Thursday, September 22
Knowing me, I would've been the idiot in 23A watching the screen and going, "Man, those poor bastards are so screwed."
Whoooooaaaa! Next time take the parking brake off, chief!
Somewhere Jerry Bruckheimer is slapping his forehead in anguish, wondering why he never thought to make a movie about a crippled airliner that can't land safely so it has to circle the airport for hours and hours, and in the meantime the media starts covering the story and the passengers in the cabin get to watch the news coverage of their own impending doom. Only in Bruckheimer's version, the passengers somehow figure out that it's an act of sabotage, the saboteur is a Muslim terrorist who's riding on that very plane, they try to overpower him, both pilots get shot in the struggle, and the controls have to be taken over by unemployed housepainter and former Gulf War fighter jock Nicolas Cage and [insert up-and-coming hot blonde actress you've never heard of here], who land the plane in a shower of sparks and burning jet fuel. On the 405.
Not to be minimizing the passengers' plight here, because had I been on that plane myself I probably would've been somewhere between panic-attack-havingly and pants-poopingly scared, but while the danger faced by the passengers was certainly present, I don't know it was necessarily lethal. Sure, everyone involved was preparing for the worst-case scenario because that's their job, but probably the worst thing that had a reasonable chance of actually happening was that the front landing gear snaps in half upon hitting the runway, the nose of the plane hits the ground, the plane skids into the grass and you've got one royally messed-up Airbus A320, but everyone still makes it out alive.
Be that as it may, though, I've got to give props to Airbus for building one sturdy-ass airplane. Figure that thing was probably going 120-160 miles an hour when it touched down, and though the front tires were surely shredded into mini-Twizzler-sized pieces, the landing gear stayed rock-solid and locked into position. Kinda makes you wish your car was built like that.