Cargo Jet Experiences Total Electrical Failure

 - September 17, 2012, 3:20 PM

A Southern Air Boeing 747-200 suffered the loss of all four engine-driven electrical generators while en route from Miami to Anchorage, Alaska, on September 12. The Boeing landed on Anchorage’s Runway 7 Left using the aircraft’s two emergency generators.

Because the aircraft was operating on emergency power, the jumbo’s anti-skid was inoperative, which caused 14 of 18 tires to blow out during rollout. The NTSB is investigating the incident.

Comments

Larry Walters's picture

I guess the 4 that didn't blow were the ones that were recently changed?

This should be a chapter 5 conditional inspection requirement listed in the MEL to inspect the tires, vice a simple addition of required landing distance to stop the aircraft. On this one it's pretty obvious that some maintenance needs to be done.

We often forget how important the antiskid systems are on large transport category aircraft.

Stress obviously was also a factor, possibly adding extra speed on landing, and the leg muscles flexing the toe pedals a bit too hard without the assistance of the antiskid valves to release the pressure when the wheels lock up.

Cedarglen's picture

An eye-opener, Goat and thanks. While blowing 14/18 is far better than a run-off, I have to wonder about the condition and inflation of all 18. I'm going to follow this one and see what the NTSB says really happened. WIth all four turning and burning, loss of electrical from ALL FOUR is more than a little strange. Like Way More than strange. I wonder what really happened. We'll know, but it will take a year or more, so if you hear anyting in the interim, please keep us posted. (I don't think that NTSB has even a prelinary report out yet, but I'll be watching.) No one hurt is Good. No 'serious' damage (all 18 tires are trash) is also good. Don't know the details, but I suspect that the pilots were paying attention and had plenty of time to plan and prepare. Auto-brake and anti-skid are great features, but when they fail, the drivers have little choice but to stand on those pedals and pray. If a few brakes and/or most of the tires fail in the process, it is still far better than a run-off. I think you will agree that Boeing builds pretty good airplanes and yes, even the toe brakes can stop tthe airplane - if necessary. Great post!! From your perspective, it might be fun to inspect the entire breaking system and gear, including new brakes and rubber for all 18 wheels. (If only indirectly, I'm thinking job security for you and your colleagues. It may not be the most fun of tasks, but it is honest, productive work.)
As noted, it will be interesting to learn what REALLY went wrong. Best wishes, 'Goat.' If I have any fault with y our great blog, it is that you do not post often enough. Your readers want more. This reader would really like to see list of the routine, most common issues that you see within a given week. What components 'break' or fail most often? What kinds of hardware failure items are the lost likely to delay a flight. Within your constraints, please let us know what issues occupy the majority of your time. Thanks and best wishes, -C.

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