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Flawlesss Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP)
October 21, 2008 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Flawless Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP). Breatheless reporting aside, it looks like when a pilot can control the landing, these aircraft are tough enough that no one need be hurt. Many more excellent videos in the post-video links, too.
posted by five fresh fish (40 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
This post is better than sex.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:27 PM on October 21, 2008


(Supermarionattes excepted.)
posted by five fresh fish at 7:28 PM on October 21, 2008


The Thunderbirds clip had me going for about a second or so.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:32 PM on October 21, 2008


I'm thinking skid plates on the "flawless" craft. The Jetblue ("Aircraft"), the landing gear is a strut; it must surely be overbuilt, and I suspect it's possible to design the grinding-down of the wheel and brake assemblies part of the braking process; ie. that it grinds slow enough and doesn't tend to snag. Supermarionattion ("Emergency") crashes flawlessly advance the cartoon plot line, which is all that counts. And while it turned out the AA ("Landings") landing gear did end up working, it's pretty sweet how perfectly long the pilot is able to maintain the wheel off the runway.

Round of applause for the pilots!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 PM on October 21, 2008


That last pilot popped a sweet wheelie. Impressive hang time.
posted by Mach5 at 7:40 PM on October 21, 2008


I suppose the flare-up on the Jetblue was hydraulic fluids. Could that set the aluminum skin on fire?

The commercial aircraft would receive a thorough rebuild on the front end, I assume. I'm sure that must be FAA and insurance mandated. I hope so.

The small craft, anyone know what it'd take to get it back in the air? Are they like motorcycles, with skid-pads?

I need to give creds to Neatorama for the first link. The others were generated from a few searches ("emergency aircraft landing"). It's also worth looking at a few of the crosswind landings. Insane.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:41 PM on October 21, 2008


Awesome.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:48 PM on October 21, 2008


Damn.

This is the first fully automated landing.

It's rather Supermarionatte...
posted by five fresh fish at 7:51 PM on October 21, 2008


Whenever I see an emergency landing or a car chase on CNN, I know it's a slow news day. There's always one of those happening somewhere in the nation. It's filler.
posted by intermod at 7:55 PM on October 21, 2008


I watched this one happen live. (Landing is about 22s in).
posted by markr at 7:58 PM on October 21, 2008


The flare-up on the JetBlue is friction pure and simple. A lot of weight dragging the gear structure down the runway. The metal heats and sparks fly. I don't think the sparks would be enough to ignite the skin, but there are enough other flammable liquids for it to be scary.

On the twin engine plane, they will need to replace the belly skin and check for other damage. It appears they will need new props. But, the fact that he stopped the engines and feathered the props before landing will save a huge amount of money as it prevented a prop strike. It will fly again.
posted by meinvt at 8:06 PM on October 21, 2008


Here is a great link combining exciting cross winds with a near crash. This is the stuff pilots practice for, and in a moment prove their worth.
posted by meinvt at 8:09 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


This post is better than sex.

You're doing it wrong.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:24 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I suppose the flare-up on the Jetblue was hydraulic fluids.

It is possible that the plane has Magnesium wheels - that would explain the initial flare up, and it is quite likely that the ground-through hydraulic lines then caught fire from that heat, yes.

Could that set the aluminum skin on fire?

Almost certainly not. While a lot of friction was there, aluminium doesn't burn very easily at all and needs more heat than that will have generated, would be my guess.

The small craft, anyone know what it'd take to get it back in the air? Are they like motorcycles, with skid-pads?

No chance of skid plates - it's unnecessary weight to lug around. I imagine the fuselage structure had a reasonable possibility of remaining undamaged (that was a stunning landing, it has to be said) but all the skins underneath would have had to be replaced at a bare minimum, as well as the structure of the wheel gear (even though it didn't go down) taking a load when the aircraft will have crushed onto the cover plates (the load also being in an odd way, what with it all folded up). In short, the nose gear ones would be a lot easier to repair, assuming no vibration damage at the mounting point of the front strut to fuselage during the grinding bit, but the little one? A big, expensive job list.
posted by Brockles at 8:35 PM on October 21, 2008


There is always a lot of 'rubber' on big runways, so some of the flame in that JetBlue landing could be that stuff.
posted by Chuckles at 8:35 PM on October 21, 2008


I can't believe no-one's posted Flight 405! :)
posted by Dub at 8:41 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is the first fully automated landing.

No, it's not
posted by Authorized User at 8:59 PM on October 21, 2008


This one is better
posted by rjc3000 at 9:13 PM on October 21, 2008


These guys get my cool award.
posted by pjern at 9:13 PM on October 21, 2008


Gun camera video and in-cockpit voice of a military jet bird-strike and ejection
posted by atrazine at 10:09 PM on October 21, 2008


Those last two links for the win!
posted by fingerbang at 10:35 PM on October 21, 2008


pjern's link was previously discussed.
posted by meowzilla at 10:37 PM on October 21, 2008


I think this one counts if we replace flawless with extraordinary
posted by kaytwo at 10:53 PM on October 21, 2008


What would happen if they landed on a treadmill set to match the speed of the wheels?
posted by lore at 11:16 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is there any reason at all why I should believe that one actually happened, kaytwo (besides the pictures, obviously)? To me it looks completely made up..
posted by Chuckles at 11:21 PM on October 21, 2008


Worked with a Chinook (loud, obnoxious music).
posted by whuuuu at 3:53 AM on October 22, 2008


27 comments and not a single McCain comment. I'm very proud of u--- doh!
posted by rokusan at 5:03 AM on October 22, 2008


Small retractable-gear aircraft sometimes do have skid plates of a sort, actually. The belly of the airplane is basically corrugated and the ridges are stiffened to support the plane if you do a gear-up.

It probably would not take much to get the King Air back up in the air; the original problem was that the gear wouldn't extend, so a complete inspection of the landing gear system, reskin the bottom of the airplane, and probably a structural inspection. It didn't look like the props touched the runway, but if they did then you'd need to fix those (by grinding them back into shape) and repair/replace the prop governors if those got damaged.

The fact that the pilot shut down the engines saved his ass a ton of money. If you strike a prop with the engine running, the FAA mandates a complete teardown of the engine and governor. You're basically buying new engines for the plane - "cheap" airplane engines run over twenty thousand dollars a piece.

We had a guy back home do a gear-up in one of our twin-engine Senecas with a flight instructor on board. Perfect example of why checklists are so crucial - instructor asked if the gear was down, the student said yes (without looking at the lights!) and the instructor took him at his word. According to my boss at the airport, they performed a perfect landing - minus the landing gear.

So what happens at your local airport when there's an incident like this? The airplane can't go anywhere on its own power. After everyone is accounted for, you'd call the fire department if anything was burning (no emergency trucks at your local airstrip). Then you call the local Flight Service Station and issue a NOTAM (NOtice To AirMen) that the runway is closed. You don't want people trying to land while you're trying to tow an airplane off the runway. In addition to the NOTAM, we had long strips of yellow tarpaulin that we used to draw Xs on each end of the runway to indicate to anyone flying overhead that the runway is closed. We'd usually do that only if the runway was going to be closed for some length of time, as the tarpaulin was difficult to get out and position. Most people are smart enough to see a large thing on the runway with people running around it.

Now you have to remove the airplane. For a gear-up, that means jacking up the airplane so that the gear can be lowered manually. Then you push it (if it's small enough) or tow it over to the mechanic. Reopen the runway and you're good to go. Depending on the extent of the damage, the FAA will come out to investigate - the pilots. The airplane usually just needs a sign-off in its logbook by an A&P mechanic that it's safe to fly.

I saw the airplane when I showed up for work the day after the incident. It looked totally undamaged except for the propellers; they had been bent backwards in a sprial, much like how shaved chocolate looks. There wasn't even paint missing on the undercarriage.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:35 AM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Remote reporter: Okay, let's just watch.
eccnineten: Hmm, I'm impressed, they're going to allow some silence on tv.
Studio reporter: BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!

That was the script for the first two videos.
posted by eccnineten at 5:53 AM on October 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ok, United 232 (loss of all control surfaces in-flight) wasn't a flawless landing, but it is a testament to the value of human adaptability in keeping complex systems safe.

Autopilots are great, but when bad things happen, you really hope your pilot still remembers how to fly, and if the plane is crippled, has enough deep understanding to adapt and invent alternative control strategies. I've heard that the United 232 scenario has been programmed into flight simulators several times since, without anyone ever successfully repeating their final (incredibly good!) outcome.
posted by anthill at 6:36 AM on October 22, 2008


United 232 landing footage and sensational bullshit
posted by anthill at 6:44 AM on October 22, 2008


I like rjc's link. That trooper's all like 'Son, you have any idea how fast you were going back there?'
posted by echo target at 6:45 AM on October 22, 2008


Great. As someone who hates flying and generally freaks out when the plane is landing, this actually makes me feel better and more secure about the pilots landing a gigantic flying metal tube filled with people and flammable gas.
posted by chugg at 7:42 AM on October 22, 2008


Air & Space had a good article on Boeing's AOG (Aircraft on Ground) repair team - they're the guys that swoop in and get your $$$$ airliner back in service after a mishap like these.
posted by djb at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2008


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
posted by dragstroke at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2008


Worked with a Chinook (loud, obnoxious music).

Cool video! But, the Chinook guys didn't use mattresses. Mattresses are designed to suspend body weight, which is 1/100th of the weight of a Harrier.
posted by Chuckles at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2008


That Chinook landing is incredible. It took a lot of courage for those guys to be out there holding that stuff down, but yes, the music is annoying. Actually all of these landings are pretty damn impressive, hats off to the pilots.

Also, it's not bird-strike it's engine suck.
posted by Horatius at 10:11 AM on October 22, 2008


While I was trolling around associated links, I found this fascinating series of videos that take you through the crew's pre-takeoff rituals, the takeoff, and the landing of a 747. I was ridiculously enthralled by it.
posted by scrump at 12:14 PM on October 22, 2008


Mildly related in that it involves a plne, but it doesn't crash, but it still would have me scared witless (NSFW audio). The plane in question seems to be an RAF trainer, for added trivia.
posted by Brockles at 5:00 PM on October 22, 2008


Is there any reason at all why I should believe that one actually happened, kaytwo (besides the pictures, obviously)? To me it looks completely made up..

I'm pretty sure I've heard about that incident before, but that's the first time I've seen the pictures. Trying to protect the fuselage on a belly landing - even one at zero forward speed - will do wonders to reduce the repair bill.

That said, the damage to the engine from the mattresses probably made things even worse - essentially they'll have been sucked in while the aircraft was still airborne, dropping it to the ground. If they'd just let it come down without the attempted assistance they'd probably only have wrecked the fuselage strakes and possibly the ventral fin.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:57 PM on October 22, 2008


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