Prepared by Sharyn Aust Smith [sasmith@hillgilstrap.com]
with law firm Hill, Gilstrap, Perkins and Warner

TIMELINE FOR FLIGHT 1420  continued page 4

June 1, 1999

 

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, TECHNIQUES section, page 21 stated in part:
The application of reverse thrust tends to blank out the rudder. The effectiveness of the rudder starts decreasing with the application of reverse thrust and at 90 knots, at 1.6 EPR (in reverse) it is almost completely ineffective.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“Boeing MD-80 Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM), Section 2, page 48 stated in part:
Landing Roll Expanded Procedures  

On wet or contaminated runways and without Intermediate Reverse Thrust Detent installed, reverse thrust of no more than 1.3 EPR should be used, except in an emergency.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

11:50:25 p.m. Origel: “we're skidding” [File 3A]

10:50:26 p.m. “After the reversers were deployed, the No. 1 and 2 engines' EPR increased to a maximum of 1.89 and 1.67, respectively, at 11:50:26 .” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:27 p.m. “The DFDR data shows that at 11:50:27 , the reversers went from the deployed to the unlocked position…” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:27 p.m. Buschmann: “ #…#,,,” [File 3A]

11:50:28 p.m. “…at 11:50:28 , the No.1 and 2 engines' EPR decreased to 1.24 and 1.13, respectively.” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:29 p.m. “At 11:50:29 , the thrust reversers went to the deployed position…” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

“Mr. Origel said he noticed that when the captain went into reverse thrust, ‘he really honked on it' and the EPRs read 1.6 to 1.8.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

11:50:30 p.m. “…the No. 1 and 2 engines' EPR increased to 1.51 and 1.23, respectively, at 11:50:30 .” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:32 p.m. “The No. 1 and 2 engines' EPR decreased to 1.30 and 1.27, respectively, at 11:30:32 … ‘ [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:32.9 p.m. ???? “on the brakes” [File 3A]

“When their speed was about 80 kts and they were near the end of the runway, the captain said ‘brakes' and he got on the brakes with the captain.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

“He said he did not help on the controls except for the brakes at the end. He said they did not use autobrakes, because the captain had wanted to use manual brakes for landing.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

11:50:34 p.m. “but (engines 1 and 2) increased to 1.98 and 1.64, respectively, at 11:50:34 …” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:34.2 p.m. ???? “oh sh…..” [File 3A]

11:50:34.6 p.m. “[sound similar to increase in engine RPM]” [File 3A]

11:50:36.2 p.m. ??? “other one, other one, other one” [File 3A]

11:50:36 p.m. “…then (engines 1 and 2) decreased to 1.16 and 1.19, respectively, at 11:50:36 , at which time the thrust reversers went from the deployed to the unlocked position.” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:39 p.m. “At 11:50:39 , the thrust reversers went from the unlocked to the deployed position.” [Ex/ 8A/File 2R]

11:50:41 p.m. “At 11:50:41 , the No. 2 engine thrust reverser went from the deployed to stowed position.” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:50:42 p.m. ????? “aw #” [File 3A]

11:50:42.7 p.m. ???? “##” [File 3A]

11:40:44.9 p.m. “[sound of impact]” [File 3A]

11:50:45.4 p.m. ???? “##” [File 3A]

11:50:47 p.m. “For the remainder of the recording, (from 11:50:41 p.m.) which terminated at 11:50:47, the No. 1 engine reverser was in the deployed position, the No. 2 engine reverser was in the stowed position, and the engines' EPR were at about 1.08 and 1.04, respectively.” [Ex. 8A/File 2R]

11:40:48 p.m. “[sound of several impacts]” [File 3A]

11:50:54 p.m. ATC asked 1420 to report clear of runway; no response [File 3A]

At touchdown: Origel: “He said that for the landing the captain used nose lights but the [sic] he doesn't remember landing lights.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Origel: “The touchdown point not that far down runway. At touchdown, the mains were to right of centerline and the nose was pointed left. He said they touched down ‘sort of flat,' sideways and it was ‘violent.' [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

After touchdown: Origel: “When they landed, the captain went into reverse immediately and saw the 4 reverser lights come on. Mr. Origel said he noticed that when the captain went into reverse thrust, ‘he really honked on it' and the EPRs read 1.6 to 1.8” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Origel: He did not remember if the spoilers came on or not. He said if the spoilers came out, they came out automatically.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Origel: “He remembered saying ‘spoilers' while doing the checklist and said ‘he [the F/O] didn't reach over to arm them' [spoilers] and ‘he doesn't remember if the captain pulled them up not.'” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Origel: “The captain usually reached up and armed them and he thought the captain did arm them.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

“Captain Gibson stated he flew the accident airplane two legs from DFW to Denver , Colorado , (DEN) and back to DFW on June 1, 1999 .”. . .“The spoilers were armed on each landing and deployed normally. The reversers worked normally and were symmetrical with no adverse yaw.” …“The radar worked well during deviations around weather in the Denver area.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

First Officer Kevin Little: “He was a crew member on the accident airplane on the previous two flights before the accident.” …“He said the accident airplane airborne weather radar operated normally in the 160, 80, 40, and 20 mile ranges.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Captain Larry Franklin: “He stated he arms the spoilers regardless of whether he was the flying pilot or not and said the only time it was armed by the F/O was when he was distracted.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

F/O Todd Hughes: “When asked who normally arms the autospoilers, he said the captain always arms and the PNF always confirms. If they were not armed the F/O would query the captain.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

“Interviews with AA pilots, instructors, and check airmen revealed that pilots were instructed during simulator training that the PNF armed the spoilers.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“Pilots interviewed said that during line flying either pilot would arm the spoilers, but most said that the captain usually did because the spoiler lever was on his side of the center console” [Ex. 2A/File B]

“No written procedure could be found in AA manuals stating which pilot had the responsibility to physically arm the spoilers for landing.” [Ex/ 2A/File 1B]

“If the spoilers were armed prior to landing, the MD-80 spoiler actuator would automatically extend the ground spoilers with main gear wheel spin-up or when the nose strut compressed.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, TECHNIQUES section, page 21 states in part:
Monitor the automatic deployment of the spoilers after touchdown. If the spoilers do not deploy automatically; the captain should manually deploy them.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, NORMALS section, page 75 Landing Checklist stated in part:
If Spoiler Lever does not move back to full aft [extend] position, the Captain, regardless of which pilot is making the landing, will manually deploy the spoilers.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

Nowhere in any of the AA manuals are there any written procedures detailing who was responsible for monitoring the automatic deployment of the spoilers.

Nowhere in any of the AA manuals are there any written procedures detailing callout procedures in the event ground spoilers did not extend or deploy after landing.

“The Boeing Commercial Airplane Group does include a callout procedure in it's manuals. The Boeing MD-80 Flight Crew Operating Manual, Section 2, page 48 stated in part:
If a spoiler lever does not move aft or does not remain at EXT [extend] position, PNF call ‘No Spoilers,' PF move lever aft to full extend position and up to latched position.”  

Origel: “He said that after touchdown, it felt like they had no control of the airplane and he did not feel like the airplane ever had contact with the ground. After landing he noticed the aircraft was not moving in a straight-ahead direction. He felt the airplane was skidding ‘right off the bat.' It felt like we were skidding in a straight line sideways and then we started to drift to left across the runway. . . . As they progressed down runway, they went to the left but came back and he felt they had it under control. At one point, he felt like airplane fishtailing and he ‘felt like we might ground loop [spin around].' … His main concern was the speed and the hydroplaning.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Origel: “ At one point, the captain came out of reverse and it looked like he was going to go around or it was for directional control. He thought the captain was thinking about a go-around. They ‘kind of drifted' on the runway and when the captain brought it out of reverse it seemed to be under control but just going fast. There was a little bit of asymmetric thrust after that but airplane was under control. The captain then went back into reverse and even reverse didn't seem to be working. Mr. Origel said, at first the captain was not using the thrust reversers to control airplane's direction, but when airplane got out of control, he thought the captain began using the reversers for control, he thought the captain began using the reversers for control… He knew the captain used reverse and was using brakes but they did not have any effect. . . As they continued down the runway, he saw the alternating red and white lights… When speed was about 80 kts. and they were near the end of the runway, the captain said ‘brakes' and he got on the brakes with the captain. He said he did not help on the controls except for the brakes at the end. He said they did not use autobrakes, because the captain had wanted to use manual brakes for the landing…When they went off the runway, they went straight off the runway.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, TECHNIQUES section, page 21 stated in part:
Autobrakes

Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, manual braking is generally recommended for landing.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, NORMALS section, page 74 stated in part:

Use aggressive manual braking or MAX [maximum] autobrakes on short or slippery runways.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“Autobrakes on a MD-80, if armed, are applied two seconds after touchdown.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, ENVIRONMENTAL section, page 3 stated in part:

Manual Brake Stopping

. For short or slippery runways, immediately after nose gear

touchdown, use full brake pedal.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, ENVIRONMENTAL section, page 4 operating manual stated in part:

Autobrakes slow the airplane at a programmed rate of deceleration which varies with the setting [of autobrakes selected].

On short or slippery runways, wheel braking may be least effective at the end of the runway because of rubber deposits, snow or ice. In these conditions, since the middle of the runway offers the best friction for wheel braking, brakes should be aggressively applied by the use of MAX autobrakes or manual braking immediately after touchdown." [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, ENVIRONMENTAL section, page 3 stated in part:

The braking force available from the tires is proportional to the area in contact with the runway, the force on the tires perpendicular to the runway, the brake coefficient, and the friction between the tires and runway. The contact area normally changes little during the braking cycle. The coefficient of friction depends on the tire condition and runway surface (concrete, asphalt, dry or wet, or icy). The perpendicular force comes from the airplane weight and any downward aerodynamic force. Raising the speedbrakes spoils the lift of the wing at high speed and places approximately 70 percent of the airplane weight on the wheels. This increases the effectiveness of the brakes, when required, during the high speed portion of the landing roll.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA DC-9 Operating Manual, ENVIRONMENTAL section, Page 27 gave guidance for landing on slippery runways and stated in part:

- Use aggressive manual braking or maximum autobrakes and auto spoilers.

- Apply reverse thrust as soon as possible after nosewheel

touchdown. Do not exceed 1.3 EPR reverse thrust on the

slippery portions of the runway, except in an emergency.

- When reversing, be alert for yaw from asymmetric thrust. If directional control is lost, bring engines out of reverse until control is regained

- Do not come out of reverse at a high RPM [revolutions per minute]. Sudden transition of reversers before engines spool down will cause a forward acceleration.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“AA written procedures did not require a briefing for reverse and EPR procedures when landing on a wet runway.”

After crash: Origel: “He said that when airplane stopped, the lights went out. He thought the captain had ejected from the airplane.” Origel tries to stand up but in lot of pain. Calls wife from cell phone. [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

“The aircraft was found at rest on its belly and lower wing surfaces with the tail approximately 830 feet beyond the end of runway 4R.” [Ex. 7A/File 2PQ]

“The ground spoiler and both flight spoilers were found in their stowed positions.” [Ex. 7A/File 2PQ]

“The slats were all found near their fully extended position.” [Ex. 7A/File 2PQ]

“The left flight spoilers were found retracted and could not be lifted.” [Ex. 9A/File 2S]

“The right flight spoilers were found retracted and could not be lifted.” [File 9A/File 2S]

“The autospoiler crank arm was found in a position that corresponds to spoilers extended.” [Ex. 9A/File 2S]

11:51 p.m. “The 0451Z composite reflectivity image (attachment 15) continues to depict the large area surrounding the airport, and a general shift southeastward of the activity. Reflectivities over the airport range from 50 to 64 dBZ, NWS VIP level 5 to 6 acitivity.” [Ex/ 5Afile 2L]

11:52 p.m. ATC called out the ARFF services

11:53 p.m. “Hourly observation for Little Rock at 0453Z, wind from 280 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 26 knots, visibility 1 mile in thunderstorm and heavy rain and mist, a few clouds at 3,700 feet with cumulonimbus clouds, ceiling overcast at 5,000 feet, temperature 19.4 degrees C, dew point 16.7 degrees C, altimeter 29.98 inches of Hg. Remarks: ASOS observation, peak wind from 290 degrees at 35 knots at 0443Z, wind shift at 0431Z, thunderstorms began at 0423Z, rain began at 0424Z, sea level pressure 1015.2 mb, frequent lightning in-cloud and cloud-to-cloud located west through northwest, occasional lightning in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud, and cloud-to-ground located east, thunderstorms east moving northeast, precipitation since last hourly report 0.55 inches.” [Ex. 5A/File 2L]

11:54:51 p.m. Red Ball 1 calls ATC

11:54:54 p.m. Red Ball 1 asks permission to proceed to 4R

11:54:58 p.m. ATC gives Red Ball 1 permission and advises last time saw 1420 it was down at end somewhere

11:55 p.m. Special observation for Little Rock at 0455Z, wind from 290 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 26 knots, visibility ¾ of a mile in thunderstorm and heavy rain and mist. Ceiling broken at 1,500 feet, broken clouds at 3,500 feet, clouds overcast at 5,000 feet, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 17 degrees C, altimeter 29.98 inches of Hg. Remarks: ASOS observation, pressure rising rapidly, precipitation since the last hourly report 0.21 inches.

11:55:10 p.m. Red Ball 1 acknowledges

11:55:28 p.m. Mobile 5 Adams Ground asks permission to accompany Red Ball

11:55:50 p.m. ATC gives permission

11:58 p.m. “Special observation for Little Rock at 0458Z, wind from 290 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 76 knots, winds varying from 210 degrees to 030 degrees, visibility ½ mile in thunderstorm, small hail, heavy rain, and mist. Ceiling broken at 1,200 feet in cumulonimbus clouds, broken clouds at 3,500 feet, overcast at 5,000 feet, temperature 20 degrees C, dew point 15 degrees C, altimeter 29.95 inches of Hg. Remarks: ASOS observation, peak wind from 320 degrees at 76 knots at 0456Z, small hail began at 0458Z, precipitation since the last hourly report 0.61 inches.” [Ex. 5A/File 2L]

11:59 p.m. Red Ball 1 advises Red Ball 2 to go the opposite way

 

June 2, 1999

12:00 Red Ball 2 advises don't see anything on this end, you need us to sweep the runway

12:00:16 a.m. ATC advises Red Ball units and Mobile 5 that 1420 at other end at departure end of runway 4R and to proceed down there

12:01:08 a.m. ATC advises 1420 went past midfield and will be down in/beyond that area

12:03:16 a.m. Red Ball 1 advised got 1420 off end of runway, on fire and is an alert 3

12:04:07 a.m. Red Ball 1 advises 1420 is off the end of the runway on the north end – burning

12:08:34 a.m. Red Ball 2 advises fuselage is mostly intact; have survivors walking around; need to get somebody over to get bus down here and get these people; many walking wounded

12:08:46 a.m. ATC advises to call city vehicle to help out with buses

12:09:25 a.m. ATC asks if anyone notified to get buses and stuff out there

12:09:28 a.m. Mobile 5 is “fixin to do that now” got couple passengers with him and going to have to get back and get a drive and bus down here

12:09:35 a.m. ATC asks if there's anything he can do

12:09:39 a.m. Mobile 5 advises doesn't think will find anyone there because it just right at shift change

12:09:42 a.m. ATC asks Mobile 5 if he should call 911

12:09:47 a.m. Mobile 5 states will get back in touch in a few minutes

12:10:03 a.m. Red Ball 3 advises to be sure runway is closed down

12:10:10 a.m. ATC advises they are keeping in closed

12:10:20 a.m. ATC advises that while he cannot officially close the runway, he can assure it will not be used

12:10:30 a.m. Mobile 5 is officially closing the runway

12:10:32 a.m. ATC acknowledges

END

 


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