Front Landing Gear Grinds Off - Everyone Safe

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Boy, did you see it? I was sure it would just snap.
 

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  • #2
Kerrie
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I saw it, very intense, glad to hear all are okay.
 
  • #3
Pengwuino
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Yah... i thought it was going to snap too! The fireworks were more then I wanted to see though....
 
  • #4
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They just interviewed a news station employee who was on the flight and he said it was one of the smoothest landings he'd ever experienced.
 
  • #5
Moonbear
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I was watching that too! I think I was holding my breath through the entire landing, especially when the wheels started burning up. I wanted to applaud when the plane came to a safe stop. I was just shocked when I saw the first close-up photos of the sideways landing gear while the plane was in flight...I can't even get a shopping cart to go the right way when it has a wheel like that! Pretty impressive landing.
 
  • #6
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It was going fast enough to just gently grind the front wheel down, I think. The apparent flame was probably just grinding sparks, which happen when freshly exposed metal surfaces hit the oxygen in the air. There was no burning I could see when it finally stopped
 
  • #7
I'm at work... where did this happen?
 
  • #8
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ya, i watched too... glad everyone was safe and all that. kinda cool that we could watch it live i guess...
 
  • #9
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LAX. Front landing gear got stuck facing sideways so the tires couldn't roll.
 
  • #10
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what the hell are you guys off about? I don't have TV.
 
  • #11
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Moonbear said:
I can't even get a shopping cart to go the right way when it has a wheel like that!
I guess the trick is to push it at 100 knots.
 
  • #13
Moonbear
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zoobyshoe said:
It was going fast enough to just gently grind the front wheel down, I think. The apparent flame was probably just grinding sparks, which happen when freshly exposed metal surfaces hit the oxygen in the air. There was no burning I could see when it finally stopped
I thought it was the back tire burning up. The commentator was saying just a moment before it started to spark that some flames would be "normal" as the tires burst.

I guess the trick is to push it at 100 knots.
:rofl: Okay, I'll need that turbocharged shopping cart then. I suppose that would get the grocery shopping done faster. :rofl:
 
  • #14
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They should put arresting gear on civilian aircraft. This wouldn't even be an issue if they could have just caught a wire and pulled to a stop in 300 ft....

Although the passengers might not like pulling so many g's....
 
  • #15
cronxeh
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They got lucky. If it was any other airport they woulda probably had casualties. I think the only reason why that front axle survived long enough is because the amount of vibration and stress on it was within operational limits. Obviously there is an optimal point if you want to calculate it where by pilots would have to fly in at a certain angle with a certain minimum speed so end result woulda been maximum allowable amount of force on that axle before it buckled and cracked.

At first when it finally landed I was watching a cop get outa the car and go underneath the airplane to take some pictures of the front axle.. I thought gee the front axle may crack and the fuselage woulda collapsed into 2 pieces, possibly severing some passengers into small pieces by sheer forces. But then they showed the video from another angle as plane approached and it became clear that the axle wasnt damaged and basically it was a safe landing - primarily thanks to the long stretch of the landing zone
 
  • #16
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cronxeh said:
Obviously there is an optimal point if you want to calculate it where by pilots would have to fly in at a certain angle with a certain minimum speed so end result woulda been maximum allowable amount of force on that axle before it buckled and cracked.
Having done some tool grinding in the machine shop, I would say that everything went OK because they let the front end down very easily and gradually. This is the way to apply a tool to a grinding wheel. If you ram it suddenly against the wheel it will be pulled right out of your hands. Had they dropped the front end of the jet onto the runway more quickly the whole strut would have snapped off.
 
  • #17
cronxeh
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thats the point - the length of runway at their disposable was the deciding factor in their survival.
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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According to one of the TV talking heads, this type of failure is considered a manageable emergency. In fact, the comment was made that the chance of injury due to use of the escape chutes is greater than one caused by a failure in the front landing gear.
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
According to one of the TV talking heads, this type of failure is considered a manageable emergency. In fact, the comment was made that the chance of injury due to use of the escape chutes is greater than one caused by a failure in the front landing gear.
This is just a NWS problem...landing gear problems come in all shapes and sizes. For example...what if the nose wheel gear doesn't even come down? Sure they have redundant systems in place but even those fail from time to time.

My point is that arresting gear would seem to be a nice option to consider at time like this...
 
  • #20
Moonbear
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From what I heard, this is the sort of emergency that pilots actually are trained for and practice in simulators. Though, "they" made it sound like it is more for the eventuality of landing gear that won't come down, so there was more uncertainty about the position of this gear being down. The "experts" providing commentary really didn't sound that worried.

Cronxeh, I'm not sure how much of the runway they needed. They definitely couldn't do this on one of those short runways where the pilots brake hard as soon as you touch down to avoid landing in the ocean.

Townsend, it seems to me, in my totally non-expert opinion, that arresting gear might do more harm than good in a situation like this. Here, the pilot was able to gently set down the plane without touching down the front landing gear until the very end, and everyone got off unharmed, in comparison to the seatbelt injuries that would occur if the plane is jerked to a stop and everyone is thrown forward over nothing but a lap belt. Keep in mind that when military aircraft are catching on a wire to stop, everyone on board is strapped in a 5-point harness. And, what sort of fuselage damage would that cause to take a passenger plane with faulty landing gear and just snag it to stop it?
 
  • #21
JamesU
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I walked in, with the TV on. I saw the video. I must say i was surprised
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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I guess planes are designed to withstand a nose down landing. According to one pilot interviewed, it is much more dangerous to land with a rear wheel system failure since this involves the wing [fuel tank] and the engines hitting the ground. But the nose can skid with relatively minor damage and little danger to the passengers.
 
  • #23
Pengwuino
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Yah, ive seen a lot of nose-down crash landings that weren't so bad but I've never really seen a nose-up landing (without the gears) go well.
 
  • #24
Pengwuino
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cronxeh said:
At first when it finally landed I was watching a cop get outa the car and go underneath the airplane to take some pictures of the front axle.. I thought gee the front axle may crack and the fuselage woulda collapsed into 2 pieces, possibly severing some passengers into small pieces by sheer forces. But then they showed the video from another angle as plane approached and it became clear that the axle wasnt damaged and basically it was a safe landing - primarily thanks to the long stretch of the landing zone
That's what I was thinking at first too! I was like "omg what are you guys doing!! it can collapse at any moment!!!!!!!!!". Was thinken... do something! drive that firetruck under the fuselage incase it does start falling...
 
  • #25
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MSNBC said planes are equiped with manual means to lower the landing gear if if wont come down at all. This particular kind of failure where it's not up, but down and locked in the 90 degree position is extremely rare. They located and interviewed a pilot to whom it had happened in 1989. His landing was also without a crash, but they suffered terrible vibrations as the tire ground away. For some reason they were completely unaware the gear was rotated, and dropped the front at a normal rate, though. They had no details on the other incident in the 90s except that there wasn't a crash.
 
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