Re: hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 crashes

Date:         08 Dec 96 13:07:43 
From:         "john r." <>
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In article <airliners.1996.2611@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Tomas Stephanson
<> writes
>kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:
>>The plane apparently ran out of fuel and crashed into the Indian Ocean
>>2 km short of the runway at Grande Comore Island, part of the four
>>island Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros.  It broke into two
>>pieces, at least one of which was still afloat.

It all ended up on a coal reef, just off a tourist hotel, in shallow
water. Unfortunatly the center section was upside down.

>Can modern aircraft land on water? I saw a video clip on the news of the
>plane landing (it was not a pretty sight). In this case the wing tip struck
>the water causing the plane to instantly to break up.

I thought he nearly made it, being well into deceleration befor the left
wing seemed to break, the plane them broadsided and broke.
Story is that the pilot was under attack by at least one of the
hijackers so he didnt have much chance.

>  But if they had
>managed to plane out before striking the water would not the engines have
>struck the water first and then same result?

Engines may detatch under shock loading but I agree that ditching wing
mounted engine airliner is an unknown quantiy.

My outfit has a pre flight safetey film which says "in the unlikly event
of the aircraft landing on water", and so on. It shows a cartoon of a
747 floating on a mill pond. My wife said she didnt think that it would
be like that if we ditched and she is right, no one knows.
A DC9 ditched in the caribean a few years ago, running out of fuel, most

>And how much can you man over a modern aircraft when you have run out of
>fuel, Is there still power for flaps etc? Why I ask is that it looked like
>the plane landed without flaps and at quite a high speed.

I think he would have had marginal control as his hydraulics for flying
control actators come from the engines and an emergency ram air turbine,
which can be seen down in the film.
The flying manual requires a min of 220 kts on engine loss to maintain
hydraulic pressure by keeping the engines spinning, dont know about the
The film shows he had it right in pitch but shows no correction to roll
so maybe he could not.
Such a shame.