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Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:50 am

I'm always interested in hearing other pilots or passengers experience about any close-calls or accidents. I think for me it's about learning what to do or not to do as a pilot or how to handle a sudden incident as a passenger. I think we can all learn from these types of experiences….please share with us what you went through!

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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:00 am

Close Call: about a year ago I was on a flight from PHL-CLT and just as we were going to land the plane suddenly went up and circled around, it seems as if a DASH-8 had turned onto the active runway and we had no choice but to go around to avoid hitting it according to what the capt was saying. Pretty scary to us as passengers but i would have loved to see the look on the pilots faces when they saw that.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:15 am

My only real incident was a hard landing at ISP, as I mentioned back in 94' I had booked service on AA from Aiken, SC(Augusta,Ga) to Islip, NY. Flying an ATR on American Eagle from Augusta to Atlanta then a AA MD8 to NY. Well this is when the ATR was grounded when it was discovered ice buildup on the wings. So I was re-booked USAir MD8 service all the way through. First flight was routine, then I flew Atlanta to NY, the landing in NY was rough, it was December, temp was right around the freezing mark or just above and we were landing in a terrible rain storm and it was windy, plus I don't think the approach into ISP is as easy as JFK, well the plane got dead quiet and you can tell the pilot was having a time of it keeping the plane steady we touched down rather hard and I was holding on for dear life. The pilot got the job done and we were all relieved, that was my only out of the ordinary flight. Some scary stuff!  Wow!
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:18 am

I dont now if this counts, but while working at IAD, I overheard on the monitor where a pilot of a DC9 on final less than a mile from the runway (12 i think) saw another aircraft that was not on radar, nor responding to calls. No active transponder, NOTHING. After some general confusion and stress in both the tower and cockpit, the landing was aborted. As the pilot continued on the missed approach pattern he determined that it was indeed a close call (incursion i think is the word), and the offending aircraft was a large model airplane some jacka$$ was flying next to the airport. Apparently, arrests were made and words were said, but that was pretty insane.

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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:22 am

In 1989 My wife and I and our 4 week old baby girl were going from PHX to ATL on EAL. It was a 727 and about only 15 feet after we left the ground we heard a muffled rumbling sound from the back of the plane. We thought a beverage cart had broke loose and hit the wall or something. No big deal...... About 5 min later the capt. Announces we have had a compressor or compression stall, and this was normal and the engine was running normal now, but he would keep an eye on it. He started to ramble on about the fact that the crew trained for this all the time, but that he was a command pilot for EAL and trained other pilots for this. We all started to get scared as we were not climbing as usual, and this pilot was talking WAY to much to us! About 20 min later he told us that ATL had cleared us to fly on, and everything was totally back to normal....Then BANG! BANG! This son of a bitch did it again several more times! Capt said he was shutting down the engine and requesting permission to dump fuel..Why did he have to ask permission (?) He came on the PA and told us if we looked at the wing tips we would see the fuel, it looked like a white smoke stream, and several people were standing up taking photos. He also told us we were cleared back to PHX and the landing would be from a steep angle, not to worry! F/As were huddled together and we all were starting to go into a state of shock! Numbness!! FLT was max heavy and a hot AZ day. We landed at a strange angle, and almost got hit by a fire truck that was chasing us down the runway! TV News in full force, and The F*#+king gate agent told us EAL would have the plane checked over, and stay in the gate area while the problem was fixed! F you! We went home and took delta a few days later. I'm told this plane went to the bone yard 3 days after this incident.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:28 am

Well it didn't happen to me, but I was there when it happened. Myself and one of my high school teachers were going to one of those fly in communities to meet another former teacher for some flying. The other teacher was flying the plane (Cessna 150) in to meet us there. One of the roads was right at the end of the runway. As we drove around the runway on that road, (I was behind my teacher) the guy that we were coming to meet came into land. A combination of him being low and the road being so close to the runway lead to just a couple of feet between the gear on the plane and the roof of the truck. Really scary. If my truck had been there at that moment it could have been bad since I had a large antenna on my truck and it probably would have struck the plane. Since this, the road has been repositioned a little further away from the runway. I am guessing some others must have had this same experience.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:40 am

I think it was one of my first solos (3rd or 4th). I was doing circuits at CYQG, in a Piper Tomahawk. I got clearance for touch and go, and as I came to flare (30 ft above ground, I cut the throtle) right about then, a wind gust hit the left side of my Tomahawk and I was blown to the right of RWY 12. I had to power up and overshoot.

That was a pretty close call for me.  Smile

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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:58 am

He came on the PA and told us if we looked at the wing tips we would see the fuel, it looked like a white smoke stream, and several people were standing up taking photos.

Like this:

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Photo © Mulder

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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer

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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:59 am

Have had a couple of incidents.
A couple of pull-ups due to runway incursions. One was on a DL DC-8 at DFW.
A second was at ATL just a few weeks ago, on a DL 757. The plane landing in front of us was apparently unfamiliar with the airport and stayed on the runway too long trying to decide where he needed to go.

Had a gear down indicator failure on a CO ATR at IAH last year. Made several laps around the circuit before the pilot and his consultants decided all was OK and we landed with no problem.

Was flying at FTY (near Atlanta) in a Beech Skipper a few years ago when 2 P-51 Mustangs took the runway while I was on a long final. Tower figured there was enough time to allow the Mustangs to take off. What a sight!!
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:59 pm

Post pictures of your experience if you have them...


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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:55 pm

I had a few close calls but the scariest one was in 1984 on JED-ZRH with KE on a 74R. It was snowing heavily and visibility was very low. Our captain tried to land the plane 3 times and after 3 go-rounds he succeeded to touch down in the 4th tentative but far down the runway. Maximum reverse thrust and brakes were applied but the plane skidded and turned 2 times on its axis at the end of the runway but luckily no injuries and no major damages.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:30 am

Here's a close call:


Chopper pulled up in time:

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adventures at the old airport at Hong Kong.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:08 am

April 15, 2000, I was in the circuit of Toronto City Centre in a Cessna 172 on a night flight, doing touch and go' fact this was the last night flight I would have to take before receiving my night rating. 8 circuits, and that was it! The first approach and landing, a tad bumpy on the landing, a rough approach. The second, much better, but a longer flare. The wheels hit the ground rather softly and my hands then moved around the cockpit: flaps up, carb heat cold, full throttle. A few seconds later, I was again at flying speed.

I pulled the nose up and the plane felt like it had jarred to the left just as the wheels left the ground. I assumed I had taken off into a gust and as usual, I lowed the nose a bit, gained speed in ground effect, and pulled the nose up again. The climbout began, but a few seconds later it felt as if the throttle had been reduced to idle; the engine power just died on me. Stunned, and frightened, I went a bit into shock until the stall warning horn jolted me out of it. I lowered the nose and, realizing that there wasn't enough runway to land on, turned a few degrees right, towards the shore. (A note, YTZ's lighted runway ends at either end by a small beach and then the lake. By turning towards the shore, I set myself up to ditch within swimming distance of land, but at the same time breaking the cardinal rule of landing straight ahead to make the aircraft easier to find for the rescuers. At the time though, it seemed the more sensible thing to do.)

I continued to mess around with the engine controls, trying to get power back, but to no avail. I broadcast a hurried mayday and seconds later I leveled the plane off just above the lake surface, and it promptly stalled, and the aircraft plowed into the lake nosewheel-first. The jolt was tremendous, flinging my glasses from my face, but thankfully the safety harness kept me from getting hurt. The plane settled right-side-up in the water, and I sat there, stunned, for a moment. Throwing my headset off and unbuckling the harnesses, I opened the window, and after hearing the emergency sirens blaring at the airport, I climbed out the window into the water.

Standing on the strut, with my hands hanging onto the flap, I looked around. I realized that I was still too far from shore to swim, and so I saw a lighted harbour buoy that I decided to swim to when the plane began to sink...which it began to do a minute or two later.

Anyway it all ended well...after swimming to the buoy, I was rescued by the harbour police after screaming my lungs out for help. Lucky they found was a dark night, and since I was floating on my back, the only part the rescue boats could have seen was my face.

After a night in the hospital recovering from hypothermia, I got to go home, and after a week of fighting off media attention, I finally had the chance to go up and finish up my night rating. That was a tense flight....but I did it. 5 circuits, and finally, it was done!

Anyway no one ever knew why the engine died on me. The NTSB pulled it out and saw nothing out of the ordinary...either in the controls or the engine. I guess it was just a fluke, as reassuring as that was for me!
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:34 am

Cytz_pilot: Amazing story there my friend. Thank God you're Ok, and you got to handle the emergency with no problem!! Scary wan't it? I fly C172s also, and I'm always thinking ahead, specially when taking off. I believe any engine failure after take off is not a good situation at all, specially when flying single engine aircrafts over the city.

Fly safe,
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:39 am

Cytz_pilot, wow! Glad your ok mate, that must have been a scary ass experience!! Good to hear you flew again not too long after that and just again wow, amazing story!
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:03 am

"Why did he have to ask permission (?)"

well short you can't go and dump fuel over any place you like e.g. City. town etc. The sea and desert are mainly used I think. Obviously in a real emergency you can dump fuel anywhere

Maybe someone else can give a better explanantion

Rgds and safe flying

EDIT: Great story Cytz_pilot...great to hear your OK!  Big thumbs up

[Edited 2004-02-10 19:10:08]
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 4:30 am

Thank God you're Ok, and you got to handle the emergency with no problem!!

Well, I wouldn't say that I handled it with no problem, in hindsight there are a few things that I should have done differently...I shouldn't have changed heading, I should have ditched straight ahead because where I was floating was not where they were looking for me!!!!! And of course I'll always wonder, if I hadn't frozen up for a few seconds after the engine died, might I have been able to get the plane back onto the runway?

But thinking ahead is extremely important...while training I spent some of my long subway rides to and from the airport imagining what I would do if an emergency situation happened, and believe me, visualizing it helped! Because of it, when the incident happened, instinct kicked in before fear did.

Thanks for all your kind words!  Smile
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:53 am

Today we were flying along a cloud layer (still in VFR) and a King Air 350 was departing IFR and WE nearly hit. It was pretty intense. Today was my first time taking advantage of class G's 1 mile clear of clouds rule. I think that I will get a IFR clearence next time. Fly safe.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:56 am

Cytz_pilot, nice work.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:04 am

I was spotting at CLE and this CO 739 was on approach and about 20 seconds before landing, it pulled up suddenly. At first it was scary because the increased engine RPM on the 739 sounded like a stall. Turns out that an Untied 757-200 was holding too close to the runway, and was in the path of the 739. Pilot aborted landing and came around and landed the 2nd time with success.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:05 am

I was once on an AVIACSA 727-200 from MTY to CUN . The plane was completely full. As we were taking off, at V1 (I later heard the pilot say it was V1) engine 2 had an uncontained failure. We started to break with everything, spoilers, thrurst reversers etc. as the cabin fill with smoke, When we finally came to a stop, the captain came over the PA ordering the cabing crew to evacuate the passengers. Pandemonium ensued. People were screaming and kicking and not letting anyone into the aisle. Most didn't know where they were supposed to go. I am 6ft 215 lbs, but since I was in a window seat it was impossible to get out, until I decided to do the same and I kicked and elbowed my way into the aisle. Next, I went down the R1 chute. I learned two lessons from this. First, forget the window seat. Second, never wear shorts on a flight. I was wearing long jeans and even so my butt and the back of my legs were chaffed and sore for a week after going down that chute. People who were wearing shorts, probably left most of their skin on it.
So, there, my two cents.


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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:12 am

Well, I happened to be on Indian Airliners flight IC605 from Bombay to Bangalore exactly 14 years ago this coming Saturday (Feb. 14th, 1990). Plane was an A320 with 146 passengers. Flight was normal till landing, at which point we hit hard around a half mile short of the runway, hit a small embankment which sheared off the engines and landing gear, and then slid hard to a stop in the field immediately preceding the runway. Front of the plane was immediately on fire. Luckily my family and I were seated next to and in the row behind the wing emergency exits, and we were out of there in probably 10 seconds flat. A picture taken probably around a minute after the crash shows our rows completey in flames. Anyway, around 90 people lost their lives, unfortunately. I was lucky; the majority of passengers, sadly, were not. Accident was attributed to pilot error; he maintained a higher sink rate then he should have. Initially, the landing gear touched extremely lightly (I didn't feel this), at which point the pilots pulled up and (maybe) added power. This resulted in a stall at which point we hit the ground hard, which is the first hit I felt. Took me a long while to get on a plane without being scared to hell.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:14 pm

The pilot of the C172 that ditched at night was very lucky.
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RE: Share Your "close-calls" Or "accident(s)"

Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:41 am

At Aberdeen Airport a Super Puma helicopter was cleared for a test flight and was hovering above the runway when a 737 was cleared to take off, the 737 started its take off role and was up to speed but the pilot noticed the helicopter and luckily managed to abort the take off with out incident !!.
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