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A tough airframe, luck and good pilotage skills got these guys through this life threatening event.


Yesterday I was over in Cape Girardeau working on our 170 when a call came in for an emergency diversion.Basically, a King Air 200 was on route to Virginia from Arkansas when, at 27,000 feet, the left windshield shattered causing an immediate and rapid decompression.


Given your useful consciousness at this altitude is measured in seconds, both pilots blacked out.(Fortunately, there were no passengers on board). Whether they initiated a rapid descent or lost control and ended up in a steep dive is not known as the two pilots have little recollection of the event both fading in and out of consciousness until shortly before landing. They took turns,unintentionally, of waking up and blacking out and fighting to regain control of the aircraft.One pilot stated "remember thinking we're in a spin and seeing that the airspeed was pegged beyond indicated.I thought, wow, we're going too fast, reached up and pulled the power to idle, then blacked out again".


Assume they were pretty much at terminal velocity headed straight down. At 13,000 feet, (give or take), they started fighting to pull the aircraft out of a dive. It took both of them.The stress on the airframe must have been unreal, as you will see. From thatpoint, parts started leaving the aircraft until landing and they lost control of pitch. They went almost vertical again and it took both pilots pushing as hard as they could to get the aircraft to start descending.They regained some control around 7,000 feet and were close to cape where they diverted.It is fortunate that they did not have a tail stall as you will see, and I have no earthly idea how theycontrolled pitch.


There is a God and sometimes he gets your attention to remind you how close we could all be to standing before him.There is no way this aircraft could have been flown and landed to a relatively uneventful landing and they walk away.I cannot explain it and I think you will see what I mean especially afterviewing the empennage.According to the radar, they lost 20,000 feet in roughly a minute and a half.The aircraft is totaled, but again, they taxied to the ramp. Waited a fewhours, and got a car and drove home.Fortunately, the windscreen did not come in completely, but still should have most likely been fatal at that altitude. This is all that is left of the horizontal stab.Notice that on the left, none of the stabilizer remains, (torn off in the pull up), and only about 1/3 to ¼ of the elevator.On the right, a little of the stab and the elevator is useless. (Embedded imagemoved to file: pic14708.jpg)View from the right side. No elevator and the stab is severely damaged. I donot know howit remained attached. (Embedded image moved to file: pic00248.jpg)Another view of all that remained to affect pitch control. Simply amazing. It's aboutas big as a trim tab. (Embedded image moved to file:pic07491.jpg)A view from underneath showing the fragile condition of the remaining control surface. This isall they had to fly on. (Embedded image moved to file:pic13712.jpg)The flex forces on the wings were so heavy in the pull out from the dive that the panels that cover the wing attach bolts were blown completely off.Incredible that the wings did not follow. (Embedded image moved to file: pic05131.jpg) As you can see from the following two pictures, the wings and main spar were bent. So hard were the forces that not only were they bent, but they creased the wings. (Embedded image moved to file:pic30114.jpg)(Embedded image moved to file:pic16439.jpg) Although I don't feel this photoshows adequately the force on the fuselage, even the tail section is creasedfrom the stress of the pull out. I simply cannot imagine an airframe surviving this much load.(Embedded image moved to file: pic07958.jpg)Here you can see the creases on the same panel shown above.


The Dzus fasteners here are similar to the ones which were blown off of the aircraft over the wing attach points (Embedded image moved to file:pic24722.jpg). From the front, she doesn't look half bad, just don't look at the tail. (what's left of it), the wings, the windscreen, the fuselage or the expressions on the crew's face.(Embedded image moved to file:pic29704.jpg) Makes one think hard about one pilot always being on O2 (like you should) as you probably won't have time to don your mask at that altitude in thisscenario.The crew says by the time they were in and out of consciousness, they already had lost control and thus didn't get to the masks but tried to stop the ensuing plummet. Thank the Lord that they walked away completely unscathed.One can always find a new airplane in Trade-A-Plane.














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I don't think that damage was done in the air. Why wasn't the broken window shown? With that little horizontal stabiliser there would be no control at all.


I think it's been damaged on the ground by a storm or something and somebody's tried a bit of a yarn.


What's religion got to do with all this anyway?



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Guest brentc

True, true. The missing elevator is also a giveaway that the incident occurred on the ground.


I also question some of the facts. With a lack of oxygen you don't just black out instantly and I can't see them coming in and out of consciousness. There should be oxygen masks near by and I don't think that terminal velocity applies to an aircraft as such!


The descent rate would have been 13,000 feet per minute!


I suspect that another aircraft or truck ran into it perhaps.



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Or this. It appears to have happened, although not quite the way it was reported in this thread.


To save you having to sign up, here's the article:



The NTSB's investigation of a King Air B200 that landed safely last Friday after suffering serious structural damage is likely to focus on cockpit checklists and procedures, along with radar data collection. N777AJ was headed from Rogers, Ark., for Stanton, Va., when it encountered complications after suffering a shattered (but not blown out) windshield at 27,000 feet and ultimately rained parts down on an aeromedical helicopter flying below. The helicopter was not struck by debris, and the King Air landed at Cape Giraradeau, Mo., with buckled wing skins and empennage and much of the horizontal stabilizer and elevator missing. The King Air's pilot, Sheldon Stone, said in early reports that the aircraft suffered a shattered left windshield at altitude and he then depressurized the cabin to prevent a blowout. According to the King Air pilot operating manual, the "abnormal checklist" for a cracked windshield specifies a descent to 10,000 feet or other methods to reduce the pressure differential to less than 3 PSI within 10 minutes. After depressurizing the cabin, Stone and his copilot then donned their oxygen masks and turned on the valve, but no oxygen appeared to be forthcoming. The sole-occupant pilots then passed out. Stone, a 4,200 hour ATP-rated pilot, said he awoke at 7,000 feet and recovered the aircraft.


According to the aircraft's flight track as provided by FlightAware, the aircraft reached 27,000 feet just after 7:00 a.m. It cruised at that altitude until 7:17 when it went to 25,900. At 7:18 the aircraft was at 25,400 but a minute later was back at 27,000 and had slowed from 417 to 104 knots ground speed, further slowing to 44 knots at 7:20, according to FlightAware. At 7:22, the position report showed holding 27,000 feet and 102 knots. One minute later, the radar indicates 125 knots at 7,800. Aberrations earlier in the minute-by-minute reporting (from 6:49 to 6:50, the aircraft is shown to jump from 17,000 to 27,000 then back down) suggest the data may not be entirely accurate. But the data seem to follow roughly with the pilot's initial comments and damage suffered by the aircraft.



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After reading that lot it might have happened in the air, maybe?


They might as well thank Pete the Parrot though as get into religion about it, Pete was as much helping as anybody or anything else. If they're going to thank Jezuz then why didn't they blame him for letting it happen in the first place? OR for not giving them enough brains or expirence to handle the situation correctly? If the is such a thing as a god then he's got a bit to answer for as well as to thank.



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:confused: A bit strong.... perhaps.....

Yes you maybe right, I just get sick of people "Thanking god" for surviving these type events. The same way I get sick of people knocking on the door spreading jeeeeezuuuuuz word. 049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif



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