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Equal Time Point

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 "We were scheduled to fly from South Korea to Alaska. We were carrying 200 passengers onboard a B767-300. The route would take us over the Pacific Ocean on a 7 hour flight. We were dispatched as an ETOP's flight with Saporo, Japan as our first ETOPS alternate and the Aleutian islands of the coast of Alaska as our second ETOPS alternate.

The crew was composed of 3 pilots (2 FO's and 1 CA), 9 FA’s and 2 mechanics. I was designated as the relief pilot and upon reaching the top of climb, I was told to get some rest.

Slightly 3 hours after takeoff, a flight attendant came to wake me up. I thought it was time for a crew change. Once I got into the cockpit, I realized that something was wrong. Both pilots had their checklists out. I was immediately made aware of the problem. The aircraft was indicating a lost of over 60% of engine oil off the left engine in less than 10 minutes. There was no EAICAS message about it and no other anomaly in engine parameters. The Captain requested the two mechanics onboard to be waken up and brought to the cockpit. When they showed up, we explained the situation and asked for their inputs. They replied that it was "not good”...obviously!

We then called dispatch and maintenance control over the satellite phone while we worked our checklists and briefed the Flight Attendants. Maintenance control was of no help either. Having water in all quadrants was of course nerve racking. The thought of an engine failure in the middle of the Pacific wakes you up pretty quickly. We were fast approaching our Equal Time Point (ETP) and the idea of diverting to the Aleutian islands was not the best option. Time was becoming critical so I finally spoke up “We need to do a 180 and go to Japan!”. Everyone looked at each other and we all agreed. However, instead of Saporo as our diversion airport we decided with dispatch to go to Misawa Air Base in the Northeast coast of Japan.

Japanese people are very structured and disciplined but their English is very limited. When we showed up in their airspace, we had to explain multiple times why we were there and what our intentions were. The Captain was getting really frustrated  so he asked me to bypass all those controllers and to contact directly Misawa Air Base tower as soon as we were within VHF range. Once more, I ended up talking to a clearly confused Japanese controller. I suddenly remembered, from a previous experience years ago, that the ground frequency at this airport is always manned by US personnel. I switched frequency and the accent of a southern boy was clear in a million.

We explained our situation, got priority handling and landed without incident. After landing, we all got off the plane to look at the engine. We made the right call. Oil was everywhere! The engine had lost a ton of oil. We spent 24 hours in Japan before the problem was fixed and we continued our journey home."

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Medical Emergency

Every week, I will try to post a relevant story. If you want to contribute, please message me privately. We all have had something happen to us in our flying career whether it was a close-call, an emergency, something sad, something funny, what a mentor did for us, a jerk we flew with, you name it. These are your stories. So here is the first one.

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"We were descending into Denver on a nice clear Fall day. I was at the controls as a First Officer. My Captain and I had been making normal conversation all the way up from Austin, TX. While being vectored on the downwind for 16L, we were on with Approach and descending through 12,000 feet. Suddenly I look over, and my Captain is holding a sick bag. He said he was feeling nauseous, and leaned forward to vomit into the bag. But something was off. He was acting normal the entire flight. He now looked pale, clammy, and as he leaned forward, his eyes rolled back in his head, lips puckered, arms with hand and fingers curled came to his chest. I thought he was having a stroke! I grabbed him, yelled his name three times! He was unresponsive! I immediately declared a medical emergency and requested priority for the visual to 16L. It took another two and half minutes or so before I was established on short final, which felt like an eternity, when suddenly I heard him say “500 stable.” I looked over in shock. “You with us?” I asked. Confused and somewhat disoriented he was responsive. After we landed, I took the airplane off the high speed taxiway to the gate. Paramedics met us at the gate and brought him to the hospital. After two days at the hospital and many tests, it was revealed that he caught a severe stomach virus. One so rare and so nasty, that it cause a neurological interruption to the brain and present itself as a stroke. He was cleared medically and back flying within weeks."

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A320 Preflight

I finally did it. Here is a complete and detailed preflight video of the Airbus A320 Sharklet. I hope you guys enjoy it! Don't forget to share it with others!

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A320 Window Heat Computers

The Window Heat Computers or WHCs are the subject of the investigation of the accident of Egyptair Flight 804. Below is a picture of one of the WHC inside the forward avionics bay. 

The WHC is seen in the middle.  

The WHC is seen in the middle.  

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Downloading Error? No problem!

I take iTunes reviews very seriously. If you have any issues downloading the iBook, please contact me at Ben@A320guide.com or at http://www.a320guide.com/contact. I am always there to help and we always find a solution :-) The common downloading error is a lack of memory. The iBook requires slightly over 1 Gb for download. That's a lot of memory - I know - but there are a lot of pictures, videos and interactive diagrams. It's worth it! Not enough memory will cause a download error message at the end.

Did you purchase this A320 iBook recently? Please take the time to go on iTunes, find the iBook and post a review. This is always greatly appreciated! And as always, all updates are free! More content will soon come!

 

 

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Be careful!

Ensure during preflight that the engine cowls are latched properly! An A319 in Chile lost the cowls during takeoff. This is a recurring issue. 

 

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New Preflight Chapter

I sent the new Preflight chapter through the approval process with Apple. You will get a notification on iBooks when the chapter is available for download. I am expecting this to occur this Monday. As always, all updates are free!

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