But the engines stopped working too. And an airliners glide ratio is only a little better than a rock under the best of circumstances.
They can be glided under some conditions.
I didn't say they were impossible to glide, just that they are very difficult to glide. And something that can be glided a little under good conditions is not going to do well while dealing with a serious loss of control systems. The plane in the article had a hard time with its controls because of the loss of electrical power from the engines. If not for the auxiliary generator that deployed to give them some instruments and power to assist with the hydraulics they never would have made it. An auxiliary generator that would not be available to planes in the show.
And if the plane was not flying straight and level when it happened the loss of engines and loss or serious degradation of control surfaces would probably put it into a flat spin, which is what was depicted on screen.
A spin requires a loss of airspeed as well as a loss of coordination. It's one possible result of a loss of control surfaces, but it would not be instant. It takes time for airspeed to bleed off. Also, while there are a variety of things that can flatten a spin (making it less recoverable), addition of power prior to recovery is the most common one, obviously not a factor here.
As I said above, if the plane was in straight and level flight when the loss of power and control systems occurred a flat spin would be more likely. the planes we got a close look at were near Chicago and thus were less likely to be just loafing along in level flight when it happened.
And, WW II movies aside, the glide ratio's of most large aircraft suck. Hell, even the F4U Corsair, one of the best FIGHTERS of the war had only a 1 to 1 ratio. Most modern fighters and bombers have no better.
A good glide ratio isn't really compatible with good maneuverability, so it isn't too surprising that fighters suck at gliding. Commercial jets don't have maneuverability as a design goal, so I wouldn't be surprised if they glide a bit better.
You might be surprised, but you would be wrong. Airliners have sucky flight characteristics for anything but calm level flight. Airliners are heavy, and while their wings are sufficient to get them into the air they are not designed to be survivable with a total loss of power. That is why all airliners have multiple engines.
Sorry about the Bold type, but I was having trouble with the multi-quote and wanted to distinguish my answers.
Airplanes I know a lot about, computers not so much.
Sorry for the double post, I was trying to edit it into my previous post. As I said, computers...