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Could The Pilots Have Saved JL 123?  
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 18176 times:

I know the accident was due to a faulty repair but could the pilots have done anything to land the plane? Was the plane 100% uncontrollable?

64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineokAY From Finland, joined Dec 2006, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18118 times:

What I have understood the pilots did manage to keep the crippled plane in the air for quite some time before it crashed.

I watched an episode of Air Crash Investigation covering the accident. It should be available on youtube.


User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18095 times:

I think the pilots flew better than most expected.

I dont think they had much chance once they got into the mountains.

And may they RIP.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3607 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 18095 times:

It was just barely controllable with engine power. However, this was not a trained procedure and had not even been used before to semi-successfully crash-land a plane on flat ground, e.g. UA 232. So they would have been making it up as they went along, and they were stuck in the mountains. They did actually make some attempt at getting out of the mountains but they couldn't do it before losing too much altitude, which was unavoidable. Their flight path was not entirely random.

Who knows what might have happened if they'd been over flat land near an airport. Even crashing into a mountain, there were many survivors initially.

There's not a whole lot they could have done that they didn't do, despite the apparent hypoxia. They were in an impossible situation.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 17980 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 3):
It was just barely controllable with engine power. However, this was not a trained procedure and had not even been used before to semi-successfully crash-land a plane on flat ground, e.g. UA 232. So they would have been making it up as they went along,

What could have done to control JL 123 apart from engine power? Why was it uncontrollable?


User currently offlinebrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3007 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 17897 times:

Quoting United Airline (Reply 4):
Why was it uncontrollable?

No hydraulics in the tailplane I believe...



Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3607 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 17892 times:

Quoting United Airline (Reply 4):
What could have done to control JL 123 apart from engine power? Why was it uncontrollable?

Nothing could have been done apart from engine power. They had no hydraulics.

Even with using engine power, they had terrible phugoid effects that eventually culminated in at least two major dives. UA 232 suffered from this as well but I'm just guessing the DC-10 doesn't suffer from this problem quite as badly without working control surfaces. Also, UA232 was trimmed for cruise, whereas JL123 was trimmed for climb. Even so, it was the phugoid effect that drove UA 232 into the ground right at touchdown. That's what really doomed the passengers that died on both planes.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineSiren From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 312 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 17756 times:

Something else, too, which others haven't mentioned - when the rear pressure bulkhead on JL123 gave out, not only did it take out the hydraulics, but most of the vertical stabilizer was separated from the plane. That had to have caused additional aerodynamic instability that the crew of UA232 didn't have to face- they had an intact airframe minus hydraulics. JL123 was a seriously compromised airplane missing an entire control surface, plus hydraulics.

User currently offlinesq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 17648 times:

My understanding was that the pilots kept the 747 in the air much longer than can be reasonably expected, especially because they were missing a sizable chunk of vital machinery. Given that they were in a situation that no pilot was trained for, and had to use off the cuff thinking and their years of piloting experience, they did extraordinarily well. They were desperately trying to get over flat land but also avoid populated areas so it was always going to be near impossible.

The real tragedy here is that many more passengers survived the initial impact but died overnight after search and rescue was called off for the day, leaving only the five that survived.



Keep Discovering
User currently offlinebluewhale18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 17615 times:

My roommate is a FedEx pilot. He claimed that he could land that DC-10 intact with no casualty.
He also said Al Haynes and company could have done better.
I just rolled my eyes...



JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 17582 times:

Quoting bluewhale18210 (Reply 9):

Oh yeah of course he could have. What a hero!

Have to feel for pilots and so forth in this situation, knowing its now if, but when.


User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 17471 times:

Quoting brons2 (Reply 5):
No hydraulics in the tailplane I believe...

Why?

The tail came off right?


User currently offlineaaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8021 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 17333 times:

You cannot maintain stable flight in a 747 or any other large aircraft with most of the vertical stabilizer gone.


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinepeterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 201 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 17196 times:

Quoting bluewhale18210 (Reply 9):
My roommate is a FedEx pilot. He claimed that he could land that DC-10 intact with no casualty

What sometimes isn´t quite recognized, is that the Crew of UA232 actually DID manage to land the DC 10 at the airport.
The bad outcome of it came due to the after-landing flip, we all know from several MD11 crashes, due to the high sink rate, as they couldn´t flare (remember-no hyd. no elevator). The main gear on this type is known it can damage the spar resulting in wing failure.

If the JAL flight could have had a better outcome is very speculative. The only thing they could have done "better" is immeadiatly put on their oxygen masks in order to have more concious time to do something. If that would have saved the day, I personally doubt.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 17101 times:

Quoting United Airline (Reply 4):
Why was it uncontrollable?

Yes, it's Wikipedia, but it's a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Airlines_Flight_123


User currently onlineSpaceshipDC10 From Canada, joined Jan 2013, 1618 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 17046 times:

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 13):
What sometimes isn´t quite recognized, is that the Crew of UA232 actually DID manage to land the DC 10 at the airport.

No, they didn't. As soon as engines were idled, the right wing dropped, as it was locked in a right turn configuration, and its tip touched the ground just before the runway. The outer wing broke and the aircraft turned upside down. We all know what happened next.



KEEP LOOKING UP as in Space Fan News
User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7452 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 16991 times:

Why was SAR called off for the day.

If I recall, the crash was not far from the Airport.


User currently offlinepeterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 201 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 16844 times:

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 15):

You´re right about the right wing touching. I thought the wing failure however was caused by the gear after the impact.
I´m probably wrong then.

However - that makes it even more unlikely for that FedEx roomate to do a better job....


User currently onlineSpaceshipDC10 From Canada, joined Jan 2013, 1618 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 16714 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 16):
I thought the wing failure however was caused by the gear after the impact.

When the wing tip touched the ground, it was to the left of the runway centerline. Then the landing gear impacted heavily the ground of the runway's left hand edge and was sheared off. Then as the aircraft was skidding to the right at high speed and tumbling on its back, the outer part of the wing was demolished.



KEEP LOOKING UP as in Space Fan News
User currently offlineSlcpilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 579 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 16702 times:

Here are some folks that did "do it better"! It is important to note; however, that all of the crews were very motivated to do their best.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_...d_DHL_attempted_shootdown_incident

It is worth it to hear Al Haynes' presentation if he's still doing them!

Fly Safe,

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1206 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16572 times:

Quoting Slcpilot (Reply 19):

Yeah, but we should remember that the DHL flight only lost part of their wing which surely didn't make the plane even nearly as unstable as losing most of the tail like JAL123 did.

I think it's amazing that crew of JAL123 managed to keep their plane in the air that long, I'm sure they couldn't have done any better.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 21, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 16421 times:

Quoting pvjin (Reply 20):
Yeah, but we should remember that the DHL flight only lost part of their wing which surely didn't make the plane even nearly as unstable as losing most of the tail like JAL123 did.

The DHL aircraft also lost all hydraulics, leaving the crew with only engine thrust to control it.

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 17):
However - that makes it even more unlikely for that FedEx roomate to do a better job....

Yes, I'd be interested to hear the views of other experienced heavy transport pilots on that one. It's possible, of course, but if you tried it ten times, how many times would you get it just right?


User currently offlineFlaps From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1258 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15973 times:

Each time an incident of a particular type takes place (ie total hydraulic loss or airframe compromise) we have an opportunity to learn something from it. Hence each subsequent crew facing that issue has a better chance of succeeding than the one before. The JAL 123 crew undoubtedly helped pave the way for the UA crew and both for the DHL crew etc.

I have done some some fairly extensive research on this over the years and can only admire the efforts of the JAL 123 crew. A truly heroic and inspirational effort. IMHO a successful landing in their case was likely impossible regardless of the terrain. Without the vertical stabilizer they had no lateral stability and as speeds decreased during an attempted approach
that lack of stability would have doomed them.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3607 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14932 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 21):
The DHL aircraft also lost all hydraulics, leaving the crew with only engine thrust to control it.

The DHL flight did not seem to suffer from phugoid effects nearly as badly as JAL 123 and UA 232. I have seen the Air Crash Investigation episode on the DHL incident, and externally there didn't seem to be any evidence of phugoid effects at all that I remember - there was plenty of footage of the plane in the air and it seemed to be flying straight and level. The pilots did mention that initially after the missile hit, they had to get the phugoid effects under control, but they seemed to manage to do that pretty quickly.

For one thing, the A300 is a lighter plane than either the DC-10 or certainly the 747. For another, every airplane just has different aerodynamics - it's going to behave differently with dead flight controls. That's further exacerbated by the trim system. I don't recall if the DHL pilots were able to adjust their trim after the missile hit - initially they did have limited hydraulics and they would have immediately leveled off after the explosion, so the trim may have been adjusted at that point. JL 123 was stuck in climb trim and UA 232 was stuck with ailerons set for a turn.

And of course, JL 123 was missing most of its tail, leading it not to just oscillate up and down, but to yaw side to side uncontrollably. Yumi Ochiai, the surviving off-duty flight attendant, said it felt like they were falling like a leaf.

In other words, you can't directly compare all of these situations and say the DHL pilots just did a better job and all of these planes could have landed safely. I do recall simulator tests being done for both JL 123 and UA 232 and none of the trained pilots was able to safely land either plane - most crashed much earlier.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14774 times:

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 12):
You cannot maintain stable flight in a 747 or any other large aircraft with most of the vertical stabilizer gone.

I remember seeing a photo of a B-52 in flight with about 90% of its vertical stabilizer missing. I don't recall the outcome of that, whether they landed safely or ejected.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
25 trent772 : He MUST be kidding (I hope he is), if he's not the he just lacks professionalism and thorough knowledge on the matter. He's way off on this one. All
26 jetjack74 : What he and other Monday morning quarterbacks fail to realize is, they didn't have training like that back then because it was almost inconceivable t
27 thrufru : The FedEx pilot. Ha! Funny. I got into a discussion about redundant systems with some coworkers recently, too. It morphed into a discussion about the
28 TheRedBaron : Jal 123 could not be saved, the damage was way too extensive, and in my view it is incredible that the whole tail section did not separate with the af
29 Post contains links rc135x : The crew was able to land safely. http://www.talkingproud.us/Military/B52%20No%20Tail/B52NoTail.html
30 pvjin : However I think this B52 crew didn't lost their hydraulic like JAL123 did?
31 Flaps : A not uncommon attitude among FX's finest. In my 16 years there I found a much higher level of arrogance and holier than thou attitudes than at other
32 Post contains images NDiesel : Controlling an airplane in this state to the extent that they did was incredible. This photo always gives me the chills. Edit: I can't verify the auth
33 bueb0g : Remember that JAL 123 lost its tail. Yes, and took out all the hydraulics for the whole a/c. Is manual reversion on the A330 just rudder and stabilis
34 stratosphere : Considering that FX pilots in the recent past have had their fair share of bent metal with aircraft that have not suffered a catastrophic mechanical
35 trent772 : The correct name is Mechanical Backup, not manual reversion. Sorry about the brain fart. Yes, just rudder, stab trim and engine thrust to control the
36 cbphoto : Touche, I was about to say the exact same thing! Fedex has a hard enough time keeping their working machines in one piece, much less one that is crip
37 rwy04lga : Thanks for that info and the link....fascinating!
38 PGNCS : They did an amazingly good job given the cards dealt them. Nothing. No hydraulics to any flight controls; the majority of the vertical stabilizer was
39 toobz : Long story short. No. they did an amazing job with the condition they had. Have u googled the incident and seen the recreation of the incident!?? kind
40 PC12Fan : Your roommate is a risk. Is he even aware that there were several attempts in simulators by professional DC-10 pilots that didn't even get it close t
41 jagflyer : If I understand correctly, the 747-100/200 had more of a "fly by cable" system with hydraulic assist. Would it have been possible to control the aircr
42 YYZatcboy : There was also an electra that had something similar. On 8 June 1983, Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 8's propeller separated from the aircraft and tore
43 7BOEING7 : All they would have done was stretch the cables.
44 Post contains images spacecadet : That is a real photo but it's been edited to look even worse than it was. Here's an interesting comparison of the original with the edited version: I
45 David L : I'm not saying the DHL crew did a better job. I'm saying they didn't only lose a small past of a wing, they also lost all hydraulics. It may have bee
46 rfields5421 : Some background first. I was stationed in Yokosuka near the mouth of Tokyo Bay at the time. I was doing some video work from a US Navy helicopter that
47 Viscount724 : What does the official accident report say about the tail separating? Did they find tail wreckage a long distance from the main crash site?
48 SpaceshipDC10 : I haven't read the official report, however in my Air Disater book, it is said that parts of the tail were found floating in Sagami Bay. In a straigh
49 jc2354 : I always enjoy these "what if" discussions. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. It seems we all agree that it was inevitable that JL123 would
50 rfields5421 : Parts of the rudder and a few parts of the vertical stabilizer were found floating in the bay - which would be consistent with them coming off on the
51 spacecadet : Maybe, but only because rescuers would have reached them faster, as rfields5421 alluded to. The Japanese government basically impeded the rescue effo
52 brons2 : I thought they were in the dive portion of the phugoid when they crashed. I have heard the CVR and the GPWS is alerting on sink rate, it goes somethi
53 liquidair : reading about the accident, it seems they made a turn towards land after the decompression. Was this intentional, and if so, was a land crash landing
54 BreninTW : I imagine the pilots thought they were dealing with a fairly routine pressurisation issue -- and were confident they could make it back to an airport
55 Post contains links rfields5421 : According to the Japanese AAIC Report - English Translation - the flight engineer and a cabin attendant are heard on the CVR discussing the damage to
56 Post contains links HBGDS : Pkease ignore if this is already posted, but this is one of the better CVR trnascripts and computer-recreated videos of the tragedy. The pilots were m
57 spacecadet : They were just trying to land, any way they could. They weren't trying to crash, on either water or land. They were trying to make it to Haneda, prob
58 rfields5421 : Mt Fuji is 3,776.4 M / 12,389 ft tall. They were still close to 21,000 ft altitude when they were nearest Mt Fuji and even when they did the 360 turn
59 Post contains links n729pa : There is a Safety Promotion Centre dedicated to JL123, near Haneda Airport. I don't know if anyone on here has been to it or not. http://www.jal.com/e
60 spacecadet : I'm not sure about that - the report states that 16 minutes after the decompression (about 1840, halfway through the event), they began a steep desce
61 ha763 : I went there in 2008. It was so sobering that no one except for the guide talked. You can see the area of the bulkhead that failed and the pieces of
62 YLWbased : Did a DHL successfully landed their missile hitted plane once in Baghdad? YLWbased
63 Post contains links SpaceshipDC10 : Yes http://www.tallrite.com/weblog/blogi...s/refs2005/dhlbaghdadshootdown.htm
64 bueb0g : No. Most conventional airliners had cables running from the cockpit to the hydraulic actuators for the control surfaces, whereupon the mechanical sig
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