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Airbus Commander

Heathrow Incident.

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Not for sure no, there's a theory that the cowl latches on the engines weren't secured properly, but we'll have to wait for a statement to see...

 

Regards,

Ró.

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Yup, one shut down and the other on fire is what I've heard...

 

Regards,

Ró.

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Yup, one shut down and the other on fire is what I've heard...

 

A very, very unusual situation. As a RW pilot, could you tell us what sort of training you get for these situations?

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A very, very unusual situation. As a RW pilot, could you tell us what sort of training you get for these situations?

 

Depends on the airline in question, it's not in the minimum training required so many airlines wouldn't train for it as it's not worth it to them, or they might not have enough simulators or other reasons. The chances are slim that it'd happen, so you can't blame them.

 

We do train for it where I work along with a million other things that are almost never going to happen, but our training department is known for it's extreme approach to training, some of the training we do is borderline insane...  :rolleyes:  It shows though, we haven't had an accident in 46 years, and only ever had 2 accidents as a result of pilot error, over 60 years ago. As to whether or not BA train for a scenario similar to this I couldn't tell you...

 

Regards,

Ró.

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Both cowls gone...Someone in maintenance has clearly made an error here.

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Well it is impossible for anyone here to know exactly what was the cause of the situation. But at the risk of adding further speculation to the topic,  I thought there were visual devices that got placed on engine cowls and other similar parts when opened for maintenance, that stayed on until the object was closed and locked?

 

And would the checking of items that open and close on the aircraft not be inspected in a walk around by the crew?

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The latches can be notoriously difficult to seat and latch, but they should still be checked to see if they are flush with the cowling. And yes it is all speculation but its not exactly a stab in the dark, its totally possible that the cowling has severed a fluid line.

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The latches on the engine cowls looks like it's been confirmed as the root of the issue.

 

We're just after getting a circular mail from the CP reminding us of the importance of carrying out thorough preflight inspections and walk-arounds, and that checking the latches on the cowls is a vital part of this and that we should always remember to take the time to learn from others mistakes (without specifically mentioning BA's incident) etc...   :mellow:

 

A similar message has gone out to our engineers and ramp teams on their forums from their respective heads of their departments, along with an email of it too I'd assume....  :mellow:

 

Reports have come in from passengers that the engine cowls started flapping in the wind as the aircraft built up speed in the takeoff roll, and no evidence of a birdstrike has been found on the aircraft in question... I would  not like to be in the shoes of the pilot who did the walkaround this morning, or any of the training Captains at BA if this turns out to be the root of the problem...  :unsure:

 

Regards,

Ró.

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according to avherald the aircraft returned after 26 minutes to the airport. i wonder what could be the reason for not returning earlier. i know there are checklists and procedures to be followed, but isn't this a situation where you want to land as soon as possible? i mean with cowling doors missing in both engines, and one engine trailing smoke, isn't this a bit too much precious time spent in the air? i'm not trying to blame the crew as i have limited knowledge of what it takes to go through an emergency, also there is little information available yet, too many variables might be involved. just got curious about this little detail.

 

i think this is the flight track: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BAW762/history/20130524/0655Z/EGLL/ENGM

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Depends on the airline in question, it's not in the minimum training required so many airlines wouldn't train for it as it's not worth it to them.....

Thanks Ró.

 

 

 


according to avherald the aircraft returned after 26 minutes to the airport

 

That might seem like ages, but I think its actually quite fast, considering they had to pass through some really congested airspace, as well as running CLs and following procedure all while dealing with a situation that could have turned out a lot worse.

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When Ro first mentioned birdstrike, and the fact that both engines exhibited anomalies, I first thought of Captain Sully's A320 in the New York Harbor in 2009.   But it does appear to be an engine cowling issue, it's just strange that it happened on both engines.  What are the odds, unless it was sabotage?  How could someone screw up in securing both independent engines' latches prior to startup???

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according to avherald the aircraft returned after 26 minutes to the airport. i wonder what could be the reason for not returning earlier. i know there are checklists and procedures to be followed, but isn't this a situation where you want to land as soon as possible? i mean with cowling doors missing in both engines, and one engine trailing smoke, isn't this a bit too much precious time spent in the air? i'm not trying to blame the crew as i have limited knowledge of what it takes to go through an emergency, also there is little information available yet, too many variables might be involved. just got curious about this little detail.

 

i think this is the flight track: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BAW762/history/20130524/0655Z/EGLL/ENGM

 

Cowlings are secondary structure, which means they're only there to keep the aerodynamics guys (and by extension the bean counters) and the passengers happy, you don't really need them. Note: I'm a structures & materials engineer, so I might be slightly biased :P.

Despite Hollywood's insistence that all problems in the world are solved by square-jawed steely eyed heroes taking split-second snap decisions, in reality it often pays off to take some time to understand the situation before rushing in.

Better to spend a few minutes at a safe altitude in a holding pattern to work out what happened and which systems are and aren't working, before setting up for a nice stable approach than to nose-dive for the nearest piece of flat tarmac that looks like it might be long enough to land on. Even if you lose both engines, from an altitude of say 8,000' you should still be able to glide about 13-20 nm in a modern airliner.

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Cowlings are secondary structure, which means they're only there to keep the aerodynamics guys (and by extension the bean counters) and the passengers happy, you don't really need them. Note: I'm a structures & materials engineer, so I might be slightly biased :P.

Despite Hollywood's insistence that all problems in the world are solved by square-jawed steely eyed heroes taking split-second snap decisions, in reality it often pays off to take some time to understand the situation before rushing in.

Better to spend a few minutes at a safe altitude in a holding pattern to work out what happened and which systems are and aren't working, before setting up for a nice stable approach than to nose-dive for the nearest piece of flat tarmac that looks like it might be long enough to land on. Even if you lose both engines, from an altitude of say 8,000' you should still be able to glide about 13-20 nm in a modern airliner.

 

you are probably right, after reading the aaib bulletin it is clearer now what happened. my (wrong) impression when i first read about the incident was that the right engine caught fire shortly after the cowl panels detached, maybe on the initial climbout. that's a mayday case and you want to land as soon as possible. it actually caught fire while approaching to land. if it had happened before they would have probably landed earlier.

regarding the cowling panels being secondary structure, you are right but when they detach violently from the engines they can hit the fuselage, wings, tail etc and can cause severe damage to the aircraft.

anyway i'm noway in a position to judge the actions of the crew from my armchair, i just got curious because usually, from the incident reports i've read, they return earlier in cases of engine fire/failure after take off, add to that the cowlings detaching. (that was my reasoning).

 

all clear now, cheers ;)

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