By Gerry Byrne
Boeing's 737 is surely the preferred and arguably the most secure advertisement airliner on the earth. however the airplane had a deadly flaw, and basically after a number of disastrous crashes and years of painstaking research was once the secret of its rudder failure solved. This booklet tells the tale of ways engineers and scientists eventually exposed the illness that have been engineered into the plane.
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Extra resources for Flight 427: Anatomy of an Air Disaster
By keeping this cross centered and lined up between two reference symbols on the artificial horizon, a pilot can locate the runway and start to descend at a comfortable angle of 3°, even in poor visibility or at night. The last sweep of the radar antenna showed that 585 had descended below the glideslope, by no means a cause for serious worry, given the turbulent conditions that moming. In any event, the weather was exceptionally clear and visibility was more than 100 miles. Captain Green would have been unlikely to lose sight of the runway.
Parker feeds its signals to controllers in severallocations. This type ofinstallation is called a Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR); it monitors aircraft by pieking up transmissions from an automatie beacon (or transponder) aboard each plane. This transmits the aircraft's identification signal (or "squawk"), its altitude, and its heading, all of whieh appear together in a cluster of numbers on the radar operator's screen. United 585'S squawk code was 5154. Another NTSB team, the Recorded Radar Study Group, chaired by}ohn Clark, was given its readout from the FANs database of radar records.
These were then programmed into an NTSB engineering workstation, which quickly made order, if not sense, of the data. The tape, ]acky found, provided a good-but not perfect-record. Each parameter was measured just once every second with the exception of vertical acceleration, which was sampled 8 times per second, and altitude, which was sampled only once every 4 seconds. One could, of course, wish for a lot more raw data, thought ]acky, but at least a coherent story was beginning to emerge from the tape.