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lindy field
Posts: 2937
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:52 pm

MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 6:47 am

I was just browsing through the database and came across the following interesting photo with a surprisingly low number of hits. What happens when the tailcone falls off your MD-80? How significant an event is this? How often does it happen?

I suppose the answers may be "not much," but it's still an interesting photo.

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Don Boyd

 
AA777MIA
Posts: 671
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:30 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:07 am

Can you say WOOPS! LOL....
 
airliner777
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 6:38 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:09 am

Was that a "Ready to Evacuate" new feature back then? HEHEHE
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:14 am

Jeez, I bet it was incredibly noisy and scary in the back. Oh wait, it was an MD80, it's always like that - how could they tell? And where did the tailcone actually become reunited with the ground?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:19 am

It certainly doesn't happen very often. Other than the MIA photo you posted, I can only recall one other, an Air Canada DC-9 back in the 1980s sometime, up in the NE somewhere. There may be others, but I'm not aware of them.

As far as effects go, I'd imagine that the changed aerodynamics might create some general buffeting or maybe some vibrations felt in the rudder, but I'm sure the pilots here can provide more authortative info....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
AA777MIA
Posts: 671
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:30 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:26 am

Can you imagine what the flight attendant sitting on the door back there felt like afterward, LOL...
 
Guest

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:27 am

I've read about a SAS DC-9-41 that lost its tailcone in the eighties, but I haven't heard much about simular events. What a horrible thing to get
in your head.

Anders
 
Cessna172RG
Posts: 642
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RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:45 am

Seeing that it's in the old colors... I bet a disgruntled employee took it home with him to protest how Frank Lorenzo fired 2/3 of the workers...

...ok, bad joke...

I bet it was replaced with a tail cone from Eastern!

...another bad joke...

Ok, you can throw tomatoes at me!
Save the whales...for dinner!!!
 
BeltwayBandit
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 4:25 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:01 am

I doubt that you could do a revenue flight without the tailcone, but I think it could be ferried without the cone. It is not a part of the pressurized hull, so you can lose it without risking life and limb, and is mostly cosmetic. There is, I believe, a liferaft in there that may fall out!
 
NWFltAttendant
Posts: 331
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RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:24 am

Beltway.......

In the tailcone of the DC9/MD80, theres a self inflating slide, which deploys as soon as the cone is dropped. HOWEVER. Seeing as there isnt a slide trailing behind in the wind, I would say that the slidepack departed the aircraft along with the tailcone. I will post a picture of such in a few hours.
Go yakkin !!!!!!
 
LMP737
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:46 am

During testing of the MD-80 the first test aircraft made a very hard landing. Not only did the tailcone come off but the entire tail aft of the pressure bulkhead, vertical and horizontal. Evidently the crew misjudged their decent rate.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:52 am

LMP737,

Was that the one at YUM with an FAA guy in the left seat? If so, I've heard that a video exists but I've yet to see it...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4800
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 9:16 am

Yes I believe it was Yuma, not sure if the FAA was riding along. When I was working for Boeing I saw the video. In slo-mo you see the airframe flex and the tail come off. In normal time it was quite obvious he was coming in to fast. On of the technicians on board thought it was a rough landing but had no idea as to the damage. When he opened the aft door way he looked out onto open sky. Quite a shocker.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
da man
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RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 9:21 am

I remember watching a movie where the tailcone of a DC-9 (I think) was jetisoned in flight. It was about an airborne bank heist. Great airborne shots of a Lockheed Jetstar in the film as well. I just can't remember the name of it.
War Eagle!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:26 am

That would have been "Cliffhanger".....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
MD88Captain
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 9:50 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:34 am

It was probably just a maintenance ferry flight.
 
AirDude66
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:48 am

This is taking down-sizing too far.

Sorry - We lost our ass on take-off!
 
andrewuber
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:45 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:48 am

Here's another freaky incident that happened in flight - and this one was NOT a ferry!

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Torsten Maiwald


Imagine what the pucker factor was on that one while on short final!
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
AirDude66
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:52 am

This is a great idea for those passengers who say,

I'll never fly this airline again.
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1615
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 12:25 pm

Da man:

Would that have been about DB Cooper? I think the real thing happened on a Northwest 727. ???
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
trnswrld
Posts: 1064
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 2:19 am

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 12:47 pm

Any idea of where to locate this hard landing and tail damage online or anywhere else? I am very interested in seeing that.
 
AirDude66
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 12:51 pm

This was not a hard landing....

More like a hard take-off !

They had to circle and land after they lost their ass.
 
unattendedbag
Posts: 2154
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 10:35 pm

RE: MD-80 Flying Without A Tailcone?

Wed Nov 19, 2003 3:36 pm

Beltway,

It's probably a bit more than cosmetic. There are probably aerodynamic factors involved too.

Da Man,

If you are talking about D. B. Cooper, it was a 727 and the rear airstairs were lowered on that flight.

TrnsWrld,

The FAA has listings of submitted aircraft and airport incidents but a specific date is not given. You would search all of 1987 if ya want... This incident may be to old to find through the FAA website.
Slower traffic, keep right

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