One of the last 727 operators in the USA just made a picture perfect emergency landing on Guam a few days ago. The pilots did everything they could to get the nose wheel down and locked before landing. After exhausting all attempts to lock the nose gear down, the pilots brought the old classic “three-holer” to a graceful stop on Guam with only the main gear available. Impressive videos have made USA Today, England’s Daily Mail, even Russia Today.
Guam’s own Pacific Daily News has the best photos.
Guam Daily Post has the best video I could find.
Excellent work Captain R! They should put you in charge of all operations immediately and double your salary. You are a positive example of how to save the day when things fall apart around you. GOOD JOB!
A nose gear up landing is not the worst thing that can happen to an airplane. This airplane can be repaired and be returned to flying rather quickly. Asia Pacific Airlines has crashed and fixed airplanes before. Back in May 2008, Asia Pacific’s N319NE overran the runway on Pohnpei and ended up on the reef in the lagoon. No video of that crash exists that I am aware of but first hand accounts from the engineer who was (in my opinion) wrongly blamed for the runway excursion, were quite dramatic to say the least. He told me that from his back seat, it looked like he was in a submarine diving under water. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in that crash either.
This airplane was quickly repaired and still flies for Asia Pacific Airlines to this day although, as of this writing it is AOG on remote PTKK (Chuuk Island FSM)
Asia Pacific Airlines now has zero operable aircraft flying. Their third 727 (N705AA) is undergoing an engine change and FAA certification for their replacement 757′s still eludes the airline.
The 737-800 freighter will be the perfect airplane to serve these Island Nations essential air cargo lifelines. Unfortunately, that airplane won’t be available until late 2017.