Re: Fear of Flying

Date:         12 Dec 96 03:49:24 
From: (Jeff Bowen)
Organization: InterLog Internet Services
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1996.2777@ohare.Chicago.COM>, (Waleed M. Meleis) wrote:
>Hi, I have a friend who is afraid of flying who asks the following question.
>If, for some reason, all the engines on a large plane (such as a 747) were
>to stop in the middle of a long flight across the US, what would happen?
>In particular, we would like to know:
>- How long could the plane glide along?
>- Would it be able to make it to the ground without crashing?
>- Would it, generally, be able to make it to an airport?
>Feel free to make any reasonable assumptions.  Thanks very much.

There's a great book I have which was written in part to help
flying phobics.  It's a paperback called _From Takeoff to
Landing: Everything you Wanted to Know About Airplanes But Had No
One to Ask_ written by Ed Sternstein (a veteran commercial pilot)
and Todd Gold (a journalist).  Published by Pocket Books.

There is a chapter on Basic Aerodynamics and it covers just the
scenario you asked about on p. 71.  "A car that loses its engines
(sic) might try to coast downhill.  A plane only has to lower its
nose.  If all the engines were to fail at once, the pilots would
point the plane downhill.  Enough lift would be generated to keep
the plane safely airborne until an engine is restarted.  At
35,000- feet even a jumbo jet can glide about 70 miles, simply by

It's a very interesting book based on the premise that the more
you know about airplanes and flight and all the redundant safety
mechanisms in aviation, the less you will have to fear.

Hope this helps.

-- Jeff

| Jeff Bowen | <> | Toronto, Canada |