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Pawel951
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A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sat May 30, 2020 11:21 pm

Hello, I am a newbie here, so I may say something st*pid – for which I apologize in advance.

I’ve been wondering if it's possible for a fighter jet to be a “backup” for a commercial airplane in emergencies. I do not mean an escort caused by entering wrong airspace, but rather an assistance. For example, would it be possible for a military jet to check if the landing gear was lowered in a situation when the control unit had failed, and the belly of the airplane couldn’t be seen from the ground level due to bad weather?

The story here is that I’m a beginning filmmaker and I was asked to do a little research about movielike events that could have happened in real life, so I’d really appreciate your opinions. Thanks!
 
Pawel951
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 12:13 am

EDIT: Just to be 100% clear, I meant the landing gear control unit failure with the indicator lights not working.
Last edited by Pawel951 on Sun May 31, 2020 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
BravoOne
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 12:14 am

You have been watching To many Bollywood movies. Don't make things worse than they already are regarding aviation and movies or TV.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 1:22 am

Pawel951 wrote:
Hello, I am a newbie here, so I may say something st*pid – for which I apologize in advance.

I’ve been wondering if it's possible for a fighter jet to be a “backup” for a commercial airplane in emergencies. I do not mean an escort caused by entering wrong airspace, but rather an assistance. For example, would it be possible for a military jet to check if the landing gear was lowered in a situation when the control unit had failed, and the belly of the airplane couldn’t be seen from the ground level due to bad weather?

The story here is that I’m a beginning filmmaker and I was asked to do a little research about movielike events that could have happened in real life, so I’d really appreciate your opinions. Thanks!


If the visibility is so bad the landing gear can't be seen by the tower, I'd suggest an aircraft in distress should land at a different airport. ;)

To answer your question directly, it seems unlikely that a military jet could provide assistance. I can't recall any specific incidents where this has happened.

Action movie-like events like that are uncommon at best because they are so unrealistic. Commercial aviation is, by and large, rather staid. Hollywood aviation movies tend to be rather far fetched. One of the few exceptions is "Sully", but that incident was one in a billion.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 2:01 am

While unlikely, it's certainly a possibility if a fighter happened to be airborne in the vicinity of the airliner. Doubt any fighters would be scrambled to investigate.

Weird things do happen. I picked up a T-38 after heavy maintenance in San Antonio to fly back to Reese AFB, TX and lost all my pitot static instruments due to tube separations. It was a Sunday and the only other aircraft airborne in the vicinity was a T-39 with a General aboard. Since I had no airspeed indicator, I joined up on him and he led me down to the overrun for landing with the speed I gave him. He had to do it with his gear up, since my approach speed was higher than his gear down speed.

F-16s were actually scrambled to inspect Payne Stewart's Lear jet after nobody was responding and it's route was off flight plan. Pilots were passed out or dead due to decompression.

To say that a fighter has never ever joined on an airliner to inspect it for damage or gear problems might be a mistake, regardless if I or no others have heard of it.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 3:57 am

Not quite your scenario with the WX, but you could adapt.
There's no doubt that the F-18 communicated with the airliner regarding what he observed regarding the landing gear.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7961831/Air-Canada-jet-preparing-emergency-landing-Madrid-airport.html
 
VSMUT
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 7:24 am

Pawel951 wrote:
Hello, I am a newbie here, so I may say something st*pid – for which I apologize in advance.

I’ve been wondering if it's possible for a fighter jet to be a “backup” for a commercial airplane in emergencies. I do not mean an escort caused by entering wrong airspace, but rather an assistance. For example, would it be possible for a military jet to check if the landing gear was lowered in a situation when the control unit had failed, and the belly of the airplane couldn’t be seen from the ground level due to bad weather?


That is definitely possible.

Original article: https://check-in.dk/anden-gang-at-jet-t ... problemer/

Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate? ... oblemer%2F

The Air Force sent two F-16 fighters on the wings to perform a visual inspection of the Jet Time aircraft. This inspection revealed that the aircraft had lost parts of the tread on one wheel.


It goes on to mention that the Air Force also assisted with a pair of F-16s during a similar incident in 2008.

In 2011, a pair of Polish AF F-16s also visually inspected the LOT 767 that made a belly landing after the pilots failed to find a popped circuit breaker.


Pawel951 wrote:
EDIT: Just to be 100% clear, I meant the landing gear control unit failure with the indicator lights not working.


That's less likely. I can't speak for all aircraft types, but the one I fly has 2 indication systems that work independently of each other. Only one set needs to give a correct indication to verify that the gear is down. I would imagine that other types have similar backups. If you absolutely must go through with a technical issue, please take your time to research the details of the type you want to portray and make it realistic.
 
889091
Posts: 324
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 4:05 pm

RetiredWeasel wrote:

F-16s were actually scrambled to inspect Payne Stewart's Lear jet after nobody was responding and it's route was off flight plan. Pilots were passed out or dead due to decompression.



Helios as well.
http://www.b737.org.uk/helios.htm
 
Pawel951
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 10:01 pm

Thanks for your time, guys. I appreciate your advices and thoughts!
 
BravoOne
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Sun May 31, 2020 10:11 pm

Pawel951 wrote:
Thanks for your time, guys. I appreciate your advices and thoughts!



I'm sure you will find this one interesting :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWI3JZvvbI4
 
MO11
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:51 pm

BravoOne wrote:
Pawel951 wrote:
Thanks for your time, guys. I appreciate your advices and thoughts!



I'm sure you will find this one interesting :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWI3JZvvbI4


Of course you know that movie was the inspiration for the movie, "Airplane!"
 
BravoOne
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:00 pm

MO11 wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
Pawel951 wrote:
Thanks for your time, guys. I appreciate your advices and thoughts!



I'm sure you will find this one interesting :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWI3JZvvbI4


Of course you know that movie was the inspiration for the movie, "Airplane!"


Yes, but "inspiration" maybe, but pulling it off is a whole different story.
 
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rjsampson
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:39 am

There's a YouTube video using LiveATC in which an airliner with severe controlability issues in which it was escorted by scrambled F-16 fighters throughout its (ultimately successful) landing. It's late where I am, so I'll get to it tomorrow.
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
WYLTK
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:02 pm

While many replies may lead you to believe this is "unlikely," it's actually quite common.

Infact the very situation you described happened to AC837 in February.

Here you see POKER-81 inspecting the landing gear of said commercial 787-9 the pilot lives in my pueblo ;-)

Image

It's not terribly convenient news material so you don't hear about it often, but it happens.
 
Pawel951
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:09 am

Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:26 pm

WYLTK wrote:
It's not terribly convenient news material so you don't hear about it often, but it happens.


That's enough for us, the filmmakers :D Thanks for your input!
 
VSMUT
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:08 am

WYLTK wrote:
Here you see POKER-81 inspecting the landing gear of said commercial 787-9 the pilot lives in my pueblo ;-)


That's not a 787.
 
889091
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Re: A fighter providing support for a commercial aircraft?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:37 am

VSMUT wrote:
WYLTK wrote:
Here you see POKER-81 inspecting the landing gear of said commercial 787-9 the pilot lives in my pueblo ;-)


That's not a 787.


Probably this incident:

https://nationalpost.com/news/toronto-b ... -in-madrid

The markings on the F18 are a little difficult to make out but the vortex generators on that wing indicates that it is a 767 and I believe AC's fleet of 767 do not have winglets.

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