Imagine Being Aboard This Plane

This will make you not want to fly for a little while. It’s footage of a Tupelov Tu-154 airliner struggling to stay aloft amidst severe oscillations. It’s downright scary to watch. This was apparently the plane’s first flight after emerging from long term storage at an air base outside of Moscow. Well done to the pilots who eventually landed the plane safely. I have no idea how they did it.

For more info and video of the flight, click here.

  • @Brianckramer

    Looks like full rudder deflections in both directions…How does this happen? At least it wasn’t an Airbus, the tail would have snapped off pretty quickly.

  • Jacob

    Jesus Christ, that IS scary. I don’t know how the cameraman is so calm.

  • Vstress

    It’s a perfect example of the “dutch roll” mode. Very good video illustrating it!

    A yaw damper will have gone (really gone, not even half functioning). There would normally be a backup damper if the aircraft suffers this sort of stability issue.

    Reducing speed and putting out flaps will change the flying characteristics, so that’s how they managed to land it.

    Though… I would not wish to have been on that aircraft!!! Poor maintenance engineers.

    • @itsnicedownhere

      That’s not the dutch roll. The bird lost almost all hydraulics in flight and pilots were forced to steer it to landing strip just by rudder and throttle control. That was the last flight of the aircraft grounded for a few years and so on, but how they’ve decided to fly without the thorough check of all systems is beyond me.
      But, well, they’re lucky bastards and great pilots for sure.

  • asdf

    wouldn’t the fbw system of the airbus’ aircraft compensate (at least in some extent) for this?

  • jsallison

    Same thing happens in Microsoft FSX running on a low wattage computer, the graphics drag behind the joystick input. Gee, you don’t think… nah, couldn’t be. ;)

  • yesjb

    WOW! That’s a bit of a nightmare!
    Looks like too much alcohol in the fuel tanks…or somewhere! :-)
    You’re right, Vstress. It looks like a dutch role on steroids.

  • Nadnerbus

    Pucker factor ten.

  • Rocketman

    Kind of looks like the aileron cable is broken and they’ve lost their directional stability, either that or Foster Brooks is flying the airplane.

  • steve

    Damn good pilots.

  • So?

    It had been seating on the ground for 10 years. This was meant to be a single shakeout circuit around the airport before a flight to the factory for an overhaul. But they were in a rush before the public holidays.

    • mitko

      Oh, come on. Don’t spoil their fun. With the sleeping flight controlers and the planes losing their roofs, they have to pick themselves up with stories how the others have it worse.