A passenger reported that their American Airlines flight made an emergency landing on Sunday “after a potential brake failure.” Everyone had to assume the crash position. Watch the video starting around 18 seconds in and you’ll hear “Head down, stay down, brace, brace” being chanted as the aircraft diverted to Philadelphia. And then everything was fine.
Emergency landing by an @AmericanAir flight yesterday after a potential brake failure. Pilot comes on to let them know they need to assume the crash position. Flight attendants can be heard chanting "brace, brace, brace"
📷 Craftymushroomstudio l pic.twitter.com/EI4w0opac4
— Tri-State Weather (@tristateweather) May 29, 2023
The plane looked like a Republic Embraer 175 operating as American Eagle. I asked American about the flight and they referred me to Republic, who checked their “irregular ops reports from the 28th and didn’t see anything that matched.” So I’m not sure what flight this was, and am curious if readers have seen any other references to it?
I’ve flown on aircraft that have had to make emergency landings. There have been numerous go arounds and missed approaches in low visibility. I’ve been on board American Airlines for a bird strike on departure from Dallas – Fort Worth, and experienced the most direct approach back to an airport I’ve ever seen (emergency vehicles met the plane and it was inspected before being allowed to taxi back under its own power to a gate). And I’ve been on board a flight where the plane’s landing gears wouldn’t register as deploying.
Each time it’s a little bit scary, but there’s a procedure, and flying is incredibly safe. The aircraft are designed to be safe, with very few single failure points. More or less every situation that has occurred before has been gamed out. And while modern aircraft can be flown safely by less experienced pilots who staff airlines in certain parts of the world, U.S. and European pilots are generally highly skilled. It is very unlikely that the Ethiopian and Lion Air 737 MAX incidents would have occurred here.
There will come a time when AIs perform better than co-pilots, though we do not today seem close to this point. Kudos to the unknown pilot of the aircraft in this video, who worked through the situation with air traffic control and their own airline’s operations team while remaining calm and executing procedures (it appears) flawlessly.