Cactus521

Southwest Accident

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Damn, that's not good. Shrapnel actually penetrated the fuselage in-flight. One passenger dead.

A moment of silence for those affected.

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Sad.  First fatality in the history of Southwest from what I read.

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Yes, was surprised at the damage and as another mentioned, I think it's the first fatality in what is considered one of the world's safest airlines after Qantas.  They talk about the aircraft free falling but that is standard procedure to rapidly descend when the cabin depressurizes.  It could have been a far worse accident, I imagine an angel was on that wing and guiding the aircraft home.  Still a fatality is a fatality and it is always sad when that happens in aviation or any form of transportation.

John

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Strange that I did not notice any "shrapel holes" in the fuselage though, just the blown out window.

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There was a child killed when the Southwest jet overran the runway at Midway many years ago.

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1 minute ago, KevinAu said:

There was a child killed when the Southwest jet overran the runway at Midway many years ago.

To me Midway just looks like a dangerous place. Such a small area with very high traffic totally surrounded by business and residential areas just right outside the airport boundary.

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An example of what can happen when the ubiquitous technology that surrounds us fails catastrophically. Very sad, and now multiple families are affected, and one is grieving.

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8 minutes ago, KevinAu said:

There was a child killed when the Southwest jet overran the runway at Midway many years ago.

Oh, I think I remember that, was the child on the aircraft or ground?  If ground this would be the first in-flight SWA fatality, regardless fatalities in the US and European airlines are becoming increasingly rare.

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2 minutes ago, Cactus521 said:

Oh, I think I remember that, was the child on the aircraft or ground?  If ground this would be the first in-flight SWA fatality, regardless fatalities in the US and European airlines are becoming increasingly rare.

On the ground. A passenger in a car crushed by the plane.

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3 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

To me Midway just looks like a dangerous place. Such a small area with very high traffic totally surrounded by business and residential areas just right outside the airport boundary.

Several months after that runway overrun, I was returning from a trip on Southwest. For some reason the PF landed way long on 31C. In fact he landed after the second runway crossing (4L/22R). Finally he managed a hard landing and stomped on the brakes as well as max reverse thrust. We managed to turn off the runway right at the very end...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, PATCO LCH said:

To me Midway just looks like a dangerous place. Such a small area with very high traffic totally surrounded by business and residential areas just right outside the airport boundary.

Yes, it is. I still remember a capt said to me one time when I was a young fo just before I was about to begin the circle to 22....wise words which I still remember to this day which I try to follow...”Don’t f—k this up.”

Edited by KevinAu
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28 minutes ago, n4gix said:

Several months after that runway overrun, I was returning from a trip on Southwest. For some reason the PF landed way long on 31C. In fact he landed after the second runway crossing (4L/22R). Finally he managed a hard landing and stomped on the brakes as well as max reverse thrust. We managed to turn off the runway right at the very end...

My worst landing was on a Lufthansa flight into Bologna Italy from Frankfurt.  The pilot flared from what I estimate about ten feet too high, and the 737-300 slammed into the ground at Bologna, so hard it broke cologne bottles in my suitcase, which I found when I got it from the turnstile.  That landing felt like a chiropractor making a massive and terminal spinal adjustment.  Passengers hissed and booed at the landing, it was that bad, but I held my silence knowing that sudden chop on a warm Italian day where the weather was percolating, that a sudden downdraft could happen. 

Fortunately on that flight, out of the blue, I met a former colleague from India who I had not seen in over a year.  Serendipity.  He was a good former Information Technology colleague named Ravi.  I was sitting in the concourse in Frankfurt Germany, delirious with jet lag  having flown in from Phoenix with a stopover in Pittsburgh, then non-stop to Rhein Main, when a dark and mysterious man rose out of the blurry crowd my jet lagged eyes were seeing.  I squinted and looked at the suspicious character in my Jet Lag Hallucinating mind and then he spoke "John, what the heck are you doing here?":

I recognized him immediately and said "Ravi, I am flying to Bologna Italy to do some work for Holiday Inn there".  Ravi said "Me too, I have just flown in from Delhi to work for my client in Bologna".  My head was spinning, small, small world.  And this has happened to me not once, not twice, not three times, but four times with different people in different places.  I was a road warrior before I went out on disability and these serendipitous events would just happen during my travels, once or twice a year.

Sorry I digressed from my opening post, when accidents happen I like to celebrate the lives of my fellow world travelers here in the forums, even if their world is limited to their home state.

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2 hours ago, n4gix said:

Strange that I did not notice any "shrapel holes" in the fuselage though, just the blown out window.

The failed window is 10 rows aft of the lateral plane of the cowl damage...doubt that this was "shrapnel" per se (uncontained pieces of a disintegrating compressor/turbine wheel), but more likely a large piece or pieces of the engine/cowl separating and striking the fuselage well behind the engine.  Most modern turbine engines have a kevlar belt around the compressor and turbine sections to prevent the high-speed rotating components from grenading into the rest of the aircraft.

It also looks like the aft edge of the failed window frame is deformed.  At cruise altitude, those windows have more than a ton of force being applied from the inside due to pressurization, so if the window frame were damaged by impact from a large piece of engine debris, the force of pressurization could well do the rest in removing the window from the jet, causing the kind of explosive rapid decompression they experienced.

All that said, muerto es muerto...

Regards

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Just read about this:

 AAvZCWh.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

Very sad, but apparently the passengers stepped up to try and save her.  There supposed to be a debris shield around the engine to help prevent something like this ... I know when I was auto racing, one of the many safety regulations is a "shatter shield" (has to be a very specific size, thickness, material, and location) between me and the clutch housing ... it saved me from injury from an incorrectly installed clutch that came apart on me one practice session. 

I've always wondered how or if aircraft engines had a similar shielding ... I assumed they didn't because of the additional weight required to stop metal rotating at such high speeds.  But apparently they do have shields but perhaps not of sufficient thickness to prevent debris shattering?

I thought 737's had vibration sensors for each engine so I would think anything starting to come apart would have triggered those sensors?  Can't imagine at 32,200 ft it ingested anything that would cause this? 

Cheers, Rob.

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The lack of a band of shrapnel damage on the fuselage in the same plane as the obvious damage to the compressor section suggests to me that the containment ring largely did its job here.

The diagonal stripe of removed paint traversing the inboard top of the cowl in the picture above suggests to me that something pretty substantial skidded across the top of the engine cowl towards the fuselage/wing root area.

A compressor or turbine wheel failure can occur suddenly, without vibration or warning.  Cracks in the blade structure propagate slowly until they hit a critical length, after which point they propagate very rapidly. 

Regards

 

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Yes it seems to be an extremely unfortunate trajectory, straight through a window, very sad for the victim

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11 minutes ago, Matthew Kane said:

Yes it seems to be an extremely unfortunate trajectory, straight through a window, very sad for the victim

To me, these things are like an amusement park ride. Every time your fasten your seatbelt, a fleeting wisp of memory regarding accidents/tragedies flickers for an instant through your mind......

But you'll be ok, right? Airplanes are still the safest form of travel, right?

I can't Imagine the horror/disbelief that must arise when you realize that the odds have come for you, and your plane is in trouble.... :sad:

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These engine problems always remind me of United 232 in 1989 - when the 'flywheel' ? fatigue fracture wasn't found in time. The subsequent damage left the crew with no hydraulics.

I seem to recall that the enquiry report stated that it was due to that inevitable 'human error' - where maintenance didn't pick up the extending fracture in time to prevent the accident.

When seated nearest to an engine in flight, I always think of how many components on the aircraft, and especially engine components - have to work 100% of the time. Makes you think.

Having seen how these fan blades are made/tested, I wonder whether this one might have been discovered prior to the incident, and the metal fatigue could have been seen prior to it occurring..

In a similar vein - what is behind this recent ETOPS ruling on the 787 with RR engines I wonder ?

Regards

Bill

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Quite the tragedy and absolutely harrowing experience for all passengers. Phenomenal work by the crew to get them all down safely and while they train alot for engine failures, having the window shatter and aircraft depressurize just added to the complications to deal with let alone a pax nearly sucked out. 

Whats interesting though , is that one of the reports indicates the engine had a safety check in mid April. Who knows to what extent, but if there was metal fatigue, you wonder why it didnt get picked up or any other issue. Thats a catastrophic engine failure not just a failure.

 

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So very tragic the loss of life for victim and family. Every time there is an aviation tragedy I can't help but consider the attention given aviation tragedy but we seem to accept the tens of thousands lives lost on our highways every year as the cost we pay for a mobile society. If 10%that number were lost in airplanes the media and public would be demanding remedy.

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