Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Accidents and Close Calls
Reload this Page >

Super DC-3 (R4D) crash landing at Anchorage

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Super DC-3 (R4D) crash landing at Anchorage

Old 9th Dec 2021, 04:52
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Saigon SGN/VVTS
Posts: 6,076
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Super DC-3 (R4D) crash landing at Anchorage

The aircraft departed Anchorage International, had an engine failure and was returning, when something else happened that triggered a MAYDAY, followed by a wheels-up landing at Merrill Field.


Location of Merrill Field:


India Four Two is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 07:43
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sad, but repairable, guess the airport was closed for a little while.
Newforest2 is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 10:42
  #3 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 58
Posts: 10,722
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow, that was a near thing - just scraped onto the airport! Lucky folk...
treadigraph is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 14:13
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 14,418
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
I guess there are many worse aircraft to do wheels-up landings in than a DC-3/C-47/R4D.
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 14:45
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: On a survey line somewhere...
Age: 40
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That does look close. Good job to the crew. Looks like RH side wasn't (able to be?) feathered.... which would explain the inability to maintain altitude and mayday.....
sgs233a is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 15:54
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 220
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sgs233a View Post
Looks like RH side wasn't (able to be?) feathered.... which would explain the inability to maintain altitude and mayday.....
Linked video at 1:27 shows aircraft back on gear and appears to show the right propeller feathered.
EXDAC is online now  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 18:18
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Saigon SGN/VVTS
Posts: 6,076
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Wow, that was a near thing - just scraped onto the airport! Lucky folk...
The owner of the Super Cub (0:29) was lucky too!

Iíve just noticed damage on the right wing LE (1:29) so they must have hit something during the low approach.
India Four Two is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2021, 20:32
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: se england
Posts: 1,392
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Impressed at the R4D pilot on the radio who obviously aware of the proximity to other airports and thus low level aircraft finds the time not once to twice but declare their intentions so everyone knows what they are going to do. And it can't have been a nice view out in terms or will we wont we make it as they clip that snow bank just before landing

Salutary to reflect on what losing an engine meant back in piston prop days , and how tough the R4D is back on its wheels pretty soon afterwards (of course they do protrude below the wing when 'retracted' but none the less its impressive

And someone caught it all on video and they walked away !!.



pax britanica is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 00:32
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 25,640
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
The owner of the Super Cub (0:29) was lucky too!

Iíve just noticed damage on the right wing LE (1:29) so they must have hit something during the low approach.
I wonder if it was the trees as we got a shot of them just prior to the landing and they look awfully like being cropped off at the top
NutLoose is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 01:09
  #10 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 61
Posts: 5,317
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
That was impressive airmanship! I opine that extra skill was demonstrated in that I suspect it became necessary to reduce power on the running engine to maintain control. The plane looked pretty heavy, and from my DC-3T training, I'm aware that too much power on one engine makes control at Vmca difficult, so you have to reduce power on the remaining engine. So a good choice to aim for the runway you can make under control, with some power. The prop damage shows the left engine was developing power while the right was not. Great flying!
Pilot DAR is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 01:58
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 913
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Used to rent a 172 at Merrill. It is pretty close to the tall downtown buildings which would be on final for runway 7. It would be interesting to see his track over the ground and how high he got.

Losing an engine while heavy is bad news when departing east out of any of the three main Anchorage airports with that granite wall in clear view ahead.
punkalouver is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 09:16
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: near an airplane
Posts: 2,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I guess there are many worse aircraft to do wheels-up landings in than a DC-3/C-47/R4D.
Very true. I'm surprised at how well the gear doors handled that touchdown. I would have expected more damage to the metalwork there.
Jhieminga is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 10:04
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SE of there
Age: 42
Posts: 67
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EXDAC View Post
Linked video at 1:27 shows aircraft back on gear and appears to show the right propeller feathered.
But it was turning when it overflew that SuperCub
admikar is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 10:39
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: near an airplane
Posts: 2,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And it was turning when they touched down, see 0:49 in the video. Perhaps it was in the process of being feathered or it was very close to a feathered position but still turning at a slow rate. The left prop was under power when it hit the tarmac (tips bent forward) but the right prop shows a different type of damage.
Jhieminga is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 11:03
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Station 42
Age: 67
Posts: 984
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wonder if there was a feathering solenoid issue whereby the prop continually cycled between being feathered and unfeathered. If I remember correctly, the trick is to manually pull the button once the blades reach the feathered position. It's supposed to pop out by itself once oil pressure builds up in the feathering pump but the system's been known to fail.
It's been a long time since I worked on these aircraft so I could be wrong.
stevef is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 16:34
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: near an airplane
Posts: 2,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The crash of the PH-DDA back in the 90s was due to a stuck valve in the feathering pump IIRC. This one at least got close to the feathered position.
edit: https://aviation-safety.net/database...?id=19960925-0
paragraph 2.1.3 explains what happened there.

Last edited by Jhieminga; 10th Dec 2021 at 16:52.
Jhieminga is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2021, 21:20
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 586
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Arguably PH-DDA crashed because it was mishandled; the aircraft was flown too slowly and once below Vmca control was lost. The failure of the No 1 engine to remain feathered caused significant drag which in turn the crew were unable to reduce. Easier in an armchair, but far more survivable to ‘arrive’ in a semi-controlled fashion with the wings level than to lose control and stall/spin.

The cycling of the feathering system is well documented for the DC3; press the Feathering button, watch the prop feather, pull the button out if you see the prop start to unfeather! The consequences of not feathering the prop in a twin are enormous.
H Peacock is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2021, 08:16
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: LHBS
Posts: 281
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
Impressed at the R4D pilot on the radio who obviously aware of the proximity to other airports and thus low level aircraft finds the time not once to twice but declare their intentions so everyone knows what they are going to do..
Yes, me too! I think they "found" the time for this because they didn't let the unexpected events rapidly escalate out of their control, re-evaluated their options and revised their decisions in time, so they had the time - not much though - to try clearing the runway ahead of them with the radio warning. So I am even more impressed with their capability to stay ahead of the airplane, make a new plan, stick to that, communicate over the radio and execute it. It was an extremely close call.
rnzoli is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2021, 21:05
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 220
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rnzoli View Post
So I am even more impressed with their capability to stay ahead of the airplane, make a new plan, stick to that, communicate over the radio and execute it. It was an extremely close call.
I think the NTSB report, if there is one, will be interesting. Given the earlier comments on known DC-3 feather issues and how to overcome them, did this crew give up an option to maintain altitude, or even climb, because they didn't know how to handle a prop that would not stay feathered?

EXDAC is online now  
Old 12th Dec 2021, 06:25
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: On The Lake
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EXDAC View Post
I think the NTSB report, if there is one, will be interesting. Given the earlier comments on known DC-3 feather issues and how to overcome them, did this crew give up an option to maintain altitude, or even climb, because they didn't know how to handle a prop that would not stay feathered?
seriously? Arnít you a ****? Instead of praising the crew for saving their lives and an airframe you decide they have done something wrong. Yea when the motor quit they Ďgave up an option.í Perhaps they had their hands full with saving their lives.
Easy Peasy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.