Empty Tank at 41,000 Feet, So Pilots Did This

29 Mar 2019 08:45 6,980
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Imagine, you’re driving on a long stretch of highway when you run out of gas. This is not a good situation, but it's not critical. Now imagine the same scenario, only you’re a pilot flying a commercial jet full of people! That’s exactly what happened to a Canadian plane at a height of 41,000 feet...

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TIMESTAMPS:

Miscalculation: pounds instead of kilos 😲 0:28

What to do if both engines are out 2:10

The most serious problem was... 4:03

People on the runway 5:38

How the pilots managed to stop that Boeing 6:36

What happened to the pilots after that 7:12

Music by Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/

SUMMARY:
- The plane seemed to be having problems with the computer that manages fuel loading. Since it wasn’t working properly, the ground maintenance crew just calculated the necessary amount of fuel on their own.
- Both the ground crew in Montreal and the flight crew had forgotten the fact that at the time, Canada was switching from the imperial system of measurement to metric. That's why all of Air Canada’s new planes were calibrated in metric units.
- The plane was at a height of 41,000 feet when the first warning light flared up. The crew figured that the fuel pump in the left wing had failed, so they switched it off. However, a few minutes later, the second light came on.
- The pilots desperately searched through the manuals to figure out how to deal with such an emergency. Unfortunately, there were no instructions on what to do if both engines are out.
- But the most serious problem was the loss of hydraulic pressure. A pilot’s ability to control the aircraft decreases along with a drop in hydraulic pressure.
- Maurice Quintal thought of the nearby Royal Canadian Air Force Base just 12 miles away in the town of Gimli. Even better, it was no longer in use!
- But the pilots still weren't aware of the most terrifying thing about this situation. That abandoned military base wasn’t just sitting there empty and derelict – it’d been converted into a motorsports park and racetrack!
- The people on the runaway didn't expect to see a gigantic plane approaching them at high speed. But hey saw it coming and got out of the way in time.
- The whole incident was dubbed The Gimli Glider. And after receiving some heat from the airline for that initial fuel miscalculation, both pilots ended up receiving the Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship in 1985.

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