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How Pilots Reacted When They Ran Out of Fuel at 41,000 Feet

For those among us who don’t have any fears about flying, the story my just ...

For those among us who don’t have any fears about flying, the story my just change that. It didn’t happen back in 1983 but this is a circumstance that could probably even slide by today. Innocent and that’s known as “The Gimli Glider,” a Canadian flight would Run out of fuel at 41,000 feet above the ground back in the year of 1983. One small issue would leave the plane starving for fuel. Before they knew it, the pilots would have to try and figure out a way to help the aircraft to the ground safely.

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This all started with what was essentially a routine flight from Montreal to Ottawa. From Ottawa, the plane was scheduled to take a route to Edmonton. In between these legs of the journey, though, the aircraft would have a computer-related issue as it related to fueling. Instead of relying on the computer, the crew would simply do the calculation by hand as to how much fuel to add. It’s said that these fuel calculations done by hand had bee triple checked. However, the one part that the crew missed was the conversion from imperial to metric. The metric system was still relatively new to use in this industry and geography at the time. This meant that the plane would have about half of the necessary fuel.

Before the crew knew it, one engine was lost then the other in quick fashion. While experienced, the pilots knew of no protocol for what to do when both engines and all instruments failed. This meant that they would have to play it all by ear. Essentially, the plane would have to continue as a glider. The pilots decided that the best course of action would be to land on an abandoned military base turned motorsports park. What they didn’t expect is that the park was full of people.

By following along with the video below, we hear what might just be the craziest story in aviation.

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