Toddler Overboard and other aviation videos

6 Mar 20 17 Comments

I’ve got quite a collection of interesting videos building up so it’s past time for me to share them!

These are not all brand new but new to me and I think interesting! Note that if you are on the mailing list, you may need to click through to the website to watch them.

AOPA have a series called Real Pilot Stories which invites pilots to talk about their trials and tribulations. This one is one of a kind — at least I hope so!

The pilot was startled by a noise he thought was caused by a window blowing out or a door being opened. What followed was an emergency not covered in the POH that forced him to react swiftly. Watch this Real Pilot Story to find out what happened!

When an aircraft flew into a bog, the fire and rescue teams rushed to the scene. The department chief also deployed a drone to assess the situation, look for oil and fuel spills and determine the optimum evacuation route. Both the pilot and the passenger were rescue suffered only minor injuries but it took fifteen people to flip the plane over and get it out of the bog.

The video from the drone footage shows just how complicated a “simple” rescue mission can be:

Tammy sent me this video ages ago but I’ve held on to it ever since waiting for a chance to share it. A Boeing 777 wing is tested to destruction, breaking at 154% of the designed limit load.

For once, I get to feature an intentional crash! NASA dropped a Fokker F-28 with twenty-four crash test dummies on board. The point was to gather data on passenger injuries and potential improvements for aircraft crash safety.

You might want to turn the music off but the video, a compilation of photographs and clips of the Hindenburg airship, is fascinating.

This accident case study by the Air Safety Institute covers a Lear Jet that crashed on approach to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, US. It includes video of the flight and details of the captain decisions that led to this fatal accident.

You can read the accident summary on

A Learjet 35A corporate jet crashed and burst into flames while on approach runway 01 to Teterboro Airport, New Jersey, USA. Both crew members suffered fatal injuries.

And finally, this video was just posted today of the California National Guard delivering COVID-19 test kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship. The point is to keep the delivery team from interacting with anyone on the ship. You may want to skip about a minute and a half in to skip the flight there. Spoiler, it’s not as easy as just dropping a box out the door and flying off.

I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as I did. If you know of other videos you think I would enjoy, old and new, please leave them in the comments section for me!

Category: Fun Stuff,


  • Wow. That Learjet is pretty much the definition of a “hot mess”

    I guess the best I can say is “shame about the plane” and “I’m glad they didn’t kill anybody on the ground”

  • A very nice “medley”.

    I agree, the Learjet crew were operating in a very unprofessional manner. Mind, in virtually all countries that I flew in as a licenced pilot there was no such thing as a SIC who was not allowed to be the “pilot flying”. If he or she could not meet that standard (s)he had no business to be part of the cockpit crew of any aircracft, unless as flight engineer or trainee with a qualified (type) instructor, as part of a training programme.
    But I can sympathise with the level they filed, FL270 (27000 feet). The 35 has fan engines and is not nearly as thirsty at low levels as the 20 series with straight jets. I have been rated on the 25D. Even on a flight as short as 25 minutes we would flle for FL310. It would take about 5 minutes to get there. Cruising at 4000 feet, even if for only 25 minutes, it would probably burn nearly half the contents of the tanks – assuming they were full.
    A Learjet captain I used to know once put it like this, in retort to a colleague who had been hired by Aer Lingus and proudly announced that he was going to fly the Boeing 737: “I can outclimb you, I can outmanoeuvre you, I can make more noise than you and I can burn more fuel, too !”
    The 25D was a beauty to fly, even if a bit of a “handful”. With that I mean that the crew had to remain “on top of the aircraft”. It tended to rock, wings dipping from left to right, during the approach. The PF was not to counteract this. It would only increase it; instead, the preferable technique was to hold the controls steady and it would sort itself out. Sharp turns at low speed were an absolute “no-no”, as this sad accident demonstrated. Looking at the METAR, the wind was strong and gusting over 30 kts. Even if straight down the runway, it may have been another factor especially when making steep turns at low speed and -altitude.

    The Cessna 185: There is nothing that tells what actually happened. Did it have an engine failure? The aircraft sits high on its floats, once the wings stop providing lift its high centre of gravity can give it an unstoppable momentum to nose-over. Obviously the floats were caught in vegetation. Some of these floatplanes have retractable wheels in the floats, making them amphibious. If the pilot lands on water with the gear down, the same will happen: the drag of the wheels will cause it to nose over. In these aircraft, “green” light means gear down and locked, the indication for gear up is blue. Simple.
    The 185 was a very good and dependable workhorse.
    I have not been fortunate enough to have been rated on seaplanes.

    The 777: Quite a demonstration of built-in structural redundancy. I did my rating on the Corvette with the factory, Aerospatiale, then at St. Nazaire. There was a test rig – we were allowed to see it – in which a wing was constantly pulled up to its structural limits. After moving the wings up and down the undercarriage (which was attached) was extended and a hydraulically operated platform was slammed into the landing gear, simulating a hard landing – I believe simulating a touch-down at 500 feet per minute. The wheels would go up again and the wings bent. And so on, this would be on a continuous basis, 24 / 7. Except, at intervals the test would be stopped and the structures inspected for cracks. In another hall a fuselage was submerged in a tank filled with water. Water under pressure would be pumped into the cabin, simulating maximum pressure differential. Again, at intervals the basin would be emptied and the hull inspected. The reason for doing it submerged was to eliminate an explosion, should the cabin fail.

    The Fokker F28: interesting and good to see that the occupants, had this been a real crash, would have had a chance of survival. Of course Sylvia knows that a real crash test has been carried out with a Boeing 727. The crew bailed out by parachute from the rear, the door under the tail section, and the final part of the flight was done by remote control.

    The toddler who nearly fell out of a Cessna 401 is a happy story. The pilot must be commended for his quick thinking and superb airmanship.

    The drop of Covid-19 test sets on a cruise ship is a reminder of the epidemic that forces cruise liners in quarantine. There were no people visible on deck during the delivery. The outbreak threatens to overwhelm the capacity of the hospitals worldwide. It also has the potential of severely damaging the international business community. Some airlines have curtailed operations, staff lay-offs are already taking place. A substantial number of cockpit- and cabin crew working for companies such as Ryanair are not permanent staff, but on contract. The ailing FlyBe was one of the first victims to close shop permanently.

    The Hindenburg clip: interesting, especially to see how a biplane could be released and caught in mid-air but it is a bit difficult to see how the elements of the clip fit together. Still, a vivid reminder of the era of the large airships and their demise.

  • Two things don’t belong in an aircraft cabin….An unrestrained, curious toddler (401) and crew hubris (Lear). Great selection thanks Sylvia.

  • John, I can agree with the first part. But hubris? No, it was incompetence made worse by a totally inadequate crew management system that failed even in its basics to monitor performance and correct shortcomings. Based on what I read here, I know of quite a few even small-time operators where the SIC would not have had a chance, considering his lack of flying skills. The PIC in these companies would have barely met the threshold requirements for a SIC and may have been shown the door marked “EXIT” in less than a year. Unless the reports misrepresent the facts, neither pilot was up to the job.
    Just “to be sure to be sure”, I read up on the word “hubris”. It means “excessive pride or self confidence”. There may have been an element of that, but the main factor was incompetence, exacerbated by hubris.

    • I just looked at the accident report. (The photograph on page 20 is jarrng — it shows the crash site,, with the Learjet touching ground from left to right, and you can look down straight the Teterboro runway in the background.) The PIC had only ever flown as SIC until he was let go when he was 45 years old; he was rehired by his gotmer employer for a year when he was 50, unemployed gor alf a year, and then hired as PIC by his final employer. He had a 4-day simuator course to get him current on the Learjet, and did poorly on it. This evidence supports your assessment that this pilot was SIC material at best.

      Crews at this operator were letting the SIC fly (against company policy) because they’d have no way to build up and retain flying skills otherwise, and if the captain can’t rely on their FO to be able to fly the plane, that’s bad. The company sold its remaining Learjet, so they don’t have that problem any more, but that was another “wtf” moment for me.

    • I see hubris on top of incompetence: the PIC believed that he could do instruction on a short (i.e., busy) flight despite the fact that he could barely fly the plane, which sounds like excessive self-confidence to me. Mendel’s link, and the links in it, don’t specifically use the word but talk about it in detail; the tl;dr version amounts to “You aren’t as good as your best landing”, which is something I suspect a lot of pilots don’t realize.

    • Agreed Rudy. I like to participate but I try to keep my comments short on this site because of no “real world” aviation experience. I depend on others (like you) for the detail ;-)

  • Note that the airship videos include a number of clips of other airships than the Hindenburg. I don’t believe the Hindenburg ever carried parasite fighters, and certainly not British and American ones!.

    • I couldn’t find out what the airships were that had the planes strung below them, but I read up on the British R33 also featured in that video. At one point, it was blown all the way to the Netherlands with half a crew and a deflated nose section, and still made it back to the UK intact! That was a medal-worthy feat!

      For more inflatable footage, the Army Airy Service had a Balloon and Airship Division, and they made a silent recruiting film back in the day, it’s been uploaded at .

      I learnd that the Hindenburg had been designed to be filled with Helium, but the US embargoed that gas, which was why it had to fly with Hydrogen. Reportedly, there was a single lighter on board, guarded by the steward reaponsible for the smoking room. Aviation safety has come a long way since then!

  • Rudy: I was wondering about that non-flying SIC (which I compared to the vulgar saying about being as useful as an element of a boar’s anatomy); I have no idea why it’s allowed in the US and am relieved to hear it’s not allowed elsewhere — and that for once the FAA itself got called out, for not realizing that the operator’s safety was sloppy. (Why the operator thought putting two borderline cases in the same cockpit was not addressed; why a barely-competent PIC thought he could give flying lessons at all, let alone on a short hop, will never be known.) I went to a handful of conventions in a hotel overlooking TEB but was never facing the right way to see the maneuver the report describes as common; it may not be as hairy as the Mogadishu approach Sylvia showed us recently, but at least that one was over water; the people working under that path are probably resigned to close passes.

    I would also love to know more about the floatplane-in-a-bog; I’d \hope/ that was an emergency landing rather than somebody thinking a bog would be as easy to get out of as clear water, but one never knows. Interesting info about the 185’s stability; I once saw one making a clean landing and taxi in crowded conditions (fly-in at Nashua NH) but didn’t get close enough to ask how the plane handled.

    • The bogged plane is N2231T, it had a wing strike on water at takeoff back in 1984 when the pilot had scarcely 29 hours on the plane (may not be the current pilot). Since nobody was injured, this bog landing is just an incident, and I wasn’t able to find a public report, though kathrynsreport (dot com) has collected some newspaper reports.
      The backstory is that Joe Holland owns an ice cream shop, and was holding a fund raiser for the Jefferson Fire Department, when the plane crashed 3 miles from his shop. He took his drone along when he followed the fire department to the crash site, and helped them survey the crash site and find a better way out of the bog than the one they came in — if you miss a step, you may find yourself immersed waist deep. Joe also uploaded footage from when they tugged the plane back over onto the floats, at , that’s a sight you won’t often see!
      I couldn’t find any reliable information on the landing itself.

  • Chip, your comment on “hubris” vs “(in)competence” does make sense, yes I see what you mean. Semantics maybe, but I accept, it is valid.
    On the other points: Walter Hand also noticed that not all airship clips belonged to the Hindenburg, nor were they logically sequenced. Interesting just the same.
    And Chip: The Learjet PIC was in fact flying single pilot with an assistant. Considering his history and the weak performance of his own previous checks and professional history, plus his very limited experience in the Learjet, he had no business allowing a SIC who had not even been able to demonstrate adequate basic flying skills to be the PF. And when he, belatedly, took over, he did not really demonstrate adequate flying skills himself either.
    Once I had to perform a route check on the Shorts Skyvan. It was a night mail flight between Dublin and Liverpool. Two pilots had completed their training and it was my job to sign them out.
    I knew their level of competence. At or above standard, so instead of sitting in the FO seat, I put them both in the cockpit seats. Their performance and crew coordination was exemplary, so I found a comfortable place in the cargo hold, on the mailbags, left them to the task, slept through the rest of the flight and just signed them off. Hubris? Not really, these guys had already demonstrated a high professional standard anyway.
    My first real job as a pilot was flying a Cessna 310, my previous experience was largely on Piper Super Cubs. After I did my type rating I was supposed to do some route flying with my instructor who was employed by Transavia, at that time on the Caravelle. At the very last moment, when we were to do an IFR flight from Schiphol, Amsterdam to Hanover he was called out by his employer. Three days after getting my rating I was operating single pilot. The 310 was a big step up from the PA 18, but at least the Super Cub had taught me basic flying skills.
    The next step up was on the SN601 Corvette as occasional SIC. This was in the Netherlands. This country does not have a “Co-pilot” rating, all pilots must meet the same standards. I was getting exposure on a jet because my employer had ordered a new Citation. We did trips not only in Europe, but also to Africa and the Middle East. After a year and a half the company had a big reorganisation and the Citation was sold to Italy. I flew with the new owner for a half year, then I was unemployed. I took the job on a Learjet based in Lagos, Nigeria. The training was done in Tucson. Even though by that time I had more than 2500 hours on business jets, mostly as PIC and in very different parts of the world, my Nigerian employer still required me to complete 50 hours as PIC under supervision.
    My next job was on the Corvette again. This time, after regaining the rating, I was not flying under supervision. The examiner of the Irish Aviation Authority carried the licence with him and entered, signed and stamped the rating at St. Nazaire, the base of Aerospatiale where the aircraft had been built. We then flew to Paris to collect a passenger and on to Shannon, my base for the coming few years.
    By this time I had logged about 9500 hours in total, 2700 on small jets. The transition to the Corvette was routine, especially as I had flown the type before.
    I can honestly state that, yes perhaps I was a bit “cocky”, hubris might be the word. But I never flew a sophisticated high performance aircraft without very thorough training.
    About the Cessna 185: In 1967 I worked as flight operations supervisor in Nigeria. The (American owned) company operated a few of them on amphibious floats on behalf of Gulf Oil. Two hangars down was a similar Dutch owned operator. Their main customer was Shell Oil.
    One of their newly recruited pilots was checked out on the floatplanes when he made a mistake. The gear indicator lights were “blue” for gear UP (blue=water) and “green” for gear down (green= grass). He lowered the wheels for a landing on water. The aircraft nosed over, he was killed. How the aircraft handled when taxying? I don’t know but they sat very high, so it is quite possible that the motto was “Handle with extreme care”, especially under windy conditions.
    I cannot believe that the 185 in the video had attempted to land in the bog deliberately, my guess is that it was an emergency landing.
    In 1970 a colleague, flying a PA18 with a banner suffered an engine failure. He was over a town and decided to keep the banner attached until clear of the build-up area. By that time of course his options had become very limited, but he picked what looked from the air like grass.
    What he could not know: it was winter. The green was not grass but winter corn. Already grown to about a foot high, the stems wrapped around his wheels and pulled the aircraft nose-over, upside-down.
    The next day his photo appeared in the local newspapers, a foot on the wing, one hand nonchalantly on one of the upturned main wheels in an attitude similar to that of a big game hunter with the tiger, lion or elephant that he had shot. You guessed right: he was not injured.

    • That’s a great story! I remember when the field manager at Hanscom talked about reseeding the areas between the runways with tall grass, saying he’d spend less on mowing and have a cash crop — AND that a hayfield would be easier to land on than grass if somebody couldn’t get their gear down and didn’t want to skid on the hard runways. I don’t know whether anyone ever had to do this, or if so whether they found out if grass was enough weaker than corn (or other grain?) to provide a safe stop.

  • Great videos, thanks Sylvia! I saw that of the two people inside the helicopter (dropping kits to the cruise ship) one is fully kitted up and the other is not wearing ear protection (unless it is ear plugs that are not visible).

    • The rigger is wearing combination earphone and hearing protectors, so he can communicate with the flight crew. He wears more complete head protection because from his position he is more likely to be knocked into the hatch frame.

      The assistant rigger is wearing inserted hearing protectors, clearly visible in some frames around 3:45. The insertables could also be earphones (Bose makes these), but probably it’s just that she’s only an assistant rigger and no one condescends to tell her anything.

  • About the Hindenburg: yes the story about the American government’s embargo on helium gas is true. The fact that helium is a finite resource was not the reason, it was a political decision. But anyway, once helium has been released into the atmosphere it can not be retrieved, the supply will eventually run out. Hydrogen has a better lifitng capacity, but as is well known is highly flammable. I seem to remember, however vaguely, that the paint used to cover the hull of airships could have been a factor in the Hindenburg crash. It contained aluminium, the theory was that the skin had been charged with static electricity. When the mooring cables were extended to the gound, this acted as an earthing wire. Contact was made and resulted in a spark. Hence the sudden way the airship was engulfed. True? I read this quite a few years ago.
    The clip about the drop of covid-19 test kits featured on the news channels. Sylvia, you had a scoop!
    Eerie to see the deck with all those facilities deserted.
    And yes, one would wonder why one of the helo crew members was so casual about his ear protection.

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