AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 20

PROFICIENT PILOT

Who needs wings?

BY BARRY SCHIFF

Unbelievable recoveries from impossible situations

BARRY SCHIFF

has been writing
aviation articles,
books, and
educational
materials since 1959.

A YOUTUBE VIDEO that has been making the rounds on
the internet for several years shows an airplane being
put through an aerobatic routine during which the
entire right wing breaks off and falls to the ground.
Despite being confronted with an impossible set of
control challenges, its pilot miraculously nurses the
airplane to an airport and lands safely. (To see this
video, go to YouTube.com and search for "Pilot lands
plane safely after losing a wing.")
It appears that the pilot has performed an impossible maneuver-impossible because that's exactly what
it is. The video is a hoax. If you stop the video at various points and study individual frames, you will notice
that the film is a composite showing at some points a
real airplane, and at others what appears to be a model
of the airplane with several slight but detectable differences. Other inconsistences prove further that the
video is fake.
Although entertaining, such phony videos tend
to discredit and create doubt about some incredible
events that really did occur. Take, for example, a wing
failure experienced by four-time British aerobatic
champion and retired Royal Air Force test pilot Neil
Williams, whose skills were put to the ultimate test.
On June 3, 1970, Williams was practicing an aerobatic routine near Hullavington, a village in Wiltshire,
England, in a Zlin Z 526A Akrobat, a single-place
Czechoslovakian sport plane. He was preparing for
the forthcoming World Aerobatic Championships.
While executing a 5-G recovery from a vertical
dive at 1,000 feet agl, Williams said he "heard a loud
bang and felt a severe jolt through the airframe." His
airplane immediately began rolling left while the left
wing remained parallel to the horizon. The spar of the
left wing had failed. The rolling could not be arrested
despite applying full right aileron and rudder. Williams
had intended to land as soon as possible but by the time
he had reached 300 feet over the farmland, it became
clear that he was about to lose control.
Acting almost reflexively, the 6,500-hour pilot
rapidly applied left aileron, pitched into a negativeG condition, and rolled inverted. This forced the left
wing to "snap back into position with a loud bang."
He was thankful to discover that the airplane could be
flown somewhat normally while inverted. Remaining
upside down, Williams climbed to 1,000 feet and
headed for the nearby airport while assessing the

20 | AOPA PILOT October 2020

handling characteristics of the damaged airplane. He
knew, however, that the Zlin's inverted fuel system
would keep the engine running for fewer than 8 minutes. Williams later said that if he had had a parachute,
he would have climbed as high as possible and jumped.
Williams said also that he considered four types
of landings: "an inverted ditching, deliberately crashing inverted into trees to take the impact, an inverted
crash landing on the airfield, or an inverted approach
with a last-minute rollout and hope for the best." He
opted for the fourth choice because he felt this offered
his best chance for survival.
He made one wide circuit of the field and then
approached the grass runway while still inverted.
He decided to land with landing gear and flaps
retracted because he did not know what additional
adverse effects might be caused by extending them.
As the threshold of the runway passed "over his head,"
Williams began a slow inverted flare. When the aircraft achieved a level attitude, he rolled the airplane
upright. It landed hard on its belly as the left wing
began to move out of position. Any further delay in
touching down would have rendered the airplane
uncontrollable.
There are very few pilots with enough of the
right stuff to smartly cope with and survive such a
challenging emergency. The queen of England honored Williams with an award for his unbelievable
performance.
Amazingly, though, there is another pilot who literally lost an entire wing and landed without hurting
himself or his navigator. This occurred in 1983 when
Israeli Air Force pilot Ziv Nadivi, flying a McDonnell
Douglas F-15D Eagle, had a midair collision with a
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk over southern Israel. With fuel
streaking and vaporizing so profusely from where his
right wing had been attached, it was impossible for
Nadivi to see that his right wing was gone. So rather
than ejecting, he saw no reason not to attempt a landing. He needed and used so much power that what
remained of the airplane was forced to act like a lifting body. He landed at an Israeli Air Force base with a
touchdown speed of 260 knots.
To see this airplane flying with a missing wing, go
to YouTube.com and search for "F-15 lands with one
wing." This one is no hoax.
AOPA
barryschiff.com


http://www.YouTube.com http://www.YouTube.com http://www.barryschiff.com

AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 82
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 101
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 104
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 107
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 108
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103_test
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot0308
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com