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Cirrus Pilot Makes "Miracle" Landing In Ireland

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  • Cirrus Pilot Makes "Miracle" Landing In Ireland

    I know this isn't really to do with the Air Corps, but I was thinking if this aircraft happened to have passengers on board, say in the region of 10 - 12 (if it was bigger of course), what would have happened if it had ditched? The S-61 is the only SAR heli in the region as far as I know. With the withdrawal of Air Corps SAR from Sligo, it would be quite likely that there would have only been 1 helicopter available to make a rescue would it have been necessary. How many people can you fit in an S-61? Certainly not 10 casualties anyway. Something needs to be done about west coast SAR no doubt.

    A Cirrus SR22 being ferried across the Atlantic ran out of fuel and sputtered to a stop just seconds after landing at Shannon Airport in Ireland late on Friday, The Canadian Press reported Saturday. The safe landing was "a great miracle story at the end of 2004," as well as a feat of airmanship, Royal Air Force rescue squad member Michael Mulford told the CP. "[The pilot] must have judged it right down to the last turn of the propeller," Mulford said. (There were perhaps other considerations.) The pilot had taken off from Newfoundland, and reported that the right fuel tank had started to leak about 400 miles from the Irish coast. The rescue squad had been preparing for a possible ditching in the wintry North Atlantic. Strong tailwinds were cited for helping the airplane make shore. A Nimrod search-and-rescue aircraft, equipped for a sea rescue, followed the Cirrus to its landing.

    The airplane had been forced to descend from about 12,000 feet to 4,500 feet after heavy rain and snow showers caused icing on control surfaces. The exhausted pilot, whose name was not available, was taken to a hotel for a rest. "He was sweating. It's only natural coming across like that," airport spokesman Paul Phelan told the Canadian Press. Cirrus spokeswoman Kate Andrews told AVweb yesterday that ferry pilots are contracted by the aircraft owner, not by Cirrus, so she had no information on the flight. "We're delighted that the pilot and airplane are OK," she said, and noted that the glass cockpit in an SR22 is a great aid to the pilot when dealing with difficult situations. "It can provide so much information, on fuel burn, calculating distance to the airport, and so much more," she said. Andrews also said it is customary to fit out aircraft with supplemental fuel tanks before crossing the North Atlantic, but she had no information about this particular flight.

    Made for very dramatic listening on the scanner!
    "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied."

    Otto Von Bismark

  • #2
    Apparently had to land with the wind as well goes to show how close he really was.


    • #3
      Afraid your incorrect there. The s61 can carry up to 30 passengers if it needed to.
      Last edited by futurepilot; 5 January 2005, 22:18.
      Education isn't everything, for a start it isn't an elephant


      • #4
        Helicopter SAR for the west coast has never been so good!

        Don't forget that prior to c.1991 there was NO SAR heli based along the west coast !!
        (N.B. This was through no fault of the Air Corps - the DoD would simply not provide the necessary funding/resources).

        It was only through tireless campaigning by west coast-based groups and individuals that a Dauphin was eventually based 24/7 at Shannon in 1991.


        I thought the S-61N could carry a max of 19 passengers - all the better if it's 30. A lot more that 12 either way.

        Also, I'm sure that if needs be, Coast Guard helis based at Sligo and/or Waterford could assist the Shannon-based S61N.

        IRISH AIR CORPS - Serving the Nation.


        • #5
          It officially can carry 19-24 but if they really need to, they can cram up to 30 inside.The passengers won`t be too comfortable but that would be of little consequence if their lives were saved.
          Education isn't everything, for a start it isn't an elephant


          • #6
            What if they were injured or hurt, I cant imagine fitting up to 30 inside along with the crew. I suppose 25-30 is fairly adequate though,as in the event of an airliner ditching,2 or even 3 helicopters wouldn't be enough to rescue everyone
            "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied."

            Otto Von Bismark


            • #7
              In the event of any airliner ditching,major emergency plans would be put into action,calling on all Vessels and SAR assets within range,regardless of nationality.

              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


              • #8
                When was the last time a passanger aircraft successfully ditched in the ocean (i.e. had survivors)


                • #9
                  I dont know, but it MUST be possible!! why else would they have life jackets under the seats :wink:
                  "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
                  "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bravo20
                    When was the last time a passanger aircraft successfully ditched in the ocean (i.e. had survivors)
                    23 November 1996


                    • #11
                      can you elaborate on that John
                      There is no problem that cannot be fixed with high explosive.


                      • #12
                        Googled "aircraft ditching 23 11 1996".

                        Ethiopian 767 in the Comoros Islands

                        Event Description: On 23 November 1996 an Ethiopian 767-200ER was hijacked by three people during a flight from Ethiopia to Kenya. While attempting a landing near Moroni in the Comoros Islands the aircraft ran out of fuel and ditched near a beach. Ten of the 12 crew members and 117 of the 160 passengers were killed. The three hijackers were also killed.

                        Video Analysis: An initial analysis of the Mariana Gouws video reveals the following information.
                        • Speed: The aircraft was traveling in excess of 130 knots (150 mph, 244 km/h) as the aircraft first touched water.
                        • Crash Sequence: The aircraft initially dragged the left wing tip in the water, followed by the left engine. The left engine apparently broke up, and the increased drag caused the aircraft to swing to the left. The right wing and engine stayed out of the water as the aircraft continued to swing to the left. The fuselage broke somewhere aft of the wing, causing a number of objects to be ejected forward as the remains of the aircraft came to rest.
                        • Flight Control Surfaces: As the aircraft touched down, it did not appear that any of the leading or trailing edge flaps were extended. As the aircraft made its initial water entry, there appeared to be movement of spoiler panels on the left wing and rudder movement as well. The right wing was flexing, but there did not appear to be movement of any flight control surfaces.



                        • #13
                          Joshua, as far as I can remember, that is the only ditching of a modern Jet airliner from which anybody escaped, it was also in fairly shallow water.
                          "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
                          Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
                          Illegitimi non carborundum


                          • #14
                            Hi Guys,

                            Read an article about the Cirrus in Decembers Flying magazine. If the ferry pilot was over land when he ran out of fuel, he could pull on one of these......

                            Link Here

                            Pretty usefull if the worst came to the worse. There would be a very good chance of survival even if he ditched in the sea. With the right equipment. What do you think??
                            Sigs - No amps, no volts = no interest


                            • #15
                              Video of the 23 November 1996 incident:


                              Survival rates from controlled ditching run at about 60%.

                              A DC-9 was involved in a ditching incident in 1970 near the U.S. Virgin Islands.