ETOP's and things

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Ex-Ascot
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Re: ETOP's and things

#21 Post by Ex-Ascot » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:01 pm

Absolutely Capt. Long story and I think told before. Took off from Moscow three on T/O power one at idle. Top of climb idle one shut down and another one throttled back. Landing LHR used three with one turning again but throttled back. And this is all because as mentioned by boing. We had been on a night stop and the ground heater had run out of fuel. We had frozen up. All totally illegal. Essentially a three engine ferry with pax. Not the sort of pax you could delay or send schedule. I declared that all problems had occurred in the air.
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Re: ETOP's and things

#22 Post by Slasher » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:31 am

On the 747 we hadn't a clue what ETOPS was. It was some weird thing that only the drivers of light twins knew about (back then 120 mins IIRC).

On trans-PAC routes we only needed to know the 4 eng depress PNR if fuel was limited, and the Redispatch point on the longer routes to Europe in the Winter. That was that.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#23 Post by Slasher » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:25 am

Ex-Ascot wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:01 pm
Absolutely Capt. Long story and I think told before.
Bit o' pressure there sah but understandable. In the 4 holer Whale an engine out was considered as a non-normal. The unspoken golden rule for the Beast was if the failure occurred withinn the first 1/3rd of the flight you turned back or diverted. If occurring in the last 2/3rds (barring other probs) you kept on to destination. This was more to do with 3 engine fuel considerations (assuming opt level could be maintained) than anything else.

Only EO on the big bugger I ever had was SIN-DXB and that was a precautionary shutdown due to both oil warning light and the gauge (two separate sensors on the JT9D) after passing Cochin. The inconveniences were having to drift down from 370 to 310 and arriving 12 mins late.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#24 Post by llondel » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:10 pm

Slasher wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:25 am


Bit o' pressure there sah but understandable. In the 4 holer Whale an engine out was considered as a non-normal. The unspoken golden rule for the Beast was if the failure occurred withinn the first 1/3rd of the flight you turned back or diverted. If occurring in the last 2/3rds (barring other probs) you kept on to destination. This was more to do with 3 engine fuel considerations (assuming opt level could be maintained) than anything else.
Of course, there was the BA flight that lost an engine on take-off from LAX, mooched around for a bit and then set off home on three. For good measure the same airframe then did it again a short time later, from Singapore, I think.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#25 Post by Undried Plum » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:28 pm

I think the skipper was prosecuted for that one, wasn't he?

Ended up declaring a low-fuel Mayday, IIRC.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#26 Post by Boac » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:51 pm

I don't think 'prosecuted' is the right term since he followed BA SOPs. I THINK there may have been a little 're-training' over fuel tank selections which I think caused the problem at the end.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#27 Post by Undried Plum » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:20 pm

The FAA demanded that BA pay a $25k fine, but that was negotiated away when the firm pointed out that the flight did not technically contravene any law as such a flight was not specifically prohibited by the flag-state CAA.

The AAIB Report is mostly about deficiencies in the FAA-approved FDR!

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Re: ETOP's and things

#28 Post by Pontius Navigator » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:22 pm

Ex-Ascot wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:01 pm
I declared that all problems had occurred in the air.
We were carrying a number of nav kit snags before a hop from Libya to UK when before take off we lost the radar. I knew what the fault was but with the door open, engines running, temperature rising and 24 screws to undo while standing on the ladder and hot kit around me I have up.

By the time we reached Nice we were down to visual from Fl410. I got another pin point over Lyon and then complete stratus. We saw a Canberra ahead and below and followed him. In due course we overhauled him. He, knowing of our superior kit, immediately began following us.

Once we contacted London they were able to give us steers.

Lesson: if it don't work before take off, things can only get worse.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#29 Post by Slasher » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:53 am

One had better ANM/1000kg in the Whale at LRC on 3 as compared to all 4 running IIRC.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#30 Post by barkingmad » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:30 am

ETOPs will all end in tears one day and that’s the industry well & truly stuffed.

But it is cheaper, so that’s OK then.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#31 Post by Boac » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:11 am

Also within statistically acceptable losses?

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Re: ETOP's and things

#32 Post by Rwy in Sight » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:20 am

barkingmad wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:30 am
ETOPs will all end in tears one day and that’s the industry well & truly stuffed.

But it is cheaper, so that’s OK then.
ETOPS have been around for what 35 years- shouldn't a major thing have occurred so far? And with a single accident every 35 years it is not bad statistically.

But I see the point now about ETOPS 330!

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Re: ETOP's and things

#33 Post by barkingmad » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:13 am

“ETOPs have been around for 35 years”.

And during that period the elastic has and is being stretched further and longer.

So when does it go ‘twang’ very loudly and fatally?

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Re: ETOP's and things

#34 Post by Boac » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:12 am

'Stretching the elastic' does not increase the risk of an engine failure. It simply makes the loss of both engines a greater probability. As such, as stated, statistically acceptable.

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Re: ETOP's and things

#35 Post by CharlieOneSix » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:04 pm

Not the same as ETOPS but in the UK Northern North Sea offshore support rotary world we had the Offshore Alternate policy. I never agreed with it and fortunately the types we operated in our Company were not cleared to use it. It was used in the 80’s and 90’s, almost exclusively on the Bristow AS332 Super Puma fleet.

If you couldn’t offer the client the amount of payload he required when using an airfield alternate, in certain circumstances you could nominate an alternate offshore installation helipad destination, thereby increasing the payload offer. If I recall correctly, the alternate deck had to agree to its use and the deck had to remain sterile for 30 minutes around ETA, ie no other helicopter movements planned. In theory the deck also had to be in a different weather pattern to the original destination. At this point I laugh loudly at that! Different weather pattern in parts of the Northern North Sea? Maybe occasionally.

The Super Puma under certain circumstances was capable of carrying out a single engine landing on an offshore installation helipad. The trouble with the Offshore Alternate policy was that by not having an airfield alternate it was not possible to comply with the Emergency Checklist if certain problems occurred – mainly those affecting tail rotor output or tail rotor control where you were unable to maintain a hover on arrival at the offshore helipad. Somehow the CAA were persuaded that it was an acceptable policy in spite of this.

Whilst there were quite a few North Sea offshore oil related helicopter accidents and incidents in the two decades relating to Offshore Alternate policy, there were no accidents attributable to it – more by good fortune than anything else. In the end the policy was not approved for new types but the Super Puma fleet was allowed to continue to use it under grandfather rights and this gave Bristow a commercial advantage over other operators. I am told that nowadays the performance characteristics of modern helicopters means the policy of Northern North Sea Offshore Alternates is no longer needed.

It wasn’t on an offshore task but when we operated the Met Police contract in the 80’s one of the helicopters had a tail rotor control failure and even with a runway available the outcome was not entirely successful. G-METB AAIB Bulletin 8/85
The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...

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