It is normal for an airliner to descend at a rate of 2,700 feet per minute? This flight was reported in the media to have been off-course and had to avoid a mid-air collision and had flight attendant injuries.
If it is the story I am thinking of, nobody was off course. The 737 saw a light aircraft while on the initial approach to BUR and took evasive action. The flight attendants were not sitting down yet.
2500-3000 FPM at altitudes above 10,000 ft. is about right.
Info about the flight…
Accident: Southwest B737 at Burbank on Feb 13th 2010, TCAS resolution
By Simon Hradecky, created Tuesday, Feb 16th 2010 18:43Z, last updated Wednesday, Feb 24th 2010 20:47Z
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, registration N221WN performing flight WN-2534 from Las Vegas,NV to Burbank,CA (USA) with 80 passengers and 5 crew, was on approach to Burbank’s runway 08 descending from 8000 to 6000 feet, when the flight crew responded to a Traffic and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) Resolution Advisory (RA). At the same time ATC advised of a traffic at 5900 feet which should be no factor. The crew visually picked the traffic up a few moments later reporting they had already responded to a RA and continued for a safe landing on runway 08.
The FAA reported in their preliminaries, that as a result of the avoidance maneouver two cabin crew members received injuries. One received serious, the other minor injuries.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said, that the Southwest Airlines flight crew responded to a TCAS RA with a small private aircraft at 6000 feet about 20nm from Burbank requiring the Southwest Airlines to increase their descent, the minimum lateral distance between the aircraft on diverging trajectories was roughly 2nm. Subsequently the airplane climbed back to 6000 feet. A flight attendant fractured her shoulder, another flight attendant received bruises.
Southwest Airlines reported, that both flight attendants were taken to a local hospital and could already be released after treatment.
The NTSB have initiated an investigation into the accident.
On Feb 24th the NTSB reported, that the Boeing 737 was approaching 6000 feet MSL when the TCAS issued a RA. The crew initiated a descent of about 1500-2000 fpm and subsequently a climb of 1500-2000 fpm. The passengers were all seated with seat belt fastened, the three flight attendants were standing in the aft galley preparing for arrival. One flight attendant received serious, the other minor injuries.
Just to be clear, the 2700 FPM decent happened while out of approximately 18,000 Ft. which would put them about 20 miles east of Palmdale on the Lynxx 8 arrival . The TCAS RA would have been over the west end of the San Fernando Valley on either on radar vectors or a visual base leg for runway 8 west of Van Nuys. Since the Flight Aware data only updates once a minute the RA is not seen on the tracklog.