Posts Tagged 'US Airways'

Thoughts During a Crash Landing

We covered the original “story”, of the US Airways Airbus crash landing into the Hudson River back in January 2009. We also shared the Pilot’s blog post about the miraculous event. We even shared a game that was released after the safe landing…

US Airways Airbus in the Hudson River in New York City - from

But for some reason, we haven’t come across this great TED video for all those years. This video is from 2011 (so not new at all), but still worth sharing here as well, I believe. Rick Elias had the seat 1D on flight 1549 that day. He talks about his thoughts that went through his mind as the plane was preparing to attempt the almost impossible landing on the Hudson River. He shares three things with us:

by balint01


Landing On The Hudson Through The Eyes Of A Pilot

Chesley Sullenberger (c) AP

The world is celebrating a new superstar:  Captain Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot of U.S. Airways flight 1549 that crashed into New York’s Hudson River on January 16, 2009. Thanks to the crew of the flight now passengers were wounded and everybody survived the crash caused most probably by bird strike.

Now another pilot, Susan O’Donnell who was traveling on flight 1549 when the accident happened, is telling us her version of the story. She is not a journalist, so the text contains some jargon, but still it gives you thrills as you read it.

This is the captain. Brace for impact.

This is the sentence you never want to hear on board a passenger jet. How did the passengers react? What happened to them exactly? Read the full story on Sky Talk from one of the survivors, a jumpseat passenger: another pilot.

By Szafi

US Airways Airbus Crashes in the Hudson River

US Airways flight 1549 on 15JAN2009 has crash landed in the icy Hudson River in New York City shortly after take-off from New York La Guardia airport. The Airbus A320 was heading to Charlotte, North Carolina with 155 people on board, including the 2 pilots and 3 flight attendants, of whom ALL escaped successfully after the water landing.

US Airways Airbus in the Hudson River in New York City - from

First reports claim, that the plane (registration: N106US, first flight in 1999) took off at 15:26 local time, and soon afterwards passengers heard some sort of an explosion and the plane started shaking. The FAA has disclosed that less than one minute after take-off, the pilot reported “a double bird strike” after colliding with a flock of birds. Soon after the explosion the plane started to turn around and asked for clearance for an emergency landing at La Guardia, just east of Manhattan in Queens which it was granted. Later the pilot chose to try to land at Teterboro which was closer, but couldn’t make it there, either – which resulted in the first controlled emergency landing on water of a US commercial aircraft in more than 50 years at 15:30 local time (less than 6 minutes after takeoff). He informed the passengers “to get ready for the impact” and landed in the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan, just across New Jersey. Passengers claim it simply felt like a car-accident. Witnesses reported that the plane landed very softly on the river, slowly touching down on the surface at around 48th street, without making a bounce (more about the dangers of such bounces in our earlier article: How to survive an Air Crash?)

Air temperature at the time was -6 Celsius, with the water being +6 C. Television images taken shortly after the accident showed that the aircraft appeared intact and just partially submerged, with local ferry boats quickly rushing to the scene and taking all passengers and crew onboard from the deployed slides/rafts, saving them from being chilled as the aircraft subsequently began to sink. Many were photographed standing on the wings. Passengers have reported that there was indeed some panic onboard after the landing, but the crew was professional in getting them all out of the aircraft through the doors, with women and children first. The 57 year old ex Air Force pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger was the last to leave the plane sweaping the center aisle twice to make sure nobody was left behind! He has been flying with US Airways since 1980 and just one day after the accident it regarded as a Hero (similar to the pilot of British Airways flight 038 last year).

US Airways Airbus in the Hudson River in New York City - c by NBC

There were widespread but unconfirmed reports of various injuries, including cuts, broken bones and hypothermia, but nothing life threatening. Victims were treated at local hospitals.

Our preliminary report is that everyone is off the plane and accounted for,” US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said, adding that it was “premature to speculate about the cause.” Such planes as the Airbus A320 can easily survive the strike of one bird in one of the engines, but hitting 4-5 birds at the same time can cause such an accident as this one.

Landing such an Airbus A320 airliner on water with such precision has never happened before and is claimed as a miracle by many. This type of aircraft typically lands at a speed of around 250 km/hour and hitting the water surface with such speed may make a lot of damage to the fuselage and could practically tear off the engines and the wings or even break the cabin apart – which would result in quick sinking. But luckily this hasn’t happened and the plane landed safely.

This was the second take-off accident in the US within a month that all passengers survived, as on December 20, 2008, a Continental Airlines Boeing slid off the runway in Denver. About a month and a half  ago on November 28, 2008, an Airbus A320 crashed in water on a test-flight, killing 7 people onboard.

by balint01

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