Topic Author
Posts: 29874
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

727 Trivia

Thu Feb 11, 1999 8:29 am

OK since there has been a big post topic listed about the 727 I thought I would chime in with a trivia question about the 727.

The pax version of the 727 is required to be equipted with a device called a Cooper Vane.

What is it's function?
Who is it named after?
Why is it required?
Where is it located?

Good Luck?????
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: 727 Trivia

Thu Feb 11, 1999 8:51 am

OK, I admit it - I didn't know so I cheated.

I won't spoil the whole thing but it's a great question and an interesting story which I remember now.
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 12:31 am

RE: 727 Trivia

Thu Feb 11, 1999 9:45 am

The cooper vane is to pervent the rear airstairs from being opened during flight. lt a little airflow vane which is located at the aft end of the reap airstairs, and has a sping which prevents a plate from obstructing the door, but when airflow is increased a vane twists the plate into position to look the stairs. lt's was named after D.B Cooper.. l don't know his actual first name, but this bloke hi-jacked a B727, demanded momey which he recieved, and returned the aircr4aft to the air to make his escape by jumping out of the rear airstairs. This was a simple mod for all airlines to do, and later versions of the B727 had a flight lock switch l'm lead to believe.
See yah..
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

Will is correct:The DB Cooper Story

Fri Feb 12, 1999 9:05 am

We've got a winner.

Will is correct that the Cooper Vane is used to keep the rear airstair shut.

The cooper vane is a little aluminum plate about the size of the bottom of a beer can that is located at the rear airstair. The way it's function was explained to me by a 727 Flight Engineer was that the airflow hits the vane and is "tripped" this generates a vortex that pushes against the door overpowering the hydralics and preventing it from opening in flight. I remember one day we had our flight come in and had the plane loaded despite the strong winds that day (Gusts +60 MPH). One of our ramps guys was leaving town and boarded the airplane. When the F/A went to close the door the vortex created by the wind and the vane kept the door from rising more then halfway up. Found out later that the F/E one that flight and our ramp quy squeezed in the stairwell and had to grab the handrail and "assist" the door closed. There was no way our ramp guy was missing his trip to town.

The DB Cooper hijacking occured in the early seventies. No one really knows what the gentlemans real name was. The name D. B. Cooper was what he put down on his ticket. He hijacked the aircraft and demanded 2 million dollars and if I remember the story correctly (I probably don't) and four parachutes in exchange for the passengers. When the money (which had been marked) and the parachutes arrived he released all the passengers and cabin crew. He then had the plane take off and somewhere over the Columbia River opened the rear stairs and parachuted out. No one knows exactly where he jump since the rear door remained open and the plane was in a cloud bank so the Air National Guard F-102's that had been sent up to shadow the airplane couldn't see him. This is the last ever heard of DB Cooper.

It was later discovered that in the hurry to get the parachutes for DB Cooper that the police had accidently grabbed a nonfunctioning training rig. This wasn't one of the two remaining unused parachutes that were left on the aircraft. None of the money that was given DB Cooper has ever turned up in circulation. Only a few thousand was found by a kid at picnic site on the Columbia river several Years later. It had washed out of a sandbar. Still in one of the bags that had been given to Cooper by the police.

Sorry if I screwed up a couple of the facts. It has been a while since they aired the made for TV movie.