China Airlines pilot blames Boeing for 1999 MD-11 crash

Profile picture for user Whiskey Delta

Member for

16 years 9 months

Posts: 2,513

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=AS%20Hong%20Kong%20Crash%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.

Original post
Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 10 months

Posts: 4,209

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

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 10,625

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.

Profile picture for user Whiskey Delta

Member for

16 years 9 months

Posts: 2,513

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.

Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 10 months

Posts: 4,209

Thats certainly what it sounds like. Do you have a link to the "official" accident report?

Profile picture for user tenthije

Member for

20 years 1 month

Posts: 4,887

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?

Profile picture for user Robert Hamilton

Member for

16 years

Posts: 409

This might b a stupid question by anyway

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

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 10,625

This might b a stupid question by anyway

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


Asks the person that says " Boeing is NO match for AIRBUS!!! "

Dude... you know what a plane is, right? ;)

Profile picture for user Deano

Member for

16 years 6 months

Posts: 2,623

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.

Profile picture for user skycruiser

Member for

20 years 1 month

Posts: 854

Guys,

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

Profile picture for user CWBalmer

Member for

15 years 3 months

Posts: 664

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!!!

Profile picture for user Whiskey Delta

Member for

16 years 9 months

Posts: 2,513

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.