JetBlue Pilots Fight Control of Plane After Hydraulic Failure [VIDEO] [AUDIO]

JetBlue Airbus A320

JetBlue Airbus A320

A JetBlue flight from Las Vegas to New York was forced to return to Vegas Sunday after losing hydraulic systems that terrorized passengers as the pilots fought to control the plane.

JetBlue Flight 194, an Airbus A320 aircraft, took off from Las Vegas McCarran Airport (LAS) at 4:06 PM bound for John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) when the pilots reported multiple hydraulic failures at 13,000 feet during their climb.

Pilots went in to a holding pattern to burn off fuel as they ran checks to attempt to recover the systems.

Meanwhile, passengers on the airliner recount the terror as the jet lurched from side to side as it made screeching noises:

‘”You could hear a screeching — an obvious mechanical screeching … we were bouncing around a lot,” one Brooklyn passenger said, adding that something must have been wrong from the start.’

“I’ve never had that kind of hydroplaning feel,” passenger Tom Mizer told ABC News. “Everybody on the plane started to get really nervous. People were starting to throw up. I don’t think I’ve ever had that kind of sustained tension and fear in my life.”

Several passengers also vomited during the incident as the aircraft swung wildly.

Flight 194 managed to land safely back at McCarran at 7:37 PM but had to be towed to the gate as the front wheels were inoperable.

There were no serious injuries reported.

The A320 was taken out of service and the FAA is investigating the incident.

Flight Path

JetBlue Communication with Las Vegas Tower





  1. Crem says

    I love how the news exagerrates everything. The Airbus had a small problem and had to turn around and land. Happens every day. The plane was lurching…what a crock!

    • Mark says

      “The Airbus had a small problem”?
      Pilots struggling to control a plane following hydraulic failures is hardly a “small problem” Mr Crem. I suspect your idea of a “small problem” is anything that doesn’t result in fatalities

    • Chris says

      Yeah, i agree with James and Mark- losing 2 out of 3 hydraulic systems in a 100% fly-by-wire plane is a BIG deal. I can’t understand what would knock out 2 systems at once, but if the 3rd fell out too, that plane would be completely un-flyable…

  2. Gaines Millner says

    Crem you are so wrong because I was on this flight! It was the scariest thing I ever went through. If anything, the story above doesn’t go far enough to describe it. The dang plane WAS lurching and turning side to side….wildly! Lot’s of loud noises. People were throwing up everywhere! The pilots were CLEARLY having trouble getting control of the plane. Also….a weird smell. Many of us thought we were going to crash land at LEAST. Man it sucked!!

  3. remmar arbed says

    The passengers should sue Jet Blue for being terrorized. It doesn’t take 3 hours, 31 mins to dump the fuel. The flight deck was attempting to “recover the systems” at the expense of the passengers’ distress. I am not an attorney, but a veteran 31 year flight crew member. I never believed in the A320 nor did I fly one, or ride one as a pass rider. Boeing aircraft has the best safety record in aviation history, made in America, a proven track record, it is trust worthy, not some European conglomerate that has no track record in aviation safety.

    • Chris says

      I have to disagree with you on that one… The A320 is a fantastic aircraft in terms of safety- not perfect, but after 20+ years it’s proven itself very nicely. The A320 has 3 hydraulic systems, which “share” control surfaces ie: one system can provide “some” assistance to all surfaces. There isn’t a single control surface that will fail completely even if only one hydraulic system is working. This incident is a result of fly by wire, but at least they still had one hydraulic system still working- it’s all they need.

      • remmar arbed says

        Opinions are well, they are just thoughts or misguided information, facts however are reality, that which is true.

        Dragonair, Hong Kong, A320, TOTAL HYDRAULIC FAILURE, 06/09/2011

        Easy Jet, 12/29/2009, A320, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        Air Canada, A320 Memphis, 12/27/2011, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        Air Canada, A320, Toronto, 02/19/2011, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        TAM A320, over Goiami, 05/05/2011, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        PILOTS OF AMERICA “AIRBUS IS OVER-AUTOMATED” Airbus Hydraulics Issues, concerns of American Pilots.

        Rossiya, A320, St. Petersburg, 05/27/2011, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        British Airways, A320, Budapest, 11/20/2011, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        Vaeling, A320, Amsterdam, 03/08/2012, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

    • Chris says

      And i don’t think the A320 can dump fuel… it would have to burn it off. And with only 1 hydraulic system working they wouldn’t have maximum braking- so yeah, they’d have to burn fuel.

        • remmar arbed says

          The A320 doesn’t have a jettison system to dump fuel, it is small enough to make emergency landing with fuel aboard, it was Airbus design engineers plan decision, one which I would have had to disagree with.

          • Chris says

            The A320 in this incident didn’t have maximum braking nor full flaps or spoilers. What about that makes you think it can land with a full tank of fuel? Not to mention the fact that fuel=fire in a crash.

            Why don’t you apply to be an engineer at Airbus? Show them all these wonderful “theories” you have in your imagination. They clearly need you.

      • remmar arbed says


        United Airlines, Airbus A320, Boston, 03/15/2012, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        Jet Blue, Airbus A320, 06/17/2012, HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS FAILURE

        Air India, Airbus A320, Donbassaero, 07/06/2011, HYDRAULIC FAILURE

        Emirates Air, Airbus A320, Emergency Landing in Chennai, 10/23/2011, HYDRAULICS FAILURE

        So Much for your “20+ years it has proven itself nicely” it certainly has… it has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Airbus has SERIOUS HYDRAULIC FAILURE DEFECTS.

        By the way, the Airbus 320 is capable of dumping fuel, on its own…automatically, especially when it’s not suppose to! Research is a powerful thing, like facts, it reveals the truth, unlike opinions, everyone has one but…opps, it ain’t necessarily so.

        • Mark says

          Agree completely with your comment (not to mention A380). It’s scary stuff.
          No doubt in my mind that Airbus planes are inferior, built by a 2nd rate manufacturer. Now it seems the chickens are coming home to roost.
          Aircraft purchase decisions are a complicated and often shitty business: politics, financing, purchase and operating costs, aircraft availability, risk assessment ..especially politics.
          If quality were the only issue, no operator in their right mind would choose Airbus over Boeing

        • Chris says

          No, you’re wrong. The A320 CANNOT dump fuel.

          Secondly, not a single one of the A320 hydraulic incidents you cited resulted in a crash. Hydraulic failures occur to all airliners, and research will uncover similar incidents for all other aircraft. For the A320, complete hydraulic failure has never resulted in a fatality. The frequency of “incidents” may appear high for the A320, but research will uncover that the frequency (incidents:production number) will yield higher for other aircraft ie: CRJ, ERJ.

          Incidents such as these do not label an aircraft as having “no safety track record”. If you look at notable “crashes” the A320 does not stand out as being more “unsafe” than the 737 or any other similar aircraft. Trust me, i’d pick the 737 over the A320 if i had the choice, but i would be completely ignorant to say the A320 is “unsafe”. It’s just different. Anyone who says Airbus is “junk” or Boeing is “better” is simply either unable or unwilling to see both sides.

          The “evidence” you provided is fact, yet provides little to your “theory” that the A320 is notably unsafe. All aircraft have “incidents” but they are designed so they do not result in accidents. The A320 has performed quite well for the past 20+ years and no single or double hydraulic failure should render the aircraft “unsafe” to fly.

          Oh, and your first example “Dragonair, Hong Kong, A320, TOTAL HYDRAULIC FAILURE, 06/09/2011” is inaccurate. It did not lose all hydraulic systems- your source is incorrect.

  4. Chris says

    I’m glad everyone made it alive! This is why planes have numerous hydraulic systems with the A320 having 3. After United 232 and Japan 123, we’ve learned our lessons. The A320 was actually totally safe on the remaining hydraulic system. One system can control “some” of every control surface. I’m sure only a “few” of the spoilers were raised upon landing, and the ailerons and rudders might not have had their entire range, but it was enough to “control” the plane to land it. The “rocking” motions were most likely due to the pilots not having complete range of the control surfaces.

    This is something the 737 would have better control of, as the control surfaces use actual metal wires to control them; they’re hydraulically “assisted” like power steering in a car. Even if all hydraulics are lost, the pilots can still move the wing control surfaces with a little more effort. The A320 with it’s complete fly-by-wire doesn’t have this advantage…

    • Chris says

      LOL I’m sure he’s being a fly on the wall… This doesn’t really help his “claim” that “Airbus is superior” but there is nothing wrong with the A320… Incidents like this happen to all aircraft, it’s just that the A320’s fly-by-wire design results in a more frustrating landing when it occurs. Providing a few examples of single or double hydraulic failure on a plane with 3 systems (that yield no accidents) is sort of incriminating to the claim that the plane is unsafe… This happens all the time! I can specifically remember an incident where the hydraulics failed on a Northwest DC9 which ended up rolling into an A320 derivative at the jetway… Doesn’t prove a thing.

      • remmar arbed says

        Everyone is entitled to their opinions, some folks are unable to face facts. The simple fact is that the Airbus has a HISTORY of hydraulics failures. That would be a continued, ongoing theme of a singular problem. On the other hand Boeing Aircraft has a near stellar record of performance, no single themed continual nagging record of HYDRAULIC FAILURE.

        • Chris says

          Facts? The examples of hydraulic incidents you provided for the A320 do not apply to your “theory” that the A320 is “unsafe”. Not a single one of those incidents resulted in a crash. You seem to be forgetting the 737’s serious design flaws, those that have resulted in deadly crashes. Examples: faulty radio altimeters which have resulted in NUMEROUS crashes, and let’s not forget the rudder hard-over that caused the crash of 2 737’s and almost a third.

          So no, the A320 is no more “unsafe” than the 737. Yes it has had hydraulic incidents but none have lead to a crash. That’s a fact.

          • remmar arbed says

            Your sarcastic suggestion that I should apply at Airbus is actually a better fit for you, as you are the defender of the ‘bus’, not I. Besides having incorrect information of the jettison/landing capabilities of the 320 ‘bus’ you have definite anger issues. This is a comment forum not a bullying format. Certainly seems to prove the point that one cannot reason with the unreasonable.

          • Chris says

            I’m very sorry “arbed” but you’re simply giving out incorrect information! The A320 CANNOT dump it’s own fuel and you won’t find a single QRH that instructs pilots to complete a landing with 2/3 hydraulics inoperative with a full load of fuel.

  5. Kenneth Holland says

    Just remember everyone not to make your arguments personal: No name calling, etc…

    Spirited discussion is ALWAYS encouraged here but let’s all have mutual respect.

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