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I recently saw this fictionalized video.

While it's not real, I do wonder if this could be possible, even if not the best way to handle the situation.

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For the Boeing 727 that you see there, that whole procedure is impossible with a pickup truck. Given that the 727 is operating at its Operating Empty Weight, 102,900 lb OEW for the 727-200 advanced, and the force on the nose gear is somewhere around 10% at rest, that would put it way over the limit for that particular truck model (Nissan Frontier at 4,690 to 5,816 lbs GVWR). That would be even less pretty for the truck since the force at touchdown on the nosegear should be higher.

Also, according to this thread, the maximum speed for that truck is about 95 mph. Assuming that this Yahoo Answers is correct, the landing speed of a 727 is 130 to 150 knots (150 to 170 mph). This is way greater than the speed of any pickup truck.

I had to make a response like this some time ago as well to the exact same video someone had a question about.

However, you could land a GA plane on a pickup truck if you had the right equipment.

Nitpick on the video: if the plane's nose gear didn't deploy all the way, then truck or no truck, it should have collapsed on impact.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually landing on the trailer of a moving pickup truck is pretty common for seaplanes without wheels when they need to be repaired, here is a video of one taking off: youtube.com/watch?v=-JDogTLtels $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 12 '16 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ I have to find it but I'm pretty sure there is a company that does seaplane storage/maintenance that has trailer landings, at least for the smaller ones with a low landing speed. Either way its not always a port ramp either, float planes can land in grass too. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 12 '16 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ Done smoothly, the force transmitted to the nosewheel at nosewheel touchdown will gradually increase to equal that on the nosewheel at rest, but not exceed it significantly. Vehicles can typically withstand weights well beyond their GVWR, though double might be pushing it. Also, Vref is much higher than the nosewheel touchdown speed. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Sep 13 '16 at 2:14
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Depends. A large aircraft, no. A jetliner weighs well over 50,000 lbs on landing and wouldn't even fit on a flatbed. CGI films like '405' are spectacular but unrealistic.

Now it is possible for a light airplane to do this, or potentially land the whole airplane on a moving truck with a very skilled pilot in the cockpit. A friend of mine in Alabama does an air show act with this kind of stunt using a piper cub. See 13:00 into the video.

Granted Greg is a very senior air show pilot with more combined flight time than anyone reading this and the average GA pilot will probably not have the skill to pull this off successfully.

Landing gear problems, especially problems extending the nose wheel seem pretty hair raising but can usually resolve with a belly landing and relatively minor damage as demonstrated by this A320 making an emergency landing at LAX in 2005 after the nose wheel steering failed.

Even a complete failure to the landing gear to extend can be remedied with a belly landing on a smooth, long runway without nearby obstacles. The jet will touch down most likely on the tail and engine nacelles, making the rupture of the wing box and fuel spillage and fire relatively low. This is aided by crash and fire crews at the ready to foam down the airplane after it has stopped to keep the risk of an ignition source to a minimum.

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It depends on the size of the plane. But in some cases yes. In that case the gear was not collapsed but since the relative speed of the truck and plane were the same it really does not matter if there was landing gear there other than to provide prop clearence .

You could of course attempt a maneuver like this.

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I personally saw a truck - which had mattresses on the bed - accept the nose of a high wing twin engine turboprop with nose gear stuck up during landing and without incident! This happened one afternoon at Anchorage International Airport and many years ago! It was bigger than an Aerocommander but smaller than the commuter turboprops! The Anchorage tower might have a record of the incident?

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    $\begingroup$ Cool story, if only there was a reference? $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Sep 6 '17 at 3:41
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps a Twin Otter? Anyway, I'd be surprised if that was actually a lower risk option than the aircraft simply landing unaided, nose to runway. Without incident, I'm sure it would have saved the plane a whole lot of repair expense, but it just seems like so much could go wrong. $\endgroup$ – Anthony X Sep 7 '17 at 1:47

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