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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Weight and Balance (160 comments)

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  •  Sometimes weight and balance is blamed (0+ / 0-)

    when something else goes wrong. There was a horrible crash in PA back in the '70s, when my ex was working at Piper, and around five VIPs from the state government were killed. You know things are bad when you go to pick up your spouse from work, quitting time comes, and no one leaves the building.
    It was a difficult investigation because the plane was pretty well destroyed. Initially it was blamed on pilot error calculating balance because the passengers were fat cats in every sense of the term. The engineers breathed a sigh of relief until closer examination found that the flaps had split meaning one was down and one retracted causing the plane to flip. My ex was convinced it was an electrical fault, as was his way, but in the end, due to some invaluable input from a corporate pilot who was also a pretty good mechanic, he found that the case hardness on the gears in the flap transmissions were not what they should have been. One tooth would break off and, if it was right after an inspection, no one would notice until the airplane was under stress and three or four more teeth would strip.
    That little problem took about six months to solve, and would have taken a lot longer. Piper management did its best to keep that pilot from cruising his aircraft into the engineering hangar whenever he dropped by Lock Haven. Eventually he had a lightning strike and during the inspection following that, the wonky gear was found. Enough further inspections in the field proved it.
    Piper would have dearly loved to pin it on a pilot in a hurry and bad weather, but sometimes it just ain't so.

    You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

    by northsylvania on Wed May 08, 2013 at 04:46:51 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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