Tupolev160
Topic Author
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:07 pm

MD-11 - An Animal Difficult To Handle?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:15 pm

For its relatively short time in service and a modest number of deliveries compared to other modern wide-bodies, the MD-11 has been involved in a considerable number of accidents/incidents, most of them strikingly resembling each other. In many of the occasions, the MD-11 lived: a bounced landing that followed by the aircraft loosing control, breaking the wing, flipping onto its back and - burning.



It has been mentioned that:

"In an effort to improve fuel efficiency, McDonnell Douglas designed the MD-11’s center of gravity to be much further aft than other commercial aircraft. This significantly reduces the margin for error during the takeoff and landing phases. A number of operators have introduced special training to assist crews in safely handling the MD-11's critical phases of flight."

as well as:

"The MD-11 has had problems with its flight control systems, problems that have resulted in multiple accidents and incidents since the aircraft's introduction.[49] The initial design of the slat/flap lever in the cockpit was conducive to accidental dislodgement by crew in flight. The defect has been corrected since 1992.[50] In the early 2000s, Boeing improved the flight control software at the urging of the FAA to reduce the possibility of violent unintentional pitch movements."

Have you flown this aircraft and what is your experience/opinion about this?
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
 
bueb0g
Posts: 656
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:57 pm

RE: MD-11 - An Animal Difficult To Handle?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:39 pm

The accident you refer to (flipping) has happened three times on the MD-11, and one of those came about after the pilots tried to land in conditions that significantly exceeded the MD-11's maximum crosswind component. The other two were FedEx crashes and they both came about after unstabilised approaches that should have been aborted, with the one at Narita in heavy winds and the autopilot only being disconnected at 200 feet, not giving the pilot flying enough time to farmiliarise himself properly with handling the aircraft in the gusty conditions.

In bad conditions, with a badly flown approach, the MD-11 can become unstable in the flare. Like any aircraft. It's true that the problem is more acute on the MD-11 than most aircraft, and seems particularly more so on the MD-11F, but, flown correctly, there's no reason why it should happen.

I'm sure Wilco737 will at some point comment on this thread and say something along the lines of "Never had a problem with more than 350 landings", and his is a pretty typical experience.

Just like any other aircraft, if you don't fly it properly, it won't fly properly.

[Edited 2012-02-21 08:40:33]
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
harmonium
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:07 pm

RE: MD-11 - An Animal Difficult To Handle?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:43 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 1):
Just like any other aircraft, if you don't fly it properly, it won't fly properly.

But still, from the text in the OP, it seems that the aircraft is more difficult to handle than other similar aircraft. Could this be approved/denied? I've always had a thing for these tri-holers  
 
wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: MD-11 - An Animal Difficult To Handle?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:53 pm

Quoting Tupolev160 (Thread starter):
Have you flown this aircraft and what is your experience/opinion about this?
Quoting bueb0g (Reply 1):
I'm sure Wilco737 will at some point comment on this thread and say something along the lines of "Never had a problem with more than 350 landings", and his is a pretty typical experience.

I never had any problems, like you said. She was/ is a little less forgiving than other airliners, but I personally don't see her as dangerous. I am sure many will disagree here.
She has her quirks and issues, but no airplane is perfect.

wilco737
  

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