19 February 1986: The core module of the Mir space station (DOS-7) (Dolgovremennaya Orbitalnaya Stanziya) was launched from Site 200 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Proton 8K82K rocket. This was the first section of the space station. It consisted of living quarters and environmental systems, engines, and four air locks to which additional modules would be attached.
The Mir was unmanned when it was placed in low Earth orbit. The first two-man crew arrived 15 March 1986 and began bringing the space station systems online. The first expedition stayed aboard for 51 days.
The Mir Core Module was 13.13 meters (43.077 feet) long with a diameter of 4.15 meters (13.616 feet). The solar arrays had a span of 20.73 meters (68.012 feet). The habitable volume of the module was 90 cubic meters (3,178 cubic feet). At launch it had a mass of 20,400 kilograms (44,974.3 pounds).
The Proton 8K82K was a four-stage liquid-fueled heavy lift rocket. The first stage, Proton K-1, was 21.20 meters (69.554 feet) long with a diameter of 4.15 meters (13.616 feet). Fully fueled, it had a mass of 450,510 kilograms (993,205 pounds). It carried enough hypergolic fuel to power the six RD-253 engines for 124 seconds, producing 67,821.2 kiloNewtons (15,246,812 pounds) of thrust. The second stage, Proton K-2, was 14.00 meters (45.932 feet) long, with the same diameter as the first stage. Its fully-fueled mass was 167,828 kilograms (369,997 pounds). Its four RD-0210 engines burned for 206 seconds, producing 9,596.8 kiloNewtons (2,157,447 pounds) of thrust. The Proton K-3 stage was 6.50 meters (21.326 feet) long, and again, had a diameter of 4.15 meters. The gross mass of the third stage was 50,747 kilograms (111,878 pounds). The single RD-0212 engine burned for 238 seconds, producing 630.2 kiloNewtons (141,675 pounds) of thrust. The final, fourth stage, Proton 11S824, was 5.50 meters (18.045 feet) long with a diameter of 3.70 meters (12.139 feet). Gross mass was 13,360 kilograms (29,454 pounds). It had a single RD-58M engine which burned liquid oxygen and kerosene. It produced 85.02 kiloNewtons (19,113 pounds) of thrust for 610 seconds.
The Proton 8K82K could place a 20,000 kilogram (44,092 pound) payload into low Earth orbit. The rocket was first launched in 1965 and was used until 2003. More than 300 of them were launched.
The Mir space station was continually expanded. It was occupied for 4,592 consecutive days. It remained in orbit until 23 March 2001.
19 February 1985: At 10:16 a.m., Pacific Standard Time, while enroute from Taipei, Republic of China, to Los Angeles, California, China Airlines’ Flight 006 (call sign “Dynasty Six”), a Boeing 747SP-09, FAA registration N4522V, was cruising at 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), 300 nautical miles (556 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco, California. It had a crew of 23 with 251 passengers. The airliner had a flight crew of five under command of Captain Min-Yuan Ho, with a co-pilot and flight engineer, as well as a relief captain and flight engineer, due to the length of the trans-Pacific flight.
The Number 4 engine, the outboard engine on the airplane’s right wing, a Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A turbofan, refused to respond with the other engines as the throttles were advanced, and it “hung” and remained at a low power level. It did not flame out, as the crew believed. The crew attempted restart procedures, however they did so incorrectly.
The airliner’s autopilot was engaged and the aircraft began to yaw and bank because of the asymmetric thrust. The copilot, First Officer Ju Yu Chang, used full opposite aileron to stop the roll, but neither pilot or copilot applied any rudder inputs to correct the yaw. (It was later determined that they believed, incorrectly, that the autopilot controlled rudder position.)
The airplane departed controlled flight, rolled over and dived. It lost 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) of altitude before the crew was able to recover, however the airplane was severely damaged, with bent wings, a damaged left aileron, lost parts of its elevators and horizontal stabilizers and damaged landing gear doors. It had experienced acceleration forces as high as 4.8 Gs as it descended through 30,552 feet (9,312 meters) and a peak 5.1 Gs at 19,083 feet (5,816 meters).
Of the 287 persons on board, 24 were injured. Two were seriously hurt and the flight diverted to San Francisco. The 747SP was substantially damaged. It was nearly two years before repairs completed.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigation made the following findings:
1. The flightcrew was properly certificated and qualified.
2. The changing airspeeds encountered by Flight 006 and the resultant compensating throttle adjustments were caused by wind speed variations.
3. The No. 4 engine did not flame out, but “hung” at about 1.0 EPR.
4. During his attempt to recover the No. 4 engine, the flight engineer did not close the bleed air valve switch before advancing the No. 4 throttle.
5. The other three engines did not lose thrust nor did they flame out.
6. The captain did not disengage the autopilot in a timely manner after thrust was lost on the No. 4 engine. The autopilot effectively masked the approaching onset of the loss of control of the airplane.
7. The captain was distracted from his flight monitoring duties by his participation with the flight engineer in the evaluation of the No. 4 engine’s malfunction.
8. With the exception of the loss of thrust on the No. 4 engine, no other airplane malfunction affected the performance of the airplane; the loss of thrust on the No. 4 engine did not contribute to the accident.
9. The captain was also distracted by his attempts to arrest the airplane’s decreasing airspeed, and this also contributed to his failure to detect the airplane’s increasing bank angle.
10. The lateral control deflections required to maintain level flight under conditions of thrust asymmetry and decreasing airspeed exceeded the limits of the autopilot’s lateral control authority, causing the airplane to roll and yaw to the right. The captain lost control of the airplane when, after disengaging the autopilot, he failed to make the proper flight control corrections to recover the airplane.
11. The damage to the airplane was a result of the acceleration forces and high airspeeds that occurred during the upset and recovery maneuvers.
3.2 Probable Cause
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain’s preoccupation with an inflight malfunction and his failure to monitor properly the airplane’s flight instruments which resulted in his losing control of the airplane.
Contributing to the accident was the captain’s over-reliance on the autopilot after the loss of thrust on the No. 4 engine.
The captain had not slept during his previous rest period and his tiredness was considered a factor in this incident.
The Boeing 747SP (“Special Performance”) is a very long range variant of the 747-100 series airliners. It has a shorter fuselage and larger tail surface than the standard model. The weight savings allows it to carry more fuel for longer flights, and it is also faster. Boeing built 45 747SPs.
The 747SP is 184 feet, 9 inches (56.312 meters) long, with a wingspan of 195 feet, 8 inches (59.639 meters). It has an overall height of 65 feet, 10 inches (20.066 meters). It has a maximum takeoff weight of 670,000 pounds.
The airliner has a cruising speed of 0.88 Mach (616 miles per hour, or 991 kilometers per hour) and a maximum speed of 0.92 Mach (680 knots, 1,094 kilometers per hour). The service ceiling is 45,100 feet (13,746 meters) and the range is 7,650 miles (12,311 kilometers), carrying 276 passengers and baggage. The fuel capacity is 47,210 gallons. (178,709 liters).
Boeing 747 SP N4522V (serial number 22805, line number 564) made its first flight 10 June 1982. It was leased to China Airlines by the Wilmington Trust Company, 15 June 1982 and delivered 29 June 1982.
Following the Flight 006 incident, the airliner was repaired by Boeing and returned to service 25 April 1985. It was leased to Mandarin Airlines from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 1997, then placed in storage at Las Vegas, Nevada.
On 18 December 2001, N4522V was purchased by Global Peace Initiative Inc. The FAA suspended its operating certificate 18 July 2005 for lack of proper maintenance. The airplane has been stored at Tijuana International Airport (TIJ), just south of the U.S./Mexico border, since 16 December 2005.
The FAA registration of N4522V expired 31 December 2016.
19 February 1982: At Renton Municipal Airport, Boeing test pilots John H. Armstrong and Samuel Lewis (“Lew”) Wallick, Jr., made the first flight of the prototype Model 757 airliner, FAA registration N757A, serial number 22212. A problem with the number 2 engine (mounted on the right wing) required an air restart during the flight. The prototype landed at Paine Field, Everett, Washington, after 2 hours, 31 minutes.
Initially considered as an improved Boeing 727, the company determined that it was more economical to design an entirely new airplane. Along with the Model 767, which was developed concurrently, it was the first airliner produced with a “glass cockpit,” in which data is displayed on electronic screens rather than mechanical instruments.
The Boeing 757-200 is a twin-engine, medium-sized airliner intended for short or medium length routes. It is operated by two pilots and can carry up to 239 passengers.
The 757-200 is 155 feet, 3 inches (47.320 meters) long, with a wingspan of 124 feet, 10 inches (38.049 meters) and overall height of 44 feet, 6 inches (13.564 meters). The airliner has an empty weight of 127,520 pounds (57,842 kilograms) and a maximum takeoff weight of 255,000 pounds (115,666 kilograms).
The prototype was powered by two Rolls-Royce RB.211-535C turbofan engines. This is a three-spool engine using a single-stage fan, 12-stage compressor (6 intermediate- and 6 high-pressure stages), an annular combustor section, and a 5-stage turbine (1 high-, 1 intermediate- and 3 low-pressure stages). The RB.211-535C is rated at 37,400 pounds of thrust (166.36 kilonewtons). It is 9 feet, 10.5 inches (3.010 meters) long with a maximum diameter of 6 feet, 1.2 inches (1.859 meters) and weighs 7,294 pounds (3,594 kilograms).
Production aircraft were available with either Rolls-Royce RB.211-535E or Pratt & Whitney PW2037 engines, with thrust as high as 43,734 pounds (194.54 kilonewtons) per engine.
The Boeing 757 has a cruise speed of 0.8 Mach (530 miles per hour, or 853 kilometers per hour) at 35,000 feet (10,668 meters). The service ceiling is 42,000 feet (12,802 meters). Its maximum range is 4,718 nautical miles (7,593 kilometers).
The Model 757 was produced from 1981 to 2004 in both passenger and freighter variants, or a combination. 1,050 Boeing 757s were built.
The first 757, N757A, remains in service with Boeing. The airplane has been radically modified as an electronics test bed.
19 February 1912: The lighter-than-air rigid airship (luftschiff) LZ 11, Viktoria Luise, made its first flight. The Zeppelin was named for Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, daughter of Kaiser Wilhem II, and granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
LZ 11 and its sistership, LZ 13 Hansa, were G-class passenger airships, operated by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (DELAG).
During World War I, LZ 11 was used by the German Navy as a training ship. It was damaged beyond repair while being placed in its hangar, 1 October 1915.