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Gulfstream emergency landing in field, Circa 1980's

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:41 pm
by Cosmic
I was watching a programme on RTE today it was one of those reviews of the 1980's with a selection of news footage and reports. One of the clips that caught my attention was a Gulfstream business jet which force landed in a field in Cork(?). The plane did not seem to be damaged but they had to build a 3000 ft runway so the aircraft could be flwon out. The Pilot apparently became a local celebrity/hero for the six weeks he was waiting for the runway to be built. The Aircraft was XA registered, not sure what country that is. The takeoff was cool and he turned around and did a low pass over the field.

I am too young to remember it and I would love to hear from any of you who ccan remember the finer details of a fairly unusual event.

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:05 pm
by Clrd2Land
XA is the registration prefix for Mexican aircraft.


Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:49 pm
by shrtfld
The field where this occured was Mallow Race Course. I think the flight was diverted due to weather from Shannon to Cork or something like that and ran short of fuel. There used to be a grass strip at the Mallow Race course a long time back hence the reason to put down there.

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 9:34 pm
by Lionel Hutz
As I recall the details, and I was a young fella at the time, the Aircraft had just come transatlantic and while on the trip had experienced worse than forecast headwinds all the way over, it was supposed to land at Shannon but Shannon was below IFR minimums and it was on its way to Cork after a couple of missed approaches to Shannon, Mallow racecourse in those days was ocassionally used by light aircraft on the weekends when there was no racing so an ATCO in Shannon familiar with this suggested this as a possible landing site, the pilot elected for a precautionary off airport landing with power and landed with slight damage to one wing/maybee aileron (memory is not the best on this bit). It turned out later that he had approx 3 mins of fuel in the tanks on landing.

All appeared to be OK,

Bestowed with local hero status and instructed by gulfstream not to retract the landing gear he took off some weeks later for a short flight to Shannon accompanied by the aforementioned flyby.

No more was heard from the pilot for some time but I later heard a rumour that this good man, when he returned home had his ticket pulled by the Mexican CAA (or whatever their poison is called) and he was hung out to dry.

Anybody know what happend to the Runway they built for him?

Gulfstream at Mallow racecourse

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:32 pm
by hugoj_air
If my failing memory serves me right, I believe the tarmacadam runway was laid and paid for by the insurance company involved only for that take-off. I believe they wanted it lifted when the Gulfstream departed. It's possible that the racecourse owners were'nt interested in keeping it anyway, or else it would have been too expensive to purchase, even though it was on their property. I could stand corrected on this.
The last reported visitor I have noted for the racecourse is G-BADJ a Piper PA-E23-250E Aztec on 23.09.1994. So it's possible that the grass runway is still in use.


Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:24 am
by wolflair
A few days later this topic was discussed in this forum (sorry but it's in spanish but there's a picture of the captain). Basically a guy there ran up with this story and shared it in the forum. It turned out that 2 other guys knew Capt. Ruben Ocana (the pilot flying that a/c that day) personally and actually one of them is about to post more information and some newspaper extracts from the time shared by the pilot himself.

The aircraft was flying Emilio Azcarraga-Milmo (owner of Televisa, Mexico's largest TV network, media tycoon and an extremely powerful man until his death). After those missed approachs in Shannon they were diverted to Cork. The ATC asked the pilot whether they were able to see "a railway track". On affirmative answer, they were advised to follow it up to a road intersection and from there they should be able to see Mallow (and the racecourse). They landed safely and the rest is history. It's said that the crew actually were the judges on the pageant contest which took place in Mallow over those days. Afterwards Capt. Ocana was asked permission so a local travel agency changed its name to "Ocana Travel".

By that time, Capt. Ocana had already retired from Aeromexico (statutory retirement because he was over 60) and jumped to a short career flying this bizjet. He was praised in Helice (mexican pilot union's magazine) and he even was praised by Gulfstream.

I don't think he would have been stripped off his license (otherwise the union would have had defended a fellow retired captain's rights and this businessman would have defended him as well).

He's now in his mid-80s. Keep looking at that forum because more pictures will be posted soon (shared by Capt. Ocana himself).

Greetings from a mexican in London.

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:30 pm
by Cosmic
Wolfair, Interesting, thanks for that. I often wondered where/how he ended up.

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:23 pm
by Nanolight
Ah Reeling in the years. What a quality program. I'm sorry I missed that episode, would like to see it again!

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:32 am
by Dutch Roll
apparently he came to ireland nearly every year after on holidays and visited the friends he made in mallow.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 4:48 am
Hi Guys, as it was mention before, in our Mexican forum this has been an interesting history, and we have the fortune to have as a member of the community a friend of Cap. Oca?a which has been very gratefully to share his pictures and prints from the news papers about this adventure, so you are welcome to visit our thread and see those pictures.

More material will come available soon.


Click here to visit the pictures. (second page)

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:18 pm
by Hornet
Just saw the 1983 reelingintheyears episode. saw the gulfstream, nice new tarmac runway for the takeoff and the pilot thanked everyone in irish, was a nice long piece of video, i wonder if you can buy it??

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:38 pm
Hi Hornet,
RTE has made a policy of not packaging The Reeling In The Years series due to music copyrights, etc, however if you apply to RTE (phone them first) they sometimes can accomadate such requests.

The Plane Spotting Series on Wens. Nights at 8.00pm is also one to watch out for on RTE 2.

Just to confirm the reg was XA-FOU


Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:03 pm
Just looking into the aircraft a bit more, came to a tragic end in November 2004 under a US reg in Houston, TX -

RIP to the crew,


Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:15 am
by Cosmic
Don't suppose anyone managed to get a copy could host it or if it could magically end up on a file sharing network could you let us know?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:47 pm
by squigs
let me get this insurance company laid approx 1kilometer of runway for a gulfstream jet to take off and theoretically never be used the eighties??? :lol: :lol: wonder there was a depression.... how frequently do circumstances like this arise?? would it not be cheaper to have the aircraft shipped(somehow) to cork airport?? it takes years to even consider building small bypasses in ireland!!i cant get my head round this :?