Re: 2 vs 4 engines: R&D costs too much ?

Date:         03 Dec 99 02:10:13 
From:         "Robert Wright" <>
References:   1 2 3 4 5
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>One was flying from the Caribbean and lost all three engines
>(due to some maintenance procedural error with engine oil,
>I think). By some miracle, they were able to restart #2
>and landed safely in Miami.

    If I remember correctly, the first engine to be shut down was #2, at the
first sign of low oil pressure.  When the #1 engine then showed the same
symptoms, the crew (2 captains and an F/E - it was some poor guy's
checkride!) assumed bad instrumentation.  Then the #3 light came on,
confirming their belief.  Until the #1 engine quit.  Then the #3 quit.  They
spent a while trying to restart #2 with an incorrect procedure or something,
finally figured it out just before committing to ditching, and got the #2
restarted.  It still had a lot of oil, since it was shut down almost
immediately upon first sign of trouble, and got them to the airport.  I
think it seized up just as they turned off, though, and actually had less
oil at that point than either of the other two engines had when they quit.

    ETOPS rules specifically state that you can't have the same maintenance
crew do both engines.  That's probably a response to this incident, which
was caused when the same O-ring was left off a chip detector in the oil
system of all three engines.  A lot of airlines also replace one engine as
their first act upon receiving a new twin, just in case someone at the
factory screwed up.