When it comes to travel, flying is an aspect that has more than its fair share of complaints. No in-flight Wi-Fi, lack of leg room and let's not forget the lacklustre airplane food. But as Louis C.K. Clark so famously put it, "you're flying! It's Amazing! You're sitting in a chair in the sky."
It's a point that likes to be reaffirmed whenever something mechanical goes wrong with a flight, and a supplement to the fact plane travel is the safest it's ever been despite nearly 3 billion people flying in the skies in 2012, notes Time Magazine. Statistically speaking, the riskiest part of a flight is when the plane takes off or lands due to factors like cloud height, wind and visibility, according to Chesley Sullenberge, the pilot of the U.S. Airways jet which crashed into the Hudson River in New York City back in 2009.
So, as a gentle reminder this summer that a metal container is transporting your body thousands of kilometres in a few hours compared to what would've taken weeks a century ago, the Huffington Post Canada Travel team has compiled a collection of terrifying plane landings that ought to make the whiniest traveller a bit more humble. After all, your flight could always be a little worse.
Close Call With A Boeing Business Jet
In a video uploaded to YouTube in June, viewers watch as a Boeing business jet avoids a potential disastrous landing after the pilot loses all visibility due to a sudden onslaught of heavy rain.
Chicago may be known as the "Windy City" but Germany's Dusseldorf Airport might as well be known as the country's windy airport. The runaways are notorious among pilots for the strong highwinds which can reach up to 101 km/h and make for some shaky landings. Last year, Martin Bogdan decided to capture the whole thing on camera.
Just Wing It
Things looked grim for the crew and passengers on board JetBlue Flight 292 after the plane's front landing gear was stuck perpendicular to the oncoming runway back in 2011. After circling Los Angeles International Airport for hours, the plane's pilot made the landing as thousands of onlookers and emergency crew watched from the ground.
Look Ma, No Nose!
Back in October of 2011, pilots inside Iran Air Flight 742 pulled off the unthinkable: they landed a plane with no nose landing gear. The emergency landing was made at Mehrabad International Airport after previous multiple attempts at landing. All 113 people on board survived.
Dark And Stormy Night
Trying to land a plane during a storm is no easy feat. Trying to land a plane during a storm with crosswinds (think gusts of winds blowing to the side of the plane) isn't any easier. Yet that was the situation Lufthansa Flight 44 found itself back in March of 2008. Just as the Airbus A320 touches the ground, a blast of wind sends the plane's left wing tip grinding into the ground. The plane's crew makes a quick recovery to pull up and touchdown on a different runway, notes Popular Mechanics.
It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's..
In the spring of 2007, Thompson Airways flight 263 was taking off from Manchester when the plane struck a bird using turbine number two. After the pilot declared mayday, the plane was forced to return to the airport where it safely landed with all 233 on board unharmed.
It's a landing many travellers won't ever encounter unless they're the type that likes to ride in military jets. Such was the case for the pilot of a U.S. Airforce C17 jet who landed in the wrong airport (with just an extra 80 meters of runway to spare) last September.