I'm story-boarding a novel. I'm toying with the idea of contriving a situation in which a midsize commercial aircraft is forced to make an emergency landing on an aircraft carrier. I read here that the largest plane to land on an aircraft carrier is a C130 Hercules, which it did as a series of tests. Its maximum weight when performing these tests was 121,000 lbs. At this weight, it required only 460 feet to land. And it did so without use of a tailhook, or any other arresting mechanism. The brand new Gerald R. Ford class carrier is 1,106 feet long. The landing strip on the carrier is somewhat shorter. I couldn't find numbers on this, but from photos, I would estimate that the landing strip is a little more than 800 feet long. Which leads me to my first question:
In an emergency situation, could an aircraft use the full length of the aircraft carrier's deck to land?
Assuming the answer to the above is yes, this means that our commercial aircraft has somewhat more than twice the distance to make its landing than the C130 did. Let us assume that the commercial aircraft is a B737 Classic, weighing aobut 140,000 pounds, just a little more than the C130 did during the tests. This leads me to my main question:
Could a 737 Classic safely make an unarrested emergency landing on a Gerald R. Ford Class aircraft carrier?
By safely, I mean without any passenger death. I expect that any such landing attempt would result in significant damage to the aircraft and the carrier. On one hand, the numbers seem to suggest that if a C130 can do it, so could a B737. On the other hand, I would expect that the C130, as a military aircraft, is more robust than a commercial aircraft, and perhaps able to better meet the conditions required to land on a carrier.
Also, I realize that in an emergency situation it may be safer for the aircraft to make a water landing near the carrier, and then for the passengers to evacuate onto inflatable rafts, finally to be brought aboard shortly thereafter. I will have to invent a situation which requires the plane to land on the carrier.