Boeing 757: 2, Birds: 0
May 13, 2007 7:58 PM   Subscribe

On 29 April 2007 a Boeing 757 owned by the low-fare carrier Thomsonfly injested 2 large herons, causing a failure of the aircraft's #2 engine. A video camera was present and captured the entire event. The birds did not survive the incident, but the 200+ passengers did.
posted by drstein (83 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
The impression I get of piloting is that it's an odd sort of task because you have these unpredictable moments of major mental alertness and communication required all of a sudden with hundreds of lives on the line, but they're punctuated with long periods of grinding ennui. Odd performance requirements.
posted by Firas at 8:13 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


cool, thanks
posted by mrnutty at 8:20 PM on May 13, 2007


Odd performance requirements.

Not really. Most jobs, from police officer to United States Marine, have similar requirements. All the more reason to replace these "on-demand" jobs with robots, I say.
posted by nixerman at 8:28 PM on May 13, 2007


Awesome.
I was totally fascinated from start to finish.
Great photography and editing.
posted by davebarnes at 8:29 PM on May 13, 2007


The comments on YouTube were surprisingly informative, although it appears there was a bit of a tiff between some Boeing and Airbus fanboys...

For those curious about the "flames" after the bird ingestion, DutchCommando's YouTube comments were useful:

When an engine fails fuel continues to run towards that engine. The fuel simply evaporates at the back of the engine. In a normal running engine the fuel would be combusted in the combustion chamber thus no "outside sparks" would occur. By setting the Engine Start Switches to AUTO (CONTinuous ignition when slats extended or engine anti-ice on) the igniter simply tries to keep the fire going without crew interference. When an engine does fail (a flameout in this case) the sparks simply ignite the fuel damp that comes out of the back of the engine thus creating a flame every second or so.
posted by corranhorn at 8:30 PM on May 13, 2007


"The old bird's bought it!"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:32 PM on May 13, 2007


nixerman, I'll grant you that police officer, military, firefighting etc. have such a dynamic too, but I don't think "most jobs" are like that.

Sure, your average white collar job or construction worker have moments requiring alert decisiveness (heck, service or sales jobs are basically a long string of emergencies) but nothing so pronounced in terms of how much skill you need in those 5 minutes vs. how little learning/experience/ability you use in 99% of your clocked time.

When you're flying over the atlantic, there's probably like, nothing to do. On the other hand if you're a doctor, at least there's a lot of stuff to deal with even in slow days.
posted by Firas at 8:35 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've always been astonished at how many spotters congregate outside airports but NONE of them seem to catch anything on video. Looks like finally we have an exception.
posted by rolypolyman at 8:35 PM on May 13, 2007


If you look at the upper left of the video at about 4:44, you see another bird fly by as the plane comes in for a landing. I was thinking that it's amazing it doesn't happen more often, then found this:

"Bird strikes are a significant cause of plane crashes, particularly for small craft"...According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, bird strikes have caused $2 billion of damage to US-owned aircraft since 1990.

April was a bad month for birds and planes.
posted by mediareport at 8:36 PM on May 13, 2007


Not really. Most jobs, from police officer to United States Marine, have similar requirements. All the more reason to replace these "on-demand" jobs with robots, I say.

I don't think so at all. Police officers spend most of their time doing at least somewhat interesting things, even driving around a small town would be more interesting then flying at 30,000 feet all day and landing on autopilot. And while you could get shot at or something like that you're not going to get 200 innocent people killed. And even the most extreme situations like a hostage crisis take hours to develop. Most jobs like that would be no more boring then sitting around the house on your time off. Other jobs might be extremely boring, but those mostly don't require a high degree of skill.
posted by delmoi at 8:46 PM on May 13, 2007


I bet the herons didn't take it in jest.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:46 PM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: A bit of a tiff between some Boeing and Airbus fanboys.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:49 PM on May 13, 2007


Thanks for the link, it was pretty riveting, despite knowing the outcome.
posted by maxwelton at 8:50 PM on May 13, 2007


Anyone else impressed with how calm, cool and collected the pilot and the air traffic control guys are throughout the whole thing? Makes me happy...
posted by frogan at 8:55 PM on May 13, 2007


Huh. Scientists at the Smithsonian working on a bird strike DNA database [third item down] have invented a word for what's left of birds after a plane collision: snarge. I love this bit:

And its not just birds. Sometimes jet-stream encounters can take a page from the X-Files. "We've had frogs, turtles, snakes. We had a cat once that was struck at some high altitude," said the Smithsonian's Dove. She says birds like hawks and herons will occasionally drop their quarries into oncoming planes. "The other day we had a bird strike. We sent the sample to the DNA lab and it came back as rabbit. How do you explain to the FAA that we had a rabbit strike at 1,800 feet?"

Oh, and thunk.
posted by mediareport at 8:56 PM on May 13, 2007 [14 favorites]


Thanks for the link, it was pretty riveting, despite knowing the outcome.

I just imagined the version of this post that tried to maintain the suspense: "HERONS INTO ENGINE ZOMG WAT HAPEN CLICK HERE"
posted by grobstein at 8:56 PM on May 13, 2007


Wow, great post. Must have been rather horrifying for the window seat passengers to see those flames shooting out.

I am always impressed by the professionalism that people maintain under duress ... I am a "holy fucking shit" at high decibels type of crisis reactor, myself.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:00 PM on May 13, 2007


YouTube comments were useful

Never thought I would agree with that, but it's true!
posted by Arch_Stanton at 9:08 PM on May 13, 2007


Yeah, it was impressive how the pilot and air traffic control guys weren't screaming "Holy shit, did you see the size of those frikking flames???!!!" Or "Now one engine is gone, is the plane going to flip over in a death spiral??!! OMG nooooo!!!"

But no, it always sounds like pilots are relaying data with a slide rule. Even the "Mayday" sounded Aspergery. It's kind of mysterous really. Do they learn that unemotional way of speaking in pilot school?

On the surviving unusual transport experiences theme, a cat survived 35 days in a crate, being shipped as an accidental stowaway from China to North Carolina.
posted by nickyskye at 9:16 PM on May 13, 2007


He got his callsign wrong on the first Mayday. So much for cool under pressure :)
posted by bonaldi at 9:30 PM on May 13, 2007


I know I shouldn't read YouTube comments, but I did anyway, and the guy who's all "OMG that was so fake cuz they had ACCENTS and one time I flew to Fargo from Omaha and they TOTALLY DIDN'T HAVE ACCENTS plus the bird was Photoshop!!111" just cracked me right up.
posted by katillathehun at 9:44 PM on May 13, 2007


Fod is no fun. Excellent pilots and ground crew in action.
posted by Mblue at 9:55 PM on May 13, 2007


ironic inclusion of mothballed Concorde at 2.2x.

Eding on the piece is really worth remarking on - pure cinema, there's a story told without verbal comments needed at all, and there's even commentary, as noted above. Superlative.

Little twittering birdies on the soundtrack. Lovely.
posted by mwhybark at 9:56 PM on May 13, 2007


even better, the next cut after features a worker picking up somehing in front of a British airways logo, presumably on a plane over a rise, as the soundtrack notes a runway is closed due to debris from an engine of the stricken liner.

more lovely twittering BIRDS, I say, BIRDS. Simon Lowe, cinematic genius.
posted by mwhybark at 9:59 PM on May 13, 2007


Dunno, it kinda needs that "America's Funniest Home Video" laughtrack right when the birds enter the engine.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:00 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]




Do they learn that unemotional way of speaking in pilot school?

Ever since the 1977 Tenerife disaster, there's been a much greater emphasis on communication. Garbled miscommunication between the tower and the two planes contributed to the crash (multiple native languages and pea-soup fog didn't help). There's a lot of standard phrasing they are encouraged to use nowadays, and almost anything substantial should be repeated back to verify understanding instead of simply acknowledged. You can hear that on this recording.

Repeating all those phrases accurately requires a measured cadence. They also use things like "squawk 7 7 0 0" to communicate instead of getting all shouty.

Since this is plane-to-tower comms, you can't here the crew resource management going on inside the cockpit; that was another thing that came out of Tenerife. But the same thing is probably happening: the pilot, copilot, and flight engineer are all soberly working the problem, calculating how much fuel to dump, how far they need to fly, and so forth.

The most remarkable thing on this is when the tower tells them to "continue own navigation as required", essentially permitting a 757 commercial carrier to operate under Visual Flight Rules, which almost never happens. If there were any GA in the area it must have been something to see.

Also of note, they don't pre-foam runways anymore, like in some 1970s movies. Mostly it's a waste of foam they may need for firefighting. It also makes the runway slicker for the plane and the firefighters and their vehicles.

What else? Oh, I think he landed a little hard. Not surprising considering he only had one engine and had to maintain attitude with both sides of the plane. You know what? I don't think the passengers minded at all.

</inner airgeek>
posted by dhartung at 10:08 PM on May 13, 2007 [5 favorites]


MetaFllter: Maintain attitude.
posted by phaedon at 10:12 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here? Here? A homophone error, moi? I must be channeling my local newspaper. Here hear.

Anyway, I forgot to mention how the engine seemed to "chug" as it was gaining altitude around 00:25. A little steampunk moment there. I'm imagining a crew of boilermen with smoke-black faces shoveling coal as fast as they can until the plane reaches cruising altitude.
posted by dhartung at 10:15 PM on May 13, 2007


The guys who design jet engines have a test chamber where they have a linear accelerator in front of their test jig for the engine.

They go to grocery stores and purchase whole chickens (dead, of course) and use the accelerator to shoot them into their engines while they're running, to make sure the engine doesn't fail catastrophically (i.e. explode in a hail of broken turbine fins and other kinds of shrapnel).

No one expects the engine to shrug off that kind of insult, but they can't take out the wing of the aircraft or pepper the cabin with metal fragments.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:23 PM on May 13, 2007


I'm imagining a crew of lumberjacks with sawdust faces chipping wood as fast as they can until the plane reaches cruising altitude.
posted by Mblue at 10:23 PM on May 13, 2007


BOEING 757 VS. HONEY BADGER. HONEY BADGER WINS.
posted by facetious at 10:37 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]



Everyone has failed to ask the important question, is the bird okay???

:)

Nice video though..
posted by lundman at 10:44 PM on May 13, 2007


bird versus plane, this time with an ejection

From what I've read/heard, that was a Canadian air forces training flight.
posted by mrbill at 10:54 PM on May 13, 2007


is the bird okay?

A little over-done, by the look of things.
posted by pompomtom at 10:57 PM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Details are still sketchy, but it appears that the bird's name was Howard Meeker.
posted by awenner at 10:58 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I forgot to mention how the engine seemed to "chug" as it was gaining altitude around 00:25. A little steampunk moment there.

Heh, no kidding. (Another thing it reminded me of was the later star wars movies, where spaceships inexplicably sounded like old airplanes and other heavy machinery)
posted by delmoi at 11:01 PM on May 13, 2007




There's a lot of standard phrasing they are encouraged to use nowadays, and almost anything substantial should be repeated back to verify understanding instead of simply acknowledged.

Lots of forbidden language, also.

Example: "Go ahead". Frequency splashover makes that a disaster waiting to happen, so ATC forbids it. And that even tone is part of the training -- even if you're losing the picture, you've got to maintain it.

when the tower tells them to "continue own navigation as required"

That gave me chills.

(ex-enroute trainee)
posted by dreamsign at 1:05 AM on May 14, 2007


From what I've read/heard, that was a Canadian air forces training flight.

It's a Canadian CT-155 Hawk according to this air video site (scroll down to Hawk Strike! for a better quality video than the YouTube junk).
posted by moonbiter at 1:14 AM on May 14, 2007


Amazing stuff. Thanks for the link.
posted by slf at 1:56 AM on May 14, 2007


dhartung, the 757 can't dump fuel, so landed probably at or above maximum landing weight. That might also account for the "firm" touchdown and the crew decision to hold for a while (to burn off fuel) before returning.

The engine seemed to "chug" because it had flamed out as soon as the birds went through. Fuel was still flowing though, and the auto-igniters were lighting the overflow every second or so as it ran out the back of he engine. I don't think engines in that condition produce any thrust even when the fuel lights.

When I was learning to fly out of Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle, I'd regularly see/hear on the radio freshly assembled 737s in greencoat coming out of Renton on visual flight plans, and bigger planes (747s, 767s, etc.) coming out of Everett or BFI, going out for a spin around Mt. Rainier or someplace, then coming back in, all on visual rules. These were of course not scheduled airline flights. I wish I had been on hand to see Concorde land for her last time before she was parked at the Museum of Flight there at BFI.
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 2:08 AM on May 14, 2007


Do they learn that unemotional way of speaking in pilot school?

Essentially, yes. I believe it became prevalent when the influx of former military pilots and ATCs populated the aviation industry after WW2. I think there's some exposition on the subject in The Right Stuff (the book, not the movie.)
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:19 AM on May 14, 2007


For contrast, watch the first few seconds of the related TV news report:
The dramatic moment when a plane full of holodaymakers came close to disaster was caught on camera
They even edited the footage to make the engine coughing flame appear to last longer!

/shakes head at sensationalist news reports...
posted by nielm at 3:33 AM on May 14, 2007


3 seconds of action followed by 9 minutes 32 seconds of airport scenery. pfft.
posted by quonsar at 3:48 AM on May 14, 2007


Great thread. Thank you chaps.
posted by WPW at 4:13 AM on May 14, 2007


pfft.

Hey, that was the exact sound the bird made going into that engine!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:16 AM on May 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


The most remarkable thing on this is when the tower tells them to "continue own navigation as required", essentially permitting a 757 commercial carrier to operate under Visual Flight Rules, which almost never happens. If there were any GA in the area it must have been something to see.

So what did they do with all the other planes in the area? And what about all those set to land -- if they made all runways available, does that mean everyone was sent back into holding patterns? And what's a GA? The public demands answers.
posted by bonaldi at 5:18 AM on May 14, 2007


GA: general aviation - think John Travolta in a Cessna.
posted by mdonley at 5:43 AM on May 14, 2007


I think.
posted by mdonley at 5:43 AM on May 14, 2007


GA = General Aviation = Pilot geeks poking holes in the sky on the weekends in their rented Cessna 172s.
posted by michswiss at 5:50 AM on May 14, 2007



Being a passenger would be frightening enough, but imagine your kid (who has to have the window seat) looking out the window and shreaking at the flames coming out of the engine. Makes my skin crawl thinking about trying to explain that one.


*Surprise!* I have taken you on an emergency drill. Isn't this fun!?
posted by fluffycreature at 6:00 AM on May 14, 2007


Example: "Go ahead". Frequency splashover makes that a disaster waiting to happen...

How so? And, uh, what's frequency splashover?
posted by smackfu at 6:18 AM on May 14, 2007


"continue own navigation as required"

Translation: You're in trouble, maneuver as you need to stay alive, and we'll keep all the traffic away from you. After the "Mayday Mayday Mayday" call, they get priority, and note how most (should be all) of the calls start "Mayday Thomson."

So what did they do with all the other planes in the area

Vector them around, hold them, or divert. They probably did keep landing while the 757 was burning off fuel to try to get under Max Landing Weight.

Note that "All runways available for landing" means that there isn't a reason they can't use any give runway. The call is made fast, in case the plane needs to turn and land *right now*, or in case there's a runway that cannot be used (because of construction, for example.) Note that later they tell them that Runway 9 at Liverpool is also available (Liverpool John Lennon is very close to Manchester International.) Of course, later, they announce that 6L (and 24R, by extension) is unavailable, due to bits of airplane engine all over the runway.

I don't have a Manchester chart, but I'm willing to be that "Willowsley" (undoubtedly misspelled) is a navigation fix (most likely, the hold point for a missed approach.) By flying to it and holding, the aircrew burns off fuel, and Manchester can keep operating.

Other bits as I listen

"QNH is 1023 millibars" -- Air pressure call, to allow the aircraft to set the pressure altimeters correctly. The US version is "altimeter XXXX", and is given in inches of mercury, rather than millibars.

The "hotel" at the end of the call -- "Thomson 236 Hotel" means "heavy". Large aircraft use this call as a reminder to each other and the tower that they have larger wake turbulence issues, thus, they need more spacing.

The plane probably landed at or above max landing weight -- this means that it'll be getting a D-check, which takes a couple of weeks minimum. They basically take everything apart and check it. (Note the flight crew's worry about the weight during the taxi -- they should have taken the tug offer.)
posted by eriko at 6:24 AM on May 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


From mediareport's "snarge" link:

"It's bird ick," said Smithsonian snarge expert Carla Dove, who heads the lab.

Eponysterical!
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:51 AM on May 14, 2007


This thread is fascinating, particularly the discussion of air traffic control. When something like this happens, I'm amazed that chaos doesn't break loose. At an airport this size, how many planes in the air need to be told what to do? (This, in addition to the plane in trouble!)

I have new respect for pilots and air traffic controllers.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:05 AM on May 14, 2007


The universe missed a perfect moment by not having Randy Johnson on that flight.
posted by Cyrano at 7:21 AM on May 14, 2007


Nice video. Thanks for the link.
posted by drleary at 7:59 AM on May 14, 2007


Wow, I bet that smelled fantastic!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:18 AM on May 14, 2007


Metafilter: unpredictable moments of major mental alertness and communication required all of a sudden with hundreds of lives on the line, but punctuated with long periods of grinding ennui.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:28 AM on May 14, 2007


It's exhilarating to be allowed to witness that level of professionalism and training in action. It's like a piece of music. Which each part of the orchestra doing it's part. You can almost keep meter to the interactions between the plane crew and the tower.

On a sidenote, I once heard before a flight a stewardess reassuring an anxious passenger by pointing out that the (two engine) jet we were on, could take off on one engine if needed. Does anyone know if this is always the case? Can a 747 w/ four engines, for example take off one one engine if required?
posted by Skygazer at 8:43 AM on May 14, 2007


I like the multiple youtube comments from people who were passengers on the flight. Imagine going through that, then coming home and watching it on youtube.
posted by agropyron at 9:01 AM on May 14, 2007


Odd performance requirements.you have these unpredictable moments of major mental alertness and communication required all of a sudden with hundreds of lives on the line, but they're punctuated with long periods of grinding ennui. Odd performance requirements.

Yes. How do pilots keep from becoming complacent or rusty?
posted by Skygazer at 9:16 AM on May 14, 2007


This guy is currently involved in a story about bird strikes. Not for the first time, either. Someplace I have an old strip with one of my favorite lines of comic-strip dialoge: "Those FAA officials will probably never know how close they came to getting an engine full of birds!"
posted by Man-Thing at 9:26 AM on May 14, 2007


This is absolutely fantastic, brilliant find. I especially loved the way the plane told the tower about five times that it would need a brake check and that the left engine was live. Excellent calm under duress.
posted by Skorgu at 9:33 AM on May 14, 2007


This was positively fascinating (take your Adderall, quonsar).

Is there a transcript of the ATC comms for the non-aviation geeks among us? I can't make out everything.

Also, what is the relevance of the emphasis on the other (port?) engine still being live? Or the brake check? Or the worries about being able to taxi on its own or not?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:52 AM on May 14, 2007


I totally misread this post as saying, "On 29 April 2007 a Boeing 757 owned by the low-fare carrier Thomsonfly injested 2 large in heroin, causing a failure of the aircraft's #2 engine."

It'll do that to you.
posted by brundlefly at 10:27 AM on May 14, 2007


Also, what is the relevance of the emphasis on the other (port?) engine still being live?

good question. well, you see, when a twin engine jet has BOTH engines die, it tends to fall out of the sky. apparently this subtle bit of aviation lore is not widely known among mefites.

This is absolutely fantastic, brilliant find.

This was positively fascinating (take your Adderall, quonsar).


i'm watching paint dry, but i'm not telling any of you where.
posted by quonsar at 10:30 AM on May 14, 2007


I meant the continued reminders when the aicraft had already landed (i.e. fallen out of the sky in a controlled fashion), q.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:44 AM on May 14, 2007


what is the relevance of the emphasis on the other (port?) engine still being live

I understood that to be information for the firemen who were going to walk around the plane and inspect the dead engine. A heron getting sucked into the engine is one thing, but a beefy 6 foot Mancunian is another matter all together.
posted by jontyjago at 10:45 AM on May 14, 2007


what is the relevance of the emphasis on the other (port?) engine still being live

To stop the firemen getting blown away or sucked in by it.
posted by atrazine at 11:01 AM on May 14, 2007


Yeah, makes sense, guys. Thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:41 AM on May 14, 2007


"injested 2 large in heroin,"

If it did that, the aircraft probably would have made it to New York in a matter of minutes.
posted by drstein at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2007


BECAUSE HEROIN MAKES YOU SPEEDY AND VIGOROUS
posted by quonsar at 12:32 PM on May 14, 2007


well, you see, when a twin engine jet has BOTH engines die, it tends to fall out of the sky.

They don't fall. See the Gimli Glider.

Flight crews are trained to follow procedures. They have a book, with lots of problems listed, and what to do when it happen. You can bet this crew had it out, reading the "Engine Out At Takeoff list."

Note how they don't immediately shut the damaged engine down. This comes from an incident in Brazil (IIRC) where an engine fire happened at takeoff. The pilot not flying say "Fire, engine one", and the pilot said "Roger, fire, engine one", reached up, and pulled the fire extinguisher on engine one.

The fire was on engine two. So, now both these guys, and the guys flying the Gimli Glider, turn to the page saying "Both engines out".

Bad news: There *was* no page for both engines out. There may not be to this day. You just sort of wing it. The Gimli guys did -- helped by the fact that one was former RCAF, stationed at Gimli, the other was a glider pilot in his spare time.

The guys in Brazil? Smoking hole. The only thing worse that "Both engines out" is "Both engines out at takeoff."

Thus, the current procedure. The pilot not flying calls out "fire", the pilot flying acks, but you get the plane in the air and stable, *then* you shut down the engine, after you both agree which one to shut down.

The reason he left the engine running? I don't know. He should have been able to start the engine with the APU, but maybe the APU was out, which means if he shut down, he'd need a start cart to get moving again. He was right to be very clear to the fire crews that the engine was still running. The BAA looks down at Macunian McNuggets (with a side of turbine blades.)
posted by eriko at 2:14 PM on May 14, 2007 [1 favorite]




Solid engine, solid plane. Great ATC, even cooler Pilot.

Oh, and if you ever think that turbulence is gonna twang the wings right off of the fuselage, check this out...

...the good stuff happens at 2:28
posted by stonesy at 6:25 PM on May 14, 2007


Suck it, haters engines!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:41 PM on May 14, 2007


I was in an emergency landing once, and everyone on the airplane remained completely calm. Mind you, there were no explosions or flaming engines. What happened with us was that after flying around in circles at the airport for about half an hour, they told us there was an indicator light that the forward landing gear hadn't deployed, and although they hoped it was just a faulty indicator light, the flight control could not visually confirm that the landing gear was deployed. So we all had to move to the back of the plane, then we flew around for another half hour or so to burn up more fuel, and then we had to do the head between knees bit. You don't know what's going to happen, there's nothing you can do about it, and you just kind of dissociate and deal with it. I think that is the normal human way to react and freaking out / hysteria is only in movies.
posted by lastobelus at 4:47 AM on May 17, 2007


Am I the only layperson who thinks the applause and kudos for the professional handling of this incident, by people whom I take to be in the industry based on their comments on Youtube, is a bit chilling?

Wouldn't you expect professionals to handle an incident like this exactly the way they did?

My comment is not at all intended to take away from the skills, professionalism and cool-headedness of all involved (thank god for those), but all the 'teh crew handled it incredibly well :D', 'Superb work by the crew, emergency services and ATC' or 'Fantastic stuff! What a difference it makes when everyone keeps their heads. Big kudos to ATC and the crew!' is a bit scary.

This is not the general standard for the more-than-heavily regulated airline industry, WTF?
posted by l'esprit d'escalier at 3:22 AM on May 20, 2007


Oh, they're professionals. They don't deserve praise then.
posted by smackfu at 8:16 AM on May 20, 2007


Yeah, what smackfu said. I roll my eyes at the applause for the pilot after every successful landing as well (do Americans do this? I see this in Europe a lot); but this incident was a particularly stressful and rare one, and the chief players deserve their praise for leading it to a safe end.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:00 PM on May 20, 2007


I have seen a planefull of Americans applaud a landing, but it was almost always one that deserved it. As when there was obviously a lot of turbulence on the approach, so the plane did a lot of bouncing up&down and slewing to the side, but the touchdown was smooth. That shows a lot of skill.

I've also seen what I took to be ironic applause, when the opposite happened - a smooth approach, followed by a trampoline landing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:30 PM on May 20, 2007


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