Re: UAL 747?

From: (Alan Browne)
Organization: Canadian Marconi Company
Date:         10 Jun 96 12:16:56 
References:   1 2
Followups:    1 2
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In article <airliners.1996.886@ohare.Chicago.COM>, kls@ohare.Chicago.COM
>>I watched the Fox show "why planes go down" monday night. They said that
>>the United 747 that lost a cargo door, some skin and several pasengers
>>over the Pacific a few years ago was repaired and returned to service
>>with United.
>>Is this true?
>Sure.  The damage was not all the severe, so why not?  Many planes
>with far more serious damage have been repaired and returned to
>service.  United did take the rather unusual sstep of re-registering
>it, from N4713U to N4724U.  I've seen it at SFO and if I hadn't known
>the registration, it wouldn't have been any different from any other
>UAL 747-122.

Last year I flew from Montreal to Vancouver on a Air Canada B-767.  For some
reason, I was discussing B-767's with the Flight Attendant, and with a
twinkle in his eye, he said "guess which 767 this is?".

Since at that moment we were somwhere over Manitoba, it occured to me that
the 767 was the one that had flamed out over Manitoba due to total fuel
exhaustion (not enough fuel was on board for the flight from Ottawa to
wherever it was going...).  It was about a year or two after the
introduction of the 767.  There was confusion at Ottawa about pounds vs.
kilograms and conversions thereof...the cockpit fuel quantity guage (or the
system) was a manual check of fuel total was made...(I don't
remember the whole story)

The crew and ATC skillfully got the deadsticked aircraft to an old military
base in Manitoba called Gimley (about 70NM glide from cruise alt!).  The
airport was in use at the time as a drag strip.  (racing cars, not guys
wearing dresses).

They used the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) to get hydraulics, but the nose wheel
never fully extended.  The photo of the 767 from about a quarter mile away,
with the nose on the ground and the tail way up is quite something!

The damage was fairly superficial, and the airplane returned to service.
This does not compare with UAL 747, but it goes to show that
 -airlines have a HUGE investment in each aircraft.
 -airplanes are build in a fairly modular fashion...sections and
sub-sections can be replaced or repaired.

YOU NEVER KNOW the history of the airplane you are on...