Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:42 am

TZ LGA To MDW Diverted To ORD, What Happened?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:06 pm

I'd like to hear what pilots and other aviation professionals have to say about this:

I flew TZ 4209, LGA to MDW today on a 733 (sorry, I didn't get the number). No issues until close to Chicago; the captain announced (sic) "We're having trouble getting the flaps down by the usual method, so we'll have to do something else." I was on the aisle way up front, and couldn't see the wings at all; I couldn't have run back to look as the flight was full.

We made circles for a good 30 minutes, then started an approach somewhere well north of MDW, obviously ORD. It was a nice landing on 14R at ORD (the wind was from the NE at the time). I couldn't tell if we were coming in fast; we seemed to use most of that runway's 3900m, and the braking seemed harsher than usual, but I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. After taxiing, the captain came back on and said we were in Chicago, but at the wrong airport due to the flap problem. (I think the beautiful Pakistani 772 next to us was a good indication we weren't at MDW.) A bunch of emergency vehicles came by, saw that there was no trouble and left. We parked at T5 (the International Terminal, near all the nice-liveried heavies) and after a while deplaned. No real problems.

So my question is: What really happened with the flaps or otherwise?

MDW is certainly not an airport where I'd want to land too fast. I figure if we came in to MDW 4R like that, we'd probably come to a stop in the buffet line at Bobak's on Archer Ave., right between the czarnina and the pierogi. And that would be a terrible waste of great Polish food.

--MASMDFACC, spottin' doc.
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:17 pm

RE: TZ LGA To MDW Diverted To ORD, What Happened?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:26 pm

Flap problems are a well, not "common" problem, but I remember 3 instances at GRR where there was problems of the sort. But-- I think the main reason for the divert to ORD, is the longer runways, and more emergency crew. However, to answer your question - I think that the flaps persay could of had a number of things go wrong...hydrolics...cords...whatever. Glad everything was ok!
The dude abides
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: TZ LGA To MDW Diverted To ORD, What Happened?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:02 pm

MDW is the kind of place one lands a 737 at flaps position-30 if not -40. If the flaps wouldn't extend that far, and would only go to, say position-15, the approach/landing speeds would be higher and thus eat up more runway distance--distance that MDW doesn't have alot of, so it's off to ORD and the longer runways there.

I'd guess that GRR and IND were not considered since (1) landing at ORD at least gets your pax to the desired city, and (2) there were better options for getting the aircraft fixed at ORD (with parts and mechanics coming over from MDW) versus having to ferry to GRR, IND or someplace else. Several possible causes for the original malfunction itself...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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