, in my opinion.

I'm sure PhilSquares is an aviation authority when compared to me, but I may know a few things he doesn't.  Wink No, I am not a pilot, as I assume he is. I was a mechanic at UA for several years and worked ramp service before that, but I have been out of the aviation industry for 3 or 4 years now. As such, a lot of what I may write at A.net comes from memory, as I have lost access to all the manuals, etc.

Chris
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David L
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:18 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 24):
I just think the crew of that particular flight used poor judgement, in my opinion.

You might want to take a look at these earlier discussions:
RE: Engine Failures - The Law Vs The Pilots Decisi (by Julesmusician Nov 14 2005 in Tech Ops)#ID134103 RE: 747-400 LAX-LHR 3 Engine Flight Report Now Out. (by PhilSquares Jun 10 2006 in Tech Ops)#ID156565
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:26 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 24):
Now, I would assume that BA has some sort of procedure that is to be followed, should there be an engine failure on a 747, after v1. What is that procedure? Apparently, the captain has full authority to do as he sees fit, but I would hope that there would be a directive requiring returning to the most convenient airfield, so long as the mid-way "point of no return" had not been reached and as long as the safety of the aircraft wasn't in question. So is there nothing like this in BA's procedures? It seems that the safety of the hundreds of lives on board would be the primary concern. Going back to LAX seems to me to be the safer alternative than soldiering on all the way to LHR. Does this sound reasonable?

The Captain followed BA procedures. These procedures had been approved by the CAA, no doubt all of it in consultation with Boeing. If the procedure is perhaps flawed (and I don't think it is, not that I count), that is not the Captain's fault. The Captain must assume those writing procedures know what they are doing.

Important point: 747 with 3 engines turning = 1 more engine turning than necessary to maintain level flight. 777 with 2 engines turning = 1 more engine turning than necessary to maintain level flight. The punchline here is that the 747 with 3 engines has just as much redundancy as a 777 with ALL engines. Do we ask a 777 with two engines turning to return to the nearest airport?

Let's also look at engine failure probabilities. Does one engine failure increase the probability of another one? In airliners this is not the case. They are designed from the ground up to avoid those kinds of multiple failure scenarios. The systems for one engine are completely separated from the systems for another. In other words, we now have an airliner with just as much redundancy as ANY twin operating in ETOPS conditions and the probability of an (additional) engine failing is exactly the same as during any other flight.

The BA flight only received as much attention as it did because of the emergency landing at MAN. This emergency landing was in fact unrelated to the engine failure (those redundancies again...). Also, the term "emergency landing" brings to the mind of Joe Public the image of a smoking airliner smashing onto a runway with the fire trucks waiting. In fact, the situation was much less dramatic. A fuel emergency means "we may run out of gas in a while", not "we are out of gas and drifting down".


In short, it is in my humble and maybe badly informed opinion not reasonable to ask any 747/340 to return to the airport after an engine failure. Apart from thrust, one purpose of 4 engines is to make the aircraft more redundant than a twin. The whole design is focused on exactly the situation experienced by the BA flight.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:21 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 24):
I just think the crew of that particular flight used poor judgement, in my opinion.

1) Perhaps you could tell, me/us, what gives you the qualifications to even render an opinion?

2) In addition, perhaps you could tell us why you feel they exercised "poor" judgement?

Had the crew had 4 engines and encountered the same re-routing and all the other issues they faced, sans engine failure, the net result would have been the same. They would have landed short of their destination. Is that poor judgement?

Perhaps you should go to the UK AAIB site. There is an excellent report that exonerates the crew. But then again, what do they know!
Fly fast, live slow
 
n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:37 am

Since I only rendered my own opinion, I don't see why I must be "qualified" in any way to do so, as it is just that, only an opinion, and doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things. This is, after all, a "discussion forum" for the entertainment and enjoyment of all aircraft enthusiasts. Although, I am not a pilot, nor do I work for BA, nor am I high in the food chain at an airline, I did work for a large airline in overhaul and line maintenance for several years, dealt with test and ferry flights and dealt with 747s, so I would say I am more qualified than "the average joe public" off the street, even though I may know little of the pilot's end of the operation, or any of BA procedures.

I would hope that any A.net member wouldn't feel like they're stepping on a tiger's tail by joining in any of these discussions, whether it be a 16 year old kid who dreams of flying someday or a retired 747 captain with 30,000 hours under his belt, and that they could join in any topic, even if they didn't know much about it, and not be afraid of a lambasting from anyone who is more informed on the subject.

Now, having said that, I will say that I deserved a lambasting for some of the things I said, as I was wrong. I will also say that I should have read the other topics on the subject first, and read the report on the BA incident. I am now more informed than I was before. In my defense, I will say that I am "new" here and haven't learned all the unwritten rules and regulations of A.net posting, and have probably been posting more and going into further detail and spouting off more than I should have been. But that's not an excuse, merely some insight on my part.

The BA crew broke no laws. They did everything according to BA procedures. They also broke no regulations that I can see, according to what I have read. It is merely unfortunate that the emergency landing occured, and turned an otherwise normal and approved 3-engined flight into a media event.

PhilSquares, your opinion on why they shouldn't have returned to LAX has merit. And it is perfectly legal and within BA procedures. In fact, on a technical level, I totally agree. But since you asked, I will tell you why I feel the aircraft should have returned to LAX anyways, even though they didn't have to. Even though a 747 can legally fly on 3 engines, and can even fly on two, they had a 10 hour or so flight ahead of them, and some of their safety "cushion" was already gone. That's a lot of time for something else to happen, as remotely possible as that was. It didn't even need to be another engine failure for the odds to start stacking up against them. In fact, the odds did start to stack up against them, as they had less fuel than they should have before reaching LHR, and they did the safe thing by diverting, rather than trying to reach LHR. Obviously, the crew did have the safety of the passengers in mind and were going by the book because they did divert. However, the safest thing to do would have been to return to LAX, even though it may have been unnecessary and erring too far on the side of safety. Of course, I am looking at the scenario with the "what if my whole family was on that flight" frame of mind, which may be taking things out of perspective too far to be practical, and turning me into an uninformed Joe Public. Hopefully this makes sense, even if you don't agree, which is fine.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:11 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 28):
PhilSquares, your opinion on why they shouldn't have returned to LAX has merit. And it is perfectly legal and within BA procedures. In fact, on a technical level, I totally agree. But since you asked, I will tell you why I feel the aircraft should have returned to LAX anyways, even though they didn't have to. Even though a 747 can legally fly on 3 engines, and can even fly on two, they had a 10 hour or so flight ahead of them, and some of their safety "cushion" was already gone. That's a lot of time for something else to happen, as remotely possible as that was. It didn't even need to be another engine failure for the odds to start stacking up against them. In fact, the odds did start to stack up against them, as they had less fuel than they should have before reaching LHR, and they did the safe thing by diverting, rather than trying to reach LHR. Obviously, the crew did have the safety of the passengers in mind and were going by the book because they did divert. However, the safest thing to do would have been to return to LAX, even though it may have been unnecessary and erring too far on the side of safety. Of course, I am looking at the scenario with the "what if my whole family was on that flight" frame of mind, which may be taking things out of perspective too far to be practical, and turning me into an uninformed Joe Public. Hopefully this makes sense, even if you don't agree, which is fine.

Your argument certainly makes sense to me from a "gut feel" viewpoint. However, I would consider two things:
- With 3 engines, a 747 has the same engine safety margin as a 777 with all engines. The likelihood of another engine failure is just as big as before. The odds aren't really stacked against the flight since they are the same odds, if you will, as a 777/767/330 has even before leaving the gate.
- It's a good thing trained flight crew, maintenance personnel and flight planners make the decisions and not the pax.  Wink I seem to recall an incident a few years back when an Italian Captain put the continue/divert decision up for a vote among the pax!



As for the A.net "unwritten rules", there are indeed a few. However, I think you will find that in tech_ops the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed than in gen_av or loony_bin. As long as you continue to show the attitude you are showing you will be ok in my book.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
PhilSquares
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:22 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 28):
. That's a lot of time for something else to happen, as remotely possible as that was. It didn't even need to be another engine failure for the odds to start stacking up against them. In fact, the odds did start to stack up against them, as they had less fuel than they should have before reaching LHR, and they did the safe thing by diverting, rather than trying to reach LHR. Obviously, the crew did have the safety of the passengers in mind and were going by the book because they did divert. However, the safest thing to do would have been to return to LAX, even though it may have been unnecessary and erring too far on the side of safety. Of course, I am looking at the scenario with the "what if my whole family was on that flight" frame of mind, which may be taking things out of perspective too far to be practical, and turning me into an uninformed Joe Public. Hopefully this makes sense, even if you don't agree, which is fine.

Chris

Well, I guess I am somewhat dissapointed as I tried to head this conversation off earlier.

But never the less, I guess if you fly a 777 across the N. Atlantic you are even in a worse position than you would be in a 744, using your logic.

You fail to take into consideration some important facts. If the crew took out off out of LAX with all engines operating, and had the same problems with the NAT clearance, they would have been in the same situation. What then?

I have no problem putting my family on that flight. The crew did everything it could. What do you expect them to do? Obvioulsy, you expect them to land overweight which has more problems than you can consider and was raised by the AAIB.

I guess I'm missing something here.
Fly fast, live slow
 
n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:16 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 30):
Well, I guess I am somewhat dissapointed as I tried to head this conversation off earlier.

No need to be disappointed any longer. I am done beating a dead horse, so consider it headed off. I do appreciate your patience in dealing with me, and your thorough explanations.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 30):
Obvioulsy, you expect them to land overweight which has more problems than you can consider and was raised by the AAIB.

Actually, generally speaking, unless there is a reason to get a heavy 747 on the ground ASAP, I would "expect" them to dump fuel until they were under the max. landing weight, so as to preclude any of the associated problems with an overweight landing, even if they had to loiter for over an hour in the process. But in the end, it would be the captain's call, as he will have assessed the situation and decided the best course of action.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 29):
As for the A.net "unwritten rules", there are indeed a few. However, I think you will find that in tech_ops the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed than in gen_av or loony_bin. As long as you continue to show the attitude you are showing you will be ok in my book.

Starlionblue, I appreciate the bit of insight and the compliment from a veteran A.netter like yourself. I just hope I haven't been too much of a pest!

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:53 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 31):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 29):
As for the A.net "unwritten rules", there are indeed a few. However, I think you will find that in tech_ops the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed than in gen_av or loony_bin. As long as you continue to show the attitude you are showing you will be ok in my book.

Starlionblue, I appreciate the bit of insight and the compliment from a veteran A.netter like yourself. I just hope I haven't been too much of a pest!

Veteran perhaps. Don't know if that's a good thing. Just means I have a lot of time on my hands. I do tend to learn a lot here, and I get slapped around a bit when I deserve it.  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
flymatt2bermud
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Avioniker (Reply 7):
To secure the fan there is a kit (which may be locally assembled from appropriate parts) that resembles straps that are a cross between tie-downs and seat belts.

Does anyone have access to the photo of an Asian Airline 747, whose attempt to perform the procedure above literally went awry. The failure destroyed every fan on the engine. I can't find the photo's? Anyone else have a copy?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
 
SuseJ772
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:21 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 32):
Veteran perhaps. Don't know if that's a good thing. Just means I have a lot of time on my hands. I do tend to learn a lot here, and I get slapped around a bit when I deserve it.

That's hard to believe. I'd like to see a post where that happened.

As for the unwritten rules, in Tech Ops you'll find that SlamClick, PhilSquares, and StarlionBlue are pretty much king (at least in my book, hence the only three people I feel deserve to be on my RU). It doesn't mean they are never wrong, and it doesn't mean they can't be (or don't like to be) questioned, but it should mean that they are treated with respect.

Anyways, they are probably blushing and will deny what I have just said. But for someone who has read this forum for four years, been a member for about a year now, has no RU rating (like yourself), my policy is to listen when these guys are "talking." You'll learn a lot, I know I have, and probably be a better pilot in the end.
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
mandargb
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:29 am

Why would they fly to SFO and not LAX ?
Cant UA fix their 744s at LAX or any SO CAL airport for that matter ?

Or why even fly to US? Cant theydo it somewhere in Australia / NZ or even south Asia ?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operatio

Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:57 am

Quoting SuseJ772 (Reply 34):
ly 34, posted Fri Jul 7 2006 23:21:20 UTC+2 and read 21 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 32):
Veteran perhaps. Don't know if that's a good thing. Just means I have a lot of time on my hands. I do tend to learn a lot here, and I get slapped around a bit when I deserve it.

That's hard to believe. I'd like to see a post where that happened.

Ahem. Thanks and all that. As usual I would like to point out that unlike Captain Click, Captain Squares et. al. I am neither a pilot nor a mechanic nor a designer. Apparently I'm just obsessed for no good reason. Big grin


As for getting slapped around while I deserve it, I'm pretty certain it has happened at some point, but I have no desire to search through my 8066 posts (!) to find out when. If you are more patient than I, knock yourself out. Here are some links for your convenience:
http://www.airliners.net/discussions...n&search_order=id&submit=Search%21
http://www.airliners.net/discussions...n&search_order=id&submit=Search%21
http://www.airliners.net/discussions...s&search_order=id&submit=Search%21
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
n8076u
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:03 am

Quoting Mandargb (Reply 35):
Why would they fly to SFO and not LAX ?
Cant UA fix their 744s at LAX or any SO CAL airport for that matter ?

Or why even fly to US? Cant theydo it somewhere in Australia / NZ or even south Asia ?

SFO is where UA has a large maintenance base, all the necessary equipment, and where their engine shop is located, not to mention this is where they would keep any spare PW4000s. And if there is no spare engine at the time, it is a perfect place to park the aircraft until an engine does become available. If they did the engine change at SYD or wherever, they'd still have to ship an engine there and pay through the nose for someone else to do it, and ship the bad one back.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
SuseJ772
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:10 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 36):
Ahem. Thanks and all that. As usual I would like to point out that unlike Captain Click, Captain Squares et. al. I am neither a pilot nor a mechanic nor a designer. Apparently I'm just obsessed for no good reason.

You always do seem to make that point whenever I compliment you, but for some reason, you also always seem to know what you are talking about as well.
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
Gib
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:31 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 29):
As for the A.net "unwritten rules", there are indeed a few. However, I think you will find that in tech_ops the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed than in gen_av or loony_bin

RE: 'looney_bin'.... AMEN!

It's getting to where I don't even bother going there.
 
aaflt1871
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:25 pm

Does UA not have the ability to put a 5th pod on to ferry a new engine down and ferry back the damaged one in the same 5th pod?
Where did everybody go?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:37 am

Quoting AAFLT1871 (Reply 40):
Does UA not have the ability to put a 5th pod on to ferry a new engine down and ferry back the damaged one in the same 5th pod?

They might. But this is a pretty costly operation. That would explain why they would rather do the 3-engine ferry.

Also on the 747 it's not so much a pod as an extra pylon.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:54 am

Quoting AAFLT1871 (Reply 40):
Does UA not have the ability to put a 5th pod on to ferry a new engine

Very few B747-400 are fitted with the facility to fit a 5th pod. It was a customer option. As the B744 can take off on three engines with a range of around six hours, most airlines chose not too. It is too disruptive to the normal operation. It takes time to fit and remove and removes payload from the service. Most B744 operators consider it more economic to 3 engine ferry back to base.
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
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RE: UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...

Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:27 am

Quoting AAFLT1871 (Reply 40):
Does UA not have the ability to put a 5th pod on to ferry a new engine down and ferry back the damaged one in the same 5th pod?

Although the UA 747-400s all had the actual attach points for the fifth pod on the wing (the ones with original Boeing paintjobs even had the stencils at those points), the aircraft weren't certified to use it, and there was no mention of the fifth pod installation in their maintenance manual either. Since most widebody freighters can fit a 747 engine on the main deck, it is far easier to just do that, or ferry the aircraft on 3.

The "classic" 747s UA had were certified, however. To this day, there are several large boxes containing all the stuff needed to "fifth pod" a JT9D onto a 747-100/200 in one of the hangars at SFO, collecting dust.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...

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