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JetBlue’s ‘4 Hours of Hell’(Kept Flying Because It Couldn't Dump Fuel:R Airbus Designers Depraved?
New York Post ^ | June 20, 2012 | Bill Sanderson

Posted on 06/20/2012 10:14:52 AM PDT by lbryce

A mechanical failure sent a JetBlue plane like this one careening wildly through the skies, sparking panic among the 155 people aboard the Las Vegas to New York flight, passengers told The Post yesterday.

“It was four hours of hell,” said Travis McGhie, who described how the plane kept lurching from side to side and going into steep turns when its hydraulic system failed Sunday.

“People were getting sick. Some people were throwing up. There were a lot of people getting nauseous,” said another passenger, Tom Mizer.

The crew did everything they could to prevent panic. One flight attendant walked down the aisle saying: “Look at me — I’m smiling. If I was scared, you would know it. If I’m not scared, you don’t need to be,” Mizer said.

There was no screaming, but “there were definitely people reacting out loud,” said McGhie.

Mizer and McGhie, both Brooklyn residents, realized something was wrong as soon as the full Airbus lifted off from the Vegas airport.

“You could hear a screeching — an obvious mechanical screeching,” said Mizer. “We were bouncing around a lot.”

One of the pilots declared an emergency and radioed Las Vegas controllers that they were dealing with “quite a few things, but the initial thing is . . . we’ve lost two hydraulic systems.”

The plane was loaded with five hours’ worth of fuel. Because the A320 is incapable of dumping excess fuel, the pilots circled the area south of the Vegas Strip until they’d burned enough to allow the crippled plane to land safely.

“People on board got a little freaked. People were upset. Nobody was crazy, but everyone was upset.

“It became a long, sort of very tense waiting game,” Mizer said.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airbus; eu
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The plane was loaded with five hours’ worth of fuel. Because the A320 is incapable of dumping excess fuel, the pilots circled the area south of the Vegas Strip until they’d burned enough to allow the crippled plane to land safely.

In emergency situations such as this, especially on take-off with the plane filled with fuel the first thing that pilots are taught to do is to dump as much fuel as possible, first, to have the plane as maneuverable, light as possible making it easier to control, land and secondly less fuel means less chance of an explosion during the impact of an out of control attempt to land.

So, under circumstances where people's lives are very much at stake, I couldn't fathom why where the dumping of fuel can make the difference between life and death for countless of passengers, the hydraulics having failed, why is the Airbus A320 forced to fly hours on end to burn as much fuel as possible instead of being able to dump fuel to land as quickly safely as possible?

And then it finally occurred to me that that the reason the Airbus 320, perhaps the entire Airbus family of aircraft are unable to dump fuel was because the bureaucrats at Airbus are more concerned about creating an environmental hazard of dumping fuel then the safety of the passengers, with having the passengers brought back safe and sound as quickly as possible. If my thinking is correct, you've got to wonder as to the sort of depraved designers, engineers who work at Airbus.

1 posted on 06/20/2012 10:15:04 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

Gee, this is pretty scary. One has to wonder about that. Absolutely right about the dumping fuel. Meanwhile, I probably would have been bumming out just from all the people hurling everywhere. Yeccch.


2 posted on 06/20/2012 10:18:21 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: lbryce

Don’t blame the engineers, blame the bureacrats in Brussels who dictated the specifications.


3 posted on 06/20/2012 10:19:52 AM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: lbryce

“Travis McGhie”?

I’ve read all of his books... ;~)


4 posted on 06/20/2012 10:21:41 AM PDT by moovova
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To: lbryce

Many airliners cannot dump fuel. Including many Boeing models.

This story is really nothing but hype, and I am a diehard Boeing fan.

In reality, only one of the hydraulic systems actually failed.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/faqs/fueldump.pdf

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_3_07/article_03_1.html

http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFar.nsf/daa4c54debeb6dca86256f3400626ab0/cde1b43d9bb02cd386256c8d005bcaf0!OpenDocument


5 posted on 06/20/2012 10:22:27 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: lbryce

If the plane can’t dump fuel and has to remain in the sky anyway, why didn’t they just continue the flight and thereby minimize the inconvenience to the passengers?

Really: you’re going to be in the air all that time, might as well get where you’re going!


6 posted on 06/20/2012 10:22:48 AM PDT by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: stylecouncilor

No fuel dumping capability? A-320 ping....


7 posted on 06/20/2012 10:22:59 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: lbryce
I like taking The Jet Blue to Las Vegas. I usually take the 777 flight to Las Vegas out of Boston and then the 778 flight heading back. I think this flight number brings me good luck on the strip.

The Jet Blue is actually my favorite airline - they have those video monitors on the back of every seat and there is plenty of legroom. I usually get a couple of Heinekens while on board.

Very good airline, The Jet Blue, highly recommended.

8 posted on 06/20/2012 10:23:36 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: lbryce
In emergency situations such as this, especially on take-off with the plane filled with fuel the first thing that pilots are taught to do is to dump as much fuel as possible

Just out of curiosity, where would a pilot look to do this (obviously not over a densely populated area) body of water/grassland/forest? Any idea what the ramifications to that area are? Is the fuel just left to evaporate or does an organized clean up need to occur?

9 posted on 06/20/2012 10:24:31 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: SamAdams76

http://avherald.com/h?article=45165c68&opt=0

A more rational report.


10 posted on 06/20/2012 10:24:40 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: lbryce

“......If my thinking is correct, you’ve got to wonder as to the sort of depraved designers, engineers who work at Airbus.”

I’d believe the guilty party would not be the designers/engineers, but the depraved idiocy of the Leftist Politicos of the European Union who would have put out the rules the designers/engineers would have to work from.


11 posted on 06/20/2012 10:25:42 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: South Hawthorne

It evaporates pretty rapidly.

The fuel jettison system tends to vaporize the fuel.

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/5/5/7/1457755.jpg

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/1/9/7/1386791.jpg


12 posted on 06/20/2012 10:27:33 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: lbryce
Shortly after take off on a flight from LIH - PHX, on an Airbus 320, the pilot announced that there was a problem with the flaps and we'd have to return to LIH. He returned to the airport and landed ~20 minutes after the announcement. I never understood that. Hate those planes anyway.

13 posted on 06/20/2012 10:28:13 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: lbryce
1). it is air BUS. Of course they are depraved.

2). Do you think the restriction on fuel dumping was because of the insane environmental movement? It wouldn't be the first very dangerous/deadly policy they forced.

14 posted on 06/20/2012 10:29:40 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: Don W

They cannot continue the flight with the loss of one of the hydraulic systems.

If you have a dire emergency, you just land overweight. Landing overweight is permissible and requires extra maintenance and checks.

If it’s a minor emergency, you take your time and burn the fuel off. You fly low and dirty to increase fuel usage.

If your plane has the fuel dump system, then you can dump the fuel.

If the emergency is extreme, and you must get down now, even fuel dumping will take too long, so you begin dumping fuel as you prepare to land, and you dump fuel all the way down until the last moment.


15 posted on 06/20/2012 10:32:15 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: ltc8k6

In the report linked to in post #10 it states that two hydraulic systems failed


16 posted on 06/20/2012 10:33:38 AM PDT by lbryce (BHO-"Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds by way of Trinity, NM)
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To: Travis McGee

Someone had to ping you on this....


17 posted on 06/20/2012 10:35:54 AM PDT by Ancesthntr (Bibi to Odumbo: Its not going to happen.)
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To: lbryce
Airbus is the EU model implemented in a corporation. It is the EU’s shining example of the success of their cooperation.
18 posted on 06/20/2012 10:35:59 AM PDT by 5thGenTexan
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To: MeganC

“Don’t blame the engineers, blame the bureacrats in Brussels who dictated the specifications.”

Airbus is owned lock, stock and barrel by the bureacrats. It is time to send them a message...do not fly on an Airbus...PERIOD! I made that choice some time ago...I will not fly on an Airbus. Any Airbus.

Give me a 747 any time for a long trip...totally dependable. I was on one once, a British Airways flight from Los Angeles to London, and over Las Vegas an engine problem occurred that meant the No 3 engine had to be shut down. We flew on to JFK, flying safely at 24,000 ft to burn more fuel, and we landed safely. The engine was changed out and we continued on to London the next morning. I did not sense any fear on the part of passengers on that flight, partly because the Captain was jovial and kept the passengers informed about the problem/solution.


19 posted on 06/20/2012 10:36:20 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders.)
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To: Don W

{I}If the plane can’t dump fuel and has to remain in the sky anyway, why didn’t they just continue the flight and thereby minimize the inconvenience to the passengers?

Really: you’re going to be in the air all that time, might as well get where you’re going!{I}

Really? You are advocating departing the proximity of an airport, with rescue and firefighting equipment after you have had a single or double systems failure?

Really?


20 posted on 06/20/2012 10:37:43 AM PDT by ace2u_in_MD (You missed something...)
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To: Don W

{I}If the plane can’t dump fuel and has to remain in the sky anyway, why didn’t they just continue the flight and thereby minimize the inconvenience to the passengers?

Really: you’re going to be in the air all that time, might as well get where you’re going!{/I}

Really? You are advocating departing the proximity of an airport, with rescue and firefighting equipment after you have had a single or double systems failure?

Really?


21 posted on 06/20/2012 10:38:26 AM PDT by ace2u_in_MD (You missed something...)
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To: South Hawthorne

I was on a DC-10 (United, I think) taking off from O’Hare about 20 years ago when a fan blade in the left engine broke, punched its way through the engine cowling, and ricocheted off the nearest passenger window. The pilot shut down the engine, reassured us that the DC-10 could fly safely on the remaining two engines, and proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes dumping enough fuel into the Great Lakes to enable us to land back at O’Hare safely. Any concerns I might have had about the environment evaporated immediately; all I cared about was getting back on the ground safely.

It was this incident that started my fear of flying, and I quit entirely two years ago. I’m not into near-death experiences.


22 posted on 06/20/2012 10:39:30 AM PDT by American Quilter (Romney is the GOP nominee. I'm so depressed.)
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To: lbryce

No, it says one failed, and one overheated, but kept working, and the crew got the overheating system going properly again.

If they had not gotten the yellow system going again, they would have had to land immediately and overweight.

The bouncing around was from the crew having trouble with control. You can’t continue to fly with control troubles, you have to land.


23 posted on 06/20/2012 10:41:46 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: lbryce
"The only time you have too much fuel is when you are on fire" and "It it ain't Boeing, I ain't going."

/johnny

24 posted on 06/20/2012 10:41:46 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: lbryce
So, under circumstances where people's lives are very much at stake, I couldn't fathom why where the dumping of fuel can make the difference between life and death for countless of passengers, the hydraulics having failed, why is the Airbus A320 forced to fly hours on end to burn as much fuel as possible instead of being able to dump fuel to land as quickly safely as possible?

In short, "The aircraft's rated "Take-Off" weight is far greater than the "Landing Weight"." It would not be a good thing to have the Landing Gear collapse if the aircraft landed with full fuel tanks. This is why most jets have fuel pumps to dump excess fuel into the atmosphere.

The Landing Gear have to deal with a tremendous amount of force - they are not designed to take the weight of the aircraft at landing with full fuel tanks. However, they are well within design parameters for taxi and take-off with full tanks.

25 posted on 06/20/2012 10:43:16 AM PDT by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: lbryce
Jettisoning fuel with the afterburners lit in an F-111:


26 posted on 06/20/2012 10:46:57 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: ltc8k6

I hope none of you fly on 737’s or 757’s or most early 767’s, because they can’t dump fuel either...


27 posted on 06/20/2012 10:48:45 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: Hodar

“Landing overweight and fuel jettisoning are both considered safe procedures: There are no accidents on record attributed to either cause. In the preamble to Amendment 25-18 to FAR Part 25, relative to fuel jettison, the FAA stated, “There has been no adverse service experience with airplanes certificated under Part 25 involved in overweight landings.” Furthermore, service experience indicates that damage due to overweight landing is extremely rare.”

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_3_07/article_03_2.html


28 posted on 06/20/2012 10:53:27 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: Don W

Why? To remain in sight and glide distance of an airport that supports emergency services.


29 posted on 06/20/2012 10:53:37 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: ltc8k6

Overweight landings are safe because of the conservatism required in the design of transport category airplanes by FAR Part 25.

FAR criteria require that landing gear design be based on:

A sink rate of 10 feet per second at the maximum design landing weight; and
A sink rate of 6 feet per second at the maximum design takeoff weight.


30 posted on 06/20/2012 10:54:35 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: lbryce
If my thinking is correct, you've got to wonder as to the sort of depraved designers, engineers who work at Airbus.

Normally I would leap in and defend the engineers here and blame government bureaucrats for the bad "engineering" decision.

But I have owned two french cars, and based on some of the squirrelly designs inflicted on the end user and any mechanic so unfortunate as to run across one, I'm blaming the french engineers.

31 posted on 06/20/2012 10:54:55 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1247 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama is not a Big Brother [he's a Big Sissy...])
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To: lbryce

Boeing 737s can’t dump fuel either. The smallest jetliner that I can remember reading about with fuel-dump capability was the Boeing 727. Mostly only larger widebody jets are built with fuel-dump capability. I believe the larger Airbii, the A330, A340, and A380, can dump fuel (as well as the older A300 and A310, which were widebodies).

Blaming this on some sort of evil enviro-Nazi conspiracy is almost certainly FUD. Since these aircraft don’t make long-distance flights, and have max landing weights close to their max takeoff weights, they can stay close to an airport with emergency services and burn off enough fuel to get under max landing weight.

}:-)4


32 posted on 06/20/2012 10:58:31 AM PDT by Moose4 (...and walk away.)
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To: American Quilter

Flying is fine; it’s crashing that could ruin a day.

I was in a DC-10 coming back from L.A. to Denver late ‘80’s.

That boy hit the spoilers/air brakes to scrub off some altitude or maybe we were eating up the plane in front of us. All I know was I has hanging in the belt from the negative g’s.


33 posted on 06/20/2012 11:00:49 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: MeganC

Fact is most of the Boeing aircraft flying cannot dump fuel

from the Boeung web site

707 - yes
717 - no
720 - yes
727 - yes
737 - no
BBJ - no
747 - yes
757 - no
767-200/300 - ** later models only
767-400 - yes
777 - yes
787 - yes
DC-8 - yes
DC-10 - yes
MD-11 - yes
MD-80 - no
MD-90 - no

** Early models did not have fuel jettison capability, although airlines could install capability. Later models had jettison capability.


34 posted on 06/20/2012 11:03:39 AM PDT by BubbaJunebug
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To: lbryce

If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going.


35 posted on 06/20/2012 11:05:35 AM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Da Bro' Gotsta Go!)
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To: ltc8k6
Indeed, but usually the requirement to dump fuel is for jets that are “heavy” and therefore unable to safely stop on a runway without getting “hot brakes.” Lower weight means lower approach and landing speed.

Also, weight affects the landing gear—is it stressed to take a fully-fueled landing? Boeing jets that can't dump fuel are stressed to take a fully fueled landing.

Departing from Orlando a few years back, steady climb-out, BANG, number 1 engine just ate itself. We did a sweeping turn and landed. . .easily, no dumping of fuel.

Don't know the technical aspects of Airbus, don't know if they have the ability to dump or not, but in any case, sounds like a tremendous lack of judgment on the part of the aircrew—the status of being fully fueled or not should not drive the decision to land/not land.

What concerns me is the decision to continue flying with failing hydraulics. . .hydraulics that affect flight controls.

I am stunned they would choose to continue to fly under those conditions.

Say the remaining hydraulic systems fail and now you have no choice but to “land,” but now you don't get to pick WHERE you will land.

Failing hydraulics mean land as soon a practical.

36 posted on 06/20/2012 11:08:00 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: South Hawthorne

I’ve dumped fuel a few times. . .once over downtown St Louis. Dumped fuel when over 5,000’.

When fuel hits the airstream, POOF, it becomes a mist and quickly dissipates.

No fuel reaches the ground. . .not in a form that those on the ground can smell or experience.


37 posted on 06/20/2012 11:11:40 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: DuncanWaring
Jettisoning fuel with the afterburners lit in an F-111:

I had the pleasure of seeing a nighttime "Zippo" from the boom pod of a KC-135 :-)

38 posted on 06/20/2012 11:12:03 AM PDT by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it.)
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To: Paved Paradise

Garth: Oh, Wayne, I’m so excited, I.. I think I’m gonna hurl!

Wayne: Hey! Garth, get it together, man. ‘Cause if you hurl, and I catch a whiff of it, man.. I’m gonna spew. And if I blow chunks, chances are someone else is gonna honk, alright? And that’s gonna set off a parastolic reaction, alright?


39 posted on 06/20/2012 11:12:03 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: lbryce
you've got to wonder as to the sort of depraved designers, engineers who work at Airbus.

I don't see why you would blame the engineers, unless you somehow believe that engineers are immune from government interference.

In this particular case, I don't really know one way or the other, but if I was to bet, I'd bet that the engineers said "don't do it this way" and the bureaucrats said "do it this way", and the engineers lost the arm-wrestling.

40 posted on 06/20/2012 11:12:49 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: ltc8k6

Nice try but no cigar, the models mentioned are no longer in service for the most part and even the ones mentioned did not have it but it was added after initial production


41 posted on 06/20/2012 11:13:55 AM PDT by 100American (Knowledge is knowing how, Wisdom is knowing when)
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To: commish

Pumping it in at one end, flushing it out the other?


42 posted on 06/20/2012 11:16:19 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: lbryce

I try to avoid flying Airbus as much as possible.

Socialists should not be trusted to manufacture anything more complicated than a cigar.


43 posted on 06/20/2012 11:28:30 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: moovova

Re-reading Dress her in Indigo so the name caught my eye also :)


44 posted on 06/20/2012 11:33:04 AM PDT by Joe Miner
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To: moovova; Travis McGee
“Travis McGhie”?

I’ve read all of his books... ;~)

I noticed that, too. I thought maybe he was traveling under an alias. :-)

45 posted on 06/20/2012 11:34:11 AM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: lbryce
.

If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!

46 posted on 06/20/2012 11:43:48 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: lbryce
With 155 souls onboard and an a/c that appears to be losing control-ability, I'd rather land with the tanks as close to empty as possible...more lift and maneuverability close to the ground (where it really counts) with a lighter a/c, and much less fuel to ignite should we have a harder landing that desired.
47 posted on 06/20/2012 11:56:36 AM PDT by RavenATB ("Destroy the family and you destroy the country!" ~Vladimir Lenin)
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To: ltc8k6
It's a fairly obvious and logical point. A fully fueled aircraft is far more dangerous to try to land. If you're trying to fly an aircraft where the controlability is limited and it's one of those situations where the problem seems to be getting worse over time, which isn't particularly unusual, it's better to put the aircraft on the ground as quickly as possible.

It's not that those other aircraft you mention are horribly dangerous. But if you were in an aircraft and you had a serious cabin fire onboard, would you rather be in an aircraft that can dump fuel quickly, turn around and land, or an aircraft that has to stay aloft for a long period of time to burn off weight/fuel before it can attempt to land?

48 posted on 06/20/2012 12:03:03 PM PDT by RavenATB ("Destroy the family and you destroy the country!" ~Vladimir Lenin)
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To: Don W

Excellent!


49 posted on 06/20/2012 12:05:12 PM PDT by edwinland
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To: Don W

Hydraulic problems on an aircraft sometimes (often) increase in severity as time progresses. When you have a situation like that you want to stay as close to your runway as possible. Even though they stayed up to burn off fuel to reduce the risk of a catestrophic landing incident, they were always balancing the rick of landing overweight with the controlability problems they were experiencing. Has their hydraulic situation gotten worse they may have been forced to put the aircraft down, despite being overweight.

It was a bad situation that could have got much worse, pretty quick...and that “aw shit” moment wouldn’t be a good time to be an hour from the nearest runway.


50 posted on 06/20/2012 12:10:51 PM PDT by RavenATB ("Destroy the family and you destroy the country!" ~Vladimir Lenin)
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