• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

UAL bird saved by the USAF

dispatchguy

Dad is my favorite title
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
1,569
Total Time
NIL
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123149266

by Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon
18th Wing Public Affairs

5/14/2009 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Most of us hear stories of Airmen saving lives in combat, but an Airman who saves the lives of more than 300 passengers is definitely a story worth hearing.

A fuel leak on a civilian aircraft caught the attention of Staff Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, during a flight from Chicago to Narita airport, Japan. After alerting the pilots and aircrew, the ranking pilot made the decision to divert the flight to San Francisco.

"I noticed the leak on the left side of the aircraft right behind the wing earlier during take-off," said Sergeant Bachleda.

Sergeant Bachleda continued analyzing the outflow of fuel to be 100 percent sure it was a leak while the plane was reaching cruising altitude. Almost an hour into the flight, he told a stewardess of the possible leak, but was given an unconcerned response.

Sergeant Bachleda then began to capture the possible leak on video. He then got the stewardess' attention by saying, "Ma'am it's an emergency." He identified himself to her and showed her the leak on video.

"She was completely serious and was no longer handing out drinks," he said. "I told her you need to inform your captain before we go oceanic."

The captain came from the cockpit to where Sergeant Bachleda was sitting to see the leak and view the video footage. Sergeant Bachleda said the captain and the crew were trying to figure out how the aircraft was losing 6,000 pounds of fuel an hour and then they knew exactly what was going on.

The captain made a mid-air announcement the flight would be diverted back to Chicago, but then changed it to San Francisco so passengers could catch the only existing flight to Narita airport.

Once the flight arrived in San Francisco, Sergeant Bachleda and a coworker were asked to stay back while the aircraft was deplaned. They waited for the arrival of investigators, the fire chief, and the owner of the airport to explain what went wrong.

"When we got off the airplane everyone was thanking us," said the sergeant.

While conversing with the captain, the sergeant said he was hesitant at first to inform them about the leak, but he knew it was abnormal. The captain said they would have never made it to Japan if it wasn't for him.

The two Airmen were placed in a hotel overnight and flew back to Japan the next morning. The airline company showed their appreciation by seating them first-class.
 

ACL65PILOT

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Posts
4,621
Total Time
9000+
I agree. If I was loosing 6,000 lbs of fuel an hr, there is no way I would coast out.
 

wmuflyguy

flunky
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Posts
2,006
Total Time
5k+
That is an excellent story.
 

BigPappa

Name is Mitch Buchannon
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Posts
367
Total Time
Mucho!
Retired Guy, give us a friggen break. What is this the spelling police? He is a pilot not an English professor.
 

ACL65PILOT

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Posts
4,621
Total Time
9000+
You are a forth floor guy. For crying out loud, learn the difference between "loosing" and "losing".


You are correct. I do know the difference. I was not paying attention to the auto correct (darn I-phone), but I am not a fourth floor guy. Wrong floor and wrong building.
 
Last edited:

WayBack

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2004
Posts
1,153
Total Time
2.4
Glad to know the flight attendants treated this man as if he was an idiot.
She should be fired.
 

JumpersAway

Cruise Bores Me.......
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Posts
1,222
Total Time
9000++
Glad to know the flight attendants treated this man as if he was an idiot.
She should be fired.

Do you realize how many "back seat aviatiors" they probably deal with on a day to day basis. There's an old saying that the two worst things in an airplane are.......

-Two Captains in a DC-9.

-A private pilot in the cabin.

I commend the Air Force personel for an astute observation. However, I don't fault the flight attendants at all for not taking the initial query seriously. However, it was good to see that they did eventually take the matter seriously after being further querried and identified.
 

WayBack

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2004
Posts
1,153
Total Time
2.4
Do you realize how many "back seat aviatiors" they probably deal with on a day to day basis. There's an old saying that the two worst things in an airplane are.......

-Two Captains in a DC-9.

-A private pilot in the cabin.

I commend the Air Force personel for an astute observation. However, I don't fault the flight attendants at all for not taking the initial query seriously. However, it was good to see that they did eventually take the matter seriously after being further querried and identified.

Was he in uniform? If so, she should have taken his word for it.
Also, how hard would it take her to walk her little biscuits to his seat and look out the window? Hell, she didn't even have to walk to his, she could just look out one of the 200 windows on the side of a 747.
 

maremare505

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Posts
54
Total Time
Enough
Somebody PLS send this to CNN or any of the major news network. Maybe they can have one of the EXPERTS, tell us what really happenned;).
Seriously, I think these Airmen (Although they may not want to be) owe to be recognize publictly.
Kudos to them.
 

JungleJett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
1,111
Total Time
1
Do you realize how many "back seat aviatiors" they probably deal with on a day to day basis. There's an old saying that the two worst things in an airplane are.......

-Two Captains in a DC-9.

-A private pilot in the cabin.

I commend the Air Force personel for an astute observation. However, I don't fault the flight attendants at all for not taking the initial query seriously. However, it was good to see that they did eventually take the matter seriously after being further querried and identified.

Your not doing your job unless you take input from the back of the airplane seriously.

We were taxing out of Houston and the FA calls up front and says that a passenger is hearing a weird noise from over the wing..where his seat was. He said the "flappy things" on the top of things were also just going up and down. Well, they were and they were not supposed to be. Our taxi speed would have kept them closed and it was happening so fast, the indication in the cockpit was moving so fast, it did not trigger a message. We taxied a little further and stop in the run up area..as soon as we stopped, we get an EICAS message. We called MX and they advised us to taxi back. When we got back to the gate, I went back and thanked the guy. He said he did not initially want to bother us but has flown with us quite a bit and never heard or seen that before. I am not saying he saved the airplane and her occupants, but he prevented an interesting situation.

Never discount those in the back...
 

waterski

E90 335i
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Posts
273
Total Time
7500+
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123149266

by Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon
18th Wing Public Affairs

5/14/2009 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Most of us hear stories of Airmen saving lives in combat, but an Airman who saves the lives of more than 300 passengers is definitely a story worth hearing.

A fuel leak on a civilian aircraft caught the attention of Staff Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, during a flight from Chicago to Narita airport, Japan. After alerting the pilots and aircrew, the ranking pilot made the decision to divert the flight to San Francisco.

"I noticed the leak on the left side of the aircraft right behind the wing earlier during take-off," said Sergeant Bachleda.

Sergeant Bachleda continued analyzing the outflow of fuel to be 100 percent sure it was a leak while the plane was reaching cruising altitude. Almost an hour into the flight, he told a stewardess of the possible leak, but was given an unconcerned response.

Sergeant Bachleda then began to capture the possible leak on video. He then got the stewardess' attention by saying, "Ma'am it's an emergency." He identified himself to her and showed her the leak on video.

"She was completely serious and was no longer handing out drinks," he said. "I told her you need to inform your captain before we go oceanic."

The captain came from the cockpit to where Sergeant Bachleda was sitting to see the leak and view the video footage. Sergeant Bachleda said the captain and the crew were trying to figure out how the aircraft was losing 6,000 pounds of fuel an hour and then they knew exactly what was going on.

The captain made a mid-air announcement the flight would be diverted back to Chicago, but then changed it to San Francisco so passengers could catch the only existing flight to Narita airport.

Once the flight arrived in San Francisco, Sergeant Bachleda and a coworker were asked to stay back while the aircraft was deplaned. They waited for the arrival of investigators, the fire chief, and the owner of the airport to explain what went wrong.

"When we got off the airplane everyone was thanking us," said the sergeant.

While conversing with the captain, the sergeant said he was hesitant at first to inform them about the leak, but he knew it was abnormal. The captain said they would have never made it to Japan if it wasn't for him.

The two Airmen were placed in a hotel overnight and flew back to Japan the next morning. The airline company showed their appreciation by seating them first-class.
......?
 

ImbracableCrunk

Unregistered Un-User
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
Posts
1,481
Total Time
6AM
I agree. If I was loosing 6,000 lbs of fuel an hr, there is no way I would coast out.

Nobody would. (Okay, almost nobody would.) Your fuel predictions would be so far off before coast-out, you'd catch it long before.

I think the article title should read "UAL Pilots Thank USAF Guy for Finding the Leak They Were Noticing On the Gauges."
 
Top