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Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

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Old 01-20-2008, 01:22 PM
  #1
west6008
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Default Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

The deadstick landing a British Airways Boeing 777 pulled off a few days ago,
makes one wonder if they shouldnt put Flight Engineers back in these birds,
and take out 50% of the computers.
An Air Canada Boeing 757 that ran out of gas in 1983, and the Transat Airbus
that deadsticked into the Azores come to mind.
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:19 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

We do not know the reason for the crash, so a flight engineer may or may not have helped. If it was something that happened abruptly at low altitude, then a flight engineer would be of no help. Plus, the flight you mention was coming from Beijing, so it would have had an augmented crew, so there were probably 3 pilots in the cockpit anyways. I was a DC-10 flight engineer for a while, and there is nothing that an engineer can do with a loss of all engines at low altitude. Today's computers offer a huge benefit of taking the loads off the flying pilots and monitoring the systems and letting them fly the plane. Plus, an engineer is an added expense for the airline, and we all know how likely they are to do that.
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

The eventual goal is to eliminate the whole crew and let computers run the show, and that time is closer than everyone thinks. Norm
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:32 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Who was monitoring the fuel totalizer? Or, was it malfunctioning and giving them false readings?

From my military flying days, the FE would plan for the fuel load (allowing for winds en route etc.,) then add fuel for 3 missed approaches and then a divert to an alternate field. Was there any fuel in the tanks that just didn't make it to the engines? Or were the tanks bone dry?

Something here is not adding up, and I will admit that I have not been able to follow the story to find out any behind-the-scenes details. Has anyone else come up with any new news since this happened?

Bob
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

News reports indicate that there was plenty of fuel. The problem appears to be that the computer for some reason would not advance the throttles. The crew tried every trick they knew to advance them manually but all failed. The Captain then made the wise decision to "fly the plane" and he got it on the ground very hard but no one was killed. He did his job very well. Norm
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Following an uneventful flight from Beijing, China, the aircraft was established on an ILS approach to Runway 27L at London Heathrow. Initially the approach progressed normally, with the Autopilot and Autothrottle engaged, until the aircraft was at a height of approximately 600 ft and 2 miles from touch down. The aircraft then descended rapidly and struck the ground, some 1,000 ft short of the paved runway surface, just inside the airfield boundary fence. The aircraft stopped on the very beginning of the paved surface of Runway 27L. During the short ground roll the right main landing gear separated from the wing and the left main landing gear was pushed up through the wing root. A significant amount of fuel leaked from the aircraft but there was no fire. An emergency evacuation via the slides was supervised by the cabin crew and all occupants left the aircraft, some receiving minor injuries.
Initial indications from the interviews and Flight Recorder analyses show the flight and approach to have progressed normally until the aircraft was established on late finals for Runway 27L. At approximately 600 ft and 2 miles from touch down, the Autothrottle demanded an increase in thrust from the two engines but the engines did not respond. Following further demands for increased thrust from the Autothrottle, and subsequently the flight crew moving the throttle levers, the engines similarly failed to respond. The aircraft speed reduced and the aircraft descended onto the grass short of the paved runway surface.

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Old 01-21-2008, 08:13 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Looks to me like the pilot did an incredible job! 3 hurt but not bad, no fatalities and no fire. Nice job.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Yeah, thank God for no fatalities... that was unreal.

Thanks for updating me. It's going to be very interesting to find out what combination of factors caused this system to fail.

I appreciate the updates, guys.

Bob
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:35 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

These are all very different scenarios.
The "Gimly Glider" incident was primarily due to to a refueling mess up, ground crew pumped the requested units of fuel in pounds rather than Kilograms, add in a situation where the fuel gauges also were inoperative.
I watched the TV recreation of the Transat incident with great interest, as a non pilot (well some hours of flight training and 20 years of R/C), my take on it was that the captain handled the situation poorly, it seemed as though he didn't want to believe the computers and as the Airbus was a twin, shutting down an engine would be an immediate in flight emergency situation and a divert to the nearest suitable airport, if I'm not mistaken.
In the case of BA038, it looks as though the pilots had absolutely no choice but to glide her in as best they could. I sincerely hope that nothing they did or didn't do prior to the problem on approach is found to be a factor in the accident.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:43 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Sorry, double post[]
Pete
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:56 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Quote:
The eventual goal is to eliminate the whole crew and let computers run the show, and that time is closer than everyone thinks.
Y'know.....I read that back in 1964. .......I can't remember which magazine though.......



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Old 02-05-2008, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow


Quote:
ORIGINAL: normgoyer

The eventual goal is to eliminate the whole crew and let computers run the show, and that time is closer than everyone thinks. Norm

And then the pilot's announcement will be: "Thank you for flying ABC Airways. You are traveling in the finest airliner on the market with the latest in autocontrol software. The triply-redundant computers will insure that nothing can go wrong...<click>...go wrong...<click>...go wrong...<click>...go wrong........."

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Old 02-05-2008, 07:49 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Whoa Bill, it is your company I understand that is building the 2.4 FASST auto pilot system for the airlines!! Norm
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:30 AM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Low, Norm, Low.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Sorry Bill, it gets boting up here in the High Desert in the winter time. I have been using Futaba exclusively for about 30years now, now fly the your new 2.4rigs. Norm
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Bax


Quote:
ORIGINAL: normgoyer

The eventual goal is to eliminate the whole crew and let computers run the show, and that time is closer than everyone thinks. Norm

And then the pilot's announcement will be: "Thank you for flying ABC Airways. You are traveling in the finest airliner on the market with the latest in autocontrol software. The triply-redundant computers will insure that nothing can go wrong...<click>...go wrong...<click>...go wrong...<click>...go wrong........."

Yeah, it's one thing to have unmanned people movers, as some airports have, such as the monorail at EWR and the subway (I think it is unmanned) at DIA[8D]
But I'm not going, if that Boeing doesn't have two pilots up front

Bax,
Are you going to be at the WRAM show this month?
Cheers,
Pete
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

If possible my rules are even stricter, I look in the cockpit at the left seat and the Captain better have gray hair and bifocals or I am not going. And....if there are props on the wings and the young pilot is texting his copilot asking him or her how to start this damn thing, I'm really not going. Norm
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:36 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Experience counts
Hey, I have a pilot neighbor that is pushing seventy and owns 2 planes, one is an EAA design with floats and skis, his cross country plane is over 70, a real classic, like him.
Hint, the plane has a big round engine, a four place cabin, 2 wings and oh yeah, retracts[8D]
Cheers,
Pete
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Staggerwing, Beech D-17, Norm
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:49 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Howd'ya guess
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:32 AM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Not a guess, not very many biplanes with retracts and round engines. Norm
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Just my 2 cents. [sm=75_75.gif] Did the crew turn off the PMC's (power management computer). It is hard to beleive that both engines failed to respond at the same time considering that they are independent systems.

This is one of the reasons why I prefer to Fly By Cables, Torque Tubes, and Push Rods.

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Old 02-08-2008, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Better book a flight in an airline flying DC-3s as those types of controls are history. Norm
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Well, those kind of contols are still in use today. DC-4's, DC-6's. DC-7's, DC-8's, and DC-9's all use mechanical systems.

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Old 02-09-2008, 02:10 PM
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Default RE: Deadstick Boeing 777, Heathrow

Not many of those left either that haven't been rebuilt into MD-80s etc. Control feel is so important to the joy of flying. I always preferred the very short direct response of the J-3 compared to the squishy quality of the Champ. The many SNJs (AT-6s) that I owned had about the best control feel/reaction of any airplane I ever flown. Norm
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