Re: Swissair MD-11 (SR 111, JFK-GVA) crash off Nova Scotia

Date:         05 Oct 98 00:27:12 
From:         Roger & Helen Llewellyn <>
Organization: Singapore Telecommunications Ltd
References:   1 2 3
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JF Mezei wrote:
> I noticed that in the transcript, initial clearance was given to 29k
> feet.  Perhaps a lower clearance should have been given encouraging
> the plane to start to loose altitude as quickly as possible so that it
> can get decent altitude by the time they get close to Halifax.

   As i understand it when the diversion request was made the a/c was
only 70 nms from Halifax. This indeed would make it quite an elevator
ride to sea level to land.
Other questions might be :

weight of a/c, length of rwy avail,

if he was too heavy for a landing on the avail rwy then extra track
miles to make the descent more comfortable whilst at the same time
reducing the weight by jettisoning highly inflamable fuel seems like a
good idea.

you might like to know that even in good conditions it is no easy task
for anyone to arrive at a totally unplanned and unfamiliar destination
in the middle of the night in a heavy modern jet airliner.

as for giving a lower clearance to encourage the plane to lose height -
i think it is safe to assume the guys on the flight deck knew more about
the incident than ATC !