Lucky glider gimli
July 23, 1983 "Boeing 767" airline "Air Canada" (tail number 604) was incorrectly fueled. At that time, Canada was switching to liters, and all parties involved in recalculation of kerosene for refueling were simply messed up.
The result - at one point, an aircraft at an altitude of 8,000 meters turned into a remarkable 132-tonne container moving solely by inertia. Without engines and half of the devices (disconnected because they were working from the engines). The only thing that worked in the aircraft was an emergency wind generator, due to which the pressure in the hydraulic system was maintained. However, it is not known how the 69 inhabitants of the iron box felt at that height.
The co-pilot Maurice Quintal, having looked through the instructions, did not find the section "What to do if all the engines were cut out, but I want to live?". Since FAC Bob Pearson was engaged in gliding in his time, but there was no choice anyway - they decided to plan to the nearest airfield.
The problem was in calculating the rate of decline - only the speedometer worked, which showed a drop in speed from the initial 900 km / h. At the end of the flight, fell to 400 km / h. Altimeter (showing altitude) has failed.With the help of a mechanical backup, they estimated that they were falling at a speed of 1.5 km per 19 km of flight.
Quintal said he knew the old airbase nearby (about 8,000 meters down and slightly to the side). The base was called Gimli. On the former airbase field, the Winnipeg Sports Car Club organized a party in honor of Saturday, with races on the same runway. The strip itself was used regularly for these purposes, there was even a separation barrier in the center, which allowed to conduct parallel races. At the edges of the strip, people drank beer, fried meat and in every possible way enjoyed life, even without assuming any surprise that might fall on their heads.
Here the true jolly began. First, it was necessary to release the chassis. To this end, the plane shook up - the chassis fell out. Two rear racks even stood on the lock. Passengers probably began to guess something.
For landing, Bob Pierson used (most likely, the only time in world history) in the process of landing a large airliner from the arsenal of glider pilots. It is called "slip on the wing", it is also "sideslip". This nice procedure looks like this: the plane is put "on the wing" and the passengers have a choice: look at the lower porthole on the ground, in the upper one on the sky.The nose of the plane, by the way, is diverted from the course. The speed, respectively, falls to the desired. The condition of the passengers "from happiness, that they have experienced this" is not transferred to the description.
No less surprise was expected by people at the airfield of the name of Comrade Gimli, when they saw an airbus heading towards them, the position of which wings did not foretell that it was in general plans to sit down. But at the last moment the plane leveled off and landed on the runway. The front desk was mean and he began to approach the crowd of car enthusiasts merrily. I must say that at the time of landing the speed was 320 km / h, so the Saturday race was unequivocally won by the Pearson-Quintal crew.
Under special effects in the form of smoking and bursting wheels, and a plume of sparks from under the gondola, the plane headed to the motorists. So that they could better consider the landing in full detail, he drove closer. As they say, he stopped 30 meters from the group of greeters. Then everything turned out simple and casual: threw off the inflatable ladders, kicked the passengers out. The fire started was put out by motorists with ordinary car fire extinguishers. The cause of several minor injuries received by passengers was not landing.A hasty landing from the rear emergency exit. The tail was too high and when rolling down the ramp tritely not enough height.
Quintal in 1989 passed the FAC exam and flew many planes, as they say, on board No. 604 too. Pearson retired in 1993. Repair aircraft produced at the airport Gimli for 2 days. And he flew his course to the base, where the overhaul cost $ 1 million. Soon he returned to service and was used until January 2008.