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Sat Aug 25, 2001 6:35 am

The Air Transat situation brings up an interesting and I'm sure recurring question....

Can an airliner with engines hanging off the front of a wing make a controlled water landing successfully(notice I didnt say safely because there is nothing safe about such a scenario, but still)? Is there an instance?

In the case of Air Transat's A330....or a 767 or 777....wouldnt the engines be an enormous detriment to bottoming out the aircraft on calm water? Would they act as huge scoops that would initiate a 'cartwheel' effect? Would they tear from the wings?

I think of the hijacked Ethiopian 767 in the Comoros Islands a few years back, but I think that's a little unfair of a sample as I seem to recall his port wingtip dug in due to lack of control...

It seems the dynamic forces at work with underslung engines would massively increase the chances of structural failure and a broken up fuselage, whereas a tail mounted airliner like a DC-9 or 727 might make a fan easier 'surfboard'.

That question asked, I'm fully aware that the ocean is not a desired landing spot for a jetliner! And ditching qualities aren't huge on the priority list for when new aircraft are designed!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

RE: Can

Sat Aug 25, 2001 8:35 am

Interesting point. I guess I'd rather ditch in an MD-88 or a F-100 than a Boeing. Really, I'd just rather not ditch.
II Cor. 4:17-18

RE: Can

Sat Aug 25, 2001 8:48 am

I was speaking to a guy who ferry flies 172 from the west coast to AU. He said that if you ever have to do an emergency landing in water in a fixed gear plane (kind of like engine hanging off) what you have to do is try and get a realy nose high attitude and the first thing to touch the water should be your tail, this will slow you down and decrease your chances of flipping.
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Can

Sun Aug 26, 2001 2:02 am

Although the certification basis of modern airliners include provisions for "ditching" in water, I've read somewhere that an airliner has not yet been "successfully" ditched yet.

I think the definition of "successful" probably includes no loss of life and/or limited break-up of the airframe. Anyone have information otherewise??
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2000 12:28 am

RE: Can

Sun Aug 26, 2001 2:46 am

The engines will simply rip of in case of a ditching. The mounting bolts will withstand certain forces, but if these forces are exceeded, the engine will separate from the wing. This is a design feature to prevent excess forces and damage to the wing, which will act as a floatation device for the aircraft. Its not comparable to a small fixed gear aircraft, where the gear will cause the aircraft to flip onto its back.

T prop
Posts: 979
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 4:33 pm

RE: Can

Sun Aug 26, 2001 4:55 am

Topic: RE: Lifewests - Do They Help?!

Username: T prop
Posted 07-31-01 11:13 and read 117 times.
This 707 appears to be relatively intact.

T prop.

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