Azores Emergency Landing : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

(Initial reports say the airplane glided for 18 minutes with no fuel.)


The Air Transat plane which was forced to make an emergency landing early this morning was out of fuel. The flight from Toronto bound for Lisbon, Portugal had to land in the Azores Islands because of a fuel leak. According to a military official at the airport where the plane landed, the pilot on flight 236 radioed ahead to tell them of the problem and said the he was out of fuel. A 24-year-old passenger says that all four tires blew out and exploded into flames upon landing. Daniel Rodriguez says that most of the 291 people on board the plane panicked and he suggests that the flight crew made matters worse because they weren't prepared for such an event. Officials report that nine people were hurt during the evacuation but that none of the injuries were serious.

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 24, 2001



The landing burst the plane's tires and spilled fuel on the runway, shutting down the airport, according to Portugal's Lusa news agency.

"They had 10 minutes of fuel and were 20 minutes away of arriving at this airport," said Antonio Costa-Coelho, chief of staff at Lajes airport in the Azores, about 1,450 kilometres off the coast of Portugal.

"He reached the runway without the engines and made the landing. He had to pull very hard on the brakes, so he made a little fire in the tires and made some damage on the runway," Costa-Coelho said in a telephone interview.


"The pilot was very cool," said Costa-Coelho. "Without engines it is very difficult."


Costa-Coelho said the plane flew the last 10 minutes "with just the wind and the wings,"

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 24, 2001.

I'm feeling all alone on this story right now, but some of you will perk up as you realize what a fantastic flying job these pilots did. One of the experts on an aviation safety board is saying that, from 35,000 feet, an A330 has only 100 glide miles. MAJOR DISASTER AVERTED!


-- Rachel Gibson (, August 24, 2001.

BTW, the A330 has an automated fuel management system.

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 24, 2001.

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