# Theoretical plane crash question

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Say you run out of fuel & bail out. You're in the desert, you have a compass that you know how to use. Once you land, could you find your plane, if you were so inclined?

Here's a map of the scenario I'm thinking of.

If you were a pilot, would you know that the plane was going to curve like that? Could you calculate that curve well enough to find the plane at least w/in a day or two?

Or would the plane maybe have touched down close enough to your path to see its print & then follow that?

Dh says no way. :bigear:

Edited by Aubrey
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Say you run out of fuel & bail out. You're in the desert, you have a compass that you know how to use. Once you land, could you find your plane, if you were so inclined?

Here's a map of the scenario I'm thinking of.

If you were a pilot, would you know that the plane was going to curve like that? Could you calculate that curve well enough to find the plane at least w/in a day or two?

OrwWould the plane maybe have touched down close enough to your path to see its print & then follow that?

Dh says no way. :bigear:

I would be dead in the desert. :tongue_smilie:

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I would be dead in the desert. :tongue_smilie:

:lol:

Me, too.

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Probably. I'm assuming bailing is a slower process than crashing so I'd probably watch the plane go down and see the general direction of the crash.

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I tend to agree with your husband.

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Professionals with all of that knowledge and better equipment have been unable to find downed planes.

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What was the plane's altitude when they bailed? I'm thinking if it was low enough and fairly steady, it would have skidded instead of nose-dived, and possibly be covered with sand so you probably couldn't even see it. I suppose if I were the pilot I would at least TRY to get back to the plane before attempting to walk for days. I would know we were very far from water (again, I'm the pilot so I know maps) so I'd attempt to get back to the radio and some form of shelter, even if it is crumpled shelter. Would I be successful? Meh. Stranger things have happened. It would really depend. Does the author want me to find it? ;)

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What was the plane's altitude when they bailed? I'm thinking if it was low enough and fairly steady, it would have skidded instead of nose-dived, and possibly be covered with sand so you probably couldn't even see it. I suppose if I were the pilot I would at least TRY to get back to the plane before attempting to walk for days. I would know we were very far from water (again, I'm the pilot so I know maps) so I'd attempt to get back to the radio and some form of shelter, even if it is crumpled shelter. Would I be successful? Meh. Stranger things have happened. It would really depend. Does the author want me to find it? ;)

I don't think it was covered w/ sand when they found it 20yrs later. The pilot didn't have a map & didn't know where he was--they thought they were bailing out over the Mediterranean.

I know it would probably have been dumb to go look for it, but IF they did--any chance of finding it, given that curve it took at the end? I mean, it looks small on the map, but I've wandered around a teeny parking lot w/out finding my car, lol, so I dunno.

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Professionals with all of that knowledge and better equipment have been unable to find downed planes.

That's basically what dh says, & I can see how search & rescue wouldn't find it. But the pilot probably couldn't find it, either?

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Probably. I'm assuming bailing is a slower process than crashing so I'd probably watch the plane go down and see the general direction of the crash.

I suggested this, too, but it was after midnight over the Sahara, & a sandstorm had just died down.

Their altitude at bailout was around 3600'. I don't know if that's still above cloud cover or not, but dh said the chances of them being able to see which way it went are slim. :glare: Seems easy enough to me, but that's why I'm asking. :D

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I suggested this, too, but it was after midnight over the Sahara, & a sandstorm had just died down.

Their altitude at bailout was around 3600'. I don't know if that's still above cloud cover or not, but dh said the chances of them being able to see which way it went are slim. :glare: Seems easy enough to me, but that's why I'm asking. :D

Well, when you said they thought they were bailing over the Sea.... When did this happen? I suppose a lot of factors play into the ability to find the plane. The first being knowing precisely where one is when one jumps out of one's aircraft.

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The crew of the Lady Be Good bailed out just a little after midnight and the aircraft continued for over 15 miles before it crashed. One can trim an aircraft for level flight but when engines start to fail that will impact the trim. On a multi engined bomber, especially a B-24, the engines would not fail simultaneously so there would be thrust on one side but not the other causing even a well trimmed aircraft to turn. The crew could have no idea of the impact sight.

As the Lady Be Good was not found for a decade or so, getting back to the aircraft would not have done much good.

The radio on the aircraft remained intact but range from the surface would probably not have been much good.

Edited by pqr
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The crew of the Lady Be Good bailed out just a little after midnight and the aircraft continued for over 15 miles before it crashed. One can trim an aircraft for level flight but when engines start to fail that will impact the trim. On a multi engined bomber the engines would not fail simultaneously so there would be thrust on one side but not the other causing even a well trimmed aircraft to turn. The crew could have no idea of the impact sight.

As the Lady Be Good was not found for a decade or so, getting back to the aircraft would not have done much good.

The radio on the aircraft remained intact but range from the surface would probably not have been much good.

And here I thought Aubrey was writing a book! :tongue_smilie:

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The crew of the Lady Be Good bailed out just a little after midnight and the aircraft continued for over 15 miles before it crashed. One can trim an aircraft for level flight but when engines start to fail that will impact the trim. On a multi engined bomber the engines would not fail simultaneously so there would be thrust on one side but not the other causing even a well trimmed aircraft to turn. The crew could have no idea of the impact sight.

As the Lady Be Good was not found for a decade or so, getting back to the aircraft would not have done much good.

The radio on the aircraft remained intact but range from the surface would probably not have been much good.

I know it was years before the plane was found, but I was wondering if the radio could have done them any good--if there was even any chance they would have found it.

If not, I don't see how they could have been found, since search & rescue only looked 380m inland. But maybe it was lose-lose once they landed in the desert.

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Well, when you said they thought they were bailing over the Sea.... When did this happen? I suppose a lot of factors play into the ability to find the plane. The first being knowing precisely where one is when one jumps out of one's aircraft.

Well, that was the problem: they got lost, & then they ran out of fuel.

When: Do you want to know the year (1943), or the time of day (2AM)?

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The crew of the Lady Be Good bailed out just a little after midnight and the aircraft continued for over 15 miles before it crashed. One can trim an aircraft for level flight but when engines start to fail that will impact the trim. On a multi engined bomber, especially a B-24, the engines would not fail simultaneously so there would be thrust on one side but not the other causing even a well trimmed aircraft to turn. The crew could have no idea of the impact sight.

This is what I wanted to know--thank you for the explanation! :001_smile: I'd been looking at the map on the site you linked this morning, trying to figure out if a pilot could have predicted that & had even odds of finding it, or if it would have been a wild goose chase in the desert.

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If not, I don't see how they could have been found, since search & rescue only looked 380m inland. But maybe it was lose-lose once they landed in the desert.

The chances of survival once they bailed out were almost nill. We all know of the "miracle rescue" but when it happens it is a "miracle."

Other cases such as the Flight 19 Avengers also demonstrate the slim odds of survival when you crash/bail out in deserts or over water.

One of the greates survival stories is the F-27 crash in the Andes with the Uruguayan soccer team. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_Air_Force_Flight_571

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The chances of survival once they bailed out were almost nill. We all know of the "miracle rescue" but when it happens it is a "miracle."

Other cases such as the Flight 19 Avengers also demonstrate the slim odds of survival when you crash/bail out in deserts or over water.

One of the greates survival stories is the F-27 crash in the Andes with the Uruguayan soccer team. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_Air_Force_Flight_571

So do you think they were wrong to bail out? Or did it matter? It kind-of looks to me like once they were lost, they were dead men walking.

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I don't think it was covered w/ sand when they found it 20yrs later. The pilot didn't have a map & didn't know where he was--they thought they were bailing out over the Mediterranean.

I know it would probably have been dumb to go look for it, but IF they did--any chance of finding it, given that curve it took at the end? I mean, it looks small on the map, but I've wandered around a teeny parking lot w/out finding my car, lol, so I dunno.

I had never heard about this crash before. I didn't realize it was a real crash or I would not have been so flippant.

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So do you think they were wrong to bail out? Or did it matter? It kind-of looks to me like once they were lost, they were dead men walking.

When you are lost it is worth staying with the plane, I will not second guess the dead, especially men like these, but pilots are told to stay with the plane. That being said 400+ miles in the desert with a war raging (meaning that the military simply did not have the time, crews etc to search for too long) they probably had no chance whatever they did.

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I had never heard about this crash before. I didn't realize it was a real crash or I would not have been so flippant.

I'm sorry, that was probably my fault for not saying so & asking in a rather flippant way. My intention was just to find out about the landing, not details of the event itself. Since I was speculating, I was afraid the details might blur the issue. :001_huh:

Sorry.

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Oh you don't have to apologize! I just thought this was a hypothetical so when I looked at the map, I actually thought it was from a game and you and your dh were trying to figure out if you would have survived. :001_smile:

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If there's a traffic detour, I can't even find my way back home again unless my GPS says: "Re-Calculating."

So, no.

Navigation/a sense of direction is not my strong suit.

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