Date: 09 Mar 97 12:39:38 From: email@example.com (GFroseth) Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
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February 14th edition of the Independent newspaper carried what it called an exclusive story concerning a mysterious roll by a British Airways Boeing 777 that forced the aircraft to return to the airport of departure, with the crew having to make a manual landing. BA #133 was on a Heathrow-Jeddah, trip when after about two hours, the aircraft started rolling mysteriously at 37,000 ft. Seems that a passenger noticed the wing flaps moving randomly and notified the cabin crew. In its "mandatory occurrence" report to the Civil Aviation Authority, the airline said a "manual landing [was] carried out...large rudder input was required." According to the Independent story, a team of Boeing engineers examined the aircraft during one week and questioned the crew, but apparently were unable to explain the incident. Some parts were tested by Boeing in Seattle, but nothing was found to explain the wing flaps' random movements. According to the paper, BA has now launched a monitoring program for its 777 fleet. Boeing said it was unable to replicate this unusual situation. On the surface, this sounds like a remake of the 737 situation -- random flight surface movements with no trace of problems afterwards. Anyone hear of other incidents. Also 777-200 on a flight from Hong Kong and Dubai had to divert to Bangkok due to a fire warning. After being checked and cleared for a continuation of the flight, the 777 took off, but had to turn back again for the same reason. On January 2nd, a UA 777 from LHR to EWR that I was on, was four hours late departing LHR, because of a mechanical problem that no one knew how to fix until a Boeing rep. could be located at the factory. Passengers waiting to board were never told the reason for the delay either by the flight deck crew or cabin crew. I finally asked the capt. about it while we were heading for customs at EWR. Although I looked forward to flying the 777, in general I have a "what's the big deal" response to the plane. On our trip to London, leg room in coach seemed sufficient but I felt cramped on the return flight. The seat-back t.v. screen for my wife was not functioning properly on either leg (she never could get a clear picture no matter how much she adjusted the controls). And for someone who is my height (6'2"), viewing the screen with any clarity when your fellow passenger in front decides to recline his/her seat, is a real challenge to the eyes. Just my view and opinion.