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Why? Why? Why?

  1. Oct 30, 2008 #1
    A Quantas airplane flying between Sydney and Melbourne yesterday had to turn around and return because a "faulty landing gear" light came on. Why turn around? You gotta land either way.
     
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  3. Oct 30, 2008 #2

    lisab

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    I guess the question is, where do you want to crash, if it comes to that?
     
  4. Oct 30, 2008 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    They want to land as soon as possible. If they are closer to the point of departure than the destination, they turn around.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2008 #4
    Personally, if the plane has no problem flying but might have a problem landing, I'd rather take my chances at my destination. I definitely don't want them to turn around so that I can die sooner.
     
  6. Oct 30, 2008 #5

    BobG

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    I think they're trying to skimp a little by landing (or crashing) before they've served the meals. If you get a burnt meal ........

    They do seem to always turn back: Faulty landing gear two days in a row
     
  7. Oct 30, 2008 #6

    Evo

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    I'd want them to fly until as much fuel is used as possible.
     
  8. Oct 30, 2008 #7

    turbo

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    If there is faulty landing gear, I want that sucker to fly as far as possible before landing, so that the engines are practically running on fumes. Skidding down the tarmac throwing showers of sparks in a fully-fueled plane just doesn't appeal to me.

    Edit: You got me, Evo. I was interrupted by a GOP robo-call while posting. Great minds, though....
     
  9. Oct 30, 2008 #8
    that made me laugh and choke on my stew
     
  10. Oct 30, 2008 #9

    lisab

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    Don't planes dump fuel before an emergency landing?
     
  11. Oct 30, 2008 #10
    Qantus, Qantus Never crashed.
    -Rainman
     
  12. Oct 30, 2008 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes. But I don't think all jets have this ability. I do remember a number of situations where the plane circled for hours to burn the remaining fuel.
     
  13. Oct 30, 2008 #12
    Reverting to the OP, if there is something wrong with the landing gear, you got to assume that things are sticking out of the wings and belly. That's not healthy for an aircraft. If you'd accelerate to cruising speed, beautiful mechanisms may suffer structural damage leading to catastrophical results. So you must maintain airspeed below landing gear limit speeds. That's no fun. You can fly for hours that way, but that's disdaining complications, what if there was a hydraulic leak too, caused by that same problem? That is guaranteed to ruin your day.

    Return to land ASAP is an excellent decision made by a superior pilot who used his superior judgement to avoid situations that required his superior skills. You can nag about it but everybody is alive and well.

    Edit and yes fuel dumping is standard practice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  14. Oct 30, 2008 #13
    Perhaps the destination airport was not as well equipped to handle a possible emergency.
     
  15. Oct 30, 2008 #14

    Moonbear

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    That's what I was thinking too, get to the destination and then circle until the fuel is nearly used up, or dump it then, rather than dumping a full tank!

    Ah, that makes more sense. If the problem is they can't retract the landing gear, then they can't fly with it sticking out I suppose (though if they couldn't dump fuel and had to circle, I'd rather be heading closer to my destination instead of doing circles...circles are killer on my stomach). Do they just get some light saying there's a problem, or can they get more specific information about the position the landing gear is stuck in? If it's retracted and just can't be lowered again for landing, I'd rather do that wherever I'm going.

    That would be the exception to my desire to get to my destination. If it was some small airport with short runways, perhaps, then yes, direct the flight to some other airport or turn around.
     
  16. Oct 30, 2008 #15
    Sorry Moonbear, it's a bit different. They can dump the lot in minutes. That's only a problem for the folks below. Second, you wouldn't notice a bit about those 'circles'. The ear vasculatory system reponds to changes in accerelation only. Without visual clues from outside you would never notice 'circling'


    Basically, no it's just a switch in the end of the cycle. Imagine the complexability of having camera's on every item that may fail; although it could be the future.
     
  17. Oct 30, 2008 #16

    turbo

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    Yep! Limit switches offer little real information, but can be interlocked to prevent full operation of related systems, even if the fault is trivial.
     
  18. Oct 30, 2008 #17

    Moonbear

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    It's a horrible waste of fuel to dump it if they instead could have been on the way to the destination before dealing with the problem landing.

    That's not true. What makes one sick is not having the visual cues to match the ears telling you they're going in circles! The vestibular system of the ears is not a vascular system either.
     
  19. Oct 30, 2008 #18

    Office_Shredder

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    First, going in circles requires acceleration. Second, according to Moonbear I can spin around in a chair without getting sick. I conclude neither one is correct
     
  20. Oct 30, 2008 #19

    Moonbear

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    I made no such claim!
     
  21. Oct 30, 2008 #20
    A big smoking crater would even be worse. And with staying below gear limit speed, it would take a long time, more than enough to deplete hydraulic system pressure,

    Anyway, with only 10-15 degrees of bank your ears would report rather quickly (and deceptively) that everything is in steady state, no changes/
     
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