July 06, 2013

The TAIL Fell Off?


  There are reportedly two dead and sixty six injured in what appears to be a bizarre crash of a 777 at San Fransco airport. I imagine the death toll will be a bit higher but it's really fortunate that the survival rate is so high.

All the reports I'm seeing and reading indicate that the tail fell off.

More here.

Pete, do you have any thoughts?

If this was not terrorism related (and thee are NO indications that it is as I type this) then this is the first major non-deliberate airline crash in the US since 2001.

Over at Chizumatic Steven mentions that some transpacific flights carry two crews. In my experience this has not been the case with the 14 hour flights to Japan, though I've been using super bargain basement airlines. It's my understanding that there IS a crew lounge in the tail of many of these planes, but even given a two crew arrangement I'm pretty sure that the stewards would all be in their jump seats during take off/landing in case of emergency.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:41 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 I don't see how there could be a bomb involved, for the simple reason that a hypothetical bomber would set off his bomb while the plane was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, not during the last stages of landing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun Jul 7 07:36:57 2013 (+rSRq)

2 I've seen nothing to indicate it was terrorism.

There WAS a plot some years ago involving UPS and Fedex planes that was going to try to time the bombs such that they'd explode on approach, with the aim of causing a mass casualty event on the ground like in Lockerbie. However even had that not been thwarted, anything that depends on using airline schedules for a very narrow operational window is not terribly realistic. Additionally this planes approach was over the water so there'd be little point.

I'm amazed given the damage and fire that the death toll wasn't higher.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun Jul 7 11:03:16 2013 (F7DdT)

3 The dead teenagers, Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, were ejected from the wreck somehow. It could be something crazy, like staying in the rear washroom during the landing, when the tail section desintegrated. Or perhaps nobody else was in the last row and so they were the only ones thrown out.

Everyone else unbuckled and exited the airplane through the starboard emergency exits because the fire started on the right side (in the engine, presumably). This is why nobody else died.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sun Jul 7 20:07:12 2013 (RqRa5)

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