Rejection of all engines from Boeing 747. British Airways. 1982
Useful article:Failed engine airplane or a flight with asymmetric thrust.
So: 24 1982 year in June. Flight 9 companies "British Airways"I flew in the sky over Indonesia. After a few hours of the aircraft on which the passenger was 263 was supposed to land in Perth (Australia). The passengers were dozing peacefully or read a book.
Passenger: we flew over two time zones. I am tired and sleep all failed. The night was very dark, even pitch dark.
Passengers: Flight was normal. Everything was great. It's been a long time, as we departed from London. Kids wanted to get home as quickly as possible.
Many of the passengers of the aircraft began the journey back another day. But the crew was new. Pilots came to work at the last stop in Kuala Lumpur. Captain Eric Moody was. He started flying back in 16 years. He was also one of the first pilots who learned to manage Boeing 747. The co-pilot Roger Greaves has worked for six years in this position. The cabin was also a flight engineer Bari Tauli-Freeman.
When the plane flew over Jakarta, its cruising height was 11000 meters. Since the last landing took half an hour. Captain Moody check the weather on the radar. The following 500 kilometers of favorable environment expected. Inside, many of the passengers were asleep. But over their heads began to appear sinister haze. In 1982 year passenger aircraft was still allowed to smoke. But the stewards decided that the smoke thicker than usual. They began to worry that somewhere there was a fire on the plane. The fire at the height of 11 kilometers - it's scary. The crew tried to discover the source of fire. In the cockpit, too, ran into trouble.
Co-pilot: We just sat and watched the flight. The night was very dark. And suddenly, on the windshield lights began to appear. We hypothesized that this St. Elmo's fire.
St. Elmo's fire
St. Elmo's fire - It is a natural phenomenon that occurs when flying through storm clouds. But that night there was no storm clouds on the radar everything was clean. Pilots with apprehension discovered that the plane was surrounded by haze.
Passenger: I read a book. When I looked out the window, she saw that the wing of the aircraft covered by dazzling white, flickering light. That was incredible!
Meanwhile, inside the smoke started to thicken. Stewards could not figure out where he started.
Passenger: I noticed the thick smoke billowed into the cabin through the fans over the windows. The spectacle was very disturbing.
After a few minutes of the first and fourth motors began to break out in flames. But the instruments in the cockpit did not fix a fire. The pilots were perplexed. First, they have not seen anything like it.
Co-pilot: The so-called light show has become even brighter. Instead windshields we had two walls of shimmering white light.
Senior conductor quietly arranged inside the careful search for the source of fire. But the situation was exacerbated by very quickly. Acrid smoke was already everywhere. It was very hot. The passengers had difficulty breathing. The cockpit flight engineer checked all devices. He could smell the smoke, but the devices are not showing fire in any part of the aircraft. Soon the crew was faced with a new problem. All the engines caught fire.
Passenger: Huge flames burst from the right engine. It reaches more than 6 meters in length.
The fire covered all engines. Suddenly, one of them, for a moment, increasing the momentum stalled. The pilots immediately turn it off. Boeing 747 11000 was at an altitude meters. But in less than a few minutes, the other three engine stalled, too.
Captain: The three remaining engine disconnected almost immediately. The situation has become very serious. We had four engine running and a half minutes none left.
The plane was a large supply of fuel, but for some unknown reason, all the engines stalled. The crew began to send a distress signal. The motors are not supplied thrust and flight 9 began to fall from the sky. The co-pilot was trying to tell to Jakarta for an extreme situation but managers hardly hear him.
Co-pilot: Mission Control Center in Jakarta barely understood what we were saying.
Only when another aircraft, located nearby, relayed a distress signal, the Mission Control Center realized what was happening. The crew did not remember to have Boeing 747 denied all four engines. They speculated on why this could happen.
Captain: I was worried that we had done something wrong. We sat and blamed himself because these things do not have to happen.
Although Boeing 747 was not created as a glider, he could move forward on 15 kilometers per kilometer decline. Left without engines flight 9 slowly began to fall. The team had a half-hour before the collision with the sea. There was another feature. In simulations where all the engines are switched off, disconnected the autopilot as well. But high above the Indian Ocean, the captain saw that the autopilot was turned on. In this heat of the situation they did not have time to figure out why the autopilot was turned on. The pilots started the procedure to restart the engines. This procedure takes 3 minutes. The rapid fall from the sky the crew had less chance of 10 start the engines before the crash. At the height of 10000 meters Captain Eric Moody decided to turn the aircraft to the nearest airport Halim, near Jakarta. But even for him the distance was too great if the engine starts. In addition to all, for whatever reasons, the airport Halim could not find a flight 9 on their radar.
With the engine off in the cabin was very quiet. Some of the passengers felt a decline. They could only guess what was happening.
Passenger: Some people just sat straight, as if they did not notice anything. First it was fear, but after a while he moved to humility. We knew that we die.
Senior Steward: I think that if I sat down and really thought about what's going on, I would have never got up.
Captain Moody could not restart the engine until the speed of the aircraft was not in the range of 250-270 nodes. But speed sensors were not working. They needed to bring the aircraft to the desired speed. Captain varied speed. For this, he disconnected the autopilot and the steering wheel pulled up and then down. Such "roller coaster" further increased the panic in the cabin. The pilots were hoping that at some point, when we deliver fuel to the engine, the speed will be the same as you need to restart.
Suddenly, there was another problem. Triggering pressure sensor. The fact that in addition to the electric power assisted engines maintain a normal pressure in the cabin. Since they were not working, the pressure gradually started to fall. Due to the lack of oxygen, passengers began to choke. Pilots want to wear oxygen masks, but the co-pilot's mask was broken. The captain had to increase the rate of descent to quickly move to a lower altitude. So everyone could breathe. However, the problem has not been solved. If the engine does not start, it was necessary to land the plane in the open ocean. The co-pilot and flight engineer shortened standard restart sequence. So they were more likely to start the engine.
Co-pilot: We repeated the same thing over and over again. But despite our best efforts, no progress has been observed. Nevertheless, we kept this scenario. I can not even imagine how many times we have them restarted. Probably about 50 times.
The plane dropped lower and lower, and the captain got a difficult choice. Between the aircraft and the airport is a mountain range of the island of Java. To fly it, you had to be at a height of not less than 3500 meters. Without engine it was impossible to reach the airport. The captain decided that if the situation does not change, he will sit on the water.
Captain: I know how difficult it is to land the plane in the water, even with the engine running. Besides, I never did.
The pilots had very little chance to start the engines. Already I had to turn the plane to the ocean to land on water. Suddenly, the fourth engine roared and earned just as suddenly as disconnected. Passengers had the feeling, as if someone threw the plane upwards.
Co-pilot: You know, a low rumble; sound when the engine factory "Rolls Royce ». Hearing it was just wonderful!
Boeing 747 able to fly with one engine, but it was not enough to fly over the mountains. Fortunately, another engine, sneezing, alive. Behind him was quickly followed by the other two. The collapse was almost inevitable. But the plane was working again in full force.
Passenger: I realized then that we will be able to fly. May not be Perth, but in some airport. We just want this and: sit on the ground.
The pilots knew that the plane had to land as soon as possible and send it to Halim. The captain began to rise to between the airliner and the mountains there is enough space. Suddenly, before the aircraft began to flicker again, strange lights - the harbingers of the crisis. The rate was good, and the pilots hoped that they will have time to reach the runway. However, the aircraft was again under attack. The second engine failed. Behind him stretched a fiery tail. The captain again had to turn it off.
Captain: I'm not a coward, but when 4 engine is running, then suddenly there, and then again to work - it's a nightmare. Yes, whatever the pilot to quickly turn it off because it was terrible!
The plane was approaching the airport. The co-pilot thought that the windscreen misted, because through him could not see anything. They turn on the fan. It has not worked. Then the pilots involved wipers. The effect is still not there. Somehow it damages the glass itself.
Captain: I looked at the corner of the windshield. Through a thin strip, about 5 centimeters wide, I saw everything much clearer. But the front I could not see anything.
The crew waited for the latest unpleasant news. Ground-based equipment that helps them get down at the correct angle has not worked. After all the problems that had to experience, the pilot had to land the plane manually. Make every effort, the crew did it. The plane gently touched the band and soon stopped.
Captain: It seemed that the plane has landed itself. It was like kissing the ground. It was wonderful.
The passengers cheered. When the plane landed at the airport, they began to celebrate the end of the ordeal. But they were wondering what had happened. Fire never found. Where did the smoke in the cabin? And how could refuse at the same time all the engines? The crew also relieved, but worried about the idea that they were guilty of something.
Captain: After we drove a plane into the parking lot and turned off all started to check all the documents. I wanted to find anything that could warn us about the problems.
Boeing 747 was heavily damaged. The crew realized that their glass was scratched out. They also saw the bare metal where the paint has worn off. After a nearly sleepless night in Jakarta, the pilots returned to the airport to inspect the plane.
Co-pilot: We looked at the airplane, in the light of the day. It lost its metallic luster. Some places were scratched by sand. Peeled paint and stickers. See was not for that, not yet removed the engines.
The engines made the company «Rolls Royce». They were removed from the aircraft and sent to London. Even in England, the experts began their work. Soon, investigators were surprised what they see. The engines were badly scratched. The experts found that they were filled with fine dust particles of rock and sand. After careful study, it was found that it was volcanic ash. A few days later everyone knew that on the night trip volcano erupted galunggung. It is only 160 kilometers southeast of Jakarta. In 80-ies of this volcano has erupted frequently. The eruptions were very large. Just as the plane was flying in the sky, the volcano erupted again. The ash cloud rose to a height of 15 km and the wind drove it to south-west, straight toward flight 9 «British Airways». Prior to this incident seriously interfere volcanoes aircraft. Is volcanic ash caused the accident?
Expert: In contrast to conventional ash, it is not a soft material. This greatly shredded pieces of rocks and minerals. This is a very abrasive material, it has a lot of sharp edges. This caused numerous scratches.
In addition to the action on the glass and paint the aircraft, the ash cloud has caused other strange incident with the flight 9. At the height of the friction electrification appeared. Hence, the lights, the lights which we call St. Elmo. Electrification also caused disruptions in the communication systems of the aircraft. Those particles of ash got into the cabin and cause choking passengers.
As for engines, the ash also had a fatal significance here. The molten ash penetrates into the engine and is blocking it. There was a strong violation of the air flow inside the engine. It violates the composition of fuel: it was too much fuel and not enough air. This provoked the appearance of flames behind the turbines, and later their failure. Choking cloud of ash engines aboard the Boeing 747 stalled. Plane saved natural processes.
Expert: As soon as the plane came out of all the ash cloud is gradually cooled. It was enough to solidified particles have fallen off, and the engine starts again.
When the engine is sufficiently purified from the molten ash feverish attempts to pilot the plane to start a successful conclusion.
Expert: We learned a lot. Later this knowledge became part of pilot training. Now drivers know what signs indicate that they are in the ash cloud. Among the signs of a sulfur smell in the cabin, dust and at night you can see St. Elmo's fire. Also, civil aviation has become more closely with geologists who study volcanoes.
A few months later after an incredible night, the crew of flight 9 showered awards and commendations. All crew members have shown an unprecedented professionalism. They managed to save the plane perfectly. Simply fantastic! Surviving passengers of 9 still communicate with each other.
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