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Major Earthquake During T/O?  
User currently onlineChiGB1973 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1615 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6171 times:

It just happened to come up with a friend on what would happen during take off if a major earthquake occurred during take off. What point, if any, do you think take off would be aborted in, say, a 7.1 (SFO 1989) earthquake?

Any ideas?

M

[Edited 2005-07-03 07:35:55]

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEK156 From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2005, 765 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 6074 times:

If the plane is rolling... then they should continue with the takeoff!!! Otherwise they will crash... then again they might crash anyways but their chances of not crashing is better if they are airborne

If the plane is not rolling... then it better not start rolling

This is my opinion


User currently offlinePilawt From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 6036 times:

People who were driving their cars during the M6.8 Northridge earthquake (0431 PST, 17 January 1994) tell me the initial sensation was like having a flat tire. Railroad locomotives, pulling a train at 30 mph near the epicenter, were knocked over on their sides by the quake, so I can imagine the effect on an airplane would be impressive, as well.

I'd be interested to hear if air carrier pilots receive any training or policy directives on this sort of thing. I suppose if a pilot were somehow able to correctly realize that it is an earthquake in progress and not a problem with the airplane, the wiser course of action may be to continue the takeoff and get off the shaking ground. There may be damaged pavement ahead that would make an abort more dangerous; and damage to other airport infrastructure may make a return to the terminal more difficult. Better to go elsewhere. I was in the Northridge quake, and I can assure you that at that moment I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else, and as soon as possible.

Earthquakes can be quite directional, with a back-and-forth motion in a particular direction. The Northridge quake certainly acted that way. Objects on north and south walls of our home fell down; those on east and west walls did not. How much a quake affects a rolling airliner might depend on whether the motion of the ground is aligned with the direction the aircraft is traveling.

Thousands of aftershocks continued for months after the Northridge quake. About two weeks after the initial quake I was taxiing a Piper Saratoga for takeoff from KVNY, when a sharp M4.5 aftershock hit. It indeed felt like a flat tire from inside the airplane. Once I realized what it was, I called ground control to make a tongue-in-cheek pilot report of "moderate turbulence on the east taxiway." The controller, looking outside through temporary plexiglass windows that replaced the quake-shattered glass in the tower cab, appreciated the humor.

-- Pilawt


User currently offlineJHSfan From Denmark, joined Apr 2004, 469 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5895 times:

The memory in my brain still works  Smile I knew that this had been discussed within the last couple of years.
"Earthquake During Take Off"

- JHSfan



Look at me, I´m riding high, I´m the airbornmaster of the sky...
User currently offlineTymnBalewne From Bermuda, joined Mar 2005, 950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5727 times:

This all reminds me of that cheesy footage added to the movie "Earthquake" when it was subsequently shown on television.

A 707/Convair 880 (I think the a/c kept switching) landing while the runway is breaking up. The captain manages to effect a lengthy touch-and-go all the while his brakes are squealing and the concrete is breaking up.

C.



Dewmanair...begins with Dew
User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

My concern would be for the support systems, such as the ATC towers and any navigation, radio and radar structures that might be knocked down. There are backup systems and plans in place I'm sure, but for the first few mins. of scrambling to get those "handoffs" going would be rather chaotic.


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5542 times:

Here's an interesting link. It contains a partial transcript of ATC when we had the big Seattle earthquake in 2001. The tower's windows all blew out, and it had partial structual failure. The controller kept his head. It's a fascinating read.

http://popav.com/ListNewsArticleDtl.asp?id=93

Tower: Attention all aircraft in Seattle. We have a huge earthquake going on. The tower is collapsing. I say again: The tower is falling apart. Hang on everybody.

There are also photos of the damage here:

http://avweb.com/news/news/184288-1.html



[Edited 2005-07-03 19:05:38]


But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5288 times:

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Thread starter):
What point, if any, do you think take off would be aborted in, say, a 7.1 (SFO 1989) earthquake?

Most drivers in the Bay Area during the Loma Prieta Earthquake reported not having felt it. I've been driving during magnitude 6+ earthquakes and I never felt them. It probably has a lot to do with the sin between the axis of the quake and the axis of the direction of travel.


User currently offlineDCrawley From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 371 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4750 times:

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 6):
The tower's windows all blew out, and it had partial structual failure. The controller kept his head. It's a fascinating read.

I live a couple blocks away from this guy. I remember it very clearly when the earthquake hit and then I heard about the tower. I must say, one helluva ride if you were up there! After it all got cleaned up, I was (at the time) working for QX and we used to joke with pilots during pushback saying that we were going to start offering it as a hotel room and you could spend the night for a grand (lol).

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Thread starter):
It just happened to come up with a friend on what would happen during take off if a major earthquake occurred during take off. What point, if any, do you think take off would be aborted in, say, a 7.1 (SFO 1989) earthquake?



Quoting San Francisco Earthquake History 1915 - 1989:

January 26, 1980
At 6:33 p.m. a 5.6 earthquake struck the Bay Area.
San Francisco Earthquake History 1915 - 1989

My father was flying a Western 727 on finals when this one hit. He said that they looked out the window and the street lights were shakin' and buildings were rockin', and visually, it looked like severe turbulence with out the shaking of the aircraft! They went around, and tower went out and inspected the runway and said it was alright to land on so they came back in, shot the approach, and landed. Crazy times!

-D.K. Crawley



"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3131 times:

i was in a 6.8 in the tokyo area while riding a commuter train.

it felt like we had rolled onto a mushy track, we were swaying from side to side.

the train came to an abrupt stop and all the passenger door opened.

i think it was over by the time we got stopped, but it was a strange sensation that i'll never forget.

a few seconds later, the doors shut and we were back on our way.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineCRFLY From Costa Rica, joined Jan 2004, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

WOW...This Topic reminds me of a LACSA pilot that was rotating a Boeing 727-200 in Mexico City (MMMX) back in the 80's, when a powerful earthquake hit... 7am, the plane arrived from LAX at 6am, and was continuing to Guatemala and Costa Rica... The captain called the tower but no one answered... He told me he saw later a big cloud of smoke and dust coming out of Mexico City's downtown, where hundreds of people died =(


With Age comes Wisdom...
User currently offlineDeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1653 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2339 times:

"My father was flying a Western 727 on finals when this one hit. He said that they looked out the window and the street lights were shakin' and buildings were rockin', and visually, it looked like severe turbulence with out the shaking of the aircraft! They went around, and tower went out and inspected the runway and said it was alright to land on so they came back in, shot the approach, and landed. Crazy times!"

This story is not true. Its interesting how people love to embellish Earthquake stories. Having grown up in CA all my life let me give you the facts. Unless you are right on the epicenter of a 6+ quake as pilawt said he was then you will know that you are living. That 5.6 quake was centered over 60 miles from SFO. People on the ground MAY have not even felt it, if they did they had to have been in very quiet serene surroundings to notice a slight rocking. So there is no way a pilot on a 727 would notice lights and buildings rocking and such. BTW flights arrive over water at SFO, one would have to be doing a total 90 w/ their neck looking to the side...

Also, 99% of the time, people can't feel quakes when driving. Again unless its a MAJOR quake people never feel them driving, esp. on freeways. YOur tires absorbed the shock. Same goes with people, 99% of quakes you feel in CA are gentle rocking. So in terms of a plane taking off during major one, its highly unlikely. The 6.8 Northridge quake may have been an exception, but also for those of you folks outside of the state, quakes tend to last 10 seconds or less. In most cases by the time you figure out you are in one its over. Don't listen to crazy exaggerated stories or get your facts from crazy earthquake movies where people suggest they last for minutes and that if you are in a 5.6 60 miles from epicenter lights and buildings are rocking so severe you could detect it from a 727 moving 160+MPH one thousand feet up!


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6217 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2080 times:
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Quoting CRFLY (Reply 10):
WOW...This Topic reminds me of a LACSA pilot that was rotating a Boeing 727-200 in Mexico City

You are referring to the 1985 major earthquake. It was an 8.2 with an after shock the next day of 7.6 The first one lasted 160 seconds.

I don't know about aircraft rolling, but from your story, it is not too farfetched to assume that 727-200 was rolling while the earthquake was going on. My guess is that what the pilots must feel is something akin to ground turbulence or a tire blowing out. They might have to put an extra effort to steer the plane while on their roll, but probably that's it. I was in a car actually and it felt like it wasn't a car, but a yacht of fair size rolling on the ocean. Nothing more.

MEX was closed for 13 hours while they did emergency repairs to the runways. Just enough so aircraft with emergency supplies could operate. Due to this closure I was separated from my family for two days.


User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1939 times:
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I seem to remember a few years back at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, during free practice there was a 6 or 7 scale earthquake, Michael Schumacher said he didn't feel a thing.


I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
User currently offlineDCrawley From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 371 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

Quoting Deltaflyertoo (Reply 11):

This story is not true. Its interesting how people love to embellish Earthquake stories. Having grown up in CA all my life let me give you the facts. Unless you are right on the epicenter of a 6+ quake as pilawt said he was then you will know that you are living. That 5.6 quake was centered over 60 miles from SFO. People on the ground MAY have not even felt it, if they did they had to have been in very quiet serene surroundings to notice a slight rocking. So there is no way a pilot on a 727 would notice lights and buildings rocking and such. BTW flights arrive over water at SFO, one would have to be doing a total 90 w/ their neck looking to the side...

Not true? Ha. I'm assuming you know everything? Have you been in the air watching it? You were the pilot in that seat? How do you know the lights weren't moving on the ground? Last earthquake I was in they sure as hell did. So when the sun's setting, it's getting dark, and the lights are illuminated, they wouldn't move being at the top of a 25 foot pole? So flights arrive over water at SFO. Partially true. On the Tipp Toe visual to 28L you fly the coast line the whole time. Opposing runways, the RNAV for 10R you are over land for 5.7NM at 1900ft and descending, low enough to see lots.

Listen, I'm not trying to bash you, but I'm not trying to bullsh*t you either. This happened a long time ago and my pops is gettin' old, maybe some of it was "embellished" as he gets caught up reminiscing on the old days. But, I have heard this story before and most of it (if not all) is true. The captain he was flying that trip with lives in San Francisco and recalled it the same. Before you go claiming you know how it all happened, you ever think some people on here might not just post BS? Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but I was just relating a story for the s's and g's of a.net members. No need to go and get on me for a story.

Blah,

-D.K. Crawley



"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
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