Smilin' Jack


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Smilin' Jack   » Specific Airline Discussions   » TWA   » Famous day in TWA's history

   
Author Topic: Famous day in TWA's history
Hank Marlow
Junior Poster
Member # 440

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Hank Marlow   Email Hank Marlow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know most of the regulars on this board will remember this like it was yesterday but for the younger members, here a link about a famous, albeit tragic, event in the history of TWA. It happened 80 years ago today.
Hank

Posts: 16 | From: USA  |  IP: Logged
extwacaptain
Prop Wash
Member # 381

Icon 1 posted      Profile for extwacaptain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Captain Marlow,

Thank you for a most interesting post about TWA and flying.

Another very recent post had me believing the Enquirer had hijacked this message board. [Roll Eyes]


Randy Kramer

Posts: 1157 | From: Encino, Ca. U.S.A.  |  IP: Logged
Capn Eddie Ricketyback
Post Captain
Member # 3010

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Capn Eddie Ricketyback   Author's Homepage   Email Capn Eddie Ricketyback   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Continuing the famous disaster theme, another one was the one that killed 15 young servicemen at the beginning of WW II as well as a TWA flight crew and a famous movie star. As you can see in the photos, there is still considerable wreckage remaining at the crash site.

BTW, during a raft trip through the Grand Canyon in about 1980 one of our guides took us to where some wreckage remained from the TWA-United midair in 1956, which I suspect one poster here will remember quite vividly. I picked up a few pieces of metal from the site and still have it stashed away in a ziplock bag somewhere.

Posts: 328 | From: South Carolina  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TWA metal...

...is scattered all around the world. Perhaps someone has or will one day write about all of the known TWA crashes and put them into a single publication.

Like most of the posters here I have read many of books about TWA...beginning when I was a young student pilot over 45 years ago.

A couple of books that one might find interesting is THE LAST FLIGHT OF LIBERATOR 41-1133 by William F. Cross. It is the story of an Army Air Corp B-24 which became lost and crashed into a 10,240 ft. mountain top near Cimmarron N.M. in the spring of 1942. The wreckage is within what is now the Philmont Boy Scout Camp.

The B-24 was being flown by two TWA pilots: Robert Redding and Jonas Ruff. The Flight Engineer was also from TWA....Georger Van Hoozer. A piece of the wreckage made it's way into my backpack. One day I intend to carry it with me to the graves of the pilots, one of whom is buried here in Missouri. It will be my honor to do so.

In 2007 I led a Boy Scout Troup to the top of that mountain and spent several hours surveying the wreckage, which is strewn over several acres. There are many large pieces of the aircraft still lying about. The wings, cockpit, horizontal stabilizer, huge chunks of the fuselage and thousands of smaller pieces. I photographed a large piece which was still stamped with an ALCOA ALUM. part number.

From the same era a most interesting historical book which I enjoyed immensely.....MILLION MILLER by John R. Tunis. Published in 1942 it is the story of a TWA pioneer and chief pilot named Jack Zimmerman. The book is a treasure trove of information about the early years of TWA up to the beginning of WW-2.

Amazing that CA Zimmerman survived to that point. The book relates 5 crashes during the first 15 years of his career at TWA. Two in the Northrop ALPHA, two in the DC-3 and one in a DC-2. His DC-2 crash, in 1934, was in my own back yard at Columbia, MO. Making an ADF approach into COU he landed short, wiped out the landing gear and slid up onto the runway. CA Zimmerman is quoted as saying "This is one of he most difficult feats in aviation." !!???!!

As for the DC-3,which the captain refers to as "a really swell airplane" , one of the accidents was at Pittsburg, Pa., in 1937. He ground looped the aircraft; ran off the runway and smashed into cars parked at the terminal. The President of TWA, Jack Frye, was onboard. No one was seriously injured.

Eventually Zimmerman became Chief of the Atlantic Division, flying the Boeing Stratoliner...THE SKY CHIEF.... at the tender age of 35. When the author questioned his realitive youth CA Zimmerman replied....."Flying has never been an old man's game anywhow."

The book is filled with many vintage pictures from TWA operations and historical figures. It is long out of print. I found my copy at a used book store. It is a treasure that any airline buff would enjoy.

Best Wishes to all.

Bob Ritchie

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
Glasspilot
Post Captain
Member # 390

Icon 6 posted      Profile for Glasspilot     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
>> Making an ADF approach............."This is one of he most difficult feats in aviation." <<

Looking at these two statements together is definitely a truism!

Good think that approach is now considered obsolete!

Posts: 294 | From: Outer Banks, NC  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Andy,

How have you been? Did you really retire? Anyhow...thanks for the clarification. I had assumed that during the era pilots were quite proficient using the ADF. But it makes more sense now.

The old Ozark captains told me that they had a big ADF instrument dial about 5 inches in diameter in their DC-3s. Also a needle width was quite wide on that big dial making the slightest deviation obvious. The huge round display combined with a slow double digit approach speed...made ADF approaches a snap. Now I wasn't there...just remembering what they told me.

I made my last ADF approach going into Detroit in a TWA MD-80 about 1990. The ILS was down. Well...we found the runway but it wasn't pretty. [Embarrassed]

Take care.

Bob

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
Robert Dedman
Post Captain
Member # 366

Icon 14 posted      Profile for Robert Dedman   Author's Homepage   Email Robert Dedman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I flew for Panagra in South America, we flew to 1500 meter fields in the jungles of Bolivia and we had just what was mentioned, a 5 inch compass face and a good size needle and that was the ONLY approach available. Being slow helped but one could get pretty adept at shooting them. Like anything, you get better by staying with it. In the jet age, about all we used it for was for maker passage..not really an APPROACH!! [Cool]
Posts: 406 | From: Virginia Beach, VA.  |  IP: Logged
extwacaptain
Prop Wash
Member # 381

Icon 1 posted      Profile for extwacaptain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's about that BIG ADF display on the DC-3.....Most of the following "story" was told to me by a fellow class-mate.

After our second furlough during our first year and a half with TWA, spring of 1947 found him being qualified on Domestic and the DC-3. .....Everything was going well climbing out of Kansas City. A pretty Hostess came to the cockpit and offered coffee. (We'll call the co-pilot Roy) "Yes, Ma'am.
I'd like a cup.".......There were no cup-holders, as such in the cockpit......but, AH! Look at that neat little table between the two pilots.........It probably took all of 30 seconds for that hot cup to fall off, you know where....On the Captain's right leg.

The Captain must have been one of neatest and most understanding flying the line at the time, as this coffee-spilling "thing' was repeated a total of 3 times. About the third time, it is not known if the Captain flew with the right wing low to spill drinks in the other direction or threatened to file one of those million dollar law suits for hot coffee on the leg.

And, now back to the 5 inch ADF head (or the small table in the cockpit)....Several things may be learned from this and other posts...........

If it is true that the large size of the display made it easier to fly an accurate approach, it should have been enlarged to a 10 inch display. That alone would have made it twice as easy. [Wink]

And if the wide needle contributed to more accuracy, that thing should have been doubled in size, also. Had these two modifications been made, that would have made it possible for the airplane to fly a perfect approach, almost all by itself. [Big Grin]

A raised edge around the ADF display would have prevented that Captain from having hot flashes.

And, finally, it should be mentioned that because TWA pilots did not make as many ADF approaches as the range type (later ILS) much emphasis was placed on ADF approaches during every training period I can remember, making them, well, kinda second nature.

Randy

Posts: 1157 | From: Encino, Ca. U.S.A.  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks fellas,

It would appear from the above posts that CA Zimmerman should have been quite proficient at ADF aproaches when he landed short at Columbia. Which brings me back to my original dismay at his quote concering the "difficult" nature of.... having crashed short, wiping out the gear and sliding up onto the runway.

Nice to learn that my old Ozark captains were telling the truth about their ADF equipment. Bet they would have loved that proposed 10 inch wide instrument too. Surely a lot easier to read than the typical 2 inch display of modern aircraft. [Eek!]

Good to hear from those who had personal experience with such installations. Thanks for all the positive input.

Bob

[ 04-02-2011, 19:20: Message edited by: Bob Ritchie ]

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
Rocky Dollarhide
Post Captain
Member # 546

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rocky Dollarhide   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Was it a bad dream, or do I remember flying an MD-80 during a DME arc approach, using an ADF, in the Caribbean?
R$

Posts: 141 | From: Aberdeen Golf Club  |  IP: Logged
dave carr
Post Captain
Member # 783

Icon 1 posted      Profile for dave carr   Email dave carr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocky Dollarhide:
Was it a bad dream, or do I remember flying an MD-80 during a DME arc approach, using an ADF, in the Caribbean?
R$

Rocky

If memory serves me well that approach existed at Montego Bay. I seem to remember doing that approach in a L1011. For good measure a shower was over the field and we had to miss the first approach but made it in on the second try. I don't think I made over three or four ADF approaches in my entire flying life. I instructed in the training center on the B717 and I seem to remember that the B717 airplane didn't even include an ADF. Do I remember correctly?

Dave Carr

Posts: 280  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocky Dollarhide:
Was it a bad dream, or do I remember flying an MD-80 during a DME arc approach, using an ADF, in the Caribbean?
R$

Rocky,

Your memory is correct. If you were in a "steam guage" MD-80 then you did it the old fashioned way....transitioning from the DME arc to the ADF. But if you flew the "glass cockpit" 80's in there then you could cheat. You could build the approach on the FMS and then just fly the purple line.

Not sure that was legal....but my trusty FO's knew how to do it and would always set it up for me.

Also...and you know.... as you instructed on the 757/767 we did ADF approaches in that airplane in the simulator and were qualified for the real world. I don't remember what TWA did concerning ADF in the 767. But at AA,you will remember, we were required to tune, identify and monitor the ADF. But it was overlayed by the magic stuff and once again.... everyone just flew the purple line.

Just before I retired(one year after you) AA was planning to delete all ADF training and approaches.

Don't know what you had in the Lockheed Dave. But one of those proposed 10 inch displays would have made it easier. [Smile]

Nice to hear from both of you guys.

Bob

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
dave carr
Post Captain
Member # 783

Icon 1 posted      Profile for dave carr   Email dave carr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bob Ritchie:
[



Don't know what you had in the Lockheed Dave. But one of those proposed 10 inch displays would have made it easier. [Smile]

Nice to hear from both of you guys.

Bob

Bob

Always enjoy reading your posts. For some reason the ADF display was the smallest and the most poorly lit display on the panel of every TWA jet I flew. Also weren't they partly hidden by the yoke? I wonder why!

Posts: 280  |  IP: Logged
Rocky Dollarhide
Post Captain
Member # 546

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rocky Dollarhide   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dave and Bob,

Thanks for the memories! It was a "steam guage" MD-80 into Montego Bay. The clouds were reported at 100 ft above minimums with the mountains covered by clouds behind the airport.

I still think it was a bad dream!

We made it on the first approach! Thank you "crew coordination"! It was always GREAT to be part of a team.

R$

Posts: 141 | From: Aberdeen Golf Club  |  IP: Logged
Roger Moore
Post Captain
Member # 2204

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Roger Moore   Email Roger Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You should have tried the 12 mile arc to ILS at BDL at nite in wx and sittin in an F-192 with a 170 Kts approach speed. I was a lot younger back then. Roger Moore
Posts: 194 | From: Wildwood,Mo  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mine is bigger than yours!

Ha ha. Just kidding! Roger..."in the day" when OZA flew into dozens of small cities like Waterloo, Ia, Sioux Falls S.D., Springfield, MO. Decatur, IL. etc. where there was little traffic and no radar we routinely...,

....flew the arc approaches in the DC-9 at 250kts, carried that speed right up to the marker: then idle power,extend gear,slats the flaps right on max speed. About 500 agl we would spool up to 1.25 e.p.r. and stabilize at ref+ 5 or 10 knots. Followed by a nice touchdown on runways as short as 5,000 ft. Worked like a charm. I know that most Local Service Air Carriers and even Southwest,in it's early days, did the same.

Did it all day long. Up to 13 legs a day in the FH-227 and up to 8 legs a day in the DC-9.

Did it safely millions of times and had only one fatal accident. A 12,000 ft. per minute downdraft microburst, on approach into STL in 1973...before we even knew what wind shear and microburst were.

As you said..."we were all younger then."

Bob

p.s. After losing my captain's seat at TWA in 1990 I had the pleasure of flying with a TWA captain who was the copilot on a TWA 727 which was on approach in front of OZA during that microburst.

He told me that they were stabilized with the gear down,flaps fully extended and engines spooled up. Suddenly the aircraft began to climb at over 6,000 f.p.m. The power was reduced to idle but they were uplifted several thousand feet before the assent was arrested.

The captain chose to flee the area and divert to IND. The TWA flight told the STL tower to advise OZA of the conditions in front of them. OZA was still on approach control. By the time the transmissions had been made....OZA had already crashed on the Washington University campus. A full airplane. Everyone killed except the two pilots and one passenger.

TWA caught the updraft. OZA got the downdraft!

FATE IS THE HUNTER.

[ 04-04-2011, 16:09: Message edited by: Bob Ritchie ]

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged


 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Smilin' Jack's Aviation Directory



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0