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I Plane slides on ice because of wind

  1. May 25, 2016 #1
    I found this clip on youtube of a plane getting pushed on ice due to strong winds. Have a look.

    I guess I just want to hear some comments about what is reallly going on here. How we can estimate the force of the wind pushing, what chance the ramp agent has of holding the place himself if say he digs his heels into the ground, what kind of traction the tires have etc.

    I think the winds were probably not that strong, especially since the snowflakes we can see are not racing across the screen, nor do I see and big clouds of snow from some large wind gusts in the frame. Consider the snow you would see kicked up even behind even a turboprop once it starts to move . Then compare with the winds seen here. I am tempted to say that the plane had to have been empty, and little/no fuel, and a real slick layer of ice was formed right under the tires (not snow), and the winds themselves were not that strong.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2016 #2


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    If you look at the falling snow you can see the wind is blowing left to right. This is blowing on the vertical tail fin pushing the tail to the right and the nose to the left.

    Most of the aircrafts weight is carried by the main wheels. The load on the nose wheel can sometimes be very light. In some cases aircraft have tipped onto their tail (nose wheel off the ground) when the loaders made a slight mistake.
  4. May 25, 2016 #3

    Ah ok I forgot the tail is presenting a large flat surface here..so that will add a bit more understanding.

    I don't see how the distribution of the weight is a factor here though since even if the gust is on the tail, it would still need to be strong enough to move whatever is loaded in the back, so that the nose start to move too. Also you can't see any loose bits of clothing on the ramp attendants being vigorously blown, and they don't even seem to be affected by the wind at all (bracing themselves). Nor are other objects showing signs (curtains on cargo shuttle for example), therefore I still think the large strength of the wind is not the real surprising factor here. I'm thinking a very light aircraft at the time, indeed the large tail fin presenting a flat surface, and also exceptional icing under tires.
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  5. May 26, 2016 #4


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    I believe the answer Is leverage. The fin is a long way from the point of rotation.
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