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This week's 'feel-good' story


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 22:22

Completely off motor sport, and off nostalgia...unless one has it for 'feel-good' stories... Knowing that many TNFers share an interest in aviation, have you seen this?

<http://www.liveleak....=9e6_1232166872>

(The action begins at about 3:31.00 on the time line - camera operator twigs and zooms in at about 3:31.34.)

PS - Sorry Stu - can this if it's too OTP.

DCN

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#2 sterling49

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 22:50

A cool pilot brought the plane down safely, amazing end to a dramatic landing. Incredible to see how the video flashed around the world from a ferry passenger's mobile device, before the journos had a chance to get the story and pictures, the modern world in all its glory. Such a brilliant pilot, pity he never piloted my recent flight to Dublin a short while ago, I thought of the words of that little old Australian lady "Did we land, or were we shot down?".

:up:

#3 Twin Window

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 22:51

Originally posted by Doug Nye

PS - Sorry Stu - can this if it's too OTP.


Not at all, Doug - on the contrary in fact; I think we could all do with an dose of 'feel-good factor' at present.

I'm no aviation buff, but even I can appreciate that what he achieved was quite incredible (regardless of any fortuitous circumstances which worked in his favour, apparently). When I first heard that the probable cause was a 'double bird-strike' I couldn't help but feel for the families of David Leslie, Richard Lloyd and the other poor souls on that plane last year which was also felled by a similar double-engine failure upon take-off.

Had they too only been as fortunate...

#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 23:03

As a follow-up, I heard an item on the radio this morning wherein a chap advised everyone to STAY OFF aircraft for the next couple of weeks.

Why? The reasoning goes like this....

All airline pilots have big egos. They will all look at the events in the Hudson and say "I can do that!" Therefore, don't go near an airplane for a while. (It was funnier on the radio - I promise you.)

On a more serious note, it MUST be remembered that although the pilot did a fantastic job, he and his passengers were very lucky for two major reasons. 1. They landed on a river, not the open sea and therefore it was much calmer water than it might have been; and 2. They could not have landed closer to rescue services if the had planned the ditch. In similarly calm water but 5 miles offshore and the results would have been very different.

However, good on the pilot and great news for all concerned.

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 23:49

The media have misled public opinion to I guess a perhaps understandable extent in heaping praise upon 'the pilot'. As I am sure he should be the first to emphasise - the Captain's First Officer and entire crew also seem to have performed superbly. As Twinny rightly says - our friends David and Richard, their young engineer and their flight crew at Biggin didn't get the same opportunity, nor option of any 3,000-foot wide, ten-mile long watery alternate...

DCN

#6 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 23:57

Originally posted by Doug Nye
... the Captain's First Officer and entire crew also seem to have performed superbly.

Absolutely. The cabin crew got the passengers out onto the wings, in an orderly fashion, incredibly quickly. I'm still impressed with the pilot, though. Even in that calm water it must have been very difficult to keep the aircraft so level that neither wing tip dug in.

#7 byrkus

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 00:05

This was probably the one landing, that comes close to the legendary Gimli Glider. I never believed it would be possible for a big plane to land on water - and not break into pieces. Excellent piece of flying, and certainly even more incredible piece of landing.

:up: :up: :up:

#8 RStock

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 01:02

Some more videos here of the "splash landing'

http://www.cnn.com/2...ideo/index.html

One of the passengers said when they hit the water , it wasn't much more than a slight bump . Like getting rear ended in your car at slow speed . The flight attendants have received much deserved praise for their actions also .

I agree , this is a much needed "feel good story" , and Mr. Boor is right , that the circumstances were rather lucky .

#9 markpde

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 01:05

Originally posted by Barry Boor
They will all look at the events in the Hudson and say "I can do that!"

To relate this to motor sport, that puts you in mind of what Jeff Gordon said about Alex Zanardi's legendary move on Bryan Herta at the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca - something like, "I watch other drivers pull moves and think, 'I could do that' - I watched that one and thought, 'NO WAY could I do that!'" :)

So I figure it's still safe to fly... ;)

#10 PCC

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 01:15

Notwithstanding their healthy helping of luck, I'm sure everyone on that plane deserves credit - the pilot for a virtuoso performance, the crew for evacuating efficiently and effectively under unbelievable stress, and the passengers for doing what they were told and (evidently) not panicking. The really sobering thing for me is the realization of how cavalier I've become about the emergency instructions that flight attendants recite before take-off. It never occurred to me that, in the event of an air crash, my life (and even the lives of others) might be in my own hands. This has been a real wake-up call.

#11 weisler

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 02:31

It is a wonderful "feel good" story. It's a nice change of pace to hear of stories with happy endings.... Pretty rare nowadays, unfortunately.

Also very cool to hear that the pilot (like myself!) is a Purdue University graduate!!!

#12 TrackDog

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:55

There are two factors regarding bird strikes. Over the last couple of decades, jet engines have been designed to operate at a much quieter level than in times past, and birds can't always hear them coming; and birds don't migrate like they used to. Canadian Geese, in particular, don't migrate because of the cold weather; rather, the lack of food dictates where they winter. There is usually a large supply of both food and grassland in the major cities in the winter months, so that's where they stay.

It's almost impossible to design a jet engine that will perform well after a bird strike, or to design one that won't suck birds that get too close into it. A jet engine is literally a big sucking fan; that's how it works.

The actions of Captain Sullenberger reminded me of what Tom McCahill always preached from the pages of Mechanix Illustrated; to always picture in your mind what could happen in front of you, and make a mental preparation for what you'd do if that emergency presented itself. Over the years, many people wrote to him to thank him for that advice, and how it saved their lives.


Dan

#13 lanciaman

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 04:00

Originally posted by weisler
It is a wonderful "feel good" story. It's a nice change of pace to hear of stories with happy endings.... Pretty rare nowadays, unfortunately.

Also very cool to hear that the pilot (like myself!) is a Purdue University graduate!!!


Makes me proud of having sent two of me little ones to Purdue. Poor though I be for it....

This event will be considered as a convergence of perfect circumstances. The pilot by every account was born to do this- licensed at 14, crop dusting at 15, named as best flier in his class at the Air Force academy, a consummate glider pilot and a total student of the art of flying. Plus you had New York commuter ferries at the crash site in 2 minutes, first responders there in 5 minutes. Probably the closest squeek the pilot had was making his turn and committing to the river when he realized he could not make the Teeterboro strip in New Jersey, and came low over the George Washingtown Bridge-- with 900 feet clearance by all accounts-- and then lined up his approach in the middle of the river. And the only thing he said to the passengers during the 5-6 minute drama was "brace for impact."

The pilot was the last man out of the airplane and the last man off the raft onto the rescue boat. Good on you, Sully!

#14 T54

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 04:15

It is a wonderful story and sometimes luck is a good lady. I remember a time when pilots were not merely what many are today, simply bus drivers. I remember the days when pilots could loop a 707 or a Convair 990. This pilot is of the same blood. I tip my hat to him as well as to all the crew.

#15 David Birchall

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 05:16

I was a flight attendant through the 1970s and trained for this type of event constantly. However, we all felt that if it came to the actual event occurring the best solution would be to "Please place your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye!!"
db

#16 Gary C

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 08:03

I just checked, and from splashdown at timeline 2'02" to the first ferry getting alongside the aircraft, it's only FOUR minutes!! Superb piece of airmanship for sure.

#17 Stephen W

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:58

Originally posted by lanciaman
This event will be considered as a convergence of perfect circumstances. The pilot by every account was born to do this- licensed at 14, crop dusting at 15, named as best flier in his class at the Air Force academy, a consummate glider pilot and a total student of the art of flying. Plus you had New York commuter ferries at the crash site in 2 minutes, first responders there in 5 minutes. Probably the closest squeek the pilot had was making his turn and committing to the river when he realized he could not make the Teeterboro strip in New Jersey, and came low over the George Washingtown Bridge-- with 900 feet clearance by all accounts-- and then lined up his approach in the middle of the river. And the only thing he said to the passengers during the 5-6 minute drama was "brace for impact."

The pilot was the last man out of the airplane and the last man off the raft onto the rescue boat. Good on you, Sully!


I was totally amazed whatching the footage. I was also very impressed by the coolness under pressure of the whole flight crew when listening to the survivors stories. However the most wonderful image I have in my mind is of the pilot calmly checking the plane to ensure no one is left aboard. :up:

On the technical side I am sure someone said on the BBC news that there was a bird strike that took out one engine and that the second engine shutdown. Would this have been programmed into the flight software or would there have been a second malfunction?

:wave:

#18 Mal9444

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:40

Remarkable footage.

No less worthy of praise is the coxswain of the ferry: not the handiest of craft for such a task. He too made a text-book approach. The natural urge to get alongside quickly has to be brutally curbed lest one arrive with too much way on and over-run the casualty. Of particular concern would have been 'grounding' the ferry's bow on the wing, and thus risking tipping or even capsizing the precariously floating aircraft, while manoeuvring the unhandy vessel close enough to start getting people off.

I very much hope that he (or she) too recieves due recognition for a very cool performance under very great pressure.

#19 Barry Boor

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:31

Only another sailor would be aware of that. :up:

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#20 f1steveuk

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:53

Originally posted by markpde

To relate this to motor sport, that puts you in mind of what Jeff Gordon said about Alex Zanardi's legendary move on Bryan Herta at the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca - something like, "I watch other drivers pull moves and think, 'I could do that' - I watched that one and thought, 'NO WAY could I do that!'" :)

So I figure it's still safe to fly... ;)


To illustrate how smoothly the pilot "landed" (watered?) the Airbus, I noticed that at least one engine, designed to come off to keep the craft afloat in just such circumstances, was still attached.

As for Zanardi's "legendary" overtake at the Corkscrew, I watched it, sitting next to Alex once, and said then, and still think, he wasn't on the track, brave, but not "legal", and told him so. To his credit, he sort of agreed!

#21 Hieronymus

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:04

This is a miracle. Landing a plane, with its engines mounted under the wings!!

I recall a passenger aircraft ditching into the Indian ocean off East Africa a couple of years ago...plane ran out of fuel after a highjack attempt. Pilot got it down, but the plane broke up due to several factors. Waves, etc. Naturally also the fact that this aeroplane's engines were also hanging underneath the wings.

Try to land with a model aircraft on water and see what happens. If the Hudson river plane was a MD DC-9 or something else (WITH ENGINES MOUNTED AT THE TAIL), I would say it was more likely of doing a succesful crash landing, so it just shows that the Hudson river splash down is nothing short of a mircale.

#22 Stephen W

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:20

Originally posted by Stephen W
On the technical side I am sure someone said on the BBC news that there was a bird strike that took out one engine and that the second engine shutdown. Would this have been programmed into the flight software or would there have been a second malfunction?


12:00 BBC News now reporting that it was a "double bird strike" that took out both engines. I wonder how many birds it actually hit!

:wave:

#23 markpde

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:23

Originally posted by f1steveuk
As for Zanardi's "legendary" overtake at the Corkscrew, I watched it, sitting next to Alex once, and said then, and still think, he wasn't on the track, brave, but not "legal", and told him so. To his credit, he sort of agreed!

I sort of agree too! I never saw footage of it at the time, only later; I'd heard about it of course, but I have to confess when I saw it for the first time, I thought what you thought - not legal. Not so different from you-know-who's move at you-know-where last year (yeah, I know, let's not get into that again...) :rolleyes: :)

#24 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:21

Originally posted by Hieronymus
This is a miracle. Landing a plane, with its engines mounted under the wings!!

I recall a passenger aircraft ditching into the Indian ocean off East Africa a couple of years ago...plane ran out of fuel after a highjack attempt. Pilot got it down, but the plane broke up due to several factors. Waves, etc. Naturally also the fact that this aeroplane's engines were also hanging underneath the wings.

Try to land with a model aircraft on water and see what happens. If the Hudson river plane was a MD DC-9 or something else (WITH ENGINES MOUNTED AT THE TAIL), I would say it was more likely of doing a succesful crash landing, so it just shows that the Hudson river splash down is nothing short of a mircale.


The Seychelles incident was complicated by the hijacker grabbing the controls at the last minute, causing one wing to touch the water first.

The Hudson River incident was a copybook straight alighting (not "landing" please!) with a high angle of attack at the last moment to prevent the nose ploughing in as the result of the nose-down pitching moment caused by the engines' hydrodynamic drag. Breaking the engines off absorbs a good bit of the energy that has to be dissipated, and does not damage anything else.
Ditching a rear-engined aeroplane is a bit less hazardous, but this is only the second true ditching (as opposed to uncontrolled flight into water) by a jet airliner* so I don't think we need insist on rear engines.

*the other was an RAF Nimrod, which, although it is not actually an airliner, being based on the Comet is more airliner than bomber for this comparison.

#25 RS2000

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:23

Not sure about the bit where the passengers are all said to have behaved perfectly. It was obvious from photos eleswhere that a significant number had not done up the tapes on their life jackets, as briefed to do on every over-water flight, and were standing/sitting on the wing with life jackets extending horizontally. If they'd gone in the water they would have slipped off their necks and over their heads.

#26 Mal9444

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 15:09

Originally posted by RS2000
Not sure about the bit where the passengers are all said to have behaved perfectly. It was obvious from photos eleswhere that a significant number had not done up the tapes on their life jackets, as briefed to do on every over-water flight, and were standing/sitting on the wing with life jackets extending horizontally. If they'd gone in the water they would have slipped off their necks and over their heads.


:up:

Quite right.

#27 Hieronymus

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 15:32

Originally posted by Allan Lupton


The Seychelles incident was complicated by the hijacker grabbing the controls at the last minute, causing one wing to touch the water first.

The Hudson River incident was a copybook straight alighting (not "landing" please!) with a high angle of attack at the last moment to prevent the nose ploughing in as the result of the nose-down pitching moment caused by the engines' hydrodynamic drag. Breaking the engines off absorbs a good bit of the energy that has to be dissipated, and does not damage anything else.
Ditching a rear-engined aeroplane is a bit less hazardous, but this is only the second true ditching (as opposed to uncontrolled flight into water) by a jet airliner* so I don't think we need insist on rear engines.

*the other was an RAF Nimrod, which, although it is not actually an airliner, being based on the Comet is more airliner than bomber for this comparison.


Thanks, this seems like an expert analysis. Much appreciated. Do you know if the plane lost all power in both engines...if so, how did the pilot pulled of this historic landing?? Lining up the aeroplane, etc.

#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:07

Search for 'water landing' or 'ditching' on Wikipaedia - yes really - and they have quite a good listing there now. The most impressive was the 1963 Neva River ditching of an out-of-fuel Tu124 - again 100% survival. As we so often discover here on TNF, nothing's new... Oh, and the Seychelles incident - Ethiopian hijacking -mentioned above actually impacted off the Comoros.

The Hudson watermen's intervention was impressive wasn't it - the first ferry meeting the 'bus, throttle versus oncoming current, and others moving onto station with it as it swept along at such an impressive rate upon that startlingly strong current.

DCN

#29 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:09

Originally posted by Hieronymus


Thanks, this seems like an expert analysis. Much appreciated. Do you know if the plane lost all power in both engines...if so, how did the pilot pulled of this historic landing?? Lining up the aeroplane, etc.


Not really expert, but I did spend my working life with an aeroplane manufacturer.
I do not know, but I understand both power plants failed.
What you have then is a rather large glider, but if you think of what real gliders can do (and the fact that the pilot flies gliders in his spare time!) it is then just (!) a matter of using whatever height you have to best advantage. Part of that was to recognise that he hadn't enough height to make it to another airfield (Teterboro I think) so he did not try. Had he done so and landed short, he and his passengers and crew would probably not have survived.
Even in this computer-controlled age, we can recognise airmanship when we hear of it, and be glad it still exists.

#30 Bonde

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:30

By no means wanting to belittle the Nimrod crew's feat, the Nimrod might possibly be a less difficult aircraft to ditch than an A320 - had the use of landing flaps been an option. The Nimrod's engines are buried in the wing root, so the nose-down pitching moment would be less, and it wouldn't be prone to yaw like an Airbus with one engine still attached would. However, the Nimrod's engines won't come off in a crash or ditching situation like they will on a low-wing airliner, so they will scoop in a lot of water, possibly causing a not insignificant pitching moment (although I suppose that both the engine thrust axis and the centre of gravity on a Nimrod is fairly close to the hydrodynamic centre of pressure axis at a fairly broad range of pitch angles and levels of submersion). Again, it probably would have been a case of the pilot keeping the nose up until sufficient speed had bled off before submerging the inlets. However, the Nimrod pilot of the Moray Firth ditching did not have the use of flaps available, so the aircraft would have come in rather faster and "flatter" than the A320, and the Nimrod did break up on hitting the water. Fortunately for the Nimrod crew, they were probably better attired for ditching than airliner occupants, and the water was perhaps not quite as cold.

#31 Hieronymus

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:31

Thanks, Alan

It seems that the one engine did come off on landing. Gliding capabilities...yes, indeed, but you also need luck on your side when you run out of power. I recall another incident where a big passenger aircraft run out of fuel (I think). The pilots glided the plane in over a massive distance...something like 100km from the airport. I unfortunately can't remember where and when, though. USA again??

#32 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:43

I think thatyou are referring to the Gimli Manitoba, Canada, landing of an Air Canada Boeing 767 out of fuel. Again the pilot flew gliders in his spare time. The aerodrome was out of service and a drag race meeting was just finishing, but the pilot was able to pick a runway that was not being used.

#33 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:57

Just to clarify a couple of details to answer questions raised in postings above:

It has been reported that the "bird strike" involved Canadian Geese. A strike of a bird of that size would certainly render an engine to have nil power due to stripping of turbine blades.

Apparently both engines were struck and thereby rendered powerless. And to answer whether a second engine would automatically shut down with the loss of the first and the answer is an emphatic no; in fact the plane is designed to fly quiite well on a single engine once out of take off mode.

With the reported take off of 3:26 the bird strike would have found the engines at near full power for climb but the plane at very near cruising speed.

From cruising speed the plane would have a nil power glide rario of greater than 10 to 1, that is it would make greater than 10 units forward for every one unit of altitude drop, all without loosig forward speed.

From the time of the bird strike the spped would have been high enough to have full control functions within the glide ratio.

Excellent airmanship, yes. One of the few instances of a successfullsea ditching of a commercial airliner, yes. But certainly not un-precedented for such size aircraft. During WW2 there were countless cases of successful at sea ditchings of large and small planes returning from missions and either out of fuel or too badly damaged to make it bake to land. The water landing technique is taught to all military pilots but most don't get the opportunity to practice. :) (My uncle gave me the chance to at least learn some of those things. :lol: :lol: )

Regards

#34 f1steveuk

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 17:47

A question for those more informed than me on this, but isn't a 320, "fly by wire", and if so, if the engines cut, how was control effected?? I thought it was all a little "stick" and a computer did it, and without power, what would the back up be? Just curious!

#35 Mal9444

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 18:10

Actually, isn't it 'Canada Geese', rather than Canadian Geese?

And, Doug, just for clarity: from a boat-handling point of view, the current would have played no part, since all vessels involved, each being free floating on the same body of moving water, are not affected by it. Indeed, it is much more tricky to come alongside a free-floating object, such as this downed aeroplane, than it is to come alongside a stationary object (such as a jetty, or an object anchored to the seabed) where one may use use the current to help one's own vessel stop just where one wants it. That, among other things, is what makes what they did so very impressive.

#36 fbarrett

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 18:24

Friends:

With both engines out, I wonder if he was able to get the flaps down, to reduce speed. It appeared from the nose-high attitude that he was. I also wonder how the other flight controls could operate.

Frank

#37 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 19:33

Originally posted by Mal9444
And, Doug, just for clarity: from a boat-handling point of view, the current would have played no part, since all vessels involved, each being free floating on the same body of moving water, are not affected by it. Indeed, it is much more tricky to come alongside a free-floating object, such as this downed aeroplane, than it is to come alongside a stationary object (such as a jetty, or an object anchored to the seabed) That, among other things, is what makes what they did so very impressive.


Mal - precisely my point. My big brother was a boat builder for many years and we grew up handling them - up to 60-70 footers - a lot. First ferry in contact - apparently heading up-current- met the 'bus coming down current...without (again apparently) ramming it, or being rammed by it. Good stuff...as you say. Ooh-aah, Jim lad...

DCN

#38 philippe charuest

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 19:39

Originally posted by Robin Fairservice
I think thatyou are referring to the Gimli Manitoba, Canada, landing of an Air Canada Boeing 767 out of fuel. Again the pilot flew gliders in his spare time. The aerodrome was out of service and a drag race meeting was just finishing, but the pilot was able to pick a runway that was not being used.

more recently ,the same thing happen on a flight between canada and somewhere in europe (an airbus of Airtransat) and the pilot (robert piche)after 200km or so of gliding with no engines at all was able to land smoothly in the Acores

#39 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 20:49

A few random thoughts about points from the recent posts:

The idea that a good engine would automatically be shut down after the failure of the other is quite ludicrous. The whole point of multiple power plants is system redundancy, so (e.g.) you design the thing to be able to continue a take-off after one engine fails at the critical point.

Yes the A320 (and a lot of aeroplanes these days) is "fly-by-wire", and anyway since the introduction of the Comet in the 1950s there have been aeroplanes with fully powered controls (i.e. no manual reversion).
What you have to do (as a designer) is to provide an alternative power source for the systems that does not depend on the engine-driven pumps or alternators. After all it is possible to have a pump (or alternator) failure on its own.
How you do it includes stored power (batteries) and alternative power generation (Airborne APU, or ram air turbine) which may provide either hydraulic or electric power (and you can use one of those to drive the other).

Yes a lot of WW2 aeroplanes ended up in the oggin, but they were quite small and light (and slow) by the standards of even an A320, let alone A380!

I can't remember what sort of lift/drag ratios are the norm, but I would say that "better than 1:10" perhaps should be "much better than 1:10". I remember calculating drift-downs that extended well over 100 n.m.

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#40 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 21:51

Originally posted by Allan Lupton
What you have then is a rather large glider....


Actually, what you have then is an aerodynamic brick. Whatever their other virtues, modern commercial aircraft are not very good gliders, particularly at lower altitude around urban settings.

I have mentioned it elsewhere, but I have flown the approaches and egress routes out of Washington National in various aircraft simulators -- MD88, 757, 737-300 -- and you are in the laps of the gods when such a situtation happens. Despite sitting next to a truly seasoned pilot, we still managed not to avoid parts of the Washington, DC landscape. Skill only gets you so far since there are so many variables to contend with; however, a major part of the success with the incident on the Hudson was that the cockpit crew remembered Rule No. 1 -- Continue to Fly the Airplane!

As Doug also makes it a point to mention, it is a team effort. The cockpit crew and the cabin crew have to work as a team.

What was frustrating to me was that I knew that a bird strike scenario was coming at some point during those particular routines -- I crammed like crazy -- and it still was a kicker. We ended up running a number of various scenarios at my request after the first two. The single-engined scenarios were very hard, particularly when low and slow or full of fuel.

It is more difficult than it looks.

I continue to be impressed.

You can fly forever and never have an emergency remotely like that occur. But, you only get one shot to get it right when it does happen. Aircraft are infinitely safer today, with redundent systems and various backup systems to power the controls, powered and manual.

Rule No. 2 is to always pick "lucky" when given a choice between being good or lucky -- you can always go something about good, but lucky is another story....

And, yes, I tend to avoid flying out of Washington National like the plague....

#41 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 22:03

I have it on good authority - Airbus line-pilot-cum-instructor - that the extremely advanced A319-320-321-series wing glides rather well...

DCN

#42 D-Type

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 22:23

Full marks all round:
to the pilot for his airmanship
to the boatmen for their seamanship
to the flight crew for the successful evacuation
to the designer or producing an aircraft that would glide with no power
and finally to Lady Luck!

#43 TrackDog

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 22:53

The news websites are saying that in the case of a bird strike, the chance of losing both engines is less than 1 percent. So, this was an extremely rare set of circumstances all the way around.

The geese, or whatever they were that hit the plane, didn't show up on ground radar, but there were enough of them to completely obliterate the windscreen of the airplane. I guess it doesn't take a lot of 15-20 pound birds to cause havoc if there's a closing speed of 250-300 mph.

I'm surprised that there aren't more accidents involving birds and racing cars...I remember a seagull hitting Dale Earnhardt's car at Daytona one year and knocking a hole in the front fender just above where the headlight would have been on a regular car; and IIRC, Rudi Caricciola's career-ending accident at Indy might have been caused by a bird hitting his helmet; but not many other car/bird accidents come to mind.


Dan

#44 David Birchall

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 23:28

Us Canadians spread out quite a bit on impact! :blush:

#45 D-Type

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 23:34

Originally posted by TrackDog
The news websites are saying that in the case of a bird strike, the chance of losing both engines is less than 1 percent. So, this was an extremely rare set of circumstances all the way around.

The geese, or whatever they were that hit the plane, didn't show up on ground radar, but there were enough of them to completely obliterate the windscreen of the airplane. I guess it doesn't take a lot of 15-20 pound birds to cause havoc if there's a closing speed of 250-300 mph.

I'm surprised that there aren't more accidents involving birds and racing cars...I remember a seagull hitting Dale Earnhardt's car at Daytona one year and knocking a hole in the front fender just above where the headlight would have been on a regular car; and IIRC, Rudi Caricciola's career-ending accident at Indy might have been caused by a bird hitting his helmet; but not many other car/bird accidents come to mind.


Dan

Alan Stacey, Spa 1960
Karl Kling/Hans Klenk, Carrera Panamericana 1952

#46 Barry Boor

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 23:59

Didn't a similar event befall Jim Clark at Reims in 1966?

#47 RStock

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 02:18

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Didn't a similar event befall Jim Clark at Reims in 1966?


Yes , in qualy . He couldn't make the start because of it .

#48 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:06

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I have it on good authority - Airbus line-pilot-cum-instructor - that the extremely advanced A319-320-321-series wing glides rather well...

DCN


As I wrote above!

The more efficient the aeroplane the better it will glide (penetrating statement of the obvious, there) and Airbus wings in general, targe and small, are the most efficient in the world.

In the case in point, the main lifesaver was the altitude at which the geese were operating - if they had been in the flightpath earlier and lower there would have been insufficient height for the best pilot in the best aeroplane to have found and used a survivable procedure.

I would not normally take issue with HDonaldCapps, but the contrast between a powered airliner and the same machine power-off would make it feel like a brick, much in the same way that when the brakes fail on a car, it seems to accelerate as you press the inactive brake pedal.

#49 alansart

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 14:19

Originally posted by philippe charuest
more recently ,the same thing happen on a flight between canada and somewhere in europe (an airbus of Airtransat) and the pilot (robert piche)after 200km or so of gliding with no engines at all was able to land smoothly in the Acores


I think it was this one: http://www.airdisast...236/photo.shtml

Ironically I had just returned from Canada having flown with Air Transat. No problems, they were very good.

I'd recorded some racing whilst away. I watched it and when finished the tape cut into what had been recorded previously. It was a program on the Transat "glider". I'm glad I hadn't watched it before I'd gone off on holiday :eek:

#50 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 15:03

Kling and Klenk hit a vulture, I believe, during the Carrera and actually were fortunate to survive relatively unscathed. I once examined a single-engined Piper which had struck a crane - as in species of bird :rolleyes: - while on finals to land. The bird had passed through the propeller arc, which presumably reduced it to a collection of component parts still in close formation, and yet so great was their aggregate mass and energy that the remains then slammed through the windscreen - thankfully passed between instructor and student - and still smashed into the rear cockpit bulkhead so hard that it bulged it backwards, which pulled-in the fuselage skins some 2-3 inches all round. The crew got away with landing their now wasp-waisted flying machine - with its completely open forward balcony - but it proved beyond economic repair - a write-off.

So, I regret to report, was the crane.

DCN