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Braybuddy
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Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:44 pm

I was talking to a work colleague this morning and she's going to Florida in a couple of weeks. She doesn't mind flying at all, but she hates turbulence. That's the only thing that bothers her. She asked me a couple of questions last week about it, and I tried to reassure her as best I could, but now that the trip is near she's thinking hard and turbulence has her worried.

So, she asked me a few more questions about it this morning, and to reassure her I told her that I could not recall ANY incident where turbulence was bad enough to bring a jet down.

I want to reassure her as best I can before she goes, so, has there ever been any case of turbulence bringing a jet down?
 
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solnabo
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:49 pm

Winshear (if that´s what you call turbulence) have brought down some a/c, top of my head: DL TriStar at DFW 1985. Today there´s warning system in the plane.

Micke
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Magyarorszag
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:53 pm

BOAC B707-436 G-APFE.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19660305-1

In Air Disaster - Volume 1, there's a whole chapter on this accident.

The fate that so unexpectedly overtook the BOAC B707 now became clear. Some 10nm south east of Mt Fuji, just after the unsuspecting Captain Dobson swung his aircraft on to a heading directly towards the mountain, descending slowly to give his passengers one of the most spectacular views of of their lives, they suddenly flew into an unseen cauldron of fiercely boiling air - the vicious rotor zone of the severe atmospheric turbulence the 70 knot wind was creating in the lee of the 12,000foot mountain, the summit of which was now only 4,000 feet below them.
The shock would have felt something like colliding with an invisible wall - violent and injurious to the aircraft and its occupants, and in this case sufficient to immediatly snap off the tail fin, together with all four engines in their mountings beneath the wings. The fin slamming down hard against the port tailplane, broke this off also, instantly destroying the aircraft's longitudinal trim and causing it to suddenly pitch nose up.


[Edited 2006-12-29 13:14:50]
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:59 pm

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 1):
Winshear

I understand windshear to be something slightly different, in that a sudden gust of wind pushes the aircraft down. I'm talking more of the turbulence that causes buffeting at cruising altitude.

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 2):
BOAC B707-436 G-APFE.

Thanks Magyarorszag, you know I can actually remember watching the BBC news the night that happened.
 
turkee
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:12 pm

You know, it's funny. Turbulence bothers me when I'm in the cabin, because I feel like I am not in control (which is true). When I am in the cockpit (as a jumpseater - I'm not a pilot), and still not flying, it doesn't bother me one iota. Is it because I can see how the controls are reacting to the vibrations? Is it because I can see how it doesn't even cause the pilots of the aircraft to take a second glance? Is it because I feel I could somehow rescue the aircraft should it become disabled due to turbulence? Any psychologists here care to help me out? :P

It is all a big mind game.

I wouldn't work on the angle of trying to prove turbulence doesn't bring jets down - I'd work on the angle of understanding what causes turbulence, and through that, hopefully being able to better cope with it when experienced.

And if you're taking her to the airport, mention it to the cabin attendants at the gate. I find them pretty good if they understand that a passenger has a genuine concern regarding air travel (although you have said that your work colleague doesn't mind flying).

Of course, you could always try to convince her to be a fatalist, like me! I think that if the aeroplane is going to lose a wing (however unlikely that may be), there's not much that I can really do about it at FL360, so why bother worrying?

Cheers!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:24 pm

Quoting Turkee (Reply 4):
I wouldn't work on the angle of trying to prove turbulence doesn't bring jets down - I'd work on the angle of understanding what causes turbulence, and through that, hopefully being able to better cope with it when experienced.

She's only a work colleague, so I won't be bringing her to the airport. And knowing Grace Ann as I do, trying to explain the causes of turbulence would be a wasted exercise: once the plane starts buffeting, apparently she turns to jelly. And, like I said earlier, she doesn't mind flying at all -- in fact she was in New York for some shopping just before Christmas.

I was hoping to reassure her by telling her that turbulence has never brought down a jet airliner, but, thanks to Magyarorszag above, that won't be possible. But if it there were only ever one or two cases, and they were a long time ago, I think that would go someway to help.
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:39 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
I was hoping to reassure her by telling her that turbulence has never brought down a jet airliner, but, thanks to Magyarorszag above, that won't be possible. But if it there were only ever one or two cases, and they were a long time ago, I think that would go someway to help.

As you said, the case I pointed out happened fourty years ago, and although nothing is ever 100% sure, the BOAC flight probably contributed a great deal to our knowledge of invisible (then) wind turbulences, thus to security. I don't remember if since that accident there has ever be another case of such violence in the air, like having plane your slamed and almost destroyed by natural forces.

But as Turkee said, I'm fatalist. When I travel, not only, I know that anything could happen. It would be soon enough to worry at the right moment. Once I was on a flight, few seconds before landing at HNL, when the plane went suddenly down. Almost every passengers screamed. I'm still around, and the plane is now most probably flying with FX.
 
georgiaame
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:30 pm

Absolutely. Eastern ... into JFK in June, 1975. Wind shear knocked it down onto Rockaway Parkway, just short of the runway, killing over 100. I was in the KLM
747 2 flights ahead of it. We hit the shear justover the threshold, the left wing dropped like a stone, the pilot went to full power, the plane lurched, and we touched down uneventfully and then hit a wall of rain like I've never seen in my life. There was a 747 Flying Tigers cargo flight just behind us which aborted the landing. I believe the captain advised closing the runway. The Eastern 727 was just behind it, and didn't make it. Sirens were going off like mad when I was collecting my luggage. We got caught in traffic going home, I shook for the next 24 hours after learning what actually happened. Unquestionably my worst flying experience in almost 40 years.
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EWRandMDW
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:36 pm

Back in the early 1960's a Northwest B720B flew into a thunderstorm just after takeoff from MIA and broke apart. There were no survivors. Also in the early or mid 1960's a UA B720 encountered CAT somewhere over Iowa on a flight from the west to ORD. The plane went into a steep dive and only by thinking "outside the box" did the pilots manage to recover and make a safe emergency landing. This was covered in a book by Robert J. Serling. I believe that plane dropped more than 20,000 feet before the pilots regained control! Everyone onboard survived but I think the plane did suffer structural damage.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:48 pm

windshear and turb are 2 diff phenomena. you don't necessarily have turb with windshear.
 
PanAmOldDC8
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:54 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
want to reassure her as best I can before she goes, so, has there ever been any case of turbulence bringing a jet down?

Pan Am flight 292 a Boeing 707, was brought down by turbulence over the island of Montserrat in 1965. The pilot flew too close to the mountain top and was pulled into it due to fog and turbulence. I know as I was at the crashed scene, thirty people lost their lives. In the final report the FAA said pilot error as the aircraft was too low
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NAV20
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:56 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
to reassure her I told her that I could not recall ANY incident where turbulence was bad enough to bring a jet down.

Short answer is, yes it has, Braybuddy. The most recent example was American 587. We can argue about WHY the turbulence caused the tail to break off, whether it was pilot error or chemically-induced structural weakness or whatever, but the root cause was certainly (wake) turbulence. Beyond that, though, the forces that nature can exert, when it goes to extremes at high altitudes, are such that no aeroplane yet known to man could survive them.

However........

Aeroplanes are exceptionally well-designed. Pilots (except for those flying for a very few lousy airlines) are trained to a hair. Weather forecasting and Air Traffic Control are brought to a high pitch and go into overdrive if there is the slightest risk of adverse weather of any kind. ALL accidents are exhaustively investigated and any lessons learned, and any preventive measures which are advisable, are instantly put into practice by the manufacturers and the airlines.

As a result of all that, air travel is statistically the safest form of transport on the planet.

I honestly don't know why people are so scared of aeroplane travel. There's no logic in it. The old saying, that the most dangerous part of any journey by air is the cab-ride to the airport, is exactly true. Maybe it's because aeroplane crashes get on the front page of the national newspapers, and taxi accidents on the freeway to the airport don't, I dunno.....  

Don't know what will help your friend. But if you tell her that, quite certainly, she's in a helluva lot more danger in a car on a moderately-icy road - or even just a wet one - than she's ever likely to be in an airliner in ANY conditions, it might possibly help?

[Edited 2006-12-29 15:04:37]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Ljungdahl
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:57 pm

 
Magyarorszag
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:10 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 11):
Maybe it's because aeroplane crashes get on the front page of the national newspapers, and taxi accidents on the freeway to the airport don't, I dunno.....

I'll add to that that when a plane crashes dozens if not hundreds of lifes are lost or marked at once, and that the medias almost never do a front page report of what has really happened that ended up in a crash once the investigation is over and published.
 
jetstar
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:11 pm

IIRC many years ago there was an airline BAC-111, either Mohawk or Allegheny that had a structural failure while at altitude when caught in severe turbulence I believe from a large thunderstorm. I think it was the tail section that failed.

I also think this was the only case of an jet airliner that had a structural failure directly caused by weather, all the others that have crashed because of weather were from loss of control.
 
yow
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:12 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 11):
I honestly don't know why people are so scared of aeroplane travel. There's no logic in it. The old saying, that the most dangerous part of any journey by air is the cab-ride to the airport, is exactly true. Maybe it's because aeroplane crashes get on the front page of the national newspapers, and taxi accidents on the freeway to the airport don't, I dunno.....

You hit the nail on the head NAV20. More people will die in automobile crashes (including buses, trucks, pedestrians being hit by car etc.) each day than will die in aircraft crashes in a full year. Automobile deaths are so common no one notices. You're about 100 times more likely to die on your drive to the airport than you are taking off from the airport.
 
 
Sketty222
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:31 pm

Did the AA A300 that crashed over Queens, New Jersey in 2001 not crash due turbulence, all be it from a 747 in flying in front of it.

As mentioned by other members above, theres nothing you can do once at FL360 apart from ride the thing out.

Lee
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spacecadet
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:08 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 11):
Short answer is, yes it has, Braybuddy. The most recent example was American 587. We can argue about WHY the turbulence caused the tail to break off, whether it was pilot error or chemically-induced structural weakness or whatever, but the root cause was certainly (wake) turbulence.

The root cause was most definitely *not* turbulence. The root case was the pilot's inputs pushing the tail beyond its structural design limits. Whether he had done that during turbulence or in smooth air, the result would have been the same. Turbulence had nothing to do with it.

Whenever people say stuff like this, I always ask them why this *one plane* crashed when so many others in the exact same situation that day didn't (and *thousands* of airliners - including many A300's - fly through 747 wake turbulence on a weekly basis). Turbulence was not the cause of that accident or every other airplane experiencing the same level of mild wake turbulence would have crashed too. Pilot error was the cause of that accident, as the accident report spells out in both plain english and excruciating detail.

It was not even the same as the BOAC crash over Mt. Fuji, because in that case (also pilot error), the winds themselves tore the plane apart. AA 587 was in perfectly fine shape until the pilot commanded the rudder to do things it was not designed to do. It was the control inputs that directly caused the structural breakup.

You can argue whether that's a design deficiency or not, but you can't argue that the winds had anything to do with that crash. If that pilot was going to react that way every time he flew through a little bit of turbulence, then he shouldn't have been flying because he was destined to crash a plane someday.
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JetCaptain
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:12 am

Another recent one.

Quote:
Pulkovo flight 612 departed Anapa (AAQ) for St. Petersburg (LED) at 15:05. The Tupolev climbed to the cruise altitude of 35,100 feet (10.700 m). Because of storm cells ahead, the pilot decided to change course laterally by 20 km and attempted to climb over the storm cells. However, the thunderstorm front was unusually high, extending up to 15 km (49,000 feet). The Tu-154 entered an area of severe turbulence, pushing up the airplane from 11.961 m to 12.794 m within just 10 seconds. The angle of attack increased to 46 degrees and the airspeed dropped to zero. It entered a deep stall from which the crew could not recover. The plane crashed and burned in a field.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20060822-0&lang=en
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:52 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 11):
I honestly don't know why people are so scared of aeroplane travel. There's no logic in it. The old saying, that the most dangerous part of any journey by air is the cab-ride to the airport, is exactly true. Maybe it's because aeroplane crashes get on the front page of the national newspapers, and taxi accidents on the freeway to the airport don't, I dunno.....

My guess is it probably has something to do with the primordial fear of falling. It's a long way to any "terra firma" from 35,000 feet up in the air, and I suppose people naturally feel more comfortable on the ground. Consider fear of heights. It really isn't the fear of height itself (in most people), it's the fear of falling from that height.

As far as the taxi goes, you are absolutely right, and I tell people this when they tell me they're afraid of flying. It never seems to help though...  confused 

Just my  twocents 

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Cameron
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warren747sp
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:29 am

Wasn't there a DC-9 which crashed in South America due to improper flap setting by the pilots during turbulence a couple of years ago?
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N908AW
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:45 am

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 1):
Winshear (if that´s what you call turbulence) have brought down some a/c, top of my head: DL TriStar at DFW 1985. Today there´s warning system in the plane.

ATC also warns pilots well in advance now as well.

Southwest 123, wind 350 at 15, runway 34R cleared to land, Wind shear of plus or minus 20 knots reported by a 757 on a 3 mile final.
'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!
 
planespotting
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:53 am

*sigh*

let's get a few things straight:

Wurbulence: the aerodynamic concept and the word itself are derived from fluid dynamics, but the definitions are different. Turbulent air as we know it is caused when large masses of air traveling at different speeds collide. The slower air is bumped around by the faster air and vice versa, causing co-mingling of the two bodies. The simplest way to explain this is to say that each air mass tries to go through the other, despite the obvious problems occuring when two tangible (if not visible) particles traveling at different speeds collide. This is typical clear air turbulence (CAT) and what most people are familiar with. Nearly all of that is caused by the uneven heating of the earth by the sun, but all weather on the earth is caused by that as well...

To put it another way, and to quote Jack Ryan in the movie Hunt For Red October:

"You know turbulence? Uneven heating of the earths crust - warm air rises cool air descends - turbulence? I don't like that."

Wind Shear: Wind shear is totally different from the turbulence discussed above, except in principle. It too is caused by two different speeds of air moving in opposing directions. However, instead of hitting each other head on, they move away from each other.

Consider the classic thunderhead example, and this picture

In a typical down-draft, air coming down must eventually hit the ground. Of course, because of surface friction and other storm related effects, it doesn't actually hit the ground, it merely starts moving in a direction away from the ground. The arrows in the picture denote the direction and strength of the wind moving in the downdraft. An aircraft entering such a downdraft will encounter a few things.

On the way in, our pilot an increase in indicated airspeed, as more air is rushing over the wings from the air rushing out in its direction away from the downdraft. Let's use a pilot who is unfamiliar with windshear. Let's say the air is rushing at the pilot at +20 knots (relative to the aircraft), thus providing an extra 20 knots flowing over the wings.

Our pilot will notice this increase in speed and probably pull his throttle back; being in a landing scenario he doesn't want to be too fast on the approach. The wind then starts to dissipate as he flies farther along. This is the "shear" part...the wind literally stops moving one direction right in the middle of the downdraft. Suddenly the pilot is caught in the downdraft and he has lost all of those 20 knots in speed flowing over the wings.

Not only has he lost the airspeed, but his throttles are back and the downdraft is pushing his aircraft down at what could be four to five thousand feet per minute. So he pushes the throttles back in, which would probably be enough to save him, were it not for the tail wind he has now encountered from air rushing the other way out of the downdraft.

Now, air is flowing over the wings from behind at -20 knots, which means the engines have to not only overtake those 20 knots, but also on top of that provide enough to go at whichever speed the aircraft needs to keep flying. Not only that, but the aircraft has probably lost considerable altitude in the downdraft (some down drafts recorded have been so powerful that modern aircraft engines don't have a chance in some situations, even at full power).

This is what happened with the L-1011 at DFW in the 70's. However, nearly all pilots are aware of windshear nowadays and the signs that indicate it is about to occur, and keep speed and throttles up on final accordingly in appropriate situations. Not the same as the CAT...

And finally, wake turbulence: wake turbulence is caused by the wingtip vortices of aircraft, the more lift being produced the heavier the wake turbulence. Often times it is a tight column of air flowing behind the parent aircraft at the same speed of the parent, in a circular motion as well. Most commercial aircraft can handle moderate amounts of WT, but the crash of the AA 767 in '01 showed that incorrect crew training can have dire consequences in such a situation.

Okay, so, sorry for the long winded post, but hopefully this clears some stuff up...
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IFEMaster
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:55 am

Not a jet, but didn't the Fairchild that crashed in the Andes in the 60's go down as a result of CAT?

I can't find the incident now, but it was the one that was carrying a Uruguayan rugby team and while most of them died, some of them survived for a couple of months on the mountain and eventually walked far enough to find rescue.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:01 am

Wasn't the UA crash in COS attributed to windshear as well?
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
charlienorth
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:11 am

Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 8):
This was covered in a book by Robert J. Serling.

Loud and Clear if you can find it,an excellent book and I won't let mine go Smile

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 14):
IIRC many years ago there was an airline BAC-111, either Mohawk or Allegheny that had a structural failure while at altitude when caught in severe turbulence I believe from a large thunderstorm. I think it was the tail section that failed.

Braniff flight 250...August 6 1966 the right wing and tail came apart on the edges of a thunderstorm.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
IFEMaster
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:13 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 23):
the crash of the AA 767 in '01 showed that incorrect crew training can have dire consequences in such a situation.

Wasn't that AA bird an A300?
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
jetstar
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:17 am

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 26):
Quoting Jetstar (Reply 14):
IIRC many years ago there was an airline BAC-111, either Mohawk or Allegheny that had a structural failure while at altitude when caught in severe turbulence I believe from a large thunderstorm. I think it was the tail section that failed.

Braniff flight 250...August 6 1966 the right wing and tail came apart on the edges of a thunderstorm.

Thanks Charlienorth for the info.

Jetstar
 
planespotting
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:30 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 27):
Wasn't that AA bird an A300?

yes, sorry about that, a typo.
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ABQopsHP
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:49 am

I seem to recall an Air China or a China Air 747SP getting into some clear air turbulence over the Eastern Pacific, way back in the 80s. It did some damage to the a/c and the flight limped into SFO, with some panels missing as well as the fueselage skin being wrinkled.
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777klm
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:59 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 27):
Wasn't that AA bird an A300?

It definately was!
Next flight: AMS - TLV - AMS
 
IFEMaster
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:11 am

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 30):
I seem to recall an Air China or a China Air 747SP getting into some clear air turbulence over the Eastern Pacific, way back in the 80s. It did some damage to the a/c and the flight limped into SFO, with some panels missing as well as the fueselage skin being wrinkled.

I thought that was because the crew lost attitude awareness and almost inverted the aircraft because of instrument failure.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
coa747
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:20 am

I remember a flight back a few years ago on United that I was on from ORD to AUS. I was on channel 9 the whole time. We hit a line of thunderstorms across the Arkansas/Texas border and unlike all the other aircraft that diverted around the storm front our crew decided to try to climb on top of it. We were in a 737-300 and had a relatively light load. We penetrated the front wall and immediatley we were tossed about. The plane kept climbing and center kept asking for reports. We finally reached the aircraft's ceiling and were just skimming through the tops of these massive thunderstorms. It was the worst ride I have ever had. When we finally punched out of the back side of it you could see just how bad it was. Lightning everywhere and it streched on for hundreds of miles. I guess that is why ATC was a bit skeptical of our crews intentions. Could have ended very differently. You don't mess with the weather because it often comes up to bite you in the backside.
 
777fan
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:53 am

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 33):
I guess that is why ATC was a bit skeptical of our crews intentions. Could have ended very differently. You don't mess with the weather because it often comes up to bite you in the backside.

Yeah, I've flown a couple of UA flights (while listening to channel 9) in which our flight crew "volunteered" us to be the weather/turbulence guinea pig for the other flight under the ATC's control to learn from. It's disconcerting to say the least.

I've only had one really bad ride (SFO-JFK on a PS flight) in which we flew against Cleveland Center's suggestion (we plugged along at FL370 all by our lonesome selves instead of descending to FL290 or lower as was recommended) although in all fairness, there wasn't a good ride to be had as a massive fall storm walloped the entire Northeast (approximately Oct. 26-28th). Either way, we lived to tell about it and I realize that as a "backseater", there's not much I can do to change the flight crew's mind! Nevertheless, I'd still rather be able to hear what's going on which is why I love UA's channel nine.


777fan
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RIXrat
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:06 am

Someone mentioned a fear of heights. I used to have a PPL license and there was no problem flying the C172. However, I can fly in an airplane window seat and really enjoy myself, but put me in a car as the driver crossing over a high bridge and I'm a wreck. Strange.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:10 am

While turbulence-related incidents causing the loss of the aircraft are fairly rare, there have been more incidents causing deaths and serious injuries to passengers and flight attendants when they've been thrown around the cabin during unexpected turbulence encounters when not wearing seat belts.

It's obviously a greater risk for cabin crews than passengers. However, no matter how many times they make the announcement suggesting that passengers keep their seat belts fastened at all times when seated, it still surprises me how often you hear seat belts unfastening when the "fasten seat belt" is turned off.
 
stirling
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:13 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 23):
Wurbulence

My *New* New Years Resolution is to use this word as much as possible in 2007!
 Wink

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 26):
Braniff flight 250...August 6 1966 the right wing and tail came apart on the edges of a thunderstorm.

And that brings up a point....I believe, the incidences of turbulence caused crashes was probably more in the prop-era...(both piston and TP).
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planespotting
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:19 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 37):
Quoting Planespotting (Reply 23):
Wurbulence

My *New* New Years Resolution is to use this word as much as possible in 2007!
Wink

 rotfl 

uhhh whoooops, typo #2
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777fan
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:31 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 38):
Quoting Stirling (Reply 37):
Quoting Planespotting (Reply 23):
Wurbulence

My *New* New Years Resolution is to use this word as much as possible in 2007!
Wink



uhhh whoooops, typo #2

Hehe, looks like someone is drowning in a combination of Christmas egg nog and New Year's champaigne!


777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
LHRSpotter
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:46 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 23):
Most commercial aircraft can handle moderate amounts of WT, but the crash of the AA 767 in '01 showed that incorrect crew training can have dire consequences in such a situation.

The AA587 crash in November 2001 involved an A300 rather than a 767 and was indeed caused by the excessive use of rudder by the first officer when trying to stabilize the plane in minor wake turbulence. This eventually (and astonishingly!) caused the whole vertical stabilizer to snap off.
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:47 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 25):
Wasn't the UA crash in COS attributed to windshear as well?

That was IIRC a faulty rudder valve, an "uncommanded rudder deflection", not windshear, which was Boeing's initial theory. In reply to the original question, the chances of a plane crashing due to turbulence are extremely remote. Modern jets are well designed, heavy duty machines which can stand many of mother nature's phenomenon such as lightning. Unless you are unlucky enough to encounter F5 tornado-style wind, the chances of a plane coming down is near zero.
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Jamie757
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:24 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
I want to reassure her as best I can before she goes, so, has there ever been any case of turbulence bringing a jet down?

Oh dear, it looks as though you may have to tell your colleague a little white lie!

 Wink

Rgds.
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scramjetter
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:31 am

Fatalities from turbulence are much rarer than injuries. It seems nearly every month a passenger or crew member is injured in an encounter with turbulence. Usually the individual isn't buckled in at the time of the encounter. Flight attendants definitely bear the brunt of these injuries!

While not due exclusively to turbulence, this one accident always sticks in my head when I think of bad encounters with thunderstorms:

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001212X22923&key=1

It involved a Lear 25, a thunderstorm, an off-field landing, and is amazing to read. Incredible that there were no fatalities and I can't imagine the fear felt by those on board!

Thunderstorms: avoid them!
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:47 am

The MP DC10 crash (or MD11?) at FAO in 1992 was a textbook case of windshear, as described in the +20kts/-20kts example above.

The above NLM F28 crash in 1981 may have been both, apparently the aircraft experienced 6.5g of accelerations.
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Magyarorszag
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:03 am

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 44):
The MP DC10 crash (or MD11?) at FAO in 1992

DC-10-30CF PH-MBN - 21/12/1992


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Pedro Aragão



[Edited 2006-12-30 03:07:27]
 
Stratofortress
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:48 pm

The best thing I have heard is to think of traveling through air turbulence as you would of traveling over waves in a speedboat. You are bouncing all over the place, but the boat keeps on going and doesnt fall apart... Same thing with an airplane.
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GoDIA
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:36 pm

Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 8):



Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 8):
Also in the early or mid 1960's a UA B720 encountered CAT somewhere over Iowa on a flight from the west to ORD. The plane went into a steep dive and only by thinking "outside the box" did the pilots manage to recover and make a safe emergency landing. This was covered in a book by Robert J. Serling. I believe that plane dropped more than 20,000 feet before the pilots regained control! Everyone onboard survived but I think the plane did suffer structural damage.

Actually, it was a United Boeing 720 enroute from SFO to ORD via Denver in 1963. The turbulence occurred over O'Neill, Nebraska, and the jet dropped from 41,000 feet to 12,000. Aactually, there was no structural damage and according to Serling's book, "Not a rivet had popped..." Amazingly, some of the passengers booed the Captain after they reached ORD...not realizing they owed their lives to him. UAL's President Pat Patterson wrote each passenger a personal letter describing the Captain's airmanship and expalining in detail how he had saved the aircraft. Then he gave the pilots and flight engineer each a six figure check.
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MCOflyer
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:26 pm

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 7):

If i'm right that was a DC-8 equipted with some piece of insturment to detect those conditions. I think it was the INS. The EA 727 hit the thresh hold lights. I know, I read a story and its very sad to hear how the controllers didn't listen to the FTL pilots as they knew what they encountered.

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charlienorth
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RE: Has Turbulence Ever Brought A Jet Down?

Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 28):
Thanks Charlienorth for the info.

Jetstar

No prob,there was a crash of a Mohawk BAC111 around that time which was an APU fire.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 37):
And that brings up a point....I believe, the incidences of turbulence caused crashes was probably more in the prop-era...(both piston and TP).

I've read that the NWA Electra that crashed near Tell City was in heavy turbulence which aggravated the structural problems the aircraft already had.
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