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Hey newey you probably knew/know this.........


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I was doing some reading and came across air transt flight 236 and the longest glide by an airliner, 75 miles into the azores, if that wasn't interesting enuff with the complete lack of landing tools the pilots brought it to a stop with mechanical braking and blowing out tires and collapse of wheels, a few injuries but no fatalities, the article said they started engineless at 33,000 feet and dropped at a rate of 2,000 feet, that would be a minute, is there anything a pilot can do without engines to enable a better glide pattern. Great feelgood story.

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There is a bit in here on what the pilot can do about glide optimising


First paragraph in "Landing at Gimli"

Depends on the plane a lot.  Way back when the RAAF had Mirages we lost one when the fire went out.  I heard their performance in such situations described as 

"Having the glide angle of a brick outhouse with the door open"


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Same with our old CF104's Starfighters, good friend now deceased was a mechanic on these and one came back with bullrushes in a few places in the belly, about 1 yard from touching earth on that flight, pilot mighted have had some soiled parts also

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14 hours ago, Dasnake said:

dropped at a rate of 2,000 feet, that would be a minute

That 2000'/min equals at least 5 miles forward in still air. The eastbound flight mentioned probably had a tailwind helping it out as well.

Although we were always trained to be aware of a fuel leak additional emphasis was made after that incident, specifically to note the extent of the leak and if bad enough that the flame out of the engine fed by that tank group was inevitable then to consider transferring (saving) the fuel from that tank group to the non leaking side.

I believe the crew was initially heroes then goats for failing to recognize the fuel leak and exacerbating the situation by transferring fuel into a leak.

Without antiskid braking available we can use the parking brake accumulator and decelerate via the acceleration G meter - keeping a -.25 G will avoid blowing tires. I don't know if an Airbus has anything similar. Out G meter is on the primary flight display and I don't think that was available or even if there was a meter on that plane. They screwed up but recovered and dead sticked on an island touching down at 200kts. Works for me!

As for the Gimli Glider I'm surprised that the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) allowed dispatch with all of the fuel quantity systems inoperative. Back at Eastern it was common to dispatch with a single system inoperative while measuring the tank with the in-op system with dripless sticks, or by dispatching with a know quantity in that system. I just looked at our MEL on fuel and we can dispatch with one of 3 quantity systems in-op as long as a known quantity - transfer or defuel to empty and pump a known amount in, or, not very practical, filled full to the high level sensor shuts it off. We don't have sticks. There are other condition such as no transfer allowed in flight.

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read an article once about the SR-71 that might have been somewhere over Russia and had mechanical problems and needed to land, cant remember what base he got a hold of but the tower wanted to know his location and altitude and speed,. pilot radioed back that all that info was top secret at the present time but he would contact the tower when it was no longer top secret, all he could say is that he was dropping at the rate of 3000 ft a minute.  15 minutes later he contacted the tower to tell where he was and the altitude was no longer classified because he was below 50,000 FT .

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