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Thread: Southwest 1380 engine failure

  1. #31
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    And I think actually, this is more about media coverage about airplanes in general. It's kind of like with sharks... There was an incident about a month ago, which Newsweek of all places covered with this headline:

    Southwest Airlines Passengers Thought Death Was Near as Plane Attempted Landing in Storm


    It's hard to know because it really isn't an "incident" and so details are sketchy, but passengers said the airplane "attempted to land" but the airline says that it was in a holding pattern and makes it seem like it wasn't given clearance. So there are three possibilities.
    1. They were in a holding pattern but because of the turbulence, the passengers thought they were landing.
    2. They were given clearance by ATC, who must have thought it was safe enough to land.
    3. They weren't given clearance but tried to land anyway.

    I think the third is very unlikely because it would be an incident. It just says that visibility was low, the plane was shaking, people were screaming, and "at least one passenger" vomited.

    Actually, I've been on planes where I've heard people scream because of turbulence, and where people have vomited. So I'm sorry but I'm not sure what the big deal is. One guy says that he texted his relatives to let them know he was dying, but unless there is an emergency a pilot isn't going to try to land a plane if he thinks he's going to crash it.

    As far as I can tell, the story is that the plane tried to land in a storm, and was not given clearance, and diverted to another airport to refuel, and then landed safely. I can't really see the story, except for the discomfort. I mean, I know comfort is important, but trains and planes and buses shake and you can't help it.
    As above, so below

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    But "hero" might just sell a few more papers. And I've stopped thinking of the average journalist as a linguistic purist a long, long time ago.
    Agreed. (The other word that drives me nuts because of regular misuse is 'miracle'. Someone makes a recovery from an injury or illness and its's trumpeted as a miracle. Which I think is a grave disservice to the teams of people from the paramedics to the doctors, surgeons and nurses, who studied for years to train and treat that person, as well as a lack of acknowledgement of the variables, known and unknown, that affected that recovery. A miracle would have been if the patient's dead cat had used a jackhammer to perform successful neurosurgery via telekinesis - I'd give you that one. A team of paramedics, doctors and nurses saving a patient is a testimony to those people's skills, not a miracle.)

    Anyway, I digress. I'd say that the pilot in the incident that Hornblower mentioned would certainly fall into the category of 'hero'. To be personally safe after the incident, but then to knowingly return into mortal danger on 4 separate occasions to save other people (and ultimately lose one's own life in the process) is undoubtedly heroism. The pilot may have regarded it as his duty to do so, but I don't see any reason why the two need be mutually exclusive.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Anyway, I digress. I'd say that the pilot in the incident that Hornblower mentioned would certainly fall into the category of 'hero'. To be personally safe after the incident, but then to knowingly return into mortal danger on 4 separate occasions to save other people (and ultimately lose one's own life in the process) is undoubtedly heroism. The pilot may have regarded it as his duty to do so, but I don't see any reason why the two need be mutually exclusive.
    Yes, agreed about that. I don't think it was heroic for him to have landed the crippled plane, because I think anybody in their right mind would try as best they could to do it, but going back in is definitely heroic--I can't be confident that I would have done it if I had been in his position.

    And also agreed about the "miracle" thing.
    As above, so below

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    As far as I can tell, the story is that the plane tried to land in a storm, and was not given clearance, and diverted to another airport to refuel, and then landed safely. I can't really see the story, except for the discomfort. I mean, I know comfort is important, but trains and planes and buses shake and you can't help it.
    In the early 1970s I was on a charter flight in Malaysia on a DC3. My junior colleague woke me up in alarm. The plane was bucking and jerking like crazy. He pointed out the window at the port engine which was spewing a trail of flame and smoke, while the wing flexed and shook violently.
    I said "This is a DC3, in my opinion one of the safest planes ever designed and built. If the other engine catches fire, then you can wake me up." and went back to sleep. I freely confess if this happened to me today I would be running up and down the aisle screaming "We're all going to die", but youth carries a certain sense of invulnerability.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    No problem at all. I also should perhaps clarify that the reason I put this thread in Media at Large is that I really wanted to talk about the media reaction to the incident, not the incident itself.
    Yes. We should never lose sight of this.

    Virtually any event that occurs on a broad scale is filtered through the media, and it is their narrative that we inevitably react to.

    The media is invoking the words "hero" and "female" to increase the story's newsworthiness.

    Ultimately, this falls on us though, as the media simply gives us what we (collectively) ask for.

    It's fine for us to be attracted to this kind of sensationalism at the surface level, but when calm heads prevail, such as in a forum discussion, we should be mindful of what is fact and what is hype.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclogite View Post
    In the early 1970s I was on a charter flight in Malaysia on a DC3. My junior colleague woke me up in alarm. The plane was bucking and jerking like crazy. He pointed out the window at the port engine which was spewing a trail of flame and smoke, while the wing flexed and shook violently.
    I said "This is a DC3, in my opinion one of the safest planes ever designed and built. If the other engine catches fire, then you can wake me up." and went back to sleep. I freely confess if this happened to me today I would be running up and down the aisle screaming "We're all going to die", but youth carries a certain sense of invulnerability.
    The only way to crash a DC-3 is to put it in a crate and load it into another aircraft.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    The only way to crash a DC-3 is to put it in a crate and load it into another aircraft.
    Worst air accident ever within NZ: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/nac-dc-3-s...-near-tauranga

    (Though not really a fault of the DC3 specifically.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    The only way to crash a DC-3 is to put it in a crate and load it into another aircraft.
    Yes, they say that. It’s undeniably a really sturdy plane, but in reality there have been lots of crashes, largely because it was in service for so long. Actually loading it into another plane isn’t’t necessary. Flying it into a mountain or another plane will often do the trick.
    As above, so below

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Yes, they say that. It’s undeniably a really sturdy plane, but in reality there have been lots of crashes, largely because it was in service for so long. Actually loading it into another plane isn’t’t necessary. Flying it into a mountain or another plane will often do the trick.
    There is hardly a runway in Africa that doesn't have the wreckage of a DC-3 lying at one end or the other. A friend of mine had a large collection of photos, and used to enjoy tracing the long service records of some of these planes.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #40
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    Well, there aren’t many planes of its era that could land themselves.

    http://www.dc3history.org/dc3fliesitself.html




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    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Well, there aren’t many planes of its era that could land themselves.

    http://www.dc3history.org/dc3fliesitself.html
    A Lancaster did that during the Second World War, while on fire.
    The plane had been badly shot up on the way back from a night bombing raid, and was burning amidships. The crew were unable to reach the tail gunner, who they thought had probably already been killed. They all bailed out over occupied France. The Lancaster then descended and performed a wheels-up landing in a field, at which point the tail gunner, still alive and well, stepped out of his shattered turret and ran around to the fore section with the intention of assisting the rest of the crew. Picture his surprise.

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #42
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    There was also an F-106 that did that in the seventies. It became known as the Cornfield Bomber.


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    As above, so below

  13. #43
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    There's a story of a trainee pilot (trainer in the seat behind him) who thought he heard the trainer say "OK I'll do the landing" on final approach so he sat back and relaxed. After the landing, the trainer got out and congratulated the student on the excellent landing. Talk about a "smile and wave, just smile and wave..." moment.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    There is hardly a runway in Africa that doesn't have the wreckage of a DC-3 lying at one end or the other. A friend of mine had a large collection of photos, and used to enjoy tracing the long service records of some of these planes.

    Grant Hutchison
    Oh no they're not crashed sir. You see, they're merely resting. Pining for the clouds. Put a cloth over them and in the morning they'll be good as new!

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