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U.S. plans to act after 'careless' BA flight (FAA weighs steps over 747's long route w/1 engine out)
International Herald Tribune ^ | Tuesday, March 8, 2005 | Don Phillips

Posted on 03/07/2005 4:56:18 PM PST by Paleo Conservative

WASHINGTON Federal Aviation Administration officials said on Monday that they were preparing to take strong action against British Airways, including a charge of "careless and reckless operation of an aircraft," because of the airline's decision to allow a Boeing 747 to fly from California to England with one engine inoperable. Under normal circumstances, the United States would not take action against British Airways because such issues would be handled by Britain.

But senior U.S. aviation officials have become so concerned about the actions of the flight crew and its supervisors in London that they were preparing direct action.

"We will pursue every legal option available to us," said an FAA spokeswoman, Laura Brown.

British Airways expressed surprise over the developments.

"I am surprised that anyone at the FAA would make such statements," said Steve Shelterline, general manager for the 747 program with British Airways.

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; US: California; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 747; 747400; aviation; boeing; britishairways; etops; faa; lax
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The International Herald Tribune is the New York Times European paper, but it only allows excerpts unlike the New York Times
1 posted on 03/07/2005 4:56:22 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: COEXERJ145; microgood; starfish923; liberallarry; cmsgop; shaggy eel; RayChuang88; Larry Lucido; ...
Ping!

If you want on or off my ping list, please contact me by Freep mail not by posting to this thread.

2 posted on 03/07/2005 4:57:28 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Boeing should get a design award for making such a great bird.


3 posted on 03/07/2005 4:57:47 PM PST by pissant
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To: Paleo Conservative
........to allow a Boeing 747 to fly from California to England with one engine inoperable.

....from California,...everybody 'pedals'.....

4 posted on 03/07/2005 5:02:18 PM PST by maestro
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To: Paleo Conservative; All

Thank you America Boeing 747 is very good AirPlane!!I do not know what persons write this Thank you


5 posted on 03/07/2005 5:03:38 PM PST by anonymoussierra (Lux Mea Christus!!!"Totus tuss" Quo Vadis Domine?Thank you)
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To: pissant

The 747 is what you get when you tell the B-52 design team to make a big airliner.

I'm pretty sure that an Airbus equivalent wouldn't fare nearly as well with one engine out.


6 posted on 03/07/2005 5:03:44 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: anonymoussierra

Where do you live?


7 posted on 03/07/2005 5:05:54 PM PST by pissant
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To: Spktyr

Exactly. The engines on the Airbus A340 are not as powerful. I'd bet if one one of them failed, the plane would immediately fall out of the sky.

This proves that Boeing's products are superior in quality.


8 posted on 03/07/2005 5:06:47 PM PST by wk4bush2004
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To: Aeronaut

(((.)))


9 posted on 03/07/2005 5:09:30 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (End dependence on foreign oil- put a Slowpoke in your basement)
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To: wk4bush2004

10-4. The flight was not jeapordized in any way by flying on three engines - it could have continued with two, for that matter. The FAA picks its fights poorly, IMO.


10 posted on 03/07/2005 5:09:30 PM PST by toddst
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To: Spktyr

In the 1970's I was on a 727 to Chicago from NYC. There was engine problems and they shut down the center engine. There was no talk of an emergency landing. The captain simply announced that it would take another 30 minutes to land in O'Hare. Obviously a transatlantic flight is a little different but the safety standards have been increased. Today we would have landed in Detroit.


11 posted on 03/07/2005 5:10:44 PM PST by appeal2
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To: toddst
The flight was not jeapordized in any way by flying on three engines - it could have continued with two, for that matter.

The issue is not whether the plane could have made it, it's about the wisdom of starting a long flight with such a major equipment failure. Unless you are certain that the failure is isolated to the engine and won't cause malfunctions elsewhere, the most responsible course of action is to land ASAP.

12 posted on 03/07/2005 5:12:30 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (End dependence on foreign oil- put a Slowpoke in your basement)
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To: toddst

They broke the operating manual procedures....


13 posted on 03/07/2005 5:13:10 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: wk4bush2004

I don't know about it falling out of the sky, but as I recall from reading, if a four engine Airbus loses an engine, it drops the opposite number on the other wing back to idle "in the interests of preserving control" (and, I suspect, because the computer doesn't really know what to do with asymmetric thrust). As we all know, Airbus does not allow the pilot to override the computer in any way. Put these two together, and wonder what happens when you lose an engine on takeoff.

I'd rather fly a Boeing, thanks....


14 posted on 03/07/2005 5:14:01 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr
I'm pretty sure that an Airbus equivalent wouldn't fare nearly as well with one engine out.

Of course. The AirBus is just another dirty Fokker.

15 posted on 03/07/2005 5:15:55 PM PST by elbucko (A Feral Republican)
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To: Spktyr

Not allowing to override the computer? That's a flying deathtrap!

I'll stick with Boeing as well.


16 posted on 03/07/2005 5:17:38 PM PST by wk4bush2004
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To: Squawk 8888
Unless you are certain that the failure is isolated to the engine and won't cause malfunctions elsewhere, the most responsible course of action is to land ASAP.

To land ASAP would require dumping fuel for a couple of hours to get down to maximum landing weight. An alternative to dumping fuel would have been to continue on to Chicago, Toronto or New York and switch planes. There are plenty of airports to divert to along that route in case more problems arose.

17 posted on 03/07/2005 5:19:25 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Certainly the WTO will step-in and take action against our unilateral display of sovereignty? /sarc


18 posted on 03/07/2005 5:21:17 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: wk4bush2004

Nope. The Airbus design philosophy is "pilots are all idiots, and we know better than the man in the seat does." The flight envelope is preprogrammed, the control limits are hardcoded and do not include allowances for hard evasive manuvers. There is no override, there are no manual controls, if the computer goes out the plane falls out of the sky.

The Gimli Glider would not have been the amazing event that it ended up being if it had been an AIrbus.


19 posted on 03/07/2005 5:22:41 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: BurbankKarl
They broke the operating manual procedures....

No they didn't, certainly not the flight manual for the 747-400. Can you cite otherwise?

20 posted on 03/07/2005 5:22:49 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: toddst
The flight was not jeapordized in any way by flying on three engines - it could have continued with two, for that matter.
I'm not certain the flight would be safe if the other engine on the same side of the aircraft failed.

21 posted on 03/07/2005 5:23:30 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: Spktyr
I'm pretty sure that an Airbus equivalent wouldn't fare nearly as well with one engine out.

It would not have gotten FAA certification for operations with four engines if it could not operate with one engine shut down. A four engined plane does not require as much reserve power as a twin engined plane does. Any aircraft is required to be able to takeoff if one engine shuts down during takeoff.

22 posted on 03/07/2005 5:23:37 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Seems to me this should be handled by the Brits, it was Brithish airways and the plane was in no immediate danger. thanks for the ping. Boeing builds very good airplanes.


23 posted on 03/07/2005 5:26:04 PM PST by jpsb
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To: Spktyr
"Airbus does not allow the pilot to override the computer in any way"

I didn't know that and if true won't ever again ride JetBlue out of NY. Give me a Boeing.

24 posted on 03/07/2005 5:26:37 PM PST by AGreatPer
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To: toddst
The 747 is certified to fly on two engines, however, it is an emergency situation that requires immediate landing. In a four engine aircraft (747, etc.), the loss of one engine is not necessairly considered to be an emergency requiring immediate landing. However,as a former 747 Capt, I think that the decision to proceed as flight planned showed extremely poor judgment.
25 posted on 03/07/2005 5:26:56 PM PST by ab01
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To: jpsb
Seems to me this should be handled by the Brits

But it was over US airspace when the decision was made.

26 posted on 03/07/2005 5:27:29 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

I didn't say that it would have crashed if the engine failed in flight, I just said that it wouldn't have done as well.

Remember, these things are controlled by French computers running French code. Sure, it probably passed the FAA certification tests, but do *you* want to trust a Frog computer to not suddenly decide that you're in-flight instead of taking off and cut power? I don't.


27 posted on 03/07/2005 5:27:47 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: toddst; appeal2; Squawk 8888; BurbankKarl; Paleo Conservative; conservatism_IS_compassion
He was entirely within the FAA's own regulations. Here is the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 121.563 dealing with inflight engine out procedures:
(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.

[Doc. No. 6258, 29 FR 19219, Dec. 31, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 121-207, 54 FR 39293, Sept. 25, 1989; Amdt. 121-253, 61 FR 2614, Jan. 26, 1996]

28 posted on 03/07/2005 5:28:12 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: toddst
10-4. The flight was not jeapordized in any way by flying on three engines - it could have continued with two, for that matter. The FAA picks its fights poorly, IMO.

We could take half the structural members out of a building and it will still stand. That is if you like to accept living in a building on the brink of collapse.

A plane with four engines has four engines for a reason. If one fails. The other three will still push it. If another fails, especially on the same wing, pray because you are on the brink.

This is a case where management chose increased risk for passengers. They lucked out. Those on the Challenger didn't when NASA's management made a stupid decision ignoring engineers' warnings and approving to fly below design temperatures.

By the way, British Air did not learn their lesson. The next day that same plane flew to India on three engines.

The flight from LA just barely made the British Isles as they were running out of fuel. They didn't make Heathrow. I wonder if the engine that failed on the way to India had failed a day earlier, if that plane would have made even Ireland. The FAA should bust BA's cookies.

29 posted on 03/07/2005 5:29:47 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (Some say what's good for others, the others make the goods; it's the meddlers against the peddlers)
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To: Paleo Conservative

yea, I know, but since the plane was not in danger should not the Brits handle it? It there a rule about 4 engine jet liners that the crew broke?


30 posted on 03/07/2005 5:30:09 PM PST by jpsb
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

The same three, too - the replacement engine died after takeoff.


31 posted on 03/07/2005 5:31:05 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: FreedomCalls

He didn't land at the airport he was aiming for....so his decision process was flawed.

I bet they have tapes of them talking about how much it would have cost to delay the passengers.


32 posted on 03/07/2005 5:31:31 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: Spktyr
"control limits are hardcoded and do not include allowances for hard evasive manuvers."

Recently on a 737 we were landing into Logan (Boston). We did a fly around because there was a flock of geese in our way. Are you saying that Airbus would not do that?

33 posted on 03/07/2005 5:31:49 PM PST by AGreatPer
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To: FreedomCalls

And I was under the impression that "inflight" meant at cruising altitude...not during take off with stuff showering down on the ramp workers.


34 posted on 03/07/2005 5:32:44 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: Paleo Conservative
strong action against British Airways, including a charge of "careless and reckless operation of an aircraft,"

wow
35 posted on 03/07/2005 5:33:05 PM PST by F15Eagle
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
By the way, British Air did not learn their lesson. The next day that same plane flew to India on three engines.

Oh, my that is NOT good.

36 posted on 03/07/2005 5:34:30 PM PST by jpsb
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To: BurbankKarl
He didn't land at the airport he was aiming for....so his decision process was flawed.

Neither would he have if he had returned to LAX. Also MAN was his original alternate on the flight plan. It would have been more irresponsible to land at LAX. It would have required a two-hour to three-hour fuel dump to lighten the fuel load sufficiently for him to land -- so why not continue overland and use that time to assess the damage? If anything developed he could then land along the route. Nothing did, other than not getting the tailwind he was expecting, so he continued on.

37 posted on 03/07/2005 5:37:17 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: wk4bush2004
The engines on the Airbus A340 are not as powerful. I'd bet if one one of them failed, the plane would immediately fall out of the sky.

Depends on which model of the A340 you're talking about. The newer A340-500 and A340-600 use the Rolls Royce Trent 500 series each with 53,000lbs and 56,000lbs of thrust respectively. The A340-300 uses an uprated CFM-56 engine which is the same series as used on the 737 and some A320's. The A340-300 is the version that is seriously underpowered.

38 posted on 03/07/2005 5:38:12 PM PST by COEXERJ145
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To: BurbankKarl
And I was under the impression that "inflight" meant at cruising altitude...not during take off with stuff showering down on the ramp workers.

"Inflight" means anything past V2. And where do you get his "stuff showering down on the ramp workers" nonsense?

39 posted on 03/07/2005 5:39:32 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls
Thanks again for bringing some sanity and logic to the return of this discussion...not that it will change anyone's minds...strike that, make that "anyone's emotions".

Nonetheless, it's helpful to quote the FAA's own regs. Even or especially when they can't seem to remember them.

40 posted on 03/07/2005 5:39:49 PM PST by GBA
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To: COEXERJ145

I think airlines should buy the 777 over the A340. The 777 is much better.


41 posted on 03/07/2005 5:41:26 PM PST by wk4bush2004
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To: Spktyr
"The Airbus design philosophy is "pilots are all idiots"

See it here:
http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/Airbus320_trees.mpg

42 posted on 03/07/2005 5:41:28 PM PST by drc43 (We have 4 years left to get it right)
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To: Spktyr

From what I understand, the Airbus is a "fly-by-wire" aircraft. There is no direct pilot cable control of moveable wing and tail surfaces. The computer flies it. No computer, no control.


43 posted on 03/07/2005 5:41:33 PM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Paleo Conservative

Don't they fly a great circle route? I don't think that would take them across the US.


44 posted on 03/07/2005 5:41:34 PM PST by FreePaul
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To: ab01

Thanks for your input. I know this was a -400, one of the most sophisticated 747 models; Question: how hard would the aircraft have been to handle had he lost another engine on the same wing with that fuel load?


45 posted on 03/07/2005 5:41:41 PM PST by F15Eagle
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To: jpsb
The next day that same plane flew to India on three engines.

Do you have a reference to that? The IHT article says that the plane flew from Singapore six days later. And he was several hours into the flight already. What should he have done with a single engine out over Afghanistan? Land at Kabul for repairs?

46 posted on 03/07/2005 5:43:05 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: drc43

href=http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/Airbus320_trees.mpg


47 posted on 03/07/2005 5:44:19 PM PST by drc43 (We have 4 years left to get it right)
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To: AGreatPer

I don't know how severe the manuver was, but something on the order of "hard banks to evade SAM missile" is evidently not possible for an Airbus.


48 posted on 03/07/2005 5:44:49 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: FreedomCalls

Just what I read in 29.


49 posted on 03/07/2005 5:47:17 PM PST by jpsb
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

How is crossing the Atlantic with three engines (a 747 with one out) any less safe than crossing the Atlantic with two engines (on a two-engine A310 or 777)?


50 posted on 03/07/2005 5:47:24 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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