cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Thu May 27, 1999 10:11 am

Does anyone know anything about a 737-300 belonging to a Latin American airline that suffered a double-engine failure in rain and hail and made a forced deadstick landing on a riverbank near New Orleans? Sometime during the early development of the CFM56, maybe early 90s? I heard a mention of this incident for the first time the other day, it seems highly impossible. Did it land on it's undercarriage? Apparently the aircraft was almost completely undamaged. How do you get it back to an airport? Take off again? (I think not.) Any info on this apparently spectacular episode please.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
BryanG
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:59 am

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Thu May 27, 1999 12:49 pm

This pilot was a little too bold for flying into a huge storm, but proved that he knew what he was doing when the chips were down: Scheduled 14 CFR 129 operation of TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES Incident occurred MAY-24-88 at NEW ORLEANS, LA Aircraft: BOEING 737-3T0, registration: N75356 Injuries: 45 Uninjured. DRG DSCNT FM FL 350 FOR IFR ARR TO NEW ORLEANS, FLT CREW NOTED GREEN & YELLOW RTRNS ON WX RADAR WITH SOME ISOLATED RED CELLS, LEFT & RGT OF INTENDED FLT PATH. BFR ENTERING CLOUDS AT 30,000', CAPT SLCTD CONTINUOUS ENG IGNITION & ACTIVATED ENG ANTI-ICE SYS. CREW SLCTD ROUTE BET 2 CELLS, DISPLAYED AS RED ON WX RADAR. HVY RAIN, HAIL & TURBC WERE ENCTRD. AT ABT 16,500', BOTH ENGS FLAMED OUT. APU WAS STARTED & AC ELEC PWR WAS RESTORED WHILE DSCNDG THRU ABT 10,600'. ATMTS TO WIND- MILL RESTART WERE UNSUCCESSFUL. BOTH ENGS LIT-OFF BY USING STARTERS, BUT NEITHER WOULD ACCELERATE TO IDLE; ADVNG THRUST LEVERS INCREASED EGT BYD LIMITS. ENGS WERE SHUT DOWN TO AVOID CATASTROPHIC FAILURE. EMERG LNDG WAS MADE ON LEVEE W/O FURTHER DMG TO ACFT. INV REVEALED ACFT ENCTRD LVL 4 TSTM, BUT ENGS FLAMED OUT, THOUGH THEY HAD MET FAA SPECS FOR WATER INGESTION. ACFT HAD MINOR HAIL DMG; #2 ENG WAS DMGD FM OVERTEMP. AFTER INCIDENT, OMB 88-5 & AD 6-14-88 ISSUED TO RQR MIN RPM OF 45% & TO RESTR USE OF AUTOTHRUST IN MOD/HVY PRECIP; ENG MOD WAS PROVIDED FOR INCREASED CPTY OF WTR INGESTION. Probable Cause A DOUBLE ENGINE FLAMEOUT DUE TO WATER INGESTION WHICH OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF AN INFLIGHT ENCOUNTER WITH AN AREA OF VERY HEAVY RAIN AND HAIL. A CONTRIBUTING CAUSE OF THE INCIDENT WAS THE INADEQUATE DESIGN OF THE ENGINES AND THE FAA WATER INGESTION CERTIFICATION STANDARDS WHICH DID NOT REFLECT THE WATERFALL RATES THAT CAN BE EXPECTED IN MODERATE OR HIGHER INTENSITY THUNDERSTORMS.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Thu May 27, 1999 8:08 pm

Thank you BryanG for filling in the detail on this incident. What is a levee? I presume some form of riverbank, but I would have thought it is soft and wouldn't support a 737. Was the aircraft returned to service? If so, does anyone know how this was done? As BryanG says, the pilot sure knew what he was doing when the chips were down.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Levee

Thu May 27, 1999 8:27 pm

As in "drove my Chevvy to the levee but the levee was dry" (American Pie, Don MacLean)? Ah, it all makes sense now.
 
Guest

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Fri May 28, 1999 12:12 am

I remember that incident, and one of the images that sticks in my mind is seeing the aircraft on the grass beside the levee slightly sumberged in the mud, and before the passengers departed down the slides, the FO slid his window open and departed the aircraft while holding onto the escape rope. Unfortunately for him, the 737 escape rope system has no built in recoil mechanism and was not designed to be used in this fashion, it became taught at approximately the same time he impacted the turf. Oh well.
Cheers......
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Fri May 28, 1999 1:08 am

Ok, I know the song (and thank you), but the fact that Don McLean mentions a levee isn't enough to give much information as to a levee's suitability as an alternate landing site for a luckless 737. Us non-Americans have to struggle to remember what a "Chevy" is, bearing in mind we don't have them over here either. So, did the 737 use it's gear, or was it a belly landing? And if it was on gear, how did they return the plane to service? By helicopter? (Too heavy.) Saw the wings off? (Too expensive.) Take off again? (Hey, just like in The A-Team!) Any thoughts?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
DL757
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:47 pm

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Fri May 28, 1999 3:49 am

Why are you guys saying 'the pilot sure knew what he was doing' ? It should be 'the pilots...' as in two crew flight deck. Or does the F/O not count ?

Sorry for being so picky...otherwise it's an amazing story.
Fly Delta Jets | DL757
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Fri May 28, 1999 4:48 am

I remember seeing in the news, and i couls swear i saw it fly out!
Step into my office, baby
 
Guest

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Fri May 28, 1999 9:48 am

A 737 is quite capable of grass strip operations, providing the ground is dry enough. Boeing originally proved the 737 could do it in the mid-sixties during type trials in Hope, B.C., although it cost them a fortune repairing the grass strip. 737's have been operating for years in the Arctic off plowed snow & ice strips. A very versitile aircraft.
Oh, the Taca machine deadsticked onto its gear, but I can't tell you how they removed it.
 
User avatar
Bruce
Posts: 4935
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: 737 Deadstick Landing In A Field

Sat May 29, 1999 11:01 am

For all the non-Americans out there, a levee is basically a raised strip of grass/dirt that runs along a riverbank (in this case, the Mississippi River). The levee is raised higher than the river's flood stage and land around it because its purpose is to try to hold back the water in case of a flood. There are generally no obstructions on a levee so i guess a 737 could slow down, although they do follow the curve of the river. I'd love to know the location of this levee since I know the area...does anyone know? Must have been an incredible sight seeing a big 737 landing where it's not supposed to!!
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens