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Westwind lands without wheel in KSRQ Florida

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Westwind lands without wheel in KSRQ Florida

Old 29th Apr 2017, 15:23
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Westwind lands without wheel in KSRQ Florida

Tense moment plane lands without wheel - BBC News
https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=195086
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Old 29th Apr 2017, 18:13
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In the last moments the right wheel was smoking. Doubt there was much more they could do.
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Old 29th Apr 2017, 21:50
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Well, they did walk away from it.
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Old 29th Apr 2017, 23:28
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And from the video, it looks as though they will be able to use the aircraft again, with a few repairs to the right main gear. So a great landing by any standard.
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Old 29th Apr 2017, 23:36
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What about the left main gear?
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 01:43
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They didn't need it this time so why bother
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 01:49
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
In the last moments the right wheel was smoking. Doubt there was much more they could do.
Why was it locking, don't they have ABS.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 02:51
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ABS usually defaults to "off" when missing a sensor input from a wheel since it compares wheel speeds relative to each other.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 03:07
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
What about the left main gear?
The video shows they "buffed out" that damage during the landing. Nice shower of sparks.

I'd be interested to find out just where in the TO, retraction or flight sequence the wheel and tire departed the gear strut - the Westwind wheel fairs into the wing, but without a gear door for the actual wheel. And the wheel hangs down from the strut when stowed. In theory it could fall off at any time during the flight.

https://farm1.static.flickr.com/593/...ffaabfda_b.jpg
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 08:52
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Originally Posted by IcePaq View Post
ABS usually defaults to "off" when missing a sensor input from a wheel since it compares wheel speeds relative to each other.
Thanks for that, good answer.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 09:47
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Nice landing on centre line - but why not on RHS of runway to allow more 'swing' room?
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 11:08
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Nice landing on centre line - but why not on RHS of runway to allow more 'swing' room?
I absolutely concur. The left leg without the wheel was always going to slide relatively smoothly along the runway but would stop and dig in the instant it caught the soft ground adjacent to the runway. Land on extreme RH side would give you much more room and mean you wouldn't have to hammer the right wheelbrake quite so hard so keeping directional control for longer. Hindsight...

The landing did look very fast, but perhaps that was deceptive. I guess they would want to hold the left wheel off for as long as possible.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 18:48
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Westwinds are built like tanks. Consider that the MLG folds outward, which is where all the forces were when the left strut started going into the dirt, and it still didn't fold. It will fly again.

Pilot was a guy named Jeffrey Sack and he did great job. Here's his retelling of the event from another forum:

It was me. Tower in Belize originally told us we blew a tire. Then they said no, a peice of the engine cowling came off. Then they said we drop our tow bar from the baggage compartment. And then they said we lost our "extra wheel" from the baggage compartment. All this with broken english and difficulty even hearing normal transmissions down there. Take off was totally normal and all cockpit indications and engine numbers normal. Took off with 7000 lbs of fuel. I decided it best to keep going as I wasnt gone attempt landing with all that fuel.

By the time we got to Tampa approach, the handler in Belize had found the item. It was a full wheel and tire. It just came off!!!! We did a fly by of the tower who confirmed the left wheel was missing. At this point I still had 2000lbs of fuel. I headed out over the gulf and I had my copilot circle around to burn off fuel. I went back to get the passengers ready. I put them in the rear facing seats, and reiterate how to use the emergency exits (there are 2 plus the main door). I secured down all loose items and then went back to the cockpit to discuss the plan with my copilot. We tossed around a gear up landing, a water landing, landing with the gear down. Heck, I even thought of just jumping out!!! I decide best course of action was to land with the gear down. The brake calipers are fairly robust and I thought that the weight of the plane and momentum would skid the left caliper on the runway. We burned off all but reserve fuel which got our weight down to less than 15,000 lbs (max TO is 22850) and our Vref down to 115 kts (normally it more like 125-130) we discussed landing over the numbers from a long shallow approach at 5 knots below Vref and that we would both go on the right rudder, holding the left wing up as long as we could. I have 6000 hrs, mostly in light and medium jets, and this is the first time in a plane that I was scared. The westwind has Tiller nose wheel steering and we discussed that at 90 knots I would come off the yoke, and go on to the tiller while my copiot continued to hold the left wing up, all the while both of us on right rudder.

The first 90% of the landing actually felt pretty normal from inside the cockpit. It wasnt till we slowed down significantly that the the drag on the left gear increased and we started drifting to the left. All the while holding rught rudder and the tiller steering to the right some. We discussed using the TR's before hand, and I was initially going to but frankly we slowed so quickly in the first third of the runway (14 at SRQ is almost 10000'). At the point the left gear left the runway, it dug immediately into 2 feet of dirt and spun us to a stop. I cut the engines and hit the fire buttons and then shut down.

Nobody had a scratch. We had a while to decide what to do. But there is no manual for a missing wheel. Just as we touched down, I mumbled a prayer and thankfully, it turned out ok. The video is floating around youtube, fb and the news networks.

I had a fantastic copilot and in the end, it was keeping calm and just "flying the plane" that led to the outcome. I did have a chance to inspect the gear this morning with my mechanic. The axel is in perfect condition. The wheel just fell off. (It was serviced 2 months ago). If anyone has any comment on doing it different, id love to hear. We really did wrestle for an hour with the decision to land gear up vs gear down vs water landing. I hope non of you ever have to experience something like this. I realize it was an angel on board that looked over us. This could have gone very very badly, with the plane flipping and exploding (i usually wont land with less than 500Lbs per side but made an exception last night)

All in all, I am thankful for being here to write this up. My friend flew me in his baron to FLL today, I had to pick up an SII from the paint shop. When you fall off a horse, get right back on they say. Been lurking on this crash site for a long time. Never thought I be writing something like this.

Last edited by AdamFrisch; 30th Apr 2017 at 19:00.
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Old 1st May 2017, 01:07
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I'm not going to second guess this pilot... In the end they did a great job and everyone walked away safe and sound!
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Old 1st May 2017, 02:11
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Great job! Good for you and the passengers.
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Old 1st May 2017, 07:04
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Good job.


Much better idea than a 'water landing'
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