Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Unlikely Event of a Water Landing

Next time you hear a passenger or crew member sneer at a life jacket demo, or pretty briefing card pictures depicting the gently floating airplane, direct them to this. A Boeing 707 was accidentally landed in a lake, thanks to black hole effect, and pilot arrogance.

It shows that an airliner can ditch safely. The gear and engines were torn off but the airplane fuselage remained intact. It floated overnight and was towed to shore.

Note the pilot's pre-splashdown reply to the ATC warning. The only invocation to fate I know to be more powerful than "I know what I'm doing," is "Hey everyone, watch this."

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