Clickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9823 posts, RR: 64 Posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5798 times:
I am leaving some details on this story vague, on purpose, as I don't want to get anyone in trouble.
Very recently, myself and another well known local photographer were down at BFI taking pictures. While we were there a MD-80 that was in on a charter fired up...and my friend said "Hey it looks like **** is getting ready to taxi" And I am like are you sure? The cargo door (front lower) was missing.
So, sure enough, the plane starts to taxi, and we are both in disbelief, maybe we were seeing a shadow or something...so it crosses the active and sure enough, the whole cargo door was missing. So the plane is *right* there in front of us, I am on a ladder over the fence snapping pictures, and we both give the pilots a "whats up?" kind of shurg/hand gesture...but the plane keeps going.
At this point both my friend and I are both like "Holy shit is there something we should do, someone we should call" and both wondering out loud how a plane could be heading for the active with a cargo door missing and/or not secured. We were also wondering what would happen to the plane if it took off in this condition...would things fly out of the cargo hold? If so would they go in the engine? Or damage the wing?
So the plane taxis down and gets clearance to position and hold. When the take off clearance is given one of the crew came over the radio and said "we have a warning light and need to get out and close some doors" so the plane taxi'd off the active and was sitting for about 10 minutes, they got out, did there thing, and the plane departed without incident.
So, my questions are many!
How could a plane taxi to an active runway with a door not attached? Surely there must be warning lights? And don't the crew do a pre-flight walk around?
What would have happened to the plane if it had taken off like this?
Have you ever seen anything like this? If so, did you feel a need to act? Would anyone even listen to you if you had chosen to act?
Please, don't respond to this thread with something like "you were making a big deal about nothing" or something like that. Both myself and my friend are in our 30's, and we were both very upset with this. Imagine how someone would feel if they witnessed something tragic that maybe they could have prevented? It really gives me goosebumps to think about.
Dacman From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 446 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5728 times:
I saw an Alaska MD80 taxing for takeoff at LAX years ago while working a flight. I told our captain who then radioed the tower to advise Alaska of the open FWD bin door. The tower did and the aircraft returned to the gate immediately.
It can happen, even with the warning lights in the cockpit, it can be as simple as a burned out light bulb in the panel.
LN-MOW From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1916 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5717 times:
In this instance, you should have called 911 and asked them to get hold of the BFI tower. There was probably no real danger to the plane, but the cargo net may have been loose and its buckles would cause damage to the skin if it's flapping outside.
It is a big deal because someone obviously didn't do their job. There is a warning light in the cockpit signaling if there are any doors open. In addition the ground personell should do a walkaround before departure to ensure that there ar eno open doors or other safety issues.
I remember a similiar case some years ago when a DC9 took off with an open door. They just went around and landed again, but the unsecured cargo net had caused some damage to the fuselage.
N317AS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5446 times:
As observant as our friends in the BFI tower are, I am quite surprised they didn't notice it. I have a shot of a 732 with fuel streaming out of the right wing. I thought it was vapor until I got home, and clearly it wasn't. I notified our (Boeing's) rep and they notified the airlines rep, and it got pulled from service for repairs. It had been in D check and apparently a gasket had been put in backwards.
RaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5411 times:
The closest I've gotten to this situation involves checking pax names against the no-fly list for part 135 charter ops. Sometimes we don't get names until they are literally getting in the aircraft. So I hurry to my computer, run the no-fly list, and if I were to ever get a match I'd call the tower on the phone and hope to God they wouldn't think I was joking when I say 'DON'T LET N1234X TAKE OFF!!!'
Malaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3441 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5092 times:
I once was aboard a DL 727-200 back in like 1997 from CVG-PHX and we pushed out and taxied out and I was lucky to have a window seat and I realized something dangling from the leading edge, and it was the fuel caps and the door! the fueler forgot to close the caps and close the panel door! and I alerted the F/A and they stopped the plane and had a fueler run out to close the panel and the nozzle caps. Maybe I should have just watched and seen what might have happened if we took off? hmm not worth the risk. probably the door would have ripped off or just closed, but the nozzed caps were dangling.
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
Could you have tuned into the tower and explained the situation, or would they have just called the authorities and had you detained for disrupting ATC or something like that?
That is exactly what I was going to suggest. If you used it in an emergency situation such as this one, I am sure that the benefits of safety would take precedence over any legal issue that might come up. Saying something on the frequency would be sure to get the attention of the crew and the ATC.