Heroism on the Hudson: Update

…the landing on the water went as smoothly as anyone could dare to expect – so much so, in fact, that none of the flight attendants, who seconds earlier had been shouting at passengers to brace and keep their heads down, even realised that the plane had come down on water. It only became apparently when the first of the forward doors was opened and a raft automatically inflated.

Videos of the Hudson River landing: You knew it had to have been captured somewhere. “Somewhere” (appropriately enough) turned out to be a Coast Guard video camera.

Minute by Minute: 3:27:01: Radar shows the plane intersects “primary targets”- probably a flock of birds – while climbing between 2,900 and 3,000 feet. The objects had not been on the departure controller’s radar screen.

3:27:32: Pilot reports to air traffic control: “Aaah, this is Cactus 1549. We hit birds. We lost thrust in both engines.

The Right Stuff: He got his pilot’s license at 14, flew fighter jets in the Air Force, investigated air disasters, mastered glider flying and even studied the psychology of how cockpit crews behave in a crisis….

More good than bad: It’s tempting to dismiss Sully as an exception rather than the rule. But what about the actions of the terrified passengers – 150 strangers thrown together in a metal tube hurtling toward the water?

Joe Katzman asks Balls of Steel – But Is Sullenburger A Hero?

Pilot blogging from Flight Level 390: Last night, on a cheap treadmill in a crew hotel, I watched all of the mainstream television channels reporting on this accident. I will go out on a proverbial limb and say that most of the content was marginally accurate. They still do not understand what happens when a large waterfowl goes through a jet engine, but I will give them a pass for that. After all, engine flame outs happen within a narrow skill set.
Here is what I am worried about. I can remember a few accidents from yesteryear where, initially, the crew were hailed as heroes, then the media turned on them like an F16 in a dogfight.

Seablogger Alan Sullivan and commenters debate about whether evasive action could have been taken to avoid the geese. I didn’t think so. The aircraft was climbing at a high speed towards the collision point with the birds, visibility and the ability to evade obstacles is not as good during takeoff as it is during level flight or landing.

The most alarming incident I’ve ever had while flying: I was once on final, right over the runway in an uncontrolled airport, when an ultralight (who hadn’t been listening to the local frequency) cut underneath and in front of me to land. I hit the throttle and did a go around, just like I’d practiced about a million times. I went around the pattern again, landed.
If that ultralight had (as suddenly) appeared in front of me on takeoff, it’s less likely that the outcome would have been good.

What do we do about the geese…? I vote for the soup kitchen plan.

(thanks to Instapundit) Popular Mechanics – What went right


About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
This entry was posted in Air and Space. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Heroism on the Hudson: Update

  1. Bruce Parker says:

    It’s bad enough when we can’t call Canada geese “Canadian geese”. It’s worse when they pollute our land and waterways. Now they’re trying to kill us.

    Wasn’t this one of the rationales in “Canadian Bacon” for declaring war on Canada?

  2. marypmadigan says:

    Canadians deny that they’re to blame for these geese. But they would say that, wouldn’t they..?

  3. Dave J says:

    I’ve never had goose. I’m told it’s somewhat similar in taste to duck, of which I’m a huge fan (the Green Curry Duck at Rod Dee, especially).

  4. marypmadigan says:

    Rod Dee rules!

    I cooked a goose for Christmas once when I was in Germany. They don’t sell turkeys there, which is good because the little ovens they have in apartments there are too small to cook them. With some ligonberries and gravy, it was great.

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