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Difficult landing

  1. Mar 3, 2008 #1

    Astronuc

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    I've been in some hair-raising landing conditions, but nothing like this. This pilot is amazing.

    Pilot hailed for response to stormy conditions
    Tip of Lufthansa jet grazes runway before pilot gets it back in the air
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23446713/

    Airline spokesman Wolfgang Weber said the plane was rocked by wind clocked at 250 kph (155 mph) as it tried to land!

    Video of attempted landing - Lufthansa flight at Hamburg
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23446303#23446303
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    I saw that on the news this morning! Yikes! I had missed the story lead-in when I turned on the TV, and was expecting the rest of the report to be about the crash until he got airborne again. Amazing!
     
  4. Mar 3, 2008 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I bet that a few people had to change their shorts after that one, including the pilots!
     
  5. Mar 3, 2008 #4
    Yeah that's been on CNN all over the day. Bless our german pilots :D
     
  6. Mar 3, 2008 #5

    Moonbear

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    No doubt! I'm surprised there were no injuries (that's what was reported)...they must have been lucky they had no passengers with any heart conditions.
     
  7. Mar 3, 2008 #6
    That was really something to see, glad I wasen't on it.
     
  8. Mar 3, 2008 #7
    We have been getting plenty of wind over here in AZ as well.

    It got up to 50mph yesterday I believe.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2008 #8
    In our books this is not very profesional. A good pilot solves difficult situations but a superior pilot sees that he never gets in difficult situations in the first place. The storm was well forecasted and the warnings were out. he should not have made that attempt.

    let me rephrase that: a good pilot has superior skills to solve difficult situations but a superior pilot uses his superior judgement to avoid situations that require his superior skills.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  10. Mar 3, 2008 #9

    russ_watters

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    Yes, my first thought was why would they be attempting to land in such conditions?
     
  11. Mar 3, 2008 #10

    RonL

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    I'm not sure i agree with Andre, and russ, why did he return and make a safe landing the next time around ? I'm not sure that even a dopler system could predict that wind gust.
     
  12. Mar 3, 2008 #11

    lisab

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    ...I want a superior pilot, please...!
     
  13. Mar 3, 2008 #12

    turbo

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    I've had some scares on puddle-jumpers but not on passenger jets of that size. Amazing.
     
  14. Mar 3, 2008 #13
    I can appreciate that. We had a stiff crosswind on landing today.
     
  15. Mar 3, 2008 #14
    Holy crap! That thing was coming in at like 45ยบ!
     
  16. Mar 3, 2008 #15

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, that he was able to land okay on a second pass left me thinking it was just a random gust of some sort, not a steady wind that was predictable. Then again, once in a while, you have little choice if you got airborne before a bad weather system came in that wasn't projected to head that direction or be that bad when you took off (I didn't look where the flight originated) and don't have enough fuel to get to an airport that's past the storm system, or to keep circling until it passes.
     
  17. Mar 3, 2008 #16

    Kurdt

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    Its been really gusting over here lately for no reason. We had up to 70mph a couple of days ago.
     
  18. Mar 3, 2008 #17

    russ_watters

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    Also a good question. After almost crashing, why would you try again? Why would you not divert to another airport?
    It should at least be able to predict the conditions necessary for such a wind gust. That isn't your normal every-day wind gust - it can't exist unless associated with a massive thunderstorm or other kind of thermal.
     
  19. Mar 3, 2008 #18

    russ_watters

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    Well, they show 25 seconds of the approach and the plane is flying sideways the entire time, before the gust hits it and blows it off the runway. So (guessing...), they attempted to land in a 75 kt crosswind and got hit with a 150kt gust. Still, a 75kt crosswind isn't something you should regularly attempt to land in.

    [edit] Looking at it again, it doesn't look to me like it took much of a gust. You can see its nose pointed to the right with the right wing dipped during the approach due to the heavy crosswind. Then at touchdown, it tried to straighten-out and level-out, which then caused it to slide off the runway to the left. To me it just looks like a situation where a landing should not have been attempted.

    Key point: The article says it was landing in a storm.

    Note: it isn't necessarily the pilot's fault if they landed in conditions they shouldn't have - it is at least partly the ATC.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  20. Mar 3, 2008 #19
    Actually, it is entirely the pilots fault. ATC has no say, the final authority is only on the pilot. If, for example, I ask ATC if I should land at an airport, they cant tell me yes or no. They can only tell me the weather and to use my own personal judgement.

    To throw that big airplane around like that, that was one HELL of a gust. I would have made my cessna do a cartwheel.
     
  21. Mar 3, 2008 #20

    russ_watters

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    There's a ton of commentary on airliners.net about it. I didn't go through it all, but if nothing else, there is an unbelievable picture a few posts down from the top: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/3869593/ [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  22. Mar 3, 2008 #21

    russ_watters

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    Gee, Cyrus, you were so much better looking yesterday...
     
  23. Mar 3, 2008 #22
    Smoking will do that to you.

    Im sure when the wing scraped the ground it made a TON of noise in the A/C.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  24. Mar 4, 2008 #23

    russ_watters

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    As did the light breeze blowing through the cabin...
     
  25. Mar 4, 2008 #24
    Let's see what that superior pilot could have done.

    First, upon the short term weather forecast for the destination, he could have decided to delay the take off a few hours. Happens all the time. He may actually have done that the story doesn't tell, but then apparantly too short. It's evident that such a decision is a bit painful. Angry passengers, chain reactions of other delays, all kind of associated costs. The reluctance to delay is known as gethomeitis.

    Second, upon arriving in the area, and hearing the actual weather situation, he could have decided to go in a holding pattern, waiting for the worst to pass by or divert to an airfield a few hundred or so miles away, to the NE for instance, Copenhagen or something; the storm was not that big in size.

    Edit: Third, upon recognising the extreme "crab", the difference between nose direction and flightpath during the final approach combined with the heavy turbulence, and knowing about typical strong wind shears in those situations close to the ground, he should have decided that this was not the place to be. He should most definitely have aborted the attempt some miles earlier.

    Fourth, the decision making a second attempt is more complicated and I can understand that he did. You have to weight to possibilities that the structural damage to the wing was such that it could fail any minute. Therefore he had to land as soon as possible. Speeding up for a diversion to another airfield out of the storm could have been more risky than encountering another gust like that on landing.

    Hopefully this incident may help to increase the awareness of weather hazards.

    Edited after actually seeing the movie.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  26. Mar 4, 2008 #25

    Moonbear

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    Unless they were given inaccurate information on the weather conditions, or there just wasn't a better place to land within their fuel range. If a fast-moving storm took an unpredictable path and closed in around all the area airports after the flight had already taken off, or they had already been trying to wait it out and it decided to stall over the airport, they really may not have had much choice about attempting to land.

    I've been on flights where at the time of take-off, the pilot is announcing to us the wonderful weather awaiting us upon arrival, only to find ourselves in a holding pattern waiting for an opening in a storm before landing, and even that opening isn't ideal. (On one flight, we had no sooner gotten on the ground than they closed the airport to any further traffic because the storm was no letting up...even the drive home was a rather white knuckle ride with the sort of gusting winds we were getting.)

    So, I don't know. The article did say the incident was being investigated, both in terms of ATC's and the pilot's decisions/actions. They may find there was a good reason for landing (or attempting landing) in the conditions at the time, or they might agree with you and Russ that either ATC or the pilot (or both) was negligent.
     
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