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Disabled SWA Jet Lands Safely at Buffalo-Niagara Intl

A Southwest Airlines B737 -700 was safely landed at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport on Sunday after a flap malfunciton forced the plane to circle for over an hour burning off its fuel load. Flight SWA1916 ( 기타...

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Must be a slow news day in Buffalo
I'm not sure how I would react if I was on this plane. Circled for an hour burning fuel, then emergency landing and then being told I had to sit on the plane for another hour while the plane is checked out.. I'm thinking I want off ASAP..
Right, Chris. You'd think cooped up inside a plane is not the most obvious choice to be if there is suspicion of a fire. Any fire likely would have been in the tires, though, I suppose. I wonder about this: "A flap which helps slow the aircraft". One flap? Which one flap slows the aircraft?
More than likely we have a "no flap" landing situation. Because of that the landing speed is increased to compensate for the lack of flaps. The brake energy requirements are increased dramically and the brakes and wheel assemblies get very hot. Fuse plugs in the wheels will melt and allow the tires for cool the wheels by the release of all that nitrogen in the tires. If that fails to happen there is a potential for the tire/wheel/brake assembly to explode. Therefore the aircraft is keep away from the gate area until the cooling takes place. That a quick and dirty explanation to a very complex situation, but it may help a few of you to understand the reasoning behind the proceedures.
Thanks, Richard, for the explanation. My post was mostly a sarcastic comment on the author's choice of words, which made it sound like there is a single flap that causes braking. There are inboard and outboard flaps on each wing. Also, what are those surfaces that raise from the top of the wing called?

There are at least two positions for the flaps that I know of. One extends the length of the wing decreasing the stall speed. The other lowers the flaps, changing the angle of attack. I assumed it was only the latter that malfunctioned. If the former, the plane would have had to come in even hotter.
Those are the spoilers that are on the top of the wing.
indy2001 0
The "flaps" that Victor described (that extend the length of the wing) are usually called "slats". When they are extended from the wing's leading edge, they increase the wing's curvature. This increases the lift so the plane can fly at slower speeds.

The "spoilers" are located on the top of the wing and are completely different from the slats. In flight, they act as speedbrakes to slow the aircraft down. When the wheels touch the runway, they extend fully to spoil the airflow over the wing, hence their name. This drastically reduces lift and makes sure the aircraft doesn't become airborne again.

The surfaces that are usually called "flaps" extend from the trailing edge of the wing in increments up to approx. 40°. They also increase lift to allow flight at slower speeds, and increase drag to assist in slowing the aircraft as it descends. These are the flaps that usually are malfunctioning in these types of incidents.
The flaps I was referring to extend from the rear of the wings, the trailing edge. Slats are on the leading edge and extend forward and downward. What I was referring to is on the trailing edge. On 737s, they extend straight backward first, extending the front-back length of the wing and thus reducing stall speed. When extended further they project downward, thus effectively tilting the profile of the wing. Normally the flaps extend in increasing increments during landing, and the spoilers are flipped up after touchdown. I'm not a pilot, but I do like watching everything that goes on during a flight.
It would seem that SWA is in the news more and more with Maint Issues. I used to work for them and I left because I did not aggree with there maintenance practices. The company pushes there machanics to do things in a time fashion that is not reasonable to save schedule. It is my opinion that they are doing awawy with safety as much as they can in the name of keep a schedule. In my opinion it is not too long in the futre before they have a MAJOR EVENT costing lives. I hope I am wrong, but glad I am not thre any more.
At least the 737 series has AC on the ground. If it had been a 727 of old, it would have been an unpleasant hour wait on board.
That's funny, Sparkie, I worked for SWA for 17 years as a pilot,and never saw that come up. I was never pushed to get the flight underway until I said it was safe. I never pressured a Mech to hurry up or pencil whip a gripe. I received total support from management when I slowed things down for safety sake. There have been major events avoided because of the skill of the maintenence people and the pilots working together to get the job done correctly. Your description has no resemblence to the SWA I worked for.
Richard: The pressure comes from the Maint Side of Management. The want a wheel change in 10 minutes, a brake change in 20. It is always HURRY HURRY HURRY. Even at night on over night maint. There is also a ton of pier pressure as well. Very bad work enviroment. I did not stay there long as they did not meet my standards for A/C Maint. I have been in the Industry working as a Mechanic, Avionics, and Electrical for over 27 years, and SWA was the absolutely the WORST.
Since I worked in the industry for approximately the same number of years, at several airlines, I too, have the resources to compare. SWA was the BEST I'd seen of the 4 airlines I experienced. Spent 6 years in the Navy. That was absolutely the WORST.
@sparkie624, what's the problem? I watched Formula 1 over the weekend, and I saw a crew change four wheels in 3.2 seconds. :)
Victor, Changing the tire on a plane where the tire is about 150 lbs, requires a jeck for the tire and a jack a large plane, you are comparing apples to ornages. I am not just comparing tire changes but using that as an example of how they push. If the truth be known, I would venture to say that there inspections that resulted in the 2 or more of there planes is the direct result of them blowing there top. If the inspector had taken the proper amount of time and done the job correctly, those failures may have never happened. I actively work in the airline industry. Where I do not want to have cancellations or delays, the Safety of the plane goes first. If I am not happy with it, it is not going and I do not care who gets upset with it. There are lives at stake, and from the people that I worked with, they do not seem to care alot.
@Sparkie624, my comment was a joke. I thought that was obvious. And can you please try to learn the difference between "their" and "there"? Using the wrong word makes what you say harder to read.
Victor, Sorry about that, Will try to inturpet jokes better. And my english is sometimes not the best. There and Their and 2 I fall into the most.


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