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Qantas 787 Flight Flew With 4 Covered Static Ports

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A Qantas 787 was found to have four of its engine static ports taped up on a flight used to transport freight from from Melbourne to Los Angeles. (www.gatechecked.com) More...

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TexasKid747
JW Wilson 9
PFO flight. Pre-Flight Optional
DRN2001
Dan Nelson 3
“Kick the tyres and light the fires!”
yr2012
matt jensen 1
used to have flight engineer position. That was his job.
sparjolly
R Jolly 7
What happened to the "Remove Before Flight" flags? Were they never installed or did they fly off en-route?
jbsimms
James Simms 2
Incident & your comment reminds me of watching F-15’s, F-4’s, B-52’s in videos performing a ‘No Notice’ Alert w/Ground Crew jumping all over the place to grab & remove those tags.
mjritter
Michael Ritter 1
It looks like they came off in route. The left inboard picture has some tape that looks ripped with blank spots where the flags may have been.
havenrich1
Haven Rich 6
Years ago while on the ramp I saw one of my glider club's G-103 gliders ready to launch via aerotow and observed black squares I knew to be tape over the two starboard side static ports. I ran across the ditch, the taxiway and grass while trying to alert the pilot who saw me and pulled his release stopping the launch. He had only moved the tapes to uncover the pinholes and not removed them for storage in the cockpit side pocket as was our custom!
yntzrm
Michael Yentzer 16
This tells me that the Pilots did not do a physical pre-flight of the outside of the Aircraft. In Fact the FAA should require every commercial flight to be performed with both the Pilot and the Maintenance Foreman to walk down the Aircraft together before the engines start.
br14nh
Brian Hughes 13
Not disagreeing with your point, just to note that as the flight was from Melbourne, in this case it would be CASA requirements rather than FAA.
patpylot
patrick baker 2
additional faa requirements are just one thing to do or not to do, or to ignore, or to overlook. Authentic life and death level items are more formidible and insistent, and they have their own "must do" importance. If the union maintenance workers need an excuse to go for an inspection walk hand in hand with a pilot, by all means give it to them, giving us all reasons to feel all better.
Cleffer
Cleffer 18
Imagine having a redundant system offline and not having an alarm for that in the cockpit. That's just as dangerous as not having an alarm for the primary system.
foz
susan wilson 14
This is what happens when you replace long term experienced ground crews with cheaper contract labour. A very dangerous way of trying to save a few cents.
OccamsRazor
Ben Bosley 5
Would've been caught if the flight crew did a proper pre-flight and walk around. Buck always stops at the PIC.
rbdancer
Randy Barron 5
This story is encouraging, in that Boeing and the airline took immediate action to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Sometimes the system works!
srobak
srobak 5
Boeing cannot fix ground crew and pilot incompetence and complacency.
nasdisco
Chris B 0
Yet Boeing has proven that it can’t fix incompetence at the 787 plant, design out defects in the Max before they crash and KC46….

And I really like the 787. ….
mwf117
Why tape them at all?
ghstark
Greg S 14
To keep wasps from nesting in them.
jbsimms
James Simms 3
Yep. Birgenair Flight 301 in Feb 1996.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgenair_Flight_301
augerin
Dave Mathes 2
...a real PIA to clean out...
coinflyer
coinflyer 6
A lot of desert dust flying around there.
xtoler
Larry Toler 8
I'm no mx guy, but I didn't realize you could MEL something like that. This is why even as an FA I would go out of my way sometimes (time permitting) and also preflight the outside of our aircraft with usually the FO if I notice MEL stickers. We would also go through the maintenance log just to have each other's back if an emergency happens. I joked around a lot and got along with all my pilots, but I always take CRM seriously.
jeffinsydney
jeff slack 3
Gee-zus ...........
fredtaleb
fredtaleb 3
walk around is described in the fcom NP chapter
kenbadger1
Ken Riehl 3
Regardless of whether or not these static ports were covered. Just like the pitot static ports. They should be inspected for obstruction prior to every flight.
Zaphod52
Must have been missed by a few people. Needs to be addressed at an organizational level rather than just blaming the low hanging fruit.. pilots
srobak
srobak 3
Nope. While others should have caught it beforehand - the pilots are where the buck stops. PFC needs to be fully executed and complete. This is not optional.

Complacency kills.

Every pilot must conduct every PFC as if it were their very first PFC - or else they need to turn in their wings.

Complacency kills. Read this over and over until you understand.
Zaphod52
If only it was that simple!
chugheset
chugheset 2
This is not the first time this has happened there. A Malaysian Airbus had the same issue. However the Airbus has some idiosyncrasies that make it extremely difficult to fly in that status. Only exception CRM and ATC input let that flight land safely.
kosovovinny
https://youtu.be/f80WwpNuaxg
This was posted on YouTube by Mentour Pilot. A great true analysis of a similar incident aboard a Malaysian Flight 134. It involves pitot tube covers and is titled “How did everyone miss this!?”
LeanderWilliams
Mentour Pilot, blancolirio, and VAS Aviation are go to channels. Dan Gryder is another, but he goes more on opinion rather than fact, and he can't stand the NTSB or the FAA.
LeanderWilliams
Hmmm. There were remove before flight streamers on each taped port. Who did the Pre-flight walkaround? Stevie Wonder?
glendulaney
dulaney glen 2
Hard to believe.
jbsimms
James Simms 1
Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder..although Stevie Wonder already has his hands full w/Swift Trucking
GBCUA1K
Greg Cotten 2
Yellow over orange, why the camouflage! :)
jkeifer3
Joe Keifer 2
Should the preflight checklist be modified or was it simply overlooked?
patpylot
patrick baker 4
funny, you don't look like a kamakazi...
jkeifer3
Joe Keifer 2
When "Rain Man" was made Qantas was the safest airline in the world. What used to be ain't no more.
Artsch01
Art Schwartz 1
I don't know how you can do a pre-flight inspection and miss that?
dodger4
dodger4 1
Amateur mistake. No cross-checks...? That's a fairy sophisticated plane
LeanderWilliams
Fairly sophisticated plane? A Cirrus is a faily sophisticated plane.
dalej2
Dale Johnson 1
I guess they don't need those things to fly then, right?
ltl65gto
Roger Davis 1
Preflight by ground crew must have missed them also or no preflight was accomplished!!!
WM4DE
WM4DE 1
Awesome pre-flight. The industry should bring back the FE.
Flightdog
Roger Curtiss 1
It would seem that these static ports on the engines are related to engine performance and are not part of the Air Data System for the flight instruments, thus their being covered would not be as critical as covered fuselage static ports.
LeanderWilliams
You might think that true for a short domestic flight, but this flight went across an ocean. There is nothing on an engine that should be considered non-essential when crossing the pond. Those ports could have been something related to engine temperature, oil, or other performance indicators. If the streamer said remove before flight someone also thought they were necessary to remove.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
But he didn't say they were non-essential, now did he?
flybd5juan
Juan Jimenez 1
The FO must be colorblind and has not told anyone.
jwbacon
Lydia Bacon 1
Engineer should have put an entry in the logbook before installing the pitot covers. that way even an F/O would have seen the item. Simple fix. geez.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 1
Time for Qantas to stop hiring colour blind pilots! & why were the mechanics using “yellow” tape?
EGAKocksch
Ironically, because it is much more visible than white tape, especially on a white fuselage.

Also, yellow, warning color, "you got to evaluate if you need to do something with me, just like the cockpit warning light or message logic.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 9
Possibly, but anything stuck on the outside of an aircraft that is not supposed to be there during flight usually is coloured Red, and that stands out well. To me it’s just sloppy airmanship and that laissez-faire attitude can get you killed.
royhunte92
Roy Hunte 7
Qantas Aircraft have a lot of red on them, Red may not stand out enough so yellow might be the next best thing.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 3
The red tail is far from the engines……just sloppy airmanship!
D4D77
D4D77 1
Red is really obvious on a red aeroplane, but sure, I guess they never thought of that.
srobak
srobak 1
then hunter blaze orange
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 6
Maybe they should use low speed tape. There's such a thing as speed tape, right? It's formulated to withstand high speed. So the opposite of that would come off at flying speeds.

To those who would like to downvote my post, let me point out this isn't really a serious suggestion.
m4design
Andre Page 2
It's a NASCAR thing...
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 2
Not just NASCAR. https://community.infiniteflight.com/t/speed-tape/474068
JetMech24
JetMech24 3
The did not just pick out yellow for the color to use. The Boeing AMM calls for a specific tape to be used for this and the specific color of yellow. And the "removed before flight" streamers called out for in the AMM is specifically orange.
upchucked
Union troubles?
btweston
btweston 4
Sure. Someone isn’t happy with their salary so, what the hell? Let’s go to prison for criminal negligence.

Genius deduction.
CHBHA
CB HARDY 1
Nobody died. Qantas' record continues.
DRN2001
Dan Nelson -1
Queer And Nasty Try Another Service is famous for hiring low time, i.e, new CPL, pilots as 2nd officers, especially if they have family already flying for the company. Perhaps a more experienced crew member wouldn’t have missed something so obvious.
Greg77FA
Greg77FA 0
Good lessons learned. Lucky nothing happened.
ewrcap
David Beattie -2
Yeah, why doesn’t Boeing have automatic, idiot proof, engine static cover removers?! Greedy Capitalists!
How’s THAT Doug?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
and don't forget every safety option should be free.
DougHaviland
Doug Haviland -1
Where’s the Boeing Haters this morning?
jimjallen
Jim Allen 2
Not a Boeing hater but a very suspicious person. It does jibe with the current story and it puts Southwest in a much worse light. Was Boeing right to do what they did? No. Was SWA right to demand $1m for every day of SIM training? I don’t know how it was framed. Did SWA place that contingency on Boeing or did Boeing offer it up? It still seems strange that another airline would ask for training and Boeing downplay the request. I’m not in aviation but I was surprised at Boeing’s consistent downplay of the MCAS changes.
jkeifer3
Joe Keifer -1
Loving Airbus and Tupelov.
royhunte92
Roy Hunte -5
Sounds like sabotage...
jimjallen
Jim Allen 4
Never attribute to malice what can explained by stupidity/laziness. I’m surprised the plane sat long enough to need them though.
D4D77
D4D77 5
The mud wasps can block a tube in under an hour over here. They’re a big issue.
chugheset
chugheset 2
The did a study and it only took 20 minutes.

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