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'[TECH] ASH TEST'
2010\04\21@152938 by Tamas Rudnai

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It happened earlier, that all four engine stopped because of voulcanic ash
cloud.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8622099.stm

<news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8622099.stm>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9>Tamas


On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 8:20 PM, Olin Lathrop <spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\04\21@161525 by Chris McSweeny

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On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 8:20 PM, Olin Lathrop <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam@spam@embedinc.com> wrote:
> I think the problem is that ash clouds vary widely in what's in them and
> therefore their ability to hurt aircraft engines.  I remember a aircraft
> experiencing problems after flying thru the ash cloud of a volcano in Alaska
> some years back, so the worry about ash clouds is not silly superstition.

Indeed, but the major difference between the ash cloud encountered by
that flight (and also the incidents others have mentioned in
Indonesia) and the ones encountered by planes flying in Europe is easy
to determine. All of these incidents involving engine shut downs
involved planes flying directly through the main plume in the
immediate vicinity of the volcano, not the dispersed cloud thousands
of miles away.

I'd suggest the Airbus test is a perfectly legitimate way of
determining ash effects - rather better than the guesswork and
computer modelling which is what had been used to shut European
airspace in the first place.

Chris

2010\04\21@163703 by Olin Lathrop

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Chris McSweeny wrote:
> Indeed, but the major difference between the ash cloud encountered by
> that flight (and also the incidents others have mentioned in
> Indonesia) and the ones encountered by planes flying in Europe is easy
> to determine. All of these incidents involving engine shut downs
> involved planes flying directly through the main plume in the
> immediate vicinity of the volcano, not the dispersed cloud thousands
> of miles away.

I guess the question is how dispersed does it need to be, and how dispersed
was this particular cloud as a function of distance?  In hindsight,
carefully planned flying in the area would probably have been safe.  On the
other hand, imagine how authorities would have been blamed if even a single
plane had temporarily lost a single engine.  This was kindof a no-win
situation by those in charge, although they probably did err on the side of
excessive caution.  How much risk are you willing to accept as a passenger
on a commercial flight like that?

I don't see why they couldn't have run a few test flights much earlier, then
flown to stay within gliding distance of a suitable airport.  That would
probably be possible over most of Europe.

> I'd suggest the Airbus test is a perfectly legitimate way of
> determining ash effects - rather better than the guesswork and
> computer modelling which is what had been used to shut European
> airspace in the first place.

The while the test is reasonably conclusive to what was actually measured,
it's not clear how far the results can be extrapolated in distance and time.


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2010\04\21@170136 by Chris McSweeny

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On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM, Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistspamKILLspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> I guess the question is how dispersed does it need to be, and how dispersed
> was this particular cloud as a function of distance?

It was certainly far, far more dispersed than the ones involving
engine shutdown incidents - and they knew that from the start. It's
not as if there haven't been other aircraft flying through ash clouds
without significant incident.

> I don't see why they couldn't have run a few test flights much earlier, then
> flown to stay within gliding distance of a suitable airport.  That would
> probably be possible over most of Europe.

Being within gliding distance of an airport is rather better than not,
but far from ideal. Various reports on heavys coming in with no power
when they've run out of fuel (eg Gimli Glider) suggests the landing is
at least a little stressful!

The big failing though was in the blanket shutdown of airspace due to
lack of information, rather than making a proper attempt to improve
the information they had. Yes more test flights would have been better
- my understanding is that the authorities weren't allowing such
things. The biggest issue though IMHO is the failure to bring together
information they already had, along with an over-reliance on
inaccurate modelling.

Chris

2010\04\21@171137 by Carl Denk

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Was wrote:
> I don't see why they couldn't have run a few test flights much earlier, then
> flown to stay within gliding distance of a suitable airport.  That would
> probably be possible over most of Europe.
>    
Several items:
1: I have made 3 dead engine landings in single engine small planes.
Everything must be just right, unless you have a 10 mile runway! I don't
think it's a safe thing to try dead sticking a large aircraft. Even if
you have a little power, say 1 out of 4 engines, you chances of making
it safely stopped on a runway increase many times. That little power
enables the pilot to adjust his glide path to accommodate changing winds
with altitude.

2: If all engines including the ground power unit were to fail, that
plane would be basically powerless, and with either fly by wire or power
assisted controls, would be next to impossible to control.

3: Engines are not the only systems that could be effected. There is the
airspeed pitot tube that could clog, various air filters for HVAC,
static source for flight instruments, not to mention what the sharp
abrasive dust might do to bearings on flight control surfaces, landing
gear, etc. Carbureted and fuel injected piston engines have an alternate
combustion air source that may activated if the main engine air filter
would clog. The effects could take some time to materialize, effecting
flight safety even months later.

4: I don't think any aircraft operator would want to have his plane be
the test victim.

2010\04\21@172814 by Alan B Pearce

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> 1: I have made 3 dead engine landings in single engine small planes.
> Everything must be just right, unless you have a 10 mile runway! I don't
> think it's a safe thing to try dead sticking a large aircraft.

Especially as almost any airport you would be aiming at is going to be close
to a rather large population area. The slightest thing going wrong could
bring the aircraft down in a manner that would cost a number of high ranking
officials their job in a big way.

> 3: Engines are not the only systems that could be effected.

One of the things about the 747 that lost all engines in a volcano ash cloud
over Indonesia was that all the cockpit windows were no longer transparent
as they had been effectively sand blasted. The only thing that allowed the
pilot to do a visual landing was that it was at night, AIUI, and he could
make out the runway lights. If it had happened during the day he would have
needed to stick his head out the window to sight the runway ...

2010\04\21@173303 by Chris McSweeny

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On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 10:11 PM, Carl Denk <.....cdenkKILLspamspam.....windstream.net> wrote:
> 2: If all engines including the ground power unit were to fail, that
> plane would be basically powerless, and with either fly by wire or power
> assisted controls, would be next to impossible to control.

As I mentioned, there are numerous examples of heavys coming in with
no power due to running out of fuel - it didn't make them impossible
to fly, though I accept and agree with your other points.

> 4: I don't think any aircraft operator would want to have his plane be
> the test victim.

On the contrary, the airlines appeared to be gagging to get up there
to prove it was possible - I can't believe Airbus would have sent up
the flight first mentioned if they weren't fairly confident. Willie
Walsh the boss of BA even flew on one of his test flights - but then
he proved himself the master of publicity and brinkmanship yesterday
with the loaded gun he had pointing at the CAA/NATS.

Chris

2010\04\21@173305 by YES NOPE9

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{Quote hidden}

I quote from
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Ash-cloud-lifts-Europe-can-fly-again/articleshow/5841767.cms
================
airline bosses were frantically adding up the cost of the crisis which  
their umbrella body said cost $400 million a day at its peak.

Millions had their travel plans affected since governments closed  
their airspace last Thursday and IATA, the body representing the  
global airline industry, put the overall cost at $1.7 billion.
===============

I imagine that 1.7 billion would be enough of an incentive to get  
someone's planes up in the air.
These decisions are best left to the airlines and their passengers.
Gus


2010\04\21@190751 by Tamas Rudnai

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On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 11:58 PM, Vitaliy <EraseMEpiclistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmaksimov.org> wrote:

> According to another source, the European air travel was not the only
> victim
> of the Eyjafjallajökull. It also paralyzed the news anchors who struggled
> to
> pronounce its name.
>

LOL! :-)


>
> Vitaliy
>
>

2010\04\21@194033 by Tamas Rudnai

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Not bad!

Wondering if any currency was weaker than the Hungarian Pengo -- with the
highest note (but yet worthless) of 100 million bill-pengo:

(that is 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo = 10^20 pengo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_pengő<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_peng%C5%91>

Tamas



On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 12:22 AM, Bob Blick <bobblickspamspam_OUTftml.net> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2010\04\21@195007 by Bob Blick

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I think 100 trillion Z$ is worth about US$0.33 but my friend who bought
a couple as souvenirs paid more than that.

But he didn't have to go all the way to Zimbabwe to get them :)


On Thu, 22 Apr 2010 00:40:32 +0100, "Tamas Rudnai" said:
{Quote hidden}

2010\04\21@200847 by Vitaliy

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flavicon
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Bob Blick wrote:
>I think 100 trillion Z$ is worth about US$0.33 but my friend who bought
> a couple as souvenirs paid more than that.
>
> But he didn't have to go all the way to Zimbabwe to get them :)

Nice. Where can I buy one? :)


2010\04\21@202158 by Russell McMahon

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> Wondering if any currency was weaker than the Hungarian Pengo -- with the
> highest note (but yet worthless) of 100 million bill-pengo:
>
> (that is 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo = 10^20 pengo)
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_pengő<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_peng%C5%91>


Any further discussion of the weaknesses of various currencies and
similar could, I'm sure, be advantageously held in OT.

I though that even "Ash" was perhaps somewhat borderline TECH but
bearable enough as long as it doesn't wander off into totally
irrelevantsia. Should anyone care :-).


 R.

2010\04\22@004229 by Sean Breheny

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On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 5:11 PM, Carl Denk <@spam@cdenkKILLspamspamwindstream.net> wrote:
>
> 2: If all engines including the ground power unit were to fail, that
> plane would be basically powerless, and with either fly by wire or power
> assisted controls, would be next to impossible to control.
>

Many, but not all, heavy jets have ram air turbines which will deploy
in a complete loss of engine power. This was the case, for example,
with the Gimli Glider, I think. These turbines provide hydraulic and
electric power for a minimal set of instruments and control surfaces.

Sean

2010\04\22@045841 by Alan B Pearce

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> Not bad!
>
> Wondering if any currency was weaker than the Hungarian Pengo -- with the
> highest note (but yet worthless) of 100 million bill-pengo:

When moving from NZ to UK in 1997, my wife and I took the Trans-Manchurian
train from Beijing to Moscow. I remember changing US$200 at the border, and
received 1 million roubles in exchange. This was after the rouble had had
its high inflation rate after Glasnost, but before they knocked a number of
zeros off the end to revalue it. Instant millionaire ... ;))

2010\04\23@043327 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> How detailed was the Airbus post-flight inspection, anyway?

Well, they said -

{Quote hidden}

I'd guess that given that these were part of a developmental program
that they didn't do anything more than flip off the engines, strip
them down completely and submit the relevant turbine surfaces to a
microscopic examination and best available same day metallurgical
analysis. Or, any less.

I think that in the context "post flight inspection" may cover quite a lot.
Note that this is Airbus per se testing new iron.
There are few official cowboy stunts in such procedures - the cost of
doing so as part of a developmental program could be immense in the
long term.



B,IMBW :-)

             Russell

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