We are going to tell you how a plane with no fuel managed to glide over the Atlantic Ocean and land safely, saving the lives of 306 people on board. This is the story of Air Transat Flight 236 Survive, one of the most incredible feats of flying ever recorded. Do check out the full video for how Flight 236 Survive? to find out how it happened, visit Radiant Clues a well-known youtube channel, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and the bell icon to get notified of our future videos.

Flight 236 Survive

Air Transat Flight 236 was a transatlantic flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal, from Toronto, Canada, on August 24, 2001. The aircraft was a two-year-old Airbus A330-243 with 293 passengers and 13 crew members on board. The flight was flown by Captain Robert Piché, an experienced glider pilot, and First Officer Dirk DeJager. The flight took off from Toronto at 00:52 UTC and was expected to arrive in Lisbon at 08:30 UTC. Everything seemed normal until about four hours into the flight when the pilots noticed strange readings on their instruments.

Sale
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G (Pastel Lime, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage)
  • Camera: 108 MP Main Camera with EIS; 2MP...
  • Rear Camera Mode: Hi-res 108MP mode, 3x Lossles...
  • Display: 6.72 Inches; 120 Hz Adaptive refresh...
  • Operating System: Oxygen OS based on Android 13.1

The right engine was showing low oil temperature and high oil pressure, which usually indicates a faulty sensor. The pilots contacted their maintenance base in Montreal, but they were told that it was not a serious problem and that they could continue their flight. However, soon after, they received another warning: a fuel imbalance between the left and right tanks. This meant that one tank had more fuel than the other, which could affect the stability and performance of the aircraft. The pilots decided to transfer some fuel from the left tank to the right tank to balance the situation.

But what they didn’t know was that they had a major fuel leak in the right engine. A fracture had developed in a fuel line due to improper maintenance, and it was spilling fuel at a rate of about one liter per second. By transferring fuel from the left tank to the right tank, they fed the leak and lost more fuel. The leak went unnoticed for about an hour until the pilots received another warning: a low fuel level in both tanks. They checked their fuel gauges and realized that they had only about 8 tons of fuel left, which was not enough to reach their destination.

Read also:

They immediately declared a fuel emergency and requested permission to divert to Lajes Airport in the Azores Islands, which was about 150 kilometers (80 nautical miles) away. They also started to descend from their cruising altitude of 39,000 feet (11,900 meters) to save fuel. But as they were descending, they heard a loud bang from the right engine.

It had flamed out due to a lack of fuel. The pilots tried to restart it, but it was too late. They had lost one engine and half of their electrical power. They continued to fly with one engine, hoping to make it to Lajes. But then, another bang from the left engine. It had also flamed out due to a lack of fuel. The pilots tried to restart it too, but it was also too late. They had lost both engines and all of their electrical power.

They were now flying a glider over the Atlantic Ocean. When both engines flamed out, the pilots had to face a dire situation. They had no power, no thrust, and no fuel. They had to glide the aircraft, which weighed over 200 tons, to the nearest airport, which was still far away. They had to deal with many challenges, such as maintaining altitude and speed, communicating with air traffic control, preparing for an emergency landing, and coping with cabin pressure and temperature issues.

Sale
Apple iPhone 14 Plus (128 GB) - Blue
  • 16.95 cm (6.7-inch) Super Retina XDR display
  • Advanced camera system for better photos in any...
  • Cinematic mode now in 4K Dolby Vision up to 30 fps
  • Action mode for smooth, steady, handheld videos

Table of Contents

First Challenge:

The first challenge was to maintain altitude and speed. The pilots had to find the best glide ratio for the aircraft, which is the ratio of horizontal distance traveled to vertical distance lost. The best glide ratio for an Airbus A330 is about 15:1, which means that for every 15 kilometers traveled horizontally, the aircraft loses one kilometer of altitude.

The pilots had to adjust the pitch and angle of attack of the aircraft to achieve this ratio. They also had to avoid stalling or overspeeding the aircraft, which could cause loss of control or structural damage. They used a device called a ram air turbine (RAT), which is a small propeller that pops out from the wing and generates enough electricity to power some essential instruments and controls.

Second Challenge:

The second challenge was to communicate with air traffic control (ATC). The pilots had no radio contact with ATC because they had lost all electrical power. They had to use a backup battery-powered radio that had a limited range and frequency. They also had to use a code called 7600, which is a transponder signal that indicates a radio failure.

The pilots contacted Santa Maria Oceanic Control Center in the Azores, which was responsible for their airspace. They informed them of their situation and requested permission to land at Lajes Airport. They also asked for assistance from other aircraft in the area that could relay their messages and act as escorts. One of these aircraft was a Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules that was flying nearby. The C-130 pilot contacted Flight 236 and offered his help. He also gave them some vital information, such as the weather conditions and runway details at Lajes.

Third Challenge:

The third challenge was to prepare for an emergency landing. The pilots had to calculate their landing distance and speed based on their weight, altitude, and wind. They also had to configure the aircraft for landing without using the normal procedures and systems. They had no flaps or slats, which are devices that extend from the wings and increase lift and drag during landing. They also had no spoilers or reverse thrust, which are devices that reduce lift and increase drag after landing.

Apple Watch Series 8 [GPS + Cellular 41 mm] smart watch w/ (Product)RED Aluminium Case & (Product)RED Sport Band. Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen & ECG Apps, Always- On Retina Display, Water Resistant
  • WHY APPLE WATCH SERIES 8 — Your essential...
  • CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY — Send a text, make a call...
  • EASILY CUSTOMISABLE — Available in a range of...
  • INNOVATIVE SAFETY FEATURES — Crash Detection and...

They also had no anti-skid brakes or steering system, which are devices that prevent skidding and control directly on the ground. They had to use an emergency system called gravity drop, which is a manual release of the landing gear by gravity. They also had to use an emergency system called alternate braking, which is a manual application of hydraulic pressure to the brakes by pumping a pedal.

Fourth Challenge:

The fourth challenge was to cope with cabin pressure and temperature issues. The passengers and crew had to endure a rapid decompression when both engines failed. They had to use oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling and fasten their seat belts. They also had to endure a drop in temperature as the aircraft descended from high altitude. The cabin temperature fell from about 24°C to about 10°C. Some passengers reported feeling cold and shivering.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) ​​​​​​​
  • Active Noise Cancellation reduces unwanted...
  • Adaptive Transparency lets outside sounds in while...
  • Personalised Spatial Audio with dynamic head...

The passengers and crew were also in a state of fear and panic as they realized they were in a life-threatening situation. Some prayed some cried, and some hugged each other. Some tried to calm down others or make jokes. Some wrote farewell notes or recorded messages on their phones. The pilots tried to reassure them by making announcements over the intercom. They told them what was happening and what they were doing. They also told them to brace for impact when they were about to land.

How Flight 236 Survive?

As the aircraft approached Lajes Airport, the pilots had to make a crucial decision: which runway to use. There were two runways available: runway 15/33, which was longer but had a tailwind, and Runway 03/21, which was shorter but had a headwind. The pilots chose runway 33 because they thought that the tailwind would help them glide further and reach the runway. They also thought that the longer runway would give them more margin for error and braking distance.

Sale
Apple iPad Pro 11″ (4th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina display, 1TB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Grey
  • WHY IPAD PRO — iPad Pro is the ultimate iPad...
  • iPadOS + APPS — iPadOS makes iPad more...
  • FAST WI-FI CONNECTIVITY — Wi-Fi 6E gives you...
  • PERFORMANCE AND STORAGE — The 8-core CPU in the...

However, this turned out to be a mistake. The tailwind actually reduced their glide ratio and made them lose altitude faster. They also underestimated the strength of the wind, which was about 37 kilometers per hour. They realized their error too late, and they had no time to change their course. They had to land on runway 33, with a tailwind, on a dark night, with no power, no flaps, no spoilers, no reverse thrust, no anti-skid brakes, and no steering system.

They had to make a perfect landing. They aligned the aircraft with the runway and aimed for the threshold. They deployed the landing gear using gravity drop and applied alternate braking by pumping a pedal. They also used differential braking by applying more pressure on one pedal than the other to control direction.

Sale
Apple Magic Mouse (for Bluetooth-Enabled Mac with OS X 10.11 or Later, iPad with iPadOS 13.4 or Later)
  • Magic Mouse is wireless and rechargeable, with an...
  • The Multi-Touch surface allows you to perform...
  • The incredibly long-lasting internal battery will...
  • It’s ready to go straight out of the box and...

They touched down at 06:46 UTC, at a speed of about 370 kilometers per hour, which was much faster than normal. The landing was hard and fast, and the aircraft bounced several times on the runway. The pilots tried to slow down the aircraft as much as possible by using maximum braking force.

Read also:

They also used the emergency brake handle, which activated a parachute that deployed from the tail of the aircraft. But it was not enough. The aircraft was still going too fast and ran out of runway. It overshot the end of the runway by about 660 feet and came to a stop on a grassy area near a military base. The aircraft burst several tires and damaged its landing gear and hydraulics. It also suffered some minor structural damage and fuel leakage.

But miraculously, no one was killed or seriously injured. The passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft using slides and emergency exits. They were met by firefighters and paramedics who arrived at the scene. They were also greeted by local residents who offered them food, water, blankets, and phones. They were taken to a nearby hotel where they received medical attention and psychological support. They were also interviewed by investigators who wanted to know what happened. The next day, they boarded another Air Transat flight that took them to Lisbon, their original destination.

Sale
Apple iPad Pro 11″ (4th generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina display, 1TB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP back cameras, Face ID, all-day battery life – Space Grey
  • WHY IPAD PRO — iPad Pro is the ultimate iPad...
  • iPadOS + APPS — iPadOS makes iPad more...
  • FAST WI-FI CONNECTIVITY — Wi-Fi 6E gives you...
  • PERFORMANCE AND STORAGE — The 8-core CPU in the...

Air Transat Flight 236 was a remarkable example of how skillful piloting and teamwork can save lives in dire situations. The pilots were hailed as heroes and received several awards for their feat, such as the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy, the Superior Airmanship Award, and the Flight Safety Foundation Professionalism Award. The incident also led to changes in maintenance procedures and safety regulations to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Sale
Apple Magic Mouse (for Bluetooth-Enabled Mac with OS X 10.11 or Later, iPad with iPadOS 13.4 or Later)
  • Magic Mouse is wireless and rechargeable, with an...
  • The Multi-Touch surface allows you to perform...
  • The incredibly long-lasting internal battery will...
  • It’s ready to go straight out of the box and...

The cause of the fuel leak was traced to an incorrect installation of a hydraulic pump that damaged a fuel line. Air Transat admitted its responsibility and paid a fine of $250,000 CAD. The airline also improved its training and supervision of its maintenance staff. The incident also raised awareness about the importance of fuel management and emergency procedures in aviation. It also inspired several documentaries, books, and movies that told the story of Flight 236.

Disclaimer: Specifications shown may be different from the actual product. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on this page is 100% correct. Please check with the retailer before purchasing.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Portronics MODESK Universal Mobile Holder Stand with Metal Body, Anti Skid Design, Light Weight for All Smartphones, Tablets, Kindle, iPad(Black)
  • MoDesk - a Premium Quality Mobile Holders for your...
  • MoDesk is a Aluminum + ABS metallic body desk...
  • It has angular design which gives perfect viewing...
  • The antiskid silicon pads on the body prevents...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Amazon Basics Multi-Angle Foldable Desktop Tablet/Mobile Stand | Holder for iPhone, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Smartphones | Portable, for Bed-side Tables, Home, Office (Black)
  • Adjustable Viewing Angles: Offers vertical and...
  • Universal Smartphone Compatibility: Compatible...
  • Portable & Convenient: This phone stand is easily...
  • Durable Construction: Made from high-quality ABS...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Ambrane 360° Rotation, Foldable Design Mobile Stand with Stable Metalic Round Base, Multiple Height & Angle adjustments Compatible with Smartphones, Tablets, Kindles & iPad (Twistand 360, Black)
  • 360-Degree Rotating Stand: Enjoy complete freedom...
  • Flexible Viewing Angles: Easily adjust to multiple...
  • Fully Collapsible Design: Compact and collapsible,...
  • Effortless Charging: Features a special cutout at...
SaleBestseller No. 4
STRIFF Multi Angle Tablet/Mobile Stand, Phone Stand Holder for iPhone, Android, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi. Portable,Foldable Stand.Perfect for Bed,Office, Home,Gift and Desktop (Black)
  • [PORTABLE SIZE]- 98mm*86mm, STRIFF desk phone...
  • [MULTI ANGLE ADJUSTABLE] - Directly adjust to your...
  • [PREMIUM MATERIAL] - Superior ABS and rubber pads...
  • [USEFUL DESKTOP CELL PHONE STAND] - Hold your...

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API