Many years ago I listened to an ATC tape of an aviation incident involving a commercial aircraft that had some type of control loss, I think in Chicago. After several attempts to set up for an approach, the aircraft landed safely. Despite extensive searching I haven't been able to identify the incident. Can anyone help?

Here's what I remember about the incident.

  • I am not thinking of United 232.
  • The aircraft had some kind of control problem - I don't remember exactly what the nature of the problem was (hydraulic / flight control issues).
  • It was a commercial aircraft.
  • It happened at least 10 years ago and possibly more.
  • I believe, but am not positive, that the incident happened in Chicago and the aircraft landed either at O'Hare (KORD) or Midway (KMDW).
  • A video is/was available that included ATC conversation with the aircraft. The video also showed a radar replay/simulation.
  • The aircraft makes several attempts to set up for an approach, circling around a few times.
  • The controller had to assist the pilot with establishing and maintaining the glide path, and at some point someone makes a comment about flying like the space shuttle.
  • 2
    Didn't find anything on ASN that seemed to match either MDW or ORD from 10 to 30 years ago. – fooot Aug 15 at 16:12
  • American 96 kinda fits. There's a simulation of it on Youtube. They landed in Detroit, tho, and they didn't have to circle multiple times. – Machavity Aug 15 at 18:01
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    @Machavity Good suggestion, but no I don't think that's the one. I think the video I saw was a genuine FAA or NTSB radar replay that also included the ATC audio. It may have included the ATC position's coordination channels too but my memory is fuzzy in that. The best clue I have is the Space Shuttle comment but I can't find it in any transcripts so far. – TypeIA Aug 15 at 19:05
  • Maybe TWA 841 from 1979? As with AA96, though, they landed in Detroit, but, according to the NTSB report, they did circle above the airport at least once... – Sean Aug 15 at 23:41
  • 1
    I am afraid you may never find it - there is simply too much information to search for. It is like trying to find a car crash after 10 years. Unless you remember some very specific details, there are simply too many candidates. – kevin Aug 16 at 4:04

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