1969: Boeing 747, then Concorde, and the Moon!

We have just published a two-part large print edition of Air Crashes and Miracle Landings for readers who said they were so fascinated they were reading it cover to cover.

In September 2019 we will be publishing Part 3–a glossary and flying dictionary full of facts. Here is an extract:

1969

Technologically speaking, 1969 was a remarkable year. In February there was the maiden flight of the Boeing 747, followed a month later by that of the Anglo-French supersonic Concorde. Then to cap it all, on July 21 Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon.

367-80 (Dash-80)

Prototype four-engine jet aircraft that first flew on July 15, 1954 and was the forerunner to the KC-135 Stratotanker and the Boeing 707.

7X7 Designation for Boeing Airliners

The names of Boeing jet airliners begin with a 7 simply because that was the number the company used to designate a jet as opposed to, say, a piston-engine aircraft. Adding a 7 at the end was customary to avoid the appearance that it was the first one of a type and because it sounded better. The 7X7 denomination subsequently stuck and became so well known that people often omit the Boeing prefix when referring to their civilian jet airliners.

Note that the B in, say, the B-52 and B-17 bombers does not refer to Boeing, even though they are Boeing aircraft. (See Designations for US Military Aircraft.)

707 1958/1,010
KC-135 Stratotanker 1957/800 Approx.

[Editor’s note: Unless otherwise specified, the year after an aircraft type indicates when it entered service and not the date of the first flight. The number after the forward slash is the number (including variants) produced. A plus (+) sign indicates production is ongoing.]

Based on design work for the 367-80 (Dash-80) prototype jet-engine midair-refueling platform, the Boeing 707 was not quite the brave betting-the-companyventure it is often purported to have been, since there was an obvious market for the refueling tanker because jet-engine bombers developed in the late 1950s had to lose height and slow to almost stalling speed for refueling by traditional piston-engine tankers.

Having developed the refueling boom used by those piston-engine tankers, Boeing duly received orders for what they called the KC-135 Stratotanker. It was ultimately to prove a greater money-spinner than the famous 707, because the arrival on the commercial scene of competitors, such as Douglas with the DC-8, which had a wider cabin and greater payload, necessitated a number of expensive modifications to the airliner variant.

The 707 entered commercial service in 1958 with Pan Am across the North Atlantic, just a few weeks after the much smaller and more-expensive-to-operate revamped British Comet 4. (See Comet.)

Douglas, the longtime favorite of the US civil aviation industry, had held back on developing a jet-engine airliner in the expectation that economical turboprops would be the sensible and logical next step. Once a reliable and much faster jetliner arrived on the scene, it was obliged to follow suit, for the public regarded turboprops as passé, even though they are really a jet engine with a propeller attached to it.

Pan Am’s exclusive 707 jet flights had the then-unheard-of load factors of 90 percent.

717 1999/156

Originally a sales flop, this hundred-seat twinjet was the MD-95 before Boeing took over McDonnell Douglas and renamed it the 717. A derivative of the DC-9 family, it has now found a new lease of life in the secondhand market, with Delta and Hawaiian Airlines pouncing on any that become available—”they look so modern” say Delta.

727 1967/1,381

When introduced into commercial service in December 1967, the Boeing 727 was the first trijet, and no one imagined it would become one of the most successful aircraft up to that time, with production continuing up until August 1984. As a short- to medium-range airliner, it was widely used on US domestic routes via secondary airports. Overseas airlines also had many similar routes where it could be used to advantage.

For a passenger with a window seat above the wing, the sight of the deployment of its flaps and slats was astounding—the wing would seem to spread like that of an eagle, allowing you to see right through the middle. As Boeing said, these sophisticated, triple-slotted, trailing-edge flaps and novel leading-edge slats gave the 727 low-speed landing and takeoff performance, unprecedented for a commercial jet, allowing it to service smaller airports than those the 707 required. The width of the fuselage was nevertheless the same as the 707’s.

Pilots greatly appreciated the operational flexibility these flaps and slats provided but at first failed to realize they presented a danger. Extremely high sink rates could develop without them noticing—37 percent thrust was required just to maintain level flight with full flap. Recovery from a high sink rate, and especially at low airspeeds and low engine revolutions, took time, and until they remembered this, there were occasions when there was not enough time, with disastrous results. In those days pilots did not have the sophisticated automatic sink-rate warnings they have now—one reason why flying is so much safer today.

Other novel features that made it possible to deploy the aircraft at smaller airports with limited facilities included:

  1. An auxiliary power unit (APU), providing electrical power without having to run the engines;
  2. The ability to back up without a tractor;
  3. An underbelly gravity-operated airstair to enable passengers to embark and disembark without provision of steps by the airport. (A hijacker famously deployed this airstair midflight to parachute from the aircraft with two hundred thousand dollars in ransom money. (See D. B. Cooper.)

There was an incident in 1979 where a 727 climbed to 39,000 ft to escape from a 100 mph headwind that had been delaying progress and using up its fuel. At that exceptionally high altitude, the aircraft suddenly yawed, flipped over, and entered a precipitous dive. Deployment of the spoilers/air brakes had no effect, and it was only by lowering the landing gear (undercarriage) at an airspeed where doing so would normally be unthinkable—resulting in the housing being ripped off—that the pilot, a Captain Gibson, was able to recover and land safely.

Though many thought Gibson a hero, the authorities accused him, the copilot, and the flight engineer of having intentionally deployed the slats in order to be able to fly better at that great height—it being alleged that pilots were in the habit of doing this surreptitiously. Gibson always maintained that one of the slats had deployed on its own with no input from the crew.

An excellent account of this muddied affair can be found in Stanley Stewart’s excellent Emergency: Crisis on the Flight Deck.According to Stewart, deploying the slats did not improve performance at great heights, and the whole idea of pilots doing this on a large scale must therefore have been largely untrue.

Whatever the truth, it was an early demonstration of how dangerous it can be if something untoward happens when cruising in thin air at very great heights, in other words in “coffin corner.”

737 1968/8,471+

The most successful series of aircraft ever. Having passed through three generations and looking forward to a fourth, the 737 is still going strong. In 2015 the total number produced and on order exceeded thirteen thousand.

The 737 is a narrow-body twinjet and is especially favored by low-cost carriers, such as the US’s Southwest Airlines and Ireland’s Ryanair. When first conceived in the mid-1960s, the aircraft had relatively small Pratt & Whitney JT8D-1 engines under the wings, allowing it to sit very close to the ground.

This had a number of advantages, such as facilitating servicing of the engines and faster turnaround times, since baggage, food, refreshments, and so on did not have to be heaved high up in the air. One disadvantage has been lack of room for modern, more powerful, larger-diameter engines. The solution chosen was to place engine accessories to the side of the engines, which explains the odd-looking oval-shaped nacelles.

People might well be surprised to know that sales of the 737 were initially so sluggish that in 1970 Boeing was considering canceling the program and selling the design to the Japanese.

By progressively improving on and adding to a basic design, a process called “grandfathering,” Boeing has been able to proceed without waiting for time-wasting approvals.

There are four generations of 737: (1) Original; (2) Classic; (3) Next Generation; and (4) Max, that first went into service in 2017. Boeing did around 2014 toy with the idea of developing a completely new aircraft to replace the 737 but decided against it in view of the enormous cost of doing so, and no doubt the billions of dollars spent on the 787. Also, with technology and materials continuously evolving, it is difficult to choose the right moment to go for a radical new design. If one launches a new design prematurely, one runs the risk of it being out of date shortly after entering service.

737 MAX  ……………………………………………………………….

———————————————————-

Table of Contents

Preface V

~ 0123 ~_ 1

1969_ 1

367-80 (Boeing Dash-80) 1

7X7 Designation for Boeing Airliners 2

707 (Boeing 707) 1958/1,010  KC-135 Stratotanker 1957/800 Approx. 2

717 (Boeing 717) 1999/156_ 3

727 (Boeing 727) 1967/1,381_ 3

737 (Boeing 737) 1968/8,471+_ 5

737 MAX (Boeing 737 MAX) 6

747 (Boeing 747 Classic and Variants) 1970/1,514+_ 7

747-8 (Boeing 747-8) 2012/97+_ 8

757 (Boeing 757) 1983/1,050_ 9

767 (Boeing 767) 1982/1,038+_ 9

777 (Boeing 777) 1995/1,340+ (September 2015) 11

787 (Boeing 787 Dreamliner) 2011/329+_ 12

9/11_ 13

~ A ~_ 14

A300 (Airbus A300) 1974/561 14

A320 (Airbus A320 Family) 1988/6,774+_ 15

A340 (Airbus A340) 1993/375 A330 (Airbus A330) 1994/908+_ 17

A350 (Airbus A350) 18

A380 (Airbus 380) 2007/87+_ 18

ACARS: 19

Accelerate-Stop Distance 21

Accident Models (Academic Theories) 21

“Adam” (Code) 22

ADC: Air Data Computer 22

ADF: Automatic Direction Finder 22

Administration or Agency? (US Usage) 23

ADS-B: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast 23

Aerodynamics Index (NASA Glenn Research Center) 25

Aeroelasticity_ 25

AFCS: Automatic Flight Control System_ 25

Age of Pilot (Maximum) 26

agl (Above Ground Level) 27

AIDS: Aircraft Integrated Data System_ 27

AIM (Aeronautical Information Manual) 27

Air China_ 27

Air Force One 27

Air Marshals 28

Air Rage 29

Air Traffic Clearance 30

Air Traffic Control (ATC) 30

Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) 31

Air Transport Association (ATA) [US] 31

Air Transport World: ATW_ 32

Airbus 32

A320 Paves the Way to Success and Overconfidence 35

Aircraft Registration Codes 38

Air Cushion Seats 38

Airfoil [US]/Aerofoil [UK] 38

Airframe 38

Airframer 39

Airline Codes 39

Airline Deregulation Act (US) 40

Airlines for America: A4A_ 40

Airport Codes 40

Aisle 40

Airspeed_ 41

Airspeed Indicator (ASI) 41

Airstair 41

Airway_ 42

Airworthiness Directive (AD) 42

Alarp: As Low as Is Reasonably Practicable 43

Alcohol 43

Alerts 44

Algorithm_ 44

Alpha-Floor (Airbus) 44

Alphabet Enunciation (A, B, C…) 45

Alternate Law_ 45

Altimeter 46

Altitude 47

Angle of Attack (AoA) (α) 47

Anhedral 47

Antimissile Technology_ 48

APU: Auxiliary Power Unit 48

Approach_ 48

Approach Control 48

Apron_ 49

Artificial Horizon (AH) 49

ASK: Available Seat Kilometers 49

ASRS: Aviation Safety Reporting System_ 49

Asymmetric Flight 49

Asymmetric Warfare 50

ATA: Air Transport Association of America_ 50

ATC: Air Traffic Control 51

ATC Clearance 51

ATIS: Automated Terminal Information Service 51

ATPL: Airline Transport Pilot License 51

Attitude 51

Atropine/Belladonna 51

Autoland_ 52

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) 53

Autopilot 53

Autorotation (Autogiro/Helicopter) 54

AUW: All-Up Weight 54

Avgas: Aviation Gasoline 54

~ B ~_ 56

B- (B-17, B-29, B-52, etc.) 56

Base Leg_ 56

Bathtub Curve 56

Behavior Detection Officers 57

Black Boxes (CVR and FDR) 57

Boeing_ 58

Boneyard_ 60

Bugs 60

Bulkhead, Rear 61

Bunt 61

~ C ~_ 62

CAM: Cockpit Area Microphone 62

Canard_ 63

Category (Visibility for IFR Approach) 63

Cayley, George (1773–1857) 64

CDL: Configuration Deviation List 65

CDU: Control/Display Unit 65

Ceiling_ 65

Center: Air Route Traffic Control Center 65

CFIT: Controlled Flight into Terrain_ 65

Chapter 11 (of US Bankruptcy Code) 66

Check Captain_ 66

China Airlines 66

CHIRP: Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting_ 67

CFDS: Centralized Fault Display System_ 67

Cleanskin_ 67

Clearway_ 67

Cockpit 68

Cockpit Confidential 68

Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) 68

Cockpit Video Recorder 69

Cockpit-Centric (as Opposed to Tower-Centric) 70

Comet (de Havilland Comet) 70

Composites 71

Compressor Stall 72

Concorde (Supersonic Transport) 72

Configuration_ 73

Commonality_ 73

Computer-Aided Design: CAD_ 73

Connectors (Airlines Based on Strategic Hubs) 74

Constellation/Lockheed Constellation Military 1943, and Civil Version 1945 850+_ 74

Contaminated Runway_ 75

Contrails/Vapor Trails 75

Control Area/Zone 76

Controlled Airspace 76

Convair 880 and 990, 1960/65 and 1961/37 76

Coordinated Flight 77

Coordinates 77

Corrosion_ 78

Your life is worth…?) 78

CPL: Commercial Pilot License 79

Crab (Landing Crabwise) 79

Criminalization (Antithesis of “No Blame”) 80

CRM: Crew Resource Management 80

Cycle (Usually Equal to Number of Flights) 81

CVR: Cockpit Voice Recorder 81

~ D ~_ 83

Data Mining_ 83

“D. B. Cooper” Mystery_ 83

DC-8 (Douglas DC-8) 1959/556_ 85

DC-9 (McDonnell Douglas DC-9) 1965/576 (Prior to MD Variants) 86

DC-10 (McDonnell Douglas DC-10) 1971/386_ 86

KC-10 (McDonnell Douglas KC-10) 1981/64 86

Deadheading_ 87

Dead-Stick Landing_ 87

Deceleron_ 87

Decision Height 87

Decompression (Loss of Cabin Pressure) 88

Deicing (Anti-Icing) 89

Depleted Uranium (DU) 90

Designations (US Military Aircraft) 90

Detent 91

Dihedral 92

Directed Energy Weapons—Ray Guns 92

Disinsection_ 92

Displaced Threshold_ 93

Distances 93

DME: Distance Measuring Equipment 93

DNIF: Duties Not Involving (Including) Flying_ 94

DOC: Direct Operating Costs 94

Dogfight 94

Doppler Effect 94

Drag_ 95

Drift 95

Duopoly (Boeing/Airbus) 95

Dutch Roll 95

Dryden Flight Research Center (NASA) 96

~ E ~_ 97

Earhart, Amelia 1897–1937_ 97

EASA: European Aviation Safety Agency_ 97

EasyJet 97

ECAM: Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (Airbus) 98

Echelon_ 98

EFIS: Electronic Flight Instrument System_ 98

EICAS: Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (Boeing) 99

Electra (Lockheed Electra) 99

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) 100

Elevation_ 100

Elevon (Elevator + Aileron) 100

EMAS: Engineered Material Arresting Systems 101

Empennage 101

Endurance 101

Engines 102

Engine Maker 102

Envelope/Pushing the (Flight) Envelope 102

EPR: Engine Pressure Ratio_ 102

EUCARE: European Confidential Accident Reporting_ 103

EUROCONTROL_ 103

Evacuation (Certification) 103

Evacuation (Dilemma) 104

Extension (Runway Extension) 105

~ F ~_ 106

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration (US) 106

FADEC: Full Authority Digital Engine Control 106

FAR: Federal Aviation Regulations 106

Fasteners 107

Fatigue (Human) 107

FDR: Flight Data Recorder 107

Ferry Flight 108

Fin (Tail Fin); Vertical Stabilizer (US) 108

Final/Final Approach_ 109

Flameout 109

Flaperon_ 109

Flight Data Management (FDM)/Analysis (FDA) 109

Flight Director: FD_ 110

Flight Level (FL) 110

Flight Plan_ 111

Flutter 111

Fly America Act 112

FMS: Flight Management System_ 112

FOD: Foreign Object Damage/Foreign Object Debris 112

Freedoms (Overfly, Landing Rights) 113

Fuel Reserves 116

Funneling (Navigation Paradox) 116

~ G ~_ 118

g_ 118

GA: General Aviation_ 118

Gait Analysis/Facial Recognition_ 118

Geared Turbofan (GTF) 119

Generation (e.g., Fifth Generation) 119

Germany’s Contribution_ 120

Glide Path_ 120

Glide Ratio (How Far with No Engine?) 120

Go-Around_ 121

GPS: Global Positioning System_ 122

Grandfather Rights 123

Graveyard Spiral and Spatial Disorientation (SD) 124

Ground Effect 125

Ground Proximity Warning System: GPWS 125

Ground Speed_ 126

Gyro and Gyroscope 126

~ H ~_ 127

Handoff, to Hand Off 127

Heading_ 127

Head-Up Display (HUD) 127

Headwind/Tailwind_ 128

Heavy_ 128

Helicopter 128

High-Bypass Turbofan Engines 129

Holding Pattern (Stack) 129

HSI: Horizontal Situation Indicator 129

Hub Buster 130

Human Error 130

Hydrogen-Powered Airliners? 130

Hypersonic 130

~ I ~_ 132

IATA: International Air Transport Association_ 132

ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization_ 132

IED: Improvised Explosive Device 133

IFE: In-Flight Entertainment (Systems) 133

IFF: Identification of Friend or Foe 134

IFR: Instrument Flight Rules 134

ILS: Instrument Landing System_ 134

IMC: Instrument Meteorological Conditions 134

Inertial Navigation System (INS) 134

Infant Mortality_ 135

Insulation (Electrical, Thermal, Acoustic, Etc.) 135

Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) 135

Intersection (Navigation Using Radio Aids/VOR) 136

ITCZ: Intertropical Convergence Zone 137

~ JK ~_ 138

Jane’s 138

Jeppesen_ 138

JFK/John F. Kennedy International Airport 138

John Doe Immunity_ 139

Joystick_ 139

Judgment Errors 139

Kapton_ 140

Knot (kt): Nautical Miles Per Hour 140

~ L ~_ 141

Ladkin, Peter Bernard_ 141

Lady Grace Drummond-Hay_ 141

Launch customer 142

LCC: Low-Cost Carrier 143

Lease (Wet/Dry, and So On) 143

Leading Edge 144

Learning Curve (Aircraft Production Costs) 144

Legacy Carrier 145

LIFO: Last in, First out 145

Lidar: Light Detection and Ranging_ 146

Lift 146

Lockheed Martin_ 146

Loiter Time (LT) 148

LSA: Lowest Safe Altitude 148

~ M ~_ 150

Mach_ 150

MANPADS: Man-Portable Air Defense Systems 150

Maximum Takeoff Weight: MTOW_ 151

Maximum Zero Fuel Weight 151

“Mayday… Mayday… Mayday”_ 152

MD (McDonnell Douglas) 153

MD-80 Series 1980/800+_ 153

MD-90 1995/114 153

METAR: Aviation Routine Weather Report 153

Microsoft Flight Simulator 154

Missed Approach_ 154

Mode 155

MORA: Minimum Off-Route Altitude 155

MRO: Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul 155

MSA: Minimum Safe Altitude 155

~ N ~_ 156

N1 and N2 (Engine Performance) 156

Nacelles 156

Nanosatellite (Microsatellite) 157

Narrow-Body_ 157

NASA: National Air and Space Administration_ 157

National Air and Space Museum (Washington): NASM_ 157

Navaid_ 158

NDB: Nondirectional Beacon_ 158

Near Miss 158

NextGen: Next Generation Air Transportation System_ 158

nm: Nautical Mile 159

Number One, Two, or Three Engine? 159

Normal Accident 159

Northrop Grumman_ 160

NOTAM: Notice to Airmen_ 160

NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board_ 161

~ O ~_ 163

Onboard Threat Detection System_ 163

Octas 163

Open-Jaw (Ticket) 163

Open Skies Agreement 164

Outer Marker 164

Overrun_ 165

Overspeed_ 165

~ P ~_ 166

Pairing_ 166

“Pan-pan!” 166

Passports (Biometric) 166

Pentagon_ 166

Perrow, Prof. Charles B. 167

PF: Pilot Flying_ 167

PFD: Primary Flight Display_ 167

Phugoid_ 168

PIREP: Pilot’s Reports 168

Piggybacking_ 169

Pilot Training (Becoming a Pilot) 169

Pitot Tube (Pitot Probe) 169

Planetary Gears/Cyclic Gears 170

PNF: Pilot Not Flying_ 170

Pods (Engines Mounted in Pods under Wings) 170

Pork Barrel 171

PPL: Private Pilots License 172

PPRuNe: Professional Pilots Rumour Network_ 172

~ Q ~_ 173

Q Codes (QFE and QNE) 173

Quick Access Data Recorder (QADR) 173

~ R ~_ 175

Radar: Radio Detection and Ranging_ 175

Radial 177

Radio Altitude 177

Ranging_ 178

RAT: Ram Air Turbine 178

RDD: Radiological Dispersal Devices 178

Rear-Mounted Engines 178

Reason, Prof. James 179

Red-Eye 179

Redispatch_ 179

Rejected Takeoff: RTO (Aborted Takeoff) 180

Relight 180

RFID: Radio Frequency Identification_ 180

Rollover (Helicopter) 181

Roster 181

ROT: Rate of Turn_ 182

RPK: Revenue Passengers Kilometers 182

RSA: Runway Safety Area_ 183

Rudder 183

Ruddervators/V-Tail 183

Runway_ 183

Runway Visual Range: RVR_ 184

Ryanair 184

RSA: Runway Safety Area_ 184

RVR: Runway Visual Range 185

~ S ~_ 186

Sabotage (First Proven Case) 186

Safety_ 186

Screening of Passengers, Luggage, and Freight 187

Self-Healing_ 189

Separation_ 189

SHM: Structural Health Monitoring_ 189

Shoe Bomber (Richard Reid) 189

Showers (On Board) 191

Sidestick: Sidestick Controller (SSC) 192

SIGINT: Signals Intelligence 192

Sigmet: Significant Meteorological Information_ 192

Skidding and Sideslipping_ 192

SKYbrary (http://www.skybrary.aero) 193

Slant Distance 193

Slot 193

SMS: Safety Management Systems 194

SOP: Standard Operating Practice 194

Speed Tape 194

Spitfire (Legendary World War II Fighter) 195

Spoilers 195

Spot Height 195

Squawk_ 196

Squirt 196

SSR: Secondary Surveillance Radar 196

Stabilized Approach_ 196

Stall 197

Static Pressure 198

Static Wicks/Static Discharge Wicks 198

Stick Shaker 198

Straight-In (Landing) 198

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) 198

Subsonic Flight 199

Supersonic Flight (>Mach 1) 199

Supersonic Transport (SST) 200

Swiss Cheese Accident Model 200

~ T ~_ 202

TACAN: Tactical Air Navigation_ 202

Taking Off (Critical V-Speeds) 202

Taking Off (Flap and Slat Settings) 202

Taxiing (from Gate to the Runway) 203

Taxiing (from Runway to Gate) 203

TCAS: Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System_ 204

TCDS: Type Certificate Data Sheets (FAA) 204

Thales 204

Thermals 204

Threshold_ 205

Thrust Vectoring_ 205

Tilt Rotor Helicopter 205

Titanium_ 206

TOGA: Takeoff/Go-Around_ 206

TRACON: Terminal Radar Approach Control 206

Track_ 206

Transponder 206

Traffic Pattern_ 207

Trident (Hawker Siddeley Trident) [1964] 117_ 207

Trim (Adjusting the Trim) 207

TriStar (Lockheed L1101) 1972/250 208

TSA: Transportation Security Administration_ 208

Turn and Bank Indicator 209

~ UV ~_ 210

UAV: Unmanned Air Vehicle 210

Ullage 210

Undercarriage/Landing Gear 210

USA: United Space Alliance 211

UTC: Coordinated Universal Time/Zulu_ 211

V-Speeds 212

VS: Stalling speed_ 212

V1: Takeoff decision speed_ 212

VR: Rotation speed_ 212

V2: Takeoff safety speed_ 212

VREF: Speed for Final Phase of a Landing_ 212

VASIS: Visual Approach Slope Indicator System_ 213

VC10 (Vickers VC10) 1964/54_ 213

Vertical Speed_ 213

VFR: Visual Flight Rules (as Opposed to IFR) 213

VHF: Very High Frequency_ 214

Viscount (Vickers Viscount) 1950/445 214

VOR: Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range 214

~ WXYZ ~_ 215

WAAS: Wide Area Augmentation System_ 215

Wake Turbulence 215

Washington, DC_ 216

Wicks 216

Whittle, Frank_ 216

Whiteout 216

Windscreen/Windshield_ 217

Winglet 217

Wiring and Wi-Fi (Special Wave Band) 217

X-, Y-, Z-Axes 218

Yaw_ 218

Zulu: (GMT/UTC) 218

UPDATES_ 223

Lion Air 737_ 223

Our online Shop for Multiple Copies 228

Contents

Preface V

~ 0123 ~_ 1

1969_ 1

367-80 (Boeing Dash-80) 1

7X7 Designation for Boeing Airliners 2

707 (Boeing 707) 1958/1,010  KC-135 Stratotanker 1957/800 Approx. 2

717 (Boeing 717) 1999/156_ 3

727 (Boeing 727) 1967/1,381_ 3

737 (Boeing 737) 1968/8,471+_ 5

737 MAX (Boeing 737 MAX) 6

747 (Boeing 747 Classic and Variants) 1970/1,514+_ 7

747-8 (Boeing 747-8) 2012/97+_ 8

757 (Boeing 757) 1983/1,050_ 9

767 (Boeing 767) 1982/1,038+_ 9

777 (Boeing 777) 1995/1,340+ (September 2015) 11

787 (Boeing 787 Dreamliner) 2011/329+_ 12

9/11_ 13

~ A ~_ 14

A300 (Airbus A300) 1974/561 14

A320 (Airbus A320 Family) 1988/6,774+_ 15

A340 (Airbus A340) 1993/375 A330 (Airbus A330) 1994/908+_ 17

A350 (Airbus A350) 18

A380 (Airbus 380) 2007/87+_ 18

ACARS: 19

Accelerate-Stop Distance 21

Accident Models (Academic Theories) 21

“Adam” (Code) 22

ADC: Air Data Computer 22

ADF: Automatic Direction Finder 22

Administration or Agency? (US Usage) 23

ADS-B: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast 23

Aerodynamics Index (NASA Glenn Research Center) 25

Aeroelasticity_ 25

AFCS: Automatic Flight Control System_ 25

Age of Pilot (Maximum) 26

agl (Above Ground Level) 27

AIDS: Aircraft Integrated Data System_ 27

AIM (Aeronautical Information Manual) 27

Air China_ 27

Air Force One 27

Air Marshals 28

Air Rage 29

Air Traffic Clearance 30

Air Traffic Control (ATC) 30

Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) 31

Air Transport Association (ATA) [US] 31

Air Transport World: ATW_ 32

Airbus 32

A320 Paves the Way to Success and Overconfidence 35

Aircraft Registration Codes 38

Air Cushion Seats 38

Airfoil [US]/Aerofoil [UK] 38

Airframe 38

Airframer 39

Airline Codes 39

Airline Deregulation Act (US) 40

Airlines for America: A4A_ 40

Airport Codes 40

Aisle 40

Airspeed_ 41

Airspeed Indicator (ASI) 41

Airstair 41

Airway_ 42

Airworthiness Directive (AD) 42

Alarp: As Low as Is Reasonably Practicable 43

Alcohol 43

Alerts 44

Algorithm_ 44

Alpha-Floor (Airbus) 44

Alphabet Enunciation (A, B, C…) 45

Alternate Law_ 45

Altimeter 46

Altitude 47

Angle of Attack (AoA) (α) 47

Anhedral 47

Antimissile Technology_ 48

APU: Auxiliary Power Unit 48

Approach_ 48

Approach Control 48

Apron_ 49

Artificial Horizon (AH) 49

ASK: Available Seat Kilometers 49

ASRS: Aviation Safety Reporting System_ 49

Asymmetric Flight 49

Asymmetric Warfare 50

ATA: Air Transport Association of America_ 50

ATC: Air Traffic Control 51

ATC Clearance 51

ATIS: Automated Terminal Information Service 51

ATPL: Airline Transport Pilot License 51

Attitude 51

Atropine/Belladonna 51

Autoland_ 52

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) 53

Autopilot 53

Autorotation (Autogiro/Helicopter) 54

AUW: All-Up Weight 54

Avgas: Aviation Gasoline 54

~ B ~_ 56

B- (B-17, B-29, B-52, etc.) 56

Base Leg_ 56

Bathtub Curve 56

Behavior Detection Officers 57

Black Boxes (CVR and FDR) 57

Boeing_ 58

Boneyard_ 60

Bugs 60

Bulkhead, Rear 61

Bunt 61

~ C ~_ 62

CAM: Cockpit Area Microphone 62

Canard_ 63

Category (Visibility for IFR Approach) 63

Cayley, George (1773–1857) 64

CDL: Configuration Deviation List 65

CDU: Control/Display Unit 65

Ceiling_ 65

Center: Air Route Traffic Control Center 65

CFIT: Controlled Flight into Terrain_ 65

Chapter 11 (of US Bankruptcy Code) 66

Check Captain_ 66

China Airlines 66

CHIRP: Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting_ 67

CFDS: Centralized Fault Display System_ 67

Cleanskin_ 67

Clearway_ 67

Cockpit 68

Cockpit Confidential 68

Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) 68

Cockpit Video Recorder 69

Cockpit-Centric (as Opposed to Tower-Centric) 70

Comet (de Havilland Comet) 70

Composites 71

Compressor Stall 72

Concorde (Supersonic Transport) 72

Configuration_ 73

Commonality_ 73

Computer-Aided Design: CAD_ 73

Connectors (Airlines Based on Strategic Hubs) 74

Constellation/Lockheed Constellation Military 1943, and Civil Version 1945 850+_ 74

Contaminated Runway_ 75

Contrails/Vapor Trails 75

Control Area/Zone 76

Controlled Airspace 76

Convair 880 and 990, 1960/65 and 1961/37 76

Coordinated Flight 77

Coordinates 77

Corrosion_ 78

Your life is worth…?) 78

CPL: Commercial Pilot License 79

Crab (Landing Crabwise) 79

Criminalization (Antithesis of “No Blame”) 80

CRM: Crew Resource Management 80

Cycle (Usually Equal to Number of Flights) 81

CVR: Cockpit Voice Recorder 81

~ D ~_ 83

Data Mining_ 83

“D. B. Cooper” Mystery_ 83

DC-8 (Douglas DC-8) 1959/556_ 85

DC-9 (McDonnell Douglas DC-9) 1965/576 (Prior to MD Variants) 86

DC-10 (McDonnell Douglas DC-10) 1971/386_ 86

KC-10 (McDonnell Douglas KC-10) 1981/64 86

Deadheading_ 87

Dead-Stick Landing_ 87

Deceleron_ 87

Decision Height 87

Decompression (Loss of Cabin Pressure) 88

Deicing (Anti-Icing) 89

Depleted Uranium (DU) 90

Designations (US Military Aircraft) 90

Detent 91

Dihedral 92

Directed Energy Weapons—Ray Guns 92

Disinsection_ 92

Displaced Threshold_ 93

Distances 93

DME: Distance Measuring Equipment 93

DNIF: Duties Not Involving (Including) Flying_ 94

DOC: Direct Operating Costs 94

Dogfight 94

Doppler Effect 94

Drag_ 95

Drift 95

Duopoly (Boeing/Airbus) 95

Dutch Roll 95

Dryden Flight Research Center (NASA) 96

~ E ~_ 97

Earhart, Amelia 1897–1937_ 97

EASA: European Aviation Safety Agency_ 97

EasyJet 97

ECAM: Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (Airbus) 98

Echelon_ 98

EFIS: Electronic Flight Instrument System_ 98

EICAS: Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (Boeing) 99

Electra (Lockheed Electra) 99

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) 100

Elevation_ 100

Elevon (Elevator + Aileron) 100

EMAS: Engineered Material Arresting Systems 101

Empennage 101

Endurance 101

Engines 102

Engine Maker 102

Envelope/Pushing the (Flight) Envelope 102

EPR: Engine Pressure Ratio_ 102

EUCARE: European Confidential Accident Reporting_ 103

EUROCONTROL_ 103

Evacuation (Certification) 103

Evacuation (Dilemma) 104

Extension (Runway Extension) 105

~ F ~_ 106

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration (US) 106

FADEC: Full Authority Digital Engine Control 106

FAR: Federal Aviation Regulations 106

Fasteners 107

Fatigue (Human) 107

FDR: Flight Data Recorder 107

Ferry Flight 108

Fin (Tail Fin); Vertical Stabilizer (US) 108

Final/Final Approach_ 109

Flameout 109

Flaperon_ 109

Flight Data Management (FDM)/Analysis (FDA) 109

Flight Director: FD_ 110

Flight Level (FL) 110

Flight Plan_ 111

Flutter 111

Fly America Act 112

FMS: Flight Management System_ 112

FOD: Foreign Object Damage/Foreign Object Debris 112

Freedoms (Overfly, Landing Rights) 113

Fuel Reserves 116

Funneling (Navigation Paradox) 116

~ G ~_ 118

g_ 118

GA: General Aviation_ 118

Gait Analysis/Facial Recognition_ 118

Geared Turbofan (GTF) 119

Generation (e.g., Fifth Generation) 119

Germany’s Contribution_ 120

Glide Path_ 120

Glide Ratio (How Far with No Engine?) 120

Go-Around_ 121

GPS: Global Positioning System_ 122

Grandfather Rights 123

Graveyard Spiral and Spatial Disorientation (SD) 124

Ground Effect 125

Ground Proximity Warning System: GPWS 125

Ground Speed_ 126

Gyro and Gyroscope 126

~ H ~_ 127

Handoff, to Hand Off 127

Heading_ 127

Head-Up Display (HUD) 127

Headwind/Tailwind_ 128

Heavy_ 128

Helicopter 128

High-Bypass Turbofan Engines 129

Holding Pattern (Stack) 129

HSI: Horizontal Situation Indicator 129

Hub Buster 130

Human Error 130

Hydrogen-Powered Airliners? 130

Hypersonic 130

~ I ~_ 132

IATA: International Air Transport Association_ 132

ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization_ 132

IED: Improvised Explosive Device 133

IFE: In-Flight Entertainment (Systems) 133

IFF: Identification of Friend or Foe 134

IFR: Instrument Flight Rules 134

ILS: Instrument Landing System_ 134

IMC: Instrument Meteorological Conditions 134

Inertial Navigation System (INS) 134

Infant Mortality_ 135

Insulation (Electrical, Thermal, Acoustic, Etc.) 135

Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) 135

Intersection (Navigation Using Radio Aids/VOR) 136

ITCZ: Intertropical Convergence Zone 137

~ JK ~_ 138

Jane’s 138

Jeppesen_ 138

JFK/John F. Kennedy International Airport 138

John Doe Immunity_ 139

Joystick_ 139

Judgment Errors 139

Kapton_ 140

Knot (kt): Nautical Miles Per Hour 140

~ L ~_ 141

Ladkin, Peter Bernard_ 141

Lady Grace Drummond-Hay_ 141

Launch customer 142

LCC: Low-Cost Carrier 143

Lease (Wet/Dry, and So On) 143

Leading Edge 144

Learning Curve (Aircraft Production Costs) 144

Legacy Carrier 145

LIFO: Last in, First out 145

Lidar: Light Detection and Ranging_ 146

Lift 146

Lockheed Martin_ 146

Loiter Time (LT) 148

LSA: Lowest Safe Altitude 148

~ M ~_ 150

Mach_ 150

MANPADS: Man-Portable Air Defense Systems 150

Maximum Takeoff Weight: MTOW_ 151

Maximum Zero Fuel Weight 151

“Mayday… Mayday… Mayday”_ 152

MD (McDonnell Douglas) 153

MD-80 Series 1980/800+_ 153

MD-90 1995/114 153

METAR: Aviation Routine Weather Report 153

Microsoft Flight Simulator 154

Missed Approach_ 154

Mode 155

MORA: Minimum Off-Route Altitude 155

MRO: Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul 155

MSA: Minimum Safe Altitude 155

~ N ~_ 156

N1 and N2 (Engine Performance) 156

Nacelles 156

Nanosatellite (Microsatellite) 157

Narrow-Body_ 157

NASA: National Air and Space Administration_ 157

National Air and Space Museum (Washington): NASM_ 157

Navaid_ 158

NDB: Nondirectional Beacon_ 158

Near Miss 158

NextGen: Next Generation Air Transportation System_ 158

nm: Nautical Mile 159

Number One, Two, or Three Engine? 159

Normal Accident 159

Northrop Grumman_ 160

NOTAM: Notice to Airmen_ 160

NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board_ 161

~ O ~_ 163

Onboard Threat Detection System_ 163

Octas 163

Open-Jaw (Ticket) 163

Open Skies Agreement 164

Outer Marker 164

Overrun_ 165

Overspeed_ 165

~ P ~_ 166

Pairing_ 166

“Pan-pan!” 166

Passports (Biometric) 166

Pentagon_ 166

Perrow, Prof. Charles B. 167

PF: Pilot Flying_ 167

PFD: Primary Flight Display_ 167

Phugoid_ 168

PIREP: Pilot’s Reports 168

Piggybacking_ 169

Pilot Training (Becoming a Pilot) 169

Pitot Tube (Pitot Probe) 169

Planetary Gears/Cyclic Gears 170

PNF: Pilot Not Flying_ 170

Pods (Engines Mounted in Pods under Wings) 170

Pork Barrel 171

PPL: Private Pilots License 172

PPRuNe: Professional Pilots Rumour Network_ 172

~ Q ~_ 173

Q Codes (QFE and QNE) 173

Quick Access Data Recorder (QADR) 173

~ R ~_ 175

Radar: Radio Detection and Ranging_ 175

Radial 177

Radio Altitude 177

Ranging_ 178

RAT: Ram Air Turbine 178

RDD: Radiological Dispersal Devices 178

Rear-Mounted Engines 178

Reason, Prof. James 179

Red-Eye 179

Redispatch_ 179

Rejected Takeoff: RTO (Aborted Takeoff) 180

Relight 180

RFID: Radio Frequency Identification_ 180

Rollover (Helicopter) 181

Roster 181

ROT: Rate of Turn_ 182

RPK: Revenue Passengers Kilometers 182

RSA: Runway Safety Area_ 183

Rudder 183

Ruddervators/V-Tail 183

Runway_ 183

Runway Visual Range: RVR_ 184

Ryanair 184

RSA: Runway Safety Area_ 184

RVR: Runway Visual Range 185

~ S ~_ 186

Sabotage (First Proven Case) 186

Safety_ 186

Screening of Passengers, Luggage, and Freight 187

Self-Healing_ 189

Separation_ 189

SHM: Structural Health Monitoring_ 189

Shoe Bomber (Richard Reid) 189

Showers (On Board) 191

Sidestick: Sidestick Controller (SSC) 192

SIGINT: Signals Intelligence 192

Sigmet: Significant Meteorological Information_ 192

Skidding and Sideslipping_ 192

SKYbrary (http://www.skybrary.aero) 193

Slant Distance 193

Slot 193

SMS: Safety Management Systems 194

SOP: Standard Operating Practice 194

Speed Tape 194

Spitfire (Legendary World War II Fighter) 195

Spoilers 195

Spot Height 195

Squawk_ 196

Squirt 196

SSR: Secondary Surveillance Radar 196

Stabilized Approach_ 196

Stall 197

Static Pressure 198

Static Wicks/Static Discharge Wicks 198

Stick Shaker 198

Straight-In (Landing) 198

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) 198

Subsonic Flight 199

Supersonic Flight (>Mach 1) 199

Supersonic Transport (SST) 200

Swiss Cheese Accident Model 200

~ T ~_ 202

TACAN: Tactical Air Navigation_ 202

Taking Off (Critical V-Speeds) 202

Taking Off (Flap and Slat Settings) 202

Taxiing (from Gate to the Runway) 203

Taxiing (from Runway to Gate) 203

TCAS: Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System_ 204

TCDS: Type Certificate Data Sheets (FAA) 204

Thales 204

Thermals 204

Threshold_ 205

Thrust Vectoring_ 205

Tilt Rotor Helicopter 205

Titanium_ 206

TOGA: Takeoff/Go-Around_ 206

TRACON: Terminal Radar Approach Control 206

Track_ 206

Transponder 206

Traffic Pattern_ 207

Trident (Hawker Siddeley Trident) [1964] 117_ 207

Trim (Adjusting the Trim) 207

TriStar (Lockheed L1101) 1972/250 208

TSA: Transportation Security Administration_ 208

Turn and Bank Indicator 209

~ UV ~_ 210

UAV: Unmanned Air Vehicle 210

Ullage 210

Undercarriage/Landing Gear 210

USA: United Space Alliance 211

UTC: Coordinated Universal Time/Zulu_ 211

V-Speeds 212

VS: Stalling speed_ 212

V1: Takeoff decision speed_ 212

VR: Rotation speed_ 212

V2: Takeoff safety speed_ 212

VREF: Speed for Final Phase of a Landing_ 212

VASIS: Visual Approach Slope Indicator System_ 213

VC10 (Vickers VC10) 1964/54_ 213

Vertical Speed_ 213

VFR: Visual Flight Rules (as Opposed to IFR) 213

VHF: Very High Frequency_ 214

Viscount (Vickers Viscount) 1950/445 214

VOR: Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range 214

~ WXYZ ~_ 215

WAAS: Wide Area Augmentation System_ 215

Wake Turbulence 215

Washington, DC_ 216

Wicks 216

Whittle, Frank_ 216

Whiteout 216

Windscreen/Windshield_ 217

Winglet 217

Wiring and Wi-Fi (Special Wave Band) 217

X-, Y-, Z-Axes 218

Yaw_ 218

Zulu: (GMT/UTC) 218

UPDATES_ 223

Lion Air 737_ 223

Our online Shop for Multiple Copies 228

F.A.A. Urges Commercial Flights to ‘Exercise Caution’ Over Persian Gulf

A US reviewer initially lost us a lot of sales for our second edition taking offence at our piece on how a fabulously expensive US warship designed to fight World War III found itself larking around with Iranian gunboats and in the process shot down an Iranian airliner on a scheduled flight. (The loss of the Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was just possibly a consequence of this.)

Interestingly, it was not so much the captain’s decision to fire that was the problem, but the circumstances, in that he was at the time chasing Iranian speedboats (mini-gunboats) with a billion dollar ship to claim combat experience when he shouldn’t have been.

In fact, our account was accurate, as Australia’s “60 Minutes” TV program confirmed.

The original all-in-one second edition of Air Crashes and Miracle Landings has a detailed account (See extract). [Note: Large print edition does not have detailed accounts of military actions.]

President Trump and the MAX

In early comments on the Boeing 737 MAX disasters Donald Trump tweeted that airliners were becoming too complicated (Click here).

The problem with that is that the 737 MAX in many respects is not a modern airliner. It is based on design work done in the 1960s and is not a fly-by-wire aircraft with an integrated control system.

The article to which we supply the “Click Here” link explains this.

Sukhoi Superjet Crash–Passengers collecting luggage raise death toll

There have been a number of fiery evacuations with passengers bringing their their hand luggage with each time everyone getting out, though sometimes injured.

In the Air France overrun at Montreal it was touch an go with one passenger blocking an aisle as he unpacked his bag. Passengers on the British Airways 777 that caught fire at Las Vegas had large bags, but fortunately the aircraft had only been half full.

British Airways 777 Las Vegas

The Sukhoi Superjet Crash in Moscow (Click Here) is an example of how dangerous taking your luggage can be for others. Perhaps part of the problem is that people exist in a bubble–say at the front of the aircraft in relative safety unaware of the severity the fire at the back or of the possibility that an explosion may engulf the whole aircraft in seconds.

There have been many suggestions regarding ways to stop people collecting their luggage including the locking of the overhead bins, though this would have to be automatic and have some facility to deal with a fire in the bin, say caused by a lithium battery. Ensuring passengers have essential items such as medication in a mini-bag would help. Confiscation of luggage taken in an evacuation might be a help but difficult to put into practice world-wide. Making passengers criminally liable for deaths or injuries would be difficult to prove in court.

Here is the end to our piece on the “Miracle on the Hudson” from our book Air Crashes and Miracle Landings:

Comparison with Ditching of Ethiopian Airliner

The media immediately contrasted Sully’s ditching and its perfect outcome with the imperfect one by Captain Leul Abate, the Ethiopian Airlines pilot who ditched his 767 off a beach, with one wing snagging the water and the aircraft spinning around before breaking up, with many lives lost. (A number of passengers were trapped due to premature inflation of their life vests causing them to float upward in the water-filled cabin.)

[Described earlier in this chapter.]

However, the two ditchings are not comparable:

1.  Abate was coming down in the sea with waves;

2. A hijacker was grabbing at the controls;

3. With no fuel left, electrical power was only being provided by the ram air turbine (RAT), a wind-driven generator;

4. With only minimal electric power for the most basic instruments and controls, he could not use any flap and was therefore traveling much too fast, with the aircraft difficult to control.

However, like Sully he did well to come down somewhere where boats could come to the rescue of survivors.

A Very Close-run Thing

Only when one looks closely at the photos of the occupants of the A320 perched precariously on its wings does one realize what a close-run thing it was. The aircraft could have sunk deeper; there could have been jostling, with people falling into the water and dragging others with them.

Again, Sully did great—going twice up and down the cabin to check everyone was out and telling rescuers to first save those on the wings. But had the bird strike occurred a little earlier, with the aircraft not quite so high, he would not have been able to skirt the George Washington Bridge and come down at a shallow angle on the Hudson, let alone at a point where rescue craft were at hand.

It was a miracle—call it what you like—that Sully’s great feat was capped by the perfect rescue, thanks to an almost unbelievable combination of factors and, not least, diligence—and nothing went seriously wrong, as it so easily could have.

737 MAX sales will recover but another crash like DC-10 could be…

Boeing 737 MAX deliveries will surely regain momentum, though it may take time to get approvals from the various regulatory authorities now that the FAA has lost its sheen.

Airlines, in particular low-cost-carriers, have put so much investment in the 737 and are not in the main going to move to Airbus, even though they may suggest the possibility to get better terms from Boeing. In fact, Airbus would not be able to ramp up production very significantly.

Parallels with the DC-10

However, there are some parallels with the sad history of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Design was rushed in order to compete with the Lockheed’s L1011 TriStar.

In 1972, a DC-10 flying along the border between the US and Canada almost crashed when it became almost uncontrollable when a cargo hold door blew out with the result that the pressure differential between the passenger cabin and the hold caused the cabin floor to buckle.

The hydraulic lines and cables to the tail were attached to the underside and damage to these was what was making the aircraft difficult to control. Fortunately the floor had been reinforced to support a piano for an inaugural event and the pilots were left with just enough control to bring the aircraft back to the airport with good airmanship, adjusting the power of the low-slung engines to raise and lower the nose.

Within three weeks of the Detroit/Windsor scare, the NTSB made two urgent recommendations:

1.   Modification of the DC-10 door-locking mechanism so that it is physically impossible to bring the vent-flap-locking handle to its stowed position without the C-latch locking pins being fully engaged.

2.   Vents (holes) should be incorporated in cabin floors to greatly relieve sudden pressure differentials, such as those caused by the opening of a cargo hold door in flight.

The Gentleman’s Agreement

The NTSB could only advise. It was up to the FAA to make these two modifications mandatory.

Just when the FAA was about to issue an airworthiness directive (AD) making interim and long-term solutions mandatory for all US operators of the DC-10 (which foreign operators would have followed), discussions between the FAA administrator and the president of the Douglas division of McDonnell Douglas led to the senior FAA technical staff being overruled. Douglas and the FAA were no doubt being subjected to pleading from US airlines, who would not want to take their aircraft out of service in the peak summer season. So, the FAA did not issue that airworthiness directive. Instead, McDonnell Douglas almost immediately issued recommendations, in particular the installation of a “lock mechanism viewing window.”

This gentleman’s agreement between the FAA administrator and McDonnell Douglas’s Douglas division president sufficed to prevent a repeat accident in the United States, but not to prevent a DC-10 crashing after taking off from Paris for London with the loss of 345 lives.

The FAA hurriedly made the measures the NTSB had recommended mandatory. These included floor vents. Passengers are safer now thanks to that.

The DC-10 was only grounded when a DC-10 taking off from Chicago lost an engine and crashed.

Further to this, the public lost confidence in the DC-10 and sales petered out. This was unfair as the engine had fallen off because maintenance workers had contrary to instructions used a fork lift to remove the engine and in so doing had damage the pylon. In fact, the DC-10 albeit in limited numbers flew safely for airlines for many years.

If the max were to similarly have a terrible accident in the US sometime in the future, one that was not Boeing’s fault, the public’s refusal to fly on it could, however unfairly, be a serious problem for Boeing and not least those low-cost-carriers.

SEE CHAPTER 6 in Table of Contents

737 “Kegworth” crash in 1989 (UK)

This crash where a new version the 737 came down on a motorway just short of the diversion airport after the captain had shut down the good engine in the belief–based on his knowledge of the previous version–that the smoke must be coming from that one.

Furthermore, the pilots had felt the vibration and aircraft shudder, but did not refer to the engine vibration indicators clearly showing which engine had the problem because they had got out of the habit of doing so because the ones in the previous version were unreliable. This was not true for those in the new version of the 737.

When the problem engine failed completely they were too low on their approach to the airport and going too slowly to restart the good engine.

Extract from Air Crashes and Miracle Landings (85 Cases):

In total, forty-seven passengers perished, sixty-seven passengers and seven crew members were seriously injured, and four passengers and one crew member had slight or no injuries. Though considered the classic case of what not to do, there were a number of contributory factors to what came to be called the Kegworth Air Disaster, in view of its proximity to the village of that name. These include the following:

1.   False positive
Safety expert Professor Peter Ladkin says this is the only case he is aware of where a “false positive” features in an air accident. That is to say the mistaken corrective action (shutting down the good engine) seemed to be solving the problem, thus making the pilots think they had done the right thing. This is unlike in medicine, where the long period of time over which recovery or improvement of the patient for any unrelated reason can be attributed to action by the doctor or surgeon means such false positives are well known.

      The cessation of the vibrations was one thing, but to confirm things by saying that the smoke disappeared when the pilots shut down the number two engine was, with hindsight, rather dubious thinking, since smoke would not normally disappear immediately.

2.   Engine instrument system (EIS) difficult to read
Before the introduction of two-man flight crews, the primary instruments, showing the performance of the engines were in front of the pilots, and the secondary instruments, indicating the condition of the engines, such as oil temperature and pressure and vibration, were in front of the flight engineer. However, with the sidelining of the flight engineer, these secondary instruments had to be in front of the pilots.

       In the earlier version of the aircraft, the B737-300, this was done by having traditional cockpit dials with mechanical hands, as in traditional clocks, there being two panels side by side, one with the main flying instruments, and the other showing the condition of the engines. These earlier ones with needles were easy to read at a glance.

       However, as anything mechanical is liable to go wrong and anyway requires costly maintenance, LEDs were used instead of mechanical hands. However, rather than redesigning the panels to take full advantage of the virtues of an electronic display, the designers wanted to maintain the same general layout so pilots could switch from one model of the aircraft to another without expensive recertification.

       In reality, LEDs could not simulate the previous clocklike hands, because those available at that time could not be bunched up at the center of the dials to look like a continuous line. Instead, the designers placed three rather pathetic-looking LEDs at intervals around the perimeter of the dials.

       These could still be read by pilots with good eyesight when looking for a particular reading but made comparison and noticing anything unusual more difficult. In addition, Boeing had reduced the size of the secondary engine display relative to that for the primary display instruments.

      The captain and first officer had very little experience (twenty-three and fifty-three hours respectively) on the 737-400 version, and the airline did not yet have a simulator where they could have practiced using the new engine information system (EIS), with its diodes. In addition, the captain said his considerable experience with other aircraft had led him to distrust vibration readings in general, and he did not include them in his usual scan of the instruments. His conversion training had not included instruction that technical improvements meant that spurious vibration readings were very unlikely.

3.   Training and checklists
In the training of the BMA 737 pilots, the need to think or check things out before taking precipitous action was stressed, but as already mentioned there had not been training on a flight simulator with the new hybrid EIS display. There was a checklist for what to do in case of vibration from the engines and one for what to do when smoke occurred, but not one for when they happened simultaneously.

       At the time pilots at BMA had not been made fully aware that there was no need to shut down engines completely because of vibration, nor that engine fans which are vibrating or not properly aligned could have their fan tips touching the rubber seals on the periphery and that this could produce smoke and a smell of burning but did not mean the engine was on fire. Thus, as the investigators said, the situation was outside the pilots’ experience and training.

4.   Workload and stress: Fear of fire
In many emergencies, airlines usually insist that captains take control. Captains also tend to take control in difficult situations when it is not quite an emergency. Doing something physical makes the captain feel he is coping and relieves stress. The trouble with this is that the captain is concentrating on the physical task of flying the aircraft, or, as in the case of SQ006 at Taipei, maneuvering it over the slippery taxiway in bad visibility and heavy rain, and misses the larger picture.

      The flight data recorder (FDR) revealed that when the captain disengaged the autopilot, the aircraft yawed sixteen degrees to the left, a sign that the left engine was producing less power than the one on the right, but he did not seem to notice, as he did nothing to correct it. The fact that the first officer reported to ATC early on that they had an “emergency situation like an engine fire” shows they were concerned about fire, even though up to then none of the engine fire alarms had triggered.

      It is an interesting psychological point that a smell can instantly transport one mentally to a certain place, and the shaking of the aircraft followed by the smell of burning may have caused the pilots to react more instinctively and precipitously than they would have done in the event of a fire-warning light coming on. Anyway, a fire warning would have immediately indicated which engine had the problem.

      The official report made the additional point that having another pilot take over the handling of the aircraft—as PF (pilot flying)—meant monitoring of the instruments was less consistent than it might have been.

     Up until the onset of the vibration, the first officer had been flying the aircraft and would have been concentrating on the main instruments, not the engine vibration indicator, it being the role of the PNF (pilot not flying; in this case the captain, who did not believe in scanning vibration readings) to do the general monitoring. The captain must have thought the first officer had good reason to say it was the right engine that was giving trouble.

5.   Unfortunate timing.

     The pilots did not have the height or speed to restart the good engine, and not enough height to choose a flat place to land. Had the airport been farther away, they would have had found the problems with the number one engine when still high enough to restart the other one.

6.   Passengers and three cabin crew knew
Passengers at the rear who had seen the “sparks” from the left engine when the initial trouble occurred were somewhat perplexed when the captain said he had shut down the right engine but did not inform the cabin crew because the captain sounded supremely confident.

      The three members of the cabin crew who had also seen the sparks apparently did not notice the captain saying the right engine had been shut down. They knew the purpose of the announcement was to reassure the passengers and were no doubt extremely busy with their own duties as they got ready for the unexpected landing.

A retired British Airways flight attendant has suggested to the author that the failure to pick up on the captain’s mistake might have come about because cabin staff themselves often get confused about left and right, as they face backwards when addressing the passengers.

Just after shutdown of the number two engine, the captain called the flight service manager (FSM) to the flight deck to tell him to clear things for landing, and at the same time asked him, “Did you get smoke in the cabin back there?” He got the reply “We did. Yes.”

This perhaps only confirmed the captain’s mistaken view that the right-hand engine must have been at fault. The FSM departed but returned a minute later to say the passengers were panicky, and it was only then that the captain announced to the passengers that a little trouble with the right engine had produced some smoke, but it would be okay, as they had shut it down, and would be landing about ten minutes thereafter.

Why did MentourPilot take down video? @LeehamNews

The Mentour Aviation YouTube videos, site, and Apps have gone from strength to strength, explaining to wannabe pilots and thousands of others all aspects of flying down to minor details such as why pilots pause for a moment at medium thrust before engaging takeoff thrust on departure.

They gave the impression MentourPilot was working as captain on a small airline based in Spain flying Boeing 737s.

It came as a nice surprise that on a flight to holiday in Thailand with his young son on Qatar Airways where the first leg to the Middle East was on the Airbus A350 and the second on the Boeing 787 MentourPilot dared say that he liked both aircraft but if anything he preferred the Airbus A350, perhaps because of the slightly wider diameter of the cabin. He was not saying anything that would deter people flying on the 787.

Sadly this was followed by a video saying that flying the route the opposite way starting with the 787 made him think differently. That was OK, but the rehashing and rehashing of features such as the auto-darkening windows seemed over the top.

I would not have thought any more about this blip except that he took down a video on the 737 MAX after a few hours not realizing the impact it would have when linked to Leeham News and his collaboration with its Bjorn Fehrm. The big boys had taken notice.

The written post remains and we had A LINK to it in our previous post (a video) entitled “Boeing between A Rock and A Hard Place” explaining grandfathering and the danger of a reprogrammed MAX crashing if MCAS failed to function if too many precautions against it not doing so when not needed.

There are many comments on the above Leeham News post which says MentourPilot took down the video on the advice of a colleague and not due to pressure from his airline. (MentourPilot said the same about his colleague) in a subsequent post of his.

Seeing how his subsequent coverage of the MAX is so over the top in favor of Boeing and the future MAX I decided to look further.

Far from working for a small airline operating out of Spain, MentourPilot is working at a Spanish base of the largest low-cost carrier in Europe. One that only flies Boeing 737s and has 110 orders for the MAX 200, a high-capacity version of the MAX 8, with options on 100 more! While the airline would be careful about applying direct pressure, the esteemed colleague who who exerted so much influence, might have been subject to it and anyway neither would have wanted to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

As an employee of such an airline it would be difficult for him to suggest that grandfathering has perhaps gone too far in the case of the 737 and that Boeing did not really want to go for the MAX in the first place.

Even so, to use his signature word, he usually does a “fantastic” job.

737 MAX — Why was MCAS programming (apparently) so pernicious?

The revelation that it was not the pilots of the  Lion Air flight prior to the one that crashed in Indonesia who saved them (by killing off the trim circuits), but an extra pilot deadheading in the jump seat suggests there must be something pernicious in the programming making resolution by pilots on their own difficult.

The answer could lie in the fact that the impact of the program is incremental–something that the FAA people and overseas authorities never knew.

The effect on the trim was believed to be 0.6 degrees maximum.  However, it was compound, in that at each juncture a further 0.6 degrees was added until an incredible maximum of 2.5 degrees was reached.

From an official certifications (both for FAA technical people and abroad), this would not have been acceptable, especially with reference to a single angle of attack sensor.

FOR THE PILOTS at the coalface the insidious incremental nature of the trouble would easily catch them unawares because:

First there would only be small nose-down inputs with which he or she would be sure they would be able to cope.

It would then gradually become more and more difficult though seeming still quite possible deal with.

Then without time to think about the need to kill the trim circuits (according to training for runaway trim), maximum downward trim would apply and the aircraft would be plunging, with the pilots too desperate in the remaining seconds to think. Hence the value of a third person.

If the MCAS program had applied the full down trim at the beginning the pilots would have had more time and height to deal with it. On the other hand why allow such extreme downward trim without double checks it is required?