Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Do Planes Really Float?  
User currently offlineRex_Omar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7198 times:

We have all seen those nice graphics on the nice laminated card that you get in the seat pocket of a plane (fully intact) floating on the water with life rafts full of passergers floating away from the plane.

In reality all of the water crashes recently have amounted to total destruction of the aircraft with complete loss of life.

So my question is: Can a plane safely land on water and can plane float? Or are these nice graphics just leading passengers into a false sense of security?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7149 times:

I dont think that it it false sense of security.
The incident that happened in hong kong Kai Tak (closed) airport where the China Airlines B747-400 was unable to stop in time plunged into the water. Everyone was evacuated safely and the plane was in the water for several days/weeks. The tail was blown off because it was in the approach path of runway 31. The plane was pulled out later on and taken apart i believe.
so my point is that it floated!
unless the landing gear was resing on the ground below......

regards
trev



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7119 times:

Trev,
as far as I know the water in the CI accident was so shallow the plane rested on the ground.
You´re right it was total loss.
Daniel 


User currently offlineBostonBeau From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7119 times:

I don't think there are any instances, except for perhaps the Pan Am prop plane (DC-4, 6?), of airliners making anticipated forced landings at sea. Most of the water landings we are familiar with have been coming in too short for a runway at a waterfront airport. I would guess that if there were no major damage to the aircraft, it would indeed float for a while....but "no major damage" is certainly asking a lot.

User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7111 times:

Thanks for correcting daniel! it sure was a waste of a 747, BTW are planes insured? like if a plane crashes does the airline get money back for it?
anyways
there was a 767, i think united arab emirates thats was forced to land in the sea.



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineAKelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2189 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7103 times:

Airbus_A340:

The plane you're thinking about was a 767-200er operated by Ethiopian Airlines that crashed into the sea off of Madagascar. The plane had been hijacked, and I think the hijackers demanded that the plane be flown to Australia. Of course the plane didn't have enough fuel for that kind of journey, it ran out of fuel, and crashed landed into the sea.

There is a video of the crash that shows that the crew valiantly tried to keep the aircraft level as it headed towards the sea. Moments before impact the right wing dipped and contacted the ocean. The force of that contact flipped the plane around and tore it apart. 125 out of 175 people on board perished in that incident.


User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24911 posts, RR: 56
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7092 times:

AKelley728 , yeah i have seen that, it looked horrendous.


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7085 times:

Exactly to what i meant!
i watched it on airdisaster.com and on the tele.
thanks for the info
regards
trev



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineAa777dr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7090 times:

Can it happen? I don't think it's ever happened where an aircraft makes a safe landing at sea and all passengers are saved.

User currently offlineN863DA From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 48 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7089 times:

I would just like to point out some things and clear some confusion up:

1) The Ethiopian Airlines 767 in the Comoros Islands is not considered a successful ditching - the plane was not intact.

2) The pilot on that 767 did incredibly well - but the reason that the wing struck the water was not due to his incompetence - it is because one of the hijackers shot him in the head in the final moments of the flight.

3) The main cause of death was not impact injuries - only 14 people died thru them. Most people on that aircraft died because they inflated their lifevests inside the airplane, and hence when the water rushed in, they were pinned against the top of the cabin and thus drowned.

4) There has only ever been one successful commercial ditching in the jet age - and that was on May 2, 1970 on an Overseas National Airlines DC-9 flight from New York JFK to firstly St Maarten, then San Juan, then St Maarten again, and finally running out of fuel 100 miles or so short of its destination. The aircraft was basically intact on impact and the crew did very well. Out of all the people on board, all but twleve got out of the airplane. Unfortunately, many died in the Atlantic swell that whipped up before the rescue helicopters could get there. 35 people were taken from the ocean alive.

FLY DELTA JETS and sail UNITED STATES LINES



N 8 6 3 D A


User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7073 times:

Go to Airdisaster.com and see how strong the impact was in the movies section, im sure it killed more than 14 people.
Also i agree about the lifevests as this has been discussed before. It was not considered that it was a successful ditching.a tereible incident.
Trev



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineGreggj From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7070 times:

The China Airlines 744 was insured and represents the single largest hull loss to date. The payout was approximately USD125 million plus salvage cost. I believe the aircraft was only four months old.

User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7066 times:

Thanks for the info  
trev



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7047 times:

Here's one where most escaped:

National Airlines -- Boeing 727-200 -- Escambia Bay, Pensacola, Florida --- May 8th 1978
About 2120 local time, National Airlines Flight 193 crashed into Escambia Bay while executing a surveillance radar approach to runway 25 at Pensacola Regional Airport. The aircraft crashed about 3 nmi from the east end of runway 25 and came to rest in about 12 ft of water. There were 52 passengers and a crew of 6 on board; 3 passengers were drowned.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the flightcrew's unprofessionally conducted nonprecision approach, in that the captain and the crew failed to monitor the descent rate and altitude, and the first officer failed to provide the captain with the required altitude and approach performance callouts. The crew failed to check and utilise all instruments available for altitude awareness, turned off the ground proximity warning system, and failed to configure the aircraft properly and in a timely manner for the approach.



User currently offlineAKelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2189 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7033 times:

There have been a couple of USAir crashes at LaGuardia where the plane went into Flushing Bay. In 1989 it was a 737-400 and in 1992 it was a F-28. Does anybody know whether either plane floated after it went into the bay?

User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7003 times:

I think many of us are forgetting that it's extremely difficult to land on water, as most aircraft are crashing at a very high speed, and, water is just as hard as concrete when you crash into it. Therefore, most crash landings over water will see the entire aircraft disintigrating, as if it had crashed onto a concrete ground.

User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 7000 times:

We are generally told that an aircraft WILL float for more or less 10 minutes after impact with the water. We are to execute the landing as if it was normal ops, but with no gear and the flaps retracted. The engines are slowed to only a few % of N1, and no spoilers are used. The goal is to keep the nose up at about 2-4 degrees to let the engines impact first and let the wings absorb most of the shock. The nose will pitch downward almost immediately after impact, therefore evening out the airplane on the surface of the water. The reason behind that is to make as many exits usuable as possible. After coming to a stop, we are to issue the evacuation order, don our life vests, turn on the emergency beacon, and get the hell out.

User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 7000 times:

We are generally told that an aircraft WILL float for more or less 10 minutes after impact with the water. We are to execute the landing as if it was normal ops, but with no gear and the flaps retracted. The engines are slowed to only a few % of N1, and no spoilers are used. The goal is to keep the nose up at about 2-4 degrees to let the engines impact first and let the wings absorb most of the shock. The nose will pitch downward almost immediately after impact, therefore evening out the airplane on the surface of the water. The reason behind that is to make as many exits usuable as possible. After coming to a stop, we are to issue the evacuation order, don our life vests, turn on the emergency beacon, and get the hell out.

User currently offlineOlympicComet4b From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6994 times:

Boston Beau,
That PanAm was a Boeing Stratocruiser from HNL to SFO, and it had a very successful ditch in the Pacific. In fact there are pictures of it available if you search hard enough. It was in contact with a Navy ship which stayed with it all night until it ditched in the early morning light. The main thing learned was that the tail broke off and wrecked the aft cabin. Thus, all in the forward section were safe and secure. Contrary to common sense which dictates TAIL IS SAFEST.

Also to N863DA -
Nice reasearch work! Right-on!
However, about the ONA DC-9. It wasn't the swell, but the fact that the foward bulkhead just aft of L-1 collapsed forward which blocked the main EXIT for that A/C type AND the over-head LIFT RAFT fell out into the aisle and inflated!! What a mess.
The role that the swell played was significant in that the crew instructed the passengers to wait for 3 impacts (or bounces) as they ditched, each one more intense than the last. HOWEVER, the plane went right into a swell, had only 1 major impact and should have been immedeately evacuated. But, the passengers, and cabin crew, were waiting for 2 more bouces!
PS- I worked for ONA and this was reviewed in training. We even had pictures of the passengers in the life jackets in the cabin waiting to ditch!
Ciao!


User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5293 posts, RR: 61
Reply 19, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

Many Russian planes were designed for sucessfull water landings! These include the IL62, TU 104, TU 124 and TU134.

T Tails are generally less prone to damage in water landings!

Jeremiah Teahan



Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Continental A300's? Do They Really .... posted Fri Apr 7 2006 18:48:21 by Tom12
How Do Airmiles Really Work posted Wed Mar 29 2006 12:45:50 by AirWales
Do Planes Have Horns? posted Wed Jun 8 2005 04:08:26 by Beau222
What Do We Really Look For When Booking A Flight? posted Wed Mar 9 2005 21:39:36 by Mikesairways
Do Planes Get Baths? posted Wed Jan 12 2005 04:51:03 by Erj145lr
Do We Really Need Meals On Short Hops? posted Tue Nov 30 2004 08:46:00 by JumboJim747
Why Do Planes Get Dirty? posted Thu Oct 21 2004 20:26:05 by Businessboy
How Much Do We Really Know? posted Sun Aug 15 2004 10:37:43 by SonOfACaptain
Do Planes Sell Tickets? posted Mon Jul 19 2004 23:02:50 by Muttley35
Codeshares-Do They Really Help The Airline? posted Sun May 9 2004 19:24:12 by SHUPirate1
Full-body Scanners: What Do They Really See? posted Sun Jan 24 2010 22:46:52 by ManuCH
Do Pilots Really Have A "high Flying" Career? posted Fri Jun 1 2007 21:12:02 by Jenkingeorge
Do Airlines Really Pay Each Other? posted Tue May 15 2007 04:06:54 by NoBoeingNoGoin
Alitalia Equipment - Do They Really Have 767-400s? posted Sun Mar 18 2007 12:38:31 by Reggaebird
Do Pilots Really Travel Free On All Airlines posted Wed Jan 31 2007 01:26:21 by Detroitflyer
US Employees - How Do You Really Feel? posted Thu Dec 28 2006 23:51:55 by LawnDart
Continental A300's? Do They Really .... posted Fri Apr 7 2006 18:48:21 by Tom12
How Do Airmiles Really Work posted Wed Mar 29 2006 12:45:50 by AirWales
Do Planes Have Horns? posted Wed Jun 8 2005 04:08:26 by Beau222
How Do Airmiles Really Work posted Wed Mar 29 2006 12:45:50 by AirWales
Do Planes Have Horns? posted Wed Jun 8 2005 04:08:26 by Beau222