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UA 885 5 April 2024 FCO-IAD engine failure / compressor stall and emergency landing

UA 885 5 April 2024 FCO-IAD engine failure / compressor stall and emergency landing

Old Apr 5, 2024, 11:31 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by LarryJ
[...]
They don't want people stopping to take pictures and hindering the evacuation. In a situation where the speed of the evacuation really matters, that can reduce the number of survivors. In an emergency situation, please follow crewmember instructions, even when the reason for them is not obvious. The procedures are developed to ensure that everyone can evacuate safely.
Mostly this, but is also the case that some countries (and I don't know if Italy is one of them) have strict proscriptions and laws against taking pictures in / of secure parts of the airport estate, and standing around on the tarmac clicking away at your surroundings and the emergency services personnel after evacuating the aircraft could potentially get you an arrest and/or a fine.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 1:02 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by LarryJ
To tack on to that last post...

A compressor stall is when the airflow into the engine, through the compressor section, is disrupted by aerodynamic stalls over the fan/compressor blades. The momentary airflow disruption causes a pause in combustion as the fuel/air mixture is no longer combustible. As the unburned fuel moves after the engine, the fuel/air mixture reaches a point where it is combustible again and it burns rapidly. This can result in flames out the tailpipe and a loud "BANG". If the cause of the stall is persistent, the process will repeat making a "BANG...BANG...BANG" until the condition is resolved or the engine is shut down.

If the condition is transient, such as from injecting some foreign object, the engine will recover and continue to run. Engine damage is possible, but usually does not occur. One cause of a persistent compressor stall is a bird ingestion which causes damage to the fan/compressor blades. In those cases, the engine is shut down and will have to be replaced. Transient stalls can come from a failure in the fuel control unit, strong gusts, or injecting some foreign material that does not cause any damage as it moves through the engine. (That may have been the issue with the 737 that was recently reported as having "an engine fire". I believe that it ingested some plastic bubble wrap during takeoff)

In any case, this is one of the scenarios for which we train every time we head back to the simulators.
LarryJ -- If I may, couple more questions relating to this!

In theory, if a compressor stall is transient and not due to ingesting anything, would a visual inspection be enough to say "hey, let's give this a go again."? Or is there more to it? Is it likely for the same issue to occur on its next flight or is it more of a fluke?

And -- when a crew goes through an emergency situation, are they required to sit the rest of the day or for a period of time due to the potential for stress, or could they choose to fly if all the parameters are met (not timing out, aircraft available, etc.)?
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 1:25 pm
  #18  
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Very glad to learn that eveyone is safe!

But: Oh my! Another incident with potential bad PR for UA. Lately it feels like this is ongoing.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 4:07 pm
  #19  
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I'm understand you went though a quite scary event. Glad everyone was safe.

The loss of an engine on take off is perhaps the most frequently practiced incident in a simulator. Pilots train for this regularly and as the Navy Seals say: "Under pressure, we don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Emergency and Fire vehicles were most likely called out because of the overweight landing in case there was a fire in the brakes. The 777 is a wonderful aircraft.

As emergencies go this one is somewhat 'routine' although still an emergency and quite an event to experience as a passenger. You now have a great story to tell.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 4:29 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by PLeblond
I'm understand you went though a quite scary event. Glad everyone was safe.

The loss of an engine on take off is perhaps the most frequently practiced incident in a simulator. Pilots train for this regularly and as the Navy Seals say: "Under pressure, we don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Emergency and Fire vehicles were most likely called out because of the overweight landing in case there was a fire in the brakes. The 777 is a wonderful aircraft.

As emergencies go this one is somewhat 'routine' although still an emergency and quite an event to experience as a passenger. You now have a great story to tell.
To add to your point about the brakes, not only is the a/c “heavy” but they can’t use reverse thrust, either, as only one engine is operating.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 4:44 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
To add to your point about the brakes, not only is the a/c “heavy” but they can’t use reverse thrust, either, as only one engine is operating.
Agreed.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 5:31 pm
  #22  
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I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m jealous.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 7:45 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by cesco.g
But: Oh my! Another incident with potential bad PR for UA. Lately it feels like this is ongoing.
It shouldn't result in bad press. Birds and other foreign objects are ingested from time to time, and unless it results in a landing in the Hudson, it's part of flying and operating aircraft on a daily basis. After a few hours on the ground, the aircraft took off and flew to IAD. Other than incovenience to the passengers, how does UA deserve bad press from this incident?
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 8:08 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120
It shouldn't result in bad press. Birds and other foreign objects are ingested from time to time, and unless it results in a landing in the Hudson, it's part of flying and operating aircraft on a daily basis. After a few hours on the ground, the aircraft took off and flew to IAD. Other than incovenience to the passengers, how does UA deserve bad press from this incident?
What bad press?
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 10:26 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
What bad press?
I was responding to the possibility of bad press noted in post #18.
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 10:58 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by halls120
how does UA deserve bad press from this incident?
to be clear I did not state UA deserves bad press and hope it will not.
But given the media hype about UA incidents recently it is possible and concerns me to a certain degree.
I do not wish that for the company and especially the many great employees I have encountered
as a customer throughout the years.
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 8:09 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
To add to your point about the brakes, not only is the a/c “heavy” but they can’t use reverse thrust, either, as only one engine is operating.
You can most certainly use reverse thrust with only one engine. It is in fact standard procedure.
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 8:18 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by zeus2120
In theory, if a compressor stall is transient and not due to ingesting anything, would a visual inspection be enough to say "hey, let's give this a go again."? Or is there more to it? Is it likely for the same issue to occur on its next flight or is it more of a fluke?
The older generation engines had more issues with compressor stalls. 707, DC8, DC9, 737-200, etc. Gusty crosswinds or rapid thrust lever movement could cause them. Those types of compressor stalls rarely caused any concern. Back in the late 1990s I spent a year as a flight engineer on the DC8 for a freight carrier. The DC8s with the PWJT3D-3B short-duct engines had a restriction that we could only use reverse-idle on the outboard engines. Going above that would generate compressor stalls because of the air disruption from the inbound engine's reversers. Those stalls didn't cause any damage, they were just bad form by the pilot who forgot he was flying a short-duct airplane.

Newer engines are much better at avoiding stalls that are not associated with equipment failure or damage. They'll generate a write-up.

I'm not a mechanic so don't know what the established procedures might be. It could be anything from a visual inspection to a full borescope (like a colonoscopy for a jet engine). The aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) will have the criteria for determining what actions are requirement.

And -- when a crew goes through an emergency situation, are they required to sit the rest of the day or for a period of time due to the potential for stress, or could they choose to fly if all the parameters are met (not timing out, aircraft available, etc.)?
It is not required, but it is best practice, to remove the crew for the day. The after affects of adrenalin may not be evident right away.

Last edited by LarryJ; Apr 6, 2024 at 9:57 am
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 8:19 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by Jeff767
You can most certainly use reverse thrust with only one engine. It is in fact standard procedure.
Yep. Not a problem at all. Very little turning force from asymmetrical reverse on landing.
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 8:20 am
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I think things are getting over played a bit here. The aircraft departed and suffered a compressor stall. You can’t continue a ETOPS flight after a compressor stall. The engine first requires an inspection. The crew elected to return to FCO for the inspection. I see no reports the engine was shut down and you would not normally shut an engine down for a compressor stall unless you had indications of damage. The overweight landing requires an emergency declaration and you want the trucks to insure no brake overheats. There was no evacuation or expedited deplaning. FCO is heavily gate limited and they were assigned a parking pad where the aircraft was deplaned normally. Parking pad use is routine in FCO even for many scheduled flights.
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