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Author Topic: American Airlines 1236 loses right engine after take off at KSNA  (Read 22655 times)
ed3004
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« on: February 21, 2009, 10:28:52 AM »

Hi, this happened last week, Feb-15-09. I'm surprised it didn't get much attention. You can hear the adrenaline pumping on this one. I edited the clip some. Between :38 and 3:52 I left it alone so you can hear it in real time and because the scanner jumps around and picks up partial transmissions. I also found a flight map from from fboweb.com and a log from flightaware.com. I searched the KLAX archive in the appropriate place but couldn't hear any mention of the flight. It's interesting that he decided to go all the way to LAX when he could have returned to the airport, gone to Long Beach Airport or even MCAS El Toro (even though it's closed).

Here's something a passenger posted and what some eye witnesses said:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-aadvantage/923224-engine-blow-out-after-take-off.html

* KSNA-AA1236-FEB-15-2009-2300Z.mp3 (4358.38 KB - downloaded 6404 times.)

* Flight 1236 map.jpg (454.36 KB, 1278x971 - viewed 527 times.)

* AA1236 log.jpg (111.26 KB, 583x462 - viewed 298 times.)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 10:31:11 AM by ed3004 » Logged
tyketto
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 02:18:41 PM »

Easy answer on why they went to LAX. They have a full maintenance crew there, where they wouldn't have one at SNA or LGB. The marines wouldn't let them into the MCAS, closed or open; even if they did, they'd have to keep passengers on the plane while they fix the engine, with the windows shut. There was an incident where a SWA jet landed at KLSV for some reason. they had to keep the passengers on the plane with windows shut to keep the AFB ops a secret.

But if something major happened like that, AAL is heading to LAX.

BL.
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cessna157
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 03:02:50 PM »

Interesting find.

Just to clarify one thing though.  The previous post is absolutely correct in saying the crew did good in diverting to LAX due to better maintenance capabilities.  But there is another item in play here.  While an engine failure is treated as an emergency, there is no imminent danger, so a quick return to landing is not necessary.  There are quite a few checklists that would have to be followed to secure the engine (no restart would be tried in this case) and continue single engine flight.

What I don't understand is it is the same voice (the First Officer) on the radio the entire time.  Normally, during an emergency, the Pilot Flying takes the radio, which appears to be the case.  But at the very beginning during the initial climb, it is still the F/Os voice.  I just find it hard to believe that they would have jumped into the QRH so quickly.  But hey, what do I know?
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ed3004
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 05:34:53 PM »

At the end you hear someone asking if there was a bird strike. It seems that nowadays that's the first thing that comes to mind when something like this happens. For those of you who fly, has your perception of birds as a hazard changed a great deal? After the flight 1549 accident I think we're all starting to develop bird phobia. Anybody return your pet bird to the pet store yet? wink
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Fryy
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 07:44:17 PM »

Last summer my CFI was with a student on final and had a hawk fly straight through the windscreen on one of the 152's. Smacked him right in the face and flopped around in the back. They landed uneventfully. Not long before that another CFI and student had a bird come through the windscreen and ended up losing lift due to the drag and ended up landing in a tomato field. Since then im always a little more cautious when I see birds...
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aviator_06
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 10:28:23 PM »

I went on that forum and some of the eyewitness reports are pretty comical.  lol
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fholbert
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 01:45:26 AM »

keep passengers on the plane while they fix the engine, with the windows shut.

I hate it when the airlines make me keep the window closed!

Frank Holbert
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Frank Holbert
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iskyfly
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 11:19:22 AM »

He did not lose the engine. Engine experienced compressor stalls so they reduced power.
Dont think it was shut down.
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gina54
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 05:35:44 PM »

I was on this flight and still a bit shaken up about it.  I just joined this forum after finding it in a search.  Any chance someone can send me this file?  I am going to try and download now but my itunes is down for some reason.

Thanks so much!
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iskyfly
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 06:49:04 PM »

http://www.airdisaster.info/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2093#p27275

Quote

Quote
Sec. 121.565

Engine inoperative: Landing; reporting.

[ (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, whenever an airplane engine fails or whenever an engine is shutdown to prevent
possible damage, the pilot in command must land the airplane at the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, at which a safe landing can be made.

snip.....

(d) If the pilot in command lands at an airport other than the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, he or she shall (upon completing the trip) send a written report, in duplicate, to his or her director of operations stating the reasons for determining that the selection of an airport, other than the nearest airport, was as safe a course of action as landing at the nearest suitable airport. The director of operations shall, within 10 days after the pilot returns to his or her home base, send a copy of this report with the director of operation's comments to the certificate-holding district office.
Behold FAR 121.565. So saith the FAA, so shall it be!!

I have highlighted three very important parts. The first is 'Suitable' airport. Not every piece of asphalt is suitable for a fairly heavy 757. KSNA with it's 5700 ft runway and nearby high ground may not be suitable for an aircraft dealing with an emergency.

The next key phrase is 'point of time'. Not the nearest airport distance wise, but the nearest airport in point of time. You may have an engine failure at FL370 right over the top of KDFW, but by the time you descend and are ready to land, KIAH may be the more logical option. When you have an engine failure, assuming you aren't on fire and need to land immediately, there are checklists to accomplish, dispatchers and ATC to coordinate with, single engine landing briefs to be discussed, and F/A and Pax announcements that need to be made. This takes time. Even if they wanted to land at KSNA, they would have had to take a lot of vectors or hold somewhere just to do all the busywork.

The last phrase is 'safe landing' which is fairly self explanatory. Is a safe landing easier to accomplish at LAX compared to KSNA....I think that's a fairly easy argument to make. Most of my trips start out of KLGA. Returning there in the event of an engine failure is not a sure thing and in many cases, my takeoff brief will include an alternate plan to head straight to JFK. Washington National is another where the brief generally includes a plan to go straight to Dulles. I have no desire to try and land on a short runway while attempting to remain outside of P56 and dealing with an emergency.

As para (d) states, this crew may have to explain their choice (they're going to have to file a lot of reports anyway). It's an argument that they are going to win with ease.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 06:52:40 PM by iskyfly » Logged
Switch Monkey
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 11:02:25 PM »

Easy answer on why they went to LAX. They have a full maintenance crew there, where they wouldn't have one at SNA or LGB. The marines wouldn't let them into the MCAS, closed or open; even if they did, they'd have to keep passengers on the plane while they fix the engine, with the windows shut. There was an incident where a SWA jet landed at KLSV for some reason. they had to keep the passengers on the plane with windows shut to keep the AFB ops a secret.

But if something major happened like that, AAL is heading to LAX.

BL.


I'm sure the flight crew had a reason other than LAX is a maintenance base, as to why they decided to go to LAX. During a single engine emergency you are REQUIRED to land at the NEAREST SUITABLE airport. As a PIC you base your decision of what is suitable on many factors such as: runway length, crash fire rescue availability, terrain, winds, available instrument approaches and etc. If you chose an airport that is a further distance from another suitable airport you had better be able to explain to the FAA why you chose it. If you answer is "because we have MX there" be prepared to lose your certificate. If I'm in a single engine emergency I could care less if it will be an inconvenience to my passengers or my company having  hang a new engine on the plane at an outstation or even an airport that isn't even served by my airline, to include an top secret airforce base. The PIC's primary duty is to safeguard the lives of all soles on that plane.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 02:33:34 PM by Switch Monkey » Logged
iskyfly
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 10:08:10 AM »



I'm sure the flight crew had a reason other than LAX is a maintains base, as to why they decided to go to LAX. During a single engine emergency you are REQUIRED to land at the NEAREST SUITABLE airport. As a PIC you base your decision of what is suitable on many factors such as: runway length, crash fire rescue availability, terrain, winds, available instrument approaches and etc. If you chose an airport that is a further distance from another suitable airport you had better be able to explain to the FAA why you chose it. If you answer is "because we have MX there" be prepared to lose your certificate. If I'm in a single engine emergency I could care less if it will be an inconvenience to my passengers or my company having  hang a new engine on the plane at an outstation or even an airport that isn't even served by my airline, to include an top secret airforce base. The PIC's primary duty is to safeguard the lives of all soles on that plane.

ahmmmm.... see the post before yours....
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Switch Monkey
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 02:35:29 PM »




I'm sure the flight crew had a reason other than LAX is a maintains base, as to why they decided to go to LAX. During a single engine emergency you are REQUIRED to land at the NEAREST SUITABLE airport. As a PIC you base your decision of what is suitable on many factors such as: runway length, crash fire rescue availability, terrain, winds, available instrument approaches and etc. If you chose an airport that is a further distance from another suitable airport you had better be able to explain to the FAA why you chose it. If you answer is "because we have MX there" be prepared to lose your certificate. If I'm in a single engine emergency I could care less if it will be an inconvenience to my passengers or my company having  hang a new engine on the plane at an outstation or even an airport that isn't even served by my airline, to include an top secret airforce base. The PIC's primary duty is to safeguard the lives of all soles on that plane.

ahmmmm.... see the post before yours....

ahmmmm.... ok you win. Thank's for pointing out my oversight.
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bakeua
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 02:42:04 PM »

I would think runway length would be the major consideration in this case.  Why bother making a single engine approach onto a 5700ft runway in SNA when you have runways twice that length only minutes away at LAX?  When you add the fact that LAX would have many more resources available, I'd bet the crew didn't have to labor to long on the decision to head straight for LAX.
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iskyfly
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 04:43:26 PM »

When you add the fact that LAX would have many more resources available, I'd bet the crew didn't have to labor to long on the decision to head straight for LAX.
I agree. I would also venture to say that departure briefing between the pilots discussed such a contingency.
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joeyb747
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2009, 08:23:07 PM »

When you add the fact that LAX would have many more resources available, I'd bet the crew didn't have to labor to long on the decision to head straight for LAX.
I agree. I would also venture to say that departure briefing between the pilots discussed such a contingency.


If I'm correct on this, I think it's called a Departure Alternate. It is required on any filed flightplan. It's the same idea as a Arrival Alternate. If you have an issue on takeoff/climbout, and cannot return to the origin airport, you need somewhere else to go that can handle that particular aircraft. When I dispatched at Zantop many moons ago, we would use KDTW or KTOL as Departure Alternates for out flights (Lockheed L-188C Electras and Douglas DC-8-54s) departing KYIP. KLAX may have been that flights Departure Alternate. That only applies to takeoff/climbout phase of the flight. Once at cruise, and you have an issue, you just need to find the nearest suitable airfield based on point of time, as iflysky posted.

If I am incorrect on any of this, please correct me! It's been a while since i pushed flight plans across a desk!!  grin
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Jason
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2009, 08:27:13 PM »

If I'm correct on this, I think it's called a Departure Alternate. It is required on any filed flightplan. It's the same idea as a Arrival Alternate.

For 121 ops, it's only required if the weather conditions at the airport of takeoff are below landing minimums for the certificate holder's OpsSpecs for that airport.

Quote
§ 121.617  Alternate airport for departure.

(a) If the weather conditions at the airport of takeoff are below the landing minimums in the certificate holder's operations specifications for that airport, no person may dispatch or release an aircraft from that airport unless the dispatch or flight release specifies an alternate airport located within the following distances from the airport of takeoff:

(1) Aircraft having two engines. Not more than one hour from the departure airport at normal cruising speed in still air with one engine inoperative.

(2) Aircraft having three or more engines. Not more than two hours from the departure airport at normal cruising speed in still air with one engine inoperative.

(b) For the purpose of paragraph (a) of this section, the alternate airport weather conditions must meet the requirements of the certificate holder's operations specifications.

(c) No person may dispatch or release an aircraft from an airport unless he lists each required alternate airport in the dispatch or flight release.
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joeyb747
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2009, 08:28:51 PM »

Thanks Jason...like I said it's been a while...

And Michigan Winters, that was like six months out of the year!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 08:32:03 PM by joeyb747 » Logged

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cessna157
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2009, 08:33:53 PM »

Well, you're close.  You've got the concept anyway.

Legally, for a 121 flight, a departure alternate must be listed on the release (it is not on the filed flight plan) if, at the time of your departure, the weather is such that a return to landing is impossible due to weather being below minimums.  For example, lets say you are departing 18C at CVG with an RVR of 800-800-800.  The approaches into CVG are all down to 1800 or 2400 RVR (CAT-II minimums cannot be used in this case, I think).  Therefore you must have a departure alternate listed.  The alternate must be within 1 hour flight time with 1 engine inoperative.

The return to landing is briefed in every departure.  Weather/field conditions/local concerns are brought into this decision.  It also depends on the type of emergency.  In a quick return (smoke/fire in the cabin, aircraft uncontrollable) it will usually just be a lap traffic pattern.  In a standard emergency (engine failure) there is a lot of time needed for checklist preparations.

Let me use an example that we frequently briefed:
Departing out of LGA, our departure brief would always include a return to JFK, never to LGA, due to the terrain around LGA (water) and short runways, compared to the longer runways, better more options for passengers, and our maintenance base there.
Another example (to use the checklist time issue):
Departing out of DAY or LEX, the brief would include a quick return to DAY, or else a diversion to CVG, since that is where we are based, we know the land, better maintenance, better passenger handling options, and it is only a 15 minute flight
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Jason
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2009, 08:37:25 PM »

Thanks Jason...like I said it's been a while...

And Michigan Winters, that was like six months out of the year!

No worries.  It's also good to note that under 135, if the departure airport is at/above takeoff mins, but below landing mins, you have to have an alternate within 1 hour of flying time at normal cruise in still air from the departure airport (§ 135.217) which is what I normally have to deal with at work.
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joeyb747
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2009, 08:39:56 PM »

The grey cloud in my head is starting to clear! Thanks for cleaning up my mess Jason and cessna157!  grin

It's all coming back to me now...it's been about ten yrs since I was that familiar with opps regs! Thanks again.
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iskyfly
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2009, 09:02:22 AM »


Another example (to use the checklist time issue):
Departing out of DAY or LEX, the brief would include a quick return to DAY, or else a diversion to CVG, since that is where we are based, we know the land, better maintenance, better passenger handling options, and it is only a 15 minute flight
Another example- departing DCA, divert to IAD. You dont want to be fooling around near the White House no fly airspace.
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joeyb747
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2009, 09:40:45 AM »

I do love the river approach into KDCA RNWY 18. Great views!
(Not related to our topic, but I just thought I'd share that! grin)
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cessna157
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2009, 11:49:30 AM »

I do love the river approach into KDCA RNWY 18.

Ahem <cough><cough> 19
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joeyb747
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2009, 11:57:46 AM »

My mistake...forgot they changed it... wink
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