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Old 01-17-09, 07:39 AM   #1
jppe
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The miracle on the Hudson

Okay-OT but it does involve an incredible feat by a 50+ er like us that doesn't hurt to provide a little motivation. We need all the motivation we can get with it not only being arctic outdoors but in my bank account as well.

The US Airways plane that "safely" landed in the Hudson River was headed to Charlotte and therefore there were a number of locals from my area on the flight. The local newspaper has extensive articles in today's paper describing what everyone was thinking, doing, what they salvaged, how they escaped, how people reacted etc. Very captivating stuff. My Brother in Law is a pilot with a major carrier (does the international routes) and with so many of the passengers being locals it is very easy for me to identify with this one.

No doubt that the plane's crew did an incredible job from the moment the birds hit the engines to the last person was rescued. Amazing response by ferries and other boats nearby to get the 155 passengers off the plane and into the dry. And who was the last person off the plane that was sinking into the river? Why none other than Capt Sully himself.

Just a blessing that there are so many positive stories coming from this one. It very easily could have been extremely tragic. Check out some of the stuff and hopefully it will warm up your day a little.

Edit:

Okay we can definitely make it Cycling related. Bill Elkin was on the plane and can be seen here on this news report. He is Secretary/Treasurer of one of our local bike clubs-and I've ridden with him!!!

http://wcbstv.com/video/?id=122777@wcbs.dayport.com

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Old 01-17-09, 08:38 AM   #2
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In my previous job I travelled about 50% of the time. Almost always by plane. I'm one of those that does look around to see where my nearest exit is.
I was more than impressed with how cool this pilot must have been to make so many good decisions so quickly. What a great result to something that could have been a disaster. The NTSB is investigating, I hope they come to the same conclusion everyone else has, this guy is some kind of hero.
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Old 01-17-09, 09:04 AM   #3
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The unpublicized part of the story is that Capt. Sullenberger must be within a year or two of mandatory retirement, even though he is precisely the sort of caring, experienced, calm, quick-witted, and highly skilled person we want in charge of our commercial airliners.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:12 AM   #4
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Trust a California boy to know how to surf.

I saw witnesses describing how the plane was going down, but then lifted up at the last moment. It's obvious that he was changing the planes attitude so that the rear of the plane touched down first, allowing it to skate along the water for a bit.

I have read that he was qualified for quite a variety of planes, so I'm not sure if he had landed any aquatic planes such at the PBY-5, but certainly that was the proper model for landing. I heard that after they stopped that his co-pilot complimented him on being the first man to successfully ditch an Airbus.

All the elements were right. Plenty of appropriate boats near by, but he didn't hit any either. It's rare for me to consider someone a hero, but he filled the bill.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:29 AM   #5
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http://video.aol.com/video-detail/hu...id=VIDURVENT07

Non pilots may take if for granted that those flying the plane are well trained and professional. They are almost always even better that you can imagine.

The enclosed link leads to a short video in which the aircraft you are in (a 2 seat F-16 single engine fighter) suffers a bird strike shortly after take off. The accented voice that keeps repeating itself is a verbal alarm system presenting the crew with various alarms from at first a warning that the engine is not operating to a later warning that the aircraft is going down in proximity to the ground and that the gear is not down. You might want to listen to the two crewmen as they coordinate with each other to attempt an engine restart and to determine what actions each is going to take responsibility for. They manuver the aircraft toward a complex of plowed fields (the last thing you will see in the video) and finally eject. You may have to listen to the audio several times to get a feel for what is going on. I'll bet you'll be surprised at the calm and professional response to what is rapidly turning into a really bad situation.

Go back to the begining of the video, did you see the bird?
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Old 01-17-09, 11:08 AM   #6
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This reminded me of the Air Canada "Gimli Glider" incident of 1983:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

in that case, the Captain was also an experienced glider pilot, which really helped since in that case (due to their being out of fuel), he knew how to "side slip" to maximize the plane's glide range...

I flew as a passenger in a glider one time, and, it's amazing how they can stay up their so well without an engine - and land so well, too...

I'm convinced their are times when God knows who's qualified for a certain (and usually unexpected) event, since so many times we hear of "the right person being in the right place at the right time" - as Helen Keller once said of her own life's calling, "When this life is over then I'll understand why this was so"...

Congratulations to everyone involved in this water landing - may the rest of 2009 give us more of the same good news stories to admire...

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Old 01-17-09, 12:01 PM   #7
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The accident was ingesting birds into the engine!

That landing was no accident! It was pure skill and ultimate performance under extreme pressure. Lance does not even remotely compare to this pilot!

When I was flying helicopters we figured that any crash you walked away from was a good landing!
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Old 01-17-09, 09:52 PM   #8
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Cap'n Sully was a USAF pilot; he likely never flew any water birds. What a tremendous feat with an incredible outcome!
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Old 01-17-09, 10:28 PM   #9
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According to news reports, "Sully" was glider and glider-instructor qualified, but not water qualified. The first two certainly attest to his skill in this situation, and it seems to me that he oughta be water qualified just on the basis of his performance on the Hudson. Could he have done it any better?
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Old 01-17-09, 10:34 PM   #10
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To call it a miracle belittles the pilot's ability. It was no miracle at all.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:37 PM   #11
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I live a a few blocks from where he touched down. It's amazing that the river was a clear as it was, as there is often lots of barge traffic in the area. It was indeed an amazing feat, the river is maybe a mile wide where he touched down.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:55 PM   #12
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The media reported that while the plane was filling with water, the captain walked through the entire plane to locate and rescue any remaining passengers. He is a true professional.
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Old 01-17-09, 11:05 PM   #13
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The co-pilot, who was doubling as the flight engineer, is a 49 yr old that lives 5 miles from me and whose daughter is a classmate of my daughter.

His wife didn't know he was on the plane, until after he called home to tell her he was okay.

He's going to be a big hero in our small town.
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Old 01-18-09, 08:30 AM   #14
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It truly was a supreme example of professionalism, skill, calmness under pressure, and responsibility for those within the crew's care. I hope all involved receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

And - on the same day, and every day, similarly conscientious people launch and re-land thousands of people world-wide and it's viewed as simple matter of fact. Every non-incident flight is enacted with similar training, skill and dedication, completely taken for granted.

And just because this thread is rightly earnest and serious, it needs a less serious question -

Did you Canadians announce an intention to launch your poultry at a civilian target?
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Old 01-18-09, 01:34 PM   #15
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Could he have done it any better?
I have read that he forgot to flip the switch that seals all the small openings so that the plane will float better after landing. So yes, he could have done it better.

But you have to give him a 99 out of a 100. He did well.
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Old 01-18-09, 07:03 PM   #16
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I have read that he forgot to flip the switch that seals all the small openings so that the plane will float better after landing. So yes, he could have done it better.

But you have to give him a 99 out of a 100. He did well.
That was probably somewhere on that multi page check list the co-pilot was going through while the Captain was concentrating on saving 150+ butts.
That was perfection in training and actions.
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Old 01-18-09, 07:43 PM   #17
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I have read that he forgot to flip the switch that seals all the small openings so that the plane will float better after landing. So yes, he could have done it better.

That omission would have been a much bigger deal if the boats getting out there had taken a long time.

I wonder how much of a difference that makes in terms of how long the plane will float?
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Old 01-18-09, 07:51 PM   #18
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Experience comes with age . . .
Have flown in seaplanes, and yes, a bit bumpy when landing!
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Old 01-18-09, 08:28 PM   #19
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The unpublicized part of the story is that Capt. Sullenberger must be within a year or two of mandatory retirement, even though he is precisely the sort of caring, experienced, calm, quick-witted, and highly skilled person we want in charge of our commercial airliners.
An excellent point.

A judge I work with recently retired because he hit Florida's mandatory retirement age of 70. Mandatory retirement ages are terrible things.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:36 PM   #20
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The media reported that while the plane was filling with water, the captain walked through the entire plane to locate and rescue any remaining passengers. He is a true professional.
Yen, I agree but must add this thought:

Captain Scully is a man of conviction and commitment to a set of standards and beliefs that he is ultimately responsible for the well being of those trusted to his care as the "Commander" of his aircraft. The execution of the split second decisions and the flawless landing on the Hudson speaks volumes to his skill and ability to perform under extreme pressure. His walk through the aircraft to ensure that all of his cargo - passengers - were free from harms way speaks to a different and more important set of values. Capt Scully placed a higher value on the welfare of others and displayed his depth of character and integrity to risk his own life to ensure those he was responsible for were safe.

With all of the celebrity's we see in the United States - musicians, actors, football players, etc. Capt Scully truly deserves the classification of Selfless Hero. The others, well they just happen to be popular. Capt Scully was unknown to any of us until he did his job! I'll bet if you ask Capt Scully he will just tell you he was doing just that: His Job.

We need more Captain Scully's to be canonized by our media as the Hero's they truly are.

I believe that we have young people serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan that rank right up there with Capt. Scully. Unsung and unrecognized hero's. They are just doing their jobs!
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Old 01-20-09, 09:26 AM   #21
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News reports state Cpt Sully was licensed at 14 years of age. The only rating possible at that age is a glider rating. Also Air Force Academy cadets all train on gliders. He was certainly prepared for this although commercial airliners don't glide very far. A slight correction but a side slip is used to lose altitude while maintaining controlled foward flight, not to extend range. Sometimes you have to get down in a hurry and this is the way to do it.

As a former glider driver I am very interested in the sequence of events in the cockpit especially the thought process. That's what went right in this event. It is also a great thing he had 3,000 feet under his wings instead of 300. It offered a little bit of time to evaluate options and make a choice. The thing about glider landings is there are no second chances.
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