metsfan1
Posts: 101
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Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:13 pm

I happened to have been on this evening's 7pm departure from Ord to Lga. The flight was on an AA M80. Overall the flight was pretty good and we were even going to come in a few minutes early to LGA. However about a mile out from the airport, after feeling the gear go down, we roared back up into the air. I thought it was just a simple go-around. I fly regularly so I don't get worried about many things. However what happened after what I thought was a go around really did scare me.
The pilot got on the PA and said that the right main landing gear light wasn't turning on. They thought it was an indicator malfunction but since they could not be sure it was possible that the gear wasn't down. We circled around New York for about 15 minutes. At which point the F/O made his way back to the cabin around where I was sitting in row 24 and proceeded to rip up the carpet in the aisle, open a latch and start to turn things in it. He sat there with what looked like an M80 technical manual and a flashlight. When he returned to the cockpit the pilot announced that they still could not fix the problem and would have to assume that the gear was not coming down. He notified us that we were diverting to JFK due to the longer runway and that there would be emergency vehicles awaiting our landing. We flew into the pattern for JFK, and came down on the runway on the side of the Delta Terminal (I forget the numbering). The whole time I was sitting waiting to feel the wheels hit the runway to assure that they were there. I was really sitting there praying it was just the indicator light. We came in a bit hard, and a little on our left side because the pilot wasn't sure if the right landing gear was deployed. Sure enough it turned out to be an indicator light and the wheels were down. He used mostly reverse thrust to stop the aircraft, and we used a good deal of that long runway. When the plane slowed down everyone in the cabin clapped and was just happy to be on the ground.
We ended up sitting on the runway for 20 minutes because the gear doors were still open due to the emergency. We had to wait until they were closed by maintenance's in order to taxi to the gate. I have to admit that I was pretty scared for a while. I wasn't sure how it was going to play out. I must give a lot of credit to the Captain, F/O and the crew for handling the situation in a calm and professional manner. They really performed their jobs well tonight. I shook the Captain's hand and thanked him for getting us down. He smiled but he did look a little frazzled. I don't think this will make the news, but it was still a pretty scary event to me.
 
AMERICAN757
Posts: 440
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:17 pm

glad your ok! I would imagine that could get pretty scary.
 
qantasguy
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:33 pm

Great Account! I can only imagine. These planes can have minds of their own sometimes - especially MD80s. HeHeHe
Airplanes Flown on..B-727-100, B-727-200, DC-9, F-27, B-707, B-717, B-737, B-747SP, B-747-100, B-747-200, B-747-300, B74
 
Trvlr
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:36 pm

I wonder why they didn't just do a fly-by of the control tower at LGA? Traffic concerns, probably. That, and the the pilots still wouldn't know if the gear was locked or not. At any rate, still an amazing story! Good to hear everything was fine.

Aaron G.
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:41 pm

99 times out of 100 it's a faulty light. We see planty of landing gear problem precautionary landings at STL. The only recent one where there was a landing gear failure was a TWA 717 a while back. No nose gear. Went to Scott Air Force base. Landed just fine. No injuries.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
FA4UA
Posts: 777
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:11 pm

Glad everything ended up OK!

I'm suprised they didn't prep the cabin for an evacuation... that's kinda weird. If the captain assumed that the gear wasn't down, then logically, they also have to assume that there might be a fire upon landing thereby needing to evacuate the plane. Wonder what the conversation in the cockpit was like and with the FA's???

FA4UA
The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
 
zak
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:20 pm

"I wonder why they didn't just do a fly-by of the control tower at LGA? "

maybe because even if the gear would look as if it was down it might only be partially down and not locked etc, rather safe then sorry is a good procedure when it comes to human life.
10=2
 
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tjwgrr
Posts: 2042
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2000 4:09 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:49 pm

"I wonder why they didn't just do a fly-by of the control tower at LGA? Traffic concerns, probably. That, and the the pilots still wouldn't know if the gear was locked or not. At any rate, still an amazing story! Good to hear everything was fine."
--------------------------------------

Like Zak said- down doesn't necessarily mean locked, and it was a 7pm departure from ORD to LGA- would have been quite dark at LGA. Someone would have to use a big spotlight to see the gear position and then risk blinding the flight crew......  Wow!


Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
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STT757
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:37 pm

The NY Post might be interested in your story, got any dramatic pictures?.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Andreas
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:50 pm

Metsfan, you might want to consider to re-title your topic, on first sight I thought someone's gone crazy or I missed the last 15 years or so in aviation history completely...AA 346  Big grin Big grin
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
flyingbronco05
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Mon Mar 01, 2004 11:54 pm

I must give a lot of credit to the Captain, F/O and the crew for handling the situation in a calm and professional manner. They really performed their jobs well tonight. I shook the Captain's hand and thanked him for getting us down. He smiled but he did look a little frazzled. I don't think this will make the news, but it was still a pretty scary event to me.

They are trained for stuff like that so you didn't need to worry. I'm sure the captain was a lil frazzled, but once again, he knew what he was doing.

FB05
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
JFKviaPHX
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:31 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:28 am

I saw you land. I was wondering what was going on with all the emergency vehicles outside. You came to a roaring stop in front of the PA police building. I was surprised how long it took for the flight to leave the runway. It's good to hear everything was alright on your end.

I remember seeing the whole approach and landing of B6 in 2002 when it landed with it's nose gear sideways. They did a fly by and the emergency vehicles were chasing it around the airport.
 
Lindy
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:40 am

JFKviaPHX,

How did they land with the nose gear sideways???
Metrojet had problems on their 732s with nose gear. They were parked at the gate and nose gear would turn itself sideways.
It was funny because even there was safety pin inserted you could turn the wheel sideways with your hands.
UAL mechanics whould come and play with it for about an hour.
I saw the manifest with the price for it and it was $720 for the part and $450 for 1hr labor.
United made lots of money on contract work with MetroJet  Smile It was happening daily.

Take care,
Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
JFKviaPHX
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:31 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:48 am

The B6 came in for BUF like that. I guess they knew of the problem right away and decided they had enough fuel to make it home to JFK. They touched down keeping the nose off the ground as long as they could then when it landed the front tires exploded and caught fire. When it finally stopped the fire went out. BTW The plane was back in service a few days later. The pilots did a fantastic job on that flight, no one I believe was hurt.
 
metsfan1
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:57 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:19 am

Sorry it took me so long to reply, I have been busy all morning. With regard to the F/A's preparing the cabin, they did sit and give people at the emergency exits a detailed description of how to operate should we need to evacuate.
To JFKviaPHX, interesting that you saw us land. I am actually curious what it looked like from the outside. Did anything seem odd about the landing. I know from the inside it felt like we touched down more on one side than on the other. It also felt like we came in a bit fast. I thought we used a lot of runway to stop. Was I just imagining this or did the airplane really take a long time to stop. I also find it interesting that you said we came to a 'roaring stop' as it did feel and sound like he hit the thrust reversers a little harder than normal. If you could give me any description of what it looked like from the outside it would be appreciated.
 
prebennorholm
Posts: 6443
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RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:05 am

Good thing, Metsfan, that it was only an indicator failure.

Boeing Fan: 99 times out of 100 it's a faulty light. We see plenty of landing gear problem precautionary landings at STL.

But it makes me wonder, is it really so that a landing gear indicator has one ordinary light bulb, and when it blows, then....?

I mean, my car, which is almost as old as a newer MD80, has LED indicators, which never blow, for airbag and ABS fault indication and all such things.

Is it really so that an airliner doesn't have two switches, two leads, and two light bulbs to indicate a gear down?

Of course I have heard the phrase "three greens", but as a layman I would never assume that it could mean anything less than six indicators.

Happy landing, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
ushermittwoch
Posts: 2537
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:12 am

Hey Preben, do you drive an American built car?

 Wink/being sarcastic
Where have all the tri-jets gone...
 
prebennorholm
Posts: 6443
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:19 am

Hi Usher-Wednesday, nope, I'm driving a VERY German car, probably the MOST German of all German cars (VW Golf).
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
JFKviaPHX
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:31 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:03 pm

Metsfan1,

You came in fast and very loud. It seemed like the Captain just wanted to stop. The one thing that struck me as odd was how long it took for the plane to leave the runway. The emergency vehicles were slow to approach the MD-80. From my vantage point, about 300 feet or so away, I couldn't tell what the problem was. Usually you can make a good guess.
 
metsfan1
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:57 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:33 pm

Well it did feel like we came in a bit fast. When the Captain hit the reversers it sounded like a rocket. I've never heard the reversers so loud. Maybe due to the nature of the problem, which was with a wheel, he avoided using the wheel breaks as much as possible and tried to use the reversers more. As for sitting on the runway. The gear doors were down due to the emergency landing, and the captain said we would have to wait until maintenance came and closed the doors manually in order to move to the gate. Once the gear doors were tied up we taxied to the gate under engine power.
 
Continental
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:50 pm

I don't think I am understanding something. So the F/O ripped up the carpet to find a secret door to a box which contained a manual?? Wouldn't it be easier to keep it in the cockpit!?!?
 
metsfan1
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:57 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:00 pm

Yes you did misunderstand. I am sorry that I wasn't more clear. He had in his hand what looked like some sort of manual for the M80. He then ripped up the carpet and unhinged a small latch and was looking in it with a flashlight. Some people said he was twisting things. I could not see what he was doing because the carpet was lifted towards me. I thought he was manually checking if the wheel had gone down. Since I am not a pilot or mechanic I don't really know what he was doing. I do know that when the crew leaves the cockpit to try to fix something in the back manually, there is some sort of problem. It is at that point where I got worried.
 
JFKviaPHX
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:31 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:11 am

It wasn't "MD-80's For Dummies" was it?  Wink/being sarcastic
 
mikeyCpvd
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:25 pm

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:41 am

It wasn't "MD-80's For Dummies" was it?

 Laugh out loud
Some of you on here are pretty freakin funny
Some cats think i'm 6 feet, I'm so deep; I can get d-d-down like a pessimist - Common
 
Continental
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:00 am

Ok that makes more sense, yeah he was checking manually to see if the wheel was down!

co
 
Q330
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 5:30 pm

RE: Scare On AA 346 ORD-LGA

Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:14 am

What would the FO have been looking at under the carpet? There's no hole through to the landing gear well!

At any rate, great story, Metsfan1.

-Q
Long live the A330!

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