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Today in Aviation: The Gimli Glider

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Today in Aviation marks 37 years to the day since Air Canada (AC) Flight 143, also known as The Gimli Glider, landed safely in Gimli, Manitoba after a double engine failure. (airwaysmag.com) Mehr...

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Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 1
All because of the two “dripsticks” in the cockpit?
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 2
Is that correct ? I was under the impression the problem was a French-Canadian refueller loaded litres instead of gallons of fuel and an experienced glider pilot in the cockpit saved the day.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 2
Kind of. The fueller and the flight crew used the wrong conversion factor when trying to figure out how much fuel to add to get to the required total trip fuel. We get pretty good at converting pounds/gallons but litres to kilograms and back we new to just about everybody in North America.

A floatstick check indicated that there were 7,682 litres (1,690 imp gal; 2,029 US gal) already in the tanks. To calculate how much more fuel had to be added, the crew needed to convert the volume (litres) in the tanks to a mass (kilograms), subtract that figure from a required total of 22,300 kg and convert the result back into a volume. In previous times, this task would have been completed by a flight engineer, but the 767 was the first of a new generation of airliners that flew with only a pilot and co-pilot. Nobody’s perfect.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 1
ooops, “were new to”
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 1
Hi Highflyer,

Thanks for the clear explanation. It's much appreciated.

All that I had known of the incident was focussed on the flight crew's decision making, finding, gliding to, and landing on, the drag strip, but the details on the reason for the fuel exhaustion were sketchy.

This helps in understanding and the added element about that the fuel calculations were formerly the Flight Engineer's responsibility clarifies things even more.

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