April 17, 2018

"We have a part of the aircraft missing," said the Southwest pilot.... "They said there is a hole and someone went out."

Went out... sucked out... through a window that broke after fragments of a blown engine flew into it... pulled back in by other passengers. The poor woman!

97 comments:

Scott said...

Like Goldfinger.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

See what you're missing out on when you drive?

Tommy Duncan said...

I was just pricing airline tickets to Spokane. My wife normally takes a window seat. We can scratch Southwest from the list once she hears about this.

tcrosse said...

At least it wasn't somebody's dog going out the window.

gspencer said...

What immediately came to mind is Homer Simpson plugging a gas leak with his whole body; found at 02:45-03:05,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O74sT4I0Yk0

Bob Boyd said...

"We can scratch Southwest from the list once she hears about this."

Just tell her, "It was only a partial."

Virgil Hilts said...

I love airplane talk. It's not missing; the fucking engine blew up! If this had happened at 35,000 feet it would have been more than one woman who decided to go out of the airplane.

Etienne said...
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David Begley said...

Aren't you glad you drove to Texas?

Etienne said...

Note to self:

Don't sit next to steel engine blades spinning at 10,000 RPM...

Virgil Hilts said...

When I first read this, I thought the woman had been sucked all the way out and that the five year record of ZERO U.S. commercial aviation deaths had finally come to an end. But they pulled her back in and the record goes on!

lgv said...

Looks like a Boeing 737-700 delivered on 7/7/2000 with 2 x CFMI CFM56-7B24 engines.

It's a damn reliable plan with a damn reliable engine. Very odd. Very odd that they have had other events. Southwest also has a helluva maintenance department. I've seen some and ridden on some pretty rickety old 737s still operating daily in 3rd world countries.

I used to fly Express Air in Indonesia. I looked up their then fleet of 2 old 737s. One was bought from Maersk (a cargo planes) and the other was purchased from Nigerian Airlines. I've also flown in a 727 just a few years ago, and also a 1950's Corsair (Chatham Air). When you see what's still flying out there, it really feels odd when a newish model plane, with a well respected engine, and a well respected maintenance crew suffers a failure.

Nonapod said...

One passenger was rushed to a Philadelphia hospital with critical injuries

I assume that's the same woman. At 32,000 feet, the air temperature is around -60 degrees F, so she may be suffering sever frostbite over whatever part of her body was exposed.

Scott said...

The engine of the 737 blew up at 37,000 feet and yet the pilot was able to make a controlled landing. That actually makes me feel good about flying.

Scott said...

er, 32,500 feet.

Virgil Hilts said...

I was wrong. It did happen at 32k. She was probably too big to get sucked all the way out. Kind of curious if it might have helped that she was stuck in the window for a few seconds so as to slow down the decompression while the plane dove.

Bob Boyd said...

"she may be suffering sever frostbite"

Not to mention the plane had to be doing several hundred mph. That's quite a breeze to be flapping around in.

john said...

Still, a window bursting mid-flight left some passengers unnerved.

All passengers, maybe? Plus a few million on the ground just now reading this? Maybe?

john said...

Goldfinger was probably bigger than she was and he got through in a couple seconds.

madAsHell said...

I'll have to re-think my preference for a window seat.

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe the engine aspirated some geese. They've been known to fly at very high altitudes.

Dennis said...

James Dickey has a wonderful poem called "Falling" about something similar.

Mike Sylwester said...

I have watched many episodes of the Smithsonian channel's television series Aviation Disasters. One episode told about the Aloha Airlines Flight 243, when much of the airplane's roof became detached during the flight.

Wikipedia's article about the accident includes a photograph of the airplane after it landed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243

The only fatality was a 58-year-old stewardess who was standing in the aisle when the roof disappeared. She flew straight up and disappeared forever.

Etienne said...
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chickelit said...

Blogger tcrosse said...”At least it wasn't somebody's dog going out the window.”

So, you think getting sucked out an airplane window is funny? SAD

Etienne said...
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lgv said...

The previous incident was the following:

The NTSB on September 12 reported the following initial findings from the engine examination include:
- One fan blade separated from the fan disk during the accident flight and
- The root of the separated fan blade remained in the fan hub; however, the remainder of the blade was not recovered.
- The fracture surface of the missing blade showed curving crack arrest lines consistent with fatigue crack growth. The fatigue crack region was 1.14-inches long and 0.217-inch deep,
- The center of the fatigue origin area was about 2.1 inches aft of the forward face of the blade root. No surface or material anomalies were noted during an examination of the fatigue crack origin using scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy.

Same engine. These are only in the 737-700 and newer, but there a lot of them out there. Me thinks they will be inspected shortly.

WisRich said...

Kudos for the pilot for bringing the plane down safely.

It's been reported that the passenger in critical condition has in fact died. It's not clear whether is was the same passenger partially sucked out of the window.

tcrosse said...
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Kevin said...

Trump, you magnificent bastard! You're truly Making America Great Again!

Do you think a passenger would immediately attempt to fix an inflight broken engine during the Obama Administration?

No fucking way.

The American Spirit is coming back.

Kevin said...

So, you think getting sucked out an airplane window is funny? SAD

Yes, but not if it's a dog.

Because PETA will truly ruin your life.

Xmas said...

"Don't sit next to steel engine blades spinning at 10,000 RPM..."

You better hope they aren't steel, they wouldn't survive the centripetal force the first time the engine was spun up.

I guess I'm never taking a window seat behind the engines ever again. I would usually be asleep with my head against the window before the plane even took off.

Gahrie said...

When you see what's still flying out there,

The last B-52 was built in 1962, and there are still 58 of them on active duty.

Etienne said...

Gahrie said...The last B-52 was built in 1962

Technically true, but most have been completely rebuilt here at Tinker. They strip them down and repair any corrosion. They then get eight rebuilt engines after they are reassembled. Although the engines are originally from 1962 also.

Even so, one of them lost a flap on take-off when they forgot to bolt it down properly. Luckily it landed in the lake. Those flaps are big!

tcrosse said...

For that matter
"In 2013 it was estimated that approximately 2,000 DC-3s and military derivatives were still flying...."

Breezy said...

Kevin @ 2:36 LOL!

Rick said...

I thought the woman had been sucked all the way out and that the five year record of ZERO U.S. commercial aviation deaths had finally come to an end. But they pulled her back in and the record goes on!

Someone did die - just not the woman who almost went out the window. It sounds like the fatality was a direct result of engine debris.

n said...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/11/21/theres-no-suction-in-space-because-suction-is-an-illusion/
Blown out. Not sucked out.

Jim at said...

One episode told about the Aloha Airlines Flight 243, when much of the airplane's roof became detached during the flight.

I watched that episode, as well, because I remember the event ... as I had a flight to Hawaii not one week after it happened.

Etienne said...

Xmas said...You better hope they aren't steel

Titanium steel.

"Steel is real, but glass lasts." old corrosion/rust joke. Although glass mostly cracks, so it's a toss-up (I have a fiber-glass car). Technically, I guess it's really the resin that cracks...

Am I flying off topic? Have I decompressed the story?

Etienne said...

Blown out. Not sucked out

Hurts the same.

rcocean said...

So, how long does it take to get down from 32,000 to 10,000? A minute?

And no, I'm not talking about birds or Sopwith Camels.

rhhardin said...

Going down fast isn't the problem. It's the solution.

lgv said...

I flew in this Convair 580

https://www.airchathams.co.nz/about-air-chathams/fleet/convair-580/

The seat were ridiculously big, but the overhead bin could only hold a loaf of bread. There were to backlit signs at the front, left said "No Smoking", the right said "Fasten Seatbelts". The backlights weren't all working on the edges. My wife nudges me and points to the signs. It looked like it said "Smok Fast".

John K said...

Modern airplanes are designed to flex a certain number of cycles and eventually start to crack. This is because every pound of mass more than the minimum required to do the job is ballast. There is a whole black science/art in predicting this. The DC-3, being designed with sliderules and when metal monocoque was very new, had pretty large fudge factor margins in its structure, so it is what is known as "beyond the fatigue curve". The DC-3 structure can take a near infinite number of stress cycles before cracking because metal in key places is a lot thicker than it needs to be. The only thing that puts them down, besides accidents, is corrosion. Modern airliners on the other hand, are structurally spent when they get a certain number of flight cycles and are put to pasture because it becomes too expensive and adds too much weight to patch them up to keep them going.

The DC-3 is in my book the greatest engineered conveyance of the 20th century, because businesses still, in 2018, purchase machines designed over 80 years ago and last manufactured over 70 years ago, and put them to work to earn money.

rhhardin said...

Fastest descent is engines idle, speed brakes extended, as steep as you can manage without overspeeding.

Owen said...

Another reason to keep your seatbelt fastened during flight.

Also, find a really big person to take the window seat near you.

At 32,500 feet the air pressure is about 4 pounds/square inch versus about 15 psi at sea level. Instantaneously applied to the human body that 11 PSI is going to accelerate the hell out of the victim. I don't know what happens: soft tissue damage, snapped limbs, lung damage. Especially lung damage, with delicate surfaces designed for gas exchange at minute pressure differentials suddenly being subjected to huge outward pressure.

Temperature -60 F. At say 250 knots? That's some wind chill. I'm guessing flash frozen skin, eyeballs, etc.

I'm no physician and never even thought about med school, but if you think about the bends or altitude sickness, where the transition times are much, much slower, you have to see this as catastrophic.

Prayers up.

rcocean said...

Yes, I supposed "overspeeding" is the problem.

I know WW2 fighter aircraft had "do not exceed" speeds - which if ignored resulted in the controls locking and the plane meeting ground with a wallop.



rcocean said...

"Temperature -60 F. At say 250 knots? That's some wind chill. I'm guessing flash frozen skin, eyeballs, etc."

Guess I'll keep the window closed, next time I fly.

rhhardin said...

Overspeeding is stress on the wings, namely folding back; and going near supersonic in high performance aircraft, which gives unplanned airflow patterns over various control surfaces. The P-38 had that problem.

Etienne said...
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Ambrose said...

This has to be Trump's fault in some way.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rhhardin said...

Going down fast isn't the problem. It's the solution.

Unless you are still going down fast when you meet the ground. At which point you are ground meat.

lgv said...

One last factoid.

2274 CFM engines are currently flying. I'm not sure how many are CFM56-7B24, which is what was on the two Southwest jets that exploded.

Caligula said...

As far as I know, all aircraft have a published never-exceed speed.

And aircraft designed for subsonic flight tend to behave badly if they venture into the transonic region. What happens when they do so (and why) is presumably better understood today than it was in 1944.

rhhardin said...

Unless you are still going down fast when you meet the ground. At which point you are ground meat.

If you're not spinning, it's a deliberate down-fast plan.

rhhardin said...

My airplanes all had a never-exceed speed of 129 mph.

If you wanted to loop them, you dove to 120 mph to get started.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

n said...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/11/21/theres-no-suction-in-space-because-suction-is-an-illusion/
Blown out. Not sucked out.


Sucked out is a perfectly accurate description. There is no suction in the vacuum of space: you couldn't stick a suction cup to the outside of the space station. But a suction cup will work just fine inside the space station.

As for suction being an illusion, it's not. It's real. The fact that this real phenomenon is caused by the pressure on the other side does not make it any less real.

Etienne said...

Chuck Yeager said the worst thing you could do would be to kill yourself in an airplane at Edwards AFB.

They would name a fucking street after you!

Yeager flew the Mig-15 that defected to SOuth Korea. The North Korean pilot told him not to fly faster than XXX, to which Yeager just had to see what XXX did.

Luckily he survived. Basically, it just stopped flying, and was more like a ballistic missile. He was his own "spam in a can."

rhhardin said...

The only sucked-out person I know of was a Hawaiian Airlines stewardess who was serving coffee when the roof blew off a 737 between Oahu and Maui. She wound up in the sea somewhere unknown.

rhhardin said...

Everything sucked out of the plane is one of those laugh-out-loud Hollywood airplane scenes.

rhhardin said...

An Air Canada flight from Winnipeg to Saskatoon depressurized and dove back to 10,000 feet, in the old days (1970), but they didn't even let us off the plane. They just reglued the door seal and up we went back on our way.

madAsHell said...

Yeager flew the Mig-15 that defected to SOuth Korea.

I had never heard that story. Thanks!!

Man in PA said...

An on-air second-hand account from a relative of a passenger said the woman who was sucked into the window needed attention but was stabilized and was OK.
Another report says somebody died. So what happened?

James K said...

The only sucked-out person I know of was a Hawaiian Airlines stewardess who was serving coffee when the roof blew off a 737 between Oahu and Maui.

There was a flight where the door blew out and took part of the fuselage with it, along with 8 or 9 passengers. Google United Flight 811.

Michael said...

I was in a United 767 when both engines went out. . On the climb out from SFO and over Oakland. It was mighty quiet in there. No, put your head down, no take your glasses off, no nothing. The flight attendants were struck dumb. It seemed like ten minutes but I am sure it was less than one before they got one engine cranked and we limped back into SFO to be greeted by the foam trucks and men in their emergency wear. The Chronical noted the next day that a United flight had to return to SFO because it has lost power in two of its engines. Ah, PR at its finest. A 767 has but two engines. In the early days of the 767 I am told they were focused on fuel efficiency and the planes were noted for that.

rhhardin said...

The Gimli Glider was an Air Canada 767 that ran out of fuel entirely and glided all over the place.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

Etienne said...
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rhhardin said...

When the fuel pressure warning on the first engine sounded, the remark in the cockpit was "I certainly hope that's the fuel pump."

rhhardin said...

The Gimli guy had to do a sideslip to make the runway (being too high), which I don't know reassured the passengers.

I always did slips to a landing because I did every landing dead stick and you could always exactly hit the numbers on the runway, but you have to warn the passenger. I'm going to fly sideways at the end because it's a way of losing altitude without gaining speed.

It's no good being too high, or being at the right height but too fast, which is the same thing.

madAsHell said...

The only sucked-out person I know of was a Hawaiian Airlines stewardess who was serving coffee when the roof blew off a 737 between Oahu and Maui.

I was working at Boeing when this happened. My first thought was "damn this looks bad". This could impact sales. Upon reading the story, I realized it wasn't that the plane fell apart. It was that the rest of the plane landed safely.

Damn, some of these guys around here have some pretty sharp pencils!!

Who can forget Tex Johnston, and his 707 barrel roll over the hydro plane races? It sold even more planes!!

Etienne said...

707 barrel roll over the hydro plane races?

The hero was the flight engineer who had the presence of mind to snap a picture while they were upside down :-)

Michael said...

Probably urban legend but in the 70s I remember reading that occasionally commercial pilots would do a slow smooth roll on night flights with no one noticing. I sort of hope it is true.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

It was not Hawaiian airlines! - it was Aloha airlines.

An airline that is no longer in business.


Hawaiian airlines is getting a lot of bad press.

Aloha Airlines flight 243.

rhhardin said...

Gimli Glider movie (dramatized)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcZBEARH8HE

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

wiki:

Aloha Airlines Flight 243 was a scheduled Aloha Airlines flight between Hilo and Honolulu in Hawaii. On April 28, 1988, a Boeing 737-297 serving the flight suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight, but was able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui. There was one fatality, flight attendant Clarabelle Lansing, who was ejected from the airplane. Another 65 passengers and crew were injured. The safe landing of the aircraft, despite the substantial damage inflicted by the decompression, established Aloha Airlines Flight 243 as a significant event in the history of aviation, with far-reaching effects on aviation safety policies and procedures. [1]

Bob Boyd said...

"As for suction being an illusion, it's not. It's real." - Stormy Daniels

madAsHell said...

The hero was the flight engineer who had the presence of mind to snap a picture while they were upside down :-)

Nobody carried a camera to work in 1955, but some how he was ready with a camera when the moment arrived. Go figure!?!?!?

traditionalguy said...

Sabotaged Fanjet.

Clayton Hennesey said...

How it played locally:

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2018/04/southwest-flight-makes-emergency-landing-after-engine-explosion/#jump-comments

heyboom said...

Kind of curious if it might have helped that she was stuck in the window for a few seconds so as to slow down the decompression while the plane dove.

The depressurization is instantaneous in an explosive decompression. That's why I always laugh at Hollywood movies where people are getting sucked out for agonizing minutes. The initial suck out is the inside air pressure equalizing with the outside air pressure.

heyboom said...

A friend of mine was a AF Reserve boom operator on a KC-135. While shooting a sextant (which goes out of a port on the ceiling of the cockpit) one of the sighting windows shattered and he was sucked out partially. It killed him instantly. That sighting window is even smaller than a passenger window and he was a fairly big guy.

They named a street after him on the base.

Trumpit said...

Trump, referring to the lady sitting next to him in first class, thought, "There's a hole, and I want in."

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/woman-says-she-was-groped-by-trump-on-plane-it-was-an-assault-w444700

madAsHell said...

Sabotaged Fanjet.

It appears that we have a dual failure. Not only did a turbine blade fail, but the containment ring surrounding the fan blade failed as well. Yes, I hope they look at sabotage.

madAsHell said...

fan blade, not turbine blade

Quaestor said...

The highest known bird strike occurred at 37,000 feet and involved a Griffon vulture, an African/Middle Eastern species, so it didn't happen here. Canada geese are not known to fly as high as 32,000 feet, but Bar-Headed geese which have been seen flying over the Himalayas at heights of nearly 28,000 feet, so it's remotely possible that this SWA jet ingested a bird.

BTW, please refrain from repeating the MSM's line that the woman was "sucked out" of the aircraft. She was partially blown out by air pressure from within the plane. There is no suction at 32,000 feet or anywhere higher, including outer space. The woman was no more "sucked out" than a bullet is sucked out of a gun.

Quaestor said...

"Sucked out" is MSM idiocy. Leave it to the talking airheads. We have brains in ours, generally.

Howard said...

Quaestor: The suck pendantleisticism is lame. Go blow your your carpet.

rhhardin said...

I have the feeling there's a better Gimli dramatization but that's the only one I could find. The one I remember had a more severe sideslip as part of the plot.

Bob Boyd said...

From this woman's point of view it probably sucked and blew at the same time.


In Montana they have a joke:

Why does the wind always blow from the west?
Because North Dakota sucks.



Quaestor said...

Howard wrote: Quaestor: The suck pendantleisticism is lame. Go blow your your carpet.

As you are well-known master of suckage in all its forms and manifestations, I'll take that under advisement.

Howard said...

Q: It not my fault you can't embrace the suck.

Michael K said...

"The Gimli Glider was an Air Canada 767 that ran out of fuel entirely and glided all over the place."

It was an Imperial gallon vs liter problem. They were just at the point that Canada adopted the metric system.

How many countries that use the metric system have landed on the moon ?

Zero.

wildswan said...

I love flying and sitting at a window seat, looking out, so I'm trying to blank this newest nightmare out by thinking of precautions. Seat belt buckled the whole trip, for sure. No sitting just back of the wings; take a later flight. The good news is, I expect it will be a lot easier to get a window seat even if my boarding number is C-46.

wildswan said...

PS. The pilot was a woman who had been an air force fighter pilot; she is someone to be proud of. Listen to her talking to the control tower. She landed the plane perfectly. I so prefer her to the lying pantsuit and booby Daniels.

320Busdriver said...

In another example of how durable these engines are. Here's an example of a Delta airbus A319 engine that ingested some waterfowl shortly after departing NY JFK just two weeks ago. The crew successfully handled the problem and secured the failed engine before returning to the airport for an emergency landing. The photo shows a huge amount of missing fan blade metal from the impact at a high power setting. This is the difference between a contained vs uncontained failure as happened today in PHL.

Fernandistien said...

chickelit said...
So, you think getting sucked out an airplane window is funny? SAD


It's funnier than taking drugs with Bill Cosby, but maybe not as profitable.