Air Crash Investigation all engines denied
Air Crash Investigation all engines denied

Air Crash Investigation denied all engines.


Base «Lajes» 2001.


On the night of August 24 2001 years fueled Airbus A-330, Which was carrying 306 passengers crossing the Atlantic and halfway he refused both engines. How could it happen that the modern airliner, equipped with a powerful computer, turned the face of the terrible catastrophe?


            Toronto International Airport. August 23, 2001. It was a normal business day at this airport. The newly formed charter company Air Transat quickly became one of the largest airlines in Canada. In the summer, business activity stopped, and everyone was in a hurry to go on vacation. Flight 236 was bound for Lisbon. On board were Canadians flying to Europe and Portuguese migrants who were returning home. The Airbus 330 was flown by Captain Robert Pichet and co-pilot Dirk de Jager.


Expert: Captain Robert Piché extraordinary man and a great pilot. He was very experienced. Besides, he was in Quebec, where the pilots receive the best training.


            The Airbus A330 was built with the latest technology. It is equipped with computers associated with thousands of all kinds of sensors that constantly monitor the operation of all systems. Looking ahead, we can say that the pilots reacted with disbelief to the testimony of computers. This could have resulted in dire consequences.


            The first hours of the flight aboard Flight 236 were calm. At 20:10 an Airbus A330 carrying 47 tons of fuel took off from Toronto to Lisbon. Forecasters promised good weather over the Atlantic. The flight proceeded normally, but the controller slightly deviated them from the set course. To unload the route, the dispatcher sent the plane 100 kilometers to the south. This minor amendment later played a decisive role in the fate of the aircraft. It was evening, and the passengers were preparing for a long-distance flight.


Passenger: Everything went fine. I have used the services of the company "Air Transat"And she did not really like it. At the time, I was pleasantly surprised. We took off on time. The aircraft was new and comfortable. I have decided that we will have a pleasant trip.


Plane crash video



            Every 30 minutes the crew checked its location with the flight map. The aircraft was equipped with modern computers, but calculation of the availability of fuel on board is still done by hand. Comparing the amount of fuel in the tank to its original volume, the pilots tracked fuel consumption. First 5 hours everything was normal: flow rate corresponded to the distance traveled. But soon came the first cause for concern. Sensors began to show that the oil pressure in the first engine was normal, and the second somewhat elevated. Also, the display could be seen that oil temperature fell in the second engine. It is very strange! The pilots were perplexed.


Judge: If the display such data - this means that the sensors are faulty.


            Oil temperature can not fall. She can only rise. Therefore, the pilots did not pay attention to it. Unusual was the fact that the oil pressure rose. This indicated that the fuel oil fell. But this is not mentioned in any directory for pilots.


            The crew contacted the technical service located in Montreal. Unfortunately, the ground crew could not help them. The pilots had to solve the problem themselves. Since the computer issued such strange messages, the pilots decided that this was a mistake. But they continued to monitor the level of oil. The Air Transat 236 continued flying. After 20 minutes, a new message appeared: fuel imbalance. This they never had. In Airbus A330 fuel stored in large tanks located in the wings. The computer has detected that the level of fuel in the right tank is much lower than in the left. In this case, all advised Reference produce fuel bypass via a bypass valve. But before opening the bypass valve, the pilots had to make sure that the fuel imbalance is not a result of a larger problem - fuel leakage. For 15 minutes to detect problems pilots checked the fuel level, and it was normal. So they opened the bypass valve between the tanks.


Expert: The results should be seen immediately. Normally, the situation is stabilized immediately.


Plane crash video


            However, in the case of the 236, this did not happen. The pilots did not suspect that the second engine, located on the right wing there is a serious fuel leak. Then the plane was at an altitude meters 12000 300 miles from the nearest land.


            At this time, fuel consumption exceeded all known norms. The on-board computer issued a number of warnings, however, the pilots decided that these were errors. The matter was complicated by the fact that it was almost impossible to determine the leakage in this aircraft structure.


Expert: Airborne systems consist of hundreds and hundreds of sensors. They are very sensitive to external influences, such as ice or snow. They can produce corrupted data.


            The pilots did not have any data that would indicate that the fuel level is dropping faster than the engines consume it. They had no reason to believe there was a leak. But soon the co-pilot Dirk de Jager took over the calculations. After conducting them, he realized that something serious was happening. Dirk found a striking difference. Fuel was literally running out. Even reserve tank was almost empty. Captain Pichet asked flight attendants to look for leaks. He also said the co-pilot once again to settle the reserve fuel. In the afternoon it was not difficult to determine whether there is a leak. But in the darkness of the night, even with a flashlight to see anything was impossible.


Expert: At this time the crew realized that the situation did not improve. On the contrary, it became more and more threatening.


            The pilots decided what to do next. They contacted the ocean dispatch service to find out where the nearest landing strip. They were told that the strip at the military base Lajes, located on a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean, was the closest. The pilots did not dare to land. They still believed that all problems were computer malfunctions. Flight 236 continued to fly south for another 25 minutes. Everything seemed to be normal, but the computer continued to issue alarming information about the amount of fuel.


            In 6: 13, less than an hour after the first message, the pilots realized that the situation had become critical. To the right engine fuel have been reported and it stalled.


Air Crash Investigation denied all engines 4


Passenger: The lights in the cabin began to flicker, and I realized that it was not good.


            The plane could not fly at an altitude of 12000 meters on a single engine. The pilots were forced to descend to the height of 10000 meters. They were in distress, so they sent the Airbus A330 to the “Lajes” military base. They needed to fly another 250 kilometers. The plane was able to stretch another 10 minutes on the left engine. After that, and he began to act up. 157 kilometers remained to fly. Soon the left engine also stalled. One of the most reliable airliners on board was the crew, and the 306 passengers turned into a giant glider that flew straight to the ocean.


Passenger: Suddenly there was a click, and everything. Complete silence. Inside, there was no sound.


            A special pseudo-turbine fed vital appliances with electricity. So he remained manageable. The pilots counted how much they could plan. Before the fall of the ocean they had 14-15 minutes. Without engine each 5 kilometers plane was down 300 meters. They could hold on to the Azores and land on the basis of «Lajes». But if the pilots made a mistake they would have to sit on the water. Since the plane is a power failure, occurred depressurization. Everyone had to wear oxygen masks. Also, the flight attendants were preparing passengers for emergency landing on water. In the cabin started to panic.


Passenger: I saw the flight attendant brought life jackets. It was a bad sign. I realized that there is something very serious.


            To put such a big plane on the water is very difficult. If they had to do this, the chances of survival would be small.


            The ground services at the Lajes base were preparing for the landing of a huge liner. For 20 minutes before landing, the pilots of steel are preparing for the most dangerous part of their flight. Im still It had to land the plane without a working engine... They had no room for error. When they were 13 kilometers away, they tried to lose height and speed. The pilots extended their flaps, however, when approaching the runway, the speed increased sharply. There was a risk of jumping out of the runway. Captain Pichet performed several difficult maneuvers to slow down before landing. They leveled the giant airliner. The plane hit the runway at a very high speed. The pilots tried with all their might to stop the plane, and without engines it was very difficult. Having lost 8 tires, the Airbus A330 finally stopped in the middle of the runway.


Passenger: I wanted to quickly get out of the plane. I jumped out, hit the ground and burst into tears like a child.


Air Crash Investigation all engines denied


            Robert Pische and Dirk de Yager managed to fly without engines more than anyone in the entire history of civil aviation. The plane and passengers managed to save. But how could it happen that the modern airliner ran out of fuel?


            The authorities immediately created a commission to investigate this incident. Soon it was possible to establish that all tanks were indeed empty. Experts carefully examined all the fuel and hydraulic drives. Soon they found what they were looking for just the right engine.


Expert: The fact that the diameter of the hydraulic drive was slightly less than the diameter of the fuel pipe. Under the influence of vibration in the hydraulic hose, hydraulic drive jumped and began to rub against the fuel hose. As a result, a hole therein through which the fuel has to flow. Over time, the hole grew bigger and bigger. Shortly fuel poured the river before reaching the engine.


            Experts began checking maintenance reports. It turned out that 19 August, 5 days before the flight, Air Transat seized the faulty engine and replaced it with a new one, which was supplied by Rolls Royce. Soon, experts discovered a terrific mistake. She was allowed to maintain the aircraft. The company «Rolls Royce» is not equipped with a hydraulic pump motor. Then the mechanics decided to use a pump from an old engine. But they do not exactly fit together. They rubbed already 5 days until something happened that took place over the Atlantic.


Expert: The engine was equipped with two hoses and clamp, which should maintain the necessary clearance. Mechanics took the bracket from the old motor and install it on the new one. But pipes were different and there was friction.


            When the commission interrogated the mechanics of "Air Transat", it turned out another unpleasant detail. The chief mechanic said that he knew that these hoses did not fit the new engine. He reported this to his superiors. But the company decided that the plane could not stand because of the missing parts. They believed that nothing would happen if they used the old hoses. The difference in diameter of the hose is only a few millimeters. But this difference could cost lives 306 passengers.


            A few days after the accident, Air Transat publicly acknowledged its responsibility for what happened.


Expert: This mistake cost the company dearly. They had to pay a fine of a quarter of a million dollars. It is the largest fine ever paid a Canadian airline.


            But this is not the end of the story. What is the role of pilots in the events of 24 August? When they opened the bypass valve to transfer fuel from the left tank to the right in 30 minutes, 17 tons of fuel were lost. Why do not they close the valve to prevent further leakage? The pilots thought that the computer gives incorrect information on the fuel system. Then they simply acted according to instructions, not knowing about the leak. Their mistake was that they did not think about why there was such a problem. When they were convinced that it was a leak, they have no choice. By the time the engines had stalled.


            The sophisticated technical equipment of modern airliners makes them more reliable. But at the same time, this could lead 236 flight to a terrible disaster. The mismatch of the hoses led to a leak, and a lack of confidence in computers led the pilots to an incorrect assessment of the situation. All this had serious consequences. It is good that from the very beginning the dispatch service sent the aircraft to 100 kilometers to the south. Due to this, the 236 flight was not far from the Azores and was able to make an emergency landing.


            After the incident, the company made changes to the instructions in case of fuel leakage. Airbus and Rolls Royce also made great efforts to avoid such situations. 


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