Re: Virgin Atlantic A340 Undercarriage incident

Date:         20 Nov 97 02:53:40 
From:         Andrew Cruickshank <>
Organization: OpenKast
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Pete Mellor wrote:
> 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.)

There would be a lot of ATC work involved in sorting out
air traffic - they would have to presumably allow for
closure of both runways.

Dumping fuel takes a while anyway.

The crew might want the time to consult with their airline's
technical staff and also prepare themselves.

Why rush?

There seemed to be a huge delay in getting the runway cleared
afterwards - about 24 hours before the aircraft was finally
moved. The impact on schedules - especially European and
domestic was terrible. I was surprised that the A340 wasn't moved
off the runway and everything cleared up before the next morning.