jamincan
Posts: 572
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:28 am

### Airport '77

I was flicking through the channels just awhile ago and noticed Airport '77. Having never seen the film, I thought I'd take a quick look. I didn't stay on long, but I gather that the plane crash landed and sunk with the passengers trapped inside.

Now, I know this is completely unrealistic, at the very least, the plane would float with all that air inside; however, it got me to wondering if there was sufficient ballast, would a planes structure be sufficiently strong to withstand the force of the water pressure? I don't mean shallow water, but deeper water - 100ft or more. Obviously it's designed to contain a higher pressure, but I'm not sure if the same design would hold in the reverse, to withstand a higher pressure. On the other hand, a circular shape would be the most efficient design for both circumstances, so it might just be possible.

Posts: 3697
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:04 am

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting Jamincan (Thread starter): but I'm not sure if the same design would hold in the reverse, to withstand a higher pressure

Airframes have negative pressure differential valves on the rear pressure bulkhead (at least they are on the A340 and B744).

If they sank with air inside the airframe, they'd pop open and equalise the pressure quickly.

 Quoting Jamincan (Thread starter): e plane would float with all that air inside; however, it got me to wondering if there was sufficient ballast, would a planes structure be sufficiently strong to withstand the force of the water pressure?

If you could seal up the airframe, it would float however i'm a beliver that life vests are USELESS on an airframe, i mean, water landing at over 250mph... there is only ONE outcome and it DOESNT invlove a yellow inflateable...

[Edited 2006-11-13 01:24:16]
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea

Starlionblue
Posts: 17571
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 1): If you could seal up the airframe, it would float however i'm a beliver that life vests are USELESS on an airframe, i mean, water landing at over 250mph... there is only ONE outcome and it DOESNT invlove a yellow inflateable...

Actually there have been several instances of succesful ditchings in jets.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

zanl188
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 1):i'm a beliver that life vests are USELESS on an airframe, i mean, water landing at over 250mph... there is only ONE outcome and it DOESNT invlove a yellow inflateable...

What makes you say this? A jet wouldn't ditch at that speed... try half that. There are a couple of rather successful unintentional ditchings, the JAL DC-8 and National 727 come to mind. The ONA DC-9 was an intentional ditching, wasn't perfect but a significant number got out alive.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe

Siren
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:50 am

### RE: Airport '77

On 13 Jan 1969 an SAS DC-8 ditched unintentionally on approach to LAX. The plane floated for several hours, and 15 of the 45 aboard died... most survived that one.
Siren: 32 year old single white female based @ KLAX. Aviation nerd, political wonk, disability rights activist, German car enthusiast, Californian Independence leader & evangelist

Starlionblue
Posts: 17571
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):The ONA DC-9 was an intentional ditching, wasn't perfect but a significant number got out alive.

Was this the one where a raft was accidentally inflated inside, trapping people? Ironic that they would survive the ditching only to drown because of that.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

DH106
Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:32 pm

### RE: Airport '77

One ditching I find a real eye opener is the Ethiopian 767 off Grande Comore beach in 1996, - very well known as it was flimed by a bystander.
Frankly I'm amazed anyone survived that ditching at all - and had it been in deeper water with the fragmented fuz sections sinking pretty rapidly the death toll must have been close to 100%......

Reports state that the pilots were fighting off hijackers at the time - so I suppose that explains the 'less than optimal' ditching technique. The 767 seems to be well above stalling speed as it's attitude is flat not nose up, and the initial water entry is left wing down rather than wings level which caused an intense 'dig in', swing and consequential swift break up.
...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark by the Tanhauser Gate....

Starlionblue
Posts: 17571
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 6): Reports state that the pilots were fighting off hijackers at the time - so I suppose that explains the 'less than optimal' ditching technique

Indeed. IIRC the hijackers were attempting to use an axe to motivate the pilots. However, motivation will not keep a 767 flying if there is no fuel, no matter how hard you swing the axe.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

3MilesToWRO
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:08 am

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 6):One ditching I find a real eye opener is the Ethiopian 767 off Grande Comore beach in 1996

This was not ditching. This was a crash into the water. Absolutely different thing.

3MilesToWRO
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:08 am

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 9):Many 'ditchings' end up with the aircraft in pieces.

A landing on the runway can also. Unless I'm deeply misled by nuances of English, "ditching" means "landing on water". This 767 has hit the water with its wing and definitely not in a controlled manner - this would have crashed it also on concrete runway.

I think that any talk about (approximately) safe method of ending a flight on a surface different than runway, that is worth talking, should assume that an aircraft is controlled to the end. Otherwise we talk about a crash which is of course interesting subject, but a different subject.

DH106
Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:32 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 10):A landing on the runway can also. Unless I'm deeply misled by nuances of English, "ditching" means "landing on water". This 767 has hit the water with its wing and definitely not in a controlled manner - this would have crashed it also on concrete runway.

We could argue to what degree this plane was under control ad nauseam, but I think the pilot's intentions are important. An attempt to "land on water" - successful or otherwise, I'd consider a "ditching". An uncontrolled descent into water as in the tragic Alaska Airlines MD80 accident off the Californian coast in 2000 I'd certainly consider a "crash into water".

Perhaps you're just being a bit nit-picky with your 'nuances' here. We're just trying to have a friendly & informative discussion. I would definitely advise against any career in the diplomatic corps.
...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark by the Tanhauser Gate....

3MilesToWRO
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:08 am

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 11):I think the pilot's intentions are important.

Well, we can safely assume every pilot's intentions are not to crash. Fraction of percent of suiciders does not seem important at the moment. However the number of successful landers is lower than attempters.

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 11):An attempt to "land on water" - successful or otherwise, I'd consider a "ditching". An uncontrolled descent into water as in the tragic Alaska Airlines MD80 accident off the Californian coast in 2000 I'd certainly consider a "crash into water".

Well, the 767 was trying to ditch, but seconds before touchdown the pilots lost control due to events of completly non-aviation nature. Not their fault, not airplane's fault. And from this moment the process should not be called "ditching" but rather "uncontrolled flight" which ended in a crash.

While this is indeed in a big part a matter of language, it becomes important when this 767 is presented as proof that "ditching is impossible with modern airliner" (which happens here every few months).

DH106
Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:32 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 12):Fraction of percent of suiciders (sic) does not seem important at the moment.

So - you're arbitrarily removing suicides from consideration because they don't suit your argument?

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 12):While this is indeed in a big part a matter of language, it becomes important when this 767 is presented as proof that "ditching is impossible with modern airliner" (which happens here every few months).

Agreed, but I wasn't making that pitch at all, merely commenting on aspects of the incident in an informal manner. So whether it's referred to as a ditching or crash into water in this context is absolutely irrelevant. If you really want to adhere to strict absolute interpretations then, okay we'll call it a 'crash into water', but your tone in the statement:

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 8):This was not ditching. This was a crash into the water. Absolutely different thing.

I found quite arrogant and offensive.
...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark by the Tanhauser Gate....

3MilesToWRO
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:08 am

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 13):So - you're arbitrarily removing suicides from consideration because they don't suit your argument?

I'd rather say - they don't suit the subject of our argument.

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 13):I found quite arrogant and offensive.

While not intended to be the most delicate expression ever, this was definitely not intended to be offensive either, so I'm sorry. Please note, that while this is English-language forum, actual English speakers are (I think) minority here so it's better to assume poor choice of words than intended insult.

(At least until you see something like "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of eldberries"   )

DH106
Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:32 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 14):While not intended to be the most delicate expression ever, this was definitely not intended to be offensive either, so I'm sorry. Please note, that while this is English-language forum, actual English speakers are (I think) minority here so it's better to assume poor choice of words than intended insult.

Okay, well look - you're obviously articulate in English. I wasn't insulted as such, but just mildly offended by the abruptness & sharpness of your initial comment:

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 8):This was not ditching. This was a crash into the water. Absolutely different thing.

Three short sharp sentences that basically seem to say: "You're WRONG, I'm RIGHT, don't talk CR4P". I think we've established in our discussions that there's sufficient abiguity in the terms 'ditching' and 'crashing into water' for either to be applicable in this case.

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 14):(At least until you see something like "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of eldberries" )

Who's been talking??!!
...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark by the Tanhauser Gate....

3MilesToWRO
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:08 am

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting DH106 (Reply 15):Who's been talking??!!

Absolutely British "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - French soldiers in the castle insulting King Arthur and his knights

DH106
Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:32 pm

### RE: Airport '77

 Quoting 3MilesToWRO (Reply 16):Absolutely British "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - French soldiers in the castle insulting King Arthur and his knights

Ahhh - the great ".....I fart in your general direction sketch"

[caveat] I must point out that in the spirit of current levels of ludicrious British 'political correctness' that the above mentioned direction is in no way (even vaguely), nor should be interpreted as in any sense, remotely or even close to - easterly. [end caveat]
...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark by the Tanhauser Gate....

### Who is online

Users browsing this forum: HighBypass, YIMBY and 1 guest

### Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos