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Highway landing in Quebec

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Highway landing in Quebec

Old 16th Apr 2020, 19:34
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Highway landing in Quebec

Another one today, a pilot landed a Cherokee on a major highway. Not a great idea, but he made it work. Video in the news report, though there's a better video circulating on Facebook

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montr...city-1.5534384
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 19:30
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The prop is still turning as he taxies, so he had some power to help pick a spot.
I've always thought, wrongly, that traffic would slow down as I flared in front of them, If I had to land on a road.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 20:39
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It seems like a highly questionable decision to do what the pilot did. This was a busy highway and the possibility of a collision with a road vehicle was high.

If one looks at the vicinity of the airfield in an online mapping application it is clear that this is not a densely populated area, a good description might be suburbia.



The garden centre mentioned in the article, Floralies Jouvence is annotated in the image above. The aircraft made a force landing in the vicinity of this business and it is clear that there are many surrounding fields which could have been used rather than the highway.

The other remarkable thing is that the article states "Around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the pilot of the Piper Cherokee aircraft called the Quebec City fire department asking for permission to land on the highway just a few kilometres south of the Jean-Lesage International Airport." - So the pilot had time to make a phone call (presumably) and request permission to land on the highway. The indication being that there was an appreciable period of time between the occurrence of the mechanical failure and the landing, time which would perhaps have been better spent on a planned approach into one of the numerous surrounding fields.

Whilst landing on a road is tempting, roads come with many stationary obstacles such as road furniture and electricity/telecomms wires. That is even before the vehicular traffic is concerned.

Last edited by Fostex; 18th Apr 2020 at 00:47.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 22:43
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Fostex you are making some valid points.

Does anyone know about the nature of the emergency?
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Old 18th Apr 2020, 08:03
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The landing appears to have been on the west-bound carriage way around this point.

If you zoom out, most of the green space around there seems to be woods - if he had a loss of power after take off from runway 11 there's not really many places to go and if he could see the highway wasn't too busy then perhaps the safest bet.

He rang the fire department - really? I'll bet that's a hopeless hack re-interpretation of a police statement that a mayday was made to ATC telling them he was attempting to land on the highway and they called the fire department....
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Old 18th Apr 2020, 19:06
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A much better outcome than turning back and spinning in. Landing in the traffic direction on a dual carriageway, where he could approach above legal traffic speed, then slow down to touch down below that speed should give traffic an opportunity to avoid colliding.
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Old 19th Apr 2020, 06:33
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It's easy to comment the facts well seated in your confortable sofa. A decision will always get controversial.
This guy had his ass in this sick plane. He made a choice. None injured. Aircraft not dammaged.
I guess anyone wants to comment again the Hudson story.
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Old 19th Apr 2020, 09:59
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
The landing appears to have been on the west-bound carriage way around this point.
Provided I got the timezones and the ICAO code right, it seems that runway 24 (or 29) was more favorable with regards to winds at nearby CYQB.
So the aircraft seem to have landed into the wind, opposite direction to the downwind leg. But it's so close to the airport, I really wonder whether it the aircraft was on approach, or was it was departing, or was is training in the circuit...

SPECI CYQB 161522Z 27010G19KT 240V320 30SM SCT063 01/M10 A2994 RMK CU4 SLP143=
METAR CYQB NIL=
METAR CYQB 161400Z 22009KT 30SM FEW050 FEW210 M00/M07 A2995 RMK CU1CI1 CI TR SLP147=
Edit: the aircraft appears to have been taking off from CYQB, due to being on the TWR frequency and taxiing first. I can't understand the Friench conversation, but I this the problem is indicated to the tower at 30:minute mark of this LiveATC recording: CYQB1-Gnd-Twr-Apr-16-2020-1400Z.mp3.

Last edited by rnzoli; 19th Apr 2020 at 14:09. Reason: of course i got the timezone difference wrong.... 10:30 LT should 14:30 UTC
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 19:05
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A remarkable piece of flying.

The next 30 minutes of ATC recording is here:

https://archive-server.liveatc.net/c...2020-1430Z.mp3

The incident starts almost at the beginning of the recording. The recording is a bit confusing because it combines the Tower and Ground frequencies. The initial exchange is about engine problems. At one point the pilot of Echo Charlie mentions “carb heat” but indicates “pas de problem”.

Subsequent exchanges are clearly after Echo Charlie has landed on Autoroute 40 and I think* the Tower is mentioning that fire trucks are on the way.

*After 50 years of flying in Canada, this is the first time I’ve heard ATC transmissions in French. Even though I speak some French, I’ve always found Quebec French difficult to comprehend and I found this recording almost completely incomprehensible.

For the benefit of people who are not familiar with the French language spoken in La Belle Province, the nickname for the dialect is “joual”, derived from the way “cheval” is pronounced.
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 19:58
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Ok have not listened to the ATC but am I to understand that this whole ordeal actually later for almost one hour ?
Surely there was some airfield to divert to during that time ?!
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 20:25
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atakacs,

The whole duration was about 15 minutes from takeoff to post-landing transmissions

The recording I posted overlaps the one posted by rnzoli.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:42
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My old American instructor always said

"Land on the Highway" if you have a choice - firstly it's the nearest thing to a decent runway and secondly even if it all goes wrong it makes it a lot easier for the guys driving the hearse"
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 11:39
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 13:05
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Jokes aside, anyone who would land their aircraft on a highway when there is a field within the same glide endurance is an idiot and a dangerous one. If one experiences engine failure in an SEP the first duty of care is to avoid injuring those on the ground, then to your passengers and self. The preservation of the hull in which you are flying is by far last in line.

Last edited by Fostex; 21st Apr 2020 at 18:49.
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Old 22nd Apr 2020, 01:17
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Originally Posted by Fostex View Post
Jokes aside, anyone who would land their aircraft on a highway when there is a field within the same glide endurance is an idiot and a dangerous one. If one experiences engine failure in an SEP the first duty of care is to avoid injuring those on the ground, then to your passengers and self. The preservation of the hull in which you are flying is by far last in line.
As a blanket statement, I disagree, A field may be better but a highway be better as well. Fields can be soft leading to a flipover(the risk of which cannot be mitigated by retracting the gear on many aircraft). Fields can be rough, and they can have many hidden hazards that only come into view when closer to the field and can easily be much rougher than they appear. However, highways can have their own hazards aside from vehicles including wires and obstacles. Highways these days actually have few vehicle on them.

I would never automatically eliminate a highway as an option but it is worth considering the reason you gave for personally making your choice. There are hazards to each option.

Listen to this pilot starting at 22:30 on the hazard of powerlines when landing on a highway.

https://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/1/2/e/12e...7a693278232322


Last edited by tcasblue; 22nd Apr 2020 at 01:48.
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Old 22nd Apr 2020, 08:15
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In N America, outside the big cities, highways often have almost no traffic - whereas the M25 or the Periphique are always busy - it's a judgement call you can only make on the day
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Old 22nd Apr 2020, 12:33
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I don't like blanket statements either. There have been successful emergency landings on highways, with no damage to life nor property. As well as horrible accidents too.

In this one, they experienced a serious power loss after a touch-and-go, and the instructor flew it UNDER the last bridge (was already in flare).
Since they had a bit of power, they "hovered"a little above the traffic and it gave sufficient warning signs to traffic. A police car also noticed the problem and drove up behind it.
(I just flew this very same aircraft, by the way. )
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:25
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VASAviation has created a video from the LiveATC recording. The new information in thereiis that the tower controller informed the pilot that he is above Highway 40, when the pilot became unsure, whether he would reach the runway. So in a way, it was a suggestion from ATC, to consider landing there, if all else fails In an emergency situation, it is hard to refuse the only help you have right at that time. (OK, Sully is a different story.)
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