Planespotting II

Old May 22nd 2020, 5:47 pm
  #736  
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Default Re: Planespotting II

The picture with the RAT deployed appears to show the flaps dully retracted. Struggling to figure out why this would be so too, this low to the ground. More flap = more lift (at low speeds), and they sure needed as much lift as they could get.

Asiana 214
American Airlines 1420 came to mind for me. Pilots forgot to arm the ground spoilers when landing in an active thunderstorm and the plane slid off the runway, killing 11 (including the PIC)
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Old May 22nd 2020, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
The picture with the RAT deployed appears to show the flaps dully retracted. Struggling to figure out why this would be so too, this low to the ground. More flap = more lift (at low speeds), and they sure needed as much lift as they could get.



American Airlines 1420 came to mind for me. Pilots forgot to arm the ground spoilers when landing in an active thunderstorm and the plane slid off the runway, killing 11 (including the PIC)
I looked up RAT - Ram Air Turbine, an emergency generator / power source used when main generation fails. Can you actually see it in the pictures? I can't, but then, I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

So do I understand this - the aircraft came all the way down to the point where the engines scraped along the ground, THEN tried to do a 'go around'? Surely you can't get enough lift once 'down' to do a go around? Presumably at the moment the engines touched the ground, they were still working and they got 'enough' power out of them to lift up and attempt another landing?
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Old May 22nd 2020, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I looked up RAT - Ram Air Turbine, an emergency generator / power source used when main generation fails. Can you actually see it in the pictures? I can't, but then, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. ...?
It's a very small propeller that on the A320 deploys from the underside of the centreline of the fusilage, directly between the wings. You can see it in the two static images in the linked web page, but honestly you'd have to know what you're looking for to recognize it, it is is little more than a small shadow in those pictures.
..... So do I understand this - the aircraft came all the way down to the point where the engines scraped along the ground, THEN tried to do a 'go around'? Surely you can't get enough lift once 'down' to do a go around? Presumably at the moment the engines touched the ground, they were still working and they got 'enough' power out of them to lift up and attempt another landing?
Right, from the stories/ rumors reported it sounds like the pilot opened the throttles and took off again right when the engines corls dragged on the ground, and the most favourable interpretation that I can come up for what happened is that the pilot took the decision to go around just seconds before the engines scraped the ground, and that the scrape occured in the interval between him deciding to attempt a go-around and the engines increasing the airspeed enough for the plane to start to climb again.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 22nd 2020 at 8:08 pm.
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Old May 22nd 2020, 8:01 pm
  #739  
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Indeed, it takes time for engines to respond to commands, and TOGA (Take Off/Go Around) is maximum power. Often 105% of N1.

The electrical power generated by the RAT is sufficient to power the control surfaces though, and I reiterate that it appears the flaps and slats were not extended which puzzles me somewhat.

Pilot error appears, at this time, to be a significantly contributory factor as Pulaski has pointed out.
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Old May 22nd 2020, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I looked up RAT - Ram Air Turbine, an emergency generator / power source used when main generation fails. Can you actually see it in the pictures? I can't, but then, I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

So do I understand this - the aircraft came all the way down to the point where the engines scraped along the ground, THEN tried to do a 'go around'? Surely you can't get enough lift once 'down' to do a go around? Presumably at the moment the engines touched the ground, they were still working and they got 'enough' power out of them to lift up and attempt another landing?




It's a no go zone for ground crew to walk under as well, it can deploy on the ground with no warning, or maintenance can do it as well.

Not all aircraft have them. 737 for example doesn't have one.
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Old May 22nd 2020, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
The picture with the RAT deployed appears to show the flaps dully retracted. Struggling to figure out why this would be so too, this low to the ground. More flap = more lift (at low speeds), and they sure needed as much lift as they could get.
Less flap, less drag. It’s easy to make a decision when you have the time to sit and think. In the heat of the moment, not so much.
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Old May 22nd 2020, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Yep, true enough.
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Old May 22nd 2020, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
. More flap = more lift (at low speeds), and they sure needed as much lift as they could get.



)
More flap=more lift, Your forgetting more drag. Apparently, there was a dual engine failure, therefore in a clean config, you will cover more distance without power.

Just seen this mentioned earlier by markonline1

Last edited by audio; May 22nd 2020 at 11:36 pm. Reason: add on
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Old May 23rd 2020, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Planespotting II

I had about 1500 hours in a 320 in the LHS in the mid-nineties, hopefully I can shed some light on a few queries.

The RAT, is positioned on the fuselage near the leading edge on the LHS.

It can be deployed automatically or manually. It is housed in its own compartment and only visible when deployed.

The electrical supply with RAT is for essential services and the flight controls default to alternate law. This gives a reduced flight protection which make things a bit difficult as normally the 320 is easy to fly accurately in all weather conditions.

(The River Hudson guys fortunately had fuel for the APU).

Reports of scraping on both engine cowlings can only indicate the main gear partially or fully up when landing. A nose gear failure would not cause this by itself.

On a fairly normal day, with all the warnings given for a no gear approach, I think to miss the gear fully lock-down would be extremely rare.

If the initial landing attempt was without wheels there would have been a very high risk of fire due to the close proximity of fuel lines and sparks from the cowlings sliding along the runway

Perhaps this landing was aborted due to the runway end coming up fast, or was it the fire risk I just mentioned?

Perhaps the engines flamed out due fuel starvation from the above, perhaps, perhaps??

All just speculation on my part.

RIP and condolences to all friends and families affected.
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Old May 23rd 2020, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by audio View Post
I had about 1500 hours in a 320 in the LHS in the mid-nineties, hopefully I can shed some light on a few queries.

The RAT, is positioned on the fuselage near the leading edge on the LHS.

It can be deployed automatically or manually. It is housed in its own compartment and only visible when deployed.

The electrical supply with RAT is for essential services and the flight controls default to alternate law. This gives a reduced flight protection which make things a bit difficult as normally the 320 is easy to fly accurately in all weather conditions.

(The River Hudson guys fortunately had fuel for the APU).

Reports of scraping on both engine cowlings can only indicate the main gear partially or fully up when landing. A nose gear failure would not cause this by itself.

On a fairly normal day, with all the warnings given for a no gear approach, I think to miss the gear fully lock-down would be extremely rare.

If the initial landing attempt was without wheels there would have been a very high risk of fire due to the close proximity of fuel lines and sparks from the cowlings sliding along the runway

Perhaps this landing was aborted due to the runway end coming up fast, or was it the fire risk I just mentioned?

Perhaps the engines flamed out due fuel starvation from the above, perhaps, perhaps??

All just speculation on my part.

RIP and condolences to all friends and families affected.
Reminds me of a commercial flight I was on back in the 90s. As we approached Oakland International Airport for landing, the pilot said 'well folks, you may have heard a strange noise on takeoff. That was, we think, a tire blowing out. So we are going to do a low pass over the air traffic control tower so they can take a look at our landing gear'. We were then taken through the rehearsals for a crash landing, and there were fire engines lining the runway. Thankfully, we had a pretty normal landing! Everyone clapped and cheered as we came to a stop! I guess if one tire is blown, the others are vulnerable to blowing due to fewer tires carrying the full load? Anyway - that was my worst landing experience ...

So if the landing gear is completely 'gone', what are the chances of a safe landing? How often does that happen?
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Old May 23rd 2020, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

So if the landing gear is completely 'gone', what are the chances of a safe landing? How often does that happen?
A safe landing has happened many times, they will spray fire retardant foam on the runway to lower the risk of fire. Pilot has to bring the aircraft in wings level though, because one engine contacted the ground before the other will usually end up in the aircraft cartwheeling down the runway,
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Old May 23rd 2020, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
..... Pilot has to bring the aircraft in wings level though, because one engine contacted the ground before the other will usually end up in the aircraft cartwheeling down the runway,
Which is something that I think is often overlooked about Sully's "Miracle on the Hudson", that he had to bring the plane down dead-level or it would have cartwheeled and likely broken up.
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Old May 23rd 2020, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
A safe landing has happened many times, they will spray fire retardant foam on the runway to lower the risk of fire
That I think is something of a misconception. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but the issue with that, without starting to get all technical (and going way above my actual level of knowledge) is ARFF (aircraft rescue & Fire fighting) vehicles don’t just spray any old foam. It’s a precise mixture of chemical and water as required (over here) by the FAA. Once they are out, they are out. Depending on the aircraft served, the ARFF truck(s) are required to carry a certain amount of this product which then defines the airport index. We would not be able to spray the runway in foam and then deal with any further fire, like most airports. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, because it absolutely does. But I would say pretty confidently, it doesn’t happen more than it does. But level wings is absolutely critical as you say.
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Old May 23rd 2020, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by markonline1 View Post
That I think is something of a misconception. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but the issue with that, without starting to get all technical (and going way above my actual level of knowledge) is ARFF (aircraft rescue & Fire fighting) vehicles don’t just spray any old foam. It’s a precise mixture of chemical and water as required (over here) by the FAA. Once they are out, they are out. Depending on the aircraft served, the ARFF truck(s) are required to carry a certain amount of this product which then defines the airport index. We would not be able to spray the runway in foam and then deal with any further fire, like most airports. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, because it absolutely does. But I would say pretty confidently, it doesn’t happen more than it does. But level wings is absolutely critical as you say.
I'm sure you are trying to convey something useful here but I'm utterly confused by your post . It seems logical to me that any airport would only have enough 'stuff' (fire retardant in this case) for one major emergency, but they wouldn't hesitate to use it if needed even if that meant they wouldn't have any left for a second emergency right away. But maybe you are saying something else?
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Old May 23rd 2020, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Planespotting II

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I'm sure you are trying to convey something useful here but I'm utterly confused by your post . It seems logical to me that any airport would only have enough 'stuff' (fire retardant in this case) for one major emergency, but they wouldn't hesitate to use it if needed even if that meant they wouldn't have any left for a second emergency right away. But maybe you are saying something else?
I thought that what he was saying is that once a fire engine is drained that it can't be refilled with retardant in a time frame where it would be any use for a plane that had just crashed.
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