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Fast-moving Jeep fixes flying Cessna
September 17, 2005 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday morning in Florida, the landing gear on a student-piloted Cessna failed to lock into place. After the plane circled for an hour, the airport president drove a Jeep underneath the plane at 80 mph while his passenger took a stick and knocked the wheels into place. And that, as they say in the business, was caught on tape.
posted by Saucy Intruder (48 comments total)

 
A Hollywood solution — but whatever works ...
posted by bwg at 6:12 AM on September 17, 2005


I used to do this sort of thing all the time - before my diarrhea got the better of me.
posted by jikel_morten at 6:18 AM on September 17, 2005


Cool. I want to see it done with a 747 low on fuel!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:18 AM on September 17, 2005


that was pretty awesome, and reaffirms my irrational distrust of retractable landing gear in small aircraft.

this is the most positive story I've seen emerge from Florida in a long, long time.
posted by Busithoth at 6:21 AM on September 17, 2005


All hail the inanimate metal rod.
posted by cillit bang at 6:23 AM on September 17, 2005


the airport president drove a Jeep underneath the plane at 80 mph

Well, that's one President I can get behind.
posted by MoralAnimal at 6:28 AM on September 17, 2005


That's inanimate carbon rod.
posted by Talanvor at 6:31 AM on September 17, 2005


"We're all holding our hands up to show that, when around airplanes with spinning props, there is some danger of losing your fingers!"

posted by HuronBob at 6:37 AM on September 17, 2005


A very similar thing happened at St. Augustine airport in St. Augustine, FL several years ago. My neighbor had to reach up through the sunroof of a moving car and try to use his body weight (he's at least 300 lbs.) to try to unstick the front landing gear of a small plane.

I'll be damned if I can find the article, though.
posted by saladin at 6:41 AM on September 17, 2005


Once upon a time I served in Aviation Safety for a NATO Army. The story goes, that a few months before I joined, the CO of one of the maintenace companies got pissed that a chopper unit wouldn't send down a pilot to pick up one of the old OH-13 Siouxs that was over for maintenance. Now this major was ex-Special forces; the guy parachuted off planes and rappelled off choppers for fun. But he didn't know how to fly.

After a phone call too many with the unit that was supposed to pick up the OH-13, he snapped. Walked off to the airstrip, got into the chopper, and took off. That by itself is freaking amazing, as piloting a helicopter is hard, even more so if you have never been trained to fly it. So, anyways, he takes off, and heads out away from the base. At which point he realizes that he doesn't know how to land the chopper. So he radios back to his unit.

A few minutes later he was hovering over the airstrip and about a dozen guys jumped on the skis of the chopper and brought it down.

Manually.
posted by costas at 6:51 AM on September 17, 2005


"you wouldn't fly in a plane with a pilot who's never flown before...." Unintentionally funny advertisement at the end.

See West Wing's "Angel Maintenence" for fiction imitating life. In that case, the warning light was broken...on Air Force One.
posted by sdrawkcab at 7:19 AM on September 17, 2005


The guys on the ground had to have 100% faith in the pilot that he could maintain steady altitude.

Also, it's a good thing he had enough fuel that they could explore their options. Too often a pilot won't declare an emergency until it's too late.
posted by letitrain at 7:37 AM on September 17, 2005


Why is it that my state-of-the-art laptop cannot view this shitty embedded video? Is it because I'm a bad person, or is it just that video on the web is still a fucking pain in the ass.
posted by snoktruix at 7:39 AM on September 17, 2005


snoktruix , my bleeding edge fresh new Tiger g5 can't view it either, I'm not so curious as to check what kind of video it is (might be windows media or something I have yet to install).

Costas, I love that chopper story. Wow.
posted by dabitch at 7:44 AM on September 17, 2005


I want to see it done with a 747 low on fuel!

You got it. 405 - The Movie
posted by Lokheed at 7:52 AM on September 17, 2005


Busithoth: this is the most positive story I've seen emerge from Florida in a long, long time.

saladin: A very similar thing happened at St. Augustine airport in St. Augustine, FL several years ago.

One story like this is an amazing tale of one time when derring-do actually worked out well.

Two stories like this make me wonder what the hell is wrong with freaking Florida.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:55 AM on September 17, 2005



posted by JRun at 8:07 AM on September 17, 2005


This kind of thing seems to happen from time to time. I remember reading some article where it was a Mooney with gear problems and a bunch of guys speeding down the runway in an Audi. This may be the same story Saladin was thinking of; I couldn't find it either.

Also, the article says that the flight instructor on board was doing the flying.
posted by tss at 8:11 AM on September 17, 2005


My uncle in rural Iowa built acrobatic planes in his spare time. He came up with a trick where he'd land his Christian Eagle on top of a rack on an el camino his brother would drive. I've flown with him a few times.

Best Uncle Ever.
posted by toastchee at 8:24 AM on September 17, 2005


Also, the article says that the flight instructor on board was doing the flying.

I sure as shit hope so.
I took private lessons as well, and if this had been a solo flight, they would've talked him into a slow crash landing, I bet.
posted by Busithoth at 8:24 AM on September 17, 2005


Or would that be 'aerobatic' planes?
posted by toastchee at 8:24 AM on September 17, 2005


In a similiar vein perhaps a small aircraft could be used to free a stuck sun roof on an SUV
posted by archaic at 8:31 AM on September 17, 2005


I was really hoping it to say that the plane landed on the Jeep - using the car as landing gear. But that would have been impossible, right?
posted by handshake at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2005


Oh, crap...i guess I should have read all of the comments.
posted by handshake at 8:39 AM on September 17, 2005


I read that as "the president", as in our dear leader, and needless to say, was impressed by Bush's direct government. It's early.
posted by iamck at 8:49 AM on September 17, 2005


Americans are so awesome.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:18 AM on September 17, 2005


Land a plane on me once, shame on... well, land it again... umm, can't get landed again?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:24 AM on September 17, 2005


I have seen a video of this same thing on at least 2 or 3 of the random "amazing videos" shows that show up on TLC, Discovery, SpikeTV, etc...

Is this a newer one of the same thing happening? If not, these jeep guys should be yelled at by the MeFi police -- REPOST@#!$!@$
posted by twiggy at 9:58 AM on September 17, 2005


Two stories like this make me wonder what the hell is wrong with freaking Florida.

If this is going to happen it's going to happen in Florida, which has the densest concentration of aircraft in the U.S. Though Alaska has far more per capita.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:15 AM on September 17, 2005


In a similiar vein perhaps a small aircraft could be used to free a stuck sun roof on an SUV

Winner!
posted by jalexei at 10:45 AM on September 17, 2005


It would be "aerobatic" and it's a Christen Eagle.
posted by bz at 10:50 AM on September 17, 2005


tss writes "I remember reading some article where it was a Mooney with gear problems and a bunch of guys speeding down the runway in an Audi."


Is this what you're referring to?

(From The Oops List, where you'll also find other unsettling aeronautical images such as this, this, this and this.)
posted by kortez at 11:05 AM on September 17, 2005


now thats customer service!
posted by tsarfan at 11:05 AM on September 17, 2005


Or would that be 'aerobatic' planes?

Actually, both are correct. Acrobatic is more commonly used in the UK, and Aerobatic more commonly used in NA.
posted by Snowflake at 11:17 AM on September 17, 2005


Is this what you're referring to?

It might be, kortez, but we can't find out since the Oops list doesn't allow hotlinking (at least according to the error message I get when trying to click on any of those links).
posted by Snowflake at 11:19 AM on September 17, 2005


I don't know about the car, but that airplane's no Mooney, it's a Piper! Then again, my memory could be off.

(I had to copy the link to the clipboard, then paste it into the address bar to see the image.)
posted by tss at 11:29 AM on September 17, 2005


snoktruix: Video on the web is absolutely not a problem, nor is your laptop to blame. In this case (like all others) it's the fault of shitty web developers who have no idea what the fuck they're doing. Here's just a snippet of the source, which I gave up trying to manually decipher:
if(currentspeed == 'high') videoplayer.dimensions = videoplayer.highdimensions;
	else if(currentspeed == 'low') videoplayer.dimensions = videoplayer.lowdimensions;
	else videoplayer.dimensions = videoplayer.highdimensions;
	videoplayer.playlistURL = siteDomain + '/videofiles/' + videoplayer.videoid + '/playlist.asx?qs=t;speed=' + currentspeed;
	videoplayer.volume = (typeof crumbs['audiolevel'] != 'undefined')? crumbs['audiolevel'] : 50;
	slidecategory = videoplayer.category;
I mean, jesus.... next time just stab me in the eye.
posted by odinsdream at 11:54 AM on September 17, 2005


I thought that said the PRESIDENT drove the jeep. I almost shat my pants. Like the president of the US.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:00 PM on September 17, 2005


that oops page is a treasure trove of aeronautical mayhem.
I love it.
posted by Busithoth at 12:26 PM on September 17, 2005



posted by greatgefilte at 12:44 PM on September 17, 2005


it's an ASX video file which from what I gather does not play on Macs - even with Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 for Mac installed. why they couldn't use a more universal codec is beyond me...
posted by tu11ym0n at 2:43 PM on September 17, 2005


it's an ASX video file which from what I gather does not play on Macs - even with Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 for Mac installed. why they couldn't use a more universal codec is beyond me...

Whatever the hell it is it works on my 6 yr. OLD mac running panther. It played as an embedded windows media file.

oh, and it was moderately cool.
posted by Rawhide at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2005


I witnessed a pickup truck rescue of an airshow performer who fell from a plane while wing walking. He was dangling from 100 feet of rope, quickly getting hypothermic, so they drove a truck under him several times, eventually cutting him down. Pretty exciting.

Oddly enough, one of the guys in the truck, later flew into a power line and got stuck.
posted by rubin at 5:58 PM on September 17, 2005


odinsdream:

That's (almost) perfectly valid and comprehensible javascript.
posted by JohnnyB at 6:19 PM on September 17, 2005


But not very good javascript. The first three lines could be replaced with single assignment using the trinary (?:) operator. And it's not as if they weren't familiar with it since they use it in the fifth line.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:35 PM on September 17, 2005


Hilariously, the ad that ran before this video was a personal injury lawyer whose spiel began "You wouldn't fly in a plane whose pilot had never flown before ..."
posted by dhartung at 10:46 PM on September 17, 2005


Try download from here (ASX file)
posted by quiet at 2:05 AM on September 18, 2005


And if you're having difficulty playing the ASX file but you can play MMS URLs, just open the ASX in a text editor and paste the MMS URL into your MMS viewer.

Damn that's a healthy dose of TLAs.
posted by quiet at 2:07 AM on September 18, 2005


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