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PW100
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This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 5:43 am

I'm sorry if this is a double post, but I don't believe it has been posted here before. I'm also amazed that I have not read about this in any [aviation] paper/magazine.

I was browsing through the NTSB monthly listings when I stumbled at this amazing incident:

****************************************************************************************************************
NTSB Identification: NYC03IA042
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of Alitalia Linee Aeree Italiane SPA (D.B.A. Alitalia Airlines)
Incident occurred Tuesday, January 14, 2003 in Jamaica, NY
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-11-C, registration: I-DUPA
Injuries: 142 Uninjured

On January 14, 2003, at 1407 eastern standard time, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11-C, Italian registration I-DUPA, operated by Alitalia Airlines as flight 604, was reported to have landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport JFK, Jamaica, New York, with no lateral roll control. There were no injuries to the 3 Italian certificated pilots, 8 flight attendants, or 131 passengers. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Flight 604 was conducted on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan under 14 CFR Part 129.

The airplane was a combi configuration, with passengers in the front, and cargo in the aft portion of the cabin. The flight departed from Milan, Italy at 0446. There were no reported problems with the departure or en route phases of the flight.

According to a written statement from the captain, and a follow-up telephone interview, the flight was about 70 to 80 nautical miles east northeast of JFK, at an altitude of FL 380 (38,000 feet), when he first noticed a problem. He had received a radar vector and attempted to use the auto-pilot to make the heading change. When the turn command was applied, the autopilot performed an uncommanded disconnect. The captain then elected to hand fly the airplane and observed that the control wheel would not move in the lateral or roll axis (ailerons) of the airplane. However, the control wheel was free to move in the longitudinal axis (elevator), and the rudder pedals were free to move about the yaw axis. The captain declared an emergency and requested a long approach to runway 31L at JFK.

In preparation for landing, the flight crew extended the leading edge wing slats without incident. As the flap handle was positioned to extend trailing edge wing flaps, a warning light illuminated which indicated a difference between the selected flap position and the actual flap position. The flight crew elected to continue with a no-flap approach to runway 31L. The wind was aligned with the runway, and the pilot landed without further incident. After landing, the airplane taxied to the gate where the passengers deplaned through the jetway.

Post-flight examination of the airplane revealed ice had encased multiple control cables in the wheelwell area, including both aileron, and flap control cables. Further examination revealed that a potable water line, aft of the lavatory, adjacent to door 3R, had become disconnected and the bays beneath the floor boards contained water. The number 1 and 2 potable water bottles, each with a capacity of 63 gallons, were reported to be at 12 percent capacity, and empty, respectively.

The Safety Board has requested that the line that became disconnected, and the flight data recorder data be forwarded to the Safety Board laboratory for further examination.

****************************************************************************************************************



No ailerons . . . sounds pretty spooky to me. Excellent piloting skills though, landing that M11 without ailerons. I have seen quite some "bad" MD-11 landings, even with all flight control functions fully available!
Is this standard training for cockpit crew? Do they regurlarly train for events like this where one of the main flight control functions is unavailable?

PW100
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kaitak
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 5:47 am

Sounds like a good job by this crew.

Mind you, anyone who's been to Kai Tak or seen video footage of AZ pilots landing there would know the MD11 can put in some pretty hairy landings!
 
Alitalia744
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:14 am

I applaud the AZ pilots. Incidently, I was at JFK spotting the day this happened and saw the aircraft towed to the hangar area parellel to 13R/31L.

While those landings into Kai Tak have been quite "hairy", I have flown with AZ numerous times, and although their service may not always be up to par, their flying skills have always been exemplary!

Not to mention it's the only airline I've made it to Italy (JFK-FCO) in less than 6.5 hrs!

 Smile
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donder10
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:25 am

6 1/2 hours???Sheesh!What route over Europe do you usuall take going from and to the US,Alitalia744?
Cheers,D10
 
Navion
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:21 am

The fact the MD11 still had both pitch and rudder control made this a tolerable situation. An aircraft is controllable with those two forces, although performance may be more lethargic. I have flown airplanes without using ailerons or elevators by using only rudder and trim and was able to fly cross country, hold a heading, and get established on approach! Thank God it wasn't a problem with the plane but instead what appears to be a stupid mistake by a mechanical person working on the plane.
 
mjzair
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:37 am

A very similar thing happened to a Pan Am 747 SP from Japan to JFK years back, once again, excellent piloting skills saved the day.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 8:23 am

anyone who's been to Kai Tak or seen video footage of AZ pilots landing there would know the MD11 can put in some pretty hairy landings!

You me like "http://www.avpics.de/mov/civ/alitalia.rm">this one  Big grin



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ConcordeBoy
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 8:24 am

what's up with the crazy HTML nowadays...

anyways, the link to the psycho AZ landing at HKG #1 is this:

http://www.avpics.de/mov/civ/alitalia.rm
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Mr.BA
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 8:41 am

Amazing skills, how did he do it without ailerons? Rudder??
Boeing747 万岁!
 
CX747
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This Report Is FLAWED.

Wed Feb 12, 2003 8:45 am

While I'm only a student pilot, I think that the report is flawed. First off, Ailerons are used to bank an aircraft around it's Longitudinal Axis. The elevator is used to pitch the airplane around it's Lateral axis and the rudder is used to yaw the aircraft around it's vertical axis.

"landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport JFK, Jamaica, New York, with no lateral roll control."

No lateral control means that the ELEVATOR is not responding, NOT the Ailerons.

"The captain then elected to hand fly the airplane and observed that the control wheel would not move in the lateral or roll axis (ailerons) of the airplane. However, the control wheel was free to move in the longitudinal axis (elevator), and the rudder pedals were free to move about the yaw axis."



It states that they tried to move around the "Lateral Axis" by using ailerons. Ailerons are used to bank the aircraft around the "Longitudinal Axis".

This is out of Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook,

"The longitudinal or long axis runs through the centerline of the airplane from nose to tail. Airplanes 'roll' or bank about their longitudinal axis."

"A sideways pass in football (American Football  Smile/happy/getting dizzy) is called a lateral pass. Similarly, the lateral axis runs sideways through the airplane from wingtip to wingtip. Airplanes pitch about their lateral axis."

Feel free to make comments. Did I in some way misunderstand what happened? What do you all think?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At

Wed Feb 12, 2003 11:57 am

Perhaps someone just mixed up Lateral and Longitudinal. People writing reports do make mistakes from time to time. It sounds like a preliminary report only to me, I am sure that future ones will be more clear.

V/F
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SegmentKing
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Wed Feb 12, 2003 1:06 pm

you can fly a plane without ailerons... most planes can also 'roll' by using the inboard spoilers (you'll see 737s do this A LOT!)... only problem is its a bit tricky to STOP a roll!

The ailerons assist in maintaining proper G forces of the aircraft... otherwise you can 'skid' it by using rudder-only input.

-n
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PW100
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Thu Feb 13, 2003 3:58 am

Sorry guys, I forgot to post the link . . . here it is:
<http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20030207X00179&key=1>

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20030207X00179&key=1

SegmentKing
I believe that roll control of the spoilers is also controlled through the aileron function of the yoke. So a blocked yoke would also block spoiler action [in roll function that is].

Some additional questions that I have:
* How much roll authority [if any] does the trim give when the yoke is blocked in roll function?
* Is that trim an electrically operated trim tab on the MD11?
* Will that electrical trim work if the control column is blocked?
* How does a yaw dampener work? I believe that its main function is to prevent "Dutch Roll" by aerodynamically disconnecting the roll and yaw functions.
* When you have reduced roll control, would you get some additional roll functionality through the rudder by disconnecting the yaw dampener?

Appreciate your help!

PW100


1st Edit: Funny thing: that link did not show up on the pre-view!
2nd Edit: The edit scr..ed up the link! Hope this is better now!


[Edited 2003-02-12 20:00:41]

[Edited 2003-02-12 20:03:17]
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Bellerophon
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Thu Feb 13, 2003 5:21 am

CX747

Yes, I think you have misunderstood. From what you’ve said, we can agree that:

An aircraft rolls about its Longitudinal axis.
An aircraft pitches about its Lateral axis.
An aircraft yaws about its Normal axis.

However, I think you may be confusing a flying control input with the aircraft response to that input.

Roll control input is generally referred to as lateral control input, as this best describes how the stick is being moved during that control input - laterally, or sideways. Remember, we are not talking about how the aircraft responds, or about which axis it rotates, we are merely describing the control input.

Lateral control input does not cause rotation around the lateral axis, it will, or should, roll the aircraft around its longitudinal axis. Therefore, when a pilot reports a “lost of lateral control”, what they are reporting is a lack of response to lateral control inputs, not that they are unable to manoeuvre the aircraft around its lateral axis.

So to say: ...No lateral control means that the ELEVATOR is not responding, NOT the Ailerons... is not correct.

I think the report makes clear exactly what failure the aircraft suffered, and, in my opinion, how competently the Alitalia flight crew handled it.

Regards

Bellerophon
 
zebfly2
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Thu Feb 13, 2003 7:13 am

I can recall rading an article some years ago about a Pan Am 747SP having the same problem on a flt from Japan to JFK. Apparently the Pan Am flt experienced frozen cables also and the pilots weren't able to gain complete control until they started their descent to JFK. Apparently the ice on the cables started to thaw when the temp started to rise as the a/c reached a lower altitude. Is this a concern on Polar flts such as EWR-HKG, or JFK-NRT?
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Alaskaairlines
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At

Thu Feb 13, 2003 2:14 pm

Amazing! I recently flew a MD-11 right seat, and sure would hate loosing the ailerons!! Scary to think, but with skill you can make it down as proven.

-Dmitry
 
RoastedNutz
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RE: This AZ M11 Could Have Gone So Badly Wrong At JFK!

Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:32 am


Yeah a while back I flew a DC-10 when the #2 engine exploded and debris from that cut through most of the hydraulic lines rendering lateral controls useless. By using differential engine power to turn the aircraft I was able to crash-land it in Iowa and saving dozens of lives.


AND THEN I WOKE UP.