47

Honestly, very little. First, be clear as to whether you are actually see something failing. If you see flames, or a wing has broken off, then yes, it's a problem. However, if you see someone doing a slow spiral towards an empty field with the power idling, they're more likely to be practicing engine out procedures (something that's required for all US ...


47

There are two problems linked to the wind after accidents: Inflating the slides. Running away from the aircraft when on the ground @DavidRicherby listed the reasons related to running away upwind to try to avoid the effects of flames and fumes (visibility, heat, toxicity). This is part of the IATA guidelines for post-evacuation: Post-evacuation. Once ...


40

If there is a fire, any smoke and flames will blow downwind. If there is a fuel leak, the fuel vapours will be blown downwind, risking a fire or explosion there and potentially making it hard to breathe.


27

The RAT is automatically deployed on many aircraft, including the CRJ and A320 series, but it can be manually released as well. In between the loss of power and the RAT spins up you have the batteries to fall back to which are normally fully charged. The Airbus Manual has the following comment on the APU: In case of total loss of all main generators, the ...


26

The conversation may have been about fuel pumps or fuel transfer valves but the flight attendant was probably told that as a simple explanation - it would not have been the real cause. Aircraft have multiple systems to pump fuel, transfer, and pipe it so no single failure will affect normal operation. For example, pumps have automatic bypass valves so ...


24

All commercial aircraft have some form of redundancy in their instrumentation, but it's not always in the form of "analog" instruments. The backup is often electronic itself. But the overall system is designed with a very high level of redundancy. A typical modern jet aircraft has an Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), which is the large screen ...


22

Outlandings are a regular occurrence when gliding cross-country. During competitions with tens of participants, it is not uncommon for a few gliders to land out each day. For this reason, in the UK at least, glider pilots are taught how to land out, and think about this eventuality on every flight. Many will have experienced a landout with an instructor ...


22

There seem to be two parts to your question. First, what practical steps can I take on the ground immediately after landing? Second, which authorities must be notified? For the first point, there are just too many scenarios to have a single answer but basically you should immediately check for injuries or damage to property and activate the emergency ...


20

When a large commercial aircraft touches down, it is not committed to stopping. However, it is committed to stopping when the thrust reversers are selected. This is because they take different time to stow and adding power while stowing would likely cause significant asymmetric thrust. And even if they don't, they take their time to stow and you are ...


17

Brian Tusi's answer is correct in that there's probably very little (most likely nothing) that you can do right then and there to help that particular aircraft, even if your assessment is correct in that they actually are having serious problems. However, there is one thing you can do, and which has proven to be helpful in real-world accidents and incidents:...


17

Boldface emergency procedures are procedures that the aircrew should have committed to memory and are written in bold text. Generally speaking, the boldface for all emergencies involving brake failures, gear failures, control failures, literally anything that involves control of the aircraft after touchdown, starts with: If fly-away airspeed available: 1. ...


15

External cameras for diagnosing aircraft issues are not used on any current aircraft. As mentioned in another answer and question, some aircraft do have external cameras, but these are more for maneuvering on the ground. One reason for this is that cheap, high definition cameras that can stream directly to a monitor in the cockpit are a fairly recent ...


14

No, when an airliner touches down, it is not committed to stop. However, a go around after touchdown is not an easy task and sometimes can be very dangerous. A hypothetical situation is discussed here which is similar to Flight 9268 which you mentioned. Compared to a landing, more runway is required for a takeoff. After the touchdown, pilots have very ...


13

Highly improbable. If you've ever seen how much a washing machine can shake with a little imbalance in the laundry, at a relatively low energy spin, imagine the destructive forces that would be experienced by the imbalances in your theoretical rotors. Even if your missing blade manages to get away without causing impact damage to the other blades, there is ...


13

This will vary from plane to plane depending on design, and the best method to use for a particular airplane would be listed in the engine out procedures in the POH/AFM. When the manufacturers are flight testing the airplanes they try various combinations and tell you the absolute best one so that you can get the best performance out of the airplane in a ...


12

In aviation (and other safety critical areas) it's not enough to just look at the first cause of an accident, you have to look at why that mistake was made, and why that thing happened, as far back up the chain as you can. Then you try to address all the problems. So, when a pilot makes a mistake, it's tempting to say "the pilots was an idiot. Case closed." ...


11

I tested this out in the Seminole today. My (extremely nonscientific) results are as follows: Wings level, hold aileron to maintain roll and correct using rudder: 200 FPM Ball centred, ailerons flush and correct using rudder: 0 FPM 5 degrees bank angle, hold aileron to maintain roll and correct using rudder: 100 FPM 2.5 degrees bank angle, hold aileron to ...


9

It would be impossible. A rotor blade that has lost a large segment, or entire blade of a main rotor, would be so badly out of balance that it would immediately self destruct.


9

If you have a voltmeter installed, a failed alternator will cause it to read ~12V (or ~24V) while a working alternator should show ~14V (or ~28V) The voltage regulator (wired in after the alternator) outputs a voltage higher than the nominal battery voltage so that the battery can charge. If the voltmeter reads the nominal battery voltage it may indicate a ...


8

You are talking explicitly about an emergency landing, not about an outlanding (yes, this word really seems to exist...). Here's the answer that is valid in Europe: In case of emergency, the federal office of aviation has to be informed. They will then check the conditions. If you start before their OK, it will be a criminal act. If it was a security ...


8

At the risk of sounding like a smartass, the alert is generally in the form of a loud BANG! or CRACK! followed, at best by different handling characteristics and increased wind noise/vibration, at worse, departure from controlled flight.


8

Surprisingly, whilst most combat aircraft are jam packed with fall back analog instrumentation, despite often being aerodynamically unstable and requiring fly by wire to actually fly (SU-27 for example), many modern airliners do not even though they are actually stable and can be flown manually (Go figure!). They do however, have multiple resilient systems ...


8

Engine failure is not that common. For a gas turbine engine, a press release by GE gives some data as a reference point. In 1995 they quoted various engines as having a dispatch rate of between 99.99% and 99.89%. That is only 0.01 to 0.11 % of flights could not depart due to an engine issue. However, that doesn't identify in flight failures, best captured by ...


8

The "mechanism that transfers fuel between the two tanks" is a valve, called crossfeed (x-feed) valve. If it failed open, then the crew would have kept an eye on the left/right tanks to make sure they are balanced. If for example the left tank became heavier, they can switch off the left pumps until they are balanced. If an engine failed with the x-feed ...


7

The A320 has a mechanical link from the rudder pedals to the hydraulic rudder actuators. Computer-generated rudder commands for yaw damping and turn coordination are added to the mechanical signal from the rudder pedals, but in the event of a two-sided computer failure the rudder can still be controlled. The elevator trim wheels are also mechanically ...


6

My guess is that there was some circuitry that was playing up. While I'm not sure about 'Wing Loops' specifically, for what I think is a similar example the Airbus A320 series has fire loops in the engines. There are two fire loops. If I'm right, it's got little thermal sensors along way, which disrupt the current if they get too hot (or if the wire is ...


6

Wing loop fault refers to the overheat/leak detection system running along pneumatic lines in the wings and belly. Fire loops on the engines is a different matter. The loops consist of an outer and inner conductor separated by a "salt", when the loop gets warm, the salt becomes conductive and makes a circuit between the inner and outer conductor. ...


6

The usage and movement of fuel changes the aircraft's center of mass. A lot of aircraft have fuel pumps that move fuel between the two tanks in the wings to make sure one side does not get heavier than the other due to unequal usage of fuel by the engines and thereby, helps in balancing the aircraft while in flight. It makes the pilot's job a lot easier.


6

And exactly what or how are you going to ‘sanity check’ these systems? The AoA sensor is just a sensor, converting a physical position into a voltage which another piece of hardware can interpret the results from. Now some aircraft have multiple AoA vanes so a faulty vane could be detected and isolated if its input data does not concur with other sensors ...


5

It might be a problem with the loops of sensors for the fire detection systems etc For example: ECAM message "FIRE LOOP A FAULT" (ATA 49: APU) Both engines and the APU each have two identical loops, A & B and a computer- FDU (Fire Detection Unit). A fire warning is given when both loops reach the proper overheat condition. If one loop fails ...


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