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Flight Movie - How Real is It? Hollywood vs Reality

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Thought this was very interesting.

 


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There were many comments on this movie when it came out, and most said it was not so real, but I cannot recall all the reasons why.  I do remember the video of the 707 doing a roll when it was demoed near Seattle, but sustained inverted flight might be very challenging in an airliner full of pax, given its weight and balance.  I have been upside down in an aircraft only once, a Cessna 182 a pilot was taking on a check ride and he asked me and a friend to come along.  My friend felt very ill from the illegal roll, and we never flew with the pilot again, not only that but he rolled the aircraft over a congested area, over a freeway, a hotel and a commercial area.  We had to land immediately so my shaken friend could get his bearings, he was not a coaster enthusiast like I was.

John

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Just now, John_Cillis said:

There were many comments on this movie when it came out, and most said it was not so real, but I cannot recall all the reasons why.  I do remember the video of the 707 doing a roll when it was demoed near Seattle, but sustained inverted flight might be very challenging in an airliner full of pax, given its weight and balance.  I have been upside down in an aircraft only once, a Cessna 182 a pilot was taking on a check ride and he asked me and a friend to come along.  My friend felt very ill from the illegal roll, and we never flew with the pilot again, not only that but he rolled the aircraft over a congested area, over a freeway, a hotel and a commercial area.  We had to land immediately so my shaken friend could get his bearings, he was not a coaster enthusiast like I was.

John

But as the narrator pointed out, going inverted was an actual real-life maneuver tried by a desperate airline crew. I suspect the writer may have gotten a plot point from that.


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38 minutes ago, HiFlyer said:

But as the narrator pointed out, going inverted was an actual real-life maneuver tried by a desperate airline crew. I suspect the writer may have gotten a plot point from that.

Only one I can think of off the top of my head is FedEx 705. Although China Airlines 6 and Alaska 261 both flew inverted at one point, it wasn't something they intended on actually doing.


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10 minutes ago, Captain Kevin said:

Only one I can think of off the top of my head is FedEx 705. Although China Airlines 6 and Alaska 261 both flew inverted at one point, it wasn't something they intended on actually doing.

I have no idea what the official record says, but wikki has this to say: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines_Flight_261

Quote

The CVR transcript reveals the pilots' continuous attempts for the duration of the dive to regain control of the aircraft.[1]:9 At one point, unable to raise the nose, they attempted to fly the aircraft upside-down.[1]:9 However, the aircraft was far beyond recovery; it descended inverted and nose-down about 18,000 feet (5,500 m) in 81 seconds (151 mph; 243 km/h). A few seconds before 16:22 (00:22 UTC), Flight 261 impacted the Pacific Ocean at high speed about 14 miles offshore, between the coastal city of Port Hueneme, California, and Anacapa Island. At this time, pilots from aircraft flying in the same area reported in, with one SkyWest Airlines pilot saying, "and he's just hit the water". Another reported, "Ah, yes sir he ah, he ah, hit the water. He's ah down."[9] The aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces, and all occupants on board were killed instantly by blunt force impact trauma

 

Quote

In 2012, the film drama Flight, directed and co-produced by Robert Zemeckis, featured an airplane crash of a craft resembling an MD-83 which flies inverted and ultimately lands, though the film's version recorded just six fatalities (four passengers, two crew) of the 102 persons aboard. In the film, NTSB investigators determine the probable cause of this crash to be the fatigue of a jackscrew due to excess wear and poor maintenance. The final seconds of the CVR of Flight 261 indicate the plane stabilized and was flying inverted shortly before the crash, an event depicted in the film. Screenwriter John Gatins later explained that the film's featured crash was "loosely inspired" by the events of Flight 261.[35]

 


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I haven't seen his video's before but I found this guy more entertaining then the original film. I'll have to check out more of his vids


Matthew Kane

 

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6 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

I have no idea what the official record says, but wikki has this to say: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines_Flight_261

 

 

I remember well the tragedy of flight 261, I have not been on an MD80/MD90 since (out of happenstance, not by choice, air routes I have flown on since did not have them as equipment).  With the complexities of modern aircraft, so many moving parts, it is amazing how safe the industry is, civilian and military.  That is why I prefer flying Trikes, they are simpler, even though they have a lot of rigging, the human is the hydraulic system, there is only one part we worry about, we call it the "*******" Bolt which holds the trapeze and undercarriage to the wing.  It is called that because if it breaks, most western trike pilots say "*******" and pray they have an alternate form of transportation to the ground.  I've not heard of one failure of this bolt but it probably has happened and can happen.  One thing you put in the back of your mind when flying.

As passengers or pilots we always put failure in the back of our mind when flying, as drivers we do the same, we do not think of flat tires or blown transmissions or blown gaskets, modern vehicles since 2000 have become amazingly reliable.  My Malibu is a 2006 vintage car and I took it for a usual jaunt tonight, her engine purring, her wheels feeling like a magic carpet ride, with 81,000 miles on the clock, low miles for a twelve year old car.  I often wonder why car engines are not monitored by hours like aircraft engines.  A 100,000 mile commuter car may well be in better shape than a 60,000 mile stop and go car, with longer hours on the powertrain.

I have flown on aircraft thirty years older than I am, like the sadly passed William Garnett's Cessna 170, the famous aerial photographer who I got to know because he like me lived in Napa, I got to fly with him.  Actually I've flown in two aircraft sixty years older than I am, a Luscombe and an Ercoupe, and for some odd reason I imagined the aircraft dematerializing around me during flight, so I do not fly in such old aircraft anymore, not wishing to tempt fate.

The oldest jet aircraft I ever flew on was a DC8-63 although it was not as old at the time I flew it in '77.  In a crisis it would have been a bear to handle, such a huge, single aisle aircraft.  The DC8-63 could reverse two of its engines in flight, which it did on my flight from Munich to Milan once, to drop us from up over the Alps into Milan.  It felt like the pilot slammed on the brakes, midflight, the deceleration, but the kind guy warned us first that our DC8-63 would shake, rattle and roll during the short procedure.

The only in flight emergency I ever had was due to weather, we had to make three passes at the airport then we declared an emergency as we were out of fuel, on the fourth pass we came in at treetop level so we could clear minimums before landing, otherwise the fog was too thick.  I was not scared, I was annoyed that the pilot did not just pick an alternate airport.  I was on the flight due to a business emergency, it was my day off, but I was called in to fly from my home in California to Pellston Michigan via Chicago and a Beech puddle jumper, which almost became a tree trimmer.  My Mom teased me, because I told her I never worried about answering the phone, I traveled for a living, they could not call me into work just like that. 

But they did, Just Like That, and I had my nearest, nearly fatal miss in air travel......  Way back in 1994, the year I met my wife....

John

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