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Breaking News: JetBlue Flight In Midair Crisis


KABC Los Angeles is reporting a JetBlue Flight 292 bound for New York's JFK that took off from Burbank is circling Long Beach with it's landing gear stuck in the down position. The AP is reporting that the front wheels are stuck in the sideways position - useless for landing. The two back gears are extended and locked.

Paul adds: The classic decision here is to either land on the back 2 wheels and hold the nose up as long as possible OR (as odd as it sounds) try to get all the wheels up and do a belly landing. It might be counterintuitive but a belly landing often works better than you wold think.

The plane is an A300B A320* and I have no idea what is the best guesstimated procedure for that craft but that's what they are debating as we speak.
(I'm going to do some research)

The basic procedure goes like this:

Burn/dump a large hunk of fuel.
Decide on how to bring the thing down.
Circle while you burn off every ounce of fuel you can.

*Kev tells me via phone it is an A320 which is important because a 320 can't dump fuel. They'll likely be up there a few hours burning fuel.

Kevin adds: All JetBlue flights offer DirecTV at every seat. I wonder if the passengers are watching the flight on one of the cable news channels?

Paul adds: It looks like the front wheel is stuck... That means they come in on the mains. CNN just said they are going to land in 5 minutes (8:25 ET) so they went to commercial.

The LA Times reports that they did a fly-by at Long Beach (jetBlue's west coast hub) earlier this afternoon. The flight is carrying 139 passengers and a crew of 6.

Update (9:25 ET): The plane is down safely. This is as dramatic as it got.

Here's the landing video.

Paul That pilot rocks-- Perfect "soft field" landing. The front gear did not even shear. He ripped the front wheels off the thing but didn't shear the gear. Hell of a job.

Kevin adds:: NBC had exclusive video from inside the flight this morning, via a passenger's digital camcorder. Passengers were watching the drama unfold over the three hours they were in the air on the in-seat television screens, which had to be completely surreal for them. The DirecTV feeds were not turned off until 10 minutes before landing - which is standard practice on all jetBlue flights.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Breaking News: JetBlue Flight In Midair Crisis:

» Sister Toldjah linked with Landing gear issues with Jet Blue flight

» Reaganites Unite! linked with Jet Blue Flt. 292 In Trouble

» Conservative Thinking linked with Breaking: Jet Blue Flight 292 to Make Emergency Landing

» Random Numbers linked with Jet Blue: Landing Successful.

» Outside The Beltway linked with Bravo Ted Striker

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with JetBlue plane lands safely at LAX area after wheel problem

» Mister Snitch! linked with Waiting for disaster

» Multiple Mentality linked with Planes and Pilots and Bankruptcies

» PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science linked with The JetBlue Drama and Media Coverage

» Literal Barrage linked with Talk About An Out-Of-Body Experience

» Forward Biased linked with "What the heck were they thinking?" dept.

» Conservative Thinking linked with Breaking: Jet Blue Flight 292 to Make Emergency Landing

Comments (35)

watching this live.<p... (Below threshold)

watching this live.

The wheels of the nose landing gear is stuck oriented 90 degrees from forward, and the arm of the landing gear is stuck down

Looks like the plane will land at LAX, to land on the South runway (25), which is about 12,000 feet. The airbus 320 can not dump fuel, so they are coming in full.

I wouldn't come in full of ... (Below threshold)

I wouldn't come in full of gas. I bet these guys are going to be airborne for hours burning off gas since you can land slower when the weight goes down.

The fact the emergency vehicles aren't out yet is a good clue that they aren't going to land for a long time.

LAFD just confirmed they wi... (Below threshold)

LAFD just confirmed they will be landing on 25L at LAX, the 12,000 ft runway on the south side. They are preparing for an emergency landing, but probably will not put out foam.

may happen within the hour

Not being a snotty know-it-... (Below threshold)

Not being a snotty know-it-all, but I have to disagree.

You, obviously, should burn as much fuel as possible, but landing on the rear wheels and slowing as much as possible before setting the nose down is the better option. You can bring an airplane almost to a complete stop before the nose hits and you will have avoided the inevitable sparks that result from a belly landing.

DISCLAIMER: (Prior to the attacks) No, I am not a pilot, my father was an aeronautical engineer for Boeing and Beech (and a pilot) for forty years. His focus was R&D, which also included survivability.

OK, now you can attack me...

Concur with Matt. You'll s... (Below threshold)

Concur with Matt. You'll shred the front gear even at slow speed, then come to rest on the gear doors or the strut. Better than a belly landing.

I can't speak for Airbus si... (Below threshold)

I can't speak for Airbus since I don't fly those (767-300ER) but the nosewheel will be on the ground above 100 knots on just about any commercial airplane. Attempting to hold it off as long as possible runs the risk of an abrupt touch down so I suspect you'll see an attempt to lower it pretty much like they always do in a smooth touch down that provides a chance to react to any "abnormal" occurrences.

My biggest concern would be that the nosegear collapses, so I wouldn't want anything abrupt to happen.

I've seen a belly landing a... (Below threshold)

I've seen a belly landing at SFO a number of years ago of a 737 that couldn't get the landing gear bays opened. It dumped most of its fuel into SF Bay and then belly flopped onto the tarmac. Oh boy, was that a sight to see, sparks and fire and smoke all trailing off the back end. No one was hurt. Hopefully, that will be the case here.

On MSNBC a moment ago, one ... (Below threshold)

On MSNBC a moment ago, one of the phone guests they had on just reported that Airbus actually issued a service bulletin due to this problem. I am going from memory, but apparently it happend on a jetBlue Airbus back in 1999 as well. That one landed safely.

According to the guest (whose neme I can't remember), the pilot lowered the gear in the 1999 incident and it was apparent that the nose wheel was turned 90 degrees. Apparently, this was due to the failure of some o-rings, which caused hydraulic fluid to leak, which then resulted in the wheel turning sideways.

After that incident, Airbus issued the service bulletin.

The good news is that that plane did land safely. I hope this incident has the same ending.

The biggest problem with a ... (Below threshold)

The biggest problem with a belly landing is the possibility of a spin. Granted, landing on the rear wheels and easing it down has the same dangers, but it does reduce the chance of fire somewhat.

I think we can all agree that the commentators are morons. The pilots could care less whether the plane loses weight, they just want to get rid of as much flammable liquid as possible.

Is this real? I can't find ... (Below threshold)

Is this real? I can't find it anywhere else.

Try Google News, or just wa... (Below threshold)

Try Google News, or just watch the video feed.

As a former Commercial Pilo... (Below threshold)

As a former Commercial Pilot, I'm not about to second guess pilots type rated in aircraft I'm not, but I'm concerned about cartwheeling. The nose will be held off the ground as long as possible on landing. Once it touches down there is a risk of the nose jerking left or right and then rolling. That would be deadly.

If I were Pilot-In-Command, I would have to give serious consideration to a water ditching. In doing that, passengers could be prepped with floatation devices and rescue boats equipment could be prepositioned in the water and just off the beach. At that point, you could suck the gear up into the aircraft and land tail low and skip across the water and do an emergency exit into the water and be picked up by the craft in the area.

With enough fuel they could orbit near the shore and just wait until everything is ready. Then you eliminate the problem with obstructions and cartwheeling and have a better chance of survival.

actually it is the weight f... (Below threshold)

actually it is the weight for two reasons, primarily you get to fly slower, and second there is a structural landing weight for these aircraft and I don't know but suspect that they were well above structural landing when they took off (fairly common), no need to compound your problems.

And a belly landing won't happen because they have both main gear down.

Thanks. God help them....</... (Below threshold)

Thanks. God help them....

Thom -- yes, it is real -- ... (Below threshold)
Bill M:

Thom -- yes, it is real -- turn on your TV.

Wheels down does it for me. The main gear are the strongest part of the airframe and will carry most of the weight. Nose gear may or may not collapse. In either case, a definite E-Ticket ride at Disney. Glad I'm not aboard. I've gotten through a galley fire and a major fuel leak over the years -- have probably used up my share of luck!

Odds are this will come out OK. (Fingers and toes crossed on that.)

Landed safely... thank God.... (Below threshold)

Landed safely... thank God.

I think that pilot deserves... (Below threshold)

I think that pilot deserves a raise. That was fantastic flying.

OK, that was a brilliant la... (Below threshold)

OK, that was a brilliant landing.

That guy can fly my plane anytime.

Two lady pilots, and very w... (Below threshold)

Two lady pilots, and very well done.

Wow. That piolt is a comple... (Below threshold)

Wow. That piolt is a complete badass. What a fantastic bit of flying. I cannot wait to hear the interviews later.

Eek!My apologies. ... (Below threshold)


My apologies. The pilots of that plane, regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual preference can captain any flight on which I happen to be a passenger.

I honestly didn't know. I was watching with the sound turned down because the talking heads were driving me crazy.

Splendid performance. Beyon... (Below threshold)

Splendid performance. Beyond textbook, and all I have is a private license!! Well done!!

I agree, fabulous job by th... (Below threshold)

I agree, fabulous job by the pilot/s...completely great. I watched the whole issue live and that landing was as steady and well handled as ever could of been. Congrats to them all and so relieved and grateful everyone is safe.

I watched it on CNN...and f... (Below threshold)

I watched it on CNN...and for the love of all that is holy, why did they let Larry King cover it? I've run into dinner plates with more brains than he.

Helluva job to those A320 d... (Below threshold)

Helluva job to those A320 drivers! The ultimate in commercial standards... the nose NEVER LEFT the centerline!


"I've run into dinner plate... (Below threshold)

"I've run into dinner plates with more brains than he."

Heh. Run into as in "had thrown at me", or as in "noticed in my china cabinet"?

I agree, though, LK is somewhat less intelligent than most pottery. He does have more cardiac episodes, on the other hand.

Come on LCVRWC. Dinner plat... (Below threshold)

Come on LCVRWC. Dinner plates? Maybe the intellect of a bowl of cold brown rice and the personality of last weeks leftover pizza found stuffed in the back of the 'fridge...but dinner plates??

What a landing! Give that ... (Below threshold)

What a landing! Give that pilot a raise, or better yet make him the pr spokesman for the company fur the next few months.....

passengers may dis-embark asap.....ty

"Helluva job to those A320 ... (Below threshold)

"Helluva job to those A320 drivers! The ultimate in commercial standards... the nose NEVER LEFT the centerline!"

MSNBC had Al Haynes on the phone afterwards. (He's the former United pilot that heroically had to steer and land his jet via throttle after the jet fan shreded and took out his hydralics.) Haynes praised the pilot for "threading the needle". He said the pilot was likely using the other two sets of brakes to keep the plane centered once the speed dropped below the level that you could effectively steer with the rudder.

I know I am going to hex th... (Below threshold)

I know I am going to hex this, but I was waiting for a blame game to start with trolls.

And sorely disappointed.

Three cheers and a round of drinks for the flight crew!

Banishment for the maintenance team that last serviced the front gear...

Certainly it is mainly the ... (Below threshold)

Certainly it is mainly the fault of the local officials, although one cannot deny that there was incompetence at the federal level. Oops, wrong thread.

Bush should have made sure ... (Below threshold)

Bush should have made sure the front landing gear on that plane was working properly!

Well, if his nerves aren't ... (Below threshold)

Well, if his nerves aren't totally shot, the pilot can fly me anytime.

Scarebus strikes again!... (Below threshold)

Scarebus strikes again!

The A320 cannot jettison fuel? WTF?!?

That said, major ups for that pilot, and reason enough to consider JetBlue when you make your flying choices - just pray that they put you on a Boeing plane when you do fly with them.

What is the speed that the ... (Below threshold)

What is the speed that the plane landed at or does a plane normally land at?






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