Warsaw, Okecie Airport, Poland
A Boeing 767 with 231 people aboard, flying from Newark’s Liberty airport to Warsaw’s Okecie airport had to make an emergency landing.
The problems started about half-hour into the flight.The pilot realized that the hydraulic system did not work which resulted in the blockage of the wheels. If there were no wheels to land on, the plane had to land on its belly. Most of such situations lead to tragic crashes, as the Boeing 767 weights nearly 90 tons.
Even 3 to 4 minutes before the landing the captain still believed that the landing gear would open.
But it did not.
The wheels remained silent.
The captain switched off the automatic pilot, and took the control over. He knew that he was the only one who could have saved his own and the other 230 passengers’ lives.
How do you behave in such situations?
~ you do exactly what the standard landing requires, with the wheels down… but you “Execute to Perfection”( denverpost.com) the captain Tadeusz Wrona said.
One slightly wrong move and the plane would have crushed, killing all aboard.
The pilot dropped the fuel and decided to touch the ground. The Polish LOT Airlines Boeing 767 landed as smoothly as if nothing had happened. No one was hurt and the plane had its structure intact.
The captain of the jet Tadeusz Wrona and the first officer Jerzy Szwarc had the lives of 231 people in their hands.
What leads to such mastery?
How do you remain calm and professional, when the stress nearly blinds your eyes?
Captain Tadeusz Wrona pointed out the importance of training. The pilots spend tens of hours each year on simulators. They learn over and over again how to control the planes, their own emotions, behave in critical situations, how to land the jets on water, without wheels, with the engines shut off… to the point of remembering the steps by heart, with closed eyes. They visualize and imagine themselves going through the critical moments while remaining calm and fully concentrated.
If you train it over and over again, you mind will follow it when the real challenge appears. The critically important thing is to train your emotions. The simulators or even visualizations will never fully cover the unexpected situations. Train your concentration.
In challenging moments you will focus on what you want- the best outcome possible.
And make it happen.