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Every single day,
over 100,000 flights take place up in the skies
between cities all across the world.
Right now as you’re watching this video,
there’s probably about 5,000 or so planes
full of people flying over just the United States alone.
Flying by airplane is by far
to travel anywhere today in the 21st century.
But accidents do still happen sometimes.
If you’re driving your car on the way to work and you run out of gas,
you may just have to pull over
But when you run out of gas on your plane
while you’re in the middle of flying it,
your options are all pretty much equally shit.
And that’s exactly the situation that the crew of Air Canada flight 143
faced back on July 23rd, 1983.
The day before their plane was flown from Toronto to Edmonton
and received its routine maintenance checks.
On the morning of the 23rd, the plane was flown from Edmonton over to Montreal,
where the old crew got swapped out for our new crew
that takes part in this story,
including Captain Robert Pearson.
With over 15,000 hours of flight experience
at First Officer Maurice Quintal.
With over 7,000 hours.
It’s important to note that at the time
Canada was in the middle of converting from barbarian ImPeRIAL UnItS
over to the glorious metric system for their aviation industry.
Air Canada had so far only began using the metric system on their brand-new 767 planes,
which of course Air Canada flight 143 was one of.
Every other plane besides the 767,
in the Air Canada fleet were still using imperial units.
And this caused a bit of confusion on the part of the refueling team
who were instructed to load up the plane with 22,300 kilograms of fuel.
they filled up the plane with 22,300 pounds of fuel instead,
which was only about half of the fuel that they needed to reach Edmonton.
The flight crew approved of the fuel without noticing the air took off
and didn’t even think about it until they were 41,300 feet high up in the air.
An alarm went off signaling that their left engine had quit working.
They were only about halfway through their trip to Edmonton,
and with one engine working,
they decided to divert to nearby Winnipeg for an emergency landing.
Unfortunately for them though,
quickly after after the left engine went out,
the right engine followed suit and died as well.
This was of course because their plane had run out of fuel
41,000 feet high up in the sky
And with the loss of power to the engines
came a loss in electricity for the entire plane,
which shut off most of the instrument panels inside of the pilots cockpit.
Captain Pearson and first officer contol were now responsible for somehow.
Getting 61 of their passengers and crew on board
to safety without any fuel
and with only very basic instruments.
And they knew that they didn’t have much time.
The first thing they did was to frantically search through their onboard emergency checklist
for the section about flying a plane with both engines out.
But they quickly discovered that that section just didn’t exist.
This situation had never been covered before in their flight simulator training.
And Air Canada corporate had just assumed that an incident like this would never happen.
So nobody was really prepared for it.
Luckily, for everybody on board,
to be an experienced glider pilot,
and decided to do the only logical thing—
glide the plane down to a super serious emergency landing somewhere.
Unfortunately for everybody on board,
neither of the pilots had access to a vertical speed indicator,
which indicates the rate at which the aircraft is descending.
This meant that the pilots didn’t know with certainty how long they could continue.
Biting for a fourth plane inevitably smashed into the ground.
Captain Pearson made his best
guess as to what the optimal gliding speed for the plane was,
around 250 miles per hour.
At first officer contol began
frantically calculating if they could still reach their intended emergency landing spot at Winnipeg.
Using the mechanical backup instruments on board to figure out their altitude
and measuring that against the distance travelled that they were travelling.
and he figured out that they had dropped
5,000 feet in altitude in only 10 nautical miles of gliding,
which meant that Winnipeg was too far away.
Thinking quickly contol suggested that they land at an old
decommissioned Royal Canadian Air Force Base
at Gimli where he used to serve as a pilot.
Captain Pearson and air traffic control all agreed on the plan.
But unknown to all of them,
the former Air Force Base had since been converted into a racetrack,
and at the time of their crisis,
a race was in the middle of being hosted there,
and part of the decommissioned runway was being used as a drag strip.
As they were getting close to the old runway that’s now a drag strip,
they used a gravity drop to force the landing gear down without using any power.
It became apparent that they were coming in too high and too fast.
But they decided that they had no other choice,
and they surged ahead anyway.
There were a few things that made their landing extremely difficult though.
without any engines working, their plane
was making almost no noise,
and so people on the ground at the racetrack had no warning of their sudden landing.
their nose wheel had failed to lock into place during the gravity drop.
the plane had automatically deployed a wind turbine on the side of the plane.
To provide power for the hydraulic steering system since the main engines were dead.
as long as wind was blowing,
and causing the turbine blades to spin,
they had good ability to steer,
but as they slowed down on their approach,
the blades on the turbine span slower which generated less power
which caused the plane to be increasingly
more difficult to steer and control the slower that they went.
But to almost miraculous other things happened
that saved them from disaster.
First was the nosewheel actually failing to lock into position.
As the wheels of the plane touched down on the runway,
captain Pearson braked really hard and the nose wheel collapsed
and was forced back up into its well.
That caused the nose of the aircraft to smash into the ground,
bounce back up and then finally scrape across the ground.
The added friction of this helped to slow the airplane down even more,
and kept it from veering off into the crowd surrounding the plane on either side.
Pearson also applied an extra right brake
which caused the main landing gear to straddle a guardrail
that had been placed in the center of the runway
which created even more extra drag.
Air Canada flight 143 safely came to a complete stop on the ground.
17 minutes after they first lost their fuel.
And had their engines shut down.
or on the ground was seriously injured,
and following an internal investigation by Air Canada,
captain Pearson was demoted for six months,
and first officer kintel was suspended for two weeks
for allowing the whole thing to happen in the first place.
However, they did successfully appeal their suspensions,
and they were awarded the first ever diploma for outstanding airmanship
by the FAI because of the incident.
They both continued to work as pilots for the rest of their careers
without another major incident taking place,
and the 767 plane itself continued
in service for Air Canada until it was finally
retired in 2008.
Almost 25 years later,
the lesson from the whole story
is that bad math can kill you,
但是 后来再用好的数学补救 还是可以拯救你的
but good math afterwards can still save you.
Basically if everybody just knew how to use conversions and math properly beforehand,
this entire thing would never have happened in the first place.
Unfortunately for them,
the internet and brilliant didn’t exist back then to teach them these skills.
But luckily for you today, brilliant makes
learning math easy and fun.
If you want to understand more about things like algebra geometry,
or calculus that were important in this scenario,
the best way to learn and to understand is by applying them yourself.
And that’s exactly what brilliant allows you to do.
If watching my weekly videos isn’t enough for you,
and you want to learn something new every day,
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数学 逻辑 科学工程或计算机科学方面的知识
logic, science, engineering or computer science.
You can learn to track time like the ancients did.
Learn how to use a solar sail to travel in space without any feel,
or loads of other things.
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Thank you for watching and I’ll see you next week for another brand-new video then.