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Thread: Southwest Airlines Engine Failure, Passenger Near Sucked Out of the Aircraft

  1. #41
    Senior Member B757300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I thing it is on the outside because also the blue paint seems to be stained.
    Yeah, I think you're right.

    I'm not very good at posting on a phone and not always easy to see things. Didn't notice until now that I put "near" instead of "nearly."

  2. #42
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
    AVHerald comments say the fan was still intact, with one broken blade.

    Listening to ATC shows how professional the pilots were. The controller was more spooked and mixed up the runways several times.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKf7sfgSjjc
    No Mayday, apparently. No indication to atc of decompression or a rapid emergency descent. She reports an engine fire and that she is descending, which I think could be misinterpreted as a drift down (but he does clear her down to 11,000). But she sounds very cool-headed about it, almost routine. I don't think atc is ever given a clear picture of the situation. I think he is both trying to vector her to the runway and trying to ascertian the scenario he is dealing with, hence the anxiety, mental distraction and runway misstatements. If the media makes her the new Sullenberger, she might face a similar level of backlash.

    There is a passenger report that suggests that the window did not blow out immediately. Could a window with structural fatigue be prone to failure under rapid decompression? Maybe nothing hit that window at all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I thing it is on the outside because also the blue paint seems to be stained.

    From CNN:

    She died from blunt impact trauma of the head, neck and torso, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health said.
    I can easily imagine neck and head lacerations from the edges of the window.

    When I sit at the window my head often rests against it. I guess if I ever see the window cracking, I'll be sure to unbuckle get away from it as quickly as possible although if the airplane loses control after the explosion, being loose without a seatbelt isn't ideal either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    No Mayday, apparently. No indication to atc of decompression or a rapid emergency descent. She reports an engine fire and that she is descending, which I think could be misinterpreted as a drift down (but he does clear her down to 11,000). But she sounds very cool-headed about it, almost routine. I don't think atc is ever given a clear picture of the situation. I think he is both trying to vector her to the runway and trying to ascertian the scenario he is dealing with, hence the anxiety, mental distraction and runway misstatements. If the media makes her the new Sullenberger, she might face a similar level of backlash.

    There is a passenger report that suggests that the window did not blow out immediately. Could a window with structural fatigue be prone to failure under rapid decompression? Maybe nothing hit that window at all...
    There are several people slamming the comms on avherald. One mistake is they all thought she was the PNF, when indeed she was flying the plane and talking to the tower. I think in the list of priorities it is aviate, navigate then communicate, so given she brought the plane down in one piece very quickly I'd say she prioritized the right things.

    I'm also not sure how much ATC needs to know. It's feasible for me to believe the crew only told the pilots the bare minimum information they needed to fly the plane. Hole in the plane, missing parts on the engine. No fire, passengers injured. I don't think the pilots need much else info, maybe wing damaged.

    If the plane seemed very flyable -- which seemed to be the case -- the pilot probably felt no need to declare full emergency. Listening to the early comms, the pilot thinks they have an engine fire, and had already initiated descent. I'll bet they hadn't even been briefed by crew yet.

    I'm guessing she was doing the talking while the PNF was busy figuring out what was wrong and later was busy figuring out the extent of damage and how they should land the plane without compromising flyability at lower speeds. There was probably huge drag on the left side alongside with damaged leading edge and a bunch of unknowns. NTSB has already stated they know the aircraft banked left 40 degrees initially after the engine powered down. There are enough instances of planes crashing because they became unflyable after a period of stability long after they were damaged. I'm guessing they wanted to keep the speeds higher for landing and thus the rough landing passengers talked about.

    All in all, I assess they did a good job of communicating. Post-hoc people often criticize inaccuracies in communication, but in the fog of war, they forget they have a perfect view of events when the people at the team almost certainly didn't.

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    I do wish the ground knew the aircraft had depressurized (needing to be cleared to 10,000ft) and that the injuries to a passenger were grave instead of only knowing that some passengers are injured. That could mean bumps, sprained ankle, etc. Helps rescue to know more details so they can make decisions. BUT...with the level of noise in the cabin after losing the window combined with the cabin crew dealing with something as traumatic as a passenger being sucked out of the aircraft then being pulled back in with that level of injury, I feel it is totally understandable how communicating every detail to the flight crew is unreasonable and then the flight crew communicating every detail to ATC while dealing with saving the aircraft. I think the crew did an outstanding job, and I also was deeply impressed with the ATC crew. Listen to the tape and you will see one controller in particular did everything possible to take workload off the pilot so she could work the emergency on her aircraft. I also have to comment on the two men from Texas who saw this woman (one witness stated 'half her body was outside the aircraft') being sucked out, and chose to get involved. They fought to pull her back in. Imagine the family of this woman if she had gone completely out. I just wish the FAA had followed the lead of their Europe counterparts and ordered the inspection of the blades that the manufacturer had "recommended" a year ago.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
    There are several people slamming the comms on avherald. One mistake is they all thought she was the PNF, when indeed she was flying the plane and talking to the tower. I think in the list of priorities it is aviate, navigate then communicate, so given she brought the plane down in one piece very quickly I'd say she prioritized the right things...
    It depends on the actual sequence of events, which we still don't know. If the engine fire indication was followed by sudden decompression, you declare emergency. Transmitting a mayday call will get everyone's attention, including nearby traffic. But it's starting to look like the decompression event happened some time after that, perhaps when debris stuck the window. It doesn't seem like the departing fan blade struck the aircraft.

    If that were the case, she would have pulled the fire handle on that engine to shut it down and then initiated a drift down and a diversion to the closest airport, a fairly routine, practiced procedure, and that's what it sounds like. "We are single-engine (an incident)", not "We have lost cabin pressure (an emergency)".

    She definitely prioritized the right things. Just not sure Communicate got enough attention.

    But what really happened here?

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    She did a great job! Her years of training showed 100%. You don't do a "drift down" on an emergency decent Evan, you get her down right now! From what I heard on the tapes, the Captain did exactly what she needed to do.

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    Aviate, navigate, communicate. Isn't that what everyone is taught ? Seems the priorities were right.

    I strongly endorse the above reference to ATC. Their contribution was excellent and is simply ignored by the poorly informed public media. There are many moving parts to a situation like this and to the aviation industry as a whole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    She did a great job! Her years of training showed 100%. You don't do a "drift down" on an emergency decent Evan, you get her down right now! From what I heard on the tapes, the Captain did exactly what she needed to do.
    Same ole thing, for Evan, "Simply" doing the right thing is wrong.

    YOU MUST follow the checklist.

    IF THE CHECKLIST SAYS DECLARE AN EMERGENCY, THEN YOU MUST DECLARE AN EMERGENCY...anything else is COWBOY IMPROVISATION.
    (Note: Zero inference that checklists were not followed here, I'm sure they were- but this outsider parlour BS that they were unprofessional or SHOULD HAVE done this or that....)

    Ok switching to devil's advocate- could one say her 'phraseology was not 200% by the book with all the proper code words'....maybe...but as Booby is saying- what was NOT conveyed?, what was NOT done that had any effect on anything?

    I have seen those instances where crazy things happen- and ATC isn't there expediting stuff and the crew is hemming and hawing with complying with ATC when they SHOULD have declared an emergency...

    ...but IN THIS CASE- it would seem that ATC used a little common sense (DEAR GOD NO!!!!), realized they needed to get down and on the ground ASAP, and gave them EVERYTHING they asked for...again, maybe you could nit pick just a tad (frequency changes, nagging questions about fuel on board), but still- people working together to do what needed to be done when it needed to be done professionally and efficiently.

    Oh- one final bit of ironing- Who says the crew did anything amazing/miraculous? Seems to me their actions were crazy ordinary. Loosing an engine on climb out or ditching in the Hudson, yeah, that's some work. But to DESCEND AND LAND on one engine...it is easier than climbing on one engine (not that there probably isn't an autopilot button available).
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Same ole thing, for Evan, "Simply" doing the right thing is wrong.

    YOU MUST follow the checklist.

    IF THE CHECKLIST SAYS DECLARE AN EMERGENCY, THEN YOU MUST DECLARE AN EMERGENCY...anything else is COWBOY IMPROVISATION.
    (Note: Zero inference that checklists were not followed here, I'm sure they were- but this outsider parlour BS that they were unprofessional or SHOULD HAVE done this or that....)

    Ok switching to devil's advocate- could one say her 'phraseology was not 200% by the book with all the proper code words'....maybe...but as Booby is saying- what was NOT conveyed?, what was NOT done that had any effect on anything?

    I have seen those instances where crazy things happen- and ATC isn't there expediting stuff and the crew is hemming and hawing with complying with ATC when they SHOULD have declared an emergency...

    ...but IN THIS CASE- it would seem that ATC used a little common sense (DEAR GOD NO!!!!), realized they needed to get down and on the ground ASAP, and gave them EVERYTHING they asked for...again, maybe you could nit pick just a tad (frequency changes, nagging questions about fuel on board), but still- people working together to do what needed to be done when it needed to be done professionally and efficiently.

    Oh- one final bit of ironing- Who says the crew did anything amazing/miraculous? Seems to me their actions were crazy ordinary. Loosing an engine on climb out or ditching in the Hudson, yeah, that's some work. But to DESCEND AND LAND on one engine...it is easier than climbing on one engine (not that there probably isn't an autopilot button available).
    Because telling ATC that we have had an engine fire, piece of the aircraft is MISSING and we require medical personal standing by we have injuries on board. None of these would necessarily mean they are having an emergency, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    It depends on the actual sequence of events, which we still don't know. If the engine fire indication was followed by sudden decompression, you declare emergency. Transmitting a mayday call will get everyone's attention, including nearby traffic. But it's starting to look like the decompression event happened some time after that, perhaps when debris stuck the window. It doesn't seem like the departing fan blade struck the aircraft.

    If that were the case, she would have pulled the fire handle on that engine to shut it down and then initiated a drift down and a diversion to the closest airport, a fairly routine, practiced procedure, and that's what it sounds like. "We are single-engine (an incident)", not "We have lost cabin pressure (an emergency)".

    She definitely prioritized the right things. Just not sure Communicate got enough attention.

    But what really happened here?
    A MAYDAY call, really! She was still able to fly the aircraft was she not?

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    Senior Member TeeVee's Avatar
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    i have to agree with 3 here, there's all toooooooo much, "she/he is a hero" these days. my friend, a 737 captain herself, said this woman did a great job of doing her job. that's it. that's what she gets paid to do. and aside from having a passenger hanging out of the ac, the rest should've been fairly straightforward for a competent 737 driver.

    nowadays, every cop and firefighter is ahero for doing the job they volunteered and get paid fairly well to do. it is NOT heroic for a firefighter to run into a burning building. they are trained and REQUIRED to do just that. cops are not heroes because they run into firefights (all except for that one ass in florida). they get trained and are REQUIRED to do just that.

    definition of hero per oxford: "A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities"

    does it take courage to fly a plane? is it an outstanding achievement to land a plane on one engine? is it really noble to do what your job tells you to do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
    i have to agree with 3 here, there's all toooooooo much, "she/he is a hero" these days. my friend, a 737 captain herself, said this woman did a great job of doing her job. that's it. that's what she gets paid to do. and aside from having a passenger hanging out of the ac, the rest should've been fairly straightforward for a competent 737 driver.

    nowadays, every cop and firefighter is ahero for doing the job they volunteered and get paid fairly well to do. it is NOT heroic for a firefighter to run into a burning building. they are trained and REQUIRED to do just that. cops are not heroes because they run into firefights (all except for that one ass in florida). they get trained and are REQUIRED to do just that.

    definition of hero per oxford: "A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities"

    does it take courage to fly a plane? is it an outstanding achievement to land a plane on one engine? is it really noble to do what your job tells you to do?

    I agree as well. I never said she was a "hero". If anyone knows what it is like to do that job as a professional...

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    Such a sad and tragic sequence of events. My heart goes out to the family of the woman who died through blunt force trauma following the uncontrolled decompression. My sympathies and prayers for all those affected. Although the numerical loss of life was small and the injury count was low, relatively speaking, I think we should pause to consider the potentially life-changing impact on all those affected. Including the passengers who witnessed what happened, some of whom courageously intervened to provide CPR, to block the opening and to assist with the injured. If we're talking heroes, I suspect there are heroes among the pax too.

    Turning now to the investigation, which is clearly in the very early stages, I'm must confess to being alarmed about what seems to be emerging as the most likely immediate cause - a blade separation in the turbofan engine. While metal fatigue and stress fractures plague us at the most unlikely of times and in the most surprising of places, it seems to me that a fatigue incident so severe that it creates fan blade separation close to cruise altitude (and therefore far from peak power) raises serious questions about the effectiveness of maintenance inspections. Is there any possibility/conjecture that there was an impact instead?

    If the cause does emerge as stress-induced metal fatigue, for which (presumably) the only protection is more advanced or more frequent engine inspections, I wonder if FAA is going to have the "gumption" to apply a sufficiently severe and timely airworthiness directive? The impact on the industry for such a widely used aircraft type and engine is going to be huge.

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    [COLOR="#800000"]A few thoughts reflecting on some of the discussion,

    First, I think the captain/crew did an outstanding job. Was it 'heroic' per-se? Not really because as noted, that's their training and 'job'. That said, the captain is a woman and given the extremely 'boys club' nature of aviation (and the flying public) the captain I think is largely seen as 'heroic' because 'omg a woman pilot managed an emergency and landed the plane omg' . . . that is to say she did an exemplary job but I sense if THIS incident had a male pilot there wouldn't be quite as much 'hero' worship. And that all is telling insofar as it might show how (unfortunately) women are deemed lesser able pilots which of course is redonkulous. Though, the 'it must have been a woman pilot' type comments are omnipresent all over the web proving the existence of this absurd notion women are lesser pilots.

    Second, regarding 'declaring emergency' or not. . . I noted in the ATC audio that two separate ATC expressly mentioned the "emergency" a/c 1380 which makes me wonder if an emergency was declared at some point but we don't have that audio or transcript yet? I've heard oodles of ATC audio with a/c having an issue and many of those audio include ATC once or more asking "so, are you declaring an emergency" or "I understand you're declaring emergency, is that correct?" - those sorts of ATC inquiries where ATC is not clear. Here however, no such 'double-checking' AND two ATC refer specifically to the emergency 1380 flight... those two bits of context (ATC not asking/confirming emergency declarations; and 2 ATC Referring to an emergency a/c) make me think that perhaps emergency was declared at some point. Just a thought (I've no info either way).

    Finally, someone above mentioned that the captain didn't mention decompression or rapid decent. In fact, the captain told ATC there was "a hole" in the plane and "someone went out" and "part of the a/c is missing" so I think it was (or should have been) rather obvious/clear to ATC there was a decompression. I mean when ER docs receive call that multiple gunshots to chest patient in arrest is incoming, paras often don't report that the ”patient is bleeding" or "losing blood" because, well duh.

    In short, I think the crew did top notch job, which was their job. It's heroic insofar as being a woman fighter pilot and jet pilot still in this era is deemed "remarkable" because of aviation and society's general view of "omg a woman pilot omg!?" She remained calm and superbly handled a real emergency...as she should have yet which society thinks is an astonishing feat. B/c it's a woman.

    Condolences to the lost soul, and to Captain Shults you are a hero - for doing your job competently which for a woman, so many still sadly think is a fluke not a reality. Kudos for that, which *cannot* have been easy by any standard.
    [
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    Because telling ATC that we have had an engine fire, piece of the aircraft is MISSING and we require medical personal standing by we have injuries on board. None of these would necessarily mean they are having an emergency, right?
    ...and then ATC said, No don't descend or turn towards Philly...maintain altitude and hope your passengers have their masks on right....(Not).

    Some Kudos to ATC as this is the nasty NE corridor of mega crazy woven air traffic.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    ...and then ATC said, No don't descend or turn towards Philly...maintain altitude and hope your passengers have their masks on right....(Not).

    Some Kudos to ATC as this is the nasty NE corridor of mega crazy woven air traffic.
    Some people just like to argue. You are right 3, you are always right! What the hell do I know about aviation and the ATC system anyway. I mean, I wasn't based for 6 years in JFK flying the 747-200/300 for Atlas, so I have never spent anytime flying in the "nasty NE corridor of mega crazy woven air traffic"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    Some people just like to argue. You are right 3, you are always right! What the hell do I know about aviation and the ATC system anyway. I mean, I wasn't based for 6 years in JFK flying the 747-200/300 for Atlas, so I have never spent anytime flying in the "nasty NE corridor of mega crazy woven air traffic"
    A bit confused...Do YOU need some blue font?

    I THINK we agree that it's eye rolling to blast the SW captain for NOT saying the magic E-word that's on Evan's checklist.

    You gave a list of things the pilot said that pretty much convey that there was an emergency even though she didn't say the "E" word.

    I tried to support that argument but with a reverse angle. Read carefully: If ATC had said, "No, don't descend" THEN the pilot should have said, I AM descending and am declaring the E-word....

    BUT, NO

    ATC pretty much gave them what they wanted and needed (sort of like they knew this was an emergency).

    If you misunderstood, please read again, more slowly.

    Regarding the great job by ATC...don't want to OVER do it, but I imagine they had to pause and think about some other traffic here and there and modify a few plans- or even switch to preplanned contingency procedures (OMG!)

    Slightly cool (and disturbing) when my thoughts as an unworthy outsider match yours and perhaps you are sarcastically venting to me and not flamingly venting at me- which is fine.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    She did a great job! Her years of training showed 100%. You don't do a "drift down" on an emergency decent Evan, you get her down right now! From what I heard on the tapes, the Captain did exactly what she needed to do.
    You misunderstand me. You do a drift down on engine shutdown, which (as far as we know) was all she initially reported to atc. You do a very a very rapid descent on decompression, which she apparently didn't report, passing though many flight levels in RVSM airspace. I think that is why you declare mayday in that scenario, no?

    But again, maybe the decompression wasn't immediate and she was initially merely 'descending' as required with engine loss.

    There's more to this story...

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    I don't think that the descent was so rapid, it didn't look like the emergency descent you'd perform in typical decompression events.
    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/.../KPHL/tracklog

    Also, in one of the videos taken on board you can see that the spoilers are not fully extended or anything close, just a little bit.

    I know that the procedures for emergency descent when structural failure is suspected are different than if not, but I think this has more to do with the speed than with the degree of extension of the spoilers. Furthermore, I saw in an airplane manual (I thin it was the 737) that yo can slow down to the maximum gear extension speed (which is quite high) nd that will add a lot of drag and help to descend quicker at a slower speed.

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