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USA Today on CAL 737 crash in Denver

rtmcfi

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http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-07-denvercrash_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip


The captain of a Continental Airlines jet that skidded off a Denver runway and burst into flames last month attempted to steer the jet using a method linked to runway accidents in the past, federal accident investigators reported Wednesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board has not said what caused Flight 1404, a Boeing 737-500 headed for Houston, to skid off the runway on Dec. 20 while attempting to take off in a brisk crosswind. But a preliminary report released by investigators offers the first glimpse of what might have triggered the crash.
All 115 people aboard escaped as jet fuel burned through the right side of the jet. The crash injured 38 people, five of whom were hospitalized, the NTSB said.
As the jet accelerated toward takeoff, the captain attempted to keep it rolling straight by turning the small pair of wheels under the jet's nose, the NTSB said the pilot told investigators. The nose gear is turned with a device called a tiller. The captain is not named in the report.
Two former accident investigators, Kevin Darcy and John Cox, who are not connected to the government's probe, said that using the tiller could cause the front tires to lose traction and start to skid. Pilots typically use the tiller to turn while taxiing at slow speeds, but once a jet accelerates, they steer with rudder pedals, they said.

Nose-wheel steering is something investigators will likely focus on, said Darcy, a former Boeing accident investigator who now works as a safety consultant. Darcy said he investigated a 737 accident in Mumbai in the 1990s which was partly blamed on the pilots' attempt to steer with the tiller during takeoff.
The NTSB cited "excessive nose-wheel steering" as part of the reason for a 1995 accident at John F. Kennedy International Airport involving a 747.
"It is unusual to need a tiller in a 737 on a runway, regardless of wind," said Cox, a former US Airways pilot who is also a safety consultant. "In all my years, I never needed the tiller. The rudder steering was always sufficient."
The winds at Denver were gusting up to 37 mph from the west as the jet attempted to take off to the north. Jets naturally tend to turn into the wind, just as a weather vane does. The Continental jet turned into the wind.
 

AA717driver

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Once again, USA Today cuts through the chaff and gets to the heart of the story.

What would we do for hard news without USA Today?

:rolleyes:

TC
 

ultrarunner

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Cox's comments regarding his use of the 73 tiller, or lack thereof are meaningless.

The comments by the NTSB that the accident CO capt. used a steering method "linked to accidents" is also essentially meaningless.

What DOES matter is:

Was the proper procedure followed as outlined in CO's FOM.

I do find it interesting the NTSB stopped short in it's comment with respect to the 'proper procedure' issue.
 

ATRCAPT

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USA Today - We all read it, but would never buy it.
 

IBNAV8R

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I give no credence to the multi-colored fish wrapper, know nothing of CO's FOM or any facts in this case - other than the airplane departed the runway.

But, there have been at least a couple of previous accidents where the Capt. was "helping" the F/O with the tiller while the F/O thought he was using sufficient rudder - until the nose gear lost traction.
 

FlyinGuy

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It is funny how we will bash the ppl that goes on CNN and gives his opinion, but some will come here and give their "professional" opinion and think that they are helping the investigation.
 

GuppyWN

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I'm not trying to "help" the investigation. I'll just say that when I push the thrust levers up my left hand is resting on the yoke or on my thigh. Period. Using the tiller at high speeds is a VERY BAD idea.

Gup
 

ImbracableCrunk

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It is funny how we will bash the ppl that goes on CNN and gives his opinion, but some will come here and give their "professional" opinion and think that they are helping the investigation.

No one hear is "a party" to the investigation. (If they are, they should be shot.) No one here is holding themselves out publicly claiming they are experts. At the same time, people want to talk about what's going on. Being that we're a social animal, it's our nature to talk.

I don't think anyone other than the trolls think they can submit their own "sunshine report."

I personally would like to hear what CO's FOM say's about tiller usage. Mine says don't touch it above 20 knots.

People seek information on a website called flightINFO.

If you don't like the forum, don't read it and just wait for the NTSB. Problem solved.
 

Full of LUV

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Agreed....

I'm not trying to "help" the investigation. I'll just say that when I push the thrust levers up my left hand is resting on the yoke or on my thigh. Period. Using the tiller at high speeds is a VERY BAD idea.

Gup

More planes than just the ole Guppy has lost control on the runway due to excessive "tiller" vice rudder steering.
People are soooooo sensitive as to others opinions. You know what they say about opinions, they are like a-holes, everyone has one!
Only the NTSB report will have any weight, everything else is just opinion and speculation. Glad to see no one was killed in this near tragedy!
 

Full of LUV

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Agreed....

I'm not trying to "help" the investigation. I'll just say that when I push the thrust levers up my left hand is resting on the yoke or on my thigh. Period. Using the tiller at high speeds is a VERY BAD idea.

Gup

More planes than just the ole Guppy has lost control on the runway due to excessive "tiller" vice rudder steering.
People are soooooo sensitive as to others opinions. You know what they say about opinions, they are like a-holes, everyone has one!
Only the NTSB report will have any weight, everything else is just opinion and speculation. Glad to see no one was killed in this near tragedy!
 

JetMonkey

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I don't fly the 73 so maybe someone who does can chime in but on the bus the tiller will become inop once the aircraft reaches a certain speed. Back when I flew the EMB-145, same thing, I forget at which speed. Doesn't the Boeings have this feature?
 

ImbracableCrunk

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I don't fly the 73 so maybe someone who does can chime in but on the bus the tiller will become inop once the aircraft reaches a certain speed. Back when I flew the EMB-145, same thing, I forget at which speed. Doesn't the Boeings have this feature?
Nose Wheel Steering
The airplane is equipped with nose wheel steering which is powered by hydraulic
system A when the NOSE WHEEL STEERING switch is in the NORM position.
Nose wheel steering is powered by hydraulic system B when the NOSE WHEEL
STEERING switch is placed to ALT. Nose wheel steering is powered only when
the airplane is on the ground. In the event of a hydraulic leak downstream of the
Landing Gear Transfer Unit, resulting in a loss of hydraulic system B fluid in the
reservoir, a sensor closes the Landing Gear Transfer Valve and alternate steering
will be lost.
Primary steering is controlled through the nose wheel steering wheel. Limited
steering control is available through the rudder pedals. A pointer on the nose
steering wheel assembly shows nose wheel steering position relative to the neutral
setting. Rudder pedal steering is deactivated as the nose gear strut extends.
 

get2flyin

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"It is unusual to need a tiller in a 737 on a runway, regardless of wind," said Cox, a former US Airways pilot who is also a safety consultant. "In all my years, I never needed the tiller. The rudder steering was always sufficient."

Always nice to have a USAir pilot on hand to stab another pilot in the back. How many '73s did they wreck? I'm sure Mr. Cox is a hero in his own mind. Prick. :rolleyes:
 

yournextFO

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I think most captains would try to use the tiller if they realized their a/c was about to run off the runway.
 

firstthird

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I think most captains would try to use the tiller if they realized their a/c was about to run off the runway.

They shouldn't unless they have full rudder in before trying it, imo. I'm no expert and have no knowledge or opinion on this accident. However, saying that using the tiller at highspeed is a good idea doesn't seem right to me. It seems that the rudder would be much more effective at yaw control at high speeds than those little nosetires.
 

Mike man

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Both pilots remarked that all appeared normal until the aircraft began to deviate from the runway centerline. The Captain noted that the airplane suddenly diverged to the left, and attempts to correct the deviation with the rudder were unsuccessful. He stated that he briefly attempted to return the aircraft to the centerline by using the tiller to manipulate the steering of the nose gear but was unable to keep the aircraft on the runway.

http://ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2009/090107.html

This is from the NTSB update regarding the incident issued 1/7.
 

ImbracableCrunk

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They shouldn't unless they have full rudder in before trying it, imo.

Good info from the NTSB update. Sounds like they did exactly what you thought. Full rudder, then add tiller.
 
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