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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

Old 22nd Mar 2009, 22:44
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CNN Reports FEDEX crash in Tokyo

The report was breaking news with no specifics.

Anyone have anything more?

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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 22:46
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A cargo plane has crash-landed and burst into flames near Tokyo, Japanese media report.
They say the accident happened at the main Narita international airport on Monday morning local time. There was no immediate information about any casualties on board the Federal Express Corp plane.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 22:47
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I can see the crash site out of my hotel room and there is footage on local TV. The aircraft appears to be totally destroyed.

Video footage shows the aircraft landing hard then bouncing. Next impact is on the nose wheel, bouncing again and then rolling left to land upside down off to the left of RW34L. There was an immediate fire.

EDIT : FedEx MD11

RJAA 222238Z 30019G32KT 9999 FEW030 12/M03 Q1002 WS R34R RMK 1CU030 A2959

Last edited by The Iceman; 22nd Mar 2009 at 23:02.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 22:51
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Just watching footage of the crash now. Looks like it was pear-shaped at the touchdown, high winds (21.5 m/s) reported in the area at the time.

The plane is inverted and burning off the runway.


A cargo aircraft crash landed due to strong winds at around 6:50 a.m. Monday morning at Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo, and burst into flames, Chiba prefectural police said.

Japan Times
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 22:56
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Kyodo News - Story
Claim it is a MD-11.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 22:59
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"The crashed plane, an MD-11, was FedEx Flight 80 from Guangzhou, China"

An MD-11 crashing "because of strong winds" and ending up inverted. Like at HKG?

And it's not the first time for FedEx:
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is to .... decide whether pilot error or an aircraft design or operations flaw led to the July 1997 crash in which a Federal Express MD-11 freighter ended up on its back and burning (Newark).

Last edited by Dysag; 22nd Mar 2009 at 23:25.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:07
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Fingers crossed for the crew
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:38
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ouch - very shocking footage...

for the uninformed (i.e. me) what can cause such a violent barel roll at landing ?! I'm surprised that there is so much lift at what should be landing speed...
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:39
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Hard to see initiqal touchdown, but it doesn't appear bad. Nose lowered quite violently then strong nosewheel bounce and pitch up and aeroplane became airborne again, rising about 30'. The second touchdown was very hard on the nose leg, and in the crash landing after the bounce, the left gear collapsed and massive fire broke out as left engine appears to have punctured fuel tanks and left wing broke outboard of engine, and video shows plane rolling over to left onto its back in major conflagration. It seems to be a repeating pattern with this type.

I wonder if the plane was very lightly loaded? It seems extraordinary behaviour, however there are reports of squall-type gusty winds at the time which could cause inadvertent return to the air before it was properly settled. The pitch down after the bounce was incredible. A heavily loaded MD11 would have collapsed the noseleg on the second touchdown.

A bounced landing must be recovered from first before allowing a big jet to settle back. Essential to get power on instantly and stop speed falling and hold attitude and stay airborne to collect your wits before deciding either go around or fly it back on. But the landing causes big speed loss and you are airborne too slow with the nose falling away from you into a fatal dive we see. Very unfortunate.

Last edited by Rainboe; 22nd Mar 2009 at 23:54.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:41
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Both pilots now confirmed dead.


Edit: Conflicting report now of one "rescued" person being transported to hospital.

Last edited by rotated; 23rd Mar 2009 at 00:32.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:42
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Too small stabilizer. Reduced from DC10 dimensions for fuel burn reasons.

The result have been seen more than once.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:43
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BBC link:

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Cargo plane crash lands in Japan
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:52
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It's always a good idea to check where the stab is before landing a MD. Running out of elevator in the flare can be a nasty surprise. Not saying this is what happened here, just a general comment.

The fire could be because the engine and/or the MLG strut punctured the wing.

It's just frightening to see how fast something like this can happen.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 23:54
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MD-11 yep seen this before

Mandarin Airlines at CLK (HKIA) 22 Aug 1999.
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Old 23rd Mar 2009, 00:00
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Interesting reading:

NTSB Accident Report Fedex 14 Newark
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Old 23rd Mar 2009, 00:11
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i landed here (rw 16R) last night at 6.45pm and here's the wind like for me.

base leg, 2800 ft : 210/58kt
finals 1000ft : 190/27 gust to 33
at minimums : xwind 12kt still gusting

had a very firm touchdown, we both dont care what pax say, even got one of MD aboard!

But i guess wind was stronger this morning. my heart goes to the Crew
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Old 23rd Mar 2009, 00:12
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Fedex lost an MD11 in a heavy landing at Newark in July 97. This is their third loss of a MD11.

It is interesting the alleged loss of elevator authority in the MD11. The DC10 had a massive tailplane, the MD11 seems smaller. A lot of elevator authority is needed in a bounce like this to stop the nose falling away as you are suddenly 20 kts slower than trim speed, and suddenly airborne again in a big surprise. The key to this is: were they trying to fly it down or hold it off? If trying to hold it off and the nose drops like that, then this plane has a fundamental elevator control design deficit. The flight recorder will be the key with elevator demand during the bounce. Bounce landing training seems to be lacking these days. Simulators should have a 'bounce' button where whatever your landing is like, it will throw you airborne again to sort it out. It could possibly have helped here.
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Old 23rd Mar 2009, 00:22
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With winds like this it always gets tricky in NRT. Just go for a run around the airport and you will notice that the winds come from every direction. There was also a winshear warning on the metar for 34R, the short runway.
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Old 23rd Mar 2009, 00:25
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Picture not related to this accident


Just to illustrate the typical stabilizer angle during approach.
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Old 23rd Mar 2009, 00:32
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That was quick!

OK maybe partly a point techman, but aren't you oversimplifying a bit?

How about the strength of the landing gear?
How about the (very) swept wing design?
How about the high approach speeds?
Pilot input? (can't say I haven't ever been tempted to push the nose down after a bouncy landing)
How serious was this wx really?

I find rainboe's post a bit smarter, that's all.
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