Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:57 AM
Machine Elf is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 11,854

Aviation: difference between "crash" and "crash-landing"?


Yesterday a helicopter, um, "came down" on the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper. Some news outlets are calling it a crash, others are calling it a crash-landing. Sometimes the same article calls it both ways. It's worth noting that the helicopter in question was shattered into small, flaming pieces, and the pilot was killed.

Maybe this belongs in IMHO, I dunno. Is there a useful distinction between "crash" and "crash-landing"?
  #2  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:08 AM
FairyChatMom's Avatar
FairyChatMom is offline
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 41,316
I read it as the difference between plummeting from the sky and a semi-controlled descent that ends badly.
  #3  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:46 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 19,285
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
I read it as the difference between plummeting from the sky and a semi-controlled descent that ends badly.
Right. It's one thing to hope that the landing won't be too bad and another to wish the aircraft wasn't going to be hitting the Earth soon and there's nothing you can do about it (or, worse, don't know you're about to hit something).

One picture of the helicopter I saw was that it was coming down nose first. Which is not a good situation for a chopper. That's a crash IMHO.

OTOH, if the pilot was in a horizontal position and was doing something like a free-spinning (autorotation) rotor landing on an open building top, then that was a crash landing.
  #4  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:46 AM
aceplace57 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,661
I think a crash land is deliberate? The pilot is trying to get safely on the ground.

The other option is to fall out of the sky uncontrollably and crash.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/crash-land

Crash land

to land (an aircraft), undercircumstances in whicha normal landing is impossible, in such a way that damage to the aircraft is unavoidable.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-11-2019 at 06:50 AM.
  #5  
Old 06-11-2019, 10:14 AM
Llama Llogophile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 50% chord point
Posts: 3,977
I don't believe the FAA or NTSB would use either as a term of art.

The terms they do use are "accident" and "incident" when something is serious enough to be report-able, and those depend on casualties, nature of injuries, type and amount of damage. When something happens that's not great, but does not meet the criteria they generally call it an "event".

What the media calls stuff is another matter.

Edit: A helo falls out of the sky and the media and witnesses will say it crashed. An NTSB report will use verbiage like, "The accident aircraft suffered an engine failure due to fuel exhaustion and impacted terrain."

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 06-11-2019 at 10:16 AM.
  #6  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:14 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 203
And specifically an "accident" is defined as an event "in which a) a person is fatally or seriously injured, b) the aircraft sustains significant damage or structural failure, or c) the aircraft goes missing or becomes completely inaccessible."

An "incident" is "an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of operation."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviati..._and_incidents

"Crash" and "crash landing" are vernacular terms that don't have any official definitions. To the NTSB both of them would probably be categorized as "accidents" most of time. Perhaps a minor incident where say a plane skids off the runway at relatively low speed after landing, no injuries, and only minor damage to the plane might get categorized and an incident by the NTSB and a crash landing by a layperson.
  #7  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:36 PM
Pleonast's Avatar
Pleonast is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Los 'Kamala'ngeles
Posts: 7,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
And specifically an "accident" is defined as an event "in which a) a person is fatally or seriously injured, b) the aircraft sustains significant damage or structural failure, or c) the aircraft goes missing or becomes completely inaccessible."
While some organizations might use a precisely defined definition like this, the popular media has been using "accident" less often because the term has a connotation of "non-intentional or unpreventable". For example, the airliner crashes on Sep 11, are not called "accidents" by anyone outside FAA or NTSB. Along similar lines, car crashes caused by drunk drivers are typically not called accidents, either. The media uses the more neutral term "crash" to avoid implying any lack of causality or agency if there is any doubt about the cause of the crash.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017