View Full Version : Plane Down in Hudson River - NYC

Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

15th Jan 2009, 19:44
MSNBC tv news showing a U.S. Airways jet in the Hudson River. Plane said to be a "regional" jet. Hudson River is WEST of most NYC airports.

15th Jan 2009, 19:48
According to CNBC: A320 Airbus en route NY to Charlotte. US Airways apparently doesn't know anything (yet).


15th Jan 2009, 19:52
A U.S. Airways airplane has crashed into the Hudson River, CBS 2 has learned. The plane appears to be in one piece and passengers are being evaucated by rescue teams.

Officials tell CBS 2 the airplane is Flight 1549, an Airbus 380 that took off from La Guardia Aiport.

The plane is floating upright in the water near the USS Intrepid.

Stay with wcbstv.com and CBS 2 for more on this developing story.

PS: Video on FOX shows plane intact with wings, tail and part of cabin exposed above water.

The 380 report from CBS is incorrect.

15th Jan 2009, 19:52
ABC News: Flight was from La Guardia to Charlotte, NC.

BBC News: Shows ferry boats gathered around the floating plane. Apparently passengers were on the wing at one stage. Presume they are getting onto the ferries?

Pretty amazing stuff ...

15th Jan 2009, 19:53
Live on FOX now. Aircraft is surrounded by 7 or 8 ferry boats rescuing passengers. I don't believe that it is an Airbus. The aircraft appears to be intact and is slowly sinking.

Well, after a better look it may be an A-320.

Latest is that it was Flight 1549, an Airbus A 320.

15th Jan 2009, 19:54
Witnesses describing "landing as if on a runway"

Rumours of impact with flock of geese

15th Jan 2009, 19:56
US 1549; LGA-CLT; 146 pax, 5 crew. Reported that acft struck flight of geese, apparently lost both engines.

Live nbc reportage:

msnbc.com Video Player (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22887506#22887506)

15th Jan 2009, 20:00
Pilot claims that he needed to ditch after running into a flock of geese.

15th Jan 2009, 20:01
BBC Breaking News! Why don't they just shut the **** up! Apparently the pilot landed in the Hudson to avoid crashing into skyscrapers in Manhattan!

15th Jan 2009, 20:02
Plane slowly sinking below the water now. Amazing how long it was floating "high".

Faire d'income
15th Jan 2009, 20:05
Great performance by the crew if they ditched safely.

Also great that the boats got there quick enough to get the survivors.

15th Jan 2009, 20:06
Dozens and dozens of survivors on wings. Remarkable survival story

15th Jan 2009, 20:07
One of those things you hope you never have to face, loss of all propulsion (if that was the case) followed by a ditching.

Well done

15th Jan 2009, 20:08

15th Jan 2009, 20:09
Remarkable, just proves you can ditch. Hero pilot.

STN Ramp Rat
15th Jan 2009, 20:10
from flight aware

speed Altitude
Time Lat Long kts Feet
03:26PM 40.8 -73.87 151 1800
03:27PM 40.83 -73.87 174 2800
03:27PM 40.86 -73.88 194 3200
03:28PM 40.88 -73.9 202 2000
03:28PM 40.86 -73.93 215 1600
03:29PM 40.83 -73.95 194 1200
03:29PM 40.82 -73.97 191 1300
03:30PM 40.78 -74 189 400
03:31PM 40.75 -74.02 153 300

15th Jan 2009, 20:11

15th Jan 2009, 20:13
CNN is reporting that all passegengers are safe.

First time I have heard of a succesfull ditching of an airliner. Great job by the crew.:D

15th Jan 2009, 20:16
Excellent work on the part of the ferry operators and others who first responded.

15th Jan 2009, 20:19
Awesome job, deadstick ditching on a 'Bus! :ok:

15th Jan 2009, 20:20
Yeah, i'm pretty sure this is indeed the first successful ditch of a large airliner.

I was one of those who didn't think it was possible, and that the water landing briefings were bunk.. i was wrong. :P

15th Jan 2009, 20:20
Looks like the pilots did a great job, all the news reports saying it hit a flock of geese 3 minutes after departure, 148 on board all survived.

tubby linton
15th Jan 2009, 20:21
The other successful ditching was the Ethiopian 767 that ran out of fuel.The landing would have been less eventful if the crew hadn't been having an argument with a hijacker at the moment of impact!
Kudos to this crew for accomplishing this!

15th Jan 2009, 20:24
Also great that the boats got there quick enough to get the survivors.

There are quite a few passenger ferry boats that transit the Hudson river. From early reports the first ferry boat was on scene shortly after the aircraft ditched and started pulling the passengers off of the wings and out of the water. There were at least four or five ferry boats at the site before the first fire/rescue boats arrived.

A passenger who was on one of the ferry boats that took part in the rescue stated that he ferry he was on arrived in about two minutes after the airliner ditched in the river.

NYC police now report that all passengers have been rescued with no serious injuries. Divers have gone into the cabin to assure that all persons have been rescued.

Numerous reports from various sources all state that the ditching was caused by bird strikes causing the failure of one engine and then shortly the second engine failed.

No matter the cause, an excellent job of ditching by the crew, also an excellent job by the cabin crew in the evacuation. Superb response by the local ferry boats should be noted as well.

Again, no reports at this time of any serious or critical injuries. Let us hope that stays true.

15th Jan 2009, 20:24
And there was that DC9 in the Caribbean.

15th Jan 2009, 20:24

15th Jan 2009, 20:24
The CNN now comment what is a posible Bird Strike




15th Jan 2009, 20:25
The Ethiopian flight wasn't successful, the plane broke up on impact and there were many fatalities. The fuselage of this aircraft looks in tact.

15th Jan 2009, 20:26
Wikipedia has a few : Water landing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditching)

Hold position
15th Jan 2009, 20:27
Passengers who survived the ditching said it was smooth landing, well done to the crew great work they even took the time to make the emergency announcement .all passenger survived .150 sole on board.

slip and turn
15th Jan 2009, 20:28
Those FlightAware tracking numbers from STN Ramp Rat look like they might show a remarkable text book job - please let all be safe - because if they are, there's a few guys / girls who've earned many lifetime's cool free beers after work :ok:

15th Jan 2009, 20:28
Watching it on CNN, those guys earned their salary this month for sure! And what will their beers taste good tonight.

It is now more then 50 minutes since it ditched and it's still afloat.
Just out of interest, some questions for the A320 guys:

-does it have a ditching pushbutton (as a A330 has, closing outflow valves and vents etc)?
-what's the powersource after a double flameout, emer gen or battery?

15th Jan 2009, 20:30
What an incredible job by PF. Of course not all facts out yet, but if it is true that everyone is accounted for and safe, then this must be a first, right? Anyone else know of an example of a commercial ditching with no loss of life and (apparently at least) managing to maintain structural integrity. Maybe some good news in the world at last! Can't wait to hear the crews account if/when it is made public.:D

15th Jan 2009, 20:31
Important lesson - stay calm. Many, if not most, of these situations are survivable.

15th Jan 2009, 20:33

15th Jan 2009, 20:33
anybody knows how many minutes the aircraft remained in the floating attitude?

on the A320 AOM there are no clues for the probable floating time, and this number would be "nice to know" for all the bus-drivers.

from the picture i saw, the attitude is exactly the same estimated by airbus on the AOM (assuming there were no structural damages) and that gives an idea that the crew did an excellent job bringing the aircraft down fairly intact:D

Golf Charlie Charlie
15th Jan 2009, 20:34
There was a commercial airliner ditching in 1956 with a Pan American Stratocruiser in which all survived. Ditto an Aeroflot TU-124 in 1963 near St Petersburg.

Faire d'income
15th Jan 2009, 20:36
A320 has a ditching pushbutton so it can be prepared quickly.

Emer Gen comes off the RAT which obviously is useless at low speed and I guess when you are ditching you are as slow as possible.

BAT power only at touchdown I'd say.

15th Jan 2009, 20:38
Great job to all involved. Looks like the response was fast and coordinated, no doubt saving lives. Luckily, it was during daylight.

west lakes
15th Jan 2009, 20:38
Watching Sky it looks as though it is lashed to an FDNY fireboat and is being moved.
Shot showed a rope/strop wrapped round upper fuselage through the front doors

15th Jan 2009, 20:40
Can any Boeing driver out there say whether they have a ditching pushbutton?

15th Jan 2009, 20:41
The aircraft is still floating

The large red tug boat on the right side has cables running through the cabin both foward and aft to keep the aircraft afloat and tow it to shallow water.

Hold position
15th Jan 2009, 20:42
Airbus is going down now one hour after impact .
Because the opened the front door.

15th Jan 2009, 20:44
The pax seem to be wearing life jackets, inflated, but from the pics I have seen most do not appear to have tied the tapes around the waist. Just an observation for later analysis of the ditching. Anyway great to hear all well.

15th Jan 2009, 20:45
Simply wow.
This contradicts all my presumptions about airliner ditching.
What a fantastic crew effort :D !!

But what conditions could facilitate a safe ditching? Apart from an amazing crew, obviously ^^

15th Jan 2009, 20:45
Some of the greatest airmanship of which I'm aware.

A beautiful job by true aviators under truly critical conditions.

And kudos to the cabin crew, who are so important in seeing
to the well-being of all PAX aboard.

Fabulous team work, including by the rescuers.

True professionals all!

God bless them.

15th Jan 2009, 20:45
the ditching push button does not extend the RAT it just closes all the "holes" the RAT may have come out due to dual engine failure

15th Jan 2009, 20:46
Watching it on CNN, those guys earned their salary this month for sure! And what will their beers taste good tonight.

Yes I am sure you are correct and will be lauded as such for a while but give it 6 months and they will revert to being treated like cr*p and an expensive necessity by their beancounter management once more.

15th Jan 2009, 20:47

Coleman Myers
15th Jan 2009, 20:48
Captain and crew of US1549 we salute you :ok:

Ride the Fire
15th Jan 2009, 20:51
Well it looks like everyone survived according to sky news. All I can say is well done boys. Even getting a brace call in to the cabin.
Cant say how they ditched so well, especially with low slung engines, but what they did was the right way to do it. Fantastic Airmanship.


15th Jan 2009, 20:51
"Yes I am sure you are correct and will be lauded as such for a while but give it 6 months and they will revert to being treated like cr*p and an expensive necessity by their beancounter management once more."

Sad but true. Beans don't need rest.

15th Jan 2009, 20:51
Now you know why in surveys, pilots consistently rate as one of the most trusted occupations.

15th Jan 2009, 20:52
Suprising number of people appear to have left the aircraft without their life jackets looking at the photos.

Open doors and towing through water, great way to sink the aircraft

Super VC-10
15th Jan 2009, 20:55
How are they going to close the doors without elecrical power? A/C is a write off anyway so it won't matter if it sinks and is raised later by crane.

galaxy flyer
15th Jan 2009, 20:55
God bless them all :ok:

The Pan Am plane was a B-377 that lost 2 (of 4!!) engines, I believe one prop went into flat pitch and overspeed. Ditching occurred near an Ocean Ship just after dawn, having circled the ship during the night, knowing they couldn't shore. The Captain's name was Richard Ogg. Any guesses on the identifier for the Maui VOR?


15th Jan 2009, 20:56
Astonishing hi-resolution picture of the plane before any of the boats got there, in the water, passengers already on the wings.
Looks lonely out there.

File:Plane crash into Hudson River.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plane_crash_into_Hudson_River.jpg)

This may be a very well photographed event!

It's from a series; first one here after the plane is in the water, doors still closed:
The first photo I took on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://flickr.com/photos/gregorylam/3200201574/)

15th Jan 2009, 20:56
I just want to congratulate the entire crew on a job well done. The fear factor I am sure must have been high. I mean, how many times have we taken off on the same exact flight with our cup of coffee by our side ever so slightly lulled by the gentle whine of the engines. Anticipating yet not expecting our training to be put to use on that very flight.

You Ladies and Gentlemen, are my heroes.

I am extremely proud to be in the same profession as those bunch.

P.S. Anyone know what DP was in use?

the whitestone or Lga dp has you busier than a 1legged man in an ass kicking contest..

15th Jan 2009, 20:57
Passenger said on CNN that the commander was announcing "Brace for Impact" shortly before ditching. I was always wondering if I would have enough capacity to follow the book under such pressure.

Hope I never find out.

15th Jan 2009, 20:58
Jet fuel floats

the pilots probably closed the outflow vale to retain buoyancy

every landing you make is practice for a gliding ditching...level the wings, nose up

doors that are open are aat or above waterline

15th Jan 2009, 20:58

fantastic news that all have apparently survived this ditching.

Lots of talk about bird strikes, which is a real issue in JFK, and i would imagine LGA too.

I would not be surprised if there is some sort of surveillance camera focussed on the river having picked this up.


15th Jan 2009, 20:58
Open or closed doors, the water is getting in. Even with the doors open it's still floating, 2(?) hrs after ditching.

And the doors are not electrically operated.

15th Jan 2009, 20:59
Well done cabin crew, i wouldn't like to be faced with that. But like you say, they'll be forced back to work tomorrow!

15th Jan 2009, 21:02
My groundschool instructors laughed when they were teaching me about aircrafts ditching procedures and capabilites because it was so unlikely that anyone would survive if you ever have to ditch in water. Unbelievable story, makes me proud

15th Jan 2009, 21:04
Praise to the boat crews in the area too. TV pictures don't really show just how fast the river flows in that area.

15th Jan 2009, 21:06
Here is a link to an article about the successful Pan Am Stratocruiser ditching in 1956.

The Ditching - TIME (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,867172,00.html)

15th Jan 2009, 21:06
Peter Goelz former NTSB MD on CNN:

An amazing piece of airmanship!

Doug Parker CEO of US Airways:

Preliminary all 155 accounted for

Doors to Automatic
15th Jan 2009, 21:08
I have just been watching coverage of this incident on BBC news. I had initially assumed that the a/c had come down immediately after take-off in the water immediately by La Guardia but it transpires that it actually ditched in water to the west of Manhattan in which case this was an outstanding piece of flying by the crew. They should be incredibly proud of themselves. :D

15th Jan 2009, 21:12
Did U.S Airways CEO mention only 3 FA's for more than 150 pax?? Surely he means 4?

15th Jan 2009, 21:12
Long time lurker and SLF breaking my duck to say I am in awe of the crew and what they have achieved. And also in admiration of the pax who seem to have followed crew instructions, enabling everyone to exit safely.

Thanks to you all for the info and pictures posted so quickly.

15th Jan 2009, 21:12
This has restored my faith in the survivability of ditching with low slung engine pods; I had always thought it would be impossible to keep the aircraft intact.

Top job guys; I hope in time to come we get to learn the technique he used should we ever need to God forbid ...

15th Jan 2009, 21:12
Wow What A Crew, Absolutely Amazing....give The 320 10/10 For Being A Superb Aircraft For Holding Together On The Water

15th Jan 2009, 21:12
It's incidents like this that underline just how professional Airline Pilots are and why computers could never take their place. Unbelievable airmanship and total professionality by Cabin Crew. Heros, the lot of them

15th Jan 2009, 21:13
Excellent work from the flight and cabin crew, CONGRATS for saving so much lives out of a situation that could be devastating!

I don't see anyone praising the plane's integrity and strength though...oh wait, i forgot. It's an airbus. :mad:

15th Jan 2009, 21:13
"Brace, Brace, Brace" is a cockpit (FO) PA at my carrier. F/A's have no idea exactly how high the a/c is.

During flameout approaches/landings in the simulator the non-flying pilot is reduced to a cheerleader. They have the time to make the 'Brace' PA.

15th Jan 2009, 21:14
Nearly all the passengers that have been interviewed have all stated that there was no panic during the evacuation.

Shows that the cabin crew did a superb job.

15th Jan 2009, 21:14
Many well done's due for a truely amazing effort by all the crew there - the alternative outcome is not worth thinking about

Just watching it on BBC News here in the UK - the footage looks like only about half the pax are wearing their lifevests. Perhaps these are the minority that pay attention to that life saving safety briefing.

Maybe now those flying who read the paper or whatever during taxi may start to pay attention...

15th Jan 2009, 21:15
you've made the industry very very proud guys, absolute stars!!!

15th Jan 2009, 21:15
Think this Captain earned his $135.00/hr?

Well done to the crew!

15th Jan 2009, 21:16
Well done...

Successfull ditchings with large jets have been done before:
A B707 cargo aircraft landed 5 km short and ditched in a lake in 2000. It floated at least until the next day.

Full story: B707 Takes a Swim (http://www.avweb.com/news/news/182363-1.html)

juniour jetset
15th Jan 2009, 21:17
The pictures show a pretty smooth water surface, this must have helped matters tremendously as landing on open sea with ocean swell running must decrease the odds of success quite a bit?

any oceanographer/aircraft ditching experts out there like to comment further on this?

15th Jan 2009, 21:18
the footage looks like only about half the pax are wearing their lifevests.

Lifejackets were thrown from the boats. I'd guess that US Air A320s use seat cushions for 'flotation devices'. No?

15th Jan 2009, 21:19
To all of the crew members involved A GREAT JOB!!!:) :) Thats what you guys and gals are there for..... today you are not the Glorified Bus Drivers or Trolley Dollies often referred to....but the professionals that sit in the sim and practice for this hoping that you'll never need it, take the Pax flack and when called upon do a GREAT JOB!!!

glad rag
15th Jan 2009, 21:19
Think it was more a case of " Dude I ain't getting in that water" :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

15th Jan 2009, 21:20
looking at the data from flight aware and the trace of the flight plan it appears that the PF "Picked his spot" for the waterlanding. Almost used the hudson as a runway.. Makes it even more commendable :D:D:D

15th Jan 2009, 21:20
Wonderful Crew!


15th Jan 2009, 21:21
i am speechless, well done crew!!! Cant wait to see the FDR & CVR Data as it surely will now be a learning tool for upcomming pilots to train for ditching.. once again congrats to crew :D

galaxy flyer
15th Jan 2009, 21:24
aircraft ditching experts

The most current such experts are busy at the moment, at a meeting with the NTSB

15th Jan 2009, 21:24
Those who mentioned Ethiopian Airlines 961 and said it wasn't successful should remember that many people who didn't make it out inflated their jackets INSIDE the plane, getting trapped as the fuselage sank. So yes, Ethiopian was technically a successful ditching, but it reiterates the importance of listening to the safety briefing.

My hat off to the f/c in this instance. Well done guys, that's why we have the faith in you up front. That all pax made it out ok is very good news, especially in the temps they have in NA around this time of year (I wouldn't want to be floating in the Hudson in winter).

No doubt the airframe will be recovered, cleaned up, inspected and put back to use?


15th Jan 2009, 21:25
Interesting that she has evidently floated a considerable distance from the touch-down point - at last the tug has the drift under control.

Great, great job by the crew. :ok:

The river runs a good 4 KTS at this point when the tide is ebbing.

15th Jan 2009, 21:25
Initially there were pruners slating the press for saying "they avoided the skyscrapers etc etc", I think there is a very good chance that the pilots DID do exactly that! I'm sure they would have gone for the water over buildings.... Anyway, there's one crew (including cabin crew!) who should never have to earn their money ever again, must have been their worst few moments in their lives to experience, but also their proudest!

15th Jan 2009, 21:25
Couragous probably too small a word. This crew arrear to have handled this like a trp in the sim.. Nerves of steel and razor sharp reactions

15th Jan 2009, 21:26
Well done to all the crew, and whoever had their hand on the stick... you are a true aviator my friend... :D

Congrats to Airbus for building a robust aeroplane...:ok:

15th Jan 2009, 21:28
Great Job.... Plane, Passengers and Pilots are all intact, possibly see this in future flying textbooks...:ok:

15th Jan 2009, 21:30
No intent to diminish the crew's achievement, but as discussed above that stretch of the Hudson is well protected from swell, and is close to flat calm (so a good choice of target). I reckon that moves ditching from `impossible' to `very difficult'.

I love the Faux News/Fox Noise report about hard/warm and soft/cold water. Utter bollix. Pure `Brass Eye' episode three - they might even ascribe the success of ditching to the `heavy electricity' coursing through the FBW system: Brass Eye - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_Eye)

15th Jan 2009, 21:32
Those who mentioned Ethiopian Airlines 961 and said it wasn't successful should remember that many people who didn't make it out inflated their jackets INSIDE the plane, getting trapped as the fuselage sank.
The coral reef hardly helped...

15th Jan 2009, 21:32
Great performance by the crew if they ditched safely.

Also great that the boats got there quick enough to get the survivors.

Yes, great performance by the fcrew, but the Hudson is alive with ferries. It wouldn't have taken much time at all for them to gather and start taking off the passengers and crew.

15th Jan 2009, 21:33
During flameout approaches/landings in the simulator the non-flying pilot is reduced to a cheerleader.
In most planes the pilot in the LH seat (= captain) flies because he is the only one with instruments on stby power. And the other pilot is very, very busy with a relight.

And as far as the Ethiopean was concerned. Wasn't he hi-jacked (or was that another one)?
Bit difficult to succesfully ditch while wrestling with a hi-jacker on the controls.

Lost in Saigon
15th Jan 2009, 21:33
I hate to be a party pooper, :\ BUT..... I can't help but wonder how it is that BOTH engines were so badly damaged by bird ingestion that they could not continue to fly. I don't believe this has ever happened before. Has it?

Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport.

At low altitude there would have been no time to restart it.

15th Jan 2009, 21:34
junior jetset - waves obviously make it tougher. Smooth water is always better

At 3000' after departing LGA your options are poor and worse. Built up area and/or heavily wooded, with few open spots other than the water.

The a/c was at about 210 kts, which would be very close to best glide speed(L/D). Standard glide ratio is about 18:1 so they were landing in the next 9 miles. So they had about 3 minutes to touchdown and had to make the command decision, after/while completing immediate actions for dual engine failure, to select their crash site.

tubby linton
15th Jan 2009, 21:35
This is the second serious bird related incident in the last couple of months world wide.

15th Jan 2009, 21:35
I jumped to page 9- skipped the BS Great job by the crew.
So much to learn from this.
LGA is a piece of work
I've got 40 years flying out of there and I can appreciate what the crew has accomplished.
Great job.

Faire d'income
15th Jan 2009, 21:36
I hate to be a party pooper, BUT..... I can't help but wonder how it is that BOTH engines were so badly damaged by bird ingestion that they could not continue to fly. I don't believe this has ever happened before. Has it?

Happened only a few month ago to Ryanair in Rome. Look it up.

15th Jan 2009, 21:37
Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport.
No, just you.

15th Jan 2009, 21:39
Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport.

Definately just you :ugh:

15th Jan 2009, 21:39
"The pictures show a pretty smooth water surface, this must have helped matters..."

Writing as a New Yorker with extensive experience both on (boats) and in (scuba) the waters of the Hudson, let me say this:

The Hudson is a tidal river that even during periods of slack water exhibits numerous conflicting currents both at the surface and sub-surface. This also leads to complex thermoclines not dissimilar to thermal air mixing (turbulence). It's not placid.

Because of the deceptive scale of the aircraft and surrounding boats on the river, let me assure you the surface wasn't smooth, and it's a sure thing surface currents were at 8-10 kts and possibly conflicting.

ADDED: I live on the shore of the Hudson River at the very northern border of NYC, approximately seven miles north from the water-landing site. The Hudson is a seasonal flyway for Canadian geese, and we see large flocks of them, sometimes hundreds in widely spaced V-formations ~ transiting the river at this time of year.

15th Jan 2009, 21:39
I hate to be a party pooper, BUT..... I can't help but wonder how it is that BOTH engines were so badly damaged by bird ingestion that they could not continue to fly. I don't believe this has ever happened before. Has it?

Not only with twin engine jet aircraft but also a E-3A (Boeing 707) at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska.

ASN Aircraft accident Boeing E-3A (707) 77-0354 Anchorage-Elmendorf AFB, AK (EDF) (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19950922-0)

15th Jan 2009, 21:40

Lets start the rumours :)

This remind my last training session... multiple birdstrikes result...

ECAM gives priority to ENG FIRE.


PS: DEFIE you're not alone
PS2: Congrats to the all crew, boats and pax (they look like they behaved well)

15th Jan 2009, 21:41
Congratulations to all concerned.

To have remained that intact, the aircraft must have water-ski'd to a slow speed on the underside of the engine nacelles and the rear fuselage.

So congratulations to the designer of the Airbus 320 engine pylons, too!

galaxy flyer
15th Jan 2009, 21:41
Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport.

IF so, the fastest HERO to ZERO in recorded history


15th Jan 2009, 21:41
Lost in Saigon - Investigation will tell all.

15th Jan 2009, 21:42
I hate to be a party pooper, BUT..... I can't help but wonder how it is that BOTH engines were so badly damaged by bird ingestion that they could not continue to fly.

When you consider that birds usually fly in flocks, and the engines aren't very far away from each other, I'm surprised this sort of thing doesn't happen MORE often.

Troy McClure
15th Jan 2009, 21:44
Chris Yates, an 'aviation expert' interviewed on BBC News just said that an A320 in the take off phase can't get airborne on one engine. So what are all those V1 cuts I've been practicing in the sim?

Loved the passenger they interviewed:

"What was the landing like?"

"Scary as ****!"

SET 18
15th Jan 2009, 21:45
On the off chance that any of the crew ever read this; WELL DONE guys and gals!

You have all elevated our profession to a new height. Thanks very much.

15th Jan 2009, 21:45
My personal reaction...

I hope the entire "scenario" can and will be recorded in the utmost detail by the NTSB and everybody else involved.

What I mean: this was a real ditching, and it seems everybody did survive.

It may not happen again in the next ten years, but if anything can be learned from this one that can save lives in the next one... yes, please !

Oh, and yes, I do listen to the safety briefing each time, but I still would appreciate enormously, sometime during the flight, to be able to pull out a life jacket and find out myself how to put it on. Somehow there is no substitute to "hands-on" experience, in the literal sense.


15th Jan 2009, 21:46
MSNBC reporting that pilot will speak at news conference with Mayor and other officials at approx 6pm Eastern.

Faire d'income
15th Jan 2009, 21:47
Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport.

While this is technically possible and of course it famously happened BMI there seem to be a few differences here.

1. That engine was shut down at idle power, this one would have had probably at least 70% of power ( more likely over 90%) so the crew would had noticed the power loss instantly and would most likely have had time to re-start it.

2. Passengers and CCMs on the BMI reported immediately that there was confusion in the cabin about which engine was damaged.

15th Jan 2009, 21:49
Kudos to the Crew great landing.:ok::D:D:D

Good news as well is that with the data recovered plus the testimony of the pilots it will mean that many many pilots in the next year will run this one through the SIMs and realise what is possible.

They may have been lucky but guess the more he trains the luckier he gets. Theory is great but realising it works is even better.

Somehow I don't think Captain and FO will need to buy any drinks in airline or non airline company for a long long time.

15th Jan 2009, 21:51
As an Engineer I take off my hat to the entire crew, not just a job well done but a job perfectly done,

Crew did what they had to do, aircraft design did what it was supposed to do = happy ending

I'm rather enjoying the CNN coverage from Wolf Blitzer it's obviously milder than what those of you with access to Fox are listening to,


Troy McClure
15th Jan 2009, 21:51
ChristiaanJ - with regard to trying on a life jacket for real, have a quiet word with the cabin crew when they're not busy - no reason they can't let you try on the demo one after everyone else has got off. They differ slightly between aircraft type - some you tie the tapes, some have a clip, but you'll get the idea.

15th Jan 2009, 21:55

Me as a pilot in the same situation, I'm not sure if I would have tried a ditching but to land on a highway nearby. The history of ditching doesn't look very positive, there are a few lucky exceptions. But to land on a crowded NYC highway could have been very very scary.

Congrats to the crew involved. The fly-by-wire technic from Airbus surely helped also to make a smooth ditching.


15th Jan 2009, 21:56
All of you guys and gals from the pointy end, so rightly generous with your praise for this ACE pilot, are equally capable of emulating his skill, that is why, as SLF, I am always eager and happy to fly behind you.

I think the boys and girls who float on water are due a hell of round of applause in this particular incident too. :D

15th Jan 2009, 21:56
CNN have named the pilot -He is part of some safety group/organisation - didn't get his name,

15th Jan 2009, 21:59
Random thoughts:

1) What's the glide ratio of a jet this size? Was there even a possibility of making Westchester or Teterboro from the collision point? FlightTrack numbers indicate the pilot had 3,200 feet of altitude to work with.

(Regardless, I think the Hudson made a much better runway - more leeway to adjust speed/touchdown point for the smoothest flare or to avoid obstructions (boats) - and more "emergency equipment" (ferries, tugs, etc.) close to hand. Excellent quick thinking!)

2) I'll give some credit to the pax for remaining calm and orderly in the evac. No doubt the crew's professionalism set the tone.

3) I wonder what folks on the Manhattan shoreline thought - for just an instant - seeing a jet coming in at low altitude.

4) I would love to read not only the ATC/cockpit transcripts, but also the interviews/debriefs the pilots give to NTSB. I want to see step by step how they pulled this off. Just amazing!

15th Jan 2009, 22:00

Someone mentioned this earlier; photos from Google Image Search
(Pan American Clipper ditching at sea; you'll find text about it by searching. Yes, the captain had moved all the passengers from the rear forward in the cabin, expecting it to break as it did.)

NOTE -- this one's old news, folks, just for comparison.

15th Jan 2009, 22:00
Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport.

Actually, I was wondering the same thing when I heard a number of passenger interviews that only seemed to report one loud bang. We can't trust their immediate recollection after such a traumatic event so I didn't want to mention it.

15th Jan 2009, 22:02
Well done to the guys up front. Have always been a bit dubious as to whether it was possible. Good result!!!

15th Jan 2009, 22:03
Amazing. Another professional crew doing a professional job when called upon, just like the Ryanair crew in CIA.

Looks like a perfectly executed ditching - textbook stuff. Fantastic job, ladies and gents, front and back end.

Hats off all round! Wonderful!

Flap 5
15th Jan 2009, 22:04
The fly by wire computer system would have made a ditching more easy with less likelyhood of a stall, unless the loss of electrical power with the loss of engine power put it into direct law. So the aircraft is solid for this kind of problem.

The crew would have little time to think. They would just be following their training. When they were unable to get back to La Guardia a ditching would be the obvious choice with all the buildings around on land.

Some would say that ditching at 140knots or so would mean it would tip over with the underslung engines. That didn't happen. Maybe the engines ripped off at their connecting points. That loss of weight could account for the aircraft floating for so long.

15th Jan 2009, 22:07
Looks like MSNBC got that the pilot would be speaking wrong - what a shock there :rolleyes:

On the other hand Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being very sensible and cautious in his public comments, praising pilot, waiting for NTSB, putting down silly rumours - puts most of the commentators to shame! :)

15th Jan 2009, 22:08
PPRUNE has just over 7000 people logged on. Looks like highest ever.

Faire d'income
15th Jan 2009, 22:09
Any assumption that an aircraft can fly perfectly well on one engine assumes that the working engine is fully functional. All bets are off if that engine took some damage.

15th Jan 2009, 22:10
Congrats to the crew for the ditching!

I guess it won't be long until the audio of a possible mayday call is made public since there is so many public live atc in the States.

15th Jan 2009, 22:12
SLF query: if both engines were knocked out, would the cabin lights die? Or do they run off battery power for a bit? Or would the RAT have deployed?

15th Jan 2009, 22:12
There was a quote from an air traffic union rep on one of news channels earlier saying that the pilots had seen an airfield below them and were at that time considering making an approach into that airport. If I heard correctly the airport in question was Teterboro Airport.

Sounds like the crew were earning every cent of their wages today.

15th Jan 2009, 22:12
1) What's the glide ratio of a jet this size? Was there even a possibility of making Westchester or Teterboro from the collision point? FlightTrack numbers indicate the pilot had 3,200 feet of altitude to work with.

From the QRH, at green dot speed, approx 2.5nm/1000ft with no wind, average descent rate approx 1600ft/min

15th Jan 2009, 22:12
Not the first successful ditching of a jet transport. JAL landed a DC-8 (http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=9292&key=0&print=1) (nearly new) off SFO Nov 1968, and UAL recovered the aircraft and rehabbed it. JAL continued to fly it for several years.

15th Jan 2009, 22:14
Pattern is full - glide ratio should be about 18:1, or slightly better.

For every 1000' of altitude you can go 3 n.m. So from their peak altitude if they lost ALL power at THAT point they could go about 9 miles.

As far as landing next to the ferries? The pilot could have adjusted his touchdown point to land at a slightly closer point, but trying to 'stretch' your glide is pointless if you're already at your best glide speed. Best glide speed would probably around 210-220 kts - estimate based on 5 type ratings on different a/c- not A320 qual'd, but jets are jets to a large degree.

15th Jan 2009, 22:17
pilot being reported as Sully Sullenberger C. B. "Sully" Sullenberger - LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/209/118)

Faire d'income
15th Jan 2009, 22:18
SLF query: if both engines were knocked out, would the cabin lights die? Or do they run off battery power for a bit? Or would the RAT have deployed?

RAT would have deployed automatically.

It only gives power above 140 knots (I think) and they would probably have tried to land slower than that. Looking at the intact hull I'd say the impact happened at very low speed.

Lights would have been on battery power.

One BBC 'expert' reckoned he could see from the pictures that one engine was fully intact. That may turn out to be the case but it is not possible to tell from any picture I've seen if either engine was functional.

15th Jan 2009, 22:18
There was a quote from an air traffic union rep on one of news channels earlier saying that the pilots had seen an airfield below them and were at that time considering making an approach into that airport. If I heard correctly the airport in question was Teterboro Airport.

MSNBC reported that Air Traffic Control (New York Departures) had offered Teterboro but pilot elected to ditch. Commentator on at the time said that pilot would have seen Newark and Teterboro clearly on departure but may have wished to avoid more populated areas. As ever - treat with a pinch of salt, it is from an American news networks after all!

The AvgasDinosaur
15th Jan 2009, 22:21
I'll bet they do more damage getting it out of the water than these absolute heroes did putting it in there in the first place.
Awesome achievement.:D:D:D
Might even focus a few minds on safety briefings for a day or two at least.
Be lucky

15th Jan 2009, 22:23
Unconfirmed report the pilot was this chap - quite a CV?

Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. - About Us (http://safetyreliability.com/about_us)

If this is BS - mod - please delete this post, with my apologies for disseminating internet tosh.

15th Jan 2009, 22:24
Anyone else notice on the news footage the crew of a ferry (seemingly) throwing their life jackets to men on the wing (long after everyone was off) presumably to be put into the fuselage to keep the A/C afloat?
A lot of smart thinking and efficient training at work out there.

15th Jan 2009, 22:24
According to CN yes, Sully Sullenburger. Great pilot!

SRM Founder Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III is a captain for a major U.S. airline with over 40 years of flying experience. A former U.S. Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot, he has served as an instructor and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) safety chairman, accident investigator and national technical committee member. He has participated in several USAF and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident investigations. His ALPA safety work led to the development of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular. Working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists, he coauthored a paper on error inducing contexts in aviation. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Crew Resource Management (CRM) course used at his airline and has taught the course to hundreds of his colleagues. Sully is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy (B.S.), Purdue University (M.S.) and the University of Northern Colorado (M.A.). He was a speaker on two panels at the High Reliability Organizations (HRO) 2007 International Conference in Deauville, France May 29-31, 2007. He has just been named a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

15th Jan 2009, 22:24
LaGuardia Airport - AirportMonitor - by Megadata - powered by PASSUR (http://www4.passur.com/lga.html)

start time of 15:26, click on 'departures'. Incident a/c would be the green aircraft just north of LGA heading 360 on departure.

They crossed I-95 and over Brooklyn Park started a descending turn to the left. They would not have been over and airports(Teterboro or Westchester), and probably wouldn't not have been high enough to reach either airport. So their choices would have been highways(with many overpasses) trees/built up areas, or water.

Helicopter flying up the Hudson at 1000', just south of the G.W. Bridge, turned to the east to avoid the A320(1300-1400' AGL) gliding towards them, and then turned west apparently to assist.

Anyone get any links to liveatc for the event yet? The helo's radio calls might be interesting.

Also, check out www.maps.google.com (http://www.maps.google.com) or google earth, and you can see how crowded the area is. I-95 is the major highway running east of the G.W. bridge.

15th Jan 2009, 22:25
Videos from airplane crash-landing in Hudson River - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/15/hudson.plane.videos/index.html)

15th Jan 2009, 22:25
A little bit of Fly by Wire anti stall help maybe? The A320 is really proving herself as a very sturdy aircraft. JetBlue at LAX and even the AF at the airshow comes to mind.

15th Jan 2009, 22:28
Good work by pilots and cabin crew!
A passenger interviewed says that he was on the wing which was full and then reentered aircraft (!) to go up to the front door because thats where the first boat "docked"

I'm surprised that there apparently is not enough space on life rafts when the aircraft makes a sucessfull ditching?

Not many passengers seem to be wearing their life vests I in such cold waters hypothermia sets in very quickly if one has to tread water to keep afloat. Also a life jacket keeps the head above water so cold shock gasp does not lead to immediate drowning.

The passengers were still in peril all the time they were standing on the wing without lifevests even once the rescue boats arrived.


15th Jan 2009, 22:28
I agree to the above, was an engineer for over 40 years with both airlines and manufacturers. Had 3 years with USAir (as it was then) from 1987.
Always respected the guys at the sharp end and the guys and gals that have to put up with the SLF. It looks for a change that everyone listened to the crew and followed instructions and all were saved. In addition good work by the ferry companies and the Fire Dept of New York.
Well done to the FD crew in carrying out a textbook water landing.


15th Jan 2009, 22:29
I'm not surprised that a flock of geese could take out both engines. While a single "V" in flight doesn't look that big, sometime the traffic density is - higher.

Birds Ascending the Heights (http://www.paulnoll.com/Oregon/Birds/migrate-ascending.html)

In terms of landing on the river, my point was precisely that: with a 20 mile x 3000 ft "runway", there is no need to stretch the glide. Come up a couple of hundred feet short, and you still have open water surface.

Come up a couple of hundred feet short at Teterboro, and you may have a burning plane and crushed buildings.

In the middle of a huge populated area, the water was the best "bailout" option. (Pun purely incidental).

15th Jan 2009, 22:29
A few points...

At flightaware it shows the max altitude of about 3200ft and 194 kts so they were probably clean when they hit the birds. The next swipe shows them descending.

Engine cert requires the engine to chuff a bird, water and ice but not BIRDS and with this on the fly-way, it may have been a flock. Contemplate throwing construction bricks in a cusinart... one blade goes.. another and then you have little to no thrust.

This was NOT a planned ditching so max kudos to the FAs for getting everyone off. I can't remember the last time I did a ditching scenario in tng.

The 320 is FBW which, as someone noted, means with envelope protection, NO stalls unless it went into direct law. Thus, no nose drop when it ditched and thus a less chance for blunt force trauma injuries.

Finally, no one on an inland flight listens to the briefing, especially the one about the life jackets. ERROR.. as this event proves.

Well done to the crew.. the entire crew and also to the rescue boats who were on the scene quickly.

15th Jan 2009, 22:29
Just a comment on "opened doors that allowed water ingress, sinking the airplane" All four PAX doors are normally manually actuated. Emergency opening will be done by pneumatic actuator, that is armed by cc before every flight and will go off as soon as door handle is lifted. If you don´t know how to release pressure from actuator, doors cannot be closed.
And overwing exits are throwaway items too.
Flight controls are powered by three systems. When both engine fail, only Blue system is operating - powered directly by RAT, providing power to move all primary flight controls in degraded mode and one out of five spoilers on each wing plus a little bit of movement of flaps. Also an emergency generator is powered by Blue hyd system. Flight ocntrol computers work in very degraded mode, but not sure if it is direct law or some protection is still retained - have to look in the books.
We were told that engine mounts on A-320 are designed to fail in case of ditching, shedding engines on the way.
Thats from my memory - twelve years ago I worked as licenced engineer on one of the first A-320.
At that time we were convinced that "Ditching" button on overhead panel is there just for the optimists and has nothing to do with reality. Now I am convinced that perfect ditching is possible!
Hats off and congratulations to the crew and first responders!:D:D:D


15th Jan 2009, 22:30
Seems the engines departed at some point. With the photos I have seen (15+ degrees nose up), the top of the engines should be visible above water.
Probably was a major factor in the amazing outcome.

15th Jan 2009, 22:43
Recent Washington Post photo of the aircraft sinking further, boats backed off.


15th Jan 2009, 22:43
With no winds they might, and I repeat, might have enough altitude to reach Teterboro. In no way would I recommend that based on the altitude available, NW erly winter winds, and surrounding areas.

Westchester is about 10 miles to the NE, and might have been reachable, but again, not a choice I would recommend at this low altitude.

This is a decision that had to be made in a matter of tens of seconds and they look like they made the right decision.

I miswrote earlier. Their position was over the green area just east of Bedford Park, over the Brooklyn River Parkway and Webster Ave area, at their peak altitude.

15th Jan 2009, 22:44

As far as I know on most A320s there are no life rafts - the closest thing you have are the slides, that can be detached from the airframe to be used as a large flotation aid. (Disconnect girt bar and use enclosed safety knife to slash connection line to aircraft).

15th Jan 2009, 22:48
A320 have two types of slides: slide rafts (44/55 ppl) and slides. According to the pics this aircraft had slides, that can be used as flotation devices.

Mark in CA
15th Jan 2009, 22:48
Not the first successful ditching of a jet transport. JAL landed a DC-8 (nearly new) off SFO Nov 1968, and UAL recovered the aircraft and rehabbed it. JAL continued to fly it for several years.
As I recall, that incident was not an intentional ditching, gear down, no warning, and many of the passengers didn't even realize they had landed in the water. Water depth there was also quite shallow, and the plane's gear was touching the bottom. Or am I thinking of another similar incident at SFO?

15th Jan 2009, 22:50
No life rafts, in spite of what the media has said or is saying.

YouTube - A320 Training - Slide Disconnection (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKBDJNxeFLQ&eurl=http://forums.propilotworld.com/showthread.php?p=343461#post343461&feature=player_embedded)

Tim Zukas
15th Jan 2009, 22:50
"Or am I thinking of another similar incident at SFO?"

No, that's the one.

15th Jan 2009, 22:52
The JAL DC-8 happened due to confusion over the command bars.The Capt thought they had captured the G/S when the command bars were in fact in a fixed pitch mode. He later reportedly killed himself due to guilt. The DC-8 was repaired and flew again.

And National also put a 727 into Pensacola Bay due to crew errors.

15th Jan 2009, 22:54
"A source familiar with the situation told CNN the pilot reported a double bird strike, but it was unclear whether that meant birds in both of the engines or two birds in one engine." :rolleyes:

Hey Sully, how many geese did you count? :} Outstanding job by the way, all the way around.

15th Jan 2009, 22:55
Chris Yates, an 'aviation expert' interviewed on BBC News just said that an A320 in the take off phase can't get airborne on one engine. So what are all those V1 cuts I've been practicing in the sim?When I challenged Sky News on their decision to interview Chris Yates (rather than someone who actually knows what they are talking about) following August's Spanair crash I received the following reply from their Assistant Editor, Peter Lowe:-

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Comments about Chris Yates
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 07:56:21 +0100
From: Lowe, Peter (Osterley) <[email protected]>
To: ____________

Dear Mr.__________ Thank you for your comments about Chris Yates and I’m grateful to hear this opinion of his contribution to the output.

Chris Yates is not the only commentator we use to talk about air industry matters and indeed we used several more experts on the day in question. David Learmount is probably the person we most like to use when he’s available because we agree he is a real expert on the subject.

I agree that expert commentators are only worthwhile if they add to the viewer’s understanding of the issue. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write.

Peter Lowe,
Assistant Editor, Sky NewsThis was my original email to Sky News.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Chris Yates - So Called Air Crash Expert Who In Fact Knows Nothing
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:48:59 +0100
To: [email protected]: [email protected]

Why is it that after almost every major air crash of a passenger
aircraft your channel only ever seems to interview the unimpressive
Chris Yates who has an appalling inability to present his comments in a
fluid or comprehensible manner and who seems to add very little indeed
to the viewer's understanding of what has happened.

Clearly Mr Yates always makes himself available to you at a moment's
notice but surely there must be plenty of other people with greater
knowledge of commercial aircraft (for instance David Learmount) and more
impressive presentational skills that you could also interview or
interview instead of My Yates?

I look forward to your comments.


15th Jan 2009, 22:55
Doesn't that Washington Post photo strengthen the earlier notion of one of the engines detaching during the ditch?

I'm struggling to imagine that A/C floating with the weight of 2 engines and open doors. With the angle she is sitting in the water my logic tells me that possibly the Port engine is detached. That would explain the Starboard down attitude with the Port wing in the air to counteract the engine weight on the Starboard wing.

Surely with both on or both off she would float level assuming equal lateral buoyancy.

15th Jan 2009, 22:57
I believe pilot of N461SA (from the passur monitor in the link in previous post) got quite a suprise on his way VFR up Hudson river at 1000'. He breaks quite hard right when the bus passes 500 feet above him ;)
Guess he has a story to tell when he lands:)

I'm full of respect and pride of seeing how professional aviators can preform.
Just hope the airline know to recognize this as well!

Edit: anyone know the class of airspace, low level along the river?

Mark in CA
15th Jan 2009, 22:58
Interesting web page on the Tuninter ATR-72 ditching on 06 Aug 2005, apparently by another pilot who knows the co-pilot from that flight. Includes a a copy of the last five minutes from the CVR (in Italian) and a translated transcript:

Tunisianbelle - Tuninter ATR-72 Crash on 06 Aug 2005 (http://jamiehassen.multiply.com/journal/item/205)

15th Jan 2009, 22:58
And National also put a 727 into Pensacola Bay due to crew errors.

I remember that accident. There was a tugboat that was there when the 727 hit the water. The tugboat captain placed a barge he was pushing up to the foward main cabin door and all the crew and passengers left the aircraft straight onto the barge. Most did not get their feet wet.

Mark in CA
15th Jan 2009, 23:01
And here's the story on the JAL DC-8-62 that landed in the water short of the runway at SFO in 1968:

The DC-8 that was too young to die! | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/aviation-articles/read.main?id=1)

Captain Airclues
15th Jan 2009, 23:08
Sky are naming this guy as the captain;


15th Jan 2009, 23:12
I like the first part of his ratings listing:-
"Rated: Airline Transport Pilot; Airplane Single and Multi-Engine Land; Commercial Privileges Glider; A320, B737, DC-9/MD-80, Learjet. 19,000 hours. "

You really couldn't make it up, could you?

Great job all round, of course.


15th Jan 2009, 23:13
Some has already posted details on Captain but this has more detail including his USAF career.

The Hero Of Flight 1549 - January 15, 2009 (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0115093hero1.html)

Some time you just get lucky and have all the ducks lined up in your favour, thankfully Captain didn't decide he wanted a day off.

A bit like what happen on UA232
United Airlines Flight 232 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_232)

15th Jan 2009, 23:17
I dont usually want to comment until the facts are known but one clear fact is that an amazing landing that was made on to water, so I withold nothing in praising the F/D and crew in what appears to be a miraculous occurance and their professionalism that has led to this outcome.

I am hoping that this will provide the NTSB and all aviation manufacturers with enough information about how the landing was performed and why the aircraft did not break up that saftey can be improved in situations where a water landing is necessary and aircraft design to facilitate this. Hopefully alot of stress indications and measurements can still be performed on the intact airframe along with the digital information from the flight recorders.

This could hopefully be one of the incidents that we could learn alot from without having the cost of loss of life.

*slf - not qualified pilot

Chris Scott
15th Jan 2009, 23:17
As a long-retired A320 driver, would love to read all these pages, but have a bitch in whelp. So just a few thoughts.

Is this successful ditching unprecedented for a large jet with wing-pylon-mounted engines? Ironic it should be so soon after the Perpignan (sea) accident.

Assuming double-engine failure, an attempt to start the APU would be a win-only policy, and I guess there would have been time. This would have secured decent hydraulics for the slats/flaps, and full FBW in Normal Law. So the aeroplane could have been taken to a very high alpha once it had been flared near the water. However, I can't remember the recommended ditching pitch-angle (deck angle). It may be only about 7 - 10 degrees.

Did some of the pax evacuate without their life jackets? If so, it underlines the lack of interest of so many in the briefing and flight-safety cards. I guess the first evacuees could have been out of their over-wing exits unmonitored by the cabin crew? A320 has inflating dual-lane overwing slides, as the gear is taller than the B737. There is, however, a way of de-activating them if required, before you open the window. Not something an ordinary passenger would know about, and there were only 3 flight attendants, I hear. Don't see the wing slides in the photos.

The same BBC-TV aviation pundit that someone quotes above also opined that the aircraft needs BOTH engines operating to climb after take-off... Where do they get these people?

Why did the boat (rescue) crew lift one wing out of the water, and did they think and manage to close the forward door on the other side before doing so?

The A320 is a fairly tough aeroplane, apparently. Wing pylons on all types are designed to fail on ditching, without damaging the wing structure.

Forgive me if I'm repeating previously-posted comments.
Regards, Chris

15th Jan 2009, 23:21
"Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport."

Regardless of that it would seem the pilot and crew did a remarkable job actually avoiding loss of life.

Whether he was causal to the event in any way will come out in the NTSB investigation. But it wouldn't be the first time that a pilot has seemed like a hero only to then have been found to been causal to the event or have made mistakes in subsequent flight operation, making the event worse than it should have been.

15th Jan 2009, 23:25
Does anyone know whose engines were fitted? CFM or V2500?

15th Jan 2009, 23:38
Engines are GE CFM56. probably -5 series. Local Cincinnati TV reports that GE rep. is on the way to NYC as part of the investigation.

galaxy flyer
15th Jan 2009, 23:46
Remember the FO who glided the stricken B777 into LHR ? At first he was labelled a hero and even the Captain was quick to shovel his bit on the FO - until the CAA picks a fault and now the poor FO is no longer at BA

I must have missed this one, what did he do/not do and why is he no longer at BA?


15th Jan 2009, 23:47
CNN's Chris Matthews just twice referred to the birds attacking the airplane! :ugh:

Matthews is with MSNBC, but to your point, I heard the same thing and thought to myself: "those damn Canadians"

Merlins Magic
15th Jan 2009, 23:47
Attention Reporters.

There are at least 2 pilots on all Commercial Airline Passenger flights.:ugh:

15th Jan 2009, 23:49
Reuters captions this photo saying the aircraft was brought to a dock tonight and has been secured.


15th Jan 2009, 23:52
CNN just had an interview with an NTSB director who stated pilot reported birdstrikes 40 seconds into flight and then a call of both engines out to ATC at an unstated time later. I can't wait to see the transcript of CVR. A sincere formal bow to the entire crew and the maritime folks for instant response. One FA reported to have broken leg. Correction, lacerated leg.

15th Jan 2009, 23:57
Unless I am very wrong (and it is getting late) that Reuters photo confirms that the Port engine is missing.

I believe that the engine and pylon is mounted directly under the small fairing that you can see distorted.

16th Jan 2009, 00:01
I would agree. Believe it should be visible just aft of the work boat.

16th Jan 2009, 00:02
As the aircraft becomes visible are there evidences of visible bird strikes across the width of the aircraft including leading edge devices, inlet cowls, radome, gear bogies etc.

All other multiple engine geese strikes that I'm familiar with also showed aircraft strikes across the frontal surfaces.

Also for the uniqueness of multiple engines involved, previous geese strikes have also involved some birds broken up by impacting the engine inlet cowls before ingestion.

We have heard so far today from passengers about visible fire (engine surge?) evidence from the left engine, has anything been said about the right engine?

16th Jan 2009, 00:06
... That looks like a really good piece of airmanship!
:ok:... and probably a good a/c to go with it...


16th Jan 2009, 00:07
This is a rough transcript of New York Fire Department communication for the early part of this accident, with annotations for those unfamiliar with FDNY vernacular.

1527hrs (appox.)- US Airways Airbus 320 struck birds just south of Fordham and Van Nest sections of the Bronx. [Editorial intro by the transcriber]

1529hrs- Bronx receiving numerous calls for an explosion from a commercial aircraft over the borough.

1530hrs- Bronx transmitted (2) boxes for an explosion from an aircraft. Bronx CO advising B/C's that Queens CO is in constant contact with Airport Tower and are monitoring the aircraft which is attempting to conduct an emergency landing. [CO is communications; B/C is battalion chief; box is a fire department response, which typically might be seven or eight engines (appliances). ]

1531hrs- Numerous reports to the USCG over Marine Ch. 16 of an aircraft down in the Hudson River north of the Intrepid, west of mid-river. NY Water Taxi's nearby and responding.

1532hrs- Manhattan transmitting box for a plane down in the Hudson River W. 50th st. X Hudson River.

1532hrs- R-1 urgent for plane down in the river. Marine 1 also transmitting Urgent for aircraft down and transmitting 10-60 Major Emergency. (2) NY Water Taxi ferries already on scene and removing victims. [R-1 is Rescue Squad 1]

1535hrs- Transmitting 10-60/2nd Alarm. PD and FD units commandeering vessels, including the Circle Line and responding to the aircraft. [2nd Alarm would be an additional 6 or 7 engines above those assigned on the initial alarm (box).]

1540hrs- NYPD Harbor, USCG, FDNY Marine 1A arriving. Units rpt numerous passengers 'standing on the wings.'

16th Jan 2009, 00:08
I've know "Sully" for a number of years.. an excellent 'stick' and all round good guy.


16th Jan 2009, 00:11
Another report regarding the final moments of the captain: He was the last to leave the a/c, wading through hip high water throughout the cabin to make sure there were no other passengers, before he evacuated. The image of those last few moments for him leaves me with incredible awe and respect. The adrenaline and the presence of mind to stay calm are opposing reactions and he accomplished both.

While that may be in the SOP's, one never knows the character of a person until that person is tested. I'd say this man has surpassed anything any passenger could hope to encounter in their captain.

Well done, US 1549! You've instilled further confidence in my opinion of US air carriers. :D:D:D

16th Jan 2009, 00:13
"Does anyone else besides me consider that maybe this crew screwed up? Maybe they actually shut down the good engine during a severe damage engine shutdown while attempting to return to the airport."

Unlikely due to procedures used. When shutting down an engine, the PF guards the good engine and the PM shuts down the failed engine. And there are NO memory items.

16th Jan 2009, 00:20
Hopefully the aircraft can be removed from the water before it is too badly damaged by the action of the current and tide, in it's current location it is likely to have high loads inflicted on it.

There maybe lessons to be learnt about ditching from this airframe. For example I'd be interested in the manner of the engines separation from the pylons. I'd imagine there will be a fishing trip for the engines in the next few days if they have indeed separated from the wings.

I'd also be interested in how much (if any) damage the rescue boats did to the wings and if that caused the aircraft to sink faster than perhaps it would have, possibly due to rupturing fuel tanks. Would be good to update the understanding of possible floating times in ditched aircraft and the effect of fuel tank air/fuel levels on aircraft buoyancy. Don't get me wrong I think the boat crews did a great job and almost certainly prevented more serious injuries due to exposure to the very cold water.

16th Jan 2009, 00:24
As an A320 pilot myself, it's reassuring to see the airframe in one piece after a ditching.

Interesting to see the hits on Google for "Chesley Sullenberger" rising by the minute. Well, mildly interesting anway... :8

16th Jan 2009, 00:25
It sounds like from what I've been reading that birdstrikes (plural) are likely to be catastrophic for an aircraft, especially if there are say birdstrikes into all engines.
If that's the case, how common are birdstrikes (plural)? I'm trying to pre-empt what may come out of the investigation, in terms of preventing (or reducing the likelihhod) of this happening again. That is, if there is anything that can be done.

Capt Kremin
16th Jan 2009, 00:34
Its not common, thank goodness.

A Qantas 747 lost two engines just after takeoff in 1973 from Sydney airport after flying into a flock of seagulls. That aircraft was saved by a superior piece of airmanship as well.

Well done to this USAir Crew, both to the pilots and cabin crew.:ok:

16th Jan 2009, 00:37
Yes, the pilots and FA's did a great job of ditching and evacuating the plane. Sully's reputation is a fine one by any standards.

NOW, let's wake up to reality.

AS a profession, we learned some things about ditching.

AND as a wake up call, the whole BIRD thing must be revisited. I recall a dual engine failue( due to rain)of a CFM56 engined plane, a TACA 737-300, that made a good landing on a levee a number of years ago.

All the BIRD protection groups better figure something out, because the good people of New York will not give up an airport for the birds.

I call upon ATC to review their RAW radar tapes to see if a large flock of birds was visible on RAWRADAR (non secondary). AND IF IT WAS, we must keep a watch/warning network for the already overburdened ATC system.

Please note that the pictures seem to show the planes flaps/slats in the takeoff configuration or nearly so.

I hope the CFM56 engines are retested for bird strikes after this ditching.

AND BE DARN GLAD the birds didn't get through the windshield incapacitating the pilots...

16th Jan 2009, 00:46
Yep, looks like the inboard half of the slat is mid. Outboard portion is gone. Do they auto-deploy on the bus?

16th Jan 2009, 00:55
Obviously kudos to the Captain and the crew for an outstanding job of flying this in successfully and making sure everyone was safely out. But I think another big huzzaa should go to the ferry captains who where the first on site, and got so many people off. I doubt that they are trained for this kind of rescue, and a lot of improvising had to happen. Still, they got many people out of the water and/or off the wings in a very short period. There are several videos showing one boat at the aircraft and two more on the way. Very well done for people who just did the right thing.


16th Jan 2009, 01:14
Studying the still pictures it appears that the majority of passengers were not wearing life vests and the over wing chute is nowhere to be seen.

Will be interesting to understand why most passengers did not don life vests, given the time between the turn to the river and the impact.

In any emergency near water perhaps it should become part of emergency procedure to don life vests especially so in cold climates?

I know it costs money to check and repack the vests once they have been donned, are there other reasons for passengers as a precaution not to don vests?


16th Jan 2009, 01:20
Mickjoebill, I'll speculate for you.

How many dumb knowitall SLF, who don't bother to listen to cabin crew or read the safety instruction cards, inflated their vests inside the aircraft? Couldn't get out the exits and had to remove the vest? More than a few I'd bet.

Pure speculation of course :suspect:

16th Jan 2009, 01:27
Roosevelt Hospital, 11 patients treated, 10 released, last stable and declined publication of injury. St. XXX treated 9 and released 7, last two undisclosed but stable.

16th Jan 2009, 01:28
"As a profession, we learned some things about ditching." ???? That the plane lands, and floats, exactly as the manual shows us? And, as expected, with a contolled landing(high survival rate), the fuselage will stay together and float for awhile?

Lots of drama on the news. At least my kids, and to a lesser extent my wife, realize the folks did what they've done for years -

1. fly the plane
2. analyze the situation
3. take appropriate action

High drama! "The missed the G.W. bridge by only 900'" - My kids understand now that flying 900' above something is not a 'miss'. And if they'd have been to low to clear the G.W....., they could have turned north away from the G.W.

Or, if after turning south and realizing they couldn't clear the G.W. bridge, and will no altitude to turn, could have gone under the G.W. That would have been interesting, but at the time a simple fact of the PIC doing what he had to do to accomplish points 1, 2, and 3.

My guess is the trancripts will appear to be almost boring, but obviously high drama because the event is very unusual. It will be time compressed points 1, 2, and 3 above.

Excellent job, :D but oy, the drama! :rolleyes:

16th Jan 2009, 01:35
This is image #5 of 73 currently:

US Airways Flight 1549 pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III has been hailed as a hero for safely landing the plane after two engines blew out Thursday in New York City. The captain for US Airways (http://www.newsday.com/topic/politics/government/national-government/united-states-ORGOV0000001.topic) has more than 40 years of flying experience, according to a safety Web site. (safetyreliability.com Photo)


Full series of photos here (many are duplicates though)
Hudson River Plane Crash: Jet goes down in Hudson River in NYC -- Newsday.com (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nyjet0117-pg,0,176050.photogallery)

16th Jan 2009, 01:45
If the poor fellow was at 900' coming over the GW bridge and gliding, he couldn't make Teteboro, Westchester or Newark. He only had 2 choices...The NJ Turnpike or the river. Neither choice jumps off the page as preferable.

That's a major issue with LGA. It's surrounded by Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan etc and if the you know what hits the fan like it did today, your options are extremely limited at best.

These guys really earned their pay today. An absolute miracle that no fatalities occured.

16th Jan 2009, 01:52
Absolutly great to see that it is possible for a wing mounted engine airliner to survive a ditching, however I think that aside from the great airmanship from the crew in the ditching itself and the moments immediately afterwards, that the fact that there was little or no swell played a huge factor in the outcome of this event.

Had the same 'touchdown' occured in open water I think the result would of been tragically different.

Well Done

16th Jan 2009, 02:00
My congratulations, too. Just a couple of points.

Several posters have wondered why the ditching outcome here was so different from that with Air Florida in the Potomac. Two reasons. The US Airways flight appears to have gained 3000 feet of altitude before descending. Air Florida never made it up to more than a hundred or so feet. So more time for the US Airways crew to manouver. And second, on its way down, the Air Florida plane clipped one of the Fourteenth Street bridges across the river -- which inflicted damage that may have prevented any prolonged ability for it to float.

Also, as to the question about why so few passengers appear to be wearing life vests. It is possible that this plane wasn't equipped with them -- relying on seat cushions, instead.

Wonderful result and story all around! Kudos!

galaxy flyer
16th Jan 2009, 02:01
Earlier someone asked about previous birdstike-related crashes. C-P noted the loss of an AWACS in Elmendorf AFB (Anchorage, AK) after multiple birdstrikes. I know of two C-5s that were nearly brought down by birstrikes, knew both captains, one received a DFC for returning with two out on one side. Eastern lost an Electra at KBOS after multiple birdstrikes.

When you see the high-speed photography of birdstrike test, it is amazing the damage an engine can withstand. Equally amazing, birds can kill an engine OR TWO!


16th Jan 2009, 02:03
Also, as to the question about why so few passengers appear to be wearing life vests. It is possible that this plane wasn't equipped with them -- relying on seat cushions, instead.


<CR2 shakes head in wonder>

16th Jan 2009, 02:07
Several recent CNN images of the AC secured to shore have the port wing clear of the water. I don't see an engine attached. I imagine NY has a couple barge cranes that can be in position by tomorrow to lift the AC to surface if not onto another barge.

16th Jan 2009, 02:11
newarksmells - flight tracker had them crossing the G.W. bridge at 1400'. The press has made that into "OMG, they missed the G.W. bridge by 900'.

Both are true, but one is a non event and one is pure drama.

16th Jan 2009, 02:19
Well done to the pilots and the cabin crew for a text book landing on the water and getting all tha pax out safely.
I think both of the engines were struck by birds because if it was a single strike the aircraft had sustained sufficient altitude to enable it to return back to the airport for a single engine landing.
Again to the flight crew I salute you.

Kulwin Park
16th Jan 2009, 02:32
Well Done to all ... amazing really, but maybe Airbus has designed a floating hull instead of a flying fuselage, without really even knowing it - awesome!!!! :ok:

I think this will become a simulator now, or maybe a practice aircraft for the Fire-ries to play with at the airort of a day :E

Larry in TN
16th Jan 2009, 02:37
Did U.S Airways CEO mention only 3 FA's for more than 150 pax?? Surely he means 4?

It's one F/A per 50 passenger SEATS, not passengers. With lap babies you can go over the 1/50 ratio.

galaxy flyer
16th Jan 2009, 02:44
I hope it becomes the recurrent sim profile. No more engine failure at V1, run thru the QRH drills, hold, fly ILS to mins, miss, back into the pattern for another ILS or a divert. Take-off, lose both, ditch, time for coffee.


Pilot DAR
16th Jan 2009, 02:54
Great job Crew!

Another poster commented on ground radar not telling them about the geese (presupposing those are the facts). That though occurred to me too. Last spring I was at 5500 feet, 70 miles east of Quebec City, and the radar controller there told me to have a look just off my right for birds, sure enough, geese! I sure am impressed with the radar he is using!

Pilot DAR

16th Jan 2009, 03:01
Oh puhleeze! A HERO he certainly wasn't!!!


As for the pilots and crew, they performed superbly and are certainly VALUE FOR MONEY. However to call them heroes is stretching really it rich and fat. The captain and copilot are certainly the best professionals and are really a great credit to the pilot profession.........they signed up for a mission on accepting to operate that flight and THEY CERTAINLY PROVED they deserve the greatest respect and gratitude of USAir and the general public. THEYA ARE NOT INCIDENTAL HEROES, but superbly valuable professionals who the public and aviation industry MUST TRULY VALUE, period.

Romeo India Xray
16th Jan 2009, 03:08
I applaud both the guys at the front and the CC for a job well done :D If our paths should cross at any time in the future then the beers are on me - you have done our profession proud, all of you!

FD crew, an especially excellent job - I also have a lot of gliding time and wonder if I would have been able to make such an excellent job when faced with the same hand of cards. I have never flown a 'bus so can't relate it to this accident, but I know I wouldn't much fancy it in the 73 (would any of us?).

I hope it becomes the recurrent sim profile. No more engine failure at V1, run thru the QRH drills, hold, fly ILS to mins, miss, back into the pattern for another ILS or a divert. Take-off, lose both, ditch, time for coffee.

I was just thinking this and then your post came up - I am in a position to do something about this where I work. I will be calling a meeting in 4 hours time to get a re-evaluation regarding Subpart D, which will affect the 7 large (CAT) types for which I have some input. Heathrow, Rome and now this accident all in a year, I think there is enough call to mandate it as a sim training element!!!

On a different note, a few months ago I was appraising a 320 TR programme and was jibing the HT about the bus facility of having a ditching button and the fact that it must be provided by bus to make the crew feel better that they were about to pop off to meet Davy Jones. I shall now go back to same HT and eat a serious slice of humble pie - well done Airbus for providing this, I would never have thought it but seems you were right on the money with this quirky facility :D


Edit to add - I am not suggesting engine fail at V1 shall come out of SP D, but I think management and mitigation of loss of both/all powerplants shall be from now on considered as part of recurrent.

16th Jan 2009, 03:18
I believe this A320 did not have pax vests, since it does not overfly large stretches of water. The vests seen probably came from the rescue boats.

Willi B
16th Jan 2009, 03:18
Let's just hope this is recognized and not forgotten when the inevitable flock of vultures from the law firms arrive on the scene and start looking for people to sue.Not quite. Lawyers don't sue. They act on instructions from clients who want to sue.

Sand dune Sam
16th Jan 2009, 03:20
Well done captain and crew for a fantastic result....as with any thing like this there is an element of luck...allot of luck, however I'm certain that the experience and professionalism of the crew was a significant factor in the outcome..again, well done and extremely proud of you all.

16th Jan 2009, 03:30
Captain Sully already has a fan page put up on his behalf at Facebook.

The Zoomies at work will be hard to live with after this. Hope the copilot was Navy.:)

16th Jan 2009, 03:36
I heard an eyewitness observing from an office window (next to the river) say the landing gear was down, "just like a normal landing".

Seems counter intuitive for a ditching but, we shall soon find out. Be interesting to see what happened to the engines too. Two less birds to worry about, 3 if you count the airplane. Best possible outcome though, glad for everyone.

john clements
16th Jan 2009, 03:37
no electric pax doors on 320!! :ugh::ugh::rolleyes::rolleyes:

16th Jan 2009, 03:47
Yep they deserve it!

Especially Brittany Catanzaro the captain of the second ferry to reach the aircraft. :D

But Catanzaro knew exactly what to do. She said she and her crew train each month for water rescues.
"We have to do man overboard, and we're constantly drilling. Constantly," she said. "And when something comes, you already know how to take effect and how to put everything together, so it just went very smoothly."
Catanzaro immediately told her crew to get life jackets on, take extras to throw in the water, and prepare a cradle to help bring passengers onto the boat. The boat was the second on the scene.
"When I got there, my crew went to work and started pulling out people," she said. "Some people were sighing with relief, some people were crying. It was nerve-wracking."
In all, Catanzaro's crew helped bring 24 people aboard.

I wonder if she drinks Coke or Pepsi? :E

(she is 20 and "under age") :O

She was in the news last month.
MyFox New York | A Youthful Ferry Captain (http://www.myfoxny.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=8063853&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1)


Mark in CA
16th Jan 2009, 03:55
Local SFO Bay Area news programs starting to grab onto the local angle here. Sully lives in Danville, which is essentially a suburb of San Francisco, about 30 miles east of the city. I imagine the news crews will be camping out in front of the family home there. Fully expect a big time reception at the airport when he returns home.

16th Jan 2009, 04:00
info, background on the pf..so we know where the great stuff comes from.:ok:

C. B. "Sully" Sullenberger - LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/209/118)

16th Jan 2009, 04:15
....3.5 out of 4 on a Nimrod, ex Kinloss, 17 Nov 1980, Canadian Geese at 20' on takeoff....

The same frail humans the industry and public are so quick to blame for being human are also able to make the difference when things go awry.

Airbus? Toyota tuff!

16th Jan 2009, 04:18
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/nyregion/16rescue.html?_r=1&hpThe police divers found two women, going limp, with minutes to live in the frigid waters between New York and New Jersey.

“They were lethargic,” said one of the divers, Detective Michael Delaney. “They were no help whatsoever. Their extremities were frozen cold.”

He and the other diver, Detective Robert Rodriguez, shoved one of the women aboard a boat with the help of workers on board. Detective Delaney soon helped the other woman aboard as well.

That was the scene in the minutes after US Airways Flight 1549 slid into the Hudson River on Thursday afternoon after the crew reported that the plane had struck a flock of birds shortly after leaving La Guardia Airport.

For a moment after the water landing, it was a picture of eerie calm, the airplane floating on its belly in the center of the river near West 48th Street under a bright sky. A witness in a penthouse apartment called it a perfect landing, as if on cement.

But very soon the water was churned by an ad hoc flotilla of boats and ferries flying the flags of most every city, state and federal agency that works the waters around New York City. They sped toward the slowly sinking jet, a rescue operation complicated by river currents that kept dragging the plane south, as its passengers climbed aboard the wings to await help...

The plane’s pilot walked the aisles of the cabin twice to ensure no one was left behind before he exited...

Vessels from the New York Police and Fire Departments and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey worked with New York Waterway ferries, which sent 14 boats, and the Coast Guard in the rescue. “We sent as many boats as we had,” said Alan Warren of New York Waterway.

The operation was not without improvisation: Four New York police officers commandeered a Circle Line boat picking up tourists and commuters at 42nd Street and hurried to the jet. Two officers stayed on the ferry and tied themselves to two detectives, John McKenna and James Coll, who stepped onto the wing and helped people onto rescue boats, the police said.

The divers were at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn when the call came over the radio of an airplane down.

A pilot at the field, Sgt. Michael Hendrix, 42, said that he imagined it was a small airplane, a routine job.

The pilot and the divers scrambled aboard a helicopter. Air traffic controllers gave them a special route to the Hudson River.

Sergeant Hendrix took the helicopter on a path that passed the Empire State Building and as he passed the skyscraper, he dipped the helicopter down. He saw the jetliner in the water — its tube floating and US Airways spelled out on its side. “I never, in a million years, expected to see US Airways in the Hudson River,” he said...

The helicopter hovered, making sure not to get too close out of concern that the winds from the rotor would push passengers into the water, Sergeant Hendrix said. The divers jumped from the helicopter not far from the water. About five to seven minutes had passed since the 911 call, Sergeant Hendrix said.

The divers saw the women fighting for their lives in the water.

The women were clinging to a ferry but were unable to get aboard as the water quickly numbed them. Detective Delaney entered the water without an air tank, but only his diving suit, mask and snorkel and approached a woman floating in a life vest, he said.

“She was very frantic,” he said. “I just told her to relax and tell me what her name was.” She feared the ferry she was holding onto would run her over, he said.

The second woman had panicked and fallen off a ferry, the divers said. “I swam over to her and helped her in,” Detective Delaney said...

A majority of the patients were in stable condition. “Mild signs of hypothermia,” ...

Honorio Hector Rabanes, a deckhand on the Thomas Keane, a New York Waterway ferry, summed up the just-doing-our-jobs underplaying of the rescue typical of many who spoke of it Thursday night.

“Basically, let me tell you, we were in the right place at the right time,” he said.

But he went on to describe the panic of the passengers: “When we got near them, we heard a lot of yelling. Once they saw us, they were still panicking. We saw two babies on the lifeboat and we tried to get them to pass them to us, but they couldn’t listen. They were just holding on to them tight.”Very, very fortunate this ditching was not in an isolated area. Without the timely and well done marine rescue, this cold water ditching could have resulted in major losses.

QF skywalker
16th Jan 2009, 04:23
This crew really have done the industry proud.

From a flight attendants view , I am so amazed at how the 3 cabin crew ( 2 seated at front...1 at rear ?? ) managed to control 150 people once the aircraft landed in water. Not an easy task.

The cabin crew IMHO are heroic too.


16th Jan 2009, 04:46
The plane’s pilot walked the aisles of the cabin twice to ensure no one was left behind before he exited...

Aisles, plural, of an A320?

Bear in mind that this elementary error comes from the New York Times, which bills itself as "The Paper of Record", the most authoritative press organ in America. So much for that. Are there any journalists who get their aviation details correct?

In any event, kudos to the captain for calm and professionalism, and for having taken the time under strained circumstances to double-check.

16th Jan 2009, 04:49
IMHO, both engines likely departed the wing simultaneously. If only one remained, the drag of it would yank the aircraft around it causing the level of damage seen with Ethiopian 767 (wing with engine still attached being ripped from the wingbox). This aircraft being still very intact indicates to me that lateral forces were kept to a minimum (the drag on each wing remained more or less equal during the ditch).

16th Jan 2009, 04:50
Great job! I hope someone managed to capture this on video as it would be an exellent training aid. Touching wingtip and ground looping à la B757 off Kenya was NOT way to go. Obviously his technique, configuration and attitude at touchdown were flawless to keep that airplane in one piece.

With his CV he should be re-writing the SOP's for ditching.



16th Jan 2009, 04:53
Why the hell would anyone start thinking that the crew made some mistake?

Let me say what is on my mind -

1. The crew did one fantastic job!!!!!!!

2. Anyone blaming the crew needs to go take a swim in the same river!!!!

3. From the look of it - it is highly probable that the aircraft lost both engines which is not difficult if a single bird the size of a duck can take out the engine on a wide body the chances of it happening to take out both when striking a flock of birds with multiple birds going through the engines are very high!!!!

4. Can't you for one minute except that sh!t sometimes does happen and it is pure skill and probably years of experience that saved the people on board!


16th Jan 2009, 05:09
An item in the Crikey e-zine in Australia says it didn't sink because the cabin crew made sure the rear doors weren't opened.

Ben Sandilands writes:

There is something about single aisle jets like the one that splashed down on New York's Hudson River today that you are never told in safety briefings on any airline.
And that is that if you were to pop the rear exits in a "water parking" incident like today's, the jet will sink -- very, very quickly.
Airbus A320s, like the one involved in today's dramatic but fatality-free crash, and their Boeing 737 counterparts, will come to rest in survivable ditchings in a tail down attitude with the rear door sills under water.
But airlines all around the world consider this "too much information". Instead passengers are asked to study "the safety card in front of you", which gives easy to follow instructions, also reproduced in large letters and symbols on the inside of the doors, as to how to release the doors if the cabin attendants are "incapacitated".
Bear this in mind. You are asked to note your nearest exit. And you are shown how to operate it. But you are never told not to deploy the rear doors if you find yourself on a body of water like Port Phillip, or Botany Bay, or the mouth of the Brisbane River.
A US Airways Airbus A320. Notice the rear doors near the tail
http://media.crikey.com.au/Media/images/090116-a320B-6f35de79-d840-4d31-af4b-0421157715e3.jpg The Airbus A320 after landing. The rear doors are now submerged.

In today's outstandingly successful emergency landing on the Hudson River, the crew seated in the jump seats beside each rear door had been trained to urge passengers forward to the overwing and front sets of exits in such a situation.
This was exceptionally important in New York today. Not only was the river freezing cold, but fast flowing. The jet floated from around 50th Street on Manhattan to at least 23rd Street in a matter of minutes, bedecked on the wings, and the forward door slides, with passengers looking as if they were waiting for a train.
The forward slides on which most of them were standing could also have been detached and turned into life boats.
Awareness of the dangers of the rear exits in a ditching is just one of the critical elements of cabin crew training at Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue.
But what if the rear section cabin crew were incapacitated?
Maybe a sign DO NOT OPEN AFTER A WATER LANDING should be affixed to the inside of the rear doors. CASA and the airlines have been asked for their views on this.
http://media.crikey.com.au/Media/images/090116-a320-flightpath-4ce208cc-b2ed-4186-9600-27650f21184d.jpg The flight path from take-off to crash landing. Courtesy of Aviation Herald (http://avherald.com/h?article=41370ebc&opt=0)

Early reports are that the US Airways flight struck geese soon after takeoff. However, the height above ground and the momentum of the jet seems to come together fortuitously, because live flight tracking sites showed it reached a height of about 3000 feet, and remained airborne for around six minutes before splashdown.
(These figures are unofficial.)
After crossing a tract of suburbs and electing not to land at the small Teterboro field which they were fast approaching, the pilots glided the plane down the Hudson River, clearing the George Washington Bridge and its 180 metre tall pylons before splash down.
Bird strikes causing passenger flight crashes are rare. The last significant accident was 48 years ago, on 4 October 1960, when an Eastern Air Lines Electra turbo prop hit seagulls on taking off at Boston's Logan Airport and crashed with the loss of 62 lives out of 72 people on board.

Dream Land
16th Jan 2009, 05:10
Captain "Sully" and crew, great job! :D:D

16th Jan 2009, 05:10
It's a VFR corridor up to 1100' then above that you're in Class Bravo. LGA tower controls the section south of the GW Bridge if I remember correctly.

Looking at the Passur Airport Monitor replay it looks like he had lost at least 1400' in the steep left turn and by the time he was wings level southbound it's hard to imagine he could have made Teterboro. The ditch looks like the only way to go, even with 20-20 hindsight and time to think. Hats off for the lightening quick call by Sully and perfect execution.


16th Jan 2009, 05:13
Fantastic job by the whole crew.

Point of order on the comments about the Ethiopian ditching.
Don't forget Captain Abate was trying to fight off hijackers who were grappling with the controls right up to the point that the wing tip dug in. I'm sure his attempts would have had an even more favourable outcome if he had been allowed to fly unimpeded.

16th Jan 2009, 05:17
Yip an amazing job by the crew.

...... and to all those from parts of the world that regularly and arrogantly
crtiticize our American colleauges for how "casual " they are on the radio's ; what a low academic standard their licence has ; how cavalier they seem to be etc. I hope this rubs your nose in it .

well done gentleman , and off course Mr Airbus seems to have bulit a strong machine. ( also I hope rubbing some critics noses right in it)

16th Jan 2009, 05:20
Having just woken up to report for my flight this morning and missing out on the news when this happened, it really does keep me going, when we learn of crew like this US Airways crew, who are professional and do exactly what is expected of them as crew.

As cabin crew, I don't think we always appreciate the skills that our pilots have and it is great to see the dedication and hard work of flight crew..

I now need to get ready for a lovely 11 hour flight on the good old 747! Well done to all of the crew at US Airways 1549.

16th Jan 2009, 05:24
Are there any journalists who get their aviation details correct?A few, but they are of course in the huge minority.

I know about a dozen who never make any errors and who always check to the nth degree even under pressure: one highly-acclaimed gentleman from Northern Ireland who works in Wa (the only West Coast aerospace commentator of any description who knows the industry), a couple of true aerospace specialists in Va, three or four on the East Coast, one seriously talented young French lady in London, a sharp-as-can-be Frenchman, also in London (there are NO competent or objective French aerospace journalists in France itself due to heavy pro-Airbus bias but there are two or three excellent US female journos in Paris), plus a couple of conscientious people in the Far East.

You can always tell a good journalist by the questions he or she asks, not just by the articles he or she writes.

16th Jan 2009, 05:30
I seem to recall that Air NZ had a very close call in the early 80's when a B747 that departed Christchurch flew into a flock of seagulls. Multiple engine damage/shutdowns/restarts - but a happy ending.

I trust that the company bought new undies all round for the tech crew!

Dr :8

QF skywalker
16th Jan 2009, 05:36

I totally agree with you. Pax are not told enough information about ditching and in this case if there was only 1 flight attendant at the rear then he/she has done a marvellous job in redirecting all the pax to the overwings and the forward doors. Placards would be a good idea on the internal rear doors of aircraft that shouldn't be opened in a ditching, but this can be confusing as this can be different even on the same aircraft type ( i.e - 737-300/400 rear doors ARE opened in ditching, 737-800 they are NOT opened ).

Having worked on aircraft where you are the only attendant at the rear I can tell you the thought of hysterical and paniced passengers coming towards you is a scary one - especially when you are alone. This is another reason why I hate the 1/50 ratio of crew/pax in some countries.

Ultimately the overwing briefing and safety demonstration is our best chance of pointing out these 'ditching' differences on each flight, and this accident I hope, will give more airlines motivation to update safety cards, overwing briefs and safety demonstration videos.

16th Jan 2009, 05:40
Is there no way that we can get aviation associations to investigate this suggestion further? I know it's probably been suggested a million and one times, but it seems like it is something that needs to be seriously considered

16th Jan 2009, 05:41
Appologies if it's been said aready, but there's a Harmon Trophy if ever I saw one!

16th Jan 2009, 05:53
Hey all,

Great coverage!

Do you think there will be any video of the landing? Hopefully somebody got on a mobile of something - that can then go into the training manual!!



16th Jan 2009, 06:08
First- re: previous double birdstrike incidents... wasn't there one a few years ago where a Fokker 100 had double engine failure due bird ingestion, overran runway and came to rest in a field... (landing gear pictured in front of fuselage ifI recall correctly)

Second- perhaps people are confusing the Airbus 'power assisted' doors with 'electrically operated' doors- power assist helps in door opening when armed but is not always avilable in the event of electrical failure... electrically operated is just that- push a button and the door opens (as for some B767)

Third- large numbers of pax on slides/wing due to only 1 pair of doors opened armed, rear doors underwater so cannot be opened. If off wing slide can be disarmed then I'd say the crew would have done this if they could have. Or perhaps it just didn't deploy. (767 slide deploys just aft of wing which I believe in the same attitude as the A320 in this case the panel would be underwater, hence would not deploy?)

Fourth- Ben Sandilands needs to get a clue. If you were trying to open a door the size of an A320 underwater the pressure would keep it closed, it would be practically impossible to open as it goes outwards... unless you can make a hole in it somehow, and you don't want to do that in a ditching surely...! :E If pax actually looked at the safety card, on aircraft such as the 737 and A320 it clearly shows exits ONLY from the overwings and fwd doors... maybe just a hint that you're not meant to exit from the rear? Moot point though as I said good luck to the pax trying to get rear doors open underwater!

Fifth- Great job done by flight crew, cabin crew, bystanders and emergency agencies in assisting this outcome.

16th Jan 2009, 06:19
CNN have named the pilot -He is part of some safety group/organisation - didn't get his name,

No, they have named the CAPTAIN! When are you guys ever gonna learn that being a pilot is a profession, being a Captain/First Officer is a rang. In commercial operations you have ONE Captain and ONE First Officer who are BOTH pilots! Seems like media never learns.....

Job well done by the CREW! (Captain,FO and cabin crew!)


16th Jan 2009, 06:23
Because of some misinformation on this thread and at risk of being pedantic, let me spell out requirements pertinent to ditching and bird ingestion. I’ll paraphrase the late 1980’s version of Federal Regs which I think is close enough to certification basis of A320. Note that the regulations current at the date when design began generally apply for the whole production life of the type – which in itself a contentious issue!

“FAR 25.807(e) Ditching Emergency Exits” requires “…..one exit above the waterline ….for each unit of 35 passengers….” Flotation attitude of the aircraft for all distributions of payload and fuel is usually demonstrated by tank testing a model.

“FAR33.77 Foreign Object Ingestion” requires that ingestion of :
- one 4 pound bird not cause fire or hazardous fragmentation
- one 3-ounce bird per 50 suare inch of inlet area up to max of 16 birds or one 1.5 pound bird for first 300 square inches plus one for each additional 600 square inches not cause more than 25 % power loss.
Bottom line is that 2 geese and you’re down!

Congratulations to the pilots and whole crew but let’s not forget the designers and regulators who came up with a robust plane

The Green Goblin
16th Jan 2009, 06:24
I was stunned watching this on Skynews while on standby today. I just hope I can show the same professionalism, airmanship and no doubt CRM if ever presented with similar circumstances.

I'll have a beer for you tonight!

Well done :ok:

16th Jan 2009, 06:30
Just watched the evening news here and you can clearly see that the bottom of the rear doors are just under water as the rescue effort begins and gradually get lower. I think a cabin attendant confronted with people wanting to use those doors would have a hand full of trouble, especially trying to her them forward. One guy said the water was up to his neck in the back of the cabin before he could get out.

Fantastic effort by the pilots and cabin crew.

16th Jan 2009, 06:36
Firstly, congratulations to ALL involved, an almost unbelievable outcome.
As a result of this probable double bird-strike and Ryanair's incident at Rome lst year I guess we need to possibly review our risk assessment on bird activity adjacent to aerodromes? We have been very lucky, albeit allied to fantastic crew skills.