FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

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3WE
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita- Smithsonian Channel

Postby 3WE » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:36 pm

Happened to catch the Smithsonian Channel's show on the FedEx Narita crash- and noticed a large number of interesting, insidious contributing factors that were not really highlighted in our parlour talk nor my reading comprehension:

It was very windy and gusty, but with relatively little crosswind component. (THAT is not new).

The FO who was the PF had tended to do lots of ‘relief crew-middle-of-the-flight’ work and was averaging something like 2.5 landings per month for the prior ~2 years and recenty had to do some sort of landing check out to ‘be current’- so, he was not particularly a recent-practiced /multi-landing-per-week type of person.

The captain and FO were on one of those lousy-sleep-biorhythm sequences and may have only slept ~3 hours the night before and both commented on the CVR that they were tired.

The FO initiated his (typical 3-second) flare 0.7 sec late from ‘ideal’ (not too big of a foul considering the turbulence and tiredness). This resulted in a hard touchdown and bounce. They did not seem to imply that he over-flared (another thing that might cause a bounce)

Because the plane was pivoting around it’s pitch axis “just right” during the bounce, the cockpit remained at a very typical, post-touch-down altitude….and the pilots my have likely thought that the main wheels were on the ground…this may explain why the PF did a bit of a push over after the first bounce…thinking he was simply getting the nosewheel down.

Given all of that truly insidious stuff above, after the second bounce, the PF pushed the nose over significantly, which is directly against “special MD-11 bounce training” which was developed after the NY MD-11 bounce/wing bust/flip over. (Insert Evan rant about cowboy pilots not doing what they should do, along with 3BS’s more recent disclaimers, yeah, he probably should not have done that, but there for the grace of God go all of us (passengers and pilots both))

They did not get into the hard-gear/no-fuse-plug/wing busting tendency that Gabriel and others often talk about.
Last edited by 3WE on Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita- Smithsonian Channel

Postby flyboy2548m » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:53 pm


They did not get into the hard-gear/no-fuse-plug/wing busting tendency that Gabriel and others often talk about.
Why would they? Gabriel The Hell Better Aeroengineer has slaughtered that horse beyond purgatory.
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita- Smithsonian Channel

Postby 3WE » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:58 pm

Mispost @#$%^@!
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby 3WE » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:48 am

I had forgot from the documentary: The throttles automatically go to idle at 50 ft or something- this contributed some to the first hard touchdown.

Given the winds, it might have arguably been good to carry a little power and maybe take a little longer to set it down. (And no big deal to override the autothrottles)
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby flyboy2548m » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:00 pm

I had forgot from the documentary: The throttles automatically go to idle at 50 ft or something- this contributed some to the first hard touchdown.

Given the winds, it might have arguably been good to carry a little power and maybe take a little longer to set it down. (And no big deal to override the autothrottles)
Your thoughts on the matter are hereby noted.
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby 3WE » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:36 pm

I had forgot from the documentary: The throttles automatically go to idle at 50 ft or something- this contributed some to the first hard touchdown.

Given the winds, it might have arguably been good to carry a little power and maybe take a little longer to set it down. (And no big deal to override the autothrottles)
Your 'Monday-morning-QB'/low-&-slow-keyboard thoughts on the matter are hereby noted.
Fixed.

Yes, I was inspired by reviewing the AirFrance pull up thread where you set up your CRJ simulator for an UAS incident.

I was shocked, that an airline professional selected oft-used, familiar power settings and attitudes to achieve reasonably safe airspeed control. (Blue font in case we have any BB's around that struggle to detect sarcasm)
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby Gabriel » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:01 am

I had forgot
But did they died?

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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby flyboy2548m » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:16 pm



Yes, I was inspired by reviewing the AirFrance pull up thread where you set up your CRJ simulator for an UAS incident.

I was shocked, that an airline professional selected oft-used, familiar power settings and attitudes to achieve reasonably safe airspeed control. (Blue font in case we have any BB's around that struggle to detect sarcasm)
Which has what to do with this accident?
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby 3WE » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:35 pm

Flyboy: Which has what to do with this accident?
Your wonderful-though-unrelated post, inspired me to pontificate just a tad for the sake of completeness...

On a normal landing, an MD-11 will automatically retard the throttles around 50 feet.

On a gusty day, one might want to carry a tad of power for a little bit more control of the touchdown.

Glad that you "hearby noted" it.

That is all.
Gabriel: But, did they died?
You know the answer to that. But, do you wish to comment that:

-The PF's slightly limited landing experience
-The sleep factor
-The auto-retard throttle behavior
-The very short delay in pulling up
-The constant cockpit altitude theory
-The very strong and gusty winds

Might be interesting potential contributing factors?...even though, the second push-over (which is not consistent with special MD-11 (and 172) bounce management procedures) seems to be a major contributing factor.
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby Gabriel » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:59 am

You forgot the landing gear spar-fused design.

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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby 3WE » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:08 pm

You forgot the landing gear spar-fused design.
No I didn't.

Put someone else's landing gear and wing spar on there and you still very likely have smoking piles of airplane parts strewn down a runway...

Sure, maybe a better outcome for the pilots and some of the packages, but I mostly see your gear designed helping with the salvage value, not preventing an emergency exercise, runway closure and massive paperwork.
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Re: FedEx MD-11 crash at Narita

Postby Gabriel » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:22 pm

You forgot the landing gear spar-fused design.
No I didn't.

Put someone else's landing gear and wing spar on there and you still very likely have smoking piles of airplane parts strewn down a runway...

Sure, maybe a better outcome for the pilots and some of the packages, but I mostly see your gear designed helping with the salvage value, not preventing an emergency exercise, runway closure and massive paperwork.
I agree.

By the way, was it ever informed what caused the death of the pilots. The accelerations during the accident sequence don't seem to be as hard as to be lethal, plus in previous similar cases of the DC-10 / MD-11 shearing the wing on a hard landing, the pilots survived.


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