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

  1. #61
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    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.
    Yes, I imagine the descent rate was constrained due to the structural issue, but what is entirely unclear to me in that 9 min atc tape is when the decompression event actually occurs. The mention of a 'hole and somebody went out' is pretty far into it. Up to that point, I don't see how atc would have been aware of the need for a rapid descent. But, again, she is given initial clearance down to 11,000 (why 11,000 if the common decompression procedure is for a spin down to 10,000?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Yes, I imagine the descent rate was constrained due to the structural issue, but what is entirely unclear to me in that 9 min atc tape is when the decompression event actually occurs. The mention of a 'hole and somebody went out' is pretty far into it. Up to that point, I don't see how atc would have been aware of the need for a rapid descent. But, again, she is given initial clearance down to 11,000 (why 11,000 if the common decompression procedure is for a spin down to 10,000?)
    I think that the decompression event started immediately. Check here in the first seconds, the "lost comm" part that goes between normal communications and the emergency communications. Do I hear the cabin altitude warning in the background? (the intermittent too-too-too-too... same as the take-off configuration warning).

    0:34 to 0:52

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnSizWZVyD4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I think that the decompression event started immediately. Check here in the first seconds, the "lost comm" part that goes between normal communications and the emergency communications. Do I hear the cabin altitude warning in the background? (the intermittent too-too-too-too... same as the take-off configuration warning).

    0:34 to 0:52

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnSizWZVyD4
    You also hear oxygen mask breathing pretty early on. Among the first things she told ATC was that she was descending, had one engine, and had engine fire. That is pretty clear. It wasn't a "can we descend". It was we are descending now! According to passengers, the oxygen masks dropped after the first explosion, followed by 10 seconds or so, then the window explosion. Based on that sequence of events, it seems to me the window was likely cracked at first causing a non-explosive decompression triggering cockpit alarms, and the masks to drop. The explosion of the window then followed 10 seconds later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    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...

    You have not heard what the PNF's radio transmissions were. Very possibly first thing was to declare. Drift Down is a maximum thrust/minimum rate descent necessitated by an engine failure in a multi-engine aircraft in the latter stages of climb or during cruise when an aircraft cannot maintain its current altitude and terrain clearance or other factors are critical. This is not something that you do after a 20 minute flight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    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.

    Quite possibly spoilers were not operable, I see leading edge damage. Not a 73 driver, but you are right on the gear, extended in the 74 you can do 310 and come down like a rock. Going into a place like Bagram Afghanistan we used it all the time.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    You have not heard what the PNF's radio transmissions were. Very possibly first thing was to declare. Drift Down is a maximum thrust/minimum rate descent necessitated by an engine failure in a multi-engine aircraft in the latter stages of climb or during cruise when an aircraft cannot maintain its current altitude and terrain clearance or other factors are critical. This is not something that you do after a 20 minute flight.
    So, let me get this straight... you are saying that at this phase of flight (cruise, as I understand, possibly climbing) if you get a fire indication, pull the fire handles and the fire indication goes out, so you have one engine shut down, nothing on fire, and one running perfectly, you initiate an emergency descent to 10,000? Or do you begin a gradual descent while working a plan for diversion. Because, based on the atc we have, that is what I think the controller assumed was the situation based on the pilot transmissions. Single-engine ops, need to divert but not emergency so no emergency descent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    So, let me get this straight... you are saying that at this phase of flight (cruise, as I understand, possibly climbing) if you get a fire indication, pull the fire handles and the fire indication goes out, so you have one engine shut down, nothing on fire, and one running perfectly, you initiate an emergency descent to 10,000? Or do you begin a gradual descent while working a plan for diversion. Because, based on the atc we have, that is what I think the controller assumed was the situation based on the pilot transmissions. Single-engine ops, need to divert but not emergency so no emergency descent.

    I am no longer going to enter into discussions with you Evan. I don't have the patience at this stage of my life. You remind me of the know-it-all First Officers that I spent the last couple of years flying with. Have a great day. Over and OUT!

  8. #68
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    (why 11,000 if the common decompression procedure is for a spin down to 10,000?)
    1) Did you see my comment to Bobby about the Northeast corridor and high levels of air traffic.

    [Below edited after Bobby's post]

    2) In airplane school, they USED to teach you the THEORY behind stuff (I know this stuff doesn't really interest Evan all that much, it's not procedures and checklists). Regulations say 12,500 feet for EXTENDED time periods. You can even go up to 14,000 feet briefly AND keep your passengers at 14,000 feet without 02. While I cannot quote chapter, verse, regulation number or even the correct altitudes (without Bobby's reference) it's inconsequential to level off at 11,000 feet instead of 10,000.


    AND MORE UNWRITTEN COWBOY IMPROVISATION COMMENTS: I contend that ATC INFERRED (magic word there) (or it was simply understood) ...Level at 11,000 if you can, please, otherwise there's a bunch of planes you will be mixing with- I'll have to scramble and there's some risk of a TCAS incident.

    WN Inferred (or understood): That's fine, we can stay at 11,000 with no meaningful hypoxic stress on our passengers...you know and we know we're gonna be going lower in a few minutes.

    Not super secret stuff here, but professionals doing what professionals do (and that's NOT ONLY and NOT ALWAYS memorizing and barfing back exact words and exact regulations from checklists and books).
    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
    1) Did you see my comment to Bobby about the Northeast corridor and high levels of air traffic.

    2) In airplane school, they USED to teach you the THEORY behind stuff (I know this stuff doesn't really interest Evan all that much, it's not procedures and checklists). Regulations say 10,000 feet for EXTENDED time periods. While I cannot quote chapter, verse, and regulation number, I think you are allowed to fly at 12,000 feet in an unpressurized aircraft for 30 to 60 minutes (ATLCrew might spit out the exact figures).

    AND MORE UNWRITTEN COWBOY IMPROVISATION COMMENTS: I contend that ATC INFERRED (magic word there) (or it was simply understood) ...Level at 11,000 if you can, please, otherwise there's a bunch of planes you will be mixing with- I'll have to scramble and there's some risk of a TCAS incident.

    WN Inferred (or understood): That's fine, we can stay at 11,000 with no meaningful hypoxic stress on our passengers...you know and we know we're gonna be going lower in a few minutes.

    Not super secret stuff here, but professionals doing what professionals do (and that's NOT ONLY and NOT ALWAYS memorizing and barfing back exact words and exact regulations from checklists and books).

    § 91.211 Supplemental oxygen.
    (a)General. No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry -

    (1) At cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet (MSL) up to and including 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight at those altitudes that is of more than 30 minutes duration;

    (2) At cabin pressure altitudes above 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen during the entire flight time at those altitudes; and

    (3) At cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet (MSL) unless each occupant of the aircraft is provided with supplemental oxygen.

    (b)Pressurized cabin aircraft.

    (1) No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry with a pressurized cabin -

    (i) At flight altitudes above flight level 250 unless at least a 10-minute supply of supplemental oxygen, in addition to any oxygen required to satisfy paragraph (a) of this section, is available for each occupant of the aircraft for use in the event that a descent is necessitated by loss of cabin pressurization; and

    (ii) At flight altitudes above flight level 350 unless one pilot at the controls of the airplane is wearing and using an oxygen mask that is secured and sealed and that either supplies oxygen at all times or automatically supplies oxygen whenever the cabin pressure altitude of the airplane exceeds 14,000 feet (MSL), except that the one pilot need not wear and use an oxygen mask while at or below flight level 410 if there are two pilots at the controls and each pilot has a quick-donning type of oxygen mask that can be placed on the face with one hand from the ready position within 5 seconds, supplying oxygen and properly secured and sealed.

    (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if for any reason at any time it is necessary for one pilot to leave the controls of the aircraft when operating at flight altitudes above flight level 350, the remaining pilot at the controls shall put on and use an oxygen mask until the other pilot has returned to that crewmember's station.

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Default F.A.O.: Evan and Gabe

    I concur- It looks like this was not an all-out, maximum performance death dive descent.

    Instead it seems expeditious but possibly a bit conservative. (DEAR GOD NO!)

    I find this mildly curious; however, I would speculate that the pilot might have been trying to avoid V[subscript]NE[double subscript]forwhenyouhavashreddedenginecowling...

    Crap tearing off and hitting other windows and tail planes, and etc...

    As a contrast to you guys, I do not_want to give off any hint at all whatsoever that the crew should have done things differently.

    I look forward to the final report and CVR where we might hear, "Let's not get too fast, I just peeked out the window and the cowling is all shredded and flapping in the wind."
    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
    I concur- It looks like this was not an all-out, maximum performance death dive descent.

    Instead it seems expeditious but possibly a bit conservative. (DEAR GOD NO!)

    I find this mildly curious; however, I would speculate that the pilot might have been trying to avoid V[subscript]NE[double subscript]forwhenyouhavashreddedenginecowling...

    Crap tearing off and hitting other windows and tail planes, and etc...

    As a contrast to you guys, I do not_want to give off any hint at all whatsoever that the crew should have done things differently.

    I look forward to the final report and CVR where we might hear, "Let's not get too fast, I just peeked out the window and the cowling is all shredded and flapping in the wind."
    I concur as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    I concur as well.
    I am pretty sure they also felt some significant changes at the controls, and so careful movements and speed would have been the order of the day until they figured out what was actually wrong.

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  14. #74
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    From avherald:
    A similiar occurrence had happened in 2016, see Accident: Southwest B737 near Pensacola on Aug 27th 2016, uncontained engine failure.

    EASA had released Airworthiness Directive 2018-0071 dated Mar 26th 2018 and effective Apr 2nd 2018 reasoning: "An occurrence was reported of fan blade failure on a CFM56-7B engine. The released fan blade was initially contained by the engine case, but there was subsequent uncontained forward release of debris and separation of the inlet cowl. Preliminary investigation determined that the fracture in the blade initiated from the fan blade dovetail. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to fan blade failure, possibly resulting in uncontained forward release of debris, with consequent damage to the engine and the aeroplane." The AD requires an ultrasonic inspection of each affected fan blade within 9 months of the AD becoming effective.

    The FAA had released an AD 2010-12-03 for CFM56-3 and CFM56-3B engines not applicable to this aircraft which features CFM56-7B engines. The FAA AD and EAD register shows no other airworthiness directives concerning fan blades of CFM56 engines.

    Late Apr 20th 2018 the FAA released an Emergency Airwortihiness Directive (EAD) 2018-09-51 to address the fan blade issue, see News: FAA issues Emergency AD on CFM56-7B engines.
    I think it's time to blame these things on the FAA themselves. Lack of vision, complacency and I suspect a fair amount of corruption and disregard for human life are the prime factors behind too many of these things. I think we're becoming Russia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    From avherald:


    I think it's time to blame these things on the FAA themselves. Lack of vision, complacency and I suspect a fair amount of corruption and disregard for human life are the prime factors behind too many of these things. I think we're becoming Russia.
    Are you really surprised? Boeing is so deep in bed with the us govt it’s hard to see the difference. For all the lip service we pay it, life has little value in the marketplace of big business. Of course when a couple lawyers try to teach these money whores a financial lesson, it’s the lawyers that are called out for being greedy.

  16. #76
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
    Of course when a couple lawyers try to teach these money whores a financial lesson, itÂ’s the lawyers that are called out for being greedy.
    (Because the lawyers take such a big cut and nobody else gets much at all. It's called a class-action suit.)

    But it's not just Boeing. The EC-150 crash last month was a clear instance of the FAA failing to heed a VERY clear warning from the NTSB.

    Uncontained engine failure is one of very few things for which on-board technology cannot provide an adequate defense. If the thing throws shrapnel, good luck. That is why ground-based technology must prevent it from ever happening. The FAA clearly isn't doing enough in that respect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I think we're becoming Russia.
    Well, we (USA and Russia) did both elect Trump.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Any picture of the missing compressor blade or missing parts?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A Former Airdisaster.Com Forum (senior member)....

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    What is the definition of uncontained? I don't think this engine threw out shrapnel. I think it damaged itself, and then large pieces got torn off by wind and they got slammed into the window.

    These definitions make a big difference. I will bet that when they test these failures -- by using explosives to dislodge a fan blade on the ground -- they are not doing it in a wind tunnel, so they don't see the effects of high wind velocity multiplying any damage to the cowling or housing.

    I also think that people tend to forget the dual mandate of organizations like the FAA. They have to maintain safety AND a healthy industry. Also, it is CFM the engine manufacturer and the airline that is at financial risk, not Boeing so them being in bed with government is a not a factor. Due to the age and makeup of their fleet Southwest has the most to lose financially from this which is why they were fighting back against the proposed directive on the engines late last year.

    Even though I love slamming lawyers and their ilk, the airline industry safety record is still pretty good. One can't just say, why don't they inspect every week, because inspections cost a lot of money and long term plans went into the projected costs of maintenance. When SW bought those planes and engines, they made a long term financial investment. Sudden changes in the cost of ownership are nothing to sneeze at. In effect, they were sold a bill of goods that didn't live up to the advertising. Additionally, where do you draw the line? Should they inspect every week? The inspection period should be chosen very carefully because it will have a large impact on the airline and costs. Because not everything can be controlled or predicted sometimes it takes an accident to figure out a better system.

  20. #80
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    After 10 great years, we kill one person, and there is no crash to go with it.

    CFM-56 engines provide a bizzilion hours of good service and throw a couple blades.

    The death is tragic and, dang, better inspect some engines and maybe beef up the joints...

    ...but please continue with the lengthy lawyer-government-Russia poop throwing fest about how much everything sucks.

    Off to get some popcorn...
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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