List of airline flights that required gliding
Airplane gliding occurs when all the engines shut down, but the wings are still functional and can be used for a controlled descent. This is a very rare condition. The most common cause of engine shutdown is fuel exhaustion or fuel starvation, but there have been other cases in aviation history of engine failure, such as bird strikes, flying through volcano ash and forms of water damage (hail, ice or overwhelming rain). Below is a list of commercial airline flights that were forced to glide at some point while in the air.
|Date||Flight||Aircraft||Location||Cause||Result||Total fatalities||Total passengers and crew|
|14 February 1953||Miami Airline (irregular air carrier)||Douglas DC-3||East of Selleck, Washington||While on approach to Boeing Field, first the left engine failed and was feathered. A few minutes later, the right engine failed. Investigation showed that both engines suffered bearing failures caused by negligent maintenance.||While gliding, the aircraft was unable to clear a mountain at 3,500 feet (1,100 m) MSL. It crashed into trees and broke up.||7||25|
|30 April 1953||Aeroflot Flight 35||Ilyushin Il-12||Kazan, Russia||Double engine fire||At an altitude of 300 meters both engines caught fire. The crew tried feathering propellers and the captain decided to land the plane on the Volga River. One of the passengers drowned during the evacuation.||1||23|
|24 February 1962||Tarom Ilyushin 18V||Ilyushin Il-18||Paphos, Cyprus||Fuel filters icing (probable)||En route at 7,000 m (23,000 ft) over the Mediterranean Sea while 70 km (43 mi) from the Cyprus' shore, engine no. 3 lost power, followed by engines no. 1 and 2. Then, at 3,100 m (10,200 ft), 45 km (28 mi) offshore, engine no. 4 also lost power. Belly landing on the ground near Paphos, Cyprus after a 45 km (28 mi) glide.||0||100|
|21 August 1963||1963 Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-124 Neva river ditching||Tupolev Tu-124||Leningrad, Russia||Fuel exhaustion||Nose landing gear failed to properly retract after take off. Crew was unable to lock the gear in its extended position. The aircraft circled to expend fuel to reduce weight and fire hazards in the event a forced landing was made. The aircraft ran out of fuel and the pilot successfully ditched the plane in the Neva River without injury to passengers or crew.||0||52|
|30 May 1967||East African Airlines 5Y-ADA||Vickers VC10||Bombay, India||Fuel starvation due to improper use of boost pumps||Climbing through 15,000 ft. on departure from Bombay, all four engines lost power because of failure to use the fuel boost pumps, the flight engineer was sick in the lavatory. The engineer was retrieved by the purser and restored power, arresting the descent toward the Indian Ocean||0||Unknown|
|2 May 1970||ALM 980||McDonnell Douglas DC-9||Near Saint Croix||Fuel starvation after multiple missed approaches due to bad weather||The flight originating from John F. Kennedy International Airport made 3 landing attempts at Princess Juliana International Airport but aborted due to bad weather. The captain diverted to St. Croix, short on fuel, and decided to ditch before reaching the island. Both engines flamed out shortly before ditching.||23||63|
|6 September 1971||Paninternational Flight 112||BAC One-Eleven||Hamburg, Germany||Engine failure due to inadvertent use of jet fuel in water-injection tanks||After the take-off, both engines failed and the pilots decided to make an emergency landing on a highway – Bundesautobahn 7 (also part of European route E45)– about 4.5 km (3 mi) from Hamburg Airport. During the landing the aircraft collided with a bridge, causing both wings to shear off; and caught fire.||22||121|
|4 December 1974||BOAC flight 910||Vickers VC10 G-ASGL||South China Sea||Fuel starvation due to fuel transfer error||On a flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo, the flight engineer failed to switch tanks feeding the engines, resulting in failure of all four engines. The aircraft suffered from Dutch Roll - later the engineer returned and restarted the engines.||0||Unknown|
|4 April 1977||Southern Airways Flight 242||Douglas DC-9||Georgia, US||Hail and water ingestion||After entering a thunderstorm at 14,000 ft., both engines flamed out. Aircraft performed emergency landing on Georgia highway but struck gas station and exploded during rollout. ||72 (incl. 9 on ground)||85|
|2 December 1977||1977 Benghazi Libyan Arab Airlines Tu-154 crash||Tupolev Tu-154||Near Benghazi, Libya||Fuel exhaustion||Intended destination airport was blanketed in fog and the aircraft could not successfully land, ran out of fuel while attempting to locate an alternate airport. A forced landing was made.||59||165|
|28 December 1978||United Airlines Flight 173||Douglas DC-8||Portland, Oregon||Fuel exhaustion||Aircraft aborted first landing attempt due to possible landing gear failure. Pilot focused on the landing gear problem neglected crew warning of lack of fuel . Aircraft ran out of fuel and glided several miles before crashing within 10 miles of airport.||10||189|
|24 June 1982||British Airways Flight 9||Boeing 747-200||Jakarta, Indonesia||Volcanic ash ingestion from Mount Galunggung||En route at FL 370 when all engines failed. After 10 minutes of gliding, 4 engines are restarted, but 1 fails again shortly thereafter. The flight landed safely in Jakarta.||0||263|
|5 May 1983||Eastern Air Lines Flight 855||Lockheed L-1011 TriStar||Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida||Crew shut down an engine due to low oil pressure, then the remaining two engines failed due to loss of oil.||After gliding for five minutes the shut-down engine was successfully restarted. Made emergency landing at Miami International Airport; the running engine could not generate enough thrust for the aircraft to taxi to the gate.||0||172|
|23 July 1983||Air Canada Flight 143 ("Gimli Glider")||Boeing 767-233||Gimli, Manitoba, Canada||Ran out of fuel as a result of refuelling calculation error due to recent conversion to metric||Glided to emergency landing, on a decommissioned runway that had been converted to a drag strip||0||69|
|19 August 1983||United Airlines Flight 310||Boeing 767-222||Over the Arapahoe National Forest west of Denver, Colorado||Both engines flamed out due to fuel system contamination||Crew restarted engines at 15,000 feet (4,600 m). Successfully landed in Denver.||0||205|
|24 May 1988||TACA Flight 110||Boeing 737-3T0||New Orleans, Louisiana, US||Dual engine flameout due to water ingestion||Glided to emergency off-airport landing on a levee. Aircraft undamaged in landing and subsequently flown out to New Orleans after engine replacement.||0||45|
|8 January 1989||British Midland Flight 092||Boeing 737-4Y0||M1 Motorway, Kegworth||Blade fracture in left engine causing heavy vibration and engine fire. Pilots shut down wrong engine.||When the aircraft was diverted to East Midlands Airport, the vibration returned, forcing pilots to shut down the remaining engine. The aircraft crashed onto the M1 motorway, skidding up the motorway embankment, 689 yards from the runway threshold.||47||126|
|3 September 1989||Varig Flight 254||Boeing 737-200||São José do Xingu, Amazon jungle, Brazil||Navigation error, fuel exhaustion||The crew entered an incorrect heading into the flight computer (270 instead of 027), taking the plane over a remote area of the Amazon jungle. Attempts to reach an alternative airport were unsuccessful, and the plane ran out of fuel. The pilot made a belly landing in the jungle.||13||54|
|15 December 1989||KLM Flight 867||Boeing 747-406M||Redoubt Volcano, Anchorage, Alaska||Lost power in all four engines after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash||Engines restarted, landed safely||0||245|
|25 January 1990||Avianca Flight 52||Boeing 707-321B||Cove Neck, New York||While low on fuel, the plane was delayed numerous times on approach to JFK Airport due to bad weather.||Ran out of fuel and crashed into a hillside on Long Island.||73||158|
|27 December 1991||Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751||McDonnell Douglas MD-81||Gottröra, Sweden||Ice sucked into the engines causing dual engine failure||Crash landed in an open field near Gottröra.||0||129|
|23 November 1996||Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961||Boeing 767||Indian Ocean, off Africa||Hijacking, fuel exhaustion||Aircraft was taken over by hijackers who demanded to be flown to Australia. Plane ran out of fuel and ditched in the ocean off Comoro Islands. Aircraft broke apart on impact.||125||175|
|12 July 2000||Hapag-Lloyd Flight 3378||Airbus A310-304||Vienna, Austria||Ran out of fuel as a result of landing gear failing to retract||Glided for about 20 km (12 mi) before crash landing 500 metres (1,600 ft) short of the runway||0||150|
|24 August 2001||Air Transat Flight 236||Airbus A330-243||Terceira Island, Azores||Ran out of fuel 120 km (75 mi) from emergency airport as a result of a fuel leak||Emergency landing. Aircraft glided for 19 minutes.||0||306|
|16 January 2002||Garuda Indonesia Flight 421||Boeing 737||Indonesia||Hail and water ingestion||After entering a thunderstorm, both engines flamed out. Aircraft performed ditching on Bengawan Solo River, Indonesia. One flight attendant was killed but everyone else survived.||1||60|
|14 October 2004||Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701||Bombardier CRJ-200||Jefferson City, Missouri||Dual engine failure outside of flight envelope||During a repositioning flight, the pilots experimented with the performance limits of the aircraft. Both engines failed at high altitude and low speed, and could not be restarted. Attempted an emergency landing at Jefferson City Memorial Airport but crashed 2.5 miles (4.0 km) short of the runway. Both pilots were killed.||2||2|
|6 August 2005||Tuninter Flight 1153||ATR-72-202||Mediterranean Sea||The aircraft had been fitted with the incorrect model of Fuel Indicator, which led to the incorrect assumption by the flight crew that they had adequate fuel for the flight.||The engines failed about halfway through the flight. The crew unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engines and attempted to ditch the aircraft at sea. The aircraft broke apart on impact.||16||39|
|14 August 2005||Helios Airways Flight 522||Boeing 737-31S||Grammatiko, Greece||Flight crew incapacitation due to wrong setup of pressurization system||After takeoff from Larnaca, Cyprus, the flight crew continued ascent despite a cabin pressurization warning, and all on board, save for one flight attendant who attempted to control the aircraft, were eventually incapacitated by lack of oxygen. The auto pilot flew the aircraft to Athens, Greece and entered a holding pattern until both engines flamed out due to fuel exhaustion. Following this, the aircraft descended in a gliding spiral until it struck a hill in Grammatiko, killing all on board.||121||121|
|15 January 2009||US Airways Flight 1549||Airbus A320-214||New York City||Complete dual engine failure due to bird strikes moments after takeoff from La Guardia Airport.||Glided then successfully ditched in the Hudson River.||0||155|
|4 February 2015||TransAsia Airways Flight 235||ATR 72-600||Keelung River, Taipei, Taiwan||One engine auto-feathered due to fault in control module, pilots shut down wrong engine||Crashed into the Keelung River three minutes after take-off.||43||58|
|28 November 2016||LaMia Flight 2933||Avro RJ85||Near Medellín, Colombia||Fuel exhaustion.||Took off with insufficient fuel reserves, crashed approximately 10 nmi (19 km) short of its destination after a short holding delay.||71||77|
- "What happens if all the planes engines fail in the air?".
- "ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin 18V YR-IMB Paphos". Aviation-safety.net. 1962-02-24. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
- "Incidents and Accidents". Vc10.net. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- Fuel starvation incident 1974
- https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19770404-1 Retrieved June 25, 2017.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 767-222 N609UA Denver, CO". Aviation-safety.net. Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
- Ask the Captain: How far can a jet glide after losing power? by John Cox, published in USA Today, November 24, 2013