Re: Interesting United 928 channel 9 conversation

Date:         24 Mar 98 11:38:41 
From:         alan@nospam.com (Alan)
Organization: CyberGate, Inc.
References:   1
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On 21 Mar 98 16:31:25 , mike.collins@dial.pipex.com (Mike) wrote:
>I flew back from ORD to LHR on 17 March (B777) and was listening to
>the channel 9 conversations.
>
>There were general delays at ORD on Tuesday so we were half hour late
>to begin with when the Captain told us (not channel 9) that we were
>all ready to go but we were being held by maintenance because they say
>"we have loaded to much oil" into the number two engine. This was
>17.55 after about ten minutes on channel 9 the captain contacted
>maintence in SFO and asked what was going on:
>
>Maintenance  "we are scheduled to have a decision for you at 19.00".

The local maintenance controller set a time when preliminary
troubleshooting was to be done and a decision would then be made
concerning an actual departure time.  That is having the airplane "on
decision" until 19:00.

>Captain "excuse me, we have to wait 43 minutes for you to decide if we
>have too much oil".
>
> Maintenance "yep".

At that point, it was not known whether too much oil was added or
there was a real oil system problem.  The 43 minutes was to allow
maintenance to accomplish some checks.

> Captain " how can this be? all our instruments here show everything
>is fine and dandy yet your documents show it isn't and it is going to
>take 45 minutes to decide who is correct?"
>
>Maintenance: "it isn't a matter of too much oil being loaded at this
>time, it is that the amount of oil that has been loaded  on number two
>engine recently has triggered an alert here at maintenance that
>suggests that the engine mght be leaking oil"

The PW 4090's sometimes hide oil without returning it to the oil tank.
The tanks are serviced to full before each ETOPS trip.  When the
amount of oil that was added is entered into the computer, it
automatically calculates average consumption and , if it is over the
limits, the computer generates a maintenance item.  In the case of
your aircraft, the #2 engine showed an average consumption of .56 qts
per hour.  The limit is .50.  After the technicains did their checks,
it was confirmed that it was overserviced.  That was corrected and a
computer entry was made to show the corrected oil service.  Your
engine's average consumption turned out to be only .05 qph.

>Anyway what happened after was that the engine had to be started and a
>leak test done...which was negative ...so I guess the engine just
>likes oil. But the crew of the aircraft were totally unaware that
>maintenance carried out these checks or indeed that they were capable
>of it.

I wish more pilots would pay us a visit.  Our Chief Pilot visits the
control center quite often at my station, but very few Line Pilots do.
We have so much we could learn from each other.  BTW, I do ride jump
seat occasionally to see things from their perspective.

>We left at 19.30 and the engine didn't fail over the pond...;-)

I hope you had a good flight.  Sorry about your delay, but "Safety is
Number One".

Alan