Re: Gimli 767 nose gear (was: Emergency landing on water ?)

Date:         03 Jan 97 04:36:37 
From: (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
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In article <airliners.1997.23@ohare.Chicago.COM>, (Mark Brader)

> - Page 196:  On the panel in front of Quintal, two green lights
>     indicated that both main landing gear were down and locked.
>     But another glowed amber, warning that the nose gear was
>     partially down but not locked.  Quintal immediately knew why...
>     the nose gear had to push forward, against the wind...

The author apparently was not aware that the nosewheels of the 757,767,and
777 retract FORWARD, not backward, and are designed this way in part so
that the slipstream will help extend and lock the gear in the case of a
hydraulic failure.

> - Page 213:  Two tires blew in the right main landing gear.
>     Careening forward at 170 knots, far faster than normal, now he
>     had to stop the craft before it slammed into something.
>        Pearson jammed the balls of his feet high up on the rudder
>     pedals and pushed with his final reserve of strength to activate
>     the brakes.  The nose dropped.  He anticipated the familiar thump
>     of the forward gear touching down.  Instead he heard what sounded
>     like the explosive bang! of a 12-gauge shotgun fired at close range.
>     The right engine nacelle scraped the ground.  They were now sliding
>     down the runway on their nose and an engine pod amid a cascade of
>     sparks.

As I was not there, I cannot comment with absolute certainty on the
accuracy of the book's description.  But if the nosewheel did collapse on
landing ( and I do know that the flight crew did not recieve the gear down
and locked lights on the flight deck) how does one explain the photographs
we have at Boeing that show the nose resting on top of the race car
barrier after it came to a stop?  If the nose had been on the ground, it
would have slid into the barrier with some damage at least to the lower
half of the radome.  Instead, all our photos clearly show it resting on
top of the barrier, which is consistent with the story here that the
nosewheel was knocked back slightly when the plane hit the barrier at the
very end of its landing roll.

C. Marin Faure
  author, Flying A Floatplane