captjetblast
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 5:59 am

"Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:10 am

Alaska Airlines Flight 261 - 31 JAN 2000

Another pilot from an Aero Commander 690A, registrated N50DX, kept visual contact with AS261, as requested by LAX, reporting, as extracted from CVR, what follows:
...
16:20:20 N50DX Plane's inverted sir
16:20:22 R14 OK very good it looks like he's turning ah turning over in front of you now Skywest fifty one fifty four you still got your eyes on him sir
16:20:29 SKW5154 (unintelligible) he's in sight he ah definitely out of control
16:20:32 R14 OK very good
16:20:39 SKW5154 (unintelligible) he's inverted
...
R14 = Los Angeles ARTCC Sector 14
ASA261= Alaska Airlines Flight 261
N50DX = Aero Commander 690A, registrated N50DX
SKW5154 = Skywest Flight 5154 (Santa Barbara - Los Angeles

The question is: can a MD-83 turn upside-down, inverted? Was everybody aboard hanging head down?
And finally, can a pilot recover from such a bad shape?
Thanks
 
Guest

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:24 am

Yes, that was horrifying to hear. I too wondered what it must have been like for those poor passengers being dangeled from upside down. I was very impressed by the calmness of the cockpit crew.

This happened to a BA744. A guy stormed the cockpit and tried to take over the controls and apparently, this 744 flipped over in the midst of all of the chaos. Thank goodness this one landed safely and I heard even men were screaming and crying.
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:28 am

Airlines can fly upside, a 707 on one of the demo flight did a barrel role. Being able to recover from being upisde down is possible. However I think Alaska's problem was much larger then just inverted flight, going upside down was just a symptom!
Iain
 
CPDC10-30
Posts: 4681
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 4:30 pm

RE: RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:28 am

Given enough altitude and fully functioning engines and control surfaces, you can recover from inverted flight. However, when your stabilizer and elevators have gone crazy on you, there's nothing much you can do.
 
milldoh
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2001 11:59 pm

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:28 am

"16:20:32 R14 OK very good "

HUH?!?!

not the words you'd expect to hear at such a terrible moment
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:29 am

Climbout, the report I read said it almost went inverted, not that it did, however very scary non the less!
Iain
 
Guest

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:45 am

lainhol-are you referring to Alaska or the BA incident?

Milldoh-I thought the response "very good" was strange too. However the more I listened to the CVR's (and I listened over and over), I realized that the controller's comment was directed towards the two pilots who were watching the aircraft. He had asked them to keep an eye out on the doomed jet, and to report to him whatever the MD80 was doing. So, whenever the two pilots reported what they saw (roll over, out of control, ect..) the controller's response was "very good" meaning, very good in reporting to me in an efficient manner. He surely wasn't saying that it was "very good" that the plane was out of control.
 
DL3744
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2000 9:09 pm

RE: RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:54 am

Thats scary
the pilots should have something to say
even though it wasnt there fault the plane flipped over and the passengers were scared half to death, for real
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:56 am

Sorry I should have clarified I was refering to the BA incident ofver Kenya.

About the responce, the controller probably had very little knowledge on what was going on, I highly doubt he knew what the MD-80's problems where. I think his responce was more along the lines pleased to see you are still looking for him, rather then a response to what the aircraft is doing.
Iain
 
Guest

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:02 am

Thank you for the info on the BA. I wasn't completely sure on what happened. I can't imagine a 744 turning completely over.

I agree with your comments on the controller. That's exactly what I was trying to state in my post above.
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:11 am

DL344, I am sure the crew of BA where very apologetic to all the pax. British Airways paid for all their hospital treatment and gave them a free flight.
I though it was sad that the general public bashed BA for not paying for the medical expenses of the attacker. I think BA did the right thing sending out the message that this behaviour would not be tolerated!
You will pleased to know that the captain is back flying again!
Iain
 
174thfwff
Posts: 2831
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:38 am

-Blink In-

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
Why did this happen?
Where did this happen??


From a very confused
174thfwff

-Blink Out-
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
174thfwff
Posts: 2831
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:39 am

-Blink In-

I got this much, "Alaska Airlines Flight 261 - 31 JAN 2000 "

But did this plane survive? Or was the the one that crashed?

Still confused,
174thfwff

-Blink Out-
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5567
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:45 am

This is the transcript from the Alaska MD 80 that crashed in the Pacific.

You can hear the ATC recording on airdisasters.com, very chilling.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:53 am

December 28th on British Airways flight 2069 from London Gatwick to Nairbo Kenya a man went into the cockpit and attacked the crew. In the stuggle the auto pilot was turned off and the plane dove 1000's of feet. Some brave passengers sorted out the attacker while captain Hagan and the crew got the airplane back under control!
Iain
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:55 am

The Alaska Crash took place of the coast of CA January 31st 2000. It was an MD-80 traveling from Mexico to SFO, and then up to SEA. Unfortunately no one survived!
Iain
 
174thfwff
Posts: 2831
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 8:33 am

Poor guy, he remained calm throught the whole process.

Why couldn't he land the first time? I think this is the plane that had 3 miss landings...
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
wingman
Posts: 2793
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 8:39 am

The Alaska crew is not part of the selected transcript in this post. Some people made comments about the guys being calm, that's the other guys listening from ATC and the ones watching from the two other planes nearby. Saying "OK, very good" is just an expression. I don't think the the ATC guys thought the accident was "very good" at all.
 
174thfwff
Posts: 2831
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:09 am

Well I though I heard him say that he was in a nose dive or somthing to that effect. Or wasn't in one yet.
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
TWA717_200
Posts: 1410
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 1999 3:51 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:11 am

I believe that during the struggle aboard FedEx 705, the pilot rolled the plane (DC-10) inverted a couple of times.
 
Guest

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:15 am

I'm sorry I wasn't clearer in my post above. I know the crew members are not talking in this portion of the transcripts. I was referring to the conversations between the pilot and the first ATC (who is also not part of the above transcript). When the pilot was explaining the problem to the first ATC, he was pretty calm--concerned, but calm. The portion above is what took place AFTER the converation between the pilot and first ATC. The first ATC told the pilot that he was leaving his area and he switched him over to the one that's in the above transcripts. Yes, the ATC was saying "very good" to the other two pilots that were watching the MD80 as they reported to him what they were seeing. And it was indeed just an expression.
 
gsoflyer
Posts: 822
Joined: Sat May 12, 2001 12:31 pm

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:16 am

I've listened to the ATC recording for that flight.

First, the "very good" from the ATC was not a very good. He was first saying very good to the Skywest and the Delta? that were giving him information because he couldn't what Alaska 261 was doing (at that point the cockpit of 261 was not responding to him). Second, you have to hear the ATC's tone of voice..... actually, just listen to the whole thing. It made my stomach drop. But you can definately tell he didn't mean very good for 261.

Didn't an Eastwind have the same stabilizer problem as well? Not sure if it was inverted or not, but I remember one that landed safely in Richmond that had the same stabilizer problems as Alaska 261.

And if you want to hear the ATC recording, go to www.airdisaster.com .... don't listen to many of them, it'll make you feel awful.
 
Guest

RE:

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:19 am

Yes, 174thfwff

You are correct. The first thing we hear the pilot saying is:

"center this is 261, we are in a dive here, not a dive yet, but we've lost verticle control of our airplane"
 
174thfwff
Posts: 2831
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:41 am

Well If I came on the air and said "we are in a dive here, not a dive yet, but we've lost the verticle control of our airplane" I would be nervous.
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
charlieduke
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 12:28 am

Sccutler

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:43 am

Sccutler wrote:
"This is the transcript from the Alaska MD 80 that crashed in the Pacific.

You can hear the ATC recording on airdisasters.com, very chilling."

Thanks for the link, but I believe you mean airdisaster.com. Now please excuse me while I go explain to my 10 year old daughter why daddy was looking a pictures of naked women.
 
Guest

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:49 am

CharlieDuke I did not get to see any picture of naked women!  Sad

Iain
 
GoAllegheny
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2000 4:48 am

RE: Sccutler

Thu Aug 30, 2001 10:24 am

The Eastwind incident was a suspected 737 rudder servo control anomaly, similar to the one that brought down the USAir 737 near Pittsburgh, PA, and almost felled a UA 737 near Colorado Springs. The Alaska Airlines MD-80 tragedy is suspected to have been caused by a failed jackscrew assembly in the horizontal stabilizer. Poor maintenance could be to blame. I may be wrong, but I don't think that the NTSB has issued a report on the Alaska crash yet.
 
wingman
Posts: 2793
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 10:51 am

I remember thinking how incredibly calm the Concorde Captain seemed as well from reading the transcript on that crash. I never listened to the audio, but just the words he spoke were amazing. I don't know, I think I'd be screaming or at least saying goodbye to my wife and kids. Some poeple are just professional through and through, no matter what the situation and you just have to admire that.
 
jmacias34
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 10:50 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:32 pm

Sympathizing with the ATC, there isn't a lot he can do. I can assure the pucker factor was extremely high in the cockpit. And as an ATC what would you say? As an ATC you need to remain composed... And in a way I compliment this ATC. Its sounds like he was also communicating the advisors in the background. In addition, he needs to do his job and that is keep other aircraft on their way.

I'm sure this occured before, but did Alaska 261 declare an emergency, I'm sure he did, we just didn't hear it.

 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:38 pm

The Alaska crash was caused by the pilot who decided to lower the flaps on an aircraft with a disabled horizontal stabilizer. He had a stable and controlable aircraft untill he made that decision and within a couple of seconds the aircraft was on it's back.

It is just a case of poor decision due to stress during a trim failure that caused this crash.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 7:53 pm

L-188,

While the plane was stable for the moment, with the elevators hanging loose virtually any change would cause an upset, including reducing speed for a landing. Flaps or no flaps, I don't think they had any chance of making it on the ground.

The "very good" quotes from ATC were probably a mixture of appreciation for the reports he was getting, and knowing that the pilots he was talking to were probably more than a little freaked out, was trying to keep them calm, as in, "very good, keep telling me what you see, and keep yourself together."

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5567
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:24 pm

1. Sorry to all if I muffed-up the link- I was in a hurry.

2. We can speculate as to whether the aircraft might have remained controllable absent flap deployment, but I am not aware of any definitive research done on that topic; one hopes that this particular failure mode will not occur again.

The circumstances sound chillingly similar to those written about by Ernest K. Gann in his brilliant book, Fate is the Hunter; anyone here read it?
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
airsicknessbag
Posts: 4626
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:36 pm

Lufthansa lost two of their eight 720s on training flights - one after the plane simply disintegrated flying a roll.

Daniel
 
captjetblast
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 5:59 am

RE: RE: "very Good"

Thu Aug 30, 2001 10:30 pm

Yes, the words "very good" left me thinking about it for a while.
How can anyone say "very good" while referring to an accident in progress?
Maybe he thought it was "very good" that pilots from another plane were reporting the situation from visual contact.
 
dash8tech
Posts: 708
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 1999 8:40 pm

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 6:47 pm

L-188, how can you say it was the pilots fault for lowering the flaps and thus causing the aircraft to go down?

If he doesn't lower the flaps he can't slow it down, therefore he should just cruise until he runs out of gas and crashes anyway?

Cheers.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 6:55 pm

I can say it because it was wrong.

He lowered the flaps which changed the center of lift on that wing. Since the airplane wasn't retrimmable due to the failure to counteract that change the airplane crashed.

As far as landing without flaps goes. It has been done before with other airliners without the tragic results that occured off the coast of California. I can thing of one Electra that landed at, if memory serves, something like 200 KIAS because it had no throttle control.

It was a piss poor decision on the captains part. Even an overrun on landing would probably have had a more satisfactory outcome then what did happen.

At least in the overrun the passengers would have had a chance.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
dash8tech
Posts: 708
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 1999 8:40 pm

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:08 pm

L188: ....okay, so when he makes a turn to land te aircraft this wouldn't have affected the surface in the same way??

He did nothing more than attempt to fix and unfixable situation. Was he supposed to keep it straight and level for another few hundred miles towards Japan until it ran out of gas and crashed anyway. No gas = no sustainable flight = loss of altitude = control surface disturbed anyway.

There was nothing they could do, they fought the aircraft all the way down, no panic, no screams, just professionalism right to the end. I believe the last second of CVR recording if you read the transcript is:

CA: Speedbrakes
FO: Set
CA: Ah, here we go.

ALPA exonerated them for their efforts, giving them an award only given to twenty other aircrews in it's history.

There's noone here at Alaska Air Group, and hopefully noone in the airline industry that would refer to their actions as a "piss poor decision".

Cheers.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: "Plane's Inverted"?

Thu Sep 06, 2001 5:40 pm

I don't thin I would expect ALPA to go into a discussion about how one of it's members, "screwed up"

You have to remember the union stance....All pilots are perfect little angels.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.