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Qantas mid-air decompression

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  • #46
    Mmm...oxygen bottles sitting out of sight in the cargo hold makes me very nervous...I wonder how often they are inspected, and how easy it is to access/inspect them...

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    • #47
      Originally posted by CockpitCat
      Mmm...oxygen bottles sitting out of sight in the cargo hold makes me very nervous...I wonder how often they are inspected, and how easy it is to access/inspect them...
      Just about everything that needs to be inspected is "out of sight"


      Did this aircraft have oxygen generators for the cabin or O2 cylinders?

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      • #48
        Originally posted by CockpitCat
        Mmm...oxygen bottles sitting out of sight in the cargo hold makes me very nervous...I wonder how often they are inspected, and how easy it is to access/inspect them...
        They are visually checked for pressure and general condition at "A" checks.
        At "B" checks and higher letter checks they are physically checked for time since the last hydro-static inspection. The hydro-static inspection is due every 5 -7 years depending on policy.

        The size and shape of the hole is about right for a vertically mounted O-2 bottle to have exited the aircraft after a bottle rupture. In 40+ years I have never heard of a similar event.
        Don
        Standard practice for managers around the world:
        Ready - Fire - Aim! DAMN! Missed again!

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        • #49
          Originally posted by juan23
          Just about everything that needs to be inspected is "out of sight"


          Did this aircraft have oxygen generators for the cabin or O2 cylinders?
          The 747 uses O-2 cylinders. It is the last American built airliner to use gaseous O-2 for emergency pax use.
          Don
          Standard practice for managers around the world:
          Ready - Fire - Aim! DAMN! Missed again!

          Comment


          • #50
            As it appears the probable cause of this incident is an exploded O2 tank, would anybody hazard a guess as to whether the flight deck was receiving oxygen during the emergency, and whether there was any danger of impairment/incapacitation to the crew?

            There are stories in the media of O2 masks not deploying properly in the cabin, and babies turning blue from lack of oxygen!

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            • #51
              The oxygen in the 747.
              Crew have 2 cylinders in parallel and are separate to the pax.
              Pax oxy there is 4 cylinders installed in QF aircraft which are in parallel and there is no one way valve, so if one goes there is no oxygen to the passengers at all. That will explain why people were turning blue and couldn't breathe. These pictures should explain. The cargo is separated from the oxy by a thin wall to the left (in the picture)



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              • #52
                Thanks for that.

                Additionally, there was a report that the flightdeck lost instrument lighting and autopilot, and was landed at Manilla under manual control.

                Presumably the electronics systems were damaged by the explosion too.

                Cheers

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                • #53
                  Your posts

                  Unclejay not one of your posts has been accurate.
                  ASMEL-IA 1978 A&P-IA 1965 First Aloft 1954 DC-4
                  Dad: B-24 Ploesti Self: U205A1 private ops Nam

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                  • #54
                    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tries to tell me this is off topic as friendly as the skies are here.



                    From Times OnlineJuly 28, 2008

                    US warned of faulty 747 oxygen tanks months before Qantas blast

                    (Edwin Loobrera/AFP/getty Images)
                    The gaping hole in the side of the Qantas 747, which was bound for Melbourne
                    Sophie Tedmanson in Sydney
                    US aviation authorities warned of problems with oxygen tanks on board Boeing 747s months before the explosion that ripped a hole in a Qantas jumbo jet on Friday, it has emerged.

                    The US Federal Aviation Administration had ordered thorough checks of US-registered Boeing 747s after a report found many of the oxygen cylinders needed to be replaced.

                    “We are issuing this [directive] to prevent failure to oxygen cylinder support under the most critical flight load conditions, which would cause the oxygen cylinder to come loose and leak oxygen,” the FAA told airlines.

                    A faulty oxygen cylinder is thought to be at the centre of the explosion on board a Qantas jet on Friday which ripped a 10ft hole in QF30, which was en route from London to Melbourne via Hong Kong.

                    The explosion forced the 747, with 346 passengers and 19 crew on board, to descend 20,000ft and make an emergency landing in Manila.

                    Investigations continue in Manila today, however officials said an oxygen back-up cylinder was missing from the aircraft, and have ordered Qantas to inspect all such bottles on its fleet of Boeing 747s.

                    Qantas began to inspect their 30-strong 747 fleet this morning.

                    An investigator from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Neville Blyth, said: “It is too early to say whether this was the cause of the explosion, but one of the cylinders which provides back-up oxygen is missing.” He said investigators had ruled out terrorism.

                    Geoff Dixon, Qantas CEO, said that whatever caused a mid-air emergency was more than likely beyond the control of the airline.

                    He told a news conference today that the cause of the incident that ripped the giant hole in the fuselage of the passenger jet was a mechanical fault.

                    Mr Dixon also said that the US warning in April about oxygen tank concerns on airliners was not anything to do with the potential cause of Friday's incident.

                    A spokesman for Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Peter Gibson, said that the American directive was limited to a certain number of support brackets, racks that held the oxygen tanks in place on the plane, and not the actual bottles.

                    He said the report had been picked up by Qantas earlier this year but that the checks were limited to a certain batch number of the racks.

                    “Qantas had done the inspections (of their aircraft) earlier this year - there were only three aircraft that were affected. The plane in Manilla was not one of these aircraft.”

                    Some passengers on board QF30 have described not having access to oxygen during the mid-air drama, or complained of the masks being faulty.

                    Debra Manchester, a British passenger, who was sitting in first class when the explosion occurred, told the Times Online that her oxygen mask did not work in the midst of the chaos inside the cabin.

                    “Mine came totally out of the ceiling,” she said. “But I quickly got another one so was able to use it in time.”

                    However Qantas’s head of engineering, David Cox, said the oxygen masks should have been in good condition.

                    “There is a maintenance regime on the masks and every indication we have is that they were in perfect working order before the flight,” Mr Cox told The Australian.

                    The Boeing 747 involved in Friday’s incident had an extensive overhaul in Sydney four years ago and had two checks done in New South Wales and Victoria earlier this year.

                    Mr Dixon defended the maintenance and safety record of Qantas, saying the 747 involved in emergency landing on Friday was in good condition when it left Hong Kong.

                    "We believe everything on that aircraft was in good shape when it took off," he said. "Incidents do happen. This is a tremendously bad one, and it's one we regret.”

                    The controversy comes at a time when questions have been raised about how Qantas maintains its planes.

                    Last month the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association hit out at the international airline’s moves to increase the amount of maintenance work performed offshore, including Malaysia, the US and London.

                    At the time outgoing Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon dismissed the claim, saying 15-20 per cent of Qantas engineering had been done offshore for 50 years and that checks would be supervised by Qantas engineers.

                    Mr Gibson today supported Mr Dixon’s comments.

                    “There is nothing inherently unsafe about maintenance being done overseas,” he said.

                    “The maintenance has to be done to Australian standards, it is audited by us (CASA) and audited by Qantas so is performed to our safety standards.”

                    It was also announced on Monday that Alan Joyce, the head of Qantas’s budget airline Jetstar, who previously worked with Ireland’s Aer Lingus airline, would take over as Qantas CEO when Mr Dixon steps down in November.

                    In a separate development, Qantas has been ranked among the top four most trusted airlines by Asia Pacific travellers in a study by Unisys. Locally-based carriers were more trusted than those based in Europe or North America for passengers in the Asia-Pacific region.
                    Source http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4414114.ece

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                    • #55
                      Why wouldn’t the warnings apply to the Qantas 747 that had a decompression from a fuselage breach that initial reports suggest might be related to the oxygen cylinders? Smells a little fishy.

                      Qantas Airways officials said Monday that an air safety directive issued by the United States Federal Aviation Authority with a warning about how oxygen cylinders were attached to Boeing 747 aircraft did not apply to the plane that was forced to make an emergency landing last week with a hole in its fuselage.
                      versus
                      Media reports here said the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the F.A.A. had ordered airline operators, including Qantas, to inspect and replace the brackets that held the oxygen canisters in place. The F.A.A. directive became effective on May 7
                      Source
                      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/wo....html?ref=asia

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                      • #56
                        The valve from the missing O2 tank has been located inside the passenger cabin after it punctured the floor.

                        http://www.theage.com.au/national/va...0728-3maq.html
                        Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.

                        http://www.Jet-Fighters.Net
                        http://www.Jet-Liners.Net

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by ATFS_Crash
                          Why wouldn’t the warnings apply to the Qantas 747 that had a decompression from a fuselage breach that initial reports suggest might be related to the oxygen cylinders? Smells a little fishy.
                          Since the 747 that experienced the incident is registered in Australia the United States FAA has no authority to issue a warning for it. That is up to the Australian authorities.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by 474218
                            Since the 747 that experienced the incident is registered in Australia the United States FAA has no authority to issue a warning for it. That is up to the Australian authorities.
                            That makes sense up to a point. That’s when I first thought but was confused by the article. I was under the impression that the FAA had no direct jurisdiction over foreign airlines. However the second quote in the article contradicted my belief.

                            I feel that Qantas is somewhat doing a media damage control spin with the words. Sure technically they apparently are not under the jurisdiction of the FAA, however isn’t it part of professional safety standards that when safety alerts are issued that the professional thing to do is to investigate the matters? I also wonder if the FAA or if Boeing tried to contact any of the foreign customers with the safety alerts? In my opinion the safety alerts should have been sent to foreign customers as a professional courtesy and as a moral obligation. I also feel that a safety conscious professional customer would do safety inspections and updates even if they are not technically required because of some jurisdiction technicality.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by ATFS_Crash
                              That makes sense up to a point. That’s when I first thought but was confused by the article. I was under the impression that the FAA had no direct jurisdiction over foreign airlines. However the second quote in the article contradicted my belief.

                              I feel that Qantas is somewhat doing a media damage control spin with the words. Sure technically they apparently are not under the jurisdiction of the FAA, however isn’t it part of professional safety standards that when safety alerts are issued that the professional thing to do is to investigate the matters? I also wonder if the FAA or if Boeing tried to contact any of the foreign customers with the safety alerts? In my opinion the safety alerts should have been sent to foreign customers as a professional courtesy and as a moral obligation. I also feel that a safety conscious professional customer would do safety inspections and updates even if they are not technically required because of some jurisdiction technicality.
                              If you remember back when the FAA pulled the airworthness certificate of the DC-10 foreign operators continued to fly them. However, the majority of the time foreign regulatory agency will go along with the FAA, just like the FAA does when the EASA issues an safety alert.

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                              • #60
                                Maybe it's just me but I thought the only time an o2 bottle is in danger of blowing up is during servicing (never seen it happen but I have serviced them in exploision proof water tanks before).

                                I've seen bottles dropped and ruptured where they rapidly decompressed but explode? Even if it was hydrostaticly compromised, I would think, at worse, the cargo hold would fill with o2-not blow the side of a 747 out.

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