camlinhall Registered User
#1

The story of the Gulfstream that landed in Mallow is known by very few.
I piloted a DC8 into Shannon the same day from New York. From what we
were told by Shannon Air Traffic Control it was quite a story, alright,
but the captain isn't the hero people seem to think. In fact, if he was
Irish, he would certainly have lost his job, permanently lost his
license to fly, and possibly even went to jail on a criminal
conviction. Also, if it wasn't for the exceptional role played by
Shannon ATC, it's unlikely he'd have survived that day. Heroes yes, in
the tower at Shannon airport. He never told anyone about that, sadly, but basked in the glory he got from all those people he made fools of.

coylemj Registered User
#2

Don't know why you posted that comment here but I'd be interested in the background as the papers didn't really report much on the technical aspects of the event, we all assumed that there was a malfunction with the aircraft which forced him down.

Most people who are old enough remember the story, they had to build a temporary runway to allow him to take-off again and in the meantime he was a local celebrity.

camlinhall Registered User
#3

It was a simple case of running low on fuel. Everyone knew that. But no-one was asking: how come there aren't more near disasters like this if all it takes is bad weather to descend on the place? Here's why. When you're low on fuel you don't hang about. With the fuel remaining, which by strict legal requirement must be on board even after you've arrived at your scheduled destination and be sufficient for flight and safe arrival at a suitable alternate (Cork in this case), you must decide: is there enough on top of that to circle and wait for the weather to improve? If not the choice is very simple. Just go to Cork and worry about the rest later. The delay in diverting put at risk the lives of those on board and the lives of anyone beneath the flight path.

coylemj Registered User
#4

So when he finally got the plane away to it's intended destination, he was fired and his pilot's licence was revoked - or did any agency investigate the incident?

And why did you post about this incident to the Late Late Show and Help Desk threads when they don't seem to be connected?

camlinhall Registered User
#5

Never heard of an enquiry. But of course without a mandatory requirement to report what was really just an unscheduled (and, in fairness, successful) landing, there was on the face of it, no need.

I'd no idea that this thread was in the wrong place. I'm new to this sort of thing. I meant to post in the general area (whatever that looks like). Help?

John Mason Hosted Moderator
#6

probably best in the aviation forum

here http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=905

#7

There was a documentary made it about and was shown on RTE (possiblly as gaelige) - which could be the same one as The Runway movie You'll also see a brief reference to the incident in the 'Reeling In The Years' TV show.

As I recall, it was a privately owned jet of a South American business man and it landed on the racecourse in 1983.

They had to build a temporary 910m (3000ft) runway to get the plane off the racecourse - cost €200,000 and paid for by the insurers. In the meantime the pilot became a local celebrity. The runway is now part of the car park apparently.

The pilot has died and apparently he asked his daughter to visit Mallow again which she did in 2010.

#8

camlinhall said:
The story of the Gulfstream that landed in Mallow is known by very few.
I piloted a DC8 into Shannon the same day from New York. From what we
were told by Shannon Air Traffic Control it was quite a story, alright,
but the captain isn't the hero people seem to think. In fact, if he was
Irish, he would certainly have lost his job, permanently lost his
license to fly, and possibly even went to jail on a criminal
conviction. Also, if it wasn't for the exceptional role played by
Shannon ATC, it's unlikely he'd have survived that day. Heroes yes, in
the tower at Shannon airport. He never told anyone about that, sadly, but basked in the glory he got from all those people he made fools of.
The people of Mallow treated him like a king Not everyone around Mallow had the same opinion of him though. They used to say that if the tables were turned and an Irish pilot emergency landed in Mexico his bags would be packed and he would be sent home.

camlinhall Registered User
#9

That makes sense, and I'll bet even the Mallow crowd had their reservations, but probably thought it best not to rain on the party.

Black and white heroes are dull. A much more interesting story is the one that happened.

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