Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
MD-11 Hydraulics/Emergency Landing  
User currently offlineEdward From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4898 times:

I'm currently writing a novel in which the following sequence occurs:

The pilot of an MD-11 is confronted with an electrical fire on board. He loses one engine and has very little controllability and almost no ailerons. He's losing his hydraulics and can only turn right. Still, he manages to guide the plane in toward the runway.

When he's coming in for landing, he notes that the landing gear isn't down. He presses a button that provides manual control over the landing gear, but nothing happens. He checks his instruments and sees that he's almost out of hydraulic fluid. But then he realizes it's what may be holding back the landing gear. He takes a chance and "vents his remaining hydraulic fluid" and the landing gear comes out just in time.


1. Does the MD-11 have a "flashing red button" that provides manual control over the landing gear?

2. Is what I've described ("venting hydraulic fluid") an actual option for a MD-11 pilot whose landing gear isn't down? If not, how would he proceed in this emergency situation?

3. Are there any other questionable technical points in the sequence? (For instance, could an electrical fire on board spread and trigger these other problems?)

Thanks in advance for any help and/or alternative solutions you can provide!


4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAmbasaid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 2 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4834 times:


Why did you pick the MD11?

The answers to your questions are:
1: No
2: No
3: Yes.

Sorry for the short answers, but I'm outta time. Hopefully MD11nut will jump in here.

User currently offlineB767-400er From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2000, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 2 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4814 times:

Why not use the gravity drop for the gears?? I'm not sure if Md-11s have this but don't most airliners do???


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3727 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (15 years 2 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4815 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

There is no airliner were there is automatic control over the landing gear. The red light you have probably heard about just indicates the gear is not down when the a/c is in a landing configuration below a certain altitude.

If the MD11 is like its predessor, the DC10 the a/c has 3 hydraulic systems. Each engine drives two pumps for 'its' hyd system plus the a/c has two electric pumps & reversable motor pumps to pressurise one system from another. Each flight control surface is powered by two hydraulic systems so looseing an engine will not effect cotrollability of the a/c.

No a/c has the ability to "vent hydraulics" it would be like you venting your blood !

Please let me know the name of this book, I will know to avoid it when is comes out.

User currently offlineMD11Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4808 times:

I wasn't going to answer this thread but since Ambasaid asked, I might as well add my two cents. All of the posts here are great. To directly answer Edward's questions, please see Ambasaid's post. I'll try to expand his laconic replies a bit.

There is no flashing red button that provide manual control over the landing gear. If you had an electrical fire, chance is the flashing red button would not work anyway due to lack of electrical power. There is a manual lever (called alternate gear extension lever) to manually extend the nose and main landing gears in the MD-11. It is located ont the floor, on the right side of the pedestal. To manually extend the Center landing gear, you operate the "center gear alternate extension handle". It is located on the floor forward of the main circuit breaker panels. Both of these lever/handle once activated, bypass the hydraulics and allow the gears to free-fall (by their weights) and mechanically latched into position (You don't need any hydraulics).

2. Like VC-10 says, you don't vent hydraulic fluids.

3. Your scenario is highly unlikely. While anything is possible, it requires multiple failures and outrageous misfortunes to arrive at the scenario you described.

It is admirable that you tried to clarify with the forum. My recommendation would be that you do more research of the aircraft's systems before attempting to write it. Since Tom Clancy was able to do it on, at the time, a top secret submarine at libraries, you would have no problem finding out info on the MD-11. While it is understandable that the MD-11 is sensationalized in the public eye more than any other aircraft, I wish you hadn't picked it. Enough bad press had already befallen the aircraft and the public might be tired of it already. Pick something new or just keep it generic?

Best Regards,

Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic MD-11 Hydraulics/Emergency Landing
No username? Sign up now!

Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)

Similar topics:More similar topics...
MD-11: Unpleasent Breaking Behaviour After Landing posted Sat Jan 29 2005 00:17:55 by Singel09
MD-11 Landing Without Center Landing Gear - Why posted Wed Jun 9 2004 13:12:43 by Jorge1812
What Is This In The Delta MD-11 Cockpit? posted Mon Oct 30 2006 10:11:58 by MD11Fanatic
KLM MD-11 Aircraft Configurations posted Tue Oct 24 2006 20:07:06 by MD11Fanatic
Who Is A Type-rated MD-11 Pilot Here? posted Tue Oct 24 2006 20:02:28 by MD11Fanatic
"rain" Inside An MD 11 posted Thu Oct 19 2006 19:15:46 by RootsAir
DC-10 / MD-11 What's The Difference? posted Sat Jun 17 2006 23:55:28 by ContinentalGuy
Why Does The Front-wheel Door Not Close On MD-11? posted Fri Apr 21 2006 00:14:33 by Aero145
Parked MD-11 Eicas Displays "Engine Fire" posted Mon Mar 27 2006 23:19:34 by Rolfen
747-SP, MD-11 posted Mon Mar 27 2006 10:48:09 by AR385

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format