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  #21  
Old 11 September 2015, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post

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On the 777 (all modern airliners, actually), there's an indicator for each engine for a fire.
True, but would they take the time to look at them before making the decision to stop?
I would hope so - but its only one piece of information. I think that, given the time they had, and what info they had, they made what they felt was the best decision under the circumstances.

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My thinking would be that a pilot's instinct would be "Some alarm is going off, better stop!" and then figure out what exactly is going on after they've begun to bring the plane to a stop.
I don't disagree. I was only throwing what little information I've been able to learn out there based on news reports. I think it was ABC's or CNN's aviation expert that stated that this type of failure was the among those most practiced by pilots in the simulator, and if that is true, then their response was probably well rehearsed and perhaps almost automatic. And yes, I'm aware that I'm using "wiggle words" in that statement.

I look forward to reading the pilots' interviews with the NTSB in the coming weeks (they won't become public until the NTSB opens the docket, and they usually don't for a while) to learn what information they had at the time and what their decisions were actually based on. In the end, I'm with others that have already said that their decision was the correct one, owing to the fact that no one got killed.

~Psihala
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  #22  
Old 11 September 2015, 04:25 AM
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I'm pretty certain that fire alarms on a modern airliner have a unique sound that's not used for anyting else. A well trained pilots will hear that alarm and know immediately they've got a serious problem.

This is just my opinion, but if I'm the pilot, and I've got an idea I have a fire on the aircraft, the very last place I want to be is airborne. I'd do anything it takes to keep the aircraft on the ground, even if it means running off the end of the runway. Fires don't "blow out" when the aircraft is airborne. The SST tragedy is an excellent example of this.
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  #23  
Old 11 September 2015, 04:54 AM
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The SST tragedy is an excellent example of this.
Interestingly I read an article a few years ago that argued that accident could have been survivable, were it not for a series of other mistakes just prior to and during the event. While the images of the huge flames coming out the back of the plane looked dramatic, they were being blown away from the plane where they weren't causing a whole lot of additional damage. Had the crew not made the aforementioned mistakes they could have flown back to the airport and had at least a fighting chance to evacuate.

ETA: That's actually what I thought Singing in the Drizzle meant when he said there probably would have been less damage had the engine failure occurred after takeoff. Not the the flames would "blow out", but that they would be blown away from the plane where they would not cause so much damage.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 11 September 2015 at 05:02 AM.
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  #24  
Old 11 September 2015, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
I confess I'd be tempted to strap on my purse containing my inhaler and epi pen.
Especially if I've checked in my main bag, I usually have a carry-on shoulder bag with books and so on in that fits under the seat. I would take that with me as well - especially if I was in an aisle seat, it would probably be less trouble than disentangling myself and leaving it where it was for people to potentially trip over the straps.

About the pilots' response, the stories I've read have aviation experts describing it as "exemplary". But based on these message board comments, I'm now prepared to believe that it would have been safer all round if they'd done whatever people here think should have happened instead. I mean, continuing to deliberately take off with one engine on fire and then try to circle round and land again ... what could possibly go wrong? Or maybe they should have just ignored the fire altogether and carried on to their destination.
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  #25  
Old 11 September 2015, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post

About the pilots' response, the stories I've read have aviation experts describing it as "exemplary".
Good thing nothing that's been discussed here could possibly change that.

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Or maybe they should have just ignored the fire altogether and carried on to their destination.
Right. That's absolutely the tone of the thread.


~Psihala
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  #26  
Old 11 September 2015, 07:11 PM
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But based on these message board comments, I'm now prepared to believe that it would have been safer all round if they'd done whatever people here think should have happened instead.
No one's said anything of the sort. It started out as a hypothetical discussion about what would have happened if the engine had failed in flight, or if it had happened when they were going too fast to stop. People are simply saying that in that scenario it might not have been as disastrous as you might think.

Before every takeoff pilots* calculate the V1 speed. That makes the decision fairly simple; if you're going slower than that you abort the takeoff. If you're going faster than that it's safer to continue to take off.

*Or that might be the dispatcher's job at a commercial airline; I'm not sure.
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  #27  
Old 11 September 2015, 07:20 PM
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V1 is based in part on weight, runway length, and other specific conditions so I'd guess the pilots or flight computer would calculate it when pushing back.
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  #28  
Old 11 September 2015, 07:26 PM
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Yeah you're probably right. I was thinking that IIRC the dispatcher handles the weight and balance calculations so maybe they'd also calculate the V speeds as part of that, but they would have no way of knowing which runway they're going to use.
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  #29  
Old 11 September 2015, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
Recordings of the tower communications indicate the pilots requested firefighting services in their mayday call. The tower replied that the firefighters had already been summoned. THis indicates to me they knew they were on fire.
I wouldn't read it that way. If I was a pilot that aborted a takeoff I would ALWAYS request firefighting service to the plane. Even if there wasn't a fire indicator. Heck just the process of doing a panic stop is very likely to cause a fire in the brakes and landing gear, which wouldn't necessarily show up as a warning light in the cockpit.

And regarding the V1 calculation. The only problem is that V1 assumes that everything else in the aircraft is working properly. If (a big if at this point) they had a turbine blade failure then it is possible that could have damaged the brakes. I doubt an aircraft missing its brakes on one landing gear would be able to stop in the available space. Running significantly off the runway with a large load of fuel and a vigorously burning engine would not be good.

The most recent report seems to indicate a catastrophic engine failure, in which case a lot of the aircraft's flight and landing systems in that wing might have been damaged. Things could have gone really really bad.

In the picture here people look to be a heck of a lot more nonchalant than I would have been. And at least one person looks to be carrying a roll-along suitcase.
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  #30  
Old 11 September 2015, 11:58 PM
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I In the picture here people look to be a heck of a lot more nonchalant than I would have been. And at least one person looks to be carrying a roll-along suitcase.
From the accounts I've read, there seemed to be a lot more of on-board baggage retreival going on than I would have wanted. I can tell you for certain that if I'd been on that plane, and someone ahead of me stopped to fish their things out of the overhead, I'd have gone right through them.

Bottom line is that an on-board fire is NOT a good thing, whether airborne or not. If you can get off of the plane, GET OFF! You can always buy a new laptop. You can't buy a new life.
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  #31  
Old 12 September 2015, 12:04 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Looking at the photo... the fire is on the near engine. It looks like 5 of the 6 emergency slides are deployed, all but the one nearest the burning engine (though the front slide looks pretty close as well). I wonder, would the flight attendants have not opened that door or did a passenger actually do what is on the emergency instructions and look out the window to see if opening the door was safe? Would a flight attendant have been close enough to keep the door from being opened?
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  #32  
Old 12 September 2015, 12:08 AM
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Reports I've read indicate the FAs made the decision to leave that door closed, and not use that slide. I also notice that EVERYONE in that photo is carrying on-board luggage.
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  #33  
Old 12 September 2015, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
I also notice that EVERYONE in that photo is carrying on-board luggage.
I could almost understand a purse - especially if the person had it in their lap already (which is also against FAA regulation), but the roll-away holders just boggle my mind. There is one guy with a smaller bag and his roll-away. Nonsense.

I know I would probably be concerned about replacing the paperwork, but I think in that case the authorities (U.S. for passport, Switzerland for residence permit, bank for cards) have procedures for such occasions. No one is going to be stuck long without money and paperwork.

That said, I think some of the commenters have the right idea - keep the really stuff, such as passport and medicine, on your person during takeoff and landing. Along the same lines I wait until the 10,000 ft chime to loosen or remove my shoes.
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  #34  
Old 13 September 2015, 02:06 AM
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Airplane Shoes

Remember the DC-10 that crashed in Sioux City Iowa? One of the things that stuck out to me when reading passenger accounts of that incident is that many of the survivors lost their shoes as they ran away from the wreckage, and injured their feet, some fairly seriously on the tarmac. Since then, whenever I fly, I make sure my shoes are tied securely.
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  #35  
Old 27 June 2018, 12:03 PM
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Default Fatigue Crack in Engine Led to 2015 Las Vegas Fire

A 2015 engine fire on a British Airways 777-236ER was caused by a fatigue crack in the high-pressure compressor stage 8 disk web and subsequent uncontained engine failure, which led to the detachment of the main fuel supply line, the National Transportation Safety Board found Wednesday.​

https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-rele...r20180620.aspx
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  #36  
Old 12 July 2018, 06:10 AM
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Well, I'll be. The plane was repaired, and returned to service in March of 2016.

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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
That plane is done for. It will never see the sky again.
I was flat wrong about that.

The captain got dinged for not following the evacuation checklist, which led to allowing the RH engine to run while attempting the evacuation, rendering the slides in back of it useless.

Thanks for the link Psihala!
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  #37  
Old 12 July 2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
Remember the DC-10 that crashed in Sioux City Iowa? One of the things that stuck out to me when reading passenger accounts of that incident is that many of the survivors lost their shoes as they ran away from the wreckage, and injured their feet, some fairly seriously on the tarmac. Since then, whenever I fly, I make sure my shoes are tied securely.
Rather belatedly: are they still making people take their shoes off in the security line? (I fly very rarely, and don't know.) That leads to people wearing shoes to fly in that are easy to get in and out of quickly -- no laces to tie up. But a lot of such shoes are also easy to get out of by accident.
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  #38  
Old 12 July 2018, 03:20 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

thorny, sometimes, at some airports, you still have to remove your shoes.

At Seatac, if you have TSA pre-check, you don't have to remove your shoes. If they're using the dogs on the regular line, you don't have to remove your shoes (I love it when they use the dogs. The lines move really, really fast). If neither of those things apply, you do have to remove your shoes.

Seaboe
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  #39  
Old 12 July 2018, 10:36 PM
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Airplane

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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
Well, I'll be. The plane was repaired, and returned to service in March of 2016.
I was thinking it must have been a relatively new 777, which would make it more worthwhile to repair, but the report stated it was built in 1998. But the report did say it only had 12,835 total flight cycles at the time of the accident, which doesn't seem like all that many for a 17 year old plane (it must have been doing only longhaul flights for its entire life). So the airframe probably still had a fair amount of useful life left in it.

ETA: I also find it interesting that the captain had been working for BA since 1973 and in all that time he'd never experienced an engine failure, only preformed one rejected takeoff before this one, and never conducted an evacuation, except in simulator training. That just goes to show exactly how rare accidents are in commercial aviation.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 12 July 2018 at 10:45 PM.
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