Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
flyguy1
Topic Author
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 1999 9:45 am

What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:17 am

I live under the approach path at JFK, Rwy. 13 arrivals fly over at around 800ft. Now in all my years of spotting, I have never seen what I witnessed last Thursday night (3/8/06). CX84, a 747-400F inbound from HKG, via ANC was on finals to 13L. As it was flying over, I heard what sounded like small explosions coming from the engine. I also spotted flames coming out from the engine. Now this was pretty scary for me, as it was only 1000 feet over my head, and I had no idea what was happening. The plane went around, and did land on 22L 10 minutes later.

I assume this was an engine failure, but no emergency was ever declared, at least while I was listening to ATC. Does anyone know about this particular incident, or have any idea as to what happened?
727, L1011, MD80, A300, 777-200, 737-300, 737-700, 747-400, 757-200, 737-800, A320. E190, E135, 767-200, CRJ9
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 19876
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:46 am

"Small explosions" + "flames". Sounds like a surge.

If it's a 744 maybe the loss of a single engine might mean you only have to declare "pan, pan, pan". I don't know really. There might not have been a fire in itself, just some fuel going poof.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2407
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:21 am

Sounds like a compressor stall and if I was on short final I would just land and worry about it on the ground. They may have taken in a couple of birds, who knows. Definitely will be a maint. write up.
 
bri2k1
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:13 am

RE: What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:17 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
you only have to declare "pan, pan, pan".

On the radio, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN means urgent attention required. MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY means an aircraft is in distress. If you saw two aircraft lining up on opposite ends of a runway, you might call PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN because while it's not yet an emergency, it does require urgent attention. PAN-PAN takes priority over all other communications except MAYDAY. Regardless of which one you use, you generally say it at the beginning of the first, and if necessary each subsequent, communication to get attention but also (if not primarily) to prevent other stations from transmitting until the situation is resolved. A compressor stall on a 4-engine jet while on a normal approach to landing is probably not an emergency, and even if it was, it may not be necessary to use MAYDAY or PAN-PAN on the radio to declare it. Either way, I don't think you "declare" PAN-PAN. Just a minor technicality, of course. In an actual emergency, you should use any means necessary to resolve it. Using something like MAYDAY or PAN-PAN might get you radio attention, but so will setting your transponder to 7700 and declaring an emergency on the radio.
Position and hold
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6145
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:58 pm

Sounds very much like a surge. Those engines are being worked very hard at the moment and a few of them are showing their age.

it is hard to say if they should or should not have gone around as we were not there or know the exact details, however on short finals unless it was major, I would be inclined to land. However it is also unusual that the engine surges when on approach idle. Are you sure that the engine did not surge at the beginning of a go-around as the thrust went up?

As for the 'pan' thing. There has been some guidance in our company about this, and it is not a phrase which features in our manuals, because in our area of operations around Asia, many countries do not recognise it, regardless of what ICAO says. We are told that if we like, we can try using it or simply "declare an emergency". If neither gets the desired effect then a full 'Mayday" can be called. This gets their attention and then when you have it, you can always downgrade afterwards.
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2407
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:12 pm

Quoting CX flyboy (Reply 4):
it is hard to say if they should or should not have gone around as we were not there or know the exact details, however on short finals unless it was major, I would be inclined to land.

I must disagree a little . Would you really go around with any eng. problem on short final? I can't think of anything short of a bad gear indication that would make me go around that close to the rny. I would much rather fight an emerg. on the ground than in the air. I agree with the rest of your comment.
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6145
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: What Did I See?

Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:11 pm

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 5):
I must disagree a little . Would you really go around with any eng. problem on short final? I can't think of anything short of a bad gear indication that would make me go around that close to the rny

Thats what I meant by 'major'...a word which is very subjective by nature. I would only go around if the problem led me to suspect I might end up causing an accident by landing RATHER than going around....and yes I realise that if your wings are about to fall of or something then better you end up upside down by the side of the runway than falling on top of a shopping mall miles from the airport!
 
rendezvous
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun May 20, 2001 9:14 pm

RE: What Did I See?

Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:06 am

There is also the possibility that if you're on short final and you hear some thumps (or whatever a surge sounds like in the plane), that you may be unsure what it is, and feel that it is safer to fly a missed approach to clarify what has happened before you end up landing with a potentially dangerous situation such as gear not locked properly.
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2407
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: What Did I See?

Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:52 am

Quoting Rendezvous (Reply 7):
before you end up landing with a potentially dangerous situation such as gear not locked properly.

Compressor stalls are usually recognizeable and by your example wouldn't you look at the gear lights? Flying instead of getting on the ground when there is a runway 1-2mi in front of you is usually not a good idea with few exceptions. Obviously the gear problem or a flight control problem such as a sudden split flap, etc. An example (ok maybe it's a little extreme) is the loss of a second eng. in the MD-11. If you're flying around in some phase other than on final app there is a long chk list with 5 "memory items" however if you're on final there are 2 memory items "flaps 28, speed Vapp. That's it LAND. The same would hold true for an eng fire , etc.
 
flyguy1
Topic Author
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 1999 9:45 am

RE: What Did I See?

Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:24 am

Quoting CX flyboy (Reply 4):
Are you sure that the engine did not surge at the beginning of a go-around as the thrust went up?

The pilot only stated he was going around, moments after I saw the flames. The plane than did a missed approach, climbed to 3000ft, IIRC, and landed normally on 22L.
727, L1011, MD80, A300, 777-200, 737-300, 737-700, 747-400, 757-200, 737-800, A320. E190, E135, 767-200, CRJ9
 
speedracer1407
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 4:19 pm

RE: What Did I See?

Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:20 pm

Because of the general consensus already expressed by the experienced pilots on this thread, I suspect the answer to my question is "absolutely not," but I'm curious anyway.

Could a rather nasty surge or sudden loss of power on an engine on a 747 that close to the runway create enough of a yaw moment that the pilot might elect to go around and regain more precise control instread of fight the thing in the last moments before touchdown? From what I've learned by reading these forums, it doesn't seem likely, but perhaps there are some unusual circumstances that might cause such a situation, which I'm unaware of.
Dassault Mercure: the plane that has Boeing and Airbus shaking in their boots.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: What Did I See?

Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:21 pm

Typically it takes a few moments for us to get around to talking to atc when we do a go-around.... The engines are usually already up to power and we're getting out of dodge by the time i get around to telling atc we're on the go.
Chicks dig winglets.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FGITD, Lukas757 and 15 guests

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