In a 1989 incident, the Air Force crew of a B-1B bomber found itself unable to lower the front landing gear during a training flight and was forced to execute an emergency landing in the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
The four-person crew was executing a routine training flight without nuclear weapons onboard on Oct. 4, 1989, and realized three hours into the flight that the front landing gear was malfunctioning. Over the next nine hours, the crew worked to get the gear down.
Investigators later blamed a hydraulic failure, but the crew in the air just knew that they had to reach the ground safely. The Air Force routed the plane to a dry lake bed in California that was often used for landing the space shuttle.
The dust of the Rogers Dry Lake bed is more likely than most surfaces to allow for a safe skid, reducing the risk to the crew and plane. The full landing is visible from a few angles in this video from airailimages:
Feature image: screen capture from YouTube/Airrailimages