Sunday, June 14, 2009

Aviation Disasters

This is my 1st blog as a blogger and of this post mainly focusing on aviation disasters.

Over the years many tragic disasters have occurred when consider aviation. Due to various reasons such as the lack of maintenance or pilot error's. A majority of disasters have occurred due to pilot errors taking lives of many people along. If we jot down all the reasons as to why these disasters take place would be as below -

  1. Lack of Maintenance
  2. Pilot Errors
  3. Thunder Storms
  4. Hi-jack's and terrorist attacks.

The most common would be the 1st one where due to not having replaced a part which should have been replaced has not been done by the maintenance department their for these massive aircraft's such as a Boeing 747 could lose its stability in mid air.

Pan Am flight - KLM flight

The worst crash to th
is day is the crash that took place on March 27th 1977. Where two Boeing 747 airliners collided with one another on the runway of Los Rodeos airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one the Canary Islands. KLM flight 4805 boarded with 248 passengers crashed into Pan Am flight 1736 boarded with 380 passengers which was backtaxiing on the runway in the opposite direction. 583 people lost their lives only 61 survived. There were a chain of events leading to this disaster. The real cause for this distaster was the KLM flight captain Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten's fault because he taxiied down the runway for takeoff despite the Air traffic controller not having given permission to take off. This is considered he worst crash in aviation history which occurred due to a piloting error.

The Loss of Swissair Flight 111

In 1998 September 2nd, off Canada's East-coast a modern passenger jet Swissair flight 111 a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 run by one of the worlds best airlines catches fire at 33000 ft and climbed straight down into the ocean. As one of the largest investigations in aviation history after 4 years the transportation safety bored after costing 38 million USD concluded that Swissair flight 111 caught fire in mid-air due to the flammable material used in the aircraft's structure which allowed a fire to spread beyond the control of the crew, resulting in the loss of control and crash of the aircraft in the ocean. 299 passenger boarded this aircraft and all of them lost their lives. Resulting in how these disasters occur the maintenance department spend more time on how to minimize these incidents and take action to stop them. In all present aircraft's they make sure all wiring is sealed and even if a fire occurs these materials will not contribute to aggravate any sort of fire.

United Airlines Flight 232

On 19th July 1989 UA Flight 232 a Douglas DC-10 suffered and uncontained failure of its number 2 engine which destroyed all 3 hydraulic systems in the aircraft. With no controls working except the thrust levers for the 2 remaining engines, the aircraft broke up during an emergency an emergency landing on the runway at Sioux City, Iowa killing 110 of its 285 passengers and one of the 11 crew members. Once investigation was carried through this incident they found out that due to a fatigue crack in the number 2 engine which grew with every flight fractionally bigger and then finally during this flight the fan disk bursts through the engine housing and the the blast fractures a section of the number 2 hydraulic system but in a piece of catastrophic bad luck fragments puncture lines in both remaining systems which caused the Aileron which is resulted in losing control on the entire aircraft which eventually crashed. NTSB concluded that the crack was of its detectable size but due to poor maintenance it was missed by human error which caused the death of 110 passengers.

Flight American Airlines 587

November 12, 2001 a Airbus A300-600 boarded with 251 passengers took off just few minutes after a Japanese Airlines Boeing 747 on the same runway, flew into the larger jet's wake, an area of turbulent air referred to as wake turbulence. The first officer attempted to keep the plane upright with aggressive rudder inputs. The strength of the air flowing against the moving rudder stressed the aircraft's vertical stabilizer and eventually snapped it off entirely, causing the aircraft to lose control and crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that enormous stress on the rudder was due to the first officer's unnecessary and excessive rudder inputs, and not the wake turbulence caused by the 747. The NTSB further stated if the first officer had stopped making additional inputs, the aircraft would have stabilized. Contributing to these rudder pedal inputs were characteristics of the Airbus A300-600 sensitive rudder system design and elements of the American Airlines Advanced Maneuvering Training Program. Investigators were concerned in regard to the manner in which the tail fin separated. The rail fin is connected to the fuselage with six attaching points. Each point has two sets of attachment lugs, one made of composite material, another of aluminum, all connected by a titanium bold. Damage analysis showed that the bolts and aluminum lugs were intact, but no the composite lugs. This coupled with two events earlier in the life of the aircraft, Namely delimitation in part of the tail fin prior to its delivery from the manufacturer and an encounter with heavy turbulence in 1994, caused investigators to examine the use of composites. The possibility that the composite materials might not be as strong as previously supposed was a cause of concern because they are used in other areas of the plane, including the engine mounting and the wings. Tests carried out on the vertical stabilizers from the accident aircraft, and from another similar aircraft found that the strength of the composite material had not been compromised and the NTSB concluded that the material had failed because it had been stressed beyond its design limit. The cause for this was Pilot Error which resulted in losing control of the Aircraft which crashed into Queens, New York City taking away 265 peoples lives.