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British Airways fire: Jet's suppression system didn't work, source says

(CNN)The British Airways jetliner that caught fire on the Las Vegas airport's tarmac had suppression equipment, but it just didn't work to suppress the flames, a source close to the investigation said Wednesday. Twenty-seven people associated with British Airways Flight 2276 were treated at the Nevada city's Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, spokeswoman Sylvia Song said. All had been released by Wednesday afternoon. ( 기타...

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"Jet's suppression system didn't work, source says"...
Says Captain Obvious of CNN. I'll bet the force of the uncontained engine failure destroyed the suppression system. Or at least severely damaged it.
I agree given the information thus far from the NTSB the system was either damaged or destroyed by the engine failure.

What I also found surprising was listening to the sounds on a passenger's video of the takeoff roll. When the engine failed the sound it made was just like a compressor stall something you don't expect at full power. Also the sound did not make you think you would see what was coming next. Most likely a fuel or oil line was severed in the explosion causing the fire.
Fire suppression is for fire within the nacelle, there is enough Halon in the bottles to evacuate the O2 in the engine compartment. Once the fire is outside the housing the suppression system is useless. If this happened in the air the outcome may have been better as the cooling airflow around the wings and nacelle would have helped prevent heat damage and the flammable fluids wouldn't puddle under the aircraft they would be blown fairly harmlessly away. Stagnant air and a puddle of burning fuel and oil led to the damage. The engine failure happened at a point when it wasn't safe to continue a single engine takeoff, so the crew did do what was right and stopped. At that point the continued serviceability of the aircraft is not high on the priority list.
btweston -3
In other words, it didn't work.
I would characterize it as not designed to be relevant to the situation that occurred, I wound not consider it a failure of the extinguishing system. In the same sense I probably wouldn't say the airbag system on a car failed if someone drove off a 200ft. cliff and died.
Agreed... It played no role in the scenario... It would have been just as responsible for the failure as a burnt out reading light in the cabin.

However, if it is proven that the system was not working at the time, then BA way want to look at their entire fleet and make sure they do not have a similar fault... It may be needed again sometime.
Well, the impression is that it didn't work on account of mx or something. It should be clarified that it did not work because it was probably blown up and destroyed in the uncontained failure.
s2v8377 3
Another terrible CNN story. Three of the five incidents mentioned in the story have nothing to do with the 777's safety record.!!!

Something really went wrong out at LAS with that engine. It will be interesting to see what the NTSB finds.

My only concern not to knock BA prematurely is what's going on their maintenance department? I wonder if management is putting pressure on an overworked understaffed department to keep planes in the air???
Preliminary NTSB says uncontained failure. Engine part all over the runway. Now a suppression system would work once fire went outside nacelle. For Captain Wonderful, I figure the explosion did it in. Les would have known that but that sounds like good old Richard. At any rate, ain't no need to get on BA mx. Stuff will break.
Here is the transcript of the NTSB report minus some of the gobbledygook:

• British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777-200ER, equipped with two GE90-85B engines, registration G-VIIO, was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 129 and was enroute to London - Gatwick Airport (LGW), Horley, England.
• There were 157 passengers, including 1 lap child, and 13 crew members on board. There were several minor injuries as a result of the evacuation (mostly abrasions).
• The flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder and quick access recorder have arrived at the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory and are currently being downloaded.
• On Tuesday evening, the airplane was photographed and the runway debris documented by FAA and airport officials before airplane was towed to secluded area of the airport (in order to reopen the runway).
• Initial examination of the left engine revealed multiple breaches of the engine case in the area around the high pressure compressor.
• Examination of the material recovered from runway found several pieces of the high pressure compressor spool (approximately 7-8 inches in length).
• Initial examination of the airplane by NTSB revealed that the left engine and pylon, left fuselage structure and inboard left wing airplane were substantially damaged by the fire. This damage will be documented over the next several days.
Thanks for sharing... It is most certainly an uncontained turbine failure.... based on the above statement.
Thanks for the correction up above on the suppression system. I get to thinking one thing and type another. That's how it is when you get old.LOL
Correctioin, Once the fire exited the Engine Nacelle, no firs suppression system on board the plane is going to put it out... This engine failed from the inside, Will be interesting to find out exactly what let loose and why!
Doh... The Engine Exploded.. I mean really... The suppression system will only work for a contained fire... When the cowls are breached, there is going to be no way to put that fire out... Something let go inside the engine and was uncontained.
And maybe the damage didn't prevent the pumps pouring fuel into the flames until someone on the flight deck hit a switch. Good thing the engine debris didn't hole the wing tank(s) and create a pool under the a/c.

This could've been nasty.
Chris B 3
If it was an airbus, people would be trolling the aircraft. In this instance, its a Boeing equipped with GE engines.
Airbus could have had GE's too, but you are right about the trolling. Fire suppression is fire suppression. As Ken says above, it could have been the force that took it out, or it just simply could have been too much. In most cases, you don't have an uncontained to deal with. As others, I am glad it didn't happen mid flight or could have been ugly. Another post on here says the plane was 16 years old and will be written of rather than repaired.
My initial curiosity on Rolls Royce engines was answered as GE90 engines were on this aircraft. The NTSB will get to the heart of the accident with the engine. In reading the various articles, it sounds as if the explosion was contained but fuel continued flowing for some period of time. The Quantas A380 engine failure showed what happens with an uncontained engine explosion. I've not seen photos showing shrapnel penetration. If there are photos, can someone link them?
linbb 1
Pretty much looks like the fire got into the interior of the fuse from the photos and heat damaged structure on the wing also. Think from the looks of it the fire system was damaged and could not work as think its in the inlet area of the engine. Do not know for sure any thoughts from you ????
nah, IDK, like I said, it may have been destroyed or just got overran. I'd like to see that from NTSB though rather than just didn't work, and that may have been from CNN, IDK.
Indeed. There is a big difference between a system that does function / activate as designed, and one that is unable to cope with the volume of fire.

The former is a much more serious problem than the latter -- there will always be situations where the bottles empty before the flames are out. Otherwise we wouldn't need Fire Rescue.
Chris B 1
I understand "engine"parts were found on the runway.
If there was a failure, while a breach of the casing is unlikely given current designs, it could have damaged the FS system, in the same way other accidents involving engine failures had disabled hydraulic systems
I think they said it tore up because of FOD on the runway. It may have been engine parts they found though. IDK.
Does activating the bottles automatically shut down the pumps on a 777 ?
Not 100% sure on the 777 but in my experience most Boeing systems arming the suppression handles cuts electrical, hydraulic, and fuel to the selected engine.
All Boeing A/C when you pull the 'T' handles it cuts all FUEL, Hydraulics, Air, and Electrical from the effected engine. When you say it shuts down the pumps, to clarify that the electric pumps continue to run and the engine pumps will continue to work as long as the engine is spinning, but no fluid or air will flow through the plumbing.
Sparkie - Thanks for answering my question and clarifying your response. It seemed as if there was a lot of "something" burning creating very thick black smoke and continuing to burn. I wondered whether fuel was continuing to be pumped into the fire from an external source. I was also wondering if hydraulic fluid had ignited and in either case where the black smoke was coming from. I imagine the Captain would have fired the bottles as soon as he saw the smoke. The CVR transcript will be interesting.
Keep in mind that those valves are designed in the same concept of the fire suppression... In a normal case of an engine fire, you pull the fire handle, release the suppressant and land at the nearest suitable airport.. Which would be in the real world scenario... In this case, it was an uncontained failure of the engine, and some part could have flown up through that valve area and ruptured the fuel and hydraulics, and yes the Skydrol will burn when it gets hot enough, and I would say that it was.

Another thing to keep in mind was that he probably aborted takeoff due to an engine indication... I doubt very many crews are watching over there shoulder to see if the engine catches fire... In reality, they probably had engine instruments to go haywire, and the Fire Warning to go off, of which at that point they aborted takeoff, pulled the "T" Handle, and discharged the fire bottle(s). (They could have done one or both of which is never mentioned, and I think most crews would have used both.... In my humble opinion.
Sparkie - Thanks again for sharing your expert knowledge (ever thought of consulting at CNN - grin). You're right the FDR will also be interesting. How far off V1 was he when he decided to abort and how long did it take to stop ? I think OAT was above 100 and he'd quite a load on. Someone speculated the brakes may have gotten quite warm during the braking phase.

To expand the scenario you gave -

(1) Loud bang (maybe heard in cockpit),
(2) Instruments haywire, a/c trying to turn left (#2 asym. thrust)
(3) Right boot, keep to the centerline (presumably automatic response)
(4) "Oh sh*t", (Thinks : Are we past V1 ? How much runway left ?)
(5) "Abort",
(6) Throttles full down, activate reversers (?)
(7) Stand on brakes,
(8) Now try to keep the thing from turning right (#2 full reverse, #1 nothing),
(9) Presumably Fire Warning is screaming for attention (with other warnings),
(10) A/c stops, throttles to idle, shutdown both
(11) Captain looks over left shoulder, FO over right shoulder
(12) Captain sees billowing smoke, slaps left knee (?)
(13) Pull handle, discharge bottles in #1
(14) Call Tower, Request ARFF,
(15) Order Evac over PA

How many seconds between (1) and (5) ?
How abrupt is change from left swing (2) to right swing (8) ?

When do your knees and wrists start shaking ?
I guess this is why you want a professional, trained, practiced crew with good CRM at the sharp end who know where the knobs, switches, handles and gauges are on this specific a/c.
I agree with you... But that 5 seconds is a long time... I would say all of that happened petty much simultaneously... This is example of having 2 crew members on there toes at the right time and right place really payed off.
And agreed... THe CVR as well as the FDR will be very interesting.
Looking forward to the NTSB report for the factual details. See how much CNN got right.
s2v8377 4
CNN probably did not get much right!!! Since apparently pilots hitting a seawall out at SFO, and another being shot down in the Ukraine to them are safety record issues for 777's.
When did CNN report anything right :)
I doubt this is new news, but the BBC is reporting that the aircraft suffered an uncontained engine failure. I am no expert, but if this turns out to be true, I'm sure the impact on other 777's with the GE90 engine might result in a grounding and mandatory inspection:
I doubt that. These engines are some of the most reliable in the industry. Most likely a one off occurrence.
I would agree 100%. If one looks at the statistics, one failure among how many thousands (if not millions) of flights is just a bizarre occurrence that is unlikely to re-occur. It just seems I have seen inspections ordered for more minor incidents.
They are reliable and I feel they will find the cause. Whether it is enough for grounding or inspection will remain to be seen. If it is something serious enough, airlines may look at it themselves to avoid a repeat of same.

[This poster has been suspended.]

English please... None of this Gibberish...
lynx318 1
"Remembering the face from eating with,
touch crumbles with the hand,
thousand-year-old smile on
Spider returns of hair, goes out of the way

based on my forehead, I'm looking for something,
I'm looking for what I want, I'm looking for an instant before,
they face the storm and lightning flashes
would run in the middle of the night in trees,in a garden, the rain darkened face,
the relentless water flowing past me,

I'm looking for what I want before I write them myself"

Used Bing translate, still don't get it, someone know the language able to give us a transcript?
Google Translate:
Lost face with the recall,
touch with broken hand,
millennial smile on
hair that returns a lot of spiders, is going out of my way

Based on my forehead, I'm looking for something,
I found what I wanted without looking, looking for a moment,
face and lightning flashes of the storm
koşuşuy night in the tree,
blacked out in the garden, a face from the rain,
water stops flowing from me cruel,

In english, still gibberish.
lynx318 2
Something tells me arif is not a pilot or he would know English. Not sure if he's commenting on article or quoting some religious text¿
btweston 0
No need to be a dick.
The KJV was good enough for Jesus and it's good enough for me!
It is a good enough for me, but in the Aviation industry the international standard is English!
And if you look Tthe bottom of the page, the standard for this site is 16 languages, plus the American dialect of English.
Of course, this site is not a flight deck so you can opt to read it in any language you wish.
lynx318 1
Tried reading it in Klingon too, but still didn't make sense.
Trust CNN.
Sure we do. LOL


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