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Taca 737 On New Orleans Levee (pic)  
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Posted (7 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 73599 times:

Referencing a thread yesterday about emergency landings, and comments that were made about a TACA 737 performing an engines-out emergency landing on a levee in eastern New Orleans in May of 1988. A co-worker who was part owner in a C-152 and I took a run over the area a couple of days after the TACA landing (we were at a conference at LAS during the actual emergency). Due to flight rules, and the fact I didn't have a zoom lens on me, I got a bunch of photos, but they weren't the best. I've got a slightly better one than this somewhere, but it's with another group of photos that are hiding some where:


If you look closely at the photo, the 737 is parked at the left edge of the photo, in the center. He landed on the long strip of grass (called a 'levee batture' down here) just to the right of the narrow canal that runs from the top right towards the bottom left of the photo.

Boeing engineers repaired the engines on-site, and Boeing test pilots flew it off the batture back here to MSY, where the final cleanup was performed, and the 737 returned to service.

Tom at MSY


"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline777DadandJr From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1516 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 73552 times:

I have to say, I have heard the story before, and it never ceases to amaze me. Just goes to show what a tough aircraft the 737 really is.

Thanks for the pic and story Tom!  biggrin 

Russ



My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 73370 times:

Can someone share the story with us?

User currently offlineDalb777 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 73337 times:

Quoting Positiverate (Reply 2):
Can someone share the story with us?

From:
RE: Could A Plane Survive With Both Engines Out? (by CO777DAL Jul 7 2007 in Civil Aviation)
Reply 51:

24 May 1988; TACA 737-300; near New Orleans, LA:

The aircraft was approaching the New Orleans airport when it encountered heavy precipitation, including hail up to 1.25 inches (32 mm) in diameter. The aircraft experienced a dual engine flameout at about 16,200ft due to water ingestion, and the flight crew were able to establish emergency electrical power at about of 10,500ft. The crew was unsuccessful in their attempts to restart the engines, and had to execute an emergency landing on a grass strip on a levee on the Intercoastal Waterway (after initially planning to ditch the aircraft on the waterway). The flight crew successfully made an unpowered landing and none of the 45 occupants were injured. The aircraft was repaired and flown off the levee.

And from:
Possible Emergency Landings (by Dubliftment Sep 11 2007 in Civil Aviation)
Reply 6:

The original plan was for Boeing to come down, remove the wings or whatever, and barge it over to NEW for reassembly. However, the Boeing engineers and test pilots took a look at it, determined that they simply change the engine and fly it off the levee, which is what they did.....no seat removal or anything. They flew over here to MSY, did some final cleanup, and put it back on the line.



Geaux Tigers! Geaux Hornets! Geaux Saints! WHO DAT!!!
User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2226 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 73250 times:

The airmanship involved in getting this airplane safely onto the levee is simply amazing. The pilots didn't get the credit they deserved, because the even more dramatic incident where the Aloha 737 shed part of its fuselage roof happened around the same time, and the Aloha incident got far more attention than the TACA incident did.

Thanks for sharing the picture with us!



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 73194 times:

Another great pic Tom and have never seen that angle before. It doesn't really look like they had a lot of room does it?

Quoting Tom in NO (Thread starter):
He landed on the long strip of grass (called a 'levee batture' down here) just to the right of the narrow canal that runs from the top right towards the bottom left of the photo.

EDIT: Duh, OK I get it now.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 4):
The pilots didn't get the credit they deserved,

In 1998 on the 10th anniversary, the City of New Orleans invited Captain Dardano and his F/O to New Orleans and presented them with a key to the city for their outstanding airmanship in preventing a disaster. The TV news reporter covering the event said we always hear about pilot error, but in this case how about pilot brilliance? What a great story.

[Edited 2007-09-12 22:27:12]


The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineGeotrash From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 73133 times:

Intereting thing about the PIC that landed this ship on the levee...it was the 2nd time he had saved his passengers from an emergency. The first time was somewhere over South America (Peru?) when his airplane was shot at by rebels. He took a bullet in the face but kept flying the airplane until he could land it safely. Now THAT is a pilot!

Dave


User currently offlineYellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6165 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 73083 times:

My 2nd cousin was the F/O...in fact I flew jumpseat with him to MSY a couple of days before the incident.....truly...he thought nothing of the incident except that he was glad it happened in MSY instead of MIA (his other route) as MSY 'Presented so many good opportunities for a good engine out landing"

In fact, he told me ...many many years ago...that it was truly the grace of god that presented them with such and ideal put down spot. He theorized that the water landing might not have had such a good outcome..

He asked to be on the fly off the levee and was denied permission!



When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 72891 times:

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 4):
The pilots didn't get the credit they deserved, because the even more dramatic incident where the Aloha 737 shed part of its fuselage roof happened around the same time, and the Aloha incident got far more attention than the TACA incident did.

ALPA (or maybe it was AWST magazine) gave the crew an award of some kind at the time of the incident, and it was well-deserved.

"Good" news will always take a backseat to "bad" news, since the former can often be "boring" (so they seem to think), and that latter can be made (deservedly or not) to be "exciting" due to the immediacy of the event, and the media's ability to edit a piece however they want to. Any resemblance to reality is then pure coincidental...


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 72473 times:

Quoting 777DadandJr (Reply 1):
have to say, I have heard the story before,

I was sitting at home on the couch watching TV when the news cut in to give the story.

I must say I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. A passenger jet landing on a levee is not your day to day story.

It was amazing. Camera crews were there just minutes after it landed. The passengers and flight attendants were crying; huggin and kissing the captain.

From what I recall, the captain had a reputation of being a cowboy in the air. I remember him wearing his big, dark aviator sunglasses and acting like nothing had happened.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 72199 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 5):
In 1998 on the 10th anniversary, the City of New Orleans invited Captain Dardano and his F/O

He is still with us. A gentleman and one of the most experienced captains of the Group. My last trip with in the cockpit was this last monday MIA/SAL and he's really and amazing person.


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 71998 times:

Found a couple of additional pictures this afternoon, including the one I consider the best of the ones I took:



This one is probably the best perspective of what Captain Dardano and his co-pilot were up against in lining up their final approach. The sliver of levee batture they set the aircraft down on is just to the left of the small canal running up and down in the left middle of the picture. Being that the levee itself is part of the narrow land mass to the left of the canal and to the right of the waterway on the opposite side of the levee, you can see how narrow a strip of land they had to deal with:



Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineBok269 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 2104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 71814 times:

Simply incredible that the pilots were able to put her down. Even more incredible that they got her back up.


"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 71745 times:

Yes, just incredible to spot this. MSY Tower had told them about the 4-lane highway that connects to the bridge in the bottom pic, but they said they couldn't make it. MSY actually lost contact with the aircraft in the descent and had no idea exactly where they had gone down and of the outcome. A departing aircraft from Lakefront airport was asked to fly into the area and look for the aircraft, and there was obviously great relief when the pilot reported the 737 down safely on the levee batture.

A bit more info on the bottom pic. The aircraft landed on the property of the NASA Michoud Facility, the builders of the space shuttle external fuel tanks. The barges you see in one of the above pics are used to float the tanks to Cape Canaveral. In the bottom pic, you are looking almost due west but still 20 miles from MSY. At the upper right corner of the pic is Lake Pontchartrain and the land sticking out in the lake is NEW but they could not reach it. The plan if not for this fortunate piece of ground, was to make a 360 and ditch in Lake Borgne which they were flying over when they spotted the landing site.



The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 days ago) and read 71666 times:

Wow! Can that be right? According to Google Earth, that levee is only 1500 ft long and they only used about 1300 ft of it. Truly amazing!

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 743 File size: 85kb



Uncle SAN at your service!
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 days ago) and read 71657 times:

They landed the other way; from the far right of your picture to the left (I made the same mistake when I first looked at it too).

After the landing, they must have towed the aircraft to it's resting location in Tom's pic's for ease of maintenance.



The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 71630 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 15):
They landed the other way; from the far right of your picture to the left (I made the same mistake when I first looked at it too).

Ok..that makes more sense. Thanks for the correction.



Uncle SAN at your service!
User currently offlineItsnotfinals From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 71608 times:

This plane went on to fly for HP  Smile as a lease

User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 71596 times:

ex N75356 TACA
ex N75356 Aviateca
ex N319AW America West
ex N764MA Morris Air

and still flying with WN as N697SW


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © James Richard Covington



If only the passengers knew



The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 71581 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 18):
and still flying with WN as N697SW

I'll have to check my flight log, but I think I rode this particular bird 2 years ago.



War Eagle!
User currently offlineItsnotfinals From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 71574 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 18):
If only the passengers knew

Thanks for the update , I didn't really follow that aircraft after the HP stint.


User currently offlineLaminarFlow From Canada, joined Aug 2007, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 71558 times:

Very fascinating. Thank you for the great historical pictures.

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 18):
If only the passengers knew

The average traveller might be concerned. Would any of us be? Not me.


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 71289 times:

Quoting LaminarFlow (Reply 21):
Would any of us be? Not me.

...I'd be a little creeped out if I knew, particularly after that CI crash circa 2002.


User currently offlineN710PS From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 71215 times:

Can you imagine just working on a boat over there and suddenly you see this 733 coming in low slow and quiet to land on the grass. I would be removing my draws after that. Great airmenship on the crews part too.


There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
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