Re: DC-9 Hail damage

Date:         29 May 98 02:44:12 
From:         westin* (Stephen H. Westin)
Organization: Program of Computer Graphics -- Cornell University
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Chuck Till <> writes:

> David Lesher wrote:
> > I've not seen any photos, but the ValueJet [yes, I call it that]
> > -9 was described as losing the windshield.
> >
> > How the dickens can the crew survive that?
> Outer panes of the windshield were cracked. By the way, this
> incident reminds me of a very similar incident with Southern
> Airways in April 1977 -- a DC-9 approaching Atlanta encountered
> a thunderstorm not far away from Calhoun, Ga; but both engines
> failed and would not restart. The pilot got the aircraft onto
> a highway, but there were 70 fatalities.

I seem to recall that it was a 727, and all three engines failed. The
flight crew flew into the worst storm in 50 years, having failed to
keep up to date on weather conditions, which chagned rapidly as they
hopscotched across the South that day. The fatal damage was not due to
the hail hitting the plane, although all the leading edges were quite
dented, but rather the sheer volume of water ingested by the
engines. The flight crew focused on restarting the engines, which had
all puked all their turbine blades out the back. After the emergency
was declared and the first briefing was given, the next thing anyone
new in the cabin was when a flight attendant saw trees out the window
and yelled, "Grab your ankles!"

All this recalled from reading the condensed report in AW&ST two
decades ago, so take it with a grain of salt.


-Stephen H. Westin
Any information or opinions in this message are mine: they do not
represent the position of Cornell University or any of its sponsors.