Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-17-2018, 03:54 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 9,465
Breaking News - SW Flight Engine Failure, 1 Dead

Here is a link to CNN's Live Update Page. This is a link to a summary article.

Southwest Flight 1380 from La Guardia to Dallas suffered engine failure about 30 minutes into flight today. Shrapnel from the engine blew out one window and injured several passengers. One of them is confirmed dead. The other injuries are apparently not life threatening. The flight was re-routed to Philadelphia, where it landed safely after a rapid descent and rough landing.

It sounds scary as hell for everyone concerned. The NTSB, reasonably, is saying it's too soon to know why the engine failed.
  #2  
Old 04-17-2018, 04:14 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
That's too bad for the deceased. Also, Southwest can no longer claim to have never lost a passenger. I'm just glad the plane landed safely and only a few people were injured. I'm sure that was terrifying.
  #3  
Old 04-17-2018, 04:27 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,633
I do wonder what went wrong there. The engine cowling is supposed to contain the engine in case it does decide to blow up, pretty much specifically to prevent this from happening. A lost engine is a big deal, sure, but it shouldn't cause damage to the fuselage.

This is not the same engine used in the 737-700, but it is the same sort of thing that engine designs have to go through.

I wonder if this is going to lead to a grounding of all planes with this engine?
  #4  
Old 04-17-2018, 06:35 PM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,760
I had seen an earlier report, but I just found out here that someone had died. What a nightmare all around.
  #5  
Old 04-17-2018, 06:52 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
I do wonder what went wrong there. The engine cowling is supposed to contain the engine in case it does decide to blow up, pretty much specifically to prevent this from happening.
The cowling is designed to contain a turbine blade if it comes off of the hub (search YouTube for "A380 blade off test"), but it is not designed to contain a hub ("fan disk") that cracks into two or more pieces, which is almost certainly what happened here. That's the failure that happened on United 232.
  #6  
Old 04-17-2018, 07:13 PM
racer72 racer72 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 6,151
I helped build that particular plane. Line number 601, built June of 2000. Boeing has built over 8000 737's since I was hired in 1980. Wasn't the first, won't be the last.
  #7  
Old 04-17-2018, 07:27 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 27,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
I wonder if this is going to lead to a grounding of all planes with this engine?
Not likely. It's one of the most popular and reliable engines in production.
__________________
"People enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought": John Anderson
  #8  
Old 04-17-2018, 08:04 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Displaced
Posts: 15,050
The fatal casualty is reported to have been partially blown out the window and fellow passengers teamed to pull her back in. In the pics it seems the window taken out was over the trailing edge wingroot, like a hit from debris going up and over the wing in the slipstream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
I helped build that particular plane. Line number 601, built June of 2000. Boeing has built over 8000 737's since I was hired in 1980. Wasn't the first, won't be the last.
She served the crew well as they did the job of getting on the ground ASAP.
  #9  
Old 04-17-2018, 08:26 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 43,018
This is awful. But I wonder if she got pulled out the window with her seat belt on, or if she had taken it off.

Ironic that this happened just a day after the 60 Minutes piece on Allegiant.
  #10  
Old 04-17-2018, 09:22 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
It would be really, really hard for an adult human being to be sucked out of a window in the passenger area. I have no doubt the windstream was pulling her that way, but next time you're in a 737 look at the size of the window in relation to the size of a human being.

Sounds like she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got fatally hit by debris.

(There was a pilot who was sucked out of an airplane (saved by the flight crew grabbing his feet) but that was in the cockpit which has larger windows than the passenger section.)

There was much talk from the passengers about the rapid descent after the engine blew, but really, that's standard operation - in the event you get a hole like that in the fuselage you really do want to get the airplane down to a lower altitude quick, even with oxygen being supplied to people. At 30,000 feet the air pressure is so low that even 100% oxygen is not going to be able to get into your bloodstream efficiently. It will help, it will certainly extend how long you're conscious, but that altitude isn't compatible with long-term human survival. Airplanes can descend in a controlled manner VERY quickly, much quicker than non-pilots realize. It might feel like falling, but it's not.

A typical rate of descent can be 500 feet per minute. An emergency descent can be 6,000-8,000 feet per minute. That means the vertical component of speed is over 60 miles per hour, or over 100 kilometers per hour. More than 10 times faster than the normal descent. It's still controlled, even if it doesn't feel like it. You want to get people down to an altitude safe for unacclimatized humans as quickly and safely as you can.
  #11  
Old 04-17-2018, 10:24 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 11,991
And to think that Tammie Jo Schults wasn't allowed to attend the aviation career day at her high school. And the Air Force wouldn't let her test to become a pilot either..

Fortunately for everyone on that plane, the Navy let the lady have her wings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
It would be really, really hard for an adult human being to be sucked out of a window in the passenger area. I have no doubt the windstream was pulling her that way, but next time you're in a 737 look at the size of the window in relation to the size of a human being.
Oh, well, I'm sure all the people who pulled Jennifer Riordan's body back into airplane will be delighted to know they hallucinated the whole thing.
  #12  
Old 04-17-2018, 10:52 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
And to think that Tammie Jo Schults wasn't allowed to attend the aviation career day at her high school. And the Air Force wouldn't let her test to become a pilot either..

Fortunately for everyone on that plane, the Navy let the lady have her wings.
Right. Because there is absolutely no other way a woman could be become a pilot other than via the military.

Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled she could have a military career, but way to slap the face of every pilot who came up through civilian aviation. Had she not been in the military she still might have been just as good a pilot through her own drive and determination.

Quote:
Oh, well, I'm sure all the people who pulled Jennifer Riordan's body back into airplane will be delighted to know they hallucinated the whole thing.
I didn't say it was impossible, I said it was really hard (really, I did - go back and read what I posted). If it did happen that part of her body was out the window then I have no trouble taking the word of those actually present over my speculation.
  #13  
Old 04-17-2018, 11:01 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 11,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Right. Because there is absolutely no other way a woman could be become a pilot other than via the military.

Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled she could have a military career, but way to slap the face of every pilot who came up through civilian aviation. Had she not been in the military she still might have been just as good a pilot through her own drive and determination.
What on earth are you talking about?
  #14  
Old 04-17-2018, 11:30 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
What on earth are you talking about?
You said:
Quote:
Fortunately for everyone on that plane, the Navy let the lady have her wings.
Implying that if the Navy hadn't that she wouldn't have been a pilot, or as good a pilot. Which, as I said, is insulting to every pilot that came up through strictly civilian ranks and didn't have a military career. Most airline pilots these days do NOT have a military background but that in no way makes them lesser pilots.

Maybe you didn't intend it to come across like that but if that's the case your statement was poorly worded.
  #15  
Old 04-18-2018, 12:21 AM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 51,435
Must you always take offense to everything, Broomstick? Jesus, you know what the fuck she meant.
__________________
Itís not you, itís your sports team.
  #16  
Old 04-18-2018, 12:22 AM
Jacquernagy Jacquernagy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenario
Posts: 1,216
I think the only point to be made was that she persevered through obstacles to have a successful career....I don't think any other implication was intended.

I'm told that the military is hard up for pilots today; they offer huge bonuses in an attempt to retain trained pilots, but still fail.

I can't say I'm surprised to hear it. Military aviation was really glamorous in the Cold War era; there were many different kinds of fighter and interceptor planes in addition to innumerable other aircraft, they all looked badass, and they were glorified not only through popular films up to and including Top Gun, but also indirectly through Star Wars and Star Trek, especially since military aviation was a potential path to NASA.

None of this really exists anymore (well, science fiction is still popular, but not quite the cultural phenomenon it was in the Cold War era) - the only plane you ever hear anyone talk about nowadays is the F-35, and it's always in a negative context. Do kids make model airplanes anymore? I doubt it. Are people in their 20s today, familiar with Top Gun and Chuck Yeager's Air Combat? Actually, on a related topic, flight simulator games used to be HUGE, with new ones coming out every year, in the 90s up to the mid 2000s. I'm not aware of this being the case now.

Anyway, it seems that there aren't many people clamoring to be military aviators anymore, and so I think we can probably look "forward" to a future where airline pilots with military backgrounds are rare. I believe that the civilian pilots are trained just as well on the airliners as anyone else is, but there's something cool about knowing that the person flying your plane is (or was) also capable of handling a much faster piece of machinery under more dangerous circumstances. It seems to add an extra layer of security. Could a civilian pilot do what Sully did? I honestly don't know....did he (and others who examined the incident) credit his military training with giving him the skills to pull off that landing, or was it down to the airline training specifically?
  #17  
Old 04-18-2018, 02:32 AM
Lord Mondegreen Lord Mondegreen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Canberra ACT Australia
Posts: 1,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
(There was a pilot who was sucked out of an airplane (saved by the flight crew grabbing his feet) but that was in the cockpit which has larger windows than the passenger section.)
This is the story of that incident. A great example of a crew working together to save the pilot's life and the aircraft (and therefore the lives of the passengers and crew).
  #18  
Old 04-18-2018, 04:29 AM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: On the outside looking in
Posts: 10,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post

A typical rate of descent can be 500 feet per minute. An emergency descent can be 6,000-8,000 feet per minute. That means the vertical component of speed is over 60 miles per hour, or over 100 kilometers per hour. More than 10 times faster than the normal descent. It's still controlled, even if it doesn't feel like it. You want to get people down to an altitude safe for unacclimatized humans as quickly and safely as you can.
Nitpick: A normal descent rate is around 1500-2500 feet per minute depending on ground speed. Your point still stands though, an emergency descent is significantly steeper.
  #19  
Old 04-18-2018, 05:43 AM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: On the outside looking in
Posts: 10,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
The cowling is designed to contain a turbine blade if it comes off of the hub (search YouTube for "A380 blade off test"), but it is not designed to contain a hub ("fan disk") that cracks into two or more pieces, which is almost certainly what happened here. That's the failure that happened on United 232.
It appears to be a single blade failure.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DbBjwpkWAAAGTux.jpg

The part of cowling that failed is not required to contain anything AFAIK (perhaps it should be?)
  #20  
Old 04-18-2018, 06:30 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 11,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post

Implying that if the Navy hadn't that she wouldn't have been a pilot, or as good a pilot. Which, as I said, is insulting to every pilot that came up through strictly civilian ranks and didn't have a military career. Most airline pilots these days do NOT have a military background but that in no way makes them lesser pilots.
Don't be ridiculous.

The pilot is in her late 50s. In her youth, women were largely barred from becoming professional pilots. The Navy was willing to not only let a girl fly their expensive airplanes but also to land them on boats. The passengers on that 737 benefited greatly from the Navy being not quite as sexist as other organizations back in the day.

And yeah, I'm pretty sure a Navy fighter pilot will be more skilled than the average Jane.

My comment had nothing to do with you and whatever local airfield helped you get your amateur pilot's license.
  #21  
Old 04-18-2018, 07:04 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 11,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
Are people in their 20s today, familiar with Top Gun and Chuck Yeager's Air Combat?
Weirdly, I can answer this. (sort of) I was out to drinks with a bunch of coworkers aged 22 to 33 on Friday. Top Gun was showing on the bar TV. They all knew it, and were flabbergasted that I'd never actually seen it. (I've seen many parts of it. Just not beginning-to-end).

To your point, though, while they knew it as a great classic movie, I have no idea if they absorbed the "fighter pilots are the coolest" message.

Quote:
I believe that the civilian pilots are trained just as well on the airliners as anyone else is, but there's something cool about knowing that the person flying your plane is (or was) also capable of handling a much faster piece of machinery under more dangerous circumstances. It seems to add an extra layer of security. Could a civilian pilot do what Sully did? I honestly don't know....did he (and others who examined the incident) credit his military training with giving him the skills to pull off that landing, or was it down to the airline training specifically?
You can't separate out the effect of the military training. Flying many different types of aircraft under a variety of conditions will inevitably increase a pilot's ability to manage a plane when things go wrong. Fighter jets and sea landings are pretty extreme.

I'm not suggesting a civilian-trained pilot couldn't have done what Schults did, just that the passengers were lucky to have her in the cockpit when shit got real.
  #22  
Old 04-18-2018, 07:07 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
It appears to be a single blade failure.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DbBjwpkWAAAGTux.jpg

The part of cowling that failed is not required to contain anything AFAIK (perhaps it should be?)
Yeah, saw that pic on the news this morning. Very strange. The duct in the immediate vicinity of the blade tips is intact, which means it withstood the initial impact of the separated blade. There's a LOT of ducting forward of the fan that's missing; I'm wondering how all of that disintegrated so badly. For propelling that loose ducting toward the passenger window, I'm guessing it was aerodynamic forces (on a tumbling piece of duct) rather than initial kinetic energy of the loose blade.
  #23  
Old 04-18-2018, 08:32 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
The pilot is in her late 50s. In her youth, women were largely barred from becoming professional pilots. The Navy was willing to not only let a girl fly their expensive airplanes but also to land them on boats.
Yeah, I'm in my 50's, too, I remember those days and being told girls don't fly airplanes. American Airlines stared hiring women pilots in 1973, the same year the Navy started letting women fly their airplanes.

Quote:
And yeah, I'm pretty sure a Navy fighter pilot will be more skilled than the average Jane.
Anyone flying in the front seat of big Boeing or Airbus is not an average Jane or Joe. Beyond the most basic skills, the techniques and practices of landing a fighter on an aircraft carrier are not the same techniques and practices of landing a commercial passenger jet. I'd certainly expect someone who can do carrier landings to competently learn how to fly passengers but no one jumps from an F-whatever directly into a B737, they have to retrain for the role.

Frankly, I'd say military cargo/personnel pilots are those that have the most experience and training directly related to civilian cargo/passenger flight.

Quote:
My comment had nothing to do with you and whatever local airfield helped you get your amateur pilot's license.
I didn't say it had anything to do with me, I said your implying that pilots trained via the civilian world are less competent than former military pilots is a slap in the face to civilian-trained pilots and that applies regardless of gender.

Yes, the passengers were fortunate have a well trained, competent pilot in the cockpit. And the Navy is certainly one way to get good training. It is not the only way. I get tired of the military-worship in this country and the implication that military people are an uber-race of inherently superior people and no one else can be as good as they are.
  #24  
Old 04-18-2018, 08:48 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
It would be really, really hard for an adult human being to be sucked out of a window in the passenger area. I have no doubt the windstream was pulling her that way, but next time you're in a 737 look at the size of the window in relation to the size of a human being.
Assuming it wasn't a debris strike to her head that killed her, I can well imagine her head flailing violently in the slipstream outside the window, causing potentially fatal head and neck injuries. Especially if she got one shoulder jammed partway through the window as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
There was much talk from the passengers about the rapid descent after the engine blew, but really, that's standard operation - in the event you get a hole like that in the fuselage you really do want to get the airplane down to a lower altitude quick, even with oxygen being supplied to people. At 30,000 feet the air pressure is so low that even 100% oxygen is not going to be able to get into your bloodstream efficiently. It will help, it will certainly extend how long you're conscious, but that altitude isn't compatible with long-term human survival.
Actually you can go quite a bit higher if you're on pure oxygen. At 30,000 feet, atmospheric pressure is 0.3 bar. The minimum O2 partial pressure for normal function is 0.16 psi, so even a 50% O2 concentration is adequate at that altitude. The rapid descent is because the passengers' oxygen generators only operate for about 15-20 minutes; IOW, you've got that long to get them down to a safe altitude before there will be problems with hypoxia.
  #25  
Old 04-18-2018, 09:24 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
I think the only point to be made was that she persevered through obstacles to have a successful career....I don't think any other implication was intended.
If that was what was meant it could have been expressed better - when the Air Force wouldn't let her fly it didn't stop her, her next stop was the Navy - but there have been plenty of amazing women pilots who were not taken by the military at all who still had great careers. And plenty of men you could say the same about. Saying "thank God we have a Navy pilot!" implies that no other could be up to the job.

Quote:
I'm told that the military is hard up for pilots today; they offer huge bonuses in an attempt to retain trained pilots, but still fail.
Maybe because most military flying isn't any more glamorous than other professional flying and civilian flying doesn't require you to be sent to war zones where you might have to dodge bullets or missiles.

I've known a number of military pilots who later moved into the airlines. I also knew an accountant who used to be a fighter pilot but chose to go into accounting rather than the airlines because he didn't like flying passengers/cargo (he took his flight skills to the National Guard reserves for awhile after moving to the civilian world), the difference was great enough that chose and entirely different career after his active military years. And all of those choices are valid. But flying airliners is significantly different than flying fighters.

The military training process weeds out all but excellent pilots, but not all excellent pilots go through the millitary. Chuck Yeager would have been a fantastic pilot however he got in the air because of his innate talent, certain physical traits like better than average eyesight, drive, work ethic and other factors. The fact that he was also born at the right time to be of the right age when the air force was looking for young men to train was serendipity that worked in his favor. In his era the military snapped up pretty much all available pilots, including even the women and black men who were flying or wanted to fly at the time. Post-WWII most pilots were ex-military. However, fewer and fewer pilots are being trained by the military these days, for decades the majority of airline pilots haven't been former military, and the notion that they are somehow not as good is pernicious.

Quote:
I can't say I'm surprised to hear it. Military aviation was really glamorous in the Cold War era; there were many different kinds of fighter and interceptor planes in addition to innumerable other aircraft, they all looked badass, and they were glorified not only through popular films up to and including Top Gun, but also indirectly through Star Wars and Star Trek, especially since military aviation was a potential path to NASA.
Want to hear something funny? Those guys who used to fly the space shuttle are top-notch, they go through a screening process even more stringent than military fighter pilots. Some of them have gone to the airlines after their NASA careers but you'll never find one in the cockpit of a United Airlines airplane - retiring shuttle pilots are all old enough to need bifocals and spending time in space can cause changes in a person's vision. Not one former shuttle pilot has been able to pass United's vision requirements, so that's one airline that has cut itself off from a cohort of excellent pilots. Instead those former shuttle pilots are flying for airlines like Delta and Southwest. All because of a notion that pilots MUST have perfect vision without need for any sort of corrective lens, no matter how minor. For that matter, a former shuttle pilot and Southwest pilot was forced to retire from the airlines on his 60th birthday not because of declining health or ability but because of an age limit set in 1959. Captain Sully was likewise forced to retire at that age, despite his lifetime of experience being a key factor in the "Miracle on the Hudson". I'd rather be on an airplane flown by a 65 or even 70 year old Sully (assuming he's still healthy enough to pass the physical) rather than someone just out of flight training because when the shit hits the fan the more experienced pilot is more likely to get you on the ground alive.

Ms. Shultz is near the end of her career. I'd rather keep her in the cockpit until either she wants to retire, or she is no longer up to the task rather than boot her out due to an age rule set down nearly 60 years ago.

Quote:
Anyway, it seems that there aren't many people clamoring to be military aviators anymore, and so I think we can probably look "forward" to a future where airline pilots with military backgrounds are rare.
The military is also cutting back on the number of people actually flying airplanes and more and more military aviators are drone operators these days. Which is fine, there is definitely skill and training required to fly them, and some of that even overlaps with the knowledge needed to fly sitting in a cockpit. But would you think that a former military drone pilot now flying for the airlines is somehow inherently superior to airline pilots that were trained solely in the civilian world?

Quote:
It seems to add an extra layer of security.
It SEEMS to - that does not mean it actually does.

Quote:
Could a civilian pilot do what Sully did? I honestly don't know....did he (and others who examined the incident) credit his military training with giving him the skills to pull off that landing, or was it down to the airline training specifically?
His lifetime of experience was credited with that - of which his military experience was a part but not the whole of it.

The military doesn't teach fighter pilots how to successfully ditch an aircraft, they teach them to jettison and ride down with a parachute. Sully's training on how to ditch an Airbus came from the civilian world, not his military training. The part of his military training that likely had the greatest impact on that successful landing was not his fighter-pilot training but his glider training - he achieved the level of glider instructor while at the Air Force Academy and being able to handle a non-powered aircraft is a factor in many successful emergency landings, including the Gimli Glider incident up in Canada. Sully didn't just successfully ditch an airliner (and I'll note that the vast majority of such water landings end with a lot of fatalities) he ditched an unpowered airliner. So yes, his military training probably was important, but the most important part of that military experience wasn't necessarily the part about flying a fighter jet.
  #26  
Old 04-18-2018, 09:42 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
You can't separate out the effect of the military training. Flying many different types of aircraft under a variety of conditions will inevitably increase a pilot's ability to manage a plane when things go wrong. Fighter jets and sea landings are pretty extreme.
Sure. But why do you assume civilian pilots don't fly "a variety of aircraft under a variety of conditions"? I'm not the world's best pilot, I really am "merely" a competent amateur, but in my 10 active years of flying I flew 17 different types of airplane, from rickety ultralights to high performance retractable gear airplanes, off 10,000 foot long paved runways to grass strips to actual unimproved fields, from 100+ degrees to sub-zero temperatures, from the Great Plains to the highest parts of the Appalachians, from backyards with a mowed strip to Class B airports like Fort Wayne, Indiana sharing the skies with everything from gliders and single-seat ultralights to landing behind an F-15 and in front of a B737 (that was at Fort Wayne). That's what an amateur pilot might do, not even trying very hard. Some of my likewise "amateur" friends flew off snow-ski landing gear, had amphibious aircraft that could and did fly off both land and water, flew in the Rockies or across the Pacific ocean to get from one island to another, went skydiving, flew aerobatics, and otherwise had varied experiences. Along with us "amateurs" were quite a few airline pilots on their days off likewise doing all sorts of interesting and varied aviation activities, and only a minority of those airline pilots had military experience. Not that there's anything wrong with military experience - the tailwheel instructor I had was purely civilian but had learned to fly WWII vintage fighters from former military pilots and was now passing that knowledge on to other civilian pilots who had interest flying the old airplanes. Civilian aerobatics owe a debt to military dog-fighters that goes back to WWI, but no one in aviation would say you have to have a military background and training to be an excellent, or even world-class, aerobatic pilot.

Quote:
I'm not suggesting a civilian-trained pilot couldn't have done what Schults did, just that the passengers were lucky to have her in the cockpit when shit got real.
Absolutely. I happen to think that there are a LOT of pilots out there who could have handled the recent emergency on the Southwest flight (and I'd like to think that all the airline captains out there could have done so), but everyone on board was fortunate to have a highly skilled, highly experienced, cool-headed person in command when the not only did the shit hit the fan, but pieces of the fan hit the airplane. But having such a highly trained, highly experienced, cool-headed pilot in charge is more the rule than the exception. Thank Og most of them don't have to prove it by regularly landing severely damaged airplanes.
  #27  
Old 04-18-2018, 09:58 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Assuming it wasn't a debris strike to her head that killed her, I can well imagine her head flailing violently in the slipstream outside the window, causing potentially fatal head and neck injuries. Especially if she got one shoulder jammed partway through the window as well.
Yes, that is definitely a possibility. One of the witnesses speaking to the TV crowd didn't got into great detail, but did say that it was obvious there had been a great deal of head trauma to the woman. Lots of blood as well. Trauma could have been caused by either the debris or having her upper body impact the airplane whether when her head went through the window or by being battered by the windstream. Debris -whether from the engine, the ducting, or the shattered window - could have sliced her up badly, even sliced open major blood vessels in her neck. When they pulled her fully back into the airplane passengers laid her out on the floor and started performing CPR, which would indicate she was already in pretty dire shape. Low oxygen probably didn't help the situation, either. She could have died from debris injuries, bleeding out, head/neck trauma, or all of the above.

Quote:
Actually you can go quite a bit higher if you're on pure oxygen. At 30,000 feet, atmospheric pressure is 0.3 bar. The minimum O2 partial pressure for normal function is 0.16 psi, so even a 50% O2 concentration is adequate at that altitude.
Most of the guidelines about such things were set by testing fit, healthy young men. That does not describe the majority of airline passengers. The elderly, the ill, those with impaired lung function for whatever reason are going to be worse off. Some people experience symptoms similar to a mild case of the bends when suddenly exposed to the conditions at 30,000 feet, even fit, healthy young men. So yes, it's expected that people will survive a decompression at 30,000 or even 40,000 feet, but that doesn't mean it will be entirely without consequences.

But yeah, you want to get the airplane lower because the emergency oxygen generators only work for a brief period.
  #28  
Old 04-18-2018, 10:51 AM
Frazzled Frazzled is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,104
When I first heard the name Jennifer Riordan (the woman who died) I thought I recognized it. We work with Wells Fargo, so I looked her up on social media to see if she rung a bell. Turns out I don't, but her profiles are somewhat public on Facebook and Twitter.
She seems like a really nice and positive woman, but what struck me was how absolutely normal her last twitter messages were. She's exactly my age and reflects so many people I'm around every day. She was in NYC for business, had some fun pictures with her contacts, posted a few yelp reviews of restaurants she ate at in NYC (she obviously enjoyed herself). It's just completely crazy to realize how quickly a life can go from routine to over.
  #29  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:02 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 7,073
From what I've read pilots at major airlines the big majority are former military pilots. Many go right from Air Force or Navy to the airlines. Pilots who are trained outside the military normally start out with smaller airlines and might be able to move up to Delta, United, etc. after they get experience.
  #30  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:08 AM
running coach running coach is online now
Arms of Steel, Leg of Jello
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 34,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post

Anyone flying in the front seat of big Boeing or Airbus is not an average Jane or Joe. Beyond the most basic skills, the techniques and practices of landing a fighter on an aircraft carrier are not the same techniques and practices of landing a commercial passenger jet. I'd certainly expect someone who can do carrier landings to competently learn how to fly passengers but no one jumps from an F-whatever directly into a B737, they have to retrain for the role.
Talk about a perfect set-up.
" I flew single engine fighters in the Air Force, but this plane has four engines. It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether. "


Last edited by running coach; 04-18-2018 at 11:08 AM.
  #31  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:12 AM
teela brown teela brown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Almost Silicon Valley
Posts: 9,046
I hope the poor woman died quickly and was spared any pain and fear.

Can anyone in the know comment on this article I recently read in Vanity Fair? Both as to the accuracy of the content about the current state of commercial airplane maintenance, and as to the reporting integrity of Vanity Fair.
  #32  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:13 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 11,436
Here's a Daily Beast article on the incident, and how Captain Shults handled getting the plane safely to the ground.
  #33  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:14 AM
Jasmine Jasmine is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 669
I always keep my seatbelt fastened throughout the duration of an entire flight because you just never know. On my flight to Vegas over spring break, we suddenly hit some violent turbulence passing over the mountains. I was fine, but a few people who had apparently ignored the pilot's admonishment to refasten their seatbelts got tossed around pretty good.

Maybe that wouldn't have saved her life but, then again, maybe it would have.
__________________
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge."
--Daniel J Boorstin
  #34  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:29 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
From what I've read pilots at major airlines the big majority are former military pilots.
That has not been the case since the late 1990's/early 2000s, most airline pilots these days are NOT former military. There certainly are a good number of former military pilots around (even, as I mentioned, some former astronauts), but they are not the majority anymore. Yes, most former military turned airline pilots do go straight from the military to the airlines, but one reason for the rise and expansion of civilian training for airline type flying is that the supply from the military has dropped off so much.

Since the late 60's/early 70's military pilots are now the most senior (like Ms. Shults) they will be occupying the most senior seats in the airlines, but those folks will all be retired due to age restrictions within the next decade and the will be ever fewer former-military in the airlines.

Really, since the Vietnam era pilots have reached retirement age or gotten old enough that various health problems dropped them out of the profession the number of former military pilots in the airlines have dropped significantly.

Last edited by Broomstick; 04-18-2018 at 11:30 AM.
  #35  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:41 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 58,761
O2 masks. You're doing them wrong.
  #36  
Old 04-18-2018, 12:08 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 11,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
If that was what was meant it could have been expressed better - when the Air Force wouldn't let her fly it didn't stop her, her next stop was the Navy - but there have been plenty of amazing women pilots who were not taken by the military at all who still had great careers. And plenty of men you could say the same about. Saying "thank God we have a Navy pilot!" implies that no other could be up to the job.
I implied no such thing. If you inferred it, that's due to your own insecurity and nothing else.

If the Navy had rejected her, and she had become a civilian pilot, the next sentence would have been "Fortunately for everyone on that plane, [whoever trained her] let the lady have her wings."
  #37  
Old 04-18-2018, 01:02 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Yes, that is definitely a possibility. One of the witnesses speaking to the TV crowd didn't got into great detail, but did say that it was obvious there had been a great deal of head trauma to the woman. Lots of blood as well. Trauma could have been caused by either the debris or having her upper body impact the airplane whether when her head went through the window or by being battered by the windstream. Debris -whether from the engine, the ducting, or the shattered window - could have sliced her up badly, even sliced open major blood vessels in her neck. When they pulled her fully back into the airplane passengers laid her out on the floor and started performing CPR, which would indicate she was already in pretty dire shape. Low oxygen probably didn't help the situation, either. She could have died from debris injuries, bleeding out, head/neck trauma, or all of the above.
I just saw an article confirming that the top half of her torso was through the window. This is an impossible fit for a healthy adult, but given that cabin pressure during cruise is about 11 psi, and outdoor pressure at 32,000 feet is about 4 psi, that's a differential of 7 psi, which is more than enough to cause a violent force-fit. Once that window got shattered and blown out, and she got drawn into the outdraft, that's many hundreds of pounds of force trying to shove her body through that hole. In addition to the flailing-related injuries I described upthread, she probably broke numerous bones in her shoulders, ribs, and upper back (with concomitant internal organ damage) as the outrush of air tried to extrude her through the window hole.
  #38  
Old 04-18-2018, 01:03 PM
Jacquernagy Jacquernagy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenario
Posts: 1,216
It sounds like Broomstick is maybe bitter because she didn't cut it in the military? I don't know...and I'm not trying to bust her chops about it, I've just encountered that attitude before. Nevertheless, her posts are informative and interesting, so I appreciate what she's contributed here and I am sure she is a good pilot.
  #39  
Old 04-18-2018, 01:08 PM
Walken After Midnight Walken After Midnight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
This eyewitness said she had her seatbelt on, so that would have probably limited how much of her was sucked out the window. He also said she became unconscious from the window blast, although I'm not sure how he could be sure if this if she was immediately sucked towards the hole.
  #40  
Old 04-18-2018, 02:38 PM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,034
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
" I flew single engine fighters in the Air Force, but this plane has four engines. It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether. "
It's an entirely different kind of flying.

(Hate to leave rc hanging.)
  #41  
Old 04-18-2018, 03:11 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 11,248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
He also said she became unconscious from the window blast, although I'm not sure how he could be sure if this if she was immediately sucked towards the hole.
If her head were outside the airplane, then it stands to reason that the -60 degree temps, lack of breathable oxygen, and 500-mph winds would make her lose consciousness.
  #42  
Old 04-18-2018, 03:22 PM
Walken After Midnight Walken After Midnight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
If her head were outside the airplane, then it stands to reason that the -60 degree temps, lack of breathable oxygen, and 500-mph winds would make her lose consciousness.
I'm sure it would, but it's unclear whether she became unconscious as a result of injury from flying debris, or from having her head potentially out of the window.
  #43  
Old 04-18-2018, 03:23 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
Horrified Onlooker
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Posts: 5,205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
This eyewitness said she had her seatbelt on, so that would have probably limited how much of her was sucked out the window. He also said she became unconscious from the window blast, although I'm not sure how he could be sure if this if she was immediately sucked towards the hole.
(Hypothetical question, with admittedly vague guesses about airspeed and temps)
Assuming she somehow escaped injury from the window blast and being pulled through the window opening, wouldn't the virtually instantaneous exposure to a 500mph freezing hurricane kill her immediately?
  #44  
Old 04-18-2018, 03:31 PM
Walken After Midnight Walken After Midnight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin View Post
(Hypothetical question, with admittedly vague guesses about airspeed and temps)
Assuming she somehow escaped injury from the window blast and being pulled through the window opening, wouldn't the virtually instantaneous exposure to a 500mph freezing hurricane kill her immediately?
A British Airways pilot survived getting sucked out of a cockpit window in 1990 at 17,400 feet, with 345mph winds and temperatures as low as -17 degrees. He survived, but suffered fractures to his right arm, left thumb and right wrist, a dislocated shoulder, as well as frostbite, shock and post-traumatic stress.
  #45  
Old 04-18-2018, 05:51 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Beyond The Fringe
Posts: 27,980
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Talk about a perfect set-up.
" I flew single engine fighters in the Air Force, but this plane has four engines. It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether. "
It's an entirely different kind of flying.


(C'mon, people...)
  #46  
Old 04-18-2018, 06:43 PM
enipla enipla is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 12,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
I just saw an article confirming that the top half of her torso was through the window. This is an impossible fit for a healthy adult, but given that cabin pressure during cruise is about 11 psi, and outdoor pressure at 32,000 feet is about 4 psi, that's a differential of 7 psi, which is more than enough to cause a violent force-fit. Once that window got shattered and blown out, and she got drawn into the outdraft, that's many hundreds of pounds of force trying to shove her body through that hole. In addition to the flailing-related injuries I described upthread, she probably broke numerous bones in her shoulders, ribs, and upper back (with concomitant internal organ damage) as the outrush of air tried to extrude her through the window hole.
Uh yeah. Umm... If the top half of her torso went through the window. I very much doubt that two guys could pull her back in. Not that just her head and perhaps and arm and shoulder didn't go through.

Not that it really matters. People explain things wrong under high stress situations. And reporters sometimes use the wrong words.
__________________
I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from here.
  #47  
Old 04-18-2018, 07:00 PM
excavating (for a mind) excavating (for a mind) is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: In a canyon, in a cavern
Posts: 1,215
Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutMan View Post
It's an entirely different kind of flying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddha_david View Post
It's an entirely different kind of flying.
It's an entirely different kind of flying.

(That's how its done)
  #48  
Old 04-18-2018, 10:02 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
It sounds like Broomstick is maybe bitter because she didn't cut it in the military?
Nope, never had any interest in joining the military.

Quote:
Nevertheless, her posts are informative and interesting, so I appreciate what she's contributed here and I am sure she is a good pilot.
Thank you.
  #49  
Old 04-18-2018, 10:09 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Uh yeah. Umm... If the top half of her torso went through the window. I very much doubt that two guys could pull her back in. Not that just her head and perhaps and arm and shoulder didn't go through.

Not that it really matters. People explain things wrong under high stress situations. And reporters sometimes use the wrong words.
Apparently, she was wearing her seatbelt at the time.

While the initial difference in pressure might have sucked her (partially) out the window, after a brief time the pressure would equalize and make it easier/possible to pull her back in.
  #50  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:50 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 43,018
It looks like she died from the shrapnel.

Cite
Quote:
An airline passenger who was killed Tuesday when an engine explosion caused a window to break died of blunt impact trauma to her head, neck and torso, according to the Philadelphia medical examiner.
When they pulled her back in they noted lots of blood. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The universe is so fucking random, isn't it?
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 11:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, 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.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017