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Questions tagged [ditching]

Use this tag for questions about emergency landings in water, in aircraft not designed for water landings. For emergency landings on land, use the "landing" and "emergency" tags instead.

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Do airline pilots prepare and are aware of possible emergency landing sites around airports they are taking off in case of complete engine failure?

Do airline pilots prepare and are aware of possible emergency landing sites (like farm fields, wide highways, lakes etc.) around airports they are taking off in case of complete engine failure at a ...
MangoPanda21's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

What could cause both engines on a 737-200 to fail at nearly the same time?

On July 2nd a 737-200 departing from Honolulu experienced engine trouble shortly after take-off. The flight ended with the flight crew having to ditch the aircraft and being rescued by the Coast Guard....
nodapic's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the maximum range over open water with twin-engine to require dinghy in EASA?

What is the maximum range for a twin-engine aircraft to fly over open water before having the requirement for flotation devices (vests / dinghy) under EASA-rules?
Arthur Romeijn's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Could a landing gear jettison mechanism be practical when ditching?

Reading this answer about GA aircraft ditching, I wondered if, considering conventional fixed landing gear aircraft (taildraggers) which often operate overwater, having the ability to jettison the ...
user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it recommended to get a life raft for short overwater operations?

I'd like to fly to Santa Catalina Island (AVX) from the mainland around Los Angeles. There is a portion of this overwater flight where my Cessna 172 will be beyond gliding distance from land. I know ...
SurfandSky's user avatar
  • 1,117
1 vote
1 answer
440 views

How close to the envelope and the ideal was US1549 on ditching in the Hudson?

I assume that for "water landing" an airplane should be configured for the lowest possible stall speed, and then flown to that speed before impact to minimize the energy to dissipate on impact. What ...
feetwet's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Can the overwing exit slide be used when ditching in an A320?

I want to ask if an overwing exit slide in an Airbus A320 can be opened at all when landing or ditching. Is the exit still usable? Or it is blocked and we have to move the passenger to another one? ...
San's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
4k views

What and where are "flotation seat cushions"?

Inspired by the question Why did the US Airways Flight 1549 passengers stay on the wings? I read parts of the respective accident report[PDF]. They mention the flight was a non-EOW (extended overwater)...
PerlDuck's user avatar
  • 3,186
20 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why did the US Airways Flight 1549 passengers stay on the wings?

Couldn't they use the overwing slides as flotation devices and stay on those instead?
user1202136's user avatar
21 votes
6 answers
14k views

Why don't commercial aircraft adopt a slightly more seaplane-like design to allow safer ditching in case of emergency?

For example : Why don't they have a more hydrodynamically shaped fuselage underside ? Specifically for the aircraft that have their engines mounted under the wings, isn't this too dangerous for ...
nullPointer's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why are the 737's rear doors unusable in a water landing?

The 737's rear exit doors cannot be used to evacuate the aircraft in the event of a water landing, as shown, for example, in this safety card: (Image from flight-report, via Jordy here at AvSE.) In ...
Vikki's user avatar
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23 votes
3 answers
10k views

Does the ditching switch allow an A320 to float indefinitely?

I watched a documentary yesterday about the Hudson River ditching of US Airways Flight 1549. In the documentary, one of the investigators explained that the reason the water was entering so quickly ...
Cloud's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

In an emergency near a remote island is it better to land resulting in the airport closing or ditch in the water?

Consider a landing at a remote island (like Easter Island or perhaps one with a calm lagoon, like YLHI) in which the aircraft is likely to crash and close the airport. (For example a gear-up landing ...
Hugh's user avatar
  • 1,967
21 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why would landing the space shuttle on water have been unsurvivable?

For an aircraft unable to reach a runway on land, ditching in water is a common and, generally, highly-survivable option; however, for the space shuttle, according to Wikipedia, "...an ocean ditching ...
Vikki's user avatar
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35 votes
4 answers
15k views

Why can't you ditch your aircraft in the sea?

Disclosure: I'm just a random guy who knows nothing about aviation. :-) I read: A voice in my earphones was shouting: “Ditch the plane! Ditch it in the ocean!” It must have come from the ...
user541686's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can light aircrafts with no retractable landing gear make an emergency water landing? [duplicate]

In the suburbs of Lisbon today two people were killed because a pilot of a light aircraft (I imagine without retractable landing gear) landed on one beach full of people (it's Summer and the beaches ...
João Pimentel Ferreira's user avatar
35 votes
5 answers
16k views

Why choose to ditch in the sea over bailing out?

I recently watched the film Dunkirk (I highly recommend watching it). Without wanting to give away too much information about the film, a Spitfire pilot is flying over part of The Channel. They lose ...
Darth Vader's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is ditching speed higher than stalling speed?

I was looking for a checklist for the Cessna 182 and I stumbled upon this one. When I looked at the speed-table, I found an interesting entry. It says "Ditching" with a speed of 65 KIAS: Everything I ...
Noah Krasser's user avatar
  • 9,002
2 votes
2 answers
424 views

How do flight crew train/demonstrate ditching evacuation?

In case of evacuation, flight crew can train and demonstrate their ability with a real plane and test passengers. However; how can one be trained in case of ditching ? Obviously, it would be quite ...
Antzi's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
172 views

What is the standard protocol for landing on the ocean? [duplicate]

If a plane had problems whilst flying and had to land in the ocean, what is standard protocol for pilots and cabin crew to follow in order to try and keep everyone safe?
L.Halfpenny's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
3k views

For routes over oceans, are slide rafts fitted with first-aid items, food, water, radio, etc?

Nowadays life rafts are often replaced by slide rafts, the slides having a double function: Evacuation and when detached survival. However they are packed tightly in the aircraft doors, so they ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74.7k
20 votes
4 answers
5k views

Are tail strike landings preferable for an emergency landing on water?

In this video, would it have been better if the pilot had attempted a tail-strike landing instead of a normal flare?
trainer's user avatar
  • 303
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are airliners' pilots trained to safely ditch an aircraft?

After reading this question and these two answers it is clear that ditching is taken into account, at least for biggest airliners (and with reasons as it occured several times in aviation history). ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 16.5k
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the probability that passengers can survive a ditching in a 747 at MTOW?

Let's suppose a catastrophic EFATO has occurred while climbing out of JFK from Runway 31L, the aircraft is at its MTOW and the best option is to set it down in Jamaica Bay. How long would the ...
Speedbird1237's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why did this Cirrus deploy the parachute while ditching over Pacific Ocean?

In this incident near Hawaii, a Cirrus SR22 had fuel problems and deployed its airframe parachute. My question is why did the pilot deploy the parachute rather than perform a "normal" ditching ...
Keegan's user avatar
  • 6,877
7 votes
4 answers
715 views

Why do high-speed water impacts / ditching usually result in structural loss of the airframe?

Plywood sheets can penetrate tree trunks unscathed - when pushed by hurricane or tornado winds. Why wouldn't an airplane fuselage, wings and tail behave the same way impacting ocean water at a steep ...
Larry's user avatar
  • 71
22 votes
8 answers
46k views

Has a commercial airliner ever ditched in an ocean resulting in a successful water landing?

They have rafts and life jackets on board and before takeoff, passengers are explained how to use that equipment, but have any evacuations ever happened successfully?
yippy_yay's user avatar
  • 7,375
21 votes
4 answers
7k views

What are the risks in landing on a beach vs. shallow waters?

I recently read a story where a pilot of a light aircraft died having attempted to land on a beach. Would it be potentially safer to try an emergency landing on a beach, or go for shallow waters of 6-...
aleister's user avatar
  • 311
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can water landing be simulated?

Is is possible for a flight simulator software to simulate the real time scenario of landing an aircraft on a water body. There are instances of this (Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, US Airways Flight ...
E.P.D.I's user avatar
  • 375
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

What should a pilot do to perform a successful emergency water landing?

What should a pilot do to perform a successful emergency water landing, also known as ditching of a big commercial jet? Is there any checklist, or best practices, like "elevate the nose" or "retract ...
Gabriel Brito's user avatar
38 votes
3 answers
16k views

How, exactly, did US1549 land on the Hudson?

A comment by @AsheeshR says: The Hudson River Landing was due to a combination of piloting skill and an autopilot system that was engaged right till impact and kept the plane in a controlled ...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
926 views

Is a failed ditching of an aircraft also Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)?

Does CFIT apply in case of a plane (not an seaplane) failing a "landing" emergency in the open sea?
menjaraz's user avatar
  • 2,435
30 votes
3 answers
18k views

Why shouldn't you inflate your life vest until you're outside the airplane?

On commercial flights, in part of the pre-flight safety demonstration, you're told in the event of a crash, not to inflate your life vest until you're outside the airplane — why is this?
Danny Beckett's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

How long can passengers survive after ditching in the ocean?

Assuming Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ditched in the ocean, and surviving passengers and crew were floating around in their inflatable vests, how long could they survive? Is there data about the ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 2,001
13 votes
5 answers
30k views

Can a commercial airliner sink to the bottom of the ocean?

Is it possible that a commercial airliner could hit the ocean surface at such an angle that it made a deep dive intact, got filled with water, sank, and got stuck in mud at the floor of the ocean?
gerrit's user avatar
  • 817
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why would an airplane be approved for ditching?

So, the Learjet 60 that I used to fly has the following limitation: My question, is why would a manufacturer certify an airplane for ditching if it isn't required? The airplane is most likely going ...
Lnafziger's user avatar
  • 59k