Failure of all engines. Boeing 747. British Airways. 1982
Failure of all engines. Boeing 747. British Airways. 1982

Boeing 747 has all engine failure. British Airways. 1982


Useful article: Failed engine airplane or a flight with asymmetric thrust.


       So: June 24 1982 of the year. Flight 9 Company "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 passengers on the plane began the journey back one day. But the crew was new. The pilots got to work at the last stop in Kuala Lumpur. The captain was Eric Moody. He started flying back in 16 years. He was also one of the first pilots who learned to drive 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 altitude was 11000 meters. Since the last landing took an hour and a half. Captain Moody checked the weather on the radar. The following 500 kilometers expected favorable conditions. Inside, many passengers fell asleep. But an ominous haze began to appear over their heads. In 1982 year passenger aircraft was still allowed to smoke... But the flight attendants thought the smoke was thicker than usual. They began to worry that there was a fire somewhere on the plane. Fire at an altitude of 11 kilometers is scary. The crew tried to find the source of the fire. Trouble also began in the cockpit.


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 plane


            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, the smoke in the cabin began to thicken. Stewards could not understand where he came from.


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, flames burst from the first and fourth engines. But the instruments in the cockpit did not fix the fire. The pilots were perplexed. They had never seen anything like it before.


Co-pilot: The so-called light show has become even brighter. Instead windshields we had two walls of shimmering white light.


            The senior conductor quietly arranged a thorough search for the source of ignition in the cabin. But the situation was aggravated very quickly. Acrid smoke was already everywhere. It became very hot. Passengers had difficulty breathing. In the cockpit, the flight engineer checked all the instruments. He smelled smoke, but the instruments did not show a fire in any part of the aircraft. Soon the crew faced a new problem. All engines caught fire.


Passenger: Huge flames burst from the right engine. It reaches more than 6 meters in length.


            The fire covered all the engines. Suddenly, one of them, for a moment, increased momentum, stalled. Pilots immediately turned it off. Boeing 747 was at an altitude of 11000 meters. But less than a few minutes, as the other three engines also stalled.


ash cloud Boeing



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 had a large supply of fuel, but for some unknown reason, all the engines stalled. The crew began to send a distress signal. The engines did not supply traction, and the 9 flight began to fall from the sky. The co-pilot tried to report an emergency situation to Jakarta, but the controllers hardly heard it.


Co-pilot: Mission Control Center in Jakarta barely understood what we were saying.


            Only when another plane in the vicinity relayed a distress signal did the mission control center understand what was wrong. The crew did not remember that the Boeing 747 refused all four engines. They wondered 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 the Boeing 747 was not created as a glider, it could go 15 kilometers ahead for each kilometer of descent. Left without engines, the 9 flight began to fall slowly. The team had half an hour before the collision with the sea. There was another feature. In simulators, when all engines are turned off, the autopilot is also disabled. But high above the Indian Ocean, the captain saw that the autopilot was on. With such a tense situation, they did not have time to figure out why the autopilot was turned on. The pilots started the engine restart procedure. This procedure took 3 minutes. With a rapid fall from the sky, the crew had less than 10 chances to start the engines before the crash. At an altitude of 10000 meters, Captain Eric Moody decided to turn the plane to the nearest Halim airport, near Jakarta. But even to him the distance was too great, if the engines do not work. On top of that, for some reason, Halima Airport could not find the 9 flight on its radar.


            With the engines turned off, the cabin became very quiet. Some of the passengers felt the decline. They could only guess what was going on.


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 engines until the aircraft speed was in the range of 250-270 nodes. But the speed sensors did not work. They needed to bring the plane to the desired speed. The captain varied the speed. To do this, he turned off the autopilot and pulled the steering wheel up and then down. Such "roller coaster" even more aggravated the panic in the cabin. The pilots hoped that at some point, when we would be supplying fuel to the engines, the speed would become as needed for restarting.


            Suddenly, another problem appeared. The pressure sensor has tripped. The fact is that in addition to electric power, the engines helped to maintain normal pressure in the cabin. Since they did not work, the pressure gradually began to fall. Due to lack of oxygen, passengers began to choke. The pilots wanted to wear oxygen masks, but the co-pilot's mask turned out to be broken. The captain himself had to increase the rate of descent himself in order to quickly move to a lower height. So everyone could calmly breathe. However, the problem was not solved. If the engines did not start, it was necessary to land the plane in the open ocean. The co-pilot and flight engineer shortened the standard restart sequence. So they had more chances to start the engines.


Co-pilot: We did the same thing over and over again. But despite our best efforts, there was no progress. However, we stuck to this scenario. I can't even imagine how many times we have restarted them. Most likely about 50 times.


            The plane fell lower and lower, and the captain faced a difficult choice. Between the plane and the airport was the mountain range of the island of Java. To fly it, it was necessary to be at a height of not less than 3500 meters. Without engines it was impossible to fly to the airport. The captain decided that if the situation did not change, he would 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 of starting the engines. Already it was necessary to turn the plane to the ocean to land on the water. Suddenly the fourth engine roared and started up just as suddenly as it turned off. The passengers had the feeling that someone had thrown the plane upwards.


Rejection of all motors. Boeing 747. British Airways. 1982 43434


Co-pilot: You know, a low rumble; sound when the engine factory "Rolls Royce ». Hearing it was just wonderful!


            Boeing 747 could fly with one engine, but it was not enough to fly over the mountains. Fortunately, another engine, sneezing, came to life. He was quickly followed by the two remaining. The downfall was almost imminent. But the plane again worked 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 understood that the plane had to be landed as quickly as possible and sent it to Halim. The captain began to climb, so that between the airliner and the mountains there was enough space. Suddenly, before the plane, strange lights began to flicker again - harbingers of a crisis. The speed was good, and the pilots hoped that they would have time to fly to the runway. But, the plane was again under attack. The second engine failed. Behind him was a fiery tail. The captain had to turn it off again.


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 windshield was sweaty, because nothing could be seen through it. They turned on the fans. It did not work. Then the pilots used the wipers. There was no effect anyway. Somehow the glass itself was damaged.


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 was waiting for the last bad news. Ground equipment that helped them to descend at the right angle did not work. After all the problems that had to be experienced, the pilots had to land the plane manually. With maximum effort, the crew did it. The plane gently touched the strip and soon stopped.


Captain: It seemed that the plane has landed itself. It was like kissing the ground. It was wonderful.


            The passengers rejoiced. When the plane landed at the airport, they began to celebrate the end of the ordeal. But they were wondering what happened. The fire was never found. Where did the smoke in the cabin come from? And how could all engines fail at the same time? The crew also sighed with relief, but they were disturbed by the thought 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 badly damaged. The crew realized that their glass was scratched outside. They also saw bare metal where the paint had worn off. After a virtually 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.


            Engines produced the company "Rolls Royce". They were taken off the plane and sent to London. Already in England, experts began their work. Soon the investigators were amazed at what he saw. The engines were very scratched. The experts found that they were clogged with fine dust, particles of stones and sand. After careful research, it was found that it was volcanic ash. A few days later, everyone learned that the eruption of the Galunggung volcano occurred on the night of the flight. It was located just 160 kilometers southeast of Jakarta. In 80, this volcano erupted quite often. The eruptions were very large. Just as the plane flew in the sky, the volcano exploded again. A cloud of ash rose to an altitude of 15 kilometers, and the winds drove it to the south-west, directly towards the British Airways 9 flight. Prior to this incident, volcanoes did not seriously interfere with the aircraft. Was volcanic ash the cause of 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 acting on the glass and paint of the aircraft, a cloud of ash caused other strange incidents on the 9 flight. At the height appeared electrification by friction. Hence the lights that we call the lights of Saint Elmo. Electrification also caused disruptions in the aircraft’s communications systems. The same particles of ash got into the cabin and caused suffocation among the passengers.


            As for the engines, the ashes also had a fatal significance here. Molten ash penetrated deep into the engine and littered it. There was a strong violation of the air flow inside the engine. The composition of the fuel was broken: there was too much fuel and not enough air. This provoked the appearance of flames behind the turbines, and later their refusal. Choking on a cloud of ash, the engines aboard the Boeing 747 stalled. The plane was saved by 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 engines were sufficiently cleansed of molten ash, feverish attempts by pilots to start the plane were successful.


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 the 9 flight was bombarded with awards and thanks. All crew members showed unprecedented professionalism. They managed to perfectly save the plane. Just fantastic! The surviving passengers of flight 9 still communicate with each other. 

Failed engine airplane or a flight with asymmetric thrust.

All air crash

Praise pilots! Calmly met the situation and did their work .. History textbook.

Yeah I estimate that there chustvovat passengers!


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