Re: O'Hare Accident

Date:         05 Aug 97 17:45:51 
From:         m@bang.org
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"jdobyns" <jdobyns@mho.net> wrote:
> My understanding is that modern jetliners have the ability to take off
> safely even if one engine fails on takeoff.  If so, did they ever figure
> out why the one flight leaving Chicago in the late 70's crashed after an
> engine fell off?

There is a significant difference between an engine failing to produce thrust
and an engine separating from a wing. Certification requires demonstration
only of the former. The latter can be expected to do considerable damage to
the wing during separation. An example follows.

During 1995 (possibly late 1994), a US Navy P3C Orion belonging to VP-47 (the
Golden Swordsmen) was decending over the Persian Gulf for a landing in Saudi
Arabia. Seven minutes out, an indicator light illuminated signalling low
pressure in the hydralics which control the variable pitch of the propeller
on the #4 engine. The pilots initiated the procedure to shut the engine down,
switch it to fixed pitch, and restart the engine. Moments before shutdown,
the #4 engine exploded. A propeller blade from the #4 engine struck the #3
engine, separating the #3 engine from the wing. The residual inertia (from
the propeller blade) of the now joined #3 engine and #4 propeller blade threw
the still spinning #3 engine into the underside of the fuselage. The spinning
propeller blades of the #3 engine cut through all three hydraulic systems,
and cut the emergency shutdown wires for the #1 and #2 engines, shutting them
down for the last time. The Orion was now two minutes out over the Gulf, with
no power, no hydraulics, a mutilated starboard wing, and not enough altitude
to eject. Less than ten seconds before impact, the pilots managed to attain
ditching attitude. The most serious injury was injested JP-5. The hull was
pulled from the water, and is now used for firefighting practice at a Saudi
airfield.

M Carling
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