字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Ever since human beings left the safety of the ground and aimed for the sky, there was one big concern about the whole flying thing – how to get back to earth safely. And it became even more important once we had airplanes! Yup. So what if there’s no airport nearby? Oops. It turns out the best bet is landing on roadways, but only a few trained pilots can handle such a task, and only the best can handle the most extreme cases. Did you know that landing a plane on a road is highly illegal? Yes, in most countries it surely is, but there’s also a universal rule of necessity. As pilots often say themselves: ‘Necessity knows no law’. Or there’s another saying with a bit more of a dark sense of humor: ‘Total engine failure imposes surprise destinations.’ I’ll say. Jokes aside, the rule of necessity implies that in an emergency, a pilot can land a plane by any means possible. The only important thing is the effort to save lives. The first thing a pilot would look for as a landing place would be a highway with no turning points over a significant distance. While they’re not intended for an airplane landing, they are, in fact, suitable, because they’re well-lit, have a relatively smooth surface, and are wide enough to fit a medium-sized plane. There are some major challenges though. Look at the airstrip, and at the highway from up above, as a pilot would see it. They look similar at first glance, but then you start to notice the differences that could cause a lot of trouble. For example, it’s not a problem for cars if there’s a dense forest alongside the road. But for a plane, that could be crucial. The same goes for street lights, road signs and other obstacles that a plane would run into. The worst is, of course, road bridges. If a plane can’t stop before one of these, the collision would be a disaster. Fortunately, cases of big airplanes landing on a highway are extremely rare. But believe it or not, other smaller aircraft land on roads regularly. There are no official numbers on that matter, but by some accounts, there are at least dozens of reports emerging in a single year that involve a lightweight plane having an emergency landing on a road. In most cases, this happens due to engine malfunction. A bit rarer is so-called ‘fuel starvation’, and sometimes you’ll come across something like ‘needed to ditch a passenger’ noted as the cause. Well, that must’ve been one annoying passenger, to say the least. In 1956, the strangest thing happened – a man decided to land a plane in the middle of Manhattan… to win a bet. Yes, I kid you not, this really happened! This desperate daredevil was Thomas Fitzpatrick, a person of immense piloting skill, which was arguably used in the wrong way – just to get a prize! But his achievement was still quite impressive, since he avoided any damage either to himself, the aircraft, or the city’s property. Headlines of newspapers exploded that day, telling about a single-engine plane landing on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street. But if you think a fine stopped Thomas Fitz, and that his miraculous landing was just lucky, then you’re probably underestimating the adventurous nature of some people, and what can happen if it comes with a unique skill in a package deal. This excellent pilot and notorious troublemaker did the exact same thing again 2 years later to prove that he still had it! And once again with no harm to anyone. After he proved the point the second time, though, he decided that he wouldn’t fly anymore. Who knows if it was for better or for worse. Some might say that we live in less adventurous times now, but these days, no one will try to land on a road without an extremely good reason. A pilot of a single-engine plane, called Piper Malibu, sure had one such reason when he decided to land on Iron Springs Road in Prescott, AZ. To be sure of his reasoning, you only must take a look at the condition the plane was in at the end of this trip. It was laying upside down, crashed, and missing its wings. But don’t worry; somehow, none of the three people on board were hurt! The plane tried to get to the Prescott Airport, but it was running out of fuel, so it had to find another place to glide to. In the process of landing, one of the plane’s wings crashed into a street light pole. The pilot lost control immediately after, and the Malibu Piper spun around and flipped on its roof. Fortunately, the police were already rushing over since Prescott Airport informed them about a possible accident. Well as the pilots also say: Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. Anyways, all is well that ends well, though this flight was unfortunate for the poor small plane itself. Still, other pilots were able to not only save themselves from harm, but their aircraft too. One such miracle happened in 2018, in California. Imagine you’re going to the beach at the end of the week. You’re stuck in traffic, but you calm yourself down by assuming that this is the worst thing that will happen this day. Then suddenly, a plane rushes right in front of you! This is exactly what happened; a plane landed right in the middle of Huntington Beach. The biggest challenge for the pilot was that the street was webbed in electric cables. One tiny mistake and a whole city block would lose power! The consequences to the plane would be far worse than that, nevermind the people inside. To glide between wires and touch down without hitting any of the cars on the road – that’s a one-in-a-million landing! But how do pilots do it? Apparently, there’s one secret, and it’s simple, yet not too obvious. The thing is, when landing, a relatively small aircraft slows down to a speed that, on average, is just 20 mph faster than the speed of traffic on a big enough road, like a highway. Most of the time, drivers will have enough time to react and get out of the way, even for the most unexpected guests, like planes. Therefore the cases in which cars getting hit during a landing on the road are quite rare. Pilots won’t ever choose a lane with opposite movement – it’s way too dangerous! We all like action movies, and movies about James Bond are among the forever loved classics here. What’s not to like? Almost comically cool characters, sharp plot twists, and of course, unforgettable stunts. Among the most iconic stunts is one with a BD-5J jet flying through a hangar, and then landing near the gas station on the road to “fill her up”. One thing you probably didn’t know about this stunt is that it was based on the real-life experience of the stuntman that performs it. One day in 1975, this pilot flew to an insane altitude of 11,500 ft on his way to Washington, D.C., when all of a sudden the jet started to malfunction. There was no oil pressure in the engine! After a rapid descent through the clouds, the pilot saw that things were even worse – there was nothing below him but a dense forest. A small jet wouldn’t survive a crash-landing into the trees. But then he saw a ray of hope – a broad interstate appeared just a few miles away from him. The mastery of his aircraft allowed him to glide towards the road and get in line with it. But as he got closer, there was more trouble. The traffic was busy that day. What else would be the obvious solution for a stuntman, besides landing on the roof of a truck? But instead, he decided to just talk to a driver that passed underneath his jet and ask if he could slow down and clear the road for him. The jet landed on the road and coasted for some time, until it came to the gas station. The staff member that met him was shocked – he couldn’t say a word, and was just looking at the pilot, who also couldn’t find his words. Finally, the man at the gas station assumed that it was all a prank, and he was being filmed on a hidden camera. If it was true, it would have been one of the most expensive and difficult pranks in history! It’s a good thing that plane was in the hands of a high-level professional. And it’s mindboggling if you try to think about all the things that could’ve gone wrong here. If you had to experience an emergency landing, what place would you choose? A road, or maybe a field? Which one is scarier in your opinion? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go jetting off anywhere just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right video, click on it, and enjoy! Remember: Stay on the Bright Side of life!