Skip to comments.A hero's stress fracture (pilot who saved hundreds after Airbus explosion)
Posted on 07/21/2012 10:50:19 AM PDT by naturalman1975
The pilot who saved the lives of hundreds on a crippled jet should have felt elated but, as he tells Jennifer Sexton, he descended into grief and self-doubt in the months that followed
Richard Champion de Crespigny was about to turn off the Airbus's seatbelt sign on the climb out of Singapore when engine two on QF32 blew up like a cluster bomb. In his hands were the lives of 469 Sydney-bound passengers and crew.
The former RAAF pilot of 35 years' experience then captained a four-hour nightmare on board a catastrophically damaged Qantas plane. The 55-year-old not only brought the A380 named Nancy-Bird Walton to safety with a wing ripped open like a sardine can, its massive belly and 600 electrical wires shredded, but also manually cushioned it into the runway in a near-perfect landing.
Everyone walked off unscathed.
But back at his hotel room at 2am, the emotional scars began to form for de Crespigny.
"After the incident I think I was so shell-shocked," he tells Agenda in a revealing interview to mark the release of QF32, his gripping book on the incident. "You're running on adrenalin and cortisol and that keeps you active."
Two hours in the air was like getting hammered into the ground under a pole driver, he recalled.
But it got worse. On the tarmac the electrics failed, there was no airconditioning in the midday sun at Changi Airport. Fuel had gushed from the plane and engine one was roaring and whirring and refusing to stop. He ordered everyone to stay on board as it was safer than the runway. It would be another two hours before the last passenger could disembark.
"We had a debrief in the hotel with the cabin crew that went until midnight (the bar tab was $4000),"
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
And the crew got it down on the ground with everybody safe.
How come Bruce Willis never has this problem?
I like how they had a $4000 bar-bill afterwards.
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Typical pilot. He’s dissatisfied that he didn’t do it better.
Tried to reply, but this Samsung phone sucks. GalaxyII Epic blows for ‘net
Suprised that worked. EVO works every time. Samsung sucks.
Is on the OPPOSITE side of the plane from the broken engine.
It is an exit hole, I could find no images of the entrance hole or holes...
Isn't that like one of the main things one would want to know, followed by who did the maintenance? Or lack thereof?
Photo: Damage to electrical wiring located in the leading edge of the left wing (punctured by debris)
Photo: Left wing fuel tank damage (punctured by debris)
These were from an interesting preliminary report on QF32: http://blog.flightstory.net/1585/qantas-qf32-preliminary-report/
Crew performance aside, the plane proved it was capable and had enough layers of safety to withstand the explosion.
We remember another engine explosion on a DC-10 which rendered the plane’s hydraulics useless. That heroic crew saved 60% of the souls on board by crash landing in Iowa.
This Quantas plane was controllable.
That’s a different aircraft (747-400) and a different incident.
The bottom two photos show the same hole from opposite sides.
That means the fuel poured out of the tank over the shredded wiring.
Please, whatever you do, DO NOT compare this to the center fuel tank on Flt 800.
The DC-10 is without a doubt the worst engineered modern passenger jet. It's successor, the MD-11 isn't much better. At least now when they crash, it's carrying cargo instead of passengers.
I will NEVER willingly fly on any Airbus product.
The engine falling off of the DC-10 was due to the maintenance crew cutting corners in how they removed engines, not a design flaw.
The airlines that followed the best recommended procedures did not damage and overstress the pins holding the engine on.