View Full Version : Landing a MD-11 (the hard way is not funny...)

10th Mar 2002, 05:21
Take a look at this clip and try to make a reasonable assesment as of what happened to this Alitalia MD-11.. .. .<a href="http://www.nlc-campus.nl/md11.mpg" target="_blank">http://www.nlc-campus.nl/md11.mpg</a>

10th Mar 2002, 05:59
The FCOM is pretty specific - establish the crab early, as it adds so much drag that you may be surprised by the sink rate it causes. . .. .Also, below 50 feet the autothrottles go to idle, so the sink rate can really ramp up with no power to compensate. And we can't go manual throttles, can we?. .. .These new airplanes really fly themselves. My guess is a habitual (or company-procedural) over-reliance on autoland - which has to be turned off above 15 kts crosswind. So you learn to fly the plane in the worst possible conditions.. .. .I've had instructor pilots tell me there is no reason to maintain hand-flying skills in the MD-11. I'll send them this clip.

DX Wombat
10th Mar 2002, 06:24
Please could you forewarn people when there is a big file to download. For anyone else it is 4.62MB and takes around 20 mins. I also wasn't too charmed when, at 99% downloaded, it suddenly flashed up the message that access to the file was denied and promptly shut it down - any idea why? It has since taken forever to get the reply screen to appear. I'm off to run a virus check. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Mad]" src="mad.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" />

10th Mar 2002, 08:14
&gt;&gt;Please could you forewarn people when there is a big file to download. For anyone else it is 4.62MB and takes around 20 mins.. .. .Well, it ran fine and loaded almost instantly over a cable modem. I've had highspeed internet in hotel rooms in Asia lately, sometimes absolutely free. The airport in SIN has wireless if you have a card.. .. .I will admit that the concept of connecting a computer to the Internet is still a rather novel concept in many places in Europe. A local call often costs a euro a minute from a hotel room. You can expect a video clip to be a large file for a slow dialup connection but at least some "friend" didn't e-mail it to you and bomb your inbox...

big pistons forever
10th Mar 2002, 08:15
Took me about 10 min to load, with a plain old dial up connection. Before everyone wades in with pithy comments on how badly the PF did that day , ask your self this question. Would you be happy if video of your worst landing ever was broadcast around the world ,to be replayed again and again ?. .I have dented my fair share of runways over the years so I am not going to throw any stones from my ( very ) transparent house.

10th Mar 2002, 08:19
to DX Wombat. .. .Well sorry about that! It takes me less than 2 min to download and play the clip which by the way it's crystal clear with a great sound. I guess is my ADSL(220 kbps) connection and the 500 Mhz machine that helps. It appears that your server(internet provider) has limited acces to www !?

10th Mar 2002, 08:25
Took me less than four minutes to load and play. If someone ever taped every grauncher I've ever done, 'twould take longer than that. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" />

10th Mar 2002, 09:01
No problems at all. DLS here loads up to 756 kbit/sec, windows media player 7.1 jumps in and superfast machine plays a nice movie with a . .scary touchdown. Tires seem ok. What irritates me: he touches just on runway edge downwind side just avoiding right maingear in the green?

10th Mar 2002, 09:02
Asthis appears to be Kai Tak - setting up the crab early might have been tough. He almost missed the runway!

Carbon Life Form
10th Mar 2002, 09:16
Not casting any stones!. .. .Does anyone know a site/s that has more of these. .video clips?

10th Mar 2002, 11:28
Im always the first to admit that i'm not perfect. I mean, we all do the odd bad landing every now and then. I've certainly had more than my share... While this one is pretty shocking, I have seen, and been a passenger on aircraft that have done worse... I was on a Qantas Link Bae146 landing in Brisbane in August last year. I believe we touched down about 5 times. First was the R-main with a thud, causing all the lights to flicker, and overhead bins to open. The pilot overcorrected, and now (floating back in the air with nothing on the ground) he crunches the L-main down, with the R-main airborne again. Then, before the R-Main gets back on the ground, the nose gear bangs down, and there is an ear piercing crunching metal noise. R-Main touches down, about 2 feet from the side of the runway. It didnt bother me to much, but there were other passengers screaming, and the flight attendants looked a tad nervous... Probably didnt help the Captain and FO's egos, when as the passengers exited the aircraft, and walked towards the terminal, there were 2 drunk ones (not me) laughing and pointing up at the flight deck from outside at the front of the aircraft. The aircraft also sat on an awkward angle.... .Anyway... as embarrasing as it might be... everyone does them... Its like farting in public.. sometimes you cant help it!

Devils Advocate
10th Mar 2002, 12:49
If you look very carefully, the smoke from the tyres seems to drift pretty rapidly from left to right.. .. .Also, whilst the aircraft is rolling down the runway, you'll see that in to view come four yellow lights, behind the third of which there's a windsock.. .If you watch that windsock you'll note that it goes from hanging limp (at the moment of the aircraft touchdown) to horizontal 5 seconds later - though it's not clear if that's due to a gust of wind or as a result of the aircraft's wake.. .. .So, with the proviso that 'people in glass houses.....' et al, perhaps we can be generous and say that it looks like it might have been a quite gusty day - but that said, it's amazing to see just how much punishment the oleos can soak up if needs be. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

10th Mar 2002, 14:36
I do not see any real problem with this one, sure for the pax a little rough, however given its in to Hong Kong from either the NDB Rwy 13 or the 13 IGS approach with some X/W, not too bad.Also its on a Monday! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" />

10th Mar 2002, 15:40
Got this recently from another post. Those of you with a modem may take a while to download the files, but the size is mentioned before you start.. .. .<a href="http://www.aviationpics.de/mov/civ/civ.htm" target="_blank">www.aviationpics.de/mov/civ/civ.htm</a>. .. .ops forgot to add the address.. . . . <small>[ 10 March 2002, 14:31: Message edited by: All That Glitters ]</small>

10th Mar 2002, 16:43
Talking of memorable 'landings', can any 747 pilots explain this one to me, as a simple avionics man. Years ago I was flying Big Airways from Singapore to Perth, with an 03.00 arrival. Left side window seat, business class - previous life.. .. .Captain comes on the PA and tells us we'll be starting descent in two or three minutes - and it's such a beautiful night he can already see the lights of Perth. So far so good. Down we came and I began to see houses and streets. We got down to around 5 or 6,000 feet - and its about then I began to feel just a little uneasy. I was spending half my life on 747's and I knew this one was still motoring for the altitude and, more to the point, it felt seriously nose down. Nose down? Maybe my ears are screwed up I thought and looked at the nearest available attitude indicator - how the galley curtains were hanging. Sure enough, we are barrelling towards an airfield, now at 2,000 feet, at a helluva lick and with 7 to 10 degrees nose down - in a 747.. .. .Looking forward I could now see the perimeter fence coming up and realised then, without doubt, that something was definitely not right. I remember I stuffed my brief case even further under the seat and tightened my belt, waiting for the crunch. Then it came; nose wheel first. This bounced the nose back into the air, following which the main gears hit. Down came just about every ceiling panel in the compartment, and the screams from the back end were something to experience.. .. .We stopped, eventually, and taxied in. Perth, at that time, had old style air-stairs and you walked to the terminal. As I came down the stairs the couple in front of me were having a minor row. Turns out she wanted to go straight to the terminal. He, a US airline pilot, wanted to wait at the bottom of the stairs to meet the crew and find out where these "Limey bastards learnt to fly".. .. .Never did find the answer to that one but, years later, I'm still genuinely curious to know how a 747 could be set up so badly for an approach (stabilised? - never!) and still mange to hit the runway. Anyone?. . . . <small>[ 10 March 2002, 11:46: Message edited by: forget ]</small>

DX Wombat
10th Mar 2002, 18:16
Eastern European, sorry I sounded so ratty last night. I hadn't been able to sleep - my knee was causing problems and had decided to go somewhere cold to see if that would help. It is cold at the top of this house where the computer lurks. I had already downloaded part of it when it refused to send anymore so tried again only to get that "Access denied" message at 99% downloaded. Grrr. By this time my knee was in an even worse state and I was feeling frustrated to say the least. I get fed up with Freeserve from time to time but can't really afford anything better but there are times when the download is really very fast, last night just wasn't one of those occasions so please accept my apologies for being ratty. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Embarrassed]" src="redface.gif" />

10th Mar 2002, 19:00
Wombat. .. .If you want to solve the download problem try downloading Download Accelerator here <a href="http://www.speedbit.com" target="_blank">www.speedbit.com</a> it won't stop the download problem but it does allow it to resume from where it stopped and its freeee.

10th Mar 2002, 19:11
Frog's right, works a dream, got it months ago.. .. .The download here on broadband took about 10-12 secs. at most and autolaunched - never saw an indication of size - probably too quick. Broadband is worth it, if its around.. .. .For Kai Tak with such a crosswind from behind the building & sheds, that looked just about normal for somebody who only came in here once or twice a month. What I havn't yet figured out is - why do you think its Monday - Looks more like Thursday to me.. .. .Nice to see the old CX tail in the background.

10th Mar 2002, 21:41
Looks to me that the cockpit was nicely lined up with the centerline, but the main wheels can be rather far behind.. .. .And if it's an autoland, most likely the localiser antenna's at the nose.

10th Mar 2002, 22:42
Well, as for nose down approach on the B-747: Ya are way to fast...!. .. .They may have tried desperately to lose altitude, perhaps 40 knots to fast or so.. .(Just a guess). .. .On the classic ya are not supposed to use speed brakes and flaps at the same time, it sets up a vibration in the tail.. .Therefore the descent have to be planned a little more careful than in a new craft, say the B-767.. .. .(Having flown DC-8s with no speed brakes at all, descent planning was never a problem going on to the B-747. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> ). .. .In my 13 years on the classic I have certainly "botched" a few landings, but don't think I have ever hit nose wheel first. . .Meh think ya really have to plan for it <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

DX Wombat
11th Mar 2002, 02:25
Thank you Mainfrog and Gopher! It was 3+MB and took 7mins 30 secs to download on a common or garden variety telephone line. The predicted time was roughly the same as last nights but much faster in practice - as it can be from time to time hence some of my frustration. I'm off to try it out. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />

12th Mar 2002, 06:20
On the 747 @ Perth, sounds like a big 250+ tonne side-slip ? Is that structurally possible in a 747 (given the max landing, fuel etc etc are within limits)?. .. .wondering ?. .. .F4

TAT Probe
12th Mar 2002, 17:12
The MD11 has got a reputation as one of the biggest handfuls to fly, and it isn't totally undeserved. I've been Sim and Line instructing on it for the last few years, and I've witnessed some pretty hairy stuff, including some where I've been "handling" (?) it!. .. .I haven't managed to see the video of the Alitalia faux pas, but the guy who taught me to fly the MD11 was Alitalia's ex-chief pilot of the MD11 fleet, and he drummed in the necessity of setting up a crosswind landing well before touchdown, with the crab taken out (so the fuselage is aligned with the runway heading) and a wing down to counter the drift. The explanation was that a last minute de-crab will increase drag as the big rudder is deflected; the rudder, being so high, has a roll moment; and if the de-crab is done early enough the Autothrottle has time to add power and compensate for the rudder induced drag.. .. .Another MD11 expert that I spoke to advised using Flap 50 instead of 35 in a strong crosswind, because the roll freedom (due to the lower deck angle) was better, and wing-tip strikes less likely.. .. .I enjoy the MD11 because it is a constant challenge, but I really think that if an Airbus had as many nasty habits, then our US friends would be full of criticism!

13th Mar 2002, 01:55
thanks TAT Probe!:. .. .- Finally I understand the reasoning behind the x-wind technique on the MD11! (is that written anyhwere?) So far I have just been told: That is what MD teaches.... .. .- Do you happen to know the increased clearance due to F50 instead of F35 on the wingtips?. .What about the increased tendency to "float" (just my in-experience maybe?) in that configuration?. .. .Never thought the "stories" were true, but it really is not "easy" to fly.

TAT Probe
13th Mar 2002, 03:35
Hi Wonderbusdriver.. .. .The techniques that I outlined in my post were ones that I was given during my training on type, and I don't know if they are written anywhere. The were passed on to me through the filter of Line trainers, and I have found them to work, so have passed them on in turn. . .. .MD (Boeing) are somewhat coy about the vices of the MD11, but it is certainly an easy airplane to get a tailstrike on, and this is, I think, the reason behind the MD11 Alitalia video clip at HKG. . .. .Having now seen the clip, it seems to me that the airplane was not in a stabilised approach, but still hunting for the centreline. The crosswind, judging from the windsock, does not seem to be a factor. The sink rate seems high, but the problem with the MD11 is that, if you try to correct a sink rate with "UP" elevator, then at the very time the aircraft contacts the ground, the tail is going down, and the inertia keeps it going down until the tail hits. The high approach speed (almost 170 kts at MLW) also doesn't help.. .. .I always teach that, unless the sink rate is obviously too much for safety (warranting a go-around), the attitude should not be increased in an effort to avoid hitting the ground, rather let the aircraft land without an increasing pitch attitude. This will avoid the likelihood of a tail strike. They tell me that a tail strike costs a minimum of $14 million to put right! It is a strong airplane, (as Alitalia demonstrated), so it can land "positively".. .. .In fairness to Alitalia, I have seen a few landings like that, both from inside and outside the cockpit! A Canarsie approach at JFK has also got all the ingredients of an unstable approach if one is not careful.. .. .As the accident report into the FedEx MD11 at Newark says, an unstable flare in this airplane is trouble, so if in doubt, go around and try again!. .. .All these opinions are my own, so please follow your own company procedures.

15th Mar 2002, 08:54
To palgia. .I personally did not save the original but for those of you who haven't got a chance to see the clip try this link:. . web page (http://www.avpics.de/mov/civ/alitalia.rm ) . .It doesn't have the same quality as the original one (this is a Real Player file vs Windows Media-original). .. .For all the MD drivers who expressed an opinion here thank you! Hopefully by bringing more often this kind of clips on the forums we can share some experiences and who knows…maybe save some lives too.. .. .Fly high and keep you feet dry

Ignition Override
16th Mar 2002, 11:06
Trying to see the pictures on that website, I only received some weird computer (DOS?) script, which combines medieval Russian (Greek), WW2 Enigma code and some Vietnamese dialect.. .. .By the way, a heavy DC-9 (50) always needs a few more knots than the book dictates (i.e. Vref+5) when 'attempting to land', but when very light (ferry flight) with an increasing headwind over a river bank, they don't want to sink below 20 feet! You must NOW smoothly push forward like in a 2-engine turboprop! Strange.. .. ."Steam-gauge" by choice, and not ashamed.. . . . <small>[ 16 March 2002, 06:08: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]</small>

16th Mar 2002, 13:29
Forget:. .. .a possible non avionics-related problem could be a horizontal stabilizer jammed in full nose-down position. That's the first thing that comes to my mind, at least. . .I can imagine that it was a very memorable landing indeed!. .. .Cheers

16th Mar 2002, 14:55
744PNF, Thanks for the suggestion - but I would have thought that a jammed stab was an emergency situation such that passengers would have been told something. And the emergency services at Perth would have been in evidence. No, I'm sure this was a perfectly serviceable aircraft. So far as I'm concerned it was an unrecorded CFIT. Just so happens that the Terrain in question was a strip of concrete known as Perth Airport. Lucky eh!

22nd Mar 2002, 00:04
Talking about stabilized approaches, check out this videoclip, from last year's Le Bourget air show. It's one of the A-340-600's demo flights (16-june-2001). Of course, being a demo flight, test pilots and all, "normal" rules don't apply. Spectacular flying and approach/landing nonetheless.

Here it is, in two sizes
1) 9.6 Mb:
2) 36.1 Mb (for those with really fast connections...):

Another interesting video clip shows another demo flight, from the same show (19-june-2001), with cockpit footage and dialogues:
1) 7.4 Mb:
2) 38.3 Mb:

22nd Mar 2002, 14:23
I'll admit I'm a Boeing fan - but....WOWEE- KAZOWEE! That's some flying! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />

23rd Mar 2002, 22:32
Couldn't open the clips with windows mediaplayer or realplayer. What program are you using to view the file?. .. .Cosmo

23rd Mar 2002, 22:56
The default player for the .mov format is the QuickTime Player - free download at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

23rd Mar 2002, 23:53
Thanks SK!. .. .Impressive footage, especially the clip including the flight-deck scenes. Worth the download.. .. .Regards,. .Cosmo

24th Mar 2002, 09:39
Same airport, night time, different plane & crew, professional landing, great clip.. .. . Warning playing this file might take you awhile if you are still using the old 56k or less modem! ! ! ! . .Have a look and enjoy...by clicking underneath. .<a href="http://www.bird.ch/nilsalegren/a340/Multimedia/videos/other/hr744hkapp25.mpg" target="_blank">web page</a>

25th Mar 2002, 21:42
WOW. The second link in SK's post, the A340-600 with cockpit view I noticed an interesting thing. . .. .During the low speed flyby the F/O starts a countdown from 10 on which to recover with full power. Upon the "NOW" call, the Captain says "I will just wait a few more seconds" to recover, at which point the F/O reaches over and rams the power to the stops.. .. .Great little bit of CRM to discuss!

26th Mar 2002, 23:04
Maybe the FO in question, had previous to this flight seen the quite known A320 "eat some tree" video.. .. .seupp

26th Mar 2002, 23:26
Actully, it looks like the F/O waits for the call full power and merely follows through to assures max PLA.

28th Mar 2002, 01:24
I thought the best bit was when they're coming in to land and the skipper querries "where's the field, merde!". <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> made me laugh..... .. .Cosmo