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Gimli Glider: When systems go wrong. (wikipedia.org)
26 points by RiderOfGiraffes on Oct 23, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments

Do not watch the movie version of this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_from_the_Sky:_Flight_17...). It's inaccurate and overly dramatic.

It would be interesting to find a film version of a real event of which the same cannot be said. The film "U-571" springs to mind, although is most likely an extreme case.

You might want to watch the documentary series Mayday (also called Air Crash Investigations). They had an episode called "Gimli Glider".

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mayday_episodes#Season_...

I see that the pilot demotions were temporary, and didn't negatively impact their careers. They also received the first ever FAI diploma for "Outstanding Airmanship".

Goes to show that any crisis, even a self inflicted one, can become a net win if you recover well, learn your lesson, and nobody gets killed.

Many were killed in a Sioux City crash landing; the pilot Captain Al Haynes, still buckled into the ruined cockpit part of the wreckage, when informed that over 100 died exclaimed "My God, I've killed 100 people!". His rescuer replied "No, you saved 200". This flight crew is regarded as heros too (and rightly so). It was a freak failure of the DC10 triply-redundant hydraulic system, yet the flight crew, steering the plane using only the two remaining engines' throttles, put the nose wheel on the centerline of the runway.

In that situation, the fact that it was a freak accident totally exculpates the pilot. He did an admirable job under impossible conditions.

With the Gimli Glider, Captain Pearson took some of the blame because he flew the plane when the minimum equipment list said he shouldn't have, and he miscalculated the quantity of fuel on board.

It's quite possible Captain Pearson would have been hung out to dry if there had been fatalities. Instead, his admirable performance in the air was enough to almost entirely outweigh whatever mistakes he made on the ground.

It is often said that there is no such thing as an "Emergency Takeoff"

"[...] the cockpit warning system sounded again, this time with a long "bong" that no one present could recall having heard before.[3] This was the "all engines out" sound, an event that had never been simulated during training"

Whoa. I wonder if it was intentional or not to leave out an almost no-win simulation from the training.

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