Re: Airliners landing in water

From:         geoffm@purplehaze.Corp.Sun.COM (Geoff Miller)
Organization: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Date:         23 Mar 93 11:02:28 PST
References:   1 2
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  or MIME structure (Dennis Chamberlin) writes:

>The only case I am aware of where an airliner full of pax was ditched 
>(controlled touchdown on the water) was a Boeing Stratocruiser in the 
>North Pacific, perhaps in the early 50's.

A Japan Air Lines DC-8-62 landed in San Francisco Bay just short of 
runway 28 in 1969.  The plane's buoyancy wasn't tested because the water
was shallow enough that it settled on its landing gear, but there didn't 
seem to be major structural damage.  I remember the newspaper photograph 
of the airplane being lifted out of the water by a trio of crane barges,
and there was no obvious damage.  (Corrosion was another story, though,
and I'm sure the fan and compressor blades weren't a pretty sight.)

The airplane was repaired by United at the SFO overhaul facility and was
returned to service several months later.

As an aside, a former boss of mine was a rescue swimmer aboard the Coast 
Guard cutter that was standing by when the Pan Am Stratocruiser ditched. 
He said it was an amazing sight. (Marshal "Airborne" Perlman) writes:


>anyhow, the pilot said to the co-pilot, "We got new cards, did you see
>them???" and the co-pilot started laughing very loudly, and I asked him 
>what was so funny... and he told me (while pointing to a very well drawn 
>picture of an aircraft floating on water), "Like this thing would float!?"

Well, you never know until it happens.  Many of us in the C-130 community
got a big laugh out of the similar drawing in the -130 flight manual that 
depicted a floating Herk, with the usual arrows depicting escape routes.
Then a Colombian C-130 ditched, and the newspaper photograph was virtually
an exact duplicate of the drawing in the Dash One!


Geoff Miller			+ + + + + + + +        Sun Microsystems
geoffm@purplehaze.Corp.Sun.COM	+ + + + + + + +     Menlo Park, California