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We had a very wobbly landing in Washington DC today with United airlines. I was curious what the maximum roll angle (left right angle with ground) was during it.

Other information that I'd find interesting to know:

  • statistics on what that maximum angle was historically for flights that landed safely
  • the pilot and co-pilot's names

Related to : How dangerous was the turbulence on this commercial flight?

Update: added angle name and pilot name as interesting data

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you talking about the yaw angle with respect to the runway? Because I don't know of any airplanes that are even capable of recording that information (aside from maybe some research airplanes with extra instruments installed). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 19, 2022 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the black box records it but that data would not readily be accessible. $\endgroup$
    – Bageletas
    Commented Jun 19, 2022 at 3:37
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    $\begingroup$ why would they divulge the pilot's name? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Jun 19, 2022 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ because there is no need to hang out dry an employee like that if nothing happened. Either an accident or accident happened and there is an investigation, and the investigator can access that data, or releasing such info is just detrimental to the employee that ends up being harassed for just doing their job. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ Few passengers are qualified to asses whether the landing was wobbly or the whether the roll angle was unusual or dangerous. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 21:23

1 Answer 1

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Yes, the type of data you are asking about does exist, but it isn't available for curious passengers to critique.

Most modern airlines have within their safety programs a means to record and analyze data and flag events that exceed certain parameters and are on the margins of safe, or "normal" operations. The event can then be reviewed in greater detail by experienced flight crews and safety experts with the intent of determining whether or not any procedures were violated. This is all done in the interest of improving safety, not for explaining to someone why a certain landing felt "wobbly".

There is some additional information in the article here: Flight Safety

Something would have to rise to the level of a reportable accident for the NTSB to get involved, and for the results of the investigation to be made available to the public.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why is it not publicly available? Is it just because it has always been this way? $\endgroup$
    – Shadi
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ Presumably for the same reasons your company doesn’t make HR records public. What good would it do? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ TBH I'm not convinced. @DaveGremlin above made a similar comment, and my reply was that the same logic could apply to food/medicine ingredients. But these are still made public. $\endgroup$
    – Shadi
    Commented Jun 21, 2022 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ Honestly, @Shadi, if you had full access to the information, what would you do with it? Would you complain that the roll angle on your landing was 1° greater than the average landing and attempt to sue the carrier/pilot because you felt a bit nauseous? Would you complain if it was 1/2° beyond the design spec for 0.5 seconds, even though the plan made it safely to the ground, that info had already been reviewed by the airline (and probably the mfgr), the aircraft had already been inspected & deemed to still be airworthy? $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ As a bit of a data geek, I agree that it might be interesting to have this info, but it opens the airlines, aircraft mfgrs, and CAAs to far too many lawsuit possibilities (especially in the USA) from uneducated passengers who expect everything to be as comfy as sitting on the couch in the living room with the TV dulling their senses and get "scared" by a "wobbly" landing that was nothing more than a light gust of wind, well within parameters... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 14:04

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