The trickiest parts about flying a plane are almost exclusively limited to two things: taking off and landing. For a pilot, these two actions can often be the most difficult aspects of flying. The transition from airborne to the ground, or from the ground and into the air, takes a lot of power, speed, and involves countless variables. For any of those things to go wrong would likely mean an unsuccessful takeoff or an unsuccessful landing. While in the air, there are fewer variables involved, and the complications of flying are much fewer. Often times all a pilot has to do is monitor his instruments, with the autopilot on.
Taking off and landing, though, is such a difficult task, and it's well illustrated by the fact that failed takeoffs and landings happen quite often, they're not uncommon events. While they are rarely serious events, they can delay things quite a lot, for more than just the passengers in the plane. Whether it's a passenger jet or a private plane, there are many cases where a takeoff didn't go as planned, or a landing was inordinately rough on all involved.
Instances of planes going off course and finding themselves stuck off the road are well documented, too, and they can prove to be very entertaining at times. The last place we expect to see a plane is off the road, in an embankment, or just chilling out in a wide field, but let's take a look at 15 planes that got stuck off the road.
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15 Didn't Make The Launch
When these passengers realized that their plane was tilting downwards, perhaps they thought something might not be going quite as intended. Indeed, usually, a plane on take off tilts upwards at the nose, as the wings create enough lift to launch everyone skyward.
But in this case, the nose went down, quite badly I would imagine, instead of up, much to the surprise of everyone inside, perhaps even to the captain. But, everyone makes mistakes, and this is a quite hilarious example of that. Even a plane captain can't get it right every time.
14 Failure To Course Correct
This is one of the bigger passenger jets out there in operation today, with double levels of seats, and a length that truly is titanically staggering. I imagine flying one of these things would be quite intimidating, especially on takeoff and on landing. This massive jet has gone quite off course, too.
The runway is clearly far left of the frame, yet this massive machine is far out in the grass. With a failure to course correct, especially in wet conditions like here, things can go wrong, and really quickly. Maybe the captain was just trying to execute some sweet drifts.
13 Grassy Meadow Stop
It's always pretty funny to see an airplane somewhere it's not normally supposed to be, like in the case of this photo, where it seems to have all of a sudden been transported to an empty field somewhere. How it got there seems to be a mystery.
Perhaps they wanted a dose of The Sound of Music and needed a quick grassy meadow stop. Or they were flying really low and this emerald knoll took them off guard. Maybe they ran out of fuel, or even more radically, perhaps they drove it here, without flying at all. Who knows?
12 Incorrect Trajectory
From high above, likely ironically taken in some kind of aircraft, it's clear just how far off the trajectory this plane ended up. The one photographing the scene had no such trouble getting into the air, and that's where the irony is.
But the runway stretches in a perfectly straight line between the city and the sea, so it's kind of hard to see where this pilot went wrong. Don't go into the city, and don't fall off the edge into the ocean. Yet that's almost what happened here. At least they didn't make it all the way into the water.
11 Massive Craft In The Grass
A passenger jet airliner slid off the end of the runway in Australia, and crew had to come out to investigate the state of the aircraft after all was said and done, to assess the damage and take care of the mess that one small error may have made.
Indeed, even a small miscalculation can lead to a landing that doesn't go quite a smoothly as anticipated, to the point that in this case the entire craft was sent off course and sliding into a field off the road. Sounds like an intense ride.
10 Overshot Runway
Landing a plane can be a tricky thing, taking a massive amount of inertia and energy and translating it into a coordinated maneuver that eliminates all roughness and fear can be quite the art form, and it involves a lot of complex understanding from the pilot.
There's the rare occasion where that doesn't end up working out, for any number of countless variables. In the case of this landing in Italy, the pilot overshot quite a lot, and ended up almost back on tarmac, though this time it was the street.
9 Overshot The Landing
This airplane is still within the bounds of the airport, so that's a huge plus to the pilot, but unfortunately he is nowhere near where he should be, and nowhere near tarmac, either, which is a huge dock.
This United Airliner passenger jet likely had a pretty smooth landing, at least to the passengers, and it may not have become immediately clear to them that they actually indeed did overshoot their landing by quite a bit. That would be an interesting experience for sure.
8 Resting In A Field
The way an airplane looks in a field is something that never quite adds up or makes sense. That's because it's clear that planes just don't really belong in fields. Not jet powered massive passenger airliners, anyways. Maybe some small prop planes.
These belong at home on concrete, on the runway, or in the air, that's where their element is. To find one in a field is a funny thing, and as is the case most often, an instance of falling off course in a pretty big way. This pilot needs to go back to school.
7 Skidding Into The Dirt
It seems that Southwest airlines have seen quite a few off-road excursions on the part of their passenger aircraft, and that's not really a good thing. Going off-road is great for safaris or 4x4 excursion trips, but not so great for massive commercial aircraft.
This airplane had to deal with the snow, and the pilot likely did the best they could in the adverse conditions present, with snow likely covering the roadway, making navigation during takeoff or landing quite difficult, perhaps next to impossible. At least it didn't end up worse.
6 Sliding Into The Shoulder
It's a rather intriguing story to try and unravel here, told in the form of one simple photo. Trying to decipher just what happened with this private plane is a bit of a mystery, one that is equal parts hilarious and equal parts intriguing.
Somehow, whether in takeoff or landing, this plane ended up on a street, not a runway, and then slid off of that road and into the fence of the field across the way. Talk about a series of unfortunate events, likely due in part to the inclement weather and adverse conditions.
5 Snowy Slippy Runway
Takeoff was delayed quite a bit when this plane slid off of its course in a big way due to the bad condition of the runways of this snow-laden airport. The pilot likely tried their best to get this plane off the ground, but things don't always go as planned.
This runway is also under construction in places, which only makes things more difficult for the pilots, especially in this kind of weather and condition. Ice on the plane only makes things more complicated. It's often amazing that these planes get off the ground at all.
4 What's The Hold Up?
When airplanes end up simultaneously on the highway and then stuck off the road, it tends to make some pretty big ripples, because not only is air traffic held up and altered, so is the traffic patterns of much of the infrastructure around it.
In this case, it backed up traffic quite a lot, and the surrounding streets and infrastructure of this area in Chicago absorbed the delay, likely for many hours if not a few days as this big mess was cleaned up. This photo really shows the scale of passenger jets. It's always amazing that they can even get off the ground at all.
3 Plane In A Drainage Ditch
A run of the mill, average plane took off somewhere in Russia and it didn't end up going quite according to plan, as is very clear here in this photo of a passenger jet currently resting in a drainage ditch. Indeed, a drainage ditch is not exactly the best place for a jet, especially one carrying people.
Especially one that needs to take those people to a destination, too. These passengers were likely quite upset that they had to deal with this kind of unexpected event, though it would be quite entertaining to know that your captain beefed this bad.
2 Golden Hour Skid
This plane doesn't look off-course, but the reality is that the plane is nowhere near the runway it should be on. Mark Blinch's blog tells us more about it:
"An Air Canada plane slid off a runway and suffered heavy damage while landing in the east coast city of Halifax on Sunday... The incident happened shortly after midnight." Talk about a seriously not-fun way of spending a late night flight. With the cold that quickly became more of a nightmare. Though it makes quite a pretty scene the next morning.
1 Flying Into A Snowbank
Maybe a number of the people on this plane were planning on stopping at the bank once they got to their destinations after they took their flight on this Delta airline craft, but most of them, if not all, likely did not have this in mind.
Even if they needed to go to the bank, it wasn't the snowbank that they needed to go to, but maybe the captain was confused. Either way, these people look cold and confused, perhaps annoyed that they ended up in the snow and not the sky.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, The National & BuzzFeed