View Full Version : Alaska Air pilots honored for aborting Sitka takeoff
22nd Aug 2011, 19:35
See the link here (http://www.adn.com/2011/08/22/2026076/alaska-air-pilots-honored-for.html)
Capt. Steve Cleary of Federal Way, Wash., and First Officer Michael Hendrix of Seattle received the Superior Airmanship Award last week from the Air Line Pilots Association International.
Cleary and Hendrix on Aug. 8, 2010, began a takeoff in a Boeing 737 with full load of 134 passengers and five crewmembers. The jet had taxied to about 150 mph when the eagle smashed into the left engine, which exploded and burst into flames.
The crew stopped the jet near the end of the runway.
The article does not state which version 737 or the TOW but wouldn't 150 mph be pretty close to V1? Looking at the speed in knots, perhaps it's not so close. Is this quite a feat or hyperbole? If indeed below V1, shouldn't the PF be able to stop the plane before the end of the runway anyway without too much drama? IIRC, Sitka's runway is about 6500' and the nearby terrain is mountainous.
22nd Aug 2011, 19:40
The speed is entirely possible- I remember Flap1, Improved climb V1s of 170+ knots in a 737-300 out of Darwin.
Impressive feat worthy of an award? Well, sounds like they did the right thing under the circumstances. And I'm not going to begrudge ANY Pilot some kudos for that!!
sounds like they did the right thing under the circumstances. And I'm not going to begrudge ANY Pilot some kudos for that!!
Might work as an antidote to the current management attitude to pilots as process followers rather than independent decision makers...
23rd Aug 2011, 01:42
The article does not state which version 737 or the TOW...
hmmm... from the article linked:
Cleary and Hendrix were at the controls of Boeing 737-400, a twin-engine jet, for Alaska Airlines Flight 68 from Sitka to Seattle.
The plane was full, carrying 134 passengers, five crewmembers, and a full cargo hold. The 132,000 pounds on board, combined with the short runway, meant that the pilots needed to use special takeoff procedures.
As they accelerated down the runway, Cleary saw an eagle in the jet's path. As the jet reached 150 mph, the eagle smashed into the left engine, which exploded and burst into flames.
A job well done, methinks.
23rd Aug 2011, 02:02
Don't know how I missed that.
23rd Aug 2011, 02:19
I remember Flap1, Improved climb V1s of 170+ knots in a 737-300 out of Darwin.
That is frightening speeds for Flap one. Are you sure the speed you recalled is correct? It is hard to imagine needing improved climb at the max structural or Flap One second segment climb in the 737-300. Flap One gives you plenty of climb performance exceeding certification limit. Seems that the problem would be brakes max energy limits at V1 of 170 knots.
23rd Aug 2011, 02:24
It's been quite some time since I flew 'The Guppy'.....Have no idea
about Sitka, the runway length, the surrounding terrain, etc.
Usually, we used improved climb on hot days...or situations where we
had a lot of runway, but were climb limited.
In this case, maybe due to terrain, they use high speeds....assuming
they have the runway to do so....to get better OEI climb performance
in mountainous terrain.
If that's the case, 150 KIAS is not an unusual V1....
23rd Aug 2011, 13:32
If that's the case, 150 KIAS is not an unusual V1....The article said 150 mph (130 knots), so well below V1--could be sloppy reporting.
From Boeing 737 V Speeds (http://www.b737.org.uk/vspeeds.htm#Take-Off_Speeds_) (don't know if data therein is "from the book"):
V1 for 737-400 at 70,000 kg TOW is 158 knots with the following assumptions:
All speeds assume balanced field, flap 5, pa<5000ft, OAT<35C, nil slope, nil wind, runway dry.
23rd Aug 2011, 14:07
6500' runway? Can the 737-400 use Flaps 15 for T.O.? That's our typical configuration for shorter runways with a decent load.
The article said 150 mph (130 knots), so well below V1--could be sloppy reporting
First of all I do not want to take away from the RTO.
The reporting is for the J. Q. Public and 150 mph sounds like a bigger number as well as an identififable number than 130 kts.
23rd Aug 2011, 16:46
Looks like the crew did a nice job.
Trying to find a picture of Captain Cleary.
If he's the guy I think he is, I served with him a couple of decades ago.
23rd Aug 2011, 16:57
Photo in the link (http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2010/aug/10/alaska-airlines-pilot-saw-eagle-coming-at-jet/). Is he the guy you served with?
23rd Aug 2011, 17:51
No, that's not the man I served with.
Thanks for the photo.
I guess the name isn't all that rare.
:ok: Good job, in any event.
23rd Aug 2011, 18:46
I am not familiar with Sitka, but as a 737 pilot I can say it is rather rare that we use flaps 15 for takeoff at my company when there is any sort of terrain nearby. Flaps 15 is great for getting the wheels off the runway quickly, but not as great for climbing out afterwards, especially if an engine decides to take a break at an inopportune time.
23rd Aug 2011, 21:40
Well, the article says they were taxiing at 150 mph so I don't see why they're getting an award :eek:
25th Aug 2011, 03:43
150 mph taxi, huh......must be a former Southwest guy.