I've been reading this forum for quite sometime now and I did not think that this would be my first post, but here it goes:
This is in response to Capt.Fantistic's comments about the TWA L-1011 crash at JFK
. That particular flight was departing from 13R bound for SFO
in Aug of '92. The control tower notified the Capt that "your tail is on fire" just as he was lifting off the ground. If my memory serves me correct, he had climbed to about 100 ft and decided to put her back down on the runway. He proceeded to do so and the Tristar ran off the runway to the left. Emergency evacuation procedures were implemented and everyone onboard got out alive.
The plane itself was burned beyond recognition, with the exception of the tail. Quite ironic, because the fire started in the tail engine.
As far as the subject of this thread goes, this is a perfect example of how runway length saved the lives of a couple of hundred pax (I don't remember the exact number). 13R/31L at JFK
is roughly 15,000 feet long. My guess is he probably rotated somewhere between 7000 and 9000 feet.
Once he was informed that he was on fire, he obviously realized that he had plenty of runway to set her back down and stop.
If the runway would have been any shorter, he would not have made the decision that he did. He would have had no choice but to continue his climb and then try to make an emergency landing. Who knows what the results would have been, but my guess is that they would not have been good.
721 722 731 732 733 73G 738 741 742 744 752 753 762 764 DC8 DC9 MD80 DC10 L1011 A300 A319 A320 A332