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Belly landing IRL with gear failure ?

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Hi,I have been thinking about one thing each time I see a plane belly landing IRL with gear failure.Why do they not land on the grass part of the field, instead of insisting on landing on the runway, where sparks are more obvious?Anyone with a good idea?http://www.scandicair.com/images/sa_banner.gif"Real men fly with round gauges"[/color]

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>Hi,>>I have been thinking about one thing each time I see a plane>belly landing IRL with gear failure.>>Why do they not land on the grass part of the field, instead>of insisting on landing on the runway, where sparks are more>obvious?>>Anyone with a good idea?>>Yes, it's been proven that the runway is the less dangerous option. There is more chance of something digging in with grass turf, which can cause a flip over, etc. Surprisingly, although you see sparks, airframe damage is usually minimal. L.Adamson

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At landing speeds, even a small almost imperceptible bump in the terrain would be like hitting a low brick wall. Small waves in the water can tear a ditching plane apart...hence the guidance to ditch parallel with the swells if at all possible.We had a couple slabs near the centerline of one of the runways at an AF base that sank just an inch or two over the 25ft span of the slab...it gave a real good jolt when taking off over it despite not being able to see it with the unaided eye.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Landing on grass increases the risk of damage and death considerably. An airscoop, a wing tip, something could easily dig in and upset its attitude and send it off end over end. Belly landing on tarmac has the following advantages:* Smooth predictable surface and it more likely has a prepared stopway at the end.* Damage can be limited to prop, unserside ariels and skin.* Fire and rescue trucks can reach you more easily/quickly.

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Three excellent reasons just above, and besides, most airports do not have that much un-cluttered grass. There is always something to run into, such as signage, an intersecting taxiway, a windsock, or even a VOR transmitter. ;-)How about when the grass is wet / ground is soft? That could make it much worse.I'll take the runway any day and deal with the sparks. Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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Any idea why they stopped spraying foam on runways for belly landings (apart from environmental concerns, but I can't imagine those being more important than safety in most countries)?

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Foaming doesn't do anything except make the surface slippery and more difficult to stop. More importantly, it can also reduce fire fighting capabilities at the airport so that if there is a fire, the trucks won't be able to do anything about it since all their foam has been expended onto the concrete already. That is why the guidance now is to not foam runways. What is wrong with sparks anyways? Sparks are harmless and make for good TV.

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Another reason, and I kid you not, is that the stuff litterally ruins the aircraft. It gets in everything requiring a total strip down and much replacement. Expecially for most light aircraft, even King Airs and the like, you really don't do that much damage. So long at you cut the engine over the threshold damage is usually limited to wingtips, belly skin, navigation aerials and propeller. Add foam and you won't see your pride and joy again for months instead of weeks.On a nearly related note, there was an interesting incident a couple of weeks ago, we had one recently when an Arrow with 6 hours endurance remaining had the starboard wing wheel stuck. He chose to go to an RAF base to land because of the long runway and the fire/rescue facilities. I wasn't there but he would have probably landed on the port wheel and held the starboard wing up for as long as possible to minimise damage. Needless to say he probably put the aircraft in a higher drag configuration and a high power setting to burn off as much of that potential six hours endurance within the remaining 2 hours of daylight before landing.

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Used to be they'd do it to stop fires before they even started.

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