View Full Version : American MD-83 LGA wing tip contact May 5, 2011

16th May 2011, 06:24
From FAA:

Regis#: N966TW Make/Model: MD80 Description: MD-81/82/83/87/88
Date: 05/05/2011 Time: 2104

Event Type: Incident Highest Injury: None Mid Air: N Missing: N
Damage: Unknown

City: FLUSHING State: NY Country: US


INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0
# Crew: 2 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 98 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: 052104Z 31017G25KT 10SM SCT095 17/M04 A2988

Activity: Business Phase: Landing Operation: OTHER

FAA FSDO: FARMINGDALE, NY (EA11) Entry date: 05/06/2011"

From JACDEC - Current News (http://www.jacdec.de/news/news.htm)"

"Immediately before touchdown on runway 22 in strong winds, the pilots elected to abort the lading and to execute a go-around. Before the aircraft gained suffiicient heigt, its left wingtip contacted the runway surface resulting in minor damage. The pilots made a safe landing on runway 31 about 20 minutes later."

16th May 2011, 06:59
Why on Earth would you land on RWY22 in this wind if there is a runway that is completely into the wind?!:confused:
Does LGA have a preferential RWY policy or is RWY31 restricted in any way?

16th May 2011, 08:26
A flying burger?

It's not difficult to have a wing touch the ground in the Maddog. What is it, 6-7 degrees bank? Ailerons controlled by tabs, so gusty conditions can be fun.

16th May 2011, 19:58
Well, first off I don't think the TABS controlling the ailerons have anything to do with anything. The DC9/MD80 is a fine maneuverable plane, which also has roll spoilers which are hydraulic. I do hasten to add that if the other types, 737/a320 were there, they might have touched an engine.

I am going to guess that the captain was flying...or did I miss something in the report?

There is a human articulation problem in my view, something that isn't often considered...flying from the right, with the RIGHT hand on the yoke, the natural tendency would be to drop the right wing (just the heaviness of the right hand).

Flying from the left seat, the left hand might drop and you would get the left wing to drop...

The reported winds are within the crosswind capability of this type, so they had every right to try the landing. However, as we have seen in other wx related problems, sometimes the wx is WORSE than reported.

AS a practical matter, I would love to see HALF the crosswind capability be the limiting factor for ATC selection of runways.

Capn Bloggs
17th May 2011, 01:49
I don't think the TABS controlling the ailerons have anything to do with anything. The DC9/MD80 is a fine maneuverable plane
Ya joking! The 717 is a DOG in roll, a characteristic of the (servo) tab system (and the fact that the ailerons are not at the end of the wing). Simple and reliable but not very responsive.

I would love to see HALF the crosswind capability be the limiting factor for ATC selection of runways.
Agree with that.

17th May 2011, 02:04
I flew the 9 for 11 years and I thought it was just fine in roll and I flew it right to the crosswind limit on more than one occasion. either the wind was much worse than the first post indicated or the pilots were a bit sloppy.poppy

17th May 2011, 04:35
The DC9 may have been fine but the MD80 I flew for 4 years was very sluggish and unresponsive in roll.

17th May 2011, 13:35
fine, we disagree a bit on roll quality, but that is subjective...however the plane demonstrated x wind capability at the hands of at least one pilot.

so, it is my view that either the pilot wasn't ready or the plane encountered winds beyond its capability and those winds were not recorded or reported.

17th May 2011, 14:55
I have a couple thousand hours in both seats of MD80's and disagree much with the statement by stilton that his MD80's were sluggish and unresponsive to roll control inputs. Maybe a little sluggish, but positively not unresponsive.

Lots of DC9/MD80/717's flying millions of flights over the decades with I would submit the very rare Douglas Death Tube;) displaying scratched or bent wingtips caused by non-responsive roll.

Akali Dal
17th May 2011, 23:19
This must be an Al Qaeda disinformation to smear western pilots. Western pilots are such well trained that this can never happen.

18th May 2011, 00:18
so tacky. must be out of jealousy akali.

by the way, minimum flap , while possibly saving fuel, is largely due to decreased noise.

there is an offset to runway 22 for noise...but in the grand scheme of things, either you are ready to be a pilot or you are not.

its not the plane...they've been around a heckuva long time.

the airport is the way it is and hasn't changed in 30 years

either the pilot wasn't ready or the winds were stronger than advertised. sometimes you have to grit your teeth and get the thing in there.

18th May 2011, 00:31
I flew the MD80 to its crosswind limit many times with no problems. I don't know what happened but don't think it had anything to do with the airplane. I prefered Boeing but the MD80 was fine. I just didn't want to fly an Airbus.

18th May 2011, 03:14
Problem for me was, I came off the B727 which had the best control response and harmony of any narrowbody made.

The MD80 was a joke in comparison.

White Knight
19th May 2011, 19:16
I just didn't want to fly an Airbus.

American pussy:D:D:D I can assure you that the widebody 'Buses are good as gold in a blistering crosswind:ok:

19th May 2011, 19:55
white knight...when it comes to flying (or anything else for that matter) bubbers isn't a pussy.

however the airbus has always given me great joy, nothing funnier than watching someone try to land an airbus 320 series in a real strong crosswind...reminds me of buster keaton taking a prat fall.

19th May 2011, 20:22
American pussy I can assure you that the widebody 'Buses are good as gold in a blistering crosswind

I'm glad the Bus widebodies are good in such conditions. My experiences on the Bus narrowbodies at max xwinds did not fill me with confidence.

Ahhhh - back on a Boeing now.


19th May 2011, 23:51
Akali ...... You must be peeved at the self righteous western pilots that abound in pprune with their condescending and prickly ways ala sky gods. These are aberrations in aviation and they do all of us pilots no favors. So don't be one on the other end of the spectrum.

This incident shouldn't have happened but it did. So what do we do or where do we go from here? Big lessons to be learnt. Of course, some super aces are going to say the pilots are sloppy but remember sudden gusts of crosswind can be deadly and some people do get unlucky. Some will say they should have ask for another runway; well New York ATC are pretty pompous and anal with regards to requests for other runways. You can expect to be vectored to the back of the heap and end up with possible fuel issues.

I hope this incident add to the leverage on New York ATC to use runways more sensibly.

20th May 2011, 02:33
Not wanting to fly an Airbus has nothing to do with pilot ability or skill, it has to do with manufacturer confidence. I don't think a pussy would fly a 727 and 757 into Tegucigalpa, Honduras for 6 years, declared the most dangerous airport for airliners in the world in a recent study but would choose not to bid the A300 because he didn't trust the airplane because of numerous close calls, then the JFK crash. Sten was the scapegoat for that one for alleged rudder use, we will have to wait a bit for the AF447 results. I'm pretty sure what the results of that accident will be too.

By the way, about 2 yrs after I retired Taca put an Airbus off the runway at Tegucigalpa off the cliff with many casualties. I just trusted my Boeings. Automation is wonderful if you don't let your control over it be overridden by a computer. If you don't mind the computer taking over your command of the aircraft then I guess the Airbus is fine. My neighbor loves it and says all computers can fly better than any pilot. I hope he is right for his sake because soon he won't have the skills to help it if it breaks.

Rwy in Sight
20th May 2011, 17:59

Not wanting to derail the thread, but my last flight a couple of days ago with a female captain (very agonizing experience) got me thinking. Has there been a case in the recent past where SOP's were of little help and good aviation knowledge like airmanship saved the day?

Rwy in Sight

20th May 2011, 18:03
one that comes to mind is this one

Incident: British Airways B744 at Johannesburg on May 11th 2009, two thrust reversers indicated open, leading edge flaps retracted (http://avherald.com/h?article=4198598d&opt=0)

21st May 2011, 23:04
TACA's TGU crash had nothing to do with it being an Airbus. If you land far enough down any runway, in any aircraft, you will go off the far end of the runway.

22nd May 2011, 02:38
MA, I agree it probably wasn't airplane related but it reminded me of the Sao Paulo crash a few years ago. They couldn't manually deploy spoilers or the operative reverser because the computer overrode the pilots inputs and they went off the end of the runway too. One reverser was inop and one thrust reverser wasn't in idle detent. It didn't allow them to select speed brakes like Boeing does. We could always manually extend speed brakes, no matter what the computer wanted.

The TGU accident was pilot error, I agree. I only had one of 600 approaches that I couldn't overide the computer and that was a simple reverser problem that we were able to easily overide with a bit more braking. Taca almost closed the airport forever but some of us encouraged it to stay open because the alternate airport was an AFB a long ways away and very inconvenient.

22nd May 2011, 03:19
RIS, Yes every day, SOP's have hampered our safety for a long time for a real pilot. I am retired now so can admit sop's are ways to get mediocre pilots safe enough to not kill anybody. It doesn't work well if something out of the ordinary happens. But that is what the company wants.

22nd May 2011, 03:24
Ahh back in a Boeing, maybe..but the 757 was a handful in gusty crosswinds, stop to stop on the ailerons on more than one occasion..

22nd May 2011, 04:10
Agree, key to strong / gusty crosswinds in the 757 is to use F25.

Makes for a far easier handling Aircraft.

22nd May 2011, 04:10
I flew it for years and never hit the stops in lots of turbulence. Are you perhaps military?

22nd May 2011, 04:39
I know I won't get a response but I know what the answer would be. Nobody I have flown with has ever hit the stops of our 757 ever. It is such an easy and great airplane to fly. It was my favorite. I totally trusted it because it had so much performance and it would never bite you. It would do anything you asked of it and more.

22nd May 2011, 16:13
Bubbers, get your facts straight. The TGU accident had nothing to do with it being an A320, but due to pilot error and wrong decision making. Same with the A320 accident in Congonhas. Try stopping an aircraft with full climb power on one engine... be it a Boeing, Airbus, MD, Fokker, or whatever... result would've been the same.

Also, I thought this was about the AA md80 at LGA, and not an A vs B thread?

22nd May 2011, 19:27
I've never hit the stops either B44 but did you fly the 727 ?

Now that was a good handling Aircraft, as is the 767.

The 757, not so much.

22nd May 2011, 21:08
Ahh, PPruNe - only here could a McDonnell-Douglas incident lead to an Airbus-Boeing debate....:D

(The 757) would do anything you asked of it and more.

Except stop on a snowy runway in KJAC, it would seem.


(I know, I know: we're still waiting on that one. I like the 75 myself, but if KJAC had a drop-off like TEGU....)

22nd May 2011, 21:27
Has there been a case in the recent past where SOP's were of little help and good aviation knowledge like airmanship saved the day?

The obvious answer is that thousands of flights occur every day where good aviation knowledge and airmanship save the day - you just don't read about many of them, for very good reason!

22nd May 2011, 23:02
Stilton, yes I flew the 727 into TGU in Honduras and loved it. It didn't climb worth a damn but it was fast and you had an extra pilot to do all the hard stuff like preflights and ATIS.

I think I have already stated the Sao Paulo and Honduras accidents were pilot error in their Airbuses. It is just that Boeing gives you more manual control if the computer disagrees with you. Not fully retarding a throttle will allow you to use spoilers manually. Airbus won't. I think this thread on crosswind landings applies to all planes, not just MD. The pilots would have probably got the wingtips no matter what they were flying given the same circumstances. The MD80 wasn't any harder to land than any other aircraft in a crosswind. I remember one approach when I was flying an MD80 as FO landing at LAS with a 30 knot direct crosswind from the right putting the nose over the taxiway light so when I kicked it out we could touch down on the centerline. Retract the wingtip landing lights before touchdown if you think it will be close.

I think xwind landing results are 90% pilot technique. I have seen the full spectrum. Poor technique can result in unnecessary damage. Overcontrolling usually is the problem in a bad xwind landing.

23rd May 2011, 14:11
Ironbutt57: Ahh back in a Boeing, maybe..but the 757 was a handful in gusty crosswinds, stop to stop on the ailerons on more than one occasion..
Agree with Stilton, flaps 25 for me it was on most landings in the wind. Flew the 757 more than 10,000 hours with numerous landings in TGU and even more at SJO, never ONCE hit the stops with the ailerons. Sounds like maybe you once flew the mighty B52. Those B52 guys could fly an ILS in absolutely calm air and hamfist the ailerons and elevator all the way to landing.:O

23rd May 2011, 14:37
Funny you should mention Buff,

Funny you singled out the Buff, B52 pilots as the worst for PIO's. Sounds like you flew with the same MIA FO I did. He got so wild goinging into SJO with a quartering tailwind one day even the tower commented on it.

23rd May 2011, 16:32
IIRC QF managed to turn a 744 into a golf buggy at BKK a few years back because of (primarily) a breakdown in CRM resulting in 3 idle engines and one left at TOGA.. when they bite my friend, it doesn't matter if their teeth are cut in Toulouse or Seattle.
Qantas Flight 1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qantas_Flight_1)

28th May 2011, 21:55
Flew the 727, 757 and 767 and now on MD 80 - agree on 727 easy and precise to control - I remember it, as you could almost fly it down to the flare and still you could control it and work with the aircraft all the way to touchdown - 757 .... fab fab - lots of power and superb looks but could be a handfull in max X-wind - 767 loved it - now on the MD, best aircraft I have ever flown when it comes to handflying - simple and sturdy - my THING is you just have to feel it, when it comes to roll - compensate before and not after - its to slow when it comes to roll - Twin 2040

29th May 2011, 20:33
Like bubbers, I've flown both the 727 and 757 into TGu with over 210 landings as both PIC and as check airman.

It can get very sporty there in May when dry gusty winds blow from the northeast.

Twice I can recall hitting the aileron stops on the 757 below 40 feet.

Sporty. Loved every minute of it!


29th May 2011, 22:19
BFD, had a 30 knot and gusting wind out of the NE one day and told a guy that was a checkairman and wanted to get qualified for TGU the updraft going up the slope on short final was going to be like an elevator shaft of vertical air so told him we would probably get a 20 knot increase trying to stay in the groove to our touchdown zone. We got the 20 knot increase at about 100 ft and reduced power as much as we could and still be spooled up, went to idle crossing the fence and still touched down at ref +10. Since our ground speed was not high we didn't need much runway to stop but he never came back. I loved the place because it reminded me of my first crop dusting job. It also was like my first airline job that didn't have a lot of sop's.
You just get the job done safely.

29th May 2011, 23:05
Limited TGU experience.... it's interesting flying. You're authorized to turn off the EGPWS because it goes off numerous times and is a general nuisance vs. an aid. It's look outside, fly the airplane, don't get too low(you're already below 100' a long way from the runway), while listening to the FO's inputs on sink rate/airspeed. And gusty winds can require an early power reduction....but you're already in ground effect when you're about a mile from the runway. :eek:

Interesting stuff. :D

29th May 2011, 23:40
I had been flying in MEX DFW MD flights
Excelent high temp's high alt's (7340') 30 cels dg.Old airplanes.Mount area.
Good to sleep during Take off. (smoke humor) Nice, be unstressed

Old Capt's..... from where? America? I think not,(MD????)

Sorry I feel scarred......

Best regards