|A Heinkel He-111H bomber from the German flying school Flugzeugfuhrerschule C12 is seen after it crashed onto a Czech house in the vicinity of Prague. The student probably has to take this lesson over again.|
Here, we present some photos of planes that did manage to get down. That, I think, we can all agree upon. Some of them just got down in several pieces. These are bad landings of World War II.
|Ju 87 Stuka “Sturzkampfbomber,” or Stuka.|
Now, we can all quibble about the meaning of "bad landings," just as we can fight over the meaning of "is."
Let's define it this way: you get that plane down mostly intact, it's landed.
|Heinkel He 111 having a bad day.|
I know this is a tricky area. No matter how I define it, someone is going to say, "Yes, but that pilot did a masterful job getting it down like that." Always happens. Yes, he did, it's not his fault it wound up in 100 different pieces.
|Ju 88 G-1.|
There also is the old pilot's saying, "any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing." So, some of these may actually be good landings. Bad ones, well....
Well, I don't know if everyone walked away from all of these landings. However, there is always that possibility, however remote.
|I doubt that Heinkel He 111 pilot intended to run over that poor little Bf 109. Maybe he did, who knows.|
I can only say that some pilots and crews walked away from some of these landings. After that, your guess is as good as mine.
|Junkers Ju 87.|
So, before you take me to task for, "It wasn't his fault," or "You couldn't do any better," let me just say, you're 100% right. I absolutely admit that I could not do any better, since I'm not a pilot and nobody was riddling my plane with bullets or the sprocket came off the whatzit at 20,000 feet or whatever happened.
|Hellcat on USS Randolph.|
Let's define "bad landings" as "Well, it could have gone just a teensy weensy bit better in a perfect world."
|1945. I love the guy on the right who is so dejected.|
Or, to put it another way: here is a presentation on the variety of unorthodox ways that you can get your plane back down to terra firma.
|Polikarpov I-16 type 24, pilot Boris F. Safonov, 72.SAP.|
You know, the simple fact is, some days are better than others.
|B-29 on Iwo Jima. The gunner in the rear turret must have had a hell of a time getting out.|
And on some days, you just shoulda stayed in bed.
|A German Focke-Wulf FW 190A-8 fighter on an airfield liberated by British troops at Steen Okkerzeel, north east of Brussels, Belgium.|
|Dauntless - that is one solid plane.|
|Bf 109E1/B of 6./ JG 27. "Pilot's Monument" "Landing problems? Never."|
|Bf 109 F W.Nr. unknown "Schwarze 1", 8./JG 3, Beresowka, 15 September 1941. the pilot freed after the airframe being stabilized by wooden poles.|
|P-38 belly landed after gear failure. First Lieutenant Rex T. Barber had just used this plane to shoot down Admiral Yamamoto's transport, killing him. If Barber had slid ten more yards into the officers' mess, there would have been words.|
|Wreck of Ju 87D Stuka dive bomber of German Sturzkampfgeschwader 3, North Africa, 1942.|
|Devastator on Yorktown, Sept 1940.|
|Stuka caught by the Royal Air Force in Egypt. Photograph taken in Sollum by H Paton, 3 December 1942. Original caption reads: "A Stuka caught over 8th army ground units by RAF."|
|Bf 109E1/B of 6./ JG 27. "Pilot's Monument."|
|This Ju-88 made a spectacular nose landing.|
|US Navy pilot being rescued from plane hanging over side of an aircraft carrier. Date taken: 1940.|
|Mitsubishi G4M Betty trapped in water and killed by American fighters. This would be an excellent landing if the plane had floats.|
|Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 (W.Nr. 3465) ‘White 2’ of 4./JG 52, flown by Feldwebel Paul Bosche, which force-landed on Little Grange Farm, Woodham Mortimer, Essex on 8 October 1940.|
|Heinkel 111 over England - but not for long.|
|Fighter F6F- 5 Hellcat committed an emergency landing on the deck of a US aircraft carrier escort 1945.|
|I'm cheating, this is World War I, but it's too good to omit.|
|A Messerschmitt 110 has crash landed in the garden of a house. A Junkers 52 plane flies overhead (Ang, Federal Archive).|
|Hellcat on the USS Princeton|