“You wanna be particular and make it a runway….”

Quote is Captain Haynes of flight 232 that crash landed in Sioux City, Iowa on this date in 1989 after losing all hydraulics when an engine exploded during the flight, cutting all three hydraulic systems.


“United 232 heavy, the wind’s currently 360 at 11,” said the controller. “You’re cleared to land on any runway.”

Haynes replied, “Roger. You want to be particular and make it a runway, huh?”


At the time, I was working for a flight simulator company, and we had a demonstrator that could be configured as a DC-10-….We set it up and went to a convention a few weeks later….many pilots tried to do the final 15 minutes of that flight and NONE of them could do as well. NONE of them… Zero.

Most of them would have liked to have shaken the hands of the flight crew of flight 232 and bought them all the drinks that they could handle. They were hailed as heroes by their peers….which is fine praise indeed.

A terrible blunder in engineering, but a triumph of adaptability and overcoming tremendous odds.

3 thoughts on ““You wanna be particular and make it a runway….”

  1. I remember that “landing”, quite the miracle.
    I have to wonder with situations like that and Sully putting the plane done on the river are one time flukes.

    • One does the best one can with the resources one has.
      And never give up.
      Sometimes you can salvage something. Sometimes not.
      But you do the nest you can.

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