Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Pilot Weighs In On That Water Landing

My friend Gumby is a pilot. I recently asked him about the event of One-Fifteen.


RSFPT: The fake "hello" that I didn't really say.

Gumby: Well thank you Jere, and I have to say it's an honor and privilege to be interviewed.

RSFPT: Dude, did you ever hit birds with your plane? I've heard there's not much you can do to avoid them on takeoff, but did you ever maneuver a plane to avoid a flock of birds? If a plane taking off from Antarctica hits a penguin, does that count as a bird strike?

Gumby: Yes, I have struck several birds in my aviation career but have never lost an engine. There have been some that have been very close and I was with a pilot once that overreacted to birds in our path and almost crashed the airplane. On takeoff, all you can do is try to maneuver around them. You are low and slow and that is a dangerous combination. Altitude is life and speed is life insurance... [Still waiting on the penguin query! --Jere]

RSFPT: Did you feel like you could set a giant plane down on a river before this, and if not, do you feel you can now? Does your plane float? Did you ever purposely try to nail a bird, like Dave Winfield throwing a ball at a bird in the outfield?

Gumby: Yes, I feel I could put a plane down in an ocean or a river. It might sound crazy but they actually train military pilots how to do just that. The C-17's design (high wing with a wide footprint due to the gear) supposedly would fare quite well in a water landing, more so then an Airbus (the plane that went down). The low wing on the airbus increases the possibility of the plane catching a wingtip which would make it cartwheel through the water. [Like this. --Jere] Once, on takeoff but still on the runway, a bird flew in front of me. I didn't slow down, hoping the bird would get out of the way. Unfortunately it did not and lost out in the game of chicken (it should of known better since it was an eagle).

RSFPT: Have they ever tried to do anything to stop birds from going through the engines, like some kind of shield or filter?

Gumby: With the design of a high bypass engine, most bird strikes do little to no damage because they go through the bypass section (think of a propeller on a plane) and not the core (the actual engine which the propeller connects to). The core has blades just like propeller but it also has more critical parts since it is the thrust producing portion of the engine. A bird would most likely shell out a core. Depending on the engine, they can sometimes design it to prevent birds from entering (inertial separators on reverse flow engines for example) but not for planes this size.

RSFPT: Do you think Chan will make it to Battery Park City to see the plane in the water before it's removed?

Gumby: I think Chan has a good chance to go to Battery Park however, I doubt he will. [I'll update on the Chan situation later. --Jere]

RSFPT: And finally, can you believe this shit?

Gumby: A bird strike taking out all engines you ask; yes I can believe it because it is one of a pilot's worst nightmares...

RSFPT: Bonus questions--Do you like movies about gladiators? Ever been in a Turkish bath?

Gumby: Yes, I also like movies about gladiators. Does a Hungarian bath house come close enough to count as yes?


Thanks to Gumby for taking the time to answer these questions. Coming soon: some pictures of trophies--the Rhode Island, NH, Maine caravan is traveling with the '07 trophy and Wally today, while the West. Mass, CT, Vermont caravan has the '04 trophy.

No one commented on this yet? This was awesome! I never knew ANY of this stuff.
Thanks for being #1. I thought it was pretty good journalism myself!

Hегe іs my page web sіte ()
Haha, you forgot to paste it in, fuckface!

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Location: Rhode Island, United States