FlashForward Forums

ABC (ended 2010)

Why did the planes crash?

  • Avatar of quitofilms

    quitofilms

    [1]Oct 9, 2009
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    It was only 137 seconds, auto pilot should have kicked in to avoid collisions and crashes.....so why did they "drop from the sky"?
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    KingofIPirates

    [2]Oct 9, 2009
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    Probably some of the planes were in the middle of landing on the runways, maybe some of it could be attributed to a mid-air collision, maybe some of the pilots fell onto the controls causing the planes to go into a free fall,etc.
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  • Avatar of quitofilms

    quitofilms

    [3]Oct 9, 2009
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    Again...auto-pilot would kick in with all those situations...that's the point of auto-pilot, monitoring the controls and the if there is any danger....auto-pilot can even land planes (since the 90s)
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  • Avatar of KingofIPirates

    KingofIPirates

    [4]Oct 9, 2009
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    How long does it take to kick in?
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  • Avatar of quitofilms

    quitofilms

    [5]Oct 9, 2009
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    Although, smaller planes would have a problem and "maybe" Auto-pilot could not kick in that quick in some "high pressure" situations
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  • Avatar of quitofilms

    quitofilms

    [6]Oct 9, 2009
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    whoa, we had the same question, will have to do some asking about that but in Air Crash Investigations, it appears to kick in pretty quick, quick enough for the pilots to have to disable it at times
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    Razor1978_2

    [7]Oct 12, 2009
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    Planes crash into mountains when there's no blackout, so they could during the Flashfoward as well. There would have been planes taking off and landing during the blackout. Whilst autopilot can land planes, it needs to be activated much earlier than when they've almost landed, and it can't take planes off at all. If auto-pilot could do everything then there would be no need for pilots.
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    ummhaniyyah

    [8]Oct 12, 2009
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    Razor1978_2 wrote:
    Planes crash into mountains when there's no blackout, so they could during the Flashfoward as well. There would have been planes taking off and landing during the blackout. Whilst autopilot can land planes, it needs to be activated much earlier than when they've almost landed, and it can't take planes off at all. If auto-pilot could do everything then there would be no need for pilots.

    Yep, I thought that most commercial flights fly under autopilot but upon take-off and landing it is purposefully disengaged/turned off. So if, the planes were almost on the ground when the blackout happened they would crash.

    The question is necessary because the destroyed planes shown at the Seattle airport look crashed, not as if they've collided into on another.

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  • Avatar of Jeric-Ho

    Jeric-Ho

    [9]Oct 15, 2009
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    Doesn't auto-pilot have to be activated by the pilot anyway? therefore auto-pilot would not kick in!, plus even if it did kick in, if a pilot falls forward onto the controls, causing a free-fall nosedive, even some of the best pilots could probably not recover from that, let alone auto-pilot.
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  • Avatar of charblasaur

    charblasaur

    [10]Oct 16, 2009
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    When i first saw the show I was wondering about the planes crashing to. I can understand if some planes would crash but 800 in the U.S alone? I know there are a lot of flights at the same time but 800 planes thats not on auto-pilot at the same time just seems a bit much to me. I saw a show about flights today and the auto-pilot was pretty much the whole time. It even landed with auto-pilot.
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  • Avatar of ratsac

    ratsac

    [11]Oct 19, 2009
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    charblasaur wrote:
    When i first saw the show I was wondering about the planes crashing to. I can understand if some planes would crash but 800 in the U.S alone? I know there are a lot of flights at the same time but 800 planes thats not on auto-pilot at the same time just seems a bit much to me. I saw a show about flights today and the auto-pilot was pretty much the whole time. It even landed with auto-pilot.

    Wow, It never ceases to amaze me, just how little knowledge the general pubic and media has of aviation.

    The autopilot doesn't just 'kick in' if the pilots fall over! It is set by the crew for each phase of flight. Any aircraft that were already set on A/P and were at least 137 sec (or whatever it was) away from the ground would have been fine. E.g, cruising, climbing, or just starting descent from a high altitude.

    But lots of others would have not been. Including:

    -all the helicopters that crashed into buildings. Although some helos do have A/P, most don't. Many small planes don't have it either. But even those that don't have it can be trimmed to fly straight and level, without the pilot touching the controls for long periods. Unlike those planes, helicopters can't. Helicopter pilots can't take their hands off the controls for even a few seconds, without the machine deviating from its flight path

    -All the aircraft taxiing around the airport (as per the scene with all the crashed planes). No autopilot at all for taxiing any plane, anywhere, ever.

    -anything that was just taking off or landing. This requires at least some pilot intervention at some point. Even if it's just to turn off the runway after landing, or pulling back on the controls to lift off the ground.

    And 800 crashes in the U.S alone is a very realistic figure. Considering there are 87000 flights per day in the U.S (http://www.natca.org/mediacenter/bythenumbers.msp)

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  • Avatar of yeldarbn54

    yeldarbn54

    [12]Oct 19, 2009
    • member since: 10/20/09
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    ratsac wrote:

    charblasaur wrote:
    When i first saw the show I was wondering about the planes crashing to. I can understand if some planes would crash but 800 in the U.S alone? I know there are a lot of flights at the same time but 800 planes thats not on auto-pilot at the same time just seems a bit much to me. I saw a show about flights today and the auto-pilot was pretty much the whole time. It even landed with auto-pilot.

    Wow, It never ceases to amaze me, just how little knowledge the general pubic and media has of aviation.

    The autopilot doesn't just 'kick in' if the pilots fall over! It is set by the crew for each phase of flight. Any aircraft that were already set on A/P and were at least 137 sec (or whatever it was) away from the ground would have been fine. E.g, cruising, climbing, or just starting descent from a high altitude.

    But lots of others would have not been. Including:

    -all the helicopters that crashed into buildings. Although some helos do have A/P, most don't. Many small planes don't have it either. But even those that don't have it can be trimmed to fly straight and level, without the pilot touching the controls for long periods. Unlike those planes, helicopters can't. Helicopter pilots can't take their hands off the controls for even a few seconds, without the machine deviating from its flight path

    -All the aircraft taxiing around the airport (as per the scene with all the crashed planes). No autopilot at all for taxiing any plane, anywhere, ever.

    -anything that was just taking off or landing. This requires at least some pilot intervention at some point. Even if it's just to turn off the runway after landing, or pulling back on the controls to lift off the ground.

    And 800 crashes in the U.S alone is a very realistic figure. Considering there are 87000 flights per day in the U.S (http://www.natca.org/mediacenter/bythenumbers.msp)

    Ive been a longhaul pilot for QANTAS for 27 years now, Having logged more than ten thousand hours in the cockpit of international flights, From Airbus A330s to Boeing 777-300ERs and I can tell you all, That, Beyond a shadow of a doubt, The fly-by-Wire systems in planes, Regardless of how technologically superior they may be, Are actually only allowed to be used for no more than 90 minutes at a time, By CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) LAW.

    It is MORE than feasible that, In 137 seconds, I think it was said that 887, Or 877 planes went down in that time, In the US alone. Every 6 hours, At a major international or even moreso, For the United States, A major domestic terminal, A minimum of 150 aircraft take off and land. Multiply that by 50 states and the number becomes mind-boggling. To put this into perspective, It takes about 14,349 Bugatti Veyron engines to even come close to matching the same amount of steady-state thrust, Or torque, For all you revheads, That the standard Boeing 777 engines put out. In 137 seconds of pilot unconsciousness, A plane the weight of a 777, Assuming it is operating in fly-by-wire and was, As required, Refreshed constantly, Would still disengage (By safety and aviation standards, The system HAS to disengage under several conditions, From a simple button being pressed, To a sudden, Unplotted change in airspeed, Thrust, Heading or altitude, Even if its 1ft, 1 pound of thurst, 1 mile or kilometre an hour, Or even 1 degree off course, The moment any form of avionics control was utilised, Intentionally, Or unintentionally i.e. passing out and falling onto the avionics stack. The same way that a car's cruise-control disengages, As soon as a slight amount of pressure is applied to the brake pedal. It would take approximately 90 seconds, For a 777 to plummet from 35,000 ft (10.668 km asl - Above Sea Level), To just over 500 ft. Assuming an increased rate of acceleration, The further the plane descends, Not even superman could rectify that situation, Conscious or not.

    I mean, Come on...Do you REALLY think that, With an ambitious storyline and idea that this series has, That the writers wouldnt do every last bit of research humanly possible, Before writing in minute details like planes plowing nose first into runways, highways etc?

    Edited on 10/19/2009 12:50pm
    Edited 3 total times.
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  • Avatar of Jeric-Ho

    Jeric-Ho

    [13]Oct 19, 2009
    • member since: 05/16/07
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    Any-ways, it says in the book that only aircraft that was taking off and landing crashed, all flights in the air were fine, collisions aside of course!
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  • Avatar of mimisc2009

    mimisc2009

    [14]Oct 20, 2009
    • member since: 09/24/09
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    I think they called it the 'blackout' because everything stopped during that time. So the planes could not go into auto pilot coz they were off.
    Edited on 10/20/2009 5:31am
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  • Avatar of big-boss-91

    big-boss-91

    [15]Oct 21, 2009
    • member since: 08/11/08
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    simple answer!

    during the blackout, the pilot's head, arm, fingers whatever falls onto the "off" button! whoops!
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  • Avatar of Freak4Dell

    Freak4Dell

    [16]Oct 23, 2009
    • member since: 01/10/07
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    yeldarbn54 wrote:
    ratsac wrote:

    charblasaur wrote:
    When i first saw the show I was wondering about the planes crashing to. I can understand if some planes would crash but 800 in the U.S alone? I know there are a lot of flights at the same time but 800 planes thats not on auto-pilot at the same time just seems a bit much to me. I saw a show about flights today and the auto-pilot was pretty much the whole time. It even landed with auto-pilot.

    Wow, It never ceases to amaze me, just how little knowledge the general pubic and media has of aviation.

    The autopilot doesn't just 'kick in' if the pilots fall over! It is set by the crew for each phase of flight. Any aircraft that were already set on A/P and were at least 137 sec (or whatever it was) away from the ground would have been fine. E.g, cruising, climbing, or just starting descent from a high altitude.

    But lots of others would have not been. Including:

    -all the helicopters that crashed into buildings. Although some helos do have A/P, most don't. Many small planes don't have it either. But even those that don't have it can be trimmed to fly straight and level, without the pilot touching the controls for long periods. Unlike those planes, helicopters can't. Helicopter pilots can't take their hands off the controls for even a few seconds, without the machine deviating from its flight path

    -All the aircraft taxiing around the airport (as per the scene with all the crashed planes). No autopilot at all for taxiing any plane, anywhere, ever.

    -anything that was just taking off or landing. This requires at least some pilot intervention at some point. Even if it's just to turn off the runway after landing, or pulling back on the controls to lift off the ground.

    And 800 crashes in the U.S alone is a very realistic figure. Considering there are 87000 flights per day in the U.S (http://www.natca.org/mediacenter/bythenumbers.msp)

    Ive been a longhaul pilot for QANTAS for 27 years now, Having logged more than ten thousand hours in the cockpit of international flights, From Airbus A330s to Boeing 777-300ERs and I can tell you all, That, Beyond a shadow of a doubt, The fly-by-Wire systems in planes, Regardless of how technologically superior they may be, Are actually only allowed to be used for no more than 90 minutes at a time, By CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) LAW.

    It is MORE than feasible that, In 137 seconds, I think it was said that 887, Or 877 planes went down in that time, In the US alone. Every 6 hours, At a major international or even moreso, For the United States, A major domestic terminal, A minimum of 150 aircraft take off and land. Multiply that by 50 states and the number becomes mind-boggling. To put this into perspective, It takes about 14,349 Bugatti Veyron engines to even come close to matching the same amount of steady-state thrust, Or torque, For all you revheads, That the standard Boeing 777 engines put out. In 137 seconds of pilot unconsciousness, A plane the weight of a 777, Assuming it is operating in fly-by-wire and was, As required, Refreshed constantly, Would still disengage (By safety and aviation standards, The system HAS to disengage under several conditions, From a simple button being pressed, To a sudden, Unplotted change in airspeed, Thrust, Heading or altitude, Even if its 1ft, 1 pound of thurst, 1 mile or kilometre an hour, Or even 1 degree off course, The moment any form of avionics control was utilised, Intentionally, Or unintentionally i.e. passing out and falling onto the avionics stack. The same way that a car's cruise-control disengages, As soon as a slight amount of pressure is applied to the brake pedal. It would take approximately 90 seconds, For a 777 to plummet from 35,000 ft (10.668 km asl - Above Sea Level), To just over 500 ft. Assuming an increased rate of acceleration, The further the plane descends, Not even superman could rectify that situation, Conscious or not.

    I mean, Come on...Do you REALLY think that, With an ambitious storyline and idea that this series has, That the writers wouldnt do every last bit of research humanly possible, Before writing in minute details like planes plowing nose first into runways, highways etc?

    You don't need to capitalize the letter following a comma. It took forever to read your post because of that. Perhaps it's because it's late and I can't see clearly, but I couldn't tell where a sentence started and where it stopped.

    I kept forging through it, though, because I was really interested in what you had to say.

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    igotbupkis

    [17]Oct 23, 2009
    • member since: 06/26/05
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    Razor1978_2 wrote:
    Planes crash into mountains when there's no blackout, so they could during the Flashfoward as well. There would have been planes taking off and landing during the blackout. Whilst autopilot can land planes, it needs to be activated much earlier than when they've almost landed, and it can't take planes off at all. If auto-pilot could do everything then there would be no need for pilots.

    Really? You going to trust your life to a machine someone else programmed? Esp. one that's running Windows?

    ummhaniyyah wrote:
    The question is necessary because the destroyed planes shown at the Seattle airport look crashed, not as if they've collided into on another.

    From what I saw, it looked as though most of the crashes were between taxiing planes -- in most cases the wreckage showed skid marks as though the planes may have been stalled in position but perhaps the pilots falling forward onto the controls pushed them ahead in defiance of their brakes, into the paths of other taxiing planes (or off the runways) and/or in some cases it was clear they'd crashed into the terminals.

    If everyone was unconscious during the crash, in many cases it may have been adequate to kill most of the people involved.

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    Kromdale

    [18]Oct 23, 2009
    • member since: 11/03/06
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    The only question I have is the Capitol building shot with damage. I thought that area was a no fly zone? If a helicoptor or plane can fly 2 mins from their normal route to the capitol building and hit it, that seems like a short window for responders to react if someone wants to do another attack from the air.
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    haldrey

    [19]Oct 23, 2009
    • member since: 02/23/08
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    All valid questions, but hey this science fiction after all, the only thing that this sci fi is filled with big holes in it.
    Edited on 10/24/2009 7:40am
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