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Watch This Absurd 10-Minute Video on How to Land a Plane In an Emergency

Tim Morgan, a commercial pilot with years of experience, has created a ten minute video he claims will help anyone safely land a 737 in an emergency. The notion that someone could plop down in a cockpit, with zero experience, and pilot a 737 to a safe landing is ludicrous, but that doesn’t make this video any less fascinating. ( More...

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When I told my wife about this video, the first thing she asked was "How do you get in the cockpit? Isn't the door locked?" I didn't have a good answer for her.
MultiComm 2
This deserves a million "thumbs up"
Grab a beer from the galley and pull the slide, I think Whiskey or Vodka would be appropriate :)
Daniel Bailey 9
Pretty good summary of what's required to take over and land, however... pretty much fantasy that someone who has NO flying experience could pull this off. There have been a few simulator tests of this theory that didn't turn out too good. But, as quickly as kids pick up technology today, I think I know a few who would have a good shot at it. I'd love to try it! I will be taking my 12 year old niece into the 787 Simulator during my recurrent on Sunday soooooo.. maybe she'll get a shot at it ;)
Toby Sharp 7
Please Post on how the sim goes! I want to hear how she does!
jdtilton 2
When I was 12, my father took me with him for his copilot check in the Eastern Airlines L-1011 simulator. His captain for the check didn't make it so he sat left seat and I got to be his 'co-pilot'. He check out and then the simulator check pilot told me I could take her around once around the pattern. As my father will proudly tell you, I didn't crash! 33 years later, I earned my private pilot's ticket. You are a great uncle to take your niece up and hopefully she won't wait as long as I did to fulfill her dream as I did (it's different for girls these days)! She will definitely remember the experience all her life.
sparkie624 8
WOW, I can see a few issues... Coming in on the basic approach, I can agree with most of it, but I would have done a few things differently... 1 I would have setup an ILS... To me easier to watch the instrument, than to try and judge where the aircraft is... 2nd, I think that I would much rather have an auto land setup or at least have the autopilot get me as close to the ground as possible... Just my opinion, but with over 100 people on board depending on me the person rescuing the day I would hate to blow it all in the landing.. I think the A/P could do a better job than I could do. I do have some flight experience and have flown 727 and 737 simulators, but when it is the real thing, I would have some reservations.... If it was a choice of most certain death and I may be able to save the day.. I would give it a shot, but don't think I would necessarily follow that video.
Will I be bumped up to Business class when I am on the standby list for "Relief "Pilot""? And do i get a key to open the door to the cockpit?
Tom Reynolds 4
Went to watch it. It says it is a Private Video and will not play.
"This video is private."
ehnf12 2
same here
Jakob Xanther 3
I think that no one who never had thoughts about flying him(her)self would attempt to land a plane even in such an emergency. But the chances are pretty high that some PC 'Flight Simulator' junkie is on board who has at least a very basic understanding about flying and the instruments of a cockpit. That person might be the best available alternative to a sick or dead pilot. So I would give it a try as long as there are not enough parachutes for all of the passengers.
I myself have played around a lot with MS Flight Simulator and I believe I have enough understanding that I would be able to bring it down. Maybe not a perfect landing but good enough to survive. Nevertheless I hope that I never will be asked to do it in such an emergency.
Phil Juhas 3
Sure picked the wrong day to give up heroin!
rmchambers 3
Cha! like I'd stop the plane on the runway, no way man, I'm taxiing that bad boy all the way to the gate and making announcements. Assuming you've declared the mayday they'd already have all the fire/rescue stuff rolled so I'd demand a water cannon salute.. Once everyone is off the plane I'd walk into accolades in the terminal, scantily clad models coming up to hug me... (wavy lines) dang it! it was all just a dream..... :)
Couldn't watch it - states it "Private"
MultiComm 1
Looks like it was taken down (changed to Private). Must not like the attention it is getting or the fact that he is publicizing information that leaves too much open to interpretation. I wonder what kind of comments he received on the actual YouTube page.
MultiComm 2
Wait it is still live on YouTube
Gustavo Rebay 3
The Russian way: This is how flight attendants are trained in Aeroflot
I would think the Aeroflot one is a more realistic depiction of how this would actually go. (I assume it was a real, unrehearsed simulation.) Hopefully if this ever really happened they would have an experienced, type-certified pilot talking the person down, not just the ATC controller. The video showed the confusion that you would expect, for example, the problem she had finding the thrust reversors. And of course when he tells her to input "uniform mike" and she starts typing "uniform mike."
that was fascinating for me as a pax
ken young 3
I can't watch it. Says "video is private".....Why bother posting the squawk?
I suspect the odds of a deadheading pilot being aboard who could assist, is about 100x more than a random pax ever being called on.
He forgot step #1: watch the other ten minute video on How to remove the unconscious Captain from the left seat, without disturbing any levers, switches, dials or buttons, before Rigor Mortis sets in.
Duane Osman 2
Maybe once you get a feel for the controls, a chandelle and a roll might be fun. Tex Johnson says it's no big deal...
donjohnston 1
I don't know who this Tex Johnson is. Maybe we should ask Tex Johnston? ;-)
rmchambers 1
Yeah, that would give the pax a story to top the initial one of their pilots becoming incapacitated. "thankfully a passenger pilot stepped up and barrel rolled us to a smooth landing"
Peter Cooper 2
I recently had an hour in a 737 Simulator in Adelaide. I managed a safe landing at the old Hong Kong Airport and several in the mountains of South America. I have about 5 hours on a Cessna 172 and probably 1000 Hours plus on FS 2004. I know the basics of flying, but do not consider myself anything like being a pilot, I can fly straight and reasonably level, but that's it. I think the video simplifies the whole thing a bit too much, and doesn't factor in the fear factor. I had no problems at in the simulator, but I'm pretty sure I'd be feeling the weight of the 150 passengers sitting behind me were I to try to land a real aircraft,not the simulator.
Matt LaMay 1
Now, go back to the simulator. Tell everybody to get out of the cockpit and do it again.

[This poster has been suspended.]

Jake Angelo 0
ATC - "do you have a God?" PILOT: "Yes", ATC - You are very close to Him now I suggest you have a DIRECT conversation and get off this radio".
Tom Martin 1
Howling with laughter! Video and comments are a riot...thanks to all!
Allan Wheeler 1
Can't wait to give it a try!!lol
Jake Angelo 1
The only things I ever flew was a single engine during my flight training which I had in 1970's..and never did my check ride (Long Story). I have flown thousands of hours using Microsoft FSX and am very good at it. I do not think I would rush to the flight deck if a "pilot" was requested to come forward in a commercial jet. I would spend that time calling my loved ones and talking to GOD. However, I do subscribe to the saying "FLY IT TO THE CRASH SITE" so would probably volunteer to try if nobody came forward. Expectation of success...about 15% I guess.
paul bretanus 1
Funny that they used the call sign "JANET". That's the call sign of the nondescript 737's flying shuttle service between Las Vegas and the non-existent AREA 51....Same paint scheme as well LOL
des quinn 1
MY Comment cockpit LOCKED REMEMBER 911
Jim Gardner 1
Maybe things have changed over the years but I was always taught power = altitude. If you pull back or push forward on the yoke to adjust decent rate you stand a chance of screwing it into the ground or coming in hot.
Mark Lansdell 1
I think I remember something similar. Power equals altitude and attitude equals airspeed. Oh, and you'll need a "key" to get in the locked cockpit door.
Highflyer1950 1
Aah yes, the old range vs endurance lesson. Always comes back to basics.
n9341c 1
It's been done before guys. Ever heard the story of "9 Delta Whiskey"?
MultiComm 1
GA (no cockpit barrier) vs 119/121 with secured cockpit doors ... recall German Wings ... can't open door from the outside
Geoff Arkley 1
Hey! I stitched a deep cut once. Therefore, if you need brain surgery I'm your man. (about as logical)
ADXbear 1
Kay.... I'm ready...ill let the crews know next time I fly... hehehehehe
jhwenger 1
I don't agree with inflating the slides. After a "non-eventful" landing the now uninjured passengers will most certainly sustain injuries using the slides. Wait for an airstair!
I am calling this video "Tips for Al Kida"
mrvair 3
Possibly, but "Al Kida" has no need for flaps, landing gear and thrust reversers....
pjaw 1
avweb picked this story up as well, where they initially credited this guy as being a Delta Airlines pilot!
After having watched the video, I become very suspicious. Way too much questionable advice; the one that took the cake was "putting the gear lever to neutral after extension"!!
Next, I queried the author of the avweb piece-long story short, they ended up changing their story, the part about the Delta pilot credit.
What surprised me was the level of "National Inquirer" type of journalism on part of avweb, which normally is a reputable source!!
chalet 1
What is the fuzz about, I memorized all the instructions in less tan 2 minutes and actually landed the plane -safely of course- after they blindfolded me. (LIMAO!!)
Dale Lewis 1
Guess I'd be cheating a little. I have experience in Cessnas 150 and 152. There's a line in one of my favorite movies "I'm a pilot, I can fly". I wonder if my instructor would sign off my log book with a 737 endorsement?
Jim Goldfuss 1
For strictly entertainment value and nice graphics, this was a fun watch....

Once again, only my opinion, but I don't know of any Airline driver who would post a video like this. Perhaps its semantics, but all a "Commercial pilot" signifies is that he got his commercial pilots certificate, does not mean he flies for hire. The video looks like a PMDG 737 (sim) and perhaps his years of experience is on just that. Who knows, and I could be completely off base, and if I am, apologies to Tim Morgan, but there is a lot of misleading information out there.

In regards to the autopilot, i/m/h/o, with the complexity of todays autopilots (especially on the 'busses) unless you know how to turn it off, and know how the plane will react when you turn it off, it is not as easy as it sounds. If you're not familiar with how a plane performs, turning off the autopilot on short final is not the best place to learn how the plane handles, chances are you'd roll her over (assuming you left the pitch alone).

I would definitely recruit ATC, stay up high with the autopilot on (most likely that is how I would have gotten the aircraft anyway), and give ATC the chance to get a real driver on the radio to help get me down.
jbqwik 1
Passengers as pilot-in-reserve? Just when I thought service couldn't get any worse...
Joe Willett 1
It was entertaining; not sure if its much more or less.

[This poster has been suspended.]

Ron Dawes 1
Actually it has been determined that the Tim Morgan that did this video is NOT the Tim Morgan that is a Delta pilot. Avweb updated their site with this fact.
Joe Willett 1
It seems or is perceived that Mr. Tim Morgan speaks for Delta Airlines.
Mike Volkman 1
This is quite interesting. That video showed up in my YouTube recommendations on Friday, and I watched it. Now today I see these commentaries here and in my Avweb Flash. First, let me say that due to my disabilities I am not a pilot. However, aviation has been a primary interest of mine ever since the first day I flew, which was Eastern flight 861 from JFK to MCO on April 3, 1974, take off on 4L.. Now, here is what stuck in my craw in this video: after the autopilot is disengaged, the narrator said something about using the yoke to control descent. When flying a jet, isn't it more proper to use the throttle to control sink rate and elevators to control airspeed? Perhaps some of you real pilots can advise an armchair pilot.
MultiComm 1
I wanted to reply earlier but your comment disappeared. Now I see it again. While I won't disagree completely with the answer received by John Miller, it really depends on the phase of flight and the priority derived from the pilot in control of the aircraft. Here is my thoughts, for what it is worth. Sorry if any of this is overkill.

The two (throttles vs elevators) are both heavily dependent on each other. The method you are referring to is first taught in basic training to introduce a unfamiliar concept to operating in a three axis environment, however, it is usually taught when one or the other variable is fixed (i.e. constant rate climb/descent [variable power] or constant airspeed climb/descent [variable pitch]). They build on this and eventually learn the coordination of both at the same time. The method you mention is also more valuable in the region of reverse command.

As a side note: power/thrust controls are a bit slow to react in jet aircraft at low power setting (engine spool time) vs piston aircraft (immediate reaction). For example, you find yourself high, you really don't want to pull power to idle increase vertical speed (sink rate). If done, the aircraft will immediately slow down but will take considerable time to settle into a steeper descent (CG permitting). At jet aircraft speeds, time if of the essence. So, some throttle reduction will be necessary but pitch change is my first course of action (albeit generally only a few degrees), then adjust throttle to maintain speed (unless you are at cruise near the "barber pole" when the descent is initiated). This is due to the fact that you don't want to get low and slow and have the throttles at idle as the time to spool the engines is considerable and may take longer than needed.

This is actually a pretty controversial topic but to sum it up, after completing basic instrument training, one has learned it is a combination of both at practically all times. Which one you do first is really just technique.

This article does a great job and comparing the two methods.

Additionally this one is nice.
Mike Volkman 2
Seems like something that one would have to practice to develop a feeling for. To keep a video limited to 10 minutes with only one sentence about using the yoke to control descent on short final makes it all luck with practically no skill.
Matt LaMay 1
Add the stress of the moment and a completely untrained passenger into that equation and you've got a recipe for disaster.
MultiComm 1
Yes, getting used to the reaction time of a jet engines was a bit of a learning curve. Especially when practicing low-energy (in the flare, engines idle) go arounds/rejected landings.
jmilleratp 1
Correct. You would reduce power to initiate a descent. If you did it with just yoke, your speed would increase to a potentially unsafe speed without proper power adjustment. Good observation!
Mike Volkman 1
I thought so. It would be a public service if people from here went over to that video and left some comments asking what'shisname to edit the video and fix that. We don't want our volunteer passengers to make a mistake.
jmilleratp 1
Also known as the "Karen Black in 'Airport 1975'" video!
David Loh 1
Send me in coach...its what live for!
Don't most modern aircraft have a flight management system that would allow the novice pilot, with help from someone on the ground, to just enter an airport code and fly the plane in full auto mode all the way to touchdown and stop?
MultiComm 1
Many do, including some models of the B737....however getting into the cockpit would prove to be a more significant challenge since they do know open from the outside.
Robert Graff 1
I wonder if ATC would really keep referring to the plane as "Delta 1603" as opposed to calling the passenger by his/her name. I'm not a trained pilot, so if I ever found myself in the position of landing a jet, I doubt that I would respond to a call sign.
AWAAlum 1
I think in that situation, you'd respond to just about anything you were told. You'd be hanging on every word. For me, anyways, they could call out Tweety Bird and I'd follow the instructiions.
Robert Graff 0
Me too. But they wouldn't be speaking only to me. Most "emergency pilots" wouldn't have the experience to know to be listening for their flight number. Heck, I usually forget my flight number as soon as I'm certain I'm at the right gate.
rossbudd 1
And how are we going to get into the cockpit
Jakob Xanther 1
Good point. I would hope the pilot does not die at the spot and that he would have a chance to open the door and call for help.
Mark Lansdell 1
I just can imagine a completely in experienced man or woman landing a heavy aircraft like a 737 successfully and without incident. It's hard to get the idea of throttle affecting altitude and the yolk affecting airspeed and getting the wheels on the pavement, (I hate the term tarmac)while sitting in a seat behind very small windows more than 2 arms lengths away and over a story in the air. I don't believe much of what this guy has to say on this topic. Add to all this that he forgot the cockpit door would be locked and there would be no way in to the cockpit and pilots seats where the controls are.
Had to stop watching after 3 minutes Ridiculous..... why was this even posted on Flight Aware ????
dee9bee 1
Somebody please cue the music from 'Airport 75' ...
Kyle Rodgers 0
There are so many things wrong with that video, I don't even know where to start. The article claims he's a commercial pilot, but he's clearly not one of the 73 from the looks of the video. I can't believe, with the wealth of information up on YouTube, that this is the one getting attention...
Robert Long 0
This would be akin to watching a 10-minute video to learn how to play the piano. But knowing a mistake could destroy your 80 year old Wurlitzer would probably keep you from going anywhere near the thing.
Tim Mellon 0
Flight Attendant has a key.
MultiComm 1
Uh....might I remind you of the German Wings crash. Not USA but still, I know for a fact ALPA and all other pilot unions would never agree to this. In fact they are pushing for secondary barriers. Plus never seen a key hole or otherwise on a cockpit door. The only "hidden" unlock device is for the lavatory.
This is pure fantasy. As a 2000 hour instrument-current multiengine pilot, I doubt that I could do that successfully.
steveo -1
Why does he not show how to use the auto-land function? He uses the auto-pilot all the way to the actual landing, then has them hand fly the landing.


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