Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday morning photo quiz revealed

A lot of responses for this one, which surprised me after nobody commented on last week's picture of two airplanes on the runway. As many of you correctly noted, this Philippine B747 has a few flat tires:

This happened after a rejected takeoff late one night last week. The aircraft exited the runway with hot brakes. Really, really hot. So hot that we could see them glowing bright red, from the tower. Without binoculars. Wish I'd had the camera, but I'd left it in the car because we'd been socked in earlier in the afternoon when I came into work. Hot brakes on a large aircraft are serious because they can conceivably catch fire or cause tires to explode. Most airliner tires and wheels are designed to release the pressure in the tires before they can explode, and they functioned as intended. We rolled the trucks, and the fire crews cooled and monitored the brakes and tires while the passengers deplaned and were returned to the terminal in buses. The plane was headed for Guam, a twelve-hour flight, and it was full: There were 405 people onboard, and no injuries were reported. I imagine that the aircraft was left on the taxiway because it wasn't practical to tow it with full fuel and over a quarter of its main gear tires blown. The following afternoon, a crew set to work replacing the blown tires:

The aircraft was on Taxiway Bravo, adjacent to Terminal Seven. As you might imagine, not a very convenient place to park a disabled aircraft; the ground controllers had a lot of fun working around it. Here's how it appeared on our ground radar; the yellow and red stripe marks the position of the B747 (the aircraft was in the red area; the yellow area was restricted for some aircraft):

The day after the tires were replaced, the aircraft flew out at the usual time.
Not so, actually: A week later, it's still here, getting shuffled around from one parking spot to another, while residual issues are being worked out.

Related news articles:

Aviation Herald

The Daily Breeze


  1. CaptainVector,

    On the ground radar, each aircraft(?) seems to be identified by its flight number, its type, and then...?

    There's LUP (lined up?), CAS, HZT and some have numbers.

    What do all these mean, please?


  2. One has to wonder WHY they executed a high-speed RTO. Any idea? -C.