4 Times Huge Aircrafts Landed On Water Successfully

4 Times Huge Aircrafts Landed On Water Successfully


Ask most any pilot, and he’ll tell you:
“Any landing you can walk away from, is a good landing”. But there’s no such thing as a totally safe
emergency airplane landing, especially if it has to land on water. Yet some gifted pilots can do wonders with
their metal-winged birds, even if those birds are huge airliners with lots of people on
board! I’m going to share with you stories about
4 times airplanes landed on the water without any major injuries to the passengers. Before we begin, let’s get one thing straight:
why is landing on water still called landing if there’s no land? It can’t be called watering either, that
would be strange. Fortunately, aviation thought it out, and
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. It was that year when the first ever successful
ditching of a passenger airplane was executed. And not just an airplane, but a 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. Still, another problem remained unresolved:
they didn’t have enough fuel to fly like this either to San Francisco or back to Honolulu. Ditching was the only option, but it was nighttime,
and it was too dark to manage it. I know this situation sounds pretty scary,
but this is actually the convenient part, because they had to burn as much fuel as possible
until dawn. The less the weight of the plane, the easier
it is to land it. The daylight helped the pilots immensely,
since the surface of the sea is always changing; there are always waves. And to successfully ditch a plane, pilots
have to ditch it right between two waves, going perpendicular to the wind direction. Otherwise, the plane will just break in half. Yes, the surface of the water is no softer
than asphalt for landing a plane. And if a plane even tried to release its landing
gear when ditching, waves would just break the wheels off and water would stream into
the hatches. Bad idea! As you can imagine, this would drastically
decrease the time a plane might stay afloat. And that’s the last thing you would want
when awaiting rescue in the middle of the ocean. Fortunately for the people on board Pan Am
Flight 6, they didn’t have to wait at all. The ditch was performed early in the morning
at the speed of 103 mi/h. The fuselage couldn’t take the beating and
broke off. It took only 17 minutes for the plane to sink. And after that, all 31 people on the plane
were absolutely safe! The rescue ended only 3 minutes before it
sank to the bottom. In this case, applauding the pilots certainly
wasn’t enough. They achieved something unheard of. But they’re not the only ones to pull this
kind of stunt, there are other examples! 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 plane couldn’t turn back – 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. The ground services of the local airport couldn’t
prepare the runway in time. The Tu-124 was running out of fuel too quickly. Soon, one of the engines ran out of gas and
stopped. The pilots knew they’d have to be responsible
not only for the lives of those on board, but also for the lives of citizens below,
who didn’t even know about the danger in the skies above. The decision to ditch on the Neva River was
inevitable. The pilots managed not only to ditch on the
river in the middle of the city, but also barely missed crashing into one of the bridges. And still, 52 people were alive and well after
this event. Call it a miracle if you want, but I would
call it a heroic deed with no shadow of a doubt. But miracles certainly exist. You see, it’s one thing to take a risk and
ditch a plane into the river or the ocean…but it’s quite another to ditch a plane on water
unknowingly, and do it perfectly and with no casualties at all. This is what happened to Japan Airlines Flight
2. The Douglas DC-8 ditched on the water near
the San Francisco coast. The first reports about these events were
shocking: “A large jetliner crashed into San Francisco Bay today. The Coast Guard reported the plane was spotted
in dense fog upside down.” In reality, things weren’t as crazy as written,
but only a little less strange. The pilot of the DC-8 didn’t even know he
was landing on water. The Ground Control also didn’t notice any
problems with the navigation. But in reality, the plane was 2.5 miles away
from the runway. This error was made due to the low visibility
caused by fog. By the time the pilot could see what he was
doing, it was too late. What was especially lucky for the passengers,
is that the plane wasn’t far off the bay. The sea there was only 23 feet deep, and the
DC-8 just couldn’t possibly sink. 96 passengers and 11 crew members were absolutely
untouched; there wasn’t a single bruise on them. They were all soon rescued on police and Coast
Guard boats. And finally, 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. Engineers that were working on the Airbus
A320 payed attention to the accidents I was telling you about before. This plane has a “ditching button”, that
helps a plane to stay afloat for a longer period after landing. It seals most of the recesses in the lower
part of the plane to stop water from leaking inside. This would’ve helped the Miracle on the
Hudson, but pilots had very little time to prepare for ditching, because the birds killed
both engines of the Airbus. There was no power to keep it aloft. It happened at an altitude of almost 3,000
ft. The only option was to glide down and hope
that the best solution to the problem would come to mind as soon as possible. Along their descent, they asked for permission
to land on nearby runways, but they knew that the only solution was obvious. And it was right in front of the Airbus A320
– the great Hudson River. The ditching itself wasn’t the softest ever,
but it was the most successful. The pilots didn’t leave the plane until
they were sure everyone else had been evacuated. The most remarkable thing about that ditching
is how precise it was, even without any engine throttle. The plane ditched near several tourist boats
already in the Hudson. So, help was received soon, and no boats were
struck by the plane either! Which of these stories left you the most impressed? Let us know in the comment section! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t ditch me just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

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