Re: Fear of Flying

Date:         12 Dec 96 03:49:25 
From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
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In article <airliners.1996.2777@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Waleed M. Meleis) writes:
>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.

Assume a 15:1 glide ratio.  So at 37,000', mid-cruise, you'll get about
a hundred miles glide range.  Subtract some number, say, 20%, for maneuvering.
If there's a suitable airport within this range, you have a good shot.

I've had several friends goofing off after simulator training indicate that
they can generally get the airplane on the runway if the engines are cut
at the outer marker.  Just fly the numbers and watch the flap deployment

There was a very impressive video on CNN, recently, featuring an ANG F-16
which had a flame-out.  The pilot kept his nose down (thus maintaining
airspeed), and made a perfect landing.

And for big jets, there's always the Gimli Glider, the Air Canada 767
which ran out of fuel.  This one would would have been fine, were it not
for the obstructions on the runway.  In this one, the captain was flying
by the seat of his pants, since he didn't have best climb speeds.  It ended
up with some minor gear damage; all passengers and crew survived.

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation