List of airline flights that required gliding

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Airplane gliding occurs when all the engines shut down, but the wings are still functional and can be used for a controlled descent. This is a very rare condition.[1] The most common cause of engine shutdown is fuel exhaustion or fuel starvation, but there have been other cases in aviation history of engine failure, such as bird strikes, flying through volcano ash and forms of water damage (hail, ice or overwhelming rain). Below is a list of commercial airline flights that were forced to glide at some point while in the air.

Date Flight Aircraft Location Cause Result Total fatalities Total passengers and crew
14 February 1953 Miami Airline (irregular air carrier)[2] Douglas DC-3 East of Selleck, Washington While on approach to Boeing Field, first the left engine failed and was feathered. A few minutes later, the right engine failed. Investigation showed that both engines suffered bearing failures caused by negligent maintenance. While gliding, the aircraft was unable to clear a mountain at 3,500 feet (1,100 m) MSL. It crashed into trees and broke up. 7 25
30 April 1953 Aeroflot Flight 35 Ilyushin Il-12 Kazan, Russia Double engine fire At an altitude of 300 meters both engines caught fire. The crew tried feathering propellers and the captain decided to land the plane on the Volga River. One of the passengers drowned during the evacuation.[3][4] 1 23
24 February 1962 Tarom Ilyushin 18V[5] Ilyushin Il-18 Paphos, Cyprus Fuel filters icing (probable) En route at 7,000 m (23,000 ft) over the Mediterranean Sea while 70 km (43 mi) from the Cyprus' shore, engine no. 3 lost power, followed by engines no. 1 and 2. Then, at 3,100 m (10,200 ft), 45 km (28 mi) offshore, engine no. 4 also lost power. Belly landing on the ground near Paphos, Cyprus after a 45 km (28 mi) glide. 0 100
21 August 1963 1963 Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-124 Neva river ditching Tupolev Tu-124 Leningrad, Russia Fuel exhaustion Nose landing gear failed to properly retract after takeoff. Crew was unable to lock the gear in its extended position. The aircraft circled to expend fuel to reduce weight and fire hazards in the event a forced landing was made. The aircraft ran out of fuel and the pilot successfully ditched the plane in the Neva River without injury to passengers or crew. 0 52
30 May 1967 East African Airlines 5Y-ADA[6] Vickers VC10 Bombay, India Fuel starvation due to improper use of boost pumps Climbing through 15,000 ft. on departure from Bombay, all four engines lost power because of failure to use the fuel boost pumps, the flight engineer was sick in the lavatory. The engineer was retrieved by the purser and restored power, arresting the descent toward the Indian Ocean 0 Unknown
2 May 1970 ALM 980 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Near Saint Croix Fuel starvation after multiple missed approaches due to bad weather The flight originating from John F. Kennedy International Airport made 3 landing attempts at Princess Juliana International Airport but aborted due to bad weather. The captain diverted to St. Croix, short on fuel, and decided to ditch before reaching the island. Both engines flamed out shortly before ditching. 23 63
6 September 1971 Paninternational Flight 112 BAC One-Eleven Hamburg, Germany Engine failure due to inadvertent use of jet fuel in water-injection tanks After the take-off, both engines failed and the pilots decided to make an emergency landing on a highway – Bundesautobahn 7 (also part of European route E45)– about 4.5 km (3 mi) from Hamburg Airport. During the landing the aircraft collided with a bridge, causing both wings to shear off; and caught fire. 22 121
17 July 1972 Civil Aviation Ministry test flight Tupolev Tu-134 Moscow oblast, Russia Engine shutdown due to electrical system fault Fourth prototype of the Tu-134 commuter jet was tested nearby Moscow. Failure of the onboard accumulators caused fuel pumps to halt and both engines to shut down. Attempts to restart the engines did not succeed and the crew decided to glide to Iksha reservoir. There were no casualties during ditching. The plane also experienced just minor damages and was used on the ground for emergency trainings of the cabin crew until year 2000.[7] 0 ?
4 December 1974 BOAC flight 910 Vickers VC10 G-ASGL South China Sea Fuel starvation due to fuel transfer error On a flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo, the flight engineer failed to switch tanks feeding the engines, resulting in failure of all four engines. The aircraft suffered from Dutch Roll - later the engineer returned and restarted the engines.[8] 0 Unknown
4 April 1977 Southern Airways Flight 242 Douglas DC-9 Georgia, US Hail and water ingestion After entering a thunderstorm at 14,000 ft., both engines flamed out. Aircraft performed emergency landing on Georgia highway but struck gas station and exploded during rollout.[9] 72 (incl. 9 on ground) 85
2 December 1977 1977 Benghazi Libyan Arab Airlines Tu-154 crash Tupolev Tu-154 Near Benghazi, Libya Fuel exhaustion Intended destination airport was blanketed in fog and the aircraft could not successfully land, ran out of fuel while attempting to locate an alternate airport. A forced landing was made. 59 165
19 May 1978 Aeroflot Flight 6709 Baku - Leningrad Tupolev Tu-154B Maksatikha, Kalinin Oblast, Russia Ran out of fuel due to the improper actions of the crew The automatic fuel pumping system was improperly disabled causing power generators and all three engines to fail midair at an altitude of 9600 meters. Attempts to restart the engines and the auxiliary power unit did not succeed, so after 14 minutes of gliding the crew had to make an emergency landing in a potato field. This type of aircraft is capable of landing on unpaved surfaces but the landing gear, although retracted, was not locked and collapsed. The aircraft hit the trees and was destroyed. 130 people survived the crash, including 27 who were injured. 4 passengers died.[10] 4 134
28 December 1978 United Airlines Flight 173 Douglas DC-8 Portland, Oregon Fuel exhaustion Aircraft aborted first landing attempt due to possible landing gear failure. Pilot focused on the landing gear problem neglected crew warning of lack of fuel. Aircraft ran out of fuel and glided several miles before crashing within 10 miles of airport. 10 189
12 April 1979 Aeroflot Flight 3582 Tashkent - Krasnoyarsk Tupolev Tu-154B Chimkent, Kazakhstan Failure of 3 engines due to flight engineer mistake Soon after take-off from Tashkent at altitude of 2200 meters first engine failed, then the second and third. The aircraft glided to Chimkent airport, the crew managed to launch one engine at altitude of 900 meters and land safely at night.[11] 0 164+crew
24 June 1982 British Airways Flight 9 Boeing 747-200 Jakarta, Indonesia Volcanic ash ingestion from Mount Galunggung En route at FL 370 when all engines failed. After 10 minutes of gliding, 4 engines are restarted, but 1 fails again shortly thereafter. The flight landed safely in Jakarta. 0 263
5 May 1983 Eastern Air Lines Flight 855 Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida Crew shut down an engine due to low oil pressure, then the remaining two engines failed due to loss of oil. After gliding for five minutes the shut-down engine was successfully restarted. Made emergency landing at Miami International Airport; the running engine could not generate enough thrust for the aircraft to taxi to the gate. 0 172
23 July 1983 Air Canada Flight 143 ("Gimli Glider") Boeing 767-233 Gimli, Manitoba, Canada Ran out of fuel as a result of refuelling calculation error due to recent conversion to metric and deficient maintenance policies Glided to emergency landing, on a decommissioned runway that had been converted to a drag strip 0 69
19 August 1983 United Airlines Flight 310[12] Boeing 767-222 Over the Arapahoe National Forest west of Denver, Colorado Both engines flamed out due to fuel system contamination Crew restarted engines at 15,000 feet (4,600 m). Successfully landed in Denver. 0 205
24 May 1988 TACA Flight 110 Boeing 737-3T0 New Orleans, Louisiana, US Dual engine flameout due to water ingestion Glided to emergency off-airport landing on a levee. Aircraft undamaged in landing and subsequently flown out to New Orleans after engine replacement. 0 45
8 January 1989 British Midland Flight 092 Boeing 737-4Y0 M1 Motorway, Kegworth Blade fracture in left engine causing heavy vibration and engine fire. Pilots shut down wrong engine. When the aircraft was diverted to East Midlands Airport, the vibration returned, forcing pilots to shut down the remaining engine. The aircraft crashed onto the M1 motorway, skidding up the motorway embankment, 689 yards from the runway threshold. 47 126
3 September 1989 Varig Flight 254 Boeing 737-200 São José do Xingu, Amazon jungle, Brazil Navigation error, fuel exhaustion The crew entered an incorrect heading into the flight computer (270 instead of 027), taking the plane over a remote area of the Amazon jungle. Attempts to reach an alternative airport were unsuccessful, and the plane ran out of fuel. The pilot made a belly landing in the jungle. 13 54
15 December 1989 KLM Flight 867 Boeing 747-406M Redoubt Volcano, Anchorage, Alaska Lost power in all four engines after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash Engines restarted, landed safely 0 245
25 January 1990 Avianca Flight 52 Boeing 707-321B Cove Neck, New York While low on fuel, the plane was delayed numerous times on approach to JFK Airport due to bad weather. Ran out of fuel and crashed into a hillside on Long Island. 73 158
27 December 1991 Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 McDonnell Douglas MD-81 Gottröra, Sweden Ice sucked into the engines causing dual engine failure Crash landed in an open field near Gottröra. 0 129
23 November 1996 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 Boeing 767 Indian Ocean, off Africa Hijacking, fuel exhaustion Aircraft was taken over by hijackers who demanded to be flown to Australia. Plane ran out of fuel and ditched in the ocean off Comoro Islands. Aircraft broke apart on impact. 125 175
12 January 2000 Aeroflot aircraft transfer flight from Krasnodar to Novosibirsk Tupolev Tu-154M Tolmachevo, Novosibirsk, Russia Failure of all 3 engines during descent due to defective fuel All three engines failed at altitudes of 700, 300 and 6 meters respectively, the crew, however, managed to land the aircraft safely. 0 30
12 July 2000 Hapag-Lloyd Flight 3378 Airbus A310-304 Vienna, Austria Ran out of fuel as a result of landing gear failing to retract Glided for about 20 km (12 mi) before crash landing 500 metres (1,600 ft) short of the runway 0 150
24 August 2001 Air Transat Flight 236 Airbus A330-243 Terceira Island, Azores Ran out of fuel 120 km (75 mi) from emergency airport as a result of a fuel leak Emergency landing. The aircraft glided for 20 minutes.[13] 0 306
14 January 2002 Sibir Flight 852 Tupolev Tu-204 Omsk, Russia Ran out of fuel due to the closure of the destination airport in Novosibirsk and strong headwinds en route to the reserve airport in Omsk Airliner run out of fuel and the engines failed 15 km away from the airstrip in Omsk at altitude of about 2000 meters. The aircraft glided for four minutes, the crew managed to extend the gear and to land safely without employing the reverse thrust.[14] 0 119
16 January 2002 Garuda Indonesia Flight 421 Boeing 737 Indonesia Hail and water ingestion After entering a thunderstorm, both engines flamed out. Aircraft performed ditching on Bengawan Solo River, Indonesia. One flight attendant was killed but everyone else survived. 1 60
14 October 2004 Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701 Bombardier CRJ-200 Jefferson City, Missouri Dual engine failure outside of flight envelope During a repositioning flight, the pilots experimented with the performance limits of the aircraft. Both engines failed at high altitude and low speed, and could not be restarted. Attempted an emergency landing at Jefferson City Memorial Airport but crashed 2.5 miles (4.0 km) short of the runway. Both pilots were killed. 2 2
6 August 2005 Tuninter Flight 1153 ATR 72-202 Mediterranean Sea The aircraft had been fitted with the incorrect model of Fuel Indicator, which led to the incorrect assumption by the flight crew that they had adequate fuel for the flight. The engines failed about halfway through the flight. The crew unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engines and attempted to ditch the aircraft at sea. The aircraft broke apart on impact. 16 39
14 August 2005 Helios Airways Flight 522 Boeing 737-31S Grammatiko, Greece Flight crew incapacitation due to wrong setup of pressurization system After takeoff from Larnaca, Cyprus, the flight crew continued ascent despite a cabin pressurization warning, and all on board, save for one flight attendant who attempted to control the aircraft, were eventually incapacitated by lack of oxygen. The auto pilot flew the aircraft to Athens, Greece and entered a holding pattern until both engines flamed out due to fuel exhaustion. Following this, the aircraft descended in a gliding spiral until it struck a hill in Grammatiko, killing all on board. 121 121
15 January 2009 US Airways Flight 1549 Airbus A320-214 New York City Complete dual engine failure due to bird strikes moments after takeoff from La Guardia Airport. Glided then successfully ditched in the Hudson River. 0 155
4 February 2015 TransAsia Airways Flight 235 ATR 72-600 Keelung River, Taipei, Taiwan One engine auto-feathered due to fault in control module, pilots shut down wrong engine Crashed into the Keelung River three minutes after take-off. 43 58
28 November 2016 LaMia Flight 2933 Avro RJ85 Near Medellín, Colombia Fuel exhaustion. Took off with insufficient fuel reserves, crashed approximately 10 nmi (19 km) short of its destination after a short holding delay. 71 77
15 August 2019 Ural Airlines Flight 178 Airbus A321 Zhukovsky International Airport , Moscow, Russia Complete dual engine failure due to bird strikes moments after takeoff from Zhukovsky International Airport Glided and successfully landed in a corn field 0 233


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  7. ^ "Вынужденная посадка Ту-134 ГосИИИ ГА на Икшинское водохранилище (борт СССР-65607), 17 июля 1972 года. // - авиационные происшествия, инциденты и авиакатастрофы в СССР и России - факты, история, статистика". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  8. ^ Fuel starvation incident 1974
  9. ^ Retrieved June 25, 2017.
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  13. ^ Learmont, David. "A330 lands safely after gliding for 20 minutes". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  14. ^ правды», Комсомольская правда | Сайт «Комсомольской (2002-02-13). "Андрей Чистосердов, командир экипажа Ту-204: Мы падали 15 километров с мертвыми двигателями". KP.RU - сайт «Комсомольской правды» (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-01-09.

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