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Old Nov 2, 11, 7:32 pm   #1
 
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Ask the Pilot: Gear Up!

Now up in my ASK THE PILOT column at Salon.com: GEAR UP!

On Tuesday afternoon, a LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 made a graceful touchdown at then airport in Warsaw. The problem was, the plane had no landing gear. Incidentally I fly 767s, so this story was of particular interest to me...


Some excerpts:

".... Landing gear malfunctions tend to be splendidly telegenic, but rarely if ever are they going to end in catastrophe. What made Tuesday's LOT mishap somewhat different, and potentially more hazardous, was that NONE of the jet's three assemblies had come down. This increased the likelihood of a fire or serious structural damage, as both of the plane's massive engines would be sliding along the pavement at high speed. Directional control would also be difficult -- probably the most challenging aspect of the landing...

...Nevertheless, what we saw unfold is about what I, for one, would have * expected * to unfold. The landing itself would have been perfectly routine up to the last second. From a pilot's perspective there's no real trick other than to touch down as slowly and smoothly and with the wings as level possible -- not a whole lot different from normal. (Approach and landing speeds are determined by weight, not technique: the jet would have been comparatively light, having burned away most of its fuel during the long flight from America.)

...The key to minimizing damage and injury in a situation like this is preparation. The aircraft circled above Warsaw providing ample time for the pilots to troubleshoot, run their checklists, and to brief the rest of the crew and passengers on what to expect. The flight attendants would haver reviewed their evacuation procedures, stowed away loose items and made sure everyone was ready. On the ground below, fire and rescue crews got into position (as did the gawkers with their cellphones and cameras). Really this wasn't about pilot technique or seat-of-the-pants skills so much as preparation, coordination, and good * management * of a crisis.

The million-dollar question, meanwhile, is how in the world did all three landing gear units of a modern commercial airliner fail to come down?..."


The FULL article can be read for free here:

http://life.salon.com/2011/11/01/saf...ing/singleton/




Recently in ASK THE PILOT:

OH MY GOD, THEY'RE DUCT-TAPING OUR PLANE!


The FULL story, click here:
http://life.salon.com/2011/10/27/rya...rsy/singleton/


Enjoy,
PS
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Old Nov 3, 11, 2:24 am   #2
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It's unbelievable!! They just made emergency landing without landing gear down. Wow! I cannot not believe it! How lucky they are, huh?
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Old Nov 3, 11, 10:17 am   #3
 
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It's unbelievable!! They just made emergency landing without landing gear down. Wow! I cannot not believe it! How lucky they are, huh?
They're not lucky. Such landings pose little additional risk to the passengers. The most dangerous part of such a landing is exiting down the inflatable slides which often produce injuries such as burns, sprains, and broken bones.
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Old Nov 7, 11, 2:02 am   #4
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They're not lucky. Such landings pose little additional risk to the passengers. The most dangerous part of such a landing is exiting down the inflatable slides which often produce injuries such as burns, sprains, and broken bones.
Did they have evacuation from the aircraft? How many passengers who not have any injured. What exactly happened the plane? Is they will take out of service within the week.
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Old Nov 7, 11, 9:01 am   #5
 
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Did they have evacuation from the aircraft? How many passengers who not have any injured. What exactly happened the plane? Is they will take out of service within the week.
Yes, they evacuated via slides.

There was obviously a mechanical problem with the landing gear. Lots of possibilities. I haven't yet heard what they found.

The repair work will be extensive. I'd expect it to be measured in weeks, not days.

I don't understand the second question.
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Old Nov 7, 11, 5:32 pm   #6
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Did they have evacuation from the aircraft? How many passengers who not have any injured. What exactly happened the plane? Is they will take out of service within the week.

One of many news reports
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Old Nov 7, 11, 11:12 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
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They're not lucky. Such landings pose little additional risk to the passengers. The most dangerous part of such a landing is exiting down the inflatable slides which often produce injuries such as burns, sprains, and broken bones.
Did you look at the linked article? Are you telling us that a fire in an engine upon landing doesn't pose significant additional risk to passengers?
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Old Nov 8, 11, 10:46 am   #8
 
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Did you look at the linked article? Are you telling us that a fire in an engine upon landing doesn't pose significant additional risk to passengers?
That is why you do the evacuation. It isn't part of the landing.
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