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Jumbo Jet Packed With British Tourists Seconds From Disaster After It Fails To Rise On Take-Off
Daily Mail (UK) ^ | May 31st 2009

Posted on 05/31/2009 7:58:41 PM PDT by Steelfish

Jumbo jet packed with British tourists seconds from disaster after it fails to rise on take-off

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER 01st June 2009

Hundreds of passengers narrowly avoided disaster when their plane nearly crashed after taking off.

The British Airways plane shook violently and did not rise more than 30ft above the ground as it set off from Johannesburg to London.

The pilot has been praised for his quick actions in keeping the Boeing 747 in the air, saving the lives of the 256 passengers on board.

Miraculous escape: The British Airways Boeing 747, similar to this one, is thought to have gone into landing mode so that the flaps that make it rise did not work

Travelling at 200mph, he dumped enough fuel for the aircraft to eventually gain height, before returning it to the airport.

It is believed that a technical fault caused the plane to go into landing mode so that the flaps that normally make it rise did not work.

An investigation is under way as to how the jet came so close to crashing.

A BA spokesman said: 'As a precaution BA56 Johannesburg to Heathrow flight on Monday May 11 returned to the airport shortly after take-off due to a suspected technical problem.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 747; airlines; aviation; ba; baboeing747; blessing

1 posted on 05/31/2009 7:58:41 PM PDT by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

Flight software hacked???


2 posted on 05/31/2009 8:02:52 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 132 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: null and void
Switch in wrong position.

/johnny

3 posted on 05/31/2009 8:04:10 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: Steelfish

So the media thinks there are two sets of flaps. One to take off with and the other to land with.


4 posted on 05/31/2009 8:04:21 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Say Cheese.)
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To: U S Army EOD

Yeah, I didn’t get that part.


5 posted on 05/31/2009 8:05:02 PM PDT by rdl6989
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To: Steelfish
Flying...hours and hours of extreme boredom interupted by brief moments of sheer terror.
6 posted on 05/31/2009 8:05:07 PM PDT by crghill (You can't put a condom on your soul. I'm an anti-antinomian.)
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To: Steelfish

Yeah, “failing to rise” would be a problem alright...


7 posted on 05/31/2009 8:05:37 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: rdl6989

I wonder if you also raise the take off gear and lower the landing gear.


8 posted on 05/31/2009 8:08:00 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Say Cheese.)
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To: Steelfish
Lucky there are no hills around and downtown is in the wrong direction.
9 posted on 05/31/2009 8:08:11 PM PDT by TWfromTEXAS (Life is the one choice that pro choicers won’t support.)
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To: Steelfish
Last week it emerged that BA lost more than £400million in the year up to March - its worst result since the airline was privatized more than two decades ago.

What is the significance of BA being privatized ? Why does it not mention the losses BA incurred before it was privatized ?

10 posted on 05/31/2009 8:08:28 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: rdl6989

11 posted on 05/31/2009 8:09:36 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( Don't mess with the mockingbird! /\/\ http://tiny.cc/freepthis)
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To: crghill

I just flew a Quicksilver GT500 from Washington, GA to San Antonio, TX and back, the entire trip was terrifying. Never got bored.


12 posted on 05/31/2009 8:10:36 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Say Cheese.)
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To: Steelfish
Miraculous escape: The British Airways Boeing 747, similar to this one, is thought to have gone into landing mode so that the flaps that make it rise did not work

Silly me, I thought they set the flaps BEFORE takeoff. Anyway 'landing flaps' are always at a greater setting than 'takeoff flap' settings. The article doesn't make any sense.

13 posted on 05/31/2009 8:10:53 PM PDT by zipper
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To: TWfromTEXAS

It is a long flight out of Joberg, flights take off as heavy as possible, and the runway is at 5000ft, so there is little margin for error.


14 posted on 05/31/2009 8:11:08 PM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: libh8er

Can’t do that because as a government-run institution losses can be more easily hidden.


15 posted on 05/31/2009 8:11:23 PM PDT by Andyman (The truth shall make you FReep.)
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To: Steelfish

British Airways 747

16 posted on 05/31/2009 8:11:37 PM PDT by blam
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To: U S Army EOD

U should have stopped in to see me. I’m in New Braunfels Texas just north of San Antonio. That’s a very small plane-like vehicle to cover such distance.


17 posted on 05/31/2009 8:12:59 PM PDT by crghill (You can't put a condom on your soul. I'm an anti-antinomian.)
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To: U S Army EOD
Same flaps...

Different FMS computer configurations for specific flight regimes....

Selected/programmed inappropriately -- ruh-roh

18 posted on 05/31/2009 8:13:33 PM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: AndyJackson
Yes I know, I've flown to London, Nairobi, Harare and Cape Town from there, though the Cape Town flights were on smaller jets.
19 posted on 05/31/2009 8:14:43 PM PDT by TWfromTEXAS (Life is the one choice that pro choicers won’t support.)
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To: Steelfish

How much is the pilot going to be fined for dumping fuel and polluting the environment?


20 posted on 05/31/2009 8:15:11 PM PDT by toothfairy86
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To: Steelfish
It is believed that a technical fault caused the plane to go into landing mode so that the flaps that normally make it rise did not work.

I am guessing the flaps retracted too quickly and the spoilers deployed just as it took off. With a full load of cargo and passengers for a long haul flight, it's a miracle the pilots managed to keep it airborne.

21 posted on 05/31/2009 8:19:45 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: Steelfish

It is as if the computer or computers took over and were going to crash the plane


22 posted on 05/31/2009 8:21:40 PM PDT by dennisw (Weakness is a Crime! Don't be a Criminal - Bernarr MacFadden)
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To: Wings-n-Wind

23 posted on 05/31/2009 8:22:25 PM PDT by Kirkwood
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To: Steelfish

The story that I have heard from a couple of people and read on a few aviation sites where pilots hang out is that the problem stemmed from a thrust reverser unlocked indication on one or both of the inboard engines (#2 and #3). The thrust reversers are the gizmos that direct the engine thrust forward on landing to help slow the plane down.

Anyway, apparently the thrust reverser on at least one or maybe both of the inboard engines, the ones nearest the fuselage, erroneously indicated “unlocked”—that is to say, not deployed, but not locked down in a correct state—as the plane took off. There is logic in the electronic systems on the 747-400 that when the inboard thrust reversers unlock, the inboard leading edge slats on the wing retract; this is to keep debris kicked up by the reversed thrust from getting into the internals of the slats. Here’s the catch—theoretically, the thrust reversers cannot unlock and deploy unless there’s weight on the main landing gear wheels. So there’s no redundant check on the slat retraction; the 744’s brain sees unlocked thrust reversers, assumes the plane’s on the ground since the reversers are unlocked, and retracts the inboard leading edge slats.

Those slats are basically flaps on the front of the wing. They provide a substantial boost in lift during takeoff and landing. Retract those, particularly right at liftoff from Johannesburg, which is 5500 feet above sea level and often very hot (which reduces lift), and suddenly you’re in a world of hurt. The crew was very close to stalling the airplane only a few dozen feet off the ground, and by then, they’d probably run out of runway—fully loaded 747 heading for Heathrow, a mile above sea level, on a hot day, means using a LOT of pavement just to waddle it into the air.

BTW, I wouldn’t trust ANYTHING about aviation from the Daily Mail. Last year when the Spanair MD-82 crashed on takeoff from Madrid, they published alleged sensational photos of the “doomed plane’s takeoff” with “an engine on fire”...turns out it was a different Spanair MD-82, on a different day, and it was a perfectly normal takeoff with a perfectly normal amount of exhaust smoke from the engines.

}:-)4


24 posted on 05/31/2009 8:23:40 PM PDT by Moose4 (Hey RNC. Don't move toward the middle. MOVE THE MIDDLE TOWARD YOU.)
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To: Moose4

That was quite an explanation-thanks


25 posted on 05/31/2009 8:26:20 PM PDT by Steelfish
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To: blam

Daughter and I have ridden LAX/London and LAX/Hong Kong & back. Truly one of the great planes.


26 posted on 05/31/2009 8:27:34 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Steelfish

BTW, if one of the thrust reversers actually had deployed and activated, the plane would’ve almost certainly crashed. As it was, the pilot had to go to “TOGA” power (takeoff/go-around, the equivalent of mashing your foot all the way to the floor in your car) in order to stagger the plane along and keep it in the air until they could get the slats back down, or climb away. There was a 767 from Lauda that crashed years ago because of an uncommanded thrust reverser deployment while at cruising altitude, in fact; the asymmetric thrust caused it to go into an unrecoverable spin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauda_Air_Flight_004

}:-)4


27 posted on 05/31/2009 8:33:01 PM PDT by Moose4 (Hey RNC. Don't move toward the middle. MOVE THE MIDDLE TOWARD YOU.)
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To: Moose4
There is logic in the electronic systems on the 747-400 that when the inboard thrust reversers unlock, the inboard leading edge slats on the wing retract;

Shouldn't the slats retract when the thrust reversers are locked(deployed) ? From what I understand the thrust reversers are deployed shortly after the wheels touch the ground, and I guess the slats and flaps also retract around then to reduce lift and transfer as much of the weight onto the wheels to aid in braking.

28 posted on 05/31/2009 8:36:27 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: Moose4
Great explanation, thanks.I would disagree with the heat however, the weather in June is close to Houston in December with much less humidity. Air temp is probably between 40 and 75.
29 posted on 05/31/2009 8:38:13 PM PDT by TWfromTEXAS (Life is the one choice that pro choicers won’t support.)
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To: Moose4
I think ( but I could be wrong) that the indicators erroneously indicated the reversers were locked (deployed) as the plane was airborne. The landing system thought the plane had touched down and it retracted the slats.
30 posted on 05/31/2009 8:41:14 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: Steelfish

You know there are some people who will always read a book backwards as they dont like surprises.

I guess he was reading the “Learn to fly in one lesson” book backwards and never got past landing.


31 posted on 05/31/2009 8:41:32 PM PDT by truemiester ((If the U.S. should fail, a veil of darkness will come over the Earth for a thousand years))
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To: Steelfish

As I read this I’m wondering where the hell my sister and her husband are - they are returning from London and were to arrive in KC at 5:40. It’s now 10:44 and I just found out they changed flights for some reason. Oy.


32 posted on 05/31/2009 8:45:28 PM PDT by peggybac (A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own - Obama nation is an abomination)
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To: U S Army EOD
Yeah, it doesn't make sense. If it were in the landing mode, it would presumably have the flaps deployed.

Perhaps the plane was trying to take off with full-flaps, making it hard to reach VTO. However, I thought these modern aircraft had plenty of power.

33 posted on 05/31/2009 8:49:53 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: peggybac
were to arrive in KC at 5:40. It’s now 10:44 and I just found out they changed flights for some reason.

Were they flying BA ? A disruption like this could send ripples across the entire fleet.

34 posted on 05/31/2009 8:54:46 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: Steelfish

Ah. Mechanical failure. I was going to make a fat-English joke.

Who’s the joker who offered the passengers waffer-thin mints?


35 posted on 05/31/2009 8:59:06 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: libh8er

Probably because the British government isn’t releasing those stats.


36 posted on 05/31/2009 9:02:54 PM PDT by razorboy
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To: dennisw

Musta been a HAL 9000, eh?


37 posted on 05/31/2009 9:04:35 PM PDT by biff
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To: null and void

“Flight software hacked???”

Wow,, modern terror could get very weird.


38 posted on 05/31/2009 9:11:03 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: zipper
Anyway 'landing flaps' are always at a greater setting than 'takeoff flap' settings. The article doesn't make any sense.

It certainly seems plausible to me that the 747 would have difficulty climbing with flaps fully extended.

39 posted on 05/31/2009 9:18:08 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: libh8er

No. US Air. Sorry, should have stated that in my original post.


40 posted on 05/31/2009 10:16:47 PM PDT by peggybac (A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own - Obama nation is an abomination)
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To: U S Army EOD

Glad everyone’s okay, but I’m glad you caught that flap thing, too.

Flaps is flaps. Need ‘em for landing, helpful for takeoff.

Not enough thrust, perhaps? I hate reading about aviation written my general news reporters. Gee, I wonder if they get this political thing right, too...


41 posted on 05/31/2009 10:19:03 PM PDT by bootless (Never Forget. Never Again. And NEVER GIVE UP!)
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To: zipper

Exactly. It doesn’t sound like deploying the flaps while in the takeoff roll would be such a good idea.


42 posted on 05/31/2009 10:20:15 PM PDT by bootless (Never Forget. Never Again. And NEVER GIVE UP!)
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To: biff

Good comparison.....we shall see


43 posted on 06/01/2009 2:39:36 AM PDT by dennisw (Weakness is a Crime! Don't be a Criminal - Bernarr MacFadden)
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To: crghill

I landed at Bulverde. My daughter was stationed at Fort Sam. Make it back in only one day. Those things cruise at 90 mph and I carry 24 gal of fuel. Was fun trip.


44 posted on 06/01/2009 3:50:14 AM PDT by U S Army EOD (Say Cheese.)
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To: Steelfish

“technical fault caused the plane to go into landing mode”

If flaps were not extended at the start of the takeoff roll EICAS would have generated a CAS warning and a NO TAKEOFF aural would be screaching in the cockpit - hard to miss.


45 posted on 06/01/2009 4:05:52 AM PDT by dozer7 (Love many, trust few and always paddle your own canoe)
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