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DHL A-300 Missile Strike  
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3394 times:

I've just finished reading an article in Aviation Week on the DHL A-3oo missile strike. That flight has gone from the "Gee Whiz" category to the "Holy Mackeral" category.

They were in a low speed high climb rate mode to 10,000' when they were hit at about 8,000'. At first,they thought they had a massive engine failure, but the engine gauge told them otherwise. The tower reported to them that they were trailing smoke from the left wing and they were able to visually confirm that they were on fire.

They then lost All hydraulic fluid from all systems, including the RAT which they had deployed.

The captain had recently been to a seminar on the use of engine power for pitch and directional control and decided that that was his only option. Cool head!!

With not a little difficulty, they descended and tried to line up with one runway and then another. They touch down (sort of) of one runway and went off the left side into the boonies, using reverse thrust (which FOD'd the engines) they stopped short of the airport fire station in a cloud of dust.

Hats off to this crew, they kept their cool and performed (in my opinion) a super act of airmanship!! Definitely one for the books!!

One intervention of the divine; being in the low speed climb mode, the stabilizer was close to the best position to even attempt what they did. If it had been nearer to a cruise trim position, their chances of survival would have been much much less.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3087 times:

So they lost all hydraulic power and were flying by engine thrust alone? Is this the first time this has happened since the Soiux City Iowa accedent?

User currently offlineMITaero From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 497 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

That is pretty amazing. Any link to an article online about the use of engine power to control the a/c?


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2950 times:

http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_awst_story.jsp?id=news/12083air.xml

User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2821 times:

I'm a A300-600 mechanic and when I first started working on them in 1994 I thought they where junk. But I've learned thru the years that these A300's are built very well. This missile hit of the DHL plane will only add to the long list of great things about that Airbus.


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2812 times:

Even more amazing is that DHL is planning to return this one to service. Not bad for a 24-year-old plane struck by a missile and then run off a runway.


New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2798 times:

Hey 844AA Do you know if they ever found 844AA ??? I saw the pics of that DHL A300 l/h wing it didn't look like it will be returned anytime soon.


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2774 times:

I don't think they ever found it. Someone stated a thread about a month ago asking if it had ever been found, but no one knew of any new information. I wonder if it'll ever turn up. It was surprising enough when it turned up the first time, but I think it'd be even more surprising if it turned up again after nearly six months.

Yeah, doesn't look like it's turned up -- the FBI is still seeking information on the alleged pilot.



New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

Why are the redundancies not better on these planes. While it is clearly heroeic that they managed to get it down safely, why is it that a hit to one side of the wing shuts down the entire hydrolic system of the plane leaving them with no flight controls at all. Why is there not an independent system down the other side, or underneath, just seems staggering that it is easy as it is to wipe that out.

J


User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2704 times:

Airliners are designed for system redundancy for normal operating failures, not combat damage. Each actuator for the flight controls is driven by more than one hydraulic system. Since the aileron and flap on the left wing were damaged, it is likely that the hydraulic lines serving these actuators were damaged and that is where the fluids were lost.

It is possible to install hydraulic line fuses in the systems to prevent a loss of fluid when the system is compromised; but the more of these that you install, the more you maybe introducing additional failure modes.


User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 10, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

I thought the basis of redundancies was that if the item at fault could bring the plane down, then there needed to be at least three levels of redundancy to cover it. I would not have thought it be to complicated to add an extra one down the other side. Missile strikes on aircraft while rare in nature, are something that sadly will part of aviation in the years to come.

Jeremy


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6484 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

Dear Artsyman, as Broke said, no commercial airliners are designed to accept battle damage. The A300 - like practically all airliners - has three fully independent, redundant hydraulic systems. But they are not protected like they are on some military transports.

That what makes a C-17 military transport much more expensive than similar sized commercial transports. And a C-130J Herc almost as expensive as a B-747-400. I know because I have just bought three of them - for operation in Afghanistan and such - well, I bought them together with 4,999,999 other Danes.

Okay the price of "my" Hercs also includes various active, partly classified self defense systems which with a very high degree of certaincy would have prevented the Iraqi missile to reach its goal. In addition to battle damage oriented redundancies, armor of critical areas and all such things.

I think that this incident told the people in charge, that only protected military transports should be used in Iraq until the country becomes a safer place. They are the only planes which are designed for that sort of treatment.

Happy landing, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
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