There’s no such thing as a safe emergency airplane landing, especially if it has to land on water. But some gifted pilots can do wonders with their metal-winged birds, even if those birds are huge airliners with lots of people on board! Here, I’ll tell you about 4 times airplanes landed on the water without any major injuries to the passengers.
Landing a plane on water has its own special term now. It’s called ditching, and this task is one of the hardest for pilots. Period. Mainly because it’s almost impossible to train pilots to deal with this situation. Especially if we’re talking about 1956, when there were no training simulations available.
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 1:17
The Pan Am Flight 6 1:40
The Tupolev Tu-124 4:12
Airbus A320 of US Airways (Miracle of the Hudson) 6:56
– Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a huge liner with 4 engines – one of the first airplanes with a pressurized cabin and double-deck feature! With this double-deck, it could take up to 100 passengers on board. But on this day, October 16, 1956, there were only 24 passengers and 7 members of the aircrew on the plane.
– The Pan Am Flight 6 was supposed to be an around-the-world flight with several stops along the way. This was its last take-off from Honolulu before arriving at the destination point in San Francisco. Unfortunately, at the half-way point, when the plane was climbing in altitude, one of the Boeing’s engines violated its speed limit and stopped. Slowly but surely, the plane started to get closer to the sea, unable to keep the altitude. It didn’t help that another engine, engine number 4, also started to malfunction. But still, pilots managed to distribute the workload to the three remaining engines and keep an altitude of 5,000 ft.
– In the summer of 1963. The Tupolev Tu-124 airplane with 52 people on board was circling around in the skies above Saint Petersburg, Russia, trying to find a way to ditch on the Neva River.
Problems with this flight began immediately after the plane took off in Tallinn. The front gear of the plane wasn’t able to retract, but the Tupolev couldn’t turn back to Tallinn – the weather was too foggy for that. As the flight was supposed to end in Moscow, the closest place to land safely along the way was in Saint Petersburg.
– And, the record holder for the number of people on board a ditching plane – Airbus A320 of US Airways, Flight 1549. Also known as the “Miracle of the Hudson” Flight. It happened 10 years ago, on January 15.
The cause of this would-be catastrophic event was nothing more than a flock of geese which struck the engines. But thanks to the mastery of the Airbus’ pilots, and ingenuity of its construction, the 155 people on board remained uninjured.
#landingwater #planecrash #brightside
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