night landings

From:         Robert Dorsett <>
Date:         04 Dec 92 22:30:38 PST
References:   1
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Yet another comment on Legend & Legacy, from last month.


From: (PROF D. Rogers (EAS FAC))
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.misc
Subject: night landings
Keywords: night, landings
Message-ID: <2341@usna.NAVY.MIL>
Date: 1 Nov 92 02:10:45 GMT

Here is another quote without permission from `Legend and Legacy'
The Story of Boeing and Its People.
Now that winter has come and most of us will be flying more
at night it's something to consider.
Between late 1965 and early 1966 there were 4 fatal 727 crashes.
The common denominator in each crash was excessive rate of
descent at night. Two aircraft were flown into the water, a
third hit high terrain near the airport over an unlighted
sloping terrain.
"Boeing engineers built a make-believe city on a table top place
in front of a cockpit simulator, and put 12 experienced company
pilots through identical approaches to the miniature city's
airport.  All 12 were told they were making a routine approach
on a clear night to `Nighterton Field,' well-lighted and just
south of the city, locate on a three-degree slope. Bisecting
Nighterton was a river. The city lights were bright, but there
were no lights between the beginning of the approach path and
the runway---a typical approach over water or unlighted sloping
Noe of the pilots had altimeters for reference.  They were told
to concentrate on flying the best approach path possible,
reporting their estimated altitude every two miles starting at
a point 18 miles from the airport. Their only active
instruments were an airspeed indicator and a vertical velocity
Eleven of the 12 crashed while making the approach. The closest
any of these 11 got to the runway before pranging into imaginary
ground was five miles. ....."
'Nuff said.
Dave Rogers