Instances of crew abandoning an airliner in flight?

Member for

10 years 1 month

Posts: 2,535

Hi, there was a very interesting program on TV last night about an airliner which was abandoned in flight by the crew and then, radio controlled in a simulated crash landing. It was done to test passenger survivability, improve safety. I was wondering if this was the first time an airliner has been abandoned in flight and if there are any other occurancies? ATB, Hampy.
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Profile picture for user Matt-100

Member for

7 years 2 months

Posts: 569

The only one I can think of is when NASA did the same experiment in the '80s, except their's was a failure. It's certainly not common practice, I don't know about you but I've never seen my captain stepping on-board clasping a parachute? :D

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13 years 11 months

Posts: 470

The only one I can think of is when NASA did the same experiment in the '80s, except their's was a failure. :D
Ah no, NASA's Boeing 720 was flown remotely at take off and throughout all of its 9 minute flight. First prototypes for airliners normally have an emergency egress route leading to parachute hatch for when they do the high risk flying.
Profile picture for user Stuart H

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9 years 6 months

Posts: 216

I watched the documentary too. I couldn't help wondering why they had so much trouble with the radio control system. I thought drone technology had been used for decades without needing a chase plane nearby - especially during missile tests, so it seemed like they were re-inventing the wheel?

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10 years 2 months

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i think it was the budget restrictions that limited the remote control but what they managed was fantastic

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9 years 7 months

Posts: 4,993

It would have cost "peanuts" to fit an external antenna. This reminded me very much of the experiments they did during the war, in trying to blow up the U-Boat pens. When Joseph Kennedy Jnr was killed during Operation Aphrodite.

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13 years 2 months

Posts: 27

Wasn't a Fokker-VFW 614 abandoned in flight by a crew during a test flight that went wrong? Must have been early 70s and I'm not too sure of the exact type/designation/ manufacturer. Cheers.