SAFETY REPORT TO THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION & SAFETY BOARD
CRITICAL AIRLINE SAFETY ISSUE
***These webpages are an attempt to convince the airlines, and, the federal regulators, to abandon the cost-cutting and dangerous policy of using airliners, having only 2 engines, on very long and extended over-ocean flights, and, re-instate the previous, and much safer, FAA requirement that airlines must use airliners having at least 3 or 4 engines, which have the necessary engine and system redundancy required on these long over water flights.
Although The Critical Points Of This NTSB Report Remain Unchanged,
for Clarity, Additional Detailed Information Is Added Regularly To The Original NTSB Report
March 8, 2021
To: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Ms. Jennifer Homendy, Chairperson -
490 L'Enfant Plaza - Washington, DC 20024
To: The National Transportation Safety Board
From: Al Rioni ("Ace" Material) - Concerned Pilot/Citizen |
**********email - email@example.com
**This Report to the NTSB Describes the Obvious Dangers of the Recently Enacted Airline Switch From The
Previous Policy Of Using Airliners Having 3 or 4 Engines, On Extended Over-water Flights, To The New Policy Of Using Airliners Having Only 2 Engines, On These Long Over-water
Flights, and the Resulting Compromising of Air Safety.
-- This message concerns United Airlines Flights #328, #1175, and #839. and many other airliner engine-failure incidents.
**The following information includes my opinions of the issues described.
***My name is Al Rioni ("Ace" Material). - - I live in Las Vegas |
***I am a retired airline/corporate pilot with over 50 years and many thousands of hours of multi-engine flying experience in piston, Turbo-prop,
and high altitude corporate jets.
***I have also authored aviation books which are available thru Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com
***I received my Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) in 1974, and spent the next
20 years flying in the high-density airspace over the Northeast US, including extensive operations in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC airspace.
***During my years as a commercial pilot, I have experienced 2 engine failures.
***Also, because of my many years as a corporate pilot, and my close associations with many "Fortune 500" corporate executives and government regulators, I have become very familiar with the corporate/government relationship.
**For these reasons, I feel I am entitled to, and qualified to, express the following opinions.
-- Please review and enter this document into evidence at the NTSB hearings and/or any investigations concerning the engine failures occurring on United Airlines trans-Pacific flights, #328, #1175, and #869, which were 2-engine Boeing 777 & 787's, in addition to any subsequent engine failure investigations you may conduct. |
***Relying on knowledge and experience obtained over a lifetime, I have prepared this document to explain, in detail, the many reasons why I believe it is unwise, and grossly irresponsible for airlines, in order to cut fuel and other costs, to operate, and, for federal regulators to allow, airliners, having only 2 engines, to transport hundreds of passengers, on long over-ocean flights, particularly flights from the continental US to the Hawaiian Islands.
***Prior to this current and dangerous cost-cutting 2-engine policy, airliners used on these long over-ocean flights, were required to have 3 or 4 engines, in order that they have sufficient engine and system redundancy, should an engine failure occur, when hundreds of miles out to sea and many hours from the closest land.
*** As recent engine failures, and, near catastrophic airliner ocean-ditchings confirm, these 2-engine airliners lack this necessary engine
***It is these recent engine failures, and "Close-calls", on 2-engine airliners bound for Hawaii, which have prompted this NTSB Report.
***After evaluating the many issues described herein, please issue any recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for possible
FAA Rule changes, as the NTSB Members deem appropriate, as is the designated mission of the NTSB.
- US Copyright - 2021 - by Al Rioni - Pilot (ATP) |
Page 1 of 14
xxx This cost-cutting policy change, from 4-engine to 2-engine airliners, now in use by many major airlines on extended over-water flights, was prohibited by more knowledgable and responsible former government regulators of the past. ------------------------------------------------------
---- From Wikipedia
xxxxx - "Dick Taylor, then Boeing's director of engineering, approached FAA director
J. Lynn Helms, a few years ago, about the possibility of an exemption to the 3 or 4 engine FAA over-ocean flight requirement.
** Mr. Helm's famous response was "It'll be a cold day in Hell before I let twins fly long haul, overwater routes".
**Therefore, according to Mr. Helms, who was also a very experienced pilot, familiar with the dangers of 2-engine airliner over-ocean flights, the opinions expressed in these reports are not conspiracy theories, but, were shared by the highest level FAA officials of the past, who may have been
more responsible, more safety minded, and, less concerned with accomodating powerful business interests.
--- Important Note - - -The safety concerns expressed in this document are timeless, as the world's oceans are just as vast, cold,
and deep, today, as they were during the FAA Administration of Mr. Helms, and, engine failures continue to occur on a regular basis today, just as they did in the
***It is the intention of this NTSB Report, and this website, by publically exposing this obvious danger to the flying public, to "Convince" the FAA to return to the previous rule which required that only 3 or 4 engine airliners be used on extended over-ocean flights, or, in the alternative, to return to the "1 hour maximum distance from land" policy which was previously required when using these 2-engine airliners on over-ocean flights. (To be described later).
***(Of course, because of the special circumstances of the extended over-ocean flights to the Hawaiian Islands, (Being over 2500 miles, and over 5 hours, from the nearest land), these Hawaiian flights would still, for maximum safety, require the use of 3 or 4 engine airliners).
***To some airline officials, to the FAA, to the NTSB, and, to other government regulators, this is going to be a very controversial and
unwelcome essay, concerning the obvious danger, as the many recent airliner engine failure events confirm, of the amended policy (ETOPS) allowing passenger filled airliners, having only 2 engines, to be used on extended over-ocean routes, such as the 2500 mile over-ocean flight between the US mainland and the Hawaiian Islands, and, on other extended over-water routes, when 3 or 4-engine airliners were always required, by Federal Aviation Regulations, to be used on these extended over-ocean flights in the past. ------------------------------------------------------
---(The Hawaiian Islands, being near the middle of the enormous Pacific Ocean, are the most remotely located and isolated land masses on
Earth, being over 2500 over-ocean miles from the US West Coast, and, are even farther away from other land masses.
---The 2500 over-ocean miles, from the US West Coast to Hawaii, is, in fact, the same distance as the width of the entire United States, from New York to California.
---In fact, I believe that most visitors to Hawaii, and, possibly, even some federal regulators, are completely unaware of how far out into the
Pacific Ocean the Hawaiian Islands actually are, and, how far away these islands are from the continental United States, and, while in Hawaii, how totally isolated they
are from the rest of the world. ------------------------------------------------------
---The remoteness and isolation of the Hawaiian Islands is why, in the past, scheduled airline flights to and from Hawaii, always used 3 or 4-engine
airliners, which, in case of engine failure(s), had the multiple engine and systems redundancy, which is necessary to safely transport passengers on this extended 2500
mile over-ocean flight.
---Because the Hawaiian Islands are near the middle of the enormous Pacific Ocean, and, are over 2500 miles from the nearest land, the previously mentioned "1 hour from land" policy would not provide the necessary safety margins on these long over-ocean flights to Hawaii, and the return to the previous 3 or 4 engine airliner policy would be required to maximize passenger and crew safety on these flights to Hawaii.)
***I believe that re-evaluating the use of airliners, having only 2 engines, on these long over-ocean flights, is of critical importance, as, all
competant aviation professionals are aware that this 2-engine extended over-ocean policy is indisputably putting the lives of unknowing passengers in danger, but, is being
intentionally ignored by profit-obsessed airline executives, and, by incompetant, and/or, corrupted federal regulators.
***That is why I have expended an enormous amount of time and effort in researching this issue and preparing these documents, and, presenting this
information to various government officials and airline executives, in the hopes that they will re-consider this obviously dangerous 2-engine over-water
policy, (which will be explained, in detail, below).
***I have also spent a considerable amount of my own resources in obtaining the secure websites, domains, and internet hosting services.
***Because, as stated above, I believe innocent passenger lives are at risk, I feel I must make whatever effort is required to help to prevent
an airline disaster, which, I believe, is waiting to happen.
***I have no personal animosity toward any company, company executive, politician, nor, government agency, nor, am I seeking any personal financial
gain from this endeavour. ------------------------------------------------------
***My only intention is to try, as best I can, to prevent an aviation disaster of immense proportions.
***My hope is that this effort to improve airline safety, if successful against what seems like, overwhelming and powerful opposition, will not only
save many lives, but, will also be a major personal accomplishment for me, which, hopefully, will be a favorable closing chapter to my personal aviation legacy, and to my
lifetime in the world of aviation.
***Having invested billions of dollars in the purchase of these 2-engine airliners, I don't really expect the airlines to change this 2-engine over-ocean
policy based on any information I may submit.
***Instead, the purpose of these messages is to merely educate the flying public of these circumstances, either by publishing this Report as an
internet blog, or, preferably, through public NTSB, and/or Congressional hearings, where all affected parties can express their views on this subject, so the flying public,
and all other interested citizens, can formulate their own conclusions regarding this important airline safety issue. Page 2 of 14
***It is my hope that the FAA, and, the NTSB, after receiving and reviewing this Report, and, in response to any public pressure, which may occur,
following the wide spread publicaton of this report, will be more inclined to resist the political and monetary incentives from the airlines, and, from airplane
manufacturers, and will investigate this indisputably dangerous cost-cutting 2-engine over-ocean policy .
***Hopefully, this will result in these federal regulators taking appropriate corrective actions, before a further public outcry, or, much worse,
a disastrous accident occurs, which, in addition to causing multiple passenger fatalities, would also destroy the public image of the airline industry, and, would also
destroy the public's confidence in federal aviation regulators.
***Throughout the history of commercial airline operations, the FAA, the NTSB, and, the airlines, have have made extraordinary efforts, regardless
of cost, to improve the safety of airline travel.
***However, the policy of reducing the number of airliner engines, on extended over-ocean flights, from the previous 3 or 4 engine requirement,
down to now only 2 engines, may be the first time, in the history of commercial airline operations, that these federal agencies and airline companys have actually and
intentionally reduced the safety of airline passengers in order to reduce their operating costs.
***(The Hawaiian Islands, being unique in their geographical location at the near center of the North Pacific Ocean, and, being over 2500 miles
from the continental United States, are, in my opinion, worthy of special over-ocean airline policies and a special set of FAA airline safety regulations).
***The airlines have made an enormous, (but, in my opinion, not well-thought-out), committment to the purchase of thousands
of 2-engine airliners, (which do provide sufficient engine redundancy for over-land flights, but, in my opinion, do not provide the sufficient engine redundancy needed for extended over-ocean flights).
***I believe that, compared to the distastrous and enormous financial and legal consequences of an airliner ocean ditching, it would be only a minor inconvenience and expense for the airlines serving Hawaii to acquire the relatively few 3 or 4-engine airliners which would be needed to provide their passengers and crews with the additional safety that this extra engine redundancy would provide on the long over-ocean flights to, and from, Hawaii, as was previously required by federal regulations.
***The many recently reported airliner engine failures comfirm that this 2-engine over-ocean danger is real.
*** UPDATE - The recent, and well reported, decline in pilot and/or air traffic controller qualifications and
competence, including the report of a United Airlines flight crew losing control of a Boeing 777 on depature from Hawaii, and, nearly crashing this passenger filled airliner
into the ocean, and, the many recently reported near mid-air, and ground collisions, only increases the concern of whether or not this latest batch of minimally trained pilots, if unable to maintain control of an aircraft during a normal departure, would be able to handle serious emergencies requiring extensive experience and training, such as a catastrophic engine failure occurring in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and/or, all of the other unknown and widely variable circumstances which could result from an engine failure happening to an airliner, all alone, and, many hours, and, many over-ocean miles away from the nearest land.
***Instead of continuing with the former policy of increasing airline safety standards, this reduction of pilot and ATC qualifications appears
to be a continuation of the FAA's evolving policy of reducing airline safety standards, in order to reduce airline operating costs, increase airline profits, and, sadly, to conform to "Political Correctness and Equity".
***These competency factors are additional and valid reasons for increasing the margin of safety which additional engines would provide on these extended over-ocean flights. -------------------------------------------
***We all know that there is a certain amount of unavoidable risk involved in any sort of travel, but, I believe it is unconscionable for the
airlines to actually and intentionally increase the risk to their passengers and crews, in order to save money.
***For lack of any other logical reasons for this obviously dangerous 2-engine over-ocean policy, I regret saying that I believe that improper
accommodations may have been made, for economic and/or political reasons, by the NTSB, and the FAA, to various airlines and aircraft manufacturers, which have jeopardized
airline passenger safety.
***(Several decades ago, the University of Chicago economist George Stigler pointed out that the problem with regulation is
that the regulatory agencies are sooner or later captured by the regulated industry and become servants of the industries they were created to regulate.) -------------------------------------------
***I submitted this report to the NTSB for consideration during the hearings and/or investigations concerning the circumstances involving the engine
fan-blade failure on United Airlines Flt. #328, which occurred on February 20th 2021, soon after take-off, on a flight from Denver to Honolulu, and especially after United
Airlines Flight #1175, another Hawaii-bound flight, the shocking circumstances of which will be described later in this document, and, after many other recent engine
***Fortunately, for all those aboard these flights to Hawaii, both UAL #328, and, UAL #1175, were not mid-ocean and were close to a suitable airport
when these engine failures occurred.
***Because UAL Flt. #1175, a Boeing 777, had only 2 engines, and, because of the very uncertain single-engine flight capabilities of these very
large 2-engine airliners, (To be described later), the failure of 1 of its only 2 engines, and because of other unanticipated aerodynamic problems, caused by the
engine failure, UAL #1175, when 30 minutes from Honolulu, was unable to maintain altitude with only one engine, which nearly resulted in a catastophic ocean ditching of this aircraft - a near disaster for the 381 passengers, including the children and infants on board. Page 3 of 14
***The information in this report was originally prepared for copyright and publication following the 2019 engine failure incident involving
a 2-engine Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, which experienced an uncontained engine failure over Pennsylvania.
*** (I was issued a Copyright for this NTSB Report in 2021)
***(An uncontained engine failure is when the outer engine cover (Nacelle) fails to contain any engine parts which may be expelled from the engine during a
catastrophic or explosive engine failure). ----------------------------------------
***Fortunately, the above mentioned Southwest Airlines flight landed safely, with only 1 engine running, at the Philadelphia International Airport,
which was only a short distance from the point of the engine failure, and, therefore, did not require extended single-engine flight.
***Sadly, 1 passenger aboard the airplane perished.
***In the past, airliners have been forced to ditch into the Pacific Ocean after engine failures occurred on these extremely long over-water
flights to Hawaii
***But, because there have been no recent airliner ditchings, I have been reluctant to express my opinions concerning the risks envolved in these
extended over-water flights using aircraft having only 2 engines.
***However, even though there have been no recent airliner ocean-ditchings, we must consider the many recently reported airliner engine failures,
(Partially listed below) and, near-catastrophic airliner ocean ditchings, such as occurred on UAL #1175, after the failure of 1 of its 2 engines, (To be described below), and remind
ourselves that, throughout the history of commercial aviation, major airline disasters have often occurred after many years and many uneventful flights involving
airliners operated with unknown or ignored safety vulnerabilities.
***These many recent airliner engine failures have brought the previously ignored, and/or, intentionally hidden, 2-engine over-water safety issue
out into the open again.
***Therefore, remembering past errors, which caused many passenger fatalities, we must not repeat our past mistakes and we must correct this
indisputable 2-engine over-water safety issue BEFORE, not AFTER, a catastrophic ocean ditching of an airliner, carrying hundreds of passenters, occurs.
***I raise these safety concerns because of the many recent airliner engine failures, and "Close-calls" ( i.e. Southwest Airlines - Flight #1380
- 2-engine Boeing 727 - April 2018 - Pennsylvania ////// United Airlines Flight #1175 - 2-engine Boeing 777 - Near Hawaii - Feb. 2018
//////United Airlines Flight #328 - 2-engine Boeing 777 Denver - Feb. 2021 ////// Japan Airlines - 2-engine
Boeing 777 - Okinawa - Dec. 2020 ////// Japan Airlines - 2-engine Boeing 777 - Toyko - Oct. 2021, and,
the crash landing of a British Airways 2-engine Boeing 777, in January 2008 - London - after the failure of both of its engines, and, many others).
***More recent engine-failure events - - -
***(Note) - On July 21 2022, an American Airlines 2-engine Airbus A319, returned to Sky Harbor Airport, in Phoenix, after the failure
of the right engine.
***(Note) - On October 19 2022, a Southwest Airlines 2-engine Boeing 737 (Flight #1467) had a failure of the left engine soon
after take-off from Baltimore, and quickly returned to land with only one engine running.
***Southwest uses its 2-engine Boeing 737 aircraft on its long over-ocean Hawaiian flights.
***(Note) - Between August 28th and September 5th 2022 (1 week), 2 separate American Airlines 2-engine Boeing 777's, enroute from the US to
London, were forced to make emergency landings because of "Mechanical problems", including smoke in the cabin.
*** Because I believe the airlines are trying to conceal the dangers of these 2-engine over-ocean flights from the public, we have to
suspect that this vague description of "Mechanical problems" may actually have been engine failures occurring on these flights)..
***(Note) - On October 27 2022, another American Airlines 2-engine Boeing 777, Flight #908, experienced the failure of the left Rolls Royce
engine soon after take-off from Buenos Aries Argentina enroute to Miami, and was able to return to the airport with one engine running..
***(Note) - On November 2 2022, Delta Airlines Flight #2846, 2-engine Boeing 757, enroute from Atlanta to Los Angeles, made an
emergency landing at Albuquerque NM, after smoke filled the cabin.
***A passenger aboard this Delta flight reported that the airplane landed with only 1 engine running.
***(Note) - On October 7th 2022, a 2-engine United Airlines Boeing 787, enroute from London to San Francisco, on an "Over the North Pole"
route, diverted to a remote airstrip in extreme Northern Canada after experiencing "Mechanical problems".
***The diversion of an airliner of this type, on this type of route, to such a remote airstrip, would indicate that very "Serious" mechanical
problems had occurred.
***(Note) - On December 9th 2022 , a 2-engine Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 (Flight #1681) experienced the failure of the left engine
soon after departure from Orlando Airport. and immediately returned to Orlando for landing.
***(Note) - On November 8th 2022, a 4-engine Lufthansa Airbus-340, (Flight# LH425) on an over-ocean flight from Boston to Munich,
returned to Boston after the failure of the #2 engine.
***I'm certan the pilots, cabin crew, and passengers, were relieved to have had 3 more operating engines remaining to easily take them back
***(Note) - On December 16, 2022, a Delta Airlines 2-engine Airbus A320 experienced the failure of the left engine about 5 minutes after
take-off from Grand Rapids Michigan bound for Minneapolis and returned for landing.
***(Note) - On December 23, 2022, An Airlingus 2-engine Airbus A330 experienced an engine-failure soon after departure from JFK Airport
bound for Dublin Ireland, and immediately returned to JFK. Witnesses on the ground said a blume of fire was trailing from the right engine during the take-off roll.
***(Note) - On January 3rd 2023, Delta Airlines flight #2553, a 2-engine Boeing 767 experienced the failure of the left engine
soon after departing Orlando for Atlanta, and returned for landing with only 1 engine operating.
xxx (Note)On April 29 - 2023 a 2-engine Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" enroute from Sydney Australia to Singapore made an emergency 1-engine return to Sidney after the failure of one of its 2 Rolls Royce "Trent" engines.
xxx (Note)On May 1 - 2023 - An Israel El Al 2-engine Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" enroute from Tel Aviv to Tokyo made an emergency 1-engine return to Tel Aviv, also, after the failure of one of its 2 Rolls Royce "Trent" engines.
xxx (Note)On May 26 - 2023 - A KLM Boeing 777, enroute from Bangkok Thailand to Amsterdam, was forced to land at Dubai, because of the failure of 1 of its only 2 engines.
***Fortunately, these engine failures occurred when these airliners were over land, and, close to a suitable airport.
***Unfortunately, there are only a few suitable airports in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and they are thousands of miles apart.
***(Note) -- SHOCKING --On December 29th 2022, United Airlines Flight #839, a 2-engine Boeing 787 "Dreamliner",
enroute from Los Angeles to Sydney Australia, an overwater flight of almost 8000 miles, experienced an engine failure in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and, was forced
to divert to the nearest airport, 1000 miles away, on the Island of Pago Pago, in American Samoa.
xxx The airplane with 300 passengers on board, flew for 3 terrifying hours, with only 1-engine, the 1000 miles across open-ocean,
from the point of the engine failure, before making it to Pago Pago. Page 4 of 14
*** There have been so many recent airliner engine failurs, it is no longer practical to list them all.
***Repeat from previous page - - -
***NOTE: Averaged over the last eight months, American Airlines has had planes experience three engine failures per month - far
more than any other domestic airline.--------------------------------------------
***During that eight-month period, FAA records showed American had 23 failures, Delta had 17, United 15, US Airways 10, Continental 10,
Southwest 7, and Northwest 7.
***Therefore, because of these many recent airliner engine failures, and because I believe it is just a matter of time before another potentially catastrophic engine failure occurs when one of these 2-engine airliners is mid-ocean, and, several hours and miles from land, I feel that the time has come for an open discussion, in a public forum, including during NTSB, and/or, congressional investigations/hearings, concerning the "Cost vs. risk" factors involved in the switch from using 4-engine airliners to 2 engines airliners on extended over-ocean crossings. -----------------------------------------
***Because of the frequency of these recent engine failures, we have to wonder how many unreported airliner engine failures and
close-calls have occurred, which, at the "Request" of the airlines, have "Escaped" media coverage.
***See: Honolulu's KHON-TV's deceptive coverage of the near-catastrophic ocean-ditching of United Airlines Flt. #1175, as
described on page-11 of this Report.
***I express the above opinions and conclusions knowing full well, as stated above, the considerable monetary commitment the airlines have made
to using airliners having only 2 engines on extended over-ocean routes, to Hawaii, and other places, and, the difficulty and expense required to replace these airplanes.----------------------------------------
***However, I believe these airline executives, and, airplane manufacturers, should have tried a little bit harder to fight-off their fuel-saving
money lust, and, should have more thoroughly researched and considered the obvious dangers involved in operating 2-engine airliners on extended over-ocean flights, before
committing millions/billions of dollars into the purchase of these 2-engine airliners.
***Now, I believe, these airline executives, some of whom may have no technical aviation experience nor knowledge, but, do know how to influence
government regulators, expect the flying public to subject themselves to this 2-engine over-water flight risk because these airline executives refuse to admit their lack
of adequate research and/or their deficient knowledge and/or judgement.
***In my opinion, in order to keep their jobs, and, gain acceptance, many aviation professionals, sadly, including pilots, apparently have decided
to play the "Go along - to get along" game, and, seem to be willing to ignore this obviously dangerous 2-engine airliner over-water policy in order to conform with the
policies and directives established by the powerful, rather than, being ridiculed, ostracized, or, even fired, for expressing an unacceptable and/or unpopular opinion.
***Just as in the famous fairy-tale, no one wants to be the first one to state the obvious fact that the "Emperor has no clothes".
***Well, anyway, because I'm retired from aviation, and, because I am not seeking job security, comformity, nor, acceptance from the aviation
community, and, because this is a very serious life-and-death issue involving the lives of innocent airline passengers - - - I'm proud to
proclaim - THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES.
***Or, as it pertains to this airline safety issue . . . I am also proud to proclaim my fact based belief that - - - "USING AIRLINERS HAVING
ONLY 2-ENGINES ON EXTENDED OVER-OCEAN FLIGHTS IS UNSAFE AND RISKS THE LIVES OF THE FLYING PUBLIC."
***If the information in this NTSB Report results in the elimination of this 2-engine policy, and, ultimately prevents a major airline disaster,
then, the results of this Report may end up actually freeing these government regulators and foolish and greedy airline executives from the legal and personal consequences
of their foolishness and greed.
The Following Is A List Of Government Officials And Airline Executives
Who Have Received Copies Of This NTSB Report, but, In My Opinion, and, For Obvious Political and Financial Reasons, Have Cold-Bloodedly
Ignored This Indisputable Passenger Safety Information
--- Ms. Jennifer Homendy - Chairperson - National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB)
--- US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -- Chairperson - Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation Safety
--- US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) -- Co-Chairperson - Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation Safety
--- Ms. Tulsi Gabbard -- Former Congresswomen (D-Hawaii)
--- Mr. Ed Bastian - CEO - Delta Airlines
--- Mr. Scott Kirby - CEO - United Airlines
--- Mr. Gary Kelly - Former CEO - Southwest Airlines
--- Mr. Bradley D. Tildon - CEO - Alaska airlines
--- Mr. Peter Ingram - CEO - Hawaiian Airlines
--- + Various Hawaiian Airlines Board Members - Including Board Chairman Mr. Lawrence S. Hershfield
***In my opinion, the government officials, listed above, and others, by desperately trying to ignore this indisputable safety information, are
continuing with, what I believe, is the well-known, and widespread, government policy of disregarding the health, safety, and welfare, of the public, in favor of powerful
business/monetary interests.Page 5 of 14
***It is the intention of this Report to "Shake-things-up" a little, and, to remind these government regulators and airline executives, that, unlike,
what I believe, is the usual collusion between government regulators and powerful business interests, including such issues as raising the minimum wage, oil leases, or, tax
issues, this particular collusion is different, treacherous, and unforgivable, as this is a "Life and death" issue which is endangering the lives of innocent airline
***I also believe these government officials and airline executives are feverishly trying to avoid an open discussion of this safety issue, as they
know full-well that the lack of adequate safety margins on these 2-engine airliner extended over-ocean flights is indisputable, and, considering the many recent airliner engine
failures and "Close-calls", their decision to use 2-engine airliners on extended over-ocean flights would be indefensible in an open and objective public debate.----------------------------------------
***So, in my opinion, and, because they refuse to admit their mistake, these airline executives and government regulators just huddle quietly in fear, remain silent,
and just hope that a catastrophic ocean ditching of a commercial airliner, filled with innocent passengers, will not occur during their tenures, and, that, in the meantime,
this controversial safety issue will remain hidden from the public.
***Therefore, It would appear that this irresponsible, and, potentially criminal decision, by these airline executives and government regulators, to
use 2-engine airliners on extended over-ocean flights, has put them between a rock and a hard place - and, they just don't know what to do about it - except to
***In order not to expose the past lapses in the judgement of their management, and, in order not to reveal the danger their
passengers are currently being subjected to aboard their 2-engine airliners, it is my hope, that, airlines operating 2-engine airliners on
long over-ocean flights, upon examining the indisputable facts contained in this Report, will, before this "Blog" goes viral, quietly transition their fleets
to 3 or 4 engine airliners without fanfare.
**I make this suggestion because it is not my intention to harm the airline industry.
**My only goal is to increase airline safety standards by doing everything I can to eliminate this obvious 2-engine over-water flight risk to
the flying public.
***Recent engine-failure events have shown these safety concerns to be credible, because, as stated above, none of the information
contained in this NTSB Report can be disputed nor challenged by anyone sufficiently knowledgable in aviation matters.
***In order to justify reduction of safety standards, airline executives may believe that "Cost-Cutting" allows them to lower airfares, and
that passengers would accept this reduction in their safety in order to benefit from this airfare savings.
**But, it is my opinion that airline passengers, in order to increase their safety and the safety of their families, and, if made aware of
the danger involved in extended over-ocean flights in airliners having only 2 engines, would be willing to pay more for the extra safety, or, would simply decide whether or
not to take this additional risk, in order to save money on airline tickets.
***Pilots are obviously aware of this 2-engine safety issue, but, being in much better physical condition than helpless children and elderly
passengers, and probably being prepared in advance with an escape plan in case of a possible ocean ditching, I believe they may think they have at least a decent chance of
surviving an ocean ditching, and, therefore, I believe that, in order to keep their glamorous and well-paying jobs, pilots accept this risk, and, remain silent on this
critical 2-engine safety issue.|
***(I'm a pilot, too, and, I know how pilots think.)
***I guess it's possible that some airline executives, seeking increased profits, or, congressmen and congresswomen, seeking "Incentives", and,
who may not have detailed knowledge about actual airplane performance capabilities, or, of the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, or, of the remoteness of the Hawaiian Islands,
might have unknowingly been "Duped", by aircraft manufacturer's sales departments, and/or, airline lobbyists, into approving these obviously dangerous 2-engine airliner
***I'm not particularly surprised that federal regulators, as a "Concession" to the powerful airline lobby, ignore, and/or, pretend they are not
aware of this indisputable safety issue.
***But, it is especially sad, and depressing, to see pilots, who know full well that everything in this NTSB Report, concerning the dangers of
operating airliners having only 2 engines on extended over-ocean flights, is unquestionably true, risk their own lives, the lives of their flight attendants, along with
the lives of their passengers, in order to keep their jobs. ---------------------------------------------------------
*** (I regret having to say this, but, in my opinion, pilot's unquestioning compliance with percieved authority, and risking the lives of their passengers and flight attendants, can be compared to medical professionals, who, for money and job security, withhold alternate and effective virus treatments from their patients.)
** A copy of this NTSB Report was sent to the President of the Airline Pilot's Association - so far - without replyPage 6 of 14
***The recently and well-publicized engine failures concerned fan blade failures occurring on the Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines, which
are used on some Boeing 777, and other aircraft.
***But, we must remember that any man-made engine, made by any engine manufacturer, can fail for many reasons, other than fan-blade failures.
***Therefore, all 2-engine jet airliners, such as the above mentioned Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, which experienced an engine failure while over
Pennsylvania, but, does not use the P&W 4000 engine, and, which is now also used on long overwater flights to Hawaii, are also vulnerable and are
seriously affected by engine failures, which may be caused by a multitude of different reasons.
***Fixing the current fan blade problem will not solve this primary safety issue.
***Recent "Close-calls" (to be described later in this document) prove that more engine redundancy is needed for safety on extended
over-ocean flights, as was previously required.
*** At least on paper, once underway, a 2-engine airliner should be able to maintain flight with only 1 operating engine.
*** On flights directly over the continental US, and, because there are so many suitable airports only a few minutes away, the loss of 1 engine,
on a 2-engine airliner, is easily dealt with by an experienced and well-trained flight crew, as happened with the above mentioned Southwest Airlines flight,
over Pennsylvania, and, also, with the recent United Airlines Flight #328, departing Denver.
***In fact, because there are so many large airports in the US, that once at, or near, its cruising altitude, and, when anywhere over the
continental US, an airliner could easily "Glide" to a suitable airport, even after the failure of all of its engines.
''' But, as stated above, the Hawaiian Islands, being in the middle of the enormous Pacific Ocean, are the most remotely located land masses on
Earth, being over 2500 over-ocean miles from the mainland US, and, are even farther away from many other land masses. |
''' Therefore, flights to and from Hawaii have a much greater risk, following an engine failure, than do
other over-water flights, which do not require the airplane to be as far out to sea, and, as far away from airports, as do the Hawaiian flights.
---In past days, when airline fares were regulated and airline profits were guaranteed, aviation safety concerns seemed to supersede the cost of
**In those days, airlines flying to Hawaii, or, crossing the oceans to other places, used 4 engine airplanes, such as the Douglas DC-8,
Boeing 707, or, Boeing 747, which gave these aircraft multiple engine and system redundancy in case of 1, or 2, or even, 3 engine failures, when these aircraft were many
miles out over the ocean and many hours away from the closest land.
***Jet engine certification tests are extensive, but, are conducted using new engines.
***But, we all know that, no matter how well they may be designed, built, and maintained, and, because jet engines operate under tremendous
stresses and temperature extremes, these engines, like any other man-made machines, can, and do, fail, especially as they age over many years, and/or,
have been worked on by a multitude of different mechanics
***(Although the engines on these airliners are enormous and are incredibly complex and powerful, we have to wonder, even
being as powerful as they are, and, because there are now only 2 of them propelling these extremely large airliners, if, the airlines desire to save money on fuel
by using airliners having only 2 engines, might be asking too much of these engines, and, whether or not these engines may be over-worked, and/or, over-stressed,
especially as these engines age over many years, and, after many hundreds and/or thousands of hours of operation, hence, the many recent failures.)
***Many of the 2-engine airliners currently in use, i.e. the Boeing 737's, 757's, 767's, 777's, 787's, and, some Airbus 300 series aircraft,
were designed during the panic of the fuel shortages that were anticipated, and were occurring, in the 1970's, 1980's, and early 1990's.
***Those old enough to remember that time period of oil shortages and long lines at the gasoline stations, will recall, that, unknown by many
in and out of the aviation industry today, it was not the cost of the oil that created this panic, but, instead, it was the belief that the world's oil supply was
running out, and, therefore, it was absolutely necessary to conserve, as much as possible, what was left of the oil supply by taking many oil saving measures, including,
and, contrary to FAA Administrator Helm's policy, the switch to 2-engine airliners.
***(Again, it was primarily the fear of running out of oil, and, not the price of jet fuel, that was a major factor in the airlines switch to
***Also, during that time period, because we all believed the world's oil reserves were dwindling, and, at the request of the airlines, the major
commercial airplane manufacturers (Boeing and Airbus) spent an enormous amount of time and money, disigning and building 2-engine airliners.
***Once this unnecessary switch to 2-engine airliner had begun, it was hard to stop -- so here we are today, with the airlines having invested
billions of dollars in the purchase of many hundreds of 2-engine airliners, which now carry 300 - 400 unsuspecting passengers, across vast oceans.
***During the heyday of this rush to the switch to 2-engine airliners, the myth of the oil shortage ended (There are now more known oil
reserves on Earth than ever before), so, this panicky, and risky, airline switch to using 2-engine airliners, and, the airplane manufacturer's costly switch to
designing and building 2-engine airliners, proved to be unnecessary .
*** In the meantime, during this transition to 2-engine airliners, newer and more modern jet engines were designed which use much less fuel than
earlier jet engines, which increased the above mentioned fuel saving "Money-lust" of airline executives and accountants, and, although, now unnecessary, and, in spite of
the obvious risks, the airlines pretended to ignore this obvious safety risk, and purchased more and more fuel-saving 2-engine airliners.
*** The more powerful and much more fuel efficient jet engines gave formerly short to medium range 2-engine airliners, such as the Boeing 737,
a much longer range, enabling them to be used, for the first time, on trans-continental, and, unfortunately for unsuspecting passengers, on the long over-ocean flights
Page 7 of 14
***Jet engines, the maintenance they require, their high cost of purchase, and the fuel they use, cost lots of money.
***Obviously, an airliner with only 2 engines costs less to purchase, and, less to maintain and operate, than a 3 or 4 engine airliner.
***A single jet engine can cost as much as 20-30 million dollars, or, sometimes, much more.
***Therefore, the more engines an airliner has, then, obviously, the more the airliner will cost to buy and maintain, and, the more fuel it will
When setting safety standards for airlines, worst-case scenarios must be assumed.
Please consider the following
***A flight from the US West Coast to Hawaii normally takes about 5 to 6 hours.
***(Airline-type aircraft performance figures are very similar, but, may vary slightly, depending on the actual aircraft type)
***An engine failure, on a 2-engine airliner creates a lot more problems than just the obvious loss of engine thrust on 1 of its 2 engines.
***Of course, considering the many recent airliner engine failures, and, because of the extra burden and power demands on the 1 operating
engine, for the 5 to 6 long hours it may take before a disable airliner, (traveling at a greatly reduced single-engine speed), is able to reach land, there
is always the possibility of this 1 remaining engine also failing.
***However, in addition to the possibility of a second engine failure, there are also many other potential safety issues associated with the loss
of 1 engine on an airliner having only 2 engines, which must be seriously considered by the NTSB, by the FAA, and by all safety-minded airline executives -
Such as ---
***(Because of the many different aircraft types, and, because of the widely variable circumstances of any situation, the following figures can
only be educated estimates.)
---- When both engines are operating, a jet airliner flies at a speed of about 550-575 MPH, and, can maintain a cruising altitude between 35 and 40 thousand feet, or,
***At these high altitudes, with both engines running, the airplane is in the clear air, above potentially hazardous weather, including icing
conditions, thunderstorms, rain, engine-damaging hail, (which is very common in the upper levels of thunderstorms), turbulence, etc. which may be occurring
directly below the flight paths.
***However, with only 1 engine running, the maximum altitude obtainable would be approximately 18 to 22 thousand feet, or less, which could put
the airplane down into any severe weather which may be present at lower altitudes, including, turbulence, icing, hail, etc, and, with only 1 operating engine, which
increases the potential danger of additional mechanical and/or aero-dynamic problems occurring on the long flight to the nearest land.
***As stated above, flying through hail, among many other weather hazards, could severely damage the 1 remaining engine when the airplane is many
hundreds of miles out at sea, and many hours from land.
---- In addition - when operating on only 1 engine, a 2-engine airplane can fly at only about half its normal cruising speed, or, even a little less.
**Therefore, because the overwater distance between the US mainland and the Hawaiian Islands is over 2500 over-ocean miles, if an engine should
fail near the half-way point, (1250 miles from either Hawaii or the US West Coast, or, at the PET (Point of Equal Time), and traveling at the reduced single-engine
speed of only about 250 MPH, or, maybe even slower, it could take the airplane over 5 hours to reach either Hawaii or California.
**The passengers and crew aboard the United Airlines 2-engine Boeing 777, which recently lost the right engine soon after take-off from Denver,
bound for Hawaii, were extremely lucky that the engine did not fail 3 hours into the flight, when out over the ocean and over 1200 miles, and 5+ hours away, from the
United Airlines Flight #328 - February 20 - 2021 - Denver
Page 8 of 14|
When setting safety standards for airlines, worst-case scenarios must be assumed.
***I would certainly not like to be the captain of a fully loaded airliner, with hundreds of people's lives in my hands, flying at low altitude,
and, at half the normal speed, and, with only half the required equipment and airplane capabilities, across 1250 miles of open ocean, possibly at night, possibly in severe
and stormy weather conditions, as described above and below, for up to 5 to 6 hours, with only 1 engine operating.
***This would probably be the longest and most stressful and terrifying 5-6 hours that anyone on board, expecially the pilots, has ever
***Whether or not a 2-engine airliner, half-way Hawaii, would be able to reach the closest land with only one engine operating is not the
***I believe it is unconscionable for the airlines and government regulators to allow the above possibility to exist, and would allow these
airliners, carrying 400-500 passengers and crew, to operate for 5 to 6 hours at the very edge of disaster, as described above, and are willing to subject these innocent
and trusting passeners to the possibility of this prolonged and extremely terrifying situation, so that the airlines can cut their operating costs.
----In addition - The loss of 1 engine-driven generator, resulting in the reduction of available electrical energy to vital equipment, such as the di-icing equipment, weather
avoidance radar, complex navigation and communication systems, landing and anti-collision lights, fuel heaters and pumps, cabin environmental systems, and, many other
** (After the loss of one engine and its electrical generator, pilots, while struggling with the considerable aerodynamic and other problems
associated with the engine failure, must also react very quickly to shut down some of the electrical systems, mentioned above, in order to avoid extreme electrical
over-load damage, and possible failure, of the generator on the 1 remaining engine.)
---- In addition - The loss of 1 engine-driven hydraulic pump, needed for landing gear and flap/slat/speed-brake/thrust reverser operation.
----In addition - Extraordinarily higher fuel usage by the operating engine, caused by the much higher power demands on the 1 operating engine, and, because of the necessity of the
airplane having to descend after the loss of one engine, and, because the much denser air at these lower altitudes causes jet engines to use considerably more fuel than
at higher altitudes.
---- In addition - Unforcast headwinds, over the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, could, because of this much higher fuel usage, and, because of the reduced altitude and airspeed, caused
by the loss of one engine, exhaust the fuel supply before reaching land - which has happened before to jet airplanes operating at low altitudes.
**It is ironic that the NTSB/FAA and aircraft manufacturers acknowledge the necessity of an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to provide a third
source of electrical and hydraulic power, but, provide only a single back-up system to the most essential airplane components, which are, of course, the engines.
- - - ETOPS - - -
***Apparently, government regulators and executives of airlines operating 2-engine airliners on long over-ocean routes, are relying on the
information in a relatively recent, and constantly expanding program called ETOPS ---("Extended-Range Twin-Engine Operational Procedure
Standards"---, which, for the first time, and contrary to the policy of former FAA Administrator, J. Lynn Helms, as described above, attempts to justify the
extended over-ocean flights using airliners having only 2 engines).
***Apparently, the FAA, the NTSB, and, the airline executives are hoping that this dubious ETOPS program will shield and protect them from
responsibility (Civil and/or criminal) for any ocean-ditching catastrophe which may occur as a result of engine failure(s), which could result in a 2-engine
airliner, loaded with passengers, including children and infants, having to ditch into the ocean after the failure of 1, or both, of its engines.
***The ETOPS program is also known as EDTO (Extended Diversion Time Operations)
***In spite of its official sounding title, all ETOPS really does, at the obvious "Request" of various airlines, is to gradually, little by little,
increase the maximum over-water distance from land that 2-engine airliners are allowed to carry innocent, trusting, but, non-aviation knowledgeable passengers.
***(From the original 500 miles distance, and 1 hour flying time from land, that 2-engine airliners were allowed to fly, at the inception of
ETOPS, to the now greatly increased distance of thousands of miles and 5-6 hours of flying time from land).
***The fact that the ETOPS program even exists, shows that government regulators and airline executives are, and have been, fully aware of the
dangers of these 2-engine extended over-water operations, and, of the many recent engine failures and "Close-calls" that have happened to 2-engine airliners on their way
to Hawaii, and, therefore, in my opinion, the need for them to fabricate a document to hide behind (ETOPS) in a pitiful and cowardly attempt to cover their
money-grubbing asses in case a catastrophic ocean ditching of a 2-engine airliner, should occur after the failure of 1 of its 2 engines.Page 9 of 14
***Because ETOPS certification is based on the time required for an airliner to reach land with only 1 operating engine, and, because of the
very uncertertain speed and performance capabilities of these 2-engine airliners, when operating with only 1 engine, (as described above and below in this Report),
I believe that the 2500 mile over-water flights to Hawaii, may exceed even the most liberal mileage and flight time extensions/limits/allowances of ETOPS.
***Therefore, these extended over-ocean flights to Hawaii may be illegal and/or in viloation of FAA regulations and/or ETOPS rules.
***Because these Hawaiian flights may exceed ETOPS most liberal limits, the ETOPS farce may not provide the expected protection for
airline executives nor government regulators from responsibility for any airliner ocean-ditching which may occur.
***The original requirements necessary for an ETOPS certification, required that an advanced rated aviation mechanic perform
an extra maintainence inspection on an airliner, each time this airliner was about to fly an extended over-ocean route.------------------------------------------------
***Therefore, I believe that requiring these additional aircraft inspections exposes the fact that the FAA, the NTSB, and the airlines, are,
and have been, fully aware of the dangers of these 2-engine extended over-ocean airliner flights, and the need for these extra mechanical inspections.
***However -- From more recent FAA ETOPS Documents - - - - - - "We find that, because of the lack of enough mechanics, this
pre-flight inspection is impracticable because these regulations, as currently written (Pre-flight inspections by certified mechanics) are overly burdensome on the
airlines" -------- "ya right".
***So, even though these extra inspections were used to sell the ETOPS program, as a concession to the airlines, the FAA, once again,
by eliminating the requirement for these pre-flight inspections, has reduced its own previous safety standards.
***(In order to gather input from all potentially affected people and/or businesses, and, before enactment of any new law, or, before the
implementation of any new government program, such as ETOPS, the government normally publishes a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (NPRM) in the Federal Register, to invite
***I believe that an honest reporting of the results of an FAA NPRM ??? would have resulted in enormous opposition to the ETOPS 2-engine
***(For more information on the ETOPS Program, please click the "ETOPS" link at the bottom of page 14). ____________________________________________________________________
**Notwithstanding the "Miracle on the Hudson", in New York City, where an Airbus successfully ditched into the very smooth waters of the
Hudson River, and was quickly surrounded by numerous close-by rescue boats, which, incredibly, and, even though the tail of the airplane did rupture, allowing water to rush in, resulted
in no fatalities.
**However, an airliner attempting to ditch into the much rougher waters of the mid-Pacific, would most likely break apart upon hitting the water,
as occurred a few years ago when a 2-engine Boeing 767 airliner, (Ethiopian Airlines Flight #961), broke into pieces while attempting to ditch, in the
ocean, off the coast of Africa, ejecting its passengers into the sea, obviously resulting in numerous fatalities. (see: Below)
(See: YouTube video "Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961" to see what happens when a commercial airliner ditches into the ocean..
(A nighttime ditching, and the resulting situation, is beyond my meager comprehension abilities to imagine).
** For these very valid reasons, I believe that, as before, more than 2 engines are necessary to minimize the chances of these nightmarish
** Recent engine-failure events confirm that this concern is valid.
** It a mystery to me why the NTSB, the FAA, and other governments, would allow this possibility to exist.
** On the positive side, and, assuming no unexpected aerodynamic drag and vibration problems such as occurred on United Airlines Flight #1175,
which prevented this disabled airliner from the ability to maintain altitude, (to be explained below), the odds are still somewhat favorable that, under better
circumstances, an airliner would probably make it to either Hawaii, or California, with only one operating engine.
**However, the margin of safety, previously required in all commercial airline over-ocean operations, would be non-existent.
** The airplane would be operating on the very edge of disaster, for a thousand or more miles, carrying hundreds of passengers, at low
altitude, through possible darkness and inclement weather conditions, for up to 5 or more long and terrifying hours, with only 1 operating engine.
**As stated, and at least on paper (ETOPS), a 2-engine airliner should be able to operate indefinitely with only one engine running -
(Fuel permitting, of course)
**But, there are at least 2 events, recently occurring - United Airlines Flights #1175 and #328, which call into question whether or not this
single-engine flight capability can be depended upon for an extended time and distance.
** Event #1 - - On February 13th, 2018, an engine-failure/fan-blade failure event occurred on another Hawaii-bound United Airlines
2-engine Boeing 777 (Flt. #1175), which called into serious question the airplanes actual single-engine capability.
** On this United Airlines flight #1175, the unexpected and extreme aerodynamic "drag", caused by a large portion of the engine cover which
remained partially attached to the airplane after the fan-blade failure, and the resulting intense vibration, severely challenged whether or not this aircraft could have
overcome this unexpected and unanticipated extreme drag and vibration and maintained altitude for an extended distance.
** (In a shocking and eye-opening video, the Captain of UAL Flt. #1175. Mr. Christopher Benham, describes how the airplane was unable to maintain altitude with only 1 engine, and the serious doubt he had as to whether or not they would be able to make it the remaining 150 miles to Honolulu with only one engine, and, the necessity of having to brief the passengers on the possibility of having to ditch this airplane, with 381 people aboard, including many children and infants, into the Pacific Ocean. - - - - - - - - - - (Can anyone imagine this happening ?)
**These statements, by Captain Benham, completely obliterate the entire ETOPS sham.
Page 10 of 14
***Obviously, an additional 1 or 2 engines, as was required in the past, would have substantially increased the chances of this airplane staying in
the air, and making it safely to a much farther away airport.
** Fortunately, UAL Flight #1175 was only 150 miles (30 minutes) from Honolulu when the right engine failed, and had to immediately begin
a gradual descent toward the Honolulu International Airport, with the left engine set at full power, as the airplane was unable to maintain altitude with this
unexpected drag and severe vibration affecting the airplane.
***(It was only because they were close to the Honolulu Airport, and because of Captain Benham's high level of experience, knowledge, and skill,
and his ability to constantly and mentally compute the airplane's uncontrolled rate of descent, the remaining distance to the Honolulu Airport, and the airplanes
groundspeed, that they were able to (Barely) stay in the air for the 30 minutes needed to make a "Single-engine power-assisted descending glide" the short distance
to the Honolulu International Airport). .
*** As stated above, UAL Flight #1175 was only 30 minutes from Honolulu when the right engine failed, and, also fortunately, had burned-off most of
its fuel load, making the airplane much lighter, and much less of a burden on the 1 remaining engine, than had the engine failed 1 or 2 or 3 hours earlier.
*** Even at this much reduced weight, UAL Flight #1175 was still unable to maintain altitude with only 1 engine operating, and was forced to descend
at the rate of 1200 feet per minute.
*** We can only guess what the rate of descent might have been 1 or 2 or 3 hours earlier, when this disabled aircraft was hundreds of miles,
and, 2 or 3 hours from Honolulu, and, when carrying a much heavier load of unused fuel.
*** There can be absolutely no doubt, that, had the engine failure, which occured on UAL Flt. #1175, happened only a few minutes earlier than it did,
this airplane, carrying 381 people, would have been forced to ditch into the ocean.
*** I repeat that this was an extremely close-call which placed the lives of the passengers and crew of this 2-engine airplane in extreme
danger.Please considering the following --
***As previously stated, when setting safety standards for airlines, worst-case scenarios must be assumed.
***It cannot be stressed enough how fortunate the passengers and crew aboard UAL Flt. #1175 were, that, although cloudy at
the Honolulu Airport, under a 1000 foot cloud ceiling, Captain Benham still had ample visibility under the overcast, and, was able to keep visually oriented with the horizon, and with the runway, under this cloud ceiling, and, was visually able to make this very difficult single-engine approach and landing.
Remember, worst-case scenarios must be used in setting airline safety standards.
***With the unanticipated aerodynamic and vibration problems, and, lack of sufficient airspeed and power, caused by the engine failure, Captain
Benham was struggling, and, was barely able to control this disabled airplane during the approach and landing, even though he had visual reference to the horizon.
***It is my opinion that, even with Captain Benhams considerable skill, I believe he would have likely lost control of the airplane during
the approach and landing had there been strong and gusty crosswinds over the runway, or, heavy fog, or, other inclement weather present which would have obstructed his
view of the horizon and the runway at the most critical time of the landing.
***Let's assume all the adverse flight conditions that Captain Benham might have had to overcome in landing this crippled airliner, as listed above,
and, then, add the darkness of night to these circumstances.
***If there had been these severe (But not unusual), weather conditions at the Honolulu Airport, during the approach and landing, or, the
darkness of night, an additional 1 or 2 engines would have significantly increased the controllability and stability of the airplane during this very difficult approach and
***These airline passengers were extremely lucky that they had a Captain with the skill and experience of Captain BenhamPage 11 of 14
** Event #2 - During the recent event which occurred at Denver, not only did all the resulting negative events, as described above, occur,
but, in addition, the imbalance in the failed engine, caused by the missing fan-blades, caused unexpected vibration, and, along with the considerable drag, caused by
the "Windmilling" of the failed engine, also placed the airplane in an unexpected high-drag high-vibration situation possibility not anticipated during design
and certification. (Essentially the same as the above described incident)
** Again, and fortunately for those aboard this Hawaii-bound flight from Denver, the airplane was still close to the Denver Airport when the
engine failed, and, was not over the remoteness of the vast Pacific Ocean, and, was not 1250 miles, and, over 5 hours flying time, from the nearest land, when this
catastrophic engine failure occurred.
***An additional 1 or 2 engines would have significantly increased the chances of a safe ending for this flight had this engine failure occurred
3 hours into the flight when the airplane was over 1000 miles from the closest land.
***I submit that these incidents, and many others, were "Extremely close calls", and put the passengers and crews aboard these airliners in extreme
and unnecessary danger in order for the airlines to save money on fuel.
***With the numerous 2-engine airliners operating daily between the US and Hawaii, it would seem logical to assume that, based on recent events,
engine failures have probably occurred on these flights.
**If so, probably without media coverage, and, thankfully, without catastrophic results, although a disaster could occur at any time.
**But, we must remember, as previously stated, that throughout the history of commercial aviation, major airliner disasters have often occurred
after many years and many uneventful flights involving aircraft operated with unknown or ignored safety vulnerabilities.
***Therefore, the fact that there have been no recent airliner ocean ditchings is not evidence that 2-engine airliners are safe on long
***As stated above, we must correct this safety issue BEFORE, not AFTER, a disaster occurs, as there have been previous Hawaii bound airliner
ditchings, caused by engine failures.
***When an airliner is carrying 400 passengers, including children and infants, even 1 castastrophic accident is 1 too many.
***NOTE -- Averaged over the last eight months, American Airlines has had planes experience three engine failures per month - far more than any other
***During that eight-month period, FAA records showed American had 23 failures, Delta had 17, United 15, US Airways 10, Continental 10, Southwest 7
and Northwest 7.
***Fortunately, all of these recently "Reported" engine failures occurred when these airliners were over land and were not mid-ocean.
***With this large number of airliner engine failures, it is, in my opinion, only a matter of time before another situation, such as occurred on
United Airlines Flight #1175, as described above, happens again.
***This time, the passengers and crews of these airliners may not be so lucky.
--- Regarding, what I believe, is the obvious collusion between the media and powerful business interests, I have recently reviewed a
news report, by Honolulu TV Station, KHON-TV (Channel 2), of the engine failure incident which occurred on United Airlines Flight #1175, a 2-engine Boeing 777, on
its way to Honolulu, in February of 2018, as described above.
**The sensational negative publicity which would certainly follow a catastrophic ocean ditching of an airliner full of tourists, believing they
were on their way to a vacation in Paradise, in addition to costing many innocent lives, would certainly discourage future tourism to the Hawaiian Islands, which would
severely and negatively impact the tourist based economy of the Hawaiian Islands, and the jobs of its citizens.
**So, one would hope that a civic-minded and responsible Hawaiian based TV station would want to inform its citizens and businesses of recent
airliner close-calls, and, any potential airline disaster, so that the public could make informed decisions and/or express their concerns to the various airlines, state
officials, and, federal regulators, concerning this airline safety risk, and, this obvious threat to the Hawaiian economy.
BUT - NO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O
***Instead, KHON (Channel 2) News falsly reported that the near-catastrophic engine failure event, which nearly resulted
in UAL #1175, carrying 381 passengers, having to ditch into the ocean, as the loss of only the engine "Cover", which "Implied" that the failed engine had continured to run
throughout this event, and, also falsly reported that this event did not endanger the lives of the passengers and crew,
***In fact, the lives on board this airliner were in grave danger, and, were hanging by the slenderest of threads, while this airplane struggled
to stay in the air and make it to Honolulu with only 1 engine running.
***This KHON-TV News report, that the passengers were "Never in any danger", delivered by Mr. Peter Forman, KHON's so-called "Aviation expert", with
what seemed like an arrogant and condescending smile/smirk on his face, is in direct and obvious conflict with the statements of the Captain of UAL Flight #1175, as described,
in detail, in the YouTube Video, referred to above, in which Captain Christopher Benham describes how close this airliner, loaded with passengers, came to ditching into the Pacific
Ocean after the failure of its right engine.
***In what I believe was another attempt to confuse the audience and minimize this near catastrophic event, and, because there are some aircraft
capable of landing on the water, (But, certainly not a 400,000 pound commercial airliner,) a different KHON-TV news reporter "Non-chalantly" stated that
losing the engine "Cover" could have resulted in a "Water landing", rather than accurately describing it as an ocean-ditching, "implying" that this
"Water landing" (sic) would have been merely an unusual, but not all that serious of an event, and, not accurately reporting that a "Water-landing" would not only
have been an unusual event, but, would have been a catastrophe, and, would certainly have been fatal for the majority, if not all, the passengers and crew aboard this
***In my opinion, this kind of news reporting is intended to confuse and deceive the viewers of these news reports.
***In fact, the passengers and crew aboard UAL Flt. #1175 were extremely lucky to escape this engine-failure event with their lives.
***This KHON-TV News report, in my opinion, should have accurately reported how close this engine-failure event came to becoming a disaster of
immense proportions, and, because UAL Flt. #1175 was carrying 381 people, could have become the worst one-airplane disaster in aviation history.
***Rather than colluding with United Airlines in minimizing the seriousness of this engine-failure event, I believe the
owners/executives/news-directors, of all Hawaiian media, should have, at least on this one "Life and death" issue, quietly tried to work with the airlines, under threat
of exposure, to correct this indisputable safety issue before an airline disaster, with immense consequences, occurs.
**KHON-TV (Channel 2) was provided with this entire safety blog, including all the attachments, but, has not
acknowledged, commented on, nor, responded to this important safety issue, which greatly affects the safety and well-being of its viewers.
Page 12 of 14
*** Because 3 or 4-engine airplanes were used in the past, and based on the statements of former FAA Administrator
J. Lynn Helms, as described on the "HOMEPAGE" of this Report, we have to assume that the NTSB and the FAA have been well-aware of the obvious safety issues involved in using
airliners having only 2-engines on extended over-ocean flights, but, at the request, and, as a concession to the airlines, have hidden this vital information from the
public, and have "For whatever reasons", allowed this potentially disastrous situation to continue.
**Unfortunatey, only after a catastrophe happens will this serious safety risk be exposed and those responsible for this reduction of safety
standards will be held accountable.
**Generally speaking, the flying public is often unaware of the extreme complexity of commercial airliner operations, and, with the many other
complex issues involved in aviation, and, just hope and trust that the appropriate government agencies will always place public safety first, while regulating scheduled
**Until recently, this trust was well-placed, as, in my opinion, in past days of old, airline regulators were less susceptible
to "Incentives" from airplane manufacturers, and/or airlines, and always put safety first, regardless of cost.
**Sadly, during recent months and years, we have all become more aware of this widespread lack of ethics of many government regulators in their
pursuit of various industry "Incentives".
**In attempting to avoid what all pilots know is the real issue, at the recent NTSB preliminary press conference, concerning UAL Flt. #328, the
Chairman ignored the safety issues described above, but, instead, focused on issues that we already know, and pretended that they were the real issues to be investigated.
**However, there is no mystery of UAL #328 that the NTSB needs to investigate.
**We already know what caused the recent engine failures.
**The fan blade inspection process was defective.
**The fan blade defect was corrected, as all previous aircraft mechanical issues have been corrected.
**The NTSB and the FAA are obviously aware of the compromises of safety in these Hawaiian Island and other long over-ocean flights, and, officials
at the NTSB preliminary hearing, obviously, and, I believe, intentionally, avoided the real issue of how close we came to catastrophes of immense proportions.
**Catastrophes, as previously stated, that would have been the fault of the NTSB and the FAA, for allowing these flights, and would not have been
the fault of Pratt & Whitney, because, as stated above, everyone knows that all man-made machines can, and do, fail.
Page 13 of 14
**The fallibility of all man-made machines is why, up until recently, multiple redundancy (More than 1 back-up system) in all vital components,
was always required in the construction of commercial airliners, and why 3 or 4 engine airliners, not 2-engine airliners, which lacked sufficient engine redundancy and
single-engine performance capabilities, were always used on long over-ocean flights in the past.
**As stated above, the statements in this document are not conspiracy theories.
**They are proven by the indisputable facts contained in this report and by the"Near-disasters" which have recently occurred on 2-engine airliners
on their way to Hawaii, and to other places.
**In my opinion, because of these obvious and indisputable risks to the flying public, the NTSB and the FAA must do the jobs they were created
**As stated above, and, compared with the hundreds of airliners currently in the fleets of Hawaiian, Delta, American, Alaska, United, and,
other airlines serving the Hawaiian Islands, it would take only a relatively few 3 or 4 engine airliners to replace the 2-engine airliners, currently in use on the
**Compared to the distastrous loss of life and devastating economic effects of a passenger-filled airliner ditching, the cost of replacing these
2-engine airliners would be minimal.
**I believe the insurance companies that insure these airlines, and, whose excecutives may be unfamilar with the dangers of 2-engine
over-ocean operations, may, themselves, be interested in the information in this Report.
**I believe that, when the executives of the many airlines, now using 2-engine airliners on extended over-ocean flights,
finally remove their heads from their butts, and realize the dangers they are subjecting their passengers, employees, and stockholders to, will be eager to explore all
***I have been reluctant to raise these safety issues in the past.|
*** However, recent events, exposing the continuing fallibility of aircraft engines, have shaken me to the point where I now believe that,
regardless of the expense and disruption of airline operations, and, to reduce the possibility of disastrous events, such as are described above, we must immediately address
***By ignoring these obvious, indisputable, and inescapable facts, and pretending they do not exist, we have, for far too long, been "Whistling past the graveyard", and have been very lucky - at least, so far.
***I would respectfully request that anyone, including aviation "Experts", who may question the accuracy of any technical aviation related information contained in this
report, or, who may question my judgement as to the risks described above, to please find any statement in this report which is not 100% accurate.
NTSB Safety Report - - - Signed - A. Rioni ("Ace") Material
xxx For much more detailed information concerning this critical airline safety issue – click the links below.Return to Homepage
ETOPS -- (FAA 2-engine Over-water Rules)
Letters (Alerts)to Airline Executives
Page 14 of 14
This Document Was Slightly Edited For Clarity And With Images Added.
***I have been reluctant to raise these safety issues in the past.
*** However, recent events, exposing the continuing fallibility of aircraft engines, have shaken me to the point where I now believe that,
regardless of the expense and disruption of airline operations, and, to reduce the possibility of disastrous events, such as are described above, we must immediately address
***By ignoring these obvious, indisputable, and inescapable facts, and pretending they do not exist, we have, for far too long, been "Whistling past the graveyard", and have
been very lucky - at least, so far.
***I would respectfully request that anyone, including aviation "Experts", who may question the accuracy of any technical aviation related information contained in this
report, or, who may question my judgement as to the risks described above, to please find any statement in this report which is not 100% accurate.