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ozark1
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Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:11 pm

Hello. I wasn't sure where to ask these questions but decided on this part of the forum. I am not a pilot, but most likely a commercial airline pilot would be able to answer these, or anyone else with knowledge of historical accidents. The NTSB reports fascinate me and my questions are about 2 accidents. First the collision of the UA DC8 and the TWA Connie over NYC and the second being the crash of Southern Airways Flight 242.
1) The UA DC8 made a few mistakes and overflew a checkpoint. There is absolutely no comment on the fact that the cockpit crew had flown the plane in as an all-nighter from LAX to ORD. The flight attendants joined them there, and they departed. Why is there no mention of fatigue in this crash? Perhaps fatigue did not even become a factor until much much later, but I am curious that it was simply not listed as a cause.Everything that I have read states that they had flown in from LAX on the allnighter.
2) When Southern 242 initially started getting into trouble or even at a point afterward why did McKenzie (Captain) not take over from F/O Keele? It seemed like a complete role reversal, but i cannot find any mention of this in any report. Captain McKenzie told Keele TWICE to find an open field. Keele refused. So my mind went back to the midair collision between the Eastern Connie and the TWA 707 over Carmel N.Y. in 65. TWA had no problem reaching JFK, even with a large part of a wing missing. But Eastern was mortally wounded. Thanks to the skill and courage of Captain White and his crew, they were able to set it down in a field. Unfortunately a wing clipped a tree and smoke and fire ensued. However, in the end, there were only 2 fatalies, one being that of White, who had gone in and out of the cabin attempting to rescue people until he was overcome by smoke inhalation.
SO my question is this. Would it not have been a better decision to put it down in a field as opposed to a highway? Did they not see any fields? Why was copilot Keele so adamant about landing on a road?
If they had found a field, would the plane be with gear up or gear down?
Thank you so very much for any info you might have. Have a great day.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:34 pm

In those days, fatigue wasn’t considered a factor—you just flew the schedule. As late as the ‘80s, a reserve pilot was on call 24 hours a day. A few changes came from it—notify ATC of equipment failures, slow to holding speed 3 minutes prior to the fix.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Wed Jan 19, 2022 11:34 pm

For a forced landing the gear should be down, whilst for a ditching (water landing) the gear should be up.
 
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dennypayne
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:29 am

For a light GA aircraft, I think it’s much better to find an open field for an emergency landing versus a road. There are typically many more obstacles to hit on a road that you wouldn’t be able to see until it was too late - signposts, power lines, guardrails, vehicles, you name it. But the amount of fields large enough to accommodate an airliner would seem to be low enough in most areas that the calculation likely differs.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Sat Jan 22, 2022 4:34 am

dennypayne wrote:
For a light GA aircraft, I think it’s much better to find an open field for an emergency landing versus a road. There are typically many more obstacles to hit on a road that you wouldn’t be able to see until it was too late - signposts, power lines, guardrails, vehicles, you name it. But the amount of fields large enough to accommodate an airliner would seem to be low enough in most areas that the calculation likely differs.


Also, I suppose those signposts and power lines are less of a factor if you're coming in with an aircraft that weights 30-100 times more than your average light piston. Still a mess of course.
 
xl0hr
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Mon Mar 14, 2022 2:42 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
For a forced landing the gear should be down, whilst for a ditching (water landing) the gear should be up.


What about U6178? I think to remember that "Russian Sully" did not lower the gear on purpose when landing in a field after dual engine failure. Something like "let's it float on the crop better" they said imho. I would have thought the strength and shock absorption of the gear would be more important.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Mon Mar 14, 2022 3:43 pm

xl0hr wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
For a forced landing the gear should be down, whilst for a ditching (water landing) the gear should be up.


What about U6178? I think to remember that "Russian Sully" did not lower the gear on purpose when landing in a field after dual engine failure. Something like "let's it float on the crop better" they said imho. I would have thought the strength and shock absorption of the gear would be more important.


In case of doubt, I'd err on the side of manufacturer's recommendation. But the commander is the commander. :D
 
xl0hr
Posts: 64
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Mon Mar 14, 2022 4:57 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
xl0hr wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
For a forced landing the gear should be down, whilst for a ditching (water landing) the gear should be up.


What about U6178? I think to remember that "Russian Sully" did not lower the gear on purpose when landing in a field after dual engine failure. Something like "let's it float on the crop better" they said imho. I would have thought the strength and shock absorption of the gear would be more important.


In case of doubt, I'd err on the side of manufacturer's recommendation. But the commander is the commander. :D


Nicely put, thanks! :lol:
 
N1120A
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Tue Mar 15, 2022 4:16 am

dennypayne wrote:
For a light GA aircraft, I think it’s much better to find an open field for an emergency landing versus a road. There are typically many more obstacles to hit on a road that you wouldn’t be able to see until it was too late - signposts, power lines, guardrails, vehicles, you name it. But the amount of fields large enough to accommodate an airliner would seem to be low enough in most areas that the calculation likely differs.


It really depends. Probably better to land on a road than row crops, but a nice grass plain is better than a lot of roads.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Sun Mar 20, 2022 9:39 pm

ozark1 wrote:
2) When Southern 242 initially started getting into trouble or even at a point afterward why did McKenzie (Captain) not take over from F/O Keele? It seemed like a complete role reversal, but i cannot find any mention of this in any report. Captain McKenzie told Keele TWICE to find an open field. Keele refused. So my mind went back to the midair collision between the Eastern Connie and the TWA 707 over Carmel N.Y. in 65. TWA had no problem reaching JFK, even with a large part of a wing missing. But Eastern was mortally wounded. Thanks to the skill and courage of Captain White and his crew, they were able to set it down in a field. Unfortunately a wing clipped a tree and smoke and fire ensued. However, in the end, there were only 2 fatalies, one being that of White, who had gone in and out of the cabin attempting to rescue people until he was overcome by smoke inhalation.
SO my question is this. Would it not have been a better decision to put it down in a field as opposed to a highway? Did they not see any fields? Why was copilot Keele so adamant about landing on a road?
If they had found a field, would the plane be with gear up or gear down?
Thank you so very much for any info you might have. Have a great day.


It's also worth nothing the topography of the area they were flying in (rural area west of Atlanta metro) isn't exactly flat, so a flat field would have been harder to find.
 
bluecrew
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Mon Mar 21, 2022 4:38 am

ozark1 wrote:
1) The UA DC8 made a few mistakes and overflew a checkpoint. There is absolutely no comment on the fact that the cockpit crew had flown the plane in as an all-nighter from LAX to ORD. The flight attendants joined them there, and they departed. Why is there no mention of fatigue in this crash? Perhaps fatigue did not even become a factor until much much later, but I am curious that it was simply not listed as a cause.Everything that I have read states that they had flown in from LAX on the allnighter.

These are easy mistakes to make when you're fatigued. Fatigue wasn't really a conversation until maybe the 1980s at the absolute earliest - the expectation in the industry was super machismo based "fly the schedule like a man," which incented flying long duty days, sucking it up, not complaining, and giving in entirely to the mission-driven atmosphere. For the first real, serious discussion about fatigue and the culture, it would take AAL1420 going off the runway in LIT and killing a lot of people.
These days the philosophy is anything is wrong, not feeling safe, or not feeling like it's a good idea, we stop until it's resolved. Started in the industry feeling uncomfortable about fatigue, with management having a dim view of anyone who did, and currently if there's anything out of place, or it's been too long of a day, we don't go. This is an American perspective however - YOMMV elsewhere, and I've seen that part up close too.
 
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EightyFour
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Mon Mar 21, 2022 6:54 am

About Southern 242 I recently read Admiral Clouldbergs analysis and the claim is that there simply weren't any clear fields as it is a heavily forested area. I don't know how, or how much that area has changed since 1977 but looking at Google Maps now indeed does show large forests. Source: https://admiralcloudberg.medium.com/hig ... b1433281fe

And fatigue, from what I know the first accident where fatigue was cited as a primary factor was the DC8 cargo crash in Guantanamo Bay, that was as late as 1993. There was also an Aeroflot TU154 crash in 1985 which cited fatigue as a contributory factor, but there might other earlier accidents where fatigue was found to contribute. My point here is that fatigue was poorly understood in 1965 and just not taken into consideration.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Airline accident investigations SO 242, etc.

Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:05 pm

As for choosing a field I would have to say it's as always easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, as we say. They had just had a horrible experience that left them with cracked windshields and a double engine failure. Time did not slowdown and I must admit if I had seen the terrain as I came out of the clouds in Georgia I would have probably been looking for a highway too. Things were happening fast and they were tying to get an engine started and jets on rural terrain rarely do well. I guess you had to be there.
As for fatigue, true it wasn't very relevant until the 80s. Sadly the medical industry is still beck in the 50s as far as addressing fatigue. That's when CRM came into practice as well.
I would say that the 50s airline ops was just a carry over from WWII. There were plenty of ex bomber and fighter pilots that the airlines sucked up. So there's where the mentality was. I must say I heard a standards pilot say once he had a F/O that had just gotten behind as they taxied out. The Standards Capt. set the parking brake and said "take your time and when you're ready to go we will. The Co.usually never had a beef with that decision.

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