Re: Gimli 767 nose gear

Date:         25 Mar 97 03:38:07 
From: (Merlin Dorfman)
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Larry Stone ( wrote:

: Amazing how little damage can occur with a skiilful landing. In 1990, UA
: had a 747-400 (almost brand new) make a partial gear up landing at LAX -
: only the wing  (outer) main gear came down, the nose and body (inner)
: mains stayed up. I saw a video of it - the captain held the nose off until
: about 10 knots, finally lowering it oh so slowly. Damage was limited to
: the nose gear doors (which did open) and some skin panels. The plane was
: back in service 5 days later.

     I need a little clarification here.  First, how much lift can the
wings produce at 10 knots?  Not enough, I suspect, to keep the plane
from tipping over while perched on one landing gear--unless there was
quite a headwind.  Second, I don't have a model in front of me, but I
suspect that when the plane finally did tip over it came to rest on
the one landing gear, an engine nacelle, and part of the nose.  While I
can believe that there might have been only some skin panel damage on
the nose, there must have been some damage to the engine...maybe it
was possible simply to replace the nacelle and engine within five days.
                                    Merlin Dorfman