Friday, November 16, 2007

Uhhhhhh, hello? Is this Etihad? There's been a slight delay.

The International Herald Tribune informs us today that there was a slight contretemps when doing a full power runup of one of Etihad's brand spanking new A340-600s.
This one went right through the blast fence and is a total writeoff, or at least is going to need some bondo and a paint job.
Already there are serious differences in le story depending on who's doing the talking. According to Airbus seven contractors working for Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies were aboard and were among the ten injured.
I think what's important will be who was at the throttles, where the aircraft was positioned, and why nobody was able to chop power when the ship started to roll or slide.
My experience with engine runs suggests that there was no clear chain of command in this aircraft. In every engine run I was ever part of, if the aircraft couldn't be moved to a remote area of the airfield with plenty of room it was securely chocked with observers on the ground and on the intercom. In addition, there was always somebody in the cockpit with sense and authority enough to chop the power if necessary-which happened every once in a while.
One time Roger and I were running up a Volpar that I'd redone the gearboxes on. There was ever so slight a momentary tremor in one engine and Roger chopped the power so fast that we were back to idle before I had time enough to ask "What was THAT?" What it was, was the aircraft running out of fuel. At Douglas, full power runs were never done nose to the fence.
At least it ain't me that has to take that long walk back to the office with the bad news.
UPDATE: Somehow or other we got on the subject of ANA and MD87s. As it turned out a savvy reader pointed this contretemps out to me and I had to do my research. It was Japan Air System, and they had MD90s, but the engine run and what happened thereafter is correct.
Thanks, George-you da man.
Photo credit The Sun.


At 3:37 PM, Blogger Aurora said...

Interesting comments. I never thought to ask why the nose was facing the fence. There is also a press report out today where Etihad is denying that it's people were involved. Someone is going to have to pick up the tab for this slight mishap. Perhaps the vacation last August wasn't long enough?

How much are those engines worth parted out?

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

I'm wondering if the person in the cockpit had control of the engines. In this day of everything by wire, could people in the cabin have been doing engine trimming through a breakout box, or perhaps on the ground?
I only remember one incident at Douglas in 4 years and that was a slight N1 overrun on an ANA MD87 that proved to be of no consequence but the customer got his undies in a bunch.
We always had one crew chief running the power levers, people on the ground on the intercom, a junior inspector like myself taking the data points and a lead inspector with a lot of experience within easy reach of the power levers.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger George said...

An ANA MD87? That's a new one. When did ANA ever ordered DAC (...ooops, MDC) products? :)

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

Memory's a fragile thing and I had to do my research and editing. It was Japan Air System and they had MD90s. The story is the same. Thanks for pointing it out George.


Post a Comment

<< Home