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Posted: 12/28/2005 10:57:39 AM EDT


From AJC.com

Alaska Airlines Jet Makes Emergency Landing
SEATTLE — A foot-long hole in the fuselage of an Alaska Airlines jet en route from Seattle to Burbank, Calif., was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday.

About 20 minutes after takeoff, passengers on flight 536 felt their ears popping, then a loud noise shook the plane and oxygen masks dropped out of the ceiling as the plane descended suddenly.

"This was absolutely terrifying for a few minutes," said passenger Jeremy Hermanns, a pilot who was returning home from a holiday visit with his parents when the incident occurred Monday.

The hole in the MD-80 jet caused the plane to lose cabin pressure at an altitude of about 26,000 feet, authorities said. None of the 140 passengers or five crew members was hurt, Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Caroline Boren said.

The plane was quickly stabilized, but passengers spent 25 minutes tearful and anxious until a safe emergency landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating, along with the airline and the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport.

A ramp worker acknowledged he failed to immediately report striking the plane at the gate Monday with a baggage cart or baggage-belt machine, NTSB spokesman Jim Struhsaker said. The worker told the agency that although the vehicle touched the plane, he was not aware he had dented it, Struhsaker said.

The bump created a crease in the plane's aluminum skin, which opened up into a 12- by 6-inch gash as the plane came under increased pressure, Struhsaker said.

The worker was employed by Menzies Aviation, a British company that Alaska contracts to provide baggage handling and other ramp services at Sea-Tac, Boren said.

A Menzies Aviation spokesman, John Geddes, said Wednesday he had no immediate comment.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:01:20 AM EDT
A ramp worker acknowledged he failed to immediately report striking the plane at the gate Monday with a baggage cart or baggage-belt machine, NTSB spokesman Jim Struhsaker said. The worker told the agency that although the vehicle touched the plane, he was not aware he had dented it, Struhsaker said.

The bump created a crease in the plane's aluminum skin, which opened up into a 12- by 6-inch gash as the plane came under increased pressure, Struhsaker said.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:01:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hellhound:


From AJC.com

Alaska Airlines Jet Makes Emergency Landing
SEATTLE — A foot-long hole in the fuselage of an Alaska Airlines jet en route from Seattle to Burbank, Calif., was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday.

About 20 minutes after takeoff, passengers on flight 536 felt their ears popping, then a loud noise shook the plane and oxygen masks dropped out of the ceiling as the plane descended suddenly.

"This was absolutely terrifying for a few minutes," said passenger Jeremy Hermanns, a pilot who was returning home from a holiday visit with his parents when the incident occurred Monday.

The hole in the MD-80 jet caused the plane to lose cabin pressure at an altitude of about 26,000 feet, authorities said. None of the 140 passengers or five crew members was hurt, Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Caroline Boren said.

The plane was quickly stabilized, but passengers spent 25 minutes tearful and anxious until a safe emergency landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating, along with the airline and the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport.

A ramp worker acknowledged he failed to immediately report striking the plane at the gate Monday with a baggage cart or baggage-belt machine, NTSB spokesman Jim Struhsaker said. The worker told the agency that although the vehicle touched the plane, he was not aware he had dented it, Struhsaker said.

The bump created a crease in the plane's aluminum skin, which opened up into a 12- by 6-inch gash as the plane came under increased pressure, Struhsaker said.

The worker was employed by Menzies Aviation, a British company that Alaska contracts to provide baggage handling and other ramp services at Sea-Tac, Boren said.

A Menzies Aviation spokesman, John Geddes, said Wednesday he had no immediate comment.




Didn't read the whole article, huh? That ramper needs to go to jail.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:02:57 AM EDT
Gee, guess you did not catch this

My reading comprehension is fine, how is yours?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:03:14 AM EDT


The worker was employed by Menzies Aviation, a British company that Alaska contracts to provide baggage handling and other ramp services at Sea-Tac, Boren said.

Somebody's going to get a nice little Christmas bonus from Airbus, methinks.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:05:02 AM EDT
it's scary that just bumping the plane with some equipment would cause its structure to fail!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:09:58 AM EDT
Ban baggage carts.



Besides, we all know a .50 would have blown the plane out of the sky.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:13:06 AM EDT


The worker was employed by Menzies Aviation, a British company that Alaska contracts to provide baggage handling and other ramp services at Sea-Tac, Boren said.



On a side note.... the plane was at 26,000 feet. According to the article a foot long hole spontaneously opened up on the fuesealage. The net result? no one was hurt, and at most, the passengers felt their ears popping as the cabin depressurized. It then took over 20 minutes to decend and land. So much for the fears of a bullet causing an expolsive depressurization of a jet liner, let alone a foot long gash.


( I know, mythbusters covered this, I saw the episode. But here we have a realworld example to reference)
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:53:27 AM EDT
These are pictures of bird impacts from when a plane flew through a flock of birds, frigging BIRDS did this:

















Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:00:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Ban baggage carts.



Besides, we all know a .50 would have blown the plane out of the sky.



Then it would have turned earthbound, and went through 10 houses, 23 cars, a school and a factory!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:10:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:
it's scary that just bumping the plane with some equipment would cause its structure to fail!



That's the way aircraft are...

The skin of most aircraft is nothing but thin aluminum sheet metal (2024 or 2017, ~.032-.050" IIRC), and most common designs use a 'stressed skin' construction where the skin is actually a significan part of the load bearing structure...

Remember, when dealing with aircraft, every ounce counts towards performance and efficiency, and the end result is most are built 'light' with the assumption that maintainance & handling will be performed with painstaking precision & absolute safety paranoia...

It's not like cars, where the vehicle is designed to take a beating...
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:11:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:
it's scary that just bumping the plane with some equipment would cause its structure to fail!

It didn't. It only caused a piece of the skin to come off. It's not a structural failure at all. Furthermore, all of the emergency equipment and procedures for the aircraft and operator worked just fine. This is living testament to the robust nature of modern (if you can call a DC-9 "modern" ) civil aircraft design and construction. This episode is basically a non-event.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:13:45 PM EDT
Do we even have to mention the physics involved in trying to shoot a plane down with a fiddy cal... Windage, Velocity, bullet mass, planes trajectory, distance, key shot placement....
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:45:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MOS2111:
Do we even have to mention the physics involved in trying to shoot a plane down with a fiddy cal... Windage, Velocity, bullet mass, planes trajectory, distance, key shot placement....



A .50 just has to pass within 2 miles of a plane to take it out of the sky. Everyone knows that.
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