RTO for AC859 @ LHR


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Air Canada flight aborts takeoff at Heathrow

Aug 12, 2011 - CBC News

A Toronto-bound Air Canada flight was forced to abort taking off at London's Heathrow Airport due to a technical problem.

Air Canada said the pilot on Flight AC859 "rejected" takeoff Friday after a warning light on the Boeing 767 came on while the plane was travelling about 140 km/h.

A passenger told CBC News the plane was going "full throttle" and appeared ready to take off when it abruptly "screeched to a halt."

She said fire trucks raced out to the plane and police officers came on board.

Passengers were asked to get off the plane and are being put up in hotels. The flight has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. local time Saturday.

An Air Canada spokesperson said rejecting a takeoff is "quite rare."

There were 210 people on board the aircraft when the problem occurred.

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Glad everyone is safe. Hope nobody here starts second guessing what happened!!

I'm not going to start anything, although I did get a laugh from the passenger's comment that the plane was going "full throttle"! Nothing like expert commentary to fill in the blanks, eh?

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You have to admit that the acceleration of an airplane on takeoff, when combined with the engine sounds, is pretty aggressive for your typical passenger. Most of their cars wouldn't do that - even at full throttle.

Edited by J.O.
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I'm not going to start anything, although I did get a laugh from the passenger's comment that the plane was going "full throttle"! Nothing like expert commentary to fill in the blanks, eh?

That's an interesting comment. Obviously, you don't know anything...not a thing...about the passenger quoted; his/her accomplishments (or failures) and yet, you find it humorous that this individual uses language that is "inappropriate" in aviation terms. That's a particularly narrow perspective, isn't it?

Pause---I know from your various posts that you're a reasonable and articulate individual.

Moving on....isn't the "art" of communication the ability to convey in words the meaning intended so as to be understood by the most listeners? The words "full throttle" convey the notion of speed; the aircraft had NOT just begun its roll. The speaker intended to convey and did convey (to most) that the aircraft was "really moving".

Seeker...how would you word the sentence so as to convey to the greatest number the fact that the aircraft was very near V1?

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That's an interesting comment. Obviously, you don't know anything...not a thing...about the passenger quoted; his/her accomplishments (or failures) and yet, you find it humorous that this individual uses language that is "inappropriate" in aviation terms. That's a particularly narrow perspective, isn't it?

Pause---I know from your various posts that you're a reasonable and articulate individual.

Moving on....isn't the "art" of communication the ability to convey in words the meaning intended so as to be understood by the most listeners? The words "full throttle" convey the notion of speed; the aircraft had NOT just begun its roll. The speaker intended to convey and did convey (to most) that the aircraft was "really moving".

Seeker...how would you word the sentence so as to convey to the greatest number the fact that the aircraft was very near V1?

Sorry Upper Deck, I wasn't clear - my criticism is for the CBC, not the passenger. The standard modus operandi for the news crew is to stand by the baggage carousel and stick their microphone in each passengers face looking for someone who will blurt out something about the airplane being "upside down" or about the "severe" turbulence (which in reality may have been light or moderate). The passengers don't know better and that's OK but CBC should know enough to put some detail and context to the story. The sole fact we did get - that the reject happened at 140 km/hr - is left hanging without being explained. That speed equates to 75 knots (which is probably about halfway to V1, not "very near V1"). What the CBC should have done with that bit of information was explain to their readers that the airplane had accelerated about half way to it's takeoff speed rather than printing breathless comments from the passengers. They could even have used some ink to print a little graphic of this or maybe to explain that fire crews respond to every reject rather than implying that it was because of some specific need that they were sent. Or if they couldn't be bothered to do any of that they could have merely said that the aircraft was at "half throttle". This is still wrong but it explains the situation more accurately.

Thanks for the compliment BTW. sleep.gif

Edited by seeker
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Whoa! Why not focus on the story? It's almost a non-event. 140 km/hr = 75.6 knots. This was in the "low speed reject" range. Most SOP's I was exposed to for that type of aircraft suggested an RTO was acceptable for any reason, as opposed to an RTO in the "high speed" range, i.e. >80 and <V1 where it was advisable to reject only for certain major events (engine failure, fire, structural issue).

The real story here is, as Seeker suggests, the reporter's preying on uninformed and unknowing comments of anyone who'll open their mouth to the press in such a situation.

CanadaEh, you nailed it! :icon_pray:

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Sorry Upper Deck, I wasn't clear - my criticism is for the CBC, not the passenger. The standard modus operandi for the news crew is to stand by the baggage carousel and stick their microphone in each passengers face looking for someone who will blurt out something about the airplane being "upside down" or about the "severe" turbulence (which in reality may have been light or moderate). The passengers don't know better and that's OK but CBC should know enough to put some detail and context to the story. The sole fact we did get - that the reject happened at 140 km/hr - is left hanging without being explained. That speed equates to 75 knots (which is probably about halfway to V1, not "very near V1"). What the CBC should have done with that bit of information was explain to their readers that the airplane had accelerated about half way to it's takeoff speed rather than printing breathless comments from the passengers. They could even have used some ink to print a little graphic of this or maybe to explain that fire crews respond to every reject rather than implying that it was because of some specific need that they were sent. Or if they couldn't be bothered to do any of that they could have merely said that the aircraft was at "half throttle". This is still wrong but it explains the situation more accurately.

Thanks for the compliment BTW. sleep.gif

Other than taking a shot at the CBC I miss the point.

Heres the story:

A Toronto-bound Air Canada flight was forced to abort taking off at London's Heathrow Airport due to a technical problem.

Air Canada said the pilot on Flight AC859 "rejected" takeoff Friday after a warning light on the Boeing 767 came on while the plane was travelling about 140 km/h.

A passenger told CBC News the plane was going "full throttle" and appeared ready to take off when it abruptly "screeched to a halt."

She said fire trucks raced out to the plane and police officers came on board.

Passengers were asked to get off the plane and are being put up in hotels. The flight has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. local time Saturday.

An Air Canada spokesperson said rejecting a takeoff is "quite rare."

There were 210 people on board the aircraft when the problem occurred.

Ok it's a non event that was only news because it involved a Canadian reg aircraft.

2) The passenger who spoke to CBC news made light of the situation and put it in an understated fashion, so it was included in the story, why? Because it humanizes the experience.

3) It would be nice to be able to put a mic in the face of the passengers all the time, but now most people e-mail or Tweet their experience, so finding them for an interview is a whole lot easier.

4) An Air Canada spokesman said the incidents are quite rare ( something well known on this forum ) There's the balance to the story.

The rest was straight fact. They said it happened, they said why it happened, they had the companies side, and a funny aside from a passenger. In this case, the CBC did their jobs.

Edited by yul07
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Other than taking a shot at the CBC I miss the point.

Heres the story:

A Toronto-bound Air Canada flight was forced to abort taking off at London's Heathrow Airport due to a technical problem.

Air Canada said the pilot on Flight AC859 "rejected" takeoff Friday after a warning light on the Boeing 767 came on while the plane was travelling about 140 km/h.

A passenger told CBC News the plane was going "full throttle" and appeared ready to take off when it abruptly "screeched to a halt."

She said fire trucks raced out to the plane and police officers came on board.

Passengers were asked to get off the plane and are being put up in hotels. The flight has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. local time Saturday.

An Air Canada spokesperson said rejecting a takeoff is "quite rare."

There were 210 people on board the aircraft when the problem occurred.

Ok it's a non event that was only news because it involved a Canadian reg aircraft.

2) The passenger who spoke to CBC news made light of the situation and put it in an understated fashion, so it was included in the story, why? Because it humanizes the experience.

3) It would be nice to be able to put a mic in the face of the passengers all the time, but now most people e-mail or Tweet their experience, so finding them for an interview is a whole lot easier.

4) An Air Canada spokesman said the incidents are quite rare ( something well known on this forum ) There's the balance to the story.

The rest was straight fact. They said it happened, they said why it happened, they had the companies side, and a funny aside from a passenger. In this case, the CBC did their jobs.

Ahhh, did you actually read anything that I wrote? Scratch-Head.gif

It wasn't, to my reading, put in an "understated way" at all. Nor did it appear to be a comment made as a funny aside. The impression I was left with is that it was a high speed reject done near take-off speed - this is patently incorrect. If by "humanize" you mean that the comments and story exaggerated the incident and falsely implied some grave danger, well, then you are correct. The aircraft wasn't going full throttle, wasn't anywhere near take-off speed and I seriously doubt that it "screeched" to a halt. This, along with the absence of any clarification that fire trucks always respond to a rejected take-off, makes the story hyperbolic at best and, in my opinion, journalistically dishonest.

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The aircraft wasn't going full throttle...

I would take issue with this point... even though the aircraft was not near takeoff speed, I would suggest that the engines were at, or very near, full throttle. Even at a significant assumed temperature reduced thrust setting, it would be putting out at least 90% full takeoff thrust, which would be hard for the average passenger (and probably most pilots) to discern from "full throttle" on a transcontinental flight.

The rest of your points are quite true, but the gist of the quote was to get a passenger's reaction to the situation and, rather than pooh-poohing them, perhaps these reactions could be used to help us to understand our passengers' perspective about various normal and non-normal situations on board aircraft, which are quite foreign to most of them.

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I would take issue with this point... even though the aircraft was not near takeoff speed, I would suggest that the engines were at, or very near, full throttle. Even at a significant assumed temperature reduced thrust setting, it would be putting out at least 90% full takeoff thrust, which would be hard for the average passenger (and probably most pilots) to discern from "full throttle" on a transcontinental flight.

The rest of your points are quite true, but the gist of the quote was to get a passenger's reaction to the situation and, rather than pooh-poohing them, perhaps these reactions could be used to help us to understand our passengers' perspective about various normal and non-normal situations on board aircraft, which are quite foreign to most of them.

Yes, yes, I know that the engines were at "full throttle" as a pilot would understand it but that's not the way it's being used by the passenger or the reporter. The impression from the article, because of the full throttle comment and the way the "140 km/hr" is left hanging is that the aircraft was moving very fast and was near take-off speed - that wasn't an accurate description was it? I said earlier that I have no criticism for the passenger saying these things - they don't know and I don't expect them to know. The media's job is supposed to be accurately describing the event and providing background and context so that the event can be understood by the readers.

Here's my re-write:

Air Canada flight rejects takeoff at Heathrow

A Toronto-bound Air Canada flight was forced to stop it's take off at London's Heathrow Airport due to a technical problem.

The pilots became aware of a possible technical problem when the aircraft was midway through it's take-off , at 140 km/h, due to a warning light and decided to stop the aircraft on the runway and investigate the cause. Stopping an aircraft any time after the take-off has begun is called a "rejected take-off" and is quite rare said an Air canada spokesperson.

Rescue personnel responded to the aircraft, as is normal for all rejected take-offs, but no assistance was required.

Passengers were asked to get off the plane and are being put up in hotels. The flight has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. local time Saturday.

There were 210 people on board the aircraft when the problem occurred.

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