Re: Wing vs. tail-mounted engines?

Date:         04 Apr 2001 16:41:22 
From: (Don Stokes)
Organization: Daedalus Consulting
References:   1 2
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In article <airliners.2001.95@ditka.Chicago.COM>,
Robin Johnson <> wrote:
>I'm a little concerned about the dynamics of a ditching with
>underslung engines, though.  The Ethiopian 767 off the Comores,
>although a hijack situation with armed men on the flightdeck, looked
>good on the video until the last minute, when it seemed that the
>engines dug in asymmetrically, causing the fuselage to break up.
>Does anyone know of a successful ditching by a jet?
>I would feel safer in a rear-engined model.

If you watch the video again, you'll notice the wingtip went into the
water first, and the fuselage went in more or less sideways.  Not good
for the structure, that.

Engines have "fuse pins" that will shear them off given the kind of
stresses involved in a water landing.  This was demonstrated a year or
two ago by a 707 freighter crew that rather badly misjudged the approach
to Mwanza, Tanzania and put the bird into Lake Victoria.  There's photos
somewhere around on the net (Aviation Week reprinted 'em) of the 707
floating in the lake, more or less intact but minus all four engines,
having been towed to shallow water and unloaded.

-- don