Skip to comments.U.S. plans to act after 'careless' BA flight (FAA weighs steps over 747's long route w/1 engine out)
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 ...
If you want on or off my ping list, please contact me by Freep mail not by posting to this thread.
Boeing should get a design award for making such a great bird.
....from California,...everybody 'pedals'.....
Thank you America Boeing 747 is very good AirPlane!!I do not know what persons write this Thank you
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.
Where do you live?
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.
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.
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.
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.
They broke the operating manual procedures....
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....
Of course. The AirBus is just another dirty Fokker.
Not allowing to override the computer? That's a flying deathtrap!
I'll stick with Boeing as well.
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.
Certainly the WTO will step-in and take action against our unilateral display of sovereignty? /sarc
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.
No they didn't, certainly not the flight manual for the 747-400. Can you cite otherwise?
I'm not certain the flight would be safe if the other engine on the same side of the aircraft failed.
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.
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.
I didn't know that and if true won't ever again ride JetBlue out of NY. Give me a Boeing.
But it was over US airspace when the decision was made.
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.
(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.(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.
(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.
(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]
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.
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?
The same three, too - the replacement engine died after takeoff.
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.
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?
And I was under the impression that "inflight" meant at cruising altitude...not during take off with stuff showering down on the ramp workers.
Oh, my that is NOT good.
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.
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.
"Inflight" means anything past V2. And where do you get his "stuff showering down on the ramp workers" nonsense?
Nonetheless, it's helpful to quote the FAA's own regs. Even or especially when they can't seem to remember them.
I think airlines should buy the 777 over the A340. The 777 is much better.
See it here:
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.
Don't they fly a great circle route? I don't think that would take them across the US.
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?
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?
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.
Just what I read in 29.
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)?