A bad day at the aerodrome

It seems a charter Boeing 707 tanker didn’t quite go flying this afternoon. Three crew aboard safely exited once the beast came to a stop, which is decidedly a miracle. A big old bird full of gas isn’t something one disassembles on takeoff and walks away from. Not most days. From this seasoned inexpert observer it would appear that power was lost in one of the left wing’s engines, causing (say it with me) a drift to the left, resulting in a splashy and abrupt stop in one of Pt. Mugu’s many ponds.

Thinking out loud here, that landing in the water must have doused the engines to cool them sufficiently to suppress a total conflagration. Remember the fire triangle: Heat, Fuel, Oxygen. Remove one and the fire is out. Yes, there was fire, but not like there could have been.

Another observation: Point Mugu’s runway 03/21 is a little over eleven thousand feet long. At about the point where one has three thousand feet remaining, and off to the left side about three hundred feet, is the weapons revetments area. Seven lanes for parking aircraft, eight foot high concrete walls separating the lanes, a concrete block house at the mid-point, and an eight foot high jet blast deflector. Oh and a basketball hoop. Got the picture? Good.

Now, the tanker came to rest approximately two thousand feet beyond the revetments, on a line roughly parallel to the block house. Still with me? Cool. Now, here’s the deal. Fully loaded tankers don’t skid to a stop in two thousand feet in marshy terrain, which means the crew did a ret fine job of avoiding the revetments. Had they not, we’d be reading a story with a less satisfactory ending.

I, for one, am thankful the story ended as it did. As they say, any landing you can walk away from ain’t so bad.

Oh, and that marshy pond? Stinky with duck poop. That had to be fun wading through at a mad dash.

About Mongo
Mongo only pawn in game of life.

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