...Until him the record of successful ditchings of jet aircraft is pretty poor....
I beg to differ. The ones we've seen on the News on TV, were CRASHES, not ditchings.
Back in the late 60's, early 70's, a USAF C-133 ditched in the Pacific enroute to 'Nam (I KNOW that it had props). EVERY one was found and saved, but several weeks later the USN was sent to shell it so it would sink, as it had become a hazard to navigation.
Forced landings on 'terra firma'?
Highways sound PDG UNTIL
you remember vehicular traffic, AND
telephone poles on each side which WILL remove your wings...!
Fields - I already mentioned the fact that they are SELDOM level. Back in the EARLY '60s an RCAF C-130B had to do a forced landing in a field just N of RCAF Stn Trenton (ALL of Lake Ontario is a few miles S!), and it was destroyed when it hit a stone fence (pretty sure it killed everyone on board!).
ANOTHER "B Model" had the latch mechanisms on the outward opening cargo-door just forward of the left wing-root FAIL near Borden, SK, at 'altitude'. The door failure caused an explosive-decompression
, the door rotating OUT and UP so hard that it hit #2 engine, then broke the back of the aircraft
as it continued OVER, hitting #3 which exploded taking out #4. From cruising on FOUR engines to LOSING three AND the pressurization in seconds will tend to really focus your attention. Meanwhile, when the door took out the top of the fuselage, it ALSO took out the engine controls, but luckily NOT the flight controls
, so that C-130 had ONE engine stuck at cruise power, w/ the rest gone.
LUCKILY they were over mid-Saskatchewan which is mostly grain-farming, so the captain was able to force-land in a plowed field, the airplane doing a slow right-hand CW turn as the rudder authority was lost, #1 STILL AT FULL CRUISE POWER because of the loss of the engine controls wouldn't allow them to shut it down.
They exited (RAN LIKE HELL!
) from the airplane to a safe distance until it ran out of fuel, stopping #1. VERY lucky.