Rumble: There are moments you just have to trust the pilot...

Ryanair crash Ciampino airport Rome

Earlier this week a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, did an emergency landing here in Rome.

On its approach to Ciampino airport, the airplane hit a large flock of birds about 50ft off the ground. It experienced multiple bird strikes to both engines, most probably loosing its main power.

The pilot performed an emergency landing, by slamming onto the airstrip. Through the force, the plane veered back in the air and bounced again onto the tarmac. Then the plane slipped off the side of the runway, but the pilot managed to get it onto the tarmac again. He stopped the aircraft at the very end of the strip.

After evacuating the passengers from the plane, the airplane's left main landing gear collapsed (sounds almost like a cartoon script), rolling the plane on its side, severely damaging the wing and the belly of the fuselage.

Ryanair Crash Rome

For what could have been much worse, only two crew members and three passengers suffered of minor injuries. (Full)

This makes me think "there are moments you just have to trust the pilot". Including when approaching runways like these:

Tioman Island airstrip

Lord Howe Island, Pacific

Wake Island airstrip

Kabua International Airport, Majuro atoll, Marshall Islands

Macao International Airport

Macao International Airport

Kuujjuaraapik airstrip

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

Landing on a rock

Off the coast of Greenwood, Canada


I have never been much of a military person,
but one can not but look in amazement
at this evac landing in Afghanistan.

Alpha strip - Antarctica

And for the real adventurous, there is of course...
the Alpha strip on the Antarctic.

You might also read The World's 10 Most Dangerous Airstrips, and how it can really go wrong in Italians, the Art of Flying and the Laws of Probability.

Pictures The Aviation Herald, and With thanks to my Friend E, flying enthusiast!


Anonymous,  16 November, 2008 11:18  

I would be glad if you could write exact information next time...!!! The ryanair flight to Ciampino had several technical problems most probably not due to a birds strike. The landing gear was already broken before landing....
Read here:

Peter 16 November, 2008 11:33  


The URL you quote does not support your statement that the airplane's landing gear was already broken before the landing. On the contrary, it says: "why the airplane skidded off, so that a main semi-landing gear is sunk". This supports the news report the landing gear was damaged after the landing..

The Aviation safety Net incident report states clearly:
"Ryanair flight FR4102 departed Hahn (HHN) at 06:30 for a flight to Rome (CIA). On approach the Boeing 737 suffered multiple bird strikes on the nose, wings and engines. On landing the left hand main gear collapsed and the airplane came to a stop on the runway threshold."


Anonymous,  16 November, 2008 12:48  

I had a horrible episode with turbulence as we were going in for landing in Trondheim, mid/northern part of Norway a few weeks ago. Needed three landing attempts, where one of them actually involved a landing, a bounce, a change of direction, and then take-off again. I told myself "I trust the pilot. I trust the pilot. I trust the pilot." even though I was scared as hell (

Anyway. I really do trust pilots, but sometimes trust is not enough and you need a little bit luck too (like at Ciampino). :)

Great blog, I enjoy the reeding. Bookmarked and subscribed :)

Anonymous,  16 November, 2008 12:52  

As a side-note, I can add that the airport in Trondheim is basically in the fjord, so you do not really want to miss the runway there either :)

Anonymous,  17 November, 2008 15:40  

Awesome pictures. Tioman is just amazing. Hong Kong is a difficult to land airport as well. Bischoff, it really sounds like scarry business.

Voegtli 18 November, 2008 08:01  

Amazing landing strips and places. I just hope, I never will go to these places.

Anonymous,  10 June, 2010 18:52  

Sorry, most of these photos are mislabeled:

*NOT Wake Island; It is Amata Kabua International Airport, Majuro atoll, Marshall Islands: has a 7,897-foot asphalt runway only six feet above the ocean; located on the road from the capital, Majuro, to Laura. It's just wide enough for the two-lane road and the runway (the ocean on one side, the lagoon on the other). Drains on either side of the runway collect and store fresh rainwater; it is a major source of fresh drinking water and is vital to the life of the Marshallese.

*NOT Tioman Island: It is Lord Howe Island Aerodrome(LDH/YLHI), @400 miles off the East coast of Australia: It consists of one runway orientated approximately east-west (Tioman is north south, and runs along a beach with mountains at ends). The runway shown is named 10/28 (it points to 100 degrees magnetic at one end, and 280 at the other). The runway is 886m long, and 30m wide.

*Not Quebec; It is in Iceland, to be precise Vestmannaeyjar (VEY/BIVM)

*Not a "rescue" in Afghanistan; It was an evac not a rescue, according to the Urban Legends website at “the photo captures the Chinook helicopter touching down to receive Afghan Persons Under Control (APUC) captured by members of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division.”

Peter 14 June, 2010 19:19  


Thanks a lot for your input... I don't know how I could have made so many mistakes in a single post.

Weird also that this post has been up since 18 months, and you are the first one to notice.

All corrections made!


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