The most spectacular emergency landings ever
Unfortunately, as with any form of transportation, accidents do happen in aviation. However, over the past few decades there have been remarkable piloting feats that have saved the lives of hundreds of passengers as an emergency and potentially fatal disaster loomed on the horizon.
Here we take a look at the most infamous and heroic emergency landings.
US Airways lands on the Hudson River
Perhaps the most well-documented and infamous emergency landings are those of the heroism of Captain Chesley Sullenberger. After taking off from LaGuardia on January 15, 2009, the US Airways A320 struck a large herd of Canada geese, losing all power to its engine.
The pilots’ quick thinking meant they ditched the plane in the Hudson River off downtown Manhattan, saving all 155 lives on board.
DHL A300 lands safely after missile strike
In November 2003, a heavy DHL A300 was leaving Baghdad airport when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile at 8,000 feet. Within a minute of impact, the aircraft had lost all three hydraulic systems, which meant that the flaps, spoilers, ailerons and rudder were all inoperative.
With the left wing on fire, the pilots skillfully used the “thrust vector” to successfully maneuver the aircraft using power from the reciprocating engine. In an incredible feat of impromptu learning and control of the aircraft by this means, after an unsuccessful landing attempt, the crew was able to land, only to then discover that the Baghdad runway was surrounded by a field of mines not cleaned.
The plane had only eight minutes of flight time until the fire had completely burned the wing, it was estimated.
Air Canada flight 143 runs out of fuel
Now known as the “Gimli Glider”, the new state-of-the-art 767-200 flew from Montreal to Edmonton on July 23, 1983. ran out of gas.
The reason was that the aircraft was refueled in error in metric units that the crew mistook for gallons, as well as a faulty fuel quantity indication system.
Surprisingly, Captain Robert Pearson was a glider pilot and quickly put the giant 767-200 into optimal glide mode in order to maximize the flight distance to get the aircraft to hover in Winnipeg within range. Even luckier, First Officer Maurice Quintal had already been stationed at Gimli Air Base and knew that airstrip was even closer.
With only the power of the dynamic air turbine (RAT) to control the speed of the aircraft during landing, a miraculous emergency landing occurred where the collapse of the nose landing gear caused the The plane came to a stop and avoided any casualties.
LOT Polish Airlines 767 lands without landing gear
On November 1, 2011, a LOT Polish Airlines 767 made an emergency landing without landing gear after a flight from Newark, USA to Warsaw, Poland. A hydraulic leak means that the main landing gear could not be deployed. Although the crew received a warning 30 minutes after the start of the flight, they continued the flight normally to burn off the heavy fuel load. It was not until the landing approach, when the landing gear did not deploy, that it was realized that the aircraft would land without wheels.
Attempts to lower the landing gear by other means failed, and the aircraft spun for an hour to burn off excess fuel. The crew made a successful landing with the wheels up which saved the lives of the 231 people on board.