When we think “airplane engine failure”, I feel like our brains tend to gravitate toward epic collisions and tragic news headlines. While that sadly is sometimes the case, most pilots are actually one-hundred percent trained to handle basically anything and everything. Plane crashes do happen, but mostly they don’t. In this video of an Airbus 340 Swiss Air flying from Zurich to Shanghai while experiencing engine failure, you get to see actual pilots in an actual cockpit handling their actual broken plane like the total bosses they are. In fact, they treat their busted engine like it’s no biggie, apologizing to their passengers that they’re going to have to turn back to Zurich.
You see that the pilots have to dump a bunch of fuel out in order to land with just three of the four engines. Also comforting? The fact that an airplane has multiple engines, so if one decides to die like a total chump, the plane still has another two to three to work with. There’s even a point where the captain says, “Let’s summarize: one engine out, nothing dramatic actually.” Yup, nothing dramatic, just a broken engine, that silly rascal. As they dump some fuel, the captain offers everyone some chocolate. See you guys? Nothing to be scared of (and this is coming from someone who makes sure she’s on her best Xanax game on every flight).
Here's the video. Watch it. Never fear flying again. You're welcome.
Being that I am afraid of flying, and thus understand the needs of people with a fear of flying, I know that one anxiety-soothing video is never enough—so I came armed with more! Here are six videos that show pilots effortlessly handling weird or dangerous conditions that will make you feel like a fearless airplane pro the next time you board a flight:
On this flight to Cancun, Mexico, these pilots learn that there's a bird on the runway, and if they don't land carefully, they could cause some serious damage. But with awesome communication, they handle the situation like it ain't no thang.
OK, so this plane actually crashed when both its engines failed about 40 seconds before landing; however, the pilots knew what they were doing, and they made sure the aircraft crashed safely. Well, as safely as you can crash a plane. No one died, and there were only 47 injuries. I know this might not seem like a video that will help with flying anxiety, but sometimes, the best way to neutralize a fear is to see what might realistically happen if it comes true. There's definitely something comforting about knowing that even the worst case scenario isn't the worst case scenario.
Basically everything goes wrong on this flight. One of the plane's engines blows up, causing to aircraft to have what the Smithsonian narrator refers to as "a meltdown." The plane itself had a meltdown! But everything was totally cool, and they landed like they should have, even though the pilot couldn't dump fuel to lighten the load.
These pilots are landing a plane that is almost overpowered by wind, and the landing looks a little bumpy, but more or less chill.
And finally, watch this plane almost land into another plane but totally swoop up into the air like a majestic bird, avoiding an epic crash. See? Now look who doesn't have to refill their Xanax prescription every time they book a flight!