When a passenger airplane makes a forced landing, passengers typically go through a controlled descent before a no-fly zone is established, and it’s shortly after this point that the pilots have to consider landing gear failure. But if the landing gear doesn’t come off, the pilot may need to call for help before risking further air space alert. The resulting tailspin that a landing gear problem can cause has been called the “bumpy landing” — it results in a pilot using much more air power to bring the aircraft down, and this air speed change can be very dangerous in the event of an engine failure. So, when an airplane has to land, it’s important to avoid certain situations, such as a bird strike and rain — no turbulence, rain, fog or fire is good.
The following infographic takes a look at the most alarming involuntary landings around the world.
While you can no longer watch accidents on YouTube (yet), we should also start being more alert at airports, according to a report by University of Maryland’s, Maritime National Center of Excellence (MNCE). The Minnesota group says that airport staff and travelers who don’t attend to the adequacy of airport access risks could often end up having a “tire-wacky” (conversely, a safety lapse or mishap) landing that could put passengers at risk. The MNCE recommends that every pilot should first review the airport’s rules before boarding, and then also take a look at runway guidelines. Airport staff should also be encouraged to alert the pilot if an entrance is not open or an exit is blocked, as another mistake that could allow a bird to accidentally hit a plane in flight, according to this story in The Washington Post.
In September, a Hawaii-bound commercial passenger jet had to land in Jamaica after the Air Traffic Control radar received reports of the captain requesting guidance on “emergency equipment or possibly smoke,” according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement. An engine failure or wheel shake caused the fix issue, said an official, and after 90 minutes of fluctuating airspeed the pilots pulled the plane out of Jamaica.
While some countries (such as Canada) have efforts to boost safety in their airline fleets, they still pose a risk of accidental landings, researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute report. Despite the strides, some untrained pilots still fly commercial airplanes in countries that do not require license holders to hold aviation licenses. The researchers used 11 data sets covering 7,800 commercial airplanes to study whether or not pilot license data may be an indicator of bad aviation habits, and there were 80 reported incidents of unlicensed flying between 2008 and 2013. Of these incidents, 70 involved US-registered carriers, whose airlines make up 60 percent of all US-registered planes and continue to operate despite not having the necessary aviation licenses, the researchers found.
Taking another look at the sky, there are some examples of what could potentially trigger airline accidents, the MNCE reports. On a bad day, an air traffic controller may be distracted and fail to make adjustments or divert planes during periods of high activity. Airspace can be dangerous, as well, such as bad weather during takeoff and landing and unexpected security restrictions or missile intercepts that may cause airports to unnecessarily put planes on red and taxi them onto runways.
In order to make sure that pilots are spending as much time training for flight, as they should, various states have passed laws regarding the pilot licensing certification process. Last year, New Jersey’s new law prohibits airline pilots from taking off from the runway for an in-flight restroom break, according to this post on Quartz. The district court that passed the new law argued that the flight deck had become an industry that “has become more utilitarian, a vast and complicated product of growth and popularity that must be fit for the air,” and that pilots have had their focus on other areas of work become distracted. On September 12, the former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, denied that the law passed last year was in response to a controversial 2009 report by the National Transportation Safety Board that claimed that “bombardier” pilots in the state’s planes flew “about 80 percent more frequently than at the same point in 2001.”
The Atlantic reported that just how routine landings are may surprise you. The Atlantic investigated more than 3,000 involuntary landings in 40 years, and found that a dozen landing “spikes” had only happened six times. Seven of those were during wild weather, and there were 10 that were solely caused by a bird strike.
World’s most hazardous airport after Gatwick (video)
A study revealed that the most dangerous time to fly is the first 15 minutes
Watch the World’s Longest Traffic Jam Begin at the World’s