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Glom
2005-Mar-05, 01:39 AM
That is British Airways, not our lord and chief.

One of their 744s flew on 3 engines from Singapore to London. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/03/04/ba.jet.ap/index.html)

They are getting a lot of flak over it even though, the aircraft was capable of it. CNN is getting all fuddy. I'm sure the passengers appreciated their timely arrival at their destination rather than face delays because some anally retentive individuals are in a snit about reduced performance.

tmosher
2005-Mar-05, 01:55 AM
That is British Airways, not our lord and chief.

One of their 744s flew on 3 engines from Singapore to London. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/03/04/ba.jet.ap/index.html)

They are getting a lot of flak over it even though, the aircraft was capable of it. CNN is getting all fuddy. I'm sure the passengers appreciated their timely arrival at their destination rather than face delays because some anally retentive individuals are in a snit about reduced performance.

I can't find anything in the FARs that says you can't fly a 747 on three engines.

If it was a twin-engine aircraft, that's a totally different story.

Lurker
2005-Mar-05, 02:02 AM
OH MY!! Imagine if the other three engines suddenly failed?? :o

Does somebody want to write a letter to CNN about redundant systems?? 8)


Edited to add:

So.... was it a slow news day for CNN?? #-o

sarongsong
2005-Mar-05, 07:58 AM
"...Shortly after takeoff, the Boeing 747 experienced a power surge in its No. 2 engine, causing a loud noise. Los Angeles area residents called the airport to report seeing sparks from the plane and hearing loud pops..."
Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61698-2005Feb28.html)
Wonder what the pilot announced to the passengers, if anything.

Evan
2005-Mar-05, 08:09 AM
[gibbled post]

Evan
2005-Mar-05, 08:10 AM
OH MY!! Imagine if the other three engines suddenly failed??

It has happened.


As the crew of KLM Flight 867 struggled to restart the plane's engines, "smoke" and a strong odor of sulfur filled the cockpit and cabin. For five long minutes the powerless 747 jetliner, bound for Anchorage, Alaska, with 231 terrified passengers aboard, fell in silence toward the rugged, snow-covered Talkeetna Mountains (7,000 to 11,000 feet high). All four engines had flamed out when the aircraft inadvertently entered a cloud of ash blown from erupting Redoubt Volcano, 150 miles away.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs030-97/

Awsome picture BTW.

jumbo
2005-Mar-05, 06:35 PM
In 1982 Capt. Eric Moody flew for 20mins with all four engines out on his 747. The cause was also debris in the engines from a volcano. Atc kep on misunderstanding and thought enigine 4 was out rather than all 4 engines are out. fortunately they got them going again and landed safely.

Doodler
2005-Mar-06, 12:48 AM
Its unfortunate they had to fly without the engine, no one likes to the idea of mechanical failures, but kudos to a professional who knew his machine and what it was capable of.

Cripes, people have such a retentive concept of "working as designed".

Lurker
2005-Mar-06, 12:49 AM
It has happened.
I agree, it has.

If the BA flight had just flown through a volcanic plum I think it would have been irresponsible to fly that far on three engines that are in very questionable condition. This flight, however, took off with four good engines, lost one, and had three good engines remaining. One could argue that there was no way to guarantee that the remaining three engines were all good, but I would argue that on any take off there is no way to guarantee than all of the enginees are good. So a plane carries multiple redundant systems and rarely fall out of the sky because all engines faile.

Donnie B.
2005-Mar-06, 03:20 PM
I can understand flying the Singapore-London route on three; after all, it's over land, so loss of another engine wouldn't be catastrophic. You could always abort to the nearest airport.

What's more puzzling is the decision to continue the LA-London flight on three, especially if you don't know what caused #2 to fail. You don't have many options when you're over the open ocean, especially the Arctic. What if the problem had turned out to be contaminated fuel, and the other engines started dropping out?

Glom
2005-Mar-07, 01:27 PM
If it had been contaminated fuel, the signs would have shown themselves before they got over the wide ocean. Remember, their route took them near JFK, BA's biggest foreign base so they could assess their situation just before going out over the ocean and divert to friendly territory. But after the four hour journey across the continent, the fact that all three other engines were working fine indicated that the problem was not systemic, in which case they could give it a go. After all, the passengers would have appreciated getting to their destination and the airline would have preffered to have the aircraft delivered to its home base so it could be dissected.

Argos
2005-Mar-07, 02:11 PM
Any info about the rate of descent of a gliding Jumbo?

Glom
2005-Mar-07, 02:13 PM
I believe the glide ratio is something like 15:1 for the 747.

Evan
2005-Mar-07, 05:03 PM
Glom said:

If it had been contaminated fuel, the signs would have shown themselves before they got over the wide ocean.

Not necessarily. The 747 has a number of fuel tanks. They switch tanks in a sequence that depends on flight duration and tubulence conditions. They may run off the wing tanks for quite a while before switching to the center fuselage tank. It is easily possible for only one tank to have contamination. The biggest problem aside from water contamination is fungal sludge from Cladosporium resinae that clogs the fuel filters. The 747-400 also has a 3,300 gallon tank in the horizontal stab.

I am suprised they would continue flight over water with three engines. That reduces the safety margin to zero.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-07, 06:00 PM
Glom said:

If it had been contaminated fuel, the signs would have shown themselves before they got over the wide ocean.

Not necessarily. The 747 has a number of fuel tanks. They switch tanks in a sequence that depends on flight duration and tubulence conditions. They may run off the wing tanks for quite a while before switching to the center fuselage tank. It is easily possible for only one tank to have contamination. The biggest problem aside from water contamination is fungal sludge from Cladosporium resinae that clogs the fuel filters. The 747-400 also has a 3,300 gallon tank in the horizontal stab.

I am suprised they would continue flight over water with three engines. That reduces the safety margin to zero.

Can they continue the flight on 2 engines? (each on every side, both on one side)

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-07, 06:11 PM
So what is it about volcanic ash in the air that makes the engine fail, but then allows it to be restarted? Does a certain level of contaminants cause combustion to fail, but the engine can be started once a supply of clean air is available?

teddyv
2005-Mar-07, 06:19 PM
So what is it about volcanic ash in the air that makes the engine fail, but then allows it to be restarted? Does a certain level of contaminants cause combustion to fail, but the engine can be started once a supply of clean air is available?

Volcanic ash is essentially very fine glass and chokes off the air flow. I guess the natural movement of the air eventually blows it out. I imagine the effect of very fine, highly abrasive material passing through the engine at speed would require a very detailed inspection upon landing.

Evan
2005-Mar-07, 06:30 PM
The 747 can fly on two engines but I believe they can't both be on the same wing.

The rules for flight over water are usually stricter than for flight over land where alternate airports are usually within gliding distance. The L/D ratio of a 747-100 is 17.7 to 1. At 38000 ft it could glide about 127 miles to sea level. This is of course dependent on load.

Ash cloud encounters are actually common. There have been 80 engine out events since 1980. The engines flame out from oxygen reduction. The engines are badly damaged beyond repair although they can usually be restarted. The ash coats the inner surfaces of the combustion chamber with a glassy vitrified coating that cannot be removed.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-07, 10:24 PM
Very good then, thanks for the explanation. So it has no effect on a piston engine plane?

Nicolas
2005-Mar-07, 10:29 PM
Very good then, thanks for the explanation. So it has no effect on a piston engine plane?

A piston engine can choak as well. The air filter can get stuck, air lines filled and the like. The ashes could make into the combustion chambers as well, but not as easily as with a jet engine.

sarongsong
2005-Mar-14, 07:07 AM
March 14 2005 (http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=vn2005031406 5753691C871785)
"A businessman suffering from diabetes was kicked off a British Airways flight after the captain insisted he couldn't carry a life-saving insulin injection kit in his hand-luggage..."I was security-checked at the BA check-in and they were happy to let me board with my insulin kit..." #-o

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-14, 10:28 AM
would it be possible for a terrorist to inject someone to death with insulin?????

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Mar-14, 11:06 AM
would it be possible for a terrorist to inject someone to death with insulin?????
yes

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-14, 11:14 AM
is it likely?

Doodler
2005-Mar-14, 01:25 PM
is it likely?

As likely as four airliners being hijacked with boxcutters.


Edit: Corrected weapon type.

Evan
2005-Mar-14, 04:57 PM
Since this seems to be drifting towards the possibility of hijacking and the weapons that might be used I thought I would mention that the entire business of banning such things as nail scissors and nail files etc is a complete joke. There is a dirty little secret they don't want the public to know about. It's called the ceramic knife. Anyone with $71.99 can buy a Kyocera 5.5" ceramic chefs knife in any good knife store. It is indectectable to a metal detector as it contains no metal. It also doesn't show up very well in x-rays. Tape one to your thigh and you will have no trouble getting on board with it.

http://fantes.com/images/6457kyocera.jpg

http://fantes.com/kyocera.htm

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-14, 04:59 PM
If you were going to hijack a plane on the cheap, a simple bloken bit of glass taped to your leg would be enough.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Mar-14, 05:38 PM
If you were going to hijack a plane on the cheap, a simple bloken bit of glass taped to your leg would be enough.
sure, like that's going to work again

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-14, 05:48 PM
hey, I haven't even done it once yet!!!! :wink:

Glom
2005-Mar-14, 08:09 PM
And see the Google ads at the bottom of the page for all your hijacking needs.

However, the best defense now is that passengers will not give a hijacker any space anymore. Before 9/11, the passengers were told to just cooperate and let the authorities negotiate for their freedom. In this age, passengers will fear that that death is inevitable through inaction and will immediately subdue the hijackers at all costs. After all, they have nothing to lose.

But about this guy, posters on airliners.net are saying he was a jerk who refused to cooperate with regulations and bring a doctors letter to confirm he was authorised to carry such materials.

VTBoy
2005-Mar-15, 01:57 AM
These ash clouds can also generate the most spectacular example of Saint Elmo Fire around the plane. Not only do you see fire comming out of the engines but the whole plane will look like it is being bombarded by lightning and balls of energy.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-15, 09:41 AM
beats the inflight movie...