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Author Topic: DAL2219 Compressor Stall/Engine Failure  (Read 21230 times)
RonR
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« on: November 07, 2013, 09:47:46 PM »

At around 12:44 local time today, DAL2219 experienced a compressor stall/engine failure on takeoff from KLGA.  The aircraft was an MD-88 enroute to KMSP.  The flight diverted to KJFK.  The attached audio picks up the flight on KLGA departure 120.4 being given clearance to KJFK.  Unfortunately, there is nothing available before this point on the KLGA tower feed.  The KLGA tower feed was locked on the KLGA ground frequency at the time (and still is).

Ron
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sonnycol
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 12:19:27 PM »

The audio reflects high concentration and focus on the part of the crew... tight  professionalism, right stuff. Reflects well on them and the company.

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RonR
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 12:33:38 PM »

I agree, they were very calm...almost like losing one of your two engines on takeoff wasn't such a big deal.  I'm just glad it all turned out OK. 

I'll bet it made one helluva noise in the cabin when that compressor stall/failure occurred...considering those engines are mounted on the fuselage, those passengers in the back probably had to change some of their clothes after they landed...
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Djr
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 03:53:41 PM »

I was on board Delta 2219

The engine that failed was the left engine. Immediately after takeoff, there were a few sputters from the engine (loud and disturbing) that brought back feelings of a bad carburetor in my 56 Dodge. The plane actually felt like there was not enough thrust to keep climbing because of the loss of power.

The pilot came on the cabin intercom and very calmly said there was a compressor failure in the left engine (nothing about complete engine failure) and we were going to land at JFK. Later on, he came back on to inform us about seeing emergency vehicles on the ground when we land and not to worry as that was just precautionary.

What is not known is that when we initially left the gate at LGA, the right engine would not start. The plane then taxied back to the gate where the maintenance personnel had to manually open some kind of valve in order to start the right engine. Needless to say, there was some trepidation by the crowd in the cabin about even taking off with this aircraft.

I do have to compliment the entire crew for their professional approach and very calm demeanor in handling what must have been a very stressful episode for them.


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RonR
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2013, 05:41:36 PM »

Hey Djr, thanks for sharing that.

If you listened to the recording I posted you would have noticed that your flight didn't proceed directly to JFK.  The pilots spent a few minutes going through checklists and then proceeded to JFK.  So, clearly it wasn't a "we-have-to-land-now" situation.  The MD-88 is very capable of flying on one engine.  Nevertheless, the sounds from the left engine must have certainly raised the anxiety levels especially considering that the right engine also had issues...

Did you continue on in that aircraft?  Or did Delta replace it with another plane?

I remember hearing what I think was a compressor stall once while sitting in a terminal.  The plane had just started its takeoff roll.  If I remember right (it was many years ago) there was a bright flash followed by an immensely loud bang.  And if I'm not mistaken, the plane taxied off the runway, went back to the end of the runway and took off again.  I could be wrong about that part...like I said it was a long time ago...

I'm glad everything turned out OK.

Ron
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Djr
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2013, 06:51:31 PM »

Delta replaced the aircraft with another that came from Orlando.

We were originally scheduled to arrive in Minneapolis at 1:44 pm

We actually arrived at 9:00pm

By the way, my wife reminded me that there were actually 4 loud bangs in the span of about 30 seconds. We were in the front of the aircraft and we thought it was pretty bad. Some of the people who were in the back noted that it was really scary.

I was surprised that the incident was never reported in any any media. Makes me thinks that there must be many of these incidents that never get publicized.

Djr
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StuSEL
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2013, 09:43:48 PM »

What is not known is that when we initially left the gate at LGA, the right engine would not start. The plane then taxied back to the gate where the maintenance personnel had to manually open some kind of valve in order to start the right engine. Needless to say, there was some trepidation by the crowd in the cabin about even taking off with this aircraft.
This occasionally happens on a few different types of jets that have rear-mounted engines. I worked at DTW last summer and witnessed it a few times, once on a CRJ and another time on an MD88. Basically a valve that opens to allow air to mix with fuel and ignite can get stuck. They're not required in flight, but they are needed to start an aircraft on the ground. What you are describing is the typical procedure for a stuck valve and likely had nothing to do with the compressor issue on the other engine. Nevertheless it is a strange thing to see a guy standing there with a rod holding open the valve while they start the engine. It is safe, though.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 01:03:18 PM »

here is the article from the Aviation Herald

http://avherald.com/h?article=46b52d22&opt=0
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andrew123
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 01:36:11 PM »

This occasionally happens on a few different types of jets that have rear-mounted engines. I worked at DTW last summer and witnessed it a few times, once on a CRJ and another time on an MD88. Basically a valve that opens to allow air to mix with fuel and ignite can get stuck. They're not required in flight, but they are needed to start an aircraft on the ground. What you are describing is the typical procedure for a stuck valve and likely had nothing to do with the compressor issue on the other engine. Nevertheless it is a strange thing to see a guy standing there with a rod holding open the valve while they start the engine. It is safe, though.

StuSEL, allow me to correct your explanation re the "stuck valve", since yours is not accurate.  Turbine engines must be spinning to operate.  Large turbofans on jets are not started with an electric starter motor like would be on a car (due to weight concerns, among others).  Instead, to start them spinning from a standstill on the ground an air-driven starter motor is built in to the engine.  The air to drive the starter can be supplied by what is known as "bleed air" from either the other already running engine or from the APU, a small turbine engine that generates electricity and bleed air (and, itself is started with an electric starter; it's small enough for an electric starter to be reasonable).  If there's something wrong with the start system like a stuck valve, start air can be supplied from an air compressor connected to the engine from the ground with a hose.  THIS is likely what needed to happen.  You're entirely right that in flight this is not a problem, though, because in air the airplane's forward motion causes the blades in the turbine engine to turn themselves whether or no the engine is running, thus no need to start the turning if for some freak reason the engine flames out.  Flame outs are exceedingly rare, however. 
So, yeah, has absolutely nothing to do with a mix of air and fuel.  Could be a stuck start valve that allows bleed air into the air driven starter.  Just clarifying for ya!
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StuSEL
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 03:17:00 PM »

The basic idea is to allow air to flow into the engine, so that's what I was getting at with my explanation. Eventually it does combust, but I skipped the steps leading up to it.

Quote from: andrew123
If there's something wrong with the start system like a stuck valve, start air can be supplied from an air compressor connected to the engine from the ground with a hose.  THIS is likely what needed to happen.
They didn't need to do this if maintenance was around to hold the valve open. I've seen it several times from my work at DTW.
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2013, 11:30:38 PM »

I've been flying as a pilot since 85, as the name implies. And a lot of flying as a passenger.
The only compressor stall I ever witnessed in person was in 1996 on a flight from ORD to PDX. United if I recall. And I cannot exactly tell you the Aircraft, but I believe it was a 727.

We took the active, Pilot spooled up the engines, we started to roll. Approximately 10 seconds into the takeoff we experienced what I would classify as a violent compressor stall. It shook the entire aircraft. Most of the passengers were terrified.  To a novice, you would have thought one of the engines exploded.  It was actually much more violent than I would have expected. The Pilot immediately aborted takeoff.

Nothing was said. we turned around, taxied back to the ramp, then back to the Runway. Without the Pilot nor the crew saying anything. The Passenger Cabin was ripe with fear, unfortunately. The pilots spooled up, with brakes on for about 30 seconds. No compressor stall, so he applied full power, and began his takeoff roll. Again, about 8 to 10 seconds into the takeoff, another violent compressor stall.  Takeoff again aborted.
The Cabin was now verging in hysteria.  I started talking very loudly so many could hear that we were experiencing Compressor Stalls (Engine BackFires to the Layman), and that it was unusual for the Pilot to not say anything, but there was nothing to worry about. They were not all that uncommon on this type of aircraft.  I don't think it helped much, but I had to try.

We then taxied to a hanger. Without deplaning.  They simply opened up the aircraft both front and back (it was June in Chicago) and we sat there for over an hour while the mechanics worked on the engine in question. The Pilot finally came on the cabin ntercom and explained there was obviously an issue with one Engine, the mechanics were looking into it, and we'd be on our way shortly.

After about 90 minutes, they buttoned up the aircraft, we took the active, and departed for PDX. No issue. But most on board were in terror for the entire flight.  It was white-knuckle all the way to PDX for most. And it was the first time I ever heard applause when we arrived at the destination airport on any Domestic flight.

There is more to this bizarre story, but I will save you the side-bars.  Suffice it to say, it was a very odd circumstance.  I'm sure that today, passengers would not sit still in silence during such violent "Booms" during takeoff.

Since then, nothing.  Not one compressor stall in thousands and thousands of hours of flying.  I guess by getting two of them in a row, I filled my quota.  cheesy
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RonR
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2013, 09:36:51 AM »

Wow, I can't believe the crew didn't say a word to you.  As one of my coworkers always says, "That ain't right!".  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I witnessed one while sitting in a terminal but in all my years of flying domestically and to Asia, Europe, etc. in all different types of aircraft, I was never aboard one when it happened.

I'm really surprised that the flight crew didn't explain the situation to you at all, especially after the second event...

Ron
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