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Thread: NTSB Investigates Delta Air Lines 777-200ER Trent 800 Engine Power Loss

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    Lightbulb NTSB Investigates Delta Air Lines 777-200ER Trent 800 Engine Power Loss

    ATW Online: Friday 19 December 2008
    US National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating an incident last month in which a Delta Air Lines 777-200ER experienced an "uncommanded engine rollback in the cruise phase of an intercontinental flight." DL Flight 18 was over Montana en route from Shanghai to Atlanta on Nov. 26 at about 12:30 p.m. MST when the incident occurred to the No. 2 engine. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 895s, the same type of engines that powered the British Airways 777 that crash landed at London Heathrow last January after it suffered a dual engine rollback on final approach (ATWOnline, Sept. 5).

    According to NTSB, the crew of the DL jet descended to 31,000 ft. whereupon "the engine recovered and responded normally thereafter" and the crew elected to continue to ATL, where the aircraft landed without further incident. NTSB said flight data recorders and other applicable data and components were retrieved from the aircraft for testing and evaluation. Senior Air Safety Investigator Bill English, who is serving as the US Accredited Representative in the Heathrow accident investigation, is the investigator in charge of the Delta incident. The UK Air Accident Investigations Branch has assigned an Accredited Representative to the Delta case and "is working closely with the NTSB to determine if there are issues common to both events."
    Let's hope the crew had been complying with the new AD requiring step-climbs on such long China flights.
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    Default Re: NTSB Investigates Delta Air Lines 777-200ER Trent 800 Engine Power Loss

    ATW Online: Friday March 13, 2009
    NTSB: Rolls needs to redesign Trent 800 component to prevent icing

    The US National Transportation Safety Board late Wednesday issued an "urgent safety recommendation" calling for Rolls-Royce to "redesign" the Trent 800's fuel/oil heat exchanger [FOHE] to prevent the fuel feed system icing that is believed to have caused both the uncommanded loss of thrust on a Delta Air Lines 777-200ER last November and the dual rollback that led to the January 2008 British Airways -200ER crash landing at London Heathrow.

    The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Board yesterday issued a second interim report on the LHR crash that details extensive testing conducted by Boeing demonstrating that the accident likely was caused by FOHE ice buildup that restricted fuel flow. "With two of these rollback events occurring within a year, we believe that there is a high probability of something similar happening again," NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker said.

    US FAA recently issued an amended airworthiness directive pertaining to Trent 800-powered 777s to incorporate new procedures recommended by Boeing to reduce the risk of fuel feed system icing (ATWOnline, March 6).

    But NTSB stated, "While the procedures may reduce the risk of a rollback in one or both engines due to FOHE ice blockage, they add complexity to flight crew operations, and the level of risk reduction is not well established. And because the recovery procedure requires a descent, the aircraft may be exposed to other risks." The board added that "the only acceptable solution to this safety vulnerability is a redesigned FOHE that would eliminate the potential of ice buildup."

    While Rolls has not commented publicly on a redesign, NTSB said that the engine manufacturer "indicated [on Feb. 23] that a redesign of the FOHE was underway, and that they anticipated the redesign to be tested, certified and ready for installation within 12 months." Rolls said in a statement issued to media that the AAIB interim report on the LHR incident "clearly states that the Rolls-Royce equipment on this flight met or exceeded all requirements. The report also highlights the emerging issue of ice buildup in commercial 'long-cold-high' routes. This is an industrywide issue which requires detailed research that is likely to shape future regulations and requirements."

    by Aaron Karp
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    Default Re: NTSB Investigates Delta Air Lines 777-200ER Trent 800 Engine Power Loss

    Air Transport Intelligence News: Wednesday 25 November 2009
    FAA snubs NTSB, ALPA requests on Rolls-Royce 777 engine ice directive
    In a final airworthiness directive (AD) to be published Friday, the FAA has rebuffed efforts by both the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to acclerate a mandated hardware fix with a 2011 deadline for Boeing 777 operators with Rolls-Royce Trent 800 turbofan engines.

    The action stems from the crash of a Rolls-Royce-powered Boeing 777 at Heathrow Airport last year in which accumulated ice in the engine's fuel-oil heat-exchanger (FOHE) is suspected of blocking fuel flow to both engines. The same phenomena likely caused a similar in-flight incident with one engine of a Delta Air Lines 777 in November of 2008.

    An interim AD issued in March of this year called on operators to follow certain operational guidelines designed to prevent ice from forming, including in-flight and ground measures.

    European regulators in July mandated that airlines close out the interim AD by equipping aircraft with a redesigned Rolls-Royce FOHE, a device that is supposed to cool the engine oil while at the same time pre-heating the incoming fuel to prevent any water present from freezing. EASA gives operators 6,000 flight hours from July or until 1 January 2011 to make the fix, whichever occurs first.

    The FAA final AD to be issued Friday gives operators the same lead time, with the clock starting in early January.

    However, ALPA and NTSB have expressed concerns over potential safety issues during the compliance period.

    In comments to the proposed rulemaking, issued in July, ALPA requested that the compliance time be set as soon as six months after the January effective date for the AD as interim procedures call for "an immediate idle descent to melt the blockage" in the case of an engine rollback.

    Union concerns include the potential for traffic conflicts during such descents in remote areas with no radar separation.

    "This engine rollback is very insidious to the crew and creates the potential for a pilot to be faced with an immediate descent without adequate time to compensate for traffic, weather, or terrain," ALPA states.

    Fearing similar incidents, NTSB had called on the FAA to mandate that at least one engine on each affected aircraft be modified with the redesigned FOHE by the end of
    December this year.

    "The NTSB believes that the January 1, 2011 compliance date for installation of the new FOHE is not consistent with the risk associated with the original FOHE design."

    The FAA rebuffed both requests however, telling the organizations that the interim operational procedures would "assure continued safe operation until hardware modifications become available".

    John Croft
    EASA AD 2009-0142 was issued 13 July 2009, effective 27 July 2009. Even if the yanks forbid compliance with EASA ADs (on a UK product), they should surely comply with Rolls-Royce Alert SB RB211-79-AG257 that contains the instructions for the FOHE replacement / modification.
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