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A story to share

Discussion in 'Suggestions, Questions and Feedback' started by topkatt333, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. topkatt333

    topkatt333 Hangar Bronze Member I

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    How many of today's autopilot, computer dependent pilots would be able to do this? Professionalism, readiness, and knowledge can never be replaced by all the electronic gadgets in the world. Whether you drive a truck or a C-17, nothing beats knowing your capabilities and those of your machine, and knowing where you are at all times. It's hard to come up with options if you don't know what's going on.




    The Payoff


    Dedicated to Frank Crismon (1903-1990)

    by Capt. G. C. Kehmeier (United Airlines, Ret.)



    “I ought to make you buy a ticket to ride this airline!" The chief pilot's words were scalding. I had just transferred from San Francisco to Denver. Frank Crismon, my new boss, was giving me a route check between Denver and Salt Lake City.

    "Any man who flies for me will know this route," he continued. "'Fourteen thousand feet will clear Kings Peak' is not adequate. You had better know that Kings Peak is exactly 13,498 feet high. Bitter Creek is not 'about 7,000 feet.' It is exactly 7,185 feet, and the identifying code for the beacon is dash dot dash.

    "I'm putting you on probation for one month, and then I'll ride with you again. If you want to work for me, you had better start studying!"

    Wow! He wasn't kidding! For a month, I pored over sectional charts, auto road maps, Jeppesen approach charts, and topographic quadrangle maps. I learned the elevation and code for every airway beacon between the West Coast and Chicago. I learned the frequencies, runway lengths, and approach procedures for every airport. From city road maps, I plotted the streets that would funnel me to the various runways at each city.

    A month later he was on my trip.

    "What is the length of the north-south runway at Milford?" "Fifty-one fifty."

    "How high is Antelope Island?" "Sixty-seven hundred feet."

    "If your radio fails on an Ogden-Salt Lake approach, what should you do?" "Make a right turn to 290 degrees and climb to 13,000 feet."

    "What is the elevation of the Upper Red Butte beacon?" "Seventy-three hundred."

    "How high is the Laramie Field?" "Seventy-two fifty."

    This lasted for the three hours from Denver to Salt Lake City.

    "I'm going to turn you loose on your own. Remember what you have learned. I don't want to ever have to scrape you off some hillside with a book on your lap!"

    Twenty years later, I was the Captain on a Boeing 727 from San Francisco to Chicago. We were cruising in the cold, clear air at 37,000 feet.

    South of Grand Junction a deep low-pressure area fed moist air upslope into Denver, causing snow, low ceilings, and restricted visibility. The forecast for Chicago's O'Hare Field was 200 feet and one-half mile, barely minimums.

    Over the Utah-Colorado border, the backbone of the continent showed white in the noonday sun. I switched on the intercom and gave the passengers the word.

    "We are over Grand Junction at the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. On our right and a little ahead is the Switzerland of America--the rugged San Juan Mountains. In 14 minutes we will cross the Continental Divide west of Denver. We will arrive O'Hare at 3:30 Chicago time."

    Over Glenwood Springs, the generator overheat light came on.

    "Number 2 won't stay on the bus," the engineer advised.

    He placed the essential power selector to number 3. The power failure light went out for a couple of seconds and then came on again, glowing ominously.

    "Smoke is coming out of the main power shield," the engineer yelled.

    "Hand me the goggles."

    The engineer reached behind the observer's seat, unzipped a small container, and handed the copilot and me each a pair of ski goggles. The smoke was getting thick.

    I slipped the oxygen mask that is stored above the left side of the pilot's seat over my nose and mouth. "Emergency descent!" I closed the thrust levers. The engines that had been purring quietly like a giant vacuum cleaner since San Francisco spooled down to a quiet rumble. I established a turn to the left and pulled the speed brake lever to extend the flight spoilers.

    "Gear down. Advise passengers to fasten seat belts and no smoking."

    I held the nose forward, and the mountains along the Continental Divide came up rapidly. The smoke was thinning.

    "Bring cabin altitude to 14,000 feet," I ordered.

    At 14,000 feet over Fraser, we leveled and retracted the gear and speed brakes. The engineer opened the ram air switch and the smoke disappeared. We removed our goggles and masks.

    Fuel is vital to the life of a big jet, and electricity is almost as vital. The artificial horizon and other electronic instruments, with which I navigated and made approaches through the clouds, were now so much tin and brass. All I had left was the altimeter, the airspeed, and the magnetic compass--simple instruments that guided airplanes 35 years earlier.

    "Advise passengers we are making a Denver stop."

    "The last Denver weather was 300 feet with visibility one-half mile in heavy snow. Wind was northeast at 15 knots with gusts to 20," the copilot volunteered.

    "I know. I heard it."

    I dropped the nose and we moved over the red sandstone buildings of the University of Colorado. We headed southeast and picked up the Denver-Boulder turnpike.

    "We will fly the turnpike to the Broomfield turnoff, then east on Broomfield Road to Colorado Boulevard, then south to 26th Avenue, then east to Runway 8."

    The copilot, a San Francisco reserve, gave me a doubtful look. One doesn't scud-run to the end of the runway under a 300-foot ceiling in a big jet.

    Coming south on Colorado Boulevard, we were down to 100 feet above the highway. Lose it and I would have to pull up into the clouds and fly the gauges when I had no gauges. Hang onto it and I would get into Stapleton Field. I picked up the golf course and started a turn to the left.

    "Gear down and 30 degrees."

    The copilot moved a lever with a little wheel on it. He placed the flap lever in the 30-degree slot.

    I shoved the thrust levers forward.

    "Don't let me get less than 150 knots. I'm outside."

    I counted the avenues as they slid underneath. . .30th, 29th, and 28th. I remembered that there was neither a 31st nor a 27th. I picked up 26th. The snow was slanting out of the northeast. The poplar trees and power lines showed starkly through the storm. With electrical power gone, we had no windshield heat. Fortunately, the snow was not sticking.

    "Let me know when you see a school on your side and hack my time at five-second intervals from the east side of the school yard."

    Ten seconds.

    "There it is. The yard is full of kids. Starting time now!"

    Good boy. Smiley faced Holly. From the east side of the school yard, I counted Kearney, then Krameria, Leydon, Locust. Remember the double lane for Monaco Parkway. Then Magnolia, Niagara, Newport. Time the speed at 130 knots. Only eight blocks to the end of the runway. Oneida, Olive, Pontiac, Poplar. From Quebec to Syracuse, the cross streets disappear; figure eight seconds. Keep 26th Avenue under the right side of the nose.

    "Full flaps."

    Dead ahead, glowing dimly in the swirling snow, were the three green lights marking the east end of Runway 8.

    We crossed 20 feet above the center green light and touched down in a crab to the left. I aligned the nose to the runway with the right rudder, dropped the nose wheel, popped the speed brakes, and brought in reverse thrust.

    It took us 10 minutes to find the terminal in the swirling whiteout. We saw the dim, flashing red light atop the building indicating the field was closed to all traffic.

    A mechanic materialized out of the snow carrying two wands. He waved me into the gate.

    I set the parking brake.

    "We have ground power," the engineer advised.

    "Cut the engines."

    The bagpipe skirl of sound spiraled down to silence.

    "My hat is off to you, skipper. I don't know how you ever found this airport."

    "I used to fly for an ornery old chief pilot who made me learn the route," I replied as I hung up my headset and scratched the top of my head where it itched.

    Frank Crismon passed away at his home in Denver on 25 Jan 1990.

    Editor's note: Professionalism, readiness, and knowledge can never be replaced by all the electronic gadgets in the world. Whether you drive a truck or a C-17, nothing beats knowing your capabilities and those of your machine, and knowing where you are at all times. It's hard to come up with options if you don't know what's going on.


    SOURCE: This is what airline pilots USED to know. - Democratic Underground


    This information is provided by PURE PURSUIT INTELLIGENCE NETWORK as a service to Military and Air Defense Communities with the purpose of offering relevant and timely information on (open source) defense, aviation, emergency, law enforcement and terrorism issues. Posts may be forwarded to other individuals, organizations and lists for non-commercial purposes. This list is now closed. For more information please write to Nena Wiley at [email protected].
     
  2. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Wow, Great story Topkatt! :)
     
  3. BJMLoLLaG

    BJMLoLLaG Hangar Silver Member II

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    Knowing one's alternatives is the best insurance scheme in the world whether it is flying a plane, driving a car, sailing a boat or cruising a ship (Don't fly your kite in the vicinity of power cables right ? Safety first and when safe, "backtrack"!)
     
  4. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    nice....thanks for sharing this!!:)
     
  5. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    I even have a plan "C" if applicable. :)
     
  6. redbarron1

    redbarron1 New Hangar Member

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    I don't believe a word of this. Someone doesn't understand the 727 electrical system and it isn't me.
     
  7. BJMLoLLaG

    BJMLoLLaG Hangar Silver Member II

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    Is that the "C" for"Cash "???
     
  8. BJMLoLLaG

    BJMLoLLaG Hangar Silver Member II

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    You should have a good look at the posting and comments regarding the C-17 and all things will fall into place, even the 727 electrical system ! Guaranteed and goodluck with it!!!
     
  9. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    Many airlines kept the essential power switched to #3 generator in normal ops, but not all airlines. This article leads the reader to think that essential power was switched over to #3 after the abnormal condition started. What else did you spot?
     
  10. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    No, Just when plans "A" & "B" won't work.
     
  11. jim787

    jim787 Hangar Associate Member V

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    REALLY?? WELL HERE'S THE REAL STORY ABOUT CAPT. KEHMEIER.
    I knew his Flight Instructor at UAL, Capt Dick Boland. He would have a different story than the above. I could go into greater detail, but it serves no purpose. Read the following from Wikipedia, then tell me what you think. Kehmeier, after being fired by UAL, ended up as an engineer on a CV880 working for Ports of Call of Denver. I don't know how long he stayed or what the outcome was, but he was looked at with disdain at UAL. We had several other "real winners" at UAL, but back to the story at hand:

    United Airlines Flight 227
    [​IMG]
    A stored United 727 identical to the aircraft involved
    Accident summary
    DateNovember 11, 1965
    SummaryLanded short of runway due to pilot error
    SiteSalt Lake City International Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
    [​IMG]40°46′21″N 111°59′43″WCoordinates: [​IMG]40°46′21″N 111°59′43″W
    Passengers85
    Crew6
    Fatalities43
    Survivors48
    Aircraft typeBoeing 727-22
    OperatorUnited Airlines
    RegistrationN7030U
    Flight originLaGuardia Airport
    1st stopoverCleveland Hopkins International Airport
    2nd stopoverChicago Midway Airport
    3rd stopoverStapleton International Airport
    Last stopoverSalt Lake City International Airport
    DestinationSan Francisco International Airport
    United Airlines Flight 227 (N7030U), a scheduled passenger flight from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York City to San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Francisco, California, crashed short of the runway while attempting a scheduled landing at Salt Lake City International Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah on November 11, 1965.



    Accident details
    Flight 227 departed LaGuardia Airport at 0835 Mountain Standard Time (1035 EST) for San Francisco, California, with scheduled stops in Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, and Salt Lake City. The flight to Denver was routine. In Denver a new flight crew took control of the plane: Captain Gale C. Kehmeier, First Officer Philip E. Spicer, and Second Officer Ronald R. Christensen. The flight took off from Denver at 1654 MST.

    During the flight, the First Officer was flying the aircraft under the direction of the Captain. At 1735 the plane was cleared to descend to 16,000 feet by the Salt Lake City Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    At 1747, now under the direction of terminal control, the plane was cleared to approach. At 1748, in response to the controller's request for the plane's altitude, the pilot replied "Okay we've slowed to two fifty (knots) and we're at ten (10,000 feet) we have the runway in sight now, we'll cancel and standby with your for traffic." The plane began to descend, but its rate of descent was approximately 2,300 feet per minute, nearly three times the recommended rate of descent.

    At approximately 1749:30, the plane passed the outer marker 5.7 miles from the runway threshold at approximately 8,200 feet, over 2,000 feet above the normal glideslope.

    At approximately 1751, one minute prior to impact, the plane passed 6,300 feet; it was still 1,300 feet above the normal glide slope and still descending at 2,300 feet per minute. Around this time the first officer reached toward to advance the thrust levers to increase thrust, but the captain brushed his hand aside and said "Not yet."

    At 30 seconds prior to impact the plane was 1,000 feet above and 1.25 miles from the runway. The captain indicated in post-crash interviews that at this point he moved the thrust levers to the takeoff power position, but the engines failed to respond properly. However, both the testimonies of the other members of the flight crew and the data from the flight data recorder indicate that the attempt to add power occurred only about 10 seconds before impact.

    At 1752 the plane struck the ground 335 feet short of the runway. The aircraft slid 2,838 feet before coming to a stop. The separation of the landing gear and the No. 1 engine was the result of impact loading in excess of their design structural strength. The failure of the landing gear caused the rupture of fuel lines in the fuselage. The resulting fire, rather than the impact of the crash, accounted for all 43 fatalities.

    Investigation conclusions
    This accident was blamed entirely on the bad judgment of the Captain, Gale C. Kehmeier, for conducting the final approach from a position that was too high and too close to the airport to permit a descent at the normal and safe rate. He allowed the plane to fly the final approach segment (in visual conditions) at a descent rate of 2,300 feet per minute (3 times the safe descent rate). When the plane crossed the outer marker, which marks the final approach segment, it was 2,000 feet too high.

    The First Officer, who was flying the aircraft under the Captain's direction, attempted to add engine thrust. But the Captain told him no and brushed his hands off the thrust levers. The Captain took over the controls during the last few seconds, but it was too late to avoid crashing short of the runway. The plane impacted with a vertical acceleration force of 14.7-g.

    That severe impact force broke off the left main landing gear and caused the right main gear to thrust up through the fuselage, rupturing pressurized fuel lines in the process. While the plane continued to slide down the runway on the nose gear and fuselage, pressurized fuel ignited inside the cabin, turning a survivable accident into a fatal accident. Many of the 50 people who successfully evacuated were severely burned.

    The CAB accident investigation revealed that the Captain had a checkered training history. He had failed his initial jet transition training course, and was returned to flying the DC-6. Later on, he also failed to pass a routine annual instrument proficiency check.
     
  12. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    I'm surprised more people weren't killed. My understanding is, the human body can only withstand 9Gs at the most. Anything over that threshold would be deadly. Imagine 14.7 unpuckered and unscrunched. Is there a different count for neg. vs pos. G force figures for the human body to survive?
     
  13. Gary737

    Gary737 Hangar Silver Member II

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    Shouldn't they have done a few checklists from the Quick Reference Handbook...... the electrical problem, smoke in cockpit, etc and THEN initiate an Emergency Descent?

    "Gear down" is part of the Emer Descent? Not in the four types of jets that I flew. (None were 727s though)

    They had a PA but no radio to notify ATC or for navigation? If no radios, then how would they have gotten a current and in this 'situation,' a MUCH NEEDED local altimeter setting? Running around at 300' agl, you BETTER have the current setting........

    Winds from the northeast at 15 and gusty? Why not land on RWYs 35 L or R? A lot flatter and way less buildings out that way. I flew in/out of Stapleton many times and in three types of jets. One of my favorite airports.

    Interesting story for the masses, but more suited for a movie like Airport 1978 or so........

    I highly Rec you read "A Hostage to Fortune" By Ernest Gann and "The Left Seat" by Robert Serling for some excellent airline flying stories.
     
  14. Gary737

    Gary737 Hangar Silver Member II

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    Thanks Jim....... very interesting. I could 'see' this approach coming unglued as I read each word.

    Back in the 60s' the 727 was many pilots (and many, many Capts) first jet. Jets have to be flown by the 'numbers'......... you just can't wing it so to speak. Airspeeds, power settings, flap settings, descent profiles and on and on. I have read many reports for early jet accidents where the pilots did not account for the 'slow to spool up' jet engines. From 'Idle" to any sort of thrust producing power settings in those engines might take 8-10 seconds. With props and especially if a guy was coming over from the Electra with her huge props, power/thrust is available almost instantaneously.

    This accident shoud have been an early 'missed approach' or go-around. Trying to salvage a bad situation that is increasingly getting worse usually has a bad ending unless a go-around is initiated with plenty of time.

    Look up US airline accidents, by year, in the 60s. Every airline was splattering pretty new jets all across the nation. Sometimes 2-3 a month! We go years now without an accidents but back then? Wow! Just go look!
     
  15. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    Copied from the internet-
    "Human tolerances depend on the magnitude of g-force, the length of time it is applied, the direction it acts, the location of application, and the posture of the body."

    1) Vertical axis g-force:
    a) positive: untrained: 5 g; trained, with special suit: 9 g
    b) negative (drive blood to the head): - 3 g
    c) instantaneous: 40 g
    d) deadly: 100 g (record: 179 g)

    2) Horizontal axis g-force
    "The human body is considerably more able to survive g-forces that are perpendicular to the spine."
    Untrained humans:
    a) pushing the body backwards: 17 g
    b) pushing the body forwards: 12 g


    3) "Strongest g-forces survived by humans
    Voluntarily: Colonel John Stapp in 1954 sustained 46.2 g in a rocket sled, while conducting research on the effects of human deceleration.
    Involuntarily: Formula One racing car driver David Purley survived an estimated 179.8 g in 1977 when he decelerated from 173 km·h−1 (108 mph) to 0 in a distance of 66 cm (26 inches) after his throttle got stuck wide open and he hit a wall."
    Source for all quotes and further information:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-force
     
  16. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Thank ya kindly EG!
     
  17. BJMLoLLaG

    BJMLoLLaG Hangar Silver Member II

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    I second that ! Some impressive figures btw.
     
  18. Art Troutman393

    Art Troutman393 Hangar Bronze Member V

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    I am mad as hell !! I just wasted a couple of hours of my time - composing a Comment to the "GermanWings" crash article. When I clicked - to post it - it bounced, because I had not entered my name & email address. But those 'blanks' were not there - when I started typing the Comment! When I went to fill out the 'blanks' - that suddenly appeared - the body of my Comment had disappeared! Talk about a 'Catch 22'! What a way to run a railroad!
     
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  19. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Geez guy,.....I post here a lot and never had this problem yet!...I suppose we have to blame it on a computer glitch.:)

    Too bad this is some story!!!
     
  20. Art Troutman393

    Art Troutman393 Hangar Bronze Member V

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    Richard - it just happened again! A few minutes ago - on today's [3.25/26.15] Germanwings article.. My [disappeared!!] Comment was a short 'testing - 1 - 2' Comment.
     
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