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Nose Dive!  
User currently offlineContinentalGuy From United States of America, joined May 2006, 90 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4762 times:

I was on Continental flight 228 from Newark to Denver on a B737-800. I noticed that we were still at a high altitude while very close to denver. All of a sudden the plane went into atimid nose dive. But noticeable enough that everybody panicked and the flight attendants ran to their seats while collecting garbage. Is this normal or was this an isolated incident?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAsturias From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 2156 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4719 times:

Strangely, I have had the exact same experience. It was a night-flight in very good weather and good visibility. I noticed that according to the ETA we should have already arrived and then the plane begins a steep nose-dive, making a sound like a WWII fighter in the movies!  Wow!

This was on an F-50. Then after a seemingly long long time in a 30°+ descent the plane levels, takes a tight 180° and lands smoothly.

This was never explained by the crew, but the pax were quite concerned while we were diving. Even I wasn't sure what was happening. I had flown a zillion times the same route and never experienced this kind of approach.

Maybe the pilot suddenly realized he had a cake in the oven?

cheers

Asturias



Tonight we fly
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6206 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4668 times:

probably nothing to worry about. What do you mean by "nosedive"? Surely the nose wasn't pointed straight at the ground. The pilot probably was high an had an altitude restriction to meet.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineNopeotone From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4639 times:

I've experienced the exact same thing. It was early morning and we were going to land in a few minutes. Looking out the window, I saw a plane coming in also for the parallel runway. Except he was MUCH lower than our flight, but I could Identify it was a UAX plane. Then we start decending rapidly. Not a full out nose dive, but your upperbody fell forward. THe plane made a loud and obnoxious noise, the flight attendants ran to their seats, some people screamed, and then about a minute later we were down where the other plane was. And landed a head of it on a different runway.

User currently offlineSkyexramper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4557 times:

A few things could have happened. One thought comes to mind, avoiding other traffic or ATC was sleeping and forgot about you guys and the crew had to slam dunk it into DEN.

User currently offlineDcrawley From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 371 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4399 times:

Quoting Asturias (Reply 1):
30°+ descent

Just out of curiousity friend, how you could tell it was over 30 degrees?



"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
User currently offlineCRGsFuture From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4357 times:

Yea especially if the average normal decent angle is 3 degrees. Maybe 15?


Flying you to your destination; your girlfriend to her dreams.
User currently onlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8378 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4316 times:

Quoting Dcrawley (Reply 5):
Just out of curiousity friend, how you could tell it was over 30 degrees?

LOL no kidding, 30 degrees nose down is extreme in an airliner.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineAsturias From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 2156 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Quoting Dcrawley (Reply 5):
Just out of curiousity friend, how you could tell it was over 30 degrees?

Because I held a flask of water on the armrest. It was a very steep and a very fast descent. Less than 45°, but not that much less.. I had to push myself back so my torso wouldn't slump forward on the seat in front.

This was in an F-50, not a B747. Still, very memorable.

cheers

Asturias



Tonight we fly
User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Quoting CRGsFuture (Reply 6):
Yea especially if the average normal decent angle is 3 degrees. Maybe 15?

Especially if you can't accurately judge past 20 degrees because at that point your body registers only straight down?


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4163 times:

Not all flights are going to be picture perfect. Sometimes things happen and pilots have to deal with it. Like poor approach flying by pilots or maybe ATC mistakes. As long as the pilot doesn't come on the P.A saying "OH $hit, we're gonna die!", I wouldn't worry about it and enjoy the ride.

User currently offlineAlaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 906 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4156 times:

A friend who is a pilot for AS answered this for me when I asked him. he said that because of a lot of reasons but mostly since fuel is so expensive the airline doesn't want to waste precious fuel, sure it might not sound like a lot for each flight, but airlines have a lot of flights each day... it adds up. not every pilot does this, but some do.
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.



to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4129 times:

Quoting Skyexramper (Reply 4):
and the crew had to slam dunk it into DEN.

I've always loved that expression...a buddy of mine that flys a Citation says he almost always gets the Slam Dunk 1 arrival to rwy 23L at RDU...

Quoting Asturias (Reply 1):
30°+ descent

I HIGHLY doubt this...in the United States, to go past 30 degrees of pitch legally, all occupants of the airplane need a parachute (the boundaries for what is considered aerobatics, in which case you'd also need a plane certified for such maneuvers)...same with going over 60 degrees of bank. As mentioned further up, it is quite hard to tell specific pitch angle when you're sitting in the backseat, mostly due to your inner ear getting cunfused with itself (spatial disorientation, happens quite often in hard IFR).

With all due respect, I wouldn't doubt you were hitting 15-20 degrees, which is still quite a bit for an airliner, but I can all but guaruntee you that plane wasn't past 30.

Your CptSpeaking



...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

WHAT!


Your post should be relevant to the topic discussed.   

[Edited 2006-06-15 10:02:52]

User currently offlineBigJimFX From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 12):
I HIGHLY doubt this...in the United States, to go past 30 degrees of pitch legally, all occupants of the airplane need a parachute (the boundaries for what is considered aerobatics, in which case you'd also need a plane certified for such maneuvers)...same with going over 60 degrees of bank.

Technically the regs dont specify angles, only G-Loads. Though a comercial pilot friend of mine always used to rage about flights without pax onboard where they got to bank the plane at over 30 degrees. The reg # escapes me. This has more to do with company policy than FAA regs.



I'd like to thank me for flying Me Airways...
User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3887 times:

Same happened to me approaching PIK on a 738. Even for me the senation of plumetting was very frightening. Could see almost full airbrakes deployed, and a sharp nose down attitude. I think it may be to keep the plane where up high where it burns less fuel up until the last minute.

User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

since i fly the 737, i think that the only thing i can think of is that maybe you switched from path descent to speed descent, or level change, same thing as speed descent. The speed would have to be very high, the plane noses over to maintain, im talking around 300-320 knots. That's where the throttles are at idle, and the Flight Director commands your speed with aircraft pitch. Were the speed brakes up, because it would make sense for them to from what you describe.....


The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3556 times:

Quoting BigJimFX (Reply 14):
Technically the regs dont specify angles, only G-Loads.

Really? hmmm...

FAR 91.307:
(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds�

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.



...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently onlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5127 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3390 times:

Been into Denver alot. I have had the same experience on several flights. Good thing is that our pilot usually warns us ahead of time though. I guess it is just a DEN thing. Were you coming from South to North by chance? This is when I have noticed this particular bank.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineLarspl From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3284 times:

Quoting Skyexramper (Reply 4):
A few things could have happened. One thought comes to mind, avoiding other traffic or ATC was sleeping and forgot about you guys and the crew had to slam dunk it into DEN.

atc sleeping? there are two people controlling the aircraft, atc and the pilots. if atc forgets about me or wants me up at the time i want to get my aircraft down i call them up, with a very polite and friendly "klm 7910, standing by for descent". i try to let the aircraft do what i want it to do, what atc wants me two is second. (this not meaning to disobey clearances, regulations etcetera, but as a pilot you need to be in control).

on topic: a 30degree downangle that just didn't happen. that would lead to such high rate of descent the pressurization system probably couldn't cought up  Wink.
a bottle of water is not a very good measurement system (if it would we would use bottles of water in the cockpit instead of artificial horizons: a lot cheaper).



facebook.com/ddaclassicairlines
User currently offlineGBan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3147 times:

Quoting Asturias (Reply 8):
Because I held a flask of water on the armrest. It was a very steep and a very fast descent. Less than 45°, but not that much less...

Well, if you have a flask of water in a car. The driver accelerates or stops the car. What does the water show? Do you assume the car is doing a 45° nose dive?

See what I mean?

 Wink


User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2507 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3025 times:

Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 17):
A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

Wow- I think I've experienced some 757 takeoff's that exceed 30 degrees....... gotta luv 'em though!



Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineBigJimFX From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2934 times:

Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 17):
Quoting BigJimFX (Reply 14):
Technically the regs dont specify angles, only G-Loads.

Really? hmmm...

FAR 91.307:
(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds�

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

Thats FAR 91... Commercial airlines operate on a different set of regs. I think 121 but I'm not sure but hey.... I've been wrong before.

Quoting GBan (Reply 20):
Well, if you have a flask of water in a car. The driver accelerates or stops the car. What does the water show? Do you assume the car is doing a 45° nose dive?

Very interesting... If there was a sudden deceleration, (speed brakes) with a nose down attitude. That could make a 15 degree nose down look like a 30 degree in the bottle... Just a possibility.



I'd like to thank me for flying Me Airways...
User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2880 times:

I think that the legendary Bob Hoover has demonstrated that a container of liquid is not a trustworthy representation of the aircraft's actual attitude.

As others have pointed out, a quick deceleration coupled with a quick transition into a descent can give the illusion of going into a steep descent.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2790 times:

Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 17):
Really? hmmm...

FAR 91.307:
(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds�

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

I can see a commerical aircraft banking to 60 degrees, since ailerons nornally have about 20 degrees deflection (one up/one down) and you held it there for a long time. Tex Johnson rolling the Dash 80 is an example.

But I don't think any commerical aircraft has enough elevator authority to get the nose down to 30 degrees.


25 Havaloc : I noticed this sensation on an Airtran 737 flight, I think it's just a combination of a reduction in speed and a slight downward angle that feels more
26 Post contains images CptSpeaking : You're right, commercial airlines do operate under part 121, which is labeled "Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations".
27 Spacecadet : Yeah, my guess is this airplane entered into a basically normal (but possibly fairly steep) descent at the same time as applying the air brakes. That
28 JAAlbert : I onced experienced this flying on America West (remember them?) into Phoenix. We were still very high as we flew over Phoenix from the East. As we be
29 ContinentalGuy : It was coming in from the south.
30 Galapagapop : Isn't that type of decent and in more cases type of ascent used to reduce noise? Although I'd doubt that'd be the reason to use it at DEN.
31 F9Animal : Interesting. Maybe it is just the mountains that are causing this need to descend more rapidly. I noticed this on a few flights. I guess the pilot ei
32 Post contains images AC773 : He said it was Continental, not KLM!
33 Mandargb : I dont see any problem why this should be an issue, As long as the speeds and meanuvers were in acceptable limits. You can get photos on .net here whe
34 Cloudyapple : Please note the angle of attack of an aircraft does not equal the climb/decent angle. The aircraft maybe pointing 15deg head down but the actual decen
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