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What's Wrong With The MD-11?  
User currently offlineGothamSpotter From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 586 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 30291 times:

Popular Mechanics takes a look at the design of the MD-11 and its history of disastrous landing accidents.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/tech.../crashes/whats-wrong-with-the-md11

85 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12436 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 30289 times:

There was a lot of talk about this following the Fed Ex crash at NRT and a number of theories were expounded:

1. The structure of the wing was such that the MLG didn't gave way in case of a very heavy landing, which meant it was more likely to flip over.

2. The tail section is considerably smaller than that of the DC10, which apparently led to control difficulties.

3. The wingspan (at less than 50m) is considerably shorter than that of the A330/340 and 777, which cut its range considerably.

4. It has the reputation among crews of being a handful; there was very detailed discussion of the techniques and the importance of being stabilised early in the approach and how easily an MD11 could "get ahead of" an unprepared or inexperienced pilot, with potentially catastrophic results.


User currently onlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6372 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 30197 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 1):
2. The tail section is considerably smaller than that of the DC10, which apparently led to control difficulties.

   I think this factor alone probably contribues to the recent rash of MD-11 freighter landing accidents the most...The MD-11 is known to be most unforgiving of sloppy handling and poor airmanship during the landing phase of flight. Although in the NRT FX accident, the preliminary report seems to show that the flight crew put in *WAY* too much ailieron input, with predictable results  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined exactly 7 years ago today! , 5410 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 29944 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 1):
1. The structure of the wing was such that the MLG didn't gave way in case of a very heavy landing, which meant it was more likely to flip over.

This seems to be what turned damaging hard landings into disastrous flip/fire situations.

As I understand it, the main gear is not offset from the wing spar, but directly under it. So in a very hard landing situation, instead of the gear just punching through the wing (as it did on BA038, for example), the spar breaks and one wing separates from the aircraft, causing the aircraft to flip.

Compounding this problem is that the control characteristics of the MD-11 make extremely hard landings more likely, especially at freighter landing weights.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3625 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 29622 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
I think this factor alone probably contribues to the recent rash of MD-11 freighter landing accidents the most..

It's definitely responsible for the twitchy handling on landing, which can lead to hard landings... but those hard landings would probably be just that in any other airplane. In the MD-11, hard landings often break the MLG, which in turn flips the plane over. Now you have a serious accident out of what would have been a relatively minor incident in another airplane.

It has happened too many times, not just to freighters either but to passenger MD-11's too (there was one famous one somewhere in Asia, where the plane flipped on landing but miraculously only something like 3 people out of 250 or so died).

The MD-11 has a series of design quirks that make it more prone to this kind of accident than other planes. It's not just the stabilizer.

btw I'm sure this thread, like all the others about the MD-11, will get its share of people claiming there's nothing wrong with the MD-11... but I just think there's too much evidence the other way to really believe that anymore.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 29362 times:

There are two fundamental elements of the MD-11 design that have led to its less than stellar record. The first is the landing gear/wingspar design, which, as seabosdca said, does not allow the landing gear to break off cleanly, but instead acts like a fulcrum over which the wing spar breaks. As far as I know only the DC-10 and MD-11 have this design; but the DC-10 has better low speed handling and hence has never done it (unless it happened on UA-232). The second is that MD tried to improve the drag by employing "relaxed stability", i.e. a more aft CG than any other airliner with the goal of reducing drag. They did succeed in reducing drag (hence the smaller stabilizer) but the result is the handling quirks, especially during landing.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 29330 times:

Ugh!! I was waiting for another MD-11 thread to start. This topic has been beaten to death on this forum many times over. Please do a search before we rehash it all over again.  

In my opinion there is nothing extremely unsafe about the type or it would have been forced to undergo massive mandatory modifications of have been grounded by now. Yes, there is no denying that it is a handful to fly as we have all read, but so are some other aircraft types and all that demands is greater training and awareness of these particular traits. The aircraft has been in-service for nearly 20 years and many operators have had no incidents whatsoever.

I am probably in the minority here in my defense of the type as there is a pretty vocal anti-MD-11 a.net group on here that will pounce on this thread for sure.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 1):
1. The structure of the wing was such that the MLG didn't gave way in case of a very heavy landing, which meant it was more likely to flip over.

Of all the "theories" or reasons that are still continually perpetuated, this one is the silliest. Any aircraft that touches down on one MLG truck at a high rate of speed beyond its design limits will most-likely cause the wing to detach. Also, here is nothing inherently different with the MD-11's wing and landing gear design and configuration than the DC-10 which does not have this supposed "problem".



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined exactly 7 years ago today! , 5410 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 29171 times:

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 6):
Of all the "theories" or reasons that are still continually perpetuated, this one is the silliest. Any aircraft that touches down on one MLG truck at a high rate of speed beyond its design limits will most-likely cause the wing to detach. Also, here is nothing inherently different with the MD-11's wing and landing gear design and configuration than the DC-10 which does not have this supposed "problem".

BA and SV have had incidents with 777s where exactly this situation happened and the wing did not detach; instead, the gear punched through the wing.

Also, it's at least conceivable that this problem is what caused UA 232, the Sioux City DC-10, to flip over.

If hard landings consistently broke wings off on all airliners, we'd see many more flips on landing with other types.

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 6):
Yes, there is no denying that it is a handful to fly as we have all read, but so are some other aircraft types and all that demands is greater training and awareness of these particular traits.

No other medium to large airliner introduced in the last 30 years has anything like the MD-11's reputation for poor handling, or its record of landing accidents. I think a belief that MD pushed the design envelope too far with the small wing and stabilizers is easily justified by the facts. That doesn't mean every MD-11 flight is doomed to catastrophe, or that the aircraft should be grounded.

Still, I will breathe a sigh of relief when the last MD-11 passenger flight touches down safely, and another one when the last example of the type is retired.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 29041 times:

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 6):
Any aircraft that touches down on one MLG truck at a high rate of speed beyond its design limits will most-likely cause the wing to detach.

But no aircraft has EVER done it EXCEPT the MD-11, which has done it THREE times (out of only 200 built.)



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 28925 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 5):
The first is the landing gear/wingspar design, which, as seabosdca said, does not allow the landing gear to break off cleanly, but instead acts like a fulcrum over which the wing spar breaks. As far as I know only the DC-10 and MD-11 have this design; but the DC-10 has better low speed handling and hence has never done it (unless it happened on UA-232).

I don't know where you get this from because you keep stating it like its fact. The DC-10/MD-11 gear is mounted aft of the rear spar just like the majority of all airliner designs. There is nothing inherently different about its design. All conventional MLG designs have the forward attachment to the rear spar and the aft to a MLG beam or aux spar. As seen in the images of the 757, 737NG, 767, and DC-10, I defy you to tell me where is the "flaw" or that Douglas did anything vastly different than convention.

757


737NG


767


DC-10



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 28745 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 7):
Also, it's at least conceivable that this problem is what caused UA 232, the Sioux City DC-10, to flip over.

I believe that plane struck wingtip first if I'm not mistaken. Also, they were coming in very fast and hard, so I doubt that any sort of landing gear could have saved it.

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 6):
In my opinion there is nothing extremely unsafe about the type or it would have been forced to undergo massive mandatory modifications of have been grounded by now.

I agree that it isn't unsafe, though it may be fair to say that there is a lower margin of safety and that pilots should be aware of its particular characteristics.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 28719 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 7):
BA and SV have had incidents with 777s where exactly this situation happened and the wing did not detach; instead, the gear punched through the wing.

Also, it's at least conceivable that this problem is what caused UA 232, the Sioux City DC-10, to flip over.

If hard landings consistently broke wings off on all airliners, we'd see many more flips on landing with other types.

Thanks for the lesson on aircraft design from a lawyer. Gear isn't designed to "punch" through the wing either.

I wasn't talking about hard landings. I specifically stated high rates of speed beyond the certificated flight envelope which is entirely different. An aircraft isn't designed to handle all extreme loading conditions such as those encountered by here. No aircraft would have withstood some of the landings in the MD-11 cases.

I am not saying the aircraft is not touchy and is most-likely caused by the smaller horizontal stab and resulting stability, but this is what is the cause of the resulting structural failures and the botched landings far beyond structural limits, not inherent structural flaws.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 8):
But no aircraft has EVER done it EXCEPT the MD-11, which has done it THREE times (out of only 200 built.)

Yes, I grant you that, but how is that a result of a supposed structural flaw and not the stability issues that lead to the botched landing beyond the flight envelope and structural limits? I don't understand how one can blame an aircraft for breaking up when its operated beyond its design limits. Its the result you are inciting, not the cause. I find it very difficult to accept that any other aircraft could have recovered in one piece from seeing video of the Narita crash and the forces induced. This was NOT a typical hard or bounced landing.



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 28628 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 7):
Also, it's at least conceivable that this problem is what caused UA 232, the Sioux City DC-10, to flip over.

I don't believe that is the case at all with the UA 232 crash, I'm pretty sure that it flipped because of the speed and the fact that it was not directly lined up with the runway so in a last second effort to correct the plane, the right wing lost enough lift to cause it to strike the ground first causing the flip over.

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 9):
I don't know where you get this from because you keep stating it like its fact. The DC-10/MD-11 gear is mounted aft of the rear spar just like the majority of all airliner designs. There is nothing inherently different about its design. All conventional MLG designs have the forward attachment to the rear spar and the aft to a MLG beam or aux spar. As seen in the images of the 757, 737NG, 767, and DC-10, I defy you to tell me where is the "flaw" or that Douglas did anything vastly different than convention.

Thanks TZ for that info, even though I've worked with most commercial aircraft I didn't know that. I will say the MD11 is a great plane too, when I was at FDX I know that the pilots really did like it and with the ability to also fly the MD10, most pilots that I met at ONTR preffered the MD11. My uncle used to fly the original two GE MD11's that DL had in 1990 and he said that it was a good airplane but was tricky beyond belief.

FX1816


User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 28583 times:

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 11):
This was NOT a typical hard or bounced landing.

        

I don't believe any aircraft could have recovered from the FX incident at Narita, those were insane forces put on that airplane, especially after the first bounce.

FX1816


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7569 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 28556 times:

A lot of folk on this site say that the design is not faulty, that it is Pilot Error.

My response is "Why do MD11 Pilots seem to make more errors than pilots flying other types".


User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined exactly 7 years ago today! , 5410 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28307 times:

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 11):
I wasn't talking about hard landings. I specifically stated high rates of speed beyond the certificated flight envelope which is entirely different.

No one knows what happened in the SV case, but that description fits BA038 pretty well.

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 11):
Gear isn't designed to "punch" through the wing either.

Of course not, but that's a very preferable outcome to a wing detaching.

Thanks for posting the diagrams above. They indicate my understanding of the DC-10/MD-11 wing structure was incorrect. The question I still have is why these violent landing events break wings off (leading to flips) on MD-11s and not on other types. That's a different question from why MD-11s suffer more violent landing events, which I think we agree on.


User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28198 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 15):
No one knows what happened in the SV case, but that description fits BA038 pretty well.

True, but I would hardly compare the MD-11 accidents to BA038, completely different accidents and circumstances.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 15):
The question I still have is why these violent landing events break wings off (leading to flips) on MD-11s and not on other types. That's a different question from why MD-11s suffer more violent landing events, which I think we agree on.

Simply because there hasn't been a string of violent landings with other types that lead to this. Again, its the result not the cause. There have certainly been accidents where wings have detached before with CO 1713 coming to mind. Though not similar at all to MD-11 accidents, to put it simply, if a wing contacts the ground first in a crash, its going to detach.



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27985 times:

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 16):
to put it simply, if a wing contacts the ground first in a crash, its going to detach.



While I agree that; if the wing contacts the ground first something bad will happen, I think the term "its going to detach" is misleading. Becoming detached implies that it would fail at the attach point, where it mates with the fuselage/wing box. When in actuality the wing should fail at some point away from the attach point.


User currently offlinec5load From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27981 times:

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 14):
Why do MD11 Pilots seem to make more errors than pilots flying other types

Pilots of KLM's MD-11s don't seem to have a problem. I haven't heard of any mishaps with that carrier. What about the recent rash of incidents with the 738? Is that a problem airplane too?

[Edited 2010-05-11 16:01:30]


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13023 posts, RR: 100
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27775 times:
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Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 14):
A lot of folk on this site say that the design is not faulty, that it is Pilot Error.

My response is "Why do MD11 Pilots seem to make more errors than pilots flying other types".

If it were one airline, I would call into question that airline's culture, CRM, procedures, etc.

But since it isn't one airline... It leads to questioning something with the type. It isn't the wings breaking off even...

It is the accident rate per flight (per 100,000 flights if you prefer). Something that makes it 'too bound' on landing. In other words, too many mutually exclusive constraints have to be met.


Note: I would happily fly on a MD-11. They are far safer than certain 'non-Western' aircraft. Most MD-11's are in fleets that are well maintained.

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 11):
I am not saying the aircraft is not touchy and is most-likely caused by the smaller horizontal stab and resulting stability

It might be the stability or 'fear of the lack of stability' that is causing the pilot errors.

But in R&D, we look for these cases to avoid designing a type with a 'similar reputation.'

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27774 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
While I agree that; if the wing contacts the ground first something bad will happen, I think the term "its going to detach" is misleading. Becoming detached implies that it would fail at the attach point, where it mates with the fuselage/wing box. When in actuality the wing should fail at some point away from the attach point.

Correct. Perhaps 'separate' or 'fail' is more descriptive of what would occur. I don't mean to imply the attachment point would fail by default.

On another note, I couldn't yet find my TriStar documents with a MLG attachment diagram as I wanted to show that as well in reply 9.   I really wished I'd have saved at least an IPC, AMM, and SRM of the TriStar from ATA.



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offline413X3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27697 times:

how about the cartwheel of the United DC-10 in Sioux City in the late 80s. Granted the hydraulics were busted so control was probably not very easy to keep stable.

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19592 posts, RR: 58
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27682 times:

Quoting c5load (Reply 18):
Pilots of KLM's MD-11s don't seem to have a problem. I haven't heard of any mishaps with that carrier. What about the recent rash of incidents with the 738? Is that a problem airplane too?

Did the 738 flip over? Has a 738 ever flipped over on landing? What was the cause of the 738 accidents? How many 73G-series aircraft have been built and how many accident reports have listed design flaws as contributing factors?

You're being deliberately obtuse to try to defend an indefensible point. It's well-known that the MD-11 has an issue with stability during difficult/windy landings. The Chinese air authorities have banned it from their airspace (not that I take the Chinese government's policies that seriously). Pilots have reported that it is more demanding than similar aircraft.

To brush these facts off as "paranoia" is not defensible. The MD-11 may not be "unsafe," but it isn't the best of designs.

Additionally, it underperformed and was designed with one engine too many. That's why there aren't many of them flying passengers around anymore. On the other hand, the 744, which was introduced prior to the MD-11, is still the backbone of many long-haul carriers. And the 744, unlike the MD-11, has never flipped over on a hard landing.


User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7485 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 27662 times:

I did not know that there were only 11 pax MD-11's left. I thought Martinaire still have one . I guess they did not take into account the two Saudi VVIP M11's.


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 27510 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
Additionally, it underperformed and was designed with one engine too many. That's why there aren't many of them flying passengers around anymore. On the other hand, the 744, which was introduced prior to the MD-11, is still the backbone of many long-haul carriers. And the 744, unlike the MD-11, has never flipped over on a hard landing.

It underperformed on its range/cost targets and was never sold as anything more than an updated DC-10 which it is. It was clearly not a clean-sheet design.

Why are you all so fixated on the fact that it flips over in a crash or violent landing exacerbated by its unforgiving stability issues that is arguably unrecoverable in any aircraft type? Shouldn't we be focused on why it gets to that effect? The MD-11 doesn't have problems because it flips over in a crash and flipping over does not cause it to crash, its a result.

Quoting United_fan (Reply 23):
I did not know that there were only 11 pax MD-11's left. I thought Martinaire still have one . I guess they did not take into account the two Saudi VVIP M11's.

Actually there are approximately 22 pax aircraft left. KLM has 10, World has 6, 2 Saudi VVIP, and 4 stored (ex-Finnair).



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
25 c5load : If it is such a problem airplane, then why hasn't the FAA grounded all of them? If the crashes were directly attributed to design flaws, why hasn't t
26 ikramerica : The question is: would another aircraft been in this situation in the first place? 1. Other aircraft have larger wings and horizontal stabs. 2. Other
27 FX1816 : Well that's just being ridiculous. Actually YOU were the one who brought up the 738 having recent issues.... FX1816
28 c5load : What's so ridiculous about it? Obviously an airplane with design flaws that cause to flip when it crashes because of a hard landing should be immedia
29 tdscanuck : It's not the MLG break that flips the airplane...that would just drop one side down on the nacelle (which has happened to lots of aircraft types). It
30 FX1816 : And do you really believe that the MD11 hasn't seriously been looked at by the FAA and other authorities from other countries??? I do like how you do
31 TZTriStar500 : Yes, I understand that, but to the MD-11 in particular, the center wing boxes themselves stayed intact and a wing separated outboard of that attachme
32 c5load : Well, If YOU took the time to read the post to which I was responding to, then YOU would have seen that I was saying that no matter what the airplane
33 tdscanuck : The principle applies to the whole wing, as you note, not just the center wing box. There's no real requirement that the wing box stay intact through
34 Post contains images 474218 : I did. However, the drawing does not do the MLG Trunnion Fitting justice. It is made from high strength steel and weighs 2000 lbs. The MLG Trunnion i
35 TZTriStar500 : Thanks for your input. I agree and not convinced what actually occurred as a result (post-crash) was due to any flawed structural design.
36 Post contains images TZTriStar500 : Thanks Carl! It looks somewhat similar in configuration to the DC-10/MD-11 design and hope you don't take offense to that..haha
37 474218 : That's understandable, in the late 1960's I think there were engineers that worked day shift at Lockheed and swing shift at McD. I know I worked for
38 Post contains links FX1816 : I'm not trying to start an argument either but UPS HAS had a landing incident with the MD11: UPS MD11 nose gear collapse http://ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.a
39 474218 : You can't blame the airplane for "poor airmanship"!
40 FX1816 : Oh I don't, I actually love the MD-11, I was just making the point that UPS has had a landing incident. FX1816
41 crownvic : I would fly an MD-11 over any other plane in the sky right now. Great power on take-off, great windows, great sounds and beautiful to look at. Even if
42 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : If I remember correctly, the MD-11 is several feet longer than the DC-10. There were also several other "improvements" to increase the range and pay l
43 DocLightning : Where?
44 DocLightning : Because that would be an overreaction. For one thing, the FAA would rather just let the fleet retire itself. The Chinese, in standard fashion, did ov
45 FX1816 : Sorry about that, not you but c5load, I guess the quote got a bit confused. FX1816
46 Max Q : It's accident record speaks for itself.
47 Post contains links 747classic : With 2 MD11F accidents and three major structural incidents with the same aircraft in 2009, it strikes me that nothing has been done to speed up the i
48 SEPilot : The drawing you posted does not show enough of the gear to determine exactly how the load of an excessively hard landing will be absorbed. My informa
49 divemaster08 : Surprised no one brought this up yet but here we go. I have heard that also one issue with the MD-11 is the Auto throttle on Landing. On the MD-11 aut
50 CosmicCruiser : 2 of those 3 times were WAAAY out of the norm. Very high sink rates for 2 different reasons. The most contributing factor to gooning up an MD-11 land
51 United_fan : I ws quoting what the PM article stated. 11 sounded a little low to me,too.
52 TZTriStar500 : I would love to see it too since the MLG is clearly mounted aft of the spar to a trunion fitting as can be seen in the diagram and not under the spar
53 Post contains images 474218 : Maybe this drawing will help: Vertical loads are transferred from the gear to the trunnion fittings (Items 7 and 29) then inboard thought the lateral
54 md80fanatic : Ethiopian 767 in the Comoros Island ditching lost the left wing (clean break at the wing box) after brief contact with water. There was a time when t
55 trigged : FAA design requires a 150% factor of safety in the wing, wing box, and related areas. Tell me the FedEx crash did not exceed 150% on the wing and land
56 Post contains images 747400sp : Look, as a person from LA area, the MD11 should have a place in my hart since it was built in Long Beach. I saw brand new MD11s for airlines like JAL
57 Post contains images FX1816 : And I never said one was or has been but never is a strong word, can you back that up throughout the entire history of aviation?? FX1816
58 trystero : MD11 pilots are the most faithful of all. Not that flying her beats sex, but because landing her gives enough thrills... Great bird, one of my favorit
59 Post contains images Aaron747 : As I posted previously, the initial indications are that the DFDR data speaks for itself in terms of what the control inputs were. Whether or not the
60 SEPilot : But the simple fact remains that no other jet has ever found itself in a similar position, and when you consider the number of MD-11's as a proportio
61 tdscanuck : Although grounding is the most extreme of all actions available to the FAA, and they're reluctant to use it unless absolutely necessary, the FAA is m
62 SEPilot : If my analysis is correct, I don't think a paperwork change is going to do it. If, as I think, pilots find out in the middle of a tricky landing that
63 CosmicCruiser : The only real issue is what happens after a bounced landing. In the past most aviators would try to salvage a bad landing and thus this MD-11 thing c
64 Post contains images KELPkid : Just out of curiousity, what would an AD do to rectify the situation? Would the AD require a large placard with red letters reading "Do not fly this
65 413X3 : Irony or maybe just coincidence, but after this topic was posted bashing the MD-11, another A330 accident with a large body count.
66 c5load : With all of this talk about the MD-11, wasn't the DC-10 similarly susceptible to the same ways? And if this is something to do with the different aero
67 trigged : It does appear that the MLG on the port side did collapse and that was part of the reason why it rolled so heavily to the left. If you watch it after
68 Post contains links and images trigged : Port landing gear laying beside the fractured wing, appears to be sheared mostly from the mounts. Starboard gear still in place. Nose wheels are miss
69 Post contains links SV777 : the retraction actuator broke through upper wing surface during gear extension and had nothing to do with a hard landing http://www.airliners.net/avi
70 ikramerica : But would another plane be touching down at 165-170 knots? It's "pure speculation" to assume that another aircraft with a slower approach speed would
71 474218 : The picture actually shows the left (port) MLG is gear is still attached to the trunnion and that the side brace is gone, allowing the gear to lay fl
72 tdscanuck : The only change that would work, I think, would be those that prevent you from getting in the middle of a tricky landing in the first place. Clamp do
73 Post contains images SSTsomeday : So we have: High and more aft center of gravity Smaller wings than ideal Smaller vertical and horizontal stabilizers than ideal (All of this causing
74 474218 : Having represented an OEM on two accident investigations I can insure you the OEM has little to say about the outcome of the investigation. Each time
75 Aaron747 : The laws of physics dictate that a bounce resulting in excess G loads will be damaging to an aircraft structure of similar composition and weight, th
76 tdscanuck : This is true but, as very often happens in these types of cases, you've got the wrong idea of what kind of damage they're trying to control. An air a
77 XT6Wagon : I think there is a simple solution to the issue, but one that will go over much like an outright ban. That is to say, reduce the max landing wieght b
78 Post contains links 747classic : I fully agree. On passenger MD11 aircraft, for all versions MLW is 458.000 lbs with a MZFW of 430.000lbs. Due this relative low MLW, operators of the
79 CosmicCruiser : These are in place and it is really more than that ; consider some side loading as well.
80 Post contains links Viscount724 : Some MD-11 operators seem to be able to handle strong winds without a problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFloyyEBblQ
81 ikramerica : Well DUH! I'm responding to those so eager to dismiss this incident as one that WOULD happen to ANY aircraft, by pointing out that each aircraft has
82 Post contains links 2H4 : Some interesting information was shared a while back in this thread: Another MD-11 Incident Upon Landing? (Centurion) (by Airbuseric Oct 24 2009 in Ci
83 spacecadet : Exactly. Saying the aircraft was operated beyond its design limits is not an automatic excuse in favor of the aircraft. Imagine a ridiculous hypothet
84 SSTsomeday : I'm glad to hear it.
85 SEPilot : The DC-10, even though it has many common design characteristics, is a different animal. Its wing is much larger in proportion to its weight, its hor
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