Boeing 737 Passenger Jet Damaged in Possible Midair Drone Hit

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,754
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    A Boeing Co. 737 jetliner routed to Tijuana, Mexico suffered significant damage to its nose shortly before landing this week, and some airline experts believe it was caused by a drone. While crew members didn’t see anything, they did, predictably, hear a “pretty loud bang,” which prompted them to ask the control tower to check if the nose was damaged.

    In a 2017 study based on computerized models, the FAA concluded that drones would cause more damage than birds of a similar size because they contain metal parts. Significant damage to windshields, wings and tail surfaces of aircraft was possible, the study found. However, the damage a small consumer drone could cause was unlikely to prove catastrophic, the study found.
     
  2. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
  3. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,378
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    I can't imagine anyone would be.

    There will be a big one some day, lots and lots of people will be killed by one fuck-wit and his quad copter. That fuck-wit will ruin this stuff for everyone else.
     
  4. Hakaba

    Hakaba I Think I am Funny, but I'm Not

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Thing is it doesn’t even have to hit a plane, hell a lot of places I used to fly are no longer drone friendly due to people harassing people, crashing drones into objects... God damn jackasses.
     
    Sulphademus and viscountalpha like this.
  5. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,301
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Yep, how long before instead of hitting the nosecone, one of these get sucked into an engine intake.
     
    Elios likes this.
  6. Arcygenical

    Arcygenical Will Watercool for Crack

    Messages:
    24,626
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    That likely wouldn't drop a 7 series jet though.
     
    BlueFireIce and Wrecked Em like this.
  7. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Some current nice drones are in the exact weight class of migratory birds used in the bird strike testing requirements under
    • 14 CFR 25.571 (4 pound bird)
    • 14 CFR 25.631 (8 pound bird)
    • 14 CRF 29.631 (2.2 pound bird)
    And they have taken out engines (and other components) and brought down airliners before. So, not likely is probably not the correct wording.
     
    N4CR, Kyle_Bennett and Jim Kim like this.
  8. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    "brought down airliners before" ref or link? I saw something about a helicopter crash having a drone strike as a contributing or causative effect. Never heard of an airliner brought down by a drone. Single engine Cesna or something. Airliner? Have to be a windshield strike or maybe tail ruder. Consumer level drone taking down a airliner would be hard. They can land with an engine out just fine usually.
     
    BlueFireIce likes this.
  9. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    I think you can probably google bird strike aircraft and find plenty of examples. There was a mildly famous two engine out scenario a few years ago in a small city somewhere in North America.
     
  10. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,066
    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    I thought drones were banned around airports anyway?
     
  11. kumquat

    kumquat [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,271
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    They are. If that's not sufficient, the next step is going to be an outright ban on drones period.
     
  12. Crosshairs

    Crosshairs Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    23,091
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004

    Probably the drone operator.
     
  13. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    I'm more surprised it didn't result in a fatal hit first. It's actually pretty darn lucky it hit the nose rather than ANY control surface or engine.
     
  14. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,987
    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    beautiful
    They might even have made a movie out of it, and not just a made for tv movie but a big time move with a triple AAA cast.
    [wink]
    HanksSullenberger-FTR.jpg
     
  15. focbde

    focbde Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    A moderate sized drone could absolutely take out a turbofan engine.

    This however is not likely to bring it down... Hitting the tailplane or other leading edge for example would concern me more.
     
  16. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,746
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Most, if not all, modern passenger jets are designed to be able to fly with half of their engines. The bigger danger is the loss of an engine during transition maneuvers, which would be the case in landings and takeoffs. The unexpected loss of power can cause a loss of control, and that's the far bigger danger.
     
  17. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,141
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Didn't see any blood spatter in the pics like you might expect from a goose or duck. Should be easy to test the impact zone for debris. The odd feather or bit of plastic. Unlikely a single drone would bring down a modern airliner but not impossible. They do a lot of single engine failure testing both on planes and pilots. Of course the common thought was you would never have all 3 hydraulic systems on a DC-10 fail at the same time. But they did when a center engine blew apart. Look up Sioux City United 232. And as the Pilot pictured earlier said, they never trained for a dual engine failure on a modern airliner because no one thought that both engines on a modern airliner would fail at the same time, but they did.
     
  18. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Bird strikes yeah.
     
  19. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Oh, I misread your post. I thought you were saying drones had taken down airliners. You were saying birds the size of drones have.
     
  20. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Well, that would be correct. Mostly. Three holers are certified on two and four holers on three. Twins are certified on one. All of the above also have to be able to to takeoff down to the certified minimum number of operative engines and are committed if an engine out event happens after V1 (14 CFR 25.121).
     
  21. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Correct. And that is the concern. The closest analogs used in current testing and certification have brought down airliners (and smaller planes) so it isn't something to sweep away. We may find it unlikely after lots of testing but many of the things we certify airliners for these days deal with very unlikely scenarios.
     
  22. Rattle

    Rattle 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,670
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    I'm cool with a world without drones and asshats flying drones.
     
    Met-AL and viscountalpha like this.
  23. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,301
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Not to go off topic but the 737 max crash of Boeing’s newest plane root cause was a simple sensor failure and the crew not being able to understand the plane auto-controls diving in an attempt to gain speed to prevent a stall - so the system thought. Simply Switching off the auto would have saved the plane.
     
  24. Smashing Young Man

    Smashing Young Man [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    I'm surprised off-the-shell drones haven't been used in terrorist attacks. It seems like it would be a cheap and easy way to cause mass casualties.
     
  25. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    I wouldn't care about an engine hit especially on landing. I would care if they smacked the flaps or tail in those critical few seconds before landing and caused the aircraft to drift or roll. Especially considering how ragged they run civilian pilots nowadays.

    /edit Physics wise a flap hit wouldn't flip a plane. Mass wins always. However, a pilot could overreact especially considering how loud the hit would be.
     
  26. ewb302

    ewb302 Gawd

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Read the aviation news almost daily and drones are a frequent concern. I think this might be the first to actually collide with a plane though. This ranks up there with the morons that shine lasers at airliners.
     
  27. Old Paul

    Old Paul [H]Lite

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Think Hard OCP just covered, a few days ago, that Amazon is developing a Delivery Drone that can lift 240 lbs?
    If so, & if loaded to a full 240 lbs., that would put quite "Ding" in the skin of a "Fat Albert", I should think?
    Further, where better to "Test" such a "Giant Air Crane", than in Foreign Air Space?
     
  28. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,060
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Sudden asymmetrical thrust while losing altitude and approaching terrain? I'd go with that is a bad time. Maybe not #1 (which would be right after you lost the OTHER engine), or #2 (right after hitting that TO/GA button/switch), or #3 (right at V1) but probably #4. About the only "good" time is during cruise at altitude with fuel and a diversion airport right under you.

    Well, seeing how each contract gets better and better these days are better than yesterdays.

    Noise is a weird thing in planes. If it hit the tail they would never hear it up front. Hit the flaps (which unless you had a pretty aggressive flap setting would be.....interesting) probably not going to hear it either up front.
     
    Elios and trandoanhung1991 like this.
  29. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,746
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Airliners typically land under power. They are not gliding to a landing. Losing an engine and not being able to immediately compensate for it can throw you off course and/or cause you to land short of the runway. In the case of SFO, landing short lands you in the bay while a few degrees off can land you on the taxiway into other planes or into the bay. Loss of flaps can be more easily adjusted for, and hitting other control surfaces rather than the leading edge of the wing/tail is very unlikely.
     
  30. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Drones are even becoming a problem in the combat space. Imagine you're an A-10 pilot or an F-18 pilot doing ground support and you know the ground troops are flying a spotting drone, and they're flying it above 200 meters so it will avoid ground detection.

    OMG, WAY TO GIVE IT AWAY! JeeYOODas Priest, Young Man, what were you thinking, posting that on a public bulletin board?! Aaargh, alright, everyone remember, the first time someone dies from a bean-can bomb taped to a drone, it was Smashing Young Man that gave the terrorists the idea.


    P.S. And please, no one mention putting cameras on drones so they can be used to look into bedroom windows.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
    86 5.0L likes this.
  31. Wiffle

    Wiffle Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    I am actually surprised this hasn't happened earlier given the lack of global intelligence. In fact, I would have expected at least some kind of full on disaster that has politicians' panties in a twist over the matter... but it hasn't.

    Doesn't mean it won't or can't. Just cause the Titanic was labeled as "unsinkable" didn't make it any longer before some jack wagon figured out how to do the job.

    The sky is a big place, and the odds of striking another large flying object are astronomically slim. But when it happens, it does so in a big way. Better to do everything in your power to eliminate that "slim" chance.
     
  32. DeeFrag

    DeeFrag [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,227
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    They are. Just like guns are banned at schools.
     
    cyclone3d likes this.
  33. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,378
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    All we need to do arm the airliners with drones so the drones aren't a threat any more!

    I'm so sorry, I had to do it. Please disregard this very silly post.
     
    Wrecked Em and DeeFrag like this.
  34. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Yeah, I agree with that. I misunderstood what you were saying at first.
     
  35. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    I was unaware of them landing under power. Though in retrospect I would assume glide landing a passenger jet would hit fairly hard.

    Somehow it doesn't calm my rage at people flying portable birds around airports though.
     
  36. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,301
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Your kidding, right?
     
  37. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,639
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    They just need to build the wall higher ;)
     
  38. Wiffle

    Wiffle Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Meh, I have been saying this to people for years. Doesn't take much common sense that flying a drone with a small amount of explosives or even a solid weight into the flight path of an enemy plane or missile is a far cheaper and effective method of air defense. The problem is the speed of the the craft, and a human operator's ability to control it. You absolutely need technology to assist you with this.

    Take baseball for example. Even the best hitters can only manage a hit 30% of the time. Most aircraft travel at magnitudes faster than that... so without any kind of computerized system, flying a drone into a plane, aside from dumb luck, is pretty freakin hard. But, it is magnitudes easier to move a relatively "stationary" object into the trajectory path of a faster moving object than it is to intercept it with another fast moving object like a missile... speed variance is the prime factor to all traffic collisions after all.

    Most people may not realize it, but had whatever struck that aircraft actually put a sizable hole into its nose, it could have taken that plane down. Air functions like water when moving at higher speeds, and a hole in the nose of a craft would have been letting large amounts of "pressurized" air making the plane really hard to control, or may even simply rip it to shreds depending how fast it was moving when the collision happened.
     
  39. KarsusTG

    KarsusTG 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,846
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    I have never seen it, but I have been helping my brother start up a drone business and I could absolutely see a 25-30 lb consumer drone taking down an airplane. We had one close call on a clients property with a helicopter. We had a legit flight plan filed and everything and a jackass in a helicopter flew in and missed the drone by about 20-25 ft. At 300ft elevation too... He just rocked his plane in acknowledgement and flew off.
     
  40. Elios

    Elios [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,202
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    WHEN NOT IF one is going to bring one down this is why we cant have nice things