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Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Collapses and Dies At the Controls

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the landing-is-the-most-important-part-of-flying dept.

Transportation 249

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "NBC reports that flying instructors at Humberside Airport, near the city of Hull in northeast England, told a passenger who had never flown before how to land a four-seater Cessna 172 after the pilot collapsed and died at the controls. Passenger John Wildey explained to air traffic controllers that he had no flying experience and that the pilot could not control the plane. 'It came down with a bump, a bump, a bump, hit the front end down, I heard some crashing and it's come to a halt,' said Stuart Sykes. 'There were a few sparks and three or four crashes, that must have been the propeller hitting the floor. Then it uprighted again and it came to a stop.' Roads around the airport were closed while two incoming flights to the airport, from Scotland and the Netherlands, were delayed as a result of the incident. The passenger took four passes of the runway, and there were cheers from the control tower when it finally came to a halt on the ground. 'For somebody who is not a pilot but has been around airfields and been a passenger on several occasions to take control is nothing short of phenomenal," said Richard Tomlinson. "He made quite a good landing, actually,' added flight instructor Murray. 'He didn't know the layout of the airplane. He didn't have lights on so he was absolutely flying blind as well.'"

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249 comments

FAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086011)

this wouldn't have happened if Obummer hadn't shut down the government.

Re: FAA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086051)

Because Obama has tons of influence in northeastern England.

Re: FAA (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086141)

Not only that, but Obama can make non-government pilots die with the power of his mind.

Re: FAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086449)

51st state.

Re: FAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086931)

That's Puerto Rico.

Re: FAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086975)

+1 Internets for POS51

Re:FAA (1, Offtopic)

neminem (561346) | about 10 months ago | (#45086071)

No, that's not the meme, get it right. The meme is, "THANKS, Obama!

Re:FAA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086255)

No, that's not the meme, get it right. The meme is, "THANKS, Obama!

Uhhhh, A: this was in the UK. B: Really? REALLY?

Shirley.... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086017)

Dunn was over Unger, and I was over Dunn.

Re:Shirley.... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 10 months ago | (#45086585)

Are you Over Done or Under Done? Cause I think that's over done...

Great movie for the puns..

And the pilot? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086019)

Typical pilots don't die mid-flight. More about pilot?

Re: And the pilot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086149)

I'd assume said pilot died of age or something.

Re:And the pilot? (5, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 10 months ago | (#45086155)

Ya, it's nice that most of the stories don't say a word about the dead guy. He didn't actually die until after the landing, but he was unresponsive before landing.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/512649/20131009/john-wildey-humberside-plane-landing-pilot-ill.htm [ibtimes.co.uk]

The pilot, who has not been named on request of his family, later died. A spokesman for Humberside Police said: "A post mortem is to be undertaken following the sad death of the pilot of a light aircraft which landed safely at Humberside Airport yesterday evening.

Re: And the pilot? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086215)

Well, yes, but think - is there really much you can say about someone who
a) You're not allowed to identify
b) Their cause of death is unknown

Re: And the pilot? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 10 months ago | (#45086399)

"possibly had a stroke"
    "had a history of cardiac problems"
    "was shot in the head"
    "was struck by a bird through the cockpit window"

    Any of those little blurbs, even if not the actual cause of death, would have been very useful.

    And yes, a bird strike on a small plane can be catastrophic.

http://download.aopa.org/images/epilot/120427bird_strike.jpg [aopa.org]

http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/inst_reports2.cfm?article=3712 [aopa.org]

Re: And the pilot? (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#45086781)

"possibly had a stroke" "had a history of cardiac problems" "was shot in the head" "was struck by a bird through the cockpit window"

Isn't it nice when the media refrains from absolute wild-ass random speculation and waits for the facts? Wouldn't it be nice if /. posters could be trained to do the same?

Re: And the pilot? (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 10 months ago | (#45086909)

Well, if I read the story right, it was a friend up with him, and the family was notified. It would simply be up to the reporter to ask a few questions, like reporters are suppose to. Hell, they got the play by play of how he got the plane on the ground.

Privacy and avoiding speculation isn't an excuse for piss-poor reporting.

Re: And the pilot? (1, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 10 months ago | (#45086933)

Any of those little blurbs, even if not the actual cause of death, would have been very useful.

You watch Fox News, don't you?

"I don't care if it's true, I just want someone to tell me something."

Re:And the pilot? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086417)

IIRC, the likely reason he was unresponsive and didn't die until he reached the airport is that people don't die on airplanes (unless they crash), they die at the airport once they're pronounced dead. It's more a matter of semantics and policy rather than an indication that he was still alive when the plane landed.

Re:And the pilot? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086303)

Typical pilots don't die mid-flight. More about pilot?

He must have had the fish.

Re:And the pilot? (4, Funny)

danceswithtrees (968154) | about 10 months ago | (#45086563)

Oblig joke: Grandpa died quietly in his sleep. Everyone else in plane was screaming.

Re:And the pilot? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#45086567)

Typical pilots don't die mid-flight.

Humans tend to have a non-zero risk of sudden death, a quick Google search shows that a United Airlines pilot bound for Seattle had a heart attack and eventually died as recently as September 27th. It just becomes painfully obvious if that pilot is the only one qualified to fly the plane, but it's hardly unique. After all there are a lot of small passenger planes going places with one pilot and no crew, if the pilot has a medical emergency there aren't really any alternatives..

A GOOD LANDING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086023)

They say !!

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 10 months ago | (#45086087)

Yes.

The proverb among pilots is "Any landing you walk away from is a good landing".

Professional pilots obviously hold themselves to a higher standard than that, but for a first-time flyer that landing met the requirements completely.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086193)

In general, you're doing a good job if at all times you keep the plane between the two lights on the wingtips.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (5, Funny)

Zak3056 (69287) | about 10 months ago | (#45086197)

Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. Any landing you can walk away from and reuse the aircraft is a great one!

Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 10 months ago | (#45086251)

I mean, is the landing "flare" really that hard?

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 10 months ago | (#45086289)

No it's not.

But if you've never even had that discussion before, much less training, yeah it might be.
Probably why he had to make 4 passes before landing. Trying to pull back too much, too early.

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45086413)

Don't forget he had no lights (and this was some tiny plane, so no ILS, glidescope etc).

Damn fine job considering.

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (2)

spmkk (528421) | about 10 months ago | (#45086523)

Actually, a lot of C172s are ILS-equipped. Most pilots do their IFR training in this or a similar plane.

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (4, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 10 months ago | (#45086541)

Cut that Sky Hawk right seater's shirt off his back! That fully qualifies as a "First Solo Flight!"

My condolences to the family of the Aviator that passed away.

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 10 months ago | (#45086549)

He's probably better off not having ILS/glidescope/etc. Too much to try to figure out & you'll hit the ground too hard.

Lights don't really help. As long as the runway was lit up, the visibility should have been fine.

It's not like 1 or 2 small lights on the wings make a real difference until you're taxiing.

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (4, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 10 months ago | (#45086591)

He almost certainly did have ILS, actually, but you'd have to be crazy to try and explain shooting an approach to someone who's never flown before. Much better to say "fly at the runway, once you're over it cut the engine and try not to land".

Actually, Flaring is really the hardest part (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086461)

Actually yes, it IS difficult unless you've practiced it. And most of us who practiced it had an instructor who recovered the plane when we fucked it up. And every pilot fucked this up in training.

Flare too little / late: you smack into the runway. If you're descending too fast you're basically crashing right now. If you're nose down you could snap the front gear. Hit with all gear and you can still snap the front or wheelbarrow if you're too heavy on the front. Good chance you'll bounce too. If you're going too fast that bounce could be high and far, and you may bounce oddly if you didn't hit evenly - throwing you off to the side or what have you. Porpoising is particularly nasty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5ZzktAFJK4

Flare too soon: you balloon upwards and eat up runway fast. If you don't correct or abort you'll run out of runway fast.

Flare too much: you balloon upwards meaning you're getting high and approaching a stall. Stall and you'll slap down rather hard on the runway, potentially from enough height to kill yourself.

A good flare is a continual thing as well. It's not like you just pull back a bit and you're done... you need to keep pulling back to increase the flare as air speed and altitude decrease. Through that entire process you can go too much or too little, causing the issues above.

Oh, and keep in mind that since the plane is in a nose up attitude you can't really see ahead of you very well. You're judging your altitude over the runway largely via peripheral vision. And you height cues vary depending how wide the runway is!

Now try throwing some cross wind into that just to add to your day.

Screw it up and need to go around? There's more than just throwing in the throttle. You need to reduce your flaps, in stages, as you pull out. Slap those suckers full up and you may lose too much lift to soon and plane meets ground rather harshly.

Personally if the idea of landing a plane with zero training doesn't scare the piss out you, you probably don't have a good enough understanding of what you're about to attempt.

Re:Actually, Flaring is really the hardest part (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 10 months ago | (#45086655)

Mod parent up, and up, and up. Clearly a lot of people around here have spent a lot of time in flight simulators.

Re:Actually, Flaring is really the hardest part (2)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 10 months ago | (#45086799)

and throw in the fact it was a night landing so you're depth perception is whacked as well. Good job.

Re:Actually, Flaring is really the hardest part (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 10 months ago | (#45086955)

Don't knock flight simulators, after all that's what airliner pilots train on. Sure, those are different setups than the PC + joystick we have at home, but even so. If anything they taught me that flaring is indeed tricky; I've gone through all of the variations described in the GP post.

Then again they've also taught me that flying knife edge along the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge is easy...

Re:Geez, crumped the nose wheel and the prop! (5, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 10 months ago | (#45086645)

Actually, it is. It's the hardest part of learning to land, which is the hardest part of learning to fly. It doesn't take much to screw up the flare, and it doesn't take much of a screwed-up flare to royally screw up a landing.

Example: If you're going too fast and you flare, you'll "balloon" off the runway. Now you'll be 15 feet off and bleeding airspeed - fast. Unless you are pretty comfortable with flying, you'll stall up there and drop like a stone onto the runway.

If I were the instructor, I wouldn't even risk it. I'd tell him to come in fast (~75 knots "dirty") to keep him well away from stall speed and just fly it onto the runway. He had plenty of runway (~7200 feet, C172 needs ~2000 to be comfortable) and nobody was worried about damaging the plane so a nice graceful flare is wholly unnecessary. It sounds like this is pretty much what they did, because he had a prop strike.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 10 months ago | (#45086249)

The proverb among pilots is "Any landing you walk away from is a good landing".

Professional pilots obviously hold themselves to a higher standard than that, but for a first-time flyer that landing met the requirements completely.

The quote is extended among pilots to "and a great landing is where you can use the plane again".

That said, the aeronautical term for this is called a Pinch-Hitter (taken from baseball). Google brings up many courses (online and off), videos, articles etc [google.ca] of being a pinch-hitter pilot. You'll find most are for small GA aircraft where single pilot operations are common.

If you are a pilot, there are plenty of resources to which you can print out to help your passengers in the unlikely event they need to take over - these sheets include instructions on how to radio for help (basically, how to use the radio) and what to radio for help on. Your passenger briefing that you do before starting up should include instructions on how to work the radio as well.

Ground point five (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 10 months ago | (#45086343)

I guess the one thing you need to know about the radio is the international distress channel of 121.5? I am told that this channel is monitored, even by pilots in the air in case someone is in trouble and they need to relay instructions?

For a more complex aircraft, maybe the next thing is a pencil and paper to copy some checklists? For all but the simplest GA aircraft, you are probably going to need to have a bunch of switches in the right positions?

Re:Ground point five (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 10 months ago | (#45086427)

IMHO small jetliners are easier to land than piston-engined GA aircraft. Throttle response on turbines is more intuitive, even with the lag. Also, a jetliner will have a full blind landing system, including the all-important glide scope, and a bunch of pilot-assist warning systems to remind you of things you need to do. I'd much rather be at the controls of an unfamiliar 100-seat jet than a 10-seat piston engined GA aircraft.

Re:Ground point five (4, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about 10 months ago | (#45086673)

IMHO small jetliners are easier to land than piston-engined GA aircraft. Throttle response on turbines is more intuitive, even with the lag. Also, a jetliner will have a full blind landing system, including the all-important glide scope, and a bunch of pilot-assist warning systems to remind you of things you need to do. I'd much rather be at the controls of an unfamiliar 100-seat jet than a 10-seat piston engined GA aircraft.

Not on your life... I want to be landing the aircraft that comes over the fence the SLOWEST as possible. Jets are usually NOT slow on final. The problem is that during landing a lot of things happen between short final and full stop, you want to have as much time to think and react as possible and the faster you are going when you cross the fence the shorter time you have. So I want a slow aircraft and a LONG runway that's preferably wide.

Re:Ground point five (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45086439)

Yes, 121.5mhz AM is International Air Distress (GUARD channel). It's also used by distress beacons etc. Not just aircraft monitor. Hell, I monitor in my car when I'm driving in the middle of nowhere. You never know - your hearing that personal locator beacon just might save someone's life.

If you can figure out how to work it, it's also useful to know how to set the transponder to squawk 7700 (emergency) or 7600 (radio failure). That last one might not help you land it, but at least ATC knows something is wrong and that they won't be able to communicate.

Re:Ground point five (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086625)

You never know - your hearing that personal locator beacon just might save someone's life.

You're not going to be hearing anyone's PLB on 121.5 MHz. PLBs only transmit on 406MHz. The "legacy" ELTs still transmit on 121.5 and 243MHz.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086513)

Any passengers that have had some time messing with simulators might also have a better clue and perhaps the one to have sit up front, even if they've never flown the real deal. The Cessna 172 is pretty common in civil aviation, so most flight and layout/instrumentation models of it closer to accurate than not - or at least from people I've heard claim to be real pilots. (I'm not a real pilot, but in sims it seems to be one of the easier planes to fly once trimmed and using throttle to do most of the climbing or descending. At least in my sim experience, with right flap setting and kept fairly level at just under 500FPM descent around 68 knots, the plane practically lands itself.)

That's not to say all sim models are good or accurate though. Some of the videogame or helicopter ones might get you killed.

And noobs (if not colorblind) should keep in mind that most indicators on the instrument panel are color coded like on anything else. Green is generally good, yellow advises caution, and red tends to be bad. Aircraft controls are also like steering a car at highway speed, a little bit of input tends to be just enough.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086271)

Yes.

The proverb among pilots is "Any landing you walk away from is a good landing".

Professional pilots obviously hold themselves to a higher standard than that, but for a first-time flyer that landing met the requirements completely.

By this logic it was a good landing for everyone except the original pilot.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086355)

The second pilot wasn't a first-time flyer. He just had no experience with this particular type of aircraft.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (1)

Bovius (1243040) | about 10 months ago | (#45086457)

The summary eludes to it, but the articles I've read so far on it fail to mention that the landing happened *when it was dark out*. I haven't seen a specific time of landing yet, but it's looking like it was well after sunset, which is why the note about not having lights on is so noteworthy.

Untrained landings under pressure are heroic feats as it is. Doing so as it's getting progressively darker outside turns it up to 11.

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45086803)

Maybe it wasn't the lights. Maybe he had peril sensitive sunglasses on.

My Sig (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45086751)

Yes.

The proverb among pilots is "Any landing you walk away from is a good landing".

Professional pilots obviously hold themselves to a higher standard than that, but for a first-time flyer that landing met the requirements completely.

My sig for a while was "Any landing you walk away from is a good landing. - Flight sim pilot"

Re:A GOOD LANDING !! (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 10 months ago | (#45086437)

Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.

Well then... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086025)

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

Re:Well then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086151)

It's always a wrong week to stop.

Re:Well then... (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 10 months ago | (#45086247)

Have you been kicked in the head with an iron boot?

Re:Well then... (3, Funny)

mirix (1649853) | about 10 months ago | (#45086367)

Bet the pilot is kicking himself for having the fish.

Re:Well then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086639)

Bet the pilot is kicking himself for having the fish.

I'll take that bet...

And since he's dead, he's not kicking anyone, so I'll take your money too. Thank you.

Re:Well then... (3, Funny)

bmk67 (971394) | about 10 months ago | (#45086529)

So tell me, Timmy, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

Money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086043)

Quick! Make a movie about it! It's such an original story!

That's just plane awesome. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086067)

So he basically winged it and hoped for the best?

Re:That's just plane awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086223)

He flew the coop! He propelled the wings!

Not a pilot but... (5, Funny)

KPexEA (1030982) | about 10 months ago | (#45086173)

He did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Re:Not a pilot but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086313)

STAY THIRTY MY FRIENDS!!!

Re:Not a pilot but... (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 10 months ago | (#45086377)

STAY THIRTY MY FRIENDS!!!

You want me to come in on runway 30? OK, what's the vector, Victor? Two-niner-zero? Surely you're joking...

Re:Not a pilot but... (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 10 months ago | (#45086577)

I am not joking... And don't call me Shirley.

Mythbusters (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086199)

Mythbusters had an episode like this. Basically they stuck Adam and Jaime in a commercial cockpit simulator with no prior familiarization or training and tested to see if they could successfully land a passenger plane with just flight controller coaching. They both were able to do it fairly easily.

I'm sure if you find yourself in this situation in real life, you have the additional element of stress to contend with, but mythbusters did attempt to show that landing a plane isn't all that complicated with modern controls.

Mythbusters . . . hah! (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 10 months ago | (#45086285)

Gee, Adam and Jaime are essentially geeks who are used to following technical directions -- what is so hard in that?

Re:Mythbusters . . . hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086411)

So what? Unless you know what the "passenger" was, you have no real frame of reference. Was he/she a doctor, programmer, architect, work-shy bum? Furthermore, a simulator doesn't bother you, you fuck up, doesn't matter. A shitty little Cessna with zero auto controls and instant death on a a mistake is a hell of a lot more stressful and panic inducing than sitting in a large computer/gaming rig.

Re:Mythbusters . . . hah! (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45086503)

A shitty little Cessna with zero auto controls and instant death on a a mistake is a hell of a lot more stressful and panic inducing than sitting in a large computer/gaming rig.

Its REALLY not that hard.

I remember playing MS Flight simulator on my grandfathers IBM XT with hercules monochrome graphics, and we were, after some practice able to land a cessna.

Now before you rightfully mock me... in practice years later we got to actually fly a cessna, and in reality its much easier to land. (at least in half decent conditions). There's lots more feedback to what you are doing and its far easier to line up the runway in the real life than it was in the game.

In other words, its not as hard as you'd think it is, and its actually easier in hte real world than in the simulators IMO.

At least in good weather / good visibility.

Re:Mythbusters . . . hah! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086681)

In other words, its not as hard as you'd think it is, and its actually easier in hte real world than in the simulators IMO.

Better graphics and frame rate too...

Re:Mythbusters . . . hah! (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 10 months ago | (#45086749)

Totally agree. Landing Micro$oft simulator is much harder than the real thing. And yes, I've done both many times.

The simulator is great for procedure training (how to shoot approaches, do procedure turns, holding patterns, navigation etc.) but it sucks when you get close to the ground. In a real airplane, you get all sorts of feedback, motion, sounds, visual and control feel that make it easier to handle the plane. Doing procedure training during flight is harder than necessary and a really expensive way to learn about the process, it's quicker (and cheaper) to become proficient in a simulator before you go fly them.

Re:Mythbusters . . . hah! (4, Informative)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 10 months ago | (#45086783)

"after some practice able to land a cessna." Aye! And good weather/good visitibility, this guy did it as it was mostly dark, and Humberside Airport is notorious for having nasty bumpy air around it. It's very hilly around there, with just the runway the flat bit. For a long time the only reason the airport remained open was to support the North Sea Rigs, and it mostly handled helicopters. Occasional flying sheds from HUY to Amsterdam to get to somewhere useful, wasn't much going on. When it did expand and get the larger planes/holiday makers, it got well known as being bumpy on the last minute of descent, and winds coming in from the NW appeared to catch a few new pilots out, never saw so many aborted landings for the first few weeks of the bigger planes landing. That's commercial pilots being caught off-guard with the winds. No doubt about it, guy was lucky, kept his head on, did a good job not to make a mess of it.

Re:Mythbusters . . . hah! (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45086893)

A shitty little Cessna with zero auto controls and instant death on a a mistake is a hell of a lot more stressful and panic inducing than sitting in a large computer/gaming rig.

Its REALLY not that hard.

I remember playing MS Flight simulator on my grandfathers IBM XT with hercules monochrome graphics, and we were, after some practice able to land a cessna.

And I was able to bullseye womp-rats in my T-16 back home.

Re: Mythbusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086393)

No one gives a fuck. Adam and Jamie are facing the prospect of a horrible burning death if they fuck up, simply having to throw a few quarters into the machine and try again. Idk about you, but I think real life would affect performance.

Re: Mythbusters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086493)

Adam and Jamie are facing the prospect of a horrible burning death

Coulda just said "I'm not a fan of that show." Jeez, man.

And this is here because.. (-1, Troll)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45086203)

If the autopilot had landed the plane, or the ATC had used RC prowess to land the plane it would be tech news. If it was political, I could see it since that's a good topic for those of us more Philosophically and Politically charged. A feel good story? Just like I can find on a bazillion other sites? Really?

Re:And this is here because.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086337)

Fuck you.

Re:And this is here because.. (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45086505)

This is not a troll, it is a valid statement and question regarding the health of the site. Your differing opinion is not justification for modding a comment a "troll", read your guidance.

Re:And this is here because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086603)

Mmm...yes. But it gets annoying when people constantly point it out.

Re:And this is here because.. (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45086609)

I pointed it out exactly 1 time. There were 6 posts when I responded to this thread and none of them mentioned the same thing.

Re:And this is here because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086683)

It is a troll. You're trolling for a reaction, that's what the word means.
It's also not a valid question at all. In fact, I don't even understand the basis of your question. When did Slashdot ever deal exclusively with technology? I've been reading the site since 1998, and I'm sure this story would have just as likely been posted then too. In fact, probably more likely, since back then the only real criteria was that either CmdrTaco or Hemos thought it was interesting.

Re:And this is here because.. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 10 months ago | (#45086517)

Cessna 127 doesn't have autopilot AFAIK, a Garmin (display upgrade) at best /pedantic nerd mode.

Re:And this is here because.. (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45086635)

That was kind of the point, which is why I asked why this story was here. I expect to find it on cnn, fox, msnbc, but not here.

Why this story is here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086847)

To make "Airplane" jokes. Shirley you've seen the movie?
(But I do disagree with your "troll"mod).

Re:And this is here because.. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45086855)

It's here because it is a nerd's dream disaster scenario. Jocks dream of making a triple play to win the game. Nerds dream of being at the controls of a plane in distress and bringing it in to a safe landing.

Re:And this is here because.. (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45086961)

A nerds dream is not to try and land a plane, a nerds dream is to land a space ship (or get laid, depending on who's stereo type you prefer).

Slashdot blocking ivpn ? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086209)

(Disclaimer: this post is offtopic - though good job on the passenger, incidentally, and so on)

I'm using iVPN for all my browsing - and trying to reach Slashdot through their Swiss gateway is yielding a timeout (the NL gateway is working fine - for now).

What the fuck, slashdot ? first Tor, now VPN services ? If you're afraid of abuse, simply set the comment section as read-only when going through Tor/a VPN, except for logged-in users.

This is the last place where I would expect this kind of nonsense.

Re:Slashdot blocking ivpn ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086327)

If you're afraid of abuse, simply set the comment section as read-only when going through Tor/a VPN, except for logged-in users.

Nooooo, don't do that. Using a VPN is the only way I can avoid getting those idiotic "Slow down cowboy! It's been 3 hours, 12 minutes since you last posted a comment" errors.

Re:Slashdot blocking ivpn ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086379)

I've been IP banned before for "excessive bad posting" because essentially all my posts on a political topic get modded to -1 by moderators who feel the need to censor anyone that has a different political opinion from themselves. I don't feel like I violated the Slashdot submission guidelines in anyway. Switching to a different proxy is the only way I can post anymore after that.

Re:Slashdot blocking ivpn ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086511)

It's weird. I've been banned with the horrible pinkpage (cannot view anything, only the damn ban page) and I have Excellent karma on three accounts.

John Wildey? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45086299)

I sort of expected that his name would be John Berry.

Good stuff (5, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 10 months ago | (#45086395)

(I am a student pilot, and I fly a Cessna 172)

This guy is clearly a badass, but his best trait is keeping his head on straight, knowing something about how airplanes work, and figuring out how to talk to someone. Landing is also a lot simpler if you don't care about damaging the plane (he had a prop strike) or landing on a runway that's not 4x longer than you'd usually use. Once you can talk to someone who's flown planes, you're pretty much OK as long as you don't melt down - do what they tell you, which will probably consist of a crash course in flying (what the instruments are, what's important about them, how to control the plane, etc) followed by directions to fly the plane onto the runway and hold on tight. Normally there's more finesse involved in touching down smoothly, in a short distance, at a proper approach speed - but that goes out the window in an emergency.

I don't want to sound like I'm diminishing Mr. Wildey's accomplishment - keeping cool in that situation is very hard, and avoiding being a smoking hole in the ground is even harder with no experience. This guy should take some flying lessons, if this whole thing hasn't soured him on the idea of small planes. Maybe he can even log this in his logbook (not entirely kidding!).

For anybody regularly flies with somebody in a small plane, there are classes out there that will prepare you for exactly such an emergency - a few hours of basic flying, radios, and landings. Don't assume your flight sim experience will do you any good, except for maybe knowing what the instruments are. The most important part is keeping a cool head - you're eventually going to land, and it'll turn out a lot better if you keep calm and think it through.

Re:Good stuff (4, Interesting)

Trogre (513942) | about 10 months ago | (#45086821)

Kudos to the controller on the other end of the radio too, who I'm sure would have been sweating, talking to someone whose life depended on him keeping his cool and telling him exactly what he needed to do.

Re:Good stuff (3, Informative)

capt_mulch (642870) | about 10 months ago | (#45086873)

Any light aircraft, when trimmed correctly, will continue to fly quite well if you leave it alone. Line it up on the runway (yes, it sort of steers like a car), and gently pull the power back (eyes to the end of the runway :-). With plenty of runway, it will land itself. Example - Lady Be Good http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Be_Good_(aircraft) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Good stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086883)

... do what they tell you, which will probably consist of a crash course in flying...

The LAST thing you want is a crash course.

Re:Good stuff (4, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about 10 months ago | (#45086965)

This is the very reason I do some basic flight training with anybody in the right seat when I have time. I explain the radio, even let them make radio calls when possible. I let them take the controls and run them though level flight, basic turns, power and trim adjustments to an airspeed. It takes about 5-10 min or so of flight time to get them to master concepts and knowledge needed to land the aircraft. (At least for what I I fly..) I also try to explain what I'm doing when I'm not too rushed, like calling out target airspeeds, altitudes, power settings and check list items. I'm not saying I can teach you how to land in 10 min, only that I can introduce you to all the controls and how to use them. It usually takes a few hours of training to get good enough skills to be good at landing but armed with some basic knowledge, somebody could talk you through it fairly easy.

My goal is three fold. First, I hope to remove any fear they may have and help them feel comfortable. Second, I'm hopefully imparting a love for flying by teaching them as much as I can. Third, something I say or some skill they develop may save their life. Not to mention, I like teaching.

Mythbusters. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086429)

I'm reminded of an episode of Mythbusters that showed Adam and Jamie trying to land a plane in a sim and failing horribly.
They tried ONCE with an air traffic controller helping talk them through it and landed successfully.
While it's wonderful that Mr.Wildey stepped up, the unnamed air traffic controller(s) also were key to this not being a bigger accident.

Think about it (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 months ago | (#45086477)

His name is Otto.

So let us fire the pilots (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#45086653)

John Boehner just released a statement: "This incident clearly proves pilots are not essential and we can get by without them. Let us furlough them, profit destroying, union joining, commie socialistic, moochers."

What?? (1)

sharknado (3217097) | about 10 months ago | (#45086759)

"He didn't have lights on so he was absolutely flying blind as well." You know, just for dramatic effect, and stuff.

Re:What?? (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#45086863)

That is one of the most asinine statements in that article. It appears from a picture in the article that he landed at night. So, not having "lights on" means he's ... flying without lights on. That's about it.

While he's in the air, he's still able to see other planes (they have their lights on) and there really isn't a lot of anything else he might need to see in the air. Blind? Hardly.

And the airport, well, they have these modern spiffy things called ... lights. They mark the runway. That's how you can see the runway at night.

One of the things that private pilots get trained in when they want to go night flying is how to land at night without "lights". That would be the landing light, of course. Having one isn't mandatory. I've done it, both with an instructor as part of training and when I wound up getting home later than I planned in a plane where the light had burned out. Yes, I know, this guy isn't a pilot (although the article says he is believed to have flight experience), I'm just pointing out that landing at night without a landing light is far far from being "blind".

The other fascinating statement is that the propeller "hit the floor". And then it "uprighted again". It takes a lot for a small airplane to get in a position where it needs to be uprighted, and most airports don't have floors outside.

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