A Cessna Citation Encore CE560 landing in snow showers at the St. Louis Cahokia Downtown airport KCPS. We’re landing after the heavier snow showers have moved off. The white flashes you can see on the windshield are individual snow flakes hitting the windshield at 135 mph. Flying in snow can create a couple of problems. If the runway is snow covered it increases our stopping distance and with a strong cross wind can create control problems on the runway. The other problem is an inflight issue of precipitation static. When flying through snow the aircraft can accumulate a static charge on the airframe faster than the static wicks can dissipate it. When this happens the radios pick up a loud static which can make them unusable till the static discharges.
N288FE a FedEx Boeing 727-200 cargo jet named Michelle, is stuck in the mud at Cahokia Airport. This retired three engine cargo jet, built in 1979 was first operated by Ozark Airlines, then Pan Am, and eventually was converted to a freight hauler and operated by Federal Express. When fedEx retired it from service in May of 2013 they donated it to the St Louis Downtown Cahokia Airport for Fire Fighter training. Its final flight was to CPS where it was left by its three man crew. Later, as it was being towed to the northwest corner of the airport, it sank into a muddy field. At an empty weight of 98,400 lbs the soft ground it was being moved on to could not support the aircraft weight. It came to rest with the main landing gear sunk in the field and the nose gear resting on a city street. In the video A hawk is perched on one of the main wheels seemingly assessing the fate of this poor old bird. A week later and after some digging, the wheels of this airplane were pushed on to sheets of plywood and it was pushed further into the field to clear the road. Boeing built 1,831 of these aircraft which served as both passenger and cargo jets.
N288FE Boeing 727-2D4
Power Plant 3 Pratt and Whitney JT8D-15 engines
15,500 lbs Thrust each
Maximum Takeoff Weight 184,800 lbs
Empty Weight 98,400 lbs
Maximum Fuel Capacity 8,090 gal
Maximum range 1,700 nm
Maximum Cruise speed 0.9 Mach
Service ceiling 42,000 feet
Length 153 ft 2 in
Wing Span 108 feet