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Ditching In Water?  
User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3758 times:

I've always wondered about this -- can you actually ditch in water if you're flying an airliner?

I mean..... I've always seen those safety instruction cards telling you to put on your lifevest (or use the cushion as a floatation device!) when ditching in water.... but what are your chances of survival?? What if it's a more controlled "landing" in water (say you're way out and your engine is somehow not powerful enough to keep you in the air anymore)? Is that even possible?

Just curious...

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3743 times:

There was a hijacked 767 that was ditched in water near a resort, and people did survive, so it is certainly possible.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3722 times:

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 1):
There was a hijacked 767 that was ditched in water near a resort, and people did survive, so it is certainly possible.

But, he didn't establish a landing attitude and land into the wind. He road along the waves, instead of across them. That made the airplane "cartwheel" because a wingtip struck water before the rest of the airplane.

There are established ditching procedures. Many airliners have ditched successfully (even some unintentionally, like the National B-727-200 in Tampa Bay? 1968?). If fuel is dumped before ditching, the wreckage should float long enpugh for everyone to get out.


User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3720 times:

This is something also pilots discuss from time to time. Everybody who once flew a floatplane, knows that this water is harder than stone and not smooth at all. Anyhow, there are examples, that it can be survived. Just remember this Tuninter ATR a few weeks ago, the Ethiopean 767 Flypdx mentioned, or others like a Swissair CV240 that diched in the English Channel after running out of fuel (1 person killed, the rest survived) or a SATA Caravelle, that ditched in a bad flown visual approach into Funchal/Madeira late 1977 (maybe 1/3 killed, 2/3 survived).
As far as I know, there was never a prepared ditching of an airliner in transatlantic flying. Mostly if it goes wrong and ends up in the water, it is in landing or take off after overshooting/leaving the runway.


User currently offlineCV580Freak From Bahrain, joined Jul 2005, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Many years ago a DC-7 (I think) had engine trouble mid-atlantic and were passed the point of return. Whilst they could not make Ireland they pinpointed a US Navy vessel, circled to dump fuel and ditched close to the ship. All onboard survived.


One day you are the pigeon, the next the statue ...
User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2717 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3698 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):

But, he didn't establish a landing attitude and land into the wind. He road along the waves, instead of across them. That made the airplane "cartwheel" because a wingtip struck water before the rest of the airplane.

I bet it would be difficult to do it correctly when a hijacker is in the cockpit swinging a weapon at your head.
The pilot was doing fine untill about 20 feet to go.

I'm assuming this is about the ET 767 in the Cormaros Islands?



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

So what makes for successful ditching? I mean, I suppose if you don't have control you're screwed regardless, and hitting the water is just like hitting concrete...

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

I was taught ditching drill on a light aircraft. In terms of speed, flaps, etc. it wasn't much different to normal landing drill. On the one hand, it would be equally possible even if you'd lost engine power - easier than landing on land, really, at least there'd be no obstructions to worry about. On the other, water is no softer than dry land if you hit it at any speed. And since this was on a high-wing design, the cabin would have gone under very quickly; presumably with low wings the aeroplane would float for a time.

Just on impulse I googled this up - if you scroll down you'll find a table that says that the statistical survival rate from controlled ditchings is 60% - around double that for forced landings on land.

http://www.planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3683 times:

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 3):
As far as I know, there was never a prepared ditching of an airliner in transatlantic flying. Mostly if it goes wrong and ends up in the water, it is in landing or take off after overshooting/leaving the runway

There was a "prepared ditching" of a Pan Am Stratocruiser in the Pacific.

Date: 16 OCT 1956
Time: 06:15
Type: Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 10-29
Operator: Pan American World Airways
Registration: N90943
Msn / C/n: 15959
Year built: 1949
Crew: 0 fatalities / 7 on board
Passengers: 0 fatalities / 24 on board
Total: 0 fatalities / 31 on board
Airplane damage: Written off
Location: Pacific Ocean (Pacific Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Honolulu International Airport, HI (HNL)
Destination airport: San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO)
Flightnumber: 6


http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19561016-0

Here is a list of 189 ditchings.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?Event=REED

[Edited 2005-09-18 18:35:42]

User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3635 times:

Just my speculation that those safety cards covering procedures while ditching in water -- mainly due to this seaplane


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Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3587 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 8):
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19561016-0

Here is a list of 189 ditchings.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/...=REED

Thanks for the link, this is very interesting and will answer nearly all questions  Wink


User currently offlineJamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

One of the most infamous ditchings was the ALM Antillean DC-9 that ditched on its way to St. Croix from JFK in the early 1970's. The accident was survivable, but because of many factors, including the fact that the aircraft was wet-leased from ONA with a ONA cockpit crew and an ALM cabin crew, poor cabin and cockpit crew coordination resulted in 23 fatalities. The aircraft ran out of fuel and ditched in the Caribbean with all passengers and crew surviving the initial impact and crash, but the fatalities occurring after the post-crash evacuation.

In the case of the National Airlines 727 in Pensacola Bay in 1978, several passengers initially thought the aircraft had landed on the runway, not the water. 3 passengers died of drowning in the post-crash evacuation, but the aircraft remained intact and sunk in relatively shallow water.

As mentioned previously, the Pan Am Stratocruiser that ditched in the Pacific on a flight between Honolulu and San Francisco in the 1950's was perhaps the most successful open water ditching ever.



United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlineNeilking From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3452 times:

There is an excellent series of books called "Air Disaster" by an Australian called Macarthur Job which analyses very well significant aviation accidents and the lessons learned from them. They are so dispassionate that the title "Air Disaster" is a bit unfortunately "tabloid" a name for the series.

Anyway, although I have not gone to check my copies, Mac Job covers the Antillean DC9 ditching and the Pan Am Stratocruiser.

I must say from recollection of reading it, Major Tyson, the commander of the PA S/C, was an airman to command respect in the era when the technology was dubious and it took human beings of high calibre to preserve life. It's a very stirring story - I must go and read it again ...

No disrespect to today's Airbus (etc.) pilots intended.

Rgds, Neil


User currently offlineJHSfan From Denmark, joined Apr 2004, 469 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3226 times:

Getting the plane down is one thing. But if the fuselage gets fillled with water, you have a problem.  alert 
From the page below you can click om a link showing you a video on your chances of surviving a ditch (ending up below the surface).

Plane Crash School
Find out how to escape from an underwater cockpit, as Mark Miller goes to plane crash school.


Yours in realtime
JHSfan



Look at me, I´m riding high, I´m the airbornmaster of the sky...
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2469 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3188 times:

Quoting MarshalN (Thread starter):
I've always wondered about this -- can you actually ditch in water if you're flying an airliner?

Here is a thread from earlier this year that had some good answers to your question. Also some photos.
http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eneral_aviation/read.main/1967775/

.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3175 times:

Perhaps KAL 007 ditched in the water? I am actually researching that topic for my IB Extended Essay and will eventually share what I think when I've finished. There have been cases (a fair amount) of airliners successfully ditching into the water with high survival rates.

User currently offlineHKGKaiTak From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

Quoting Neilking (Reply 12):
There is an excellent series of books called "Air Disaster" by an Australian called Macarthur Job which analyses very well significant aviation accidents and the lessons learned from them. They are so dispassionate that the title "Air Disaster" is a bit unfortunately "tabloid" a name for the series.

Yeah, I get strange looks when I bought my copies from the bookstore ... people thought I was weird.

Quoting PDXtriple7 (Reply 15):
Perhaps KAL 007 ditched in the water?

Uh, somehow I don't think so ...



4 Engines 4 LongHaul
User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3031 times:

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 11):
As mentioned previously, the Pan Am Stratocruiser that ditched in the Pacific on a flight between Honolulu and San Francisco in the 1950's was perhaps the most successful open water ditching ever.

And, add "insult to injury" the aircraft, while badly damaged from the ditching (the Strat tail was know to break at the aft stairs from the main deck to the lower aft pax lounge), the US Navy had to use her as target practice to sink her because she wouldn't go down! Tough old bird!  bigthumbsup 

MxCtrlr  bouncy 



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 995 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

As PDXtriple7 said, there's enough evidence to show that KAL007 successfully ditched into water, so that should count also.

http://www.rescue007.org/



A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineVunz From Netherlands, joined Jun 2001, 360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2911 times:

I think fuselage mounted engines like the 727 and DC9 have give bigger survival rate than wing mounted engines like the 767 has. Wing mounted engines give to much drag like the Ethiopian 767 had, it ripped the wing of and the aircraft turned upside down.

User currently offlineAV757 From Colombia, joined Apr 2004, 662 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2836 times:

I ditched in HK-1711, a Britten Norman Trislander BN2A-MKIII-2 of Tavina in Cienaga Grande Colombia on Jan 8, 1978 on a BAQ-VUP flight.
We where 2 crew members and 16 passengers, and we all survived without a scratch.

Regards:
AV757

[Edited 2005-09-21 13:03:21]

User currently offlineJambo From Tanzania, joined Dec 2004, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2714 times:

I dont know if you guys would find this interesting, anyways last year a small Cessna 172 aircraft belonging to a charter company crash landed on the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar Islands (Tanzania).

1 pilot and 2 pax onboard all survived after staying in water for more than 20hrs.

Here is the link: http://www.theexpress.com/express%20367/news/news2.htm#1


User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2467 times:

I found two Airliners.net photo of "ditching in water" 707 (ditched on Nile River)


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Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlineAMSSFO From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 952 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2358 times:

Quoting September11 (Reply 22):
I found two Airliners.net photo of "ditching in water" 707 (ditched on Nile River)

Seems to have happened very shortly after delivery (former EI); all 11 occupants survived. Anyone know more about the cause?


User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 983 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2331 times:

Here are photos of another Boeing 707 in the water...

707 Goes Swimming


Here is a question I have:

What is the origin of the term "Ditching" for an airplane going into the sea?

Certainly no ditch there! Sounds more like a term for an airplane off a taxiway or the end of a runway than into water...




LD4



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