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1 1st February 12:25
mxsmanic
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


After watching _Cast Away_ again, I'm still not clear on what supposedly
caused the crash of his FedEx plane. Not being a pilot, though, perhaps
I've missed clues in the film. Has anyone here been able to figure out
what went wrong? Or was it just a "Hollywood crash" suitable for the
plot but with no plausible basis in fact?

Some of the things I'm wondering:

1. The aircraft seems to be stuck in rough weather, but what kind of
rough weather would cause a sudden decompression?

2. Assuming the aircraft was at cruising altitude, how much rough
weather can there be? I know that cloudtops can go a lot higher, but
how hard can they be to avoid? The weather radar aboard shows
something, but I don't know how to interpret weather radar.

3. When the cabin decompresses, everyone puts on oxygen masks, but only
seconds later they don't seem to need them anymore. I calculate that
getting from 35,000 feet to 10-15,000 feet would require flying straight
down at almost the speed of sound in order to make the descent in the
time shown in the movie. I can see why there might be some structural
damage upon returning to level flight!

4. I see red lights in the ****pit that look like a sign of engine
trouble, but I don't know enough about that ****pit to say for sure.
Comments?

5. The pilots are talking a bit and communicating by radio, but one
can't make out what they are saying (although they are going through
checklists, which might be significant). Has anyone figured out what
they are doing?

6. What sort of turbofan continues to run after being partially
submerged in saltwater?

7. What sort of jet engine develops spooky flames inside the compressor
section and behind the bypass fan after being dunked in saltwater?

8. What happened to all the fuel on the jet? Why isn't it floating and
burning? It seems to be only slightly less buoyant than mercury in the
film, and apparently goes down with the ship.

9. How can a jet engine that is apparently the size of a small suburban
home explode without spraying shrapnel into the hapless crash survivor
floating in a raft only a few feet away?

FWIW, the IMDB already points out that the attitude indicator in the
aircraft actually shows a gentle climb at the moment that it is
supposedly diving towards the ocean.

I had a dream last night that I crashed aboard an Airbus 230 jet. (Never
heard of the 230? Neither had I, before having this dream, but it sure
was roomy.) The aircraft descended several times to within only two
metres of the ground (I remember looking out the giant picture windows
at the front of the cabin and seeing this), before it somehow
instantaneously gained altitude and then plunged directly into a field
that looked a lot like those little wooden houses in old versions of
Monopoly. Anyway, I woke up then, and found myself thinking about
technical anomalies in the above-named film.

--
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2 1st February 12:26
cub driver
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


I don't think you were in an Airbus. I think you were in the passenger
version of the Northrop Flying Wing. See if I'm not right:

http://www.warbirdforum.com/paxwing.htm


all the best -- Dan Ford
email: pipercubforum@eudoramail.com (put CUB in subject line)

see the Warbird's Forum at http://www.warbirdforum.com
and the Piper Cub Forum at http://www.pipercubforum.com
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3 1st February 12:26
roger long
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


It's crystal clear what happened. Hollywood script writer needed to get
good looking nice guy onto desert island. Do you expect anything else to be
remotely plausible?

There are exceptions. I've been in the marine business for 30 years,
designed ships and done flooding and strength calculations on them. I've
also participated in accident investigations. I watched the whole of
"Titanic" without seeing a single fact out of place. The director was
stunningly compulsive. He didn't do "Castaway" though.

--
Roger Long
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4 1st February 12:26
michael nouak
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


Northrop's bird never made it to the flying stage (too bad) so it must have
been a Junkers G. 38:

http://www.planefacts.co.uk/cards/german/pages/junkers_g38_jpg.htm

Mike

"Cub Driver" <pipercubforum@eudoramail.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:nrkhqvc0nheeq3bmeqb77skim4sjpfmfmr@4ax.com...
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5 1st February 12:26
chuck
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


Where is the ****pit in the flying wing?
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6 1st February 12:26
ash wyllie
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


Mxsmanic opined

Insert Hollywood into each answer space.


-ash
for assistance dial MYCROFT***
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7 1st February 12:26
richard russell
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


It's a movie, not a do***entary! By the way, the attitude indicator
does not indicate a "climb", it indicates a nose-up attitude. Every
time I land I have a nose-up attitude while I decent gently to the
runway. The altimeter or vertical speed indicator would indicate a
climb.
Rich Russell
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8 1st February 12:27
c j campbell
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


The first thing you have to understand about Hollywood is that the laws of
physics in most movies come from an alternate universe. Bullets flash when
they strike metal (and sometimes even wood!). Laser beams are visible for
all to see. People can outrun shock waves that are traveling at the speed of
sound and reach tiny crevices that will shelter them from all the buses and
vehicles being swept along by the shock wave.

Hollywood applies a great deal of poetic license to just about everything in
order to move the plot along, make the story more interesting and exciting,
and increase the atmosphere that the director is trying to project. The
MAC-10 always fires more bullets than it can possibly hold, Steve McQueen's
car has an infinite number of hubcaps that can fly off of it, Indiana Jones
never loses his hat, etc. James Bond's invisible Aston Martin can magically
repair itself and for some reason the anti-skid mechanism that is standard
on this car does not work in the movie so that the car can go sliding all
over a frozen lake.

Nevertheless, the movies do attempt to maintain a kind of internal
consistency.

The movie begins with the unlikely separation of Noland from all the things
that he normally carries, including his Swiss Army Knife.

Chuck Noland's plane has diverted far to the south to avoid unusually severe
thunderstorms, but is caught in them anyway. The load begins to shift and
some of it punches through the fuselage wall, causing an explosive
decompression and damaging several control systems. The airplane descends
rapidly to 10,000 feet as the pilots fight for control of the aircraft. The
rapid descent, hail, and shrapnel from the damaged fuselage could all
explain the engine failures. This descent is compressed in time to prevent
the audience from becoming bored with the scene.

I can believe the load shifting and causing a decompression because I have
seen this happen to friends of mine. They lived, but were hospitalized for
six months.

Time compression is necessary in almost all Hollywood movies. It can happen
on a larger scale, as in "Braveheart," where William Wallace's campaigns are
compressed to a very short time, or on extremely small scales, such as the
descent of the Shuttle in "Space Cowboys." There is time expansion as well;
for example the approaching shock wave of an explosion is often shown in
slow motion.

Once Noland's aircraft ditches the pilots are fatally injured by the impact,
but Noland is unhurt and is not crushed by the rest of the cargo which
almost certainly would have come loose in such a crash. Noland struggles
with the survival kit and finally breaks free to the surface where he is
nearly immolated by flaming fuel and almost killed by the shrapnel from the
turbine engine which is still spooling down. Noland is 'lucky' in the same
sense that the bad guys always miss when shooting at the action hero.

Although Noland should be completely covered with burns from the interaction
of jet fuel with water, he is virtually unharmed when he is washed up on
shore of his island. The island is uninhabited, but just so happens to have
all the necessary ingredients for survival.

Although Noland is alone on the island for years, he does not go crazy or
commit suicide. The harsh truth is that virtually all survivors in his
situation will do both within a few months. Man truly cannot live alone.
However, there have been some notable exceptions, so we can allow that
Noland may be one of these extremely strong-willed individuals, deriving
enough needed companionship from the picture of his girlfriend and from
Wilson. Noland also survives, against all odds, several fatal mistakes,
including a severe injury on a coral reef.
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9 2nd February 22:44
dan luke
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Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


And my two favorites: explosions five miles away are heard at the same
instant they are seen, and vessels in space make a "whoosh" sound as
they go by.
--
Dan
C172RG at BFM
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10 2nd February 22:44
mxsmanic
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Posts: 1
Default What really happened to Chuck Noland's plane


Chuck writes:

****pit?? Hmm ... so _that's_ why it flew so poorly! Those careless
engineers--always forgetting _something_!

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