Hi TarzanBoy, Buzz here. I recall a story from the late '80s (yes, in the previous century) about a 747-123 that UAL had bought and overhauled. We called 'em the "Lemon Sisters". The -123 series was orginally built for American, these 4 had been through a few owners before UAL bought 'em. As i recall the 4 airframes cost about 64 million... half the price of a new one. To say that the airframes needed work was to put it mildly.
Anyway, one fuel gauge was deferred per MEL
. After takeoff the #2 main tank crossfeed failed closed. Normally on climbout the engines feed off the center tank first, then #2 and #3 main, then when the tanks are about equal they go tank-to-engine.
About 3/4 of the way from SFO
the hard working flight engineer discovered his math was wrong and there would be fuel problems. I understand that that Lemon Sister flew the approach into NRT
on #2 engine and APU, with all the pax in life vests.
"Don't try this at home", once you've built up your airspeed and altitude you have some options. At PDX
one day a Falcon 20 tried a single engine takeoff (planning to air start after takeoff?) He lifted off in ground effect. As the end of the runway passed below him and he was still looking up at the streetlights of the employee parking lot he decided to slide into the grass of the over-run instead of hitting something harder.
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgement.
Buzz Fuselsausage: LIne Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by Choice, taildragger pilot for fun.