The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


Does Airbus Have A Rudder Problem?

(Hat tip to Instapundit.)

On 6 March, an Airbus A310 flying to Quebec from Cuba had the rudder fall off the plane into the Caribbean sea at 35000 feet.

Let me repeat that....the $#@%-ing rudder fell off the plane. This structure is about 24-25 feet tall. Without it, it is damn difficult to steer a plane. The fact that the pilot could do it with just wing and tail flaps back to Cuba is a miracle and a testament to that flight crew's skill.

It has also opened up some renewed questioning among the aviation community about American Airlines flight 587 in November 2001, that crashed after taking off from JFK enroute to the Dominican Republic. The plane, an Airbus 300, is similar in design to the A310 the Canadians were flying earlier this month. The American Airlines plane also lost its rudder (in addition to the tailfin). This was originally blamed on pilot error (the copilot was blamed for overreacting to turbulence, causing it to fall off).

Airbus insists that visual inspection of the composite-based surface is sufficient to detect if there are any problems, but a growing group of pilots are disagreeing with that theory. They state that regular ultrasound inspection is the only way to determine if there are cracks or other defects in the laminate.

About 20 American Airlines pilots requested to be transferred to flying only Boeings after the flight 587 disaster. This is huge....pilots had to be retrained and lost out on earnings while they were getting familiar with the new (to them) equipment.

Hopefully this is all just a fluke. If you want more detail, click here to read the whole thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home