Re: hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 crashes

Date:         08 Dec 96 13:07:44 
From:         "Leo Kok" <>
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You are correct...

having viewed the video a number of times the A/C went in without having flaps
deployed.  Engine noise on the tape suggests that at least one was still
running.  I also understand that the pilot was turning away from the island,
hence he could have had it in a bank and the wing tip clipped the water.
 Probably safe to say that he wasn't planing to go in that fast at that low
angle of attack and that roll angle.

Video shows the port engine separating quite cleanly.  Port wing drives deep.
Then it apparently catches on something ( perhaps the bottom, since it was
relatively shallow or coral reef).  Rear fuselage snaps and continues forward
causing the water spray that obscures the rest of the A/C. As aft section
carries forward items are being tossed out from the broken interface.  Forward
fuselage portion cranks to port, starboard wing pivots about and rises to about
90 degrees to water surface with top surface facing aft.

Full accident report should be available as more data is retrieved.

Sitting back and looking at it makes you wonder how anybody could survive

Some A/C do have alternate flap actuation mechnisms in case of engine or
hydraulic failure.  The key to ditching is to plan for the event to touch down
with flaps down and minimum fuel on board and GEAR UP.  Keep the engines out of
the water for as long as possible and alight on the rear fuselage in the
pressure dome area.

My own opinions expressed here

Leo J.J. Kok
Structures R&D Engineer,
de Havilland Inc.
Tel: (416)375-3363
FAX: (416)375-4537