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[17 Jan 2008] BA38 lands short of the runway

[17 Jan 2008] BA38 lands short of the runway

Old Jan 18, 08, 11:20 am
  #556  
 
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
I'm sorry but I find it hard to see the criticism of the ground staff here and not make a comment. I do hope the person I spoke with (who was present with the pax) will forgive me in saying a couple of things, but I wish to defend those who worked extremely hard yesterday, during very emotional circumstances.

The passengers were taken to the lounges, hence why the lounges were closed to regular passengers, and had full access to food and drink that is available in there.

Yes, TV's were turned off so as not to alarm the passengers any further following their traumatic experience.

It's correct they were unable to obtain their belongings, including passports, etc, but they were given (very reasonable) funds to assist them until these become available.

I cannot, and will not, add to this as it would not be fair on the individual who gave me this information. I'm only saying this as there are so many incorrect posts on here right now.

It's disappointing that some are insulting ground staff when they are unaware of facts.
My thoughts are that there should be an independent review (by the CAA?) of this aspect of the incident. If the ground staff behaved as magnificently as we all agree the on board crew did then they deserve complete and public exoneration from the brickbats which are being thrown at the moment; and, as Tweedledum would say, contrariwise.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by ndhapple View Post
It seems like both engines were completely unresponsive to computer (the autopilot) and human input. Which sounds more mechanical/electrical/electronic than like a bird strike. There would have had to have been two really big birds (think Canadian geese) to knock out both engines on that plane. I've looked at the video and didn't see any major birds in the video (but the quality isn't that good however).

Also go over to flightglobal.com and look at their pictures & comments. One point they make is there is no obvious sign of bits of bird plastered across the engine or the leading edge of the wing.

Plus, their analysis, which I guess I can follow, is the blades in the front end of one of the engines don't appear to be badly damaged by impact, therefore it seems unlikely it was damaged by a bird strike.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:30 am
  #558  
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
I'm sorry but I find it hard to see the criticism of the ground staff here and not make a comment. I do hope the person I spoke with (who was present with the pax) will forgive me in saying a couple of things, but I wish to defend those who worked extremely hard yesterday, during very emotional circumstances.

The passengers were taken to the lounges, hence why the lounges were closed to regular passengers, and had full access to food and drink that is available in there.

Yes, TV's were turned off so as not to alarm the passengers any further following their traumatic experience.

It's correct they were unable to obtain their belongings, including passports, etc, but they were given (very reasonable) funds to assist them until these become available.

I cannot, and will not, add to this as it would not be fair on the individual who gave me this information. I'm only saying this as there are so many incorrect posts on here right now.

It's disappointing that some are insulting ground staff when they are unaware of facts.
To be fair the BBC has reports from THREE passengers making the comments that some of us have responded to.

As well as Mark Tamburro's comments http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7196128.stm
There's also video footage of Chloe Richards and Ian Newborn shown on BBC News24 (there's a link on this page on the right "Passengers describe evacuation" showing these pax) saying very similar things. (I can't open that link, but I can see this one: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fc6_1200603997&c=1 the comments I've reacted to come after the 3 minute mark)

These are much better 'facts' than those presented by anyone else here (including yours, sorry!).

I'm sure the staff did everything they were supposed to, it just seems the procedures they follow really suck from the point of view of anyone who has to go through them.

Last edited by LapLap; Jan 18, 08 at 11:41 am
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:35 am
  #559  
 
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To finally resolve the burning issue of whether the pax spent several more hours or pounds than they would have wished at or leaving LHR, BA should commission and release the findings of an independent but mandatory customer satisfaction survey? Otherwise, I don't think it's wise to rely on media reports to form a view.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:36 am
  #560  
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Fuel contamination?

One current theory: Water in the fuel tanks

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-accident.html
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by hsmall View Post
My thoughts are that there should be an independent review (by the CAA?) of this aspect of the incident. If the ground staff behaved as magnificently as we all agree the on board crew did then they deserve complete and public exoneration from the brickbats which are being thrown at the moment; and, as Tweedledum would say, contrariwise.

I don't know what it is about the world these days, and why in this Nanny state we've created everyone expects perfect service in every circumstance.

By it's very nature this kind of accident has never happened before, and the response requires a lot of improvisation by people who are struggling, at least initially, to get a clear picture of the severity of the incident and move the passengers to a safe location etc etc. Unlike the aircrew who can practice engine out landings in a simulator, there is no simulator for a crash landing in the corner of the airfield. I'm sure they have drills and tests, but they're never going to be exact, and I'm equally sure, in hindsight, there will be things that could have been done differently.

My confidence in the basic support remains high - if I have to have an airplane accident anywhere, please, please, please let it be in LHR not some hideous, ill-equipped backwater.

Get real. Quit nitpicking. Be thankful the people on BA38 were only marginally inconvenienced and they didn't all end up in hospital beds or worse.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:44 am
  #562  
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
It's disappointing that some are insulting ground staff when they are unaware of facts.
I agree - it must be very hurtful when people see themselves criticised by people who were not there but are themselves unable to respond.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 11:55 am
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I've read some very dismissive comments on here about the fact that the lack of fuel could not have played a part in the engine failure, or that this would not happen at BA. I have been on a BA 777 flight to Chicago when we diverted to Milwaukee because the aircraft had insufficient fuel to join the hold during a storm over Chicago. On that particular flight there was no provision for slack - probably in the name of cost cutting. Or was this simply a serious miscalculation on fuel required?
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:01 pm
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First of all I want to give a big ^ to the crew in this case. They managed a situation that is one of the most difficult to anticipate or react to without causing any major casualties. At 600ft you have very little time to react to a failure of this magnitude. This crew performed admirably. I would fly with this crew at anytime.

Now on to the speculation based on the inital report. I would not be suprised to find out that the root cause of this problem is something extremely minor. (i.e. not a major problem, but something fundamentally simple). Not knowing the intracies of the T7's systems, but having a solid engineering background I can make an educated guess as to what the problem could be. From the report the engines were spinning but unresponsive to commands either from the autothrottle or the manual pilot initated commands. The information that the autothrottles were working indicates to me that the avionics were working (thus ruling out the avionics failure). My guess would be that these two throttle systems join the system at a specific point such that the two systems don't end up fighting with each other on commanding the engine. THerefore, I would think that any failure would have occured after the point where the two systems are sorted out. The suddeness of the failure, the timing of the failure, and nature of the failure seems to me to point to a wire coming loose or being cut. Now what may need to be looked at is if the primary and secondary (back-up) on the system share a common location then it is possible that a single point of failure could cripple both systems. (not unheard of in the past). Once the failure point is found, then the final question to ask is how did this happen. As always there are three reasons for the failure: 1) Human error (somebody did or didn't do something), 2) design flaw, or 3) catastrophic failure (i.e. the statistics just hit you, simultanious failure of both systems the .00001 failure model that you accepted in design). Regardless of my speculation (which from an engineering mind is what we do), I will wait to see what the final report comes out and says. If it is a design flaw it could be a real problem for the airlines while a patch/fix is worked on.

Again kudos to the crew for their skill, professionalism and simply saving lives.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ozzie View Post
And it also shows just how lucky those people were. Lots of fuel leaked. They really are lucky it didn't go bang. A single spark would have been enough.
Indeed. Engines die, plane literary falls out of the sky with the pilots going W-TF, the plane barely misses houses and the motorway, and then just slides leisurely to a safe stop on the wet grass, barely touching the spark-inducing tarmac as fuel is leaking out... And of course, with the landing gear collapsed, the evacuation was probably less injury-prone than normal. If you're going to crash, that's certainly the way to do it.

Who needs four engines for long haul with that kind of luck?

(or skill, I of course have no idea what really happened and what role the pilots played in this fortunate and highly improbable outcome)
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
I agree - it must be very hurtful when people see themselves criticised by people who were not there but are themselves unable to respond.
But there has been a response

"We strive to provide as much assistance as possible to our customers following an incident.

"However, there are some limitations to what we can do due to the various regulations with which we have to comply and the restrictions of operating in an airside environment.

"For example, we have to wait for permission to remove baggage and any other personal belongings from the aircraft. When that permission is received, our aim is to get these belongings back to customers as quickly as possible.

"We can only apologise if any passengers felt that we did not meet their expectations."

----
The bolded bit just confirms many of the conclusions I reached yesterday.

Nobody has criticised any individual members of staff (much less insulted them), but they can't help but reflect the policies of the management, or whatever authorities are inflicting their restrictions - all of these, collectively, end up being groundstaff, and right from the beginning my own criticisms have been with some groundstaff and the authorities responsible for the passengers.

It's just a shame that we all have to accept unthinkingly that the survivors were handled in an absolutely perfect way that couldn't possibly be improved upon and that there are no flaws whatsoever in the current procedures.

Ignoring their experiences as being unimportant, considering they survived intact, just means that nothing will be learnt and no improvements will be made.

It seems the pilots and crew acted impeccably. That's fabulous! Why not move onto somewhere that does seem to need some improvement?
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:11 pm
  #567  
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Originally Posted by kered View Post
One lesson I’m going to take out of this, is that in future I’m going to have my passport on my person, for landing.

At least that way, if I’m unfortunate enough to be involved in an event like this & blessed enough to walk away, I’ll have the correct documentation to clear immigration. Clothes & other items in my luggage can be done without for days, but passport & your own money, you clearly need.
I always do this - more to make sure I don't lose it though than expecting an incident. Ironically, this is why I lament the loss of breast pockets on most shirts now; the 'shirt snobs' have deemed these to be a fashion faux pas so now even most M&S lack the passport sized pocket!!!
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Whats he going on about - he just survives a near death experience and he's moaning about something so trivial - Unbelievable if true?
You wouldn't believe how many pax (esp. those from front and first floor cabins) complained about exactly these trivia after the BKK QF 1 accident and threatened to sue, demanded free F tickets and/or trillions of FF miles...they weren't celebrating their survival but pushing for compensation mainly for delayed luggage... to some a second life isn't just enough...
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:25 pm
  #569  
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
But there has been a response

"However, there are some limitations to what we can do due to the various regulations with which we have to comply and the restrictions of operating in an airside environment.

"We can only apologise if any passengers felt that we did not meet their expectations."

The bolded bit just confirms many of the conclusions I reached yesterday.

It seems the pilots and crew acted impeccably. That's fabulous! Why not move onto somewhere that does seem to need some improvement?
Perhaps because now isn't the right time?

I'm sure that the points you make are deduced perfectly logically and may even when all of the facts emerge may prove to be 100% correct. But it presupposes that any system can be made perfect, which I do not believe it can. It also assumes that every pax in this emotional situation responds to the dissapointments in a fair and rational way. "Not meeting their expectations" was not an admission that anything was substantially wrong but an honest reflection of the complex situation.

In terms of timing, as an opinion expressed now, has the joint dangers of being unfair because even the above account and others may be incomplete - and also appears to criticise individuals - although I accept that wasn't the intention, when many feel that this is the correct moment to praise and be very thankful for what was an extraordinary team effort from every angle.
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Old Jan 18, 08, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by traveller5 View Post
I've read some very dismissive comments on here about the fact that the lack of fuel could not have played a part in the engine failure, or that this would not happen at BA. I have been on a BA 777 flight to Chicago when we diverted to Milwaukee because the aircraft had insufficient fuel to join the hold during a storm over Chicago. On that particular flight there was no provision for slack - probably in the name of cost cutting. Or was this simply a serious miscalculation on fuel required?
I wouldnt imagine it was either. We rely on an accurate weather forecast for fuel planning, but this will have been published 12 hrs before eta at least. We're never under any pressure to take min fuel, indeed our min fuel includes a statistical contingency based on the previous 12 months of that flight and its fuel burn. ORD is ORD, ATC is unpredictable (and appalling biased towards the home team in their sequencing) and diving into MKE may be the safe option.
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