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sonicruiser
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Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 5:42 am

I was watching an episode of Air Crash Investigation on the El Al crash into an Amsterdam apartment complex and couldn't understand one thing: they say that after regaining control, the plane continued to fly for 8 minutes before an unexplained second sharp turn to the right. Did they ever figure out the cause for the second turn? The make the claim that it was essentially doomed and that there was no safe way to land it. Was it was doomed before or after the second turn?

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x25g1vn
شما می توانید مردم را تحریم کنید ، اما نمی توانید سبک تحریم را اعمال کنید

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benjjk
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 6:12 am

The right wing was damaged, which froze the leading edge flaps (IIRC, I haven't watched the episode recently).

Because the flaps weren't working properly, the stalling speed of the right wing was higher than the stalling speed of the left. When the aircraft slowed for landing the right wing stalled, causing the sharp turn and dive to the right.

Theoretically, the crash might have been avoided if the pilots knew that the flaps could not extend. They would have had to maintain the speed at which they did have control, all the way to the ground, and hope that the runway was long enough to stop on (I doubt it). But the pilots did not know the extent of the damage. That is why they say it was doomed to crash - because as soon as they slowed down it would stall.

In a similar but of course different situation, look at QF32. The captain there took a very long approach, testing the aircraft after every configuration and speed change to see if it was still going to fly, ready to reverse whatever action he had just taken if things turned sour. I don't say this as an indictment of the El Al pilots, but as an example of how we can take lessons from previous accidents to avoid a bad outcome.
 
FatCat
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 7:01 am

Aeroplane flies high
Turns left, looks right
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 7:43 am

Section 2.4.3 Synthesis gives a good explanation to the problem the crew faced. The right wing just could not generate enough lift compared to the left one and due to control surface problems the resulting roll was not preventable.

Landing at 250kn+ is also not an option you ever think of as a pilot I guess, but that is not my field of expertise.
 
tu204
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:12 pm

Anyone here with 742 charts that can shed some light on how much runway they would have needed?

I had the same question as the TS about this crash. In particular: If the crew was aware that they had no slats on the right side and knew that their approach speed had to be over 250, is there any way they could have landed the aircraft?
I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 7:17 pm

Not only were the slats inop, but I believe there was quite some damage to the right wing, worsening lift characteristics even further. As mentioned, it was flyable at high speed, but they had no idea and were probably more concerned about the fire hazard than problems with lift. They could probaby have travelled quite some distance and planned a landing at some looong runway with a grass field ahead, but who knows? It’s a very sad accident with so many ”civilians” involved. I was planning on going to the Bijlmerramp memorial site last time I visited Amsterdam, but never got around to it. I’ll be sure to do it next time.

Would reverse thrust even be an option if landing with #3 and #4 inop? Can the rudder compensate for that much asymmetrical reverse? At high speed maybe, but not at low speed, right?

As for landing distance, 2 X speed means 4 X energy and 4 X stopping distance, if the breaks survive all that heat...

/Fredrik
 
acjbbj
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 8:16 pm

Could they have used right Rudder to keep it level during descent?
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 8:39 pm

acjbbj wrote:
Could they have used right Rudder to keep it level during descent?

No, not if the aircraft is moving too slow. A wing that stalls will generate no lift at all and will drop no matter how much rudder you use. In this particular case, ”too slow” means slower than the stall speed of the damaged wing.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 8:57 pm

I got this from a retired PAA and AR 747 check airman.

Sequence of events:

When they took off, it was evening, they got to some 7,000 feet, and had
retracted their flaps and were cleared high speed, they were at about (?) 270
KIAS.

Apparently they lost nº 3 ENG, (it) got torn OFF and when separating from
pylon, hit nº 4 engine which also fell OFF the pylon. Crew was not aware engines
fell OFF airplane, just were aware of both of engines FAILURE. If they had looked
at nº 3-4 ENG gages, they would have seen N1/N2 RPM at ZERO, and EGT at
ZERO (indicating no windmill = indicates engine(s) are MISSING) -

F/O was PF - CAPT called ENG FAILURE CK LIST. and called AMS DEP declaring
emergency and requested return to Schiphol. They did not pull FIRE HANDLE as
there was no fire. F/E said "I will dump fuel now". They got vectors and descent
clearance. They were not aware of damage on some of L/E flaps on RH wing.
They probably also thought that the windmilling EDP and ADP from operating
ENG would power HYDR Syst. 3 and 4... but BOTH were in fact INOP.

CAPT called for DESC/APPR CK, then F/E said "completed" and gave an approx
VREF + 20 (for a 2 ENG approach).

CAPT called for Flaps 1. By moving Flaps to 1, L/E flaps started extending on LH
WING, and 1 set of RH wing only (due to damage). Also, ONLY INBOARD T/E
flaps EXT to 1, outboard remained UP (HYDR Syst 4 is failed). Then he called
Flaps 5. F/E called "we have split flaps". All L/E flaps were now deployed on LHwing, only 1 or 2 on RH wing... Big Lateral control PROB...

Capt said I GOT THE PLANE to F/O who said OK.

F/E was doing more check-lists (2 GEN FAILED), and 2 ENG APPR briefing to
pilots.

Then Capt said "is HYDR working ok on 3 and 4...?" F/E said "negative".
Capt said EXT flaps ALTERNATE (ELEC).

The outboard flaps being UP (nº 4 Hydr failed) kept the OUTBOARD ailerons
INOP, lost all lateral control. Only 2 spoilers operated on each wing for lateral
control, and inboard flaps.

F/E started ALT FLAPS (ELEC) extension, but being very slow, outboard T/E flaps
could not be extended on time to permit outboard aileron to operate.
RH wing stalled. They crashed.

When we play this scenario in the simulator, all works well IF we do
ALTERNATE (ELEC) flaps FIRST. And WE SAY that HYDR nº 3 and 4 are INOP.


 
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OA940
Posts: 1986
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 9:18 pm

Everyone else has answered the question theoretically, but I have to add that ACI is a documentary series. They make things dramatic so they can make the show interesting (they manage to keep things pretty informative too at the same time, which is why I think it's been so successful). So ''doomed to crash'' may be a dramatic way to put it, but really they were screwed.
A350/CSeries = bae
 
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OA940
Posts: 1986
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 6:18 am

Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 9:18 pm

Everyone else has answered the question theoretically, but I have to add that ACI is a documentary series. They make things dramatic so they can make the show interesting (they manage to keep things pretty informative too at the same time, which is why I think it's been so successful). So ''doomed to crash'' may be a dramatic way to put it, but really they were screwed.
A350/CSeries = bae
 
747WanSui
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:06 pm

Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 9:40 pm

As soon as they reduced the aircraft’s speed, the aircraft was bound to become uncontrollable. The other alternative would have been a UA232-type landing.
Long live the Boeing 747!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 9:53 pm

As I posted, going with alternate flap extension first would have avoided the asymmetrical slat/flap configuration that resulted in uncontrollability
.

GF
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 9:57 pm

They didn't know that their engines were gone as in truly off the aircraft and by doing so the wing was damaged. Of course it is interesting to speculate what would have happend if they know the extend to the damage. Would anyone dare - a pilot perhaps - to guess if they would have a chance to make it?

Crashing on an airfield is always the preferred option, there is the equipment which gives you the greatest chance of survival.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Tue May 07, 2019 11:50 pm

I have read many books about this crash back in my flight trainig days, including some controversial ones about "men in white" appearing at night in hazmat suits to clear what is thought to have been uranium debris of either military origin or the ballast.

The pilots were not doomed initially, the right wing was damaged and the right side enignes were both gone, but the aircraft was able to maintain a semi-coordinated flight path of right loops.
They were fighting thrust and lift assymetry and trying to align with the runway.

Their fate was sealed when they lowered their flaps, which worsened the lift assymetry, causing the aircraft to depart the reduced flight envelope, enter a right spin and crash into the apartment buildings.
The author of one of the research books wondered why the ATCOs who were on break who should have had a clear view of the aircraft from the break room, did not try to see the aircraft using binoculars. They would have been able to forward vital information to the flight crew about the conditions of the aircraft.

I think though that it was a difficult call to make.
On one side, engines don't shear off and take part of the wing without making quite a fuss. The pilots should have been able to suspect major structural damage.
On the other hand, you have procedures and as pilots you are trained to stick to them.
Some make it out alive, some don't, the difference is sometimes in the detail, sometimes in the individual capacity, sometime it's a matter of (bad) luck.

The DHL/EAT crew in Baghdad had even less flight envelope control and also a damaged wing, so they had less to work with but made it, in a spectacular feat of flying.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 3135
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:33 am

Re: Why was El Al 1862 doomed to crash?

Thu May 09, 2019 6:35 am

Again another of my posts disappears? This user compares crashes that are not similar even slightly and brings up a conspiracy theory but I am the bad guy?

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