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All Hail...

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Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 503
Location: Mumbai, India
http://savvystews.com/2015/06/delta-747-possibly-destroyed-by-hail-on-detroit-to-seoul-flight/
Member
Registered: May 2010
Posts: 843
Backseat driver here...

If they knew the thunderstorm couldn't be avoided, why were there still passengers without their seat belts fastened?

It's surprising how much damage the radome sustains compared to the (aluminium) skin and windows. There is no carbon fibre in the composite materials on the 744, but I would still expect them to be more resistant to hail.

Over time, some radomes get moisture in them. Then they are more susceptible to lightning strikes (heating the water in them and making them explode). I don't think this was the case in the Delta incident, though... Other composite areas were also reported damaged.

I hear the plane will be sent to the desert (permanently)... and another brought out of storage (back online in a few days, apparently).
Member
Registered: May 2011
Posts: 143
John H Watson wrote
If they knew the thunderstorm couldn't be avoided, why were there still passengers without their seat belts fastened?


When you switch on the seatbelt sign, there is this strange behaviour of passengers to start running for the toilets... You need a cabin attendant for every single row if you want them all to listen to you unfortunately.
Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
I think the story with this one was that it came out of the desert in Feb this year (probably thanks to falling fuel prices, gave many B744s another year's worth of life with many other airlines as well). It says she's now being ferry prepped with parts from 744F's DAL bought a while ago and flew straight into the desert, only to fly her back *into* the desert... a lot of desert involved in any case!
« Last edit by Balt on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:42:35 +0000. »
Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
Plus, this is a classic PPRUNE thread... The criticism on the pilots is unwarranted given what I think is their own account from the incident report a little further down the thread. This seems to have been an isolated hail shaft well blown away from the CB, and the lack of adequate deviation clearance is a common problem in Chinese airspace. So this might have been a reasonable judgment call that went bad, it happens.

Let's be honest, how many times have we looked outside and thought uh-oh, this is not looking so good but we can visually confirm the weather behind the two buildups looks ok, could be a couple of rough minutes, keep a little upwind here and we'll be fine. And we were. I never hit hail that way. But I don't know what my judgment call cutoff is compared to others except for those of the other Capts and FOs I flew with, and we always seemed to agree with our calls, and history shows that we were right. So I would put this down to bad luck being more likely than bad judgment.

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