3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

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3WE
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3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Fri May 30, 2008 7:51 pm

The following is 100% true. However, as usual, I have added some sarcasm and humor which some will appreciate.

May 30, 11:00 CTD, STL Rwy 30 R (SWA 9:30 flight from DAL). Something breaks on the landing gear resulting in a severe shimmy/vibration- to the point that.

-Trim panels fall from overhead bins.
-The plane stops without exiting the runway.
-Passengers applaud.
-Pilots quickly come on PA to say, "we think we blew a tire- please sit tight"
-FA's say "They have never experienced anything like this in 18 years of flying"
-Fire/rescue equipment is dispatched.
-The aircraft is towed to the gate.
-APU-powered air conditioning fails to start.

I’m not completely sure- but it sure looked like everything was wobbling including the cabin walls, and I wish there was a way to learn what the follow up was on the aircraft.

Brief statement: Thank God it was a Boeing product and not made from cheap composites.

Interesting and possibly relevant factors:

-A fairly strong, almost direct crosswind (wind socks fully horizontal).
-Strong rocks and rolls and power adjustments on final approach.
-The pilots actually reduced the flaps as they got onto final approach! (This fascinated me as I had never seen that happen- in fact, I thought we were a bit high and going around at first)
-I think we had a significant bounce on the landing; however, the touchdowns were firm, but average.
-We touched down left side first, and I think there was a little side-load; however, I have felt a lot worse in terms of sideways scoots.
-Upon arrival at the gate, the flight crew says, We have been informed that our tires are fine, but some landing gear linkage that prevents shimmying broke- "we don't know why".

Discussion points:

It was interesting was that the shimmy increased as we slowed (not a huge surprise as I have an old 1976 chevy 4 by 4 that does the same when the stabilizer/shock-strut on the tie rod is worn out.)

However, in second-guess mode, it seemed that the pilots were braking very lightly…even as the shimmy got worse- even at the end of the roll out he seemed to be totally off the brakes and let us coast to a stop (with three or four slow big shimmys). In my worthless opinion, I felt the dudes should have braked a little harder, especially since he decided it was too hazardous to go ahead and exit the runway.

Random thoughts during the incident:

Well, good, we have slowed enough that maybe things are survivable, but man, if this keeps getting worse, the plane is going to start breaking up.

Thought immediately following the roll out:

- Damn, why didn’t I have my digital camera out in video mode- then I could post it on YouTube for ADI folks to view.

-I wonder if they should have asked for more wind checks?

-I can't wait to ask Atrude 777 about this, certainly it has nothing to do with SWA maintenance.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Verbal » Fri May 30, 2008 8:01 pm

Was it a -300 or -700?
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Fri May 30, 2008 10:37 pm

Sorry Verbal, don't have my 737 model numbers memorized.

High-bypass "runway scraper" engines as opposed to the old PW's.

No winglets.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Dmmoore » Fri May 30, 2008 10:42 pm

The down and locked position of the nose wheel on all Boeing aircraft makes them more prone to shimmy due to accumulated wear in steering pivots and joints.
It's the one weak link in an otherwise bullet proof system.
If you really want a thrilling ride, go through one on a 747. Until we understood the cause and the fix, we had one shimmy that damaged several main instrument panels and mounts.
A careful check of the accumulated wear limits on the steering system will keep the aircraft shimmy free. No single wear limit may have been reached but the accumulated total exceeds max.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Verbal » Sat May 31, 2008 12:15 am

Sorry Verbal, don't have my 737 model numbers memorized.

High-bypass "runway scraper" engines as opposed to the old PW's.

No winglets.
That could have been a 737-300 or a 737-700 that hasn't been retrofitted with winglets yet.

Early-build 737NG's had a main landing gear shimmy problem under braking, but this mainly affected the higher gross weight -800s. It caused some airplanes to shake hard enough to knock a few flaps out of their programming tracks. Boeing designed a fix and put out a service bulletin or airworthiness directive.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby VectorForFood » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:25 pm

737-100/200 has the long cigar engines (JT8D)

737-300/400/500 has turbofans which are planed out on the bottom as he says "Runway Scrapers"

737-600/700/800's engines have a more rounded shape on the bottom...

737-200

Image

737-500:

Image

737-700

Image


Still miss the ramp sometimes :(

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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Princess Leia » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:58 am

I think there are only one or two -700s in the WN fleet without winglets. Probably a 300 or possibly a -500. What was the flight number?
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:45 am

I think there are only one or two -700s in the WN fleet without winglets. Probably a 300 or possibly a -500. What was the flight number?
Flightawared it- SWA87, 737-300.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby musicman476 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:20 am

Good info about the engine differences, VFF. 737-800s (at least) also have two overwing exits as well.

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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:37 pm

AN UPDATE FOR THE MECHANICALLY CURIOUS

SWA sent me a nice letter with the vouchers with a little bit of mechanical information:
...After your flight touched down the right main landing gear started to vibrate excessively...the tires remained inflated at all times. Our maintenance department reports the mechanism (a.k.a. "shimmy dampener") that helps control the wheels' alignment failed, which created the feeling like the tires were out of balance.
Follow ups/Reviews:

1) It was a pretty significant shimmy- might have been fun to watch some female's chest :D , and some of the trim panels fell from over head bins, and perhaps one bin opened up.

2) Ok, I thought it was the right main and not the nose-gear- so it wasn't Don-Moore theory of Classic Boeing nosewheel shimmy from many linkages being partly worn.

3) There was a strong crosswind was from the left, and an interesting ride on short final, but the actual touchdown was within the realm of "normally rough" and I don't recall all that much "side load", I seem to recall a late wing dip and them really "planting" (albeit smoothly planting) the left main as we touched down. While I'm sure the landing gear worked harder than during a calm-wind landing, I'm thinking that, it must have just been "the day" for this thing to break/whatever.

4) I suppose the letter is plain-old good buisness and lawsuit interference and that maybe other airlines would do the same, but it did seem to be amazingly frank about the problem. It did not specifically mention the air-conditioning failure or the extra hour sitting there- which I jokingly say was the "true horror" of this.

5) I will report on how well the use of the vouchers goes- I appreciate the comments of "good luck".
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What are the odds of this???

Postby 3WE » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:34 am

Young Ms. 3WE is flying home tonight 12/16/2014...On a LUVable 737.

Apparently the plane blows a tire and she gets to experience the genius of Boeing ABS braking systems and who knows what IQ of pilots standing on the brake pedals.

They stop on the runway, call out some fire equipment and have to be towed in (much like my landing in 2008).

The good news is that apparently they have shuffled things and scraped up a new plane to leave at 8:30 PM (versus the original 5:30 scheduled departure- that's a NEAR TOTAL MIRACLE!).

I'm finding flightaware interesting as at my last check, 45 minutes into the flight, Flightaware was showing them halfway here. No problem, informing an aviation tracking website so geeks can know when to place themselves in position to photograph the livery should not be their first concern.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA2 ... /KBWI/KSTL
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby monchavo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:01 am

Certainly glad to hear of no injuries to mrs 3WE

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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Not_Karl » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:53 am

Certainly glad to hear of no injuries to mrs 3WE
Concur :D
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Sickbag » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:54 pm

Am I right to assume that no Donkeys were involved?
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:16 pm

With respect to my original 2008 incident, I note that something similar might be occurring at 16:00 in this video .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlpJTGAv2Oc

Off topic to this thread is that they do not discuss the V-speed for when there's a major problem after V-1 where the plane won't fly, you can still abort, yet have a survivable crash after you run off the end.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Not_Karl » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:43 pm

Off topic to this thread is that they do not discuss the V-speed for when there's a major problem after V-1 where the plane won't fly, you can still abort, yet have a survivable crash after you run off the end.
Wrong forum :mrgreen:
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FAO: Gabriel

Postby 3WE » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:17 pm

Bump...

Same failure, more boring result.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby elaw » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:02 pm

-FA's say "They have never experienced anything like this in 18 years of flying"
Sounds like someone wasn't paying attention in "How to keep pax from completely freaking out after a relatively minor incident" class!
Last edited by elaw on Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby elaw » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:02 pm

Mispost... eventually I'll figure out the difference between the "quote" and "edit" buttons!

It sure would be nice to be able to delete this though...
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby elaw » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:05 pm

The aircraft is towed to the gate.
They stop on the runway, call out some fire equipment and have to be towed in
Are we sure there isn't a vast conspiracy going on to save jet fuel by having the a/c towed off the runway by tugs? 8-)
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby Not_Karl » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:33 pm

eventually I'll figure out the difference between the "quote" and "edit" buttons!
One is a quote, the other is a pencil. Hope that helps :P .
My recollection (subject to eyewitness imagination) was that the plane was on fire, unstable, rocking from side to side and up and down, the engines were failing and making sputtering sounds and we were all screaming and praying and thinking "oh my God, we are going to die".
Fixed.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:34 pm

Mispost... eventually I'll figure out the difference between the "quote" and "edit" buttons!

It sure would be nice to be able to delete this though...
LOL...done a few too many myself.

The FA's did not just blurt out their analysis in the heat of the moment...can't remember when I heard it, but it was after 'we' popped the main door, sang some songs, and laughed.

There's also sad ironing that Flyover international airport had to start landing planes on the 'takeoff runway' and require controllers to occasionally think (at least a tiny bit)...hell, they probably rejoiced as a chance to put runway 29 to good use as "the departure runway".

Conspiracy? Valid thought, but c'mon...this was clearly shoddy maintenance from a cut-rate carrier...I don't recall exactly, but Southwest may be on someone's no-fly list. :mrgreen:
Last edited by 3WE on Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3WE Survives near-total air disaster!!!!!

Postby 3WE » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:43 pm

My recollection (subject to eyewitness imagination) was that the plane was on fire, unstable, rocking from side to side and up and down, the engines were failing and making sputtering sounds and we were all screaming and praying and thinking "oh my God, we are going to die".
Fixed.
Wrong.

My thoughts were: Yeah, I finally get to post something REAL at AD.info as opposed to those lame flight reports with photos of the beverages! (And, wow, amazing to watch stupid pilots improvising with reckless abandon airmanship as opposed to solid procedure).

Interesting trivia note: Flyboy was banned from all forums except off-topic at this time...He made mention of the incident in the Flyboy Fortnightly F-off thread he was doing back then. He said something like, "It appears that 3BS survived some sort of incident, it's a shame he didn't died." :mrgreen:
Last edited by 3WE on Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Note to AD safety students.

Postby 3WE » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:45 pm

Check out the youtube link above at the appropriate time stamp.

I am pretty sure we see the failure of a shimmy damper on the right main gear (that's 3 failures on the right side, if you are counting)

I see a pattern of weakness from the scientific, hell-better, aeroengineers! Ban all 737s!
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Re: Note to AD safety students.

Postby elaw » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:46 pm

that's 3 failures on the right side, if you are counting
Clearly a result of the Coriolis effect. No, no, it's the Coanda effect. Dammit, it's one of those effects...
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