View Full Version : I hate it when this happens! (chock thrown into engine)

Cyclic Hotline
2nd Jan 2003, 19:23
From todays FAA accident reports.
Happy New Year?

Regis#: 313FL Make/Model: B737 Description: 737-300
Date: 01/01/2003 Time: 1945

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

LOCATION City: DENVER State: CO Country: US




Buster the Bear
2nd Jan 2003, 19:27
Will he have to pay for a new wheel chock?

2nd Jan 2003, 20:13
Did he throw it in the tailpipe or in the inlet? It might make a difference.

Gin Slinger
2nd Jan 2003, 20:32
In case he has to look for a new career, I think he could do worse than consider something in the professional sporting arena if he did indeed manage to throw the damn thing hard enough to go upstream through the jetpipe ;)

3rd Jan 2003, 03:37
Have a look here for more info.

Cyclic Hotline
3rd Jan 2003, 04:35
After the alleged incident, a wheel chock, about two feet long, was removed from the engine during overnight repairs and the plane put back in service.

I've got a whole bunch of things for these guys to "repair" if they returned this engine to service! :eek:

3rd Jan 2003, 07:02
I must remember that next time I spot a duff nav light, it sure seems different to throwing the chock at the pilot:)

3rd Jan 2003, 08:09
Cyclic Hotline, did you just want to post something on the incident without thinking?

Where in the article does it say that the plane was returned to service with the damaged engine?

Application of a little common sense would tell me that the overnight change included an engine change especially as this incident happened just after noon on New Years day.

3rd Jan 2003, 08:25

Do check your dictionary for the meaning of "droll", "irony" and "lighten up" :)

I can imagine what the engine looked like. Be interesting to see how the chock fared.

3rd Jan 2003, 08:28
It was probably a plane chock with a hard centre :D :D

Stu Bigzorst
3rd Jan 2003, 08:52

Very, very good!

3rd Jan 2003, 13:48
Frontier mechanic charged with disabling jet
Thursday January 2, 8:44 pm ET
By Jeanie Stokes

DENVER, Jan 2 (Reuters) - A Frontier Airlines Inc. (NasdaqNM:FRNT - News) mechanic was charged in federal court in Denver on Thursday with sabotaging a Dallas-bound jet to prevent it from taking off because he thought the aircraft was not safe.

Corydon Van Dyke Cochran, 44, allegedly threw a rubber wheel chock into the running engine of a Boeing 737 after deciding that was the only way to prevent Frontier flight 136 from taking off on New Year's Day.

Cochran, who has been suspended by Frontier pending an investigation, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, prosecutors said.

According to an affidavit filed with the court by FBI Special Agent Nick Vanicelli, the incident occurred about 12:40 p.m. on New Year's Day as Frontier flight 136 was preparing to depart on a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth.

David Davidson, the pilot of the Boeing 737, was in the cockpit preparing to depart, when he saw Cochran, walk toward the aircraft and throw a wheel chock into the number one engine, which was running, the affidavit said.

Davidson shut down the aircraft, and it was towed back to the gate. A ramp supervisor told the FBI that he also saw Cochran throw the rubber block into the engine.

Cochran had seen a burned-out light on the wing of the jet and was concerned that an inspection that had been done in Tampa the previous day was "probably suspect," Vanicelli told the court.

"Cochran explained that he felt aircraft 313 was unsafe and should have a lightning strike inspection performed on it prior to departing," the affidavit said. "Cochran stated that as the aircraft was being pushed back from the gate, he decided that the only way to keep it from flying was to disable it."

A representative for Cochran, who was released on his own recognizance after the court appearance, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Said Frontier spokeswoman Elise Eberwein, There certainly were other options he probably could have taken to prevent the flight from departing," including notifying the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane had been inspected twice in Tampa on Tuesday night, flown uneventfully to Denver and had been checked out again there for possible damage, Eberwein said.

After the alleged incident, a wheel chock, about two feet long, was removed from the engine during overnight repairs and the plane put back in service.

The 130 passengers aboard the flight were sent on to Dallas on another airplane, Eberwein said.

Source: Yahoo (http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030102/airlines_frontier_1.html)

3rd Jan 2003, 18:17
From a company memo posted on Aero News (http://www.aero-news.net/news/commercial.cfm?ContentBlockID=7256) :

The purpose of this communication is not to speculate as to what happened or cause greater concern. Rather, when a situation like this occurs, the best recovery for us as a company is to be out in front of the issue with our customers. Our customers will likely see news coverage of this incident and may have questions for customer contact employees. Answering those questions as professionally as possible is key and those efforts are appreciated. The facts as we know them at this time are:

The aircraft sustained a lightening strike the night before (Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2002) inbound to Tampa.
The aircraft underwent two lightening strike inspections in Tampa, and was approved for flight and signed off.
Upon arrival in Denver, additional inspections were performed, and all of the mechanics involved in that inspection, with the exception of one, approved the aircraft for flight.
The pilot in command also approved the aircraft for flight.
The employee who claims to have had additional doubt about the aircraft inspection process did not utilize proper channels to voice those doubts or document those concerns. Instead, he apparently took very extreme steps that caused damage to the aircraft.

Safety is paramount to everything we do at Frontier, and there is no doubt among any of the other employees involved in this incident that the aircraft was in any way unsafe for flight...

(I think they mean the opposite - PT)

You may confirm that Frontier is working with the appropriate authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the incident, and those organizations will be releasing any pertinent information about the incident, as they deem appropriate.

3rd Jan 2003, 22:05
Dang, I just started the same thread in the basement, which is my first stop before coming here. Oh well.

I'm looking forward to how this all unfolds. I think we are getting the "for public consumption" version of events. Otherwise we are going to have to add mental health screenings to drug testing and security checks we have to go through.

4th Jan 2003, 00:02
Saw a message thread on Yahoo's stock board for Frontier, and maybe it sheds more light on what happened..


Lu Zuckerman
4th Jan 2003, 01:07
In the movie No highway in the sky Jimmy Stewart collapsed the gear on the Reindeer to prevent it from flying because he felt it was unsafe and would suffer a tail separation. I think this guy can use the Reindeer defense. He was obviously sticking with his convictions.


4th Jan 2003, 03:59
I'd like to think that if I were in a situation where I was convinced that there was a problem that I would stick to my guns and refuse to release the aircraft. I think his action was a bit extreme but I'd like to get his version. There's more to it, methinks

Plastic Bug
4th Jan 2003, 05:30
A guy with a license in his pocket throws a chock into a running engine because he believes the airplane is unsafe to fly as there is a NAV light out. A freaking NAV light!

Did it not occur to said licensed mechanic, that hurling the chock into the said running engine, could cause mass conflagration and serious injury and death to the passengers and crew aboard the aircraft he was purporting to defend?

Are we surrounded by morons?

I don't know the whole story, but I can guarantee that there are much safer ways to stop a departure than throwing a chock in the inlet. Jimmy Stewart be damned.

And that was a great movie, BTW, wasn't it Marlene Dietrich's last?


Dirty Mach
4th Jan 2003, 08:49
of course, one option this guy had rather than throwing the chock into the engine would have been not to have removed the chock from under the wheel...

4th Jan 2003, 13:22
Ref :- Plastic Bug, You seem to have missed the point!!!!,

" A guy with a license in his pocket throws a chock into a running engine because he believes the airplane is unsafe to fly as there is a NAV light out. A freaking NAV light!"

The Aircraft had supposidly suffered a lightning strike, A blown Nav Light could be only one of many problems, fried wiring in the wing which could cause shorts arcing ect remember youve got fuel pumps and fuel in the wing, The a/c generators could have been affected by the lightnig stike as could the a/c intruments and the affect might not be immediatly apparent but may fail at a later point or even give incorrect information, which could as you probably know cause lots of problems.

I think what the Engineer did was a bit extreme, and throwing a chock down an engine isnt the safest thing to do particually to ones self, but please dont say it was only a nav light that was u/s, lightning strikes can and do cause lots of damage and not all of it immidiatly apparent.

Edited for duplication

4th Jan 2003, 17:02

You've also got to think about the fact that FAA Mechanics Licences are mostly given away in boxes of Corn Flakes. So no wonder that the guy did this.

Plastic Bug
5th Jan 2003, 05:12
Hey there JAFCon!

Thanks for reminding me that there is FUEL in the wing. I forgot about that. Probably as a result of my getting my license out of a box of Corn Flakes, as PondLifeMan so eloquently pointed out.

The list of things you have pointed out that could possibly go wrong after a lightning strike while possible, are actually improbable. A burnt out NAV light is generally a burnt out NAV light.

In other words: If a frog had wings, he wouldn't slap his ass every time he jumped off a lily pad.

DirtyMach had the right idea. Just don't pull the chocks in the first place.


5th Jan 2003, 05:40
Hmm, corn flakes and mechanics licenses.

Have noticed some of the UK's "finest" LAME's now seem to want pilot pay...can they be this good...?:rolleyes: :eek:

According to the story, it would appear that the aeroplane had already been inspected.
Think this guy is ready for the rubber room.

5th Jan 2003, 13:10
Maybe it wasn't inspected. Maybe it was just signed off.

As I mentioned earlier, it will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. Who knows, maybe he thought he was the next John Liotine like at Alaska Airways, the man who found the jack screw worn and told the FAA, to what end?

5th Jan 2003, 16:05
Sounds like a maintenance shack pissing contest taken to the extreme.TC

Plastic Bug
6th Jan 2003, 04:27
411A: yeah, we're that good that we deserve to be paid accordingly. You don't leave the ground without our approval.

Sure, there are some schmucks floating around, but that shouldn't diminish the majority of the good guys.

AA717driver, this may seem like a line shack argument, but it affects everybody. Do you trust the guy who hands you the airplane or not?

If not, why not? If not, why do you fly anyway?


6th Jan 2003, 12:13
Reminds me of an incident in the UK not many years ago.
Having grounded two aircraft for an identical serious defect engineering offered to inspect a third aircraft. Operations refused to release the aircraft and it continued to fly and yes it was grounded when it came back. The captain was bullied into taking the aircraft. Maybe sometimes a chock is the only answer.

7th Jan 2003, 12:46
Whatever reasons this guy thought he had for preventing the aircraft from flying, I can not believe that throwing a chock down the intake was the best, or only option.

7th Jan 2003, 18:02
<<The aircraft underwent two lightening strike inspections in Tampa, and was approved for flight and signed off.
Upon arrival in Denver, additional inspections were performed, and all of the mechanics involved in that inspection, with the exception of one, approved the aircraft for flight.>>

I'd like some clarification here. It sounds like there was still more work to do in DEN. Was that a ferry flight from Tampa to DEN? Why additional inspections?

I agree with Dirty Mach: Wheel chocks work best on the wheels.

Cyclic Hotline
24th Jan 2003, 18:28
Block-Tossing Mechanic May Not Face Criminal Charges says the headline
here! (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/1929625/detail.html)

Onan the Clumsy
25th Jan 2003, 02:00
Didn't Jimmy Stewart do something like this in a film once?

An aircraft had crashed and he was the designer. He figured the tail had fallen off due to metal fatigue which wasn't really known about when he designed it. He was in the cockpit of another one telling them not to taxi out, but the flight crew said they were going anyway, so he reached over and sucked up the gear.

Apparently squat switches weren't known about back then either because he disabled the aircraft. Fortunately for him though, it had a happy ending because they discovered that the tail of the second one was about ready to fall off also.

25th Jan 2003, 17:24
As Lu says above the film was No Highway (based on the Nevil Schute book).

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1