A 7hr, 40min airline flight squeezed down to 40mins. Take off from London Heathrow and Landing at JFK airport is included. The aircraft was a four engine Airbus 340-600 Airplane operated by Virgin Atlantic and named the Mystic Maiden. With airspeed, location, distance to go etc included at regular intervals.
For me, Flying across the Atlantic was a life changing experience, because once clear of Western Ireland by 80 miles or so, you have to pray that all four engines keep going till you reach Canada, So touch down at JFK (USA) Airport was a relief I can assure you !
Because at 35,000 ft, with four engines gone and you have no power. Your plane will, which now - will simply be a free falling glider, and can probably travel no further than ten to twelve times as far in a forward direction as it has height to lose - so at 35,000 ft, your plane can go about 85 miles, maybe a bit more, if you are lucky.
Bearing in mind, that it is about 3.5 hrs flying time/1,800 miles of open water from Western Ireland to Eastern USA. Your plane will only have about 20 minutes of flying/gliding time before the altimeter reaches zero !
Which then leads to a very big question - Is there a place to land within 85 miles of where the power loss occurred? . When you keep in mind that this gives the pilot not just 85 miles of straight ahead, but also nearly as much travel to each side, and perhaps 70 miles back the way he came, that gives him almost 20,000 square miles of territory in which to hope to find an airport.
But not much help when you are half away across the Atlantic !
If you are still nervous, we got there and got back and uploaded this video without any issues, so just read the article below . .
Paddy and Seamus were flying from Boston to Dublin on a 747. Half way across the Atlantic, there was a loud noise outside the plane - one of the engines fell off the wing.
A short while later the captain announced 'Ladies and gentlemen, we're very sorry to advise that we have lost one of our engines. However, there is no need to worry - the plane can fly perfectly safely on three engines. However, because we now have one less engine, we're unable to fly quite so fast, and we estimate that we'll now be approximately 45 minutes late arriving into Dublin.'
Seamus nodded to Paddy, and they each calmly ordered another Bushmills.
The flight continued, then all of a sudden, the plane lurched sharply to the left, then straightened up again. Paddy looked out the window, and saw flames streaming out of one of the two engines on that wing. After a minute or two, the flames died out.
The captain made another announcement. 'Ah, sorry about that, but we've just had a fire break out in one of our three remaining engines. Fortunately, the fire extinguishing system worked perfectly, but of course we've had to shut that engine down. Don't worry - we still have two perfectly good engines, and the plane is continuing safely. So as not to over stress the two remaining engines, we're cutting back our cruise speed, and estimate that we'll now be about two hours late arriving into Dublin'.
Seamus and Paddy looked anxiously at their watches, then relaxed and ordered another Bushmills.
Well, bad things happen in threes. Half an hour later, Paddy said to Seamus 'Did you hear that - the engines sound different?'. They discussed what that might mean for several minutes, and then the Captain's voice came over the announcement system again.
'Ah, ladies and gentleman, I don't quite know how to tell you this, but we've had a problem with another engine. We've had to shut it down, but, if my maths is correct, that still leaves us with one perfectly good engine, and I promise you we're going to look after that one very carefully, all the way to Dublin. We'll probably now be about three or four hours late.'
Seamus looked at his watch, calculated when they would now be arriving into Dublin, and said to Paddy 'We're running very late already. I sure hope we don't lose the last engine or else we'll be up here all day' !
This was the start of our trip of a lifetime to celebrate both our 50th birthdays and our 30th Wedding Anniversary.
The Flight Path was Heathrow (UK) - Wiltshire (UK) - Bristol Channel (UK) - South Wales (UK) - Southern Ireland (Cork) - The Deep Freezing Cold Atlantic! - Halifax (Nova Scotia) (Canada) - Saint John (Canada) - Maine (Canada) - St Pierre (USA) - Boston (USA) - JFK New York (USA)