goinv
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Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:21 pm

I've just been reading another thread started by a nervous flyer. A reply in the thread stated that pilots are always on the lookout for a suitable place to land - "just in case".

In an ideal world there would always be an airport close by with fire services at the ready. But what would be the best place to land if not? I am assuming the plane is over land - not water and that flaps/slats/landing gear are all OPERABLE.

Would it be best to land at an airport with a runway that is way too short? At least the plane would have decent touchdown but run off the end (maybe obstructions there?)

Would it be better to try and find a Highway/Freeway/Motorway? This would be a danger to other people on the ground and the engines/wings/tailfin may get torn of by obstruction but the paved surface may be advantageous.

Would a field be better? Not so many obstructions to hit but the uneven surface of the land may cause damage to the landing gear - assuming that the landing gear would be used.

I have discounted a wooded area and a valley for obvious reasons.

I can't honestly recall such an incident happening but what would a captain do?
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sean1234
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:19 pm

I suppose it depends in part on the type of aircraft.

Flying Cessnas I always wondered if it would be better to land on an open body of water over a less than perfect field, road, etc. since the water is smooth and would likely help prevent a fire, only the plane would probably flip over and sink. Anyone care to comment?
 
MrChips
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:41 pm

I've always been told to try and avoid landing on roads during a forced approach. There are a few reasons explaining this:

1) You cannot control the traffic; a car could be on the road where you least want it.

2) Many roads, especially 2-lane country roads, have mailboxes, trees, power poles, etc. along the sides. These objects can obviously cause you some difficulty, both on the last segment of the approach as well as rollout.

3) if there is any crosswind, a road becomes an awfully narrow target.

However, given the choice between landing on a road and in a forest, I would choose the road. A forest is about the worst place to make a forced approach. In the mountains, your choices are limited, so if you cannot find a suitable creek/river bed to land on, you might have to take your chances with the trees.

Now, choosing between water and an open field is a no-brainer, in my opinion. Landing in the water, although it prevents fire, severely complicates the situation in the fact that egress from the aircraft becomes either extremely difficult or impossible. The way I see it, it's impossible to drown in a rocky field, so I'd probably take my chances there.

Finally, a story to share. One of my friends told me of a forced approach he experienced...there were no good fields anywhere in reasonable gliding distance, except for one beautiful green field. He landed there, and it turns out he chose to land on a sod farm...he said that if he had the choice between landing on the grass strip he took off from or the sod farm, he would have chose the sod farm, because it was so much smoother than the airstrip!
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goinv
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:42 pm

Quoting Sean1234 (Reply 1):
I suppose it depends in part on the type of aircraft.

I was thinking along the lines of commercial planes - A320 / 737 / ERJ145 / A380 etc etc
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Aaron747
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:01 pm

As a Cessna pilot, I can almost categorically suggest that trying to put a transport category aircraft down anywhere other than a runway is going to lead you right up a creek spelled s-h-i-*......
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SATL382G
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:09 pm

Quoting Goinv (Reply 3):
I was thinking along the lines of commercial planes - A320 / 737 / ERJ145 / A380 etc etc

Well the trouble here and in the other thread is that the people asking the question are thinking "heavy jet" and the people answering are thinking "light single or light twin".

It's hard for me to believe that a heavy jet pilot is constantly looking for an emergency landing field (ETOPs might be an exception) yet that is exactly what light single pilots are taught.

From a light single pilot: Where to land depends a lot on the type of aircraft and the nature of the emergency. Running low on gas (need to land soon) is very different from engine failure (forced landing is imminent) is very different from fire in the cockpit (controlled landing in doubt). There are some light piston aircraft were a guy could get away with landing it in a tree and just climb down, with others you might want to pick a field, and some you can pop a chute. In any case though a pilot would have to use whatever he had immediately available.

In the heavy metal airliner case... It's hard for me to imagine a situation which would require a pilot to put an airliner down off airport. 100% engine failure at low altitude, though unlikely, is about the only thing I can imagine. I expect that a pilot in that situation, assuming he's in clear weather, would simply look out the windows and pick a spot. He'll need long, flat, and straight for any sort of "good" outcome -- but likely he's probably going to try and minimize casualties on the ground first, any pax & crew he can save after that is gravy. So point the nose away from schools, homes, and office buildings. After this point the decision is quite likely made for the pilot due to lack of time and altitude..... and what if the visibility is bad?

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Kay
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:32 pm

Water isn't paradise. People have no idea how quickly one can become 30 feet under.

Regarding heavy aircraft, I don't think they stay on the lookout for landing spots, more like constantly calculate the headings and distances to the nearest airports. Pressing one button will do that.

For light aircraft, I would guess the best is landing over the thin layer of water of a shoreline, or on the beach itself. Otherwise long straight mountain roads, flat areas, highways, agricultural fields, etc etc. If you have to land in a valley, land uphill.

Kay
 
Ralgha
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:42 pm

Water is usually the worst choice for light airplanes. If you have fixed gear, you WILL flip over. Freeways are often good, straight roads with little traffic are good IF you can verify that there are no power lines. Farm fields are often ok if you land parallel to the plow lines. Try to pick a field with a cheap crop or the farmer might shoot you. Beaches are good, as long as you stay on the wet sand. Forests are survivable. If you're going for trees, by langing between two close trees and ripping the wings off to slow the airplane down, the chances are very good.
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TheBigOne
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:33 am

I cannot remember the exact details of this incident of a forced landing of an Airbus A300, but I will try:

An Indian Airlines A300-B2 attempted to land a number of times in heavy fog, in a South Indian city. The pilot decided to divert back to his point of departure, but as he reconfigured the aircraft for the one hour flight back, the flaps were stuck down. The fuel burn went through the roof, and halfway back to the point of origin, the aircraft ran out of fuel. The pilot put the aircraft down in a rice field, and miraculously all the passengers emerged unscathed. I remember seeing pictures of the aircraft and thinking that it actually did not seem to have too much damage. However I doubt that aircraft ever flew again, least of all because it would be impossible to take off in a paddy field.
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corey07850
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:50 am

Quoting MrChips (Reply 2):
A forest is about the worst place to make a forced approach.

Absolutely not! Given the choice of a road or a forest, I would most certainly pick the forest. All of the others have given reasons why it's not a good idea to land on a road, but they forgot to mention liability. You can bet that if you cause any injuries or accidents/damage your ass will be sued in a heartbeat.

Landing in a forest is a great place to land because you get the plane slowed way down, set best glide, and just wait for the plane to stop. The trees are excellent at absorbing energy due to all the branches and leaves. Obviously your wings will be clipped off etc, but you'll walk away. This is why pilots are taught to "aim for the dark areas" should they lose an engine at night
 
Ralgha
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:20 am

Pilots are taught to aim for the dark areas at night because there's the least chance of obstacles there, not because landing in trees is safer. If you smack an average forest tree square on, you're dead. I would much rather take the road over the forest if the road didn't have certain obstacles like power lines. I'd rather be sued than dead.
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:33 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 9):
Landing in a forest is a great place to land because you get the plane slowed way down, set best glide, and just wait for the plane to stop. The trees are excellent at absorbing energy due to all the branches and leaves. Obviously your wings will be clipped off etc, but you'll walk away. This is why pilots are taught to "aim for the dark areas" should they lose an engine at night

That' crazy!!! I've never heard of aim for the dark area but regardless I'm reminded of the Southern Airways DC-9 years ago that lost both eng. in a terrible storm. The crew picked out a country highway to land on when it became obvious that there was no airport within gliding dist. Everything was fine untill the road turned and the jet entered a forest. It was torn to pieces and there were few survivors. No I wouldn't choose a forest.
 
miamiair
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:38 am

Please pick one or the other:

Light aircraft or Transport category.
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ArmitageShanks
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:52 am

My instructor always said if you have an engine failure at night and are just about to touch down off the airport, turn on your landing light for a second. If you don't like what you see, just turn it back off and pray...
 
MrChips
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:17 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 9):

Landing in a forest is a great place to land because you get the plane slowed way down, set best glide, and just wait for the plane to stop. The trees are excellent at absorbing energy due to all the branches and leaves. Obviously your wings will be clipped off etc, but you'll walk away. This is why pilots are taught to "aim for the dark areas" should they lose an engine at night

Trees are NOT good at absorbing energy in any way whatsoever. You ever seen what happens when a car hits a power pole or a tree? Generally very few, if anyone, in the car survives the impact. Now consider a light airplane, in which the crash survivability is much lower, due to design constraints and impact speed...the trees aren't an energy dissipator, rather, they become like razor blades.

As for the liability issue, if you die as a result of your accident, people can still sue your estate.

In any larger aircraft (I would say anything larger than a King Air), looking for a suitable field basically means looking for a suitable airfield. The reason why light aircraft pilots look for fields to put down in is that most light aircraft do not have enough performance margin to continue flight to a suitable airfield in the event of an engine failure.
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corey07850
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:27 am

Quoting MrChips (Reply 14):
Trees are NOT good at absorbing energy in any way whatsoever. You ever seen what happens when a car hits a power pole or a tree? Generally very few, if anyone, in the car survives the impact. Now consider a light airplane, in which the crash survivability is much lower, due to design constraints and impact speed...the trees aren't an energy dissipator, rather, they become like razor blades.

I agree, as long as you are dumb enough to fly the plane into the base of a huge tree trunk. You skim the tops of the trees to slowly dissipate energy and speed using the smaller branches higher up. When a car hits a tree or power pole it goes from say 60mph-0 in less than a second...Imagine the deceleration forces. A plane skimming the tops of a forest and slowly sinking into them could go from say 68kts to 0 in 20 seconds--A HUGE difference.
 
MrChips
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:57 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 15):
A plane skimming the tops of a forest and slowly sinking into them could go from say 68kts to 0 in 20 seconds--A HUGE difference.

Of course, this would be ideal, but the chances of this are virtually zero. Remember, when you are skimming along the treetops, you are still flying 30-50 ft. off the forest floor...what happens when you drop below flying speed? You stall, and drop below the canopy of the forest and into the big, fat tree trunks. Even if you were able to come to a complete stop and stay in the forest canopy, most forests are not dense enough, and most trees are not strong enough, to hold up a one ton aluminum buzzard.
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curlyheadboy
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:04 am

Ok, I need your help on this one: I recall that somebody landed a 737 on a grassy field in an emergency (fuel starvation IIRC). Not only they successfully landed but, after a careful inspection, a crew was able to takeoff again from the field.
Help me find what aircraft/airline was it, when and under what circumstances it happened.  Smile
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VSIVARIES
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:09 am

This is for small planes only.

If you want to try and save the plane.....

I was taught to first of all determine the direction of the wind (if you have sufficient height to do this obviously). Then plan your forced landing INTO the headwind on a large field with no hard obstructions. Hard means trees, telegraph poles etc.
Hedges are apparently not that hard and can help to stop you (will trash the plane mind).
If possible the wind should be considered because if you land with a decent tailwind you will either;

a) Not land at all - (believe me I've tried it!)
b) Not stop. Or not until you crash into something anyway.

In a simple plane (I fly a PA-28), wind direction can be determined by looking for smoke on the ground, remembering where it was when you took off (if flying local) or if you have enough time try and find out with the radio.

Talking generally i.e. engine failure type put down, above all, height = time = better chance of walking away from it!

If you have a more serious problem then I imagine you won't be thinking about the wind too much.

B/R

[Edited 2005-04-28 21:10:41]
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SATL382G
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:15 am

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 17):
Ok, I need your help on this one: I recall that somebody landed a 737 on a grassy field in an emergency (fuel starvation IIRC). Not only they successfully landed but, after a careful inspection, a crew was able to takeoff again from the field.
Help me find what aircraft/airline was it, when and under what circumstances it happened.

TACA put a 737 down on a levee in New Orleans after both engines flamed out due to water ingestion.

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001213X25693&key=1
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curlyheadboy
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:34 am

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 19):
TACA put a 737 down on a levee in New Orleans after both engines flamed out due to water ingestion.

Yup! that's it  Smile Thanks!
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ltbewr
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:46 am

One alternative for larger a/c could be abandoned or active military airfields.
Recall the 'Gimini Glider'? Once they realized the lack of fuel, the pilot tried to get to a regular commerical/mainline airfield. Realizing that they may not make it to the desirable airport (about 50 miles away and could only glide about 20 from the height they were at), the pilot recalled from his service in the RACF of a RCAF base near by. He then piloted his a/c to that airfield near the town of Gimini. The field had been discontinued as an RCAF base and part of the runway was being used for a flea market/boot sale, but enough of the runway was available for the aircraft and was able to land safely without engine power. The then new 767 only suffered some damage to the nose and nose gear (which collasped on landing). If I am correct, the a/c was repaired and still in service.
I have heard of several stories of small GA's landing on interstate or wide roads safely, including on I-80 in Rockaway, NJ a number of years ago. Of course, it may be difficult to not get between, around or hit by a car or a semi, but it may be the best of bad choices. As to landing with the trees, sometimes it works, and have heard of survived such treetop landings, but more often it doesn't.
Then there are all of the rumors that some USA Interstate routes were designed to be emergency military airstrips. It is understood that parts of some German Autobans built in the Nazi era were built to be used and were used for military airstrips.
For a large commercial landing on a major highway today, it probably wouldn't work due to width of most such a/c's, the capacity of the road to hold the a/c's weight, traffic and other obstructions.
 
SATL382G
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:29 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 21):
Recall the 'Gimini Glider'?

Nope....

I think you're thinking of the Gimli Glider....


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Ralgha
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:37 am

You skim the tops of the trees to slowly dissipate energy and speed using the smaller branches higher up.

Virtually impossible to do. Forests aren't dense enough.

If you want to try and save the plane.....

That's the first step towards killing yourself and everyone else in the airplane. When you're forced to land off an airport, saving the airplane is LAST. Sacrifice the airplane to save the people.
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aa757first
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:17 am

Quoting Goinv (Thread starter):

Would it be best to land at an airport with a runway that is way too short? At least the plane would have decent touchdown but run off the end (maybe obstructions there?)

I would say so.
A) At least there is some unobstructed area for you to at least slow the aircraft.
B) It's not like there is going to be some huge forest two inches from the end of the runway. It will probably be relatively obstruction free for a while.

AA.ndrew
 
MrChips
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:47 am

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 23):
Virtually impossible to do. Forests aren't dense enough.

Yes...thats exactly what I said.

Building on what you said, it might seem like a wonderful and courageous thing do do, saving the airplane, but it might not seem so wonderful if in doing so you kill your friend, wife, children, passengers, etc.

This raises a situation that has played out many times in Cirrus aircraft, or others equipped with a BRS. Say a pilot gets themselves into some difficulty - do you try and get out of it by yourself, with the amount of risk in the recovery being unknown, or do you pull the 'chute, wreck the airplane but save your neck?

In my mind, the answer is clear...I'd rather live another day than try and do something stupid. Even still, I guarantee in that situation, I would have that little voice in the back of my head telling me that "I can recover this, don't pull the 'chute"...everyone has that little voice, unfortunately, those flying who listen to it generally don't get the chance to do it again...
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Woodreau
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:12 am

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 10):
Pilots are taught to aim for the dark areas at night because there's the least chance of obstacles there

Where I learned to fly, dark areas at night are the mountains so you didn't want to go there. Roads are most likely in the valleys. So flying at night in a small aircraft entails more risk that a pilot needs to be aware of and mitigate.

Anyways, I think in a large transport category aircraft, there is much better support from ATC, maintenance, dispatch, and redundancy in just about every system on the aircraft and the fact that they can still fly from point A to B with one engine. So with an inoperative engine, you just fly until you get to an airport with a suitable runway, no need to pick one with a short runway.
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Ralgha
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:39 am

Anyways, I think in a large transport category aircraft, there is much better support from ATC, maintenance, dispatch, and redundancy

Accurate except for ATC. ATC doesn't care whether you're in an airliner or a cub, they'll do everything they can for you in an emergency.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:23 pm

Quoting Goinv (Thread starter):
Would a field be better? Not so many obstructions to hit but the uneven surface of the land may cause damage to the landing gear - assuming that the landing gear would be used.

If one can find an Empty beach on the way,A belly landing would be Ideal.

Quoting TheBigOne (Reply 8):
An Indian Airlines A300-B2 attempted to land a number of times in heavy fog, in a South Indian city.



Quoting TheBigOne (Reply 8):
However I doubt that aircraft ever flew again, least of all because it would be impossible to take off in a paddy field.

It had to be Dismantled & never flew Again.

I guess the Decision is based on the Circumstances of the Emergency & the options on hand at the time.
A Field or Beach [Empty] Belly landing would be preffered.
A Highway Landing for a Commericial jet might be difficult & add to the casualities,as no traffic would imagine that there would be an Airliner landing out there.
Luckily the "Gimili Glider" did not have a problem with the people on the Alt Airfield being used as a race track.
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Ralgha
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:39 pm

If one can find an Empty beach on the way,A belly landing would be Ideal.

No need for a belly landing. Wet sand is plenty hard enough. There's an airport in Washington that IS the beach.
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FredT
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:57 pm

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 9):
Landing in a forest is a great place to land because you get the plane slowed way down, set best glide, and just wait for the plane to stop. The trees are excellent at absorbing energy due to all the branches and leaves. Obviously your wings will be clipped off etc, but you'll walk away. This is why pilots are taught to "aim for the dark areas" should they lose an engine at night

First off, best glide and wait would not be the thing to do. What you want to do is stall out just above the trees, just as if landing on a runway. That way, you minimise the energy at which you hit the trees.

The problems are twofold. First, you'll travel for a distance through the forest. Take a look at a forest. You typically can't go straight in any direction for any distance worth mentioning without hitting a trunk, especially not if you happen to be one aircraft fuselage wide. That's bad. Aircraft hitting tree trunks crumple up a lot worse than cars do, as cars are built with impacting fixed objects in mind.

Second, provided you manage to rip the wings off and get rid of all that kinetic energy (speed) without getting hurt (much), you are still quite a distance above ground strapped into what is possibly the worst passenger compartment to be in if you want to survive a nose-first dive into the ground.

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 24):
B) It's not like there is going to be some huge forest two inches from the end of the runway. It will probably be relatively obstruction free for a while.

Apart from the approach light structures, ILS antenna etc, which have killed a number of people in runway overruns over the years.

But a runway is definitely the thing for an airliner. Use the runway to safely get rid of as much energy as possible. Steer off the runway into the grass when safe to do so and in any case before hitting any structures at the far end. Hope for the ground being soft enough for the gear to dig in.

/Fred
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qxeguy
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:31 pm

I don't fly large Transport aircraft yet, but I would guess their first choice is an airport, 2nd choice an open field.

Light Aircraft:

I have been through Underwater Egress training enough times to know that I don't want to land in the water if at all possible. (its cold, wet, you could drown, it takes a lot of time for rescue to get to you, you will probably be upside down, disoriented, have the wind knocked out of you, and have arm/wrist injuries from holding the yoke on impact). On the bright side, there might not be a fire.

I have popped an engine over a large wooded area, and landing in trees is not an attractive prospect (I managed to squeeze slight power out of my engine to extend my glide to an airport). ATC was very helpful. Love those guys.

Beaches are wonderful to land on if they are wide enough. I have landed at Copalis (The strip of beach that is a designated Washington State airport on the West Coast), and if you land on the "middle" sand (not the shiny stuff near the water, and not the dry soft stuff) and it is EXACTLY like landing on a runway.
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jfkaua
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:02 am

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 19):

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?e...key=1

wow do they really need to use so many abbreviations..

Quoting Qxeguy (Reply 31):
I have popped an engine over a large wooded area, and landing in trees is not an attractive prospect (I managed to squeeze slight power out of my engine to extend my glide to an airport). ATC was very helpful. Love those guys.

Beaches are wonderful to land on if they are wide enough. I have landed at Copalis (The strip of beach that is a designated Washington State airport on the West Coast), and if you land on the "middle" sand (not the shiny stuff near the water, and not the dry soft stuff) and it is EXACTLY like landing on a runway.

wow you dont have very good luck huh
 
N766UA
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:51 am

Water is baaaad times. It's really a game a russian roulette when it comes to water... except you're messing with an automatic pistol. There is really no good place for a forced landing, but fields are prime choice. Water and roads are the last place you'd want to try to put it down.
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IFIXCF6
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:48 am

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned "405". It's a comedy video about an AA DC10 that makes a forced landing on California freeway 405. If you haven't seen it, look for it. It is pretty good.

Mike
 
buckfifty
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:02 pm


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AIrliners do make forced landings once in a while, but only in exceptional circumstances. In this case, due to severe icing, and damaged engine anti-ice equipment (well, they fell off, actually). In this case, it wasn't much different than finding a suitable field for landing in a light aircraft. They were quite lucky to find one big enough this time around with the amount of time they had on their hands. In fact, it was probably the quick and sound judgement of the crew that saved the lives of all onboard at the expense of the aircraft. Many other crews may have tried to make it to the runway, with perhaps disasterous consequences.

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 10):
Pilots are taught to aim for the dark areas at night because there's the least chance of obstacles there, not because landing in trees is safer. If you smack an average forest tree square on, you're dead. I would much rather take the road over the forest if the road didn't have certain obstacles like power lines. I'd rather be sued than dead.

In my experience, aiming for the dark areas at night in a light aircraft isn't because there's less chance for obstacles there. The more conventional thinking is that, if you're about to go down, you don't aim for lights, because that means there are people there. Sacrifice yourself, not others.

Perhaps your way of thinking is because you live near lightly forested areas, and open fields are abundant. Not always like that in every locale.

As for forests, you never aim for them deliberately. However, skimming tree tops is still taught for pilots in light aircraft, just in case if they get themselves into a situation when there are no other choices available.
 
L-188
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:17 pm

Quoting VSIVARIES (Reply 18):
Then plan your forced landing INTO the headwind on a large field with no hard obstructions. Hard means trees, telegraph poles etc.

When I was taking flight lessons at the University of North Dakota, I went 10 rounds with my second instructor over this issue. At the time we where practicing off emergency landings, where he cuts the engine, and you have to determine a suitable landing area before you reach a height above terrain.

Like everybody else in the lower 48, he was trained that farmers fields where safe places. However I grew up in Alaska and usually wide-tree free areas are known at tundra and swamps, neither or which are particularly desirable as landing areas.

So anyway we where doing this trainign in March, and I am looking down at these farmers fields, plowed after the sugar beet harvest the previous fall, the furrows filled with standing water from the melting snow and thinking that there was no way in hell I was going to try to put a fixed gear plane down in that field. If I was lucky, the plane was only going to end up on it's back and I with a broken neck as the tires dug into that black mud. If I wasn't lucky, I would end up upside down in the field drowning in a water filled hole the prop dug as the plane flipped over.

I never could get the guy to see the danger of landing in that field. Some of the wheat fields where better, or even taking chances on the perimiter roads on some of the fiels where better choices.

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 26):
Where I learned to fly, dark areas at night are the mountains so you didn't want to go there

Dark is bad......you can't see what is there.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
mandala499
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sun May 01, 2005 4:11 am

Best place to land in an emergency is always... an airport/airfield... Even if you can't make a safe landing there... it'll always be better than a road or a field... Emergency crews can assemble there and get to the scene in a more or less "controlled" situation... Remember UA232? On crashes like that it's not the crash that would kill you... it's the delay in getting the injured to medical help that's the real killer.

The JAL747 that lost its tail and went into the mountain... survivors said there were many that survived the head on impact with the mountain, but after one night... almost all of them died...

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
downingbarry
Posts: 32
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RE: Best Place To Land In An Emergency?

Sat May 07, 2005 10:25 pm

To throw more controversy into the debate, I would suggest it depends on the type of forest you are aiming at, if you do decide to take the green route. Some 'softer' forests (I'm thinking particularly pine trees) are less rigid and have thinner trunks, so are more likely to absorb the impact.

Also, is there any truth in the common rumour that adopting the 'brace' position isn't to protect your body, but to protect your teeth for identification from medical records?

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