Re: A/C on fire

Date:         20 Nov 98 02:30:38 
Organization: Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
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In article <airliners.1998.1741@ohare.Chicago.COM>, wrote:
> Richard Rea wrote:
> > After pondering the Value-Jet and Swissair crashes (and other similar,
> > aircraft fires leading to loss of control) I wonder if it wouldn't be
> > prudent to plan to "crash-land" the aircraft.  The pilot would have to get
> > down as fast as possible and in an area that would hopefully would give some
> > measure of survivability.  But going low and slow enough might give the
> > option of continuing on to the nearest airport or else crash in control if
> > the situation rapidly deteriorates.  Is this a viable consideration?
> In the US, anyway, way back in the stone age, there was a maximum
> landing or stall speed (I forget which, and I forget the number).  As
> cruise speeds climbed and climbed, it seemed like this requirement
> became uneconomical, and was done away with.

Way back when the accident first happened and we all speculated on cause
there is a post of mine that suggested that with an uncontrollable fire, loss
of electrical power and smoke and restricted vision of the instruments the
captain may have been trying to ditch on the water. Without a central air
data computer giving reliable altimeter readings, no external landing lights,
external reference he had the job in front of him and may have hit very hard.
If in fact there was a fire in the pax cabin and passengers in panic moved to
the front of the aeroplane , even entering the flight deck then he had real
trouble. There was a case such as this in the middle east years ago and there
were sixteen bodies found on the flight deck.

A water landing would be a better option than into an open field. With the
wing tanks empty the aircraft could float a considerable time. In the west
indies some years ago a 727 ditched and some days later had to be shelled by
the coast guard to sink it as a navigation hazard. cowboy

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