Reverse Thrust in Air (was Trident/More Weirdness))

Date:         08 Aug 97 05:41:19 
From:         Chris Elberfeld <*NoSpam*elberfeld@sprintmail.com>
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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I have heard the story of "Take off power" vs Takeoff Power", too,
but it was in relation to a military mishap. The only bad Air Canada
DC-8  accident from that period that comes to mind is the 1970
crash of of AC621 at Toronto. In that accident, the F/O
deployed the spoilers before touchdown instead of arming them.
This resulted in very hard landing and a go-around was attempted.
Unbeknownst to the crew, the number four engine had hit the runway
and broken off. Leaking fuel caught fire and the resulting explosion
caused most of the right wing to break off. The DC-8-63 crashed
about three minutes after the initial mishap, killing all 109 people
onboard. The CVR revealed that the spoilers had been deployed when
the Captain asked for them to be armed.

There were two other hard landings of DC-8's (Alitalia and Icelandic, I
think) caused by premature spoiler deployment not longe after this
accident. Eventually, an AD was issued to modify the spoiler control
system.

As far as engine reversing in the air goes, there was an incident
in the early 1960's involving an Eastern DC-8 in which ability to
reverse the two outboard engines help the crew recover a steep dive
that had been caused by an upset. In an ironic twist, a member the
flight crew involved in that incident later died in the crash of
another Eastern DC-8 near New Orleans. That crash was the result
of an uncontrolled dive, possibly caused by a trim problem.
Reverse thrust had been used to help pull out of the dive and
the manuver (sp) was almost successful.