mikey72
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In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:49 pm

We've all heard the words in various airline safety demo's but is it '''really''' possible to land a VLA on the ocean and evacuate safely a reasonable amount of people ?

I know there are many variables but with control and on a calm sea.....

Apologies in advance but couldn't do this without including this....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QviITuOUiY

  
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GT4EZY
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:10 pm

It's very difficult and you need luck on your side but as the US A320 on the Hudson River proves, it can be done. Even the ET (and other) incidents had survivors. So when you are conveying your safety message in the demo/video it has to be done in a none alarming way. You don't need me to tell you that saying "in the event of a crash at sea" or even "crash landing" wouldn't be the most comforting for pax. You have to find the right balance between reality and not making the most nervous passengers freak out. Hence the "in the event of a landing on water" is a pretty good line to use.

Not being rude here but generally speaking, the plane geeks forget that not everyone is into airlines and aircraft, and sometimes PA's etc etc aren't always as technical as some here would like.
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sw733
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:03 pm

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 1):
Even the ET (and other) incidents had survivors

Indeed, the ET crash would have had many, many more survivors had they listened to the whole "don't inflate your lifevest until you are out of the aircraft" directions from the flight attendants. In that case, many of them inflated as soon as the plane stopped but whilst they were still inside. The combination of that and the flooding a/c caused them to be pushed in to the ceiling of the aircraft, unable to move as the water rose and they drowned.
 
SouthernDC9
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:16 pm

I always love looking at the safety information cards and how the people in the floatation device pictures look so calm and content, plus they're always very well dressed, not a hair out of place, all in one piece, no cuts or burns. It's like the plane crashed and all the passengers just decided to make the best of things and go for a nice swim.
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:28 pm

Quoting SouthernDC9 (Reply 3):
I always love looking at the safety information cards and how the people in the floatation device pictures look so calm and content

You should look at the safety cards of the 1950s! They make a water landing look like a pleasant boat ride ... ride down to a Stewardess serving drinks adorned with umbrellas!
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vikkyvik
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:29 pm

Quoting SouthernDC9 (Reply 3):
I always love looking at the safety information cards and how the people in the floatation device pictures look so calm and content, plus they're always very well dressed, not a hair out of place, all in one piece, no cuts or burns. It's like the plane crashed and all the passengers just decided to make the best of things and go for a nice swim.

The movie Fight Club addresses that very topic, and in one part, they replace the normal safety cards with ones showing people burning and screaming and such.
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SouthernDC9
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:58 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 5):
The movie Fight Club addresses that very topic, and in one part, they replace the normal safety cards with ones showing people burning and screaming and such.

Nice, I've got to actually watch Fight Club at some point, I've seen bits and pieces but obviously not the best part (as I would judge it anyway).

I also love in Airplane! when Randi the FA demonstrates the flotation device, she pulls the cord and it turns into a duck floatie.
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canoecarrier
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:58 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
Indeed, the ET crash would have had many, many more survivors had they listened to the whole "don't inflate your lifevest until you are out of the aircraft" directions from the flight attendants. In that case, many of them inflated as soon as the plane stopped but whilst they were still inside. The combination of that and the flooding a/c caused them to be pushed in to the ceiling of the aircraft, unable to move as the water rose and they drowned.

For what it's worth, NBC's Today Show had a story about emergency evacuations today. I didn't take the time to double check their data, but they said that after "others" interviewed the passengers on the US A320 and those involved in similar incidents, most weren't able to remember any of the safety information even though a majority recall hearing the demo or at least looking at the card. That really doesn't surprise me, and is likely the reason FAs are told to yell commands repeatedly in an emergency.

I do remember that most people on the ET crash inflated their lifevests early, but in that case they were hijacked and knew for a while that they may have to land over water. They didn't have to fish under their seat for it, put it on and inflate it. They already had it on and panicked. It could be just an entirely different scenario.
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Chamonix
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:50 pm

Better give Michael Phelps a ring...!
 
bueb0g
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:58 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Thread starter):
We've all heard the words in various airline safety demo's but is it '''really''' possible to land a VLA on the ocean and evacuate safely a reasonable amount of people ?

I know there are many variables but with control and on a calm sea.....

Sure, as long as the aircraft makes it intact onto the ocean it should be possible. Take the ALM DC-9 carribean ditching in the Carribean in the 70's; crew ran out of fuel after 4 go arounds at SXM and an attempted diversion to... San Juan I think it was. Crew ditched it into stormy seas with little light and even though one of the exits got blocked when the raft inflated inside the aircraft (they used the emergency slides as rafts) and got stuck just behind the cockpit door they managed to evacuate all able bodied passengers (mainly through the overwing exists), although it's thought that several pax died during impact (many weren't even seated when the a/c ditched due to an inop PA). The aircraft sank in 10 minutes. Three hours later all surviving pax & crew had been airlifted out (captain was the last to go). I think the final count was 19 missing.

So yes, even in stormy seas it's possible to conduct an effective evacuation. Thankfully we only have a few case studies to call upon; but even with the limited amount we have, it seems that if a controlled landing is attempted, there's a fair chance of a good amount of people surviving.
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DashTrash
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:55 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Thread starter):
but is it '''really''' possible to land a VLA on the ocean

You can't land on water. A landing can only happen on land. Arriving into the water would be called a watering. 
 
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ssteve
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:26 pm

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 10):
Arriving into the water would be called a watering.

Seaplanes exist, and it's not called a watering.
 
DashTrash
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:08 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 11):
Seaplanes exist, and it's not called a watering.

Sense of humor?
 
AdmiralRitt
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:56 pm

Actually, the DC9-MD80 style aircraft is less likely to have catatrophic break up
in an ocean landing. That's rear mounted engines for ya, better at avoiding bird strikes and
better in ditching.

Folks forget that the US air E-landing was not an open ocean ditching.
It's possible Capt Sully could have landed his plane in the ocean. But I would bet that if there significant
wave action that there would be some fatalities and very probable break up of some part of the plane.
 
Viscount724
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:48 pm

Quoting AdmiralRitt (Reply 13):
Folks forget that the US air E-landing was not an open ocean ditching.
It's possible Capt Sully could have landed his plane in the ocean. But I would bet that if there significant
wave action that there would be some fatalities and very probable break up of some part of the plane.

That was no doubt also a factor in the JAL DC-8-62 landing in San Francisco Bay, about 2 miles short of the runway, in fog in 1968. No injuries and relatively minimal damage. Many passengers weren't even aware it wasn't a normal landing until they saw the water outside. The aircraft was repaired by UA and returned to service. It came to rest sitting on the bottom on its landing gear in about 10 feet of water. Several photos in following item.
http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/Shiga-SFBay.htm

http://www.dc-8jet.com/Images/jal-dc862-in-sf-bay1.jpg
 
musang
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:35 pm

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 1):
It's very difficult and you need luck on your side but as the US A320 on the Hudson River proves, it can be done.

After the so-called "miracle" Hudson landing I checked the Airline Safety Network database for ditchings of jet transports. There are about a dozen and the vast majority stayed intact, even those with underslung engines, and the vast majority of occupants walked out. Most were 100% survived. The ET , the other JAL DC-8 (Tokyo) and the Nippon 727 etc. weren't controlled landings so they're discounted.

I'm not saying they're no big deal, but they've been largely well executed with minimal injury. There's a pic somewhere of an Aeroflot Tu134 being towed out of a lake, inatct on its landing gear. An Aeroflot Tu104 landed on a city centre river, was towed to the shore, and everyone walked out along the wing to the bank IIRC. Sudan 707 landed in the river Nile. Tarom Tu154, Garuda 737 and a freighter 707 in a lake in Africa spring to mind also (there's a pic of that doing the rounds also). The National 727 at Pensacola lost some occupants and apparently the ALM DC-9 would have done better had the preparations been better, but on the basis of history, the term "miracle" is perhaps media sensationalism. A successful water landing is the norm rather than the exception.

Regards - musang

[Edited 2011-12-08 04:48:04]
 
rcair1
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:28 pm

I've always wondered - why the:

"Overwing exits should not be used in a water landing except if instructed by a crew member"

That has never made sense to me - the overwings are certainly 'higher" in terms of water entering the cabin than the normal doors.

Just came to mind in the 3 (soon to be four) 757 trips where I've been in the exit row the last couple weeks....
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:36 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 16):
That has never made sense to me - the overwings are certainly 'higher" in terms of water entering the cabin than the normal doors.

Ideally, the aim is to get you into a raft without "getting your feet wet". A lofty ideal yes, but one nonetheless.

In aircraft with slide/rafts, the overwing exits are the last choice, as there are no rafts nearby. It is only the main doors where one will find a raft.

I look at the B767s we have had over the years, and I always noted the water evacuations were different depending on the on-board equipment. For example:

If there are no slide/rafts nor rafts, then all exits including overwing exits are encouraged. If there are no slide rafts, but just slides, (we had two aircraft like that for a while, since retired) then too, all exits are encouraged, as there were two rafts in the overwing area. Then as I mentioned above, with slide/rafts, then only main doors are the first choice.

Remember though, if the aircraft is sinking, and you are wearing a life jacket beside an exit ... then all bets are off!
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Markhkg
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:34 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 16):
"Overwing exits should not be used in a water landing except if instructed by a crew member"

Aside from the excellent reasons mentioned from longhauler, some additional thoughts:
- Wet wings are exceptionally slippery. "Large Marge" evacuating through the overwing is likely to slip and fall into the water.
- There is some concern about walking onto wing-stored fuel or skydrol, which again is very slippery. Evacuating "dry" into a slide/raft also prevents exposure to these chemicals which can be blinding and incapacitate a passenger in the water.
- It is expected that severe damage to the wing will occur during the ditching and it may not be the safest place to attempt to walk on due to sharp edges, shrapnel, etc. This is one of the reasons why some airlines instructs passengers to jump into the water from the leading edge of the wing (not trailing edge), due to expected flap damage.

On the B-747 and A380, inflation of the (very large) overwing slides can interfere with the slide/rafts on doors being inflated immediately aft of the wing during a ditching. That is why cabin crew in those position will (a) disarm the door during a ditching and (b) re-direct passengers to alternate locations. The B-747 even has a ditching "ditching escape tape" that can be fitted to the wing, so using that as an exit in a ditching is not out of the question.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 17):
then too, all exits are encouraged, as there were two rafts in the overwing area.

The only common exception to this is the B-737, where the aft main cabin door exits are typically blocked during a ditching out of fear that they will be below the waterline. (Most safety cards illustrate this.)

Of course the same thing is true with the tailcone exit on the MD80/B-717  
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:49 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 17):
If there are no slide rafts, but just slides, (we had two aircraft like that for a while, since retired) then too, all exits are encouraged, as there were two rafts in the overwing area.

I just noticed that I mistyped. What I meant to say, is if there are no slide/rafts, and just rafts, then all exits are encouraged as there were two rafts in the overwing area.
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting Markhkg (Reply 18):
The only common exception to this is the B-737, where the aft main cabin door exits are typically blocked during a ditching out of fear that they will be below the waterline. (Most safety cards illustrate this.)

This is absolutely correct. Except for the "combi" B737s we used to fly in the arctic. If the pallets extended past the overwing exits, then the two rear doors were the only exits. I was assured, (promised), that the outflow valves were encased in a standpipe, therefore not causing the big influx of water.

If you look at a "combi" B737 safety card, you will see this reflected, and rear doors were allowed during a water evacuation, even when operating in a full passenger configuration.
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canoecarrier
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:45 pm

Quoting Markhkg (Reply 18):
- Wet wings are exceptionally slippery. "Large Marge" evacuating through the overwing is likely to slip and fall into the water.

I'd never thought of this. But, remembering back to my time as a fueler it's quite right.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 20):

This is absolutely correct. Except for the "combi" B737s we used to fly in the arctic. If the pallets extended past the overwing exits, then the two rear doors were the only exits. I was assured, (promised), that the outflow valves were encased in a standpipe, therefore not causing the big influx of water.

I'm sure you and I have both spent a number of flights on Combi's. Out of curiosity, take First Air's fleet for example. They can configure the cargo in many different ways. What if you only were flying 1-2 pallets and the overwing exits were accessible to the passengers?

When they went down in Resolute last July they only had it configured for something around 24 passengers and 5 cargo pallets, but on other segments they may have the doors accessible. Seems like it might be confusing for the FAs in an emergency.
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:06 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
I'm sure you and I have both spent a number of flights on Combi's. Out of curiosity, take First Air's fleet for example. They can configure the cargo in many different ways. What if you only were flying 1-2 pallets and the overwing exits were accessible to the passengers?

I had to look in my old manual for the answer to this. But in a water evacuation, there was no differentiation with the cabin configuration, in that it is written that the rear two exits can be used. Note that the rear left door has stairs in the vestibule, so the stairs were extended down into the water.

But ... if you look at the safety card, you got a different story. And it differed with the author of the safety card!

On some safety cards, in a water evacuation, you used what ever exits you had. Namely if overwing exits were available you used them. In an all passenger configuration, you used any of six exits. But some safety cards, in an all passenger configuration, you didn't use the rear exits. Note though, that varied by author, not by airline!

I only noticed this as when going from Canadi>n, with Canadi>n North, into Air Canada, the procedure changed on the safety card as the author changed, but our actual on-board procedures did not, and the aircraft equipment did not change.
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:16 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
Seems like it might be confusing for the FAs in an emergency.

No more so than the 10 different versions of the B737-200 we were operating at the time, or the various configurations the of the B767-300 we are presently operating.
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bueb0g
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:36 am

Quoting musang (Reply 15):
apparently the ALM DC-9 would have done better had the preparations been better,

Indeed. In fact, that accident is the reason why a fully functioning PA system is a requirement now; in the ALM accident, the cockpit crew had no way of directly contacting the passengers, and had to relay their messages through the FA's who then had to use loudspeakers... The cheif FA was breifed that the no smoking/seatbelt signs dinging on and off would be a signal that ditching was imminent, and that's when passegners should brace; unfortunately, due to the poor cockpit - cabin communication, the cabin was not ready for a ditching within 30 seconds, and when the DC-9 contacted the water at 90 knots some FA's and a few passengers were still standing, some were in their seats but without seatbelts, some were seemingly oblivious that the aircraft was ditching, relaxing in their seats and anticipating a landing at St Croix or San Juan, with the rest fully braced. This accident also led to stricter regulation on the quality of seatbelts - as many as 15 of them failed during the impact, injuring/killing passengers who had been fully strapped in.
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yeelep
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:13 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 20):
I was assured, (promised), that the outflow valves were encased in a standpipe, therefore not causing the big influx of water.

I think you were misled. If water intrusion through the outflow valve is a issue, I think it would be addressed as a pre-ditching checklist item, packs off/outflow valve closed.
 
113312
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:22 pm

Water intrusion through the outflow valve is nearly always an issue and is on the Ditching checklist. That is all well and good if you know you're going to end up in the water and have the time to do all of the checklist. Fact is that many of the discussed water landings were not planned such as the cases of undershoots and overruns.
 
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longhauler
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:25 am

Quoting yeelep (Reply 25):
I think you were misled. If water intrusion through the outflow valve is a issue, I think it would be addressed as a pre-ditching checklist item, packs off/outflow valve closed.

Many years ago, when I was a B737 Captain, I asked several mechanics about why the rear exits were allowed in a water landing on the B737 Combis, but not the regular B737s we flew. The answer was always the same. The outflow valve is encased in a standpipe, so that when the outflow valve leaks (and it will whether open or closed) the effect will be slower.
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mandala499
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:39 am

Quoting musang (Reply 15):
Sudan 707 landed in the river Nile. Tarom Tu154, Garuda 737 and a freighter 707 in a lake in Africa spring to mind also (there's a pic of that doing the rounds also).

The Garuda 737 on the river was a water landing by choice. The alternative was a field, full of people watching soccer...
The aircraft landed on a shallow part of the river, and ended up in very shallow water, basically knee deep water... next to the river bank. This is one of the highest contributor to post impact survivability... help was available nearby. One still died, but the circumstances are unclear...

But yes, the word "miracle" in "miracle landing" for US Airways @ Hudson river, is errr... cheap (in it's secondary meaning)... (but still one hell of a feat)
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Markhkg
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RE: In The Event Of A Landing On Water...

Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:43 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 28):
But yes, the word "miracle" in "miracle landing" for US Airways @ Hudson river, is errr... cheap (in it's secondary meaning)

The *miracle* to me is that no one succumbed to hypothermia despite multiple passengers ending up in the water (many without life jackets) with temperatures of about 36 °F (2 °C). Expected survival times during this temperature ranges from the 15-30 minutes if submerged for an average adult. (Thankfully most people in the water ended up on the wing or were pulled into a slide/raft.)
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