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  •  Anybody Watch "Air Crash Investigation"? (12+ / 0-)

    I finally got around to watching 'Flight,' which stars Denzel Washington as basically a much more flawed version of Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, with Washington was nominated for Best Actor for his performance.


    The scene above is the best one of the movie, but there are more than a few Hollywood inventions.

    • While rolling the plane is theoretically possible, it would be difficult under optimum circumstances, and less likely to work with the plane pitching down. Even if you could roll the plane on its back under those circumstances, without regaining control, the problem then becomes that the plane will want to pull up into a stall.
    • The fuel systems of commercial jets aren't designed for inverted flight. The plane would fly inverted for a little bit, but when it becomes inverted the fuel line will stop feeding the engines, and they'll eventually flame out. Also, the oil pumps aren't designed for it either. Although, the engines wouldn't catch on fire, just seize & die.
    • Pulling the fire handles causes the halon fire suppression to not only put out the fire, but shut engines off.

    I told someone about watching the movie and they told me about the National Geographic Channel's "Air Crash Investigations," which recreates famous & infamous air disasters.

    The crash that the one in 'Flight' is loosely based on is Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which was the subject of one episode. Just watching the actors fight with the aircraft for 20 minutes is a nightmare, let alone thinking about went through the real people's minds. And it all happened because someone didn't use a few dollars worth of grease on a jackscrew.

    The subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that inadequate maintenance led to excessive wear and catastrophic failure of a critical flight control system during flight. The probable cause was stated to be "a loss of airplane pitch control resulting from the in-flight failure of the horizontal stabilizer trim system jackscrew assembly's acme nut threads. The thread failure was caused by excessive wear resulting from Alaska Airlines's insufficient lubrication of the jackscrew assembly."

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