User avatar
seabosdca
Topic Author
Posts: 6468
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:50 pm

This is a continuation of the discussion, which Lightsaber kindly reminded us was off-topic, from the LH MD-11 replacement thread about the MD-11's safety record. (If mods have the capability to move posts in that thread to this one, that would be welcome.)

To respond to a late post in that thread:

BravoOne wrote:
You must work for Boeing, and in doing so, believe all the BS regarding the MD11. You should worry about the significant number of 737 accidents that are likely to increase over the years as the talent pool gets smaller. AA and DL flew the aircraft without any accidents, FDX simply did not do adequate training for this aircraft IMO.


The MD-11's record is far worse in cargo ops than passenger ops. That is true across enough operators (see the list of hard landing/bounce accidents I posted earlier) that I tend to think it's not about any one operator's training procedures. Cargo ops require much higher landing weights, and those appear to make these specific accidents more likely, either directly because of the higher weights or because of the higher landing speed they require.
 
IWMBH
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:01 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:14 pm

A well operated MD-11 is not a dangerous aircraft. KL and all the other Pax operators have proved this.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2594
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:16 pm

The China Airlines MD 11 crash at HKG was a passenger version and seems to suffer from the same uncontrolled hard landing problems. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WitYiYLiBuA Kind of a lethal trend with that aircraft.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
IWMBH
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:01 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:22 pm

ozglobal wrote:
The China Airlines MD 11 crash at HKG was a passenger version and seems to suffer from the same uncontrolled hard landing problems. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WitYiYLiBuA Kind of a lethal trend with that aircraft.


That crash was caused by pilot error. They tried to land the airplane in a storm in insane conditions.
 
744lover
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2000 5:29 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:28 pm

IWMBH wrote:
A well operated MD-11 is not a dangerous aircraft. KL and all the other Pax operators have proved this.


A pax MD-11 would have landing weights FAR below the ones experienced by cargo operators. Just an example: LH operates the 222,900 Kg MLW version whereas KLM was maxed at 199,581.

This difference, when put in light of the same wing area between both versions, gave the freighter significantly higher approach speeds than the pax one. More speed translates in less time to react and do what you have to do.

LH, not long ago flew the MD-11 to the old Quito airport (Elev 9230 MSL) where I've approached the airport (which lies in a valley) during the night, with thunderstorms, with weight near MLW. To say that one has the same level of adrenaline in these conditions than land a pax-filled MD-11 in Miami on a CAVOK day is hogwash...

It is true that the MD-11 is less forgiving than a 737 or a 747 but, that said, good training and recurring simulator sessions should cover all corner cases.


Just my two cents.

BR,
744lover
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 9375
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:34 pm

IWMBH wrote:
ozglobal wrote:
The China Airlines MD 11 crash at HKG was a passenger version and seems to suffer from the same uncontrolled hard landing problems. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WitYiYLiBuA Kind of a lethal trend with that aircraft.


That crash was caused by pilot error. They tried to land the airplane in a storm in insane conditions.

It’s true that the weather was likely the root cause for the hard landing, but the MD-11 seems to follow a specific pattern in hard landings also seen in that accident...
 
clipperlondon
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:43 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:41 pm

What really further disturbed me, after the pictures of that horror, was that it was streamed on 'Crazy Car Crashes'.
 
ExpatVet
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:35 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:15 pm

"ermahgerd the MD-11 is a deathtrap"

"ermahgerd no it isn't"

(Just saving time and summarizing the next 250 posts)
L101, 733/4/5/8, 741/2/3 (never managed 744!), MD 80/2/3/8/90, MD11, DHC8/3/Q4, E170, E195, 757, 77W, 763/4, Travel Air 2000. A300/310, A319/320/321, A333, ATR-72, probably a few others I forget. Passenger, not pilot, alas! BUD based.
 
jupiter2
Posts: 1653
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2001 11:30 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:16 pm

Polot wrote:
IWMBH wrote:
ozglobal wrote:
The China Airlines MD 11 crash at HKG was a passenger version and seems to suffer from the same uncontrolled hard landing problems. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WitYiYLiBuA Kind of a lethal trend with that aircraft.


That crash was caused by pilot error. They tried to land the airplane in a storm in insane conditions.

It’s true that the weather was likely the root cause for the hard landing, but the MD-11 seems to follow a specific pattern in hard landings also seen in that accident...


Haven't all the landing accidents been eventually attributed to "pilot error" ? Even if the aircraft is known to be difficult to handle under certain circumstances, like the MD-11 is, proper training and handling methods have been developed and handling the aircraft in the correct manner should mean a safe flight.

The "freighters have a higher landing weight" excuse is a cop out as well. There are more landings by other freighter types, with higher fleet numbers that don't result in the accident rate the MD-11 has.

So, as far as I can see, while the MD-11 has it's faults, as most aircraft do, handled correctly, the aircraft is not dangerous as had been suggested in the previous thread.
 
747Whale
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:17 pm

744lover wrote:
LH, not long ago flew the MD-11 to the old Quito airport (Elev 9230 MSL) where I've approached the airport (which lies in a valley) during the night, with thunderstorms, with weight near MLW. To say that one has the same level of adrenaline in these conditions than land a pax-filled MD-11 in Miami on a CAVOK day is hogwash...


Been there, done that. In an MD11, in Quito.

Of particular interest regarding these kinds of conversations is that the majority of those who have deeply held views on the aircraft actually have no knowledge of the aircraft other than what they read on the internet.

Apparently it's enough for expertise.

The MD11 evolved in its operation, with the addition of features and changes, much like many type designs. One really ought not compare mishaps which occurred prior to those developments to those that came after, and needs to look closely at the changes that occurred in the type design and features, which have altered the operation of the aircraft and it's handling.

Several posters have commented on the MD11 having a far aft CG, which is entirely untrue. It doesn't. In fact, a development of the MD11 was the use of tail fuel, in the horizontal stabilizer, to move the CG farther aft; this fuel is pumped aft in flight and moved forward prior to landing to increase cruise efficiency. The ideal CG in the MD11 is 32%, and tail fuel management (TFM) has the ability to move the CG 7% MAC, if certain conditions are met. This also means that depending on the nature of the flight, the CG can be well forward for takeoff and landing, and then adjusted inflight; the adjustment is automatic, as is fuel circulation for temperature.

If the MD11 is flown correctly, it's easy to fly, easy to land, has stellar takeoff performance, hauls a load well, is fuel efficient, and very user-friendly in the cockpit. If it's not flown well, then it falls into the same as any other category of pilot abuse. If the MD11 is flown stabilized and the power managed correctly, not yanked to idle at 100', not flared hard, it lands about like any other aircraft. It handles a crosswind well. It has adequate pitch authority, though many who have no MD11 experience try to make something of a smaller horizontal stabilizer. It uses considerably less control input than a DC10; no big motions. Control use is subtle, and the key to operating it properly is the same principle that every airline teaches around the world: stable operations. Fly it according to the book. Don't chase.

It's comical to hear posters talk about how they breathe a sigh of relief every time a DC10 or MD11 is retired, because they feel for the crews. One doen't hear the crews saying the same thing, or begging to be freed from the trap of flying the airplane, into which they've been forced. Not at all.

With some isolated exceptions, the MD11 mishaps have centered largely around bounced landings; more to the point, around improper handling of the bounced landing.

With multiple hydraulic systems out, the airplane can be a handfull; this is something most understand from the simulator because those problems have not occurred on the MD11, yet. I've landed the MD11 with low hydraulic systems; there is redundancy and it landed perfectly normally.

Many of the mishaps involving the MD11 have occurred in the hands of newer or inexperienced crewmembers. That also needs to be taken into account, as does the operator and nation-state flying the aircraft. Not all are equal, and to draw a picture across the board shows a gross misunderstanding of the type and of safety in general.

The MD11 is not unsafe. It can be operated unsafely. There is a gulf of difference.

The same is true of any other aircraft type, and efforts to compare the 777 to the MD11 or across other fleet types are also demonstrations of ignorance on the subject. It's not the same airplane, not the same operation, and there are too many differences in the operator, type of operation, conditions of operation, etc, that need to be taken into consideration.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 7767
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:31 pm

747Whale: Thank you for the knowledgeable post. Years ago, a member here expressed similar thoughts, and expressed them memorably. [Edit: I found the post!]

He said: "I've flown the MD11 at DAL. It is by far the most demanding aircraft I've flown in the landing phase and I've flown everything DAL has had in the last 20 yrs. The MD11 had a pretty small sweet spot for flare. Flare late and expect a bounce. Flare early and float forever. Better not start the flare before 50' and better be well into it by 30'. You'd better be on speed too. Throw in gusty winds and/or high elevation and it actually got tough. Cobbing on some power could save you in the 727 but in the MD11 those massive underslung engines pitched the nose up and down with every power correction. The autospoilers had a tendency to pitch the nose up on deployment which didn't matter much unless you skipped/bounced on landing. It was a beast, but it paid like a slot machine. I'd bid it again for the same money.

The ugliest landing I every personally witnessed was while I was holding for ground traffic downfield in CVG and I got to watch the last 500' approach of a DAL MD11. We were right beside the landing runway and got to watch its arrival from almost head on. And it was a pretty sight until they start the flare and nothing happened. It just kept coming hard at the runway. I watch an extremely hard landing with the struts bottoming out and a big bounce back into the air. The second arrival seemed just as hard. I would normally laugh at them over the radio but I just felt sympathy. It looked textbook perfect, but it slammed on just the same."
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3388
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:53 pm

I’d bet a $100, just before the flare started p, the FDR trace would show a down elevator input followed by the nose up input. Unload a wing like that close to the ground and their might not be enough lift to stop the descent rate. Not very evident, but there.


GF
 
747Whale
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:28 pm

wjcandee wrote:
747Whale: Thank you for the knowledgeable post. Years ago, a member here expressed similar thoughts, and expressed them memorably. [Edit: I found the post!]

The autospoilers had a tendency to pitch the nose up on deployment which didn't matter much unless you skipped/bounced on landing. It was a beast, but it paid like a slot machine. I'd bid it again for the same money.


Autospoiler deoployment will do that in most, actually, and if manually deploying the spoilers, there's a need to apply a bit of forward elevators will pulling the spoiler handle back.

It's for that reason that the MD11 applies nose down elevator for the pilot, as the spoilers deploy.

From the cockpit, it's fairly seamless. The MD11 today isn't the same MD11 that Delta was flying, but it's also important to understand that the operators of the MD11 that didn't keep it (Delta included) rejected the airplane as inefficient...because they didn't fly it the way it was supposed to be flown.

Unless one bounces and tries to recover by pushing the control column forward, even a bounced landing is recoverable by either a go-around or simply holding that attitude and letting it touch again. It's when the pilot tries to force it on to the runway that the problem develops; a series of oscillations out of phase between control input and the airplane. In short, the pilot makes it worse.

When departing in the 747, occasionally I'd have a F/O comment on the turbulence. I'd ask them to release the controls for a moment, and we'd fly out of it. The moment they got back on the controls, the turbulence started. Why? Overcontrolling; control inputs were creating the turbulence when there wasn't any. It was all pilot. The same can be said of overcontrolling or taking incorrect actions on landing.

My worst landing to date, and my most embarrassing (and painful) occurred in an Air Tractor 802; windshear on a mountain airstrip. I bounced. I really bounced. Added power, but the conditions were rough, violent, and it wasn't pretty. The 802 isn't a hard airplane to fly, but if you don't respect it or make mistakes, it will eat your lunch twice over. Is there a problem with the design? No.

The MD11 is a good aircraft, and a capable one.

Like many things, a poor carpenter blames the tools. Most of the blame for the MD11 comes from those who are neither carpenters, nor have ever used the tool.
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 4704
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:30 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:09 pm

747Whale wrote:
wjcandee wrote:
747Whale: Thank you for the knowledgeable post. Years ago, a member here expressed similar thoughts, and expressed them memorably. [Edit: I found the post!]

The autospoilers had a tendency to pitch the nose up on deployment which didn't matter much unless you skipped/bounced on landing. It was a beast, but it paid like a slot machine. I'd bid it again for the same money.


Autospoiler deoployment will do that in most, actually, and if manually deploying the spoilers, there's a need to apply a bit of forward elevators will pulling the spoiler handle back.

It's for that reason that the MD11 applies nose down elevator for the pilot, as the spoilers deploy.

From the cockpit, it's fairly seamless. The MD11 today isn't the same MD11 that Delta was flying, but it's also important to understand that the operators of the MD11 that didn't keep it (Delta included) rejected the airplane as inefficient...because they didn't fly it the way it was supposed to be flown.

Unless one bounces and tries to recover by pushing the control column forward, even a bounced landing is recoverable by either a go-around or simply holding that attitude and letting it touch again. It's when the pilot tries to force it on to the runway that the problem develops; a series of oscillations out of phase between control input and the airplane. In short, the pilot makes it worse.

When departing in the 747, occasionally I'd have a F/O comment on the turbulence. I'd ask them to release the controls for a moment, and we'd fly out of it. The moment they got back on the controls, the turbulence started. Why? Overcontrolling; control inputs were creating the turbulence when there wasn't any. It was all pilot. The same can be said of overcontrolling or taking incorrect actions on landing.

My worst landing to date, and my most embarrassing (and painful) occurred in an Air Tractor 802; windshear on a mountain airstrip. I bounced. I really bounced. Added power, but the conditions were rough, violent, and it wasn't pretty. The 802 isn't a hard airplane to fly, but if you don't respect it or make mistakes, it will eat your lunch twice over. Is there a problem with the design? No.

The MD11 is a good aircraft, and a capable one.

Like many things, a poor carpenter blames the tools. Most of the blame for the MD11 comes from those who are neither carpenters, nor have ever used the tool.


Excuse me. How dare you bring personal experience, reason and expertise to a thread. I'm pretty sure we can get you banned for that.
What the...?
 
User avatar
flyPIT
Posts: 1588
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:21 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:15 am

jupiter2 wrote:
Haven't all the landing accidents been eventually attributed to "pilot error" ? Even if the aircraft is known to be difficult to handle under certain circumstances, like the MD-11 is, proper training and handling methods have been developed and handling the aircraft in the correct manner should mean a safe flight.

The "freighters have a higher landing weight" excuse is a cop out as well. There are more landings by other freighter types, with higher fleet numbers that don't result in the accident rate the MD-11 has.

So, as far as I can see, while the MD-11 has it's faults, as most aircraft do, handled correctly, the aircraft is not dangerous as had been suggested in the previous thread.


The highlighted sentence contradicts the rest of the post, no? From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.
FLYi
 
Max Q
Posts: 7551
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:03 am

flyPIT wrote:
jupiter2 wrote:
Haven't all the landing accidents been eventually attributed to "pilot error" ? Even if the aircraft is known to be difficult to handle under certain circumstances, like the MD-11 is, proper training and handling methods have been developed and handling the aircraft in the correct manner should mean a safe flight.

The "freighters have a higher landing weight" excuse is a cop out as well. There are more landings by other freighter types, with higher fleet numbers that don't result in the accident rate the MD-11 has.

So, as far as I can see, while the MD-11 has it's faults, as most aircraft do, handled correctly, the aircraft is not dangerous as had been suggested in the previous thread.


The highlighted sentence contradicts the rest of the post, no? From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.




Your last three sentences are the most meaningful and accurate summation regarding the MD11 and attitudes towards it
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
747Whale
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:59 am

flyPIT wrote:
The highlighted sentence contradicts the rest of the post, no? From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


You'll only have to worry about it if you're cargo, or crew.

Which one are you?
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Topic Author
Posts: 6468
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:49 am

flyPIT wrote:
From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


This is where I am too.

I admitted before and I'll admit again that I'm not qualified to comment on 747Whale's specific guidance on piloting the airplane. It may well be that an experienced and attentive pilot can mitigate whatever has led to the airplane's safety record.

But that record is different in a statistically significant way from other types operating similar missions in similar conditions, and no amount of protesting about how comparisons between types don't make sense will change that.

The 777 is the clearest comparison. There are as many 777Fs out there today as there have ever been cargo MD-11s, and several times that number of passenger 777s. They carry just as heavy a payload as the MD-11, over an even longer distance. Yet there has been only one 777 accident, ever (the Emirates 777-300A at DXB), that is sort of comparable to the common MD-11 accident pattern.

You won't find this category of accident to be common among the other closest analogues to the MD-11, the 747 and the A330, either.

If MD-11 pilots are comfortable with the aircraft, that's great; more power to them. It doesn't change the type's record.
 
User avatar
flyPIT
Posts: 1588
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:21 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:06 am

747Whale wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
The highlighted sentence contradicts the rest of the post, no? From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


You'll only have to worry about it if you're cargo, or crew.

Which one are you?

The latter. Why do you ask?
FLYi
 
jupiter2
Posts: 1653
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2001 11:30 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:07 am

flyPIT wrote:
jupiter2 wrote:
Haven't all the landing accidents been eventually attributed to "pilot error" ? Even if the aircraft is known to be difficult to handle under certain circumstances, like the MD-11 is, proper training and handling methods have been developed and handling the aircraft in the correct manner should mean a safe flight.

The "freighters have a higher landing weight" excuse is a cop out as well. There are more landings by other freighter types, with higher fleet numbers that don't result in the accident rate the MD-11 has.

So, as far as I can see, while the MD-11 has it's faults, as most aircraft do, handled correctly, the aircraft is not dangerous as had been suggested in the previous thread.


The highlighted sentence contradicts the rest of the post, no? From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


Yer, maybe it does :oops: I was more trying to highlight that high landing weights of freighters shouldn't be used an excuse for landing accidents, no matter what the type.

The MD-11 has it's quirks, seemingly more than other types, but flown correctly (as with any type) you'll be fine.
 
acjbbj
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:11 am

ExpatVet wrote:
"ermahgerd the MD-11 is a deathtrap"

"ermahgerd no it isn't"

(Just saving time and summarizing the next 250 posts)


You could say the same for the DC-10. I would not be surprised.
Douglas Aircraft Company
Born: 22 July 1921 (Santa Monica, CA)
Died: 23 May 2006 (Long Beach, CA), age 84 years 10 months 1 day
You will be missed.
 
crownvic
Posts: 2437
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:28 am

I say ban any further topics relating negatively, to the MD-11. The only bad thing I can say about it, as a passenger, I cannot fly in one anymore. It was my favorite airplane to fly aboard. Case rested!
 
User avatar
adambrau
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:44 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:59 am

As another MD-11 occasional pax, the only hard landing I experienced was from Shanghai to HKG in 1992 on China Eastern. Upon somewhat successfully grabbing ahold of the runway half of the overhead bins self-opened in the cabin where I was seated and heavy braking action. Kai Tak Airport no doubt had it's own limitations that are also well documented. Flew AA's MD-11's JFK-LHR many times in later years when I moved stateside, don't recall anything remotely close to that HKG landing.
Let's keep the skies friendly.
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 6357
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:44 am

747Whale wrote:
The MD11 is a good aircraft, and a capable one.

Like many things, a poor carpenter blames the tools. Most of the blame for the MD11 comes from those who are neither carpenters, nor have ever used the tool.


:checkmark: I only regret it didn't came off the production line earlier and with less early troubles.

JoeCanuck wrote:
Excuse me. How dare you bring personal experience, reason and expertise to a thread. I'm pretty sure we can get you banned for that.


Excellent & witty. :rotfl:
 
User avatar
Melbourne
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:17 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:16 pm

seabosdca wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


This is where I am too.

I admitted before and I'll admit again that I'm not qualified to comment on 747Whale's specific guidance on piloting the airplane. It may well be that an experienced and attentive pilot can mitigate whatever has led to the airplane's safety record.

But that record is different in a statistically significant way from other types operating similar missions in similar conditions, and no amount of protesting about how comparisons between types don't make sense will change that.

The 777 is the clearest comparison. There are as many 777Fs out there today as there have ever been cargo MD-11s, and several times that number of passenger 777s. They carry just as heavy a payload as the MD-11, over an even longer distance. Yet there has been only one 777 accident, ever (the Emirates 777-300A at DXB), that is sort of comparable to the common MD-11 accident pattern.

You won't find this category of accident to be common among the other closest analogues to the MD-11, the 747 and the A330, either.

If MD-11 pilots are comfortable with the aircraft, that's great; more power to them. It doesn't change the type's record.


Only one 777 accident? Did you forget about that little landing mishap that an Asiana 772 had at SFO? And the 772 in Cairo of Egypt air that caused a entire forward fuselage to be burnt out?
 
SteelChair
Posts: 1069
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:37 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:47 pm

Notwithstanding the great comments from some of those who have flown her, the safety record of the MD11 is abysmal. The numbers don't lie.

Airliners today are very well evolved. Manufacturers brag about how different airplanes handle the same way. Putting one into service that has such unique handling characteristics is asking for trouble imho. I believe that the passenger carriers who parked it so early (way, way earlier than normal) were afraid of it. They claimed economics to justify their decision. MHO.

I once had a 32 year Line Check Captain tell me that it was the worst airplane he had ever flown, and he had probably flown10 different types. He said that the horizontal tail was too small (59% the size of a DC10 tail for an airplane 20 feet longer and 100,000 lbs heavier) and the LSAS (longitudinal stability augmentation system) compensated inadequately. This drove all the unique hand flying procedures.

Finally, just because you haven't flown it doesn't mean you can't have an opinion, or that your opinion is necessarily wrong. That's a false line of reasoning/debate that is used by those who won't or can't defend their arguments.
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 9375
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:53 pm

Melbourne wrote:
seabosdca wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


This is where I am too.

I admitted before and I'll admit again that I'm not qualified to comment on 747Whale's specific guidance on piloting the airplane. It may well be that an experienced and attentive pilot can mitigate whatever has led to the airplane's safety record.

But that record is different in a statistically significant way from other types operating similar missions in similar conditions, and no amount of protesting about how comparisons between types don't make sense will change that.

The 777 is the clearest comparison. There are as many 777Fs out there today as there have ever been cargo MD-11s, and several times that number of passenger 777s. They carry just as heavy a payload as the MD-11, over an even longer distance. Yet there has been only one 777 accident, ever (the Emirates 777-300A at DXB), that is sort of comparable to the common MD-11 accident pattern.

You won't find this category of accident to be common among the other closest analogues to the MD-11, the 747 and the A330, either.

If MD-11 pilots are comfortable with the aircraft, that's great; more power to them. It doesn't change the type's record.


Only one 777 accident? Did you forget about that little landing mishap that an Asiana 772 had at SFO? And the 772 in Cairo of Egypt air that caused a entire forward fuselage to be burnt out?

Read the rest of the sentence:

Yet there has been only one 777 accident, ever (the Emirates 777-300A at DXB), that is sort of comparable to the common MD-11 accident pattern.

He never claimed the 777 was only ever involved in one accident. A circuit breaker causing a cockpit fire has little relation to a hard landing.
 
kalvado
Posts: 1815
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:15 pm

It is actually quite frightening to see pilots who are so sure of their capability to always do things just right.
Everyone can have a bad day and make some mistake. That includes life critical jobs - doctor, police officer, driver - well, pilot.
That is why safety margins exist and are an actual part of cheese stack.
Yes, MD-11 may be just fine when handled correctly - but safety margin is apparently smaller, and hole in a cheese slice is bigger. Failure to realize that and willingness to push things to the limit is a clear path for disaster.
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 4699
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:32 pm

Some great responses in this thread.

One thing to remember is that straight statistics don't always paint a true picture of what is going on. You could say the Boeing 707 was a death trap because so many were lost in commercial service with many lives lost. Does that mean the aircraft was unsafe? No. Many accidents were attributable to inexperience on the type, and the differences in jet flying versus piston flying. You need to look at these things with a wider lens.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 20954
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:37 pm

crownvic wrote:
I say ban any further topics relating negatively, to the MD-11.

I say add 2019 to the thread title so we can roll all upcoming discussions into this thread.

They keep coming up and I doubt they will cease even when the last MD11 is WFU.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 1397
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:08 pm

Speaking of harder to control on landing aircraft, this Russian TU-22M3 had some problems in a low visibility landing. Cue to 1:10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... HMSSU_XyxU
 
User avatar
American 767
Posts: 4395
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 7:27 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:37 pm

I can't really say much about the MD-11, I have flown on it once in my whole life, 26 years ago when the airplane was new. That was a domestic flight with American from ORD to DFW. I don't recall any problems or bad landing on that flight. It is that, from a pilot's point of view, the MD-11 is tricky to land.

Some airlines were happy with their MD-11s. KLM was, they flew it for a long time. And look at Finnair, they flew it for a good 20 years and never had a problem with it as far as I know. I think that KLM and Finnair were among the customers that were the most satisfied with the passenger MD-11s. Now regarding MD-11Fs, Fed Ex seems to be happy with those despite one accident in Tokyo NRT ten years ago or so, I believe that it was due to a wind shear.

I'm surprised SAS never wanted it, because they were always loyal to Mc Donnell Douglas like KLM and Finnair were.
Ben Soriano
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 6357
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:45 pm

American 767 wrote:
I'm surprised SAS never wanted it, because they were always loyal to Mc Donnell Douglas like KLM and Finnair were.


SK, along with KA and UT had options for the MD-11 and were part of the launch customers list. All three later canceled their commitments.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Topic Author
Posts: 6468
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:45 pm

Melbourne wrote:
Only one 777 accident? Did you forget about that little landing mishap that an Asiana 772 had at SFO? And the 772 in Cairo of Egypt air that caused a entire forward fuselage to be burnt out?


One 777 accident that is comparable to the hard landing/bounce accidents that have been the main driver of the MD-11's safety record. Of course there have been a number of unrelated 777 accidents, given that there are something like 1300 777s in service.
Last edited by seabosdca on Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
highflier92660
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:16 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:02 pm

I've spoken with quite a few ex-MD-11 drivers who echo the same sentiments as 747Whale. A cargo MD-11 with high landing weights, flying down the glide slope hot and high and un-stabilized, is a receipt for an incident. Yes the horizontal stabilizer is too small. Under atypical landing scenarios where a pilot gets himself into a P.I.O. situation is where the aircraft will bite and reports of tail-scrapings occur. Like any other aircraft with supposedly quirky characteristics-- the Boeing 727 was once called dangerous because pilots weren't familiar with its sink rate at flight idle and turbine spool-up times-- if flown properly the MD-11 is a safe aircraft.
 
Myriad
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:28 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:50 pm

One thing about DC-10s/MD-11s that I always found curious is the number of accidents where the one wing separates from the aircraft (causing the aircraft to flip and often burn). This seems to be far more often occurrence than in other airplane types. Maybe it's just the higher landing speeds and tendency to bounce, but I can name at least 4 accidents where this happened (2 FedEx, Mandarin, UA232).
No evidence to back it up, but I wonder about the design/engineering choice with the wing spars.
 
SteelChair
Posts: 1069
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:37 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:02 pm

Myriad wrote:
One thing about DC-10s/MD-11s that I always found curious is the number of accidents where the one wing separates from the aircraft (causing the aircraft to flip and often burn). This seems to be far more often occurrence than in other airplane types. Maybe it's just the higher landing speeds and tendency to bounce, but I can name at least 4 accidents where this happened (2 FedEx, Mandarin, UA232).
No evidence to back it up, but I wonder about the design/engineering choice with the wing spars.


WRT the MD11, the rolling over on your back is the end of the same scenario. Unstable approach caused by too small stab and poor technique which results in hard landing, which beaks one of the MLG, which slams the wing into the ground which vreaks off one wing. The lift produced by rhe remaining wing rolls her over.
 
User avatar
jmw99ttu
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:18 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:31 pm

Didn't AA have a pretty significant incident on the MD11 back in the early 90s on a MAD-DFW flight? Does anyone recall the details on that one? I couldn't find anything on google.
 
Myriad
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:28 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:42 pm

SteelChair wrote:
WRT the MD11, the rolling over on your back is the end of the same scenario. Unstable approach caused by too small stab and poor technique which results in hard landing, which beaks one of the MLG, which slams the wing into the ground which vreaks off one wing. The lift produced by rhe remaining wing rolls her over.


I think it's the other way around - the MLG doesn't break off soon enough and causes the spar to break. On other aircraft, the gear and engines shear off first, the wings stay on, So a bad accident where the plane just slides along the ground becomes a catastrophic backflip.
 
User avatar
PM
Posts: 5071
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:46 pm

crownvic wrote:
I say ban any further topics relating negatively, to the MD-11. The only bad thing I can say about it, as a passenger, I cannot fly in one anymore. It was my favorite airplane to fly aboard. Case rested!

Between July 1992 and September 2002 I had thirty (30) MD-11 flights on Swissair / Swiss. Twenty-one in Economy and nine in Business. I flew it on SR's last day of operation and it was my first ever Swiss flight (both HB-IWA). I never had a bad experience. An iconic plane. Loved it.
 
estorilm
Posts: 667
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:59 pm

Melbourne wrote:
seabosdca wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
From a pure statistics point of view I'll agree with the red highlighting and therefore don't see how any amount of rationalizing the MD-11's quirks makes flying in that type as safe as other similar aircraft.


This is where I am too.

I admitted before and I'll admit again that I'm not qualified to comment on 747Whale's specific guidance on piloting the airplane. It may well be that an experienced and attentive pilot can mitigate whatever has led to the airplane's safety record.

But that record is different in a statistically significant way from other types operating similar missions in similar conditions, and no amount of protesting about how comparisons between types don't make sense will change that.

The 777 is the clearest comparison. There are as many 777Fs out there today as there have ever been cargo MD-11s, and several times that number of passenger 777s. They carry just as heavy a payload as the MD-11, over an even longer distance. Yet there has been only one 777 accident, ever (the Emirates 777-300A at DXB), that is sort of comparable to the common MD-11 accident pattern.

You won't find this category of accident to be common among the other closest analogues to the MD-11, the 747 and the A330, either.

If MD-11 pilots are comfortable with the aircraft, that's great; more power to them. It doesn't change the type's record.


Only one 777 accident? Did you forget about that little landing mishap that an Asiana 772 had at SFO? And the 772 in Cairo of Egypt air that caused a entire forward fuselage to be burnt out?

I'm not one to defend the 777 (good plane, but nothing too crazy these days) however the pilots blatantly ignored an autothrottle system which was functioning perfectly normal and exactly like every other 777 out there. WX was not an issue. Some incidents are pilot error, others are PILOT ERROR. They flew the thing straight into the ground.

An MD-11 will let you do that just fine as well, if you forget to use the engines! lol

As far as the thread goes. Anyone can blame anything on "pilot error" - in that if everyone was a perfect pilot, MANY many crashes would be avoided.

I think the core of this discussion is about just what elements are unique enough on the MD-11 to allow pilots of similar skill to have an unusually high incidence of accidents and crashes when operating the type, unlike other types.

I'm not saying there is an inherent design ISSUE so much as an inherent design DIFFERENCE that separates the MD-11 from other aircraft. With that being said, I generally don't like the design ideology and "shortcuts" MD took to make the plane competitive in the "era of twins" back in the day. The fact is that it makes it more challenging in certain regimes of flight. I don't need to be a captain to say this - nearly everyone I've talked to who is qualified to make these remarks has told me this.
 
DeltaMD95
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:37 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:46 pm

747Whale wrote:

Been there, done that. In an MD11, in Quito.


I know it’s only January, but this has to be an early front runner for post of the year! With respect to the field, I haven’t read something this informed or insightful on these threads in a LONNNG time.
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
747Whale
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:11 am

SteelChair wrote:

WRT the MD11, the rolling over on your back is the end of the same scenario. Unstable approach caused by too small stab and poor technique which results in hard landing, which beaks one of the MLG, which slams the wing into the ground which vreaks off one wing. The lift produced by rhe remaining wing rolls her over.


The stabilizer on the MD11 is not too small. It has adequate authority.

When you say the stabilizer is too small, is this based on your experience as a rated MD11 pilot, or on something you read? This seems to be the trend and the expert base here: people read things. Therefore, they know.

Except, they don't.

The MD11 has plenty of elevator.

An unstable approach is not the fault of the airplane. It's up to the pilot to conduct a stable approach, and if the pilot has failed to conduct a stable approach, to execute a go-around. It's for this reason that every airline in the world in every type of transport equipment used in airline service, requires by policy a stabilized approach; this is universal. The pilot will conduct a stabilized approach meeting specific criteria, and it must be stabilized by 1,000-1,500' above field elevation, or the flight cannot be continued. This is not the fault of an aircraft, but of the pilot, pure and simple.

Where on earth did you come up with the wild idea that if a wing "breaks off," the other wing produces lift and rolls the airplane over?

Does crashing an airplane have a potential to break it? Yes.

The MD11 doe not simply roll over and break up. Pilots who failed to operate the aircraft correctly, exercising basic airmanship and the tenets fo the type training and rating that they are accorded, put an airplane into a regime for which it was not designed. This is true of being a soda pop pull tab too far, slamming an airplane into the ground and then forcing it into pilot-induced oscillations (PIO), or running one's car into a brick wall.

Myriad wrote:
One thing about DC-10s/MD-11s that I always found curious is the number of accidents where the one wing separates from the aircraft (causing the aircraft to flip and often burn). This seems to be far more often occurrence than in other airplane types. Maybe it's just the higher landing speeds and tendency to bounce, but I can name at least 4 accidents where this happened (2 FedEx, Mandarin, UA232).
No evidence to back it up, but I wonder about the design/engineering choice with the wing spars.


You need to educate yourself a bit on those mishaps. UAL 232 wasn't a high landing speed with a tendency to bounce; it was an unprecedented singular event which had not occured prior or since, and involved an aircraft with no remaining flight controls, damage, and an impossible situation, in which there was no ability to control the aircraft with any aerodynamic flying surface; only by differential engine thrust. The hope by Captain Haynes and crew was to time the lag in climb turn vs. descending turn as power was applied and retarded, to hopefully strike as level as possible. They retarded power close to the ground, and the aircraft, which had no available control, departed controlled flight, descending and turning.

UAL232 was not an MD11. Moreover, the MD11 incorporates features to prevent a recurrence of that flight, even if the same damage were to be done.It's one of many improvements over the DC-10; invoking mishaps involving the DC10 are not relevant to the MD11.
 
User avatar
Veigar
Posts: 421
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:09 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:19 am

Plane flown properly = good.

Plane flown improperly = not good.


There is your discussion my friends of the forum.
 
SteelChair
Posts: 1069
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:37 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:20 am

747Whale wrote:
SteelChair wrote:

WRT the MD11, the rolling over on your back is the end of the same scenario. Unstable approach caused by too small stab and poor technique which results in hard landing, which beaks one of the MLG, which slams the wing into the ground which vreaks off one wing. The lift produced by rhe remaining wing rolls her over.


The stabilizer on the MD11 is not too small. It has adequate authority.

When you say the stabilizer is too small, is this based on your experience as a rated MD11 pilot, or on something you read? This seems to be the trend and the expert base here: people read things. Therefore, they know.

Except, they don't.

The MD11 has plenty of elevator.

An unstable approach is not the fault of the airplane. It's up to the pilot to conduct a stable approach, and if the pilot has failed to conduct a stable approach, to execute a go-around. It's for this reason that every airline in the world in every type of transport equipment used in airline service, requires by policy a stabilized approach; this is universal. The pilot will conduct a stabilized approach meeting specific criteria, and it must be stabilized by 1,000-1,500' above field elevation, or the flight cannot be continued. This is not the fault of an aircraft, but of the pilot, pure and simple.

Where on earth did you come up with the wild idea that if a wing "breaks off," the other wing produces lift and rolls the airplane over?

Does crashing an airplane have a potential to break it? Yes.

The MD11 doe not simply roll over and break up. Pilots who failed to operate the aircraft correctly, exercising basic airmanship and the tenets fo the type training and rating that they are accorded, put an airplane into a regime for which it was not designed. This is true of being a soda pop pull tab too far, slamming an airplane into the ground and then forcing it into pilot-induced oscillations (PIO), or running one's car into a brick wall.


Ah, the old pilot is expert argument again.

One doesn't have to be an MD 11 pilot to know that one wing gone and one wing attached induces a tather large rolling moment.....

But, since you are obviously an expert, perhaps you could answer the following for us ground pounders:
If there is no issue, why so many similar accidents on the type? Are you putting all the blame on the pilots?
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Topic Author
Posts: 6468
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:27 am

747Whale wrote:
The MD11 doe not simply roll over and break up. Pilots who failed to operate the aircraft correctly, exercising basic airmanship and the tenets fo the type training and rating that they are accorded, put an airplane into a regime for which it was not designed. This is true of being a soda pop pull tab too far, slamming an airplane into the ground and then forcing it into pilot-induced oscillations (PIO), or running one's car into a brick wall.


That's fine as far as it goes, and plenty of pilots have flown plenty of other aircraft incorrectly (including my own 777 example where they tried to go around with the engines at idle), but it doesn't answer the fundamental question underlying this discussion: Why does this happen so much more often with the MD-11 than with any other type designed in the last forty years?

I don't think it's because incompetent pilots somehow gravitate toward the type. And I don't think it's because it's operated in places with questionable safety—if that were the problem, the 767 would have a far worse record than the MD-11.
 
User avatar
NWAROOSTER
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:29 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:59 am

One of the reasons the MD-11 failed to sell like they thought it would was that the aircraft did not meet the performance and range projections that McDonald Douglas promised.
Also, there are fuse plugs in the pylons that are supposed to break when the engine, power plant, hits the ground due to the failure of the landing area being deployed. The engine is supposed to breakaway and fly up and over the wing in this type of situation as the aircraft continues on. This is supposed to stop the fuel flow and minimize and damage to the wing. It does not mean the aircraft will fly again. :old:
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
ltbewr
Posts: 14179
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:22 am

I think some factors with landing crashes with the MD-11 may be pilot fatigue, overnight flights or early am arrival flights. Take a plane like the MD-11 with some tricky landing factors a heavy load and a slightly tired PF and you could have the makings of a crash landing more likely with this model.
 
User avatar
NWAROOSTER
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:29 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:35 am

ltbewr wrote:
I think some factors with landing crashes with the MD-11 may be pilot fatigue, overnight flights or early am arrival flights. Take a plane like the MD-11 with some tricky landing factors a heavy load and a slightly tired PF and you could have the makings of a crash landing more likely with this model.

This I will buy. Take a tricky aircraft landing in difficult conditions and the aircraft is going to land but it takes a pilot who really knows how to fly the aircraft to do it right. :old:
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
crownvic
Posts: 2437
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: MD-11 Safety Discussion

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:12 am

SteelChair wrote:
747Whale wrote:
SteelChair wrote:

WRT the MD11, the rolling over on your back is the end of the same scenario. Unstable approach caused by too small stab and poor technique which results in hard landing, which beaks one of the MLG, which slams the wing into the ground which vreaks off one wing. The lift produced by rhe remaining wing rolls her over.


The stabilizer on the MD11 is not too small. It has adequate authority.

When you say the stabilizer is too small, is this based on your experience as a rated MD11 pilot, or on something you read? This seems to be the trend and the expert base here: people read things. Therefore, they know.

Except, they don't.

The MD11 has plenty of elevator.

An unstable approach is not the fault of the airplane. It's up to the pilot to conduct a stable approach, and if the pilot has failed to conduct a stable approach, to execute a go-around. It's for this reason that every airline in the world in every type of transport equipment used in airline service, requires by policy a stabilized approach; this is universal. The pilot will conduct a stabilized approach meeting specific criteria, and it must be stabilized by 1,000-1,500' above field elevation, or the flight cannot be continued. This is not the fault of an aircraft, but of the pilot, pure and simple.

Where on earth did you come up with the wild idea that if a wing "breaks off," the other wing produces lift and rolls the airplane over?

Does crashing an airplane have a potential to break it? Yes.

The MD11 doe not simply roll over and break up. Pilots who failed to operate the aircraft correctly, exercising basic airmanship and the tenets fo the type training and rating that they are accorded, put an airplane into a regime for which it was not designed. This is true of being a soda pop pull tab too far, slamming an airplane into the ground and then forcing it into pilot-induced oscillations (PIO), or running one's car into a brick wall.


Ah, the old pilot is expert argument again.

One doesn't have to be an MD 11 pilot to know that one wing gone and one wing attached induces a tather large rolling moment.....

But, since you are obviously an expert, perhaps you could answer the following for us ground pounders:
If there is no issue, why so many similar accidents on the type? Are you putting all the blame on the pilots?


Give it a rest SteelChair. Maybe he IS an expert, unlike the 99% who participate on public forums that are not (even though they think they are). 747Whale offers some interesting and informative information vs. the "shoot from the hip" nonsense that so many spew out on these forums or do you prefer the discussions like, "What would North Central be flying today if they were still in business?"

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