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NTSB Final Report on US Airways 1549

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NTSB Final Report on US Airways 1549

Old 30th May 2010, 09:02
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NTSB Final Report on US Airways 1549

http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2010/AAR1003.pdf
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Old 30th May 2010, 15:35
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I'm often amazed how a CO or FO's innocuous statement in the CVR transcript often presages the coming emergency. Sullenberger blithely states, 30 seconds before the bird strike - "uh beautiful view of the Hudson today.." - perhaps this view spring-loaded him for ditching and helped focus his energies. An attempt to return to LGA would surely have failed.

Fate is the hunter - often the prophetic remark has a darker ending. (UAL 585, AAL 587).

-drl
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Old 30th May 2010, 15:53
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Thanks for the link, some interesting weekend reading in there, and some wry smiles:

... an Evacuation checklist, which included the following procedures for the captain: select parking brake ON, turn engine master switches 1 and 2 to OFF
...
The captain stated that he considered completing his part of the checklist but that he realized that the items would not help the situation
I bet he deadpanned that statement in his interview too.

On a more serious note:
  • 17% of pax watched the safety brief (or "most" of it)
  • 8% of pax actually looked at the safety card
  • 6% of pax got themselves a life jacket
Ouch. They were very very lucky to be in an EOW aircraft with the pilot they had, but that's really riding your luck.
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Old 30th May 2010, 17:16
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PilotS (plural)
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Old 31st May 2010, 01:36
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6% of pax got themselves a life jacket
Including one who didn't watched the safety brief and the safety card!



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Old 31st May 2010, 19:42
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A fair and eye opening report to all in aviation.

Three pages of checklist to be completed in 2,500' whilst manipulating switches and providing support to the PF. Also some procedural steps of the stand alone Ditching Checklist missing, i.e. switching off nuisance warnings, i.e. GPWS.

Also, one would hope that there will be a similar change like that that occurred after the SWR 111 fire. If at any stage a Ditching or Forced landing is imminent go straight to the BOXED PRIORITY PROCEDURAL ITEMS, only resume the original checklist if time avails.
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Old 31st May 2010, 22:51
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wetbehind the ear

I would use the term : maintain a flare reserve.

sadly, I can't open the PDF to read the report...but early on in the discussion, sully mentioned throughout that he just kept the stick back for optimum glide...but didn't have anything left in terms of energy to arrest the descent.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 02:37
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If a non-pilot might be permitted to make an observation, from what I've read, accurately judging height above water can be difficult, so maintaining excess speed to flare may be of doubtful benefit - a misjudgement could make the resulting impact worse than a steady rate of descent. Imagine the situation in poor visibility. I'd say an 'optimum glide' approach should be all that can reasonably be allowed for...
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 02:44
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someguyonthedeck

in the above post, the test pilot used the raido altimeter/radar altimeter to help judge his height above the water.

while on open water, away from other visual references, without the radio altimeter, it would be more difficult.

but in New York, with many common things nearby to compare heights, it shouldn't have been too hard.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 02:57
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SomeGuyOnTheDeck,
And to second what protectthehornet wrote:
Basic floatplane skills
Calm conditions known as glassy water are the most deceptive phenomenon known to the float pilot. It is an
outright dangerous surface to land on if not completely comfortable with the procedures. The height above the
water surface is impossible to estimate correctly, making it extremely difficult to judge the final few feet. Many
experienced float pilots have been caught up in the deception. The most dangerous glassy water condition is
when the water surface is clear. The pilot will be looking at the bottom of the river or lake and not at the surface of
the water.
They had a lot of visual clues in the Hudson River to complete their water landing "adequately"
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 03:02
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Protectthehornet, I can see the merit of using a radio altimeter if it is working, but is it necessarily wise to assume it will?

I'm not suggesting that in the case of flight 1549 allowing sufficient excess speed to flare would have been wrong - with hindsight it might have reduced damage and injuries - but as a more general observation, expecting an accurate flare might be unrealistic, and if a plane is to be expected to survive a ditching, a flare should not be assumed.

It can't be realistic to assume everything the pilots do in such circumstances is optimal, instead one should assume they are competent, and do what would be reasonably expected. I'd say that those on flight 1549 far exceeded this...
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 05:38
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some guyon the deck

why wouldn't the radio altimeter work? lack of electrical power? hitting the thing with a spanner?

the radio altimeter is probably as reliable as the radio (and they used it to call ATC), and the flight controls.

And of course, if they had been without a radio altimeter, and on a glassy surface, I too would just set up a min descent and hope for the best

but they weren't.

quite frankly, I might have gone for interstate 80...but I wonder what the bridge toll would have been.

;-)
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 07:52
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Wasn't Sully just holding the a/c on alpha prot? So the a/c was just flying it's own pitch. I guess it was also trying to action alpha floor to no avail. Amazing it stayed in normal law. Like others he was lucky & the flying technique was not found wanting.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 08:48
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other way around ...

None of my business really because I'm SLF but I really prefer that the other way around ... the flying technique was not found wanting which gave him the chance to get lucky ....
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 12:23
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About twice as important as sink rate: they hit wings level. The structure took the decel load straight down the fuselage.

One wingtip or nacelle hitting a wave first and it would have been massive yaw, impact loads to the side of the fuse and a broken up airplane, on the bottom in seconds...
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 12:40
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Protectthehornet said:
quite frankly, I might have gone for interstate 80...but I wonder what the bridge toll would have been.
Actually, the outbound George Washington Bridge has no tolls, so he would have escaped the city without any additional charges. But on the other hand, between the standard rush hour traffic on that route and the fact that there is hardly a straight line section of highway till you get out past Teteboro, any attempt to land there would have been a probable disaster. Although I am lowly SLF, I know the geography and terrain of the NYC area very well, having been both born and raised there and a resident for my 55+ years. He took the best option.


As far as luck goes, he was "lucky" in that
  1. It was a clear day
  2. There was no wind and the water was dead calm. (extremely rare in NY at that time of year)
  3. Although there was plenty of boat traffic in the river to effect a rescue, none were in his way.

But given all of luck elements, both pilots still had decisions to make and actions to take that were all dependent upon their skill levels and years of experience. Would a CRJ jockey on a regional airline fared as well.?? Maybe, but I sort of doubt it.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 12:50
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Would a CRJ jockey on a regional airline fared as well.??

Pinnacle 3701.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 14:03
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patricakl
thanks for the info on the bridge toll. I'm on the other end of interstate 80 out west.

sully minizmied risk to those on the ground by landing on the river.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 14:04
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Quote:
Would a CRJ jockey on a regional airline fared as well.??

Pinnacle 3701.
Thats a bit cheeky. Sully had the benefit of daylight. Although how the Pinnacle crew got there is another thing!!

Interesting seeing the transcript that they had a TCAS RA during the final descent. I somehow doubt they would have even heard it.

Last edited by Right Way Up; 1st Jun 2010 at 14:20.
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Old 1st Jun 2010, 14:20
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i once heard that (especially) Canadian float plane pilots
carry a house brick to chuck out of the window when landing
on flat calm water.
Perhaps a future modification for the Airbus ??
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