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Salt Water Corrosion  
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1089 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3656 times:
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My question stems from todays horrific disaster in Japan. I'm sure we've all seen the images of the airport that got flooded by the tsunami. As of yet I can't see any aircraft at the airport with the exception of the three GA aircraft in other pictures.


At what point would salt water from the wave cause enough damage or suspected damage to the airframe for an aircraft to be a write off. If a 737 say was on that gate and was not otherwise damaged from the wave, would the salt water on it's components be a concern?

Thoughts?


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13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3560 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Thread starter):
At what point would salt water from the wave cause enough damage or suspected damage to the airframe for an aircraft to be a write off.

Assuming that no structural damage occurred because of current/debris, you'd have to get water actually inside the fuselage (i.e. an open door/vent/etc.) to start to do that kind of damage. The engines might be ruined, but those can be replaced. Most of the bilge is pretty water-tolerant (it's a bilge, afterall) in the shortterm. If you got salt water in there and let it sit for days or weeks you'd be in trouble...if they get to it quickly and clean it out, there shouldn't be lasting structural damage. If the water gets deep enough you'll have a lot of pissed off avionics but, again, those can be replaced with relatively little effort.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Thread starter):
If a 737 say was on that gate and was not otherwise damaged from the wave, would the salt water on it's components be a concern?

Outside, generally not. Those components are all exposed to pretty considerable amounts of water anyway so, assuming you didn't let it sit, you should be OK. I'd pull the engines, replace the brakes and wheels, and do full lubrication and inspection of everything, but it should survive. If water got inside, much more inspection and I'd expect to have a lot of electrical problems (corroded pins) for the foreseeable future.

Tom.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3626 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3544 times:
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a couple years ago we dumped a restored 307 in the bay (salt water) .. it took 15 months to put back to flying shape to be delivered to the Aero Space Museum and never to fly again...      

User currently onlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2328 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 2):
a couple years ago we dumped a restored 307 in the bay (salt water)

why?



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1089 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3495 times:
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I'm figuring a 737 sitting at a gate would probably be being serviced, AKA baggage holds open, APU possibly running, AC vents open, possibly A and E bay exposed. I don't think the pitot tubes and other sensors are quite low enough on the 737 to be hit by the 10 foot wave, but those could concieveably be splashed.

Thanks for the reply Tom. I'm a dispatcher not a mechanic or hydraulic engineer, so this is very interesting to me.

Cheers
Joe



DHC1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3475 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 3):
Quoting kanban (Reply 2):
a couple years ago we dumped a restored 307 in the bay (salt water)

why?

They ran out of gas.
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/64484_main29.shtml

Tom.


User currently offlinejetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1651 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3388 times:
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In 1968, A Japan Airlines DC-8 landed in San Francisco Bay, 2 and1/2 miles short of the runway, the airplane sat in the bay for 55 hours before being lifted onto a barge and taken to a United Airlines hanger where it was cleaned and repaired and returned to service.

The airplane remained with JAL for another 14 years and was then eventually operated by Airborne Express from 1987 until it was removed from service and scrapped in 2001.

So this airplane spent another 33 years in service after a 55 hour salt water bath.

JetStar


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25652 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3356 times:

Quoting jetstar (Reply 6):
In 1968, A Japan Airlines DC-8 landed in San Francisco Bay, 2 and1/2 miles short of the runway, the airplane sat in the bay for 55 hours before being lifted onto a barge and taken to a United Airlines hangar where it was cleaned and repaired and returned to service.

Not even any injuries to the 107 passengers and crew. A few photos:

http://www.dc-8jet.com/Images/jal-dc862-in-sf-bay1.jpg



Aircraft involved 4 months before (only 2 months old then) and 14 years after the accident.


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User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3348 times:

Side question on that DC-8. Just like the Hudson river Airbus, it is sitting bum down in the water. Is this coincidence or does the design of the aircraft contribute to the aft part being lower?


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25652 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Side question on that DC-8. Just like the Hudson river Airbus, it is sitting bum down in the water. Is this coincidence or does the design of the aircraft contribute to the aft part being lower?

One major difference with the JL water landing was that the water was only about 7 or 8 feet deep so the aircraft came to rest sitting on its landing gear (at least the main gear). That's what prevented it from sinking.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9666 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3340 times:

Almost all components outside the pressure vessel are tested for salt spray and corrosion. That means components in the wheel wells, wings, engines, struts, etc. They can take it some salt water damage. However if it gets inside the fuselage it will do some damage as those components are not designed to take the salt water.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3626 posts, RR: 27
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3295 times:
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Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Side question on that DC-8. Just like the Hudson river Airbus, it is sitting bum down in the water.



I think that has to do with the wings acting as floatation devices and the horiz stabs to some degree but since they're higher than the wings, the arse end settles a bit deeper. (and I could be totally wrong)


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3185 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Side question on that DC-8. Just like the Hudson river Airbus, it is sitting bum down in the water. Is this coincidence or does the design of the aircraft contribute to the aft part being lower?

The wings really want to float and their center of buoyancy is ahead of the center of gravity, so the airplane pitches up until enough of the tail gets into the water to balance it out.

Tom.


User currently offlinesfotom From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3154 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Side question on that DC-8. Just like the Hudson river Airbus, it is sitting bum down in the water. Is this coincidence or does the design of the aircraft contribute to the aft part being lower?

I used to know some of the people that worked on the recovery of this aircraft. They told me that the nose gear was stuck in the mud and the aircraft would "weather vane" on it as the tide came in and out.

Tom

[Edited 2011-03-13 16:48:11]

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