Another video of Tanker 55 landing on compromised landing gear

The video we posted yesterday of Minden’s Tanker 55 landing on only two of its three landing gears was pretty good, but this one is much better. Click on the full screen in the bottom-right corner when you view it.

I was not aware until seeing this video that the crew was fighting a strong crosswind as they landed. This would have been a challenge for a pilot with a fully functioning aircraft. For these guys to pull this off and keep it on the runway until the last second, is amazing. They did a great job and I’m glad there were no injuries. It is impressive that they were able to keep the left wing off the ground for as long as they did without the benefit of the left main landing gear.

It is interesting that an Air Crane helicopter was flying overhead. I assume they were ready to drop water on the P2V if there was a fire.

It’s hard to tell the extent of damage, but maybe Minden can have it up and running in a few weeks or months. It was a smart move flying to Minden’s base for the landing. They had to burn off 90 minutes of fuel anyway, and having it at their headquarters will facilitate the repairs. (Those 90 minutes must have seemed like an eternity!)

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

9 thoughts on “Another video of Tanker 55 landing on compromised landing gear”

  1. Years ago, one of Denny Lynch’s A 26 Invaders had a landing gear collapse while taxiing in Missoula. Pat Lynch had it flying again in something like 4 days.

  2. also nice to see the fire trucks not rush in and spray the aircraft unnecessarily causing further damage, like we’ve seen so many times in the past with aircraft. If it doesn’t need spraying don’t do it. Good job all round.

  3. wow. the skill level of that pilot is amazing. His crash landing looks more controlled than my normal landing. Where do most of these pilots come from? Are the ex military or commercial?

  4. Not only an excellent landing with one main gear out, but notice the flag blowing on final. They had a pretty good cross wind as well. Hats off to 55’s crew, great job!

    1. Some are ex military, but most are from agriculture flying ( crop dusters) and airline pilots with experience of “flying” with general aviation aircraft and a lot of extra training. You must have experience flying low, slow and landing in strong cross winds and load shifts…and I mean “Flying by the seat of your pants” complemented by modern technology.. Having a lot of guts doesn’t hurt. There are a limited number of pilots in the US who can do this type of flying (maybe 200 or so).

  5. I find it interesting that the fire trucks look to be muni trucks vs air port crash trucks. Also heard from a good friend at Erickson that they had a load of Class A foam on the crane. Way to go Erickson on being there if needed!

  6. The airport at Minden is CTAF Common Traffic Advisory Frequency……meaning no control tower.

    Many major metro airports rely on city fire and training MOU’s to conduct CFR (crash, fire, rescue) at many airports….IF there are no on airport CFR resources

    So no, not unusual to city a city or muni FD do the CFR operations at some airports…..

  7. These were trained professionals. You can do dangerous things safely with proper training. Something out of the ordinary happened, perhaps mechanical. The release of the Lead Plane communications should tell a lot. The Lead Planes are all about safety and these guys are GOOD. Everything we do is about safety. The pilots are the BEST and the training is the BEST. When you fly with these guys every day the ” not good enough” do not make the cut.

  8. Subsequent to the Minden Air T-55 incident the forest service sent a team to Minden to review the incident. The team determined that it was one of the finest examples of critical resource management that they had seen. Highly deserved air awards were presented to the aircrew. Air awards were also presented to the Minden Air maintenance as well as corporate management for their participation and safety focused response. Additionally the Erickson helitanker crew were presented air awards for their timely and professional response.

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