How two pilots managed to land an airliner with two failed engines

How two pilots managed to land an airliner with two failed engines

No matter how hopeless the situation may seem, there is always a chance for a successful resolution. This is exactly how one can characterize the incident that occurred with the TACA Boeing 737 airliner. The aircraft was flying from Belize to New Orleans on May 24, 1988.

There were 38 passengers and 7 crew members on board the plane. The winged aircraft was flown by the most experienced pilots - commander Carlos Dardano, who had flown 13 hours at that time, of which 410 were directly on the Boeing 4011, and co-pilot Dionisio Lopez, who had flown more than 737 thousand hours.

Most of the flight passed as normal, and there were no signs of trouble. However, on approach to New Orleans, when the liner began to descend, at an altitude of 9100 meters it encountered a thunderstorm front.

The pilots turned on the anti-icing system to protect against ice and precipitation, as well as to prevent flameout and loss of engine thrust. However, this did not help.

At an altitude of 5 thousand meters, as a result of hail hitting the engines, both units suddenly lost traction, which, among other things, led to a loss of power supply and the disappearance of the airliner from the radars of air traffic controllers at the New Orleans airport.

It was possible to restore power supply and establish communications at an altitude of 3200 meters after turning on the auxiliary power unit. Meanwhile, this did not solve the problem with the engines.

At an altitude of 1500 meters, the units started up, but still did not produce power. In addition, a signal was heard in the cockpit indicating that the engines were overheating. As a result, both of them were disabled.

Without thrust from both engines, the plane began to rapidly lose altitude. According to the pilots’ calculations, the aircraft did not reach the airfield suggested by the airfield controller. At first it was decided to land the plane on the highway. But then it became clear that he might not reach him either.

As a result, at an altitude of 450 meters, the crew decided to land the liner on the water. However, at the last moment, the co-pilot noticed an embankment, where the Boeing 737 was then safely landed. None of the passengers were injured as a result of the incident.

This incident, without exaggeration, can be called a “miraculous rescue.”

It is worth adding that as a result of the investigation, the US National Transportation Safety Board made recommendations for changes in the design of the engines, which included changing the shape of the front of the engine to reduce hail from entering the engine and adding additional drainage holes.

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  1. +3
    27 December 2023 10: 45
    Well done pilots - they didn’t get confused and kept their cool....
    1. -2
      27 December 2023 10: 49
      Quote: Igor Borisov_2
      Well done pilots - they didn’t get confused and kept their cool....

      Why, now, was this story told? The moral of this story... What is it?
      1. 0
        27 December 2023 10: 54
        Quote from: AllX_VahhaB
        The moral of this story... What is it?

        Probably, the country is now that same plane. Maybe there will be pilots bully
        1. +1
          27 December 2023 11: 08
          American country, or what?
          1. -1
            27 December 2023 11: 11
            Quote: anatolv
            American country, or what?

            It's cold, let's continue......
    2. +2
      27 December 2023 12: 25
      It should also be noted that the plane was almost empty. 38 passengers is still not 150. And the aerodynamics of the airliners are not bad.
  2. +1
    27 December 2023 11: 02
    Passengers should donate to the men for a lifetime monument in bronze.
  3. +2
    27 December 2023 19: 15
    This incident, without exaggeration, can be called a “miraculous rescue.”

    this is the merit of the pilots, not a miracle
    "Miraculous rescue" - this is the emergency landing of A321 near Zhukovsky - the "corn miracle"

    It seems like almost all experts assess the incident something like this:
    luck is the only reason why the plane managed to survive, since the crew acted in panic and awkwardly, without performing the necessary actions: the commander moved the control rudders chaotically, and the pilots communicated with each other exclusively using obscene language...
  4. kig
    31 December 2023 13: 57
    In 2001, both engines stopped on the A330 over the Atlantic. The plane flew 120 km in glider mode and landed at a military airfield in the Azores. No harm done.
  5. 0
    14 January 2024 20: 55
    An airplane, from the word itself, flies, what is aerodynamic quality, say 10 units, this is when from a height of 1 km the airplane plans 10 km, that is, from 400 meters it flies 4 km, you can select a landing site, and landing with the engines turned off is the situation is solvable, just like in a helicopter, you can also land in autorotation, the most important thing is to unscrew the propeller and in time detonate the pitch and throttle and increase the pitch...