To date, traveling by flights is considered as the safest method of transportation, but every once in awhile, something goes wrong – from technical malfunctions to severe weather conditions that could endanger, not only the lives of those who are on-board the aircraft but also the lives of the people in the vicinity if the plane crashes in a populated area.
Sometimes situations in the plane, especially in the cabin, are just seem too hopeless that the people onboard are convinced that their time on earth has come to an end. But these 5 Miraculous Airplane Landings proved them wrong. If you have been watching documentaries like Mayday, Aircrash Investigation or any other programs that feature disasters related to aviation, you’ve probably heard some, if not all of these stories. If you want to know more about these 5 Miraculous Airplane Landings that would keep you at the edge of your seats when you watch the actual documentary, your are welcome to read until the end of this article.
British Airways Flight 5390
British Airways Flight 5390 was scheduled to fly from Birmingham Airport in England to Malaga Airport in Spain. In June 10, 1990, when the plane was over 20,000 feet above Oxfordshire, an improperly installed panel of the windscreen broke, the sudden change in pressure caused Captain Tim Lancaster to be blown out of the cockpit, only the lower part of his body was inside the aircraft. His legs were held by flight attendant Neil Ogden as co-pilot Alistair Acheson flew the plane. Another crew, Simon Rogers, rushed to help after the co-pilot informed the passengers of what was going on and asked them to prepare for an emergency landing. As they made their way to Southampton Airport for an emergency landing, holding on to the captain’s body was getting more and more difficult but the crew agreed that they will try to hold on to the captain until they are safe on the ground. Co-pilot Acheson was able to successfully land the plane. Everyone onboard survived, including(miraculously) Captain Lancaster.
British Airways Flight 009
On June 24 1982, Captain Eric Moody made one of the most extraordinary landings in aviation history. While the Boeing 747 was flying over the Indian Ocean, all of its four engines caught fire and the cabin was filled with sulfuric smoke. The problem was due to aircraft flying through a cloud of volcanic ash that came from Mount Galunggung. The aircraft was diverted to Jakarta, hoping enough engines could be restarted to allow the plane to make an emergency landing. Captain Moody maneuvered the plane into a nose dive to reach a breathable altitude. The aircraft was able to glide far enough to escape the ash cloud and the three engines returned to life. He was able to successfully and safely land the aircraft at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta.
Air Canada Flight 143
This flight became known as the Gimli Glider after the incident that took place on July 23, 1983. Flying somewhere over Ontario, a Boeing 767-233 aircraft carrying 61 passengers and eight crew members, run out of fuel and lost its power at an altitude of 12,500 metres. Captain Robert Pearson and First Officer Maurice Quintal glided the aircraft onto an abandoned military airstrip in Gimli, hence the nickname Gimli Glider. Investigations revealed that the incident was caused by a combination of company failures and a chain of human errors. The crew were praised for their “professionalism and skill” that saved the lives of 69 people.
US Airways Flight 1549
On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese, causing all of its engines to lose power, just three minutes after it took off from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport. Pilots Chesley Sullenberg and Jeffrey Skiles ditched the plane with an almost grateful impact on Hudson River. According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) report, the miraculous landing was due to “ (1) the decision-making of the flight crewmembers and their crew resource management during the accident sequence; (2) the fortuitous use of an airplane that was equipped for an extended overwater flight, including the availability of the forward slide/rafts, even though it was not required to be so equipped; (3) the performance of the cabin crewmembers while expediting the evacuation of the airplane; and (4) the proximity of the emergency responders to the accident site and their immediate and appropriate response to the accident.”. The incident became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”.
Air Transat Flight 236
Last but definitely not the least miraculous on this list of 5 Miraculous Airplane Landings, is the Air Transat Flight 236. A transatlantic flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On August 24, 2001, the aircraft lost all of its power due to a fuel leak caused by improper maintenance as it was flying at almost 40,000-feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft’s right engine lost its power because of fuel shortage, a few minutes later the left engine failed as well. Captain Robert Piche and First Officer Dirk DeJager, glided the plane for almost 80 miles before they successfully landing on a small island in the Azores. Their efforts saved the lives of 306 people, including 293 passengers and 13 crew members on board the flight.
This concludes our list of 5 Miraculous Airplane Landings in the history of aviation. These are not the only ones but definitely some of the most unbelievable stories. These miraculous landings prove to us that at some point in our lives, we are bound to experience something that could change us for the rest of our lives. Most of these people, if not all of them, on board these flights must have thought that it was their last day and whether they admit it or not the incident has surely affected them in some way. If experiencing this kind of miracle is not life changing, I seriously don’t know what is.