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China Airlines pilot blames Boeing for 1999 MD-11 crash

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  • Whiskey Delta
    Vote for Pedro
    • May 2003
    • 2581

    China Airlines pilot blames Boeing for 1999 MD-11 crash

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...0Crash%20Probe

    HONG KONG -- The pilot on a 1999 China Airlines flight that flipped on landing here and killed three people blames the Boeing plane for the accident and says politics prompted the government report that found him at fault, a newspaper reported Sunday.

    "There is a problem with that aircraft - ask any pilot and they will say the same," Gerardo Lettich was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying about the Boeing MD-11 he piloted.

    Lettich, 63, said declining MD-11 sales are proof it is problematic, the Post reported.

    "In reality, the industry delivered its own verdict, because the MD-11 has disappeared from the aircraft market. This was the real condemnation," Lettich was quoted as saying from his home in Italy.

    A Hong Kong government report released Friday said Lettich failed to control the plane's rapid rate of descent as it landed during a tropical storm with 300 people aboard.

    The aircraft tilted to the right, its right wing clipping the runway and rupturing the wing's fuel tank, sparking an explosion, the report said. The accident killed three and seriously injured 50 people.

    Hong Kong-based Boeing Co. spokesman Mark Hooper said the company deferred to the government report and declined further comment.

    Taiwanese carrier China Airlines says weather was a main cause of the accident. The airline has one of the worst safety records in the world, with 10 fatal crashes since 1970.

    Lettich said in his interview with the Post that he was made the scapegoat because no one was willing to take on Boeing.

    "It was all down to the balance of power. On one side there was China Airlines and me. On the other side was the Hong Kong authority, and more importantly, Boeing. It was very, very important for Boeing not be put on trial," he was quoted as saying.
    So his only "evidence" that the aircraft was the cause of the accident was that the MD-11 had a poor sales record and that they aren't produced anymore? Oh man, I can't believe that someone gave this guy a forum to spout this dribble.
  • Mark L
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2003
    • 4325

    #2
    Does seem a little odd but, as with all these things, we don't, and never will, have all the facts presented to us.
    My recent and upcoming flights

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    • Bmused55
      Aaahh Emu!
      • Oct 2003
      • 11136

      #3
      The MD-11 had poor sales record because MD skimped on the development and just stuck winglets on the DC-10 wing. It consequently suffered poor range. Thats why it didn't sell well.

      A mistake made long before Boeing bought MD.
      Bmused55

      Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

      My Blog
      My Designs

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      • Whiskey Delta
        Vote for Pedro
        • May 2003
        • 2581

        #4
        Originally posted by Mark L
        Does seem a little odd but, as with all these things, we don't, and never will, have all the facts presented to us.
        Correct, but without providing any reasonable factor (beyond the MD-11 sales record) why the aircraft manufacturer is responsible for the accident he sounds more like he's interested in removing blame from himself rather than uncovering a design flaw.

        Comment

        • Mark L
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Mar 2003
          • 4325

          #5
          Thats certainly what it sounds like. Do you have a link to the "official" accident report?
          My recent and upcoming flights

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          • tenthije
            Harrie Spotter
            • Jan 2000
            • 5102

            #6
            It is well known that the tail of the MD-11 is rather small due to the engine. As a consequence the control surfaces are also small, and therefor not as responsive as other planes. This MAY have contributed to the accident.

            Still, this sounds very much like a attempt to shift blame. A bad attempt as well.

            And euhm, how many accidents and incidents have China Airlines had?
            Click here to view my photos at JetPhotos.net!
            Click here to visit my website!

            Comment

            • Robert Hamilton
              Senior Member
              • Feb 2004
              • 413

              #7
              This might b a stupid question by anyway

              wats the difference between the md-11 and the dc-10??

              Comment

              • Bmused55
                Aaahh Emu!
                • Oct 2003
                • 11136

                #8
                Originally posted by Robert Hamilton
                This might b a stupid question by anyway

                wats the difference between the md-11 and the dc-10??
                Asks the person that says " Boeing is NO match for AIRBUS!!! "

                Dude... you know what a plane is, right?
                Bmused55

                Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

                My Blog
                My Designs

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                • Deano
                  Moderator
                  • Aug 2003
                  • 3098

                  #9
                  I have a video of the actual approach and it shows the rapid ROD when he hits the rwy, now whether this was caused by the weather/windsheer or pilot action remains open for discussion, but for the pilot to try and apportion the blame on Boeing is just mind boggling.
                  I'll try and upload the video to some webspace for those who havent seen it, its quite spectacular yet horrifying to say the least.

                  D.
                  http://www.findmadeleine.com

                  Comment

                  • N5552.0W00425.9
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Oct 2004
                    • 326

                    #10
                    http://www.info.gov.hk/cad/english/news.html

                    http://streaming.scmp.com/aircrash/C...ne_crash1f.avi

                    Comment

                    • skycruiser
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 906

                      #11
                      Guys,

                      I don't know if you know that there was a typhoon here in Hong Kong during the accident.
                      pb::

                      Comment

                      • CWBalmer
                        a 777 addict....
                        • Oct 2004
                        • 666

                        #12
                        There was indeed a typhoon that night....I was in CLK and saw the crash in person......lots of other flights diverted due to the weather that was BAD....

                        If I am right(dont quote me on this), then there were crosswinds of 40 knots plus as well as the typhoon and rain!

                        The mountains at the side of CLK do create a lot of windshear at the best of times!!!
                        Chris W. Balmer
                        B777 & B737 Pit Builder halfway between EGSS & EGMC!!

                        ETOPS - Engines Turn Or Pax Swim!

                        Comment

                        • Whiskey Delta
                          Vote for Pedro
                          • May 2003
                          • 2581

                          #13
                          I couldn't find a specific quote of the wind conditions at the field at the time of the accident, anyone know? I can imagine that they were rather strong given that a typhoon was in the area.

                          Comment

                          • CWBalmer
                            a 777 addict....
                            • Oct 2004
                            • 666

                            #14
                            If anyone will know, ask Daryl Chapman or Colin Parker at the Hong Kong Spotters forum - http://the-wu.org/hkgspotting/index.php
                            Chris W. Balmer
                            B777 & B737 Pit Builder halfway between EGSS & EGMC!!

                            ETOPS - Engines Turn Or Pax Swim!

                            Comment

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