n471wn
Topic Author
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Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:44 am

In a very famous accident on 24 February 1989 a United Air 747-100 taking off from HNL had a door open and 9 passengers were sucked out. It was widely reported that most of their bodies were sucked through the #3 engine. I was recently speaking with a current UA Pilot who told me that United elected to not rebuild this particular engine but instead elected to take the engine out on a boat where they sunk it at the approximate spot where the accident occurred out of respect for the 9 lives lost. I do not believe this myth but he was very insistent that folks in United have long known this to be true. Can anyone either confirm or deny this story?
 
DualQual
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:56 am

So a current employee tells you, you don’t believe it, but will take the word of an anonymous internet poster?
There's no known cure for stupid
 
ubeema
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:48 am

Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:59 am

NTSB report does not corroborate that myth as described...
https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Acc ... R9202.aspx
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:09 am

ubeema wrote:
NTSB report does not corroborate that myth as described...
https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Acc ... R9202.aspx


I doubt it would.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:09 am

From the Washington Post via the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

"The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said later on Friday that "multiple small body fragments and pieces of clothing" were found in one of the right-side engines. Deputy Medical Examiner Mary Flynn said it was not known whether the fragments were from one or more bodies."

Probably hard to corroborate the story about UA taking the engine out to sea without a primary source, however.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
n471wn
Topic Author
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:19 am

DualQual wrote:
So a current employee tells you, you don’t believe it, but will take the word of an anonymous internet poster?


Not sure what your point is—-there is no anonymous internet poster. Read my note again.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:36 am

If the engine had even just one human body go into it, it would have destroyed it beyond economic recovery. Likely after the investigations it would have cleaned of human remains and been scrapped.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:51 am

n471wn wrote:
DualQual wrote:
So a current employee tells you, you don’t believe it, but will take the word of an anonymous internet poster?


Not sure what your point is—-there is no anonymous internet poster. Read my note again.


Wow.

What he is saying is that if you ask the question here and it is answered by a person on here, who is by definition an anonymous internet poster regardless of what he says about who he is and what he does, you are taking the word of an anonymous internet poster. Of course, if you're talking to a real person, some airline employees who have no connection to a particular event will nevertheless tell you something they heard after 5 drinks from someone else who heard it from someone else who heard it from someone else, but will swear up and down that they were there and witnessed it personally..

My roommate is the President of United, by the way, so I will ask him your question.

See what I mean? Anonymous Internet Poster.

(And just so we're clear, the President of United is not my roommate.)
Last edited by wjcandee on Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
n471wn
Topic Author
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:59 am

Ok now I see your point but I was that of course hoping for a reliable source
 
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Slug71
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:00 am

The biggest reason for me to question it, would be a major PR stunt missed by United for not making it public.
 
c933103
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:11 am

Slug71 wrote:
The biggest reason for me to question it, would be a major PR stunt missed by United for not making it public.

I don't think they would want to remind people about it, especially back then
Say NO to Hong Kong police's cooperation with criminal organizations like triad.
 
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September11
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:26 am

An engine? It has to be something else. Flowers, for example. Sending my condolences to relatives of those victims.
Airliners.net of the Future
 
rbavfan
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:36 am

n471wn wrote:
DualQual wrote:
So a current employee tells you, you don’t believe it, but will take the word of an anonymous internet poster?


Not sure what your point is—-there is no anonymous internet poster. Read my note again.


I think he was referring to one of us Airliners.net posters as an anonymous internet poster.
 
cvg2lga
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:56 am

n471wn wrote:
a current UA Pilot



There's your first grain of salt.
 
77H
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:20 am

I know someone a UA employee who was working in HNL when this occured. He has shared quite a few details with me that weren't all disclosed to the public. I can ask when I have a chance.

77H
 
n471wn
Topic Author
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:46 pm

77H wrote:
I know someone a UA employee who was working in HNL when this occured. He has shared quite a few details with me that weren't all disclosed to the public. I can ask when I have a chance.

77H


Thank you so much and this is just what I hoped for!
 
barney captain
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:12 pm

DualQual wrote:
So a current employee tells you, you don’t believe it, but will take the word of an anonymous internet poster?


Practically speaking, everyone on here is anonymous.

That is not synonymous with lacking credibility however, otherwise every thread on here would be worthless. Assuming that a current or former employee has the correct story, simply because they worked there, can be a stretch to say the least.

Grain of salt indeed.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:59 pm

Interesting how they find the door
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:54 pm

Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:28 pm

Slug71 wrote:
The biggest reason for me to question it, would be a major PR stunt missed by United for not making it public.


I would think reminding the public that several passengers got chewed up in the engines of one of your aircraft would be the last thing you would want to publicize.
 
144modeller
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:42 pm

If all nine pax were holding hands at the moment of ejection, I could imagine them all entering the engine together. However, surely the explosive decompression would have scattered them, and very few would have queued up to join the first victim. Also, following the initial intrusion, would the engine have been capable of sucking in eight more bodies?
Someone with technical knowledge might help?
 
Ionosphere
Posts: 215
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:23 pm

Eight of the bodies left the aircraft still in their seats. One passenger in the center section either didn't have his belt on or it was very lose and was sucked out of his seat.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:42 pm

As noted up-thread, if a passenger - with or without their seat - had impacted with the main fan of the #3 engine full-on ("sucked in"), the damage would have been beyond catastrophic - well beyond what QF32 encountered with their uncontained engine failure. No insult to the flight crew, but I do not think they could have saved the plane in such a situation. And considering the #3 engine was externally intact upon landing, it could not have suffered damage consistent with 100+ kilograms of material (a passenger and their seat) going through it.

Also, United would not ship the engine all the way out to the site of the accident to sink it because it would have been an expense they would not have wished to incur. It would have been buried in a landfill somewhere.

As to the Washington Post / South Florida Sun Sentinel report of human remains being found, I could believe that small parts of a person (a kilogram or two) could have possibly been ingested. Perhaps one of the passengers came apart as they exited the plane - the hole was pretty jagged and could have partially dismembered someone or they impacted with the wing leading edge or nacelle and part of them were severed and ingested.
Last edited by Stitch on Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:45 pm

Even in 1989 I doubt the EPA would allow this.
 
jayunited
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:50 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
Interesting how they find the door


The NTSB wanted to find that door and they needed to find the door I forget how long it took for them to find it but it was a huge clue as to what happened.
According to what I've been told before finding that door the entire ramp crew was order held out of service and the NTSB, and I believe even the FBI interviewed every member of the ramp crew and honed in on the loader operator because they thought and Boeing stated he was responsible because he did not properly secure (close) the door. Anyone who has ever loaded a 747 from the early models all the way to the 748i knows after the doors closes you have to wait and hold the switch so the primary locks engage. After the primary locks engage you engaged the secondary locks by stowing the handle that also closed the vents. According to what I've heard Boeing stated the ramp must have forced the handle into the locked position before they made sure the primary locks had engaged. The ramp crew and the guy on the loader insisted the door was properly closed locked and secured.

It wasn't until the found the door and and examined the locks that the NTSB and FBI realized that the HNL ramp crew was telling the truth. They found the door intact and both the primary and secondary locks were engaged this shifted the attention back to Boeing and cleared UA's HNL ramp crew.

As far as the engines are concerned all I've heard is some passengers were sucked into the engine what happened to the engines after the NTSB and the coroner examined them I don't know that story keeps changing depending on who you ask.
 
ubeema
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:07 pm

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xp ... story.html

The 1989 Sun Sentinel article mentioned upthread about possible human remains in one engine. Clearly it could not have been more than one body, possibly maybe a little body part. Also as already discussed all but one were ejected in their seat
 
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CarlosSi
Posts: 546
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:13 pm

I mean have you seen an engine after ingesting a person? You would think the engine would be a bit more... red, even if it was washed out by the intake air.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 3816
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:21 pm

n471wn wrote:
In a very famous accident on 24 February 1989 a United Air 747-100 taking off from HNL had a door open and 9 passengers were sucked out. It was widely reported that most of their bodies were sucked through the #3 engine. I was recently speaking with a current UA Pilot who told me that United elected to not rebuild this particular engine but instead elected to take the engine out on a boat where they sunk it at the approximate spot where the accident occurred out of respect for the 9 lives lost. I do not believe this myth but he was very insistent that folks in United have long known this to be true. Can anyone either confirm or deny this story?

Nobody would tear the engine down after the accident, the company wanted the engine overhauled but WE weren't going to do it in our shops and Nobody ELSE wanted it their shops, So it got canned and "Dumped" And? It was right and Fitting. Yes, the story is true. We even changed the registration Number on the Airplane too.
 
OB1504
Posts: 3640
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:36 pm

jayunited wrote:
The NTSB wanted to find that door and they needed to find the door I forget how long it took for them to find it but it was a huge clue as to what happened.
According to what I've been told before finding that door the entire ramp crew was order held out of service and the NTSB, and I believe even the FBI interviewed every member of the ramp crew and honed in on the loader operator because they thought and Boeing stated he was responsible because he did not properly secure (close) the door. Anyone who has ever loaded a 747 from the early models all the way to the 748i knows after the doors closes you have to wait and hold the switch so the primary locks engage. After the primary locks engage you engaged the secondary locks by stowing the handle that also closed the vents. According to what I've heard Boeing stated the ramp must have forced the handle into the locked position before they made sure the primary locks had engaged. The ramp crew and the guy on the loader insisted the door was properly closed locked and secured.

It wasn't until the found the door and and examined the locks that the NTSB and FBI realized that the HNL ramp crew was telling the truth. They found the door intact and both the primary and secondary locks were engaged this shifted the attention back to Boeing and cleared UA's HNL ramp crew.


Boeing blaming the operator for a fatal design flaw in their aircraft? Sounds familiar.
 
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September11
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:37 pm

jayunited wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
Interesting how they find the door


The NTSB wanted to find that door and they needed to find the door I forget how long it took for them to find it .


1 1/2 year later
Airliners.net of the Future
 
strfyr51
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:50 pm

I was the Terminal Maintenance foreman when N4713U 8013 Now 8424 N4724U took it first revenue trip.
My Instructions were to Babysit that airplane Until it's departure,, The flight attendants wanted me to cancel the departure, Including a flight attendant married to a System Maintenance Controller who repeatedly threw it in my face. She might have won had I NOT DISLIKED her so damn much!
So I stayed in the cabin right next to door 2L and there was a cold spot at door 2R that couldn't be ignored or explained, But? I had My orders?
And unless that airplane burned to the Ground on gate 84 at SFO?' That sucker was going FLYING! A nd it did.
It did have some weird problems until we retired the airplane, Mainly with the in flight entertainment system. But it flew, and flew WELL.
until all the -122's -123's, SP's,-222B's, DC10-30's and L1011-500's all got replaced By the 747-422's and 777-222ER's.
 
ubeema
Posts: 367
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:23 pm

September11 wrote:
jayunited wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
Interesting how they find the door


The NTSB wanted to find that door and they needed to find the door I forget how long it took for them to find it .


1 1/2 year later

Almost same time it took Air France and BEA to recover a piece of fan hub buried deep in Greenland snow. The part came off the uncontained engine failure on A380 flight AF066 in September 2017. It was recovered last week I believe. https://youtu.be/zPcSU0A1G9w
 
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mfranjic
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Re: Help Wanted: UAL Honolulu 747 Accident

Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:47 pm


strfyr51 wrote:
…We even changed the registration Number on the Airplane too.


The aircraft in question was United AirlinesImage.747-121; MSN.19875 / LN 89, reg. N4713U, with the cabin configuration F42 Y408, powered by four Image.JT9D-7A, twin-shaft, high-bypass, turbofan engines (fan diameter: 2.340,0 mm / 92,3 in; BPR: 5,0:1; engine architecture: 1F+3LPC–11HPC2HPT–4LPT), OPR: 23,4:1, rated at 205,29 kN / 20.933 kgf / 46.150 lbf ( 212,05 kN / 21.623 kgf / 47.670 lbf with water injection ), delivered on 03. Nov. 1970. The aircraft first flew on 20. Oct. 1970.

The image below is also the link to the article…

.Image

.Image
……
After the accident the aircraft’s registration was changed to N4724U.
……
Mario
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