Date: 05 Oct 98 00:26:51 From: JF Mezei <email@example.com> Followups: 1 2
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I have seen some news-releases from US law firms stating that the MD11 is capable of an emergency descent at 6000 feet per minute. Can anyone confirm this ? If the 6000 number is not accurate, please substitute it with the proper number in subsequent questions. When a pilot is told that the threshold for a runway is X miles away, does this mean that the pilot must plan to be at altitude 0 at the threshold ? If not, how high must he be ? and how far would that threshold be from the actual runway ? If one is to make an emergency descent at 6000 feet/min, how far from the threshold (and how high) must he level the plane to make final approach ? During a descent, how fast can an MD11 go in terms of airspeed ? During an emergency 6000ft/min descent, how slow could that plane go ? How long would it take to slow the plane from its descent speed to a speed acceptable for landing? (in time or distance units). - - - - - - In the case of TWA800, the engines continued to run even after the plane was decapitated (cockpit lost). On a plane of that vintage, would the engine throttles simply stay where they were or would the fuel pumps stop working and engines just run for a while on what is left in the lines ? Assuming that there was total failure in the MD11 cockpit and that the cockpit was electrically separated from the rest of the plane. Would the MD11's engines continue to operate at the last throttle level which was set, or would they just exhaust whatever fuel is left in their lines ? Do the electrical systems of an engine (fuel pump, FADEC etc) operate directly off the engine's generator or do they feed from the airplane's power buses ? - - - - - - - We know that the plane was "viable" between 22:15 and 22:26, roughly 11 minutes between the time the pilots started to act on Halifax and the time the electrical system failed. We also know that the plane was able to sustain a certain level of control after that (from the fact that the plane made a tight circle - is that a correct assumption ?). Swissair's simulator said that it would have been physically impossible for them to land the plane without making the detour at Peggy's cove. Lawyers state that it could have been and that the plane could have descended faster without problem. But the question is: even if it could descend fast enough, would it have been able to travel the horizontal distance to Halifax ?