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Times: Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 13th, 2006, 09:04 AM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default Times: Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London

The Times
January 13, 2006

Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London

By Ben Webster

With one engine down and three failing the 747 flew over thousands of
homes

A JUMBO jet that had lost an engine and was losing power in the other
three was diverted over Central London, putting hundreds of lives at
risk on the ground, an investigation has found.

The crew were "fortunate" that there was good visibility because in
low cloud "the aircraft might have landed well short of the
runway", according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

It ordered the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out an urgent review
of the guidance given to air traffic controllers on diverting aircraft
in emergencies over densely populated areas.

The American-owned cargo plane was not carrying any charts for Heathrow
and the pilots did not realise that their diversion would take them
over thousands of homes. They appeared unaware of other options open to
them, including Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, which would have allowed
them to avoid built-up areas.

The incident, in April 2004, began as the Evergreen International
Airlines aircraft was flying at 36,000ft over Southend-on-Sea, en route
from Ramstein in Germany to New York. An engine failed and the flight
engineer was unable to restart it. Minutes later, after the aircraft
had descended to 21,000ft, the captain noticed that he was losing power
in the other three engines.

The crew radioed the airline's maintenance centre but it was
"unable to offer any solutions", according to the AAIB report. The
captain then declared an emergency and asked air traffic control to
clear him to land at Heathrow.

Fearing that he was about to lose all four engines, he altered the
controls of the Boeing 747 to prepare it for gliding. As the aircraft
descended over Croydon, the female co-pilot told the air traffic
controller: "We're just not sure we're gonna get enough power to
land."

The captain was forced to make a series of sharp "S" turns to lose
height as he approached Heathrow.

The 34-year-old plane was still too high as it passed over Richmond,
six miles from Heathrow, but the pilot was forced to commit to landing
because the aircraft lacked the thrust to climb up for another attempt.

The report praised the captain's safe landing of the aircraft but
said that the outcome could have been very different in cloudy weather.

Campaigners against the expansion of Heathrow have long predicted that
a disaster will eventually happen because more than 500 flights a day
pass over Central London as they approach the airport.

The Government has proposed building a third runway at the airport,
which would add 1,000 more flights a week over the capital. Most other
big cities have positioned their airports in places that do not require
planes to approach over the centre.

John Stewart, chairman of ClearSkies, which campaigns on behalf of
people living under Heathrow's flight paths, said: "This incident
highlights the risk from having such an overloaded airport so close to
residential areas. It only takes one lame and limping plane, like this
one, to cause disaster.

"It would be absurd to increase the risk by building a third
runway."

The AAIB report concluded: "The aircraft flew over some of the most
congested parts of London in a gliding configuration from which a safe
landing was not reasonably assured."

The report questioned whether the right balance had been struck between
the interests of the four people on board and the safety of people on
the ground. While the safest option for the crew might be to divert to
the nearest airport, this could "pose an unacceptable danger to
persons on the ground".

The AAIB said that controllers lacked clear guidelines on whether to
allow aircraft in difficulty to fly over congested areas. The report
also criticised Evergreen for failing to ensure that a full set of
airport charts was on board.

Engineers failed to find the cause of the problems and the plane was
allowed to resume its journey after tests showed the engines working
normally.

The last major crash in Britain also involved a Boeing 747 cargo
aircraft. The Korean Air plane crashed near Stansted in 1999, narrowly
missing houses.

The plane in the Heathrow incident was built in 1970, making it twice
as old as the oldest passenger jumbo jet operated by British Airways.

Crash investigators regularly criticise the safety record of cargo
operators, which tend to save money by using aircraft at the end of
their working lives. The CAA expects to publish its response to the
AAIB report by the end of the month.

CAUSE FOR ALARM
# A British European Airways Vanguard aircraft crashed in October 1965
while trying to land at Heathrow in poor visibility after a flight from
Edinburgh. All 30 passengers and six crew were killed. The pilot had
made two attempts to land in fog and crashed after overshooting the
runway on the third attempt

# Two passenger jets came within 200ft of colliding over Slough in
August 1997. An air traffic controller directed a Virgin Express Boeing
737 approaching Heathrow into the path of a British Airways 757 that
had just taken off from the airport

# Two jets carrying nearly 500 people came within 112ft of colliding in
April 2000 after an air traffic controller supervising a trainee
cleared an aircraft for take-off from Heathrow just as another was
about to land on the same runway. The pilot of a British Airways Boeing
747 aborted the landing with seconds to spare after the controller
realised that a crash with a British Midland Airbus A321 was imminent

# A British Airways Boeing 747 carrying 311 people was forced to abort
its landing at Heathrow in May 2003 after the pilot spotted another
aircraft on the runway. The aircraft climbed steeply, circled and
landed safely

# A cap of 480,000 flights a year was imposed by the Government in 2001
as a condition of approving the construction of Terminal Five. However,
in December 2003, Alistair Darling, the Transport Secretary,
recommended building a third runway at Heathrow, to open between 2015
and 2020. The Department for Transport predicted that the number of
flights would rapidly increase to 655,000 a year.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...983016,00.html

  #3  
Old January 14th, 2006, 02:35 PM posted to rec.travel.air
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Times: Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London

wrote:
The Times
January 13, 2006

Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London

By Ben Webster

With one engine down and three failing the 747 flew over thousands of
homes

A JUMBO jet that had lost an engine and was losing power in the other
three was diverted over Central London, putting hundreds of lives at
risk on the ground, an investigation has found.

The crew were "fortunate" that there was good visibility because in
low cloud "the aircraft might have landed well short of the
runway", according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

It ordered the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out an urgent review
of the guidance given to air traffic controllers on diverting aircraft
in emergencies over densely populated areas.

The American-owned cargo plane was not carrying any charts for Heathrow
and the pilots did not realise that their diversion would take them
over thousands of homes. They appeared unaware of other options open to
them, including Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, which would have allowed
them to avoid built-up areas.

The incident, in April 2004, began as the Evergreen International
Airlines aircraft was flying at 36,000ft over Southend-on-Sea, en route
from Ramstein in Germany to New York. An engine failed and the flight
engineer was unable to restart it. Minutes later, after the aircraft
had descended to 21,000ft, the captain noticed that he was losing power
in the other three engines.

The crew radioed the airline's maintenance centre but it was
"unable to offer any solutions", according to the AAIB report. The
captain then declared an emergency and asked air traffic control to
clear him to land at Heathrow.

Fearing that he was about to lose all four engines, he altered the
controls of the Boeing 747 to prepare it for gliding. As the aircraft
descended over Croydon, the female co-pilot told the air traffic
controller: "We're just not sure we're gonna get enough power to
land."

The captain was forced to make a series of sharp "S" turns to lose
height as he approached Heathrow.

The 34-year-old plane was still too high as it passed over Richmond,
six miles from Heathrow, but the pilot was forced to commit to landing
because the aircraft lacked the thrust to climb up for another attempt.

The report praised the captain's safe landing of the aircraft but
said that the outcome could have been very different in cloudy weather.

Campaigners against the expansion of Heathrow have long predicted that
a disaster will eventually happen because more than 500 flights a day
pass over Central London as they approach the airport.

The Government has proposed building a third runway at the airport,
which would add 1,000 more flights a week over the capital. Most other
big cities have positioned their airports in places that do not require
planes to approach over the centre.

John Stewart, chairman of ClearSkies, which campaigns on behalf of
people living under Heathrow's flight paths, said: "This incident
highlights the risk from having such an overloaded airport so close to
residential areas. It only takes one lame and limping plane, like this
one, to cause disaster.

"It would be absurd to increase the risk by building a third
runway."

The AAIB report concluded: "The aircraft flew over some of the most
congested parts of London in a gliding configuration from which a safe
landing was not reasonably assured."

The report questioned whether the right balance had been struck between
the interests of the four people on board and the safety of people on
the ground. While the safest option for the crew might be to divert to
the nearest airport, this could "pose an unacceptable danger to
persons on the ground".

The AAIB said that controllers lacked clear guidelines on whether to
allow aircraft in difficulty to fly over congested areas. The report
also criticised Evergreen for failing to ensure that a full set of
airport charts was on board.

Engineers failed to find the cause of the problems and the plane was
allowed to resume its journey after tests showed the engines working
normally.

The last major crash in Britain also involved a Boeing 747 cargo
aircraft. The Korean Air plane crashed near Stansted in 1999, narrowly
missing houses.

The plane in the Heathrow incident was built in 1970, making it twice
as old as the oldest passenger jumbo jet operated by British Airways.

Crash investigators regularly criticise the safety record of cargo
operators, which tend to save money by using aircraft at the end of
their working lives. The CAA expects to publish its response to the
AAIB report by the end of the month.


Cargo aircraft have a significantly higher accident rate than passenger
aircraft. See for example
http://www.flightsafety.org/news/nr00-06.pdf

T.




CAUSE FOR ALARM
# A British European Airways Vanguard aircraft crashed in October 1965
while trying to land at Heathrow in poor visibility after a flight from
Edinburgh. All 30 passengers and six crew were killed. The pilot had
made two attempts to land in fog and crashed after overshooting the
runway on the third attempt

# Two passenger jets came within 200ft of colliding over Slough in
August 1997. An air traffic controller directed a Virgin Express Boeing
737 approaching Heathrow into the path of a British Airways 757 that
had just taken off from the airport

# Two jets carrying nearly 500 people came within 112ft of colliding in
April 2000 after an air traffic controller supervising a trainee
cleared an aircraft for take-off from Heathrow just as another was
about to land on the same runway. The pilot of a British Airways Boeing
747 aborted the landing with seconds to spare after the controller
realised that a crash with a British Midland Airbus A321 was imminent

# A British Airways Boeing 747 carrying 311 people was forced to abort
its landing at Heathrow in May 2003 after the pilot spotted another
aircraft on the runway. The aircraft climbed steeply, circled and
landed safely

# A cap of 480,000 flights a year was imposed by the Government in 2001
as a condition of approving the construction of Terminal Five. However,
in December 2003, Alistair Darling, the Transport Secretary,
recommended building a third runway at Heathrow, to open between 2015
and 2020. The Department for Transport predicted that the number of
flights would rapidly increase to 655,000 a year.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...983016,00.html

  #5  
Old January 15th, 2006, 05:43 PM posted to rec.travel.air
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Times: Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London

mrtravel wrote:
Tom Peel wrote:

wrote:

The Times
January 13, 2006

Stricken Jumbo was allowed to fly over centre of London

By Ben Webster

With one engine down and three failing the 747 flew over thousands of
homes

A JUMBO jet that had lost an engine and was losing power in the other
three was diverted over Central London, putting hundreds of lives at
risk on the ground, an investigation has found.



What percentage of airports capable of landing a 747 are NOT near
populated areas? Even if airports are built a distance away from
populated areas, businesses and residences are soon built closer to the
them.

The crew were "fortunate" that there was good visibility because in
low cloud "the aircraft might have landed well short of the
runway", according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).



Why woulld it have landed "well short of the runway"
Would the clouds have caused it to suddenly drop.
The report said had plenty of altitude, so it could give up a bit if the
weight of the cloud moisture forced it down faster ( )
"The captain was forced to make a series of sharp "S" turns to lose
height as he approached Heathrow. "



The official report is he
http://tinyurl.com/cogla

It appears that instead of flying a precision instrument approach, which
would be the normal procedure for a 747 at Heathrow, the captain had to
fly the plane visually as if it was a Cessna. They only got lined up for
the runway 2 miles from touchdown- a tricky procedure in a jet this
size, even with all 4 engines working. If it had been cloudy, they would
not have been able to see the runway.


T.


 




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