AA 2096 Jan 25, 2012 - Landing Gear Issues???

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by garyst16, Jan 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    I had a rather unsettling experience today on a Mad Dog flight from DFW to BWI....Firstly, the flight was over 2 hours late because the aircraft scheduled for that flight never left Oak City due to a mechanical...had to wait on a replacement plane. AA used an aircraft that arrived from DEN for this flight. The routing was a bit strange too...up through STL to avoid weather.

    But that wasn't the unsettling part...As anyone knows that has sat in F on an MD8X, you can hear what is commonly referred to in the industry as the "Bitch Box" (sorry ladies) calling out the altitude from 2,500, 1000, 100, 90, etc. What the BB also does is call out emergency situations such as stall warnings, and landing gear issues. Upon approach to BWI, the BB starting calling out altitude and when the landing gear was deployed, the BB siren went off and the synthetic voice said Landing Gear, repeatedly...siren, the landing gear. The FA leaned his head over to the cockpit door and he and I locked eyes with a little panic involved! Then, the gear was retracted and re-deployed, and again, the siren and the voice, Landing Gear, repeatedly...what was struck me as really odd was the pilot's decision to land the plane with the warnings going off non-stop! I will say it was the smoothest landing I have ever experienced, and there was little to no braking for quite a while, although the thrust reversers were screaming...happy to say the gear did not collapse but still quite concerned they made a decision to land the plane with the warning siren and BB calling out an emergency!
     
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  2. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Some pilot out there, please correct me -- as I am definitely not one. But -- Aren't there lights and sensors to tell the crew that the gear is down and locked, in addition to the so-called BB warning system?

    Could it be that the lights and sensors were showing the crew that the gear was definitely deployed and locked, and when they retracted it and deployed it again, the down-and-locked signals were firm once again? So maybe they concluded that the BB was screwy? Particularly if the log showed previous false alarms from the BB?

    It does surprise me that they didn't do a "go around" to give them some time to think about it, which leads me to believe that they had been warned in their log that the BB might be prone to a false alarm siren.

    This is pure conjecture on my part, and once again I am not a pilot, so would welcome dissent from others. It's just that, as loud as that BB is, there was no way the crew didn't hear it, and if he landed without a go-around he must have been sure there was no real problem. It would be against pilot DNA to do anything else. I did see where you said he may have deferred braking longer than usual, using mainly reverse-thrusters, but I still can't believe he would have landed at all, without a go-around and without deployment of fire-and-EMS equipment if he thought there was any real chance of emergency. Am I Pollyanna?

    P.S. - If you've got some time you might want to try to figure out which AA flight that plane would have been used for next, back out of BWI tonight, and then look at AA flight status to see if that flight was cancelled. That would clue you in they had to pull it out of service for maintenance. I was on a DFW - ICT MD-80 one time that hit really rough air about 80 miles before landing in ICT. I was seated next to an off-duty Eagle pilot, who told me, "that would classify as 'severe,' and if American's policy is like ours is at Eagle, they're gonna have to pull this plane out of service for inspection." I got home from the ICT airport that afternoon, went to aa.com, and, sure enough, the flight back out of ICT to DFW that afternoon had been cancelled.
     
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  3. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    @ Kansaskeith - I too was surprised the didn't go around...not to have time to think about it, but to do a low approach and have the tower inspect the gear...very unusual for them to just ignore the warning of their instruments. However, you could be right...they may have had three green lights indicating the gear was down and locked...but still...even the FA was nervous...

    I work in the aerospace industry...one that provides products to commercial airlines...so although I am not a pilot, I do have a little (very little) bit of knowledge about how operations are usually conducted...
     
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  4. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Yes I was also thinking that a go-around would have made possible not only more time, but also a visual inspection. But my post was getting long enough as it was. There just has to be a reason why they didn't bother, and it just doesn't compute that reason would have been carelessness or foolhardiness. Just wish I, and we, knew what the reason was.

    (Of course if there were three green gear lights, the pilots could have seen those, the FA not, ha ha.)
     
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  5. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    I had something like this happen inbound into MCI on a mad dog a few ago. From row three could hear the system say (yell) "Too Low, Gear" repeatedly, and we did a go around. Very concerning indeed.
     
  6. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    OK, here's what else I found out, Gary. Your delayed flight, 2096, arrived at Baltimore's Gate C8 at 6:29 p.m. The delayed flight back to Dallas - Ft. Worth, 1545, left Gate C8 at 7:11 p.m. and has since arrived. If there had been any known problem with that plane, surely, surely, surely, they wouldn't have turned it around in 42 minutes.

    -- Pollyanna Keith
     
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  7. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Having said all that I did above, I still think it's fair to say that we will all rest easier when finally the airline is able to retire the aging and therefore maintenance-intense, fuel-hog Mad Dogs.
     
  8. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Wow! Even with an obvious equipment malfunction...one that is supposed to be the eyes/ears of the pilots...they still turned it...
     
  9. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Despite flying 100K+ miles per year, I am a real scaredy cat flyer. Any little bump makes me jump. I always tend to look towards the crew when things go wrong to gauge how "serious" the situation is -- whether it's turbulence, a blown engine (happened on takeoff from SFO on a flight last year -- FAs kept chatting in their jump seats like nothing happened, so I figured we were going to live), or what have you.

    I had a flight many years ago SFO-JFK where there was a question whether the landing gear came down on approach to JFK. Pilot came on, calmly explained the situation, and we did 2 or 3 fly-bys of the control tower. They eventually determined the issue was "probably" a light bulb out, and we were going to attempt landing.

    We were met on touchdown with many emergency vehicles -- which was maybe the scariest part, seeing them all waiting for us as we came down...we were fine, all gear down and locked. Landed safely, although we were pretty late as I recall as a result of the fly-bys.

    It's always pretty scary when things go wrong while being projected across the atmosphere at several hundred MPH in a metal tube -- invariably making me realize what a speck I am in the grand scheme :). Of course, it's always amazing to me the professionalism of crews in these situations. I guess they're so well trained to deal with things going wrong, they don't seem very fazed. Still -- their professionalism is what invariably keeps me from screaming bloody murder and sobbing and etc. :D
     
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  10. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    I highly doubt they'd send it out with an actual equipment malfunction, and there's no way for a passenger to be sure of that from the cabin side of the cockpit door.
     
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  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Note that this warning may apply to the entire system. Including doors, hydraulics, flat tire, etc. and may not relate to actual structure or function.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  12. aamilesslave
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    aamilesslave Silver Member

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    I won't rest any easier. If anything, I'll be more uncomfortable in narrower seats with a greater possibility of a middle seat when I'm stuck in the back of the bus.
     
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  13. boxedlunch
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    boxedlunch Silver Member

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    Does it make one feel better to know that the pilots get to share the same fate you do if there's a mishap?
     
  14. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    Seriously?
     
  15. boxedlunch
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    boxedlunch Silver Member

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    Yes, self preservation can be a powerful motivator...unless the bus is being driven by two idiots (there are two I's in idiot)
     
  16. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Interesting way of looking at it. In a twisted way, this might make me feel slightly less jumpy on my next flight (in just a few hours....)
     
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