Nothing says welcome to New York City like a wing vomiting sparks as your aeroplane touches down at night. Just minutes before this video, the pilot radioed the news to JFK's air traffic control: "The right gear is stuck up."
"The other two are down," the Delta Airline Flight 4951 confirmed, cooler than a naked Ice Man playing hockey with polar bears. As he was making his final approach, the tower contacted him again. He confirmed that they couldn't get the gear down, and he received final speed and bearing information as the tower called the emergency ground crews to be ready at Runway 31: "Rescue 1, there are 64 souls on board and 3,000 gallons of fuel."
Thankfully, the pilot made a flawless landing, to much cheering from the relieved 60 passengers coming from Atlanta:
It wasn't the only really-close call this month. Another Delta Airlines pilot, this time commanding Delta flight 122, prevented a disaster last Sunday. His plane was waiting on Runway 13R after the tower told him to "move into position and hold." Looking out of the window, the pilot alerted the tower that another plane was coming towards them, in what looked like a collision course. The controller freaked out:
Thankfully, the pilot turned around and nothing happened, but it was his eyes and peripheral vision what saved the day, not any computers on board the aeroplane or at the tower. Like with the previous case, I doubt any current or near-future technology could have saved these two near-catastrophes from happening.
This two cases are clear proof of why we need two pairs of eyes and hands at the cockpit. Until the technology really makes a quantum leap, no remote pilots or trained flight attendants would be able to save the day like so many pilots do every year. [NY Daily News and Flight Global]