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Spinning an Airliner

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Spinning an Airliner

Old 04-08-2011, 12:07 AM
  #21  
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China Air 747 did a spin (spiral dive) over the Pacific while inbound to SFO. They lost one engine, and while they were attending to that, nobody noticed that the air speed was decaying, and the autopilot pitching up to hold altitude until, SURPRISE !!

Lots of damage to the airplane, but they did recover, I think from 30-something thousand feet to about 10,000.

The plane broke the sound barrier of Mach 1 during the descent.

Stolen from Pprune:

"A footnote here is that we at Pan Am, since the repair was done by PA SFO Maintenance, always joked that Boeing got the idea for their blended winglet design from this China Air 747 because the wingtips were bent upward from the aerodynamic forces exerted on the aircraft during the dive/spin."

"The 747SP didn't lower the gear; rather, the G forces pulled during the recovery ripped the gear through the uplocks and "extended" on their own, and the airflow ripped the gear doors off -- they were waaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond normal gear extension speed."

"Wildest thing was that the crew of the SP landed at SFO and, unaware of the physical damage, asked for a refuelling and planned to continue on to LAX!"

"I remember the pix of this, particularly the ones of the horizontal stabs, which each had their outboard 4-5 feet missing. IIRC, the gear had been extended sometime during the dive, and the main gear doors ripped off and hit them."

"Local news media did a story on how the DFW-area Boeing sub-contractor (LTV, Vought, or whatever their name is) had to make a replacement stab from scratch, taking 6-8 weeks before it could be shipped to SFO."
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:20 AM
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There is actually a book about the 747SP dive over the Pacific. Cannot recall the title though.

As for a spin in a large airliner. I think that is just non-sense. Nobody would intentionally try to do it.

The 707 roll was accomplished under all positive G. It was a slow and wide roll in order to keep positive G on the wings (read to keep them from breaking from negative G loads) and the fuel, etc all going the right way.

There is a case of a 707 over Japan going into a spin (there is video I think???) due to hitting severe/extreme turbulence. This didn't end well, the spin caused all 4 engines to seperate, the tail to break off and the plane ultimatley slammed into ground. Near Tokyo someplace if I recall.

I fly the Bus. You could roll it, but you would have to get into Direct Law (or maybe Alt Law 2) and hope for the best. I wouldn't even think about trying it though.

Edit - I Google'd the 707 spin over Japan - BOAC Flight 911 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:56 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by FastDEW View Post
The 707 roll was accomplished under all positive G. It was a slow and wide roll in order to keep positive G on the wings (read to keep them from breaking from negative G loads) and the fuel, etc all going the right way.
Here's an account of that roll, by the pilot who did it:

VIDEO: Boeing 707 Barrel Roll by Test Pilot Tex Johnson | AirlineReporter.com - seattlepi.com
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:22 PM
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Large swept wing transport aircraft can easily enter a spin, they don't recover well and parts may be missing if they do.

Several flight manuals caution that even entry into a full stall may remove parts from the aircraft.

As others have mentioned, spin entry and recovery are not part of the certification process for these aircraft.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:23 PM
  #25  
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Wow this is one brought back from the dead, but a great topic. Large transport Part 25 aircraft are not certified for spins because they have stall avoidance hardware in the flight control systems and no testing is required. Some of the smaller 25's have been spun, quite a few business jets and light turboprops. I can't say which was the largest, but I suspect Beech 1900s and some of the older airline turboprops without stall recovery hardware were spun during certification. Recovery is done with pyrotechnic drag chutes.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:29 PM
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They tried spinning a Baron... didn't work so well. Good way to get DEAD !!!

Note: plane does NOT have stall avoidance hardware, but was certified under Part 23, or maybe grandfathered under CAR 3. Don't remember.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:41 PM
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None of the traditional piston multis were spun for certification, and the rumor about Barons being unrecoverable in a spin has been disproved. Lawyers had Beechcraft prove it to them at one point in order to defend against the so- called spin accidents that were happening in Barons back in the day. The company used one of the flight test pilots own airplanes since all the protos were gone by then. A friend of mine knows the pilots, and the story says they landed uneventfully after doing some number of intentional spins.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:51 PM
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Someone who regularly flies the DC-3 told me it spins nicely and recovers normally. Not certified for spins....Pre-Transport category, but definitely an airliner.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:16 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Cubdriver View Post
None of the traditional piston multis were spun for certification, and the rumor about Barons being unrecoverable in a spin has been disproved

Many, many years ago, I was sent a paper on the Baron's spin characteristics. It wasn't pretty. Not sure if this is related to this event, or not.

I don't believe unrecoverable was the problem. It was unrecoverable with 100% safe outcome (but, honestly, I'm not remembering the details, so I'll stop right here).

I hope they put spin chutes on them !!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tomgoodman View Post
Tom, that was an amazing video and short interview. Thank you for posting!!!

I still don't think I will try to go to Direct Law and try the Bus out in a roll though! LOL
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