Video – Boeing C-17 – Tactical Approach

I just came across that great video on YouTube. It’s demonstrating a tactical approach into Naval Air Landing Facility San Clemente. It’s fun to see how they use the thrust reversers in flight to massively reduce speed…

7 thoughts on “Video – Boeing C-17 – Tactical Approach”

  1. I would think that using thrust reversers in flight could be extremely dangerous. If one side fails to deploy for some reason, then you have a repeat of AA587 where your vertical stabilizer rips off and your aircraft turns into a giant boomerang.

  2. I had an acraift accident in September 1995; engine failure at FL105 if I remember correctly. Had my landing area all nicely planned and in sight, was a closed portion of a tarred road; approx 20 seconds before touchdown a large truck laden with crushed stone illegaly turned into this portion of closed road. I had to veer out right into a very rocky piece of land to avoid a head on collision; and ended up with a totally broken up aircraft, also subsequnetly buying myself a ticket that entitled me to almost a month of hospitalization, costs to be paid by myself.

    What I want to stress is that this incident made a much better pilot of me; things that used to be assumed as a given actually now became part of serious business when flying. Nothing like a good old accident to get you to concentrate on your flying as you were taught to!

  3. Steve & Havacilik,

    In flight thrust reverser use is not harmful to the engines nor especially dangerous – when done in a commanded fashion and when the engine is designed and certified for it.

    The DC-8 since its very first version (the DC-8-10) was certified to use thrust reversers inflight and still does with regularity (the few that still fly freight) since the aircraft is not equipped with speedbrakes. The aircraft does have spoiler/lift dumpers on the wing, but these are for after the aircraft is on the ground ONLY. Just as asymmetric, inflight reverser deployment (or uncommanded deployment) can be dangerous, the DC-8’s spoilers are for use once the aircraft touches down only because it destroys all lift over the wing. Air Canada lost a DC-8-40 back in the 1970s because the crew deployed the spoilers inflight. Additionally, the DC-8 can lower its landing gear at speeds up to 350 knots Indicated Airspeed as an additional device to aid slowing the aircraft. When McDonnell Douglas designed the C-17, they took many of the best features of all of their aircraft, including the YC-15, and put them into the C-17. The blown flaps of the YC-15 were combined with the inflight reversing engine design and high speed landing gear design of the DC-8. The T-tail mechanism that’s been so reliable on the DC-9 family (including the MD-80 and 717) is simply scaled up for the C-17.

    Flying has its own inherent dangers. As long as you do things by the book, you minimize those risks.

  4. ———In flight thrust reverser use is not harmful to the engines nor especially dangerous———

    Tell that to the families of the passengers on Lauda Air Flight 004 which disintegrated in mid-air over Uthai Thani Province, Thailand, killing all 223 people on board. A thrust reverser had accidentally deployed in flight, causing the disaster.