Monday, July 4, 2011

An awesome, incredible look at the Miracle on the Hudson

I think we'll all remember, and never forget, the unbelievable incident and outcome of US Air flight 1549 that took not one bird strike, but two--and lost all thrust and power.

Anyone and everyone who is either involved with aviation or is an aviation enthusiast was stunned at the ice-water professionalism and absolute nerves displayed by Captains Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeffrey B. Skiles.

And don't for a moment not think that the flight attendants didn't play a significant role in the outcome. The flight attendants were Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh and Sheila Dail, and they exhibited top-shelf professionalism under the direst of circumstances--ditching a passenger aircraft in water.

Those of us who are pilots simply marveled at Sullenberger's skill and calmness. While there is no shortage of ego in the pilot community and outwardly a number of pilots humbly voiced the opinion that "they could probably have done the same," inwardly ALL who hold an FAA pilot's license literally got goose bumps upon hearing for the first time what transpired on that flight and how Sully and Skilling handled it.

And speaking of goosebumps, this superbly and incredibly well-done graphic video will do the same to you. This video puts you THERE, with US Air flight 1549 and with the air traffic controllers.

The audio is real. It is what happened, in real time on that day. The video is computer generated, but is eerily accurate and absolutely time-linked to the captured audio exchanges between the US Air flight and the air traffic controllers and other pilots.

This is our July 4th weekend. We celebrate our freedom but we also celebrate and acknowledge the heroes who had the right stuff when our country was born. Along the way, we celebrate American heroes who continue to demonstrate they have the right stuff.

Watch, enjoy and appreciate this video and what it represents. It's the stuff that heroes are made of.

(*note: There is an idiom that all smart pilots live by. It goes "Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. In that order." In the video, you'll hear where Sullenberger often does not reply to ATC--and that is because he is aviating first and navigating (to a place to put down) second.)


Old NFO said...

The interesting part is that 'some' say if it had been a Boeing with directly connected throttles, they would not have lost power and could have made the runway. Sullenberger did a superb job, no question!

An Ordinary American said...


He had the capability of getting some thrust out of both engines, and in particular the port-side engine--but the Airbus' computer kept pulling it back.

As I understand it, there is no way to override that computer. IT flies the airplane and you provide input/directions.

That is NOT a comforting thought to me.

But regardless, as you said, Sully and Skilling did one helluva a superb job keeping everything together and using what resources they had left to the ultimate maximum benefit.


Old NFO said...

AOA- the 'computer' protected the engines... to the loss of the entire acft...