Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

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Passenger
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Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Passenger » 22 Jun 2018, 11:05

On 12th June 2018, OO-ABB = one of Air Belgium's A340-300's encountered "a significant hydraulic leak in the blue hydraulic system", two hours after take off for their wetlease flight AF-926 CDG-LBV Paris-Libreville - a flight of just over 6 hours. Factual report from The Aviation Herald:
Incident: Air Belgium A343 enroute on Jun 12th 2018, hydraulic leak
"An Air Belgium Airbus A340-300 on behalf of Air France, registration OO-ABB performing flight AF-926 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Libreville (Gabon), was enroute at FL350 about two hours into the flight when the crew detected a leak at the blue hydraulic system. The crew continued the flight to Libreville, requested emergency services on standby for the landing and performed a safe landing on Libreville's runway 16 about 6.5 hours after departure.

Gabon's National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) opened an investigation into the occurrence. The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground in Libreville for about 19 hours, then departed for the return flight. On Jun 21st 2018 Gabon's Bureau des Incidents et Accidents d Aviation (BEIAA) reported a significant hydraulic leak occurred enroute. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the BEIAA.


Source:
http://avherald.com/h?article=4ba1463c&opt=0
There is a discussion ongoing on AvHerald.com, whether OO-ABB had to divert to the nearest airport (probably Barcelona or Marseille), to continue to end destination (thus 4 hours to go) or to return to Paris CDG (thus 2 hours to go).

Because it's a Belgian airline and because this is a forum after all, maybe some people can confirm, deny, adjust or comment on one of these posts on AvHerald?

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By Tom on Tuesday, Jun 19th 2018 20:25Z:
I don't blame anyone, but I'm a bit surprised. In aviation, you generally have a 'what if'-mindset. Before T/O you think about what if an engine fails, what would you do? Same in cruise. Because if you only start thinking when that specific thing happens it might be too late. Now in this case: You're 2 hours south of France, probably over the coast of Algeria. You have a lot of good options behind, with regard to operational and infrastructural needs. Now you lose one of your three hydraulic systems. Everything's fine. But now: What if the next system fails? With only one hydraulic system you're capable of flying, but severly degraded. It's also one of the conditions that puts you in a 'must' case with regard to emergency status.
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By Tom on Tuesday, Jun 19th 2018 20:28Z
Every airline has its own standards. In my company, a leading European carrier, these guys would have definitely met the fleet chief. And not for him to say 'Thank you'.
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By Jason H on Wednesday, Jun 20th 2018 02:09Z
This is not a problem. There was no risk of a cascading failure. The major problem from a company POV was whether the technicians were available at arrival to fix the problem. No reason to dump $400k worth of fuel all over Europe, divert and inconvenience the customers to tighten a hose pipe. Let alone worry about the customs issues with 250 pax sitting in transit for 19 hours.
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By Sam Coat on Wednesday, Jun 20th 2018 02:16Z
I understand your point, but it is only one of any number of perfectly acceptable decisions. Moreso given our limited knowledge. Loss of one of the three systems while indeed a nuisance doesn’t constitute a land at nearest suitable airport for the A340 I believe. A leak less so. Air Belgium is also a new carrier may place a lot of importance on completing a flight.
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By Cpt Crunch on Wednesday, Jun 20th 2018 09:36Z
I wonder why they continued. It´s perfectly safe to continue on 2 HYD systems, don´t get me wrong, but the aircraft is grounded after landing with one HYD system less. For the way back to your homebase ok, but here: Why didn´t they turn around?
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Poiu
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Poiu » 22 Jun 2018, 11:49

No problem at all to continue from a safety point of view. Loss of blue hydraulic is a non event on an A340.
Divert to the nearest airport would have been useless.
In cases like this pilots often contact operations/maintenance (AB and or AF in this case) to ask where they prefer the aircraft to land in order to have it fixed as soon as possible.
In short a non event which doesn’t need a topic unless the OP has a hidden agenda.
Last edited by Poiu on 22 Jun 2018, 12:20, edited 1 time in total.

Desert Rat
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Desert Rat » 22 Jun 2018, 12:04

Continue...

ECAM action for HYD B ENG 2 PUMP LO PR is: BLUE ENG 2 PUMP.......................OFF

End of the story, they probably discussed with their MCC or AF MCC and were advise to continue...
The outstation or even the fly-away kit includes a couple of O-rings and flexible house...if you are lucky enough you have what you need to fix the leak. If you need a pipe or a permaswage kit, or any non basic...you are AOG.
Therefore ABB did the right thing with the information they had at that given time.

Passenger
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Passenger » 22 Jun 2018, 12:39

Poiu wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 11:49
In short a non event which doesn’t need a topic unless the OP has a hidden agenda.
Oh boy. A hidden agenda: are you serious??? No sir: contrary to you, I'm not qualified at all on technical issues. But I can read what specialists write: "...On Jun 21st 2018 Gabon's Bureau des Incidents et Accidents d Aviation (BEIAA) reported a significant hydraulic leak occurred enroute. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the BEIAA..."

Furthermore, I've read that one cannot take off without the blue system. So they knew that the aircraft would be AOG after landing. Thus at Libreville. Wouldn't it then have been safer to return to Paris, and make the aircraft AOG there?

Bracebrace
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Bracebrace » 22 Jun 2018, 14:36

The "specialists" write "a significant hydraulic leak on the blue system". Which means 2 systems are functioning normally.

Not familiar with the Airbus, but I presume it's the same as on Boeing where "one single hydraulic system remaining" would lead to a requirement to land. The aircraft is still "flyable" on a single hydraulic system. As long as Airbus books don't tell you to land, it becomes a pure operational discussion to continue/divert/return. If there is some kind of maintenance possibility at your destination, it usually means you continue.

The occurence is rated a serious incident because that is how regulatory offices work. The pilots are required to write reports, the report then triggers the investigation.

Poiu
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Poiu » 22 Jun 2018, 14:42

Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 12:39

Furthermore, I've read that one cannot take off without the blue system. So they knew that the aircraft would be AOG after landing. Thus at Libreville. Wouldn't it then have been safer to return to Paris, and make the aircraft AOG there?
Safer, not at all as explained THREE times above!
Maybe Air France preferred the passengers in LBV instead of Paris, even if there was a risk of cancelling the return flight.
Last edited by Poiu on 22 Jun 2018, 14:50, edited 1 time in total.

Poiu
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Poiu » 22 Jun 2018, 14:49

Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 12:39
I can read what specialists write: "...On Jun 21st 2018 Gabon's Bureau des Incidents et Accidents d Aviation (BEIAA) reported a significant hydraulic leak occurred enroute. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the BEIAA..."
Yeah, like the local newspaper which published a crash was narrowly avoided because the aircraft didn’t take off.. :lol:
Topic closed for me.

Passenger
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Passenger » 22 Jun 2018, 15:18

Poiu wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 14:49
Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 12:39
I can read what specialists write: "...On Jun 21st 2018 Gabon's Bureau des Incidents et Accidents d Aviation (BEIAA) reported a significant hydraulic leak occurred enroute. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the BEIAA..."
Yeah, like the local newspaper which published a crash was narrowly avoided because the aircraft didn’t take off.
Wrong (again). You are referring to their first technical problem in Libreville: on 2nd June, no take off, technical issue resulting in AOG. And the newspaper you are referring to, did not use the word "crash", only "grave incident technique" / serious technical failure. The reason why there was coverage, is because the passengers were angry about the way they were treated:
https://www.africapostnews.com/gabon-un ... lle-paris/

sean1982
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by sean1982 » 22 Jun 2018, 17:13

Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 15:18
Poiu wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 14:49
Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 12:39
I can read what specialists write: "...On Jun 21st 2018 Gabon's Bureau des Incidents et Accidents d Aviation (BEIAA) reported a significant hydraulic leak occurred enroute. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the BEIAA..."
Yeah, like the local newspaper which published a crash was narrowly avoided because the aircraft didn’t take off.
Wrong (again). You are referring to their first technical problem in Libreville: on 2nd June, no take off, technical issue resulting in AOG. And the newspaper you are referring to, did not use the word "crash", only "grave incident technique" / serious technical failure. The reason why there was coverage, is because the passengers were angry about the way they were treated:
https://www.africapostnews.com/gabon-un ... lle-paris/
Why is this topic still here with one person arguing he's right versus opposite opinions? How does this contribute to the forum?

Passenger
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Passenger » 22 Jun 2018, 17:25

sean1982 wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 17:13
Why is this topic still here with one person arguing he's right versus opposite opinions? How does this contribute to the forum?
I didn't say that I'm right. I only refer to some posts on AvHerald, where people wrote that the crew should have returned - whilst others say it was fine to continue. Even when that would mean they would be AOG at Libreville.

By the way: someone told me that OO-NEY = an ASL Embraer Legacy flew from LGG to Libreville on the day that OO-ABB was AOG there. Someone here to confirm?

Omychron
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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by Omychron » 22 Jun 2018, 18:00

Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 17:25
I didn't say that I'm right. I only refer to some posts on AvHerald, where people wrote that the crew should have returned - whilst others say it was fine to continue. Even when that would mean they would be AOG at Libreville.

By the way: someone told me that OO-NEY = an ASL Embraer Legacy flew from LGG to Libreville on the day that OO-ABB was AOG there. Someone here to confirm?
Yet you keep trying to "revive" your point, with plenty of expertise telling you the same: A blue hydraulic failure, no matter "the size of the leak" (a leak is a leak, we have no way of knowing in the cockpit) is not necessarily a reason to divert.
What IS a reason is the fact that, once landed, the aircraft is AOG until repaired. Seeing as the AB pilots continued their flight, it's safe to assume their operations considered it better to continue to destination, so they did.
Passenger wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 12:39
Furthermore, I've read that one cannot take off without the blue system. So they knew that the aircraft would be AOG after landing. Thus at Libreville. Wouldn't it then have been safer to return to Paris, and make the aircraft AOG there?
How is it safer? Read into the A340 checklists, and you'll see there are no diversion requirements stated there with a blue system inop.
Unless another system fails (unlikely, but must be considered) there are almost no consequences, as basically every major hydraulic consumer on the aircraft has 2 or 3 different hydraulic sources for redundancy.

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Re: Loss of blue hydraulic system enroute on A340-300: divert, return or continue?

Post by KriVa » 22 Jun 2018, 18:44

I don’t think there’s much more useful to be said about this. The question has been answered, thanks to the expertise from different pilots.
Let’s call it a day, shall we?
Thomas

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