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Old 12-28-2012, 07:45 PM
 
372 posts, read 239,585 times
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As we pull into January, it will have been 4 years since 'hero' pilot, Sully Sullenberger, after a flock of geese disabled both engines on his aircraft, turned a perfectly good aircraft into a museum piece and himself into a national hero
I recently went through a bit of a discussion with an acquaintance over "What would Sully do?" were a similar situation presented itself here (Vegas). So let me set the stage. It's mid-afternoon and perfect weather. Sully and First Officer Skiles lift off from McCarran. Sully to Skiles (who is flying the plane) "Beautiful view of the Strip today". Skiles turns to look. "Yah". Suddenly, Sully looks back and sees a string of party balloons right dead ahead of them. "Balloons!"
"****" says Skiles.
Wham, bam, thank you mam, the balloons take out both engines, leaving them a lead sled 4.5 miles out and at just 3,000 AGL.
What does Sully do and where does he end up?
Final question: Who's to blame?
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:06 PM
 
13,472 posts, read 9,593,751 times
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Which direction where they heading in your theoretical scenerio? There are a number of places in the valley where you could crash land a plane. Hell. It's been done, though not with a commercial aircraft to my knowledge.

Plane lands in neighborhood after reporting low fuel - Las Vegas Sun News

Small plane crash-lands on street - News - ReviewJournal.com

reviewjournal.com -- News - Small plane crashes on street

These are just in the Northern part of the valley. There are salt flats out to the south where an experienced pilot could probably crash land. Lake Mead is to the East of McCarran so you could do a water landing there. A lot depends on how much time you have, velocity, and location, doesn't it?

Do you have a link where Sully was found at fault? I've never read anything like that.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:19 PM
 
9,952 posts, read 8,438,330 times
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He puts it down on the beltway.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:41 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,134,962 times
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In general he has lots of possibilities depending on which heading.

In most directions he has a shot at an airport - though the strip may be way short.

There are vast open and relatively flat areas in virtually any direction from Las Vegas as well as Lake Mead if that is convenient.

Party balloons are not going to stop a jet engine - you have to go back to geese for that.

I would think the more interesting question is does he put the gear down on a land landing.

I would not...but if he did and got lucky he might save the airplane.

Had a good friend who blew a jug in the middle of the night over land in upstate NY. He set it up for landing and flew it down in a max lift minimum speed configuration. He almost got away with it...but a ditch got him at the end. Still the plane flew again.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:47 AM
 
372 posts, read 239,585 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
In general he has lots of possibilities depending on which heading. In most directions he has a shot at an airport - though the strip may be way short.

There are vast open and relatively flat areas in virtually any direction from Las Vegas as well as Lake Mead if that is convenient.

Party balloons are not going to stop a jet engine -- you have to go back to geese for that.

I would think the more interesting question is does he put the gear down on a land landing. I would not...but if he did and got lucky he might save the airplane.

Had a good friend who blew a jug in the middle of the night over land in upstate NY. He set it up for landing and flew it down in a max lift minimum speed configuration. He almost got away with it...but a ditch got him at the end. Still the plane flew again.

Remember, he's only at 3,000 AGL (which, considering a glide ratio of 20:1, translates into 60,000 feet - 11 miles), which would theoretically get him back to Mack or Industrial or North LV. If he were heading north, Nellis. East, Boulder, but definitely not Jean

Unless you have a ferry service at your disposal, turning a commercial airliner into a seaplane is risky, at best. It's good news, bad news. The good news is that commercial aircraft are designed to survive a 'normal' water landing. The bad news was that Sully forgot to lower the flaps, hence landing with such force that he ripped open the entire a-end of the aircraft, this resulting in immediate flooding and a structure member ripping through the floor that seriously injured one of the flight attendants. Another piece of bad news is that Jet-A floats, so that if you didn't drown, given that you're now floating in a sea of furnace oil, you could fry. Another piece of bad news is that domestic aircraft do not have to tote around life rafts or even life vests (Sully lucked out in that his aircraft, being certified for over-water flights, had both rafts and vests).


OK, back to the geese. Sullying Sully invites too many WTF do you think you are's?, and hence the balloons.


Your instinct would have been right. Dropping an aircraft weighing up to and over a million pounds and adding an inertia factor requires a rather firm base, so think in terms of 4' of concrete. I think you sort of have to write off the aircraft and think of saving as many of those on board as possible. Gear down would just dig a furrow and likely cause the aircraft to immediately skew to one side. Here's a good video of a splash in which one engine dug in.
Hijacked Air Plane Crash Ethiopian Airlines - YouTube Even though no fire, they still lost a lot that day.


Let me guess: when it comes to night flying, your friend says "Never again". Ben there, done that.

Last edited by observer53; 12-29-2012 at 01:23 PM.. Reason: Clarified quoted language to avoid future misquotes.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:13 AM
 
372 posts, read 239,585 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
Which direction where they heading in your theoretical scenerio? There are a number of places in the valley where you could crash land a plane. Hell. It's been done, though not with a commercial aircraft to my knowledge.

Plane lands in neighborhood after reporting low fuel - Las Vegas Sun News

Small plane crash-lands on street - News - ReviewJournal.com

reviewjournal.com -- News - Small plane crashes on street

These are just in the Northern part of the valley. There are salt flats out to the south where an experienced pilot could probably crash land. Lake Mead is to the East of McCarran so you could do a water landing there. A lot depends on how much time you have, velocity, and location, doesn't it?

Do you have a link where Sully was found at fault? I've never read anything like that.
Unfortunately, until now, Sully has pretty well gotten off scott-free. As far as I know, I'm the only one claiming that the emperor has no clothes. That may change with my book "Sully Sullenberger: What I 'forgot' to tell you"

Last edited by Bruff; 12-29-2012 at 10:21 AM.. Reason: gramma
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:15 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 8,438,330 times
Reputation: 5826
The general departure route out of McCarren seem to be west off of 25R over the SW valley, then turning east over Summerlin. If an A320 lost both engines at about the same point in the departure that Sulley's flight did, that puts in play the straight part of I-215. There are 5000'-ish gaps between the overpasses, he could use that (as I said before). There are also some pieces of open land that are 5000'-ish looking. But these have some texture, probably enough to collapse the landing gear. If the plane went too long, it would get into the mountains to the west, which would be bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
In general he has lots of possibilities depending on which heading.

In most directions he has a shot at an airport - though the strip may be way short.

There are vast open and relatively flat areas in virtually any direction from Las Vegas as well as Lake Mead if that is convenient.

Party balloons are not going to stop a jet engine - you have to go back to geese for that.

I would think the more interesting question is does he put the gear down on a land landing.

I would not...but if he did and got lucky he might save the airplane.

Had a good friend who blew a jug in the middle of the night over land in upstate NY. He set it up for landing and flew it down in a max lift minimum speed configuration. He almost got away with it...but a ditch got him at the end. Still the plane flew again.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Nevada/Hawaii
326 posts, read 1,195,677 times
Reputation: 174
St Rose Parkway. You have over 4 miles of straight road with no bridges between Eastern & M Resort.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:47 PM
 
584 posts, read 759,658 times
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I am guessing the fountains in front of Bellagio. The man does know how to make an entrance.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:05 PM
 
372 posts, read 239,585 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
The general departure route out of McCarren seem to be west off of 25R over the SW valley, then turning east over Summerlin. If an A320 lost both engines at about the same point in the departure that Sulley's flight did, that puts in play the straight part of I-215. There are 5000'-ish gaps between the overpasses, he could use that (as I said before). There are also some pieces of open land that are 5000'-ish looking. But these have some texture, probably enough to collapse the landing gear. If the plane went too long, it would get into the mountains to the west, which would be bad.
The landing gear wouldn't collapse, BBMW: the road would. At 160,000 lbs max take off weight, an A320 is a mere child, while Heavies along the lines of the 747 and double deck A380 can exceed a million pounds. But given that highways are only built to handle 80,000-lb trucks, chances are that the initial setdown would really make a mess of the pavement - and even more of the plane. Light Cessna-types or even Lear jets, sure, the rest, methinks not.
That said, it's always nice to think 'what if', and here's one of the best - and funniest. Obviously, the lady at the end was from Summerlin.
Airplane Lands on Highway - YouTube
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