Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:34 am

Phil Squares.

You are wrong. First of all it is 121.565, not 165. And you are not showing the whole regulation.

For an aircraft with more than 3 engines after an engine failure or shut down the only way that the aircraft can continue further than the closest suitable airport is if it is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport.

And it also requires the pilot to make a report to the FAA as to what his reasons were for continuing beyond the closest suitable airport and he must state his reasons as to why it was as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport. See paragraph d.

In this case, there is absolutely no way that continuing after an engine failure on takeoff across North America, and then across the Atlantic Ocean would be construed as being as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport.

If this was a US crew at a US carrier they would not be flying for a very long time. They would be hammered big time by the FAA. Their tickets would be in major jeopardy. But those rules don't apply to a European crew who is operating under JAR-OPS. That is the problem.

Not only that, under US rules, no flight dispatcher would allow any of their flights to continue under such circumstances. That doesn't exist under JAR-OPS either.

This is like the customer in a restaurant who finds out how the food in the kitchen is actually fixed, and it is not exactly the standards that they expected. They get a nasty little surprise. They may never come back to that restaurant again. If you told every passenger on every European airline that this policy was SOP, many of them would not fly those companies. How many people are going to volunteer for a 5000 mile trip on 3 engines when it should be 4?. It is not just BA, it is the JAR-OPS and SOP.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:37 am

Quoting PhilSquares (reply 48):
(b) If not more than one engine of an airplane that has three or more engines fails or its rotation is stopped, the pilot in command may proceed to an airport that he selects if, after **considering the following**, he decides that proceeding to that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport


If you're going to quote FAR 121.565 (b), please make sure you quote it fully and include sub-items 1-6 (the **following**) for accuracy and context:

(1) The nature of the malfunction and the possible mechanical difficulties that may occur if flight is continued.

(2) The altitude, weight, and usable fuel at the time of engine stoppage.

(3) The weather conditions en route and at possible landing points.

(4) The air traffic congestion.

(5) The kind of terrain.

(6) His familiarity with the airport to be used.

Now, if the items in 121.565 (b) (1-6) preclude continuing, that kicks it back to a nearest suitable airport situation, and the dispatcher (here) can always (if needed) invoke 121.627(a) (and thus 121.557) to get the aircraft on the ground somewhere short of an intended destination 10-11 hours away.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Amy
Posts: 1109
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:48 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:44 am

BA would have got stick whatever the decision was, just as Delta has got stick for cancelling flights to new york and ATA has had stick for not cancelling them.

There is a lot of external criticism of the industry in the press. Anything contravertial is made into a big deal, weather it's going on with 3 engines or the flipside of the coin, attacking BA's maintainance for letting an engine failure occur had the aircraft returned instead of electing to go on.

BA can't win. There isn't a right thing to do because everyone's opinions differ. I would say that the Captain and F/O of that 747 hold the opinions that actually matter.
A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:53 am

Kellmark,

Please go back and reread all my posts. I have said exactly what the 6 provisions are in "layman's" terms.

Again, my statment about an FAR requirement for the crew to divert is true. Contrary to what the WSJ has written, there is no requirement for a 3/4 engine aircraft to land short of it's intended destination.
Fly fast, live slow
 
jc2354
Posts: 609
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 9:56 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:00 am

The purpose of the redundancies is to allow the safety of the flight to the next suitable airfield for landing. If they are going to continue my flight on 3 engines, then I'm going to smoke.
If not now, then when?
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:09 am

Phil Squares.

I appreciate your comments, but you are incorrect here.

Below is the whole regulation. The point is if the aircraft continues beyond the nearest suitable airport in point of time, then it must be as safe as, that nearest airport. It is clear on this. And continuing across North America and the Atlantic Ocean, is clearly not as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport. And note paragraph d, which requires the pilot to state his reasons why that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport. It says nothing about continuing to a destination.

¤ 121.565 Engine inoperative: Landing; reporting.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, whenever an engine of an airplane fails or whenever the rotation of an engine is stopped to prevent possible damage, the pilot in command shall land the airplane at the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, at which a safe landing can be made.

(b) If not more than one engine of an airplane that has three or more engines fails or its rotation is stopped, the pilot in command may proceed to an airport that he selects if, after considering the following, he decides that proceeding to that airport is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport:

(1) The nature of the malfunction and the possible mechanical difficulties that may occur if flight is continued.

(2) The altitude, weight, and usable fuel at the time of engine stoppage.

(3) The weather conditions en route and at possible landing points.

(4) The air traffic congestion.

(5) The kind of terrain.

(6) His familiarity with the airport to be used.

(c) The pilot in command shall report each stoppage of engine rotation in flight to the appropriate ground radio station as soon as practicable and shall keep that station fully informed of the progress of the flight.

(d) If the pilot in command lands at an airport other than the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, he or she shall (upon completing the trip) send a written report, in duplicate, to his or her director of operations stating the reasons for determining that the selection of an airport, other than the nearest airport, was as safe a course of action as landing at the nearest suitable airport. The director of operations shall, within 10 days after the pilot returns to his or her home base, send a copy of this report with the director of operation's comments to the certificate-holding district office.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:11 am

>>>Please go back and reread all my posts. I have said exactly what the 6 provisions are in "layman's" terms

Exactly what reply # was that in? (If it was #9, you sure didn't hit all 6...)

I will readily concede that the reporter goofed when he made an all-encompassing statement without differentiating between twins, and 3- or 4-engined birds (when 121.565 (b)(1-6) are not factors). Such is the "translation" process, with accuracy and context lost in the process.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:19 am

The PIC should have factors 2-6 already decided in trying to determine the acceptable fuel load during the preflight phase. The only real issue is point number one. If it's a simple compressor stall/surge then he in conjunction with dispatch/mx control should be able to determine the issues in point 1. Again, all other points he should already know based on his signing the flight plan!
Fly fast, live slow
 
klwright69
Posts: 2712
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:19 am

I emailed my dad tonight about this. He is a retired captain, with 40 years experience in the cockpits of many different aircraft.

He responded via email that he agreed with Barry Schiff in the WSJ article who said that this decision was totally "nuts." He said if a pilot of a U.S. carrier ever did this, they would have their license revoked immediately (at the minimum). End of story.

Now, in my opinion.......
The fact the plane is physically capable of continuing on to its destination is not relevant. When there is a major malfunction (and losing an engine is, will anyone debate that?), the aircraft is not functioning at an optimal level as it is designed. That affects the margin of error, and safety, no matter how you slice it. I wouldn't feel good that there is a problem just because the plane can still stay airborne and continue. I wouldn't want to keep going on a flight like that! I'll put up with the inconvenience....

Maybe since operating on three engines is such a minor issue as some are suggesting, then using a fourth engine on the 747 should be "entirely optional."
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:28 am

>>>The PIC should have factors 2-6 already decided in trying to determine the acceptable fuel load during the preflight phase. The only real issue is point number one. If it's a simple compressor stall/surge then he in conjunction with dispatch/mx control should be able to determine the issues in point 1. Again, all other points he should already know based on his signing the flight plan!

>>>Please go back and reread all my posts. I have said exactly what the 6 provisions are in "layman's" terms

I guess not then...

>>>then he in conjunction with dispatch

This is -not- the same thing as the dispatchER, here, anyways...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:31 am

>>>I emailed my dad tonight about this. He is a retired captain, with 40 years experience in the cockpits of many different aircraft.

>>>He responded via email that he agreed with Barry Schiff in the WSJ article who said that this decision was totally "nuts."

Agree with him completely...

>>>He said if a pilot of a U.S. carrier ever did this, they would have their license revoked immediately (at the minimum). End of story.

The FAA call that "careless and reckless" ala' FAR 91.13...

§ 91.13 Careless or reckless operation.

(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

(b) Aircraft operations other than for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft, other than for the purpose of air navigation, on any part of the surface of an airport used by aircraft for air commerce (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or discharging persons or cargo), in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

[Edited 2005-03-02 03:33:37]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
aviateur
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:25 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:40 am

As a pilot (and aviation writer), I disagree with the general consensus that BA's decision was, necessarily, a poor and ill-informed one, and will address the matter this Friday in my column at Salon.com. It will include quotes from a 747 first officer.

Moreover, and contrary to many reports, US Federal Aviation Regulations allow for exactly the decision made by the BA crew. See FAR 121.565(b)

I hope you'll tune in. For more info, you can visit me at www.askthepilot.com

PS
Boston
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:45 am

My point in posting a reply was to point out the fact the WSJ was incorrect. I am not defending the Captain's decision. However, he was within his authority in making that decision. If any JAR certificate action is taken the JAA would have to prove he acted in a reckless manner. If he had all the info and the winds indicate he could make the flight and the forecast was wrong, was he reckless?

As I said many posts ago, I wasn't there, I don't have the information he did at the time. However, I will disagree with many posters who say if a US crew did the same thing they'd have their tickets pulled. I know of atleast 2 US carriers who continued to NRT after an engine failure on a 747/744.
Fly fast, live slow
 
travelin man
Posts: 3238
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:47 am

People also brought up that "most passengers" would have wanted to continue due to the inconvenience of returning to LAX. I cannot imagine that flying "slow" and landing at an airport that was not the destination (in this case, MAN) was very convenient for the passengers either.
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:02 pm

Aviateur;

If that is your opinion that is your opinion. But if you were to ask anyone in the FAA about it, I think they would set you straight.

If you are saying that flying an aircraft full of passengers with an engine out for 5,000 miles across North America, past many suitable alternates and then across the Atlantic Ocean in winter, at night, is legal and safe under US rules, you go right ahead. That is your cliff to jump off of.

Also, if you are only depending on that portion of the FAR by itself you are not only interpreting it wrong, but you don't know how operational control works in US carriers. Both the PIC and the flight dispatcher are jointly responsible for the flight and they must both agree on the course of action. The flight dispatcher simply would not agree to this course of action. Their ticket would also be on the line. They could invoke their emergency authority and prevent this operation from happening the way it did.
 
klwright69
Posts: 2712
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:08 pm

"As a pilot (and aviation writer), I disagree with the general consensus that BA's decision was, necessarily, a poor and ill-informed one"

"Moreover, and contrary to many reports, US Federal Aviation Regulations allow for exactly the decision made by the BA crew. See FAR 121.565(b)

So you probably would have done the same thing as this captain. Continue over all of North America and the North Atlantic with a failed engine. Is that an accurate conclusion?"
 
galapagapop
Posts: 864
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:15 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:12 pm

Circling for 20 minutes???

That is ridiculous seeing as they had to land early because of low fuel. It is very clear that this decision lacked thought. Don't pilots know that if one engine fails there is a greater chance the others might as well because of a possible MX mistake at LAX or LHR. Not to mention the harder the engines would have to work. I'm assuming the no one has been fired or blamed solely for this incident?

Cheers!
Galapagapop
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:12 pm

This isn't directly relevant to this flight, but don't forget that 3 or 4 engine aircraft have been, and will continue to be, ferried with an inoperative engine. It's true that these ferry flights are done without passengers and any unnecessary crew (the flight attendants aren't considered to be necessary for a ferry flight) so they operate at relatively light weights. Can anyone recall an engine-out ferry flight having an accident?
Having said all of that, in this case, the engine was observed to shoot sparks from the aft of the engine, thus it was not likely to be a simple engine surge or stall. Therefore, I find it difficult to accurately judge the case of the failure and IMHO, the flight should have dumped fuel and returned.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:17 pm

Flyhoss.

You bet I can remember one. An Eastern Airlines L-1011 on a two engine ferry out of Mexico City had another one fail just after takeoff. The crew just barely managed to get it back on the ground with one engine.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:27 pm

>>>Can anyone recall an engine-out ferry flight having an accident?

There was an ATI DC-8 that crashed on its second takeoff attempt at MCI a few years ago... They aborted the first one, came back, and started again... Ugly...  Sad

Back to the original topic...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:57 pm

Galapagapop do you have any statistical evidence to support your statement? Your logic escapes me. Generally, the only thing done to the engines is to check the oil, add if necessary, and perform a visual inspection.

This incident is very dissimilar to any 3 engine ferry flight. This aircraft did not take off with an engine out.

Kellmark, please explain your comments about the FAR being interpreted incorrectly. In this case, it would appear the PIC and dispatch did agree on a course of action. To continue to LHR. Circumstances out of everyone's control resulted in the landing short. (Wrong winds aloft forecast and less than planned altitude). This could have happened on the flight if nothing went wrong. Again, I know of two US airlines who elected to continue to NRT with an engine failure, and these are more than one incident at each airline. ANC was the nearest airport in terms of time. They continued to NRT and landed uneventfully. Nothing happened in those cases. If what you said was true, then the Captain and Dispatcher would have their thickets pulled. Never happened.

Again, I am not saying I would have done the same thing, but we can't second guess the Captain without having all the information he had.
Fly fast, live slow
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:17 pm

OPNLguy,
Thanks for the response; do you any additional information about the accident you listed? I've searched the N.T.S.B. data base and haven't found it. What year? Are you sure it was ATI? I'd appreciate any additional information.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
ckfred
Posts: 5188
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:32 pm

The point that people forget is that aviation is not about how close one can get to the edge of safety.

A friend of mine is a 757/767 F/O with a major airline. There have been times that he has pushed back with an aircraft that did not have every system functioning. It's fine for a plane to leave with a CAT II restriction, rather than full CAT III capabilities, if the weather at the destination is clear and will remain clear for an extended time.

If, in July, the weather at ORD is sunny and 90, LAX is showing sunny and 85, and there are no potential icing conditions along the flight plan, then the aircraft probably doesn't need a fully-functioning deicing system.

But if a plane loses an engine on take-off, then there are some concerns to address. Did the engine failure cause any damage outside the engine? (My friend found damage to a flaptrack fairing cause by an engine part that was apparently spit out shortly after arriving.)

If one engine has failed, do the pilots want to run the risk of losing another engine over the Atlantic? The chance of that happening is quite small, but if the remaining engines are operating on a higher-than-normal power setting, that alone is putting unnecessary wear and tear on the three remaining engines, let alone increasing the risk of a second engine failure.

One thing to remember is that the 747 would have had to dump fuel to get below max landing weight. With the price of fuel, no one wants to waste the slightest amount. But wouldn't it have made sense to proceed to ORD, YYZ, or JKF, so that the aircraft could have landed without a fuel dump, and then put passengers on other BA flights or OneWorld carriers?
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:50 pm

Phil Squares;

Thanks again for your comments.

I don't agree that circumstances were out of everyone's control. The reason that the BA flight declared an emergency was because the crew, as they were descending to Manchester, were unable to get useable fuel out of the #2 tank. This tank would normally have been feeding the #2 engine, which was shut down. When an aircraft is operating at a degraded capability, unforeseen circumstances can occur. This one was directly related to the fact that the engine had been shut down. If they had landed much earlier, this would not have been an issue, as they would have had much more fuel available from the other tanks.

BA does not have a dispatch system per se. They have flight planners. There is no professional flight dispatch system at BA to support the crews. They are not certified, nor do they have any authority. Therfore the crews do not get the same level of support that US crews do. Nothing like that is required by JAR-OPS. The BA crew here basically talked to maintenance control and then decided to continue on.

Regarding your info about the Narita flights going to Narita instead of Anchorage after an engine shutdown. To be legal they would have had to consider and explain all of the factors listed in the FAR as to why going there would be considered as safe as going to ANC. As you know, they are:

(1) The nature of the malfunction and the possible mechanical difficulties that may occur if flight is continued.

(2) The altitude, weight, and usable fuel at the time of engine stoppage.

(3) The weather conditions en route and at possible landing points.

(4) The air traffic congestion.

(5) The kind of terrain.

(6) His familiarity with the airport to be used.

The crew would have also had to make a report, explaining what their reasons were and why they were as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport.

Issues which the PIC and flight dispatcher would have considered in this likely would have been:

What was the weather at ANC versus NRT? Was there enroute weather, such as a front to consider? What were the field conditions? Was ANC an authorized airport for that airline? Was the PIC familiar with ANC? Were there ATC issues? Would it have been closer in point of time considering winds?

An engine failure out in the Pacific is also quite a different situation from this one where the aircraft is over land, and is now going to fly so far past so many suitable alternates and then over an oceanic area which it really doesn't have to. There simply is no possible way that the flight going to its destination in this case could be considered to be as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport.

I also want to say something else. I happen to like BA. I think it is a great airline. And I actually don't blame the crew. But I believe that there is a serious flaw here in the regulatory environment with JAR-OPS. European crews are trained and taught that these types of practices are legal and normal. It is standard operating procedure. Their response to this incident shows that. They do things like this on a regular basis. And they defend it. But it is defending the indefensable. They were very lucky this time. They need a certified dispatch/operational control system and they need a limit on what they do with an engine out. They should not be taking a course of action which is the most risky, rather than the safest.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:56 pm

Quoting FlyHoss (reply 71):
OPNLguy,
Thanks for the response; do you any additional information about the accident you listed? I've searched the N.T.S.B. data base and haven't found it. What year? Are you sure it was ATI? I'd appreciate any additional information.


This do it?  Big grin

http://www.avsaf.org/reports/US/1995...rtInternational_DouglasDC-8-63.pdf
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:08 pm

I guess my only comment is the crew didn't divert due to the engine malfunction, but more due to a fuel system problem.

Personally, I would hesitate to make the decision. However, I don't have all the info the crew did. I was working for one of the US carriers, in a management position when 2 of the continuation flights occurred. Weather at ANC was fine, there were no other issues with either aircraft. The over riding decision was based on two issues, customer inconvenience and cost of a divert, getting another aircraft there and other associated issues.

I think the best solution is to take up the FAA's NPRM on using ETOPS criteria for all aircraft. That would mandate the crew land at the nearest airport, in terms of time, rather than giving them the option of continuing on to their destination. However, I still maintain the decision was legal, assuming the other criteria were met. Criteria 2-6 should be met just based on the Captain signing the release. You have to know all that information to come up with an accurate dispatch fuel figure.
Fly fast, live slow
 
travelin man
Posts: 3238
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:11 pm

The thing is, I don't think anyone is questioning if it was legal, but people ARE questioning whether it was smart. And it seems the consensus from both professional pilots and others is that no, it may not have been that smart.
 
baw716
Posts: 1463
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:12 pm

I made a post on a similar thread earlier today. Since it is germane to this thread, I think it bears repeating...to those who have seen it already, sorry.

This incident raises many questions. While I am very leary to second guess the decision of the Captain of this flight, BA Flight Ops, Maintenance and Emergency Management Team, who would be called into action whenever an engine out occurs on any flight in their system, I find the decision to continue to London a little problematic for a number of reasons, some of which already stated and a couple that have not been.

First, the standard protocol for takeoff procedures anywhere is that on the takeoff roll, from 0-80kts, if there is any onboard failure or anything on the runway which is a danger to the aircraft, the flight can be aborted. Between 80kts and 100kts (on a fully loaded 747), the abort would be for only engine fire or failure or if, in the decision of the captain, the aircraft would not get airborne. Above V1, whatever failure they have, they are committed to the takeoff and will take it into the air, with the pilot flying (PF) concentrating on getting the aircraft to the minimum safe altitude (MSA), while the pilot not flying (PNF) contacts ATC, advises of the situation, then assists the pilot to get the aircraft stabilized at the MSA so they can make use of the navigational aids of the autopilot, while they can go through the appropriate non-normal checklist to analyze the situation and make a decision, in consultation with flight ops and maintenance..assuming the nature of the problem allows them the TIME to be able to do these things. Sometimes, if an engine has an uncontained failure just after V2, the only thing the crew may be thinking is getting the aircraft back on the ground in one piece.

In the case of this aircraft, it would appear that there was an engine surge on the number two engine, which occured just at or after rotation which caused a loss of thrust and a yaw to the left on take off which the pilots were able to correct with rudder input on the climb out.

The non-normal procedure after this event is as follows:
"ENGINE SURGE/STALL"
A/T ARM SW(ITCH) --------------------------------OFF
===========================================
THRUST LEVEL (AFFECTED ENGINE)--------------RETARD
-------------------------------------------------------
Retard until indications remain within normal limits or the thrust lever is closed. Both pilots identify the affected engine.
--EGT Indication/engine parameters
Continues to increase/abnormal -- INCREASE IN PROBLEM
| Apply ENG FAILURE/SHUTDOWN IN FLT Non Normal Procedure
| If engine indications appear normal after shutdown, the engine may be restarted.

//END//

Stabilized or decreasing/stabilized - DECREASE IN PROBLEM
Eng Anti-Ice-----------------------------------AS RQD
Thrust Levers-----------------------SLOWLY ADVANCE
Engine Parameters---------------------CK RESPONSE
Advance thrust lever slowly and check %RPM and EGT respond to
Eng Acceleration
Normal
Operate engine normally or at a reduced thrust setting which is surge
and stall free.

Not normal with normal EGT
Eng Bleed Air Sw (affected eng)-------------------OFF
Eng behavior
----- Does not respond
--------Continue engine operation at idle
----- Responds
-------- Operate engine normally.
-------- Engine Bleed Air Sw (affected eng)--------ON

ENG FAILURE/SHUTDOWN IN FLIGHT NON-NORMAL PROCEDURE
-----------------------------------------------------------

A/T Arm Sw--------------------------------------OFF
Thrust Lever------------------------------------ IDLE
Note: Both Pilot verbally verify the affected eng. If possible run
eng at idle for 2 min before continuing with shutdown.
Fuel Control Sw------------------------------CUT OFF
Fuel Control actuation by CPT
Land at nearest suitable airport.
Pack (affected engine)----------------------------OFF
Fuel X feed -------------------------------------- ON
Fuel Balance --------------------------------MONITOR
GND PROX FLAP OVRD Sw------------------------OVRD
ATC Transponder ----------------------------TA ONLY
If wing anti-ice is required:
ISNL Sw(affected engine)----------------------ON
When anti-ice no longer required:
ALL ISNL Sws--------------------------------OFF
For landing preparation, apply ONE ENG ONT OPERATION Non Normal
Proc.

//END//

I am going to stop here, because to go any further would not really make any further point. It is important to state here as well that EACH AIRLINE procedures are DIFFERENT. Since this is NOT from a BA flight manual, I cannot state that these are BAs procedures. However, I can say that other carriers do have procedures that call for landing at other suitable airports in the event of a one-engine out, even on a 747.

The vast majority of cases, there would not be any hesitation, the aircraft would be brought back immediately, despite the cost in fuel and inconveniece to the passengers.

The reasoning is thus: Long haul flying, even in the 747 requires a delicate balance of fuel, weight, weather and route planning to gain favorable winds.

Let's analyze the situation for a moment.

The captain encounters the situation at rotation and takes the appropriate actions to fly the airplane to the MSA and shut down the engine per the checklist above. He then does a couple of orbits over the water west of LA, close enough that if he had to return he could. He confers with BA Ops and Maintenance and they conclude that the engine is dead but that it will not do any further damage to the aircraft.

The next consideration is the compensation for the lost engine in fuel burn and altitude. They made their decision based on the favorable weather report that indicated that the winds would be good enough for them to make Heathrow with a little more than their fleet minimum reserve, so they decide to go for it. As their flight plan calls for flying the first three hours of the flight over the US and populated Canada before they reached the area in which alternates became problematic, I am certain they felt good enough that if something happened along the way and they did not get the fuel burn they needed, they could get across as planned. So they elected to proceed.

I don't know what a 25% loss in thrust does to a fully loaded 747, but assuming all things are equal, a 25% loss = 25% loss in speed, 25% loss in altitude, so if FL390 was their crossing altitude, then we are probably looking at M0.70 at FL290-310, maybe, instead of M0.85 at FL380-390 going over the Atlantic. By the time they got to eastern Canada (and they would had to have flown more easterly to stay within limits of a diversion airport), I am confident they were certain they had enough fuel to get across the Atlantic. What is less certain is when they realized they did not have enough fuel to get to London. I would have to assume that happened somewhere over the Atlantic after they were committed to making the crossing. The winds they thought they were going to get on the crossing did not materialize and I am sure they were doing some number crunching and some sweating going over the pond, because if their calculations were based on wind and the wind was not materializing as they had planned, the question was how much margin was built in for wind? Could they make Ireland? If they made Manchester with minimum fuel, the answer is yes, so they were in NO danger at anytime. We take tailwinds into our flight planning every day. However, it seems to me with an engine out, the operating ability of the aircraft is compromised, albeit somewhat small in the 747. I certainly would have been much more conservative in my fuel planning and not considered any wind in the fuel planning and if that caused a stop, so be it.

Now, IF the original fuel planning after the emergency was to go to Manchester in the first place and have another aircraft there to take the passengers to London, that would have been the smart play. I don't know if that is what BA was planning. That was never offered up as a possibility.
If that was the case, then BA was not as questionable in their thinking as I currently believe they are. My belief is that if an aircraft, no matter what aircraft, even a 747, has an engine out at takeoff, then it should return. PERIOD. If an engine out occurs during cruise and they are half way to their destination, this is an entirely different matter. If that were to occur, then I would be more inclined to continue to destination unless the engine failure were a fire or something more uncontained.

In closing, this incident should be more scrutinized by the FAA. Not to bash BA, but to review procedures so that we ensure that there are NO holes in the system that allow the kind of decision making that could have potentially put the lives of nearly 300 people at stake."


It would seem that we are not the only ones taking notice of this particular captain's decision with BA Flight Ops approval to continue the flight. There are no circumstances that I can forsee that any reasonable airline captain would not do an immediate fuel dump and land at the nearest suitable airport to do an inspection of the aircraft. While this is Monday morning quarterbacking, I think there is reason to consider this a valid position. If you review my Non-Normal Checklist items above, the instruction state "Land at nearest suitable airport." There is no ambiguity about what that airline's particular procedure is above Boeing's procedures on the aircraft.

Whether or not this new law in the EU is causing people at BA to think with their pocketbooks in flight ops is a question best left to an investigation by the FAA and the Civil Aviation Authorities in the UK. The law is quite onerous as I understand it and does not allow for "emergency or safety decisions". If this is true, then I think the aviation community in the EU has to raise a serious objection to this in a way that the EU commission will understand. There has to be some consideration given to the airline with regard to issues of safety and if there is a safety issue which is going to delay a flight, then it is up to the airline to put procedures in place to accommodate the passengers. There must be no financial leverage put on airlines to compromise safety.

With that said, airlines have to become more realistic regarding the handling of their passengers. In other words, instead of making a passenger wait untold hours while the airplane is being fixed...if the local staff gets word from the mechanic that the delay will exceed two hours, then they start reaccommodating passengers on other flights (connecting passengers first), get them on their way with their baggage while the problem is being resolved. For the remainder, feed and water them, give them telephone access and other amenities as necessary to keep them comfortable until the aircraft is ready for departure.

If the delay is going to exceed the four hour limit, then if the carrier can develop a compensation scheme that allows them to provide them a voucher for free transportation for one year in Economy Class (lowest inventory bucket) against a waiver of the cash payment, then the carrier might be perceived as actually doing more for the passenger while actually costing them less....a) tickets are soft dollars and b) breakage on coupon usage can be as high as 20%

Why am I going into such detail into this particular aspect of the issue surrounding the new EU delay compensation law? Simple. If BA Flight Ops is being influenced, either directly by management or indirectly by trying to balance safety and economics, then this sets a dangerous precedent. Safety should never be leveraged or balanced against anything. Safety comes first. PERIOD. There should be no financial considerations in the mix when an aircraft emergency occurs. The object of the exercise is to get the aircraft on the ground with all hands safely. Then a risk management assessment can be made regarding what to do next.

This kind of error in judgement can be fatal for an airline. We take airline safety as a given, because we understand that the industry as a whole and BA as well takes safety as their primary consideration and their primary duty. However, anything that creates doubt or casts a negative light about a carrier's safety is bad news...especially if that news involves poor judgement on the part of a Captain. His motives may have been right: They could fly on three engines, They flew two orbits over LAX for an hour and had no problems since the engine failure, save the yaw from the loss of the engine and the subsequent loss of performance. They calculated that they could make it back to LHR if the winds were as favorable as forecast. So he decided to go for it. Everything worked right up to the end, except that the tailwinds they were expecting did not materialize (or they had to fly lower than planned) and they hit their minimum safe fuel point short of Heathrow and diverted to Manchester. Ultimately, the whole thing was for not, since they arrived more than four hours late anyway with the aircraft that had to be brought in to take them to London, plus all the additional ground handling, etc.

The right decision would have been to return to LAX, inspect the engine and if it could be fixed, then fix it, test it and relaunch. If it could not be relaunched, then reaccomodate the passengers on other flights and/or offer them hotel accommodations and reservations for flights the following day, plus the delay payment and/or a free ticket as compensation. That scenario would probably have cost far less to BA than the operational mess they had to face at Manchester and Heathrow, as well as the cash payments, the PR fiasco they are fighting now which will cost them 100 times the cost of the flight easily. Is this a case of "pence wise and pound foolish?"

There will certainly be much discussion about this in the coming days and weeks. However, there are two points about which we should remain cautions in our statements:

1) BA is a fine, outstanding airline. This was a horrendous, costly mistake. Hopefully, everyone will learn from this and perhaps better procedures will come of it, as well as some re thinking of the law just introduced in the EU.
2) As much as we want to be Monday morning quarterbacks (including myself) we must be mindful of this fact: In that moment, that Captain had to consider what was wrong with his aircraft, what he should do, return or continue, what was in the best interest of his passengers (a) safety (b), convenience (b) and (3) the implications of either returning to LAX or risking continuing to LHR and possibly having another engine failure and having to divert, this time in a more significant emergency. Add to the mix the new EU law hanging over everyone's head, I am sure that was not an easy decision to make.

There were numerous diversion airports along his route for the first five hours of his flight and once he got out over the Atlantic, had he lost another engine, he would have been able to nurse the airplane to REK or Shannon, or back to Gander, depending how far out he was on the NAT track. He would have been in a lot more trouble had that happened, but thankfully it did not. He did run short of fuel and did not make Heathrow, so he does have to answer for that.

Let us hope that this is one of those events where we can come away from this with a new found respect for those brave souls who fly us back and forth every day and keep us safe and comfortable doing it. Some people whine and moan about how much pilots get paid. I'm not one of them. In these kinds of situations, the guy who has the presence of mind to fly the airplane, manage the workload properly with his teammate in the cockpit, analyze a situation in short order and develop a solution and 99.5% of the time get the aircraft down without a scratch or a bump or bruise to anyone deserves every penny he gets paid.

This should make an excellent case study for a CRM work group studying communications between flight crews, flight ops, maintenance, management and ATC in an emergency environment and the effects of information overload on proper analysis and critical problem solving in the cockpit.

I think that would make a killer thread...

One last request: Let's keep the BA bashing to a minimum, please. They are going to take it in the shorts from a lot of ignorant people. Since we are a little more in the know about these types of things, let's look toward analysis and comment rather than "bash thy neighbor". What goes around comes around and bites you in the ass.

baw716.
Captain, British Airways Virtual
(A319/320/321...B763/B772/B744)
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3124
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:25 pm

IMO its not just the airline but the captain who should be bought to book. Ultimately its his call, the responsibility of the passengers lives are with him. In that context this was a very irresponsible thing to do. Seriously, this is something we would expect from a thrid world carrier like Air India, not british Airways. I think BA should be investing some more in pilot training, including lessons on responsibility.

So the conclusion: FIRE the bastard and order an enquiry against him. This should send a message to all pilots out there to be more responsible on their job stations.

-Roy
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:33 pm

Quoting Indianguy (reply 78):
this is something we would expect from a thrid world carrier like Air India, not british Airways


this shows how often solely profit-driven enterprises compromise with security
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:39 pm

Quoting Indianguy (reply 78):
So the conclusion: FIRE the bastard and order an enquiry against him. This should send a message to all pilots out there to be more responsible on their job stations.



Hmmm fire him and have an enquiry. I say we just hang him now and save all the expense!

Amazing how many experts are on this board. I'm surprised I'm even able to continue as a 744 Captain. There are so many qualified people on the street.
Fly fast, live slow
 
vs773er
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:19 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:59 pm

Billions of $$$'s, years of testing, reacting to many, many accidents occuring from illfated decisions and 'mishaps' have caused airline companies to accurately construct aircraft, recently, that are more than technically able to achieve positive a outcomes from negative scenarios, that in aviation, will happen again and again. Its been proven.

So why NOW, after achieving some said problems (as shown in the recent LAX-LHR 'scenario'), are people trying to play down Boeing's efforts to make modern day aircraft MORE safer, MORE useable and MORE efficient. Why bother spending more time on research and development to acheive these goals if misguided rules and regulations and press hysteria are going to quash any effort to allow scenarios to play out as said companies and professionals expected them to.

The people behind these misguided rules and regulations and the press have won again, and ried to limit any future evolvement of aircraft technology and systems. No wonder there's no replacement for Concorde!
Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
 
Bellerophon
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 10:12 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:01 pm

There have been so many ill informed postings on this topic, based on so called facts and expert opinions, that it is pointless trying to rebut them individually.

PhilSquares stands out as the lone voice of reason in the midst of all this babble and static. Re-read what he has written, and then you may perhaps better understand what he has, very carefully, said about this incident.

Amongst those who hold a contrary opinion, I at least give credit to OPNLguy and Kellmark for giving their reasons, even if I disagree with their opinions or think that some points they emphatically state as facts are just plain wrong.

I don’t know all the information the crew on that flight possessed, but, on what is known so far, it appears to me that they did nothing wrong. On the contrary, on the information currently available, their decision to continue appears to have been a carefully considered and rational decision, fully in accordance with JARs and BA SOPs.

Some brief facts.

• There is an acceptance, by authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, that a 3 or 4 engined aircraft need not always land at the nearest suitable airport, following an IFSH, provided certain conditions, listed by OPNLguy, can be met.

• This type of operation has happened before, with US carriers operating under FARs, without action being taken under FARs.

• This operation has been carried out several times before, by BA, without incident, comment or repercussion from the CAA.

• The JARs, under which BA operate, are almost identical to the FARs, in the relevant sections. In practical terms, apart from licenced dispatchers, the rules are broadly similar.

• JARs do not require a licenced dispatcher to give consent for the flight to depart and proceed, in the way that I understand the FAA system does. This does not mean however, that BA does not have a highly professional Flight Technical Dispatch team. They do, and they are involved in the planning and dispatch of every flight, and are routinely contacted regarding diversions and re-planning.

• The MAYDAY, on approach to MAN, was related to the calculated fuel remaining on landing dipping below the BA minimum, mainly due to the inability of ATC to allocate the optimum flight level and encountering more adverse winds than had been forecast.

• This can happen to any flight, on any day, across the Atlantic, and will result in a higher than planned fuel burn. It does not reflect in any way on the correctness or otherwise of the decision to continue.

• Boeing designed a great fuel system, as anyone who flies the B747 will know, and ALL the fuel in #2 tank remained useable.

• All the other factors regarding the proposed 3-engined flight would have been taken into account, most importantly of course, all the calculations regarding the safety of the flight following a potential second engine failure.

I await the findings of the investigation with interest, and suggest that others do the same, especially before posting abusive nonsense such as Indianguy posted in reply #78. Not only immature, but probably libellous as well.

In the meantime, for what it’s worth, that is now two, current, high time, B747 Captains who disagree with the WSJ and its experts, and all the other sensationalist reports, that have unreservedly criticised this flight.


Regards

Bellerophon
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3124
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:01 pm

The ultimate responsibility of the safety of his passengers rests with the captain of the flight. He cannot turn around and say that "oh the company ordered me to fly so i did even though myu judgement told me otherwise"

In any case Its a question of protecting BA's brand image. Its cheaper to fire one pilot than to risk loosing your brand image.

-Roy
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:31 pm

Indianguy,

My question is "what did he do wrong?". No one on this board knows the information the Captain had or didn't have. What if nothing had happened to the flight and they landed at LHR, or if no engine had failed and they had divert to MAN for the same reason. No one would be making outrageous demands. How can anyone call for his termination without knowing the whole story. Where would it end?

If the flight is late pushing back from the gate, do we fire the Captain? If the flight is delayed enroute, do we fire the Captain? After all he is the one who is responsible.

Your position is unrealistic, and bordering on lunacy. I suppose the next time I get a software error, I should call the company and demand the programmer be fired! That would sure keep the company's image from being tarnished.
Fly fast, live slow
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:44 pm

Bellerophon:

Excellent comments and well said. I respect your comments and think you are right about many things here.

I agree that the crew did nothing wrong regarding the requirements of JAR and SOP. I think that they have been unfairly attacked. I also disagree that this decision was taken for pure economics, although it was certainly part of the process. I believe that it was taken simply because it was SOP.

I agree that this type of operation has been carried out a number of times before, without action from the CAA. In fact, that is true not just of BA, but of a number of other carriers, such as Swissair, and SAS who are well respected carriers as well. I think if someone did a survey, they would find that there have been a fair number of these same type of incidents. And I think that the comments from our friend from Virgin above show that they also follow this policy. I believe that all European carriers do.

We will have to agree to disagree on a number of things here, however.

1. The JARs, for something like this are not similar to the FARs. There is nothing to compare with 121.565, which specifically addresses the in-flight shutdown situation, and while allowing an aircraft to continue under certain special circumstances, indeed requires that the crew justify it as being as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport, considering the appropriate factors.

This doesnÕt mean that continuing to a further airport doesnÕt happen with a US carrier, but the crew knows that their ticket is in jeopardy if they cannot justify it as being as safe as landing at the nearest suitable. That is not true under JAR- OPS. And I canÕt think of any FAA man that would agree that this particular operation from LAX-LHR would qualify in that regard.

Regarding the licensed dispatchers, this system provides fundamental support for crews during a situation like this. While BA no doubt has some very experienced people doing some similar work, none of them are certified to be knowledgeable, and none of them have any authority to intervene if there is a safety issue. Also, for many flights on European carriers there is not even an airline flight watch/monitoring system that would track the aircraft as they are enroute. This just does not exist in many parts of Europe and many other more remote areas, although for the oceanic flights across the Atlantic, some carriers do provide some support.

This is very different in the US and elsewhere where there is a requirement of joint responsibility with certified dispatchers both in pre-flight planning and in flight monitoring, to ensure that the crew gets all support necessary. All flights are required to be tracked and watched. The flight dispatcher is required to provide all necessary safety information to the crew, and is required to intervene if they believe that there is a safety problem. This system reduces errors of both poor information and poor judgment. I am not saying that this is just a BA problem, but an overall European problem with the lack of a proper system, not required by JAR-OPS. There have been a number of accidents/incidents in Europe where crews have run out of fuel and crashed (Hapag-Lloyd A310, Vienna), run into bad weather and crashed at closed airports (Swiss, SAAB 2000, Berlin) hit hail (EasyJet, B737 Geneva) (BMI A321 over Germany) where the crews simply did not have the support from the airline.

2. Regarding the descent and landing into Manchester, I would agree with you that there were ATC considerations into Manchester. But regarding the fuel system, I think that you will find that even though it was likely true that all of the fuel in the #2 tank was useable, the crew in this case were unable to access it.

3. You obviously believe that this was an acceptable operation. And as you point out, there are a number of people that agree with you including a number of B744 pilots. I assume you are one as well. But it still does not overcome a simple issue. What is the safest course of action in a situation like this? I submit that the one taken was not that action. It is not reasonable to fly a degraded aircraft full of passengers 5,000 miles across all of North America and the North Atlantic when it is simply not necessary, with so many other options available. In fact it puts the crew in a very difficult situation with their fuel management and possible systems and performance issues. It takes out the normal margins of safety you have with an aircraft that is operating normally. And that is why this should be changed in both the JAR-OPS and SOP.


Phil Squares.
I agree with you about the crew. They did nothing wrong according to their regulatory and company requirements. But that is exactly the problem.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:51 pm

Armchair pilots may be bad, I would say "ramp lawyers" are worse. While BA and the crew might have been in the letter of the law, it takes quite of bit shystering to arrive at the conclusion that the pilot and the BA made the most prudent decision in this situation.

If that compressor stall had occured say 40 seconds or so earlier, what would have occured? My guess is that they would have rejected the take off and would have dealt with engine problem at LAX and took the delay. I think they simply stretched the intent of the regulation to an absurd limit.

Philsquares,

I was genuinely seeking your opinion in reply 13. What would you do in that situation? Without having winds aloft, fuel burn computations, and so on, the basic fact situation is pretty clear. Thanks in advance.
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:04 am

N79669,
Without having that information, I really can't make the decision. To be honest, I don't know when the surge occurred. The posters here seem to indicate it happened during the takeoff or shortly after V2. However, I have not seen any official synopsis of the exact sequence of events. So your question about 20 seconds earlier, I don't know.

I will say having "unexpected headwinds" going eastbound is extremely unusual, especially during the winter months. You can generally count on atleast 50Kts on the tail, if not more. The only real question is the fuel burn at a lower altitude.

There are many variables to consider. I can guarantee you if the crew dumped fuel and returned to LAX, the pax would have been delayed for quite a while. The operating crew would have been out of flight/duty time.

I am not going to second guess the Captain's decision without having the same information he'd gotten. However, keep in mind, the diversion to MAN was the result of a fuel system problem, or it has been reported as that. So, the root cause might not be the basic decision to continue after the surge.

In conclusion, I don't think, as you wrote "the basic fact situation" is really all that clear.
Fly fast, live slow
 
mucflyer
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 4:21 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:55 am

in some threads were mentioned the 'poor' JAR regulations here in Europe. Maybe right. But JAR stands for a common MINIMUM Standard. No more or less. Isn't it the specific airline who deals with those minimums ? Don't convict all european airlines in the same way...
I know for sure that a german B744 operator  Smile/happy/getting dizzy has handled similar situations in the past completely different (as often described, with a precautionary diversion to New York).
 
travelin man
Posts: 3238
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:00 am

In the meantime travellers all over the world are reading about the pilot/airline that decided it was OK to fly 5,000 miles with an engine out, resulting in an emergency landing at the wrong airport.

Letter of the law or no, this looks terrible in the minds of the flying public.
 
baw716
Posts: 1463
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:29 am

Well, I have re-read the posts and I must apologize for re-posting my rather lengthy post...it would seem that this thread was headed down a different path..when I scanned it last night it seemed it was heading down the same path as the other thread I was following...for that I apologize. Adding such a long and (perhaps) unnecessary post did not add to the conversation.

Now that I have re-read this, let me add something shorter and more germane to this topic.

It would seem in reading the various posts here that we have a couple of differing interpretations of FAR121.565.

Since the FARs have been hashed and rehashed a number of times, I am going to spare us another interpretation of the FAR121.565 and the pertinent paragraphs being interpreted. This point can be argued all day.

It would seem that in this thread, we have moved from the issue of the wisdom of the decision to the legality of the decision. Phil Squares and Kellmark have provided us excellent, yet different interpretation, it would seem of the same rules. Or are they? Kellmark raises a question of a difference in rules between the FAA and the JAR on this point. Yet, I think we are still missing the point. Whether or not he had the right to make the decision is not the issue. Was it a safe decision to make is more the issue here and on that point there are many differences of opinion.

To PhilSquares and Kellmark, who I presume are both 744 Captains, I would have to defer to your expertise in this matter, since you are as close to the situation as one could get. You are the ones who would be in that situation were it to arise. I will not ask you to speculate on what you would do in that situation, since we do not have the CVR/FDR data to plug into a simulator to reproduce the situation in a sim. Only then could you render a position and even then it would only be a maybe, since it is never possible to completely reproduce the exact failure and the exact resulting change in flight dynamics.

Those of us who do not fly for a living, but fly take our flight sim activities VERY seriously (enough to buy spare level D time), try very hard to understand the critical thinking processes that go into dealing with those types of emergency situations. The exert from the FM I quoted was from a European carrier. They state in their non-normal procedures to put the airplane on the ground at the nearest suitable airport. If BAs procedures are different, then that is their choice if they are living within the FARs, but is this the prudent thing to do? The majority opinion here seems to be NO.

I believe now we should wait for the various investigations to conclude and we get results before we opine any further. I think this subject has been talked over a lot and there has been some good (and some rather bad) discussion on some elements of airmanship and aviation law that pertain to this incident.
Once the results are in, then I think we can again take those conclusions apart and discuss their merits.

As to bashing BA and bashing the Captain....I say emphatically NO! I may not agree with his decision and were I in his place I would have made a completely different decision based on my training and my arch conversative approach to flying heavy jets (or anything else, for that matter). His decisions will be investigated and scrutinized to the nth degree by the FAA, JAR and BA, so he has a lot of explaining to do, which ultimately will come out. Until then, I will not bash him, nor will I bash BA. I further believe it extremely imprudent of us to do either. As I pointed out in my earlier post, calling the safety of an airline into question is a matter which could quite literally destroy an airline overnight. Therefore, it is irresponsible of us who have anything to do with aviation to be making such statements, either regarding the Captain or BA. Let us let our prudence be our guide now as we let the authorities sort this matter out.

Thank you all for a lively and spirited discussion.
baw716
Captain, BA Virtual
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
col
Posts: 1707
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:35 am

AA753E,

First part of my comment was very tongue in cheek, please forgive me for not getting everything down to the letter of the law. I have however driven up to Maine several time, and went down to NY last weekend, so do get out a little.

Topic:
I was once on a flight home to Singapore out of Taipei, when we had a bird strike on a EVA 744. The captain informed us straight away, little obvious with the bang and the aircraft going around in circles just off the coast. We were informed that we could continue the flight, but after discussion with ground ops, we would return to TPE. They had a 744 scheduled for a later flight which would be serviced and sent to SIN. Our 744 would then be worked on and used later. We ended up 2 hours delayed, so not too bad. Would have I liked to have flown to SIN on three engines, no problem, but other people would have thought differently. Would it have been safe to do so, yes.
In Jan this year I was on a DL MD88 when it depressurised on my flight BDL-CVG. We dropped down and flew on to CVG. Would I have preferred to divert to the nearest airport, hell yes, but the captain flew on. Was it safe, yes, but this one seemed more serious to me.

This topic is more to do with personal feelings than the actual facts on the safety implications. Some people feel the captain should have returned, probably along with 50% of the passengers on board. The rest were/are ok with his judgement. The MAN divert is where all the concern is shown, but if this had been a four engine divert for fuel we would not have heard about it, as it is a normal everyday occurrence.

How often do those RR engines surge?
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:45 pm

Quoting PhilSquares (reply 84):
No one on this board knows the information the Captain had or didn't have.


Oh, please, Roy knows everything, from Civil Aviuation in India and beyond upto how to fly the A380 - , so do not challenge this  Big grin
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:29 pm

Philsquares,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I read that eyewitnesses reported hearing the engine surge within seconds after takeoff. They basically made the decision to proceed to the original destination after an engine failure with about 99% of the planned flight time ahead of them. I do not think that this is kind of decision that the drafters of the FAR envisioned when the rule was issued. I think even lay people realize it.

Quoting PhilSquares (reply 87):
However, keep in mind, the diversion to MAN was the result of a fuel system problem, or it has been reported as that.


If this proves to be the case, then it makes BA's decision seem even worse. This would mean that the aircraft suffered a 2nd independently caused mechanical failure. Rather than vindicating BA's (cockpit and home base) decision making, it kind of does the opposite. As Schiff or someone else stated, they elected to fly with a reduced margin of safety in case something else arose...well something else did arise possibly. Luckily they were close to the UK and it was manageable.

There are worse things than being stranded in Los Angeles for an extra day.

People often complain about the complexity of the FAR. But it is shyster decisions like the one that end up becoming the impetus for new and more complex rules.

Some people have argued that WSJ is muckraking and that it would not have been reported had it been UA or NW. I do not think so. I think it was the WSJ that reported it when a non-proficient UA pilot nearly cratered a 747-400 a few years ago near San Francisco following...an engine surge. I think they went and did some homework before they published this story as well.
 
Bellerophon
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 10:12 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:32 am

Kellmark

Thank you for your reply. I won't rise to your bait - extolling the virtues of the US Flight Dispatcher system - except to say that in Europe I believe we enjoy the benefits of it without the drawbacks.

Let's save that debate for another day. Big grin

However, I would like to ask, assuming hypothetically that BA had indeed had a Flight Dispatch system in place during this incident, what leads you to believe that a BA Flight Dispatcher, operating under JARs and BA SOPs, would not have approved this operation?

What factors do you think a dispatcher could have considered that the Captain did not and why would the dispatcher have come to a different decision to the Captain?


...I think that you will find that even though it was likely true that all of the fuel in the #2 tank was useable, the crew in this case were unable to access it...

For the fuel to be useable, it has to be accessible. If it was accessible, but you are saying for some reason the crew in this case were unable to access it, that would require some further investigation.


...You obviously believe that this was an acceptable operation...

Nothing I have heard so far leads me to believe that it was not. It has happened several times before, and I have no problem with it in principle.

However, as I don't know many facts about this incident, I will reserve judgement until such time as I do. What concerns me is the erroneous but apparently widespread belief, amongst many here, that it could not possibly have been.


...It is not reasonable to fly a degraded aircraft full of passengers 5,000 miles across all of North America and the North Atlantic...

Emotive language, such as using the word degraded, doesn't mask the reality that degraded aircraft can still be perfectly safe, and continued flight perfectly prudent, thanks to the redundancy built into modern aircraft.

Boeing build a lot of redundancy into all of their systems, at considerable expense, just so that a flight may safely depart following a major system failure, or continue following an engine failure. There are many times when it is safe and prudent to continue a flight, there are other times when it is not.

I'm not suggesting that an engine failure is anything other than a serious event, even on a four engined aircraft, but it is not the major disaster that some seem to imply, and I have yet to hear any facts regarding this incident that would lead me to believe this was an imprudent decision to continue.

It would be ironic if the only effect of having multiple systems installed on an aircraft was to increase the chance of it being required to land immediately because one of those multiple systems had failed whilst airborne!


N79969

...I do not think that this is kind of decision that the drafters of the FAR envisioned when the rule was issued...

You are entitled to your opinion - I don't agree, if the FAR drafters had wanted a four engined aircraft always to land immediately, following an IFSD, they could easily have said so - but what relevance do the FARs have to this incident?


...If this proves to be the case, then it makes BA's decision seem even worse...

Why do you think that a subsequent fuel system problem (if that is what it was) makes the initial decision to continue even worse?

I would maintain that the quality and appropriateness of a decision to continue should be judged solely on the information available to the crew at the time of making the decision, and not on the outcome of that decision.

We don't know what information and data the crew had at that time, so uninformed criticism, using abusive terms like shyster decisions, is frankly valueless.

For what it's worth, the diversion into MAN appears to have been caused by a combination of ATC requiring the aircraft to descend below its optimum flight level and encountering more adverse winds that had been forecast, both resulting in a higher than planned fuel burn.


...they elected to fly with a reduced margin of safety...

If we are meant to take simplistic quotes such as this one seriously, then an aircraft should not remain airborne once any defect has occurred. Any defect, however trivial, would, by definition, cause a reduced margin of safety and would require an immediate relanding.


Best Regards to both

Bellerophon
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:34 am

Bellerophon;

Sorry about the delay in replying. Been busy here. Thanks for your reply.

You donÕt want to discuss the benefits of a US style dispatch system, yet you say that Europe enjoys the benefits without the drawbacks. What benefits?

Flights in Europe are routinely launched off on both long and short haul trips with no support whatsoever from the airline. The airline in many cases doesnÕt even know where the flight is at any given time, as they donÕt monitor or track them. That allows a crew to get into trouble that could have been prevented. They don't get the information that they need.

Your question about if there was a flight dispatch system in place for this incident, is a good one, but then you purposely cripple it with requiring it to operate under JARs and SOP that exist now. This is exactly the problem. They donÕt have the requirements that would provide the safety of a US style system. They donÕt have licensing of flight dispatchers, they donÕt have required communication by the dispatcher with the flight, they donÕt have a requirement for the dispatcher to provide safety info to the flight and of course they donÕt have the safety that joint responsibility and authority would provide. And they have no emergency authority provision either, which could have been used in this case. So to answer your question of course it would not be effective, as it would still be under the very inadequate JARs and SOP used now. They need to be changed.

The factors that the dispatcher would have used would have been as follows under a US system: (not JAR or SOP as used at BA).
1. The dispatcher would have advised the crew that they did not have a release to continue the flight to its destination, considering all of the factors in 121.565, which has been discussed here at length.

This authority is given in 121.533 as follows.

(c) The aircraft dispatcher is responsible for-
(1) Monitoring the progress of each flight;
(2) Issuing necessary information for the safety of the flight; and
(3) Canceling or redispatching a flight if, in his opinion or the opinion of the pilot in command, the flight cannot operate or continue to operate safely as planned or released.

They also would have advised the crew that to continue it would have constituted continuing flight in unsafe conditions, as per FAR 121.627 as here.

¤ 121.627 Continuing flight in unsafe conditions.

(a) No pilot in command may allow a flight to continue toward any airport to which it has been dispatched or released if, in the opinion of the pilot in command or dispatcher (domestic and flag operations only), the flight cannot be completed safely; unless, in the opinion of the pilot in command, there is no safer procedure. In that event, continuation toward that airport is an emergency situation as set forth in ¤121.557.

It would force the PIC into an emergency situation if he continued. He would have had to land at a suitable alternate long before the destination. There are none of the above requirements in JAR-OPS.

And by the way, it is not just a US style system. Even the Chinese have adopted this system in its entirety. They understand its benefits. They and others are way ahead of Europe in this regard.

Now to the #2 fuel tank. Your are right, the fuel, if it was useable, it should have been accessible, But it was not. It sounds like a conflict, I know. But it is a fact. LetÕs just say, that there was another problem at work here. But it clearly shows that other things were happening, not just the shutdown of the engine. It created a double problem. It would not have been a factor if the flight had landed earlier, as there would have been much more fuel available in the other tanks.

A note about Boeing and todayÕs aircraft. Yes they are very reliable and redundant in their systems. But if an engine is shut down, it doesnÕt mean that one should just go on forever. It is definitely a less capable aircraft. Why do it if it is not necessary?

I think that you are on the wrong side of this argument. You are arguing that an aircraft with an engine out that is less capable is safe, when we all know that it is not as safe as one with all engines operating.

And of course we also know that this aircraft had another engine shutdown on its next series of flights, coming back from Singapore. Same position, #2, but different engine, as it had been changed. What did the flight do? Of course, it followed the JARs and SOP. It flew all the way back from the Far East to LHR on 3 engines. It is simply not sustainable to continue this practice. Ferry the thing, donÕt take it with passengers.

The FAA agrees with this practice as being illegal under the FARs.From the Wall Street Journal today.

"...FAA said the flight was a violation of U.S. regulations, but it didn't have jurisdiction over the British flight crew. Many pilots agreed with the FAA's reading that setting off on a 10-hour flight across a continent and an ocean is not as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport -- just consider a possible second engine failure when you're hundreds of miles from an airport."

Here are some comments from passengers in the Wall Street Journal from today.

ÒLike many fliers, Steven Hill said he would have been a wreck had he been on the plane. He's decided to fly a U.S. airline to Europe this summer instead of a British carrier. "British Airways is nuts if they think three engines is OK to continue the flight all the way to England," he said.

Jim Finke says if he had been on the plane, he would have been on his cellphone immediately, regardless of the impropriety.

Arthur M. Cash: "There is no question why this flight was continued: money. I am shocked and amazed that these people had the gall to risk the lives of 300 people for money. They can blow all the smoke they want. They know, we know, and their former customers aboard that airplane know: They took the action that they did due to greed, period. I am disgusted and saddened by their actions."

Charles M. West: "Ultimately, British Airways will not have saved any money by making a decision to cross the North American continent and Arctic Ocean on only three engines. When the news gets out about what happened, many passengers making the flight from Los Angeles will choose a domestic carrier over British Airways. The airline, along with the European Union, needs to reassess its policy concerning such an incident."

Even you yourself say ÒI'm not suggesting that an engine failure is anything other than a serious event, even on a four engined aircraftÉÓ,

Then it canÕt be as safe as having all 4 running.

The thing that strikes me is that this is the same mentality that had the Titannic being ÒunsinkableÓ. It had a double hull, multiple compartments and watertight doors. Unfortunately it wasnÕt enough. Interestingly, one of the other comments in the Wall Street Journal today was:

"I don't know what all the fuss is about," wrote Eli Bensky. "I'm sure that the 747 had enough life rafts to accommodate all of the passengers and every passenger had a life vest."

A little black humor. How Titannic like. I suggest that BA has hit a "Titannic" of a public relations iceberg, especially now with the 2nd incident on the same aircraft. The best thing that they could do is to change the practice and for EASA/JAA to change their rules to bring them up to at least the standards of US carriers. They should track their aircraft and support them appropriately. Engine out rules should limit how far they can go with an engine out. The word is out now out if they don't. Their reputation is at stake. And that counts for a lot in aviation. Maybe everything.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:59 pm

Quoting Bellerophon (reply 94):
I don't agree, if the FAR drafters had wanted a four engined aircraft always to land immediately, following an IFSD, they could easily have said so - but what relevance do the FARs have to this incident?


Bellerophon,

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. The FAR we are discussing addresses a failure mode and the discretion that the crew/certificate holder has in that situation along with the relevant considerations. The FARs assume a requisite level of sound judgment on the part of the operator/crew. I do not believe that requisite was met in this case. There is a big difference what "can" be done and what "should" be done. So far the most compelling reason that BA provided for its decision is that it would have incovenienced passengers, is not that particularly compelling in the larger picture.

Quoting Bellerophon (reply 94):
I would maintain that the quality and appropriateness of a decision to continue should be judged solely on the information available to the crew at the time of making the decision, and not on the outcome of that decision.

We don't know what information and data the crew had at that time, so uninformed criticism, using abusive terms like shyster decisions, is frankly valueless.


I agree that the quality and appropriateness of the decision should be judged on available information. As I said before, I think the initial decisions was unwise. Leaving that aside, the decision to continue was predicated an assumption (that took on increased importance with one engine out) that certain other important aircraft systems would not fail. If a component in the fuel system indeed failed independtly, that assumption was not met. If true, I think this mechanical failure illuminates the type of risk they undertook by electing to press forward that could have been avoided.

Quoting Bellerophon (reply 94):
If we are meant to take simplistic quotes such as this one seriously, then an aircraft should not remain airborne once any defect has occurred. Any defect, however trivial, would, by definition, cause a reduced margin of safety and would require an immediate relanding.


I think you distort my remarks. Let me clarify. A propulsion system failure is not just any defect or a trivial one. That fourth engine provides an added margin of safety. They did not have it that margin of safety for most of their flight.
 
stealthpilot
Posts: 502
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:28 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:06 pm

Philsquare: Your efforts to try and explain that you neither agree nor disagree with the pilot’s decision because you weren’t there were obviously not understood or heard. You have made the most sense out of everyone so far (my opinion….), and importantly presented your argument in a good manner which not many people did.
Welcome to my RR list!

I agree there are many sides to this argument, and most are opinions so all are welcome. But there are ways to say somethings and ways not too.

Kellmark: Your input has been valuable and informative, I am not being sarcastic. Only one point made absolutely no sense ..... Who cares if Steven Hill decided to fly a US carrier to Europe because of this incident, that proves his lack of sense... Furthermore what difference does that make!

-Nikhil
eP007
 
kellmark
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:30 pm

Stealthpilot.

Passengers want to know that whatever airline they fly would have the proper attitude toward safety. These passengers, after hearing of this incident, simply feel that US carriers would have that attitude and therefore they will make their choice accordingly. To them it makes eminent sense to choose those carriers that would not take them on a 5,000 mile 3 engine flight on a 4 engine airplane. US carriers are prohibited from that practice.
 
Bellerophon
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 10:12 am

RE: BA Bashed In Wall Street Journal

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:35 am

Kellmark

I think we are in danger of starting to repeat ourselves, and just going round in circles with this discussion.

You obviously oppose what BA did, and also appear to believe that Europe should change their JARs to fall in line with the US FARs and that Europe should adopt the US Flight Dispatcher regime.

A not uncommon US response towards anyone with the temerity to do things differently to the US! Big grin Big grin

However, on a more serious note, you advance no sound reason for any of these points, other than an apparent deeply held conviction that the US system is better and safer.


...Flights in Europe are routinely launched off on both long and short haul trips with no support whatsoever from the airline....

Rubbish.

Under JARs, we are not obliged to have a US style "Flight Dispatcher", with authority over a given flight, but that does not mean that there is no support from the airlines for the flight. Far from it.


...they don't have the safety that joint responsibility and authority would provide....

A highly tendentious statement. Joint authority improves safety? How?


...And they have no emergency authority provision either...

Why on earth should they?

Under JAR OPS, authority (and with it responsibility) for the conduct of the flight remains in the flight deck, vested in the Captain.

I always appreciate and encourage help and advice from any quarter; whether it be a co-pilot, cabin crew member, ground engineer, ATC, or even on occasion a passenger if appropriate. However, as the ATPL holder who has signed for the aircraft, I make the final decision, and I answer for it.


...They also would have advised the crew that to continue it would have constituted continuing flight in unsafe conditions, as per FAR 121.627...

You imply that any US Flight Dispatcher would, without doubt, have prohibited this flight from proceeding. I'm sure you know the US system much better than I, but, at the risk of repeating myself yet again, allow me three brief comments.

Firstly, it is my (meagre) understanding that the FARs permit this sort of operation, provided various safeguards are met.

Secondly, if after considering all the circumstances, a US Captain felt that such an operation would be safe and prudent, I can't see why a US Dispatcher would necessarily disagree. Two competent, trained and conscientious aviation professionals, both considering the same data, ought to be able to agree most of the time.

Thirdly, such operations have been carried out by US carriers, so, it would appear that on at least a few occasions, a US Flight Dispatcher has approved such an operation and allowed the flight to proceed.


...You are arguing that an aircraft with an engine out that is less capable is safe..

Yes. Less capable does not mean unsafe. It means less capable. A B747-400 with one engine out will, most of the time, be perfectly safe.


...when we all know that it is not as safe as one with all engines operating...

Let me repeat, not as safe or less capable does not mean unsafe.

Much as I would like it, the aircraft does not have to have every system one hundred percent fully serviceable, in order to be safe.

I can depart, or continue, with only three out of four electrical generators serviceable, only seven out of eight hydraulic pumps working, only two out of three air conditioning packs working, with one landing light unserviceable or the first class cappuccino beverage maker broken. All are allowed by the MEL.

These faults may make the aircraft less capable but they do not make the aircraft unsafe.


… It flew all the way back from the Far East to LHR on 3 engines. It is simply not sustainable to continue this practice…

On the contrary, this sort of operation has been “sustained”, in suitable conditions and circumstances, for the past twenty years, to my certain knowledge.


…Here are some comments from passengers in the Wall Street Journal from today….

Passenger comments have great relevance in a customer service, marketing or PR context - no airline can afford to upset or ignore its customers in these areas and stay in business – however passenger comments generally have little relevance in a discussion regarding the technical conduct of a flight.

Incidentally, you say they were passengers, but it doesn’t appear to me they were!


…the fuel…should have been accessible, But it was not...it is a fact…Let’s just say, that there was another problem at work here….

This part of your post causes me concern. In the absence of further details from you, I shall await the eventual report with interest.


N79969

…the decision to continue was predicated an assumption…that certain other important aircraft systems would not fail…

If it had been, I would be joining in the chorus of disapproval.

On the contrary however, the decision to continue was undoubtedly predicated on the basis that any second failure could be safely handled.


… I think the initial decisions was unwise…

… The FARs assume a requisite level of sound judgment on the part of the operator/crew. I do not believe that requisite was met in this case….

I have yet to learn of anything that would lead me to believe either statement of yours is correct.


As I said earlier, I think we are now repeating ourselves, so I shall start to draw my participation in this particular discussion to a close with this post.


Best Regards to both,

Bellerophon

[Edited 2005-03-06 02:44:29]

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos