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. 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’.
-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.
-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 road bridges, street lights, road signs and other obstacles that a plane would run into.
-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 1956, the strangest thing happened – Thomas Fitzpatrick decided to land a plane in the middle of Manhattan… to win a bet. This excellent pilot and notorious troublemaker did the exact same thing again 2 years later to prove that he still had it.
-The plane tried to get to the Prescott Airport in AZ, 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.
-To glide between wires and touch down without hitting any of the cars on the road – the landing in Huntington Beach was one-in-a-million!
-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. Drivers will have enough time to react and get out of the way.
-In 1975, the stuntman 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. The jet landed on the road and coasted for some time, until it came to the gas station.