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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

Old 27th Mar 2009, 10:11
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MD11 Go Round

The time frame in which this occurred is stunning.....

After the first touchdown they had 2 seconds in which to go around.

At 4 seconds after the first touchdown the nose is already coming back down.

At 7 seconds the second touchdown occurs and the whole tail section breaks off and rolls left, as well as the left gear.

At the 2 second point it was already all over.......
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 15:14
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I keep looking at the video and im sure that it seems that the initial contact is on a raised area before the threshold which seems to pitch down the nose which then causes the problem , might be me
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 17:03
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The runway has a displaced threshold, the initial contact looks to be on the tarmac in the undershoot. That's a level bit of runway.
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 19:52
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3REDS, jet engines don't spool up as fast as your cessna engine. The MD11 has a lot more speedbrakes than your Cessna thus more pitch change involved. The MD11 has a slight heavier weight than your Cessna thus more inertia to cope with. Already some big reasons for different handling techniques. Only MD11 pilots can say us what normal procedures are.
I agree on the fact that the initial nosewheel strike caused so much damage that the a/c was uncontrolable after that. Maybe even the a/c rolled left because of wing spar broken.
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 20:32
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No worries about 3reds. He's a 1st year F/O at Qatar Airways. Probably has all of 10 landings in a jet, yet he's pprune's resident expert.

Karma's a b!tch son.
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 21:21
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No way in hayell they are going to ground the MD-11 - it would put FedEx completely out of business - they have something like 130 M10s and M11s up and even a few D10s - it represents the bulk part of their long distance fleet. The airplane has known quirks - I was just reading about how a few seemingly trivial pilot inputs at FL350 put an M11 into a very unstable regime and nearly tore up the partially composite stabilizer. This is a matter of training and luck - these poor guys were probably just in the wrong place when the wrong gust caught them. Perhaps we will see new directives but they will NOT ground the MD-11 - nor should they.

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Old 27th Mar 2009, 21:37
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By the way, here's a severe crosswind landing by a 772ER at Narita, filmed the same day as the previously linked (p.4) MD-11 landing, and it doesn't fare any better getting down than the MD-11 did - it's just hard to land when the wind is coming from every direction at once.

YouTube - Crosswind Landing - by All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 777-200ER ?JA717A?

And for giggles, The A380 AirWhale on the same day

YouTube - [720p] Crosswind Landing - by Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800 ?9V-SKD?

Now compare the 747 - again same day - it seems its very pliable wing with heavy weights outboard gives it a big advantage in this situation, because asymmetrical lift does not instantly translate into a huge moment about the longitudinal axis

YouTube - Crosswind Landing - by Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 747-400 ?JA8076?


Last edited by deSitter; 27th Mar 2009 at 21:51.
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 21:52
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Having flown the L1011 for some years in a previous life, I can say it was a great aircraft and never let us down or was compromised in any landing situations I encountered. Sure, I had a few "firm" landings, but that's part of the deal.

But the MD11 seems to be a very different animal judging by the common nature of some of the recent accidents.

Clearly, I'm no expert on this particular type, but maybe it does require a higher skillset of handling capabilities than the so called "average" pilot can demonstrate, in situations such as the most recent accident at Narita.

If it's true, then that's a real problem, because the airplane should not be certificated if it's got some handling issues that require well above average or "test pilot" skills to recover it. Whether modifications need to be made to the aircraft and / or SOP's, that's for others more qualified to judge.

That aside, one can't escape the fact that the crew on the day had only seconds to recognize, initiate and recover the situation. Very, very difficult for them.

There but for the grace of God go you and I.


Last edited by Des Dimona; 27th Mar 2009 at 22:06.
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 22:33
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3REDS as everybody agrees here hasn't got a clue so disregard. He is obviously young and has figured everything out already. When he matures we may be interested in what he has to say.
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 23:19
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There's is a video where you can see one fire truck's foam spray just being blown away in the wind before it's able to make contact with the A/C. This particular fire truck might as well not been there. I hope fire services learned something from the experience regarding the effect of strong winds and in future not just position themselves according to their SOPs. I also hope they practice during appalling weather which is more conducive to accidents.

SMOC, how would we react to a firefighter armchair quarterbacking our flying? I suggest you apply similar courtesy. They may very well have been intentionally laying a foam blanket on an area of fuel away from the aircraft. Either way, they successfully protected the flight deck and gave the crew their best chance; had they survived the impact they wouldn't have been killed by the fire. You can't ask more than that.

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Old 27th Mar 2009, 23:27
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MD 11 Technique and Procedures

It would be interesting if there was commentary from the test and evaluation crews of the MD-11. PPruNe members offer a diversified background having to do with the operation of commercial aircraft.

Some purport in this thread to having been challenged while bringing the MD-11 to a safe completion of the flight with marginal weather.

There also seems to be a question, based upon the content of the thread so far, whether Narita provides exceptional weather challenges.

Most commercial aviators expect to operate in a broad spectrum of operational and equipment conditions. None expect their skills to be tested beyond the probability of successful resolution. Is it that Narita or the MD-11 provide that exception to skill expectations?

One hundred percent of the aviators certified by their respective regulatory authorities should have complete confidecne that the equipment they operate meets required safety criteria.

This accident, and the tragic loss or two of our peers, should have been avoidable or they would have never filed a clearance for the flight. What are the reasons which should have locked this flight out of the system?.

Jacksonville, Fl

Last edited by precept; 28th Mar 2009 at 00:28. Reason: typo
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Old 27th Mar 2009, 23:34
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new related book--

"The limits of Expertise. rethinking pilot error and the causes of accidents" by Dismukes, Bermen and loukopoulos (2007)

i got it from amazon.co.uk

covers 19 accidents including the FedEx Newark 97 event.

they certainly show how the MD-11 is a unique bird for landing.

sorry if this is deemed thread drift, but i would appreciate any one telling me about this book earlier.

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Old 27th Mar 2009, 23:45
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Wouldn't have thought that was thread drift Stator Vane.
Worth knowing and relevant

A very disturbing accident has just occurred....
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 00:03
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Maybe there needs to be some temporary restrictions on the MD11 in terms of crosswind limits, auto thrust operation, further crew education, until a more definitive conclusion can be reached ?
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 00:14
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Thanks for those vids deSitter, v.interesting

The 380 and 747 both do a pretty noticeable left re-align immediately after touchdown

Methinking a combination of a very heavy wind gradient (OK, you all call it shear, but gradient in the last 30 metres is what I always called it),
+ characteristics of MD very different to the 3 nicely controllable examples shown above.

The MD series won't I expect be grounded, but pretty sure they'll have some much more stringent cross-wind limitations applied (after-all, there are cross-winds and there are cross-winds, eh ?)
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 01:24
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Crosswind component

Somewhere I believe that I read that the estimated crosswind component at the time of this landing was 7kts? Please correct me if this is an error.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 01:29
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Maybe "If he matures" may be more appropriate?
Sorry, this is a reflection on the comment about 3 reds by bubbers44.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 03:15
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Joe Average here. I've flown into Narita quite a bit. It's not an exceptionally difficult place. I've been to CLK many times too, after having flown into and out of Kai Tak for years. Neither are special, not even the erstwhile 13 IGS at Kai Tak.

What of the MD-11? What makes a "pilot's airplane"? Is it a plane for men with above average skills who love to demonstrate same? No slight intended to those who like that sort of thing, and no slight intended to those who've identified it as a pilot's plane.

Mine's an honest question, written in response to a horrific accident and precept's post. I've never flown the MD-11, don't want to. But I have been witness to and read about the crashes.

I swear I'll never get in one now. Not as a passenger, nor as a pilot. Who needs that ****e? My reading is, many passengers and LAWYERS will come to a similar conclusion.

Still, I hear what you're saying about the plane never being grounded given it's the workhorse at Fed Ex. Big money talks.

Last edited by 4PW's; 28th Mar 2009 at 03:25. Reason: add a caveat
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 03:38
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4PW's -

Yes the important thing with the 13IGS was to keep the descent rate going around the corner.

But the wind could sometimes catch you out.

I've not operated out of Narita, but operated 767's into and out of Haneda for a few years.

The weather there can get particularly nasty, but at least at Haneda there are the parallel 34 runways plus 04/22.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 06:55
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Our DC-9s can not be compared to any widebody, and not even the 757 which I flew for a bit, years ago.

According to a website somewhere, the MD-11 has about 30% less horizontal stabilizer and was designed with an aft c.g.

Were these serious factors, if not in this Narita tragedy, then in the accident at EWR years ago?
Oh well...will remove myself quietly back to "SKSboards" or "Perfectunion", maybe to find cheap British .303 surplus .
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