Airlinespotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 162 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 8 months 16 hours ago) and read 34813 times:
I didn't not realize that one or both wings of an airplane could break off while it is in the air. I saw this on YouTube and I was shock. It was an incredible event to see. Does this ever happen to a commercial aircraft?
Murchmo From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 34502 times:
I've seen this video. Its really terrible, but with the way the wind moves on different sides of mountains there can be these updrafts. With the extreme flying they do on fire drops this is a terrible scenario.
This is virtually impossible for all comercial airliners. They design the wings to undergo extreme stress and test them to the breaking point. Very rare a comercial flight would encounter such turbulence.
This (most often)only happens with old aircraft. They actually will ground aircraft if the wing has undergone a certain amount of hours. There was some controversy with one of RedBulls old airplanes they were flying. IIRC a goverment wanted to ground it but redbull claimed it was airworthy. I forget the whole story.
Ya, not completely impossible, but highly improbable.
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4431 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 34425 times:
Some commercial incidents with wings breaking off I can remember;
Dec 2005, a Grumman Mallard crashed off Miami. It was found out they didn't maintain the aircraft well, no proper control of salty areas and corrosion
1966, a BOAC 707 broke up inflight in Japan, and in 1981, an NLM Cityhopper Fellowship had a wing snapped off after take off. Current better weather radar would probably prevent an aircraft entering this sort of hurricane in the first place and repeat this accidents.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
BCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 34414 times:
Did it not happen to the BOAC 707-436 that was brought down by severe turbulence and a gust load considerably in excess of the design limit shortly after take off from HND on a scheduled service from SFO-HKG via HNL and HND on March 5, 1966? I am sure that somewhere I have seen a picture of the aircraft plumetting to the ground with wings broken off. During take off from HND, the 707 passed the burnt out hull of a DC8 belonging to Canadian Pacific that was involved in a landing accident the previous day.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
N49WA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 34243 times:
2 Lockheed Electras, Braniff in 1959 and Northwest in 1960 lost wings in flight due to "whirl mode". Vibrations from inadequately mounted engines spread to the wing root causing separation (engineer types correct me if I'm wrong).
Kappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 34141 times:
Wings breaking off is virtually impossible in current commercial airliners. I remember an incident with China Airlines (IIRC) where the 747 underwent such extreme forces that the wings were permanently deformed, but did not break off. There was a documentary on NGC about this incident.
Scouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3423 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 34011 times:
The only large airliner that had this sort of truama recently that I can think of is the MD11F that crashed at Tokyo last year. That broke one of its wings in a very hard landing that lead to the plane tragically crashing - not quite the same I know but still a wing break.
WestWing From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2135 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 32699 times:
Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 12): The only large airliner that had this sort of truama recently that I can think of is the MD11F that crashed at Tokyo last year. That broke one of its wings in a very hard landing that lead to the plane tragically crashing - not quite the same I know but still a wing break.
Do you mean the FedEx accident from this year (March 2009). Perhaps I am quibbling with subtle semantics here, but, from the videos, it does not look like the wing broke in the hard landing and that this then led to the crash. It looks like the wing broke after it contacted ground, so the wing break was caused by the the crash, not the cause of it.
The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
Anything is possible...my first day of my undergraduate aerospace engineering education, this is what I was taught. We had to repeat it - "anything is possible, anything is possible". On an airplane anything can happen...the thing is, we (aero engineers) have to design it so that even the thought of it happening is minimal. The fact that you did not even know it was possible is what we aim for...that is one of the last things we want you to think about on the aircraft! But, of course, anything is possible
BWI5OH From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 177 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 32270 times:
Quoting N49WA (Reply 9): 2 Lockheed Electras, Braniff in 1959 and Northwest in 1960 lost wings in flight due to "whirl mode". Vibrations from inadequately mounted engines spread to the wing root causing separation (engineer types correct me if I'm wrong).
You are correct! There was an excellent program on Discovery about those crashes. IIRC, when the number 2 and 3 engines hit a certain RPM,(and a certain vibratory frequency) the whole engine would start oscillating, causing stress at the location where the wings are attached to the fuselage. This was proven, as other Electra's were inspected and they found prop damage and areas on the leading wing edge where the prop would rub against it.
I believe the Braniff crashed in Buffalo, TX, just minutes away from my family's ranch...
It depends (a lot) on the aircraft design. If you build the wings so that they're stronger than the maximum aerodynamic force they can generate, then you physically can't rip the wings off if you fly inside the flight envelope. You'll just stall them before they separate. The only way to take them off is to screw up your maintenance so your strength goes low (some of the Grumman Goose failures) or get outside the flight envelope so the force gets too high (the 707 in heavy turbulence).
Yellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6505 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 28820 times:
When I first read the title of this thread, my first thought was "another AF crash theory"....
We know it is next to impossible that it is impossible for it to happen....but having established that "anything is possible"
It is possible for there to be a set of circumstances where a manufacturing defect at the wing root combined with very unusual turbulence and some piloting issues combine to have the wings snap off after an other wise recoverable "plunge".
Remember the US Sioux City Crash...the fan disk had a manufacturing defect that was never detected...
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
: Fuel tank exploded which caused part of the wing to fail after the hard landing and attempted go-aroundl. If any aircraft was unlikely to suffer a ma
: Northwest lost four Martin 202s between 1948 and 1950, the first of which crashed after loss of a wing. Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne was kil
: I believe the hercules firefighter crash was caused by corrosion in the wing box. Bluemoon ps wasnt there a US military plane,unsure of type,suffered