Re: Virgin Atlantic A340 Undercarriage incident

Date:         20 Nov 97 02:53:39 
From: (Malcolm Weir)
Organization: Little to None
References:   1 2
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On 16 Nov 97 19:58:45 , Pete Mellor <> caused to appear as
if it was written:

>Karl wrote on Sun Nov 16 05:16:17 1997:
>>  Several attempts were made to jar the
>> gear loose, to no avail.  With fuel running low, the aircraft finally
>> landed on the foamed south runway (27L, I assume) with only about 15
>> minutes of fuel remaining, ...
>All of the news reports I have seen stated that (in addition
>to trying to force the gear down with positive g), the pilots
>circled for 40 minutes to burn off excess fuel before attempting
>the crash landing. (Since the A340 has the capability to dump
>fuel, unlike the A320, this puzzled me a bit.)

Why?  If you have trouble lowering the gear, surely there is no reason to
rush into an emergency landing while you've still got fuel?  The gods might
smile at you, someone on the ground may come up with an manoevre to shake
the gear down, etc.

Of course, the trick is not to take it too far the other direction, as a
United DC-8 did at Portland many years ago...  (they had gear problems, and
then ran out of fuel, and so crashed short of the runway...)