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About UAL744

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    El Paso, Texas
  • Interests
    I enjoy all things aviation, books, films, documentaries, memorabilia, toys, pilots and kiddie wings, and model collecting.

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About Me

  • About Me
    I enjoy aviation, VHS movies, country, rock, and jazz music, baseball, aviation movies, home airport spotting, boating, jogging, model building, and the company of close friends.

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  1. Alright then. I’ll get started on it as soon as I can!
  2. Hello again and with a first for me, a sale of part of my collection of past airline memorabilia. For the simmers here who are TWA simmers and or enthusiasts, I have a couple of pocket guides I’m offering up for sale. They are original and hard to find, and once they’re gone they are gone. However, owing to personal circumstances and circumstances stemming from COVID-19, I can only accept payment by western union money order. Shipping will be free and will be provided by USPS and the guides will be in a 8.5x11 flat letter envelope. Since the pocket guides are small enough to fit in a letter envelope, there won’t be a tracking number with the order, but I will take every precaution to minimize damage in shipping. Anyone who’s interested plz reply below, thanks!
  3. I have United Airlines Flight Manuals for the 777, and A320 that I can try to scan to get to you but it’ll take a while especially with the surrounding circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Just let me know which one you want and I’ll see what I can do. Good luck!
  4. Hello again and on rather unfortunate circumstances, as you may know, the coronavirus has ravaged the entire world, and upended normal life not only here in Texas or America but everywhere. Any sense of normalcy is completely gone, and I myself am in one of the hundreds of cities under mandatory stay at home orders, but after having gone to check on family and friends, I thought I’d share some personal advice on how to stay safe, at least long enough for the stay at home order to be lessened and you can go back outside. 1. You probably heard about social distancing guidelines suggesting staying at least 6 feet from a person, but i suggest you should if possible stay 10-12 feet from a person. 2. If you cannot find face-masks a bandana will be a good if not better substitute. And blue surgical gloves will be easier to get on and off. Or breathe through your shirt. 3. Wash your hands at least 20 seconds 4-6 times per day and in between meals. 4. Get hand sanitizer the first chance you get or the second you see it 5. Stay in touch with family and close friends regularly 6. Regularly watch news outlets or buy newspapers. 7. Obey your Stay at home orders, the more people do this the sooner this virus will end and life can start getting back to normal. 8. Do whatever it takes to not catch this virus! and lastly, 8. Stay safe and stay alive!
  5. It is with a somber heart that I announce the last survivor of a pivotal point in aviation’s history has died. The sole living survivor of the Hindenburg disaster is dead. One of the youngest passengers at the time, Werner Doehner, has died in the loving company of friends and family at age 90. Despite giving a few interviews, Werner was deeply haunted by what happened to him back in 1937, having the events of that fiery night literally seared into his memory and having not only lost his father and older sister in the raging inferno and suffered severe burns to his face and both arms and legs. Despite the interviews, he took some aspects of the experience to the grave. On a more happier note, for all 747 fans and a380 haters on here, it is with great emotion that I announce that Airbus will be pulling the plug on the a380 in 2021. Since the increasing advent of plastic and reinforced carbon fiber composites in many areas of today’s next gen airliners, twin-jets and increased reliability of jet engines slackening ETOPS rules, airlines have been phasing out the legendary 747 and starting to do the same with the A380. Some have even gone forward to say the building of the A380 was a mistake and the massive losses is, has been and always will be a constant reminder of that mistake. So even though the 747 is also on the way out, the 747 will be getting the last laugh. Happy holidays everyone!
  6. Hello again, this year is the 30th anniversary of another, yet more miraculous crash. 30 years ago this coming Friday, United Airlines flight 232, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, flying from Denver Stapleton airport, in Colorado to Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania via a stopover at Chicago O’Hare airport in Illinois, made an emergency landing in Sioux City, after a blowout of the tail mounted #2 engine disabled the hydraulic system, rendering the trijet nearly unflyable. Amazingly despite the violence of the crash-landing, over 170 of the passengers and all three pilots survived the crash. Flight 232 started off perfectly normally in Denver with the boarding of the 295 passengers and an uneventful takeoff. In the cockpit was captain Alfred C. Haynes, first officer Bill Records, and flight engineer Dudley Dvorak and crewing the cabin were 11 flight attendants, including one of them, was Jan Brown. Takeoff and climb out were completely normal and it seemed it was going to be yet another milk run for Haynes and the other pilots. Just hours into the flight and over Alta, Iowa, a resonating bang shattered the tranquility in the cabin. In the cockpit, with Records hand-flying the jet, the shock also shook the pilots. Seeing the indications for the tail mounted engine, Haynes ran through the engine shutdown checklist as trained and within seconds the failed engine was shut down. Just as it seemed the crew’s problems were over, things got worse, with Records saying he had no control over the plane at all. Jumping into action, Haynes ordered Dvorak to do a systems check. But what he would see on the hydraulic system panel would make Dvorak’s blood turn to ice. Turning to Haynes, Dvorak shouted to Haynes, “Al, we’ve lost all hydraulics!” Dvorak's words made Haynes’ and Records’ blood run cold, knowing that without the hydraulics, the plane would be uncontrollable. Haynes had Dvorak run through the emergency checklists section of the DC-10 Flight Manual for a complete hydraulic system failure checklist. But a complete hydraulic system failure was nowhere to be found in the flight manual. Moments later, Haynes’ worst fears were realized when the right wing began dipping down, and the pilots were powerless to do anything. Having been an experienced pilot, Haynes suggested that Records use the engines and Haynes’ suggestion paid off, and the crew were able to pull the plane out of what would have been a terminal dive. But they weren’t out of danger yet. Getting on the cabin interphone, Haynes asked Jan Brown to see if there was anyone who could help. Following Haynes’ orders Jan went looking for a pilot and she found one. Dennis Fitch, a United Airlines DC-10 instructor, just happened to be onboard and offered to help, and Haynes readily accepted his assistance. Haynes’ decision is a perfect example of the newly minted CRM program in action, having been implemented 11 years earlier, after the crash of United Airlines flight 173. Once getting in the cockpit, Fitch happened to take a look at the flight engineers panel and the indications for the hydraulic system horrified him. Once he was briefed on the situation, Fitch made the transition from a passenger to a crew member and took the engine throttles. Once again, it seemed the plane had a mind of its own when it started doing climbing and descending oscillations. Fitch combated this with switching engine speeds of the two wing engines. With their improvised technique of using the engines as improvised controls, the crew were able to stabilize the plane. Knowing they would be unable to continue to Chicago, the crew made the decision of diverting to nearby Sioux City airport. With Fitch flying the plane using the engines and both Records and Dvorak monitoring him, Captain Haynes called flight attendant Brown into the cockpit and told her to prepare the cabin for an emergency landing. Due to no infant restraints, flight attendant Jan Brown had parents who were flying with lap children put their children on the cabin floor, a decision that still haunts her to this day. Moments before the anticipated landing, the emergency landing checklist was completed; the wings were level and the gear was down, success seemed to be within their grasp. Having returned to her jumpseat, flight attendant Jan Brown was about to tell the passengers to assume brace positions when captain Haynes overrides her on the PA system. Moments later, just when a successful landing seemed certain, the left wing started dropping down. Realizing what was happening, Haynes frantically ordered Fitch to increase power on the left engine, and increase power on the right, but it was too late. The engines didn’t respond in time, Haynes, Records, Devorak, and Fitch were all staring defeat in the face. Seconds later, the DC-10 slammed into the runway with the bloodcurdling screech of metal skidding on pavement, and a massive shower of sparks, only to be followed with the horrifying orange glow of fuel fed flames shooting from the rupturing tanks. As the DC-10 slid along the ground, it started breaking apart, the tail section containing the failed #2 engine snapped off like a twig and hurtled down the runway and rested in a nearby field. The rest of the plane, with the passengers and crew still inside, tumbled down the runway and also broke apart. The emergency services, having been positioned on both sides of the runway, watched in horror as the now burning DC-10 broke apart right in front of them, their ears filled with the sickening sound of screeching and groaning metal combined with the roaring of fuel fed flames and sparks. Just as it seemed it would go on forever, the wreckage of the broken DC-10 stopped and the emergency services jumped into action, starting to pour foam on the burning pieces of the trijet and pulling survivors from the wreckage. Despite the intensity of the fire and clouds of thick black smoke, responders were able to pull 185 passengers and crew, including Brown, Haynes, Records, Dvorak and Fitch to safety. But success was bittersweet, the plane still crashed and sadly, 111 people had died. While the survivors were being treated at area hospitals, a team from the NTSB was dispatched to Sioux City to find out what happened. But as the investigators began their work, they had no way of knowing that a crucial piece of evidence was already missing. Upon inspecting the remains of the tail mounted engine, investigators from the NTSB found the engine fan disc was completely gone, and in a panic put out a $10,000 reward for anyone who could find the disc. Several months later, a woman farmer found the disc in her field when she was harvesting the corn in her combine. She and her husband received the money and donated $5,000 to charity. With the engine fan disc now in their possession, the investigators could finish their work. After a long investigation, the final report by the NTSB revealed the engine failure was caused by a bad batch of titanium used to forge the engine’s fan disc. A microscopic imperfection in the titanium mutated into a crack that grew each time the engine was operated. Over the course of 18 years, the crack in the engine fan disc grew and grew until on July 19, 1989, the crack reached a length of 18 inches long and the weakened fan disc blasted itself apart. The pieces of the engine punched holes in the horizontal stabilizer and breached the hydraulic system in multiple places, and in seconds, the entire hydraulic system was drained of oil. With the hydraulic systems drained, the DC-10 was rendered nearly unflyable. By the late 1990’s, the saga of flight 232 had mostly been forgotten, but 23 years later, the saga would be given a shot in the arm when in early 2012, Dennis Fitch, having long retired from united and engaging in motivational speaking, had developed and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Sadly, the diagnosis was bleak for the retired pilot, and despite aggressive medical treatment, Fitch succumbed to the disease and died on June 1, 2012 at the age of 69. Fitch’s death would reignite the interest of the public in the saga of flight 232 and sadden Haynes, Dvorak, Records, Brown, and all of the surviving passengers and crew. Now with the 30th anniversary nearing, this event is a resounding reminder of the importance of Crew Resource Management and teamwork in today’s airlines’ operations. This post is dedicated to Dennis “Denny” Fitch, a hero, who sadly, like all the greats, was gone too soon. R.I.P, Dennis Fitch. 1943-2012
  7. Well, it's happening. 10 years ago today, Air France 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Brazil after flying into a mid ocean thunderstorm and having the primary first officer stalled the airliner. 32 year old Pierre Bonin's decision to pull back on the side stick, and keep it there until the airliner slammed into the ocean, a decision that was then, and still is now, nothing short of unspeakable, still confounds not just A330 pilots but pilots of all planes, both Boeing and Airbus. Even Sully, who is known for the Miracle on the Hudson and having flown another Airbus plane, the A320 was shocked, and even he couldn't understand Bonin's decision. A few pilots were shocked beyond words and their shock is completely understandable, I was shocked as well. Pilots around the world all agree that this crash should not have happened, it was a preventable accident on so many levels but it could happen again unless the industry actually listens to the people lobbying for the implementation of the recommendations outlined by the accident report. I like all today send our condolences to the families of the victims, may they Rest In Peace, and I, like many, have sincere hopes that this crash never happens again, ever!
  8. Hello I wanted to share a unique chapter of my times as a commercial passenger. There are a select few number of people who can say that they have flown the Boeing 747-400, known and loved the world over, and thanks to one flight back in 2004, I can say that I am one of them. Back in 2004, I was only 8 years old, barely two years away from starting middle school. Most of the flight is blurry but I remember making the connection to San Francisco on Southwest Airlines and waiting for the plane. Once in San Francisco, we made our way to the international terminal of the airport to wait for our flight. At some point, our plane arrived, and I distinctly remember the plane being gray on top and blue on bottom, back then, United still had the battleship gray livery. Once we boarded, we sat in our seats, me in the window seat, my mother next to me and another family member next to her. I distinctly remember sitting on the right side of the plane at the very front of the right wing. My mother thinks we might have gotten bumped up to United First, and from that point on, everything is a blur. 15 years later, having done research on United Airlines, I realized that we were sitting in United Business and it seems likely that we flew to Hong Kong since United purchased the Pacific network from Pan Am before the carrier went bust in 1991. Looking back on this and the second and last flight I ever did on United Airlines, and also taking into account the upcoming retirement of 747s the world over, I will cherish that flight forever and I have every intention on flying the 747 again one last time as a passenger.
  9. We're keeping our fingers crossed for you, Jim!
  10. My prayers and condolences go out to the victims and their families. May they be blessed with fair winds and clear skies!
  11. And here's another lesson of Air France 447, no amount of automation can ever, and I mean EVER, replace the stick and rudder skills that you learn as a private pilot, and that's another aspect of being human. Another important lesson is that regardless of the situation, your first and foremost priority is to fly the airplane! Don't let the airplane fly you, you fly the airplane, and get it under control! If you don't do that, you will only aggravate the situation you're in.
  12. Yes, the more I looked into the details and the circumstances surrounding the crash, the more I saw a clear cut case of either ineffective or nonexistent CRM, another reason why this crash should never have happened. This was one crash that was avoidable, preventable and unfortunately is repeatable unless we learn how it happened so we don't have a recurrence and again, more heartache and pain.
  13. Even 10 years on I can only imagine what it must've been like on that plane, it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it...
  14. If you see your French colleague again, tell her I'm so sorry for her loss. But like I said before, let's hope the lessons from this accident do not go unheeded, and we don't have other grieving family members suffering yet even more heartache and pain!
  15. Let's keep our fingers crossed, let's hope the industry actually learned something from this...
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